Jun 25 2010 3:43pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 18

Happy Friday, y’all, and welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 28 of The Path of Daggers, in which it must be the murderer! (Why would he scream?)

I apologize for the truncated entry, but my life suddenly exploded this week, and since the chapter after this is our soi-disant Big Ass Ending for TPOD, rather than be half-assed and rushed about it I figured it would be better to take my time and make sure all the asses are congruent, here. As you do.

Which means, incidentally, that we will be finishing TPOD next Tuesday. As the following weekend is Fourth of July, this seems like an ideal opportunity for me to take a wee hiatus from the Re-read and rejuvenate my depletedness. Therefore, there will be no Re-read posts on either Friday July 2nd or Tuesday July 6th; the Re-read will re-commence with the beginning of Winter’s Heart the following Friday (July 9th).

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

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

So, to make a long story short (too late), here’s the post!

Chapter 28: Crimsonthorn

What Happens
Aviendha, Birgitte, and Elayne emerge from the inn at Harlon Bridge to see Adeleas dragging a wailing Garenia up the street toward them, followed by Reanne, Alise, and the rest of the Kin. Adeleas shoves Garenia to the ground before Elayne and tells her that she finally recognized her: her real name is Zarya Alkaese, and she was a novice who ran away from the Tower just before Vandene and Adeleas went into retirement. She comments in passing that she’s surprised Careane didn’t recognize her, as they were novices together, and continues that the law is clear; runaways are to be put in white and disciplined strictly until they can be returned to the Tower for “proper punishment.” Elayne nods agreement, but wonders how Garenia/Zarya will handle being a novice again after seventy years of independence. The Kin are looking upset, except for Kirstian, who suddenly throws herself to her knees and confesses that she, too, ran away from the Tower—three hundred years ago. Adeleas stares in shock a moment, but recovers and says sternly that she must be put in white too. Kirstian accepts this meekly, but another Kinswoman, Sarainya, shouts a denial, asking why they should have to give them back. Reanne snaps at Sarainya to control herself, and asks Alise to take her in hand, but Alise only looks at her and says it is not part of their rules to give runaways back.

Reanne jerked as though struck. “And how do you suggest keeping them?” she demanded finally. “We have always held runaways apart until we were sure they were no longer hunted, and if they were found before, we let the sisters take them. That is the rule, Alise. What other rule do you propose violating? Do you suggest that we actually set ourselves against Aes Sedai?” Ridicule of such a notion larded her voice, yet Alise stood looking at her, silent.

“Yes!” a voice shouted from the crowd of Kinswomen. “We are many, and they are few!” Adeleas stared at the crowd in disbelief. Elayne embraced saidar, though she knew the voice was right—the Kin were too many. She felt Aviendha embracing the Power, and Birgitte setting herself.

Alise abruptly shuts them all up and breaks up the group, telling Reanne she will submit herself for judgment along with the rest, and the incident ends, but the Kinswomen talk among themselves more than ever, and cast dark looks at the Aes Sedai as they travel on. After eight days of this, Elayne is just wondering if they can make it to Caemlyn without a murder when Kirstian (now in white) comes in to her room and tells her Lord Lan requests her and Nynaeve to come at once, and leads them (and Birgitte and Aviendha) to the small hut where Adeleas had taken Ispan the night before.

Adeleas lay on her side beside an overturned stool, a cup on the rough wooden floor not far from one outstretched hand. Her eyes stared, and a pool of congealed blood spread out from the deep slash across her throat. Ispan lay on a small cot, staring at the ceiling. Lips drawn back in a rictus bared her teeth, and her bulging eyes seemed full of horror. As well they might have, since a wrist-thick wooden stake stood out from between her breasts. The hammer that had plainly been used to drive it in lay beside the cot, on the edge of a dark stain that ran back under the cot.

Sickly, Elayne asks who could do such a thing, and more importantly, how; Nynaeve steps to the table and tastes the dregs from the teapot, then spits vigorously and dumps the contents out on the table. Vandene enters and calmly asks what happened; she fends off Elayne’s attempt to comfort her, staring at Adeleas.

“When I saw all of you heading this way, I thought… We knew we didn’t have many years remaining, but… ” Her voice sounded serenity itself, but small wonder if that was a mask.

Nynaeve explains that the tea was spiked with a root called crimsonthorn; a little kills pain, but this much would be fatal.

“They might have remained conscious for hours. Not able to move, but aware. Either whoever did this didn’t want to risk someone coming too soon with an antidote—not that I know one, for a brew this strong—or else they wanted one or the other to know who was killing them.”

Vandene opines that it was meant for Ispan, then, as her murder took the most time. She also observes that Adeleas would never have accepted tea from someone she didn’t know; the two facts together mean that the killer must be a Darkfriend, and a member of their party. Nynaeve agrees sadly, and Vandene asks to be left alone with her sister for a moment, gathering the body into her arms as they leave. Once outside, they hear a heartbreaking wail from the hut; Vandene’s Warder Jaem prevents Nynaeve’s move to go back inside. Shivering, Elayne gathers Nynaeve, Aviendha and Birgitte into a hug.

The murder Elayne had thought of so lightly had come, one of their companions was a Darkfriend, and the day suddenly felt cold enough to shatter bones, but there was a warmth in the closeness of her friends.

Even the Windfinders are subdued as they resume travel; Vandene is serene, but Jaem’s eyes carry “a silent promise of death,” and Elayne is very relieved to reach Caemlyn two days later, though she is less than thrilled to see the Aiel in the streets. They ride to the Inner City and the Palace, where the banner of Andor alternates with Rand’s two banners. At the gates, Elayne rides forwards alone, in a travelworn gray dress (as it is tradition that the claimant come humbly), to the Maidens and Legionnaires guarding them.

“I am Elayne Trakand,” she announced loudly, surprised at how calm she sounded. Her voice carried, and across the great plaza people turned from staring at her companions to stare at her. The ancient formula rolled from her tongue. “In the name of House Trakand, by right of descent from Ishara, I have come to claim the Lion Throne of Andor, if the Light wills it so.”

The gates opened wide.

Elayne knows it won’t be that simple, of course, as even possession of the Palace does not guarantee the throne. She hands the rest of the party off to a surprised Reene Harfor, and proceeds alone to the throne room, where she is hugely relieved to see the gilded Dragon throne she’d seen in Tel’aran’rhiod is gone, and the Lion Throne back in its proper place. She knows she does not yet have the right to sit on it, but lays her hand on its arm, swallowing down grief for her mother, and vows to honor the memory of Morgase Trakand, and try to bring honor to their House. Dyelin Taravin enters and greets Elayne cordially. She comments that she’d heard Elayne was alive, but hadn’t really believed it until now.

“You’ve come to accept the throne from the Dragon Reborn, then?”

“I claim the throne by my own right, Dyelin, with my own hand. The Lion Throne is no bauble to be accepted from a man.” Dyelin nodded, as at self-evident truth. Which it was, to any Andoran. “How do you stand, Dyelin? With Trakand, or against? I have heard your name often on my way here.”

“Since you claim the throne by your own right, with.” Few people could sound as dry as she.

They sit on the steps of the dais, and Dyelin tells her that there are a few obstacles: Naean, Elenia, and Arymilla have made claims for the throne, though Dyelin has locked the first two up, and Arymilla is “a goose” for thinking she has a chance. Dyelin says Elayne’s bigger problem is Aemlyn, Arathelle, and Pelivar, who support Dyelin herself for the throne. After dropping this, Dyelin smiles and asks what Elayne intends to do about the Dragon Reborn.

Her brother fought for Elaida, and her half-brother was a Whitecloak. She had filled the Palace with women who might turn on one another at any moment, not to mention the fact that one was a Darkfriend, maybe even Black Ajah. And the strongest threat she faced in claiming the throne, a very strong one, stood behind a woman who said she supported Elayne. The world was quite mad. She might as well add her bit.

“I mean to bond him my Warder,” she said, and went on before the other woman could more than blink in astonishment. “I also hope to marry him.”

As she continues, Dyelin begins to laugh, and Elayne wonders if it is delight at seeing her own way to the throne cleared, but consoles herself that at least she knows where things stand now.

Daved Hanlon rides into Caemlyn, deeply disappointed that his orders preclude any chance of looting such a rich city. He heads to a certain wealthy merchant’s house, where a thug leads him down to the basement; Hanlon swallows down unease, remembering some who had been led to their own executions for their failures.

He did not think he had failed, but then again, he had hardly succeeded. He had followed orders, though. Which was not always enough.

A pretty woman in silk named Lady Shiaine awaits him in the basement; his orders are to obey her. He makes a leg to her, then notices what else is in the room: a large heavy table with two ovals cut out, through which are wedged the heads and shoulders of a man and a woman, gagged with blocks of wood strapped to the table. Hanlon almost goes for his sword when he realizes the woman is an Aes Sedai. Shiaine compliments him on his perception, remarking that she had asked the Great Master Moridin to send her a man with brains, since “poor Jaichim” here has very few. Hanlon frowns, wondering who this Moridin was, as his orders had come from Moghedien. Shiaine puts a funnel into a hole bored in Jaichim’s block gag.

“Poor Jaichim here failed very badly,” Shiaine said, smiling like a fox looking at a chicken. “Moridin wishes him punished. Poor Jaichim does like his brandy.”

The thug lifts up a cask of cheap brandy and pours the entire thing into the funnel. Jaichim tries to scream and struggle at first, but eventually drowns and dies. Shiaine laughs and says she guesses Jaichim finally had enough brandy.

Hanlon nodded. He supposed the man had, at that. He wondered who he had been.

Shiaine has the thug ungag the Aes Sedai, who proves to be named Falion. Falion immediately begins screaming that she will obey, let her prove herself, she is a worm, etc. Shiaine tells her that Moridin has left it up to her, Shiaine, to decide Falion’s punishment for her failure, but she might give her a second chance. She and the thug make as if to go through with the brandy-drowning again, and Falion thrashes and sobs as if mad. Hanlon is impressed, as he is imagines it’s harder to break an Aes Sedai than most people.

Realizing that Shiaine was looking at him, he stopped smiling down at Falion. His first rule in life was never to offend those the Chosen set above him.

“Tell me, Hanlon,” Shiaine said, “how would you like to put your hands on a queen?”

He licked his lips in spite of himself. A queen? That he had never done.

AND THE SUCCESSIONING BEGINS. Not before they’s a killin’, though!

I am mostly extremely relieved that this mystery is solved as of KOD, and that therefore I don’t have to talk about it: Careane Fransi did it, in the hut, with the crimsonthorn. The End.

Though I probably should make note of how many fans were convinced for years that Vandene was the murderer, as the by now completely outdated FAQ article shows. Which makes the ultimately-completely-innocent-AND-heroic Vandene possibly one of the most unfairly maligned characters in all of WOT. Shame on us!

Back in the day, I was sure it was either Vandene or Careane, myself. So I was half right, and half, uh, malignant.

That… doesn’t sound right. It’s not a tumor!

Vandene’s grief for her sister really choked me up this time, too. Part of that, I’m sure, is because this is the first time I’ve read this scene being sure that she wasn’t the murderer, but it’s also the first time I’ve read this scene having experienced a similar loss. I wouldn’t have thought before that it would make such a difference, but believe me, it does.

Garenia and Kirstian: My reaction to their being made novices again was always kind of “…really?” It just seems so silly to me, especially Kirstian. My impression of Garenia is that she’s something of a dingbat, so I can buy her being able to use (and accept) novice training, sort of, but Kirstian? I mean, hello, woman is over three hundred years old! I THINK she’s probably figured out how to walk and chew gum at the same time by now, sheesh.

As far as the Kin’s little would-be uprising is concerned, I’m of two minds on it. On the one hand I sort of agree with their position, because see above, but on the other, I really would rather they just shut up and allow this plotline to move forward unmolested. This probably qualifies as selfishness on my part, but then again I tend to waver back and forth on wanting to see the Aes Sedai getting down a peg or two, and wanting to prevent anyone from messing with the status quo—if for no other reason than to keep people from continually hampering the Supergirls, who have of course by necessity bought into the Aes Sedai power structure.

After all, a blow against the Aes Sedai status quo, in many ways, is a blow against Our Heroes, so at some point it becomes a practicality versus principle dilemma. And people wonder why it’s so difficult to effect change in governmental systems from within.

Speaking of which, as for Trakand: The Crownening, for now I’m just going to be relieved she made it to the damn capital. I’ll have PLENTY OF TIME to be officially annoyed at this plotline later.

Although, I had to kind of enjoy how Elayne is all, Damn, my life is fucked up, yo, right before telling her greatest potential rival she plans to marry the guy who’s possibly going to blow up the world, and that’s if they’re lucky. Because really, she’s right: at that point, why the hell not? Heh.

Hanlon: Gosh, I hope I get to marry someone JUST LIKE HIM. ‘Scuse me, I need to go shower now. Possibly with bleach.

Oh, and bye, Carridin! Wow, that was… abrupt. He didn’t even get an exit line. Also, I can’t say he didn’t deserve it, but man is that a horrible way to die. I left out the description of it, but trust me, that ain’t the way you want to go.

I have to say that’s kind of a weird ending, there, if you ask me, even for a relatively low-level evil character. I’m really not sure why he gets killed off at this particular point. I had trouble for a moment remembering when the last time was we saw him, other than the bit in ACOS where he threatens Shiaine, but then I realized that is the last time we see him. The only other thing we get on his activities after that is when he sends the letter to Elayne about Morgase, which had rather the opposite effect than what I imagine he intended.

So yeah, he failed, and all, and failure is punished, evil cackle, etc., but still it seems a little odd that after being such an ongoing recurring (if minor) villain for practically the entire series, he’s just killed off in three paragraphs by another minor villain without even getting to say anything.

*shrug* Although I suppose it is some closure for Shiaine’s character. Evil closure, true, but closure. Apparently revenge is a dish best served with a fine brandy.

And that’s what I got, kiddies. I suggest we stack the bodies in the cellar, lock it, and pretend none of this ever happened. At least until next Tuesday, when we polish off this puppy. See y’all then!

Tom Burton
1. Conky
Yay, new post! I know this is a bit of a tangent, and I apologize if this has already been resolved, but I have something to add concerning Galina and Therava's sexual relationship.

As I recall, Leigh wasn't sure if rape or even sex had ensued, or if it was just good, old humiliation of the non-sexual sort. Well, I've been doing my own re-read and I'm nearly halfway through CoT now. In Chapter 9, Traps, I came across the following quotes:

"She was Aes Sedai, and sometimes rode out from the camp alone, but she always returned, and she jumped when any Wise One crooked a finger, especially Therava, whose tent she often shared."

"Galina was pretty, but nowhere near beautiful, and Faile did not understand what Therava saw in her, unless it was simply the pleasure of dominating an Aes Sedai."

I know the second quote is purely conjecture on Faile's part, but Faile's an observant person, so I'm guessing she's probably right that Therava is sexing Galina. And from the use of the word dominate and the general way that Therava interacts with Galina outside the tent, my guess is that we can upgrade what she's doing to Galina as rape.
Poojitha Sitaram
2. sitarap
Yaay Post! :D I'll go back up and read it now :P
Heidi Byrd
3. sweetlilflower
I always wondered why they were murdered when they were. Notice that Adeleas says Careane should have recognized the other woman. Careane may have thought Adeleas was going to follow up on her questions and oust her as BA. So, perhaps Adeleas, not Ispan, was actually the prime target for this killing. I'm not saying she didn't want Ispan dead, just that now she had an extra reason for killing both women.
Kurt Lorey
4. Shimrod
Have a great rejuvenation vacation, Leigh!

Bye Jaichim Carridin. I always had trouble pronouncing your name anyway.

I never blamed Vandene. "Evidence" was flimsy and contrived.

Me first. Dyelin's a DF. Too weird to be anything else. Every-freaking-body (of the major nobility) in Andor seems to want it, and Dyelin doesn't? Does-not-compute. And then, there's the "attack" upon Elaine involving Hanlon. Uh-huh.

To @3. The "when" is likely because it was an excellent opportunity, whereas after the arrival in Andor there would likely be multiple guards/questioners at all times. The "why" was to sow further discord/suspicion between the Aes Sedai, the Atha'an Miere and the Kin (as if it needed any fanning).
5. Megaduck
Conky @1

Well, if we're going to be doing random tangents I'll just ask if anyone else thinks Kairi Al'thor was a darkfriend. It's been bugging me for years but I can't find any information on the question. Inquiring minds want to know! There would be a sense of nice irony here.
Marcus W
6. toryx
Oh, light, the succession plot. Zzzzzzzz.

But hey, the murder was not only interesting but actually solved. So that's actually an event I can approve of. I actually thought Vandene's grief was handled quite well. On my first read I was simply shocked that Adeleas got killed like that (Ispan? Not so much) and I felt some real sympathy for her sister.

Later though, Vandene gets downright creepy.
7. birgit
I’m really not sure why he gets killed off at this particular point.

He probably has run out of relatives. And if he had survived, he would be a concurrent for Asunawa/Valda and Galad as leader of the Whitecloaks.
8. Rootboy
Yeah I remember being vaguely disappointed when Carridin died, just because he didn't do anything. He got this great introduction back in TGH as "the man who called himself Bors" and then just popped up to be generically evil every couple of books before being unceremoniously killed.
9. alreadymadwiththemurder
Another one of the old guard gone. Those Aes Sedai who show themselves worthy of the title. Vandene had a minor MOA to hold up as long as she did after seeing her sister dead. But then the wail said it all.
Jeff Weston
10. JWezy
See, I was always convinced that Adelas killed Adelas. It seemed like a Checkhov's Gun principle - you don't have twins in a book if you don't plan to have the swap for each other at some point. When "Vandene" started wearing Adelas' dresses, I was completely convinced that it was really Vandene who had died, because she had found ou that Adelas was a darkfriend.

And then I was wrong.

But I just want to say that sometimes being wrong is better - that would have been an awesome reveal, it would have explained the bat-dude (can't recall the name of those vampire things) way back in TGH, nice and sweet and tied with a bow.

So I officially request a retcon.

Of course, that would screw up the warder thing, so some rewriting of Jaem would have to be redone, but he won't mind, will he?
Marcus W
11. toryx
Re: Carridin -

It just goes to show that giving in to the Shadow isn't a smart move. You get a little bit of big time notoriety for a while, then you just become a dirty little underling fated for a small death.
Heidi Byrd
12. sweetlilflower
@Shimrod: Why wasn't she killed earlier? Haven't they been traveling for two weeks?! I understand all of the "whys", I'm not an idiot, but I think this scene between Careane and Adeleas finally made Careane risk exposure b/c by not doing anything, she also risked exposure. I mean, come on, she's gotta know that Vandene is going to figure out that one of their group is BA. It was a pretty big risk.

Agree that I never thought it was Vandene, but she does get very creepy when she starts only wearing Adeleas's clothes.
Maiane Bakroeva
13. Isilel
the Kinswomen talk among themselves more than ever, and cast dark looks at the Aes Sedai as they travel on.

And from the first time I read this, I could never understand why Elayne decided that it would be a good idea to continue trudging on rather than Travel to Caemlyn immediately. Yadda, yadda with proper precautions so as not to kill anybody, but really, there would be a lot of open space around a 17th-18th century city, particularly at night.

P.S. I seem to even remember that Elayne thought in her POV that she didn't get any useful information after the first couple days of the trek either.

And I guess that the murder always felt like an artificial busywork for/threat to Elayne to me. Ditto most of the Succession.
Also, I expected more of the Namelle sisters, since they were quite cool when first introduced in TGH and despite some moments here or there never quite fulfilled their promise.

As to Garenia and Kirstain, I imagine that they'll be immediately tested for Accepted once they finally reach WT. On the whole - why not bring them back?
And as an aside - how many of SAS novices are the Tower rejects/runaways under different names? Egwene should get a clue and ask them to come forward, since they are all ready to be tested for Accepted, if they fulfill the strength requirements. And if not, they can be taught whatever they lack and be made Tower operatives ASAP.

I used to wonder if there was some correlation between Garenia running away 70 years ago, Careane not outing her and Verin's mistake and plan of the same length. I.e. maybe Garenia saw something that frightened her? But I suspect that this boat has sailed.

BTW, I'll reiterate again that it is because of WT's influence that there seems to have been no overt OP-related crime between Shara and the Blight, apart from False Dragons and Dreadlords during the Trolloc Wars.
All those other channeler groups should at least be fair and recognize that and how their own percepts were shaped because of WT and sometimes due to direct AS interference.
Roger Powell
14. forkroot
Ever noticed how RJ has a penchant for really rotten villains to meet really rotten ends? Kadere, Carridin, Galina?

If BWS would like some suggestions, I'd be glad to imagine something particularly nasty for Katerine Alruddin.
Tom Burton
15. Conky
Megaduck @5

Yeah, sorry about the random tangent. I had just finished reading Chapter 9 in CoT, so it was fresh on my mind when I saw that Leigh had made a new post.

As for Kairi Al'thor being a darkfriend, I'm wondering why you would think so. Don't take that as me disagreeing with you; I just plain don't know what evidence she has against her. Unless of course that evidence is provided in TGS, which I haven't read yet.
Joseph Blaidd
16. SteelBlaidd
"Would anyone like any frut or dessert?"

I always kind of liked the way "Our Man Bors" went out. It makes the DF structure realisicly thretening, it ties up his story as he had done everything it was practicle for him to do as a villin, and it helps us get to know HAnlon an Shiaine a bit better(Not that we want to). All in all a very efficient use of resources. Oh and I Never suspected Vandene.
Tom Burton
17. Conky
forkroot @14

Don't forget Liandrin. She might have it even worse than Galina.
18. Hammerlock
Not even a fine brandy; just a cheap one.

Although technically he did just have one drink...
Marcus W
19. toryx
Conky @ 17:

Don't forget Liandrin. She might have it even worse than Galina.

And yet, equally deserved.
20. Kazmatt
Love the Clue reference at the end!

This was the first book in the series while reading this chapter I distincnctly remember going, "Oh, the book is ending." it seemed so random and abrupt. Then again, a lot of the rest of the book seemed that way too.
Alice Arneson
21. Wetlandernw
Conky @ 1 - I, for one, am so not going there. I'm so tired of that debate I could hurl.

sweetlilflower @3 - Me too. I have to think you're right; the coincidence of Adeleas commenting on Careane recognizing Zarya/Garenia, and that very night she and Ispan are killed is just too much to be unrelated. I'm not sure we'll ever find out, though, since Vandene and Careane are both dead. Maybe when we get back to Elayne in TofM we'll learn more. I'd like to know, anyway. I suspect that "Ispan in captivity" was a liability anyway, so offing her was not a problem; Adeleas was too much of a danger (maybe?) and had to be killed. If we're right about Careane reacting to Adeleas's comment, it would be worth making it look like Ispan was the target so that no one else would connect the dots.

Shimrod @4 - No way. So Dyelin is an intelligent woman who doesn't want any more political power than she has, and that makes her a Darkfriend? How about, she's too smart to want to be the Queen? Note, specifically, that she carefully tests Elayne's response to the idea of being given the throne by the DR; when Elayne fires up and insists that she's claiming it by right, Dyelin is okay with it. If she'd given the wrong answer (i.e., accepting it from Rand) Dyelin would have felt that Elayne had disqualified herself, and Dyelin would have been Queen in about a week (with that much delay only due to the difficulties of communication in the snow). Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Megaduck @5 - Huh??

JWezy @10 - Exactly! Well, except for the retcon. But that's where I went with it, until we found out.

More later.
James Hogan
22. Sonofthunder
Wow, I totally don't remember that this is how Carridin died. I've been going through the audio-book for CoS and just heard the chapter with Carridin - and I was wondering what happened with him, because I couldn't remember any further chapters with him. Now I know. I guess this is what selling your soul to the Dark One gets you - an excruciating death in a dark basement. Ironically enough, the chapter in CoS, "Insects", is where he's in the superior position over Shiaine and as she's talking to him, he's wishing for some brandy but doesn't want to drink it in front of her. Can't say Jordan doesn't do good irony. Even if it is separated by a few hundred pages. And in a different book.
Sandy Brewer
23. ShaggyBella
Bye Bors!

Since it was brought up a few times in part #17,
about Perrin & Faile and Mat & Joline...what about Siuan Sanche & Gareth Bryne. I think a close encounter of the physical kind was hinted at after one of her temper tantrums.

Why do I feel like I have been beaten lately?
Not Dead Yet.

Leigh...Thanks for making my Friday interesting & have a great holiday!
Barry T
24. blindillusion
Forkroot @ 14 Wins the Thread.

Down with Katerine!!.

(Hmm, now I should go read the Thread. Just wanted to see who snagged 13, and saw that jewel of a 14.)
Karen Fox
25. thepupxpert
conky @ 15 - one of the earlier books with Ishmaal in it had a dream sequence where he was holding Kari Al'Thor captive and she was pleading with Rand to release her. I think maybe that's where the whole "Kari is a darkfriend" thing came from.
26. prw2732
Several people have commented on why Elayne's "party" didn't Travel to Caemlyn. But female channeler's have to Learn a place before they can Travel from it. The Salidar Aes Sedai Skim to Salidar and Travel back. Elayne and party did not want to wait near where they arrived from the Kin's Farm, since there was no guarantee the Seanchan couldn't find them there. Once they started traveling by horse, they would have had to stop to Learn a place before they could Travel from it. And, not having any scouting reports from Caemlyn, could not determine a safe place to Travel to. And there is a similar problem with Skimming to Caemlyn: you don't know what the conditions are until you get to the destination you have already set. And you can't just turn around and go back the way you came: you have to exit, and then reconstruct a new Skimming route. This is part of the limitations of One Power techniques that Jordan recognized as necessary.
Tom Burton
27. Conky
thepupxpert @25

Ah, thanks. Yeah, that's way too minor in my opinion to put her on the "might be a df" list. I think Ishy was just screwing with Rand's mind.

prw2732 @26

I disagree. I seem to recall Elayne saying that she didn't want to just surprise Caemlyn with her and an army appearing out of nowhere. I think she had said that she wanted to give the people enough time to know that she was coming, but not enough for her enemies to try to keep her out of the city.
28. Subbak
re: Carridin, I don't really see why he had to be a Darkfriend in the first place. I mean the whole "do what we say or your whole family will die in slow pain at the hand of Mydraals, or be raped, killed and eaten (in any order) by Trollocs" would probably work on most guys, especially the ones who have no love of the DR. And then, when the orders changed, well, the same threat would still work, and then he would have been knee-deep in it anyway.
Which raises the question of why the Shadow doesn't recruit more with this method. It sure won't produce Forsaken-class DF trusted with major decision making, but set them a precise mission and they could really get it done.

Oh, and I never suspected Vandene either. Not that I had much time for that, since when I started reading the books KoD was already published. Yeah, I'm a newbie.
Karen Fox
29. thepupxpert
Conky @ 27 - agree, unless we get some background information on Tam and Kari in one of the upcoming books, this may be relegated to "encyclopedia" status.
Sandy Brewer
30. ShaggyBella
Elayne & Co took great pains to cover their trail from the Seanchan. Since I am now listening to FoH, why couldn't the Seanchan have learned the weave for traveling from Aviendha's gateway she made to the far snows? I'm just saying.
j p
31. sps49
DF Dyelin would be sooo trying to be Queen of Andor. If she didn't want to, someone on the Shadow side would effing MAKE her.
Alice Arneson
32. Wetlandernw
Subbak @28 - I think Carridin was a DF long before the books started. He was, like most, in it for the promises of power etc. The thing with "a family member will die every month until you fulfill your orders" was fairly recent, and clearly long after he became a DF.
Tom Burton
33. Conky
ShaggyBella @30 - Didn't Aviendha unravel the gateway for the exact reason of not gifting the Seanchan with the weave?

Welandernw @32 - And I seem to recall, not necessarily in reference to a Bors chapter, that before the Forsaken were freed from Shayol Ghul, there really wasn't much risk in being a df. You gathered around with your fellow evil friends, cut the brake lines of someone the DO disliked, and then went on your way to another evil gathering to eat evil cake and wear evil party hats in celebration of a job well done.
Tricia Irish
34. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh! Looking forward to the grand finale. Then please enjoy your Country's Birthday and a BREAK!

The Vandene/Adelas scene is soooo sad. Yeah, she gets weird with her sister's clothes, but she's pretty bereaved, and getting crazy closing in on the murderer. She has one thing in life left to do.....It never even occured to me that Vandene could have been the murderer. But then I missed that argument on this thread.

Why would anyone suspect that Kari Al'Thor was a DF? Ishy/Bethamel made bizarre illusions for Rand in his dreams, but to have the DR raised by a DF....I don't think so, and Tam is A-Number One Good Guy. IMHO.

Carridan...oh creepy. I remember feeling major queezy when I read this scene the first time. Terrible way to die. A terrible person too, and he made his bed.......

Oh, Hanlon.... ‘Scuse me, I need to go shower now. Possibly with bleach. LOL. Skeeve City.

And the Succession Plod begins. So many skirts, so much sniffing, Sea Folk, Kin, Bathing, Sex!, pregnancy....zzzzzzzzzzz
35. Rick C 1313
We also cannot forget Alviarin Friedhen. There should be a real good death for her. But she does get a few points in my book for slapping the stuffing out of Elaida. (or Suffa the damane if you prefer.)
Sam Mickel
36. Samadai

Asmodean hid the gateway with an illusion, Neither Rand, Aviendha or the Seanchan saw it. As far as the Seanchan would be aware they just jumped through an invisible (as in no visible weaves) hole from their view.

Edit for; Also this gateway was RandS. Aviendhas gateway dissolved several hours ago in relation to Rands.
Tom Burton
37. Conky
Samadai @36 - Oops! My post in #33 was referencing the wrong Aviendha gateway. Sorry.
Barry T
38. blindillusion
Kindergarten Cop reference, FTW!!!

And yes, I’m going to spend the Eleventh Hour trying to raise my post count in such a way as to ensure I reach the Top 50 for tPoD. Wonder if I’ll make it? Let’s find out….
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
Just make sure there's a thirteen in every post number.
Barry T
40. blindillusion
Hmm. That'd be awesome.

Oh, and by-the-by, while I’ll never like Cadsuane, after reading through her sections in this book and listening to the arguments in her favor, I’m at the very least starting to understand, and appreciate (to an extremely small degree), her presence in the novels.

But nope, still couldn’t stand to be in a room with her.
41. Alea_iacta_est
Seriously, who does Elayne think she's kidding with the 'taking the throne by her own rights' stuff. Rand owns that throne, it is his to give.
Besides, if anyone but Elayne had proclaimed themselves queen/king, Rand would've traveled there and deposed/killed (depends on their gender) them instantly.
So yeah, kind of an empty thing to say there, don't you agree?
42. Megaduck
Conky @15 Wetlandernw @21 Tektonica @34

At the end of tEotW Ishy and Rand face off in the dream place. Ishy summons Egwene, Nyn, and Kairi. Rand denies him and Egwene and Nyn vanish but Kairi remains and Ishy gloats that he can do what he wants with her and starts to torture her.

Rand gets ticked and uses a sword of light on the shadow fades in a similar fashion on how he breaks Asmodans ties to the DO latter. Kairi's last words are "Thank you my son, The Light, the Blessed Light."

Now, my thought had been this. I thought it meant that DF's are under his power after death and there for Kairi was a DF when still alive. Then Rand severs the cords holding her to the shadow and she's released to the light.

One is that all souls go to the DO as the "Lord of the Grave" which I don't think makes sense as then Rands soul would go to the DO after his death no matter what he does.

Second is that it was all an illusion and Ishy was just lying again. Possible buy the Nyn and Eg illusions faded as son as Rand recognized them but Kairi's not only didn't she thanked her son after he freed her. Why would Ishy create an illusion that thanks Rand and praises the light?

Not to mention there would be all sorts of delicious irony if a DF helped raise the DR and no one realized it in time.
43. Subbak
Wetlandernw@32: I am well aware that Carridin was a DF before the whole "kill your family" stuff, since that happend in tDR, and he was introduced as Bors in tGH.
What I was asking is why, plotwise, that has to be a DF's job. I mean, apparently Shaidar Haran and the DO are limited in their interaction with non-darkfriends, but clearly not so much as to be unable to blackmail them.
At the beginning of the series, the shadow had the means of doing so on a large scale, while people were still unaware that the dragon was reborn, and could have sworn to the shadow most of the people who would eventually matter within days, while killing the other ones.
But I guess it's just a case of Villain Ball.
Thomas Keith
44. insectoid
Yay, new post... great as always Leigh! ::reads scheduling note, removes glasses:: *headdesk* Ow. I guess that means on Tuesday's post we'll have to find some new survey to do or something! ;)

Just a few thoughts today, because I'm rather tired from climbing through the decks of the U.S.S. Midway for three hours.

Careane: What always puzzled me is why she murdered Ispan and Adeleas when she did (and later, Reanne). The motive is obvious—to create distrust, suspicion, and discord—but why now?

Hanlon, Shiaine, Carridin: Eurgh, eurgh, and ::shudder::.

'Lilflower @3: I see you're wondering the same thing...

Shimrod @4/WetNW @21: Good thoughts!

Fork @14/Rick C @35: ::evil laugh:: ;}

45. Ouroboros
Elayne's log. Wheeldate 99876.2 - course headings.

The damn warp drive is still off-line and crawling around the quadrant on impulse power is really getting boring now. I feel like Katherine Janeway. Before long I'll be relinquishing all command decisions to Lan and spending all my time combing my hair into an impossible bun. We should reach Caemlyn in about two weeks time.

Elayne's log. Wheeldate 99876.5 - crew evaluations.

Disputes amongst the crew are getting worse. The first group of channelers is now openly insulting the second group of channelers, who clearly don't like the third group of channelers, who are at odds with the first group of channelers. In fact, it's pretty clear that all the channelers are acting like children and it's really starting to get up my nose.

Elayne's log. Wheeldate 99876.8 - Disciplinary action

The XO started pulling her braid at me yesterday and telling me not to stamp my foot and scream like a little girl. She's now on report. And not just for that. She's definitely being derelict in her duties. She keeps sneaking off with Lan when ever I really need her. Also, the red rod ter'angreal has gone missing and Nynaeve keeps changing the subject whenever I try to raise the issue.

Elayne's log. Wheeldate 99877.3 - Interventions

The Ferengi are causing trouble again. Merilillilillilille is now looking like a sick tribble and Renaile din Mouldy Blue Cheese is looking like a White Sister who just found the proof to Fermat's last Theorem. I've sent acting security chief Aviendha with orders to start pulling ear rings if they don't stop strutting.

Elayne's log. Wheeldate 99877.6 - cadets.

Two of the kin have just been exposed as deserters from the academy. They've been put back in white. If we go by the old school, it will take about 30 years for them to reach the shawl. If we go by Abrams Sedai's rebooted system, they'll be Sitters in the Hall in about 3 months.

Elayne's log. Wheeldate 99877.9 - security update.

A senior officer and prisoner have been killed. An investigation is under way. Unfortunately 17 crewmen have died in interrogation. I've already seen to retraining security chief Aviendha - she keeps going on about today being a good day to die. The two most likely culprits are both senior officers: the dopy Brown and the Beefy Green.

Elayne's log. Wheeldate 99889.5 - final entry.

We've finally reached Caemlyn. I've authorised shore leave for the entire crew and command have instructed us to remain here indefinitely. I've been ordered to increase training in bathing, fashion design, cookery, and baby farming.

I've torn down the Dragon's banners. Rand won't like it but he’s just a man and won't understand. If he really has a problem with it I'll allow him to help me with my buttons the next time he comes round.

Elayne's log. Supplementary.

I've just been told that Mat Cauthon is coming back next season after his agent negotiated a better contract. He is being given his own show called Desperate House Husband and will be starring opposite a perky little tyrant from the Romulan née Seanchan Empire.
46. hawkido
Ouroboros @45

Are you sure your aren't RJ who just decided to drop off the radar and write whacky off-fiction based on his own invented world? LOL GREAT STUFF!

Edit: I said whacky off...
Roger Powell
47. forkroot
I am learning to read your posts when co-workers will not be disturbed from me breaking out into laughter!
48. Lsana
@13 Isilel,

You pretty much summed up my feelings about the whole murder mystery here. As far as I could tell, the murder happened because, well, something had to happen on this trek to Caemlyn. The abrupt way that it "resolved" suggests to me that Jordan never really intended for anyone to be all that interested in the mystery or examine the clues too closely. We get no explanation, only a 1-word answer. All in all, I think the books would have been better off if it had never happened.

And while in the abstract, I sympathize with Elayne's whole "the Lion Throne is mine by rights, not Rand's to give away", I can't really sympathize with her for 2 reasons:

1) I hate this @#$!! plotline and would give just about anything for it to have gone away.

2) If Elayne was really all that concerned about Andor, she should have come back in Book 6. OTOH, if she's decided that Andor's traditions need to take a backseat to the upcoming end of the world, she should just take power as quickly as she can.
49. Shadar
No - the gateway was still Avi's. Rand blocked it to keep it open. I think the explanation is that not many damane can read residues. They got lucky.
john mullen
50. johntheirishmongol
I dont have a big complaint about the throne plot except I didn't really think we didnt really need all the details. I suppose the Rand/Elayne meeting moves the plot but the rest of it is interesting but a total sidebar.

Bye Jaichim..couldn't happen to a slimier guy.

I suppose all those women will serve a purpose later, otherwise should have let them fall by the wayside.
Marcus W
51. toryx
Just briefly off-topic:

I finished The Passage by Justin Cronin today. Great book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like post-apocalyptic novels (and don't mind reading quite a few pages setting up the apocalypse) you should definitely give it a go.

Wetlandernw: I'm not sure how you feel about post-apocalyptic stories but based on what I know of your preferences this is a book you could potentially enjoy. In other words, no graphic sex scenes and the violence is pretty light. I'd recommend it.

Lsana @ 48: I really can't disagree with you.
Tricia Irish
52. Tektonica
Ouroboros@45: Another hysterical fiction. Love it. Especially on this book and the next and ...... Keep up the good work.....please!!!!!
Thank you.
Tess Laird
53. thewindrose
WoT log . Supplementary to Ouroboros.
Red shirt commentor...laughing...cannot catch shirt dead....

54. Freelancer

Forkroot can choose Katerine's scene of demise, but I call Liandrin. Of course, if I ever wrote what I believe she deserves, y'all would know how twisted I really am. We like to talk about Alviarin being an effective villian, and she is. But Liandrin is special.
~ She uses a form of Compulsion on Lady Amalisa at Fal Dara to initiate the search for Rand
~ She tries to Compel Rand in the dungeon at Fal Dara, before Moiraine shows up
~ She risks the Ways (and the a'dam) to take the SGs to Suroth to be collared
~ She imprisons the SGs in Tear
~ She causes trouble in Tanchico, both for the SGs and for Jaichim Carridin (not that he didn't deserve her treatment, but still, evil is evil)
~ She tries to attack Moghedien in Amador (again, just because it's evil-on-evil violence doesn't earn any good-guy points)
~ She poisons Suroth's Voice

Just because she is now a barely-clothed piece of property doesn't mean she no longer requires a horrific, slow, painful death.


The retroactively simple answer is that none of the damane in that group encountered by Rand and Aviendha had the Talent to read residues.

Dyelin? A darkfriend? So not. The only allure which becoming a darkfriend could possibly have is the promise of power, meaning that darkfriends tend to be power-hungry. And we see no fewer than four occasions where Dyelin specifically refuses to make a claim to the throne of Andor. Passing up this opportunity if she were a darkfriend would be a world-class fail, and stupid she ain't.


Not in the Far Snows. That's where she made her first gateway, to run as far away from Rand as possible. When they were getting back to the gateway, a Seanchan patrol, including damane, met them. They were close enough for someone to throw a spear through the opening, which Rand chopped in half by releasing his weave, which was holding open Aviendha's gateway.
Oh, and even the evil cake is a lie.


Not precisely. Asmodean hid the view through the gateway with a weave which made a wall of gray, he didn't hide the gateway itself. And the actual gateway was always Aviendha's, Rand's weave simply held it open. Hers didn't dissipate until Rand released his. Even Asmodean was shocked about that, that only Demandred, Semirhage, and Lews Therin could block a closing gateway.


Now imagine 12-14 hours a day of that, for most of the days of a seven month period. While the ship is driving, pitching, rolling, yawing, listing. (Anyone prone to seasickness shouldn't read the preceding sentence)
The answer of why now for murdering Ispan and Adeleas has been given a good conjecture answer here, that Adeleas recognized Garenia as Zarya, and wondered by Careane didn't recognize her, since they were novices together. Perhaps the answer is that she did, but wouldn't be able to answer questioning about it without revealing herself as BA. So Adeleas had to go. I'm sure Ispan would have been taken out sometime soon just because they couldn't afford to have her under the Question, but it was twofer Tuesday.
Roger Powell
55. forkroot
Freelancer@54 (on Liandrin)
Just because she is now a barely-clothed piece of property doesn't mean she no longer requires a horrific, slow, painful death.
OK, but tell me how you really feel!

Now imagine 12-14 hours a day of that, for most of the days of a seven month period. While the ship is driving, pitching, rolling, yawing, listing.
May I presume, sir, that you are a Shellback?
56. Freelancer

Bye Jaichim..couldn't happen to a slimier guy.
Well, except for the guy who gets to witness his death. Not many in the land as slimy as Daved Hanlon. Carridin was nothing like a good guy, but he didn't hold a candle to Hanlon's brand of nasty. Speaking of which, is he not most recently identified as a guest of Andor's dungeons? Why didn't Elayne have him hanged as quickly as possible? I fear he's going to be sprung ala Fain from Fal Dara. Maybe we get to see Jaw Lounault in action.

red shirt dead...
Isn't that almost redundant?
Heidi Byrd
58. sweetlilflower
So, I am having a thought and I am not sure how competently I can explain my idea. It has to do with the necessity of the Andoran throne plotline. There are many dichotomies created by RJ to show how neither extreme is generally the right way. We see Rand conquering many countries by force, perhaps Elayne's arc is to show how to become a ruler without the "force" employed by Rand. I don't know if I am explaining it properly, but I am sure someone will pick-up on my thoughts and run with them.

BTW, LOVE the Star Trek references! I wonder if the red shirts will end up being the Red Ajah :) (j/k I like some of the Reds)
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Megaduck @42 - The first noticable difference between Egwene/Nynaeve and Kari is that Egwene and Nynaeve are alive and Kari is dead. My old friend Occam indicates that that's plenty of reason for them to be handled differently. Ishamael is a master of illusion and truth-twisting, so I wouldn't be inclined to believe anything a construct of his said in any case. Also... we don't really know what "Lord of the Grave" means in terms of practical power. Mostly, though, the evidence is just too skinny. I think if RJ had done that, we'd have heard a little more by now. (Oh, and you have a very different definition of "delicious" than I do. Eeeewwwww!! ;p )

Subbak @43 - Okay, I'm confused. I don't even know what your question is. Are you proposing that the DO/FS could use blackmail to get light-siders to do their dirty deeds? I'm sure they could, but a blackmailee is an untrustworthy tool at best. It's not like Team Dark places a high value on love, trust and human life; blackmail your own people and you have a double hold on them. Per Marcus: "There, you see? I've always said you can get more with kind words and a two-by-four than with kind words alone." And if that's not what you meant... I give up.

toryx @51 - Thanks! I'll put it on my read list. I appreciate getting book recommendations from friends whose taste I have confidence in, and who know my personal preferences. :)

Oh, yeah, and Freelancer reminded me of that slimy, revolting, scum-sucking bottom-feeder Hanlon. My reaction is much like Leigh's... I need a shower. Possibly with bleach. I feel covered in black slime every time he shows up. Oh, I do hope he gets a truly nasty, horrible, excruciating death - off screen, maybe, because I want him to get something far, far worse than I want to have stuck in my nightmares...

sweetlilflower @58 - I see what you're saying. Not sure I can run anywhere with it at the moment, but it bears serious consideration.
60. alreadymadwithfoldedlight
ShaggyBela @30, Samadai @36, Freelancer @54
Asmodean used a weave called folded light to hide Aviendha's gateway. It's probably the same one Rand used to hide Egwene from the Tar Valon embassy when they first showed up in Cairhien. It didn't cover the gateway with a wall of gray. It made it invisible. It only looked like a wall of gray to Rand because he could see the weaves made of saidin, which only he was able to see.
Andrew Belmont
61. rosetintdworld
I kind of like this murder mystery, and the abrupt way it was resolved: the most obvious suspect (where obvious is defined as the suspect who didn't require a surprise twist, a la Vandene) turns out to be the culprit. I always thought that was clever, but maybe just because it fooled me.

Sometimes when process of elimination reveals that a woman is clearly Black Ajah, she is just clearly Black Ajah. For all his webs, Jordan sometimes like to pull the rug out from under his readers by having the most "predictable" thing happen, and I always picture him chuckling over how shocked we were at the obvious. I may just be perverse.

I also have a place in my heart for this bit because Vandene's grief is gut-wrenching: superbly written, and not at all predictable. The shocking imagery, and the way the characters' reactions are paced, from Nynaeve to Elayne to Jaem, is very memorable to me.

If this happened "just because something had to," well then I'm glad it did. (But I question that logic, given that one chapter of this plot has passed since the massive unraveling gateway battle and the Bowl.)
Ron Garrison
62. Man-0-Manetheran
Not much to add today, but Ouroboros: PRICELESS!!!
63. Demira
I cant remember what happened the "Lady Shiaine" . We know that Hanlon gets taken. It makes me nervous that he has not been executed. But her on the loose is almost as bad.

And I agree it really is fun to see how evil does not pay in WOT. I cant help it I snicker everytime I read of Liandrin or Galina, or even Sevanna.

I forgot about Hanlon getting his orders from Moghedian. I wonder if this was before or after Moridin caught her. We didnt get to see much of what she was doing before she was captured.
Thomas Keith
64. insectoid
Ouro @45: BAHAHAhahaha!! ::clutching sides::

Free @54: I can well imagine; I'm not cut out for that much work! Anyway, the Careane-Zarya connection makes sense.

EDIT: Hex 0x40, FWIW... ;)

Jay Dauro
65. J.Dauro
Shiaine was captured with the BA members trying to carry Elayne from the city.
66. Freelancer

I'm just wondering, which are all of these countries Rand has conquered by force?

Tear - He went there only to get Callandor, went by himself with no plans of conquest. It wasn't his doing that Be'lal had insinuated himself there, or that a bunch of other folks showed up uninvited, including the Aiel, some more forsaken, a baker's dozen of Black Ajah, and a partridge in a peach tree. While there, after Ishamael and Be'lal have been killed, more forsaken bring in trollocs and fades. Rand was recognized as the defacto ruler by tacit acclamation of the High Lords, thanks mostly to the presence of the Aiel.

The Waste - He did no conquering there, his declaration as Car'a'carn was a pre-destined event.

Cairhien - He did no conquering there, he liberated them from the Shaido, and there just didn't happen to be a ruler at the time (thanks, Thom!), so he gets recognized by the remaining leadership out of gratitude, not fear.

Andor - He did no conquering there, unless you consider balefiring Rahvin to have been regicide. No, I knew that you didn't. Anyway, while he sets up shop in the Palace, it's not that he considers himself the ruler, but because he feels a sense of responsibility since there's this big power vacuum in Caemlyn, what with Morgase "dead", and Elayne off chasing darkfriends. He spends his time there just trying to keep the place from falling apart, until Elayne can take over.

Illian - He got rid of Sammael, and the remainder of the Council handed him the Laurel Crown, once again in gratitude, for the grain from Tear as much as anything else. Conquerer? Not by force or violence.

Altara, Amadicia, Tarabon, Arad Doman, have indeed been conquered. By the Seanchan, though Rand has slightly helped Ituralde clear them (and Graendal) out of most of Arad Doman.

Borderlands? Nope, but they still want to talk to him.

Ghealdan? Murandy? Far Madding? Mayene? Nuh-uh.

I'm sorry, the "conquering Rand" bit doesn't resonate with me.


It was invisible from Asmodean's side, this is true.
The gateway was there all right, but instead of looking into his room in Eianrod, it was a gray blank. It seemed narrower than he remembered, too. Worse, he could see the weave of that grayness.
The gray-filled gateway was another finger narrower, barely wide enough now for both of them to pass through together. "Leave her, Aviendha. We have to go now."
She released Seri's collar and gave him an exasperated look, but her eyes went past him to the gateway, and she hoisted her skirts to stump through the snow to him, muttering to herself about frozen water.
It sure sounds as if she can see the grayness as well. Then when they jump through:
Whirling with his arm still around Aviendha, he found the gateway gone. No, not gone - he could still see his weaving, and what he knew must be Asmodean's - but there seemed to be nothing there at all.
So the gray is the non-working side of the Folded Light weave, like looking at the back of a mirror.
Tess Laird
67. thewindrose
Demira - Elayne rounded 'Lady' Shiaine with the rest of the Black Ajah(in Caemlyn) in KoD when she was captured then rescued by Birgitte and the Wind Finders.

So one of the 'mysteries' in my book is how Arymilla becomes such a real threat. I think there is definitly help from the baddies on this one. I can't wait to find out!!

Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @67 - Well, at least we know it's not Sylvase. :)
69. Freelancer
Regarding the shadow forcing people to its purposes. In TEotW, Remembrance of Dreams, where our crew finally reunites at The Queen's Blessing in Caemlyn, Rand finally tells Moiraine about Ba'alzamon in their dreams.
"Had I known after the first such, I might have been able to. . . There has not been a Dreamwalker in Tar Valon for nearly a thousand years, but I could have tried. Now it is too late. Each time the Dark One touches you, he makes the next touching easier for him. Perhaps my presence can still shield you somewhat, but even then. . . Remember the stories of the Forsaken binding men to them? Strong men, men who had fought the Dark One from the start. Those stories are true, and none of the Forsaken had a tenth of the strength of their master, not Aginor or Lanfear, not Balthamel or Demandred, not even Ishamael, the Betrayer of Hope himself."
Hmmm. This sounds like it is saying that people, not necessarily channelers, were able to be turned against their will. Yet we're told that such is a vulnerability to which only channelers are subject.
Alice Arneson
70. Wetlandernw
And of course there's the $64K question - is Moiraine correct, or does she only believe it to be true? ;p
Sharon E.
71. Sulin
Thanks, Leigh for another great post! :) What ever will I do with myself during the hiatus?

Not much to say except...

Loved the murder scene, it was brilliantly written. I never thought Vandene was the culprit.

Ouroboros@45- ROFL! Awesome! :D Star Trek references, ftw! (especially the Janeway did that show ever plod along, or what?!)

72. peachy
@70 - She could simply be referring to Compulsion, I guess; it would certainly be quite adequate against an unprotected non-channeler.
Heidi Byrd
73. sweetlilflower
I did preface my post by saying I was not sure how best to articulate my thought. Furthermore, I am in no way disparaging Rand. Perhaps "force" was the wrong term. But, you must admit that it took relatively little time, and not much political savvy, to get the three countries (Tear, Cairhien, and Illian). Holding onto them is a different kettle of fish. In the cases of Cairhien and Illian he showed up with armies, and in Tear he had the backing of the Aiel. So, while he did not explicity "force" his way onto the thrones, he did have a lot of military powers, and saidin, at his disposal.
I was looking more to contrast that to Elayne's experience. She can't use saidar to win, because then it wouldn't really be a win. It takes a lot of time and political savvy, with which she has help. She does not have a huge, well-trained standing army at her back. I was more attempting to find a way to justify how looooooong this story arc is and how many people have commented on skipping it in re-reads. I am not saying Rand should have tried Elayne's methods for taking over countries. I am saying that RJ wrote this arc the way he did for a specific reason, and I can't belive it was just to pad the books.
74. Freelancer
Whatever Moiraine is describing, it is something which she believes proximity to herself can provide protection against. She doesn't say that as though her skill with saidar is what provides that protection, since she says that Nynaeve and Egwene have nothing to fear, and they haven't learned anything yet.
75. Freelancer

But what I'm saying is that Rand did not go to any of those places to take over. He brought military power to Cairhien and Illian to get rid of invaders (Shaido, Sammael, respectively). After his answers from the Aelfinn, he understood that he needed the nations behind him, yet while even Moiraine was counselling that he start a war to get that going, he never wished to acquire power in that way.

I also have no thought that anything was included in the story to pad the books, but for many of the threads in the Pattern of Jordan's weave, we will need to know the entire story to understand. How many seemingly pointless little events in the early volumes are viewed far more differently against the later events which they foreshadowed, or led to? More than in any story I've ever known.
Heidi Byrd
76. sweetlilflower
I agree that Rand did not try to take the crowns, and yet he did get them. My point is more on Elayne's arc, as that actually has something to do with this week's post, than debate how Rand got all his titles. From the invectiveness of your response, you obviously read my earlier post quite differently from how I meant it to come across. And, yes, there could be some other reason for including all of the info RJ put in this sequence that we will not understand until we read AMoL. I was thinking about yin and yang(actually b/c of the pic next to your name), and somehow my mind led me to the thought that perhaps Elayne was there to contrast Rand. So, it is all your fault that I had this thought and had to read your written abuse of my intelligence regarding Rand and his "force" :)

note: the last sentence was written with a smile on my face. just trying to lighten the mood before going to sleep :p
77. birgit
The retroactively simple answer is that none of the damane in that group encountered by Rand and Aviendha had the Talent to read residues.

Even if they could, the unusual situation might have messed up the residues: Avi let go the gateway, she didn't tie it off, so the weave should have dissipated last night, but Rand's block held the gateway open. How would that affect residues of Avi's channeling?

Just because she is now a barely-clothed piece of property doesn't mean she no longer requires a horrific, slow, painful death.

Spending centuries as Suroth's slave might be a better punishment (of course Suroth wouldn't live that long as a non-channeler even if her fate had been different, unless the DO gave her immortality).

I forgot about Hanlon getting his orders from Moghedian. I wonder if this was before or after Moridin caught her. We didnt get to see much of what she was doing before she was captured.

It must be after. Shiaine got her orders from Moridin, Hanlon from Moggy, so they must be working together.

This sounds like it is saying that people, not necessarily channelers, were able to be turned against their will. Yet we're told that such is a vulnerability to which only channelers are subject.

Lanfear could enter anybody's dreams and Semi could break people by torture. Maybe the exact method of turning people was lost since the Breaking and Moiraine just assumes that they used the OP.
Maiane Bakroeva
78. Isilel
Speaking of Aviendha's gateway into Seanchan, it is my understanding that it didn't dissipate because Rand blocked it. And Asmodean only masked the other side of it.
So, the damane should have been totally able to see the weave. In fact, I have been expecting the Seanchan to descend on Randland via Travelling because of it until the murder of Imperial family in KOD and resultant chaos there, that removed continental Seanchan as a threat.

But, I guess, it is just another example of inconsistencies concerning OP use, where people either conveniently learn something the first time they see it or, equally conveniently require decades to learn something, when they need to be shown up by Our Heroes et al. The Cleansing will be another and the most egregious example of such.

As to Kari - Ishy was just a FS, so I doubt that he could have that kind of control over souls. I like the theory (not mine) that he and Rand were in TAR and Rand was subconsciously wrestling the control over it from Ishy. Sometimes quickly, like with Egs and Nyn images, sometimes requiring an elaborate set-up, like with Kari's image. IMHO, it was no more and no less real than when Elayne, Siuan and a group of SAS got caught by a Trolloc nightmare whilst spying on Elaida.

No clue what Moiraine was talking about re: DO "touching" people in TEoTW. Of course, she knew that Rand was a channeler, but it doesn't sound like she was talking about 13x13. And if she was speaking about the nasty stuff the dreamwalkers could do, what did she think she could have tried, not being one herself?
BTW, I wonder, if the AS can ward their own dreams, why can't they do the same to those of others? And Moiraine seemed to be doing something along those lines when they were in the Blight, I think, or perhaps in the Ways?

Hanlon was first Rahvin's, BTW, he was in (commanded?) his White Lions. So, it must have been the already enslaved Moggy who gave him his orders now.
And yes - why aren't he and Shiane already swinging as of KoD?
Elayne may think that she doesn't have the authority to execute the Keystone Koven (though IMHO she should have either done so or given them over to the SAS), but she sure does with those 2. Didn't she learn anything from SGs many attempts to keep DFs captive? Inevitably, somebody else gets killed as a result, without much useful info to show for it.

Carridin - just shows how capricious the Shadow is. He has been given utterly impossible orders that Ishy never wanted him to succeed at, then got hijacked by other FS/BA with more impossible orders and finally both his family and himself were eradicated in most horrible manner. The Shadow is STOOPID, I tell you. This goes far beyond Darth Vader management techniques.
Tricia Irish
79. Tektonica
Just read about Falion pestering Nynaeve evilly in Salidar, in my reread of Fires of Heaven. I'd forgotten about her appearance here in Shaine's basement. She was always most unpleasant. She'd spent a loooooong time as a novice and accepted and no doubt longed for some power which was eluding her in the WT. (plus having a generally unpleasant, snippy personality.) I've forgotten what other vileness she gets up to in future books. Was she on Verin's list?

Off current topic:

I must admit I never really "got" why everyone thought Graendal had killed Asmo.*hang head* After rereading the end of Fires of Heaven, the battle of Cairhein, I see Sammael repeatedly attacks Rand's forces througout the day and night. (I remembered just the attack on the wooden tower.) Then Moggy is captured by Nynaeve in TAR with the a'dam, where she spills the goods on Sammael, Graendal, Rahvin and Lanfear working together.

Lanfear and Rahvin are toast at this point, so it must have been Sammy or Graendal who went after Asmo. Why not Sammael killing him? He's been following Rand around after all? Would Graendal let him send her on such an errand? I mean Sammael is next on Rand's list and he's must know that Rand offed Rahvin. (Was Asmo feeding them info somehow...or not??)

I was actually feeling kind of sympathetic to Asmodean toward the end there. He was so lost and pathetic and weak.....or not.....
Kurt Lorey
80. Shimrod
@21 wet, @31 sps, and (of course) @54 Free:

Let me preface by saying that the "cigar" quote has come to sound very condescending and trite, mmkay?

My argument concerning Dyelin is based heavily upon her behavior later in the books, so I'll wait for those passages to again raise the specter of Dyelin's allegiances then. In the meantime, please allow me to politely disagree with your opinion on the matter.

Still, a discussion of Darkfriend motivations might prove interesting. If I read (some of) you correctly, you believe that all Darkfriends seek the pinnacle of power within their own particular purview?

Spoiler Alert!

I don't believe that I can completely agree with that view. Certainly, like anywhere else, there is a range of behaviors attributable to those who (generally speaking) we would consider evil. But, let me mention a few exceptions (IMO) that immediately come to mind. First, there was Ingtar. Not exactly angling for even Lord Aglemar's position. Alviarin. Could have been Amyrlin, but wasn't (and even explaining why in a POV). And, our lately unlamented Whitecloak Jaichim Carridin. Didn't see him even becoming High Inquisitor. By your theory, all should have been striving for higher places in their respective power structures. They weren't.

According to Verin, what is the biggest motivator for Darkfriends? Selfishness, if IIRC. That in itself would lend credence to your view, but there is a very important damper to that motivation to overrides any personal imperatives/initiatives. The promise to not betray the Dark One.
That effectively means that the Dark One's plans supersede anything else. And Verin also said that he isn't fighting the battle the way that Rand (or she) assumes he is. Moridin has repeatedly hinted at the same thing. If that is true, then having Darkfriends in command of everything in sight is not necesarily an imperative from the Dark One's point of view. So, assuming that to be a Darkfriend requires that person to be actively pursuing crowns or equivalencies is highly suspect.

So, if maintaining a position near the highest authority is preferable for the Dark One's plans (Alviarin), then it should be within the realm of possibility that a character like Dyelin (and others) be where they are (just like there is someone close to Rand who is a Darkfriend). And, as I have learned here for myself, just wishing something to happen the way you expect it to (or want it to) in these certainly isn't going to make it true. I immediately liked the Dyelin character, no doubt for the very same reasons you do, but I have had second thoughts since her initial appearance, and have become simply too suspicious of characters like that for being what I would consider behavioral anomalies (but more on that when it occurs).

Over to you.
81. alreadymadwithasmosweave
Freelancer @66
I guess that's one way of reading it.

Isilel @78
I guess I always thought the damane and suldam were able to sense the weave, and that was why they were clustered around it. But as for actually reading it or the residues, they couldn't because Asmodean's weave was blocking it off.
82. Demira

Umm that was Faolain in Salidar. Falion is a BA that left the tower with Liandrin back in TGH. But I do like when Nynaeve asked her if she was still souring milk for a hobby. Ha! that was funny.

Hey, I just remembered that Faolain is now missing. She swore fealty to Egwene and became Romanda's little lap dog/spy and now she has disappeared. Which will come up in the TGS reread no doubt, so I wont do any guessing about it now.

As for Dyelin a DF or not, I admit I have had suspicions about her. But I know my suspicians are based on WOT characters, namely Birgitte and even Elayne being suspicious about her. (At least until Hanlon's made up attack.)
John Massey
83. subwoofer
Hah! The end is in sight! Thank God!

I see we have gone down the path of SWSNBN debate and gender issues again. Refreshingly original ground that has not been gone over yet. Gee I am sorry it missed it:P

- I have made a separate stable-type bunker for Bela. The next time we decide to go wander down the path of Bela pummeling, I am doing an intervention and getting her the heck out of there!

@Ouro- Brilliant! If folks are going to write an epically long post, at least let it be insightful or entertaining- maybe even both at one go. I do wonder if Ny is training Lan with the red rod, or is that vice-versa?

To answer a question- Moiraine is correct. When she stepped through the Ter' she asked the right questions. It is her approach to events that were suspect.

& @Free, you must have amended a comment somewhere but as for old age and treachery winning out over youth and enthusiasm every single time... only true, unless you forget to put your teeth in. Then there is a lot of gnashing of gums and kids falling about laughing at you;)

Tricia Irish
84. Tektonica
Demira@82: **blushes** Thank you! What is with all the similar names? I just read BOTH passages and still got them confused. Geez. And damn. I thought I'd solved a mystery for myself. Harumph. Falion/Faolain. I'm not even dyslexic, except for "i" and "e" on the keyboard, and that is a brain/finger problem.

Sub!!!!! Welcome back! ::waving wildly::
You missed some GREAT discussions, murmurmurmur....

Anyway...the next few books should give you AMPLE opportunity to entertain us.....PLEASE!! Come baaaaaaaaack........
85. Ouroboros
So, now for some serious comments.

I must say that I never thought it was Vandene. I was certainly suspicious of Careane and Sareitha though. Looking back at it, the clues point more to Careane. The stake was driven right through her body and the hammer means that the power wasn't used. This at least implies someone strong and Careane is described as being "not stout, but almost, with shoulders as wide and arms as thick as most men." Then there's that bit with Adeleas wondering why Careane didn't recognise Zarya, although I didn't spot that one myself.

The fishy part about Sareitha was how she took a shine to Hanlon. I never could understand what that was all about. Unless RJ was just pointing out that people sometimes like unlikely people.

I found it difficult to get enthusiastic about the Kin plotline. I have no problem with the Aes Sedai being brought down a few pegs. Yes, I know that gets passed onto the SGs but I think it's a good thing because it stops them from falling into the same sinkhole. They had to buy into the power structure but that doesn't condone said structure.

Jaichim's exit is certainly one of the more memorable ones. There's nothing quite like a "give the man what he wants" execution. I wonder what they would have fed Falion - forkroot? (That’s the tea, not the commenter.)

His death is certainly a little sudden. Maybe RJ was starting to think about how many things needed to be wound up before the end and decided to just get on with it. Actually, it was probably just because Jaichim was getting a little borsing.

Now for the comments on the comments…
Tess Laird
86. thewindrose
subwoofer said:
Hah! The end is in sight! Thank God!

WH..CoT..NS..KoD..tGS..ToM..aMoL(I am counting seven;)
John Massey
87. subwoofer
Hi Tek:)

I am not completely back yet, I figure I still have another week and change left to go. I am doing what we do best in Alberta, work hard and get paid.

These chapters came along at an excellent point in my life as I do not miss slogging over some fairly non-interesting(to me) stuff. This book took the story line off on a tangent that finally gets resolved with BS in TGS. I know that there are some sunny moments in Rand's psychosis, but these pages reflect the dark side of the Dragon Reborn. Gah. I suppose everything cannot be sweetness and light. Couple that with the Faile saga and the Daughter-heir doing her thing and I am convinced RJ was either testing people's loyalty to his books or had some under the table sponsorship with Johnnie Walker. "Writing about this stuff will drive people to drink"...

John Massey
88. subwoofer
@Wind- er... end of tPoD schtuff.

Some people like these chapters as they make other parts of WoT shine all the more. Some people also think Empire Strikes Back was the best of that franchise. I am a New Hope fan myself.

89. Ouroboros
birgit @ 7

"He probably has run out of relatives." Yep, that sounds about right.

Darkfriend tip no.1: make sure you have a very big family tree - a forest. if possible.

toryx @ 11

Indeed, it's hardly fair trading is it. I bet the guys running the other stalls at the student fairs really hate them.

"Want power? Want money? want to squish people you don't like into strawberry jam? Join the Friends of the Dark"

It makes the D&G group look pretty crappy.

forkroot @ 14

I think Marillin Gemalphin should be nibbled to death by cats.

Hammerlock @ 18

"Although technically he did just have one drink..."

Yeah, but it went straight to his head.

Wetlandernw @ 21

"I'm so tired of that debate I could hurl."

In every colour of the Ajahs, I'll bet.

Conky @ 33

Yep, we get several POVs when DFs are complaining that they preferred the bad old days. Plenty of them don't want to take part in the End of Days. I can't say I blame them, that film was rubbish!

Alea_iacta_est @ 41

Not sure I agree with this -Rand was openly acting as a steward. Of course, if Rand had packed up and left Andor to its own devices Elayne would have had a much harder time reclaiming the throne. She could at least say thank you, even if it was just for trying to hold Andor together while she was away doing "more important" things.

Megaduck @ 42

I always took it that the DO could hold you after death and make an offer, but that if you refused the offer he had to let you go.

Subbak @ 43

I think the point is that DFs can disobey, or at least drag their feet, and some extra inducements are needed. Also, why go to all the bother of finding someone else to press into service when you've already got someone who’s a part of the structure.

hawkido @ 46

Believe as you wish.

forkroot @ 47

Oh dear. I'm now habit forming.

johntheirishmongol @ 50

No, Fain is Slimer, and I can prove it. From ACoS:

Calmly, Cadsuane picked her way across the slope to Rand. And slapped his face so hard his head jerked. Min’s breath caught in shock. “You will not do that again,” Cadsuane said. There was no heat in her voice, just iron. “Do you hear me? Not balefire. Not ever.”

Surprisingly, Rand only rubbed his cheek. “You were wrong, Cadsuane. He’s real. I’m certain of it. I know he is.” Even more surprisingly, he sounded as if he very much wanted her to believe.

Min’s heart went out to him. He had mentioned hearing voices; he must mean that. She raised her right hand toward him, forgetting for the moment that it held a knife, and opened her mouth to say something comforting. Though she was not entirely sure she would ever be able to use that particular word innocuously again. She opened her mouth—and Padan Fain seemed to leap out of the mists behind Rand, steel gleaming in his fist.

“Behind you!” Min screamed, pointing with the knife in her outstretched right hand as she threw the one in her left. Everything seemed to happen at once, half-seen in wintery fog.

Rand began to turn; twisting aside, and Fain also twisted, to lunge for him. For that twist, her knife missed, but Fain’s dagger scored along Rand’s left side. It hardly seemed to more than slice his coat, yet he screamed. He screamed, a sound to make Min’s heart clench, and clutching his side, he fell against Cadsuane, catching at her to hold himself up, pulling both of them down. "He slimed me," he said, weakly.

“Move out of my way!” one of the other sisters shouted—Samitsu, Min thought—and suddenly, Min’s feet jerked out from under her. She landed heavily, grunting as she hit the slope together with Caraline, who snapped a breathless, “Blood and fire!”

Tektonica @ 52

"...... Keep up the good work.....please!!!!!"

From Terry Pratchett

Windle shook his head sadly. Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.

thewindrose @ 53

No, no, no. Red is a really bad colour around here. You'll either be mistaken as a man hating, power hungry cow; or as monster fodder. Oh dear, you’ve gone off screen – too late. I hope you have a good agonised scream up your red shirt.

Freelancer @ 54

Yep, Liandrin is an extra special type of evil.

and @56

Hmm, I really hope we don't see any more of him. Maybe he and Liandrin can take turns playing slave and master for all eternity. No, they'd enjoy playing master too much.

Wait, I've got it. Shrink them both and seal them inside a swing ball. Bagsy first turn.
Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw
Re: Rand, Elayne, and differing ways of taking a throne.

While Freelancer is correct in that Rand didn't come in and conquer those countries with force, military force was nonetheless integral to the process. It was necessary, in each case, but there was fear (either of him or of the enemies, or both) mixed with the gratitude each time. He is not exactly loved by his people, as far as we can see (although we mostly get the nobles, so who knows what the commoners are thinking?). In each country which he holds, the nobles are less than unanimous in their support of him, although Illian comes pretty close. In Tear and Cairhien, some few are loyal to him, most submit out of fear of the Dragon Reborn, and some rebel.

sweetlilflower makes a good point that Elayne goes through the established Succession process for her country, and when she gains the throne it is by agreement of the nobles. Those who don't agree are nonetheless bound, and once it's a done deal it will be done. By way of similiarity, there was a fair bit of fighting involved. Still, she was an insider following established procedures, while Rand was an outsider, coming in to free them from a threat of which, in two of the three cases, they were completely unaware.

So I don't think I've proved anything, but there are a few thoughts. :)

And I haven't read the rest of the comments since then, so will touch the rest later. Except this little note:

Shimrod @80 - the "cigar" quote has come to sound very condescending and trite. That was the point. Well, not the condescending bit, I try to avoid that, but purposely trite, anyway. :)
92. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 59

We're having a B5 day I see - and why not. It’s still one of my favourite shows. :)

insectoid @ 64

RE: 0x040.

Well that's hardly a difficult one :)

Try 143.

Actually, Wheel math is in base 13. So, it takes 0w20 people to turn a channeler to the Shadow.

Freelancer @ 66

"I'm sorry, the "conquering Rand" bit doesn't resonate with me."

And just to add sauce to the goose - Elayne's succession was hardly bloodless. It certainly wasn't a conquest but she had to spill some blood in order to secure the city. Also, Egwene was perched outside Tar Valon with an army of thousands, and she very nearly gave the order to attack. So, the lines aren't nearly as clearly drawn as they might seem at a first glance.

What we really need is an expert in line-crossing. Any takers?

On the gateway: I'm not sure if it's ever been established whether or not you can learn the weave for a gateway by examining one which is already open. I.E. you may have to watch one being opened in order to copy the weave. If this is so, then only someone who can read residues would be able to figure out how to make a gateway from looking at Aviendha's, and we've been told that it's a rare talent.

There's something I could never figure out about that chapter. The seeker takes Morsa into custody so that she can question her about Falme, even though the Empress, may she live in horrible pain forever, has forbidden any talk about it. What gives?

thewindrose @ 67

Arymilla's big push - if you'll pardon the expression - just happened to coincide with Elayne's capture by the BA. Coincidence? Thaw!

Freelancer @ 69

Remember the bits when Lanfear and Ishy offer the boys a drink that looks like blood red wine? I always thought that they would have been bound if they had taken it. We're also told that you only have to say yes to the Shadow once and you'll be bound forever.

Given all this, I think Moiraine's stories have some truth in them, but that the "victim" has to be lured into submitting, after which they're caught forever. However, the tempting doesn't have to be anywhere near truthful. It could even be that a metaphor will do.

Moreover, if it becomes progressively easier for the DO to touch someone’s dreams, then it will become easier to torture them into submitting. This actually fits in with what we know about TAR, since it becomes easier to recognise someone’s dreams the more you touch them. So, it could have been Ishy all the time.

The channelers vulnerability is different, in that the victim can be turned without any kind of tempting. While this is different to making someone submit, I wonder how much dream torture someone could take before caving.
93. Freelancer

Let me say, you've been perfectly polite and considerate in this exchange, and if you read any invective in my response it was surely not intended. Also, for the record, the reason I chose to be thorough about the descrptions of each of the nations Rand has brought under his umbrella, was most certainly not planned as an abuse of your intelligence. There are some here who, if one doesn't make an utterly comprehensive argument regarding an issue, will sustain it through a gap so small not even a gholam could squeeze through. I deeply apologize that my desire to avoid misunderstanding was percieved as a slight. Trust me, if I don't have any respect for someone's intelligence, I don't waste effort responding to their comments, except in defense of others.
(Yeah, I know, but if it took lots of words to dig a hole, surely it takes as many words to dig out, yes? No? ::shrug::)
94. Freelancer

Well, to be more precise, it takes 0w10 people and 0w10 Fades, and the people must be channelers.

As I've said before, there are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who do not.
95. Ouroboros
Freelancer @ 74

I suppose she could be talking about some kind of "dream ward tent" that she can put over them all, but which won’t work if you've already been slimed.

birgit @ 77

Okay, I should have read you're comment on turning first. :)
96. Ouroboros
Tektonica @ 79

You may be confusing Falion with Faolain, or maybe even Theodrin. Wow, this sounds like a G&S operetta.

FTR, Falion is a Darkfriend who goes straight from Tanchico to Ebou Dar on Mog's orders. She is now languishing at Elayne's pleasure - so to speak.
Faolain is a nasty accepted who chooses Blue after Egwene raises her by decree. Egwene has her follow Lelaine.
Theodrin is a not-so-bad accepted who chooses Brown after Egwene raises her by decree. She helps Nynaeve to try and break her block. Egwene has her follower Romanda.

Faolain and Theodrin were both last seen heading to the Black Tower with Myrelle and Nisao.

Thallium, Thorium, Thulium, and Fermium were all killed during Elaida's coup. Francium is missing, presumed neutralised.
97. Ouroboros
subwoofer @ 83

Nice to see you again.

FYI, I found this on the White Tower site.

The Amyrlin Seat has kindly made a loan of a prime stallion to It is hoped that this animal, called Moebius, will be able to withstand the higher demands of the more recent discussions of their members. Bela, the previous tenant has now been fully flayed and has requested a long term leave for extensive skin graft surgeries.
98. Ouroboros
subwoofer @ 88

What? Not Revenge of the Stiff?
99. Ouroboros
Freelancer @ 94

Well, I've always been a unionist :)

For those who have no idea what we're talking about, here's an example.

0w10 women can form a circle without a man, 0w21 with 1 man, 0w2A with 2 men, 0w36 with 3 men, 0w42 with 4 men, 0w4B with 5 men, and 0w57 with 6 men.

Whew. I can't believe I just did that. *hangs head in shame*
Tricia Irish
100. Tektonica
OK, I admit it, since I've looked like a boob all day today on this thread....I still have no idea what you're talking about.

I must be the kind that doesn't understand binary. Binary what? Numbers? Many things are binary.

Revenge of the stiff/slith, FWIW, I got that one....I think.

Is there a remedial reading/watching list somewhere for those of us that are"way cool" challenged?

Edit: Ouroboros@96: Thanks for the name clarification. Demira@82 set me straight too.
101. Damoninutah
This is my first post, but I have been following since the beginning, I just wanted to point a couple of things to help clarify an issue above concerning the portal that Ave and Rand jump through.

First, by seeing an open gate does not in fact give you the ability to determine how it works and learn the weave. In one upcoming scene (forget exactly which book, but I think it is the next one), the Aes Sedai open the gateway out of sight of the Sea Folk(?!?!) (I think this is when SWSNBN follows after Rand when he heads to off in the next book after the attack at the end of this The Path Of Daggers). They can not learn the weave, but the Sea Folk in charge tries to get her sister to learn the weave by getting in “tight” with SWSNBN.

I have always figured that with the "Talent" to read weaves, you could probably figure out how to open a gateway reading the weaves, but not just from seeing an open gateway.

Also, as for seeing Grey when they jumped through, I always found that since it was his point of view, it was just the Weave that he was looking at, and that the others (women and non-channelers) saw something different. Bending light, like Rand does around Ewegene during the meeting with the White Tower Aes Sedai still allows her to see it. IT would not have mattered if the weaves were inverted around Ewegene at this point, since she still would not have seen them. So either the Grayness from the snowy side of the portal was either added extra by Asmodean or just the weaves that Rand was seeing.

Edit: clarifying one point
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
Shimrod @80 - FWIW, while I would certainly take into consideration the motivations of DFs, my reason for thinking Dyelin is not a DF are not based on that. Primarily, Dyelin as written makes perfect sense to me; her behavior is completely consistent with her personality and character as I read it. To me, she's an intelligent woman who is quite content to be the head of her house and really doesn't want to be Queen. If Elayne had disqualified herself in any of several ways, Dyelin would have stood for the throne because she's quite confident that none of the other contenders would be good for Andor. However, as long as Elayne doesn't make a total mess of things (from an Andoran perspective as opposed to a reader perspective!) and shows that her first priority in ruling Andor is the good of Andor itself, Dyelin is much happier advising Elayne as needed without taking on all the headaches that come with the crown. Her top priority is simply that Andor be well cared for by its Queen. JMHO. I didn't mean to be dismissive or condescending, I just totally disagree with the very idea!.
(::in the very best old-timey-maiden-aunt shocked-and-reproving voice::)

subwoofer!! Hi!! Welcome back, however temporarily (for now). Also, LOL - as usual. :)

Ouroboros @92 - I love B5 - arguably one of the best ever TV scifi shows ever. If only they hadn't been jerked around by financing issues, can you imagine how awesome it would have been? Even so, it was a great show - and had some excellent one-liners. :) He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else.

The seeker... Seekers are rather frighteningly outside the law in many ways. That's an example, I think.

@several (Damoninutah - welcome!) regarding the gate and learning weaves: A rare few channelers have the Talent to learn a weave from reading the residues - i.e., what's left after the weave has been released. (That's why Aviendha unwove her gateway from the KinFarm - so there would be no residues left to read.) We're not given much, IIRC, about recreating a weave by looking at the result (e.g. a gateway), so there's not much proof here. Simpler weaves could logically be learned this way, but probably something complicated like a gateway would be difficult at best. By far the most common means of learning a weave is by watching it done; some people (like Nynaeve) can reproduce even the most complex weave after seeing it only once, but many people need to have it either shown step by step, or watch it formed several times in order to get it right.

Incidentally, it is possible for someone with insufficient strength to make a weave work, to still be able to form the weave, showing a stronger channeler how to do so. However, it seems to me that the Aes Seda have forgotten that over the centuries, given Cadsuane's POV where Sorilea gives her the Travelling weave. Nothing to do with the current discussion, but it popped into my head here so I thought I'd mention it.
Thomas Keith
103. insectoid
Sub @83: ::waves wildly::

Ouro @92: 8F (128+15).
Actually, Wheel math is in base 13. So, it takes 0w20 people to turn a channeler to the Shadow.
LOL! I hadn't thought of that. Maybe Blind should start using that! ;)

Free @94/Ouro @99: ::chuckles:: You guys are hilarious!

Tek @100: ::waves:: Ouroboros took my hexadecimal notation and invented Triskaidecimal! (Is that spelled right?? Blind would know...) Or Wheel-decimal, if you like; hence, 0w10 = 13. ;}

104. Ouroboros
Damoninutah @ 101

Welcome. And good point, I forgot about that scene. It's WH ch.23.

Shalon would have given much to see how that weave was done, even if it had meant being near Cadsuane, but she had not been allowed into the stableyard until the gateway was complete, and seeing a sail spread on the yardarm did not teach you how to set a sail much less make one.

So that's that.

About the gray affect, I'm with those who say that it's the result of seeing the "backside" I'm pretty sure that everyone saw the grey haze too.

The gateway was there all right, but instead of looking into his room in Eianrod, it was a gray blank. It seemed narrower than he remembered, too. Worse, he could see the weave of that grayness. It had been woven from saidin.

The fact that he thinks about the weave OF that grayness indicates that the grayness was visible to the naked eye and not just his "power eye".

So, we're down to Rand getting a break because the Seanchan channelers couldn't read residues.

BTW, I hope that your use of "SWMNBN" is not a sign of some irrational dislike. :)
105. Ouroboros
Tektonica @ 100

Don't worry about it. The geeks are out in force today. I don't think a lesson in non-decimal math will go down very well with some readers. However, I can highly recommend this song which explains things quite nicely.

New Math

The StarWars gag was a nod to the quality of the plot of the film.

Oh, about the name clarification, I wouldn't look too hard for the last few Aes Sedai I mentioned. The last time I read about them was in the White Tower periodicals.
Kurt Lorey
106. Shimrod
@102 wet

Thanks for playing.

I understand your belief about Dyelin completely. In fact, on the surface, it is certainly plausible and wholly believable. Heck, I had liked Dyelin from the outset.
But, is there one single other female noble of a major Andoran House that is also so upstanding and (presumably) level-headed? Offhand, I cannot think of a single one. For me, that is a waving red flag. In a society where the norm tilts heavily towards playing Daes Dae'mar, finding an exception would be, exceptional, and hence (IMO) unlikely.

Your comment that "Dyelin is much happier advising Elayne as needed without taking on all the headaches that come with the crown" could then also apply to Alviarin. Alviarin could have been Amyrlin instead of Elaida at several points in the story. Yet, she was behaving in a very similar manner to the behavior you attribute to Dyelin. We simply must be drawing different conclusions from that.

But to quote the late poet James Whitcomb Riley, "when I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck." If Alviarin is the proverbial duck here, and Dyelin walks, swims and quacks in the same manner, then Dyelin must equate to Alviarin.

I never said I liked that conclusion, as it will be quite sad if Elayne's greatest Andoran supporter turns out to be Darkfriend.
107. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 102

I suppose it all comes back to that secret police mentality with the seekers.

Regarding Babylon 5 – now you’ve pushed the right button.

I'm not sure what's to argue. I'm not even sure that I'd confine the comparison to sci-fi shows only either. And yes, the boys in suits did screw that pooch. Up to the point when the Shadows and Vorlons left, it was brilliant. It was only really in the last season when things went awry but not enough to tar the show as a whole. I don't think there's been better.

I think it's one of the only shows that really got the balance between concept, plot, characters, and details right. And it makes a lot of other stuff look really thin by comparison. The only problem I find with the show is that if I watch one episode I end up watching the next three as well. As you can see, I'm a big fan too. And yes, it had some great quotes.

"Cannot run out of time. There is infinite time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This . . . is wrong tool!"

Or if you want a power quote:

"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the Universe than the need for freedom. Against that power governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once; we will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free."

I think my favourite scene is when Londo and G'Kar are trapped in the lift together. I nearly broke a rib laughing the first time I saw that one. And then there's that whole sequence on Z'ha'dum. And as for the episode you quoted - ah damn! I might have to go and watch it now. See what you’ve done!


We now return you to your normal Wheel of Time program.

BTW, if you haven’t seen Babylon 5, go and watch it.
108. Ouroboros
insectoid @ 103

What can I say, it's been a quiet day.
Barry T
109. blindillusion
Questioning Dyelin because she doesn't appear to be playing Daes Dae'mar? The Andorans are considered amateurs of the Great Game, right?

Hmm, ow1o = 13? I suppose I'll have to take that into account. And a new word: Triskaidecimal. We'll say sure, the spelling looks about right.

Ah, and Sub. WB, somewhat.
110. AndrewB
I am doing something that I do not like: posting a comment before reading the above posts. Due to a busy Friday and Saturday, I have now just read Leigh's re-cap and commentary. I want to make one point about Chapter 28 and I do not want to wait until after I go through 100 plus comments. (Although I did a quick search to hopefully make sure this point was not addresses previously. If so, I appologize to anybody who already the issue.

Re Elayen entering Caemlyn.

I love the foreshadowing. "At the gates, Elayne rides forwards alone, in a travelworn gray dress (as it is tradition that the claimant come humbly) ..." -- recap by Leigh

In KoD, on the other hand, Arymilla enters Caemlyn (and presumably to the throne if her attack had been successful) in a ball gown all decked in jewelry.

Elayne ultimately succeeds whereas Arymilla becomes the permanent guest of Elayne (and probably looses her status of the head of her house -- assuming, of course, that her house remains one of the 19 major houses).

Thanks for reading my musings.
Tricia Irish
111. Tektonica

Non-decimal math!! What is the world coming to? Isn't that at the base of all we know?? (Only 2 question marks) I watched that vid and got completely lost when they went to Base 8. What's that?? ( I just figured out that B5 was Babylon 5.) I lost my kids in math in about 5th grade, if I remember correctly. ( I used to be really good in math, really, honestly, truely.....I am feeling very old.) ;-(

But thanks for trying......
Noneo Yourbusiness
112. Longtimefan
I know this is just assigning a random fact as a known property for a rationale that has not been stated in the text but...

Maybe one of the unspoken reasons Dyelin supports Elayne is the fact she knows Aes Sedai live a very long time.

Eliada was the Adviser to the Queen and Dyelin was around the palace for a while so she may have known that Elayne was going to be a full Aes Sedai someday and in that a Queen who would rule for a long time in, one would hope, a stable fashion.

If Moiraine could tell the potential strength of Nynaeve and Egwene then Eliada should have been able to estimate Elayne would be very strong. Maybe she only bragged about this with other sisters but I think she may have told Morgase. What parent does not brag about how great their children are?

It is possible that Dyelin was around watching Elayne grow up and judged her as fairly capable and also knew that Aes Sedai live for a couple centuries so supporting her is not just supporting a strong house with what was, up until recently, stable and reasonable in the governing of Andor but also a woman who brings the possibility of not just 20 or 40 years of stable government but centuries of fair and just rule.

Should she prove to be as level headed as Dyelin remembers and as dedicated to the people of Andor as Dyelin may hope.

This is all speculation but as an unspoken motivation I could see this as a very strong reason to support Elayne over herself even if she wants to advise or encourage Elayne while she is young and learning the ways of leadership.

This long term interest in the stability of government and benefit for Andor puts Dyelin in the "lightfriend" category for me even if I just made it up. :)

On the down side for people who did not support Elayne. She can hold a grudge for centuries as well.

Hopefully she will not but she can keep an eye on those houses through several generations.

The reason I say that is a fair ruler holds the individual accountable for their actions but does not punish people who were not even born to be involved.

Also just as a side thought now (well not now but in the future book) that she is pregnant. If she is going to live for centuries how long will she be Queen if her daughter is not born with the ability to channel? Probably will be but...hmmm.

And even if her daughter can channel Elayne has just hit her second decade at the most. With another 180 years in her this may be a Prince Charles situation.

Well, hopefully without the ears and the divorce.

do they have divorce in the Westlands? Probably not.

anyway. just some thoughts. :)
Alice Arneson
113. Wetlandernw
Shimrod @106 - I can only say that, as with many things in WoT, two readers can draw vastly different conclusions from reading the same words. Ambiguity FTW! :)

Ouroboros @107 - Babylon 5: No argument here! The quote from Delenn was in probably my favorite scene in the series, partly because that particular turn was so unexpected and MOA!!, but there are many close behind it. The scene my first quote came from is also MOA. The scene you mentioned is another fave - SO many good lines! The B5 Mantra stands out, and Marcus singing "I am the very model of the modern Major-General", and G'Kar: "The universe is driven by the complex interaction between three ingredients: matter, energy, and enlightened self-interest." Oh, so many. :) My take on it is that they squished most of what was supposed to be the third and fourth seasons into the third to make sure they got the story told, made the fourth season of a few left-over bits and what was mostly supposed to be the fifth, and then had to pad out the telepath thing in the fifth season to fill it up. Completely agree with your comment on the last season. When we do a rewatch, we tend to skip a lot of that; we both find Byron more than a little annoying. Oh well. Still, a fantastic show compared to virtually anything out there.

AndrewB @110 - Good point on the foreshadowing. I don't recall seeing it mentioned before, and it's very true. Love those minor details! I think that's one of the things that make the books so eminently re-readable - all the things you catch that you hadn't noticed before. I mean, on a first read, why would you make particular note of Elayne's "humble entry" and remember it with any clarity when Arymilla forgets the tradition 3 books later? Good one.

Longtimefan @112 - Interesting thought! I'd never particularly considered Dyelin's potential attitude toward an Aes Sedai (i.e. long-lived) Queen. I have a vague notion that the thought tickled my mind at one time but I never went back and thought on it. (I have a habit of making mental notes of things I want to go back and think about, but I'm too caught up in the story to put it down and think, and somehow my mental notes tend to get lost these days. Anybody have a mind-post-it?) Still, I've always seen Dyelin as a woman who put the good of Andor first in her decision-making, but who sees more than just the immediately apparent good. So, long-term good for Andor will get her vote any time.

Oh, and if Elayne's daughter is Calian the Chooser, she may have things to do besides rule Andor. Then again, as long as Aes Sedai live, you might get a Prince Charles situation for 6 or 7 generations... (but without the ears and the divorce, one can hope). Or Elayne might just rule until she has a really good replacement trained, and then step down. We'll probably never know that part, come to think of it.
John Massey
114. subwoofer
@Ouro- interesting clip- you know, it has always burned my ass when folks wear sunglasses indoors. Are they trying to look kool or do they have some vampirish aversion to bright lights??

And I am old school for math, but my results seem to be the same as buddy's. I just don't put it to music;)

FWIW- this was not directed to me but I am known to chime it at random- I like to think of myself as a rational person, and I feel my dislike of Caddy is entirely rational. I don't think it is fair to say that if you don't like Caddy it is irrational, to flip the tables, I hope your use of SWSNBN is not a sign of irrational like. :)

Just sayin'.

& to Blind, Wet, Insectiod & all I did miss you guys. Almost as much as I miss my home. It will be good to be back in my own house in a little bit.

Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw

"There, you see! I'm going to live."
"So it would seem. Well, it's an imperfect universe."
"You are insane!"
"And that is why we'll win."
"Go be the ambassador to Babylon 5 they say. It will be an *easy* assignment. Ah, I hate my life."
"So do I."
"Shut up!"

Edit to add - sorry, everyone, that was completely off topic... but so much fun. :)
Tess Laird
116. thewindrose
If Elayne makes it through TG(there are some people who have a very diabolical desire to see her bite it), I personally don't see her wanting to rule Andor. She has her 'angrel studies and making that she is truly interested in and if Rand is still around, I see her and Aviendha and Rand living else where(I know Tek hates this but I don't see Min surviving).

::Sad pout:: I know Wetlandernw:
thewindrose @67 - Well, at least we know it's not Sylvase. :)

I did think it would be shadowlisous if Cyndane/fear would have been filling in as the relitivly unknown Sylvase. And then to get so close to Elayne who is having Rand's babies. Just think how she would have freaked! Ahh well;)

B5!! I think TOR should do a rewatch, that would be fun:)
"No. No, this report is totally inappropriate. You have to do it again."
"But Londo, why? I've spent weeks working on this report. I didn't even sleep on the flight back from Minbar so I could go over it again. I've checked every single detail myself. It's absolutely accurate."
"Yes, Vir, I'm sure it is. And that is the problem. Here, you say: 'The Minbari have carefully preserved their cities over the course of centuries'."
"That's right, absolutely."
"No, what you should say instead is: 'Their cities are very old indicating a decaying culture.'"
"And here: 'The Minbari put great emphasis on art, literature and music.' Say instead: 'They are decadent people, interested only in the pursuit of .. of dubious pleasures.' Dubious-part is very important. It doesn't mean anything, but it scares people every time. All right?"
-- Londo and Vir in Babylon 5:"Point of No Return"
"I thought the purpose of filing these reports was to provide accurate intelligence."
"Vir, intelligence has nothing to do with politics."
-- Vir and Londo in Babylon 5:"Point of No Return"
"Here, 'They are tolerant of differences among other cultures.'"
"No, make that: 'They have no well-defined sense of morality.' They'll love that back home."
-- Londo and Vir in Babylon 5:"Point of No Return"

Alice Arneson
117. Wetlandernw
Yay, another B5 fan!!! ::happy dance::

Those interchanges always crack me up. My favorite Vir line: "I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I'd look up at your lifeless eyes and wave, like this. Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?" ROFL!! And then there's "What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?" I've always wanted to use that line, but it's just never appropriate in my life... ::pout::
Tess Laird
118. thewindrose
Wetlandernw - You do realize you can use that line on us;)

Alice Arneson
119. Wetlandernw
Hey, there's a thought! I don't think my daughter would see the humor, but this bunch would. :>
(It's a very sad thing in my life. I get such a kick out of a good insult, but I almost never use them. It's such a pity. Maybe I'll dust off my repertoire and use it here - you would know I consider you a friend I can trust if I give you a good insult. LOL)
Heidi Byrd
120. sweetlilflower
@Freelancer #93,
Yeah, I agree that some people hold onto their arguments no matter how much evidence is piled against them. For future reference, the only arguments I hold onto with that much furvor are ethical ones. I hope I will always look at issues from every viewpoint and will always be willing to listen to "the other side" before thorwing down the gauntlet. Anyway, I was not really throwing out an argument as much as a weird sort of observation.

On Dyelin: Even if she wanted to be queen, if she knew that Elayne would live for centuries, and she (Dyelin) didn't have any girls, then Elayne could just present her suit again at Dyelin's death. (wow, that's a lot of commas!) So, Dyelin may see it as pointless to want the crown, whether or not she is a DF. Much better to be a trusted advisor than an enemy of one of the most powerful women on the planet :)

I totally agree with you on the insult thing. Now that I am thinking about insults, I am picturing the scene from Monty Python where the Frenchmen are taunting the English (tee hee hee "I fart in your general direction :said in snooty over-the-top French accent: Although, I am not aiming that insult at anyone here)
Noneo Yourbusiness
121. Longtimefan
Oh Babylon 5. The show that burns twice as brightly burns half as long and you did burn so very, very brightly B 5.

And speaking of brightly but perhaps not rightly I do tend to wear my sunglasses indoors but not because I too cool but more too absent minded. I have a tendency to lose those things I put down. Well most things but not enemies. :)

since the '80s I must have lost over a hundred pair of sunglasses. Thank goodness for most of the '80s and '90s they were 6 bucks at any Sav-on or Thrifty's.

It was a Southern California thing.

The sunglasses not the leaving them behind.

I am looking at pictures from '86 and there are at least 8 different pairs of sunglasses in photos that span June to October.

I do have two pair now but living in Oregon I do not wear them more than 6 days out of the year. :)

Speaking of things that have been lost and in this case found again.

"Garenia and Kirstian: My reaction to their being made novices again was always kind of “…really?” It just seems so silly to me,"

In a way I can see why being novices again would appeal to them. Even if they had lived for 300ish years away from the tower.

For those 70ish and 300ish years respectively they still lived in a world where Aes Sedai was the highest possible position a woman who could channel could attain.

The Kin had no relationship with the Sea Folk or the Aiel so they were not privy to the rank and position in those cultures for women who could channel.

The Kin was a group that venerated and feared Aes Sedai. They lived with the long buried shame of failing to become a Sister but instead flourished in a sisterhood that strictly limited access to the source from fear of discovery but allowed for personal development in many different skills and practices. Within the Kin they were successful women. They were not successful channeling women. Those were Aes Sedai.

After a few decades of self fulfilling development it is possible that both women thought that where they had failed as novices they may now succeed with the courage and knowledge of age.

To be given the opportunity to rejoin the tower was not possible before Nynaeve and Elayne found the Kin and told them of Egwene and her new policies towards women who could channel no matter their age or cultural affiliation.

In a world where Aes Sedai may be feared or respected but never fully denied (except the whole Amador thing)it is a truly desirable thing for women who have been novices to seek a reconnection with the tower.

Why not all of them? That is a good question. They had all left the White Tower I believe but I may be wrong. I do not think the Kin were taking in wilders but they might have. I do not know why the others were not motivated to rejoin.

It may just have been that in being recognized Garenia saw that as a form of acceptance even if it was in a mildly negative fashion of being treated like a runaway. She may have run away but she was being asked back. In a way.

In real life being wanted is a very desirable feeling. These are only fictional characters who do as they are told but the reason we laugh and cry and yell at the book is because the motivations are close to what real people reading the books have felt or seen in others. Even if it is that unknown but feels right kind of thing.

Maybe Kirstian had become good friends with Garenia in the past 60 years or so. Maybe she had enough of going her own way and wanted the opportunity to be part of something bigger than herself, bigger than the kin. The White Tower is a monolith that dominates the landscape of the Westlands and the hearts of all women, especially those who can channel.
(Who are not Seafolk or Aeil) :)

Maybe Jordan just needed to novices to keep Vandene company because, well, he did just kill her sister.

They were great characters. Wise and gentle women who had sought knowledge and great cost (as Aes Sedai one is safe to presume they had a few adventures) and were quietly writing a book to explain the whole world as best they could. What true reader would not love such characters. They are the heart and hand of every bibliophile.

As the mystery lingered in the books it was indicated that Garenia and Kirstian not only were novices to Vandene to keep her company and to keep her occupied with something other than her sisters murder but also to help in the investigation.

I cannot remember if they were amongst the Kin who were killed.

It did not really pay out as the murder was revealed in a casual way but then "rewarded" by the hand most deserving of avenging Aledeas.

But as to why to fictional characters would have motivation to leave the Kin and the independence of that life and re-join the Tower as novices to become part of the most powerful organization of channeling women that they knew of, yeah, I can see it.

Alice Arneson
122. Wetlandernw
"You fool, I said a dart gun!"
"Oh, good, 'cause I was wondering what you'd want this for..."

(preview for something-or-other before Toy Story 3)

Edit - that was supposed to immediately follow sweetlilflower @120...
Alice Arneson
123. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan @121 - One possibility as to why Garenia & Kirstian responded differently than the rest of the Kin is that they were runaways. I haven't researched it so I don't know the proportions, but many of the Kin were women who had been put out of the Tower, most often for failing their Accepted or Aes Sedai tests. (You're right that they didn't take in wilders, at least in general. IIRC, the Kin was completely made up of women who had been at the Tower.) They held runaways separate from the rest until they were sure the Tower was no longer looking for them whereupon they were allowed to join the Kin fully. So... quite possibly the rest in this group had all "failed" but these two were runaways. They hadn't failed (or refused) their tests and been put out, they had run away and now had the opportunity to rectify that.
124. Ouroboros
Tektonica @ 111

Oh well, the song is really just a comedy routine, all be it a strangely edifying one. He also set the periodic table to the tune of I am the very model of a modern major general. It's quite a tongue twister.

And I wouldn't worry about forgetting this stuff. I can only remember a little of the Math I did at university and I don't really need the stuff I do remember.
Alice Arneson
125. Wetlandernw
I did a little more research via Encyclopaedia WoT, and here's what I found. Of the named Kin I found there, we know that

Reanne panicked & failed her Accepted test; kicked out
Sumeko broke down during test for the shawl; kicked out
Alise was not strong enough to become Aes Sedai; sent away
Callie was kicked out for reasons unknown
Kirstian ran away as a novice
Garenia ran away as a novice

Those are the only ones whose backstories we know anything about, at least based on what's available in the Encyclopaedia. In addition, Asra, Berowin and Sarainya are specifically noted as "weak in the Power" (Asra "would never have made Accepted") while Julanya and Sabeine are both "strong enough to Travel."

So... it doesn't prove anything, but of the six we know about, four were sent away and two ran away. It may be indicative.
126. Ouroboros
AndrewB @ 110

I hadn't spotted the symmetry there. Nice. And Elayne notes that Arymilla will be bankrupt from paying out reparations.
127. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 113

I've always thought that they only started squishing after the Shadows left, i.e. that part of the show went according to plan. The squishing was all around the Earth plot and the formation of the new alliance in season four. I think that's what was supposed to be in the first half of season five. In stead we get Byron the teledrip: yes, he's very annoying.

On prince Charles parallels. I don't mind so long as he doesn't start talking to vegetables. Hmm, that might be a UK only gag. Anyone who remembers Spitting Image will probably get it. They always had him talking to veg. It was a pretty brutal show. They did US presidents as well. If you’re really curious, do a youtube search, there’s lots there.
128. Ouroboros
subwoofer @ 114

I only put that one up because it was the only one with the complete soundtrack. People will animate anything these days. It's the audio that counts. If it helps, throw a towel over the monitor.

As for irrational dislikes, I have an irrational tendency to pull peoples legs sometimes. :) I wouldn't read any more than that into it.
129. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 115

*sighs contentedly* Actually, I was thinking of the first lift scene in which G'Kar is practically wetting himself with amusement over Londo's predicament. Still, that one's damn funny too.
130. Ouroboros
thewindrose @ 116

Hmm, I don't see Elayne *not* wanting to rule Andor. She's rather attached to it. Although, it does raise some interesting questions over which duty comes first: the White Tower or the White Lion. Hey, that's not a bad pairing. :)

On Cyndane: I'd have paid money to see that tantrum. From a distance, of course.

On B5. Londo and Vir make a great double act. The best Londo line has got to be:

"Love? Pah! Overrated. These are my three wives – pestilence, famine, and death. Do you think I married them for there personalities? There personalities could shatter entire planets! Arranged marriages, every one. But they worked out, they inspired me. Knowing that they were waiting at home for me is what keeps me here, seventy-five light-years away."
131. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 117

Of course, that line of Vir's is all the better for the pay off, grim though it is. And yes, I think every B5 fan wants to try out the moon-faced line at least once.

I feel a bit guilty for doing this, but it's too much fun.

"Are you Ambassador G'Kar?"
"This is Ambassador G'Kar's quarters; this is Ambassador G'Kar's table; this is Ambassador G'Kar's DINNER! Which part of this progression escapes you?"

And from Londo.
"Listen to me. I do not like insects. I do not like little brown things with eight legs. I do not like anything with eight legs - except the Venzini - but only because they are terrible at cards. Something to do with compound eyes, I think."


"Uhr. They’re getting faster. I swear they're evolving right before my eyes. If you see something - this big - with eight legs coming your way, let me know. I have to kill it before it develops language skills."

Okay, I'll stop now.
Tricia Irish
132. Tektonica

I am steeling myself for the possible loss of Min at TG. She is certainly the most vulnerable of the 3 wives...and she's already had the most Rand time. She also can't provide us with a "vision" of her own future, so it seems particularly vague. :-((

As for the rest...I see Avi and Rand living in Rhuidean with their "odd" children? And Elayne ruling Andor (If she survives, and good grief with the darn "throne plod" coming up, I hope there's a long term payoff.) Rand can Travel back and forth to her. Oh, who's all a crap shoot.


Get some of those little cords that attach to the temples of your sunglasses and hang them around your neck. They are pretty nerdy, but hey, we're all here, right? I quit losing glasses after I went nerd.
133. iamnotspam
58. Sweetlilflower I get some of what you are saying but as draggy as the Andoran throne plot line is I think it is all about RJ continuing to show us important things about the different cultures involved in the story again. Specifically the Aiel and the Seafolk. He had to setup the enactment of the sister bonding within the Aiel and provide the understanding that led to Rands bonding with the three girls. He also wanted to further explore the Seafolk's ideas on Teaching. To frame it all up he added a murder mystery, a political succession and an unsuccessful siege. There were other tidbits on things like warder bonds sprinkled in but you have to walk a lot of stairs to get to the penthouse. Im saying that there is a lot of building here that supports key plot lines later no doubt in my mind. Also to support your idea of comparability between Rand and Elayne I think most of the humor was in Elayne's story vs Rands walk down depression lane.
diane heath
134. jadelollipop
In this re-read (as compared to last year) I have found POD and WH easy to fly through but have bogged down in COT. Egwene at Tar Valon --yuck.
I may be a bit ahead of the re-read since my question is concerning the degree of responsibility of the Maidens about the upcoming attempt on Rand's life. I know they were upset and they expressed their displeasure but unlike with Egwene, (Once punished it is as if it never happened and she left on a happy note) the Maidens still seem angry at Rand. Then the explosion and Rand flees Carhien. I can't recall but is the next time he is near the Maidens in TGS? It seems that the distance is still between them. He goes to Caemlyn,Far Madding and Shadar Logoth without them.
I think they owe him something but can only hope that he mends fences all around when we next see him (TofM or AMOL)
135. Stromgard
Oh and why is every Forsaken so assured that DO hasn't brought Sammael back?

I mean, he is the DO:s top general?

Or one of two, but i am not convinced Demandred isn't at least slightly inferior. His strength is in the whole, not in a single field. And Sammael, while wanting to beat Rand/LTT is not as obsessive about it as Demandred is.

It is actually Rahvin that tries to bait Rand into going after Sammael, not Sammael himself. Sammael, on the contrary, is actually trying to make a truce with Rand, while the only thing that prevents Demandred from going for Rand's throat are his direct orders from the DO, and, later, from Moridin.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but wouldn't a resurrected Sammael be worth a million soldiers, be those human or trolloc?
136. stromgard
Tektonica @ 79

Noone came after Asmodean. It was just a conventient opportunity for Graendal to do him in while trying to loot all she could of the stuff Rahvin left behind.

She does exactly the same thing in Illidan after Sammael have died.

And we know she had some notions of what pre-breaking treasures Sammael had hoarded, so why wouldn't she have notions of some of the priceless things her other ally, Rahvin, had had too?
137. stromgard
And why did my posts end up in the wrong order?
138. stromgard
thewindrose @ 116

I like Sylvase, actually. It's nice to have a female character that is willing to give the bad guys what they deserve. *evil grin*

When you have people like that on the good side, payback (and karma) can really be a bitch.

"She may be a scary, bloodthirsty looney, but she is OUR scary, bloodthirsty looney!"
John Massey
139. subwoofer
@Ouro- Ahhhhhh! Dang, I miss my computer! This new fangled book has such a wonky keyboard! Half the time my message goes up in smoke or I am backtracking as I hit the wrong key- ahem... er, yes, Cranky Pants, being rational... well, she does wear her hair in a bun. I mean honestly- a bun! With a hair net? And sparkly doohickeys hanging from it? Really? How can anybody possibly like somebody like that? A good stout braid, something to pull and hold onto, that's more like it...

As we are bringing on random quotes-
A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.

As castles went, this one looked as though it could be taken by a small squad of not very efficient soldiers. For defence, putting a blanket over your head might be marginally safer.

-- (Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant)

Kurt Lorey
140. Shimrod
@113 wetlandernw

Agreed on that!

141. AndrewB
Wetlandernw @117. That is my favorite B5 quote (especially since Vir's wish came true).

As a B5 fan, I hated the way the Shadow war ended. That was very lame.

IMHO, B5 is the second best sci-fi TV series of all time. The revsied BSG is the best.

BTW, does WoT have a version of Lucky? If so, who would he/she be?

Thanks for reading my musings,
142. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 119

"I get such a kick out of a good insult"

Ah, so that's why you like Cadsuane so much. *nods knowingly* I quite agree.

"Maybe I'll dust off my repertoire and use it here"

Game on :)
143. Ouroboros
sweetlilflower @ 120

Careful. It's the ethical arguments that really get you in trouble. Don't get clever, just say So-and-so is stupid. That usually goes down well here. :)

Oh, and by the way:

I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
Janet Hopkins
145. JanDSedai
re: the Andorran succession

I think RJ went into so much detail because if he hadn't, we'd all be blogging because he didn't.
"How can Elayne be gone for four months and expect to have the throne empty?! Surely, someone has to make decisions!" ad naseum

I think it is a case of "Damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
Jonathan Levy
146. JonathanLevy
Speaking of Darkfriends meeting unpleasant ends:

I remember re-reading the Cleansing scene at the end of WH, especially Moghedien's POV, and I thought to myself - Moghedien is going to survive the Last Battle. She's going to free herself of the mindtrap somehow, and try to scrounge a living still alive in a world without the Dark One or the one Power (granted, that is speculation).

I just thought that would be the most fitting end for that character. The spider lives on - weak and powerless, but alive!

Wouldn't that be great?
147. Ouroboros
Jonathan Levy @ 144

Moi? :O how could you! ;)

sweetlilflower was quoting a part of a Monty Python insult. The whole quote is too good not to use - so I did. I'll admit, it is a little strange. But that's why it's so funny. Just hope I don't start quoting the Goon Show.
148. AndrewB
I guess I am in the minority. I liked the succession plot. I generally like war and politics in my fantasy literature. This plot line had both. Elayne coducted a political highwire routine (balancing the politics of the various elements of the succession, the Windfinders, the Kin, Aes Sedai, the Aiel and the Dragon Reborn). On the war front, she was leading an inferior force trying to hold onto a city, while two mote superior armies were waiting on the sidelines. In addition, there was the threat of the Black Ajah.

My one criticism of this plot line is that RJ had some scenes that were, IMHO, were uneccessary. (For exapmle, the scene where Elayne and Aviendah were at the Wall and subsequent journey back through the city and the Palace halls culimnating with taking a bath).

I believe that the bargain she made with the Windfinders was necessary for the purposes of the plot. It allowed many of the Sea Folk to travel to the election of the new Mistress of the Ships. It also provided the basis of Birgitte's actions during her rescue of Elayne vis-a-vis the Windfinders.

I believe that the succession plotline would have had less critics if it had only spanned two books (WH and CoT), plus the tail end of TPoD.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Valentin M
149. ValMar

I can just copy and paste your post! I agree completely.

PS A lot of what was suggested @148 could be said about several other plotlines in books 8-10.
Janet Hopkins
150. JanDSedai
re: Babylon 5

We could do worse than to use Leigh's vacation to delve into the mythos of B5. In fact, I think it's a very good idea! We could discuss parallels between the Shadows and the Dark One, or the savior- of- the-world trope as exemplified by G'kar and Rand. Or just share the best B5 sites...

I wasn't necessarily dissing the succession plotline, but rather pointing out that RJ was in a no-win situation. As of book 8(1998), there was already an avid on-line community that was gonna beat any subject broached to the ground (Bela stand-ins, that's your cue!).
151. Freelancer
Tektonica@0w87 (That's Decimal 111)

Number systems are not too difficult to understand. The base tells you the quantity of numeral representations which can be displayed in each digit place. In decimal, there are ten numerals, 0 through 9, the only numerals which can ever be displayed in each digit place. When a counted value exceeeds what can be displayed in a digit place, it generates a carry. In decimal, 9 is followed by 10. Which is to say, a one in the tens digit place (ten to the first power), and zero in the ones digit place. The next higher digit place is hundreds, or ten to the second power, then thousands is ten to the third power.

It is the same with any other system. Base 8 (octal) allows numerals zero through seven in each digit place, after which you carry to the next higher place, which has a value of 8 to the first power. So, the numeral presentation of 47 in octal has a value of thirty nine. Four in the second digit place is worth 4*8=32, 7 in the ones place adds to make 39.

In our new wheel system (yes, triskaidecimal would be appropriate), a number such as your comment number, decimal 111, would be converted by first dividing by the base (thirteen), getting an integer value of 8 which goes in the second digit place, and the remainder of 7 goes in the lowest (ones) digit place.


PS And the joke about 10 kinds of people in the world is that 10 has a value of two in base two (binary). It just looks like ten.


Perhaps this quote will assist:
The woman behind the throne seemed occupied with counting her stitches. "In one week," she said suddenly, "you will be wanting to come home to your mother. In a month you will be wanting to run away with the Traveling People. But my sisters will keep you away from the unbeliever. That sort of thing is not for you, not yet." Abruptly she turned on the stool to look intently at Elayne, all her placidity gone as if it had never been. "You have it in you to be the greatest Queen that Andor has ever seen, that any land has seen in more than a thousand years. It is for that we will shape you, if you have the strength for it."
Yes, Elaida knew Elayne's potential, and she was not keeping it a secret. Certainly Dyelin would be aware of this and more.

As for Dyelin's true loyalty, during Hanlon's staged attack on Elayne using three thugs and forkroot on Elayne, Dyelin nearly died from two wounds while trying to stay between Elayne and the attackers. If she were part of the plot, I can't see that happening. If she were an unaffiliated darkfriend, it would have been the perfect opportunity to allow Elayne to be erased with no blame to herself, and she would not have needed to put herself in harm's way. As Elayne said afterward,
"I think Dyelin proved her loyalty today. ... A hard way to prove it. I think I have toh toward her, Aviendha."

Finally, Dyelin answers the question which you skirt in one of your paragraphs.
"Are you certain you don't want to be queen, Dyelin? Luan and that lot would stand for you in a heartbeat, and if I stand for you, those who've stood for me will stand with me. Burn me, Danine would probably stand for you."
Dyeling took a chair, spreading her blue skirts carefully, before answering. "I'm absolutely certain. Running my own House is work enough for me without adding all of Andor to it. Besides, I disapprove of the throne changing Houses without good cause -- the lack of a Daughter-Heir, or worse, one who's a fool or incompetent, cruel or greedy. You're none of those things. Continuity provides stability, and stability brings prosperity." She nodded; she liked that turn of phrase.
"Mind, had you died before returning to Caemlyn and making your claim, I would have entered my own, but the simple truth is, you'll make a better ruler than I would. Better for Andor. In part that's because of your connection to the Dragon Reborn." Dyelin's raised eyebrow invited Elayne to expound on that connection. "But in large part," she went on when Elayne said nothing, "it's you yourself. I watched your grow up, and by the time you were fifteen I knew you'd be a good queen, perhaps as good as Andor has ever had."
Occam likes this explanation. I like Occam. I'll go with this, Dyelin believes in Elayne's competence to rule, and Dyelin is no darkfriend.
Sharon E.
153. Sulin
@Free- RE number systems: Wow, and here I felt accomplished passing college algebra. ;P

Edit for: So why would WoT math be based on 13 instead of ten?

Tricia Irish
154. Tektonica

That was the best explanation! I think I got it. But why anyone would need a different base besides 10 is beyond me. Just to be confusing? Do other bases have practical uses or are they just fun for your brain? Thank you. I feel less stupid now.

( I passed out of all college math requirements, a million years ago, so no college math, and then after 5 years, I had to squeak through the GRE's, and then another ten years later I had to study for 2 months for the Series 7. That almost killed me. Since then, no math.)

And good Dyelin quotes. Put that DF theory to bed!
Thomas Keith
155. insectoid
Sulin @153: I see you. Re: base-13... Based on 13 channelers (and 13 Fades) being required to turn someone to the Shadow.

Tek @154: Hexadecimal (base-16) is most useful in computing; for example, aside from representing memory addresses and such, it's used in programming languages like HTML to represent color values. Octal (base-8) is also used in computing, but less often. But yes, it is fun for your brain; I had to study it, so I might as well use it sometimes. ;)

156. alreadymadwiththirteens
Sulin @153
WOT math is based on 13? I thought it was 12.

triskaidekaphilia... this is too much!

insektoid @155
Hexadecimal and octal are useful in computing for the same reasons. It allows you to shorten something that was previously in binary with a minimum of fuss. Binary being the only language the machine could truly understand.
Sharon E.
157. Sulin
@insectoid- I see you. I remember the 13 channelers example, but what about other instances?

@alreadymad- Er, I thought I'd read somewhere above that WoT math was 13-based. *shrug* I could be remembering wrong though. All the talk of "base-10 this and base-12 that" has my brain in need of a defrag. :D

Noneo Yourbusiness
158. Longtimefan
@ Wetlandernw and Freelancer,

Thank you for finding such relevant information. When I start rambling I tend to just run with it and what I cannot remember just gets thrown in as vaguery and conjecture. Fortunately there are other people here with the books and a more fastidious nature who find helpful in book information.

It is interesting that from what the books mention Garenia and Kirstian were runaways but the rest were put out of the tower. Two very different conditions which could affect their perception of what relationship they had with the White Tower.

To run away means that the White Tower wanted you but you did not want it. To be put out... well anyone on the bad end of a break up is not really looking to get back together with someone (or Tower) who rejected them. "It is their loss." is something the kids say today I believe.

As for Dyelin, I was not meaning to skirt I just could not recall the direct quote. :)

Yay for Dyelin not being a darkfriend. Seriously. There is only so much threat to any of the twenty main characters I can take and it would have been a bit much to have all the succession out and done to have a "Ah-HA hahaha muhahahaha" moment when Dyelin reveals that she was plotting with Lanfear/Cyndane and has thirteen Myrddraal popping out of a wardrobe comically entangled in all of Elayne'f finest gowns (which would cause her to faint because they would stretch the seems and not know how to smooth the skirts correctly). The Thirteen Black sisters would be in the sitting room having tea because Elayne would have just invited them in. Why? More dramatic when the reader knows something the character does not. People would be shouting, "DON'T POUR BLUEBERRY TEA FOR HER! SHE IS BLACK AJAH!" or something like that.

I am so glad that is not going to happen. Seriously, you do not even know.

In a related but unrelated note. I saw Toy Story 3 over the weekend.

Not to spoil it but all movies have a "dramatic" end game between the heroes and the villain.

For me it went a bit to long and a bit to far. Yes, I know they are fictional characters but Pixar has this character development and storytelling thing that no one else can touch and it is a bit overwhelming to see characters you care about in such prolonged situational danger.

This is very much its own movie and in that the ending is very much its own situation. It is not the same kind of ending as the first or second movie which were different "dramatic" situations from each other as well.

It is a good movie and I liked it but the drama was a bit much for me and I am not a six year old. Maybe it does not exhaust kids as much but it was a lot.
Justin Levitt
159. TyranAmiros
Winter's Heart had just came out in hardcover when I started Wheel of Time, and I remember being excited that Elayne had finally made it to Caemlyn so she could become queen. I wasn't even too disappointed it didn't happen in Winter's Heart because I thought Rand's visit was an amusing diversion.

I think the point was the same point RJ was making with all the plotlines in CoT: everyone's fiddling while Rome burns, so to speak. Elayne, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, even Rand are so distracted by their various crises of the day that no one's focused on actually preparing for the Last Battle.

Yes, each of these subplots will be vital somehow to the Last Battle. But as readers it's frustrating to be subjected to scenes of Lelaine and Romanda jockeying for power and learning the Aiel weave for "checking the baby" while the world collapses around them.
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan - Yes, I was struck by the possibility of K&G being the only runaways in the bunch, which is of course why I shared it. I rarely seem to have both the time and energy to do that kind of research (even then, I only relied on what Encyclopaedia WoT already had), but I sure enjoy what I find when I take the time to do it. Which is why I thanked Freelancer for finding that quotation; I simply didn't feel like taking the time to find it, but I just knew (read: I was hoping!) that I was basing my take on Dyelin on more than gut reaction. The closer I get to a half-century, the muddier my brain seems to get in some regards...

Oh, and ...thirteen Myrddraal popping out of a wardrobe comically entangled in all of Elayne'f finest gowns... etc. ROFL!!! What a visual! "DON'T POUR THEM ANY BLUEBERRY TEA!!" Bahahahahaha! ::gasp:: hahahahaha! ::pant pant::

Ow. My sides hurt.

We, too, saw Toy Story 3 this weekend. It was good, and my 9-year-old son loved it, but then he likes anything with lots of action. (Slapstick FTW!) My 7-year-old daughter was a bit wigged out, though; the "scare" in it was much worse, I thought - and so did she - than the other two. Oddly enough, she was hiding and nearly crying during the "imprisonment" phase, but at the end when I thought it was getting too intense, she just looked at me calmly and said, "They'll get out of it, though, won't they, Mom?" Trust a child to throw you for a loop! So yeah, it was still good, but a bit scarier than I expected to see in a kids' movie, and the last scare sequence was drawn out too long.
Heidi Byrd
161. sweetlilflower
@math geeks:
Do you use Hexadecimal and octal bases b/c they are powers of 2? And, many other cultures use a different system than ten. The most famous being the Maya.

@toy story watchers:
Is it too scary for a two year old? I've been thinking it might be a good "first movie", but I don't want to take him if it will just scare him. He reacts badly to the violence in "The Lion King" and "Finding Nemo"
162. alreadymadwiththirteen
Sulin @157
Ah but then, that would imply that Base 13 is actually the Dark One's math. One that he is trying to replace the Wheel's math with. There are more examples in the Pattern that are Base 12. 12 Tribes of Aiel. 12 Warrior Societies. 12 SeaFolk... whatever they're called.
163. Freelancer

"Sammael is toast." I believe we are to understand that the manner of his death to Mashadar kept him from the dark one's reach, so he's on the sidelines for the rest of this turning.


I'm with you. I find every thread worth reading. Even if it's only some additional worldbuilding, or increased insight into the backstories of secondary characters, but very often it's also some extra clues to embedded mysteries, or foreshadowing of events to come. BTW, I think you are now the best-known red-letter holdout. When are you going to go gray?


Thirteen is the quintessentially WoT number. Why not base a number system on it? I mean, when Brandon was first commissioned, and he said the goal was one more volume, a big part of me cried out. It HAD to take two more volumes, and finish with thirteen. Of course, then they said one would become three, and that poetic symmetry is still going to go unrequited.

Besides, thirteen is just such a goofy number to use for any purpose with value. It is its own punchline. (5... 4... 3...)


I didn't use the term skirt to mean that you were avoiding or ducking the issue, but that you came right up against it without actually going into any detail. Not a criticism at all, there's plenty of times when I don't care to spend any effort on the "hunt", as it were. But in this case, I knew these scenes well enough that it only took a short time to track them down.

RE: Number systems

In truth, all computer activity is in binary. The practical application is that electronic memory locations only have two stable states, ON/OFF, OPEN/CLOSED, CONDUCTIVE/RESISTIVE, 0/1 (anyone that sees what I did there gets triple geek cred). However, for the human (in this case, speaking of a programmer), writing things out in strings of binary, I.E. 1011011010011111 is very nearly insane when, by simply using a higher-based number system like base sixteen (hexidecimal), the same value is presented as 0xB69F. The prefix of 0x defines that the value is presented in hexidecimal form. The answer to why not decimal is that a base-ten format doesn't fit neatly as a superset of a binary structure. Values of 0 through 9 presented as binary are:


Now what? Incrementing the value to ten causes a carry in decimal, but not in binary. The next carry occurs after fifteen:


Simpler to use a number system with 16 different numerals (which requires substituting letters A through F as single-digit symbols for values ten through fifteen:
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, 10)

Going back to the binary string I tossed out up above, breaking it into groups of four digits shows what each hexidecimal numeral should be.

A computer byte is an 8-bit long value, represented by two hexidecimal digits with a total range of 0 to 255, or hexidecimal 0xFF. A two-byte word is 16-bits long, with a total range of 0 to 65535 in decimal, or 0xFFFF. You could see that after moving into 32, 64, or 128-bit wide numbers, values take many more places to represent in decimal than in hexidecimal, making hex far more practical for those purposes.

Money, on the other hand, is always best handled in decimal. And by the more frugal person of a relationship. Otherwise 10 becomes 01 and 01.


Roger Powell
164. forkroot
Jaichim's exit is certainly one of the more memorable ones. There's nothing quite like a "give the man what he wants" execution. I wonder what they would have fed Falion - forkroot? (That’s the tea, not the commenter.)
Thank you for clarifying.

Please refer to my earlier post on the beneficial uses of balefire, where I specifically addressed the "Faolain, Falion" issue.
Maiane Bakroeva
165. Isilel
JanDSedai @145:

I think RJ went into so much detail because if he hadn't, we'd all be blogging because he didn't.

I beg to differ. A lot of fans including myself really liked the tempo at which the plot moved in volumes 1-6 and got increasingly disillusioned when things started to bog down.

Most of the plot-lines in question, I never felt that they needed to be there, while the issues that should have been important and involved (IMHO), like the cleansing of saidin, got a very unsatisfying short shrift.

And I really like well-written political intrigue, too. I am a fan of GRRM, for Pete's sake! But Egwene got all the good stuff in that respect, IMHO and Elayne's political struggles felt like a tired, unconvincing (and IMHO unnecessary) re-tread of the theme. Ditto the plotline that wouldn't die and most of the circus: act 2.

Fortunately, I do like (as in find interesting to read about) Rand's descent into darkness, crumbs we got about the BT, and Egwene's power struggles until now (though WH and CoT stuff seemed severely redundant), as well as the BA hunters plot-line. So, those will hold me over.

Re: Dyelin, in addition to her having no suitable heirs to promise future stability for Andor, the relative defenselessness of a non-channeling ruler in the current situation may have been a consideration for her too. Whether she does believe about Rahvin or not, she has to be aware that she'd be a sitting duck for any channeling DF.
And, if she had been a DF, why would they have needed Hanlon?
166. Freelancer
Wetlandernw@160 (0xA0, 0wC4, 10100000)

Please, let's minimize those thoughts of demi-centenarianism.


Fear would never have played a part in Dyelin "ducking" the job of Queen of Andor. If she believed herself the best choice to rule, forsaken or other channeling darkfriends, and her "defenselessness" to them would not have given her a moment's pause. A ruler in any place, at any time, can be a sitting duck for an accomplished assassin.
Joseph Blaidd
167. SteelBlaidd
Re:Math bases. I have to do half my thinking in Hex and Binary, so yes it is useful. My mom used that song to introduce the idea to freshmen CS students back in the early '80s.(You cant take 3 from 2.. while were poisening pigeons in the park. I love Tom Lheir, he was and is a math Profesor at Harvard and very funny.)

Im with AndrewB @148 The Andorian Succession is actualy one of my favorite plotlines. ADmitadly CoT came out while my wife and I were expecting our first child so Elayn's Pregnency was "of interest" but, I always have enjoied the character interactions in that section and find parts to be some of Jordons funiest writing. It also helps that I grew up in a theater family so costuming is a very interesting Topic.
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
sweetlilflower @161 - see your shoutbox for more detail on Toy Story 3. I didn't say it here because of spoilers.
169. alreadymadwithnumbers
Freelancer @163
Lol. That was a longer explanation of the number system than I could be bothered to expound on. I did get all three geek references, though. To my eternal shame, since I have since graduated from geek to slacker.

I disagree however, on Thirteen being the quintessential WOT number. Applications of the number thirteen invariably end up serving the Dark One's goals. By comparison, Seven is the Aes Sedai's mystical number. Lews Therin had Seven seals. There are Seven Ajahs. On another vein, 12 is the number for non-mainstream cultures. 12 Aiel Tribes. 12 SeaFolk.. whatever they're called. 12 Warrior societies.
Lucas Vollmer
170. aspeo
Hello all!

Just wanted to check in and say I'm a big B5 fan, and I loved all the quotes. Lando is especially quote-worthy most of the time, especially with the spider! lol
Actually I want to amend that, he's pretty much always quote-worthy!

I find it hard to wrap my mind around anything other than base10, but that is most likely because it is all I ever have to use or think about. Unless it is a mind exercise that arises from reading about other types of numbering on forums like this. :)

Finally to be somewhat WOT related in my post, I wanted to say I don't mind the succession plot line too much. I just think that it gets a little tedious at times. I have always greatly enjoyed Egwene's WT plot line, however. They are both political plots, but I guess it might come from me liking Egwene a lot more since she was raised as Amyrlin by the SAS and onward. I think that I could have liked Elayne's succession plot more if it had been resolved a little more quickly. Although reading it without having to wait for new books to come out may make it flow a bit faster this time around, maybe??
Marcus W
171. toryx
I had a huge post to cover all the things that happened over the weekend and then decided that most of that stuff wasn't really all that important.

Evidently summer is a time of extended self-censorship for me.

So to keep it brief: I could totally see why Dyelin might be a Darkfriend. Lots of reasons, actually. But I don't think she is.

I'm one of those people who just doesn't understand the draw of B5. Yuck.

Like Tektonica, I tested out of math in college and never took another math related class. So not only is the base discussion above my head but almost as uninteresting for me as Elayne's succession plot. Glad you math guru's are having a good time though. Geeks. :)

Saw Toy Story and really liked it. But then, I don't have kids and it felt much more directed toward big kids like myself than to wee ones. I wouldn't take a two year old to see it, for what little that's worth.
Matthew Smith
172. blocksmith
Freelancer@56 and Wetlander@59

See...that's why, to me, Valda and Asunawa are the worst (i.e., most deserving of Spanish Inquisition like deaths). At least villians like Kadere, Carridin, Falion, Liandrin, Hanlon, Galina, etc., have given their souls to the DO for whatever benefits (ha, funny that) they may gain. It is built into their character (maybe Ingtar is the exception, but we have no idea what other things he may have done before seeing the Light). They are supposed to be sadistic and ruthless.

But both Valda and Asunawa are/were (and I use the terms loosely) Children of Light. Their fanaticism (Asunawa) under the guise of rooting out Darkfriends and depravity (Valda) for political advantage made their crimes, to me, much worse as supposed agents of Light and therefore deserving of Juilin Sandar's best imagination.


So, the DO = Davey Jones?
Don Barkauskas
173. bad_platypus
No WoT stuff in this post, but how can I resist two such geeky topics to talk about?

Re: B5

By far my favorite scifi/fantasy TV series, and probably my favorite overall. I always felt the Shadow War ending was rushed, but that was partially because I started watching in the middle (my first episode was the one with the soldier who thought he was King Arthur---it's amazing I came back for another one, since in isolation that one's pretty confusing) and I thought the whole series was about the War. It wasn't until I saw the re-runs that I realized that the Shadow War was just an (important) interlude in the overall story arc. My understanding is that it was actually the Earth re-unification that was supposed to last for the fourth and fifth seasons.

As for Byron, I've liked him more on re-watches than I did originally. I also thought it was a great plot arc for Lyta. (Although before Claudia Christian left the show, it apparently was supposed to be Ivanova that got together with Byron...)

Re: Number bases

One thing to remember about number bases is that they are all arbitrary. They're just different ways of writing the same concept (and don't get me started on the set theoretic definition of numbers, because that would definitely be going too far for this thread). At any rate, whether you write 19 in decimal as 19, or in binary as 10011, or in hexadecimal as 0x0013, or in triskaidecimal as 0w16; it's still prime, and odd, and equal to 12 + 7 (no matter how you write them), and...

For that matter, it still has all those properties if you write it as XIX. But one of the main advantages of base notation over Roman numerals is ease of computation. (If you don't believe me, try creating an algorithm for long division exclusively in Roman numerals, without translating to normal notation.)

Base-10 notation is the standard, probably because we have ten fingers, but there are arguments for other bases (most notably duodecimal---base 12), and, of course---as others have pointed out---standard computing is inherently binary.

One last historical note: the whole key to "place value systems" like our base-10 notation is the concept of "0" as a placeholder to indicate nothing; this was a surprisingly late development in the history of mathematics.

Finally: Actually, there are three types of people. Those who can count, and those who can't.
Roger Powell
174. forkroot
Tom Lehrer was never a professor at Harvard. He did teach a few classes there (and at MIT) while studying for his PhD (which he never got around to finishing.) He did teach for many years at UC Santa Cruz although he has been retired for a while.

Anyone who has read some of my "parody" posts would not be surprised to learn that I am a HUGE Tom Lehrer fan. Of course my formative years were during his initial (brief) performing career.

I consider him one of the cleverest lyricists ever - with a wicked satirical touch and an eye for outrageous rhymes. I still giggle over the last verse in "Alma" (roughly... from memory):
So that is the story of Alma,
A woman who knew how to give
The body that reached the "embalmah"
Was one that had known how to live!
His recordings also featured funny quips in between songs. Many of those quips were very edgy in the early 60s! An example:
He majored in Animal Husbandry ... until they caught him at it.
176. Ouroboros
NastyTea @ 164

Well, I wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. We can feed you to an Aes Sedai if you'd really like. :)

On the balefire thing: if only that discussion had never happened. ;}
Tricia Irish
177. Tektonica

So glad to learn I am not the only dinosaur on the thread! Base 10 forever.

Bad_platypus@173: LOL

Finally: Actually, there are three types of people. Those who can count, and those who can't. Yeah, I'm one of those.
Noneo Yourbusiness
178. Longtimefan
Roman Numerals,

MIX is a word and a number but CIVIL is not.

The make marvelous machines on IX.

As a side note about not being a numbers kind of person I remember struggling as a kid with time because people kept saying "a quarter past" so I would think 25 minutes but they meant 15.

If time is money then why are then not portioned in the same increments?
Thomas Keith
179. insectoid
Free @163: Re: number systems... Thanks for enlightening us! I would have attempted to do so (I'm one of those 10 kinds of people), but fell into bed before I could start, so.

AMW @169: Good point. Seven or twelve would make more sense.

Fork @174: LOL!! Because of Tom Lehrer I will never forget the Periodic Table, or how to poison a pigeon in the park! ;)

Rob Munnelly
180. RobMRobM
toryx@174. Love Tom Lehrer - Vatican Rag, the Elements, Fight Fiercely Harvard....

Re the "Be Prepared" boy scout parody - "Be prepared to hold your liquor very well; don't write naughty words on walls if you can't spell...."
Karen Fox
182. thepupxpert
I'm a little behind on post-reading but wanted to say Ouroboros @ 45 - I agree with other posts about reading your entries at work. My co-worker walked into my office just as I busted up laughing and he thought I was laughing at him!

Now to go read the other 140 posts I haven't gotten to yet!

Edit - for misspelled words due to too-long nails.
184. alreadymadwithixmachines
Longtimefan @178
*LOL at Dune reference*
185. AndrewB
Freelancer @163 said: "BTW, I think you are now the best-known red-letter holdout. When are you going to go gray?"

Freelancer, as to why I am still red? A few reasons. First, I am too lazy to sign in and then post my comment. It is just easier to post my comments in red (so to speak). FWIIW, I do have an account. I had create one to read the free TGS material that Tor posted before the books release.

Second, I like to be a different. For me, this is a simple way to be different.

I will go to gray on the first posting commenting on the last book after its released. (However, if Tor changes its policies and one has to go gray to post on Leigh's re-read, then that is when I'll convert.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
Tricia Irish
186. Tektonica

Red is a prettier color, I agree.
If you DO go gray, just check the box to be remembered, and you don't have to sign in each time. Easy peasy.
Karen Fox
187. thepupxpert
re various comments about Jachim - to me this is one of the more powerful scenes with a minor character in the series, and really made me a bit sick to my stomach reading about how he died. I kept thinking about the dude who was giving him the brandy, and Hanlon notwithstanding, I can't imagine just sitting there watching a man die in that manner. It reminded me of Robert Langdon's waterboarding scene in The Lost Symbol, not something I'd like to read again, thankyoverymuch. That book went on the shelf after I finished it and won't be picked up again...
188. Ouroboros
alreadymadwithnumbers @ 169

Hey, look at that. You got the 0w100th post.

7 and 12 aren’t nearly as funny, and that was kind of the point.

Having said that, 13 is the maximum size of a woman-only circle. This is an important natural law and that gives the number a great prominence.

There are 13 months in a year.

There are 13 elders on the Kin's knitting circle.

Also, there were thirteen Aiel clans counting the Jenn.

Yes, 7 is a powerful number in most cultures, most likely because there were 7 celestial bodies that were visible with the naked eye in ancient times. There are so many occurrences of that number in culture and literature - especially fantasy – that it would take forever to list them all.

As for Randland, the only natural occurrences that I can think of are the seals; for some reason the mechanics of the situation demanded seven, and the 7 ages, which, granted, is a very important ontological concept.

Most occurrences of a number are the result of a deliberate choice. The number of Ajahs was one such, as was the frequent decision to have 12 members in a prominent group. I can’t think of any natural occurrences of the number 12 in the series.
189. Freelancer

Ahh, in truth, there were not three "geek references" in there. I merely stated the discrete binary states from the functional(ON/OFF), circuit(OPEN/CLOSED), current(CONDUCTIVE/RESISTIVE), and numeric(0/1) perspectives. What I did was reverse them each time. The numeric representation for them would have been 1/0, 0/1, 1/0, 0/1. Anyone able to spot that would be three times a geek. ::shrug::


I understand what you are saying, though I respectfully differ in conclusion. However much Valda, Asunawa, Elaida, or even Masema do which is very bad for Team Light, one fact remains. They believe that they are not harming Team Light. Even though we've seen without question that both Valda and Elaida have let desire for personal power override their sense of what is good and right, they do not operate with a dedicated Purpose of opposing the Light. Carridin, Kadere, et al gave up caring what was right or wrong, only what gave them power. The difference is between a poor choie and an evil choice.

Taking this standard to its extreme, a man who believes in the sanctity of marriage but commits adultery is worse than Jeffrey Dahmer, and that's an idea I cannot bite into.


But does that 10 mean two, or eight, or ten, or twelve, or even thirteen? All I can tell for sure is that it's the numeric representation for the first-carry value in some number system. ::duck::


Sok, your choice. For laziness' sake, if that's all it was, you avoid the captcha when you're logged in, and as was said, can check the box to be remembered, and avoid typing the login.
190. Ouroboros
forkroot @ 174

Wow! We're touching on all the good things this week. Yes, Tom Lehrer is quite a lyricist. He's in that rare pantheon with the likes of Sondheim and Gilbert. Of course, there are scores of poets whose text were set but only a few who are remembered specifically as lyricists. Sondheim is even more impressive because of the music he wrote to go with them.

There's too much good Lehrer stuff to quote, but his reworking of Clementine is hilarious. A personal favourite of mine is:

Oh soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife,
Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life.
Karen Fox
191. thepupxpert
lilflower@161 - my son was frightened of Nemo (shark scene)and the Incredibles (gigantic ball robot fight scene), but now that he's older he has grown to like these movies, especially The Incredibles. I'd start with Toy Story 1 & 2 first if you haven't already, then maybe ease into TS3 when it comes out on DVD.
192. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 183

B5 also did a better job of the grit. You can't really pull your punches when you’re trying to tell a story about galactic war fair and DS9 sometimes had a hard job escaping from that cosy Start Trek feeling. Admittedly, B5 had it easier there because the whole universe was set up to be a staging ground for the various wars that sparked up. Also, there were some B5 scenes that would never had been allowed in Star Trek. We can start with Sheridan’s interrogation and go from there.
Roger Powell
193. forkroot
Taking this standard to its extreme, a man who believes in the sanctity of marriage but commits adultery is worse than Jeffrey Dahmer, and that's an idea I cannot bite into.
Argh! That was in poor taste.

I feel compelled (not "compulsed") to relate the story of the overenthusiastic cannibal who lost track of where his meal ended and his own body started. When he realized his mistake, he threw up his hands in disgust!
Sam Mickel
195. Samadai
Cannibal jokes..... really.....
yuou guys are sick.....kidding....mostly
Tricia Irish
196. Tektonica
Sam....rescue us!

We need a story next week.....after tomorrow's last post.
Rob Munnelly
197. RobMRobM
FYI - from Brandon's webpage from earlier today:

" is DONE! 359,000 words, 1800 pages in manuscript form. Nobody tell Tor. They asked me to try to keep it shorter. WHOOPS."

He later on blogs that he'll do his usual reduction edit, expecting to cut about 10%, and that he's on track for a late Oct/early Nov. release. Laissez les bonnes temps rouler!!
Scientist, Father
198. Silvertip
Anybody notice that ToM is now due on the SAME DAY as the final volume of Tad Williams' "Shadowmarch"? I better sign up for some vacation.

@97 Ouroboros: The stallion Moebius, I presume, has been endowed with the unique ability to take off walking in a straight line and wind up back where he started, facing in the same direction?

Freelancer @189: Well argued. For my money (YMMV) that's actually one of the more important deviations between fantasy literature and RL, since there's no real equivalent of myrddraal walking around giving orders to folks who fully understand they're doing Evil. Joseph Stalin thought, I believe, and Robert Mugabe thinks yet, I very much fear, that they were doing right, making them pretty good parallels to Valda, Masema, et al. I find it much harder to come up with RL parallels for the concept of darkfriends, or the Forsaken.

Darkfriend-hunter types (Whitecloaks), regrettably, are all too familiar, and a brilliant characterization on RJs part.

Rob Munnelly
199. RobMRobM
@190 - my favorite for wordplay remains the Vatican Rag:

So get down upon your knees
fiddle with your rosaries
bow your head with great respect and
genuflect, genuflect genuflect....

Get in line in that processional
step into that small confessional
there the guy who's got religion'll
tell you if your sin's original
if it is, try playing it safer
drink the wine and chew the wafer
two four six eight, time to transubstantiate....
Tina A
200. Tinaa
Can't help myself, Sub's not here so I'll take it...


edit for: and no, I have no idea what 200 is in base 7, 12 or 13.
201. Ouroboros
thepupxpert @ 191

The Incredibles was a great film and a must see; not to mention one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time.
203. Ouroboros
Silvertip @ 198

Excellent! Somebody got it! He can also trample both sides of the argument with equal weight without turning once.
diane heath
204. jadelollipop
From Brandon Sanderson on Facebook:

Either way, the first draft of Towers of Midnight is done. We are now confirmed for an on-time release late October or Early November 2010.
Heidi Byrd
205. sweetlilflower
So, I've posted before that my Mother is reading the WOT books, and she asked me a timeline question. She just finished CoS, so the question is about the last book. When Elayne finally stands up to the other AS and demands her rightful place, would that be right after Morgase abdicates? Anyone know? I can't find the webpage for the timeline.
Barry T
206. blindillusion

According to the WoT Chronology, Morgase abdicates the throne of Andor on Taisham – 16 (Jan 6).

Elayne takes charge of the SAS on Taisham – 18 (Jan 8).

The Chronology is located here.

Hope this helps.
Matthew Smith
207. blocksmith

I understand your comparison, and certainly, in real life, your example is applicable, if not entirely apples to apples.

My point was that as readers we have come to expect certain behaviors from the characters in the novels; and that darkfriends, forsaken, etc., are more likely to commit truly abhorrent atrocities than non-DF/Forsaken characters. Therefore, as they are written, it is easier for me to reflect after reading Padan Fain just assaulted a woman, I can't wait til he finally buys it. As opposed to having hoped that Valda would step up and actually turn the COL into a force for helping team light only to read that he forced himself on Morgase through violence for political gain. After the duel scene, I wished that Galad had not granted him so clean a death.

I could draw some RL comparisons, but really, on this subject matter, it becomes very depressing.
Kurt Lorey
208. Shimrod
Since Leigh is taking a breather, I thought I would visit the subject of Dyelin Taravin again. At the outset, I would like to reiterate that I would prefer Dyelin to be on the side of Good here. Plus, I am not trying to sway anyone’s opinion here. It is just refreshing to see a character who actively supports a main character without love, friendship or ta’veren-ness as their main motivation.

So. What do we “know” about Dyelin? She has been High Seat of her House since age fifteen. She was an early supporter of Morgase Trakand for the Throne during the Third War of Ascension. She is next in line for the Throne, after Elayne, considering her bloodlines from Ishara. She is the High Seat of one of the most powerful Houses in Andor.

Starting with Rand’s killing of Rahvin, she tells Rand, all of the major Andoran nobles who once were supporters of Morgase, Kairen Stang Aes Sedai, and even Elayne directly that she has no interest in the Throne, and that she supports Elayne for that position.

After Elayne’s arrival, she works tirelessly to assist Elayne in becoming Queen of Andor. In effect, she becomes Elayne’s right hand for internal diplomacy, working to gather support from the minor nobility and acting on Elayne’s behalf in attempting to negotiate with some of Morgase’s former supporters (Abelle, Aemlyn, Arathelle, Ellorien, Luan and Pellivar, IIRC).

And then, there was her spirited defense of Elayne during the attack upon Elayne meant to insinuate Hanlon/Mellar into Elayne’s circle. This certainly led Elayne to (finally) put her trust in Dyelin, even though there was a brief moment when Elayne doubted her intentions (but, I’ll come back to that).

So, on the surface, Dyelin appears to be sincere in her intention to see Elayne upon the Throne for Andor. But, everything we know about Dyelin has to be taken at face value, or not. There is nothing to corroborate anything about her, one way or the other. On the face of it, Dyelin appears to be the level-headed character she is said to be. Still, I find some serious (to me, at least) inconsistencies that make me suspicious of her.

First, is that when Lord Gaebril/Rahvin was running Andor , he seemed to have purposely alienated all of Morgase’s major supporters, and instead installed all of Morgase’s enemies in Court. Dyelin is absent from either group, as far as we know. I find it odd that Rahvin missed alienating one of Morgase’s most faithful (and powerful) supporters, and also the person next in line for the Throne. According to the TFOH Prologue, Rahvin was careful and meticulous, so how did Dyelin avoid being alienated like the rest? Out of all the Andoran nobility, what is the probability that Morgase’s strongest and most loyal supporter avoids Rahvin’s attention? Not very likely, in my own estimation.

Second is Birgitte. Birgitte has a visceral dislike for Dyelin that she cannot account for, exactly. I have to lend some credence to Birgitte’s “feeling”. While it isn’t proof of anything one could be arrested for, still it is troubling to me. I trust the character of Birgitte over most other characters surrounding Elayne, considering her background.

Third, what about Dyelin telling anyone who would listen that she is for Elayne. She does so when several other Andoran nobles believe that Rand has had Elayne killed. How is Dyelin so sure that Elayne is alive? In any event, her repeated and insistent statements of support for Elayne reminds me of Hamlet here, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”. I cannot find any substantiation here, one way or the other. One takes her at her word, or not.

Fourth, the meeting with Elayne in the Throne Room upon Elayne’s arrival in Andor. Dyelin says she has enough to do with running her own estates, without becoming Queen as well. On the surface that seems well enough. But, it seems rather selfish that Dyelin would put her own estates ahead of the well being of Andor. And, if Dyelin had become Queen, surely she would have had a Steward to run her estates for her? Then, there is the fact that contrary to the premise about the importance of her own estates, Dyelin immediately becomes totally involved in helping Elayne ascend to the Throne. That seems more than a little contradictory to me.

Finally, there is the whole deal about the attack upon Elayne where Dyelin valiantly attempted to defend Elayne from the three assassins. The whole attack bothers me. The intent, as we know it, was to insinuate Hanlon/Mellar into Elayne’s circle, which was successful. But, a lot of the details bother me about the whole thing. Let me deconstruct the attack.

To begin with, the three liveried maids bearing Elayne’s midday meal arrived just after the Halwin Norry departed, bearing a rather expansive spread of victuals. Maids that Elayne didn’t seem to recognize. Is this meaningful beyond the fact that these maids brought the forkroot laden tea? No way to say. And afterwards, no one thought to search these maids out. So, we’ll likely never know if they were in on it, or not.

Then, Dyelin “stormed into the room like a whirlwind...breathing hard”. For a level-headed woman, it is a little strange that her news of the Borderlander armies sitting in Braem Wood would cause her to run to Elayne like that. In and of itself, not a telling event, though. But her news was a distraction for Elayne. Still, nothing convincing enough to set off an alarm.

When Elayne recognizes the forkroot, she can only tell Dyelin that she has been poisoned. Now, “ Dyelin gaped at her, frozen, then lurched to her feet gripping the hilt of her belt knife. The door opened, and a servant hesitantly put his head in. Elayne felt a flood of relief. Dyelin would not stab her before a witness.” So, Elayne’s first thought is that Dyelin has delivered the forkroot to her. But, there is no proof of that. But, it was Elayne’s first thought. Gripping her knife hilt. Could mean anything. Could be seeing all her work evaporating before her eyes or she could be thinking something darker. Could just be a habit.

“The man wet his lips, eye darting between the two women. Then he came in. Drawing a long-bladed knife from his belt. Two more men in red-and-white livery followed, each unsheathing a long knife.” So, there are three males, apparently assassins.

Elayne stands and draws her own dagger (now thinking that these three men are Dyelin’s henchmen), then Dyelin howls “Murder!”, picks up her chair, and hurls it at the three assailants, then screams, “Guards! Murder! Guards!”. This takes down two of the attackers. Nice move Dyelin. Next, Dyelin faces the lone standing assassin and has a brief knife duel before going down with one slashing wound and one stab wound. She is now out of the fight. Here is where Dyelin’s behavior draws sympathy for risking her life defending Elayne. That certainly is a possibility, but Dyelin would also have been well aware of the fact that the Palace was chock full of channelers, including those who could Heal. Without the presence of channelers, I agree completely that Dyelin would have been risking her life. With channelers, maybe not so much. This is a wash for me, because Dyelin could have been risking her life, but then again maybe the odds were in her favor here. Then, there is Dyelin yelling for help. Now, she had just come in the door, and at this point Elayne had no guards. Certainly, a patrol could have been walking down the corridor, but there would be no guarantee of an armed presence. Except, of course, for the “hero” of this set piece “Doilan Mellar, Guardsman-Lieutenant”. Still, Dyelin’s reaction could have been an automatic response.

When Elayne awakes, she has now changed her mind about Dyelin’s loyalty, due to Dyelin’s observed actions during the assault upon Elayne. On the surface, Dyelin has put her own life on the line for Elayne. And perhaps she has. Still, there are some oddities to the attack. I have already mentioned one, that being Dyelin’s breathless appearance just after Elayne began to eat her midday meal. The Borderlanders weren’t at one of the Gates, so I imagine that the news could have waited while Dyelin walked to meet Elayne, yet she didn’t. Not very level-headed behavior in my estimation.
Next, there is a minimum of five and a maximum of eight individuals involved in Hanlon’s plot (not counting the Lady Shiaine and her Black Sisters). Hanlon, the three assassins, and at least one of the maids, with potentially all of the maids and Dyelin involved as well. Hanlon and the three assassins we know about. Hanlon promoted, and the three assassins dead. We know nothing about the maids, and apparently none of the characters thought to track them down. If any, or all, were involved, they might be dead as well. Dyelin is a wild card here. On the surface, she is not involved in any way. But, she could have been. In fact, her appearance might have made the whole escapade play out easier (for Hanlon anyway).
Then, there is Hanlon himself. Odd that Birgitte ended up with four knives. Each assassin definitely had at least one, but why the fourth? If an assassin wanted to poison Elayne, he might as well of just used a single poisoned blade. Why have two? I don’t think any of them did. I think Hanlon brought that blade along to level the playing field in his direction. Elayne and Dyelin were likely never in danger of being cut or stabbed by the poisoned blade because it belonged to Hanlon.
Finally, there was the plan. Unnecessarily complex. First, you have to deliver forkroot laden tea to Elayne and hope she drinks enough of it all by herself without recognizing it. Apparently, it was simple hope that drove that part of the plan. Unless, Elayne was guaranteed to be distracted, that is. Then, there are the three knife-wielding assassins. What was their backup plan in case Elayne was not disabled? No way of knowing. Then, our “hero” Hanlon/Mellar. How was he supposed to catch (and dispatch) the assassins if only a disabled Elayne was present in the room? She could barely talk, much less yell or scream. Would he have claimed to have heard a noise? Remember that he was just another Guardsman-Lieutenant who Elayne didn’t even know. I can’t imagine any good excuse for just popping in to check up on her. How could he have been sure that an alarm would be raised?

The thing is, there are currently no specific answers for many of those questions, and no definitive explanations to any of those inconsistencies. Taken singly, or even several at once, might lead one to dismiss them out of hand. But, in my opinion, taken together they add up to nothing less than a suspicious set of circumstances, events and behaviors. Is it enough to condemn Dyelin? Certainly not. And, it might turn out that all of these items are simply a set of unrelated coincidences. Still, I choose to be suspicious of Dyelin, and I believe that there is enough to suspect her. Others choose not to be suspicious. That is fine by me, as I am not here to change anybody’s mind.

Uncertainty. That is just one thing that makes books like this so much fun.
Sheila McEvoy
209. SuffatheDamane

I love the long and well thought out post, but I always just figured that Dyelin didn't get publicly embarrassed/thrashed/run out of court when Morgase was in Rahvin's thrall because she didn't usually reside in Caemlyn and wasn't a fixture at Court.

She was probably being the good and loyal vassal to the Lion Throne who *wasn't* in Morgase's clique of courtiers and ladies and was just sitting out on her estate being prudent and wise and all.

No doubt when Ellorien, Morgase's best friend, was flogged and chastised, Dyelin decided.... "hmmm, now is probably not the best time to pop in for a social call."
210. ONEwithPOWER
I like that you say "to make a long story short (too late)" being as how you've been doing it for over a year now... Are you sneaky enough to throw that pun in there, or is it just coincidental I wonder..?
211. seomensnowlocke

Carridin is killed off 'cause he didn't kill Mat, he didn't get all of the stuff out of the storeroom ('cause Mat chased off the Gholam), the Supergirls got the Bowl of the Winds from the same storeroom and chnaged the weather, etc. Perfectly death-worthy if you ask me. Right?

Plus, he was annoying anyway. Good riddance


Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment