Aug 24 2010 2:30pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 12

Greetings, and welcome to today’s load of balderdash Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 17 and 18 of Winter’s Heart, in which everybody knows that the dice are loaded, and everybody knows that the deal is rotten, but that’s how it goes.

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 everybody knows that it’s now or never, so now, ze post!

Chapter 17: Pink Ribbons

What Happens
Mat hurries Noal to one of the stableyard gates of the Palace, watching nervously for any sign of the gholam. The gate is guarded by both Ebou Dari and Seanchan soldiers; the Ebou Dari officer (Surlivan) comments on the state of Mat’s clothes, and that “she” won’t like it if Mat’s been in another fight. Scowling, Mat ignores this to ask if it’s all right for Noal to bed down with his men; Surlivan is fine with it. Mat pulls Noal aside to make way for a trio of Seanchan messengers; Surlivan gives them permission to enter, and then comments on how they always ask him, not the Seanchan guards. Noal asks what they would do if Surlivan refused them entry, and Surlivan angrily tells Mat to warn his new friend about the wisdom of watching his tongue. Mat gives a polite reply and drags Noal inside, where he explains to Noal about Listeners and Seekers.

“I see,” the old man said slowly. “I hadn’t known that.” He sounded irritated with himself. “You must spend a good deal of time with the Seanchan. Do you know the High Lady Suroth as well, then? I must say, I had no idea you had such high connections.”

“I spend time with soldiers in taverns, when I can,” Mat replied sourly. When Tylin let him. Light, he might as well be married! “Suroth doesn’t know I’m alive.” And he devoutly hoped it remained that way.

In the stableyard, several dozen damane are being walked by sul’dam, half of whom are captured Windfinders. One is Teslyn Baradon, and Mat thinks he hadn’t liked her much, but would not have wished such a fate on her. He mutters that he supposes it’s better than being dead; Noal asks if he’s sure, and Mat frowns and doesn’t answer. They go to the four surviving Redarms’ (and Vanin’s) room, where Harnan and the others are all ready to go do violence to whoever roughed Mat up. Mat introduces them to Noal and adds that Noal saved his life that day, which earns cries of approbation from the Redarms. Noal tells the story with what Mat thinks is a gleeman’s skill, downplaying his own role in the incident; the men laugh in appreciation until he gets to the part of how the gholam escaped, which sobers them up. Trying to make light, Mat says the thing seems to be after him, so he’ll give them gold to book passage on the first ship out tomorrow, along with Thom and Juilin and Olver and Nerim and Lopin, to go find Talmanes. After a pause, Harnan opines that Talmanes would skin them alive if they came back without Mat; Vanin thinks Olver would “gut [him] like a trout” if he takes the boy away from Riselle, and anyway he has time to read here.

“You’re all mad,” Mat said with a frown. “Just because it wants me, doesn’t mean it won’t kill you if you get in the way. The offer stays open. Anyone who comes to his senses can go.”

“I have seen your like before,” Noal said suddenly. The stooped old man was the image of hard age and exhaustion, but his eyes were bright and sharp studying Mat. “Some men have an air about them that makes other men follow where they lead. Some lead to devastation, others to glory. I think your name may go into the history books.”

Harnan looked as confused as Fergin. Vanin spat and lay back down, opening his book.

“If all my luck goes away, maybe,” Mat muttered. He knew what it took to get into the histories. A man could get killed, doing that sort of thing.

Fergin advises him to clean up before the Queen sees him, and Mat stalks out, and his temper is not improved when he’s told the same by a dozen servants in the halls. Then he runs into Juilin, who has no business being outside the servants’ quarters. Mat tells him about the gholam and repeats his offer to have Juilin leave, but Juilin refuses; recognizing the look in his eyes, Mat tells him to take her with him, whoever she is, or just find another one. Juilin thanks him profusely (and sarcastically) for his wisdom re: women, and adds that he’s heard that if Mat comes back again looking like he’d been ”dragged in the mud,” the Queen intends to switch him. Incensed, Mat storms into Tylin’s apartments, throwing his hat across the room, and stops dead. Inside, Tylin is sitting with Suroth and what Mat thinks is a little girl, shaved bald and wearing a veil. A very tall, beautiful dark-skinned woman stands behind the girl’s chair.

It was not the presence of Suroth or the strangers that jerked him to a halt, though. The dice had stopped, landing with a thunder that made his skull ring. That had never happened before. He stood there waiting for one of the Forsaken to leap out of the flames in the marble fireplace, or the earth to swallow the Palace beneath him.

Tylin, her look promising retribution later, tells him to go get cleaned up, but Mat just stands there, dazed, trying to work out what had happened. The girl says sternly to Suroth that this man has been “set upon,” and she thought there was order in the city; she is displeased. Suroth assures her of the safety of the streets, and Mat is struck that this little girl apparently makes Suroth of all people anxious; then he notices how very still Tylin is being. The girl repeats that she is displeased, and chastises Suroth for her “ill-considered” attack eastward; she wants to know how Mat could have been set upon if the streets are so safe. Suroth glares at Tylin, and Mat blurts that he just fell down, to their surprise. The dark-skinned woman (Anath) grabs the girl’s winecup and throws it in the fireplace, telling her (Tuon) that she is being foolish, and that Suroth is doing well. Suroth (and Mat) gape in astonishment, but Tuon only answers that Anath may be right, but that “the young man” is clearly lying, perhaps in fear of retribution, and his injuries are more than could be sustained from a simple fall. Annoyed at the (sort of true) implication he is scared of Tylin, Mat grins and replies that he was injured the day of the invasion, but he’s just about healed now, thanks. Tuon walks over to examine him minutely, and Mat thinks she would be pretty if she were not so stern (and had hair).

She reached up with one hand, putting her fingertips under his chin, and he started to jerk back. Until Tylin glared at him over Tuon’s head, promising retribution here and now, if he did any such thing. Glowering, he let the girl shift his head for her study.

“You fought us?” she demanded. “You have sworn the oaths?”

“I swore,” he muttered. “For the other, I had no chance.”

“So you would have,” she murmured.

She continues her examination until Anath tells her to either buy the boy or not; Tuon examines his signet ring, showing “a running fox and two ravens in flight, all surrounded by crescent moons,” and asks Tylin how much for him. Tylin chokes on her wine, and protests unsteadily that he is a free man, which Mat thinks would be funny in other circumstances. Tuon goes over to Tylin, and tells her not to be afraid; she gives an astonished Tylin a ritual kiss and proclaims that she and Tuon and Suroth shall be like sisters, and Tuon will make her High Lady Tylin as well as Queen of Altara. She invites Tylin back to her rooms to look at maps; as they prepare to leave Mat pulls Tylin aside and tells her that the gholam tried to kill him an hour ago, and it might be dangerous to Tylin for Mat to stay here any longer. Tylin sniffs that it cannot have him, and neither can Tuon—though she whispers that part.

“Who is she?” he asked. Well, it had never been more than a chance.

“The High Lady Tuon, and you know as much as I,” Tylin replied, just as quietly. “Suroth jumps when she speaks, and she jumps when Anath speaks, though I would almost swear that Anath is some sort of servant. They are a very peculiar people, sweetling.”

She examines his mud, and asks if he remembers the pink ribbons, promising more when she gets back. Everyone leaves, and Mat puts his head in his hands. Even pink ribbons cannot distract him from worrying about the dice.

The dice had stopped and… What? He had come face-to-face, or near enough, with three people he had not met before, but that could not be it. Maybe it was something to do with Tylin becoming one of the Blood. But always before, when the dice stopped, something had happened to him, personally.

Then Tylin returns, and has not forgotten the pink ribbons, and Mat is otherwise occupied for a long time.

It’s kind of sad that this momentous thing happened in this chapter—namely, Mat meeting his future wife—and yet the biggest thing I carry away from it is how utterly annoyed I am at Tylin.

I mean, intellectually I know that there are a significant number of people out there who derive pleasure from humiliating other people, from degrees ranging from relatively harmless “taking the piss” (as the Brits put it) all the way to outright sadistic torture, but it’s just never been a thing I’ve found enjoyable even in its milder forms, ever, either giving or receiving, and ergo I think I just don’t get it in some ways. There are any number of reasons why I would not have done well in the military (a basic inability to take orders respectfully probably topmost, heh), but honestly my strong aversion to anything that smacks of hazing is rather foremost among them.

This is, I think, just as much a flaw as it is a virtue, and probably makes pride one of my besetting sins, but at least I take comfort in the fact that in real life I try to follow the maxim of not dishing out what I don’t myself care to take. But it also guarantees that this entire “relationship”—and I use the term loosely—of Mat and Tylin’s is something I am not going to be able to enjoy even on a superficial level, even putting aside the whole issue of whether it’s nonconsensual or not. Not that I’m really ready to put that aside!

Yes, I’m totally humorless, the horror of me, whatever. Sorry, but anyone who punishes someone for surviving an assassination attempt is just never going to be on my Christmas card list, so I guess we’ll have to just call me crazy and leave it at that, n’est-ce pas?

Agh, blah, moving on. At least we got the fun of Noal being all awesomely tactlessly accurate about everything, especially re: Mat’s Leader-Of-Men-ness, which is always something I enjoy getting pointed out, not least as a welcome counter-agent against all the humiliation Mat is otherwise subjected to pretty much the entire time he’s in Ebou Dar. It’s a nice little callback to why I like Mat, which is something we haven’t been getting a lot of since he came to this horrible city, which sucked even before it was overrun with overbearing caste-ridden slaveowners, so I like to appreciate the reminders where I find them.

Tuon: In retrospect you have to admire her aplomb here, since from our comfortable future knowing-everything perspective it’s pretty obvious that she guessed (or strongly suspected) Mat was the subject of her Foretelling almost from the moment he stormed into Tylin’s rooms. Certainly from the moment she saw his ring, anyway—which I note that only NOW does Jordan finally describe accurately, tease that he is. (Before this it had always been “birds,” not “ravens” on his ring, presumably because otherwise it would have been too much of a gimme, though I don’t necessarily agree with that.)

And it kind of had to totally suck for Tuon too, since she of course has no way at this point to know anything about Mat’s awesomeness, and instead sees only that he is, to all appearances, a ridiculous dandified commoner boy-toy with no manners and a penchant for rolling in the mud and being insolent to his betters. I mean, if I were her I might have been strongly tempted to throw a tantrum at this point, so yay restraint, yes?

Though, I think from her comment about whether he would have fought that she already sees something more than that, or wants to. Fortunately for her it’s not wishful thinking; unfortunately for us it’s going to be two-ish books before she finds this out. Oh, well.

Also, I kind of had to laugh at Mat’s waiting for a Forsaken to leap out of the fireplace when there’s one standing ten feet from him, if only he knew. Irony: it’s what’s for breakfast! Yeek.

Teslyn: Damn. As usual, the damane thing continues to turn my stomach. It’s telling in some way, perhaps, that it didn’t occur to me to wonder why Joline wasn’t in the same predicament as Teslyn until later events rendered it moot (as we shall see). I am unobservant, sometimes!


Chapter 18: An Offer

What Happens
Mat spends the next few days being irritated. The gholam is still lurking around the city, and the Redarms still refuse to leave. Thom and Beslan are sneaking around together, and Beslan is still mad at Mat for not supporting his rebellion. Juilin gets caught and strapped for being abovestairs, but doesn’t stop sneaking up there; Mat supposes he’s involved with a Seanchan noblewoman, though he finds the notion unlikely. The Corenne continues, disgorging thousands of civilians and soldiers alike into the surrounding countryside; Mat doesn’t understand, though, why a contingent of Deathwatch Guards (including a hundred Ogier Gardeners, whom Mat reflects are nothing like Loial) are staying in the city instead. News comes in from outside via merchants, mostly about Aiel looting everywhere and armies on the move, but especially about Rand; wildly conflicting stories circulate about his whereabouts and status, including the one about his swearing fealty to Elaida, or that he is dead, but Mat doesn’t believe either of those—for some reason he is sure he would know if Rand died. The day after the gholam attack, Mat burns all the pink clothing Tylin had made him wear, and stomps out to look for inns with hidey holes again. He finds himself at the Wandering Woman, which he’d been avoiding because it was stuffed with Seanchan officers, and decides to go in. Inside, Setalle Anan greets him with a smile and asks after Nynaeve, Elayne and the Kin, to Mat’s surprise; Mat tells her they all got out and are safe as far as he knows. He explains what he is looking for, and Setalle shakes her head at him.

“You don’t know our ways, that is the trouble,” she said. “Pretties are an old and honored custom in Altara. Many a young man or woman has a final fling as a pretty, pampered and showered with presents, before settling down. But you see, a pretty leaves when she chooses. Tylin shouldn’t be treating you as I hear she is. Still,” she added judiciously, “I must say she dresses you well.” She made a circling motion with one hand. “Hold out your cloak and turn around so I can get a better look.”

Flushing, Mat demands to know if she has a space or not, and she does, but the price is a look at his bottom, which she enjoys very much (as does a Seanchan officer, who tosses him a coin). He returns to the Palace to find that Nerim and Lopin have discovered where Tylin was hiding his old clothes, and Mat instructs them to start ferrying them over to the inn, along with gold, bit by bit so as not to raise suspicions. After “diverting” Tylin from asking why his manservants are running down the hall (which takes a while), Mat goes to visit the only bellfoundry in Ebou Dar. Unfortunately Master Sutoma has no idea what bells have to do with fireworks and is not interested in Mat’s questions, finally barring Mat from the premises after his third visit. Attempting to work the problem from the other end, Mat finally gets Aludra to the kissing stage, but despite extended makeout sessions she still refuses to explain anything to him. Tylin begins lacquering her nails, but she isn’t ready yet to start shaving her head; Mat thinks there is no way she can know about Aludra, but Tylin regresses to stabbing her bedpost anytime she wants Mat’s company, though she also starts spending a lot of time with Tuon and Suroth. Mat cannot figure out the relationship between Suroth, Tuon and Anath, especially after he overhears a conversation in which Anath tells Tuon to ask for “a taste of the strap” to clear her head, which horrifies Suroth but Tuon merely declines politely. Mat also begins to suspect that he runs into Tuon a little too often for mere chance; one day he walks into Tylin’s apartments to find Tuon there alone, studying his ashanderei. Mat recalls that ravens are an Imperial sigil to the Seanchan, and Tuon remarks that this must be his, and demands to know what it is and how he got it.

“It’s called a spear, my Lady,” he said, resisting the urge to lean against the doorframe and tuck his thumbs behind his belt. She was Seanchan Blood, after all. “I bought it.”

“I will give you ten times the price you paid,” she said. “Name it.”

He almost laughed. He wanted to, and not for pleasure, that was certain sure. No would you think of selling, just I will buy it and here is what I will pay. “The price wasn’t gold, my Lady.” Involuntarily, his hand went to the black scarf to make sure it still hid the ridged scar that encircled his neck. “Only a fool would pay it one time, let alone ten.”

She studied him for a moment, her expression unreadable no matter how sheer her veil. And then, he might as well have vanished. She glided past him as though he were no longer there and swept out of the apartments.

The strange too-coincidental encounters continue, making Mat nervous, but otherwise he thinks things are looking up; the gholam seems to have given up, and Aludra seems close to cracking. Then Mat begins to worry about his hidey-hole at Setalle’s inn.

Anybody at all could lift up that floorstone, if they knew where to look. He had to make sure for himself. Afterwards, long afterwards, he would wonder why the bloody dice had not warned him.

So, this is basically a “time passes” chapter, which is generally necessary and good for syncing-up-the-storylines purposes, but kind of sucks when you have to come up with something interesting to say about it.

However, there is Setalle (hi, Setalle!) and her attempt to explain “pretties” to Mat. I think I would have been far more accepting of her explanation of the whole business if the Tylin/Mat thing had gone ANYTHING like that, but it kind of really, really didn’t, so whatever. At least we can divine from this that not all Ebou Dari are quite as bugnuts as their Queen in the romance department. Yay? I guess?

The only other item of any significance in this chapter, of course is Tuon: The Stalkening. Which, loaded terms aside, I sort of can’t really blame her for. Can you imagine just meeting this guy who you know you’re destined to marry, and who is completely inappropriate (in multiple ways, even!), and he has no clue, and it's just completely bizarre, and… yeah, I would be kind of constantly watching him, too. 

I remember reading this chapter and thinking oh please please please let this be resolved within this book, pretty please, because, well, yeah. The ashanderei thing mostly made me really impatient for her to get on with discovering that Mat does not suck. Sigh.

Speaking of which, I suppose it’s probably a given that Tuon can read the Old Tongue; I wonder what she made of the inscription on Mat’s ashanderei? Did she connect it to “remembering Hawkwing’s face” at this point, or is that maybe too big an intuitive leap to make, realistically? I don’t think we ever get her thoughts on that—not the spear specifically, anyway. Well, the ravens would have been enough to go on with in any case.

Oh, and one other thing: Aludra gets her High School on. Which I found both funny and a little bit sad, strangely; not sad as in “pathetic,” but sad as in affecting, because it seems to me like she really likes Mat, but she can’t quite totally bring herself to be the Other Woman, and plus she knows Mat is more or less only after One Thing (which is, of course, how to Blow Shit Up. Just like a guy!), so she settles for this halfway second-base compromise which of course is only going to make things worse, and I dunno, it’s a tiny bit poignant, maybe.

Or, I’m reading way too much into this and she’s just into necking with no follow-through. Whichever you like.

…And, yeah. That’s about what I got. So enjoy, kids, and join me Friday for slightly more action-y Matness! Laters!

Alice Arneson
1. Wetlandernw
Just one thought this morning: Chapter 17 puts a whole new twist on the title of "She Who Must Be Obeyed."
Sean Banawnie
2. Seanie
glad i had time to read before work....now to chew on. Thanks for the gumball , Leigh!
Tina A
3. Tinaa
Poor Mat. He has no idea what's about to hit him, pink ribbons and all!
4. MosNos
This is a shout out from Lusaka, Zambia (Africa). Loving the re-read!
Roger Powell
5. forkroot
Nice point Leigh: There's nothing like a re-read to find out how much RJ enjoyed little ironic tweaks. Good highlight on the "Forsaken leaping out of the flames in the marble fireplace" line.

At least we find out by KOD about that tricky comment. The one from the last chapter (Cadsuane musing about unmasking the Black Ajah while standing next to Verin) - it took TGS to realize that Jordan was doing it to us again.
6. AndrewB
Thanks for a great re-read Leigh. I too loved Mat's inner monologue regarding the Forsaken.

Query: How different things could have been in Semirhage knew that Tylin's Toy was one of the two other Two River boys? Lucky for Mat he did not have to hide from the Lady of Pain.

I hope that Aludra finds happiness. For reasons that I am unable to explain, I have come to appreciate Aludra during the re-read.

Thanks for reading my musings.
John Pigott
7. AbEnd
Aludra: friend with many benefits, including fireworks!
8. alreadymadwithmatsprice
Ten times the price Mat paid. ROFL.

I don't think Tuon connected the man who remembers Hawkwing's face to Mat. She doesn't confirm this until much later. She did connect the fox who makes the ravens fly to his ring. That's why she tried to buy him. Make him her Toy.
9. Seamus1602
I try to be angry or whatever about Tylin and Mat, but I just can't. I've always loved the entire Mat in Ebou Dar storyline, and I can't shake that.

Intellectually, I realize that, if their genders were reversed, it would be a seriously BAD situation. Only, of course, that woman in question could easily best the guy in hand-to-hand combat but steadfastly refuses to fight men. That's what this situation always comes down to, for me. Mat could get out of it if he really wanted. But he doesn't really want. He LIKES being in relationships where his women are a little tougher, a little more pushy, a little more demanding than most. C'mon, his 3 relationships are this, a Maiden, and the Seachan Empress. Guy's got it bad for women with (obstensibly) more power than him.
Daniel Smith
10. Smittyphi
Yay, new post!

the second chapter is almost boring because it does setup everything. I'm just ready to get on with Mat v Tuon and the great exchanges they have.
Barry T
11. blindillusion
Well, I just noticed something that should have been extremely obvious re: Tuon asking Mat if he took the Oath. And she is later so interested in whether he'll keep his Oath to let her go...

She wants to know if he'll keep those Oaths to the Empire. Or she plans to use them against him, to demand service...?

'Course, I could be reading into all this.

Bleh. I hate commenting via iPhone.
j p
12. sps49
Yeah, I always liked Aludra.

Tuon makes sense here. I hope I would be trying to find out about who my intended is, that I would be telling a Forsaken "no", and being nice to the ruler of the place I just overran. (No, not personally overran.) :)

I dunno what Mat would've done if he had recognized Semirhage, but shouldn't she have recognized Mat? Sammael knows enough to send the gholam after him, Moridin obviously does (and where did he get the images used at the DFS?); shouldn't she recognize him? Is she distracted by the clothes and position? WTF?
Rob Munnelly
13. RobMRobM
@1 - Rumpole FTW.

In these chapters, it's easy to see why Tuon is one of my favorite characters. Tough, smart, disciplined and caring - the reach out to Tylin was plainly from the heart. She also doesn't put up with cr*p from Anath - she accepts the truthtelling but not the associated recommendations.

The fireplace line is funny and grounded in truth but the earth swallowing line also could have been fulfilled a few months later when Rand also annihilated the Palace.

Max Espensen
14. Andvari
I suppose the Mat/Tylin thing is not something which we need to re-examine again, but I think the non-consensuality of it is quite important, there are plenty of relationships which can have a very BDSM element to them, for which this would be very mild (though we are not exactly privy to the details, I can't imagine it goes much beyond Mat being tied up - sounds alright to me! Ahem.) and they are more extreme but the consensuality is at the heart of them. So on the face it, it would all be fine if we knew that Mat actually really got off on being tied up with pink ribbons or whatever. It's the fact he doesn't that makes it unpalatable.

I like Tuon in these chapters for the same reason as you mentioned - she must have twigged with the ring about him being the subject of her Foretelling but only seemed to be keen to analyse him rather than not what she wanted. I suppose always knowing that she was marrying to help the Empire and not for the reasons most others do is bound to make you approach it with a certain level-headedness.

What, you Americans don't say taking the piss? It's an essential part of our lexicon!
Rob Munnelly
15. RobMRobM
Also ironic in retrospect - Mat's comment that given the close attention from Tylin "he might as well be married." The he gets married, and his wife is nowhere near to give him any attention whatsoever. Rob
Birgit F
16. birgit
Why doesn't Tylin want Mat to fight? She has no problem with Beslan's duels. Is it because he is still recovering from his injuries? Or because he gets his pretty clothes dirty?
Kurt Lorey
17. Shimrod
Great speech on Chapter 17's commentary. I'm glad you were able to share more of your perspective on these items.

In the re-read, I liked the "Forsaken leaping out of the fireplace" quote too.
TW Grace
18. TWGrace
Speaking of which, I suppose it’s probably a given that Tuon can read the Old Tongue; I wonder what she made of the inscription on Mat’s ashanderei?

She asks him about it later, and uses the first line in her oath not to escape.

But that is another book away.
James Hogan
19. Sonofthunder
sps49@12, apparently Semi's been missing all the important Chosen meetings. And not checking her emails either. ;)

And yay Aludra! Again, she's awesome. I hope she gets some good moments in ToM. I think she should hook up with Talmanes.

All in all, these are Mat chapters, so I enjoyed them. I just ignore Tylin and look forward to his grand escape!
Roger Powell
20. forkroot
Good question about Semi. A previous commenter pointed out that as Anath she was definitely out of play for any Forsaken meetings from the time she and Tuon departed Seanchan until they arrived in Ebou Dar. (Earlier, we did see her Travel over from Seanchan to draw information from Cabriana Mecandes.)

Given the number of Forsaken meetings she misses, it is not unreasonable to assume that she's a little less current on various Team Dark issues. I do know that the one meeting she does makes that has an explicit "terminate" order on the other two ta'veren, has not happened yet (it's early in KOD.)

EDIT: Guess I'm just expanding on the idea because Sonofthunder got there first @19
Jeff Weston
21. JWezy
I've mused on this before, but this is as good a time as any - I've lost count of the number of people who remember Hawkwing's face. Essentially anybody who was at Falme when the Horn was sounded, right? Lots of Seanchan, Whitecloaks, a scattering of Sheinarians, plus our dear heroes.

Did RJ forget this? Or doesn't it count for some reason I cannot fathom?
Tricia Irish
22. Tektonica
Just to say that when I read this there were Zero posts, so technically I should be Numero Uno, but I did go ahead and read it all for 10 minutes, so instead I'll be number, ummmm, I'm guessing, 12. Maybe 20 depending on how many Lurkers were around waiting.

As for the chapters.....Thanks Leigh! I know you just can't abide the pink ribbons, but really, this not being Real Life, I can like them. I'd forgotten just how abruptly the thunderous dice stopped in Mat's head. And the snarky irony of having Semi standing in front of him when he posits that having a Forsaken there about to blow up the palace might be cause for the dice to stop.

I liked Tuon right away. Anath/Semi is a nasty piece of work, but Tuon does a great job of ignoring her and doing as she sees fit. Thank goodness. I didn't like her looking at Mat like a piece of meat and her trying to "buy" him from Tylin didn't bode well for the whole Seanchan culture, but I liked her self-possesion.

As for the explanation of what a Pretty was from Setalle......In Tylin's defense, as Queen, I don't think the same rules really could apply. What man in his right mind is going to be presumptuous enough to approach a Queen?

And sad face for Aludra :-( She and Mat and would've made a much better couple,imho.

Edit: To apologize for badly worded sentences due to phone distraction during preview and posting. Sorry all. And I see I was even off on my estimation of how many comments there would be that quickly! Fast typers!
Jennifer B
23. JennB
I agree with pretty much everything Leigh said and not much to add.

Oh well, maybe I will think of something later.
Brian Vrolyk
24. vyskol
Everybody knows the war is over;
Everybody knows the good guys lost. :(
25. AndrewB
sps @12:

At this point, Semirhage does not know what Mat looks like. Ish/Moridin never told the other Forsaken what Mat and Perrin looked like. It was only at a Forsaken Coffee Social in a later book when Mordin instructed the other Forsaken to have their followers kill Mat and Perrin. At that point, Semirhage that she had Mat under her very nose but did not know his identity.

Sammael only knew Mat's identity because he saw the Darkfriend Whitecloak (I cannot remember his name) freeze up when he saw Mat outside his window. Otherwise, Sammael would not have known Mat's identity. (I do not think that Sammael knew what Mat looked like from Mat's Aiel Darkfriend in TFoH (another character's name that I cannot remember).

Thanks for reading my musings.

Edit: It appears that Sonofthunder and Fokroot stole my thunder.
Ben Frey
26. BenPatient
@9 - You've got it exactly right. Mat is a big shot top dog kind of guy, )even if he doesn't acknowledge it often) and he likes women who can actually hold their own, which is pretty typical for a man like that, I would think.

He knows he could run out on Tylin or stop the behavior any time he wanted, but really, he doesn't want.
a a-p
27. lostinshadow
Yeay for Mat and Tuon!

Despite her atrocious views on slavery Tuon is one of my favorite characters. I like that she is not at all girly and highly intelligent and really considering her position and power not at all arrogant and snippy which is rather refreshing considering some of the women in this series.

I pretty much don't read anything with Tylin in it, my eyes just skip over the pages.

@21 - you have a point but the thing is, none of the people in Falme would have a clue about what Hawking looked like had they not been in Falme. Mat genuinely remembers Hawking and could have described him even if he hadn't been in Falme. (does that make any sense? not sure that is anything more than a circular argument)

Oh yeah Leigh, my favorite Cohen song ever!
Daniel Goss
28. Beren
re: Semi-nath

Quick interjection -- doesn't she say later something to the effect of "You know, things might have gone differently if you had shown us what these guys looked like earlier."?
Jeff Weston
29. JWezy
LostInShadow@27 - One of the rumors about Falme (reported by Siuan when she was still "The Seat" in TDR) was to the effect that "Artur Bloody Hawkwing" appeared there. Somebody figured out who he was, enough to report the rumor, at least.
a a-p
30. lostinshadow
This has been posted in the ToM Predictions Thread but for those who haven't been there today:

from: http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/911/TOWERS-OF-MIDNIGHT-Is-Done

Now that it's done, I can sit back and look at the book as a whole. As I said, I'm very pleased with it. For months I've been telling people that I feel that in many ways, it's even more true to the Wheel of Time than THE GATHERING STORM was. I hope to maintain the pacing that made people enjoy TGS, but at the same time TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT has a much expanded scope than the previous novel, showing a larger picture and getting back to many characters who were ignored or had reduced parts in TGS. Though we are jumping back in time for a few viewpoints to catch them up, it does also continue Rand/Egwene and other characters who had a large focus in TGS.

I hope that you enjoy it. There are some scenes in it we've been waiting to read for a long, long time. Scenes that made my heart break to write, and others that bring a smile to my face every time I look through them again.

people are already posting predictions on what some of those scenes may be
Alice Arneson
31. Wetlandernw
Okay, more than one, but that was what jumped out at me when I read the chapter. More thoughts:

Noal the story-teller - should have been a big clue to "Jain Farstrider," considering how well-loved his book was. Then again, the name "Charin" has been mentioned precisely once thus far in the series, so I guess I can forgive myself for not making the connection.

Okay... "waiting for one of the Forsaken to leap out of the flames" LOL!! No, she's just standing there looking at you, at the moment. Poor Mat. No clue that he's meeting SWMBO for the first time, and that's what made the dice stop. "But that could not be it." I actually do feel just a little sorry for him.

And I find that it's really hard to read this without thinking of everything that's ahead; I can hardly remember what I thought about Tuon or Anath when I first read this chapter. I think I must have just been even more disgusted with the Seanchan, though. Buying people, examining them like horses, (and let's not forget the damane being walked like horses)... yeah, I think RJ was doing his best to confuse me between intrigue and outright dislike. This time around, though, I find myself being inordinately please about Tuon's "adoption" of Tylin - and sad that Tylin came to the end she did. In spite of her treatment of Mat, I kind of like Tylin. She's a strong woman, doing the best she can in a politically no-win situation. *sigh*

Good point about Tuon here - even though I thought about her examination of the ring, I forgot to notice that it was her big clue that this was the man in the Foretelling. No wonder she keeps watching him! Yay for lousy first impressions, eh?

As for Chapter 18, there's really not much to say, is there? Wow. Me, speechless? Nah. Just got nothing to say. Odd, that.

vyskol @24 - Wouldn't the first lines be more fitting here?
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
lostinshadow @27 - Don't you mean Hawkwing instead of LT?

As for Falme - How many people would really know for sure who was who? Birgitte was fairly obvious, being the woman with the golden braid and the silver bow, but how many of the rest would have been immediately recognizable to anyone looking? Just curious. Still, Mat is the only one who remembers Hawkwing's face when he was living, which might not be entirely the same as his face in TAR...
Matthew Smith
32. blocksmith

Thanks for the re-read....brightened a very dreary day in Mass.


Welcome...the bunker needs a little more culture.

Not much here. One thing though, hindsight shows that RJ dropped the Forsaken thing here as another cluebat.


So, we don't think that Ishy/Moridin hasn't forwarded his mental jpeg of Mat, Rand, and Perrin to the other Forsaken?

Edit: to add that not much here was not referring to culture...was meant as to the substance of the chapters. Also, I started with 10 comments up...took too long to finish with interruptions.
Lucas Vollmer
33. aspeo
As far as Semi not knowing who Mat was, I agree that she probably didn't know what he looked like. I also think that he probably wouldn't have been high on her list of targets even if she did know. She might have told another Forsaken so they could take care of him, but I'm betting that her manipulation of the Seanchan would take precedence over eliminating Mat. Especially since Rand is probably the main focus for any FS right now anyways. If she had killed Mat, it might have blown her cover, and she could have lost her grip on the Seanchan.

Also I really enjoy the Tuon-Mat thing. I like reading their interactions with each other, and kind of thought it was amusing when she was almost stalking him. Incidentally I didn't realize before that she might have recognized that Mat might be her prophesied husband already. Before this I had always thought that she just found him interesting and was drawn into wanting to find out more about him.
34. Hrothgordo
I did not take any real offense to the Tylin-Mat relationship at first, but certainly did during the beginning of this book. The relationship certainly was shady but I truly felt that Mat had issues with being the prey instead of the hunter (not from having a knock boots with her directly.)

Although I am also reminded of something Mat said about facing Myrdraal basically that you have to go full out attack, the moment you think about defense your dead. Myabe at some level Tylin knows that to not lose control of a “player” like Mat she has to keep up the offensive. Sick and twisted? You bet, but you have to give her credit for effective strategy.

In the end, she is effectively making the WoT equivelant of turning Han Solo into a wuss. I didn’t forgive Lucas when he did it in the SE’s and Tylin doesn’t get a pass wither. Both are officially removed from my Christmas card list.

As to other points:

Noal’s statements are a cool reminder of Mat’s awesomeness but are really unneeded. To me it seemed like Jordan trying to shoehorn something in for “new” readers. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful that the catch-up didn’t last through a long prologue and 2 chapters of the book as it had previously, but if you don’t know Mat is kick-ass Noal’s statements aren’t going to help you through this book.

As to Semi, I still have no idea of why she doesn’t turn Mat into a cinder here. At this point Mat’s face has got to be on the wall of every Forsaken Post Office.

Tuon’s stalking I actually find a little endearing here. Part Velma from Scooby-Doo, part ninja, part roman slave-trader . . . that’s our Daughter of the Nine Moons.

Well, at least I have get to see Mat’s Wes Sedia makeout session soon. Unfortunately it’s just before we get reintroduced to the couple who can’t shoot straight (or in this case can’t figure out how to drop jewelry into the ocean)
Rob Munnelly
35. RobMRobM
@32. Very dreary day in Mass. indeed. After a glorious July and first three weeks in August too. But the weekend should be outstanding....
36. BenM
I too got a chuckle out of the "Forsaken leap through the fireplace" irony.

As for Tuon stalking, I always used to think, for some reason, that it was mostly because she liked him, that she was kind of mooning over him. I just realized today that it was more curiousity, due to the foretelling.
Brian Vrolyk
37. vyskol
@31. Wetlandernw

Probably; I didn't give it much thought. Those were the lines that popped into my head as I was reading. :)

Like someone else who posted, that is my most favouritest Leonard Cohen song ever.

In other news, Tylin, I think, is a rather tragic character. Along with Mat's penchant for.. "strong" women, I think he also sees the lonely, trapped woman within. I can't say that I would enjoy the power games (okay, maybe I would :P) but as Mat demonstrates later, he is perfectly capable of walking - or limping - away whenever he likes.
Richard Boye
38. sarcastro

Tuon’s stalking I actually find a little endearing here. Part Velma from Scooby-Doo, part ninja, part roman slave-trader . . . that’s our Daughter of the Nine Moons.

..... and I have my new favorite comment, ever.

Well played, sir. Well played indeed.
39. Hrothgordo
Thanks, Sarcastro.

Although my true pleasure comes in knowing that (despite their best efforts) some people will now "hear" a whisper of "Jinkeys" every time Tuon sees Mat do something surprising
Alice Arneson
40. Wetlandernw
FWIW, I didn't see Noal's story as an "RJ reminding the reader how awesome Mat is" ploy at all. As noted above, it was one of the many tiny clues to Noal's identity. We had (way back in book 1) a reference to "young Jain Charin - already called Jain Farstrider..." We've had many references to his book, which to be that good must include good story-telling as well as good stories. Now we've got "Noal Charin" showing himself to be a) a good storyteller and b) a good reader of men.
Setting his bundle down on a vacant bed, Noal told the tale with elaborate gestures, playing down his own role and even making himself a bit of a buffoon, slipping in the mud and gaping at the gholam while Mat fought like a champion. The man was a natural storyteller, as good as a gleeman for making you see what he described. Harnan and the Redarms laughed genially, knowing what he was about, not stealing their captain's thunder, and approving of it, but laughter died when he came to Mat's attacker slipping away through a tiny hole in a wall. He made you see that, too...
I don't think we were supposed to figure it out just yet, but I think the clues were starting to build here. (And really, we'd just seen the fight itself, so what would be the point of having Noal retell it just to make Mat look better?)
41. Lsana
@12 sps49,

Others have already mentioned the possibility that Semirhage was simply out-of-touch with the Forsaken wanted posters, but I think its also possible that she may have recognized Mat and decided not to do anything to him. She may have had ideas about using Mat to help eliminate the competition for Nae'blis. Or possibly she didn't go after him because Ishy/Moridin didn't want her to: if "Noal" was planted in Mat's group deliberately, then Ishy may have plans that Mat's death would disrupt.

If Semi had any agenda, probably doesn't matter at this point. If it was Ishy/Moridin, though, we may see something of it in TOM.
Birgit F
42. birgit
"Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon", Semirhage murmured, inspecting the two shapes. "So that is what they look like. Who knows, Moridin. If you had shared this with us before now, they might already have been dead."
KoD ch. 3
j p
43. sps49
Yes, Semirhage couldn't Travel (or Skim?) while afloat, but that should make communication via Tel'aran'rhiod more important. I can't see the Forsaken not using this unless they are so afraid of what can happen to them there, but Perrin regularly saw Forsaken using T'a'r as a secure meeting place (well, as secure as IE6). Stupid, chickenhearted Forsaken.

Tuon's interest with Mat seemed more about his accouterments than with Mat himself, especially at first. I thought the raven imagery was ta'verening her into a relationship with Mat, and was thrilled but not surprised by the upcoming escape scene.

EDIT: Thank you, birgit @ 42
Thomas Keith
44. insectoid
Great post Leigh!

Ch. 17:
He stood there waiting for one of the Forsaken to leap out of the flames in the marble fireplace...

"A free man": HA!

Ch. 18:
Bye bye pink ribbons!

Tuon: She knows... she suspects us! ;)

At least we can divine from this that not all Ebou Dari are quite as bugnuts as their Queen in the romance department.

Aludra: I've always liked her. It's too bad she doesn't end up with Mat...

sps49 @12: Semi hasn't exactly been keeping up with things; she doesn't even find out what Mat looks like until Moridin shows them in KoD ch. 3 (by which time Mat is far far away...). (I see Birgit @42 and others beat me to it.)

Hrothgordo @34:
Tuon’s stalking I actually find a little endearing here. Part Velma from Scooby-Doo, part ninja, part roman slave-trader . . . that’s our Daughter of the Nine Moons.
LOL!! Nicely summed up. ;)

Karen Fox
46. thepupxpert
What I don't understand about Tuon's stalking is where were her retainers? Selucia is always at her side and yet she was walking halls by herself and entering the Queen's apartments by herself. Interesting?
Captain Hammer
47. Randalator
thepupexpert @46

Not at all. Seanchan retainers tend to vanish when you wiggle your fingers in a certain way.
Brandon D
48. Ishmayl
Meh, another two chapters of "not really all that much to talk about."

Although, one thing I find interesting (which Leigh hasn't really mentioned, I don't think), is I do believe that Tuon slowly gains an understanding of Mat's awesomeness in terms that are subtle but effective. For instance, the conversation quoted where talking about the price paid on the Ashenspear, I would find it hard for a woman as smart as Tuon not to realize that something was strange about Mat's portion of the conversation. So, I've always believed that she sees Mat's awesomeness being built up slowly, and not just coming around with a band two-ish books later.

The other thing - Aludra. Yeah, I never really liked that she wasn't anything more to Mat than an infochick. She seems pretty cool. Did anything ever actually come of them, or does Mat's "The Recognizening" of Tuon happen before much can go down between them?
Roger Powell
49. forkroot
I don't think too much happens with Mat and Aludra (other than a few makeout sessions). There's even a bit of a scene about that in TGS, where Aludra pretty much tells Mat he's made his choice (Tuon) and she won't be a side gig.

Hey... time for a prediction: Once Verin gets Mat and company to Camelyn, Aludra meets the dashing Captain Charlz Guybon. Let's just say "sparks fly".
Captain Hammer
50. Randalator
forkroot @49

Hey... time for a prediction: Once Verin gets Mat and company to Camelyn, Aludra meets the dashing Captain Charlz Guybon. Let's just say "sparks fly".

Let me guess, there'll also be bells and fireworks? Know what I mean? Know what I mean? Nudge nudge, wink wink. Say no more.
Maiane Bakroeva
51. Isilel
Surlivan angrily tells Mat to warn his new friend about the wisdom of watching his tongue. Mat gives a polite reply and drags Noal inside, where he explains to Noal about Listeners and Seekers.

People who praise Seanchan should really pay attention to this passage. Because from what I know from older relatives and from reading memoirs and biographies, living in a society like this truly sucks and corrodes the soul.

Semiraghe continues on the spiral into lameness - in almost 2 years and in relatively ideal circumstances, she didn't manage to kidnap and remodel Tuon, like she did to dignitaries in AoL and here she misses the chance to knock out one of the legs of the ta'veren trio.
Oh, and as we shall see soon she didn't even manage to put enough finder weaves on Tuon's possessions to be able to track her! We won't even talk about her absurd plan of trying to capture Rand with 6 damane and non-DF suldam yet. Argh! Waste of a promising villain.

IMHO, it all would have made vastly more sense if somebody else had been the heir apparent and properly under Semi's thumb, but they died by chance while already in Randland and Tuon had to step up. YMMV.

I actually think that there was some very real attraction between Mat and Aludra - at least I saw much more unforced chemistry between them than between him and Tuon. Too bad...

And yea, I hate Tylin's treatment of Mat, too. Not funny at all, IMHO.

Oh, yea, and this phrase

"Some _men_ have an air about them that makes other _men_ follow where they lead."

kinda irritates me for some reason :).
Rob Munnelly
52. RobMRobM
fork @49. I like it. Someone will need to be military point person for dragon development; Elayne will be resources point person for same. Does the text say Charlz has explosives knowledge? One other note - it is one of WTF moments for me in KoD when Elayne expresses her attraction to Charlz to herself and contemplates bonding him - the unfaithful little hussy....Wonder how she'd explain that to Rand, or to Avi for that matter.

Captain Hammer
53. Randalator
RobM² @49

Well, she's a Green. Kinda comes with the job description. *loud cheering*

Also it's not like Rand didn't bring a little fiery something into the deal himself. *boooooooooooing* *flying vegetables*

What? What?
Roger Powell
54. forkroot
RobMRobM, Randalator
I'll race you to the bunker!
55. Freelancer

You'd be happy to know that the military traditions which most closely associated with hazing have been very much neutered from those humiliating and potentially harmful behaviors (a development with which I greatly approved as, like you, I'm not into pointless degradations, immediately followed by a desire to to the same to the "next guy in line"). As an example with which I'm intimately familiar, the Navy's "Line Crossing" events, while still expecting the participants to perform actions they might not choose of their free will, those actions are now merely amusing to the observers and mildly embarrasing to the participants, where in the past they were quite seriously unpleasant and humiliating, and some potentially harmful.

You'd still have the following orders respectfully part to deal with, I fear.

RE: Aludra

Sounds more like first base, with a big lead, planning to steal...


Mat is special. In several of his Eelfin-supplies memories, he knew Hawkwing personally, as ally or enemy. And the man who lives in T'a'R as a Hero of the Horn might not share the same visage as the High King.


The room was full of only mixed-chromosome folks at the time. It's not that big of a deal.
Bill Stusser
56. billiam
I always thought that one of the big reasons Semi had no idea about Mat was that she would not expect one of the three ta'veren to be nothing more than the queen's pretty. I think a big reason for Mat being in the whole situation of being Tylin's plaything (along with meeting his future wife of course) was that nobody paid much attention to him and he could fly under the radar.
And at this point I'm not so sure Tuon knows Mat is the one. She is obviously intrigued, but I'm not sure she's thinking "hey this must be the guy from the foretelling".
57. alreadymadwithartursface
Freelancer @55
I was under the impression that Heroes of the Horn carried their most recent names and likenesses in Tel'aran'rhiod. So unless Hawkwing had been reborn since the War of a Hundred Years, he'll most likely be the same face Mat would remember in his own memories.
Rob Munnelly
58. RobMRobM
@53/54 - I don't disagree but I can just imagine the discussion:

R: Hello my love, I haven't seen you in months. Do you still have the gilden lily I gave you after our fiery lovemaking?

E: Oh yes. By the way, as you can see from looking at my belly I also am bearing your children - twins as it turns out.

R: That's wonderful. Kari and Morgase would have been so proud. I wish they were still here to enjoy the babies with us.

E: And I have a new warder, Charlz. He's an officer in my army and he's really HAWT.


E: What can I say, I'm a Green. It's in my nature. You knew that going in....

Rob ;-)
Captain Hammer
59. Randalator
billiam @56

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.

If she's not thinking "Uh-oh, potential future husband, twelve o'clock!" after seeing Mat's ring one would have to wonder how exactely she managed to survive that long among the High Blood/royal family...
Captain Hammer
60. Randalator
RobM² @58

E: What can I say, I'm a Green. It's in my nature. You knew that going in....also, why is Alanna Sedai with you and what's with the angry, possessive look in her eyes...?

R: What?...I mean 'who'?...I mean 'her'? Oh, she's just...you're probably not interested in...that's a long boring...say, do I smell bacon? Light, I'm hungry! I think I'll slip down to the kitchens and ask BEHIND YOU, A THREE-HEADED DRAGON!

*everybody turns around*

E: What's a dragon? *turns back towards a slightly Rand-shaped hole in the air* HEY!
61. Demira
Just a few thoughts...
I have never served in the military, but I love how RJ shows us the loyalty of a soldier, especially to a leader they clearly love and respect. I also find it an endearing part of Mat's character that he didn't catch on as that was the reason why the Red Arms refused to leave when Mat offered the chance. Mat thought they were all crazy for not leaving. Also, Mat himself wouldn't have taken the offer if it meant someone he cared about was involved. Like he has proven so, so many times.

I feel conflict about Tylin. I do enjoy some of Mat's embarrassment. Like when he had to explain to Elayne his relationship with Tylin, and everyone warning him about the mud, Mat's internal turmoil about his relationship with Tylin is just hilarious!

Now I understand why Mat doesn't find out here that Tuon was DOTNM. With Semhirage in the room it would be disaster. I should have know that she was Anath like many of you said you knew. Another point I didn't see before this re-read was Tuon's internal distrust of Anath, now it seems so obvious. Again, brilliant!

I thought Tuon's kissing/oath to Tylin, kinda strange. Are they there to conquor, or to make friends of the current rulers and rule above them? Tuon is the first Seanchan, I believe, that was going to leave a current ruler in place. But knowing she will become a major player in the series I so much want to beleive that Tuon is one of the good guys, because of the romantic angle I guess. Will Mat and Tuon fall in love? He couldn't love a monster, could he?

Lastly Noal, kinda suspicious to me how he just happened to be there to chase the gholam off, and is now in the "circle of trust"? I hope he doesn't turn out to be a betrayer, because I have a soft spot for any homeless.
Rob Munnelly
62. RobMRobM
Slightly amended

E: What can I say, I'm a Green. It's in my nature. You knew that going in....also, why is Alanna Sedai with you and what's with the angry, possessive look in her eyes...?

R: As you knew before you and Avi and Min worked your uber-bonding magic on me, she bonded me first without my consent. And while she certainly is a hot little Saldaen number, I didn't have any choice and I've stayed away from her whenever possible. What's your excuse?

E:What?...I mean 'who'?...I mean 'him'? Oh, he's just...you're probably not interested in...that's a long boring...say, do I smell bacon? Light, I'm hungry! I think I'll slip down to the kitchens and ask BEHIND YOU, A THREE-HEADED DRAGON!

*everybody turns around*

R: What's a dragon? *turns back towards a slightly Elayne-shaped hole in the air* HEY!


P.s. With the reference to three headed dragon - what, is Elayne a secret fan of A Song of Ice and Fire?
63. Freelancer

Arafellin, not Saldaean.

And Elayne's interest in Charlz Guybon isn't romantic. She is "Green" at heart, and wants more than one Warder. Why not have one who is loyal, devoted, possesses exceptional leadership qualities, and doesn't look like a rotting stump?
Tricia Irish
64. Tektonica

Lastly Noal, kinda suspicious to me how he just happened to be there to chase the gholam off, and is now in the "circle of trust"? I hope he doesn't turn out to be a betrayer, because I have a soft spot for any homeless.

Noal was messed with by Ishy and then sent to the Ogiers to recover, if I remember correctly. They altered his memory and erased parts and could very well have placed some sort of compulsion on him. What exactly it would be, we don't know..... to lead the FS to the Dragon, to do him harm when he does meet him, or perhaps he's just attracted to Ta'veren's in general, or none of the above.
I think it likely they did something. I just hope the Finn's help Noal out or he gets his MOA with Mat in Finnland.

RobM and Randalator: You boys are baaaaad. LOL.
Thomas Keith
65. insectoid
RobM² @58/62 & Randalator @60: BAHAHAhahaha... ::rolling on floor::

66. Freelancer

The thing we know for sure about Noal is that when he is remembering stuff, there are certain memories which cause something to happen. He suddenly. . . can't quite remember what he was thinking of.

No doubt a little gift Ishamael left him with.
Captain Hammer
67. Randalator
Demira @61

Are they there to conquor, or to make friends of the current rulers and rule above them? Tuon is the first Seanchan, I believe, that was going to leave a current ruler in place.

Um, no. Tylin was just the first ruler to actually consider swearing fealty to the Seanchan. Let's take a look at the other conquered places, shall we?

- Tarabon: Panarch Amathera refuses to submit and is made da'covale by Suroth, King Andric resisted the Seanchan, was killed in battle, chances of being left in place: yes but declined irrevocably and none respectively
- Amadicia: Children of the Light and King Ailron resisted the Seanchan, Children were more or less wiped out, Valda escaped, Ailron was killed in battle, chances of being left in place: zero and zilch
- Altara: Queen Tylin didn't resist Seanchan, was open to submitting, eventually did, chances of being left in place by the Seanchan: 100%, chances of being left in two places at once by the gholam: 100%

So you see, the Seanchan always go for leaving the respective ruler in place unless he doesn't want to...
Sandy Brewer
68. ShaggyBella
KOD 26 (one of my fav chapters)

Toy set a fast pace through the forest, but Tuon rode close behind him-with Selucia at her side, of course-so she could listen in on him and Talmanes....

That red hand symbol Talmanes wore was intriguing. More than intriguing. Much More. Of an old and distinguished House was he? But Toy was the one. He remembered Hawkwing's face. That seemed utterly impossible, yet his denial of it had plainly been a lie, as plain as the spots on a leopard. Could the Red Hand be Toy's sigil? But if so what about his ring? She had almost fainted when she first saw that. Well as close to it as she had since childhood.

Tuon knew from the start, I think. She even smiled when Mat decided to take her instead of leaving her in the stable when they made their escape.
John Massey
69. subwoofer
@Shaggy-(no relation to Scoobs) didn't you use to have a M&M icon?

The "filler" chapter. Tuon's "chance" meetings with Mat kinda remind me of getting a horse used to you. Eventually Mat will relax, then wham! bridle, blanket, saddle and stirrups and Tuon is off to the races on her new mount... er, that didn't come out right. Anyways, Tuon is getting to know Mat in her own way.

Also, it is good of Tuon to actually care about the well being of the citizens of her new colony. This part of the Seanchan Empire I like.

@Wet- SWHMBO- I got my wife a sweat shirt that says that from Acorn.

Mat- dice stop- looking around to see what hit the fan- priceless. All these women who are hot $h!t around him and he has bigger fish to fry. Yeah baby!

Ogier Gardeners- bags of awesome! Two things- what the deuce do they garden? And I want a do-over of the cage matches! We gotta fling in one of the big lugs for posterity's sake.

Edit- 69 dudes! Next round is on me! Whoot! Whoot! Whoot!

John Massey
71. subwoofer
You'll note that I post links like a champion and I am left in relative peace from the site gremlins. It is when I just ramble on or edit that things go up in smoke.

OTOH, the gremlins musta liked what I had to say about CP cause that went off without a hitch.

Edit- @LTF- ! ahhh. I see. yeep.

Captain Hammer
72. Randalator
subwoofer @69

Mat- dice stop- looking around to see what hit the fan- priceless.

Mat has enough experience with the dice by now to know what hit the fan. He's just wants to know color and texture...

Brain Bleach anyone? Comes at a reasonable price from Randalator's bargain bin...
Julian Augustus
73. Alisonwonderland

a number of observations from your commentary:
Everybody knows....

I too love that song. Your breath of knowledge and ability to draw connections is fascinating.

In the stableyard, several dozen damane are being walked by sul’dam, half of whom are captured Windfinders.

You must have been tired when you wrote this sentence I'm sure you can do better than that... unless you truly intend to say the Windfinders have become sul'dam so soon!

With reference to Tylin:
Yes, I’m totally humorless, the horror of me, whatever. Sorry, but anyone who punishes someone for surviving an assassination attempt is just never going to be on my Christmas card list, so I guess we’ll have to just call me crazy and leave it at that, n’est-ce pas?

You are being quite unfair to Tylin here. It is obvious from the text that Mat has come back to the palace several times looking bedraggled and dirty like he'd been in a fight. Enough so that she had warned him about it. So what happens when she's having one of the most important meetings of her life, face to face with the conqueror of her kingdom (Suroth) and a newcomer who appears to scare the bejesus out of Suroth, when in walks Mat wearing an insolent grin and looking like something the cat dragged in? Obviously she was put out by his appearance and his calculated insolence, and you would be too. It is only after the meeting was over and she was about to leave the room that Mat told her about the gholam. All she said after that revelation was the gholam couldn't have him; no threats of punishment or actual punishment there that I can see.
74. CaitieCat
Leigh, just a quick comment to say I've just now caught up to the re-read, and I've enjoyed every post you've made. Even the controversial ones, and even the ones that contradict the other ones.

I'll be looking forward eagerly now with the rest of the regulers. :)
Sandy Brewer
75. ShaggyBella
Tylin had her reasons...

"You aren't listening to me pigeon," Tylin cooed in dangerous tones. (After he just stood there trying to figure the dice stopping) "I said, take yourself down to the kitchens and have a pastry until I have time for you. Have a bath while you're about it." Her dark eyes glittered. "We will discuss your mud later."...

"I fell down, that's all." His voice might have been fireworks for the way heads whipped around. Suroth and Tuon looked shocked that he had spoken. Tylin looked like an eagle who wanted her rabbit fried....

"I was hurt the day your lads took the city, " he said with his cheekiest grin. "Your lot were flinging around lightning and balls of fire something fierce. I'm just about healed, though, thank you for asking." Tylin buried her face in her wine cup and still managed to shoot him a look over the rim that promised retribution later.

.:. I was an M&M. I got jealous of BillinHI because I still miss Kauai after 5 years here in MT.:.
Ron Garrison
76. Man-0-Manetheran
Once again I ask myself: how could I not have recognized Semirhage as Anath? Yes, the Seanchan are wierd, but it went quite unnoticed on more than one read. Waiting for a Forsaken to leap out of the fireplace. Doh! But it is nice to get a new laugh from an old book.

Dice stopped. Semi? I've always thought it was because he met Tuon.

lostinshadow@30: Thanks for that post from BWS! Wow. I'm even more excited. ::twitch:: "There are some scenes in it we've been waiting to read for a long, long time. Scenes that made my heart break to write, and others that bring a smile to my face every time I look through them again." ::twitch, twitch::
Alice Arneson
77. Wetlandernw
ShaggyBella - Where in MT? I grew up near Glacier.
78. alreadymadwithtuon
Demira @61
Part of being "under the veil" is that Tuon does not reveal to any outsider her true office as DOTNM.

ShaggyBela @68
Tuon knew Mat remembers Hawkwing's face because she asked him in CoT Ch 3.
Do you remember Hawkwing's face
And he avoided the question by saying that Hawkwing died a thousand years ago.
John Massey
79. subwoofer
@CattiCat- er woof- welcome to our little bunker. I chalk up my regularity to Quaker Oats;)

@Alison- interesting point about Tylin. There have been many a time when I have come home from hunting covered in dirty, soot, blood, guts and gore and my wife has expressed her displeasure at me tracking stuff into the home. Same thing with paintball, I come home covered in blood, guts and gore and my wife just about hits the ceiling( she sometimes does depending on where in the house she is standing). So I do get where Tylin is coming from. That being said, they are not married. Mat has asked Tylin if DOTNM means anything and she gives him one of her piglet answers. That alone would drive me bonkers. Setalle explains to Matty-Mat-Mat about Pretties and all o dat, and Mat still can't find his... er intestinal fortitude.

@Mano- good point- did the dice stop cause of Tuon or is the dice like spider sense? Were the dice warning Mat about the tall angry chick in the room? I dunno. I think Mat was distracted by Selucia's bosom.

@AMW,Wet,Mano etc. You guys are either posting from the other end of the galaxy or there is a midnight party in the bunker... which would explain the tp all over the place, the fez, antlers askew and the silly string... and somebody went home with one shoe. Next time- use an ashtray, I like to finish out the empties;)

80. Freelancer
Eventually Mat will relax, then wham! bridle, blanket, saddle and stirrups and Tuon is off to the races on her new mount... er, that didn't come out right.
We all know better than that by now.

Don't ask what Gardeners garden. Ask what they harvest. And don't ask for whom the bell...

Loial v. Hartha in the cage?


And a mildly catty-cat at that. Welcome to the jungle!


It was because of Tuon. That Semirhage was there might have added the thunderous thud with which the dice stopped, but the stopping is linked to the starting. That particular set of dice started rolling when he looked at the harbor and first realized the scope of the Corenne, followed by our first glimpse of Tuon aboard one of those same ships. I can't conceive of anything but that the dice started because he looked upon the ship which Tuon was aboard.


No, no, no. That was you that was distracted.
Joseph Blaidd
81. SteelBlaidd
Ah Mat.

I'll have to admit I actually enjoy the little "catch up" chapters, It certainly beats out "what with one thing and another three years passed." One of the wonderful things about Mat's storyline is the way he tries to avoid trouble. Because, just like with an Earthquake, the longer you go without relieving pressure the bigger the quake. Thom and Noal's comments on mats character make a nice stop on the thread that ends in tGS after Hindrstrap where Mat finally recognizes that he can't hide from the end of the word, or himself.

In other news, My grandmother died yesterday morning so I will likely not be able to check in or comment for the next couple of posts. Grandma is one of the reasons I have always enjoyed and appreciated Cadsune, they had a lot in common.

82. Freelancer

Sympathies and prayers for your family's peace.
83. EarthandIce
SteelBlaidd, my condolences to you, and yes I have known people with Cadsuane's temperament. Some I care for, others can, well let us just say I am not around them anymore than necessary. As I have not yet read the post or comments, I will do so now.
john mullen
84. johntheirishmongol
Meeting Tuon, I have always thought this was an important chapter for that reason. Encounter chapters usually are, and there was no doubt that Tuon knew from the second she saw the ring, she was just waiting for the rest of the prophecy to come true to confirm it. But that didn't mean she had to fall for him, even if she hasn't quite admitted it to herself. I doubt there is much romance within the Seanchean hierarchy.

As for Tylin/Mat, at this point I think he is biding his time for an opportunity to leave, due to the Return. And remaining Tylin's pretty gives him protective coloration and freedom of movement.

As for Aludra, she is older but seems relatively inexperienced and Mat is not inexperienced with women and age isn't a big consideration with him. Maybe her and Talmanes? Or is he married somewhere?
Tricia Irish
85. Tektonica
Ah, Steelblaidd@81:

So sorry to hear about your grandma. It's hard to lose a loved one, no matter the age or history. Probably even harder on your mother or father. Our prayers are with you and her.
Tess Laird
86. thewindrose
We know the DO wants to get people close to all big mover and shakers on the Light side. So could Noal be Mats shadow? This set up seems reminiscent of getting Dylin close to Elayne. Have an attack that distracts and seems so obvious, while the real setup was getting 'trusted' people close. (SO now I am going to go and pout, because Rand got Bashere while meeting Taim(who is a huge distraction).)

Along with the majority of you - I love the Forsaken leaping out of the flames as well:) It makes me laugh every time I read it.

I was always amused that Tuon had a lead on the 'knowing' who she would marry. But it was just an observation(Mat hadn't fulfilled the other two parts of Lidya's foretelling.) So Mat wins by hearing her title and says the vows first - and then has to sweat about it until Tuon finishes it. This is a pretty imaginative way to go about it - IMHO.

Wetlandernw - congratulations on getting number one:)

**Trips** - Oh hey Forkroot, Randalator, RobMRobM and subwoofer - hangin' in the bunker again I see:)

SteelBlaidd - my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

87. AndrewB
SteelBlaidd, Sorry for your loss.
88. EarthandIce
Noal: He is used to being THE one with the 'awesomeness'. He is the one who was out supposedly saving the world even if he was being used by Ishy. I cannot remember if he realizes Mat if ta'veren either.

In addition, even if he had been in Ebou Dar for a while, he had not been in contact with many of the Seanchan per his not knowing some of the 'ropes' in evidence by his being irritated about his ignorance when Mat informs him of them.

Isilel@ 51: When Mat 'kidnaps' Tuon, she and Selucia are carried off in what they are wearing, no time to go pack any clothes. With Mat being ta'veren, I think she was not encumbered by any of the traps.

Also, I am of the idea Tuon is ta'veren if not so much as our Three Ta'veren. She is able to stand up to Rand during their meeting and the effect she has on Beslan both in TGS. Beslan even asks if she is not ta'veren, to which she says not to believe in foolish superstitions.
a a-p
89. lostinshadow
sorry for your loss SteelBlaidd. Our prayers are with you and your family.
Daniel Smith
90. Smittyphi
@88 EarthandIce
I pretty sure Tuon is not ta'veren. She may have a strong pull within the patter, ie Egwene, Nyneave as Moiraine elicited in EotW. There are other people who stand up to Rand not from duopotamia- Cadsuane, all of the Aiel wise women, Davram Bashere. Highly charasmatic people would be able to pull that off. IIRC, Birgitte isn't ta'veren but who doubts she wouldn't stay toe to toe with Rand?
91. Freelancer

I believe that Brandon has answered numerous questions regarding the encounter between ForTuona and Rand. He was quite clear that she resisted Rand's ta'verenness, not through channeling, nor counter-ta'verenness, but through sheer determination and willpower.

That scene has been marked as a parallel for when Egwene nearly told Rand about Salidar, but fought the ta'veren pull and prevailed. Well, any Egwene-Tuon comparisons will turn out apt, as those two are headed for a showdown of some sort. The Mother of all Aes Sedai vs. the Sul'dam of the Nine Moons.

Put 'em in the cage with Loial and Hartha.
diane heath
92. jadelollipop
My condolences to you and your family Steelblaidd.

Re: Tuon --her strong will and determination is one reason she is a favorite of mine. I also find her view on superstitions amusing. She denies what we know is true in Randland (taveren,trollocs,Aelfinn and Eelfinn) but counts ants for weather.

as an aside the towers she saw in TGS which meant a difficult decision coming, was that in a dream. It would be funny if she is a Dreamer as well :)
Ron Garrison
93. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks for the confirmation, Free (@80).

SteelBlaidd - so sorry for your loss.
Thomas Keith
94. insectoid
CaitieCat @74: Welcome to the Bunker! Watch your step. ;)

Sub @79: You continue to be hilarious. ;D

SteelBlaidd @81: I am sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

98. BiggMann
Could someone please direct me to the passage where Noal was taken and tortured or whatever by one of the Forsaken? I didn't get the fact that he was Jain Farstrider, in fact when reading the series I initially thought that he was long dead. But other than Ishmael making a remark in passing of "that fool" in one of Rand's dreams...

I'm just trying to see how I missed it.

I try not to be dense.
Tony Zbaraschuk
99. tonyz
>Could someone please direct me to the passage where Noal was taken and tortured or whatever by one of the Forsaken?

Assuming that he _is_ Jain Farstrider, then it's back in tEotW, during Rand's confrontation with Ba'alzamon/Ishamael, where Ishy claims he sent Jain Farstrider to the Ogier "thinking he was free of me". Of course, we can't exactly be sure he was telling the truth here, either.
Karen Baskins
100. kbaskins
BiggMann @98

References re: Jain/Noal Charin at Encyclopaedia WoT:


John Massey
101. subwoofer
@ Steel- The Light shine on you,and may you shelter in the palm of the Creator’s hand. The last embrace of the mother welcome your grandma home.

John Massey
102. subwoofer
And in one corner, so motionless that he still almost missed her, yet another Seanchan, a short woman with half her golden head shaved and a bosom that might outmatch Riselle's if her dress of red-and-yellow panels had not covered her neck to the chin.

-See, no distractions here. I am an astute observer of the written word;)

As for the Mat and Tuon dynamic, the last I checked, Tuon was still getting the upper hand in that relationship. IIRC Mat was laden down with all sorts of stuff to keep her happy, juggling, going just short of standing on his head, he lost the "Precious vs. Toy" conflict, and she bests him at stones. Right now Tuon is just looking at Mat's teeth to see how old he is.

And somehow, Tuon resists Rand's ta'vereness. I am not sure if that also means she is ducking Mat's pull too. 'Course the prophecy and the ring and remembering Wingy's face made it a slam dunk for Matster so he didn't need his pull/luck, stuff.

Tess Laird
103. thewindrose
Pop quiz:)
He stalked the whole width of the square before he realized that he was in front of a wide white building he knew well. The sign over the arched door proclaimed The Wandering Woman. A tall fellow in red-and-black armor strode out, three thin black plumes on the front of the helmet under his arm, and stood waiting for his horse to be brought around. A bluff-faced man with grey at his temples, he did not look at Mat, and Mat avoided looking at him. No matter how pleasant the man might appear on the surface, he was a Deathwatch Guard, after all, and a banner-general to boot.

Mat becomes his superior in KoD, and I hope to see them together again(after Mat get some alone time with his wife) in aMoL?!!

(from KoD Under An Oak)"A good general, High Lady," he replied without hesitation. "Brave, but not overly brave. He won't get himself killed just to show how brave he is, I think. And he is...adaptable. A man of many layers. And if you will forgive me, High Lady, a man in love with you. I saw how he looked at you."

(For subwoofer)In love with her? Perhaps. She thought she might be able to come to love him. Her mother had loved her father, it was said. And a man of many layers? Matrim Cauthon made an onion look like an apple!

Sandy Brewer
104. ShaggyBella
He seldom saw a grown woman younger than his grandmother that he did not at least think idly of what it would be like dancing with her, maybe kissing her, even those snooty Seanchan Blood, but never a glimmer of that crossed his mind with Tuon. A woman had to have something to put an arm around, or what was the point?

Ewwww !!! Mat has a one track mind.
I do love the WOT writing, though. It makes me smile.

SteelBlaidd. ...sorry about your Grandmother.
Jay Dauro
105. J.Dauro
Earthandice @88

From RJ's blog - 20 January 2006 "IT'S BEEN A WHILE"
For ben, of course women can be ta'veren. None of the major female characters in the books is ta'veren, though. The Wheel doesn't cast ta'veren around indiscriminately. There has to be a specific reason or need. (I tossed in the "major" just to leave you something to argue about.)

So, is Tuon a "major" character? In my eyes, yes, but YMMV.

ShaggyBella @105

You know better. Mat does not have a "one track mind"! Sometimes he thinks of Gambling, and other times he thinks of how to avoid Tylin. Heck, he even thinks of food, when Tylin is trying to "guide" him with hunger.
John Massey
106. subwoofer
@JD- you forgot "how to avoid work", "how to save his own skin", "Olver", and "what to do with a bellfounder". On the latter one, why a bellfounder specifically? Why not just a blacksmith- aka- Perrin?

And is Tuon's ability to resist Rand's tug of ta'vereness related to the fact that she does not believe in it?

Inquiring pups want to know.

Ken Ray
107. Maclir
A bellfounder has a different set of skills to a blacksmith - foundaries involved casting of molten metal, while smithing shapes metal in a softened form.

While a good smith would know how to make simple castings, something as large and complex as a bell is quite different.
John Massey
108. subwoofer
Ahhhh- thank you:) I know nothing of it beyond my welding skills and sweating my sack off from the heat. Used to hang out with a farrier, but that is different once again.

I also forgot about Mat and his sussing out of intel on the enemy and his generalling... er, on the topic of Mat is not all about the ladies.

109. Freelancer

Nah, lack of faith in the truth doesn't keep it from being true, nor keep you from the consequences. I'm pretty sure you already knew that, though. ::whistle:: Hey, you open a door...

Tuon is a reasonable person. That she was raised to consider intrigue, political advantage, and how to manipulate those around her for such ends, isn't her fault. She is no more resistant to change than most folks, and does consider sensible advice, even when diametrically opposed to how she was trained. When she is forced to confront facts which she previously believed only fables and superstitions, she probably won't attempt to ignore them. But her environmental conditioning outweighs those things UNTIL she sees them face-to-face. Well, that just makes her human.

Also, @ShaggyBela, Mat revises his initial consideration of Tuon's figure after a time, realizing that she does indeed possess some curvature. Probably two things which interfered with a proper assessment; The shorn pate, and the proximity of subwoofer's mistress, errr, Selucia.
110. alreadymadwithlackoffaith
subwoofer @106
Probably more to do with the collective narcissism of the Seanchan High Blood.

Freelancer @109
Lack of faith is disturbing(raises index and middle fingers).

LOL @ subwoofer's mistress.
Roger Powell
111. forkroot
You do realize that you could get subwoofer into some major hot water with Mrs subwoofer, don't you?

Woof™, Woof™, Yelp!™ .. Kiyi! - Kiyi! - Kiyi! ....
Noneo Yourbusiness
112. Longtimefan
Now the real question in Chapter 17 is this, where do those pink ribbons come from and why are they the title when they do not make an appearance until the next chapter?

Throughout the series and its many months galivanting across the Westlands through the various cultures and economic stratas there are plenty of brown, green, red, cream, white, silver, blue, black, and yellow. Orange, purple and pink are clothing colors that do not show up much. These are rare and difficult colors even in our real life textile history.

So did Tylin aquire what could be the rarest of fabrics? Was this a dying process that was only known within Altra? Was this something the Seanchan brought with them? In either of those cases there is not much use of pink in the everyday clothing of the people low or high that we have seen on page and it is not a military color or we would have seen it on the uniforms in some pattern.

It is also odd that it would be used as a, umm, flouncy perhaps, color to embarrass Mat when there is no common usage in the Westlands of the color pink to begin with.

How can it have any connotation if it is not associated with young girls or fancy ladies or British hunting (which oddly enough is red but called pink, whatever people who speak English "correctly")

Is it to shiny? Is it to pale? In its rarity and lack of cultural connotation available within the story (as readers we bring our own understanding of pink) it seems odd that specifing that color would be neccesary to make the ribboning more of a torment to Mat.

Maybe I just missed the mention of pink ribbons twined through the hair of young girls running along the village green or pink dresses on the dolls of the children in the refugee wagons traveling down the roads of the Westlands.

If I have missed the in book reference then I do apologize. I am not being super serious anyway but it just struck me as odd that there would be such a strong reaction from a character who only has experience within the story and we as the readers bring out perception of pink in to the book with us and find it justifiable that his reaction would be one of discomfort to the point of burning the fabric. The rare and apparently impossible to find elsewhere in the fictional world pink fabric.


Maybe I should have saved this for tomorrow. Oh well, it is here today.

and in thinking of pinking the general behaivor of in story women wearing what ever color they want leads to a lack of cultural color dominance such as we have here in America (perhaps in other places too) of pink being the "girl" color and blue being the "boy" color.

and in thinking about that I am reminded that boy clothes wearing Min had an outfit made in the most snug rose color. Which in my mind is kind of a dusty pink but roses are available in so many colors like um, red, white and yellow to name three it is odd that I would use my painting predjudices to think dusty pink.

So in the end, both Mat and Min have worn the same outfit for almost the same reason. To get the attention of the opposite gender although one was more willing to wear the outfit than the other yet they both had a certain reluctance to the concept overall.

and so goes the rambling today.
Janet Hopkins
113. JanDSedai
re: pink and blue
Actually, pink is a very easy color to come by. That's what you get when red fades. And before the color-fast fabrics of the 20th century, it always faded.

In fact, the pink/girl, blue/boy association was reversed up until a few centuries ago. Blue was the color most often associated with the Virgin Mary, so girls wore blue. And boys wore cardinal red, which faded quickly to pink. It wasn't until the famous painting "The Blue Boy" that this was reversed (I can't remember by whom or when this picture was painted, but it shows a young boy in a blue suit, with lace and ribbons).

So, pink may very well not have been a "color of shame", but RJ tapped into our subconscious for the association.
114. Snaggletoothedwoman
Only a question, sort of, today.... I wonder why Mat didn't recognize Noal? Was his glimpse of him at Carridin's palace, on the barrel,to quick? Or was Mat just to distracted about Shaine to notice his features?
Ron Garrison
115. Man-0-Manetheran
"Now the real question in Chapter 17 is this, ...why are (pink ribbons) the title when they do not make an appearance until the next chapter?"
Good question! Chapter titles were Harriet's responsibility, and I've often noted how they frequently had multiple connections with events in the chapter. For instance, the previous chapter, "An Unexpected Encounter" referred both to the gholum and Noal.

Back to pink ribbons. Good catch that they don't appear until next chapter, but to me they are symbolic of Mat being "tied" to Tylin, but more so tied to Tuon. Hence the dice coming to stunning stop.
Tricia Irish
116. Tektonica
The Blue Boy (c. 1770) is an oil painting by Thomas Gainsborough. Perhaps Gainsborough's most famous work, it is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall, the son of a wealthy hardware merchant, although this was never proved. It is a historical costume study as well as a portrait: the youth in his 17th-century apparel is regarded as Gainsborough's homage to Anthony Van Dyck, and in particular is very close to Van Dyck's portrait of Charles II as a boy.

It was painted as a reaction to what Joshua Reynolds wrote:
"It ought, in my opinion, to be indispensably observed, that the masses of light in a picture be always of a warm, mellow colour, yellow, red, or the green colours be kept almost entirely out of these masses, and be used only to support or set off these warm colours; and for this purpose, a small proportion of cold colour will be sufficient. Let this conduct be reversed: let the light be cold, and the surrounding colour warm, as we often see in the works of the Roman and Florentine painters, and it will be out of the power of art, even in the hands of Rubens and Titian, to make a picture splendid and harmonious."

Guess Gainsborough proved Mr. Reynolds wrong.
The portrait now resides in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California

I always preferred Blue myself....in my bedroom color as a child and in clothes. I think it goes along with the Tomboy, map loving poll of several books ago. ;-)

And why didn't Mat recognize Noal? Good question@114!

Edit: To close quotes.
Claire de Trafford
118. Booksnhorses
Hunting Pinks are named after the tailor, not the colour :)
Noneo Yourbusiness
121. Longtimefan
So can I make a completely unfounded assumption as think that this was the same tailor that inventing pinking shears? Come on, it will be fun!

One would think that the reigning monarch at the time would have taken steps to preserve the language and forced the tailor to adopt the royally granted name of Redd, or even Crimson, heck even Scarlett would have sufficed. Perhaps they did not give a damn.

Also in the Huntington Library (which is quite nice if you ever get a chance) is a painting of a young lady dressed in pink. It seems that with this revelation that it is the Huntington Library's fault for this gender association of color! Curses upon you Library!

Or maybe not.

anyway, I like green as a color. darker more than lighter but not so much that you could call me Elza.

122. Freelancer

As long as he was telling the truth about not being distracted, he should be fine, right? Right? . . . Dude?


Aside from references to the color of sky, skin (including cheeks, hands, or scars), or flower blossoms (including those with which the Green Man adorned Nynaeve's braid), the only times that pink is mentioned in the story are:

TSR ~ Chapter 41: Pink curtains in the windows of a Tinker's wagon

ACoS ~ Chapter 25: The color of Moghedien's mindtrap partway through the setting process

CoT ~ Chapter 28: The silk rosebuds Mat had made for Tuon.

And Mat's clothing/ribbons in Ebou Dar.


The Blue Boy was actually toured about the nation some 18 years ago, and happened to be in the same city my family was visiting during that time, before I'd ever known it was at the Huntington.


You'd rather be called Myrelle? Joline? Al?
John Massey
123. subwoofer
@Free- what can I say? I appreciate real estate:P

I dunno, from the smiley face, I think LTF was joking about the pinkness. I hope. Rand was a sheep herder, if he was a pig farmer I am sure we woulda heard about the color pink a long time ago.

Speaking of pink, I gotta track down the pepto. I took the blazin' hot wing challenge today and ate a pound of lava. I could eat chocolate or soot now and I wouldn't know the difference. As a matter of fact our beautiful server coulda brought me colored water instead of beer and I'd believe her. Not looking forward to the ring of fire tomorrow... and I'm not talking about the One Ring either- just Mount Doom over here.

Score- 1-2-3! Look ma, I'm counting! Weeeeeeeeeeee:)

Michael Johnson
124. twosheddz
subwoofer@123- my daughter had me do that challenge about a year ago. I was all nervous when they had me sign the waiver. Then they brought out a basket of ostrich wings. I had no chance. I did make the comment to them "You made me sign a waiver for this. I was expecting hot!" I'll try it again when I'm hungrier. I took home some of their mango habenero sauce which is excellent (two steps down from blazin').
Heidi Byrd
125. sweetlilflower
I find it interesting that both Tuon and Mat knew that they would get married before they actually met each other. I mean, Mat takes her with him BECAUSE she is TDotNM. Would the pattern not have allowed Mat to leave if she was not with the group? What if Tuon had not heard the Foretelling? Obviously, these two HAD to hook-up and foreknowledge on both of their parts greatly helped it to happen. Hmmmmm....

BTW, this is actually the first time I have gotten to the end of the comments. Gotta love a sick 2 year old. I had some other stuff to say, but I can't remember it now.

On the subject of colors, I would think that green would have been "assigned" to a gender before blue since green dye is easier to make. Well, I am supposing that green is easier because there is so much more green stuff then blue stuff. Red's easy b/c there are a lot of red flowers. You'ld think that children would get the clothing that was the cheapest. I dunno, I'm sure someone will go to Wiki and look it up for me.

Birgit F
126. birgit
"Now the real question in Chapter 17 is this, ...why are (pink ribbons) the title when they do not make an appearance until the next chapter?"

The pink ribbons do appear at the end of the chapter.

"Do you recall the pink ribbons, sweetling? When I come back, we'll see how you look in pink."
Any other time, those pink ribbons would have had him gibbering. He never should have tried to get his own back with her.
He sat there worrying over it while the serving woman called in others to carry everything away, sat there until Tylin returned. She had not forgotten about the pink ribbons, and that made him forget about anything else for quite a long time.
John Massey
127. subwoofer
@Wet- I'm there for you... as soon as my esophagus heals. Me mumsie raised me on chillies since I was 3 so I enjoy heat. I regularly down Dave's Insanity which I have to special order, even though they say "use a drop at a time"-wayyyyy up there on the Scoville scale. Chuckle-heads at Hudson's gave the wings a bath in this stuff. The basket ignited.

I'm feeling much better today tho'. Think the taste buds on part of my tongue are coming back now.

Er... WoT- I am not the biggest Cranky Pants fan, but she really got us hopping beyond the "I like Mat" comments. Ahhhh yes, nothing like a good controversy.

And was I the only one clueless about DragonCon? I have heard of the beast, but after JordanCon flew by and we started making plans for next year, how did this not come up on the radar? The Sept thing is much easier to schedule and stuff. I mean, I am fairly removed from all o dis but still- has somebody compiled a con-fest calendar of some sort?

diane heath
128. jadelollipop
lost my post so just re commenting that re: Mat's memories. They started out like "raisins on a cake" and consisted of battles and strategy. Mat was relieved while at Rhuidean to think that at least his memories of women were his own. Mat learned to accept his memories from other men (way more easily than Rand accepted LTT's memories)although at one point he had to concentrate to differentiate between his memories and those of others. Yet by the time he is in Ebou Dar his memories have expanded. We have seen dances,songs (Salidar) etc and re: Aludra's secrets
Mat thinks she would be in for a surprise. Few things make him blush as "not all of his memories were of battles"
Rand has accepted his role/fate. Mat has also accepted his (or has for most part) Perrin still has this lesson to learn
129. Freelancer

You'd love a little shop here in town that I visit about every two months. It's called Hot Licks, and Dave's is closer to the lower end of the scale compared to some of the atomic bombs they offer, unless you're talking Ultimate Insanity. Gotta love a sauce called Widow: No Survivors. As for growing up on hot stuff, when the other kids were getting a 1/4 Pounder at the arches for lunch, I'd mosy over to Tommy's and have a triple chili burger with extra onions, and snack on jalapenos from a litle tray next to the window while I waited.

I've always wondered what Jordan had in mind for those Saldaean ice peppers. Sounds like a Man v Food kind of thing...
Tess Laird
130. thewindrose
A coworker and I brought the blazing wings back with us to work. Soon after we dug in, we both had tears coming out of our eyes. (Everyone else was wondering why we were giggling with tears coming out of our eyes:) I think my taste-buds were fried until the next day. I have since then never ordered blazing unless I am eating there, and there is also beer being served.

I will also have to admit being clueless that DragonCon was right around the corner! Have fun, whoever is going.

I think next up for the reread is Joline. Maybe that will stir some interest?

John Massey
131. subwoofer
@Free- perhaps you didn't read the full wiki
It can be argued that Dave's Insanity is also too hot for general use and was also invented for bragging rights rather than general consumption.

At some point the sauces that came out were not about taste, just heat. But Dave's rocks. Low end of the heat scale? meh. Like talking about a '70 'Cuda vs. a Bugatti- I go for the 'Cuda(event tho' they rolled one in Phantasm) Jalapenos and onions only count as condiments. I remember back in the day when Dave's came out, reading how they made it and thought either someone was a genius or has clearly lost their mind- it is a fine line.

Funny story about hot too. My buddy Cory was going to go neck and neck with me. We started in and at about bite two white guy turned bright red. He was dyin'. Searched around for something to drink, but we had all taken the beer off the tables and wouldn't give him a drop. There was a pint glass behind him, with a cigarette butt in it...yup- he downed it.

Good times that:)


Man vs. Food FTW!!!

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