Jun 29 2010 2:24pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 19

Hidy-ho, Wheel of Timers! Welcome back to the Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 29 through 31 of The Path of Daggers, in which we have an ending. Not the ending, but… you know, I feel like I’ve heard this somewhere before.

Anyway! 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.

Also, don’t forget: the Re-read is going on a brief hiatus after this post, so 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).

And before we move on, it’s time for our last-post look at the cover art! I have to say, though it’s not my favorite of the Sweet covers (that would be TFOH, despite my issues with Mat’s medallion and spear on it), the TPOD cover is by far one of the better covers in the set. The colors work together really well, and nothing is egregiously out of proportion or obviously incorrect at all. The banners against the stormy sky are especially nice. The best part of the cover, though, is actually on the back, where you can see that the army is riding past the remains of a huge stone statue of a queen, in a position oddly reminiscent of gur erznvaf bs gur Fgnghr bs Yvoregl ba gur ornpu in (the original) Planet of the Apes. I’ve been idly pondering whether that was deliberate or not.

(Yeah, maybe it’s a little silly to ROT-13 spoilers for the ending of a film that (a) was released over forty years ago and (b) any self-respecting geek should totally have seen or at least know about already anyway, but I don’t care, because ambushing people with spoilers is near the top on my list of Things People Should Be Stabbed With A Rusty Spork For Doing, and one of my goals in life is to remain free of both tetanus, and sporks. So there.)

And, er. Yeah. So let’s wrap this ‘un up, reckon?

Chapter 29: A Cup of Sleep

What Happens
Min is entreating Rand to go and talk to Elayne, and he is refusing, saying it’s safer for him to stay away, and he knows which letter to believe now, but he is obviously very upset. Min tells Fedwin Morr, who is also in the room, that Rand is sulking because he thinks a woman doesn’t want to see him again, but she knows he is really hurt that Elayne has ripped down all his banners at the Palace. She points out that he hasn’t even bothered to wonder if Mat’s all right; Rand snaps back that he would know if Mat was dead.

“Haven’t you twisted yourself into knots to make sure she got the throne of Andor? Which is hers by right, might I add. Didn’t you say you wanted her to have Andor whole, not ripped apart like Cairhien or Tear?”

“I did!” he roared. “And now it’s hers, and she wants me out of it! Good enough, I say! And don’t tell me again to stop shouting! I’m not—!” He realized that he was, and clamped his teeth shut. A low growl came from his throat.

Min resists the idea of slapping him, and tells him that he knows Elayne will never side against him, and Andor will follow the Dragon Reborn, so the only reason he must be in “a snit” is because he thinks she doesn’t want to see him. Swallowing hard, she adds that in two minutes Elayne will be kissing him. Rand repeats angrily that he is not angry, and Min considers kicking him, but then they are interrupted by Sorilea, who brings in five women dressed in hooded black robes. Min realizes by the auras flickering around them that the women are Aes Sedai. They line up, and Rand strides down the line, ripping the hood off each woman and staring coldly into their faces: Elza Penfell (Green), Nesune Bihara (Brown), Sarene Nemdahl (White), Beldeine Nyram (Green), and Erian Boroleos (Green). Elza looks at him with a strange fervor, the others with varying degrees of nervousness (except Nesune, who studies him calmly); all are among those who had kidnapped him.

Some had been among those who tortured him while trying to carry him to Tar Valon. Sometimes Rand still woke, sweating and panting, mumbling about being confined, being beaten. Min hoped she did not see murder in his stare.

Sorilea explains that these were named da’tsang, and though the toh for their betrayal cannot be met, they know their shame and have all asked to serve Rand however they may, and the Wise Ones decided to let him decide. Min thinks this is very odd, but Sorilea shoots her a look that warns her not to interfere. Rand considers, then asks Erian why, when he killed two of her Warders; Erian replies that she has concluded they were wrong to take him, and must help him fight the Last Battle, though she will understand if he rejects her offer. He stares at her, then asks the others the same question. Beldeine says proudly that the Green Ajah is the Battle Ajah and must be there with him; Min sees that she is going to bond an Asha’man as a Warder. Sarene says it is only logical to follow him, even if it wasn’t before, and Min sees that she will have a tempestuous love affair, “of all things!” Nesune tells him bluntly that she wants to study him, and serving him seems a fair exchange for the chance; Rand blinks, and Min sees that she will have honors and fame, and found a huge library. Elza, however, sinks to her knees.

“You are the Dragon Reborn,” she said breathlessly. “You must be there for the Last Battle. I must help you be there! Whatever is necessary, I will do!” And she flung herself facedown, pressing her lips to the polished stone floor in front of his boots. Even Sorilea looked taken aback, and Sarene’s mouth dropped open. Morr gaped at her and hastily returned to twisting his button. Min thought he giggled nervously, almost under his breath.

Harshly, Rand asks them if they would accept being confined in a box all day except when being beaten. Elza ecstatically agrees; the others are shaken, but Erian answers unsteadily that they would, if he requires it. Watching him stand there, furious, Min tries desperately to think of a way to keep him from such a vengeful course, knowing he would never forgive himself for it. Suddenly all the images around the women come together, and Min gasps in relief.

“They will serve you, each in her fashion, Rand,” she said hurriedly. “I saw it.” Sorilea would serve him? Suddenly Min wondered exactly what “in her fashion” meant. The words came with the knowing, but she did not always know what the words themselves meant.

The rage leaves Rand’s face at her words, and the Aes Sedai glance at Min, surprised that her words could carry such weight. Finally Rand tells them that they will have to swear as Kiruna and the others did. They do so, and dismissing them, Rand tells Sorilea to put them with her other “apprentices.” Sorilea says that she thinks more will follow, and takes the women out with a very satisfied look, but pauses to tell Rand that Cadsuane Melaidhrin is in the Palace again, and she thinks Cadsuane thinks Rand is afraid of her. She leaves. Rand stares at the Crown of Swords for a while, then abruptly tells Min he’s going to find out what Cadsuane wants, and asks her to come. Min agrees, and they (and Morr) exit into the corridor. The six Maidens (including Somara) outside rise but don’t follow, and Somara stares flatly at Rand; they still have not forgiven Rand for not taking them to Ebou Dar. Rand mutters something and heads off.

A stone wall seemed to strike Min from behind; she thought she heard roaring, crashing. And then Rand was turning her over—she was lying on the floor?—looking down at her with the first fear she remembered seeing in those morning-blue eyes. It only faded when she sat up, coughing. The air was full of dust!

Then she sees that the Maidens are gone, killed when something turned Rand’s apartments into rubble. She shivers, realizing if they’d still been inside they’d have died. Rand asks Morr if he can trust him; Morr answers that he can trust Morr with his life, and Rand answers that’s what he is trusting him with, and orders him to guard Min at all costs, and kill anyone who tries to get at her.

With a last look down at her—oh, Light, any other time, she would have thought she could die happily, seeing that look in his eyes!—he went running, away from the ruination. Away from her. Whoever had tried to kill him would be hunting for him.

Morr patted her on the arm with a dusty hand and gave her a boyish grin. “Don’t worry, Min. I’ll take care of you.”

Once around the corner, Rand stops to seize saidin, thinking of how it had been a man channeling that blew up his quarters. He thinks it is Demandred, or possibly Asmodean, but that it was odd that the channeling had seemed to come from two different directions.

He seized the Source, and saidin flooded him with molten cold and freezing heat, with life and sweetness, filth and death. His stomach twisted, and the hallway in front of him doubled itself. For an instant, he thought he saw a face. Not with his eyes; in his head. A man, shimmering and unrecognizable, gone. He floated in the Void, empty, and full of the Power.

You won’t win, he told Lews Therin. If I die, I’ll die me!

I should have sent Ilyena away, Lews Therin whispered back. She would have lived.

Rand sneaks along the corridors, looking for his attackers; he knows by the bond that Alanna is frustrated but safe, out of the Palace. Hearing someone coming, he wraps himself in Folded Light, and a group of Maidens run by without seeing him. He thinks he had promised to let them fight, but not be slaughtered out of hand, and he already has five new names to add to his list along with Somara’s.

A promise he had had to make, a promise he had to keep. For that promise alone, he deserved to die!

Eagles and women can only be kept safe in cages, Lews Therin said as though quoting, then abruptly began weeping as the last of the Maidens vanished.

Rand moves on, searching, hiding himself from enemies and allies alike, reasoning that his attackers must have gotten the information on his whereabouts from someone in the Palace. He hides twice more from Maidens, and once from Cadsuane, who is hunting the corridors as well with six more Aes Sedai in tow; Rand tells himself again that he is not afraid of her, but Lews Therin is dead silent until she is out of sight. Then he stumbles upon Ailil and Shalon, the Windfinder from Harine’s retinue, coming out of a room; he quickly shields Shalon and binds and gags them both and leaves them in the room. He comes to a balcony overlooking a room a floor down, where Dashiva is standing with Rochaid and Gedwyn. Gedwyn is arguing that he felt nothing, and “he” is dead, when Dashiva sees Rand.

The only warning he had was the sudden snarl that contorted Dashiva’s face. Dashiva channeled, and with no time to think, Rand wove—as so often, he did not know what; something dredged from Lews Therin’s memories; he was not even sure he created the weave entirely himself, or whether Lews Therin snatched at saidin—Air and Fire and Earth woven around himself just so. The fire that leaped from Dashiva erupted, shattering marble, flinging Rand back down the hallway, bounding and rolling in his cocoon.

Rand releases his shield, to breathe, but also so he can send fireballs and the red wires he learned from Sammael back in the Asha’man’s direction. He then immediately runs back down the corridor to where he can get down to the level below, and approaches the room he’d seen them in cautiously.

I should have killed them all in the beginning, Lews Therin panted. I should have killed them all!

Rand let him rage.

The room is wrecked, but there is no sign of the three men. Then Rand feels saidin being wielded, enough to make a gateway, but Rand thinks it could be a ruse. He continues to hunt the hallways for hours, at one point almost killing Narishma and Flinn, but finds nothing.

He realized that he had learned one thing. Trust was a knife, and the hilt was as sharp as the blade.

Then he found pain.

Holding the Crown of Swords in a room deep under the Palace proper, Min watches Rand watch Fedwin Morr, who is sprawled on the ground constructing a tower out of wooden blocks. Min thinks of her horror and sadness at realizing Morr now had the mind of a child, and how difficult it had been to convince Morr to use the wooden blocks instead of pulling stones out of the walls with the Power to make Min “a big tower to keep [her] safe in.” She thinks she feels even worse for Rand than for Morr.

“You hide yourself in the depths, it appears.”

Rand leaps up to confront Taim, and Min realizes that he is deciding whether to kill Taim or not. Rand remarks softly that Taim is holding saidin; Taim notes that he was worried about getting stabbed by the Aiel women filling the corridors outside, but evidently lets the Power go. Rand does not relax, though.

“I came to report deserters. Normally, I wouldn’t have bothered, but these are Gedwyn, Rochaid, Torval, and Kisman. It seems they were malcontented over events in Altara, but I never thought they would go this far.”

Taim asks if there were any other casualties among the men he left with Rand. He glances at Morr, and offers to take “this one” with him; Rand snaps back that the others are staying away from Rand on his orders, and Rand will take care of Morr. He picks up a cup on the table.

“The Wisdom in my village could cure anything,” Rand said as he knelt beside Fedwin. Somehow, he managed to smile at the boy without taking his eyes from Taim. Fedwin smiled back happily and tried to take the cup, but Rand held it for him to drink. “She knows more about herbs than anybody I’ve ever met. I learned a little from her, which are safe, which not.” Fedwin sighed as Rand took the cup away and held the boy to his chest. “Sleep, Fedwin,” Rand murmured.

It did seem that the boy was going to sleep. His eyes closed. His chest rose and fell more slowly. Slower. Until it stopped. The smile never left his lips.

“A little something in the wine,” Rand said softly as he laid Fedwin down. Min’s eyes burned, but she would not cry. She would not!

“You are harder than I thought,” Taim muttered.

Rand tells Taim to add Corlan Dashiva to his list of traitors; this seems to both shock and anger Taim, though he recovers quickly, and Min wishes she could make sense of her viewings about him. Rand tells Taim to go back to the Black Tower, and not come here again, and that he, Rand, may be moving around for a while. Taim bows minutely and leaves, and Rand tells Min that he thought he was the pack of hounds, hunting down wolves, but now it turns out that he is the wolf.

“Burn you,” she breathed. Tangling both hands in his hair, she stared in his eyes. Now blue, now gray, a morning sky just at sunrise. And dry. “You can cry, Rand al’Thor. You won’t melt if you cry!”

“I don’t have time for tears, either, Min,” he said gently. “Sometimes the hounds catch the wolf and wish they hadn’t. Sometimes he turns on them, or waits in ambush. But first, the wolf has to run.”

Min only asks where.

Aw, poor Fedwin.

I don’t think this is one of the better Big Ass Endings in WOT overall, but I do think it is one of the more poignant. Such a conflict of emotions, feeling so sorry for Morr even while being horrified at the idea of being in Min’s position, babysitting a guy who’s lost his mind, and could literally rip you apart without even trying. Yipes.

As to the attack itself, most of the mysteries/confusion initially surrounding it have been pretty well cleared up by now, though I do wonder if the whole elaborate chain of reasoning we concocted to explain why it happened despite the “no kill” order re: Rand in LOC was a case of way overthinking things, or not. I’m going to discuss this more in WH, when we get most of the information that fuels that FAQ section, but for now I have to note that I (along with most of the fandom) never bought Taim’s shtick about “deserters” for a hot second. His pants are so on fire, you guys.

The Third Man: Mention of Moridin’s face (I presume) again. I think the only relevance of its appearance is that it happens every time Rand seizes saidin, but if there’s more significance to that than merely that saidin and the True Power are pissed off at being so rudely introduced in ACOS, I’m not sure what it is. Presumably we will find out Real Soon Now.

Mat: Very interesting little passing comment there of Rand’s, that he would know if Mat were dead. It’s a precursor to the whole Ta’veren Swirly Colors thing, of course, but I think that actually it’s been in place for quite a while before that, in the sense that Mat and Perrin couldn’t (logically) feel Rand tugging on them unless he was, you know, alive to do it. However, this is I think the first real indication that it goes both ways.

Elza et al: Wow, this scene plays a hell of a lot differently with hindsight. For one, there’s the viewing Min has of Beldeine bonding an Asha’man, which is kind of “enh, whatever” now, but I remember being completely boggled by the notion on first reading, like, really? Way to overcome your prejudices there, girl, brava! Sarene’s rationale for swearing to Rand is interesting too, in that it reveals (in my opinion) that she has definitely had a Session of Half-Assed Compulsioning with Verin, because otherwise her assertion that what wasn’t logical before is suddenly logical now isn’t very, well, logical. So, like, Q.E.D. and stuff!

And then, of course, there’s Elza herself. I’m trying to decide whether I think her oh-so-easily-misinterpreted rationale for serving Rand is clever, or… something. Mostly, though, I’m just wishing she were real for a second so I could kick her in the face, for what she’s going to be privy to in TGS. Grr. How this is serving Rand (as Min’s viewing asserts) I’m real unclear on at the moment, unless it means that that whole True Power thing is essential in some way to Rand figuring out how to re-imprison the Dark One. Let’s hope so, because otherwise that was a whole lot of horrible angst to no purpose.

(Yeah, blah blah, he had to hit bottom, blah, I still hated it, okay?)

The Maidens: And after all that Rand STILL isn’t honoring his promise to them! Sheesh. Although, I’m being a little disingenuous here, because under the circumstances if I were Rand I wouldn’t have wanted them around either, but still.

While I found out later that TPOD wasn’t even close to being Rand’s lowest point, I can perhaps be forgiven for assuming it was, pre-TGS, given the state of mind in which we leave him here. Altogether, one of the more downer Big Ass Endings in the series, I must say. Which is at least consistent with the rest of the book, so… yay?

Oh, and now that we’ve had the ending, here’s two more chapters!

Chapter 30: Beginnings

What Happens
Perrin rides toward the town of Abila, accompanied by Elyas, Aram, Seonid, Masuri, their three Warders, Edarra, Carelle, Grady, Neald, and Balwer. Seonid and Masuri have their hoods up, cloaking their faces, and their Warders are very on edge; Perrin agrees with the Warders. Perrin murmurs to Elyas that he was right not to bring Faile; Elyas snorts back that of course he was, but he shouldn’t expect to not have to pay for it later. He adds that his advice was right, wasn’t it, and Perrin nods grudgingly. He thinks that raising his voice to Faile was even harder than not raising it at Berelain, but Faile’s hurt smell had gone away, even though she was still jealous of Berelain.

When he firmly told her she was not coming with him this morning, she had not raised a single word of protest! She even smelled… pleased! Among other things, including startled. And how could she be pleased and angry at the same time? Not a scrap of it had showed on her face, but his nose never lied. Somehow, it seemed that the more he learned about women, the less he knew!

The guards at the gate are unwashed and fervent-smelling, but allow the party in with no trouble, and Perrin reflects that he was right to come with only a small retinue. Inside the gates, the city is jammed with people, all of them smelling of fear, and Perrin notes where several inns and houses have been pulled down to express the Prophet’s anger at their “licentious” activities. Balwer peels off from the group once in the town, and Perrin lets him go without worry, thinking that Balwer always manages to collect a surprising amount of information on these forays of his for a secretary. The rest of the party heads to the well-to-do merchant’s house where Masema is staying, though Balwer told Perrin that Masema would just as willingly stay in a hovel.

Masema drank only water, and wherever he went, he hired a poor widow and ate the food she prepared, fair or foul, without complaint. The man had made too many widows for that charity to count far with Perrin.

Perrin gives his name (no title) to the guards outside the house, and says he has a message for the Prophet from the Dragon Reborn (Balwer had cautioned him against using either Rand’s or Masema’s names), and that the Prophet knows him. Soon a woman opens the door and invites them in calmly, but she smells terrified. Perrin leaves the Warders and Neald outside, and the rest follow the woman inside to a room with papers and maps everywhere. Perrin is struck by Masema’s appearance.

His deep-set eyes burned with a black fire, and his scent… The only name Perrin could give that smell, steel-hard and blade-sharp and quivering with wild intensity, was madness. And Rand thought he could put a leash on this?

Masema immediately launches into a diatribe against Perrin, berating him for murdering men who have “come to the Lord Dragon” (from a corner, Hari the ear-collector smiles viciously at Perrin) and his greed and ambition re: Manetheren, but cuts off in shock as Seonid and Masuri reveal their faces. Perrin notes in passing that Aram is staring at Masema with his mouth open.

“So that is true, too!” Masema snapped, spittle flying from his lips. “With filthy rumors spreading against the holy name of the Lord Dragon, you dare to ride with these… these…!”

“They’ve sworn fealty to the Lord Dragon, Masema,” Perrin cut in. “They serve him! Do you? He sent me to stop the killing. And to bring you to him.”

He sits down without asking permission, and Masema informs him coldly that he has given up “the names of men.” He continues that he is eager to obey the Lord Dragon’s summons, but winter makes travel slow, and he has much yet to do here. Perrin counters that he can have him in Cairhien today, and back in Abila in a few days at most. Divining that Perrin means by channeling of some kind, Masema recoils in horror, saying that he will not be touched with the Power, and it is blasphemy for mortals to touch it; Perrin almost gapes at him, and points out that the Lord Dragon channels.

“The blessed Lord Dragon is not as other men, Aybara!” Masema snarled. “He is the Light made flesh! I will obey his summons, but I will not be touched by the filth these women do!”

Perrin contemplates knocking Masema out and taking him anyway, but knows that one shout of alarm from the house could turn Abila into a bloodbath. Sourly, he tells Masema that they ride then, and wonders how he’s supposed to keep Masema a secret as Rand wanted riding all the way to Cairhien. He adds that the Lord Dragon is very anxious to speak with Masema; Masema replies that he is the same.

His eyes flickered toward the two Aes Sedai. He tried to hide it, actually smiling at Perrin. But he smelled… grim. “I am very anxious indeed.”

Faile is out hawking with Alliandre and Berelain, with Maighdin in attendance; Bain, Chiad, and a score each of Alliandre’s men and Berelain’s Winged Guards flank them. Faile reflects that Maighdin has proven to be an excellent lady’s maid, now that the precedence issues with Lini have been worked out (Faile pretends she doesn’t know that had involved an incident with a switch); she is convinced, however, that Maighdin has begun sharing Tallanvor’s bed, and if Faile finds proof she’ll have to force them to marry. But Faile is cheerful, for Perrin has finally begun behaving as he should, merely tolerating Berelain’s advances, and shouting back when she shouted at him.

She knew he was not Saldaean, but it had been so hard, thinking in her heart of hearts that he believed her too weak to stand up to him. […] And that very morning, he had been commanding, quietly brooking no argument, the sort of man a woman knew she had to be strong to deserve, to equal. Of course, she would have to nip him over that. A commanding man was wonderful, so long as he did not come to believe he could always command. Laugh? She could have sung!

They are interrupted by Parelean, Arrela and Lacile, who gallop up with the news that Masema has been meeting with the Seanchan. Alliandre exclaims that surely Masema cannot think that they will come to the Lord Dragon; Berelain, on the other hand, points out Masema’s hatred of Aes Sedai, and the Seanchan’s ability to take women who can channel prisoner. Faile asks for Parelean’s proof, and he says three farmers saw a flying creature land with a woman who went to talk to Masema for three hours. Faile begins to say that she needs to ride to Abila, when the party is attacked by dozens of Aiel. Faile tells the others that someone must get the news of Masema to Perrin, and orders them all to scatter and break free at all costs. They do, and Faile follows suit; she almost breaks free, but is thrown when her horse is shot out from under her. A large Aielman quickly disarms, strips, and binds her, to her humiliation, and she is brought back to the clearing, where she sees that Parelean is dead, along with most of the soldiers. Bain and Chiad are among the prisoners; they are tranquil of their own capture, but rouse when they see Faile.

“This is not right, Shaido,” Chiad mumbled angrily.

“She does not follow ji’e’toh,” Bain barked. “You cannot make her gai’shain.”

“The gai’shain will be quiet,” a graying Maiden said absently. Bain and Chiad gave Faile regretful looks, then settled back to their calm waiting. Huddling, trying to hide her nakedness against her knees, Faile did not know whether to weep or laugh. The two women she would have chosen to help her escape from anywhere, and neither would raise a hand to try because of ji’e’toh.

Faile’s captor (Rolan) tells one of the Shaido Maidens, Efalin, that he thinks capturing more gai’shain is foolish with this many armed men about; Efalin replies that Sevanna wants more. Faile cannot understand how Sevanna can be near Abila instead of in Kinslayer’s Dagger, but thinks this is another thing she has to escape and tell Perrin about. Soon, Maighdin, Alliandre, Arrela and Lacile are brought in, also naked and bound, and one of the Aiel tells Efalin that the rest are all either dead or escaped. Stunned, Faile cannot decide if it is worse that she has been captured, or that she has to hope that “that pouting trull” Berelain has managed to escape to warn Perrin.

Egwene rides with Siuan and Sheriam along the column of initiates, followed by Chesa (still muttering about Selame and Meri running away). A month of recruiting has brought in a “startling” flood of women of every age, some from hundreds of miles away, and the number of novices is now almost a thousand. She thinks some of them might be problems, and a grandmother named Sharina who has a potential even above Nynaeve’s has shocked everyone, but Egwene mostly hopes not to see any of the initiates brought in from the Two Rivers two days before, who cannot believe that Egwene al’Vere is actually the Amyrlin. Egwene thinks she will have to hand out punishments if she sees one more of them stick out their tongue at her. Bryne rides out from the head of the army’s column to greet Egwene with a reassuring smile, commenting on the fine weather; Egwene knows she can’t let it show, but she is comforted by his presence. Romanda and Lelaine break off from the Sitter’s group to ride to her, and Egwene sighs.

The Hall obeyed her because it had no choice. In matters concerning the war against Elaida, they did, but Light, how they could quibble over what did or did not concern the war. When it did not, getting anything out of them was like pulling duck’s teeth! Except for Sharina, they might have found a way to put a stop to accepting women of any age. Even Romanda was impressed by Sharina.

She speaks before they can, telling them to get on with it; Romanda sniffs softly, but they obey, after stopping to glare at each other first. Egwene is pleased, as their animosity is still her greatest asset against the Hall. At the order, thirteen sisters link to form a gateway ten paces tall and a hundred wide, and the army begins marching through.

“It has begun, Mother,” Sheriam said, sounding almost surprised.

“It has begun,” Egwene agreed. And the Light willing, soon Elaida would fall.

Unable to wait, she spurs her horse and gallops through.

Chapter 31: After

What Happens
Winter slows trade and rumor alike, but nevertheless the conflicting stories spread, arguing over whether it is the White Tower broken or the Black, or neither; whether the White Tower had destroyed the Sun Palace or not; whether or not Aes Sedai were bound to serve the Dragon Reborn; whether he had defeated the Seanchan, or they him; whether he was dead or alive, and there was just as much celebration about the one as the other.

Across the nations the stories spread like spiderweb laid upon spiderweb, and men and women planned the future, believing they knew truth. They planned, and the Pattern absorbed their plans, weaving toward the future foretold.

AGH PLOTLINEOFDOOOOOM *headdesk**headdesk**headdesk*

Ahem. Pardon. I’m okay now. SORT OF.

So, Sevanna: Is annoying. And has a Faile. The End.

Though I have to pause and note: Morgase is sleeping with Tallanvor? Really? I’m… skeptical of the realism of this. I’m just… well, I would have thought that would take longer, considering what Morgase has been through.

Not to mention, even assuming it’s not too soon, I find myself really rather annoyed that we get to hear in such a backhanded way about what anyone with any knowledge of rape trauma knows is a seriously major step for the victim to take. Minor supporting character or no, that huge an event in Morgase’s character development really seems like something we should have gotten at closer than third-hand range, in my opinion. Hmph.

Assuming Faile isn’t completely wrong about all this in the first place, of course. But I’m pretty sure subsequent events bear her suspicion out, so.

Also, being forced to be naked in the snow? EEEK OW OW. That is all.

As snarked about above, I’m doubtful of the wisdom of putting Rand’s chapter before this chapter, instead of after it. I see the logic of putting Perrin/Faile/Egwene last, since they set up all the stuff that’s going to (start to) happen in Winter’s Heart, but it also feels a little deflating to put what is already not one of the stronger Big Ass Endings of WOT not even at the end of the book. But then again, sometimes it’s a little hard to judge narrative flow very well, with the chopped-up, chunks-at-a-time way I’ve been (of necessity) coming at the story for this re-read, so maybe I’m just imagining it. Still, it makes a somewhat less… ending-y ending than many of the other books, if you ask me.

Masema: Don’t get me wrong, I am totally happy the man gets dead in TGS, but at the same time I do feel that it was a rather pointless and non-arc-finishing way for him to go; far more so than I feel it was for Carridin. I could never stand Masema, but it still feels like a cheat that he never gets to have any real payoff as a character. I really wanted to see him meet Rand again and get the swift knee in the balls (metaphorical even more so than actual) he so richly deserved: to know his own Messiah thought he was a total douchebag. That would have been sweet. Alas, no. Grumble.

But that’s all later; for now, I can just be deeply annoyed at him for his plot-induced One-Poweraphobia, which so conveniently prevents us from wrapping his plotline up for four books. Pfeh. And also, to wonder what the hell his deal was with the Seanchan, as I can’t remember if we ever found out why he ever thought that was kosher in the first place. Frickin’ idiot. Well, I’ll find out, I suppose.

Egwene: Man, this little snippet was a hell of a lot more exciting when I thought it meant that the whole Tower schism thing was going to get resolved in the next book.

Not that I am begrudging how it did actually go down in the end, because that was unquestionably one of the best parts of TGS (and the series as a whole), but it really seems to me from the way this bit is written that Jordan originally thought it was going to get resolved in WH. I can’t know that for sure, of course, but it’s a feeling I get. I also have the feeling that the reason it didn’t happen is because it would have advanced Egwene’s plotline too far ahead of everyone else’s, which is both understandable and frustrating at the same time.

Oh, and enter Sharina Melloy, who several fans way more obsessive astute than I immediately jumped on as the showing-up of the “Sharina Sedai” dream-Lan mentions in Nynaeve’s Accepted test waaaaay back in TGH (later pretty much confirmed by Nynaeve’s reaction to the name in WH). I really really have to wonder if Jordan always intended Sharina to show up in this manner, or if he intended her to show up in some manner and this one jumped out at him while writing TPOD, or if never really intended for her to show up and then stuck her in there on a whim, or what. Either way it’s pretty impressive in a “keeping track of your world” kind of way.

And… that about wraps it up, I think.

So, thus ends The Path of Daggers, and thus is a good time for me to reassess its status as Leigh’s Least Favorite WOT Book. Is it, still?

…Well, yeah, pretty much. So far, anyway.

I mean, it wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, by any means; I thought I was going to be spending this entire portion of the recap spackling book-shaped holes in my walls, which clearly has not happened.

But I definitely sensed a difference here. There was… a lack of enthusiasm that I didn’t feel in earlier books; a reluctance on my part to get into it, especially at particular junctures, like the Seanchan campaign. And I know I was complaining about things not going right quite a bit more than previously.

Whether this is a reflection on the book or a reflection on me is, I think, a decision best left for you to decide on your own. Maybe it’s wrong of me to dislike the book for being a downer when that was perhaps exactly what it was supposed to be, but generally Jordan provides a more pleasing proportion of Awesome to Bad Shit Happening, and the moments of Awesome in TPOD were… spare.

Mostly, I’m just glad I’m done with it.

But that is just as much because I’m excited to move on to Winter’s Heart, which I don’t remember large chunks of but do very distinctly remember that it contains both one of the all-time best Big Ass Endings in the series, AND my second-favorite scene in all of WOT (after Mat and Birgitte’s scene in ACOS). And no, I’m not telling you which one it is until we get there.

My recap anticipation level for Winter’s Heart, therefore, is high. Yay!

But also, yay for a break first! Have a fabulous Fourth of July holiday if you’re American, and a fabulous random summer weekend if you’re not. Have fun, play nice, and try not to break the website while I’m gone, mmmkay? Ta!

2. hargy

Thanks Leigh! Have a good holiday weekend.
3. Ksmith5589
Awesome job Leigh! Enjoy your vacation.
Brandon D
4. Ishmayl
I figure that Elza's "In her own fashion" of serving has to do most likely with her killing Dashiva during the Battle of Shadar Logath
J Lip
5. Cadsuwallop
My niece was sporked in the neck while sitting in the cafeteria in high school. It doesn't come up often in conversation so I felt compelled to throw it in here.
6. bigdtv71
yeah new post.
Justin Levitt
7. TyranAmiros
Thanks again Leigh!

I'm excited to see your reaction to Winter's Heart. One of the reasons I think Path of Daggers was so bad was that none of the new plotlines introduced in Path of Daggers gets resolved in WH other than Rand's.
Chris Greenland
9. greenland
Egwene mostly hopes not to see any of the initiates brought in from the Two Rivers two days before, who cannot believe that Egwene al’Vere is actually the Amyrlin. Egwene thinks she will have to hand out punishments if she sees one more of them stick out their tongue at her

That's such a weird microcosm, I wish we could explore it more. It gives me the impression that Egwene had a Mean Girls-type pack after her in the Two Rivers. That's the only kind of adolescent I could think of that would be stupid enough to taunt a hometown girl in front of their entire damned army.

We don't get much of Egwene's social life growing up, do we? Pity. It would have informed her rise as Amyrlin really well.
Jonathan Levy
10. JonathanLevy
Morgase is sleeping with Tallanvor?

I always treated this as an incorrect inference of Faile's which is based on a correct observation of their growing intimacy - they're coming to terms with each other.

I mean, it wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, by any means; I thought I was going to be spending this entire portion of the recap spackling book-shaped holes in my walls, which clearly has not happened.

Ha ha HA! :) So well put.

Plot-induced One-Poweraphobia

Hmmmm... another phobia to add to the list.


That's the only kind of adolescent I could think of that would be stupid enough to taunt a hometown girl in front of their entire damned army.

A simpler explanation is that her Two Rivers friends treated her as a friend when they first saw her, rather than as an Amyrlin, and she snubbed them *hard*. They got pissed off, and next time they saw her, stuck a tongue out. So she had them punished again. Not that Egwene had any choice in the matter.
Noneo Yourbusiness
11. Longtimefan
@ 10 Jonathan Levy @ 9 greenland,

So does this make Egwene more of a Heather and not a Veronica?
Dorothy Johnston
12. CloudMist
I look foward to Leigh's description of the scene where a mud-spattered Mat walks into Tylin's chambers, finds a bunch of Seanchan (including his future wife) and spends about five minutes wondering why the dice had stopped tumbling when absolutely nothing at all happened. :)
13. matoperrin
Hey leigh thanks for the post.

By the way whenever I read your posts I always thought of you as verin, I don't Know why but when I saw you on youtube. WOOH

Raul Gallegos
14. Master_Asmodean
Well didn't make the top ten posters for today, but I can still try. I actually just finished re-reading this book over the weekend because we went on a road trip and I needed something to keep me occupied. If I have something to add after reading the commentary, I will.
Marcus W
15. toryx
“It has begun,” Egwene agreed. And the Light willing, soon Elaida would fall.

That's part of the problem. We spent the whole book waiting for something to begin and when it finally does it turns out that the Light was not willing and Elaida had a long time yet to fall.

Morgase and Tallanvor: Personally, I think Faile was wrong about this. I can't imagine it happening so soon and suddenly either. It simply makes no real sense. I'd believe it more after she gets rescued.

Okay, to sum up. The Path of Daggers is definitely the book I like least. In fact, I don't think I like it at all. The one good thing it has going for it is that it's short. But after waiting so long for it to come out it was so unsatisfying (and still is, for me) that I just don't care for it.

Incidentally, for those of you lucky enough to have read the series after most of the books were published, this one was a particularly painful wait for some of us who have read it from the start in 1990. A Crown of Swords was the first of the series to take more than a year to be published. TPoD, on the other hand, took more than two years. On top of that, most of us fans were dying to find out what happened to Mat after the conclusion of aCoS and I, for one, was convinced that we kind of had to since the title of the book referred to a Seanchan saying.

Then, of course, there was no Mat. Instead we get large doses of traveling, Rand flipping out, the discovery that, by golly, Callandor is not only flawed but Rand's been using it wrong all along, the wimping out of the whole Callandor prophecy that Rand spoke of in TSR and a lame-ass ending that basically amounted to a few Maiden's getting killed and the bad guys getting away. And, of course, that cliffhanger with Faile that turned out to be the plotline from hell.

All these things added up to a lot of very unhappy fans when it was first published. A lot of the friends I'd talked into reading the series abandoned it on the spot, taking away my recommendation creds. I wasn't about to do that after all the time I put into it, but I was displeased. Still am.

Ironically, I met RJ for the first time at a signing when aPoD was released, making it the first of his books I got signed. I never did manage all of them, but I did succeed in getting his signature on a few of the others, thank the Light, or I'd really be pissed off.

Anyway, I'm glad this book is over. The only thing left to dread at this point for me is New Spring but that's short too, so no big deal.
Chris Greenland
16. greenland
@10 Jonathan Levy. Ooooh, that makes sense, too. I like it.

I really want a YA Egwene spin-off now!
Brandon D
17. Ishmayl
I think still the simplest explanation would simply be that these girls thought they could treat Egwene like the friend and girl they knew growing up, and Egwene realizes that it just wouldn't be proper to have pre-novices addressing her as friends and/or equal. But really, from the girls' point of view, I think it was all just in fun.
18. Rick C. 1313
Great post as always Leigh. Have a good vacation!

Now, we're on to WH, which starts Emo Perrin on his heartbreaking three book search for his falcon, all the while keeping busy by making knots in a rope to mark how many days she has been missing. (ugh)

And...I'm still convinced that Faile is an unknowing servant of Moridin, a fact that gets teased in the book jacket description of ToM.

At least in WH, we have the cleansing of saidin, and the destruction of Shadar Logoth. SQUEE!!
Birgit F
19. birgit
And also, to wonder what the hell his deal was with the Seanchan, as I can’t remember if we ever found out why he ever thought that was kosher in the first place.

He was probably told by the false Rand in his dreams that he should cooperate with Suroth / Anath.
Maiane Bakroeva
20. Isilel
Well, IMHO the conclusion of Rand's plot-line was very poignant and vastly more interesting than the boring by-the-numbers offing of a FS, as in ACOS.

OTOH, the whole attempt on Rand makes me scratch my head. Wasn't it über-stupid to send such high-ranking and high-profile Ashaman DFs after him?
IMHO it is a miracle and/or plot-induced dumbness that prevented Rand from going after Taim's throat ASAP. And why not try to something less flashy first? Poison and such? Compulsion on some poor warrior/Maiden? Yea, yea, they tried it in Altara, but really, they could have done more before blowing their cover. Not to mention that it didn't help them to find Rand's "items", like, at all.
Also - Dashiva'gar is an idiot. They could have talked their way out of it, blaming a FS, if he didn't attack. Also, if he used inverted weaves in the initial attempt, Rand would have had no warning.

Re: change of orders re: Rand's survival - is it a surprise? Ishy ordered Rand killed in TDR and despite his rescinding the order later, Carridin's family and he himself have been murdered for failing to kill Rand. The Shadow is fickle.

Also, it is pretty clear, IMHO, that Rand telling Torval about his intention to cleanse saidin was the trigger for this flip-flop on the matter of his survival.

The plot that wouldn't die - headdesk! Really, what prevented Perrin from having a gateway opened then and there and throwing Masema through it? The channelers can completely dampen sound! Masema crying out was a total non-issue. And I like how Perrin was ready to take Masema then and there, but for some reason couldn't send somebody to inform Rand.
All of this + Shaido yet again just reeks of busywork for Perrin and Co. And unnecessary one at that, since he'll be just re-treading the issues he was supposed to have mastered in TSR. OTOH, the whole wolfbrother/TAR thing that clearly will be critical for TG, not to mention had the potential for being interesting and fresh (rather than 4th retread of the same theme), barely progressed at all.

And this is the problem of post-LoC books - too much unnecessary busywork for characters who currently don't really have a lot to do. Well, why not give them less space on-screen for a time, if so?
Why wait with the important, interesting stuff (build-up to the Cleansing, the Black Tower, WT reunification, Perrin's mastering of wolf/TAR, etc) and worse, then hastily give some of it short shrift, just so that one of the boys can have leadership issues for the xth time or a female character can be captured and enslaved for the yth time? We have seen all this before! Le sigh.
Lucas Vollmer
21. aspeo
I agree that Rand's ending seems a little anti-climatic when there are two more chapters added on afterwords. I liked his ending though, and was really excited to find out what happened next to him. The bit at the end of the chapter with Morr was very sad too. One of the sadder moments in the books IMO. I still think it seems a bit strange that Morr all of the sudden lost his mind to the taint. I don't remember any signs showing up until all of the sudden it's there. Maybe I am just missing something, or not remembering it right.

As for the rest...

Masema definitely seems like the epitome of a crazed fanatic who has completely lost touch with the real world.

Faile getting kidnapped and consequently causing Perrin to snap for the foreseeable future is something I am not looking forward too. Hopefully the PLOD will move along better than I remember, but I'm not holding my breath...

I still find Egwene's parts of the story enjoyable, and I like that the AS are getting it shoved in their faces just how many women they could have had in the tower if they hadn't made themselves so high and mighty in their secluded tower away from everyone.

By the way, do you all think there has always been this many undiscovered women who can channel in Randland? Or, are there this many because the last battle is coming and the pattern made sure there were more now; just like it has produced some of the strongest channelers than has been seen in thousands of years?

I think it's an interesting thought. Has the tower always blindly missed a chance to add scores of new sisters, or did they miss them because they weren't there before?

One last thing, I think that the reason this book seems to drag on along with the next 2 books is that a lot of stuff gets set up or started here, but there is seemingly no resolution for 3 or more books. Add in the very long waits in-between these latter books, and it makes the story lines almost interminable.

Whew, I guess I had more to say than I thought! :)
22. Megaduck
“That's the only kind of adolescent I could think of that would be stupid enough to taunt a hometown girl in front of their entire damned army.”


Bode: Yo Egwene! What’s up! Long time no see.

Egwene: Actually, I’m the Amerlyn now and you’re a novice so you’re going to have to talk to me a little more respectfully.

Bode: Hey, don’t be like that girl. You know, you and I were like tight.

Egwene: Actually, it is like that. I’m in sort of a political fight right now and can’t give the appearance of weakness. So you’re going to have to run around the camp three times as punishment.

Bode: Like, whatever. You and what army are going to make me?

Egwene: *Thinks about it for a second, then points to the camp full of soldiers.*

Bode: … *starts running around the camp* She be doing this Aiel **** on me.


I have to wonder though. Does Morgase even know she was raped?
Marcus W
23. toryx
aspeo @ 21:

I think the big clue that Morr was about to lose it was the way he kept messing with his button. That was sort of childlike.

Megaduck @ 22:

Yeah, Morgase definitely hasn't forgotten what happened to her while staying with the Whitecloaks. I doubt she puts what happened to her in Andor in that particular mindset, though.
Maiane Bakroeva
24. Isilel
Aspeo @21

I still think it seems a bit strange that Morr all of the sudden lost his mind to the taint.

But that always was one of the most terrible things about the taint - that it was impossible to estimate when the balance would tip and somebody would snap. No prognosis ever. It could happen at any time, without warning, but sometimes took years or even decades.
25. Megaduck
Toryx @23

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about the entire white cloak suckage.
26. Subbak
Sarene’s rationale for swearing to Rand is interesting too, in that it reveals (in my opinion) that she has definitely had a Session of Half-Assed Compulsioning with Verin, because otherwise her assertion that what wasn’t logical before is suddenly logical now isn’t very, well, logical. So, like, Q.E.D. and stuff!

Uh, some behavior can be logical while not having been before. All humans do not beahve as perfectly rational people (Rand certainly doesn't), and when she decided that participating in the whole "let's put Rand in a box" thing was the best course, she certainly had less information.
For one, she didn't know that would make her slave to the Wise Ones.
And I guess the reason (that she gives herself) she did not act earlier was that she first needed to receive an acceptable punishment before she would be able to get the DR's grace.

I'm usually angry at the overuse of the term "logical" for any Straw Vulcan stupid behavior, but really I don't see any problem here.
Raul Gallegos
27. Master_Asmodean
OK, so I have more to add and hopefully it's not hammering on what others have said too much.

RE: Morr. I felt very bad for him. I mean, to become unhinged and start playing with blocks with Saidin like your own personal toys. That had to have been hard on Rand to have to do that.

RE: Elza. It was from this scene that I figured she was BA, or if not, I had a strong feeling about it. She's the only one who acted the way she did to show her dedication to Rand. Somehow that stood out as odd. At first I didn't get why a BA could be seen by Min's viewings as trust-worthy, but it later made sense. I mean, even though she's BA, she was still dedicated to making sure Rand reaches TG. I think it even explains that at the end of WH. So even though I don't catch all the little hints here and there, I was proud I saw this one.

RE: Rand's attackers. I thought it interesting that Rand thought that Asmodean could have been one of his attackers. I mean, sure he never knew what ended up happening to Asmo, and I'm not bringing up the "Who killed Asmodean" discussion up again, but considering that he and Asmodean were not on violent terms when Asmo was around, I just found it kind of odd he would think that Asmo was part of it.

RE: Finding 2 women. At last, he finds Ailil and Shalon. That was pretty neat I thought.

RE: Dashiva. I think for me, I was a slow learner. I didn't realize who ?Dashiva was until the seen a re-read ago where he gets the lecturing tone with Rand in talking about the weirdness of Saidin. Even here, it didn't go into who Dashiva was I don't think, but it was pretty clear to me by then.

That's all I got really since the other chapters didn't do much for me. The ending of this book was rather disappointing as others have already pointed out.
James Jones
28. jamesedjones
27 Master_Asmodean
RE: Elza. It was from this scene that I figured she was BA, or if not, I had a strong feeling about it.
Not for me. I just figured Verin did Elza last, when she was tired and maybe let a thread slip. I remember thinking, "Wow. Why couldn't she have used that on all of the AS she compulsed?"
29. Tenesmus
I remember the first time I read TPOD. I got to the end and was like... Really? That's it? It took a whole book for Egwene to open a gateway. I don't rememeber how long of a publishing wait their was between ACOS and TPOD, but it seemed a long time and it didn't seem to advance the story very far.

As far as iconic moments in WH, I have to say that I love the scene when Rand fights the first rogue Asha man in the Far Madding alley... the little cat and mouse game, the way Rand grabs his hand as he is trying to draw, then thouroughly kicks his ass without the use of the saidin. Pretty bad ass.

In hindsight, I am a firm beliver that TPOD/WH/COT could be edited down to a single (large) volume, and it would, ironically end up being one of the best books in the series. Rand's arc would go from the Seanchan battles to the assassination attempt, to Far Madding, to banging Elayne, to the Cleansing. Perrin's and Faile's plot line of death would be pleaseantly condensed. Egwene's arc would go from declaring war to getting captured. Mat would not be absent for an entire book. On and on... Structurally, you would place the non-Rand POV's from COT before the Cleansing scene, so the reader would not what was happening- just like the POV- and finish the book with the Cleansing. No one could say that that would not be near the most awesome book evah!

Can someone point me towards the website that has the editable text from each book so I can just do it myself?
Barry T
30. blindillusion
Perhaps the end of tPoD should have followed the format of previous books. Chapter 30 could have been the Epilogue and Chapter 31 could have been the Omni Closing.

I’m curious as to whether TOR was weary of publishing a WoT novel with less than 30 chapters, as it would probably be in the publishing notes and upset readers.

I started my reread of WH a few days ago and I must say that the PLOD is slowing me down…yet again. I’m reading it this time, as opposed to skimming, but it is slow going.

But Mat will be back soon.

And, other than that, tPoD remains around the bottom of my list of favorite WoT books. The ending simply left too much to be desired.

On a side-note, Morr’s sudden Total Emergence into insanity is perhaps the best example thus far of why everyone fears men who can channel, and why that fear is justified. By and large it shows the two most fearsome aspects of the Taint: 1) It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been channeling. Once you begin, you’re going to go insane. 2) It can be a very sudden occurrence.
James Hogan
31. Sonofthunder
Since I tend to re-read the WoT series all at once...and since I also didn't start reading them until after KoD came out, I still rather like PoD! Because I'm able to go straight from it to WH. CoT wins my "Most Dreaded Book" award and that's purely for the Faile scenes. I do like this ending precisely because it's not a repeat of every other ending thus far...it's tragic. Fedwin Morr's death...*sniff* I don't really cry at books, but if I did, this would be when. Oh Rand, duty is indeed a mountain.

I also think Rand's chapter would have been a better ending for the book. It would have been a much darker ending, but it would have been more fitting. The random Perrin/Masema/Faile chapter is just a terrible ending chapter. IMHO. And I get angry every time I read it now, knowing that from here on out, I will hate every single page with Faile on it. Grr.

And I again maintain that, on the subject of the book's cover, Rand looks like Messala from Ben-Hur. Am I the only one that sees that? Or the only one that has seen Ben-Hur? Epic movie, by the way.
Lucas Vollmer
32. aspeo
Re:Morr's sudden madness

I guess what strikes me the most is that you go from the end of one scene where he says he is going to protect Min, to the next one where he suddenly has lost his mind and is a child. It just makes me feel like I missed something. Do you think the stress of the palace attack caused his mind to snap quicker than it would have otherwise?

Either way it is heartwrenching to read, especially Rand giving him the poison and holding him as goes to sleep forever. Very powerful.
Marcus W
33. toryx
aspeo @ 32:

I guess what strikes me the most is that you go from the end of one scene where he says he is going to protect Min, to the next one where he suddenly has lost his mind and is a child.

It's interesting that it's jarring for you like that. My own experience the first time I read it was to realize something was wrong with him.

Morr patted her on the arm with a dusty hand and gave her a boyish grin. “Don’t worry, Min. I’ll take care of you.”

Emphasis mine. They just got attacked, narrowly missed being killed and he just pats her on the arm, grins boyishly and tells her not to worry? That made me worry from the start and I was actually relieved when we see him later simply playing with blocks.

In this particular case, the madness didn't seem that sudden to me at all.
j p
34. sps49
In TGS, Elza had been deCompelled by Semirhage. So the "in her fashion" bit is over. Along with her life.

Egwene and the Two Rivers girls happens all the time on a smaller scale- one gets promoted, and you can't be chummy with your buds anymore and be a boss at the same time.


I am somewhat satisfied that my contention that these books (TPoD, WH, CoT) are too long and relatively uneventful is being agreed with, after getting smacked in the mouth when I first brought it up. Maybe I'm too sensitive.

The other bestselling example is Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling apparently gained a lot of power over editors, or became paid per word, over books 2-4, with 4-7 all being bloated. Yes, they are worth reading, but come on.

Anyway, yay the return of Mat! One good and one GREAT MoA coming up in Winter's Heart!
Alex Johns
35. almuric
About the cover: It's like he's drawing wax figures. There's no sense of movement. Rand, with his sword out, it looks like he's just pointing with it. No drama; completely lacking in anything to be emotional about. It's like he took a polaroid of a painting. Bleh.

Why didn't Cadsuane's ter-angreal tell her when she was walking near Rand. He was obviously channeling, right?
36. rmrpbutt
@32 Wasn't the part where Morr smiles at Min in a childlike way when Rand charged him with her safety foreshadowing that he was losing it? That and the playing with his buttons? It never struck me as too sudden, just proof (as other's noted) that the taint can strike without warning and that it's effects can be different (raging insanity vs. childlike regression).
Tricia Irish
37. Tektonica
Happy Fourth of July and Break to you too Leigh! I'm looking forward to you making WH interesting! So go get a tan......

And the plotlines of doom converge.....Perrin/Faile/Shaido, the Crawl to the throne of Andor, and waiting in the snow for something to happen at the WT. ARGH. We need a new survey or cage match or Something!!

As for Morgase sleeping with Tallanvor....I think that is Lini planting rumors. She wants Morgase to hook up Tallanvor and so she's been sowing seeds to get Faile to insist. I seem to remember Morgase considering it but not doing it. That's my theory....and I'm sticking to it. (Although, I wish she would begin to see him clearly as someone who completely adores her and would be the best thing that ever happened to her!)

Leigh, I totally agree about the chapter order. The hero should be the finale, even if it is a sad one.

Masema: Agree. I would've liked to see Rand confront him for sure!....to know his own Messiah thought he was a total douchebag. That would have been sweet. Alas, no. Grumble.

Survey? Cage Match? Ideas for a 2 week break so I don't have to clean the closets?
38. FellKnight
So, what is Leigh's 2nd fav scene EVAR?

I can't think of many, but I'll go with the scene on Blue Carp Street when Rand refuses to drop Lan. Anyone else?

Marcus W
39. toryx
sps49 @ 34:

It's been my observation that pretty much all writers who hit the big time and start publishing regular NYT Bestsellers are edited less effectively with each successful novel. Stephen King, JK Rowlings, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin and countless others. The more clout they get, the less they're constrained by editors. It's just a sad fact of the business, unfortunately.
Max Espensen
40. Andvari
I'm another for whom The Path of Daggers is the least favourite in the series. It's only just below Crossroads of Twilight, mind. The Egwene arc is really the only part of the series that is quality throughout, though I also love the start of the Tower Black Ajah hunt.

I don't mind the lack of a recognisable MoA climax per se, it's better to have that then artificially insert some sort of cliffhanger that ruins the flow. Having said that though, a bit of an injection of pace would have perhaps not been the worst thing that could happen so....
41. Lsana
So it ends...

I have to say that I think my verdict for this book is the same as it was when we started: forgettable. It's not my least favorite, and it isn't really a bad book, it's just unimportant. Very little happens to advance the plot: yes, Egwene gets her formal declaration of war, but nothing comes of it for several books yet, and yes, Rand fights the Seanchan, and it's very cool if you are into that sort of thing, but the net result is a draw. PoD I think may actually have fewer really annoying chapters than CoS, but it also doesn't have any really good ones that I want to sit down and read again. All in all, this book was an okay way to pass a few hours, but once I read it, it was gone. Now the re-read has put some of it back into my head, but I'll forget it again shortly and won't regret the loss.

Looking forward to Winter's Heart and seeing Mat again!
James Jones
42. jamesedjones
38 FellKnight

Since we're guessing, I'll nominate when Min and Aviendha drag Birgitte off to get drunk (one of my favorite scenes). Or, it could be when Elayne wakes up to find the flower waiting for her, 'cause our hostess has a soft spot for some of these tender moments. Especially with Rand's first attempt at giving Elayne a flower failing in the Stone of Tear.
43. mpc1257
Thankfully this book is done. Unfortunately in my opinion Winter's Heart is the worst book of the series and now we'll have to labor through it.

I really appreciate the re-reads though.
Tricia Irish
44. Tektonica

And...I'm still convinced that Faile is an unknowing servant of Moridin, a fact that gets teased in the book jacket description of ToM.

'Splain yourself, please! Where did this thought come from? I mean, I can't stand her or her plot line either, but that's a nasty thing to say about someone! ;-)

birgit@19: Re: Masema:

And also, to wonder what the hell his deal was with the Seanchan, as I can’t remember if we ever found out why he ever thought that was kosher in the first place.
He was probably told by the false Rand in his dreams that he should cooperate with Suroth / Anath.

Do you think Moridan was invading Masema's dreams and influencing his behavior to create more chaos, or is the guy just nuts?

Isilel@20: I am in complete agreement. Le sigh, indeed.


In hindsight, I am a firm beliver that TPOD/WH/COT could be edited down to a single (large) volume, and it would, ironically end up being one of the best books in the series. Yes! I wonder if BWS could do that for us?? Would Harriet object.....well, yes, damn.

Edit: I think my least fave book is CoT. And I am looking foward to the return of MAT in the next book! Squeeeee....
Matthew Smith
45. blocksmith
General opinion of TPOD...better than I remembered but still not off the bottom.

Relative to Morr...IIRC, this is the first time Rand witnesses directly the Taint taking a male channeler. If he didn't already have enough motivation to cleanse saidin, this definitely put it over the top.

Yes, TPOD is not just an ending, it is also the beginning...of the Faile in Captivity-Perrin Chasing the Shaido (almost) Never Ending Plot Line.


Morgase most definitely remembers her ordeal. Recall she almost killed herself after it (although that was partly because she thought it might help undo her promise of COL garrisoned in Andor, but still, the emotional toll was palpable).
46. Tenesmus
I think we can all agree... TPOD/WH/COT should have been a single book. Think of the flow of the series... LOC, COS, TWCPHODT, KOD. Instead of three of the worst books, we could have had one of the best...just saying...

It is also significant because of Mr. Jordan's passing. If those three books would have been edited/structured more efficiently, Mr. Jordan would likley have been able to complete more of the series himself.
Tricia Irish
47. Tektonica

You're right about Morr going crazy from the taint being a big motivator for Rand to cleanse Saidan.

That was such a poignant scene, with Rand doing what had to be done, in front of Taim...... just to give him a bit of perspective on how Hard he had become. Comforting Morr and holding him, while gently killing him, all the while staring at Taim.....sad and creepy.

Be afraid Taim, be very afraid....someday.....in a few books....
Maiane Bakroeva
48. Isilel
I'd be even more radical, Tenesmus and say that books 7-12 should have been 2 kick-ass volumes.

Also, everything else being equal, wouldn't it have been much cooler if it was Morgase who managed to escape and climb up from the rock bottom she'd been at since book 5 advising Perrin, and Berelain who was taken?

PoD was the first book that I had to wait for, though only 2 months or so, but decline, for me, palpably started in ACoS. CoT is my least favorite and I may even like WH more than KoD, this re-read will tell.
James Jones
49. jamesedjones
46 Tenesmus
I think we can all agree... TPOD/WH/COT should have been a single book.
Absolutely not. WH was one of the top three in my estimation (it waffles between 2 and 3 based on how much I like book 6 at the time). Maybe I liked it because it came right after the drudgery of TPOD, but I'm sure that the climax of WH needed to be The Climax of any book it was in. Now, the whole half of CoT to catch up by checking out everyone else's reaction was not a great idea. But take that away, and it could have been placed at the front of KoD, which was also one of my favorite books.
Brandon D
50. Ishmayl

I know she remembers her ordeal with the Whitecloaks, what about Rahvin? In fact, has it ever been let onto her yet that she was a Forsaken's plaything for awhile? Because I can't remember if she ever found that out.
Roger Powell
51. forkroot
It will not surprise regular readers that the scene with Rand and Lan is my favorite as I've mentioned that several times.

Another of my favorite scenes comes up in the WH Prologue when Avienda and Elayne become first sisters. The way they sprint to cling to one another after the whole ritual is a tear-jerker.

And yet another of my favorite scenes comes a bit later in the book when Rand confesses to loving all three women to their faces. What makes it so fun is that "Mr Unflappable" (Lan) gets seriously flapped.

WH has all of those good scenes, plus we get Mat back, plus the Cleansing and yet mpc1257@43 says:
Thankfully this book is done. Unfortunately in my opinion Winter's Heart is the worst book of the series and now we'll have to labor through it.
I guess as my momma said: "There's no accounting for tastes."
Tess Laird
52. thewindrose
I do not think Morgase knows that she was a Forsaken's play thing. I am not sure how she will take that news. Meaning, I don't think she will be all like - oh good I was a victim of a Forsaken so it's all ok. I think that will be another big blow to her, so I am a bit worried about how that will effect her...Man that woman has been through too much!

Many congradulations to you Leigh - you made it through, and it wasn't that bad:)

I would like to know how Balwer does make it out of Abila with his horse. Maybe it is as simple as he came in with Perrin, and Perrin got to leave with his?

Snerk alert:
"It has begun, Mother," Sheriam said, sounding surprised.
"It has begun," Egwene agreed.

...And it will take longer than I thought for sure!!!

Karen Fox
53. thepupxpert
I'm glad to hear comments coming from both sides of the aisle; I intially didn't like any of the next 3 books but this time around, reading along with the re-read, I'm finding them way more interesting. I'm also reading a whole lot slower than I had previously and that has helped, as well as taking the time to really get to know the characters much better.
54. Hawkido
21 @ Aspeo
23 @ Toryx
24 @ Isilel

About poor Morr...

I think the earliest clear sign he was loosing it wasn't the playing with his button as much as the line after that:

"Morr gaped at her and hastily returned to twisting his button. Min thought he giggled nervously, almost under his breath."

It seems he was having trouble connecting the seriousness of the moment with the correct emotion.

Playing with the coat button is something alot of characters have done when trying to be unnoticed in a shocking or embarrasing scene. But the nervous giggle under his breath...

The giggle was from the emotion, the nervousness was due to it being against his concious will and thus he tried to keep it under his breath.

Well, that is my take on it...

I actually thought he was a traitor when I read that scene.
55. alreadymadwithcover
Sarene’s rationale for swearing to Rand is interesting too, in that it reveals (in my opinion) that she has definitely had a Session of Half-Assed Compulsioning with Verin, because otherwise her assertion that what wasn’t logical before is suddenly logical now isn’t very, well, logical. So, like, Q.E.D. and stuff!
I figured it was just hindsight being 20/20. She is a White that has been forced to reevaluate the White Tower's position regarding Rand. And now she sees that the White Tower isn't gonna be able to take the lead with the infrastructure that Rand has built to support him.

I like the cover. Path of Daggers, army on the march. Some interesting parallels there.

Also, the statue of the queen on the cover. Is that the same statue Rand referenced in TGS? When he told Nynaeve where Perrin was?
Jennifer B
56. JennB
I have to wonder what was going through Taim's head when he learned that Dashiva was outed as a DF. It seems that he was supposed to stay undercover during the attack in case it failed, while the other three were supposed to openly be the aggressors.

Poor Morr. For some reason, I feel especially bad for the good Ashaman who die in this book. Too bad they never get to taste untainted saidin.

I don't think Morgase would open up to Tallanvor so quickly. Faile is probably mistaken. I also don't understand why Saldean farmgirls and nobles can mess around without being married, but heaven forbid one of Faile's servants does.

Masema...his death is my least favorite part of TGS. Such a letdown. I'm not much for throwing books accross the room, but that scene deserved it. I wish Perrin had just conked him over the head and taken him to Rand in this book. I wanted to see that confrontation too.

I agree. I liked the ending. RJ had to do something different. The book endings were getting too formula.

Don't most of the books have epilogue chapters where RJ ties up loose ends after the climax? The chapters didn't feel out of place to me.

Sharina...for the longest time, it really bugged me that RJ kept introducing characters that were stronger than Nyenaeve. I'm still not sure if I am over it.

"One last thing, I think that the reason this book seems to drag on along with the next 2 books is that a lot of stuff gets set up or started here, but there is seemingly no resolution for 3 or more books. Add in the very long waits in-between these latter books, and it makes the story lines almost interminable. "

I so totally agree. It was so very frustrating to wait and wait and wait and then not get any resolutions.

On rereads though, I like this book and WH. I just don't like CoT and I don't think I ever will. ( I still read it though. I have never allowed myself to skip or skim on rereads, even if I don't like a particular section.)

I love the idea that Lini might be behind the rumors. It totally fits.
F Shelley
57. FSS
CoT sucks worse. So let it be written, etc, etc
Kerwin Miller
58. tamyrlink
i just realized that faile was only kidnapped for only two books. whyyyyy for the love of the light does it feel like four?
59. peachy
I'm a little surprised at the CoT disdain. When I first read the series (1-5 all together, and then the others as they appeared), I felt as if things gradually went downhill from the end of LoC through WH (or even a bit earlier, 4 & 5 being my favourites), but then finally started reviving again with CoT. (Once I managed to get beyond the first hundred pages... took me three tries.) I mean, not much actually got resolved, but there was finally a feeling of forward progress, and by the end I was confident that the next book would tie up some of the plots that had been hanging fire.

This is all totally subjective, of course - even more than usual, since I normally only re-read the plots that I enjoy.
Roger Powell
60. forkroot
I have to wonder what was going through Taim's head when he learned that Dashiva was outed as a DF
I've always leaned toward the idea that Taim had no idea who Dashiva really was. It's very much like Team Dark to not let everyone in on who's secretly on their side.

At the start of ACoS, Taim wants to plant either Torval or Rochaid with Rand and he appears to be disappointed when Rand insists on Dashiva. I think it's because he doesn't know who Dashiva is, plus he's not one of Taim's hand-picked henchmen.

Taim's a confusing character, but it seems like he might be taking his orders from Moridin.

The earliest clear sign that someone is "loosing it" is usually the smell. OTOH there are many signs that someone might be "losing it". (Sadly, one sign is an irrational annoyance with people who confuse "loose" with "lose" :-) )
61. MasterAlThor
I haven't posted much on this portion of the reread cause i don't like the turn this book takes, and it only gets worse 2 books on.

Also it was kinda hectic around here. And there wasn't any Mat, so no MAT.


I wonder if you would answer this question. With the series slated to be done by the end of next year, will you be caught up with the reread by then?

Hey, this is a big task you have undertaken. You need time to recharge your batteries. No one wants a stale Leigh. But will the pace pick up or will you just continue on? Just a question.


A swift knee to the balls. Ouch. Seriously, that hurts. I don't want that for anyone. Let's just cut his head off.


I really liked that part of the chapter. Rand's reaction to Taim (kill him, kill him now) was great. I'm going to stare daggers at you while smilling at the guy who has lost his marbles.

Even Taim (kill him....shut up you) was impressed.


Though I have to pause and note: Morgase is sleeping with Tallanvor? Really? I’m… skeptical of the realism of this. I’m just… well, I would have thought that would take longer, considering what Morgase has been through.

Not to mention, even assuming it’s not too soon, I find myself really rather annoyed that we get to hear in such a backhanded way about what anyone with any knowledge of rape trauma knows is a seriously major step for the victim to take.

Ok, so now for a flashback....

Back when I was just a pup, I dated a girl who had suffered through a date rape. This was before they even had coined the phrase.

I was just freshly minted at that time so of course my mind was only on one thing. Whose next? Yes I am ashamed of myself but many of you went through the same thing. So back off.

Anywho, this event for her happend prolly about 6 to 7 months before we got together. We did not consumate our relationship for another year and a half. And the first time we did she cried and we called it on account of rain.

The next attempt came several weeks later.

End flashback

I said all of that to say this. Leigh is right. Tallanvor is not sleeping with Morgase. It is way too soon.


My Sharina. And now that song will be stuck in you head. Yes I am evil.

Good catch on that one Leigh. I didn't catch that on the first read through, or the second.

James Hogan
62. Sonofthunder
peachy@59, the reason you're good after the first 100 pages is because you got past the Faile section. ;)

Seriously, I just finished CoT(currently cruising through KoD and loving it) and while I was reading CoT, I attempted to analyze myself and figure out why I had it ranked the lowest. At the beginning parts(i.e., all the Faile part), I was making very slow progress. Less than a chapter a night. This, for me, is a very clear sign of dislike. As soon as the Faile part ended, if I remember correctly, there were a bunch of Elayne chapters. I groaned inwardly, knowing I was in for even more suffering. But, shock of all shocks, I actually quited enjoyed the Elayne chapters! And the rest of CoT went by amidst much enjoyment. Thus I have concluded that, for me, the reason for my dislike of CoT is all because of Faile. And I can't blame it all on her, mostly because all her chapters ALSO involve Sevanna and Therava and Galina. Hm. Yep, there are the reasons I don't like reading CoT as much as the rest of the books. I still like it though. And it still ranks high on my overall list of favorite fiction.
63. ZamIt
Yes, this was my least favorite WOT book as well. Winter's Heart is better, but only after you can trudge through the first 2/3. Then you get some Mat and Rand awesomeness.
I don't know what Leigh's second favorite scene it WOT is, but I have a guess. My favorite part in WH was Mat freeing the Sea Folk channellers. That scene was all kinds of awesome.
Rikka Cordin
64. Rikka
onwards to WH! many moments of badassery to come!

Actually, I'm not really sure why I like WH so much. I guess just comparing it to PoD and CoT it feels a lot nicer. hrm. maybe I will find out during this reread.
Jay Dauro
65. J.Dauro
Well, I do not wish that any of the books had been edited down, I generally find that I enjoy them all. There are scenes I cringe at, but that's usually when one of the Light side is doing something that they should know better.

I had forgotten Morgase's pledge to allow Children of the Light to base in Andor. That may not be so bad now, with the new Lord Captain Commander.
66. Randofan
tamyrlink @58

Same thought here.

At this part every time I see the chapter has a picture of a wolf I groan, I totally think that it is one of the least best scenes.

and by the way I think that the Faile-is-my-world thingy is slightly over dosed. ;D
67. peachy
@62 - The opening chapters are all Faile and the Shaido, eh? That does explain why it was such an effort to get going. :)

Thinking about it now, one of the things I really liked about CoT is that we finally get another "hero and peeps on the open road" thread. I mean, yeah, it seems to take forever for the Mat & Tuon Show to get anywhere (geographically or metaphorically), but that's a type of plot thread I enjoy. And it's one that dominates the early books (the good books, you might say), but seems to disappear after FoH, or maybe LoC... everyone either learns to Travel or gets too important to bum around without an army in tow.

Which is a perfectly logical development - our plucky young lads and lasses are all generals and Amyrlins and Queens and Dragons and whatnot now - but the larger scale does lack a certain charm and immediacy. (Naval fiction has the same problem, I find; a ship captain - on water or in space - makes a fantastic protagonist. But if they're any good, eventually they get promoted... and apparently it's a lot tougher to write a compelling adventure around an admiral. So writers throw every possible impediment in the hero's way in an increasingly desperate effort to defer promotion.)
68. Randofan
Guys sorry for bringing this up but

leigh at part 15 wrote

Gedwyn was idly playing with his reins, his features cold with contempt. The Tairen was red-faced. “I don’t care who you are,” he was saying to the black-coated man in a low, hard voice, spittle flying, “I won’t take more risk without a command direct from the lips of—”

the tairen is Weiramon,
dose that mean that Weiramon is a darkfriend since gedwyn is.
Sharon E.
69. Sulin
Leigh, thanks for slogging through PoD for us, and I hope you have a wonderful extended weekend!

Morgase/Tallanvor- I think Faile was mistaken- it's too soon for them to be sleeping together.

Tek@47- ::waves::
Be afraid Taim, be very afraid....someday.....in a few books....

Yay! On to WH next. I actually like this one a lot, there are many MOA to be found... including several of my favorite scenes from the whole series.

Captain Hammer
70. Randalator
Why, hello there, Plotline That Would Not Die. Sit down. Have a scone. Make yourself at home. YOU $&%/§§(%§(/$!!! You stupid, bird-brained, flat-headed...


Sorry. Moving on.

re: The Path of Daggers in Winter's Heart at the Crossroads of Twilight doorstopper

I don't think that all three books could have been successfully condensed into a single volume without feeling extremely rushed and even superficial at points. But I believe that with some alterations to the chronology WH and CoT could have been one book.

re: Morgase and Tallanvor - do they or don't they?

I'm pretty sure Faile just misinterpreted their relationship big time. (Yeah, I know. That never happened in WoT before. I'm shocked, too.)

She tried to turn away, but he laid a hand on her shoulder. He exerted no pressure, yet it stopped her as surely as a halter. Light, please let her not tremble. The Light did not listen, but at least she managed to keep her voice steady.

Suddenly she realized she was sitting there in a thin shift and hurriedly folded her blankets around her. The night actually seemed a little cool. Or maybe the goose bumps on her skin were from Tallanvor's unseen eyes on her. The thought roused a flush in her cheeks she hoped he could not see. Luckily, it put a heat in her voice, too. She was not a girl, to go blushing because a man looked at her!

"Once, there was a soldier loved a queen from afar, knowing it was hopeless, knowing he could never dare speak. Now the queen is gone, and only a woman remains, and I hope. I burn with hope! If you want me to leave, Maighdin, say it. One word. 'Go!' A simple word."

She opened her mouth. A simple word, she thought. Light, it's only one word! Why can't I say it! Light, please! For the second time that night, the Light failed to hear. She sat there huddled in her blankets like a fool, her mouth open, her face growing hotter and hotter.

If he had chuckled again, she would have put her belt knife in him. If he had laughed, or given any sign of triumph . . . Instead, he leaned forward and gently kissed her eyes. She made a sound deep in her throat; she could not seem to move. Wide-eyed, she watched him stand. He loomed in the moonlight. She was a queen — she had been a queen — used to command, used to hard decisions in hard times, but right then the pounding of her heart drummed thought from her head.

"Had you said 'go,'" he told her, "I'd have buried hope, but I could never leave you."
(TPoD, ch. 8)

That is not the interaction of people in a sexual relationship. Especially not in WoT. As a matter of fact, I think that was not only the first sort-of kiss they shared on-screen (or is that on-page?), but their first kiss ever.

So, all Faile did was picking up on the (as of yet) Unresolved Sexual Tension and extrapolating from her Saldean farm girl point of view. Which would have been right most likely if the woman in question wasn't Morgase.

re: Cover

Hands down, my favourite WoT-cover. No mistakes, great atmosphere, great scenery, awesome flying banners (*looks at avatar picture*).

Randofan @68

Gedwyn was idly playing with his reins, his features cold with contempt. The Tairen was red-faced. “I don’t care who you are,” he was saying to the black-coated man in a low, hard voice, spittle flying, “I won’t take more risk without a command direct from the lips of—”

the tairen is Weiramon,
dose that mean that Weiramon is a darkfriend since gedwyn is.

No, it just means that he won't take more risk without a command direct from the lips of

a) the Dragon Reborn
b) the Creator
c) the Dark One
d) Bela
e) the Kool-Aid Man
f) Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himble-eisenbahnwagen-guten-abend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwürstel-gespurten-mit-zwei-macheluber-hundsfut-gumeraber-schönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittleraucher von Hautkopft of Ulm
71. Freelancer
Hi Leigh. Enjoy your WoT-holiday.

Comments on the commentary:

I suppose if each of these volumes were meant to stand alone as complete stories, while at the same time parts of a larger saga, then TPoD would be harder to take. But once you're into TSR, you've long since shed any such expectation, so the fact that this book is more heavily populated with negative events isn't so problematic for me. In any story of this nature, regardless of length, there are times when the good guys are in prison and there's no way out, or flat on their backs in the middle of nowhere without their magical artifacts, or their entire planet has been destroyed by the Vogons to make way for an interstellar bypass. As so many are fond of saying, if everything worked out well there would be much less of a story to tell. I'm fine with there being so much story to tell, and perhaps I'm just that weird, but I like all of it, even the parts I hate.

The Maidens. I don't see it as Rand continuing to ignore his promise to them. Six of them just died for him, and while he's running around hunting for who attacked the palace, we don't see that he's come across any more Maidens. So it isn't exactly like he's avoiding them, or refusing to have them along for the fight. The bodyguard of Maidens he had is gone. Then, by the time Taim appears, his excuse for holding onto saidin in Rand's presence is fear of being stabbed by all the Maidens filling the halls. So they are out in force, and Rand isn't stopping them.

Morgase & Tallanvor. Faile is operating under a misperception if you ask me. In the 3,000+ pages since this scene, there would have been something more about the intimacy of their relationship if it were true. There would have been a scene with Faile telling "Maighdin" that once they were free she was going to see the two of them married whether she liked it or not, rather than let them continue to bed unwedded. I have a question about this:
Assuming Faile isn’t completely wrong about all this in the first place, of course. But I’m pretty sure subsequent events bear her suspicion out, so.
Could you elaborate on that? We go directly from Faile thinking this to them getting captured. We don't see Morgase and Tallanvor together again except momentarily at the rescue (where Morgase is passed out from exhaustion and forkroot), and there is, as I said above, no discussion of the issue in either camp.

Elza. Her way of serving Rand is nothing more or less than what she says. She has to help him survive until he can be at the Last Battle. Well, so that he can lose, of course, but still. She meant it enough to destroy Aginshivin'gar, and that qualifies as serving Rand, in her own way.

Oddly ironic that the founding of what you label the plot line of doom is titled "Beginnings".

Masema. How the story gets him killed before he is forced to face Rand and understand the true depths of his failure and madness, I just don't get. I'm not a Faile-hater, but I hated that scene. One of the primary objectives for which Perrin gets sent to Ghealdan in the first place, and now that it can be completed, hmm, it can't.

And, my guess on your second favorite scene is the multi-bonding of Rand. "Veins of gold", indeed. Or the oosquai. Probably the oosquai, right?


Might be true if his primary editor wasn't his wife. I look at the depth and detail of the scenes throughout all of the books and see them as being quite consistent.


I'm not in agreement with your "all".


RE: Sarene. Yup.


I've noted that you've been losing it, you've missed four other loose/lose failures in the last two posts. Or have you just gotten loose with your policing?


Well, go back through the comments related to the post including that chapter, and you'll see that many do believe so. And many do not. And, there's no proof in either direction, so your guess...

I see you Sulin.
72. Gadget
"In hindsight, I am a firm beliver that TPOD/WH/COT could be edited down to a single (large) volume.."

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
73. Randofan
Randalator @70

Wow Randalator, I got to say that I didn't think of your conclusion.

and by the way I really admire the smart way that you concluded the answer it must have taken lots of time to think about it.

Freelancer @71

thanks big help
74. sporkify
And suddenly, my nik becomes awkward.
Ron Garrison
75. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. The PathofDaggersWintersHeartCrossroadsofTwilight slog: No wonder The Gathering Storm just zoomed by comparison!
Thomas Keith
76. insectoid
Been a little busy, so this might be long.

Great post, Leigh! We'll miss having one for 10 days...

Ch. 29
Elza: A little overdramatic, don'tcha think? Silly Black sister.

Morr: I thought this was rather sudden, and sad. Though, it illustrates the importance of Rand needing to cleanse the Taint in the next book.

Taim: Is G-I-L-L-T-Y, guilty! I figured he was behind the whole attack, the first time I read. Agree with his pants being on fire!

Ch. 30: Thus begins the plodding through the PLOD! Yippee, yay, enh.
Masema: Is batshit crazy. Too bad he lives for 4 more books!

Sharina: That scene where Eg mentions her to Nyn in T'A'R in WH always cracks me up.

Your favorite scene in WH: I'm going to guess only that it probably has something to do with Mat; we'll see if I'm right.

MAT @61:
My Sharina. And now that song will be stuck in you head. Yes I am evil.
AAARRGGH. You fiend! ;)

Rand @70:
a) the Dragon Reborn
b) the Creator
c) the Dark One
d) Bela
e) the Kool-Aid Man
f) Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himble-eisenbahnwagen-guten-abend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwürstel-gespurten-mit-zwei-macheluber-hundsfut-gumeraber-schönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittleraucher von Hautkopft of Ulm
BAHAHAhahaha!! I don't even understand German and I'm laughing... ;D

Roger Powell
77. forkroot
Trust me, I've missed none of them. Mostly I've just bitten my tongue (oops... let's not get back to cannibal references) as a scold gets tiresome.

I have no idea why that particular grammatical error irks me when most others don't (much).

Moving on to ... Masema. I had no problem with his demise in the prologue of TGS. Perhaps some of that was relief that BWS was indeed going to start wrapping up plot threads!

Realistically though, RJ did most of the wrap up on Masema's thread (in KOD) as the Prophet's forces were nearly obliterated by the fleeing Shaido. Perrin and Tylee did some clever maneuvering there.

At the start of TGS, Masema is already down to a "loose end" and Faile just tidies up. I doubt there would have been much of a psychological payoff if Masema had lived to see Rand. He thought he was seeing the "Lord Dragon" already in dreams and/or visions (probably courtesy Demandred). At best he would have been confused, at worst he would have been in some sort of weird denial.

If you are looking to enjoy seeing a fool truly realizing the error of his/her ways, you can always hope for Suffa the Damane to find out about the Andoran royal bloodline in Rand.
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
Notes and snippets, and very little response to the comments tonight...

As noted by several, Elza did serve Rand quite well "in her fashion" at the Cleansing. Whether her involvement with Semirhage et al in TGS was serving or not, we may (or not) find out in AMoL.

Some fun notes from reading the chapter - when Min's viewing flashed to the inclusive mode,
"They will serve you, each in her fashion, Rand," she said hurriedly. "I saw it." Sorilea would serve him? Suddenly Min wondered exactly what "in her fashion" meant. The words came with the knowing, but she did not always know what the words themselves meant. But they would serve; that much was plain.
I almost fell out of my chair laughing at Min's reaction to Sorilea's inclusion. I noticed this time through that Min has very strongly negative thoughts about Sorilea:
-that wicked old woman
-"Wise Ones rarely left any choice they could make to anyone else. Sorilea never did."
-"...Min was sure that if she said the wrong thing here, that bony old woman would have her hide. It was not a viewing. She just knew Sorilea better than she wanted to, by now."
-that white-haired harridan

I also got a chuckle out of Sorilea's parting shot at Rand, about "I think Cadsuane thinks you're afraid of her." I'll bet they cooked that up between them to smoke him out.

Fedwin Morr. No chuckles here. But I thought it was quite clear in reading the chapter that he was on his way; the descent into madness came quickly but not instantaneously. It could be hindsight, of course, but in reading the chapter I thought it was pretty obvious that he was losing it at this point, and it just took a tiny nudge to send him over the edge completely. Like Min, I'm not sure whether I felt worse for Fedwin or Rand. In the part Leigh didn't quote, when Taim refers to Morr as "this one," Rand corrects him: "...I'll take care of Fedwin. Fedwin Morr, Taim, not 'this one.'" I didn't really notice until this time that Taim's reaction to Rand's giving Fedwin the "cup of sleep" was to mutter that "You are harder than I thought."

Clearly Taim doesn't understand Rand, and doesn't understand the compassion involved in doing this himself. It makes me wonder about Taim in a different way, though. When Torval was reporting on training losses back in Chapter 14, he said "The M'Hael, he adds something to their wine, and they do not wake." And yet, he's shocked at the way Rand handles Morr and reads it as Rand being "hard." Anyone have any thoughts on this? Mine aren't coming together in a coherent fashion tonight, so I'm not sure what I'm asking, even. Why does he react that way?

Morgase & Tallanvor - I'm in the "Faile inferred incorrectly" camp. Nothing else we see indicates that it's gone anywhere near sharing a bed.

Love the insights into Faile's thinking - very much along the lines of something we discussed in one of those Bela-flogging debates. Leigh quoted some of it: the clear contrast between what your mind knows and what your deepest feelings tell you. Even knowing that Perrin is not Saldaean and doesn't think that way, it was nearly impossible for her not to believe, deep down, that his actions said what her deeply-instilled cultural expectations indicated. I found it a bit poignant to read about her incredible relief now that he's begun acting in accordance with her expectations, just before she's captured and won't get to enjoy it again for a long, long time.

Okay, I found the bit with Egwene and the TR girls rather hilarious - mostly because I can so see it happening. I mean, it's not funny at all from their perspective or hers, really, but still, it's exactly what would happen given the situation. It's actually pretty much the way Mat reacted, although he wasn't so childish as to stick out his tongue at her. (Then again, he's got a few years on these girls, so one would hope...!) The biggest difference was that he not only accepted it more quickly but, as he saw that the AS treating her as a figurehead, he came to her defense in the best way he could - by affording her all the respect and deference that the AS should have given. In the girls' defence, Mat has a few centuries worth of memories stuffed in his head to help him assess the situation more clearly, and Mat wasn't under Egwene's authority in the same way novices would be. Oh well. I still thought it was funny.

Re: By the way, do you all think there has always been this many undiscovered women who can channel in Randland? Or, are there this many because the last battle is coming and the pattern made sure there were more now...
Yes. Well, a little of both, anyway. I personally think that there have always been a lot more women than the Tower found, although I don't hold it against the Tower as much as some do, given the arduousness of travel at the time and the relative isolation of many areas. However, I also think the Pattern is spinning out more and stronger channelers as well, so a similar ploy a couple of centuries earlier would have had much less dramatic results.

And... I'm not getting into the debate about favorite and least favorite books. Having gotten involved in the discussions here, and seeing far more than ever before in terms of the interrelationships of plots, characters, and seemingly-insignificant details, I'm developing a new appreciation for all of the books. I (unlike some) have become much more forgiving of what I used to think was excessive meandering, and much less hostile to the development of "minor" characters and their involvement in plot lines.

For that matter, I'm much less likely to assume that "new" plots are really new at all, in the master-story that existed in the author's mind from before he even started to write. In Richard Fife's interview with Wilson Grooms, it's pretty clear that all the stuff in the books was in RJ's head all the time, but he originally didn't expect to be able to tell the whole story. When the books were a big hit, it gave him the opportunity to really tell the story he wanted to tell, rather than paring it down to fit in three, or six, or whatever smaller number of books. Some call it "padding" and frankly, at one time I thought he wasn't sure where he was going with it and was quite possibly incapable of actually wrapping it up. Now I'm seeing things I hadn't known were there, which indicate (to me at least) that he had this stuff planned from 5 or 6 books back. If necessary, he could have let some of the set-ups go by the wayside, and very few people would have realized that they were intended as set-ups; we only get that when he picks them up later. But what we're getting now is the full character development he had in mind all along, instead of the abbreviated version. I no longer complain. :>

So that was a big long ramble to say: "la la la I can't hear you" ::with hands over ears:: when someone complains about books getting too long or some aspect being unsatisfactory to them. I acknowledge your right to dislike what you will, and I'm not going to argue because it won't change your mind. However, I've personally got a very different perspective on it this time through, and I refuse to let anyone spoil it because RJ did it his way instead of theirs. Thbbbt.
Maiane Bakroeva
79. Isilel
Forkroot @60:

I've always leaned toward the idea that Taim had no idea who Dashiva really was.

How could that be? IMHO the fact that none of the first BT recruits were wearing the dragon at the time of Dumai Wells and that as far as we know the only non-DF to receive a dragon from Taim was Logain, was a big clue that Taim had to know about Dashiva'gar. Not that he was a FS, maybe, but certainly a highly trained DF channeler.
I mean, can you imagine D-gar successfully pretending that he couldn't channel when he arrived at the BT? I can't.
Nor do I see Taim buying the absurd story of a farmer from Black Hills who is so fluent in the Old Tongue, LOL.
Max Espensen
80. Andvari
WetlanderNW@78: I fundamentally agree with you, in that I don't think extra storylines and secondary details being added is a bad thing and the way they are all linked and prepared books in advance is both impressive and satisfying to read.

I generally am fine with the meandering and unlike a fair few people, on a re-read will re-read everything. But I think you are to gloss over it and pretend that everything is absolutely ok with the pace of the books. However, I think you go a little too far to say there is nothing wrong with the pace. I love the development of minor characters and storylines (as I say, all the Tower stuff is some of my favourite bits in these books) and all the interconnections and foreshadowing make it an incredible book for reading again and again. The only major issues, I think, are actually with the main character threads. No matter how many enriching details the Perrin/Faile capture or the Andoran Succession arcs may contain, one gets the feeling that they didn't need quite as much dedicated to them as were. Maybe it was very deliberately written that way; it feels like a long ordeal because that's how it felt to Perrin and Elayne. And no-one would want their plots to be resolved unrealistically straightforwardly, but at the same time, some of the minutiae could have happened off-screen and it wouldn't have hurt the plot and the development would have lost nothing. At the end of the day though, I'd rather it was a bit bloated and pedestrian and consequently so rich and satisfying than he had rushed it (say writing 8,9, and 10 as one book like some would have wanted).
81. mike shupp
Wetlandernw @78

What an excellent post!
Jonathan Levy
82. JonathanLevy

So does this make Egwene more of a Heather and not a Veronica?

Sorry, I'm not familiar with the reference :(

Clue please?
Birgit F
83. birgit
Egwene and the Two Rivers girls happens all the time on a smaller scale- one gets promoted, and you can't be chummy with your buds anymore and be a boss at the same time.

Faile tries to explain this to Perrin, but he refuses to believe it.

Do you think Moridan was invading Masema's dreams and influencing his behavior to create more chaos, or is the guy just nuts?

I think it was some Forsaken, but I'm not sure which, maybe Demandred.

Sarene’s rationale for swearing to Rand is interesting too, in that it reveals (in my opinion) that she has definitely had a Session of Half-Assed Compulsioning with Verin, because otherwise her assertion that what wasn’t logical before is suddenly logical now isn’t very, well, logical.

Verin did use her Compulsion, but the logic still makes sense. When Elaida sent the "embassy" to Rand, it was logical (from an AS POV) that the Tower must control the Dragon Reborn. When she was datsang, it was logical that she wanted to change her situation because datsang aren't allowed to do anything useful.

Also, the statue of the queen on the cover. Is that the same statue Rand referenced in TGS? When he told Nynaeve where Perrin was?

It is the statue Rand sees during the Seanchan campaign.

The slopes leading up into the pass were bare stone and boulders of all sizes, but among the natural stone lay weathered pieces of what must have once been a huge statue. Some were just recognizable as worked stone, others more so. A beringed hand nearly as big as his chest, gripping a sword hilt with a broken stub of blade wider than his hand. A great head, a woman with cracks across her face and a crown that seemed to be made of upthrusting daggers, some still whole.

TPoD ch. 22

It probably isn't the same statue as in TGS. Rand's statue is in the mountains in Altara, Perrin's on the Jehannah Road (between Lugard and Jehannah).

"You asked where Perrin was. He's camped with an army beneath the shade of an enormous fallen statue shaped like a sword stabbing the earth.
"The hand of the amahn'rukane." Cadsuane turned from Min with a raised eyebrow. "The full statue was never finished, from what scholars can tell. It rests near the Jehannah Road.

TGS ch. 44

"The M'Hael, he adds something to their wine, and they do not wake." And yet, he's shocked at the way Rand handles Morr and reads it as Rand being "hard."

As a darkfriend Taim might not mind killing, but he doesn't expect it of the good guy Rand because he doesn't understand Rand's reasons. Rand wants to do it himself because he cares about him and Taim just coldy wants to dispose of "that one".
Maiane Bakroeva
84. Isilel
Peachy @67:

And it's one that dominates the early books (the good books, you might say), but seems to disappear after FoH, or maybe LoC... everyone either learns to Travel

I always felt that changing Travelling from a rare Talent that could have feasibly been lost to something that everybody and their dog can learn and only requires enough OP (either personally or from a circle/*angreal) to make work, was a mistake.
Too many unconvincing contortions need to be made to explain the frequent cases when it should have speedily solved problems that RJ wanted to draw out.

I mean, imagine if only 2 dozen or so people among modern channelers could learn to Travel:

It would have made Perrin's travails less artificial if Rand had been unable to spare him Ashaman who could.

It would have made the FS not protecting against it look less moronic and in fact would explain why this collection of bumbling ineffective douchebags managed to become top officers of the Shadow.

It would have made battles with OP use much more tactical and interesting. Etc.

It is like Star Trek and transporter. Makes it much more difficult to organically create truly tense situations.
IMHO, one of the worst decisions "Enterprise" series made was to have it too. That and the temporal war completely killed my interest in it, despite me being very intrigued by the idea of a series set in ST past.
85. Shard
Did I miss something? I mean really this is what I don't like about the books that it can be that subtle, I missed the fact that Morgase was even raped my first read through. Now your telling me she actually slept with Tallanvor? I was pretty sure she hand't. If were taking Faile's word for it I don't think we should do that, she makes alot of WRONG assumptions, which is what is so annoying about her.

I remember also missing the fact that it was Jacin Carriden who died when I first read it, I just thought it was a random nobody. I felt let down because I was expecting a horrible death at the hands of the Fade.
Raul Gallegos
86. Master_Asmodean
Just a few more things to add.

RE: Book covers. Wondering if there is somewhere on the net, WoT Wiki or FAQ where the book covers are described in details. I've gotten some pretty good descriptions from the re-reads, but they are scattered. A co-worker described the TofM cover to me, and I was able to determine what it meant because of knowing who the characters, but it still would be nice to have one place where they are all together. That's one thing about listening to the audio book or reading it in Braille, you miss out on the chapter icons and on the book covers.

54 @ Hawkido: Interesting that you thought Morr may have been a traitor based on the giggle. I never thought of that, but you bring up a good point that it could have been taken that way. I attributed the giggle more of a nervous reaction.

58 @ tamyrlink: It feels like 4 books because of the long scenes and the uselessness of it all. I didn't even enjoy the resolution and how Perrin rescued her. I felt bad for Rolan, but that is for another comment on another day.
Tricia Irish
87. Tektonica

Another thoughtful post. Thank you. You help me to be much more forgiving and understanding when the boredom sets in. I have to admit however, that many of these wonderful details, skirt smoothing, bathing, pregnancy testing, etc. will be glossed over in my reread. I don't mind secondary character explorations and conversation details, in fact they enrich this world immensely, but there is a bit too much "texture of irrelevant detail" in these three books for my taste. I'm just saying.....

The M'Hael, he adds something to their wine, and they do not wake." And yet, he's shocked at the way Rand handles Morr and reads it as Rand being "hard."

The M'Hael doesn't give a damn about these men as people...he refers to Morr as "that one"....but Rand is bleeding inside, denying it, but he is bleeding, which is why Min feels more for him than for Morr. Rand is tender and smiles at Morr and holds him to ease his passing. It's very telling about the latent compassion Rand is trying to suffocate. Hopefully, we'll see it's re-emergence post tGS. And it's telling about the lack of even the "concept" of compassion in Taim. He's twisted and Black to the core. ( It also indicates to me that Taim certainly isn't teaching any kind of "moral use" of the OP at the Tower either.)
Not good.

For someone else........I don't think Taim knows who Dashiva is, just that he's a DF. He expects Dashiva'gar to "obey" him and he didn't....which is why he's shocked at seeing him in the Palace. Heck, he might not even know he's a DF, since he didn't want him going with Rand in the first place.....or else he just isn't one of inner coterie.
Barry T
88. blindillusion
Well, if the Fade who originally put forth the Ultimatum of Doom to Jaichim Carridin truly was an earlier version of Shaidar Haran, it’s not really surprising that his death eventually came at the hands of a Dark Friend, as the resident Super Fade is now limited in both distance and the ability to personally affect its (his?) surroundings.

Or perhaps the DO gave Carridin to Skane as a prize. I think we can all agree Skane wanted him dead after humbling her in aCoS.

And speaking of Dark Friends that need to die: Daved Hanlon. He was worried about failure when he rode into Caemlyn. I believe we can readily agree that he has without doubt failed. Perhaps one of Elayne’s POVs in ToM will concern a certain DF’s rather example-ish death in the dungeons of the Royal Palace.
James Jones
89. jamesedjones
58 tamyrlink
i just realized that faile was only kidnapped for only two books. whyyyyy for the love of the light does it feel like four?
It was 4 books. She was kidnapped at the end of PoD, sat around during WH, started plotting with "little lina" in CoT, and was rescued in KoD.
Marcus W
90. toryx
Freelancer @ 71:

Actually, I've always thought having the primary editor as your wife is automatically going to be an issue. But that's another argument. Don't get me wrong: I've met Harriet and spent a great deal of time with her and I think she's great. She's brilliant and incredibly good at what she does. But I don't see that consistency you write of.

Wetlander @ 78:

I actually used to see the books the way you do now. That was my perspective on my first reads, even if I didn't enjoy some of the later books (like tPoD) as much as the earlier ones. It's only as I've read more, interacted with more authors and editors and learned to examine books more critically that I've come to view some of the WoT books more negatively.

It's not that I don't appreciate what's good about the series, but I definitely don't ignore the areas that I consider particularly weak any longer.

With viewpoints come infinite variety in infinite combinations, I guess.

Isilel @ 84:

You know, I agree completely with your post. Teleportation (whether it's Traveling or the Transporter in ST or a spell in RPGs) always skews the power levels. I even agree with you about Enterprise.
James Hogan
91. Sonofthunder

And I just read the rescue last night! I know we'll get there eventually, but I have to say, the rescue chapter, with Perrin charging through the Shaido, unstoppable, his blood running hot, is one of my all-time favorite scenes. All for Faile, may the world burn! And as abhorrent as we may find that sentiment, I do so admire his passion for the one he loves!! Every Perrin battle scene is so visceral I can just feel it, and this one has such an emotional weight on top of it...wow. Great scene. In about 3 more books.

And some further thoughts on the lengths of the books, I think Freelancer articulated this better than I could(I was trying to earlier, but couldn't get my words to translate from my head to my keyboard properly), but I do so love the depth of detail in this series. In some books, minute detail is monotonous and agony-inducing, but here, as I think Wetlander so beautifully pointed out, every detail threads together to paint a beautiful tapestry and contributes to the grand theme. And even when I realize that the action may or may not be moving forward or that the flavor of Elayne's tea is not incredibly important, I still love reading about it...because I love the world of WoT and I love the story that RJ has created and thus I say the more insight into the world the better! I quite enjoy the books being as long and "padded" as they are. Of course, I'm saying this as one who read them all straight through from EotW through KoD, but still. Even the scenes I still roll my eyes at(Faile among Shaido), I enjoy ten times more than most other books I've read. So even though I may complain at times of scenes here or there, I'm still thankful for the amazingly intricate masterpiece RJ has constructed for us. All the little character-building moments and relationship-establishing shots and scenery painting are like a raspberry mocha...you know you don't really NEED it...but oh it tastes good!

And thus ends my far-too-long post. Apologies.
Tess Laird
92. thewindrose
Sonofthunder, actually the taste of tea can be significant as we shall see in WH when Elayne is drinking a minty tea, and then realizes she is drinking forkroot. Enter Hanlon..dun dun dun
I actually want to see Hanlon get whacked onscreen, not just a mention in someones POV.

Loose minty tea leaves in a cup that make channellers lose the ability to channel;;Double wink to Mr. forkroot:)

Sandy Brewer
92. ShaggyBella
Faile reflects that Maighdin has proven to be an excellent lady’s maid, now that the precedence issues with Lini have been worked out (Faile pretends she doesn’t know that had involved an incident with a switch)

So Perrin/Faile, Mat/Joline, Siuan/Gareth and now Maighdin and Lini with a switch.
I had forgotten about this one.
93. Freelancer

So, you needle forkroot while discussing forkroot?

No tea for you!!

Since nobody has corrected me @71, I'll have to do it myself. I said that Rand hadn't come across any other maidens after the initial attack on the Sun Palace. Well...
With the Power in him, he could hear every whisper. Including the whisper of soft boots running, light-footed.
Ok, there's no question that he recognizes those light-footed soft boots whisper along the corridor. And he hides himself from them. So I was wrong. But I don't believe he's trying to keep them from fighting for him, I think he would have hidden from any of his allies at that point, because he doesn't want an entourage chasing him while he hunts. Of course the Maidens wouldn't see it that way, so what's the difference? ::shrug::
Chin Bawambi
94. bawambi
bumbling ineffective douchebags FTW!

Johnathan Levy - Heather/Veronica ref is from Heathers - netflix it - great Christian Slater/Winona Ryder movie from 1988.


PS The plotline that wouldn't die for me was Luca's travelling show - both parts
Marcus W
95. toryx
Freelancer @ 93:

I also think that in this particular case, the Maidens would just make the situation more dangerous. He couldn't protect them as well as he'd want and his attackers would simply attack them to get him off guard.

In this sort of battle, Rand's in the right. It's too bad he won't sit a bunch of them down and explain that when it's a battle using the One Power like that, they're actually more a threat to them than protection. Though it's possible they'd refuse to listen.

Tiresome gender issues!
Tricia Irish
96. Tektonica
Isilel & Toryx:

Personally, I'd love to have a transporter or be able to Travel....the state of the airlines today requires it!

That said, there are many times the use of Traveling could've saved us and the protagonists a long drawn out slog.


I was wondering last night how Faile will react when she finds out she's been using the (former) Queen of Andor as her ladies maid and switching her! Will she be chagrined?


You are right sir. Rand hides, because you can't hunt with an entourage. And, you're probably right that the maidens wouldn't see it that way.

Toryx: Exactly!

Edit: For spelling toryx' name incorrectly.
Marcus W
97. toryx
Tektonica @ 96:

Don't get me wrong. In the Superpowers poll, if I could choose any one power Teleportation would undoubtedly be it. That'd be fantastic! I could live in Scotland and work wherever I want.

Ah, to dream.

But as a story telling mechanic it's like a live wire that's very hard to keep under control.
Tricia Irish
98. Tektonica

It is under used and rather randomly, and could be used so much more effective! You're right there. Ummmm.....I'd choose Rome or a Greek Island......
Jennifer B
99. JennB
If I remember correctly, the reason I hate the first half of CoT is not because it features Faile but because it repeats the time sequence that concluded the last book over and over and over again.

I know that RJ wanted to show that so much power was used that it could be felt and seen across the continent, but this should have been included in WH. There is nothing worse than spending an entire first half of the book backtracking.

Also on my last reread I don't remember my desire to pick up the book increasing much after I got past the everyone looks up at the plume of power in the sky section. Hopefully Leigh can make it interesting. Luckily we have WH to enjoy before we have to worry about CoT.

While I do complain about CoT being a slow read, I agree with you that all the details, character development, and sideplots are the reasons that I love these books. I don't mind a bit. These are my favorite books that I have ever read and the only ones that I have read multiple times. I love them and wouldn't have them any other way.

You really are not missing much with the book covers. They are exceptionally awful.

Perfectly stated. Love the details.

Every time I am sitting in the car on a long drive, I dream about being able to Travel. I wish. (Ugh. That reminds me, 5 hours to Walla Walla on Friday. Our first car trip with both a 2 year old and a 1 month old. Did I mention that I wish I could Travel?)
a a-p
100. lostinshadow
Yeay I'm back, just in time for the reread to go on a short hiatus. Oh well, will give me more time to read the Malazan books (which are very confusing and my inability to remember names is not helping; I can't figure out if a new plotline is being introduced or if some background is being filled about a character I'm supposed to have already met).

I want a transporter. Or to learn the weave to travel... it would definitely serve me waayyy more than the Randlanders. I agree with Isilel that the sloughing through the countryside when at least 3-4 people in each group can travel seems forced and could have easily been solved by travelling being a rare talent instead of a learned skill.

Though I thought that Perrin's refusal to use travelling was actually explained fairly well, because initially, they did travel but it made them lose Shaido's tracks so they couldn't risk jumping around because they couldn't figure out where the Shaido was heading. so they had to plod behind them following the tracks and only make short jumps ahead. (or am I completely fabricating this excuse because that's how I justified it to myself?)

I have to agree with Tek that I like all the side stories about the supporting cast and detailed descriptions but still, there is something about these middle books that doesn't flow quite as smoothly and convincingly as the initial 6. I doubt they could have been smushed into just 1 book but some different editing (including deletions of some dress picking and bathing scenes) could have smoothed them out to better pacing I think.

But of course saying all that is so easy and when I think of the hours I have to spend editing legal documents - with absolutely no need to be on the lookout for smooth narrative, story flow, any literary aesthetic whatsoever - I think maybe I should just shut up and enjoy one of the best stories I have ever read (and I read a lot).

oh and depressing or not, attempted murder of Rand should probably have come last. I actually didn't realize the other two chapters existed the first time I read this book, because typically for my first read I was rushing through the book and assumed that was the final chapter (yes, tunnel vision) and just put the book away. In my calmer reread I realized there were these other chapters I'd completely missed.
Noneo Yourbusiness
101. Longtimefan
@ Jonathan Levy

I see Bawambi has beat me to it. Good to know I am not the only one who saw that movie. I thought I did see it in 1988, in the theater and I bought popcorn. (an outrageous 7 dollars all together) It was the Mean Girls movie before there was Mean Girls the movie.

As to Sonofthunder, Ben-Hur: know it, own it, love it. He has a Massala-esque look.

Did not see it in the theater. Some day I will be that old but never old enough to be that old. (not without time travel)

Elza Pellza. Phffft. I want more about Nesune. She is going to build a great library and honestly there is not enought library time in these books. I would like some attacks amongst the stacks with Brown sisters using their weaves to dart and run between thick wooden shelves and fine leather volumes.

I want scenes of thoughtful Browns sipping tea and discussing the Prophecies while pausing to examine a faded fragement of parchement or to let the owl out for a short flight. (they all have owls, duh)

I want more leafing through pages and scribbling in note books and stamping return cards and collecting fines and shushing in the dim corridors when the kids act up!

You guys might get all het up over the hexidecimal but it is all about the dewey decimal.

Ok, so maybe I am still a little cranky that Verin was a darkfriend and Aldeas an Vandene are dead. They was my sisters, yo! (pouring ink on the curb)

If anyone else is in love with LibVerinans and likes some animation from the Japan nation "the Paper" may interest you. It is not really related and yet has a bookish charm about it.

What?, what. I got nothing here with these end chapters. Smashy palace times and stupid kidnappy times. Whateves.

Killing nice Ashaman is not where I want to go since Taim is the bleah and while I completely understand that there have to be "good" guys and "bad" guys in the male channeling showdown I have to admit I am really hoping for more of the standard bad guy fail that is an underlying theme in these books. For me part of that comes in knowing the good guys a bit and we just "know" Logain and Narshima but they have no POV and no plan other than "go team light".

Taim has a plan. Screw stuff up and get some bad guys on the upper deck raining down fire and pain. Oh and kill Rand if it is not inconvenient or obvious. (so mostly not but a kick to the shins once in a while to show that you are trying)

Taim and Daved Hanlon just need to be locked in a cave together. That is it. They can evil all over each other or not for all I care but they would hate being around each other and the longer they were the more they would hate it.

(Taim would be unable to channel)

If Masema was still alive he can be in there too. It would be a tea party of selfish and crazy. Yay!

Well, yay as long as I was no where near it and did not have to read about it.

Logain's Gold and Blue Aura better be a lot better than Sherim's Silver and Blue by having a lot of Taim's butt getting whupped and the bad Ashaman going bye bye in direct, action packed, you are there kind of chapetering because it is not going to be "awesome" if it is just a throw away line at the front line of the last battle.

Rand "Hey, Logain, where is Taim?"

Logain "I kicked his darkfriend butt all the way to Shay Ghoul."

Rand "Darkfri...what...really?"

Logain "Yeah, how do you think I got here, cross town bus?"

Rand "uh..."

Logain "It's cool. You did not know, I mean, how could you have known."

Rand "uh...well..."

Logain "Dude, the sky is totally black and I do not think those are clouds so lets get back to this when the battle is over."

Rand "uh..."

Logain "Oh yeah, that thing... (AWKWARD). Dude, it's all cool. Let's just kick some dark friend butt."

Logain and Rand fistbump and unleash the righteous fury of the light.

Really hopeing that is not how we find out that Logain defeated Taim.

Because honestly I was a bit irritated that Sheriam's Silver and Blue aura was just the color play from her beheading. Verin got to renounce and be awesome. Sheriam just got shorter.
Vincent Lane
102. Aegnor
I wanted to talk about the whole Perrin's Super Sniffer thing that was brought up by Leigh in the last Perrin chapter. It is not quite as far fetched as you might believe (other than the whole taking on wolves' abilities in the first place). Wolves can sense each other's emotions. Dogs can sense their human's emotions as well. They have much more simple and primitive emotions, and so they tend to lump more complicated human emotions into emotions that they understand, but it would stand to reason that a person who somehow gained those abilities would be able to fine tune those senses.

Now it isn't necessarily the nose that dogs uses to sense these things...we don't really know for sure how they do it Its not just body language (as it doesn't require line-of-sight), but body language definitely plays a part in how dogs communicate. So yeah, it makes sense that Perrin, as a human, would be able to "sniff" other people's more complicated emotions.
103. RoyanRannedos
Astute observations (just remembered astute was a euphemism for obsessive...sorry). Though Path of Daggers was a little dull, Crossroads of Twilight was my least favorite book. At least this book actually HAD a weak climax. There was no conflict in COT, other than Aes Sedai irritating each other for stupid reasons and Elayne's political/pregnancy squabbles. In the words of Animal: "PO-LI-TICS! PO-LI-TICS!"

And I just wanted to say, Rusted Metal Spork would be a great name for a rock band.
Vincent Lane
104. Aegnor
I agree with you RoyanRannedos, CoT was the worst, by far, for me. This book still had a lot of very good scenes. There were less than interesting parts in the entire series, but they were all building up towards a payoff. CoT had no payoff. Someone could probably skip the entire book and not miss too much that was important other than Egwene getting captured in the last chapter.
Roger Powell
105. forkroot
::winks back::

There's still one fairly awesome Brown left - Saerin. I hope that Egwene recognizes Saerin's abilities and takes her into something like an inner circle for planning for TG.

As for librarians in general, I hate to break this to you but BWS has exposed them as fundamentally evil in his Alcatraz series.

It's funny - the reason I picked up the first two Alcatraz books is that they ran out of Warbreaker copies when I went to the TGS signing in Portland. Even though the books are aimed at the scholastic level, they are still a fun read for adults.

The coolest thing though, is that I gave the first Alcatraz book to my 14-yr old granddaughter and she is hooked! A neat bonding thing for us.
Lucas Vollmer
106. aspeo
Because honestly I was a bit irritated that Sheriam's Silver and Blue aura was just the color play from her beheading. Verin got to renounce and be awesome. Sheriam just got shorter.


I don't know if you meant that to be funny, but it is one of the best things I've read all day! :)
Captain Hammer
107. Randalator
Lontimefan @101

I was a bit irritated that Sheriam's Silver and Blue aura was just the color play from her beheading. Verin got to renounce and be awesome. Sheriam just got shorter.

That's because Verin was president (and poster girl) for the Awesome League of Awesome and Sheriam was...well...NOT.

I kinda liked the huge middle finger Min's vision gave us all. "Wow, Sheriam is going to ROCK. Oh yeah. Just wait and see. ... Any time now. *Sheriam exposed as darkfriend* Okay, redemption through going out in a blaze of glory. That's cool. *death sentence* Uh...you're cutting it awfully close there. Better get goi*CHUNK*ng... o_O "

I like me a little twisting of Ye Goode Olde Fantasy Staplese.
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
Andvari @80 - You have a good point, which I glossed over last night. Truly, not everything is perfect in the books. Personally, I tend to scan over the umpteenth description of the architecture of Tar Valon... Yeah, I know about the building that looks like a shell, and the one that looks like a wave about to break, or whatever. My primary point (which rather got lost in the late-night ramble, I'm afraid) is that, having gained a new appreciation for much of the minutiae over the last 1.5 years, and done a 180 on a few things, I'm willing to try to appreciate the rest of it as well instead of staying stuck in my old mindset. Could some extra editing have been done? Yes, I think so. Could the story lines have been tightened up without losing anything? Quite probably. However, having got rid of the "he padded it on purpose" attitude, I'm much more willing - and therefore able - to see the value in keeping those things instead of cutting them. Mostly, I'm just declaring my intention of more or less ignoring all posts which complain about such things in favor of finding out for myself this time. :)

birgit @83 - Faile tries to explain this to Perrin, but he refuses to believe it. LOL! So very true. Not quite the same scale as Amyrlin to novice, but it's true.

As a darkfriend Taim might not mind killing, but he doesn't expect it of the good guy Rand... That could well be the explanation; it was one of several that occured to me last night, but better worded than I was managing (in the stuff that I deleted before posting. Believe it or not, I did delete stuff!).

Tektonica @87 - The funny thing about the details is that they do add to the depth of world-building the first time through, but it's hard to appreciate because you want to get on with the story. On multiple re-reads, the world-building is already in your head, so you don't need the details to help out so much and you tend to not appreciate them anymore. So, yeah, sometimes I read faster (i.e. scan) through sentences or paragraphs describing architecture or clothing. I'm learning not to skip it completely, though, because sometimes there are details in all those details that actually are relevant to something more important.

toryx @90 - In the past, I read critically but, in some regards, superficially. I'm at the point where I'm willing to set the standard "literary criticism" aside and appreciate the intricacy of the construction. Later I'll do a more thorough synthesis, but I find that every now and then, it's necessary to let go of certain attitudes and take a fresh look.

Some day, I'll even manage that with Flannery O'Connor.

Sonofthunder @91 - All the little character-building moments and relationship-establishing shots and scenery painting are like a raspberry mocha...you know you don't really NEED it...but oh it tastes good. ROFL!! I love it!! :)

Freelancer @93 - I actually noticed that on the way through; not sure why I didn't mention it last night. But you're right - he hides from all his allies during the sneak-through-the-palace section. (One exception - he almost kills Narishma and Flinn instead of hiding.) He hides from Maidens several times, as well as Aes Sedai and a few others, but it's because he needs to be able to sneak, change directions, and move quickly. He knows perfectly well that if there's ordinary fighting, the Maidens will be in the middle of it, but it's fairly clear that this is Asha'man attacking him personally, and anyone else will just get in the way. Aes Sedai or channeling Wise Ones might be able to help, but not enough to try to work it out in a hurry.

JennB @99 - I always used to say that CoT was my least favorite book because of the very thing you mention - it repeats the same day over and over, and it didn't move any of the plots along very far. I'm actually excited to read it this time, to see if I appreciate it more. FWIW, the structure of CoT is the one thing RJ said he would do differently in retrospect. IIRC, he said something like he thought it would be an interesting device to have multiple story lines start on the same day; it's implied elsewhere that it was partly also a reaction to fan complaints about entire story lines being missing from a book (to be specific, Mat not being in PoD). It didn't work out quite like he thought it might.

Oh, and... 5 hours to Walla Walla? Where do you live? Must be about 0 to 10 hours away from me, because that's what I'd estimate too.

lostinshadow @100 - Malazan... may require a spreadsheet to keep track... thanks for the heads up. I hope to be reading these soon. :)

Longtimefan @101 - Shielded Taim and Hanlon slobbering evil all over each other in a cave... Yeah, add Masema... Eeewwww!! Lock the door, seal it up, and don't ever open it. EVER.

RoyanRannedos @103 - Hey, who are you calling obsessive?!!? ;p

Do y'all think I should change my login from Wetlandernw to Wallotextnw? Just asking...
a a-p
109. lostinshadow
wetlandernw@108 - if your memory for names is good, you might not need a spreadsheet, personally I have a horrible memory for names and since sf/fan names tend to be unusual, it makes it worse for me.

still glad to hear (umm read?) you plan on starting that series, would love to get your insights on that series as well. (if the reread ever starts) really enjoy all your comments even if I at times disagree - and you definitely make me think about how I'm approaching a particular issue so thanks.
Alice Arneson
110. Wetlandernw
lostinshadow @109 - you definitely make me think about how I'm approaching a particular issue - Thank you!! With certain issues in particular, that's really what I'm trying to do. I sometimes get a little too forceful when I've got a "new" perspective that I'd like other people to try out, but... it's really because the new perspective has enhanced my enjoyment, and I'd like to see my friends do it too. I don't expect everyone to agree, but I like to know that once in a while, it helps someone take a step back and reevaluate something, and maybe gain new pleasure in it. :)
Tess Laird
111. thewindrose
forkroot - I always love hearing about getting kids hooked on books!! There should be more of that going on!

I think Egwene realizes Saerin has a lot going for her. I believe she notes to herself how wise it was that Saerin made a census of what happened to all the Tower sisters the Seanchen attack.

Andrew Belmont
112. rosetintdworld
For what it's worth, I think my impression that Books 8 and 9 might have been better as a single book comes from the fact that it could have been done without cutting a single plot. Look at their word counts--combined they'd only be about 20,000 words longer than TSR (which could have been eliminated by cutting repetitive framing material, city descriptions, and the like.)

Additionally, I feel that 8 and 9 were originally conceived of a single book. Each has a main character missing (Mat and Egwene.) Book 8 offers some climax to one plotline (Rand's) that immediately leads into a cliffhanger, while ending on a "To Be Continued" for Perrin and Elayne. Perrin's role in WH is nothing but a six chapter coda of his plot line from Book 8, leading me to believe that Jordan moved some material to the beginning of Book 9 in order to give Perrin something to do and keep the timelines consistent. Egwene's epilogue takes place a month after Perrin in real time, despite occuring in the very same chapter, leading me to believe it was originally intended to be the epilogue of a much larger volume.

For the record, I love, love, love Jordan's development of minor characters and wouldn't have it any other way. But I do think when the pacing starts slowing down, Jordan is obligated to repeat things as he begins new books. It creates a snowball effect: when Elayne's plotline spills over three books, we need to have "setting the stage" material about the Caemlyn architecture and skyline, important details about minor characters like Norry and Hanlon, and the like repeated three times. Thus even more pages. All of which is fine when you evaluate the books individually, but becomes a repetitive when you read the series all at once.

In other words, if he had cut Elayne's 30 page bath scene in CoT, and merged CoT with KoD, he would have ALSO been able to cut 30 pages of architecture, merchants hawking their wares, and descriptions of major characters' maids. I still think dropping the series' length by a book or two would have helped the pacing in this sense. But NOT in the sense of cutting plots like Morgase or the BA Hunters, or getting insights into the heads of Elenia and Arymilla. I LOVE that Jordan gives us those.

I may edit this for clarity later; I'm at work and embarrassingly rushed. I hope it makes sense.
Alice Arneson
113. Wetlandernw
On the other hand, if you look at the publishing dates...

7. A Crown of Swords ------- May 1996
8. The Path of Daggers ------ October 1998
9. Winter's Heart --------------- November 2000
10. Crossroads of Twilight -- January 2003
11. Knife of Dreams ----------- October 2005

If he had waited until he finished all the writing up through Winter's Heart, would you really have wanted to wait 4.5 years for the next book? It might not have taken quite as long, given the framing that wouldn't have had to be written, but you can bet it would have been much later than October 1998. Or if, as some have suggested, books 8-10 were combined, it might have been more like 5 years after ACoS. You can't always do that when you're under a contract; sometimes you have to take what you've got and wrap it up, no matter what else you might like to have included. Just sayin'.
Marcus W
114. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 108:

You know, I think we're actually more similar in how we read than I realized. On my first read I don't really pay attention (okay, not that much attention) to the writing as an analysis. If the author is good enough I tend to just fall into the novel and experience it as though it were a film playing in my head. It's only when writing jumps out at me in a way that knocks me out of that immersion that I start turning a critical eye to the work.

Unfortunately, Brandon's writing does that to me all the time, which is why I'm not a fan of his.

Aside from that, however, I've been reading WoT books for more than 20 years now. I've not re-read them all too frequently but I've definitely read everything except TGS more than twice and with a re-read I cannot help but view it more critically. I still experience the story (when it's really good) as a sort of living theater complete with surround sound but I might pause the image and zoom in from time to time when something isn't working for me.

With these books, however, I've just read them too many times and discussed them too many times while my own experience as an adult and as a reader has grown to the point that I can no longer hold WoT to the same level of esteem as I once did. Especially after reading so much more in so many different genres.

In fact, some of the arguments on this forum have actually led me to like the writing less, rather than more.

On COT: I actually had the chance to talk to both RJ and Harriet at length about the experience of trying something different and not having it work out according to plan. I know they were both disappointed, especially with the response from the fans but I admired them for recognizing that some of the less favorable arguments had merit.

I still like the novel more than aPoD, though. I'm just not sure how to explain why. Maybe when we finally get into the re-read for it.

Wetlandernw and lostinshadow:

Incidently, I've just started reading the Malazan series too. We might just have to form a little "Keeping Track of Characters" group. It's been interesting but a little too dense for me to fully fall into the story so far. Of course, I'm only about 50 pages in.
diane heath
115. jadelollipop
This is the section I mentioned in my last post. Maybe it is just me,but I thought the Maidens rushing to the scene of assassination attempt might consider the fact that they had failed to keep Rand protected.
I don't think Rand reunites with the Maidens until TGS.
Have they forgiven him for leaving them out of the fight in Illian and against the Seanchan? IIRC the Maidens no longer escort him ...
I also wonder why they did not forgive him. It was compared to the whipping of Egwene prior to her becoming Amyrllin. The Wise Ones etc say once the punishment for toh completed then it is as if it never happened. Maidens did not treat Rand in the same manner.

Re: COT I am stuck outside of Tar Valon (still). I am looking forward to the return to Valan Luca's Traveling show.
Andrew Belmont
116. rosetintdworld
Wetlander@113: My understanding was that the slower pace in publication was due to the New Spring short story included in Legends. Given that TSR was 400,000 words and took a year to put out, and POD and WH were each about 210,000 words and took two years each, I'd guess that the publication of NS caused Books 8 and 9 to split in order to meet deadlines. I think that if Jordan hadn't had the contract to put something in Legends, a combined POD/WH Book 8 could have taken as little time as TSR--or at the least, much less than four years.

I'm not complaining...I *like* New Spring a lot. But when I try to pinpoint why I feel that POD doesn't...quite...work for me (in a way that, say, COT *does* work for me,) I think it is because structurally the book feels unfinished to me, and I've always been curious why.
Noneo Yourbusiness
117. Longtimefan
@ 105 Forkroot.

You are correct, Saerin is great and from Altra with the whole knife hilt grippy stabby stuff. (not that she stabs. It is just that she can. Unique for a Brown to not showcase her "distracted" side but instead jump on the competentcy snow plow and push all the fluff to one side.)

Saerin is the new Verin. It even rhymes. It is like white is the new black yet not because they are both Brown. (and Saerin still has her head so, yay!)

@ Wetlandernw. If you change your handle people would just call you Wall. I guess that would be less, um... well, not, you know, stuff but still it would not be the same.

I just vote for not abbreviating.

As for the re editing the series so the storylines tighten up and maybe drop the volume count down a book or two.


I say Hmmmmm because it is not such a strange idea that I have not had it myself both while waiting and in the many re-reads since. (Once before a new book comes out and once a year weather I need it or not. :) I also say Hmmmm because there is a richness in having so many volumes and an immersive delight in escaping to a fantasy world.

At this time I would agree that the reintroducing key points from previous books sometimes (not everytime) feels weighted in the reading and could be words spent on development or new detail because all the volumes are almost out and this far along people who are reading will have read the previous books. However I do not think I would want less books.

I had to wait. Often and for years. It can color a person's opinion of the book when they know they will pay any price to have the book (patience and understanding not being valid currency in the Bank of Fanaticism) as they are desperate to recconect with favorite characters (not the same for everyone), to discover clues or solutions to unsolved mysteries from the previous book (or several books back, even if they are "obvious" and not causing any comment for 15 years.), and to generally be "entertained" by escaping to the fantasy world in which the reader enjoys lingering.

I completly understand the "writer writes as they write" arguement and the theory that they do not "owe" the reader anything. Much like the drug dealer does not owe the junkie nor does the politian owe the voter. :)

But it does not lessen the feeling as unrealistic as it may be.

And in a way, for me, it was not so much about wanting certain things to happen in the "weak three" as much as it was an unpinpointable issue with the reintroductions to characters and connections that, now that I think about it, made me feel as though I wanted the word count but I wanted the words to count to me, the established reader, not some bookworm come lately picking up the latest "best seller" and getting their eyeprints all over "MY" friends without having to have gone through all the trials and tribulations that lead to this point in our book relationship.

Sure they could pick up the other books but it would never be the same.

I was at Edmond's Field in 1991. I knew Rand when he was charming and unsure and bold and afraid. There was no other Rand to know.

Finding Rand because the New York Times introduces him at a cocktail party in 2003 just is not the same. They spend half the conversation telling people in whispered short hand who he is and where he came from and why he has three girlfriends and why he is kind of a jerk to them even though he loves them deeply and all the blah blah blah that the waiting fans have been privy to since the begining (if not at least the last cocktail party in 2000).

How can I enjoy the soft jazz and the hors d'oeuvres and the fine silk ball gowns being smoothed by beautiful hands beringed in flashing jewels and learn the gossip of the servants while the guests have idle chatter about the latest adventures if I have to hear for the umptenth time that Rand is the freaking Dragon Reborn! I get it, move on already! No one is storming the castle if you have to explain why the trebuchet leans to one side and only has a range of 300 spans when most of the people assembled were there when the darn thing was built.


I am just saying feel free to get on with the story one is trying to tell and leave a bit on the cover page that says

"Welcome new readers. Please buy this book. Before you read it however there are a few other books you may want to start with as we will not be covering old ground just so you can keep up. Other people are running this marathon and they have the blisters, drank the orange juice and can see the ribbon in sight."

Well, blah. I feel better :)

I had a little rant and mixed my metaphors and went way off topic because I am not sure what the topic was.

Awesome lunch break! Now to go eat lunch and ignore phone calls for an hour. Unlike Wetlandernw I rarely erase posts or edit what I am writing. It is all train of thought people and the rails are made of curly fries.
Chin Bawambi
118. bawambi
ummm curly fries

119. Freelancer

You know, I nearly included those exact same thoughts with my last, but it would have sounded like an excuse for my initial thought that he wasn't breaking his promise again. Glad you said it though, because it's for real.


No, you have it right. Perrin tried Traveling to catch up with the Shaido, only to find that their movement pattern was unpredictable and he spent as much time backtracking to find their path as just following on land.

That brings up everyone's complaint about him not Traveling in TGS. Once Masema is dead there is no reason to Travel directly to Rand, which he would have done just with a small group and then returned. Why? Because he has collected a crowd of over 100,000 people now. Traveling anywhere with them would required his two asha'man to hold gateways open for entire days to get everyone through. Now, he could have sent one of them to Rand to fetch a few more folks who could Travel and help out, but I don't make as big a deal out of it as others.
Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan @117 - ROFL!

FWIW, it must be awkward as an author to find the balance between catching people up to the story and just getting on with it. For those of us here, many (most?) have read the books several times; many have reread the entire series prior to the release of each new book. We don't want yet another description of the same city, or a reminder of who's who and where. We know Elayne has red-gold hair and Nynaeve has a long dark braid. We know Rand is, like most Aiel, very tall and fair. Etc. But.... do we make up the majority of the book-buyers? An author who wants to sell more books has to make sure that someone can pick up the new book and (more or less) be able to read it without needing to reread everything else first. With the WoT, you're not going to be able to pick up book 10 and feel like you really have a clue if you haven't read 1-9; still, if you've read 1-9, you're sort of familiar with the story lines and, with a little boost from repetitions, you can get into #10 okay. So... the author and editor have to at least find a balance between the obsessive rereader (us) and the casual follower (them). Did RJ and Harriet find a perfect balance? Dunno. Who defines that? Dunno. It's an area where I try to give them the benefit of the doubt - although I used to practically grind my teeth every time I had to read yet another description of the buildings of Tar Valon.

My husband is, somewhat sporadically, reading these for the first time. I'm interested in hearing his questions and comments as he goes along; unfortunately I have to be careful not to spoil things for him either. Hopefully, I can help out with keeping characters straight, without skewing his reading too much!
Tricia Irish
121. Tektonica
lostinshadow:@100 ::waves::
How was your vacation in my favorite part of the world?

I'm starting the Mazalan series today in anticipation of the reread too. I'm hoping it will help me understand what's going on, as everyone says it's confusing. Hey, I got Falion and Faolain mixed up just last week.....so much for names......

toryx@114: Can I join your "keeping things straight" group for Mazalan too?


Verin got to renounce and be awesome. Sheriam just got shorter. ROFLOL!!

Agree....I'd like a real show down at the BT corral with Logain and Taim.


Much like the drug dealer does not owe the junkie nor does the politian owe the voter. :)

I disagree.....I believe the politian DOES owe the voter. That is their constituency....it's who they represent. Isn't that WHY we elect them? As for the dealer, meh, that's personal freedom. Stupid is as stupid does....

And you have a great gift for gab! Loved your mixed metaphors and please pass the curly fries :-)
Jennifer B
122. JennB
Four and a half if we make good time, but I figure five is a good estimate. Mapquest estimates it at 5 too. :-)

re several above
As far as recapping details when introducing each new book goes, it has never bothered me.
I would assume that most WOT readers are not like me/us. (I have been reading the series since around 1991 and have done a reread every time a new book has come out.) My husband has never done a reread. He has read each book once. He has a much better memory than me, but I am sure that after waiting several years between books, those recapped details are very helpful to him.
Noneo Yourbusiness
123. Longtimefan
@ 121 Tektonica

Hence the smiley face :)

It is a grey area when there is a dependency of sorts between person A and person B. On the one hand the reader, junkie and voter can chose not to become involved or try to lessen the amount they are involved. (yeah, like that is going to happen.)

On the other hand the writer, dealer and politician are not operating in a vacuum. They exist because there is support from outside sources both directly and indirectly (the dealer part falls a bit flat here but the author and the politician have publicists and promoters who bring money to the table before the first reader or voter show up(ok, maybe a "kingpin" for the dealer but not really there with that metaphor)).

In all these cases however there is only a title to identify the person A (the provider) in the tenuous relationship with person B (the patsy).


In every case with humans (people) there are many different aspects to their lives and the one title only defines a few moments in the warp and woof of their individual tapestry woven on the wheel of time....but i dirgress.

It can feel like a promise was made, a compact, a tacit agreement and in that belief a bond is forged from person B towards person A but it is not the same way back. It does not feel fair but...

"Who ever told you life was fair?"

Now get to the castle at the center of the labrynth or the Goblin King will turn your baby bother into a goblin for ever!

Sometimes there is an attachment to things that is more of a burden than a blessing.

But if you submit to them and do everything they ask they will be your willing slave.

Yeah, right.

People will take your faith and do as they see fit based on their needs. One can only hope they are in alignment with the promises they made to build your trust but there is no guarantee.

See Rand v Maidens.

Maidens "We follow you"

Rand "Ok"

Maidens "No, we follow you EVERYWHERE."

Rand "uh, I have some 'boundary issues' that you need to respect. Like this 'no dead chicks' thing I got going here."

Maidens "we have a culture you need to respect, doubly so because you are the Car'acarn con carne. People die, get over it, we did."

Rand "Yeah, about that. I am cool with Trollocs dying, obviously and darkfriends, totally. Even dudes that are hanging with me on Team light, I know they may snuff it bringing the smack down on the dark but... the thing is... well... I am not so cool with the chicks dying thing."

Maidens "we are not 'chicks'. We carry the Honor of the Car'acarn and to do so we must follow him.... EVERYWHERE."

Rand "You know, I am totally hearing what you are saying and I am all about equality and women's rights and the warrior goddess within so you know I am cool with that, however.... That whole 'within' part, I like that to be within things like tents and palaces and undamaged skin."

Maidens "You insult us and our culture by making us less."

Rand "Gotcha, ok, let's just try this once and see how it goes."

(Maidens die)

Rand "uh, I am so not cool with that. Let me just carve this list of names in my brain and pretend it did not happen but I will totally brood over it any time it happens again. Oh and I am not going to tell you that, I am just going to pretend everything is cool and not tell you where I am going."

Maidens "We are not cool with that."

Rand "Could you try? Maybe meet me half way here. You know like just be there to follow me around the palace and in a procession or two and to send messages to the Wise Ones for me."

Maidens (break spear, break spear almost break spear)

Rand "OK! OK! OK! Let's not get all abandony on the Car'acarn now. I totally respect you and your warrior skills. I am back on square one if you are. We will just reset and call it even, right?"

Maidens "we will see."

Rand "Cool. Uh, I gotta check you later I have this thing, totally not a battle or anything, I need to check on and it will be like a day, maybe two tops, so.... just hang here at the palace playing cat's cradle and getting your hand talk on and what not and I just need to get some Two Rivers tabac and I will be right back."

Maidens "We are going to kick your ass if you are lying to us."

Rand "ulp"

Min "Rand! Those Maidens are kicking your ass. I must protect you! OW!"

Rand "It is ok Min. They have the right. I was stupid and made this happen but I am totally not learning a lesson from this. Don't tell Sorilea."

Min "Men!"

Maidens "Agreed."

How does this relate to the Author writing what they write and the reader being dissapointed?

well... the Author knows all the ins and outs of the story they are telling and they reveal the "rules" or ji e toh as they can but there is so much to reveal and so much of it depends on other "rules" as a foundation of understanding that it can take some time to tell the reader everything.

The reader is not really the Car'acarn and yet kind of is.

Without the reader the book does not exist (well it does but "living in the imagination and hearts of the people, yaddah yaddah yaddah.) but the book does not do what the reader wants, it does what it must do and the reader is along for the ride but kind of at the center of it.

Even the Car'acarn is not a Wetlander King and we all know how well Wetlander Kings get everything to work out they way they want under their absolute authority. (not, Hi King of Illian whose name escapes me right now and I am not looking it up to give people a conniption because the amount of time I spent writing this could have been spent looking it up on the interwebs. See, the writer is messing with you.)

The position of the reader is not enviable. They are at the center of everything and yet have influence over nothing and have to accept what the author can do. It is fine and dandy when it is all Rainbows and Unicorns but when Cloud Dancer the Unicorn starts laying down a claim to the Rainbow throne which may be hers by right but spent those six exciting months with the reader on Carnival Island an then sailed over to Knifepoint Bay before walking back to Rainbowlyn so now there is a "prancing" challenge and that could take another six months the reader has to understand that story A and story B lead to story C (C is for conclusion and that is good enough for me).

And some people may just not be into the prancing and becoming horn sisters and combing manes and sipping brook water but that is part and parcel of a Unicorn story. They are all flash and magic in the beginning and get people totally hooked and then it is settling down for nibbling and napping and it is frustrating when the audience wants to get back to the spiral horn of righteousness doing the slish-slash of adventure against the forces of evil.

On the third hand people on both sides will comment, complain and compose long and winding blah biddy blah because that is what the internet is for.

Go team Freedom! Thankfully team Decorum still has a squad on this part of the internet as well.

I think we should pay them more so they do not move a way for a bigger and better stadium. We have fan loyalty darn it!

So, does that not answer any questions? I do not remember, I got distracted.


Edit: for some but not all spelling.
125. Danofire
In regards to the detail, visual discriptions, minor character development and overall heft and length of the entire series, inculding major and minor plotlines, I find that even after many re-reads, that this is what keeps me coming back for more. (I love the comma)

These are the reasons there are so many differing opinions on the Darrel Sweet covers. This is also why I think the illustraters of the graphic novels have a world so rich in detail that I expect it is relatively easy to translate into pictures. I have not been privy to one of them yet, but have read that they are excellent. It is also why there is so much excellent fan artwork out there.

I am sure as many of you have read through this series, you have in your minds eye who you would have star for each charactrer in a movie or a mini-series. I drive a lot and often times see landscape and can imagine it being a scene from the book because of the extra imagery with which Jordan writes.

As far as plotlines I take the good with the not so good. They still add depth and like an earlier poster stated, I believe Jordan had, after success with his earlier books in the series, had the means to expand his vision of the greater story. I am glad he did.

,,,,,,,,,,, just thought I would add a few extra commas for all of you!

Karen Fox
126. thepupxpert
Wetlander @ 78 - thank you, agree 100%

I skimmed through POD, WH and KOD the first few times I read the series because I was so enthralled with the core characters and couldn’t process any more backstory – my brain really couldn’t handle it! After reading the FAQ’s and all the posts on this re-read and the open thread, I started another re-read back in January, figuring I’d catch up with Leigh at about POD. I honestly didn’t remember very much about any of the last three books because I was, to say the least, mildly irritated at having to learn what seemed like a whole new cast of characters in WH. This time around – with the FAQ and re-read as a backdrop - I am finding these books so much more entertaining and enjoyable, especially now that I know where the storyline is heading.
Tricia Irish
127. Tektonica

My oh my you are hysterical. I'm crying! Touche! I want some of what you're taking!

And about the politicians.....that what the textbooks say......right.....
Noneo Yourbusiness
128. Longtimefan
@ Tektonica.

I do not take anything. It is just a slow day at work and the sun is shining and it is days like this that remind me I really need to move out of the Pacific Northwest because I am not a gloaming person.

I have tried for 10 years now and the big summer mood swing is kind of a hint that the 9 months of "meh" is probably not good for me.

I grew up in the land of summer but it is overpopulated and overpriced, hence the decision to leave.

I miss me some Disneyland though. le sigh.

In WOT related posting....

I got nothing.

Now for the two weeks of waiting. tic toc.
Thomas Keith
129. insectoid
LTF @117/123: ROFL!! ::clutches sides::

Mmm... curly fries. ;)

LTF @128: I miss Disneyland, too. It's only 80 miles away or so, but we haven't been in like a decade. :(

130. Danofire
Here is some fat to chew on while Leigh is away.

From Steven Cooper's website, Tellings of the Wheel: The Chronology of The Wheel of Time found at:


All quotations from The Wheel of Time are copyright © Robert Jordan. All other text is copyright © Steven Cooper.

From Steven's website:

Day 632 of the story: Rand is taken hostage and beaten at the hands of AS.
Day 649 Dumai Wells. 17 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 657 Padan Fain cuts him with dagger. 25 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 659 Conqueres Illian, fight Sammael and encounters Moridin. 27 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 678 Starts battle with Seanchen. 46 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 684 Battle with Seanchen ends with Rand seizing Callandor losing control and killing Adley. 52 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 688 Rand is attacked in Cairhein by Dashiva and Black tower renegades. 56 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 691 Rand tells Min he intends to cleanse Saidin. 59 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 696 Rand gets Nynaeve and gets sexed by Elayne. 64 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 701 Rand Kill Rochaid in Far Madding. 69 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 715 Takes Cadsuane as advisor, goes after Fain and gets imprisoned in Far Madding. 83 days from traumatic kidnapping.
Day 716 Rand Travels to Shadar Logoth and cleanses Saidin. 84 days from traumatic kidnapping.

If you think about the mental and physical strain during these two and half months then it is no wonder he starts going bonkers. Think about the things in our lives that give us stress and try to imagine what he was going through. The kidnapping alone would break most people and through all of this he never gets a chance to really step back and regroup.

Let's recap:
Kidnapped, tortured, freed, faces vilest of evils in Fain, then faces Sammael, mashadar, Moridin, crowned king of Illian, starts war with Seanchen, loses grip on Saidin and Callandor, attempted assassination, gives wine to Morr, gets laid by Elayne, kills bad Ashamen, has to deal with Cadsuane and cleanses saidin!

Like the in Snow White and the 7 dwarves, "high low, high low, it's off to work I go with no stable emotions in tow!

Just some ideas for discussion.

Tricia Irish
131. Tektonica

You know I'm kidding about taking things....you just have a very creative mind! The sun does strange things after an absence.....maybe it's the Vit. D.

I'm in Florida. Plenty of sunshine all the time, not as crowded, much lower taxes, and Disney World. You have to put up with bad drivers, cotton tops galore, snowbirds, and lack of sophistication in most places. The winters are like Cali and the summers are....long and hot and humid and tropical. I don't know what your profession is, but good luck with that here too. The doctors and lawyers are doing well with our demographic. (I moved here from the midwest {gray for 6 months} and the northeast {not quite as gray}, and am now addicted to the sun.)

So come on down! We need more young people and more creative types!
Jay Dauro
132. J.Dauro
jadelollipop @115
Rand did not discharge any Toh with that beating.

Egwene confessed, acknowledged her Toh, and asked help to discharge it. She gets credit. (Although I would have not seen it discharged that easily if I was a Wise One. The Aiel are expected to embrace pain, and Egwene did not suffer that much.)

Rand did not do it voluntarily. The beating is instruction, hoping to teach him to behave better, but he still needs to acknowledge his Toh to the Maidens, and then discharge it.
133. Freelancer
For any who don't ever check Brandon's own website, the Towers of Midnight progress bar has officially been updated to 100%, as he completed his final spellcheck of the final draft submission to TOR. Now for the loop-de-loop of editing prior to print. And the timeline is on for the Nov 2 release date.

Freelancer - reporting from sunny SoCal, where the humidity has all flown to Florida, the ocean is cool and the surf is up, the mosquitoes are non-existent, and the rain knows when it's not wanted.
a a-p
134. lostinshadow
a guru said I was right about something. I'm marking today down on my calendar.

::waves back to Tek:: vacation was great though uncharacteristically rainy but I still had great fun swimming in the rain. my brother in law was a bit annoyed though because there was very little wind and apparently (and not surprisingly) it's not a good idea to windsurf during a thunderstorm.

nice and sunny now in Istanbul though.

Gladto hear I'll have company from here on the Malazan reread. Speaking of which, on to book 6 for me.
Heidi Byrd
136. sweetlilflower
@RoyanRannedos #103

Are you also a Dave Barry fan? If you've ever read his weekly articles for the Miami Herald, he almost always throws in a "insert crazy name here" would be a great name for a band.... Now, everytime I hear stuff like "rusty metal fork" I think, "what a great name for a band!"
Maiane Bakroeva
137. Isilel

Speaking of Perrin and Travelling, there are a lot of contortions to make him unable to just Travel after the Shaido and snatch Faile from them.
First of all, shouldn't he have been able to find location of the Shaido via TAR? Just look for a huge Aiel camp and presto. With the added bonus of Perrin learning more about TAR that clearly will be crucial for his role in TG.
I nebulously remember that for some artificial reason he couldn't just track them via wolves either.

But the most egregious thing is that Perrin fully intended to bring Masema to Rand in this last chapter. I.e. maintaining secrecy of his mission and fiction of their quarrel wasn't important for him, once he actually reached Masema.
So, why not go or send to Rand now and both explain about Masema and ask for help re: Shaido? Perrin had every reason to think that the help would be forthcoming, IMHO - and even though Rand would have been gone it would have panned out. Instead we got the inexplicable emo trudge that we were exposed to in truly excruciating detail.


Speaking of Browns - yes, I have been disappointed that Adeleas died without doing anything noteworthy. I mean, the Namelle sisters seemed so knowledgeable and in possession of such exciting secrets in TGH!
But Verin's plot-line was great.

OTOH, the Browns now have an extremely important task ahead of them - they must figure out what should be the minimum educational requirements for the ring and the shawl.
AS have always been educated women as well as channelers and IMHO it would be counter-productive to throw this aspect over-board completely.
What knowledge must be preserved? What is about to become obsolete? What non-OP skills will be particularly helpful for victory? They will be literally able to mold the future of the WT, IMHO.
I like Saerin too and hope that she will have enough moral sense to publicly apologize to Siuan for wrongful deposition.

She would make an excellent Mistress of the Novices, except that it would be impolitic to have a TAS one, along with the TAS Keeper. But one MoM wouldn't be able to deal with more than 1K novices anyway - maybe they'll go for multiples now and Saerin will be one of them.
James Hogan
138. Sonofthunder

I just finished reading KoD last night...and because I remembered your question, I made sure to verify, and yes, Maidens are with Rand in KoD. They're with him at the manor house and they come with Bashere's soldiers through the gateways after Semirhage's ambush. So I'm not sure if everything is "perfect" between them, but they've been together. And because I've only read TGS once, I can't recall how the Maidens/Rand interact there(give me a week and I'll let you know ;)).

And Longtimefan@123, AMAZING. I almost died a very side-splitting death.
James Jones
139. jamesedjones
137 Isilel
OTOH, the Browns now have an extremely important task ahead of them - they must figure out what should be the minimum educational requirements for the ring and the shawl.
Good idea. But the Mistress o' Newbies would have a fit the first time it is proposed. Plus, you'd have to battle through the whole BS (not Brandon Sanderson, here) culture of secrecy and information hoarding in the WT. The two examples that come to mind are Romanda having a cow when she finds out that Accepted have been taught the weaves for healing (like healing wouldn't the most important weave for everyone to learn in the eyes of a Yellow), and Elayne admitting that she shouldn't know the weave to bond warders as an Accepted. Revamping the process and the authority to decide what should and shouldn't be known for potential AS will be difficult, to say the least.
Marcus W
140. toryx
Tektonica @ 121:

You're certainly welcome to the Malazan "Huh?" group!

I've really got to get in gear on my read of Gardens. It's a bit difficult, however, since I'm reading three other novels at pretty much the same time.
Re: California and the sun - I grew up out there too and I like to visit but it's definitely not my style. Too much sun! I need the seasons, man.

It's gotten really pleasant out here in New England this week. Too cool even to swim, sadly, but I'm grateful the humidity has gone down. And just in time to blow stuff up! I almost wish I were heading to NYC this weekend for the fireworks.
Tricia Irish
141. Tektonica

Thank you for the welcome.... I'm taking Gardens of the Moon with me to get my car serviced today...fun!...so perhaps I'll make a dent in it. (The book, not the car.)

All my friends in the NE are happy today! Should be a good weekend for you too. We will be blowing stuff up on the beach!

We are thinking of becoming true snowbirds ourselves, now that the kids are gone. I miss the seasons desperately. Salisbury, Ct. or Colorado? Hard decision.
Any advice Northeasterners or Man-O?
Marcus W
142. toryx
Tektonica @ 141:

That's a tough choice. I've lived in both regions and can definitely say they each have their advantages. You have the mountains in Colorado, of course, and it tends to be a lot quieter out that way. But in Ct you'd have a lot of entertainment options: Boston or NYC are both pretty close. You'd also be closer to the ocean, though that doesn't matter so much if you winter in Florida.

I like living out here over Colorado because of the easy access to other places. Even when the snow is heavy it doesn't compare to the storms in Co. It's also a lot closer to Europe which makes a big difference for me. But driving (one of my favorite things) is more fun in the Co region.

All things considered, I'd rather be closer to NYC, Boston and Europe than Denver, LA and Las Vegas, but that's just me.
Matthew Smith
143. blocksmith

Echoing Toryx, New England has a little bit of everything and travel time to (all) the beach, mountains, cultural centers can be measured in miles instead of days.

That said, I have never been skiing in the west but I hear its incredible. I have a close friend in the Air Force that is relocating to CO so I plan on visiting this winter.
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
Isilel @137 - First of all, shouldn't he have been able to find location of the Shaido via TAR? Just look for a huge Aiel camp and presto. - He tried. He spent all night that first night in the wolf dream trying to find some clue, to the point that they were worried about being unable to wake him and he had no idea how he got from the hilltop to Berelain's tent. However, a) he didn't know he was looking for a huge camp, and b) unlike the girls, he doesn't know all that much about TAR and how it works. If he'd been able to think more clearly, he might have asked Elyas to teach him about the wolf dream. He might have tried a different method in TAR another night. He might have done a lot of things, but IMHO there are character-consistent (not to say simply human) reasons that he didn't. He's not perfectly logical, any more than any other well-written character.

As to why he didn't go ahead with his plan to bring Masema straight to Rand... Lots of reasons. Irritating as they may be to someone who loathes this particular plot line, they still make sense internally. I personally wish that he could have whacked Masema on the head the minute they walked in the room and sent him and Hari off with one of the Asha'man willy-nilly. But there were reasons not to do that, such as the risk to his entire party; he was concerned not only about himself and Masema, but there were others with him in the room, others waiting outside with the horses, and still others in the camp out yonder. Any crazy unplanned moves like the above would put all of them at risk, and at this time there's no justification for that risk. Later, when Masema shows up, he's got a whole lot of crazy fighters with him, so it's not that easy. And so on. If you really want, I can give you an exhaustive list of reasons why at any given moment it wasn't a justifiable risk; it's only in hindsight that anyone could say it was. IMHO.
Maiane Bakroeva
145. Isilel
Sorry, Wetlandernw, no hindsight about it. I keenly felt the absurdity of Perrin being afraid of Masema crying out despite having all these channelers with him, the very first time around ;).

Also, the sudden inexplicable flip-flop of Perrin being ready to go to Rand then and there in this chapter versus not going to him for months once Faile is captured.

And you said it yourself - why not ask Elyas's help in T'AR? What additional risk could there be?

But let's save it for the coming books, OK? There will be... a lot to say on this subject ;).
Jennifer B
146. JennB
We have had a strangely overcast winter and wet spring in Central Oregon this year. I am glad summer is finally here as well.
Sam Mickel
147. Samadai
JennB@ 146

Yay for another Oregonian.
Alice Arneson
148. Wetlandernw
JennB - I was thinking the same thing, and then today it went all wet-spring again. *sigh*

Isilel - I still think it makes sense. The difference is that Perrin would think it all the way through with the lives of his people in mind, while you think it through with the bigger story in mind. If it were real, it might have worked for Perrin to conk Masema over the head and send him off with Grady, while the rest of them walked calmly out of the house, out of town, and back to camp. On the other hand, if they warded the room against eavesdropping, any eavesdropper would immediately know something was fishy and might rouse the whole town to find out. Even if there were no eavesdroppers, how long would it be before someone checked in and realized that Masema had disappeared? Could Perrin & co. be sure of being outside town before that happened? Could they be back to their camp and ready for defense in time? Are they really big enough to defend against all of Masema's followers? Maybe, maybe and maybe, but there would be casualties. Unnecessary casualties, from what they know at this time.

What should have happened was that Masema and a few of his men would come to Perrin at the camp and they'd take off for Cairhien. At some point, probably fairly soon, Grady or Neald would Travel back to Rand to report, and either Rand would come to them or he would tell them to go ahead with the head-conk and bring Masema anyway. Either way, it would be resolved and Alliandre could also meet with Rand fairly promptly.

What really happened was that they left Abila with that expectation, but got back to camp to find Faile and Alliandre kidnapped (along with a bunch of others, but they are the key players here). Along with the subsequent search for F, A & co., Masema shows up with a whole boat-load of rabid followers and they find out that the Shaido are out there in force. Circumstances change, and so do plans. From a reader's perspective, it would have been nice to get rid of Masema asap, but from "inside the story" it's not reasonable. Not given the circumstances and the characters involved. Sure, RJ could have written it that way, and had Perrin's ta'veren effect get them free before Abila went up like a keg of dynamite, but then people would complain about how easy Perrin had gotten off again.
diane heath
149. jadelollipop
@145 Faile was captured Feb 15 and rescued April 10 so just under 2 months. The ?? is why Perrin delayed when he found Malden back in March.
Mat met Tuon Feb 17th and the marriage ceremony making him Prince of Ravens completed April 22nd.
Tess Laird
150. thewindrose
Longtimefan @123 So Rand has created the Clan of Winespring Brothers, who have to have drank from the Winespring. Now, noting that unicorns like to lap up clean cool water, I beleive they would have at sometime been in the Two Rivers and have drank from the WineSpring. There is also a point where the girls see a unicorn in T'a'R. From this I speculate that Rand has an army of unicorns waiting in T'a'R for TG. They will need the new influx of Novices to comb their shimmering and glorious manes and tails. Another important point is that a well read Brown sister will know all the fine points of care for a unicorn army, because, well, they have read about it somewhere. Maybe Saerin is one such sister:)

I always thought that Wetlandernw was WoT lingo for Wallotextnw.

Danofire @130 -
Day 696 Rand gets Nynaeve and gets sexed by Elayne. 64 days from traumatic kidnapping.

That is interesting, I never read it that way. I wonder what Lan thought?;)

Do we know where Rand is during the kidnapping and enslavement of Faile? Is this when he went underground and on the hunt for the renegade Asha'man? If so, it would be next to impossible to find him.

diane heath
151. jadelollipop
According to the Cooper time line Rand was in Caemlyn
(see day 696 @ 130) on Feb 17th (2 days after Faile captured). Perrin caught up with Shaido in March (when Rand was Cleansing Saidin).
Maiane Bakroeva
152. Isilel
Wetlandernw @148:

Of course Perrin could have been sure that he'd be able to get out of town. He had 2 Asha'man that could Travel/Skim with him, remember. He also could hope to deliver Masema and get back before Masema's followers had any chance of reaching his forces. _If_ they'd have managed to organize themselves without Masema, that is.

Lives were being risked and indeed sacrificed by Perrin's procrastination, not the other way round. It was already obvious that Masema would resist going to Rand without all his followers and as his rabble moved through several countries, it would kill vastly more people and also gather recruits. Both of which would further damage Rand's reputation and cause outright war with Andor.

The ruin that would have resulted (to Andor, as well as the rest of Ghealdan) was blindingly obvious to me immediately, not in hindsight. I remember my feelings when I read PoD for the first time, I assure you.

Again, it was crystal-clear that Masema wouldn't come to Perrin without a very strong escort and chances for a bloody clash would be much higher with Masema forewarned.

So, duh, Perrin's decision really had no upsides, IMHO.

And again, if Perrin was ready to go to Rand with Masema, why wouldn't he go the next day (or month) with news of Masema _and_ Shaido, to ask for help?
Barry T
153. blindillusion
Why didn't Perrin go to Rand?

Well, Perrin was "banished" by Rand. Considering he wouldn’t know where to look for Hide & Go Seek Rand, there's really no way to find him without alerting half the known world that it's all been an act. About the only way Perrin could have Traveled to Rand would have been with Masema tied to his side.
Brandon Wood
154. brad21088
Re: the whole "logical" thing: I've always been confused by the way RJ and Sanderson use the term. I haven't once seen anything that remotely resembles formal logic nor do any of the White Ajah seem particularly concerned with coming to logical conclusions, in the sense of the term that the conclusions they come to necessarily and rationally follow from the premises. As a philosophy major, it's kind of weird/annoying/confusing when I see the word used (misused?) so often in WoT and Sanderson's other works.
Heidi Byrd
155. sweetlilflower
Well, you do get to hear three white sisters argue over which person's formula to use for determining the effects of the food spoiling in TV. I have my degree in Philosophy and I always laugh when I read that scene b/c it reminds me of so many debates I had. Also, each person has his/her own premises and the logic each uses flows from the information he/she is willing to accept as true. So, what is "logical" for Perrin would not be logical for Rand and so on with other characters. Each person has a unique way of viewing the world and filtering the information he/she receives from the world. You should have learned by now that there is no such thing as The Absolute Truth :) (unless you believe Plato)
Alice Arneson
156. Wetlandernw
jadelollipop @149 - The ?? is why Perrin delayed when he found Malden back in March. Delayed what?

-Attacking Malden? The fact that there were several thousand Shaido there, and no idea where in all those thousands Faile might be, would have had something to do with that.

-Sneaking into Malden? Same reason - and sneaking takes some serious planning to be successful.

-Sending Masema back to Rand? Same reason as before - too many rabid dragonsworn, and a fight he couldn't afford at the time.

thewindrose @150 - You are quite right; I was just wondering if I should make it clearer. :)

Isilel @152 - What about Neald, the Warders and the horses? Just leave them there to see if they can make it out? Oh, I know, let's just see if Neald can open a gateway there in the street and keep it open safely while they get everyone through. Of course, that would mean they'd have to know what Perrin had just done and that they needed to get out of Dodge in an almighty hurry. I maintain that at the time Perrin had no reason to think such measures would be necessary. It may be "crystal-clear" to the reader that Masema wouldn't honor his agreement, but if you consider it from what Perrin had to go on, and his injunction to do things as quietly as possible, he made a perfectly reasonable decision. As a reader, it may have been totally obvious that it would go sideways, upside down and inside out, but it would not have been obvious to Perrin, any more than it was obvious to any of his reasonably-intelligent advisors. I don't recall seeing any of them strongly advocating the idea of kidnapping Masema. (Killing, yes, but that was ruled out by Rand's directive.) If they did, it was anything but unanimous among them.

Obviously, we're not going to agree on this. As a reader, you're convinced that it should have been written differently, and the only reason it was written this way was to pad out the story unnecessarily. As a reader, I'm convinced that it was written consistently with the characters and the situation. Yes, I dislike Masema and all the extra twists he will cause for Perrin, but I don't think keeping him around required an idiot-ball for Perrin. I think it makes painful sense.

brad21088 @154 - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." :)
Maiane Bakroeva
157. Isilel
Blindillusion @153:

About the only way Perrin could have Traveled to Rand would have been with Masema tied to his side.

That would only make sense if Perrin truly believed that he needed to earn Rand's favor back before he dared to appear before him, which is manifestly not the case.
News that Rand had to go to Masema unless he wanted the Dragonsworn to devastate Andor and news about the Shaido were certainly reasons enough to abandon the subterfuge.

Wetlandernw @156:

if you consider it from what Perrin had to go on, and his injunction to do things as quietly as possible, he made a perfectly reasonable decision.

Well, Perrin has already abandoned the notion of behaving quietly, what with openly announcing his presence and accepting Alleandre's fealty.

And how it should have seemed reasonable from his POV to invite Masema's rabble to traipse through Andor is beyond my comprehension. IMHO, Perrin would have dealt Rand's credibility a single most devastating blow if this actually came to pass.

Yes, they would have had to signal Neald and the warders somehow or send Masema away with Grady and walk out of the house, telling everybody that Masema went to meet tDR. So what? Perrin has taken greater risks for lesser reasons already. With all the channelers the risk wasn't even all that great.

Re: Malden, it seems to me that sending an agent inside should have been easy (just let them get captured or send a person in gai'shan clothing through a getaway) and saidin gateways could have been opened in the abandoned part of town at night without alerting anybody.
Alice Arneson
158. Wetlandernw
I just saw something really funny on facebook (besides blindillusion's son impersonating the DO). BWS posted that "...I gave a name to an extant, unnamed wot character. Therefore, I retconned a wot fan into an earlier book." How fun would that be! :)
159. hawkido
I guess the real hidden meaning for the title "Path of Daggers" is that it is a real painful trek... and I guess you have to walk it to get to the next book...

I wonder how many hidden inportant facts were hidden in this book? Things that will only be known after the fact... such as male channelers shivering... who woulda thuk that before the reveal.
160. hawkido
156 @ Wetlandernw
Re:brad21088 @154 - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." :)

Love "The Princess Bride" reference
161. hawkido
152 @ Isilel
Some battles are fought slowly and painfully only to be lost so you can win the war. (I.E. Vietnam/Cold War) Poor example as Vietnam coulda been won in 2 short years if politicians woulda got out of the way, BEH!

Besides, Perrin DID accomplish something. He pretty much eliminated the "Prophet Sworn". Remember Shadar Logoth/Mashadar/Mordeith... These were things "not of the Power" but of this sickness and paranoia that is shared by Masema\Mordeith... Perhaps Rand was told about this when he walked through the twisted stone doorway in Tear... Failure to eliminate Masema would blanket the world in a shadar logoth style madness... Perhaps Rand couldn't confront masema due to the mental imbalace of both of them. They would poison each other...

Beh, Like i said earlier how much was hidden in this book that we will not truely see till further light is shed on it? *Shivers*

Jordan may have this wrapped up such that PoD is the most awesome book in the series we just are missing all the pieces to make it so? Now that would be a titanic writing feat even for Jordan!
James Jones
162. jamesedjones
156 & 157

Re: Perrin's options

Not taking sides, but there were a couple points I just wanted to bring up.

First off, Perrin is the leige lord of the area. So, it's perfectly within his right to decide if he wants to start a battle against any forces in the area. But he's also able to see that by simply not making a big fuss, he'll be able to walk out without any casualties. We know that Perrin's big on keeping as many folks alive as he can. It's not always the easiest option (especially on the readers that have to wait 7 years for resolution. lol), but he sticks with it time and time again.

He also notes that his concern is not only for the person or two that might be lost from his party in the potential battle. It's for the town itself. Rabid or not, he considers most of the citizens innocent. And he - is - their - lord. I'm reminded of the Star Wars Game: Knights of the Old Republic, where your character is asked about military tactics. The villan's choice is to sacrifice a planet to maintain the confidentiality of critical plans. While this might be distastefully necessary in real life, the solutions Perrin generates are often more entertaining and much cleaner.

Personally, I hate this plot (especially the upcoming grain part), and wish Perrin had just snatched up the prophet and gated back to Rand. But it wouldn't fit his character's choice of: the near certainty of no one dying by playing along versus the strong likelyhood of a riot if he just took the quick route.

My 2 cents.
Alice Arneson
163. Wetlandernw
jamesedjones @162 - Yeah. What you said. Me too. ;p
164. Freelancer

Ahh, but that scene is meant for comedy. The Whites fighting over two "divergent" methods of establishing decay rates, which each demands is superior to the other, where one says the answer is 11, the other says the answer is between 9 and 13. Maybe only number geeks find that hilarious.

Oh and I agree that there is no Universally Percieved Absolute Truth. That's just because each of us is fallible and views things from wherever we happen to stand at a particular point in time. That is completely distinct from there being a real, foundational Absolute Truth. And then many philosophy profs say "But nothing is real when it cannot be perceived", which is utterly looney tunes. ::shrug::
Heidi Byrd
165. sweetlilflower
How I wish we could while away a few afternoons together... :) I stand corrected on the percieved aspect of Absolute Truth. I was trying to insert a bit of Philosophy humor, which is not very easy. But, I have a joke!

Descartes walks into a bar and the bartender asks if he wants a drink. Descartes says, "I think not" and....


Roger Powell
166. forkroot
That's a pretty good one. Be grateful I don't start with the math humor though.

FWIW - In my long distant past I was a member of a notorious living group at MIT whose motto was: "Hackito Ergo Sum". This was back when "hacking" meant something different from what the dull-minded news media have turned it into.
Alice Arneson
167. Wetlandernw
More humor from Team Jordan, via BWS on Facebook:
Joke from Harriet and Maria in margins of TofM manuscript. Re: sealing the Bore. DON'T call BP.

My husband thinks I'm crazy. Again.
James Hogan
168. Sonofthunder
Wetlander@167, I REALLY need to stop reading this when I'm at work amongst my co-workers. Double that for drinking coffee. Just *barely* did my coffee stay in my mouth...that joke is especially relevant due to my work in the oil business.

And now I've finally found BWS on Facebook! Thanks for the reminder.
169. Shaggy Bella
I finally caught up with the posts.
I am on a road trip with my sons (19 & 21) visiting relatives . We are listening to The Eye Of The World.
They seem to by pretty interested, after the slow start. They also compared the story to Earagon and Star Wars.
I am sure they will be well and truley hooked before we get home Saturday. (Insert evil laugh)
Marcus W
170. toryx
Re: Perrin and his decisions -

One thing I haven't seen anyone point out: If Perrin had decided to snatch Maesema and go, regardless of what would have happened to the other people he left behind, he'd also have left hundreds of thousands of rabid Dragonsworn behind. Who knows what they would have done when they discovered their Prophet was missing? Chances are the whole countryside would have erupted like a discarded cigarette butt in a fireworks store.

Would Perrin want that on his conscience? Would Rand have been pleased with the result if Perrin had decided not to worry about it?

I don't think so. I'm not pleased with the resultant storyline either, and I don't think all of Perrin's decisions made much sense (especially after Faile was gone) but just snatching Maesema and Traveling back to Rand would have been sheer madness.
Alice Arneson
171. Wetlandernw
Sonofthunder @168 - Thank you! I've been dying for someone to laugh with me - and you in the oil business. ROFL! Hope your computer is okay... Oh, I guess you said you managed to keep the coffee in your mouth. :>
Tricia Irish
172. Tektonica
Wetlander@167: Good one! LOL. Don't call BP.....morons!

Re: Perrin: Why couldn't he have sent one of the Asha'man Traveling to find Rand, and bring him to Masema? If the time lines above are accurate (and I have no reason to doubt them), then Rand could've been found PDQ and met with Masema in minutes perhaps, and either taken him away or done away with him (not likely), dispersed the Prophet Rabble, and Perrin could've gotten on with the rest of the Faile Plod, er plot.
Tess Laird
173. thewindrose
Tek - When Rand was in Caemlyn 2 days after Failes kidnapping - he was on the run/undercover. Not many people know about Alanna being able to find Rand - Perrin almost catches on but not quite. One time when Rand points right at Alanna behind him, something triggers in Perrins mind, but then he forgets about it.
*On an aside, Alanna is how Cads finds Rand in Far Madding.

Alice Arneson
174. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @172 - It had always seemed to me that it would have made sense for Perrin to send one of the Asha'man to Rand with a status as soon as they got back to the camp (where presumably they'd have had a chance to get to know the ground). However... a) Perrin got rather distracted when they got back and learned about the kidnapping; b) he may not have thought through the secrecy injunction yet, to decide that it was OBE; and c) it would have been wasted effort anyway, since Rand had already gone into stealth mode leading up to the Cleansing. As of the day Faile was kidnapped, the last we know of Rand was that three days before, he and Min had travelled to the wilderness near Tar Valon; the next time we see him is sneaking in to Caemlyn to get Nynaeve (and incidentally get bonded by the trio). The only way Cadsuane & co. caught up with him in Far Madding was through Alanna's bond. (Incidentally, that in itself might almost justify that bond - without it, Rand getting out of Far Madding intact would have been pretty dicey, to say nothing of the lack of defense he'd have had during the Cleansing without them.) Grady or Neald would not have had that connection, and would have had no chance to find Rand. So the best that could have happened would be that he would Travel to Caemlyn, find out that Rand had disappeared with no word, and Travel back to Perrin with absolutely nothing resolved. And... we'd be right back where we are in the story.
Marcus W
176. toryx
Tektonica @ 172:

The real question for me is, why didn't Rand go find Masema himself? Whatever his reason for sending Perrin off to do it, which armies and a handful of Ashaman instead of saving a lot of effort and going on his own and keeping it all hush hush has to be the reason Perrin didn't dare involve Rand when he realized how tricky Masema was going to be.

I think ultimately Rand didn't want to deal with Masema openly because he wanted to keep himself apart from the Dragonsworn. If he did anything to suggest that he actually approved of Masema's methods, it would have instantly dirtied his hand.

If, however, Perrin was outcast as per the argument and then went of his own volition, found the Prophet and dragged him back to Rand to be dealt with, it keeps Rand from having a direct connection. It can appear that Perrin did Rand a favor to get back into his good graces. And if Rand could manage to get Masema under control, he'd have an extra army. If Masema turned out to be unreliable and as crazy as he sounds then Rand could openly announce that the Prophet was not acting in accord with his wishes, Masema could be sentenced appropriately, and Perrin thanked for his efforts.

I'd imagine that Perrin's orders included insuring that the Dragonsworn caused as little more damage as possible, and to be absolutely certain that none of the Dragonsworn's actions can be linked positively to Rand. Which tied Perrin's hands considerably.
Tess Laird
177. thewindrose
Hey Wetlandernw - Great minds and all!

Alice Arneson
178. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @177 - Indeed! Just saw that; we must have been typing at the same time and everything! :)

toryx @176 - Good thinking. I'd never worked on it with both hands to sort that out, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Because yeah, Rand would so not want to give the impression of approving Masema's activities. I especially like the "appearance of doing Rand a favor to get back in his good graces" part. Logical. ;)

Tektonica @175 - Indeed. Sometimes it would be a lot easier not to have that chronology... it makes all sorts of nice theories go poof like dandelion fluff. I hadn't realized until I went looking for myself just now that sending an Asha'man to find Rand would have been, in fact, completely useless. *sigh*

FWIW, I know there are people who don't buy SC's Chronology, or won't accept any argument based on it, but as near as I can tell, it's pretty close on everything significant. I can't believe the amount of work that man has put in, tracking down every mention of the moon as well as elapsed days in every plot line. If I ever get a chance to ask Brandon or Maria a WoT-related question, I want to ask how closely the Chronology matches the timeline in Maria's database. IIRC, anyway, RJ maintained a timeline to keep all the plots and character-placements straight, and presumably based any mention of the moon phases on that timeline. It certainly doesn't seem characteristic of RJ that he would throw in the mention of a "gibbous moon" just for ambience without making sure that he hadn't had a new moon a few days earlier, at the very least.
Tricia Irish
179. Tektonica
Wetlander, Windrose & Toryx:

While I agree with all your arguments about why Rand was out of pocket, so to speak and couldn't be found, I think this is one of those incidents that could've been much cooler if Rand had worked something out with Traveling and the Asha'man so that Perrin could get word to him, discreetly.....let Perrin in on Alannah's ability to find Rand, or agreed upon check in times or something.

It's one of those instances we talked about earlier where Traveling was under/mis-used/forgotten about, conveniently and oddly. It's a great communication device, but then, we know all about lack of that in WOT.

Toryx: I agree Rand wouldn't want to be seen around Masema or the Rabble, creating a great need for discreet Traveling....
Ron Garrison
180. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlandernw@167: "don't call BP" So true.

It's interesting to think about the Bore in terms of oil. Drilling down to this Dark Stuff's prison in the Earth, we do obtain a lot of the Power, but it doesn't come without a Taint. It's dirty, and even burned "cleanly" still creates carbon dioxide which has a very negative impact on the atmosphere. Now if we can just avoid destroying all life on the planet...
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
Tektonica - I won't disagree that RJ could have written it differently, giving the characters clearer ideas about communication and potential uses of Traveling. He could even have written it so that those who make use of TAR would all have gotten together and talked about it and learned from each other. He could have written it so the good guys knew for sure who they could trust, and figured out a way to communicate regularly. In some ways it would have been easier to read, and there wouldn't be nearly so many dented desks (to say nothing of heads!) over "obviously" stupid moves.

But that wasn't the story he was writing. He was deliberately creating characters who were slightly afraid of things they didn't understand, like most people are. People who forget that not everyone else knows everything they know. People who don't realize that something "trivial" they know would be very significant to someone else. People whose lives have been turned upside down, and maybe don't think as clearly as they should in the middle of it. People who think they know everything they need, when they're missing a vital piece of info. People who think they need more info, when they really have all they need to move forward. People who let emotion cloud their thinking sometimes. People who are full of fear, confidence, foolishness, wisdom, uncertainty, love, hate, confusion, turmoil, calm.... and all that.

I certainly don't deny the frustration of seeing a character make a series of wrong moves; at the same time, those moves usually make sense given the character and the situation as he knows it. I think that's what makes it worth the read - the fact that characters behave like real people, warts and all.
Marcus W
182. toryx
Wetlandernw, Windrose and Tektonica:

I think Tektonica's correct that there should have been some method established for keeping Rand in the loop. But I also think that Rand purposely avoided doing that very thing.

His first reaction, going all the way back to the end of EotW and the beginning of TGH has been to shun those who are close to him, or could be close to him. To protect them. So ultimately, I think Perrin was sent away more to keep him from being close than to actually retrieve Masema.

For all his good points, Rand has a tendency to not want to deal with certain things. He likes to take on as much as he can (and often more than)humanly handle. But at the same time, there's certain things that he simply doesn't want to deal with and outright refuses to.

Taim and the Black Tower are one of those things. Masema and the Dragonsworn Rabble are another. Allowing people who truly know/ knew him that he cares about close is another. Dealing with the knowledge that if he's the Dragon Reborn then he is also the same guy that killed his entire family and everyone he loved is another.

That last might be as much responsible for the others as anything.

So ultimately I think there's two things going on here: Rand purposely put Perrin in a situation where he couldn't keep in touch with him or use Traveling to full advantage. And the kidnapping storyline was a tale RJ wanted to tell. The first, character-driven desire is purely emotional; there's no real logic involved so any argument to explain it logically will not work.

The second issue, RJ's desire to tell the story of Perrin's own madness also pretty much sidesteps logic. There are a lot of things that could have been done differently but ultimately I think RJ wanted to demonstrate just how far Perrin could go, likely for reasons we haven't fully discovered.

That's where the very convienence and efficiency of Traveling is a burden on the writer. He's got a great device that could have tied up a lot of loose ends but to do so would actually be a detriment to the story RJ wants to tell.

All things considered, I kind of think RJ did a pretty decent job of providing in-story reasons to accomplish an out-of-story desire. Not flawless, but decent.
Ron Garrison
183. Man-0-Manetheran
re. alternative solutions to a character's problem

I, too, find the Masema/Perrin arc to be quite tedious at times, but as Wetlandernw said, "that wasn't the story he was writing." That is so true, and I add to that: I don't think RJ wrote great passages as padding or just something that was a tangent to the story. We know that he took great steps to plan out the story, even writing the ending well in advance. (Thank God he did!)

So, when I fret over Perrin's long on-going angst over Faile's kidnapping, I have to remind myself there is probably a greater reason for this than what we now see. When Perrin swears there was nothing he wouldn't do to get Faile back, didn't you shudder? Will our hero be presented with a situation where he must make that choice? ...join the Dark One? ...kill Rand? ...something else?
184. rennman
I know that Leigh needs a break from her re-read duties every now and again, but man it sucks not having a new WOT post to distract me for a little bit on a Friday.

We hope you are having a nice holiday Leigh. Enjoy it and come back quick. We need you.
Tricia Irish
185. Tektonica
BTW: The Eclipse review by Alex Brown on Tor's main page is hysterical.....and no doubt accurate. I don't know because I won't read or watch them, but this review is very funny.
Tess Laird
186. thewindrose
My husband was home with the kids this week and had the joy of going to that movie. ::snicker::

Man-o-Mantheran- Yes, I think this whole Perrin arc is going to have some very important reason(read pay off;)) for why the reader and Perrin had to go through it ere the end.

toryx - Indeed, why can't team light use those call boxes? Elayne had some in her stash, she could start mass producing them(or have all those novices of Egwene make them).

Noneo Yourbusiness
187. Longtimefan
Oh the Plot line of Doom. That is going to be one sore dead horse over the next few months.

I was thinking about how it would play out if Perrin's storyline fell more in the allingment of "the fans" (occilating and stationary)

Perrin "Any advice before I start Balwer?"

Balwer "Use the proper titles and show the madman the respect a madman thinks he deserves."

Perrin "got it."

clip clop clip clop, creeeeeak, tread tread tread.

Perrin "Wassup Massema? Rand says get your butt before him because your follwers are out of control."

Massema "I will not slay you in a righeous fury but I hear the words of the Lord Dragon and obey."

Perrin "Good. This guy is going to open a Traveling gate and we will chat with 'The Lord Dragon'" (internal monolouge "see, I remembered").

Massema "Fine but I must take the same number of my men as you bring with you."

Perrin "Agreed" (internal monolouge "WOW, this Ta'veren thing is working really well today")

Massema "I have my escort, let's shake our spurs, cowboy."

Perrin "whaaa...., never mind. Grady, open a gateway to Cairhien"

Grady "okey dokey, artichokey."

Meanwhile...back at the ranch uh, hawking feild.

Faile "Dear Alliandre, isn't being my subject delightful."

Alliandre "Enchanting."

Maighin (Morgase) "barf"

Beralain "what was that Maighin?"

Maighin "nothing, M'lady."

Berilain "Hmmm. (to Alliandre) It is nice to be out where one can fly free like the hawk".

Paile (eye daggers) "Indeed".

Berilain (double eye daggers) "Yes".

Alliandre (ducking eye daggers) "Oh, my".

Maighin "what is that over there"


Faile "It's not my Birthday."

Berilain "Maybe it is mine!"

All guards and male retainers in the area "OW, the dying. It hurts."

Faile "RUN!"

Berilain "DUH!"

Maighin (Morgase) "DOUBLE DUH!"

Alliandre "What? Oh, crap."

Bain and Chiad "We dance against you honorless Shaido dogs!"

Rolan "Well, to be fair we are not all Shiado, I and many with me are "the Brotherless".

Alliandre "So you are an orphan?"

Berilain "No, he just does not have any brothers."

Faile "No, he has relatives but he has no clan and yet he has a clan made up of other men without a clan."

Alliandre "This is really confusing."

Bain and Chaid. "We have defeated all of the Shaido and Brotherless not involved in this arguement and now we have touched them and they are gai'shain".

Rolan "Drat".

Maighin "My Lady Faile, do the prisioners have to be naked. I am not really this prudish but... well ok, I am and the floppy boy parts are totally freaking me out!"

Alliandre "me too."

Berilain. "Not me!"

Faile "Bain and Chaid, could you uh, wait here untill we ladies get back to our tents for tea and fainting and then you can lead the prisoners back?"

Bain (to Chaid) "Wetlanders are so odd, it is like they have never seen a snake before."

Chaid (to Bain) "They are just like children who think every snake is poisonous and run whenever the grass rustles."

(Chiad and Bain rattle thier bucklers at eachother)

Faile "Aiel are weird".

Berilain "Duh"

Alliandre "Double Duh"

Meanwhile.... back at the Palace

Perrin "What do you mean 'Rand is not here'?"

Random Named Maiden "The Car'acarn comes and goes as he pleases. Us, it pleases not."

Perrin "Huh, well I need to see him so we will hang out here until he comes back."

Massema "You said we were going to bathe in the light of his glorious self the Lord Dragon. I will not hang around in this decadant palace when there are small, decent villages that are still not poor enough for everyone to be equal."

Perrin "The Lord Dragon (yay me for remembering) will not be pleased to find out that you would not wait for him."

Massema "UGH, fine, Whateves. I am hanging out in the servants quarters though and you can't make me stay anywhere nicer."

Perrin "You can stay in the stable for all I care just as long as you stay."

Massema "Hmmmmm.... the stable you say."

Random Groom "crap".

Meanwhile.... back at the camp.

Faile "Where is my husband, your Lord, the Ta'veren who binds the myth of Manatheran to the heart and land."

Balwer "From the information I was able to gather it seems that he has Traveled with Massema to Cairhien where he will wait until the Lord Dragon returns because he is not there this week."

Faile "you are good."

Balwer "twarnt nothin'."

Faile "Well now that my husband is not here I will have to rebuild this broken land with the help of my super awesome girl squad."

Alliandre "Like me?"

Berilain "and me?"

Maighin (Morgase) "and me?"

Lini "Hush" (smack)

Faile "Maighin, is there something you need to tell me."

Maighin "uh, no" (failing at meekness)

Faile "are you sure, surely sure, double super absolutly sure, the surest sure that ever sured on the shores of the surely sea of most assuredness?"

Maighin "GAH, fine, stop talking. I am really Queen Morgase of Andor formerly prisoner of the Children of the Light and recently abdicated to clear the way for my daughter Elayne Trakand to become Queen if Eliada ever tells anyone where she is."

Everyone (blinks) "whaaaaaaaa..."

Faile "Interesting. Well, thank you for being honest with me but I really wanted to know if you are going to marry this Tallenvor guy.


Lini "did someone take away your football?"

Everyone "Huh?"

Lini "never mind."

Faile "That does not change anything really. Lets roll up our gown sleeves and get to work rebuilding this land torn apart by chaos and havoc."

Everyone "YAY!"

Meanwhile.... back at Rabble HQ

Lead Thug "Massema has gone to see the Lord Dragon. We have been told to wait until he gets back."

Second Thug "Can we keep cleansing the land in the name of the Lord Dragon?"

Lead Thug "I do not see why not."

Third Thug "Who died and made you the Prophet of the Lord Dragon? I think we should stay here and not "cleanse" for a while. It is tiring."

Lead Thug "wimp"

Third Thug "I am going my own way and any one who wants to join me can!"

Second Thug "I am going MY own way and any one who wants to join me should!"

Lead Thug "I am going the ONLY way and any one who follows me will not die!"

Rabble "robble robble?"

Demandred "Hold up folks, I am Deman...Cough, ahem I am Joe Notforsaken and I hear you need a charasmatic leader to guide you in this time of crisis."

Lead Thug "Why should we follow you?"

Demandred (compulse) Because.

Lead, Second and Third Thug in unison "Sounds good to me, Boss."

Demandred "Ok boys and girls... here is the plan..."

(whisper whisper whisper) What, like Jordan would tell you outright what Demandreds plans are? You are lucky he shows up at all.

Well, I have to get out of the office and do some work so I will catch up the rest of the story "fix" in a bit.
John Massey
188. subwoofer
Hello folks, I'm back in the fold... for a bit. Got much catching up to do on the homestead but I see we have all been busy beaver/beibers here.

LTF- interesting- I still say Perrin shoulda punted buddy's butt through a random gateway... not necessarily opening up at any castle... perhaps a cliff face or just in the middle of the ocean. Mind you, unlike Perrin, my ethical code is fairly flexible.

Faile getting captured... clearly last place in the RLAB triathlon. I have always maintained that those divided skirts are useless. Ask Min. I am of the belief that flip-flops are useless too. Sure they keep your feet cool. But you are fodder for whomever chases you. Same for high-heels. A whole scene in Romancing the Stone was dedicated to it. There is something to be said about being prepared. You don't get captured, stripped buck neckked, and dragged through the tundra for starters.

Jerry Blair
189. Linekat62
"Suravye ninto maivshima Taishite"* In a byegone century I came across a book in the supermaket stand with a blue cover while looking for something new to read. Winter’s Heart was my introduction to WOT. After that I was hooked and that 1st year I read every book in the series I could no particular order, most from the local library. Now I'm currently 100 pages into The Great Hunt for the 6th-7th time. Enjoy your holiday Leigh, I hope to go fishing (free fishing day in Calif on the 4th). Enjoying the rereads.
*Peace favor your Sword
John Massey
190. subwoofer
... About those shoes- Nynaeve was of the same mind too. At least, until she got wrapped up in Lan's eyebrows... then it was all cleavage this, and silky lace frilliness that. Before the Lan schism it was all about the stout shoes and good woolens. Sensible, that Ny was back when. Now her flare for fabric makes me wanna go tug her braid.

191. Demira

BRAVO!! I just now got a chance to look at the post and it seemed just about every comment was negative about this book til yours. I couldn't say it any better.

Loved your comment too!
Noneo Yourbusiness
192. Longtimefan
Hello everybody. Just came back to finish up the "fan" version of Perrin's storyline to show how it would not be as good as the current yet much less pleasant storyline we all know and love.

In the interest of brevity I am going to just zip through the highlights. (that and I am feeling more lazy than funny right now)

So Faile and her squad of former ruling women get the remaining retainers and warriors and wise ones together and start working on rebuilding the towns the Prophets men had ravaged.

Demandred encourages the remaining rabble to organize and burn a swath of destruction towards the Shiado in their new town of Malden. Most of the rabble are killed and some of the Shaido but they grow arrogant in their victory against such a large force of Wetlanders.

Demandred then finds the Seanchan and tells them of a great cache of marath'damane which they just have to defeat some savages to get at.

Why does Demandred do this? To mess with Sammael's plan for chaos and because it makes the storyline avoid Faile being kidnapped but still causes the elimination of the Prophets rabble, the breaking of the Shaido and the leashing of the wise ones who can channel.

There as still some Galina and Thevara chapters but not as many because Faile is not involved in the escape plan or the search for the oath rod.

The Seanchan still put forkroot in the cistern giving the prerequisite culture building chapters and character development to show that the Seanchan are people not just invaders and slavers.

While the two groups are occupied with the Shaido Faile and her liege ladies strengthen the broken land and Morgase marries Tallanvor and Berilain falls for Rolan who is dressed in gai'shain white.

Perrin and the Massema meet Rand as he randomly pops into Cairhien before going to cleanse Saidin. Massema is made of crazy. Rand has no time for this. He leaves and Cadsuane poisons Massema before she takes off to have Alanna find Rand.

Perrin goes back to find Faile. Realizes that she has increased his land holding and responsibility. Pouts all day over this and spends his time reassuring his people by traveling from town to town and communicating with wolves in the wide spaces between towns to learn what his talent really means.

Blah blah blah, Perrin shows up in a brief vision in The Gathering Storm and we are all up to date.

This is a much less angsty plotline but also less realistic and not really getting Perrin where he needs to be with throwing the Axe away or realizing that he cannot be so single minded.

The plot line of doom may not be pleasant to read but the path to war rarely is.

(There was that one time with the Thirty Years Pillow Fight but it was not as bikini clad or as blond as the history books would have you believe.)
Leigh Butler
193. leighdb
MasterAlThor @61:

With the series slated to be done by the end of next year, will you be caught up with the reread by then?

I have absolutely no idea. I figure, we get there when we get there.
Thomas Keith
194. insectoid
LTF @187/192: ROFL!! You're too much! ;D

Leigh @193: ::waves::

Tricia Irish
195. Tektonica
You know, these are RJ's books. He wrote them as he wrote them....And probably for good reasons, yet to be realized completely.

That said, even he acknowledged that some of the timing was experimental and he wasn't completely satisfied with the results. If he'd had the time, after the series was completed, perhaps he would have done a "revised" edition, as
Stephen King did with The Stand? Alas, we'll never know.

Of course there were reasons Perrin and Faile had to go through what they did with the Shaido....reasons Masema has to run amok for a few books....reasons Rand had to run away.....reasons the Maidens have distanced themselves from him a bit.....reasons Elayne has to earn the throne on her own terms......some of which we have sussed out already, some yet to be explained fully.

I just hope that we continue to question and wonder and offer different possible solutions and scenarios....even though they have no hope of every being realized, because each of these "musings" enhances our understanding of what has happened and why. Please, let's not quash objection and hypothosis.

We all obviously love these books, admire RJ immensely, and are fascinated by the many aspects of the characters and interactions, philosophies and mythologies that are represented here. Certainly no disrespect is intended when we complain and whine and offer simpler solutions. RJ wasn't perfect! Close, but no cigar.
Noneo Yourbusiness
196. Longtimefan
Tektonica brings up a good point.

There are no cigars in the Westlands. Tobacco yes. Pipes yes. Cigars not so much.

Now I am not certain how tobacco products evolved over time but since cigars are just tobacco leaves dried and rolled into a portable, smokeable shape I would suspect that they may have been available to the earliest of smokers.

Is this some anti-cigar policy, perhaps an anti-cuban ne communist stance? Maybe a anti-Freudian ne psychiatric subtext?

How can a cigar sometimes just be a cigar if there are no cigars in the first place?

Inquiring, cigar smoking minds want to know!

I assume. I really do not care too much and I do not smoke.

Tricia Irish
197. Tektonica

That's why my husband refuses to read WOT....cigar discrimination. Phaw. Pipes, check. Cigarettes, no clue. But cigars are never ever mentioned. ;-)
Julian Augustus
198. Alisonwonderland
Tektonica @195:
I just hope that we continue to question and wonder and offer different possible solutions and scenarios....even though they have no hope of every being realized, because each of these "musings" enhances our understanding of what has happened and why. Please, let's not quash objection and hypothesis.

Well said. What I have a problem with, and what Wetlander was defending against, I think, is the notion that Jordan wrote the story this way SOLELY to pad the story and stretch it out. You can see several instances in this thread alone where a poster INSISTS that Jordan could have cut out a lot of this book (and the follow-ups in the next three books) if only a character had done something "obvious" and different, and wouldn't agree that the character's choices in the story were internally consistent.

I don't disagree that some of the scenes in this book are painful to read (tPoD happens to be my least favourite WoT book as well), and some of the descriptions of Perrin's single-mindedness in putting Faile above all else gets wearying in the next few books, but to claim that the author's sole reason in writing things that way is the rather base motive of padding out the book (and, by implication, making more money) is taking things a bit too far, in my opinion.
Brandon Wood
199. brad21088
@155 (my short-term memory sucks, apparently, because I can't remember your handle, just the comment number, and I'm too lazy to scroll back up to look, so you're 155... haha): I get what you're saying and while I'm definitely an objectivist (so I definitely believe in "Truth," even though defining truth in the first place can be a philosophical puzzle) I'm more commenting on how the word 'logic' is used in the books. I'm fine with characters expressing opinions and coming to conclusions based on what's going on around them, but it's nothing at all like formal logic; nothing at all like the way you'd see people "doing logic" spoken of in the sorts of settings you see it spoken of in the books. There are no syllogisms, sorites, blah blah blah, and that's all well and good (as much as the nerd in me loved my logic class, I don't want to see "the obverse of the converse of a blah blah blah, I'm already bored, you know what I'm talking about" in the books!), it's just struck me as kind of odd. But yeah, I really did enjoy when that scene with the White Ajah. I know at least one of my philosophy professors would definitely have been right there with them: the world slowly unraveling around him, and he arguing which formula to use to determine how rapidly the world really is unraveling! :P It's even more odd that Jordan got that scene so very right, but somewhat misused the word (or used it in its more colloquial sense) elsewhere with the White Ajah (e.g., the dinner scene where Egwene tells Elaida sarcastically that her "logic is astounding"). But, meh. Not really a big deal. I just didn't find much else all that interesting in these chapters that other people hadn't already touched on.
Tricia Irish
201. Tektonica

I would never accuse RJ of "padding" his books intentionally! This is a very moral man we are speaking of. I can't even conceive of him doing that.

I think he tried some experiments with the timeline, and he might have gotten caught up in an extra bit of description. ;-) Perhaps he was a bit fussed as to how to portray a certain lesson learned...I don't know. I don't even think that his portrayals are inconsistent with his characters personalities. I do think some of the life lessons are repetitive, ie: Perrin keeps relearning things he should've gotten in the Two River, and I think the pacing suffers from too much description of minutia. But who knows if something about those descriptions will become important later? Do I think things could've been edited and still been excellent, yes. Could characters have made different choices and been true to their personalites, probably.

Reading a well composed sentence is always a pleasure and from that standpoint, I have no quibbles at all with RJ. But personally, I just wish things moved a little faster, plot-wise. There are a few very irritating characters, ie: Masema, Sevanna, Therava, well, all the Shaido, Berelain, etc. etc....that I could've used less of.
Heidi Byrd
202. sweetlilflower
@ brad21088
Yeah, I get what you're saying. There is definitely not enough symbolic logic in this series. :) Although, the word logic comes from the Greek root of logos, which just means "word, speech, account, or reason" according to Wikipedia. Yes, we tend to think of it as a formal reasoning out of ideas, but in reality, it just means how someone comes to believe what he/she believes. And, one of the greatest things about human beings is the ability to hold contrasting ideas simultaneously, but believe that both are absolutely true!
I, also, had many professors who would have fit right in with the WA argument.

@LTF You glory hound!

To all of my fellow Americans, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! Let us all remember what today is really about and not pay attention to the little subwoofer voice in our heads saying, "cook-outs, fireworks, lots of beer..." (j/k I love sub's cheeky comments- I still can't picture the Bowl of Winds w/o laughing)
Tricia Irish
203. Tektonica
Happy Independence Day to all. A wonderful birthday celebration for a grand and highly successful experiment. Here's to many many more centuries of American birthdays!

Sub: The Bowl of the Winds will be making a ritual appearance during cocktails at our house, complete with Seven Layer Dip. Thank you for that vision.
Bonnie Andrews
204. misfortuona
So I've finally caught up on the re-read. Way more interesting than I feared it would be. Thank you Leigh!

So I am sure that some of you who do not frequent the same pubs as I do, *Waves at those of you who do. You know who you are :D*, might have thought that I've deserted you. More will simply have either not noticed, or cared, since there have been so many interesting and humorous ramblings that how could you Mis one little poster.

I am not gone, but simply have been caught up in life, and uninstalling the swimming pool that nature has seen fit to gift me in my basement. Thank You Gaia!

Just a few notes, none WOT related really, so those of you who would rather stay on topic can simply scroll down.

First Longtimefan, good heaven's man, I barely managed to recover from one of your posts and along came another. Excellent work and like so many others, my sides hurt.

Sub, you're always a bright spot on the thread and it's good to see that the link fairy still smiles upon us.

I've noted that certain posters seem to be padding thier numbers before Bigit's end of book summary. Yes Tek, I'm looking at you. ;P

And finally Wetlander good heavens, don't your fingers hurt? Walloftextnw for sure.

Well thats about it. I came, I read, I posted. Now it's back to the bucket brigade.

Mis-wishing everyone south of the 49th a Safe and Happy Independence Day.
Thomas Keith
205. insectoid
Since I won't be around for most of the day (I'm the cameraman for my dad as Uncle Sam at our local 4th festival), I'll say it now:

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle, do or die;
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam's,
Born on the Fourth of July.
I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart,
She's my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee Doodle came to London, just to ride the ponies;
I am the Yankee Doodle Boy.

Happy 4th to all Americans, and a pleasant Sunday to everyone else! ;)

Maiane Bakroeva
206. Isilel
Tectonica @201:

Ditto. Nobody here says that the bloat (IMHO) happened for mercenary reasons. Unfortunately, it is something that often happens to writers when they become popular enough to be free from the constraints of being concise.

I also feel that most of the main characters being moved into similar roles - rulers, and facing similar problems - the boys of struggling with responsibility that gets foisted on them, the girls of struggling to be taken seriously and be given responsibility, produced a lot of unavoidable repetition.

The early books, where the roles where far more distinct and several main characters were attached to a single plot-line with a lot of important things happening, did not face this problem. Characters that didn't have anything important to do, could at least witness others doing it. But now nearly all of them need to be provided with separate content. Similarities of their positions and challenges render this content pretty repetitive on the whole, IMHO.

Which is a particular pity because there is a lot of momentous stuff for them to do.
Imagine, if instead of what he was doing, Perrin really went into T'AR usage. He may have even discovered who was screwing with Masema or defeated some evil-doers there. Wouldn't it be refreshing to see another TRler and a non-channeling one at that, take out a FS? Rand offing them with balefire has gotten pretty dull. Or maybe Perrin could have discovered some hint about the sealing of the bore.

Oh, and BTW, the fact that Perrin was ready to put Faile over everything was conveyed very well in ACOS when they were returning to Cahirien from Dumai Wells. YMMV.

Happy 4th July to everybody whom it may concern!
Tricia Irish
207. Tektonica

Some one has to pick up the slack when certain others are busy bailing. Come back here and pick up the slack, will you!
Dorothy Johnston
208. CloudMist
Since we don't get a new post until Friday, I thought I'd pass on a few musings on how Egwene will prepare the WT for Tarmon Gaidon and, assuming the good guys win, how she might re-negotiate the Bargain with the Sea Folk.

To begin with, I see Brown sisters being told to search out just how the WT handled accelerated promotions during the Trolloc Wars, if only to shut up traditionalists who'll complain "that you just can't rush training, no matter if Tarmon Gaidon is just over the horizon." A lot of the Salidar novices such as Sharina Malloy and Bode Cauthon, and in particular, any that originally studied at Tar Varlon, will be put thru the Accepted test as soon as possible. Anyone who led a novice circle during the Seanchan attack would also be candidates for quick promotion. Current Accepted will similarly be placed on a fast track to be raised Aes Sedai.

As regards negotiating a new Bargain with the Sea Folk, Egwene will have several advantages. First, even excluding what the Aiel have at Rhuidean (which will require an entirely separate Bargain with them), Egwene will have a measure of control over three large collections of *greal: the WT's own collection (including what Elayne has in Caemlyn); what Moiraine brought out of Rhuidean (currently stored in a warded warehouse in Cairhien), and the Great Holding at Tear. Right now, the Sea Folk apparently have one ter'angreal, the Bowl Of The Winds.

Secondly, Egwene is close friends with Aviendha, an Aiel WO who has a Talent for "reading" *greal. Although she'll be busy raising Rand's kids, Aviendha won't mind helping her near sister in such an important matter. Knowledge is always power. And finally, thanks to Elayne, the Aes Sedai are
currently the only ones who know how to make *greal. I think I'd pay to watch those negotiations. :)
diane heath
209. jadelollipop
Happy Fourth of July :)....My husband and I were watching an episode of Engineering an Empire this am on our DVR. The library of Alexandria was mentioned esp in that the technology was discovered (steam engine for one) but not used because the use of slaves in Egypt made steam less economically attractive.
Is it a sign that I am too WOT oriented that I thought of Rand and Carhein in place of Ptolemy I and Alexandria. The lighthouse was just one example given
a a-p
210. lostinshadow
@208 - regardless of her apparently strong bargaining position I think Egwene might suffer against the Sea Folk unless she starts listening to Siuan again. Or maybe there will be yet another bargaining embarrassment, perhaps as a "gentle" reminder to Egwene that she doesn't know everything there is to know just because she can withstand some serious pain.

Oh and maybe before anything else, she and her fellow quasi AS should take the test for becoming AS. I have a hard time believing that those 100 weaves are as useless as they appear considering how RJ made such an effort to bring out a prequel detailing the test before finishing the main series. Considering all the planning done for this story, I can't believe that the knowledge of those weaves wouldn't play some kind of role.

Anyways, happy 4th of July to all!!! :::confetti & fireworks:::
Jay Dauro
211. J.Dauro
I think Egwene needs an Ambassador to the Sea Folk, to handle the bargaining. And she should not use an Aes Sedai, since the Sea Folk have been seen to have little respect for Aes Sedai.

If Egwene was to ask very nicely, maybe she could have a member of Royalty negotiate for her. Say maybe, the Prince of the Ravens?

Mat already has experience. He has the medallion. And the Sea Folk owe him big time!
Max Espensen
212. Andvari
Going way back to Fell Knight@38 about Leigh's 2nd fave scene (as we have no new post to digest). I'm going to guess it's the bit in the Prologue, where Elayne/Aviendha have the first sister ceremony, as it reminds me somewhat of the Mat/Birgitte scene that she already told us was her favourite. I like both scenes a lot, though wouldn't rank them as highly, and they have a lot in common. Both involve major realisations from two characters about themselves and each other and a bond is formed between them, and they view themselves and each other differently and closer as a result.

I guess it'll be in the first post so we'll soon know if my guess is correct!
Valentin M
213. ValMar
A bit late but Happy Independence Day for the US folks!
The lack of posts I guess shows how uninspiring tPoD is compared to the rest.
John Massey
214. subwoofer


Moi? Cheeky?

Perish the thought. Nothing but purity and Light from this keyboard.

... So speaking of topless women i.e. I think it was Sulin and a bunch who were without apparel come the Elayne and Aviendha slapfest- ahem, anyways yes RJ did write some unique situations/ rites of passage where the ladies seem to be missing parts of their wardrobe.

The guys are topless in their own way, Gawyne(argh!) and Galad and a bunch are always shirtless in the practice yard when going through the forms for swords. Same for Lan, IIRC there was a bit about the scars and chest hair that I remember in passing.

I know we have not been privy to any situation where the men really have a need to prance around neckked or snap each other on the tush with a wet towel, but I am sure if the situation was there, RJ woulda mentioned it. Rand does need to invest some time with the Black Tower and bond them to him and his fight as opposed to whatshisnut taking a strong resource away from Rand.

As for the female nudity, for the most part I am okay with it as long as they don't abandon sensible shoes. It would really suck to be chased neckked and bare footed. I don't think everything was paved the way it is nowadays.

Barry T
215. blindillusion
Happy 4th of July to all us Americans, and a merry July 4 to all others.

Who wants steak, to be followed by homemade Milky Way icecream. Oh yeah, and fireworks....
John Massey
216. subwoofer
Oh yeah, and happy Independence Day to the folks down south. Went out to the cottage to do some boating with my family for our long weekend so it cut down on my chattiness. No signal out there and when it beautiful country, why would I want to bugger around on a computer when I am surrounded by the wonders of Nature?

As for frequency of posting, for me it is no biggie. If I have something to say, I say it. If I have stuff going on in my life, I deal.

Eggy and Seafolk. Well... you can't be everything to everyone and it takes a skilled hand to haggle/bargain. Egwene has a whole Ajah devoted to bargaining and diplomacy, put them to work. Matty Mat Mat has also hinted to Ny and Co that if they have any other bargains to make, ask him. That may have been a hint or foreshadowing of Mat using his ta'vereness as JD has also mentioned.

@Blind- I'm game for a steak - edit- and speaking of gassy- two things- never give your dogs spicy sausage for a snack and try to eat a well balanced diet when going out to events/ bar-b-ques/ camping etc. All meat and nothing else makes Sub a methane factory:(

217. hzfreelancer
Hey all,

First posting but been reading since tEotW.

I generally don't read through all the comments so sorry if this has been covered before but something struck me.

So as we all know the Faile/Berelain/Perrin semi-triangle of love starts in LoC around about there ---> http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/10/the-wheel-of-time-re-read-lord-of-chaos-part-28

And it struck me the Perrin is yelling at the worng woman. Faile wants to be "yelled at" as Elyas put it to be reassured that Perrin thinks that she is not weak. Perrin treats her like a any decent man would treat his wife (which insults Faile because it says to her that he thinks that she is weak) and yells at Berelain (which says to Faile that Berelain is strong(er than her)). Hence the irrational Faile is always smelling angry.

Mind you, I still think Perrin is stuck. What do you do with a woman like Berelian. Ignore her and yell at your wife? No wonder he is confused.
John Massey
218. subwoofer
What should Perrin do vis-à-vis his lady dilemma? When Berelain pulls her stuff- pay attention. Much like when the gaisha-thingamabooblers were without white, Perrin kept on blushing and looking away while others were openly looking. If Perrin actually paid Berelain some attention instead of all the running, hiding and constant blushing it would be a non-starter. Kinda like the wide path Berelain steers from Mat. Mat pays attention to Berelain- which pushes B away.

Oh- and welcome on board, unique handle and all:)

Noneo Yourbusiness
219. Longtimefan
@ Subwoofer

Re: Male Dudeity.

I think there is a bath scene in Fal Dara where Rand is experiencing the community bathing and he is uncomfortably nude. Granted there was no prancing or towel snapping like there is during the female ceremonies when they are nude.

In the first three books I think the guys have what could be considered "everyday" scenes where they are unclothed because of bathing or dressing but later they are just dressed or clean (or dirty) on screen.

Well except for the "bare bottomcheeks" scene after the attack by Mordeth at the Haddon Mirk Social.

This is all from memory.

I am certain someone will correct me if I have mistyped. Indeed I have come to depend on it.

Such is the relationship with a community.

220. Freelancer
Happy Independence Day to all who love liberty.


Well, Leigh has polished off 8 books in just under 18 months, including those with the most detail to consider. I feel confident that large portions of Winter's Heart, Crossroads of Twilight and Knife of Dreams will be hard pressed to inspire her commentary, so there's a chance those will go quicker than many others. Even with the expected hiatus for the Towers of Midnight release, it's quite possible that we could be through that volume by the time the final segment is published.

Then again, what Leigh said @193.
Heidi Byrd
221. sweetlilflower
Really? I get a chance to correct Freelancer's grammar? I shall cherish this moment forever. I will hug it, and pet it, and squeeze it, and keep it for my very own :)

",so there's a chance those will go quicker"

should be:
",so there's a chance those will go more quickly"

I couldn't help it; misuse of adjectives and adverbs is my pet-peeve, although it is probably the most common grammar mistake.
Max Espensen
222. Andvari
Re: male nudity

From memory, sketchy on the details: Doesn't someone (Perrin I believe) have some sort of vision about Mat being bound and naked? I wonder if that'll come to pass? I hope it wasn't just metaphorical. Something about submitting to the Seanchan or the A/Eelfinn, or maybe Tuon's just into a bit of dungeon fun.
223. Freelancer

Don't forget to name it George.
Tricia Irish
225. Tektonica
Good Morning All.

Sub@218: ::waves:: Nice to have you back and Linking! Good one!

Sweetlilflower@221: LOL. You are a brave woman. Cherish George.

BTW: Tour de France on Versus, everyday for the rest of July! Good timing with these next books!
Tricia Irish
226. Tektonica
Someone just sent me this. It has nothing to do with the WOT, but it's amazing.
Maybe there is magic?


Edit to add:
We have a new poster, Derek.barolet, over at Fires of Heaven, Part 23, post #548 and 550. He's an active military guy with some interesting insights into the Two River Boys chivalric attitudes. I thought I'd mention it for the military guys here.

::knocks on Bunker door:: Hello? Hello?
Tess Laird
227. thewindrose
Arrggggg. Who is pounding on the door? Go away -we don't want any.
Oh, Hi Tek. Come on in, but be quiet - most of us are sleeping after a very busy weekend:)


ps to my kids - I am not the Mom you are looking for. Move along, move along.
Brandon D
228. Ishmayl
Slightly off-topic (if there is any sort of topic being discussed currently) - Is there any word on when Leigh plans on rereading New Spring? I think, by order of release, it should be next, right?
Alice Arneson
229. Wetlandernw
Ishamyl - I believe she's doing them in publication order, which would mean New Spring will be after Crossroads of Twilight.
Tricia Irish
230. Tektonica
Since I seem to be the only one around here today....and I am not trying to pad my numbers, Mis, I just need a break from cleaning closets....I thought I'd mention that Terez has a new theory over at Theoryland about Sorelia as a DF. She's collected all the relevant quotes and her povs in one place .

Since we're at the end of the PoD and it's sooooo quiet this week, if anyone wanted to talk off topic, we could start here....thanks Terez!

I had discounted Sorelia as a DF, but Terez makes a strong case. Sorelia certainly isn't very likeable by anyone, Aiel or otherwise. At best her scenes and POVs are highly ambiguous....as are Cadsuane's, IMHO. (But, if Sorelia is a DF, chances are that Cads is definitely not.

For me, her most persuasive argument was the scene in tGS where Sorelia asks to see the male a'dam. Cads takes her and Bera? (who can't channel) into her room and "unweaves" the traps she has around her box holding the A'dam. We know that Sorelia can channel weakly, but she can learn weaves, as she did with Traveling. The very next day Rand is captured with the A'dam by Semi. Shaidar Haran couldn't know weaves for Saidar. Someone had to show Elza the weave. Sorelia is the logical culprit.....the only one who actually saw Cads do the weave. Dun Dun Dun.

On another note: This is part of one of the quotes from tGS....one I"ve been wondering about....

"Stored elsewhere," Cadsuane said, shutting the lid. "Along with the female a'dam we took. Some acquaintances of mine–Aes Sedai who have retired from the world–are testing them trying to discover their weakness." They also had Callandor. Cadsuane was loath to let it out of her sight, but she felt that the sword still held secrets that could be teased out.

Who are these AS who have "retired from the world" and are "testing" Callandor? The only "retirees" we've met are Adelas and her sister (forgot her name), one of whom is deceased, the other one will be shortly, and they no longer appear to be retired. Is she referring to AS we have not met? Is this a ruse? Where is Callandor? Rand's going to need it soon!

::Tiptoes out of the Bunker, so as not wake Wind.....::
Nice your Star wars reference.
Noneo Yourbusiness
231. Longtimefan
@ 230 Tektonica

Adeleas and Vandene.

Now I will go cry. :(

Although there are many other "away from the Tower" sisters be they working or retired: about a third so three hundredish. Romanda was retired as was Cadsuane so there are probably another 50 or so retired Aes Sedai around the Westlands.

They may be in Ghealden though since that is where Cadsuane had retired to and her acquaintances would most likely be within a few days ride since the telephone is unknown to the Westlands and it is possible but unlikely that they would have pigeon cotes to correspond with each other if they were just acquaintances.

The difficulty of that mystery is that there is so little to work with that it is not something the readership can find strong clues towards and just have to read along until it is revealed.

Unless these retired sisters also killed Asmodean. Then it should be totally obvious. :)

Hope everyone is having a nice day sleeping in if you are in America and having a nice summer day if not.

The other great American holiday tradition. (any holiday) is the post holiday shopping.

Off to Ikea for post-Nationalist international discount shopping!
Tricia Irish
233. Tektonica
Right you are Wetlander.

Thank you longtimefan for the Vandene name. My brain name drop out rate is considerable.

It is frustrating that there is so little to go on in the Callandor search...BWS/RJ just kind of drops that it's away "somewhere" and then no more mention. I wonder if it will become an issue, or is unimportant. Perhaps now that Rand has had his moment of insight on Dragonmount, Cads will give it back to him. I hope she isn't trying to keep it away from him. And I hope whoever she gave it to isn't a closet Dark Friend.
234. Freelancer
Haven't bopped over to Theoryland to read Terez' always astute arguments, so she may have an answer to this one. If Sorilea is a DF, and she doesn't know that Cadsuane is as well, why would she give Traveling to Cadsuane?

From the November 15 signing:
Q. How did Elza defeat the wards on Cadsuane's plain wooden box?

BWS. Elza had been given knowledge of several rarely known weaves, and in other ways made into a tool of Shaidar Haran. Not all of it was pleasant for her.
Not a word about Sorilea, not a RAFO to suggest that more was involved which had not been asked about. This very rare direct and edifying answer strongly suggests that only Shaidar Haran had an input to Elza's ability to detect/read/defeat Cadsuane's traps. Now, Sorilea could still have been the one to impart the information about the location of the male a'dam.
235. Freelancer

The train wreck which has been the Tour so far had better smooth out soon, or the few guys left riding will be awfully lonely in the Pyrenees. Not to mention it will qualify to feature on Whacked Out Sports.

(sweetlilflower@221: Bold letters above just for you)
John Massey
236. subwoofer
@Tek- I was trying to answer the door but I was stuck er... doing research( 'k, a polite way of saying I was ensconced on the throne). So anyways Aiel as DFs. I have a problem with that. How does it fit with the whole ji'e'toh thingamy. Aiel are supposed to live by that code down to their toenails. As far as I can figure out, the lure of the dark side is either a fear of the grave/ lust for eternal life, or a thirst for power.

Now, I don't rightly know Sorilea's age, it's not polite and all, but from all descriptions, she looks older than dirt, but still full of piss and vinegar. Sorilea may not be as old as Cranky Pants, who is older than dirt, but still, if you want to recapture your youth, why not do it when you are young. It would remind me of Michelle Pfeiffer in Stardust, where gravity is really not her friend.

The Tour. Heh. I am old school enough to still shout out "Roadie!" when I bomb down the highways and I see one or a bunch spinning their Bianchi greens on a monotonous stretch of road. I am a mountain biker born and bred, but hey, whatever floats your boat. As long as everyone passes the drug tests this goabout, it is all good.

Tricia Irish
237. Tektonica

Train wreck indeed. A strong statement from Cancellara holding the pelaton back at the end in protest of the race setup/conditions. The descent on the 2nd climb looked like a cowpath. What is the purpose of those conditions? And cobbles tomorrow? In rain, most likely. Aren't we in the 21 cent. now with a completely different kind of race and different equipment?

As Levi stated, "I don't understand it, unless they want to see us bleed." A nasty two days of racing and a sad ending....for the competitors and the fans at the finish line.

Edit: I'm a mountain biker too, Sub, but I love to watch this race! I'm addicted to it!(I'm also not a very good mountain biker, being a flatlander and all.)
John Massey
238. subwoofer
@Tek- don't get me wrong- I watch the Tour too, because I get it. To go as fast as they do, for as long as they do, for as many days as they do- against crazy head winds, really steep climbs, and bombing down mountains, heck, they have my respect. The weekend warriors that do it baffle me, unless they have headsets or enjoy looking at each other's behinds... meh, whatever floats their boats. Drafting is a team concept, it makes for interesting conversation tactics. And I am partially deaf so it never caught on with me.

239. Ouroboros
Whew, that's what happens when you go away for a week. 230 posts. MEH! Since I'm so far behind I'll just jump in at the end. Oh, except to say that RJ isn't padding. He just gets carried away with the little things, though I must admit that I was ccasionally surprised at just how little. For the record, I prefer books 1-5, but I enjoy them all. In any case, padding is good because it makes the headdesking safer.

CloudMist @ 208

The Stone is under Rand's control, so Egwene will probably need to negotiate with him for the ter'angreal first, unless King what's his name goes under the table with her - so to speak. And IIRC Rand is keeping the stuff in Cairhien. So, I'm not sure what advantage those stashes will be to her. Personally, I think it would be rather fun if Rand has to help Egwene bail the Sea folk out of the Tar Valon boat.


Congratulations! You have your very own grammargotchi. Don't forget to feed it.

Freelancer, are you being served? :)

Tektonica @ 225

Tour de France? Now that is a never ending cycle!

Tektonica @ 230

I'm already on record as saying that Sorilea is suspect.

Longtimefan @ 231

Yep, that's what we need, the Aes Sedai retirement home, just like that one in the Simpsons. Spin-off?

Freelancer @ 234

Haven't read the article either. Off the bat, she sees immediately that Cadsuane is the best chance of keeping up with Rand's appearances and that she is a real threat to team dark. By giving her the Traveling stitches she can get closer to Cadsuane and both keep tabs on, and if necessary, derail her plans. That's if she's a DF, of course.

The other interesting point is her reaction to Rand's capture.

Even Sorilea’s cackle was leathery. “Do not fear the Aes Sedai, treekiller.” Suddenly, shockingly, a tiny flame danced in the air before her. She could channel!

She let the flame vanish as they began planning, but it remained in Perrin’s thoughts. Small, flickering weakly, somehow it had seemed a declaration of war stronger than trumpets, war to the knife.

This good just be that she is really hacked off with the AS and spoiling for a fight. OTOH, it could be that she is deliberately trying to stir up the ants. After all, the whole point of the book is that the Lord of Chaos is trying to sew, well, chaos. Specifically, she could be trying to make sure that the Aiel and AS will not cooperate, not for all the dresses in Caemlyn.

subwoofer @ 236

We've already seen one Aiel DF, Melindhra, who tried to kill Mat in TFoH, so there's definitely precedence. Also, some DFs joined for reasons that weren't quite so selfish, Ingtar, for instance.

Sorilea’s age is also interesting. Cadsuane thinks that Sorilea may be as old as she is, but she's extremely week in the power. So the question is, does Sorilea’s not having sworn the oaths mean that she could live to be as old as Cadsuane? Or does it mean that she's been given a little favour from the Lord of the Gravy Boat?
240. Freelancer
Cancellara had another motive, and took advantage of the opportunity which the "political statement" of shutting down the peleton presented. The Schleck brothers would never have caught up if the main pack was chasing down Chavanel, probably losing 2 or more minutes to the other contenders.

As for course setup, I have two seemingly opposing opinions. I'm all for prepping sprint finish zones with as much smooth, wide straightaway as possible, to minimize the random crashes of the sprint bedlam, often ending riders' chances to win, or even to finish.

On the other hand, out on the open road, I believe in having a full variety of surfaces. Otherwise, just hold a set of team pursuit races in a nice smooth velodrome. Each rider knows what he can and cannot do, and should handle the situation accordingly. Storming down a wet, narrow, roughly-paved descent is a big risk. Tour racers know it, and they choose.

~ A dedicated roadie
Tricia Irish
241. Tektonica

Of course Cancellara wanted his teams big GC contenders to catch back up...along with many of the other big GC guys, ie: Lance, Contador, etc.

I just don't think having roads so narrow, so early in the competition, on a not otherwise particularly technical or challenging segment serves the Tour in general. They run the risk of losing too many athletes to injury from jostling in the squeeze zones, crashes or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It would make a very different Tour if the great GC guys were out of it. I guess poor Vandevelde is out....bad luck again this year.

I see you Ouroboros. I hope your being away was fun and sunny! Check out Terez at theoryland....your Sorelia is a DF vote early in the thread was duly noted.
Ellie Angel
242. Ellie_Angel
The thing that surprised me most about Path of Daggers is just how deeply upsetting Morr's death is. I must have blocked it out--I didn't remember it happening at all.

I don't think of Robert Jordan as a writer whose work evokes a lot of emotion in me (Le Guin and Kay more often come to mind, among others), but it really hit me a) how bad a death it is, b) how much it sucks for Min and c) how incredibly bad it is for Rand as the person responsible in so many ways. I think his kindness makes it even harder to read.

I don't count this book among my favourites, but the Bowl of Winds and this scene did a lot to redeem it in my mind.
Jonathan Levy
243. JonathanLevy

My understanding was that Elza released Semirhage with Shadar Haran, and then Semirhage went to get the Domination Band. I assumed that Semirhage would have no trouble seeing through Cadsuane's wards, and unweaving them.

Is there something in the text which I missed which disproves this?

Also, the Sorilea theory would require that Sorilea know that Elza is a DF (not something one can take for granted), and would trust her enough to work with her (ditto). In any case, why wouldn't she release Semirhage herself? Why use Elza?

Maybe I should go read the whole theory first before posting comments... too late though! :)
Maiane Bakroeva
244. Isilel
IMHO, Bair is the darkfriend. She couldn't see the weave, but she could see where the Domination Band was kept as well as could have planted the notion of checking it in the first place. She also may have questioned Sorilea about the protections a bit. It would fit the pattern of DF usually being vizirs and there isn't quite so much stuff that needs to be explained away with her as with Sorilea.

As to why, maybe in a misguided hope to save her people and their way of life from the prophesied destruction? Or maybe as an illustration of dangers of T'AR. How often did we hear that things done there could be more permanent than those in the waking world? If Ishy caught Bair there in the 15+ years since he became active again, he could have turned her in one way or another.
Linda Taglieri
245. Linda
@243 Well, Semirhage didn't get the Domination Band. Elza handed it to her as she told her that she had to undo Elza's Compulsion.

Sorilea is very weak in the Power, probably too weak to handle Cadsuane's ward. But she could show how the ward was made to someone stronger in the Power and they could do it.Cadsuane's wards were inverted, so one would have to have seen how they were woven and dispelled to know how to do so. Sorilea witnessed this.
Jason lockhart, Senior
246. sunsetconductor
Masema Comment - Let me start with Leigh's words:

Masema: Don’t get me wrong, I am totally happy the man gets dead in TGS, but at the same time I do feel that it was a rather pointless and non-arc-finishing way for him to go; far more so than I feel it was for Carridin. I could never stand Masema, but it still feels like a cheat that he never gets to have any real payoff as a character. I really wanted to see him meet Rand again and get the swift knee in the balls (metaphorical even more so than actual) he so richly deserved: to know his own Messiah thought he was a total douchebag. That would have been sweet. Alas, no. Grumble.

I am taking a total guess here. Let us, just for a moment, step out of Randland and return to Earth. We, as readers, do not know for sure. But, my guess is, that James Rigney did not leave copious notes about Masema behind at his passing. We know that he did leave copious notes about most of the characters in the book and maybe Masema was not one of them. Brandon Sanderson, wanting to inject as little of himself into the story as possible may have felt it judicious to just kill off Masema instead of making up a finish to the story line that he was not 100% certain about. After I read TGS, I could easily tell from the writing style what appeared to be Brandon fleshing out the details and what was pure Robert Jordan. I was very pleasantly surprised at the excellent job that Brandon did.

Bottom line, it is my humble opinion, that having nothing further about Masema and his story line to go on, Brandon wrote a quick end to Masema. I don't think he really had a choice other than that.

Again, it is only *MY* speculation and opinion.
Jonathan Levy
247. JonathanLevy

Thanks for the correction about Elza retrieving the band. I did not have the book to hand, and was unable to check it.

Cadsuane's wards were inverted, so one would have to have seen how they were woven and dispelled to know how to do so.

How do we know this to be true? When Rand invaded Illian, he flooded the city with Saidin so as to trigger Sammael's inverted wards. He didn't know where they were, or how they had been woven. Elza might have even triggered the ward deliberately, being ready and able to negate its effects.

Is it really necessary for Elza to have learned the location of the band from Sorilea? She might have been ordered to check Cadsuane's rooms just on the chance that it would be there (a reasonable supposition). Dobraine and Bashere had their rooms ransacked by darkfriends looking for one of the Seals - this wouldn't be that different.

It seems to me that the simplest theory is that Elza was taught a weave which would allow her to detect/unweave an unknown inverted ward, and sent to look for the Domination Band. She looked in Cadsuane's room, and found it.
Jonathan Levy
248. JonathanLevy

Thanks for the Derek.barolet pointer. I popped over to that post to add my 2 cents. Definitely worth my time. Here's the link if anyone else is interested:

Dorothy Johnston
249. CloudMist
Ouroboros, et al.:

Notice I said Egwene had a measure of control over the various hordes; given how Rand seems to feel about the Sea Folk, a united BT/WT front bargaining against the SF should be easy to form. I also did not mean to imply that Egwene herself would be doing the bargaining. It's just that reworking the Supergirls Bargain would be a top priority, post-TG and possessing all those *greal puts the WT in a better position.

Another tactic I've thought of to bring the SF back to the table would be the WT pointing out that they never promised to send their best or most knowledgeable teachers to the SF.
Jonathan Levy
250. JonathanLevy

Another tactic I've thought of to bring the SF back to the table would be the WT pointing out that they never promised to send their best or most knowledgeable teachers to the SF.

A brilliant idea! This needs to be explored more thoroughly.

Egwene could have sent them the Black Ajah members she captured. Surely, being a teacher for the Sea Folk is a fate worse than death, no? Just to be safe, still and heal them a few dozen times so they're terribly weak, plus make them swear 20 or 30 oaths on the oath rod, so they'll keel over dead in a year or two.

Alternately, raise a few hundred of your new novices to be Aes Sedai in anticipation of the last battle, and then chuck off the worst 20 of them to the Sea Folk. Your teacher can't channel any more than Morgase? She's been Aes Sedai for 10 days and doesn't know any weaves? Too bad!

Better yet, check if you can send someone who can't channel at all through the Acceptatron. The test for the shawl is hard to pass, but easy to survive, no? What's wrong with sending them 20 non-channeling Aes Sedai. Sorry! Which clause says they have to be channelers?

I love this idea!
251. Joanne
I have always thought that teaching the SF could be a new form of penance for misbehaving Aes Sedai.

More useful than sending them off to work at a farm for 10 years.
John Massey
252. subwoofer
@Free I KNEW it.- Roadie!

@sunsetconductor- welcome:) Glad to see your first post in gray. Please enjoy our complimentary refreshments in our humble little bunker and don't mind Suffa, she does not bite... for the most part.

For me, I think the whole relationship dynamic of the SF and anybody else is wonky. How can you foster lasting bonds of trust and good will if it is viewed a penance to be around you? There is a correction that has to be made in attitude or just cultural understanding so that some harmony flows out of the next Bargain. IMHO.

Birgit F
253. birgit
We've already seen one Aiel DF, Melindhra, who tried to kill Mat in TFoH, so there's definitely precedence.

She is Shaido, they don't really count as honorable Aiel.

Better yet, check if you can send someone who can't channel at all through the Acceptatron. The test for the shawl is hard to pass, but easy to survive, no? What's wrong with sending them 20 non-channeling Aes Sedai. Sorry! Which clause says they have to be channelers?

The Accepted test doesn't require channeling, but the AS test does (100 weaves under pressure).
Joseph Blaidd
254. SteelBlaidd
A couple of thoughts.

Rand is by nature a very empathetic person, its part of what allows him to adjust to dealing with all sorts of different people. It's part of what makes him the Dragon Reborn. He bleeds for his people, and he knows it. This is the source of his conflict with Aiel in general, and the Maidens in particular, because he deliberately distances himself from Aiel culture so he can send the in to harms way, and he knowingly dishonors the Maidens because nothing they ca do to him is worse that the pain he feels at their deaths.

Also Cool New WoT reference.
The Wheel of Time Database: A searchable online cross reference of WoT People, Places, PoVs and Q&As.
255. BenM
Andvari @212: I would guess that the scene Leigh likes from WH is the scene where Mat finds out that Tuon is the DOTNM.
Alice Arneson
256. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy @250 - small correction - the Acceptatron, which may or may not require channeling ability for the person going through, only raises a novice to Accepted. The test for the shawl requires performing 100 different weaves, in order, perfectly, while under various stresses, so they couldn't gain the shawl without channeling.

I do like using SF-duty as a penance, though... LOL!

subwoofer @252 has a point, though - good relations will not be built until attitudes change. Seems to me that reworking the conditions of the Bargain to require decent treatment of the AS instructors while leaving the level of instruction intact might go a ways. If the Windfinders were required to treat someone outside their culture with respect, it could have good long-term effect on the culture as a whole. Not sure what to offer the Sea Folk as incentive to change that particular clause, though... unless there are some other "legendary ter'angreal" that they really really want. Or if the Coramoor can enforce it.
257. Freelancer
Bair has had three husbands and is the eldest Wise One of her Clan, as well as one of the Dreamwalkers. Each of these makes it harder to hide your shadow-alliegance if true, and all three would make it nearly impossible. We know that Darkfriends are very rare among the Aiel, imagine finding three husbands whom you could trust with the knowledge of your darkfriendliness.

Of course, most of that holds for Sorilea as well.

I still believe that Elza was shown all she needed to know to get the bracelets by Shaidar Haran, given how Brandon answered questions about that very thing.


A great many people were certain that they could "easily tell" what lines in TGS were all Sanderson's design, and what were Jordan's. After Brandon started answering questions about the text, it was quite humorous to see how very wrong most of those certainties were. Tuon's new name, Fortuona, is just one tiny example of this. Most of the Prologue is another. Many were convinced that it was entirely Brandon's fabrication, when it is almost verbatim as Jordan composed it. I say all that to say that you can't be sure that Masema's untimely demise was Brandon's decision. I do agree with Leigh that I would have much preferred for Masema to have faced his folly before he got his throat slashed, but without Brandon saying so directly, we cannot know for sure if it was in the original outline that way or not.

How about I make that the first question to pose on the 25th if I'm allowed to ask any.


Yep. 6'4" and the bad back the Navy left me with, bumping over rocks and branches isn't a pleasant day for me. But on a bike on the road, my back is actually more comfortable than standing or sitting still. A similar situation is actually how the Race Across AMerica got started.
Alice Arneson
258. Wetlandernw
Freelancer - I would most dearly love to hear the answer to that question!! I hope you get to ask. If, as I assume, that was already in RJ's plans, it would be nice if BWS could give any of the rationale for such an abrupt ending with Masema still assuming he was right all along. Just make sure you phrase it so that you don't risk getting RAFOed over the question of who was giving Masema his orders, as I'm sure that will be revealed along with many other Forsaken plans in the next two books.
259. AndrewB
Let me echo what Freelancer said above regarding what was specified by RJ. During the Philadelphia booksigning for TGS, I asked BWS a question about names. Without stating it explicitly, he said that Tuon's new name was chosen by RJ. (For those present at this signing, BWS, requested that we did not ask questions that would give away anything in TSG. As such, I asked if he had the discretion to choose the names which previously had not appeared in the series. He said that RJ had a tremendous amount of notes on the subject. The exact manner in which he answered the question, left no doubt that RJ chose Tuon's new name.

On Egwene's future dealings with the Sea Folk: she should send the Sea Folk sisters in the Tower to teach the Sea Folk.

Call me naive and simplistic, but I do not see Sorilea or Blair as Darkfriends. From a plot standpoint, I also would be disappointed. Other than the Intigar reason (sp? -- the guy who joined to perserve the Borderlands), I cannot think of another reason that would attract them to the Dark Side. Since RJ already used this device before (and used it very affectively, I might add), I do not see him going back to the well again.

But alas. Those who know are not saying what they know. We will find out one way or another eventually. (Said differently, "the wheel weaves as the wheel wills.")

Thanks for reading my musings,
Derek Barolet
260. Derek.barolet
My personal view on the masema quick death was, Sanderson had a HUGE amount of tying up of loose ends and such a short time to do it. He came up with the best ending for an overly long running minor character that he could. I think its a little ironic personally that for a man who thought so highly of himself, who had queens stripping for him that he gets a quick proloque death.
I cant stand the Masema plot in case you hadnt noticed. As far as why have stuff after Big Ass Ending i have no clue. if he had just stopped with Faile getting captured that would have been amazing. I know on my first read through i was in such shock that it happened i barely registered the egwene parts afterward. It was such a huge cliffhanger to me.
Derek Barolet
261. Derek.barolet
Also, LTF that fan re-write was quite possibly the most hilarious thing I have ever read. Seriously. and i read some hilarious things
Jay Dauro
262. J.Dauro
From Brandon's earlier comments, I doubt you will get much from him over who wrote/plotted what in the story. IIRC, he has said that he does not intend to talk about it until after AMOL, and then only with Harriet's blessing.
263. Freelancer

I'd never even consider asking a compound question, the chance of getting RAFO'd would multiply. While I understand and admire Brandon's wish not to draw the lines of where Jordan's composition ends and his begins, I think that there is a way to ask about Masema's termination that won't violate same.

For me, the only plot segments which I feel confident were pure Brandon are certain Cadsuane bits, which feel to me like an adjustment of her outlook. I'm pretty sure that RJ wasn't as anti-Cadsuane as Brandon. I'm speaking here not of the functional prose, there are certainly many examples where Brandon's specific word usage and sentence structure are distinct.


Actually, BWS specifically mentioned the Tuon bit during my Q&A session at the November 15th signing. (I would gladly attribute the question, if I could remember which of us first brought up the issue. Just know that I don't get the credit for it)
Q. Is Tuon's new name, Fortuona, an intentional play on the Latin Fortuna? Many see this as a semantic trick for calling her Lady Luck, which fits being Mat's wife.

A. Good question, and I'm going to allow you to say yes, as I don't think anything of that nature was done without a purpose, but it was Jim's (Robert Jordan) choice, which Maria dug out for me when I realized I needed to create a new name for her upon ascending as Empress.
So there you go.
264. Freelancer
Ok, since I've been perusing my notes, the Masema issue requires a bit of attention. I know that this will leave a small amount of wiggle room, but I believe we can presume that Masema's death was not a "tweak" by Sanderson, but was as it had been designed by Jordan, given the following, once again from last November 15:
Ok, folks, that's about it. One other tidbit, Brandon said that there are no scenes in TGS that he invented. Some scenes were from very rough outlines, some in detailed outlines, and some completely finished, but he did not think up scenes at all. He said that there was much creative work for him to do, and there were scenes that he altered in order to blend in with those before/after. He said that Harriet told him that Jim often wrote a dozen or more drafts of a scene before letting anyone else read it, so he didn't have to presume that every word among the notes and outlines was exactly how Jordan would have ended up wanting it, which allowed Brandon the freedom to do what he believed best for the book as a whole.
So, while the architecture and activity of a scene was under Brandon's creative freedom, the plot function of the scenes was in no way invented by him.
John Massey
265. subwoofer
@TOR moderators- Wha?! My genius has gone up in smoke...

Lemme see if I remember...

@Free- yup, years of carrying full combat gear and then being expected to run has crushed my spine to the point where I am no longer as tall as I remember myself being. That and years of weight lifting has left me looking up to guys who are the height I was.... meh. I do have an aging Cramerotti with old school Chorus that I take out on special occasions. Love my old Brooks saddle. But I still give 'er on my mountain bikes. Born and bred before Mountain Dew commercials made it trendy.

Dark Friends abound. Can't get away from how evil begets itself. Ingtar. Sheriam. Verin- yes, she is special and bathed in light etc. etc but for all intents and purposes she is a DF. I am waiting for a clan chief or a roof mistress to come forward. Heck- Noal/ Farstrider was putzed with. I would not be surprised by anybody- Bashere, Min etc. being unmasked- disappointed, yes, but surprised- no.

Ogier- baddies? Maybe...

Bela- don't even go...

Thomas Keith
266. insectoid
Sub @265: Tsk, tsk. Min could never be a DF—we have more than enough of her POVs to tell, and none of Bashere's AFAIK. (Sr. Gurus, correct me if I'm wrong!)

Re: biking: My dad often bicycles places, and sometimes I go along. Not up mountains or anything, but still fun, like when we biked all the way around Mission Bay.

Jonathan Levy
267. JonathanLevy

The test for the shawl requires performing 100 different weaves, in order, perfectly, while under various stresses, so they couldn't gain the shawl without channeling.

I see I did not state my idea clearly enough. I'm aware that the test for the shawl requires channeling. But I also believe (and correct me if I am mistaken) that the test is controlled by 3 Aes Sedai, and the verdict is a subjective one by those same Aes Sedai.

I was insinuating that if the test was performed by 3 Aes Sedai who were slated to go to the Sea Folk - unless the person being tested passed, in which case she would replace one of them - then even a non-channeler might find that she had passed the test.

Perhaps this link will make it clearer what I had in mind:

Birgit F
268. birgit
If the Windfinders allow Elayne to study the Bowl, she could make more Bowls and offer them in a Bargain.

for winter's heart shall ride a black horse,
and the name of it is Death.
The Karaethon Cycle

Rand rides in Moridin's mind. When Moridin dies, he will be put into Mandarb's body. Ishy thinks he is the DO because (Discworld) Death SPEAKS LIKE THE DO.
Jonathan Levy
269. JonathanLevy
Argh, post lost. I'll try again.

Most of the Prologue is another. Many were convinced that it was entirely Brandon's fabrication, when it is almost verbatim as Jordan composed it.

Wow. Count me in with those fooled on that one.

I would dearly like to know everything there is to know about which parts of tGS are Jordan and which parts are Sanderson. Is this information available online? Could you post a link to it?

Thanks in advance...

P.S. Regarding Sorilea's husbands: There is a DF Aes Sedai who has three warders, only one of which is also a DF. Don't remember her name, sorry. So I'm not sure Sorilea's husbands is a strong argument for her being on Team Light. Not that I think that the Team Dark argument is very convincing at all.
John Massey
270. subwoofer
@Insectoid- I am not saying they are baddies- I am just pulling random examples out of my er... hair. Heck, anyone could be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force. I'm just sayin'.

James Hogan
271. Sonofthunder
I'm still in my pre-ToM reread and I've apparently miscalculated a bit, because I've just started TGS! And I have to say, rereading it, it's pretty apparent that the prologue IS Jordan's, of course, it probably helped knowing that beforehand. As to the rest, there are certain scenes that feel like they're Sanderson's(one example, an early scene where Nynaeve is talking with Daigan before the Aiel clan chiefs meeting with Rand - does not feel like Jordan's style, IMO). But can I really complain? Sanderson did a far better job than I could do! And he definitely exceeded expectations. We could have had nothing. And that, in my mind, is far worse of a prospect.

Also, this may sound weird, but I think part of the disconnect I get going from KoD to TGS involves going from my little paperback(most of my WoT books are paperback) to the giant oversized text of the hardcover. It feels like it reads differently when I'm reading the hardcover and I think that affects me slightly. Am I just crazy? Yeah, probably. :)
a a-p
272. lostinshadow
I really don't understand this obsession people seem to have about trying to figure out what bits were written by RJ and which by BWS. Doesn't it just ruin the enjoyment of the story, especially the first time round?

I'm sure everyone, and Brandon himself being top of that list, would have rather RJ had finished the series, but well, many aspects of life suck and unfortunately that didn't happen.

And after all, if the comments on this book and the next few coming up on the reread are any indication, many readers might have been highly frustrated even with RJ himself so I really don't get the purpose behind pointing at this that or the other in the story and whining that BWS didn't get it right.

Sorry if I'm sounding grouchy, it's just that I really don't get it. I'm one of those people who completely lose themselves in the story (and to my mind if I'm not losing myself in the story, then it's not for me, I'll just write off the book and won't revisit it) and would probably not notice if authors were randomly changed as long as the flow is maintained. :)
Alice Arneson
273. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy @267 - Snark aside, there's no way a non-channeler could ever get into that position. Can you just imagine Aes Sedai lowering their image enough to let that happen? Even someone who is "too weak in the power" is not allowed to test, no matter how otherwise brilliant she might be. (Take particular note of Daigian, who was probably the smartest Aes Sedai we've seen, but was trampled on by all the others because she was the weakest and took the longest to level up.) Tarnishing their image by calling non-channelers "Aes Sedai" would be way, way, way beyond what their pride could even consider, no matter how bad the Bargain!

birgit @268 - Death SPEAKS LIKE THE DO.

Ouch. My sides hurt. Poor, self-deceived Ishydin. Lan will certainly keep him in line.

Speaking of which, we found this great Spanish wine (a Rioja) called... LAN. I'd never pictured him as a Spaniard, but I can see it now.

Jonathan Levy @269 - I would dearly like to know everything there is to know about which parts of tGS are Jordan and which parts are Sanderson. Is this information available online? Could you post a link to it? Nope. Not available. BWS has been asked about it, and has sworn not to reveal any such thing until a) all the books are published and b) Harriet gives permission. Which will probably mean never.

same and Sonofthunder @271 - The biggest difference I noticed was in the internal-POV sections for certain characters, and I noticed that chiefly because there are a few that he clearly reads differently than I do. (Cadsuane and Nynaeve stood out to me.) Even then, the basic scene was always as conceived by RJ; BWS provided the dialog, descriptions and thoughts that make it a story instead of a dry "what happened" outline. Oh, and of course there are places where BWS used words and turns of phrase that belong to a different generation than RJ's; some of those are fairly obvious. Still, the story was RJ's and the fleshing-out was BWS's. He was extremely careful of that.

Oh, and Sonofthunder Am I just crazy? Yeah, probably. Yeah, probably. You're here, aren't you? :>
274. alreadymadwithauthors
subwoofer @270
You mean you pulled the examples out of your fur.

I'm with lostinshadow @272.
Just go with the flow. No point nitpicking how much of it was written by RJ and how much by BWS.
Alice Arneson
275. Wetlandernw
Okay.... I thought about posting the following anonymously, but decided to be brave instead. I'm sure it breaks half the "rules" of fanfiction, but since it's intended only for you, I hope you'll forgive those things. If you have intensely-flaming responses, please deliver them to my shoutbox, as it has asbestos lining. Meanwhile, I'll be hiding in the bunker with chocolate, and will check the shoutbox sometime next week... ;)

Nah. Flame away, if you will, but only at me and not at each other.

Last note - I tried to proofread and all, but by now I've read it so many times I'm not sure I'd see a discontinuity if it bit my nose. If I missed something flagrant... please be gentle.

Edit 3 weeks later to add... I'm going in to the story to edit out one glaring grammatical error. Thanks, Man-O-Manetheran!
Alice Arneson
276. Wetlandernw
From her room high in the Stone, she looked out over the darkening landscape. Evening was drawing in, but the darkness she saw now was... different. Unnatural. Her lips twisted in scorn over the insufficiency of the word; too many things were “unnatural” these days. Still, the darkness that lay on the land in recent days was unnatural. It seemed to flow out from the al’Thor boy like a miasma, dimming the world around him, and it was reaching further every day. In all her years, all her experience with men who channeled saidin, she’d never seen anything like it, not with the maddest, not even with those few who had tried to swear themselves to the Dark One in a desperate attempt to avoid their fate.

Over 250 years since she had left the White Tower, since she had started this journey, finding men who could channel and teaching them how to live with it – and without it. Little had she known what would be in store for her and for the world all those years ago. She’d been an adventurous child, disciplined but not quelled by her training. Strength in the Power had its advantages, especially in the Tower – or in leaving the Tower. She’d been pragmatic enough to make use of those advantages to go her own way when she liked. She’d needed to, or she’d long since have been stuck in the Tower as a Sitter or even, Light forbid! as Amyrlin. Let others stay and play politics; there were too many things to do and see outside Tar Valon.

Had she known the path she’d take, would she still have done it? Unquestionably, yes. That seemingly chance encounter in the Black Hills had changed her life, set the path that would make others think of her as a legend, but she wouldn’t change a thing. Not all of it had been pleasant, but very little had been dull. Earning those ter’angreal from Norla had not been easy, but nothing with Norla had been easy. Her ease in the Tower training had ill prepared her for that exercise. Still, while she’d not pay a copper to go through it again, she wouldn’t trade it for a thousand gold crowns. A lifetime of following clues, chasing prophecies, finding men who could channel and helping them face their destinies – who would trade that for a comfortable life in the Tower? Phaw! There was no question for her.

The path led here, but along the way she’d found, studied, aided and taken more than twenty channeling men to the Tower. She could count them – she remembered each one. Each name, each face, each family. She shook her head sharply, setting birds and stars and moons swinging, trying to shake off the painful memories of those faces, those families. You had to learn what you could and let the rest go.

She’d been able to help them, if they were willing, but she’d never been able to protect them from the effects of the Dark One’s taint. And she’d tried, building on all she’d learned from Norla, adding her own experiences and insights, but never had she been able to avert the need for gentling in the end. Had they truly cleansed saidin, that day at Shadar Logoth? The men all said the taint was gone. It seemed too good to be true, but if it were true, there would be no more young men suffering that madness, no more men forced to choose between the loss of saidin and that horrible rotting disease. Not that she’d given them much choice, of course. Even if they were cautious, in the end, it was too much. The madness would come, and people would die, and in the meantime he would be rotting away before the eyes of his family and friends. Horrible, she thought, with an inward shudder. Horrible for everyone. That was a mistake you didn’t make more than once.

The al’Thor boy was different, of course. Even were he not the Dragon Reborn, he was the strongest ta’veren in hundreds, probably thousands of years; who could guess what effect that might have? And too, he was the Dragon Reborn; he could be neither gentled nor imprisoned, in spite of what those fools who now led the White Tower might think. He could not be protected, or not much, but he had to learn! There were things he desperately needed to know, things only she could teach him and these Asha’man of his. But neither he nor they would like the learning, for true.

Some of them were bonded Warders now, and seemed to have adjusted well to the bond. That could be a help, but it would depend on the Sisters who held their bonds as well. Were they flexible enough to learn? More importantly, were they strong enough to bear it with their Warders? It was hard, and she well knew it. She’d tried it herself, naturally; she’d tried nearly everything, even the things Norla had told her weren’t worth trying again. Even the limited success bonding had given, though, didn’t seem to be applicable to al’Thor; Alanna had already proven that all too well.

She stared unseeing out the window, needlework lying neglected on the table besider her. Memories flooded her mind as the darkness had flooded the city. Tharon had been Andoran too, even younger than al’Thor. Despite Norla’s advice and her own experience, she’d felt… what? Not pity, but he was so young and vulnerable, she’d given in to the urge to coddle him. She’d not thought of it in those terms at the time, but she’d been gentle, coaxing, confiding, explaining, and she’d been furious with herself when it began to turn into exactly the disaster Norla had warned her it would be. It had only made things harder for him – and herself – in the end. No matter that the boy could have been her grandson, it was a mistake she could never make again.

She shouldn’t have made it at all; she should have learned 45 years earlier. Best not to dwell on Velidan at all. A Sister is only human, but she should not have given in. “Do what you want, and pay the price,” but sometimes the price was too high. Sometimes, someone else paid the price. Norla had been proved right again; a little distance was needed until he was ready. The trouble was, he didn’t know when he was ready, because he’d never been through it before. That knowledge was her responsibility.

Responsibility. She sighed and shook her head again. Well, responsibility comes with power, and the One Power comes with greater responsibility than any other. If she hadn’t learned that from the Tower, she’d certainly learned it from Norla. Toothless the old woman might have been, but you hopped when she said toad. Not an easy lesson, for one with her strength, who had earned the shawl of the Aes Sedai and considered herself above a mere wilder. This time the reminiscence brought a smile; what a headstrong, foolhardy child she’d been! Norla hadn’t cured her adventurous spirit, but she’d certainly added several layers of discipline to rein in the foolishness. That woman would have had Sorilea jumping! She chuckled softly; that was a confrontation she’d have paid money to see.

How old had Norla been, really? She wouldn’t tell – claimed she’d forgotten – but from things she let slip, it should have been 7 centuries or more. The Tower would say it was impossible, but Cadsuane was beginning to doubt that more strongly than ever. Some of those Kinswomen and the former damane, Alivia, claimed more than 400 years, and they looked nowhere near as old as Norla had. Daigian would have been able to work it out, with that keen mind of hers; she was a sad loss. Still, it was a puzzle for another time. If Rand al’Thor didn’t control himself in time, lifespan would be the least of their worries.

What was she going to do about that boy? For all of Norla’s centuries of work, and her own added to it, there was still so much to learn, and no more time. For more than 200 years, she’d known she would teach al’Thor things he would need, although knowing what she would teach him was still less than complete. If she’d known, at the time of that Foretelling, that al’Thor would turn out to be the Dragon Reborn, would she have done things differently? Probably not, although the sense of responsibility might have weighed more heavily than the sense of adventure. She’d followed the path before her as best she could see; there had been mistakes along the way, but she’d followed every clue she could find as thoroughly as any Brown.

Callandor was still a puzzle, though. Min Farshaw might not be the logician Daigian had been, but she had a good mind. A pity she couldn’t channel; the training she could have received in the Tower would have sharpened her mind and made her a true philosopher and scholar. Then again, perhaps her lack of training was all to the good; after a time, one tended to accept the views of one’s teachers, and sometimes a fresh perspective was needed. As it was now; Beldeine’s attitude was far too typical of Aes Sedai, in a time when they could least afford to be complacent in their knowledge. They urgently needed new insight, or they’d be worse than useless when Tarmon Gai’don came upon them. Well, Min had more incentive than anyone to find true meanings in the prophecies; maybe she could find something they’d all missed. Not likely, but even a new way of looking at the old might prove useful.

And still, no word of al’Thor. From his departure the previous evening, she had half expected a new Breaking to begin overnight. He’d gotten so hard, so brittle, who knew what would soften and what would break him? He needed to understand that, like saidin, his emotions needed to be controlled, both guided and guiding, helping him to do what needed to be done. No man could function sanely without his emotions, channeler or no; no one could channel sanely without the balance of reason and emotion. It had been true in the Age of Legends as well, but much had been lost since then, especially to men. The test for the shawl was so much more than it appeared; it was a true pity that there was no similar training and testing for men. To control both the emotional and rational response to outside stimuli was a vital lesson for those who would wield the One Power, but how to teach that to Rand? More and more he denied emotion altogether, instead of controlling it; the more he denied the emotional the more he lost the rational as well.

Keeping him off balance was only a means to the end of teaching him to control his own emotions, rather than letting others control him through them. One would think he'd had enough of that by now! Instead, the fool boy tried to pretend he had no emotions, which was even worse. Love of the Light meant emotional involvement with those around you, and denying them served only the Dark One. How to help him see it? He needed love, both from and for his people, or any victory might be worse than defeat. That was one reason - one of many, really - that she'd not used Norla's favorite trick. Norla had always said that the best tools to set a man off balance were morals, money and manners, and she'd used them in that order. Cadsuane herself had found several other tools; there were plenty of ways, depending on the individual, although she had to admit that Norla's three were frequently valid. With al'Thor, it was quite obvious that she could have used his own moral values against him, but it would have been counter-productive. The poor boy needed the sanity Min brought him, and that emotional tie seemed to be one of the few he had left. No, she wasn't going to touch that, other than to keep the girl close whenever possible. Her viewings and her sharp mind were excuse enough for that, in any case.

Money didn't seem to be important to the al'Thor boy; he wasn't vain or greedy, thank the Light, and was far more likely to give the money to his Academies than to spend it on himself. That tool wasn't worth the effort. Manners, though... she knew the west of Andor well enough to know what manners would have been taught him. She knew Tam al'Thor well enough for that, though he didn't remember her. They'd never met, of course, but she'd noticed the Second Captain of the Companions during the Aiel War. Who'd have thought he'd raise the Dragon Reborn? The Pattern had woven well, there. He'd always been a man of intelligence, courage and calm - all the things his son needed now. Perhaps she should not have told Tam what to say to Rand last night, but time was short; it had seemed important to give him the benefit of her experience rather than leave it to chance. Perhaps she should have cautioned him not to mention her name, but would he have trusted her and met with his son if he'd known she was out of favor? His accusation of bullying still stung, the more so because her actions reflected her own inner agitation; her calm was stretched very thin these days.

Well, nothing could be done to teach him until he could be found; Light willing, he would still be sane when they found him!

Sighing, she looked out the window as evening began to darken the city. Even in broad daylight, there had been a disturbing darkness, felt as much as seen. Now, as lights began to show across the city and out into the farmlands beyond, they seemed to be too dim as if they were trying to pierce an unaccustomed shadow. But wait – out in the countryside, the lights seemed to be brightening. Was it just the contrast as the night grew darker? No, it was spreading. As the darkness of night fell across the land, the shadow was lifting, the lights shining clearer and brighter. Where was al’Thor? What had he done? Light, what had happened? She took a deep breath and smiled as she rose from her chair. Whatever it was, it was a gift of the Light. Time would tell, but now it was time to get to work. Much remained to be done.
Tina Pierce
277. scissorrunner
amazing - truly amazing

thank you!!
Alice Arneson
279. Wetlandernw
scissorrunner - Thank you! I rarely make forays into creative writing, so I truly appreciate a postive first comment. :)

ETA - Shimrod - you too.
a a-p
280. lostinshadow
Own it Wet, that was great! happy to read more of your work even if it is about Cranky Pants.

And it was really believable, I can totally see how you view her, all those arguments you presented, this is the fictional version of those arguments. Well done!
Bonnie Andrews
281. misfortuona
I'd say you've given Caddy-shack a fair amount of thought. Very well done.
Just what we needed in this postless week, and there will be no flaming from me.

Kurt Lorey
283. Shimrod
@281 misfortuona

You want to flame someone? Go read my last past (208?) in the Part 18 thread. Plenty of material there, I'd imagine. lol
Brandon D
284. Ishmayl
@230 Tektonica

Unfortunately, even when Terez occasionally comes up with a theory that doesn't sound ridiculous, I have problems taking her seriously, since even though she has some good data-gathering in a few of her theories, more often than not, she strings together incoherent and usually-unrelated bits of text and forces their supposed meaning onto them subjectively.

@257 Freelancer

Sorilia doesn't have husbands from which she would have to hide her darkfriendedness, does she?

As for Masema's death, I think he died appropriately. As much trouble as he caused, at the end of the day, he was just a rabble-rouser, and quite frankly didn't deserve any more of a dignified death than he received.
Karen Fox
285. thepupxpert
Wetlander @ 276 - Imagine my surprise as I logged in after being gone for a couple of weeks (work is crazy and vacation/holiday stuff) to see your fanfic right off! I didn't even scroll back up to the previous entries, I read it right away and absolutely loved it! Thank you for this!

Now to go really get caught up...
286. Freelancer


Jonathan Levy@269

No, I'm afraid there is no repository for which sentences/paragraphs/thoughts in TGS are Brandon's, and which Robert Jordan's. Brandon intends to keep it that way. He did, however, make a specific exception of the TGS Prologue, because so many readers commented on how it seemed un-Jordanlike, so it provided a perfect opportunity to show that people shouldn't make presumptions about which story bits came from which author. A very shrewd move, indeed.

Not Sorilea's husbands, Bair's. And I didn't say it was impossible. A DF could conceivably fool a husband or three. But all the things I mentioned (husbands, Wise One, Dreamwalker), make it nearly impossible to imagine her keeping the secret for a significantly long time.


Yeah, that. Exactly.


I'd previously made comments on why I don't buy Sorilea as a shadowrunner. Not impossible, certainly, but implausible in my view. Actually, the arguments for Bashere are stronger.
Karen Fox
287. thepupxpert
Shaggy Bela @ 169 - speaking of Eragon, does anyone know if we will ever see the 4th book???
Sharon E.
288. Sulin
@Wetlander- Brilliant- I loved it! Not usually a big fan of Cads, but I liked the way you presented her. Thanks for sharing it with us. :)
Barry T
289. blindillusion
Very nice Wetlander.

Considering you've said you started thinking of Cadsuane in a different light because of all the dislike/hate she tends to generate, I'd love to see something from you about one of the characters you've always liked.

I suppose you could say these words are more shots taken at my (what is becoming somewhat irrational (and perhaps juvenile (what, I was in college when I last read about Cadsuane!!)) dislike of Cadsuane. Granted, they’re a fan’s words, but they’re MOA all the same. So, I’ll never be a fan of the woman, but I believe I’m starting to understand where she’s coming from.
Rob Munnelly
290. RobMRobM
@287 - CP says he is working on it. No title no dates reported yet.
Rob Munnelly
291. RobMRobM
Wet - very nice indeed. Rob

EDIT - let's see you tackle Faile next....
Sam Mickel
292. Samadai

That was truly great fiction. You did a wonderful job making it "real". Now I can let you take over the resident fanfic post, because yours is better.
Alice Arneson
293. Wetlandernw
Sulin (& many) - Thanks! You nailed exactly why I did it. I've been arguing myself blue in the face and driving everyone nuts trying to make Cadsuane more "palatable". So... I took all those "maybe" and "what if" things and tried to turn them into a plausible backstory for a woman I now think of as rather amazing, instead of just an annoying harridan (like I used to). No clue whether any of this would be consistent with RJ's database entries on her (or Norla, for that matter), but it was fun to see how much I could work into it. There were a few more ideas floating around in my head, but it was pretty long already, and I was feeling a need to just finish it, so I stopped. (Whew!) I don't expect to make anyone immediately change their mind and declare her their favorite character, or anything, but I have this faint hope that maybe next time she shows up, someone will have this in the back of their mind and think "Well, just possibly she had a good reason for that...."

blindillusion - you just made my day! :) I'm not sure what I'd do with a well-liked character, because I've had no reason to work out a defense. The best candidate I can think of off the top of my head would be Faile; I've always rather liked her (even when I wanted to slap her) and a lot of people don't. Unfortunately, a 20-year-old (or whatever she is) doesn't give the scope for this kind of imagination; with Cadsuane, there were a lot of little hints and mentions, and a couple of centuries of adventure to work with. Still, I'll think on it. Maybe if Leigh takes another break over Labor Day I'll have come up with something.

Of course, if I wanted a real challenge, I'd work on a story for Berelain... Nah. Probably not. I'd have to make her over into something that's not quite consistent with the book character, and that's just wrong. I find that I don't particularly want to climb inside her head...

Anyone else have a candidate?

ROFL!! RobM - you wrote that while I was writing this... Maybe I should try it!
Alice Arneson
294. Wetlandernw
Sam @292 - not on your life! I've been working on that since the beginning of May.

ETA: I might consider a collaboration... :)
295. Branwhin

*Zooms into the bunker to deposit a sack of chocolate-covered coffee beans*

Bravo, Wetlandernw! And encore! That was Cadsuane, and no mistake. Almost a good thing for her serenity's sake that one of the Asha'man wasn't with her - poor guys must have all been jumping out of their skins again!

RobMRobM, into what should Wetlandernw tackle Faile, and can she have help? Faile's a feisty little thing.

On a more somber note, I'll admit Fedwin Morr's death made me cry. Does that every time, actually, even as I'm happy to see Rand's innate compassion come to the fore. I remember thinking, "Aha, *there* you are! Now don't go away again!" ... So much for that, alas. Nice to get these little flashes that show us he's still in there, though.

Cheers! NoweverybodycanbeashyperasIam!

Valentin M
296. ValMar
Wow. Great stuff Wetlander! I've remained somewhat in the middle throughout the Cads debates here. You had to work for that really hard!
Since you are taking requests, I was going to say Berelain. But it would've been too easy. Besides her unseemly persuit of Perrin there's not much wrong with her.
For-tuon-a? Elaida? Or one of the frustrated maidens, e.g. Sulin?
PS Alanna?
Thomas Keith
297. insectoid
Sub @270: I know what you meant; I'm just tweaking your nose. ;)

WetNW @276: ::applauds:: There hasn't been nearly enough fiction-fiction during this hiatus. Very well done!

RobM² @291: How about Verin? Oh wait—that's Samadai's job...

Bran @295: LOL!! I had a hot chocolate this morning, and am quite awake still. 8-)

Maiane Bakroeva
298. Isilel
Wetlandernw @276:

Wonderful! Would you believe that it is much better written IMHO than that urban fantasy story that they recently posted on the homepage?

Of course, if I wanted a real challenge, I'd work on a story for Berelain...

Now, let's pick something for women, not girls :). I raise you Elaida! Or maybe a Shaido WO (not Therava, though)? I still can't fathom what possessed them en mass to ignore everything that they must have learned in Rhuidean ter'angreal...

But maybe you should go a step further and pick an interesting era in WoT history - the Trolloc Wars, the War of 100 years? I am sure that you can come up with great original characters.


I don't believe that there aren't any DFs among the non-Shaido. It would be too cartoonish - there are DFs among every people. And desire for glory is ripe for exploitation. It also follows that an Aiel DF has to be somebody at least a little familiar, for full effect.

Bair would be a good choice because she isn't so prominent that people would be heartbroken, but still not a complete redshirt. Also, she didn't do anything that would have been completely incongruous for a DF, as Sorilea and Amys have, IMHO.
I actually think that as a dreamwalker she is safer from discovery, as she can control her dreams. As to the motives - forestalling the destruction of Aiel way of life would be a strong one. Or Ishy could have caught her in T'AR in the 15 years since he awoke and somehow convinnced/subtly compelled her.
Alice Arneson
299. Wetlandernw
@Many - Thank you all!! As I said, I don't venture into creative writing much, so I truly appreciate your kind words.

Branwhin - Exactly what I needed! Ahhhhhh, caffeine... my best chemical friend... ;) LOL on Faile - I think I'd need some help!

Isilel - Thank you! and "women, not girls" indeed! I can't honestly imagine trying something like that with anyone under 30 - there's just not enough room, unless she's such a minor character that we don't know more than her name. After the above comments, I was thinking about it, and Elaida would surely be a candidate. I'd love to see something like it for a WO, Shaido or not, but I'm not sure I can get inside their heads enough. Certainly not Therava, in any case - there's a head I seriously don't want into! Or Sevanna. But maybe one of the others, if I can find a handle. As you say, there must be some rationale for ignoring what they learned in Rhuidean...

Hmmm. Historical fiction fiction. There's a concept... Actually, now that I think about it, it would be a lot of fun. Also a lot of work. Still... you encourage me to dream. :)

@many on Darkfriends... This is an area where I try not to think too hard! I agree with Isilel that it's a little difficult to believe that there's not a single Aiel Darkfriend outside the Shaido, though I can readily accept that the percentage would be higher for Shaido than any other clan. They seem to be awfully good at ignoring reality when it's convenient. Mostly I don't want to see anyone I like turn out to be a DF, but I expect someone(s) will, both Aiel and wetlander. At the moment, I'd rather not speculate on who that might be. I expect we'll have some major shocks coming our way in a few months. I suppose at some point we'll have to do a survey on "who do you think will turn out to be a DF" and "who will definitely not be a DF" prior to the release of TofM. Then we can compile our "most likely" and "least likely" lists and see how wrong we are.
James Hogan
300. Sonofthunder
@Wetlander, absolutely amazing. 'nuff said.

Except I will say more anyway, just to tell you that although I don't really like Cads(well, I can understand her and see what she's doing, but I have never *liked* her), I think this just may have brought me over to admiring her after all!! And while I was reading it, I was thinking to myself, "Wow, this is totally going to be in my head now when I read the next couple books", so count at least one person you've converted. Amazing attention to detail, unbelievably fantastic use of Jordan's phrasing, and +10000000 points for gorgeous imagination throughout!! Ah, what a delight it is to read something this carefully crafted!!

And now before I totally blow up your head, I will cease. But seriously, well done. If you were in Texas, I'd bake you a cookie. Or ten.
Alice Arneson
301. Wetlandernw
Sonofthunder - Too late. My head just went POP! Now none of my hats will fit anymore, and I'll have to find new sunglasses. :>

Seriously, that's amazingly cool. Thank you! Now we'll just have to hope that Brandon doesn't take a completely different tack, or I'll have to go find much smaller hats and sunglasses... if I ever go out again...

Oh, and I love cookies. :)
Noneo Yourbusiness
302. Longtimefan
Hooray Wetlander. That was a very impressive piece of Cadsuane insight.

Now for Berelain! you can do a bit while she is getting dressed about how difficult it is to find the right dressmaker who can do the understiching on her neckline to keep her "assets" valuable but not overplayed. She can fuss about thinking of her beloved Mayne and worrying if it can survive without her as she must serve the Dragon Reborn by following this strapping man and needling his wife and how exhausting it is because what was once a "game" is now expected behavior and she cannot just change without showing weakness.


In a way though, if one is to take Berelain as a credible ruler and competent person, there must be a need on her end for Perrin to stand up to her to change the way the interactions between them have developed.

While there is the childish advantage/disadvantage of fighting with Faile over Perrin like a... well a hawk and a falcon over a rabbit which allows her to gain a social upper hand by tweaking Faile into hasty statements that can be turned into small social traps. (I am not going to go into it here but I will assume most people have watched two people with different but strongly held moral grounds argue a point and when one can back a person off that moral ground then the point the other person was trying to make has less stregnth)

Berelain is advancing from the social position of being not only a sitting ruler of a small country but also a single woman who is "flirty". Faile on the other hand is working from the position of an unseated noble (No throne, no head of house) who is married and ....not really "chaste" but single minded.

As much as Faile needed Perrin to change his way of relating to her both in their marriage but most certainly culturally, Berelain needs the same change because she cannot change her behavior to suit him.

Berelain cannot change her behavior to suit Perrin.

I realized this thought after re reading the interaction between Sorilea and Cadsuane where they speak of Rand and how they approached him.

They cannot (or think they cannot) change how they are percived to approach him because when they made something attractive he ignored it so by making something unavailable they sometimes gain his interest.

In changing tactic but not behaivor the success of gaining his interest is spotty at best and results in further misunderstandings. (Yay indirect communication!) Partailly this is the Wise Ones fault for behaving as Wise Ones and partially this is Rands fault for not getting a clue. Granted it is a tough clue to get if you are not from the same culture. (ow)

Berelain has a similar problem with Perrin. They are both from the "Wetlands" but they are not from the same culture and niether is Faile.

Berelain has a brief moment in the next book where she thinks it is time to call a truce but Perrin has a "DUH" moment and instead of trying to work that out with him she retreats to her old games.

As a ruler of a nation and a person of her culture there are only so many steps towards "change" she can make and still maintain a level of social power within her interactions with Perrin (who is so clueless as to what that would mean or how it is applied) and with her followers.

Her Winged Guards and her maids have a very defined idea of who she is and how she should be treated and such. Even if it seems odd to the reader that she would be so forward with another woman's husband her followers have probably seen her use this ploy to insure the saftey of their small nation.

In a way by staying in Perrin's company she is gaining favor with Rand who is now more powerful that Tear, Mayne's old rival, or any other country. In some very convoluted way Berelain has to keep flirting with Perrin because that is how she started out with him and he must change the way the behavior works between them not by demanding her to stop but by respecting her power the way she presents her power.

Respecting Berelain is not the same thing as succumbing to Berelain but the way she presents herself and the way she uses her "feminine wiles" there is a very fine line that even the most sophisticated men have a difficult time finding.

A point to make on this would be Rhuarc. He respected her mind and ignored her body which changed her behavior towards him. When she knew he thought of her as competent she still had her "personality" but was somewhat ashamed of herself if she dissapointed him.

Perrin cannot treat Berelain like a daughter but he can change the dynamic between them by changing how he treats her.

The problem is she cannot tell him how and he does not seem to know.

Her little "tent" deception however was very unfortuneate. I do not agree with her having done that but there is probably some way of explaining the behavior as reassuring to the Winged Guards even if it set the Two Rivers people on edge and the Ghealden at a crossroads internally.

As a fictional character her motivations are what the author choses to make of them. As a well constructed character in a richly developed world it is easier for the reader to assign justifications for the behaivor weather it is or is not what the writer intended.

well that went on a bit longer than expected.

Edit : So much longer that I missed 300. Drat. My gloryhounding has gone amiss. I guess I will cry halloo and turn my horse back to the lodge to change out of my hunting pinks and set up with a good brandy and a ripping yarn.
Tricia Irish
303. Tektonica

Excellent! You took all your pro-Cads arguments and made her REAL! Even I, an inveterate Cads hater, understand her now. I just wish Rand knew all the stuff she just thought! Bravo! And thank you...excellent writing too, of course it always is from you.
Noneo Yourbusiness
304. Longtimefan
Also, now that we are at the end of the Matless book I have noticed that no one seemed particularly upset that it was also a Thomless book.

He has been with the story since the very beginning in Edmond's Field and in some ways is one of the best supporting cast because of his invaluable knowledge and rather helpful skill at saving peoples lives. (at least once for every main character, well maybe not Egwene or Perrin)

I for one will stand up and say the lack of Thom Merrilin in this book is terrible. Deplorable even.

305. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 276

Good stuff! And that's not a phrase I throw around lightly. You know my views on Cadsuane and I enjoyed reading this. Well done.
Tess Laird
306. thewindrose
Bravo Wetlandernw! It needs a chapter title and icon! How about 'A Different View'.
Or maybe some others have idea's? Sulin or some other artists could come up with an icon:)

Sandy Brewer
307. ShaggyBella
Enjoyed the Cads insight!
I think an interesting story could be created about Lady Breane of House Taborwin

She came on to Rand like a Cougar at Lord Barthanes Damodred's party. Then next we see her she is with Lamgwin Dorn in Caemlyn as a refugee. She is loyal to him and has a strength of character that clashes with Morgase.
John Massey
308. subwoofer
@Insectoid- you mean tweak my snout;)

@Wet- I second LTF's vote for you to do Berelain next. It would be brilliant! Then other's can appreciate her... diplomacy the way we do. You know- keeping her small nation intact and not overrun at an early age... all the while trouncing Faile's butt... and being a hoochie-mama.

Just sayin'.

Rob Munnelly
309. RobMRobM
@307 - I just re-read TGH last week and Thom's line to Rand at Damodred's party re Breane is precious - something like she'll give you an experience that every man should have at least once in his life, assuming you actually survive it. ROFL hilarious. Rob
310. Freelancer

OvercaffeinatedIneverheardofsuchathingitdoesn'tsound possibleandbelieveyoumeIgiveitmybesteffortdaily.

Excuse me, fresh pot of Sumatran is ready.
Alice Arneson
311. Wetlandernw
Good call! Coffee plays a vital role in my existence... as in, I don't really exist without my coffee. :)
Thomas Keith
312. insectoid
Free @310: Is that you while over-caffeinated, or while the ground is shaking? We have had some of that lately... ::ducks::

313. Braig
@WetlanderNW Now you've gone and done it! I've been successfully lurking for 9 months, not getting involved with trying to change point's of view, and you post this!


You have hit on what I have felt about Caddie all along. She is on a mission. She is "old school" in her ways, but I believe her cause is noble and just.

Well done!

and Oh yeah, Mat's Hat!
Alice Arneson
314. Wetlandernw
Braig - Welcome, and thank you! Glad to hear it.
Birgit F
315. birgit
There is a Cadsuane icon:

It appears in New Spring.
Jonathan Levy
316. JonathanLevy

Jonathan Levy @267 - Snark aside, there's no way a non-channeler could ever get into that position. Can you just imagine Aes Sedai lowering their image enough to let that happen?

Snark aside, I can imagine *one* Aes Sedai who would be willing to - Merillile (I believe), who seems willing to do *anything* to get away from the Sea Folk - including running away with one of their apprentices.

Did you enjoy the link? :)

Nope. Not available. BWS has been asked about it, and has sworn not to reveal any such thing until a) all the books are published and b) Harriet gives permission. Which will probably mean never.

Forgive me if I sound confused, but didn't you mention a few posts back that you knew the prologue to have been written almost entirely by Jordan, not Sanderson? Where did that information come from? Is there any more of it?

Edit: I see Freelancer@286 has already answered this question. Sorry for not reading the comments thoroughly enough.
Jonathan Levy
317. JonathanLevy
Speaking of Fan Fiction, I remember reading a long time ago an excellent parody of Elayne's Accepted test. She was putting on makeup to go dancing with Rand at a party, and had to tear herself away from popping a "Toman Blackhead" to go back through the arch.

Has anyone else read it? Does anyone know where to find it?

The way back will come but once. Be steadfast...
Rob Munnelly
318. RobMRobM
birgit - I didn't recall Cads with a PoV in New Spring but she definitely has a chapter in TGS with that icon. R
Rob Munnelly
319. RobMRobM
Damn. I just had a long post regarding my just completed re-read of GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire that was eaten by the website. Double damn.

Suffice it to say, the series is wonderful and I picked up lots of subtle foreshadowing during this tour through the books. Recommend it to all (this includes you, Wetlander), even though the text includes some pretty rough and unsavory stuff. Book one (Game of Thrones) is coming out as a HBO miniseries next March with a strong cast and budget sufficient for good production values so best get started on it now.

Jay Dauro
320. J.Dauro
Johnathon Levy

IIRC, a tape of RJ reading some of the prologue was played at the first Jordancon. So BWS would feel free to discuss that much of it was written by RJ.
Tricia Irish
321. Tektonica

Long time no see/read. So GRRM's been keeping you busy, eh? I guess I should reread GoT before March. Sigh. The HBO presentation sounds great. If it's as good as Rome, we're aces. I'd love to read your observations on your reread of SoIaF.....if you're up for retyping.

And didn't you say you were reading Ericson? I thought it was you. I just started and joined that reread here on Tor, and thought of you. Wow. Great writing and major league dense. Love it.
Richard Fife
322. R.Fife
@316, and for general consumption

In my first attempt at interviewing Brandon (before my recorder ate it), I pushed him a little harder about what Jordan left behind, and he revealed that the vast majority of what RJ wrote was at the "beginning" and the "end" of "A Memory of Light," in addition to major plot points. Meaning the earlier chronological things, including the prologues, and the major climax points.

He didn't give specific instances beyond that, and I didn't push him as I doubt hardly anything was "ready for publishing" so almost everything probably has BWS's hand in it somewhere.
Rob Munnelly
323. RobMRobM
Not me on Erickson.

- picked up lots of foreshadowing and cryptic prophecy through edgy characters. (Character making snarky reference to rather being dead then crippled, when we know the interesting path of said character; picking up more and more of past, present and future events out of visit to Warlocks house in book 2; "Faceless man on a bridge" reference by another mystic and what it may imply about the mysterious death of an important character).
- Figured out solutions to several mysteries (identity of mysterious character in final chapter of fourth book - pay attention to facial description - we've seen it before; identity of mysterious archer in beginning of book 4 - spell the name backward and you'll see references to it elsewhere in story).
- Increasingly intrigued by other mysteries (identity of parents of the bastard main character - I believe I know the answer); who is Coldhands?
- Loved lots about various principal and minor characters - "I am only a young girl and know little of war"; "Make him fly"; "You shot me....You were always quick to grasp a situation, my lord"; "You know nothing Jon Snow"; and, of course, "Stick him with the pointy end."
- I'm gaining increasing understanding that the Dunk and Egg novellas are being written for a purpose critical to the main story, as literacy about the past events will be important for the story as Dany makes her way to Westeros. Also, knowing Egg gives a better sense of some of Aemon's references to him throughout the series. Ditto re the references in the text to Dunk.

Hope that helps. Rob
324. alreadymadwithprologue
J. Dauro @320
Yes, as I understand it, RJ literally recited the prologue from his deathbed. Harriet and the rest of the family had the foresight to grab a recorder.
Matthew Smith
325. blocksmith

I think my opinion is best summed up as...your writing has made me respect Cads. It seems odd that fan-fiction outside of the original (or completing) author should change my opinion on a character, but it was so well done that your portrayal paints a better picture of arguments defending Cads than comments do. Can we start a vote to retire the acronym SWWNBN?
Lucas Vollmer
327. aspeo

That was a very good bit of writing! It was perhaps the most enjoyable thing I've read about Cadsuane...

This makes me think if some of her reasoning for acting the way she does was more thoroughly explained in the books through internal monologue or backstory I might actually like her more. As it is, the books, sadly, haven't given me much of a reason to change my opinion yet.
Tricia Irish
328. Tektonica
Thanks Rob! Makes me want to reread GRRM right away. I have a theory on the bastards parents too....we should compare notes....

As for retiring SWMNBN? OK, Cranky Pants will do.
I understand her now, thanks to Wetlanders' ongoing empathy education, but I still don't like her methodology, by virtue of it's ineffectiveness. Nor would I want to hang with her. I'm just sayin......

We don't have to like all the characters, just understand them, right?
Marcus W
329. toryx
RobM and Tektonica re: Bastard's parents.

There's a lot of well established theories but I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that one as well. The prevailing one is generally known as L+R=J which I agree with.

I know who I believe Coldhands is, though there isn't enough evidence to say for sure one way or another.

I've only read AFfC once. I'll have to give it a re-read at some point.
Barry T
330. blindillusion

I see that as a reasonable option. I’ll never like Cads. (I’m starting to see her Shock and Awe Tactics as her only option for opening relations with Rand. Yet, I’ll always think she should have changed strategy when it became somewhat obvious that Über Paranoid/Must Be Emotionless/I Am the Stone to Make All Other Stones Envious/Don’t Talk to Me Rand wasn’t going for it.) Still, I can see where she’s coming from.
Rob Munnelly
331. RobMRobM
@329 - that's my formula too.

I didn't even think about Coldhands until this re-read - weirder the more I think about it. I have a theory there too but a sketchy one.

The mystery that most puzzles me is the dragon has three heads one. We know one head - easy one. We both suspect the second (see above). Who is the third? Can it be the king who favors the light and who has blood ties through his great-grandmother? Hmm.

Ditto re B and the word shouted out. Two theories there - either a choice is made as offered in order to save the companions; or a name is given out of a person whom B has knowledge of that nearly all in the room believed to be dead.

Also curious to see how all of the travelers to the East will play out as discussed in latter parts book 4 (iron, southern, oldtown, etc.)

Lots to ponder. Rob

EDIT - also, as I think about it, what's up with HT and Tansy.
James Jones
332. jamesedjones
325 blocksmith
Can we start a vote to retire the acronym SWWNBN?
I vote NO. Still hate the old biddie.

Although Wetlandernw's writing was beautiful (and felt a lot more like RJ than some of the passages in tGS), it needed to take a lot of creative liberties to make SWMNBN palatable.

Going by what's in the books, SWMNBN is a manipulative, condescending, arrogant, blind bully who does not have more than one piece of critical information for the madmen.

Take her hair net, put her to the question, and get on with the darn story. The AM are supposed to be nuts, right? This step shouldn't be a stretch for them.

... unless they aren't nuts. :P

Still, great writing by Wetlandernw. Would love to see more of it, even if it's about SWMNBN.
James Jones
333. jamesedjones
331 RobMRobM
Can it be the king who favors the light and who has blood ties through his great-grandmother?
Great. Now we know who's going to die in the next one. *huff*

Had to do it. :D
Tricia Irish
334. Tektonica

I agree with the bastard theory; L+R=J. It's been so long since I've read these books, I don't remember who I thought Coldhands was??

RobM: I'm clueless about who the third head of the Dragon is....I really am fuzzy on who lived and who died now. Ummmm. Hints? You could send it to my shout box, if you don't want to release spoilers for all to see, please.

Anyone: Who else on here was reading Erikson? I know Lostinshadow is, but I thought someone else said they'd started.

I'm reading too many books now! But they are great relief from cleaning closets and the plots of doom to come in the next couple of books in WOT.
Tricia Irish
335. Tektonica

I agree with the bastard theory; L+R=J. It's been so long since I've read these books, I don't remember who I thought Coldhands was??

How are you liking Erikson?

RobM: I'm clueless about who the third head of the Dragon is....I really am fuzzy on who lived and who died now. Ummmm. Hints? You could send it to my shout box, if you don't want to release spoilers for all to see, please.
Rob Munnelly
336. RobMRobM
Tek - too hard to give hints. Take a look at some of the GRRM websites - they have theories, info, etc.

JEJ - pretty safe to say we still have lots of deaths coming up.
Noneo Yourbusiness
337. Longtimefan
@328 Tektonica

"We don't have to like all the characters, just understand them, right?"

What! What? How dare you speak the words of an unbeliever here on the sacred re-read comments of the Light!

All the characters must be not just liked but fanatically BELOVED in the hearts and minds of all readers or they have done a great slight to The Books of the Lord Dragon, may he live forever!

The Books are all, the Books are everything! Within them dwell the sacred words of the Lord Dragon himself (may he live forever) and all the people who cared for him in the time of his Becoming. Cast not your aspersions on the actions of those who supported His ascension into battle even if their actions seemed unwise to your eyes.

Cast aside that critical glance, Unbeliever, and gaze only with adoration upon the holy testament of the Lord Dragon (may he live forever) and his trials before the Great Battle.

I shudder to think that mine eyes, which have seen the glory of the Lord Dragon (may he live forever)emblazoned in 12 point Helvetica across the acid free pages of time, have looked upon the same words your callous eyes have leveled their jaundiced veiw upon.

Unclean! UNCLEAN!

On the other hand...

Since I am not a crazy fanatic I suppose you can "dislike" some of the characters as long as you "understand" their actions. I suppose. harumph.

It is a slow morning and I am just waiting for tomorrow and the excitement of a new book and a new post all in one!


Someday the storyline will be completed and we can all look back on the work and say "Oh, that is why so and so did such and such even though it was annoying and made me, the reader, mad but now I can see why it had to happen to cause these other events to happen."

and then there will be some young punk with a zip gun and a fast car cracking his gum saying "Why did everyone on these ancient forum boards get upset with this or that. I read the whole series in a week and it makes perfect sense to me."


They will probably love Cadsuane just to be contrary.

Alice Arneson
338. Wetlandernw
birgit - cool icon!! Can I have it? :) Sure wish I'd thought of that before I posted the story...

Jonathan Levy @316 - I'm pretty sure Merillile would do a lot to get out of teaching the Sea Folk, but I'm not convinced that even she would stoop to presenting non-channelers as full Aes Sedai. Even so, note that she is technically fulfilling her obligation to teach a Windfinder, as she is "teaching" Talaan. (Sorry, I rarely do links...)

Tektonica - I was one who said I'm hoping to start Ericson this summer... Haven't started yet, though, so I can't say anything yet.

@ many - Much as I hate to say it.......::visualize dragging feet::........ don't forget that this is only one fan's opinion of Cadsuane. I tried to come up with a plausible backstory that would explain most of the things that people find so irritating about her. (To my grief, I didn't get them all in; at some point I just had to stop writing, clean it up and post it. So - not much about the accusation of "bullying," and I didn't get into "mishandling" or why she didn't change her approach sooner, and a couple of other minor details. If I had tried to do all of them, TofM would have been out before I posted it, if not AMoL!) Anyway, it's clearly not authoritative, just one possibility. I have a sinking feeling that it may not match the BWS take on her in the next couple of books, but it does match the way I think RJ intended her originally. In any case, it might make her chapters in the reread a little more tolerable to some people, if not jamesedjones. :p After that, we'll just have to wait and see this fall - if she even shows up in TofM - and maybe some of you will get your wish to see her die. If she does, I hope it's a blaze of glory!

Note that I didn't really go into "what they need to learn from her" other than her desire to teach him to control his emotions rather than either letting them control him or trying to kill them altogether. (I thought that was fairly obvious from the text; beyond that, I didn't want to take any more liberties by speculating.) Maybe she'll teach the Asha'man how to make even death serve the Light. In the immortal words.... RAFO.

(BTW - jamesedjones - I probably won't do a second piece on Cadsuane, unless I decide to do an "historical" short story set about 200-250 years ago. Not terribly likely. If I were going to do something that ambitious, I might just follow Isilel's suggestion and write a story about the Trolloc Wars or the 100-years-war. If I'm ever feeling really, really edgy, I'd like to try a Shaido Wise One - any except Therava, Sevanna or Someryn. But I don't think I can crawl into any Aiel mind, much less a Shaido... I just don't think that way very easily.)

Longtimefan @337 - LOL!! Unclean! Unclean!

Now y'all get off my lawn. I need a nap.
Tricia Irish
339. Tektonica

For a moment there, I thought Masema was alive and well.


I highly recommend Erikson, even though I'm only 160 pages into book 1. Great writing. It might be a bit gritty for you, I don't know. You will know quickly....it starts in the middle of a story, takes off like a rocket with very complex and pervasive magic.
Alice Arneson
340. Wetlandernw
Tektonica - I cheated a while back. I was looking at 'Gardens of the Moon' on amazon and clicked on the "see inside" bit. After I read the beginning, I clicked the "surprise me" button and read a bit in the middle. Out of curiosity, I clicked "surprise me" again, and it took me to a different bit in the middle. And again, and again... So I got to read probably 40 or 50 pages (maybe more) scattered throughout the book. Not much continuity, but I think it gave me a fair feel for the writing. I could find out differently when I read the whole book, but I don't think the kind of "grittiness" he uses is the kind of coarseness that irritates me so much.

Will probably start that when I finish Elantris.
a a-p
341. lostinshadow
Hi Tek,

I think Toryx might have mentioned he was reading Erikson.

Ohh Wetlander, yes please join us... even one of the reviewers is a first time reader of the series so it'll be great.

I think you'll enjoy some of the more mature characters
in the story.

plus us WoT lovers gotta stick together...
Bill Reamy
342. BillinHI
WetlanderNW: Great piece of writing! I'm not a Cadsuane hater (or lover) and unfortunately have to admit that, since lack of communication is one of the biggest (if not _the_ biggest) building blocks of the series, there is not really any other way Caddy could have gone about teaching Rand and the Asha'man what they needed to know. In a more reasonable world she could have had several long heart-to-heart talks with Rand about her long experience with channeling men and convinced him of what he needed to know. But that is not the world RJ wrote, not to mention that if he had written a more reasonable world, the series would have ended 10 years ago and who knows what all of us fans would be doing now!!

Bottom line is Caddy has very good intentions and is a much needed part of the story, but her methods still irritate me no end.
James Jones
343. jamesedjones
340 & 341

But the best reason to start Erikson is that he is scheduled to finish his last book soon. :D

Can anyone confirm?
344. Freelancer

I'm sure you're correct that Brandon will have a different take on Cadsuane than your fanfic. His answer to the question if Cadsuane would experience reciprocity for her treatment of Semirhage was
"If I have anything to say about it!"
Cranky-spanking FTW?!?

Also, would love to chat with you about your opinion of Elantris when you finish.
Sydo Zandstra
345. Fiddler
@Wetlandernw and Malazan Books.

Personally I think you may find the books too gritty, even if the writing is superb.

Try and do the same with 'Memories of Ice'. It's the most impressive fantasy book I ever read, a tearjerker even, but it shows the lowest instincts of human cultists and the most grim war scenes at the same time.
a a-p
346. lostinshadow
the hosts of the reread have stated that it is to be published.

amazon uk has announced the release date as Jan 2011 and is allowing preorders on it.

and it's a pretty slow read the first time round so even if there is some delay, you might not actually be done by the time it comes out

esp with new WoT release in Nov. :grins madly:
Karen Fox
347. thepupxpert
Wetlander - re your fanfic... I only have one little itsby bitsy comment and that is your use of the term "money". I don't believe RJ ever used that term to describe currency in Randland.

"That woman would have had Sorilea jumping! She chuckled softly; that was a confrontation she’d have paid money to see."

Someone prove me wrong!
Karen Fox
349. thepupxpert
JJ & Wet - Boy do I stand corrected! My profuse apologies!
James Jones
350. jamesedjones
349 thepupxpert

Admittedly, he didn't use it a lot. Heck "braid" returned more than twice as many results. :)
Alice Arneson
351. Wetlandernw
thepupxpert @347 - I think by the time I wrote that sentence I was reaching my limit... It might have worked better to use some form of gold, but it never really occurred to me. But since jamesedjones just did the work for me, I can now pretend that I noticed and did it on purpose, right? ;)
John Massey
352. subwoofer
Retire SWSNBN?!

Whoa! I said whoa!

I second JEJ- Wetlandernw did a wonderful job at her fanfic- but it does not change who Cranky Pants is in the books. I'd do something myself, but it would read like an Archie comic, so I stick to my quick wit and snappy patter comments.

Mat is one with the money, I am surprised that RJ did not write in a "show me the money" or something like " let me see how many crowns you have in your purse" comment. Or maybe he did... something about purse jingling somewhere...

353. Freelancer
I did the unthinkable. I clicked a subwoofer link. R.Fife, wherever you are, please Rickroll me so I can get that out of my head?
John Massey
354. subwoofer
@Free- yur kiddin right? Rick? Roll? Really?


j p
355. sps49
Hey, I must've missed your return, subwoofer. Good to see you here!
Thomas Keith
356. insectoid
Re: ASoIaF... I'm considering starting AGoT soon, so lay off the spoilers a little, huh? ;)


357. Freelancer
Ahh, see, subwoofer, I could almost KISS you.

And insectoid, the first twitch I've seen since the last post.
Heidi Byrd
358. sweetlilflower
Since we are sort of in a Cadsuane discussion, does anyone know which three AM she blackmailed? It comes up in WH, so perhaps I should wait until we get there, but I am pretty sure it is somewhere in the middle of the book and I might forget by then. My Mom assumed she had blackmailed the AM who attacked Rand, but I am pretty sure she is not BA. I skimmed through the whole book but I don't *think* the names are ever specifically mentioned. I am confident that someone on this site will know the answer.

Alice Arneson
359. Wetlandernw
Generally assumed to be Flinn, Hopwill & Narishma. I'm not absolutely sure it's more than implied anywhere. See Winter's Heart, chapter 13.
John Massey
360. subwoofer
@Free- nope, nope, nope- not gonna do it. Would not be prudent, nope. I know what lurks behind door #1. I'd have to jump into a vat of de-lousing powder to feel clean after.

Thinking happy thoughts.

@sps49- thanky:) I was around, just working with limited computer access, out in the boonies.

Tricia Irish
361. Tektonica
OK...I've forgotten. What did Cads blackmail the AM for? OK, that was a bad sentence, but my caffeine hasn't kicked in yet.

Good thing I'm not actually drinking coffee at the moment with all the rickrolling, laugh-a-minute, shennanigans going on here! LOL.

**waves at Free and Sub**

OK, starting to twitch madly....where's my fix.....
Tess Laird
362. thewindrose
Tek - I believe it would be Flinn, Hopwill & Narishmma agreeing to be bonded by the sisters in Cads pocket. That's the way I read it - but yep, I am at work so not able to provide the accompanying proof:)

Tricia Irish
363. Tektonica
Thanks Windrose, but how is that a blackmail? Did she trick them into the bonding? Maybe I should just wait and read it!
James Jones
364. jamesedjones
361 & 363

Re: Blackmailed AM

Taim had included their names on the list of deserters ('cause, ya know, he's a scumbag). Cads used their problem to her advantage, and promised AS protection if they would allow some of her AS to bond them. Flinn was probably all for it; he and the AS healer may have been in discussions for it anyway. Narishma and Hopwill got a raw deal, but it was worth it to not be hunted down by other AM while Rand was hiding in Far Madding.

Edit: to correct some of the terrible grammar.
Lannis .
365. Lannis
See, this? This is what gets me... frakking busy as all get out lately, and on the day of the new post I actually have a couple of hours in the morning and it's waaaaaay before postage time. Grr...

Praying for down time this eveing, maybe I can actually jump in with decent timing. :/

IIRC, the bunker got a little empty during the summer months last year... well, except for the usual suspects, of course. ;)

Speaking of which... I have fresh zucchini bread to share! Loaded with raisiny goodness! Excellent with a morning tea! :D
Tricia Irish
366. Tektonica
Thank you JEJ@364:

I'd forgotten the circumstances of their bonding. I remember the traitor tree debacle, but forgot that Cads used that to "nab" the AM. That yellow and Flinn will make an awesome healing duo. Thanks!
Marcus W
367. toryx
RobM @ 331 and Tektonica @ 335:

I think I used to have a theory for who the Third Dragon head was but I can't remember! If I ever get around to doing a re-read I'm sure it'll come up again.

There are definitely lots of questions, several of which are quite unanswered.

Re: Erikson - I'm liking it but not loving it. It's definitely interesting but I haven't yet fallen into the story. And I really hate spoilers so I'm afraid I'm going to have to stay out of the Re-Read. Darn it.
James Hogan
368. Sonofthunder

Thanks for the info on why the AM were bonded by the AS! For some reason, that always flew over my head, the fact that the AM submitted to bonding for protection from the BT. Even in my latest reread, it escaped me. I read too fast. :(
James Jones
369. jamesedjones
368 Sonofthunder

It's the fatal problem of having a terribly unappealing character like SWMNBN. I always skip over the bitter parts. We all caught the part about the flaw in Callandor, but missed the part about why SWMNBN has AM traveling with her grouchy band. Of course, in my mind, Rand's time in Far Madding always seemed like Alaska during December. There's no sunshine when I picture it, and almost no daylight until they leave the city bridges. RJ was the master.
Heidi Byrd
370. sweetlilflower
Does the text ever specifically say which AM she blackmailed? Chapter 13 just says, "Blackmail was a tool she disliked using, but she had already used it on the three Asha'man...". I guess the use of the article "the" is supposed to clue us? Eben is serving drinks in the same chapter so I suppose he is one of the three.

Tess Laird
371. thewindrose
Oh dear, I see a blackberry debate in the making...

We need a new post - STAT!!

Rob Munnelly
372. RobMRobM
Toryx - I'm interested but we have a request above from one of our winged compatriots to avoid more spoilery discussion re ASOIF. (I believe we've actually been pretty good at hinting rather than stating spoilers - such as I did have a thought that one character sent across the sea at the behest of an onion could suffice. Oops, sorry I slipped Insectoid). R
373. MasterAlThor
Shaggy Bela,

I now know what I must do. I must force my family to listen to EotW on audiobook. Car trips will never be the same.


Wow, someone got bit by the muse bug. Way to go. Don't ever think you need to hide in the bunker for your work. That was awesome.

I still don't like her.


Welcome back brother.


Also a big hello to all and congrats to JennB. Hope everything is going OK with the new addition.
374. alreadymadwithbondedAM
Must have taken some arm-twisting to convince the three. Take note that these three are among the strongest Asha'man around, all with battle experience. If the Black Tower was really serious about killing them, I don't think Aes Sedai could have done much except get in the way.

sweetlilflower @370
The actual names are never specified, but during that time period only three were close enough to be blackmailed. Flinn, Narishma, Hopwil. We next find that these three are also the first to be bonded, so according to my good friend Occam, they were the ones that got blackmailed and it was related to their being bonded.
Leigh Butler
375. leighdb
Hi guys,

There will be no post today.

Apologies, but there's no way it's happening. You don't need the details, but Real Life and I have been playing Crisis Deathmatch Frogger all week, and the game just went into overtime.

The Re-read will return on its next scheduled post-day, Tuesday.
376. chaplainchris1
Hey Leigh, sorry to hear that of course, but sorrier that Real Life is trying to squash you. Mine has been a bit too, so take care, dodge those cars and gators, and be well!
Tina A
377. Tinaa
No apologies necessary Leigh, real life has to come first SOMETIMES I suppose. ~grumbles~

Will see you on Tuesday then. God only knows what this post will be discussing by then...
Sydo Zandstra
378. Fiddler
No Problem, Leigh. Get your stuff done, and return when it suits you.

Now, I'm interested in why the phrase SWSNBN should not be disbanded. Does anybody using that abbreviation not know that it means Cadsuane? Does it really change the way you read this character? Is it so hard to type Cadsuane or Cads? (I could say SWSNBN would be short for Cadsuane, but 6 against 8 letters isn't really making it much shorter).

Shall we make up abbreviations for Elayne, Faile and Berelain in the same way?

Just saying. ;-)
Marcus W
379. toryx
I never even bothered to play by the SWSNBN rule in the first place. I admit it, I don't play well with others.

Leigh: Ditto the other supportive comments. Take whatever time you need. Real Life trumps blog posts.

RobM @ 372:

I thought we were being really discrete too! Wonders never cease.

I'll keep a lid on it. Just remember: The Crows fly at midnight. Beware the melting ice!
Ron Garrison
381. Man-0-Manetheran

Wow! Thank you. It seems I don’t have the time to participate here much in the summer. I’m so glad I didn’t miss your post. You really inhabited her character.
That woman would have had Sorilea jumping! She chuckled softly; that was a confrontation she’d have paid money to see.
I howled! Terrific job!

But neither he nor they would not like the learning, for true.
Shouldn’t that be: “But neither he nor they would like the learning, for true.“ ?
Alice Arneson
382. Wetlandernw
GAHHHHHH - Man-o-Manetheran - I knew there had to be one of those I missed in all the revising. Of course, it started out as "But he would not like the learning..." Then I had to add the Asha'man to the previous bit, and then in here, so "neither he nor they" but then I missed the "not" in the resulting cleanup. To tell the truth, I'm surprised there's only one! And I'm really surprised that no one caught it before this - or else they were discreetly not mentioning it. :)

In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought of you while I was writing...
Julian Augustus
383. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @ 276:

Absolutely phenomenal piece of work. Let me go one step further and pay you the ultimate compliment: it reads as if Jordan himself could have written it. Bravo. If only that was the true Cadsuane and not your sanitized version!

As you may guess, I don't buy most of the views and motivations you've attributed to Cadsuane, but that doesn't detract from the brilliance of the piece. I was enthralled.
Tricia Irish
384. Tektonica
So sorry to hear RL has gotten in your way, Leigh. Sort yourself and good luck.

Tinaa, I also wonder what we'll be up to by then! Let's pick a topic to argue about, er, discuss.

.....or maybe RobM will think up a new game for us to play! Awe, come on Rob!
Alice Arneson
385. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland - As noted, I don't really expect anyone to suddenly love her, and I don't want anyone to forget that it's just my view and not necessarily valid beyond my own mind. Still, it was a good exercise for me to see if I could maintain consistency through a piece like that. As for the ultimate compliment... I'm truly honored. Thank you. ::blushes to shame a sunset::

In other thoughts... I'm with toryx on hating spoilers, so I won't be joining the Malazan reread unless I can catch up and then stay ahead of the pace. Which isn't too likely, I'm afraid, with my limited reading time this summer.

About the Asha'man-blackmailing event, I don't think it's ever spelled out unmistakably, but I also think jamesedjones @364 is right about it. It makes the most sense, and explains why they would consent to the bonding. There may be more to it than simply the "deserters list" thing, but I don't have any suggestions as to what the "more" might be.
Marcus W
386. toryx
Re: The Blackmailing event:

Well it's not just being in big trouble with the Black Tower as deserters. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Cadsuane or one of the other AS under her thumb suggested to the poor guys that they were just as likely to be captured by the Red Ajah and Gentled as found by one of Taim's men and executed.

They were probably made to feel as though they were caught between a rock and a hard place and the only way out was to bind themselves (but not too uncomfortably!) to the Aes Sedai.

What I don't buy, personally, is how cuddly and cutesy everyone was after the fact. I never understood how both sides got to be all affectionate so quickly.
Rob Munnelly
387. RobMRobM
Tek @ 384. As ordered....

Survey - favorite non WoT book/series:

Currently, a tie between Martin's Song of Ice and Fire (principal series and Dunk and Egg novellas both) and Hobbs' Farseer/Tawny Man series.
Alice Arneson
388. Wetlandernw
toryx - The emotional connection always made me feel there was something more to it than just the usual Warder bond. It really seems to go both ways, too. I wonder if we'll ever find out.
Karen Fox
389. thepupxpert
Wet @388 - agree, I think once they were bonded there was an understanding about each other that just isn't perceptible from the outside.
Julian Augustus
390. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @ 385:

You want to know how good that piece was? I didn't catch on until nearly the end that you wrote the piece. It read so naturally like a Jordan chapter to me that it took several instances of "where was that, I have to re-read TGS again!" before I cottoned on that it wasn't an extract from TGS. Brilliant, simply brilliant.
Rob Munnelly
391. RobMRobM
@388 - I'm assuming it's that steamy Damer-Corelle experience v. youth/beauty sexy time....Did I actually say that out loud?
392. Hrothgordo
Well, I think the speed at which the AS and bonded AMs get together chummy is not wholey inaccurate. Because you have to look at a lot of contributing factors:

First, that the AS themselves are going to find themselves in very unfamiliar territory regarding relationships. Much of the semi-cloistered lifestyle of AS (barring some Greens) is due to their relationship with the world. Even when they find a romantic partner who isn’t terrified of them, the ability to do anything long term is almost nil because no man can be their equal. In the AMs they are faced with an equal, someone they must work with and can’t simply control (even with Warder Bond).

Secondly the allure of the Power certainly can’t hurt. Whether it is simply the wonder of experiencing new aspects (of the already “seductive” TP) through a male-female circle; or learning new ways (or ways to think) about the Power.

Tie that to the already established culture of thought an AS has about her Warders and the connection. The connection descibed would be an absolute fast track to intimacy. Knowing the feelings and emotions of someone is powerful stuff, heck even Rand establishes some emotional bond to Allana due to this connection.

For the AMs you have a fair amount of that, but you also have men who learned to channel knowing the dangers and how people would perceive them. All of them have a reason be it duty, ambition or curiosity. Yet none of them could have believed it would create any opportunities to bring them into any sort of close relationship with anyone. Deprived of even the small amount of comraderie with others like themselves in the BT it is would be normal for them to react favorably to anyone that could end their isolation and fear (and Rand certainly isn’t going to provide anything there).
393. Freelancer

Hang in there, Baby!


::waves his hand:: There were no errors in your work.
::waves his hand:: Nobody saw any errors in your work.
::waves his hand at Man-o-Manetheren:: Nobody should point out errors in her work.

That should do it.


They call it a bond for a reason. I can understand that once you're feeling someone else's physical and emotional sensations, a nearly instant sympatico could occur. Of course it's different for Rand about Alanna, since she ambushed him, and it gave him just a new reason to distrust Aes Sedai, and to get harder. But when we look at Alanna herself, she has it. She can't stand to be away from him, she is fiercely defensive and protective of him, and it is definitely more than just her opinion of the traditional Care and Feeding of Your Warder, but an empathic link that affects her deeply. You'd have to be steel, nay cuendillar, to defy that bond.

Hmm, ok, something new until Tuesday. ::looks at the previous paragraph:: Ooh, I've got it. ::pulls out the ashes of a previous conflagration:: Let's look at the variety of bonds we've been shown:

1. Aes Sedai to (mundane) Warder
~ Mutual benefits to strength/stamina/health.
~ Imparts to Warder ability to sense shadowspawn.
~ Gives the Aes Sedai some power to command (not going to say Compel) his obedience.

2. Aes Sedai to Asha'man (Warder?)
~ Cannot command obedience, more equitable footing for the two parties, or perhaps strength in the Power rules (no evidence either way except that Rand seems to have primacy in his bond with Alanna, even though she formed the bond).

3. Asha'man to (mundane) Wife
~ No textual evidence of power to command obedience.
~ Appears to have normal Warder bond attributes and benefits.

4. Asha'man to Aes Sedai
~ Power to command obedience. Whether more significant than normal Aes Sedai to Warder bond is uncertain.

5. Aiel First-sister bond
~ No apparent power to command at all. If so, probably due to the bonding weave being channeled by a disincluded third party.
~ Not proven textually, but no appearance of Aes Sedai/Warder benefits in terms strength/stamina/health.
~ Only example shown in text is between two saidar channelers (Elayne/Aviendha), behavior may or may not differ if one or both involved parties is a mundane female.

6. Rand / MinAviEla bond
~ A unique mixture of the traditional Aes Sedai-Warder and Aiel First-sister bonds.
~ A mixture of participants; two saidar channelers, one saidin channeler, one mundane female (not to mention the two saidar channelers are already bonded as First-sisters).
~ Aside from the empathic sensation benefits, no other attributes noted in the text other than the "veins of gold", evidencing the male's love for each of the females.

7. Elayne / Birgitte
~ Traditional Aes Sedai to Warder bond, but applied to a homo-gendered pair.
~ Traditional Aes Sedai-Warder benefits, plus unintended positive feedback loop amplifying shared emotions.

::dry-washes his hands nervously:: So, what's missing from this list, and what does it mean?
Tina Pierce
394. scissorrunner
Sorry RL is being such a pain Leigh -
Crisis Deathmatch Frogger was never my favorite!!

lot of you talking about "other" books - you've talked me into trying Steven Erikson. Just got Gardens of the Moon for tonight's reading. thanks for the recommendation.
Holly Finnen-Stewart
395. Branwhin

Damer and Corele I can see. They're both passionate about Healing, Corele is merry-natured in the first place, and Damer (one of my favourite Asha'man) doesn't have anything to prove to anyone. Both Corele and Samitsu (who already has a Warder, I think) would have been talking his ears off, too, trying to figure out how he Healed Rand even as far as he did.

Eben is a very young man - he might actually appreciate someone calm and steady like Daigian. And she does seem to like him. Perhaps, a White, she's never had a Warder before?

Merise annoys me ... far too controlling (I wanted to swat her for withholding the pins from Jahar). Not fair that she got the prettiest one, but maybe not surprising, considering she's Green...

James Jones
396. jamesedjones
393 Freelancer
Let's look at the variety of bonds we've been shown:
While it might not be OP induced, we may want to examine the taveren bond(s).

Beyond Talmanes (that name always makes me hungry for Tex-Mex), very little evidence is offered for the bond between Mat and the BotRH, but we can infer that the Band's members that are excessively loyal to Mat can identify direction, and maybe a level of distress or need. They also seem, perhaps, more cohesive as a group, even with their level of expertise (beyond most military including the Aiel and Seanchan and maybe Borderlanders).

The other bond would be the technicolor taveren bond. So far, it's just been visions, but the guys have been able to identify need, also. This was clear with Mat unable to leave Rand until he formed the Band, and when Perrin had to leave the TR to go to Rand in Caemlyn.
Thomas Keith
397. insectoid
RobM² @372: Hey! ::poke::

Leigh @375: ::gasp:: Sorry to hear that (in more ways than one!). Do please watch out for the gators... ;)

Re: SWSNBN... I say get rid of it! Cranky Pants should do just fine, and even starts with the same letter, so someone who didn't know what SWSNBN stood for might know what we're talking about.

Free @393: LOL!! Wait... why am I laughing? Hm... list of Warder bonds. Neat!


Tricia Irish
398. Tektonica

Favorite books, not WOT? Are we talking Fantasy?

I'm afraid I'm going to be a copy cat here and say Hobbs' Farseer/Tawny Man trilogies. The Fitz is still my very favorite Fantasy character ever. I revisit sections of them occasionally just to talk to an old friend.

A Song of Ice and Fire, GRRM...very good.

Ursula LeGuin...anything.

There were several specific Feist books/characters that I liked, but in general, meh.....he got too overwrought and lost his characters.

About 10 years ago, I was a big Anne Rice fan. Of those books, Book 2, The Vampire Lestat was the best. Now Vampires, well, *shrugs*.

Wish I had something new and exciting to add, but, well, no. (But Erikson is really really good!)
Marcus W
399. toryx
RobM @ 387:

Favorite non WoT series:
Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, hands down.

Favorite non WoT book:
The Stand, by Stephen King

Favorite non Genre book:
A toss-up between Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Wetlandernw @ 388:

I'd thought of that too but I'd have thought the extra level of displays in affection would be one-sided, rather than working both ways. Which brings up another question that someone might know the answer to: Who set the bond in the first place? The AS or the AM?

If they actually linked and set the bond together, then I could buy the way they're all cooing at each other. But I seriously doubt the AS would allow that, and I'm skeptical at the idea that the AS would have allowed the AM to channel the bond in place too. So maybe it's a byproduct of something they didn't expect. But I think the affection both sides show to each other is different from the standard affection between AS and Warder.

Could just be me, though.

Hrothgordo @ 392:

Point 1: I sort of see your point but I don't entirely buy it. For one thing, AS do regularly bond warders (unless they're red). I like the idea that there's a difference because there's more of an equality between the two partners...except they aren't acting that way. The AS definitely have the upper hand in the relationship, as demonstrated by that situation Branwhin @ 395 mentioned where Merise withheld Jahar's pins.

Point 2: I also like the suggestion that it's the allure of the Power, particularly being able to truly link in a male-female dynamic for the first time in these women's experience. However, they started this before Saidin was clean. I don't think they'd enjoy touching Saidin all that much initially. In fact, I think they'd find it rather repugnant and it would actually put them off their bonded partner even more. Nynaeve certainly found the experience pretty unpleasant.

Point 3 (shared by Freelancer @ 393): The experience of sharing sensations is the strongest argument for the building relationship between both people. I'm not arguing against the affection they show, just that it happened so quickly. For the men, this would be a new experience unlike any they'd ever known before. Do I recall correctly when I say that none of the three AM are married? That being the case, I'd think the intimacy would be a little unsettling at first and I'd expect them to be kind of standoffish at first until they got used to it. I'd certainly expect that on the part of AS, who have no way of knowing if the madness is catching through a bond, interacting so closely with someone that they were trained all their lives to consider as dangerous, untrustworthy and anathema to their entire society.

*shrug* I just think it'd take a while to adjust to such wide changes in their outlook, and the intensity of the newfound intimacy would, imho, make them a little more standoffish (seeking their own space in whatever way they can find) rather than suddenly cooing and cuddling and acting like they're in new romances. Not to mention that the AS are treating the men more like cute new puppies than equal partners.

Branwhin @ 395: I definitely was annoyed by Merise's treatment of Jahar.
Tom Burton
401. Conky
Wetlandernw @ 276:

That was some excellent fan-fiction. Thank you. I've never looked at Cad in that light, and what you wrote was very believable. And I agree that it read like Jordan. Nice work!

And since you were willing to break the ice, perhaps I too can find the confidence to post some of my fan-fiction. This is a slow week with there being no posts, so I hope that's cool with everyone. I won't be able to post it until I get on to my home computer. So you guys have about 2 hours to tell me that my writing isn't needed. Otherwise I'll post it around 6pm EST when I get home. And like Wetlandernw, please forward all flames and complaints to my shoutbox. Compliments, however, are encouraged to be posted right here. Thanks all.
Birgit F
402. birgit
Only example shown in text is between two saidar channelers (Elayne/Aviendha)

There is another Aiel First-sister pair: Bain and Chiad.
You forgot the connection between Rand and Moridin.

I just reread Alanna bonding Rand, and Verin has a question about bonding:
They could not have linked sooner, not unless Alanna was suggesting they should have linked before she bonded him. Verin was not sure what the result of that would have been.

LoC ch. 11

SWSNBN... I say get rid of it! Cranky Pants should do just fine

Shouldn't it be Cranky Skirts? I doubt she adopted Min's fashion.
403. Freelancer

Valid thoughts indeed, but that's not really where I'm aiming. Besides, I'd view those things which are more distinctly Pattern-influenced (ta'veren effects especially) not as bonds, but less personal connections. Even the technicolor ta'veren scrying connection among RPM is not so much a bond, it's more like television with a vague sense of existence. Not distance, direction, emotion, or physical condition. Occasionally peeking through the blinds, though.

I might have added the Rand/Moridin link, which does indeed include shares physical sensations. What I meant by my question was, what potential permutation of One Power-created bonds do we have no example of?
Tricia Irish
404. Tektonica
Conky: Post away! We need all the amusement we can get!

Birgit: Good examples! In your quote do you mean Verin and Alanna should've linked, and then bonded Rand? Would that have bonded Verin too? Interesting thought.....inquiring minds want to know.

I think Cranky Pants sounds better. (And I think it refers to "underpants", small clothes, if you will.) I think it's something like the old kids sayings ie:, "Ants in your pants" (can't sit still) or "lier lier pants on fire"...that kind of taunt. Cranky Skirts just doesn't do it for me.
James Jones
405. jamesedjones
403 Freelancer
What I meant by my question was, what potential permutation of One Power-created bonds do we have no example of?
Ooohhh.... I just thought you meant bonds, in general.

Thanks for clarifying. I was on the verge of throwing in: the ogier bond to the stedding, the raven and rats bond to the DO, the trollocs bond to the fades ('cause I can't spell myrwhatever), SH bond to Alvin, the SF bond to bull... well, nevermind. :P

I do like the idea of the Rand-Moridin link. It was generated with both powers, and I'm not sure they can get rid of it without death (if then).
Tricia Irish
406. Tektonica

Totally agree with your irritation at Merise when she withheld Jahar's pins. Treating him like a child...totally emasculating. (*whispers,*bitchy*)


Forgot about Stephen King's Dark Tower Series....Loved it.


The Magus, John Fowles (what a surprise!)
The Alexandria Quartet, Lawrence Durrell
Tom Burton
407. Conky
@406 Tektonica: Yeah, I loved The Dark Tower too. Well, until King ruined the whole series with the last book. Such a disappointment, but the first 4 books were epic. And as some other people mentioned, A Song of Ice and Fire is fantastic as well. Now if only Martin would get the next book out. All my favorite characters are in the next book, and I've been waiting nearly 10 years to read about them again.

And thanks for the okay. I'm leaving work now and should post within the hour.
Tom Burton
408. Conky
Okay, here goes. I wrote this about 10 years ago. I don't necessarily think this is how the Last Battle is going to play out, but I enjoy my own take anyway. Feedback is appreciated.

Jherik was weary. He and his fellow Asha'man had been fighting day and night with little rest, not that any of them expected much anyway. He raised a hand to wipe his unshaven face, and noticed that his hand had still not stopped trembling. He wished he could ignore it, but it bothered him. A man should be able to control his own body, but the bloody hand would not stop trembling. It had nothing to do with the temperature although it was very cold. Besides, he was immune to the effects of the weather.

Jherik was a tall man. His hair was cropped short like most of the other Asha'man, though he wore his short more for convenience than to conform to the others. Two pins, the sword and the dragon, both given to him by that traitor, the M'hael, shone brightly on his collar in contrast to the dull black of the dusty cloak he wore buttoned to his throat. The wind whipped his cloak around his heron mark blade still sheathed in a plain leather scabbard, so he untangled it while concentrating to avoid looking at his hand. The heron marked him as a blademaster, though many might believe that an Asha'man had no need to learn the sword. Many might also think he was too young to have earned the sword, but the M'hael demanded that all Asha'man learn quickly, and that went just as much for the sword as for the Power. Even from within the void, he could hardly ignore the bite he felt every time he breathed the icy air. His nose was running, and his eyes would not stop watering--he was miserable. And tired.

Shayol Ghul's peaks were blacker than night with lightning frequently crashing into them from the even darker clouds that hung in a sky that seemed to be sick and dying. What was unsettling was that the lightning, although a natural phenomenon in the Blasted Lands, was now being directed by the Power to strike at the living, and that certainly did nothing to help his foul mood. The Shadow and the Lord Dragon's army fought for control over where the next bolt would strike like two thirsty men fighting over a drop of water.

Jherik had been resting, crouched on his heels, for some time now, and his calves were beginning to ache. He didn't want to stand up, and he knew if he sat down completely he would never find the strength to get back up. He stared at the violence and destruction that he and the others had caused. Dead bodies--Asha'man, Aes Sedai, Aiel, horses, wolves, not to mention Trollocs and Fades--lay at the feet of the living that were still fighting at the base of the dark mountain. And the battle was by no means over. They had been fighting for weeks, but it had only just begun.

It still raged all around the dead bodies, worse yet, it trampled over them. There was no room to fight without stepping on somebody's leg or arm, or sometimes worse. The smell was nauseating, but that could be easily ignored from within the void. Even worse was the smell of the strong, dry wind carried from the peaks of Shayol Ghul. Compared with the stench of the Dark One's home, the smell of decay was merely a nuisance.

Screams and howls from both man and beast alike pierced his ears constantly. A man could go mad hearing those sounds for as long as he had. He hadn't known the Aiel could scream. He guessed this place could even make a people as tough as the Aiel feel terror. But who wouldn't feel terror at the possibility of being burned to a cinder at any moment? At least he'd have the benefit of seeing the weave coming before he died; that was, if it came from another man. There would be no chance of feeling the tingle that warned a man that a woman was embracing the Power. He had long since gone numb to that warning. Like he, all who could wield the Power did. He would just have to anticipate an attack from anybody. The One Power was all around--it was part him, or he part of it.

Jherik leaned further back on his heels, and had to wrap his arms around his knees to keep his balance. He was lost in thought as he watched the dry wind blow swirls of dust between the dead and dying bodies. Some of those still living were within his ability to heal, but he must conserve his strength. Besides, he was not there to heal the dying; he was there to protect others from ending up on the ground with them. Suddenly a voice roused him from his thoughts. "You've rested long enough, Asha'man. It's time to give some of the weary a rest." Jherik chuckled to himself. Give the weary a rest. Were there any who were not tired?

He looked up at the man possibly even more battle weary than he. The other Asha'man and Jherik were dressed identically. Both possessed the same two pins, but the other man was far more powerful than him, so naturally Jherik deferred to him. He stood up, and wanted to cry aloud. His muscles protested; they had knotted up, and they demanded more rest. He pushed those thoughts away. Better to just let them skim off the void. Now was not the time to think of more rest. He could rest all he wanted when he was dead. He had a job to do.

The Lord Dragon was somewhere within the army, linked into a large circle of Asha'man, Aes Sedai, Aiel Wise Ones, and Sea Folk. Their duty was to battle the Forsaken, and more importantly, the Dark One. They had Callandor with them and some more powerful sa'angreals, or so the Lord Dragon said, but were they enough? Best not think of that either; it was not his battle.

His job was to protect the armies from destruction, and to provide escape for when the Lord Dragon won--or lost. Who knew what the Dark One would lash out with if sealed again? Three thousand years ago it was the taint. Might he do worse this time? What if the Lord Dragon wasn't able to defeat him? Jherik shook his head angrily, he shouldn't think of such a thing. The Lord Dragon would surely protect them. It was in the prophecies. But there was that one man who said the prophecies never stated that the Lord Dragon was going to win Tarmon Gaidon. Light! Couldn't he think of something better than the end of the world?

Jherik was stirred from his thoughts by movement from the Aiel front. Dressed in light browns that blended easily with the dusty ground around Shayol Ghul, the Aiel could make themselves invisible on flat, unobstructed ground if they wanted. However, now they stood in a mixed line of men and women, dancing with spears flashing. He had watched their dance before, and pictured it as a beautiful and deadly art form. The Aiel did not actually form a line. They fought in what looked like a pack of brown clad dancers, if dancers carried spears and skewered their enemies. They were effective though; hardly anything ever broke through the Aiel front. This was why he was surprised to see a Fade and handful of Trollocs break through that very line and start for the resting Asha'man. The Shadow knew what the greatest threat was, at least the greatest next to the Lord Dragon himself, and what better time to attack but when they were tired?

Jherik lashed out with the power, and there was death. They never even had a chance. His stomach still lurched at the sight of living creatures bursting into blood and bone, even Trollocs. The man who had stirred him from his rest earlier clapped him on the shoulder. "Well done, soldier. See, you've had enough rest. Now move on to some place where you'll continue to be of use." The man smiled a smile that never touched his eyes. His eyes said that he'd seen too much, and would never truly smile again.

Jherik nodded his head and turned away towards a cluster of Asha'man slashing at weaves that the Dreadlords flung at the Lord Dragon's army. He had to weave in out of Aiel and men on horseback battling Fades and Trollocs. He occasionally cast a weave or struck out with his sword at random Trollocs or darkfriends who were unfortunate enough to place themselves in front of his path. Enemies killed by the Power never knew what hit them, but the ones brought down by blade could still be heard screaming as he continued at the quick pace he had set for himself. He never even missed a step.

For the most part, the battle had shown little use of the Power, at least in the eyes of those who could not wield it. In reality, the One Power was used to protect the armies from destruction. Both Asha'man and Aes Sedai slashed at weavings from the Dreadlords aimed to destroy thousands of the Lord Dragon's army, and the Shadow did the same when the Dragon's army made a similar attempt. The true battle raged unseen, but that made it no less dangerous. If either side were to falter, the result would be catastrophic. That side would be utterly destroyed.

He was careful to step over the dark liquid that flowed out of a crack down the side of the mountain. He had seen what it had done to those who were not cautious. Any who so much as touched the liquid could expect nothing less than a painful and sickening death. Another Trolloc made a step for him and collapsed before it had the chance to make a second, when he sensed movement behind him. A boot scrape to his rear left was all the warning he had.

Jherik cut the weaving that was targeted at his still turning head. He turned to face his enemy and flashed a cold smile at the Dreadlord. They learned the Asha'man's tricks quickly. Some even used to be Asha'man. Both sides had learned their enemy's tricks, so as to turn them on their foes. Jherik was lucky to have heard the man's footstep at all with the sound of battle all around him. If not for his enhanced senses and training, he would have been laid out beside the Trolloc he had just had killed.

The two men stood unmoving, unblinking, only staring at one another in extreme concentration. To many it would seem all they did was stare, but in fact they attacked, parried, and slashed at the weaves that were thrown at one another. The Dreadlord was a tall, handsome man with dark hair and blue eyes that many women must have fallen for in his time. Despite all that he had seen, Jherik still felt that the flesh should reflect one's heart, but it had proven not so. If it had, this man would be fouler than a Trolloc, for his weaves were certainly evil. Now that he thought of it though, the Dreadlord's weavings were no more evil than his own. But that was not the point. He was only doing what he had to do to defend himself. Under normal circumstances he was not a violent man. If not for the Dark One and his evil creatures, he'd never have learned to wield the Power. Cursed darkspawn! He wished sometimes that he had burnt himself out months ago. Surely sitting in fear of the outcome of the Last Battle would be better than where he was now. They said that those cut off from the source died within a couple years, but even that must be better than a stray weave from a Dreadlord or a Fade's sword.

The man reached into his pocket, and spoke to Jherik with an evil grin, "I'm tired of your struggle. You've proven a worthy adversary, but I must end this now. I'm needed on the battle front, and you were just unfortunate to be in my way. Any other time, I might wish to play a little longer, but the Great Lord demands my presence. You will forgive me." At that, the Dreadlord's hand came out wielding a long, lance-like rod that must surely be too long to have fit in his pocket.

Jherik didn't know what it did, but it had to be an angreal or something of the sort. Possessing that the Dreadlord would have too much of an advantage. He was definitely this man's equal, but if he didn't act now, he would have no chance. He was already drawing at the Power to his limit, but he desperately clawed for more. He drew so much in he felt his head would explode even without the Dreadlord's weaving. His bloody hand began to shake again; funny, but he hadn't noticed it had stopped. It felt like his brain was pounding through his ears, yet Jherik drew more still.

The Dreadlord's eyes widened with surprise and he exclaimed, "You fool, you'll kill yourself," as he continued to raise his weapon at him. Jherik thought it amusing for the Dreadlord to feel the need to warn him to not draw too much of the Power, when it was his intention to kill him anyway. Suddenly, he felt a tear in the cord that linked him to the source, and he knew it was time to release his weaving.

He struck out with a complex weave consisting mostly of fire and water, and watched as the Dreadlord's eyes widened further still in recognition and fear. The Dreadlord hastily attempted to cut Jherik's weave, but the weave was too complex and too powerful. A fly would have a better chance of swatting away a spider as it pounced. This was an all or nothing gambit from Jherik. He felt his connection to the source tearing as the weave settled on the Dreadlord. The Dreadlord's mouth opened to scream, but nothing came out, except for a dry, raspy, choking sound. Jherik collapsed to his knees even before the Dreadlord's twitching body fell to its side, the blood boiling from every opening, every pore. The Dreadlord's hand clenched and unclenched in rhythm with his final breaths. But Jherik was unaware; he had already welcomed the darkness. Maybe the ground wasn't so cold. It was soft too. Rest, at last.
D.I. Rock
409. FeatherDancer

Someone else loves Min.

I went to the Wheel of Time Database link that someone posted much earlier in this reread. I've never visited that site before. I was poking around viewing character profiles.

This is the entry for Min Farshaw: http://www.wotdb.com/characters/view/481

Short hair, and likes to dress like a boy. In love with Rand Can see auras and images around certain people, and they tell what will happen in their near future. Perhaps the nicest, and most decent acting female characters in the series.
410. Freelancer

2 Ds, 2 As. Myrddraal.


There are plenty of sets of Aiel First-sisters, but we get no inside views of that connection's behavior, only Elayne-Aviendha. That's what I meant.

I didn't forget Rand/Moridin, it's outside of my area of interest for this exploration. My curiosity is about different conformations of bonds created using a purpose-designed weave. Whether Moridin intended to create the bond with Rand by crossing the streams, that isn't what those weaves were meant for. For that matter, he freely admits to Rand that he doesn't fully understand their link. (Which tells me he couldn't have deduced the idea of using it to provide Rand an access point to the True Power).
Bobby Stubbs
411. Valan
@Tek Re: Erikson

I've been reading Erikson for a little over 2 months and I'm almost finished with Book 5 - Midnight Tides. I'm completely in love with the series, its the only thing I've read that comes close to the awesomeness of WoT - and I did read the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire. Upon finishing it had no desire to continue the series, not that it was bad, but IDK, just wasn't good enough to continue. I know I'm in the minority in that opinion.

I do intend to join in on the re-read over there once I've finished the books, but not now because spoilers suck.

Other favorites besides WoT: The Stand by Stephen King and The Road by Cormac McCarthy (truly brilliant if depressing as hell). Honorable mentions to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and (though its been more than a few years since I've read it) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

Leigh: Crisis Deathmatch Frogger? You might choose another metaphor because that sounds insanely fun. But I suppose Insane Funness is a good excuse too. dammit. :)

Oh and Wetlander, I hate too say it and I highly recommend them but forewarning: the Malazan books contain some content that goes far beyond the term "gritty." Erikson doesn't skimp on the description. I mean there's some messed up stuff.
But Memories of Ice is the best book I've ever read, hands down. Up there right next to The Shadow Rising.

Sorry that I haven't been participating in the comments as much, but I've been reading other material this year, a lot of other material so I've been skimming. But this insanely long post might make up a bit, cause I'm not done yet :)

On Path of Daggers:
I really like this book... on the third time around. The first time I was just pissed off because there was no Mat. But Perrin's scenes before the capture of Faile were pretty good, Egwene's scenes rock, and the best scenes are with Rand.

I love the whole war with the Seanchan. I love that Jordan's taken our hero to a darker place. I love that it doesn't seem so bloody easy anymore. That scene where he gives the cup to that Asha'man (Morr?), is one of the most emotional scenes in the entire series. Rand going crazy with Callandor? Awesome, finally Jordan actually delivers on his foreshadowing that YEAH, Rand is literally going nuts. Its all been in his head, and the madness spread into action.

I even liked the end of the Bowl of the Winds plotline. The only thing I don't like about the book, is the seemingly endless road to Caemlyn, but in sheer page count, its not all that bad. And I have a sneaking feeling its mostly because I hate Elayne. If Nynaeve or Birgitte had gotten the viewpoints, all of the tension could have been channeled into comic relief, and we could have had fun watching Elayne go crazy instead of experiencing it, but no. Ah well.

Also its got my favorite cover. :)
412. alreadymadwithbonds
toryx @399
Relationship-wise, it can be viewed as the Aes Sedai having the upper hand. However we must also take into consideration the fact that this is in the context of the Warder bond which traditionally has the Aes Sedai in the superior position. For traditional Warders this superior position could be reinforced by the ability to Compel the Warder, distasteful as the act of it may be to the current generation, the threat was still often enough. However with an Asha'man Warder, we know this to be next to impossible. As a matter of fact, the Aes Sedai does not really have any way of enforcing her authority beyond referring to the tradition of the Warder being subservient to the Aes Sedai. This is why Merise had to act the way she did regarding Jahar's Dragon pin. I did not actually have a problem with it because in the context of the Aes Sedai-Warder relationship, Merise had the traditionally higher authority. Whatever rank or influence a Warder has is supposed to come primarily through his Aes Sedai, and therefore Merise had every right to withhold honors conferred by another authority, the Dragon Reborn in this case. It's also the reason we begin to see Jahar wear other colors aside from traditional Asha'man black.
On the flipside, the emotional feedback seems to flow both ways, and is amplified even. The Asha'man seem to subconsciously influence the Aes Sedai. Cadsuane notes several times how Flinn's stubornness seems to be bleeding off into Corele. Merise might have withheld Jahar's pins at first, but by KoD he is wearing both the pin AND traditional Asha'man black. Cadsuane herself is surprised that Merise asked for advise on the pin, suggesting such indecision would have been unthinkable in a more traditional Warder bond, particularly with a Green sister involved. Beldeine gets told off in TGS for her surliness, supposedly a distinguishing characteristic of her Asha'man Warder Karldin Manfor. I have some theories on why that is, but that is for another wall of text.
John Massey
413. subwoofer
@Leigh- alls I can say is poopy- s'ok. FWIW you're still my hero.

Books outside WoT? Soooo many-

favorite is a toss up Louis Lamour Lonely on the MountainEdit- I loved the whole Sackett series- pioneering family and the wild sweeping country. Awesome stuff.


Alistair MacLean HMS Ulysses.

But I'm kinda a loner in most of the books I read...

Fantasy? Gotta be Pratchett- Discworld- always had a fondness of Guards! Guards!

@anybody- hey, call Whatsherbucket by her name if you want, it is all fair game:) As for me, I will call her what I choose to. I prefer to avoid the topic altogether as the last time, it started a major flame war that I am attempting to hold myself above. I have said in the past, Cranky Pants is a very polarizing character, and for me, I just prefer not to use her name. For me it is akin to naming the DO out loud- "hey Shaitan- s'up?" - sky falls on head.

Same thing, different pile to me, may as well go poke a grizzly with a short stick while I am at it.

James Jones
414. jamesedjones
410 Freelancer

Hmmm... In that case, the only examples we haven't heard about that I can think of involve one male channeler and one male non-channeler; one female channeler with another female channeler; and one male channeler with another male channeler. Two non-channeling males has been confirmed by the WOs, although very rare, but it hasn't been seen firsthand in the books.

-Warder Bond-
channeler+channeler: male and female has shown bonded and bondee on both sides, but no examples of the warder bond between the same sex for either.

channeler+non-channeler: examples with wives and warders for the opposite sex matches, Elayne and Birgitte for the females of the same sex, but no examples for the men.

non-channeler+non-channeler: without an unknown terangreal this will not happen, and is probably not possible

-Sibling Bond-
channeler+channeler: Elayne and Aviendha are the example here (boy, Elayne has the oddest bonds) for women, no example for men possible since it's an Aiel custom and Aiel male channelers head to the blight as soon as discovered.

non-channeler+non-channeler: Bain and Chiad for women, no examples but we do have confirmation for men, no examples for opposite sexes experiencing this bond, either.

channeler+non-channeler: Min with Rand is the closest thing we've seen. Since the Aiel catch every woman with the spark, and WOs can't favor individuals, only ji'e'toh, it seems that they might have a "policy" against this sort of bond. Again, no possible example of men doing this until recently, and little possibility of it happening in the month since Rand cleansed the source.

So, that's my breakdown of possibilities. Anyone have any idea of what the effects would be of the ones we haven't seen. Feel free to go for broke with the non-channeler+non-channeler idea. Should be good for some laughs.
James Jones
415. jamesedjones
Re: Favorite Books

Hey, thanks Subwoofer. For some reason, on this thread, I always forget that we can list other genres. My favorite book has got to be "They Shoot Canoes Don't They" by Patrick McManus. Hands down, the funniest book I have ever read. The Hunter's Dictionary had me laughing for days anytime anyone around me used 5 minutes as a time frame. And that was second only to the story of his first deer. You want to avoid drinking anything while reading that story. You still won't be able to breathe, but at least you won't mess up the book.
Heidi Byrd
416. sweetlilflower
I haven't read anyone else's comments yet, but I thought it was well written.

Re: Favorite books

Anyone looking for a little "brain-candy" should pick up some Pratchett. I have the whole DiscWorld series, except for Maurice and His Amazing Rodents, and have read them all numerous times. He is kind of like Jordan in that everytime you read them, you find another little previously undiscovered gem. A must read if you like SF/F political satire mixed with comedy, philosophy, religion, myth, and general cheekiness. For all of the Cads lovers, you will especially enjoy the character of Granny Weatherwax.

"I can't be having with this at my time of life"

For pure unapologetic fun, read Dave Barry.
Jay Dauro
417. J.Dauro
A number of folks have assumed that with an AS bonding an AM, the AS cannot enforce obedience. I am not sure we can say that.

We can say it in the case of Alanna bonding Rand. Here we have evidence from Alanna describing it.
LOC 49
"I tried to compel him moments after I bonded him," Alanna continued as if noticing none of it. "Have you ever attempted to uproot an oak tree with your bare hands, Kiruna? It was much the same."
However, can we say this is because of Rand being a male channeler, or possibly because Rand is so much more powerful a channeler?

We see later that Merise is stronger than Jahar.
COT 23
She did not voice her obvious worry, of course: that he might grow stronger than she. Saying such a thing would have been unthinkable on many different levels, and while Merise had become somewhat accustomed to doing the unthinkable - most sisters would faint at the very idea of bonding a man who could channel - she was never comfortable giving them voice. Cadsuane was, yet she kept her voice neutral. Light, but she hated being delicate. Hated the necessity, anyway.
So could it be that in the AS/AM Warder bond, the AS will be able to compel obedience as long as she is stronger than the AM? Or possibly unless the AM is significantly stronger than she?

We have seen that the AM can bond and compel using the Extra Bit. With 51 sisters bonded, I believe it is probably safe to assume at least some of the sisters are stronger than the AM bonding them. But apparently here the EB bond is not subject to the same restrictions.
Just my ideas.
418. Freelancer

As to Aiel First-brothers, I see no reason why they couldn't use the exact same weave as is used on Elayne & Aviendha. Certainly their ability to channel has no impact on it, there's no reason to presume that the weave, while composed of saidar, has to be a females-only thing. But I agree, there are no stated examples of any sort of bond which is between two males, regardless of channeling ability. Hmmm.

Is this another case of Jordan's bias? If he can spend so much energy and effort showing us the pitfalls Elayne suffers for having bonded a female, could he not have been sensitive to the need for inclusiveness and balance, giving we the demanding readers at least one pair of bonded guys? Well, I'm sure they're there in the story's cosmology somewhere, just not directly essential to the plot.


I always just figured that Narishma was a young man (younger than Rand) with a strong conscience (though not as focused as Rand's). Merise being older and better trained, he defers to her willingly, not out of a forced submission to her greater strength. Aside from that, I did suggest in my original comments on the subject that in the case of saidar vs saidin bonds, whoever was stronger in the Power might have primacy. In the Rand/Alanna case, Rand's primacy could be his strength, could be his ta'veren nature, could be his Manetheren stubbornness, and is probably an admixture of all three. Also recall that Alanna's emotional state was already unstable when she bonded Rand, as she was still getting over the loss of Owein.
419. Freelancer
Favorite book? Well, a collection of books. 66 of them to be precise. An older work, dating from the 17th century in it's most correct English, though already quite ancient then.

Ahh, but if we're speaking of fiction, and non-WoT, let's see.

~ Foundation by Isaac Asimov
~ The Weapon Makers of Isher by A. E. Van Vogt
~ The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick
~ Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
~ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
~ Magician by Raymond E. Feist (I enjoy all of Feist's Midkemia stories, but that first volume is in a class by itself)
~ Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
~ Dune by Frank Herbert
~ Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Tricia Irish
420. Tektonica

Bravo! An incredible vision of the last battle. I wonder if it will be like that? Thank you. (BTW, you certainly don't need anyone's permission to post fanfic. Your writing is always appreciated.)


Yeah Min! Nice quote! I totally agree. Yup, she's my fave. ( I tried your link but it said it wasn't posted anymore or something.??) Thanks for the quote.


I'm totally hooked on Erikson. I just need more free time!!! Glad to hear it just keeps getting better.

Bonding: I thought Narishma was very strong. Isn't that partly why Rand sent him to retrieve Callandor? I think Free might have the right of it between he and Merise. She's older and more experienced, and he would naturally defer to her. Perhaps it is, dare I say it, politeness on his part? As he gets his "sea legs" the balance may shift.

It seems like the whole AS/AM relationship needs to be rethought when both are channelers. Like a marriage, which in many ways this is, I question whether either is served when one is "in control". Could we have a sharing of control in different situations, where one is better naturally than the other?
Ron Garrison
421. Man-0-Manetheran
Very well written. Nice visuals, and I loved the dark liquid running down the mountain.

'Twas but a "nit" ladled with heaps of praise. Wetlandernw knows I love her. But I understand your desire to defend her. I'd do the same.
422. Freelancer

Oh, of course. Trust me, when I'm using Star Wars references, I'm not being serious.

I'll let the bonding topic ferment a bit before I stir a different pot.
Ron Garrison
423. Man-0-Manetheran
the bonds
I managed to read the WH prologue in prep for today's post, and there is a lot of Toveine's reaction to Logain's bond. I think it would be safe to say that the "extra bit" is definitely more Compulsion than compulsion. She doesn't like it one bit.

By the way, by page count, the Prologue is 10% of the entire book. Whew!
Don Barkauskas
424. bad_platypus
Freelancer @418:
Aside from that, I did suggest in my original comments on the subject that in the case of saidar vs saidin bonds, whoever was stronger in the Power might have primacy.
RJ actually talked about this (from RJ's blog, 4 October 2005, via Theoryland):
A very strong male channeler bonded to a very weak Aes Sedai could not use the bond to control her. Whoever holds the bond is in charge, though she might have a hard time controlling him.
So the bonder can potentially control the bondee and not the other way around, with strength coming into play only to prevent the bondee from being controlled.
425. Freelancer

Thanks for that. On first read, it seemed natural to suppose the one who wove the bond would have some greater amount of control, but other events later seemed to suppress that thought. The idea that strength in the Power can impede the control of the bonder over bondee, makes good sense.

So does this mean that Elayne can impose some control over Min? I'd expect she would have no control (and wouldn't exercise it if she did) over Aviendha because of the competing (or complementary) First-sister bond. But one wonders if the connection with Min is more from the Warder weave, or more from the First-sister weave. If the Warder bit, it certainly doesn't let her impose control over Birgitte.

Say, if there's anyone here who hasn't listened to Chapters 4 through 6 of Way of Kings, it's up HERE. If your name is in red, you can't listen. You need to log in.
a a-p
426. lostinshadow
wow, as usual, late to the party due to time difference.

regarding bonds: obviously we haven't seen examples of AS bonding other channeling female or AM bonding other channeling male (or any kind of male for that matter).

What interests me about that is if a chaneller bonds another chaneller of the same gender, would the 'warder' bond act as an alternative to a link, allowing the one holding the bond to augment her/his power with the bondees? seems to me that since AS bonded with AM have some sense of saidin in this way, in same gendered channeler bondings, this should be possible. And if that is the case, males could "link" without any female channelers acting as a bridge.

And also, if as noted @424, the holder of the bond is in charge, what happens if any two channelers bond each other simultaneously?

RobM @ 387:

Favorite non WoT fan/sf:
Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry, Feist/Wurtz' Servant of Empire series; Ann Bishop's Black Jewels' trilogy (not so much the later books); Asimov's Robot & Foundation series; Joan D. Vinge's Cat novels

Favorite non Genre book:
Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being; Wurtzel's Prozac Nation, Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude
Noneo Yourbusiness
427. Longtimefan
I have been busy all day and apparently there is some news afoot.

Leigh, hope all gets better. Return when you can but do not stress over it.

Conky. Very nice, quite a bit to read.

as for books... I try not to play favorites. It causes little wars on my bookshelves and then there is paper and binding glue everywhere.

428. alreadymadwithjahar
J. Dauro @417
I always thought Jahar had always been stronger than Merise, and that any thought the Aes Sedai had to their being stronger was just plain arrogance. Merise had never been pointed out for being a particularly strong Aes Sedai, while Jahar was obviously promising enough to be entrusted with Callandor. Even were they of average strength for their respective genders, Jahar would still be stronger.
Merise has no way of quantitatively determining how strong Jahar really is compared to her. We're not even sure she knows how to make the comparison. It's not as simple as looking at another and being able to tell instantly how strong that person is, the way Aes Sedai do. As a male, no one would really know how much saidin Jahar can hold until he really pushed it. Also note that she made the observation after saidin had been cleansed. At a time when there existed an even greater incentive to hold more of it, the Taint having been removed.
429. Joanne
Merise and Cads discuss the bonded AM in COT chapter 23, ornaments.

Merise states there that Jahar is still growing stronger. As strengt growth in AM is not gradual she has no way of telling how strong he will become.

Maybe someone else can give an exact quote, I only have audiobooks on ipod and finding the right place and typing it off (with no mistakes) is too time consuming for me right now.
John Massey
430. subwoofer
@Conky- interesting reading. Brings a question to me- will the Last Battle be an epic long war or will it be quick? Most of RJ's fights seem to last within days, the Seanchan campaign being the odd man out. The Siege of the Tower was longer but the actual fighting was a mere skirmish with the exception of the flying folks- AS vs. AS was a big non-event. Same for Rand's liberation of er...Cairhien. Marshaling the forces and getting there took time, but the actual battle did not seem to last so long- same could be said for many- walking takes time. Maybe it was just me. The Gap- quickie. Falme- quickie. DW- quickie. Rand vs. Min- quickie.

@Free- the sixty+ books- from your youth? :P

Birgit F
431. birgit
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47: Siuanfan;22225;105;211.0
48: Jonathan Levy;21762;82;265.0
49: darxbane;19867;128;155.0
50: Eswana;19810;103;192.0

There were 2836 different usernames; 1688 appeared only once (including many alreadymad...).
Valentin M
432. ValMar
Made top 50, just about :) Thanks for the stats update birgit. I love this kind of stuff.
Lets hope Leigh gets her life together soon. For her own sake of course...
John Massey
433. subwoofer


How is that possible?

I didn't post for like a month.

Figured Tek, Wet, Blind or Rob would be toss up for 1?

I dunno...

Tess Laird
434. thewindrose
subwoofer - the stats are from the beginning tEotW up until now. (At 210 over Wetlandernw, you still have a good lead on number of posts;))

Tess Laird
435. thewindrose
Raise your hand if you are getting sick of seeing Thomas Cale! (Maybe it is a good book, but it keeps reminding me of the Druid Allanon of all people.) Now a picture of Galad would be appreciated. I am just saying.. Ahem...

John Massey
437. subwoofer
@Sulin- theoretically, you can never have too many books... right now I am building a library room to store my books so at the current moment I am discovering the PITA factor for having too many books. Later, when the dust settles, I am sure it will be worth it, but for right now, I have too many books.

Was kicking the tires for getting a Kindle or Sony reader, or Apple's glorified e-book reader, aka, Ipad, but at the end of the day, I love the feel of a book, turning pages, and no fear of not being able to read if the battery dies. Saw the Book of Eli and that concept became very important to me. That, and cherishing my Bible. Good movie, Denzel doesn't have too many stinkers, and his list of bag-of-awesome movies far outweighs them.

John Massey
438. subwoofer
Druid Allanon FTW- that was an interesting series, if you read a book at a time and forget the other ones existed.
Then there is the constant confusion that Brooks attended AA meetings and named the character to spurn his group...

Scientist, Father
439. Silvertip
Sub @ 438: You nailed it on Terry Brooks. Talk about writing the same not-bad book twenty times!

Going off topic for a moment since I'm obviously not the only part-time Mr./Ms. Language Person on the list: I feel obliged to confess that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is an alumnus of my own esteemed institution, and we obviously need to work on the part of the writing curriculum about not "overusing" quotation "marks." Sheesh.

Non-Wot Books?


Anything, anything at all, by Ursula K. LeGuin. The Earthsea Trilogy and The Dispossessed lead the pack, but not necessarily by much. For my money, she's the only contemporary writer with the pure prose chops to rival Tolkien, and I really like the low-bodycount fantasy of Earthsea.

I'm a big Tad Williams fan also. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is wonderful. I'm still trying to decide on Shadowmarch (last volume due Nov. 2), it's both deeper and murkier than some of his earlier writing and I'm not sure which is in the lead.

Have found room in my life for neither GRRM nor Erikson yet. You all are coming close to convincing me to do so, although it may have to wait until after the kids leave home.

Other genres:

Moby Dick

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations

Paul Dirac, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics (no, I'm afraid, I'm not kidding).

John Massey
440. subwoofer
@Silvertip- yeah, I always felt that character was a rip on Gandalf and Aragorn rolled into one. Then we find a new ancient lost power- swords, stones, songs, unicorns, tax accountants, attorneys. Then the whole druid thingy. Any time I picture a druid, I think:

If we are getting all smart like- a rarity for me- I'd have to go with Pilgrim's Progress. Book that made a definite impression.

Black Tulip- mostly because it was a gift from my grandfather.

Birgit F
441. birgit
How is that possible?
I didn't post for like a month.

You are still nr. 5 by number of comments if I count only TPoD.

statistics for TPoD only:

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
1: Tektonica;264;38749;146.0
2: Wetlandernw;225;77774;345.0
3: Freelancer;174;46255;265.0
4: toryx;134;25856;192.0
5: subwoofer;129;19550;151.0
6: forkroot;116;17562;151.0
7: Sulin;114;9137;80.0
8: RobMRobM;113;9490;83.0
9: Isilel;108;34048;315.0
10: jamesedjones;106;10451;98.0
11: Ouroboros;103;41727;405.0
12: Terez27;103;39338;381.0
13: thewindrose;102;17406;170.0
14: Man-0-Manetheran;95;9242;97.0
15: MasterAlThor;92;14323;155.0
16: insectoid;91;12063;132.0
17: HArai;91;14331;157.0
18: blindillusion;90;12258;136.0
19: alreadymad... (all);87;10783;123.0
20: Longtimefan;86;26099;303.0
21: Jonathan Levy;75;19620;261.0
22: misfortuona;69;6122;88.0
23: jadelollipop;67;8064;120.0
24: lostinshadow;62;11951;192.0
25: Amalisa;62;23371;376.0
26: chaplainchris;59;23221;393.0
27: J.Dauro;58;9800;168.0
28: birgit;58;8586;148.0
29: Sonofthunder;58;5862;101.0
30: Randalator;56;10640;190.0
31: thepupxpert;56;3439;61.0
32: blocksmith;54;6076;112.0
33: rosetintdworld;51;9334;183.0
34: Samadai;49;4295;87.0
35: Subbak;47;6149;130.0
36: ValMar;46;4748;103.0
37: sweetlilflower;45;5202;115.0
38: aspeo;45;10841;240.0
39: bawambi;42;2570;61.0
40: sps49;42;3357;79.0
41: JennB;37;3889;105.0
42: chaplainchris1;37;10112;273.0
43: Alisonwonderland;35;7527;215.0
44: scissorrunner;34;3429;100.0
45: EvilMonkey;32;9203;287.0
46: Lsana;32;5370;167.0
47: Beren;32;4895;152.0
48: Lannis;29;3575;123.0
49: KJacobs;29;1493;51.0
50: Aegnor;28;5262;187.0

top 50 posters by number of words
username;words;comments;average words per comment
1: Wetlandernw;77774;225;345.0
2: Freelancer;46255;174;265.0
3: Ouroboros;41727;103;405.0
4: Terez27;39338;103;381.0
5: Tektonica;38749;264;146.0
6: Isilel;34048;108;315.0
7: Longtimefan;26099;86;303.0
8: toryx;25856;134;192.0
9: Amalisa;23371;62;376.0
10: chaplainchris;23221;59;393.0
11: Jonathan Levy;19620;75;261.0
12: subwoofer;19550;129;151.0
13: forkroot;17562;116;151.0
14: thewindrose;17406;102;170.0
15: HArai;14331;91;157.0
16: MasterAlThor;14323;92;155.0
17: blindillusion;12258;90;136.0
18: insectoid;12063;91;132.0
19: lostinshadow;11951;62;192.0
20: aspeo;10841;45;240.0
21: alreadymad... (all);10783;87;123.0
22: Randalator;10640;56;190.0
23: jamesedjones;10451;106;98.0
24: chaplainchris1;10112;37;273.0
25: J.Dauro;9800;58;168.0
26: Looking Glass;9722;23;422.0
27: RobMRobM;9490;113;83.0
28: rosetintdworld;9334;51;183.0
29: Man-0-Manetheran;9242;95;97.0
30: EvilMonkey;9203;32;287.0
31: Sulin;9137;114;80.0
32: SteelBlaidd;9101;25;364.0
33: birgit;8586;58;148.0
34: jadelollipop;8064;67;120.0
35: Alisonwonderland;7527;35;215.0
36: Hrothgordo;7506;23;326.0
37: Subbak;6149;47;130.0
38: misfortuona;6122;69;88.0
39: blocksmith;6076;54;112.0
40: Sonofthunder;5862;58;101.0
41: Lsana;5370;32;167.0
42: Aegnor;5262;28;187.0
43: Der_Wikinger;5255;9;583.0
44: sweetlilflower;5202;45;115.0
45: CireNaes;4937;24;205.0
46: Beren;4895;32;152.0
47: ValMar;4748;46;103.0
48: Samadai;4295;49;87.0
49: Conky;4088;11;371.0
50: JanDSedai;4009;27;148.0
442. alreadymadwithstatistics
hmm.. I'm slipping.

I guess I haven't been as verbose as I used to be.
Rob Munnelly
443. RobMRobM
@441. Productive but not prolix, that's me.

@431. Thanks Birgit. My presence on the lists speaks more to longevity dating all the way back to EOTW than anything else. Everyone else started after me, sometimes long after me. I mean, for god sake, Terez made the list in a matter of two weeks or so.

@337. I actually lied - my favorite non-WOT book is Dune. I just got caught up in my ASOIF re-read afterglow.

Sulin - I just finished reading Galbadon, both the Jamie/Claire books and the Lord John books and novellas. I like them but I don't think I can take yet another wait for the next volume. WoT and GRRM and Name of the Wind and the next Vorkosigan book and now ... Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner? Whatever the next Outlander book is?

D.I. Rock
444. FeatherDancer
Some Favorite non WOT Books

Neuromancer, Lord of the Rings, Earth Sea Trilogy, Stranger in a Strange Land, Dune, Enders Game, Speaker for the Dead, Hyperion, Firstarter, The Stand, The Harry Potter Series, most anything by Vonnegut

Lonesome Dove, To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Joy Luck Club, The Good Earth, The Grapes of Wrath, Sometimes a Great Notion, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Of Mice and Men, Devine Secrest of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, Atlas Shrugged, Gone With the Wind, About a Boy, The Sun Also Rises, The Handyman
Maiane Bakroeva
445. Isilel

Nice! Even though making Jherik a blademaster without him being one prior to entering the BT is crossing into Stuish territory ;).


I hope that there is a huge battle in AMOL - all that gathering of immense armies and great generals that Rand and Co. have been occupied with for several books, has to have a big pay-off. Thankfully, BWS can write battles well, as the preview chapters for The Way of Kings prove yet again.

Re: bonds. I didn't feel that there was such a huge imbalance in normal AS-warder relationships. Yes, outwardly warders obey (though not always too, as we have seen with Lan), but IIRC every time we are shown a bit more detail, there is a lot of mutual give and take.

As to how far AS can compel their warders if they chose to go into no-no-land, IIRC it is for the most part difficult, draining and uncertain. That's why Liandrin's Keystone Koven had to leave their warders behind and that one BA whose warder wanted to kill her couldn't make him stop, but had to run from him instead.

The AM bond compulsion is far more comprehensive and actually approaches Graendal level in effectiveness, only the victim is wholly aware. I still hope that it has some flaws though - like for instance, that if broken once, it can never be reestablished.

Re: why the Asha'man got so cosy with AS so quickly - they were very lonely. They couldn't really trust anybody, even each other. And the bond offers emotional closeness that few people are lucky enough to experience, ever. IIRC at least Corele and Daigian were also immediately very fond of Flinn and Hopwil, respectively.
Though I remember being surprised that Flinn wasn't paired up with Samitsu, who offered to bear his children for the secret of his Healing, after all ;).
Barry T
446. blindillusion

11 & 12 On the overall re-read.

And I was about 8 months late to the party.

...So close to 13 on both. Drat. My plan failed. Tsk. Guess I'll have to find something else to do today.

My stats on tPoD re-read somewhat amaze me.

Thanks birgit. =)

And Sub, what are you trying to say?
Tricia Irish
447. Tektonica
You guys are reminding me of so many other books that I forgot to mention!
Vonnegut, particularly Sirens of Titan
Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings!!!

And now I'm afraid to post because it appears I'm a blabbermouth. yikes! Thanks Birgit. I'll try to post less and be more succinct....but it's so much fun here. :-}

Windrose@435: I agree, it's time to retire Thomas Cale. It's working as a marketing device though. It so wormed it's way into my subconscious that I bought it at B & N the other day. (Don't tell Tor) It's now on the TBR shelf.
Sharon E.
448. Sulin
Hey Sister! ::Waves at Tek:: Don't worry about being a blabbermouth, isn't that what we do at Sam's Place routinely? Blabbering, ftw!

@RobM- I knew there was someone else on the re-read who'd read Gabaldon! I've been reading about Jamie and Claire since the early 90's, with long waits between books. I do wish she'd get them out a bit quicker, but, as with WoT, I can wait, since the payoff will undoubtedly be worth it. :) (Hmmm, that's a lot of commas... but oh well. I'm too lazy to fix them).

Another author I enjoy is Clive Cussler- Is he formulaic? Yes, but classic Dirk Pitt is just MOA.

I forgot to add the Harry Potter series to my list... aghhhh! My list! Now I must start over at the beginning... ::muttering to self::

449. alreadymadwithfavefiction
Got way too many non WOT favorites.
Lord of the Rings
the list goes on...
Rob Munnelly
450. RobMRobM
Sulin - did you read the Lord John books and novellas? They were my gateway drug to the main series. First the novellas, while I was hunting around looking for the GRRM Dunk and Egg novellas I saw Legends II had a Galbadon tale - Lord John and the Succubus; then when I got the third Dunk and Egg in the new Warriors volume, there was the Lord John story when he went to Canada and ended up part of the attack on Montreal. Both were so good I got the two Lord John novels and the other novella, and by that time I figured I might as well dive into Outlander.
Thomas Keith
451. insectoid
Birgit @431/441: Odd... By my count I do have 91 comments for TPoD (not including this one), but a total for the re-read of only 396. Could I have missed one somewhere? ::puzzled look::

Anyway, top-25 on both lists is nice. Thanks for the stats Birgit! I see our Sr. Gurus haven't moved up or down the list much. ;)

Favorite non-WoT SFF books? Hm, I've got a short list. In no particular order:
- Tolkien's works (Silmarillion, LotR, et al.), which fill a shelf;
- Harry Potter series;
- Star Wars Expanded Universe novels (which also fill a shelf);
- Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy;
- R.A. Salvatore's Legend of Drizzt saga;
- The Chronicles of Narnia;
- The Hitchhiker's Guide series (I've only read the first two so far);
- Pullman's Dark Matters Trilogy.
We'll see if the book I'm currently reading (Martin's A Game of Thrones) makes the list. ;)


Sharon E.
452. Sulin
@Rob- No, I haven't read any of the Lord John books yet. I did read GRRM's original Dunk and Egg story, in Legends volume 1, IIRC.
Ron Garrison
453. Man-0-Manetheran
sub: "but at the end of the day, I love the feel of a book, turning pages, and no fear of not being able to read if the battery dies." And I suspect our eyes are better for not spending all those hours staring at a different flickering screen. Yea, books!
Marcus W
454. toryx
I am shocked I am so high on the lists, especially for PoD. How did that happen?
455. alreadymadwithcompulsion
IIRC Compelling a Warder is a fulltime effort. Unlike the regular or even Asha'man Compulsion which are essentially of the fire-and-forget variety. The option does however exist and in the not-too-distant past was not as frowned upon as it is now. Even today, Aes Sedai use at least the threat of it to keep itinerant Warders in line. As the more militaristic of the Ajahs, I suspect this is more common among the Greens.
Alice Arneson
456. Wetlandernw
I'm looking at that word count on PoD... EEeeeouch!! Why didn't y'all tell me to shut up, already??

Oh. Maybe you did, and I didn't listen... all those posts about Cadsuane that no one wanted to read... *sigh*

::shuffles off, head down::
John Massey
457. subwoofer
@Wet- I did try, a few of us did, but you had a bee in your bonnet about SWSNBN. You went away, cleaned your house, did dishes, came back and said more... and more, and more. Look at the bright side, we got some good fanfic out of the deal. May not have converts but we are talking about Cranky Pants.

@Blind- wasn't trying to say anything, I just figured you for top 5 is all.

Or maybe I had a chicken joke, I forget.

Who is this Thomas Cale dude we are talking about?

Tom Burton
458. Conky
Everyone, thank you for all the kind words. I appreciate it.

Subwoofer @430: Yeah, I agree with you that I think that it'll end up being relatively quick as well. 10 years ago when I wrote that I obviously didn't think so, but looking back on it now I no longer envision the last battle the way I once did. It would be cool as an epic year long battle though, so I still like the way it played out.

Also, I wrote a second chapter. This one was also written 10 years ago. I purposefully left the end of chapter 1 open-ended, because I couldn't decide if I should just let it end there or if I should continue and make it a bit longer. In the second chapter we find out Jherik doesn't die, but I'm not quite as fond of it as I am of the first chapter. I'll post it below, and like the first one, I appreciate any feedback. I stopped writing after this chapter (not really sure why, but I imagine it had something to do with being young, drinking a lot, and fooling around with women). Sometimes I think of starting up again, but I just can't find the motivation. Anyway, here is the second and final chapter.
Tom Burton
459. Conky
The first thing that Jherik noticed upon waking was that he couldn't touch the Source when he reached for it. The second was the pain--excruciating pain that made him see flashes of white and brought water to his eyes. He made another attempt to reach for the Source, this time more timidly, but the pain was just as intense, forcing him to lie still for a couple of minutes in order to catch his breath. He was severed from the Source. Oh light! He was severed, and it was his own fault. He had drawn so much of the Power his connection to the True Source had been cut. But better this than the alternative--almost.

Everything began to come back to him--the brief struggle with the Dreadlord, the drawing of that strange weapon, and then Jherik drawing more than he could contain so as to defeat him. However, had he not done so, it would be his body lying on the ground instead of the other way around. But was being burnt out actually better than being dead? Had this happened several years ago, he would have said no, and wished himself in the grave, but things were different now. What could not be healed had been. All he had to do was find himself an Aes Sedai, and she could easily return him to his previous strength.

Thinking of where an Aes Sedai might be caused Jherik to remember that he was still lying face down in the dusty, dry ground. He lifted his head and wiped at his face and eyes, spitting dirt out of his mouth. The body of the Dreadlord lay before him, as did masses of other bodies, contorted in unnatural positions that no living body would willingly allow itself to be bent. Fighting could still be heard in the distance, but none of it was nearby. But even a child could tell that it had been, and not that long ago.

Jherik was lucky to still be alive, twofold. Not only had he survived his battle with the Dreadlord, but he had also been fortunate enough to not been trampled to death by the fighting that ensued after he had passed out. How long had he been unconscious? That was not important! At least Jherik knew the battle--the war--was not over; he still had a chance to do his job, to protect the Lord Dragon's army, to still play a part, if only...

If only he wasn't severed. Jherik stood up and brushed himself off. His sword lie in front of him, still covered in Trolloc and darkfriend blood, still wet. He wiped the blood off on a Trolloc's sleeve and returned it to his scabbard. So he hadn't been unconscious that long since burning himself out. Jherik winced at the thought of reaching for the Source again; the pain was unbearable. That's what was making his stomach do back-flips. That's what was strange about the whole ordeal. He did not like being cut off from the source by any means, but at least that made sense. At least he understood severing. But this pain was unnatural. Granted, he had never been severed before, but he had heard from others who had, and none of them experienced any pain.

Well, no matter, Jherik was sure that it would not be a problem. He probably only hit his head when he passed out, and that's what was causing the pain when he reached for the Source. What he needed to do was go find himself an Aes Sedai to heal him, and then get himself back into the battle. He should consider himself lucky that the battle hadn't ended with him still unconscious. Then he would've been in real trouble. Cut off from the source, and alone at the foot of Shayol Ghul--except for the dead that is.

Jherik shivered at the thought, and it occurred to him that he'd been shivering from the cold for some time now too. He must get control of himself and concentrate. Stop letting a little setback like this get under his skin. He was severed, yes, but it was reversible, and there were Aes Sedai nearby who could heal him. That line of thinking allowed Jherik to relax and regain the calm required to ignore the effects of the weather. Slowly he felt the cold slip away, and in seconds he stopped shivering, as if it were somebody else's body that was standing at the foot of Shayol Ghul with the icy wind whipping down at him.

Allowing himself to ignore the temperature also helped him collect his thoughts. What was that weapon that the Dreadlord had? Surely it must be an angreal of some sort, and although he might not be able to use it now, he intended to have it when he was healed. Jherik walked over to the body of the Dreadlord, and saw the rod still clutched in the man's fist.

I wonder what it does, he thought to himself. He shouldn't be able to do anything with it if he picked it up, with him being cut off from the Source, but only a fool toyed with something he did not understand. It could be a ter'angreal, and not all of those required the Power to work. Then again, he couldn't very well leave it there for another Dreadlord to find. Anyway, he was cut off, so it probably was safe for him to touch. He wasn't going to be able to do anything with it in his condition, and he wasn't going to allow it to fall into the Shadow's hands again.

Jherik leaned over, and pulled hard at the rod, expecting the Dreadlord's grip to be tight, but it came free easily, causing him to have to step back awkwardly to keep from falling back down. It was light, he thought as he tested the weight of it in his hand. It was some strange material, too smooth for stone, but certainly hard enough. It didn't look like metal though. Jherik knew of no metal that had that shade of brilliant white. The thickest part--the handle--fit nicely into the palm of his hand, while the other end came nearly to a point, but was rounded at the end. Surely, not a weapon used to stab, but still a weapon of some kind, or else the Dreadlord would have never drawn it on Jherik. What would have been the point? A bluff maybe? No, he doubted that.

For some reason, the weapon was beginning to feel heavier. No, not heavier exactly, but something had changed, and it wasn't the weight. It was just that the closest way for Jherik to interpret the change was to say that it felt heavier, perhaps in the same way the air feels heavier when one expects lightning. And now his arm almost began to tingle. It was almost instinctive when Jherik pointed the rod towards a nearby dead body and pushed the 'heaviness' out of it.

Jherik jumped and almost dropped it when an electric charge, almost identical to lightning, shot from the rod. Muttering a curse, he was surprised to sense that the 'heaviness' was gone, but only moments later he could feel it building again, and with it he felt out a way to control the charging. What had he done? He didn't know how, but he had somehow figured out how to make the 'heaviness' stop building, and he was pretty sure he had also figured out how to charge even faster--almost instantly. This thing was no angreal, or at least it was one that didn't require the Power. He smiled to himself. Maybe he wasn't so helpless after all.

Curious about what happened to the dead body—a horse—he checked to see what the rod had done to it. There seemed to be no change at all, but Jherik did not doubt the lethality of his new toy. There would be no physical damage if he used it on an enemy, but as surely as that horse was already dead, so would whatever that was staring down the pointed end of the weapon. That brought a smile to Jherik's face.

When he was healed and able to touch the Source again, he would have great power. The Lord Dragon would let him fight on the front lines wielding both the Power and his lightning rod. The Shadow's armies would tremble at his gaze. Jherik turned and walked toward the fighting, looking for an Aes Sedai to heal him, and for another target, but a living target this time. There must be a Fade or Trolloc around somewhere, Jherik would even make do with a darkfriend. He must make the Lord Dragon proud.
Bonnie Andrews
460. misfortuona
So even when I think I've been close to silent, and people (Waves at Tek) are hounding me about why I'm not posting more, I'm still in the top half of that list. I'm at a loss.

Anyway Survey.

In no particular order
Anne McCaffery's Pern series - Got me hooked on Fantasy
Hichhikers Guide Series
Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land & All of the tales of Lazarus Long
Modesitt's Recluce series
Piers Anthony's Xanth novels

Single books are escaping me at the moment, but I do tend to read series more than stand alone books.

Jack London - Call of the Wild
Mark Twain - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Drawing a blank for anything more at the moment.

Shout out to the gang from Sam's Place, and hope everyone's having a great weekend

461. Freelancer

Why would anyone ask you to hold back? There isn't a one of us with an iota of sense who fails to be glad to see your avatar next to a comment. Nobody here who is more consistently worth reading, as well as considerate and engaging. If not you, who ought to be atop the word count? Not I, we all know how many wish my word count had never surpassed zero.


You reminded me of someone I've shamefully left out, whom I consider one of the finest minds of the last century. C. S. Lewis did a spoof of Pilgrim's Progress which he titled Pilgrim's Regress, a must read for anyone of faith. His own SF/F chops are well established, with the Chronicles of Narnia, and his Space Trilogy. His non-theological Christian spec-fic works are particularly wonderful reads, including The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce.

I also left Bob Salvatore off my SF/F list, and while he, like Brooks, certainly is formulaic in the composition of each volume, Drizzt is still one of the greatest characters of all fantasy fiction.


Sometimes a Great Notion was a wonderul book. The movie was a very poor portrayal, with tons of time-filler that wasn't related to the book. I felt as if I spent 2.5 hours watching a 45 minute movie. I liked watching Richard Jaeckel die, though.
Tricia Irish
462. Tektonica
I have to agree with Free@461....Wetlander, you and Free are our go to gurus of insight. No one is better to read...please keep up the verbiage!

Mis@460: I'm so sorry it's raining on your parade or camping weekend. Come down here and get some sun!

And keep posting! Better you than me!

Sub@457: Thomas Cale is the flashing book ad on the Tor main page banner. The book is called The Left Hand of God and there's an excerpt to read. Rather intriguing......


Bravo again. I can't believe you wrote those 10 years ago! Timely posting. Is there more? I like the white lightening rod. Thanks again.

A second vote for Sometimes a Great Notion. I remember loving that book a million years ago. Ken Kesey!
John Massey
463. subwoofer
But, but... I am know for my lacking of iotas...

I was pleading for mercy for Bela's sake. Poor horsey. Got wailed on. Repeatedly. That's why. Then the gender and sexual stereotypes got going. Then Bela, me and anybody else with sense to run, ran.

@Tek- ahhhhh- I am enlightened. Yeah, like flashing adds on kijiji or any other annoying pop-ups, I tend to ignore that stuff. The guys that hoc add space on these threads would be sad, but unless I am interested in it, I pay it no heed.

@Free- yes, CS was a powerful writer that does get overlooked- his was the first foray into Fantasy that I recall at an early age.

Dragonlance Chronicles was another series that firmly entrenched me in Fant. I understood Raistlin Majere and why he did what he did, torn between a quest for power and brotherly love, dang. The Legend of Huma is also an excellent followup to the initial books. Kaz, Flint, Tasselhoff, Strum, all interesting characters in their own ways.

Barry T
464. blindillusion
Sub - What's a little joke with friends. If anything, if I'd found the re-read a few months before I did, I'm sure I would be top 5.

Hmm. Books other than WoT?

'K. The Short List:

The Count of Monte Cristo
Lord of the Rings
The Harry Potter Series
The Belgariad and The Malloreon (Belgarath the Sorcerer Polgara the Sorceress)
The Otherland Series
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn
The Kushiel Series (especially the 2nd Trilogy)
Sword of Truth (first half of the series is great and the ending worked, for the most part)
The Dark Tower
Knight Angel Trilogy
Mistborn and Elantris
Obsidian Trilogy - Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Others -

Insomnia and It - S. King
Strangers, From the Corner of His Eye, Dark Rivers of the Heart, the Odd Thomas books, etc. - Dean Koontz
V. - Thomas Pynchon
Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

And because no one has ever mentioned it on this site (that I've seen) - Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
Tess Laird
465. thewindrose
subwoofer - I see Tektonica already covered the T. Cale angle:)

Tektonica - When did you start posting, you have one uped me on the all inclusive count! (I caught up with everyone during TSR 10 and started to participate - dun..dun...dun....)

sub - again -Great insight on Brooks. I found a new(ish) book out by him in the library(I read the Shannara series in highschool) and just couldn't get into it. Seemed really familiar though.

Ron Garrison
466. Man-0-Manetheran
Well said, Freelancer! There is probably no one I enjoy reading more than Wetlandernw. Write on, write on, girl! You bring such depth and insight to every discussion.
467. Unell
I've been lurking here for a while. I hope everyone will pardon two general questions:
I've read the FAQ and found it a very useful document...but I have many, many other questions about the series. I've also used the WOT wiki and theoryland conversation/statements index.

My questions are:
1. Are there any other good documents or database resources out there?
2. What active web forums or discussion lists are good for posting questions?
3. Which web forums' archives are online and useful?

Julian Augustus
468. Alisonwonderland
Corky @459:

Great stories, man. Too bad you didn't follow them up. I seem to recall around that time that TOR was discouraging fan fiction in the WoT, or I may be mis-remembering.

A minor nitpick. Since you wrote the story over 10 years ago, you probably didn't know then what we know now: drawing in too much of the power burns you out, it doesn't sever you (severing is what happens when you are gentled or cut off from the source). We know severing can be healed, but burnout cannot. Loss of the ability to even sense the source is permanent. So poor Jheric would be in for a surprise if he does find an Aes Sedai and asks to be restored.
Barry T
469. blindillusion

Allow me to direct you to this comment posted by Wetlandernw. It lists quite a few very good research sites.

My personal favoite is here. This would be a database of Q&A compiled by Terez. 'Tis a great place for searching for information.

(Whatever happened to Terez anyway? She seems to have stopped posting here.)

Other than that...I suppose any questions you have can be posted here in the re-read. One of us might be able to answer it.

Hope this helps,

Heidi Byrd
471. sweetlilflower
WooHoo!!!!! I made the top 50! Yeah!!

My husband was looking over my shoulder and he saw your handle. He had to make a joke. He said, "Do you know what a subwoofer is? Its a dog that barks so low you can't hear it!" I thought you would get a kick out of that. (Not that I am, in any way, implying that we would not want to hear, or read, what you have to say.)


Paul Dirac, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics (no, I'm afraid, I'm not kidding).

Is that any good? I have three books by John Gribbin, but it is always enjoyable to read quantum theory from different viewpoints.
Heidi Byrd
472. sweetlilflower
I would never ask you to be quiet! Thanks to your ardent defense of Cads, I have become... more understanding of her character. I enjoyed your fanfic, which I would not have a few months ago. Well, it probably helped that my Mom compared her to Granny Weatherwax (a witch who lives on the Discworld).

@Freelancer, I truly doubt many WOT fans wish your

"word count had never surpassed zero."

Even in our little debates, I have enjoyed reading your comments for many months.

On fav books, I can't believe I forgot about Hitchhikers! My favorite quote comes from the series and my maiden name is Dent.

"The trick to flying is throwing yourself at the ground and missing"
Jonathan Levy
473. JonathanLevy
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn
- Ah yes, I loved those books. I remember a few years ago I picked up a new book of his - "Shadowmarch" and found it oddly familiar. It contained all the elements of the first series, re-woven into a completely parallel plot. A bit disappointing.

The Legend of Huma
- I remember when I was 15 I walked into a newly opened Barnes and Noble on my street, and found a whole shelf of Dragonlance novels. Previously I had read just a few non-sequential books from the series which my library had. The Legend of Huma was the first book I bought. They've gotten rich off me ever since.

Has anyone read the Books of Swords, by Fred Saberhagen?
Birgit F
474. birgit
insectoid: By my count I do have 91 comments for TPoD (not including this one), but a total for the re-read of only 396. Could I have missed one somewhere?

I looked up your numbers of comments in old statistics:
up to TDR: 0
up to TSR: 2
up to TFoH: 7
up to LoC: 52
up to ACoS: 306
up to TPoD: 397

Tektonica - When did you start posting

Tektonica first appears in the statistics up to LoC with 10 comments.
diane heath
475. jadelollipop
Am surprised to find that I made the top 50 list. :)
I love books of all type.
Little Women
Little Men
Eight Cousins
Rose in Bloom
Hardy Boys series
Nancy Drew series
Debbie Macomber Blossom Street books
Sherlock Holmes
Agatha Christie--Poirot and Miss Marple. Mr Quinn
Harry Potter
McCaffrey's Pern (Ann not so much Todd)

Am not a GRRM fan although my younger son is (or was)

Stephen King in some cases (I only made it halfway through Dark Tower series)
James Patterson (Women's Murder Club)

I am now reading Tad Williams (found him in Legends II)
I have read tons of mysteries (a first love),a lot of romances and Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Derek Barolet
476. Derek.barolet
Yay! finally caught up to ya'll!
jeez, took forever
My favs other then WOT are
The DRIZZT series
Assasins Aprentice series
Jack Ryan books by Tom "secret squirrel" Clancy
old school Star wars
The Count of Monte Cristo
Anything by Jules Vern or Poe
The Circle trilogy by Ted Dekker
Lord of the Rings
Pern novels
and Earthsea series
and obsidian trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
D.I. Rock
477. FeatherDancer
461. Freelancer

Sometimes a Great Notion was a wonderful book. The movie was a very poor portrayal, with tons of time-filler that wasn't related to the book. I felt as if I spent 2.5 hours watching a 45 minute movie. I liked watching Richard Jaeckel die, though.

I totally agree. The movie was a complete dud, even with Paul Newman in it. Although, I did love it when he took his 60 foot chain saw & cut the desk in half.

I loved reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The movie was wildly acclaimed but I had no desire to watch it for many many years after it was made. The characters and the story in my head were so vivid I didn't want anything to alter that vision. I was sure any theatrical representation would be a letdown.

For my birthday this year the family went to see a live performance put on by the Drama Department at Michigan State. All three of my kids were intrigued enough to watch the video afterwards and my youngest read the book.
Myra U
479. Interested By-stander
375. leighdb
Don't apologize! RL catches all of us, now & then, even when we hide most cunningly from it. We will survive and prosper (or at least be marginally fine). I look forward to Tuesday, as I'm sure all of us are. Hange in there, lady!
I. B.
John Massey
480. subwoofer
@Sweetlil- yup- got my handle from me doggie. She is not quite a full sized woofer, so, like a subcompact car, she is a subwoofer. When my wife and I go on trips before the full sized version came along, we'd ask "got the sub"? Yeah, I'm a softy.

@Blind- no worries- you'll always be top 5 in my books:)

@JL- yes, I loved that whole world. Gully dwarfs, dragons, the bond, all that good stuff. I was really bummed out when the D&D movie came out and it was poop. If somebody could actually bankroll it properly, I'd say the Chronicles would be the way to start for an epic a la LOTR style.- And I did read "First Book of Swords", heck, I own the series.

@Jadeloli- Hardy Boys! Score! Loved those books as a kid. I even waited up at all wonky hours to catch the TV show with Sean Cassidy. Ahhhh memories. Then I became a teenager and lemme tell you, I did not have the skill sets that those boys had. The Great Brain series was another gooder from my boyhood.

@Wind- yeah, that series had such potential, but then it went nowhere again and again. I picked up Sword, devoured it, was soooo stoked when Elfstones came out, then it was like "what the?!"

-Note: if you have cup-a-soup the night before, remember to wash out your cup before making tea. Tea and noodles... mmmmmmmmmm good.

Tom Burton
481. Conky
Alisonwonderland @468:

Good catch. I didn't proofread any of my old fanfics before posting.


Thanks for all the kind words. No, that was the last of what I wrote. I've dabbled with continuing it since, but I'm never happy with what I start writing. I feel like it all reads like crap to me, and I end up deleting it. Maybe someday.
diane heath
482. jadelollipop
The Great Brain series....was that the 2 12 year old boys. One being a genius and one joe everyman ...if so I remember them also (not too well since I cannot recall if joe everyman was johnny or tommy :) Brains Benton??)
Scientist, Father
483. Silvertip
@464 Blindillusion: V. - Thomas Pynchon

And Yibble Yibble Yibble to you too!

@471 Sweetlilflower: That depends on what you mean by "good". Dirac was the physicist who first wrote down the wholly general (abstract vector formalism) mathematical description of QM. This book is his all-in-one-place description of that from-the-ground-up formulation of the theory. It's a masterwork of clear thought and precise exposition, but he has no interest in trying to bring things within the realm of those without explicit physics training, which Gribben is so very good at. If you really liked the math in Gribben and kept wishing he would stop with the real-world examples and get *back* to the math, Dirac might be a possibility.

If you told Dirac his book was "accessible" he would probably take it as an insult.

@477 FeatherDancer: Michigan State, eh? Another local, then?
D.I. Rock
484. FeatherDancer
483. Silvertip: Not a native. But yeah, currently livin in the mitten.
Thomas Keith
486. insectoid
Birgit @474: Both of us are wrong, actually. I miscounted my comments on the ACoS re-read; my total should be correct now. In any case, up to the end of LoC there should be 53, not 52. (I posted one comment after that report.)

Obsessive, aren't I? ;) ::foolish grin::

487. Jeff S.
Corky @ various

I've been lurking through the whole re-read thread and the TGS thread and I had to unlurk to comment on your fan fic. Obviously I liked it but I was really surprised that no one commented on the fact that the rod that Jherik takes from the Dreadlord is a shocklance from the AOL. There have been hints of forsaken having found a stasis box before. The Gholam, streith gowns etc, etc. So your use of a hinted at weapon being found and used at Tarmon Gaidon really sold the deal for me. Good job.

I have to say to everyone of the regulars here that I love all of the speculation, discussion and basic friendliness of all here.

So, lets get a couple of things out of the way so you all know where I stand now that I've decided to join the party.

Cadsuane, or miss cranky pants as some have described her, is a spitting image of my great aunt Zena, a formidable women that all walked very carefully around. She had a thing about "proper" behavior and was more than happy to instruct us youngsters on it.
That being said, I liked her as you always knew exactly how things stood with her. I like Cadsuane the same way.

Egwene is totally made of awesome, followed closely by Aviendha. Matt and Tuons story lines have been some of my favorite parts. I like Perrin but he's got to get a grip soon or Faile will eat him up.

Oh, I make peanut brittle and will drop some off at the bunker as soon as I get some directions. Can't seem to Google map it for some reason.

Sandy Brewer
488. ShaggyBella
One aspect of the AS/AM bonding that hasn't been mentioned is the enhanced sex. Getting feedback from the bonded partner seems to be a real turn on.... Rand/Min/Elayne and Logain/Gabrelle.
Gabrelle speaks of it as a "trap" in COT.

I guess it would be the same with any AS/Warder bond.
Heidi Byrd
489. sweetlilflower
@Jeff S.
GO GRAY!!!! And, good catch on the Shock Lance. I thought it must be one, but never got around to writing it.

I really liked the "real-world" examples from Gribbin. It makes it easier to try and explain it to someone else when you already have an idea of how to start. Perhaps I will leave Dirac alone, it seems kind of intimidating. Plus, I've got to stay with someone who titles his second novel "Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality" (I know it should be underlined, but I just type in the box).
I will say that reading his books was way more out there than any kind of SF/F book I've ever read. It is some really cool stuff.
Noneo Yourbusiness
490. Longtimefan
@ comment averages and statistics.

I am glad to be in the top twenty but now I feel compelled (compulsed?) to comment to keep my standing since I have been out for a couple days.

There is nothing like a frivolous ranking to make a person competitive for no reason.

Well. Here's to having something to say on Tuesday. I hope I do not fall too far before that happens. :)
Scientist, Father
491. Silvertip

Hmm, I didn't mean to have book recommendations come off intimidating. I kind of ran away with myself there, I think, abstract math will do that to a person :-).

Have you tried Brian Greene? I'm honestly not sure *anyone* understands string theory at this point, but "The Elegant Universe" is as good a presentation as I've encountered. (Plus, another cool title).

Derek Barolet
492. Derek.barolet
Hey, what time do the posts come out and is it tuesdays or mondays?
Jonathan Levy
493. JonathanLevy

Yes, I've got the Swords series too. I think I only re-read it once or twice, though. Not nearly WoT-caliber, but a pleasant read. "In what seemed like the first cold morning of the world, he groped for Fire."

I liked the Chronicles, but I liked the Legends even better. I haven't seen the movie - after your comments I'll make sure I don't. If I recall correctly, they came out with a fourth "Chronicle" - Dragons of Summer Flame - which pretty much dismembered the world they so carefully created to turn it into our own. Horrible.

Have you read C.S.Friedman? I loved the Coldfire trilogy (Black Sun Rising/When True Night Falls/Crown of Shadows)

From my experience, the post comes out one whole day after you're sure it must be out already.
Thomas Keith
494. insectoid
Derek @492: The normal schedule nowadays is Tuesdays and Fridays. This post so long because Leigh is taking a well-deserved break. So, the first post of the Winter's Heart re-read should (hopefully) be tomorrow.

JL @493:
From my experience, the post comes out one whole day after you're sure it must be out already.
Yes... that's it exactly! LOL!

(FWIW, this is my 400th comment on the re-read proper and 600th overall. Yippee-kay-yay!)


Janet Hopkins
495. JanDSedai
re: other books
I can't believe no one has mentioned Lois Bujold and Miles Vorkosigan yet. Those are at the top on my re-read stack (which is kept in my bedroom, as opposed to the the stacks in the basement. Decorating is easy for me; if you have a blank wall, put a bookcase on it!).

John Ringo is another guilty pleasure of mine. I just got back from a science fiction convention (LibertyCon) where I saw John, Bon Bova, Terry Brooks, Eric Flint, and Darryl K. Sweet, among others. Darryl had a few original paintings from Wot covers in the Art Show: New Spring, Crossroads of Twilight, Knife of Dreams, and an alternate of Crown of Swords--the same background of Shadar Logoth, but Rand has a sword. Of course, I couldn't afford to bid on the paintings, but it's nice to know that I could buy them for $1200 or so.

Posts usually come out on Tuesdays about noon EDT, or early afternoon.
Dorothy Johnston
497. CloudMist
Re The subject of #496 and Cadsuane

As a fan of Cadsuane, I haven't been happy with Sanderson's promise that "if I have anything to say about it", Cadsuane will be treated much like she treated Semirhage (if I'm understanding the context of BS's statement). But there is one way that I can this "shaming" happening that I would accept. Suppose Cadsuane does something to help Rand and/or the Ashaman which runs counter to what Egwene and the Tower have ordered. I could accept Cadsuane being birched in front of the Hall for her disobedience.
John Massey
498. subwoofer

... or some type of evil laughter.

John Massey
499. subwoofer
Shucks... it calls my name...

John Massey
500. subwoofer
Er... some swordplay on the last link... for those with violence issues...

But anyways... yay for me! 5- hunny! Score!!!

It had to be...

I was up early

Nobody was around

The magic number was in sight.


Rob Munnelly
501. RobMRobM
@495. I did mention that the next Miles book (Cryoburn) is one of the ones I'm waiting for. Does that count?
502. alreadymadwithmorefiction
Jonathan Levy @473
Love the Book of Swords. Mark was MoA. Even before you find out he's the Emperor's son.

ShaggyBella @488
Siuan makes note of it while mourning her last Warder, Alric. That the bond was extremely deep. Of course even without the Warder bond, any emotional tie that deep does tend to enhance sex. Add in the One Power enhancement and it can get... really good I suppose.

JanDSedai @495
Discovered John Ringo with the Legacy of the Aldenata(or as the Posleen would say, al'd'n't) series. Not bad at all.

Re: Non-WOT series
I'll toss in Margaret Weis' Star of the Guardians.
Tricia Irish
503. Tektonica
Good morning all....hope you had a sunny fun summer weekend!


Welcome! If you go gray your GPS will work properly for the Bunker. It's so weird to think there are long time lurkers like yourself out there, watching us flail away at this stuff. Thanks for chiming in!

Good get on the Shock Lance. I loved the white rod that Conky wrote about, but didn't connect the dots. More coffee please......

JonathanL. has the post times covered.....anything else? Oh yeah, Peanut Brittle is awesome! My mom and dad used to make it every Christmas, but anytime is Brittle time! Yum.

Starting to **twitch** already.....
Tom Burton
504. Conky
Jeff S. @487:

Thanks for catching the shocklance. I didn't want to say anything if nobody was going to catch it.

Subwoofer @498-500:

Now you're just trying to pad your post count. For shame!
Tom Burton
505. Conky
Here's a little post count padding for myself. Maybe it will move me from 500th in the rankings to 499.

I'm nearly finished CoT. Man, this book really drags. I wasn't too happy when I finished WH and knew this was next, but now that I'm reading it, I can confirm this really sucks. I think it's been 4 weeks now, and I'm nearing 3/4 of the way finished. I really don't look forward to when I get to experience it again in Leigh's re-read. Here's to hoping I'm actually finished it by the time she starts.
Tess Laird
506. thewindrose
Conky - Thanks for the fan-fiction!
Actually, subwoofer really likes getting numbers with two zero's. Some type of Freudian slip, but with images is a possibility:)

Also be careful of which bunker you go to. Supposedly there may be one made with the True Power by RFife. If you hear Rick Astley - run, run very fast.
Mr. Woofer also has a Bunker 'O Solitude up in the Bli, I mean in Canada.

diane heath
507. jadelollipop
Have to agree re: COT...I always liked it for the Mat/Tuon storyline but am stuck in chapter 18 with Egwene at the moment. (I put COT aside and re read the Belgariad and started the Otherland series among others) Path of Daggers was not as bad this go around as it was in memory and Winter's Heart flew by but COT is dragging. I cannot blame Faile or the Shaido. I cannot really blame Elayne. I was prepared for them to drag but they were a lot shorter. My yecch meter is being set off by Egwene and the sitting outside of Tar Valon line in this re read. I
have 4 more chapters to get past before I will see Cadsuane again.
James Jones
508. jamesedjones
505 Conky

Yeah, CoT really drags. But KoD does a great job of making up for it. All of our favorite characters make progress or finish up some major plot threads.
Joseph Blaidd
509. SteelBlaidd
Looks like I'm falling down on the comment's recently. Fascinating stuff in both the Fanfics and a job well done each time.

As for the reading list.
I have read Saberhagen's Books of Swords.

My non-wot go to stuff right now is, in no particular order:
P.C. Hodgell's Tales of the Kenkyrath. If you like Bujold you will like Hodgell
Bujold herself of course.
Jim Butcher.
Patricia Briggs: fun Werewolf Romances
Connie Willis
Terry Pratchett
Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds
Ill probably be lynched for this but Twilight, (what can I say I'm a Romance Junky)
On that Theme: Anne Bishop

In non Fiction I'm reading Malcom Gladwell, and current events.

Best writing in the DC universe in years. It's worth reading the entire 10 years and 50+ Stories just to get to the punchline at the end of the current chapter.

Oh and I've made Quiche with farm fresh eggs, fresh sweet corn, Pork ribs and a double chocolate cake with chocolate chips for the side board in the bunker.
a a-p
510. lostinshadow
I'll join you in the bunker with some homemade bread and freshly ground coffee.
Marcus W
511. toryx
Sulin @ 448:

I've actually read a couple of the Gabaldon books too. At least the first two...Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber. They're pretty good. My partner is crazy about them and has read the whole series.

jadelollipop @ 475:

I was a huge fan of mysteries when I was a kid. I read the Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew series, Sherlock Homes and Agatha Christie like crazy until I was about 12 and shifted to fantasy and sci-fi.

Silvertip and Featherdancer: I lived in Michigan for a few years several years ago. Even met Jordan there for the first time at a signing.
I keep seeing books people loved that I hated and I'm tempted to start a poll of popular books that people really hated but that might not be in the right spirit of our group.
Derek Barolet
512. Derek.barolet
hahaha @Toryx I was thinking same thing but didnt want to say anything cause of the same reason you did, and I'm new to these things so didnt want to piss anyone off. I totally forgot about the hardy boy books when i was a kid. Doesnt seem to be that many good mystery books made anymore, more thriller type stuff which is good but i miss the detective stuff. Maybe I'm missing stuff though, any good suggestions?
Oh and just a happy announcement I am now exactly 3 weeks from getting back to the States! yay
James Jones
513. jamesedjones
511 toryx
I keep seeing books people loved that I hated and I'm tempted to start a poll of popular books that people really hated but that might not be in the right spirit of our group.
Maybe when we get to CoT... :D
Matthew Smith
514. blocksmith

Love the stats, thanks. My numbers were lower this time around...I blame TOR's spam filter which flamed at least 15 posts, but hey, them's the breaks.

Conky@408 and 458

Nice job, good reads. Very entertaining.


Your last line should have been "Move along".



Dark is Rising-Susan Cooper
Chronicles of Narnia-CS Lewis
Earthsea-Ursula K. LeGuin
LOTR-Tolkien (include The Hobbit, Silmarillion etc)
The Recluce Series- Modessit
Pern Series-McCaffrey
Chronicles of Prydain-Lloyd Alexander
Dune (first three)-Herbert
Talisman/Black House - King/Straub
I'm sure I'm leaving a bunch out also.


Star Rover- Jack London
The Red Badge of Courage-Stephen Crane
Heart of Darkness- Graham Greene
515. Freelancer
A Facebook response by Brandon to a question about the chance of the AMoL release date being moved out:
@Kamran I can say more after the books are out. Yes, there are a lot of scenes that have been left for me, and instructions on what to do and how to do it. But the instructions for AMOL require me to dig into military history books to beef up on my understanding of historical battles, which will take time.

The other big issue is that my time-padding is gone. I started on the first of the three in December 2007, and it came out November 2009. It didn't LOOK like I was taking two years to get the book out because I had already finished novels months before that kept coming out. I was able to start writing TofM in middle 2009, and it is coming out end 2010. If I start AMOL January of 2011 (which is my plan, following a break to recover and some research) and it takes a year to write (much as the other two did) then we won't see it until 2012.
Well, now we know that there will be some real old-fashioned warfighting to come, and not just channelers blowing things up while standing still and sweating. Also...
For those asking, I've decided that I will write the last WoT book before the sequel to Way of Kings. AMOL has already been delayed too long
This, right here, is a good man. Writers shouldn't have to feel a need to serve their readers when they write, only their own conscience. Being put in this unusual situation can't be easy for him, and he works extremely hard to do it right.
Don Barkauskas
516. bad_platypus
@473 et seq.:
I've always loved The Book of Swords. Something about the concept has always fascinated me. I always meant to set up a D&D campaign around the Swords but never got around to it. Empire of the East, the colllection of three stories that sets up the history of that world, is also a great read IMO.
Rob Munnelly
517. RobMRobM
@block at 514 - Prydain FTW. I've read the first three to the kids and trying to get my 10 year old daughter to finish them. Note that Coll gives me a big Tam vibe - you get that too - but hope things turn out better in WoT.

@toryx/Sulin - I really like Galbadon's Lord John books and urge that they be read - he is a great character, as well are many of those with whom John interacts. He is a cool character in Outlander and even cooler in these books. Note that they lack the time travel element in the main series and essentially serve as very good historical fiction with some detective aspects (as John is tasked with solving problems in the books.) Only big issue is that John is gay and has sex scenes that are as explicit as the hetero scenes in the Outlander books -- i.e., pretty darned explicit. So be warned.

Bonnie Andrews
518. misfortuona
Okay just cause people have reminded me of what I forgot. Old age and all. I've got a few books to add.
Dragonlance series
Hardy Boys/Nacy Drew
Red Badge of Courage

Thanks for the brain kick to Sub, Blind and Blocksmith.

Mis-can't remember where I left my cane and glasses, never gonna get out of the house
519. Freelancer

::waves his hand:: You heard me say "Move along".
diane heath
520. jadelollipop
I see a lot of books named that one or another of my sons have read and that graced our bookshelves --we sold a lot of our books due to need for $ --but I have read
Earthsea trilogy by LeGuin
Terry Pratchett (my son took all of my books by him when he went to college)
Eragon thru Brsinger (that is all 3 that are out right)
My son had the Book of Swords books and we do have Terry Brooks on the shelf but I cannot get into them
(I realize those are two different series)
I really liked the Tree of Avalon books --we still have them
I read a lot of Asimov (due to my oldest son's love of them)
My daughter introduced me to Hamilton's Anita Blake series which we both like. I like her Nightseer book as well
I could not get into Twilight (only made it thru the first two books)
Husband is an Anne Rice fan. meh

okay okay am moving along...slow going at my age :)
Matthew Smith
521. blocksmith

Something about the books that got me hooked on reading as a kid still reverberate. Cooper, Lewis, Tolkien and Alexander will always have a special place in my heart.


Almost as if the force was with me.

Various regarding the Book of Swords series. I remember reading them the first time through and really enjoying them. Second time, not as much.

And I am adding Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. They were worth the effort.
Rob Munnelly
522. RobMRobM
I read Prydain in third grade, during a two week hospital stay. Agree it is particularly special. I read Tolkein early too - Lewis only as an adult. My daughter has several Cooper works on her 6th grade reading list so I guess I'll likely be reading them soon too.

Scientist, Father
524. Silvertip
@521 Blocksmith: Something about the books that got me hooked on reading as a kid still reverberate.

Roger that! I've still got a soft spot for some seriously cheesy Golden Age SF that I picked up at used book sales at 25 cents a pop.

And, how on Earth could I have forgotten Fahrenheit 451?

Tom Burton
525. Conky
jadelollipop @507:

Haha, I just finished chapter 18 last night. It took me a fricking week to plow through that chapter. Besides Elayne's bath scene, I think that chapter was the lowest point of CoT. It's long and in general MOS (made of suck).

I like how your opinions of the books are a mirror image of mine. While I thought PoD has a few slow moments, I rather liked it. I still never understand why Leigh has a such a grudge against that book. And before my re-read, I recall absolutely hating WH except for the ending. But I flew through that book and have completely changed my opinion of it. It was awesome through and through.

But CoT is absolute hell. I can't wait to get to KoD for two reasons. One, I remember liking it a lot, and two, I only read it once and don't really remember much more than the plot line the never ends actually ends, and Mat is awesome. Oh, and Rand loses his hand. Then, I get to read TGS for the first time. Yay!
Tricia Irish
526. Tektonica
OK, I have to ask....Is Saberhagen really his name...Book of Swords? LOL.

CoT, my least favorite WOT book. Ug. And yes, it's the Egwene outside of TarValan in grueling detail that puts me over the edge.

Toryx@511: I don't have any books that I hate, because if I don't like them after 100 pages, they are a no go. Off to the library donation bin.

blocksmith@514: Ditto on Talisman/Black House!

Free: Thanks for the Brandon update. He is a man of honor! Thank you Brandon for feeling our pain!

Steelblaid@509: My you've been busy in the cyber kitchen! I'll go mediterranean tomorrow, in honor of a new post. Grilled Leg of Lamb, Greek Salad, Tsaziki, cous cous.
Bill Reamy
527. BillinHI
subwoofer @499: Doing a re-listen of the Dune series and the speeches about the ancestors could have come from Paul or Leto II (I'm up to Heretics of Dune at the moment).

Oh yeah, absolutely LOVED the cat pounce!!!

As for books, I got started on Heinlein, Asimov, etc., but I remember well the Ace Double Novel paperbacks. I couldn't tell you how many of those I bought, usually on road trips to the airport. Tolkien is really my only other fantasy fave, although I have read a few others over the years, I guess.
528. alreadymadwithfanfiction
Derek.barolet @512
You mean not a lot of the nonviolent kind of detective work. The ones where it was pure sleuthing and deductive reasoning. Detective stories these days have a lot more blood and gore than they used to. Heck. Romance has a lot more blood and gore than it used to. They market it as young adult fiction, then they wonder why youth these days are more prone to violence.

sweetlilflower @523
The simple answer of course, is that Edward is not a vampire.

Re: Conky's fanfic
Poor Jherik, doesn't know yet the difference between being severed and burning out. Nice shocklance, though I'm surprised it would be at the hands of a Dreadlord. IIRC, shocklances were used by non-channeler grunts. That's what Sammael wanted them for, and I have every reason to believe that was how they were used in the AoL.

Re: Non-WOT fiction
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn was impressive in its world building. My major beef with it was the extremely close parallel to the Catholic Church. Was all that really necessary?
Derek Barolet
529. Derek.barolet
I have been browsing Dragonmount and alot of other fan sites and such and realized people have contributed a ton of fan fic, art work and such.
I cant draw or write but maybe this will be ok to contribute. Its The Band on the march, or at least what i was trying for

The Band on the march

Also be aware i am 7000 miles away from my studio and most of my instruments and equipment so it isnt that great of quality, hopefully in a few weeks i can get a better quality out there.
Tricia Irish
530. Tektonica

Nice! I had a bit of trouble hearing it, and I look forward to your return to your studio! Where are you anyway?
Marcus W
531. toryx
Tektonica @ 526:

It seems that I'm a glutton for punishment. There are a few books that I never finish and I'd agree that I don't hate them; sometimes I dislike them but usually it's that they bored me.

Anyway, I used to read popular books so that I could have a full opinion on them. Nowadays, I'm a little wiser and don't tend to bother reading books I don't like all the way through. There's just not enough time for that kind of nonsense. I made it about a page and a half into Twilight before I happily closed it for good, grateful for the time I'd saved myself from losing.
Derek Barolet
532. Derek.barolet
I am currently in good ole iraq haha not the best creative enviroment but i will keep refining it till i get back to my home studio in states. any critique would be good, its for you all so if it dont sound right tell me.

Hey btw as far as shocklances go, isnt that what was used to tazer Elayne and Co when they went to arrest the Darkfriend group, i think it was in WH or or KOD?
Just curious
533. Darth Touma
Wasn' the re-read supposed to start last Friday? Does anyone know if everything is OK?
Matthew Smith
534. blocksmith
Darth Touma@533

According to Leigh's post at #375, she will be resuming tomorrow.

Real life "got in the way" as she put it. Which is something we can all appreciate.

Back to favorites...

how could I forget Brust's Vlad Taltos series!!!!???? One of my all time in-genre favorites.
Jay Dauro
535. J.Dauro

According to the Encyclopedia, Asne used a Bent Black Rod ter'angreal to stun them. This is in KOD 31.

I doubt this is the same as a shocklance, since they appear to have been used in quantity by ordinary troops.
536. Freelancer

I don't see it as you forgot. Fahrenheit 451 is one of those seminal works which just doesn't fit in any "list". Unique doesn't begin to describe it. While there are similar cautionary tales about excessive statist control and the noble fight of the individual (Animal Farm & 1984 by Orwell, Anthem by Rand, etc), none are as truly dramatic and emotional.

Similarly, nobody has thought to include The Time Machine or other works by Wells. I was glad to see Derek.Barolet mention Poe. Though he wrote no individual piece of any length to rival Tolstoy, he is one of my alltime favorite writers.

Now that I'm thinking about it, at the same time of my life that I first encountered Tolkien, I was reading the Herriot books, some of the best non-fiction novels of which I'm aware.
Derek Barolet
537. Derek.barolet
True, but i always thought it was a shocklance and no one knew about it. Nothing says there werent more at one time more, and they do mention there were ter'angreal that let non channelers use them. Did Asne channel to use it? Hmmm, if so i will shut up now and retreat to my star-covered wagon.
Alice Arneson
538. Wetlandernw
Still working through the comments, and will finish after piano lessons are done, but wanted to post something for possible discussion. This pertains to many past discussions regarding chivalry, etc. I've been reading Elantris, and came across this rather profound statement:
Men protect things they find important.
Noneo Yourbusiness
539. Longtimefan
@ 538 Wetlandernw

"Men protect things they find important."

Which I would agree with and even say it is true of women or dare I say people in general, however, the current rise in comedy based on the abuse of certain male body parts shows this to be less true than one would hope.

Or indicates a disturbing devaluazation of men and their general health as no one protects it as important.

I will admit that slapstick has its place in comedy but it does not have to be so specific.

To move on from that to Men protecting Women ie: Rand and his lovely ladies. One, do women want to be thought of as "things"? (probably not) and Two, when does protection cross the line to dimisihing?

In some ways, even as a man, I like knowing that I am protected by people who have chosen to go into city, state and federal law enforcement. I do not feel like less of a person because there is someone out there serving the public to protect the "things" they find important both in the abstract (law) and concrete (person).

Rand is the "ruler" of Cairhien, Tear, Illian, the very important but not a king kind of guy to the Aeil and the Sea Folk and generally infuential in Andor both by being the consort to the Queen and the de facto yet abseentee leader of the Black Tower. In this he is "the law" and in his best Sylvester Stallone impersonation he has been chasing down the Forsaken like Rob Schneider. The comedic sidekick part is pretty much over (we miss you Asmodean) but he does have a similar single mindedness about the law.

In the particular case of the Aiel he is the Commander in Chief and the Madiens are a very well trained branch of the military that he has tried to keep from service because of his need to "protect" women. This is unreasonable because these women are as skilled and respected amongst their own people (his people) as warriors and he choses to see them as civilian women first.

Min on the other hand is a civilian woman. She may be skillful and capable but she is not dedicated to a military branch nor does she have a job as a guard in any of his palaces or cities.

Does it diminsih Min to want to protect her because she is so important? Her visions and compassion and honesty are very valuable and serve Rand best when she is around him.

How does one take measures to protect a person like Min when, as a person like Rand, keeping that person near by is painting as much of a target on them as is already hung on oneself?

Well, abandoning them is not the way.

Oddly, in protecting himself, Rand extends protection to those around him. By rushing headlong into trouble Rand creates more danger for those around him. It does not go a way completely if he is a bit more cautious but it is better than jumping into the fire while tied to ones friends and then lamenting the burn marks they recieve while ignoring ones own because of the foolish presumption that harm is the reward and penalty for being who one is.

As selfish as it may sound. Someone in Rand's position must take care of themself when they can if they want to protect the people they care about who care about them.

Or something like that.

I am feeling a bit out of it today and the coffee did not help. Darn you coffee for not being the cure all to my mental disacuity.

I would re read this and fix it but I have already claimed that it is all fishing in the stream of conciousness over here so I would hate to go back on my word as poorly spelled as it may be.

Derek Barolet
541. Derek.barolet
ok on a more serious note though in responce to the question does wanting to protect Min dimish her?
or in Perrins case Faile,
No i absolutely think not, I think the two girls should be flattered that they mean this much to their men. On the other hand...Rand wants to protect every woman so that cheapens it a bit for Min.
The maidens should be insulted, though, like you said they are highly prized and skilled warriors being treated like Sea Folk porcelien, pardon the horrible WoT pun.
Min though, LTF is right, she may be "skilled"; which is debatable since to date i dont think anyone has NOT managed to kick her ass; but she isnt a trained warrior. Faile isnt either, she got a little teaching in knives and hand to hand but thats the equivalent of martial arts training and you dont send even a karate master into a crazy battle without more training. this isnt D&D where unarmed people are untouchable, its realistic.
I strayed from topic.
It doesnt diminsh them, unless calling them important diminishes them and they haven't shown they dont need it. Like Mat excluding Avi from needing a "minder"
If that means leaving them to protect them I agree its completely understandable. I cant bring my wife to Iraq, cause its DANGEROUS, she may be able to shoot a gun as well as I can but she is still a civilian and doesnt belong on a battle field.
Even if the rules allowed me to, hales no, no way in hell i would bring her here. Im doing that for her protection because she is important to me. Should she be pissed? no. I am not saying she is less human or anything i am saying that she has no place on a battlefield enviroment.
Rands enemies are supremely powerful and can travel anywhere, we've already seen that his rooms are no protection. I agree with Rands desire to pull away from people. That doesnt mean its possible or good for him, but hey its worth a try, commendable and nothing to get mad at.

Edited because i got interupted at work and couldnt finish thought
Hugh Arai
542. HArai
@Wetlandernw: I´ve been off the net for a few weeks so I just wanted to compliment you on that amazing piece of fanfic, even if I´m trailing in late. I hope that is the Cadsuane we see when we RAFO, although I have less faith than you do :)
Also, I´m not sure if you´ll like the Malazan series or not, but I´d be interested to hear your impressions.

@birgit: Nice job with the stats.

subwoofer@440: Best. Druid. Ever.
543. alreadymadwithprotection
Longtimefan @539
You realize of course that Cadsuane came to the same realization.
Hugh Arai
544. HArai
With respect to Rand wanting to protect Min, I don´t much patience for those (including Min) who claim he´s being patronizing or dimishing her. The fact is that she is a potential weakness, a distinct target for Rand´s enemies and is not credibly capable of protecting herself from the sort of threats staying in close contact with Rand exposes her to. The episode with Semirhage in TGS demonstrates that clearly.

Rand has to accept that their love and the other benefits of being together outweigh that threat. It´s just a hell of a lot easier to say than to do.
Karen Fox
545. thepupxpert
birgit @ 441 - wow I can't believe I made top 50 of anything regarding this reread with so many gurus around, thank you for this!
Roger Powell
546. forkroot
Aloha! Checking in during the annual visit to Hawaii. Got breakfast scheduled with BillinHI this week - Going for the record on the southernmost WoT meet-up (US that is.)

Gotta start by adding my "wow" to Wetlandernw's outstanding fanfic piece above. Just a super job! Also enjoyed what Conky posted.

Regarding other series ... well I've been amusing myself this trip by working my way through Salvatore's Drizzt novels. I agree with Freelancer that the novels are somewhat formulaic and that the Drizzt character remains compelling. Not a series I would re-read, but worth going through once.

Regarding Tad Williams: Inside the ponderous Shadowmarch series is a half-decent series that would have seen the light of day with a good editor. As with all Tad Williams novels, the characters spend a lot of time slogging through secret tunnels etc.

Lastly: I am very surprised that one fantasy series was not mentioned (on this current thread.) In my view, there's really only three fantasy series that I will re-read over and over:

I) Lord of the Rings

II) Wheel of Time

III) Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (first two trilogies)

Regarding this last series, Donaldson is not for everyone; however the brilliance of the writing is hard to ignore. Elena's story (1st trilogy, 2nd book "The Illearth War") is heart-rending, and I have never found a more lovable character than Pitchwife from the second trilogy.

He's recently returned to the world of Thomas Covenant with a planned four-book "final" series. With two books read so far, I'm withholding judgment on whether the final series measures up to the previous trilogies.
Daniel Goss
547. Beren
As far as a man protecting the things he finds important . . . it's important for there to be varying degrees not only of importance, but also of protection. With that in mind . . .

The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time

These are in no particular order, except that the first is definitely always first:

1) Men protect those they love.
-- I'd take a bullet for my wife or my children. I wouldn't even have to think about it. Anyone who comes after any of them will have to go through me first. That which I love, I will protect from harm while there is breath in my body.
2) Men protect that which they value.
-- I have 'things' that are important to me. I take care of them. You don't get to pull my 1st edition hardbacks off of the shelf and leaf through them. You don't get to get on my computer and download whatever you want. You don't get to write on the walls in the hallway of my house with crayon. These things I will protect, but they don't get (or deserve) the same zeal.
3) Men protect those who cannot take care of themselves.
-- This is largely societal, but . . . I'll hold the door for the old lady leaving Church behind me. I'll donate money to charities that are doing work that I value but don't have time/ability to do myself. I will hurt for those who hurt, I will do what I can to help them, but I will also recognize my own inability to solve every problem everywhere.
4) Men protect themselves.
-- I have responsibilities. I have people who depend on me. Therefore, I must take care of myself, because there are those who depend on me for financial/emotional support and stability.

The problem with Rand is that he's lumped every woman in with those who cannot protect themselves, and he has decided to go to insane (word used deliberately) lengths to ensure that they are kept safe, and insane (still mean it) lengths to castigate himself when he fails in his self-imposed responsibility. He has also neglected to protect himself, not only from physical but also from emotional harm. Well, he's tried to protect himself by getting 'harder' I guess, but in the words of the internet "Ur doing it rong."

So yes, Rand should protect the 'things' he finds important. However, hopefully the re-integrated Dragon will be able to re-focus his priorities and actually weep for those he has lost, rather than desecrating their memories in a fit of never-ending self-flagellation.

And that's all I have for now.
Beren, still long-winded.
Noneo Yourbusiness
548. Longtimefan
@ 543 Alreadymad...

I do realize my revelation was a realization revealed by Cadsuane (no relation)

The difficult part is convincing the person who knows that they are a target to understand that being a target is not a permenent state of being and certain precautions can make life better but not 100% safe for the target and all the targetlettes they surround themselves with.

As for 540 derek.barolet

um, politians. But do you count them as "everyone" once they are elected?

As for the unelected, I would say scoundrels have a very fluid concept of "word" and the keeping of such.

but what is a word really but a select sycopation of syllables stictched seemlessly into sentences. How can such things be binding when they are so easily cast off if not passing unheard in the first place.

It is personal integrity that people cherish...language is just the chapel it is built out of.
Hugh Arai
551. HArai
forkroot@546: I liked the first two trilogies a lot but I´m not surprised they didn´t make a list of recommendations. The character of Thomas Covenant is such a barrier to so many people trying the first book that I no longer bother to suggest it to people.
Alice Arneson
552. Wetlandernw
Beren - hey, someone else who uses "flagellation" in a real sentence!!

HArai - I honestly don't have any confidence whatsoever that we'll see Cadsuane in the books in the way I portrayed her. Brandon doesn't like her very well, and I don't get the impression that Harriet will override him on portrayal. I don't even know what Harriet's opinion of Cadsuane is, so.... Still, I don't expect to see Brandon portray her as the aging-but-still-awesome adventuress I see in her. Oh well. That's one reason I really wanted to post that piece before TofM comes out - one of the rules I broke was in anticipating events likely to play out in the next book. Or portrayals, at least.

Re: my question at 538... I deliberately left out the context, because I was curious about the response when I placed it in terms of Rand and women-in-general. (I have to admit, I never thought about anyone aiming specifically at things vs. people.) However... in context, one character (a man) was speaking to the leader of their group (a man), explaining why the soldiers/guards of the group disliked letting him sneak off alone on his little missions. The full statement was "Men protect things they find important. If you object, you shouldn't have made yourself so irreplaceable."

In that case, the soldiers felt that their leader was of great importance (they were right) and therefore too valuable to risk great harm. Whatever other reasons there may be, I think men, both individually and generally, will tend to be protective of both people and things that are important to them. An individual man will (as someone said above) stand between his wife & children and any harm that threatens them. Another man will stand between his money and anything that threatens it - sometimes including his wife & children, if money is more important to him than they are. One of the principles of chivalry (as we think of it today, not necessarily the entire concept of Chivalry) is that women are important and therefore ought to be protected. I think that's the point that is missed by people who feel that it's demeaning to women to assume that they need protection. It has little to do with what they need, and much to do with what the other person finds important.
Alice Arneson
553. Wetlandernw
I would like to add that it takes a great deal of wisdom and discernment, to say nothing of self-control, to refrain from actively protecting what you value. It may be necessary, for any number of reasons, but it is nevertheless difficult to do, the more so when it is unclear that such restraint is in the best interests of the valued.

How's that for a couple of convoluted sentences? Obfuscation FTW!
Derek Barolet
554. Derek.barolet
@LTF 548
hahaha my Doesnt everyone referred to the whole "Men protect what is important", i didnt even see your post till i refreshed page. Just saying that yeah men protect what is important, but dont women, children, dogs and extremly territorial koala bears do it too?
John Massey
555. subwoofer
Freudian slip? What is that? Some kinda French under-thingies? I firmly believe in celebrating the milestones or everything fades into the banal. And this blog is about having fun, we are not unlocking the mysteries of the universe here folks.

Padding numbers? Moi? Meh, it comes and goes. As I have said, if I feel like posting, I post, if I have stuff going on, I live life. I didn't post for a month, no biggie. Things happen. Like this weekend Nick had a SpongeBob marathon, and last week AMC had the Duke goin' hard.

If I really, really wanted to, I could rack up the posts here, I am extremely opinionated and I can ramble on forever, but I am not a hypocrite so as I have suggested on the value of brevity, for some of the epic sagas some folks have posted, I do try to practice what I preach. But if I am really teed off... or D&P'ing, I could really give 'er.

Hugh Arai
556. HArai
wetlandernw@552: I don´t know if I agree that Rand´s insistence on protecting women in general is more than just loosely based on chivalry. I think all the Two Rivers folks were raised on the idea that good people don´t harm women and children, but I think Rand´s obsession is more than that. I think that in coming to grips with what it means to be the Dragon Reborn and the sacrifices he was going to have to demand of himself and others, he subconsciously chose a piece of the old Rand he wasn´t willing to give up in the name of pragmatism or for any reason at all. It´s not really a reasoned reaction. It´s not like he doesn´t know it´s obsessive - just look at his reaction to fighting Lanfear at the docks. He can´t stop laughing because he knows she´s going to kill him and he can´t bring himself to kill her.
His list I think is a way to get a grip on the guilt he feels about the cost he´s asking the world to bear. He focuses on the women he can name personally because it would break him to think about whole nations.

His protective instincts towards his three women I think are more conventional. He loves them, they are very important to him so he wants them to be safe.

Actually, for all of Rand´s issues, the most chivalrous Two Rivers boy is probably Perrin. He has a hard time even raising his voice to a woman.
Saldean chivalry must be an odd odd thing.
John Massey
557. subwoofer
Do I gotta say?... Real men don't eat... meh, but Twilight?! If Tek hadn't gone Greek, there would be lambasting. My general rule of thumb is "a million screaming teenagers can't be right". Britney Spears. The prosecution rests.

@LTF- you pouncer you! :P

@Sweetlil- shucks, I gotta be me:)

@HArai- you betcha! Could you imagine what Team Light could do with the magic potion?

... Mind you, I can't see RJ using the words "biff" and "paff" in his text...

Men protecting what is important:

Yes, yes we do.

Derek Barolet
558. Derek.barolet
I literally almost fell outa my chair laughing
*bows* Thankyou sensai
Noneo Yourbusiness
559. Longtimefan
Saldean chivalry

Woman: "A Trolloc!"

Man: "Here, use my sword!"

Woman: "Thanks. What will you use?"

Man: "I will teach it to dance and then break its neck with my bare hands."

Woman: "What makes you think I can not do that?"

Man: "Not now Woman!"

Woman: "Fine, I will use this sword but we will talk when this is over."

Man: "As you wish."

Woman: *Sniff*

Man: *Maniacal Grin*

(during this conversation they killed 3 Trollocs each.)
Noneo Yourbusiness
560. Longtimefan
@ Subwoofer,

Oh yeah, I am a pouncer. It is what the internet combined with numbers combined with frivolous achievements bakes into a cake of success!

Delicious success!

as for the protecting what is important I am aware that there are ways, I am just lamenting the rising commonality of the visual gag in current media culture when it adds nothing to the story that could not have been achieved in a different manner.

There was a time when such actions were not allowed in movies.

When they were tentatively allowed it was not comedy but drama that opened the door as a way for a woman to escape a villainous attacker.

Now it is an unfunny comedy bit that happens to the hero of the story in entertainment for children.

As someone who does not want to be the punchline for someones joke I have serious concerns over the subconscious invasion of this visual gag in so many pieces of media.

I suppose I could just buy the aforementioned equipment/clothing but giving into stupidity does not improve the world.

I think Gandhi said that after seeing "Dumb and Dumber".
Thomas Keith
561. insectoid
Sub @557: BAHAHAhahaha!! ::rolling on floor::

*twitchy twitchity twitch*

562. Freelancer
What Beren said.

My family certainly comes first and gets all the protection I can reasonably offer. I have extremely few possessions which mean enough to me for which to risk life and limb. But I take good care of anything which can be used against my name or my reputation.

Ultimately, I know that I cannot always, or perfectly, protect anyone or anything. How grateful to know that there is One who can always be trusted perfectly.
Sharon E.
563. Sulin
SUB@557- ROFL!!!! oh man!

Wow, y'all have been busy over the weekend.

@Derek- a belated "Welcome!"

John Massey
564. subwoofer


Can't tell if you are serious or not as "Dumb and Dumber" was a formative work in Americana.

@All- shucks, I am all over blushin':)

Time spent with cats is never wasted. ~Sigmund Freud

Alice Arneson
565. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan - I haven't gotten into it here, but I'm personally disgusted with the way men are treated in much of our country's "entertainment" - particularly in advertising and "comedy." It's as if there's a campaign going to make men look foolish in any way possible, whether by making them "stupid" or making it "funny" to cause extreme pain and humiliation. IMO, it goes back to the horrible idea of making one "side" look better by making the other look bad. It is so wrong, on so many levels, and it really pushes my hot buttons. For example: It's perfectly possible for a woman to be smart without being surrounded by stupid men, so why do ads (in particular) so frequently set it up that way? For another example: I'm generally considered a relatively intelligent person, and I take pride in knowing that my husband is just as smart as I am - and smarter in many ways. I'm also very grateful that he's smart enough to know when I'm better at something than he is, so we can have a mutually-profitable division of labor based on our individual strengths and weaknesses. We have plenty of comedy in our lives just from who we are, without needing stupid stereotypes to provide an inane laugh track.

Okay, I am so getting off this soapbox now, before I rack up another 77K words...
Derek Barolet
566. Derek.barolet
Be warned my wife is now home from a family reunion so i can talk to her again, hence not as many posts by me, which, from reviewing my semilucid posts above i realize is prolly a good thing.
btw i forced myself through my third Clive Cussler book. talk about using the same template.
the books could be the exact same as long as I change the name of evil organazation, treasure and location. Horrible. Shame on you Clive.
Noneo Yourbusiness
567. Longtimefan
@ 565 Wetlandernw,

Here is a page we are both on. Sadly we are jumping on it and setting it on fire. :)

It is a terrible idea to make one side look better by making the other side look bad or humiliating it in pain.

I did not mean to push your hot button I was just on a tangent after your protecting things inquiry.

I do lament that there does not seem to be a large enough section of people rejecting that weak writing at the production level. The consumer market cannot really reject it as effectively if most of the work is passable but there are one or two lazy points of writing that perpetuate these issues.

Trust me. It is a hot button issue for me as well. You would not believe the rant I went on for three days after seeing "Flushed Away".

Well, since you are familiar with how long winded (does the internet have wind?) my posts are in general I guess you could imagine. Suffice it to say in general it was a passable movie but there is one scene where certain slapstick humor is not only unnecessary in the format presented but it is gratuitous to the extreme of being the ONLY area of the anatomy hit several times.

@564 Subwoofer, I will agree that "Dumb and Dumber" was a formative work in Americana. I am not particularly impressed by certain aspects of Americana that formed because of this.

As you so well said "a million screaming teenagers can't be right". This also applies if they are screaming with laughter.

I was trying to stay whimsical. Hence the Gandhi. Nothing says funny like attributing a quote to Gandhi.
Alice Arneson
568. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan - I just wish we could fire (or set on fire? jk) the people who write and produce the "comedies" and the advertising. But... for some unknown reason, it sells, so they (busily protecting what's important to them - the bottom line) continue to write and produce said garbage.

And yes indeed - a million screaming teenagers can't be right. How very true. :>

(I wasn't getting on your case about pushing my hot button - you just gave me an excuse to express something that has really angered me many times, as it obviously angers you. And I loved the Ghandi "quote.")
569. Jeff S.
Tektonica @ 503

Glad to be here. You guys don't "flail", I have to admit that the main reason that I had never commented before was you guys have so often covered all the bases before I got there and I didn't have anything to add. I find my self just nodding in agreement and not bothering to post. Besides, I really don't like to post just to say "yes, that" unless I have an addition to make.

Non-WOT books
Re-reading John Varley's "Steel Beach" and have always liked the Gaean Trilogy
Any Heinlein (including the later ones, yes I know, I can't help it)
Sam Donaldson, "Mirror of her dreams" and "A Man rides Through"
Tolkien and
Asimov of course
Patricia McKillip
William Gibson
Spider Robinson
John Scalzi
Sheri Tepper "The Fresco"
and Stanley Weinbaum, "A Martian Odyssey" is an all time Golden age classic from an author that died way to young.

Wetlandernw @ 565

As far as how men are portrayed on TV and movies. I ignore it as much as I can, (and don't watch much prime time TV) but it does drag on a guy at times. Luckily, my wife and kids know I'm not a doofus unless I'm doing it on purpose. When my youngest was 16, I had to replace a leaking toilet in the house. When I was done, I apologized to everyone for the inconvenience and she said, "it's OK Dad, unlike the dads on TV, You know how to do stuff." I figured if a 16 year old daughter thought that I had it together, everything was going just fine.

Wow, look at this. Lurk for a year and all of a sudden it's wall of text time...

Jessica Thompson
570. CFP
Please forgive my tardiness chiming in and jumping back to ~250, and the topic of the Sea Folk and their bargain.

I like the idea of sending them non-channeling AS, but I tend to agree with the reasons presented why that is unlikely to happen.

However, I recently reread TGS ch. 5 "A Tale of Blood", where Rand is considering the Sea Folk treatment of male channelers. It's been a pet looney theory of mine that Logain will be among the first in a new group of male Aes Sedai (by virtue of the oaths, not necessarily the test), fulfilling Min's viewing of glory. Perhaps sending the SF a set of non-channeling AS may not occur, but sending them a set of male AS "teachers" would be, imo, at least as satisfying, and perhaps more so.
Rob Munnelly
571. RobMRobM
@567 - you want Gandhi, you get Gandhi .... From a classic comedy routine from a Boston comic, say, 25 years ago. (My brother bartended in a comedy club - Comedy Connection - and I'd meet him at the club and we'd drive home together afterwards - so I heard these routines a lot).

to the tune of the old 70s chestnut Windy

Who's walking down the streets of New Delhi
Smiling at everybody he sees
Who's setting out to capture the nation
Everyone knows its Gandhi
And Gandhi has skinny thighs
and Gandhi has hollow eyes...

transition to 70s chestnut Brandy

Oh Gandhi
so you came and you left without eating
so I sent you a tray....

transition to 70s chestnut Monday Monday

Oh nah nah nah nah Gandhi Gandhi

etc. There are another 2 or 3 songs in the routine but can't remember at this point.

The same guy also did a routine about West Side Story in the 21st century

Meet George Jetson
Jane his wife
his boy Elroy,
crazy Elroy,
Stay coool Roy
Got a sprocket in your pocket
a Spacely sprocket....

I just met his daughter named Judy...

Hey Mister Spacely
I think you're a jerk
You say I don't work hard I say that I'm overworked
You look like some feces from Astro my dog
I'm going to work for Cogswell Cogs (Cogswell Cogs...)

*Big finish - ensemble*

When you're a Jetson, a Jetson you stay
From you first flying car to your last gamma ray
When you're a Jetson you stay a Jetson......

Flashback. Cool. Rob
Rob Munnelly
572. RobMRobM
Forkroot - Thomas Cov just moved to darned slow for me, and he was such an unlikeable character. Liked them but not loved.

What I do love is Donaldson's Gap series. Blew me away. Space opera loosely inspired by Wagner's Ring cycle. Intricately plotted, compelling good and bad guys (and some that are mixed) and a female lead who goes through more "stuff" than anyone in any book I have ever read. (As you may recall, Leigh drew a parallel between this character and Morgase after the "OMG she was compelled by Rahvin, tortured by Asunsawa, and slept with Valda" scenes. Morn Hyland gets it even worse than Morgase, but she's still MoA to the core....
Heidi Byrd
573. sweetlilflower
I have actually stopped eating at Sonic b/c their commercials annoy me so much. Why is it that the husband always has to look stupid? I totally agree with Wetlandernw, a smart woman WANTS a smart and capable mate. Also, as the mother of a boy, I am... saddened and disturbed by the over usage of the "hit to the groin" type of comedy. Those parts are sensitive and easy to damage. I certainly don't want my son to be hurt (looking forward to grandchildren in a few decades).

I like the idea of sending MALE AS to the Sea Folf. See how much they can learn then!
diane heath
574. jadelollipop
Brandon Sanderson ?12.8% and 9.2% cut from the next two chapters. All goes well so far. Still a lot of work to do. (This is the 1/4 mark in the revision.)
From Facebook.
Tricia Irish
575. Tektonica
Wow....good stuff here!

I totally agree about the silly, superficial representation in media of males as doofus's. TV isn't much watched around here, so I can't comment specifically about any shows. I managed to keep it mostly away from my kids until they were old enough to catch stuff at friends homes. (And we all know how "wise" teenagers are until they're about 20, and realize they don't know it all.)

The best we can do is teach by example in our own homes. Mutual respect, appreciation of one's strengths and differences, patience, tolerance, good humor can best be modeled one on one. The contrast should be obvious to any aware kid/teenager watching TV. Good conversations about the surrounding "culture" and teaching them to question what they see, should help too.

I really do despair over the general stupidity and superficiality rampant in (at least) the US today. That's a big reason why this place is so very special to me. People here are smart, well-read/educated, considerate AND funny!
John Massey
576. subwoofer
Shrugs Meh.

Going off on a tangent here... me Da, has this thing about music. He's a 1000 years old and invented the piano. Plays organ in church for over 55 years now. He listens to modern (the last 40 years) music and scratches his head and says "it's the same 3 chords, over and over". Then he goes on to preach the merits of classical music. Weeeeee, great, his music is smarter than mine. Big victory there. I'm sure the Stones feel bad when the wheel barrows of dough come piling in when they sell out stadiums so people can hear "Start Me Up" or " I Can't Get No Satisfaction". "Gee, I wish the music I made was smarter". Maybe it takes a certain level of intelligence and talent to create something that is simple yet catchy and lasts for over 40 years. Beethoven had his moment too, it is just not for me. I try not to tell me Da that his music puts me to sleep and is a downer to me, please don't try to convert me.

Well, whatever. Me Da listens to what he wants to, I listen to what I want to and we agree to disagree. Freedom of expression and all o' dat.

Back in the day, when I went to grade school, for our Diploma exams, we were banned from using calculators. Baffled me, because when in the real world, would you need to do higher math on the spur and not have access to a calc? Yes, we'll build this bridge based on the calculations on my note pad... note that I showed my work. Gimme a break. Nowadays I think teachers have wised up and they just limit the number of formulas that a calc has programed. Technology is there, use it.

Books were of value as the form of entertainment consumable to the mass market- written word. Theater was not so accessible to everyone. Then came Radio. Then came TV. Now we have the Net. It's not the end of civilization. It gives us a medium to share our ideas with folks a continent away. And we can each choose how we do what we do. Some folks write cryptically. Some use visual aids. Some folks rickroll. Whatever. Some guy on the corner could be doing a mime bit. Doesn't matter as long as the idea is conveyed.

Guys being dumb. Well, we all have our moments, but our wiring is fairly straight forward, for all the "airs" we put on. That is why Abbot and Costello are classics. You don't have to have a degree to appreciate humour.

577. saintsfan4life
***twitching becoming unbearable***
Tess Laird
578. thewindrose
**Tapping chin** **look of wonder in my eyes**
Subwoofer - are you saying your dad is Yoda?

Awesome that would be;)

Marcus W
579. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 565:

I'm with you about how men are treated in marketing and network comedies these days. It's very annoying. What's worse is that I have started noticing that women and men are both expecting men to act like that these days. The younger ones, at least, early to mid twenties.

On the one hand, it's gratifying that women are no longer expected to be like Laura Petrie but on the other hand, it doesn't help anyone to expect men to be like Tim Allen.

I'm showing my age, aren't I? Well, I stopped watching sitcoms about the same time that Ray Romano started doing his idiot routine. Actually, I don't watch network TV at all anymore. Any show I watch is consumed on DVD so I don't get exposed to the commercials.
Tom Burton
580. Conky
subwoofer @555:

My comment about you padding numbers was 100% tongue in cheek.
Tom Burton
581. Conky
toryx @579

Yeah, I feel the same. I rarely watch television except for baseball and football. I know this is a bit of a tangent, but I hate the direction that popular television has gone. You'll never catch me watching any reality television (except for sports). Since reality television covers about 80% of what's on TV nowadays, that leaves me with little to choose from.

I've got 2 little girls, so I watch cartoons with them, but today's cartoons suck. What happened to Looney Tunes? Hell, I'd even take old school Disney cartoons if they still made them. It doesn't take much to amuse me with animation. Please, oh please, just yank a cat by his neck through the knot-hole in a fence. Or draw a line on the ground, antagonize a dog to run after you by spanking him with a wooden board, and then laugh at him when his rope doesn't let him reach you. Do anything with Acme products. Just once for old time's sake.

What else? Sitcoms are horrible. There are two that I like and one just had it's last episode - 24 and Dexter. And you know what sucks? I don't have Showtime, so I have to wait for the new episodes to come out on Netflix. Which reminds me. Season 4 coming out in August FTW!!!

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. Thanks for letting me rant. I guess this is why I read so much. Now if only I could finish CoT, so I could enjoy what I was reading again.
Tricia Irish
582. Tektonica

You know I love you and all your shennigans, right! I'm no stick in the mud. Ridiculous is good sometimes and you are smart funny.

As for technology and music...you have to keep moving forward or you get stuck in place. It's good for the brain too....burns new synapses, and heaven knows I could use a few more of those.

I remember my dad ranting about how Bob Dylan sounded like a "stuck cat" or something....couldn't sing, etc. I ignored him, of course. My kids keep me current. It's a good job for them, if they don't want a fuddy duddy parent.

As for TV...I'm with you Toryx. Mostly crap on network. And Tivo or a DVR is essential to miss the blather. I just fear the masses watching that junk and thinking that it's "the norm". The bar is getting lower and lower......

I can barely type, the **twitching** is so bad!
Matthew Smith
583. blocksmith

Bob Dylan still sounds like a struck cat.
584. BenM
Thanks to the ladies for defending us. We appreciate it. There are good and bad people in any group, and smart and dumb people in most. It's ridiculous for men to be portrayed as idiots all the time.

I also don't find hit to the groin incidents to be particularly funny, for the most part. Heck, some of these so-called humor shows aren't that funny in general. For example, I happened to see a clip where someone was sliding down something, and totally upended a little girl in the process. How the heck is that funny? She could have been seriously hurt.

Tina Pierce
585. scissorrunner
agreed BenM
pain as humor never had any appeal for me.

Scientist, Father
586. Silvertip
@ Conky:

Did you know that many of the old Looney Tunes are on netflix also? (Although I will say I'm catching the occasional innuendo that sailed over my head on Saturday mornings long ago). I have two little girls too, and that's a major resource for non-idiotic fun. We're running through the old Muppet show now, delightful--silly slapstick done right. The only worthwhile cartoons on TV now IMHO are SOME of them on PBS. Curious George, e.g.

Actually the most value-violating stuff on the commercial TV we do watch (mostly sports) are the ads. Another whole world of idiothood. Gotta be quick on the mute, but that only helps so much. I'd watch a lot more sports with my kids if it didn't mean exposing them to that dreck.

Damn I sound old.

Tom Burton
587. Conky
Silvertip @586

Good call on PBS TV. My 4 year old loves Curious George, and it is one of the few cartoons I approve of. Another one she likes is Wonder Pets, but I can only watch that so much. And thanks for reminding me of the Looney Tunes on Netflix. I knew they were there, but never thought to actually stream them. Damn invisible gorilla.
Sandy Brewer
588. ShaggyBella
One of the tings that bugs me about Disney and a lot of cartoons is the fact that they always kill off the Mom. Most of the little heroes are orphans (Except for Mulan, she even had grandparents..and the Dalmatians.)

Also, they can't seem to have an action flick without the lead's family/ girlfriend/ lover being brutally murdered or kidnapped, so he can go on a big revenge kick. I am so tired of this.

Of course, probably no one will read this since there is a new post up..Yay!!
Derek Barolet
589. Derek.barolet
I read and agree bella, its the same retired plot over and over and over.....
Tom Burton
590. Conky
Yeah, now that you mention it, ShaggyBella, a lot of the Disney plots are like that.

Also, we really need to get this thread to 600. Here's a bump.
Tess Laird
591. thewindrose
Light, we are almost to 600!!! We need subwoofer, STAT!!

John Massey
592. subwoofer

You rang?

Awwww... naw, not gonna do it... unless we wanna start talking about menopause? Do AS go through it? Does it happen at the normal age? Is it "slowed" along with the aging process? Did Cranky Pants go through it? Is she still having hot flashes? Is that why she is soooo cranky? Is there a herbal version of Midol for her? Can we force it down her throat?

Possibilities are endless...

John Massey
593. subwoofer
Or we could talk about the title... we kinda did, but I really did not get into it.

Daggers? We don't need no stinkin' daggers!

John Massey
594. subwoofer
Awwww crud... I feel my resolve weakening... the number is calling my name...



John Massey
595. subwoofer
This is of course why I never took up smoking... not only because I could never wrap my head around why somebody would start... but I'd be a lifer at it unless somebody locked me in a padded room and I could not figure out a way to roll and smoke the padding.

John Massey
596. subwoofer
And I am doing this semi-sober so it is quite a challenge. Normally it is me, wind, three sheets so to foray onwards without liquid courage...

"The way back will come but once, be steadfast."

John Massey
597. subwoofer
And to do this without any sniffing, braid tugging, thumping people with sticks, or... spanking...

John Massey
598. subwoofer
And I do not have any infatuation or fixation with round numbers... at least as far as it pertains to any anatomy lessons Wind may be implying...

John Massey
599. subwoofer
Dovie’andi se tovya sagain.

John Massey
600. subwoofer

Woot! Woot!

Da Big 6 double 00 buck!

Almost half the age of Cranky Pants! What a milestone!

Good Times!

I'd like to thank my mumsie, and God, and french toast...edit and thewindrose without whom this would not be possible...

wait- did that make sense? awwww- forgetaboutit.

Lannis .
601. Lannis
Oh, Sub. You've stolen all the real estate in the Latest Comments sidebar, and silly me, I had to find out why... I should have known. ::facepalm::

Tess Laird
602. thewindrose
Ahem... You could thank me as well!
And also for the keen insight I have into your psyche.
And tops up/down? on the drambuie tonight;)
Another soldier down.

603. Freelancer
Since folks seem unable to leave this thread alone, I'll join in.

When I see an example of the current media representation of adult males as worthless morons who have to be taught everything about life by their wives and pre-teen children, I get very insulted. Not for myself, but for wives in general. How can the women who are portrayed as being so sharp, modern, and competent, have chosen mates so lacking in any of the same? It's ridiculous, and should earn a business which employs such a theme in any media a distinct drop in patronage.


Since I'm no longer PNG for embedding links, I'm going into the archives for this one. I can't recall precisely where in the reread this occured, but you linked one or more vids of drumming. I have two responses, both little duels.

Two Animals going at it

If you like that battle, you'll love This War.
Tricia Irish
604. Tektonica
Hysterical. Yeah, I got totally sucked in when I saw a zillion Subs in the sidebar!
Thank you Sub and Wind for a good laugh before night night.

John Massey
605. subwoofer
I said french toast;)

Lo, the last time I did Drambuie bad things happened. Hangover bad. Lucky I didn't wind up married bad. What happened to my underwear bad...

@Lannis- Wind made me do it... I was putzing along, minding my own business when this little person with a pointy tail and a red suit perched on my should and whispered into my ear...600... it is there... one little rabbit... one little fluffy bunny...

I gave in to the Dark Side.

John Massey
606. subwoofer
@Free- I ask myself the same question- why on earth, when my sweet baboo has brains, beauty, talent, moolah and everything else going for her, would she wanna marry a schmuck like me?

But fortunately I come to my senses before I say anything out loud and just thank my lucky stars she said "I do", and I am not living a scene out of "Runaway Bride".

And I'm not clicking on any of your links, no matter how much candy you use to tempt me. Tim Curry may be hiding behind door #1...

Derek Barolet
607. Derek.barolet
Re: 603

Tim "the toolman" Tailor comes to mind as the best example, and i completely agree with ya.

Toolman heh couldnt come up with a better nickname myself
John Massey
608. subwoofer
Don't forget Marge and Homer.

Fred and Wilma.

Archie and Edith.

Lucy and Dezi

Lassy and Timmy.

Roger and Jessica.

Lady and the Tramp.

Derek Barolet
609. Derek.barolet
Lassy and Timmy, just about the funniest thing I have seen in forever.
Though i must say the lady and tramp was opposite i think, tramp was awesome, and a scruffy looking nerfherder to boot
Heidi Byrd
610. sweetlilflower
@sub: I knew I should have logged on right after I put my son to bed. I totally would have stolen 600 right from under your little doggie nose :)
I have actually wondered about the menopause thing. I'm only 29, but I understand from several relatives that it is NOT pleasant.

@varioustvwatchers: Having a 2 yr old, I watch a lot of Sesame Street and Curious George (the only purely animated show we regularly watch) and I agree that they are the best shows on the tube. Although, Thomas and Friends reminds me of Mr. Rogers in that it moves slowly, is not animated, and is easy for the boy's little mind to understand. Interestingly enough, when my son was born I did some research into how TV affects children's minds. Before the age of two, the most adverse effects occur from watching animated TV. It really does affect the brain's ability to process information later in life. Of course I only found two studies that I would call reliable(based on number of subjects), but they both agreed. Generally we watch SS live and then turn on the Classical Music channel. I record CG and that becomes Daddy and Son relaxation time before bed.
John Massey
611. subwoofer
Who you calling "scruffy"?

Star Wars!- Classic quote FTW!

Edit- me Mumsie went through the dreaded meno- pause and she kept the windows of the house open in the middle of blizzards. The plants and me Da froze their collective nanners off. I can't recall if there were mood swings but I was already hunkered down in an earlier version of the bunker by then. Nanners intact, thankfully.

612. Tuk
Dashiva could have killed Rand when he had Callandor in his hands, why didn't he?
William McDaniel
613. willmcd
As I read through Perrin's and Faile's musings about their relationship in this chapter, something occurred to me that hadn't before in my 20 years of reading this series.

Like most other readers, I found the Perrin/Faile dynamic extremely annoying, and thought it wasn't fair the way that she treated him re: the Berelain thing, and wanted to scream out loud "Why doesn't she just TELL HIM what she wants?" And I got tired of reading about it.

But what got me today is this: Isn't the whole relationship a fairly realistic representation of what all married couples have to go through in learning to share a life with someone else? We all are coming out of different upbringings, each household with a distinct culture (even if they're in the same town), and we speak different "languages of affection" (i.e., what communicates love to us is different). We had been reading about Perrin and Faile for 6 or 7 years by the time TPoD came out, but they have known each other for about 10 months in the timeline of the story. In real marriages, these communication differences brought on by different cultures of upbringing take significantly longer than that. I've been married for 15 years, and I have to say that it took the first 9 for my wife and me to really stop butting heads on at least a semi-regular basis.

I don't know if this realization will make it much less wearisome for me to read about Perrin and Faile in the future, but there it is.
William McDaniel
614. willmcd
One comment about the "Egwene ending", which I'm pleased to see that many felt like meant the White Tower schism plotline was about to come to an end. I think I took it even a step further than that; I felt like the passage through the gateway was the beginning of an actual cavalry charge (Weiramon would have been proud) on the walls of Tar Valon.

How little we all knew; that plotline wasn't even in the next book, and went nowhere in the one after that.
Dan Rice
615. driceman
So I know I'm posting a comment waaaaaaay after this blog was posted, but I thought I should chime in that I'm reading the series for the first time alongside your blogs, Leigh (attempting to ignore spoilers to some degree), and I definitely understand where you're coming from about finding The Path of Daggers to be pretty dull. Unlike most, I'm lucky enough to not have to wait on any of the books to come out, so my enjoyment is solely based on whether I like it or not.

And, well... Path of Daggers has a LOT of dry parts IMO. Like, really dry parts where Jordan just starts listing off what various people's facial expressions and clothing are like. I mean, by now I understand that Jordan goes into heavy amounts of detail, but here it just gets out of hand. In the other books this very rarely happened to the degree that I lost interest, but wow. Like you said in Chapter 1, all they accomplish is that they manage to walk about ten steps and open a gateway. It's obnoxious.

I still enjoy the series overall because it's such an intriguing plot with great characters and a very detailed world, but there are parts that are really trying my patience when there are authors like, y'know, Brandon Sanderson ;) who keep their books moving, despite them being hundreds of pages long.

I felt a sense of disinterest too, but not just in myself; I got the funny feeling that Jordan was kind of bored with what he was writing. He'd been writing this series for like a decade or so by the time this book was released, after all. It must have gotten dull on occasion, and I think Path of Daggers is evidence of that.

Sure hope Winter's Heart is better!
616. hesuchia
This book, like others have said, was pretty slow and filler-ish. A bunch of chapters just to get the bickering hens to Caemlyn, a bunch more regarding Rand's temper and the Seanchan battles, and Egwene took a while to get to the good stuff too.

This chapter, though, was the most touching to me. I reacted a lot stronger than I've seen others react toward Fedwin Morr's death. The way he took Rand's orders to heart and even when he fell to the madness, the child-version of him wanted to build a tower to protect Min. It was so sweet. And Rand's been so hard it was nice that he was smiling and gentle to him in the end. I just thought of Fedwin as a child, since he basically was, and having him put to sleep was heartbreaking. I cried much :(. He sweetly died with a smile on his face. I think it was much more poignant since I listen to the audiobooks, which helps me get better immersion. RIP Fedwin Morr. :'(

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