Jun 22 2010 2:16pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 17

Hi! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 27 of The Path of Daggers! Which is really long! And also full of injury! And I don’t like it! So I’m trying to be Cheerful! With Exclamation Marks! But I think I am only succeeding in being Obnoxious!

Well, that’s okay. If I have to suffer SO DO YOU. Mwahahaha.

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 that’s it! Read on! Yaah!


Chapter 27: The Bargain

What Happens
Min sits in Rand’s rooms at the Sun Palace and tries to concentrate on Herid Fel’s Reason and Unreason, which she hopes reading will help her find the reason for his murder, but is distracted by her irritation at the still-absent Rand, as well as worries that either Sorilea or Cadsuane would come in. Sorilea has been grilling her about Rand (to the point of switching her for being recalcitrant), and seems to be trying to decide if Min is “fit” to be Rand’s lover or not; Cadsuane hasn’t done anything to her as of yet, but Min is fearful that she will suddenly decide to, and also over the inevitable confrontation between her and Rand. Rand walks in, and Min thinks to herself of how beautiful he is, but only puts down her book and glares at him.

For a moment he stood smiling at her, and tugging his ear-lobe for some reason—he seemed to be humming!—then abruptly he swung round to frown at the doors. “The Maidens out there didn’t tell me you were in here. They hardly said a word at all. Light, they looked ready to veil at the sight of me.”

“Maybe they are upset,” she said calmly. “Maybe they wondered where you were. The way I did. Maybe they wondered whether you were hurt, or sick, or cold.” The way I did, she thought bitterly. The man looked confused!

He points out that he wrote to her, and she fires back that he only wrote twice, and neither one even deserves to be called a letter. He staggers (Min is not sure why), and then lifts her up with the Power and floats her over to him, smiling, and kisses her. She gets her breath back and informs him that a note saying “I have claimed the crown of Illian. Trust no one until I return. Rand” is a little terse for a love letter. He kisses her again, and she takes a bit longer to regroup and try to twit him about the second note (“I will return when I finish here. Trust no one. Rand”) which Jonan Adley had walked in on her bath to deliver. Rand sets her down and bleakly says Adley is dead, and he, Rand, killed him. Min decides the bed is a very good idea, then, and is about to drag him there when they are interrupted by Dobraine. Dobraine bows to Rand and greets Min as “My Lady Ta’veren” (referring to the number of noblewomen in the city who have adopted Min’s mode of dress), which amuses Rand momentarily. Rand asks for the news, and Dobraine tells him that he has acted on all of Rand’s letters; this angers Min, who bets Dobraine got more than two one-line notes.  Dobraine tells Rand that Toram Riatin has vanished, but not before Daved Hanlon and Jeraal Mordeth aka Padan Fain deserted him; Toram’s sister Ailil is settled in apartments staffed by “trustworthy” servants, as are Bertome, Weiramon, and Anaiyella. He asks, why bring the latter two?

“How do you know when a woman wants to kill you?” Rand mused.

“When she knows your name?” Dobraine did not sound as if he were joking. Rand tilted his head thoughtfully, then nodded. Nodded! [Min] hoped he was not still hearing voices.

Rand tells Dobraine that he’d thought he could use Weiramon, but he is “a fool who makes too many mistakes”, so better to just keep him nearby. Dobraine nods, and continues that Lady Caraline and High Lord Darlin are guests of Cadsuane Sedai in the city—or perhaps not guests exactly, as he’s heard they tried to leave the City and were brought back “like sacks”, or maybe literally in one. Rand asks Min what she thinks he should do about Caraline and Darlin; Min answers that it’s not a viewing, but she believes that Caraline will support Elayne for the Sun Throne.

“As for Darlin, aside from the fact that he’ll marry Caraline, after she’s wrung him out and hung him up to dry, all I can say is that one day he’ll be a king. I saw the crown on his head, a thing with a sword on the front of it, but I don’t know what country it belongs to. And, oh, yes. He’ll die in bed, and she will survive him.”

Dobraine choked on his wine, spluttering and dabbing at his lips with a plain linen handkerchief. Most of those who knew did not believe.

They are interrupted by Merana and Rafela, who curtsy deeply to Rand, and approach at his gesture; Min notices Rafela finger her shawl, and thinks sympathetically that their situation could not be easy for them. Merana has come to give Rand the results of the Bargain with the Atha’an Miere: Harine din Togara Two Winds agrees that the Dragon Reborn will have ships as needed, when and where he wants them; in return, she and Rafela promised on his behalf that, first, Rand will not change any of the Sea Folk’s laws as he has done among “the shorebound”; Rand mutters he can live with that. Second, the Sea Folk will be granted one square mile of sovereign land at every city near navigable water Rand controls or will control; Dobraine is incensed at this, claiming they will ruin every port city in a year (Min privately agrees), but Rand points out calmly that it wasn’t specified where that land has to be, not even whether it is on water or not, and the Sea Folk will still be subject to the city’s laws (and taxes) anytime they take their goods out of their compound. Min wonders where he had learned all that. Rand asks what else, and Merana tells him that thirdly, he agrees to keep an ambassador (in this case, Harine) and her retinue with him at all times. Rand leaps from his chair, but Rafela hurriedly finishes that fourthly, he agrees to go “promptly” to the Mistress of the Ships when summoned, but “not more than twice in any three consecutive years”. Enraged, Rand shouts at them that the Seanchan and Forsaken are out there, and they have him obeying summonses! Why didn’t they agree he would “caulk their hulls” while they were at it! Rafela looks about to faint, but Merana draws herself up and snaps back that Rand had had the Sea Folk dancing to his tune as a ta’veren, and could have had them all kneeling to him, but then he left, and the Sea Folk shielded Merana and Rafela and threatened to hang them in the rigging by their toes until they “came to their senses”.

“Feel lucky that you have the ships you want, Rand al’Thor. Harine would have given you a handful! Feel lucky she didn’t want your new boots and that ghastly throne of yours as well! Oh, by the by, she formally acknowledged you as the Coramoor, may you get a bellyache from it!”

Min stared at her. Rand and Dobraine stared at her, and the Cairhienin’s jaw hung open. Rafela stared, her mouth working soundlessly. For that matter, the fire faded from Merana’s eyes, and they slowly grew wider and wider as if she were just hearing what she had said.

The Dragon Scepter trembled in Rand’s fist. Min had seen his fury swell near to bursting for far less. She prayed for a way to avoid the explosion, and could not see one.

“It seems,” he said finally, “that the words a ta’veren drags out aren’t always the words he wants to hear.” He sounded… calm; Min was not about to think, sane. “You’ve done well, Merana. I handed you a dog’s dinner, but you and Rafela have done well.”

Min thinks the two Aes Sedai might faint in relief, and Rafela says that they at least managed to keep the details from Cadsuane; Merana adds that Cadsuane had waylaid them on the way here trying to get those details. Rand frowns, and tells Min to tell the Maidens to send a message to Cadsuane that she is to attend the Dragon Reborn “in all haste”. Min tries to opine that this is a bad idea, but Rand is firm, and Min reluctantly obeys; Dobraine, Merana and Rafela all abruptly decide to be elsewhere. In the hall, Min is puzzled to see that the entire corridor is filled with Maidens, all intently watching a few playing “Knife, Paper, Stone”; two Maidens trot off to deliver the message when Min gives it, but they otherwise ignore her, which is also strange. Rand is in the bedroom when she goes back in, which distracts her, but then he asks what Cadsuane could possibly have to teach him. Min corrects that it is all the Asha’man, not just Rand, and all of them have to learn it, whatever it is. She adds that he needs Cadsuane, and cannot afford to make her angry.

A far-off look came into Rand’s eyes, and after a moment, he shook his head. “Why should I listen to a madman?” he muttered almost under his breath. Light, did he really believe Lews Therin Telamon spoke in his head? “Let someone know you need them, Min, and they have a hold on you. A leash, to pull you where they want. I won’t put a halter on my own neck for any Aes Sedai. Not for anyone!”

He says he only needs Min, which is signal enough for the both of them, and he is starting to take off his shirt when three Maidens (Somara, Nesair, and Nandera) enter. Somara tangles him in the shirt and kicks him between the legs, and Nesair begins punching him on the right side. Min screams for help, draws her knives, and goes to attack, but Nandera kicks her in the stomach hard enough to flip her onto her back, and Min is stunned into immobility. She watches as the Maidens pummel Rand, and realizes that they are all being very careful not to strike on his left side, where the unHealable wounds are. Eventually Rand crumples under the onslaught, and the Maidens let him down.

Nesair bent to catch a fistful of his hair and jerk his head up. “We won the right for this,” she growled, “but every Maiden wanted to lay her hands on you. I left my clan for you, Rand al’Thor. I will not have you spit on me!”

Somara moved a hand as if to smooth hair out of his face, then snatched it back. “This is how we treat a first-brother who dishonors us, Rand al’Thor,” she said firmly. “The first time. The next, we will use straps.”

Nandera stood over Rand with fist planted on her hips and a face of stone. “You carry the honor of Far Dareis Mai, son of a Maiden,” she said grimly. “You promised to call us to dance the spears for you, and then you ran to battle and left us behind. You will not do this again.”

They leave, and Min gasps that they must be crazy, and is all for going to Rhuarc or Sorilea, but Rand tells her to leave it; they have earned the right. Min thinks he’s an idiot, but recognizes he won’t be budged, and lies beside him on the bed to hold him. They are interrupted by Daigian, who snarks that she could come back later if this is a bad time; Rand criticizes her manners lazily, but Min can feel how tense he is. Daigian tells him coolly that Cadsuane received his request, but she very much wants to finish the needlepoint she’s working on, and says perhaps another day she can see him, if she has time. She sniffs and leaves, and Rand shouts after her to tell Cadusane she can “go to the Pit of Doom”. Min sighs that it won’t do, as he needs Cadsuane, but Rand is not so sure, and his voice is dangerous.

Rand dresses carefully, ignoring his bruises from the Maidens’ beating, and seizes saidin alone so no one will see him stagger, especially Min. In the anteroom, Min initially insists on going along, but when he refuses, suddenly drops it and goes back to her book, ignoring him; Rand is relieved, but also a little irked. There are six Maidens outside along with the Asha’man; the Maidens stare at him flatly, and he orders Narishma to stand guard on his apartments, though he doesn’t really think the Maidens would do anything to Min. Narishma salutes, still looking accusing.

Light, he had told Narishma everything about the traps he had woven in the Stone when he sent the man to fetch Callandor. The man was imagining things. Burn him, but that had been a mad risk to take.

Only madmen never trust. Lews Therin sounded amused. And quite mad. The wounds in Rand’s side throbbed; they seemed to resonate with each other in distant pain.

He commands the Maidens to bring him to Cadsuane, and Nandera leads him, Dashiva, Flinn, Hopwil and Morr off without a word. On the way, he gives the men their instructions; Flinn tries to protest, but Rand sets him down. Nandera brings them to the right door and leaves, again without speaking, and Rand wonders if the lack of Maidens guarding him is another sign of their displeasure, or if they think the Asha’man are sufficient. Dashiva flings the doors open with the Power and announces Rand with full titles, saying he is here to see “the woman” Cadsuane Melaidhrin; he’s using a weave Rand doesn’t recognize, that makes the air “hum with menace”. He tells Cadsuane, who is sitting with her embroidery spread out before her, that he sent for her; Lews Therin wails and flees at the sight of her. Cadsuane remarks that she would have at least expected thunder and trumpets, and hopes one of them is going to juggle, or eat fire. Flinn laughs, but Dashiva smiles unpleasantly and the “menace” weave increases. Rand decides this approach isn’t going to work, and kicks out the Asha’man. He puts on a show of channeling excessively to get himself a chair and tea in an effort to appear crazy, but Cadsuane only comments that the Laurel Crown is very pretty, but she’s not likely to be impressed by it, as she has “paddled the bottoms” of five reigning monarchs in her day. Rand ripostes by observing that most Aes Sedai he doesn’t actually hold prisoner tend to avoid the Sun Palace.

“The Aiel seem to think I should come and go as I please,” she said absently, eyeing the hoop in her hand as if thinking of taking up her needle again. “A matter of some trifling help I gave some boy or other. Though why anyone but his mother should think him worth it, I can hardly say.”

Rand made another effort not to grind his teeth. The woman had saved his life. Her and Damer Flinn between them, and plenty of others in the bargain, Min among them. But he still owed Cadsuane something for that. Burn her. “I want you to be my advisor. I’m King of Illian now, and kings have Aes Sedai advisors.”

Cadsuane refuses, saying she’s not interested in watching her charge make a mess of things, nor in taking orders, and suggests Alanna as an alternative, which makes Rand go alert; he wonders if she knows about the bond, but lets it go for now. He can’t make himself say he needs her, but asks, what if she didn’t have to take any oaths? Cadsuane is doubtful. She observes that he seems… uneasy; she doesn’t like to say “afraid”, of course. She says she can make him some promises: she expects him to listen, but won’t make him do what she wants. She will not tolerate lying, but doesn’t expect to learn “the deepest yearnings of [his] heart”, either.

“Oh, yes. Whatever I do, it will be for your own good; not mine, not the good of the White Tower, yours. Now, does that ease your fears? Pardon me. Your unease.”

Wondering whether he was supposed to laugh, Rand stared at her. “Do they teach you how to do that?” he demanded. “Make a promise sound a threat, I mean.”

“Oh, I see. You want rules. Most boys do, whatever they say.”

She continues: he will be civil to her, her friends, and guests, which includes not channeling at them as well as not unleashing his “memorable” temper at them. She adds that this includes the other Asha’man, as she would hate to have to spank him for something they did. Rand tells her that he is the one who is supposed to go crazy, but he thinks she already is. He goes to leave, and she remarks that she hopes he hasn’t tried to use Callandor, as he might “escape” once, but not twice. He stops short, and asks what she means. She comments that very few people know exactly what Callandor is, but she went digging once she suspected Rand might have been born. He demands again to know what she meant, and she answers that if he wants her help again, he’ll have to ask politely, and also apologize.

“What do 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 for you to use The Sword That Is Not a Sword, the only way to use it without the risk of killing yourself, or trying to do the Light alone knows what insanity, is linked with two women, and one of them guiding the flows.”

Rand thinks to himself that he had killed Adley the moment he sent Narishma, then, and strides off; Cadsuane calls out to remind him he must ask nicely, and apologize, if he wants her help.

He had hoped to use Callandor again, hoped it would be strong enough. Now only one chance remained, and it terrified him. He seemed to hear another woman’s voice, a dead woman’s voice. You could challenge the Creator.

Wow, so this chapter was a big long bag of mostly crap things happening.

The one exception, perhaps, was Merana mouthing off to Rand. I loved this moment, not only because she was totally right, but because of the way Rand responded to it, which shows one of the more admirable facets of his character. He has a terrible temper these days, yes, and playing footsie with Crazy to boot, which isn’t helping, but it’s pretty consistently shown that what infuriates him more than anything else is dishonesty.

Even if Merana never would have said all that without being ta’verened first, Rand knows it to be utterly honest, and honors that by not punishing it, and returning it in kind. This is an ongoing theme of Jordan’s which I’ve noted several times before, of the rarity of honesty, and the often immediate rewards on the occasions it occurs.

It’s especially big of Rand considering the fact that even if that bargain was the best Merana and Rafela could do under the circumstances, nevertheless it still completely blows. Not least because it means we’ll all have to put up with Harine getting up in Rand’s bidness for six thousand years. Blargh. Frickin’ Sea Folk and their frickin’ bargains, grousity grumble.

The Maidens: So, before this re-read there were basically three things I remembered distinctly from TPOD: Rand going haywire with Callandor during the Seanchan campaign, the attack at the end of the book (which we’ll get to)—and Rand getting the shit beaten out of him by the Maidens. All three memories were enough to convince me that I really really did not like this book, but this chapter is by far the frontrunner for that dubious honor. By a landslide.

I think my initial reaction to this episode might best be described as “livid.” Mostly because I was like, REALLY, Maidens? You pick NOW to beat the snot out of him? Oh, yes, please, let’s beat up the savior of the world ten minutes before game time, metaphorically speaking! A pack of goddamn geniuses, that’s what you are!

On this reading, my indignation at the whole thing initially remained intact, but for slightly different reasons. I made reference to this back in LOC, when I explained why I didn’t have a problem with the corporal punishment Egwene received from the Wise Ones to meet her toh.

Which is, simply because she consented to it. The punishment was explained to her beforehand, she understood what it meant, she had the option to refuse, and she chose to accept it. The end, easy peasy.

In contrast, what the Maidens did here, though I have no doubt it was in accordance with ji’e’toh just as much as Egwene’s thing in LOC, infuriated me because Rand was never given the option to refuse it. Indeed, he was never even given the courtesy of an explanation for it—until after it was over. And just because Mr. Neuroses List Guy over there thinks he deserves it anyway doesn’t mean it’s so.

…Of course, I said all this, and then I was trying to think of an alternate way that the Maidens could have adequately expressed their frustration with Rand—the reasons for which, by the way, I completely understand and fully agree with—and I… couldn’t really think of one.

Well, crap.

The problem is, I’m essentially objecting to Rand being inadvertently included in the Aiel justice system without understanding it, but from the Maidens’ point of view, what other system is there around for them to use, to demand redress for their dishonor? The treekillers’ system? Not no but Hale No.

So… is the position I’ve talked myself around to holding, here, is that I actually agree with Rand, that the Maidens had the right? But—but—beating—no consent! Bad! And yet… Agh.

Man, I hate it when I logic myself into an ethical corner. You suck, Logic!

Okay, so, maybe I can’t totally object to it. But that does not stop me from REALLY REALLY not liking it. So There.

Speaking of things I really really don’t like, let’s move on to Ms. Cadsuane “I’m Going To Phrase My Otherwise True Comments In The Most Offensive Manner Possible At All Times” Melaidhrin, shall we? All of the above about honesty notwithstanding, there is really is such a thing as too much of it, if you ask me, and Cadsuane is the living embodiment of that observation.

Seriously, I am in awe of how much I would never in a million years consent to be near this woman if I were Rand. Be my advisor? NOT A CHANCE, BUCKO. I guess this makes him a better person than me—or at least much more willing to take punishment for a cause.

(More than one kind! In this chapter alone! Sheesh!)

Aaand I can’t deal with talking about Cadsuane anymore for now, so we’ll leave her until I have to come back to her.

Other notes:

Callandor: I seem to recall a lot of people called the “flaw” thing a lousy retcon on Jordan’s part. I’ve never really understood this claim, because Cadsuane’s information perfectly fits what happened with the thing, both in this book and when Rand used it in Tear, cackling re: Now I Am Invincible! while trying to resurrect dead people. You know, like you do.

Not to mention, if it was a retcon, it’s one that’s been in place since Rand’s trip through the Wayback Ter’angreal in TSR, because that whole scene with Solinde and Jonai in Paaren Disen, and the line about “the sword will have to wait,” is clearly a direct reference to Cads’ info here; obviously Solinde et al never did get back to the Sword That Ain’t. Ergo, flaw. Ta da! Can you call it a retcon if it was set up four books in advance, really?

Flinn: There’s a strong implication in this chapter I didn’t notice before that Flinn actually really likes Cadsuane; he seems to get a kick out of her, which is… bizarre. Kind of cool, in that it beats being afraid of her, I suppose, but… erm. Your Mileage Obviously Varies, Dude.

“My Lady Ta’veren”: Dobraine’s a cool guy, but he obviously doesn’t really get how fashion fads work at all. Or how ta’veren works, one of the two. Oh well.

And that’s all there is, there ain’t no more! At least not until Friday, gurlz and boiz. See you thenzors!

1. bigdtv71
yeah new read thanks leigh
Matias Miguez
2. meiyas
new post, and a victory for Uruguay! great day!
Tricia Irish
3. Tektonica
Wheeeeee! New post! Yeah Leigh...think I'll go read!
Marcus W
4. toryx
Leigh wrote:

The one exception, perhaps, was Merana mouthing off to Rand. I loved this moment, not only because she was totally right, but because of the way Rand responded to it, which shows one of the more admirable facets of his character.

My thought exactly. Everything else was like being bitten by ants but that particular part of the chapter was really good.

Cadsuane: Not...going...to...go...there. Argh!

I tend to lean toward the Maidens being right to do it because, basically, Rand treats them like trash. I just wish he would freaking get the point, whether he agrees with it or not. And he never does. There are times I want to beat the crap out of him for treating women the way he does too so I can't help but be on their side.
Lannis .
5. Lannis
Rand sets her down and bleakly says Adley is dead, and he, Rand, killed him. Min decides the bed is a very good idea, then...

Ah, Min... nothing like psychological patterns to give a character, erm, a sense of character.

Oh, look! Merana has a spine! Well, for a moment at least.

The ambush from the Maidens... if there's one thing about the Aiel... erm. Wait. Okay, I have to say there's a few things about the Aiel I "get" but don't "get" if you can follow that. Consistency in their culture? I suppose so... can I just say I'm glad I'm not Aiel? Okay. Good. Because frankly, I dunno... (and welcome to convolution central, folks.)

Thanks again, Leigh!
6. parabola
::satisfied hum, a'la Douglas Adams' sentient doors::

Thank you for the new recap and commentary!
I'm wholly on board with you in being rubbed the wrong way by Cadsuane.
7. Adriansedai
Yay, another re-read!! Thanks Leigh, we love you :)

As far as this book goes in general, I remember at the time getting annoyed at how much padding there was. I just wanted him to finish the damned series already!!

Saying that, I am firmly on the side of loving Cadsuane. I never got irritated with her, I was too busy being irritated with Rand. Every scene with her was a delight amidst a long tedious period of Randness. I suppose I'm a sucker for a good female character as in rereads of my own I tended to flick past Rand as mostly depressing filler chapters that didn't advance the plot and concentrated more on Mat and the supergirls. The only bits I really read for pleasure were the bits where Cads was puncturing Rands pomposity and messiah complex. Okay Rand IS the messiah, but I've never been able to identify with his POV and just felt he needed a good slap sometimes.
Roger Powell
8. forkroot
Once you get past all the "phaw"s, the fact of the matter is that Cadsuane is one of the most knowledgeable living Aes Sedai. Plus she's not on the Tower's strings. A calm, rational Rand would appreciate the fact that she'd have a lot to offer as an "advisor" and overlook the mannerisms and so forth.

He's fortunate to have Min's viewings, to substitute for his own lack of objectivity about Cadsuane. It's a damn good thing that he does come around on the "advisor" bit. I know there's a lot of Cadsuane haters, but it's pretty clear (at least to me) that without her he would have failed at the cleansing, and hence probably failed overall.
Tricia Irish
9. Tektonica
Thank you Leigh and you are so lucky you can just leave it now. I fear another post thread dealing with SWMNBN starts now. Ug. Double Ug. I just can't do all those arguments again.

Can we talk about baking or something non-controversial?

I did like Merana here. Honesty is always the best policy at our house!

I'm doing my own reread and am in Book 5, FoH. I'm reading more slowly and really searching in Rand's character arc this time through. I'm finding myself much more sympathetic to his predicament, no doubt stemming from revelations in tGS. I really feel for this guy. He is juggling as fast as he can and he's so young and has come so far so fast.....no wonder his head is swimming and he does some dumb things.

I'm just so glad Min has finally become an anchor for him. He trusts her and he can be "real" around her more and more. Yeah Min!
Kurt Lorey
10. Shimrod
Perhaps so many don't like Cadsuane because there is some "resentment against authority" thing going on (in the reader's mind) which is all the more infuriating because that authority is right most of the time?

I think RJ used the Cadsuane character to push buttons (those of Rand, and those of a lot of readers) to create character conflict and development, and to draw readers more deeply into the story.

From where I sit, seems like he succeeded very well on both counts.
Heidi Byrd
11. sweetlilflower
I, too, have always enjoyed the payoff characters receive from honesty.

Cads: I would like her a lot more if she would hold herself to the same stringent rules she expects everyone else to follow. I appreciate her honesty and her knowledge; but I cannot get behind a character who is soooooooooo rude to almost every person around her (except some of the WOs) while expecting others to treat her, her friends, and her guests with respect! Yes, she would make a good advisor b/c of her knowledge, but how could ANYONE put up with her long enough to receive that wisdom?

edit: to add that I never had a problem with the Maidens beating up Rand. He needs to be reminded that people need to be treated as people not things. If that makes sense?
Jason Deshaies
12. darxbane
I'm not sure if Flinn's reaction to Cadsuane is like so much as it is respect. I think he laughed because he knew their little plan would have no affect on her.

Rand got what was coming to him. How many times did they explain their position to him? They even went so far as to threaten to break all their spears and die if he didn't accept them. It's OK to admit he deserved a good ass-kicking, Leigh. We won't think any less of you.

By the way, does this scene not prove that Agishiva'Nar is the most pathetic Forsaken ever? Talk about your "all theory no practice" stereotypes.
Noneo Yourbusiness
13. Longtimefan
"…Of course, I said all this, and then I was trying to think of an alternate way that the Maidens could have adequately expressed their frustration with Rand—the reasons for which, by the way, I completely understand and fully agree with—and I… couldn’t really think of one."

Well there was that one time when they cornered him in a guardhouse by the docks and started breaking spears in front of him.

The assumption that he should know what their actions mean is a bit much since they shoud also know that he was raised by non-Aiel as per the Prophecy.

They did however explain what the spear breaking ment and he promised to never leave them behind again.

and then he did.

Leave Maidens behind once shame on them, Leave Maidens behind twice, shame on you. In a punching kind of way.

He is the one that mouthed off and said "The Maiden's carry the Honor of the Cara'carn." Apparently he did not realize just how much that ment to them.

While it is not fun to read about the hero being assaulted by his allies he was supposed to be educated about the Aiel culture by his own personal Maiden of the Spear in Avi.

Technically it is all her fault. :)

The understanding of Aiel culture Rand shows in this scene is by accepting the responsiblity for his actions because he had broken the promise he made to the Madiens a few books back.

Also, Yay Merana getting a momentary backbone infusion. Her small amount of character development made her seem really pleasant and even handed so I did not like reading about the embassy pushing aside her leadership when in the story she was trying her best to approach Rand with out upsetting him (for an Aes Sedai).

It is so often that there are in the earlier books many interactions with Aes Sedai who are not unpleasant per se but so certain in their authority that they are difficult to cozy up to the way Moiraine was for the readership.

Merana was one of the more reasonable minor Aes Sedai in my reading that I liked.
14. Megaduck
"Flinn: There’s a strong implication in this chapter I didn’t notice before that Flinn actually really likes Cadsuane; he seems to get a kick out of her, which is… bizarre. Kind of cool, in that it beats being afraid of her, I suppose, but… erm. Your Mileage Obviously Varies, Dude."

I think from a spectator POV Cads can be a lot of fun. She's this snarky old lady that keeps making outrageous comments and getting away with it.

Part of the reason I (and probably a whole lot of other people) dislike Cads is because we can see inside Rands mind. We know how close to the edge he is and she's behaving in such a way that's pushing him even closer. It's like throwing a bucket of water on the drowning person.

The other part is that she's constantly belittling everyone in almost a contemptuous manner. Sometimes I think RJ was going for the cool old lady who pokes holes in everyone pride by pointing out the obvious. What he got instead was a contemptuous hypocrite.

Question of mine about Cads and Sorelia for everyone.

Why does everyone listen to them? I know they have a strong personality and stuff but it's the part here with Min that I really don't get.

Min doesn't have any obligation to Sorelia, it's not like their both wise ones (Sorelia and Egwene) or even part of the same culture (Sorelia and the rest of the Aiel), so why does Min allow herself to be whipped?
James Hogan
16. Sonofthunder
Yep, Rand was a punk to the Maidens, so I have no problem with them dealing with him like a punk.

And while I don't really "like" Cadsuane, I can usually grudgingly agree with her. Even though if I was Rand, I'd go mad because of her alone, not counting LTT in his head!


Contrastingly, the Rand chapters are almost always my favorites, even in these latter books! I'm not sure if maybe that's just because I'm a young punk like him(I'm 23 - does that make me one of the younger ones here? *hides*). I'm very curious to see what I think of the characters while rereading some ten years hence.
17. rmrpbutt
>I think from a spectator POV Cads can be a lot of fun. She's this snarky old lady that keeps making outrageous comments and getting away with it.

So you are saying she is the Betty White of WOT?
Heidi Byrd
18. sweetlilflower
Hey! I really like Betty White! Plus, Ms. White is much more self-depreciating and willing to see the humor in her own actions as well as others'. Now, you have put a damper on my Betty White love affair...thanks, thanks A LOT!!!!!

19. Megaduck
Rmrpbutt @ 17

Tone down the raw contempt and belittling and yes, yes I think she is.
Jason Deshaies
20. darxbane
What is Min going to do about it? I'm sure she protested greatly, but in the end Sorilea's level of respect amongst her people make her decisions unquestionable to anyone short of a Wise One, and I doubt one of them would really help her. The Aiel have accepted her to an extent, both for her viewing ability (which is like Dreaming), and her love for Rand. The way I see the Aiel, they would find it disrespectful to Min if they didn't treat her like one of their own.

Why does everyone listen to Sorilea and Cadsuane? Because everyone listens to them. It's circular logic, I know, but it fits. People to tend to fall in line with the crowd. Besides, it helps if most of the time they are right, even if they make their points in unpleasant ways.
Marcus W
21. toryx
Longtimefan @ 13:

While it is not fun to read about the hero being assaulted by his allies he was supposed to be educated about the Aiel culture by his own personal Maiden of the Spear in Avi. Technically it is all her fault. :)

Actually, it's still his fault. Aviendha made an effort to teach him and he pretty much ignored her and either mooned over Elayne or wasted time trying to figure out what the Wise Ones were doing. He rejected opportunity after opportunity to learn more about the Aiel to protect himself (i.e. not knowing about them made it easier not to care for them).

I blame Rand for those choices. Sure it seemed easier at the start but if he was going to use them, the least he could have done is learned about the people he was destroying. He chose not to and for that, the Maidens have little choice but to try and teach him the hard way.
22. Goldsteinlives
Cadsuane is an example of a fiction trope (I honestly don't know if it is on TVtropes or not). The trope is the character who is "so cool" in fiction because they are all stubborn and rude and abrasive and bullish and don't take anyone's guff. They either go off half-cocked or act all smarmy and aloof. In any event, they act as though the rules, both formal and social, don't apply to them. Then because they are just "so awesome", it frequently turns out that the rules DON'T apply to them.

Some examples are Cadsuane, Dr. Cox from Scrubs, innumerable cop and/or soldier protagonists from action movies, etc.

The reality is that when we meet individuals in real life who have these characteristics, we find them insufferable. It turns out that a lot of formal and, yes, social rules exist for a reason. So the hard-charging, "no nonsense" character has to be right... always... (and in fiction they are) in order to justify their behavior.

I think that's what people are reacting against with Cadsuane. She isn't just a trope, she is one of those tropes that people romanticize even though her real life counterpart would be a deeply unpleasant person who is quite likely to destroy a group's ability to cooperate, and who could possibly get others hurt or killed. And this deeply unpleasant person would be utterly unable to see her own flaws, because she is completely convinced her way is THE way.
Rob Munnelly
23. RobMRobM
The beat down of Rand was entirely appropriate. They told him he can't exclude the Maidens from battle repeatedly, and he did it again. Appropriate response as far as I am concerned. What was inappropriate was assaulting Min while doing it. Very uncool and, as far as I'm concerned, should incur toh. Where's the honor in beating an innocent because she's in wrong place.

James Jones
24. jamesedjones
I can agree, this was a terrible chapter. Mainly, it was because of Rand.

I liked the maidens kicking the crap out of him. He deserved it. I sat through the first half of this book wondering what the maidens thought about his decision at the end of the last book that, "No women would die today. (paraphrased)" Then we get to Illian, and there are no maidens to be seen. I kinda missed them. :(

Rand's efforts to seem crazy were terrible, too. It's like what you do when you're telling kids a scary story: complete camp. He's lucky Cadsuane didn't just whack him with a 2x4 weave of air. We know the AM can't do anything to her (although, they might have figured out how, or done something to hurt her inadvertently). So, her restraint could be seen in a positive light, if it weren't for her efforts to tweak him every time he asks her a question.

And lastly, his discussion with her was poorly thought out. This might be his immaturity, but it seems that someone who has been taught by a tree-killing noble and a light black fox, would know that you walk a-way from a bargain that doesn't go your way. The only other thing I can think of is the whole taveren sha-bag. All his bargains have gone inexplicably well. Maybe he doesn't know what to do when they hit the fan...

phaw! miserable chapter.
James Jones
25. jamesedjones
22 Goldsteinlives
Some examples are Cadsuane, Dr. Cox from Scrubs, innumerable cop and/or soldier protagonists from action movies, etc.
I love Dr Cox. Maybe if Cadsuane went off on some 2-3 minute ranting monologue, I could have more patience with her. She could call Rand girls names and we'd all laugh.

Edit: Never mind. I don't see Rand ever wanting a hug from anyone.
Rob Munnelly
26. RobMRobM
@17 and 22. Cads is the Dr. House of WoT.
27. Goldsteinlives
@25 jamesedjones
I love Dr. Cox too. And Cads has some good moments, though I also frequently find myself irritated with her as well.

I'm just diagnosing here, not justifying outright Cads haters OR reflexive Cads defenders. (I tend to fall somewhere in the middle.)

I'm just pointing out the trope that I think she seems to be an example of, and why it works in fiction much more frequently than it works in real life.
Lucas Vollmer
28. aspeo
Good post Leigh!

I think this chapter has its good points. Even though the two AS didn’t do a great job of finishing the bargain, Rand did at least get his ships and his acknowledgement as the Cooramoor. Also, I liked how shrewdly Rand saw that he didn’t have to give the SF their mile of land anywhere close to water, and that he could tax them when they left their sovereign territory.

As far as the maidens beating down Rand because he left them behind, I have to say that I understood the motivation. However, I think they owe Min an apology for kicking her like they did. She has been as friendly and open with them as she could, and only drew her knives and advanced because she didn’t have a clue as to why the man she loves was getting a severe beating.

On the Cadsuane part, I really think I could like her if only she didn’t act so infuriating towards Rand. She doesn’t seem to be as in your face bullyish towards others, only to Rand. I guess she is doing it partly to throw Rand off balance, and to maybe get him to realize that he can’t just lash out at people because they upset him. However, I just can’t condone treating someone like him as if they are a child. It just seems like a recipe for disaster, as later in the series it almost is.

One last thing occurred to me in this chapter. There is a possible clue to support the LLT as a construct theory here. When Rand goes to her rooms, and LTT wails and flees at the sight of her, it seems more like a subconscious thought than the personality of one of the most powerful men in the AoL. It seems to me that Rand is at least subconsciously a little scared and intimidated by Cadsuane. If these emotions get expressed as part of the construct then Rand doesn’t actively have to deal with it, and can put on his show of bravado without showing any emotions he doesn’t want to. This can also be seen when Rand is around some of the Asha’man.; mainly when Taim and his closest minions show up. These are the times that LTT snarls for Rand to kill them and tries to grab Saidin. He seems to subconsciously know that these men are bad, and that he needs to kill them before they can kill him. This manifests as LTT raving because Rand knows that he needs Taim running the BT and training new Asha’man for him, and so he can’t allow himself to see and deal with the corruption surrounding Taim and his men. Incidentally, I am pretty sure that LTT doesn’t rant about killing the good Asha’man that Rand has around him like Flynn and Narishma.

It’s a thought I had anyway, YMMV

RobMRobm@26 @17 and 22. Cads is the Dr. House of WoT.
Yep just picture House, only with about 250 more years of miserableness :P
Barry T
29. blindillusion
So, Cadsuane huh? Not. Going. To. Talk. About. It. Again. Nope, not going to do it. Nope nope nope. Even though, from this chapter, I wonder if what she’s going to teach Rand/the Asha’man is civility:
He will be civil to her, her friends, and guests, which includes not channeling at them as well as not unleashing his “memorable” temper at them. She adds that this includes the other Asha’man, as she would hate to have to spank him for something they did.
I can see Rand then enforcing such teaching, because, seriously, who wants to take the blame/punishment/beating for the actions of others? But, wait, I’m not talking about it…. Insert blatant disgust for “having” to take the blame for the actions of others.

And speaking of beatings…nope. Going to leave that alone too. Just going to throw out the blanket: It really sucks being Rand al’Thor.

Min the Trendsetter is amusing.

Dobraine continues to be one of the few cool members of the Nobility.

Perhaps Flinn simply has a good sense of humor at least one person from the Black Tower has to, right? Right?

Agree with the above, Dashiva is a bit of a waste of space.

And, well, have to cut this short. Duty calls!!
30. Hrothgordo
Part of my issues with the Maidens in this chapter is that I hold them at least partially responsible for the growing rift.

They know he has a “thing” to begin with about placing a woman in danger. And I can get that they see this stance as disrepectful to them as not being the equal of a man.

But they don’t exactly help by treating him as they do, specifically in acting like his mother or sister. Commanding troops into battle which could get them killed is difficult when you aren’t all emotionally attached to them. Now try doing it to a woman who tucks you into your bed and makes you soup.

Now for those Cadsuane supporters out there I have to give some credit. I think you are correct that she is very capable and deserves a measure of respect for that competnece. And yes Rand would have been completely screwed without her as much as Nynaeve when cleansing the taint.

But . . .

As capable as she can be I still struggle with her still unknown motives and her treatment of Rand. I mean honestly without Min telling him over and over again that she needs to be there do you think Cads lasts more then a week?

It’s like watching a marathon runner who stops at every water station so they can put rocks in their shoes. On some level you gotta be impressed at the fortitiude but you will be asking yourself the enitre time why they are making it harder than it needs to be.

Even worse, to take it to the next level, Cadsuane would cross the finish line but then gripe endlessly about how slow she ran. How bout you stop running with rocks in your shoes? Maybe, that could help.

When/if she can stop making things way more difficult then they need to be is when I can admire her fully.
Chin Bawambi
31. bawambi
Actually Cads is Estelle Getty not Betty White LOL!

And Uruguay avoided Argentina :)

32. alreadymadwithflinn
Maybe Flinn thought it humorous to see an old woman beating down kids.
Tricia Irish
33. Tektonica

Agree about the circularity. It's always hard to be the one that cries "The Emperor has no clothes!"

I also think the maidens owe Min 'toh. She tried to defend the man she loves, who was being beaten, inexplicably to her, by his Honor Guard! Had they turned on him? She didn't know!

Edit: I see you Blind. ::waves::
Marcus W
35. toryx
RobM @ 26:
@17 and 22. Cads is the Dr. House of WoT.

I'm not sure I agree. Besides, I actually like House. He makes a lot more sense to me than Cadsuane does.

House treats people like shit because (in part) he doesn't want to deal with them. Cadsuane wants Rand to deal with her and she treats him like shit despite it. To belittle him so that she stands taller. She doesn't want him to go away, she wants him to respect her and appreciate her "wisdom."

House's method makes sense. Cadsuane's, not so much.
Tess Laird
36. thewindrose
Tektonica - Well if Min wasn't so interested in getting Rand over to the massive bed, she could have asked why every maiden in Cairhien was outside the door! (You know I am just kidding, hrmmm in a way:))

This chapter is full of people who believe they know what others are thinking, and surprise they are wrong!! Take Min and Dobraine for instance, she thinks he is choking from her matter of fact viewing for Lady Caraline and High Lord Darlin, when in actuality it is the bitter wine.

And surprise - I am annoyed with Cadsuane!!(I like exclamation points too!!;) She plays the indifference game, yet what does she want? Doesn't she want to be there to help and guide Rand. She definitely played her hand too far here. He behaving arrogantly, however once she is an accepted advisor how could she not get him to listen -if she is that good? This is good:
“Oh, yes. Whatever I do, it will be for your own good; not mine, not the good of the White Tower, yours.

But then she follows with this:
Now, does that ease your fears? Pardon me. Your unease.”

Wondering whether he was supposed to laugh, Rand stared at her. “Do they teach you how to do that?” he demanded. “Make a promise sound a threat, I mean.”

“Oh, I see. You want rules. Most boys do, whatever they say.”

I just feel that if she is so good, why didn't she accept the position now, instead of making Rand even less inclined to listen? Why make Rand even more agitated?

Jason Deshaies
37. darxbane
I disagree about the Maidens owing Min Toh. She brandished weapons against unarmed opponents. If anything, by Aiel customs, the Maiden who kicked her earned great honor by touching an armed opponent while being unarmed herself.

I like House too, but he is an egotistical jackass who transmits his self loathing onto every other living thing possible. This is not an honorable trait, no matter how you try to spin it. Cadsuane, however, has been treated like a legend for so long, I think she believes it now. Neither situation is good, but at least Cadsuane believes what she does is for the good of everyone.
Matthew Smith
38. blocksmith
This is a combo test post for spam filter and comments...here goes nothing!

Overall I liked the chapter. Dark...yes. Multiple demonstrations of temper...yes. Maidens going overboard...yes.

But still, the scene with Merana actually speaking her (truthful) mind was solid. And Rand and Cads, regardless of the outcome, somewhat communicated. That counts for something.

Here's to hoping this brief post makes it through!
Thomas Keith
39. insectoid
Yay, new post! Thanks Leigh!!

I'll have more to say later, got some things to do. ;)

40. Jonathan Levy
I just realized something amazing.

Cadsuane is Hyacinth Bouquet (Bucket) from "Keeping up Appearances".

Or am I the only one who knows about that series? Come on, there's gotta be someone here who knows it. It's a perfect match. I mean 100%. They're irritating for precisely the same reasons: They tell everyone what to do all the time, on the grounds that they are improving their manners, and are completely oblivious to their own incredible rudeness.
Rob Munnelly
41. RobMRobM
@37 - Min is not an enemy combatant - not buying it.
Andrew Belmont
42. rosetintdworld
Jonathan Levy@40: HA!! Hahahaha! I'm now picturing Cadsuane running around screaming "The new vicar/painter/politician/celebrity is coming!" and Sorilea as her slovenly drunk sister who ruins everything. Good times.

...And...uh, this chapter was filled with some very, very sad Rand, but I don't hate it. I thought Cadsuane's reveal was well-executed. And I love Merana. I always thought Jordan did a really good job of making her flawed, but basically sympathetic, and stretching her story out over the background of many books. I root for her here because of the sympathy built up from Lord of Chaos, I think.

Rand accepted the responsibilities and privileges of being "the son of a Maiden" a long, long time ago. I recognize that he didn't exactly say, "Hey! Punish me!" here, but I have a hard time feeling indignant here. Then again, I also can't see myself cheering the Maidens on, either. I tend to forget about this bit, actually.

Thanks for the post, Leigh. Looking forward to your thoughts on the coming murder mystery.
Jason Deshaies
43. darxbane
No? So you're saying she is incapable of killing someone with those knives? From what I've read in this series, Min is quite good with those knives, especially if she decides to throw them. Anyone who attacks you is a combatant, especially if they are armed with a deadly weapon. It's not like she stood in their way with her arms folded, she DREW HER KNIVES!
j p
44. sps49
Rand could take Cadsuane to the Black Tower, since he and everybody there needs to learn something. Let's just get it done with!
Matthew Smith
45. blocksmith

I don't get the impression that Cads needs to be set up at the BT with a chalk board and teach the Asha'man how to derive a third order equation.

I think what they need to learn is much more esoteric. You can pick your poison relative to the numerous ideas out there...manners, how to laugh, how to cry, how to take bullying, how not to balefire someone that really really upsets you...maybe a combination of all. But realistically plunking her down in the BT would likely be an unmitigated disaster.

That said...I get your point. Let's get the lesson learned already...oh wait. We have how many books to go before this is resolved? *sigh*
Matthew Smith
46. blocksmith
And yes...three weeks of having my posts blocked by the spam filter have made me downright prolific in posting. I'm giddy as a school girl.
Torie Atkinson
47. Torie
I'm hoping that blocksmith was the only one having this problem, but if any of the rest of you have found your comments getting dumped into the spam filter, please leave me a message on my wall or send me an e-mail and I'll take care of it for you.

And general N.B.: please do flag inappropriate comments rather than assume I will see them. There are a LOT of comments here on Tor.com and flagging is the fastest way to get my attention.

As always, if you run into ANY issues whatsoever, don't be afraid to drop me a note!
48. Browncoat Jayson
@21 toryx

This is EXACTLY how I felt when I read it. Rand rejected every opportunity to learn about Aiel culture, their laws, their society, apart from what he needed to do to "win" at being the Chief of Chiefs. Then he broke them.

Yeah, no way I'm feeling bad for him getting his butt handed to him. At least now that part of his crazy is gone, and if ToM can get rid of "the List", Rand may actually be a heroic hero again!
Rob Munnelly
49. RobMRobM
@43. I'm saying that they needed to tell her it was a matter of honor and if she sought to interfere it was at her own risk. (And the Maidens know Min isn't good enough with knives to hurt them - as I recall, Avi handled her easily in TGS and Avi was long past her Maiden days.)

Alice Arneson
50. Wetlandernw
Warning... stream of consciousness wall ahead!

Leigh @Recap - First, thanks for quoting that section with the conversation between Merana and Rand. It was such a relief to hear him respond intelligently and courteously, after the crazy behavior of his last few chapters. I love his realization that "the words a ta’veren drags out aren’t always the words he wants to hear." Like maybe, they were what he needed to hear? Yup. Of course, then he goes all wiggy over Cadsuane, so blarg anyway, but at least it was better. Silly boy, though, thinking he can order Cadsuane to attend him,or to do anything else, for that matter. (Just because he's the Dragon Reborn? Really? Silly boy. She owes him nothing in particular, outside the fact that they're both playing Team Light. Geez.) And everyone abruptly decides to be elsewhere. Umm, yeah.

You left out my current favorite line from this chapter:
"...You can't afford to chase her away." Actually, she did not think fifty Myrddraal and a thousand Trollocs could chase Cadsuane anywhere, but the point was the same.
Good point there, Min. :)

I can never decide whether to laugh or roll my eyes at the attempt to overawe Cadsuane. Granted that they don't know about the paralis-net, but still. Hello? What on earth made him think that would get him anywhere? Except laughed at, of course. I love Damer Flinn. :)

Thanks for quoting that excerpt of Cadsuane's exchange with Rand. "...not the good of the White Tower, yours." I think people tend to forget that when they consider her motivations. I also, personally, think that her promises and conditions were entirely reasonable, considering that he had just asked her to be his advisor. I know I wouldn't agree to advise someone who was going to yell and throw things all the time! Sorry, kiddo, if you want me to advise you, you can treat me with respect and courtesy. IFF you do, I will treat you with respect and courtesy as well, but if you start throwing a temper tantrum, expect me to take you down for it. Really, is civility so much to ask? Or are we The Dragon Reborn Who Can Be Rude Whenever He Likes?

About Callandor... This is the place that makes me want to cry. If Rand had been listening in the first place, he could (and should!) have asked her so many questions before he went haring off to Illian and all that. But he was too proud, too convinced he knew everything, too unwilling to believe that anyone else (particularly Aes Sedai) might know something he didn't, so he wouldn't ask. And a whole lot of men died. The good thing is that now he knows about the flaw in Callandor. The bad thing is that even now, he doesn't register the fact that she's been studying to help him ever since he was a baby, and hey - she just might have learned a few more things he needs to know, if he could only bring himself to ask. Politely. *sigh*

Leigh @ Commentary -big long bag of mostly crap things Hmm. I actually like a lot of things in this chapter, so we'll see where we agree or disagree.

Okay, we agree on the respect for and rarity of honesty point. Yup.

However, I don't think the Bargain was really all that bad. First, I nearly squealed with glee at his comment (slightly earlier) that no one had specified where the square mile of land had to be, or that it had to be anywhere near the water. LOL! Details, Harine, mere details. Okay, so putting up with Harine for several books as she goes from uppity to whiny (and several other annoying behaviors) is a bit irritating; I guess I don't react as badly to that as some. As for going promptly to the Mistress of Ships when summoned, it's not that bad. At least, I think Rand overreacted. Good grief - she's got two cards to play in the next three years. Presumably she's a woman of at least some intelligence, and she won't use those cards for something petty; she'll save them for life-or-death issues, in which case he might really need to be there. If he's in the middle of a battle, he can always return a message that he'll come as soon as the battle is over; with Travelling, it's not like it will take him away from the action for days or weeks. A few hours to confer with an ally shouldn't be that big a burden. But of course, we're The Dragon Reborn Who Is Above Being Summoned By Anyone.

The Maidens and the beating... you said it pretty well, ending with Man, I hate it when I logic myself into an ethical corner. Yeah, it stinks, but that's life. He chose to break his promise to them, so there are consequences. That whole philosophy of "do whatever you want, as long as you're willing to pay the price."

Cadsuane - okay, here we are in major disagreement. I laugh all the way through that scene, because Rand totally loses all the mature attitude he managed with Merana earlier, and starts acting like a 16-year-old with testosterone poisoning. And then he's offended when she doesn't take him seriously. No wonder she calls him "boy" when he acts like that! Of course, he's a bit scared of her, if only because she's clearly not scared of him like everyone else. I can never decide if I want to pat his head or slap his face after this foolishness. And please to note, she offered the info on Callandor even though he was being insufferable, rude and demanding, because he needed to know. (She learned through sources of her own that it had been removed from the Stone, so she logically assumed he had it, hence he needed to know how to use it - or not.) Okay, I'll give you that she could have used a different tone of voice; "complacent" isn't a tone (in the circumstances) that will make Rand happy, but then what would? Groveling? Somehow I can't imagine using that word to apply to Cadsuane, but at the moment it seems like the only thing Rand wants to accept. Note also that since he took off without telling anyone his plans, she doesn't know that he used Callandor, or what horrible havoc he wreaked with it; if she'd known, I'm betting her tone wouldn't have been anything so pleasant as "complacent."

Oh, and Callandor - total agreement. "Can you call it a retcon if it was set up four books in advance, really?" LOL!!

Flinn: As I said before, I like Flinn, and in this scene it's largely because I think he sees just how foolishly Rand is behaving. I think he sees Cadsuane from a much more rational (read mature) perspective than Rand, and so he likes or at least respects her. Part of it may be personality, but I'm quite sure part of it is age and experience. When Rand starts issuing his instructions Flinn is the only one to try to protest - because, IMHO, it's obvious to him that Rand is trying to overawe Cadsuane, and that it won't work, and that mostly what it will do is make Rand look silly and immature. Which it does. But Rand, being The Dragon Reborn Who Obviously Knows All Things, refuses to listen. So... yeah, Flinn is laughing at him, and Rand just doesn't get it. *sigh*

Okay, so now I'm going to post this and then go read all the comments. I may have just echoed what someone else said, but there you have it. My thoughts, such as they are, without reference to anything but Leigh's post. I'm sure I'll have more to say after reading all y'all's comments. (Is it legal to have two apostrophes in the same word? Sure looks funny...)
Matthew Smith
51. blocksmith
And a quick shout out to Torie...she came, she saw, and she kicked the spam filters...ah, behind.
Kate Collura
52. dreamwalker
Re: Cadsuane

On the one hand I agree with those who have pointed out that Cadsuane's demands for civility, etc are not unreasonable and Rand/Dashiva's display of booming voices and imperious behavior was ridiculous and deserved to be taken down a peg or two.

On the other hand - Cadsuane talking casually about spanking monarchs, and threatening to do the same to Rand - really? If she honestly wants Rand to behave like an adult why does she think infantilizing him at every turn is the way to do it? This tactic seems to backfire on her constantly and it truly is equally as ridiculous and Rand's showy, demanding behavior.
Don Barkauskas
53. bad_platypus
Another point to consider on Rand:
what the Maidens did here, though I have no doubt it was in accordance with ji’e’toh just as much as Egwene’s thing in LOC, infuriated me because Rand was never given the option to refuse it... The problem is, I’m essentially objecting to Rand being inadvertently included in the Aiel justice system without understanding it
But Rand sought the Aiel out with the thought that he might be their prophesied leader and accepted the charge when it turned out he was Aiel and the Car'a'carn by right of birth. In accepting the leadership of the Aiel, he implicitly accepted their ways (IMO, anyway) and consented to be dealt with under ji'e'toh. The fact that he doesn't understand ji'e'toh is his fault, not theirs. I'm completely with the Maidens on this one.

As for Min, she attacked the Maidens with knives and they merely disabled her for the time they needed to finish what they needed to do. I think that's reasonable.
Tricia Irish
54. Tektonica

On the other hand - Cadsuane talking casually about spanking monarchs, and threatening to do the same to Rand - really? If she honestly wants Rand to behave like an adult why does she think infantilizing him at every turn is the way to do it? This tactic seems to backfire on her constantly and it truly is equally as ridiculous and Rand's showy, demanding behavior.

Yes!! I don't begrudge her the demands for civility. I seem to remember someone giving her the advice that Rand wouldn't listen if he thought you wanted him to. (Alannah? One of the AS.) So she's playing coy with him. But the insults! If it weren't for Min, she'd be gone. Yes, Rand is being a ridiculous teenager type here, but Cads is being an arrogant oldster. And I don't think she earned the right...no one does. (I live in Florida, remember!)
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
Wall-o-Text part two, commenting on the comments:

Adriansedai @7 - I am firmly on the side of loving Cadsuane. Yay!! I stand not alone! :)

forkroot @8 - No surprise... I totally agree! (as may be seen above...)

Tektonica @9 - I fear another post thread dealing with SWMNBN starts now. MWA-ha-ha-ha-ha. Just you wait.... :>

Shimrod @10 - Yup. 100% with you.

sweetlilflower @11 - Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming that Cadsuane is perfect, BUT: she treats people with respect when they act with intelligence and integrity. When they get arrogant, or when they do stupid things, she's got a pretty low tolerance for it. Look at the way she treats Daigian, who is very low in OP strength and therefore "bottom of the totem pole" in AS hierarchy. Unlike the rest of the AS, however, Cadsuane recognizes that Daigian is extremely intelligent and can out-think anyone around; Cadsuane respects and relies on that intelligence and completely disregards the low strength - except when the two of them deliberately use it to their advantage in weaseling info out of over-confident AS or such. Or take a look at her discussion with Min in TGS - when Beldeine being was condescending and dismissive of Min's thoughts on the prophecies, Cadsuane completely agreed with Min (because she was right) and told Beldeine to apologize. (She didn't because she was AS!! after all, and swept out of the room in a huff, but Cadsuane expected the same courtesy from Beldeine that she frequently expects of Rand.) She can be very abrupt, and certainly tends to consider her priorities to be more prior than anyone else's, but so do a whole lot of other people. She just has the misfortune to be right most of the time, and that's irritating. I haven't done a complete reread with this in mind, but I have a strong suspicion that most of the times people think of her as rude, she's either just being abrupt or they did something to deserve castigation. Trust me, I'm watching for it now! It still depends somewhat on interpretation, but... well, we'll see.

Megaduck @14 - she's constantly belittling everyone - only when they're gettin' too big fer their britches. See above.

Sonofthunder @16 - I'm very curious to see what I think of the characters while rereading some ten years hence. Very insightful! I've said before (and unfortunately probably will again) that when I first read these, I had much the same authority issues with Cadsuane as many others do. This time through, I'm seeing things very differently, and I'm mostly in agreement with her. I certainly have a lot more respect for her than I used to, and see a lot more of why she would treat people the way she does.

toryx @21 - VERY good points. Sometimes its painful to see Rand's bad choices coming back to bite him, but they were his choices. At least in this case, he acknowledges his responsibility.

Goldsteinlives @22 - Oh, so much of this is wrong that I'm not even going to go there. *sigh* Half-cocked? Really??? *sigh* As a trope, I think you're wide of the mark.

RobM @23 - They didn't assault Min, they kicked her out of the way so she wouldn't interfere. One kick - and she wouldn't have gotten that if she'd stayed out of it. But that's been... ah... beaten to a pulp.

aspeo @28 - However, I just can’t condone treating someone like him as if they are a child. At the risk of repeating myself, she wouldn't treat him like a child if he didn't act like one.

blindillusion @29 - Insert blatant disgust for “having” to take the blame for the actions of others. It's called federal headship - Rand set up the organization, Rand brings the Asha'man with him, Rand is responsible for the behavior of his followers. It's not a popular idea today, but it's valid nonetheless. It's fundamental to responsible government at all levels. The one who has authority also has responsibility. The fact that Rand has given most of his practical authority to Taim doesn't relieve him of the responsibility.

toryx @35 - To belittle him so that she stands taller. Not. Even. Once. I repeat myself again: she treats him like a child when he acts like one. I see no evidence that she does it to make herself look "better" somehow. It may not be the most successful method (with Rand in particular), but it's consistent with the way she treats everyone: act like a grown-up, and she'll treat you like one. Act like a kid showing off, and she'll ... yeah, treat you like one. Part of Rand's problem is that he's trying so hard to be The Dragon Reborn Who Knows All And Must Be In Charge Of All Things that he can't see the folly of his own behavior. If he'd taken Min along like she wanted, she'd probably have told him to his face that he was being childish. Maybe then he'd have caught on. Maybe Cadsuane's "treat you as you act" approach is too subtle for him - he has to be told in so many words.

thewindrose @36 - you give me the opportunity to say something I accidentally left out of my previous post: it was totally logical, and probably necessary, for Cadsuane to set significant conditions. If she agreed too easily, he'd never trust her an inch. As it is, he doesn't conciously trust her, but subconciously I think he does, at least until the Moridin-crossover-wackiness gets completely out of hand. I have some hope that in the coming books he'll catch on, reconcile with his most knowledgable advisor and make good use of all that good research she's done.

darxbane @37 - ...by Aiel customs, the Maiden who kicked her earned great honor by touching an armed opponent while being unarmed herself. Good point!! I'd missed that. If she were Aiel, she'd be wearing white now.

blocksmith @38 - troubles with tor? Bummer, dude. At least the post made it. :) @46 - LOL! And welcome back.

Jonathan Levy @40 - ROFL - Cadsuane as Hyacinth!!! I don't actually agree, because Hyacinth is wrong so often, and she goes through all sorts of silly contortions for the sole purpose of, yes, keeping up appearances. For Cadsuane, appearances are the means to an end; for Hyacinth, appearances are the end. Still, the visual is totally hilarious.

Torie @47 - We love you!!! Seriously, thanks for all you do to keep this site running. We truly appreciate it. Thanks for bringing blocksmith back to us!!

Tektonica @54 - It was Sorilea, a few chapters back.

And come on - only four more comments in the whole time it took me to read and comment on all the comments, and proofread my comments? I wonder if I can find a way to use comment in a sentence enough times to make it lose all integrity as a word...

And hey, we need Freelancer and Isilel to clock in - I seem to be the only one writing massive fortress-quality walls of text here! Okay, so it's because I feel this need to say everything in one post, instead of breaking it up, but... Yikes!
Ron Garrison
56. Man-0-Manetheran

re. Maidens beating Rand:
Herein is distinguished the difference between spanking and beating. The Maidens took out their anger on Rand. Maybe I should even say "rage." While the Maidens may have had a right to their displeasure with Rand, an emotional beating is over the top.
Contrasting with Eqwene's spankings, the Wise Ones were not angry, not in an emotional rage. THAT is the difference.

And to Leigh: Rocky & Bullwinkle Ter'angreal: FTW!

And, if you all didn't know, I'm in with Flinn. Big C amuses me!
And, yes, let's not get into the bashing/praising thing again. No one's mind will be changed.

rmrpbutt: Betty White FTW!
Alice Arneson
57. Wetlandernw
Man-0-Manetheran - Too late! ;) Later tonight, I hope to have something to really stir the pot. Or, possibly, put everyone to sleep. Could be either one.
Kate Collura
58. dreamwalker
Tektonica @ 54

I agree, she hasn't earned the right and neither has anyone else. I don't care how right, how cool, how important you are, no one should have the right to act that way
Andrew Belmont
59. rosetintdworld
I missed the comparison to Betty White, but I can't say I see it--Ms. White will forever be Rose Nylund in my eyes, and imagining Cadsuane launching into an interminable story about the Far Madding cheese festival and the prize winning sheep on Norla's farm in the Black Hills is just not something my mind can handle.
j p
60. sps49
blocksmith @45-

I had in mind the treatment Cadsuane would suffer at the hands of the Asha'man, hair-thingys or no.

Now that I mention the ornaments, I don't believe Rand or any Asha'man have even tried channeling directly at her. Which indicates they are treating her with some respect, not holding back because it won't work (at least channeling directly).
Sara H
61. LadyBelaine

I am surprised at you - you missed one of RJ's more subtle incidents of Conservation of Characters

"My Lady Ta’veren”: Dobraine’s a cool guy, but he obviously doesn’t really get how fashion fads work at all. Or how ta’veren works, one of the two. Oh well."

Of the two ladies they see dressed in the Elmindreda style, one was Alaine Chuliandred, who was one of the forward horny Cairhienin ladies who propositioned Rand back in tGH.

The other woman was High Lady Fionnda, who was one of the Tairens Rand sent ahead to help quell the riots in Cairhien.
62. alreadymadwithcadsuane
blocksmith @45
Call me already mad, but I'm thinking the Asha'man will actually learn from one of Cadsuane's mistakes. Not something she wanted to impart.

Wetlandernw @50
"Complacent", isn't how I'd describe Cadsuane's tone so much as condescending. Let's face it. Trying to overawe Cadsuane was a bad idea. But then again so was acting high and mighty in front of somebody who already has quite a bit on his plate. Rand has already given so much to be the Dragon Reborn. Why is it that everybody's help should come at a price? That's why he gets along so well with Bashere. Bashere didn't ask for anything in return.
In fact we learn later in TGS that Cadsuane badly miscalculated with Rand. She had assumed that Rand's behavior was just his successes and arrogance getting into his head. Without accounting for other stresses he was going through. Or taking particular note of who he was rude and bullish with. Part of the stress was even most likely from her.
Ron Garrison
63. Man-0-Manetheran
RobMRobM@26: "Cads is the Dr. House of WoT" Yup! And the Patrick Jane of The Mentalist. Estelle Getty is good. Bea Arthur, better. And Judi Dench - best.

For what it's worth: I just remembered a remark my grandmother used to say when I was behaving badly. "How would you feel if I treated you like that?"
Alice Arneson
64. Wetlandernw
alreadymad @62 - You may not think of her tone as complacent, but that's the word RJ used in the passage to which I referred:
"I do hope you haven't tried to use Callandor," she said complacently behind him. "I have heard it's vanished from the Stone. You managed to escape once, but you might not twice."
As I said, it might not have been the best tone to take, particularly with Rand, particularly to impart that information, but she had no way of knowing the mess he had made with it in Ebou Dar. If you don't think it was complacent, go argue it with Harriet; I neither wrote nor edited the book, I just read it. As written, not as I imagine based on my dislike of a character.
Jay Dauro
65. J.Dauro
RobMRobM @23
Wetlandernw @55

I have to agree with Wetlandernw, in that the Maidens did only what was required to remove Min from the action
The third Maiden, Nandera, turned like a snake, and Min found a foot planted in her stomach. Breath rushed out of her in a wheeze. Her knives flew from numb hands, and she turned a somersault over the graying Maiden's foot, landing on her back with a crash that drove out what little air remained in her. Trying to move, trying to breathe, trying to understand, all she could do was lie there and watch.
One blow to the Solar plexus that did not even injure her other than making her lose her breath and drop the knives. By their lights, they had the right to do much more.

Rand is letting his emotions cloud his thinking about Cadsuane. He already knows that she wants to be near him.
"I mean to find out what Cadsuane wants," he announced. "She doesn't come to the palace every day because she likes a trip through the snow. Will you come with me, Min? Maybe you'll have a viewing."
Easy to confirm, and to decide yes or no. Act like an adult. When Daigian returns to say Cadsuane is too busy to see him, ask her to thank Cadsuane, and to give Cadsuane the run of the palace. Then tell her to tell Cadsuane that you will see them when you return. In two months. Turn to Min and start packing. She will show.

But if Rand could be that calm, he wouldn't have pissed her off by commanding her presence to start with.
66. Demira
"May you get a bellyache from it" I loved Merana's line here. What always gets me is why there has never been a conversation between Merana or any of the AS from Caemlyn about the attempted assassination of that one AS. UMM, err, what was her name again? They all thought Rand did it. Even Verin. As far as I know Rand still doesn't know that someone was trying to mess up his relations with AS.

As much as I dislike Cadsuane, I have to say she has some pretty good lines here too. I like how Rand takes note of how she is more interested in her "cursed stitchery" instead of him. How like a man to not understand how important needlepoint can be til he puts on a shirt with no embroidery on it!!!

Oh, and... Snark? LOL!
Sharon E.
67. Sulin
Leave Maidens behind once shame on them, Leave Maidens behind twice, shame on you. In a punching kind of way.
ROFL! I am sooo stealing that! :D

I'm finding myself much more sympathetic to his predicament, no doubt stemming from revelations in tGS. I really feel for this guy. He is juggling as fast as he can....no wonder his head is swimming and he does some dumb things.
I'm right there with ya, Tek! Rand needs a hug. :)

sonofthunder@16- Rand's chapters have been my favorites ever since I picked up the series 12 years ago, when I was 24, so I haven't changed a bit since then. :)

RE Rand accepting the punishment from the Maidens- I've always assumed that his lack of a defense (and come on, he easily could have defended himself) was acknowledgement of the toh.


Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
A quick quote regarding Cadsuane's strategy:
"Most men will take what is offered, if it seems attractive and pleasant," Sorilea said. "Once, we thought of Rand al'Thor so. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the path we walk. Now, he suspects whatever is offered freely. Now, if I wanted him to accept something, I would pretend I did not want him to have it. If I wanted to stay close to him, I would pretend indifference to whether I ever saw him again."
It's almost exactly what J.Dauro suggested for Rand, but he doesn't see it either as a possibility for him, or as a strategy being used on him.

One more quotation, in the interests of (possibly) limiting uninformed arm-waving:
"You sound...uneasy. I don't like to tell a man he's afraid even when he has reason to be. Uneasy over a sister you haven't turned into a tame lapdog snaring you in some fashion? Let me see. I can make you a few promises; perhaps they will set your mind at rest.

1) I expect you to listen, of course - make me waste my breath, and you'll yelp for it - but I won't make you do what I want.

2) I won't tolerate anyone lying to me, certainly - that's another thing you'll find decidedly uncomfortable - but I don't expect you to tell me the deepest yearnings of your heart, either.

3) Oh, yes. Whatever I do, it will be for your own good; not mine, not the good of the White Tower; yours.

Now, does that ease your fears? Pardon me. Your unease."
(Numbered points and bold are mine in the interests of clarification.) Then, after the bit Leigh quoted above (part of which I overlapped), she continues:
"Very well. Let me see. I cannot abide incivility. So you will be properly civil to me, to my friends, and my guests. That includes not channeling at them, in case you haven't guessed, and holding your temper, which I understand is memorable. It also takes in your...companions in those black coats. A pity if I had to spank you for something one of them did. Does that suffice? I can make more, if you need them."
If it were me, I'd have added shouting, but maybe that's covered under "holding your temper." Please keep this in the context, in which he has come and asked her to be his advisor. Well, demanded, more like, but it was his proposal. She's stating the conditions under which she would consider accepting it.
Barry T
69. blindillusion
blindillusion @29 - Insert blatant disgust for “having” to take the blame for the actions of others. It's called federal headship - Rand set up the organization, Rand brings the Asha'man with him, Rand is responsible for the behavior of his followers. It's not a popular idea today, but it's valid nonetheless. It's fundamental to responsible government at all levels. The one who has authority also has responsibility. The fact that Rand has given most of his practical authority to Taim doesn't relieve him of the responsibility.

Wetlander, I would ask you not to forget where I come from and who I work for. I spoke against having to take the blame for the actions of others, or, in other words, sharing in their punishment. Taking responsibility for the actions of one's subordinates is different.

Taking responsibility would evolve ensuring one's subordinate receives punishment for a misdeed and then taking steps to ensure that subordinate doesn't make the same, or a similar, mistake.

Should I receive a Counseling Statement when my Supply Sergeant fails to meet a suspense? No. Do I expect to be held accountable by my Commanding Officer? Yes.

What do I do then, after I've been told to make sure my Supply Sergeant doesn't do it again? Well, I write a Counseling Statement for him. I extend his duty day. I give him weekend duty. And the next time he has a suspense, I don't get in his ass about it. I simply keep a close eye on the situation and make sure he's going to meet time. Perhaps I'll even do that more than once.

That is taking responsibility. I don't hound him. I don't call him out in front of his peers, superiors and god forbid, his subordinates. I don't make him feel like a child. As for the Counseling Statement I didn't receive? Well, my CO is smart enough to know that placing the blame on me for the mistake of my Supply Sergeant would be foolish. And he trusts me to take the responsibility of making damn sure the mistake doesn't happen again.

Cadsuane isn't asking Rand to take responsibility for the Asha'man. She's telling him she'll punish him if one of them steps out of line, or more precisely, steps across the line she just drew. I call foul.

Now, do I believe Rand should take responsibility for what he created. Yes. Should he share in the punishment that an individual Asha'man's actions may warrant? No. Should he be blamed? No.

I've trained Soldiers in how to shoot. If one of them takes that training and uses it to murder someone, should I be blamed? Should the Army? Should the US Government?

Would I take full responsibility? Yes. And while I could not save that Solider, I would make damn sure I tried that much harder to instill a better sense of values in future Soldiers. (Thankfully, this example is not one I've had to face. I hope I never do.)

Now, granted. I suppose one could say I've gone overboard with this argument. After all, Cadsuane was talking about Rand making sure his Asha'man remain civil. Still, all any leader can do is make a demand. It's up to the individual to hold to that demand. There is such a thing as individual responsibility, after all. Now that is something that is not a popular idea today.

And speaking of popular ideas of the day: Rand is responsible for the behavior of his followers. It's not a popular idea today, but it's valid nonetheless. I disagree. You are cordially invited to Fort Jackson, where you can meet the leaders of tomorrow's military.

I see you too, Tek. ::waves:: =)
Alice Arneson
70. Wetlandernw
Lady Belaine @61 - those two aren't mentioned in connection with Minswear until the Crossroads of Twilight prologue. At this point, Dobraine only says
"half the noblewomen in the city now wear bright colors in imitation of the Lady Min. Breeches that display their legs, and many in coats that do not even cover their..." He coughed discreetly, realizing that Min's coat did not cover her hips completely.
Incidentally, "Elmindreda" was all frilly dresses, make-up and simpers. The coats & breeches are most definitely Min.

Other than that, you are quite correct that eventually those two do show up, in full Minswear outfitting. More than a book and less than a month from now...
Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
blindillusion - you're talking about military heirarchy. I'm talking about federal headship. They are not the same thing. I'm sorry; I probably shouldn't have brought it up in the first place, but I stand by my statement that "it is valid nonetheless." And I won't say any more on the subject, because this isn't the place for it.
john mullen
73. johntheirishmongol
I could rant more on Cadsuane.


One thing about Rand is that we tend to forget the man is in constant, neverending pain. He is the martyr of the books, suffering for everyone's sins. He is living knowing first that he was going to go mad, next that he was going to die, and in the meantime he has to do things he hates, put his friends out in danger, bleed from woulds that never heal and suffer a mind rape. My god, if you don't like Rand you have to at least understand what he is going through.
Heidi Byrd
75. sweetlilflower

just to be snarky:

Maybe Cadsuane's "treat you as you act" approach is too subtle for him - he has to be told in so many words.

Well...he is a man, they NEVER understand subtle hints :)

Actually, I see your point that she treats others as she perceives them to be at the point of interaction. If her approach actually worked, I would probably really like her. She has the potential to be the coolest AS we've met, and yet...IT DOESN"T WORK!!!!! I think it is more that I feel let down and somehow robbed of how totally AWESOME the realtionship b/t Rand and Cads could have been if only she would have adjusted. I know, this is a fictional story and this is how RJ wrote it, but, still, I feel slightly betrayed by yet another let-down of an Aes Sedai.
You might argue that Rand should be the one to change towards her, but he is a 20 year old kid with A LOT on his plate. She is the older, wiser adult who should be able to figure out based on past experiences, body language, whatever, that her current techniques are driving him away, not towards her.

Perhaps we shall just have to agree to disagree...
76. Freelancer

You rang? Ask and ye shall recieve...

Stream of Consciousness stuff for starters...

Damer Flinn. Proves that saying I'm always reciting to younger folk when they've been served: Old age and experience (I usually say treachery) defeats youth and exuberace. Every. Single. Time. Damer is laughing because he knew that Rand's shock and awe attempt was going to fly like a lead balloon.

Rand. Proves his brain cells are still operational by taking that bit from the Bargain about a square mile of land and setting up the Seafolk for a surprise, as well as ensuring Elayne doesn't want to flay him alive for the results in Caemlyn (like she could get angry about someone else's Bargain). Also that he is still employing the wisdom of keeping his enemies close. He knows that Weiramon is deadly dangerous to him, though he thinks it's because of incompetence and idiocy, but he's spot on about Anaiyella.

"My Lady Ta'veren". Oh no, Min's converting the city's noblewomen to lesbianism! ::eyeroll::

Padain Fain. Mordeth. Ordeith. Jeraal Mordeth. This guy should get his own entire season of Springer.

Rand, regarding Cadsuane. At this point, the explanation for why he responds so much differently to her (and poorly, it is true), is this:
"Let someone know you need them, Min, and they have a hold on you. A leash, to pull you where they want. I won't put a halter on my own neck for any Aes Sedai. Not for anyone!"
It makes perfect sense. The only trouble is, Cadsuane has accurately assessed Rand's feelings after what he's been through with Aes Sedai up to this point (thought Cadsuane blames Moiraine more than credits her, which is mistaken), and she understands his stubborn nature. Which brings us to...

Cadsuane. The entire reasoning for her behavior which, on its face seems unnecessarily inconsiderate and provocative, is cleared up when viewed from her awareness of the above. Rand won't be leashed, and he won't be led about. So how do you get someone in that state to consider the way you believe they should go? In Cadsuane's own thoughts about the subject, you keep him off balance and then nudge him from a direction he doesn't expect. That's all she is doing. And just like raising a child or training a worker (or even a pet), the key is complete consistency. She never stops tinkering with his balance. She always answers his words and actions in a way he isn't expecting.

So, given the two paragraphs above, Cadsuane is effectively in control of the setting, by virtue of greater experience and understanding of what's happening between them, and by her continuing to press his buttons. It's unnerving for Rand, and thanks to Min's viewings, he can do very little about it. And while it endears Cadsuane to nobody, it isn't pointless and it makes sense.

And that's enough of that. Oh wait. Rand went to battle without the Maidens, to whom he'd promised he wouldn't leave them behind again. Bad Car'a'carn. He deserved his whoopin', and that promise he made to them tacitly includes his consent to this thrashing, bringing it back in equity with Egwene's business with the Wise Ones. He accepted it. It's over. They let him know that they would escalate with the next occurrence, so the ball is back in his court. Besides, it's good for him every now and then to remember that with enough bodies, he can be given as good a working over as anyone. Should they have held him down and serially spanked him for half an hour?

I don't get the impression that Cads needs to be set up at the BT with a chalk board and teach the Asha'man how to derive a third order equation.
That would be dangerous. Rand has not yet cleansed saidin at our point of the story, so the Asha'man are still influenced by the taint. ;-{)>




And I would mildly disagree with you. Your example about supply activities is perfectly valid. However, that is a performance issue, not a behavioral one (though behavioral factors could have contributed, but that isn't available information the first time through, is it?). Leadership, even in the military, is indeed held accountable for the behavior of subordinates, and significant enough misbehavior will incur punishment for the leadership. The scope and scale are different than presented by Cadsuane here, but the concept is identical. Enough DUI's acquired by members of a command within the timeframe of a CO's leadership, and his chance of future promotion is pretty much in the gutter with the drunks. Enough missed duty musters by members of the same workcenter and that Supervisor is finding himself with his own extra duty and the possibility of derogatory paper in his record. But a butter-bar that tried to threaten me with any of that found life interestingly miserable for months to come (refer again to that age and treachery bit above).
craig thrift
77. gagecreedlives
So just as a pure hypothetical but if Min had of been pregnant and was kicked in the stomach how much Toh would that incur?

And lets do a bit of a gender flip. Rand is now Randalina and is the female saviour of the world plus the most powerul channeller evah and gets a physical beatdown by 3 bachelors of the spears. Would that change anyones reaction to the scene?

And Im not amused by Cads but was very amused by Flinn being amused.
Adam Bodestyne
78. thanners
gagecreedlives@77: heh, that was pretty much my same reaction to Flinn's amusement. I think by this point I'd already decided I liked Flinn (saving Rand's life was probably a big point in his favour..), but for some reason just something small like this just added to him for me, when I read it.
Tricia Irish
79. Tektonica
Demira@66: Re: the attempt at killing the AS in Caemlyn.....

They all thought Rand did it. Even Verin. As far as I know Rand still doesn't know that someone was trying to mess up his relations with AS.

In the discussion on the thread back when this occurred there were some that postulated that Verin might have been given this "assignment" as a BA member....now that we have this info on her. We may never know for sure.

Sweetlilflower@75: You and I are in total agreement!


So how do you get someone in that state to consider the way you believe they should go?

Well, from my limited experience of raising two teenagers to 20hood, I found the best strategy was to ask them questions about their ideas.

I found dictating to them certainly did nothing but raise their hackles, and ignoring them in hopes that they would ask my advice was pure folly, as they continued on their merry way down various paths of destruction. But, questioning them, asking if they'd considered this or that, guiding them into different approaches to a problem, let them have the dignity of thinking of the solution/idea themselves worked pretty well. It also transformed me into a reliable go to source of counsel.

Certainly humiliating them in front of their peers/subordinates would have done nothing but made them avoid me like the plague. As Cads actions continue to steer Rand away from her.

As the most senior AS around, with the most life experience, she ought to be willing and able to adjust her methods for "success" when she sees her tactics aren't working. He's just a stressed out 20 year old with the weight of the world on his shoulders and considerable fear. She should have much more perspective and wisdom, IMHO.
Marcus W
80. toryx
Dreamwalker @ 52:

If she honestly wants Rand to behave like an adult why does she think infantilizing him at every turn is the way to do it?

Exactly. People tend to act the way they're treated. It's silly and stupid, but there you go.

wetlandernw @ 55:

I repeat myself again: she treats him like a child when he acts like one.

I just don't see it that way. I see her treating him like a child first, and as a consequence he reacts that way. People, particularly those who are uncertain of themselves or their situation, tend to do that. I kind of have to wonder if being a parent has an effect on the viewpoint here. I'm not one so I haven't really dealt with children. I see it solely from the perspective of a grown man still being treated as though I'm 12 by my parents and how infuriating and frustrating that is. Consequently I sometimes act differently than I normally would because my background with them is as a child, not as an adult. I fall back on the wrong resources.

So who knows? It could well be that if I had kids I'd see it the way you do. *shrug*

alreadymad @ 62:

She had assumed that Rand's behavior was just his successes and arrogance getting into his head. Without accounting for other stresses he was going through. Or taking particular note of who he was rude and bullish with. Part of the stress was even most likely from her.


Man-O @ 63:

And the Patrick Jane of The Mentalist.

One of these days we're going to have to have a discussion about this. I'd hoped to be able to meet you in Denver so I could do it without having to type it out, but since that fell through...Someday. :)

Tektonica @ 79:

As the most senior AS around, with the most life experience, she ought to be willing and able to adjust her methods for "success" when she sees her tactics aren't working.

Well said. That's been my argument since the beginning.
Matthew Smith
81. blocksmith

Thanks...great to be back. It was a frustrating few weeks to have some posts disappear and others appear one hour to three days after posting.


In that case, you are 100% correct.


I like that idea. Also considered her going out in a blaze of glory, ala Moiraine, and that moment being the lesson.


Not sure we know who set up the attack. IIRC, there is some conjecture that it could have been Verin. I'm not sure if we ever saw a POV from Verin saying she didn't know who was responsible, but ICBW. AHHHH! Tek beat me to it...three weeks off has my mojo in flux.


If it's in Ghostbusters, than you are correct sir. but I was thinking Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The scene where Herr Doctor was describing Sir Sean Connery's reaction to finding the first marker. She may have said "as a school boy" though.

Edit: Can't believe I spelled Crusade wrong!
82. alreadymadwithguidance
Yep. If all Cadsuane wanted was to provide guidance, she could have taken lessons from the most senior adviser Rand currently has. Bashere.

Her problem stems from a total aversion to being in any way subordinate and answerable to Rand. Unfortunately, at this point, and not entirely without reason, Rand will not easily accept Aes Sedai who do not acknowledge his supremacy.

At this point in time, Rand's most successful advisers all accepted subordinate positions to him. Moiraine, Bashere, Thom all had no qualms to taking directions from him. He really has no reason to expect differently. Any other Aes Sedai who did not accept his leadership ended up getting in his way and needing to be shown the error of their ways.
Chin Bawambi
83. bawambi
I'll add one more thing to the anti-Cads pile and one thing to the potential pro-Cads argument...

Substitute "AS with the as far as we know impervious paralis-net" for "bloody arrogent Dragon Reborn" in any pro-Cads argument about Rand's childish behavior and voila you should see why her current technique will never work.

However, if she actually is as intelligent as she thinks she is then she will change her methodology after conferring with Nyn or Moiraine in the next book. If OTOH she teaches the Ashaman/Rand a lesson with her paralis net then I fear for Team Light as Rand will probably draw on the TP after said lesson and become dark Rand for the rest of the series.
Joseph Blaidd
84. SteelBlaidd
Re: Military experience. Cadsuane always reminds me of my instructors at Officers Training School.

I suspect Flinn recognizes a DI when he sees one.

As a thought on the rationale behind her technique I direct you to this cartoon on first contact diplomacy.

As a note. the above logic also underlies Keith Laumar's "Retief, Interstellar Diplomat" series, and Mr. Laumar had been a member of the US Diplomatic Corps.
85. alreadymadwithparalisnet
bawambi @83
Actually, I'd pity Cads if she decides to teach Rand a lesson with her paralis net. At this point, Rand will freely draw on Lews Therin's experience.
And we've already seen a contest between AoL experience and modern Age gadgetry. AoL experience wins.
Tricia Irish
86. Tektonica
To be trusted, to give guidance does not necessitate being subordinate. People have different skills and are respected for that, by Rand. Bashere, Lan, Mat, Moraine, Avienda, Elayne, Min, Sulin, Rhuarc,etc.

He wants, in fact needs, to be in ultimate control of his actions, as it should be. Moraine and Siuan got that. His fear is that the AS, any AS, will try to control him. That is different from advising him.

Trying to manipulate him and threatening him, will not build his trust, of which he has little as it is, for obvious reasons.

steelblaid@84: LOL. Probably very true...especially the gun boat diplomacy!

Blocksmith: Wondered where you'd been. Welcome back to the land of the living and posting.

bawambi@83: Yes, let's hope she changes tactics post tGS...I'm dying to find out what they all have to learn! And I wish they'd learn it already!!
Heidi Byrd
87. sweetlilflower
the paralisnet is from the AoL, the reason we know the name is b/c one of the forsaken, I think Cyndane, sees it on her at the Cleansing.
Alice Arneson
88. Wetlandernw
Freelancer - thank you!
SteelBlaidd - LOL

And where did anyone get the idea that Cadsuane plans to "teach Rand a lesson" in the classic negative sense of that term? Oy!

Okay, I know most of the Cadsuane-haters are thoroughly set in their position, so I'm just not going to waste everyone's time/eyes with pointing out the logical fallacies and exaggerations. *sigh*


Heidi Byrd
89. sweetlilflower
@ wetlandernw

I have paid attention to your arguments, and I agree that I was exaggerating some of Cads's worse qualities and overlooking key data in favor of my emotional response. I have now moved from hating her to being disappointed in her behavior, see my above comment @75. Like I said, if her methodology worked, I would grab my pom-poms and join her cheering section, but she is old enough, and knowledgable enough, to recognize a losing strategy, IMO.
Tricia Irish
90. Tektonica

Well said. I am in your camp.

I used to hate Cads, and she still would not be someone I would want to be around, but Wetlander has convinced me that she has much to offer, and I'm trying to see the humor in her. It worked with Nynaeve, who also drove me nuts and now seems ridiculously funny....almost slapstick to me. (I don't think Cads will ever approach that status!)

But Cads major failing as I see it, is not changing tactics when it was obvious that hers wasn't working.

And Wetlander, I do thank you for the restraint and for your former words on the subject!
Marcus W
91. toryx
Yeah, I don't hate Cadsuane either. I just disapprove (quite strongly) of her methods. And for the most part, I dislike reading her scenes when Rand is around.
92. Looking Glass
darxbane@37: Min definitely isn’t a warrior (she’s a quasi-wise-one, in fact). Yes, she’s got knives, but even by wetlander standards she’s not a warrior, just “not as harmless as she looks”. Aside from that, kicking someone across the room isn’t exactly “touching them without harming them”.

Hm. Interesting thought: perhaps they kicked her across the room rather than something gentler because that wouldn’t be as embarrassing. A weird sort of favor, actually.

Conversely, though, I don’t think they owe her any debt because of it. She got in the way, she was moved out of the way (actually, wasn’t there an Aiel story where someone in a similar situation was thought ridiculous for suggesting it was a matter of honor?) She deserves an explanation, to be sure, but I imagine they think that’s Rand’s duty.

Wetlandernw@50: Did Cadsuane say anything to him about Callandor before he went to Illian? I don’t know that he had any reason then to assume she knew anything more than he’d learned from Moiraine and others.
Andrew Belmont
93. rosetintdworld
sweetlilflower@87: Cyndane sees Nynaeve's ter'angreal on Alivia but doesn't recognize them. Semirhage knows Cadsuane's hair ornaments for what they are.
Alice Arneson
94. Wetlandernw
For a little fun-Cadsuane time, go read pages 741-745 of TGS. Of course, you have to stop before you turn the page to 746, or your blood pressure will go up all over again, but that particular section was quite fun. To me, at least.

"That is a very unconventional interpretation... Of course, you are quite right." YEAH!!

Oh, I really hope I'm right, and that between them Min and Cadsuane search & reason out the real meaning of the prophecy. I'm guessing it won't happen until AMoL.
Maiane Bakroeva
95. Isilel
Well, on the whole I agree with what you folks have been saying, but here are some thoughts:

I dislike Cadsuane, but I was totally on her side when she deflated Rand's "grandiose" entrance. I guess that Flinn, who is closer to Cadsuane in life experience (Dashiva'gar doesn't count as inability to mature seems to be a requirement for the FS job), just gets her better.
Having said that - I hate infantilization. And bulldozing. Such methods shouldn't work with intelligent and worthy individuals, not in the long run. If they work on a leader, then you are really in trouble. Which is why Cadsuane just doesn't do it for me.

OTOH, I also disagree that Cadsuane had to take a subordinate position to be more effective.

Moiraine had to do it because she had very little time and because Rand had a full-blown paranoia concerning her, which to the great part was rooted in his subconsciously blaming her for his fate and lapping up Ishy's dream-propaganda.
Her own mysterious and manipulative ways (however necessary they were for the most of their relationship) didn't help, of course.
But anyway, that Rand needed an assurance that he had an upper hand over Moiraine was a sign of immaturity and weakness.

Understandable then, perhaps, but certainly not something that should be catered to now. A lot of Rand's problems in coming books are rooted in his inability to deal with people who could and should be allies rather than subordinates.

Speaking of Bashere - one of my issues with him is that while he is clever and capable of standing up to Rand, he doesn't do it nearly as often as needed. Which makes me suspect him of DFhood. I mean, he'd have to be blind not to notice most of Rand's problems and mistakes and yet... for the most part he says nothing. He has a potential to be a vastly better advisor than Cadsuane, yet that potential remains unfulfilled. For a reason, IMHO.

Speaking of the spearing of Demira, IMHO either Taim or Verin were behind it.
Taim tried to push Rand into doing something that would cause an irreconcilable rift with AS for some time and suggested killing a few SAS. Rand then told him that he'd hold Taim personally responsible for any AS deaths in Caemlyn. Hence the elegant solution of not quite killing an AS to cause the clash.

And clearly, preventing an alliance between DR and the SAS would have been high on the BA agenda and Verin was resourceful enough to do so without killing anybody. Her steering of the AS response into the most confrontational and least communicative direction was certainly suggestive. Also, the librarian who never appeared for the meeting with Demira would have been a likely agent for Verin.
Sharon E.
96. Sulin
Tek@79- *claps* well said! and *wave*

@Wetlander- I don't hate Cadsuane either, I just strongly disapprove of her methods.

If OTOH she teaches the Ashaman/Rand a lesson with her paralis net then I fear for Team Light as Rand will probably draw on the TP after said lesson and become dark Rand for the rest of the series.
I certainly hope she's not that stupid!
James Jones
97. jamesedjones
95 Isilel
A lot of Rand's problems in coming books are rooted in his inability to deal with people who could and should be allies rather than subordinates.
Savior. Of. The. World. No one else has this responsibility. No one else is required to DIE for the rest of the world. No one else is expected to face the being that rivals the Creator. Will Rand need help? Yes! Will anyone else do as much? pay as much? offer as much? sacrifice as much? Not only no, but HALE-no. Expecting to be this guy's equal - even if he is 20 yrs old, and still makes teenage mistakes - is the peak of arrogance.

Other than that... yep, I pretty much agree with you. Especially about Taim and Verin. :)
Ron Garrison
98. Man-0-Manetheran
I think we all can agree, that just based upon the sheer volume of commentary generated by her character, Cadsuane is one of the most interesting RJ created.

Personally I cannot wait to see how it all works out. I think we will all be very surprised.
Chris Chaplain
99. chaplainchris1
@95 Isilel - I think I agree with you wholeheartedly - re agreeing w/most everybody else, re not being fond of Cadsuane's approach (though I probably like her more than you), and re agreeing with her about deflating Rand's grandiose entrance.

Contrast Rand's behavior here with his (pre-Dumai's Wells/kidnapping/beating) first meeting in Caemlyn with the Salidar AS. They come in all grandiose and spouting titles...Rand responds by saying "I am Rand al'Thor." Not a single title, not a single effort to self-promote - because he doesn't need to do so. He *is* the Dragon Reborn, he doesn't have to go around shouting it. It's a very effective moment, and Rand's behavior here shows how much he's slipped - whether because of taint madness, the trauma of his beating/kidnapping, the general stress of his sucky life, or all of the above.

And actually, while I hate hate hate Cads' infantilizing of Rand and others...Rand's behavior around her has *been* pretty infantile. After their awful first interview in ACOS, their next encounter was in Toram Riatin's camp, where Rand was in a manic period, walked alone (with Min) into the enemy camp, let himself be goaded into a duel, and nearly got himself killed by Fain. Cadsuane can be forgiven, on the basis of those instances and the one here, for thinking that Rand is immature, impulsive, and lacks self-control.

Not that this excuses her rudeness, but this, plus her direct-by-the-three-oaths promises not to try to control him, pry out all his secrets, or use him for White Tower ends...this is a better deal than Rand has gotten from *any* AS since Moiraine, and it's freely offered.

Sort of.

Re: Rand and the Maidens - I guess Rand sort of consented. At least, he *did* make a promise to them, and he did break it, and as Cads will later advise Rand, when you make a promise, keep it, or you are just a thief. Rand made a commitment to the Maidens, to abide by their customs, and needs to be accountable for his behavior.

Sort of.
James Hogan
100. Sonofthunder
Extremely off topic:

Chris Chaplain
102. chaplainchris1
@97 jamesdjones - mini-rant being touched off, which is weird, b/c I agree with 98% of what you say. But....

Rand is the prophesied savior, yes. But savior doesn't necessarily equate to ruler. It probably should equate to battle leader, but no amount of power and responsibility justifies belittling or crushing others - whether it is Cadsuane with her power, age, and experience, or Rand with his power, special (Lews Therin) knowledge, and prophesied status.

Is it arrogant of Min to expect Rand to treat her like an equal? No. (It may be foolish in some battle situations - but not in their interpersonal relationships. And when Semirhage was captured, Rand was less effective than Min, so it may apply in some battle situations, too.) Would it be wrong of Rand to crush her into following him instead of accepting her willing help? Absolutely.

So why is it different for others? Should one have to be sleeping with Rand to expect to be treated with respect? Nuh uh. Crushing dissent is the DO's way, the Light's way should be about mutual respect. And I *don't* mean he shouldn't come down on the Coloaveres, Weiramons, Anaiyellas, etc. of the world. But Rand's treatment of folks like Bashere, Dobraine (in TGS), possibly even folks like Logain and Rhuarc, the way he's become distanced from Mat and Perrin (who by Min's viewing are co-saviors of the world along with Rand - he can't do it without both of them) and never allowed the Aiel to get close despite the way 11 of 12 clans embraced him...this is not good.

Rand is the guy - but he's also only one thread in the Pattern. The other threads gotta do their parts, too, or the world is also lost. And a lot of those threads are willing to follow, so it'd be nice if Rand would *lead* instead of trying to *force others to his will*. Rand *does* have the lion's share, but it's not true that Rand is the only to have to give his life to battle the Dark One. He's the one *prophesied* to do so. But lots of others have already died to give him the chance, and probably many many many more will do so - by choice, not prophecy - giving, like Rand, the last full measure of devotion to battle the Shadow and save the world.
Maiane Bakroeva
103. Isilel
Jamesjones @97:

Savior. Of. The. World. No one else has this responsibility.

Well the world was lucky that Latra Posae et al. disagreed with you ;). Savior or not, not everything the Dragon does or wants to do is the right thing.

No one else is required to DIE for the rest of the world.

I am with Chaplainchris - a lot of people will be required to die before it is all over. There will be last stands and suicide missions aplenty, I am sure.

It is also not clear whether Rand will be in command during the TG. He is the one who'd have to seal the DO, sure - that doesn't mean that he'll be the supreme commander in the actual Last Battle anymore than, say, Frodo was.

Anyway, Rand's need to boss everybody had disastrous results with Seanchan and Bordelanders in TGS and caused his support among the Aiel and other followers to erode. He should knock it off, like yesterday.
Matthew Smith
104. blocksmith
Unbelievable US win...91st minute. Wow.


Thank you very much.

On Cads...I doubt I will ever be a huge fan, but I am not in the hate camp. Too strong an emotion. That said, I hope she gets a big redemption (maybe not the right word, but close) moment where we all look back and say...I guess the harridan was ok after all.

I think alot of readers (commenters) frustration with her is that her MO on dealing with Rand still amounts to manipulation instead of direct communication. I hope (see above) there is a good reason for this, and not just the indirect benefit (we hope) of her abysmal attempt to get Rand to loosen up by using Tam.

We shall see. How long til TOM? Should I be nervous if I am twitching now?
James Jones
105. jamesedjones
102 chaplainchris1

Ummm... What?

Who said Rand should crush anyone? As far as delegation of authority, he should be at the top until TG. After that, if he's still alive, he can go back to being a shepard. If that's what he wants.

What on earth did you think I was saying?!
James Jones
106. jamesedjones
103 Isilel

Yeah... cause her plan was so great that Rand destroyed the only available tool to do it. LTT may have been wrong with his plan, but so was Later Prose. It was a plan to use enough power to remake the prison, which is something, theoretically, only the creater can do. Are you saying that there should be an apotheosis to finish the books? Obviously, not by using the two big-a** sa'angreal. However the books conclude, if the Light side wins, then they will have done so in the only possible way for the best success evah (which doesn't include the big-a** sa'angreals in Later Prose's idea).

Was LTT wrong? You betcha. But then, he did buy the world about 3,000 years. Was Later Prose right? I'm going to say no, based principally on the idea that RJ would have kept the tools around if that was how it needed to happen. Hindsight FTW :) (I like smileys) :D

Edit: I also like lunch breaks.
Henry Loose
107. schrodinger
Min is not treated well by Rand primarily because she is sleeping with him... even before he consciously realized he liked her (while unconsciously having some very naughty dreams about her) she treated him as Rand al'Thor, never as the Dragon reborn. Everyone else around Rand either treats him as a leader, a monster, or a child, no one else really cares that he is Rand al'Thor, person. Min respects and cares for Rand, while most everyone else either worshiping, fearing, or belittling him. If everyone else wants a modicum of respect from Rand, then they should start to respect him. The problem with Bashere and Dobraine, and even Mat and Perrin, is that they have ceased to see him as Rand, and solely as the Dragon reborn (Mat and Perrin do chastise themselves a little bit for this, but in the end, they always go back to seeing him as the Dragon reborn (admittedly, Perrin was a little preoccupied with the longest plot arc ever, and I don't think Mat ever got over the whole he's a man who can channel thing.

I agree that Rand is not the only one who will die, or has died, but he is the only one who knows that he is going to die, and that knowledge makes all the difference.

And, personally, if I knew that someone was destined to save the world, I would want them to rule as many people and lands as possible, so they could have access to the most possible resources, giving them the best chance for success.
Maiane Bakroeva
108. Isilel
Jamesjones @106:

Latra was right to keep female channelers from participating in the Sealing - if she didn't, the world would have been doomed.
Which shows that the the Dragon as the unquestionable supreme leader would have been a disaster.

As to the mega sa'angreal - well, it isn't obvious to me that under different circumstances the barrier idea wouldn't have worked as a temporary measure, which LTT's patch also was, though he himself thought that it would provide a more permanent solution. No perfect Sealing is possible in the Second Age, but avoiding the taint may be feasible in some of the turnings.
Chris Chaplain
109. chaplainchris1
@105 jamesedjones - what did I think you were saying? Well, @97 you said: Expecting to be this guy's equal - even if he is 20 yrs old, and still makes teenage mistakes - is the peak of arrogance.

So that's what I thought you said. What I thought you meant? No one should expect to be treated as an equal by Rand, and expecting such was the height of arrogance. His status as prophesied savior meant that everyone should fall into line, a la TGS "do you believe I could will it and you will die?"

Whereas I believe he should lead, not compel, and that prophecy doesn't absolve him of the need to *earn* respect, rather than *demand* it. (Beyond the level of respect that all people are due.) It *does* mean that everyone should give him as much benefit of the doubt, and help, as possible. It does not mean that he should expect to bellow everyone into line and treat them as playing pieces rather than people. Rather, it's the height of arrogance to think that he doesn't need the help, advice, and initiative of others. He wants increasingly for everyone to do as they are told, but fails to grant leaders like Bashere, Rhuarc, et. al. the independence and initiative they need to be effective and to *help* him. When even trustworthy folks like Bashere and Nynaeve are rebuked for showing initiative - even when their initiatives succeed! - our boy is in trouble.

I respect, admire, and like Rand. He's worthy of respect. But much of what he's done and thinks is hidden from those around him, and much of what they see is his temper and instability. Being the Dragon Reborn doesn't make this a) right, or b) smart.
Alice Arneson
110. Wetlandernw
Rats. I had this great post written, but since it was supposed to be short I just did it in the comment box, and (for the first time in months) lost it when I hit preview. *sigh* The one time I don't write it in notepad, or at least copy it before I hit preview... So I'll try to recreate it, since I think it was worth posting. (YMMV)

LookingGlass @92 - You are correct in thinking that Rand had no way to know that Cadsuane had intel on Callandor specifically. My point was that she had given him several indications that she had been studying up on channeling men and all things related, to the point that if he'd asked a couple of questions instead of losing his temper he'd have realized that she had a lot of information that could be useful for him.

Unfortunately, even before the crossed-balefire episode, Rand was pretty paranoid about everyone in general and Aes Sedai in particular. It was bad enough before, but the two AS embassies with their various stupidities had increased his animosity to the point that it would take something incredible for him to trust them. Already he mistrusts even Egwene, and he's known her all his life. He still trusts Elayne, mostly, but that's mostly due to the canoodling in corners of the Stone (okay, he believes that she loves him); and he mostly trusts Nynaeve, because while her powers of self-deception are truly awe-inspiring, she's not very good at any other kind of deception and he knows it. No other Aes Sedai can gain his trust in any of the normal ways.

So along comes Cadsuane, who throws him off balance by not reacting to him in any of the ways people usually do. Only a few weeks ago, that would have been intriguing enough to be effective, as it was for Herid Fel and Davram Bashere. Sadly, he's gotten far, far worse, and instead of seeing possibilites, he only feels the irritation. Still, it works to a limited extent, because he doesn't just write her off; Min's viewing helps that as well.

Parenthetically, Cadsuane had no particular reason to jump up and down about the Callandor intel. She hadn't had much opportunity to talk with him, but she knew two things: One, he had used it before, with apparently no disastrous effect (she couldn't know about the dead girl he tried to ressurect). Two, he had stuffed it into the floor in the Heart of the Stone and left it there for the last 6 months. No one knew he had any plans for it until he sent Narishma for it.

After he was injured at the rebel camp, he was unconscious for two days. By rights, he should have stayed put for at least a few days after he woke up, but instead he immediately went haring off after Sammael. Then followed: the crossed balefire in Shadar Logoth, the crown of Illian, the campaign against the Seanchan, the retrieval of Callandor, and the decimation of what was left of his army when he tried to use it. All of that happened without his returning to Cairhien or even giving anyone there (including Min) any real idea of his whereabouts.

So... yeah, without Rand getting off his high horse and asking a couple of questions, there's no way he could have learned about Callandor sooner. I seriously think that if Cadsuane had tried to tell him without his asking, he'd have written it off as trying to manipulate him. As noted above, he was suspicious to the point of paranoia about anything offered freely.

Which brings me to an interesting thought, which only occured to me as I was writing the above (the first time). Not so long ago, Rand was willing to learn from other people, including women: Moiraine, Elayne and Min, primarily, but to a lesser extent Aviendha and a few others. Now he's taking the "what can she possibly teach me" attitude, as though the only thing he needs to learn is about channeling. But it's not just Cadsuane, although that's the one he's most vocal about. Since the loss of Moiraine, Asmodean and Herid Fel, Rand doesn't really listen to anyone. Min would have some very good advice and insight, but he just smiles and pats her hand and ignores it. He still wants her viewings, particularly if they have a clear meaning, but he doesn't listen to her advice any more. Bashere tried to give him advice, was ignored and had to watch most of his army get wiped out because Rand wouldn't listen. Rand may still trust Bashere, at least not to stab him in the back, but he won't listen or learn from him.

I really, really hope that in the next book, Rand can get over his omniscience complex (I think the omnipotence complex is already gone) and can listen and learn from his friends and allies, instead of using them for occasional assistance and general cannon fodder.

Well, that's the most of it. Now I can go read the new posts of the morning and find out that someone else said it already or something. :)
Henry Loose
111. schrodinger
Anyway, Rand's need to boss everybody had disastrous results with Seanchan and Bordelanders in TGS and caused his support among the Aiel and other followers to erode. He should knock it off, like yesterday.

They should get their priorities straight. Fighting at TG is a lot more important than any perceived or real slights caused by Rand's bossiness, they should remember that (I believe it was something like this) the feud you have with another clan comes before the one you have with your spear-sister. Rand's only real condition with the Seanchan was the cessation of all chaining of channelers, and the Borderlanders needed a good kick in the pants.

Yes Rand has a need to boss people around, The Pattern has a need for him to boss people around.
James Jones
112. jamesedjones
109 chaplainchris1

Ok then. We're cool. I was just responding to Isilel's comment that -summed up- Rand's a teenage idiot (which he is... a lot), but I still think he's the best person for the job. It's RJ's theme about lack of communication. But it's pretty clear that if Rand didn't have to deal with so much crap from his suppozed followers, then he wouldn't be dishing so much out on the class acts that are trying to help him.
Ron Garrison
113. Man-0-Manetheran
I see three major influences in Rand's current behavior:
1. "teenage idiot"
2. Lew Therin Telemon
3. And since the crossing of streams, Moridin

Moridin claims he is "playing both sides of the board" with the Fisher King. There is no question that Rand is doing some things that are very dark from time to time. Sometimes he is just being a foolish, albeit well intentioned, boy. Sometimes he's making decisions influenced by LTT's guilt. Sometimes it's a mash-up of all three. By the end of of TGS, he seems to be reconciling #1 and #2, but going forward, what happens with #3?
114. alreadymadwithparalisnet
sweetlilflower @87
The paralisnet might be from the AoL, but Cadsuane's skills are most definitely not. Unless you seriously think Cadsuane can pit her skills against LTT and win. Alivia had forsaken class strength and a comparable set of goodies, but even that helped little in her battle with Cyndane.

In any case, just because Cyndane or anybody else recognized it as a paralis-net does not necesarily mean she attached any significance to it. As far as she's concerned it might have been a simple hair ornament. One that set Cadsuane apart for being the only person to wear one. That does not necessarily mean she identified it as some item of the Power.
115. BenM
RobM @23:

Min was trying to pull knives on them. They just prevented her from using them. It's not like they kept coming after her once she was disarmed, if memory serves.
Roger Powell
116. forkroot
Alivia had forsaken class strength and a comparable set of goodies, but even that helped little in her battle with Cyndane.
Why does everybody seem to think Alivia did poorly in her battle with Cyndane? Good grief! She went one on one with the most skilled and powerful woman of the last two Ages and sustained what, a broken arm?

You didn't see Cyndane come barging in and breaking up the cleansing did you? She might have even taken a few lumps herself. Clearly Alivia fought her to a draw.

Alivia has Forsaken class strength and had some nice angreals and it helped her a lot!.
Alice Arneson
117. Wetlandernw
forkroot - Thank you! You said what I was thinking, but more concisely.
Maiane Bakroeva
118. Isilel
Schrodinger @111:

Fighting at TG is a lot more important than any perceived or real slights caused by Rand's bossiness, they should remember that

It is not about the slights, but about the role that the DR has to play for a chance of victory and survival. LTT proved once and for all that the Dragon is not infallible and the prophecies are open to interpretation if not flat-out suggesting that the DR shouldn't be in control of the war effort (Seanchan prophecies - corrupted of course, but they believe).

Rand's demeanor in the last few books did nothing to convince anybody who wasn't already desperate that he is fit to lead and that obeying him without question would lead to victory.


I am not sure why you keep insisting that Rand totally could have beaten Cadsuane. What does it matter? Or are you suggesting that might is right and as she is less powerful she should STFU and worship the ground that Rand is walking on?
Joseph Blaidd
119. SteelBlaidd


Rand's problem is that all his authority rests on his role as The Dragon Reborn/Car'a'Carn/Coromore giveing him the biggest stick in the room. This makes him suspicious of the motivations of the people around him ass he has no formal deliniation of duties, responsebilities and rights. As a counter example Egwene as Amerlyn has 300 years of precident, law and tradition defining her authority. She has things that are explicitly under her control(procecution of the War for example)so that if an initiate of the Tower accts cotrary to her authority she has defined and accepted avenues for dealing with that (assigning a penance, Unchairing, etc.) and the rest of the Tower has a vested intrest in atleast folowing the letter of the law. Additionaly she is subject to the Laws of the Tower and the Hall has procedures that provide a check against improper use of her authority( whether they use them or not is a seperate issue). Rand rules by fiat. There are no laws govererning his power beyond his ability to apply either force or persuasion, there are no tradititions of office, no governing structures to fit in to but thoughs he decreies himself. As Car'a'carn he is something like an Aiel Chief but he has no personsal history of culture to help him understand that role and he deliberatly seperates himself from learning more after leaveing the waste because he dosen't want to see the Aiel as anything more than "just another spear." As an aside, he understands perfectly well that by not calling the Maidens to his side in the Ebu Dar Campain he is dissing them. He just can deal with there displesure easier thatn he can deal with the risk of adding more names to The List.

And finaly he has NO STAFF that is loyal to him or his institutions, except for what he can borrow from other people, or who see him as a means do get ahead nor does he have any real confidants out side of Min. He has no Siuan, no Reene Harfor or Mr. Noris, no Delyn, No Talmenes or Greth Bryne or Birgite. Bashere is "on loan" from Saldea and serves Rand for Saldea's sake not Rand's, Berilaine is the same way. The Ash'aman do as he directs but most are loyal to Logain or Tiam, neither of whom sees any good reason they coulden't have been the man on the hot seat. He could trust the Maidens, if he could make himself send them in to harms way, and the Wise Onees and Clan Chiefs are woried about saving the Aeil not the world. Dobraine might qualify, but he is Cairheinan and while a good subordinant can Rand trust him not to jump ship if he thinks Rand is about to loseit.

What this boils down to is that Rand is going to be suspicious of anybody, and especialy of anyone he thinks is trying to ingratiate themselves with him. Nothing you do wil make him trust you but youwill get further with blunt than smooth.
Rob Munnelly
120. RobMRobM
@115 - I'm just still having a problem with the way the maidens handled it. The unexplained silent beat down of Rand in Min's presence obviously generated an effort by her to defend him and it lead to them hurting her - not badly or fatally but they did hurt her. They have dozens of maidens in the hallway and they knew Min was in there. How hard would it have been to have three go for Rand and one to go to Min, spear in hand and say, "Stay out of this."

Alice Arneson
121. Wetlandernw
Isilel @118 - I'm supposed to be cleaning my guest room, but HAVE to take time to say - RIGHT ON!! Being the Dragon Reborn doesn't make Rand the Creator's second in command. It just makes him... the Dragon Reborn. If only he would see that, and accept the skills and wisdom of his allies instead of trying to do everything himself, he'd be a lot better off.

Like, for example, when he ignored the only two intelligent battle strategists a couple of chapters ago, and insisted (in the fine company of all the fools he could muster) on "pushing the Seanchan into the sea" and wasted a lot of lives... If he'd left the battle planning to someone who knew something about it, everyone would have been better off.

FWIW, I have to say: Rand does not have a messiah-complex. He has a god-complex. A messiah comes to save his people, even at the cost of his own life, by doing whatever is necessary and giving himself for them. This does not require micromanaging the entire world. It's the god-complex that gets him in trouble, thinking he's omniscient and omnipotent and has a divine right to run the whole show.
Alice Arneson
122. Wetlandernw
RobM - It probably never occurred to the Maidens that Min would try to interfere. No Aiel would even consider it.
Maiane Bakroeva
123. Isilel
SteelBlaidd @119:

Very true. Additionally all Rand's institutions and decrees are, by their nature, ephemeral, which makes it more difficult for people to support them wholly. They can't but wonder what would happen if after the TG both the world and themselves are still there.

That goes back to Moiraine and Rand's disagreement: Moiraine thought that the nations could be convinced to ally with him, while Rand was sure that apart from Aiel, he'd have to force everybody to follow him. And it seemed for a time that Rand was right.
But by TGS it has become clear IMHO that Rand wasn't wholly right and in fact that he has run against the limits of this approach.
He can't force everybody, he can't oversee everybody and in fact maybe should be doing something else entirely - like figuring out how to seal the Bore.

Wetlandernw @121:

It's the god-complex that gets him in trouble, thinking he's omniscient and omnipotent and has a divine right to run the whole show.

To be fair to Rand, though, it is difficult to avoid this pitfall, for such an enormously strong ta'veren.
For a time, sometimes a very long time, it seems that their every hunch is gold. One tends to lose perspective and the habit of acting rationally and listening to other people, instead of wholly relying on the Pattern. IMHO, that was the downfall of LTT and Hawkwing.
And both their examples show that ta'veren aren't infallible _and_ can be completely sabotaged by a savvy opponent. In the end, Hawkwing didn't accomplish the purpose for which he was spun out, but the very opposite of it.
Alice Arneson
124. Wetlandernw
To be fair to Rand, though, it is difficult to avoid this pitfall Absolutely. I just hope he does a better job than LTT and Hawkwing, who both seem to have developed a god-complex and were, as you say, sabotaged by savvy opponents. The big question is, can Rand learn from that aspect of their failures? Or figure it out on his own? (Okay, in real life I'm assuming that RJ wrote it so that Rand has a much more significant victory than either of them accomplished, or I'd have stopped reading by now. But from the inside-the-book perspective, it's a valid question, isn't it?)
125. Jonathan Levy

I keep imagining: "Richard! Put your tie on before you go out to prune the roses, or I'll have to spank you again. We can't have you going outside half-naked!"


"You know, it's the rudeness that I can't stand. I am always the soul of politeness to Rand, but that boy just keeps trying to boss me around - and even threatens me!"

Glad to know I'm not the only one who has watched that series :)
Tricia Irish
126. Tektonica
captainchris@102 & others:

I certainly agree that Rand is being a brat and not handling people well. He doesn't have a "staff" and no one he can truly trust, except Min. He is so totally alone. In part he has created this situation himself by alienating the Aiel and other potential supporters, but again, he is an untrained kid.

He is not a good manager of people! He needs to learn to to delegate and how to be a manager, but doesn't have time! Having Elayne around would have helped. She was at least trained in this area and could've approached other thrones peacefully, but that never occurred to Rand or anyone else for that matter. Berelain could've been dispatched with a channeler to open gateways, to plead his case in other lands.

Anyway...it didn't happen. Sigh. Just cut Rand, the untrained, inexperienced kid some slack. He's got a lot going on in his head....LTT, Mori, saving the world, dying....he's juggling.

Approaching him with some tenderness and sympathy might be different Ummmm.....there's a novel approach.
Rob Munnelly
127. RobMRobM
I'm having trouble agreeing that Rand should defer decisionmaking to his "allies" when the fact remains apparent to Rand that virtually any of them could turn out to be Foresaken, Darkfriends, Black Ajah, or ordinary folk with personal or national agendas that deviated substantially from the need to pull all nations together to fight the Dark One and his forces at TG. Rand has to act in fear of the fundamental truth that sometimes they really are out to get you - which supports the need for a hands on, detailed oriented decisionmaking style, with frequent silences and misdirection ploys to confuse his many enemies even at the cost of frustrating his apparent allies. It really does s+ck to be Rand in WoT. Rob
128. Greyhawk
Cadsuane fell into my bad graces pretty quickly. For someone who is credited with so much intelligence, judgment and experience I rarely if ever see any of it on display. I cannot say how much I enjoyed Tam's dressing down of Cadsuane in TGS. She is a bully. Maybe I missed it but, as Leigh's post mentions, Min viewing is that Cadsuane has something to teach all of the Asha'man. What will that be?

I am one of those who feel that the Callador thing was a retcon. Just because it was mentioned in TSR, doesn't mean that Jordan didn't come up with the flaw until later to balance out strength of the weapons for the good guys. As we all know, often the good guys will get some sort of megaweapon/power whatever, that at first glance could quickly end the story so there needs to be some limit on its use, etc. The flaw seemed to fit that bill in this story but just seemed to be added on--if it wasn't a retcon it was a rare bumbling of the story flow. (And as for super weapons, yes, the Choedan Kal remained, but Jordan destroyed one in the cleansing and then had Rand destroy the other with the "its too powerful for anyone to have/use" approach.

Also, anyone give any thought to the description in this chapter of the flaw itself --Callador lacks a buffer (seems like this aspect would apply for all channelers) and magnifies the taint (only the male half)--so, with the taint removed are women channelers still needed to "safely" use the sword? As for the buffer issue can any group of three men or women handle it?
James Hogan
129. Sonofthunder

If I'm not mistaken, aren't circles naturally buffers in and of themselves? Regardless of the amount of power? That's what I assumed, at least.
Alice Arneson
130. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @126 - Approaching him with some tenderness and sympathy might be different And it might just make him even more suspicious. It's not that there are a lack of people he can trust - he just doesn't trust them. And he may trust Min, but he doesn't listen to her any more, no matter how tender and sympathetic she is.

He's already got three lovers, and he doesn't need a mommy. He needs to quit pushing people around, realize that he isn't the Creator, and start listening to his advisors. Heck, if he'd just listen to Min and Bashere, he'd be in better shape! I'm not saying he has to do everything they say, but if he'd shut up and listen he might learn something the easy way instead of the hard way. (At this point in the book, I'd have been happy to have Min go to Cadsuane and ask - politely - if she could be an intermediary and pass some info or advice to Rand, on the off chance that something she said might penetrate...)

Greyhawk @128 - If you want to believe it was a retcon, feel free. As Leigh pointed out, though, it was set up from the first time he used it, so... really?

As for can any group of three men or women handle it?, during the cleansing it was used by Merise, Narishma and Elza linked, with Elza melding the flows. So, depending on what you meant by your question, and assuming that you meant channeling men or women... Yes, it can be used by anyone, but the circle must follow the rules of linking. One man must be involved in order to use Callandor at all (women can't access it), and in a circle there must be more women than men except in the special cases of 1:1 or 2:2. Does that answer your question?
131. Greyhawk
I am not sure I agree that the the first time Rand used Callador it was a set up for the flaw--maybe but I sure didn't read it that way. I saw it as too much power went to too his head, etc. That was dropped later on for the flaw and the too much power approached used for the Choedan Kal.

On the linking thing, I was sloppy with my question, men can't link on their own--but do women need to be in control for Callador to function properly now that the taint is removed? I read the description of the flaw to suggest that a woman must be in control soa to avoid the taint--now that it is gone, . . .
Alice Arneson
132. Wetlandernw
Oh, that's what you meant. Simple answer: we don't know yet. The circle is still needed to provide the buffer, but as far as I know the rest could be argued either way. The big question now (as of the end of TGS) is "How is it meant to be used?" as per the prophecy that "He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one." It is somehow important but no one knows who (other than Rand), what, where, when or why.
Noneo Yourbusiness
134. Longtimefan
@ 102 Chaplainchris

"Should one have to be sleeping with Rand to expect to be treated with respect?"

Well that would be a very different book and a very tired Dragon Reborn.


Getting a bit on to a different thing.

Rand is an enormously strong ta'veren. Up to this point and even in this chapter there has been the assumption on his part (and encouraged towards the reader) that his effect on the pattern prepares the way for the possibility of a narrow victory over the Dark One.

How often has he (or even the reader) only looked at the affect as it benefited Rand or Rand's plans directly.

Meranna spoke up to Rand and he acknowledged that the words the Dragon Reborn needs to hear are not always the words he wants to hear.

But then he continues to act as though that is a fluke and not a standard.

What if it was a standard.

What if the pattern is not putting up obstacles to his plans to postpone Tarmadaragondalonagon but to get Rand in a better mental place and he is refusing to see that because of his misguided idea of what it means to be "the Dragon Reborn" based on his upbringing and social and moral codes.

Not that there are problems with his personal ethics but is inability to mesh them with his current situation and his misinterpretation on how "hard" or how "powerful" he has to be may be why the Pattern which is drawn towards him and weaves around him presents obstacles instead of "instant solutions" which he (and maybe the reader) assumes should be there but would allow for his "not in alignment with what the Pattern needs" thinking to continue on unchecked and perhaps if it was unchecked would alter the chance of defeating the Dark One.

The Pattern cannot allow that but can only appear, it cannot speak.

Merenna is, in a way, the Pattern speaking to Rand and he sees it as an anomaly dismissing it instead of realizing that there are actions and attitudes he needs to change before things will start falling in to place to advance his position.

So he goes and acts up in front of Cadsuane out of fear of trusting anyone (especially Aes Sedai), hurt from not being recognized for who he is when clearly she is there because of who he is, and fury from having to prove over and over again what should be an acknowledged fact. (and is acknowledged but not in the way he wants it to be.)

It is this petulant reacting instead of reasoned acting that the Pattern may be trying change in him but it cannot just send a note over with a cute girl from geometry class with the words "do you like me?" and a yes or no box at the bottom.

Although it did send Min over with a book called Reason and Unreason. Which is a very big and boring note that you cannot fold into fun little flipable triangles to open and close with your fingers. :)

Oh the Pattern, you are a coy and complicated mistress. Everyone thinks Rand has three wives but the Pattern is his one and only.

Essentially they are unable to exist without eachother. Literatureally.

On the other hand, this partially consents to Cadsuane's actions towards Rand as Pattern required and that just makes me all unhappy that while she feels she miscalculated and I would like to believe that she could have acheived better results with better treatment the Pattern (who is Jordan) would not have it any other way.

Which brings up the whole "free will" thing since in a Pattern based world there is probably some but not in the way people assume it should be and for a Ta'veren tripley not so.

Regret over forced actions still weigh on the heart and in that the Pattern is a cruel mistress.

In that I am with Min on the subject of letters. The more the better because communication is the key. The Pattern better start sending some since it has Rand tied around its little finger the way Min is tied to Rand.

When the Pattern crooks its finger does Rand resent his urge to run? Does it appreciate how he waits for it with no word of comfort or support, doing all that he thinks it has asked with no thought for his needs or feelings.

Sure there is an occasional reward with a kingship or a victory in battle but then the days of wandering off to do other things linger inbetween. Min has to share Rand with not only two other women but all of his counsel and advisors. Rand has to share the Pattern with Everyone!

And where as Rand would be upset if Min were harmed the Pattern pretty much expects Rand to get hurt, get up and get killed.

Bleah. Rand and the Pattern need some relationship counseling STAT!

Dr. Cadsuane and her "tough love" therapy is not really helping.

But her honesty should have been a big clue that she was trying to. First Oath, can not lie, all that jazz.

Well I think this wall o text is tall enough.

If any of you kids climb over it I will hobble out to my porch and tell you to "get off my lawn!"


Edit to say I had no idea the post right above mine would be that post. Hilarious.
Tricia Irish
135. Tektonica
Jonathan@103: Done it again! LOL. And almost appropriate on this post. LOL.

longtimefan@104: I like the "pattern is his true mistress". Indeed. Poor guy. Good thoughtful post! Thank you.

Wetlandernw@130: It might make him suspicious at first, even though Min told him he needed her, but I think he'd come to love it!

Thus continues the long and arduous trek to Communicate!! Honestly. Men and women. Everyone. Geez.
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
Still, somehow the mental image of Cadsuane, age 300, being all warm and tender and sympathetic with Rand, age 22.... simply refuses to form in my mind. Can't make it happen. Such a limited imagination. :>
Ron Garrison
137. Man-0-Manetheran
JL@133: Chilling. Absolutely chilling. What can we do to make sure this never, ever happens again?
Rob Munnelly
138. RobMRobM
@138 - deterrence through threat of spanking????
Tess Laird
139. thewindrose
I think Jonathon Levy is trying to elicit a comment from our venerable hostess - who loves spankings of all kinds!
And the interview does fit on this thread:)

Longtimefan - I have the Pattern is a Harsh Mistress going through my head for some reason.

Sharon E.
140. Sulin
Oh the Pattern, you are a coy and complicated mistress. Everyone thinks Rand has three wives but the Pattern is his one and only.
Your whole post was very eloquently put, but this was my favorite! :)
James Jones
141. jamesedjones
134 Longtimefan
"Should one have to be sleeping with Rand to expect to be treated with respect?"

Well that would be a very different book and a very tired Dragon Reborn.
Not just tired, but dead. Haven't you heard? Rand is He Who Comes With the Dawn. I'm sure I read that somewhere...
142. alreadymadwiththedraw
forkroot @116
It may have been a draw. And no, Cyndane didn't barge into the Cleansing. But she got out of there on her own power. Alivia wouldn't have been going anywhere with an injury like that. Her arm wasn't just broken, it was also badly burned. Not a good tradeoff considering her advantages, IMHO. Besides, does Cadsuane even have the amount of battle experience Alivia has? Because we know what happened when Greens met damane.

Isilel @118
Well... Let's see... Could it be because in the only example we have of AoL skill being pitted against wonderful set of ter'angreal, AoL skill evened out?
As for might being right, how else do you think do Aes Sedai get to bully everyone else around them? You think it's just the well-rounded education?
What I suggested was that Cadsuane took the wrong approach to dealing with Rand and she acknowledged this in TGS. As for worshiping the ground he walks on... I wouldn't go that far but I suspect that will get Rand's attention.

As for the god-complex:
Nobody really has any clear idea how to win the Last Battle. Why should Rand believe others know better than he how to win it? The only thing he is sure of is that the people around him generally have some other agenda aside from his own. Aes Sedai most of all.
Roger Powell
143. forkroot
Now that's the jamesedjones we all know (and sometimes love) :-)

Jonathan Levy@133
I am in awe both of your creativity and how truly twisted your mind is!

Just so you know, I am full agreement with you that Cads would get toasted by LTT. I just had to stick up for Alivia who I think did very well considering the opposition. Yes she took some damage, but she drove off Cyndane and saidan was cleansed due to her successful defense (along with the other groups, of course!)

Alivia FTW!
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
alreadymad @142 - Why should Rand believe others know better than he how to win it? Well, it's just faintly possible that someone who has been studying up on it since the day Rand was born might have picked up a few clues he could make use of, if he listened long enough to find out what they were. Fortunately for Rand, Verin left some notes on the Team Dark strategy, if he'll listen to Egwene long enough to learn what Verin had to say. Maybe he could even do something really out-in-left-field like get together with his advisors and develop a strategy of his own? Oh, I forgot, he's already got a strategy - if anyone doesn't bow down right away, pound them into the ground. Forward the Light Brigade and all that. Of course, that brings up the obvious parallel...
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
Noneo Yourbusiness
145. Longtimefan
An unfortunate thought about the Pattern, Mistresses and Dominatrixianity.

If Rand is the strongest Ta'veren evers in like all the evers that ever evered (hi kids!) and we could take that the Pattern is constantly bending around him as it sees fit and not as he may want it to then the Westlands first Rand in the Box franchise was not only the worst fast food restaurant (both in not being that fast and not serving food.) but also EXACTLY what the Pattern wanted. (bleah for people, yay for Dominatrixianity?)

The Pattern needed to create a situation that put Eliada on weaker footing against Egwene not only with the Aes Sedai but also with Gawayn. It needed to create a situation where there were Aes Sedai "supporting" Rand which the oaths of fealty provided. It needed to break the Shaido so they could later be routed and sent out of the picture back to the Three Fold Land.

This also had the side effects of making Rand claustrophobic and paranoid. It is even more annoying to think that for some reason the Pattern may have need of this as well.

Bleah on the Pattern.

Sure it is all "the wheel weaves as the wheel wills" when your balefireing darkhounds or breaking the seal on Ruhieden so the plumbing works but it is still the wheel weaving when Mashadar eats your follower and Maidens (capital and lower case) getting up in your face about being allowed to get their stabbity-stab on like any other warrior.

In short the Wheel needs a better telephone than Min. She is only one person and the message gets garbled sometimes. (hello Sheriam!)

Edit: Not to say that Min is not awesome and doing the best she can to interpret but seriously, the girl needs a break from trying to act as a conduit between the nebulous always and forever and some hay hair from bumpkinville. There are language barriers there that words cannot describe.
Tess Laird
146. thewindrose
I think we are back up!! That was a nerve racking 3 hours of no posts at work. Yikes!
I need my comments fix...

Dorothy Johnston
147. CloudMist
First post after the stoppage! :)

Now on to serious business. Is TOM going to come out before that match at Wimbledon ends?
Sharon E.
148. Sulin
Yay, we're back in bidness.

jedj@141- ::Snort, giggle:: Those pick-up lines were hilarious! :D

::shaking head::"He who comes with the dawn"
Tricia Irish
149. Tektonica
Yay! We're back up and running! Boy, I missed this site! I had to work!!
James Hogan
150. Sonofthunder
I know, it was very sad. Usually I get to work and am able to wake up with my coffee as I read through all of the night's posts here...I was very shocked to see so few new posts!!

EDIT: 100 and 150 in the same post! Gosh, I'm good.
Tricia Irish
151. Tektonica

I guess I tried to comment last night, but when I hit preview, it sent me somewhere else....herewith, last night's comment:

ROFLOL!!!! Where did you find that! A ta'veren walks into a bar.....

Thanks for the good yucks.
152. Jonathan Levy

Does the Venerable Hostess ever comment?
153. Venerable Hostess
154. Jonathan Levy
Ok Ok I admit it that was me - I couldn't resist :)
James Hogan
155. Sonofthunder
JL@153, terrible.

And she comments on the rare occasion...not often though.
James Jones
156. jamesedjones
154 Jonathan Levy

Nice. :)

151 Tektonica

I ran across Bill Garrett's and Joe Shaw's "Dark One's Dictionary" in the late 90's when I did a yahoo search for a WoT term. Lost about a day reading the thing. Bill Garrett had WoT lightbulb jokes, the dictionary, pick-up lines, and a few other treats. It's now posted on linuxmafia here: http://linuxmafia.com/~garrett/jordan/humor.html

157. Freelancer
Longtimefan@134 & 145

Thank you for your comments. Not that I'm in agreement (or disagreement) with them per se, but it is an opening I've been waiting for.

Jordan wrote a "religion-free" story. No churches, no forms of group worship to the Creator, no "scripture", no ritualized pattern of anything along those lines. Well and good, I applaud the decision because it prevents all kinds of criticisms which shouldn't be levelled at fiction. So, what we have is a world where, as far as the POVs show, absolutely every individual carries the same exact understanding of just a few concepts including:

~ The Creator made the world (as well as untold others), then left it for the inhabitants to figure out, and somewhere/somehow left them the message, "The Creator will take no hand".
~ There is a creature, the Dark One, whose existence is in opposition to the Creator, and who was therefore imprisoned.
~ Time is circular (or cylindrical, but that's outside the scope of the present discussion), and ages which have gone will come again, as set by [u][i]THE PATTERN[/i] (insert creepy organ chords here).

Disclaimer. The above is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of anything, just a subset applicable to the purpose at hand. I surmise that everyone shares the above doctrine, because there is never a dissenting viewpoint about them. There are differences in superstitions about more mundane things (Mat and Tuon are used to highlight those), but about the Creator, the nature of the cosmos, the Pattern and the Wheel, there seems to be universal assent.

So there is a Creator, who is clearly possessed of an intellect, but who is "hands off" in terms of impacting the temporal activities of the world. And yet we (and clearly Jordan set this concept in motion, I'm not "blaming" the readers) ascribe to [u][i]THE PATTERN[/i] all manner of intelligent participation. "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills" is the closest thing to a religious dogma in the text. Along the way we learn that:

~ Ta'veren are more tightly bound to the Pattern
~ The Pattern controls the placement of individual threads, which are lives
~ The Pattern will spin out Heroes at times of great need

And many more of similar ilk. The Pattern, unlike the Creator, most certainly takes a hand. If the Pattern is initiated of the Creator's design, is not He then taking a hand by proxy? Well, there's no real answer to that one unless the author(s) choose to include it in the text. Still, there is this thing which makes decisions, influences lives, and clearly has a Purpose, how did the people ever come to the understanding that this is not the Creator Himself? Again, I'll let that go for now. Is it just easier to think about the events in one's life as being the product of [u][i]THE PATTERN[/i], a something, rather than a Someone?

And to follow Longtimefan's tangent if, in the final analysis, everything which happens could be considered either the Providential, Permissive, or Productive will of the Pattern, what is the functional difference between that and a directly involved Creator? I submit none at all.

Have fun.
lin mei
158. twicemarked

The way I think of it, THE PATTERN is the law of physics in the WOT world. The Creator designed THE PATTERN, the laws of physics at the time of creation, but the Creator does not change the law of physics at any time after that. What is is, for better or worse.

If a particular pattern happens to destroy itself, it is not necessarily the will of a directly involved Creator, because the exact same pattern could end up in a different state and not destroy itself.

This is, of course, taken with a position that there is actually free will involved.

If a pattern made by the Creator at the time of creation is bound to end at the exact spot, and everything is determinstic, then yes, you are correct, there is no functional difference between the Pattern and the Creator.
Tricia Irish
159. Tektonica

I like your thinking here.

I have always assumed that THE PATTERN was at least "sentient" in some way. Alive with the Lives which are the threads that compose it. Each Life being a part of the whole Being.

And Life Will Out.

THE PATTERN feels the threats of the DO via the Lives that compose its warp and woof, and reacts accordingly. It does not want the DO touching it, ergo, THE PATTERN spins out the Dragon and Ta'veren and the Heros to keep itself alive, and thus All sentient Life alive.
Heidi Byrd
160. sweetlilflower
So... since we are sort of in a post slump, I have a favor to ask. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett, was recently released on SkyOne television, which is only available in the UK. I would reeaaaallllyyy like to see this movie as I am a huge Pratchett fan. Seriously, everytime I get involved in a philosophical debate, I can always think of Pratchett quote that is pertinent (and funny). Any Brits on here want to help me out? I would, of course send renumeration (my $2 word of the day!)

thanks, Heidi
Jonathan Levy
161. JonathanLevy

what is the functional difference between that and a directly involved Creator? I submit none at all.

Without attempting to give a full answer to this question, I'd like to point out a small difference for the poor humans involved.

A directly involved creator can be spoken to, and can answer. He can provide comfort, guidance, strength and reassurance. The Pattern does not. One must trust an abstract, impersonal force which is using you like a spanner or a screwdriver.

Randland does not have this, and Rand sorely misses it, railing as he does in tGS against the creator who left men to struggle and die without guidance (this was on dragonmount).

E.G. an excerpt from a little chat between Mr. God and Jeremiah:

18 "For, behold, I have made thee this day a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.'

Eat your heart out, Rand.

(Of course, the end of tEotW, with the impersonal voice which says "IT IS NOT HERE. NOT HERE" poses something of a problem, but I tend to dismiss that as an artifact of the first book, where the theology was not yet fully worked out.)
James Jones
162. jamesedjones
161 Jonathan Levy

Always nice to see someone's first grey post. "You will be assimilated." :P
Ron Garrison
163. Man-0-Manetheran
THE PATTERN feels the threats of the DO via the Lives that compose its warp and woof, and reacts accordingly. It does not want the DO touching it, ergo, THE PATTERN spins out the Dragon and Ta'veren and the Heros to keep itself alive, and thus All sentient Life alive.

I rather like that! Nice thought.
Sam Mickel
164. Samadai
To my re-read friends:

Since Gabbly is so unreliable, I have made a new chat room to to talk WOT. click the link if interested.

Valentin M
165. ValMar

I did watch it on Sky 1 but I can't imagine how can anyone here be able to help. If it is out on DVD you can just get it on Amazon, or some such, I guess.
Thomas Keith
166. insectoid
Tor went kaput before I could post this. Curse you, Aquascum!!

JL @133: ::snortsnickerchuckleROFL::

Tek @135: Er... I think you are muddling your numbers just a little. ;) ::waves::

JEJ @141/156: ROFL!! I've seen the DOD, but never got to read the rest before. Funny stuff!

Free @157: Your organ chords are making me shudder. ;)

Heidi Byrd
167. sweetlilflower
@Valmar, I haven't been able to find it anywhere! Was it good? I saw the trailer, and I can't wait to see Moist Von Lipwig (yes, he knows its a stupid name) in his golden suit.

edit: I found out from a friend that it will be released in late August in the U.S.
168. Freelancer

A few thoughts. First, any law of physics would be dealing with the natural physical cosmos. Pattern driven events, such as causing Gaidal Cain to be born out of Tel'aran'Rhiod, are supernatural by definition, and inherently separate from the constraints of physical laws. Therefore, I find it invalid to define the Pattern as such.

Second, we see many occasions where events are ascribed to the Pattern, which clearly proscribe free will in those limited occasions. (Not to mention all the myriad references among us in the discussions about things happening via the Will of the Pattern)

Lastly, the description of absolute determinism in your last paragraph isn't how our real universe works either, so I would surely hope no such things happens in fiction. God has a Will, and it is His Will that His creation loves Him as its Architect and Sustainer. But He grants us our own free will, because receiving that love from us which He desires would have no value if it were compelled. Only a love given by choice has value. (As a side note, the movie Bruce Almighty hit this one on the nose, and I was happily surprised by that)


Yeah, not a big fan of the "corporate consciousness" as a substitute for Divine Will. Even if such exists, it has no viable sentience, and suspension of disbelief would fail at trying to employ such as the Master of the Pattern, especially with all of the intricate, forward-looking, and complex events which we percieve as being Pattern driven.

Jonathan Levy@161

First, welcome to the Inner Circle. You'll get a private message informing you of the date and time (as well as what to bring and to wear) of the initiation.

I agree with your comment, and love the Jeremiah reference. My intentions were meant to hold just within the WoT cosmos for that point. However, since you bring it up, folks living today have not had an identifiably audible voice (outside of their own conscience) speak to them with divine authority. So with that in mind, the analogy holds, that Providential events coming from a Creator who takes a hand, or from [u][i][b]THE PATTERN, could not be distinguished from one another. I'm just saying.
Valentin M
169. ValMar

I presume you've seen the other Diskworld films from Sky- The Hogfather & The Colour of Magic? This one is clearly e cheaper production. I haven't read the book so I couldn't compare it with the film. I enjoyed the film, less CGI more story. But despite the fact I've read only few of the Lancre books, I suspect I'll enjoy every Pratchett book made into a film.
Tricia Irish
170. Tektonica

Welcome to the Gray.
*Small cocktail reception in the bunker at 7pm EDT.*

Edit: Jeremiah was a bullfrog and a good friend of mine.
Noneo Yourbusiness
171. Longtimefan
@ 157 Freelancer

Seriously, I was just being silly.


I am not sure about the Pattern in general but my train of thought got all anthropamorphizy and derailed to go running wild in the woods.

It is easy to form the idea that something that influences or encourages objects or actions has some level of sentience. The Pattern fighting against being unraveled indicates a type of awareness. Otherwise the Dark One being senitent would just unravel it without conflict.

If the pattern were a sock and the dark one was a puppy the pattern would lose.

If the pattern were a cat and the dark one was a puppy then there is an eternal struggle that chases its tail through time.

Maybe the pattern is the cat and the dark one is the box and the struggle is eternal because only the creator can lift the lid and it will not.


see, the smiley face. Totally not serious.
Ron Garrison
172. Man-0-Manetheran
"If the pattern were a cat and the dark one was a puppy then there is an eternal struggle that chases its tail through time."

Good one. Now, if Mr. JonathanLevity can work it up into a "Live at 5" interview...
Ron Garrison
173. Man-0-Manetheran
"an eternal struggle that chases its tail through time"

lin mei
174. twicemarked

Why is any Pattern driven events, supernatural by definition? A feedback loop can achieve that, and it is merely mechanical.

Play any of today's computer games, and any of the player's actions can be countered by the computer AI, in about as much accuracy as any thing the Pattern has been shown to do. And we know for certain that the game software has nothing supernatural. And I think RJ had once compared the Pattern as a giant super computer.

People used to think that lighting is also supernatural, as God's way to punish evil people. Now we regard it as nothing but simple electricity. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Supernatural things may well turn out to be natural things we are unable to understand, yet.

I have always viewed the Creator as Order, as the creator of rules, and Pattern follows the rules exactly. The DO as Chaos, as the destroyer of existing rules. The DO perfer to change the rules in the middle of the game, as he wishes.

Now this does not directly run counter to what you were saying. God can create a world for us to love Him, without requiring a bargining session at every step. You can show your love to God, but God is not going to give you a cookie for every prayer you say, or grant you a wish for every temple you build for Him. You love Him for the entire world he created, not a quid pro quo type of what have you done for me lately type of relationship.
175. hawkido
If the WoT were done as live actors I would like to see the following actors in the film...

(BTW I am against live actors cause the series would take more than a decade and the actors would age far too rapidly... CGI FTW)

here's my short list please add to or disagree if you like, list alternates I may not have considered...
Complete fantasy list dead or over aged actors... just a dream team...

Verin: Kathy Bates
Thom: Sam Elliot (Road House years)
Min: Selena Gomez
Elaida: Sigurney Weaver
Padan Fain: Gary Oldman
Egwene: Summer Glau

Please add, disagree, agree, or comment

Roger Powell
176. forkroot
The subject (RL actors in a WoT movie) has been beaten to death (several times!) in previous postings on the re-read.

Perhaps you'll find some newer posters who would like to start another beating :-)
James Jones
177. jamesedjones
174 twicemarked
And I think RJ had once compared the Pattern as a giant super computer.
Akchuly, he compared it to a fuzzy-logic device. More software than hardware, I'd have to say. :D
Alice Arneson
178. Wetlandernw
And yet, you have prophecies written thousands of years ago and now being fulfilled. If the giant supercomputer or fuzzylogicdevice is simply reacting in realtime but very quickly to what people do, how could it spin out prophecies? Or on a smaller scale, how could it spin out a Hero, who then has to grow up and learn his or her skills, in time for whatever said Hero is needed to do? The Pattern as described knows what's coming to a large extent.

More later, if I get a chance. Cousin from China here for a quick visit, so... mostly visiting, not much commenting.
180. Freelancer

Please do your best to respond to the statements I actually make, and not a twisted interpretation of them. Allow me to enumerate:

1. I by no means believe that EVERY pattern driven event is supernatural. I offered up an example of one which is, and we know that there are many more. Wetlandernw's thought @178 is sufficient for the definition. If your view of the world presupposes that everything is describable in physical/numerical terms, then this conversation is pointless, because our root suppositions are diametrically opposed, and any debate flowing from such divergent perceptions has no value. So, for the record, I take the stance that within the cosmos of WoT, the supernatural exists.

2. Your reference to cookies, wishes, prayers and temples is meaningless. God's love is not a quid pro quo arrangement, and I would laugh at anyone who suggests that it is. I neither posited nor believe in the bargaining sessions you conjure up. (Hey look. THERE'S a straw man!) God loves every person. If a person wishes not to spend eternity with God, they are welcome to; He forces nobody.

3. The computer game comparison is a more appropriate argument into the thoughts under discussion, except that the argument begs the question. Again, since you are operating from a position that denies the metaphysical, it makes sense to overlay an Artificial Intelligence onto historical events. The failure is that while the recorded results of events can always be viewed and measured in physical form, the impetus or cause of those events cannot, indeed usually cannot be determined at all. Having some small experience with feedback control loops, in both hardware and software, I can assure you that they are not in the least predictive. They give a false appearance of being so, but they are quite distinctly reactive, merely tracking sensed events and following the numerical trends which result.

To trust your arguments as explaining the entirety of how the world operates, requires believing that the pseudo-sentient Pattern can mathematically determine, for example:

~ That Mat was going to blow the Horn of Valere where and when he did, which means mathematically determining that:
~ The Seanchan, the Whitecloaks, and Rand's party would all arrive there at the same time, which means mathematically determining that:
~ Rand's party would experience a four-month loss of time via Portal Stone (Now that we know more about Verin, did she have something to do with that?), which means ... Fain steals the dagger/Horn; Fain arrives in Fal Dara; Black Ajah arrives in Fal Dara; Fain follows in the Ways; yada yada yackety schmackety blah blah woof.

A world that deterministic would effectively quash free will, and that's the furthest possible thing from the truth.
Thomas Keith
181. insectoid
Free @180:
...yada yada yackety schmackety blah blah woof.
::clutching sides laughing:: Especially funny since Woof isn't here! ;)

182. Ouroboros
Hooray! Some free time.

Insectoid and Forkroot: didn't get a chance to say happy birthday last week, so I'll do it now.

So, down to business. WALL COMING

Go Merana!
Go Maidens!
Go Cadsuane!

Adriansedai @ 7

Welcome to the Cadsuane support group. We're small but enthusiastic.

sweetlilflower @ 11

She's rood to people who deserve it and nice to people who are still in her good books. People keep coming out with phrases like "how would you like to be treated like that". In Rand's case this is a moot point, since he's always been rood to her. And the others who get the rough edge of her tongue have all screwed up in fairly massive ways. Call her a hypocrite if you really have to, but don't say that her chastisements aren't undeserved. In any case, Rand is a hypocrite himself in this regard.

A black-coated man just short of his middle years planted himself in front of Rand. He had a sharp nose and a sneering mouth. “And who are you?” he demanded in a Taraboner accent. “I suppose you have come to the Black Tower to learn, yes? You should have waited in Caemlyn for the wagon to bring you. You could have had another day to enjoy that fine coat.”

“I am Rand al’Thor,” Rand said quietly. Quietly so as not to let out a sudden surge of anger. Civility cost nothing, and if this fool did not decide it was cheap at the price soon.

This coming from the man who later threatens to throw Cadsuane out of a window.

darxbane @ 12

If I was in Flinn's shoes I'd laugh to. It was a funny line. But then, most of her lines are, at least to me.

Goldsteinlives @ 22

To the contrary. Cadsuane usually makes people cooperate and does save lives. It only goes wrong with Rand.

RobMRobM @ 23

To be fair, Min did pull out her knives. The smack down may have been a hard one but the Maidens probably didn't want her doing anything stupid. Also, Min helped keep Rand's little jaunt a secret from them, so she has toh.

aspeo @ 28

You're totally wrong. LTT is in the Two Rivers and Rand is a blackberry bush. :)

Hrothgordo @ 30

Min does tell Cadsuane that Rand needs her to teach him something. I can't remember exactly when but she is probably factoring that into her plans.

Wetlandernw @ 50

Not sure about Callandor. I agree that it's a shame he didn't ask but I think that you're hindsight might be a little too acute on this one. Not that I can complain since I'm always falling into that trap. If he'd confided in her about is plans to use it against the Special Fried Seanchan Balls then it would have come up but it's never been suggested that Callandor has a flaw before now, so there's no reason for him to start asking questions.

I wonder if her “complacent” tone was because Rand had just asked her to be his adviser.

bad_platypus @ 53


Freelancer @ 76

RE: "Oh no, Min's converting the city's noblewomen to lesbianism! ::eyeroll::"

Stop it :-S Are you trying to start Groundhog Day? :)

gagecreedlives @ 77

I don't think it would have made a difference from the Aiel point of view.

Wetlandernw @ 110: agreed with all of this.

forkroot @ 116

Also, Alivia didn't know about inverting or reversing weaves, which Cyndane was using to her advantage. So all things considered, I think Alivia did very well indeed. I remember being puzzled at first about the burned arm, since the ter’angreal stops weaves from touching her, but as I thought about it I started coming up with all sorts of ways in which you could hurt someone by using the power to affect other things. Setting a tree on fire and throwing it at her would do for a start.

Jonathan Levy @ 133

My, you've been on form lately.

jamesedjones @ 141


@many on Cadsuane

Some of this is old ground but I've never really gone to bat on this and I want to get over with and move on, so here we go. Apologies if I’m quoting others but I’m just going to start writing and see what happens. I’m sure that a little Wetlander will creep in here somewhere.

People often try to magnify Cadsuane's "failure" by comparing it to Moiraine's "success". The following might help put things in perspective.

Moiraine spends approximately 221 days in Rand’s company before making her promise and Cadsuane spends approximately 66 days in Rand's company before Semirhage tries to capture him. So, how well did Moiraine do given that she actually had four times as many days in which to accomplish her goal? And never mind the fact that the Rand Moiraine meets is nothing like the one Cadsuane meets. The former is nearly clay compared to the latter rock.

And how about there techniques? Moiraine frequently manipulated Rand covertly, pushing him into situations so that he would have no choice but to act as she wanted. Perrin even suggests that Rand ran away in TDR because he was fed up with Moiraine's actions. In TSR she sends Tom, Elayne, and Nynaeve to Tanchico primarily to get them away from Rand so that she will have free rein. She even threatens to kill him if he doesn't toe her line. And - hears my favourite - she hits him with a stick of air because he makes a glib remark. Oh horror. She hits him? Yes! She hits him! Curse her, I denounce her forever! (Sarcasm)

As for Cadsuane. She tells him the truth. He doesn't like it but she does it. How dare she. Oh yes, and she tells him to stop being such a gigantic ass. If he wants to walk around like Mister Invincible then he should learn to put up with a little needling. And as for the frequent, horrific, and utterly unforgivable beatings (More sarcasm)

She slaps him after he uses Balefire, which has to be somewhere near the top of the Aes Sedai don'ts list - Moiraine even thinks that she might be stilled for knowing it - and she switches him once with air because he's falling back into the habit of treating his followers like scum again. How dare she. After all, no one ever hits anyone in this world. Except for: Most of the oldsters in the Two Rivers who beat miscreant children, which included Rand; Elayne, who slaps Egwene for comparing Nynaeve to Moiraine; Faile, who slaps Perrin several times for entering the Ways first; Perrin, who paddles Faile for slapping him; who knows how many Mistresses of Novices, who beat who knows how many young women for not jumping in quite the right direction; Mat, who paddles Joline for trying to channel at him; and that's just from memory, burn them all! (Even more sarcasm)

BTW, Egwene has said some much nastier things to Rand than Cadsuane has.

Rand's problem with Cadsuane is that he can't control her in the same way that he can everyone else. And that's the whole point of her strategy. She's trying to make him understand that he can't treat his followers like grunts, and that the millions of people who are relying on him aren't just stones to throw away in a childish tantrum. The fear comes from the fact that she might actually be right about the voice being a sign of insanity. Also, she's doing what she has to do to get noticed, he's ignoring everyone else.

If you think that she could have come up with a better way then stop and think about just how paranoid Rand is at this point. Reason and polite suggestion isn't going to work since he isn't listening to any of his other advisers. And Cadsuane doesn't try to manipulate him, she tells it straight at all times. In fact, just before Semirhage puts the collar on him, he's even beginning to suspect Min of working against him. He then stops and realises that he's gone too far and needs to change, which is when Semirhage strikes. Poignant!

I don't excuse Rand's behaviour. This man is responsible for millions of lives. I don't give a tinker's cuss about his destiny, when a mistake gets hundreds of people killed, you must be held to a higher standard. There's also the fact that some of his followers will only put up with so much. One of the Wise Ones in TGS comments to Aviendha that he doesn't realise how much work they are doing to keep the chiefs behind him, and this coming minutes after Cadsuane's saves Rand from a big mistake.

"This land is broken, Rand al'Thor," Rhuarc said, his voice calmer than Bael's. "It is not making excuses to explain that fact, and it is not cowardice to be cautious about a difficult task."

"We must have peace here," Rand growled. "If you can't manage—"

"Boy," Cadsuane said, "perhaps you want to stop and think. How often have you known the Aiel to fail you? How often have you failed, hurt, or offended them?"

Rand snapped his mouth closed, and Nynaeve gritted her teeth at not having spoken up herself. She glanced at Cadsuane, who had been given a chair to sit upon—Nynaeve couldn't recall ever seeing her sit on the floor. The chair had obviously been taken from the manor; it was constructed from pale elgilrim
horns—which stretched out like open palms—and had a red cushion. Aviendha handed Cadsuane a cup of tea, which she sipped carefully.

With obvious effort, Rand pulled his temper back under control. "I apologize, Rhuarc, Bael. It has been a . . . wearing few months."

"You have no toh" Rhuarc said. "But please, sit. Let us share shade and speak with civility."

Thank the light for Cadsuane.

And the prophesies don't give him a get out of jail free card. In fact, they caution him against pride. Nor do they say that Rand is the saviour of the world and that everyone needs to trail around after him, blindly following his orders. They say that he has to turn up to TG and fight the DO and that if he doesn't the world is doomed. It certainly doesn't say that he is bound to win or that he will be the one to devise the master strategy. If I was a king and some boy who was clearly unstable turned up and told me that my people had to do what he said because that's the way he's chosen to interpret prophesies that others have studied for centuries, then I'd be reluctant at best, I'd certainly want a say in how my people were going to be used.

I do understand why Rand is the way he is and I am sympathetic - I actually like his character when he isn't being like this and I wanted to see a lot more of him in the later books - but I won't excuse his stupidity, nor chop Cadsuane up into little pieces just because she's trying one of the few approaches that are likely to have any success. In fact, I question whether Cadsuane did fail. If she hadn't been there, reminding him that he isn't almighty, then things could have become much worse.
183. Ouroboros
@many on the wheel and the creator. I’m afraid you’ve all got it wrong.

In the beginning was a void vast and endless, in which dwelt a being timeless and great with powers unimaginable.

Now it came to pass that the great being, resolving to test his will, didst create for himself a pet. A vast creature in the form of a rodent. Saidin, he named it. But Saidin became lonesome, for he and his creator were too unalike to converse freely. And so, the Great Being created a second great rodent, Saidar, and then created for them both a Great Wheel there within for them to play.

Through millennia Saidin and Saidar sported in there Wheel, but then they began to grow weak, for even great rodents such as these need suckle. And so, the Creator gave unto them a great block of cheese, and placed it in the wheel, suspended by a contrivance, so that they might partake of the cheese without ceasing in their sport.

But as time passed, the rodents felt the need to relieve themselves of the stuff which they had eaten, and they began to foul there wheel with droppings of great stench. And so, the creator devised another contrivance, a Great Jakes, joined unto a Great Vessel outside of the Wheel, so that the realm of his creations would not be fouled. But that vessel became putrid, filled with a dark and vile substance which, through the long passing of years, obtained its own force of life.

Now the Great Being himself began to fear this putrescence. So he gave unto the wheel itself a multitude of smaller beings, that they may resist this evil and contain it there within for all of time. But some of these beings came to love the evil and the Creator became fearful that it might yet escape its bonds. And so he chose out one being called Dragon, in whom he could trust and made him one with the Wheel.

Now this chosen being came down through the ages, drawing on the forces which the Great Rodents Saidin and Saidar imparted unto the Wheel. And he used this force to meet the evil strength for strength. So often didst this happen that the evil became enraged. And so it was that the Great Jakes became permanently infused with fire. And this fire became the True Power of the putrescence.

Though this fire didst not concerned Saidin and Saidar, for being Great as they were, they couldst still make use of the Great Jakes without fear of burns. And so it was that they continued to use the Great Jakes, and the evil became known as he who is oft shat upon, which hath been corrupted through the ages to Shai’tan.

And so it was that the world was made.
James Jones
184. jamesedjones
183 Ouroboros

Hmmm... So, that old Sharan adage about, "Say the Dark One's name and get shat on" wasn't ... figurative?
craig thrift
185. gagecreedlives

Although its purely hypothetical so who knows but you dont think harming a pregnant mother (one of the few that cant be made gai'shain), also a women IIRC that almost seems to be viewed as an apprentice wise one and also the foetus in question you assume would be the Car'a'carn's wouldnt incur 'toh? Its not like Min is a treekiller after all

Would be interesting to see though how those maidens would meet that 'toh especially with Rands "will not harm a woman" attitude.


If you will excuse the pun that was some funny shit.
Tess Laird
186. thewindrose
Ouroboros @ 183 - It all make sense to me now! The ages where the 'people' don't know about saidin and saidar are when they are sleeping! And this age saiden got rabies? And Rand and Nynaeve are like super veterinarians who came up with a miraculous cure? Got it!!;)

Tricia Irish
187. Tektonica
Ouroboros@183: ROFLOL. Very very funny. Makes as much sense as anything else. We've missed you!
Birgit F
188. birgit
Does the Venerable Hostess ever comment?

In the last posting statistics (end of last post of ACos: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/04/the-wheel-of-time-re-read-a-crown-of-swords-part-24) she made it to the top 50 by number of comments:

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
39: leighdb;154;13880;90.0
(58 by number of words)

Since we are near the end of a book new statistics will be coming soon (although I will have to redo the link list in my program because TOR changed the format of the URL even for old posts).
craig thrift
189. gagecreedlives
birgit I admire your commitment to statistical updates. Hats off to you
Lucas Vollmer
190. aspeo

You're totally wrong. LTT is in the Two Rivers and Rand is a blackberry bush. :)

James Hogan
191. Sonofthunder

For a synthesis of these two theories, we can say that blackberries instead of cheese is being fed to the Great Rodents. And that the source of these blackberries is a bush called Tar Valon.

Barry T
192. blindillusion
Hmm. I just realized...

I probably won't make the Top 50 on either list.


And after making it to number 1 once.
Marcus W
193. toryx
blindillusion @ 192:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure my standing has taken a hit as well. Though perhaps I'll still be in the top 50. Maybe.
194. Greyhawk
Ourboros @182 I understand what you are saying about Cadsuane but cannot agree. It is one thing to speak truth to power and another to intentionally poke, prod, needle, infuriate, provoke and then generally bully your way through a situation. I haven't taken the time to go through and locate the plethora of instances when Cadsuane is condescending and bullying for no apparent reason--but I think my best example of how Cadsuane cannot operate other that in bullying mode is when she is called to task by Tam in TSG--to her credit she concedes the point--but we are almost to the end. Cadsuane does not know how to talk to people (a common problem for characters in WOT), only how to snap orders or offer observations and suggestions in a way that is the least likely to get a positive reaction.
Maiane Bakroeva
195. Isilel
Gagecreedlives @185:

a women IIRC that almost seems to be viewed as an apprentice wise one and also the foetus in question you assume would be the Car'a'carn's wouldnt incur 'toh?

Why would it? The Maidens are routinely allowed to go in combat when pregnant, just not as near to delivery as Shaiel was. And as an apprentice WO, Min should have known better than to interfere, leave alone with deadly weapons.
Also, if Min had been pregnant, the WOs would have known and told the Maidens.

BTW, I have always wondered why the WOs weren't more proactive with the whole apprenticeship thing and didn't try to teach Min Aiel values, since they have failed with Rand. Seems kind of strange that they missed such an obvious opportunity, IMHO.

Ourobros @182:

I disagree that Moiraine had is easier with Rand than Cadsuane. She had the huge obstacle of being the one to convince him that he was the DR and Rand had never really forgiven her for that and kept blaming Moiraine for his fate. Also, Rand lapped Ishy's anti-AS dream propaganda in order to feed his resentment.

I'd also like to point out that attempts to be direct with Rand, like in TGH when Rand was told that he was tDR and in TDR when Moiraine told him that he had to wait for a sign from the Pattern what to do next, didn't meet with success and made him suspect her all the more.

Also, Moiraine was, apart from the TSR episode where she was uncharacteristically dense and slow to change gears, far more flexible and willing to adapt on the fly than Cadsuane and never infantilized any of the TR folk.
Moiraine also mostly tried to handle situations through genuine presence, intelligence, and wit, rather than bulldozing.

So, yea, IMHO Cadsuane blames Moiraine unfairly and given how much more experienced she is and that she had centuries to prepare, her performance is definitely lacklustre. IMHO, YMMV.
Tricia Irish
196. Tektonica

I agree, FWIW. The humiliation of Rand in front of other people is so insulting and undermining, I don't know how she ever expects to win his trust or even his interest in what she has to say.

**twitchy twitch twitch**
craig thrift
197. gagecreedlives

"Why would it? The Maidens are routinely allowed to go in combat when pregnant, just not as near to delivery as Shaiel was. And as an apprentice WO, Min should have known better than to interfere, leave alone with deadly weapons.
Also, if Min had been pregnant, the WOs would have known and told the Maidens."

Isnt the whole credo of being a Maiden of the Spear is that they cant marry or hold the spear while carrying a child. Once its discovered that they are a maiden they basically give up the spear until the child is given away.

Plus how would the wise ones know? They arent omnipotent

Still think miscarriage via foot would incur 'toh.
Ron Garrison
198. Man-0-Manetheran
Excellent commentary on Cadsuane, Ouroboros, but no matter how many examples you quote (or Wetlandernw or any of us) I have no optimism some readers will ever "get" Cadsuane. I honestly enjoy her sections of the books. Like Flinn, I see her humor.

In this chapter I love the image of her sitting there quietly doing her embroidery while the snow piles up around her - not bothered by it in the least. Rand is trying so hard to impress - levitating teapots and cups - and overheating the tea to the point it becomes bitter. Great symbolism (in a teacup!) for how Rand is using the Power - egotistically and so barely under control that it doesn't have quite the result he wants. Meanwhile she sits and tells him quite directly what he needs to hear.
James Jones
199. jamesedjones
196 Tektonica
The humiliation of Rand in front of other people is so insulting and undermining, I don't know how she ever expects to win his trust or even his interest in what she has to say.
Good call. This, I think, is the key to why Cadsuane upsets so many people.

I remember the lesson I learned from one of my favorite managers. She was more of a drill sergeant than a manager, and her approach upset a lot of our team. But she always appeared to trust me, and listen to my suggestions. Several folks thought that just meant they had to agree with whatever she said, and she'd treat them with respect. It never worked. Because, in reality, I disagreed with her a lot. Just never in public. If I disagreed with her, I went to her office and asked to speak privately. But when I left her office whatever the end result of the discussion, I was always on the same page with whatever her final decision was.

A bad manager making bad decisions is terrible, but it isn't as bad as a manager whose team never works for him or her. I learned the value of a united front. And she never felt that my disagreements were insulting or showed any lack of respect.
200. Planeswalker
Ontological discussions makes me laugh sometimes. This is fun y'all. ;p
Marcus W
201. toryx
A point that I notice no one else has made:

An aiel cannot incur toh against someone who does not follow ji'e'toh. Since Min is a wetlander and does not follow ji'e'toh, nothing that the maidens do could incur toh.

Egwene was different because she was a WO apprentice, and therefore expected to learn and follow ji'e'toh as part of her apprenticeship.


Man, my posts are a lot shorter now that I delete all my comments regarding Cadsuane before I post them.
Alice Arneson
202. Wetlandernw
toryx - Mine aren't! but then I don't always...

Ouroboros @182 - Welcome to the Cadsuane support group. We're small but enthusiastic. LOL!! and Hear! hear!

And the essay on Cadsuane - Excellently well done.

@183 - ROFLOL

Greyhawk @ 194 - I haven't taken the time to go through and locate the plethora of instances when Cadsuane is condescending and bullying for no apparent reason... If you're going criticize her so much, you might consider taking the time to do exactly that. You might find that, much to your suprise, a careful reading of the text and context of each one reveals that she's not being nearly as "condescending and bullying" as you thought.

Isilel @ 195 - She had the huge obstacle of being the one to convince him that he was the DR and Rand had never really forgiven her for that and kept blaming Moiraine for his fate. In the spirit of the criticism of Cadsuane, it's quite logical to suggest that if Moiraine had taken a different approach, maybe Rand would have accepted it more easily, or at least not blamed her for it.:p

Not sure how Rand lapping Ish'y propaganda should excuse Moiraine's errors, any more than his boxing episode is allowed to excuse Cadsuane's.

And " never infantilized any of the TR folk." Really? Did we read the same books?

Also, note that Ouroboros wasn't talking about Cadsuane blaming Moiraine - he's talking about how
People often try to magnify Cadsuane's "failure" by comparing it to Moiraine's "success".
IIRC, Cadsuane's only spoken criticism of Moiraine was that she failed to teach Rand manners.

@Many, may I point out that in the chapter at hand, the conversation between Rand and Cadsuane was JUST BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM. The Asha'man had already left the room. So there was no "humiliating him in front of his friends" except for what he did himself by trying that stupid grandiose entrance that fell flat on its stupid grandiose face.
203. LRK
Cadsuane - pushing someone who is already almost certainly at least half insane off balance is not a good idea.

Rand - someone who is out of his reason, does quite often tend to act unreasonably; it is, you may say, an occupational hazard of being (at least) half mad.

Oh, and if Cadsuane does not see that there is something seriously wrong with Rand, she is not really very perceptive, is she?
Don Barkauskas
205. bad_platypus
sweetlilflower @160: Actually, the correct spelling is "remuneration." A lot of people get this wrong (including some online stuff I looked up). I remember it by "mun" being sort of like "money."

"Renumeration" does not appear to actually be a word; if it were, it would mean something like "renumbering."
Jonathan Levy
206. JonathanLevy

Thanks to everyone for the inner circle welcome.

To be honest, I had no idea you could sign in here, and it took an embarassing number of posts with "edit: grammar fail" or "edit: spelling" at the end to make me realize there was some functionality I was missing.

I was expecting to be yanked into the DFS by Ishamael in Tel'Aran'Rhiod. Now I have to rush out and buy a new tie.


If it was my cat, the struggle would be over very quickly, no matter how young the puppy.


However, since you bring it up, folks living today have not had an identifiably audible voice (outside of their own conscience) speak to them with divine authority. So with that in mind, the analogy holds, that Providential events coming from a Creator who takes a hand, or from THE PATTERN, could not be distinguished from one another. I'm just saying.

It is quite true that no-one living today has had a voice speak to them with divine authority. Personally, I don't think an omnipotent deity spoke words of comfort to Jeremiah either. However, Jeremiah had the concept of a person-deity (I'm sure there's a better word), so when he met difficulty in following a divine command (as he saw it), he heard a personal voice giving him comfort.

Rand does not have a concept of a person-deity giving guidance (except for the Dark One, but let's not go there), so when he meets difficulty in following the will of the pattern, there is no personal voice giving him comfort - regardless of whether that voice is real or imagined.

What I'm trying to say is that the belief in a personal deity can give more comfort than the belief in an abstract Pattern, even if:
- They take exactly the same steps in guiding events.
- They are not, in fact, taking any steps to guide a particular person.
- They do not take any steps at all to guide anyone.
- They do not, in fact, exist.

Of course, a person-deity has the additional option of actually speaking 'face-to-face' with his poor human minion. The Pattern has to send a hot 22-year old with visions to be your third wife.

Not sure which solution provides more comfort(ing), now that I think of it :)
Ben Frey
207. BenPatient
well, SOMEONE talked to Rand in TEOTW...
208. Ouroboros
jamesedjones @ 184

Well, what's in a name? Actually, quite a lot in this case. Whew!

gagecreedlives @ 185

I wasn't answering the question about pregnant Min. But since we're speaking hypothetical, the pattern would have intervened and put a banana skin on the floor in front of the Maiden that kicked her. Seriously though, there's only so much thinking around all the possibilities you can do when someone pulls out a knife and prepares to throw it at you. Also, by pulling the knife she is effectively announcing herself as a combatant. Ya pays ya money and takes ya chances. Hoo-rah!

thewindrose @ 186

Hmm, I'll see if I can work that into the New Testament.

Tektonica @ 187:

Well, it never hurts to think outside the litter box.

Sonofthunder @ 191

Compromise. The Creator put a Great Tower called Tar Valon in the centre of the Wheel, and mounted upon it a vast bush of blackberry's known as Avendesora. It seems a second edition is in order.

Tektonica @ 196

Well, you could say that by the time she gets round to humiliating Rand, he's already embarrassed himself through his own behaviour. All she's doing is pointing it out. Sometimes, he even takes the hint.

toryx @ 201

Don't worry, we'll be back to Elayne soon and I know how much you love writing about her. :)

Wetlandernw @ 202

Thanks for the rear guard action. Really keeps my word count down. :)
Alice Arneson
209. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros - Don't worry, I'm sure you'll still make the honor roll when birgit posts the latest statistics! :) I expect you to be right up there with Freelancer, Isilel and I... There's even a pretty fair probability that you'd top the list if she did a words/post set. ;p
210. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 209

No really, I mean it. I get carried away some times.

Ooh look - post is up. Let's get ready to rumble!
212. alreadymadwithenumeration
bad_platypus @205
I don't believe there is such a word as renumeration. But it sounds familiar because there is such a word as enumeration.
213. alreadymadwithenumer
bad_platypus @205
I don't believe there is such a word as renumeration. But it sounds familiar because there is such a word as enumeration.
214. Freelancer
::phew:: Thank you, bad_platypus. You talk about twitching, it was almost physically painful not commenting about that. I fear very little, but being called the Spelling/Grammar Police really hurts...
Don Barkauskas
215. bad_platypus
Freelancer @214: I was shocked that no one got there before me.

alreadymadwithenumeration @212: Yeah, "renumeration" just looks like it ought to be a word meaning "renumbering" or some such. I was surprised the first time (many years ago) that I tried to look it up and failed.
216. Randofan

What a betting rand got

and by a mere maiden.

217. VISER
Guys when will the next post be posted.
Alice Arneson
218. Wetlandernw
Part 18 has been up since Tuesday - I'll go bookmark it so it shows up in the Hot Bookmarks list. Part 19 will be up sometime tomorrow.

Edit - rats, it didn't work right. Just go to the Hot Bookmarks and find something about Path of Daggers Part 18. From there you can get yourself to the top. :)
219. VISER
yo thanks.
big help.
220. paintedfoot
Re: The great ass-whooping of Rand

He so deserved it. Also despite the fact that he would have had a faceful of vomit, he could have stopped them if he had wanted to with the power, especially as they attacked Min. But he knows these women well enough to know that leaving them behind after all the had done for him would not be without consequences, ESPECIALLY given the breaking of the spears as @Longtimefan reminds us.

I do feel bad for Rand though. The only people he can trust completely in battle and otherwise are the one people he cannot bear to use and lose.

Re: Cadsuane

I LOVE Cadsuane. She doesn't suffer fools gladly. Her attitude to Rand is "if you are going to act like a little b*tch, I going to treat you like a little b*tch". And re the disrespect thing, while they were deal making, he could have told her that his respect to her would equal that which she gave to him.

Re Rand
Rand has such a blind spot towards women. No one but women can tell him what's what. No men in this book can do that with him, though Mat and Perrin and maybe Bashere can still sway him somewhat. I wish he would see Tam again. I think aside from female-weilded smackdowns, dude needs some fatherly counsel. It's sad that he doesn't even miss Tam anymore.
221. seomensnowlocke

Re: The maidens beating Rand.

Your relentless requirement for "consent" is kind of ridiculous, and does not happen in all aspects of real life, nor should it always. Obviously, sexual consent is sacrosanct, but where is it written that people otherwise consent to many of the things they face?

When was the last time a criminal consented to punishment? When was the last time your kids consented to a "time-out"? When was the last time anyone in real life (i.e. not an Aiel...or Egwene) consented to an ass-beating?

And admit it....by this time in this novel, Rand needed a good old-fashioned ass-beating. (C'mon, you're from the South. You know what I mean.)

222. Qbe_64
I can't remember when. But you asked for an example of grown ups getting spanked. Here you go. Kings and queens no less. I don't know if it counts not happening on screen. But then Failes spanking didn't technically happen on screen either.

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