Tue
Jun 8 2010 2:08pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 13

You get a line and I’ll get a pole, honey, and we’ll go fishing for a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry, the good Lord willin’ an’ the creek don’t rise, covers Chapters 21 and 22 of The Path of Daggers, in which the Fun Never Stops. Or begins. Whichever.

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

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

And now, the post!

Chapter 21: Answering the Summons

What Happens
Rand is surprised at how much the fierce winter storms are delaying his plans. The small force of Asha’man (eight Dedicated and forty Soldiers) he sent for arrives with a man named Charl Gedwyn as their commander and Manel Rochaid as his second; Rand is less than thrilled to learn that Taim has invented ranks for them (Gedwyn is “Tsorovan’m’hael”, or “Storm Leader”, and Rochaid is “Baijan’m’hael”, or “Attack Leader”). Gedwyn doesn’t understand why Rand wants so many Asha’man, opining that he and Rochaid could take on an entire army on their own, or Rand could himself; Rand coldly declines to explain and kicks him out of the tent. Lews Therin giggles about killing Gedwyn before he betrays Rand, and Rand mutes him.

Since his reappearance inside Rand’s head, Lews Therin seldom went silent unless forced. The man seemed madder than ever most of the time, and usually angrier as well. Stronger sometimes, too. That voice invaded Rand’s dreams, and when he saw himself in a dream, it was not always himself at all that he saw. It was not always Lews Therin, either, the face he had come to recognize as Lews Therin’s. Sometimes it was blurred, yet vaguely familiar, and Lews Therin seemed startled by it, too. That was an indication how far the man’s madness went. Or maybe his own.

Not yet, Rand thought. I can’t afford to go mad yet.

When, then? Lews Therin whispered before Rand could mute him again.

Rand shifts camp, making no effort to hide his movements from all those he assumes are watching him. Weiramon comes up to pretend to be grateful that Tairen Defenders are guarding Rand instead of Illianer Companions, as the “world would weep” if anything happened to him; Rand dryly comments that he knows how hard Weiramon would cry, which Weiramon takes as a compliment. Weiramon thinks it’s good that Rand has sent away most of the Cairheinin and Illianer forces, and that Rand is keeping Weiramon with him while sending most of the other Tairen nobles away, but thinks he should get to keep all of his armsmen. Rand tells him he doesn’t need more “bodyguards”, as he’s not planning to start a war; each of the nobles he’s kept with him (Gueyam, Maraconn, Aracome, Gregorin and three other Illianers, and Semaradrid) have only been allowed a small number of retainers, and are all the ones Rand trusts the least out of his sight.

How many have died for my pride? Lews Therin moaned. How many have died for my mistakes?

“May I at least ask where we are going?” Weiramon’s question, not quite exasperated, came right atop the voice in Rand’s head.

“The City,” Rand snapped. He did not know how many had died for his mistakes, but none for his pride. He was sure of that.

Rand thinks that it’s almost a shame that Weiramon isn’t “stupid enough to do something that would get him executed.” He makes the gateway himself to Illian despite the dizziness, mainly because Gedwyn and Rochaid are watching him. They go through a little north of the actual city, and Rand frets that Narishma is not back yet. He sends Morr into the city while camp is made; the rest of the army is freaked out by the Asha’man using the Power to erect their portion of the camp (and also that some of them seem to be talking to themselves). Dashiva tries to chat with Gedwyn and Rochaid but is rudely rebuffed. Rand goes to his tent and thinks “feverishly” about the thousand items on his to-do list; Lews Therin gibbers in terror when he thinks about cleansing saidin. Then Narishma enters with a cylindrical bundle, which Rand snatches from him, demanding to know what took him so long. Narishma answers that Rand hadn’t told him everything, and almost got him killed; Rand rejects this as ridiculous, and warns Narishma that he will kill him if he breathes a word about this. Narishma acknowledges this sourly.

Kill the whole world, Lews Therin laughed, a moan of derision. Of despair. I killed the world, and you can, too, if you try hard.

They are joined the next morning by a thousand of the Legion of the Dragon, marching out of the city. Weiramon is typically contemptuous of foot, but the other nobles are clearly wondering what it means that Rand is taking the Legion instead of their armies wherever they’re going. Rand orders the camp struck, and lets Dashiva make the gateway this time, putting them on the Silver Road in the Nemarellin Mountains. Everyone but Weiramon thinks this means Rand knows the Seanchan are coming this way (Weiramon has to have it explained to him), and plans to defend from here. Rand sends out the Asha’man to find the rest of the people he wants, all nobles he trusts even less than the ones he already has with him.

He could not watch all of them all the time, but he could not afford to let them forget that he did watch sometimes. He gathered them, and he waited. For two days. Gnashing his teeth, he waited. Five days. Eight.

Finally, Bashere shows up, who Rand reflects is one of the very few men Rand would trust with his life. Bashere complains mildly about not knowing what’s going on, and hopes this gathering isn’t for a battle, when every noble out there would be thrilled for a chance to stab Rand in the back. Rand replies, who better to die for you than those who want you dead? And besides, the Asha’man are going to be doing all the work.

Bashere snorted so hard that his heavy mustaches stirred. “I think it’s a deadly stew, is what I think. Somebody’s going to choke to death on it. The Light send it isn’t us.” And then he laughed as if that were a fine joke.

Lews Therin laughed, too.

Commentary
Yes, okay. I remember now—it is this stretch, here, that made me hate TPOD. This whole thing—the campaign against the Seanchan, and Rand being ugly and bitter and mean to everyone whether they deserved it or not, and the unrelenting drizzly gloom and doom, and the corresponding total certainty I had that the entire venture was going to end in disaster.

I’ve said before that I specialize in not guessing plot twists beforehand, but even I am not that karmically blind; this thing was Dee Oh Oh Emed from the get-go, and I knew that even before Bashere predicted it. I would have been much happier to have been proven wrong, personally.

And it sucks, y’all. I just didn’t even want to read this part. I still don’t.

The worst part, I think, was how Rand treated Narishma. Seriously, what a dick move. He just went and retrieved the third most powerful Magical Thingamajig in the world for your ungrateful ass, dude. At least say thank you!

Of course, we now have something of an explanation for why Rand suddenly starts turning into a total asshole in TPOD, and the first inkling of it is provided in this chapter. I refer, of course, to the mention of the new face Rand and Lews Therin see in Rand’s dreams, which is the beginning of the whole “Third Man” Thing.

The exact nature of this “other one” in Rand’s head kept the fandom a-wrangle for well over a decade, impinging as it does on the even more strenuously debated issue of the Lews Therin Thing. For my own part, I remember being distinctly less than thrilled about the appearance of this Third Man regardless of what his deal was, because really? More people in Rand’s skull? Yeah, that’s EXACTLY what he needs right now. Sheesh.

Post-TGS, of course, it is even less thrilling, since that book pretty much confirmed that the Third Man is actually Moridin. Clearly, the “crossing the streams” incident in ACOS established a connection between Rand and Moridin, like some kind of jacked-up mental timeshare, which has only been growing stronger over time. Now with Lews Therin gone and Rand having used the True Power, God only knows what’s going to happen with this in TOM. Somehow I doubt it will be fun.

I have to say this is one mystery that most of the fandom got totally, utterly wrong. Including me. Practically all of the serious debates about this topic, as I recall, centered on two camps: the one which claimed this Third Man was another Dragon from another incarnation, or the one that thought he was “Amalgamation Man”—a sort of proto-Rand/Lews Therin mashup, based on Min’s vision about Rand merging with another man. Despite having some philosophical (not to mention chronological) issues with it, I favored the latter theory, since the “another Dragon” theory depended on Lews Therin being real, which I didn’t believe, and the Amalgamation theory worked whether you thought Lews Therin was real or you thought he was a psychological construct.

But regardless, most of the fandom tended to fall in one of these two camps. People who claimed the third man was Moridin, by contrast, were somewhat scorned, and generally deemed purveyors of Looney Theory-ness. I am sheepish on this score, because I was definitely one of those who thought the idea was utterly stupid, and that definitely shows in the FAQ section devoted to the topic, despite my general effort to be as unbiased as possible. So, uh, my bad. Sowwy.

So, it’s Moridin, and that really does explain a great deal. Rand’s mental comment here, for instance, that he kind of wished Weiramon would fuck up badly enough to justify executing him, which kind of made me go “Wow” even the first time around, and now strikes me as a very Moridin-like thing to say, n’est-ce pas?

I’m not sure if it makes things better or worse that I can now retroactively attribute Rand’s increasing asshole factor to an outside influence. Better, I suppose, because that implies that Rand himself is not to blame, and that if Moridin’s share in the Brain Condo were to lapse Rand would go back to being, well, not an asshole.

The problem, of course, is that even as of TGS Rand doesn’t know Moridin is even on the premises, so to speak. It’s difficult to evict a squatter when you don’t even know he’s there, if I may be permitted to completely beat this metaphor to death. Also, I might be over-ascribing the influence here, especially at this early stage; after all, Rand has occasionally been a jerk all on his own. Either way, hopefully the end of TGS will give him some traction to better handle becoming Not An Asshole, because man am I over it.

Asha’man: I think it was this chapter that sparked one of the more controversial “real-world reference” debates in WOT among the fandom, which was the contention that the Asha’man were in some ways modeled in the style of the Nazi SS.

I know—DUN, right? But there are some evident parallels, as noted in the FAQ:

SS stands for Schutzstaffel (Guardian Group) and was originally created to protect Hitler. Asha’man means Guardians, and one of their functions is (nominally) to protect Rand. […] The leader of the Asha’man is called “M’Hael,” which is “leader” in the Old Tongue. The leader of the SS was the “Führer,” which is “leader” in German. There were 12 officer and 9 enlisted ranks in the Waffen-SS; of these, 5 officer and 1 enlisted rank(s) contained the two words Sturm (storm) and Führer (e.g. Sturmbannführer, Obersturmführer, Sturmscharführer). This is also seen within the Asha’man in Tsorovan’m’hael [Gedwyn’s title, which means “Storm Leader”].

I’ve always been slightly uneasy about this notion, myself. While I certainly grant that Jordan could have borrowed or imitated the infrastructure of the SS without necessarily implying any philosophical similarities between the two groups, even supposing such a superficial association is enough to give me a bit of the willies. And if it were more than that… well. I think it goes without saying that in this day and age, practically any comparison of a group to Nazism is tantamount to censure of it, if not outright condemnation. And the Asha’man, after all, are supposed to be among the Good Guys.

But then again, maybe that uneasiness is the intent. While it’s true that Rand created the Asha’man to be a force for the Light, there’s never been any bones made about the fact that doing so was one of the morally grayer things he’s done in the series (well, thus far, anyway). Not to mention that I’ve been spending half this recap railing against him for leaving such a volatile and potentially disastrous organization in the hands of—well. In the hands of a frustrated, murderous megalomaniac of dubious sanity, actually.

So… yeah.

Chapter 22: Gathering Clouds

What Happens
In the rain, Rand waits impatiently as his forces organize themselves; he had seized saidin in his tent so no one would see him stagger. He thinks the taint seems especially foul at the moment; he’s been holding the Power as much as possible lately to avoid the dizziness problem, though he knows how dangerous this is. He feels the bundle strapped to his mount’s side, and wishes the Forsaken would come after him now, so he could make them weep as he intends to make the Seanchan weep. None of the nobles are happy that they’re doing this with only six thousand men, and Rand thinks they don’t understand that fifty Asha’man are more than sufficient an army.

Rand wondered what they would have said had he told them he was hammer enough by himself. He had considered doing this by himself. It might come to that yet.

Weiramon comes up to complain about having to take orders from Bashere, and Rand tells him to deal or he won’t be with the army at all; he only means that Weiramon will be left behind, but Weiramon goes pale and leaves quickly. Lady Ailil (Cairheinin) and High Lady Anaiyella (Tairen) come up to him to protest their inclusion in the army; Anaiyella adds that she’s heard he has a “particular care for women”, so surely he won’t make them go. Rand is so astonished that this is common knowledge that he loses saidin, and almost falls from his saddle from the dizziness. Cautiously, he acknowledges that he tries to “be careful” of women, but that’s why he wants to keep them close; however, if they prefer he can send them to the Black Tower to keep safe. Anaiyella goes gray at the notion; Ailil refuses calmly, and comments that her brother Toram may be rash and impetuous, but she is not. They leave, and Rand orders Gedwyn to get started. Eight Asha’man form gateways to the Venir Mountains in Altara, and Rand ignores Lews Therin’s pleas to kill them; he sends Flinn to make the ninth, since he doesn’t dare seize saidin again in front of everyone. He notices Gedwyn and Rochaid watching him with “knowing smiles”, and imagines that all of them are staring at him askance. Then he shivers, wondering if he’s coming down with what Nynaeve called “the dreads”.

A kind of madness, a crippling dark suspicion of everyone and everything? There had been a Coplin, Benly, who thought everybody was scheming against him. He had starved to death when Rand was a boy, refusing to eat for fear of poison.

After going through, most of the Asha’man create new gateways (as it is possible to Travel short distances without knowing the land first), spreading out to search for Seanchan. The rest of the army comes through, and Rand starts off by himself; catching up, Bashere comments to Rand that there are no Seanchan here, but there could have been. Rand reluctantly concedes the point, and changes the subject to ask about the remains of a giant statue of a woman nearby, wearing a crown that looks like it’s made of daggers. Bashere thinks she was probably a queen of Shiota, and a conqueror, judging by the remains of a sword in her hand.

“In her time, she might have been as feared and respected as Artur Hawkwing was later, but now even the Brown sisters may not know her name. When you die, people begin to forget, who you were and what you did, or tried to do. Everybody dies eventually, and everybody is forgotten, eventually, but there’s no bloody point dying before your time comes.”

Rand snaps that he has no intention of doing so, and just then sees a man step out of the trees and draw a bow. Rand snarls and seizes saidin, but the dizziness prevents him from doing anything in time, and the archer looses. Only a bevy of quail flying up saves Rand’s life, and the arrow just misses him; fireballs strike the archer a second later and he goes down. Rand vomits, losing saidin and almost falling again. Bashere is concerned, but makes no comment; Rand is deeply relieved to realize he hadn’t burned himself out, but is worried that the sickness is getting worse every time he seizes the Power. They go over to inspect the archer, who is dead, and Rand sees it is Padros, the man who led the remnant of Sammael’s army he co-opted earlier. Gedwyn, Rochaid, Flinn and Narishma are there, too, and Rand notes that Flinn and Narishma are now both stronger than Gedwyn and Rochaid, though none of them come close to Rand himself. Rochaid finds a purse of thirty Tar Valon crowns on Padros, and declares that there’s no doubt who paid him; Bashere counters that Tar Valon coin is very common, and he has some himself. One of the Asha’man scouts returns via gateway, meaning the Seanchan have been found, and Rand tells Bashere it’s time to move.

“What do we do with him?” Gedwyn demanded, gesturing to the corpse. “We ought to send him back to the witches, at least.”

“Leave him,” Rand replied.

Are you ready to kill now? Lews Therin asked. He did not sound insane at all.

Not yet, Rand thought. Soon.

Assid Bakuun watches his Taraboner forces return to the camp, and thinks that while he is proud to be part of the Forerunners, he never expected that over half his command would consist of “descendants of thieves”. He strides over to the sul’dam tent, and asks one of them, Nerith, about her damane; Nerith strokes the damane’s hair and answers that whatever the “indisposition” is, it’s gone now and she’s fine. Bakuun grunts, not really believing this.

Something had been wrong, though, back in Ebou Dar, and not just with this damane. The sul’dam had all been as tight-lipped as clams—and the Blood would not say anything, of course, not to the likes of him!—but he had heard too many whispers. They said the damane were all sick, or insane. Light, he had not seen a single one used around Ebou Dar once the city was secured, not even for a victory display of Sky Lights, and who had ever heard the like of that!

They are interrupted when a raken flies overhead and drops a report. Bakuun goes to his tent and reads it, then tells his lieutenant (Tiras) the news: there is a army ten miles east of them, with about six times their numbers. He wonders how they’d gotten there without being detected, and comments to Tiras that while he doesn’t think this army can know they’re here, he’d like reinforcements. Tiras thinks the damane will do well enough for them, but Bakuun reminds him of the “Aes Sedai weapon” near Ebou Dar, and Tiras sobers and runs off with the message Bakuun hands him. Uneasy, Bakuun orders the camp struck and moved to the forest.

Commentary
Hubris and paranoia and despair, oh my!

Could we BE having any more fun, you guys? I don’t think it’s possible!

At least Rand isn’t stupid enough to fall for Gedwyn’s attempt to aim his wrath at the Aes Sedai, though I can’t quite remember if Rand thinks that Gedwyn engineered the assassination attempt himself, or that he just took advantage of the opportunity. If the latter, I will have to amend the first sentence of this paragraph—Rand is just not totally stupid. But he’s at least a little stupid, if he doesn’t even slightly suspect Gedwyn of being the perpetrator (whether he actually is or not. I think he is, but I don’t think it’s ever confirmed one way or the other).

So yay, not. The fact that the alleged bribe was thirty pieces crowns was a nice touch, though.

And… um.

Yeah, guys, sorry, but I got nothing else for this chapter. I can talk about most anything, but this storyline may actually tap me out. So I think I’m going to cut my losses for now, and hope I can rally for a fresh assault next time.


Whatcha gonna do when the creek runs dry? Sit on the bank and watch crawdads die! At least until Friday, so see you then. Yeehaw!

231 comments
Snow61
2. Snow61
I am loving the read through....thank you!
Snow61
3. Megaduck
Yeah, this is the part where the WOT really started jumping the shark for me. Rand just isn't fun to read about any more.

He needs a hug, and maybe some cake, or pie.
Theresa Gray
4. Terez27
Hey Leigh,

Thanks for pointing out the 30 crowns bit. Yay for more Jesus parallels! Goes along nicely with Rand denying Lews Therin three times back in ch 14 (iirc), especially since the matter was over the desire to kill Torval. My favorite line in these two chapters - 'Are you ready to kill now?' I loves it.
Joe Terrenzio
5. Terren
I actually enjoyed the campaign against the Seanchan plotline, if only because if shows the evolution of military tactics in Randland so well. We haven't focused on it, but Mat's organization and training of the Black Tower rejects into the Legion of the Dragon creates the first truly effective infantry force other than the Aiel, if they can even count. The Legion and its commando like raids and hit and run tactics, which we first start to see here in the mountains and forests with Asha'man help give the Light side another strong military element for the Last Battle. Also the incorporation of the Asha'man and short distance traveling radically changes how the army can fight, though the Seanchan are a tough nut to crack. I recall at some point some character comments on how the Seanchan, like Randland's five great captains, learn from their mistakes. Do we know if the Seanchan actually have a great captain level commander, or do they just have better military academies in general so all the officers have at least a modicum of intelligence and tactical expertise, unlike the vaunted Randland nobles, i.e. Weiramon.
a a-p
6. lostinshadow
*panting with the effort of finally having caught up with the reread*

thanks Leigh.

::looks around bunker::
hmmm because of the time difference I rarely catch the first 50 or so of the comments so this is emptiness is weird.

oh well.
Even though Rand is kinda assholish from now on, I never really stopped liking him. Despite it all, I really like that character. Although, definitely agree with Leigh that his treatment of poor Narishma is not on. I mean, give the guy incomplete instructions because you're (perhaps rightfully) paranoid and get annoyed when he's late because of it! that's just rude.

While it’s true that Rand created the Asha’man to be a force for the Light, there’s never been any bones made about the fact that doing so was one of the morally grayer things he’s done in the series (well, thus far, anyway).

I don't know if this sentiment that creating the Asha'man was a morally gray thing to do, I wasn't at all involved in any of the fandom until I discovered this reread but I have to (gasp)disagree. Creation of the Asha'man was one of my favorite things.

Don't get me wrong, I completely agree that "leaving such a volatile and potentially disastrous organization in the hands of—well. In the hands of a frustrated, murderous megalomaniac of dubious sanity, actually" was about as stupid a move as Rand could have made but creating the Asha'man?

Seems to me that men who can channel have got the real rough end of the stick for 3000 years. It's not like LT & Co were misusing saidin and got punished by the Creator, they were trying to help out humanity and got smacked down by the DO.

And then for 3000 years nobody tries to clean the taint, or help these guys out, or figure out how to stop them from going insane. They blame them for all the world's evils and let really annoying women hunt them down and effectively kill them.

So to me there is absolutely nothing morally gray about setting up the Asha'man. At least, even if the taint isn't cleansed, they get to fight against the DO and die for something meaningful rather than being hunted down or spending their life on the run from the Reds.

Like I said though, execution of the idea - not impressive.
Thomas Keith
7. insectoid
Great post, Leigh! You always do a great job of making the dull chapters entertaining. :) Yes, this is the point where nearly every re-read I've done of TPoD comes to a screeching halt.

Ch. 21
Rand: Seriously, lighten up, man! Totally agree with your thoughts on his treatment of Narishma.

Third Man: I agree; nothing good can come of this. I about fell out of my chair laughing at "Brain Condo"!

Asha'man=Nazi SS: That's creepy... I hadn't drawn that connection before. Does make sense, when you think about it.

Ch. 22
Seanchan: Eurgh, I say!

Bzzz™.
Snow61
8. earlgrey
re: lostinshadow@6
Yes.
a a-p
9. lostinshadow
Teren@5

I like the Rand vs Seanchan plotline, especially since it ends with both sides feeling like they lost. For some reason that struck me as really funny.

So how come the Asha'man can gate willy nilly and the AS are always at least two weeks out from whereever they need to be? I'm sure this has been asked and answered ad nauseum but every time I see the Asha'men gating back and forth multiple times a day, I wonder why we had to go through certain very tedious chapters with travelling AS.

Oh yeah, like insectoid@7 said, "Brain Condo" *snicker*. I've been sure something would go absolutely wrong with that since the first time I've seen it.
Lannis .
10. Lannis
Weiramon again. Ugh.

Aaaand I get sad when Rand gets sick. I just do. :/

Well, Leigh, if nothing else, we appreciate that you've compressed the Boring Ugly into more easily digestible bites. And added some funny in the commentary. Thanks!
Sharon E.
11. Sulin
Woot- top twenty, for the first time!

I have to say that I never stop liking Rand, and the chapters with him fighting the Seanchan, and even his disastrous attempt at using Callandor are my favorites from this book. Sure he's a jerk to everyone, and paranoid and gloomy, and... and..... but to me, it's all part of his journey. It's his journey that fascinates me so and keeps me coming back to these books.

@lost- great points regarding the Asha'man. I think Rand had the right notion creating the organization, where he slipped up was distancing himself from it's management by delegating that responsibility to Taim.
Joseph Blaidd
12. SteelBlaidd
Isn't it interesting how much Rand without Min acts like Perrin without Faile }:)

Terren@5
The difference between the levels of development of Millitary science on opposite sides of the Ayerth ocean is atributable to the difference betwen a national standing Army and and conscript armies and millitary companies lead by nobles. The Seanchen have a profesional force lead by trained carrer officers. Outside the core of the national units like the Defenders, Companions, and Queen's Guard, the bulk of most Randland Armies are either mercenaries or conscripts lead by whichever nobles can pay for them.

In further paralels, one of the things that made the German army(WWI and WWII) so effective was the presence of a profesional Millitary History Command on the general staff. And yes Taims Ash'aman are suposed to set of your creep-o-meter and SS paralles are part of that(regular Germans thought they were kind of creepy too) .

And these Chapters are a drag and they are supposed to be, and I like them, though only in small doses.
a a-p
13. lostinshadow
Lannis@10

Exactly! poor guy, at this point he knows he's going to go crazy but has to hold on long enough to fight the source of all evil, is bonded so some AS who didn't ask, has (be it construct or real) his long dead former life speaking to him (and that one's not too sane as it is), has two unhealing wounds that are perpetually painful (hey everybody loves and excuses the grumpy House who only has one wound perpetually troubling him), has pretty much the entire world out to get him, everybody wants something from him, everybody wants him to do something, everybody want to tell him how, what, where, when he should be doing something (never the why), he's been told by some being from an alternate dimension that he has to die to live (yeah helpful) and now...he gets dizzy and possibly sick every time he tries to access the power that is supposed to help him do all the shit he's gotta do.

Seriously?

The guy is not mean enough, ever, at any point in this story. I would have balefired half the world by now.
Roger Powell
14. forkroot
The whole bit with Narishma and Rand disagreeing on whether Rand had given him all the information on the weaves smells like a clue. But it's a clue I can't quite puzzle out yet.

Narishma is important - we know that from prophecy that "Who draws it out shall follow after." He plays an important role in some key scenes, including being the conduit for Callandor during the cleansing. (BTW, Elza ... nice shot on Dashivagar! Doesn't quite make up for what you do in TGS though.)

Narishma is also in a key scene with Merise when they approach the Salidar AS (and he detects Halima channeling.)

Nonetheless, there is certainly something big yet to come from him, and I don't really have a good guess at what that might be.
a a-p
15. lostinshadow
Sulin@11

I'm beginning to think (or maybe it's hope) that Rand's attitude about the Black Tower and Asha'men is plot driven negligence.

I'm not sure if I can put this into something comprehensible but I think the overall plot RJ had in mind required something horrible to happen to or about Asha'men. Except if Rand or someone less despicable than Taim had been in charge of the Black Tower then the Asha'men would have been a more healthy organization, perhaps even more obviously good and sympathetic than the White Tower (AS may be respected but few are liked and the WT as a whole is not lovable) and that would not have served the needs of the plot.

Not sure that made sense but gotta run for now.
Henry Loose
16. schrodinger
and thus begins one of the more depressing ventures in WoT. Two important things here: 1) Rand eventually experiences defeat for 1st time in a military campaign (it is a learning experience for him in both military means and the limits of his own powers). 2)Alivia is captured
(both of these happen later in the campaign, but this is the beginning).
Marcus W
17. toryx
Man. I'm so with you, Leigh, about the grinding agony of these chapters and the "war" against the Seanchan. The first couple of times I read PoD I didn't realize how much of what I hated was the asshole Rand was becoming. Mainly because I had no clue that he was connected to Moridin in the way he turned out to be. I definitely fit with those who thought the third figure was the amalgram of LTT and Rand Ver 1.0.

Now it all makes a little more sense but that doesn't make me like it any more. I also hated the whole thing with Narishma getting Callandor. I hated that Rand treated the poor guy the way he did, that he didn't consider that someone came along after him and further trapped the sword, doing Light only knows what with it. It was just disappointing in every way. Ugh.

As far as the SS/ Nazi comparison...I buy that the comparison was intended but I think it's more to reflect on Taim than on the Asha'man in general. It was his mindset that created such a system and as a result the parallels give us greater clues into Taim's serious egomania.
Henry Loose
18. schrodinger
Re: Third man: short term, nothing good can come of this, long term, it could be the solution to all our problems (I don't know how, but it seems very a very Jordanian thing to do: put someone at an initial disadvantage and it turns out to be what saves them... e.g. Cadsuane pissing off Rand leads to his "moment of clarity".)
diane heath
19. jadelollipop
Funnily enough I enjoyed these chapters (4 in all?) re: the attack on the Seanchan. It rather ties a lot of lines together and also shows how the Pattern keeps some things from happening.
1. Re: Rand --the first time through I hated him more and I don't know if it is a TGS effect but I am more sympathetic to him in these re-reads. Maybe it is because I know he will be way worse later. His fear of appearing weak (esp around Ashaman) is a valid concern. The lack of information plays a part
because the use of the Bowl (without men?) causes such a weird affect on Saidin/Saidar. The damane and some sul'dam(?) are sick in Ebou Dar.
2. Rand stunned to realize he is not in a cakewalk (as if evidence had not already piled to the sky)
3. Seanchan view of the battles that they have lost as well.
4. Sadly if Rand had stopped when Bashere said the retreat was enough rather than moving on to Ebou Dar (or attempting too) he would not have used Callendar and a lot of his people would be alive.

Re: the more people in Rand's head...WH's Lily in Winter chapter added 3 more via the warder bond/adoption ceremony. Will Elayne get in trouble with WOs for misuse of adoption ceremony weaves. Considering that her Warder Bond with Birgitte has odd side effects guess Rand is lucky that the bonds worked at all...And even as far as Carhein the affects were felt (Alanna fainted)

So when Alanna's bond pushed out Fain to a degree wouldn't the 3 wives push him out more. As well as the link to Moridin pushing Fain more into background (haha)
Roger Powell
20. forkroot
lostinshadow@13
The guy is not mean enough, ever, at any point in this story. I would have balefired half the world by now.

Indeed, I would have:

1) Balefired Alanna for bonding me (and done it immediately with enough force to undo the bond.)

2) Balefired Cadsuane for slapping me (for using balefire) :-)

3) Balefired Merise, Merillile, and Merana for having names too similar. And then balefired Faolain and Falion for good measure.

4) Balefired most of the Sea Folk ambassadors

5) Balefired Bill Gates before he could choose the backslash as a pathname separator.

Ohmigod, I'm turning into jamesedjones!
diane heath
21. jadelollipop
Meant to ask re: Narishma and Callendar....didn't Sammael or another FS add something to the weaves that Rand had left...I know Rand went and inverted them later....??
Maiane Bakroeva
22. Isilel
Hubris and paranoia and despair, oh my!

I dunno, I kind of like it that stuff is truly getting to Rand. He is under immense pressure and it is nice to see that no punches are being pulled.

But the whole Seanchan battle plan is seriously half-assed. I mean, sure, Asha'man are awesome and everything, but what does Rand really know about Seanchan abilities? Why take such a small force and give Seanchan a chance? Why 50 Asha'man and not 100 or whatever?
I am also not sure about Rand's certainty that conventional armies are obsolete - why was he trying to unify the Westlands and assemble huge armies then?

Nor do I get why he sent Narishma after Callandor. He could have gone himself - he didn't have anything too urgent to do. Is he trying to force "follows after" prophecy? And if so, why Narishma? And if somebody else placed additional inverted traps around it, how did Narishma survive?

He had considered doing this by himself.

And this is so typical of Rand's MO. He thought that nobody had died for his pride? Ha!
He is also not having bodyguards _yet again_ and will come close to dying and therefore dooming the world _yet again_. I find this hugely irresponsible risk-taking far more exasperating than some gloom and even assholishness...

Yep, I do think that the SS analogies are intentional. Didn't they also wear black uniforms?

Also, poor Pardos - Taim's quest to provoke even more of alienation between Rand and the WT continues... Or was it a real murder attempt, with AS accusations a cover in case of failure?

Clearly, Rand's intention of cleansing saidin made the Shadow flip-flop it's stance on him yet again. I wouldn't want to be a minion of the Dark - mere days ago Sammael was killed for trying to take out Rand.

Also, Gedwyn and Rochaid are so obviously evil that I wonder at Bashere not bringing it up to Rand.
Funny that they rebuff Dashiva - clearly they don't (yet) know who he is.
Snow61
23. Megaduck
schrodinger @18

I think this is defiantly going to save them. If Rand had been bonded with Moridin he wouldn't have been able to use the True Power.

Lewis Therin moans that Saidin HAD to touch the DO when they sealed the Bore, but hey look, Rand now has access to a nifty new power that no one cares if it touches the DO or not.
Snow61
24. AgingComputer
I believe that Narishma's insistence that Rand forgot to tell him something implies that one of the Forsaken laid additional traps on top of what Rand did.

Remember that Rand's traps were originally visible and then after Asmodean taught him how to invert weaves he switched them to being invisible.
Snow61
25. Gaidal
At first, I assumed the "strangeness" of Saidar was caused by Elayne's destructive attempt to un-weave a gateway, until I remembered later that Saidin also was strange. Then I put together the fact that the bowl of the winds accessed both powers, even with no men present, and it clicked.

Jordan never really explained that reaction to power-users, especially some of the damane acting insane. What about the release of power from the bowl was different than the massive release of power to cleanse Saidin? That process took much longer than the use of the bowl. Makes you wonder.
Rob Munnelly
26. RobMRobM
Question to be asked is: who put additional traps around Callendor that almost got Narishma killed?

I don't have books but is this the chapter where Weimaron is talking to Rochaid, etc., and pretty much making clear he is a DF? Always loved that bit as it is not obvious but actually is in retrospect. But then it floored me in TGS when LTT said he liked Weimaron - biggest WTF comment in TGS....
R B
27. MasterAlThor
You can destroy the world too, if you try really hard.

That is funny to me.

Dragon
Roger Powell
28. forkroot
RobMRobM@26
Question to be asked is: who put additional traps around Callendor that almost got Narishma killed?
A good question that. And the follow-up question is: How was Jahar Narishma so capable that he could avoid being killed by those traps (we're guessing a male Forsaken did them)? That's why I think there's "another shoe to drop" regarding Narishma.
Snow61
29. alreadymadwithseanchanwar
Poor Narishma. I always figured one of the Forsaken added an inverted trap of his own to whatever it was Rand had put on Callandor. It's a testament to Rand's teaching, I guess, that Narishma was able to get past all traps. Too bad he got the short end of the stick with Rand.

As for the Seanchan Campaign. Yes it was a bit tedious. But watching Seanchan damane get pwned was worth it IMHO.

lostinshadow @9
AS are always preoccupied with secrecy. That's why they always gate to some out of the way place. Asha'man aren't. There's also the factor of strength. The Asha'man Rand carries to battle are always the strongest and thus have the juice to Travel multiple consecutive times. The relative strength of the AS would have them tired after Travelling only a few times.
James Hogan
30. Sonofthunder
It hurts me to see how much Rand is suffering! And while I can't excuse his treatment of Narishma or disregard of those who truly are serving him, I can understand why he is being such a punk. Constantly being sick, surrounded by people who hate and fear him, facing the Ever-Victorious-Army...I weep for him! And actually, because Rand intrigues me so much, his chapters are the ones I like reading the most in this book(actually, in most of the books really!) I'd much rather read about the Tribulations of Rand al'Thor than about the politics of Ais Sedai. Rand is truly an amazing character...
Snow61
31. litg
@AgingComputer 24

That's a good thought about the additional traps. That section had always confused me, but that would be a very Forsaken thing to do, to try and catch Rand or one of his servants unawares with extra inverted weaves.

@Gaidal 25

I'm pretty sure they stated back when they used the bowl that it strained what the bowl was capable of achieving alone. The Sea Folk say at some point that the bowl was just one of many like it in the Age of Legends. Each was meant to work regionally, but they forced this single bowl into working over the whole globe (or at least the whole continent). That straining may have resulted in the strange behavior of the power. At least that's what I always assumed.
Snow61
32. Megaduck
lostinshadow @9

I always assumed it was because the AS were massively more conservative as a whole. They didn't want even the possibility of accidentally slicing anyone in half and so went days out of their way to get places.

The Ashaman on the other hand are basically like "You know, as long as I don't travel to the middle of a crowded market the chance of slicing someone is actually pretty low. Lets do it!"
Alice Arneson
33. Wetlandernw
On the Nazi reflection in the structure of the Asha'man - if it was intended (and I find it hard to believe RJ didn't at least consider the implication) then the creep factor is totally appropriate. Remember that it was Taim who was creating these titles and infrastructure, so... yeah. Just in case anyone wasn't already sure Taim was a bad guy, there's a big ol' clue-by-four. I don't recall specifically verbalizing the Nazi parrallel at first, but the title struck a nerve right away.

And Rand is so astonished that his "particular care for women" is common knowledge. LOL. Does anyone not know that? Geez, dude. Also, "the dreads." Yeah, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not all out to get you.

This section makes me a bit queasy, I have to admit, even knowing everything. Mostly this is what Leigh said, but ever since the first time through, it just hurts to see Rand going so dark. I wasn't involved in the webfandom at the time, so I don't know if I'd have argued any particular one of the positions on "third man" at the time. I do know that well before I got in on the webness, I was pretty well convinced that it was Moridin. Unfortunately, I can't remember why I thought so at the time; it just seemed to make the most sense.

Didn't like the way he treated Narishma - but wasn't there some indication that someone else had come along and added a few layers to the protections that Rand had laid? So Narishma was correct that he didn't know everything, but it wasn't because Rand had forgotten to tell him? Not sure where that idea comes from, but I'll go look it up later. (I see others have asked this question/made this assumption as well.)

Terren @5 - Bashere, not Mat, took the Black Tower rejects. Mat runs the Band of the Red Hand; Bashere, the Legion.

lostinshadow @9 - The Asha'man can gate willy-nilly here because a) they're out in the hills where population is low and b) everyone "out there" is pretty likely to be enemy at this point. The Aes Sedai are usually trying to get to a city where a) there are more people and b) they don't want to alienate everyone by starting off with accidental killings. Also, they are sometimes trying NOT to draw attention to themselves, which you have to admit, stepping out of thin air in the middle of a market would do even if it didn't kill anyone.

Gaidal @25 - RJ did explain that the Bowl of the Winds was originally intended to manipulate the weather in a small region, and its use to affect global weather created the bizarre behavior of the OP in the vicinity.
Marcus W
34. toryx
Forkroot @ 28:

A good question that. And the follow-up question is: How was Jahar Narishma so capable that he could avoid being killed by those traps (we're guessing a male Forsaken did them)? That's why I think there's "another shoe to drop" regarding Narishma.

You're assuming, however, that the trap was intended to kill. If it was a Forsaken who laid the traps (and I'm inclined to believe it is) he or she would have no way of knowing that Rand wouldn't be the one to go get Callandor next. And if the Forsaken laid a trap on the sword that would kill whoever touched it, they'd be disobeying the DO's order were Rand to get killed.

I've always believed that whatever was added to Callandor was intended to do other things than just kill whoever touched it. Which means that something else may well have happened that we still haven't discovered yet.
Birgit
35. birgit
The problem, of course, is that even as of TGS Rand doesn’t know Moridin is even on the premises, so to speak.

Later in the series he does recognize the third man as Moridin.

I think it goes without saying that in this day and age, practically any comparison of a group to Nazism is tantamount to censure of it, if not outright condemnation. And the Asha’man, after all, are supposed to be among the Good Guys.

The ranks were created by Taim, who only gives ranks to those who belong to his darkfriend academy.

He feels the bundle strapped to his mount’s side, and wishes the Forsaken would come after him now, so he could make them weep as he intends to make the Seanchan weep.

He specifically thinks about Semirhage. Does he suspect that she is with the Seanchan?

Jordan never really explained that reaction to power-users, especially some of the damane acting insane. What about the release of power from the bowl was different than the massive release of power to cleanse Saidin?

Jordan explained that they overused the Bowl. It was made for local weather control, not for global use.

Bashere, not Mat, took the Black Tower rejects. Mat runs the Band of the Red Hand; Bashere, the Legion.

Bashere trained them, but he used Mat's ideas from his memories.
Chris Chaplain
36. chaplainchris1
On Rand and Narishma - I tend to buy Rand's assertion that he gave Narishma complete instructions. Either Rand insanely and unconsiously added other stuff - which I doubt, at this stage - or some *other* guy added to Rand's traps. Which would be a logical thing for a Forsaken to do - if Rand's traps are too much to get through, why not add your own to see if you can keep Callandor from him? Especially if Callandor already killed you once *and* has some unclear significance in the Last Battle?

Edit: I see other people are already saying this. *great minds* *nods sagely*
Maiane Bakroeva
37. Isilel
Lostinshadow @6:

At least, even if the taint isn't cleansed, they get to fight against the DO and die for something meaningful rather than being hunted down or spending their life on the run from the Reds.

According to Taim, only Narishma was a sparker, though. Everybody else would have never channeled and got tainted, if not for BT.
I mean, sure, everybody is going to be at risk during TG and lots of people would die, but Asha'man were essentially a kamikaze unit of immense power. As far as they knew, they were going to die even if Light won and they survived to see it.
For something like that, moral strength, codex of behavior, life experience, etc. should have been essential, so that they wouldn't fall to despair, power-hunger, etc.
Instead, Rand allowed Taim to recruit children and entice men with dreams of power, and provided no guidance and support to Ashaman whatsoever. Nor to their families.
And we really don't know if the Taint did cause some permanent damage that would manifest even now, after saidin has been cleansed.

It wouldn't surprise me if half of the Asha'man would turn out be DFs, in such circumstances, even if Ingtar-stripe ones.

So, morally gray? You bet.

And BTW, the AS did try to do something about the taint for a few centuries after the Breaking. In fact, one could argue that if they had been more ruthless during the Breaking, it wouldn't have been so severe...

AMW @29:

It's a testament to Rand's teaching

I don't recall Rand teaching anything to Asha'man until TGS, where he showed Narishma balefire. DUN! Maybe Narishma will "follow after" into darkness and despair? Flinn or Dashiva were more likely teachers for Narishma after he joined Rand's bodyguard. Hm...

Neither secrecy nor strength really explains the propensity of female AS to Travel weeks away from their destinations and trudging the rest of the way, I am afraid. Men manage to Travel close and discreetly - and so do female FS!
And BTW, we don't even know if women do become tired more easily. According to RJ, their use of OP is more economic than men's.
Snow61
38. alreadymadwithunseenweave
Isilel @37
Rand instructed Narishma on how to bypass weaves he could not see. That qualifies as teaching to me.
Henry Loose
39. schrodinger
When Rand told Narishma that he had given him all he needed to know to get Callandor, and Narishma had a hard time, I assumed that Rand just didn't get how powerful he is or how knowledgeable he is compared to the other male channelers, and what he thought would be a simple task, once told what to do, would be really difficult for someone other than himself.
Chris Chaplain
40. chaplainchris1
@ various re: men Traveling vs. women traveling. I agree with Isilel @ 37 that neither strength nor secrecy explains the plodding nature of the female AS. And I particularly don't buy the strength argument - Elayne uses roving Kinswomen as scouts in a manner similar to Ashaman scouting. The Kin-scouting works presumably b/c they're traveling in the wilderness most of the time, and when coming back to Caemlyn have a safe Traveling Ground to go to.

Also, we do have an example of male-Ashaman plodding - in the Perrin plotline. Grady/Neald gate Perrin somewhere far away from the Prophet when they first set out; and now, in TGS, they're whining about being too tired to travel back to civilization, as if they couldn't open a gateway and tie it open.

So generally, I think the explanation is that teleportation is sometimes inconvenient for an author and must be avoided for oft-spurious reasons.

I do applaud Elayne et. al. for being concerned about innocent bystanders, but as discussed ad nauseam, I think there are better solutions to this!

-Chris
Snow61
41. Ian B Manc
Oo! Oo! That was me (young blandford) who suggested that it was a future Dragon! I was genuinely surprised when it turned out to be Moridin
Snow61
42. Hrothgordo
I am actually looking forward to this portion of the re-read given the knowledge tGS has given us on Rand.

This book really turned me off the series the first time through for a number of reasons. The pace and resolution changes in the books after LoC frustrated me immensely. Until tGS I honestly have never been able to do more then skim some of these plotlines.

As to Rand at this point, I think Leigh has been spot on about the loneliness that Rand is going through as well as the effect Moridin is having on him. But I think also we are seeing a bit of a man in despair.

He is alone and scared to death of going insane, but also has every reason to believe it has already started.

And worse yet, between the “crossing the streams” nauseau and the BotW induced weirdness in saidin, he is powerless in a lot of ways.

At some level he wants to die here. If tGS is about him turning into a raging psychopath as his moral compass is ripped away, this book was about the depression induced by being alone and impotent.

So yeah he doesn’t treat people nice.


As to one specific incident, Rand’s interaction with Narishma, keep in mind that this exchange comes off a little better if you go under the assumption that Rand absolutely did tell Narishma everything about disarming the trap on Callandor. Unfortunately the BotW crap caused the whole thing to almost go ka-blooey.

But to Rand’s view he is dealing with another incompetent idiot (and after dealing with Weiramon for 8+ days I don’t think he can deal with another). And nothing is more frustrating then dealing with someone who not only can’t follow detailed instructions but wants to blame their f-up on you.

So he smacks him down.
Lucas Vollmer
43. aspeo
Great post Leigh!

I have always disliked this plot with Rand too. He just keeps getting harder and harder, and no one is able to help him see what is wrong with the things he is doing. It makes it almost uncomfortable to read, and unfortunately it’s going to continue all the way through TGS.

I agree that the Asha’man as a whole should not be compared to the Nazi SS. However, I do think that that the Asha’man under Taim could very easily fit into this description. They recognize Taim as their leader, and he is the one who came up with the new names that bring about the parallels with the SS. Whether or not Taim is a dreadlord/darkfriend/or just evil, he is definitely setting up some very bad things at the Black Tower that Rand (or maybe Logain) with have to deal with eventually.

As for the next chapter… yeah… it’s getting closer to Seanchan fighting time I suppose. Also Rand’s ta’veren luck saved him again, since drawing on Saidin is becoming such a huge problem for him now.

It’s kind of interesting to me that the more I read Lews Therin’s voice in this re-read, the less crazy he sounds to me. I tend to subscribe to the idea that LTT was a construct that was at least mostly made by Rand’s mind. And at times it seems like LTT is acting like Rand’s subconscious trying to tell him what he should be doing or that people around him may not be acting right. It’s something I’ve never really thought of before, but now it seems like an interesting idea at least.
Snow61
44. Looking Glass
By TGS, Rand’s psychically connected to LT, Moridin, Alanna, Min, Elayne, Aviendha, Mat, and Perrin. Now that’s a crowd.
--

Terren@5: I don’t think we’ve seen any evidence of Great Captains from the Seanchan, but they do have a lot of Very Good Captains. Plus organization, equipment, sheer numbers, etc. They’re extremely solid across the board. And, as steelblaidd points out, they’re professional military, unlike most Randlanders.

I wonder how much of the GC-deficit is attributable to the Seanchan political situation, actually. Historically IRL, lots of rulers have been very edgy about excessively successful generals who might become inconveniently ambitious. Seanchan definitely seems the sort of environment where that might be seen as a risk, particularly in the context of a relatively autonomous expeditionary force.
--

lostinshadow@9: I’d argue that both sides did lose. Nobody came out of that campaign ahead. Except the Shadow.
--

Megaduck@23: That’s a sensible possibility, but… thematically, it just rubs me the wrong way. It seems like little good can possibly come of Rand using the True Power (and, more broadly, the tools of the Shadow).
Snow61
45. Subbak
Looking Glass@44: It's a pity mind links are not transitive, beacause there is a chain from Birgitte to Moggy.
Now that would be wacky if Ms. Silverbow could piss off Elayne enough for Rand to be taken aback at the emotional surge, which would in turn be felt by Morridin while playing with his mindtraps and... bye Moggy!

Sadly, unlikely to happen.
Mikey Bennett
46. EvilMonkey
There are multiple instances where females use gateways for close-in work. Alviarin gateing in and out of the tower, Katerine (or was that Tarna) gateing into a room at the Dorlan Inn where the remnants from the Kidnapping are staying, and Egwene not telling the sisters where she was so that they could not gate in and rescue her. They know the trick of holding the power to learn a place faster but they might not know the short travel trick. Rand knows it b/c he has an AoL guy in his head, Eg kinda figured it out on her own. The Black sisters were prob taught by Mesanna who is notoriously lacking for info.
Snow61
47. Hrothgordo
I thought that Jordan had stated directly that the Ashaman were modeled after the SS, at least in appearance.

Personally I thought it is a brilliant move as a writer.

First, because it strikes a parellel to Rand in my eyes, as the best way for me to process how others must see him. He is in fact a savior character like Jesus, but also the reborn version of the most reviled man in modern history (which I think is hand’s down Hitler’s title at this point).

The Ashaman are supposed to be good guys. Rand designs them as such and plans to use them as such. But Jordan never lets us get comfortable with them both by evoking our knowledge of the SS and of course his use of Taim as a puppet-master over the whole group.

And I would be fairly certain that when the Logain shift of the Ashaman occur their will be a pretty significant shift on the SS symbolism as well.
Karen Fox
48. thepupxpert
toryx @34 - perhaps the additional weaves that were added to Callandor was what made it go beserke when Rand tried to use it? Or maybe Rand can't use it anymore because Narishma is the one who followed and only he can use it?
a a-p
49. lostinshadow
Isliel@37
I'll grant you the non-sparkers (though surely by now there must be more than one?) but still, even if they are nothing more than cannon fodder for the DO troops, at least they are contributing to the fight. And since they have an ability beyond that of becoming a mere fighter, good on them for taking the risk of insanity. Perhaps, non-sparkers should be applauded even more.

As to the rest of your argument, I think that goes not to the idea itself but the execution thereof, which I already admitted was a disaster.

So we can definitely agree that the way Rand handled the Black Tower particularly with regard to Taim (who he's wanted to kill since the first second he set eyes on him) is not only a stupid move but ethically speaking gray, maybe even bordering on black. After all by leaving the execution to possible agent of evil, he is betraying the trust these men (and clearly from the few good Asha'men we see not all are power hungry) have placed in him as the Dragon and fellow channeler.

But sorry the idea itself, of trying to set up some kind of organization where men can learn to channel if they want, that is not gray at all - it's an attempt to restore some much needed balance.

I meant AS not trying to help out taint's affect on channeling men not cleaning out the taint itself. I don't claim to have the kind of memory over details that most of the readership on this blog seem to have (read: I could be totally wrong) but my impression is that AS did not at any time make any concerted effort to see if something can be done to help men fight the insanity or help the men be less destructive (withoug gentling = killing them).

Thanks to all re: theories on travelling - I believe I've been convinced by the "plot requires it" theory.
Tony Zbaraschuk
50. tonyz
I caught the SS vibes of the "Storm" titles as soon as I read them, and I agree that Jordan was doing that intentionally. It's part of the gradual reveal that Taim is Not A Good Guy, even if he briefly looked like one at the beginning of LoC. And it's a way of making the readers as uneasy about the Asha'man as the people in the books are.

I remember getting rather annoyed by all the conversations in the background, since while (I suppose) if you really kept careful track of them you could deduce a lot (and thanks for the FAQ, Leigh!), the reader didn't experience any of that while reading, and it just came across as more of "the nobles act like douchebags around Rand".

Speaking of which, while Moridin may be leaking stuff into Rand by now, I think his plan to use up the nobles this way was his own -- he did something very similar before leaving Tear, after all. It's very clever, in a Machiavellian way, but it does run two risks: one is that loyal nobles will feel themselves slighted ("don't you trust me to share danger with you?" -- military aristocracies do have problems, but at least they treat courage as a virtue -- plus we see Berelain's reaction to being left behind as well), and the other is that sometimes douchebags have brains and will figure out what you're trying to do with them, and try to do unto you first. (As we will see later in this episode.)
Roger Powell
51. forkroot
When it comes to putting people "on your side" conveniently in harms way, Rand could take a few pointers from Perrin. Just ask Masema... oh wait, you can't anymore :-)
Birgit
52. birgit
Grady/Neald gate Perrin somewhere far away from the Prophet when they first set out

They don't know where exactly he is before Balwer and Alliandre tell them.

As to one specific incident, Rand’s interaction with Narishma, keep in mind that this exchange comes off a little better if you go under the assumption that Rand absolutely did tell Narishma everything about disarming the trap on Callandor. Unfortunately the BotW crap caused the whole thing to almost go ka-blooey.

Isn't Tear too far away from Ebou Dar for a strong effect?

By TGS, Rand’s psychically connected to LT, Moridin, Alanna, Min, Elayne, Aviendha, Mat, and Perrin.

And Fain, although that seems to be one-way.

perhaps the additional weaves that were added to Callandor was what made it go beserke when Rand tried to use it? Or maybe Rand can't use it anymore because Narishma is the one who followed and only he can use it?

Callandor has always been difficult to control because it lacks the buffer other sa'angreal have, and when Rand uses it he is close enough to Ebou Dar that the Bowl aftereffects cause trouble for all channelers (at least one damane and one Ashaman accidentally kill their own people).
Snow61
53. Hrothgordo
The declaration of the amnesty and the formation of the Farm/Tower definelty falls into the gray area.

At the time, the Taint hadn’t been cleansed meaning Rand was dooming the world to deal with insane male channellers again. And he was willing to give safe travel to a man who had caused a war in Saldea (and obviously committed his share of war crimes while doing it).

Rand’s has only two reasons to do this. The first is simply pragmatic, he needs them to fight the Dreadlords he assumes the DO will have. And two, because on some level he doesn’t want to be the only “freak” out there.

It may move the balance thing into whack down the line but that is not Rand’s intent.


As to female channelers, some definitely tried to solve the insanity and cleansing of the taint. The Eye of the World itself was cleansed saidin, a process which killed the AS in the process. If you killed yourself doing something then that equals working hard at it in my book.

Now were they able to innovate? No.

But the whole arc of the story is that the world (and certainly female AS) had stagnated in regards to innovation and invention. The chaos of Rand’s existence, the struggle against the shadow and the blaance of male/female working in concert are the impetus for change.
Snow61
54. Hrothgordo
To Birgit@52

Tear is far from Ebou Dar, but the effect is more dramatic near Ebou Dar, not just limited to that area.

And keep in mind that one thing that Rand has ever really told us of the trap was that it would use the Power to trap and reset itself.

Given the amount of power initially used rung the Stone (and earthquake'd the city) that we are talking about a weave designed to draw Power on it's own. Sounds a lot like the BotW type ter-angreal crap to me.

**and yes I am bored at work**
Tricia Irish
55. Tektonica
Hi Leigh and thank you. Things were pretty sideways here.....

These chapters are really the beginning of Dark Rand, but maybe it's because I discovered this series about 7 years ago, and powered through them, I don't remember being baffled about this being Mori. I don't remember my exact thoughts the first time I read these chapters, as I've read them so many times now, but yeah....bad juju.

I do like the complication of LTT's return. Perhaps its most interesting this time through in light of tGS revelations. It's very interesting to me to see Rand interact with the LTT construct. (yes, I'm one of those.) I find it very interesting to see what RJ chose for Rand to sublimate to LTT. Anyhoo.....

..... a connection between Rand and Moridin, like some kind of jacked-up mental timeshare, which has only been growing stronger over time......Moridin’s share in the Brain Condo

Spewed ice coffee after those nuggets! Very very funny.

And I agree, AHole Rand was not very nice to Narishma and I agree with Torxy too....I expect some MOA for Narishma, but don't have a clue as to what, other than the "one that follows after" prophecy thingy.

I rather enjoyed this line too....Rand thinks that it’s almost a shame that Weiramon isn’t “stupid enough to do something that would get him executed.” Weiramon is such a tool and probably a DF. I found it one of Rand's more insightful moments.

Lostinshadow@6 & 13 and Lannis@10: Totally agree with your assessments.

forkroot@20: ROFLOL

OK...going to keep reading comments now and get more coffee and eat my bag of cherries.

NY Pizza and fresh cherries in the Bunker.....
Tricia Irish
56. Tektonica
Gaidal@25:

I think the weirdness caused by the Bowl at Ebou Dar was because it was intended to be used by both men and women together. It did draw on Saidin on it's own somehow, but probably not correctly.

When they cleansed the Taint, Rand did it with Nynaeve, blending both Saidar and Saidin.

I think.
Barry T
57. blindillusion
A flock of birds? Really? Well, if anyone wanted a pretty blatant scenario in which the Pattern gives clear evidence of just how important Rand is, here it is. That’s almost like active participation on the part of the Pattern. Particularly as I cannot recall a time where Rand’s ta’veren-ness shows itself in this way. Sure, there are any number of instances where oddities happen around Rand, but this…Wow.

As to Rand’s decline into the dark…I believe plenty of people have already given some pretty good words regarding it…and I also wrote a little something back in February.

But, still. Not much to say.

Really, who benches their coolest player?


~ Great recap as always Leigh. Thanks much.

GO SAINTS!! Oh..wait....
When does football start back up again?
Snow61
58. Demira
I always wondered at the problem with using the one power around Ebou Dar. It seems the problem must be related to using the bowl, and the fact that Elayne had to unweave the gateway which then exploded.

Also, I am in Rand camp. Despite it all, he remains my favorite charachter. (Mat is a very close second). I'm glad to see a few of you agree.
Tricia Irish
59. Tektonica
Hey gurus....please weigh in on this....

I think Callandor is supposed to be used by both men and women as well, isn't it? Isn't that part of the problem we're going to see in a chapter or two? Not only does it not have the "buffer," I think both Cads and Min say something about it being used bye both sexes. IIRC.
Sam Mickel
60. Samadai
Brandon just posted this on Facebook.


Pat Rothfuss( The Name of the Wind) has read The Way of Kings. Response: "Brandon Sanderson's books are so good that he's starting to piss me off."
Karen Fox
61. thepupxpert
birgit @ 52 - Rand used Callandor in the Stone when it was attacked by the Trollocs and he had no problem using it then. Perhaps there was something in the prophecies that indicated that Callandor will only work for the one who pulls it out? In this case, it was pulled out by Rand, placed back by Rand, and then pulled out by Narishma. Or am I just barking up a wrong tree?
Karen Fox
62. thepupxpert
blind @ 57 - and don't forget the pigeons that surprised Moggy when she tried to balefire Nyn, active participation by the Pattern for sure!
Karen Fox
63. thepupxpert
Tek @ 59 - I'm no guru but I'm sticking to my loony theory that even though Callandor may need two women and a man to wield it, now that Narishma was the one to take it from its resting spot, it still wouldn't work for Rand regardless of whether he had women helping him or not. My vote is that Narishy is going to have his MOA using Callandor.
Jay Dauro
64. J.Dauro
Hrothgirdo @53

The Eye of the World was cleansed saiden, but the Aes Sedai did not do it to assist male channelers. They did it because prophecy said that it would be needed to defeat the DO. And they used it to protect the Banner and Horn.

The AS do not appear to have tried to cleanse the source or to protect male channelers, but I believe this is because they do not believe it is possible. Some, Cads for instance, have tried to help male channelers live past gentling.
Sam Mickel
65. Samadai
thepupexpert@61

Rand did have problems with Callandor in the stone. It magnified the taint and let him believe he could make the dead girl live again
Karen Fox
66. thepupxpert
Sam @ 65 - he had problems making a dead girl come back to life, but even then he was using Callandor to control her body and Moiraine made him see that this was not bringing her back to life, she was just an animated body. But he was able to use it to completely eradicate the Trollocs once Lanfear told him how. In POD didn't it just to completely wild on him and he couldn't control it? I may be mis-remembering since I don't have the books with me at work; in any case, we'll be getting to it in the next couple of chapters.
Alice Arneson
67. Wetlandernw
thepupxpert @48 - Callandor wasn't "properly finished" - there was a known flaw that would affect a man using it alone. It could only be used safely when the man wielding it was linked to (two) women. Unfortunately, Rand didn't have access to that research at this point. (He could have had, but was too busy being paranoid and/or arrogant.) I'll look up the relevant sections and post them in a few minutes.

lostinshadow @49 - We have some evidence (at least IMO) that at least one Aes Sedai made a serious, two-century-plus effort to help men fight the effect of the taint. As I see it, that's been Cadsuane's mission pretty much since she gained the shawl, as evidenced by the fact that the channeling men she found lived longer than those found by the Red Ajah. All of them had to be gentled, of course, since there was at the time no way to completely stop the effects of the taint, but she clearly had found some ways to help them without killing them and without the expected immediate depression/death. More on that another time. In general, though, the Red Ajah seemed to take the stance that the only thing to do was find 'em, shield 'em, gentle 'em, and isolate 'em. In other words, the Red Ajah had no concern for them as persons; they were more or less rabid animals to be made safe. Or safe-ish.

I'm sure if I worked hard, I could find more reasons for the travelling stuff than just "the plot requires it" but I'm really not sufficiently interested. :)

birgit @52 - I'm with you - I think Tear is too far away to be affected by the BotW effect on the OP. They certainly didn't seem to be having problems with it in Illian, and that's between the two.
someone else
68. Naraoia
Isilel@37:

Most female Forsaken are much stronger than most AS. It's not that women tire more easily, it's that gateways require a lot of power, and if you're as weak as the average AS, it's going to tax you. That said, I wouldn't put it past certain authors to cover plot holes with paper thin excuses, and strength does fail to explain *single* instances of gating to the middle of nowhere...

forkroot@51:

Not that Perrin had anything to do with Masema's *actual* death :P
Roger Powell
69. forkroot
IIRC, Rand also used Callandor as a conventional sword when he killed Ishamael (at least he stabbed him with it). As part of that battle, we learned that Callandor can be used to defend against a beam of balefire. A pretty interesting artifact.
Maiane Bakroeva
70. Isilel
Well, I seem to remember Elayne telling Egwene in TGH that the AS did try to cure the taint for several centuries after the Breaking, but eventually gave it up as impossible. And Elayne had a pretty good education, not to mention a resident Red.

And BTW, it is clear IMHO that nobody except Rand could have cleansed saidin, as both access ter*angreal and interaction of the taint with Shadar Logoth were required... not to mention that it was also insanely dangerous and might not have worked without immensely strong taveren affecting probabilities.

The fault of AS lies elsewhere IMHO, as I suspect that they could have done much more to help the gentled men survive. Making them warders, for instance, may have given them the strengh to do so.
Roger Powell
71. forkroot
Isilel@70
Making them warders, for instance, may have given them the strengh to do so.
That's a pretty creative idea!

My first thought was that some channeling men wouldn't exactly be warder material. But then again, not all AS need a sword-wielding warder. Maybe some of the Browns that live and work in the library could use a not-so-fierce warder to help carry books around or to run the cappuccino machine at the 7th depository.
Tess Laird
72. thewindrose
Any chapter with Bashere in it is a good chapter, so says I:)
I know you don't like explaining," Bashere muttered,"but I could use a little illumination." Adjusting his serpentine sword, he sprawled in another chair and flung a leg over the arm of it. He always seemed at his ease, but he could uncoil faster than a whip. "That Asha'man fellow wouldn't say more than you needed me yesterday, yet he said not to bring more than a thousand men. I only had half that many with me, but I brought them. It can't be a battle. Half the sigils I saw out there belong to men who'd bite their tongues if they saw a fellow behind you with a knife, and most of the rest to men who'd try to hold you attention. If they hadn't paid the knife man in the first place."


And Leigh, Rand thinks about Boreane:
With Boreane Carivan left behind, the lamp wicks needed proper trimming{...}


tempest™
James Jones
73. jamesedjones
57 blindillusion
A flock of birds? Really? Well, if anyone wanted a pretty blatant scenario in which the Pattern gives clear evidence of just how important Rand is, here it is. That’s almost like active participation on the part of the Pattern. Particularly as I cannot recall a time where Rand’s ta’veren-ness shows itself in this way.
Thank you! The same is true for the birds that saved Nyneave; or the AS that chose not to say, "Hey, wait a minnit. You're jonsing for war power!"; or Elayne's inability to unweave any more threads once she it the one that coincidentally was just the one she needed to blast the Seanchan away. Huh. EVERY main character story, outside of the three taveren, is loaded with examples that twisting of the pattern is not always directly beneficial to the thread responsible. The SGs are not that great. None of the characters are. They are all directly or indirectly affected in supernatural ways by the pattern's control of the three boys.
noble thayer
74. joetheman
I don't believe that Callandor is "flawed" as neither the Aiel in the Crystal Columns nor Lewis Therin recognized the sword if memory serves thus i think the AS designed after the bore was sealed and the male half was tainted, thus the AS bulid it with the buffer removed on propose
if I remember does it not work against what RJ said about how linked groups work that in a link of one man and one woman or one man and two woman a man has to control?

Thu in Rand defense over the BT he has know since tSR how to cleanse the male half and it just took him till CoT to understand what he was told, so he know that the male half could be cleansed when He founded the BT
Sam Mickel
75. Samadai
Why could they not make the channeling men swear on the oath rod to never use Saidin again for the rest of their lives for any reason. I think even being crazy, that the oath would prevent them from doing it.( although there is no way to know that for certain)
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
Re: Callandor, from The Path of Daggers, Chapter 27:
"What did you mean about Callandor?"

"It is flawed," she replied curtly, "lacking the buffer that makes other sa'angreal safe to use. And it apparently magnifies the taint, inducing wildness of the mind. So long as a man is using it, anyway. The only safe way to use it without the risk of killing yourself, or trying to do the Light alone knows what insanity, is linked with two women, and one of them guiding the flows."
Whether the flaw was by design or not, it's there. And no, a man does not have to lead in this combination. If you want to figure it all out, go look in the BBoBA for "linking" and read up.
craig thrift
77. gagecreedlives
Poor Dashiva. How grating it must of been to be dismissed by 2 half trained underlings. Surprised he didn’t blow up in a big “Im one of the Chosen and YOU will respect my authority!!!"
Snow61
78. alreadymadwithblacktower
Hrothgordo @53
We know for sure that Rand's long term plan involved cleansing the Taint. He would not have asked the Finns in Tear how otherwise. With that as the plan he would also need a cadre of strong channelers who would follow him, and not just for companionship. Two False Dragons who could channel had emerged in the space of a year. This meant that not only was the Pattern spitting out False Dragons, it was also spitting out more and more potential channelers. He needed those men under his banner rather than running wild. And he could not afford to wait until the Taint was cleansed before beginning the recruitment and training process. It was obvious there would be a lot of conflict before he could turn his attention to the Taint. He needed them fighting for him and if they were to fight for him, they had to be taught. But with Asmodean gone, he was forced to turn to the only other skilled channeler ostensibly on his side. It was probably not a good idea to put Taim in charge but Rand had no option. He did not have the time to do it himself. And he could not afford to undermine Taim's authority and potential effectiveness as Head Teacher by continually supervising him. Even if he had the time.

Samadai @75
We have no evidence the Oath Rod works on men. We do know both men and women were bound if they were repeat criminal offenders. But we do not know for sure if the same ter'angreal was used. The Aes Sedai probably did not want to risk killing the men outright while testing the possibility.
Roger Powell
79. forkroot
Wetlandernw@76
Thanks for the Cads quotation. Although I noticed we'll be getting there shortly in the reread, I can't help but musing now: The taint is gone. So in theory the "wildness of the mind" issue should be gone.

Callandor still lacks the buffer, so it would still be best if Rand linked with some women as we know that circles are another way of providing buffering.

Seems to me though, that it would now be OK for Rand to guide the flows. Certainly LTT's knowledge and skill would surpass any other channelers, so it would be best for Rand to guide.
Alice Arneson
80. Wetlandernw
forkroot @79 - Good point. Using the circle would provide the buffer effect, which would still be valuable in preventing burnout. With the Choedan Kal gone, Callandor is the most powerful sa'angreal we know of. (Since the other one mentioned by Lanfear hasn't showed up yet, or at least it hasn't stood up and waved at us, it remains in the "somewhere out there" category.) Makes a certain amount of sense for Rand to use it now. I wonder if he'll trust himself with it, though, even linked. And I find myself wondering, in a dreamy RAFO sort of way, what's still in store for Narishma. I've always liked him...

One point, though. RJ did say that any existing effects of the taint wouldn't just go away when it was cleansed, so there might still be a certain danger in that "wildness of mind" for anyone who was already affected in some way. Just a thought. It may yet be somewhat unsafe.

Okay, I'm rambling. Time to go make dinner.
Theresa Gray
83. Terez27
lostinshadow@6 - I agree with Isilel@37 and following that it was morally gray to unleash more channeling madmen onto the scene than was strictly necessary. In Rand's defense, he hadn't planned on actually doing so until he'd cleansed saidin, but Bashere's arrival in Caemlyn and his news of Taim forced Rand to announce his amnesty soon rather than late.

lostinshadow@9 and others, on Traveling in close quarters - All of the Forsaken can do this, and Rand did it as early as LOC when he Traveled directly to Mat's tent. I believe it is a matter of skill in some cases, but I think that it is also easier to be accurate with gateways on short hops, if one is unskilled (in the same way that it is not required to know the ground). But when Lews Therin Traveled to the place that became Dragonmount, he could sense that there were no people within a hundred leagues. Since Rand was very much in Lews Therin mode when he Traveled to Mat's tent, I tend to suspect that there is a skill issue.

forkroot@14 - I believe the answer to your question @28 is that the Forsaken laid no traps; this was something of Rand's doing. Perhaps it is like schrodinger@39 said, and Rand simply didn't realize that it would be difficult for Narishma - Rand often gets confused as a result of Lews Therin's memories - but perhaps Rand subconsciously laid an extra trap out of paranoia. I think that if the Forsaken had done something to it, Narishma wouldn't have survived. A delayed reaction trap seems unlikely to me

More to the point, I have always believed that Rand's attempt to force the 'into the heart' prophecy was highly suspicious. I didn't come up with any alternative ideas until recently, but I have never really believed that Narishma would be particularly important. I like him, but I think that Rand misinterpreted this verse.

Megaduck@23 - I don't think that Rand channeling the True Power is a good thing at all, and with the way the themes are going, I'll be there will be a time in the future that he will be tempted to use it again, and his fate will depend on his ability to resist. Also, it's said that the True Power cannot be channeled at Shayol Ghul at all; it's in the very air there, and trying to channel it supposedly would fry the channeler instantly.

@various on the Bowl effects - Moridin first clued us in on the nature of the ter'angreal, before the Bowl was even used:

TITLE - The Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: 2 - Unweaving

The name meant nothing to him. But... a ter’angreal to control the weather... In his own Age, weather had been carefully regulated with the use of ter’angreal. One of the surprises of this Age – one of the smaller, it had seemed – was that there were those who could manipulate weather to a degree that should have required one of those ter’angreal. One such device should not be enough to affect even a large part of a single continent. But what could these women do with it? What? If they used a ring?


And of course RJ verified this shortly after the book was released:

The Path of Daggers book tour 21 November 1998, VA - John Novak reporting

The Bowl: Someone asked him whether, if men had helped the Aes Sedai and Windfinders and Kin channel through the Bowl, the One Power would still have been screwed up. His implicit assumption was that the Bowl screwed things up....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.


So, hopefully that will clear things up.
Tess Laird
84. thewindrose
So another thing I found interesting is how well Rand knows all the Forsaken. I mean how spot on is he with all of them. One of many reasons am not of the construct group.
He is about to fight the Seanchan and thinks about Semirhage.
[quote]He could remember as a boy hearing men laugh that when rain fell in sunshine the Dark One was beating Semirhage. Some of that laughter had been uneasy, though, and scrawny old Cenn Buie would always snarl that Semirhage would be smarting and angry after that, and come for small boys who did not keep out of their elders' way. That would be enough to send Rand running, when he was little. He wished Semirhage would come for him now, right at this instant. He would make her weep.
Nothing makes Semirhage weep,Lews Therin muttered. [i]She gives tears to others, but she has none herself.[i]

And then we have his thoughts on Graendal in tGS -which I will find latter, daughters gymnastics calls:)

tempest™
Theresa Gray
85. Terez27
lostinshadow@6 - I agree with Isilel@37 and following that it was morally gray to unleash more channeling madmen onto the scene than was strictly necessary. In Rand's defense, he hadn't planned on actually doing so until he'd cleansed saidin, but Bashere's arrival in Caemlyn and his news of Taim forced Rand to announce his amnesty soon rather than late.

lostinshadow@9 and others, on Traveling in close quarters - All of the Forsaken can do this, and Rand did it as early as LOC when he Traveled directly to Mat's tent. I believe it is a matter of skill in some cases, but I think that it is also easier to be accurate with gateways on short hops, if one is unskilled (in the same way that it is not required to know the ground). But when Lews Therin Traveled to the place that became Dragonmount, he could sense that there were no people within a hundred leagues. Since Rand was very much in Lews Therin mode when he Traveled to Mat's tent, I tend to suspect that there is a skill issue.

forkroot@14 - I believe the answer to your question @28 is that the Forsaken laid no traps; this was something of Rand's doing. Perhaps it is like schrodinger@39 said, and Rand simply didn't realize that it would be difficult for Narishma - Rand often gets confused as a result of Lews Therin's memories - but perhaps Rand subconsciously laid an extra trap out of paranoia. I think that if the Forsaken had done something to it, Narishma wouldn't have survived. A delayed reaction trap seems unlikely to me

More to the point, I have always believed that Rand's attempt to force the 'into the heart' prophecy was highly suspicious. I didn't come up with any alternative ideas until recently, but I have never really believed that Narishma would be particularly important. I like him, but I think that Rand misinterpreted this verse.

Megaduck@23 - I don't think that Rand channeling the True Power is a good thing at all, and with the way the themes are going, I'll be there will be a time in the future that he will be tempted to use it again, and his fate will depend on his ability to resist. Also, it's said that the True Power cannot be channeled at Shayol Ghul at all; it's in the very air there, and trying to channel it supposedly would fry the channeler instantly.

@various on the Bowl effects - Moridin first clued us in on the nature of the ter'angreal, before the Bowl was even used:

TITLE - The Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: 2 - Unweaving

The name meant nothing to him. But... a ter’angreal to control the weather... In his own Age, weather had been carefully regulated with the use of ter’angreal. One of the surprises of this Age – one of the smaller, it had seemed – was that there were those who could manipulate weather to a degree that should have required one of those ter’angreal. One such device should not be enough to affect even a large part of a single continent. But what could these women do with it? What? If they used a ring?


And of course RJ verified this shortly after the book was released:

The Path of Daggers book tour 21 November 1998, VA - John Novak reporting

The Bowl: Someone asked him whether, if men had helped the Aes Sedai and Windfinders and Kin channel through the Bowl, the One Power would still have been screwed up. His implicit assumption was that the Bowl screwed things up....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.


So, hopefully that will clear things up.
Snow61
86. whatkj
Why are we assuming an inverted saidin weave on Callandor? What if Moiraine (who told Rand about the one who will follow after) was the one who added something? No male channeler would have seen anything regardless of whether it was inverted or not.

Also, Rand learned to channel effectively with Asmo. If he could do it, why not these new recruits whoever their teacher was? Sounds like if they went over in those circumstances, it was more due to lack of moral fiber than because of who was their teacher.
Brandon Wood
87. brad21088
Leigh,
I completely understand what you mean about not liking asshole Rand. That said, I'd just like to point out that I really enjoyed this plotline because it seemed so real to me. Rand has been through a ton of horrible stuff lately and he's depressed. Worse yet, he hasn't had any time to just sit down and process what's gone on. Instead, he just keeps having crappy things happen one after another. I've had a pretty rough past few months myself but dayum, this boy is seriously getting effed by life (or the Wheel... yeah). Anyway, point to all of this is that when people are depressed but people keep expecting things from them, they tend to lash out. Oh, and I'm not saying that you haven't already thought of this or that you were wrong to dislike asshole Rand, just sayin', I think these scenes speak to RJ's great writing ability. Thanks again for continuing to do a great job on the re-reads, even though these aren't your favorite chapters ever. :-)
noble thayer
88. joetheman
@76 well with all due respect to Cads I point to the running theme in tWoT books that just because an AS say something is true doesn't make it true hell this goes for anyone in the books and on the subject of Callandor yeah i have to throw a flag on that its not a flaw if it was build with out the buffer for a reason and its an object of the power that has not been touched by mortal hands in 3 thousand years so how Cads knows anything more than 300 hands removed about Callandor should be a big warning sign.
Brandon Wood
89. brad21088
@75: I imagine the only thing worse than being severed from the source and not being able to sense it at all is being able to sense it constantly but never able to touch it. It would be like tying down a heroine addict and making him or her stare at heroine every day while he or she goes through withdrawals. At the very least, both scenarios really suck. A lot.
Tricia Irish
90. Tektonica
pupxpert@63: I do hope Narishma gets his MOA, as foreshadowed...it seems like it should involve Callandor, although, the prophesy says something about the one that "follows after". What THAT means is anyone's guess. Follows pulling Callandor? Follows Rand? Takes over after Rand? RAFO, I guess.

Speaking of said Callandor....didn't Cads take it? And just where is it? And how do we think Rand will get it back now that he's not Mr. Destructo anymore?

J.Dauro@64: ThyeRye of the World was cleansed saiden....LOL....Here in NYC, it usually comes with pastrami and a pickle. ;-)

Thank you various for confiming my recollection about Callandor needing women to work properly.
Hugh Arai
91. HArai
samadai@75: As others have mentioned it's not certain whether the Oath rod they had access to works on men or not. Also as brad21088 pointed out above - channelers are addicted to channeling. The accepted wisdom of all the channeling groups is that a channeler will channel, which is why sparkers must learn control or die. We also have the information from the Ogier that not a single male Aes Sedai could bear to stay in the stedding, even knowing what waited for them. It seems likely to me that bound men would have ended up driven mad in the "normal" fashion from desire even if they avoided the taint via the binding.

ETA: I killed the world, and you can, too, if you try hard. Awesome indication of what being the Dragon Reborn really means.
T C
92. Freelancer
From first reading, I've always presumed that Narishma's complaint to Rand was valid, that he nearly got killed by the traps set around Callandor which Rand didn't describe. Also, that Rand's comments were valid, that he told Narishma everything about the traps. The only conclusion available from believing those two thoughts is that someone else added additional traps. It has to be a forsaken, nobody else is going to be able to get into the Heart of the Stone undetected. After that it's anybody's guess. My money was always on Lanfear. She wanted him to use it in the first place, and she wasn't thrilled that he left it behind. But it could easily have been Sammael, Graendal, Rahvin, Semirhage, or Mesaana. We don't know who, even if there really were extra traps. What I feel fairly confident about is that Rand has been thorough in thinking through his schemes, perhaps to the point of overthinking them. It's out of character for him to forget all the traps he laid around Callandor. Anyway, when a commander gives one of his troops an order, and it is carried out, the best that troop should expect to hear is "carry on". Thanks aren't common, especially when said troop has complained that your incompetent orders endangered him. For those who think the Bowl of the Winds effect is what caused Narishma's trouble with Callandor, it's a long long way to Tear-ararie from Ebou Dar, and that oddity with the Power isn't felt at that distance.

For Rand's behavior in these chapters, it's most definitely unpleasant, but not at all surprising. How long can a 20-year old hold his water after having the world dumped on him, then finding himself surrounded by group upon group of weasels, snakes, and other assorted vermin? Him wishing Weiramon would do something stupid enough to be executed for, this could be partially a symptom of his Moridin infection, but isn't it ok if he's just tired of the idiot? And his treatment of the "ladies", giving them the choice of being away from the battle but ensconced in the Black Tower, that's just priceless. We know that those two would stab him in the heart if they could (keep watching), is he supposed to bow before them as he did Queen Morgase? I guess Rand is just the only character in the story who isn't allowed to have a mood.

The Third Man. Well, TPoD was the last book I read in immediate sequence when I first discovered WoT, and I cannot recall ever thinking other than it was "the traveler" from Shadar Logoth, and that the crossed streams caused it, and that Rand couldn't feel the power that guy used, and Ishamael is the one who uses that power, and Ishamael was just recently revived as Moridin. Seemed like a pretty straight line. Like a Razor's edge.


jadelollipop@19

Fain? Since when is Fain in Rand's head? Fain can sense Rand, not the other way around.


jadelollipop@21

Rand returned to the Stone after he learned to invert weaves, and reset his traps. This actually makes it even less likely that he failed to give Narishma complete instructions, since it has been so much more recent that he did them. There is nothing to say who might have set more traps. Sammael is a likely suspect, but one of several as I suggest above.


Isilel@22

Sammael was killed for trying to take out Rand? Since when does Mashadar serve the dark one? Or are you saying that Moridin helping Rand was in direct opposition to Sammael, and promoted his death? I suppose I can let that slide...


blindillusion@57

Not until baseball season is over.


Samadai@60

I saw that! Very cool. Pat Rothfuss did a terrific job with Name of the Wind, and I'm waiting patiently for the second installment there, so he has no need to be feeling defensive about Brandon. He just likes coming across as a tough guy...


thepupxpert@61

Nah, Callandor doesn't become "attuned" to first Rand and then Narishma. First of all, when Rand drew it the sword wasn't buried in stone, it was suspended in a weave of Air. Narishma drew it out of the stone itself where Rand buried it. Your thought supposes that there's a component of the blade which can recognize "oh, I'm waiting for the next channeler to 'set me free', and I'll only work right for him/her". A bit of a stretch.


While on the subject of Callandor, it lacked the buffer because the Aes Sedai preparing it had no time to finish it. When Rand is in the Ancestitron as Jonai, and sees the scene in the Hall of Servants he is ordered on the mission to save items of great importance to the Aes Sedai (the Aiel themselves). The Dragon banner, the sword, and Someshta are there. The Aes Sedai are awaiting the arrival of some young male channelers who aren't yet taint-mad. There is something that Solinda Sedai says they cannot finish because they are out of time with Haindar and Jaric (two taint-insane male channelers) on the way. They will be creating the Eye of the World when the young men get there, and it is seems implied by what we know now that the thing they cannot finish is Callandor. So this is why it ends up without the buffer.


My questions are these. We know that according to Moiraine, all who were involved in the creation of the Eye were destroyed in the process. Who ended up with Callandor? How did it end up in the Stone? Being a male-only sa'angreal, who researched it to discover its flaw, the workaround, and the biggie, who placed it with a ward tuned to the Dragon?
Roger Powell
93. forkroot
Freelancer@92
All good questions. IMNSHO, the series has always been enriched by AOL flashbacks. The stuff Rand saw at Rhuidean was some of the best writing RJ did.

So.... here's hoping there's still room in the last two books for some more AOL (or immediate post-breaking) flashbacks. It would be a great chance to fill in the story line and answer at least some of the types of questions you raised.

Maybe Avi at Rhuidean? Maybe something Moiraine sees while in Finnland?
Rob Munnelly
94. RobMRobM
Free - Rothfuss book is scheduled for March 2011.

All - FYI from my TGS re-read. I didn't pick up that Demandred not only said he had gathered an army but that he was a ruler. Only unaccounted for ruler with an army is Roedran in Murandy - sitting right next to Andor. The King's rep was that he wasn't that clever but he (likely Dem) used the Band to scare together an army. As the Monkees said, "I'm a believer."

Rob
diane heath
95. jadelollipop
Free@92 Yes I know that Fain is not literally in Rand's head but the bond with Alanna is documented as removing some of the link between Fain and Rand.
I was thinking the extra links with his wives would also do the same thing. ?? whether the link with Moridin (being TP/Shadowish) would help or hinder.

Hey maybe Fain will kill Moridin :)
Snow61
96. Demira
Personally, I dont believe Cadsuane when she says Callandor has to be wielded by two women linked and the woman controlling the flows. Why was it meant for the Dragon Reborn to pull it from the stone?I still dont trust Cadsuane no matter if she isn't on Verin's BA watch list. Callandor going haywire could be because using the power around Ebou Dar makes everything go haywire.

Here's a thought...

Maybe Moridin is gone from Rand's head like LT is gone and now the "three must be one" prophecy and Min's viewing of two other faces merging with Rand are now fulfilled.

I am hopeful my favorite character in WOT has been healed. (At least mentally).
Tricia Irish
97. Tektonica
RobM@94:

I always thought Roedran was a more likely hideout for Dem than Shara...which has virtually no screen time. The only other possibility was him being with the Borderlanders. I don't remember the part about him being a "ruler", but yay! Good find. I don't think Murandy has had a lot of screen time either, but at least The Band was mentioned in conjunction with Roedran's army.

Question: Can Demandred weave a disguise....like the girls do....so he looks like Roedran? I suppose he can, being a FS and all.

And yay for The Name of the Wind sequel in March! I think Rothfuss' crack about Brandon was an ironic compliment. No?

Free@92: Good questions about the manufacture and placement of Callandor. Question: LTT was still around then, wasn't he? He hadn't broken the world yet, killed his family and created Dragonmount, had he? Didn't he go crazy toward the end of the taint madness? I'm not sure of the timing here.

I ask this because, if the AS created Callandor and died, someone had to put it in place in the Stone for the next Dragon, as you say.....could LTT have done it himself for his next Turn on the Wheel? Will we find out now that Rand and LTT are one? It sure would be nice to get some more info on the end of the AOL and who did what to make Callandor, create the Eye and tune the Sword. Inquiring minds want to know......
Theresa Gray
98. Terez27
Free@92:

While on the subject of Callandor, it lacked the buffer because the Aes Sedai preparing it had no time to finish it. When Rand is in the Ancestitron as Jonai, and sees the scene in the Hall of Servants he is ordered on the mission to save items of great importance to the Aes Sedai (the Aiel themselves). The Dragon banner, the sword, and Someshta are there. The Aes Sedai are awaiting the arrival of some young male channelers who aren't yet taint-mad. There is something that Solinda Sedai says they cannot finish because they are out of time with Haindar and Jaric (two taint-insane male channelers) on the way. They will be creating the Eye of the World when the young men get there, and it is seems implied by what we know now that the thing they cannot finish is Callandor. So this is why it ends up without the buffer.


I'm not sure what you are referring to, with Solinda. You seem to have read something very differently than I did; I've just re-read the passage and I can't see what you are referring to. Anyway, RJ said that the flaw in Callandor is simply a manufacturing flaw:

Knife of Dreams tour 28 October 2005 - Jason Wolfbrother reporting

JWB: Why didn't they ward/buffer Callandor?
RJ: The flaw with Callandor is simply a manufacturing flaw. (He went on to talk about how they were at the end of their tech age with only a few sho-wings and jo-cars left. A couple of shocklances were still around but they were not as prevalent as they had been. Anyway they had been mass producing ter'angreal, angreal, and sa'angreal, and there are bound to be flaws with the products. The flaw with Callandor is simply one such flaw.)
Alice Arneson
99. Wetlandernw
Demira @96 - Per TGS, chapter 48, as Min voices her thought that commentary she is reading is wrong about the prophecy concerning Callandor
"...I think the passage refers to some way he has to use Callandor."

"I see," Cadsuane said, turning yet another page in her own book. "That is a very unconventional interpretation." Beldeine smiled thinly, turning back to her embroidery. "Of course," Cadsuane added, "you are quite right."

Min looked up.

"It was that very passage that led me to investigate Callandor," Cadsuane continued. "Through a great deal of searching I discovered that the sword could only be used properly in a circle of three. That is likely the ultimate meaning of the passage."

"But that would imply that Rand had to use Callandor in a circle sometime," Min said, looking at the passage again. He'd never done so, as far as she knew.

"It would," Cadsuane said.
. . .
(I love the bit in here where Cadsuane says "I should think that an acknowledgement is due. Bad manners are not to be tolerated, after all." And Beldeine huffs off out of the room. Hah!)
. . .
She focused on the book. So... Rand was to use Callandor as part of a circle, then? The three becoming one? But for what reason and with whom? If he was to fight the Dark One, then it didn't make sense for him to be in a circle with someone else in control, did it?

"Cadsuane," she said. "This is still wrong. There's more here. Something we haven't discovered."

"About Callandor?" the woman asked.

Min nodded.

"I suspect so as well," Cadsuane replied. How odd to hear her being frank! "But I haven't been able to determine what. If only that fool boy would revoke my exile, we could get on with more important--"
The conversation ends when Tam comes in and they all get distracted from Callandor by trying to figure out where Rand is going and what he's doing. Still, several points: One, Cadsuane came to the same conclusion as Min regarding the prophecy, and proceeded to do some research, leading to the information about using it in a circle. Two, Cadsuane and Min both will be trying to figure out what the other bit is that they don't know yet, which is a fair clue that we don't know it yet either. Three, there's still a huge mystery about how it needs to be used. Four, Rand (not Narishma) must wield it in that circle. Five, Cadsuane doesn't put up with bad manners from other Aes Sedai any more than she does from Rand or anyone else. Of course, if you still think Cadsuane is BA, the first point doesn't prove anything, but there it is.

Tektonica @97 - IIRC, all of the men involved in The Strike went mad on the spot. How soon LTT killed his family I don't know, but he didn't come back from Shayol Ghul sane and able to help with the placement of Callandor.

Terez27 @98 - On the creation of the sword, near the beginning of Jonai's memory of the Aes Sedai meeting, Solinda says "The time for contention among ourselves is past. Jaric and Haindar will both be here by tomorrow." Another sister says "Which means we cannot afford mistakes, Solinda." Then they drift off into unfinished sentences and Jonai stops listening. Later, near the end of the memory, there is the following conversation:
"Can we trust Kodam and his fellows, Solinda?"

"We must, Oselle. They are young and inexperienced, but barely touched by the taint, and... And we have no choice."

"Then we will do what we must. The sword must wait. Someshta, we have a task for the last of the Nym...."
What about the sword must wait? Completion of the buffering process? It's a reasonable interpretation. Placement in the Stone? Another possibility. Lots of others exist as well.
Antoni Ivanov
100. tonka
@85.Terez27

I think that the traps were laid by Forsaken, just Narishma is good at what he was doing and he was careful. Maybe he has a talent for sniffing out traps. Or it could've been Moiraine though I doubt that.
Alice Arneson
101. Wetlandernw
By the way, for anyone who still thinks Cadsuane is Black Ajah, go back and read her POV in TGS Chapter 14. RJ has, to the best of my knowledge, never had characters lying in their thoughts about their attitude toward the DO and the Last Battle.
Barry T
102. blindillusion
**waves to Tek!!** Hi.

And to answer your question, we have:
Q:  Why saidin, why not saidar, was tainted?
RJ:  Because there were only men in the party that made up the party that made up the Strike at Shayol Ghul, that were setting the seals.  In the act of setting the seals, there was a backblast that affected the people doing this.  As I pointed out in something…I wrote a piece called The Strike at Shayol Ghul…there was a great division at the time – I don’t know if all of you have read it…or have none of you read it?
Qs:  Yes, yes.
RJ:  Okay, then you know about the political struggles that were going on, and the different plans to try and end the War of the Shadow, and seal up the….and why various groups thought that one plan or the other was the best way to go.  And in the end, what resulted was the so-called “Fatal Covenant” , which had the female Aes Sedai swearing not to go along with Lews Therin’s plan, that they would not support it.  The result of this was that Lews Therin carried out his plan with only male Aes Sedai, so there were only male Aes Sedai channeling there, which was a lucky thing, because if there’d been women as well, then both saidin and saidar would have been tainted.  And his plan worked, except for that one side effect of the backblast which tainted saidin and caused him and the men there with him to go mad there and then, and other male Aes Sedai to go mad slowly as they touched the Source and began to absorb bits of the taint.  But that’s why saidar was not tainted, because there were only men there channeling during this act of sealing up the Dark One’s prison.
Emphasis mine.

It would appear Lews Therin went mad at the same moment the rest of the Companions did. Kinda makes you wonder: How soon after the Sealing did the Prologue to The Eye of the World take place?
Birgit
103. birgit
And it apparently magnifies the taint, inducing wildness of the mind. So long as a man is using it, anyway.

Is this a hint that Callandor can also be used with the TP?
Hugh Arai
104. HArai
Wetlandernw@99:
Five, Cadsuane doesn't put up with bad manners from other Aes Sedai any more than she does from Rand or anyone else.
Actually there's one person she happily allows bad manners: herself.
T C
105. Freelancer
Terez27@98

Well, that's what I get for posting from memory at work. I get Haindar's and Jaric's names right, but twist the point of significance. Anyway, as always Wetlandernw has my back @99. [i][u]The Sword must wait.[/u] There was something else they planned to do to Callandor, but time was failing, and they needed to get busy with creation of the Eye. Since you have interview text which says that the lack of a buffer is a straight-up flaw, I accept that. I'd always believed that the thing they couldn't finish dealing with the sword about brought in the lack of a buffer. ::shrug::

Wetlandernw@99

Placement in the Stone? The Stone wasn't built until after the Breaking. The Aes Sedai who created the Eye couldn't have had anything to do with that. Perhaps they'd had a plan for the Sword's placement at a different location, a plan which they now realize they could not accomplish, and that would fit the statements as well. But the matter of the moment was that they had a handful of young male channelers coming, and they had a male sa'angreal in front of them. They were going to be using it before doing anything else with it.


blindillusion@102
"Remember, you fool! Remember your futile attack on the Great Lord of the Dark! Remember his counterstroke! Remember! Even now the Hundred Companions are tearing the world apart, and every day a hundred men more join them."

It gives the sense of some amount of time having passed since the Strike, but not much. I'd imagine a few weeks at most.
Jacy Clark
106. Amalisa
There was an old joke from an old Reader's Digest's "Laughter is the Best Medicine" about a woman who would climb up on top of her refrigerator every day. She would stay up there, all balled up, all day long. Finally, her husband asked her why she did it. She answered, "because it feels so good when I come down". (I read that one when I was a child and, for some reason, it has stuck with me for lo! these many decades. Maybe because I've felt like that woman from time to time.)

In light of what happened at the end of TGS, Rand's war (inclusive) with the Seanchan is like that, kind of. He had to beat them, then win a victory that was as costly as a defeat, then lose to Tuon in a test of wills, then see the happiness of the conquered people around Ebou Dar. Not that I am condoning the less admirable aspects of Seanchan rule - i.e., damane and da'covale. But in the chaos of Randland, by the end of TGS, Ebou Dar is this pocket of peace, order and, yes, happiness. Rand had to see that before he could climb down from the top of the refrigerator, and before we could all start to feel good about our intrepid Dragon Reborn again.

Lostinshadow@6 - I completely agree with you re the Asha'man. Don't get me wrong - they scare the bejesus out of me! Especially because of the "frustrated, murderous megalomaniac of dubious sanity", but you are dead on that the concept, the ideal of the Asha'man is one that is way overdue. And, at the time, knowing what he knew, who else could Rand turn to but Taim? My hope is that post-TG, assuming that the OP is still available to Asha'man and Aes Sedai (and Kin and Windfinders and Wise Ones), is that they will all see the need to work together to undo/repair/heal the horrors left in the wake of the Last Battle. Those that survive, anyway. We'll see...

And has anyone else noticed how much happier Narishma is after he's Bonded by Merise? Okay, "happier" may be a relative term, because young Jahar was never overrun with a sunny disposition. But he does seem more content post-Bonding. I'm just sayin'...

*snickers at forkroot balefiring Bill Gates*

As for the Bowl of the Winds messing things up far and wide... remember that the Asha'man and Wise Ones with Perrin saw a "lace" of One Power racing across the sky. Sure, the effects would still be strongest in the immediate area where it was used which would account for the damane going crazy; however, the effects had spread. And what about Callandor? Remember when Rand first used it in the Stone, he was convinced he could do anything and tried to revive the dead servant girl. In retrospect, it scared him - badly. And, of course, Cadsuane has told him that it is flawed. Is it possible that its close proximity to the Asha'man is exacerbating the "weirdness"?

Isilel@22 - Yes, I agree that Pardos was "recruited" by Gedwyn or Rochaid. Rochaid's "finding" the pouch with money was a little too convenient!

Looking Glass@44 - "Great" captains for the Seanchan... Rodel Ituralde was impressed with Lieutenant- General Turan, even though he defeated him. He noted that Turan carried a heron-mark sword, and he granted Turan's request for a swift death by personally beheading him. And Captain-General Galgan I think would qualify. Granted, his is more of an "Eisenhower commanding the Allied forces" role - coordinating, battle planning, etc.

Tektonica@55 - Yay for NY pizza in the Bunker!!

Thewindrose@72 - I'm with you. Any chapter with Bashere is going to be a good chapter!

AMW@78 - Re the Oath Rod... If it is a Binder from the AoL, why wouldn't it work for men and women? I mean, I guess it's possible that they had male oriented Binders and female oriented Binders and it was the WT's luck (good or bad) to find one that worked for women only, but... On the other hand, the Oath Rod is a ter'angreal and I thought that only angreal and sa'angreal were specific to gender.

More later because I'm about to fall over... oh, and wish me luck! I have been offered a job with a very large health insurance company. Entry level but I'll take what I can get! Did the drug screening today (which, unless they test for catnip, I should be good to go!) and I start training in about five weeks! Yay me!!
T C
107. Freelancer
Amalisa@106

If "weirdness" about saidin had anything to do with Narishma's trouble freeing Callandor from the Stone, he would have included thoughts on how the Power didn't behave for him. Instead, his focus was a direct accusation that there was more to "unlock" around the Sword than Rand had told him of.

About the Oath Rod(s). There are some clues we can follow. The second Oath Rod we encounter is the one Sammael gives to Sevanna, and he specifically says it won't work on a male. If it did, there is really very little chance he'd give it away to the Aiel. Both are white. The Domination Band, designed to control a male channeler, is black.

White=female=saidar \\ Black=male=saidin.
White Tower \\ Black Tower
Flame of Tar Valon \\ Dragon's Fang

It's a yin-yang thingie. ::points at his avatar::

This theme has some interesting twists throughout the story, which I'm sure were all intentional:

~ The balefire rod, a black fluted rod, is virtually uncontrollable. I'm tempted to think it emits saidin balefire, but I suppose an Aes Sedai testing it would realize that the power coming out of it wasn't saidar, and that would be included in the notes. But who knows...

~ Cuendillar. The Seals are made of cuendillar, but half black and half white. The curious part is that I believe the white cuendillar is made with saidin, and black cuendillar with saidar.
Snow61
108. alreadymadwithcuendillar
Freelancer @107
Egwene rediscovered the weave for creating cuendillar and all the cuendillar she and her cohorts make is of the white variety.

As for Cadsuane..
She's a classic case of female supremacist. I wouldn't put it past her to suggest a female should do the weaving in the circle that uses Callandor just because. In any case, with no more Taint to magnify, the case is moot. Males should now be able to wield it safely save for the buffering problem which could be solved with a circle. Only this time the circle need not be led by a woman. That is if she ever decides to give it back.
Rob Munnelly
109. RobMRobM
Amalisa - congrats, great news. Have a cookie. Rob
Rob Munnelly
110. RobMRobM
Had another thought during my re-read of TGS. Perrin has his 100K former prisoners with him, and very few want to go home (irrespective of fact that his Asha'man are exhausted and can send only a few at a time. Query whether they'll end up. My thought is they will go to Saldaea and be with Perrin and Faile after Bashere and Tenobia die and help repopulate that part of the country after TG. (Thought about having them go to the Two Rivers, but doubt there is enough land for that.)

R
Snow61
111. rand206
First time poster here, and just wanted to thank you for the ever-enjoyable re-reads. Travelling a lot for a new job now, so I am doing an audio re-read to get my head in the right place for TGS, which I have not read and have been mostly successful in avoiding spoilers. The only book I could not find on CD was this one, so I'm glad we're finally on this book. Of course I've skipped ahead and am just about to start Knife of Dreams. Not sure what I'm going to do when I finish listening to TGS. My drive will be less interesting...

Thanks again, and keep up the good work.
Tricia Irish
112. Tektonica
Thanks Terez and Blind for clearing up the timing issue for me. So, sigh, LTT couldn't plan for his own future, he was already bonkers. I do hope we get some hints about how the placement in the stone happened. Another sigh, that there will be no prequel set in the AOL to explain it all.

::waves at Blind! Hi Blind.::

Amalisa, congratulations! Good news. And you have a few weeks to really enjoy being unemployed, now that you know you will have a job! That was always the irony of being between jobs.....it's hard to enjoy your leisure when you don't know when you'll get that new job. So enjoy!
Sean Banawnie
113. Seanie
To all especially Leigh:
For this being a bit of a boring section and definitely a downer , I found these chapter's discussions very interesting.
Idle thought? coming....We see the effect of Moridin on Rand....but what about the other way?
Schrodinger@18 : I think this may be a point in the Last Battle where backwash of Rand's goodness has an effect on Moridin. Maybe he gives him Hope or at least diminishes his despair. As you say, maybe some good will come of this.
Snow61
114. alreadymadwithperrinsfolk
RobMRobM @110
What the Two Rivers have a lot of at the moment is land. I suspect they'll resettle at the major cities he stops by along the way, though. I understand he is currently in Tear, and a trip to Caemlyn may be in the offing considering who's on his current retinue.
James Hogan
115. Sonofthunder
rand206@111, welcome!!! *waves* I know what you mean about the audio versions being awesome - I'm currently listening to CoS on my afternoon drive home...it sure helps winding me down from work! Of course, I'm getting my timelines really confused, because while listening to CoS, I'm also reading these reread posts twice a week AND re-reading CoT for my bedtime reading. Yeah, I'm crazy.
James Jones
116. jamesedjones
Re: Rand and Narishma and Excalibur (cause I like the name better, and yall know what I mean anyway)

Has anyone proposed the idea that the extra trap Narishma mentioned was left by one of the Forsaken? A few of them had a chance to check it out before Rand inverted the weaves. They might know a way to affect the weave without triggering it, if they don't make any attempts at the sword.
Snow61
117. Looking Glass
forkroot@71: The Asha’man all get intensive sword training as well (and we see the ones with Perrin practice every day); they’d probably be a fair bit better than most Randland soldiers even if they couldn’t make your head explode. The average warder is still probably better, in part just because they’ve been at it longer, but a warder-bonded Asha’man would still be very dangerous without the power.
--

alreadymad@75:
The Aes Sedai probably did not want to risk killing the men outright while testing the possibility.


I doubt this would have prevented all experimentation in three thousand years, particularly since a lot of the men would probably leap at the chance to volunteer (because the only alternative is certain death by depression). I agree that it probably doesn’t bind men, but the Aes Sedai certainly know if it doesn’t.
--

thewindrose@84: The forsaken were the most important (human) leaders on the other side for a long, time; he had to know them pretty well to oppose them effectively. On top of that, a lot of the forsaken were either well-known AS before the war and/or high up on team light during the war. And he obviously knew at least Lanfear socially.
--

whatkj@86: Clearly, a lot of the Asha’man didn’t go over to Taim (Team Logain, most obviously). Presumably he’s just picked out the most susceptible to his corruption and promoted them.
--

Tektonica@97: No, LT is almost certainly not around at the time of the Callandor flashback. Assuming I recall everything right, in that scene the Aiel (Jonai?) is repelled by the banner, and the general citizens have forgotten that the Aiel didn’t just serve the dragon. Also, he’s in his sixties and is the son of the teenager who heard about the bore being sealed.

That, by the way, says something about why the breaking of the world was so horrific- you’ve still got lots of nuclear-powered madmen running around even most of a century after it started.
--

Amalisa@106: Yeah, the Seanchan definitely have some very respectable commanders, but I’d argue we haven’t seen great-captain level thinking out of them yet. Doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have them, but we haven’t seen any in action. Turan was good, but Ituralde was great; that’s why Ituralde beat the pants off Turan. Galgan likewise seems quite competent, but I don’t think we’ve seen him be more than that.
-

There are gender-specific ter’angreal, the a’dam being the most obvious examples. Given how Saidin and Saidar do similar things in very different ways a lot of the time, that's not surprising.
--
Snow61
118. Hrothgordo
The major point of my argument was that Rand did tell Narishma everything he did in setting the trap on Callandor. Whether it is the BotW effect or additional traps laid by one of the Forsaken really doesn’t matter.

And certainly it seems very feasible that a Forsaken would have set up traps to screw with Rand too. And Graendal (with her tendency to visit the places that Rand had conquered ranks high on my list of suspects).

Having said that I still think the BotW is still a viable possibility. People are stating that Narishma would have mentioned saidin not working properly, which is probably true, but remember what we know of the trap Rand laid down. He intended for it to be reset itself using the power, which means it is close to a ter’angreal in effect. A self-sustaining ward that is effectively channeling itself and on a fairly large scale.

This is based off of Rand’s description of the trap in tSR (and we know he went back to redo it when he learned how to invert weaves). But the reset option seems likely to have remained as it is a good design (else some Forsaken could have gotten rid of the trap simply by having some toadieget roasted first).

From there it does boil down to conjecture, but without a human controlling the flows and adapting to even the smaller BotW fluctuations at that distance it makes sense.
Marcus W
119. toryx
jamesedjones @ 116:

Has anyone proposed the idea that the extra trap Narishma mentioned was left by one of the Forsaken?

It's definitely been discussed. I first mentioned it @ 17. Jadelollipop spoke of it @ 21. Then Isilel @ 22 and AgingComputer @ 24. RobM @ 26. Forkroot @ 28 in response to Rob. Alreadymad @ 29. Wetlandernw @ 33. Then I addressed it again @ 34.

It continued off and on from there. I've always believed that a Forsaken (either male or female) added traps and that they were not intended to be lethal but to do something else.

What I'm kind of wondering now is, were the Forsaken aware that Callandor is flawed? If so, were all of them? Seems they'd be unlikely to try as hard to get it as some of them did if they had known.

Have I mentioned yet how jealous I am of Tektonica being able to hang out in NYC? *sigh* I miss NYC. Although not so much in the summertime.
James Hogan
120. Sonofthunder
toryx@119, I don't think that the Forsaken know Callendor's flawed, seeing as how the good guys only know because of Cadsuane's research. Of course they could know if they took the time to do the research(Mesaana?). *shrugs* Just think about Callendor in the hands of Moridin in a circle with his two girls...*shudders*
Tess Laird
121. thewindrose
Amalisa - that is great news. I hope all goes well.

AMW{...};) I think RobMRobM is referring to all the people who have ended up in the Two Rivers area since Rand declared himself the Dragon Reborn and broke all bonds. They have had a huge influx of people, seen first hand when Perrin and Faile are there, and second hand by all the men Tam brought with him for the battle of Malden. So Robs idea that Perrins extra people(the wetlander gaishan) after the battle going to Saldea isn't bad. Or they could become involved in TG...

Amalisa -
Yes, I agree that Pardos was "recruited" by Gedwyn or Rochaid. Rochaid's "finding" the pouch with money was a little too convenient!

That is a good line of thought, I am now picturing 'dirty' cops - planting evidence!

tempest™
Tricia Irish
122. Tektonica
Hi Toryx! ::waves:: I'm off to MOMA today.....it is fun being back!

I'm really enjoying all the good discussions...

I'll see y'all later.....need to beat the approaching rain! The last two days were awesome, high 70's and no humidity.....now....ug. There's nothing like NYC in the rain...blowing sideways and cabs splashing unsuspecting tourists on the corners. LOL.
Sam Mickel
123. Samadai
Well it is that time again for a little fiction fiction. I hope you enjoy.

Shaiel sat around the campfire with her back against Janduins chest. As she dozed off she saw little Galad staring sadly at her. He was always in her thoughts. The little boy she had been forced to abandon to save everything. He was probably getting much bigger now, and surely wouldn’t remember the mother who abandoned him. A tear leaked through her eyelids as she thought of that.
A gentle finger wiped her tear away and a whisper in her ear. “Shade of my heart, I know how you hurt and you bear it with honor.” “I would give you anything you ask of me, but please stand aside in this fight, it is near your time and this is one dance you should miss.”
“Janduin, my heart, I can’t stand aside. This moment must happen as it happens.” Leaving thoughts of her abandonment of Galad behind, she rose, “Janduin it is time for you to meet the other chiefs.”
As janduin rose and left, Shaiel wandered over to her spears sisters and sat down with Riale.” “Have you found water and shade yet today, Riale?” she signed with a smile as the snow filtered down through the trees. “We were just discussing our return trip to Cold Rocks hold, and the likelihood that we will punish Laman today.” “This is our third day before Tar Valon and many are eager to leave the land of the Aes Sedai.”
“They are just people Riale.” “They have their weaknesses just like any of us.”
“The wise ones say we have failed them in some way and the Three-fold land is our punishment and our forge, though they won’t say what we are being forged for.”
“Sister, one day soon you will lead the people to their victory.” Shaiel said as she pressed her two fingers to her cheek. Riale blushed and gazed away in embarrassment, as Shaiel laughed quietly to herself.
Shaiel looked up as her sisters stood. Rhuarc and Janduin stepped into the clearing. “Suandra you will lead the maidens around Dragonmount and attack from the north.” Rhuarc glanced at Janduin and her, turned around and left the glade.
Janduin leaned into Shaiel, “Shade of my heart, may we see the sun rise together again.” Shaiel kissed him on the lips and said, “My love, all things will be well.”
She watched him leave and felt the cold in her heart. Once again I abandon someone I love, she thought as she grabbed her spears and buckler. Turning and following Riale out of the clearing. She maintained her pace well for the first few miles. As it began to get dark she began to lag a little behind the others, Riale glanced at her and said, “There is no dishonor in not continuing Shaiel” “We all understand.”
“Riale, I have to go on no matter what, it is my fate.” “It will be well; do not let me keep you from the dance sister. I will follow and catch up. Save a few wetlanders for me.” She said with a smile. As Riale left to keep up with the sisters, Shaiel sat down on a rock. “I am sorry to lie to you my sister, but I can’t let you stop me.” She whispered. Shaiel glanced around and began making her way towards Dragonmount. It will end and begin here, she thought.
She felt the first contraction as she put her first step on the mountain side. Soon my son, soon you will be free to follow your destiny. As she climbed up the mountain side, the contractions grew in size and frequency. As one particular hard one hit her she gasped and clutched her spears as she fell to her knees. As she lay there recovering she remembered what had brought her to this point.
Her mother’s Aes sedai advisor had summoned her to the garden for a private meeting. Gitara was sitting in the bench by the roses when she met her.
“I have had a foretelling that involves you, Tigraine. Will you listen?” She sat down next to her and nodded. “What is it Gitara Sedai?” “My child I hate to lay this burden on you, but you must leave Caemlyn for the sake of everything.”
“What?” she exclaimed. “That’s crazy.”
“Listen to me my child, there is little time. My foretelling involves the very future of everything. If you do not leave now, you will see the destruction of everything within a span of decades.” You must leave here, telling no one. You will go into the waste and become an Aiel maiden of the spear, you can’t return until they come to Tar Valon.”
“No, I can’t leave Galad. And there is the treaty with Cairhien from my marriage. It is crazy.”
“Listen my child, I know it is hard. You have read the prophecies of the Dragon, yes?” The Dragon reborn will be born of a maiden on Dragonmount. Do you understand what I am saying? Your leaving is needed to save the world. Only the Dragon Reborn can save us from the Dark One, you will give birth to the savior of the world.”
Shaiel leaned back in disbelief and shock. The end of the world, everything we have ever known. A new son that will save us all. Unbelievable.
“I know this is hard to believe Tigraine, but it is essential you leave now, I have made ready your horses and supplies for your trip.”
Tigraine nodded and stood. “Gitara Sedai, will you tell Galad goodbye for me?” She turned and ran for the stables.
Shaiel came back to herself when another contraction hit, harder than any before. As she lay there gasping for air, she heard people moving up the hillside toward her. She grasped her spears and jumped into the middle of the wetlanders. Stabbing and swinging her spears around she killed the first few men that came at her. The rest warily surrounded her and began attacking. A sword sliced her forearm as she dropped her buckler, and stabbed the man through his chest. One of them snuck in behind her and sliced her shoulder. She fell to the ground and passed out.
When she woke up it was still an hour or two from dawn. She had bled but the snow had kept her from bleeding too much. She got to her feet and started up the mountain once again. She made it about three hundred paces before she knew it was time for the baby. She lay down and tried to concentrate on the baby. As the sun began to peek up over the horizon she felt him slip from her. As she tried to get up and take him, she heard him begin to cry. She felt the mountain move underneath her as to cradle them both. Shaiel crawled up next to her new baby and covered him with her cloak. “My son, I name you Aiel an Daishar Aes.” “You are truly dedicated to the glory of all.”
Shaiel lay there thinking that she needed to rise and get him down the mountain. First a little rest. As she lay there she realized she was no longer cold. When she opened her eyes and stood she noticed a man in Illianer companion uniform coming closer. She bent down to grab her spears but her hand passed right through them. The young man came closer and she saw that he was an Andoran.
“Stop right there.” She cried but he showed no sign of hearing her. When he got close enough to her to touch her he bent down and picked up her son. “No, leave him, he is my son.” The man picked up her cloak and covered her little boy. “What are you doing?” “Why won’t you listen?”
She felt more than saw the person step up behind her. As she turned to look at the person behind her, she saw the shadow of a man with a sword out of the corner of her vision. When she turned to look no one was there. She turned back to the women who had appeared behind her and gaped. “Birgitte Silverbow? It is you.” “Come Tigraine, you have fulfilled your destiny here. You have once again done your Horn bound duty and brought the savior back to man.
“What about my son?”
“This man will raise your son and he will follow his destiny. You are the eternal mother just as this man is this soul’s father. He will be cared for properly and raised well.”
Tigraine went over to her baby and looked down at him. His crystal clear gaze caught her and she could feel their connection. “Goodbye my son, Go with the blessings of the light.”
As the man started down the hillside Tigraine turned back to Birgitte and said. “Lead on.”
Bonnie Andrews
124. misfortuona
Wow Sam, wow, thank you for that. Only now I want more.

Mis-selfish
a a-p
126. lostinshadow
Amalisa@106 - congrats on your news and good luck of course! and you still get 5 weeks vacation before work starts! ::confetti::

Alreadymad@108
Males should now be able to wield it safely save for the buffering problem which could be solved with a circle. Only this time the circle need not be led by a woman. That is if she ever decides to give it back.

Well in that case, obviously Logain is the man, he can just order either one of his bondees to give it back. ;)

Sam@123 - entertaining as ever! keep 'em coming
Sharon E.
127. Sulin
@Sam- Wow, I love it. Great job! :)

I'm way behind on the posts here, trying to catch up!
Snow61
128. Subbak
Freelancer@105: It is unclear wether the stone was built during or after the breaking. And they could have placed the sword in what was to become the Heart of Stone (although I can't remember if the Heart is supposed to be near ground level. If not, it is unlikely.), and the Stone would later have been built for extra unnecessary protection.
Tess Laird
129. thewindrose
Wow Samadai! You should perhaps label it for Warning - Emotional content. It was heart breaking, but in a good way:)

lostinshadow - the Logain ladies are Tower loyalists so that won't help. Rand will have to have Jahar distract Merise and get it that way perhaps.

So what do you all think Cadsuane will do now with Egwene in charge? Will she and her following bend knee so to speak? Or will she remain a retired specialist - on call but not answerable to the Amyrlin? (I do not think Egwene would accept Cadsuane being out on her own, btw.)

tempest™
Alice Arneson
130. Wetlandernw
Amalisa - Cool beans! Good luck on the new job!

rand206 @111 - Not sure what I'm going to do when I finish listening to TGS. My drive will be less interesting... That's easy - go back to the beginning and do it all over! :) Trust me - when you finish TGS, it will be worth re-listening in light of what you learn.

Seanie @113 - Well, there's definitely something going the other way, we just don't get to see much of it. I'll be looking a lot more closely now, though.

jamesedjones @116 - That's a twist I hadn't really thought of. I assumed someone came along and added new weaves; hadn't considered the possibility of tweaking the existing weave. Not sure how much difference there is, but particularly since they'd expect Rand to be coming back... He would know what he'd set and might expect to just come in, quickly shut it down and go - and get trapped. Narishma, since he's only going from instructions, would be more careful and find the odd twists. Either way it works. Wonder if we'll ever find out.

Re: who will use Callandor and how... See the quote @99 (the first one) - there is a strong implication that Rand must use it, in a circle, according to prophecy. We know that interpreting prophecy is a dodgy business at best, but when someone is seriously misinterpreting it, RJ has generally been a little more obvious with the exact text and their exact interpretation. Usually, they think they know exactly what it means and that's when they're wrong. In this case, Min & Cadsuane are taking small steps toward the truth instead of leaping headlong to conclusions, so I'm inclined to believe that they are correct in their understanding as far as it goes. Presumably we'll RAFO the "Something we haven't discovered" in the next book or two.

So IMHO, Rand will be leading the circle with Callandor in hand; my best guess on the two women would be Nynaeve and Cadsuane, for various reasons I won't go into. (Not sure the reasoning would stand up to examination; it may be mostly because that's what I'd do if I were writing it. I can come up with plenty of reasons for various other combinations, so it doesn't even qualify as a theory - just a guess. Not being Terez, I'm not going to search out evidence for who it ought to be. ;p ) As for the how/where... there are so many possibilities I hardly know where to start. It could be facing the Dark One directly (in which case I think it would be at least one different woman in the circle). It could be one of several other scenarios leading up to the final confrontation, in which case one possibility is that Cadsuane dies in the process and in her death somehow shows Rand and all the Asha'man the last of the things they need to learn from her. (No, I'm not going to give you any more detail on that. :p ) The possibilities at this point are multitudinous, but we'll find out in less than two years this time.

thewindrose @129 - What will Cadsuane do? Let me think on that for a minute and I'll get back to you. :)
a a-p
132. lostinshadow
thewindrose@129 - but that's my point, since Logain has bonded them, he can force them to act as he wants.

Cads tends to treat women (who deserve it) with more respect than she treats men so after taking Egwene's measure, she might actually be willing to follow (somewhat)

maybe Egwene can chastise her for her treatment of Rand and how badly she mishandled it? that would be a sight to see!

and maybe that can happen in a way that Rand and many Asha'man watch (with popcorn) so a) Rand knows the Amyrlin's anger and b) Cads teaches all channeling men laughter and c) tears when their amusement annoys Egwene who switches them all with air for disrespecting a sister (and thus the tears)
*snicker*
Sam Mickel
133. Samadai
Lostinshadow@132

Now that would be the best scene in the book.
Alice Arneson
134. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @129 - So what do you all think Cadsuane will do now with Egwene in charge? Will she and her following bend knee so to speak? Or will she remain a retired specialist - on call but not answerable to the Amyrlin? (I do not think Egwene would accept Cadsuane being out on her own, btw.)

Last things first, I'm not convinced it matters what Egwene thinks about Cadsuane being out on her own. She's not stupid enough to divert a lot of Tower resources chasing down one woman right now, and aside from that, what's she going to do about it? Cadsuane has been going her own way regardless of what the Tower, her Ajah, the Hall or the Amyrlin might think for a couple of centuries now; why would that change because there's a new Amyrlin? AFAIK, she didn't go back to bow to Elaida, so I don't think she cares all that much. She knew Elaida had made a dog's dinner of things, but she had a job to do so she kept on with it. Irritated with Elaida & co. for making things harder than they needed to be, but that's about as much attention as she gave it.

As far as what will Cadsuane do now that Egwene is Amyrlin - pretty much what she's been doing all along. She's apparently spent most of her career dealing with men who can channel, so she'll continue. There are a lot more of them now, and we know there's something that "Rand and all the Asha'man" need to learn from her still. IFF (and it's a big "iff" imho) Cadsuane and Egwene do any more than acknowledge one another's existence and keep on with their own tasks, I would expect that Cadsuane will give Egwene a gracious nod and recognize her as Amyrlin. As long as Egwene behaves with appropriate dignity and doesn't throw temper tantrums or issue stupid orders, I don't see that much more will happen. Possibly they will put their heads together to combine research - Cadsuane has done both field and historical research, and Egwene's done her T'A'R and Dreaming research, so together they might make more sense out of things. I doubt it, though. I think Cadsuane and Min will winkle out the real meaning of several things, and they'll stay with Rand, who will need what they learn. Egwene knows she can trust Min, so I don't think she'll mess with it. Egwene will learn other things through her Dreams (assuming Baliman'gar hasn't done any permanent damage) and she'll make use of those things in her own purvue.

JMHO. Which is not nearly as entertaining as lostinshadow's, but hey, there you have it.
Karen Jacobs
135. KJacobs
Samadi@123 - Fantastic! Thanks for sharing!
Snow61
136. sushisushi
On Narishma and the traps left on Callandor - if there was something extra added or tweaked by one of the Forsaken, it has to be one of the male Forsaken, as Narishma seems to think think that Rand didn't tell him everything about the traps he (Rand) had set. I think he would have mentioned if there was suddenly a saidar component, wouldn't he, as Rand would have had to get a woman to help him.

Looking Glass @117: You're right on Rand's ancestors - Charn is 25 and witnesses the Bore being drilled and later his son Coumin is 16 and hears about the sealing of the Bore. Then Jonai, his son, witnesses the scene where the female AS are arguing, with the Dragon Banner and Callandor on the table. So, LTT is pretty much a generation gone before the plan for Callandor takes a back shelf to the one for the Eye of the World.
Karen Fox
137. thepupxpert
Sam @ 123 - now you went and did it - I'm teary eyed at work! Very moving writing, thank you.
Birgit
138. birgit
It is unclear wether the stone was built during or after the breaking.

She had heard of it in stories, heard that it was the greatest fortress in the world and the oldest, the first built after the Breaking of the World, yet nothing had prepared her for this sight.

TDR ch. 48
James Jones
139. jamesedjones
130 Wetlandernw
I assumed someone came along and added new weaves; hadn't considered the possibility of tweaking the existing weave.
Oh, it goes beyond that. *Looney Theory disclaimer (with accompanying music intro). :D

We've heard ad nauseum about how, 'only this forsaken can do this, only that forsaken can do that.' What if one of them, male or female, knows how to tweak a weave without removing it? We know Greandal is more than willing to wander around places where she shouldn't be. What if (against all odds, considering how no one works together in these books) she and Sammael visited the Stone before Rand inverted the weaves? He tweaks it with saidin; a trap designed to be stopped. She sets up something else with saidar to be triggered by that action. Narishma, one of the few Rand trusts, is now affected by a weave of Greandal. Who would he be following after? Is it Rand? And why?

Did I mention this was a Looney Theory? lol

PS Sam, great job! Thanks for that.
Marcus W
140. toryx
Re: When the Stone was built:

Problem is, even the quote supplied by birgit @ 138 is pretty indefinite. That's some seriously second-hand information there.

The other question is, when exactly did the Breaking occur? In the days following the 100 Companions madness? Or the decades and centuries that followed after?

I could see the Stone being the first building built after the Breaking by Aes Sedai who were still trying to maintain some control in the madness that whirled around them. But that could have happened just after the Eye was built, or even just before. There's no concrete piece of evidence to provide specifics.
Chris Chaplain
141. chaplainchris1
@42

Random new thought for me, re: Rand's behavior and how not-nice it is. As somebody who went through an extended (2 yr +) bout of depression, I can tell you that one manifestation in me was a great anger and cynicism at everyone, and an inability to deal with pettiness or "irritating" behavior. At times it seemed that the whole world was designed to snipe at, irritate, and exhaust me.

I don't think Rand's clinically depressed, considering his drive and energy - but he has had episodes of manic behavior, so maybe he does cycle. Certainly his life is depressing (not the same as *depression*, but still!). And certainly a great part of his world seems designed to snipe at, irritate, and exhaust him, as well as make impossible demands of him. In my depressive period, *any* demands, including quite reasonable and ordinary ones, were more than I could bear, driving to exhaustion or anger or both.

So things like Rand's behavior towards Narishma are...interesting, viewed through that lens. More sympathetic, anyway.

Re: Rand leaving the BT alone. It does seem stupid. Stupid stupid stupid. Stupid. Hopefully Rand has a kernel of insane brilliance in the insanity of ignoring the warning signs about Taim. (As when he's ignored obvious targets before. He warns Taim himself that the Forsaken will try to infiltrate, and Logain's description of Taim forming a second, secret tower hidden inside the BT is *exactly* the modus operandi of the Black Ajah...so surely he's aware of the dangers....)
noble thayer
142. joetheman
the Stone had to have been build sometime during the Breaking as they used both half's of the Power to make it and ward Callandor and someone had to have some knowledge of Lews Therin in order to tune the ward to his soul.

the little extra on Callandor in LoC when the Forsaken meet Mesaana states that the Great Hold in the Stone of Tear is warded but neither Rand nor Moriane every states that they warded it so who did?
Tricia Irish
143. Tektonica
Sam@123: Very moving! It was great getting a Shaiel pov.....I always felt for her, having to leave her son and then die in childbirth. She got a bad deal! Thank you for that...sniff sniff.....

lost@132: ROFLOL.....that would be something to see....

Question: All this discussion about timing, and creating the Eye and the Sword makes me really want to know not only Who created them, but Why?

Did they, the Aes Sedai, create the prophecy? It couldn't have existed before the Eye and the Sword, since there were no Eye and Sword for the prophecy to be about. So who wrote the prophecy? Or foretold it? Did the Creator put this in someone's head? Where do ANY prophecies come from?

My head hurts.
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
The Creator (or in WoT, possibly the Pattern) would give the prophecies to various people. Undoubtedly some of it, at least, was in the form of Foretellings of Aes Sedai, probably both male and female. The hardest part is knowing what besides that Talent constitues actual prophecy vs. Joe-writing-poetry-that-sounds-cool-and-suitably-vague. The general means of knowing a prophet is whether they can prophesy something near-term and be proven true; in that case, you accept that they are a true prophet and that the long-term stuff is true. If nothing they prophesy actually happens, you have to be skeptical. FWIW....

Oh, and they Eye or Sword wouldn't have to be in existence for them to be prophesied. At the time of Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the Roman Empire was far in the future, and yet it was "the feet of iron and clay" that would be destroyed in the coming of the Christ. It was a true prophecy even though only the "head of gold" and the beginnings of the "body of silver" were in existence at the time.

I could rattle on about this subject for hours, but it wouldn't really be very helpful to anyone including me. :)
Lucas Vollmer
145. aspeo
Samadai@123 Very good, I greatly enjoyed it!
Snow61
146. sushisushi
toryx @140 Some pertinent points from the Encyclopedia WOT:
"Also called the Time of Madness, the Breaking lasted roughly a hundred years from sealing of the Bore to the death of the last male Aes Sedai."
"TEotW,Ch50 ? The Eye of the World was made in the first days of the Breaking."
"TGS,Ch5 ? In the Time of Madness, it took decades for everyone to accept that all of the male Aes Sedai were doomed to go mad."

Going by the PoVs in TSR Chapter 26, we get some approximate detail, in that Coumin is 16 when the Bore was sealed and his son Jonai is 63 when the Eye of the World is about to be made, which gives about 65-75 years. His son Adan is still a child here and he's an adult in the next PoV, where the Da'shain Aiel find some radical shifts in geography, so add on maybe another 20 years to that, depending on how old Adan is here. That gives anything up to 95 years, so 100 would be a nice round estimate, cos by the time Adan is a grandfather, the major upheavals seem to have stopped (although the geography is unfamiliar, society fractured and the Ogier are looking for the stedding).
Tricia Irish
147. Tektonica
Thanks Wetlander....this from the 13th D:

From a TOR Question of the Week about the Horn of Valere we learned that the Prophecies are a compilation, made before the end of the Second Age, of Foretellings.
Roger Powell
148. forkroot
Samadai@123
Awesome. Simply awesome.

Tektonica@112
I do hope we get some hints about how the placement in the stone happened. Another sigh, that there will be no prequel set in the AOL to explain it all.
Let's commission Samadai to write the explanation!

Freelancer@107
The second Oath Rod we encounter is the one Sammael gives to Sevanna, and he specifically says it won't work on a male. If it did, there is really very little chance he'd give it away to the Aiel.
I don't see any reason for your second assertion. It's not like they could use the rod on him -- he's in no way under their control and is not worried that he could be.

With that said, I agree with you that we should believe Sammael. There's no particular reason for him to lie about the properties of the rod. I found your white/black parallels intriguing.

amw@108
Egwene rediscovered the weave for creating cuendillar and all the cuendillar she and her cohorts make is of the white variety.
I think you are buttressing Freelancer's argument. If the saidan weave for making cuendillar is rediscovered, I bet Freelancer is right and it will make black cuendillar.

LookingGlass@117
forkroot@71: The Asha’man all get intensive sword training as well (and we see the ones with Perrin practice every day); they’d probably be a fair bit better than most Randland soldiers even if they couldn’t make your head explode. The average warder is still probably better, in part just because they’ve been at it longer, but a warder-bonded Asha’man would still be very dangerous without the power.
Asha'man weapons training isn't pertinent. The discussion was about possible bonding of "gentled" males and the context clearly referred to the time frame before Rand/BT/Asha'man.
T C
150. Freelancer
jej@116

Yep, we're all over the idea that some forsaken added an extra trap around Callandor.


Looking Glass@117

Agreed, when Solinda and her sisters and the young male channelers created the Eye, it was at minimum 65 years after Lews Therin was gone.


sushisushi@136

Perhaps, but the effect of a trap doesn't necessarily give away which half of the Power was used to form it. And Rand's weaves were inverted anyway, so Narishma wouldn't be sensing the weave itself, but it's behavior. If I throw a rock at you with an inverted weave of Air, you wouldn't know if it was done with saidar or saidin, just that it hurt.

On to Lews Therin. The scene in the Ancestitron which gives us the closest link in the chronology is when Rand is Coumin, the father of Jonai. Coumin is 16 in this scene, and a soldier tells him of the Strike at Shayol Ghul. So the war has been going on for quite some time, but the Bore is just now being sealed, and this is when saidin is tainted. Now, back to Jonai, Coumin's son, at age 63 in the Hall of Servants. Assuming Jonai was born when Coumin was only 18 it is 65 years from the Strike until the departure of the Aiel and the creation of the Eye.


toryx@140

As to when the Breaking occurs, Ishamael tells Lews Therin in TEotW prologue that even now his fellows are tearing the world apart. The creation of the Eye was a last ditch action to save a pool of pure saidin at the end of the Breaking. In the scene where Jonai dies of a heart attack, he notes the former location of the city of Comelle, which is now a sea.


joetheman@142

Who said that both halves of the Power were used to build the Stone? As to tuning the wards on Callandor to the soul of the Dragon, we've no evidence if that's truly what was done (though I believe it was), and there's no reason to suspect that only a male could have done so, and finally, since the above proves that Lews Therin was gone at least 60 years before Callandor was placed anywhere other than the Hall of Servants, whoever placed it had knowledge we can only guess about.
noble thayer
151. joetheman
Freelancer@150
as to the making of the Stone I only have a hunch as to the use of both half's of the One Power due to the ward on Callandor,

“Cautiously, she reached out with
the Power, probing at whatever held and
shielded the sword. Her probe touched-
something-and stopped. She could sense which
of the Five Powers had been used here. Air,
and Fire, and Spirit. She could trace the
intricate weave made by saidar, set with
a strength that amazed her. There were gaps
in that weave, spaces where her probe
should slide through. When she tried, it was
like fighting the strongest part of the weave
head on. It hit her then, what she was trying
to force a way though, and she let her probe
vanish. Half that wall had been woven using
saidar; the other half. The part she could
not sense or touch had been made with saidin.”

-The Dragon Reborn, ch. 27

as to the Breaking the BBoW? states for what its wroth that it lasted 239 to 344 years it also states that the Stone was made with the one power
Scott
152. Shard
See I'm one of those that doesn't like that the Third Man is Moridin in Rand's head. Yes it gives Rand a free pass to be a Jerk and that I do not like. I don't like that the Hero can get a free pass to do evil because "He was infected by evil", even when Mat had the Dagger he still wanted to apologize for things he might have said or done.

I rather Rand have to deal with the Darkness within himself and learn how to be a good person rather then get "purified" by having Moridin leave him. Albiet I did enjoy VoG and how at least LTT was self imposed.
Roger Powell
154. forkroot
It seems to be almost universally accepted that Rand's use of the TP was a "bad thing" and that there will be downstream consequences.

There may indeed be consequences, but does anyone seriously suggest that he should have done otherwise? A collared Rand, brought to Shayol Ghul by Semirhage, means "END - OF - STORY" (not to mention poor Min strangled.)

I know that many people think the whole sequence was a deeply orchestrated plot to make Rand access the TP. If Freelancer doesn't mind, I'll borrow that razor that he got from Mr. Occam.

How about the simple explanation? Moridin and Rand's crossed balefire streams was a completely unanticipated event. Nobody expected it, and neither side is 100% sure of the ramifications. The DO would have been quite content to have Semi bring Rand to SG. He did not give permission for Rand to seize the TP (via Moridin). It was just an old-fashioned plot twist, the kind you get in a a good story where it looks like "our hero" is stuck and he wriggles out of certain death.

Yes of course there should be some consequences. Even though there's a long and honorable precedent for the "good guy" seizing the "bad guy's" weapon and turning it on him, Rand channeled the essence of the DO and that logically should come with some cost. (We already see later in TGS that Rand is tempted to access that power again; fortunately he does not.)

Just remember that whatever the ultimate cost that Rand will have to bear, it was worth it given the alternative.
Alice Arneson
155. Wetlandernw
forkroot - I'm totally with you on the "simple explanation" here. I don't see it as a deep plot by Moridin or the DO - it was, as you say, a completely unanticiapted event, and they still don't entirely understand what happened or what will happen. I do think that the link will somehow be key to a Rand victory, but I don't know how, or when, or what. I just hope he doesn't have to use the TP again to do it! (Note that I don't say he won't, just that I hope he doesn't need to.)

Occam FTW!
Roger Powell
156. forkroot
Wetlandernw - I don't know if the link will somehow be a key to a Rand victory ... but I suspect it might be a key to Rand surviving based on Min's viewing about two people merging: "one of them dies, one doesn't".

Rand misunderstands and thinks that LTT will die and he (Rand) will survive. Now that we know that LTT and Rand are one and the same, it's reasonable to assume that Min's viewing really pertains to Rand/Moridin.

I know one theory is that Rand will live on in Moridin's body. I hope that's wrong, if only because of the YUCK factor.
Snow61
157. alreadymadwithprophecy
thewindrose @121
No hard numbers, but I was under the impression that even with all the refugees, the Two Rivers still had plenty of room to grow.

Tektonica @143

He shivered, wondering if men would ever stand in a meeting such as this again. When he saw what was on the table, the shiver became a shudder. A crystal sword—perhaps an object of the Power, perhaps only an ornament; he had no way of telling—held down the Dragon banner of Lews Therin Kinslayer, spread out like a tablecloth and spilling onto the floor. His heart clenched. What was that doing here? Why had it not been destroyed, and memory of the cursed man as well?

“What good is your Foretelling,” Oselle was almost shouting, “if you cannot tell us when?” Her long black hair swayed as she shook with anger. “The world rests on this! The future! The Wheel itself!”

Dark eyed Deindre faced her with a more usual calm. “I am not the Creator. I can only tell you what I Foretell.”

The Shadow Rising Ch26.

forkroot @148
Here's what Freelancer said:
~ Cuendillar. The Seals are made of cuendillar, but half black and half white. The curious part is that I believe the white cuendillar is made with saidin, and black cuendillar with saidar.
Emphasis mine.

As for black cuendillar made with Saidin, who's to say the Asha'man haven't rediscovered it yet? I understand they're currently building the walls of the Black Tower with black stones.
James Jones
158. jamesedjones
150 Freelancer

I know. But no one seems to want to play with the idea that it was more than just, "Look what one of the bad guys tried. Huh."

Edit: If anyone has offered the idea that it was more than just an attempted trap, please point me to the post. Work and Life are both keeping me tied up right now.
Tricia Irish
159. Tektonica
forkroot@154:

Here here! I totally agree. Rand had no choice but to reach for anything that would keep him from killing the one he loves again. Oh the horror!

The crossed streams in Shadar Logoth seemed to be completely unanticipated. Good random plot development. And the consequences? Some we've seen......the dark side rearing it's ugly head..the land burning up.....one more person in the Condo...and some we've no doubt yet to see.

Let's hope Rand doesn't have to draw on the TP again. I hope his revelation/integration and understanding about the meaning of the Wheel gives him the strength of character to overcome Mori in his head. Maybe even influence him!
Julian Augustus
160. Alisonwonderland
Samadai: great story. I have one minor quibble though. I can't believe that any wetlander soldiers would stab an obviously very pregnant woman (who is, in fact, in labour) even if if she wearing cadin'sor.
Snow61
161. Demira
What or is there a difference between True Power and True Source? I seem to remember somewhere in TPoD, it said Rand took hold of the "True Source".
R B
162. MasterAlThor
Sam,

Good job brother.

Dragonoftheohsothat'showthathappenedAiel
Henry Loose
163. schrodinger
True Source is the power that turns the wheel and is made up of Saidin and Saidar (nice). True Power is the essence of the Dark One (icky).
Snow61
164. Demira
I found it- pg 464
"Less than an hour later he took hold of the True Source and prepared to make a gateway for Traveling." And on page 325, "he desperately wanted to seize the Source again and wring the One Power out of it. Always it was so when the One Power left him."

I think maybe I remember Moiraine using the "True Source" The word "true" is the signifigance?
Snow61
165. Vidulous
Evidently the quote from RJ would seem to prove that Callandor is flawed, i.e. the defect that exists within it was not put there intentionally by its creators. However, that does not mean it was not meant to be there. Bear with me.

The Pattern has done some intricate and ludicrously unlikely things in order to get things to be the way they should be - the Rand-saving archer-distracting nick-of-timey flock of birds springs to mind. Things that happened millennia ago, too, like the sharing of water by the proto-Cairhienin, eventually led to Laman's Sin and the Aiel War and the birth of Rand. Without the seemingly insignificant event in the past, the momentous event in the future could not have happened.

So things can happen very far back in the past that essentially "make" the present what it is. No human could possibly predict that sharing water would eventually create the circumstances through which the rebirth of the Dragon could happen, but the Pattern is not a human; it is geometrically more complex than the human brain can possibly process.

In the same way, no one could predict that a (not unprecedented, presumably) manufacturing flaw was present in a sa'angreal because it would be vital to events three and a half millennia in the future: without the flaw in Callandor, Rand would perhaps not have had a reason to think about why the Choedan Kal are not mentioned in the prophecies, and that line of thinking eventually led to his Moment Of Clarity atop Dragonmount.

So... while it was clearly not engineered to be flawed by the humans who made it, I posit that Callandor's flaw had to exist because the Pattern knew it would be necessary, and weaved it so.
Snow61
166. Demira
schrodinger@163 Gotcha!Thnks
Jennifer McBride
167. vegetathalas
Weird...I always thought it was Moridin, right from the beginning. I'm surprised it could be interpreted any other way.
T C
168. Freelancer
joetheman@151

Yes, the wards on Callandor including both saidin and saidar. Yes, the Stone was made with the Power. But it says nowhere that the Stone was made with both halves of the Power. In fact, it is only a supposition that the Stone was made with the express purpose of housing Callandor. I don't believe it was, but I cannot prove that it wasn't.


Shard@152

I don't ever see Rand "getting a pass" for his behavior. For my part, I don't think that his behavior in these most recent chapters is all that horrible. He didn't treat Narishma very nicely, but he's already been having a bad day, the weather is nasty, and this kid whom he trusted with a very important and delicate task returns with accusations that he's incompetent at giving instructions. A few more tidbits leading up to Rand's reaction to that is his having to deal with the likes of Weiramon, an assortment of other snobbish and treacherous nobles, and the discovery that his specially-tuned sense of chivalry is known by all. Camel's back, meet straw.

Not going to delve into his later forays towards unpleasantness, they are far in the future to this point of the re-read, and are thoroughly cussed and discussed in the Open Thread.


forkroot@154

::stands quietly in the corner and nods::
Maiane Bakroeva
169. Isilel
So, does anybody have an idea _why_ Rand sent Narishma after Callandor instead of nipping over for half an hour himself?

And yes, I continued to like his chapters. He is under immense pressure, and it is very honestly depicted. As much as Rand exasperates me sometimes, his behavior rings very true. In fact, his, Egwene's and BA hunters chapters were for me the highlights of books 8-12. YMMV.

Re: Egwene and Cadusane, I don't think that the former can just leave the latter alone. Among other things, Cadsuane, as well as all AS in the neutral faction needs to be tested. For another, with TG approaching, the WT can't allow people to wander off and do their own thing. They need to know where everybody is and what they are doing and yes, in some cases order them somewhere else. All sisters should be considered soldiers under arms for the duration of TG.

Anyway, IMHO Egwene is smart enough to return the AS with Rand back after the testing, with official sanction to carry on and perhaps with additional task to recruit, wherever they are.
Of course, with Moiraine's impending return, it is not obvious to me that Rand would need Cadsuane that much... Maybe as a legendary Green she should finally go and fight some Shadowspawn/Dreadlords, hm...?
Alice Arneson
170. Wetlandernw
Or maybe she should have a chance to teach Rand and all the Asha'man that thing they need to learn from her before she goes off somewhere else.
Birgit
171. birgit
If men make black cuendillar and women make white cuendillar the Seals should be completely black because the women refused to help. Or did LTT use existing cuendillar discs as a focus for the Seals?

Why were 100 men who can't link required to set 7 Seals? Were the rest protection like Cadsuane's circles at the Cleansing?
Snow61
172. alreadymadwithseals
birgit @171
That's a good question. I'm guessing that the Seals were made before the final deliberation on whether to use them was made. That women participated in at least the making of them, hence the mixed colors.
Having a 100 man strong bodyguard does sound like a good idea when you're jumping straight into the enemy's stronghold.
Jay Dauro
173. J.Dauro
Isilel @169

Possibly because it could have meant having to grasp the source more times.

And possibly the actual removal of Callandor would take more time than a half hour. How long was Narishma gone, and how much of that time was planned to get the sword, and how much was the additional complications?

Although they were called the Hundred Companions, they were actually 113 at the time of the strike. Plus 10,000 soldiers. There was a battle to get to the place where the seals were to be set. By the time of the counterstroke, only 68 companions (and LTT) were left to be driven mad, and none of the 10,000 soldiers returned.
Dorothy Johnston
174. CloudMist
I'm hardly a WOT expect but it's time to correctly lay out Coumin's genealogy. As we've seen in numerouse instances, the Aiel use the term "greatfather" where we would use the term "grandfather". That said, I quote the following phrase from the Coumin section of "The Dedicatd" chapter from TSR:

"His father's greatfather, Charn, claimed
there had been no soldiers once, but Coumin
did not believe it."

Coumin is Charn's great-grandson. It's been a while since I read the BBOBA, but I think it says that the build-up to the War of Power took about a century.
Snow61
175. Looking Glass
forkroot@148: You’re entirely right; somehow I read that section as being a separate topic from the “gentled guys” discussion. Whoops.

On topic now: most gentled channelers are likely to be and thus pretty young, especially if they’re still sane enough to make viable warders. They can learn to fight. IIRC, Taim supposedly held off the taint for about fifteen years, which would mean even he’s only in his mid-thirties.
--

Alreadymadwithprophecy@157: The white tower’s made of white stone, but not white heartstone; there’s no reason to think the black tower is any different. Plus, that would be a heck of a lot of iron, and if they building a wall in separate pieces it would only be as strong as the mortar anyway. More likely, they just like the color black.


--

forkroot@154: The crossed streams were probably completely unexpected, barring some sort of precognition by the Shadow. But that was four and a half books previously. The Shadow’s had time to adapt its plans (and remember, there was an apparently bona fide attempt to kill Rand pre-cleansing in between, so Moridin has altered his plans at least twice since they were linked.)

That’s not to say Moridin necessarily did plan TP-Rand or even that he knows about it, but it’s certainly possible.
--

Demira@164: The True Source is the source of the One Power, while the Dark One is the source of the True Power. It’s confusing, but I’m not sure there’s any plot significance to it beyond each side saying their way is better.
Joseph Blaidd
177. SteelBlaidd
Re Rand and his issues I quote again from the wonderful essay The Personality Integration of Rand al'Thor and Lews Therin Telamon,
by Maggie Hettinger
(http://homepage.mac.com/mhettinger/watchmakerpress/WOT/LTTandRandWithSources.html).

[quote]Path of Daggers provided a few surprises. Since Crown of Swords ended with Rand and Lews Therin functioning fairly well as the Dragon Reborn, it seemed feasible that LTT's voice wouldn't be heard again. We see, though, how important Min is to this newfound integration, and how fragile and incomplete it really is. In PoD, Rand isn't functioning well, and eventually, LTT's lovable voice comes back to torment him. Still, Path of Daggers is consistent with the personality integration that happened in LoC and CoS.

First, I'll restate a little.
LTT's voice was (and still is) a coping mechanism for Rand to be able to deal with a fully-developed personality (LTT's) that is reforming itself within him.

At the end of Crown of Swords:
* Cadsuane messed up his ability to use this mechanism, mostly by making him conscious of it
* Rand entered willingly into a situation (the "comforting") in which ego is left behind--he interacted with Min on a level that he truly WAS both Rand and LTT merged
* Since he couldn't distance himself from LTT, Rand went through a very bad bout of Multiple Personality Disorder, hiding away from everyone
* Largely because Min accepted him and gave him balance, he pulled his self-image back together enough to function
* For the same reason, Rand stopped fighting becoming Lews Therin and started being "the Dragon Reborn."


When we finally (!) get to see Rand in Path of Daggers,

* He has left Min behind. Not good.

* Rand has changed. He is planning battles, now, something he formerly delegated to others. He obviously knows what he's doing, because he is successful in the campaign he sets out. Even the scene with Callandor, which is such a personal disaster, actually succeeds in what it was intended to do, so bucking Bashere was a decision, not an insane risk. It was the kind of decision a battle leader would make on the spur of the moment.

* Taking hold of or turning loose of saidin causes double vision. This is new. It sounds like the jolt to his system kicks him back to two sets of senses.

* He is full of rage. The source of this rage, though, is the same as it was in CoS. It's the constant, nagging, screaming wrongness of two competing sets of social patterns within one person. No matter what Rand sees or does, everything affects him with the feeling that the world is wrong, he is wrong.

Imagine being at work, trying to do a crucial job, and someone follows around behind you, moving all your stuff, picking up things you set down, and just generally screwing with everything, but you can't see this person, can't get away from them. Irritation magnified.

Or (this might be easy to identify with) picture that your computer, on which you depend utterly--an extension of yourself--doesn't put the right words in the right place, renames all your files, changes itself so that the dialup connection doesn't connect, your mail is screwed up, it crashes regularly, is always off doing things of its own. This is more than irritation, constant and irreparable.

These are examples of situations in which actions that should be unconsciously smooth are suddenly frustrating to the extreme. They result in a fundamental feeling of irritation that can easily be provoked into something very much like rage.

Now try to make the conceptual leap from this small type of irritation to Rand's situation.]

There are interesting theories from linguistics and psychology that apply here. Since the interaction of different sets of cultural social patterns provide the essence of the whole WoT plot, it's not too surprising that Robert Jordan has gotten his main character into a situation where everything depends on how he deals with competing sets of internal social patterns. In linguistics, it has been proposed that every time a person speaks, he chooses from a (huge) set of dialects and possible statements. Rand has two separately-developed sets. No matter which one he uses, while both personalities are mixed in together, everything he says feels wrong, wrong, WRONG according to the other set.

The same is true with actions. All the thousands of small things we do, the unnoticed things, are done by having a repertoire of actions and a ranking system that has been developed, over time, to automatically decide which one to use. With Rand being aware now of TWO complete sets, the internal ranking system is all screwed up. It takes conscious effort to re-rank every tiny detail, every small movement, and decide what to do. With a centered self-image, such as Rand had for a little while with Min in CoS, these constant decisions would be likely to start to fall together, to mesh into a new pattern.

But he left Min for the worst possible situation--to be surrounded by people who hate him, who fear him, who despise him utterly, who want him dead. He's doing a job that he has commitment to, but no love for. The pain of those never-healing wounds is taking a constant toll as well.

With all this going on under his skin, his anger at the scheming and lying is difficult to control. His suspicion of others is constant. Both suspicion and anger are generally accepted as signs of madness. But in this case, they are not. Anyone would be angry, and he needs to be suspicious. He is aware of the danger. He worries about the "dreads". If he was too far gone, he wouldn't be worrying about it. He knows he needs to trust, but thereis no one to trust.

When he hears LTT's voice again, it's got to be an incredible relief. It's not a resurrection of anything. It's Rand's subconscious recreating that ability to separate himself, to defend itself from the constant internal battle. When he separates LTT into a disembodied voice, the double sets of patterns don't constantly come into play. The rage diminishes, and he's on a more even keel. This need for separation is shown on the conscious level as well, because he tells the voice he will die at TG as "me." ( One step forward, two steps back.)

In the later parts if PoD, after Rand hears LTT's voice again, we don't see rage or fury except for three cases--two in Illian, one in Cairhen--two of them situations in which LTT's voice is absent. ( The exception is the time that Rand has the desire to stab Lews Therin. )

It's interesting that Rand notices that LTT (the voice) is madder, angrier, and stronger. He also notes that the voice is seldom silent unless forced. But he can force it silent. For the most part, Rand has cause to be frustrated, but instead of the fury that characterized the early part of the book, the whole feeling is calmer, comparativelymore controlled.

Especially during that time of inseparability, when he isn't hearing the voice, a lot of integration happens. He takes on more of the abilities and mannerisms of Lews Therin. The planning of battles is probably the major one. He also seems to be more into pomp and ceremony and awareness of station. His suspicion of the Asha'man is an only slightly toned-down version of LTT's wanting to kill them. The arrogance comes from Lews Therin. LTT's thing about women is still strong, although it's interesting that Rand manages to protect himself from that one, if only a little. He doesn't go near the Seanchan prisoners so he won't see their faces.

When Rand comes back to meet Min, he smiles, thumbing his ear and humming a little. These are obvious LTT mannerisms. They don't bother Rand in this context, and don't bother Min. She loves all of him, and it is the Dragon Reborn that loves Min, not just Rand.

Rand hasn't BECOME Lews Therin. He's still hanging on to himself throughout it all. He's never lost himself so badly he hasn't recovered. Example: One of the major differences between Rand and all the other WOT characters is his ability to interact with people personally, without rank and custom getting in the way. This is still there, although we don't get to see it much. His relationship with the serving-women in Illian must be good. They obviously care about him. His relationship with some of the Asha'man is a personal one, in spite of his justifiable suspicion of them all. He admires the bowman who speaks for the Illianer army (Eagan Padros), keeps tabs on him and gives him a position of authority.

Still, he desperately needs some down-time to get this stuff worked out, and get everything under control. It could happen if he can stay with Min.

Perhaps in the next book there will be some insight into Lews Therin. LTT should be an interesting person in his own right, especially now that he's more sane (and he is). Maybe with Rand and Min on the road we'll find out who this Lews Therin person really is, and what potential there is for the Dragon Reborn.

Somebody noticed, and I think it's true, that if you look at the prologue, we only got half of Path of Daggers. I expect Mat is active in the second half of the book, the half that also contains Rand (and hopefully Min with him) running. We've seen the Fisher on black, strong in attack, but slow and vulnerable. The second half should be the Fisher on white, weak in attack yet agile and far-ranging in escape. I remember Robert Jordan saying that Rand would have some kind of fall from the heights of power, and this would be the setting of PoD. It certainly wasn't the setting of the PoD we got. I think, pacing-wise, the attack on Tar Valon could be part of the phantom second half of the book. Also all those Borderland rulers. So why not hope for glimpses of Lews Therin (sane) and the chance to watch as he and Rand become that new man in Rand's dreams?



Sam@123: Nicely done, I like the touch of Shaiel being a Hero especially called to be the Mother. On which topic, Ob Tangent and Soap Box warning.

No woman in that time would have lain down to give birth. The prone position for labor and delivery is an artifact of modern hospital birth. It was invented for the convenience of Doctors but is, in fact, the most uncomfortable and least effective position to labor in. It causes the opening of the pelvis to collapse and positions the birth canal so the mother is attempting to push the baby out up hill.(as an illustration take an empty water bottle, put a marble in it and try to get the marble out while holding the side parallel to the floor.) The natural position for birth is either squatting or on hands and knees.
My wife and I just did this in November and she is studying to become a Douala and (maybe) Midwife.

Tidbit Elayne is due at right about the Winter Solstice(Dec 21,22)in WoT terms the Feast of Lights.
Tricia Irish
178. Tektonica
Thank you Steelblaidd@177:

Excellent article! It really helped me understand the "construct" theory better, as I'm no psychologist. Unfortunately, we didn't get all the LTT insights Ms. Hettinger was hoping for towards the end of that book. It would've been nice! Maybe well get some in ToM or MoL....hope hope.
Sean Banawnie
179. Seanie
Steelblaidd@177:
Very informative,well thought out. You brought a lot of that information together (some of it so obvious, we take it for granted) and tied it up neatly. It has been stated back and forth through this thread about how jerky and depressed Rand has been acting, and he has. Understandably too in my opinion. Extremes of pain , very high stress , utter loneliness and isolation are just some of the devastating feelings he has to deal with.
Now the confusion and awkwardness he feels from 'LTT' makes it impossible not to act jerky etc.. The arrogance he sends out is one of the attitudes I hadn't liked about him.(Like when the serving women feel sorry for him--he's confusing hard and strong--must show no 'weakness'). Although It seemed he was not truly arrogant (especially being inside his head -where he judges himself so harshly sometimes) We know how he truly feels.He has plenty of reason for this inner conflict and self doubt. He's not just emo....
James Jones
180. jamesedjones
Thanks to the Tor.com re-watch, I just finished watching the Avatar: The Last Airbender tv series. Have to say, very cool. It's just so refreshing seeing a TV series for kids that is only intended to tell a story for entertainment. So many of them now are only there to sell a line of toys, or will just be extended and unresolved until the ratings fall. The creators of Avatar knew exactly what they wanted to say, and, with a few exceptions like Toph, told the story exactly as they intended.

What does this have to do with WoT? I've always been very appreciative to RJ for writing Rand and LTT as a vague and undefined issue; one that the reader will never know for sure, but can take information from the story to form their own judgement. After watching Aang interact with his past lives, I'm no longer appreciative.

The Avatar has its own mythology, and I'm not arguing once side or the other of the LTT discussion with an outside source (kinda like anyone trying to use RL psychology to explain the events in a fantasy novel). I was just very surprised to see Aang seeking guidance from his past lives, who were all very separate entities, and no resulting conflict or loss to the drama and value of the story.

Why am I even posting this? Because I'm bored and I know that my first instinct is to start a conflict when we are grinding down to the last day before a post. See? I'm trying to be good. 0:)
T C
181. Freelancer
Isilel@169

Rand is aware of the line of prophecy which reads, "Who draws it out will follow after".

There are a number of times when Rand makes a logistics decision based on guidance from prophecy, or Min's visions, etc. Narishma is his most loyal Asha'man, one of the handful remaining alive whom he trusts, and is the strongest in the Power, therefore most likely to succeed at undoing Rand's traps.


jej@180

Smooth shot you snuck in there, beware return fire. For the rest, I'll bite. The Oriental cultural mythology employed for Aang commonly allows for one to access the souls/personalities/etc of ancestors or past lives, and treat the encounters as normal conversation. However, these are never treated as if happening inside the protagonist's own head, but in more of an astral venue. I think this is enough of a different in mechanism to reduce the value of a direct comparison with the Rand/LTT phenomenon.

Just saying.
Tess Laird
182. thewindrose
jamesedjones - What with no songs or personal stories to annoy? ^_^

I like how RJ has some vague and undefined areas. And I appreciate that BwS if following suite:
(from R.Fifes interview with BwS)
RF: Do you have any particular themes you like to write on?

BWS: Robert Jordan once said “My books raise questions, but I don’t want my books to answer them. I want them to make you think, and wonder, and question, and come to your own conclusion.” I have always thought that was one of the wisest things that I have ever heard anyone say. I have actually had characters quote it in books before, although I cannot remember if it was in one that has been published or not. But, I have always liked that, and I have used that as my guiding light. I want to deal with things, and I want to have characters struggle with things, and all of this important stuff.

I don’t want to give you answers, so I deal with this by having characters that approach things from different directions. And most of these themes grow out of the characters’ desires. I don’t go into a book saying “I’m going to write a book about this.” I go into a book saying “Here are characters who care about this and this.” So, themes develop as you write the book because the characters influence them and design them. And that is what becomes the heart of the book, what the characters care about.


And from Wetlandernw - PoD Part nine of this blog:
Re: the LTT/Rand construct/separate-entity debate:
Mato: There have been rumors that you have said that Mr. Jordan did not have anything in his notes about the voice of Lews Therin, whether it was a construct or not. That or that you had sai--
Sanderson: I would like to clarify this, thanks for asking. I will NOT say that it was not in the notes. However, Mr. Jordan did NOT want to reveal this information, and therefore I shall not ever either. Mr. Jordan did not want to reveal it.
Harriet: What Brandon said.
Another person reported that BWS said that "Jordan was intentionally vague about the issue of Rand and Lews Therin’s one soul and what part madness played in the two identities." And another, "Robert Jordan never really intended to clarify on whether Rand is hearing Lews Therin because he’s insane or if he’s really there."

So you can argue it to your hearts content, but you will not ever get an authoritative answer. Somewhere (probably in a StormLeader report) I remember reading that BWS said RJ enjoyed all the discussion and debate about the question, that he had notes about it, but intended never to clarify for the readers how he thought of it himself.


So, while theorizing is fun to do and read, I am not going to lose any sleep over people disagreeing with my thoughts or me disagreeing over their thoughts. I will lose sleep when ToM comes out though!! (And just for forkroot - loose sleep)^_^

tempest™
Alice Arneson
183. Wetlandernw
Steelblaidd @177 - Didn't have time to read the whole article, so no comment. BTW, I came up with Nov 24 for Elayne's due date, based on the dates in the Chronology. Hmm.

jamesedjones @180 - You say you're "no longer appreciative" of RJ writing the Rand/LTT question as vague and undefined, right? So now you're wishing he'd written Rand as happily interacting with and drawing from his past life (or lives)? Or wishing he'd made the mechanism clearer? Just curious if that's what you're saying. I have to admit that there are times I'd like to have it clear one way or the other, just because sometimes the debate really is ad nauseum, and there are also times I wish he hadn't made the whole thing so painful. However, it's written now, and I don't know that the books would be as powerful if he'd done it another way. JMO.
Snow61
184. alreadymadwithblackstones
Looking Glass @175
I'm not saying the Black Tower is using pieces of cuendillar for their wall. Just that the possibility exists and it's best not to underestimate them. As a militant group they are more likely to realize the potential benefits of using it for defense.
Also, the terms True Source and True Power are confusing, and they are meant to be. The Dark One is trying to attract followers. One way he is doing it is by substituting the use of the True Source with its two sides with his own, counterfeit True Power.
James Jones
185. jamesedjones
181 Freelancer
Smooth shot you snuck in there, beware return fire. For the rest, I'll bite.
I think Transformers fans will be ok with it. :P
Roger Powell
186. forkroot
amw@157
I stand corrected. I didn't read Freelancer's post carefully enough and missed that he had saidar making the black cuendillar. For the record, I agree with your correction.

For those pointing out that there were no women participating at the Strike at SG: Point taken, however I would expect that the seals would have been prepared earlier. (You don't wait until you are in a battle to assemble your gun.)

This brings up another point: Given the provisions of the Fateful Concord, no channeling woman would have even knowingly participated in the creation of the seals. This implies that either the seals were made under false pretenses, or that they already existed.

It's quite reasonable to imagine that the seals already existed. Back in the AOL, perhaps a black-white cuendillar disk in the form of the AS logo would be a magical "building-block" - suitable for focusing standing weaves of the True Source (like a ter'angreal does?)

For all we know, LTT may have grabbed 7 of them from a spare parts bin before heading out.
Snow61
187. alreadymadwithseals
forkroot @186
That's an intriguing idea. To a modern day Randlander channeler it's little more than a disk of cuendillar shaped in the symbol of the Aes Sedai. But in the more advanced channeling knowledge of the AoL, who knows what purpose it might have served? Since the making of one obviously is quite intricate and requires much skill, the purpose must be similarly esoteric. They might have used it as a One Power battery, or a capacitor. Something that can absorb and possibly store huge amounts of Power directed at it.
Alice Arneson
188. Wetlandernw
forkroot @186 - For all we know, LTT may have grabbed 7 of them from a spare parts bin before heading out. LOL! Funny, though, that's roughly the conclusion I'd come to when I started thinking about it. Either they were made in preparation before the LPD/Fateful Concord conflict started, or they were something not entirely uncommon that were simply used as a focus.

spare parts bin... ::walks off chuckling::

Oops - I came back... I did a quick scan of TSaSG, and according to that,
One of the plans for ending the war quickly, proposed by Lews Therin, centered around a direct attack on the Bore itself. Seven "focus points" (...) were constructed of cuendillar. A raiding force ...consisting of some twenty thousand soldiers to provide security and a circle of seven female Aes Sedai and six male ... would travel to Shayol Ghul, the one place on earth where what has been called "a thinness in the Pattern" makes the Bore detectable, and there to implant seals held by the focus points which would close up the Bore and shut the Dark One from the world once more.
(And I thought I did run-on sentences! Two great chunks ellipsed out of a single sentence, and it's still huge!) Anyway, that sounds like they were made specifically for the purpose, but it doesn't necessarily sound like it was terribly innovative, so such things might have been regularly constructed as needed to serve as focus points for various projects. As I understand the story, the planning for both LTT's and LPD's proposals proceeded for a while before the stalemate, so it's not impossible that they'd have been made cooperatively for this purpose before things got so hot within Team Light.
T C
189. Freelancer
thewindrose@182

Wow. Someone else still remembers the firestorm forkroot started back on the Spoiler Thread, with his friendly advice on how not to have your comments ignored.


jej@185 (re 180)

I was referring to your parenthetical comment.


forkroot & others

For the record, I agree with amw@157's correction as well. I cannot for the life of me get how I misremembered the scene in CoT where the novices are trying to make cuendillar, and thinking they turned black, when they clearly turn white.

I too believe that the seals had already been made, in advance of the decision by the women to disdain Lews Therin's plan. I do, however, think that they were custom-made for this purpose. As Moiraine explained when the first seal was uncovered at the Eye (which raises my next question in a moment), the physical object itself isn't really the seal.

Edit: I see Wetlandernw@188 has the proof of this


Now, about that first disc. If it was placed at the Eye upon creation, I would really have hoped that Jonai would have seen it there along with the Dragon Banner. Since it is not, speculation is demanded. The items recovered at Someshta's place after Rand consumed the Eye include the Banner, the Horn of Valere, and the seal. It seems reasonable to consider that people with great enough Need, upon finding the Green Man, hand over to his possession items of vast importance that they wish to be safeguarded, and that in these two cases, the Horn and the seal, Someshta chose to place them in the Eye. We don't know.

But back to the seals themselves. I don't have the BBoBA, so I don't know if there is a reference there, but if not we know absolutely nothing of what was done with the seals after the SaSG. They have been revealed in a wide variety of places:

~ The Eye of the World
~ Maradon (Bayle Domon)
~ Seanchan, or Seanchan conquered location (Turak)
~ Stone of Tear
~ Rhuidean
~ Tarabon Panarch's Palace Museum (raises yet another question)
~ Saldaean farm (according to Mazrim Taim)

I find two probabilities. Either someone decided that the seals needed to be dispersed and forgotten, or kept together in the safest place imaginable, but later events separated them. If the first, was that decision made before or after the end of the Age? Since one of them ended up in Rhuidean, then it was surely among the items first packed up for travel under Jonai's leadership. This leads to thinking that perhaps all of them were together up to this point, meaning the second probability gains more weight. If so, did Solinda Sedai and her crew intentionally place one seal with the Eye, in order to "break up the set", while leaving the rest with Jonai? In the generations during which the Aiel travelled before reaching Rhuidean, numerous events happened which could have helped to scatter the seals. At least once, some Aes Sedai met them and took some objects of Power from their wagons. Other times they were raided by men. When those who became the Tuatha'an separate, several wagons have their objects dumped to make room. Without question, the seals were never in the hands of Aes Sedai following the founding of the White Tower. So much for the first oath, and naming the Amyrlin Seat the Watcher of the Seals.

Onto my final question. How do the forsaken know what the seals are? Moghedien finds and "masks" the seal in the Panarch's museum. A reasonable suggestion is that the creation of the seals happened very early on following the opening of the Bore, once the Aes Sedai realized what they had done. All those who turned to the dark one would have been aware of their existence before they were captured in the SaSG.

Discuss.
Alice Arneson
190. Wetlandernw
Re: the final question... Those who went over to the Shadow (including but not limited to the Forsaken) did so at different times throughout the War, and we know that the plan was in the works for a fair time before it was actually executed. It's quite possible that someone who knew about the Seals, or even helped make them, later defected and passed that information on to the rest of Team Dark. Otherwise, the Forsaken would have to pick the brains of whoever seemed useful after they got out, which is also quite plausible.

About the rest, I've wondered... and thought it was really silly to call the Amyrlin "Watcher of the Seals" when she didn't have the faintest clue where they were. :P I think the idea that the Seals were originally with the Aiel wagons is probably the best bet. They traveled "all over the where" before they finally ended up in the Waste, and as you say they kept losing stuff for one reason and another along the way. It seems the most logical explanation.

As to how the first Seal ended up in the Eye... My personal "best guess" would be that someone (either Aes Sedai or a Da'Shain not with the group Solinda sent) found it before so much knowledge was lost. Realizing that they only had one, so probably the others are scattered as well, they would seek for the safest place they could think of to hide it. Someshta, like things in TAR, could be found by Need, so they were able to find him, and they Eye, and deposit it safely there.

That's my theory, anyway. The Horn might well have gotten there the same way - or even at the same time, if it was with the stuff dropped from the Aiel wagons.
Snow61
191. alreadymadwithsealstalk
Wall of text warning
Tracing the journey of the Seals, while vague, need not be that complicated. Granted all of them are found in scattered places but is that really a surprise? LTT and company presumably brought the Seals with them to Shayol Ghul whereupon they all went mad and then started running all over the place causing havoc.
The Eye of The World was a Well of Saidin. Enough of the Power to be tangible and visible, I'm guessing must also have served as a shield of some kind. I don't imagine wading into concentrated Saidin can be good for your health particularly if you're a Power construct yourself. Even if it was purified. So I don't agree with Someshta putting the first Seal in there after the Eye was created. In addition, I doubt Someshta would have known how to unlock the box. The easier solution for me would have been for Solinda and co to have put it in there. After all they were last seen in possession of the Dragon banner. The same Dragon banner found in the box with the Seal. They were also last seen having a male sa'angreal on hand, while expecting a company of so far sane male channelers. AND at the time, they had two of LTT's insane henchmen closing in on their location.
What if Jaric and Haindar between the two of them was carrying a Seal? With a circle of both men and women and a Sa-angreal, Solinda had enough firepower to stop them. And the unexpected spoils of such a victory would have been the hypothetical Seal Jaric and/or Haindar was carrying.
If they had had a Seal on hand prior to the Aiel caravan leaving they would have entrusted it to the Aiel, seeing as the Aiel were supposed to seek a place of safety. This is how one of the Seals ended up at Rhuidean. But the one they would have won from Jaric and Haindar, after the Aiel had departed, the safest place to put that would have been the Eye of the World.
The other Seals would have been carried by others of LTT's company and would have been found by bands of Aes Sedai trying to stop them. That can explain why they are all over the place.
Roger Powell
192. forkroot
It's all a big misunderstanding: The Amyrlin is indeed the "Watcher of the Seals". There's a special pavilion built for her on the shore of the Aryth ocean to watch them. She has just been too busy recently.
Henry Loose
193. schrodinger
why does she watch the seals? is it so she can warn them when an orca gets too close?
Maiane Bakroeva
194. Isilel
Freelancer @181:

But why Narishma? Flinn was the most knowledgeable, the most level-headed and he actually saved Rand's life! He was also already on the farm when Rand first brought Taim, while Narishma was recruited later. IIRC, he is also stronger than Narishma. Is it just ageism on Rand's part?

BTW, while I agree that Rand was consciously trying to fulfill another prophecy, I strongly suspect that it will eventually illustrate Moiraine's stance on the danger of trying to force prophecies into fulfillment. So far it has always worked for Rand, but I will argue that in later books it stopped doing so.

Speaking of the Seals, didn't somebody or other say that the Tower lost track of them during the Trolloc Wars? Until then, the Amyrlin probably knew where most of them were. BTW, I disagree that any were with the Aiel when they left Paaran Disen - IMHO the Rhuidean Seal came with the AS who joined the Jenn. One of them had Fortelling and likely knew that the Seal had to be there.

On another tangent though - did anybody else wonder why Travelling is never brought up or taken into account during the Breaking POVs? I.e. the AS say that the madmen would be there "in a day or 2", when they should have been able to jump in at any time and there is no question of gating the Aiel out.
Also, in the second Jonai episode an AS who knew that Ishy was never wholly imprisoned came across Aiel on foot, took some sa'angreal and left also on foot. Yet she seemed to be an AoLer... and as we have seen with strong enough *angreal, native strengh doesn't matter for Travelling - i.e. Siuan in TGS.
So, did something happen during the Breaking that made Travelling impossible for a time? Maybe something like the Bowl effect, but much stronger? Something that made the more complicated weaves very difficult/dangerous to use?
Henry Loose
195. schrodinger
During the breaking the land was too fractured and unknown for anybody to be able to Travel. No one knew where they were, or where they could go, both essential for traveling.
Sam Mickel
196. Samadai
Isilel,

Maybe because of the earth being in Upheaval, there were instances of traveling into really dangerous situations. (like for example traveling back to your home city just as some crazy male dropped it into the ocean)
Maiane Bakroeva
197. Isilel
Schrodinger @195:

No one knew where they were

And how exactly would it preclude Travelling within line of sight? Or just closing the gateway if something unpleasant is on the other side? No, Travelling would have been so helpful for survival that IMHO forgetting it wouldn't have been feasible. If it became deadly dangerous even to try to learn the weave for a time though - that I could see.

And surely the Sealing and the Breaking should have had a much more global and stronger effect on the OP than the Bowl?

Or, and the Solinda and Co. certainly knew where the 2 madmen were and Paran Disen was still in it's proper place until that moment too. That's almost 70 years into the Breaking, BTW.
Joseph Blaidd
198. SteelBlaidd
Seanie@179
Thanks, but I can't take the Credit. It's an essay I ran across some years ago (about 10) and it has been a frequent reference when discussing Rand's state of mind.

Wet@183
YOur calcs are probabluy more acurate I was some what sleepafide theis morning. There is evidence though that first time mothers go an average of 2 weeks longer though this might be balanced by twins which offten go shorter.

Jej@180
the difference is tha talking to previous lives is a regular aspect of the of the Avatar job as part of his function as a bridge to the spirtit world, and there are SoPs for doing it. Rand is experianceing uncontroled core dumps in an unusual circomstances. In other wors for Aang past life comunication is a feature for Rand it's a bug. A potentialy useful bug but a bug none the less.

Re the Seal construction debate. I'm not sure that the color is perminate, I think it just turns white during the change but afterwards is of whatever color the soruce object was
Linda Taglieri
199. Linda
@197 Couple the uncertainty of the land either at the starting place or the destination with this quote of RJ's from a TOR Question of the Week.

Although no one has shown it so far in the books, there are ways to interfere with the making of a gateway


This was done regularly during the War of Power to disrupt troop deployment and re-supplying.
Tony Zbaraschuk
200. tonyz
ISTR that RJ mentioned in one interview that there were ways to block Travelling in the Age of Legends. I find it entirely plausible that some of those methods were used in defense of various places against crazy male channelers.
Snow61
201. Ellie_Angel
This was the point in my original read where I developed a huge hate-on for Rand (which has not entirely vanished -- I still find him the least compelling of the bunch) and the "oh God, where is this going and when will it end?" plot lines.

I'm still not wild on them, but it's funny how reviewing the series through audiobook while I was off work with my kid puts the time line in perspective. I remember the Aiel Waste being endless, the kidnapped Faile/Shaido storyline stretching for ages (admittedly, that one sort of does), a lot more weevils than there actually were, the bowl of winds taking forever, etc. The plots are actually much tidier than I remembered, though parts still dragged and made me wish for a stronger editorial hand (wardrobe descriptions are incredibly tedious when oral). It's just not irritating enough to outweigh the decent stuff and fuel my hate-on anymore.

That perspective, coupled with years of watching TV week-to-week as opposed to the packaged DVD inhalation, has led me to think that serialized fiction makes fans less tolerant of any deviance in quality. It's a lot easier to shrug off the low points if you've got another season to watch or three books to blow through than it is when you're waiting weeks or years between installments.

(Remember those monster of the week episodes in Season 2 of Buffy? If you're like me, you were all, "GOD! Get back to the storyline that MATTERS already". Now it seems cute.)

This is why I wouldn't watch Lost until it ended and why I still won't read the George R. R. Martin books. Living installment to installment is a young reader's game and I don't have the time anymore.

Great job, as usual, Leigh. I ended up lapping you on my re-read, but I'm still enjoying the retrospective.
Thomas Keith
202. insectoid
Fork @192/Schro @193: BAHAHAhahaha!! Thanks guys, I needed that. ;D

Bzzz™.
James Jones
203. jamesedjones
198 SteelBlaidd

Read my post at 180 again. I'm not saying that the Avatar can be used to show that LTT is real. In fact, I specifically said that no one should do that. I'm saying that my initial impression (which lasted 16 years) that RJ's treatment of Rand and LTT was brilliant, has been lost as other examples appear that show that his efforts were unnecessary and did not add that much value to the story. It's still one of the best stories out there. But the Rand/LTT issue is no longer part of the reason (for me).
Roger Powell
204. forkroot
Ellie_Angel@201
Living installment to installment is a young reader's game and I don't have the time anymore.
Yes ::sighs:: WoT was actually the series that made me swear off unfinished series. That is why I too haven't tackled GRRM.

So now I am in the middle of a big personal debate with myself ... Should I start Brandon's "Way of Kings" series?

Normally, I would not have considered it; however BWS now has close ties to the WoT community where I hang out (obviously) - and we often reference his other stuff while relaxing at the bunker.

I guess I'll make my decision based on whether the volumes stand alone in their own right. For example, I read Modesitt's Recluse series - but typically there will be a couple of volumes that go together; other than that, it's just playing in the same world (forward and backward in time.) So as long as I wait for the matched volumes to all be out, I can enjoy them as a set.
Jay Dauro
205. J.Dauro
Although we call the disc "seals" they are in fact not the actual seal, just the "focus point".

Glossary
Bore, the sealing of:
A plan, proposed by Lews Therin, centered around a direct attack on the Bore itself, to reseal the Bore and cut the Dark One's access to the world. Seven indestructible cuendillar disks, made with the One Power and marked with the seal of the Aes Sedai, were prepared to function as "focus points." ...
The Companions struck quickly and mercilessly, sealing the Bore safely, without ripping open the Dark One's prison as many opponents had feared. Forty-five of the Companions were killed in
the battle, and apparently the warmen took a much higher percentage of casualties. The strike trapped all the attending Forsaken within the sealing, thus removing with one stroke the Shadow's touch and his leadership in this world. With the seals safely placed, the ceundillar disks were carefully hidden.

The Dragon Reborn - Chapter 56 - "The People of the Dragon"
"One of the seven seals Lews Therin Kinslayer and the Hundred Companions put on the Dark One’s prison when they resealed it," Elayne said, nodding as if confirming her own memory.
"More precisely," Moiraine told her, "a focus point for one of the seals. But in essence, you are correct. During the Breaking of the World they were scattered and hidden for safety; since the Trolloc Wars they have been lost in truth." She sniffed. "I begin to sound like Verin."

BBoBA - page 85
In the chaos, the surviving Aes Sedai scattered the seven cuendillar seals that held the Bore. ... Only a few souls knew where they were secreted. Later, during the Trolloc Wars, those who held this knowledge were lost, and with them the location of the seals.

So we do not know if the discs had to be at Shayol Ghul, but since almost nobody made it out alive (LTT did, but was insane), we can probably assume they were not required on site.

During the Breaking they were hidden. Jonai saw some items being prepared for inclusion in The Eye during the Breaking. It would be quite in keeping for one to be hidden at this time in The Eye.

The knowledge was kept for around 1000 years, until the Trolloc Wars. These lasted around 300 years.
Alice Arneson
206. Wetlandernw
SteelBlaidd @198 - I went with a standard 40 weeks. The evidence of averages isn't enough to set a different due date. FWIW, my first was 6 days early. :)

Ellie_Angel @201 - Yup. I find that on my latest reread, especially with the new information and connectivity I've gained from this discussion, those dragging plotlines don't drag nearly so much. In addition, with some idea of resolution coming and impacting the major lines, the minor lines are much more interesting than they used to be. Yeah, we just started watching Lost, now that its done. Best thing is that if you just decide to skip the dragging and the "previously on" stuff, it's easy to do and you can get on with it. :) Personally, I refuse to read GRRM on principle, but that's just me.

J.Dauro @205 - Aaaand .... that's what you get when you actually do your research! Well done.
Hugh Arai
207. HArai
Wetlandernw@206: I thought you decided not to read ASoIaF because of the story and style rather than because it's not finished yet?
Snow61
208. Ellie_Angel
@HArai, I think that's what Wetlandernw _was_ saying.

@Wetlandernw -- Thanks for the tip re: Lost.

@forkroot -- I wonder if/how this trend affects publishers and their willingness to support authors embroiled in long stories? (Tor.com, care to weigh in?)
Hugh Arai
209. HArai
Ellie_Angel@208: Ah. I must have misunderstood. Sleep - it's not just for dead people...
Alice Arneson
210. Wetlandernw
HArai - Ellie's right - I meant the principle of his content, not the principle of waiting until it's finished. :)
Janet Hopkins
211. JanDSedai
Re: Elayne's delivery date

Pregnancy is figured as 40 weeks--from the first day of your last menstrual period. On average, conception occurs on the 14th day. We know from the Timeline that Elayne's DOC (Date of Conception) is Feb. 17. So her due date would be Nov. 10. But as SteelBlaidd pointed out, twins tend to deliver early.

I had another question about the Timeline. Chapter 21 occurs on Jan. 21. In Rand's POV we see:
"The dizziness faded quickly, the twinned sight a little more slowly, as it always did, these last few weeks, and he completed the weave..."
But Rand takes Illian on Jan. 11, and the WOT week is 10 days, so it has only been one week since the "crossing of the beams". Two weeks ago he broke out of the box being shielded by Elaida's agents.

That is why I was at first so sure that the channeling sickness was PTSS. The essay that SleelBlaidd referenced made many of the points that I had. So... will Rand still have the Channeling sickness now that he has integrated Lews Therin? Or is it still linked Moridin? I guess we will RAFO.
Janet Hopkins
212. JanDSedai
Re: Elayne's delivery date

Pregnancy is figured as 40 weeks--from the first day of your last menstrual period. On average, conception occurs on the 14th day. We know from the Timeline that Elayne's DOC (Date of Conception) is Feb. 17. So her due date would be Nov. 10. But as SteelBlaidd pointed out, twins tend to deliver early.

I had another question about the Timeline. Chapter 21 occurs on Jan. 21. In Rand's POV we see:
"The dizziness faded quickly, the twinned sight a little more slowly, as it always did, these last few weeks, and he completed the weave..."
But Rand takes Illian on Jan. 11, and the WOT week is 10 days, so it has only been one week since the "crossing of the beams". Two weeks ago he broke out of the box being shielded by Elaida's agents.

That is why I was at first so sure that the channeling sickness was PTSS. The essay that SteelBlaidd referenced made many of the points that I had. So... will Rand still have the Channeling sickness now that he has integrated Lews Therin? Or is it still linked Moridin? I guess we will RAFO.
Snow61
213. alreadymadwithfocalpoints
And we are trusting the BBoBA? As well as an Aes Sedai several generations after the fact? We know how well the Aes Sedai twist the truth after several generations. I'll grant that the Aes Sedai of the Post Breaking era probably knew where the Seals were. That is, scattered cells of them knew where one or another was. But not the unified White Tower Aes Sedai. Otherwise, where else would they consider the "focal points" safe but in their own stronghold at Tar Valon?
Alice Arneson
214. Wetlandernw
You're right - I was counting from conception, so I should only have gone 38 weeks.
Snow61
215. alreadymadwithfocalpoints
And we are trusting the BBoBA? As well as an Aes Sedai several generations after the fact? We know how well the Aes Sedai twist the truth after several generations. I'll grant that the Aes Sedai of the Post Breaking era probably knew where the Seals were. That is, scattered cells of them knew where one or another was. But not the unified White Tower Aes Sedai. Otherwise, where else would they consider the "focal points" safe but in their own stronghold at Tar Valon?
T C
216. Freelancer
JanDSedai@212

I won a bet with a doctor who used your calculation to determine a due date. He asked when her last period started, she told him, and he declared a due date of March 18th. I didn't care about dating from her period. I knew when I'd come home from a sixth month deployment (I didn't tell him that), and from that the due date would be March 11th. He told me I was wrong.

He paid up.


As far as WoT is concerned, does it matter precisely when Elayne gives birth? We don't hear much about calendar-type references.
T C
217. Freelancer
amw@215

See, that's a point I've made in the past about this subject (last time was on WoTMania, and they tended to get snotty with anyone who questioned the home wisdom). Aes Sedai just wouldn't scatter the seals to keep them safe. Besides, they're cuendillar, and the CW about that stuff is that it is indestructable.

Why the two orders? The seals shouldn't have been in any danger at all, should they? If the cuendillar couldn't be harmed, then why did they have to be dispersed?

I want answers.
Jay Dauro
218. J.Dauro
Actually, if the seals were hidden during the Breaking, there was no physical White Tower, and no Unified Aes Sedai. The "White Tower" as an organization was not codified until around 100 AB, and the actual Tower was not completed until around 200 AB. Yes, all of this does come from the BBoBA.

The Glossary does say they were hidden, and implies that they did not wait long.

Moiraine is not always accurate about history, she usually is stating the Public Aes Sedai line. But as Amyrlin and Watcher of the Seals, Siuan would probably know any secret Aes Sedai knowledge of the Seals. She is not surprised that a Seal was found in the Eye, at least not the kind of surprised like "I thought that was in the Kitchen cabinet!"

I assume that the seals were hidden not to prevent them from being broken, but to prevent them from being undone. That is, if the DO allies have the physical focus points, they may be able to change / remove the seal. But we probably will never know for sure.
Rob Munnelly
219. RobMRobM
Wet @206 - as I've noted before re GRRM, don't hesistate to dive into the three Dunk and Egg novellas. Find them in Silverberg's Legends I and II collections, and the recent Dozois/Martin Warriors collection. All the GRRM quality and wry humor with minimal sex and brutality. Rob
Snow61
220. alreadymadwithmoreseals
J.Dauro @218
Siuan would not know where the Seals were. No modern Aes Sedai knows. That was one of the reasons Nesune, a Brown, was sent with Elaida's embassy to Rand. So she could hunt for clues in the next most extensive library in the Westlands. Because they couldn't find any in Tar Valon's own library. And since when did an Aes Sedai value the trait of easily showing surprise anyway?

I'll stand by my theory. LTT's war party took the Seals with them and the survivors carried them on their persons when they went mad and scattered. Only to be recovered as they were stopped by random groups of females.
Marcus W
221. toryx
Regarding the Seals:

I've always assumed that the Seals were intentionally scattered due to one of the last true AS Foretellings. They probably knew that the Seals had to be scattered throughout the world to protect them, just as they knew that the DO would not be bound for all time and that the Dragon would be Reborn.

It's also altogether possible that at one time there'd been a way for someone to keep an eye on the Seals and that was a secret entrusted to the leader of the Aes Sedai who remained, later to be named Amyrlin, watcher of the Seals. It stands to reason that whatever method of observing them from a distance may well have been lost in the years that passed.

As far as the Black and White of the seals, I doubt that the color is based on the sex of the channeler. All descriptions of objects made by Heartstone are the same: white. But the Seals are far more than simply Cuendillar and there's nothing that states that the seals weren't simply designed with the symbol of the Aes Sedai (black and white) intentionally. It certainly does an effective job of demonstrating who the seals belong to, particularly when most people who cannot channel wouldn't have a clue of their purpose.
Chris Chaplain
223. chaplainchris1
@154 forkroot - good comments all. I agree that the crossed-balefire-streams seems to have been unintentional and to be having negative effects on Moridin as on Rand. (I wonder if they'd still be dizzy if Moridin swore off the TP and started using the OP again?)

I'm not sure it follows, though, that the DO didn't mean to tempt Rand to use the TP. Tempting the Dragon to cross sides has always been at the top of the Shadow's wish list, supposedly.

Either way, I agree with you that TP-use will still have consequences for Rand, and really hope thematically that he won't touch it again, not even for sealing the Bore.

As for what else Rand might have done to escape Semirhage and avoid killing Min - nothing. Though it need not have been the end, since Aviendha was bound to Rand and close enough to intervene. She feels guilty for not realizing fast enough that something was wrong, but she *did* realize it and spread the alarm. So she and the rest of Rand's retinue (including Cadsuane, Alivia, Nynaeve, and the other AS, Asha'man, and WOs) might well have rescued Rand, or been able (via Travelling and the Bond) to follow to Shayol Ghul if need be.

This, of course, would all have been disastrous - especially at Shayol Ghul, where the DO/Shaidar Haran/Moridin/who knows what else could have intervened. Many of Rand's retinue might have died, maybe all - some at Rand's Semirhage-controlled hands. But the point is, there still would have been hope.

Though no rescue would have been in time to save Min, and her death would be beyond disastrous - first for the effect on Rand, and not least b/c she still has to figure out/tell Rand how to seal the Bore.
Chris Chaplain
224. chaplainchris1
Incidentally, I'd not realized (pre-TGS) and am now disturbed by the notion that Rand finds the TP as addictive as the male sa'angreal that can break the world. If the rush of one is so close to the rush of the other, it says something about how much power one can tap by channeling the TP. It would imply that the advantages of TP use are not just not avoinding being sensed wielding the One Power, or even busting up cuendillar. It would imply that a TP user is seriously jacked up, like a OP user with a serious sa'angreal. That makes some sense - the Bore *was* drilled by folks looking for a new power source - but I hadn't realized it. I'm still not sure it's true, given Rand's 3 battles with Ishamael in the first three books. Of course, in one of those Rand used the Eye of the World, in another he wielded Callandor, and in the other he was somehow tied into the fight with the Heroes of the Horn. So arguably he was augmented in all three battles?
Bonnie Andrews
225. misfortuona
Just felt the need to **TWITCH**

Mis-wishing and hoping
Roger Powell
226. forkroot
chaplainchris@224
Good points about the TP. I'm supposed to be at work here, :: looks around furtively :: so I don't have time to chase the references, but it seems to me that other references to the TP have refered to it as being very addictive.

Even before Moridin was named Nae'blis, the other Forsaken avoided using the TP because of the side-effects (saa) and danger of growing addicted.

If drawing the TP makes you more powerful than the OP, wouldn't Rahvin have used it when dueling Rand at the end of TFoH? Presumably it was available to him.
James Hogan
227. Sonofthunder
Another *twitch* here. It's the end of my lunch break and alas! It looks like I'll have to wait for my fix. Can't...take...it..

EDIT: And I take that back. Post up!! *capers*
Theresa Gray
228. Terez27
Brandon clarified the issue; Rand wasn't holding any more Power than normal when he used the True Power:

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Borders, Washington DC 4 November 2009 - mrc1ark reporting

On the subject of the Choedan Kal, Brandon said that the True Power was not as strong as someone with the Choedan Kal. Just it felt as tempting and as addictive as the One Power through the Choedan Kal.
Snow61
229. Granten
What's your take on the tactics shown so far? I've seen more than a few people comment that Jordan's military background showed in this series but for the life of me I can't say I've seen a great deal of sound tactics (especially in this book).
Snow61
230. BloodyAsha’man
I'm not sure if anyone else is catching up with this reread like I am (so, therefore, I am not sure who will see this), but I'll go ahead and post.

I believe the comparison of the Asha'men and the Nazis (especially the SS) are aptly drawn. In fact, I believe this was quite intentional on Mr Jordan's part, with the black coats and the rank and their demeanor and all.

However, as was pointed out in a couple of other posts, the Nazi comparison is meant to be made to Taim's Asha'men, specifically. Taim created the leadership structure and named the ranks (at least, the Nazi-esque ones -- the ones created by Rand don't inspire SS visions). Taim is also creepily similar the Fuhrer.

It has seemed clear to me for awhile -- at least since Logain joined the Black Tower (but hinted at since the BT's inception) that there are two groups of Asha'man -- Taim's darksiders and Logain's lightsiders. I anticipate a battle royal between darkside and lightside Asha'men, led by Taim and Logain, respectively. I'm also thinking that this is where Logain achieves the glory that Min has foreseen.

Just my late-day, catching-up thoughts
Alice Arneson
231. Wetlandernw
BloodyAsha’man @230 - FWIW, I agree. Or possibly, I hope that's the way it plays out. :)
Joe Walters
232. josepph
so i guess i am a little late for the party as i just found this whole reread thing a couple of months ago and therefore probably no one will be reading this post of mine or replying to it, but am i the only person that seems to think the statue with the crown of daggers and the remains of a sword in her hand would be the statue of liberty a la planet of the apes?
Alice Arneson
233. Wetlandernw
josepph - I think the time differential is too much. We don't know exactly what "our" age is supposed to be, but to be the SoL, it would be at least seven thousand years old. Bashere had an educated guess as to her origin, and I think he's probably correct. Anything as old as the SoL would be crumbled to nothing - if not by time, then by the effects of the Breaking. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if it was meant to evoke exactly that image.

And... Welcome! If you've gotten this far in a couple of months, you'll be caught up soon.
Kartik Nagar
234. BloodRaven
First time WOT reader here, I am confused about what happened to the super-massive army of Aiel, Cairheinin, Tairens, etc. that was assembled against Illian on the Plains of Maredo. This army was so built up from TFoH onwards, and I think its purpose was to lure Sammael out of Illian (the City, that is), then attack the City itself and wait for Sammael to return (which is what happened in ACoS). There is mention of some army being disintegrated into small pieces and sent in different directions to deal with bandits and such. Is this our super-massive army, and what about the Aiel in it, they are not even mentioned here.

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