Jul 27 2010 2:23pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 5

So, like, hi and stuff: welcome to another Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 5 and 6 of Winter’s Heart, featuring INCANDESCENT RAGE and, uh, not a great deal else. Yay?

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

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

And with that scintillating endorsement, on with the post!

Chapter 5: Flags

What Happens
Young Bull runs across the plains, searching for his falcon. Hopper appears, and tells Young Bull that his she is not here, and he is too strongly in the Wolf Dream; he will die if he does not go back to his body. Young Bull ignores him, and Hopper knocks him down. Snarling, Young Bull lunges for Hopper’s throat, but Hopper jumps into the air, and Young Bull goes down again.

Hear me, cub! Hopper thought at him fiercely. Your mind is twisted with fear! She is not here, and you will die if you remain longer. Find her in the waking world. You can only find her there. Go back, and find her!

Perrin jolts awake, horrified that he just tried to kill Hopper in the Wolf Dream, where such a death would be final. He realizes he is in Berelain’s tent, and asks her if they’ve found Faile yet. Berelain is surprised he knows she is there (the tent would be dark to anyone else), but answers no; Perrin’s scouts have not returned, and Berelain’s have been found murdered. She opines that Arganda is a fool for also sending out patrols. Perrin realizes he is naked under the covers, and demands an explanation. Berelain tells him he and Tallanvor almost froze to death on the ridge, and no one but her had the nerve to approach him, as he “snarled like a wolf” at anyone who did. Berelain got him back here and got Annoura to Heal him, otherwise he would have lost toes to frostbite.

“She… She seemed afraid you might die even after she Healed you. You slept like a man already dead. She said you almost felt like someone who had lost his soul, cold no matter how many blankets were piled on you. I felt it, as well, when I touched you.”

Tamping down anger, Perrin observes that the Asha’man or Masuri or Seonid could have done the same, and Berelain asks why it matters. Perrin finds this extremely disingenuous of her, and requests his clothes. She points them out to him, and adds that she wants him to know that no one wants Faile to be alive more than she; Perrin thinks disgustedly that she even manages to smell honest, and tells her he needs food. She is disgusted with him in turn, but leaves, and Perrin struggles to find enough strength to put his clothes on. She returns before he finishes, but he refuses to hurry because she is watching, and she tells him food is on the way.

She sighed softly. “Perrin, I know you are hurting. There are things you might want to say that you can’t to another man. I can’t see you crying on Lini’s shoulder, so I offer mine. We can call a truce until Faile is found.”

“A truce?” he said, carefully bending to tug on a boot. Carefully so he did not fall over. Stout wool stockings and thick leather soles would have his feet warm soon enough. “Why do we need a truce?” She was silent while he donned the other boot and folded the turndowns below his knees, not speaking until he had done up the laces of his shirt and was stuffing it into his breeches.

“Very well, Perrin. If that is how you want it.” Whatever that was supposed to mean, she sounded very determined. Suddenly he wondered whether his nose had failed him. Her scent was affronted, of all things! When he looked at her, though, she wore a faint smile. On the other hand, those big eyes held a glint of anger.

She tells him that Masema had arrived at dawn, but with three or four thousand men instead of the hundred he’d agreed upon, which infuriates Perrin, but then goes on to tell him that Faile’s eyes-and-ears have found out that Masema has been meeting with Seanchan. She also compliments him on his misdirection re: Faile’s retainers, making Berelain think his “dried-up” secretary was his real spymaster, and Perrin tries not to stare in shock. Berelain also tells him her scouts were not killed by Aiel, either, unless Aiel have started using crossbows and axes; Perrin is angered that she didn’t mention this before now, and she laughs and replies she would have to “strip herself naked” to reveal any more. Perrin growls in disgust.

Eyeing him thoughtfully, she ran a fingertip along her lower lip. “Despite what you may have heard, you will be only the third man to share my bed.” Her eyes were… smoky… yet she might have been saying he was the third man she had spoken to that day. Her scent… The only thing that came to mind was a wolf eyeing a deer caught in brambles. “The other two were politics. You will be pleasure. In more ways than one,” she finished with a surprising touch of bite.

Perrin gapes at her. Berelain’s maid Rosene enters with food, having obviously overheard this, and though he is starving Perrin leaves without another word. She calls after him to “remember discretion,” loudly, and Perrin winces. Outside, Perrin realizes he has no idea where Masema’s men are, and goes over to where Berelain’s two maids and her two thiefcatchers are camping to ask directions. The thiefcatchers leave without a word to him, and the maids giggle vacuously and give him and Berelain’s tent significant glances; Perrin doesn’t know whether to “blush or howl.” Finally they wave him vaguely southeast, and Perrin stalks off to his own section of the camp to find that none of his scouts have returned. He contemplates the eagle and wolfhead banners, and thinks of the ruse Faile had suggested they were to throw off observers from his real purpose, and how he had planned to use them the same way with Masema.

Manetheren’s borders had run almost to where Murandy now stood, and with luck, he could have been into Andor, where Rand had a firm grip, before having to give up the deception. That was changed, now, and he knew the price of changing. A very large price. He was prepared to pay, only it would not be he who paid. He would have nightmares about it, though.


Seriously? Seriously?

I cannot even deal with how much this makes me want to flail in metaphorical rage. And I hate it when I have to flail, you guys! It is not fun for anyone involved, I assure you! Especially if you happen to walk within arm’s reach!


Agh. Okay, I am marginally in control now. MAYBE.

So, Berelain, flames, rage, flail, yes. To pull this bullshit now, of all goddamn times…

…Although, I suppose it is possible to look at this scene from Berelain’s perspective, and have quite a different view of Perrin than the super-omniscient one that we as readers enjoy. (Or, “have,” if not actually always “enjoy,” but anyway.) The issue of people continually overestimating Perrin’s skill in the Great Game is, after all, a knife that can cut both ways.

By which I mean, we know that Perrin is just being a giant clueless schmuck here, but if Berelain is under the impression that he is this very savvy political player, as seems to be indicated by her admiration of his “misdirection” re: Faile’s retainers, then I suppose it is quite possible for her to conclude that he is actually just fucking with her. And, I suppose, if I were her that would kind of piss me off, and make me want to retaliate.

I would like to think that if I were in this situation I would still not stoop so very goddamn low as she just did, of course. But—I suppose—acknowledging that, unlike us, Berelain does not have a magical window into the big dumb lunkness that is Perrin’s brain maybe gives her a tiny bit of an excuse.

Not a very BIG one, mind you. But a little bit.

Also, bad Perrin, being mean to Hopper! Jeez, with the pushing away from the wolves—or, to put it another way, from the one element that makes most of Perrin’s storylines awesome.

Bah. Moving on.

This is mostly a moot point by now, but I recall that Annoura (and Berelain’s) observations here about being able to tell Perrin’s soul wasn’t in residence in his body served back in the day to debunk a major Theory of Weirdness about Verin (Point #8 on this page). More parenthetically, one wonders how Randlandians differentiate soullessness from, say, shock or hypothermia, but whatever.


Chapter 6: The Scent of Madness

What Happens
Perrin finds Dannil, and notes that the Two Rivers men avoid his eyes, he assumes because they are not sure what to say to his grief over Faile. Dannil confirms sourly that Masema’s men are gathering a couple of miles to the southeast, and that the lot of them look like they’d “skin their own mothers.” Perrin tells them to remember that that’s literally true, and tells them to make preparations to ride; they’re going to go overland until Perrin has a better idea of where he’s going, then have Grady or Neald make a gateway. Dannil knuckles his forehead and “Lord Perrins” him, as does Kenly Maerin, and Perrin grouses to himself about that until Gill approaches to tell him that Tallanvor has gone off on his own, claiming that he had permission from Perrin to do so. Perrin thinks him a fool even while wishing he was going with him, and lies to Gill that he’d given Tallanvor permission. He comments that Gill seems to want to go too, and Gill replies that he is “very fond” of Maighdin, though not like Tallanvor is; he smells vexed, and Perrin sighs and says he understands. Then he smells a very angry Lini behind him, and assures her that she’ll hear as soon as he does before asking for something to eat.

“Everyone’s eaten long since,” she snapped. “The scraps are gone, and the kettles cleaned and stored away. Sup from too many dishes, and you deserve a bellyache that’ll split you open. Especially when they’re not your dishes.” Trailing off into dissatisfied mutters, she scowled at him a moment longer before stalking away, glaring at the world.

Staring, Perrin wonders aloud what that was about, and Gill hems and haws and finally stammers that Lini went over to the Mayener camp this morning, and talked to one of Berelain’s maids, and… Perrin snarls at him that all he did was sleep in Berelain’s tent, and to tell Lini that; Gill agrees nervously and escapes, and Perrin is sure he isn’t going to say anything to Lini. Perrin thinks that no doubt this rumor is already all over camp, and suddenly the men avoiding his eyes earlier appears in a different light. He snaps meanly at Kenly when Kenly brings his horse, and then stands there with his head down until a delegation of Faile’s “young fools” approaches him, smelling angry and sulky. In the lead, Selande scowls at him and wants to know if they will get their horses back now. Perrin retorts that Aiel walk, or they can ride on the carts, and demands to know when they started spying for Faile, accusing them of being responsible for getting Faile kidnapped, which he knows even as he says it makes no sense. Selande refutes this furiously, declaring that they would all die for the Lady Faile; Perrin tells them they can have their horses back if they promise not to do anything “rash,” and let him decide how to rescue Faile when they find her, or he’ll “tie them in knots.” Selande scowls some more, but agrees; Perrin semi-apologizes in a sidewise way for his accusation, but they only glower at him and march off. An alarm goes up that Aiel are approaching, and Perrin snaps at everyone to relax; they are all Maidens and leading Alliandre’s horse, with three more mounted men (Seonid and Masuri’s Warders).

“I can barely make out they’re Aiel,” Dannil muttered, giving him a sidelong look. They all took it for granted that his eyes were good, even took pride in it—or used to—but he tried to keep them from knowing how good. Right then, he did not care, though.

He rides out to meet them, dreading what they have to tell him. Sulin smiles at him, and tells him Faile lives; as proof she gives him Faile’s dress, which has been sliced open but has no blood scent on it. Sulin goes on that from what they found, all the men in the party were killed, but Alliandre Kigarin, Maighdin Dorlain, Lacile Aldorwin, Arrela Shiego, and “two more” (meaning Bain and Chiad) have been taken gai’shain, which goes against custom but means they are alive. Shaking, Perrin repeats that they’ve only taken women, and another Maiden, Elienda, replies in shock that it’s not like that, and she’s sure they will be well-treated as long as they are meek. Perrin considers the odds of Faile pulling off “meek,” and asks which way they are going; Sulin replies south-southeast, and shows him the arrows they recovered at the scene, which indicate far too many Shaido than should be here, plus some from other clans.

They should all be bottled up in Kinslayer’s Dagger, five hundred leagues distant. But if some of their Wise Ones had learned to Travel… Maybe even one of the Forsaken… Light, he was rambling like a fool—what would the Forsaken have to do with this?—rambling when he had to think. His brain felt as weary as the rest of him. “The others are men who wouldn’t accept Rand as the Car’a’carn.” Those cursed colors flashed in his head. He had no time for anything but Faile. “They joined the Shaido.”

He asks how many Sulin thinks there are, and she shows him a doll which she says that Elyas said he smelled under the snow (to her startlement), and that he and Jondyn had found traces of the passage of a great many carts, which means an entire sept, possibly more than one. Each sept can have upwards of a thousand spears, and Sulin thinks the ones who took Faile are heading to meet them. Perrin considers the odds of meeting a thousand or more Aiel spears with his two thousand men, and tells Sulin they will head south. Sulin stops him to add that Elyas also found traces that indicate five to ten thousand armed cavalry are also heading south, and some of the tracks are clawed, and indicate no creature they are familiar with. Perrin thinks, so there are Seanchan too, and possibly Whitecloaks, too, from Balwer’s information, and repeats that they go south. They head back to the camp, Perrin trying unsuccessfully to clear his head, and gives Dannil et al the news, which they take stoically. He tells them they’ll be Traveling forty miles due south, and sends Neald to find Elyas and the scouts still out and tell them what’s happening, warning him to remember he can’t take on a dozen or more Wise Ones; Neald nods and leaves. Then Perrin announces that he needs to see Masema, and Dannil doesn’t think he should go, warning him that some of Masema’s men consider Perrin Shadowspawn, because of his eyes. The debate becomes moot when Masema himself appears, flanked by a hundred or so of his followers. They approach to within a few paces before Masema announces that he is here now, and that those who follow the Dragon Reborn (“the Light illumine his name!”) refused to be left behind, and he could not demand it of them.

Perrin saw a tide of flame rolling across Amadicia into Altara and perhaps beyond, leaving death and devastation behind. He took a deep breath, sucking cold into his lungs. Faile was more important than anything. Anything! If he burned for it, then he burned. “Take your men east.” He was shocked at how steady his voice was. “I will catch up when I can. My wife has been kidnapped by Aiel, and I’m heading south to get her back.” For once, he saw Masema surprised.

Masema considers, madness filling his scent, and then declares that he will accompany Perrin, as killing Aiel savages is “doing the Light’s work.” Perrin lies that he appreciates the offer, but he will be Traveling, and he knows how Masema feels about that. Masema’s men glare and mutter “Shadowspawn” at Perrin, but Masema only mutters that he (meaning Rand) would be upset if anything happened to Perrin’s wife, and tells Perrin that Masema will make an exception re: Traveling, just this once.

He spoke calmly—calmly for him—but his deep-set eyes were dark fire, his face contorted with unknowing rage.

Perrin opened his mouth, then closed it without speaking. The sun might as well rise in the west as Masema say what he just had. Suddenly Perrin thought that Faile might be safer with the Shaido than he was here and now.


There, that’s done.

Interestingly enough, I have recently been watching (for the first time) the first season of Veronica Mars, and no this is not a non sequitur.

It’s a high school show (with a pretty interesting twist), and one of the dominant themes of the show (at least in the first season, please do not spoil me for later ones, or the end of the first one) is the way malicious rumors, deliberate misinformation, and indiscreet gossip can utterly ruin someone’s life, or at least change it irrevocably. So I hope you can see the relevance here to this chapter of WOT.

Vicious gossip is something of a trigger for me; few things can infuriate me more than seeing someone I care about get torn down and wounded through people’s gleeful readiness to believe the absolute worst interpretation of any given situation. I hardly think I am alone in this sentiment, but wow was I ready to smack Lini in the face for just buying that crap, hook, line, and sinker.

…Even while acknowledging that, all things considered, why shouldn’t she buy it? She’s known Perrin for what, a month? And he’s been pretty damn scary and non-squidgy for most of that time, to boot. So why would she have any reason to be firm in her belief of his integrity when it comes to marital affairs (or lack of them)? Especially given what she must know about noblemen in general in that arena?

Again, it’s the same problem as before; there’s no logical reason to expect non-omniscient characters to have the insight to know as well as we do how utterly absurd the tacit accusation of Berelain and Perrin sleeping together really is. And again, Occam’s Razor is a principle that can cut both ways. Is it easier to believe that it’s all an elaborate ruse on Berelain’s part to gain obscure revenge on a woman who’s currently miles away and in captivity, or that Perrin is a Typical Man™ and fell into bed for a comfort screw with a drop-dead gorgeous woman who’s obviously been after him for months, once his wife conveniently disappeared?

Sadly, it’s the latter. Goddammit.

Have I mentioned I hate this storyline?

Rand: Another mention of the swirly colors. Which I mention solely because it was the only thing that perked me up while reading this chapter. Mostly because I’m waiting for the moment when the colors start to come with video, since I can’t remember when that started, originally.

Masema: Still cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Yay? No, not yay.

Perrin really has lost it, being willing to let Looney Tunes and his merry men pillage off without him. Jeez. Though, that certainly would have uncomplicated a few things down the line, now that I think about it. Ah, I have grown cynical in my plotline-hating malaise, I see. Woe.

Something I left out of the summary was Perrin’s thought re: Masema meeting with the Seanchan, which was to wonder whether the nutbar was doing it in the deluded belief that he could make even the Seanchan heathens come to Jesus the Dragon. I don’t know (and honestly, can barely make myself care) whether we ever find out what Masema’s real objective was in playing footsie with the Seanchan, but I suppose this is as good (read: batshit insane) a reason as any, so let’s go with that, shall we?

And, yeah. Join me Friday, whydontcha, when we finally get off this crazy plotline for a minute? Yeah? Yeah! Toodles!

1. Dhaved
Yay a new re-read! My tenacity for refreshing paid off!
Tony Zbaraschuk
3. tonyz
Masema is certainly nutters, by this point, but the easy switch from "I won't Travel to see the Lord Dragon" vs. "I will Travel to help you kill Aiel" is certainly, um, suggestive of something.

And I didn't generally blame everyone else for their misinterpretations here; Berelain did go to a good deal of trouble to set up the false impression, after all, and she's good at political suggestiveness.
Captain Hammer
4. Randalator
Masema will make an exception re: Traveling, just this once.

This is the point where I absolutely wanted to cut Perrin into tiny pieces. Slowly. With a rusty spoon.


Mother's milk in a cup! Why on earth must Perrin just travel after Faile, now? Masema just agreed to Traveling so what is the obvious (to the most casual observer) course of action here? You grab an Asha'man, pull him aside, tell him to open a gateway to Cairhien instead of wherever, go through with Prophet, close gateway, drag Masema to Rand, leave, END OF STORY!!!

*adamantium rage*
Barry T
5. blindillusion
Yay. All parties told are together at last.

Confetti and Pop-guns

Break open the champagne.

Of course, I’m taking this aa a sign of good things to come…because, of course…Mat is about to make his comeback. =)

And now that the obligatory comment is out the way, on the read the Post!! See you guys in the threads.

(Top 10. =))
6. jonasc
I always interpreted the agreeing to travelling away from Rand as confirmation that Masema really, really doesn't want to actually meet him. Any reason to delay is welcome; if Faile hadn't gotten captured, I bet that Perrin's group would have been ambushed and slaughtered by Masema's men within the week.
7. rsmillard
Veronica Mars - second greatest TV series ever (after Firefly). Enjoy, Leigh!
vo mabulay
9. alreadymad
Not really much to say here...

11. DontDriveAngry
I always read Masema's reluctance to see Rand as evidence that he enjoyed the power that he held more than his actual religious beliefs.

He likely knew, subconsciously or otherwise, that he was misusing his role as a prophet for his own ends and that Rand would likely disapprove and he was eager to ever have to face that disapproval- either because he couldn't handle such a reaction from his Messiah or because he knew he would lose his power and status.

The fact that he is now willing to do something that he earlier professed to be sinful to further his own agenda shows how meaningless his own religion is.

Odd sidenote- the captcha entry for me to submit this is "impatient beliefs"
Bonnie Andrews
12. misfortuona
Holy chapters designed to piss off our fearless leader, Batman.
The only way I could see this being worse, is if Perrin had ordered one of the Ashaman to spank Berlain.

Thank you for trudging through these chapters Leigh. We do appreciate it, and I know that we're in for an interesting week of commentary.

Mis-hiding in the bunker with cheese cake till Friday.
Joseph Blaidd
13. SteelBlaidd
Randalator@4 One very simple problem. There are a lot more of Masema's folowers than Perrin's. If he deceives M in this it's likly to get everybody killed unless he can get all his people through than M then shut the door withought anyone figureing it out. And Arganda problably knows enough to realize they're NOT going after his Queen and he will not say quiet.

And you realy expect Perrin to a prioritize taking a nutjob to close to Rand over rescueing his wife?
14. MasterAlThor
Chapter 5

Perrins fault, he was warned. Check Berelain's dialogue.

Chapter 6

If someone doesn't shut that dog up I'm going to kill somebody.

Err what were we talkin bout?


Yeah Masema. He needs to have an old yeller moment. You know the end of the movie. What happend at the end of Cujo? Did anyone give him the business end of a double barrel shotgun?

Bonnie Andrews
15. misfortuona
Okay so I lied, I'm not hiding. There is one thing that bugs me, other than everything, in these chapters.
What is the deal with Masema's concern over Perrin's wife?
How is it that he knows that the Lord Dragon will be angry about her being taken?
Somehow this seems like a cluebat to me.
If it is Moridin who is playing Rand to Mesema, than could this mean that Fail is a DF, or more likely a pawn of the DO?

Mis-musing and going back to my cheese cake now.
Don Barkauskas
16. bad_platypus
@Leigh: Veronica Mars, definitely awesome!

@everybody: Here's my question for you: do you believe Berelain's claim that she's only slept with two other men? There's absolutely no corroboration anywhere else (as far as I know), and it's certainly in her interest to say anything she can to get him.

If she were lying, I could very easily see her as being smart enough to realize that---given her reputation and previous behavior---a claim of complete innnocence would probably not work, so she goes with the least she thinks she can get away with. The evidence from her scent seems to be just predatory with no evidence about truth or lies. What do people think?
Barry T
17. blindillusion

Well, anything that keeps Masema from meeting Rand has got to be a good thing, right.

"Let's go get those Aiel!" trumphs "Sure, I'll head East towards the one man who has a chance of putting down what I've created."
diane heath
18. jadelollipop
Perrin thinks disgustedly that she even manages to smell honest,

So much for excusing his outrage in previous chapter which led to this debacle. If Annoura called him a fool now with his "Truce what truce" attitude it would make sense. I just read an opposing scene in COT
She looked as composed as an Aes Sedai, and she smelled...patient. He did not understand why she had stopped smelling as if he were a fat lamb caught in brambles for her meal,but he almost felt grateful to her. It was good to have someone he could talk to about missing Faile. She listened, and smelled of sympathy

Perrin later makes a comment about "It being all to sophisticated for a country blacksmith"
Guess my ?? will be answered later but did Berelain become his confidante (sp?) from a truce point of view after setting him up here or is his nose wrong and she is patient because she thinks she has him where she wants him?
I hope that her attempts at sympathy in previous chapter,offer of truce here and the COT citation (chapter 25) are the truth about Berelain. She would be more likable.
19. Jelsel
" 4. Randalator
VIEW ALL BY · Tuesday July 27, 2010 01:40pm EDT
Masema will make an exception re: Traveling, just this once.

This is the point where I absolutely wanted to cut Perrin into tiny pieces. Slowly. With a rusty spoon.


Mother's milk in a cup! Why on earth must Perrin just travel after Faile, now? Masema just agreed to Traveling so what is the obvious (to the most casual observer) course of action here? You grab an Asha'man, pull him aside, tell him to open a gateway to Cairhien instead of wherever, go through with Prophet, close gateway, drag Masema to Rand, leave, END OF STORY!!!

*adamantium rage* "

20. AndrewB
Leigh, thanks for another great recap and commentary.

I am going to set forth a position that may be unpopular. I will to present a coherent rational for this position. I think it would have been more interesting for the readers and the Perrin/Faile rescue plot if Perrin had actually slept with Berelain in Chapter 5. If Perrin had let himself go and had a "comfort screw" (to use Leigh's phrase), it could have set a different dynamic for his single-minded resue of Faile.

After waking up, Perrin could have been so racked with guilt due to his marital indescretion that he becomes ubra obssessed with saving Faile. Under my alternative plot twist, Perrin would act like if he does not go all out to save Faile, then he would convince himself that she will die at the hands of the Aiel. He would think this as the Pattern's way of balancing his "crime." This desire to prevent Faile from being harmed will be magnified when he discovers the mistreatment that the gai'shain suffer at the hands of the Aiel.

The after effects of the affair could have several other ramifications. First, Perrin would have to regain the trust of the Tower Rivers men, Faile's adherants and any others who respected him.

Second, once he rescues Faile, he would have the internal struggle of whether to tell Faile that he was unfaithful (in a momment of lapse) with Berelain. If Perrin did admit the truth (possiblly after Faile discovers the truth and confronts Perrin), the reader could see how (if at all) that act affects their marriage. We could then see some POVs of Faile and Perrin struggling with the consequences of the one night stand. Eventually, they would come to recognize that their love is stronger now than before the kiddnapping.

Perrin's solesearching after the one night stand can dovetail into his desire to master the wolf dreams. This realization was where we left Perrin in the scene where he wakes up when Faile leaves for her ceremonial bonfire.

I understand why, as currently written, Perrin would not have a "comfort screw." RJ created Perrin as the embodiment of the perfect Two Rivers male. In other words, somebody who is chivalrous to a fault where it comes to relationships with women. (This is the same chivalrous characteristic that initially causes Rand to seek ways to keep women (even Maidens and his female enemies) out of harm's way. For Perrin to stray outside of his marriage, no matter the circumstances, would be too much a divergence in perrin's character.

However, I feel that causing Perrin to be less "fictional heroic" would be a welcome change (This is similar to somebody's theory in a prior post where the commentator wished RJ had made Perrin an "everydayman" as opposed to a character who has "wolfbrother" gifts -- I cannot remember who made this suggestion so I cannot properly attribute). By "fictional heroic, I mean that he does not have any special gifts (such as being a wolfbrother). Rather, he is must use the characteristics that he was born with -- His careful analysis of the situation and bluntness.

Sorry for the wall of text. I would appreciate any comments you have on my plot twist.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Morgan Crawford
21. Jenesis
Yeah a new re-read!
Everyone believing Perrin slept with Berelain annoys me a lot too. Actually it also annoys me that people overestimate Perrin. He seems like a real simple guy but oh well.
Captain Hammer
22. Randalator
SteelBlaidd @13

There are a lot more of Masema's folowers than Perrin's. If he deceives M in this it's likly to get everybody killed unless he can get all his people through than M then shut the door withought anyone figureing it out.

Or just getting him close enough to the Aiel camp in Cairhien so that an attack by Masema once he realizes he's been played would result in him not only facing Mayeners, Duopotamians, Perrin's Aiel and Ghealdanin but also Rand's Aiel.

And Arganda problably knows enough to realize they're NOT going after his Queen and he will not say quiet.

Perrin:*drags Arganda aside*

"Ah, Dude, here's the thing. This Masema-fella, he's royally screwing up our mojo. So I was thinking: Let's ditch the guy in Cairhien real quick and then go after Queen A. and Wifey prophet-less. You know, without the being outnumbered by fanatics controlled by a maniac. Maybe grab some reinforcements, too. Then we could free the babes all quiet-like and distraction-free. We'd go totally commando, smooth operation, in - out - done, nice and clean..."

Arganda: "Go commando?"

Perrin: "Thinking about rephrasing that."

Arganda: " 'd be more comfortable if you did. Nice plan, though."

Perrin: "Yeah."

Arganda: "Yeah."

*high fives*
Thomas Keith
23. insectoid
Yay, new post! Thanks Leigh!!

At the moment, I have just one thing to say about the chapters:


Oh yeah... and Cuckoo Puffs agrees to Travel. AARRGH.

That is all. ;)

Tricia Irish
24. Tektonica
I don't even know what to say, other than thanks Leigh.
Better you than me.

Every thread of this plot is a groan:

Perrin = Idiot obsessive.
Berelain = Selfish, man thief, turning Perrin's own men/camp against him for her petty revenge
Masema = Whacko
Shaido = Honorless dogs and horrible harridans.
Faile = Damsel in distress
Wise Ones = Frustratingly opaque
Seanchan = The Enemy (and actually turns out to be the best part of all this)

Where's Mat?
Captain Hammer
25. Randalator
Tektonica @24

Where's Mat?

Currently in chapter 14...
26. MasterAlThor
::waves to Tek::

I'm over here....

no no over here.

::grumbles:: Dammit I'm over here next to Mis with the cheesecake in the bunker with the rusty spoon.

27. Dholton
I was exactly as furious as Leigh with Berelain when I first read these chapters. It infuriated me how she couldn't put her petty competition with Faile aside at this turn of events.

However, I don't know I agree with Leigh's alternate take on Berelain's POV. I think it's much simpler than her being pissed at Perrin playing the Game with her. I think it's simply that she offered him an olive branch for the duration, and he spurned her. And we all know that Hell (or anyone else except Leigh) hath no fury like a Berelain scorned. So, I can see *she* thought she had good reason to do what she did.

However, it baffles me that in later books she does indeed seem to set this all aside and help Perrin wholeheartedly. The only reason I can come up with is that with this last move she considers the game between her and Faile won and done.
Lucas Vollmer
28. aspeo
Good job Leigh!

Berelaine = GAH!!!
Enough Said!?!
Ok not quite I guess. If she was willing to offer Perrin a truce, then why didn't she act on it instead of making a big deal and asking Perrin if he wanted one. I thought her beef was with Faile not Perrin? Like I've said before I like the character of Berelaine in most things, except when it comes to Perrin/Faile and this stupid little game!

I actually believe Berelaine when she says that she has only slept with 2 men so far. She is a master at manipulating men so she can protect her country. She would only sleep with a man if he was powerful enough to do something that would benefit her country. She probably does a lot of leading men on, and playing different factions of them against each other and getting them to leave Mayene alone in the meantime.

I think that Perrin is portrayed fairly well by not having a "comfort screw" with Berelaine. I can't imagine doing something like that if my wife had just been kidnapped. Especially with a woman who had been chasing me, and basically making my life miserable because of her little games.
Also, Perrin was unconscious from being in the wolf dream and stayed that way until he woke up in the morning. He basically didn't have a opportunity to do anything even if he had wanted to.

I wish Perrin could have just growled at people and told them the truth, so they wouldn't believe rumors about him sleeping with Berelaine. Of course, that would involve characters communicating with each other....

I think I need a drink now :(

P.S. I forgot about Masema coming to the camp! :shudders: I kinda wish I had actually, but I agree with some of the people above me that it seems like he is stalling.
Roger Powell
29. forkroot
I think that the fact that Masema suddenly becomes so flexible about traveling, etc. as long as his mob can hang with Perrin is a dead giveaway that he's already under Demandred's thumb.

I'm guessing that Masema has had a chat with "The Lord Dragon" since his initial meeting with Perrin and been told that:

1) Perrin is really Shadowspawn and an enemy of the Lord Dragon

2) He (the Prophet) must serve the Lord Dragon by remaining close to Perrin for the moment to protect the interests of the Light

3) Further instructions will be coming

I'm still not sure how much of the meetings with the Seanchan were also Demandred's orders.
30. xiancpr
Frankly, I dunno why everyone hates Berelain so much!!! She is one of my preferred characters, doing what she needs to do to keep her small state safe. She is too much of a master politician for dumb Perrin...
j p
31. sps49
Did nobody see Perrin get carried to Berelain's tent? In no shape for sexing? Nobody can give him the benefit of the doubt? Grr.

I agree with Randalator, and would add a Sammael bit to separate Masema from 90% of his followers. The others can be dropped somewhwre useful (as they are later).

Badplatypus @ 16-

I believe her. She would do better at stringing men along wiht the promise of eventual goodies. This can only go on so long, and with 2 it apparently went farther, but there are probably several who think they are next.

P and B are definitely miscommunicating, but I recall Berelain's motive: to spite Faile. No sympathy for her!
Sydo Zandstra
32. Fiddler

Here's my question for you: do you believe Berelain's claim that she's only slept with two other men? There's absolutely no corroboration anywhere else (as far as I know), and it's certainly in her interest to say anything she can to get him.

If she were lying, I could very easily see her as being smart enough to realize that---given her reputation and previous behavior---a claim of complete innnocence would probably not work, so she goes with the least she thinks she can get away with. The evidence from her scent seems to be just predatory with no evidence about truth or lies. What do people think?

I believe Berelain when she says this. She does think Perrin to be crafted in the Game of Houses, so she has no reason to lie here.

And I'm agreeing with MAT@14 on it being Perrin's fault too.

I also bet that if Perrin had called the truce, she wouldn't have shouted 'remember discretion!' after him.

It seems that the discussion from the last thread is going to start again, which was probably inevitable. Care to do the survey again, Wet? ;-)

But I guess everybody has taken his/her stance on this. So why debate it once more?

One more thing though. Has anybody considered that Berelain's behaviour could also (partially) come from her own cultural background? I haven't found anything describing Mayene's culture in much detail to shed real light here. But I did note that people in the Mayener camp seem to find it a good joke. ;) (Kind of reminds me of Domani women and their reputation)

That's how I read it anyway. :)
Sydo Zandstra
33. Fiddler

I'm still not sure how much of the meetings with the Seanchan were also Demandred's orders.

Good point. Semirhage was still pulling the strings in the Seanchan camp back then, and she was in league with Demandred after all.
Maiane Bakroeva
34. Isilel
The other two were politics. You will be pleasure.

Why does Berelein need to excuse herself for her libertine ways? Did we see Lan, Thom or Mat being ashamed for their consensual affairs? You were writing about a world of gender equality, RJ!

Aspeo @28:

She would only sleep with a man if he was powerful enough to do something that would benefit her country.

And she wouldn't do it for her own enjoyment because? Like, you know, a good chunk of beloved male characters did, before they met their Ms. Right.

Otherwise - Gah! I mean, Berelein is not a teenager, she is older than Perrin and far more experienced in every way. There is no excuse for what she does to Perrin here.

Oh, and now that he knows that there is a humongous crowd of Aiel around, shouldn't Perrin ask the wolves where they are/were? Oh find their spur in T'AR - so many people are bound to leave a noticeable and durable one. Nah, would be too easy, of course.

Masema's handler clearly wanted him to stay close to Perrin and kill him. Because just popping in and offing Perrin with balefire would be far too simple and possibly effective, sigh. Also, to continue in his creating hatred and fear towards the followers of the Dragon.
At least, Perrin recognizes now that Mazema's people are going to devastate everything around them wherever they go, even if he doesn't think far enough.

Re: how Perrin could have been a true "everyman" with a few changes - no.
Nobody would have loved it more than me if Mat and Perrin hadn't been ta'veren, but there is no denying that their stories would have been very different. There wouldn't have been room for any of that infantile "why meee?!" crap that they indulged in for so long, while the Pattern showered power and importance on them and forced them into positions of responsibility against their wishes.

As a non-ta'veren you either step up and perform, purposefully, or get out of the way, into well-deserved obscurity ;).
TEoTW Perrin had it in him - too bad that RJ wanted to implement "unwilling leader" trope thrice in a single work and IMHO with ever-diminishing returns...
35. junior1234
People have been defending this plotline as a sort of "coming of age/toughening up" for the final battle story for Perrin. I have to say, I don't get it. He tortures people for information, and even worse, sends hundreds on women into just about the worst sort of slavery imaginable.

This isn't toughening up, it's turning evil. What do you think Egwene will do when she hears about this? (or did I miss that part?). I think this storyline would have made alot more sense, and the series would be better, if it was about one of the "heroes" turning his back on good. For the best of reasons, of course. He would keep "toughening up" for the final battle, and eventually become dreadlord Perrin.

Or maybe that just because Perrin is my least favorite main char. Whatever, I cant stand the PLOD.
Tony Zbaraschuk
36. tonyz
I think Perrin did try to talk with the wolves on this one, but they weren't very helpful.
Alice Arneson
37. Wetlandernw
Why is it that the first comment is always just someone jumping in to say "yippee, look at me, I hit the button first" but who clearly has not read a word Leigh had to say? It's been bugging me for a year and a half now...

misfortuona @12 - Worse? Hmmm. Well, even Leigh might not be too upset about Berelain getting spanked at this point. Maybe send Dannil and Kenly to spank the maids? ;)

SteelBlaidd @13 - My thoughts exactly. With a couple of thousand rabble armed with axes and bows, making Masema disappear is only going to result in a LOT of people dying - and unfortunately it wouldn't be limited to the rabble.

Yeah, okay, misfortuona, why DOES Masema think that "he" would be grieved (that's the word in the book) if anything happened to Faile? (And isn't it ironic, given what happens in the TGS prologue? Yeouch!) It makes me wonder, now, whether he's already getting orders from the one who appears to him impersonating Rand. It's even possible that whoever is playing with Masema thinks that Faile is a pawn of the DO. Or if she really is a DF (which I don't think) then had Masema outlived his usefulness by TGS? Hmm. More musing required... I just went and reread that section, and... yes, more musing is required. Although it's just possible that at this point, Masema still has enough sanity to just think that Rand might want his best friend's wife to be rescued.

AndrewB @20 - All I can say is, there's a reason RJ wrote this and not you; I personally prefer his plot to yours. Perrin would have to be a completely different person in order to take the path you propose. Being who he is, he has quite enough guilt-motivation by dint of the unresolved issues between himself and Faile.

Tektonica - Sorry, never got finished with my "here's why we have to have this plot" apologetic. Maybe I'll borrow your point-by-point and respond. :)

aspeo @28 - Yes, thanks for reminding me. I've always wondered why Berelain would ask for a truce with Perrin when the battle was supposed to be with Faile. Maybe she has internally recognized that they are a team, in opposition to her? Stupid game. Stupid woman.

xiancpr@30 - If she'd stick to keeping her small state safe, it would be fine. What does interfering in Perrin's marriage have to do with that?? And how does "playing politics" with Perrin help Mayene?

Isilel @34 - What I found far more interesting was the next line of Berelain's statement: "In more ways than one." I'm thinking she meant that while she expected to enjoy the experience itself (she actually still expects it to happen!!), the greater pleasure would be in proving that she could get him and in "taking him" from Faile. Re: your comment, I didn't take it as "ashamed" at all. More matter-of-fact, and sort of expecting Perrin to be honored that she didn't expect to gain any political advantage from bedding him. Presumably the other two knew that was the primary reason they got their chance.

TAR... Until they stop at Malden, there's no reason the Shaido would be leaving any significant traces in TAR. And as long as they appear to be on the move (which Aiel usually are, unless they are in their holds in the Waste), Perrin would have no reason to expect them to stay in one place long enough to leave traces in TAR. If you happened to be in just the right place, you might see a tent or two for a few moments (like the dolls and things seen elsewhere, there one minute but gone the next time you looked) but there would be no lasting traces until they stayed in one place for several days at least.

OTOH - now he should be asking the wolves about large numbers of people traveling together; seems like the wolves would notice that, if only to stay clear.

junior1234 @35 - No, it's not about toughening up. Never has been, IMO. It's about getting pushed/letting yourself descend to almost the worst person you can be, and then beginning to realize that maybe you weren't justified in everything you did, and that you were wrong, and that you need to pull your head out and see the bigger picture.

And Perrin couldn't become a dreadlord. He can't channel.
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
1. Didn't pick up until this re-read to see that B's obnoxious behavior might have been triggered in part by the fact that Perrin rejected her second heartfelt outreach effort and again openly questioned her motives. A girl can only take so much, I guess.

2. Notwithstanding, multiple *headdesks* at the strategy of slandering the character of the guy who is supposed to be protecting their skins and getting ready to fight the DO in TG, ignoring that it juuuussst miiiggghttt have a eensy weensy impact on their willingness to trust his judgment in battle.

3. Leigh - so, who should Kristen Bell play in the WoT movie? How about Liandrin?

4. Lsiel - I really enjoy your posts very much, which cut directly and precisely to the heart of your many concerns wth some of RJ's decisions, especially in these mid-to-late books. Even if I don't always agree, or perhaps even often agree, I respect your viewpoint. I have to share, however, that I had the evil thought coming in on the train this a.m. that you should have the nickname Crankypants II. *ducks*

39. mat'snotuntilchapter14?!
Berelain's just in the wrong storyline. I loved her interactions with Rand (at least post- being rejected and tossed around with saidin a little). She was an excellent steward in Cairhien with Rhuarc and Dobraine. After finished playing annoying seductress and when all is said and done, I love Berelain's no-nonsense competence as a ruler.

I'm a little mad with Rand right now-- irrationally I suppose. He finally gets someone who's devotedly looking out for his interests and better yet, is GOOD at looking out for his interests and of course, he sends her away to cause mayhem and havoc with the one character that I can't stand her being around! FRUSTRATION.

Gah, I know Rand didn't know about Berelain and Faile's game but that's no excuse.
John Massey
40. subwoofer
yippee, look at me, I hit the button fortieth:)

@Wet- Berelain seems to definitely be an underdog in this scenario- am patiently waiting your defense of her;)

I'm goin' with Is on this one, what is the big deal if Berelain has or has not slept with "x" number of guys? At the end of the day she is keeping her small country from being swallowed by bigger ones. And looking at B saying she has only slept with 2 other guys... why is that so hard to believe? Because she is open and flirts like a champion means she has to sleep with every guy she flirts with? If this is the rule a lot of Domani are racking up the numbers hardcore and in RL many a beertub girl has much explaining to do. Whether it is 2 or 20- so?

Fortunately I am taking an early day so I started drinking well before posting... and due to renovations, I am unable to get to my books so I am just wingin' it here.

Perrin. WHAT IN THE NAME OF POSEIDON WERE YOU THINKING?!!! Do not dis Hopper- He gave his life- show some respect here. Remember- wolf, not donkey. Young fullofBull.

And you had a chance to be done with Masema? Dude! What were you thinking? Again? Get 'er dun! Quit pussy footing around with the locals and off the Prophet already. Grab a guy in a black coat and pwang, your bar is free of nuts again, er... not counting the Maidens, and the AS and the WO's... aw... okay, your bar has one less nut. Harumph! Anyways, point is, Rand has no issues fragging a castle to get rid of one Forsaken. Most of Masema's followers become cannon fodder anyways, you can drag this out- as you did- or you could end that particular thread now and put me out of my misery.

Edited because I didn't realize Leigh used footsie in reference to Masema. Gotta be different;)

41. AndrewB
Wetlandernw @37 said: AndrewB @20 - All I can say is, there's a reason RJ wrote this and not you; I personally prefer his plot to yours. Perrin would have to be a completely different person in order to take the path you propose. Being who he is, he has quite enough guilt-motivation by dint of the unresolved issues between himself and Faile.

Wetlandernw -- And here I thought I was RJ reborn

(he says with a smile on his face).

BTW -- I agree, that as written, Perrin would never had even contemplated sleeping with Berelain, let alone actually sleeping with her.

BTW, Part II -- If Faile is revealed to be a Darkfriend and Perrin learns about said secret, then Perrin's current "guilt-motivation by dint of the unresolved issues between himself and Faile" will be exponentially greater." However, I agree with you that Faile is not a Darkfriend. Further, I do not think that Faile as a Darkfriend would be a good plot device at this late in the story.

Thanks for reading my musings,
42. Freelancer

...giant clueless schmuck...
...big dumb lunkness...

In fact, neither of these aspersions about Perrin is valid, nor required to adequately explain what just happened. Why people insist on blaming the decent person for the behavior of the indecent, it simply boggles. Perrin isn't playing the Great Game, he isn't playing ANY game, and he's taken the position of refusing to respond in kind regarding this "contest" Berelain believes herself to be involved in, "with him as the prize". When Berelain offers a truce, Perrin has every right to be well beyond insulted, and to give no credence to the thought. He's not in a battle with the Mayener trull, so what is there to truce from? He isn't being slow-witted, stupid, or any shade of same. He should not be having his understandably distraught mind cluttered with this external lunacy. Now, I will happily admit that Perrin's choice of phrasing with "Why do we need a truce?" could have been much more thorough. He should have turned her over his knee...

And for everyone who was recently saying that Perrin should have understood by now that Berelain is only teasing him for reactions, her declaration that he would be the third to share her bed, this puts paid to that belief. No crisis here, just a cougarette at work.

Berelain simply doesn't recognize that there's anything more important going on in her life than refusing to acknowledge that she can't have Perrin. With the stipulation that Perrin hasn't yet completely figured out his wife, who loves him, how would or should he have expected this horrendous behavior from an insufferable wench?

Yes, Perrin is so "clueless" he susses out instictively that the only way for the Shaido to be in his neck of the woods is if their Wise Ones have learned Traveling, or else the Forsaken are involved. Bingo. Of course, this brings on yet another case of Good Deduction Dismissed as Bad Assumption™. All of the major characters do it. They puzzle something out, then immediately go "naahhh, couldn't be".


Try it this way. Masema is taking ANY excuse to put off actually going to see Rand. He couldn't care less about the wife of the friend of the Lord Dragon (TLIHN), except as a convenient delay in setting out for Judgement Day.


Don't really care. Where Berelain fails in using this ploy is twofold:
1. Perrin was raised by decent people, an unmarried woman claiming ANY loose loving isn't going to impress him.
2. He's married, and likes it that way. Period.


Yep, like that.


I'm sorry, "fictional heroic"? Is that the description of anyone who isn't, as Leigh put it, a Typical Male™? Well, then here's to being atypical. I think Bill has my comment on your plot twist.


I get your point, as much as I differ with it, but Dreadlords are channelers by definition, so Perrin wouldn't be qualified even if he did turn to the shadow. (Edit: And the Blightborder beat me to it yet again)
43. Freelancer

Brevity is the soul of wit? Or rehearsing with an early dimer for the century mark?
Tricia Irish
44. Tektonica

Thank you. I totally agree with your assessment of the Berelain/Perrin situation!

Sub: Shouldn't your terse remark be: Grrrrrrrrr.
John Massey
45. subwoofer
@Free- nyet. The power of the edit.

Going gray rocks.

Just throwing this out there- Rand has 3 count em wives- and we seem to be okay with it. What's wrong with Perrin having 2? Maybe RJ is taking a Mormon slant on this whole deal here.

a a-p
46. lostinshadow
I heart Veronica Mars. Hope you're enjoying it Leigh.

@38 - I know Kristen's blond and possibly a bit young for the part but she's really petite, maybe she could play Moiraine?

Got nothin constructive on WoT.
47. WoTFanIndeed
I don't think I'll ever understand the "truce" Berelain was offering... Now if that truce was directed to Faile, I would totally get that "ding - light bulb!" effect, but not with Perrin. *shakes head*

On top of that, I don't see how spreading that rumor would help Berelain at all? Even the part where his men turn against him because of the rumor, how does that help her?

This is definitely one of my least favorite parts of the book series, and trust me there aren't many of those :) It'll be interesting when Berelain and Perrin run into Galad!!
Lucas Vollmer
48. aspeo
I didn't mean to imply that Berelaine wouldn't have sex for pleasure. However, she herself said that she had only slept with two other men, and they were both for political reasons. This implies that she sees sex as a means to a political end in most instances. I'm sure she is capable of seeing it as more than that, but at this point she hasn't acted on it in that way.

Even Berelaine's wanting to sleep with Perrin is fueled by playing a game with Faile to collect Perrin as the prize. If Perrin had been completely single she might still have gone after him, and probably would have succeeded in seducing him. But, I believe that this would have been done more out of political maneuvering to get in closer with Rand than just as an attraction to Perrin.
James Jones
49. jamesedjones
junior1234 and wetlandernw

This isn't a story of Perrin decending into darkness; that's Rand's story. This is a story of Perrin avoiding doing what he needs to do for so long that the pattern snaps him back to it with a great deal of force. Perrin is a lot of folks favorite because he is so humble, even when everyone fawns over him and treats him like he's dangerous (duh). But he is also the leader of a proud people, who used to be a great nation, and have a lot to do in the next few weeks and months. The last battle is coming. The world is descending into darkness. And the leaders will need to be strong enough to do what must be done.

He didn't torture the Aiel. He broke them, like corrupted metal. Masema and Arganda and their followers wanted to torture the Aiel (several were looking forward to it), but Perrin wouldn't allow it. He found their weakness, and struck with only enough force to achieve what needed to be done quickly.

As for the Seanchan capturing the Aiel, Perrin has fought the Aiel already. He knows their "Wise Ones" are willing to attack with the OP, and this is something beyond anything that any other civilization outside of the Seanchan allow. At least the Seanchan have the means to mitigate the effect. "Non-stop civil wars" was how Seanchan was described when channelers were allowed to use the OP as a weapon. Hawkwing's son stopped that, in a horrific way that will hopefully be eliminated in future dealings, but they still stopped it. Perrin had to eliminate the threat of the Shaido that had caused so much grief since the 4th book. He did so in a way that still allowed them to contribute to TG. Not a decision that I'd want to be responsible for, but never something that I'd describe as evil.
Marianne Bohnlein
50. shrewgoddess
Maybe I'm just a weirdo but there's another way to look at all of this. I like Perrin, so it's weird for me to be able to see something from one of his antagonists' points of view.

A truce?” he said, carefully bending to tug on a boot. Carefully so he did not fall over. Stout wool stockings and thick leather soles would have his feet warm soon enough. “Why do we need a truce?” She was silent while he donned the other boot and folded the turndowns below his knees, not speaking until he had done up the laces of his shirt and was stuffing it into his breeches.

I think the clue is in this quote right here.

We know that one of Faile's complaints in Perrin's dealing with Berelain is that he is showing, in one way, interest in the game Berelain is playing. Faile knows that Perrin actually is an innocent and that he honestly has no interest in Berelain. Berelain, however, doesn't know Perrin well at all. All she sees is a young, good looking Lord who has traveled with Aes Sedai, the Dragon Reborn, and Thom Merrilin (all people who are either known as excellent Game players or thought of as being great at it) and who has experienced great adventures - and she also thinks he's skilled at The Game. Is it impossible to think that Berelain actually believes that Perrin is interested?

Now, look at what Perrin says and does in the context of someone who thinks he might want her. It looks more like he's asking to continue the game, he sees no reason for her to stop chasing him. Her anger, when looked at in that light, is because he didn't accept a halt to the game but not because she wanted to continue it but because she didn't. She thinks he is acting inappropriately. Her lashing out and starting these rumors isn't an act of vengeance for him not wanting her, but revenge for him wanting to continue what she sees as a delicious game - even in the face of his wife's kidnapping.

I don't like Berelain, but I do respect her, and I don't think she wanted to continue with any of this while Faile is gone. For one, even she has limits. And for another, the whole thing is just a way to get back at Faile, not Perrin.
John Massey
51. subwoofer
And let us not forget that Berelain is a diplomat. Last time I checked, the working definition for a diplomat is- lying abroad for one's country. Seems to be working the definition to the letter here:P

::flees for bunker- cheesecake?! Get thee behind me Satan! I'm a chiphound::

Maiane Bakroeva
52. Isilel

I still find it incongruous and jarring that several male libertines in the series do it because they like it, while the only somewhat prominent female libertine only did it it with 2 people and strictly in the line of duty, as it turns out. I mean, really, this reeks of double morals.

Faile as a pawn of the Shadow? Weeell... while she herself is clearly no DF (alas), I think that Bashere very well might be. So there could be something to it, IMHO.

RobM @38:

I had the evil thought coming in on the train this a.m. that you should have the nickname Crankypants II.

Argh, that's a low blow :)! I am a shy an retiring individual iRL, I'll let you know! And yes, I did become seriously disaffected in the series and only this re-read + TGS brought me back. It is only logical for me to be more critical than most!
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
RobM @38 - Yeah, you'd better duck! Shall we prepare the bunker inside the bunker?

subwoofer @40 - Does the term "Satan will be skating to work" mean anything to you? ;)

AndrewB @41 - Well, I'm pretty sure you're more than 3 years old, so... I can't get the maths to work out for that. Nice try. ;)

re: Faile as a DF... Yeah, I don't see it as being helpful at this stage. I don't know that I'd even try to prove that she isn't, but I don't expect it.

Freelancer @42 - Just got new glasses and am still adjusting - with the italics, I read "Blightborder brat".... Say wha...????Ummmm... oops. As usual, agree with all you said. Being a decent, honest man who loves his wife, intends to remain faithful to her, and has no patience with anyone who will try to mess with that... That makes him stupid? Nah.

Oh, yeah, I meant to comment on that too... Nah, it couldn't be the Forsaken... what would they have to do with this? Argh. Of course, Sammael is dead by now, but still. I guess having the WO learn Travelling is just as easy to believe, though. *sigh*

jamesedjones @49 - I'll have more to say on that later.
Genevieve Williams
54. welltemperedwriter

I still find it incongruous and jarring that several male libertines in the series do it because they like it, while the only somewhat prominent female libertine only did it it with 2 people and strictly in the line of duty, as it turns out. I mean, really, this reeks of double morals.

Well, there is Tylin. It's hard to imagine that she was after Mat for reasons of political advancement.

She's about the only exception I can think of, though. And like you, I find it bothersome.

That said, I have no trouble at all believing that Berelain has only slept with two men before Perrin, though I do wonder whether she's telling the truth. But I can't say that I care that much. I do like her better when it becomes clear that she's put the contest, or whatever it is, aside; not because I have any issue with bed-hopping (and I kinda wish the series had more of it) but because the entire Berelain-Faile rivalry was seriously annoying me by this point in the series and I almost stopped reading because of it.
56. Freelancer

Okay, now I'm confused. I'm an educated man, but I'm afraid I can't... oops, sorry. No, I'm hunting for the standard jej snark in there, and it's hiding from me. Wait. You didn't do something really crazy like submit a serious comment, did you? Well, I whiffed on that curveball.

And I completely agree with you that when Perrin chopped that Aiel's hand off, it wasn't torture. Torture is meant to be slow, painful, and greusome. This is surgical in comparison. The objective is the same, convince the subject that it is best to comply. Perrin's method was truly calculated to avoid doing any more violence if possible, in order to get the questions answered. Right? No, it's still very harsh, but guess what, those people killed men under his authority, and took non-combatant prisoners. This is war, and Perrin is stuck with playing general. I would do as much or worse in his shoes.
Sydo Zandstra
57. Fiddler
Except that he threatened the Aiel to cut off all his limbs. That threat is torture.

It wasn't the physical pain there, it was the threat of making the Aiel totally helpless and then cast him loose.

If I recall correctly.
58. Freelancer

Yes, you do. Perrin had no desire to carry out the threat, but he had learned, being non-stupid, that Aiel could handle pain, so he determined the shortest path to get them to not ignore the question. Shame is what motivates Aiel when ji'e'toh is not involved. Being a village horror-show would be just about shaming enough, he hoped. We know he acted out of desperation, since it was the act which caused him to throw away the axe.

Add to that his disgust with the Masema-ites who were putting hot coals on the Aiel's flesh. Believe it or not, while he doesn't plan on stopping short of getting his questions answered, he is being more compassionate toward the subect Aiel than those other men. They planned to enjoy watching his pain.

Also, if he leaves them their perfect ears, it isn't torture, it's to the pain.
James Jones
59. jamesedjones
56 Freelancer

Yeah, I know. I was just kinda shocked to see the nice, reasonable wetlandernw describe Perrin as becoming almost the worst person he could be.

Loosing his grip? Neglecting his responsibilities? Sure. But there's not one instance, aside from his attack on Hopper, that would indicate that Perrin was becoming a bad guy.

I'll admit, I'm not the nicest human being. There are 1 or 2 folks that I'm related to, that I might have to weigh the pros and cons of affecting a rescue effort if they were captured. But, for the most part, if a loved one was captured I would not be able to do anything, think about anything, or deal with anything other than the thought of what they're going through, and what I could do to help any effort to free them. (just a little snark, there)
Jennifer B
60. JennB
Uhh... Leigh, you did know these two chapters were coming. Perhaps calming exercises should have been in order before rereading them.

Not much to say about Perrin and Berelain that I haven't already said. I have to admit, the character that angers me the most in these chapters is actually Lini. Guess she doesn't believe in proving someone is guilty before passing judgement.

I hope that Leigh does not really believe that a "Typical Man™ "will fall "into bed for a comfort screw with a drop-dead gorgeous woman who’s obviously been after him for months, once his wife conveniently disappeared". Seems like a broad generalization that I, for one, do not believe is true.

Masema's reasoning doesn't make sense, but I guess that's because he's totally nutso. Luckily he did not follow Perrin's orders to go East. At least the armies that he is tagging along with can somewhat keep him and his crazies under control.

Oooohh. Gray.

Masema is looking for an excuse to go with Perrin. He has to justify everything he does as what the Lord Dragon would want. He knows Perrin is Rand's best friend, so he assumes Rand gives a damn about Perrin's wife. Thus he has instant justification for helping rescue her. He knew what he wanted and twisted the "logic" to fit.

Are you really implying that not cheating on your wife is "fictional heroic" and an "everydayman" would have jumped in the sack with Berelain? Seriously? I must have read that wrong.

Not to mention, if he was going to cheat on Faile, do you really think he would choose someone who has made his life miserable the entire time he has known her?

aspeo@28 re bad_platypus@16
I agree. Hopefully neither of the two were greasy Tairen lords. Probably no such luck.
She needs to figure out that Perrin is not her one for pleasure, so she can find someone else to have a little fun with.

Doesn't sound like an excuse to me. Just a statement of fact. She had sex with them for reasons other than her own satisfaction. Maybe she just hasn't found the right guy yet. Lot's of women hold out for the right guy, some don't. It's personal preference. In addition...She never says she didn't enjoy the sex for politics.

Welandernw@27 re aspeo@28
Good point.

Just sayin'.

The difference is that Perrin doesn't want two.

I guess I understand, it is not Berelain's motives that you have a problem with, it is the lack of women who have sex with multiple partners without ulterior motives. It reminds me of the arguement that it was a failure for RJ to not have introduced male homosexual characters. While true, I have a hard time getting worked up about it.

welltemperedwriter@54 re Isilel@50
And don't forget Morgase. She has had two lovers since her husband died and will soon have a third.

"To the death!"
"No. To the Pain."
James Jones
61. jamesedjones
58 Freelancer
Add to that his disgust with the Masema-ites who were putting hot coals on the Aiel's flesh. Believe it or not, while he doesn't plan on stopping short of getting his questions answered, he is being more compassionate toward the subect Aiel than those other men. They planned to enjoy watching his pain.
Thank you for bringing this up. Perrin actually stopped the torture that was going on. He wouldn't let anyone go through it. And he asked, politely for someone who almost got bit, before taking any action against the prisoner.
Jay Dauro
62. J.Dauro
I know we have enough to discuss with Perrin and Berelain. However, I did figure that having someting to fall back on might come in handy.

You might want to check out http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php?topic=60015.0

"The Subtleties of Cadsuane"
John Massey
63. subwoofer
@Jenn- meh. I think Perrin just needs a "coaching session" on the merits of sharing and teamwork.

@JD- thanks for sharing, but why, oh why, do you wanna mention the Name now? Is it a slow news day?We were having such a nice discussion on torture vs. being dismembered.

Thomas Keith
64. insectoid
JennB @60:
Oooohh. Gray.
My thoughts exactly... why did AMW go grey all of a sudden?

EDIT: ::foolish grin::

Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
J.Dauro - Matt Hatch just directed me to that one, too. Good stuff, IMO. I don't agree with him on every single statement, but generally I thought he did a good job. And of course, he made some good points that I hadn't even thought of. I should log in and comment.

JennB & insectoid... amw had to go grey a while back to read the pre-releases of TGS, so he's had it for a while. Not quite sure what forced him to log in today, though... Maybe the captcha got to be too much for him? Can hardly believe that, after all this time. Maybe... his posts are getting eaten? Maybe... RAFO? :)
Tricia Irish
66. Tektonica
I noticed AMW went gray earlier, but remains mysterious on his/her page??? What does it mean?

Sub, you remain, hilarious. We missed you when you were gone. I'm so glad you're back to liven up the torture discussion.
67. AndrewB
Wall of text and soap box speech below. Feel free to skip if you do not want to read about my moral compass.

JennB @60 asked: "AndrewB@20
Are you really implying that not cheating on your wife is "fictional heroic" and an "everydayman" would have jumped in the sack with Berelain? Seriously? I must have read that wrong."

By "fictional heroic," I meant that one does not have any magic, superpowers, spellcasting or other fictional abilitities that do not exist in our world.

My use of the term fictional heroic (which, to my knowledge, I made up) was not tied to my plot twist of having Perrin have a one night stand with Berelain.

I did not try to say that all "everydaymen" would have jumped into bed with another women when faced with the situation that Perrin found himself.

I hope that clarifies your question.

That said, I do think that a significant number of people in Perrin's shoes would have a one night stand with somebody who was willing to give more than a shoulder to cry upon. I do not know if the number is over fifty percent, but I certainly think it would be over 10%. Further, it would not just be men who would avail themselves of the "comfort screw."

Call me a cynic, but in today's society, I think it would be naive to think that comfort sex does not occur. When you think about it, sex in a rebound relationship is a type of "comfort screw" (albeit played over the course of the relationship and not over the course of one night.

Note I am not saying that all men (or women) would seek the bed of a non-spouse in such a circumstance as Perrin. I also think that at least some of those people who resorted to a comfort screw to escape from their reality would regret his/her decision in the morning.

Finally, I am not saying that "comfort sex" is inheritly right or wrong. Each person must deal what occurs in his or her life. Who am I to judge how they cope with their grief/stress, etc? So long as ones actions are not illegal, he/she will have to live with the consequences. I am lucky to live in a country (in my case America, FWIIW) were in most instances morality is not legislated (murder, rape, theft among the few morals that are legislated).

My opinions may not be popular, but they are what they are. I do not mean to offend anybody. However, I felt that in order to understand why I proposed my "plot twist" (see @20 above), I needed to set forth the opinions in this response. Anyways, thanks for reading my musings.

Tess Laird
68. thewindrose
shrewgoddess - Your explaination of the Berelain/Perrin situation is how I have always pictured it. In chapter 2 'Taken' Berelain offers honesty
"You handled that very well, Perrin," Berelain said. "A difficult situation, and a painful time for you." Not formal at all, now. Just a woman full of pity, her smile compassionate. Oh, she had a thousand guises, Berelain did.
Emphasis mine, as I Perrin is mistaken here - but we don't have his smelling emotion radar here. I think Berelain is truly feeling sorry for Perrin and is worried about Faile.
Then in chapter 5 'Flags' she offers intel on what is going on and a truce - a truce to work together as a leadership team and get Faile back. Her game - and also Faile's game is between just them. I think we get a good good idea about how Faile and Tenobia interacted back in Saldea from this.

Then we get the backlash of a truce refused. Jordan does a wonderful job here of showing what happens in real life all the time. People who should know better, will believe the bad rumor and spread it like wildfire. It seems that people want to believe more in the bad side of human nature, and just pass by the good parts. True?? I have seen it happen in real lfe too many times to count.

Why do the Aiel think that the Shaido would stop at just taking wetlander gai'shain?
"Harming a gai'shain is like harming a child, or a blacksmith. It is wrong to take welanders, but I cannot beleive they will break custom that far."
Seriously? If they are taking wetlanders left and right, and are already considered honorless shaido dogs, how can they think the wetlanders will be treated as ji'e'toh demands(when wetlanders don't even follow it?!) I totally saw where this was going on the first read.

And then this:
But if some of their Wise Ones had learned to Travel....Maybe even one of the Forsaken...
Totally with you on that one Freelancer @42:)

Rob Munnelly
69. RobMRobM
Lsiel@52. I meant it from the heart that I enjoy your posts and am glad you took my morning epiphany nickname for you in good fun. I am of course open to nominations for who should be tagged with Crankypants III: Cadsuane Reborn. Anybody? Bueller?

Also, we do have some female libertines that don't suffer from guilt. Tylin is one. Leane is another (although query whether she is just a really good flirter since she got her stilling induced makeover). Thom was very appreciative and nonjudgmental about Breane's evident abilities in the sack back in TGH. Thom's love Deena in TGH may or may not have been a libertine but she certainly was open and unshy about physical intimacy. And it's pretty clear that there's a lot of guilt free loving from the Maidens....
70. alreadymadwiththegray
shrewgoddess @50
You might have something there. Berelain wanted to stop, and Perrin declares there's no reason to. So... she continues the game. Same way she did when Perrin went off to Dumai's Wells. Possibly out of spite this time.

welltemperedwriter @54
Tylin wasn't after Mat strictly for political means, she was after his ta'veren mojo. I always figured she was hoping for some ta'veren shakeup happening while Mat was around and wanted to see it.

JennB @60
Had it for a while, just can't be bothered to login for it most times.

Lol.. To the Pain.

insectoid @64
Because I was at work and the firewalls were blocking out the captachats. Didn't mind filling them out, as long as they loaded.

Wetlandernw @65
Not to take the Creator or his Chosen One's privilege but... you said it, not me.

Tektonica @66
Doesn't mean much besides being just plain too lazy to fill out my info.
john mullen
71. johntheirishmongol
Leigh - big fan of Veronica Mars here but I simply dont see the correlation. If you want to talk about communications difficulties, you can say that about almost everything.

BTW for fans of Veronica, I highly recommend Wonderfalls. A very cool show.

Back to the book.
Perrin was still being an idiot. Sorry, but I feel Berelain was being sincere in wanting to help and worried about him. He did just about everything he could to piss her off and he did, so he got what was coming to him. I don't care for Perrin very much from anytime after Callandor was drawn, except maybe when he rescued Rand.

I also dont believe Berelain is all that much older than Perrin.

Does Perrin go all the way to the dark side? I think he comes pretty close.

It's all a pretty crummy storyline.
72. Gilbetron
Great post. Thanks, Leigh.

That Madeline Khan scene from Clue is one of my favourite film moments. I just about squealed when I saw it posted there... and it completely sums up my feelings about these two chapters.

Way to go sticking through this, and looking for the value in it even though it's an unpopular story arc.
73. Freelancer

I suggest a redirect of this statement:
Berelain wanted to stop, and Perrin declares there's no reason to. So... she continues the game.
Perrin's declaration isn't that there's no reason to stop, but that there's nothing except Berelain's idiot pride for which anything needs stopping, which of itself doesn't properly invite a "truce", a concept which requires two parties agreeing that the engagement is taking place. Perrin says, "Leave me alone!", and Berelain won't stop. How is this the foundation of anything for which a truce is an appropriate change of state? As I said before, Perrin could have amplified his comment to be more thorough, such as: "Truce? That supposes that we agree on terms, and we do not. I've told you repeatedly to give over, and you fail to respect my wishes, or my marriage. That's not something over which there could be an agreed cessation, since you are the only one engaging in the behavior which needs to stop." Yes, yes, Perrin would never say something quite that way, but I submit that these are the thoughts founding the phrasing he chooses to use, which Berelain of course interprets to her own selfish ends.
lin mei
74. twicemarked
Regarding Masema.

I think people are forgetting something. Masema was known to hate Aiel with a passion from EoTW. I think his family was killed by Aiel in a raid or something. Then, he was the most hostile to Rand due to Rand looking like an Aiel.

So revenge is still high on his mind when it comes to hunting Aiel.
Jonathan Levy
75. JonathanLevy
Haven't read all the comments yet, but:

@everybody: Here's my question for you: do you believe Berelain's claim that she's only slept with two other men?

Technically, what she says is that only two other men "shared her bed", leaving plenty of wiggle-room for canoodling in the kitchen, on the sofa, on a haystack, in the other person's bed, etc.

Har Har Har.

Re: Masema's travelling-phobia - Isam said it best:

Masema: Your ta'veren-ness has forced me to accept Traveling to find your wife.
Perrin: Strange that yesterday, my Ta’veren-ness couldn’t force you to accept Traveling to join the Dragon Reborn.
Masema: Must have been switched off.
Jonathan Levy
76. JonathanLevy

I think that idea (Perrin actually sleeping with Berelain) could potentially have made an excellent plot twist. But I also think it would have been very jarring if just that scene had been changed. At this stage (WH:5) the only emotion between P and B is antagonism. I think such a twist would have required more of a build-up. Let me give an example of how I might have tried to write the plot twist you suggested:

1) Faile is kidnapped.
2) Berelain says to Perrin: "I've been a fool. I see now how much you love Faile, sorry for all the trouble I've caused, I swear by my hope of salvation and rebirth I will help you find her and stop my petty games".
3) Perrin believes her and accepts her apology.
4) Next 3 weeks Perrin & Berelain work together to find Faile. Cooperation is perfect. No seduction attempts. They learn to appreciate each other. Tentative trust and friendship.
5) Perrin et al attack Shaido camp. Rolan helps Faile fake her death & they hide in Malden until the battle is over.
6) Gaul comes back to Perrin with apparent evidence of Faile's death (e.g. blood-smeared jewelery which Sevanna made Faile wear). Chiad says she recognizes it, Perrin identifies Faile's scent.
7) Perrin grieves, Berelain comforts, one thing leads to another.
8) Next day in Malden, Perrin sees Faile and Rolan sneaking about. Perrin goes berserk and kills him.
9) Guilt and angst galore! Perrin for cheating on Faile, Berelain for breaking her oath, Faile for not being able to save Rolan. Oooooh, what a mess.
10) Best of all, no need for Galina and her wretched wretched sub-plot.

Now, look at what Perrin says and does in the context of someone who thinks he might want her. It looks more like he's asking to continue the game, he sees no reason for her to stop chasing him.
The section you quoted ("A truce? Why would we need a truce?") certainly lends itself to that interpretation. But I think Berelain's reaction shows she interprets it as a rebuff, not an invitation:
"Very well, Perrin. If that is how you want it." Whatever that was supposed to mean, she sounded very determined. Suddenly he wondered whether his nose had failed him. Her scent was affronted, of all things! When he looked at her, though, she wore a faint smile. On the other hand, those big eyes held a glint of anger.

So I have to disagree, in the end.

Berelain is a diplomat. Last time I checked, the working definition for a diplomat is - lying abroad for one's country.

Did you mean to say she's a broad lying around for her country? (Ducks into bunker)

Do you enjoy Bach?
Theresa Gray
77. Terez27
@Leigh - colors with video starts with the Cleansing, though of course we don't see it till COT.

@Jonathan Levy & welltemperedwriter - Bach is my God. Not that you necessarily care.
Marcus W
78. toryx
One of the most infuriating set of chapters, like, ever.
Leigh, not only is the quote from Clue perfect, but it's exactly what I think of whenever a WoT character drives me absolutely bugshit. Well done!

I've got nothing to add to what Leigh already said. I just wanted to thank her for representing.
Marcus W
79. toryx
Okay, so I lied @ 78. I do have more to say. Whodathunk?

Wetlandernw @ 37: Regarding 1st comment, agreed wholeheartedly. But kids will be kids. :)

Freelancer @ 42: For what it's worth, I actually side with Perrin for the most part too. I do think he's the offended party and though I wish he'd learned from his experience in dealing with Faile and Berlaine over the last however long, I can't really blame him for not doing so. And though I definitely think he could have handled things a little better, I certainly think that he's been under enough pressure in the last however long (since Rand got kidnapped, actually) that I understand why he doesn't handle things better.

Also for the record (and somewhat in response to Isilel @ 52) I'm not at all offended or bothered by Berelain using sex as a weapon. I don't mind her throwing herself at men and I wasn't even bothered by her going after Perrin before he was married and she was fully aware of the Faile factor.

I do think that going after Perrin after he is married is a whole other ballpark, however. I could still find reasons to sort of understand the behavior but that's where I strongly disapprove.

Re: Masema's acceptance of Traveling -

Okay, I agree that when he did that, I decided the dude just needed to die as soon as humanly possible. I already felt that way but this one really topped the cake.

However, I think the worst thing Perrin could have done would have been to take Masema back to Rand at this point. Why? Well firstly, he wouldn't have been able to do so. If Perrin had delivered Masema to Cairhien and Rand wasn't there, what would he have done? Kept searching? Stopped at every major city Rand might be at and when he still doesn't find him, then what?

Well he could just leave the bloody Prophet in Cairhien or something like that but it would have been a disaster. A charismatic madman let loose in a city already strained to breaking would have been like popping a firework rocket in the oven.

Realistically, the only true option left to Perrin (though he has no way to know it) was to see Masema dead. Of course, with Masema's army all around him that might have been tough to do. Actually kind of impossible when you get right down to it. In the end, as disappointing as the Prophet's death is in TGS it really was the best way to resolve the issue.

Unless Perrin had figured out some way to kill him before they joined his group.
Jonathan Levy
80. JonathanLevy
I've always been more partial to Chopin and Beethoven :)
81. Tenesmus
Besides the fact that WH TPOD and COT should have been a single book of Awesome (instead of a trilogy of ehh), something that REALLY REALLY REALLY bothers me about this plotline is that after Masema agrees to Travel to search for Faile, Perrin never once thinks to himself, "Hey, now I can just open a gateway drop off Masema to Rand and then get on with looking for my wife." When I first read the book, I was waiting for that to happen, because that's what I would have done immeadiately. Then it never happened. It felt so contrived and cheap. This is when I began to have doubts about the WOT ever ending, and became a bit disillusioned. Then COT came out, and well total disillusionment set in...
82. MasterAlThor

I have to say that there are several Greens who would take umbrage with your comment.

I imagine there is a lot more casual sex going on that just isn't as promenent as the fellas.


Ah....Berelain. I think that we have the benefit of knowing Perrin's true thoughts. i am not saying that he hasn't made himself clear, but once Berelain and Faile got into there competition, Berelain had made the incorrect assumption that Perrin knew what was going tn.

Looking at it that way, you have to allow for Berelain's misread of Perrin's comments.

Hugh Arai
83. HArai

“Give it over, burn you!” he snarled. “My wife has been taken! I’ve no patience for your childish games!”

It can't get much clear than that. It seems absurd that could possibly be taken as "ooh this is fun, let's keep flirting!" Perrin does not want to play. The games continue because of Berelain. If she's offended when he rebuffs her offers of sympathy, then fine, she should call him on that, instead of playing games. Nynaeve manages to do that with Rand without hitting on him constantly. It is not a fault with Perrin that others refuse to believe he means exactly what he says.
84. MasterAlThor

I still stand by my comments. I said that Perrin was clear. Just that Berelain is assuming that he knows about the Ogier's oath.

Alice Arneson
85. Wetlandernw
twicemarked @74 - No, he just fought the Aiel for several years. He probably lost some friends in the three years of fighting, but there's no record of losing any family. Masema appears to live on his passions - whatever is given him as "an enemy" is to be hated and killed at any cost, and whatever is to be defended is also at any cost.

Terez27 @77 - Bach would be quite upset to hear you say that. :) Welcome back.

HArai @83 - Yup. I'm with you, Berelain's assumptions notwithstanding. You can't make it much clearer than that.
86. Mehndeke
You see, I've always read Perrin's "Truce, why do we need a truce" statement as seen from Elyas's advise: Treat Berelain with indifference and Faile with attention.
Jennifer B
87. JennB
I figured I must have misunderstood you. I agree that lots of people have comfort sex, but a one night stand after a break up is not comparable to a one night stand after the love of your life is kidnapped. In this situation I just don't think that comfort sex is realistic.

If we are talking morals, I have no problem with the idea of casual sex (it's just not my cup of tea). I do think that cheating is wrong.
88. chewynewyork
Not much to say on respond to concerning these two chaps. One thing I will address that kinda bothered a tad was practically everyone's quickness to believe that Perrin was doin' the hunky-dorey with Berelain. I would think that the people who have traveled with him for X amount of time, especially the Two Rivers peeps, would give him more of the benefit of the doubt. Honestly. This dude pretty much just left his scrawny village for the first time EVER little over a year ago, pretty much married the first girl he fell in love with (good luck with that one, buddy...I don't see too many divorce lawyers out there...who the hell handles that kind of thing, anyways???), and has the most unholy eye color anyone has seen in hundreds of years. Of course, he must've cheated on his kidnapped wife with that beautiful piece of political meat (that is sarcasm).

I just think that more people should have gone to bat for the possiblity that Perrin did not get his tires rotated with this chick, considering all that he has done for the people who spends all their time around him.

Whew. Good recap and post, Leigh. Keep up the good work.
Derek Barolet
89. Derek.barolet
Thanks for another awesome post leigh

can we just skip the plod, no i kid i kid, kinda
Scientist, Father
90. Silvertip
Do we have any sort of POV from Berelain at any point in the series thus far? I don't remember any. I have trouble figuring out what makes her tick -- it certainly happens for powerful people who have some good statesmanship skills to have a petty and vindictive streak, but this seems pretty extreme.

One thing that's always possible is that the character acts in this way because the author needs her to do so to move the story forward. RJ has earned enough cred as a storyteller, however, that I'll continue to assume there is an internal logic to her until there's really no alternative.

Perrin's motivations I think I understand -- numerous commenters on him have made a lot of sense to me -- but Berelain herself I find kind of a cipher.

Sydo Zandstra
91. Fiddler

Of course, he must've cheated on his kidnapped wife with that beautiful piece of political meat (that is sarcasm).

I just think that more people should have gone to bat for the possiblity that Perrin did not get his tires rotated with this chick, considering all that he has done for the people who spends all their time around him.

I fully agree.


Two Rivers folk seem to be about as prudish as you can get in Randland, so just being alone in a tent with Berelain is already bad here (even if nothing happened)... ;)
Alice Arneson
92. Wetlandernw
Silvertip @90 - As near as I can determine, we've not had a single POV from Berelain. This leaves a lot of things open, because our only clues to what makes her tick are what we get from her actions and from the statements made by other characters. So... the lack of POV might just be because you can't have POVs from everyone, or it could be because her POV would give away stuff we don't get to know yet. Still...

1) She could be just what she seems: a politically astute leader whose moral standards are firmly based on her own culture and who doesn't take anyone else's standards very seriously.

2) She could be a Darkfriend, with all that would imply.

3) She could be more or less what she seems, but she may also be operating on instructions or advice from someone less than trustworthy. (Is Annoura Black, as some believe?)
Theresa Gray
93. Terez27
@wetlandernw - perhaps not so much as you think. Bach was very religious, but he was not your modern-day fundie; he could be irreverent from time to time. Also, I think Bach was well aware that he understood God better than most people. I see it as him being a natural for the scientific nature of music; he saw it as writing God's music. Pythagoras would have said something about the music of the spheres.

@Jonathan Levy - Chopin is my other god. I only have two, btw...I like Beethoven better than any of the other Viennese composers, but I don't think he comes close to Chopin when it comes to having a natural ability for the aforementioned scientific nature of music - functional chromaticism - and even Chopin had a righteous reverence for Bach. Beethoven did too, and Mozart, and any number of the other 'great composers'.
Sam Mickel
94. Samadai
Perrin is pretty awesome in these chapters. Without any training in politics or intrigue, he figures out the Shaido are manipulated by a forsaken, rallies a disparate group of allies, and forestalls Masemas rabble from terrorizing the countryside, all while suffering from grief.
Scientist, Father
95. Silvertip
@wetlander, thanks, sounds like about the right analysis.

What I don't like about door #3 is that the things she does that are least easily understood (messing with Perrin's head) are precisely those where she would probably be *least* likely to respond to advice or manipulation, from Annoura or anybody else. But I've been wrong before.

Kurt Lorey
96. Shimrod
@92 wetlandernw

I agree with your take on Berelain, she's a cypher - still.

As to her apparent moral standards, it seems that she has been brought up differently than most of us, and certainly differently from Perrin. It's obvious that her moral code is completely incompatible with Perrin's, and it is no wonder than they have difficulty in finding common relational grounds.

What has surprised me is some of the judgemental vitriol that has come out in discussions of Berelain. It's one thing for Faile to call her a jade and a trull, but I had not expected most of the village here to come out throwing stones at her too.
Valentin M
98. ValMar
I agree. The reason I don't get so exercised about Berelain's siege of Castle Perrin (though I think she is wrong in her actions) is that she is open about it.
Ber isn't Perrin's foxy co-worker who wants to steal him from his innocent and unsuspecting wife. Or powerful noblewoman taking the blacksmith from his farmer wife.
This is a game (of sorts) between equal people, Ber and Faile essentially. Faile is complicit here.

IMO we shouldn't draw direct comparisons with usual RL/Randland adultry and Ber-Faile tug of war.
Scientist, Father
99. Silvertip
Ducks mate for life.

(Or so I've heard, I've never actually done the experiment ...)

Valentin M
100. ValMar
I'm sure Berelain, like all the other good guys in the story, will have long and happy married life.
Richard Chapling
101. Chappers
Since someone mentioned sex and ducks, here's the obligatory research article:
The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard anas platyrhynchos

(It won an IgNobel, BTW)

On-topic, Masema's decisions on Travelling must be the worst example of ta'veren perturbation screwing shit up we've yet seen... while Rand's Bargain was a disaster, at least we didn't get a PLoD-equivalent from it.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
Shimrod/Valmar et al - Speaking only for myself, my problem with Berelain is not her game with Faile, and it's not her moral standards or lack thereof. Certainly I don't admire her morals, but then, I don't admire Mat's morals, or those of various other characters. That doesn't keep me from enjoying them as characters.

What makes me angry at Berelain is her complete lack of respect for Perrin and his standards. Perrin has taken marriage vows, which he wholeheartedly desires and intends to keep, and she treats it like it's worth about as much as a child's vow not to go to sleep tonight. She treats him like an object, whose opinions and values are completely meaningless. That's what kills the goat.
103. Freelancer
And with that goat reference, it's clear that Wetlandernw agrees with me that Berelain needs to have the Board of Education applied to the Seat of Learning.
Sydo Zandstra
104. Fiddler
Why are we still discussing this?

It doesn't seem as if anybody is going to convince somebody else here. Instead, everybody keeps repeating their views on the situation. Something which has been going on for threads now.

Do something off topic in the PLOD threads instead. :p

Anyway, I'm out of the Berelain/Faile/Perrin discussion. :)
105. ONEwithPOWER
So did we ever figure out why Verin is described as having the ageless look when her oaths were removed..?
Theresa Gray
106. Terez27
ONEwithPOWER@105 - the Black Ajah swears a 'new trinity' (as per Galina's wording) on the Oath Rod. That is why Verin was looking for the Oath Rod before she came to Egwene; she was trying to get out of dying by removing her Black Oaths. Also, RJ did confirm that 3 Oaths are required for the ageless look.
John Massey
107. subwoofer
I'm starting to see Samadai's way of things in terms of what Perrin has accomplished. Mind you, much of it could be attributed to Berelain. Lemme explain myself. I love my wife, but sometimes she is a real ball buster. Drives me nuts, but when either of us leave for business trips, I find myself missing my wife's annoyances. I am focused on her instead of the project at hand. I also find that when my wife is driving me up the wall, I get my best work done as I focus on what I am doing to tune her out. Same thing for Perrin. Faile is not around to make Perrin's life a circle of hell so Berelain is stepping in to the breach to keep Perrin from knowing up from down;)

And Perrin did so much as a result.

Just sayin'.

As for Perrin getting a bead on Rand... simple, all the guy has to do is think of Rand and he gets a visual image. Babble that to a well traveled AS and voilà, instant low jack on the Dragon.

Rob Munnelly
108. RobMRobM
54, 76, 77 etc. Nice to see such klavier people participating in this thread.

Terez - welcome back.

Definitely starting to run out of things to say about Berelain and Perrin. Time to start thinking about a ToM predictions thread. So, start thinking....

Barry T
109. blindillusion
Hmm. I mentioned a ToM predictions thread in the last post.

Thomas Keith
110. insectoid
RobM² @108/Blind @109: Might I suggest the Open Thread, which until this morning hadn't seen more than 3 comments all month...

Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
Just a couple of very quick (and not very helpful) comments on external reasons for this plot:

1) Perrin had to be occupied somehow while the other plots caught up, and it had to end up with him in the right place and time to tie in with the meetings that are (hopefully) soon to happen. Additionally, while there were a few things he needed to accomplish, he couldn't be allowed to make too much progress. What better way than to nail his wife's foot to the floor in a snowbank? :p

2) As has been noted before, this plotline doesn't actually involve all that many pages or even chapters - it just seems so long because it remains unresolved and with so little apparent progress for three long books. There they are, stumbling around in the snow going a whole lot of nowhere. You think you're frustrated with the lack of progress? Just think how Perrin must feel!

Seriously, it's been suggested before that it was written in such a way as to make us feel somewhat the same way they would have been feeling - frustrated, tired of it, annoyed at all the going around in circles. I have no idea if RJ intended this as a literary device, but if he did... It worked, in a sense, except that along with people getting frustrated with the (non-) events in the plot, they got very frustrated with the characters as well.
Alice Arneson
112. Wetlandernw
Oh, and if it makes anyone feel better, on Friday we get to ride through the streets of Caemlyn at last. In the snow. And play happy games with the Kin and the Windfinders. After that, you get Cadsuane. Doesn't that sound like fun? Are we all happy now? You don't have to read about Perrin & Faile again until...

Crossroads of Twilight. Chapter 5.
Kev Hamm
113. cavynmaicl
Love the comments, especially as I loathe the actual chapters.

A couple of thoughts:

1) Torture has the stated goal of finding the truth, but has the obvious problem of easily passing by the truth in the zealous goal of hearing what is wanted to be true.

2) Perrin's use of the removal of ability is torturous, but not what we think of as torture, or what the randlanders call "being put to the question". His use of extreme and inhumane means to get the truth is only countered by his internal balance that what he chose to do had a price that he had long ago said he wouldn't pay — namely, that he wouldn't do something that caused him to like the axe. He still hated the axe, but it gave him the means to retrieve his wife, so he needs the axe, so he had to throw it away. His entire torture thing can be summed up by "take what you want; you'll pay for it".

3) That moment, when Perrin realizes that to do what needs to be done he very well may have to do things he would never choose, imagine or want, is the whole reason for this plot line. It the only redeeming thing about this plot line. It is a Moment of Awesome, just not one you cheer for, because it is the moment that we know that Perrin, no matter what, will do what is necessary.

At least, what he sees as necessary…
Captain Hammer
114. Randalator
cavynmaicl @113

It is a Moment of Awesome, just not one you cheer for, because it is the moment that we know that Perrin, no matter what, will do what is necessary.

Yeah, as long as it helps Faile. I don't see this whole PLoD as a Moment of Awesome but as a Moral Event Horizon. Perrin does NOT do what is necessary in the big picture but what is necessary to further his own petty interests.

He states very clearly that the whole world can burn as long as he gets Faile back. Now imagine that happening during Tarmon Gai'don. If the PLoD tells us anything about the shape of things to come...things don't look pretty.
Jonathan Levy
115. JonathanLevy
Care to list a few of your Chopin favorites? I've always been partial to the Etudes (Op 10 11 & 12, Op 25 6 & 11 & 12 in particular), and of course the Fantasie-Impromptu, plus a couple of the Nocturnes (Op 9 1 & 2).


All this Perrin discussion reminded me of the one scene of his we have in tGS - when he's lying in the mud inspecting wagon wheels, and shouting "NEXT!" to people as if he was a clerk in the post office. Mind you, this is the same Perrin who cringes whenever someone calls him 'Lord'.

That whole scene struck me as completely artificial and way off-key. I was completely sure it was Sanderson (and not Jordan), though recent revelations regarding the prologue have shaken my confidence in my ability to tell them apart. Anyway, I was wondering if other people had the same reaction.
Kev Hamm
116. cavynmaicl
Randalator @114
What is the world worth if not love?

More importantly, Perrin has already passed that event horizon, and decided it's unacceptable. Even tho he got Faile back, he won't do it again, even for her. He was broken by his own desires, and in doing that, he's able to heal and learn. He won't let the world burn, even for Faile, after the PLoD, because he's already lived the cost, and deemed it too great.

That is awesome, although not celebratory.
Theresa Gray
117. Terez27
@Jonathan Levy - I am working on 25/11 right now. It is definitely awesome. I have done 25/6 before (another favorite), but not as fast as I would have liked. I have worked on 25/12 but never performed it; that one was hard on my hands (too hard to play without tension...one day...).

The etudes are my favorite genre - to add to your faves, I love 10/3, 10/4, 10/8, 10/9, 25/1, and 25/7). Also love the preludes (especially the minor key ones!), ballades (4th is my fave), scherzi, and sonatas 2 and 3, and the concerti (mostly just the piano parts), and some of the nocturnes (especially 27/2 and 48/1...though I am reworking 55/1 now and I love that one too) are among my favorites...and there are some gems among the mazurkas and polonaises too. I love all Chopin, but those are my favorite genres. Actually, I lied....I hate the 9/2 nocturne with a passion. But I think that is less Chopin's fault and more the fault of everyone that loves it so much even though it's pretty inane in comparison to his best stuff. Definitely the most overrated piece in his oeuvre, IMO. Some would throw in the fantasie-impromptu as well, but I don't think there is a comparison there. My only complaint about the fantasie-impromptu is that it gets a little bit repetitive (besides the reasons why Chopin didn't publish it, namely that it too much resembled a Moscheles impromptu...there is a story that he thought it resembled Beethoven's 27/2 too much, 3rd mvt, but I don't see it).
Kurt Lorey
118. Shimrod
@102 wetlandernw

From the outside I have to say that your reasoning seems a touch hypocritical because you have a complete lack of respect for Berelain's standards and you seem to consider her values as completely meaningless.

I would say that most of us here more closely follow the values that Perrin does, and perhaps RJ just wanted to present some personal character conflict which entailed antithetical value systems. If that is the case, it seems to have worked, considering the measurable amount of *headdesking* going on as a result.

@103 Freelancer

;) But, there would be so many willing volunteers from around here, and besides, it wouldn't be something that Perrin should or would do, anyway. Lini perhaps, with a switch, in Berelain's tent.
Jonathan Levy
119. JonathanLevy

25/12 was very hard for me to learn. The first time I tried, I managed to learn each hand separately, but wasn't able to put them together properly. I simply could not hit the octaves consistently without looking at the keyboard, and when you've got two hand, you can't look at them both at the same time. A few years later I tried again and got it to work just fine. Never could explain it. And yes, the hands hurt a lot, especially the right pinkey.

25/11 is wonderful, but if I start practicing it, my wife will kick me out. I have a rather loud upright Yamaha, and that piece is so dramatic that I could happily bang away at it until the divorce papers arrive, and never notice. Which piano do you have?

10/9 is also one I enjoy playing, but the left hand is difficult for me because my hands just aren't big enough. I still love it, though, with its passionate melody and delicate ending.

10/4, 25/1 - definitely on my list too. 10/4 I never tried to learn (too scary) - 25/1 I haven't played in a while.

I noticed you didn't mention 10/12 - any particular reason? I recently heard Richter play this one, and next time I decide to polish it up, I'll be imitating his interpretation and no-one else's.

I soooo completely understand your explanation about the 9/2 nocturne, but I still like it a bit. I prefer 9/1 though - the opening & ending sequence is divine. Middle part - less so. I also agree with your slight criticism of the Fantasie-Impromptu - it is just a bit repetitive. If only he'd cut out a few descriptions of dresses and braid-pulling - oh wait, I'm getting confused :)

Nocturne 55/1 - very beautiful. I've been about 2/3 of the way through it for quite a while - the sequence after the chords is giving me trouble. BTW, I found a youtube video of this one played with a string quartet! I thought it was very well done - perhaps you will also enjoy it: watch?v=Acl0w71SV1c (I'm not posting a full link for fear of the spam filter)

Well, I'm off to youtube to listen to the works you posted with which I'm less familiar... maybe I'll make a new friend.
Valentin M
120. ValMar

I have said already that I don't like Berelain's persuit of Perrin. The episod with the tent annoys me no end, despite the mitigating circumstances.

But 1) Perrin being treated as an object. In women's eyes in WOT men rank slightly above farm animals or small children, particularly in matters of romance. Berelain's lack of respect in Perrin's choice isn't much different than the average TR woman or Aiel Maiden of the Spear. Speaking of which,
2) Lack of respect of his values. The much liked Aiel are as xenophobic as one can get. Whilst not disrespecting, Faile is also pushing Perrin away from the values he was brought up with, in general. As for their marrital relationship, one can argue that she is actively being disrespecting. She knows Perrin's values there and still can't help herself giving grief to him.
3) Marriage vows/Perrin's feeling for Faile. As you, Wet, have already said on many occasions, the characters in the books don't know what we know. If Berelain has been in Perrin's head, as we have, than she would know it's pointless and cruel to continue with this nonsense.

One last point. In Tear, when this whole sorry saga began, remember what happened in the corridor outside Perrin's room? Faile had a go at Berelain with her knives, not knowing that the unarmed woman can defend herself. If this is the norm when someone tries to pinch you boyfriend of a month or so, there will be countless massacres in high schools across the world.
Or maybe I'm just disrespecting Faile's values.
Rob Munnelly
121. RobMRobM
Blind @109 - yes you did. I should have credited you on the suggestion. Mea culpa.

Insectoid @110 - agree that the Open thread probably the place to be, unless and until Torie and Pablo elect to set up a dedicated thread.

Terez and Jonathan Levy - can't play Chopin or Bach but I can play the first few bars of Fur Elise on my right hand. Does that count?
Jonathan Levy
122. JonathanLevy

Sure, you're in! Here's your new white dress. No, you're not allowed to wear anything else. Lessons are 10 hours every day. You may not open the piano without a Maestro present. Novices are forbidden to use the pedal ter'angreal. Remember not to practice too hard or you'll burn yourself out. Playing Ravel's Bolero is punishable by stilling. See you in the Accepted test in 8 years!

P.S. You're sweeping the halls tomorrow morning, so remember to report at 5:00 AM sharp. No excuses.
Rob Munnelly
123. RobMRobM
@122. LOL. At least can I have a cute girl next door with whom I can whisper confidences through a hole in the wall and do some illegal private practicing?
Captain Hammer
124. Randalator
RobMRobM @123

Is it just me or did that last part sound really dirty...?
Tricia Irish
125. Tektonica
Hey RobM:

Re: ToM predictions....I love the idea, but wonder if the reread threads might be more useful. I know it's not right, but.....

A. We could avoid talking about the plod and succession and SWMNBN.....of course, there is Mat coming up! Wheeeee.

B. I have a very fast computer and DSL and it takes forever to load that monster.
It might deter commenting....just sayin'.....

Terez & Jonathan: I wish I'd studied piano instead of classical organ. Pianos are much more widely available, and I think a better all 'round musical education. Rattling the rafters in church was fun though. It was a challenge to see how fast I could get those people out of their pews and out the door!
Marcus W
126. toryx
Jonathan Levy @ 115:

There were a lot of things that bothered me about TGS but Perrin calling "NEXT" didn't seem odd to me at all. He was working and he's always a lot more at his ease while he's doing that. Besides, he's changed quite a bit as a result of the current Plot of Pain and Suffering For All.

Randalator @ 124:

You're not alone!
Rob Munnelly
127. RobMRobM
@126. Is it just me or did that last part with Randalator sound really dirty...?
Jonathan Levy
128. JonathanLevy
At least can I have a cute girl next door with whom I can whisper confidences through a hole in the wall and do some illegal private practicing?
She can be your friend as long as you have a pillow and are willing to use it!


Dirty enough?
Rob Munnelly
129. RobMRobM
Tek - problem with the re-read threads are that we open up new ones twice per week. It would be hard to keep all of the comments in the same place or to keep track of the scattered comments. Thus, best option would be the open thread (even if it is a monster) or ask Torie/Pab to open a new one.


p.s. Is it just me or did that last part about playing with your organ sound really dirty...?
James Jones
131. jamesedjones
107 subwoofer
As for Perrin getting a bead on Rand... simple, all the guy has to do is think of Rand and he gets a visual image. Babble that to a well traveled AS and voilà, instant low jack on the Dragon.
Heck yeah! And they saved 5 bucks!

116 cavynmaicl
That is awesome, although not celebratory.
I dunno. I mean, throughout the series (since the third book) we've got these Aiel that, although they may be impressed by our young heroes, have never seen any wetlander as something scary. It's the difference between acknowledging that someone has some honor, and realizing that they are bloody, flaming, swallop on a stick scary. The aiel with Perrin have never known anyone to whip out that much shame in just a few moments.

I celebrated it a little.
Tricia Irish
132. Tektonica

I said "classical organ"...LOL.
This thread has really gone in the gutter.;-)
134. Freelancer
Since we're talking about white, question of the day:

Who will give in when Berelain and Galad hook up?

Will Galad learn to put something else ahead of his legalistic sense of right?

Will Berelain learn to put anything ahead of her own selfish appetites?

Or does Min's viewing that a man in white will make her fall head over heels just mean that she's riding with Galad when his horse rears, and throws her on her head, breaking her pretty neck?

Stay tuned.
Lucas Vollmer
135. aspeo
Jonathon Levy@115

All this Perrin discussion reminded me of the one scene of his we have in tGS - when he's lying in the mud inspecting wagon wheels, and shouting "NEXT!" to people as if he was a clerk in the post office. Mind you, this is the same Perrin who cringes whenever someone calls him 'Lord'.

That whole scene struck me as completely artificial and way off-key. I was completely sure it was Sanderson (and not Jordan), though recent revelations regarding the prologue have shaken my confidence in my ability to tell them apart. Anyway, I was wondering if other people had the same reaction.

I couldn't tell the difference between what was written by RJ and what was written by BS. I will admit that I purposely just tried to read the story, and tried not to look for differences that would point to which author wrote which part. I guess I didn't see a good reason for looking beyond mild curiosity.

Maybe on my next re-read I will see things that I didn't the first time which will jump out as different styles, but I doubt that I will look very hard.
Roger Powell
136. forkroot
I never could understand why the expression "head over heels" implies some sort of loss of balance. It seems to me that when I walk, my head is over my heels either directly or close to it. Shouldn't the expression be something more like "heels over head"?
137. AppleBrandy
I hate hate HATE Berelain in these chapters. The guy's married, so he's hands off. It seems that even the Ebou Dari understand that much.

When she said the thing about him being the prize in a game, he should have said "the game is over, Faile won, and there's nothing that will ever change that."
Ron Garrison
138. Man-0-Manetheran
aspeo@28 re. Berelain’s 2 or 200: “She probably does a lot of leading men on, and playing different factions of them against each other and getting them to leave Mayene alone in the meantime.” I agree that she can probably manipulate men better by offering them the possibility of sleeping with her than by actually committing the act.

shrewgoddess@50: Interesting interpretation of the “truce” scene, and it makes sense. The Game of Houses is all about illusive behavior - doing something that seems one thing while actually having an opposite or different result.

Favorite DUN line in these chapters: “Nothing mattered more than the falcon.” Emphasis RJ’s.

aside to RobMRobM@133: Tek said “classical” not “classy.”
Tom Burton
139. Conky
I just thought up a kooky theory while reading KoD. I don't know if it's been discussed yet, but I thought it would be cool if Slayer got a hold of Perrin's axe, so that when Perrin eventually does battle with him, not only will it be Wolf King vs his alter-ego, and wolves vs shadowhounds, but also the hammer vs the axe. Kooky, and probably way off, but cool if it happens. And since Slayer is talented at moving through tel'aran'rhiod he could find the axe using need.
diane heath
141. jadelollipop
And...13.4% from the last scene. Book length is 320,286 words. 42,614 words cut. 11.7%. About 5k more than KoD; 4th longest in the series.

Spellcheck done... .Now, Team Jordan comments

From Brandon Sanderson on FB
Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
cavynmiacl @113 - You come very close to one of the points I hold about this plot (I wouldn't agree with your statement that it's the only redeeming thing). He had to realize that he can do what is necessary; he can hate doing it, and it makes quite clear to him that he will never enjoy it, but he will do it if needed. The other thing he needed to learn about it is that he'll never do it except in extreme circumstance - and the Last Battle is going to be about as extreme as life ever gets. But more on that later.

Randalator @114 - freeing his wife from slavery is petty? Wow. Incidentally, in the process of rescuing her, he freed more than 100,000 other people. They may not have been his goal, but once freed he takes responsibility for them - feeding and providing for them until they can get back to some sort of civilization and return to what's left of normality.

The point is, the events during this plot are not particularly awesome - they're dull, or unpleasant, or irritating, or downright disgusting. It's the result that was needed, awesome or not. In this particular regard, let me quote from TGS:
Now that he seized upon it, he realized that was a part of what was bothering him. Not the whole of it, but some, tied in with what was troubling him. Even now that Faile had returned.

He hadn't been a good leader lately. He'd never been a model one, of course, not even when Faile had been there to guide him. But during her absence, he'd been worse. Far worse. He'd ignored his orders from Rand, ignored everything, all to get her back.

But what else was a man supposed to do? His wife had been kidnapped!

He'd saved her. But in doing so, he'd abandoned everyone else. And because of him, men were dead. Good men. Men who had trusted in him.
These are the kinds of self-realizations Perrin needs. And he needs it now, before the Last Battle, when far more than these few hundred warriors and hundred thousand captives are depending on him.

Incidentally, elsewhere in the chapter he is horrified by how much he liked the killing during the battle - even though he partially recognizes that the enjoyment was due to finally being able to do something, and not the actually killing for its own sake. This, too, is something he needs to learn about himself.

Jonathan Levy @115 - Not at all - as you can tell, since I just quoted extensively from that chapter. FWIW, Brandon didn't create any scenes in TGS; he simply put the flesh on the bones provided by RJ when necessary. So his wording and turns of phrase might be different, but the basics of the scene are RJ's. From what I've heard of Team Jordan, I think they sometimes deliberately tweaked the stuff already written (not in the Prologue, but elsewhere) so that it wouldn't be obvious and so that it would flow more smoothly in the larger narrative. (Also FWIW, in rereading it, I loved the way Tam would call Perrin "my Lord" in front of other people, but in a personal conversation would call him "Perrin" - with no less respect, but more comfortably for Perrin - and both provided the necessary support and encouragement for him.)

Shimrod @118 - Don't try playing dumb, because I know you're not. :) In any case, I'm not the one trying to stampede over her values just for a little fun. And disagreeing with someone's standards is not the same as refusing to respect their right to hold them or treating them as childish and meaningless. Besides, I'm right and she's wrong. :p

ValMar @120 - Lack of respect for other cultures is endemic in this series (purposefully, of course); the Aiel and the Sea Folk are probably the most blatant offenders as a whole, and make me want to bite people. They both tend to show completely unwarranted contempt for anyone who doesn't live by their particular values; even the times when a leader corrects someone by saying "they don't live by our standards" there's a hint of patronizing tone to it. This particular situation probably irritates me more than those, because it's so personal and so unnecessary. As far as Perrin's & Faile's mutual respect (and sometimes lack thereof) - it's part of marriage to work those things out. Since they have taken marriage vows, they have committed themselves to dealing with those issues. That's very different than an outsider coming on to him with deliberate intent to make him break those vows. Re: girl fights - they were both being stupid, though I certainly never read any intent to murder. Certainly we all treat one another badly from time to time, whether intentionally or accidentally; that's different than a deliberate, continual and unrelenting campaign to interfere with someone else in an area where you have no business.

Freelancer @134 - I pick door #3. :)

aspeo @135 - ...I purposely just tried to read the story, and tried not to look for differences that would point to which author wrote which part. I'm with you!!! It's a fine story, and well told. I don't really want to know who put the muscles and skin on the bones in any scene.

Conky @139 - Hey, I like it.
143. Rand Al'Todd
Only up to comment 53, but gotta go back to work, so I don't have time to see if anyone else commented on this.

SEVERAL posters have commented about Berelain and the rumors as if they were a reaction to Perrin's comments about the truce she offered "this morning" after he woke up.

WRONG! This may all be her reaction to his rejection comments "yesterday" but it certainly is not based on his comments this morning.

Please note that the rumor was already widely dispersed throughout the camp BEFORE Perrin even woke up. Berelain knew EXACTLY what she was doing by having him brought into HER tent. Someone commented that people in the camp should have seen/noted his condition when Perrin was brought in and known that he was not in shape for hanky-panky, but those would have been the ones by her tent - HER Mayeners. So they are all laughing because they know that nothing happened but they also know that everyone else in the camp will conclude exactly what Berlain WANTS them to think. (In otherwords, her camp sees this as her victory -or at least scoring points - and is cheering her on.)

And of course she can claim additional points for offering a truce NOW - AFTER all the damage has been done.

And why - Because of her "Ogier's Oath" to "win" in her little ego battle with Faile.
andrew smith
145. sillyslovene
SO, here's some random thoughts that I had on the Perrin-Faile relationship, mixed with some other thoughts on themes throughout the rest of the series:

Faile's Worldview:
Many seem to think that it is suspicious of Faile, and perhaps indicative of DarkFriendedness, that she is bent on taking Perrin out of Rand's circle of friends/confidants or is essentially trying to weaken their connection. Yet, in some ways, this could be seen simply a result of her general world view: Faile understands the world in terms of hierarchical, somewhat military, vassalage. Raised in the borderlands where it is abundantly clear that everyone knows how to fight and how to lead and be led in that fight against the Blight, and more importantly, raised at the top of the hierarchy in charge of leading that fight, Faile will see the world through the lens of oaths, fealty, and promises of vassalage. This is one of the reasons she is so ready and willing to take part in Perrin gaining Queen Alliandre, and others, as a vassal, as well as why she has the proper responses and all memorized to recite to Perrin. She understands this area very well.

Where this causes problems is that she has no real comprehension of a friend-based loyalty system without vassalage. Therefore, she "knows" that Perrin cannot be beholden to Rand because he is simply a friend, not a vassal. She frankly doesn't understand at all how Perrin is tied to Rand (something I think we all forget having our limited omniscient viewpoint of the whole affair). Therefore, in her mind there is nothing wrong with trying to keep Perrin from Rand because he has no oath or bond keeping them in a loyalty arrangement. On top of this, she knows that they are childhood friends and Rand is a "dangerous" channeler, doomed to go mad and kill all those who are close to him. Why wouldn't she want Perrin as far away as possible? She might also have some concept that those close to Rand might also become targets for assassination.

Again then, this will strain the relationship between them because Perrin is unable to fully communicate exactly how and why Rand needs him to Faile- she only sees friendly feelings of kinship, not cosmic need- and she will be intent on keeping him safe. This needs to be established in their relationship just as much as Perrin needed to accept that he will have to let her go into danger when necessary.

This is all tied in with the fact that Perrin and Faile both need to have the same realization that Siuan and Gareth discuss in tGS: that some oaths and responsibilities trump others.
This seems to be a theme running through almost all of the character arcs of the series- figuring out which of your oaths and responsibilities are the most important: Siuan/Gareth, Egwene and the White Tower, Gawyn deciding between Andor and White Tower,and Egwene or Elayne, Rand and the world, Mat and his armies. In some ways it is related to the other theme of accepting responsibilities.

Another theme seen here also though is the fact that the younguns are having loads of trouble with things that their elders (meaning the older characters) in many respects have already figured out, and fail to correctly counsel with them and learn from their past experience.

The end of this all is, I think, that part of Perrin's problem is that he has wrapped his guilt over not following the cosmic need and responsibilities RE Rand into his relationship with his wife. He rejected all his responsibilities to go after his wife, and thus, his relationship with his wife suffers because of his guilt for not fulfilling his responsibilities. If he had simply looked at the problem and rationalized to himself that destroying the Shaido leadership would help Rand ultimately, he might not be in this place. Gladly, since tGS, he has started to realize that he must get back to help Rand, and even his wife's wishes are secondary to that overall responsibility.

However, that doesn't really help us while we read through these chapters where we see him making all the wrong moves and throwing cosmic responsibility to the wind.
Kurt Lorey
146. Shimrod
@142 wetlandernw

Still, remember who escalated this whole thing way back when - the fiery Saldaean farmgirl, Faile. And, it's Faile who expects Perrin to get involved in something she started. Girl, fight your own battles!

Maybe Perrin should have found himself a nice girl from, oh say, Far Madding. Much simpler. Chain of command quite clear there.

"Besides, I'm right and she's wrong."

What a girl thing to say.

Ducks for cover. Wishes the bunker were closer. Hopes body armor suffices.

Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
Shimrod - Sorry, it was completely irresistable. One of those times when it's worth becoming target practice.

I always put on my rhinocerous-hide tunic and my cuendillar armor before I say things like that, naturally.
Theresa Gray
148. Terez27
Jonathan Levy@119 - I don't own a piano. I have a digital keyboard that will serve when I'm in a pinch, but for now I practice on school pianos, usually a Kawai in my teacher's office, but every now and then I practice on a nice Steinway D, just to remind myself what it's like to feel like a real musician.

I didn't mention 10/12 because you had already listed it in your favorites, and because I've never really worked on it. It's also very over-played, not so much that I hate it like 9/2, but enough to keep me from adding it to a recital program. I also LOVE 10/11, but it's a bit intimidating. I should work on it (and 25/10) before I try to tackle the 48/1 nocturne.

Also, you don't have to bang on 25/11 while you're practicing. ;) I often practice it at p.

As for 55/1...the section you speak of is a little tricky in that the pedal isn't always best used on the downbeat.

Rob@121 - My 7-yo beginning student can do that. She's quite proud of it, too, and insists she wants to learn the whole piece. Her older cousin, age 13, is having enough trouble with it, though...

Tek@125 - I am teaching myself organ now. I get to sneak in the school's recital hall in the night sometimes and practice. :D
Rob Munnelly
149. RobMRobM
I did it at 7 years old too. Haven't made any progress since then....
150. AppleBrandy
Yes, the whole "our culture is the only way to view everything" is especially annoying after the SuperGirls had their whole "you have to understand and deal with other cultures, not judge them based upon your own" thing in the early books. The whole "every culture is equal, but yours sucks" thing is overplayed.
Alice Arneson
151. Wetlandernw
AppleBrandy - I don't know that it's actually overplayed, although it can feel that way. In my experience, it's pretty realistic; to have people really accept one another's cultural quirks freely and unquestioningly would be a bit naive (at best). Part of the problem is that no matter how much you're willing to accept someone's cultural oddities, you simply don't know them all, and you're going to continually be blown out by something completely unexpected. Going both ways.

So while I agree and admit that I get really irritated with certain contemptuous or patronizing attitudes, it's still ::shudder:: understandable.

*sigh* Why did I have to be a Grey?
Tricia Irish
152. Tektonica

A good description of Perrin's lessons and his attendant guilt. Sheds some needed light on Faile's motivations as well. Well put.

You are in danger of becoming as "Grey" as Wetlander!
153. AndrewB
Wetlandernw @151 asked: "*sigh* Why did I have to be a Grey?"

By Grey, are you refering to your Ajah? :)

Thanks for reading my musings.
James Hogan
155. Sonofthunder
^^Shortest Wetlander post OF ALL TIME??

Sam Mickel
156. Samadai

Wetlander is going to get you for that. with a really ultra super long post about how Cadsuane and Faile are the true heroes of the book.
Roger Powell
157. forkroot
OK - Nobody goes to the Open Spoiler thread anymore and this thread is quiet ... so I'm going to speculate on ToM/AMoL here.

I had a thought about Demandred's mystery armies: What if he's actually become the ruler of a nation in one of the Portal worlds? Perhaps his armies all show up with Dreadlords channeling at various Portal Stones?

It would not be completely unprecedented ... after all, we know the Seanchan brought in their exotic beasts from Portal worlds.
Bonnie Andrews
158. misfortuona

How do we know this? I always thought the exotic beasts were simply from Seanchan. I thought the reason that they showed up in the portal worlds was because the Seanchan, or the DO, held sway in those worlds.

Valentin M
160. ValMar
So, broadly speaking we are in agreement. It also bugs me more than usual because it's so personal and so unnecessary, to use your apt words.

I'm playing Devil's Advocate for Berelain not to excuse her actions with Perrin and Faile. I am just pointing out various mitigating factors. These factors mean for me that our Hawk, like most other characters in WOT has done much to cause us "head-desking" but this is just one part of her character. Hence, I am not calling her a harlot, etc.
I am getting the vibe that Berelain's indiscretion is especially abominable in some eyes here. And certain amount of restraint has been exercised in the posts. This I appreciate because it's a must for a decent discussion.

PS Wetlander, given your relaxed attitude to knife assault, it must be one hell of a neighbourhood that you live in. The Rahad?
Sam Mickel
161. Samadai
Can't somebody write a story and post it on here. I'm bored
162. Freelancer

Slayer doesn't know the Aiel Need Hunt method, or he wouldn't have missed Rand & Min in Far Madding. And as for him being the logical opponent for Perrin, that gets somewhat mixed up. Slayer's love for killing wolves in T'a'R, and his presence in the Two Rivers when Perrin was there, are the only things which tie them together. Rand and Lan both have larger claims to him, each being a blood relative to one of Slayer's source entities. Luc is Rand's uncle, Isam is Lan's cousin. So really, who should Slayer face off with in the Last Battle? I'd always hoped that Lan killing Isam should be the prelude to the restoration of Malkier.

That said, Perrin has a ton yet to learn about maneuvering in the Wolf Dream, and must learn, before he can fulfill his true role supporting Rand. Hopefully, along with everything else he's come to realize recently, he'll fully accept the Wolf within and begin truly taking advantage of it.

I'm still waiting for Rand, Egwene, and Perrin to consciously meet in T'a'R, knowing it's real, and discover how much they can prepare that way.

Rand Al'Todd@143

Yepyep, afraid that's the truth.
Tess Laird
164. thewindrose
Samadai wrote:
Can't somebody write a story and post it on here. I'm bored

That would be you sir;)!

I am waiting for the T'a'R meet up and the color-o-gram meet up:)

Richard Chapling
166. Chappers

It's in the BBoBA, for one thing (section on Seanchan exotic animals). Don't think it's mentioned in the series proper.
Thomas Keith
167. insectoid
JL @122, et al: You guys are a riot! (Can't laugh much, cause I'll start coughing, but I'm doing my best.)

Enjoying the classical music talk; I have a lot of favorites (Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky for the most part), but the one that comes to my mind at the moment is Dvorák's Symphony No. 9. Not too familiar with Chopin, except for one of his Nocturnes (forget which one). (Tried learning piano when I was a kid, but it didn't pan out.)

Sam @161/Wind @164: And the Verin-through-the-Portal-Stones POV. ;)

EDIT: Because I forgot Tor.com doesn't like Unicode. Grr.

Roger Powell
168. forkroot
I think it's mentioned somewhere in the BBoBA that the exotic beasts of Seanchan came from the Portal worlds. They were used in the campaign that exterminated the Shadowspawn from the Seanchan equivalent of the Blight.

(Looks like Chappers beat me to this)
Sam Mickel
169. Samadai
My mistake, of course I would be happy to post a story.
let's see where did I put that one about Masema, Faile Cadsuane, Berelain, and Fain?
Bonnie Andrews
170. misfortuona
Chappers@166 and forkroot @168 (Waves)
Ask and you shall receive. Thank you. I guess I should pick up the BBoBA.

Naughty Sam!! :D

Mis-needed an excuse to buy another book anyway
Rob Munnelly
171. RobMRobM
@169, You mean the one about the steel cage match?
Valentin M
172. ValMar
No need to worry with that. You may rob Wetlander from her chance to write an essay in defence of Berelain. Although an easier subjects, like Fain or Masema may have to be attempted first ;)
Theresa Gray
173. Terez27
Insectoid@167 - A lot of people aren't familiar with Chopin because he only wrote for piano. There are a very few things he wrote for piano and other instruments, but those works are not among his most popular, with the exception of the concertos and the cello sonata (the latter of which is mostly only popular with cellists and pianists who are into chamber music), but everything he wrote involves the piano as the featured instrument, even the cello sonata. So, only people who listen to piano music are familiar with Chopin. The fact that he is nevertheless counted among the great composers certainly says a great deal about him; he should have been completely trivialized for his unwillingness to branch out by now, if not for his genius.
174. Sillystring Sedai

I'm a long time lurker and really enjoy this thread, Since people were talking about stories, there's one I like from Fanfiction.com. This is especially good if you're wondering what Moiraine is doing in Finnland.

The link is:


Or you could link to fanfiction.com and search for wheel of time stories.

I'm curious what you think.
175. AndrewB
Forkroot & Chappers?

Is BBoBA 100% WoT cannon? I seem to recall reading/hearing somewhere, that the BBoBA is not 100% accurate. The information written in there is from the perspective of WoT historians (i.e. they may not realize that some of the information is inaccurate).

BTW, I am not saying that RJ screwed up. Rather, the annonymous WoT author got it wrong.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Alice Arneson
176. Wetlandernw
AndrewB @175 - You are correct. However, in the absence of other info and particularly depending on the subject, there's a fair amount that is correct, or might as well be for purposes of argument. But that's why everyone caveats 'from the BBOBA' when they quote it.

And if you want to search it but not buy it (misfortuona), try this. It's incomplete, but it helps.
Thomas Keith
177. insectoid
Sillystring Sedai @174: That's hilarious! May be slightly OOC for Moir, but entertaining nonetheless! Great name, BTW!

Exclamation marks FTW! ;)

178. Freelancer

If you are expecting a fanfic in defense of Berelain from Wetlandernw, I'd wager you have a long wait ahead of you. Holding your breath?
Tricia Irish
179. Tektonica
Sillystring Sedai@174:

That was fun! Loved all the subtle info that Z. brought in. But why no Rand? Why did they stop? It seems this was done quite awhile ago...

Thanks for the link.....and welcome to the Bunker.
Scott Terrio
180. Renegade248
Yes, the link to the fanfic is great. Thanks.

Sorry all, do not have much to say on these two chapters. Leigh has just about said all I wanted to.
181. Freelancer
Sam, I've a story for you, if you're still bored.

Gawyn was not Compelled. The End.
Alice Arneson
182. Wetlandernw
Just had a Duh! moment... Of course, one reason so many people like to think Gawyn was Compelled is that he was pretty likeable in the first books, and then became a stubborn goop. It's nicer to think that someone Compelled him than that he couldn't handle the stress, or that he had this foolishness in him all the time.
Theresa Gray
183. Terez27
I don't believe he was Compelled, but I do think it likely that he met Fain in Tar Valon. Fain does like to make inroads with important people (and Gawyn being the son of a queen is pretty far up in the 'important' list), and also, Gawyn had an unnatural curiosity about Rand from the beginning. If he happened to learn that Fain knew Rand, he would have certainly been interested in talking to him. All we know of Gawyn's activities during the time Fain was in Tar Valon is that he was leading skirmishes against the Whitecloaks outside the city. It would certainly explain why he skipped over shock or disbelief and went straight to hate when he heard the rumor of his mother's death.
Heidi Byrd
184. sweetlilflower
So, I went to that fan fiction website and I just have one thought: there is some REALLY BAD stuff out there. I assumed it would be good and well-thought out like the stuff that's been posted here, but it really stinks! Admittedly, I did not read everything. There is a slight chance that there was some redeaming material amidst all of that drivel. But...WOW!!!!
Liz J
185. Ellisande
Since you said the magic word ... let me jump out of lurkerdom and say Hi. I've been catching up on the reread for the past two weeks since being linked to tor.com for something else.... and I felt all my old fannish love oozing back! it was awesome!

But since there's nothing like self-promotion to cut the ice (it's quiet anyway, that's my excuse!), I just posted my Manetheren story to ff.net if anyone's looking for something long and sad to read. I wrote it back in 07 as a gift and forgot to put it at ff.net until you reminded me about it. It's called "The Honor of the Red Eagle".

Otherwise, about me: My favorite character is Min. I love Rand, too, no matter what. My least favorite book is COT. I used to lurk at rasfwrj and had an unhealthy obsession with the WOTFAQ. I once attended a Darkfriend Social back in, um, a long time ago (95? maybe? Does the fandom do those?). I went to a signing once where I managed to ask NO intelligent questions at all. If I can get my books out of storage, I hope to join in the discussion again because it looks really fun.
Theresa Gray
186. Terez27
sweetlilflower@184 - the bad thing about fanfiction is that anyone can write it. ANYONE. Every 14-year-old girl that dreams of being a writer has posted a story or 50 to ff.net, knowing she will have at least one or two fans who will read absolutely anything that has to do with the characters of that particular niche. There are no editors. The only editors are beta readers that are often the 14-year-old friends of the 14-year-old author. There is some really, really good fanfic out there, even on ff.net, but you have to wade through a lot of crap to find it, and even the good stuff often could stand some editing.

PS - the good thing is that it usually only takes a paragraph or two, if that, to know if something is crap. Every now and then you have to read a whole chapter to figure out whether or not you like something, but the serious crap is blatant from the get-go.

PPS - Seriously. I could write a story about Lini falling in love with Balwer (I read that somewhere recently, forget where - here?) and I would get at least one review saying ZOMG I ALWAYS WANTED 2 READ A LINIxBALWER STORY OMFG I LUV U!!!!1 PLZ RITE MORE!!!!!!!11
Theresa Gray
187. Terez27
Ellisande@185 - YES, we do meet up, though no one calls them Darkfriend Socials any more that I know of, lol. They have a tendency to be site-specific; Dragonmount has its own meets, Theoryland has its own meets, and this site has probably had a few as well, etc. But then there is JordanCon. I guess that is like an integrated fandom meet, and I imagine DragonCon serves a similar purpose despite being buried in one of the world's biggest cons (or perhaps it will actually attract more WoT fans because of that). I enjoyed the tarvalon.net people at JordanCon; what they do is so different than what Theoryland does that I had no idea who any of them were, but the ones I met were nice and interesting people. Linda of 13th Depository came all the way from Australia. I don't recall talking to any Dragonmount people there for long, but I did get to meet Muirenn; she was really sweet. I am typically not sweet, but I do like sweet people. Theoryland dominated the trivia competitions.
188. alreadymadwithfanfiction
Re: fanfiction thingy
Terez is right. Heck most times you can tell something is crap just by how they writhe the summary(pun totally intended). And always watch out for certain catchwords. You can find yourself wading into Valda x Bornhald if you don't.

There are good ones from writers who've been around. But for the most part, most of these are just kids who know they want to write before knowing which end of a paragraph should go first. Good I guess that they're motivated, but don't blame them if they've got a ways to go before becoming the likes of RJ or BWS. Besides the average age of posters on this thread is much higher than that of your average fanfic writer. Better educated too, I'd bet.
Valentin M
189. ValMar

Nah, I ain't holding it. I suspect I'll be found slumped on top of my keyboard, face blue. It was joking/sniping kind of comment. And I personally don't really need it, I've got my entrenched ideas on Berelain's +/- qualities.

Re Gawyn and reasons why he "changed". About compelling, I agree with Wetlander, probably wishfull thinking. Not really necessary and no direct evidence.
About Fain. Again, nothing mentioned in the text which may suggest it. We had enough POVs from Fain and Gaah!!!wyn. I think it's RJ style to sneak a line here or there to show that this is the case (same re compelling). Like with Thom's assassination in Cairhien.
OTOH, paranoia, mistrust, assuming the worst about people, etc, are characteristics amplified by Fain's influence. But Gaah!!!wyn doesn't experience them towards anyone else, except Rand.
Marcus W
190. toryx
wetlandernw @ 182:

Just had a Duh! moment... Of course, one reason so many people like to think Gawyn was Compelled is that he was pretty likeable in the first books, and then became a stubborn goop.

That's exactly it, I think. Personally, I think a lot of people can seem like fine, jolly chaps who I'd love to be friends with but the minute they get put in a high-pressure situation things change. People respond differently to various situations and something as radical as his entire world flipping upside down and inside out can utterly change a person's personality. There's no need for outside influences in that sort of scenario.

But a lot of people who haven't dealt with that sort of experience have no way of knowing that. RJ certainly would though.
Joseph Blaidd
191. SteelBlaidd
Re Fan fiction
Remember Sturgeon's Law: 90% of EVERYTHING is crap.

And Gawyn is perfectly capable of being impulsive and pig headed on his own.
192. Freelancer
It is completely reasonable that Fain had contact with Gawyn during his time in Tar Valon, and certainly that would have amplified any suspicous and angry response to bad news. But that is later.

The "Gawyn was Compelled" theory is used to explain his decision to side with Elaida in the Tower Coup, and against the Amyrlin whom both his sister and his incipient love interest have sided with. Those events occurred prior to Fain's arrival in Tar Valon, so he cannot be blamed yet. Proponents of the theory suggest that Gawyn would otherwise never have fought against his own teachers.

In the TSR-17 re-read post (not incidentally one of Leigh's best, including being her notorious "Haiku" post), I tried only semi-successfully to draw out the "Gawyn was Compelled" crowd by raising the suggestion. However, most of the ensuing discussion/debate focused on Gawyn's unimpacted mental & emotional competence.
Sam Mickel
193. Samadai
The night had finally settled into the land, when the storm hit. He fought his way through the howling winds. The bitter sleet tore at his face and hands. The gloom of blackness of the night made his soul quake. The torturous cold settled down deep into his flesh. The very night seemed as if it was meant to be torture for him alone. At last the inn just ahead.
As he opened the door to the inn and stepped in he heard. "Gawyn, what brings you out on a sorry night like this? Tis enough to kill a hardy soul." Gawyn replied, "that's nothing Rory, you should hear what the fans have to say about me."
Bonnie Andrews
194. misfortuona
Thanks for the entertainment Sam!!

195. MasterAlThor
why does everyone, or nearly everyone, have such a problem with Gawyn? Is it because no one understands his motivations?

I don't get it....color me clueless.


BTW Nice Sam
a a-p
200. lostinshadow
The way Gawyn was initially set up, he seemed like the fun/male version of Elayne. Aware of his responsibilities, possibly a bit full of himself but nice, likable, treats the common man well, etc. Galad was set up (largely due to Elayne's complaints) as the gorgeous but stick in the mud who was too responsible, no fun and always did the right thing (meaning he possibly missed the spirit of the law while following the letter of the law)

For myself at least, I liked Gawyn right off the bat because he was so nice to Rand the first time they met.

And then several books later, for no obvious reason (and we can say things like he doesn't react well to being under stress, was compelled, thought he was protecting the WT, etc but we don't actually see why he suddenly seems to flip out into this emotionally unstable dork) he turns against the Amirlyn his sister supports and -- more importantly for the omniscent reader here -- he turns against Rand.

I think most readers dislike Gawyn because he turns against Rand for no real reason that we can see.

He then stays with the WT even after figuring out that they tried to kill him, doesn't listen to the woman he claims to love, doesn't use any of that apparent niceness and rationality he seemed to possess in the beginning to bother thinking. Which makes it even worse.

But really, deep down I think it's cause he wants to kill Rand.

Edit: *twitch* 200 *twwwitchhhhhh*
201. bluecansam
@MasterAlThor - I can tell you my personal opinion, but from comments I’ve read, I believe my opinion is fairly common.

Essentially, though, it’s that, in the beginning, Gawyn came off as a nice guy, level headed and smart, so on and so forth, but then, in the beginning of LoC, knowing how rumor distorts things, he is all-of-a-sudden willing to believe something negative about Rand at the drop of a hat. Even when Egwene, the woman he loves and supposedly respects, tells him he’s being an idiot, he’s willing to believe some random peddler over her. And later, when Min tells him that Elayn loves him, he continues his bullheaded, irrational beliefs, later saying something like, “And if what Min said was true, about Elayne loving Althor, that was even more reason to hate the man.” What sense does that make?

I think, in a way, it comes off as being a bit of a betrayal to the reader, who, ‘til that point, actually was sympathetic to Gawyn. Sure, he helped depose Siuan, which will turn off Siuan fans, but, in that situation, it is easy to understand his motivations, and to even feel a little sorry for him.

But, in the books from LoC and after, he comes off as not respecting the women he supposedly loves, drawing erroneous conclusions not even based in logic, and thinking he knows best. In short, he has no motivations to understand. Of course, I can just be overly harsh with a character I, admittedly, don’t like at all.
Lisa Keefe
202. fledge
@lostinshadow 200
I also instantly liked Gawyn when he was introduced. I think because I liked him so well, reading about him becoming more and more of an emotional retard almost makes me dislike like him more than if he had started out that way. I wonder if we had more insight to why and how he disintegrates so rapidly, if we would have more sympathy for him. *fingers crossed he redeems himself in the future*
vo mabulay
203. alreadymad
fledge @202
Retard suggests he somehow did not grow properly to begin with. However we do see growth. Just in the opposite direction. An emotional regression, or devolution of sorts.
Rob Munnelly
204. RobMRobM
@202-03 - gentle suggestion to avoid the term "retard," which has generated significant and sometimes testy back and forth earlier this Spring. I'd prefer not to re-live those days....

205. Dholton
I came to this thread late, so I know that the subject of this one is a bit of water under the bridge at this point. But I find I have the need to rebut the opinions being expressed against the Three Oaths.

I freely acknowledge all the weaknesses, limitations and problems with the Oaths that others have raised time and time again. But I thought I'd shine some light on their advantages.

1) The Oaths are in essence a Mission Statement. As Egwene (or Siuan?) says, "the Three Oaths are what make us Aes Sedai" rather than being a bunch of power hungry channelers (shut up, I know some still are).

The Oaths as Mission Statement(not in order):

2nd Oath: It's essentially saying the Aes Sedai will not create Weapons of Mass Destruction. "We will not Break the world again" (not a quote, but a summary).

3rd Oath: The Aes Sedai are pledging that they will not misuse the One Power. They will use it only in defense except to fight the evil of the Dark One.

1st Oath: Ultimately, when the chips are down, the Aes Sedai stand for Truth. Sure they mislead, lie by omission, but fundamentally, they believe in and stand on the side of Truth. ("What is truth? asked Pontius Pilate and washed his hands...")

Collectively, the Oaths are a set of fundamental beliefs and dedication to a higher purpose.

2) The Oaths are a set of checks and balances that allow the Aes Sedai to exist as an organization of super humans separate from but a part of normal society. There are other solutions (see Aiel, Seafolk et al), but those involve social integration. As a separate organization, they have dedicated themselves to the protection and guidance (ahem!)of humanity as a whole. The danger, is that there must be some form of accountability, and the Oaths provide it. Without them, Randland would be like pre-Luthair Pendragon Seanchan continent: chaos, with channeling warlords (warladies?) fighting continually. Or see Psycorps, Babylon 5.

3) They are a sacrifice on the part of the Aes Sedai, a symbol of their dedication and service to humanity. The fact that they now know the Oaths shorten their lives make it even more so.

In combination, the Oaths give the Aes Sedai a moral authority that is significant, allow them to coexist with normal society without fear of pitchforks and torches, and allow them to dedicate themselves to purpose beyond their own needs.
206. Dholton

Aagh, wrong thread, will copy it to correct one, sorry.
Sean Arthur
207. wsean
Yeah, this is possibly the worst part of the whole PLOD--Perrin's group getting turned against him by stupid rumors.

Argh. I can accept Berelain being irritating and refusing to give up the chase... but ruining Perrin's reputation, and thus his ability to lead his army, is unforgivable. Sorry Berelain, you're a jerk.

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