Fri
Jul 23 2010 2:31pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 4

Hello! You have reached the Winter’s Heart of my discontent. At the beep, please leave your name, number, and a brief justification for the ontological necessity of modern man’s existential dilemma, and I’ll get back to you.

Or alternately, you can have Chapters 3 and 4, in which I narrowly avoid major head trauma, and also contemplate the ethics of being true to thy authorial self. It’s All So Shakespearean!

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.

Plots has he laid, inductions dangerous, by drunken prophecies, libels and dreams! And a post about it, too!

Chapter 3: Customs

What Happens
At first Faile is most concerned about the cold, naked as she is, but the physical exhaustion from keeping up with the Shaido’s relentless pace soon takes precedence. Faile tries to notice everything she can, to help in formulating an escape plan, though she doesn’t see how it’s possible yet. When she falls, Rolan hauls her up and slaps her bottom to get her moving again.

The slap might have been given to make a pony move. Despite her nakedness, there was nothing of a man looking at a woman in Rolan’s blue eyes. Part of her was very grateful. Part her was vaguely… taken aback. She certainly did not want him gazing at her with lust or even interest, but those bland glances were almost insulting!

As the day wears on she becomes more and more worried about frostbite, and stumbles on in a daze until the party suddenly stops and Rolan picks her up and tosses her over his shoulder; from there, she can see the others getting their feet examined before receiving the same treatment. Bain and Chiad, of course, do not protest, and Lacile and Arrela swallow down their indignation in an effort to imitate them, but Alliandre and Maighdin both fight like mad. Faile yells at them to stop it, and Rolan spanks her and tells her to be quiet; Faile grinds her teeth but obeys.

Alliandre kept shrilling that they could not do this to her, understandable coming from a queen, if foolish in the circumstances. Plainly they could, and they were. Surprisingly, Maighdin raised her voice in the same piercing denials. Anyone would have thought her royalty instead of a lady’s maid.

The Shaido subdue Alliandre and Maighdin by switching them until they stay quiet; Faile has no sympathy for them, as their antics have only delayed them getting to shelter. They set out again, and Faile realizes that the cold is more dangerous now that she is no longer exerting herself, and begins deliberately struggling, to provoke Rolan to slap her, which helps her stay awake, but eventually begins to fall into a stupor where she dreams that Perrin turns to smoke and disappears, or that he is chasing her in a fury through a frozen landscape, until she realizes she is in front of a huge fire with a blanket around her, being given tea by a gai’shain, along with the other prisoners. Faile eventually wakes up enough to wonder where he came from, and sees not far off a huge number of Aiel on the move. The gai’shain comments that they offended her honor, and Faile asks how.

“You wetlanders know nothing,” the scarred man said dismissively. “Gai’shain are not clothed in any way until they can be given proper robes. But they feared you would freeze to death, and all they had to wrap you was their coats. You were shamed, named as weak, if wetlanders have shame. Rolan and many of the others are Mera’din, yet Efalin and the rest should know better. Efalin should not have allowed it.”

Faile thinks “infuriated” fits better than “shamed,” glaring at Rolan. She thinks “Mera’din” means “Brotherless” in the Old Tongue, and notes the scorn in the gai’shain’s voice when he says it, and resolves to see if that can help her somehow. Magnanimously, she decides that since he gave her his coat, she would only have Rolan’s ears sliced off when she escaped—if she can escape. She points out to the gai’shain that wetlanders are not supposed to be made gai’shain, and asks what happens if the Shaido decide to break other customs, and not let him go when his time is done. The man answers that the Shaido may break customs, but he does not. Faile glares when he catches a glimpse of her through a gap in the blankets, and tries desperately to think of a way out of the situation, but nothing is coming to her.

Commentary
Um.

*stares*

So…

Yeah. Um.

Are you—I mean, what—Can I just—How—

Rrrgh.

*clears off desk*

*contemplates empty desk space*

*realizes is out of aspirin*

Um.

So, new icon! It’s been a while, I think, since we got a new one at this point. I remember seeing that Faile had gotten her own icon and going oh crap in my head, because to me it indicated that Faile was going to be separate from Perrin long enough that she would need her own icon. …And I was completely right on that score, it turns out. Blargh. Still, it’s nice that she gets one, I guess. Even Aviendha doesn’t have her own icon, so Faile should be proud. You know, if there wasn’t that big fourth wall there.

(Actually, now that I think about it, technically the only Supergirl who has her own icon is Elayne, and even Elayne’s doesn’t really count, since the lion rampant also stands for her mother, Gawyn, Caemlyn, and Andor in general. Egwene always just gets the white flame, and while Nynaeve used to sort of have one (see left), it hasn’t been used since, I think, TEOTW. That’s kind of not fair, eh? Especially considering even second-tier characters like Cadsuane and Siuan get their own later on! I cry icon foul!)

I find that I waver between appreciating the frequent references to Maighdin acting more like royalty than like a servant, and finding it really annoying. Not because it’s a tad anvilicious (though it is, a bit), but because though I recognize that there’s some unavoidable class prejudice going on here on noble-born Faile’s part, I can’t help thinking that if anything, a “mere” maid should be more protective of her virtue than a queen, since unlike a queen your average maid doesn’t tend to have battalions of personal bodyguards ready to protect it for her.

Not to mention, of course, the ugly undertone that says a maid’s right to not be violated is less than that of a queen’s. But then, in feudal thinking that’s actually true. In case I needed a reminder of why I’m glad I don’t live under a feudal system of government—or at least, why I’m glad I’m not a peasant in one.

 

Chapter 4: Offers

What Happens
Two women who Faile quickly deduces must be Wise Ones approach the fire, followed by a short female gai’shain who is oddly wearing silk white robes and a richly bejeweled belt and collar set. The “eagle-faced” Wise One (Therava) shoos off Rolan and the others, and Faile notes Rolan exchanging a flat look with one of the other men before leaving. The other, extremely well-endowed Wise One (Someryn) comments with amusement that Sevanna won’t be satisfied until “the entire world is gai’shain”; Therava opines that she has too many already, and it’s slowing them down.

Faile flinched when that gaze touched her, and hurriedly buried her face in the mug. She had never seen Therava before, but in that glance she knew the woman’s sort, eager to crush any challenge utterly and capable of seeing challenge in a casual glance. […] she watched the woman from the corner of her eye. It felt like watching a banded adder, scales glittering in the sun, coiled a foot from her face.

Alliandre, unfortunately, doesn’t catch this, and announces her name and title loudly, and demands suitable accommodations for herself, her liege lady, and her maidservant until ransom can be arranged; Faile tries not to groan. Another woman rides up on a horse and orders the gai’shain woman, Galina, to tell her if Alliandre’s words are true; Faile is confused by the new arrival’s attire, which is like a Wise One’s but all in silk and furs, with a truly ridiculous amount of jewelry, and the fact that she is riding. Galina grovels and answers eagerly that she saw Alliandre once years ago, and this could be the same woman; she starts to go on until Therava shuts her up, and she fawns over Therava even more than the new one, who turns out to be Sevanna.

In a way, it was like seeing Logain, or Mazrim Taim. Sevanna also had painted her name across the sky in blood and fire. Cairhien would need years to recover from what she had wrought there, and the ripples had spread to Andor and Tear and beyond. Perrin laid the blame to a man called Couladin, but Faile had heard enough of this woman to have a shrewd idea whose hand had been behind it all. And no one disputed that the slaughter at Dumai’s Wells was Sevanna’s fault. Perrin had almost died there. She had a personal claim on Sevanna for that. She might be willing to let Rolan keep his ears if she could settle that claim.

Sevanna asks which is the maid (Maighdin raises her hand) and which the liege lady; Faile considers not answering but reckons it a waste of time, and raises her hand. Sevanna orders Galina to Heal them, which makes Faile start in shock. Therava shoves Galina down to obey, and as she goes down the line, Therava points out to Sevanna that only five of the eighty-three septs of the Shaido “scattered on the wind” have rejoined them, and she will not wait forever for Sevanna to fulfill her promise to reunite them. Furious, Sevanna retorts that she always does what she says she will, and for Therava to remember she advises Sevanna, not the other way around. She gallops off, and Faile begins thinking of how to exploit the tension between them, when Galina reaches her and Heals her, leaving her weak and ravenous, and even more stunned when she sees the Great Serpent ring on Galina’s finger. The Wise Ones take off without a word; Galina scowls and follows them, though she glances back more than once. More gai’shain (all clearly wetlanders) arrive with food, which they eat ravenously, and with more silk robes and jewelry. Faile tries to refuse the jewels, suspicious of their significance, but an Amadician gai’shain tells her tiredly that she has no choice; she serves “the Lady Sevanna” now. Faile tries to smile at the others to cheer them up, but she is leadenly sure that Sevanna’s personal gai’shain will be watched much more closely than the others. They are sent off to join the column of Aiel; Alliandre seems broken, but Maighdin is still trying to “glare a hole” through everything she sees. Faile realizes she has lost track of the others, but cannot find them again; finally Maighdin growls that they’ll have to wait until tonight to find them, and should stop exhausting themselves looking. Alliandre and Faile both stare askance at her tone, making Maighdin blush and stammer apologies; Faile approves of her spirit, though, and wishes her ability to channel were not next to useless. Faile observes that no one is really paying attention to them, and tells Alliandre and Maighdin they should try to drop off by the wayside if they can, and get back to Perrin to warn him; they both refuse to leave without her, and Faile is about to order them to do it when they are abruptly joined by Therava, who informs Faile that she is thinking of escape, and tells her that “only the dead” succeed in escaping.

“I will heed your words, Wise One,” Faile said humbly. Always? Well, there had to be a first time. “We all will.”

“Oh, very good,” Therava murmured. “You might even convince someone as blind as Sevanna. Know this, however, gai’shain. Wetlanders are not as others who wear white. Rather than being released at the end of a year and a day, you will serve until you are too bent and withered to work. I am your only hope of avoiding that fate.”

Faile stumbles, and thinks that Aiel are not supposed to play the Great Game, but she knows it when she hears it. She replies that she doesn’t understand, and Therava tells her that she will observe and report to the Wise Ones every move Sevanna makes and every word she says; in return, Therava will see that they are “left behind.” Faile wants badly to refuse, but doesn’t think they will survive the night if she does, so asks Therava if she will protect them if Sevanna finds out. Therava grabs her face, and promises her that if Sevanna finds out, Therava will “trice them up for cooking” herself. She leaves, and after a while Alliandre opines that if Sevanna truly has a hundred servants, they might never get close enough to hear anything anyway, and they can choose what to tell or not tell in any case. Maighdin retorts bitterly that Alliandre needs to learn about having no choices, and bets that Therava gives that same order to every single one of Sevanna’s servants; if they leave things out they will be caught. Alliandre chastises her for her tone, but Maighdin snaps back that she is a servant now, too, and had better start acting like it. Before Alliandre can blow up, Faile interjects that Maighdin is right, but makes her apologize, and tells them they will work hard, attract no attention, and report Sevanna’s every last sneeze to Therava. As they walk in silence, Faile muses on Galina, and tries to decide whether she would help them escape or betray them, until Galina herself joins them and asks if Faile knows what she is. Faile replies that she seems to be Aes Sedai, and observes that she is “in a very peculiar place” for one. Galina snaps that she is on a mission of great importance for the Tower, which cannot fail. Alliandre points out that it is possible to earn the ring without earning the shawl, and asks how they can know whether to trust her; Galina spits back that Alliandre will soon find her crown doesn’t protect her here, and details some of the punishments they can look forward to if they try to escape. Maighdin growls that Galina is a disgrace to the Tower for not trying anyway, and Faile forestalls what looks to turn into a screaming match to ask what it is Galina wants, exactly. Galina wants to know who she is that a queen would swear fealty to her; Faile snaps back that she is Lady Faile t’Aybara, eliding her father’s name, and instantly realizes she has made a mistake when Galina smiles unpleasantly.

“t’Aybara,” she mused. “You are Saldaean. There is a young man, Perrin Aybara. Your husband? Yes, I see I’ve hit the target. That would explain Alliandre’s oath, certainly. Sevanna has grandiose plans for a man whose name is linked to your husband. Rand al’Thor. If she knew she had you in her hands… Oh, never fear she will learn from me.” Her gaze hardened, and suddenly she seemed a leopard in truth. A starving leopard. “Not if you all do as I tell you. I will even help you get away.”

Faile curses herself, and asks again what Galina wants. Galina tells her that Therava keeps in her tent a smooth white rod about a foot long. If Faile and the others bring it to Galina, Galina will take them with her when she goes. Alliandre asks why she can’t get it herself, and Galina non-answers, threatening again to have Sevanna learn of Perrin. Desperately, Faile points out that it may take time, and Galina replies she’ll have the rest of her life (in servitude) if she’s not careful, and leaves. Faile and the other two women walk on in grim silence.

They were caught in three snares, not one, and any of the three might kill. Rescue suddenly seemed very attractive. Somehow, though, Faile intended to find her way out of this trap. Pulling her hand away from her own collar, she fought through the snowstorm, planning.

Commentary
So, okay. I think the problem with this storyline is not that it sucks per se. Because it doesn’t; from a plotting standpoint the complications and conflicts here are diabolically well put together, in terms of generating a “how will they get out of this one?” response in the reader. I sure as hell didn’t know, I can tell you.

The problem is, this is the sort of plot thickening/entangling/complicating that any savvy fiction reader instantly recognizes as first act plotting. This whole chapter is a set-up chapter. And, as the savvy reader also knows, a first act always, always has at least two more acts to follow it before it gets resolved.

Which is great if you’re at the beginning of a story. But we, extremely obviously, are not. So the thing I had the impulse, on initial reading, to scream at this chapter was not This is a terrible storyline!, because it isn’t, but instead it was to scream Why are we starting a brand new super-messy ultra-tangled plot IN BOOK NINE? When we have like thirty other unresolved plotlines ALREADY out there, some of which have been hanging fire for TWO DECADES? Why? Why hast thou Forsaken me? Whyyyeeeeeeee

Ahem. Or thereabouts. And then there’s pounding fists on the ground and dramatic claps of thunder and yeah, it’s ugly in here. Because I am NEVER melodramatic!

What?

My point is, I don’t think I would have had any problem at all with this plotline if it had occurred, say, four books ago. But that it happened here and now, in the ninth book, was a distinct signal to me that we were not, in fact, ramping toward a conclusion anytime soon. And honestly, that kind of… pissed me off.

Of course, it’s true that it was possible that this whole plotline could have been wrapped up in one book. But really, by the time WH rolled around, I was no longer some naïve newbie to the wiles of WOTness—nor to Jordan’s modus operandi as a writer in general. So the (completely correct) conclusion I drew, which was that we were going to be here for a while, I could divine merely from the way this chapter alone was written.

That being said, believe it or not I do not intend the above observation solely as a criticism. One of the quickest ways to turn me off a book (or an author) is when the writing skips steps—when the writer rushes past or only gives lip service to the necessary elements to arrive at the result he or she wants, either because they don’t realize those elements are necessary, or because they don’t have the ability to write those steps properly. I’ll tell you, nothing will make me sheer off a story faster than when what should be a great moment is ruined, because the author didn’t set it up correctly, or failed to highlight it properly when it occurred.

Jordan’s constitutional inability to take narrative shortcuts, therefore, is both a blessing and curse to his readers in many ways. On the one hand, we’re starting new plotlines in frickin’ Book Nine. But on the other, how much worse would it be to have an author who doesn’t even honor the depth and complexity of the world he’s created, and prioritizes wrapping things up over giving the overall story the attention to detail it deserves?

I think, having gotten Faile into this situation, Jordan felt it was only his obligation to get her out of it again in a way that wasn’t cheap at the expense of the complexity of every other storyline he was juggling. I can’t be sure I agree it was the best way to go, but I certainly can’t claim it isn’t consistent.

And while Emerson is quite right in that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, you’ll note he never said anything about an unfoolish one. So I guess deciding which kind of consistency this is, is an exercise best left to, well, the reader.


And that’s MY story, and I’m stickin’ to it! Because I am also consistent! Except when I change my mind! Hah!

Er. So, weekend? Weekend! See ya Toosdy!

251 comments
Karen Fox
3. thepupxpert
Yay a new post and I'm in the Top 10! Now to go read.
Bonnie Andrews
4. misfortuona
So Yay Leigh!! Yay new Post. And yeah, it's these chapters. Sigh.
We do get another character to hate here. I think Therava probably gets my vote as the most horrid character in the books, but my mind tends to change pretty much at whim so...

Anyway Thanks for sticking with this Leigh.

Mis-might make top ten this time

and yes I know we met her before, but she didn't annoy me as much when she was only dealing with Galina
Heidi Byrd
5. sweetlilflower
Good point on the set-up. Obviously, we don't know what this storyline will ultimately DO for the ending, but if it is a big pay-off, we will appreciate the thoroughness of this arc.

edit for spelling
ScoundrelTheToy
6. ScoundrelTheToy
To further expand upon what you said about setting all this up properly, I think (and secretely hope) that this plotline was needed. Perrin's brief PoV in TGS shows us this and is giving us hints about how this experience will vault Perrin into the man he needs to be. Perrin most definently needs to start re-evaluting his priorities and, Perrin being the character he is will.

Without this experience he would have been too weak to do what will be needed to ensure victory in the Last Battle and not be liability. Robert Jordan in his brilliance, through the 'Pattern' has given each of our 3 Tav'eren each unique experiences so they will be comfortable with fulfilling their role - Perrin and wolves and defense in Dreamworld perhaps? Rands with being able to understand that people do love him no matter his 'past' failures and embracing this instead of pushing those he loves away. And of course Matrim with some semblance of responsibility and as accepting his role as a General. Also not to run from who you are and accept it.

Anyways, I realized that although the plotline felt stretched and borning. Jordan did it for a reason and the need for him to realize that no, the world can't burn and Faile isn't all that matters. For the first time since the beginning of ACOS when Perrin fell far from being a cool character. He has the potential to save his arse and redeem himself and be a badass Wolf King! Accept Perrin and stop being emobody, kthx!
John Mann
7. jcmnyu
Okay, first off, love RJ to death. I think he's great, my favorite author, etc.

However...

This was the biggest problem I had in the series. Leigh hit it on the head. It just isn't necessary to start a 3-4 book plot at the end of book 8. You know why it isn't? Because it's fiction. While I know authors say that they only write the story as it wants to be told, honestly at this point, what needs to happen is plot progression and lining up the characters for the big showdown. Everything that has happened since LoC has been to accomplish these two tasks. You cannot convince me that even if the major things that happen in this storyline had to happen (Perrin allies with the Seanchan, Massema dies, Faile gathers hundreds of former gaishan as followers, Perrin throws away the axe, these Shaido dispersed and taken as dacovale or damane, did I miss any?) this isn't the only way to get from here to there. It's not a good enough sub plot to derail the main plot for so long. Sigh. And I remember hating the fact that the first 6 chapters were all Perrin and Faile walking around and observing what was happening around them. Man I wish we were done recapping this book already.
Alice Arneson
8. Wetlandernw
Funny, isn't it, that there seems so little to say about these chapters? I think Leigh hit it right on, though; they are setting up a whole new thing, so there's not a lot to be said about them just yet. A couple of characters we love to hate, and a few we're not sure what to do with. We can recycle all the debate about societal positions and who has rights and who doesn't but should... but that's not what the chapters are about, really. And we've had those discussions so many times before.

Back to what I started to note... I think the "oh, no, it's a new plot line - in BOOK NINE!!!" is right on, and a large part of the reason it stirs such animosity in so large a portion of the readership. (How's that for the long way to say "that's why everyone hates it"?) Speaking only for myself, I think that's part of why I used to hate the whole Morgase/Maighdin thing - it was throwing in a new character plot, and I thought there were too many already. Then this. Oy.

I'm trying to figure out why I've changed my mind and don't hate them any more. I think a great deal of it is due to the time spent with some of the great minds here - people who have helped me see not only the complexity but the consistency of the storytelling. Truth be told, though I think an even larger part is due to the knowledge that we really are on the home stretch now. Even KOD was starting to hint at it, as plot lines were wrapped up and things started coming back together - although I remember being quite confident that RJ was perfectly capable of twisting it around to open up a whole 'nother can of worms if he wanted. But now we have pretty good assurance that we're almost done, we're finally going to find out what we've been waiting nearly 20 years for - how is Rand going to defeat and re-seal the DO??? We've only got two more books to go; they'll be lovely, long, exciting and twisty, but by the end of the next book but one, we'll know all the answers. (Well, except for the ones they decided to leave hanging...)

Anyway, I'm fully prepared to find this plot both more interesting and more important this time around. I hope my confidence is borne out. :)

And... maybe I'll come up with more plot-related stuff to say after while.
James Jones
9. jamesedjones
Bad Aiel; Crazy kid; Over-advertised former queen.

... and Aliandre.

Bleh.
Marcus W
10. toryx
Wow. I totally forgot that there'd be a new post today. Nice surprise!

Why are we starting a brand new super-messy ultra-tangled plot IN BOOK NINE?

I quoted that not only because it's so funny (which it is) but also because it's so true. The recognization that this was not just a new plot but a plot that would go on for a long time was so painful.

Oh man, Galina. When I first read this chapter I already disliked Aes Sedai and their overall effect on the world. This part made me dislike them and their damned oaths all the more. Seriously, it hurts. It's bad enough that we have to deal with Sevanna who I hate with hell's hot and Therava who disgusts me so that I'd spit on her with my last spit but then we have the evil, BA Aes Sedai who uses her position and the world's awareness of the Oaths to make things worse than they already are.

For Galina's role in this painful plot, she deserves every bit of suffering she has to look forward to.
ScoundrelTheToy
11. ScoundrelTheToy
And one last thought about this, Faile's captivity really and finally let her to realiztion and complete understanding of what it means to be a Noble Lady she's so determined to be. It can be certainly be hoped for that Perrin starts gaining insight into what he really needs to do, which Faile has been encouraging him to since TSR. And I think Faile will be a great asset to Perrin now instead of being very incosistent in this regard up to now. ie: acting like a child with this whole Berelain nonsense. Grow up Faile, kthx.
Scientist, Father
12. Silvertip
I'm not sure I'm with you about Faile's reaction to Alliandre and "Maighdin," Leigh. It can be read your way, but looked at from the other side, you might expect a woman who has to work for a living to be more shrewd about picking her battles in the face of hardship and loss of dignity than a queen, however clever that queen might be in statecraft. That is, Faile might be looking at Maighdin and thinking "I expect this b.s. from a pampered hothouse flower but you should know better." (Of course Faile grew up as sort of a pampered hothouse flower herself, but explicitly rejected that role (to the point of giving up the name Zarine).) That's how I took it, anyway.

To reference an earlier discussion, WH was the first book I had to wait for. It has a more satisfying conclusion than either PoD or CoT (about which I have hypothesized on earlier threads), but still, yeah: "A new plotline now? What gives?" pretty much summarized my reaction at the time.


S
Tricia Irish
13. Tektonica
Thanks for doing the heavy lifting Leigh. You and I are in agreement on these chapters. Sigh.
j p
14. sps49
Yah, this is why I compare the later series to Evangelion- sure, more cool stuff comes up, but the threads keep piling up and they will get tangled, or cut, and there is no way to resolve everything without too- quick ending like Aram and Semirhage's capture.

Although, as always, Leigh gets this across much better than I.

And bad move by Faile, giving her real name (even partially) to Galina.
ScoundrelTheToy
15. AndrewB
Wow. I think this is the earliest that I have ever made a comment.

Great post, Leigh (which says something because neither of these chapters contained much in the way of juicy material upon which to comment).

Does anybody think that Galina recognized who Morgase truly is at this point (ie the Queen of Andor)?

Any hints as to whether Morgase knew who Galina was (ie Galina of the Red Ajah) from her stay in the Tower? I do not think so, but maybe others have a different opinion.

Leigh, I agree that the plot would have been better (for the WOT fans) if we were subjected to the it several books earlier. That said, I do not think I would have enjoyed this plot even if it had occurred earlier in the series. The reason is that the plot centers around Faile. Faile is my second least favorite character in the entire series. Until TGS (after she was rescued), I did not thikn that she had one redeeming characteristic.

Question for those with too much time on their hands. How would you have enjoyed this storyline if Faile escaped the initial attack and Berelain was captured instead? Further, Perrin feels that he is honorbound to rescue Berelain, which causes Faile's jealousy to grow. I think this might have made for a better plot. Any comments?

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
Hugh Arai
16. HArai
I find Therava to be the nastiest character in the series. Even more so than Semirhage. Bleh.

I think one can also see where Gawyn gets his temper from.
ScoundrelTheToy
17. ScoundrelTheToy
Re Toryx:

I totally agree. This is why the converstaion Suian between Egwene about the Oath Rod being what makes Aes Sedai who they are, to removed the Oath Rod would be a total disaster. Was so short sighted and just total ignorance of what it really does. I remember Suian telling her that because of their Oaths and espeically that one about people know what a sister says is accepted because of that Oath Rod. Well Suian, the most important part of this that you totally missed is your Three Oaths mean nothing when Black sisters can lie through their teeth anytime they wish. Also fully believing that the Oaths automatically grants trust without having to earn trust.

This conversation was extremely disapointing because everything Suian said was completely wrong and Egwene has seen how much the Oaths hurts them, especially the one about the First Oath, yet is taken under by what Suian says and does a complete 180 is immense sadness for Egwene failing to realize this contradicts everything she's seen first hand. Lastly, Aes Sedai seem to have forgot and assume that they be trusted simply because they can't lie. People don't automatically assume someone trust and nobody trust anybody without them first earning this trust. Wheras Aes Sedai feel their is simply earned via the Oath Rod is just another example of stupid arrogant they are. Is it not extremely ironic that the only Aes Sedai Rand trust these days are those that haven't sworn on an Oath Rod lol? - Elayne, Nynaeve, Avienda, Flinn, Narishima and Eben Hopwil.
Mike Foster
18. zephyrkey
I actually enjoyed this plot line when I first read it. I am apparently in the minority on that note, but I've always really liked Perrin and Faile and to have a rather significant plot line dedicated to them and huge strides in their character growth made me really happy. For sure, I got really annoyed with it at points, but nowhere near as annoyed as I got with anything Rand-centric after the Saidin-cleansing arc.
Andrew Belmont
19. rosetintdworld
It says a lot about how little patience much of the fandom (myself included) has for this plotline that we all agree we resent having "a long, drawn-out" plotline introduced in Book 9, when in fact, as I just realized, the plotline isn't that long at all. Drawn out, yes. But it gets dropped after the next two chapters in WH, taking up very little space compared to Elayne, Mat, and Rand, and also receives relatively little space in KOD, where Perrin's chapters are scattered occasionally throughout and are much shorter, again, than those of Elayne, Mat, and Rand. From here on out, the only book that really devotes a lot of time to Perrin is COT, and the pacing issues there run deeper than one reader's like or dislike of the Shaido plot.

In short, I think the problem with the plotline isn't so much how complicated Jordan made it or when in the series he chose to introduce it, but how he chose to pace it on his calendar. The need to synch plots chronologically led to Perrin sitting around in the snow a lot, popping up for only a few chapters over the course of many books. I suspect that if Winter's Heart were a Perrin-centric book that included the entire Shaido plotline, and Perrin rested up in a following book, some fans wouldn't have cared as much about these chapters. Then again, remember how much heat Jordan took for excluding Perrin from FOH. You really can't please everyone.

Jordan's decision to give most of the Big 6 roughly equal attention in Books 9, 10, 11 meant that no one could complain about missing a favorite character. It also turned the series into a serial. And I think it's the serial nature of Perrin's plot--never receiving even a minor climax until the very end--that turns people off, not the complexity or the length.
Birgit
20. birgit
Is it not extremely ironic that the only Aes Sedai Rand trust these days are those that haven't sworn on an Oath Rod lol? - Elayne, Nynaeve, Avienda, Flinn, Narishima and Eben Hopwil.

Strange definition of AS, only El and Ny are AS. Moiraine told Rand in her letter that he shouldn't trust anyone who was full AS when she "died".
mark Proctor
21. mark-p
But that it happened here and now, in the ninth book, was a distinct signal to me that we were not, in fact, ramping toward a conclusion anytime soon. And honestly, that kind of… pissed me off.

And this is about where i gave up on the series (+Elayne's plot looked as bad) for 5+ years. It wasn't so much that they were unnecessary events for the story as that they seemed like they would last for ever and that the next steps were fairly predictable.
---

How cold was it when they were captured?
I've occasionally stood in the snow without shoes and my feet get cold very quickly, I don't think I could have spent a day walking through it.
I'm surprised no one got frostbite even if the snow was melting.
ScoundrelTheToy
22. LewsTherin
I think this plot line feels so drawn out because the wait between books exacerbated our impatience for a conclusion. I wonder if it will still be so onerous to read, now that we can just move on to the next book.
ScoundrelTheToy
23. ScoundrelTheToy
Re Birgit:

Let me clarify by stating Aes Sedai and other channelers. As far as Moiraine stating not to trust nobody is now an Aes Sedai. While that is true, I think you're forgetting that Rand does not trust Egwene at all and she was included in Moiraine's warnng to Rand. So once again, I reiterate that statement that nobody has automatically granted his trust, only those that have earned his trust does he rightfully trust. Egwene's attitude towards the WT and it's goals come first from FOH and on, rightfully Rand lost his trust in her and especially now moreso that she's fully dedicated to the WT now and rightfully so he doesn't the WT's goals and intentions since they have it fully clear they think he should be controlled, guided whatever phrase you wanna use it's all the same.
ScoundrelTheToy
24. Rootboy
Great comments on starting a new long plot in Book 9.

I always felt a bit like RJ didn't quite know what to do with Perrin after his big triumph at the end of book 4 when he leads the Two Rivers to victory and marries Faile. At that point it seems like he just has to sit tight until he's needed to do some awesome wolfbrother stuff at the last battle.

But everyone else has tons of stuff to do - Rand's got forsaken to deal with, Mat's got to get with Tuon and resolve the whole *Finn thing, Egwene's got to become Amyrlin, etc. This plotline just always felt like it was a way to give a main character something to do while everyone else did more important stuff.
Brandon D
25. Ishmayl
I've always found Perrin and Faile's storyline here to be both boring and important. I don't really enjoy the storyline perse, and would much rather read about Mat, Rand, or Old-Wolf-Loving-Perrin. However, I believe that the entire purpose of this storyline is to give Perrin something that Mat has already gotten, and that Rand is in the process of getting (and gets by the end of TGS) - namely, a coming of age storyline which will lead Our Heroes into discoveries about themselves which will then help them perform their duties more admirably. One can certainly say that most of book 4 was Perrin's particular arc of importance, but if you pay attention to the next few books he's in, he appears to have not really learned much while back in the Two Rivers. He still fears his wolfishness, he still refuses to see himself as a leader, and he still has hang-ups about his duties.

By the end of this story arc, and from what we see from his couple POVs in TGS, Perrin has finally come to terms with his duties and responsibilities not just as a general, but as a Hero, and is now on his way to making himself useful to the very important fight coming up.

So yeah, all that being said just to say, I think it's an important story, but just kind of boring compared to others.

By the way, does anyone know of a site where they list all the chapter icons with descriptions of what will be in the chapter? Dragonmount.com just shows pictures, doesn't give descrips.
Karen Fox
26. thepupxpert
Wetlander @ 8 – The first couple of times I read the series I had a really hard time finishing it from this book on, but like you I have come to change my mind about the books and started to look at it as not just a compilation of books but a complete series. I know I’m way behind most of you who already have reached that point but it was a big deal to me and I wanted to point that out.

I don’t think there was any conflict in RJ’s mind about how long the series was going to be and how many books there would be in the series. If you look at it from that perspective, that we still have many more books to go, then to me it makes sense. We need to catch up to all the characters and what they were doing at a given point in time, and that takes a lot of pages and a lot of cross referencing.

In the beginning I would skim through these last books just to read the characters I was interested in or liked, I didn’t see the big picture. But reading along with the re-read and also now having lived with the books for many years, it is becoming easier for me to put it together in my head.

It is going to be really spectacular to see all these characters come together into one big bang!
Andrew Belmont
27. rosetintdworld
@25 The WOT FAQ had a handy table back in the day. Try www.steelypips.org. I'm sure it's not up to date for NS: The Novel, KOD, and TGS, but then again, NS had a large number of icons that never come up again, so it should still be useful.
Tricia Irish
28. Tektonica
Rootboy@24:

I tend to agree with you. Perrin is relearning things he should've gotten in the Two Rivers with the Trollocs. That was Perrin's big moment. RJ should've left him there for awhile, learning to govern and communicate with his wife. Maybe.

And I agree that maybe one of the reasons this plod is so odious, is that it's spread out forever......what, 3 books?
Karen Fox
29. thepupxpert
Rose @ 19 - thank you for pointing that out. That was my feeling during my latest re-read that what was all the hoopla about, the PLOD chapters weren't all bunched together. You said it so much better!

Also Zephyr @ 18 - I'm with you, I really like Perrin & Faile and have enjoyed their development. Although I was a bit confused about the Perrin/Senchan alliance that we'll get to, I didn't see the "big picture" until I'd spent quite a few months lurking with the gurus in the bunker.
Lucas Vollmer
30. aspeo
I am really kind of surprised that no one has recognized Maighdin for who she really is. I would have thought that Galina being an AS and a red sister (Elaida is red and was Morgase's advisor) would have had a good idea what she looked like. Also, Alliandre being a queen herself should have had some idea what the ruler of a powerful country like Andor looked like. I realize that if you are not looking for someone and they appear to you as something completely different then it wouldn't be obvious, but "Maighdin" certainly doesn't act like a simple serving women or ladies maid. She acts like a member of nobility at times, and I think this would cause more comment from the characters than it does.

I'm also wondering if being captured by the Shaido is causing Morgase to have flashbacks to her forced stay with the whitecloaks. She seems much more snippy with Alliandre, and seems to let down her assumed persona more since they have been captured.

Other than that, how much would it suck to be forced to run in the snow completely naked all day? No wonder Faile started trying to get slapped to stay conscious. I would imagine some of the treatment would have to do with the Aiel not knowing much about snow and its effects on a person's body, since in the waste its always hot and running Gai'shan around naked doesn't present any problems. I wonder if this is partly why Galina was ordered to heal them because it is very possible that they might have been developing frostbite in some areas, and Savannah didn't want her servants disfigured.

That's about all I've got to offer, I think
Karen Fox
31. thepupxpert
Tek @ 28 - I would argue that each of the 3 boys has had long, drawn out emo scenes where they should have learned something but they didn't.

As much as others have pointed out that Perrin was languishing in his plotline, I felt the same way about Mat when he was stuck in the palace with Tylin, and Rand whenever there was a scene with any of his love-interests, especially those scenes with Min, Nyneve and her "block", Egwene as a prisoner in the WT... the list is endless.
James Jones
32. jamesedjones
Re: Mindnumbingness (yeah, it's a word) of the whole PLOD - Plot Line Of Doom.

It's pretty much all Faile's fault. :P

Seriously, though. I enjoy reading certain parts from one character's perspective; and Perrin's chapters aren't that bad. All his emoness (yeah, it's a word) sucks, but he has some pretty skilled moments involving Balwer, Berelain, creepy villagers, and a few MOA scenes with the Seanchan.

It's Faile's scenes that make me want to take a desk to my head. Galina's sneaky evil, Therava's disgusting evil, Rolan is pervertedy (yeah, it's a word) evil. All of that could have been prepped in a couple chapters and put on a shelf until the conclusion.

I can only assume that RJ wanted Rolan's death to be more dramatic to the reader, so he tried to make him more sympathetic. But REALLY?! This guy molests the hero's wife while she's tied up. Yes, it's theraputic in her situation. I just don't believe he would have opted for a hot water bottle if it had been available. And I'm pretty sure Perrin wouldn't have allowed Rolan a "quick" death if he had known the whole scenario.

Bleh.
Captain Hammer
33. Randalator
Interestingly, I wasn't annoyed when this particular plotline was introduced. So it's book nine...why not? I tend to take things as they come when reading a book or watching a film because then I can't determine the significance a certain element will have on the work as a whole. So initially I read over the whole thing with nothing more than a mild annoyance at the general nothing-happening-ness.

It's only in hindsight that the PLoD is pissing me off because now that it's over, despite the significance it has for character development and therefore overall plot, I feel that it could have been resolved a lot faster. Book-wise that is, not timeframe-/amount-of-text-wise. I don't think RJ could have been done it with a significantly smaller number of chapters (two, maybe three less). But it should have been dealt with in WH and maybe part of CoT.

The problem with the PLoD is that, to go with Faile's rather interesting, suspenseful The-Great-Escape-ish half, we get Perrin's half that for the most part consists of nothing more than traveling and Perrin beefing up his EMO. Stretched thin over three books these 50-odd days begin to feel long and tedious especially since it only pops up from time to time and half the time that happens it's Perrin whining and thoroughly statusing the quo out of the Randland midwest. Compressing that into one/one and a half book(s) would have given the PLoD a sense of urgency and speed that it completely lacks in its publicised form.
Rob Munnelly
34. RobMRobM
aspeo - I agree with your general point - someone should have recognized Morgase - but...nonrecognitiuon in these circumstances is even more plausible. Recall that Alliandre had just become Queen and likely did not have time to visit Camelyn in that capacity; and that Galina did not NEED to visit Camelyn given the Red Sister in attendance as advisor. Also, people expect to see what they expect to see, and wouldn't expect to see Morgase hiding as a servant.

various - the interesting thing about the PLOD is that it allowed Faile to develop into a more mature, strong character at least as much as it helped Perrin's development. My suspicion is that both will be called upon in TG (recalling the Broken Crown prophecy of Min's way back in EOTW), given the importance of Saldaea as a Borderland country.

Rob
Skip Ives
35. Skip
Meh.

While I don't actually hate this plotline, I never cared for it either. Like the succession plotline it drags on too long and I would not have been sad if it were half the length it is.

That said, I think this gets much of the criticism it does because everyone that had to wait the two years for this book to come out originally wanted more Mat and he isn't here, just emo pouty boy Perrin. Oh wait we haven't gotten to that yet.

Meh I say.
ScoundrelTheToy
36. Greyhawk
This storyline just highlights again what a waste of an opportunity the character of Morgase was. As it is, Jordan's apparent unwillingness to visit the loss or destruction experienced by other countries on Andor (yes there is the succession, etc. but can anyone really say that Andor hasn't received a pass on the devestation scale?--even the country's leadership is intact--it's just that know one knows) leaves us with extraneous characters who take up valuable space without adding anything to the story. I have said it before, I would have been much more interested in in a preexisting mature leader (Morgase) interacting with the wonder kids and dealing with the Last Battle than have every single leadership post of any significance on side Light be filled by a wonderkid. Plus, it frustrates me to no end when Jordan continually pings us with the ostensibly out of place actions of Morgase/Maighdin that remind us and show the other characters that she is more than she seems but must suppress her natural intelligence, leadership, wit, etc. because . . why? I can't really say I even care any more. This whole story line was just a long, drawn out slog through the snow for me.
Jason Deshaies
37. darxbane
I am definitely in the camp of those who think this plotline is much less annoying to those who could read straight through to book 10 or after without waiting. I was introduced to this series in 06, so I didn't have to wait very long for KoD or the conclusion to this arc. It's certainly more interesting to me than the siege of Caemlyn, which I did think dragged on, especially when we started seeing POV's from Arymilla and company.
ScoundrelTheToy
38. Greyhawk
@36 should be "no one knows" not "know one knows". I need to log off and go home -- long week.
Barry T
39. blindillusion
Thanks for another amusing post Leigh.

As others have said, there really isn’t much to say about these chapters, is there?

Toryx – 10- I completely agree that Galina deserves every second of what the rest of her life becomes. (Character who deserves an equally horrific fate: Katerine.)

Sigh – I have nothing else to say really. ‘Cept Mat’s a little closer to making his triumphant return. Yay!

I’m sure I’ll feel more inclined to comment after that auspicious occasion. Need to knock the lack-of-commenting dust of in preparation for ToM.

Ooooofffff course…if Torie would be ever so kind…perhaps a ToM predictions page…and a predictions and discussions of those predictions ONLY page…wouldn’t go amiss. Linda’s post on the 13thD was a good read, after all.
Jason Deshaies
40. darxbane
One comment about the Emo Perrin deal; Yes, he is a little over the top, but for someone who lost 19 MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY (see - all of them) a little over a year prior, I think he's handled himself fairly well. Certainly a lot better than I would have. I can certainly understand why he has an almost unnatural obsession with saving her. Padan Fain strikes again! I wonder where he's going to pop up next?

P.S. Olver is an Eelfinn.
Ben Gillis
41. AgingComputer
My main complaint with books 8-11 is that, from a fan perspective, it would have been nicer if they had been 3 books instead of 4.

Essentially the plotlines of these books are:

Elayne - Travel to Caemlyn, Succession
Egwene - Declare War, Seige, Capture
Perrin - PLOD
Mat - Meets DOT9M and travels with her
Rand - Seanchean campaign, attack by renegades, Far Madding, the Cleansing, ambush by Semirhage (Rand's is by far the most complex arc).

If you have 3 books instead of 4, the only real thing that would have needed to be changed is that some characters would need to experience the "huge quantities of the OP" that the Cleansing generated before we actually experienced the Cleansing firsthand. Which, IMHO, would increase the suspense of the scene considerably.

The other plus is that you have 3 books with real climaxes (COT seems to have no real climax, IIRC). Anyway. That's my rambling thought.
Maiane Bakroeva
42. Isilel
One of the quickest ways to turn me off a book (or an author) is when the writing skips steps—when the writer rushes past or only gives lip service to the necessary elements to arrive at the result he or she wants

Yea, well, that's exactly what I felt happened with the Cleansing, one of the few plot-lines in this part of the series that I was interested in. How did Flinn and Co. manage to find out that they were proscribed by Taim without getting killed? How did the AS convince them to get bonded? How did they figure out how to link and use the opposite part of OP?
Cadsuane could have proved her legendary credentials if it turned out that she re-discovered the method for mixed linking and basics of weaving saidin in a circle during her centuries of dealing with male channelers. Etc, etc.

Instead we got... Perrin and Faile, Andoran succession and yet another sojourn in Luca's circus. Boring.

I was frustrated by the PLOD from the start, but the worst thing is that Faile's part of it is utterly pointless. She never achieves anything, never escapes and remains damsel in distress to the end. Yet another purely character-building exercise. Except that Faile isn't even one of the main characters!
Perrin just retreads the ground that IMHO was already much better covered in TSR.

Greyhawk @36:

I would have been much more interested in a preexisting mature leader (Morgase) interacting with the wonder kids and dealing with the Last Battle

Oh, yes, thousand times yes!!!

I have to say that even in Shaido captivity I expected more from Morgase, I thought that she'd use her allegedly awesome political skills to throw Shaido into chaos, since as Sevanna's servant and WO's informant, she would have been in ideal position to do so. And after all, she had already hit the rock bottom and was still around for a reason. Or so I naively thought. Sigh.
Instead, starting with this chapter, Morgase is just there so Faile can feel superior to her and tell her what to do.

Not to mention that it is, what, the 4th "captive woman" storyline? And the least interesting one to boot?
Karen Fox
43. thepupxpert
Greyhawk @ 38 - if you register you can edit, and your name will be grey and not red.
ScoundrelTheToy
44. Rootboy
AgingComputer@41:

So basically COT shouldn't have been it's own book? Can't argue with that!
Thomas Keith
45. insectoid
Great post, Leigh! However... all I could think of to say about the chapters is:

"Aha! The PloD thickens!" ;)

BTW, anvilicious is a great word, but I should never have clicked on it...

Bzzz™.
Alice Arneson
46. Wetlandernw
toryx @10 - I find myself in agreement with you... Oh, yeah. The BA abuse of the Oaths (or rather, the world's awareness of the Oaths) is... uh.... Okay, I can't think of an appropriate word at the moment. So I'll just agree that Galina deserves what she's going to get.

Silvertip @12 - Good point! I knew there was something about that Maighdin/Alliandre thing, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

sps49 @14 - You just made me think of something; I think Faile is brought up short by realizing that, for a certain very significant set of people, her husband is by far more important than her father. She's always known he was "important" in being a friend of Rand's, but the idea that he himself is important, is something she hasn't quite wrapped her head around yet. IIRC, she'd heard Min's viewing of Rand needing Perrin, but apparently she hadn't registered that other people knew his name as well. And of course, she's spent her life with the knowledge of who her father is, and knowing that most of Randland also knows who he is and his relationship to Tenobia. In a way it was reasonable to think that Tenobia's cousin would be a more valuable hostage than Perrin's wife, but... she was wrong, eh? Can you say, "paradigm shift?"

AndrewB @15 - As far as I know, there is no indication of recognition between Galina and Morgase, either direction. Morgase would never have been more than a novice while in the Tower, and there's no reason to think she'd have had any particular contact with Galina on any of her visits there. Maybe someone else caught something.

As to your proposed alternative plot, some people might have enjoyed it more, but I don't think it would have served the purpose of the overall plot. I'm writing up another post on that subject... which I hope to post in another hour or two.

ScoundrelTheToy @17 - In all fairness, you have to realize that only the BA and the BAH are even truly aware that the Oaths can be removed with the Oath Rod, allowing them to lie freely. But... at the moment I'm not going to go into the value of the Oaths.

Everyone else since then.... nah, I'm not going to.
Claire de Trafford
47. Booksnhorses
@26. I originally skipped a lot of characters I didn't like (notably Perrin et al). This re-read has been great for opening my eyes to the complexity of Jordan's writing and plotting and I feel much more sympathetic to all concerned. I can't wait for my books to arrive back out of their container (en route to Australia at mo) and I can re-read properly with you all.

In terms of the new plotline knowing now that there is an end in sight and that it (fingers crossed) will arrive before the next Olympics means that I can be much more relaxed about the length of the series rather than when I thought that the whole series was going Song of Ice on us. The whole shelf that is WOT is so layered and complex we can really immerse ourselves like any good historical documentation. Back then I just really wanted to find out all about Mat and Egwene!

Yeah it is more naked women in distress and crummy AS, Shaido etc but I am really identifying with Faile now, and anyone with any experience of being a playground mum etc can totally identify with the fact that, while women are brilliant friends in small groups, totally supportive etc, as a big group we tend to suck, and bitch, and bitch ... Not saying all men groups are any better - just more grist for the whole balance of the pattern thing :)

Anyway; off on hol for 2 weeks. Thanks for all your brilliant comments and I look forward to catching up with the Plot of Doom when I return.
ScoundrelTheToy
48. chewynewyork
Yea, this storyline kinda blows for starting so late in the series. But at least we get a chance to see the degeneration of the Shaido, and how much of a evil cuss Therava can be. She puts the nuns in school to shame.
Tess Laird
49. thewindrose
So, chapter 3 - Customs. Our Lady of the Blog forgot to mention this little tidbit that made her so happy way back when our heros still went by the Ways.
Somehow, she could not recall the specifics of the arguement, just that somehow she had pushed her beautiful wolf to real anger, to the point of throwing things. Only Perrin didn't throw things. He was going to turn her over his knee, as he had done once, long ago.


And then Faile's slip up with why she was a leige lady. She has spent time around Moiraine and other Aes Sedai who have said Perrin is Ta'vern and connected to Rand. Why would she think being Bashere's daughter would be more important than that? Perhaps the slaps from Rolan addled her brain a bit. I will grudgingly give props to her for not just giving up and thinking that Perrin would rescue her. She fully intended on escaping with her people on their own.

tempest™
Bonnie Andrews
50. misfortuona
Decided to cross reference this here as well as the last post, since nobody will ever see it there and it is very important stuff.


Okay so Sulin has taken the day off to celebrate her birthday. Meh.
So despite my efforts to avoid the job, I'm here not only delivering my half of the results for the Kilt Poll, but hers as well. Sometimes Karma does work directly.

Anyway of the 15 gentlemen who responded 10 said they would wear a kilt, though several asserted that they would only do so if the occasion called for it. Five party poopers, er men said they would never wear one.

Of the 8 ladies that responded, surprisingly every one said that they did believe men looked good, er in one case yummy, in a kilt.

So the point of this is, IMO, that men should wear kilts as often as possible.

Mis-statistician

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPEAR SISTER

Where the heck did that ? come from
Tricia Irish
51. Tektonica
You know Wetlander, you are just too understanding. Are you a Libra? Not that I know much about that stuff, but you always tend to balance the scales. We are having so much fun whining and whinging about the Plod, and you're going to come along and tell us why RJ was so brilliant doing it the way he did. Dang. Why do you always force me to be reasonable?! It's much more fun to be passionate!

AgingCompter@41: Good analysis. I'm with you. Way too many words were expended on all these plots. The elimination of one books worth of words could have really tightened things up.

I think you all have had some great ideas about re-arringing the various plots....Isilel. This is much more fun to read than the book!

Before Wetlander forces me to reconsider my views, I'm going to state that I really really don't like the Plod. At all.

Oh, party in the Bunker tonight to celebrate Sulin's Birthday. Chocolate swirl cheesecake will be served, with champagne! Come one, come all!
Sydo Zandstra
52. Fiddler
Happy Birthday, Sulin!

@misfortuona:

Here's something for you kilt appreciating ladies. (Not posting it as a clickable link, else it may be flagged.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmy6OaZEAhE

For those not familiar with international rugby, New Zealand performs this traditional war dance (haka) before every match. :D
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
Fiddler - ROFL!! Do they really play rugby in kilts? Brave. Possibly insane, but brave.
Tina A
54. Tinaa
OMG! Fiddler, you have made my day!

As an expat Kiwi living in Scotland, that clip had me howling with laughter. Literally howling...

[i] and yes, with a few drinks in me, I have been known to perform the Haka in pubs...
diane heath
55. jadelollipop
@24 Total agreement that Perrin halted after his marriage and reminds me of so many tv shows etc that
are cancelled after a couple get together (Moonlighting being a famous one). Perrin and Faile were in position surrounded by supportive community whereas Rand had yet to go to Rhuidean and Mat had much to accomplish before meeting Tuon.
The argument with Rand over the AS under WO was a true conflict based on Perrin's reaction after Dumais Wells and Rand hated that Perrin chose that sore point.
After that Perrin was sent away and his storyline halted for all practical purposes so that the others could catch up. Now Perrin is behind and hopefully will regain his cool points in TofM
Jennifer B
56. JennB
Leigh@0
I naively belived that Perrin would rescue Faile at least by the beginning of the next book and I was defiately no newbie having been hooked for at least 9 years when WH came out. Of course the next book was hugely disappointing in this and many other ways.

Silvertip@12
I agree with your interpetation of Faile's reaction to Alliandre.

AndrewB@15
Faile has always been my least favorite character as well. I do appreciate her more because of this reread, but when I first read these books all I wanted was for her to just go away.

roseintdworld@19
I think you may have hit the nail on the head.

mark-p@21
Luckily they were all healed by Galina.

misfortuona@50
I got my kilt response in very late, so I don't know if it was counted, but I agree with the rest of the "ladies". Kilts are very sexy. More men should wear them.

Fiddler@52
Wardrobe malfunction??
Thomas Keith
57. insectoid
Happy birthday, Sulin!

InsectoidoftheMmmmCakeseptoftheGabblyAiel™.
Jennifer B
58. JennB
I think I need to go watch that video again. :-)
Bonnie Andrews
60. misfortuona
JennB
You were noted and counted. :D
Welcome to the club.

Fiddler
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Luckily I've now learned to put down any liquid before accessing any link anyone posts here.

Ditto to Wetlandernw's question. They don't actually play in the kilts do they? If they do, I've found a new favorite sport.

Mis-Rugby fan
Sydo Zandstra
61. Fiddler
@misfortuona and Wetlandernw:

It's a commercial. And those matches are broadcasted live on TV.

Enough answer? ;)
Alice Arneson
62. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @51 - Hey, it's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. I believe I'm a Virgo, but no clue what that's supposed to mean... Birthday is mid-September, anyway.

If I ever do an Aes Sedai shawl, I expect it will have to be fringed in grey. :)

FWIW, I've been pondering on the various things this plot is supposed to "do" in terms of what's upcoming. Some of it I believe we can see clearly in the books already out, some we can extrapolate, and some we'll have to RAFO. Needless to say, it's turning into another fortress wall... Hopefully I'll get it posted sometime today, if life will quit getting in my way.
Sharon E.
63. Sulin
Leigh, thanks for another post. I don't mind this plot-line, like some do (cough cough-Tek-cough cough). ;) I find it's much easier to read it straight through, as others have said.

@Mis- Spear-Sister, you are MOA! Thank you for tabulating the results for me.

Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone. :)

@Fiddler- you made my evening with that link. >:D

SulinoftheKiltedMenAreSexierAiel
Bonnie Andrews
64. misfortuona
Fiddler
Unfortunatly yes, but Tinaa tells me that they attend the after match functions in kilts so I'm still a convert.

MisfortuonaOfTheStrangestCoversationsComeUpWhenWeGetBoredOnGabblyAeil
Alex Johns
65. almuric
Well, comment 7 pretty much summed it up for me. I mean, I like the books, but come on. We were already way behind on the number of books. Remember when were told it was gonna be 5 or 6 books? I remember. What overarching reason was there for this plotline?

Hell, if Jordan was still alive I think at this point Gawyn would have been kidnapped by the Shara and Egwene would be raising an army to go rescue him, while we focused half of a few books on the new Civil War in Seanchan-land.
Tricia Irish
66. Tektonica
Wetlander@62:

I forgot to put in a smiley face ;-)), but you know I said that with love in my heart, right? Really. Looking forward to your analysis.
ScoundrelTheToy
67. AndrewB
Almuric @65 said: "Hell, if Jordan was still alive I think at this point Gawyn would have been kidnapped by the Shara and Egwene would be raising an army to go rescue him, while we focused half of a few books on the new Civil War in Seanchan-land."

I will repeat what others have said before (but with more eloquent words). Had RJ lived the remaining books (ie the final three ) would have been virtually the same as they are/will be when BWS writes them. I say "virtually" becasue BWS uses slightly different phrases that are not material to the plot (for example, his use of the word pants). The main points were either written in total by RJ before he died or he left specific detailed notes that BSW incorporated into the story. IMO, Harriet will not permit BWS to deviate from RJ plans.

With respect to your specific contention regarding scenes in Seanchan, RJ said during the KOD tour that there would be no further scenes taking place in Seanchan.

Almuric, I do not mean to attack you. However, I am very tired of people saying that the final three books have been "manipulated" by BWS. I just wish that we could bury this angle once and for all.

Hopefully, others who are more eloquent than I will make similar points. This is one contention that I hope suffers a worse fate than Galina.

Sorry for the sermon. Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
Tess Laird
68. thewindrose
I have another point of contention with the idea that Egwene would go and save Gawyn. When we see her last, Gawyne is following her around like a lost puppy dog, and Egwene has no time for him. She seems to have forgone the idea of an 'attachment' of marriage with him and to be focused on being the best Amyrlin the world has ever seen. Will he be her warder? The build up seems to say so, but the build up also showed her head over heals crazy in love with him too. I guess the crazy in love part may have been covered in Cairhien when she was studing with the Wise Ones.

Happy Birthday Sulin!!!


tempest™
John Massey
69. subwoofer
Well!

Normally I'd be half-cut before tackling this one, but some ignorant lout... er, me, forgot to stock the beer fridge, so I am downing mead and attempting to formulate some thoughts without doing damage to my computer and the surrounding house.

The one thing I will give Faile credit for is knowing disaster when she sees it- Thereva. Galina is a whole other story, slimy and such, but Thereva, bang on. She rates a serious- do NOT F*** with me! T-shirt. And maybe a snow globe.

As to the rest, Leigh, you have it spot on! Back in the day I figured this would be a trilogy. Somewhere around book 5 I realized I was off on that mark. Around book
7 I figured this would be a 10 booker. Going through POD, I was like: "c'mon RJ lets wrap something/anything up. I'm not getting any younger". Then this book comes out. Then I hit this chapter. Then my blood pressure hits the ceiling. What that!? There is no way in the universe we are coming to an end with this behemoth by book 10. Heck, let's throw the kitchen sink in for kicks. Why not bring back Asmo while we are at it....

Arrrrrrrrrrgh! I need some beer to cool me down here...

Ranting to follow.

Woof™.
ScoundrelTheToy
70. Katiya
Yay post! Good weekend ahead, Leigh!

This being the first book I had to wait for, I don't think I fall into Leigh's theory about it being the book I hate most. I actually like Winter's Heart, mostly because it has my most favoritest funny scene in WOT EVER! And because I'm a softie and like the gooey love parts too.

But having said that, I DESPISE the Perrin plot line just as much as everyone else seems to...but the idea of it being too complex for so late in the game never really occurred to me. Having access to the first eight made the slow down, while apparent, move a lot faster for me than those of you who had to wait years for it. But Perrin's abrupt transition into this emo being really really grated on me, because up until the Emond's Field thing, he had been one of my favorites. I started to drift away from him there, and after that, I just got really annoyed with his very predictable and repetitive character arc. This plotline here highlighted everything I hated about what Perrin was becoming, and the lack of any growth on his part (at least until the very end) just made the snow slog even slower. I'm so over him not being ok with being a little violent from time to time, and if that makes me cold-hearted, so be it, I guess.
James Hogan
71. Sonofthunder
Not much to say here.

I just want to say what I've said before - the reason I hate this...storyline...is because of all the terrible-horrible-very-bad-people surrounding Faile. I agree with jamesedjones@32: I mostly like all of Perrin's bits! As much as he seems to think letting the Pattern burn is a good idea, I love Perrin's passion(some say emo, I say passion. :P) and his bits are almost always fun to read. Faile's parts on the other hand...are full of Shaido, Sevanna, Therava, and Galina Casban AKA Little Lina. 'nuff said?

Also, Alliandre and Morgase/Maid Maighdin are not my favs in this section.

So all of Faile's chapters make me an extremely sad reader. I still read them and enjoy them for what they are, but I can definitely say that amongst the millions of words RJ wrote over 11 books, all Faile-captured sections are my least favorite. I'd rather watch Elayne bathe!!!
Alice Arneson
72. Wetlandernw
I'm still working on my long analysis, but I wanted to remind y'all of this, from R.Fife's interview with Alan Romanczuk. Richard asked what scene (in the published books) was Alan's favorite, and here's what he said:
Ah. I don’t have a specifically favorite scene, but in the recent books that Jim had written, the one that comes to mind for me is when Perrin was at his wits end trying to find his wife and get information on Faile, and he goes to interrogate the captured Shaido they have staked out on the ground. Against all expectations, he chops off the man’s limb, and makes it very clear to him that he is not going to kill him, but make sure he is crippled for the rest of his life and will have to depend on others for his well being.

What is striking about that is not only the surprise in what happened to Perrin’s personality, but the fact that we see the depths of this man who had been operating at an almost emotionless state, or at least with a single, fixed purpose, which was saving his wife. We see him, the peace-loving blacksmith who, just through fate, is thrown into a position of leadership, suddenly do something that is completely out of character, or that we think is out of character, when in fact it is springing from his depths, something that needs to be done. So, in that scene, we see an inkling of Perrin becoming the person that he needs to be to take part in the Last Battle.
So... put that in your pipe and smoke it while you consider whether this plot had any value.
James Hogan
73. Sonofthunder
Ooh, I remember that quote, Wetlander! And may I say, I absolutely agree and I think this whole plotline was immensely important to Perrin. I just think...*whispers*...that if all Faile-captured POVs were cut while all Perrin sections remained, we'd have just as powerful a progression for Perrin. Because indeed, I love-love-love seeing his passion and love for his wife rage within him and burst to the surface. Again, some say emo, I say passion.
John Massey
74. subwoofer
@JEJ agreed! It is all Faile's fault. This is like watching Lassy all over. Loved the dog, but the plot was soooo predictable. Timmy fell down the well, go get help- woof. What is it girl? What's the problem? You want me to follow you?

Swap out boy and dog for girl and er... whatever Perrin is- emo, wolf, wolf-brother, etc. Perrin- Faile bit a hedgehog- go get help! Perrin- Faile is in a city under seige- go get help! Perrin- Fail had been captured by a rebel band of donkeys- go get help! Hello! Can anyone spot the pattern here? What's next? Perrin- Faile's been captured by the Forsaken- go get help!

Gaaaahh!

Gawyn- as I have said, any kind of awesomeness with a sword is mitigated by him being a bag of douche. Go find your sister already. If Egwene wants you, she will send for you. Geeze! Show some dignity man. The game is "hard to get" not "hard to want".

Er... happy birthday Sulin:-}

Woof™.
Alice Arneson
75. Wetlandernw
You should also see this, from R.Fife's interview with Wilson Grooms:
RF: The Wheel just passed its twentieth anniversary. Any reflections on where it has come from? Do you think that, starting back then, Jim thought it would turn into this?

WG: The answer is, obviously, pretty long. I know for sure that he did not think it would turn into this. Could he see all of the storylines and plots and this and envision that it could? Yes. But it was like lightning struck, and people liked it, which allowed him to expand on the story that he already had rattling around in his head. Had it not been that successful, he could have probably done the storyline in . . . three? Which is what he was kind of thinking at the beginning. Certainly not more than six. And it would have then been off to the next thing, which of course he already had in his head and was pretty close to ready to put pen to paper on. But, it took off, and it allowed him to tell that story in a greater detail.

One of the greater things that I hear from people about what they like in the books is the detail. And yeah, OK, I’ve heard about the middle books dragging on, but I can tell you, even that, for him it was about making sure that people understood the detail well enough so that when other things come along down the line, they could go “Aha! This is that!” Because, he could see it; he could see the tapestry and how it was sewn together. You can’t describe the whole tapestry at one time. You’ve got to describe it thread by thread by thread until you back up and see it. And that is what he was doing.
I know most of you have read those interviews, but I thought it might bear repeating.

Catch you after dinner!
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @74 - What's next? Perrin- Faile's been captured by the Forsaken- go get help! Don't laugh. That might be the thing I was talking about, where Perrin has to choose between saving Faile and being there for Rand the second time.
Alice Arneson
77. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @66 - I take the smiley face as a given, particularly from you. :) This place wouldn't be any fun if we had to worry about taking each other too seriously. And hey, I have really thick skin when it comes to taking things personally, so... not to worry.

AndrewB @67 (re: Almuric @65) - yup. I used to think that RJ was constitutionally incapable of finishing a story, but with the greater visibility into all the behind-the-scenes stuff that we've been given in the last three years, I've changed my mind.

Oops. I was going to find those quotes and insert them in this post, but I forgot I had this one going. *sigh* I must need some dinner.
John Massey
78. subwoofer
Annd... Perrin, when he gets to Cairhien IIRC, the first thing out of his mouth is "where's Berelain?"

You are supposed to be a wolf, not a donkey.

Small miracle he didn't open his mouth and insert his foot this goabout. Mind you, folks do think that Perrin and B were gettin' down behind the scenes so to speak. Rumor only, but geeze, predictable, including Faile's reaction.

Woof™.
John Massey
79. subwoofer
@Wet- who's laughing? These are tears of sadness, not joy over here. Or maybe it is pain from banging my head against the wall? I dunno- gonna drown my sorrows and maybe swipe the salsa and chips.

Woof™.
John Massey
80. subwoofer
Sorry- unlike Leigh, I find it incredibly hard to mince words about this plot line. The three things that are reinforced in my head because of this are:

1. Thereva is bad ass.

2. Sevanna- really? For leader? Still? How did she make it past the "how do you keep a blond busy for hours?" test. Shaido Aiel are letting their honor get in the way of doing what is right. Toss her already.

3.Galina- slimy. Before, during and after. Reminds me of some employees that somehow escape being fired no matter how much they putz up. How many lives does Galina have? In the end, it works out kinda, as #3 recognizes #1, but it was a long time coming.

Okay, there is a #4. Perrin, no matter what, will follow his wife to the ends of the earth. And put his foot in it with Berelain so his wife is actually mad when Perrin rescues her.

I'm sure there are some redeeming points here, but I am at a loss as to what, personally. Oh yeah, Bela is not captured. Just beaten repeatedlyby the WoT reread folks.

On another track- is it possible that Verin stopped off at the ToG on her way back to Tar Valon and made a deal with the 'Finn before her meet with Egwene?

Woof™.
Heidi Byrd
81. sweetlilflower
I had a thought as to one of the purposes of this storyline and why it was introduced late in the series. I have not read all of the comments, so I hope noone else has written my theory, but I haven't seen anything about it before, so I am hoping for the best.

Edit: I have read all of the comments and it has not been mentioned. Yeah!

RJ needs some way to shake the Seanchan out of their whole "channelers are evil" mindset. What better way to do that than to have hindreds of WOs with the Seanchan? I mean, if Egwene could withstand being beaten SEVERAL TIMES A DAY, and she had only heard about "drinking in the pain", then several hundred WOs who have GROWN UP with that idea should be able to withstand the Seanchan for a loooooong time. I really hope that there is some redemption for the Shaido. Either the ones going to the Waste run into Demandred and his army or the WOs with the Seanchan help to get them out of their whole treat-channelers-as-animals mentality.
Tony Zbaraschuk
82. tonyz
I'm thinking that RJ perhaps overestimates people's physical abilities. Running barefoot in snow like that for hours should probably lead to, oh, foot loss from frostbite and injury (snow can be _sharp_, guys, especially if it's had time to melt a little and then refreeze). At least there's _some_ intimation that the captives need heat and so forth.

Sevanna continues to establish her claim on How Clueless Can Supposedly Hardened Aiel Get, Anyway? Yes, being a guy who lives in Southern California but grew up in Washington, I totally understand the wonderful hedonistic feeling of My God There's WATER Here, Oh Lord SNOW IS GREAT, but you'd think by this time at least a little reality would have reached her head. And, yes, we love to hate her and Galina and Therava, but a little bit of that goes a long, long way.

Roland.
Um.
*HEAD*DESK*
That is all.
T C
83. Freelancer
Happy Friday, folks. And happy birthday, Sulin!

Not going to bother with commenting on this post, as it would be nothing but another echo of Wetlandernw. Ok, a small comment. Jordan knew what he was doing. Trust, and wait, and it will be proven. [i][b]IMHO[/b] Who has ears to hear, let him hear.

On to business. I will be trying to sneak in a question or two with Brandon during a reading/signing he is doing with two other authors (Patrick Rothfuss & Brent Weeks) at a local Borders Sunday, following the close of Comicon. If anyone has a question which has been fermenting, an older one they'd like to remind me about, or a new one, whatever, I will consider all submissions. Post them here, or if you use FB, wall-post me. I have no idea if he will take questions, or if so, how many. What I can promise is that I won't even dream of trying to take as much of his time as I did last November, even in behalf of the TOR re-read crowd en masse. So, if I get any submissions, I will pare them down to my judgement of the most significant three at the most.

Insectoid, any chance you'll be dropping by?
Tina Pierce
84. scissorrunner
hmmmm, no, still don't feel the "PLOD" was all that "plodlike". like too much of RL, it just took its own sweet time.

(and, ya, its tomorrow, but Happy Birthday Sulin!!)
Ron Garrison
85. Man-0-Manetheran
"She certainly did not want him gazing at her with lust or even interest, but those bland glances were almost insulting!"

Oh, for crying out loud. Take it Woofer...

And, nice new icon. I always appreciated the warning. And "Why are we starting a brand new super-messy ultra-tangled plot IN BOOK NINE?" I asked the same thing. And I'm still not sure why it needed to take so long. RAFO.
Sandy Brewer
86. ShaggyBella
nothing much to say about these chapters...just waitin' for Mat.

BUT a general WOT comment:
Why are the ugly or plain women compared to farm wives and lumpy faced guys farmers? Like Nobles cannot be homely, but should always look perfect.
Race or skin color doesn't seem to matter to Randlanders, but beauty or the lack of it sure does. Unless you are Olver. He gets all the girls.

Just sayin'

SandyB
Ron Garrison
87. Man-0-Manetheran
Good point, ShaggyBella. Just look at the portraits of European royalty. All that inbreeding ain't pretty!
Thomas Keith
88. insectoid
Free @83: Not likely. I'll be exhausted from the Con as it is, and I'll probably be here helping install a new bathroom fan.

Bzzz™.
david jams
89. davidjas
I have not read all of the comments, so I hope noone else has written my theory, but I haven't seen anything about it before, so I am hoping for the best.
Birgit
90. birgit
By the way, does anyone know of a site where they list all the chapter icons with descriptions of what will be in the chapter?

http://www.steelypips.org/wotfaq/2_nondark/2.7_generalities/2.7.5_iconography.html

http://www.theoryland.com/theories.php?func=5&rec=101&theo=2557

I am really kind of surprised that no one has recognized Maighdin for who she really is.

We are used to seeing photographs of famous people all the time, but WoT people don't see their leaders in the newspaper or on TV every day.
ScoundrelTheToy
91. mike shupp
Possibly an unfair/unreasonable observation ...

It's often struck me that Robert Jordan missed an opportunity in making all the three boys from Two Rivers ta'veren. Basically they all have some sort of magical power, giving them advantages compared to ordinary mortals. The game is rigged in their favor.

If it had been up to me, one or two of the guys would have been ta'veren (and there might have been some confusion about just who was so Moraine and Lan took them all as a set). But one of the three (Perrin, of course) would simply have been an ordinary mortal with no great part to play -- except that Rand liked and respected him and trusted him with important tasks. And in this part of the overall story ordinary-mortal-Perrin might have been forced by circumstances to transcend his natural limits to become someone extraordinary, someone who still was not ta'veren but who obviously was an important, moving force -- someone like Davram Bashere, in other words.

Had Jordan handled Perrin this way, Faile's on-again off-again treatment of him would have made more intuitive sense, Berelain's developing interest would have made sense, Rand's judgement would be seen as basically good -- and the point might have been made that the fate of the world hinges on the actions of ordinary folk as well as those born to be heroes.

It wouldn't have taken more changing than perhaps a dozen paragraphs in these dozen long books, and I think it would have materially improved the story. And I sometimes wonder if this isn't more or less how Jordan himself came to see Perrin.
Sydo Zandstra
92. Fiddler
Freelancer@83:

Re: WoT questions.

Free,

I'd like to know if there is a connection between the Book of Translation and the Portal Stones.

I saw that Linda thinks the Book is a device that transports the Ogier to another world directly, but somehow this feels wrong to me. It seems too much coming from leftfield.

The Book being an activation key (ter'angreal), with translations for the symbols on the Portal Stones looks more plausible to me. But of course there is no evidence to support this.


It's a minor thing, and if there are better questions leave it. OTOH, maybe Brandon will give an answer just for that very reason (it being minor). :)
Roger Powell
93. forkroot
Freelancer@83
This is probably trivial but ... I would be curious to hear from Brandon what exactly happened to the waygate connection into Shadar Logoth?
R B
94. MasterAlThor
Salutations my old friends.

I have missed you all while I have been busy with the family.

Happy Bday Sulin, enjoy your day.

Tinaa....(blinks...)

Insect...(damn, I forgot about that)

Now I have to make a descion on whether or not I want to go to Scotland to see Tinaa do her dance or San Deigo to the Con.

MOM,

I'll take that one.

So Faile has an issue with the fact that she wasn't noticed. Then when someone does notice she gets peeved.

Awww, you can't have it both ways sister. Either have the brains to realize that someone is showing you a bit of respect by not eyeballin you all over like a hungry wolf looks at a sheep, or you don't have the brains.

Rolan didn't notice you? Good on him. Be happy about it. Gai'shain grabbin a peek at the goods? Smack him silly.

It makes for an interesting debate. Is it ok for women to be looked at? Some want to be noticed and so they dress accordingly. Some don't, and they dress accordingly.

But here is where it gets sticky. When women who dress according to needs (i.e. weather) are not trying to be looked at. I say if someone is looking, then be happy that they find you attractive. Note that I didn't say staring. That is bad, and you should have your eyeballs sprayed with the nearest stingy liquid.

In Faile's case, she was captured and her clothing shredded. Now there are practical reasons for this. We are dealing with the Aiel here. Faile has no choice in her situation. Rolan prods here along with a smack to the bottom and pays as little attention to her nakedness as he would a tree.

That should rate a totally awesome for a guy who acts like he has seen naked women before.

End rant.

Isilel,

In my old age I find that I agree with you more and more.

I only hope to be as old as Free and Wet one day.

I see you Woofman.

Dragonoftheit'sgreatwhenGabblyworksrightAiel
john mullen
95. johntheirishmongol
I was actually hoping when I first read this that Faile was going to be killed, and we could end that story line in a hurry. Then I realized that it was another aside, rather than a periphery story line that would advance the main story and that was what annoyed me most about it.

And the difference with Mat's story line is that it was set up well in advance, it was done with some humor and it will move the main story line forward at some point.
T C
96. Freelancer
Fiddler,

Linda is, as usual, correct. From Knife of Dreams, Vows, immediately following the ceremony marrying Erith to Loial, when Elder Haman refuses Mother Covril's request to set out on the instant, but rest at least one night:
"If you insist," his mother said grudgingly, "but I want an early start come morning. I refuse to waste an hour more than I must. The Book of Translation must be opened as soon as possible."
Loial jerked erect, aghast. "That's what the Great Stump is discussing? They can't do that, not now!"
"We must leave this world eventually, so we can come to it when the Wheel turns," his mother said, striding to the nearest fireplace to spread her skirts again. "That is written. Now is exactly the right time, and the sooner the better."
"Is that what you think, Elder Haman?" Loial asked worriedly.
"No, my boy, not at all. Before we left, I gave a speech of three hours that I think swayed a few minds to the right direction." Elder Haman picked up a tall yellow pitcher and filled a blue cup, but rather than drink, he frowned into the tea. "Your mother has swayed more, I fear. She may even get her decision in months, as she says."

...

He was not particularly brave, whatever Erith thought, but he had learned about bravery watching humans, watching them hang on no matter how strong the winds grew, fight when they had no hope, fight and win because they fought with desperate courage. Suddenly, he knew what to say.
"In the War of the Shadow, we did not huddle in our stedding, hoping no Trolloc or Myrddraal would be driven to enter. We did not open the Book of Translation and flee. We marched alongside the humans and fought the Shadow. In the Trolloc Wars, we neither hid in the stedding nor opened the Book of Translation. We marched with the humans and fought the Shadow. In the darkest years, when hope seemed gone, we fought the Shadow."

...

"Perhaps in a year, or five, or ten, we will open the Book of Translation, but if we do it now, we cannot run away with any real hope of safety. Tarmon Gai'don is coming, and on that hangs the fate not only of this world, but of any world we might flee to. When fire threatens the trees, we do not run away and hope that the flames will not follow us. We fight. Now the Shadow is coming like wildfire, and we dare not run from it."
It is quite clear in the only text of the story to mention the Book of Translation, that it's purpose is to take the Ogier to another world. Were it a key to the Portal Stone symbols, Loial would have certain brought this up during The Great Hunt, when he, Rand, and Hurin were sent to another world by Lanfear. Loial was duly impressed with 'Selene's' knowledge of a book about the Stones, Mirrors of the Wheel. Were the Book of Translation something much more concrete and factual in relation to the Stones, and in the possession of the Ogier, it's existence and employment would have been mentioned. My final point in opposition is that Portal Stones are objects designed for channeling, and Ogier include no channelers. Even a key to the symbols would not aid them in their use if they cannot channel. However, if there are no other questions from the field, I'll give it a shot.
T C
97. Freelancer
MasterAlThor@94

I don't make near as big a deal out of Faile's mixed reaction to Rolan's indifference. Here's what we're being shown: A young woman who is aware that she isn't ugly, but one who does have a sense of modesty, is unclothed in front of male strangers. That is humiliating. Her modesty and sense of propriety cause her to be outraged at the situation. But that is insufficient to prevent a tiny bit of her vanity from still rising up inside of her to be displeased at having her female form seemingly ignored.

This is utterly realistic and human. Our reason wars with our vanity continually. It is a normal condition of our tri-partite nature. It goes to the old proverb of the two fighting dogs within. The one you feed the most is the one currently winning the fight.
Sydo Zandstra
98. Fiddler
@Freelancer:

In that case, forget I asked. ;)

Thanks for taking the time to give the relevant quotes!
Alice Arneson
99. Wetlandernw
My apologies, just in case anyone was eagerly awaiting my castle wall last night. It was another losing battle with a headache. Why is it that the headache always wins? Then again, I'm still here today, and with far less headache than last night, so... Maybe I win after all. :) In any case, the wall needs a little polishing, but I'll get it posted before next Tuesday, anyway.

Freelancer - I've got a list of questions, but none of them are very important; of course, the ones that are would get RAFOed anyway. I'll compile it and let you see if you think any of them are worth asking.

MasterAlThor - So, you hope to be as old as me, someday? Hah. Dream on, dude. You'll never catch me.

Freelancer @97 - Very perceptive of you. I think you're right on. It may be frustrating to read about the inconsistencies of a fictional character, but if they were perfectly consistent they wouldn't be very realistic, and if they were unrealistic they wouldn't be much fun to read after while.
John Massey
100. subwoofer
Gee, thanks folks:) You all waited so politely for me. I couldn't have done it without you.

To oogle or not oogle, that is the question. I understand some folks get hot, hence tank tops and shorts, but by the same token, it doesn't cost anything to look... Unless your wife sees you, then the price is a smack upside the head, or a sniff and a braid tug, and harumphing.

Faile being put out by buddy not openly gaping, well... Listen, first off, Aiel are used to nudity. Not every guy is going to react like Perrin when you disrobe. There will be no drooling, there will be no panting, there will be no whining and howling. So get over it. Do you really want a guy to stare you in an overt, sexual context? Are you sure you are ready for that and all it entails? Stuff your ego, comments and all, keep your head down, and do what they tell you.

Beyond that, it is interesting what my fellow commenters have said about plowing through the snow bare footed. It is true. Unless you have done it a lot and have the natural callouses built up, your are in for a world of hurt. We are talking cracked, peeling skin, broken toenails, blisters, and all around a bloody mess. Never underestimate what your shoes do for you. Take it from and old infantryman.

Today is a better day. Last night, waiting for beer to chill was much like wandering around in the desert for 40 years. You know the promised land is there, you just can't get to it yet. *sigh*

Woof™.
Alice Arneson
101. Wetlandernw
Freelancer - you asked for it! I'm posting this list here so others can either add to it or vote for their favorite question. Rewording might be appropriate... and some of them are downright frivolous, but hey. I'm feeling flippant this morning. (Well, as flippant as a stupid lingering headache will allow.)

Top ten questions I'd like to ask Brandon:

1. Will you please read my fanfic, and make Cadsuane more like that in the remaining books? ;)

2. Are you familiar with Steven Cooper's WoT Chronology? If so, is it pretty close to the same as the timelines Team Jordan works with?

3. WRT Mesaana outmaneuvering the reswearing of the Oaths in the WT purge, are there (inverted) weaves she could put on herself, or a (presumably also inverted) weave she could channel into the Oath Rod at the same time, allowing her to "take the Oaths" but remain unbound by the Rod? (likely RAFO, but I'm curious if this is the right track, as opposed to all the ways around the Oaths themselves, like sneaky redefinitions, self-hypnosis, or being novice/Accepted)

4. Does Moridin know that Rand drew the True Power through their connection? (likely RAFO)

5. Did the Breaking make Traveling risky or difficult? Is that why we don't find Traveling used during many of the flashback scenes, and why it was apparently lost as a skill on both continents? Or is there another reason?

6. Do women remain clothed when they go to Rhuidean for the trip through the columns ter'angreal? (If we get a RAFO, it might mean we'll see Aviendha's trip.)

7. Was Elaida's damane name, Suffa, something RJ had in the notes, or did you invent it?

8. How old is Berelain?

9. Has Taim used the True Power? (likely RAFO)

10. Can't think of a tenth one at the moment.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
If anyone cares, I collected most of the theories we came up with here about how Mesaana might have gotten around the reswearing. If and when we find out the truth, I'll go back and see if anyone was right. If y'all have anything you want me to add to the list, speak up.
Sydo Zandstra
103. Fiddler
@Wetlandernw

If the answer to #6 is 'no', I'll be very disappointed in RJ.

Since Rand didn't have to strip. ;)
Valentin M
104. ValMar
Wetlander@101

2nd question is not trivial at all. I'll love to have it asked and answered, even with some delay for checking with RJ HQ.
Alice Arneson
105. Wetlandernw
Fiddler @103 - So very true! It would probably be a more useful question to ask if there were a reason behind the tradition of going unclothed into the rings and arches ter'angreals, when the columns don't appear to have that requirement (at least for men).
Alice Arneson
106. Wetlandernw
On an unrelated subject, I had a question regarding Linda's 13D article on predictions, which I know many of you read. (And Linda occasionally shows up here, so... if you're here, Linda, you can speak for yourself!) She says that
blood is the fourth item (along with their courage, Thom’s singing voice, and Aludra’s matches) which will be used to cheat against the ‘Finns.
Any idea why blood should serve for iron, rather than the steel already mentioned? Back in TSR chapter 15, when Mat went through the doorway ter'angreal in the Stone and was asked about iron and instruments of music, we read
Mat wondered what it thought the knife was; it certainly did not seem concerned over it. Well, the blade was good steel, not iron.
Seems to me like the idea of blood serving as the forbidden iron is stretching it a whole lot, and apparently only for the purpose of tying in the loss of Mat's eye.
Valentin M
107. ValMar
Doesn't blood contain iron? But even if this is the case, it does stretch it- or rather it feels out of place for a medieval fantasy setting.
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
ValMar @107 - Exactly. Blood does indeed contain iron, so I suppose there's some grounds, but in that case it can hardly be considered cheating to bring it... Not like you can leave your blood behind while you go through the doorway! And something else I just thought of: if the 'Finn do actually use human skin for their... accoutrements... blood must not count unless they have some means of bloodless flaying. Which, being the 'Finn, might be the case, but it's a mighty stretch.

BTW - thanks for the second on the Chronology question. I use it a lot, and would love to have confirmation that, if not identical, it's at least pretty close.
Derek Barolet
109. Derek.barolet
I think Thom brings music, Mat brings fire, Noal brings iron. i dont think we have seen the iron yet, unless its his long knives.

And am I a bad person for wishing the Whitecloaks really had off'ed Morgase?
Derek Barolet
110. Derek.barolet
The whole blood being iron isnt right,
how are you not going to bring your blood?
And wetlander beat me to it it seems
Dana Mason
111. ONEwithPOWER
Ok, I just have to share this, because I was always pretty sure of this theory, but the prophecy at the end of TGS just convinced me... I always assumed that Rand is not Rand as he thinks he is, but a mad LT.. true, Ishy healed the madness to gloat or whatever, but i suspect that upon seeing Illyena, he went mad again before killing himself and creating dragonmount (his grave- this is important) now the pattern has spun him out again as it always has, but this time he is so mad with grief, that he creates an alter-ego (Rand) to forget his torment.. it has always made since to me, because every time LT speaks, it seems to be in a situation that is either life-and-death or important in some way that only LT would know (not his farm boy alter-ego) or when something reminds him of his lost love and grief almost takes over. this is why Rand can do things without knowing how.. he does know how, but refuses to admit it so as not to acknowledge the terrible things he did...

Now I say the prophecy solidified this theory because it mentions he who was blind standing on his own grave weeping for what was wrought...

so at the end of TGS, it seems to me that in finally understanding that the wheel can allow one to have another chance to make up for the past, he drops the Rand-ego in order to save the wheel from destruction... so it can be said that after so long being (willfully) blind, he now can see.. and this happens "standing on his own grave" (dragonmount) .. and i'm sorry if i'm wrong, cause it's been a while since I read it, but doesnt he begin to weep at this point? cause if so, it sure seems like the fulfillment of the aforementioned prophecy to me...

let me know what yall think, and i wanna just say that i am really excited to finally get to share this with someone, so please don't poke too much fun if i post this again at some point (unless you guys can prove this theory wrong of course) .. and this re-read is just chock-full of AWESOME!! I started way late and just got caught up and now i know how u guys must feel, cause this sucks not being able to just click on... Great job Leigh...
Valentin M
112. ValMar
Well, Wetlander@108 until it is officially declared inaccurate I'll assume Steven Cooper's WoT Chronology is reasonably correct. At least, this question can't be RAFO-ed.
Derek Barolet
113. Derek.barolet
It is a fulfillment of the prophecy but Rand is LTT they are the same person spun out again.

Thom actually talk about this re: birgette She gets spun out sometimes with the braid and sometimes not, she says she doesnt remember when she is spun out who she really is.

Rand is same he is LTT spun out again, why he remembers things? I have my own theory but i honestly believe the LTT guy in his head is just his way of coping with the taint.
My guess why he remember things are

A) convienient faster learning curve for the hero also called, Its The Magic Stupid
and

B) He keeps the abilities with the one power like Birgette keeps her ability with bow, the taint is what actually causes his mind to remember past souls, its not natural or right, though helpful.
Birgette didnt remember till she was ripped out unnaturally
Dana Mason
114. ONEwithPOWER
What do u think about mat? did the Finn put random, allbeit helpful memories in his head, or are they from his own previous lives..? and i wish i had these books on hand to reference, but when he blew the horn, didn't the hero's refer to him as "gambler" and if so, did they make it sound as if they knew him (or his "soul") personally..?
John Massey
115. subwoofer
The ToG sounds an awful lot like a "locked room" mystery. Frankly, I don't believe in them, kinda like an airtight alibi. I think that Mat will cheat the pants off the rules and there is nothing the Finns can do about it. If Mat dredges his memory hard enough, in there lies the secret to getting out of the Tower with Mo, and his skin intact.

And it does not involve Olver coming along. Throw that at BS, see what sticks.

There is going to be gunpowder and matches. Finn will be knocked on their collective butts. Mat swings from a vine with Moiraine in tow and they escape.

A kinder, gentler Cranky Pants? Could happen. Winged monkeys could fly outta me behind too. I have a high fiber diet.



Woof™.
Dana Mason
116. ONEwithPOWER
And he doesn't hear voices from past "lives".. its just LT... and the heros of the horn even refer to him as Lews Theron don't they?
a a-p
117. lostinshadow
Wow, way late to the party so as is usually the case everyone seems to have already said my thoughts on these chapters and general plot.

I still dislike PLOD less than the Andoran throne - that just drives me batty. bleh

Still have faith in RJ's planning abilities - this plot will serve a purpose. most likely teaching Perrin that he can't just go batshit very time Faile is in danger.

My main problem with this plot is that it simply features way too many dislikable characters in one go - seriously why do I have to put up with Galina, Sevanna and Therava all at the same time? grrrrr.

now to escape back to the bunker away from all the mosquitos.
Joseph Blaidd
118. SteelBlaidd
I think I stand in the minority not only one who enjoys this particular plot line but I actually prefer the Faile chapters.

I've always liked Faile. For all her youth she is has learned the lesson that Cadsuane didn't till Norla, "what must be endured, can be endured," she has no intention of waiting around to be rescued, and she recognizes when she is having unproductive impulses and she works to control them. I have never understood why she catches so much flack from people.

I tend to lay most of her and Perrin's marital issues at his door largely because, of all the characters, he seams to have the hardest time accepting that he isn't the same person he was when he left home.(lampshaded in tGS when he goes back to talking about putting up the banners again and Tam says "I thought you were over this.") Things would go a lot smother if he had told Faile he can smell what people are feeling and accepted that he is now the Lord of the Two Rivers.

tonyz@82
on bare feet in snow
From WH ch 3 Customs(HB page 114)
Rolan and those ahaead of him had trampled a sort of path for yet enough snowcrust remained for sharp edges and she began to leave red stains freazing in her footprints. Worse was the cold itself. She had seen frostbite. How long before her toes be gan to turn black?


@ Wet

Question #6
From tGS Ch26 A crack in the stone( HB pg393)
Amys giving Aviendha instruction on going to Rhuidean "You may wear your clothing this time, as it is a mark of your station."
John Massey
119. subwoofer
Yeah, well, I think all the boys at some point wonder what it would be like to go back home. Perrin is the only one that does, and he sees the aftermath of his family being slaughtered. Maybe that has him holding onto the past harder than Mat or Rand. Sometimes it is hard to let go of who you were. Perrin and Faile are good for each other, they just have to work out the dynamic of their relationship. It helps if they remember their vows.

In that regard, Perrin is doing his duty. If my wife was taken from me, I would move heaven and earth to get to her, so I understand where Perrin is coming from. It is all the BS that comes along with it that grinds it to tedium. Tallanvor(sp?) and Morgase's troup, Berelain and the games, what other people think of Berelain- Perrin and the games, the Prophet, and not using the tools at his disposal, namely the Asha'men to speed the trip up.

For me it is Perrin's entourage that slows things down. If Perrin could take Gaul, a couple more Aiel, and and Asha'man and Travel, this would be over in a hurry and we would not have to endure Sevanna and her cracked concept of how beautiful she is.

For one time, I would like Sevanna to run into Lanfear and see what she is a pale shadow of. Dressing hootchie does not make you attractive to men. How you carry yourself counts for tons.

Sometimes less is more.

And then there is Thereva and Galina. Dang.

Woof™.
ScoundrelTheToy
120. BruinJP
Can anyone explain why Faile doesn't immediately recognize that Galina is AS? We know she can recognize the "ageless" look of an AS, yet here she is surprised when Galina is ordered to heal her, and shocked when she sees the serpent ring. Odd. No?
Sydo Zandstra
121. Fiddler
@BruinJP:

I think the surprise is in the fact that Shaido WO order an AS to heal her, and that this AS actually does it too.

Also, there was little time to think things over, and Faile was suffering from the cold.
Alice Arneson
122. Wetlandernw
ONEwithPOWER @several - I am SO not going to discuss the LTT/Rand thing. There are two main theories; yours is sort of an inversion of one.

As far as Mat's memories, it's been made fairly clear that the 'Finn gave him many men's memories. Some of them might have been his own past lives, but certainly not all of them. RJ mentioned that one of the reasons for the similarities of the memories is that they would all have been collected from brave and adventurous types - those who would have the courage and the proximity to enter the Tower of Ghenji or go through the Mayeners' doorway. Look here to see what else has been said by the authors. If you want specific info on the memories question, do a Ctrl+F for "memories" and you'll get the goods.

SteelBlaidd @118 - I like Faile too, and although I'm not terribly fond of this plot I'm beginning to see a lot of ways where it was far more necessary and far less excessive than I used to think. I don't, however, "lay their marital issues at Perrin's door" - they both bear responsibility for their "issues" and they both need to work to sort it out. Notice that I say "responsibility" and not "fault" or "blame" - issues in a marriage frequently are not a matter of wrong-doing by one party or the other. As in this case, they are mostly a matter of two individuals who need to come to a workable solution for their differences, whether in culture, expectation or personality. And I'm aiming that at everyone who gripes about them, not just you. :)

re: question 6, I can tell I've only read TGS all the way through once... There are a lot of things I don't quite remember fully. Thanks. Where were you when we had that discussion a couple of weeks ago? ;)

BruinJP @122 - in addition to Fiddler's comment, Faile may not know all that much yet about how the ageless look belongs only to those from the White Tower, and not to all channelers. I'm not sure she really comprehends that some but not all of the Wise Ones are channelers; in any case it's not something she's spent a lot of time thinking about. But how on earth could an Aes Sedai be made gaishain??? No matter what you think you see in a face, the proof of the serpent ring making the impossible a reality would be truly shocking.
Dana Mason
123. ONEwithPOWER
thank you, that was actually really informative and does make a lot more since... but the last thing on that page actually helps to make since of my inverted theory- if LT was the dragon, the dragon was prophecised to be "reborn", then "Rand" is and always was LT regardless of other past lives... i guess i'll just shut up and we'll see if TOM has Rand runnin around reffering to himself as Lews Theron...
Joseph Blaidd
124. SteelBlaidd
Wet@122 I had a horrible case of real life a couple weeks ago and just missed it.

I agree that there is plenty of responsibility to go around in the BPF dynamic. I was pressed for time and expressed myself poorly.One of the things that the researchers over at the 13th Depository have brought out is the Perrin represents the "Wild Man" archetype. This is expressed in part by his relation ship with Faile who is a "Wild Woman," and helps him express that side of himself. It's a part he fights against and part of the reason Berelain is the wrong match for him. He is a berserker and needs to learn how to embrace and use his wolf nature. Berelain wishes to make him a tame dog leashed by her side. Faile seeks to help him let loose his wildness and learn to channel it to accomplish his goals and fulfill his destiny.

A lot of the problems they have come from Perrin trying to force himself back into the box of being just a "simple country blacksmith." I think he does it mostly out of fear. Fear of loosing himself in the wolfdream, fear of loosing Faile the way he lost his family, and fear of being responsible for other men's lives, and their deaths. Because of his fear he fails to recognize his own importance in the pattern and consequently the reasons Berelain might be interested in him. He also hyper-focuses when Faile is kidnapped because it allows him to use his wolf nature and his position as Lord while ignoring the necessary changes in himself that come accepting his new roles.
Ron Garrison
125. Man-0-Manetheran
MaT@94: Bazinga!

Freelancer@96: "Tarmon Gai'don is coming, and on that hangs the fate not only of this world, but of any world we might flee to." Great quote. This reinforces Verin's statement that if the Dark One is freed in one world, he is free in all - and vice versa - something I feel that will certainly play a part in sealing the DO's prison.

ONEwithPOWER@111(!): "he who was blind standing on his own grave" I think that's an excellent interpretation. Rand is LTT, "The Dragon" reborn. And Rand was figuratively blind to that truth. Big "yeah!" moment for me when he figured it out!
Sandy Brewer
126. ShaggyBella
@122. Wetlandernw
Thank you for the link to RJ & BS quotes about Mat.
One Brandan Sanderson quote was very interesting to me...

I love how he’s used mythology as his history and just how Mat in particular but a lot of them are founding myths that become our mythology... I don’t know if you guys have read up on Odin and Locke. Go read up on the mythology of Odin and Locke. They were actually thought to be one person in all of the original myths. See the things attributed to them, including things like ravens and the spear of Odin and things like this. And then see what Mat is doing. The idea is that Mat is actually founding these myths and by the time our Age comes we remember Mat but we have all of this other mythology associated with him and we’ve forgotten that he was even known as Mat. That’s just genius.


I just never saw it that way. Also I am not to informed about all of the mythology..I think I just mostly knew the Greek ones.
Birgit
127. birgit
It's Loki, not Locke.

Question for Brandon Sanderson:
What is the difference between a strong angreal and a weak sa'angreal? Is there a Power limit and if it's weaker it is called angreal, and if it is stronger it's a sa'angreal? Or is there a difference in principle?
ScoundrelTheToy
128. stromgard
Random thought... post 20 mentioned Moiraine's letter to Rand, back in tFoH.

"be as wary of Verin as you are of Alviarin" (quoted out of memory, may not be exact wording)

Do you think Moiraine knew?

Personally, i doubt it, since if she knew or suspected about Verin she would definitely warn Siuan, since Verin is one of 3 AS Siuan explicity tells Nyn and Eg that she trusts (i think that was in tDR), the other 2 being Leane and Moiraine.

Good judgment of character, in retrospect, BTW. Go Suian!

Also interesting that she doesn't have Sheriam in her group of "trusted" :-)

Anyway, if Moiraine knew or suspected either Verin or Al, she would have sounded warning bells, so my guess is she did not.

Oh and about the long Perrin plotline of doom?

Mat have been trying to get to Caemlyn to stand by Elayne's side since the middle of LoC. We have now ended the 12th novel and we still haven't seen him arrive in Caemlyn or even cross the border of Andor. That is a major plotline that have been going for SEVEN books. :-)

The PLOD seems short in perspective.

Feels longer for me, though, but that's just I am not particulary fond of Perrin these days. I think he and Faile shone the brightest in tDR and tSH, then other major characters became much more interesting.

(Same thing with Gawyn, he was really interesting in book 1,2,3,4 and 6, in later books, particulary book 12, he is a bit meh imho.)
Maiane Bakroeva
129. Isilel
SteelBlaidd @118:

I have never understood why she catches so much flack from people.

Let me explain my hatred of Faile:

When she first appears she basically stalks Perrin, distracts him during a very dangerous mission and blows Moraine's cover on the boat to Illian, which very easily could have got them all killed and almost surely caused the Grey Men attack.

Then she tries very hard to put wedges into Perrin's relationship with Rand and to lesser degree with other TRians.

Then she starts the abonimable "game" with Berelein.

Then she tricks and uses Loial in the most reprehensible manner, just to torment Perrin.

After that, there iss a brief moment when she becomes a decent character during the defense of Emond's Field.

But in LoC she is back to her tricks, regalling Perrin with complete BS (looking at iRL historical examples) that he can't continue be friendly with people whom he knew all his life and whom she now drafted to be servants or can't do some physical work if he wants to. By now poor Perrin must be all flabby - those muscles don't maintain themselves, you know!
Also, she is busy installing feudalism in TR that did very well without it until now and will have to do without it anyway, once Perrin leaves - probably for the rest of the series.

Then when Perrin was re-united with Rand in LoC, Faile tried to put some _more_ wedges between them. Argh! I'd hate her for that alone, how she separates Perrin from his former friends and only allows him to associate with people whom _she_ approves of.
And of course, she continued the "game" with Berelein on a new level, using Perrin as a punching bag in the process.

Then she became the cause of Perrin's emo obssessions and the boring PLOD.

And the worst thing about PLOD is, that despite all her big words and intentions, Faile was able to do nothing to escape, to send word to Perrin or weaken the Shaido, and contributed zip to her rescue. She was a true damsel in distress and Perrin had to save her as one, going all obssessed and emo in the process.
That's why PLOD was and felt so long - because despite all her bluster and presumption Faile was unable to do her bit as a supposedly heroic character. Blergh.

Stormgard @128:

I don't like the succession storyline either and most of Mat's post-ACOS storyline bores me too. But he has a lot of fans, who'd be happy to watch him watch the paint dry, seemingly ;). Me, I want him to get to Tower of Genji like ten years ago, already!
Tricia Irish
130. Tektonica
Isilel@129:

Bravo! Thorough. Well said. I agree. Thank you.

The succession plot is pretty wordy as well. And I could watch Mat watch paint dry, but his plot could've been shortened too. As I understand it, these books were some kind of writing experiment on RJ's part, one that he admitted in hindsight, wasn't as successful as he had hoped.

These three books, PoD, WH, and CoT were unnecessarily verbose, IMHO. I enjoy RJ's detail to a certain extent...I could do with a few less mentions of skirt smoothing and braid tugging....but there was a lot of standing around in the succession plot, too much thinking with too many horrible characters in the Plod and many of the various plot points were made repeatedly. Several times I wanted to scream, "OK, I got it, let's move on!"

Sorry, mini-rant. I'm sure Wetlander will tell me why it was all necessary soon. Sigh.
Sydo Zandstra
131. Fiddler
Isilel@129

Faile.

You summed it up nicely. Just when I was going from dislike to neutral on Faile, you pulled me back into disliking her... ;)

You forgot to mention one thing that initially made me dislike her.

Not only did Faile play a dirty game with Loial, but after that she forced Perrin and Gaul to travel through the Ways, away from her own party, just to prove a point...

AAARGH!
diane heath
132. jadelollipop
It was mentioned that Perrin should use Ashaman and shorten the whole find/save Faile plotline but the use of the gateways and having to backtrack almost to the original starting point is one reason it took so long.
I did not dislike Faile the first time around but disliked her much more this go around. She has entitlement issues ala Elayne but worse. Having Perrin parted from Rand and Mat one of worse.
I am looking forward to Towers of Midnight because IIRC it was mentioned that the Two River folk will be reunited at some point in the story (hopefully toward the end)
John Massey
133. subwoofer
@Is
Let me explain my hatred of Faile:


*LOL*

Very refreshing to see first thing in the morning. I'm going to be chuckling all the way through church.

I don't know if I am that hardcore about the axe I have to grind with Faile, but she does get to me. Bottom line is this: Faile is Saldean, Perrin is from a whole other galaxy. And she is constantly trying to bend Perrin to her baffling ways "In Saldea it is okay to smack a girl upside the head to show how strong your love is?"

headscratch

How interesting. I guess in Saldea they have not heard of the word compromise and perhaps baby steps. Perhaps allowing your husband to be himself some of the time... At least she doesn't have him gussied up in fancy duds, no flowing cape or anything. By that same token, Perrin- man up already! You are letting Faile do this instead of saying "hey, whoa Bela! This is wrong."

There are two sides to every relationship, but there is also a happy middle. This needs to be found here. The relationship is supposed to be about a falcon and a wolf, not a dodo and a donkey.

Woof™.
Jay Dauro
134. J.Dauro
Tektonica @130

As I understand it, RJ said that he did try something with COT, where the book covered the same time period over and over. It showed each of the groups, (Perrin's, Elayne's, etc.) as they detected Rand cleansing the source. And I believe he did say that if he could, he would have done that over again. I do not believe he ever said that POD or WH were any kind of experiment.
ScoundrelTheToy
135. stromgard
Isilel @ 129

I think you are being a bit harsh on Faile.

First of all, it wasn't her who made Perrin a Lord, it was the Two Rivers people who wanted him to lead and keep leading them. All she has done is to make him shoulder the responsibility. She even comments (in her head) when meeting the Wisdoms at the start of LoC, that they should know what to do without asking her or Perrin for advice.

Secondly, during the ways: Perrin loved her and wanted to leave her behind for that very reason, primarily because he meant to turn himself in to the Whitecloaks and let them kill him. She is forcing him to take her along because that is THE only way she can be in TR with him to prevent that. (Also, if she is following him, he can't turn himself in, since then she would be caught and killed, too.) Face it: she understands Whitecloaks much better than he, and his death would NOT make them leave, they would keep "finding" and hanging supposed Darkfriends until they found Rand and Mat, which wasn't gonna happen.

In short: his idea about "solving the whitecloak problem in TR" would have been a total phail. Only the presence of Faile prevented him from doing something "heroically stupid".

Third, about the Grey Men. They were after Perrin, not Moiraine (whom the Forsaken in all their stupidity consider negligable - more on that below), and the Shadow _already knew_ that Rand, Mat, Perrin and the SG were on their way to Tear. (Rand run into one assassination attempt on the way, Mat runs into three.) Since the forsaken knew Rand and Perrins starting point, it's not hard to figure out what possible routes there are and put Grey Men and DF:s in the way.

About the Forsaken: They never learn, do they? They are sooo assured that they are much much better, stronger, smarter and wiser than everyone (maybe barring Rand) in the Third Age, regardless of how many of them gets their ass handed to them by various people.

Book 1: The Green man kills Balthamel. Rand forces Aginor to incinerate himself while trying to channel enough energy to owerpower Rand. Rand defeats Ishamael.

Book 2: During her Accepted Test, Nynaeve defeats Aginor. Rand defeats Ishamael again.

Book 3: Moiraine one-shots Be'lal. Rand defeats Ishamael a third time, then kills him.

Book 4: Rand defeats Lanfear. Rand defeats and captures Asmodean. Rand outsmarts Lanfear. Nynaeve defeats and captures Moghedien.

Book 5: Moiraine defeats Lanfear. Nynaeve defeats and captures Moghedien AGAIN. Nynaeve almost kill Rahvin. Rand kills Rahvin. (Graendel kills Asmodean.)

Book 6: No forsaken killed or defeated in this book. Rand is starting to put the plan that will outsmart Sammael in motion.

Book 7: Rand outsmarts Sammael and sees him die. (But, with the Lord of the Grave, death might not be the end. 5 dollars says Sammael is or will be brought back.)

Book 8: No forsaken defeated or killed.

Book 9: Rand's followers fight SIX forsaken at once and runs them off, even killing one. (All right, five forsaken, Moghedien was doing what she does best.)

Book 10: No forsaken defeated or killed.

Book 11: Aran'gars identity is reasoned out by Romanda, causing her and Delana to be forced to flee. Semiraghe tries to capture Rand and a few of his followers with the aid of some sul'dams and dam'anes. Rand's followers (this time including Nynaeve) captures Semiraghe.

Book 12: Semiraghe's will and pride is broken by Cadsuane. Rand kills Semiraghe. Rand outsmarts and kills Graendal.

After all that, the Forsaken _still_ sees themselves as superior. They don't learn fast, do they? :-)
Maggie K
136. SneakyVerin
Islel @ 129: I think you hit the 'reasons to dislike Faile' right on the head.
I do think she has a few redeeming qualities, but I found it hard to beleive that she inspired such devotion from Perrin because of all her childish behavior.
One of the few good things about the PLoD was that she seemed to grow up and learn a few things. Hopefully I will still think that after the next book!
I almost agree with whoever said her POV chapters could be cut out of this book, except for the fact we see her grow and learn somewhat
Tricia Irish
137. Tektonica
Stromgard@135:

Faile probably was a good reason that Perrin did not end up turning himself into the Whitecloaks when they were in TR, however, Faile did not know about his plan to do so when in Tear, before they got to the TR. That line of reasoning had nothing to do with her wanting to go to the TR with him. She just didn't want to be put aside, lose her man, or be treated like china. Her motives were perfectly selfish in that.

Loved your list of all the Lightside/Forsaken combat! They are an oddly disfunctional group of Evil. Thank goodness they never learn. (Except Ishydin...he's a smart one.)
ScoundrelTheToy
138. Stromgard
Oh, and I am so impressed by the various followers of Rand during the fight outside Shadar Logoth. They know that all or most of the Forsaken is gonna come crashing down upon them, and they take it in stride. No fear, no hesitation, just a regular day at the job. (And these are people that, with the exception of Lan, have never faced Forsaken before.) Awesome.

Speaking of Lan, it will be very interesting to have Moiraine meet Nynaeve (Did you really REALLY have to give the bond to Myrelle? Seriously?) and Cadsuane (You are Rand's AS counselor? But but.. that is my job *sob*).

(I am assuming that Rand, being saner again, will give Cad her job back.)

(Also, speaking of Myrelle, I wonder how long it will take before the AS put two and two together and realise that EVERYONE they have sent as ambassadors to the BT has vanished. Then again... it may just be Taim playing the two embassies against each other, hoping to get a sweeter deal from both.

Also, totally random comment: the Red Ajah wishing to have male channelers as warders? Awesome. Considering their history and general philosophy, and general dislike of men, that is an awesome step for them to take, and it shows that the Reds are prepared to do whatever it takes to tip the scales at TG. Admirable.

Oh, and Javindhra is BA, one of the few not on Verin's list. :-)
ScoundrelTheToy
139. Stromgard
Tektonica @ 137:

Thanks.

For eleven of the brightest people in their lifetime (Mesaana and Moghedien didn't get a third name, so they were just mundane) they sure aren't all that bright.
T C
140. Freelancer
The Mat-lovers are telling Perrin to man up, while Mat had spent most of his screen time since the middle of ACoS wearing pink and lace when he wears anything at all, serving as a device for which the batteries have not yet been invented. After that he'll spend most of two more books being pushed and pulled by a tiny, "boyishly slim" younger girl who won't even call him by his name.

Man up, Perrin.
ScoundrelTheToy
141. ScoundrelTheToy
Re Freelancer:

Yeah, but when Mat does it, it's because it's who he is as a character; or one of his many aspects. Mat's the Fox so if he's gotta be a Queen's plaything, he can do it like no other. Everybody that he met after he arrived in Ebou Dar thought he was just a rogue and scoundrel. It took almost two months for Tuon to see through Mat's mask and start to take him seriously, even after being told to Beware of him.

Perrin on the other hand, wouldn't have been able to pull this off without a single person suspecting him. Perrin would have been crying about it every chapter for the sole reason that he was seperated from his Falcon. Perrin's a cool guy and all when he's not seperated from Faile, so lets hope that they'll be together the rest of the books so as not to suffer a second mislapse on Perrin's part.
Tricia Irish
142. Tektonica
ScoundrelTheToy@141:

I can tell by your Name you're a Mat fan! LOL.
Tess Laird
143. thewindrose
Freelancer @140 - I had to do a double check on who posted that one. **Wow**

I think RJ delighted in putting people in situations where they didn't know the 'dance'(nod to Wetlandernw), and then have them dance:) One of the reasons I reread these books. Take Mat the jokester and gereral and put him in Ebou Dar. Now set him up with Tuon. Make Perrin have to think on his feet. Make him part of a lopsided triangle. Have Rand say "I am the Dragon Reborn" put umpteen people in his head.
Now try this exercise. Exchange Mat and Perrin in the books. Where would Rand be with out LTT?

Stromgard - agree with you on Javindhra! RJ did just enough character building with Pevara to make me sad about her being at the Black Tower with Taim in charge. Here is where I think we will see the first instance of turning by 13/13 onscreen.

tempest™
John Massey
144. subwoofer
@Free- um... there is a difference between letting your wife know she is driving you crazy and being a stranger in a strange land and offending the queen of said land. Off with your head comes to my mind. Tuon- never got that one at all, for instance, of all the ways to write the character, small and boyish? Anyways, RJ does seem to constantly pair up the boys with women who baffle and confound them and at the end of the day, the boys don't know what to do. Seems to be a lot of nodding and "yes dearing" going on. It would be nice to have a "see? I told you so", moment. The boys need to represent and have the ladies respect them for who and what they are. Step up and take charge dang it.

Now I have to go as my wife is telling me I have chores to do.

Dang it- I am trying to rise above the obvious comments Free left out there- like does Mat have another use for a bellfounder?- but anyways, don't drag me down! I am not giving in to the Dark Side!


Woof™.
Derek Barolet
145. Derek.barolet
re: stromgard @135

"Book 3: Moiraine one-shots Be'lal"

I literally spit my milk everywhere laughing at that.

*golfclap*
R B
146. MasterAlThor
Thanks Free i woke up my son who was taking a nap.

Isilel,

You got the right of it.....pshaw on anyone who thinks different I say.

(Knowing that Wetlander is right at this moment putting together a very strong defense of Faile)

Still chuckling over the... serving as a device for which the batteries have not yet been invented...comment.

That was dastardly Free. Bravo.

DragonoftheoooooooooFreegotsomesplaintodoAiel
Barry T
147. blindillusion
Hmm. Must be a busy Sunday for all. Quite some time since the last comment.

Meh.

Looking forward to Free's latest report.

Hopefully some good questions get asked and answered.
Rob Munnelly
148. RobMRobM
Crickets are chirping here.

Off subject, I am deeply into my GRRM mode. I just re-read the series to get ready for the HBO miniseries Game of Thrones that begins filming tomorrow, and will air next March. I find myself flipping back through the first two volumes and reading posts on the Westeros fan site, GRRM's blog Not a Blog, and the HBO fan site "winter-is-coming.net". Really geeking out over the apparently excellent casting and the potential for telling this story well in ten hours of programming. Love to see that happen for WoT books - especially where HBO has rights to all of GRRM's works. ust can't wait to see how the crackling dialog will be on screen.

GRRM is funny because he has been struggling since 2005 (for comparison, when KoD came out) to finish the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, which he refers to on blog posts as "Kong." One of the main characters, a big fan favorite, is named Jon Snow and GRRM did a recent post in which he apologized for not updating his site because "Snowing heavily in New Mexico" and "Kong comes first." He updated this evening and said "And here I sit at my computer, still shoveling Snow. And snow. The snow won't stop. The squids don't like it much." That last sentence is a big clue to what Jon will be doing in Book 5.

Rob
Thomas Keith
149. insectoid
RobM² @148: Zippit! I'm only halfway through the second book, A Clash of Kings! The noive. ;)

Had a good time at the Con yesterday; only lasted about 5 hours, but saw most of the main hall. On-topic, I got myself a Dragon Asha'man pin from Badali. Amongst other things!

Bzzz™.
Amir Noam
150. Amir
stromgard@135
Nice recap of the Forsaken vs. Good Guys matches :-)
They are quite the bunch of ineffective villains (well, most of them).

I suddenly got a mental image from the end of the season 4 episode "Fear, Itself" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
After trying to survive a haunted house for most of the episode, the dreaded Fear Demon Gachnar emerges in the flesh only for the group to find that it is only a few inches high:

BUFFY: This is Gachnar?

XANDER: Big overture. Little show.

GACHNAR: I am the dark lord of nightmares!

(Buffy tries not to laugh)

GACHNAR: The bringer of terror! Tremble before me. Fear me!

WILLOW: He - he's no cute!

GACHNAR: Tremble!

XANDER: Who's a little fear demon? Come on! Who's a little fear demon!

GILES: Don't taunt the fear demon.

XANDER: Why, can he hurt me?

GILES: No, it's just - tacky. Be that as it may, Buffy, when it comes to slaying...

BUFFY: Size doesn't matter?

T C
151. Freelancer
Nothing to see here, move along...







http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/Freelancer77/Three%20Authors/DSC02118.jpg

Patrick Rothfuss, Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson at Borders in downtown San Diego. Each author read a "1,000 word" piece from an upcoming work of one of the other two. In the photo, Brent Weeks is reading a bit from Rothfuss' second volume of the Kingkiller Chronicles, A Wise Man's Fears, and trying hard to get some of the pronunciations correct. About three times during his read, he stopped, and stared at Patrick as if to say, "I can't believe I just said those words out loud". (He actually did make that comment once, the look sufficed thereafter).

Brandon read a bit from Weeks' Black Prism, which interestingly enough, has a color-based magic system (he stated that he was already in work on the story when Warbreaker was released, and had been thinking to himself that nobody had done a good color-based magic that he knew of, but promised he did not rip off Brandon). And Patrick read a section from The Way of Kings. Note that I put "1,000 words" in scare quotes above. They were told to choose segments of no more than that length, but as Brandon said, asking authors of epic fantasy to pull that short a scene for a reading is akin to torture, and each admitted to a length of more like 1,300 words. I will not attempt to synopsize what was read, except to say that the scenes were all compelling.

The funniest moment came while Patrick was reading, when a character was described as "a scraggly, bearded old beggar", at which point he stopped, looked up from the copy, and then appeared to examine himself.

After that, they took a few questions from the crowd. Since WoT was not really a part of this event (in spite of being the only hardcovered from any of the three featured around the reading site), I chose to withhold, and wait for the signing portion to see what could be managed. Most of the questions were about writing itself. One asked Brent if he'd been aware of Warbreaker while writing Black Prism (he learned of it while he was in revision, and hasn't read it, to avoid being influenced by another colors-based magic system)

When the store employees said it was time for the book signing, one of them simply pointed to one side (opposite where I had posted myself, of course), and said, "We'll line up over here." With no preparatory organization, there was a rush of about 150 people toward the line, and the majority of those who had shown up well prior to the start time ended up toward the back end of the line. Very uncool.

After a while, one of the Borders folks was saying that Brandon's time was getting short, and that it would be best to separate into three lines, to give folks who came to see Brandon the best chance. Again, a sudden shuffling of people with little control. I brought my copy of The Name of the Wind, and certainly wanted to get it signed, but I had come to see Brandon first, so I stayed in that line, and waited. It all worked out, everyone who wanted a Sanderson book signed got it, and he still tried to give each person a fair bit of his undivided attention, but I knew it would be completely unfair to anyone behind me to try and ask a bunch of questions.

When I got to him, he looked up and said, "I. . .know you, right?" I reminded him of the re-read crowd, and he said it was very cool what Leigh does here, and was glad that the activity remained strong after TGS. He surprised me by asking about my Facebook account name, and I told him it had been done for an April Fool's joke. He actually asked me to send him a personal post to tell that story. I then told him that he should watch for Wetlandernw at his later Seattle event, and that she'd written a wonderful Cadsuane fanfic. Brandon's eyes lit up, and he was very interested. At that point, I decided to ask him one question:

"You made it clear in past events that you'd like to see Cadsuane die a slow, horrible, painful death. Some readers feel that this opinion of Cadsuane, and your presentation of her in the story, is divergent from Robert Jordan's. Can you comment on that?"

No way I could pretend to quote what Brandon said following the question, because he took off, and spoke for several moments about Cadsuane. Basically, he said that it was difficult to get a solid read on Robert Jordan's feelings for her, that sometimes it seemed he despised her, others that he greatly respected her. For himself, his early opinion of her as a young reader was the harshest, and has mellowed significantly over time. Bottom line, he believes she is presented in TGS as close as possible to how he thinks Jordan would have written it.

Here is where I apologize for not trying to squeeze in any others. He did leave the door open to sending him an occasional wall post on FB, so any of you who have him as a friend, he will indeed read them, and may even answer.

Ok, long enough wall here. More to say, additional comments to follow, except that all three of these authors are very into their readers, and try extremely hard to give everyone a fair bit of their time for bothering to come and see them. They certainly deserve any attention they get.
Tina A
152. Tinaa
From Facebook:

Brandon Sanderson - I THINK he was asking "Do you think Robert Jordan thought of Cadsuane like you do." I answered "did you write Cads like RJ did?"
T C
153. Freelancer
Well, it's weird. He answered what I asked as well as he could, with two caveats: Jordan didn't leave as much backstory on Cadsuane as on many other characters; and his own impression of Cadsuane has modified over time to be less critical.

That he feels he misunderstood the question after the fact, I'll just chalk up to him being at the end of a very long and busy weekend, because I have no complaint whatsoever.
Rob Munnelly
154. RobMRobM
insectoid - sorry about that. Hope you're enjoying CoK. I like the third book even better - all sorts of things happen....
Sydo Zandstra
155. Fiddler
The post that Tinaa quoted from Brandon's FB wall was followed by these 2. Still concerning Freelancer's question to him.

Brandon Sanderson - I had a strange moment trying to answer, as my feelings on Cadsuane are...complicaded. Many know she annoyed me when I was just a reader.

Brandon Sanderson - Now I'm rather fond of her. Like I'm fond of a crazy relative. On further speculation, my instinct is that was how RJ felt too.
Rob Munnelly
156. RobMRobM
OK, I'm going to defend Faile, god help me.
- Perrin was going to the Two Rivers and hand himself into the Whitecloaks, which was incredibly stupid and pigheaded. Faile took charge and saved his butt - and he needed it.
- She was a walking MoA all through the TSR, especially telling Perrin to grieve for his family (which he again stupidly and pigheadedly was trying not to do).
- The Two Rivers folk made Perrin their Lord, but he stupidly and pigheadly kept trying to duck out of his side of the bargain (i.e., the responsibility side). Faile properly forced him to live up to his new responsibilities.
- Faile was a walking MoA all through the PLOD. Hard to see anything she could have done that was better than what she did.
- I like Linda's recent 13D post re Perrin and Faile makes the point that the two of them together temper each other into becoming stronger than they were before, like a master blacksmith. He is a far stronger character at the end of KoD - and TGS - than he was earlier in the books. He's accepting his wolf skills, accepting the responsibilities of leadership, and ready to move onto greater things in ToM. Faile played a big part in that.
- The problems Faile caused for Perrin were caused by miscommunication issues that Perrin finally figured out with Elyas' help in PoD.
-In sum, Faile is tough, fierce, brave, loyal and loving, and a good partner for Perrin. I don't always like her but I respect her.

Rob
Rob Munnelly
157. RobMRobM
FYI - Brandon says on his twitter page he will finish his ToM edits by Thursday. Nice. R

P.s. nice question to him, Free.
ScoundrelTheToy
158. Stromgard
Derek.barolet @ 145:

Well... she did?

And thanks!

(Nothing like balefire to one-shot people. :-D )

Amir @ 150:

Nice Buffy quote. :-)

Oh and another example of Forsaken blindness: Graendal.

Demandred is the only one (possibly with the exception of Aran'gar after rebirth) that seem to have his act together, and it took Graendal up to the beginning of tGS to realize that "Demandred could very well be her most importent rival" (bar Moridin) and that "she'd have to watch him".

Were I among the Forsaken, I would be very wary of Demandred, or better, ally with him above everyone else. I can't understand how the fact that he was the 2nd most awesome person in centuries (just 0,1% or so behind LTT in all he did) have slipped her mind? Or was she just focused on LTT and Sammael as threats?
ScoundrelTheToy
159. Stromgard
thewindrose @ 143

Yep, Javindhra gave herself away when she smiled into her hand while pretending to convince Tsutama to not go along with the plans. That, and the fact that she runs off to make correspondance shows that she knows about Taim being a darkfriend and that she have some means of contacting him, likely.

13/13? While i am assured that Taim could theoretically have 13 myrdraal in hiding, where would he get 13 BA?

As far as I know, he only have access to one.
ScoundrelTheToy
160. Stromgard
We know from Alviarin that none of the ones that attacked the BT were BA.

And wouldn't 13 BA channeling saidin cause uproar among the Asha'man? :-P
Tricia Irish
161. Tektonica
oooh ooooh Rob@148:

You are geeking out! Thanks for the GRRM update. Glad to hear it's Snowing!! More Snow!! I'll have to check out the Not a Blog....haven't been there in awhile. I gave up. (btw, I'm geeking on Erikson's Malazan Books of the Fallen...incredible writing. Have you read them? )

Insectoid@149: We expect to see your Asha'Man pin at Jordancon next year!

Thank you Freelancer! It would be so much fun to see those guys....all seem to have a good sense of humor and be very responsive to their audience. Nice. I wish I didn't live in a "backwater". Sigh.

RobM@156: You make some very good points about Faile. And who wants another (fictional) perfect cookie-cutter relationship? That said, it's still the "communication" issue and age related ignorance/stubbornness that's so irritating....that and the pacing. I think we'd all be more tolerant of this story line if it hadn't dragged on through three books. Just saying.....
John Massey
162. subwoofer
-Well done Free- thank you for putting in the time and dealing with the hoards to share some quality accounts of B.S. Most Canadians are pros at standing in line, we'd win the gold if it ever became an Olympic sport. Mind you, I've never been the kind of person that can do it, I'd happily bribe someone or opt out rather than putz around when I could be sitting somewhere with a beer in my hand... putzing around.

OTOH, asking him about a kinder and gentler Cranky Pants? *Sigh*. How about, "what are the chances you will off Cranky Pants in the prologue of your next book and give many fans peace? Her lesson to all could be that if you are really, really annoying- phaw!- you get whats coming to you." ... or words to that effect.

It just occurred to me that a spin on Tuon calling Mat "Toy" may be construed as a device for which the ... nah.

Woof™.
Rob Munnelly
163. RobMRobM
Tek - no, haven't read Erickson (yet). Just can't wait for Game of Thrones. Re-reading some of the dialog makes me laugh. (Such as when three of the direwolves threaten Tyrion until called off, and someone asks if he's ok and Tyrion says in response words to the effect of "Well, my sleeve is a bit torn and my shorts are unaccountably damp, but otherwise I'm fine." LOL. Dying to see Peter Dinklage give that one a go.)

Re PLOD and Succession lines, the biggest problems with them aren't the content - as the development and execution are actually pretty good, especially re Succession. The problem is there are too many freakin irritating people in each plot line, and the cumulative effect overwhelms the good point. I've vented re the Succession line on many occasions: irritating Sea Folk, irritating Kin, irritating AS, crabby Birgitte, crabby Birgitte-Dyelin interactions, cranky Nyneave in dealing with all of the above etc. Ditto re the PLOD. Irritating Shaido WWs. Irritating Galina. Some irritating spying gai'shin. Irritating AS in Perrin's camp. Irritating WW in Perrin's camp. Irritating freakin Berelain. Irritating Arganda. No mas.

R
James Hogan
164. Sonofthunder
Yay Freelancer! Thanks for the awesome report - I saw Brandon's FB updates last night and was wondering what he said to you. Then I see your post this morning...and it appeared he answered you most satisfactorily after all. I so wish I had been there to get him to sign Mistborn for me! Ah well. Maybe someday he'll make it to Houston.

And does he follow the re-read on here? *surprised* I didn't know he knew about our little haven of crazy.
James Jones
165. jamesedjones
151 Freelancer
Basically, he said that it was difficult to get a solid read on Robert Jordan's feelings for her, that sometimes it seemed he despised her, others that he greatly respected her.
Holy crap! I've done the "gender switch thingy" on SWMNBN, but I've never tried the "occupation switch thingy". I always assumed that Jordan liked her, and just wrote her the way he did to get a reaction from the reader.

What if he really hated her, personally, and was just setting her up for a major fall?

Let me clarify: Freelancer and Blindillusion and Subwoofer (and any other folks who served their nation's armed forces), was there anyone you served under who was always right, but just such an SOB that you really, really, really wanted to see them take a major dive (in a dry pool)? Could SWMNBN be the portrayal of one of RJ's ex-CO's?

Let me know what y'all think.

Edit: I also believe that you can despise someone and still (if you're a reasonable adult) respect them.
James Hogan
166. Sonofthunder
insection@149,

So the Asha'man pin is really awesome?? I have to say, I really really want one of those. Except I feel that I'd have to have a sword pin, as well. ;)

I am now jealous of you, thanks.
Tess Laird
167. thewindrose
Stromgard - All the full Asha'man left at the Black Tower are Taim's. Logain is doing things for Rand(like an Ambassador), and Flinn, Narishma and Naeff are the only full Asha'man with Rand.

Of Aes Sedai, we have two delegations that have gone to the Black Tower one from the Tower and one from the Salidar crew.
Since Linda has done a good job considering this, I am going to paste a portion of one of her articles.
12. The Black Tower has quite a few Black Ajah visiting. There is at least one Black Red now visiting the Black Tower: Javindhra and perhaps Desala. Of those in the rebel expedition to the Black Tower Malind, Escaralde and Salita are Black. Some Black Ajah on the run stop by the Black Tower. Ample Black sisters for linking with 13 Myrddraal to turn channellers to the Shadow.

Note that this is speculation, however I consider it to be almost a given that there are enough of the black ajah to link with some of Taim's group to make a circle and use the 13/13 trick:) We have the knowledge that black sisters did get away from the purge and are out there -and with Moridin making his fellow Forsaken toe the line, I am sure these sisters are going where they are told.

tempest™
ScoundrelTheToy
168. LORD GOD ALMIGHTY
RobMRobM@156
OK, I'm going to defend Faile, god help me.

Sorry, you're on your own.
Amir Noam
170. Amir
Stromgrad@160:
And wouldn't 13 BA channeling saidin cause uproar among the Asha'man? :-P

That would depend on how strong their trade union is :-)
John Massey
171. subwoofer
Man- I had a lew- some folks call a butter bar, that drove me up the wall. It was arguable if he was right- just annoying as all getout. BTST, I had a master corp that was a tough SOB, but was usually right. Even when he was wrong he was right. Cranky Pants to a tee. If it wasn't for the court-marshaling, I'd a cheerfully mopped the floor with him.

@Rob- the Lord has spoken. Thus endeth the lesson.

@All, the 13/13 thing annoys me cause of the logistics involved in getting all this stuff together for one measly person. If I had that kinda firepower- oh the havoc I would wreak, never mind doing hocus pocus on one channeler. That being said- yeeee! BA in the BT? Trollocs and Fades and Cranky Pants, oh my!

Woof™.
Scott Kelson
173. scott-swampy
Hey all, been a while. Do we know if Therava is a DF or light sided and just a massive pain in the *$$?
Rob Munnelly
174. RobMRobM
@173. Yes.

EDIT - LOL. Just joshing with you. I don't believe we know the answer but my suspicion is the latter (light sided but really, really nasty).
diane heath
175. jadelollipop
just dropping in for updated comments. Can't make any at the moment. Standing by for RL updates. (My daughter in law having baby today) :)

Pizza and popcorn shrimp in the bunker
James Jones
176. jamesedjones
171 subwoofer
Even when he was wrong he was right. Cranky Pants to a tee.
Thanks, Sub. That was exactly what I was thinking when the light went off above my head. (Ok, maybe "flickered" or "blipped" would have been a better description.)
Alice Arneson
177. Wetlandernw
Is there any reason the 13 humans have to be female? You'd really only need 7 BA to show up at the tower to form a 13-channeler circle. Do we even know they have to be linked? If not, 13 men would do as well as 13 women.
Don Barkauskas
178. bad_platypus
Wetlandernw @177:

I've been wondering the same thing throughout this discussion, as the linking part seemed to come out of nowhere. I finally got around to researching it and all Sheriam says is
It took thirteen Dreadlords---Darkfriends who could channel---weaving the flows through thriteen Myrddraal.
No mention of linking. The linking part comes from the BWBoBA:
It was Semirhage who discovered that a circle of thirteen, using thirteen Myrddraal as a sort of filter, could turn anyone who could channel to the Shadow...
I couldn't find any direct quotes from RJ on the subject.

The BWBoBA is not necessarily canonical, and Sheriam could have been mistaken and/or lying, so I guess that leaves us with "maybe, maybe not".
diane heath
179. jadelollipop
Since I can't be with my son and his wife I appreciate the distraction of the re-read comments.
I have a new grandson!!! He was 7 pounds 11 ounces and 19 inches long.
Tricia Irish
180. Tektonica
Congratulations Jadelollipop! Whoo Whoo! Is this your first? Confetti and balloons and champagne in the bunker.

WOT: I got nothin', but I'm twitching!
a a-p
181. lostinshadow
Congratulations Jadelollipop! We'll have him reading WoT in no time. :)))

yay for the champagne and pizza!

jej@165
"Holy crap! I've done the "gender switch thingy" on SWMNBN, but I've never tried the "occupation switch thingy". I always assumed that Jordan liked her, and just wrote her the way he did to get a reaction from the reader.

What if he really hated her, personally, and was just setting her up for a major fall?"

Though unlikely it is an interesting possibility. Remember, in New Spring Moraine is totally convinced that Cads is Black. Maybe it's just that obvious? (though I doubt it)
Rob Munnelly
182. RobMRobM
@179 - Congrats! (My younger kid turned 11 last week but I remember her birth like it was yesterday. She was only 5 pounds and 13 ounces - a peanut compared to your grandson. She got a cell phone for her bday and is texting like a maniac already.) Rob
Sam
183. bluecansam
I've been reading that wonderful http://tvtropes.org site, and I learned about fridge logic.

Now, I'm not terribly into the theory and forum aspect of the WoT fandom, so I figured I'd ask you guys here, in hopes for a link explaining something to me.

In TEoW, Moiraine takes the three boys from the Two Rivers, saying she doesn't know which the DO is after. However, later we learn she heard Gitara give the prophecy that, "the Dragon Reborn draws his first breath on Dragonmount." Since this happened during the Aiel war, and everyone says Rand looks so much like an Aiel, well, I think you see where I'm going with this. It just seems illogical to me that, to Moiraine and Lan, that they wouldn't immediately peg Rand as the Dragon Reborn and just take him away. Plot stupidity on their part so they could take Perrin and Mat along.

Anyone have a link or better explaination for me, please?
Sam
184. bluecansam
For the sake of precision, Gitara says:


"He is born again! I feel him! The Dragon takes his first breath on the slope of Dragonmount! He is coming! He is coming! Light help us! Light help the world! He lies in the snow and cries like the thunder! He burns like the sun!" (TGH,Chapter 8).
T C
185. Freelancer
I haven't gotten to the fun part yet, but since it's all about Patrick Rothfuss, I didn't want to include it in comments mostly about WoT-related authors. Later for the remainder of the report...


RobMRobM@156

Ok, you threw Perrin completely under the steamwagon to make Faile look good. It's not quite like that, but you're closer than most. ;-{)>


Tektonica@161

Good sense of humor isn't in it. All three are pretty nutty, with the Norse guy leading in that category by a mile.


subwoofer@162

I've been waiting patiently for the Tuon ~ Toy connection to be made. Figures it would be you.


sonofthunder@164

No, Brandon does not follow the re-read, per se. He is very aware of it, has met Leigh on several occasions, and the number of us who also respond to his Facebook-shared posts are significant. I'm interpreting here, but I think he was a tiny bit self-conscious that TGS, the first volume of the series not being completed by the original author, might cause a drop in readership, and in forum activity like ours. Well, any fears along those lines are unfounded. As Wetlandernw says, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and so far, it's delicious.


jamesedjones@165

I understand your take. It may be that the words used to convey Jordan's feelings are not accurate to how he would have stated it, so take that with a bucket of salt. I think Brandon was just trying to express that there are mixed sensings of how she is considered. And that might be Jordan's brilliance in keeping everyone on tenterhooks regarding whether Cadsuane is Black. Remember that Moiraine was pretty convinced of it, and others have wondered. What better way to continue to foment that question, than to send varying signals about her? (I have no thought that she is Black, BTW) As to your other question, I know that some who worked for me in several squadrons would have shed no tears if I dove into that dry pool. Most of those to whom I was subordinate and whom I didn't respect, was precisely because they were so often very wrong. I don't have to like someone to enjoy working for them if they have a clue and a sense of leadership.
diane heath
186. jadelollipop
@180 not my first grandson. I have 3 grandsons one from each of my 3 children.:) No granddaughters.
@182 my oldest grandchild will be 8 this year. I remember birth of my 3 kids vividly as well. This latest child is the only one where I was not there. I was in room with daughter when her son was born.

Re: WOT still stuck in COT but am almost done with Tad Williams 3rd Otherland volume. I will then have to go searching for the final book.
Tess Laird
187. thewindrose
Hi bluecansam - Have you read New Spring? In it and in other books, it is mentioned that all the Randland countries sent warriors to battle the Aiel. Lan was fighting during this battle. Tam was was also there.
Moiraine still doesn't give the Aiel much thought even after she knows Rand is the Dragon Reborn. Remember how mad she was at Rand when he choose to go to the Waste instead of taking war to Illian?
Prophecies are hard to interpret correctly:)

So all three boys are born within weeks of one another, and they are all Ta'vern. So I don't think it was that easy to tell at first. The first time Rand touched saiden is to make sure Bela would keep up with the group. He suffers the effects of this in Baerlon, but nobody tells Moiraine. Remember how secretive all the boys are towards her. They don't tell her about their dreams. Even Ishmael has a hard time figuring out which one is the Dragon.

jadelollipop - yay Very **happy** for you!!

tempest™

Edit for New Spring! (Where did that Snow come from!!!)
Tricia Irish
188. Tektonica
Wind@187: What's New Snow? Where? Have I missed something? Heaven forfend!
Alice Arneson
189. Wetlandernw
bluecansam - They know that the DR was born on the slopes of Dragonmount, but from what they've learned in Emond's Field, all three boys were supposed to have been born locally. It becomes clear fairly quickly that the Fades are after all three boys, which is enough in itself for them to need protection. IIRC, Moiraine suspected from the beginning that it might be Rand, but until she had more info about the boys it was only suspicion. In the meantime, if the DO wants it, she'll oppose it; since the DO is after the three boys, she'll protect them all just for the sake of preventing the DO from getting what he wants.

To us the fact that Rand "looks Aiel" is a big thing, because of what we know, but remember also that Kari had red hair as well. Everyone in Emond's Field would think of Rand as looking like his mother, and that's what they would tell Moiraine in answering the necessarily indirect questions she could ask them. It's fairly clear that no one thought to mention that Tam had brought Kari & baby Rand home from "outside" all those years ago, and Nynaeve intentionally subverted the answer when Moiraine asked her.

So... my opinion is that in-story reasons provide enough basis for uncertainty regarding which is the DR (at the beginning), when things are pretty chaotic anyway. As for snatching them all out of the TR, that's easily enough explained by Moiraine's attitude of "anything the Dark One wants, I oppose on principle."

Freelancer - speaking of having a good memory... you remembered my irritation with the mangling of that particular proverb... :) and IIRC that was quite a while back, too!

I saw the link you gave Brandon... ::nervous giggle:: I'm watching to see if anyone comments on it... ::chews fingernails:: :)

RobMRobM - Thanks for defending Faile! I appreciate you taking up the underdog banner. :)
Tess Laird
190. thewindrose
Tek - Good Catch - I mean New Spring. Why do I have Snow on my mind!!

tempest™
Tricia Irish
191. Tektonica
windrose@190:

Whew. I thought I was totally out of it!

Are you reading GRRM by the way, or RobM's posts...Snow, Jon Snow. Yeah!
Birgit
192. birgit
Cadsuane? She’s the tough maiden aunt a lot of us have had. Not the one who tries to keep you a child your whole life. She’s the one who began expecting at least some adult responses out of you at about age six, the one who was willing to hand you responsibilities that everyone else thought you were too young for. You probably had a more nerve-wracking time, and more excitement and adventure, with her than you did with any three or four other adults in your life.

RJ's blog 30 September 2005 "YET ANOTHER POST"
Alice Arneson
193. Wetlandernw
birgit @192 - I think that was the comment that made me start to rethink Cadsuane and look at her actions in a totally different light.
Thomas Keith
194. insectoid
Tek @161: If I can convince my mom to go. I've attempted to explain that JCon is likely a tenth the size of Comic-Con...

Sonofthunder @166: Erm, well it's sterling silver, not gold. Wouldn't be able to afford one anyway... If you're interested, try visiting the Dragonmount.com store.

LGA @168: BAHAHAhahaha!!

Jade @179: Congrats!

InsectoidoftheQuittalkingaboutSnowseptoftheGabblyAiel™.
Alice Arneson
195. Wetlandernw
Oh, how could I forget? jadelollipop - mega congratulations!! Hope you get to see the small one soon! All the best to you, your son, his wife and their new baby.
Maggie K
196. SneakyVerin
Snow!?!
Even though I live in Northern Minnesota, I'd really come to beleive I'd never see Snow again!
James Hogan
197. Sonofthunder
insectoid@194,

Yeah, the sterling silver would be the one I'd get! Thanks for the link to the store, my resolve is slipping..

And jadelollipop, congrats!!!!!!!!
Tess Laird
198. thewindrose
Tek - I think that is definitely it. I was talking with someone at work about the mini series coming up on HBO for Game of Thrones, and then the next paragraph from RobMRobM launched off about Snow;)

Too funny:)

And we have a lot of snow in WH! Good points from those who commented on Faile and crew going through the snow naked. I guess we can assume that if Galina hadn't Healed them, they would have lost some limbs at the least. Faile was very ravenous after the Healing, so that would indicate more than just a few scrapes.

tempest™
John Massey
199. subwoofer
@Jade- Yay! Another grandkidlet to spoil rotten! My favorite part of new kidness is all the toys and goodies that comes along. Then comes the temper tantrums, crying and yelling when it comes time to share... but then, I've always been a lone woofer.

@Free185- what can I say? Great minds think alike;)

I am trying desperately not to go to Insectoid's link, it may open the floodgates. Then I will be torn between spending money on tech, tools and my WoT obsession. It is bad enough justifying all of my other purchases- "we need two impact drivers so we can do stuff together honey".

Will power, don't fail me now!

Woof™.
Ron Garrison
200. Man-0-Manetheran
Brandon Sanderson - Now I'm rather fond of her. Like I'm fond of a crazy relative. On further speculation, my instinct is that was how RJ felt too.
Thanks Free for asking the question and to Fiddler for posting this response from his wall. Who could ask for more? Well, me. I do hope he reads Wetlandernw's fanfic.

Freelancer@185: "As Wetlandernw says, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and so far, it's delicious." Wow. Wetlandernw invented that saying? I knew she was old, but... (Just kidding. I'm probably older than her!)

birgit@192: Thanks!
John Massey
201. subwoofer
Wha?

It was 195 a moment ago?! How did that happen?

Ahhhh! Well done Man-O:)

Woof™.
Alex Johns
202. almuric
Just as a point of clarification, my post had absolutely nothing to do with BWS. When Jordan started writing the books he had 3 or 4 books in mind. Then they were successful and he kept adding to them. It's my contention that were he still in good health we would not be finishing up after 14 books but that he would have added some more details and side-trips and we would be nowhere near finished.

I came up with 2 examples of stories we might have seen but that doesn't mean they were the likeliest. We could have had a New Spring-like novel detailing Lan's adventures in raising his army. We could have many chapters of Aviendha's adventures in traveling to/from Rhuidean. Maybe a whole lot of exposition on how Egwene re-unites all the Ajahs. A whole book about Moiraine's adventures in Finn-land. Jordan had a huge tale to tell. He could have kept himself busy writing it for another 20 years. Having the goal-posts moved on me so many times has perhaps made me a little cynical.

Jordan wrote a great set of stories, destined to stand as one of the greatest fantasy series of all time. But he kept adding to it. It's not padding, as there's actually stuff that happens that's meaningful, but he could have had the same important things happen in fewer words. At least that's my opinion.
Derek Barolet
203. Derek.barolet
Congrats Jadelollipop!

@202

My humble opinion is you cant have enough of a good thing. If he had lived long enough to write that extra stuff i would have loved that, RIP RJ, i was especially looking forward to the seanchan series. I never really felt bogged down in the books, even the PLOD only felt long the first time i read the series and waited for the books to come out.
Honestly the part I hated more was that damn wall falling on Mat, i love him and hated that he got delayed though now i see why, but when that book ended that way i couldnt believe it i though another PLOD was coming.
anywho i am prolly incoherent as always so I will stop writing now.

*4*
Alice Arneson
204. Wetlandernw
Completely irrelevant note... Since the fanfic link is out there on facebook for all the world to see, I was curious. So I went back and read it, in part to see just how long it takes to read, but also to see how it reads from a little more distance. Even though the scope is several orders of magnitude different, I now understand a lot more of Brandon's revision work. Just going and reading it fresh, I find that if I had any bigger plans for it, I would want to go in and do a little more tweaking. Too many sentences in a row with the same basic structure, slight inconsistencies in idiom or grammar, a few tweaks to the organizational structure... I can't even imagine doing that on a whole-book scale!! If I were a writer, I'd never get anything published for all the revisions.

Man-O-Manetheran - I did go back in today and take out that extraneous "not" since it's now being read outside our little family. Oh, and I did NOT invent that saying!! I'm old, but I'm not THAT old! (I just get annoyed when people say "the proof is in the pudding" - it's supposed to be "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" and it makes so much more sense when you say the whole thing.)
James Jones
205. jamesedjones
202 almuric
He could have kept himself busy writing it for another 20 years.
But that would have only been 4 or 5 more books. :P

Totally agree with you, though.
James Hogan
206. Sonofthunder
almuric@202,

I definitely agree - if RJ were writing the rest of the series...I'm pretty sure we'd get more random adventures(which would still be awesome!). But since Brandon is not the creator, he doesn't quite have the same liberty. His mandate is: "Finish the work." And he will!! While this makes me happy, I also have to agree with Derek@203 that I would have read each and every WoT book RJ would have written, "essential" to the story or not. Because RJ's writing is just that yummy...
Scientist, Father
207. Silvertip
@204 wetlander:

You've got it exactly. Revisions can go on forever if you let them, it's really an excuse to get in touch with your inner OCD (not to mention every grammar and usage guide you own). I always know when one of our technical articles is ready to send out: When I'm so d--- sick of looking at it that I never want to see it again.

I'm very impressed with writers who have the self discipline to know when enough is enough.

S
T C
208. Freelancer
Wetlandernw@204

First, don't even think of beating yourself up about your fanfic. You aren't looking to be published, and doing professional level work without doing professional level editing/revision, and especially without anyone else helping in that, would be way past OCD. So, with a qualified "for the work of an amateur without an editing staff", it's awesome.

Second, if you choose to make any future forays into this sort of work, and continue to be concerned about the level of quality, you might as well ask one or two folks to preview it and offer editing suggestions. (SO not applying for that job)

Sam? Where's Samadai when you need him?
Alice Arneson
209. Wetlandernw
Silvertip - that's what makes deadlines a good thing. I spent much of my aerospace career writing proposals, and sometimes the schedule was a very helpful thing to have! I know what you mean about not wanting to see it again - I'd gotten almost to that place with the Cadsuane piece. Along with a "deadline" of wanting to post it at a convenient time (when Leigh was off dealing with RL and we had some time to waste), I was just getting tired of reading the same words. They'd been boiling around in my head long enough that I could hardly remember what I'd written and what I'd just thought about (much less what I'd deleted!). It was time to print and let it stand on whatever merit it had.

If I were an author, that would have been the point at which I sent it to the editor and said, "Your turn. You go find all the discontinuities and errors, because I don't even know what I'm reading any more." Then, presumably, the editor would come back (hopefully a few weeks later!) with markups and suggestions, and I could take a fresh look and say, "Oh, yeah, I really flubbed that section!" or whatever. Hopefully, I'd also have a deadline for finishing it so that I didn't end up rewriting the whole thing...
Alice Arneson
210. Wetlandernw
Freelancer - Thank you! FWIW, I personally think I'm far more qualified to be on the editing staff than to be the author... (Oh, and wouldn't I love to do it, if the author was someone like RJ or BWS!!!)
Ron Garrison
211. Man-0-Manetheran
wetlandernw: I know you will love this site: The Phrase Finder. Not only does he give the correct phrase, but also its origin, etc. Sign up for "A Phrase a Week" and get an email each week with a phrase and its origin. Very informative and fun for word hounds like us!
Alice Arneson
212. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheran - LOVE that site! Thanks! I could get lost in there for hours... Word hounds, indeed! :)
Jonathan Levy
213. JonathanLevy
jadelollipop@186
Re: WOT still stuck in COT but am almost done with Tad Williams 3rd Otherland volume. I will then have to go searching for the final book.

Not sure which was harder to slog through, CoT or the final two Otherland books. No re-reads for Tad Williams in that series.
diane heath
214. jadelollipop
@213 Reading Otherland series for first time. I have read the Legend II short story 3 times. (Happiest Dead Boy in the World)

It is funny to find WOT connections everywhere. Phineas and Ferb episode was on television. Phineas singing for a wedding
"It doesn't matter how you toss the dice. Your marriage is the adventure of your life"
Guess that is true for Mat and Perrin both although we are all lamenting Perrin's marriage troubles
Sam
215. bluecansam
@wetlandernw - I can totally buy that argument, and I'll remind myself of that upon further rereads. I especially like the concept of what they DO wants, Moiraine will oppose, which is why she brings the three boys with her.

The problem I have with the Kari argument, though, is that in the later books, it's commented on just how much like the Aiel he actually resembles, with Masema going so far as to hate him for it. Since Ishamael can't see the three boys clearly, I understand how and why he could be confused, but Moiraine and Lan? I'd do more than suspect if I were her.

Though, really, even assuming she knew straight off the bat, no bones about it. I don't think the story would really change much: she had to take the three boys with her; she couldn't tell him right out whom he was; she'd protect him just as assiduously; and the DO's ignorance would make all the other plot elements fall just as they did.

I guess mine isn’t much of an argument. I’m just pointing out an oddity that, despite any reasonable doubt arguments, is still a tad of an incongruity.

@Thewindrose – Tam absolutely knows Rand is an Aiel. The thing is, we never get any knowledge to point out that he know squat about the prophecies. To him and Kari, rand was just this baby they could raise together and love, which is really pretty incredible when you think of it. Despite all the war and death, Tam was still open-minded enough not to blame the child for what his people did. I find that to be a pleasantly enlightened view.

The fact Lan did fight in that war, and he knows what Moiraine is about, only strengthens my argument. He should have been able to tell her, “Erm. Yeah. Those mud foots are totally lying to you. That kid is like totally an Aiel, or at least, has Aiel blood in him, which equals outside born, which equals born on Dragonmount. I mean, seriously Moiraine, you can argue that just because he was born outside the TR doesn’t mean he’s the DR, but these Trollocs…”

And now Lan is going to sound like a Valley girl in my head.
Sam
216. bluecansam
@thewindrose - I should read 'New Spring' again. I only read it once, it was when it first came out, and I remember not enjoying it much. All the same, though, it seems a lot of the plots in that book illuminate the main story a bit more.
Scott Terrio
217. Renegade248
@216

I do believe Leigh will do a re-read of New Spring in the order it was published in. I forgot if it is after WH or COT that it was first published as a novel, but we will all be disecting that book too.
Sam Mickel
218. Samadai
Hi Free, *waves*
I'm still around here somewhere, just not going to get into the "I hate these plots". There is more than enough negativity in real life.
Alice Arneson
219. Wetlandernw
Reading ahead... I just realized another "in-character" literary reason for Perrin to be so obsessive about retrieving Faile. It's pretty natural: you are madly in love with someone but for all those wierd reasons, things aren't quite right between you. Happens all the time, right? But then when something happens to the other person, such as them being captured, things really go sideways. In any case, you would have a nearly-obsessive but normal desire to rescue that person. Now you've got this wierd guilt-and-frustration issue that's been preying on your mind all along, and it pushes the natural desire over the edge into an obsession to get them back so you can "get it right," and it becomes mind-numbingly urgent to you.

Not sure that made much sense, but it may be the edge of an authorial purpose in having Perrin so off-balance with the Faile/Berelain thing. If there's one thing I'm convinced of, it's that RJ gave his characters (particularly the main ones) plenty of in-character reasons for the things they do.
T C
220. Freelancer
Hey Sam. Couldn't agree more, but glad you're at least lurking.

Ok, since things have slowed down, and Leigh hits us afresh on the morrow, I'll say a little more about the event yesterday.

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/Freelancer77/Three%20Authors/Pat_Rothfuss_Crowd.jpg
Yes, he's standing on a chair. No, I'm not. And it was his idea. He looked up one time during the signing and said, "Only the coolest, sweetest smelling fans stick around this long, you guys are great. When I've finished the signing line, we'll do photos." Then, after taking pics with individuals and couples (two shots with each, one normal, one with "psychopath eyes"), Patrick says, "Anyone else? How about a group shot?", which brought a fresh cheer from the little crowd remaining. There is supposed to be a second group shot with everyone making crazy eyes, but I haven't seen it pop up yet.

After that fun, he took more questions. He had said to hold questions which were real specific to his work earlier, because he didn't want to hog any of the time with two other authors there, and he had already planned on staying extra. His answers were interesting, thoughtful, and personally transparent. It's clear that he values candor above public opinion: He doesn't care what you think of him, as long as what you think is based on who he really is, rather than some public-relations made-up version of the real him.

During the panel session, someone had asked him what was up with the monetary system in his story. He stared at the person who asked, and said something like, "You know, it would take about twenty minutes to answer that, if you want to ask it again later I'll get into it, but it will probably put people to sleep." When he did talk about it later, he had created currency systems for every nation of significance to the story, including one or more which he never intends to visit. It sounded like Brandon referring to Jordan's notes where there were backstories of WoT characters who would never be introduced, but were connected to characters that mattered.

Patrick also debunked the concept of "writing what you know". He doesn't play any musical instruments, but writes about people who do. He doesn't know anything about sailing, but writes about people who do. (OTOH, he knows a ton about math and chemistry, and that surely influenced major aspects of his story, but what do I know?) He said that with the skill of extrapolation, you can take an idea you know little about, and say, "I imagine that it would go something like this...", and make it work.

Ok, I'm sure that's more than anyone really wanted to know. If you haven't read The Name of the Wind, I recommend it. It's slightly darker and edgier than WoT or Mistborn, but not at all approaching the "grittiness" of GRRM.

Oh, since I mention Mistborn, Vin and Elend were present as well. I didn't catch a face shot of "Elend", but I did get this one of "Vin":
http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/Freelancer77/Three%20Authors/DSC02115.jpg
Yes, the lighting is horrible, but what can you expect with the ashfalls increasing and mist rising? On close inspection, note the vials on her belt.
Heidi Byrd
221. sweetlilflower
Thanks for the updates, Free! I agree it was a good question, and it is interesting to see how much Brandon has been thinking about it :)

Now, on a side note, a few posts back we were talking about songs for the characters. I was in my car with my Mom and a song came on that immediately made her say, "Now this song is absolutely the theme song for all three boys". The song was, "I need a woman who won't drive me crazy". Hahahahahaha! It kind of fits with the Perrin/Faile topic.

As to all of you who are saying the plotline took too long, I have another song quote for you, "Life's a journey, not a destination". Bless you, Aerosmith :)
Sandy Brewer
222. ShaggyBella
Perrin is very much in love with Faile. She is all he has left since losing his family. But they are opposites. He grew up in the peaceful Two Rivers where they knew of war only as rumor, which seems the opposite of Saldaea, where the battles along the Blight are a part of daily life. He is used to country dances, not the Sa'sara. I guess opposites attract, plus she likes the Wolf brother thing he has going on.

Most important, to a 20 year old guy, Faile can be as "forward as a farm girl at harvest" and has his shoulders furrowed and ear notched (before the middle of the day). Pretty hot sex for a Two Rivers guy. No wonder he is obsessed with her.
Sam
223. bluecansam
@this reread post:
After book five, the series started getting out of control. Each character group--Nynaeve and Elayne, Perrin, Rand and Mat, Min and Siuan--all had a specific story arc in the first five books. LoC and after, you get the dangling plotlines, like with Elayne and Nynaeve hunting for the bowl, the endless succession arc, Perrin and Faile getting split up, etc.

Since there were three entire books that had a very incomplete feel to them, by the time WH (the fourth dangler book) came out, this obvious "long plot" setup didn't feel strange or out of place to me at all...frustrating, but not strange. Already, by this point, I was worried about how long RJ was planning on making the series. When I heard he wanted to finish up at book 12, I went, "Ha!" and then "Ha!" again. I'm betting he would have had to do AMoL in three books, as well.

"As to all of you who are saying the plotline took too long, I have another song quote for you, "Life's a journey, not a destination". Bless you, Aerosmith"

All I have to say to that is, "Crossroads of Twilight."
T C
224. Freelancer
Man-O-Manetheran@211

Nice site there. Here's another that is commonly mis-stated:
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily.
See, now it makes sense, as in, to do something redundant or pointless.

As I scan through others attributed to Shakespeare, I find among them numerous Bible phrases. Hmmm.
ScoundrelTheToy
225. billig ed hardy
by the time WH (the fourth dangler book) came out, this obvious "long plot" setup didn't feel strange or out of place to me at all...tiffany accessoriesfrustrating, but not strange. Already, by this point, I was worried about how long RJ was planning on making the series. When I heard he wanted to finish up at book 12, I went, "Ha!" and then "Ha!" again.billig ed hardy I'm betting he would have had to do AMoL in three books, as well.
Jonathan Levy
226. JonathanLevy
jadelollipop@214
It is funny to find WOT connections everywhere. Phineas and Ferb episode was on television. Phineas singing for a wedding
"It doesn't matter how you toss the dice. Your marriage is the adventure of your life"

Yeah, also Julius Caesar in his book on the civil wars has himself say 'the die is cast' when crossing the Rubicon. No wonder he was assassinated, plagiarizing Jordan like that. :)

bluecansam@215

As Barthanes says, the royal house of Andor has almost Aiel coloring in their line. For all Moiraine knows, Kari could have been an Andorwoman with that appearance. For that matter, it's possible that Rand actually gets his eyes and hair from Tigraine, and just his height from Janduin.

In any case, I don't think Moiraine made the dragonmount --> battle --> Aiel connection, because if she had, she would have gone into the Waste to look for the Dragon, since in all likelihood 99% of the women present at the battle would have been Aiel.

And even so - suppose she's 99% sure it's Rand. Can she risk leaving the other two behind? The DO didn't know which of them he was looking for, just taking one would be like painting a target on his back. Besides, the other two are also Ta'veren, she wants them under her control. BTW, how did she know they were Ta'veren? I don't think she has that Talent...

I'm starting to ramble.
Sam
227. bluecansam
"BTW, how did she know they were Ta'veren? I don't think she has that Talent..."

She didn't, at first. As you said, in the beginning, she only knew the DO wanted one or all three of them, and that one of them was the Dragon Reborn. During the events in TEoTW, a bunch of strange things happens to all three of them, and that makes her suspicious as to their Ta'veren-ness. Obviously, at the end of the first book, she knows Rand is the Dragon Reborn, and then in TGH, we learn Siuan can see Ta'veren, and though we don't see Siuan tell Moiraine so in a scene, presumably she informs Moiraine the other two are Ta'veren as well.

You bring up a fair point about Moiraine searching the waste. I'm going to rest this observation 'til I reread New Spring, because your argument only brings up more questions for me.

For example, if Gitara says that the DR was born on Dragonmount, and, ooh! look out the window, the slopes of Dragonmount are just-a-covered with Aiel, why didn't she go looking in the waste? Did she know the Dragon would be raised this side of the spine of the world? If so, wouldn't it be reasonable for her to at least consider the fact the person she was looking for would look Aiel? If she did consider it, and she goes to the TR, and presto! there's a young man who looks Aiel...Well, as I said, I'll rest this line of questioning 'til I do some rereading. I haven't reread all of WoT in nearly five years.

But yes, I agree that even if she did know 100% that Rand was the DR in the very beginning, the first time she set eyes on him, not much of the plot would have changed. The DO still wouldn't be certain, so she would have been forced to take the two other boys, etc, etc, etc. But, the very fact that nothing really would have changed plot-wise, why make her dense on this point?

On that tvtropes.org website, there's a list called, "It just bugs me," and for me, this is probably just going to be one of those things.
diane heath
228. jadelollipop
@226 Guess I should have phrased it as things that make me think of WOT...a lot of things do. You should have seen the things that reminded me of the Belgariad when I first read it. Drove my son crazy commenting on them :)
Tricia Irish
229. Tektonica
billig@225:

What's with slipping in the "tiffany accessories" and "ed hardy" mentions? Is this some new lingo of which I'm unaware, or subliminal advertising?
Rob Munnelly
230. RobMRobM
@226 - We've had posts on this but the Jordan team has all but confirmed that one of the Aiel children seen departing in Rand's Rhuidean vision was a founding ancestor to the Andor royal line so, yes, Rand has Aiel in him on all sides.

I'm still hoping for answers on this in ToM or elsewhere but I'm dying to know what was up with Kari. We know she's from Camelyn and I'm waiting to see what her connection is to Morgase and/or other Andoran nobility. My bet (and I won't spill out my full theory yet again) is she was from a merchant family with close ties to Trakand and other houses and that she knew Morgase growing up. (And I am still betting on Tam as the person who identifies Morgase even before Galad gets on the scene.)

Rob
Tess Laird
231. thewindrose
RobMRobM @230, I am sure that you are also crossing your fingers on what happens when Tam and Morgase meet up;)

I really wanted to see the whole meet and greet with Morgase outed as who she really is in tGS! I am waiting patiently for ToM **Looks at calendar** Arrggg July...

tempest™
John Massey
232. subwoofer
I was under the impression that Moiraine had no Talent for detecting the boys. When she came to TR she was just looking for boys of a certain age that had certain things happen to them. The rest was duck soup.

Woof™.
Tess Laird
233. thewindrose
For anyone who wants to know how Leigh is going to review the next books, you can look to the WoT Index. Right now it is WH, CoT, NS, KoD, tGS, ToM and aMoL - yes the three new ones are listed:)

tempest™
Tess Laird
234. thewindrose
Another thought about Moiraine and the Two Rivers boys - she didn't know, and no one knew that the Dragon would be Aiel. The most specific thing the Karaethon Cycle says is:
"The Karaethon Cycle says that the Dragon will be reborn on the slopes of Dragonmount, where he died during the Breaking of the World."
"He will be of the ancient blood, and raised by the old blood."


Other Karaethon Cycle prophecies to look at before the new post:)

tempest™
Sydo Zandstra
235. Fiddler
thewindrose@231:

I really wanted to see the whole meet and greet with Morgase outed as who she really is in tGS! I am waiting patiently for ToM


I wonder if Rand (with his newfound human-ness) is going to send a message to Elayne about Morgase being alive.

Although, that would be against the Law of Not-Communicating... ;-)
Sydo Zandstra
236. Fiddler
subwoofer@232:

I was under the impression that Moiraine had no Talent for detecting the boys. When she came to TR she was just looking for boys of a certain age that had certain things happen to them. The rest was duck soup.


In New Spring the name Tam al'Thor was on her list (with people who became parents then in the Dragonmount area). So when she entered the Two Rivers, the name should have rung a bell.

OTOH, New Spring was written after EotW...
Sydo Zandstra
237. Fiddler
thewindrose@233:

Right now it is WH, CoT, NS, KoD, tGS, ToM and aMoL - yes the three new ones are listed:)


Personally I would have preferred NS in between PoD and WH. The original unexpanded version was published in Legends in 1999 after all. :)
Tess Laird
238. thewindrose
Fiddler - I would say non-communication might even be an instinct(hard-wired at birth) in the WoT universe;)

I wonder how Rand will react to finding out he is a dad?

tempest™
Rob Munnelly
239. RobMRobM
@236. Tam/Kari are mentioned by name in the Legends version of New Spring but not in the book version.

Moiraine apparently later lost the list so could not systematically check on all names on it - hence the 18 or so year delay in getting to the Two Rivers in the first place and the lack of specific knowledge that Tam and Rand were the ones she was seeking. (The pattern strikes again, no doubt.)

Rob
T C
240. Freelancer
RE: Moiraine expecting ta'veren. She presumed that the Dragon Reborn would be ta'veren. She did not know which one was he until after Meetings at the Eye. But before that, after the group all got back together in Caemlyn, Loial noted that all three of the boys were ta'veren, to which Moiraine replied:
"So they are. Three of them, when I expected one."
T C
241. Freelancer
BTW, Brandon has now read Wetlandernw's Cadsuane piece. His response to me for sending him the link:
Thanks. Certainly interesting.
Egads, man, it wasn't a question, you didn't have to virtually RAFO! But hey, he did respond. Can't ask much more than that.
Captain Hammer
242. Randalator
Fiddler @236

Yes and no.

Hundreds had given birth during the key ten days, and in that sort of gathering, with soldiers from nearly every land, too often there was only rumour as to exactly where or when a child had been born. Or to where the parents had gone, with the war ended and the Coalition army melting away along with the Coalition. There were too many entries like "Saera Deosin. Husband Eadwin. From Murandy. A son?" A whole country to search, only a pair of names to go by, and no certainty the woman had borne a boy. Too many like "Kari al'Thor. From Andor? Husband Tamlin, Second Captain of the Illianer Companions, took discharge." That pair might have gone anywhere in the world, and there was doubt she had had a child at all.


Right from the beginning there is doubt if they had had a child at all. Which is understandable because they had but it was not what it looked like. So al'Thor is one of literally hundreds of names in the book and not even a very prominent one since there obviously must have been conflicting rumours. Some claiming the al'Thors left with an infant, others insisting that Kari had never been pregnant.

Additionally, we don't know if Moiraine still has the book in EoTW. She might have lost it years ago on her quest and only operated from whatever she remembered. Maybe all that led her to the Two Rivers was her remembering that during her research very early on one name had led to the west of Andor near the Mountains of Mist but not the name itself because it had been one of the unlikely candidates.

And even if she still had the book, she still couldn't be sure about Rand because she didn't know if he had been born outside of Duopotamia. There was no time to thoroughly investigate the Ta'veren backstories due to the Trolloc attack and all of them claimed to be true Duopotamians, born and raised. Nynaeve, who knew about Rand, even confesses to lying to Moiraine about it (EoTW, ch. 16).

So even if the name al'Thor had rung a bell (or even a whole bloody carillon) it still could have been a freak event with one of the other boys being the true Dragon Reborn. Or it could have been another case of the shadow just trying to wipe out any potential DR in which case Moiraine would still have intervened, Dragon Reborn present or not.

I guess we'd need prequel novel #3 to know for sure.

By the way, that al'Thor-reference was just in the Legends-version of New Spring but not in the novel. Whatever that means for canonosity (Yes, that's a word. Now. Quiet, you!) of the contents of Moiraines Junior Woodchucks Guidebook...


Edit: Oh, bloody buttered onions! Why do I even bother to textwall? Seriously, stop being so fast, you guys...
Sydo Zandstra
243. Fiddler
@RobM and Randalator:

Ok, I'll stop scanning the book now. ;)

Funny though, the things that stick to memory. It's been 10 years since I last read the Legends version.
vo mabulay
244. alreadymad
bluecansam @various
Moiraine took the three boys who were targets of the Trolloc attack. She might have suspected Rand was the one, but she could not very well leave the other targets vulnerable, since it becomes obvious they all have their parts to play. Also, the fact that Rand was born elsewhere and looks different means little. Everybody knows Tam married an Andoran, among whom pale hair and eyes are fairly common.

Lan is also a borderlander, where they believe that a man who raises a boy automatically becomes that boy's father. Rand might have been an Aiel foundling. Lan is also pretty well educated. Nothing in the Prophecies state how the DR should look like.

Moiraine wouldn't go searching in the Waste. Heck, she's the last one with the full results of the White Tower Dragonmount census. That alone already took 20 years to track down. She wouldn't even know how to begin searching if the DR turned out to be Aiel raised.

Also, Tam may not be as ignorant as you think. Take note that in all of the Two Rivers he's the one with the best grasp of LTT's back story. Enough to be entrusted with telling it without interference from anyone. That usually leads into knowledge of the Prophecies themselves.

ShaggyBela @222
So what if Faile can be as forward as a farmgirl at harvest? It's not as if Berelain would offer any less. Right.. heading into the bunker.

JonathanLevy @226
Loial points out the ta'verenness when they all get together in Caemlyn.

RobMRobM @230
I'm no longer sure what direction the Aiel went during their journeys, but along the way, they did encounter slave traders and kidnappers, which I suppose should account for pale hair and eyes in the general region of Andor. So yep, I also believe Rand has Aiel in all sides of him. And so does most of Andoran royalty as well. Including Galad. In fact, I have this funny feeling Galad looks a lot like Rand, only with darker Cairhienin hair. Rand does look like the Mantears. We know because Slayer-Luc in TAR has been described as a cruel looking version of him. By the supergirls no less.

@239
Alternatively, Kari al'Thor is one of those names noted for going home to a really remote area, and therefore almost untrackable.

Randalator @242
It's canonicity.
It might have well been the Al'Thor name that really drew Moiraine to the Two Rivers area. After all, she did come prepared. With an angreal no less. Not to mention the Manetheren back story.
Captain Hammer
245. Randalator
alreadymad @242

It's canonicity.

Oh yeah? Um...well, I'm rubber you're glue! Neener neener!

It might have well been the Al'Thor name that really drew Moiraine to the Two Rivers area. After all, she did come prepared. With an angreal no less. Not to mention the Manetheren back story.

I'm not disagreeing regarding the name-thing but she could have gotten the angreal anytime during the last 18 years and the backstory isn't necessarily part of her preparation either. Manetheren isn't as unknown in the outside world as it is in the Two Rivers as evidenced by the way the Ta'veren trio is continually tai'shar Manetheren-ed in the Borderlands...
vo mabulay
248. alreadymad
Yes, they get the Tai'shar Manetheren a lot. In the Borderlands. Right next door to the Blight. I mean, do you remember how far away from the Blight Manetheren was? These people owe Manetheren for coming out so far in the first place. Manetheren held to the Compact when nobody else did. At the cost of their own nation. Borderlanders won't forget that even after 300 yrs. Elsewhere in Randland though, pfffftt.

Moiraine specifically says the Amyrlin let her bring it before heading out. So that would narrow it down to within 10 years or so. Moiraine obviously knew where she was going. She might have had a clue in the name, but how else would she know to look for a name like Al'Thor in the Two Rivers area if not for mention of Manetheren names like Al'Thorin and Al'Caar.

alreadymadforhavingtousethelogin
Julian Augustus
249. Alisonwonderland
RobM @239:
Moiraine apparently later lost the list so could not systematically check on all names on it - hence the 18 or so year delay in getting to the Two Rivers in the first place and the lack of specific knowledge that Tam and Rand were the ones she was seeking. (The pattern strikes again, no doubt.)

That is why the one of Jordan's three planned prequel novels I was (and still am) most fervently looking forward to is how Moiraine and Lan, and Thom, managed to arrive in Emonds Field with such lucky timing, the day before the trolloc attack!
Jonathan Levy
250. JonathanLevy
alreadymad@248
Yes, they get the Tai'shar Manetheren a lot. In the Borderlands. Right next door to the Blight. I mean, do you remember how far away from the Blight Manetheren was? These people owe Manetheren for coming out so far in the first place. Manetheren held to the Compact when nobody else did. At the cost of their own nation. Borderlanders won't forget that even after 300 yrs. Elsewhere in Randland though, pfffftt.

That's a funny thing, human memory and gratitude. Take France for example. The USA saved her from Germany twice in the 20th century. It hasn't been 70 years since the last time. You'd think every place the USA sent a soldier, France would send two to help just out of gratitude.

On the other hand, the Belgians have been sounding the Last Post at the Menin Gate every evening for nigh on 90 years in recognition of the sacrifice made by Britain. On the 90th anniversary of the armistice they sent delegations around the world to express gratitude.

The Borderlanders have been remembering Manetheren for 2,000 years since the Trolloc wars.

Perhaps it's a question of National Pride. If you think grandly of yourself, you resent being helped. If you are fearful of a much more powerful neighbor, you are grateful.

No offense meant to any Frenchmen or Belgians or Germans. Or Borderlanders. Or Trollocs. :)
gwern branwen
251. gwern0@gmail.com
> Alliandre kept shrilling that they could not do this to her, understandable coming from a queen, if foolish in the circumstances. Plainly they could, and they were. Surprisingly, Maighdin raised her voice in the same piercing denials. Anyone would have thought her royalty instead of a lady’s maid.

I always took this as not any sort of classism or feudalism on Jordan's part, but rather a writer's congenital weakness for dramatic irony.

It seems that every extended scene with Maighdin, Jordan suddenly remembers that Maighdin was a queen and how ironic now she is a maid, and why don't I highlight that again?, because surely the readers have forgotten all the *other* instances I pointed out this irony.

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