Aug 3 2010 2:01pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 7

Aitch to the eye, my fair feathered fronds! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 9 and 10 of Winter’s Heart, in which we discuss the financial benefits of securing solid futures in mineral commodities, the efficacy of varying methods of facilitating shifts in interpersonal power dynamics, and the pros and cons of maintaining an organization’s status quo versus the incorporation of a more innovative infrastructure.

...And also, murder, espionage, and chair-throwing. Whee!

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

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

And now, ze post!

Chapter 9: A Cup of Tea

What Happens
Elayne changes clothes and meets with Halwin Norry, who tells her he has important news: high-quality alum, a rare and prized commodity, has been discovered on one of her estates at Danabar, and as a result he thinks the bankers will stop being so reluctant to extend credit to Elayne from now on. Elayne is ecstatic at the news, and Norry is pleased enough that he even thinks there will be enough to fund the Academy which Rand had ordered founded and Elayne wants to take over, which he had been very much against previously.

Norry was trying to husband Andor’s gold, but she was looking to Andor’s future. Tarmon Gai’don was coming, yet she had to believe there would be a future afterward, whether or not Rand broke the world again. Otherwise, there was no point in going on with anything, and she could not see just sitting down to wait.

Norry goes on to tell her of Elaida’s proclamation declaring Rand to be the Dragon Reborn and that he is under the Tower’s “protection and guidance,” and the warning against approaching him except through the Tower. Norry has not asked which side of the split has Elayne’s allegiance, but he opines that it is “wise to be wary of Tar Valon’s anger.” Elayne is amazed at the stupidity of such a proclamation, since in her opinion no one could guide Rand “with a barge pole,” but Norry goes on to say that someone attacked the Sun Palace in Cairhien with the One Power, destroying most of the wing where Rand had his apartments, and Rand himself has vanished; many think that he has gone to submit to the White Tower, though a few think he is dead.

He paused, head tilted in thought. “From what I saw of him, my Lady,” he said slowly, “I myself would not believe him dead unless I sat three days with the corpse.”

She almost stared. That was very nearly a joke. A rough witticism, at least. From Halwin Norry!

Elayne dismisses both rumors, thinking that if Rand can’t even bring himself to kneel to Egwene, his childhood friend, then Elaida has about as much chance of it as “a goat at a court ball,” but silently promises to “slap [Rand] silly” if he doesn’t take care of himself. Norry goes on with other news, including that none of the four rulers of the Borderlands had been seen in public for quite some time. Norry is also worried about King Roedran activities in Murandy, and Elayne’s lack of authority to do anything about him, but Elayne reassures him that Roedran’s aims are internal to Murandy itself, and they do not have to worry about him just yet. Norry is impressed at her knowledge, and adds something that he had “forgotten” to mention before: that many of the nobles in Cairhien are talking of sending troops to Andor to aid Elayne in gaining the Lion Throne, so that her claim to the Sun Throne may also proceed faster. Elayne knows perfectly well that Norry never forgets anything, but only tells him to write a letter to them thanking them for their support and mentioning that when she comes to claim the Sun Throne she will bring no Andoran soldiers with her, as that would “incite all of Cairhien against [her], and rightly so.” Hopefully they would get the implied message that the reverse is also true. Norry agrees and goes to leave, remarking that Elayne reminds him of her mother as he goes.

Watching the door close behind him, she wondered whether she could count him in her camp. Administering Caemlyn without clerks, much less Andor, was impossible, and the First Clerk had the power to bring a queen to her knees if unchecked. A compliment was not the same as a declaration of fealty.

When Norry is gone, maids bring in Elayne’s lunch, not hiding their disapproval that she only takes broth, bread and tea. They leave, but Elayne is only alone a moment before Dyelin barges in to report breathlessly that there is a huge army of Borderlanders in Braem Wood, near the border of Andor. Elayne yawns and opines they’re there because of Rand; Dyelin takes this to mean Rand sent them to help Elayne, which isn’t what Elayne meant, and Elayne hopes Rand isn’t that foolish, but cannot complete the thought.

She covered another yawn, and suddenly her eyes widened above her hand, staring at her teacup. A cool, minty taste. Carefully, she put the cup down, or tried to. She nearly missed the saucer altogether, and the cup toppled over, spilling tea onto the tabletop. Tea laced with forkroot.

She tries to embrace saidar, but cannot. Dyelin asks what’s wrong, and Elayne manages to say she’s been poisoned, calling in her head for Birgitte. Dyelin jumps up, and Elayne thinks she might be about to stab Elayne, but then three men dressed as servants enter, drawing knives. Elayne tries to stand and draw her own knife, but is beginning to slip under.

Not without fighting back, she thought. It was like pushing through syrup, but determined even so. Not without fighting!

Strangely little time seemed to have passed. Dyelin was just turning to her henchmen, the last of them just closing the door behind him.

“Murder!” Dyelin howled. Picking up her chair, she hurled it at the men.

“Guards! Murder! Guards!”

The chair knocks two of the three men down, but the third avoids it and comes forward; Dyelin attacks him with her own knife, but he stabs her several times and she goes down. He advances cautiously on Elayne until he is sure she can’t channel, and is about to strike when he is impaled from behind with a sword. Elayne falls down, and sees one of the other two assassins is also dead, half-decapitated, and an “axe-faced” man in Guardsman uniform is struggling with the third for his dagger.

Hurry, Birgitte, she thought dully. Please hurry.

Darkness consumed her.

Dude, if I were Aes Sedai I’d just kick my tea habit altogether and have done with it. All wine, all the time! Whoo!


I’m going to talk about the assassination attempt more in the next chapter, but I must note here: Dyelin is fierce, y’all. You go ahead with your bad self, throwing chairs at assassins like you’re on Medieval Jerry Springer! Even though she ultimately lost the fight, that was some serious awesome on her part, sez me.

Alum: I left it out of the recap, but Elayne thinks to herself when gloating over her newfound mineral riches: “Dyers and weavers devoured alum, and so did glassmakers and papermakers among others.” The Wikipedia article on alum confirms its historical use as a dyeing agent, but says nothing about glassmaking or papermaking. It’s also a trifle odd that Jordan doesn’t mention its ascribed medicinal qualities, which from what I can tell was by far its most common use before the Industrial Revolution. Of course, maybe Jordan just used resources slightly more reliable than frickin’ Wikipedia and I should shut up.

Either way, yay for Elayne and all, but I can’t help wondering why we really need to hear about this. I mean, I know that it’s perfectly logical and realistic that Elayne would be having cash flow problems, but honestly, we really can skip over some of the details of the Crownening, don’t you think?

I can’t remember if the suspicion cast on Norry here ever pans out one way or the other. I don’t know that I really care, either.

However, his “joke” about Rand is notable for being yet another Christ/Messiah/Resurrection reference, and I’ve always considered these, plus the remarks about Nynaeve not being satisfied until she “Heals someone three days dead” to be Big Honking Clues re: this whole prophetic flurry of Alivia helping Rand die/to live you must die/paper puppet on a funeral bier/he who is dead yet lives/blood on the rocks/etc.

I mean, it’s like there’s a theme here or something! CRAZY.

No, I still have no clue how it’s all actually going to go down, though I’ve thought of at least three different scenarios which might be plausible, but I’m sure I’ll be able to look back on it afterward and be all, See, I told you it was going to happen like that, I TOTALLY knew it, man. I will be extremely proud of my crystalline-perfect hindsight!

I was very pleased that Elayne both understood and agreed with Rand’s reasons for founding the Academies. Though I wonder, is she still going to name the school after her mom (which I also left out of the recap) when Morgase turns up alive?

On the other hand, I was rather irritated with her next thought, about Rand’s stubbornness being so great that he wouldn’t even kneel to his childhood friend. Because it couldn’t possibly be that Rand is right not to do so, eh?

Sheesh. Unfortunately, the prophetical evidence seems to be steering us in a general Rand-submitting-to-Egwene’s-authority direction. I’m basing this mainly on the “face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger” thing, though of course that has a very good chance of being a big fat red herring, but if it isn't one, it sticks in my craw, I tell you.

It’s not that I think Egwene is a bad person or that she should kneel to Rand; on the contrary, I don’t see why either one should have to kneel to the other at all. Why does one have to “win,” so to speak? Why can’t they be equals? Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Right, I forgot what series I’m reading for a second there. Never mind!


Chapter 10: A Plan Succeeds

What Happens
Elayne wakes up in her bedroom, and relaxes when she senses Aviendha and Birgitte in the room with her. She immediately checks to make sure she can touch saidar, and asks after Dyelin and the Guardsman. Nynaeve, who is also there, tells her the Guardsman didn’t get a scratch, and Dyelin has been Healed. Birgitte is upset that Nynaeve had used herbs instead of Healing on Elayne, but Aviendha defends her by pointing out Nynaeve hadn’t been sure what the effects would be of Healing someone with forkroot in them. Nynaeve is irritated, and Elayne thinks she’s been touchy about Healing ever since several of the Kin had started outstripping her in skill. Elayne channels the lamps alight, ignoring Nynaeve’s warning to rest first, and remarks to Aviendha that she thinks she has toh to Dyelin, for doubting her loyalty. Aviendha, who is back in Wise One apprentice garb, shrugs and replies it is very small, if any; Elayne had cause to doubt. She makes a joke about being overproud, to which Birgitte makes a dry rejoinder, and Aviendha eyes her warily.

Since she and Elayne had adopted one another, Birgitte had adopted her, too, in way. Not as a Warder, of course, but with the same elder-sister attitude she often displayed toward Elayne. Aviendha was not quite sure what to make of it, or how to respond. Joining the tiny circle who knew who Birgitte really was certainly had not helped. She bounced between fierce determination to show that Birgitte Silverbow did not overawe her and a startling meekness, with odd stops in between.

Turning to the assassination attempt, Birgitte shows her the fourth knife the assassins had on them, which was poisoned. Elayne considers it all a rather overcomplicated plan, but Birgitte points out it is well-known that Elayne takes her lunch alone, and it was lucky that Mellar had happened to walk by Elayne’s rooms and heard a man cursing inside. Elayne sighs, and concedes that maybe she needs a bodyguard inside the Palace. Satisfied, Birgitte immediately begins making plans to detail “twenty or so” women to guard her, since women would be viewed as ceremonial, and can go with Elayne where men couldn’t, and debates with herself over who to place in command. Elayne winces, and asks about this Doilin Mellar who saved her. Birgitte thinks he is skilled, but coldhearted, and probably lied about his background; he’s too free with his hands but hasn’t pressed any of the Palace women who’ve turned him down.

A rescue just in time, one man against three, and a sword hurled across the room like a spear; very much like a gleeman’s tale. “He deserves a suitable reward. A promotion to captain and command of my bodyguard, Birgitte. Caseille can be his second.”

“Are you mad?” Nynaeve burst out, but Elayne shushed her.

“I’ll feel much safer knowing he’s there, Nynaeve. He won’t try pinching me, not with Caseille and twenty more like her around him. With his reputation, they’ll watch him like hawks. You did say twenty, Birgitte? I will hold you to that.”

Birgitte wants to know if Elayne wants to keep the matter quiet, but Elayne wants the news of the attempt and the rescue spread far and wide, though she wants the detail about the poisoned knife held back, in case someone makes a telling slip. Nynaeve glares and makes a remark about being overly clever, but to everyone’s shock accepts the idea without further argument. Then she and Nynaeve argue over whether she should be allowed to enter Tel’aran’rhiod to meet with Egwene that night, and Birgitte jumps in on Nynaeve’s side, dressing Elayne down like a child. Aviendha snaps back at Birgitte that she has no business talking to Elayne like that, and Birgitte is about to light into Aviendha in turn when Nynaeve cuts her off. She tells Birgitte to lay off Elayne and be quiet, or they will have words later. Birgitte is astounded, but obeys sullenly.

She wished she knew how Nynaeve did it. Once, Nynaeve had been as much in awe of Birgitte as Aviendha ever was, but that had changed. Completely. Now Nynaeve bullied Birgitte as readily as anyone else. And more successfully than with most. She’s a woman just like any other, Nynaeve had said. She told me so herself, and I realized she was right. As if that explained anything. Birgitte was still Birgitte.

Nynaeve goes to her own room, warning Aviendha and Birgitte to keep a close eye on Elayne as she goes, to both the other women’s indignation. They mutter imprecations about Nynaeve, but Elayne notes that both of them had waited until Nynaeve was gone to say them, and thinks that Nynaeve was becoming very much Aes Sedai after saying for so long she didn’t want to be one. Elayne drinks the wine, which Nynaeve had put a sleeping potion in, and quickly finds herself in the Dream World’s reflection of the Palace throne room.

[…] she looked up at those stern faces overhead. “Women have taken the throne as young as I,” she told them. Not very many, though; only seven who had managed to wear the Rose Crown for very long. “Women younger than I.” Three. And one of those lasted barely a year. “I don’t claim I will be as great as you, but I will not make you ashamed, either. I will be a good queen.”

Nynaeve appears and makes fun of her for talking to windows, and says she has half a mind to order her back to true sleep.

“Please don’t. I’m not Vandene, Nynaeve. Light, I don’t even know half the customs Vandene and the others take for granted. But I would rather not disobey you, so don’t, please.”

Nynaeve scowls, but agrees. Egwene appears, startling them both, and Elayne tells her about the assassination attempt and all the other news. Egwene shakes her head and replies that she would make them join her Murandy tonight if it weren’t for the uproar the Kin would cause among the Sitters. Nynaeve says she thought the Hall was under Egwene’s thumb, and Egwene dryly replies that that is very like “having a ferret under your thumb”; the Kin issue is no part of the war with Elaida, the only area where Egwene has total authority, so she doesn’t want to risk it. They discuss the new novices, and Egwene comments that she can’t wait for Nynaeve to meet one in particular, a grandmother named Sharina Melloy.

Nynaeve’s chair disappeared completely, and she hit the floor with an audible smack. She hardly seemed to notice, sitting there and staring at Egwene in astonishment. “Sharina Melloy?” she said in a shaky voice. “She’s a novice?” Her dress was a style Elayne had never seen before, with flowing sleeves and a deeply scooped neck worked with flowers in embroidery and seed pearls. Her hair flowed to her waist, held by a cap of moonstones and sapphires on golden wires no thicker than threads. And there was a plain golden band on her left forefinger. Only the ki’sain and her Great Serpent ring remained the same.

Egwene asks if she knows the name, and Nynaeve says something about her being in Nynaeve’s Accepted test before angrily insisting she doesn’t have to talk about that. Egwene gives her a strange look, but agrees. Elayne asks if Egwene has thought about their information about the Oath Rod; Egwene replies that the Oath Rod is what makes them Aes Sedai, and she will swear the Oaths the moment she reaches the Tower. Nynaeve calls this madness.

“You know what it does; the Kin are proof! How many Aes Sedai live past three hundred? Or reach it? And don’t tell me I shouldn’t talk about age. That’s a ridiculous custom, and you know it. Egwene, Reanne was called Eldest because she was the oldest Kinswoman in Ebou Dar. The oldest anywhere is a woman called Aloisia Nemosni, an oil merchant in Tear. Egwene, she’s nearly six… hundred… years… old! When the Hall hears that, I wager they’ll be ready to put the Oath Rod on a shelf.”

Elayne puts in that she doesn’t relish the prospect of cutting her life span in half, and also brings up the potentially fatal side effects of swearing someone already past the three hundred-year limit on the Oath Rod. Egwene’s face hardens, and she answers that anyone who wants to be Aes Sedai must swear, but acknowledges the issues, and tells them her plan: to have Aes Sedai approaching the end of their time limit under the Oaths unswear them and retire into the Kin, which will address the lifespan issue and additionally tie the Kin to the Tower. Nynaeve thinks this is great until she realizes that since the Kin figure rank by age, any Aes Sedai joining them will be far below most of the existing Kin, but Egwene shuts down the subject. She is about to move on when she stops, staring at the doorway, and Elayne turns to see a tall red-haired man in a blue coat watching them. He runs, and Egwene blinks over to the door (Elayne follows), but he is already gone. Nynaeve runs up, asking if they recognized him, because he seems familiar to her somehow.

“Rand,” Egwene said. “He could have been Rand’s uncle.”

Of course, Elayne thought. If Rand had a mean uncle.

Then they hear someone leaving at the opposite end of the room, and Nynaeve demands to know how many people are spying on them, anyway? Egwene doesn’t know, but suspects the two aren’t friends. She comments that the man was wearing a Shienaran coat, reminding Elayne of Dyelin’s news about the Borderlander army, which she relates to the other two, concluding with her bet that all four “missing” rulers are there with them. Egwene asks whether she thinks the Borderlanders are there to offer Rand allegiance, or turn him over to Elaida?

“I think I can find out,” Elayne said. “Why, I mean. And at the same time . . . You gave me the idea, Egwene.” She could not help smiling. Something good had come of today. “I think I might just be able to use them to secure the Lion Throne.”

Asne is busy ignoring Chesmal, in the hopes that she won’t tell again the story about how instrumental she was in interrogating Tamra Ospenya, or getting the Reds to murder Sierin Vayu, which is talk both boring and dangerous in Asne’s opinion, when Eldrith enters. Chesmal demands to know where she’s been, and Eldrith says absently that she lost track of the time. She reassures them that her Warder Kennit hasn’t found them again; she’s kept the bond masked since Samara. Asne thinks of how they had stayed in Samara per Moghedien’s instructions despite her disappearance and the riots and chaos in the area.

What had sparked the decision to leave was the arrival of Eldrith’s Kennit in the town, sure that she was a murderer, half convinced she was Black Ajah, and determined to kill her no matter the consequences to himself. Not surprisingly, she had been unwilling to face those consequences herself, and refused to let anyone kill the man. The only alternative was to flee. Then again, Eldrith was the one who had pointed out Caemlyn as their only hope.

Asne wonders if it isn’t time for Eldrith to have an accident. Temaile enters in her nightgown, holding a dreaming ter’angreal, and none of the others can quite hide how nervous she makes them, after seeing what she’d done to Liandrin. Eldrith protests weakly that they agreed not to enter Tel’aran’rhiod; if Nynaeve can best one of the Chosen in the Dream World, what chance do they have? Temaile only smiles, and replies that Eldrith was right: Elayne and Nynaeve are both in Caemlyn. Eldrith doesn’t see how that helps, with all those wilders in the Palace, but Temaile rejects the notion that they would be any trouble.

“There are only three sisters to trouble us, and we can dispose of them. We can take Nynaeve, and perhaps Elayne in the bargain.”

Asne knows that the plan is to use the two girls as gifts, to gain a new Chosen patron and protect themselves from retribution for their failures in Tear and Tanchico, but she wonders how exactly they are supposed to find any Chosen to offer them to. Temaile goes on that she wasn’t the only one spying in the dream; there was a man who let the girls see him, and someone else Temaile couldn’t see. Asne senses her four Warders coming closer; she had unmasked her bonds to them after Samara. She thinks they will all believe and obey her even though only one of them was a Friend of the Dark; she wants armed men close by without the others knowing.

Muscles and steel were very useful. And if worse came to worst, she could always reveal the long, fluted rod that Moghedien had not hidden so well as she thought she had.

Lady Shiaine orders Falion, dressed in servant’s livery, to pour more wine; Falion scurries to obey. Sitting across from her, Marillin Gemalphin opines that Shiaine is playing a dangerous game; Falion will take her revenge once she can channel again. Shiaine counters that her treatment was Moridin’s idea, and Shiaine is not about to risk even slightly disobeying one of the Chosen. She asks Falion if she’d like Shiaine to ask Moridin to take her away, and Falion pales and reassures her that she is very content. Shiaine thinks to herself that she also has permission to kill both Falion and Marillin at her discretion, which she might do. Sourly, Marillin says that Moghedien has instructed her to offer assistance, but she isn’t going near the Palace; it’s “stuffed with wilders,” and Marillin wouldn’t get ten feet. Shiaine tells her she knows her orders are to obey Shiaine, not assist her, and bets it is because Moghedien jumps for Moridin in turn. Marillin is unnerved, but repeats that she cannot get into the Palace.

“But there’s a woman already in the Palace. She can do what you need. It may take time to make contact, though.”

“Just make sure it’s not too long a time, Marillin.” So. One of the sisters in the Palace was Black Ajah, was she? She would have to be Aes Sedai, not just a Darkfriend, to do what Shiaine needed.

Daved Hanlon enters and immediately starts manhandling Falion, which is part of her punishment. Shiaine asks if it went well.

A broad smile split his axe-like face. “It went exactly as I planned it, of course.” He threw one side of the dark cloak over his shoulder, revealing golden knots of rank on his red coat. “You are speaking to the Captain of the Queen’s Bodyguard.”

Blargle argle long-ass chapters snerg.

Sheesh. Hokay.

Nynaeve: I remember being rather perversely pleased at her increasing Aes Sedai-ness, mainly because I thought it indicated she was finally having a go at that whole maturity thing, but seriously, the Healing thing? NO BUENO, MUCHACHOS. Now she’s not only not the strongest Lightside female channeler anymore, she’s also not the best Healer anymore either? Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?

That is a whole bowl of bullshit, my friends. Why are we systematically de-awesomeing my girl Nynaeve, WOT? Why-eee? What have I ever done to you?

Bah. Bah, I say!


Sharina: Nice touch, having Nynaeve’s clothes change to what she was wearing in the Accepted test. Yet another sideshow reunion I wonder if we’re ever going to have time to see.

In light of the conversation in the comments to the last entry (discussing some people’s disgruntlement about Elayne suddenly letting Nynaeve be in charge because of the silly strength-based Aes Sedai ranking system), I made particular note of Elayne’s line to Nynaeve here asking Nynaeve not to give an order Elayne would be forced to disobey. Which is about what I figured; Elayne’s going along with the Aes Sedai hierarchy in the larger sense, in terms of letting Nynaeve make the decisions, but it seems like when it comes to strictly interpersonal business (or something Elayne feels really strongly about, maybe), she’s more than prepared to tell Nynaeve to stuff it if she disagrees. And, more importantly, Nynaeve acknowledges this, however reluctantly. Which is as it should be, if you ask me.

Birgitte: Still being a jerk. I’m trying to remember if this flip-flop in her and Nynaeve’s relationship is as out-of-nowhere as it seems like to me, or if it actually was telegraphed earlier on and I just forgot. On the other hand, I only just noticed that Birgitte is acting semi-toolishly, so maybe Nynaeve just saw it (and got tired of it) around the same time I did.

Oath Rod: Ermmph. In light of what happens in TGS, I don’t know that I can still be quite as censorious of Egwene’s decision to uphold the Oaths as I was when I originally read this; that said, however, I still don’t like it very much. I’m also realizing I’m not sure whether the Supergirls have ever figured out that in addition to shortening lifespan, the original Age of Legends use for the Oath Rod was to punish criminals. That certainly changed how I looked at the thing (“Here, wear these handcuffs! It’ll make people trust you more!”), but if they don’t even know about that, well.

And anyway, while you can argue about the efficacy (or lack thereof) of the First Oath, it strikes me that continuing to prevent Aes Sedai from making weapons on the eve of frickin’ Armageddon is a, shall we say, somewhat unsound tactical decision? I mean, really. Pony up some Power-wrought blades, at least!

Mean Uncle: Well, look who’s back. Long time no see, killer boy(s)!

I’m trying to figure out if I’m supposed to accept Slayer is actually stupid enough to stand in a doorway in full view until Egwene gets around to noticing him, or if I’m supposed to be led to conclude that he allowed them to see him. I’m leaning toward the latter on sheer principle, but I’m stymied because I can’t imagine why he would want the Supergirls to see him. The only thing I can think of is that it might be a subtle form of rebellion against whoever ordered him to spy on them, you know, like, whoops, they saw me, my bad, no intel for you!

If that is, in fact, why he was spying, because it’s perfectly possible he’s doing it on his own recognizance. Maybe he’s just interested because they’re from the Two Rivers like his BFF Perrin… Actually, that strikes me as quite a good possibility. Another is that he’s somehow found out about Nynaeve’s marriage to Lan, which might make Isam a bit pissy, I guess.

(“Mean Uncle.” Heh. Sounds like a grunge rockabilly band.)

Black Ajah: Temaile is still creepy as hell. Again, this interlude was interesting for its clues when we didn’t know that Careanedunnit, but now it’s mainly remarkable for the little mystery I’m not even sure I noticed being set up here before this time around, which is of course the identity of the third listener to the Supergirls’ apparently Not Really Secret At All clubhouse meeting. Really, at this point they should have just broadcast it on public access. Or, you know. Shut up.

Maybe this gets cleared up for us later and I just forgot. I hope so, because as of this moment I am drawing a total blank on who this could be or whether we ever find out or whether it ever ends up mattering. Oh well!

Mellar/Hanlon: I don’t remember for sure whether I initially fell for the various misleads here about Mr. Makes Me Need A Shower Every Time I Read About Him, And Also I Believe In Succinct Nicknames, but my instinct is that I actually didn’t. Fall for it, I mean.

Which is surprising, since I can usually be relied upon not to see the big twist coming, but for whatever reason I’m fairly certain I called bullshit on this “rescue” from the moment it happened. And even if I didn’t right away, I definitely called bullshit the moment I saw Elayne’s little “My HE-ro” camouflage re: promoting Mellar to captain of her bodyguard. Keep your enemies closer, indeed.

This certainty was perhaps helped by the fact that for some reason I can never keep Hanlon’s name in my head, and immediately just connected the physical description to Icky Scum Darkfriend Guy I knew was in Caemlyn without being thrown off by the different names. Instead I was surprised to find out at the end of the chapter that his name hadn’t actually been Doilin Mellar all along. Sometimes a lack of brain is an asset to figuring out mysteries, who knew!

There's more here, but a lack of brain is also a good sign that I should shut the hell up already and finish this post, so I’ll, uh, do that now. Later, taters!

James Hogan
2. Sonofthunder
Yay new post!

And let me nod my head in hearty agreement with the sadness that is Nynaeve dropping ever further on the awesome scale. I was sort of ok with her not being the most powerful channeler of all time, but seriously? Healing is HER THING!! So that is not cool. Not cool at all.

I also thought the random people spying on them in TAR was hilarious. Can't they spin a web for keeping out sound or something? Really now??

And to further agree with you, if Rand kneels to Egwene in total submission, I will be throw-book-into-pool ANGRY. And that is angry, y'all, because I like my books. Really though, absolutely agree with you Leigh, that they need to approach each other AS EQUALS(Well I honestly think Rand is a whole lot more awesome than Egwene, but a little humility wouldn't do Rand wrong, especially in light of his "not-keeping-track-of-Black-Tower-madness").

And Norry is awesome and I love every scene with him in it. The end.

EDIT: And apparently I will never be able to grab first post. *le sigh* The end. For real.
F Shelley
3. FSS
You know - the whole never make a weapon for one man to kill another oath is the only one we haven't seen violated in spirit. I mean, everyone knows the 1st oath is less than worthless. The (3rd?) oath (no to use the power as a weapon is pretty well held too, but doesn't keep Aes Sedai from wading into a dangerous situation to feel "in danger" enough to go to town on everything around them.

The only time we've seen someone come close to violating the 2nd oath is Verin in the Two Rivers, and that was against Trollocs, not men, and she was free of the Three Oaths anyway...
a a-p
4. lostinshadow
Elayne dismisses both rumors, thinking that if Rand can’t even bring himself to kneel to Egwene, his childhood friend, then Elaida has about as much chance of it as “a goat at a court ball,” but silently promises to “slap silly” if he doesn’t take care of himself.

not that I want to see Rand kneel to anyone but actually seems to me it would be easier to kneel to some strange, older woman in a position of power than your childhood sweetheart.

this actually made me think of something else, does Elayne even know about Rand's kidnapping and time in the box? has anyone told her? seems to me she can't possibly because obviously the reason for his refusal to kneel to Elaida would be different.

I'll be staying away from the oath debate for now.
5. chaplainchris
Yay new post! How funny is it that the first line under "What Happens" begins with "Elayne changes clothes and..."

Matthew Smith
6. blocksmith

Thanks for the re-read. Makes an otherwise blah Tuesday much brighter.

I can honestly say I caught the set-up right away. Previous information, plus the convenience=Scummy DF trying to get close to Queen. Thankfully, Elayne et al have their eyes open on this one.

I thought the two DF/BA back and forth viewpoints were interesting. A little picture into goings on of the Other Side, per se. And yes, Hanlon/Mellar needs to take a very very long walk off of an extremely short (and decrepit) pier.
Brandon D
7. Ishmayl
I still just don't understand where Egwene's newfound resolution to use the Oath Rods came from. The only thing I can think of is that it's part of the weird Halima/Aran'Gar thing going on, and that when she (someday?) realizes that, she'll perhaps come to her senses?

Also, re: Egwene and Rand's soon-to-be possible "kneel or be knelt" scene, I just have to say - while I agree that in the best case scenario, the two would just decide to work as equals, I must say, that if one trumps the others in terms of Importance, Authority, and Sheer Awe-Inducingness, it would be Rand, and therefore, I have a lot of problems seeing any sort of "Rand kneeling to Egwene" kind of thing. Even after tGS, when (presumably), Rand is going to humble-up a bit.

Predictions for ToM - Rand will "die" at the very end of the book (possibly in Battle of Caemlyn?), and the book will end on a cliffhanger. AMoL will begin Three Days Later (and all this implies). You heard it here.

And as a side note, do you people who type "Yay, New Post" after every new recap literally just wait around for Leigh to post, and then post said message before even reading? Cuz that's kinda weird (and pointless?), but otherwise, I see no way how you have posted literally two minutes after the new recap went public ...
8. Mehndeke
Leigh, oh how you make my day!
John Mann
9. jcmnyu
One of the many things that don't make a bit of logical sense in the series is Aes Sedai continuing to drink tea. Others that come to mind: Perrin not sending Ashaman to Rand for help to rescue Faile, Aliandre, and the rest, Rand not thinking through his plan for the Cleansing and having a freaking army nearby to protect him, Rand not checking in on the Black Tower, Nynaeve not gating to Myrelle and demanding Lan's bond, Aiel dreamers who never use their abilities in any useful way, the Salidar Aes Sedai figured out you need a cordoned off space for Traveling and then forgot, etc. Traveling is a major ability which is rarely, if ever, used to inform decisions rather than make the same decisions occur faster. No one talks to people or asks for help when they are literally one step away. Yet we are supposed to believe they are master tacticians. It's hard to know when you are supposed to suspend your disbelief in these situations.
a a-p
10. lostinshadow
Just a general note:

ToM prediction thread is up here

oh yeah, that set up was too obvious even for me.
James Jones
11. jamesedjones
She’s a woman just like any other, Nynaeve had said. She told me so herself, and I realized she was right. As if that explained anything.
This from the woman that defeated Moghedien (twice), heals gentling and stilling, and cleanses the male half of the source in a few more days/weeks. "Yeah, Birgitte, she's just another person, see?"
12. Kaitya
Curses! I just missed Top 10! And now...the post!
John Mann
13. jcmnyu
I always thought that "knowing the Amyrlin's anger" was going to be how angry Egwene was at Galina putting Rand in the box and that would cause Rand to see Egwene in a different light. I think it is going to be a heart to heart not a shouting match. I also think that Egwene will acknowledge Rand's overall leadership position of Force Light, and Rand will give Egwene full command authority over the Aes Sedai and the Ashaman while Rand leads a smaller group to seal the Dark One once and for all.

And on the Oath Rod, I'm sorry, but if you need to be magically forced to tell the truth and not kill innocent people to be believed and those prohibitions cause you to only live half the life you could, your group is pretty lame. In fact, there are so many questions about what would happen if say Cadsuane removed the oaths, I don't know where to begin. If you remove the oaths the day before she would have died naturally with the oaths, would she live for one extra day because he life span would be doubled or an extra 300 years? If she was Stilled, would she get younger like Leane and Siuan did? How young? The way Egwene treats this is settled and her decision alone is ludicrous.
Sydo Zandstra
14. Fiddler

The only time we've seen someone come close to violating the 2nd oath is Verin in the Two Rivers, and that was against Trollocs, not men, and she was free of the Three Oaths anyway...

And Sareitha shooting fireballs at raken, right after the Bowl of Winds was used. ;)

(which led me to believe back then that Sareitha was the Black Sister who killed Adeleas; or the 2nd Oath to be a sham)

Edit: once again, I stand corrected. It was the third oath, not the second. Thanks, FSS ;)
Tony Zbaraschuk
15. tonyz
But that's Birgitte's point, in her long lecture to Nynaeve in Book Five: don't treat me like some superwoman or perfect hero, because I'm Birgitte here, NOT "that Hero called by the Horn". I'm fine with Nynaeve finally getting the point. And, yes, bah on her de-powerment.

The thing with Travelling is that you often don't know where the person you want to talk to is. (We will see Rand doing some of the Travel-around-and-coordinate thing, in fact we already have.)
a a-p
16. lostinshadow
@7 Egwene is supposedly converted by Siuan's explanation that the Oaths are what set the AS apart from (and above) other channellers.

@13 I like that view. I too thought that Rand would somehow see Egwene angry over something (not directed at him) and it would really push it home that she too had become a leader in her own right. And that might finally get Rand to lower his guard on AS and start working together more productively with them.
Tricia Irish
17. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh! You continue to make the mostly mundane, interesting...and even funny! Actually, there's some good set up stuff here....

Don't have time to comment now....I'll be back!
Captain Hammer
18. Randalator
Well, of course Nynaeve gets de-awesomed. How else will you be able to appreciate the awesomely awesoming awesome of her healing 3-day-dead-Rand? Huh? How? How, I axe you...

re: general crownification draggery

Yes, we do need to see that. Just imagine what we would think if it were all like

Elayne: "Hey, guys. I'm here, let's get with the crowning and the queen being and the ruling and all..."
All: "Ok, whatevs..."
Guy on the left: "Just like that? Weren't there tons of issues to-"
All: "Yay!

That's not the intricate world I love. The Supergirls are already so borderline ta'veren that you can legitimately classify them as "ta'veren by association". Elayne just flying through the succession conflict free or simply off-screen would really throw me off.

re: Daved Hanlon a.k.a. Doilin Mellar a.k.a. fluffy bunny of joy

Yeah, the whole thing stank of evilz all the way. That's why I never wondered why Elayne et al suddenly became suspicious of him. I just figured their olfactory senses to be intact and suspecting foul play from the get go...
Lynn McDonald
19. meal6225
I'd like to re-read Nyn's accepted test. Anyone able to give me a chapter title?

Inside the Tor newsletter are some links to Brandon Sanderson interview and talk he gave at ComicCon.

Headed to the bunker--gotta be cooler there--hot as the Waste here in OH! But no---the Waste would be a "dry" heat where here it is all about the humidity..screwit
it's all hot.
Marcus W
20. toryx
I'm sure that there's someone somewhere in the world who is fascinated by accounting in fantasy but I'll be damned if I'll ever understand why RJ expected us to be interested in it. Talk about falling asleep.

On the wine comment in favor of tea: frickin' a, dude.

I knew the attack on Elayne was a set-up from the very first time I read it. It came across as really obvious to me. But I thought it was all worth it to see Dyelin become all badass. Man, I'd support her for Queen.
James Hogan
21. Sonofthunder

Chapter 23 of TGH! I just read it the other day, so it's fresh in my mind. Good reading..

And it's bloody hot here in Texas, as well. Oh I can't wait for winter!!

toryx@20, I found the accounting fascinating. Far more interesting to me than the embroidery on the left arm of Elayne's gown! Maybe this is just because I'm an engineer...*tucks pencil behind ear*
Birgit F
22. birgit
Not surprisingly, she had been unwilling to face those consequences herself, and refused to let anyone kill the man. The only alternative was to flee.

Why can't she just wrap him in Air, then unbond him, then kill him?

I'd like to re-read Nyn's accepted test. Anyone able to give me a chapter title?

TGH ch. 23: The Testing

Why do the girls always meet in TAR in places with plenty of hiding places for spies? They have spied on Forsaken there themselves and know the BA have Dream ter'angreal. Can't they find some closed empty room or something to talk in private?
Tony Zbaraschuk
23. tonyz
I liked the accounting concerns: it makes things feel like it's a real world, with the need to pay for armies and support them and so forth. Yes, Jordan's logistics are sometimes dodgy (the Aiel, anyone) but at least he shows some signs of working with the problem.

Queens queening, instead of preening. (Well, in addition to preening. This is Elayne, after all.)
Tina Pierce
24. scissorrunner
Mellar/Hanlon- that was easy to see coming (and for me to see it it means that it was the largest cluebat of all time) kudos to Elayne for keeping him close. (do DF always think that TeamLight is THAT slow?)(OK, so sometimes they are, but this guy?? c'mon!!)(yes I like parentheses today)

Elayne still drinking tea? well why not? she IS in her "stronghold"

and to Ishmayl @ 7 - yup, we do WAIT, TWITCH, and otherwise get angsty waiting for new posts. but otoh, we kinda know when they're coming out, & we heart Leigh, so .....
join us in the bunker for the waiting, we've always got fresh cookies!

jcmnyu @ 13. ooooo I DO like that idea!!!
Kev Hamm
25. cavynmaicl
For the whole kneeling to the Amyrlin bit or not, I would think that a meeting of equals would require that both acknowledge each other's authority and respect one another. And if the Amyrlin is angry with the Dragon Reborn, so be it. He is probably less than pleased with her on a few points as well, but they can work it out if they were to just friggin talk.

Of course, that would be a different story, but whatevs.

Couldn't Slayer have been in the palace because he was hunting the third watcher? Just thinking aloud here.

As for Nynaeve, I'd always thought her loss of awesomesauce re: strength in the power and healing, were foreshadowing some other gain of awesomesauce in say foretelling or perhaps in actually being able to weave Saidin.

What's that, you say? Well, let's go back to her test for Accepted. She felt something. She couldn't say what, and it was not only unfamiliar but wholly different and seemingly dangerous, but she felt something and we, the readers, are informed it's Saidin. This was the point where, after finding out the ancient symbol for Aes Sedai was the basic yin-yang without the two dots that represent the yin-in-the-yang and the yang-in-the-yin, that I figured this whole series would be to get us to the point that the AoL's tried to spell out - that men and women could use both parts of the One Power, as there is a bit of Saidin in Saidar, and a bit of Saidar in Saidin. That's Nynaeve's next dip in awesomesauce, I think, and it's been foreshadowed for what, 5,000 books?

At least, it is in my mind. Anyone else?
Noneo Yourbusiness
26. Longtimefan
Re: Rand and Egwene (and in a way Fortuna,the Empress may she live forever and if she learns how to channel she may just get close much like Egwene if she drops the stupid 2nd and 3rd oaths since only one oath does not shorten ones life)

For the Dragon Reborn to submit to or even just kneel before one or either of these persons of authority is not entirely unreasonable.

They are not just regional rulers of land but figures of authority over a diverse range of people in different nations. (Seanchan has regions with cultural diversity unlike Westland kingdoms where the diveristy pretty much stays within the recognized borders of the nation.)

The end game of the Dragon Reborn is to defeat the Dark One. Not to lead nations afterward or rebuild what has been broken. To lead the charge against the Dark One and seal the bore.

In showing deference to the two most influential leaders from both continents Rand will be able to lead by having the people who are committed to The Amyriln and The Empress (both of whom may live a very long time) follow as they follow him.

How would they follow him if he kneels to them?

It is a sign that he knows thier place in the world as leaders of people. His place is not to lead people. His place is to fight in the Last Battle and generally it is agreed that he will die as part of that package.

Should he live again (strogly suspected (and desired)as an outcome) it is not his job to lead people. In Illian he accepted the kingship but Rand has chosen to leave the nations he rescued/conquered to other people to rule in his stead. It is generally known that his rule is temporary and not really part of his foretold job outline.

Much like Egwene's temporary absolute authority on all things "War" in the rebellion against Eliada the sisters defer to her only on that point. In all other things she is suffering from the leaders of the factions chosing what to do for their own best interest.

In that scenario it is very irritating. However, in a situation where Rand has to lead the Last Battle but the Amyriln and the Empress (and Elayne and all other living rulers of what ever nations are left after the land is rent and the people battered and the battle is over blah blah blah) have to pick up the pieces and rebuild new nations out of the remains, tattered, torn and scattered they will need that authority of having the Dragon Reborn show that even he acknowledges them as "Leaders".

To lead he must submit. Not give in but to show that he understands his postion is only higher than others in one way and that is because only he can defeat the Dark One. In all other things there are people who are in better postions to govern the people and take care of the smaller details.

To show his admission to their authority he strengthens the ability those people will have to rebuild the land after he finishes his job.

Granted he should not just give over willy nilly to anyone in a flouncy dress and a shiny crown but that is not what I am trying to say.

In respecting the authority of the Amyrlin's and the Empress' position over their people he clears a path to his own destiny.

blah blah blah.

I may not have said what I thought I said but I am hungry and going to lunch.

Liz J
27. Ellisande
Although I was kinda ticked by the de-Awesoming of Nyn as well, I think it's actually a pretty important thread in WH. Through the book we find out that she's not the strongest after all, and she's not the best Healer after all, but at the end, those things don't matter. She's the one Rand trusts most (and she trusts him in return) and so she's the one who does something so Awesome that nobody thought it was possible. It's an in-your-face demonstration that sheer power (or Power) isn't enough, it's about trust. Working Together, We Accomplish Greatness.

And yes, I agree that we're getting set up for a similar moment when Nyn does something Awesome with her Healing talents that 'can't be done.'
Richard Boye
28. sarcastro

The only time we've seen someone come close to violating the 2nd oath is Verin in the Two Rivers, and that was against Trollocs, not men, and she was free of the Three Oaths anyway...

You are free to use the OP to make weapons against Shadowspawn, right?

And Sareitha shooting fireballs at raken, right after the Bowl of Winds was used. ;)

(which led me to believe back then that Sareitha was the Black Sister who killed Adeleas; or the 2nd Oath to be a sham)

That can be handwaved away by saying that Sareitha (who was cool, by the way.. such a shame), that Sareitha thought that the raken she saw was Shadowspawn.

Incidentally, my moment of "duh" came recently when I realized that "to'raken" said quickly sounds rather like "dragon." Pretty sneaky Mr. J.

(if only I can puzzle out what "der'dul'dam" is supposed to evoke. It's too complex a word (and concept) for RJ to have just assembled at random.)
Brandon D
29. Ishmayl

What's that, you say? Well, let's go back to her test for Accepted. She felt something. She couldn't say what, and it was not only unfamiliar but wholly different and seemingly dangerous, but she felt something and we, the readers, are informed it's Saidin. This was the point where, after finding out the ancient symbol for Aes Sedai was the basic yin-yang without the two dots that represent the yin-in-the-yang...

Hrm? Do you have any direct quotes for this? I don't have books handy, but I don't ever remember A - Reading about Nynaeve sensing Saidin, or B - Anyone in Fandom EVER talking about that before.

However, like others have said, though I don't particularly like the de-awesomeing of Nynaeve throughout the current books, I believe that it is leading to exactly what others have mentioned - a re-crowning Moment of Awesome in her either Healing Death, or something else of equal awesomeness.
Tricia Irish
30. Tektonica

I agree that Rand's job description does not entail ruling nations now or in the future. He's been a place holder, so to speak, when chaos was reigning. Several countries need a head of state, and it is to Rand's advantage to fill those posts with people loyal to him,ie: Moraine/Thom in Carhein?, Galad/Berelain in Mayene and Amadicia, Darlin in Tear, and Elayne in Andor (of course she did that on her own!).

As for the Seanchan....I just don't know. Do they get Ebou Dar? More? There are a lot of problems to be worked out there. Slavery. Leashing.

I don't like the idea of anyone kneeling to anyone else. Maybe that's just the American in me. Acknowlegment of position, yes. In the AOL the male AS and the female AS worked together, and that, ideally, is how it should be for TG, to avoid the outcome that was a patch job last time. Egwene doesn't rule a country. I see Egs and whoever the male equivalent turns out to be, Rand or Logain, running the combined Tower together.

In other words, I see no reason for anyone to kneel to anyone else. Cooperate, yes, acknowledge areas of authority, yes. Rand is the Savior, after all. Let's give him all the help he can get!

There's been so much made of the lack of communication between men and women and different factions, even between allies and friends and lovers, that I think some resolution and coming together needs to happen.

Mellor/Hanlon: His smell preceded him into the room all right. Maybe Elayne's sense of "smell" had improved after her adventures and other kidnappings. Well then, actually, no, it hasn't has it? Sigh.

I like the view that Nynaeve's not being the "best" at healing and the most powerful will only serve to make her MOA with the Cleansing and then resurrecting Rand....or ripping him out of TAR, seem all the more incredible. After all, intelligence isn't some function of the power, it's innate.
Richard Boye
31. sarcastro

"agree that Rand's job description does not entail ruling nations now or in the future. He's been a place holder, so to speak, when chaos was reigning. ,ie: Moraine/Thom in Carhein?,"

Rand also expects Cairhien to be ruled by Elayne. It just so happens that Elayne decided to claim the Sun Crown, all on her own, and so their interests aligned.
Sydo Zandstra
32. Fiddler

That's what I meant with '2nd Oath being a sham'. In this way circumventing it is just as easy as with the 3rd Oath: just make yourself believe that if you see a creature you've never seen before, 'it must be Shadowspawn', and WOOOSH!. ;)

Just like walking into the midst of a batlle until you can say 'Oh, I feel very much in danger now...'.

Good catch on the to'raken thing.

Maybe "der'sul'dam" (you mean that one, right?) is a wink to Army habits of using abbreviations?
something with SUL (I couldn't fill in that one; English is not my native language)

Just thinking out loud... Don't take it too seriously.
Kev Hamm
33. cavynmaicl
Ishmayl @29

From Chapter 23, The Great Hunt; The Testing.

Saidar was a torrent racing though her. She could feel the rocks around her, and the air, feel the tiny, flowing bits of the One Power that suffused them, and made them. And she could feel Aginor doing… something, as well. Dimly she felt it, and far distant, as if it were something she could never truly know, but around her she saw the effects and knew them for what they were.

That would be Saidin. Nynaeve is destined to know Saidin, and how awesome is that?

As an aside, how awesome is having all the books digitally on my iPad so I can look this stuff up? OMG FTW!
Ron Garrison
34. Man-0-Manetheran
"Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?"
Roger that. Lima, Oscar, Lima!
Lisa Keefe
35. fledge
I think you've hit upon Nynaeve's best strength--her intelligence. After all, she puzzled out how to heal Logain from severing all on her own with no books or ideas from anyone else. She also frequently (though not always) saves her friends' bacon when situations get hot. Quick and clear thinking is often worth more than brute strength (Power)
Noneo Yourbusiness
36. Longtimefan
@30 Tektonica,

To clarify, I am going with the in story version of Rand "kneeling" for what ever reason to the Amyriln seat (or knowing her anger) and the Crystal Throne (which the Empress embodies.

As he has no choice in the whole prophecied "Last Battle" stuff or that which is fortold or anything "viewed" Minwise or Dreamwise I was looking for reasons it would play out to the benifit of the world in the long term. The Pattern has already decided, I am just looking for an upside.


As to the Seanchan gaining any authority in their current state as it is not the kind of government the reader (nor many of the in book characters) would like for their very own to hold and squeeze and love there is the small detail that it will probably not be the same after the Last Battle.

This change will not be brought about by Rand personally but is being worked on by Mat and Setalle Anan. This again has to do with accepting that the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills and seeing how there is more benefit in order than there is creating chaos over the little details that will work themselves out.

I know that marathedamme is not really a "little detail" but in the big (and by that I mean Pattern HUGE) picture that item is a)not Rand's to deal with directly and b) not Rand's purpose or goal.

There are other fictional characters in the series that are postioned to influence how the Seanchan will change.

Rand's job is to get those people behind him so he can win against the Dark One.

The Seanchan post Tarmon Gai'don (I found wotwiki and I am using it. do not get used to it.) will be different from the Seanchan now. How they will be different is not up to Rand. That is Mat's job.

Edit: And as an aside about the Amyriln. She is not a leader of a nation per se but a people that influence nations and events. Also in the expanded role of the White Tower in its relationships with the Sea Folk and the Aiel and any women who can channel but are not always Aes Sedai the Amyriln will have a wide population of people who will seek guidance or support or opinion from her.

In submiting Rand shows that he is not determined to push people around as much as he is trying to avoid people pushing him around.

Moiraine knew this and gained respect and influence with Rand while still keeping her position of Aes Sedai in the eyes of others and even with Rand.

I am at work but there is a theme in the books about how sometimes submitting to an authority for a short time or on a certain point can give a person greater authority in future events.

Ofcourse talent, intellegence and care are important in the mix as well.
j p
37. sps49
Dyelin didn't lose. She didn't give up, she knew it was a delaying action, she was risking her life to buy enough seconds for the heavies (Birgitte, Aviendha, w/e) to show up. Just because it was a setup doesn't mean she is any less a winrar to me.
Marcus W
38. toryx
Sonofthunder @ 21:

I knew as soon as I made the accounting comment that I'd probably get posts from several people who were just enthralled. Clearly there's no accounting (hee) for taste. :)
Lannis .
39. Lannis
Mellar/Hanlon, the "axe-faced" guardsman... Okay... am I alone in having NO idea what this means in reference to physical appearance? S'a handy term to tag a character and make the reader take notice of its repetition, but as an actual description? Not helpful to me...

Yes, Nynaeve's awesomeness slipping is annoying... it bugs me that it kind of coincides time-wise with Lan's appearance... I know the two are (supposed to be) mutually exclusive, but it sucks big time that now that Nynaeve is married she's gradually becoming less cool... grr...

Thanks for the post, Leigh! :)
Noneo Yourbusiness
40. Longtimefan
Nynaeve is not becoming less. She is, like all of the characters, developing into a person of great power who must maintain who she is while letting new people take over those postiions she used to fill so she can focus on what is important for her role as friend of the Dragon Reborn and wife of the last king of Malkier and all adjunct and sundry awesomness that she may still have to do.

In not being the biggest and the best it gives Nynaeve the ability to relax in some ways.

Well as relaxed as Nynaeve can get. One of her traits in the beginning of the series was that she thought no one else could possibly do what she needed to do. With other powerful channelers and talented healers she can give those jobs over and focus on her role.
F Shelley
41. FSS

The first oath is not to say any word that is not true

The second oath is not to make a weapon for one man to use against another

The third oath is not to use the One Power against anyone but shadow-spawn, dark friends, at the last defense of one's life.

If she violated an oath by shooting a fireball at a raken, it would be the 3rd, not the second. Unless she was lining up fireballs that could somehow be thrown by a man.
Thomas Keith
42. insectoid
Great post, Leigh!

My brain's still a little fuzzy, so I'll have my thoughts later on... Though I do agree that Nynaeve's Awesomeness slipping away is sooo not cool. Grr.

EDIT: Second time this week I've gotten The Answer as a comment number. Spooky. ;)

F Shelley
43. FSS
BTW - LOL at everyone upset about Nyneave's uniqueness slipping away. This is an American fantasy tale, not an English one. Luck and in-born talent can only take you so far. If she wants to be the number 1 Healer, she'll need to work harder for it...
Sydo Zandstra
44. Fiddler

You are right, so I added a comment@14.

I should probably quit discussing this stuff in here. I don't care to check in the books anymore. I just want the story to end... ;)

And no longer going through the motions. :p

(yes, Buffy reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH7KMrCWpk4 )
vo mabulay
45. alreadymad
Yeah Leigh... Wine all the time!

Mean uncle? There's our proof right there that Rand takes after the Mantear side of his parentage. Of course we've been getting hints all over that he looks a lot like Andoran nobility. (Most of whom were probably descended from Aiel slaves and doxies)

Longtimefan @36
Err.. The Amyrlin acts as de facto head of state for Tar Valon, which is a city-island-state in all but name. In fact its influence expands slightly past the shores of the island to the surrounding lands.
46. ScoundrelTheToy
Re The Oaths: It's incredibly sad to me as a reader that the SG's especially, considering their exposure to all the other channeling organiztions, still believe that forcibly making yourself submit to oaths automatically puts you above anyone else. As well as their inability, especially Egwene here, to not question the usefullness of said oaths. RJ had to be snickering non-stop when he had Suian convince Egwene of how the Oath Rod is what makes an Aes Sedai because uhh, all the evidence Suian gave Egwene was completely false. *Golf clap to RJ and his evil humor*

I also like the disperity RJ gave us in Nynaeve and Elayne's PoV's regarding the oaths in that they remind themself to adhere to the oaths and do their best to stick to them, while all other AS PoV's you won't see this because this ability to question themself disappears thanks to that criminal binder. Lastly, are we supposed to believe that people are going to willingly give up half their lives to join a fail organization? The 'Oath Rod' and Egwene's vehemence in favor of it is probably the most disapointing thing in the series to me.

And no, nobody in the current Age realizes that the 'Oath Rod' is truly a criminal binder. This should probably be in TOM predictions but I have this voice in the back of my head telling me that revealing that the 'Oath Rod' is really a criminal binder to Egwene and all Aes Sedai is Mesaana's purpose in the tower. However it happens and goes down, somehow Mesaana will unwittingly bring knowledge to Aes Sedai (the very thing the seeks to destroy would be poetic justice if there is any!).
Noneo Yourbusiness
47. Longtimefan
@ 45 Alreadymad

Defacto Schmackto

The Amyrlin Seat says jump and the Sisters say "How high (if it fits in with my plans)".

The power of the White Tower, its innitiates and more importantly, it's leader have been established in the story as surpassing borders and kings and queens. Her rule may be over a few hides of land but the command of the Amyriln is unquestioned by Sister, noble and commoner alike. (in theory)

Before the Dragon Reborn the Amyriln was the most powerful person in the Westlands much like the Empress was the most powerful person in Seanchan.

I completely agree they should try to get along and work as equals but there are other paths the story has laid out before that can happen it seems, in prophecies and dreams.

Oh well, in the end Egwene and Logain have to figure out how to get the White Tower and The Black Tower to work together. Again this is not really Rand's job. I could see where he would want it. It is a better job to hang out with Egwene and talk policies and politics than to march of to watch hundreds of thousands of people die as one tries to kill the big bad without dying first (after but not before) :)

(I am assuming Logain will become the leader of the Ashaman because he is awesome and there is a previous history with Egwene which is not so bad, not super great but not so bad.)
andrew smith
48. sillyslovene
I've always thought that it's interesting how some readers see the need to have Rand and Nynaeve (as well as the other young-uns) be "the best" in whatever field they respectively have. Whether it's the "everyone must follow Rand exclusively and do everything that he says because he's the Messiah figure" or the "she's the best healer around because she just does it all naturally better than anyone."

This is strange to me because one of the strongest continual themes throughout the entire series (series mind, not single books) is that while the young people have impressive and important things to add to the battle against the DO, they must learn to be humble and respect the learning, advice, knowledge and abilities of their elders. And vice versa. (eg- Moraine and Rand really start making head way when they establish a personal relationship of trust without one fully domineering or ignoring the other) Yes, it is a fantasy series and yes one of the big tropes is that of fantastical knowledge coming from someone who in real life would have no chance of doing things right. BUT that was never solely what RJ had intended- he always set up the world as being founded upon the necessity of opposites working well together- whether that is female/male or young/old.

To me the "de-awesoming" of Nynaeve is more about her/us seeing that there is more to the world around her than simply her own pride/abilities and that she must come to grips that there are people who will be able to heal certain things better than her, and that she can learn from these people, and teach them what she knows and is able to do. (this is meant to be in stark contrast to the de-awesoming of the Forsaken, who we see as simply petty and weak, while the Heroes can rise above their differences and learn to work together to win...)

In other words, I agree with FSS @43, Longtimefan @40, and others...
Noneo Yourbusiness
49. Longtimefan
@ 48

Agree with me all you want but stop writing more eloquent ways of stating it.


Kidding. But thanks for writing something that sounds better than the blah blah blah I tried to get out between listening to the general office murmur that sometimes distracts me and the lack of foucs I have today from being a bit tired.
Ron Garrison
50. Man-0-Manetheran
Very well said, sillyslovene (@48). Most teenagers limited experience of the world allows them to act as if they are immune to harm, death, etc. As they grow up they realize that they are not really as all-knowing and awesome as they first thought. IMHO, the Nynaeve storyline here is a metaphor for this.

edit: 50! Foxtrot Tango Whiskey!
51. ZamIt
The only way I buy into Rand kneeling to Egwene is if he does it to bring the Ashaman into the White Tower. I think ultimately the Aes Sedai mmust reunite with men and women channelers. If Rand acknowledges Egwene as the Amyrlin Seat, that may spell the end of the Black Tower and bring everyone together. Then Rand get to go and be the Dragon Reborn, and by then Egwene won't have anything to say about it anyway.
52. sleepinghour
Sumeko is several hundred years old while Nynaeve has only been consciously channeling for 2-3 years (while being blocked at that), so maybe it's not that surprising that Sumeko's more skilled at this point.

Egwene also commented in TSR that Moiraine, while weaker in the Power than herself, was much more adept at many weaves since Moiraine had 20+ years of practice. So I don't think it tells us that much to compare any of the SGs with AS/Kin who've had decades or even centuries to hone their skills.
Ron Garrison
53. Man-0-Manetheran
ZamIt@51: "If Rand acknowledges Egwene as the Amyrlin Seat, that may spell the end of the Black Tower and bring everyone together."

And Elayne has a ready made campus for her university!
Kate Collura
54. dreamwalker
Like many others, I also felt some disappointment that Nynaeve lost her status as "strongest" and "best." But now that there's so much discussion of it, it makes me think about something my mother always told me: there will always be someone better than you at something and there will always be someone worse than you at something. I always felt that this was an important lesson to learn. Really puts your arrogance and/or low self esteem in check. And basically it's true. I think this makes Nynaeve easier to relate to. After all, can any of us really imagine what it would be like to be "THE best" at something?
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
blocksmith @6 - I'd prefer a very long pier and a slightly longer walk. Short pier might drop him too close to shore - I want a pier that makes it impossible for him to swim back in. Preferably a long pier that ends in shark-infested water... and has lots of slivers to make sure there's at least a little blood.
John Massey
56. subwoofer

@Leigh- There's an "h" in weeee- wheeee? Why didn't you tell me I've been spelling it wrong all this time?

Alum- heh- WoT version of winning the lottery- imagine the possibilities- new car, vacation house in Tear, new palace, buying a new army- it goes on.

The reason I think it was a biggie was the further fleshing out of the First Clerk. Norry is cool. For a clerk. RJ's world is filled with a supporting cast that are like flashes of sunlight to break up the maudlin. Hurin, Norry, Fel, Uno, Bashere, that cranky First Maid that had Thom up in arms- "if given the chance she would have the Trollocs sweeping and cleaning", or words to that effect, Bela... these guys are real to me and make the WoT world go round despite the blundering of the main cast.

Elayne vs. Rand and the funding of the School. Heh, there was an Urban WotD yesterday that was all about this. Both doofs want this school to happen. Both Elayne and Rand want to leave something to survive the next Breaking. If they could only realize that they are on the same side and quit the petty squabbling.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?

Heh- Leigh- yur blog has me in chuckles as it soo mimics things in RL- I read this thing on "sh!t my dad says" and it went something like-"after monday and tuesday, even the calendar says WTF". Words to live by.

Not sure about the slap and tickle fest with the new Captain of the Guards- a blind man could see this coming a mile off, so why would Elayne be so oblivious?

John Massey
57. subwoofer
Oh yeah, Ny is still bags of awesome. Even with all the revelations of the bigger and better this and that, her finest moments are coming up. And nothing changes the fact that Ny rules all 'cause she is married to the Man! Getting Lan on a short leash has her head and shoulders above everyone else.

Alice Arneson
58. Wetlandernw
Ishmayl @7 - (and I'm sure others have chimed in by now) Something in me resonates with Egwene's decision to stay with the Three Oaths - in other words, some part of me both comprehends and agrees with her decision (based on what she knows), but I can't yet pull it up into the daylight and examine it, much less explain it. I doubt it can be explained to the satisfaction of many. Knowing all that we know, however, it's certainly very frustrating to see.

Have you been posting predictions over on the new TofM Predictions thread? You should, if you haven't.

And regarding "Yay, new post"ings - Yeah. I've only commented on it once before, but I've been noticing it for a year and a half now, and the eye-roll reaction hasn't noticably lessened. At least these days it seems to be limited to less than 5 such comments per thread, and sometimes there's only one. But I think there's always one. IIRC, there were times when you could skip the first ten or twenty, because it was all people trying to snag the first comment. ::shrug:: Whatever.
Lannis .
59. Lannis
Sub @ 57: I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that Nynaeve is still awesome because of her man... mostly because I don't start wars and also because I'm certain you're joking... you troll, you... ;)

Here, look, I brought some Baileys to the bunker. A nice glass on ice, ::hands one to subwoofer:: and we're all calm again. S'a big bottle folks, drink up!

Wet @ 58: I'm thinking you and I have been eye rolling in sync for a long time. ::pours a glass for Wetlander::
John Massey
60. subwoofer
Well- I'm not sayin', just sayin'- but it certainly does help. C'mon- you've heard the trophy wives go on- "my hubby's a lawyer" or "my hubby's a doctor" or "my hubby has a face that scares babies" or "my hubby play's pro sports". Let's face it- who else would tame the big lug if not Ny? And Ny is no trophy wife- lemme tell ya- but just from the pages IMHO- she is proud of being Lan's sweet baboo. As soon as she found out about the red dot- pwang.

And Ny is also the one that the Dragon went to for help cleansing Saidin. No small feat there. And don't forget the whole Golden Crane chapter. That was all Ny. She is beaucoup awesome just for that.

Lannis .
61. Lannis
Hookay, sub... I'll give you the cleansing and the Golden Crane...

But "trophy wife" sounds like you're planning on chopping off Nynaeve's braid and having Lan use it as his hadori...

I'm tossing my opinion of the de-awesome-ing of Nynaeve into the worldly education camp... you go abroad, you meet people, and suddenly things are not as they seem. Nynaeve's been taken down a peg because we as readers have learned more. Hell, if the Supergirls are shocked about the ages of the Kin, we can be shocked about there being a better Healer than basically-untrained Nynaeve, yes?

::sigh:: It just feels so wrong to say it...
Rob Trotter
62. shadar
Who says the raken / to'raken aren't shadowspawn? They were taken and subdued from the "armies of night" weren't they? We've seen the grolm inhabit a world where the trollocs won.. Why can't the Raken be shadowspawn as well.
John Massey
63. subwoofer
Well, there is always bigger and better out there. The world is always outdoing itself. Should RJ be any different.

Meh. I can deal. No one else has a better braid than Ny:P

John Massey
64. subwoofer
Yoiks! Double post dontcha know?

Hi Free-:: waves::

Agreed! Anyways ya slice it- Ny has it down. And the book is not all about her. Not even close. But she does make things interesting:)

ps- can't do cheese- but I'll take the wine;)

65. Freelancer

Ok, just stop that! I was going to write about how a long walk off a very short pier would leave someone barely up to their knees, and there you go again...

RE: Nynaeve and stuff. All you Nynaeve sycophants are going to have to face a harsh reality. She isn't the main character of this saga. She isn't even in the top six. To have her be #1 in several respects is imbalanced to her placement in the overall plot system. It was absolutely necessary to pull her back down the pecking order some. Don't worry, you'll live. And sniff. And tug braids. And glare. Maybe even cross your arms.

BTW, infusing realism into this fictional fantasy is one of the author's most outstanding attributes. Having three very strong ta'veren, including the Dragon Reborn, pop out of the same village as the youngest Amyrlin Seat ever, strains credulity enough. To then take the cratchety village "Wisdom", and make her the strongest, most prolific, most innovative channeler since the Age of Legends? Well, it had to be temporary.

And still, it is Nynaeve to whom Rand goes when he's got a major job to do. If she's stronger, why didn't Alivia get chosen to help with the Cleansing? It isn't as though she could do anything to harm Rand, he was guiding the channeling, she would be nothing more than a saidar ter'angreal for him to use, as Nynaeve was. Is it that Nynaeve is the woman channeler he trusts most in the world? No, I'd say he trusted Aviendha and Elayne just a wee bit more. Granted that Elayne is busy, but Aviendha would have gone to serve the Car'a'carn. So at the two largest-scale channeling events in the most recent thousands of years, Nynaeve is in the middle of both. I don't think her status in the story's history is under threat just because there's a couple of channeling ladies more powerful, or that there are a few who can Heal better.

Here, it's Gouda.
Lannis .
66. Lannis
Sweet! Cheese!

What we were whining about again? ;)

All you Nynaeve sycophants are going to have to face a harsh reality...

Free, for whatever reason, you go on a rant, and I giggle the whole time I read your words. Tee hee...
Barry T
67. blindillusion
crystalline-perfect hindsight, FTW!!!

Also, don't know if anyone else caught this, but:

Longtimefan - 26:
Re: Rand and Egwene (and in a way Fortuna,the Empress may she live forever and if she learns how to channel she may just get close much like Egwene if she drops the stupid 2nd and 3rd oaths since only one oath does not shorten ones life)
Actually, 1 Oath/binding would reduce one's life. It takes 3 or more to cause the "ageless" look Aes Sedai seem so fond of.
Q: Is it true that the Three Oaths is why Aes Sedai I thought it might be because, when you try to avoid the Three Oaths, you get a lot of dangerous situation ...

RJ: No…now you have to be careful with this, because this is a kind of spoiler for people that haven’t read far enough, but the Oath Rod is what was in the Age of Legends called a binder. It was used on criminals. If you committed a violent act, or some sort of criminal act, with a binder, someone who could channel could be constrained from ever doing that again, and the result of having three of the Oaths, is the ageless appearance. One would not produce agelessness, but even one would shorten life, and three of them put a cap on Aes Sedai’s lives, on how long they could live.

And I'm back....
68. Lurking Canadian
@25: there is a bit of Saidin in Saidar, and a bit of Saidar in Saidin.

I think the little dots in the yin-yang symbol are going to end up representing the fact that saidin is channeled through saidar and saidar is channeled through saidin. This is my pet theory about why women can Heal gentled men properly, but stilled women only imperfectly. We already know men can Heal stilled women properly, and I imagine men could only Heal a gentled man imperfectly also.

I think whatever gets severed is the same kind of tube that Rand makes during the Cleansing, just on a way smaller scale.
Richard Chapling
69. Chappers
On-topic: Is tea the only way to deliver forkroot? You'd think heavily-spiced wine would work just as well, and you wouldn't even taste it. Or spike the Seanchan's shipment of kaf?

@68 I had a similar theory, and a friend suggested that healing with the wrong side of the OP caused the "tube" to have a leak in it, hence the decrease in strength. He then suggested that there would be a problem with Stilling and Re-Unstilling (feel free to use that): the "break" you make in this "tube" might be in a different place from the first "break, so you end up not fixing anything. The other question is: would it be possible to Re-Unstill someone who had been incorrectly Unstilled without Re-Stilling first?

Er... that is,
Still -> bad Unstill -> ReUnstill,

rather than
Still -> bad Unstill -> ReStill -> proper ReUnstill.

I'm sure RJ had some sort of analogy he was working within, since he needed a way to describe shielding before it became just another Weave.

Less-on-topic: Okay, someone implied that the AS and the Asha'man would both live in the WT when they (hopefully...) merge. But what are they going to do to the colour of the Tower itself? It can't just be white any more...

Thoughts, people? Some sort of pattern, perhaps, like horizontal or vertical stripes, or a spiral, or perhaps zebra stripes or spots?

(What shape is the Tower, anyway? I've seen square- and round-based versions, and the map from the books ain't exactly clear.)

That came out much longer than expected...
Alice Arneson
70. Wetlandernw
jcmnyu @9, Leigh, and probably others... (still haven't got through all the comments. If someone else said it, sorry for the repeat.)

Oh, come on, now. They don't have coffee in Randland (only the Seanchan have kaf, which is presumably the same thing). When you want a nice hot drink, you get tea. And there are a zillion different kinds of tea. Just because someone fairly recently discovered an herb that can stop a woman from channeling, can you honestly think all Aes Sedai will stop drinking tea? It's not like forkroot is a well-known thing and widely available for the quick and easy spiking of AS teapots by random passers-by. Everyone in Randland drinks tea, and they aren't likely to stop because of three episodes of forkroot use.

I'm not even going to address the others; most (not all) have perfectly good instory reasons for not happening. Stupid reasons, perhaps, particularly from our vantage point, but reasons that are quite in character from their POV.
Scientist, Father
71. Silvertip
@39 Lannis re "axe-faced":

Think Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin. Narrow face, sharp features, air of malice. That's what it said to me, anyway.


Time for a maybe-loony theory that makes me unhappy:

I like Dyelin. I really do. I really want her to be just what she seems, someone in whom love of country is way ahead of personal ambition. I really want this chapter to be a simple MoA for her. And yet ...

Presumably the three assassins didn't know the plot to kill Elayne was designed to be foiled, since its foiling involved them getting most sincerely dead. From the way it's written, it seems to me that, if Dyelin hadn't intervened, they actually would have succeeded in killing Elayne before Hanlon arrived to, apparently, save the day.

Poor planning on somebody's part, to rely not just on the chance of Dyelin's presence but on her heroism?

Or did the order-giver (Forsaken, high-up DF, whoever) *know* that Dyelin would be there and what she would do? In other words, could Dyelin be a darkfriend, playing a very long game to be in a position of close influence to the Andoran throne?

We all think that "a plan succeeds" refers to Hanlon's promotion. But he was under suspicion very quickly, if not already at this time ("keep your enemies closer") and could only cause so much mischief. Maybe the establishment of Dyelin's bona fides was the real Plan, which has completely succeeded even as of the end of tGS?

Elayne kicking herself for doubting Dyelin's loyalty would be just the sort of irony RJ would love to put in in such a situation.

(One counterargument: Hanlon can't know that she's a DF, or he would surely have given her up under questioning). (Counterargument two: She could likely have managed to be queen herself. But we've seen several examples of DFs preferring to be the power behind the throne).

I want to be wrong, I want to be wrong, bleh bleh bleh. Somebody convince me I'm wrong please.

Theresa Gray
72. Terez27
Ishmayl@7 - in answer to your question:

Interview with Maria Simons 10 June 2010 - Luckers reporting

Luckers: Was Egwene's 180 on the issue of the Oath Rod a natural change of mind, or was she influenced to it by Halima?
Maria: That was Egwene, influenced by Siuan, doing her best to be the best Aes Sedai EVAR.

Glad to have that cleared up at last.

@all - Who thinks 'bind the nine moons to serve him' might refer to the Oath Rod?
Amir Noam
73. Amir
Lurking Canadian@68:
saidin is channeled through saidar and saidar is channeled through saidin. This is my pet theory about why women can Heal gentled men properly, but stilled women only imperfectly.

I like this theory very much. It does explain things nicely and is easy to visualize.
Amir Noam
74. Amir
Re Egwene and the Oath Rod:

I think that her change of view regarding the Oaths is very natural, following her conversation with Siuan in chapter 15 of TPoD:
"They are what make us Aes Sedai, not saidar. Any wilder can channel. Men may look at what we say from six sides, but when a sister says, ‘This is so,’ they know it’s true, and they trust. Because of the Oaths. Because of the Oaths, no queen fears that sisters will lay waste to her cities. The worst villain knows he’s safe in his life with a sister unless he tries to harm her. Oh, the Whitecloaks call them lies, and some people have strange ideas about what the Oaths entail, but there are very few places an Aes Sedai cannot go, and be listened to, because of the Oaths."

I have to admit that Siuan does make a very good case here. Oh, I still think it's stupid to cut your life span in half and to refrain from making weapons on the eve of the Last Battle. But Siuan does have a point, and she clearly had convinced Egwene. I think that Egwene's idea of having AS retire to the Kin with the Oaths removed is very creative and smart as it solves two of her problems at once.
Birgit F
75. birgit
I've always thought that it's interesting how some readers see the need to have Rand and Nynaeve (as well as the other young-uns) be "the best" in whatever field they respectively have.

At the same time people complain that it is unrealistic that some kids discover all that new stuff that the AS haven't come up with in centuries.
The AS are indoctrinated that experimenting is bad (Ishy's influence?), but other channeler groups don't follow these rules. It is only natural that someone in the Kin experimented with Healing when they all take turns as red belts in Ebou Dar. The AS only remember battlefield first aid from the AOL. Ny learned Healing on her own as her Wilder "trick" and is more open to experimenting, but she has only been channeling consciously for a short time.

They don't have coffee in Randland (only the Seanchan have kaf, which is presumably the same thing). When you want a nice hot drink, you get tea

They also drink hot mulled wine. Forkroot tastes like mint tea, other kinds of tea should be safe.
Theresa Gray
76. Terez27
RE: The Oaths: there's an undercurrent to what Maria said, I think, and it's much along the lines of what I have argued before: Egwene was motivated less by conviction and more by a desire to be 'the best Aes Sedai EVAR'.

More to the point, I think that Egwene knows that Siuan is one of the most ruthless of the Aes Sedai, one of the most willing to bend the Oaths to suit the situation. I think it honestly shocked Egwene, how vehement she was about the Oaths. I don't think that Egwene ever changed her mind about how useless the Oaths are - there are hints of that in COT when she is on the riverbank with Bryne - but she has realized that she has to take baby steps with the matter of the Oaths because those who have been indoctrinated at the Tower feel very strongly about those Oaths, even religiously. So she has reconciled herself with them because she wants to lead them, and she had a hard enough time with the baby steps when she suggested it to Romanda...but rather importantly, I think, Myrelle and Maigan seemed interested in Egwene's idea about retiring into the Kin, and Egwene was happy about that. She is trying to coax them away from the Oaths, a little bit at a time.

Siuan's words - that the Oaths are 'what it is to be Aes Sedai' - came back to Egwene's mind several times, without her really elaborating much on what she thought about those words specifically. But she understood that Siuan meant them, and that the Aes Sedai all saw it that way. I think she means to change how they see things - how they see 'what it is to be Aes Sedai'; I got the impression on the riverbank that the idea of the Aes Sedai being defined by those Oaths angers her at least a little bit - but I think she accepted that she had to take another approach than to simply decree it, like Elaida did so often. Egwene decreed a few things - the age limit being removed, and raising Nynaeve, Elayne, Theodrin and Faolain to Aes Sedai - but she drew the line with the Oaths because she knew that the Aes Sedai would not accept it right away. Elaida could never see that. Or at least, she only saw it when it was Alviarin's orders; I love how she doesn't think until she puts the final words on Alviarin's Anathema Decree how much damage it will cause. :)

And finally, Egwene is well aware that channelers are unbound by the Oaths in other societies, and they have respected positions in their societies. The Kin, the Wise Ones, the Windfinders - all of them are unbound, and respected, though the Kin try to keep their channeling a secret. The Aes Sedai are bound by the Oaths, but from the beginning of the series, with Tam telling telling Rand: 'Tell me what she said. Her exact words, mind, just as she said them.' Thom re-emphasizes the point several times in the first few books. From nearly the beginning, we know Aes Sedai can't be trusted. Anyone who has any dealings with them knows that.

Another thing that Thom emphasizes is that it's Aes Sedai who invented the Game in the first place. That's largely because of the First Oath, IMO. Sometimes it is extremely inconvenient to be unable to lie - sometimes, it could be life-threatening, even - so of course the Aes Sedai have become quite practiced at bending the truth, and have gotten quite the reputation for being manipulative, partly for that reason. It has become second nature to them. I believe Egwene intends to lead Aes Sedai down the path of being a little more straightforward, but I don't believe she will feel totally safe doing it until after the Last Battle.
77. Freelancer
You want a White/Black Tower?

As to the shape of the White tower, it is round, without question. Though there are balconies and such, it is also general smooth in shape. And pretty much White, you know.

RE: Nynaeve learning to channel saidin. I'm going to call looney on this one. During her Accepted test, Nynaeve becomes aware of the effect of whatever Aginor is doing. His channeling is impacting the local environment somehow, and it is palpable. She is not actually detecting the weaves, just as you don't see wind, but you see what it causes. Jordan answered enough questions about the male/female aspects of channeling, and was completely consistent about the separations involved, up to and including that Balthamel/Aran'Gar/Halima continued to have access only to saidin in spite of being in a woman's body. I'd suggest that he would hedge a bit more around the topic if there was a way for someone to actually access the opposite half. In fact, that itself would be inconsistent with the yin-yang symbol of opposites residing together, but not mixing.


Being described as axe-faced or hatchet-faced, primarily implies a long, narrow, pointed nose and an elongated cranium, thought the nose can be enough to earn the adjective. Keille Shaogi (Lanfear) is described as extremely round and fat of body and head, but is also described as hatchet-nosed. Daved Hanlon is also described as hatchet-faced, and in other places as having long and narrow nose.

Sorry if I made a hatchet-job of that, I'm really bummed about something else right now, but you axed.


You're not right. Dyelin is just what she seems. A great friend to Morgase, a competent woman who heads a very influential Andoran house, someone whose national patriotism outshines her personal ambition. You know, someone honorable. I get why some can't believe it.


Thank you. I was intending to go hunting on that score, with all of the suggestions that Halima implanted the idea with Egwene to ensure that they'd keep themselves "bound like criminals". It isn't that, it's Egwene's consistent nature of assimilating as fully as possible into the environment of the moment. Visit the tuatha'an? Go Leaf! Study with Wise Ones? Go ji'e'toh! Have Siuan for her secret advisor? Go Oath Rod!

I don't think Rand would force the Oath Rod on someone, as it is a form of imprisonment, and it's not his style. The possibility is intriguing, though. Perhaps a challenge, a dare of sorts, in the quest to prove that she is really marath-damane. The thing is, she has already admitted being a potential channeler, I'm not sure she'd fall for such a gag.
Jonathan Levy
78. JonathanLevy
It’s also a trifle odd that Jordan doesn’t mention (Alum's) ascribed medicinal qualities, which from what I can tell was by far its most common use before the Industrial Revolution

Jordan has this strange idea that a pre-industrial village healer was pretty much as effective as a modern pharmacy. Their herbs can cure pneumonia (Thom), serious fevers (Egwene), and prevent pregnancies (heartleaf tea). That's why we don't see the strange and sometimes dangerous remedies used by doctors before the late 19th century (e.g. leeches, mercury, or alum).

Why are we systematically de-awesomeing my girl Nynaeve, WOT?

Part of growing up is knowing that no matter how good/smart/strong you are, you're going to meet someone better in your life, and you have to deal with it.

Mean Uncle: Maybe Slayer was just staring pole-axed at Nynaeve's ki’sain? When was the last time he'd seen one? Imagine travelling through Africa for 20 years and finding an artifact from your hometown in the least likely place.

More strange is that Luc doesn't try to kill them. He's already loosed an arrow twice (I think) at the supergirls who stumbled into him in T'A'R. Nynaeve was one of those - but Slayer was Isam then, so she doesn't recognize him.

I always thought that "knowing the Amyrlin's anger" was going to be how angry Egwene was at Galina putting Rand in the box and that would cause Rand to see Egwene in a different light.

I think that's a great idea. There's some foreshadowing of it in KoD or tGS where Egwene is imprisoned in the tower dungeons, and thinks that this is what Rand must have felt like.


As for Nynaeve and Saidin, I don't buy it. Yes, Nynaeve feels something in the test. So? Egwene had an ageless face without swearing the oaths. The test also reflects what people believe, not just what might be. Nynaeve comes to her test knowing nothing at all about Saidar and Saidin. She might very well not realize that it wasn't possible to anticipate a flow of Saidin by feeling something.
She might also be right - note that Lanfear manages to break up anything Rand sends at her, without channeling Saidin.

Mellar/Hanlon, the "axe-faced" guardsman... Okay... am I alone in having NO idea what this means in reference to physical appearance?

I interpret it like this: The profile of his face - brow, nose, lips, chin - forms a circular arc. The key is to have a nose of the right shape and size. Best example I can think of is Auda Abu Tayi from Lawrence of Arabia: watch?v=abI8cdLvJp8

If you ever get The Question, let me know.

You too, Brutus?
Theresa Gray
79. Terez27
@freelancer - I wasn't thinking that Rand would be the one to bind her, necessarily. If we are to take Rand healing 'wounds of madness and cutting of hope'....it could be that both refer to the taint on saidin, but the last part seems to me more likely to refer to severing, and it was not Rand that Healed severing, but Nynaeve and Damer Flinn. So perhaps it will be Egwene who binds the nine moons to serve him. Perhaps it is implicit in the marriage, but I think it will take more than that.

One thing that I have mentioned before is that both Egwene and Mat have portrayed as sharp bargainers. Egwene's fate is tied to Tuon's, as per the hawk stretching out its wing to touch her. It could be Berelain, but since we already know that Egwene will be saved by a Seanchan woman with a sword (Justice? Tuon?), then Tuon seems more likely to me, especially since Justice is such an important sword, and it was the most solid thing in the viewing.

I also think that the truce with the Seanchan will involve Tuon being in charge. She believes this is her destiny. Whether this will be a temporary truce or a full completion of her Consolidation, the bargain will also involve her conceding the damane issue. Since it seems highly unlikely that Tuon could free all the damane before the Last Battle, Egwene will no doubt want some assurances, and that is where the Oath Rod comes in. Egwene need not tell her that it only works on women that can channel, or anything else about it for that matter. ;)

Rand might be involved, but I tend to see this happening while he is dead. Maybe in secret after he comes back. Elayne and the other rulers would have to be convinced, but that is probably where Mat's ta'verenness comes in.
Jonathan Levy
80. JonathanLevy
...it's Egwene's consistent nature of assimilating as fully as possible into the environment of the moment. Visit the tuatha'an? Go Leaf! Study with Wise Ones? Go ji'e'toh! Have Siuan for her secret advisor? Go Oath Rod!

I've always thought that this is one of those things which showcases Jordan's skill as a writer. Egwene is consistent in this behavior over 11 books. Jordan must have planned this trait from the beginning, and stuck to it admirably. Much too often (in other writers) characters discover a trait when the plot requires it, and have it immediately discarded. Do that too often with too many characters, and they become interchangeable. Not so in WoT, even though all the women sniff/snort/pull braids/berate.
Kev Hamm
81. cavynmaicl
Jonathan Levy @ 78

Perhaps. I'd held off on that theory for many books, but this seemed the time to bring it up as we're coming up on where it would be effective. Nynaeve will have her first exposure to Saidin at the cleansing. After that, who knows what she can sense about it, if anything new at all. I kinda think she will.

Freelancer @ 77

Reread the passage I quoted @33 as it covered what she sensed, which is more than the effects, it's the production. Granted, it's in the Acceptotron, but it's still more than recognizing wind by seeing trees bending in a breeze.

Lurking Canadian @ 68

Your theory on the dots in the yin-yang is good. I don't think it's enough to justify them, as the yin-yang dots signify the basic truth that "we are both ourselves and our opposites", not just "we are ourselves through our opposites" but it's better than nothing and more likely than mine.

Something totally off the wall I was thinking about, but it kinda ties into this:

Black and white are opposite (duh) but the same. Really.

In additive color (ink), black is produced by mixing all colors together.
In refractive colors (light), white is produced by mixing all colors together.
In additive color, white is the absence of color.
In refractive color, black is the absence of color.

Science! Had to share.
Kurt Lorey
82. Shimrod
@71 Silvertip.

I have a difficult time taking Dyelin at face value as well, but I have said most of what makes me think so Here.

The problem remains that without either a Dyelin PoV or some other character explaining anything, there is no real corroboration either way. It's an example of RAFO at its finest.
Amir Noam
83. Amir
Jonathan Levy @78:
Maybe Slayer was just staring pole-axed at Nynaeve's ki’sain? When was the last time he'd seen one? Imagine travelling through Africa for 20 years and finding an artifact from your hometown in the least likely place.

I like this theory. Very subtle if indeed true. I can see Jordan going for this.

And speaking of consistent character traits (@80), it was indeed fortunate that Masema could drop off his OP-phobia when The Plot demanded :-)
Jay Dauro
84. J.Dauro
Terez27 @ 76

I'm not convinced than Egwene is convinced that something has to be done about the Oaths, but feels that she has to take baby steps to do it.

She is alone in this chapter with Elayne and Nyneave when she says
Egwene raised one hand as if to stop her, but her reply was calm and level. "There's no need to think further, Elayne. The Three Oaths, sworn on the Oath Rod, are what make us Aes Sedai. I didn't see that, at first, but I do, now. The very first day we have the Tower, I will swear the Three Oaths, on the Oath Rod."
"I don't ask anything." Egwene's face was still smooth, but her back had straightened, her voice cooled. And hardened. Her eyes augered deep. "Any woman who wants to be a sister will swear. And anyone who refuses and still calls herself Aes Sedai will feel the full weight of Tower justice."
I have to think if she was going to take "baby steps" she would be more candid with those two.
Lannis .
85. Lannis
Silvertip @71: Thanks. :)

Free @77: Nice pic... and thanks! And... I have no puns.

Jonathan Levy @ 78: Thanks. And I like your Slayer/ki'sain theory...

Re: Tea. FWLIW, if I was an AS in Randland, I'd still be drinking tea regardless of the knowledge of forkroot. Mint is a rather zippy flavour that (I'd like to think but am obviously wrong re: the text at hand) the Supergirls should recognize waaay before it becomes potent enough in their system to become an issue...

Epic fail, Elayne. EPIC FAIL!

Okay, so the strength of the brew will have something to do with it... ::grumble grumble::
Theresa Gray
86. Terez27
J.Dauro@84 - I believe that her thoughts on the subject in COT are more relevant than what she says to Elayne and Nynaeve. She doesn't need to take baby steps with them; she only needs to assert her authority as Amyrlin, now that she has made up her mind on the path to take.
Amir Noam
87. Amir
Epic fail, Elayne. EPIC FAIL!


What's next? Egwene trying on a stylish new necklace shown to her by a nice peddler with a slurred accent?
Amir Noam
88. Amir
On the other hand, Egwene has no problems discussing with Elayne and Nynaeve her plans of making all channeling women anywhere connected to the Tower, even though this too will create much resentment among the AS.
John Massey
89. subwoofer
Drink tea?

Bugger it- I'll skip right past and go for the mead.

To rod or not to rod- hmmmmmmmmm?

Well, bigger question is- who wants to live forever?... Other than the Forsaken (allure of the Dark Side, yo) Isn't 300 years enough? Is it really nec. to have realllly long lives and then stretch it beyond? We have already heard about the passage of time to make it tough to marry. So what now? They hook up with male channelers and pass the eons away? Meh. The special powers- check- fancy ring- check. Isn't that enough? And human's are not wired to live long. IMHO Cranky Pants has already become bonkers. We need a bunch of folks like her running around? Leave the longevity to the Ogier, they have it down to a science. Let's not all get greedy- we are not talking about dying at 30 and having the chance to live to see 50 here.

Marcus W
90. toryx
Chappers @ 69:

Mixing a minty flavored substance with wine? Ewww.

Wetlandernw @ 70:

I think you're taking the tea comments a little (or a lot) more seriously than those of us are talking about how Elayne should only be drinking wine. :)

Well, okay, I can't speak for others but that is definitely true for myself.

And like Lannis @ 85 I'd keep drinking tea but avoid anything that even smells like mint. Heck, I'd ask Dyelin to taste it first. "Does this taste like mint to you?"
Rob Munnelly
91. RobMRobM
toryx @90 - you could invent winejitos.
Tess Laird
92. thewindrose
So now the people who have been questioning what Dyelins true colors are have me wondering. Now I know what I am looking for tonight when I get home!
Also, with the Hanlon plot being so obvious, I can see RJ using it to hide Dyelin being a darkfriend(and becoming a very trusted and close advisor of Elayne) being the real plan that succeeds.

The Oath Rod and Egwene = best AS Evar - makes total sense to me. It will be fun to see the Aes Sedai reaction to finding out it is actually a criminal binder! **Crossing fingers that it happens on screen:)**

I don't think it takes a lot of forkroot to effect a channler. Look at the Shaido Wise Ones at Malden. And the Seanchan are making everyone drink forkroot tea when they leave or come into one of their areas.

Jonathan Levy @78
Mean Uncle: Maybe Slayer was just staring pole-axed at Nynaeve's ki’sain? When was the last time he'd seen one? Imagine travelling through Africa for 20 years and finding an artifact from your hometown in the least likely place.
That is a good one! I like it.

James Hogan
93. Sonofthunder
I don't think I've said this before, but I have severe doubts that the majority of the Aes Sedai are going to summon up the necessary humility to demote themselves from the elite status of Aes Sedai to the society of the..."Kin". I'm sorry, I just don't see it. Every single time Egwene brought it up, I think it's a terrible idea, just because of its lack of feasibility.

In my opinion, the Oaths just need to be banned forever. I sort of understand the need for them, in the sense of, "If we're going to be a channeling organization that pulls the strings of THE WORLD, I guess we have to put some restrictions on ourselves." But I also think being a channeling organization that pulls the strings of the world is silly in and of itself. Be servants, AS. Servants.

And @a few, sorry if saying "yay new post" was offensive...I can't help that I just happened to check Tor at the right time and actually had time to post as well, can I?

Also, I really really really really hope Dyelin isn't a DF. She's awesome and I massively appreciate her ability to put her country's ambitions before her own. Can't that be motivation enough?
Marcus W
94. toryx
RobM @ 91:

Just a step away from creating margarita wine coolers. Someone needs to bring the chips and salsa!
Maiane Bakroeva
95. Isilel

How can you say that Nynaeve is not one of the six main characters?! She most certainly is. This series has 6 main characters, of which Rand is clearly more important than the other 5, who all have the same level of importance.

Re: de-awesoming of Nynaeve - she is my third most favorite character after Moiraine and Rand, but it doesn't bother me in the least.
In fact, I never liked this whole aspect of our heroes getting powers completely out of the blue and immediately becoming the best ever. Only Rand has good justification for that.

Talent and instinct are all well and good, but it makes sense to me that when they are coupled with knowledge, skill and experience, they trump the cases when they are not. Not how it works in WoT, for the most part, of course.

Oh, and I always felt that channeling being a science in AoL seriously contradicts the SGs and AMs discovering all manner of revolutionary stuff on pure instinct and without any knowledge of theory whatsoever. And not only that, but they also usually succeed at the very first attempt. A fresh look at the problem should only take you so far, IMHO.

Teh supreme power is not what should make heroes heroes, anyway.

I was very annoyed at Egwene's flip-flopping re: the Oath Rod here, because it is completely false IMHO that 3 Oaths make an AS.
Certain behavior standards, worldview and shared ordeals is what makes AS different from other channelers, as we have seen again and again.

For instance - theft, nepotism, amassing of wealth, etc. are not forbidden by the oaths, yet we never saw any Light-side AS engaging in such things. Moreover, Oaths do not force them to provide Healing to people, but we have seen them do so, even at risk to themselves or when their enemies are concerned (i.e. the AS with Mat trying to convince him to let them Heal Seanchan soldiers). Etc.

And plan of retirement into the Kin is idiotic, IMHO.
Scientist, Father
96. Silvertip
@82 Shimrod:

thanks, I had missed your earlier post. Looking at the scenario as you worked it out, in much more careful detail than I had, I think again the biggest problem (or perhaps: testable prediction) is that the plot wouldn't seem to work unless Hanlon knew Dyelin was dark. Which means that, as of the end of KoD, putative-DF Dyelin's position would be in serious jeopardy. If we learn early in ToM that Hanlon has been mysteriously killed in his cell before he can talk, I'm really going to start to wonder.

There's lots of reasons to think/hope that Dyelin is authentically admirable, but I can't quite summon @Freelancer's confidence. As you said, Shimrod, a classic RAFO!

@ subwoofer: "And human's are not wired to live long. IMHO Cranky Pants has already become bonkers. We need a bunch of folks like her running around?"

ROFLMAO! (Not that I'm a Cadsuane hater, but one of her is plenty).

Tricia Irish
97. Tektonica

If you're bringing margarita and wine coolers (not mixed, yech.) and chips and salsa, someone (Sub) needs to bring the Bowl of the Winds...;-)

I hope Egwene comes to her senses about the Oath Rod. I like Terez's thinking on her motivations, her baby steps, and her need to consolidate power behind her new position....however.....I did think she was pretty adamant with Elayne and Nynaeve about needing to swear on the OR, and I took that to mean she'd dug in her heals on this one. Her cameleon nature strikes again, as Free pointed out. I do hope she finds her own voice, instead of trying on all these other peoples' cultures.

Integrate, Egwene! Make your thoughts your own!

I too hope Dyelin isn't a DF. It would be so nice and refreshing if someone was just a plain ol' nice person, acting for the good of all, selfless and helpful. The argument for her being a DF is compelling. Sigh. RAFO.
Rob Munnelly
98. RobMRobM
Argument for Dyelin as DF is very uncompelling IMHO. "Killers" virtually had to be told (or compelled) that the Daughter Heir was not to be harmed under any circumstance. Perhaps they were told is was to a kidnapping rather than an assassination. Absent this type of control on the "killers," far too high a risk that Elayne would be dead even if both Dyelin and Hanlon were DFs. With this protection, however, Hanlon could enter and save Elayne at whatever point he deems appropriate, irrespective of presence of Dyelin. Occam would be hard pressed to deal with unrestrained killers and the need for Hanlon and Dyelin to act in perfect congruity in order to save Elayne. Not buying it.

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

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

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

The Oaths as Mission Statement(not in order):

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

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

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

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

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

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

In combination, the Oaths give the Aes Sedai a moral authority that is significant, allow them to coexist with normal society without fear of pitchforks and torches, and allow them to dedicate themselves to a purpose beyond their own needs.
a a-p
100. lostinshadow
Terez, while I agree with your argument that Egwene swtiched her opinion on the three oaths largely due to her wish to become the bestest AS evar, I think you are giving her too much credit about phasing it out by baby steps.

She is too emphatic about it with Nyn and Elayne in the scene quoted above and I also think it would not really be consistent with her character. Egwene wholeheartedly throws herself into the culture of the moment without really anlayzing the pros and cons so if Siuan, the ultimate AS convinced her that this is how all AS feel, Eggs would be easily converted.

Then again I freely admit that I may be a bit close minded due to my Egwene prejudice.
Barry T
101. blindillusion
Isilel -
And plan of retirement into the Kin is idiotic, IMHO.
Couldn't agree more...especially because it wouldn't do anything to add to the lifespan of an Aes Sedai. Per the quote I listed above (67), 3 "bindings" puts a cap on how long someone could live.

Then again, condensing the 3 Oaths into 1 Oath could possibly help in this regard, but for those who have already taken the 3 Oaths...well, they're pretty much up that proverbial creek sans paddle.

Unless, of course, one were willing to sever oneself in order to be Healed by a channeler of the opposite gender....

Oh, the conundrums abound. =)
102. MasterAlThor
And now it's a party. That's right just cuz I showed up.

Deal with it and have fun.


I take umbrage with Rand kneeling to anyone. He is the leader of the forces of Light. He is the savior of the world. He is the hero of the story.

Kneeling to anyone else would make him less. We can't have that.

You can say that the people who follow them (Tuon and Egwene) would be more willing to follow him if he bent knee, but I say that is total crap.

Rand has to stand above them. Tuon can't save the world and neither can Egwene. That's why they are not equals and can never be.


How ya doing brother? Ok, you are the man. Keep on keeping on with you assessment of Nynaeve. I am enjoying it. Do you have more? Wait a sec....I gotta get my popcorn.


Gasp!!!! I never thought of that. Do you have more on this thought or are you fishing for thoughts?

That's all for now....

Jonathan Levy
103. JonathanLevy
And speaking of consistent character traits (@80), it was indeed fortunate that Masema could drop off his OP-phobia when The Plot demanded :-)

That wasn't Jordan's fault, it was accidentally switched off!
104. MasterAlThor
Also, whoever may be interested in playing some fantasy football, hit me up in the shout box.

diane heath
105. jadelollipop
I hate the whole Captain of the Guard plotline. Okay Elayne cannot let it be known that Rand is the father of her kids. But her solution is way worse. (It echoes too much of Morgase under Rahvin for one) Why did she think it a good idea to let the public think she was pregnant by that DF Captain character....yecch
diane heath
106. jadelollipop
Re: Nynaeve. She became Yellow Ajah so she could learn more about Healing. Now with others being better than her,she can be taught new things in her field. She has already shown an ability to extrapolate new remedies from old knowledge (Healing anyone?) She commented herself that she was untrained in AS (direct to Accepted and AS without the test and Oath Rod)
107. Freelancer

Your statements show that black and white are opposites indeed, not "opposite, but the same".

In terms of light, pure white is the equal reflection/refraction of all visible wavelengths, whereas pure black is the reflection/refraction of none of the visible wavelengths. In terms of pigment, pure white is the absence of color, whereas pure black is the equal presence of all colors. FWIW, the visible spectrum is ~ 400-740nm.


And of course, now I have That song in my head.


Well, I was about to write it differently, and then inspiration struck. I said to myself, how can I spin up Isilel first thing in the morning? Yeah, that's the ticket.
Matthew Smith
108. blocksmith
Wetlander@55 and Freelancer@65

Game, set, match. Clearly I should have said..."long walk off of a short pier at the edge of the Laurentian Abyss" (or that place Egeanin was supposed to drop the male a'dam in).

I believe that (if) when the Asha'man and Aes Sedai join, it shall be renamed the Oreo Tower and all shall kneel before it with a glass of milk.
109. EarthandIce
@ 78 Here is the Question, and maybe the Answer

I might be back after reading the rest of the comments.
Tess Laird
110. thewindrose
blocksmith @108 - Mothers milk in a cup?!

James Hogan
111. Sonofthunder

It's almost lunchtime here and I am simply ravenous so I could seriously go for a few Oreos and a nice tall, cold glass of milk. My appetite has been redoubled now. Thanks. ;)
Heidi Byrd
112. sweetlilflower
@jcmnyu wayyyy up at 13:

Your post got me thinking and I agree. I posted something on the Prediction thread, but I'll repost here.

1) Elaida foretold that the Dragon would know the Amrylin's anger
2) Elaida assumed that it would be the Amrylin mad AT the dragon
3) Elaida is NEVER correct in her intrepretations of her Foretellings
4) Ergo, Egwene will not be mad AT Rand

Kurt Lorey
113. Shimrod
@98 RobMRobM

Really? Please explain why the three putative assassins had to be told/compelled not to harm Elayne? That is an unnnecessary level of complexity. From Hanlon's point of view there is no need, since he is holding most of the cards anyway.

He approaches with the assassins. They go in. He waits for a few moments. Goes in. Takes a huge swing at assassin #1, almost decapitating him. Throws his sword right thru #2, and draws a poisoned blade to finish off #3. Hanlon is an adept enough fighter to be able to overcome three "assassins" of dubious experience and skill (after all, at least one was described as "young"). And, he already knew exactly what (and who) to expect inside.

So, we end up with four blades, not three. What is one more blade, more or less? Easily missed why there had to be four blades found, and not three.

To address @96 Silvertip's concern. Hanlon wouldn't need to know whether any DF was inside, or not. It is my opinion that Dyelin was there as a distraction from the "minty tea". Which worked, btw. Unnecessary for Hanlon's part. Elayne being alone would have worked as well for Hanlon, as not. Besides, she usually was alone.

Hanlon mentioned that he heard men shouting, as to the why he came into the room. Dyelin would know that for a lie, as should Elayne, if her head had been clear enough. But, the readers haven't seen a scene with a recovered Dyelin discussing the attack with anyone. So, that is still up in the air.

The only thing that bothers me are the inconsistencies connected to Dyelin. They haven't been explained away by PoV or plot, and there is nothing in the books that say, one way or the other.

Still, take solace in the fact that the much larger consensus says she is on the side of the Light.
Noneo Yourbusiness
114. Longtimefan
@ 102 MasterAlThor:

Hello. It is perfectly reasonable to want the Hero of the story to be the highest of all and the leader of all.

As someone mentioned before (many someones, many times) Rand is, in some ways, a Messiah character.

There is another Messiah character whom I tend not to bring up because I understand the value is great is some hearts and I do not want to trivialize the importance placed.

However in this case I will say that what I can remember from 8 years of Catholic school is that some Heroes understood the value of being humble on occasion.

In washing the feet of one's followers there are lessons in leadership to be learned.

Again I am not saying that I personally want Rand to grovel before anyone. I am saying that since it is already hinted at from prophecies and visions that reveal the weaveing of the pattern should it happen it would be a way of confering the leadership of people upon those who will survive as he makes his sacrifice so the world may live.

To lead sometimes one must be able to follow.

and while I am here I will say my bad about the oath rod thing.

I remember there was something about the three making it worse than just one by itself but I could not remember the math.

and in adjunct to that with the long lifeness.

People are remarkable in their adaptability. I would think that if enough people lived for long periods of time they would learn how to be gracious around short lifers. Cadsuane as a person may not have ever had the temperment to deal with foolishness and the longer one lives the more foolish younger people can seem.

Some of the other Sisters and Kin have lived over 200 years and they are not all unpleasant and demanding. Some are even characters that a few readers like.

Cadsuane is Cadsuane. Her fictional development as a character should not hang all other fantasy based extended life span people with her. :)

And in an unrelated note, Dyelin is great and I am putting my fingers in my ears so I cannot hear the "Dyelin may be a darkfriend" arguments.

la la la, I can't hear you.

(would it be "blink blink blink, I can't read you" on the internet?)

Unless Dyelin is Demandred..... Then I am totally on board with that theory.

Who would suspect? It is the perfect crime! hahahahaha.
Kurt Lorey
115. Shimrod
@114 Longtimefan

Dyelin = Demandred?

That just craacked me up! Thanks for the big smile.
116. EarthandIce
Ok, in the Age of Legends was the Aes Sedai the central government? Or was it an advisory organization? Why would a culture use the ability to channel as the pre-requisite for government service?

The Oaths were put in place so the common people and the future rulers would think they could trust Aes Sedai. How many of us have experienced first hand how someone can lie by omission or use the tone of voice to create doubt when telling the truth.

Trust is such a major component in the whole story theme as pointed out with Tam's questioning of Rand in TEoW and Thom's comments. And in addition, if you believe something is true, it is true to you even if another person know it to be false.

In Path of Daggers Ch 26 Zerah believes the Red Ajah set up false dragons and was chocking to death because she was told to say the opposite.

As far as what Rand does after Tarmon Gaidon, he never wanted to have the power he has, he knows he is the only one who can DO it so he muddles along the best he knows how. I think he will retire on a sheep farm somewhere.
Rob Munnelly
117. RobMRobM
Shim - I'm concerned, and the DFs should have been concerned, about possibility of success where three people are trying to kill the DH with only one person guaranteed to be there trying to stop them -- and that "stopper" giving the three assassins a head start into the room. I just have trouble believing there was no safeguard in place to prevent them from killing her, such as some compulsion instructions from one of the BA or a out and out directive not to kill her. I could be wrong and it might just be that the plan was just dumber than it appears to be on first blush. In any event, I don't see Dyelin as a DF in this context.

Ron Garrison
118. Man-0-Manetheran
chappers@69: "The other question is: would it be possible to Re-Unstill someone who had been incorrectly Unstilled without Re-Stilling first?

Er... that is,
Still -> bad Unstill -> ReUnstill,
rather than
Still -> bad Unstill -> ReStill -> proper ReUnstill."

I think you really would need to erase the hard drive and do a Clean ReUnstill.

Seriously, I like Lurking Canadian@68's theory. Fits nicely with the main theme.

birgit@75: "Forkroot tastes like mint tea, other kinds of tea should be safe." True, but I wouldn't invest in mint tea futures... Forkroot mixed with mint would be a perfect foil.

sweetlilflower@112: Perfectly reasoned out. Move to the head of the class.

LooneyTheory #9056739275: Dyelin killed Asmodean!!!
Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
Wow. I am so behind on reading the comments... So I'm going to post on what I've gotten to so far, and keep reading when I can. I'll hope I'm not repeating what everyone else has said...

Randalator @18 -
Elayne: "Hey, guys. I'm here, let's get with the crowning and the queen being and the ruling and all..."
All: "Ok, whatevs..."
Guy on the left: "Just like that? Weren't there tons of issues to-"
All: "Yay!"
LOL!! Yeah, that would be pretty lame. Instead of people complaining about reading the Succession plot, we'd have people complaining that Elayne had it too easy.

Fiddler @32 - You may be right in the derivations - or not - but the "der" at the beginning means "master" indicating both experience and rank. They use the same thing for animal trainers, except that there it's a "morat" instead of a "sul" - as near as I can tell, it's only the damane "handlers" that have the "sul" tag. For the grolm, lopar, raken, etc, the handlers are called "morat'grolm" etc. and the higher-ups are "der'morat'grolm" etc. Interestingly enough, with the animals they seem to use the full name (grolm, torm, lopar, raken, to'raken, corlm) and only with the women is it shortened from "damane" to "dam". Whatever that proves. :) Obviously I was having fun poking around in the BBoBA...

fledge @35 I think you've hit upon Nynaeve's best strength--her intelligence. I'd add to that, her stubbornness. I know it can be annoying, but it's only when you combine her intelligence with her stubborn refusal to admit that something can't be done that you get the amazing results like Healling stilling/gentling. Stubbornness is a funny trait - it drives people around you crazy, but when you think of it as "tenacity" it's the thing that is most common to great innovators. "It ought to work, so I will make it work." It also requires a certain amount of mental flexibility - not something you normally think of with Nynaeve, because at a conscious level she's not terribly flexible, but... Here's a thought. Nynaeve is very much what Rand needs to be - strong, stubborn and intelligent, but at the core, very flexible and resilient.

Okay, that rambled...

Longtimefan @36 - Hey, you're doing what I was just thinking about - setting aside your inherent (American) dislike of anything resembling servitude or obedience, and trying to see how, in-world, clearly prophesied actions will make sense. The key is to put yourself in-world and see what those actions might mean to them, instead of just to us. Good work.

I know that marathedamme is not really a "little detail" but in the big (and by that I mean Pattern HUGE) picture that item is a)not Rand's to deal with directly and b) not Rand's purpose or goal.
Exactly!! Yes, it will have to be dealt with at some point, but the most Rand ought to be doing with it now is to follow along the path Perrin took: We're working together for the greater good right now (or at least, mutual benefit, in Perrin's case) and for the duration, you may not collar my Aes Sedai friends. For Rand, that would look something like having a treaty (not necessarily made by him!) with the Seanchan that says "you may not collar any women unless they are actively fighting against us in this Last Battle scenario. After it's over, whoever is left standing can work out the future details." I just don't see turning the whole Seanchan army and culture on its collective head, just when you need them to prevent the end of the world. So... I think TG (whatever of it is "normal" battle) will involve Seanchan sul'dam & damane in their accustomed roles, but with a prohibition on collaring any Randlanders for the duration.

Oh, and for the record (@several), I'm with Leigh - Dyelin is excellent. I so do not believe she's a DF. Throwing chairs, taking on assassins and screaming for the guards all at once, as Elayne can barely stay upright - strong and smart, that woman. Do what you can to stop them and simultaneously yell for the help you know you need. I want her on my side! I only hope that if I were ever in a similar situation, I'd do exactly the same thing.
Kurt Lorey
121. Shimrod
@120 wetlandernw.

Experiment time.

1. Find a fair-sized, carved chair.

2. Pick it up, and throw it five or six feet (likely more).

3. Immediately dash across the room.

4. Report on how you feel. Ready to rumble? A little winded? The chair throwing did you in? How are your arms feeling?

On the surface I agree, Dyelin's moment sounds great! In practice, she went down like a tenpin. One slash, one stab and she's out of the fight. Awesome. Really. Without Hanlon, game over. Well, hmm.

I think she got one single attack in, and it missed. If hers were my full skill set with a dagger, I might think twice about jumping into a fray with three assailants. I don't care how patriotic I've been feeling. Nothing wrong with waiting for them to come to you.




I think the jury is still out. You don't. It's OK to agree to disagree here, isn't it? I'm just not ready to run with the herd on this one yet.
122. themerryploughboy
I’ve been waiting for a long time to have this conversation, and unfortunate circumstances bring me to it late… Darn my luck.

I have to stand with Dholton and Egwene on the issue of the Three Oaths. They are an essential check and balance to the power of the Aes Sedai and without the oaths they would lose the ability to carry any moral authority or even maintain a remnant of a reputation of being a “servant of all”

The cliché goes, with great power comes great responsibility. But clichés get to become clichés because they carry some truth. Think about what it is to be Aes Sedai for a moment.
You literally have the power to heal or kill, the power to manipulate minds, the power to bend space and time. And other than genetics, there is no prerequisite for potentially having access to these powers. So what happens if these powers go completely unchecked?

Well, for a time, in “the age of legends” this seemed possible. The Age of Legends, however, is painted as a utopia or a biblical paradise. People were generally good for the sake of being good, generally ambitious only to help their fellow citizens, and double rainbows shown after every rainstorm.

But what happens to ever paradise/utopia? There is a fall. Ambitions run unchecked, mistakes are made, and evil is unleashed unto the world. And who proved to be easiest to corrupt and the most dangerous servants of the DO? A very fallible group of incredibly powerful channels who, for the promise of even more power (and in most case an even longer life span – immortality) bring about the rise of the shadow. It almost seems inevitable that Age of Legends ended in fire, darkness and the Breaking of the world. It had too. Because that is what happens when incredible power goes unchecked.

Lets think about what happened immediately after the Breaking.

I don’t remember if RJ tells us directly, but I cannot see any group other than the existing Aes Sedai conceiving of the idea of swearing the Three Oaths. I can’t see any other group having the power to force an Aes Sedai into swearing the Three Oaths either. So, they must have sworn them on purpose and the rational behind the decision probably went a lot like this.

We had power and the trust of the people. We destroyed the world. We lost the people’s trust. We have to do something to regain that faith in order to serve the world again. So we will limit and forfeit some of our power (and our lives) in order to help ensure that such mistakes are not made again. And perhaps they did see the consequences as a punishment. The world was broken and billions died.

So the Three Oaths are conceived as a promise to the people that mistakes will not be made again, or as Dholton puts it, as a mission statement for the new Aes Sedai that are forming and I’ll refer to Dholton’s excellent comments as reasoning for why each of the Oaths has merit.

Now, the first argument that I’ve heard most often for removing the Oaths is that they are not particularly effective anymore. I agree. Aes Sedai have learned to navigate around the 1st Oath. But the fact that they have is exactly why that Oath is still needed.

If Aes Sedai were all be truthful for the sake of being truthful, then the Wheel would be bringing them back to a state of moral perfect and Paradise and the Oaths wouldn’t be needed. (IE: If nobody stole anything, we wouldn’t need laws to prevent theft.) But since people steal and even “light sided” Aes Sedai like Egwene and Moraine feel the need to mislead and manipulate, then the Oath needs to be their to curtail their power.

I’ve also heard that the Oaths are wrong because they limit what “our heroes” can do to save the world. But I have to ask this…

Should police officers be free to break the law at will in order to catch criminals? Probable Cause, and Search and Seizure rules are inconvenient. Sometimes condemning evidence is made inadmissible in court and criminals go free. So, is the solution to allow the ends to justify any and all means?

The Three Oaths are laws for Aes Sedia. Are they inconvenient at times? Sure. I imagine that Egwene could have finished up her task in the tower half a book faster than she did if she lied a bit or terrified Elaida out of her shawl in a dream. Elaida was obviously doing harm. Egwene would potentially be saving the world by removing her. The ends obviously justify the means…

As for the shortening of life,… Yes, this is a draw back. I think that it was unfortunate that this consequence of taking the Three Oaths was forgotten in the years following the Breaking. If people had known that was the case, that becoming Aes Sedai came with a sacrifice, then more of the “right” kind of people and fewer Elaidas would ever have completed all of their training.

This is where I find Egwene’s idea brilliant. The suggestion is that it is a way out of the “dying early” clause of an Aes Sedai’s contract. More importantly, I think her acceptance of “other types of channelers” in the solve a problem that is obviously going to arise. There will be people who are born with the spark, need to be trained or will potentially die, but who also don’t want make the sacrifice involved in being Aes Sedai. And again, I stress that it is a good thing that being Aes Sedai comes with a sacrifice.

RJ has illustrated throughout these novels that arrogance and pride as being two of the major tragic flaws throughout Wheel of Time. Something needs to be in place to curtail those very human forces. The Three Oaths are that check and balance in the absence of the Utopian moral values of The Age of Legends. And they should be, and Suian says, what make Aes Sedai, Aes Sedai. It should be a code and a choice they live by. And if our Heroes can’t win while living to them, then the Shadow deserves to rule.
a a-p
123. lostinshadow
I really have been trying to avoid the Oath debate but I can't help but point out that the three oaths do not in any way prevent AS from being corrupted since nearly 20% of them if I recall correctly are BA.

Actually, since the world was broken by channellers who had gone mad while trying to save the world and through direct intervention by the DO and cannot really have been said to have been "corrupted" at all willingly while plenty of current AS do become "corrupted" enough to turn Black I do not see how the oaths are preventing this in any way.

And if the the majority of AS we have witnessed so far (both on team Light and Dark) are any indication the three oaths also do not in any way provide a balance against pride or arrogance.
Maiane Bakroeva
124. Isilel
Jonathan Levy:

Lots of modern drugs or their precursors were originally produced from plants and scientists still look for new medicines among the flora of Amazonian jungle, etc.
There is no reason why herb medicine couldn't work pretty well as long as it relied on empirical method.

RL pre-19th century medicine was side-tracked by it's reliance on faulty philosophy of Antiquity. That's why they tried all manner of funky stuff. Even importance of hygiene was only understood in the second half of 19th century.
So, it is completely logical that Randlandians are far ahead in this area.

Dholton @99:

But I thought I'd shine some light on their advantages.

These were only true advantages while all other groups of channelers were deathly afraid of AS and kept low profile (yes, even Windfinders and WOs were constrained by this) whereas general populace was unaware how many unbound channelers were among them.
Even so, I personally find it unfeasible that non-BA DF channelers or simply careful channeling criminals didn't do more harm.

But now it only gives false security, as there are tons of unbound channelers, including men, around. And they are no longer in awe/terror of AS.

If those other channelers behave well, populace will wonder why the AS are so untrustworthy that they need to be bound. But if they behave badly, the AS will still get blamed, either because general populace would be unable to tell the difference or because it would hold the AS responsible for maintaining order among channelers.

Oh, and let's not forget all these BA with AS faces running around. Those will do wonders for AS being trusted! Not.

At this current juncture there are nothing but negatives to the Oaths, IMHO, even though they may have been useful in certain ways in the past.

And now something completely different:

I can't believe that SGs still touch anything with even remotely minty flavor after their forkroot experiences!

Dyelin is awesome. I wish that Morgase was more like her - all the more so since she is yet again presented as somebody whom Elayne should aspire to imitate, in this chapter.
Too bad that by RJ's quirky worldbuilding Dyelin is condemned to use nothing better than her belt-knife and despite her demonstrated competence at commanding troops, never to become a "true" general...

Freelancer: !!!!
Karen Fox
125. thepupxpert
Sub @ 56 and Various re Captain of the Guards - I always interpreted Elayne's promotion of Axe Face to be entirely intentional and that she knew it was he who set up the ambush.

Wet @ 58 – I know what you’re feeling about that, I think it is just that whole generations of Aes Sedai have unconditionally sworn their lives to upholding the Three Oaths and that this has been done time immemorial. It is very hard to change an institution. As far as the AS are concerned, it is the way it always has been. I have to give props to Egwene and Suian for even being able to hold the conversation as I’m sure that 20 years ago the idea would not even have been thought about and discussed.

Regarding the “yay new post” – I just wanted to weigh in that I think the excitement just gets ahold of us and since we are in the home stretch with the re-reads and looking forward to a new release, it’s too hard not to resist. I have to admit I’ve been very happy to be in the Top 10, it’s always a surprise to log in and check and check and *poof* it’s suddenly there. Most of the time I’m coming into the thread way late (like today).

Lannis @ 61 – Also wanted to add that back home in the TR Nyn was a big fish in a small pond. Now she’s in the big city with a ton of other big fishes from their small ponds, it was bound to happen that there are “Nyn’s” in every segment of the populace and they’re all popping out now that TG is officially game-on.

Silvertip @ 71 – I like the theory, it seems very plausible and if it’s right I too will be sad, very sad. I really like the idea of both Dyelin and Bashir being exactly who they appear to be.

Terez27 @ 72 – Agree, Tuon will take the 3 oaths and command Seanchan to release all damane after they too have taken the 3 oaths.
Karen Fox
126. thepupxpert
Blocksmith @ 108 – isn’t the Laurentian Abyss that place where they dumped Megatron?

Sweetlilflower @ 112 – I need to get over to the predictions post so I can add my two cents worth on Tuon and the 3 Oaths.

Ploughboy @ 122 – Very well said, thank you. My only question is that when the AS reach the end of their lives under the Oaths, they are at the peak of their power. Once the Oaths are removed and they go to live with the Kin with nothing to bind them except that organization, it seems to me that there could be an opening for more mischief since they aren’t tied to the Oaths. I guess that would be a risk that Egs is willing to take. Not sure I made myself clear but what does happen after all those years and their Oaths are removed?

Lostinshadow @ 123 – the original 3 Oaths were removed once an AS became Black and replaced with 4 (?) dark oaths.
Drew Holton
127. Dholton

I thank you for the kind support.:-)


the three oaths do not in any way prevent AS from being corrupted since nearly 20% of them if I recall correctly are BA

As I acknowledged in my original post, I agree that there are flaws with the Oaths. The fact that they can be removed by the Oath Rod is one of them.

Even if the AS didn't know (or forgot) it until recently.

But beyond that, my point was that while individually there can be Bad Apples (BA, get it?), collectively as an organization the Oaths provide a set of beliefs that are, or can be, still effective in keeping the AS as a whole on the straight and narrow. To borrow themerryploughboy's example, a corrupt policeman doesn't make the entire department corrupt. (although 20% is pretty egregious. Just goes to show how effective a clandestine organization the Dark Friends/Black Ajah really are.)

Another flaw of course is that any organization as old as the AS, and as powerful becomes arrogant, hidebound, and bureacratic. But I feel the Oaths still provide a beacon to combat these. Especially combined with strong leadership from Egwene.


The Ashaman are indeed a new development, and they currently have no checks on their power, other than Rand's tenuous control. As for the other channelers, such as the Aiel, Seafolk or even Seanchan,they are contrained by being integrated within the social network of their societies.

The original founders of the White Tower chose to stand apart as a protective organization,requiring them to balance on the edge of a knife, with the natural fears of normal humans on one side, and the desire to have the power to protect on the other. The Oaths are the tightrope that allows them to walk this path.

And you are quite correct in that having accepted the responsibility for protecting others, they are responsible for the behavior of all channelers, for good or bad.
John Mann
128. jcmnyu
@70 wetlandernw

I agree that random Aes Sedai #145 wouldn't stop drinking tea. But when you've been dosed with it before and it has incapacitated you, I'd think you'd be a little more careful. Elayne and Nynaeve should know better.

You say there is in-story logic for the things that make no sense to the reader? Please explain Perrin's reasoning for not going to Rand or his people (Aiel, Bashere, etc.) for help rescuing Faile. I can't even remember him thinking about it. Or going to Emond's Field for help, she being their Lady who has been kidnapped and all.
Daniel Goss
129. Beren
@128 jcmnyu

I don't know about every instance of in-world logic trumping ours, but as for Perrin:

Go to Rand -- not possible, he's supposed to be banished from Rand's presence until he comes back with Masema. And what resources does Rand have to spare anyway?

Bring in Bashere, Aiel, etc. -- Similar problems (banishment) along with the fact that they are all committed to different actions around the continent.

Emond's Field -- He does go get a contingent of Two Rivers folk for the battle, and the reason that he gives for not getting them sooner can probably be applied to any other force he could have brought in. He barely has enough resources to take care of the forces that are already at his disposal.

As for the "in-character/world logic" that causes this . . . I would immagine that it has something to do with the fact that Perrin doesn't want to bring anyone else into the situation until he's determined what exactly he's going to do. If we keep in mind the times we've seen from his POV and how much he likes to think things through before he takes any action, it becomes much more understandable.
John Mann
130. jcmnyu
@129 Beren

On the surface all those points are fine. However, the banishment is just a ruse. It can be ended when necessary. Rand isn't actually going to kill him on sight. And Rand has a ton of resources in Tear, Illian, and Cairhien which can be diverted for a short campaign. You know, the same ones who were hunting the Shaido a few books ago. For example, there are hundreds of thousands of Aiel warriors who are dead set on ending the Shaido once and for all. They'd come in a heartbeat.

As for resources, create a few gateways and lots of problems can be mitigated. Whatever food the people who help him were going to eat can be brought with them. If I remember right, he plans to Travel 30 miles once the scouts return anyway. That can be repeated as necessary to move people and supplies.

My point is, Traveling is a game changer and is rarely, if ever, used that way. He has a distinct advantage over his enemy and he doesn't use it. Yet we're supposed to believe he is a master tactician.

EDIT: Spelling
Daniel Goss
131. Beren
But he did use Travelling in the days leading up to the battle, and on the day of. In fact, he used it so much that he overtaxed his Asha'man (asha'men? asha'mans? biscuit?) to the point that they still can't make a gateway a day later. And he used it to change the game. The only reason way the Shaido had no possible way of knowing how close he was, the only way that he was able to disable almost all of the Shaido wise ones, the only way that he had a whole group of Two Rivers archers ready to fire when ready was through judicious and clever usage of Travelling.
John Mann
132. jcmnyu
@131 Beren

Good points. Maybe if he had used his advantage earlier, he wouldn't have overtaxed his channelers. The use of forkroot was great. It just seems the call for help could have come way earlier and would have cut down on the time it took to rescue everyone from what I remember as two months to a few days.

I realize most likely it was authorial needs that dictated the pace of the rescue, it doesn't mean I have to like it. :)
133. Bizzy247
I have always been frustrated by the lack of sneakiness in Tel'aranrhiod. Every single time they meet in the columns and they feel like somebody is watching them I have to think "maybe because someone IS watching you, and you just can't see them because you picked the Worst Possible Place Ever for a secret powwow." Seriously, an open field where you can see for miles and there are zero hiding places, the top of a random mountain, that one cave back in Emonds Field that no-body knows about (there has to be one!). And yes, we have SEEN shields against eavesdropping, surely they would work in the dream world. Frustrating...
Kev Hamm
134. cavynmaicl
Freelancer @ 107

Think poetically. White is all colors, so is black. White is no colors, so is black. The system is different, the result is the same. Saidin and Saidar. That's what I was getting at.
Tricia Irish
135. Tektonica
Dholton and Ploughboy:

Very eloquently stated and argued. However, I still don't think the Three Oaths work anymore. They may indeed have served a purpose after the Breaking, but I think they have lost their effectiveness with the general populace, as stated by Isilel@124. Between the BA and DF channelers, various groups of channelers not bound as AS, ie: Aiel, Kin and SeaFolk, plus the addition of Asha'man, there is little restraint except good personal morals and codes of ethics. Or the lack thereof.

I propose that the Oath Rod be returned to it's original purpose, that of Punishment as a Binder. There would have to be some sort of judge and jury system for channelers who use the OP to do harm, and probably some laws defining what that means. But that would keep ALL channelers in check.

The Aes Sedai could go back to being Servants, and be respected for their good deeds, instead of being feared for their power, and mistrusted for their half-truths.
Thomas Keith
136. insectoid
JLevy @78:
If you ever get The Question, let me know.
Of course, if I do get it, I'll probably go stark raving bonkers first... ;)

Man-0 @118:
I think you really would need to erase the hard drive and do a Clean ReUnstill.
BAHAHAhahaha!! Funniest thing I've read all day. (I can always tell when the computer needs one!)

Ron Garrison
137. Man-0-Manetheran
insectoid! Bless you! Someone got one of my jokes!
Finland, Finland, Finland
That's the country for me!
Schlip! Schlap!
Schlip-a-schlap-a vay
Schlip! Schlap!
Schlap away all day
Schlip! Schlap!
You simply can't go wrong
Vith traditional fish-schlapping song.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
Lannis @59 - Thanks for the drink! Syncronized eye-rolling - it's a new WoT team-building activity... :)

Funny - I read subwoofer's comment as being "Nynaeve is awesome for being the only woman who could ever get Lan to give up his Lone Ranger thang and marry her." As opposed to "she was just okay until Lan bestowed great honor on her."

I'll weigh in on the de-awesoming of Nynaeve later... still thinking about it and figuring out what I think.

Terez @72 - "bind the nine moons" with the Oath Rod... Hmmm. Never thought about it before, but it's a possibility, with the "binding" idea. Can't quite see how Tuon would be willing to make any Oaths on a binder, but who knows?

birgit @75 - They also drink hot mulled wine. True, and I thought about that later, but tea is somewhat more common for everyday use, or for those who simply don't want that much hot mulled wine. I just think it's completely silly to think that AS would quit drinking tea, though of course they should start learning to be careful of minty-tasting tea.

Freelancer (sorry about stealing the short pier gig...) But about Dyelin You know, someone honorable. I get why some can't believe it. Well said!! 100% with you here. And it's a concept I'm pretty sure RJ would comprehend and value.

toryx @90 - Oh, dear. Now I can't even be ironic? *sigh* Obviously failed to communicate properly. I'll blame it on the head cold this time.

Isilel @95 - ...because it is completely false IMHO that 3 Oaths make an AS. Well, but the point is, that's what the AS believe, so it's true for them no matter what our opinions are. It was not true in the AOL, and it was not true for some years after the Breaking, but at this point it is true, because they believe it. We all hope that they will learn the original purpose of the OR, comprehend its effects, consider the status and effectiveness of channelers in other societies, and rework the whole thing. But for now, until they can manage all (or some of) that, the Oaths make them AS. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see, in light of the upcoming TG, they might collectively decide to relieve themselves of the limitation on making weapons; from there, at least post-TG, they should be more willing to rethink the situation. I hope.

subwoofer & Silvertip - We need a bunch of folks like her running around? Nevah!! Cadsuane is one-of-a-kind, and no one else could ever be more than a pale imitation! ;p

RobM @98 - Yeah!!

DHolton @99 - Well done. As noted above, I think it only reasonable for them to rethink the whole system, given the new information they're obtaining, and maybe make the Oaths a true (hopefully improved) mission statement without using the Oath Rod as a forcible binder. But I'm totally with you in thinking that the Oaths do serve a significant and positive purpose in the White Tower as it is now (and has been in recent centuries).

blindillusion @101 - I guess it's not been made completely clear; my understanding is that if someone who has been OR-bound for, let's say, 100 years were to remove all Oaths and then take a single condensed Oath, it would remove the age-restriction caused by the three Oaths. As someone else pointed out, it wouldn't give them the 600-year expectation of unbound channelers, but it might give them 450 or 500 instead of 300-max. For someone approaching 300, I don't see how it could suddenly let her expect to live 300 more years, but... truth is, we don't know. For that reason, I don't think Egwene's plan is quite all she thinks it is, but give her credit for trying to think outside the box, and with the limited info she has at hand. Consider, also, that while it's an important concept to the channeling community at large, it's not really the most important issue on her plate at the moment, so she hasn't had time to work out all the details. Unfortunately, unless they turn up some old user manuals for the OR, or unless Mesaana spills the beans, any empirical evidence regarding the effect of removing the Oaths will take more than a few years. I doubt we'll get to see it.

---Hey, has anyone seen that file cabinet with those old user manuals? We could sure use it about now.---

blocksmith @108 - Oreo Tower... Yumm! Maybe the women kneel with a glass of milk, and the men with a cup of coffee? ;) LOL! And from the next few comments, sales of Oreos will go up today...

Longtimefan @114 - Hah! you caught it again - Kneeling and groveling are NOT the same thing, but we (our culture in 21st century) tend to think they are. Kneeling can show honor without subservience. To draw another example from fantasy, Aragorn was not declaring himself subservient to Frodo when he knelt - he was showing great honor, and it didn't in any way make him less King. Some would say it made him more kingly. It's not a direct parallel, but still.

EarthandIce @116 - We don't know a lot about the AOL governmental structure - or society as a whole, for that matter. We know that there were nine regional governors, and that the one who wore the Ring of Tamyrlin had the authority to summon them if need be. No indication that said governors were channelers.

jcmnyu @128 & 130 - I'm not going to go into great detail, but Perrin knew perfectly well that Rand had things to do and might not be staying in Cairhien. When Faile was first taken, why should he run to Rand (or anyone else) for help right away? He already had some of the best trackers on the planet. Later he tried using the Asha'man to jump ahead, and found out that it was counterproductive. When he did finally find them, it turned out there were a whole lot more Shaido gathered together than he had expected. That might have been a reasonable time to send an Asha'man for help, but he found another way to solve the problem without it. Honestly, what could Rand or anyone else have done sooner if Perrin had called them in? Maybe, once they located Malden, Perrin could have had Rand, a bunch of Asha'man, Bashere & the Legion, the Aiel, or whomever jump in and start fighting, but remember - his first priority was not to kill the Shaido - it was to rescue Faile & company. His plan, to take out the majority of the WO with forkroot and thereby muddle the whole lot before going in, was far better and more effective than a pitched battle would have been. Oh, and he needed the Seanchan to get the forkroot, because they were the only ones stockpiling it. Rand couldn't help with that. Mat could have, but Perrin had no way of knowing.

And of course Beren has already argued pretty effectively on Perrin's behalf. :)
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
There. I'm caught up, so hopefully I won't do any more mega-walls just to comment on the comments... Sorry 'bout that.
Thomas Keith
140. insectoid
WetNW @139: S'okay, I do it all the time. :)

Mmm... Oreos.

Noneo Yourbusiness
141. Longtimefan
Wacky Idea, not really a prediction since it doubt it would go over well storywise.

Egwene and Elayne are pretty good at understanding and making Ter'angreal. The oath rod is one and so is the a'dam.

Why do they need to bind the sisters with the oath rod when they could create a type of collar a'dam that does not have a bracelet for a person to hold the bond but instead is a bond itself which holds the three oaths.

Or something like that.

The elements are there in the story. There is the Warder bond and there is the Ashaman bond which work in different ways but do not shorten someones life. Well it is not mentioned as a side effect of either but how it may affect someone's life span is still unknown in either case.

There is the oath rod. It binds a person to a specific instruction that cannot be disobeyed, only misdirected.

There is the a'dam which does not affect any thing a person may do except channeling or moving too far from its connected bracelet (as seen with Mogheiden and the unchained collar and bracelet set made for her in Salidar.

What if instead of swearing on the oath rod and shortening a person's life there was a necklace that was made as a ter'angreal which would mark the person as an Aes Sedai or Ashaman which contained the ability to hold them to certain pledges made to attain their position in the White or Black Tower?

(I am still torn between there being two Towers or Elaida's Palace being used as the Ashaman tower or the Towers combining.)

It is voluntary, it does not have any terminal physical effects, it can be removed (probably by someone else) and it becomes a similar ceremonial object between the two groups since the Aes Sedai have shawls and rings and the Ashaman have sword and dragon pins.

The probability of this happening is very low. People hate the collars and Egwene specifically is fairly opposed to the concept.

Both the White Tower and the Seanchan believe that people with the power to channel must have some form of restraint placed on them.

The self imposed Oaths give a person more autonomy than leashing them and an elaborate ranking system and limited social position have worked for the Atha'an Miere, the Aiel and the Kin.

The Ashaman do not have anything but their own good morals and inborn integrity to stay their hands from chasing down their highest ranked official and trying to kill him in an elaborate plot.... oh wait.

The Ashaman at this time are all (in the terms of the White Tower) Green or Yellow. They fight or they heal. Generally though they fight. They are weapons and while that is good for the task at hand it leaves them woefully under prepared to live past Tarmon Gai'don.

It is possible that the current captive Aes Sedai may be influencing the men in Taim's faction to develop more as negotiators and meddlers (grey and blue) but the white and brown levels of development in their group will probably have to wait until after the Last Battle.

The Red on both sides will obviously have to be redeveloped (a second time for the Aes Sedai) since having Sisters "deal" with "men who can channel" by bonding them instead of gentling them is still not working with them. It just changes from one form of control to another. I doubt they would want an equivalent side of the Ashaman dedicated to just bonding Aes Sedai.

What they will do I have no idea. Maybe they can be in charge of the necklaces and bonding paperwork and internal negotiations between the two towers where as the Grey would deal with negotiations outside of the towers.

They can become bureaucrats. Yeah, that will make people like the Red more. :)

@ 139 Wetlander,

Well if you are all caught up and you may not have any wall of texts to post how are we going to know it is you?

If I see your handle followed by only 3 lines of text I will just freak out!

John Massey
142. subwoofer
Yeah! Ny is the only one that can tame the big lug. Lookit all the AS Lan has turned to the side, not to mention nobles and princesses etc. Ny's got it goin' on. For everyone else, it is all about dusty flowers and death beds or was that dusty beds and dead flowers...

The Oaths- question- before the shoe was dropped that you could live to Ogier life span- was it a big deal? I was under the impression that the AS were all over happy living as long as they have been. IMHO it wasn't broke- don't try to fix it.

Hi Free:) that was exactly the song I was thinking of. The Forsaken are the immortals that are whittling the numbers down. There can be only one.

Bill Stusser
143. billiam
I for one hope that Rand doesn't kneel before either Eg or Tuon. I really hate how everybody thinks they need to control him, he is the Dragon reborn after all.
Speaking of Tuon and Eg, I don't think that Tuon will be weilding Justice to save EG. I've always thought (at least since she showed up in KoD) that Tylee was the Seanchan woman with a sword who would save Eg.
Lastly, I have to say that swearing on the oath rod is the worst idea in the whole history of worst ideas. I mean, I can expect to live until what, 80 or so? Barring accidents of course. Why would I do something that I know would cap my life at 40, 45, maybe 50? Some of us wouldn't be here to comment if that were the case.
John Massey
144. subwoofer
@Bill- you're not comparing apples to apples. Normal humans live to 80 and gee, take this pill and it could go to 160 is more like it. Crap. I don't plan on having a special bag attached to me and living in a home for that long. Folks are outliving their retirement savings these days. Not sure about WoTers but I am sure it is ball park for age. Now we have these demi-gods roaming around that live, what 250-300 years? Isn't that enough for any human? Sure, they could stretch it out another 200 years, but really, like, I'm going to find the quote, but after you live a long time you either get really CRANKY or develop a heck of a sense of humor. Most AS in these books are not full of chuckles. Take themselves too seriously.

Kev Hamm
145. cavynmaicl
Longtimefan @ 141 - taking your idea, they could just make the great serpent rings into ter'angreal that are instilled with the oaths of office, and so long as their wear the ring, they follow the lies. And they can remove the ring if they need to, so that if they faced battle, they could fight others directly. And make swords. And lie like politicians. Could be fun.

subwoofer @ 144 - the only problem that I see with is the vehement disgust for the a'dam collar that Egwene has, yet it's not at all what she shows to binding created by the Oath Rod. She knows the oaths don't work the way they are intended, and now she knows the rod is killing them softly. She most likely is getting her headaches from subconsciously having this argument without realizing it. I've got a headache just from thinking about it.

Regardless, I think she'll have more surprises in store, as she's been in the tower more than a day and has not said the oaths yet, right?
146. Shard
I really got annoyed with Elayne Taking Rand's academy idea, like she couldn't bare to let him have ONE good thing in Andor.
Tony Zbaraschuk
147. tonyz
After Rand's refusal to kneel to Tuon, it would probably take something really spectacular for him to kneel to Egwene. And I don't know that I really see her demanding it of him; as hard as she can be as Amyrlin, she knows that would be disastrous, and she's seen how Moiraine and Rand were able to work together.

I do like the suggestion of Rand "knowing the Amyrlin's anger" when Egwene finds out what happened to him; it would so totally fit in with Elaida misinterpreting every other Foretelling she's had.

cavynmaicl @145: I think Egwene can easily distinguish between voluntarily assumed oaths and slavery to another's will. She's vehemently against the latter, as we see when she runs into the Black Ajah hunters in the Tower, but not so much the former.
lin mei
148. twicemarked
What is this against people who lived a long time? Look at LTT when he was leading the War of Shadow. He had slowed, and showed middle ages, and that make him about 200-300 years old. Many AS in the war effort are that old as well. Did they show any of the bad signs you talked about?

Should LTT and the other AS at that time be bound by three random oaths so that they will not be allowed to live past 300?

If people live to 600, they would work until past 500, which is what LTT and the other AS at that time was doing. Working. And that is what the Kin were doing, working.

If people today can live till 80, they should work until 70, which is happening, with the SS starting at an age going from 65 toward 70.

If regular people who can live only until 100 demand the channeller who can live to 600 to put on oath to limit their live time to 300, what do you call it? I call it jealousy.

As to the Three Oath, I would not call it voluntarily assumed oaths. Girls who can channel are forced to the White Tower without their consent. If they run away, they will be caught, and get sent to a farm for hard labor.

If a girl is strong enough, the Tower would not allow her to leave until she is brain washed into the Tower ideas. The White Tower just takes longer to break the girls, and that is the real reason they would not take novice older than a certain age. Those may make for great channelers, but may not agree with the Tower's ideals, and the three Oaths.

We have two books left and 1000 new novices. Let us wait and see if these new novices would agree with Egwene's idea of Three Oaths for all, not to mention how the Kin, Seafolk, WO and others will deal with the Oaths.
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
cavynmaicl @145 - Egwene swore the three Oaths on the OR in front of the SAS Hall the morning after the Seanchan attack on the Tower, immediately followed by the BA reveal and the reswearing of the entire Hall and then the entire camp. (The Gathering Storm, chapter 43, "Sealed to the Flame" and specifically page 678, last paragraph)

twicemarked @148 - Any girl can refuse to take the Accepted test, or refuse to finish it, and walk away. And girls who can channel are NOT forced to the Tower without consent. They certainly are not allowed to run away once they've enrolled as novices, but if they do not wish to become AS, they will eventually be allowed to leave when the AS are sure they won't hurt themselves or those around them accidentally.
Jonathan Levy
150. JonathanLevy
How can you say that Nynaeve is not one of the six main characters?! She most certainly is.

Of course she is. The six main characters (by screen time) are Galina, Faile, Sevanna, Therava, Balwer, and Maighdin.
Oh wait, I guess she isn't.

(It echoes too much of Morgase under Rahvin for one)

...snicker snicker... you didn't mean it that way, did you? :)


1) Q
2) E
3) D
4) .


I think there's another hole here. Who put the forkroot in the tea? Was Hanlon sneaking around the kitchen dressed up as a maid? I'm not suggesting it's Dyelin, but was this question ever
answered? Or asked?

fledge @35
Re: Nynaeve's strengths.
How about courage? Remember what Moghedien tells her when she's being dragged to fight Rahvin?
It does not matter how brave you are, it is just my strength and your madness!

It is quite evident that all the Wise Women/Wisdoms/Wise Ones are working with handed-down traditions. There are no randomized, controlled, double-blind experiments. And even when a medicine comes from a plant, it needs to be processed, refined, and given in precise dosages. E.G. Digoxin, which will help with arrhythmia in a proper dose, but kill you if you overdose. A typical pill is 0.25 mg, so sticking a few leaves in a teapot is not a reliable prescription.

I think this reflects one of Jordan's unconcious biases. Another example is how he treats rumor. He seems to think that a clever person can listen to a hundred rumors and learn what actually happened (Thom can do it, Thom thinks Morgase can do it, Balwer can do it). Real-life intelligence organizations do not work that way. The noise/signal ratio of rumors in taverns is much too high.
Theresa Gray
151. Terez27
sweetlilflower@112 - Egwene also has a dream that Rand is confronting her and the women with her, and one of those women is a Seanchan.
152. alreadymadwithstronggirls
In theory, any girl can refuse the tests. In practice, the White Tower won't let anybody that strong get away.
Kev Hamm
153. cavynmaicl
Wetlander @ 149 - thanks for that. I couldn't recall it, and don't have the ebook version of TGS yet, natch. And my hardcover is packed somewhere apparently. Oy. And it kills my thought that she hadn't done it. Still don't like it tho. Not. At. All.
Kurt Lorey
154. Shimrod
@150 JonathanLevy

Someone in the kitchens? The palace has plenty of opportunities for the placement of agents.

The thing is, no character has actually thought to investigate any of this. Everyone seems too wrapped up in their own problems to really take the time to reason Hanlon's attack out.
155. Granten
It might (only might) be understandable for Egwene's world view, but I just love how she's obsessed with forcing every Saidar-using culture in the world to be tied to her White Tower. Never mind that they might be doing very nicely on their own and they've come up with things that make her 'Aes Sedai' look like children, they all have to be tied to the White Tower. At least they do have the justification here that most of the Kin want to be 'Aes Sedai', but her solution smells of risk and potential death.

On Nynaeve, Jordan probably made characters more powerful than her because he realized that once he wrote her block away there was no reason for her not to be overpowered. So instead he made other new characters overpowered.
James Hogan
156. Sonofthunder

Darkfriends are everywhere, yay! I always thought that one(or five...or ten...) of the palace servants was a DF. Easily could have been passed instructions, "Put this in the Lady Elayne's tea...".

At the same time, to further nail shut the coffin containing "Dyelin = DF", wasn't the whole purpose of the "attack on the Daughter Heir" to get a darkfriend nice and close to Elayne? Well, Dyelin is already as close to the DH as you're going to get. So if she's a DF, it makes no sense to try some elaborate plan to get another DF close to her. Yeah? Yeah.
John Massey
157. subwoofer
@Twice- sorry, I feel I explained it plenty.

In RL, imho I just feel that there are way the heck to many people. And if you haven't accomplished all you intended in the time God gave you, get off yur butt and get goin' and doin'!

I dunno, I just don't feel that the current crop of AS are wired to live that long and be useful.

Are we sure LTT lived that long? Could very well be, never considered it to be honest. I always figured him and his wife were of similar ages, not 30 and 300. And LTT is special. He is remarkable. He is the Dragon. Let's not chunk a guy bound to the Wheel with everyone else.

I think the Three Oaths work. Remove them and you have demi-gods wandering around. Hopefully though, after 300+ years of living the law, they will still get it, or you could have Alivia who has no limits placed on her. I'm not talking collaring or leashing here. I live within the confines of the law, that is why I don't go out and beat on people who deserve it on a daily basis. If there are laws, like the Kin have, and AS have the respect for the law to follow it, then give 'er.

What keeps the Kin in line is fear of breaking their laws and bringing the Tower down on them. What is the big stick that is gonna keep unfettered AS in line? I dunno.

Beyond that, don't some AS peter out around 200+ just cause they get bored of it all?

Maybe I'm an old crank that just doesn't trust these young AS. Maybe I am just happy with the status quo and say "hey, you got 300 years, take it and run and quit yur cryin' about not livin' to 600".


And stay off my lawn!

Lannis .
158. Lannis
I live within the confines of the law, that is why I don't go out and beat on people who deserve it on a daily basis.

Omigod, you'd've thought by now I'd've learned not to drink tea and catch up on the reread... BAHAHAhahaha! Oh, sub... ::wipes tear::
Tricia Irish
159. Tektonica
Hey Woofer@157:

The big stick is the Oath Rod...a Binder...a punishment for those who break the laws, and it applies to ALL channelers!

As for the Oldsters.....There's a lot to be said for the Long View. Age gives perspective.
Maiane Bakroeva
160. Isilel
Levy @150:

It is quite evident that all the Wise Women/Wisdoms/Wise Ones are working with handed-down traditions.

Your random GP does the same, though. There is nothing wrong in sticking with tradition that works. There is probably more experimentation in bigger population centers.
As to dosage, in many cases it doesn't need to be that precise, as iRL medical history with all the revisions, flip-flops, etc. shows. Also, don't discount the importance of just keeping the symptoms in check until the patient gets a chance to recover.
Anyway, I am not comparing Randland medicine with the modern one, but with that of late 19th- early 20th century. And there is nothing improbable in being at that level, using just teas, tinctures, etc.

Granten @155:

Never mind that they might be doing very nicely on their own

Never mind that we already saw Shaido use OP for conquest, eh? You cannot discount the fact that fear and awe of AS had a big restraining effect on both Aiel and the Sea folk.
In fact, in case of Aiel, AS significantly shaped their society in a very direct way, with the whole Rhuidean deal.

But even with the Sea Folk, unwitting influence of WT is palpable. Like why can't Windfinder become a Sailsmistress? Because she can never step on foreign soil and interact with people there, for fear of discovery by AS. Why don't the SF use OP to leverage their advantages or to sabotage commercial rivals? Ditto. Etc.

Also, all channelers need to observe the same basic code of laws and reliably punished if they break it or there will be strife and things will ultimately devolve to pre-Luthair Seanchan situation, with channeling war_lords_ thrown into the mix this time around, too.


There is no binder for men, though! Or do you think that they are more fit to live twice as long :)? Or should they be executed on their 250th birthday?

As to Ilyena, she managed to earn her third name before marrying LTT, so she wasn't 30 in all probability. And they have been married for 60 or so years at the time of the Strike.
John Massey
161. subwoofer
@Is- you bring up an interesting point. Previously, the limiter for men is they go fruit loops and kack er... naturally. Now, this is also something that has to be looked at. The guys have no oaths, they are being trained as weapons and, as far as I can tell, unless they have a strong moral code, have potential to do great harm. Egwene- Super Girls, get to work!

Married for 60?... No wonder LTT went loopy. So she was good lookin' at 90? Or could she channel too?

@Tek- don't worry, I won't let folks call you reallly old. Maybe just old:P

Long view? What? I've always just said "give 'er". Guess that is my personal philosophy, haulin' a$$. I suppose that is why I am where I am, cause if I want something I get it done. No use putting off for tomorrow what I can do today.

Look at it from an Ogier perspective. Didn't Loial say something to the effect that humans live such short but full lives? While Ogier are discussing things for years, humans are moving and shaping and reshaping the world. I personally like that idea.

@Lannis- like I said, I do believe in an eye for an eye, heck, there is something to be said for vigilante justice, if pointed in the right direction. Why my ol' icon used to be the Punisher.

Joseph Blaidd
162. SteelBlaidd
I have some thoughts on oaths that might make Egwene's position more comprehensible to some.

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

Those are the oaths of enlistment and for commissioned officers in the US Army. No mater what you have done; papers signed, training taken, boot camp attended you're not a soldier or officer until you have sworn the oath. One of the cautionary tales that we were told when I went through the USAF Officers Training School was about a group of Trainees that got bounced the DAY of Graduation.

Additionally, James Rigney was a Mason which is, on principle, something you are because of the Oaths you have taken.

Holders of public office( mayors, Judges, Legislators, Presidents) are all required to swear oaths, the swearing is what marks the official assumption of their duties. Lyndon B. Johnson, was still vice-president until he took the Oath.

As are also Public Officers, representing the tower, acting as de facto Judges and Ambassadors, and drawing on the authority of that institution for leverage. It is entirely reasonable that the be required to swear the Three Oaths in exchange for that authority.
Theresa Gray
164. Terez27
Isilel@160 - Sammael might not have been entirely truthful about the binder not working on men. It may simply be that he wanted them to capture Rand for him, not to bind him by Oaths that would force Rand to serve them.
Scientist, Father
165. Silvertip

That's a really interesting point, and would resolve several of the difficulties. Elayne certainly seemed to _think_ that the attackers were intending to kill her, and some of the description seems to point that way, but both of those could surely be red herrings. And if I'm Hanlon (or his boss) ordering low-level DF thugs around, there's nothing to stop me from telling them "clear the path but leave her killing to me." Hmm. It holds together, if you can look past the strength of the clues in the text that her life was in danger. Hmm.

Like lots of other commenters, I hope you're right!

How long until ToM?

Tricia Irish
166. Tektonica
How about one comprehensive oath? A rewrite based upon the above oaths! (The military oaths aren't sworn on a Binder. They are binding by law. You give your word!) That would make the AS a unique organization.

The oath rod could still be used as punishment for all channelers that break laws. I'm guessing that a male oath rod will appear as well.....or maybe one of the AM can make one. Now that I think of it, do we even know if it only works on women?

Sub: By the long view, I mean not thinking months ahead but years ahead, not thinking of "This sure would make me happy right now", but "I better save and work for this", to be responsible and appreciate your life. Earn it. I'm guessing you're in this camp. I'm a person of action as well, but I hope I have a broader perspective on life and the world after a few decades on the planet. Talking for years, with no action taken, equals a lot of missed opportunities, imho.
Birgit F
167. birgit
I wouldn't invest in mint tea futures

Only channelers should avoid mint-flavored tea. The majority of the population has no reason to avoid it (unless some superstition develops because channelers avoid it).

The Oaths are a form of Compulsion, but the AS are against Compulsion. Why hasn't the White Ajah noticed that contradiction?
Lucas Vollmer
168. aspeo
Re: Aging
I tend to lean towards the side of not wanting to cut a lifetime in half because of being bound by the three oaths. If the AS feel that they need to have them, then I would support either having one condensed oath or being freed of the oaths and moving to the kin at a certain age. The problem I see with moving to the Kin is that a powerful channeler will be freed of the oaths with all of their knowledge and skill to do whatever they want for a couple hundred years.

This leads me to thinking that the AS should just do away with the oaths on the oath rod. Maybe they could still swear them when they become AS, but they wouldn't be bound then. The AS could then police themselves and use the threat of being bound or the chair of remorse as deterrents for AS not to break any laws.

It's nice to get to post again, I've been busy for a while and couldn't do much more than read the comments of everyone else.
lin mei
169. twicemarked

Look at the AS sentiment when the SG first arrived at the Tower. Not one AS had ever thought about what if the SG did not wish to become AS. What if Elayne is more interested in being the Queen, and merely Tower trained instead of a full AS? The general sentiment is, for girls that strong, they will be molded into AS, even if they have to be put in Novice White for their lifetime.

WT will put out girls that are weak. The strong ones never had that choice. Also, look at the procedure for the Accepted Test. The candidates are summoned. If someone strong refused the first time, the AS will not summon the candidate again unless the AS are certain of passage. A girl never had the choice to take three back to back refused test to get out of the Tower.

Remember one of Min's viewings about a girl with a tower guard? If a girl wishes to marry and leave the tower, she had to run away. There is no Tower allowence for that.

Again, given we have so many new Novices, some married already, we will see how that changes things. They may well defy the Tower establishment, given they had already formed strong "families". We will RAFO, I guess.

About the Three Oaths, I will say this.

If the WT wishes that to be the mission statement, or "party platform" in modern terms, there is no need to swear it on a Binder.

Consider Siuan's argument for the Oaths. The only thing that rings true is, when a sister says something flat out, people will believe her, due to the oath. That can be achieved without the Three Oaths, if in every court room, there is a Binder, and when an AS needs to say something flat out, she can put her hands on the Binder, and says "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." And unswears the oath after she finished testifying.

Also, why can't there be a different party platform, with a different set of mission statements? Who says every channeler must join one party, or the world would collapse?

In Seanchan before the Consolideration, we can consider the AS warlord as having a mission statement of "my words are the law". So there are many sets of mission statements, some are bound to be wrong. But can we say there is only one set of correct mission statements? And how are we even sure that the particular set of mission statements by the WT is correct?

The point is, I don't see the Three Oaths are necessary, binding or non-binding, for a group of channeler to exist in Randland. They need some mission statements, just not necessarily the Three Oaths in paricular.
vo mabulay
170. alreadymad
Re: binder for men
Hadn't Balthamel faced Binding at one point during the AoL? That means there must have been a been a binder for men. What we don't know if it was a separate ter'angreal or if the Oath Rod can be used.
Brandon D
171. Ishmayl
Just in case it hasn't been mentioned yet, maybe the importance of the alum (to the story, not to Elayne) is that Mat will find use of it for his Dragons. Didn't Aludra say something about needing more iron that was available in all the surrounding lands - maybe alum can be substituted somehow?
Eric Hughes
172. CireNaes
@ the Rand kneelers Pro and Con

Perhaps he kneels as an act of restitution for what was done before...and I mean that in every sense of the word as it needs to go both ways.
Maiane Bakroeva
173. Isilel
IMHO, the white color of the binders that made appearance in the story so far strongly suggests that they are for saidar channelers only.

Re: Sammael's logic in giving Sevanna that binder, it eludes me anyway, but IMHO he wouldn't have given her something that could control a male channeler, such as himself ;).

Why do people speak of iron in connection to Mat's cannons? Until the middle of the 19th century cannons were made from bronze! As are bells, incidentally.

Subwoofer @161:

So she was good lookin' at 90? Or could she channel too?

RJ said that she was an AS too. Also, non-channeler Jonai from Rand's Rhuidean columns vision was considered young at 65. Normal people also lived substantially over a century in AoL.
Roger Powell
174. forkroot
Re: Sammael's logic in giving Sevanna that binder, it eludes me anyway, but IMHO he wouldn't have given her something that could control a male channeler, such as himself ;).
This makes no sense. Sammael would have to be in Sevanna's power in order to be forced to swear on an oath rod. He has certainly no such plans to be in her power, nor would the oath rod be his biggest problem if he were.

Given that he's trying to ensure additional chaos for Rand et al by scattering the Shaido, it doesn't seem inconsistent for him to give Sevanna something that will aid her in controlling channelers. He's likely aware that her power base (blackmailed WOs) is a little shaky anyway.
vo mabulay
175. alreadymad
Alum isn't the same as aluminum ore. Alum is used as a medicine, a spice, a water purifying agent, not for as metallic aluminum.
Tony Zbaraschuk
176. tonyz
alreadymad @170: Hadn't Balthamel faced Binding at one point during the AoL?

That would be Semirhage instead, so still not clear on whether or not Sammael was giving a female-only binder or just lying through his teeth. On the whole, I'm reasonably convinced he was lying through his teeth.
Alice Arneson
177. Wetlandernw
twicemarked @169 - From The Great Hunt, chapter 23, The Testing:
"Two things I will tell you now that no woman hears until she is in this room. The first is this. Once you begin, you must continue to the end. Refuse to go on, and no matter your potential, you will be very kindly put out of the Tower with enough silver to support you for a year, and you will never be allowed back." Nynaeve opened her mouth to say she would not refuse, but Sheriam cut her off with a sharp gesture. "Listen, and speak when you know what to say. Second. To seek, to strive, is to know danger. You will know danger here. Some women have entered, and never come out. When the ter'angreal was allowed to grow quiet, they - were - not - there. And they were never seen again. If you will survive, you must be steadfast. Falter, fail, and..." Her silence was more eloquent than any words. "This is your last chance, child. You may turn back now, right now, and I will put your name in the novice book, and you will have only one mark against you. Twice more you will be allowed to come here, and only at the third refusal will you be put out of the Tower. It is no shame to refuse. Many do. I myself could not do it, my first time here. Now you may speak."
Emphasis mine.
diane heath
178. jadelollipop
Just a thought. Sheriam could not go through the Accepted test the first time. Does that failure play a role in her becoming BA?
Scott Terrio
179. Renegade248
I haven't read all the comments yet, just most of them, and I have a thoery on what is going to happen regarding the oaths and the AS retiring into the Kin.

I believe that Egwene will re-invent the purpose of the red ajah and they will be the police ajah and will be responsible for making sure nobody uses the one power against the oaths once the AS retire and unbound from the oaths, as in Egwene's plan. That way, they can retire and if they do anything wrong, the red ajah can make them re-swear the oaths again as punishment therfore shortening their life again. Not sure about what they will do with the Black Tower though. Maybe they will do the same they do now to the men who use the power in the wrong way and gentle them. After a trial of course.

Just my thoughts and I hope this made sense.
Lucas Vollmer
180. aspeo
I think that a binder could have been used on either men or women. Since they are numbered, I think they were distributed around the land to be used if needed.
To me it would make more sense to have one binder for both men and women, instead of using two different ones. It would be like needing different kinds of handcuffs depending on if the person was a man or a woman. A one size fits all approach would seem to work the best for the person doing the binding/handcuffing.
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
Just because I'm OCD that way... and apropos of nothing more than Leigh's comment:

Alum is not a single well-defined chemical substance, but is a class of chemical compounds of aluminum with other chemicals which may include potassium, hydrogen, sulfur and oxygen. The most common is known as "potash alum" or potassium alum, and includes all of the above. It has a variety of uses, including astringent, antibacterial, baking, pickling, water purification, skin whitening, flame retardant and a few other (more modern) purposes. Papermaker's alum is usually aluminum sulfate; in glassmaking, it seems to mostly serve as a coloring agent based on additional chemicals in the compound. (That's all I could find, anyway.) In dyeing, alum is used as a mordant, or dye-fixing agent. Presumably that would be what the weavers used it for as well.

Now you know.

Oh, and bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and may also contain phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, or silicon. It also is not of fixed ratios.
182. chewynewyork
Maybe it's me, but it seems like the attempt on Elayne's life was sort of like action-plot-filler. It's not that she's not an important enough character for the shot at cutting off her head or anything, it's just...ah, I dunno. I, for one, could've done without this minor interlude. And unless Hanlon is offing some do-gooder, I'll wait for the second-hand news from some nobody.

I can say with moderate surety that it was around this point where I really enjoyed getting the bad guy POV's. (The very first I enjoyed was Demandred's opening sequence in LOC...hotness, yo)Seems like for so much of the series, we were given such a small amount of insight into their inner workings. Now that the climax is on the horizon, getting this view of the bad guys is a welcome addition. The Light save those sick puppies...
vo mabulay
183. alreadymad
tonyz @176
I'm pretty sure Balthamel faced Binding himself. After all he was the pervert.

Wetlander @181
If you're looking for aluminum to use as an ingredient for alloying, the ore you should be looking for is bauxite.
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
alreadymad @183 - Actually, those two comments (alum and bronze) were only related in that they were chemistry-type stuff. Alum, of course, in response to Leigh's comments about its uses. Bronze, taking off from Isilel's point that iron isn't really relevant to Mat's cannons, since they would more likely be made of bronze, and making it more clear that iron isn't part of that scenario at all.

Side note - Iron is, of course, important to Mat in terms of "iron to bind" the 'Finn.

Also... Balthamel was definitely a scumbag during the AOL - he used to cheat at gambling to win money to impress women; he was also much a womanizer when he could get them. Still, as far as any evidence I can find, only Semirhage was faced with binding; she was given the choice between that and stilling.

@many - Oh, and in the process of looking all that up, I came across something on Birgitte. There was some talk earlier about her identities as Joanna (Joan of Arc?) and Maerion (Maid Marion?), and that she had been Teadra in one life but no one could think what the parallel might be. Well, the life in which she was Teadra was the one in which she incurred Moghedien's wrath by foiling her attempted take-down of LTT. So... if Teadra is supposed to mirror someone in our history, think on women who have prevented an attempted coup against a great leader. Or possibly, Teadra isn't supposed to be anything in our history, because that was her AOL/War of the Shadow persona.
lin mei
185. twicemarked

I understand that quote. But do you believe she is saying the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

First, the rules governing the Accepted test is only told to the candidates after they are summoned to the test. If people have reservations about the AS structure, they would surely refuse the first time. But then what happens? Are they called back every three months? No. They will only be called back for testing when the AS are certain the candidates are ready, i.e., not refusing to take the test.

If you really think about it, the three chances are not really given to the candidates. They are given to the AS to make sure the candidate agree with the Tower ideas before they enter the test. The candidates are summoned. They can't take the test from their own initiatives.

Consider an Election. If you are the President, and you can delay the next election for President however long you like, when will you call that election? You will only call it when you are sure of your re-election.

Now, you may say, some girl can refuse and get put out of the tower by not entering the second test after she came out of the first test. In theory she could. But again consider, is it likely?

If a girl does not consider the Tower as the most important thing in the world, would she be able to come out of the Arch at all? She is tempted by something inside the Arch. Unless she considers the Tower paramount, she would not leave at all.

For someone who wants to leave the Tower, she could stay inside the Arch. That accomplish the task of leaving the Tower just at well.
John Massey
186. subwoofer
@Tek- you know me- my plans for world domination will take awhile so of course I get the idea of working at something to eventually see it to fruition.

@Jade- interesting point- join the dark side to pass the test for team good. Puzzler.

I had a whole rant prepared but as events through the course of the day unfolded, my iron sieve short term memory came into play. Meh. Save the soap box for later.


Back in the day, with LTT unfettered, all channelers, male and female unfettered it was the Age of Legends. Folks lived to 600. Whoopie. Great. Full life span. Were they satisfied? Well, some folks went outside the bounds, to "look" for a limitless source of power and drilled a hole in something. These people that were not satisfied we'll call... oh, the Forsaken. At some point, if you are not satisfied with what you have, will anything be enough? Why stop at 600? Why not 1000? Why not immortality? It is a slippery slope. Then things hit the fan and went "splat". Afterwords, from what I understand, The female channelers picked up the pieces and the Oath Rod came into play so nations, kings and queens and the people would again come to trust the people that have the potential to shatter the world again.

Are we starting down that slippery slope again?

Kinda sounds like the limits we place on ourselves re nukes so we don't get carried away and blow up the world. Yes, it is costly, but isn't it worth it? Some limits are worth the price.

Alice Arneson
187. Wetlandernw
twicemarked - So what about Reanne Corly? She's strong - as strong as Sheriam, at least - but she panicked during her Accepted test, and couldn't finish. So... silver for a year, and she shows up several hundred years later as a leader of the Kin. Sumeko broke down during her test for the shawl, and there she is - in the Kin. We're not told how strong she is, but she has a great Talent for Healing. Not someone they'd be happy to say goodbye to, but them's the rules. And whether Sheriam wanted to tell the truth or not, there were others in the room and it would be a nearly-ritual speech. That's the way it works. Certainly they would prefer to have strong channelers (especially) pass all their testing and become strong AS, but it doesn't always work that way.

Since you seem to hold roughly the same opinion of Aes Sedai as the Whitecloaks do, I don't expect you to agree. That doesn't make it untrue.
John Massey
188. subwoofer
@Wet, well the Kin know stuff, and this stuff doesn't seem to be limited by how much juice you can draw in. What sticks out in my not so good memory is when Ny and Elayne went to sniff out the Kin and they were shielded. By obviously weaker people. And the shields held. Not because the Kin created an impassable wall, but because the shields could bend.

I think the Kin, who are only partially Tower trained have just adapted and done things differently.

There is still that Anan lady to be figured out too.

Incidentally, have you been to Olympia? Watching a show on the tube the other day and it says there is a place there that does some awesome smoked salmon. I have plans for a trip down the coast in the fall.

diane heath
189. jadelollipop
I am reading KOD (Still in the prologue actually) but a comment was made about Berelain as possible DF. ? was whether the known Black Ajah met with her in Carhien. Galina was brought to Perrin by Gaul and Neald in the KOD prologue. Upon seeing Berelain,who she recognized by sight.
Galina was very glad she had not encountered the woman in Carhien. That would have made matters now more than merely awkward

When I read it just a while ago my first thought was ah Berelain not a DF. But typing it the second phrase can be interpreted/twisted either way.

Edit to add--I woke up thinking it was Friday and thought I would be seeing "twitch" posts pending the next re-read chapter(s). They (twitch posts) seem to be the counterpart (bookend) to the "YAY first post" mentioned earlier :)
Alice Arneson
190. Wetlandernw
subwoofer - Yeah, the Kin have come up with some pretty cool stuff; they all have some Tower training, but they've... improvised. I loved the one with the gal who was very weak in the Power but could create that flexible shield that was virtually unbreakable.

Olympia - Not so much. It's kinda on the far end of Puget Sound and beyond, for me. 'Sides, it's where the politicians go... :P West coast, eh? See you in the fall! :)

jadelollipop - I always read that to imply that if she'd met Berelain in Cairhien, she wouldn't be able to hide the fact that she'd been part of the Rand-capturing mission; Berelain would give her away in a second. But I can see where it could be interpreted otherwise.
Jonathan Levy
191. JonathanLevy
At the same time, to further nail shut the coffin containing "Dyelin = DF", wasn't the whole purpose of the "attack on the Daughter Heir" to get a darkfriend nice and close to Elayne? Well, Dyelin is already as close to the DH as you're going to get. So if she's a DF, it makes no sense to try some elaborate plan to get another DF close to her. Yeah? Yeah.

I think this argument by itself is sufficient to put the question to rest. One could conceivably argue that Dyelin is a DF, and Shiaine just didn't know it, because of the cell structure of their organization. But that seems very far-fetched - after all, they knew about Careane, didn't they? I consider your point to be completely convincing.

Re: Aging and the Oath Rod
I find the argument that "Oh, 300 years is enough, why would they insist on reaching 600?" to be completely at odds with human nature. Skin for skin, yea, but all that a man has will he give for his life. Does a drowning 50-year-old struggle half-heartedly compared to a 20-year old? And not just long life, but long youth as well! How can this even be up for discussion? Of course they want to live longer. The only question is whether the oath rod actually works as they expect (e.g. a bound channeler unbound at 300 has 300 years left to live, and not 5 minutes), and whether the tradition-bound Aes Sedai will be stubborn enough to disbelieve their eyes for fear of the change it will entail. Once they are convinced, the question is moot.

SteelBlaidd@162 and others regarding non-binding oaths, and using the oath rod to bind channeling transgressors:

There's no point in saying "Aes Sedai who break their non-binding oaths will be bound" without specifying in which court they will be tried, and there's the rub. Will an Aes Sedai get a fair trial in Tear? Will the Tower bind an Aes Sedai on the verdict of a jury or judge or Lord in Cairhien? Will Aes Sedai be tried by the tower in the tower? What wronged Illianer is going to travel to the tower to accuse an Aes Sedai? Why would he think for a moment he would be believed? Aes Sedai are a guild, protecting each other from outsiders. They'll never convict and punish each other on the word of an outsider, only for internal political reasons.

Oaths for soldiers and officers and magistrates are different, because they are all Americans, under the same government and constitution, which they all respect, and they have faith in the judicial system which judges them. And that system breaks down when the potential plaintiffs are outsiders, like an Iraqi farmer or an Afghan goat-herder, and comes to depend in practice on the goodwill of the boots on the ground - goodwill which is in very short supply amongst Aes Sedai, who are collectively bound to the notion that they are better than everyone else.
192. Freelancer
The Three Oaths are NOT Compulsion. They are exactly what they purport to be, restrictions on behavior (not debating efficacy ATM, just technical facts). They are accepted and agreed to by those taking them, fully aware that the behavior of the ter'angreal forces compliance with the oaths. If a woman wants to be Aes Sedai, she chooses to have those restrictions applied to herself in a manner which enforces obedience. It doesn't compel obedience, because that presumes it isn't in accordance with her own will.

Any argument regarding who should live beyond any given age is made by someone sitting on a slippery slope, which finds its terminus at Logan's Run, or at Soylent Green. Nobody is ever allowed to say that someone else shouldn't live as long as they have. No person, no entity, no agency holds that authority but the Almighty.

I took the Galina thought about Berelain precisely as Wetlandernw did. Had she been seen by Berelain as part of the Tower delegation, whom everyone in the Sun Palace later understood had kidnapped Rand, then Berelain would have outed her in Perrin's camp immediately. And Perrin would absolutely have had some response toward Galina for that; he lost good friends at Dumai's Wells, went through a very difficult period chasing them down, learned a tough lesson about himself in the heat of battle, and spent days wondering if he'd ever get back to Faile. He would pour out on Galina all of the bitterness he has been keeping tucked away from that episode. More than awkward indeed.
John Massey
193. subwoofer
@Free- yeah! Much better put than my meanderings. Mind you, I think the Creator in RJ's world feels a bit more ambivalent than our Almighty.

We live as long as we do and it is up to us to make the most of the time we have here. Same for WoT. Stop putzing around with the Prophet and Faile already and lets get to the good stuff.

@Jade- awhile back I did suggest folks use Gold Bond for their twitch. To further that, I'm gonna also suggest that folks be more careful where they blog as they could avoid picking up nasty twitches. And then spreading it by bringing the twitch to this blog;)

Tess Laird
194. thewindrose
Jonathan Levy @ 191

At the same time, to further nail shut the coffin containing "Dyelin = DF", wasn't the whole purpose of the "attack on the Daughter Heir" to get a darkfriend nice and close to Elayne? Well, Dyelin is already as close to the DH as you're going to get. So if she's a DF, it makes no sense to try some elaborate plan to get another DF close to her. Yeah? Yeah.

I find that unfortunately in this situation, another spin can be read on this. Elayne, Brigitte, Nynaeve and Aviendha had kept Dyelin out of their most secret dealings until after this. As Elayne said to Aviendha(from Leigh's post above-at work with no books)
and remarks to Aviendha that she thinks she has toh to Dyelin, for doubting her loyalty. Aviendha, who is back in Wise One apprentice garb, shrugs and replies it is very small, if any; Elayne had cause to doubt. She makes a joke about being overproud, to which Birgitte makes a dry rejoinder, and Aviendha eyes her warily.
So from this I think we might be able to agree on a RAFO?? - and a twitch.

Haven't been able to post much, but I am keeping up on the comments here and on the prediction thread. Real life can be hard some times - we had to let our German Shepard sleep well and not wake:( I have to say your comments here and on the other thread have helped to cheer me up, so thanks - and please do not feel obligated to well wish me - you all have already in your own ways:)

S Cooper
196. SPC
Possibility on why the tower lets anyone go at all: remember, someone has to have babies that grow up to be channelers, so someone with the potential has to not become Aes Sedai. I doubt it's the whole reason, but it's a good thing they do.

It's interesting that we haven't run into anyone who knew Tigraine at the Tower. She was the Daughter-heir, she should have trained there. . .
197. Margwen
I remember someone - Birgitte I think, but it could have been Siuan - saying that the first oath came into use during the Trolloc Wars. And that the second two oaths resulted from the War of 100 years.

Before the Trolloc War WT AS were not constrained except by their own morals. I suspect the 1st oath was a solution to similar circumstances to the current story. How do you distingush light from dark AS? Swearing to tell the truth and then declaring that you are not a dark friend works pretty well. If the BA was in the WT from the beginning as Ishamael boasted, there may have been a similar crisis during the Trolloc Wars.

The second pair were instigated to keep the AS from taking sides as combatants in intra-human wars.

The binder is a heavy handed solution. The AS who instigated the 1st oath may have known all the consequences, but 1000 or 2000 years later few would remember. Birgitte was around at both times, which is why I think it was she who mentioned it. By the time of the current story the oaths are tradition with their own mythology. The original incidents may even have been covered up the way the Vileness was.
198. ryamano
I think the guy with the Shienaran coat is Demandred. Why?

1) Demandred had appeared before at the Throne Room in Caemlyn. He saw Elayne there in LOC and thought she had a grudge against Rand.

2) Demandred probably arranged a meeting with Slayer there. Slayer wasn't spying on the Supergirls, he was going to this meeting. That's why he spent so much time doing nothing at the door, surprised there were more people in the Dreamworld right at that moment, right there.

3) The meeting was probably for Demandred to order Slayer to kill Rand, as we see in later chapters, to avoid the cleansing of saidin.

4) Demandred is probably with the Borderlands and is probably responsible for the Borderlander army to go south on a wild goose chase. This way the Borderlanders waste precious resources, like food and money, that could have served other purposes before the Final Battle begins. Also, we didn't see any Forsaken with the Borderlanders, and they will play an important role in Tarmon Gaidon. Also, we didn't see Demandred anywhere so far (he's not Mazrim Taim) so it makes sense for him to be in Shienar, a place we know that has DF in high places of power (like Ingtar).
William McDaniel
200. willmcd
In reading all this very after-the-fact, I'm surprised at how much suspicion there was as to Dyelin being a DF. I never suspected her as such; her character's vast knowledge and goodwill toward Elayne seemed rather a necessity of the succession plotline.

In the ninth season of "Friends" there's an episode ("The One with the Lottery") where Chandler is waiting to hear if he got a permanent job with the advertising firm where he's been interning. There are three permanent jobs and something like 15 interns. In a 22-minute show, there's simply not time for him to get this information the way anyone in the real world would have (by talking to each person individually), so he has an unseen "friend" who hears everything from everybody, and calls Chandler with summaries.

Dyelin is "Chandler's unseen friend" in the succession plotline. As drawn-out as it was, there was no way Elayne could be shown going around and determining the dispensation of each of 19 noble houses while still managing the "tension among channeling groups" plotline. No, the succession intelligence had to be done by someone else off-screen and condensed into summaries for Elayne to hear. Ergo, Dyelin.

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