Aug 17 2010 2:58pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 10

It was the summer of 2010, y’all – the summer we went to the Wheel of Time Re-read, and I had the time of my life. Never felt this way!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 13 and 14 of Winter’s Heart, in which we have veiled references, exploding rodents, and I channel my inner Patrick Swayze. Just like any other Tuesday!

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 now, the post!

Chapter 13: Wonderful News

What Happens
Cadsuane sits in the sunroom of the Sun Palace and wishes she could bite someone as Harine din Togara demands again the return of her Windfinder, Shalon. The Sea Folk ignore Eben when he offers them wine, and Daigian leads him away with an amused smile to play cat’s cradle in the corner. Cadsuane answers Harine absently, concentrating more on watching Nesune, Sarene, Erian, Beldeine and Elza, and wondering what could have caused them to swear fealty to the al’Thor boy without being in the presence of a ta’veren to influence them; she is not sure she believes the rationales they themselves have given her any longer. As Harine continues to rant, Sorilea and Verin enter; Sorilea is giving Verin a sleeping potion, and warning her that an overdose can be fatal. Harine then leans forward and taps Cadsuane’s cheek to get her attention, insisting that Cadsuane listen to her; Cadsuane considers making her cry, but instead calmly repeats back all the imperious demands and threats Harine had made.

“Good,” Harine said, leaning back comfortably, in command now. Her smile was sickeningly self-satisfied. “You will learn that—”

“I do not care a fig for your Coramoor,” Cadsuane continued, her voice still mild. All the figs in the world for the Dragon Reborn, but not one for the Coramoor. She did not alter her tone by a hair. “If you ever touch me again without permission, I will have you stripped, striped, bound and carried back to your rooms in a sack.” Well, diplomacy had never been her strongest point. “If you do not cease pestering me about your sister… Well, I might actually grow angry.”

Ignoring the Sea Folk’s splutters, Cadsuane tells Sarene to escort them back to their room, and to “spank them both” if they are uncivil. Harine seems about to explode, but her Sailmistress Derah talks her down, and they leave. Cadsuane goes to greet Sorilea, who tells her that the last remaining four sisters of the nineteen prisoners taken at Dumai’s Wells have asked to swear to the Car’a’carn. Cadsuane wonders aloud what could make even the Red sisters do so, and Sorilea only answers that they will be made apprentices like all the others. Cadsuane hopes that Sorilea will have them watched, especially the Reds.

She was sure they would keep that ridiculous oath, if not always in ways the boy would like, but there was always the possibility that one or two might be Black Ajah. Once she had thought herself on the point of rooting out the Black only to watch her quarry slip through her fingers like smoke, her bitterest failure except possibly for failing to learn what Caraline Damodred’s cousin had been up to in the Borderlands until the knowledge was years too late to do any good. Now, even the Black Ajah seemed a diversion from what was truly important.

Sorilea agrees, and goes off to talk to Nesune et al. Verin comments to Cadsuane that Sorilea is “formidable,” and Verin is glad that she is on their side, if she is. Verin goes on to explain that she’s discovered that Shalon and Ailil Riatin’s silence about their whereabouts during the attack is not due to treason, but because they are having a clandestine affair; Cadsuane is incredulous that they would be so desperate to conceal such a thing, but Verin points out that Ailil is a typically prudish Cairhienin, while Shalon is married, and adultery is a very serious crime among the Sea Folk. Cadsuane shakes her head, but tells Verin to use the information to blackmail Ailil for information about her brother Toram and Shalon for intelligence about the Sea Folk.

Blackmail was a tool she disliked using, but she had already used it on the three Asha’man, and Toram Riatin might still cause trouble even if his rebellion did seem to have evaporated.

Corele enters, and takes Cadsuane aside to tell her hesitantly that she has “wonderful news.”

“I know you said I should keep Damer busy here in the Palace, but he insisted on looking at the sisters still in the Aiel camp. Mild-tempered as he is, he’s very insistent when he wants to be, and sure as the sun there’s nothing can’t be Healed. And, well, the fact of it is, he’s gone and Healed Irgain. Cadsuane, it’s as if she’d never been... ” She trailed off, unable to say the word. It hung in the air even so. Stilled.

“Wonderful news,” Cadsuane said flatly. It was. Every sister carried the fear somewhere deep inside that she might be cut off from the Power. And now a way to Heal what could not be Healed had been discovered. By a man. There would be tears and recriminations before this was done with. In any case, while every sister who heard would consider it a world-shaking discovery—in more ways than one; a man!—it was a storm in a teacup compared to Rand al’Thor.

Cadsuane wonders if Irgain will now be beaten like the other prisoners, but Verin says that the Wise Ones seem to consider their stilling punishment enough; Corele puts in that in any case, Irgain has already asked to swear loyalty to al’Thor, and Damer wants to try Healing Sashalle and Ronaille as well. She adds defiantly that she agrees with Damer; Cadsuane is not interested in having the sisters under her get too independent, but agrees that it should be done. Jahar bursts in with the news that Merise sent him to tell them that Alanna has collapsed and is unconscious. Everyone is appalled, and Cadsuane, Sorilea, Corele and Verin follow Jahar into the hall. On the way, they are intercepted by Dobraine, who calmly informs Cadsuane that he has liberated Lady Caraline and High Lord Darlin from being “guests” at Lady Arilyn’s palace and sent them to Tear, as Darlin is to be the Lord Dragon’s Steward there.

Jahar was all but dancing with anxiety to go on. Merise had a firm hand.

Distracted, Cadsuane threatens Dobraine vaguely for form’s sake and heads on. Alanna’s room is too crowded even when Merise makes Jahar stand in the corner. Ihvon, Alanna’s Warder, tells them that Alanna seems “afraid to wake”, but there’s nothing wrong with her as far as he can tell. Corele tries Healing, but nothing happens, and Merise remarks dryly that she tried that already. She asks Cadsuane what they should do; Cadsuane notes that Sorilea looks grim and Verin absolutely terrified.

Cadsuane had not thought anything could frighten Verin that far. But she felt a thrill of terror herself. If she lost this connection to the boy now…

“We sit down and wait for her to wake,” she said in a calm voice. There was nothing else to do. Nothing.

Demandred scowls at the Age of Legends scene Graendal had chosen for the meeting, and demands to know where al’Thor is; he’s been seen in five cities since “those blind fools—those idiots!” failed in Cairhien. Demandred wishes Semirhage or Mesaana were there, thinking of their delicate but long-standing alliance, and worries that Mesaana may be thinking of pulling out of it. Osan’gar frowns at “fools” and “idiots,” but opines that it was “Simply probabilities,” and that next time he will be killed or taken. Striking a lascivious pose, Aran’gar asks if he’s really going to rely on chance, pointing out that he and Demandred were responsible for watching al’Thor.

Osan’gar flinched, flicking his tongue against his lips, and she laughed throatily. “My own charge is…” She pressed a thumb down on the edge of the chair as if pinning something and laughed again.

Graendal wonders if all four of them shouldn’t be worried, and Moridin too, at al’Thor’s success as much as his failure; Aran’gar takes the opportunity to hit on her, and Graendal stomps off in a huff. Osan’gar replies sharply that al’Thor is a “primitive,” and if he, Osan’gar, couldn’t think of a way to remove the taint, then al’Thor certainly can’t.

“In any event, we will stop him trying because the Great Lord commands it. I can understand fear of the Great Lord’s displeasure if we somehow failed, unlikely as that might be, but why should those of us you named have any special fear?”

“Blind as ever, and dry as ever,” Graendal murmured. […] “If the young man does somehow remove the shadow, well… You who channel saidin will no longer need the Great Lord’s special protection. Will he trust your… loyalty… then?” Smiling, she sipped her wine.

This unnerves all the saidin channelers, but then Moridin enters, announcing that “The Great Lord is sure you are all faithful,” and Demandred reflects that the boy’s face Moridin now wears hasn’t made him any saner. Moridin has a rat on his shoulder, and is followed by his “silver-haired pet” Cyndane. Moridin remarks on Mesaana’s absence, calling it “a pity,” and talks about small things affecting the course of greater, like whether Isam succeeds in killing that vermin Fain. He flings the rat into the air and sets it on fire, and Demandred flinches because he’d felt nothing, meaning Moridin must have done that with the True Power.

A black speck floated across Moridin’s blue eyes, then another, in a steady stream. The man must have been using the True Power exclusively since he last saw him to gain so many saa so quickly. He himself had never touched the True Power except at need. Great need. Of course, only Moridin had that privilege now, since his… anointing. The man truly was insane to use it so freely. It was a drug more addictive than saidin, more deadly than poison.

Moridin tells Cyndane to tell them al’Thor’s plans; Cyndane tells them (sarcastically) that Lews Therin has two of the access keys to the Choedan Kal, and a female strong enough to use the female half, and plans to use them to cleanse the taint. Everyone starts yelling at once, Osan’gar demanding to know how “this girl” knows al’Thor has the keys.

“And you’ve just been hoping to blunder into him!” [Graendal] screamed at Demandred. “Hoping someone will find him for you! Fool! Fool!”

Demandred thinks that was over the top even for Graendal, and says nothing. Moridin caresses Cyndane’s face, and says (in answer to Osan’gar) that she knows many things, and tells them all to Moridin. Cyndane trembles, and Demandred thinks of his puzzlement over her; he’d thought she was Lanfear reincarnated until Mesaana told him she was weaker in the Power than Lanfear had been. But then again, she called al’Thor “Lews Therin,” and seemed familiar with the Choedan Kal and why they must be feared. He supposes aloud that al’Thor must be killed after all, then, before he destroys the world.

“Killed?” Moridin moved his hands as though weighing something. “If it comes to that, yes,” he said finally. “But finding him is no problem. When he touches the Choedan Kal, you will know where he is. And you will go there and take him. Or kill him, if necessary. The Nae’blis has spoken.”

The others all murmur obedience with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and Demandred follows suit even as he considers the plan madness.

The man was Nae’blis for now, but perhaps matters could be arranged so he did not get another body the next time he died. Perhaps it could be arranged soon.


It took me an embarrassingly long time, on first reading, to figure out what was the 800-pound gorilla in the room during Cadsuane’s scene in this chapter, but when I did figure it out, I damn near threw the book across the room. GAH.

Of course, I was thrown precisely because Jordan had intended it, having made such a point up till now of referring to Flinn, Hopwil and Narishma almost exclusively by their surnames, so yay successful authorial sneakiness, and all, but I find spluttering outrage tends to limit my ability to be appreciative of such things. Funny, that.

Oh, yes: OUTRAGE. I ain’t gonna lie, Cadsuane blackmailing the Asha’man into getting Wardered pissed me off nearly as much as Alanna’s treatment of Rand did. Even before I understood how exactly Cads had pulled it off! LEIGH SMASH STUPID AES SEDAI. AGAIN. SOME MORE.

Actually, finding out what leverage she was using later on only pissed me off afresh. Because blackmail is bad enough, but given what would have happened to Rand’s Asha’man had Taim caught them, if you ask me this was nothing less than extortion.

Yeah, sure, technically the Asha’Warders had a choice in the matter, unlike Rand, but that is a weaselly justification that I will not even dignify by refuting. It’s extortion, full stop.

And you know who uses extortion? SHITTY PEOPLE, THAT’S WHO.

So I guess we can add “acting like the frickin’ mob” to the list of reasons why Aes Sedai, or at least Cadsuane, sucks. Joy. (Though I did quite enjoy her verbally smacking Harine around, admittedly.)

And the three Asha'man being so inexplicably skippy about it all actually only made me angrier. What, does Warder bonding come with an unlimited supply of X, or something? How are they not at least a little resentful? How could they not be pissed off at being made—made into underlings like that?

They’re Asha’man, dammit! They should be treated as equals, not serving goddamn wine to goddamn Sea Folk jackholes! Are you kidding me with this shit? Nobody puts Jahar in the corner!

…I recognize, by the way, that my reaction to all this is perhaps a little over the top. (Who, me?) And could possibly be construed as an insult to the many Warders out there who are quite proud of their station, thank you. Yes, I get that. However, it’s worth pointing out that I don’t recall any other Warders being required to perform menial servants’ tasks as a normal thing—nor being peremptorily banished into fucking corners either, Jesus—which indicates to me that the Asha’Warders are being treated in a manner a little out of the typical, at least at this stage.

Which, I’m sorry, just made me see red. And the fact that all the characters involved have all apparently drunk the Wardering Kool-Aid and think it’s all just hunky-dory does not appease me in this regard in the slightest. This, possibly, says more about me than it does anything else, but, there you go. These guys have been through all this shit, and are under at least two different kinds of death sentences, and yet stayed loyal to Rand against every possible inclination to do otherwise, and their reward is to get strongarmed into being—being diminished to first-name-called errand boys for Cadsuane’s Cadre?

Excuse me while I barf. It’s like an episode of goddamn Mad Men up in here, except backwards. And screw whatever benefits they’re getting out of it!

It’s just—it’s just not fair, dammit.

And, also, kudos to Jordan for the gender-flipped point.


Well. At least Alanna got knocked the hell out. Serves her right. A plague on all her houses!

And, other stuff happened in this bit (like, yay UberHealer Flinn!, and the Cadsuane-facing-down-awesomeness of Dobraine, as well as a nicely sly reference to the events of New Spring), but I’m too annoyed to concentrate on it now, so we’ll move on to the Symposium of Evil Plotting Take 62, or as it was instantly dubbed on the newsgroup, the Forsaken Coffee Hour.

Okay, so I’m kind of whatever with this scene at this point, though it was of deep and vital interest when I first read it, providing as it does (typically) maddeningly vague semi-clues to all kinds of WOT Mysteries. Everything from Cyndane’s identity (Lanfear) to Osan’gar’s identity (Dashiva) to the identity of Halima’s “charge” (Sheriam, surprisingly) to Moridin’s identity (Ishamael, just in case there were three people out there who hadn’t figured it out by now, DUH), to Demandred’s whereabouts (…er) to blah blah blah adnauseamcakes.

Not, of course, that it actually cleared anything up about Demandred, because we STILL don’t know where that asshole is even as of TGS, and frankly it’s really starting to cheese me off. Something Taim-related, maybe, sort of, except maybe not. Great. Do something resembling anything already, you twit!

Can you tell I’m in a contentious mood today? I can’t imagine what clued you in!

This scene was also the foundation of a rather impressive fight in the fandom over the possibly entirely-extraneous question of the hows and whens and whys of the “Don’t Kill Rand” order, and how it related to any number of looney theories therein, which I am certainly not going to bother with at this point but you can read all about here if you want to.

I did have to laugh at Moridin blathering on about chaos theory while throwing flaming rats around, because at this point it’s like he’s going down a checklist of Crazy and making sure he hits all the items. His completionism is to be commended!

I guess, also, that in light of later revelations it’s a measure of just how possible it is that Rand’s scheme to cleanse saidin will Kill Us All, if even Moridin is okay with killing him to stop it from happening. Because, of course, Ishy wants stop the world and melt with alla y’all, but he wants to do it HIS way. Or the Dark One’s way, whatever, same diff. And he can't really do that if he's dead, eh?

This is presuming, of course, that Moridin is at least somewhat aware at this point of the connection between himself and Rand, and of the probable (?) consequences to himself if Rand gets whacked, but I think that’s a pretty reasonable presumption to make, actually. It certainly is one of the only logical reasons why Moridin wouldn’t bother to show up for the showdown at the end of WH. But we’ll discuss that when we get to it.


Chapter 14: What a Veil Hides

What Happens
Tuon sits in her cabin aboard The Victory of Kidron, watching the hundreds of greatships of the Corenne (the Return) outside the window as her dresser (and secret bodyguard) Selucia shaves her scalp. She feels “almost sei’mosiev” (having loss of honor) for the command she had given in anger the night before, which worries her. She cannot help comparing herself to Selucia as she is dressed, wishing she had a more imposing presence (and perhaps a little more bosom). She and Selucia joke with each other about the number of times Selucia was obliged to switch Tuon as a “unruly” child, and Tuon thinks she feels more affection for Selucia than any of the members of her family, whom Tuon had been obliged to battle for supremacy her entire life. Selucia goes to put a cap of gold lace on Tuon’s head, which would mark her with the Raven-and-Roses, but Tuon orders the veil instead.

Perhaps she was not sei’mosiev, but for the sake of the Corenne, she had to restore her balance. She could ask Anath, her Soe’feia, to administer a penance, but it was less than two years since Neferi’s unexpected death, and she still was not entirely comfortable with her replacement. Something told her she must do this on her own.

Selucia is disapproving, but obeys, and they leave the cabin, meeting the six sul’dam with Tuon’s personal damane in the second cabin. One of the damane, Lidya, tries to grovel tearfully, and Tuon sighs, regretting that she had ordered Lidya caned because she disliked the fortune Lidya had given her. She orders that Lidya’s wounds be doctored and she be given treats, and Lidya gratefully kisses Tuon’s palm. Tuon pets the other damane, who are all very fond of her; she knows people find it odd that she tested for sul’dam, but she enjoys training damane as much as training horses. She takes especial pride in her latest acquisition, Mylen.

The pale little damane had been half-dead with shock and fear, refusing to eat or drink, when Tuon bought her on the docks at Shon Kifar. The der’sul’dam all had despaired, saying she would not live long, but now Mylen smiled up at Tuon and leaned forward to kiss her hand […]. Instead of rebuking her, Catrona, who held her leash, let a smile crease her usually stern black face and murmured that Mylen was a perfect damane. It was true, no one would believe now that once she had called herself Aes Sedai.

Tuon and Selucia continue to the outer cabin, where Captain Musenge and her personal retinue of Deathwatch guards stiffen to attention; the Ogier Gardeners won’t be put to death if she dies, unlike the humans in the company, but all are equally loyal to her. She heads up on deck; the members of the Blood there, seeing her veil, bow as equals instead of prostrating themselves. The Macura woman grovels inappropriately until Tuon’s secretary (and secret Hand) Yuril stops her.

Tuon had been uncertain about taking her into service, back in Tanchico, but the woman had pleaded like a da’covale. She hated Aes Sedai in her bones, for some reason, and despite the rewards already given for her extremely valuable information, she hoped to do them more injury.

Tuon continues up to the quarterdeck, joining Anath, who is very tall, dark, and has eyes that “pierce like awls.” Tuon had been surprised that her mother had chosen Anath to replace Neferi after the latter had died from a fall instead of Neferi’s trained replacement, and Tuon thinks she is a little afraid of her new Truthspeaker.

“So,” Anath said, the word like a nail driven into Tuon’s skull. The tall woman frowned down at her, and contempt lay thick in her voice. “You hide your face—in a way—and now you are just the High Lady Tuon. Except that everyone still knows who you really are, even if they won’t mention it. How long do you intend carrying on this farce?”

Anath supposes contemptuously that is because of the Lidya thing, and asks what the damane said that made Tuon so angry; Tuon only answers that she will wear the veil until an omen tells her to lift it, thinking it lucky that no one had overheard Lidya’s “cryptic words,” otherwise everyone would have been gossiping about her fate. Anath sneers and begins a lengthy diatribe of Tuon’s faults; everyone else in earshot is appalled, but Tuon listens attentively even through her embarrassment, as has always been the tradition in her family.

A Speaker of Truth could not be commanded or coerced or punished in any way. A Truthspeaker was required to tell the stark truth whether or not you wanted to hear it, and to make sure that you heard.

At the end of the harangue, Tuon tells Anath politely that she does not require a penance; she remembers the last time Anath had given her one, administered with an odd tenderness, which had left Tuon weeping for days, but Tuon still considers a penance the easy way out and refuses to take it. She also admits that she also resists listening to Anath, and chastises herself for this. Tuon remarks that Suroth will need to be commended when they reach Ebou Dar—and examined for a possible excess of ambition. Anath replies curtly that she is sure Suroth only means the best for the Empire; Tuon isn’t so sure, but changes the subject to say that she must make contact with the Dragon Reborn as soon as possible.

“He must kneel before the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai’don, or all is lost.” The Prophecies of the Dragon said so, clearly.

Anath’s mood changed in a flash. Smiling, she laid a hand on Tuon’s shoulder almost possessively. That was going too far, but she was Soe’feia, and the feel of ownership might have been only in Tuon’s mind. “You must be careful,” Anath purred. “You must not let him learn how dangerous you are to him until it is too late for him to escape.”

She had more advice, but Tuon let it wash over her. […] Behind her veil, she was merely the High Lady Tuon, of no higher rank than many others of the Blood, but in her heart, always, she was Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag, Daughter of the Nine Moons, and she had come to reclaim what had been stolen from her ancestor.

Enter: Tuon.

Dun. Definitely Dun.

Man. You know, on the one hand, I can see why Jordan kind of digs this culture he’s invented here, and why he goes into so much detail on the minutiae of their customs and behaviors and so forth, most of which I’ve been (of necessity) leaving out of the summaries. Because the Seanchan really are a pretty spectacular creation strictly from a world-building point of view, smashing together aspects of at least seven different ancient cultures (most notably Persian, Imperial Japanese, ancient Egyptian, and Byzantine), yet managing to be completely unique unto itself at the same time.

Plus, as I’ve said before, there is always the modern Western fascination with cultures that adhere to elaborate and rigidly enforced codes of conduct as a part of everyday life, mostly because it’s such a sharp contrast to the comparatively…informal, shall we say, way many people live today. There’s a reason why Shogun is still in print, is all I’m saying. Well, you know, apart from being a kickass book in general, of course. (Seriously, if you haven’t read it you really ought to stop depriving yourself of good things.)

Anyway. So, yes, the Seanchan are very impressive, in a literary sense (or whatever), but this unfortunately does not really do too much to lessen my revulsion at some of their more heinous cultural practices. Like SLAVERY, just for goddamn instance.

The scene here with Tuon and her damane was almost literally nauseating to me. Especially the line comparing damane to horses, ugh. I know we’re supposed to get out of this chapter that Tuon is a real person who we are invited to identify with, aside from her elaborate (and often repugnant) cultural trappings, and to a certain degree it works, but the damane thing did not exactly win her brownie points with me, let’s just say.

(Also, she apparently thinks Rand is going to kneel to her, which is a whole bowl of OH HELL NO, GIRL. My Messiah figure! Back off!)

And I’m aware this is somewhat unfair of me, to judge Tuon for beliefs which have been ingrained in her from birth without (I’m presuming) even the possibility of encountering alternative points of view (until now, anyway), but this seems to be my week for having unreasonable visceral reactions to things, so we’ll go with it for now. I’m not even saying that it’s not reasonable for at least one culture in Randland to have slavery as an institution, because historically, unfortunately, it’s less believable that 99% of them don’t. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it!

I also don’t think I had quite this strong a reaction to the Seanchan slavery thing on previous reads. I don’t know; I think that as you get older, just as it becomes more difficult to suspend your disbelief, it also becomes more difficult to suspend your plain old beliefs, too. Let’s just say, it was definitely a lot easier for me to be sanguine about accepting a fictional slaver culture in college than it is now. Take it for what it’s worth.

Anath: Hi, Semirhage, you heinous bitch! Nice of you to finally join us!

I really liked her a lot better before TGS. Grr.

I’m pretty sure that for once, the “secret identity” game here was a total gimme, mainly because I figured it out instantly, which is a good sign that the author isn’t really trying very hard, given my gift for not seeing twists ahead of time. I mean, between the physical description and the pointed mention of how much Anath enjoys inflicting pain, this wasn’t exactly rocket science, here.

But, you have to be impressed that Semi managed to inveigle herself into the ONE job in, apparently, the entire Seanchan empire where you can do whatever the hell you want and no one will chop something off of you or sell you or whatever. Clever. Evil, but clever!

But the best thing about this chapter is that, with an exit line like that, there’s no way in the WORLD the next chapter is anything but a Mat POV. Can I get a HALLELUJAH?

Aw, that was lovely, thanks. Now just keeping Hallelujah-ing for approximately (*checks watch*) 96 more hours, and I’ll be back with the answer to your prayers! It’ll be the time of your life! Join hands and hearts and voices, voices, hearts and hands, and spontaneously choreograph your way out! Bye-ee!

Roger Powell
1. forkroot
Just to frustrate bigdtv71.

(I admit to an occasional mean streak.)
Alice Arneson
2. Wetlandernw
Thanks, forkroot!! :)

I'm loving these chapters, fwiw, though I haven't read all of Leigh's commentary yet. Cadsuane and Harine... What a hoot!! See, here's where I love Cadsuane. "Well, diplomacy had never been her strongest point." Ya think? LOL! If anyone could make you want to bite, it would be Harine!
Roger Powell
3. forkroot
Leigh - I think Aran'gar's "charge" is Egwene. Sheriam was just a tool to him(her?).

And... I might have been a tad less vocal about it, but I too was ticked off about how the three loyal Asha'man were treated.

Moridin - Slow on the uptake I am. After two full rereads of WoT, it still took the discussions in this forum for me to realize that he started using the TP exclusively because he had the same nausea issues that Rand had when channeling saidan.

And speaking of slow on the uptake ... the first time I read WH I had no clue that Anath was Semirage, even though RJ made it grossly obvious. Maybe I was too put off by the whole Aes Sedai as slobbering damane thing. Yuck.

I still wish Rand had balefired Tuon and the whole stinking Seanchan hierarchy in TGS, before he "got better".
Kurt Lorey
4. Shimrod
It is the Tuon chapter re-read where I saw that even Tuon herself would be stripped and sold as a damane if it became public knowledge that she could channel. No wonder she later refuses to acknowledge the ability. That potential fate surely is deeply ingrained in her psyche.

I missed the blackmailing thingy. Must go back...
James Hogan
5. Sonofthunder
Hurrah for Leigh!

Yeah, so I also totally didn't (ever) catch the fact that the A'man were forced into their Warder positions. Although, they do seem happy. Hm. And why did Alanna get knocked out?? Rand isn't doing anything crazy at this point. That confused me.

And Forsaken meetings are always awesome! Especially with Moridin being all crazy and authoritative and awesome. I have to say, every time I read the series, I like Ishydin more. He's just evil in such a flamboyant way!

As for the Seanchan, yeah. Their culture is fun to read about, true, because it is so foreign from our own. And at this point, still so foreign from the culture of the rest of Randland. And while I'm never a big fan of Tuon, I do warm to her over time. When she's with Mat. And not being all "Seanchan rulez, yo." Oh how I hope we do NOT EVER see Rand bow to her. Please no.

forkroot@4, seriously? Moridin uses the TP because the OP messes him up too? I never knew that either. I am slow. I also didn't catch Anath=Semi.

Although, I do agree that Aran'gar's charge is Egwene. At least, that's what I always assumed. But...*looks at previous paragraph*, my track record is not good, so take my support for what it's worth.
John Mann
6. jcmnyu
Things in these chapters I still want to know more about after TGS:

1. Ogier Gardeners - Bound to the steadings? Borderline evil? Misunderstood bouncers?

2. Demandred - Where are you? What have you been up to? Why so serious?

3. Tuon - When he thinks of herself she gives her full name as Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag. Where does Fortuona come from then? And what was the fortune predicted other than her husband would remember Hawkwings face?

Also, I agree with forkroot that Egwene is the charge, not Sheriam.
Rob Munnelly
7. RobMRobM
Chapter 14 is one of my favorites in all of WoT. Prophecy laid out way back in TSR, a couple of minor hints (Turak's Nine Moons reference in TGH and the Seanchan gambler in LoC), and then ... Dun Dun Dun. Here she is in all her glory. World building, excellent (as Leigh noted). Sharply drawn character (good banter with Selucia, good restraint with Anath), excellent. Well detailed supporting cast (Selucia, Mylen, Musenge, Anath). Nice subtle touches (Anath/Semi trying to prop up Suroth - ha!). Immediately, the brain is drawn to the delicious thought of the Heir facing off against the Playah.

Chapter 13 is fine. The thought of Damer partnering up with the gorgeous and talented healer Corele makes me ... smile (yes, good guys can finish first, even middle aged talented nice guys with imperfect bodies, not that I personnally have any reason to identify with that).

8. BenM
Top 10, woohoo!

We obviously still don't know who Demandred is. We've had minor clues here and there. But I never picked up on the big old clue before now. To quote the recap: "[Osangar and] Demandred were responsible for watching Al'Thor." That doesn't tell us for sure who he is, but it's huge, nonetheless. I've never thought Bashere was Dem, but this does make it a bit more plausible of a possibility. On a separate note, I also still think Dem was behind Masema too.

Oh, also: "I did have to laugh at Moridin blathering on about chaos theory while throwing flaming rats around..." that bit of commentary was just too funny.
Holly Finnen-Stewart
9. Branwhin
Hi, Leigh!

I too am annoyed by the way the Asha'Warders are relegated to inferior status. Merise's treatment of Jahar in particular is galling. But.

At this point not only are they channeling men, and are still doomed to go mad, with all the attendant 'EEEK' and 'ewwww' that engenders. They are not yet full Asha'man. I think they're all still Dedicated at this point (though Eben might still be a Soldier). Another, perhaps subconscious on the sisters' part, indication of lesser status.

Never mind that the Aes Sedai are indoctrinated with the belief that *everyone* has lesser status ... that's a problem that's been discussed to death and beyond already.

But we see here also the beginnings of balance in Damer and Corele. Perhaps my favourite WoT couple (though Lan and Nynaeve are adorable, and Moiraine and Thom will be freakin' *deadly* politically). In most of their (too few!) interactions on-screen there's a true sense of growing equality. They respect each other. I like that.

As to Tuon - I'm with you, Leigh, *icky* with the petting people like animals moment. And *OHO!* when we learned she's sul'dam. Well now. That'll be interesting.

And y'know, I think I got Semirhage here, but I honestly can't remember if I didn't second-guess myself because in my mind at least RJ had just debunked Taimandred for us. At least a little. (Though Mat's line a few chapters from now just about kills me)

Yeah, and then the last line. Made me laugh. A lot. A noblewoman of the highest possible degree, who's tiny and slender, and who can learn to channel. Sheesh. What are Master and Mistress Cauthon going to say to *that* one?
Roger Powell
10. forkroot
I think that Alanna was knocked out either by the triple Warder bond that Elayne/Avi/Min laid on Rand or Rand and Elayne's ensuing "celebration".

I suspect the former only because Alanna should know about "fuzzing the bond". Of course it might have been the latter that was convincing her to "not wake" (fuzz the bond - why do that when I can have some serious erotic dreams?) ::snickers::
Daniel Smith
11. Smittyphi

Seriously, first time posting here. Found out about the re-read and have been devouring it. You do a wonderful job Leigh. Keep it up.
James Hogan
12. Sonofthunder
forkroot@10, aha, that makes total sense, whichever of those two it is. I'd also probably lean towards the former(three other bonds crowding her out). Almost like him "dying" as I'd imagine the bond between them isn't as strong now.

And I like the name, hah!
James Jones
13. jamesedjones
5 Sonofthunder

Alanna was knocked out because Rand was bonded by a trio.

Edit: this is why you "Refresh" before posting. lol
14. MasterAlThor
You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time....

Oh oh....sorry about that.

Ok, so just what is this 800lbs gorilla that I missed. I must be slow today.


Boooooooooooooo! I know Wetlander, but even your spirited defense of her can't change how I feel.


I should be flipping out, but I can't manage it. It is a work of fiction. I suppose when the next bus of unfair representation goes by I will get on it and complain aobut how there are no really cool black characters that are in the main cast.



Can't wait for his chapters. Toy will be happy to be back in action. With the pink ruffles.

15. Jelsel
Thanks Leigh!!!

The Seanchan storyline still makes for fascinating reading :D:D

can't wait till friday, GO MATT!!!!!!
Rob Munnelly
16. RobMRobM
MAT - you don't count Tuon as being in the main cast? Or Semi?
17. birgit
Where does Fortuona come from then? And what was the fortune predicted other than her husband would remember Hawkwings face?

In Seanchan, when someone's social position changes, they get a new name.
The full Fortelling is in the chapter when Tuon completes the marriage.

It makes sense that Sheriam is Halima's charge if the Forsaken also believe that Eg is Sheriam's puppet. When did she start the massages? Was it because she realized where the real power lay?
18. Dhaved
Did anyone notice that Sorilea was giving Verin some sort of sleeping potion, and warned her about possible death if she overdosed? Can I get a "DUN!"???

Okay, minor DUN!, but still pretty cool.
Steve Hussey
19. deihbhussey
Wet @2

I'm in total agreement. While, Cads does piss me off sometimes, I still enjoy her character for scenes such as this She never gives the Seafolk an inch & doesn’t allow their temper tantrums to have any effect. Then if they step over the line, she “smacks” them down. I think that's also an indication about how the SG's (& even other AS with them in Caemlyn) aren't as experienced & mature in some areas (while excelling even more in others). I think it's RJ's way of showing that no matter how much pure talent you have, there's still something to be said for real world experience.

It's my belief that Elayne should be dictating the unspoken terms of the bargain (i.e.: how teachers are treated, when the teaching is done, etc.) since they aren’t under SF jurisdiction in Caemlyn, ergo, the bargain shouldn’t be being interpreted by SF law but by Andorian law.

The seafolk respect & are subservient to a strong sure hand in control (as you need to be when captaining a ship). As soon as you give them any inch or opening they will pounce. If you smack them down they obey. I hope this metaphor doesn't rub the wrong way, but the Seafolk seem similar to wolves & adhere to a strongest leader of the pack mentality. This definitely holds true while they are interacting with people who do not fall within the purview of the strict ranking system dictated by their culture. So, someone like Cads always acts as if she is the top dog despite the rank of the Seafolk with whom she’s speaking & they go along with it because she acts like the top dog & backs it up when necessary. Elayne should be doing this self-same thing in Andor (and starts to do a bit better later if I remember correctly, but still has much work to do… then again, she’s very young so some latitude must needs be allowed ;-))

PS: In total agreement regarding the whole subservience of the 3 most awesome and steadfast Ash’aman. I remember that pissing me off a ton when I first read it way back when - while my temper has cooled, it still sucks!
20. MasterAlThor

No I do not. Tuon is at best a secondary character. Semi is a Forsaken. If you put up a list of main characters Tuon and Semi should not be on it.

Yes a lot hinges on Tuon's character, but you don't introduece a new main character nine books in.

And I just notice something. Doesn't SWMNBN know that Rand is ta'veren???

Steve Hussey
21. deihbhussey
Fork @3

I also always thought the “charge” was Eqwene. The forsaken don't consider normal Black Ajah to be charges that need to be commented on – they are automatically subservient (i.e.: bugs & puppets) and it wouldn’t be necessary for Aran’gar to restate – what is to the Chosen – an obvious point of dominance.
Thomas Keith
22. insectoid
Hot dog, a new post! Thanks Leigh!

Ch. 13
Cadsuane: The only part I liked about her in this chapter was her dressing down of Harine. That is all.

Damer: Is Nynaeve's equivalent among the Asha'man. In other words: Awesome.

The blackmail: ::blinks:: Um... So Cadsuane blackmailed the Asha'Warders. But what for? Am so confused...

Aran'gar's charge: Like many, I assumed this was Egwene, until TGS. But Sheriam makes more sense.

Secret identities: Aren't too hard to figure out by this point. Except for Demandred, which is galling, especially since we don't know where he is!

Ch. 14: This chapter was a little confusing my first read-through, but with hindsight it makes more sense.
Tuon: DUN. So she's a sul'dam, huh? Wait'll she finds out she can learn to channel...

Anath: Guess who else's identity wasn't hard to figure out ;)

Damane=horses: Eurgh.

Fork @1: Good for you!! ::applauds::

Dhaved @18: DUN... Except that I'm sure that's not what Verin poisoned herself with in Her Moment of Awesome in TGS. As I recall, it was Verin, with the asping rot tea, in Egwene's room. I do agree with you on one point though—couldn't she have OD'd on the sleeping potion instead? We'll never know.

James Jones
23. jamesedjones
Gotta say, I liked SWMNBN a lot more in this chapter. But with the SF sitting across from her, it might be choosing between the snake and the raven (or dodo bird, gawd, I hope they become extinct).

The Forsaken Coffee Hour didn't do much for me. Every one of them came off sounding incredibly dense, except for Moridin.

And Tuon's intro didn't inspire a lot of emotion, either - other than disappointment for poor Mat (I am also a big fan of the ladies that don't look like they're starving).

The Seanchan culture just doesn't affect me. They enslave and collar any women who can channel. Ok. I can think of quite a few of them who need this. The one's who don't deserve it, need to be a little more clever than the opposition (kinda like eliminating school zones to encourage darwinism). :P

They kill any men who can channel. Status quo. Check. No surprises from the new roster.

All the other Seanchan slaves have a degree of vertical mobility in society. After reading Raymond E Fiest's "Magician: Master", which was a brilliant allegory for the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors, I really don't get worked up about any society with slavery that accepts the slaves as intelligent individuals who are simply in a different place in their society. Real life can bother me, and often does, but I just can't get worked up about it in a book. It always strikes me as just another of the problems that one of the characters will have to solve.
Roger Powell
24. forkroot
We see the sleeping potion/poison come into play later in WH when Verin serious considers poisoning Cadsuane. Probably best to postpone discussion of that particular scene until we hit it in the re-read.

Regarding black characters - I think some Tairens are black, although obviously not all (e.g. Siuan.)

I'd have to disagree about Tuon's importance. However one might feel about her, she is definitely in the top 20 important characters (which is pretty good considering the cast of thousands.)

What is ironic, of course, is that RJ presents a black character who is an unrepentant believer in slavery. One who we argue about whether she should rise above her upbringing and sense of normalcy to see that slavery is morally wrong - much the same way that people argue that southern whites in the 1800s should have risen above their upbringing.

Of course I'm not intending to launch into that discussion; rather I'm pointing out RJ's love for inverting our expectations.

On the ta'veren thing ... the sisters in question decided to swear to Rand even though he was nowhere nearby. That's why Cads was puzzled - she was certainly aware of Rand's ta'veren nature.

What she didn't know (but we do) was that sneaky Verin had been protecting Rand by laying compulsion on the captured Aes Sedai. Damn good thing too, otherwise Elza would not have french-fried Dashiva at the cleansing.
Roger Powell
25. forkroot
Dhaved @18: DUN... Except that I'm sure that's not what Verin poisoned herself with in Her Moment of Awesome in TGS. As I recall, it was Verin, with the asping rot tea, in Egwene's room. I do agree with you on one point though—couldn't she have OD'd on the sleeping potion instead? We'll never know.
I think she could not have used the sleeping potion because she needed a poison that would give her no more than an hour (to enable her to "break" the BA oath) but would give her mental clarity for most of that hour. If she'd used the sleeping potion, she might now have been able to talk to Egwene long enough to get the vital info across.
James Jones
26. jamesedjones
25 forkroot
I think she could not have used the sleeping potion because she needed a poison that would give her no more than an hour (to enable her to "break" the BA oath) but would give her mental clarity for most of that hour.
Well, we know you picked the right handle. Good point. As soon as it was brought up in the comments, I was thinking, "Well, why didn't she use the sleeping potion?" Duh. Maybe it's the lunch coma settling in.
27. Naraoia
Insectoid, I think Dhaved might have meant that other scene (KoD?) where Verin considers poisoning Cadsuane.

At least that was what jumped into *my* mind.
28. Katiya
Er, speaking of slow, I'm not sure that I got the whole blackmail thing either. I get that Cads blackmailed the Asha'man, Dedicated whatever into being Wardered (which is a new word I love, btw), but what exactly did she have on them? That they would be named traitors by Taim? Was she trying to say that bonding was the only thing that would protect them? Hmmm...maybe I'm having trouble suspending my disbelief that, after all the power they themselves wield and additionally having the uber guard of all time (Rand) at their backs, they still succumb to cultural belief that only Aes Sedai can protect you from the big baddies of the world. Might work with some (most?) people, but Asha'man? Eh.

Oh, and @6 jcmnyu: No, Seanchan Ogier are not bound to steddings.
29. Gentleman Farmer
Re: Aran'gar's charge; Moridin's use of TP

I'm with @3 Forkroot that Aran'gar's charge is Egwene, not Sheriam.

While I agree with @17 birgit that Sheriam is more directly under the thumb of Aran'gar, she's also a darkfriend. Anath's wilful charge is Tuon, Rahvin's charge would have been Morgase, it makes sense that these Forsaken are given someone to watch over and control... why would they need to control a darkfriend?

Would Mesaana's charge be Elaida or Alviarin? Does Demandred watch Taim or Rand? If your "charge" is a darkfriend, it's not much of a charge at all, and certainly nothing to brag that they're under your thumb. You just make the circle with your thumbs and have them do whatever you want, then ignore them, like Carridin or Shaiel.

I remain of the view that Egwene must have been Aran'gar's charge. She may have avoided (to some extent) being messed up by compulsion too badly because Balthamel isn't very good, or her protection due to ability to channel, like Morgase and Tuon, but clearly Aran'gar thinks she's being successful.

In regards to Moridin, I think it's pretty clear that he used almost exclusively TP from the time of his re-incarnation. Moghedien saw the saa already, the first time she was introduced to him, and as the Watcher he already had a storm of black obscuring his vision. He was using the TP as Aviendha unwove the gate on their exit from Ebou Dar (timeline-wise, I think this was before Shadar Logoth, though I'm not sure), but in any event, at that time it was already out of his conscious control. And of course, when he met Rand in SL he was opting to use TP as well. By the time he's got a problem as a result of the streams crossing, he's probably too addicted to stop in any event.

I don't think this use of the TP so frequently is any different from Ishamael's use generally, from the first meeting in the prologue of TEOTW, his preference has always been to use TP. I don't see him altering his behaviour because of a slightly ill feeling. It's his direct link to the DO, and it's why he's the Nae'blis. Now that he's the only one allowed, why wouldn't he take advantage of it.
James Jones
30. jamesedjones
Just wanted to throw my vote in for Egwene being under Balthamel's thumbs (and maybe some hot stones).
Thomas Keith
31. insectoid
Fork @25/JEJ @26: I concede your point. I'm guess I'm just not a morning person. Usually. Now as for lunch... ::heads for bunker buffet::

Naraoia @27: That scene had apparantly slipped my mind. And since in my mind Verin's MoA is more significant, that's what popped in first.

Thomas Keith
32. insectoid
And here I sit answering my mom's thousand questions, fumbling for answers and half the time needing the Encyclopaedia for them... ;)

33. Freelancer
Perhaps the Asha'man are in a state of resignation to their fates, and needed no special prodding by Cadsuane to grasp, as Asmodean put it, that tuft of grass. They consider themselves in a hopeless situation, under two different kinds of death sentences as Leigh put it. For a woman of Power to show any compassion on them must provide a large measure of comfort. Merise, Corelle, and Daigian certainly have compassion, warmth, and affection for their Asha'Warders.

And perhaps Leigh's anger is being transferred from what really bothers her, the sheer number of spanking references in this segment.

Oh, by the by, a man Heals stilling, and it turns out to be a full Healing for saidar channelers. Thus begins the speculation on the un-Healing/re-stilling//re-unstilling/re-Healing of Siuan and Leane; whether it is possible, and if/when it will happen.

Also, "Caraline Damodred's cousin" in the Borderlands as referenced by Cadsuane, if anyone isn't paying attention, is Moiraine as they encounter each other in New Spring, on the way to Chachin. Where Moiraine becomes convinced that Cadsuane is Black. Which she isn't. Which she proves right here in this very chapter:
...there was always the possibility that one or two might be Black Ajah. Once she had thought herself on the point of rooting out the Black only to watch her quarry slip through her fingers like smoke, her bitterest failure...
Yes, bitterest except, in her own opinion, for not discovering that Moiraine was chasing down the whereabouts of the newly spawned Dragon Reborn. So, that's why she's a harsher mistress than the moon. She's been internalizing this "failure" for twenty years, and needs to vent it on somebody else. On everybody else.

In light of Terez27's theory about Sorilea being a shadowrunner, Verin's comment about being glad Sorilea is on their side, if she is, gains much gravitas. Also, some murkiness given that Verin is technically Black herself, while functionally the ultimate Mole for the Light™.

Let's see, what else. Two women who became involved are so unwilling to speak of it that they submit to near torture rather than spill. And Cadsuane can't believe they felt such a drastic need to hide it, showing that it's no big deal culturally, but it is a big deal to those two individuals, each for her own reasons. Right, pillow friends comes under the NTTAWWT banner, but the first thing Cadsuane does with the knowledge is order Verin to use it for more blackmail. Which didn't get any attention from Leigh.

Dobraine. Fearless. Pokes Cadsuane in the eye. Basically, "The Kahuna said set Darlin free and send him to Tear. So I did. Just thought I'd tell you". Very nice.

Enough of a w-o-t for now. The forsaken and the Seanchan next time.

Oh, and Leigh, thank you for confirming my suspicions about why I wouldn't ever wish to watch Mad Men.


Yep, Balth'ima'gar's "charge" is the new Amyrlin Seat. Consider that Sammael and Be'lal each took positions in governments where there is a small oligarchy, and immediately gained the upper hand. In the other cases, Rahvin has Morgase, Semirhage has Tuon, Graendal has Alsalam. They like to go after the ruler. The two cases where a forsaken appears to be dealing instead with a "second fiddle" are the Tower and Salidar Aes Sedai. The reasoning is easy. It's much less suspicious for Danelle & Halima to be seen often in the company of Alviarin & Sheriam, than the respective Amyrlins, who are the true objectives of their actions. That both Keepers are Black was a genius move, and no shortage of chaos caused.


Rand had just been multi-bonded by Minaviyne. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the boudoir activities between he and Elayne.
diane heath
34. jadelollipop
@5 Alanna passed out and "was afraid to wake up" because Rand was just bonded by his 3 girls and apparently even at a distance the sex between him and Elayne is something to write home about :)
I don't know if I knew immediately that Anath was Semi but do recall the penance that had Tuon weeping for days. My first reaction to Mylen was a fear that it was Moraine.
Lucas Vollmer
35. aspeo
I really liked Cadsuane in this chapter, actually. Mostly because she stands up to Harine! Seriously, it's about time someone took the initiative and stopped the SF from being so uppity!

I didn't notice that the Asha'man had been coerced into becoming warders, but I don't really have a problem with that I guess. I supposed I do have a problem with them being treated somewhat differently than the other warders. I think it's probably because the AS still see them as somewhat loose cannons that can't be trusted to do stuff on their own. That would be why they are serving wine and being sent to stand in the corner. Flynn healing a stilled AS was really cool though! I love how non-traditional one power users(Nynaeve and Damer) have been able to discover how to do things that the ingrained philosophy said was impossible. Just goes to show how an outside viewpoint can see what no one else can.

Not much to say about the forsaken coffee hour, except I'd still like a little more info about where Demandred is!

Enter Tuon...DUN
Actually I'm glad to see her enter the story here. She is a character that I enjoy reading about, but it sure does give me the creeps with Semi(Anath) being so close to her.
I guess my suspension of belief in fantasy is firmly in place because while I hope the Seanchan have to give up slavery, it doesn't really get me worked up.
One thing that I did wonder about is how old is Tuon? When she is described as short and thin it makes me think that she has not really grown into her figure yet. So, that makes me think of her being somewhere in her teen years. Any ideas?
James Jones
36. jamesedjones
35 aspeo
One thing that I did wonder about is how old is Tuon?
She's 19.
37. Gentleman Farmer
@33 Freelancer

I like how casually you reference Danelle, of course she's Mesaana. Makes you seem very all-knowing.
Drew Holton
38. Dholton
re: Asha'man treatment

The way Merise treats Jahar truly makes me angry as well, and this is just the start. In KOD, the scene where she debates whether or not to give Jahar back his dragon pin is what really set me off.

All that being said, I don't think this is typical AS treatment of warders in general, I think it's particular to the Green Ajah, and judging from Myrelle and Alannah,not even the Green as a whole. I think it has to do with Merise (and Cadsuane) being both Green and from Far Madding. I get the feeling that warder customs vary between Ajah, and that there's a fair latitude just in the fact that one AS doesn't interfere with another.
Daniel Smith
39. Smittyphi
Regarding Alanna, she didn't go comatose when Rand and Min and their fun. Had to be the triple Wardering.
Tricia Irish
40. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh....for getting us through these chapters asap...I share your pissy attitude too. (Although I did like Cads putting Harine in her place.)

And someone, please give over....WHAT was Cads blackmailing the A'man with in order to get them to become warders?

Agree, Alanna passed out from the triple bonding, and maybe the celebration! Whoo-hoo.

Verin's sleeping potion....yes...foreshadowing, but why did she need it here? Was she planning ahead?:

There was veiled reference to maybe not trusting Sorelia in there too!! Is she or isn't she? Only the BA know for sure.....

Verin comments to Cadsuane that Sorilea is “formidable,” and Verin is glad that she is on their side, if she is.

Forkroot@3: Like you, I didn't get that Mori was using the TP exclusively because he was also "nauseas". Good point! It gives me hope that Rand doesn't have some special bad thing going on with Saidin.

And yeah...the damane thing is hard to take. I really really disliked Tuon at this point because of the whole Culture of Seanchan. I came to appreciate her more in the circus, but gag...I'm with you Leigh, bad Society and hierarchy. And I did not get Anath= Semirage the first time through either. Doh.

Tuon has taken "the Macura woman" into her service...this is the woman who gave Forkroot tea to Elayne and Nynaeve?? Do I have the right woman here? What is she doing for Tuon? I never noticed this before.

“You must be careful,” Anath purred. “You must not let him learn how dangerous you are to him until it is too late for him to escape.”

So THEY already have a plan to "collar" Rand? I didn't have any idea that Tuon was in on that plan either.....I must have been asleep at the wheel the last 2 or 3 times I went through this book. Thoughts?

And Friday.....Mat!!! Yeah....advance squees.....
Jason Deshaies
41. darxbane
Good post as usual, I love the little movie references mixed in there. Would it be possible for you to watch Pulp Fiction a couple of times before the next re-read? That would be awesome!!

One theory why the Asha'man are taking their wardership so well...The bond does many beneficial things, and maybe they believe that one benefit is increased resistance to the effects of the taint. After all, I believe that was the original cause for bonding to be invented post-AOL.
Tess Laird
42. thewindrose
Cadsuane dislikes using blackmail, but it seems she uses it enough! I was angry when I read about Flinn, Narishma & Hopwil becoming warders because they were blackmailed into it. Loved it when Dobraine told Cadsuane that Lady Caraline and High Lord Darlin were no longer 'guests', and then said it was because of him!

I did love how Cadsuane responded to Harine though. But on reflection, I think it has to do with the superiority complex. If someone thinks they are better than you and you need to attend to their every demand, it feels good to drop them down a peg or six. It felt great when Tam told Cadsuane off in tGS.

I have to go with Aran’gar having Egwene under her thumb - she is sleeping in Egwene's tent and provides messages for the non-stop headaches she gives her. Although maybe it is both - she is the one giving Sheriam regular beat downs.

And, this is intriguing:
The others all murmur obedience with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and Demandred follows suit even as he considers the plan madness.

The man was Nae’blis for now, but perhaps matters could be arranged so he did not get another body the next time he died. Perhaps it could be arranged soon.

j p
43. sps49
This is why the thought of Lan's bonding becoming the New Spring e-book cover makes me feel all blargh-y inside. How many Warders are told fully what the bond will do? Remove the Compulsion element, use full disclosure, undo everyone's bond, and redo them if the Warder approves!


And Ha Ha, Alanna.
44. Freelancer

Yes, that's Ronde Macura. When she was brought to the Tower after her failure to capture Elayne (& Nynaeve), Elaida made an example of her in some dramatic way. I'm certain this is why she now "hates Aes Sedai in her bones", and is so willing to aid the Seanchan. The question is, are we from this chapter supposed to understand that this is where the Seanchan gain knowledge of forkroot, or did they have it all along? Knowing that in the chronology Faile has already been taken by the Shaido, and that she is captive for 54 days, doesn't give the Seanchan much time to harvest such a stock of forkroot as Perrin uses at Malden. And if the Seanchan already know how forkroot affects channelers, what good is Ronde Macura to them, really? On the other hand, just because this is now when we see her again, doesn't mean that Ronde hasn't been with the Seanchan for months before this.

It's just one of those little hanging tidbits. Jordan intended to leave numerous such unresolved, because the real world doesn't wrap up everything you wonder about, and that would make the story more realistic.
James Hogan
45. Sonofthunder
thewindrose@42, fascinating last quote. For some reason, I never really considered the implications of Demandred's thought there. How in the world could Demandred influence the DO to not grant Moridin(the DO's most favorite friend!) a new body? Ishamael almost dies multiple times, finally does die...only to get promoted! I can't imagine the DO denying him a body if he dies again. Of course, the next time Moridin dies, it's likely going to be because of Rand. Somehow.

Maybe if Demandred somehow caused a BF-death for Moridin, and that's not quite the same thing... Intriguing, indeed. I must ponder this.

Maybe it's just Demandred being an arrogant idiot. I'll just go with that.
Brian Vrolyk
46. vyskol
@6 jcmnyu

KoD, Ch 36:
"Beware the fox that makes the ravens fly, for he will marry you and carry you away. Beware the man who remembers Hawkwing's face, for he will marry you and set you free. Beware the man of the red hand, for him you will marry and none other."
Brian Vrolyk
47. vyskol
Would love to know what Cadsuane had on the Asha'man

And count me among the blind who didn't recognize Semirhage.

Aaand, Moridin only channeling TP because of the nausea... never occurred to me.
48. EarthandIce
As to the Asha'Warders, I went looking at WoT Encyclopedia and could not find the reference, but I remember one of them taking several days to agree to becoming a Warder.

I can agree all the way about the slavery attitude, especially with the a'dam, which forces/compels the damane into obedience. I like horses, I do not like the thought of someone being made damane. Actually, I tend to get really attached to my animals since my children are grown.

And Toun is not introduced in this book, it was in The Great Hunt with Turak's reference to her to Fain's implication that he could become Emperor. Then Mat's references to The Daughter of the Nine Moons throughout the series kept her in mind.
Alice Arneson
49. Wetlandernw
Before I say any more, let me say this: I understand that many of you do not like Cadsuane. I even understand why. I'm not going to try to make you like her. However, I am going to claim my own First Amendment right to express my appreciation for her, and in some cases argue specific points in which I think readers are being particularly unfair. This includes Leigh.

In fact, speaking of Leigh, I'm just going to post that particular part of my thoughts, and split the rest of it out into a separate one. That way you get two (or three, or four) walls of text instead of just one. :p Hey, if I do enough, I can build my own little castle.

Leigh: yeah, you are a little over the top in your reaction to the Asha'man situation. Maybe more than a little. The fact that the men seem generally okay with it really should tell you something. For one thing, it's blackmail, not Compulsion, so there's that. They had a choice. There's also the little detail that you didn't get to see the scene in which the "blackmail" had been done. It's quite possible that while Cadsuane sees it as blackmail, because it was her suggestion and she really dislikes it, the men saw it as a great plan. After all, they do gain something by it; quite a bit, depending on how you look at it. It's not like Rand was treating them as trusted confidantes all that much. Last time they saw him he was acting... unreliable... (he nearly killed a couple of them!) and now he's disappeared. They can't go back to the Black Tower, they can't really trust Rand (or aren't sure they can), so what are they going to do? Go find a cozy place the three of them can hide? Making a sure alliance with Cadsuane and company quite logically makes the best sense of their current options. And what better alliance than a Warder bond? (I'm not sure if these guys would know about the kind of bond Logain used on Toveine; IIRC, they haven't been back there for quite a while.) But the Warder bond puts a pretty strong obligation, and risk, on the Aes Sedai as well.

No, I don't like the "Serve the wine" and "Go stand in the corner" bits either, but since, at this point, they don't seem to mind, why should we get so wound up about it? (Well, I know why you do, but I think it's overreacting.) And Damer Flinn certainly seems to be holding his own, in any case. (I like that guy. He's smart and adaptable, and he's got my kind of sense of humor.) Corele is no less strong an Aes Sedai than Merise, and much stronger than Daigian, but Flinn manages to get his own way when he really wants something. If Hopwil and Narishma, at this point, are sufficiently relieved at having a somewhat more sure alliance than Rand, so they don't mind this treatment, it should actually speak fairly strongly of both what they feared and their confidence in the women they're bonded to. They also seem, here and later, to enjoy the time they spend with their Aes Sedai; do you not respect them enough to consider that their choice may have been their own, no matter who suggested the course of action?

And yeah, this is a thing that I find a little eye-roll-inducing: so much reaction to one of the less-important things, that there's virtually no mention (in the commentary) of several much more important and interesting events in the chapter. Oh well. It's your blog, you can cry if you want to. I'm sure we'll take care of them in the comments.

Come to think of it, maybe I'd better use my walls to build a bunker instead of a castle...

P.S. I'm going to finish my own comments before I read everyone else's this time. So... this one has been totally response to Leigh's commentary, not taking into account everyone else's thoughts. And the next one will be, as well, since it's mostly written. Not sure about the other two.
Brian Vrolyk
50. vyskol
@18. Dhaved

Definitely a Dun! She later almost poisons Cadsuane with it.

Edit: Bah! Numerous others beat me to it.
Alice Arneson
51. Wetlandernw
So on to those other more important and interesting events:

Along with the aforementioned smackdown of Harine, I thoroughly enjoyed Cadsuane's instructions to Sarene: "And if they offer one uncivil word, spank them both. But be diplomatic about it." Sarene's reaction was priceless - especially in light of Cadsuane's thought that "There truly were advantages to being a legend, especially an unpredictable legend."

I haven't really thought it through yet - it will probably take some discussion, if we actually get around to it - but there was some really interesting tension between Cadsuane and Sorilea, Verin and Sorilea, Cadsuane and Verin, Sorilea and the other Aes Sedai "apprentices." I am really looking forward to learning more about some of the things hinted at here. Does Verin suspect Sorilea of being a Darkfriend? Lots of interesting hints from both Verin and Cadsuane about past history. Curious stuff. I suspect we'll never learn more than we already know about the past stuff, though.

Speaking of Verin, I miss her already. I'm hoping to see her again in TofM; there is nearly a month between her meeting with Mat and her last meeting with Egwene, so we should, right? Especially since we have to go back and catch up with Mat? But Wow! does this ever read differently after reading TGS!! There's the little vial of sleeping potion, which she is relieved to not have to give Cadsuane, once she's "sure of her" later. There's the hint of a question regarding which side Sorilea is on. There's her "gentle questioning" of Ailil and Shalon - do you suppose it was her Compulsion-Lite? And will anyone ever know that all those sisters swore fealty to Rand because of Verin's Compulsion? Is it in the book, or did that secret die with her? Are the residues still there for someone (like Nynaeve) to read? (Incidentally, I got a chuckle out of Cadsuane's observation that "Strangely, Verin had taken to her own enforced apprenticeship like a heron to the marsh." Layers on layers of sneaky. That's our Verin!) Oh, and the comment that "Verin had a way of noticing what others missed." Ya think?

And last but not least, just why was Verin "terrified" at Alanna's collapse? Alanna was afraid to wake, and Verin was terrified. It was the triple-bonding ceremony of the previous chapter that knocked her out, as we know; was Alanna aware that Rand had been bonded by someone else? Was she afraid of who that might be? Or was she afraid because something totally unknown had happened to her Warder? Obviously it had a huge effect on him; that big an unknown might do it, I suppose. But why was Verin terrified? Was it, like Cadsuane, fear of losing even this tenuous connection to Rand? Was it because she was imagining some of the things that might have happened to Rand to cause Alanna's collapse? Did any of them even connect it to Rand?

Oh, and exactly what was "awesome" about Dobraine's conversation with Cadsuane? He did what he thought was right and took responsibility for it. With Cadsuane, that's more likely to earn you respect than anything else you could do. Maybe it's sort of brave, or possibly stupid, if he doesn't understand that about her already, but even when I disliked Cadsuane I don't recall ever feeling like it was a big ooh-ahh. Maybe kind of a relief, for someone besides Bashere to say what he really thought despite the possible consequences, but that's about it. Not really a "facing down" IMO.
j p
52. sps49
Wetlander @49-

Usually I appreciate and respect your posts.

Sure, the Asha'men seem fine, but recall that the Warder bond includes Compulsion (per one of Moiraine's POVs, even if she doesn't ascribe that label to it). And as I posted above, full disclosure does not appear to be given when Aes Sedai solicit potential Warders.

And dismissing another's reaction as "crying"? There go my eyes a'rollin'.

Word count doesn't make you any more convincing.

Verin? One of the few who know Alanna has Bonded Rand; she may be afraid Alanna's reaction signifies Rand's death.
Barry T
53. blindillusion
Excellent recap. The Comments for Chapter 13 had me rolling all the way through.

Cadsuane continues to act the penny in this Chapter. Heads she's awesome, tails I'd like to knock her down the stairs.

Dobraine, continues to be a favorite secondary character…right after Talmanes.

Tuon - While I too find her culture atrocious, she continues to be one of the Top 5 Characters I always look forward to reading about. She’s intriguing.

And - *confetti* *popguns* *Ring up the Band* ….because in just a few short days….Mat’s BACK!!!

No more sad Mat:
54. EarthandIce
Don't know if anyone else posted this yesterday on the previous thread. If double post sorry.

Just looked at Dragonmount.com. Brian Sanderson has turned in the manuscript for Memories of Light.
James Hogan
55. Sonofthunder
Wetlander@51, knowing that Verin's BA, I loved reading about her being terrified upon hearing of Alanna's collapse. Simply because she has the strongest reaction of anyone present and we all know how good her self-control is. But even Verin could not hold back her fear. I imagine her thinking that Alanna's collapse means Rand's death and for her...that seems to be the end of the world. Verin knows more than almost anyone the sickening depravity of the DO and his followers and to have the world's greatest chance at salvation die...is almost too much for her. It makes me love her all the more. She has been wading in the filth of the Dark for years upon years, and for her to think of the Dark One's wickedness washing over and encompassing the earth leads to absolute and mind-numbing fear. Maybe I have too much of an imagination, but that's what I see in her reaction.
Rob Munnelly
56. RobMRobM
"Was it because she was imagining some of the things that might have happened to Rand to cause Alanna's collapse?"

Lucas Vollmer
57. aspeo
Don't know if anyone else posted this yesterday on the previous thread. If double post sorry.

Just looked at Dragonmount.com. Brandon Sanderson has turned in the manuscript for Memories of Light.

Fixed that for you ;)
58. EarthandIce
Sorry that should have been Towers of Midnight.

Wetlandernw - Cadsuane sometimes irritates me and others I want to cheer her on. Not sure if this has been discussed in reference to her, Cadsuane is from the age where Aes Sedai were supposed to have thought out what was going on, and possibly discussed implications with others, if not her own ajah, then possibly others that have dealt with the same issue.

Not to long after we met her she makes a reference to Siuan, Moiraine and Elaida as some of those who have made a 'mess' in the world. I am not sure if this is in reference to holding secrets from the rest of the Aes Sedai or just not thinking of some of the consequences.

From what Siuan teaches Egwenen later about unintended consequences, I am thinking that the consequences got her
59. Gentleman Farmer
Re: Three Oaths, Cadsuane and Dobraine

I know we've had discussions on the three oaths before, with (if I recall correctly) accepted wisdom being that AS regularly break the spirit of "speak no word...", tie themselves in knots over "never use the OP as a weapon", but ultimately use it, and almost never break "never make a weapon".

However, Cadsuane's group (in particular) seems pretty casual about the second oath. Perhaps that's why Dobraine is awesome in his defiance of Cadsuane, because she has shown herself willing to abandon the second oath.

The issue is what constitutes a weapon I guess, and some AS seem to interpret "weapon" as "fireball". This notwithstanding the continually repeated wisdom about how a web of air is more effective than muscles plus knife. How does this square with being permitted to use OP nets, ropes, air clubs and all other sorts of OP physical coercions to assault, capture and imprison folks.

Or does anyone think Sarene used physical strength to overcome the Seafolk and administer a spanking? Were Caraline and Darlin captured and imprisoned without any use of the power?

Dobraine, among others, has seen the wanton abuse of power by Cadsuane, as well as her disregard for the three oaths, nobility and the laws of the land.

In terms of her use of blackmail of the Asha'man (effectively an offer of some minor sanctuary in exchange for complete submission vs death sentence) I think it rubs more people the wrong way because these Asha'man were loyal and held to their oaths. Now they are punished and threatened for their loyalty, at risk of their lives when they've only done right.

Most of the other folks in these books who've been made subject to such a fate are either conquered peoples or oathbreakers, and even with the conquered folks, there are rules and elements of fairness to how they're treated. The exceptions to these are: Sevanna's slaves, damane, darkfriends and Cadsuane's Asha'man.

... which puts Cadsuane in perfect company.
Thomas Keith
60. insectoid
Free @44: Per the Encyclopaedia:
- On Elaida's orders, as punishment for failing in the kidnap attempt, Ronde is strapped in front of her whole village. (TFoH,Ch25, KoD,Ch31)
- Ronde goes to the Seanchan in Tanchico and volunteers her services against the Aes Sedai. Tuon takes her into her service. (WH,Ch14)

I can't help it—I've got the EWoT on speed-dial today. ;)

Tricia Irish
61. Tektonica
Free@44: Thank you, sir. It makes sense that Elaida would do something stupid and outlandish to embarrass someone....and then damn the world, let it deal with the repercussions. I think it says they hired Ronde Macura in Tanchico, so she could've been with them for awhile.

Verin terrified: Agree....she knows Alannah is bonded to Rand and her fainting reaction could very well signify his death.
Love Verin.

Wetlander@51: When you read through the posts, I think you'll see I'm with you on the Soreleia/Verin/Cads interactions. Verin's doubts are very interesting in light of tGS.

Anyone have any thoughts on this line?

“You must be careful,” Anath purred. “You must not let him learn how dangerous you are to him until it is too late for him to escape.”

Escape?? Was Tuon in on Semi/Anath's plan to "collar" Rand?

Edit to add: Thank you Bug@60 for that reference!
John Mann
62. jcmnyu
@20 MasterAlThor

Examples off the top of my head (will not be complete)...

Main Characters: Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene

Secondary Characters: Moiraine, Siuan, Verin, Cadsuane, Avienda, Elayne, Min, Lan, Nynaeve, Elaida, Loial, Tuon, Lanfear, Ishydin, Moghedien, Faile, Fain, Sheriam, and Birgitte

Tertiary Characters: Bashere, Thom, Juilin, Tam, Abel, Sammael, Rahvin, Leane, Alviarin, Gaul, Bain, Chiad, Selucia, Romanda, Galina, Bayle, Bornhald, Carradrin, Liandrin, Bayar, Egaanin, Suroth, Gareth, Morgase, Kadere, Niall, Galad, Gawyn, Sammael, Semirhage, Demandred, Graendal, Mesaana, Sevanna, Sulin, Asmodean, Dyelin, Reanne, Noal/Jain, Slayer, Hopper, Shaidar Haran, The Gholam, Elza, Balthamel, Aginor, Lini, Flynn, Hopwell, Narishma, Delana, Valda, Gabrelle, Myrelle, Ituralde, Pevara, Delana, Romanda, Lelaine, Berelain, Sorelia, Alivia, Setale Anan, and Bela

Quaternary Characters: Everyone else who is less significant than Bela.

(Cue the "Bela is a Main Character" crowd)

That's about 90 characters. In most books, being a secondary character means dramatically less screen time. In WoT, it means less than the main characters around whom the story is woven, but it doesn't mean insignificant. I'd place Tuon in the second tier, behind only the four kids from The Two Rivers. Heck, she's an Empress, married to one of the four main characters and is given POV space (1.5% WH, 1.5% KoD, 4% TGS) and is in Mat's storyline as a main antagonist for 3 books.
Leigh Butler
63. leighdb
Wetlandernw @49:

I find it puzzling that it is necessary to remind such a long-term commenter to this blog, such as yourself, that while constructive criticism, debate and disagreement are more than welcome here, ad hominem attacks are not, and that this rule applies to me just as much as it does to anyone else participating here.

Additionally, I find it odd that it is necessary to point out that the definition of "ad hominem" extends to more than just blatant flaming and outright attacks. The fact that you feel the need to refute my reactions or sentiments by belittling them with words like "crying" or "whingeing" (that was last post's gem) does far more to suggest something about the weakness of your own stance than it does about mine, since I can't fathom why else an otherwise obviously intelligent person would resort to such flawed and counterproductive tactics of debate.

I'm honestly not sure why you would think a person would respond to such bizarrely hostile remarks such as you have been making in my direction lately with anything but either more of the same, or not at all. And since I could not possibly have less interest in either getting down in the mud with, or explaining myself to, someone who thinks I am, apparently, a whiny, overopinionated crybaby, I think I will simply wonder quietly why in that case you are even reading this blog, and then opt for the latter option.

Have a nice day.
Steve Hussey
64. deihbhussey
Tek @ 61:

Agree that Macura was with them for a while. Right after the she was able to move after Thom & Julian tied her up, she sent 1 pigeon to Tar Valon and another pigeon west with the same message to someone else they didn't specifically identify but in retrospect was almost certainly the Seanchan so she's been working for them since Falme.
Thomas Keith
65. insectoid
Jcmnyu @62: Why is Elayne not considered a main character? In books 9-11 she gets a significant amount of screen time, I think. Same goes for Nynaeve, in books 4-6. Just sayin'.

Leigh @63: I'm going to have to side with you on this one—this seems rather uncharacteristic of Wetlander.

66. jj8
i know im probably beeing incredebly slow.
but can someone plllllease explaine tome waht all this ia about:
It took me an embarrassingly long time, on first reading, to figure out what was the 800-pound gorilla in the room during Cadsuane’s scene in this chapter, but when I did figure it out, I damn near threw the book across the room. GAH.

Of course, I was thrown precisely because Jordan had intended it, having made such a point up till now of referring to Flinn, Hopwil and Narishma almost exclusively by their surnames, so yay successful authorial sneakiness, and all, but I find spluttering outrage tends to limit my ability to be appreciative of such things. Funny, that

Roger Powell
67. forkroot
I'm taking a deep breath and jumping in:

I think it helps to understand Cadsuane if you consider the gravity of the situation. She, more than anyone alive, has devoted her life to seeing the Dragon Reborn to the Last Battle.

Yes, even more than Moiraine the awesome. Yes, even more than Verin the amazing. Cadsuane carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. So at this point her attitude is "whatever it takes", because nothing less than the fate of the whole world is at stake.

This is somewhat analogous with the same mindset that Rand falls into. It's "I gotta do this, no matter what". The flaw in both of their reasoning is, of course, that they try to take on the entire mantle of responsibility for Team Light.

In Rand's case, that's eminently understandable, considering who he is and what the prophecies say he must do. He just falters because he denies his human side, his "laughter and tears", and nearly becomes a world-destroying automaton.

In Cadsuane's case, it's probably a mix of ego and "ownership of the project". You can see that in her ruefulness regarding Moiraine, as she obviously feels that she would have liked to control Moiraine's handling of Rand.

So Cadsuane is flawed, yes. Conceited, overbearing, Machiavellian, you name it. For what it's worth, she does nothing for her own gain, it's purely about "saving the world".

Now how about admitting that there's some justification for that big ego? As we see at Far Madding, the Cleansing, and in little vignettes (like Rand with Rhuarc in TGS), Cadsuane has superior judgment to Rand et al. She was also the first one to pick up on Rand's slide into "hardness". Y'know the old girl has learned a thing or two in her long life!

In TGS, we start to see some changes in her character. She goes to the WOs and freely admits her failure. She gets a bitter self-reflection moment courtesy Tam, and the text suggests that that might have hit home. She does some more introspection in Bandar Eban.

I believe that there will be changes from her when we see her next. How that might play out with a possible return from Moiraine, I don't know.

OK - I have to take a deep breath now. I'm going to go have tea with Wetlandernw in the "Cadsuane Defenders" corner of the bunker. It's not very crowded at the moment.
Roger Powell
68. forkroot
Leigh and sps49
FWIW, I believe Wetlandernw's phrase "It's your blog, you can cry if you want to" was a reference to an old popular song: "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to".

The point being emphasized was that it's Leigh's blog and she has the right to write it any way she pleases. The emphasis was not on the verb "cry", that's just from the song title. At least that's how I read it.
69. NiccMac
LoL...amazing. Leigh writes an expletive-ridden tirade and even acknowledges that her reaction might be excessive. Wetlander simply agrees with her, and explains quite clearly why he thinks her commentary was over the top.

Leigh then accuses him of an ad hominem (where was the ad hominem, exactly?) and then invites him to leave the blog.

Who here is the one resorting to "flawed and counterproductive tactics of debate"?

Awesome, folks. This is exactly why I read this blog from time to time, but rarely ever comment.
Tricia Irish
70. Tektonica

Good thought on Ronde Macura's birds.....she may have been on the payroll for quite awhile. I suspected her other bird went to DFs, but definitely could've been the Seanchan. Thank you.

PS: NiccMac: Leigh is female....oops....I mean Wetlander is female....pardon!
71. NiccMac

"Leigh is female."

...Hence my use of of the objective pronoun 'her'. But thanks for reminding me anyway.

Perhaps wetlander is female too; if I used the wrong objective pronoun in that case, no offense was intended. A gender-neutral pseudonym is apt to create such confusion.
Roger Powell
72. forkroot
NiccMac - Yes, I think Tek posted hastily, as she was trying to say that Wetlandernw is female.

Here's a quick tip - When you don't know someone's gender, click on their name (assuming they've "gone grey" - it wouldn't work for you at the moment, although I hope you choose to go grey too!)

Many of us put our full names in our profiles - in Wetlandernw's case, her full first name is there, which gives a strong clue to her gender.

(Of course I live in Phoenix, AZ so "Alice" isn't always female here!)
Alice Arneson
73. Wetlandernw
Not a lot to say about the FCH; as Leigh said, "maddeningly vague semi-clues" all over. I don't recall having figured out where Semirhage was until much later the first time through, but now it's totally obvious why it was "difficult" for her to attend these meetings. Gotta be dancing attendance on Tuon at the moment, of course.

Aran'gar's charge - was it Egwene or Sheriam, really? Will we ever know? Or was it just the Salidar Aes Sedai in general? (My guess is that she was to go in and get close to whoever was in charge. In that case, both.) Moridin is still creepy. What did Cyndane really gain and lose with the 'Finn? Is Moridin referring to things she learned there when he talks about "she knows things and she tells me all she knows?" Incidentally, I'm becoming quite fond of the idea that Lanfear had ter'angreal (from the 'Finn?) which had made her more beautiful and more powerful than she naturally was, and Cyndane is Lanfear without the enhancements.

Demandred... I'm getting tired of Demandred and his hiding and dropping useless clues. I'll bet we don't actually find out until AMoL. Oh, and just what was Graendal's agenda with the fake overreaction?

I suppose I should really think about all those things with both hands sometime...

FWIW, I'm not convinced that Moridin is aware of his connection to Rand just yet, or at least the extent of the connection. He doesn't seem to be showing much sign of it, but then we don't get a Moridin POV here, so I guess that's not much to go on. I think there's some validity to the idea that he is using the True Power so much because lately the One Power has been making him nauseous. However, that's not proof that he knows what's causing it, any more than Rand does. Obviously, I'm not with those who think the stream-crossing was deliberate and it's all a plot to get into Rand's head. Well, okay, it is a plot, but it's RJ's plot, not the DO and/or Moridin.
74. boquaz

I love Tuon and Matt!

@forkroot 67

I like your reading of Cads.

She's actually a very tempting anti-authority figure, but like a lot of people who could-have-been-great, fails to deliver on her promise.

It was quite clever of Jordan to make her weakness (a morality bending, self-destructive messiah complex) the same as what she's trying to cure in Rand.
Brandon D
75. Ishmayl
@67 forkroot - Just so you know, I stand firmly in the same corner as you. I definitely believe Cads has flaws (who doesn't?), but something(s) that make her very different from many other characters is that A - she's doing what she does (as wrongheaded as it may seem) for justified reasons, and B - she may be the only person that has the knowledge and willpower to do said things.

Onto the chapters in general: Not really much to comment on for the most part; other than Tuon's introduction, I don't really have many feelings about these chapters. However, in regards to Lidya's Foretelling, which I believe is:
"Beware the fox that makes the ravens fly, for he will marry you and carry you away. Beware the man who remembers Hawkwing's face, for he will marry you and set you free. Beware the man of the red hand, for him you will marry and none other."

(Emphasis Mine) - I personally choose to interpret the "set you free" aspect of that Foretelling as Mat helping to give Tuon the proper knowledge, ability, and intention to change the way Seanchan culture works, especially regarding damane. In turn, this leads me to believe that Tuon will come to understand that the Dragon Reborn is not to kneel to her (somehow, she will find out the prophecy is corrupted), and that they will come into some sort of agreement sans-damanes-and-a'dam. I believe we have received enough foreshadowing and knowledge on how happy people seem to be under Seanchan rule that it's just a foregone conclusion at this point that the Seanchan are here to stay. However, I don't think RJ would have planned on leaving slavery in the mix, not with the White Tower now more powerful than ever, Asha'M(e)n roaming the land, and all the various channelers now "out of the closet" (Wise Women, Windfinders, Kin, etcetera) - a proper truce has to be made, and I think Mat's going to have a major hand in it (but I don't know how). Rambling? Probably...
Roger Powell
76. forkroot
Welcome, pull up a chair - guess there's a few more of us than I thought (boquaz is here too.)

Regarding the "set you free" part of the foretelling. Although it's possible there is an additional meaning, Tuon took it literally. She even tells Mat that his turning her over to Karede, represented the fulfillment of the foretelling, which is why she then completed the marriage ceremony.

Furyk Karede might have been the only person in WoT whose "slack-jaw" moment could compare with Lan in the chapters we just covered.
Alice Arneson
77. Wetlandernw
Chapter 14... Okay, so we know that Semirhage must have hot-footed it to Seanchan pretty much as soon as she got loose. I wonder if Ishamael gave her the idea, or if they all took a few weeks to figure out the lay of the land first, or what. But she didn't waste much time, if she managed to kill Neferi and (presumably) Compel the Empress into naming her as Tuon's Truthspeaker, nearly two years ago. Huh. But Tuon isn't "entirely comfortable" with Anath. Yikes!! I should hope not. Just reading about her first "penance," knowing who Anath really is, gives me the shivers. Does anyone remember... does Tuon know yet that Anath was really Semirhage? That'd be enough to give you nightmares.

I'm really trying to remember what I thought about Tuon the first time I read this. She's pretty sympathetic (as a character) for the first couple of pages, right up until she goes out to the second cabin and you find out how much she enjoys training damane. That grated, rather. Not in terms of it not fitting the character, but in that I started to like her and was then brought up short by that attitude. By now, I've read this enough times to understand a lot more of the Seanchan culture and understand where she's coming from, so it doesn't grate as much, but still. RJ was really having fun yanking us around with her. I seem to be somewhat different than Leigh in this regard; the older I get, the more I can comprehend the depth of a cultural mindset and not hold it against Tuon (for example). That doesn't mean I approve of the sul'dam/damane system any more than I did 19 years ago, but I can understand an individual's adherence to the system more than I did then.

Poor Mylen. I wonder what part she has to play in AMoL. Gotta be one, right? After all, we got a complete list of Tuon's favorite six damane, so they've got to matter sometime soon.

And now I shall go read everyone else's comments to find out how much I've just echoed other people, and also how much trouble I'm in. :>
Jay Dauro
78. J.Dauro
Wetlandernw @77

TGS 19 - Gambits
Did she (Tuon) believe Falendre's story, then? It stretched palusibility; it sounded like one of Matrim's fanciful tales of imaginary creatures that lurked in the dark. And yet, the other sul'dam and damane had corroborated Falendre's tale.
So she knows that the DR says Anath was Semirhage, whether she believes yet is another story. But she is acquiring evidence that Mat was not telling fibs in some of his tales, so she may believe.
john massey
79. subwoofer
Ahem- Bela is a main character. There from book 1.

What's a hominem?

Cranky Pants. Well, here's the thing, yes, she does smack down the Sea Folk, but she does the same to Rand- IMHO there is no difference in CP's eyes. And that is the problem, one is the Dragon Reborn-yo, and the others are a bunch of nattering fish mongers. In a way, Cranky Pants reminds me of Old Yeller. The dog barked at anything, yes the family was saved, but the snapping and biting and foaming at the mouth eventually led to Old Yeller being put down. Hmmmmmmm...

Raises hand

Include me in the crowd that totally missed the whole black mail bit.

And the Sorilea and Verin and sleeping stuff bit.

And Moridin using the True Power cause of morning sickness bit.

And the animal petting bit.

And Asha'man as servants bit.

And Oran... as Dashiva.

Crap- my reread skilz suck. I'm gonna go back and try this again.

john massey
80. subwoofer
At least Dobraine did the right thing. He is one of my favorite "other guys". Follows the Dragon loyally, not one of those sucky-uppy nobles but a man that understands duty. Cranky Pants- meh. This is what Rand wanted. Yeah! Rock on!

81. MasterAlThor

I like what RJ did concerning Tuon. I think that kind of writing is...words fail to describe how awesome and thought provoking it is.

But wether we like it or not Tuon is a secondary character. The story could go on without too much of a hitch without her.

Put it this way, how screwed would the world be if she died?

How screwed would the world be if Rand/Mat/Perrin died?

No comparison. Tuon is secondary. Granted she is important in the way the Egwene is important.


Sorry if my little comment about Cads set you off. I know that it must be hard playing DA on a board full of crazies.

Keep up the good work. One day I will be ready to take you on.

Bill Stusser
82. billiam
Okay, so here's something I just thought of while reading the post. Damer just figured out how to heal stilling just like Ny did with gentling. We know that men can't heal gentling as well as women and vice versa with stilling. Since both Damer and Ny seem to be the best healers when it comes to figuring things out, maybe working together using both sides of the power is what it will take to heal the other thing that supossedly can't be healed, ie death. Crazy theory but maybe Ny and Damer together can bring Rand back after death?
john massey
83. subwoofer
Oh snap!

All O dis stuff and we totally skipped over the chapter title- Wonderful News. Flinn healing Stilling. Completely. No weakness after. He's the man now. And it was mentioned in passing.

Cool beans.

Roger Powell
84. forkroot
Upon further review ... Now I'm not so sure about Moridin using the TP to avoid OP nausea (like Rand gets.) What I failed to consider was: Moridin was channeling the TP when the streams crossed. One would think that by simple symmetry, if Rand gets nauseated when seizing the OP, then Moridin should get nauseated when seizing the TP. Doesn't happen though.

So... suddenly Gentleman Farmer's arguments that it's just Ishy being Ishy seem pretty solid. After all, we know he pretty much burned his eyes out (cosmetically) using the TP in his last incarnation.
john massey
85. subwoofer
Think we need an ice breaker here: oh look- a rainbow...

Barry T
86. blindillusion
Wouldn't it be somewhat obvious that Moridin has always exclusively used the True Power? He has had the saa since the first time he is seen in aCoS, which was (if I'm reading the Chronology correctly) approximately 7 months after the death of Ba'alzamon/Ishamael.

It does take time for the saa to form.
87. Freelancer

I'm impressed. You did that without a single vulgarity or ill-advised reference to anyone's chosen deity. I knew you had it in you.
Tess Laird
89. thewindrose
We definitly need to get Flinn and Nynaeve together. Both Healing stilling, what wonders will they think to do combined? Maybe the much mentioned death?

I would agree that Rand got the short end of the stick when the two balefire streams crossed. I have never read anything about Ishydin getting sick, just the tie-ins with the actual physical body(Rand losses a hand - Moridins hand hurts.) But we don't have a lot of time on screen with Moridin, so maybe we just don't hear about it?

So, we meet Tuon here, and she is fighting against the evil that is Semirhage unknowingly. A precursor of how she fights against dark Rand?

There is so much in these two chapters that is still playing out!! That is awesome:)

Roger Powell
90. forkroot
I've not changed my opinion that it was reprehensible to blackmail Flinn, Hopwil, and Narisha into being bonded. However.... I suspect that the Aes Sedai are realizing over time that it wasn't quite what they expected.

As we've seen with Alanna/Rand, if the bondee is a channeler and sufficiently strong, it is not possible to compel them. I think we start to get hints of that already as Corele is almost apologetic to Cadsuane about not being able to control Flinn as much as she thought.

Of course poor Hopwil doesn't have much time left (Daigian doesn't have a whole lot either.)

Initially it seems like Merise has a rather firm grip on Narishma; however I suspect that part of that is personality as opposed to power through the bond. Jahar is from Arafel, where I think they may have some of the same male passivity in relationships that the Malkieri have (see New Spring).

Meanwhile, lets look at the benefits for the three guys. Just going on Bryne's testimony after Siuan bonds him, it sounds like there is a tremendous sense of vitality and awareness that the bondee receives. Plus the Warder gets the "Sense Shadowspawn" intrinsic :-)

So IMO the Asha'man made out more than OK in the whole deal. Does it excuse them being forced into it? Of course not.
Susan Brownhill
91. SusanB
I find it interesting the way everyone has read Cads comment about blackmail. I always assumed it was the other way around. I thought she blackmailed the AS into bonding the warders. What benefit would the AS get from bonding channeling men who are destined to go mad. And they are being hunted by Taim & just for shits & giggles, Rand might kill them too. And don't forget the general populace hates them too.
I figure the ashaman are desperate for any alliance that could offer them some protection, no matter how weak. But why would these AS do it?
Did I miss some crucial text in my readings that says she blackmailed the men? (I admit that's a definite possibility since I've missed just about every subtle moment - including the appearance of anath).
Rob Munnelly
93. RobMRobM
Wet @49 and Leigh @63. Speaking in my occasional role as close to the longest posting -- and close to highest volume posting -- member on this re-read, I thought Wetlander's comments on today's excellent post were fair, well within the bounds of considered commentary, and not ad hominem. Fork @68 made the useful point that Wet was referencing a song title cleverly, and not seeking to disparage Leigh. Leigh's mileage may vary, of course, and some other longtime posters seem to be varying with her (that means you, Monsieur Buzz) but I'd like to go on record as not sharing that interpretation of Wet's post.

Noneo Yourbusiness
94. Longtimefan
(written with 88 as the last post read)

Dear Wetlander,

Even when we disagree I still am impressed with what you write and how you comport yourself in the comments. I will say that while I understood the "It's My Party" song reference it does seem uncharacteristic of you to defend something while being less than charitable directly to another person. Maybe it is just hot in Washington. It is stupid hot in Oregon. I think another problem in general with typed comments is that the lack of vocal inflection can lead someone to read something with an emotion not intended. I am certain you are not trying to be mean spirited.

I am going to still love you a bunch but I don't feel comfortable reading such friction between you and Ms. Butler. (who is the reason we (and by that I do really just mean me as I cannot speak for others but I do assume in this case) are here at Tor in these comments instead of on a different thread or comment section.)

I, the other hand fluctuate between being a complete pompous ass and a somewhat tempered but hopefully even handed ass.

Guess which one I am going for today! :)

(smiley faces make the ouchies better)

It is a whole new horse to beat.

"Especially the line comparing damane to horses"

In comparing slaves to animals there is, in a way, though surely not intended, a cultural switch showing that animals are slaves.

What? Shocking? Hmmmm. and yet....

Damane are trained "like horses" live in "kennels" like dogs and are seen as less than human the the point where the Seanchan believe that to engage in certain physical affections with them are an abomination.

There is an offense taken that the damane have no choice in their collaring. It is part of the fictional culture which trains lots of "intelligent" creatures such as the fictional grolm and lopar and raken.

These animals are also treated well and trained to obey and would react to defend their master or become distraught if treated poorly. It offends the Seanchan and even Tuon to see "property" treated poorly. She even reflects on her own behavior to her "property" and punishes herself for behaving in a way that she thinks is socially irresponsible.

(in having the damane beaten, unleashing her would also be seen as socially irresponsible and the way the characters are written some of the damane would ask to be re collared because they believe they should be property.)

In a way wild dogs are not welcome in current society. In the wilds of National Parks and such wolves and foxes and coyotes are left to their own devices. Should however they wander onto a private ranch or into a backyard they are not as welcome to do as they please.

Even in cities feral dogs are not really delighting the citizens. There is a fear of, at the least, garbage dispersal and pet attacks and, at the worst, people attacks and the spread of disease.

Domesticated animals however are bought and sold and trained and are never really asked how they feel about it. They are told. People convince themselves that it is what the animal wants. Much like the Seanchan convince themselves that their "property" must be owned and it is trained to be ok with that.

Of course no one on this comment thread will think for a minute that this postulation has any merit because as we all know people are people and animals are animals...

which is why we give them names and clothes and attention like children.


I am not a heartless monster who never had a dog and I am not some vegan with an agenda where my heart should be.

I am just following a different plane of logic that most people do not like. Also it has nothing to do with math. Very un-White Ajah.

I am not saying that people should go out an euthanize their pets. That is terrible. I am saying that in a civilization that has moved so far from agrarian herding and hunting there should be less need for domesticated dogs and cats who both had very specific jobs in society which have been replaced by "looking good" or "companionship".

both of which can be solved with "artists".

Honestly, why are we not having more "artists" as pets? They make things look good and can be good looking. They generally can be interesting so they have all the "companionship" one can get from an animal. They often are poor so they need some place to sleep and eat and someone to ruffle their hair and tell them they are "good".

All kids going to school for "art" should not graduate but instead should have their student loan sold as a secured bond into indentured servitude wherein they would have to live with the purchaser and produce art and companionship until the loan is paid off.

Yes? What? Really? Man, it is not "slavery" it is indentured servitude. It is totally different, isn't it? No. hmmmm....

Geez. And I thought I was doing really well by not talking about the whole "secret lesbian" thing.

Well, I guess you cannot solve all the world's problems in a few ill formed paragraphs espousing looney theories.

Demandred is Barbara Woodhouse. Discuss.
Rob Munnelly
95. RobMRobM
@92 - I'll second that emotion.

MAT-I've always seen Tuon as a major player, identified mysteriously in book 4 and then held out by RJ over the next five books to build suspense. Of course, I agree that Semi is only semi-important. And agree with Woof - don't forget Bela as a main character adding diversity to the series. (Don't say neigh...no reason to have a long face....)

Blackmail - I'm still not sure precisely what is the blackmail here. Is it as simple as - you can't stay in Cairhein with us and with our protection unless bonded? Is it - we'll tell the Black Tower unless you agree to be bonded? There's a big difference between those two forms of pressure. Have we figured it out yet?

Dobraine...is awesome, as Blind and others stated. That is all. I remain curious what is his precise relationship to Breane - I'm betting on brother/sister - and how that will play out as she moves back in the direction of Palace life in Camelyn.

96. MasterAlThor
Ok Mr. Rob-inson,

While you are correct that she was forshadowed, she is still not top tier.

I point to the questions that I asked forkroot.

That should be all you need to determine is she is main cast or secondary.

I also point out that she is important. That is not lost on me.

You're funny with the puns.


You now get to explain to my wife why I woke her up laughing.

Have fun with that.

Barry T
97. blindillusion
I'd imagine the Blackmail in question is something along the lines of what RobM mentions above, i.e.

Cadsuane - “The Dragon Reborn has abandoned you. The Black Tower has cast you out as renegades. Your only hope is the White Tower.” And then gave them the ultimatum to either bend to her will or leave Cairhien.

I do wonder if she actually Blackmailed them into seeking Bonding, though. Could that of been the way they interpreted her “will”?

But then, I question Cadsuane's use of the word “blackmail”. What information does she have on the Asha'man to use against them? Their location? That they are truly loyal to Rand? The only person who'd be interested in this information is Taim.

Wouldn't it have been a threat, pure and simple?

Or maybe I'm just tired....
john mullen
98. johntheirishmongol
These are really good chapters, giving us a great insight into the Seanchen and finally introducing us to the final major character in Tuon.

When I read the books the first time, I wasn't really trying to anticipate the story. If I recognize a baddie, that was fine but I wasn't looking that hard forit so I did not recongnize Semi when we were introed to her.

As for Cadsuane, once again..bleh
Noneo Yourbusiness
100. Longtimefan
Hello 100!

Did you miss me? I have been away from you so long. Baby your triple digits are looking sooooo good!'

Ok I will say something relevant to the post.

To be completely honest I never got on the Cadsuane hatewagon. Even in her "blackmail" which may have been on both parties in the bondingpalooza I never really liked the book so I did not get worked up over the scene. I was waiting for something to "happen" and while that was "something" it was not something that I had been waiting for for a few books and several years.

I know it seems odd to say my disinterest in the book tempered my interest in certain characters and their actions but I have my favorite plot points and I have my questions I would like answered and the rest of it is well written and somewhat interesting but at the time Winter's Heart came out I was expecting more of a wind up and less of an expansion.

That was however just me.

Plot elements that created expansion did not interest me at the time and as I have re read the series for every new release the points just never resonated with more importance since they either worked out or they did not.

In the bonding of the Ashaman it is written as working out to the mutual benefit of the characters involved (except for the dying ones) and Merise is a bit stern with Jahar but there are also scenes of genuine affection between them and he does assert himself on occasion.

Relationships are strange and wondrous things, fictional ones doubly so.

In real life relationships barely obey the will of the people involved. In fiction they obey the will of the author not the characters.

I have always been more of a proponent of the White Tower and find Rand's antagonistic stance against Aes Sedai to be more troublesome than the Aes Sedai socially ingrained belief that they are superior to all people at all times.
It is grating but for a few thousand years they have generally be correct.

The "Dragon Reborn" is a feared title not a respected one. As a reader we might respect it but in fiction land the characters are written to fear it.
Thomas Keith
101. insectoid
Sub @85/88: ::laughing so hard it hurts::

Free @87: Tsk tsk... no need to stoke the fire. ;)

Blind @97: Sounds good to me!

WetNW: I apologize if I judged you too hastily... My mind is running a little slow today. :)


102. new kid
what is the the 800-pound gorilla and what does it haas to do withe ashaman first names?
Barry T
103. blindillusion

Thus far, only about 8 "reds" have posted on this Thread...

And there was not a single, "Yay! New post!!!"

I submit the theory that this is a sure sign Tarmon Gai'don is nigh.

The sun has begun to set upon Tordotcom.

104. Freelancer

I appreciate the wit, especially the Woodhouse tap. However, I fear I'm bound by a compulsion to the logical. It's my problem, not yours, and I admit that. But that won't stop me from addressing your presentation.

Domesticated animals are not slaves, for a number of valid reasons. The most significant of these are, they cannot communicate in a fully formed language with people, they cannot conceive of property or property rights, and they, as indicated by your feral dog thought, don't thrive well on their own.

These creatures are property. Some may decry this as cruel treatment, but I suggest that they are attempting to speak in behalf of those who would not agree with the arguments being made in their name.

Seanchan damane are also property. That is to say, they are forced into a position of being treat as, and expected to behave as, property. But they are people, possessed of a will, of reason, and the ability to express both, until it is painfully driven out of them. They are no more, and no less, able to care for themselves than any other human. They are no more, and no less, likely to be kind or cruel, wise or foolish, intelligent or ignorant, than any other human. This is what makes it wrong.

It is benevolent behavior for humans to care for creatures who are less able to care for themselves, to initiate a symbiotic relationship between species where both parties benefit. Forced imprisonment upon the otherwise innocent, via the recognized law of the land, is heinous and inhuman. Comparing the two serves neither.

I beg your pardon for intruding on your humor.


Blackmail is always a threat, applied as inducement to action the victim otherwise wouldn't take.


Stoke? No, I'm running around banging pots. That is what we're calling it this week, right? ::poke::
Barry T
105. blindillusion

Yes, I'm aware of that.

But blackmail is using information a person does not want known as a threat against that person. What information does Cadsuane have on these Asha'man that they would feel the need to bend to her will?

Without this mysterious information...it's just a threat.

But again, perhaps I'm just tired.
Debbie Solomon
106. dsolo
I can't remember where I read it, but I think RJ commented on the healing of stilling/gentling. If a man heals a stilled woman, she gets her full power back, but not if a woman heals her and vice versa. Also, Leanne and Siuan can't be healed again to increase there power. That's why Logain was back to full power after Nynaeve healed him.

re: the blackmail by Cadsuane - I don't think she started out wanting to do this, but she was trying to protect the Asha'men. Sure, she's a bossy bitch, but she's our bossy bitch. I'm only in my 50s, and when I see some of the mistakes my nieces and nephews make, I cringe. I can't imagine how young people's idiocy would bug me after 300 years.

Thanks for the post, Leigh.
107. peachy
You know, for all the grief the treekillers get from certain quarters (ahem), Cairhien has produced a surprising number of cool and surpassingly helpful aristos - Moiraine, of course, but also Dobraine and Talmanes and even the briefly appearing Caraline... and I can't recall any Weiramon equivalents besides the late tried-to-be-queen-but-then-offed-herself lass whose name escapes me.

Of course, the Cairhienen have reasons for gratitude - Rand bailed them out thrice over - but if we've learned one thing about WoT-land, it's that gratitude normally buys you damn-all, especially from the upper classes. So, yay Cairhien.
108. AndrewB
Tektonica @40 opined about Semirhage plan to use the sad bracelets on Rand.

Tektonica -- I took that conversation to mean that passed on the Seanchan version of the Karaethon Prophecies, Rand must bow to the Crystal Throne before the Last Battle. Semi is using Tuon's belief to remind Tuon that she has to be like a serpent (i.e. strike when Rand will not see it coming).

I do not believe that Tuon knows of the sad bracelets existence. At this point, Semi's plan is to maneuver Tuon into a position where the can get close to Rand and then Semi will slap the collar on Rand. This is the reason that after Mat kidnapped Tuon, Semi created the fake Tuon. It is also the reason that she pretended to be Tuon in the KoD.

Onto another topic. I wish that RJ had further explored Mordin's/DO's desire to kill Fain (and efforts thereto). Other than Slayer tracking Fain in Two Rivers, we have not seen the Shadow make a concerted effort to kill Fain. I hope that we can get a few scenes in ToM where the Shadow is trying to kill Fain.

Rather than Perrin killing Slayer, I would love to see Slayer going after Fain and then Fain killing him/them. From a WTF/was not this character supposed to be initially important perspective, it would not make sense for Fain to be killed by Slayer or any Forsaken who is left at this point.

Thanks for reading my musings.
109. Freelancer

Colavaere Saighan


I would initially think the same, but the words that Semirhage uses, that Tuon is dangerous to Rand, there is something more there. Tuon believes (wrongly but innocently) that Rand must bow to the Crystal Throne or something will go wrong with the Last Battle. That in itself is no danger to the Dragon Reborn. Tuon intends to approach him for precisely that purpose. That Rand doing so will impart the throne's imbued sense of awe and devotion to him, this isn't something Tuon would think of as being dangerous, it is simply how things are in her empire. So it would almost be redundant for Semirhage to caution her against what she intends for the sake of why she intends it. I get the impression that there is something else, though no clue what it might be. I too doubt that Tuon would have been aware of the Domination Band's existence, though she certainly wouldn't have been averse to employing it, all things considered.

Then again, when they meet in TGS, nothing else happens. Perhaps that is because of the care each side took to enforce neutrality on the meeting, and nobody wanted to start a throw-down.
Alice Arneson
110. Wetlandernw
leighdb @63 - Well, obviously I was wrong and the music reference was too obscure. It was not intended to be an ad hominem attack, but a disagreement over the points you were making. I sincerely apologize for not making that more clear.

The eye-roll paragraph of my post @ 49 was obviously overstated; it's intent was simply to point out that I, personally, found it odd that you would spend so much time talking about something that seems to me so much less significant than so many of the other things that happen in this chapter. As I said, it's your blog; you can limit your commentary to a single aspect of a chapter. (This really stinks - because of that one line, I've had this stupid song stuck in my head for the last ten hours. Gah. Should have left it out. Would have, if I'd known how much trouble it would cause.)

I guess there was so much else happening, on which I'd been looking forward to your commentary, and then... it wasn't there. Color me bummed. As I look back through my post, I realize that there were some other comments that, if you read it that way, could be considered "attacks." They weren't intended that way. For example, "Well, I know why you do..." was intended to indicate that I recognize your personal hot-buttons, not to imply that they are invalid. The "overreacting" was, as I said, bafflement that something this limited, and really this unclear, seemed worthy of crowding out everything else in the scene. Obviously, that wasn't obvious.

I do enjoy your commentary most of the time, even though we clearly have different perspectives on some issues. That in itself is not a problem; we are both women of strong opinions. I confess to being rather disappointed sometimes, when your commentary is limited to a particular social issue, and especially when it's one I find either indifferent or offensive. Once in a while, I disagree with you on a particular point enough to argue. And yes, when you can figuratively jump up and down about a single issue every time it even hints at coming up in the text, I find it annoying. Perhaps I have expressed it badly, but the same is true of anyone, here or elsewhere, and I'm absolutely confident that other people find it annoying in me as well. It's the price we pay for saying what we think.
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
Other comments on the comments...

Oh, yeah. I didn't catch that Anath = Semirhage for a while either. I suppose I should have, but I didn't.

Shimrod @4 - It's a bit striking, isn't it, in light of more recent events and discussion. Even the Empress's children are subject to the traditions surrounding both da'covale and damane - either way you're dispossessed and will never have another chance. Not sure what would happen now that Tuon is the Empress, and I doubt there's a precedent, but she'd know it's risky at best.

jcmnyu @6 - The Ogier Gardeners are not subject to the Longing the way Randland Ogier are, and hence not bound to the steddings in the same way. RJ explained this by saying that the Breaking didn't affect the Seanchan continent in the same way, so those Ogier didn't lose their steddings during that time and didn't develop the Longing. As I understand it, most of the Gardeners are good guys, but if there were ever to be a DF Ogier, I wouldn't be surprised to find him among the Seanchan Ogier.

Re your other two questions - I'm with you on 2. On 3, she's not Fortuona at this point, and will not be until she takes a new name as Empress.

MasterAlThor @14 - Ribbons, dude, ribbons. :>

deihbhussey @19 - ...no matter how much pure talent you have, there's still something to be said for real world experience. Exactly! I think that's part of why I'm able to appreciate Cadsuane so much more now than I could even 10 years ago or whenever she first came on the scene. "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill." And when the old age and treachery is accompanied by both power and skill... yeah. Which is, of course, part of the reason so many people don't like her, but... ::shrug::

In general on the discussion re: Aran'gar's charge - I'm thinking more strongly than ever that "her charge" was to be whoever came to the top of the power chain in Salidar. Halima arrived there well before Egwene did, so Egwene could hardly have been the original target. At first, her "charge" in terms of an individual probably was Sheriam, as the de facto leader of the Salidar Six. The plan would have been to control whoever she needed; the fact that there were three BA in positions of relative power was a bonus. (Sheriam with the Salidar Six, Delana and Moria as Sitters.) Egwene wouldn't have been a specific "charge" until it became apparent that she wasn't entirely a puppet, at which point Halima quite literally moved in on her.

Freelancer @33 - Excellent! You hit most of the points I either forgot or couldn't seem to wrap words around. Can't believe I didn't even comment on the event that titled the chapter. "Wonderful news!" Well, yeah. It sure came in the middle of a lot of other chaos, didn't it? Still, cool.

I would so love to read about Cadsuane's pursuit of the BA back when; it was a bit... odd, reading this part; this time, we know that she's standing right beside the woman who succeeded.

Dholton@38 - Only problem is, Merise isn't from Far Madding. She's from Tarabon. :) But I agree completely with your last sentence.

sps49 @52 - Aes Sedai generally consider using the Warder bond for Compulsion to be nearly as bad as the idea of bonding without permission. It is possible to use it so, but not often done. There is no indication that these men have been Compelled in any way, shape or form.

Sonofthunder @55 - That makes a fair amount of sense. Good insight.

Gentleman Farmer @59 - Please show me an example, thus far in the books, where Cadsuane has used the Power as a weapon on anyone except the bubble-of-evil fog stuff in the rebel camp. Commenters keep saying she does, but so far we haven't seen it, and I'm betting Dobraine hasn't either. "Wanton abuse of power by Cadsuane." Please, by all means, give me a quote. "Disregard for the three oaths, nobility, and the laws of the land." Example, please? The only one I can think of that even comes close was her statement that she'd spanked a couple of kings. Sarene did NOT spank Harine and Derah - Cadsuane just told her to do so if they were uncivil. And we have no idea whatsoever how Caraline and Darlin were captured. They obviously weren't being held with the Power, or Dobraine's men wouldn't have been very effective.

SusanB @91 - Yes, Cadsuane specifically thinks "Blackmail was a tool she disliked using, but she had already used it on the three Asha'man..." However, she didn't clarify a thing about what she had blackmailed them into, or what she used as blackmail. The only specific we have is that Ailil and Shalon were henceforth going to be "eyes-and-ears" for her in the Riatin and Sea Folk camps. We only assume that the Warder bonding was what she blackmailed them into, since it's the only new thing we see here. And we assume that it was something about giving them protection from those who would like to kill them, but that's got even less basis in the text, because as far as I can tell, they don't even know that the Black Tower has named them deserters. Oh, and we don't know how she persuaded the AS to bond them. Sounds a bit of a dicey proposition to me.

forkroot @67 - Well said. And thanks. Welcome to the corner; I'm thinking of using my walls of text to construct a bunker-in-the-bunker. :)

and @68 - Exactly. And I've had that idiotic song in my head all day, which should fulfill my toh to anyone and everyone.

NiccMac @69 - Thank you. We'd love to have you comment more often. We need sanity checks occasionally... :) Oh, and I have no problem with "he" as the generic case; I get awfully tired of the "he/she" "his/her" stuff. The English language has used "he" as the generic term for hundreds of years; I'm cool with it.

Freelancer @87 - Good point!

RobM @93 - Thank you for your clarity of understanding. Even when I disagree with people, (and even when someone says "Olver is Gaidal Cain!") I really try not to disparage the person, although I'll argue the point if I feel it needful. I guess sometimes I'm not as clear as I should be.

Longtimefan @94 - Yes, it is stupid hot in Washington - for us, anyway. The Texans here would laugh, but we're not used to 95 degrees. Sure glad it's not very humid! Not that that's an excuse for lack of clarity. Sometimes I'd give anything for vocal inflection while typing... The whole meaning of something can change so easily, and you can only do so much with emoticons and italics. Actually, the persistent interruptions of a 7-year-old girl probably contributed as much to the lack of clarity as anything. I should know better than to try to even think, much less type, when she wants something... :)

Oh, and birgit, please don't do a wordcount on this particular discussion, okay? I've been even more verbose than usual, I'm afraid...
112. RichGR
Bela: Not only a main character, but I'm sure we'll find out she killed Asmo and she will get a POV chapter. Any book now.

Cadsuane: I'm with Wetlander on this, and I also feel his exasperation with the constant negativity toward her. Someone was going to have an outburst eventually—I'm just glad it wasn't me.

Blackmail: I think the "blackmail" was, if anything, an overstatement of the situation. The pluses for the Asha'man were set out well above, so I won't rehash it. It should also be borne in mind that this is before any of them know Rand is going to cleanse saidin.

Tuon: I didn't know what to make of her, and in some ways I still don't. I respect her, but I'm not sure I like her.

Slavery: I could put up with the slavery if it weren't for the damane and flimsy-robe wearers. That they are treated as subhuman is what rankles. The so'jihn (sp?) are treated with respect, and by some people deference, as were some Roman slaves. Ownership of one human by another denies part of their humanity, but the Seanchan much more than that part with damane and minor da'covale. The infantilization of slaves reminds me too much of the Antebellum South to wish for anything other than the complete implosion of the Seanchan system. Thankfully, one of these sul'dam-can-channel-bombs will have to drop eventually.

Charges. WoT readers get caught up with in pari materia with this. Just because Osan'gar's charge was a single person, Aran'gar and Mesaana's need not be. Their charges are the rebels and the Tower, respectively (as Wetlander alluded to as a possibility above). Mesaana has had significant control of Elaida through Alviarin, but she has also had control of the members of the Hall, and other efforts have been made to keep everyone divided. Aran'gar's opinion that his charge is under his/her thumb comes from more than giving Egwene headaches and overhearing conversations. Aran'gar runs a Sitter, and uses her to keep the Hall stalled.

Abbreviations: Why do people keep using "tGS" instead of "TGS"? "The" is capitalized in the title because it is the first word; therefore, the abbreviation should start with a capital.
113. birgit
Is Moridin referring to things she learned there when he talks about "she knows things and she tells me all she knows?

He is probably talking about Lanfear's knowledge about Rand that she got because she had more interactions with him than any other Forsaken, e. g. as Selene. And of course she knew LTT.

Oh, and birgit, please don't do a wordcount on this particular discussion, okay? I've been even more verbose than usual, I'm afraid...

Since you gave me the idea: 7 comments, 4591 words
Hugh Arai
114. HArai
"And do as I say. I will check your bed tonight, and if you are not in it, I will find you and make you weep as you did for those mice. You can dry your tears afterward on that shawl you believe makes you invincible. It does not."
Staring as the door closed behind Cadsuane, Moiraine suddenly realized she still held the cup of wine and gulped it dry. The woman was...formidable. Custom forbade physical violence against another sister, but Cadsuane had not sidestepped a hair in her threat. She had said it right out, so by the Three Oaths she meant it exactly.

That's from my copy of the New Spring novella in Legends but I don't recall any change in the scene in my currently misplaced copy of the full version of New Spring. In any event, Cadsuane then proceeded to check Moiraine's bed that night, and unless she's Black, fully intended to make Moiraine weep as she did as a novice ie. give her a beating if she was not there. Now maybe she's an expert unarmed fighter and was going to just shield Moiraine and administer the beating directly, but I'd say the odds are better she intended to use the One Power.

I can't speak for Gentleman Farmer but for myself, I've come to wonder where Aes Sedai draw the line for "using the power as a Weapon" and I conclude they seem to think anything not directly lethal doesn't count. If that's the case, the threats Cadsuane makes to those who don't obey her would be quite credible to someone like Dobraine.

Incidentally this scene was my first intro to Cadsuane and it probably goes a long way to explaining my opinion of her.
Maiane Bakroeva
115. Isilel
Late to the party, but nevertheless:

I absolutely don't get the rage over bonding of Asha'man. Even if they were blackmailed. I mean, these guys are ticking bombs, liable to go boom at any time and with very little warning. Anything that would give an early warning/maybe help them to resist longer is a good thing, right?
Also, their situation was absolutely _not_ the fault of Cads and Co., but of Rand and Taim.

Hopwil offering to serve tea? Teh horror! He is a kid of 16, but of course it is demeaning for him to serve tea! One of the much older AS should have done such "woman's work". Duh!
And when Narishma is fidgeting and in the way, it is of course just terrible to move him to a quiet corner! Umm, what?

I actually find it interesting that Hopwil and Narishma are involved in situations, where other warders are absent. IMHO, it is a sign that AS subconsciously integrate them into their structures, of which normal warders are forever apart. Yes, as junior partners, but then Hopwil and Narishma _are_ kids, despite their combat experience.
I also see nothing heinous in them being called by their first names, as AS are all on first-name basis too. On the contrary, IMHO it is indicative of AS seeing them as individuals to a greater degree than Rand did.

Now, I am notorious here for tediously yammering that lots of stuff from the books 7-12 should have been cut, but IMHO the Asha'man bonding and subsequent joint exploration of both halves of the OP is something that absolutely ought to have gotten some screen time. It is actually a very momentous event.

Cadsuane's legendary status could have finally received some visible confirmation too, if it turned out that in her centuries of dealing with male channelers she managed to figure out how to do mixed links and weave saidin in a circle. Which, according to Asmodean back in TFoH should have taken some figuring out.
After all, if Cadsuane knew about the coming of TDR all that time, this is something that she _should_ have looked into, yes? A big missed opportunity, sigh.

And so many unanswered questions - how did Flinn and Co. find out that they were proscribed, without getting attacked? What arguments did Cads use? Why _these_ AS? Etc., etc.
116. Freelancer

It is an extremely recent development that people consider corporal punishment to be equal with assault. It is not. When a young person deserves a paddling for disobedience or willful misconduct, the paddle is not a weapon, and the paddling, if administered appropriately, is not violence.

Considering the mindset of 1960's Charleston, I would submit that Cadsuane's threat to bring Moiraine to tears would not be considered using the Power as a weapon, but as an "attitude adjuster". I am not here considering the merits of Cadsuane's presumption that she has a right to conduct such an adjustment, only that it would not be, in her mind, a violation of the second oath. Of course, this is all moot if Cadsuane really did intend to use her own hand, as she did with Semirhage. What Moiraine wouldn't have known then was that she could get away with it, because Moiraine wouldn't be able to direct a weave to stop her, given Cadsuane's paralis-net.
Tricia Irish
117. Tektonica
longtimefan@94: ROFLOL. Great lines! May I borrow these?

I am not a heartless monster who never had a dog and I am not some vegan with an agenda where my heart should be.

.....less need for domesticated dogs and cats who both had very specific jobs in society which have been replaced by "looking good" or "companionship".......both of which can be solved with "artists".

I have many friends, artists, who would welcome such an arrangement....as I myself would have right out of college. Great idea! Maybe you could start a placement service?

Isilel@115: Good points. Good questions. Missed opportunities. Sigh.
Jeff Weston
118. JWezy
Well, Cadsuane may have 300 years of experience, but it certainly has not taught her any of the advantages of teamwork. As with many WOT characters, her do-it-alone-my-way-everybody-else-is-an-ignorant-buffoon attitude is the single greatest factor limiting her effectiveness.

She certainly knows how to use people, but I think we can all agree that things might have turned out better for the light if those people had the advantage of her experience.

Of course, then we wouldn't have a story, so...
Mitchell Swan
119. mcswan
Ok, I'm late to the game, but what the hell does SWMNBN mean?
Tricia Irish
120. Tektonica

SWMNBN = Cranky Pants = Cadsuane

We had a rather lengthy, er, debate about her "virtures" a book or two back and a few of us got rather sick of her, so she became the above reference.
James Hogan
121. Sonofthunder
Wetlander@111, yep, including humidity, we have a heat index of 105 today here in Texas. Of course, that's nothing compared to last week when we were over 110. I just thank God for AC at work!!

Oh and thanks for also getting that song stuck in my head. All last night and this morning. Yeah.

In further news, speaking of wordcounts...I don't know if anyone's mentioned the wordcount of ToM yet...328,000! I think that will be the fourth largest of the series, if I'm remembering correctly!!

mcswan@119, She Who Must Not be Named. ;)
john massey
122. subwoofer
Dude, don't start that again.

Looks left and right

Okay, the coast is clear- Well said Wet. I don't like it when my favorite ladies have a kerfuffle over Cranky Pants. See? Like Saidin, CP taints everything she touches- must be the rabies. Have to put her down.

Bit about the leashed not getting fat when fed extra custard, after being caned for not doing anything wrong, and being grateful for it?!... Yeah, that has to go. It ends here. Rand- spank them all. Scorched earth policy.

Tess Laird
123. thewindrose
103 blindillusion - Actually, this is the first time in awhile that we have hit 100 comments on the day of the post - so I don't think we are slowing down. We just need more chapters like these that get people stirred up:) coughWetlandernwcough;)

Freelancer - isn't it just in the US that there is such horror of the use of spanking? I would say the pendulum is starting to swing back from the stance that corporal punishment is bad. I guess time will tell.

I would agree that the spanking Cadsuane promised Moiraine is not a violation of the third Oath. Using the power to punish is not using the power as a weapon. At least if I were an Aes Sedai, I would be able to justify punishment as not having the intent to use the power as a weapon - therefore satisfying both the 1st and 3rd Oaths and I could go on my merry way spanking(because you should not spank in anger of coarse:)

John Mann
124. jcmnyu
@65 insectoid

I started from the premise that the three boys were the main characters and looked for any characters that I thought had joined them in series-altering status. I think Egwene is the only one who qualifies and I think it was intended by RJ from the start. All four have been major parts of each book. Elayne was not really an important character in my opinion until she and Nynaeve headed to Tanchico to hunt Black Ajah. And her first plot line of her own was the Succession and I think that started in book 9.

@79 subwoofer

Bela, while a magical and wonderful horse, is not a main character just because she has been there since chapter 1. However, she is The Creator, so she has that going for her, which is nice.
Lucas Vollmer
125. aspeo
Abbreviations: Why do people keep using "tGS" instead of "TGS"? "The" is capitalized in the title because it is the first word; therefore, the abbreviation should start with a capital.

I think it's done because "the" isn't considered a major word in the title. It seems to be done for a lot of the books. Sometimes it's just left out entirely when someone types the abbreviation. Plus this is a quick way to recognize when reading that the letters are an abbreviated book title and not something else. It really comes down to personal preference because some people will do it one way and some will do it another.

Of course this could all just be my meandering mind making no sense at all, so take from this what you will... :)
Eugenie Delaney
126. EmpressMaude
Free-Association, Rambling Comments:

On Anath:

I coulda sworn, at some early part in the series that Semirhage had placed herself at Tenobia of Saldaea's side, which would explain her strange behavior closeting herself away from her ministers... but I guess at the side of the Dot9M's makes sense...

Or does it? Oh sure, it's very ambitious, trying to co-opt the whole danged Seanchan Imperium (what other FS tried something like that? Tear? Illian? Pfft). But Tuon was not the empress when the FS were sprung, that was the awesomely named Rhadhanan, who presumably would also have a huge staff of sul'dam and soe'feia and sho'jin (oh my!). I know that the Imperial Heiress is nothing to sneeze at, but seriously, what was Semirhage's game plan, really?

Having said that, her disguise wasn't terribly clever once we actually see her - she's a tall "black" woman who likes to dress in all black. I know RJ had fortified us with all the clues before we met her, but she didn't even try ;) Then again, I guess with her we have the reverse reveal - we only heard about Lord Gaebril or High Lord Samon and then get to see them before we actually meet them au naturel, right? We get to "meet" Semirhage first, then we see Anath.

On Cadsuane and her "Extortion":

I'm sorry, I was never very clear on what forces Cadsuane was able to bring to bear on those Asha'man that allowed them be bonded by her Cadsworn. Can someone explain it to me?

Lidya and her Foretelling:

I am surprised that no one seems to have commented on the fact that Lidya can be made to Foretell on command. I recall being really baffled by that when it came up, because Elaida and Gitara were unable to do so - for them it was more like a seizure. Nicola also just sort of lapsed into a trance when she made her Foretelling.

Tuon, Generally

I do like that Tuon has a prized collection of special damane (twins, an Aes Sedai, etc). It makes sense as she is a princess, after all. Like QE2's prized corgis ;)

I am also intrigued by her personal banner which is decidedly exotic and non-pseudo European heraldic.

I was also very amused by the fact that she is basically "black" - I thought for sure she was going to show up and be nordic-fair like some of the more uncommon Seanchan we saw (Cerandin, Huan, etc...)
James Hogan
127. Sonofthunder
Talking about main characters, I consider the Big Six the only main characters. Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne. Elayne's the only one I hesitate on a bit, but I think she deserves it. I really should look up a POV list to see which characters have the most, but I would figure those six would predominate. Obviously the ta'veren are main characters. And I think the women(even if Elayne/Nynaeve are together for much of their adventures) each have their own sufficiently impressive character arc.

EDIT: I can't spell. :(
128. me1234
Umm, I suspect that Alanna was knocked out by the sleeping potion Verin had. Verin and Sorilea were fearful. Why were they scared? I suspect they were afraid becuase Verin didn't know how much to give and Sorilea knew and was afraid she gave Alanna too much.
On a side note, I suspect that we will discover that Sorilea is a Dark Friend soon, or was under compulsion.
Barry T
129. blindillusion
Wind -

Just playing on people's upsetedness (it’s a word, promise) over all the First Grab comments involving an abuse of the word "YAY!!" in taking numbers 1-10.

- When it comes to the use of the Power in corporal punishment: As we saw with Elaida’s beating of Egwene in tGS, it is Tower Law not to use the Power as a means of administering punishment (to an initiate, at least), not a stricture of the Oaths.

I suppose one could say Cadsuane tap-dances on the line of the Law, but it’s not a violation of the Oaths.

- And since we’re on the topic of spanking: Sweden was the first country to ban parental spanking back in 1979. It took many years before another country would follow but now a total of 24 countries have passed similar laws. The most recent countries are Venezuela, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain and New Zealand in 2007 and Costa Rica and Republic of Moldova in 2008.

- POVs

Here is a list compiled by Hari Coplin on October 17 of last year (and thus does not include tGS):

91- Perrin
82- Egwene
74- Mat
59- Elayne
51- Nynaeve
31- Moiraine
21- Min
14- Faile
9- Fain, Siuan, Cadsuane
8- Morgase, Lan
7- Galina
6- Sevanna, Moghedien, Elaida,
5- Geofram Bornhald, Niall, Egeanin, Demandred, Verin, Alviarin
4- Thom, Liandrin, Carridin, Graendal, Gawyn, Furyk Karede
3- Domon, Bryne, Merana, Aviendha, Ishamael, Seaine, Aginor, Lanfear, Valda, Elza, Suroth, Tuon, Pevara
2- Dain Bornhald, Kadere, Katerine, Sammael, Delana, Demira, Falion, Reanne, Sheriam, Kennar Miraj, Toveine, Shalon, Bashere, Daved Hanlon, Romanda, Balthamel, Ituralde, Nesune
1- Lews Therin, Byar, Sahra, Rahvin, Alteima, Asmodean, Mesaana, Semirhage, Sulin, Sarene, Asunawa, Lelaine, Dyelin, Luan, Ellorien, Vilnar, Bain, Sorilea, Myrelle, Joline, geezer, Maeric, Shaidar Haran, Ethenielle, gholam, Chulein, Assid Bakuun, Bertome, Varek, Abaldar Yulan, Asne, Shiaine, Bethamin, Kisman, Luc/Isam, Barmellin, Timna, Eben, Gabrelle, Yukiri, Samitsu, Elenia, Galad, Beonin, Arymilla, Loial, Weilin Aldragoran, Harine, Tarna, Birgitte.
James Jones
130. jamesedjones
67 forkroot
She, more than anyone alive, has devoted her life to seeing the Dragon Reborn to the Last Battle.
Silly SWMNBN lovers, she had no more inclination than anyone else that the Dragon was on his way until maybe 20 years ago. I could be wrong... but I'd need the quotes to change my mind. She had "Retired" before the Aiel war brought her back (which, as far as I can tell, is around the time that she learned of the Dragon, AD: After Dragon-birth).

Her life has been about hunting down men who could channel, yes. This is because she's damn good at it, and not because she hates them like a red. Recently, she sticks her head out of her hole whenever she hears about a new false dragon, but that's about it. No life devotion there.
James Hogan
131. Sonofthunder
blind@129, thanks for that list!! And seeing it, I stand by my assertion that the Big 6 are the main characters of this series. I bet Mo's only so high because of New Spring, right?

It makes me sad that Egwene has more POVs than Mat.
132. MasterAlThor

She used the word dude....(faints dead away)


Hey haven't seen you in a long while. How is every little thing? Life treating you good?

Well i am glad to see my old sparring partner is still at the top of her game.

Let's dance.

Hopwil offering to serve tea? Teh horror! He is a kid of 16, but of course it is demeaning for him to serve tea! One of the much older AS should have done such "woman's work". Duh!
And when Narishma is fidgeting and in the way, it is of course just terrible to move him to a quiet corner! Umm, what?

Come on. You want to throw "woman's work" in there? Really? People are upset because they don't like the way that Hopwil and Narishma are being treated. You do not see any other Warder (who can't even channel) being treated like that.

That just burns me. No! Serving tea is not "woman's work" but it is demeanin to their station. You mean to tell me that while sitting in a palace there were no servants around to do this? Unlikely.

As for Narishma, I understand that he is young, but no need to treat him as a child who is in the way.

Cadsuane blackmailed them, that is not their fault that is hers. She chose to use that tactic. That is evil.

One more thing. Hopwil didn't offer. If he did I missed it, but I don't think I did.

I am of the smae mind with the rest of your post. Yep, the books could have been condensed and there are many questions that have no answers.

Now, I am off to dance with someone else, these DF socials are fun but tiring.

Not that I am calling you a DF.

Barry T
133. blindillusion
SoT -

I was thinking about that the other day. It's kind of amusing (and by amusing I mean very tear worthy) that the first time Mat gets a POV is Chapter 19, Awakening, of tDR.

And yes, the majority of Moiraine's POVs come from NS, as do all of Lan's.
134. Freelancer

Agreed. She has not set herself a life objective involving the Dragon Reborn. She was in the thick of learning about and dealing with "the vileness", though. Whether she ever knew that was connected with the Black's agenda to find and kill the young Dragon, is up for speculation.


I agree much more with Isilel's position in this case. And if we look closely, there are many example of Warders playing stepanfetchit, when there isn't somebody "lower on the food chain" available. If the choice for who should run a menial errand is between sending a Sister or sending a gaidin...

And it seems like Wetlandernw has everyone dancing.
135. peachy
The weapon/punishment distinction is so ripe for abuse. And I thought the "deliberately thrust yourself into danger" dodge was bad...
136. MasterAlThor

They were in the palace. There had to be someone lower on the food chain around.

I don't really have a problem with them "playing" at being servants when no one else is available, but they were in the middle of the palace. Exactly how are they the lowest on the food chain here?

Lucas Vollmer
137. aspeo
She really didn't have any reason to disguise herself very much. No one in Seanchan would recognize her, and only Rand and the other FS would know her on the other side of the ocean. Plus she was disguising her ability to channel so there would be very little to make someone suspect she was a figure from horror stories.
138. EarthandIce
75. Ishmayl : Whenever the Seanchan talk about the Prophesies in the lands they are reclaiming, they say they are corrupted, that there is no mention of the Crystal Throne and other items I cannot recall off the top of my head.

I think I missed the blackmail part until later in the book, but got it after the wall fell on me

As for the slavery in Seanchan, I tend to keep my non-judgmental attitude to cultures even when reading fiction. One of my other hobbies is reading anthropology, where I do not judge the culture. It was working for them, and who am I to tell them it is not correct. Even those who practiced human sacrifice and/or cannibalism. That is their culture. I have no right to tell them otherwise. I will NOT get on the soap box about native rights vs. colonial domination.

94. Longtimefan : Agree very much with your comments

95. RobMRobM : She was identified in book 2, The Great Hunt, and then has been referred to by Mat on several occasions. I see her as a major supporting player/character right up there with Moiraine even if she does not have the on screen time as some of the others. She has life and death power over how much land, and Rand has to deal with her so he can take care of his business without being distracted.

108. AndrewB : Semi was also sowing discord in the 'Let the Lord of Chaos Rule' theme when she was impersonating Tuon in Ebou Dar. There were several statements about catching the impersonator and doing serious bodily harm to them.

On Compulsion as part of the Warder Bond :If I remember correctly, when Lan comes to Myrelle she uses compulsion to make Lan move from his horse to her, but not enough that he would notice. We have learned from the Forsaken there are levels of compulsion, and if the mind is strong enough it will resist. Morgase with Rahvin and Nynaeve with Moghiedien. But it does not work the same way for Elayne and Birgette, or Elayne does not know how to do it.

Be back later.
Andrew Belmont
139. rosetintdworld
@129: Egwene has 16 POVs in TGS, to Rand's 12, 5 for Mat, Cads and Siuan, and 4 for Nynaeve and Gawyn. So Egwene has overtaken Perrin for the #2 spot (although this may not last post-ToM.)

And yes, based on that list, and given that Moiraine at #7 is only due to a prologue novel, the Top 6 are pretty indisputable.
140. Bourgeois Nerd
The relationship between the Asha'man and the three Aes Sedai really are all quite different, and to my mind logical. Corle and Flinn are, by TGS, pretty much equals, and possibly lovers (an immense Healing talent like Flinn's is the one thing guaranteed to get a Yellow hot; Samitsu offered to give him kids if he'd teach her!) This makes sense, since Flinn is an older, more experienced man, and a greater Healer than she is.

Hopwil and Daigian have a sweet, big sister/little brother relationship. He's really young and eager; she's "raising" him. If they both had lived longer, I'd predict their relationship would have changed greatly as he grew and matured.

Now Merise and Narishma are more maddening, but to be fair, it's commented that Merise is just like that generally with her Warders. But by KoD, there are indications (the pin episode where she goes to Cad for advice, the Salidar embassy) that their relationship isn't working quite the way she expected, and Narishma is just too powerful for her to control easily the way she's used to.

As for Tuon, I think she's one of RJ's best character creations, just because she elicits so much ambivalence. One the one hand, she has a terrible superiority complex and can be grating. On the other hand, she genuinely seems a good ruler: politically astute, with a rigid sense of duty, and a sense of obligation to all of her subjects from the highest to lowest. No one pushes her more than she does herself. She's also showing flexibility and beginning to reconsider her assumptions. Actually, she's a perfect mirror for the Seanchan at large: truly horrifying cultural practices, mixed with an admirable sense of justice, dedication to order and stability, and a meritocratic bent. And as Tylee shows, Tuon isn't the only one who is slowly learning that what she thought she knew might not be true.

BTW, and it really has nothing to do with these chapters except that he's briefly on screen, Dobraine is the one male character I've always pegged as one of RJ's elusive male homosexuals. It's hardly conclusive, but there's never any mention of women around him, and I just get the feeling. I even kind of think he might be unrequitedly in love with Rand.
141. Gentleman Farmer
Re: Use of the OP for punishment is not a weapon
and why Cadsuane is bad for the forces of light

I don't think I can agree with this statement. If I use the power to shield someone and hold them in place while I beat them to death with my fists, isn't that using the OP as a weapon? How about if I don't kill them, but leave them crippled? Where would the line be drawn?

A good example could be Semirhage. In torturing Cabriana Mecandes' warder, could it be said she isn't using the OP as a weapon?

I have a clear recollection, on the approach to Far Madding later on in this book, (though it may be the SF recollection of the conversation during the chapter from their perspective) of Sarene confronting the Seafolk to try to determine why they act afraid around her, and pointing out, in a way which seems logical to her that of course she had to spank them. How would she have done so without the power? And if she used the power, how is that different from Semirhage, except in degree?

As noted above, I think the AS interpret this oath as "fireball" or lethal force, but ultimately it's as hypocritical as the Aiel rationale about why they don't use a sword. The difference being that some Aiel have insight to recognize that they've broken their oaths.

In terms of Darlin and Caraline, it is correct to say that we don't know how they were captured and held. We do, however, know that Cadsuane doesn't have an army or armed retainers. She also doesn't have authority to commandeer such persons (Aiel or otherwise). So how would they be held? Would they have been tied with ropes? What would prevent them from leaving the rooms where they're kept? I think the most logical answer is the use of the power combined with the threat of the use of the power.

In regards to Cadsuane's disregard for laws, in addition to her frequent and proud references about her ability to humble rulers (likely by using the OP to capture them, protect herself and apply spankings or other punishment, again, not dissimilar to Semi), I think it is from her point of view or a comment made by her about fleeing the White Tower to avoid a summons to be made Amyrlin. As noted by Egwene's summons, it is no different in form or effect than a summons made for a criminal. Fleeing jurisdiction to avoid service is, to my mind, a disregard for law. So she's willing to disregard both Tower and national laws (treason and assault on monarchs).

In my view, in the feudal style governments we've seen in Randland, and particularly in all these pretty precarious governments we've eben exposed to, the disregard of authority, or the laws imposed by the authority can significantly undermine the effectiveness of law. When rulers are kidnapped and made to look foolish, like Amathera by the Black Ajah in Tanchico, or Amalasan in Arad Doman, the countries collapse. Does Cadsuane act any differently from the Black Ajah or Graendel, or does she just have different justifications?

I know it's been frequently discussed that Cadsuane's slap was a shocking and arguably unforgiveable moment in her dealings with Rand. However, I found her comment about how his crown doesn't impress her to be potentially more harmful.

We know (because we see things more from Rand's perspective) that he's very afraid of leaving death and destruction wherever he goes, and wants very much to be a good ruler. He's defensive about leaving Andor in one piece, he insists on providing grain to feed the people in Cairhien despite Moiraine's objection.

When Rand accepted the Crown of Swords of Illian, he did so because, in his mind, he had earned it. Not by slaying Lord Brend, or bringing his army, but by his good works of bringing food to the people. I think that's why it's the Crown of Illian he wears everywhere he goes, and why he thinks it will impress people. It's a good work he can be proud of.

When Nynaeve thinks Rand's head is getting too big, or he's too full of himself, she reminds him of how proud he was to save a sheep when he was still a shepherd. This is a positive reinforcement, reminder and good way to connect with Rand.

Cadsuane, on the other hand, mocks his crown as meaningless, blind to the fact that it may be what Rand may see as his greatest accomplishment to that point. In doing so, she demonstrates that she doesn't understand the role a ruler plays for his or her people, she doesn't understand Rand's sense of duty and obligation, and she clearly doesn't understand how easily the power to fulfill that duty and obligation can be undercut by those who do not recognize or respect that authority. Rand is a new ruler in these countries, and is trying hard to bring into being new laws that accord to his sense of fairness and justice, while uniting people for Tarmon Gai'don. Undermining that authority is not good for anyone except Cadsuane's own ego.

When Cadsuane slaps Rand, or refuses his summonses, or spanks a monarch, or disregards the laws of channelling in Far Madding, or does any of the other things she does to inflate her own ego while telling herself the ends justify the means, she undermines the rule of law, and disregards the laws, while making the world less ready for the Last Battle.

My view is, despite the rationalizations she makes to herself, it is clear from the text that Cadsuane is more concerned with her own self importance, and not achieving the ends she profeeses to seek. Just as the dark side is hampered by fractionated interests, as each of the Forsaken is obsessed with their own power and their self absorption and self interest allow Rand to pick them off one by one and conquer half the world, now the light side has its own naval gazing, self important wonder to fractionate and disperse its efforts.
Noneo Yourbusiness
142. Longtimefan
@104 Freelancer,

Your comments are never an intrusion. :)

In all humor there is a grain of truth.

Most people hate grains and prefer them ground up and baked with sugar and eggs into cookies. Oysters hate grains so much they make pearls out of them. Fat lot of good that does them since people just pry inside them to get the pearls (I have heard that people will go so far as to eat the oysters but that is only something suitable for carpenters and walruses. (hi, karen and paul!))

For me, (and I have been told by several people already that I am alone in this thought process.) there is a natural purpose to all things and the way that purpose is served should be apparent in the role an animal, insect, plant or other life form maintains in it's natural environment.

While it is true that people have cross bred domesticated animals cross-eyed they maintain a natural inclination to act like the animals they come from in so much as pack loyalty, territorial behaivor, hunting and retrieving.

Living in someones purse on on a leash while they are dragged out on errands they are not needed for is generally where I personally get irritated with pets as "property".

And that is not just dogs. Here in Portland I have seen several people with the new cat harness trying to walk about with a cat on their shoulder like some hairy, pointy eared parrot. (not that a parrot's natural environment is a pirate's (or any other person's) shoulder because if there was the global de-piratization crisis would have Sting singing sea shanties to raise awareness.)

I will concede that farm dogs and hunting dogs are working in a way that meets both the needs of the person and the dog. It has a job it can do and do well. I am not so into farm cats as I like wild birds and there is debate that the cats are not helping in some places. Not everywhere but generally anywhere the bird population did not have feline predators to begin with.

I will agree that some domesticated animals do not fare well on their own and it is benevolent of humans to care for creatures that are less able to care for themeselves.

However it is humans that made them that way to begin with. There is no wild version of a teacup chihuahua.

I love animals, they are delicious but at a certain point there is a level of selfishness that disrespects the natural purpose of certain animals and it is the dissconnect of a social understanding between what an animal is and what a person wants an animal to be that gets under my fur lined parka and makes me growley.


@ 117 Tektonica.

You may borrow any thing you like. Someday I hope to get paid for what I write but for now I am just happy that I can post something without people getting the pitchforks sharpened and the torches lit. I have learned that it does not mean an all night hay baling party.

I would think the placement service for artists would take off but people being people (and artists being artists) there would be some entanglements that may shut the program down abruptly. I must admit it is not the most original idea. It is partly "poet under the stairs" from Monty Python and how the doctor ended up in Alaska from "Northern Exposure". (well, the indentured servitude is colonial American but I would hate to have America hog all the credit. Certainly other places had such sophisticated transactions.) It would employ some contract lawyers for a while.

@ EarthandIce 138

Thanks for understanding my points. I would caution you to not do that too often as there are a lot of people who are against my "Demandred is Barbara Woodhouse" theory.

I know it is the only one that makes sense but some people...

Then again there are probably a lot of people who are not familiar with Ms. Woodhouse these days. Oh the curse of memory in a modern culture.

Beloit University posted their "Mindset List" for the students of 2014. It is interesting but there is a warning. It may cause anyone over 35 to feel old.

Partially because you are :) but mostly because technology has changed so rapidly in the last 30 years that things are just very different in the modern childhood. I am not super fancy computer type person so I do not do the linky links. I am over 36 and I use Lycos as my serch engine. (kidding, they are gone now, I use google like a normal person; unless that is not what the cool kids are doing these days.(darn those cool kids, who can keep up with them?))

In Wheel of Time terms. Kids who were born when The Eye of the World came out are going to college. As far as they know the books have always existed.
Alice Arneson
143. Wetlandernw
RichGR @112 - A series of very good points. I particularly liked your comment on Tuon: "I didn't know what to make of her, and in some ways I still don't. I respect her, but I'm not sure I like her." I really want to like her, but... I'm not 100% sure either. Oh, and I'm with you on the abbreviation thing. Yes!! I know it's a minor point, but I do wonder why we as a culture have forgotten simple rules like that. (Reminds me of My Fair Lady - "Oh, why can't the English learn to speak?" And the Americans are worse.)

birgit @ 113 - ::winces:: Me and my big mouth...

HArai @114 - That's still not an example. Aside from the question of whether a paddle of Air is a weapon or not (I think not), she didn't actually do anything. She just said she would. Your conviction that she intended to is not proof. ;p

As I said earlier, we have not yet (as of WH chapter 13) seen a single instance of Cadsuane using the Power as a weapon (or even a paddle) except in the rebel-camp-bubble-of-evil-fog instance. When we get to such an instance, we'll talk about it. In the meantime, I find it rather funny that so many readers are convinced that all the characters in the book have seen her beating people up with the OP and are therefore afraid of her. Certainly she intimidates them, but that's a matter of personality and legend-status (depending on the character). Also the simple fact that she's Aes Sedai, and most people step carefully around them anyway.

Isilel @115 - LOL!! Excellent points, as usual. So the youngest person present is expected to serve the tea, even if he's an Asha'man? Horrors - it's youthist!!

You know... we don't see it on screen, but it seems logical to assume that these bonded pairs would begin to experiment with linking. That's a question I'd like to ask Maria.

JWezy @118 - You forget the attitude Cadsuane has toward those she trusts. She places great value, trust and reliance on those who use their natural abilities well and fully. You say "...I think we can all agree that things might have turned out better for the light if those people had the advantage of her experience." Yes, well, unfortunately to have her experience you have to be her. That's one of many reasons we have leadership - to direct the skills and talents of the team into effective use. I hate to repeat it again, but Daigian is a shining example - she's the very bottom of the Aes Sedai pecking order, but Cadsuane invariably treats her with respect and courtesy. Why? Because despite her weakness in the OP, she has a fine mind, and she makes good use of it.

Sonofthunder @121 - And this morning I woke up to overcast skies and 61 degrees. Oh well. About the song... I have toh.

subwoofer @122 - Is your wife on here too? :)

EmpressMaude @126 - I think the bit with Tenobia is one of those artifacts of trying to put the clues together - it looked like a possibility at one time, but didn't play out that way with further info. From Ethenielle's POV, Tenobia's behavior was certainly foolish, but very consistent with her character and not, apparently, a new thing in the last year or two. Oh well. It was a good idea while it lasted.

On Semirhage: It looks to me like she cozied up to the Empress right away and managed to get herself named as Soe'feia to Tuon very shortly after her emergence from the DO's prison. As to why she would choose that, it puts her in a position of power in Randland, where the DR is and much of the action of TG (presumably) will be. So if things went according to plan, she would be effectively controlling a large portion of the fighting forces, both OP and mundane, as well as the only "air force" in existence. Sounds handy to me! And if she needed to affect something back in Seanchan, Travelling makes it easy. Made it easy, in fact, since she went back and killed the Empress and all of the imperial family except Tuon, who had been fortuitously (!) shanghaied by Mat just in time to get her out of Semirhage's reach. Anyone want to bet on how long Tuon would have lived if she'd been left in Ebou Dar? Semirhage was giving Suroth hints of becoming Empress, which would have placed all the Seanchan forces unquestionably in DF/FS hands.

You know, I love this place. Someone makes a comment, and by the time I'm done responding to the comment I have a whole new understanding of what's going on. :) Thinking with your fingers FTW!

On Cadsuane and her "Extortion" - no, no one can explain it to you. We can only make our guesses and explain why we think we're right. The text gives us very little to go on. It's on my list of things to ask Brandon or Maria if I get a chance!!

me1234 @128 - Alanna knocked out by Verin's potion? That's an idea I hadn't heard before. We'll learn more about this soon in Chapter 25.

MasterAlThor @132 - That a problem, dude? ;p

Bourgeois Nerd @149 - (love the name - take it grey!) Very good points about the individual relationships. They are definitely distinct, and peculiar to the personalities involved. Well done.
144. Rand Al'Todd
@75 and 76 re the "set you free" part of Tuon's prophecy:

Just a guess, but with all the talk about her being able to channel, and predictions that she will change the culture as a result, I predict that Mat has not yet "set her free" - She WILL be discovered and be made damane, and Mat will have to save her. (Saving female channelers being one of his main activities in the story so far :-))

And the continuing discussion of Caddy: I still think that she has vital knowledge gained from Norla (who I believe is Latra Posse (sp??) from the "Strike" story - I think Norla spent time with the Finn and/or on one of the Portal Stone worlds where time moves differently from Randland.) Norla set Caddy on the mission to learn how to handle male channelers because it was obvious that something would need to be done to help the DR stay sane long enought to make it to TG.
James Hogan
145. Sonofthunder
In regards to "Is punishment going against 2nd Oath?":

Well obviously, it's not. Because we can see Aes Sedai just love hitting people with flows of air. Or is that just the Supergirls? Anyway, I think we all know how much the AS abuse the 1st Oath(it's the foundation of multiple proverbs, for crying out loud!) and so we can't deny that there's a possibility they abuse the 2nd as well. Since apparently obedience to the Oaths is all in your mind, so, if in an AS's mind, punishment does not equal weapon, you're good. And wow, I'm abusing my commas.

Mind you, this doesn't mean I'm against AS using the OP as punishment. Really, I think this is just another argument against the Oaths. Wait, did I just go there? *hides* We see that the Oaths' only real use is for public relations purposes. And it's not that great of PR, either. The AS just need to keep themselves accountable, but *not* by using the binder. Just live among the people and do good, AS! Servants of all! And if only 5% or less of the AS resided in the Tower, I think that would be a good thing as well. The less time spent on internal politicking, the better.

And in regards to Cadsuane, while I think if I was in the same room with her, I'd dislike her mightily, due to several persuading arguments(*cough*wetlander*cough*), I have come to understand her a bit more and almost see her point of view. She would still get on my nerves, though.

And now, I'm going to see if there's any room in the bunker..

Oh and Longtimefan...HILARITY. Please don't ever stop.

Brief edit: Oh and Wetlander@143, I don't think that latest post helped your word-count any. ;) But again, don't ever stop - I always look forward to reading yours!
Alice Arneson
146. Wetlandernw
Gentleman Farmer @141 -
Re: Use of the OP for punishment is not a weapon
and why Cadsuane is bad for the forces of light

I don't think I can agree with this statement.
Me either. It's not a statement, it's two unrelated phrases with no punctuation to clarify it. Beyond that, I'll only say, Wow! You have an amazing ability to extrapolate and interpolate and twist what little information you have into some very... interesting... conclusions.

Rand Al'Todd @144 - That's a good thought on "set you free." Tuon thought she'd seen each segment fulfilled, which is why she chose the moment she did to finalize her marriage to Mat. I really enjoy rereading that bit. :) But as we all know, WoT is full of things that mean more than one thing, so it's quite possible that there's a deeper fulfillment coming. Bet we don't see it until AMoL, though.

Sonofthunder @145 - LOL! Yeah, by the time I was ready to post that one, I almost went back and commented on the length myself! Ah, well. No matter how much I make myself cringe, I'm not likely to try to change my personality that much. I'm going to have a pretty snazzy castle if I ever find a way to hold all these walls together.
Steve Hussey
147. deihbhussey
Couple points I’d like to touch on and I apologize in advance if they're a bit ramble-y (yes yes, making up words is bad.... or maybe it's language evolution ;-))

Re Blackmail: At first glance I too got up set by the idea of blackmail. Until I remember that this is the WoT world and not the real one and start thinking of all that means. It’s apparent in WoT that blackmail is perfectly acceptable to use. It goes right in there with political maneuvering, deliberately misleading people with vague statements, controlling anyone & everyone that can be controlled, etc. Basically, most characters with power in Wot operate under the rationale that the end justifies the means, so if I believe my goal is right, I’m going to use any lever necessary to do so. Even our main characters have done it (not so much Mat or Perrin, but certainly Rand, Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom, etc.), but I for one am more willing to overlook it in our main characters because we know so much more about their goals and we are invested in them winning so if it helps, then I’m all for it. Perfect example: I finally started to like the Egwene as Amyrilin storyline as soon as she took the bull by the horns and put the Salidar 6 firmly within her control by using…. Blackmail. I didn’t really think anything of the blackmail portion at the time but was simply happy Egwene was finally able to stop people from pushing her around.

Re spanking: I also am not sure I see the hang up on it. Once again, in WoT the generally accepted axiom is that the end justifies the means and in many situations it’s the opinion of the “parent” character (in this case, whichever character is acting as the current “top dog” & in control – generally the older more mature person but Nynaeve has been switching people twice her age since before book 1) that the person receiving the spanking is acting like a child and needs it as a teaching agent. Is the person right? Sometimes & sometimes not, & sometimes there’s not a real definitive answer of right/wrong beyond the fact of whether or not said spanking obtains the result desired by the person in control. Either way, I never liked it as a kid, but looking back, “most” of the time, I probably deserved it and it taught me manners and other necessary behavioral necessities I now take for granted.

Basically, these practices are quite standard within the WoT world even if we have issues with it in ours. Though I will note that the end justifying the means philosophy seems to differ between the dark side & the light side in that the dark side does anything for selfish reasons & pleasure and the light side’s intentions are more selfless (or at least that’s what the individual lightsider believes at the time)
Ron Garrison
148. Man-0-Manetheran
Wonderful News: Another great chapter title, both literal and ironic. This chapter is chockful of wonderful clues - both new and restated (at least in retrospect).

1) Even with Huffy Harine’s harange, Cadsuane’s focus is on what caused these AS to swear fealty to Rand. It puzzles her, and anything that puzzles Cads is something to consider closely. And, by the by, how could anyone not enjoy Cadsuane handing Huffy Harine her ass in a sack! You go girl!

2) Enter VERIN and Sorilea (see above).

3) Sorilea is giving Verin a sleeping potion and warning her that an overdose can be fatal.

4) Cadsuane goes to greet Sorilea. Significant in that Cads usually expects people to come to her.

5) Cadsuane wonders what could make even the Red sisters swear fealty. Restated for emphasis by RJ.

6) “there was also the possibility that one or two might be Black Ajah.” DUN!

7) Cadsuane’s thoughts about rooting out the Black was “...her bitterest failure except possibly for failing to learn what Caraline Damodred’s cousin had been up to in the Borderlands...” This, for me, confirmed that Cads was not Black, even though RJ made many think she might be.

8) Hard on the heels of that comes Verin’s comment that Sorilea is formidable and that she is glad she is on their side, if she is.

9) Alanna “afraid to wake” - Sorilea looks grim - Verin absolutely terrified. What did you do to Alanna, Verin? Try a little Compulsion Lite and got more through the bond than you bargained for? Maybe a little glimpse of the DO’s right hand man? “Cadsuane had not thought anything could frighten Verin that far.”

10) At the Coffee Shop: Lots of stuff here, but I liked Graendal bursting out at Demandred with “And you’ve just been hoping to blunder into him! Hoping someone will find him for you!” And who’s death was described as blundering through the wrong door searching for a glass of wine?

Chapter 14:
Shogun: Yes. Seriously. If you haven’t read it, do! James Clavell is another of my favorite authors who died too soon. Sadly there was no one to finish the novel that would have taken his Asian stories full circle.

Anath: Damn. Never got that this was Semirhage, let alone that she was anything different from any another Seanchan, even if she did have eyes that “pierce like awls.” But RJ did leave clues: Tuon surprised that her mother had chosen Anath, Tuon is a little afraid of her new Truthspeaker, Anath’s contemptuous tone and sneering, the joy of inflicting pain, etc. In the previous chapter, RJ also made a point of letting us know that Semi was missing from the coffee klatch. And then he leads us astray with “a Truthspeaker was required to tell the stark truth...” Ah, crafty Jordan, you fooled me! Nope. Didn’t suspect for a minute.
Jeff Weston
149. JWezy
Wetlander@143 - Yes, Cadsuane tolerates Diagan because she has a fine mind, but also because she is a damp dishrag. We have seen no instance I can recall in which Cadsuane respects any mind that doesn't come to the same conclusion she (Cads) alerady has. She doesn't seem to have any interest in independant thought, despite the fact that (a) she is not in possession of all the facts, and (b) is demonstrably wrong in some cases (as are we all).

Someone like Nynaeve must have any inclination toward independence from Cadsuane carefully and thoroughly squashed before she can even get assignments from Cads, let alone any indication of what her motivations or plans are. This despite the clear fact that Nynaeve has information and influence that clearly could be of use to Cadsuane in her efforts.

The bottom line is that Cadsuane is a fine plotter and schemer, but a lousy leader. If you don't inspire trust, if you don't bring out the best effort and energy from those who should be following you, you are not a leader. You might be a boss, but that is a totally different (and less effective) thing.

I have worked for both in the past, and I can tell you that a boss can accomplish very little beyond what his/her own hands can do, while a leader can move mountains. Even Dragonmount-ains.
Alice Arneson
150. Wetlandernw
JWezy - Tolerates Daigian? How about "sought out?" How about "asks her to work on things that baffle everyone else - herself included - because she has the sharpest mind around?" How about "trusts her to carry out secret espionage?" How about "treats her with courtesy?"

Oh, never mind. As the old saying goes, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."
Roger Powell
151. forkroot
jamesedjones@130 and Freelancer@134

I'm going on memory that Cadsuane expected to live to the end of the Age (and hence expected to work with the DR.) I'm at work right now ::sssshhh:: and so I'll have to look up a reference for you tonight.

As best as I can remember, the reference will come from TGS.
Leigh Butler
152. leighdb
Wetlandernw @110:

It is true that in online communication, tone is often in the eye of the beholder, so it is entirely possible I misinterpreted your intent. If so, I apologize.

I will say that I've been doing this Internet thing for quite a while now, and in my decade-plus of decoding text-based tone, I've found that wordchoice is telling. But, as you say, this is sometimes the downfall of bluntness, a trait which we do unquestionably share. So, fair enough.

As to your actual complaint: I've always said from the very beginning that I was not going to be able to cover every last item of interest in every chapter. Once I decided to do extended commentaries I was able to get to a lot more than I had previously, but even so, there are limits to what I can reasonably cover in the time I have to do these.

There is also the point that given the ongoing nature of plotlines and so forth, a certain amount of repetition in my commentary on them is unavoidable. Knowing that, though, it may be worth considering that sometimes I don't touch on things that crop up in one particular chapter because I know that they are going to come up again later, and sometimes I would like to try not to, ahem, blow my wad all in one place. So to speak.

As for the manner in which I choose to express my views, I've already said my piece on that.

Lastly, while I'm not trying to be "oh poor me" here, because I really do love doing these recaps, the fact remains that I am generating an average of 8 to 10,000 words a week for this blog, at least a percentage of which I like to try to work on and make entertaining or insightful, while holding down an entirely separate full-time job. And also, you know, occasionally attempting to have a life as well. Given that, perhaps I can be forgiven for being selective about which things I decide to concentrate on and which I do not.

After all, that is why the commenter community here is so awesome, because I know I can rely on you guys to cover anything which I might not have been able to get to. And y'all have never failed me in this regard.

So, that's what it is. I hope this helps address your concerns, and that we can put this behind us and get on better together in the future.
Rob Munnelly
153. RobMRobM
@149. "We have seen no instance I can recall in which Cadsuane respects any mind that doesn't come to the same conclusion she (Cads) alerady has."

Yes, we have. Verin later in this book and subsequent books. Cads respects and doesn't force her onto Cads' agenda.

@148. Re terrified Verin. Perhaps she was concerned that Graendel or Semi had gotten their claws into Rand and were torturing him while they watched the collateral damage in front of them. Pretty good cause for fear, IMO.

And, yes, Clavell really could put together a tale. Toranaga was one of the favorite fictional characters at one time.

@147 - re what's wrong with the "s" word - hang out with our fearless leader for a while and you'll receive input on that score. Or perhaps best to go back to the TSR re-read in which Perrin and Faile goes through the Ways to get to the Two Rivers to get a preview....

Rob Munnelly
154. RobMRobM
Leigh @152. Well put. But you mean to say you actually have a job other than massive effort?

(I'm kidding. Kind of.)

EDIT - As I think about it, 8-10,000 words a week on this blog just might place you somewhere in the top 5 here - likely behind Freelancer, Wetlander, Subwoofer but ahead of me (I sure hope so, anyway) and most everyone else. (I'm kidding again.)

155. birgit
So how would they be held? Would they have been tied with ropes? What would prevent them from leaving the rooms where they're kept?

Locking the door doesn't require channeling or armies.
Jeff Weston
156. JWezy
Wetlander - Absent any indication as to what actually passes between the two (and we have, I think, only third-party commentary), I have no idea what Diagan is actually privy to, or why. The fact is that Cadsuane doesn't make best use (or indeed any use, except on her own terms) of the other people available.

And since Diagan sits lowest in the pecking order, we are left to imagine that a part of the relationship is that Diagan would never think to ask for more than might be granted, and accept whatever came to her, in whatever form.

Personally, I would not want to be put in a position where I had to work for Cadsuane. Because, after all, there is no such thing as working with her.

Of course, in the larger view, I am convinced that we will ultimately be privy to more information about Cadsuane that will put many of her actions in a different light. I fully expect to respect her for her motivations and desires when all is said and done (or written and read and re-read).

But I remain convinced that her style limits her effectiveness. And that is the "nub of my gist".
Jeff Weston
157. JWezy
Alternative Theory: Cadsuane and Diagan are pillow-freinds! ("Of course I like you for your mind, my dear...")
158. Freelancer

I'm not seeing Verin having used a potion on Alanna. Verin did nothing to her when she bonded Rand, and she was clearly very far from pleased about it at the time. What motive does she have at this point of the story to dose Alanna? Besides, if she had been acted upon by some chemical agent, I beleive that Ihvon's reaction would have been different. Rather than saying she was "afraid to wake", it would have been "unable to wake" at least. The delivery of the scene tells us that Alanna's condition is due to shock, not poison.


RE: Wetlandernw's use of "dude". She's a child of the 70's. We created the colloquial usages of the word. As well as gnarly, tubular, tripendicular, and a hundred other terms and phrases. It's more proper and fitting to come from her than from most others. Dude.
Steve Hussey
159. deihbhussey
@ Rob – I’ve read through them over the past month & I agree with some of the points with respect to our world. I’m not trying to push on a hot button issue especially since I do love all of the commentary and Leigh’s re-writes – gets me through my work day sometimes. ;-) That said, I’m not going to judge something that is so standard & prevalent within another world, I'm also not judging Leigh's right to do so. Though I will agree with you that the Perrin/Faile spanking was an egregious example of something I wouldn’t consider right – especially between two equals within the confines of a romantic relationship. Even then, Faile was annoying the tar out of me throughout the journey and prior time in Tear so I probably just didn't get as worked up by it - though I will say that I read tSR right after it came out when I was 14 or 15 (i'm now 32) and it's generally only on the first reading of something that my hackles stand up so much.

Perrin probably should have just tried to restrain her until she stopped hitting him (by restrain I don’t mean tie up but instead mean hold as gently as possible in a way to prevent her from continuing to inflict physical violence). An example of an occasion when I believe a spanking was justified was Cads spanking Semi in tGS. It’s the only thing that got through her façade.

It’s also apparent that spanking is quite normal within the WT – sometimes even for AS. If a character grows up learning in an environment where it is acceptable to spank adults to teach them a lesson why would that person think there is anything wrong with it?

As I said, I’m not saying I believe it right to spank an adult, but it appears that “adult” vs “child” & the act of spanking itself means something different to the characters & culture within WoT then it does to us in the real word, hence – for the most part – it doesn’t bother me when it happens.
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
Leigh @152 - Fair enough. It's over and... we're... walking. :) Or talking. Or whatever.

birgit @155 - LOL! So very true. And it's precisely why Dobraine's men were able to do something about it. OP Air-bonds would be... a bit difficult for your average soldier.

Freelancer/MasterAlThor - I have to admit that this place is starting to worry me. I tend to use the colloquialisms to which I'm accustomed - many of which date, as Freelancer says, from the 70s. Most of the time, that's perfectly safe, but if a term has shifted its meaning and now means something completely different, there's a fair chance I wouldn't even know... until I use it here and find out the hard way. Makes me leary of using any word with other than it's clear dictionary definition! Still, with others of my generation around who will remember the earlier lingo, it's not as bad as it could be. And of course, it will always be the ones I don't even think about that get me. Freelancer - remember "copacetic?" :) Haven't heard that one in years. Probably for good reason.

Now all you kids get off my lawn!
161. Lsana
@91 SusanB,

"Blackmail was a tool she disliked using, but she had already used it on the three Asha’man."

It takes some verbal gymnastics to interpret that as "she blackmailed the sisters into bonding Asha'man." I can see how it would be done, but it seems the most likely interpretation is that she blackmailed the Asha'man.

@146 Wetlandernw (and others on the topic of 2nd oath):

Using the OP as a "weapon" and using it as "punishment" may be a clear distinction in the minds of the Aes Sedai, but it is probably less clear in the minds of the victim. What the Aes Sedai sees as punishment could very easily be considered torture from the other side of the fence.

Now, no one here is arguing that Cadsuane is Black (at least I hope not), so we all know that Cadsuane cannot do anything that in her own mind counts as using the OP as a weapon. However, the quote from NS suggests that Cads is willing to go pretty far in what she considers appropriate punishment. Therefore, when you go against her, you need to be just as afraid as if she wasn't bound by the 2nd Oath. The fact that when she ties you up with the power and beats you to within an inch of your life, she considers it punishment rather than torture is probably of minimal consolation. Therefore, it takes some guts to do what Dobraine did.

On a completely different topic:

I'm surprised that we have 150+ posts, and no one has started any discussion of Lanfear's drop in power. Has that topic just been so discussed to death that everyone is sick of it?
Rob Munnelly
162. RobMRobM
deihb@159 - to be clear, my position is closely aligned with yours - it's accepted in world, not a big issue for me - but some people on the re-read **coughLeighcough** can get pretty exercised on that particular subject. Just wanted to make sure you were on notice, that's all. Welcome to the jungle....

Rob Munnelly
163. RobMRobM
@161. Yes. **cough cough lost her ter'angreal of extra beauty and power when she went to Finns and died cough cough**
Ron Garrison
164. Man-0-Manetheran
Wow. It was hard to catch up on the comments today. Just when I get to the end, I hit refresh and they have doubled!

Wetlandernw@49&51&110,etc.: You go girl! I always love to read your posts, and especially your poking holes in assumptions.
“’Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.’ And when the old age and treachery is accompanied by both power and skill... yeah. Which is, of course, part of the reason so many people don't like her, but...”

forkroot@67: Excellent points. Those readers who skip over Cadsuane’s sections are missing some very important stuff, and that’s sad. I’ll have a cup of tea too, please.
Steve Hussey
165. deihbhussey
Rob@162 Haha, I appreciate the warning and thanks for the welcome. I’ve been a huge fan for years but never really got involved with any WoT interweb areas until the last few months, so I definitely appreciate the heads up from more experienced users.
David Jameyson
166. Aneid
Re Cads:

I have always interpreted Cads as a bit of a narcissist. Mix that with a low threshold for foolishness (what she considers foolishness) and you have someone that comes off not only looking completely egomaniacal but snappy and rude to boot.

But there are so many layers to her character that it is not just that. She has the patience to think through problems that she could easily decide were not worth her time, as someone with an ego would do. She has patience with her favorite past time, needle work. But she does not have patience in people. She has not matured to the level to understand that not everyone sees things the way she does or was raised the way she was. She has not gathered the wisdom to live by the golden rule “Treat others the way you wish to be treated and talk to people the way you wish to be talked to.”

Every time Rand has used his authoritative tone with her she has nipped it in the bud and placed Rand in the penalty box until he figures out that her way is the best way. I find her to be a character of many contradictions, not so much hypocrisies. I have read many scenes when her intelligence and wisdom has been extraordinary … then the next scene completely wipes them out with bullying or veiled threats or blackmail. I wonder to myself, “Self, what is her major malfunction.” ~crickets chirping~

Meh …
Janet Hopkins
167. JanDSedai
Not *even* gonna comment on the, uh, comments...

Eccept to say that Semirhage could not go the the Forsaken Coffee Hour because even the Forsaken cannot Gate from/to a moving ship. Her alliance with Demandred was evidently started when she was still in Seanchan, then put on hold while she traveled (small "t") to Randland.
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
Lsana @161 - Not to nitpick, but I'm not getting into the "weapon/punishment" debate on this thread. Everyone already knows what I think about it. @146, I only quoted "Gentleman Farmer" to point out that his statement wasn't a statement.

Lanfear's power level... I don't know that everyone is sick of the subject, but I think we've rather run it into the ground in terms of the information currently available. From various sources, I have the impression that we will likely learn more soon, and probably in TofM. At least, I hope so!

Speaking for myself, I'd love to find that Lanfear had some power-enhancement ter'angreal that she lost during her Finn-time, and that when Moiraine is rescued she'll be in possesion of them instead. It's a not-entirely-looney theory I picked up elsewhere, but I like it. (See also RobM @163)

Man-o-Manetheran @164 - Hi!! ::waves:: Have some tea! Scone? Homemade pear jelly? :)
169. me1234
Freelancer (158) you are right, Alanna couldn't have been poisoned with sleeping potion. I totally forgot Delving would have discovered it if she had and Ihvon's reaction should have been different.

I still think Sorilea will be discovered to be a DF, but only time will tell.
j p
170. sps49
Wetlander @111-

Compulsion is, however, a part of the Warder bond, and sisters do use it, some more or less than others. Even Moiraine alludes to this in an early exchange with Lan. Having the ability would also be the implied iron hand inside every velvet glove request, whether it be "stand over in that corner, if you would" or "stick the pointy end of your sword into that Trolloc".

The three Asha'man here have apparently been compelled into bondage in the first place; actual Compulsion is a small step away which we have seen was a motivation of Alanna and Cadsuane while considering bonding the Dragon Reborn.

And re: Cadsuane- I think she is unecessarily abrasive and not effective at her aim of influencing Rand. This does not mean I hate the character, just that I disagree with certain of her actions.
Brandon D
171. Ishmayl
I run a local music academy and venue. I'm on a very tight budget. So often-times, when we have events, such as recitals for the students, or gigs for bands that come to play, my wife will come in and serve drinks to people, and help take up tickets. I don't pay her, she just helps out. She, on the other hand, runs a local pet supply store. They do dog-adoption parties every two weeks on Saturdays, and I come in and help take care of the dogs when she needs help. Neither of these things degrades us, we're just making ourselves useful to each other.

This subject may be tired by now (as I am with the subject), but I really have no issues with the Asha'M(e)n being put on "Tea-Serving-Duty." What's wrong with Warders making themselves useful by serving tea? Otherwise, all they'd have to do is just sit around and look imposing. Warders have many times in the series been put on some sort of menial-labor-type duty so that the Aes Sedai could meet a particular goal. Hell, Aes Sedai themselves have done it (serving tea to Rand in aCoS to prove Rand is not under their influence). I just can't get worked up about it.

EDIT: I took out a paragraph, it wasn't important

BTW, does Tuon ever get her own chapter icon?
Hugh Arai
172. HArai
Wetlandernw@143: It's not my conviction that she would do it, she straight out said she would do it. Moiraine herself (well practiced at First Oath weaseling) points that out. So since I'm not going to postulate she's a Black, the "word is as good as the deed". She can't make empty threats in this manner, that would be lying. It's a whole new take on the phrase "verbal abuse" :)

Now as you and Freelancer@116 point out maybe what she planned to administer wouldn't be considered an assault. I wonder where the line is drawn however. This example with Cadsuane and Moiraine may be relatively tame but you asked for an example with Cadsuane.

I'd like to consider Elaida and Egwene though. Elaida whips Egwene with the power until she falls unconscious. That's apparently square with her Oath and presumably was for all the AS present since even with all the BA hunting going on no one went "well that was suspicious". It was apparently a violation of Tower law but not the Oath. So whipping people unconscious with the OP is ok. Is banging someone's head into the wall until they're unconscious ok? Is giving someone 3rd degree burns until they pass out ok? Where is the line? Do we have any examples where an AS says X is ok, Y is going too far? If someone grabbed a whip and whipped me unconscious I think I would consider them to be using a weapon on me. If "I'm teaching them a lesson" justifies that, well the potential for abuse seems very high.

Edit to add: Wetlandernw, just read your statement that you don't want to get into the "weapon/punishment" debate. Fair enough, but if anyone else has insights I'd love to hear them.
Alice Arneson
173. Wetlandernw
sps49 - The three Asha'man here have apparently been compelled into bondage in the first place; actual Compulsion is a small step away ... See, here's where I remain unconvinced. It's possible that they were "compelled" via a very convincing argument, as in "I'm compelled to agree with ..." That kind of compulsion requires free will, and is a very different thing from being Compelled to do something which you have no desire to do, but about which you are given absolutely no choice. (Of course, here's my other objection: blackmail is made possible by the blackmailee. If you live in such a way that you have nothing to fear from your secrets being exposed, or if you are willing to take the consequences of all your actions, no one can blackmail you.) Also, it's entirely possible that the blackmail Cadsuane refers to came after the Warder bonding - "You did what? You asked these Aes Sedai to bond you as Warders? Are you crazy? Well, okay, I'll take care of telling Rand and take the brunt of his inevitable anger if you will come with your Aes Sedai and me wherever I require it."

No, I don't honestly think that's what the "blackmail" was, in part because the primary reason I can think of for her to do it is something she doesn't know about yet - the Cleansing. It's most likely that she somehow rather abruptly persuaded them to accept the Warder bond, simply because that's the obvious change we see in this chapter. However, I still can't figure out a) why she would have made the effort to force them into that or b) what information she could possibly have used as leverage. So frankly, from the text there's no compelling reason (see?) to be sure that they were in any way forced into the bond.

ETA: HArai - I asked (Gentleman Farmer, I think, but anyone) to give an example of Cadsuane actually using the OP to hurt someone thus far in the series. IIRC, all we've seen her do so far is refuse to be intimidated by Rand or the Asha'man, intimidate others by the sheer force of her personality and position, and slap Rand (with her hand, not the OP) once. (Next time he sees her, she'll do it again, after a warning.) I just want someone to show me a scene where she's misused the OP so far.
James Jones
174. jamesedjones
173 Wetlandernw
So frankly, from the text there's no compelling reason (see?) to be sure that they were in any way forced into the bond.
Um, actually, it's just not in the text, yet. We find out, from her mouth, that their status with the Black Tower is what she used to blackmail them. This is during her first meeting with Rand in Far Madding, after his WTF reaction to her informing him that they are now warders.
175. Greyhawk
Wow. People have been busy. Regarding the Ashaman blackmail issue--I am in the camp of those who are ticked off at this development. Arguments that the Ashaman seem happy are irrelevant IMHO because that misses the point entirely--they were "forced" into a position of subservience. I think the use by Jordan of the term "blackmail" was a big deal. I don't buy the arguments that they weren't "forced". They became Warders under duress and that is not cool and is not something I can get behind.

On the compelling component, I always thought that channelers could not be compelled through a warder bond--maybey I missed something.

Tuon--this introduction is a great reason to hope that the Seanchan are kicked out of Randland. This is a society were they social strata are so rigid and strict that the presumed heir to the empire has to have a functionary who job it is to speak the truth, because. . . no one else can for fear of their life! Think about that. Yes, feudal societies often function in a similar way (junior nobles, etc. telling the King, Duke, etc. what they want to hear to curry favor) but not to the extent that the leader was so cut off that it was necessary to appoint someone to say what no one else could (I mean that literally--they risk their life otherwise).

Also, the treatment of channlers and the associated breaking of the human spirit is just repulsive when actually examined. I cannot wait for Tuon to come face to face with the reality that she is one of the horses/dogs she is so proud of her ability to train.
Tricia Irish
176. Tektonica
Wetlander@146: Your words directed towards Gentleman Farmer @141:

You have an amazing ability to extrapolate and interpolate and twist what little information you have into some very... interesting... conclusions.

I think that's just the other side of the coin that you use so well! ;-)

In fact your post @173 is a perfect example of your extrapolation of Cads motivations from your perceptions of her personality and motivations. It's ALL extrapolation.....what we are doing here with the clues given to us. Gentleman Farmer's post was an excellent example of the negative side of Cads behavior.

Reading this particular post is a full time job! Whew.
Max Espensen
177. Andvari
I'm not going to get too involved in the Cadsuane debate as most has already been said. I personally am more pro-Cadsuane than most, though I find her irritating and smug at times, she can be very insightful and satisfying to read when she's not being overbearingly arrogant herself. I basically just wanted to say I really hope we get some sort of details on what happened with Norla the toothless wilder. I'm not necessarily demanding a full-blown novella or flashback (which would be kind of useless unless RJ had already written one anyway) but just some sort of reason to see how Cads developed the way she did. I have a feeling it's something that will be deliberately left opaque though, sadly.
Roger Powell
178. forkroot
Well, assuming we don't get any more information about Norla in ToM or AMoL, there's still hope. AFAIK, there are plans to publish a WoT encyclopedia (basically Maria's notes etc.).

So ... if RJ left information in his notes about Norla (and apparently he did leave a lot of "backstory" information), we might see it in that book.
Hugh Arai
179. HArai
IIRC, all we've seen her do so far is refuse to be intimidated by Rand or the Asha'man, intimidate others by the sheer force of her personality and position, and slap Rand (with her hand, not the OP) once.

The mileage, it does vary :) To me, they aren't intimidated by the force of her personality, they're intimidated by her thuggish threats to manhandle them. She's very convincing because people know she's not bluffing, but "do what I say or I'll beat you" doesn't take much personality. School-yard bullies manage that at 6.

I agree we haven't seen her do anything "on-screen" yet, but I suspect that's more to do with the fact that the people we see her threaten tend to be either non-channelers or AS who spend their interactions with her focused on the fact she's much stronger in the OP. Those people quite sensibly decide not to challenge her.

Rand does exactly the same thing to her with the "do you believe I can kill you with the Pattern" in TGS. She quite sensibly doesn't take him up on it.

Ah well. I'm sure you disagree, but I'm not really interested in Cadsuane, I'm actually more interested in the issue you're not interested in: Where exactly is the line drawn for "using the One Power as a weapon". Freezing people in place, waving them around, whipping them, throwing various items at them, super-pinching them, and smacking them all seem to be fine. Balefire and fireballing appear to be out. Is it intent-based, and you can do whatever you like as long as you don't mean to kill them outright?
180. alreadymadwiththebigwall
Branwhin @9 Dholton @38
Merise makes a compelling argument later. The point in relegating the Asha'Warders to inferior status (statii), is to drive home the point that as Warders they are to be subordinate to Aes Sedai. That whatever honors they have gained before, become subordinate to their positions as Warders. That as Warders, all the status that they will ever need will come from their Aes Sedai. A very difficult lesson to learn for particularly strong channelers, as Aes Sedai know well. I don't like the bonding and the blackmail that precipitated it either. But once done, I can see why they are treated like that.

Katiya @28
Agreed. The idea that Aes Sedai can protect them from the Black Tower is flimsy at best. After all these are battle-tested Asha'man. They've gone up against Forsaken. They didn't win, of course, but they didn't die either.

darxbane @41
The bond does not protect against the Taint. Rand still feels it even after being bonded by Alanna way back. And the bond was invented for regular non-channeling soldiers, not about-to-go-mad channelers.

Freelancer @44
Ah but here we have the wonders of Seanchan Air-mail Express.

Wetlandernw @49
From Hopwil's POV during the Cleansing it was like he was still having second thoughts. Unfortunately, the close emotional connection seems to erode any objections over time. As for my thoughts on why they are treated the way they are read above.

forkroot @90
I was under the impression that their connection to the One Power allowed channelers, both male and female increased sensitivity to shadowspawn.

Bourgeois Nerd @140
Somehow I like the idea of Corele and Flinn getting it on. Way to go old man! Now to head for the bunker.

Rand Al'Todd @144
The "set her free" part has already been fulfilled. Mat captured her and despite her relatively easy treatment, she was essentially his prisoner. He then released her to Furyk Karede when the latter caught up with them, hence "setting her free."

forkroot @151
Err.. I'm pretty sure Cadsuane expects to fall over any minute. She has a POV in Far Madding where she thinks on this. She even sleeps with her arsenal in place now.

Wetlander @173
Why Cadsuane would want the Asha'man bonded as Warders is easy enough. Rand trusts these guys. He has them doing missions for him. Having them bonded is a quick in to whatever plans Rand has that involves them. As I've mentioned before a Warder's first loyalty is supposed to be for his Aes Sedai. And guess who the Warders' first loyalty is for. Cadsuane herself. The other way to look at it is traditional Aes Sedai position on not letting any channelers run wild without Aes Sedai supervision. At least at the start.

Darn. For some reason I couldn't find this re-read until about an hour ago...
181. Lsana
@179 HArai,

I'm pretty sure that there aren't any limits on how far the oaths can stretch. As long as the Aes Sedai herself believes she is following the letter of the oath, nothing will stop her from doing whatever she likes. Up through KoD, we saw Aes Sedai say incorrect things, use half-truths, make statements that they deliberately constructed so they would be misinterpreted, and even spoke contrary to fact (using sarcasm). In TGS, we saw what Elaida did to Egwene. I'm pretty sure if that falls under the oath, so does any behavior that the Aes Sedai can justify to herself.

Yet more reasons, in case anyone needed them, to abolish the oaths.
Tess Laird
182. thewindrose
Riding over the exclamations of shock, Cadsuane gathered Corele and Sorilea - who could not be left behind in this - and ordered Jahar to lead the way. Verin came as well, and Cadsuane did not stop her. Verin had a way of noticing what others had missed.

"She won't need to," Verin said absently. She was frowning at an inkstain on her finger, but she seemed to be studying something beyond.

"I know it was not my business, Cadsuane, but Bera and Kiruna were getting nowhere with our guests, so I had a little talk alone with Shalon. After a little gentle questioning, she spilled out the whole story, and Ailil confirmed everything once she realized I already knew.

This is all soooo interesting with what we know now!

(And I didn't even include the other Verin parts that were mentioned by Leigh in the post.:)

183. MasterAlThor
Freelancer and Wetlander
(otherwise know as Simon and Garfunkel)

I was born in the early 70's. So I am fimilar with the terms dude, etc.

My exclamation was just over Wetlanders use of it. She has such a grasp of the english language that useing such....common words is...well...shocking.

I always love teasing you guys anyway.

You know cause you are soooooo old.


I caught that. Here is one for you.

Have you ever seen the slithy toves gyre and gimble in the wabe?

john massey
184. subwoofer
Holy schmoo! Geeze guys, great to see the economy pluggin' along with all y'all givin' 'er at work;)

Sooo many comments that I want to comment on I have actually forgotten my comments on the comments.

Seanchan- right or wrong. Well, to me, just plain wrong. This comes down to the First Directive in Star Trek- no interference, but that is a bunch o' hooie. You change things just by being around. Look at the States. Racism was wrong, racial segregation was wrong, and it changed. Take apartheid in South Africa. We don't have to send in an occupying force to affect change.

Bela deserves a chapter icon. Let's start a petition to BS and Harriet.

john massey
185. subwoofer
@Lsana- yay! Great to see you around again:) You should go gray- even Alreadymadwhentheygavehimaweggie has a gray icon. Oaths- that is the thing about individual interpretation, it varies depending on the person. I think this speaks to a person saying that an AS has to be asked straight questions that leave no room for maybes. One thing I have noticed, when we do get an AS POV, it often includes how they get around the oaths by phrasing their words so it rings true in their mind.

Warder bonds. I would like to say that Warders like to scrap. I believe they took the bond because the chances for a tussle greatly increase. Serving tea? Pass. I think they would rather sharpen their knives.

john massey
186. subwoofer
Blackmail- upon rereading again, and again, I found just the line in passing, with very little enlightenment. I think as Cranky Pants is bound to the Oaths, and it was her thinking it, blackmail is blackmail.

Vileness, it may be just that I am clueless, but I always assumed Cranky Pants was just firing off random questions to keep the questionee off balance. Throw enough stuff against a wall, something is bound to stick.

Cranky Pants quest? Just an old biddy lookin' for a good time. If she wanted duty, she'd be Amrylin already instead of ducking that responsibility. She wants adventure and Rand is her best ticket. Cranky does get one thing though- guys are fun. Yay for us.

Noneo Yourbusiness
187. Longtimefan
too many mimsy borogoves in the way.

So here is just a bit for thought.

In The Gathering Storm there is an explanation of how one goes from being an apprentice to being a Wise One by the example that Aviendha shows the reader in her chapters.

Since the Aes Sedai (nineteen minus Verin and maybe a few others) are apprentices will they be expected to follow all the way through to becoming Wise Ones?

Having been Aes Sedai will they ever say that they are Wise Ones or will they just keep doing what they were told because their version of shame is different that Aiel shame?

Even if they are pushed would they say "I will not be treated this way, I am a Wise One" or will they revert back and say "Aes Sedai"? It is something that may never happen as the Last Battle is approaching and the apprentices may just have to engage in the battle without leveling up.

I guess it is more of a question for a time when there is no impending apocalypse. Then again without the impending apocalypse there would be no Dragon Reborn with no sworn sisters to hand over to the Aiel for apprenticeships.


Also, just as an aside none of them have gone through the rings in Rhuidean to start their apprenticeship but it is not unheard of for Wise Ones to grant that permission to an Aes Sedai (Moiraine went through the rings, though not to become an apprentice.)

However, since the glass columns are what the Aiel use to reveal their lineage back to the Age of Legends would that be something the Aes Sedai would be allowed to enter? Indeed, is it only attuned to Aiel or would it take any person on a family history to the Age of Legends? I think it was specific to the Aiel so Rand was able to see his fathers family line.

If it is reasonable to think that the glass columns in Rhuidean do not work for non-Aiel descended people then how would the Aes Sedai finish their apprenticeship under the Wise Ones? Would they end up in a middle ground like Egwene?

Are any of the Aes Sedai currently apprenticed to the Wise Ones from the Tinkers? Would they try to go through since there is a lineage back to the Age of Legends? Would this allow the Tinkers to find the song?

There is no in book answer that I am aware of. It is all just random fandom postulation.

The Tinkers are currently headed to or in one of two places, the land around Ebou Dar for Seanchan protection and the Waste. I guess we will have to wait and see what Rhuidean is like when Aviendha arrives and find out if there are Tinkers living amongst the Aiel and if they are tempted or allowed to pass through the glass columns.
188. Freelancer
MasterAlThor & Longtimefan

Let's minimize the jabbering, shall we?

So old, am I? The dickens you say! I'll slice and dice you like a Veg-a-Matic. Now where is that vorpal blade?
189. Lillcheese
Re Asha'man tea service: At this point I don't remember what precisely was being discussed. However, I very easily envision Cads making it standard operating procedure to kick servants out ASAP so that no one says things in front of them that should remain secret. It therefor makes sense to use the men present to serve tea etc. as the lowest ranking members of the group. I see the rank having less to do with gender and more to do with age/experience. In the WT they would be novices or maybe Accepted.
Alice Arneson
190. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @176 - Indeed, I extrapolate and interpolate, although I would argue that I don't twist the text. The difference, from my perspective, is threefold. First, I try to let you know when I'm extrapolating, and from what source. Second, I don't draw "conclusions" from the extrapolation, I draw possibilities. Third, I'm not trying to bludgeon you into accepting that this is the only interpretation; I'm trying to bludgeon you into realizing that there are possibilities outside the obvious gut-reaction assumptions. :>

thewindrose @182 - I loved all those. My favorite in the passage was the irony of Cadsuane thinking of her failure to root out the BA, while standing next to Verin. And no one got to enjoy that irony except RJ (and Team Jordan) until 10 months ago.

MasterAlThor @183 - Snicker-snack.

Freelancer @188 - Got it right here.
Ron Garrison
191. Man-0-Manetheran
Verin and Alanna:
Well, I don't know if it was just lost in my Wall or no one thought it worth a comment, so I'm going to post again just for the heck of it:

Alanna “afraid to wake” - Sorilea looks grim - Verin absolutely terrified. I wonder if Verin tried a little of her Compulsion Lite on Alanna and got more through the bond than she bargained for: maybe a little glimpse of the DO’s right hand man, Moridin. “Cadsuane had not thought anything could frighten Verin that far.” As a member of the Black Ajah working for the light, it would definitely be terrifying. The jig is up! That's my theory, and I'll stick with it until someone comes up with a good rebuttal!
Sandy Brewer
192. ShaggyBella

She had begun gathering sisters she trusted, those here with her and others, the day she first heard of strange events in Shienar- her eyes and ears had kept watch on Siuan Sanche and Moiraine Damodred for years without learning anything useful until then...

So that would have been Siuan's visit to Shienar, I guess. Maybe Cads had not been involved with the hunt for Dragon Reborn except for helping capture Logain and Taim. She does like a good manhunt.

I do not mean to put my nose up your sleeve, so I will just go play a little Cat's cradle.
Sandy Brewer
193. ShaggyBella
Oh and the Icon for the Wonderful News chapter is the Rising sun flag of Cairhien. Has that one been used before?
Justin Vickers
194. ScoundrelTheToy
I love Tuon and her interactions with Mat are my favorite chapters in WoT. Aye, she does have despicable ethics regarding damane and property, but one has to remember and try to understand that until she came to Ebou Dar and was kidnapped by Matrim that this is the only way of life she knows/has known. Her exposure to ideals that contradict everything she knows while traveling with Matrim are somewhat disapointing due to the fact that it could be argued that she didn't take enough out of her experience, but she is slowly coming around I feel and am convinced that she may not do a 180 on everything she will ultimately do the right thing once she understands the incongruity of her beliefs.

This hasn't happened yet I feel because Jordan is saving some of these epiphanies for big/bigger moments in the series which is upcoming. Tuon is in store for some very interesting revelations and meetings in the last 2 books. I look forward to any and all of Tuon's interactions with the main characters in the upcoming books and can't wait to see what happens and how it turns out. The whole Matrim married to the Seanchan Empress and Randlanders reaction to it will be so priceless. As well as when Tuon is told or shown (at the Last Battle) that Mat is the Hornsounder will be the best of all. *Precious, allow me to present to you Artur Hawkwing*

Quick question: Anyone curious as to whether Mat will lead the Seanchan Ever Victorious Army in the Last Battle and what exactly Prince of the Ravens title entails? Perhaps it's basically just the same thing as Andor's First Prince of the Sword duties?
Sandy Brewer
195. ShaggyBella
I don't think physically Tuon looks ANYTHING like her Hawkwing ancestor. Although one thing I like about the WOT universe is how colorblind they are. It just doesn't matter unless you have a homely "Farmer Face" or are born a peasant.
196. BiggMann
My first post, so here goes...

I am thinking for the first time that Cadsuane could also have tried her hand at being an undercover Black, but being Green instead of Brown and being blunt, bossy, and grating instead of studious made the task impossible for her to accomplish. Maybe the Dark One's own Dragon Reborn search gave her the 2 and 2 to put together with Moiraine in the Borderlands. Her mouth and attitude would've eventually had her in a kill or be killed situation with another Black to be very effective. Isn't she close to having been alive for too long to still be bound by the Oaths?

Macura also was part of the Yellow eyes and ears network, that was how Nynaeve stumbled into her shop. Not of much use to the Seanchan but better than nothing.

(talking to the other voice inside my head)...is that you Lews Therin?

Is there a legend for all the acronyms?

Great list, but I think Thom is a little more important than those you currently have on his level.

...who else is in my head telling all my thoughts?

gentleman farmer@141
about 100 posts ago I began thinking Cads was a less effective undercover Darkfriend than Verin, now more so.

No, Lan sensed the trollocs back in the Two Rivers, and explained to someone it was a gift from the bond. Rand also felt the darkhounds in Rhuidean and whatever shadowspawn it was at Cold Rocks Hold or whatever the name of that place.

I did not pick up on the blackmail statement until Leigh's re-read, but everyone is assuming the logical, that she blackmailed those specific Asha'Men. She could've just as easily ran up on three off screen and convinced them to spy on Taim (unlikely), or have been involved in sending three of Rand's attackers after him, she could've been giving away information to get rid of Min and her influence on Rand, either by killing her outright or having Rand isolate himself in an effort to keep her safe. Not thinking they were going to go after Rand(much less likely). Just a thought...

toothless Norla?

Possible blackmail scheme: "...right now Rand can't truly trust you, and the only way to prove your loyalty is for 'someone that cannot lie' to tell him straightforward that you are not darkfriends. The only way that can happen is if you bond yourself to an Aes Sedai...
197. Freelancer

If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that Verin's pseudo-Compulsion, applied to Alanna, would somehow reach through the bond with Rand to the link with Moridin, and cause Alanna to freak out?
"She's there," he said, using the flute to point. Unconsciously, he shifted the instrument, following Alanna exactly. "She'll be here soon." She had been in Far Madding since the day before, and he did not understand why she had waited till now. Alanna was a tangle of emotions inside his skull, nervous and wary, worried and determined, and above all, angry. In a barely restrained fury. "If you'd rather not be here, you can wait. . . ."
Alanna is on her way to Rand, and her primary emotion is anger.
Alanna glanced once at Min and dismissed her, focusing on Rand. Without taking her dark eyes from him, she swept her cloak off and flung it over one of the room's two chairs. Her hands settled on her dark gray skirts, gripping them hard. She was not wearing her golden Aes Sedai ring, either. From the moment her eyes fell on him, joy bloomed along the bond. All the rest was still there, the nervousness, the fury, but he had never expected her to feel joy!
Still angry, but now thrilled as well.
Alanna drew a deep breath, and a moment passed before she replied. "I am not sure Cadsuane cares two pins about you," she snapped. "I keep that oath as well as I can, but you do make keeping it hard," Her voice began to harden, and anger welled more strongly through the bond. "I owe fealty to a man who walks off and leaves me behind. Just how am I supposed to serve you? More importantly, what did you do?" Crossing the carpet, she stood staring up at him, fury burning in her eyes. He topped her by more than a foot, and she seemed not to notice. "You did something, I know. I was unconscious for three days! What did you do?"
So, confirmation that her anger is directed at Rand. She knows that what caused her to be knocked out was his doing.
'I decided if I was going to be bonded, it might as well be by someone I said could." He barely caught her hand before it landed on his face. "I've been slapped enough for one day."
Alanna, possessive, much?

I don't see much room for doubt that Elayne's modified first-sister/Warder bond weave is what hit Alanna like a ton of bricks.
Thomas Keith
198. insectoid
Wow, Cranky Pants sure is generating a lot of commentage! Or maybe it's just the "We'll keep you safe from the Black Tower if you let us bond you" debate.

The "Jabberwocky" refs are killing me. At this rate we'll be doing a full recitation of The Hunting of the Snark! ;D

BiggMann @196: Welcome, friend! Re: acronyms... you may wish to consult Wiktionary; there is quite a bit of Internet lingo there.

"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
Some are Boojums--"
Ron Garrison
199. Man-0-Manetheran
Freelancer@197: Thanks and well postulated. I'll buy all that, but WHY does that terrify Verin?

What I meant to emphasize was Verin's pseudo-Compulsion, applied to Alanna, might have reached through the bond with Rand to the link with Moridin, and that caused VERIN to freak out.
Heidi Byrd
200. sweetlilflower
Everytime I would log on to read some comments, I could never finish them all! This is the first time I have actually reached the end and I feel I can comment. I really like to read all of the comments before posting my own. So, I guess I should say something relevant besides

I stole 200!!!!!!!

hahahahahahahahah chew on this!

Anyway, a few weeks ago, in Wetlander's passionate defense of Cadsuane, she posed a question I have been thinking about. Her question was something like the following: What should Cadsuane have done any differently to keep Rand's attention and accomplish as much as she has?

Since we are, agian, discussing Cads, I thought I would bring up her question and see if any of the new folks have an aswer that is based on textual evidence. If you don't provide some quotes, Wetlander will not find your argument copasetic. (sorry, just trying to work in the word)

I guess my main beef with Cads is her first meeting with Rand. If anyone wants to re-read it, it is in ACoS in the chapter, "As the Plow Breaks the Earth". She walks in and everyone over-reacts to seeing her. It is pandemonium, and Rand doesn't know any better so he treats her as a potential enemy. She walks over to inspect the Asha'M(e)n and looking at Narishma, she, "put(s) a finger under his chin, moving his head from side to side before he could jerk back" and then tells him he has "lovely eyes". I guess the point of this behavior is to show them that she is not intimadated, but why does she have to demean another human being to do so? The very first words she says to Rand are,
"So you are the Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn. I'd have thought even a child like Moiraine could have taught you a few manners"

the next thing she says, which comes after talking about him to other AS are,
"That's a good boy"
which comes after he serves her tea using Saidin to move the cups.

I guess my problem with her interections here are the intrinsic rudeness. Wetlander's main argument has always been that Cads will treat people as they act towards her or as she thinks they deserve to be treated. Well, first she examines Narishma like he's her least favorite nephew, then she deliberatly ignores Rand, and then says "that's a good boy." She has never met either Narishma or Rand so is she asking them to put their fingers on her face to inspect her and then call her a "good girl" when she does something they like?

I understand that she is a fictional character so she can't act any other way than the way RJ wanted her to act, but if we are suspending our belief and argueing how she could have acted and still been effective then I have some wiggle room.

She walks in and sees that everyone is on edge. She could have calmly answered Rand's, admittedly terse question. Her next interactions detail how she has been dealing with channelling men for a long time and end with, "Light's truth, they all weep, at the end. There is nothing left for them but tears at the end." What, exactly, is the purpose of saying that? He's the FREAKING DRAGON REBORN!!!!! The only hope of all humanity. Is she trying to scare him? Make him lose hope? Even if she just wants him to face reality, why?

So, after her diatribe on weeping men, she asks him if he hears voices. Now, what exactly has occured between the two of them that she thinks this is the appropriate moment to bring this up. Why is rand going to listen to her? Why is Rand going to trust her? What about this exchange says, hey, I am a trustworthy and thoughtful person. You should keep me around. I know a lot of useful information that you will need. I will respect you if you repsect me. I will not belittle you, or try to freak you out while your underlings are watching.

Well, I'm tired, so this will have to do for now. I just wanted to steal 200 and still post something that was marginally interesting.

Oh, and I get nighmares from the Jabberwocky, so thanks for the nightmares :)
201. Freelancer
Hmm. That's a twisty, narrow, unpaved road. Nothing about Verin's Compulsion-lite weave affects her, only her subject. How could you imagine the weave touching on Moridin-via-Rand-via-Alanna in the first place? And then somehow transporting a sense of what, pure concentrated evil back to Verin?

Verin is terrified because she knows who is bonded to Alanna, and if something drastic and unexplainable happens to a bond-holder, it's reasonable to suppose that something drastic has happened to the bondee. And said bondee is Verin's hope of salvation and rebirth. I think the reaction is justified. Sorilea is grim at the same moment. Her supposition is the same. The Car'a'carn dying ahead of time would mean the complete destruction of the Aiel. With him, only a remnant of a remnant will survive, but without him, it's hopeless. That was what the dreamwalkers told Rand.
202. alreadymadwithwarderbond
BiggMann @196
There's your example right there. Rand felt the darkhounds in Cold Rocks Hold. This was in the Aiel Waste beforep he got bonded by Alanna. So Rand does not exactly need the Warder bond to feel Shadowspawn. He does not exclaim about feeling any differently after being bonded, either. Not a word about increased vitality, the same way Bryne did after being bonded.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the increased vitality and heightened awareness that Warders feel through the Bond is actually a version of the heightened awareness channelers feel when holding the One Power.
Hugh Arai
203. HArai
Man-o-Manetheren@199: It's possible, but I prefer the simpler idea that Verin is freaked out because she knows Alanna has a "non-standard" bond with Rand and her collapse might signal something drastic happened to the Dragon Reborn.
Roger Powell
204. forkroot
TEoTW Chapter 9 enumerates the Warder bond benefits:
1) Faster healing
2) Can go longer without food or sleep
3) Can sense Shadowspawn
This is from Rand's POV based on stories, so it is not necessarily accurate. We get enough confirmation in later scenes though to be sure that Warders can indeed sense Shadowspawn.

The exact details of why the Shadowspawn-sense works once you get the bond aren't really spelled out. Your theories about that and the vitality are certainly plausible.
Roger Powell
205. forkroot
67 forkroot
She, more than anyone alive, has devoted her life to seeing the Dragon Reborn to the Last Battle.
Silly SWMNBN lovers, she had no more inclination than anyone else that the Dragon was on his way until maybe 20 years ago. I could be wrong... but I'd need the quotes to change my mind.

From TGS Chapter 5: Cadsuane thinking to herself..
Over two centuries ago, she'd sworn to herself that she'd live to attend the Last Battle, no matter how long that took. Using the One Power lengthened one's years, and she'd found that determination and grit could stretch those years even further. She was one of the oldest people alive.
Per the text, she's been pointing toward this for 200 years, longer than Verin has been alive and much longer than Moiraine. My point stands.

Ironically, Cadsuane was way off on one thing since she didn't know of the Kin's ages (although she probably knew of the Kin.)
206. alreadymadwiththesense
forkroot @205
I suspect it has to do with the One Power used to breed them. That is why channelers, those connected to the One Power are able to sense them. This ability being transferred to the Warder via the bond.
Simon Taylor
207. VoxOrange
I always considered (with only minimal proof) is that the reason the ashaman are serving the wine was a ploy. Specifically setup to unbalance the situation with the Seafolk. If I recall, sisters are used by Rand for the same and/or similar reason.

I never really got the blackmail either. I (again) assume that Cads trotted out the regular line that "the tower can protect you" or something like. Which we've heard echo a few times from sisters in the series.
john massey
208. subwoofer

Hello 200-@1:33 in the freakin' morning. I was drooling on my pillow around that time. Solid post tho'... er, for those of use that are not on the Cranky Pants for Mayor bandwagon. Heh.

Ranking- folks are making a valid point here. Everything the AS do amongst themselves is set up by rank, so logically, the newbie Asha'man would be at the bottom of the totem pole. And it does make sense that you don't want any snooping servants about to, well, snoop. So if the AS ranking is so all fired important, why does Cranky Pants treat the Dragon Reborn like poop? Rand has to rank up there with the Amrylin, if not for his position as the DR then at the very least because he can hold more power than anyone. Period.


Went to post and the back half was eaten.


Right- Forkroot. Good Point. Cranky Pants is after adventure and the Last Battle is the biggest around. She had no idea it would take 2 hunny years. Rand is incidental. Her "A" plus Rand's "B" will eventually equal Last Battle "C". Then she can putz around with roses again.

@Biggmann, nope, I am just painfully honest about my denseness. No wisdom, just a whole lotta "the book said what?!"

@LTF- yes, I have wondered myself how the AS as apprentices will play out. I guess when one of the ladies owns her honor properly, we will find out.

john massey
209. subwoofer
@Free188- yeah! Chase after those two on your motorized scooter. Go git 'em!

Tricia Irish
210. Tektonica

Please do not think I was being critical of your interpretations, extrapolations and explorations of Cads motivations and actions. You have expanded possible understandings of her actions more than anyone.

I just found your criticism of Gentleman Farmer's extrapolations hilarious, because he too dug deeper into Cads sub-surface possible motivations. I do not think he drew conclusions or bludgeoned...odd words to choose....and he did give examples from the books about which he was speaking.

You may be feeling somewhat under attack in this thread, but I assure you, I was striving for humor, not criticism. :-)
211. alreadymadwithapprentices
subwoofer @208
We already have examples of sisters who the Wise Ones believe do not need training. Sashalle in Cairhien. Cadspants, Verin(despite being supposedly an apprentice, the Wise Ones don't seem to interfere with her much).
john massey
212. subwoofer
@AMW- agreed, but CP, Venin and whatshernut did not have to do a secret test or handshake or bake-off. The actual AS that are apprentices, well, will they be sent to Rhuidean? I dunno. Just spekulatin'.

@Tek- yeah, Wet may be feeling like a lone candle in a field of darkness... Or one of those folks standin' on street corners telling all "the end is near, repent" aka "Cranky Pants is not an annoying character":P

James Hogan
213. Sonofthunder

And those are all the capable and self-confident AS, so it's pretty clear the Wise Ones are acting by their MO: only treat as apprentices those who act like ones. Of course, their apprentices are only the Dumai's Wells prisoners, right? Sorry, I get all the AS confused. Pardon my lack of knowledge.

And I know this subject has already been beat to death, but hey, I like flogging dead horses. In regards to the A'man acting like "servants", I'm more and more convinced that while Cads may have seen this as blackmail, the A'man were quite grateful. Caught between a seemingly crazy and dangerous Dragon Reborn and between a BT that had them on the kill list(wait, how did they know this though?), I can see how they would have been grateful to the AS for protection and guidance. They *are* rather young, well, not Damer, but the others. All in all, it seems like the A'man are in a good place. And if the AS are following their Warder handbook in dealing with them...well, better that than trying to gentle them.
Jonathan Levy
214. JonathanLevy
Cadsuane notes that Sorilea looks grim and Verin absolutely terrified.Cadsuane had not thought anything could frighten Verin that far.

I think this little quote strongly supports the theory that Verin used her private Compulsion on Alanna. Why would she be so terrified here? More terrified than usual for herself, and more terrified than the others? She's afraid her compulsion has unravelled, or been exposed, or is about to be exposed, either by Alanna herself, or by a close delving of her mind.
Tess Laird
215. thewindrose
Oh goody, looks like another poll is in the works! Why is Verin so terrified? (No I am not really going to tabulate, but it would be a good topic until tomorrow to see what we all think - eh?)

I think Verin is terrified because she knows it's Rand that Alanna is bonded to, and something must have happened to Rand for Alanna to go down like that. Alanna was just delved by two sisters, and Ivhon is there, and all of them say there is nothing wrong with her and Ivhon says it is like she just doesn't want to wake up.

Note this does not mean that Verin hasn't used it on Alanna - they have traveled a lot together, and that in itself is very interesting, because one is brown and one is green. Did Siuan send them off to the Two Rivers, I am blanking at the moment? Why are they always together? I would imagine that having Alanna around would be a hindrance and probably also and annoyance for Verin. So I would think that a little compulsion lite would have helped Verin out in some way. RAFO or never know are the likely answers to this.

Jonathan Levy
216. JonathanLevy

I've been nursing a pet theory that Ishmael was deliberately incarnated by the DO into a body that can't channel. We've only seen him use the TP, and he had the saa from the very beginning.

The only flaw I was able to find in my theory is that at some point he thinks about the *greal cache Sammael was hunting, and muses to himself about finding an angreal he could use, attuned to men.
Roger Powell
217. forkroot
I think that Cadsuane pointing her life toward the Last Battle implied that she pointed her life to work with the Dragon Reborn. We learn from other passages that she's studied the prophecies for years, and the DR is pretty much at the center of the prophecies.

Jonathan Levy@214 (and the tempest™ poll)
I'm standing firmly with Freelancer (and William of Ockham) on Verin's terror. Verin is one of the few people (at that point) that knew that Alanna bonded Rand. She also understood better than most what the loss of Rand pre-TG would mean. That's more than sufficient explanation. There's no need to add assumptions.
Jonathan Levy
218. JonathanLevy
I think Verin is terrified because she knows it's Rand that Alanna is bonded to, and something must have happened to Rand for Alanna to go down like that

If that's a good reason for Verin to be afraid, it's also a good reason for all the other sisters to be afraid. Why would Verin be more afraid than the others, and why would she be so terrified that Cadsuane was surprised by it?

In any case, I think it's a good reason to be very worried (like Cadsuane is), but not to be terrified.
Jonathan Levy
219. JonathanLevy

There's no reason for Verin to think that Alanna's unconsciousness was caused by "the loss of Rand". The typical reaction of an Aes Sedai who loses her warder is grief and pain, not unconsciousness. And in any case, Alanna didn't swoon when she lost her other warder (Owein?).

Besides, it's no reason for Verin to be more terrified than Cadsuane, since they both have access to the same information. Why does she overreact when Cadsuane doesn't? I think our explanation has to address that point, and the Bond theory doesn't. It's not a case of two theories explaining the data equally well.
James Jones
220. jamesedjones
Holy Whack-a-moley! I just don't have the energy for WH 10 anymore (and my work is suffering). I've seen comments that went for miles, and I've seen threads that spawned comments like weevils. But this is on a completely new level. Y'all are posting solid comments, at all hours, non-stop. It's impressive, and a little scary.

205 forkroot
Over two centuries ago, she'd sworn to herself that she'd live to attend the Last Battle, no matter how long that took.
Hmmm... interesting stuff. Still, it's from TGS, and a promise made to yourself that you'll live however long until something happens that may not happen for millenia seems a little immature for a kick-a** legend. RJ might write something like that for one of our young main characters, but it seems significantly out of place for an established AS. She had worn the shawl for at least a few decades at that point, and I think she would have outgrown those promises. The only AS we've seen, where that would fit her character, is Joline (not a legendary figure).

So, sign me up in the suspicious camp, but thanks for finding the quote behind your reasoning. I can't fault it, since I don't know what came from RJ and what from BWS.
Roger Powell
221. forkroot
Agreed that Rand's death would probably not cause Alanna to swoon. I believe Verin's concern was that something had happened to Rand (true) which was why Alanna was unresponsive. Fortunately the "something" was not a bad thing for the Light.

As for Verin being more terrified than Cadsuane... remember that she had to take the BA oaths, but was a Light-side mole. It's possible that with an impending DO victory, she was expecting that her duplicity would be revealed and she would suffer greatly. Or, it's just possible that she had staked her "life and hope of rebirth" on an eventual betrayal of the BA (which she does pull off in TGS), and was worried that now her soul would belong to the DO.

I just think that it's RJ tossing another "Sneaky Verin" clue at us - which he had been doing since TGH.
Roger Powell
222. forkroot
a promise made to yourself that you'll live however long until something happens that may not happen for millenia seems a little immature for a kick-a** legend.
I agree with your premise, which makes me think that at that point Cadsuane had come across information that convinced her that the Last Battle was approaching. Thus the specializing in dealing with men who could channel and all of the study of the prophecies makes sense. Otherwise, it would indeed seem rather academic.
223. Freelancer
We have to ask two questions:

1. How long as Verin been alive? Surely not as long as Cadsuane, but how much less?
2. What is the heart of her plan, begun seventy years prior?

She has seen more than all but a very few people alive. She has investigated more than probably anyone alive. She sees what others miss. She has been slowly, carefully working toward the Last Battle in the hopes of given the Light help it will need to win, and to give it to them from within the shadow.

The death of a Warder doesn't induce an odd coma, granted. Torture of a Warder might cause something on this order. Some other event with a major impact on the Warder might. And if such has happened in the past, Verin is as likely as anyone to be aware of it.

Now, as soon as someone says, "But there's no evidence that some big thing happening to a Warder can cause his Aes Sedai to be knocked out", I say that there is now. Rand's new bond blew Alanna's socks off. So, we extrapolate backwards and ask if it can be possible that no event this large, nor impact to bonded Sister, has ever happened to a Warder before? Surely that strains credulity. And I return to saying that Verin, of all sisters, would be carrying knowledge of such an event.

So, we have absolute proof that something being done to a Warder can very strongly impact his Aes Sedai. We have reasonable conjecture (admittedly no more than that) that this is not the first time an Aes Sedai has been so drastically affected through the bond. And when Verin sees such happen to Alanna, I posit that she fears, perhaps not Rand's death, since that impact would have been different, but something even more dire, like say capture by a forsaken, or the Black Ajah, and some Power-wrought form of torture being employed.

Oh yes, a house built on sand, and built of straw. But more reasonable than "Verin is afraid that her Compulsion will be revealed". How can I be so sure?
With the final words, verin pulled the other two threads of Spirit, and the tangle collapsed further. this time, though, it fell into what seemed perfect order, a pattern more precise, more complicated than the most intricate lace, and complete, tied off by the same action that begin its shrinking. This time, it continued to fall inward on itself, inward around Beldeine's head. those faintly glowing threads sank into her, vanished. Her eyes rolled back in her head, and she began to thrash, limbs quivering. Verin held her as gently as she could, but Beldeine's head still whipped from side to side, and her bare heels drummed on the carpets. Soon, only the most careful Delving would tell that anything had been done, and not even that would identify the weave. Verin had tested that carefully, and if she did say so herself, none surpassed her at Delving.

Even if Verin had used her weave on Alanna, for which there is no evidence, she would never fear its discovery.
David Jameyson
224. Aneid
@James Jones 220

205 forkroot
Over two centuries ago, she'd sworn to herself that she'd live to attend the Last Battle, no matter how long that took.
Hmmm... interesting stuff. Still, it's from TGS, and a promise made to yourself that you'll live however long until something happens that may not happen for millenia seems a little immature for a kick-a** legend. RJ might write something like that for one of our young main characters, but it seems significantly out of place for an established AS. She had worn the shawl for at least a few decades at that point, and I think she would have outgrown those promises. The only AS we've seen, where that would fit her character, is Joline (not a legendary figure).

It is speculation, we have no idea what her acceptatron ghost of things to come ride showed her. She might have known since Accepted that she would see the last battle. But then why would she promise herself that she would attend the Last Battle if she already knew that she would have that chance.

Meh …

Not sure I really care to know.

@200. sweetlilflower
Yep Cads can dish it out but she certainly cannot take it. I am wondering what will happen when Cads and her ego meet up with Super-Duper Egwene who can cow sitters with but an arch of her eyebrow. Should be an interesting scene … although it seemed that Cads has had a great relationship, so far, with Sor_tooth_ ilea, when I thought for sure the stare-down to end all stare-downs would occur, with sparks and everything.

Maybe Egg’s and Cads will come out of the Amyrlin chambers just laughin and back slapin and snortin from all the, how to threaten and belittle people, conversations they had.

Good thing I refreshed @222. Forkroot – academic indeed …
Kurt Lorey
225. Shimrod
@217 forkroot

I don't think William of Ockham meant what you, et al, thought he did.
Noneo Yourbusiness
226. Longtimefan
Oh Verin, if only you made cookies and knitted sweaters you would be everone's favorite grandma.

Who works for the devil.

To help Jesus.


I am going with the simple "Verin is terrified becuase Alanna is bonded to Rand so ipso pipso facto wackto if A is in a coma then R is possibly in some big trouble"

Somebody said that before so I can quote it, right?

My completely not helpful two cents on that point is that Verin has Orders for the Dark Arts um, Dark Side and we have no idea what those orders are.

It is difficult to say if Verin was going her own way the whole time she was with Rand or if there was contact between Verin and other Black Ajah or even a Forsaken. The Forsaken can use the world of dreams and Traveling to find a way to contact agents. As direct eyes on Rand Verin may have been very interesting to many people on the Dark Side. When Rand dissapears all Verin has is Alanna's bond with Rand to keep tabs on his whereabouts. A tenuous thread at best.

Should the bond cause Alanna to faint because something terrible happened to Rand that is worrisome. Should Alanna pass out because this troublesome boy with a knack for doing the unexpected "discovered" something such as.... unbonding let's say then Verin has the possibility of much bigger worries on her plate.

I can only hope that in the next book some of Verin's letters are revealed and that in those letters she may explain what her orders were while she was with Rand. It is possible if only that the orders may not be fully completed and she hopes to counter them after her death. There would be no other reason to write them since exposition is not something meanders about with in the hour before death.

Just a short scenario if Rand had been taken by the Forsaken. I believe the no kill order is still in place as far as Verin may know.

If Rand is being tortured to the point that Alanna passes out and it is the Forsaken who have him. (they are not going to just lock him in a box and beat him twice a day. That has been done and was not effective) then team Dark does not need Verin to watch (assuming that was her job). Watching Verin is waving some very small pom poms for team Dark since it is a passive role. If the Forsaken have the Dragon Reborn chances are the sleeper agents will be activated and passive roles will be turned into active roles.

Would you want to be the Darkfriend standing next to Cadsuane when the Forsaken say "kill all the non dark people in the room"?

Even if at this point Verin is not "sure" of Cadsuane since that chapter is coming up there are several possibilites in her unsurety (what?) that still come into play in her terror.

One, Cadsuane is a good guy and Verin is toast if exposed.

Two, Cadsuane is a bad guy and Verin is toast if her patron Forsaken think she screwed up in watching Rand.

Three, Cadsuane is a bad guy and Verin is toast because a different Forsaken is undercutting her patron and taking over the Rand watching. (Cadsuane both Aes Sedai and Ashaman under her "protection" which makes her an ususually powerful player should evil machinations become involved.)

Four, Cadsuane is a good guy and just in typical Cadsuane fashion takes over everything and pushes Verin right out by sending her somewhere or leaving her behind when Alanna comes to.

Verin is written as very perceptive and obviously plans several steps ahead when she can. This unusual occurance makes planning very difficult.

When do Aes Sedai pass out when the bond is affected? If the Warder dies they start wandering out on the heath weeping into long handkerchiefs and trembling under the wide grey skies but they do not faint. If they did having three Warders while fighting Trollocs would put you at a disadvantage should the Warders start dying.

Even when Cabrina's Warder was being "tortured(pleasured)" by Semirhage Cabrina did not pass out.

What would cause an Aes Sedai to pass out?

Having your Warder bonded by three other women at the same time, apparently. Who knew? I doubt even Greens bond all their Warders in one go and even at that it would be one to three not three to one.

There is a terrible trick to play on another Aes Sedai. Find a Green you don't like (difficult right?) and get her Warder really drunk and then have three other women who can channel bond him at the same time.

HA ha ha... oh man, coma hijinks. The Aes Sedai will be fine but she will be out for three days. Great way to keep her from voting in the hall.
Roger Powell
227. forkroot
I don't think William of Ockham meant what you, et al, thought he did.
Care to elaborate? I certainly was asserting the applicability of the heuristic referred to as "Occam's razor" which traces back to William of Ockham. Granted he may not have stated the principle as succinctly as it is stated now (plus the dude said it in Latin), but I believe the original meaning stands.
Hugh Arai
228. HArai
Freelancer@223: We and (Verin) already know Rand's bond with Alanna doesn't fit standard guidelines: she can't compel him for one thing. Elayne's non-standard bond with Birgitte has interesting effects because they're both women. Perhaps the Alanna-Rand bond has increased effect on Alanna because they both can channel?
a a-p
229. lostinshadow
Perhaps Verin is afraid that Rand has been converted through a 13x13 ceremony?

Obviously complete speculation but maybe as a BA mole she has seen this ceremony performed on the warders of BA sisters and knows that one common side effect is for the sister in question to pass out. Edit: ok so as Wetlander pointed out she couldn't have seen it done to Warders because 13x13 only works with chanellers. So I'll revise to say maybe she'd seen it done and feared that somehow the ceremony filtered through the bond to Alanna - after all AS feel their warder's pain and well the 13x13 ceremony does fundamentally bad things to the person in question.

@180 see my problem with the justification that Warders are subservient to AS so it's ok to treat the Ashamen that way is that the Ashamen are not your typical Warder and instead of "doing things as they always do" the sisters should have tried to come up with an alternative for when the Warder is also an Ashaman.

Also, personally I dislike the subservience in the Warder relationship in general but fair or not it grates me especially with channelling warders (and bonded AS). I think two chanellers should try to bond each other simultaneously and see what happens.

Have to admit the whole blackmail thing totally flew by me until this reread. Still don't see why the blackmail was effective though - do the Ashamen really honestly believe that the AS could help save them from Taim if he decided to go after them. seriously? in terms of one on one confrontations I would say Black Tower 2 White Tower 0.

The only reason I can see for bonding the AS would be possible protection against taint (not part of the blackmail) and some sense of knowing who to fight for since silly Rand is a complete git about backing up his loyal boys. And the Cads team appear to know what they are doing so why not join them. So while blackmail was attempted I'm not convinced it was the reason behind why the Ashamen agreed to become warders.

And considering how most AS are terrified of channeling men, you'd think Cads also had to strongarm the AS as well.

ok couldn't help myself there but gotta go back to work now.
230. Rand Al'Todd
RE my comment @144:

alreadymadwith @180 said
"Rand Al'Todd @144
The "set her free" part has already been fulfilled. Mat captured her and despite her relatively easy treatment, she was essentially his prisoner. He then released her to Furyk Karede when the latter caught up with them, hence "setting her free.""

That's what she thought. Was she right??? When, and how many times, has Mat died? Is his prophecy fulfulled or not?

Wet @146 understood my reasoning.
"Rand Al'Todd @144 - That's a good thought on "set you free." Tuon thought she'd seen each segment fulfilled, which is why she chose the moment she did to finalize her marriage to Mat. I really enjoy rereading that bit. :) But as we all know, WoT is full of things that mean more than one thing, so it's quite possible that there's a deeper fulfillment coming. Bet we don't see it until AMoL, though."

It may be that RJ originally planned on Tuon (Fortuna) channeling and being leashed in the sequel series. I could see that being a plot line to rival the capture/rescue of Faille. It will be interesting to RAFO if any of this makes it into TOM or AMOL.
Alice Arneson
231. Wetlandernw
sweetlilflower @200 - Oh, that was cruelly done. I almost spewed cereal-and-milk all over my computer! Copacetic indeed. ROFL! I think I'll wait to respond until others have a good chance, but I'll say this much. Yours is one of the few calm, reasoned posts I've seen on the subject that makes specific points based on specific text. Thanks. :)

forkroot @205 - Good point. Thanks for the quote; I knew there was some reason for thinking that she'd been aimed that way! When I wrote that fanfic a while back, I had an idea that there was some clue that she'd been expecting this for a couple of centuries. I threw in an unspecified Foretelling just for kicks, but I wonder what it really was. Another question for Brandon or Maria? (I'm really going to have to go read all of TGS again a couple more times.)

subwoofer @208 - Mayor? Yikes! No way! Too much beaurocracy and paperwork. She's a free spirit, doncha know.

Just have to throw in, here, that Cadsuane gives us her specific reason for treating Rand the way she does, particularly at first - she wants him off balance so she can see what he really is when he's not posing.
"If you want to see what a man is made of, push him from a direction he doesn't expect. There's good metal in that boy, I think, but he's going to be difficult." Steepling her fingers, she peered across them at the wall, musing to herself. "He has a rage in him fit to burn the world, and he holds it by a hair. Push him too far off balance . . . . Phaw! Al'Thor's not so hard yet as Logain Ablar or Mazrim Taim, but a hundred times as difficult, I fear."
(You know, I love that chapter. (ACoS, chapter 19, Diamonds and Stars) If you can, go read it by itself, with your mind as open to possibilities as you can make it. A lot of my initial re-evaluation of her character came from that chapter.)

Tektonica @210 - No, I didn't take your comment as an attack. That's why I used bludgeon twice. :) And you're right - he drew possibilities (though it read to me that he presented them as conclusive) because they surely weren't inescapable proofs.

subwoofer @212 - I ought to have a really witty rejoinder for this one, but my witty-rejoinder-maker machine is on the fritz this morning. Bummer.

@several... The Wise Ones do not claim all AS as apprentices; only those who were at Dumai's Wells who Rand specifically gave to them. In that, Verin stands out rather dramatically; as others have noted, the WO don't seem to feel that she needs much lessoning. Do you suppose that has to do with Cadsuane's mental note that "Verin seemed to take to her appreticeship like a heron to the marsh"? Verin, sneaky Verin, has long since learned to play whatever part is necessary for the current situation. She also quite clearly left her apprenticeship with the WO at some point, since she's certainly on her own at later points. Someone might want to explore this further when there's time: As of TGS, where are all the AS who were apprenticed to the WO? If I have time tonight and no one has beaten me to it, I might give it a whirl.

Sonofthunder @213 - I'm with you on that second paragraph.

Jonathan Levy @214 - That's a good thought. Certainly a possibility, and easily as good as any others that have been presented, I think.

Okay, too much in the rest of the comments to respond to in the time I have left, but one more...

lostinshadow @229 - Verin may have seen the ceremony performed, but not on Warders. It only works on channelers. Other than that, I agree with what you had to say in general. :)

See you all much later this afternoon!
Roger Powell
232. forkroot
forkroot @205 - Good point. Thanks for the quote; I knew there was some reason for thinking that she'd been aimed that way! When I wrote that fanfic a while back, I had an idea that there was some clue that she'd been expecting this for a couple of centuries. I threw in an unspecified Foretelling just for kicks, but I wonder what it really was.
Yeah, well the "problem" with that fanfic is thet you did such a good job, I was worried that when I was searching for text backup (for jamesedjones), that I'd find that what I thought I remembered had actually come from you!

I was somewhat relieved to find it in canon ;-)
Tricia Irish
233. Tektonica
A Verin thought inspired by something Wetlander said @231:

Verin, sneaky Verin, has long since learned to play whatever part is necessary for the current situation.

Given her phenomenal acting ability, which fooled most of the characters in WOT, could Verin have used her "Compulsion Light" trick on Alannah before Alannah met the Rand in the library in Caemlyn, causing her to bond Rand immediately upon meeting him? Then Verin "acted" shocked? (If so, she deserves an academy award.)

Verin wouldn't want to bond Rand directly, because her BA association might be detected, but I could see why she would want a "locater" on Rand. I imagine she would be hoping for a bit more "control" of him, as well. Thankfully, that didnt' happen. Alannah does seem to be "with" Verin a lot of the time.

Just another possibility that might or might not get cleared up in one of her letters......
234. Gentleman Farmer
@190 Wetlanderw, @210 Tektonika

I acknowledge that I was probably going a little over the top in my extrapolations on Cadsuane's motivations. It was intended as a counter-statement to the positive interpretations of her actions, but perhaps it went a bit far.

From an outside the text perspective however, I think RJ probably did intend us to see Cadsuane's ego and her drive to bend everyone around her to her will.

Partly as a counterbalance to the Forsaken, and a justification for why the forces of darkness seem so inept, Cadsuane, among others, shows readers that having such great power does tend to blind people to the idea of working with each other.

It also acts as a mirror for Rand to see what he's turning into.

As I've noted, I have much more sympathy for Rand, perhaps because his god complex has arisen based on more power in a shorter time frame, but I think RJ is demonstrating, through several characters, that when you get close to absolute power, it still doesn't mean you can bend the Pattern to your will, and if you try, you will fail more spectacularly. (I also think he is saying something about corruption too, but everyone knows that old saying)

He gives us the examples of Sevanna and Elaida, (and Galina?). Masema even falls into this kind of category. People who are convinced that the power and position they've been given allows them to shape everything around them and bend everyone to their will. It also means they can ignore the laws, social conventions and opinions of everyone around them. Unfortunately for the forces of good, I think Rand and Cadsuane end up fitting in this group as nicely as any of the others.

The thing I wonder about is whether Rand will be the only person capable of developing self-insight and changing, or whether Cads will as well. It seems pretty clear that none of the others (Elaida, Masema, Sevanna) has gained any insight, or ever will. I personally don't think Cads will either. I also kind of hope she hasn't fallen as far yet as she will, but that's just me being spiteful, and there's probably no plot rationale for that.

So to those who defend Cads, I agree she is a well written character, though I still think she seems like a plot contrivance, and it bugs me to see Rand now altering his actions to try to fulfill Min's prophecies where before he worked to try to avoid them. I remain of the view the only reason for this is not found in the text, but is a slim excuse for RJ to let Cads hang around. However, as noted above, I think the plot rationale is that Cads is the mirror for Rand to see the destructive nature of his own ego and overconfidence. The more he dislikes who she is and how she acts, the more he's forced to confront the same behaviour in himself.

I also can understand and respect those who see something of a character they like in her determination and drive to get things done. I don't like her because I don't believe the ends justify the means, and I prefer Rand's application of the "no one is above the law" approach he was taking pre-Wanderer interaction. His subsequent, "do whatever you like and pay the consequences" is much less appealing... which may explain why I'm less a fan of Egwene too.

Finally, in response to my dual subject line in @141, I added more of a subject line after the comment preview because somehow or other, I realized that I had started writing about one thing and then wandered off topic. An unforgiveable offence, so I won't beg forgiveness but will meekly accept the rebukes as given.
235. BenM
LTF @103:

Techinically, I'm a "gray". I'm just too lazy to log in most of the time. :) And besides, I like using "BenM" better than "benpmoldovan", which is my gray handle.
David Jameyson
236. Aneid
@231. Wetlandernw

That scene does not bother me as much as the inconsistencies do. If you feel it is okay to put your hands on someone then stay consistent and expect that others may feel that it is okay of them to do so back.

On second thought I think she is consistent. I think she believes to her core that you can do whatever you want as long as you can and are willing to back it up. Nyneve might be able to back up a threat or a physical contact with Cad’s but I think Cad’s keeps Nyn in check by correctly understanding that Nyn might have the strength but Nyn lacks the desire to follow through, so Cad’s wins. It takes TGS to point that out. As Cad’s tries to argue Rand out of his cold rage, but when it is apparent that Rand has gotten over his little “not killing women phase” his threat becomes something she must respect and makes a tactical retreat. I believe Tam labeled her properly, a bully. She steps all over people physically, emotionally and psychologically because she has the desire to back up any threat she makes and because of that she can get away with deplorable behavior, because really, what are you going to do about it … nothing … I thought so, now go get me some tea and shut up.

I believe as long as a person displays the proper demeanor, (fear, respect, awe, gratitude, any of these suffice) Cad’s will allow that person to be in her presence. But if you forget yourself or more importantly forget who she is, well then a threat is surely headed in your direction at light speed.
237. peachy
There was an article just a few days ago in - erm, I want to say the WSJ - summarising recent psychological research into the effects of power on those who exercise it. The conclusion was that Acton was right; there's something about being powerful that makes you behave like a dingus.

And god knows there are plenty of powerful dingii littered about the WOT landscape...
Maggie K
238. SneakyVerin
well, I was simply just very worried about what COULD have happened to make Alanna pass out, I've been doing a lot of work, you know

Seriously, I think being as Alanna "din't wnat to wake up", it had to be the sexing....lol

My apologies if I have offended any of you who take this reread way too, I mean more seriously than me. It's all in good humor.
Noneo Yourbusiness
239. Longtimefan
@ BenM 235

Holy Guacamole! I have gone blind! Oh wait, it was just an illusion.

I am glad to be in your thoughts but sadly I am not the droid you are looking for. :)
Roger Powell
240. forkroot
What I don't get is ... why did Cadsuane have to blackmail the Asha'man? Seems to me she would have had to blackmail Merise, Daigan, and Corele! I mean, c'mon! You are gonna ask the three AS to create a Warder bond with three men that are doomed to go insane? (Remember, this is pre-cleansing.)
Hugh Arai
241. HArai
forkroot@240: Probably an easier sell then "you have to work closely with these men who are doomed to go mad _without_ being on the dominant end of a controlling bond". Given Rand's amnesty and the practicalities of TG approaching they can't still them. How do AS deal with dangerous men? They bond them. It's not like the AS can't remove the bond at any time.
David Jameyson
242. Aneid
@ 240. forkroot
My beliefs follow those who have suggested that the blackmail was little more than a sit down and logically walk the Asha’man through their ever shrinking options. I believe the ole “We can help you but you have to ask … and you have to ask nicely … and fetch tea for us and carry whatever needs carrying and bat your eyelashes in alluring ways and where these pants as they show off your …“ ~blinks~ got Mat mixed up with the Asha’man.

I just do not think there was that much arm twisting on either side. I had the impression that those Aes Sedai were working hard to get those Asha’man for many reasons.

Male channelers, a chance to work closely with a male channeler and work on things that have not been done in several thousand years.

Rand trusts them, somewhat.

They are ten times more dangerous than some dude who swings a sword. For protection what would you rather have, Rottweiler or lion, okay a lion that has a nuke strapped to it and is frothing at the mouth and could attack you and anyone else in one insane moment. But it’s a lion, child please!
243. Freelancer
A visit from the Great Grey Gray herself? ::squint:: Aren't you dead?

RE: Cadsuane, blackmail, extortion, implied/direct threats, etc.

I think we have attained the point where we must accept that there is information unavailable to us at this time, which prevents any resolution among the speculations offered so far. Her own POV declares that she had used blackmail on the Asha'man. And so far, none of the WoT scholars of the bunker have solid evidence of the information upon which the blackmail is founded. It's time to throw the RAFO card.
Kurt Lorey
244. Shimrod
@227 forkroot.

I'm glad you agree that the original meaning of Occam's Razor stands. My issue is that the original meaning has been misinterpreted (or perhaps, oversimplified). And, after repeatedly being bludgeoned with this concept around here, I finally decided to learn more about it for myself.

The original Latin form is "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate", which is translated today as "plurality should not be posited without necessity". This is not equivalent to "the simplest explantion is most often true" which, while popular in non-rigorous environments, is distinctly different in meaning.

To modernise a bit, a quote attributed to Einstein might be of assistance, "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler". Or, to use the current scientific usage, "Of two equivalent theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred".

Neither of those statements infer that the simplest explanation is often true, and the second, just that if everything else were equal, the minimalist explanation would be more efficient. A few problems with that. First, in reality, "other things" are rarely equal, so that the ceteris paribus clause of the Razor goes unfulfilled most times. Second, is that any entities parsed away might have held clues for theories outside of the limited question at hand, and hence can prove limiting. Any additional points may have proven interesting and stimulating even if they are later proved to have been completely in error. Without a posteriori knowledge, this can introduce unnecessary error into one's parsimonious theorizing. Third, the concepts of complexity and simplicity depend upon context and the theorist's general understanding. Not as straightforward, simple or even objective as usually bandied about around here.

Physicist Niels Bohr reputedly said that "parsimony is judged after the event". In fact, had Occam's Razor, even in its purer form, been the only solution for correct theorizing, then the science of Physics (inter alia) would likely still be residing squarely in some previous century. For example, Occam's Razor has previously been used to discredit the phenomena of meteorites, ball lightning, continental drift, and DNA as the carrier of genetic information, to name a few that easily come to mind.
James Jones
245. jamesedjones
244 Shimrod

You just quoted two physicists in your comment. Such awesomeness cannot be denied. But I have to doubt the simplicity...
Roger Powell
246. forkroot
Hey Shimrod - Looks like you've been to the Wikipedia page on Occam's razor (I know this because I went there myself :-) )

You are spot on when you point out that people often use Occam's razor inappropriately, preferring an explanation that is simple vs. something with superior explanatory power. And yes, I was invoking the original concept, arguing against the unnecessary multiplication of entities.

The way I like to explain it sometimes: Assume it's raining. Both of the following statements could explain why:

A) There are rain clouds overhead
B) There are rain clouds overhead and I just washed my car

Of course the Razor demands we choose the first statement.

Back to Verin: We had a satisfactory explanation, buttressed by some excellent quotes later in WH that Freelancer dug up. Any theory that Verin may have laid a compulsion weave on Alanna lacked additional explanatory power. Hence the Razor suggests we reject it.

One last point - you'll notice that I used the term "heuristic" which is the proper understanding of Occam's Razor. It is not a natural law, nor it is a provable logical consequence based on unassailable premises. (Were Occam's Razor 100% reliable, it would be part of a formal logic system.)
247. Shard
I must be a complete moron because I have no idea what the 800 pound gorilla is or how Cadsuane managed to Blackmail three Asha'men.

Also found it interesting you didn't mention the irony of Caddy reflecting how she almost had the Black Ajah and enter Verin into the room.

You also didn't make any note of how Semriaghe reinforces the Prophecy about Rand kneeling to the Crystal Throne, confirming in my mind that part was added by Ishy to create conflict between the Seachan and Rand, so that they would never unite and the Land would not be as one.
Sydo Zandstra
248. Fiddler
I have quit WoT discussion, because I realized at some point that afer 12 years of discussing it, my heart isn't in it anymore. When I have the time, I do read all of your stuff in recent threads, and I must say this is an interesting thread where temperatures are involved. Good to see it worked out fine for everybody though. :)

But I would like to make a comment on Occam's Razor.

Occam's Razor is showing up in many forum discussions considering Fantasy (maybe in other forums too, but I noticed it only in those I visit)

My personal observation on the use of Occam's Razor in debating Fantasy series (not only WoT), is that it is often brought up when somebody poses a seemingly complex or farfetched theory. And it is always brought up to bring that theory down.

Going back to the simple formulation, without going through the Wiki-stuff posted above, and paraphrasing, 'the most simple explanation for something happening is most often also the true one'.

That is related to our world, now or in the past.

But WoT is not our world. It's a Fantasy Creation made by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Like the Malazan world is a creation made by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont. Like Middle Earth is a creation made by Tolkien.

So why should Occam's Razor apply to such stories? Our laws don't apply to the fantasies of the authors. ;)

Certainly it shouldn't be used in a negative way to disprove other's theories.
Kurt Lorey
249. Shimrod
Of course I understand your allegory of the rain clouds, but the key word in your phrase is "unnecessary multiplication of entities".

What you describe is the a posteriori knowledge that washing your car does not invoke rain. Why? Because such knowledge has been tested empirically (just not necessarily by you). A priori, there is no way to decide whether that particular component of your theory is "necessary" or not without such testing.

This is where dismissing ideas using Occam's Razor falls short, in my estimation. One is picking and choosing completely based on varying subjective criteria that can differ from one person to another.
250. chaplainchris1
I'm way behind the curve, but just want to say - I think Leigh's anger over the Wardering of the Ashaman is misplaced. Cadsuane herself may call it blackmail, but I don't. She pointed out their alternatives...which, pretty much, were none. They were alone, without support and in dire straits, cut off from the Black Tower and from Rand...and that is Rand's doing, not Cadsuane's. Without Cadsuane, the Warshamen would've had no choice but to go on the run, hoping to hide until they inevitably went crazy and/or died, causing an unknown amount of collateral damage along the way.

This way, they got support/protection, plus the Warder enhancements. Cadsuane had alternatives - she might, for instance, have linked up, shielded, and stilled the three, since Rand wasn't around to object. The Ashaman literally had no alternatives and no hope, thanks to Rand - until Cadsuane gave them one.

Still coercion involved, sure - but Cadsuane's not the one who put them in that position.

I totally missed the using-first-names-and-treating-as-servants stuff...now that it's pointed out, I take comfort in knowing that, in future, even Merise will realize that these Ashamen are not servants and cannot be treated as such.

Also: Seanchan sucks. And what's been done to Mylen is *disgusting*. I wonder if she's the AS Egwene met in tGH, who was collared, and freakin' KENNELED, in Falme. You know, the one who was crying and asking Egwene to remember her name, because she felt herself breaking.

[...moment of silence...Egwene remembering that scene is one of the most horrific moments in the series, to me.]

My favorite Leigh-isms, in this post:

*"do something resembling anything, you twit", applied to one of the most fearsome men of any Age.
*"Moridin blathering on about chaos theory while throwing flaming rats around, because at this point it’s like he’s going down a checklist of Crazy and making sure he hits all the items. His completionism is to be commended!"

*giggling, moutain-dew-snorting*
diane heath
251. jadelollipop
The one that Egwene met in Falme was Pura and IIRC was last seen with Suroth when the Seanchan attacked the Whitecloaks.
Roger Powell
252. forkroot
I understand your objection to the use of a heuristic when discussing a Fantasy Creation. Given Shimrod's excellent points above about the frequent misuse of Occam's Razor, I can easily imagine forums where the Razor is used incorrectly or inappropriately to the point where the term has taken on extra baggage.

My personal observation on the use of Occam's Razor in debating Fantasy series (not only WoT), is that it is often brought up when somebody poses a seemingly complex or farfetched theory. And it is always brought up to bring that theory down.
The key to any theory is: Does it have increased explanatory power over existing accepted theories? If so, then it is interesting. If not, then yes the Razor often slices that trial balloon :-). If the term "Occam's Razor" has accumulated too much emotional baggage through misuse, then an alternative is just to suggest that the "far-fetched theory" doesn't explain anything previously unexplained.

Let me suggest that what captivates so many of us about WoT is the consistency of the characters and their actions as well as the natural laws of the created world. We are willing to spend time debating the actions of characters precisely because we trusted RJ (and now trust BWS) to continue to produce a story where the same natural laws apply and the characters continue to act "within character" (allowing, of course, for personal growth and revelatory experience.) We further trust that the author(s) have placed clues within the story to point us to additional information (or upcoming plot twists) that have not been explicitly laid out.

In other words, we are trusting BWS not to end AMoL with: "Rocks fall from the sky, everybody dies".

I think its reasonable to use logic and heuristics on occasion, especially when dealing with the actions of characters for whom we have a fair amount of background. Yes, these characters ultimately do whatever the author says -- yet a series with random and inconsistent actions would hardly command the popularity of WoT.

To conclude: When someone on the forum advances a Looney Theory™ I believe it's fair to comment both on any logical inconsistencies between that theory and published text (and/or published statements of the authors) as well as whether the theory has additional explanatory power. (I may not invoke Bill Ockham's name for a while though.) :-)

(BTW, I'm actually much more motivated to defend how well-written (and consistent) the characters are vs. the "natural laws" of Randland. Numerous posters have done a pretty good job of poking holes in RJ's "Magic System", and there is a distinct retcon feel to rules like "Shadowspawn cannot go through gateways". And as for balefire ... we had a great go-round on that quite a while ago -- let's just say balefire requires a very willing suspension of consideration of logical consequences :-) )
Alice Arneson
253. Wetlandernw
GentlemanFarmer @234 - One of the biggest things that colors my reading of Cadsuane, and that started me on my re-evaluation of her character, is this quotation from RJ's blog, which made me think that he saw her in a more positive light that is frequently ascribed to her:
Cadsuane? She’s the tough maiden aunt a lot of us have had. Not the one who tries to keep you a child your whole life. She’s the one who began expecting at least some adult responses out of you at about age six, the one who was willing to hand you responsibilities that everyone else thought you were too young for. You probably had a more nerve-wracking time, and more excitement and adventure, with her than you did with any three or four other adults in your life.
So whatever else he may have been trying to show us, he clearly considered her someone definitely worth being around - if you could handle it.

FWIW, I would argue that, of your examples, Sevanna and Elaida (and I would add Therava as well as several others) love power for itself and for personal gain more than anything. Masema (unless you believe he's actually sane) is in a category all by himself - or possibly with Fain... I would argue for a different category to include Rand, Cadsuane, Tuon and a few others who have great power and some fairly high positions in the scheme of things, who are bent on using their power for the good of the world and the victory of the Light more than anything personal. They do, by dint of their power, position or experience, tend to feel that they are responsible for everyone doing things right - meaning "my way" - because they have the qualifications to back it up. They are, however, still human, and still make mistakes sometimes. Some of the mistakes are in their planning, some are in their treatment of those around them, and probably the worst are with one another.

In other news, I had a thought about sweetlilflower's post @200, and what Cadsuane's purpose in "examining" Narishma might have been. We don't know exactly the positions of everyone in the room, but Merana had been in the corner, Dashiva and Narishma were "across the room" and apparently standing fairly near one another, while Rand, Berelain and Annoura were somewhere in the middle of the room. (I think.) Everyone in the room (except Berelain) grabbed the Power when Cadsuane walked in and Merana flipped out. We know she has a ter'angreal that points in the direction of either saidin or saidar, and another that quivers when a man who can channel is nearby. (She also has some whose uses we don't yet know.) Obviously she'd be able to see the women holding the Power, and letting go, but she doesn't know anyone else in the room. I suspect the "inspection" might have been a cover for getting close to the two Asha'man to determine a) whether they could channel and b) whether either was holding the Power at the moment. A much deeper level of sizing up the people in the room, under cover of a very superficial - but unexpected - action. Touching Narishma may well give her further info via her ter'angreal, but of course she's not telling us or them about it. (On first read, and for all of the characters at this point, no one knows that her ornaments are ter'angreal, much less what they do.)

At this point, as noted above, she wants Rand in particular off balance to see "what he's made of." I would expect her to make use of the moment to check on the Asha'man as well just because they happen to be handy, and it's useful for her primary purpose too.

No proof, just a thought, but it seems to fit her character.

Fiddler - Hi!! ::waves:: Nice to see you, however momentarily! As you see, I'm doing my best to keep the pots properly stirred, banged and whatever else they need. Except lidded.
254. Freelancer
And now the comments are achieving a new high in complexity. Why? To debate a theoretical concept of discovery involving simplicity, of course.
Richard Boye
255. sarcastro

Also: Seanchan sucks. And what's been done to Mylen is *disgusting*. I wonder if she's the AS Egwene met in tGH, who was collared, and freakin' KENNELED, in Falme. You know, the one who was crying and asking Egwene to remember her name, because she felt herself breaking.

kinda, sorta.

Mylen was Sheraine Caminelle, who was the "slim, pretty" sister that Bayle Domon saw get taken, as he reported to Nynaeve back in tGH.

We know she's not Pura, nee Ryma Galfrey, because when Domon was recounting what he witnessed he heard Sheraine ask "Ryma, help me," as she was shielded and collared. Ryma was, forvive the pun, "Purafied" and she's the one that Egwene encountered in Falme (Sheraine was sent back to Seanchan proper)

Incidentally, Sheraine's warder was killed in that encounter which partially explains why when Tuon.. :ahem: ... purchased Sheraine at the slave market in whatever Sheanchan port city, Sheraine was a shivering ball of emotional wreck (The enslavement probably didn't help matters, though).

Serving All Your WOT Minutia Needs Since 1995,

Roger Powell
256. forkroot
FWIW, I would argue that, of your examples, Sevanna and Elaida (and I would add Therava as well as several others) love power for itself and for personal gain more than anything. Masema (unless you believe he's actually sane) is in a category all by himself
The TGS prologue shows Masema's internal thoughts and it's pretty clear that he loves power:
Think not of the past, think of the future, when the Lord Dragon would rule all of the land! When men would be subject only to him, and to his Prophet beneath him. Those days would be glorious indeed, days when none would dare scorn the Prophet or deny his will.
I say go ahead and lump him in with Therava, et al.
Alice Arneson
257. Wetlandernw
forkroot @256 - Right you are! I really need to go read TGS again.
258. chaplainchris1
Sarcastro @255 - thanks! My WOT-Fu is definitely off today - as at one time, I'm certain I knew and remembered that about Ryma/Pura. I'm not sure I ever knew that Mylen was Sheraine, though. So again - thanks!

Having read more comments re: what is the blackmail?

As I read it, it comes down to "allow yourselves to be bonded, or you're on your own." It could be "or we'll get word to the Black Tower" - but that defies belief, as Cads and Co have no "in" there. It could also be "or we'll shield/still you." Either of the latter is coercive, but considering that the guys apparently had days to think about it, and had enough freedom to Travel away if they want, makes either seem unlikely to me. The most likely explanation is that Cads pointed out to them that they were on their own - feared and hated by the populace, on the outs with the Black Tower, and abandoned by Rand who'd disappeared w/o explanation and nearly killed them last time they saw him.

Being bonded by the AS not only gave them the benefits of being Warders, (and gave Cads' Coterie an ability to keep track of the potential Power-wielding-madmen), it gave them some measure of protection from everybody else. And it gave them some assurance that the Coterie would watch out for them, if only to spare the sisters the consequences of losing Warders.

Also note that Cadsuane has known, since ACOS, that the Warder Bond couldn't be used to control Rand, and can therefore deduce that it's unlike to be effective against other men who can channel. So, while she coerced the Ashaman, they're not Compelled. And while Cads does take advantage of them, she treats them better than the White Tower would've, and gives them a viable alternative that allows them to continue to fight the Shadow.

The treating them as equals thing takes longer, but is coming along.
Jay Dauro
259. J.Dauro
chaplainchris1 @258

I do not believe we can say that Cadsuane "knows" the Aes Sedai cannot use the bond to control the Ashamen. She may actually be experimenting to determine the level of control possible.

We could theorize a few possibilities:

You cannot control any channeler through the Aes Sedai Warder bond. (Would be interesting to test.)

You cannot control a male channeler through the Aes Sedai Warder bond. (This would be the worst for the Aes Sedai.)

You cannot control a male channeler who is stronger than you through the Aes Sedai Warder bond. (So what would this say about Corele/Damer?)

You cannot control a Hero of the Horn through the Aes Sedai Warder bond. (This could explain much about Elayne/Birgitte.)

You cannot control the Dragon Reborn through the Aes Sedai Warder bond. (He is rather special.)

Cadsuane may now have another couple of data points. I do not believe they have been revealed to us.
john massey
260. subwoofer
@Fork217- meh. You can study something for a heck and gone long time, it doesn't mean you care. Look at folks in graduate school. As for Cranky Pants, yeah, sure she has studied the Last Battle for awhile, but does she care about Rand? I'm not feeling it.

@All -what kind of hellacious aunt did everybody have that they would want to compare them to Cranky Pants?! She reminds me of those strict nuns in boarding schools that had no sense of humor, whacked everyone with a ruler and was really put out because they hadn't got any in forever. All that pent up frustration had to go somewhere, so, like Cranky Pants, nuns lash out at whatever is around them.

@Wet231- you are probably tired from standing on that street corner. Rest a bit, it'll come to you:P

As for reading that chapter- sigh- the thing of it is, she wants to make Rand- strongest ta'veren ever- dance to her tune. Why is it so hard for her to dance to Rand's tune? He is only the Dragon ya know. Last Battle won't really be epic without him. Wanna read something- read the bit about Moiraine and why she swore the oaths she did to Rand. The bit about remembering what it means to surrender to Saidar to gain control of it. The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 15
What Can Be Learned in Dreams. Worked for Moiraine the White. Maybe Cranky Pants the curmudgeon oughta give that a go too.

261. Shard
I'd still like to know how Cadsuane blackmailed the Asha'man, because so far it sounds like extortion, not blackmail.
Alice Arneson
262. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @260 - you forgot the other half of what I said - read the chapter with your mind open to other possibilities - not trying to prove what you already think. ;p All she says about Rand in that whole chapter is what I quoted before about "seeing what he's made of." Most of it is her grilling Merana, Kiruna, Bera and Annoura about recent events.

As for the quote about the aunt... That was RJs perspective on her. The fact that not all of his readers see her that way is irrelevant to the fact that he thought of her that way. My point in posting it was that if you use that as a starting point and try to rethink the character, it might make a slight difference.
263. Greyhawk
Ultimately what does it for me is that I find Cadsuane's character to be largely irrelevant to the main storyline. Jordan introduced her with a lot of fanfare (via other characters' reactions, etc.) and set her up as a major player in terms of Rand's development. However, the character he created was signularly illsuited to the task she was supposed to accomplish--namely teach Rand to laugh and cry. A quote from wiki is appropriate as it states my point quite well "She [Cadsuane] fails to understand that, despite her intentions of aiding the Dragon Reborn, her condescending attitude towards Rand and her constant attempts to push him in the direction she wants him to go heightened his emotional detachment and suspicion." While I am sure it will be addressed more fully when we get to tGS, I don't really credit Cadsuane with teaching Rand to laugh, etc. It is really through Cadsuane's failure that Rand rediscovers the value of laughter, etc. However, that is not "teaching" at least it is not a prefered method by most and I do not think it was what Jordan orignally intended (my pure opinion without textual backup) when he set up the dynamic of Cadsuane having to teach Rand. IMHO, whatever his original intent, Cadsuane as a character got away from Jordan and he was forced to come up with a way to resolve Min's viewing with a character who could not teach anyone to laugh in any plausible way.

Wetlander you have the most consistent and prolific defense of Cadsuane--but it seems to me that for your view of her character to prove out, one must always accept the "other possible interpretation". At some point a spade is a spade, or in Cadsuane's case an overbearing b*** is just and overbearing b**** who cannot see any other way to deal with people other than to cow and bully them. Heck, Cadsuane even is uncomfortable with her own people getting too independent. That is not a good leader and not a good person to instruct the Dragon or anyone else on how to lead to say nothing of laughter.
Heidi Byrd
264. sweetlilflower

I... find myself completely torn about Cadsuane. On the one hand, I am dissappointed with her behavior. I soooo wanted an awesomely cool AS and she almost fits the bill. After reading your many defenses of her behavior, I have stopped intensely disliking her, but I can't seem to bring myself to actually like her. However, I tend to disagree with most of the statements made here about her worse qualities b/c they are not backed up by text. Most people just rant about what they THINK she would do, or has done, or yadda yadda yadda. (I must now mention lobster bisque :p) I think she has a strong sense of morality, justice, and honor, and I think she would probably have a good sense of humor. If anyone disagrees with my assesment of her honor, remember that in TGS she goes to the WO and admitts that she messed up. She doesn't treat the WO as "silly wilders" like most of the other AS do when they first meet them. But...I would like her a lot more if she had started out differently with Rand. I just can't jump on the bandwagon of someone who belittles a leader in front of his/her followers, (threw in the his/her just for you) especially since she is old enough to know better. Yes, Rand does it, but I give him lattitude b/c of his situation.

So, that's my two-cents worth. I am honored that you enjoyed my earlier post. I had to make 200 count for something :)
Alice Arneson
265. Wetlandernw
sweetlilflower @264 - That was well said, and I completely understand. I think her apparent assumption of being the best qualified to make certain decisions gets amplified by a lot of readers so that they think she's doing things she really isn't. Along with that, people who are really annoyed by her interactions with Rand tend to be unwilling or unable to see that she interacts differently with different people. There's a write-up over on Dragonmount that I thoroughly enjoyed, by "Luckers" of Theoryland, call The Subtleties of Cadsuane. Don't bother to read the comments - it's more of what you get here, but not as politely stated. The write-up itself makes some very interesting points, including some things I hadn't really noticed before but are really quite clear once you look. I don't know that any of it will make you (or anyone else) like her, per se. I think it may take a special kind of wierd to actually like her, particularly if you were in the same room with her, but it's possible to develop a certain level of respect for a) what she's doing, b) why she's doing it and c) how she's going about it.


I don't really care if people like her. I just think that the blind "she's always and only an inordinately arrogant know-it-all" attitude blocks out so much potential enjoyment for the reader. She's a sharp-witted lady, and some of her converstations and thoughts are hilarious, if you don't have a biased attitude that keeps you from seeing it. Then again, I guess some people get part of their reading enjoyment by having a character to hate on, so... oh well.
Alice Arneson
266. Wetlandernw
jamesedjones @174 - I finally got around to looking up your reference to Far Madding. As a matter of fact, when Rand asks Cadsuane why the Asha'man allowed themselves to be bonded, she tells him to ask them next time he sees them. Later, Alanna tells him
"I heard Merise ask Jahar. It took him two days to accept, and she never pressured him that I saw. I cannot speak for the others, but as Cadsuane said, you can always ask them. Rand, you must understand, those men were afraid to go back to this 'Black Tower' of yours." Her mouth twisted sourly around the name. "They were afraid they would be blamed in the attack on you. If they simply ran, they would be hunted down as deserters. I understand that is your standing order? Where else could they go, except to Aes Sedai?..."
Granted that Alanna is not privy to all of Cadsuane's secrets, but it makes me wonder. Since Cadsuane actually suggested that Rand ask them why they accepted bonding, it doesn't seem likely that the bonding was the objective of her blackmailing them. I quoted the extended passage to note a couple of other things. One, it was Jahar Narishma who took a couple of days to accept, as noted here. Two, they apparently didn't know they had been named deserters, but were afraid that their known proximity to Rand would put them under suspicion in the attack, and they knew that just disappearing would brand them as deserters. More fuel for discussion?
267. birgit
Oh and the Icon for the Wonderful News chapter is the Rising sun flag of Cairhien. Has that one been used before?

It fist appeared in TGH ch. 25.

Given her phenomenal acting ability, which fooled most of the characters in WOT, could Verin have used her "Compulsion Light" trick on Alannah before Alannah met the Rand in the library in Caemlyn, causing her to bond Rand immediately upon meeting him?

They didn't meet in the library. Rand went to the inn where Verin and Alanna were staying with the Two Rivers girls.
Maiane Bakroeva
268. Isilel
Man, you guys are prolific all of a sudden! Just keeping up with all the replies is a challenge!

Anyway, I can't let this go unanswered:


You want to throw "woman's work" in there? Really?

Well, when Taim required menial work of the Ashaman nobody seemed bothered...

Serving tea is not "woman's work" but it is demeanin to their station.

When AS don't want servants to be present, then one of them does it. If it is not demeaning for an AS, why would it be demeaning for an Ashaman? Apart from the "woman's work" argument? :).

IMHO, Hopwil was doing it either because the AS saw him as something similar to a novice/Accepted, which given that the kid was 16 was entirely reasonable IMHO or because he was just helping his AS Daigian whose task it would have been otherwise. Did I mention that I hate, hate OP strength hierarchy recently ;)?

Cadsuane blackmailed them, that is not their fault that is hers.

It is not their fault that they are dangerous and unreliable, but it is the bitter truth of their condition. As such, almost anything that would give early warning/better chances of dealing with them when they snap and/or might help them to hold on to sanity a bit longer is a good thing, IMHO.

Compulsion through the Warder bond came up a few times - well, let's not forget that while it _can_ be done, it is actually a big no-no among the AS, generally seen as morally repugnant and can get them in seriously hot water, both with the other sisters and the warder himself, if he notices.

Also, it is not 100% effective - for instance, Myrelle feared that Lan might kill her and that one BA is on the run from her warder, who is determined to hunt her down and axe her.
So, IMHO the notion that Ashaman are Compelled and that's why they seem content lacks any basis.

Chaplainchris1 - I am with you!

Speaking of Cadsuane - as I may have mentioned already ;), one of the big problems with her characterization is that we are told about her awesomeness and legendary status in vague terms, but RJ really missed on opportunities to _show_ us.

Ashaman bonding and figuring out mixed links/use of saidin in a circle was one such wasted chance.

But another is Cadsuane's entourage. I mean, supposedly she valued non-channeling talents of ultra-weak sisters, but those talents never accomplished anything on-screen. Instead, both of the AS just died. Daigian didn't even get to mentor Min in philosophy a bit and thus contribute to telegraphed insight about the mending of DO's prison that Min will provide.
Also, it didn't seem to me that Cadsuane insisted on others from her entourage treating Daigian and Kumira with more respect than the OP hierarchy (Grrrr!!!) dictated.
Meanwhile surviving closest associates of Cadsuane - Corele and Merise are really quite unimpressive. Samitsu had some potential, but she got completely sidelined...
Maiane Bakroeva
269. Isilel
OK, let me unleash some crankiness on the subject of FS-suck:

I knew who Anath was immediately, but it just highlighted the general lameness of FS for me - she had spent 2 years (sic!) near Tuon and didn't manage to "remodel" her, as she did all those poor dignitaries in AoL? What a waste!
And the later revelation that Tuon had previously used a ploy of vanishing for a time in her political struggles with her siblings makes it even worse. I mean, an abduction that wouldn't occasion too much comment couldn't have been simpler, right?

IMHO, it would have made vastly more sense if Tuon had not been the heir apparent, the heir _had_ been under Semi's thumb and then got killed unexpectedly (during the Sea Folk escape from Ebu Dar?), thus leaving Tuon in charge as the next in line.

The whole "how dangerous you are to him" thing does suggest a plan of collaring Rand, IMHO. They could have had a copy of Domination Band, if Suroth sent it back to Seanchan, either on her own initiative or because of FS prompting.

The FS coffee hour:

Graendal's verbal attack seems bizarre, since the Femsaken are trusted even though saidar never was tainted. Why should Malsaken be trusted less if saidin is clean again?

Why is their plan for stopping the Cleansing so lame? I mean, they know that Rand has thousands of channelers in his service, right?

And why didn't it occur to anybody to utilize Dark Ashaman Foursome and the Keystone Koven? That is, if they felt that keeping the identities of the still undercover DF channelers secret was more important than preventing the Cleansing. I can't help but think that a mixed circle + balefire rod + that funky non-OP weapon that they used on Elayne and Co. would have been vastly more effective at the Cleansing than the sub-standard efforts of FS themselves.

Sending the DFAsh Foursome to hunt and kill Rand seems like such a waste, both from the Shadow's POV and from the literary one, since we lose antagonists with some recognition value for the Last Battle...


Re: Seanchan, I still find Tuon enjoying training damane rather sickening. It is easier for me to give "cultural exemption" to those who merely have damane at their command through the extra layer of sul'dam.

I remember that there was a crazy theory that Mylen was Moiraine (sic!) once upon a time, which I never understood, since one of Moiraine's strongest traits is perseverance.

Anyway, I wonder what makes Tuon so great at brainwashing damane. I mean, Shearaine losing her warder(lover/husband?) probably made her extra-fragile, but other sul'dam failed with her...
john massey
270. subwoofer
@Wet- So RJ had a hellacious aunt? I mean, I know RJ and Satan are not related, but if Satan ever had an aunt, she'd be much nicer than Cranky Pants:P

@Sweetlil- if you reallly want me to back up what I say with text, I can drop the TGS chapter bomb here and end all. Last time I did that it was a real kill joy. And frankly, I am too lazy to go back and find the other books and quote when Cranky Pants is being a royal ho-bag.

I can look at the other side of things, but regardless of whom, what really grinds on me is manipulation, which Cranky Pants, in her POVs knows she is doing. I am a blunt person, not real good at beating around the bush, that is why it is a struggle for me not to offend many folks here( I know sometimes it is an epic fail. Thank God for edit).

If SWSNBN wants to be that aunt- heck, to borrow a recently used term, call a spade a spade. Gain Rand's respect first then tell him straight out that he is being a douche to people trying to help him. Be that calm voice of reason, a sounding board that Rand can trust. I know Rand has a trust issue with folks that suck up to him, but we are not playing opposites here. Be the complete foil of a suck-up, that'll gain his trust. Not. Don't purposefully go and F#*@ with the boy and play games to "test his mettle". Geeze. Open, honesty, trust, did those words skip the AS primer?

Don't manipulate the living s#!% out of Rand then be shocked and amazed that he doesn't respond in a positive light. "What? You don't want to be friends?"

Must rest now. Head is spinning from constant whacking of desk.

john massey
271. subwoofer
@Is- good point! I forgot that there is nothing wrong with Saidar, and yet seemingly, the "femsaken"-love that term- have gained the DO's inner circle.

The spectacular plan to stop Rand falls on its face because, lets be honest here, do the Forsaken really understand the idea of teamwork? Do they really trust each other enough to work together? Are they humble enough not to go in there, guns ablazin', and think that the opposition will be cowed because they are the big bad Forsaken?


Had they of worked as a team, this might have all been over at book one. Bunch O Forsaken. One Dragon. Rand is still here.

Jason Deshaies
272. darxbane
WAAAAY Back @180,
Allow me to clarify. I did not mean to suggest that the warder bond protects against the taint, but that it increases their resistance to it. So, a non-bonded channeler who went insane in a year, let's say, would last 2 years if bonded. I must disagree that the bond was created for non-channeling warriors. It was not discovered until after the Breaking, and the books have mentioned that everything was attempted to counteract the taint before Gentling became the only real answer. Bonding would at least be an advanced warning that insanity was imminent.
James Hogan
273. Sonofthunder
subwoofer@271, loved that last line! I have a hilarious mental image of Rand on a football field with the ball, with all the Forsaken bearing down on him...what should be a easy tackle quickly becames a melee as they all get in each other's way. Touchdown, Rand. Game, Rand. Score one for the Light!

And in regards to Cadsuane, I think it may be because I read through all the books straight(from EotW through KoD), so I never had the "waiting periods" that most of you did. So the fact that Cadsuane isn't the long-awaited "perfect" Aes Sedai doesn't bother me. I don't think that her character "got away from RJ", either, as someone above stated. She's legendary because she's no-nonsense and she gets stuff done. She doesn't meddle with politics, she doesn't tell everyone how much she loves them and how much their feelings matter to her...she just does what she feels is right. So no, she isn't going to be the person we'd want to hang out with on a Sunday afternoon and relax with(Ok, maybe you, Wetlander ;)), but she is going to be the person we can rely on to take care of business. I'm mostly reminded of Rand's Far Madding/Shadar Logoth escapades. Without Cadsuane and her well-organized team of awesomeness(men and women working together for the win!), Rand would be, in the immortal words of RJ, "toast".

So I guess I can appreciate her as a very well-rounded character, a realistic character. Maybe one I'd probably grit my teeth over if I was under her tutelage. But she makes sense to me. Her legend is due to her batting average, not her behavior in the dugout. And with that, I think RJ had her character very well mapped out and I think we'll see that more in these next couple of books. She's her own person, not just someone to plug into the formula of Rand's journey("Cadsuane = person to make Rand laugh and cry!").

And I honestly don't know why I wrote this, but I just felt I had to give her some love, as much as(and maybe because!) she grates on my nerves so much! She feels real, not a caricatured perfect Aes Sedai. I like her.
James Jones
274. jamesedjones
266 Wetlandernw
As a matter of fact, when Rand asks Cadsuane why the Asha'man allowed themselves to be bonded, she tells him to ask them next time he sees them.
Dang, you're right. You see? This is the problem with all of your positive spin on SWMNBN. I actually started giving her the benefit of the doubt, thinking that she had a natural discussion instead of rudely telling someone to go "look it up" when asked a simple question.

You're just too darn persuasive for my own good. :P
Joseph Blaidd
275. SteelBlaidd
One of the things Ive noticed about Cadsuane, and one of the things I like about her, is that of all the Aes Sedai she is the most strait forward. This doesn't mean shes not sneaky, but she dosen't beat around the bush or do the whole vague "what AS know is for AS to know" routine. I agree that she's not much of a leader in the institutional sense but that's not her role, mostly she is a teacher and what she is attempting to teach is emotional control. She states in tGS that she's mostly been working on getting Rand to control his anger because that leads to control of ones other emotions, hence she pokes at Rand in situations where he has to control himself. In fact most of what she says and dose is designed to develop qualities of self-control and discipline in people. If any thing she acts as a kind of Mistress of Novices for everyone around her. I've also found her to be more introspective and self-questioning than most other Aes Sedai, how many others would be willing to not only admit to screwing up but do so to a room full of people.

Edit: Of course she tells Rand to ask the A'shaman. It was their decision not her's they should be the ones to share their reasoning. I also think that only she' sees what she did to convince them of the wisdom of the decision as black mail. I think she is often harsher on herself than other AS would be willing to be.
James Jones
276. jamesedjones
268 Isilel
IMHO, Hopwil was doing it either because the AS saw him as something similar to a novice/Accepted, which given that the kid was 16 was entirely reasonable IMHO or because he was just helping his AS Daigian whose task it would have been otherwise.
I think you hit it on the nose without making contact. He's 16, maybe. That's from his own mouth, and Rand (the guy who spots Selucia's purpose at a glance) thinks he'd be lucky to be considered 14. He's a kid... with a gun. You respect the gun, but you don't let the kid contribute to any planning or discussions or information. The next youngest in the room might be the Wavemistress for all we know.

So, yes, if someone is going to serve tea, and you don't want to bother with servants, give the kid a tray and some cups and a few instructions. He may have been there for the same purpose that Rand used the AS with the clan chiefs, but SWMNBN does not offer any thoughts on the matter from her POV.
Roger Powell
277. forkroot
Say what you will about Cadsuane, there's one thing you can't deny: She, um ... invigorates this forum like almost no other character!

Wetlandernw - Excellent text references re: the bonding.

jamesedjones and Isilel - Great posts with great points!

In all honesty, a week ago I thought our little re-read was losing some steam. Then came this post and comments and wow, things have really picked up. Congrats to all in this thread who've taken time to post thoughtful and intriguing comments.
David Jameyson
278. Aneid
Whoa, a regular Cad’s love fest going on. I do not think Cad’s is a fool or incompetent, quite the opposite. I make mention of that in an earlier post. As far as I have read I have not read anyone state that she is a loose cannon screwball who is not reliable.

Her sharp mind and excellent OP skill is not the issue I have with her. It is the bullying and the threatening, and as someone pointed out above a stated blatant threat is quite literal when combined with the three oaths. She cannot say she will have someone stripped, striped, bound and carried back to their rooms without meaning it through and through. Again as I said above, she does so because she can, who is going to stop her??? Nobody, that’s right.

As for the whole, I screwed up, to the Wise Ones. Really Cad’s, um, we kinda caught that you screwed up … heh, you know, like when the Car’a’carn, ya know, threatened to have the pattern stop your heart, ya know, we kinda picked up on that. Weather she states it out loud or not there is no doubt she screwed up royally. She is not asking them for help because she is so gracious and magnanimous, she is asking for help because she has no choice in order to stay in the game. She even takes Nyn’s help, as she said, she has no Choice because Nyn is now the defacto Aes Sedai influence with Rand.

Cad’s can do awesome things but she is not an awesome person, which puts her squarely in my “yeah, not so much” shelf. Moraine is awesome because she could do awesome things and is an awesome person; she is on my awesome shelf.

Everyone reads and weighs for themselves. I am older and have many years of experience. I have met monstrously rude egomaniacs that could run businesses and had superior skills in finance and operations but my god, I would not trust their opinions or advice because the advice comes from what I would call a twisted mind. So I read all the things Cad’s has done and I shake my head and find that I cannot give her leeway there is more to being a legend than just deeds. Character also lends deep into that status.

But, she is not real so … meh
279. AndrewB
thewindrose @215 -- I believe that Siuan sent Verin to Two Rivers as e means to get her away from the White Tower. At that moment, she was one of 3 Aes Sedai who knew (i) that the Dragon Reborn was in fact reborn; (ii) that he could channel; and (iii) exact his identity (Moiraine and Siuan herself being the other two).

Further, Siuan was not sure how much she could trust Verin. Remember, Suian and Moiraine reluctantly told Verin the truth when she guessed it after Fain escaped in TGH.

Finally, Verin also was one of two Aes Sedai in the Tower who knew that the Great Horn had been found and that it was hidden in the Tower. Thus, sending her to Two Rivers seemed like an ideal solution from Siuan's perspective.

Suian sent Alanna with Verin as a way for Alanna to meet Alanna's requested penance. Just before Egwene entered the Accepted Rings in TDR, Alanna announced that she felt an insignificant disturbance with the Rings. When Egwene barely survived (because the Rings were acting so strange) Alanna demanded that she toil in the kitchens with Egwene as penance for her failure to stop the ceremony. Siuan refused to grant that penance. Apparently, Alanna's presence on the trip to Two Rivers was a means that Suian devised for Alanna to meet her self-imposed penance.

Sonofthunder @273 said: Cads is "legendary because she's no-nonsense and she gets stuff done." To add to Sonofthunder's point. Further, a lot of Cads legendary status is her doing simple things that others do not understand and thus attributing it to the work of a legend. For example in ACoS, Cads placed her sewing box in such a way as to see who entered her room without having to turn around. When Alanna comes to her door, Cads knows who it is right away. Alanna thinks this is another example of Cads' legendary prowess. However, Cads thinks to herself about that it was nothing mystical. Rather, it was the prudent placement of her sewing box.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Alice Arneson
280. Wetlandernw
Isilel @269 - Well, technically, it's "less than two years" since Neferi died. - But for your point, the difference of even six months at the outside is negligible. Just had to find something to quibble about. ;)

Sonofthunder @273 - Nicely written. Speaking only for myself, I suspect that I could be friends with her, in somewhat the same manner as she is with Sorilea - cautiously, and never once letting my backbone slip, and never, never, never letting my frustration get the better of my good sense. And when it inevitably happens, being ready to acknowledge my fault. Interestingly enough, something you said reminded me of a conversation with Tamyrlin of Theoryland - he said something about a particular three years of martial arts training, which was entirely miserable due to his trainers methods, but incredibly effective at the same time. (I'm rephrasing, so that's not exactly what he said, but it was something to that effect.)

jamesedjones @274 - Alternatively, you could say she's allowing them to speak for themselves instead of being presumptuous enough to speak for them.

forkroot @277 - Indeed, indeed, and indeed!!

AndrewB @279 - Yes! I loved the sewing box trick! So many of the AS think only of doing things with the OP, and forget that there is also much that can be done with other methods. And the really funny part is that since Cadsuane was the strongest AS for a thousand years before Elayne came along, it never occurs to them that she would use such mundance tricks. If we could ever find out, I would almost bet that Norla started her on that, since Norla (using the ornaments) could have busted up every weave Cadsuane tried. Oh, I so much wish we could go back and learn more about that time! Oddly enough, BWS has said that RJ actually left a lot less backstory for Cadsuane than for many of the other characters.

And... another comment coming soon.
Alice Arneson
281. Wetlandernw
Another musing... Somewhere up there ^^ someone thought it was awful that Cadsuane left the Tower rather than be made Amyrlin. On the other hand, many have complained that she's not a good team leader. I find that hilarious. Can you imagine someone whose "leadership skills" are so hated, being made either Sitter, Head of Ajah or Amyrlin? Yikes!!

(Incidentally, she was never "summoned" as Egwene was, so she can't be accused of refusing the summons. She disappeared from the Tower before they could call her - presumably because she found out it was likely to come, didn't want the job, and knew that if the Hall chose to summon her instead of asking first, she'd have no alternative. Or else they asked her, she told them no, and decided not to give them a chance to override.)

So I have another thought. I haven't done super-thorough research on this, but to the best of my recollection, Cadsuane never expresses any desire for leadership. She has one stated goal - to teach Rand laughter and tears, to help him remember his humanity. IIRC she's never expressed a desire to advise him, tell him what to do in terms of politics or Last Battle prep, or many of the other things people assume she wants.

Challenge: If you can, find an example of Cadsuane stating a desire to do anything with/to Rand other than "teach him laughter and tears" or the things that are required in order to fulfill that goal (e.g. stay close to him, get him to keep her close enough). Secondarily, find an expressed desire to claim leadership, or any agenda not in direct or secondary support of the "laughter and tears" agenda. Please provide quotes if possible, or at least book-and-chapter reference. Personal interpretation of actions do not count as sufficient evidence if there is another plausible interpretation.
James Jones
282. jamesedjones
281 Wetlandernw
Personal interpretation of actions do not count as sufficient evidence if there is another plausible interpretation.
That's silly. We all do this. You can't create a new rule when it will hurt some of your own arguments. :D
Chris Chaplain
283. chaplainchris1
Wall of text! Moiraine and Cadsuane comparison!

@278 Aneid, you wrote:

Cad’s can do awesome things but she is not an awesome person, which puts her squarely in my “yeah, not so much” shelf. Moraine is awesome because she could do awesome things and is an awesome person; she is on my awesome shelf.

I'm so going to get in trouble for comparing Moiraine and Cadsuane, but...

Well, first, truth in advertising and all. Moiraine is a favorite character of mine; Cadsuane is not. However, I don't hate Cadsuane, and I find her very interesting. I should also say that I find the AS as a concept fascinating, and love AS chapters, even while acknowledging their many failures and frustrating behaviors. I just find the Bene Gesserit - I mean, the Aes Sedai - innately interesting.

Second, as to people getting their way through bullying and threatening - that's pretty much the standard mode of operation in the Wheel of Time world. In the real world, I don't think it works very well - not unless you're actually willing to do violence - and it's reprehensible anyway. But it seems to work in the WOT, and pretty much all the main characters use it at some point. Perhaps Mat doesn't, though he tries to threaten and bully the supergirls when it comes to taking Elayne to Caemlyn, but he generally has bribery to fall back on. And Mat generally isn't trying to accomplish something; more often he's being contrary and trying to get out of something, instead.

But all that said: in what way is Moiraine a more awesome person than Cadsuane? Both, in their POVs, show a concern for justice and fairness, an ability to see further than White Tower propoganda, and an acknowledgement that Rand is a good person trying to do the right thing. Both also show ruthlessness and single-mindedness, a willingness to let everything else burn for the sake of their agenda with Rand.

Their agenda - using Rand to save the world - is pretty much identical.

Their methods basically revolve around controlling and manipulating Rand - all with the best of intentions, because they believe they are wiser and more experienced than he could be, and because the fate of all existence rests on him doing things right.

All credit to Moiraine for eventually finding a way to work with Rand, but her reasons for swearing to obey and advise him are still all about control. She gains his trust and uses that to manipulate him - with the best intentions. Moiraine is a master of manipulation, Cairheinin and Aes Sedai to the core. Think back to the early books, and remember how she manipulated and frustrated Rand, and how he came to fear her.

In the Great Hunt, for example, she manipulated him into being in charge, and frustrated and bullied him at every turn - taking his clothes, hiding the dragon banner in his things, etc. Remember how he ran from her in the Dragon Reborn, how he fought her all through the Shadow Rising, how he feared in the Fires of Heaven that she might be willing to kill him herself.

Rand only comes to work with her again after she swears only to obey and advise him. (And Rand only accepts this because he believes in the Three Oaths, by the way - which 3 Oath haters should recall. Without the oaths, Rand would never have worked with Moiraine.) Moiraine makes this promise, as she tells Egwene, b/c she remembered that to control saidar you must surrender to it. Her surrender to Rand is, therefore, a way to exercise manipulation and control, much as Cadsuane is trying to manipulate and control him.

To Moiraine's credit, she's able to change strategies when her normal methods of manipulation and control fail, and to reconcile herself to not being able to control him completely. But it takes her awhile to do so. For much of the third, fourth, and fifth books, she's frustrated and has little influence with Rand. In fact she strikes Rand with the One Power in book five. She finally hits on the strategy of swearing to him, and becomes an effective advisor again, but even then, she's not as completely his supporter as we all seem to think. Even in her final letter to Rand - which is warm and supportive in tone - she retains mystery and secrets, as Rand notes. She's manipulative to the end.

Many of us condemn Cadsuane for manipulating Tam's conversation with Rand in TGS, but Moiraine is just as manipulative, just with a different style. Cads is generally more forthright.

We - all of us - often condemn Cads for not changing her strategy and style, but checking the Chronology of the WOT is interesting. It seems Moiraine knew Rand for more than 500 days before deciding to change strategy and swear to him. Cadsuane knew Rand for about 120 days. She swears, very early in their relationship, not to trick him, to advise with his best interests in mind, not to force him to take her advice, and not to try and learn all his secrets. (Unlike Moiraine who eavesdropped on him with the Power!) I know, completely different circumstances, and comparisons are odious, but her oath is pretty similar to Moiraine's - she just doesn't swear to obey. Unfortunately, Rand has become so rigid that he demands obedience, absolute obedience, from everyone. I think Rand's banishment of her is as much because Cadsuane won't obey or be intimidated as it is because of her failure with the collar.

Cadsuane knew Rand for much less time, and Rand was much crazier and harder to work with or predict during the time she met him. Cadsuane was still able to acknowledge to herself her failures. And she *did* reunite him with Tam, even if she blew the execution.

Speaking as a leader - it's *very* hard not to try and manipulate and control people and events, with the best of intentions. It's very hard to trust people not to "blow" important stuff, especially when you see them do it so often. Both Moiraine and Cadsuane show this tendency, and both make some big mistakes (Moiraine was dead-set against Rand going to the Waste, for example - what a disaster that would have been!). Both also accomplish some amazing things, which make it easy for me to sympathize with their belief that they should be in charge.

They're wrong...but with good justification.

Moiraine does eventually release more control than Cadsuane, perhaps - but there's prophecy involved there, and she has little choice.
Alice Arneson
284. Wetlandernw
chaplainchris @281 - WOW!! Excellent analysis! Thank you. You hit some points that have been tickling around in the back of my head, but which I've never taken the time and energy to research. I especially like your penultimate paragraph:
They're wrong...but with good justification.
That's just it; for all their Power, they are still human, and they still make human mistakes. Just like us. But they do the best they can with what they have, and they do it with the best of intentions.
john massey
285. subwoofer

I have Cranky Pants strapped to a chair with her own hairnet and I am smacking some sense into her with a wet noodle. This may take some time.

-sorry, figure this is a good way to round out a thread.

Tess Laird
286. thewindrose
Hiya Sub - caught you! Don't worry, the bar in the bunker is handing out free 'what you calls' tonight;)

Speaking of which, I need to run and stock it up a bit - be back in a bit!

287. JeremiahSmith
Please post new chapter. Dying.
Alice Arneson
288. Wetlandernw
Jeremy - Look in the Latest Comments or Hot Bookmarks list for a link to something on Winter's Heart, Part 11. It was posted on Friday.
289. macster
@223 Freelancer: One point. No matter how much we respect Verin's intelligence and sneakiness, just because she believes something does not make it true. Jordan showed us repeatedly how Aes Sedai did not know nearly as much as they thought they did, particularly about what was and was not possible with the Power. We only have Verin's admittedly biased self-assessment that no one is better at Delving than she is--and I have to be suspicious of this (even with her ability to read the soullessness of that Ogier, since we were told by Jordan that this does not involve Delving or even the Power at all) since after all, Verin is a Brown, not a Yellow. Surely someone like Merise, Corele, or especially Samitsu would know more about and be better at a Healer's Delving than she would.

So unless she has had detailed experience with those three (who are called the three strongest Healers in the Tower) to tell her of the effiacacy and results of their Delving versus her own (something that requires us to assume facts not in evidence), she can't really know for sure that she is the best Delver there is. And since her Compulsion weave is something relatively new, she can't also be sure that others would not be able to detect or identify it. (And she does acknowledge it could be detected, at least.) She has not, after all, had the chance to watch the greatest Healers in the Tower do a Delving on one of her Compulsion victims so as to know they could not discover it no matter how careful they were--she can't exactly ask people to help her test that. She had only her own Delving to go on, and her own opinion of her Delving skills. If she was wrong, or overconfident in her own skills...

And while it is true that your quote does suggest that she normally would not doubt her own Delving skills or fear what she did could be discovered, it is possible that seeing what happened to Alanna, and what that meant re: Rand, could have caused her to second-guess herself, to be frightened that perhaps her skills weren't as great as she thought, and her Compulsion could be discovered after all.

It may not be clear-cut that this is the reason she was frightened, but I don't think your evidence against it is clear-cut either due to, as I said, us only having Verin's word on whether she is the best Delver and whether the weave really can't be identified. And I still found the whole last paragraph of Verin's talk with Alanna in Culain's Hound after the bonding scene extremely suspicious. I think we can be sure Verin was investigating Alanna to determine if she was Black or not, and the manner of her thoughts regarding Alanna suggests to me that she would ensure Alanna made the right choices, gave the right answers, and never changed them, which sounds like Compulsion to me. A good reason to do so would be if she discovered Alanna was Black, but it could also be as simple as deciding that after the bonding (assuming Verin didn't Compel that), Alanna had proven she needed to be reined in herself. Compulsion would be the quickest way Verin could use to accompish this, from her POV.

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