Aug 13 2010 2:28pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 9

Yay, it’s Friday! Yay, it’s a Wheel of Time Re-read! I declare it a Day of Yay!

Giddy, me? I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Today’s entry covers Chapter 12 of Winter’s Heart, in which I laugh and laugh and laugh (and laugh, and then laugh), and also commit crimes against fair use, capslocking, and Stupid Font Tricks, probably because I’m too busy laughing. And clapping. And yaying. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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, yep. Post? Post!

Chapter 12: A Lily in Winter

What Happens
Elayne strides down the hall with Min and Aviendha, trying to ignore the servants’ stunned gaping at Caseille and Deni, who are resplendent in their new Guardswomen’s uniforms. Elayne thinks Caseille and Deni look quite dashing, and they don’t even have their helmets and specially fitted breastplates yet. Elayne reminds Min and Aviendha not to say anything to Rand about spies or forkroot and give him notions about “rescuing” her; Min retorts that she doesn’t tell him things he doesn’t need to know, which draws a suspicious “You lie to him, then?” from Aviendha. Elayne wishes they would like each other already and stop showing off how good they are with knives, though she thinks Aviendha was impressed by how many knives Min had on her. Elayne feels Birgitte off somewhere concentrating, and hopes she remains distracted until it’s too late for her to interfere when Elayne masks the bond.

To think that she had been so worried about Birgitte sensing what she did not want her to when the solution lay in a simple question to Vandene. The answer had been a rueful reminder how little she actually knew about being Aes Sedai, especially the parts other sisters took for granted. Apparently, every sister who had a Warder knew how, even those who remained celibate.

Outside Nynaeve’s door, she orders Caseille and Deni to wait outside, knowing that they are under the impression she is here to meet a lover, and tells herself to stop dithering just because the man she dreamed of every night is inside the room. She asks Min and Aviendha if they are ready; they agree faintly, and they go in. Rand leaps up at the sight of her, and then starts dry-heaving; he waves Nynaeve off, telling her it’s nothing she can Heal.

“In any case, it seems you win the argument.” His face was a rigid mask hiding emotion, but his eyes seemed to Elayne to be drinking her in. And Aviendha as well. She was surprised to feel gladdened by that. She had hoped it would be that way, hoped she could manage for her sister’s sake, and now it took no managing at all.

He tells Min it’s time to go, and Elayne gapes and asks if he really thinks he can leave without talking to her. (Min and Aviendha: “Men!”) Rand replies quietly that the men who tried to kill him in Cairhien would turn the Palace into slag if they knew he was here, and warns her not to trust any Asha’man except perhaps three named Flinn, Narishma, and Hopwil, and it’s best if he goes quickly. Elayne mourns that all the boyishness in him seems to be gone. Lan interjects that he is right about the danger in being near him, and Nynaeve snorts for some reason. Aviendha retorts that Rand has toh to them, and it must be worked out.

Min spread her hands. “I don’t know what anybody’s toes have to do with anything, or feet either, but I’m not going anywhere until you talk to them, Rand!” She affected not to notice Aviendha’s outraged glare.

Rand sighs, and apologizes for giving them the sul’dam and damane prisoners, and supposes they can give them to the Aes Sedai with Egwene; he marvels at the rebellion and Egwene’s new status, adding that he guesses Mat and the Band can stay with her for now. Elayne blinks at his misinterpretations, but concludes that Rand is babbling, and tells him none of that matters; he and Elayne and Aviendha and Min are what they need to talk about, and he is not leaving until they do.

For the longest time, he simply looked at her, his expression never changing. Then he inhaled audibly, and his face turned to granite. “I love you, Elayne.” Without a pause, he went on, words rushing out of him, water from a burst dam. And his face a stone wall. “I love you, Aviendha. I love you, Min. And not one a whisker more or less than the other two. I don’t just want one of you, I want all three. So there you have it. I’m a lecher. Now you can walk away and not look back. It’s madness, anyway. I can’t afford to love anybody!”

“Rand al’Thor,” Nynaeve shrieked, “that is the most outrageous thing I ever heard out of your mouth! The very idea of telling three women you love them! You’re worse than a lecher! You apologize right now!” Lan had snatched his pipe from his mouth and was staring at Rand.

“I love you, Rand,” Elayne said simply, “and although you haven’t asked, I want to marry you.” She blushed faintly, but she intended to be much more forward before very long, so she supposed this hardly counted. Nynaeve’s mouth worked, but no sound came out.

“My heart is in your hands, Rand,” Aviendha said, treating his name like something rare and precious. “If you make a bridal wreath for my first-sister and me, I will pick it up.” And she blushed, too, trying to cover it in bending to take her shawl from the floor and arranging it on her arms. By Aiel customs, she should never had said any of that. Nynaeve finally got a sound out. A squeak.

“If you don’t know by this time that I love you,” Min said, “then you’re blind, deaf and dead!” She certainly did not blush; there was a mischievous light in her dark eyes, and she seemed ready to laugh. “And as for marriage, well, we’ll work that out between the three of us, so there!” Nynaeve took a grip on her braid with both hands and gave it a steady pull, breathing heavily through her nose. Lan had begun an intense study of the contents of his pipe’s bowl.

Rand examined the three of them as if he had never seen a woman before and wondered what they were. “You’re all mad,” he said finally. “I’d marry any of you—all of you, the Light help me!—but it can’t be, and you know it.” Nynaeve collapsed into a chair, shaking her head. She muttered to herself, though all Elayne could understand was something about the Women’s Circle swallowing their tongues.

Elayne tells him there is something else they need to discuss, in her rooms; she’s afraid Nynaeve will try to stop them otherwise. Rand agrees slowly, and adds to Nynaeve that she’s won, and he won’t leave without seeing her again. Nynaeve jumps and smiles inanely and “blathers” something about watching him grow up to Elayne, and Elayne suspects she must be up to something even she knows is wrong to be behaving like this. Rand puts on an Illusion disguise of a hideously ugly man, which Aviendha and Min agree (to their surprise) would “make a herd of goats faint”; Elayne is highly amused by Caseille and Deni’s reactions to the disguise outside, until they get to her rooms and they are very against letting the three of them go inside alone with him. Finally Elayne kicks them out, and Rand lets the Illusion go and heads straight for the wine; Elayne wonders why he isn’t doing everything with the Power like he used to. He asks what it was they wanted to talk about without Nynaeve knowing.

“We want to bond you our Warder,” she said, smoothing her dress under her as she took a chair. Min sat on the edge of the table, legs dangling, and Aviendha settled onto the carpet cross-legged, carefully spreading out her heavy woolen skirts. “All three of us. It is customary to ask, first.”

He spun around, wine sloshing out of his cup, more pouring from the pitcher before he could bring it upright. With a muttered oath, he hastily stepped out of the spreading wetness on the carpet and put the pitcher back on the tray. A large damp spot decorated the front of his rough coat, and droplets of dark wine that he tried to brush away with his free hand. Very satisfactory.

“You really are mad,” he growled. “You know what’s ahead of me. You know what it means for anyone I’m bonded to. Even if I don’t go insane, she has to live through me dying! And what do you mean, all three of you? Min can’t channel. Anyway, Alanna Mosvani got there ahead of you, and she didn’t bother asking. She and Verin were taking some Two Rivers girls to the White Tower. I’ve been bonded to her for months, now.”

All three of them are furious at the revelation, and Elayne opines that Alanna has “more toh to [Rand] than she could repay in a lifetime!”, but then tells him that one bond doesn’t prevent another; it is only because Aes Sedai are not interested in sharing Warders that it isn’t done, not because it can’t be done.

“Well, we do want to share you! We will share you, if you agree.”

How easy it was to say that! She had been sure she could not, once. Until she came to realize that she loved Aviendha as much as she did him, just in a different way. And Min, too; another sister, even if they had not adopted one another. She would stripe Alanna from top to bottom for touching him, given the chance, but Aviendha and Min were different. They were part of her. In a way, they were her, and she them.

She asks again, pleading, and Rand says to Min despairingly that she knew this would happen, didn’t she. Min replies she didn’t know about the bonding, but she does know that some things have to be.

Rand stared into the winecup, moments seeming to stretch like hours, and at last set it back on the tray. “All right,” he said quietly. “I can’t say I do not want this, because I do. The Light burn me for it! But think of the cost. Think of the price you’ll pay.”

Elayne did not need to think of the price. She had known it from the beginning, had discussed it with Aviendha to make sure she understand, too. She had explained it to Min. Take what you want, and pay for it, the old saying went. None of them had to think about the price; they knew, and they were willing to pay.

Elayne and Aviendha link and begin creating the weave, which she and Elayne had worked out with a great deal of practice, basing it on the weaves used in the sister-adoption ceremony. They lay it on each of the three of them, and then Elayne extends it to Rand, changing it into the Warder bond, and sets it in place.

He stared at them, expressionless, and slowly put his fingers to his temples.

“Oh, Light, Rand, the pain,” Min murmured in a hurt voice. “I never knew; I never imagined. How can you stand it? There are pains you don’t even seem to know, as if you’ve lived with them so long they’re part of you. Those herons on your hands; you can still feel the branding. Those things on your arms hurt! And your side. Oh, Light, your side! Why aren’t you crying, Rand? Why aren’t you crying?”

“He is the Car’a’carn,” Aviendha said, laughing, “as strong as the Three-fold Land itself!” Her face was proud—oh, so proud—but even as she laughed, tears streamed down her sun-dark cheeks. “The veins of gold. Oh, the veins of gold. You do love me, Rand.”

Elayne simply stared at him, felt him in her head. The pain of wounds and hurts he really had forgotten. The tension and disbelief; the wonder. His emotions were too rigid, though, like a knot of hardened pine sap, almost stone. Yet laced through them, golden veins pulsed and glowed whenever he looked at Min, or Aviendha. Or her. He did love her. He loved all three of them. And that made her want to laugh with joy. Other women might find doubts, but she would always know the truth of his love.

She feels him steel himself, and says again that he has to go; Elayne stops him and says there is one more thing. Min and Aviendha hastily clear out, eyeing each other doubtfully. Rand watches warily.

“There is something they have had from you that I haven’t,” Elayne began, and choked, a flush scalding her face. Blood and ashes! How did other women go about this? Carefully she considered the bundle of sensations in her head that was him, and the bundle that was Birgitte. There was still no change in the second. She imagined wrapping it in a kerchief, knotting the kerchief snugly, and Birgitte was gone. There was only Rand. And those shining golden veins. Butterflies the size of wolfhounds drummed their wings in her middle. Swallowing hard, she took a long breath. “You will have to help me with my buttons,” she said unsteadily. “I cannot take this dress off by myself.”

Caseille and Deni are horrified when Aviendha and Min come out alone (“Her taste can’t be that bad”), but Min and Aviendha manage to dissuade them from going in. Min sees she and Aviendha are both playing with their knives and wonders if all this “jiggery-pokery” with the Power is making them mirror each other or something. They walk down the corridor uneasily, and Min doesn’t understand why Aviendha is having such a big problem when the Aiel are supposed to be used to women sharing a man. She marvels over the presence of Rand in her head, and wonders what it will be like to make love with him now, and then realizes to her horror that she is getting a preview. She stumbles, and tries the “handkerchief” trick Elayne had told her about, but it doesn’t seem to work.

Frantically she tried again, but the raging fire was still there! She had to stop looking at it, stop feeling it. Anything to get her attention anywhere but there! Anything! Maybe if she started talking.

“She should have drunk that heartleaf tea,” she babbled. She never told what she saw except to those involved, and only then if they wanted to hear, but she had to say something. “She’ll get with child from this. Two of them; a boy and a girl; both healthy and strong.”

Aviendha is surprised, and makes the connection between Min and the person the Wise Ones had told her about. Min wonders if she should tell her that she had also seen that Aviendha would have his children too.

Four of them at once! Something was odd about that, though. The babies would be healthy, but still something odd.

She sees Aviendha’s discomfort, and asks if the kerchief trick didn’t work for her either; Aviendha is embarrassed that she forgot. Min apologizes for her “toes” joke, and offers to groom Aviendha’s horse to make it up to her. Aviendha mutters to herself about Min’s better qualities, and is about to offer to find some oosquai when she growls “No! Not yet!”

Coming toward them was an apparition that made Min’s jaw drop. Consternation pushed Rand beyond awareness. From comments she had known that the Captain-General of Elayne’s Guards was a woman, and Elayne’s Warder to boot, but nothing else. […] Auras danced around her and images flickered, more than Min had ever seen around anyone, thousands it seemed, cascading over one another.

The woman is wobbly, but snarls that first “she” vanishes, and if she’s doing what the woman thinks she’s doing, she’ll “kick her tickle-heart around the bloody Palace!” Aviendha pleads with her, calling her “Birgitte Trahelion,” and Min gasps that she’s Birgitte Silverbow, who she saw at Falme. Birgitte jumps, but then tells Min very rudely that Silverbow is dead, and asks if Min always shows off her legs “like a bloody feather dancer.”

This was Birgitte Silverbow, hero of a hundred legends? The woman was foul-mouthed! And what did she mean, Silverbow was dead? The woman was standing right in front of her! Besides, those multitudes of images and auras flashed by too quickly for her to make out any clearly, but she was certain they indicated more adventures than a woman could have in one lifetime. Strangely, some were connected to an ugly man who was older than she, and others to an ugly man who was much younger, yet somehow Min knew they were the same man.

Irritated, she informs Birgitte that she, Aviendha, and Elayne just bonded a Warder, and she’d better think twice about interrupting Elayne’s “celebration.” She also notices with relief that Rand and Elayne seem to be done now. Birgitte figures out who they’re talking about, and opines that Elayne would’ve been better off with a horse thief, and he’s “too pretty” in any case. She is determined to stop them before she “puts him through his paces again.” Frantically, Aviendha pleads with her to consider it a good joke and not shame Elayne so, and offers oosquai to get them drunk. Birgitte considers, then grins and declares her intention to get drunk enough to “take off my clothes and dance on the table.” Aviendha cracks up; Min doesn’t get it, but realizes Rand is a “raging wildfire” in her head again and drags them off to the liquor.

A very sated Elayne wakes the next morning to find Rand gone, but he’s left a golden lily in bloom on her pillow. She can’t imagine where he found it in the dead of winter, but weaves a Keeping around it to preserve it.

The weave was Moghedien’s teaching, but it would hold the blossom fresh forever, the dewdrops never evaporating, a constant reminder of the man who had given her his heart.

She is soon to discover that Alivia, Lan, and Nynaeve have vanished from the Palace, along with several of their stash of angreal and ter’angreal, leaving behind a hastily scribbled note from Nynaeve that Elayne finds disturbing.




Excuse me, I have to clap like a seal now.


Okay, I’m done.


So, if you have been waiting with bated breath to find out which scene in WOT is my second favorite, after the scene with Birgitte and Mat in ACOS, you can rest easy, for you have found it. As you can always tell by how much I quoted from the book rather than summarizing.

Also, the clapping may have been something of a giveaway. And the sparkles. Maybe a small clue, there.

However, it’s not the triple bonding ceremony that’s the best part (although: Aw, *sniffle*), or even the Metaphysically Public Sexing (although: HA); those are both great, but the best scene is the one in Nynaeve’s room, where they FINALLY FINALLY, GODDAMN FINALLY all Declare Their Love. THAT is the best part.

The reason this is the best part, though, is not actually because of said Declaration (although: FINALLY), or any of the actual players in the I Love Yous. Not directly. The reason it is pushed from being a merely great scene into a completely and totally bleeding awesome scene is quite simply because of Nynaeve.

Because she is HILARIOUS, you guys. I about hurt myself laughing the first time I read her reaction to this, and I laugh every time I’ve read it since, because it is just that damn funny to me. Even just thinking of it makes me grin, every time. I don’t know exactly how Jordan came up with the notion to have her in the room when this all went down, but let me tell you it was a frickin’ genius move as far as I am concerned. And Lan, too, who in his own way is freaking out just as badly as Nynaeve is. Which is also hilarious. How completely insane and perfect it is to have them both in the room hearing (and reacting to) this craziness, I cannot express.

Ha ha ha, too funny. Wonderfully done, the whole thing.

Of course, the enforced voyeurism was only slightly less funny, because HA. But Nynaeve still wins. Heh.

As for this Rand + Three Women Thing overall… well. I think sometimes it baffles people that I can be critical of a thing in general while at the same time being perfectly sanguine about it in the specific. By which I mean, on an individual basis I have no issues with the idea—not moral ones, anyway. Rand and Elayne and Aviendha and Min are all consenting adults (if only barely in Elayne’s case), and if they feel it’s worth it to tackle what could be a potential minefield, both emotionally and literally (not to mention a logistical, er, conundrum, shall we say), who am I to tell them they can’t?

Especially since it’s apparently all prophetically Fated and stuff—which makes for some interesting in-world moral implications if you think about it. I mean, can you legitimately get in a snit about polyamory if the fabric of reality itself is apparently all in favor of the notion? I think this might weaken your stance against!

All that said, while I don’t have a problem with the whole concept in principle, I do once again have to sigh at the lopsidedness of it all as applied to the overall series. It’s the same as with the pillow friends thing: once again, it is only women who are allowed to deviate from the sexual “norm,” and once again I am irritated by the unpleasant subtextual implications of that, whether they were intended or not.

All the more irritating because, again, it’s such an easy fix. Really, all I need to see to shut me up on this is ONE passing mention of, say, an Aiel marriage with one woman and two men in it. That’s it! And hey, while I’m wishing, how about we throw in two guys in a unambiguously stated romantic relationship, just for shits and giggles? No? Well, silly me. Sigh.

Anyway. Nevertheless, I wish those crazy kids all the best with it, even as I wonder how (and if) the Rand/Aviendha/Elayne/Min thing would work long term (assuming there is a long term), and whether we’ll ever get to find out if it does.

I also wonder what the hell is up with Min’s viewing of Aviendha’s babies. As my FAQ predecessor Pam Korda put it, “Holy multiple births, Batman!” Especially on top of the knowledge that Elayne’s going to have twins. Motility? Not an issue for Master al’Thor, apparently!

Of course, I kind of doubt the viewing means that Aviendha is literally going to have quadruplets—at least I hope it doesn’t, because ow. My best guess on this is that possibly Aviendha is going to have twins as well, but it will seem like Elayne’s twins are hers too (hence four, yet odd) because of the sister-bond. Or, bolstered by the perhaps significant mention in this chapter that Min can’t see things about herself, maybe it’s Min having the other two, and the four-way Warder bond gets that all tangled up with all of them.

Or—you know what, I have no frickin’ clue, it all sounds nuts to me. Y’all are welcome to speculate on the proper disposition of the Randspawn, but I give up.

It’s worth mentioning here the popular pet theory among fans that Elayne’s twins are Shivan and Calian. In case you have no idea what that means, here’s the quote from ACOS, when Mat is remembering summoning the Heroes of the Horn at Falme:

[…] and Shivan the Hunter behind his black mask. He was said to herald the end of Ages, the destruction of what had been and the birth of what was to be, he and his sister Calian, called the Chooser, who rode red-masked at his side.

(The real-world reference is, of course, to the Hindu deities Shiva the Destroyer and Kali, goddess of death, though I think their WOT counterparts are not meant to be literally divine. Which is, by the way, really cool.)

As for the theory re: them being Elayne’s kids, I don’t know if I totally buy it myself, but I certainly admit the idea has symbolic merit to it. And again, I really don’t know that we are ever going to have an opportunity to find out in the series proper anyway.

Speaking of Heroes of the Horn, let’s talk about our favorite grumpy one! Man, but Birgitte is pissy these days. Like most people, I take Min’s viewing of her here to mean that she is still a Hero of the Horn regardless of what she thinks, but I really wonder what’s going to happen when (if?) Mat blows the Horn again and Birgitte is (presumably) standing there already. This one, we might actually find out about!

By the way, if you want to give yourself a headache there is no better way than to consider the Gordian Knot that is now Rand’s bonding situation, which is like what happens when the previous tenant of your new apartment had the assitude to get his cable and phone cut off and then the company sends their single most brain-impaired technician possible to reconnect it and he has no FRICKIN’ CLUE and the end result is a big hole in your wall that looks like what would happen if a wire factory committed seppuku and really I just want to watch HBO for Christ’s sake and since when am I living in Brazil, I ask you?

…I may have gotten off topic, there. My point is, uh, it’s tangled! Yes.

But seriously, folks, the bond thing here, it really is kind of insane. I have to wonder, what exactly will happen if any one of the six people involved here (I’m including Birgitte here via her bond to Elayne) gets killed? I mean, normally if the bond holder dies, the bondee goes batshit suicidal, right, but what happens if you’re bound to more than one person? Does it, like, cancel out, or maybe just get blunted, or maybe does the batshit get spread around, yikes? Or is it just as bad for Rand regardless? And if/when Rand dies (however temporary that turns out to be), does it affect the girls as much, or less, or more? Does it affect Min differently because she can’t channel? Does it affect Birgitte by proxy? It’s All So Complicated!

Also, no bets on how we’re going to find out: if Alanna doesn’t snuff it Real Soon Now I will be AMAZED. There’s a shoe that’s been waiting to drop for over fifteen years now.

Um, what else. Oh, yeah: Toes. Or, in other words, the absolute worst pun in all of WOT. Oy.

Especially when you consider that Min’s “joke” doesn’t even make sense unless Randlanders speak English, which of course they don’t. But then, by the same reasoning none of the song lyrics should rhyme either, so I guess at some point you have to just chalk it up to artistic license and let it go. But still: toes. Good Lord.

Other than that, though, I declare this chapter Made Of Total Awesome, total yay, The (total) End.



And we out! Yay! Enjoy your weekend, gurls and bois, and see you Tuesday!

1. bigdtv71
yay new post. and i don't have to say any more than that....
2. Be'Lal
Six people involved?

1. Birgitte
2. Elayne
3. Avi
4. Min
5. Rand
6. Alanna
7. Ihvan
Alice Arneson
3. Wetlandernw
bigdtv71 My, my, aren't we the clever, funny little boy. ::eyeroll::

ETA1: Oh, and Leigh, I'd never have guessed this was a fave. Sparkles? SFX? Giveaway? Ummm.... yeah. Of course, I have to admit that this chapter causes large quantities of both giggles and tears when I read it - even the umptieth time like this.

ETA2: Having read the rest of the commentary now, let me just say that you did your best to spoil the effect by whingeing yet again about the perceived unfairness of not seeing a symmetrical other-way-around relationship. Who cares? I mean, obviously you do, but I personally would be completely irritated by a plot-irrelevant relationship being dragged in just for said "symmetry." Just "mentioning a ... relationship" would clearly not be enough if it were actually done, because then people would get all wound up about either 1) the inadequacy or 2) the obvious gratuitousness of said mention. Oh well.
4. trench

This chapter is hemorrhaging awesome all over the place.
5. Aggie Will
Thanks Leigh - my favorite chapter!
Kerwin Miller
6. tamyrlink
"Motility? Not an issue for Master al’Thor, apparently!"


luv the hilarity leigh!
Andrew Belmont
7. rosetintdworld

I just noticed that Leigh's two favorite scenes both involve Nynaeve and Elayne, two of the most controversial characters in the series. Very interesting.

I'm not sure that I love this scene as much as you do, but I agree that Nynaeve is HILARIOUS. It always cracks me up when we are reminded of her conservative (no political connotation intended) roots, despite the worldly experience she acculumates over the course of the series. Didn't I say exactly the same thing in the last post?

I do have to say, though, that for me the romance in this scene is a little diminished by Elayne's, erm, lack of game. I recognize that she doesn't have any clue how to go about this, but sniffing and declaring that she deserves to have Rand--right that moment because Min and Avi have both gotten it and IT ISN'T FAIR--was pretty off-putting to me on my first read and on every one since. And I tend to defend Elayne from most criticism.
James Hogan
8. Sonofthunder
I agree, Leigh - Nynaeve and Lan's reactions make that scene!! I like Lan's reactions even better than Nynaeve's, simply because for him to be openly staring at Rand, pipe dangling loosely from his hand, is just a *hilarious* mental image.

And the toes pun is also made of awesome, simply because this is very much not-Jordanesque, so it comes totally out of left-field. Surprised me so much, I started laughing, even though I'm really not a big pun guy.

I think my favorite part, though, is the moments after the women bonding him, when they realize his pain. Min's, "Light, why aren't you crying." Aviendha's, "He is the Car’a’carn." They finally see how much he is hurting and their sympathy is abounding. This part gets me every time.

Have a great weekend, Leigh!
9. Seamus1602

I think others have pointed it out before, but the warder practices of the Green Ajah would represent a clear example of multiple men-one woman relationships (many of which are sexual). No sign of any male homosexuality, though.
10. alreadymadwiththelily
The lily. Elayne wondered where Rand got it. Rand had worked out the trick as early as the Stone. To weave a flower out of dust and beddings. He just didn't have as good a hold on the POwer then.
11. Alfvaen
Yeah, unless you're frickin' J.R.R. Tolkien and you know that it rhymed in the original Quenya and you just translated it into English and tried to make it rhyme there too, you just have to give up the battle with rhyming and puns. Unless you take a paragraph to explain every one as it comes out, or do footnotes, which tend to blunt the flow of your story. (Or you can make it a folklore thing that some characters don't know about, like Elmindreda or Zarine, which, by the way, I wasn't sure they both needed to be like that... Or wasn't there Min's nickname in FOH that meant something in the Old Tongue?)
Jason Deshaies
12. darxbane
this really is a great chapter, and now that I read it again, I tend to agree with the people who believe Birgitte's table dancing comment was a reference to Elayne's Red Rod incident.
13. sooner_fan

If I'm not mistaken there are cases of polyandry or women with multiple sexual partners. Granted, its only hinted at, but several times Green Aes Sedai are rumored to be married or in sexual relationships with their Warders. At the very least, we KNOW Myrelle considers herself married to her Warders since she there is that scene in TR where she has six marriage knives flicker momentarily.

Definitely no homosexual relationships though.
14. up2stuff
I saw a post or something speculating that Avi, Min, and Elayne are all parts of a reincarnation of Ilyena.

It never registered on me until I read that part where Elayne is ready to open a can of whoop-ass on Alanna, but not Avi or Min because "They were part of her. In a way, they were her, and she them." Makes a lot of sense. Not sure I buy it yet, but...

Oh, and "Nynaeve finally got a sound out. A Squeak". Laughed till it HURT!
15. jj8
i know the mention in new spring of the clerks " who are not intrested in woman" is a pretty ambigous mention of homosexoalty , but when you think about it what else can it mean?

so there you have it leigh, sort of...
16. Evan Thomas
I just had a strange thought about Min's viewing of Aviendha's kids. Sorry for the blatant movie theft.

Min: Rand you gotta come back with me.
Rand: Where?
Min: Back to the future.
Rand: No no no, Min, I just got here, okay, Aviendha's here, we're gonna take the new truck for a spin.
Min: Well, bring her along. This concerns her too.
Rand: Wait a minute, Min. What are you talking about? What happens to us in the future? What do we become assholes or something?
Min: No no no no no, Rand, both you and Aviendha turn out fine. It's your kids, Rand, something has got to be done about your kids.
Rand: Hey, Min, we better back up, we don't have enough roads to get up to 88.
Min: Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.
James Jones
17. jamesedjones
"Veins of gold", this, this is what made the scene for me. Veins of gold that pulsed and glowed when he looked at the women he loved. Jordan was a master. That emotion, wraped around and through his very being, was so perfectly described I just can't imagine a better way.
18. Deihb'al Chien
Really is an awesome chapter & Leigh, I completely agree with you regarding Nyn & Lan's humorous reactions. Killer. Great theory on Elayne's kids, I don't really post a ton & I'm relatively new to paying close attention to Wot blogs or posts online (though I've quickly caught up over the past several months), but have been reading WOT since before TSR came out with numerous numerous re-reads of all books in-between so most hypotheses stated aren't really new to me, but them being Shivan & Calian does make some amount of sence & is - for me at least - one possible connection I've never considered.
19. Faramir
I agree with Leigh -- that scene is tremendous. The "toes" thing had me laughing out loud. Great stuff!

But as for "pillow friends" among men, no thank you. Don't need it, don't want it. Save that crap for a Kellerman or Grisham novel.
Bonnie Andrews
20. misfortuona
Leigh, Wow. I've been looking forward to this chapter because I knew you would have many interesting and hilarious comments.
You've come through yet again. Thank you for being so dog gone funny.

I really have to agree with you here as well. I love Nyn's reaction to the love, parallelogram. It was priceless. Nyn speachless-almost. YAY. I only wish we might have had a peak at the after scene between her and Lan as well. Though in truth it would likely have consisted of a whole lot of started comments that never got finished.

As for the ‘toes.’ Out of place, maybe, but someone had to say it eventually, and I for one am pretty glad it was Min. It made me laugh, but then again most everything in this chapter did.

Bond tangle. My guess is that the more there are the easier it is to take when one of the many die. I’m going to leave the figuring out of this to people with a way better handle on who and why, but I think at least in the case of Rand’s 3 ‘wives’ they will suffer less than they might have individually because of the nature of the bond itself.

Mis-finally a chapter to get excited about
Rob Munnelly
21. RobMRobM
Psst - here's a secret. The reason Avi's kids with Rand will be different is his personality will be housed in a new body. Don't tell anyone.
Lindsey Turnbow
22. Obi
I started in on the re-read so late that this is the first post I actually had to wait for. I squee to have it now. Thank you, Leigh!
Tina Pierce
23. scissorrunner
Yes, this scene is super.
I love how the girls can see the "veins of gold" that show them they are loved!

and YAY to Elayne for realizing that she isn't jealous of Aviendha or Min.

the girls finally feeling Rand's pain and their reactons, all different, all so loving!! wow

ya, the whole sharing the guy makes me cringe, still, but this was written so well I can't help but feel the joy the girls feel.

"the women's circle swallowing their tongues" ROFL!!!!

"Lan had begun an intense study of the contents of his pipe’s bowl" - what a hoot!!!

yup, this is a big bag of awesome!
Tony Zbaraschuk
24. tonyz
As far as the Horn being blowing with Birgitte there, quite likely. But we've already seen what happens when the Horn is blown with a living hero there: the end of tGH, at Falme, when Mat blows it with Lews Therin Telamon standing at his side. So there.

Nynaeve's reaction is entirely on cue, though I could have wished to hear more from Lan, Rand's substitute father-figure (speaking of tGH).

The Warder-bond tangle is going to get really ugly.
25. Rootboy
The sparkle-yay made me laugh out loud at the office.

But that's everyone's reaction, isn't it? A bunch of our heroes in the same room doing something productive and saying they love each other and gettin' it on? WOT is basically all building up tension so it can be relieved in chapters like this.
Birgit F
26. birgit
Or, bolstered by the perhaps significant mention in this chapter that Min can’t see things about herself, maybe it’s Min having the other two, and the four-way Warder bond gets that all tangled up with all of them.

Or Min and Avi each have one and the other two are El's.

If Mat's death ended his bond to the Horn Birgitte could blow it.
Kate Collura
27. dreamwalker
Great post and chapter - both full of hilarity!

Another part of the awesomeness is that Rand can now stop beating himself up as lecher for wanting three women. Even though he probably had good reason to feel that way, it sure got old after awhile.

Also, the whole weirdness about Avi's babies is one of Min's viewings that has always bugged me because it seems highly unlikely that she will have them before the end of AMoL, so it is hard to imagine how we will know for sure what was up with that viewing.
Bonnie Andrews
28. misfortuona
Birgit@ 26
If Mat's death ended his bond to the Horn Birgitte could blow it.

What a horrible- horrible thing to say. You should be spanked - twice- Mat can not die!

Mis-relax my precious the bad lady wouldn’t actually hurt you
29. Hrothgordo
I don’t put it up there with some of my favorite scenes:


But I would put it on the same tier as Mat/Birgette.

You are correct that much of this chapter is made by Nynaeve’s reaction. And on some level I love that the least talkative character in the series continues to be privy to absolutely everyone’s secrets. All I’m saying is he could fund the treasury of Malkier on the book advance for that tell-all.

The other portion of this chapter that I find useful though is the reaction after the bonding. As Leigh has noted most of our heroes (and certainly Rand) are not really big on opening up and it’s good to see others react to the sheer amount of REALLY terrible crap that Rand is going through.

Alanna’s inital statements before healing Rand at Dumai’s Well and the saidin/saidar healing conversation after Fain’s attack is really the last time we are reminded of the physical tolls Rand has taken. Not to mention the traumatic psychic assaults and strains he has been under which only Min and Verin ever really acknowledge.

This level of abuse unfortunately makes him more difficult to relate to or even like. Which is all the more reason for us to be reminded of the suffering (if only so we can be in awe that he hasn’t killed himself yet). It also makes us cheer a little bit when we do get to see him get some true respite from the torments.
30. chaplainchris1
I'm red b/c it takes too long to log-in and turn grey.

Anyway...awesomest of awesome posts Leigh! Nynaeve is hilarious, and Lan, king of Awesome Unflappableness, staring into his pipe bowl so as not to meet anyone's eyes...priceless! Deni and Caseille ("her taste can't be that bad") - hah!

In practice my beliefs probably match Nynaeve's - don't approve of polyandry or unwedded, um, bliss - yet I still love love this chapter.'s just nice to have main characters in the same room. And Talking. And, you know, being happy for a minute instead of dealing with the Apocalypse and stuff.

RobMRobM @21 - that's my theory, too. The sister-bond connection is an intriguing idea, but it seems that kind of weirdness should also affect Elayne's kidlets, so I retain the transmigrated-Rand theory, specifically going to Ishydin's current body.

Which would make Elayne and Avi's kids technically not related at all, biologically, even though they have the same father and their mothers are sisters kinda.
31. BenM
Evan @ 16: ROTFL! That's awesome.
Noneo Yourbusiness
32. Longtimefan
Hmmm, If Elayne's twins are possibly the heroes Shivan and Calian along with Bridgette and Gadial Cain already out in the world How many heroes of the horn will be left to fight when called by the horn?

Let us not forget that Rand is a hero spun out as well.

Granted there will still be a few heroes left but if they are being spun out as infants before the Last Battle they are not going to be able to fight in their otherworldly form or in an adult form along side the armies of the light.

If the theory is true (flimsy as it may be) then it would at least hint at the Wheel weaving for a future that needs heroes to rebuild the world after the Last Battle is fought.

Also it indicates in a way that the Heroes of the Horn may not be needed in the Last Battle the way people in the Westlands or Seanchan think they may be needed.

Since the Horn is associated with the wild hunt they may have more to do with defending the point of attack from Slayer and the darkhounds as an element of the Last Battle.

Then again it might just be a misinterpretation of prophecy and my remembering of the books. :)

Not everyone gets to kill their nemesis. Mat killed the false Car'a'carn.

Ramble ramble. Yay for a nice chapter and for people spending time in the same room after months (years) apart.

Sadly it was a rushed time wherein very little information was shared but that is the nature of the story.

As for Alanna and her bond. Now that she knows there are three other bond holders with Rand it is possible that she may realize she should release him if she is ever in the same room with him.

It is possible one of Verin's letters went to Alanna suggesting that she release him. I have absolutely nothing to base this on but Verin wrote a lot of letters. She was there when Alanna bonded him and may have had time to think about it and how it could affect her plans, the Dark One's plans and the general success of team light in the overall scheme of things.

Maybe I just want someone who Rand does not trust to admit they made a mistake and undo some of what they did now that he has found himself somewhat and can show that he can forgive when someone makes a sincere apology after breaching his trust in such a severe way.

Probably won't happen. She will probably get bloodknifed while visiting the White tower and Rand will go all crazy stabby and the three girls will have to distract him with feather dancing and the sar'sara and other ways of wiles. Because that is what the story needs. more boom chicka wah wah.


Roger Powell
33. forkroot
I too have this as my second favorite scene in all of WoT (my first is coming up later in this book.) As much enjoyment as Leigh gets from Nynaeve though, I get more from what we hear of Lan's reaction.

It takes a lot to get old stone-face off his bearings, but he's clearly unbalanced while witnessing what happens between Rand and his harem.

Not mentioned in all the fuss is how selfless Min has been during this episode. She loves Rand and has had the benefit of being his companion yet she forces the issue, making him confront Elayne and Avienda. Yes, she knows from her foretelling that she has to share him -- but she "goes the extra mile" on behalf of the others. I think this is because she loves Rand so much, she knows that he must address his unresolved guilt feelings about the other two women in his life.
34. Greyhawk
This chapter, and really storyline, has never done much for me. I think I have never bought into the three loves thing from Rand--how much time did he actually spend with Elayne?--because the development of the characters emotional connection has seemed, to me, to be poorly developed and substantiated. And the sister love amongst the three has always felt forced, contrived, false, etc. As has been pointed out before, these books took a long time to come out and I guess that contributes to the feeling by some that there is real time under the belt amongst these characters--but 20 years for them it has not been. So, while the chapter had some pretty funny moments, fundamentally it didn't work for me.
Ron Garrison
35. Man-0-Manetheran
Leigh: Did the dentist give you laughing gas (nitrous oxide)?

Totally agree. Nynaeve is hilarious!
Steve Hussey
36. deihbhussey
“As far as the Horn being blowing with Birgitte there, quite likely. But we've already seen what happens when the Horn is blown with a living hero there: the end of tGH, at Falme, when Mat blows it with Lews Therin Telamon standing at his side. So there.”

This comment led me to a bit of a tangent that may have already been suggested. Could all the strangeness at the end of TGH with Rand fighting in the sky and what not all be connected to him being a currently alive reborn “hero” who was fighting against a currently alive DO representative (or hero if there really are that many permutations throughout the ages) who was connected to the Horn? So maybe them fighting in that stead is more proof that the “army controlling” & “sky fighting” was a result of the Horn itself and how a currently spun out central character is affected by the Horn being blown and doesn’t have anything to do with usage of the Power.
37. BenM
Re: more heroes being spun out. How many Heroes are there? We don't want TOO many of them spun out. Who will be left to magically fight the Shadow when Mat blows the Horn?

Speaking of which, *massive headdesking* Why the heck did it never occur to me that Verin's letter contained the location of the Horn? (Possibly among other things.)
38. BenM
LTF @32: ah, beat me to it. Great minds, and alla that, right? ;)
Tricia Irish
39. Tektonica
Hi Leigh and thank you thank you! Glad you are back up to speed. Great chapter and commentary! Since I was traveling, with a small t, I was selfishly glad there was no Tuesday post and I could catch up....but sorry about your dental emergency. Loved the *glittery* YAY....very fancy.

Loved Miss Smartypants being speechless! And Lan! Put that in your pipe and smoke it. LOL. And finally....communication! However brief. The off camera sexing was done is such a humorous way with Avi and Min feeling the heat, so to speak. I loved Min's "toes" remark, and her apology for it. It was very typically irreverent Min.

I also thought the Lily on the pillow was a great Rand and RJ. Very romantic. I was so hopeful after the "veins of gold" and the four of them bonding, that communication at least between them would improve, that they might help each other, but no such luck. Sigh.

As for her viewing of Avi's kids as having something "odd" about them, I would love to hear some theories. I've heard some say that perhaps, two of the kids are Elaynes...that she dies and Avi gets the kids. I've heard the Rand in another body when he fathers them theory. (RobM) I've wondered if one or two of them might be Mins? There's quite a few here that think she will die in the LB and although she does not appear to be pregnant, and I don't think the timeline would allow another nine months to go by before the LB, Min has stated that she can't see her own future. She has had the most chances of being pregnant of any of them......just a thought. Any others theories?

BTW, I had a great get together with Man-O-Manatheren in Denver, over a Beer of the Red Hand. ::waves:: Hi Man-O!

Nice to be back....I missed you guys!
Brandon D
40. Ishmayl
@33 forkroot
Does your favorite scene, coming up in this book, have anything at all to do with a very awesomely poignant Rand/Lan scene in Far Madding? Because that is hands-down my favorite scene in the series thus far.

re: Min's viewing of Aviendha's babies.

I personally think that Elayne is going to bite it, and Aviendha will adopt the babies. The only thing we know for certain about Min's viewing (which Elayne starts to take for granted eventually) is that the babies will be born healthy - no mention of a healthy, happy mother. Perhaps she takes a mortal wound and Our Heroes have to do the Randland version of a C-Section to save the babies?

Other than that, definitely one of my favorite scenes. Honesty all around, with a bit of awesome humor thrown in (not Min's, of course).
Lucas Vollmer
41. aspeo
I love your commentaries Leigh!

This is a great chapter, and I think it was one of the most brilliantly written in the entire series. It's one of those that really sticks with you after you've read it.

I agree that the thing that really pushed this chapter over the top is Nynaeve and Lan freaking out while Rand and the girls are getting their "I love you's" out. I also really like the oblique way that Rand tells Nynaeve that she won, and can help him.

As for the actual bonding, I really the reactions after it happens. The girls find out that Rand really loves them immensely and equally, but they also finally understand the immense pain that he in. From the girls' reactions it must be almost unbearable.

Birgitte being pissed off and wanting to stop Elayne was pretty funny too. I was LOLing when Min and Avienhda talked her into getting drunk instead.
Ron Garrison
42. Man-0-Manetheran
::Wave back to Tektonica::
We had a great gab fest over dinner. Did any of the beers make it back to Florida? (Tek has posted a pic on her shout page.)
Scott Terrio
43. Renegade248
Have to agree here, awesome chapter. One of my favorites.

Nyneave and Lan's reactions are priceless, and funny to boot. Also love the 'toes' pun by Min. Yes it was an awful pun when you think about it, but it still made me laugh. As someone else above said, it sort of like came out of the blue as it is not something Jordan usually does. Very funny scene in Nyneave's room.

The bonding scene with all three women was also a great scene, especially the reactions to how much pain Rand is in. And of course the scenes while Rand and Elayne are doing whoopie and the reactions from Avi, Min and Birgitte is also fun to read.

Great chapter, and like Leigh said, FINALLY they communicate their feelings. And also one more chapter closer to Mat's return. YAY.


Ismayl @ 40(and others) I really do not think Elayne will bite it in the end. After all the chapters we have with her becoming the official queen, I do not think Jordan would of put that much energy and thought into each chapter of Elayne's if she were going to die at the end. Of course it is possible, but IMO it is not going to happen. I tend to believe Min will be the one to die.
Birgit F
44. birgit
Mat can not die!

I mean the death that already happened when Rahvin killed Mat and Rand balefired Rahvin.
To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!

As for Alanna and her bond. Now that she knows there are three other bond holders with Rand it is possible that she may realize she should release him if she is ever in the same room with him.

Rand told her that someone bonded him, but not who. She refused to release him until he tells her who it was and she thinks that the other one is suitable to get his bond.
45. Freelancer
Until I got to the commentary, I just figured all the laughter was for toh == toe. I'm so glad to learn otherwise.

Nynaeve? Funny? I dunno...

“Rand al’Thor,” Nynaeve shrieked, “that is the most outrageous thing I ever heard out of your mouth! The very idea of telling three women you love them! You’re worse than a lecher! You apologize right now!”

Nynaeve’s mouth worked, but no sound came out.

Nynaeve finally got a sound out. A squeak.

Nynaeve took a grip on her braid with both hands and gave it a steady pull, breathing heavily through her nose.

Nynaeve collapsed into a chair, shaking her head. She muttered to herself, though all Elayne could understand was something about the Women’s Circle swallowing their tongues.

Nynaeve jumps and smiles inanely and “blathers” something about watching him grow up
Seems like fairly standard Wisdom behavior, right?

Ok, of course that stuff is hilarious, and absolutely genius writing. But what makes this chapter for me is as follows:

“I love you, Rand,” Elayne said simply, “and although you haven’t asked, I want to marry you.”
Rand had been avoiding Elayne because he didn't want to risk hearing from her what he believed, that she never wanted to see him again. Bout time he learned his mistake on that count.
“My heart is in your hands, Rand,” Aviendha said, treating his name like something rare and precious.
I greatly admire how Jordan gives the "savages" the greatest depth of emotion, in spite of their outward control. Also, part of Aviendha still believed until that moment that Rand's feelings for her didn't go much past the fact that they were each other's first lover. Bout time she learned her mistake on that count.
“If you don’t know by this time that I love you,” Min said, “then you’re blind, deaf and dead!”
I wonder why Min is so comfortable saying that in mixed company, with all of the obvious implications.
“And as for marriage, well, we’ll work that out between the three of us, so there!”
Hah, girl gets her way, or should I say girls get their way, and no matter what the man thinks. (Of course I don't really believe that, but that's how it's written, so I'm supposed to have this Pavlovian response to any suggestion of sexism, right?)
“He is the Car’a’carn,” Aviendha said, laughing, “as strong as the Three-fold Land itself!”
A little racial pride, there? How recently it was that she was deriding him about how un-Aiel he really was. Suddenly out come the pom-poms. And everyone can just leave that phrase ALONE!

Oh, and Leigh, about Min's viewing of Aviendha's four children:
Four of them at once! Something was odd about that, though. The babies would be healthy, but still something odd.
It isn't Elayne's kids being added to Aviendha's, it isn't Min's being added to Aviendha's. The "at once" makes it fairly solid that all four are born to Aviendha, at the same time. The oddity remains to be determined.

Ok, now for some comments on comments...


Clearly Elayne had discussed this event with Min and Aviendha. That this was a surprise for Rand is understandable, but given the situation I'm not too sure how else it should have been handled.


Nah, that's a for-reals flower, not an artificial facsimile as he had thought to do before. Rand zipped off to a location with a summer climate and snatched up a flower. He does that.


Rand's three ladies each have their own soul. One soul is always one soul. They cannot each be a part of Ilyena's soul, that would be ludicrous. Jordan doesn't do that.


What else it can mean is someone who just isn't romantically inclined in either direction. Some folks do that.


Correctamundo! A Hero who is currently incarnated in the waking world isn't directly affected by the Horn. Still, Birgitte is a special case, not having been spun into an incarnation by the Wheel.
Jamie Watkins
46. Treesinger
If Rand is so much in love with Aviendha, why doesn't he even talk to her in the Gathering Storm? She stays away from him too. I was so looking forward to their reunion and then they avoid each other.
Brandon D
47. Ishmayl
@46 Treesinger

Part (Most?) of it, I believe, has more to do with Aviendha's "shame" while the Wise Ones are putting her through her final test. She even says to herself once that she "would go to Rand for comfort, but she can't currently bear her shame," or something to that effect. I think we'll see a bit more Aviendha/Rand action after she gets back from Rhuidean.
Heidi Byrd
48. sweetlilflower
Avi is avoiding Rand b/c she will not go to him without honor, ie: she is an apprentice and he is the Chief of Chiefs. I guess Rand is avoiding her to "keep her safe".

edit: Ishmayl and I posted together :)
Roger Powell
49. forkroot
Does your favorite scene, coming up in this book, have anything at all to do with a very awesomely poignant Rand/Lan scene in Far Madding? Because that is hands-down my favorite scene in the series thus far.
We are in complete agreement. I'll save further comment until we reach that chapter.

And on some level I love that the least talkative character in the series continues to be privy to absolutely everyone’s secrets. All I’m saying is he could fund the treasury of Malkier on the book advance for that tell-all.
LOL! One of the funnier quips I've read in a while!
Justin Levitt
50. TyranAmiros
I love this chapter. The mix of romance, humor, and the fact that characters are actually honest (!) with each other elevate it beyond most of the mid-book Perrin/Succession/Seanchan muck. However, I won't be able to think of it again without the sparkly-YAY. Also, "Randspawn" is awesome.

I had a response to Treesinger, but it's been said :)
Noneo Yourbusiness
51. Longtimefan
@ 24 Tonyz

I cannot remember the scene exactly but I think Hawking speaks to Rand as though he is Lews Therin Telamon indicating that to the living Rand looks like Rand but to the Heroes of the Horn he looks like LTT.

So in that yes Lews Therin Telamon is there by Mat and yet it is Rand as the Hero reborn.

But that is just what I remember. No book handy here at work.
52. Hammerlock
Here's one about the Avienda babies:

A remnant of a remnant remains...what if the Aiel are reduced to 4 amalgamated clans, and Avienda helps 'give birth' to them?
Infant nations, healthy. Yet odd (due to metaphor).
Thomas Keith
53. insectoid
Well, I can certainly guess why Leigh is so cheerful... Characters finally communicate! Great post!

Apparently, every sister who had a Warder knew how, even those who remained celibate.
Emphasis mine. Heh... didn't catch that before.

Nynaeve: Is hilarious.
Nynaeve finally got a sound out. A squeak. (...) She muttered to herself, though all Elayne could understand was something about the Women’s Circle swallowing their tongues.
LOL! Lan is pretty funny, too.

The bond: I do find it interesting that Elayne incorporated weaves from the sister-bond ceremony to do the four-way bond.

El + Rand: YES! IT'S ABOUT TIME! ::seal clap::

Randspawn: There's a new word! I'm confused about the viewing of Avi too, even having read the FAQ. I suppose we'll just have to RAFO...

Gordian Knot: Interesting metaphor there. So really, instead of a four-way bond, it's a SIX-way bond, and if Alanna dies... hmm. Gee, I don't know... Rand goes half-batshit? Oh wait... Alanna has another Warder! A SEVEN-way bond!

bigdtv71 @1: Tsk, tsk. Grow up already!

Birgit @26:
If Mat's death ended his bond to the Horn Birgitte could blow it.
::gasp:: What a dreadful thing to think... What would Leigh say? Mat is totally Awesome and can't die!

Birgit F
54. birgit
I put a diagram of all the people connected to Rand on my gallery.
Tricia Irish
55. Tektonica

THAT is amazing! Thank you. It's a constant party in his head. No wonder the guy is going crazy. Oh for some peace and quiet!
Alice Arneson
56. Wetlandernw
rosetintdworld @7 - Not sure what you mean by Elayne's "lack of game" here. Subtlety failure? Well, yeah, but what do you expect? Yes, she wants her chance now. Who knows when - or if - she'll see him again? As of TGS, she hasn't seen him since, and it's been a good four months.

Sonfothunder @8 - I just realized why I like the "toes" pun so much. Min is a little off-balance, so she totally says it just to be snarky. And I love me a little snark. Makes for a good tension release - at least for Min. :) I'm with you on the best moment, though. I tear up every time I read it. (Grudgingly, I have to admit that it gives Alanna some excuse for her behavior ever since she bonded Rand. Bonding him without permission was completely wrong, but if she's been living with all his pains ever since, it's no wonder she's... slightly tilted.)

up2stuff @14 - That hit me this time too. I don't quite see how a soul can be divided three ways, but I do think RJ had something specific in mind. Hope we get to RAFO sometime.

Faramir @19 - VBG. Agree.

misfortuona @20 - Peeking at the afterscene with Lan & Nynaeve - that would be funny! Although I expect you're right about the dangling sentence fragments...

RobMRobM @21 - You know, I'm becoming less and less convinced of that theory. Not that I was ever completely convinced, but I thought it might be possible. I don't think so any more.

birgit @26 - Birgitte could blow it... LOL! I've wondered if Mat's bond to the horn is broken, but I kinda think he'd be the one to blow it again anyway. Actually, I don't think it's broken; the balefire returned everything to the way it had been, and I think that included Mat's bond to the horn.

forkroot @33 - Or it may be that she loves Rand so much that since she knows he needs the other two women, she'll make the "sacrifice" to give him every advantage he can have, irrespective of "unresolved guilt feelings." Particularly since he now has other guilt issues with them - and just wait until he finds out Elayne is pregnant!

deihbhussey @36 - That's an interesting theory. I've either not heard it before, or at least not heard it stated that way. Well, if that's the case, we should find out soon!

Tektonica @39 - Yay for facebook! I loved seeing the pics. :) As for the "oddness" of Aviendha's kids... as you say, there are a lot of theories floating around. My theory? I think all the theories are wrong, and it's something that hasn't occurred to anyone at all. :)
57. Sinastra
Hi, first time i've gotten round to posting.
I love this chapter, as other s have said because of the harem's reactions to the bonding and feeling Rands pain.


Mat can not die!

I mean the death that already happened when Rahvin killed Mat and Rand balefired Rahvin.
To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!

There was also the other time he died in Rhuidean and Rand CPR'd him back to life. I would count that as dieing too. So that's twice he's died now. So it's still in major question if Matt is even connected to the Horn anymore.
58. Freelancer

That wasn't a death. A near-death, yes. But that question has been asked and answered by the author.

Mat's connection to the Horn is completely speculative at this point. He was most sincerely dead at the Caemlyn palace, which would unlink him from the Horn. We was restored by Rahvin's death to balefire. Whether that restored the link is indeterminate.
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
To follow up on what Freelancer said, On Mat dying - here are some quotes for you from RJ:

First, from April 1996:
When did Mat die and live again? He said something that implied that the die and live again prophecy-fulfillment was the lightning incident in The Fires of Heaven, and not the hanging incident in The Shadow Rising.
That was someone's report, not a direct quote, but there it is.

Then, August 1999:
Q: I was really referring to the scene where the wall falls on them and Rand uses balefire and they all come back to life. There's a prophecy about Mat how he was going to die and I'm not sure whether that incident is where he dies or not.

RJ: Well you're not supposed to be, are you! Once, Mat was hanging by his neck and Rand wasn't sure whether he caught a heartbeat or not. You see, the thing is Mat doesn't know. Mat thinks he's got a little ace in the hole but maybe he hasn't. Maybe he doesn't have that ace in the hole that he has a death to give yet, and still live, the way he thinks. Maybe. There's an acronym they use on the net, RAFO. Read and find out.
Then from January 2003,
Q: How long Mat was hanging from the Tree of Life in Rhuidean?
RJ: Long enough.
Q: Long enough for what?
RJ: Long enough to be ALMOST dead. (Emphasis mine) I was pretty sure this was where Mat died and lived again, but I guess that's out of the question now.
Take 'em for what they're worth...
Roger Powell
60. forkroot
Nah! We boys don't feel guilty when we knock you girls up ... we strut around and puff our chests. It's when you all get morning sickness, etc all the way through birth pains that you think we should feel guilty for doing this to you.

Of course you get to be something we can never be: a mom. And moms are the best thing in the world. Period.
Maggie M
61. Eswana
Oh Leigh. I am giggling like a little girl, and trying to hide it, as the other inhabitants of this Starbucks probably already think I'm nuts.


Love this chapter, for the same reasons you listed.

The Avienda's kids will be "odd" thing has always, always bugged me. In fact, the Very First Theory I ever submitted to the now-defunct Wotmania was about that. My 16-year old self (!!?!?!) was confused. My...well. Mid-twenties self is still confused.

BUT! Now that, post tGS, Rand is (hopefully) a nice semi-normal guy again and Avienda feels "worthy" of Rand again once she finishes her Wise One training, I am pretty sure she and Rand will be doing their share of celebrating too. Bingo! Babies!

Anybody want to take bets on the odds that we'll get to see any of the kids born? If the past 12, count 'em, 12, books have taken place over the course of 1-2 years, the odds that the remaining two books will have enough time contained within for Elayne to give birth, much less Avienda... I'm not holding my breath.

But yes, YAY. YAY all around.
Tina A
62. Tinaa
love Love LOVE this chapter! Communication, a bit of together time for my favourite characters, and some.. ahem... ess ee x ing fun.

Oh, and Forkroot @ 60... Bless. Your Mother is a lucky lady.
Kev Hamm
64. cavynmaicl
I can get in a snit about "polyamory" every single time I come across the word. It's just FLAT OUT WRONG!!

It should be "polyfilia" or "multiamory" because you don't mix Latin and Greek roots together if you've more than half a brain.

Great reread, Leigh!
Jay Dauro
65. J.Dauro
Yes, one of my favorites scenes also. Love Nyneave and Lan.

On the page it is great, but I think that listening to Kate Reading's recitation of the Chapter is what really pushed it over the top for me. Nyneave's squeak, Aviendha's "My heart in your hands", these two lines alone make purchasing the audiobook worthwhile.
Alice Arneson
66. Wetlandernw
forkroot @60 - LOL! But remember, this is Rand we're talking about. He feels guilty about everything. And yeah, I wouldn't trade my mom, or being a mom, for anything in the world.

Eswana @61 - I've placed my bets. I don't think we'll see any of the babies unless there's a "several months/years later" epilogue on AMoL. I don't see the action stretching for another 4-5 months to allow for Elayne's babies, much less time for either Aviendha or Min to get pregnant and go anywhere near full term. For that matter, I'm betting that TofM will end approximately 3 days (maybe a week) after TGS, and AMoL will take a total of about 2 weeks. Which would have Elayne at around 20 weeks (our count) or halfway through her pregnancy. So... yeah.

Man-o-Manetheran @63 - ROFL!!

cavynmaicl @64 - unless you've never studied either Greek, Latin or etymology, in which case you might not realize that one was Greek and one was Latin. And you might not care, no matter what fraction of a working brain you have.

J.Dauro @65 - Funny, it makes me think that I'm glad I haven't listened to the audiobooks. That's the kind of scene that always works best "in my head," and listening to the way someone else interprets it messes it up. For me. ::shrug::
Kev Hamm
67. cavynmaicl
Wetlandernw @66 - I would explain the fact that this is a joke, but that ruins the joke.
Barry T
68. blindillusion
Birgit: Re - Diagram ~

Now that is pretty MOA. It's somewhat - awe inducing - looking at all that at once, isn't it?

Goes a long way towards making up for the cringe producing comment at 26. ;)

And Leigh - "Randspawn". chuckle. nay! chortle!!
Hugh Arai
69. HArai
Pretty sure the outcome of a death in the "bond-web" will be bad for Rand some way. Simple deduction: It sucks to be Rand in pretty much every other way, this is just #239056 on the list...

Wetlandernw@56: No sympathy for Alanna here. She wanted to be tied to Rand. Take what you want and pay for it. It's nice to see the girls react to what Rand is coping with, but really they saw how he got the first unhealable wound, did they really need the clue-bat that life is not so happy for him?
Alice Arneson
70. Wetlandernw
cavynmaicl - sorry, philology jokes aren't big on my horizon.
71. Freelancer

::blink:: But...whyever not? ::duck::


I commented extensively about the crowd gathered in Rand's head awhile back. I was about to ask why Lews Therin isn't on that diagram, then noticed there were two versions, one with him and one without. One thing though, Birgitte and Ihvon can surely be considered connected, though with a second degree of separation, but there is nothing in the story to suggest that two (or more) Warders bonded to the same channeler can sense anything about each other. So Something happening to Birgitte shouldn't have any affect on Rand, other than his awareness of the emotional impact on Elayne.
72. peachy
In re: Mat and mortality...

"Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do."
73. Shuren
My favorite chapter in the whole series. This is why I love the Wheel of Time. It's funny, it's touching & it's just so awesome.

I have a theory about Avi's four babies! If I remember correctly the term for mother's sister-wife is sister-mother. So Aviendha (and propably Min too) will be sister-mother's to Elayne's kids. No-one has to die because in a way Avi and Min have already adopted Elayne's babies. They are their mothers too.


I want a sister-wife!
Sharon E.
74. Sulin
Drat, late again! This chapter is one of my favorites of the whole series, for reasons everyone's already stated. It's Made of Awesome in just about every way imaginable. RJ was a genius!

Randspawn? ROFL!!!!!

peachy@72-Princess Bride references, ftw! :D
Thomas Keith
75. insectoid
Birgit @54: Nice job! Quite a crowd of people in there.

Man-0 @63: LOL!!

76. Demira
ROFL!! Oh man! Leigh, you somehow know just how to say it. Thanks for one the best commentaries starting with your YAY!

Gee, Lan has been exposed to alot of humor today, how could anyone continue to be depressed with all this diversion going on?

Finally, Finally, there is some communication going on, but still frustration. Don't get me wrong, I loved how the reunion went, but I still hope to hear of any conversational trading of information or planning Rand and Elayne might have inbetween the -uh-you-know--.Grrr!!

Some interesting theories you all have about Rand's kids. You all made me think wouldn't it be great if RJ and BS could just give us little glimpses into the future of Randland after TG?

One of the things I am most looking forward to is Rand finding out he is going to be a father. And again frustration thatit seems Rand will be the last to know. Jeesh! doesn't everyone in Andor know that Elayne is pregnant? Anyways it is amazing how one's perspective changes when they are about to become parents.
77. kazmatt
@peachy "Go through his pockets and look for loose change!"

"Bye bye, have fun storming Shayol Goul. Ya think it'll work? It'd take a miracle."

Leigh I will once again stand up next to you and defend... wait, I mean to say i agree with you on the whole same gender relationships issue. I think the series would suffer if a token gay couple had a walk on part during Rand's wedding, but its complete absence is noticeable.

RJ once mentioned that homosexuality in Randland was taken 'as a matter of course' and no big deal. I have two Loony Theories about the whole of WOT. The first is that Galad is gay (cue the wailing of gnashing of teeth from females across the land). The second is that Lini can channel. C'mon, she's been a nurse to Elayne, Morgase, AND Morgase's mother?

I'm pretty content that these are both cases where we'll never be able to RAFO.
john mullen
78. johntheirishmongol
I really like this chapter too but what strikes me, besides the central couple, is how Avienda reacts to Rand, mostly because I never expected her to be that open in her feelings about him.

It was funny how Brigitte was going to defend Elaynes honor until she realized who it was she was with. The whole interlude there is somewhat voyeuristic. I don't blame them for getting drunk. However, I still hate the name oosquai, a bitch to spell and sounds like fermented mares milk.
John Massey
79. subwoofer
@1bigdtv- way to fling poo, buddy.

I dunno- Ny and Lan make this a cool scene, but it is not my bag. In RL the ATF would be moving in on Rand and try to break up his cult. Then the Feds would hall his butt before a federal judge and find him guilty. Just sayin`.

Me- I am all over the many wives angle. Down side is, when I suggested that to my wife, she pummeled me until I said I was kidding. The Folk Fest was in town this past week and my wife had a bunch of her friends staying over in our guest rooms. Lemme tell you- 3+ women in a house+ 1 subwoofer = subwoofer being very quiet and minding his p`s and q`s. I`d be sweating hardcore if I was Rand. Avi would be hard enough, but add Elayne of the raised chin clan and Min of the Constantly busting Rand`s hump clan... let`s just say I hope it works out in the end for Rand- he makes it with his skin intact.

Y`all know what my favorite chapter is and it is all about upcoming whoop a$$.

This one was cute, RJ did an excellent job in writing the many povs and wrapping it up in one scene. That is why he is the master. Well done.

As for Avi and her relationship with Rand in TGS->>I attribute that to the different perspective of BS. There are many relationships and characters he has to find the feel for. Mat is one, Avi & Rand, another.

Julian Augustus
80. Alisonwonderland
Min is easily my favorite female character (as some might have guessed from my post anointing her the true Ilyena) and it is her actions on this Caemlyn trip that elevated her to sainthood in my eyes. What utter utter selflessness! This is a question for our lady members on this board: is it possible for a real-life woman to act as Min does here? I won't direct the same question to the gentlemen because I flatly refuse to believe it possible.
John Massey
81. subwoofer
Min is very supportive of Rand. A RL Min? Hmmmmmm... I'd have to say- Paris Hilton. She is so selfless and saintly.

I say that with a completely straight face.

82. Shuren
Alisonwonderland: It's quite possible... I think. I was once kind of in love with a friend of mine (let's call him Mr. weird) and at the same time one of my closest friends (she's Ms. sunshine) was kind of in love with him too. Kind of. These things are pretty complicated when we are young.

Anyway we used to spend a lot of time together and, well, to an outsider it might have seemed that we both were his girlfriends. We all knew each other's seni-romantic feelings but we never talked about them together. At first I was dying from my jealousy but it lessened with time. Ms. sunshine was like a sister to me and we joked a lot of us being twins with different parents. In the end I was happy for her, more happy than jealous.

= My point was: sharing isn't impossible but it's not fun either.

(I just counted that I've been studying english for 10 years... Well, I'm a lazy student.)
83. bluecansam
""Send them to Tiana or don't," Myrelle snapped, "but don't talk about it." Elayne did not think the darkly beautiful woman was angry at Siuan or Leane. Perhaps not at anyone or anything in particular. She had a volatile temper remarkable even among Greens. Her golden yellow silk dress became high-necked, but with an oval cutout that exposed the tops of her breasts; she wore a peculiar necklace, too, like a wide silver collar supporting three small daggers, hilts nestling in her cleavage. A fourth dagger appeared and was gone so quickly it might have been imagination. She eyed
Nynaeve up and down as if searching for fault. "Are we going to the Tower, or aren't we? If we are
going to do this, we might as well accomplish something useful while we are -about it."," (LoC, Chapter 7, A Matter of Thought).

The fourth dagger, presumably, was for Lan, and perhaps was an involuntary expression of a sublimated desire to add him to her collection of husbands.

As for homosexuality:

“She was a slender, lovely woman, made more so by her small sad smile, with
large brown eyes and long black hair hanging halfway to her waist. A tall woman, though Moiraine
admitted she did tend to judge such things by her own height, and rather too full bosomed. Cairhienin
were not a tall people, and she had been considered short even among them,” (TSR, Chapter 21, Into the Heart).

Maybe I was reading too far into that text, and we have several clues to show that Moiraine loves Tom, but this paragraph always gave me the impression that Moiraine appreciated both genders. And since Moiraine is a light sider, and a well liked character, I’d say she can be an early candidate for breaking the, “evil bitch,” lesbian mold.
84. Freelancer

I'm going to answer as a guy anyway. This being fantasy, the field is much broader and deeper on such issues, and I'm not quite enough of a stick-in-the-mud to want the story to fit my own "old-fashioned sensibilities". In real life? If I were Rand, I would have continued where he left off. Tell them they're all bent for thinking this is a decent proposition, and run for the hills.

I know that there are folks with less "restrictive" viewpoints, but to me romance is damaged when you add more than one direct connection. It isn't about what some would call possessiveness or selfishness, but what I believe is right and wrong.

And regarding the "inequity" within the story, I can hardly get worked up about a "lopsided" treatment of a behavior with which I neither agree nor approve. It is enough that, for the story's sake, I accept.

Oh, and there is one female for whom I can speak intelligently. And her answer would be; "Not anyone sane."
John Massey
85. subwoofer
I'm not a stick in the mud... mostly, but from the text, the amount of grief on of the Aiel chief's gets from both his wives- I think it was Han or Braun or Bosch or something, anyways, the guy has the nerve to chuckle and one wife pulls the guy's head off, the other wife stabs him, a little.

Rand has one of the Forsaken in love with him. One would think that is disaster enough for him without actively looking for more ways to get himself in trouble.

If I had to pick one wife, it would be Avi, you know where she is coming from, she can haul a$$ and she can channel so she will live a long life beside Rand. Elayne- c'mon. Min- unfortunately, she will pass on well before Rand's second life.

My wife tells me she was out of her mind when she married me;)

John Massey
86. subwoofer
Score! Tor is going up in smoke- methinks their server may be full of comment.I noticed this 4 weeks ago. Or a program with bad juju is trying to leave spam all over it. TNF v2.0.

Alice Arneson
87. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland @80 - See Freelancer @84. What he said.

IRL, my answer would be "No way on God's green earth am I sharing my husband." But IRL, it's all about the meaning and purpose of marriage, and sharing doesn't fit.
88. Freelancer
Rand has one of the Forsaken in love with him.
You talk about a "silk stalking"! And no TRO is going to slow her down. At least, unless it were enforced with a Binder, and with what she's done in her life, I doubt she's holding still for that. I can almost hear her singing, "Never gonna give you up..."

And that leads me to wonder. We're told that Semirhage was approached by a delegation of Aes Sedai to pass judgement on her, offering her a choice between criminal Binding and severing, and they didn't shield her before telling her this? They just stood there while she Traveled herself to Shayol Ghul, or elsewhere? Makes you go hmmm.

::high five:: Tag team! Game on!
89. bluecansam
Here’s an oddity.

“Elayne embraced the True Source before she thought of it, and felt a shudder of relief that she could,
that she had not been shielded unaware. If the woman below was Black Ajah . . . But if she was, why
announce herself? Even so, she wished the glow ofsaidar surrounded Nynaeve, too. If only the woman
could channel without anger. "Send her in," Nynaeve said, and Elayne realized she was very much aware of her lack, and afraid. As Rendra turned to go, Elayne began weaving flows of Air, thick as cables and ready to bind, flows of Spirit to shield another from the Source. If this woman so much as resembled one on their list, if she tried to channel a spark . . . The woman who stepped into the Chamber of Falling Blossoms, in a shimmering black silk gown of unfamiliar cut, was no one Elayne had ever seen before, and surely not on the list of the women who had gone with Liandrin. Dark hair spilling loose to her shoulders framed a sturdily handsome face with large, dark eyes and smooth cheeks, but not with Aes Sedai agelessness. Smiling, she closed the door behind her. "Forgive me, but I thought you were -- " The glow ofsaidar surrounded her, and she . . .
Elayne released the True Source. There was something very commanding in those dark eyes, in the halo
around her, the pale radiance of the One Power. She was the most regal woman Elayne had ever seen,” (TSR, Chapter 46, Veils).

“She used Compulsion so often like a hammer that one might forget that she could wield the weaker forms of it with great delicacy, twisting a mind's path so subtly that even the closest examination might miss every trace of her. In fact, she might have been the best at that who ever lived. He let the gateway vanish but held on to saidin; those tricks did not work on someone wrapped in the
Source,” (LoC, Chapter 6, Threads Woven of Shadow).

Note that Sammael thinks to himself, “someone wrapped in the Source,” not, “a man wrapped in saidin.” Weeiird.
Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw
bluecansam - please clarify. What exactly do you think is "an oddity?" That's a fairly extended passage...
91. Freelancer

I get the feeling you are suggesting that Moghedien shouldn't have been able to hit Elayne with a mild Compulsion while she was holding strongly to saidar. At this point of the story, we also have to consider how little Elayne knows of protecting herself from an AoL channeler.
92. bluecansam
Yes, I'm suggesting that Mog shouldn't be able to use compulsion on Elayne. The way Sammael thinks about the Source protecting him, it didn't appear to be anything special, just that one had to simply hold it. Easy peasy. It reads as a gaf to me, not evidence of Elayne’s ignorance.
Max Espensen
93. Andvari
I'm surprised at how many people love the toe "joke". For me it was one of the most gauche things I've ever read. Firstly, it really wasn't funny on any particular level, and secondly it is, as Leigh points out, internally inconsistent with the fact that it only works in English, and English isn't even spoken in Randland, I remember seeing something about how it's not so far away from the Old Tongue, but English could never be said to be that. (Though if we're going for linguistic suspension of disbelief, the fact that they across a sizeable continent, not to mention a whole continent that none of them even knew existed, they all speak that same language, whatever it may be, with mutual comprehension is not exactly plausible either.) The whole thing made me cringe anyway.

Anyhoo, enough of that, it is a great chapter otherwise, though I'd not rank it in my Top 3 of this book, let alone the series. Actually my favourite bit in it is Aviendha's reaction, the embracing of Rand as Aiel and a strong and worthy leader, and then the veins of gold, which was lovely at the time and only got better with the association with the end of TGS.

Nynaeve's reaction s priceless though, and even though I am pretty much diametrically opposite to her views with a lot of things in this area, she is still my favourite female character, fundamentally because she makes me laugh the most (though on my personal re-read I've just finished The Golden Crane in KoD, and she deserves the epithet for that chapter alone - still the only chapter in WoT that makes my eyes moist, so she can get me at both ends of the emotional spectrum)

Re: Aviendha's odd four babies, I think someone said it above, but realistically we're surely not going to be 9 months down the line at the end of aMoL, even if they've already been conceived at this point (which is possible if something happen of-camera in Arad Doman, but let's assume not), let alone if they've not. So presumably this viewing wouldn't leave us hanging with that and not resolve the oddity. Which to me leads to two conclusions, either a) it is apparent what the oddity is way before birth or b) we will get some sort of "A year later" Epilogue in which they will feature. Which is quite exciting.

If it is a) one potential oddity that I haven't seen on the thread I think is if it something wrong like Siamese twins or something. I don't really believe that, but if the oddity is very apparent with the delving-style weave it has to be something like that you'd have thought.
Max Espensen
94. Andvari
Re: polyamory, my thoughts are of the live and let live variety; they all seem happy and consenting so let them do it. But with this specific one, I'm kind of with Cadsuane on this one, don't see how Rand is really worth giving up your principles of monogamy for. But anyhow, is there a specific reason for this as a plot device? I'm not saying everything in the books needs to be a Chekhov's gun, in fact I quite like things not being, but there must be some sort of reason.

You could say that it is just so the characters all have a reason to be involved in the storyline but would the plotline be fundamentally different if Elayne was not in love with Rand and vice versa? Even Aviendha hasn't really a major plot-hinging reason (as yet) for this to be necessary. Only Min really justifies herself purely plot-relatedly as her being close to Rand means he gets the benefit of the viewings she has.
diane heath
95. jadelollipop
Knowledge of Elayne's twins and what is odd about Aviendha's children are just two items that could be answered in the proposed encylopedia. An epilogue would be nice though.
Mat will survive TG as he is supposed to help Tuon reconquer Seanchan mainland. I do hope Harriet decides that those proposed after TG books (at least this one) will be published. :)
Re: Mat's death/live again. I do think it was fulfilled at Caemlyn and his return because of Rahvin's death does not affect his connection to the Horn. (Balefire only went back so far).
Jonathan Levy
96. JonathanLevy
I'm surprised at how many people love the toe "joke". For me it was one of the most gauche things I've ever read.

Yeah, it didn't really fit seamlessly into the narrative, did it? I always thought that the reason for that joke was to clarify to the readers exactly how 'toh' was supposed to be pronounced. It rhymes with 'My Big Toe', not 'Brigitte Bardot'.

Sort of like in the Harry Potter series, where Hermione has a short conversation with Victor Krum explaining how to pronounce her name. That conversation was put in for readers unfamiliar with the name 'Hermione'. Which is quite a few, I imagine.
97. MatCismyhero
I would say this chapter is more interesting to read in light of the chapter of TGS named "Veins of Gold." His reason to live including Elayne is hard to stomach, but Avi and Min are probably worth it :)
Tricia Irish
98. Tektonica
Man-O@63: LOL....Kevin Bacon.

Forkroot@60: Aw. You are right about motherhood.....having one is the best, and it's the most challenging and most rewarding job I've ever had the privilege to have.

Alisonwonderland@80: Min is my favorite female character also, and finding and bringing Elayne and Avienda to Rand was a totally selfless act. Min knew Rand needed to resolve this because of her viewings, and she knew that the girls loved him too. I'd like to think I could be as altruistic as she is, but in reality, not so much. Maybe with separate houses......

Several: An epilogue, even 20 years down the line, ala Harry Potter, might work. It would be enough time for the fallout from the battle, redistribution of kingdoms, and various relationships to have settled and reformed. Resolution, Yay!

Edit to add: As for the "toes" joke....I think Min was feeling rather awkward here.....a bit left out...not being a channeler, and not knowing Avi much at all, while essentially bonding herself to her, with the man she loves. It was just her way of being irreverent and breaking up the seriousness of the moment. She is good at bringing people down to earth. She probably didn't at that point, know much about "toh" either. I like that she sensed Avi's anger and apologized for her remark later too.
Rob Munnelly
99. RobMRobM
Hi all - here at home with my family visiting our friends outside of Philadelphia. At least I have the cat to keep me company - and I got the first Mazalan Fallen book out of the library. Likely see me dive in this weekend. Gulp.

Re Avi's four kids: Free got it right above. The four will be born at once, thereby avoiding the more difficult permutations re sister-bonds, adoption, etc. The "odd thing" has to be the different body. This makes complete sense in text. RJ has teed up a couple of actual or potential forms of different bodies: rip out of T'AR (Birgitte); be reborn is someone else's body using either One or True Power (the 'gars, Cyndane, Mori, etc); and, potentially, some type of crossing the streams takeover by Rand of Mori's body. I'll bet big bucks that one of them will happen with Rand. I'm betting on T'AR but, if it is to be truly odd, having him in Mori's very different (but incredibly handsome) body will be "odder" than having him in a cleaned up version of his own body, so that is a very close second. We won't see the babies in the story proper but Rand will survive TG and we'll see all surviving key players live happily in the epilogue. (Yes, Wet, exactly that.)

Furthermore, per the Finns he must die and per the Finns he needs to die to live again. So unless RJ reinvents the Mat-style debate over technical dying due to strangulation or due to death re revivification through balefire, rebirth is the way to go. (Note that balefire won't work either - Rand's blood has to spill on rocks of Shayul Ghul (per the other prophecy) and if killed there are revived through balefire the blood will never have hit the rocks in the first place. Right). I frankly can't even envision a scenario where re-birth for Rand won't be involved. I don't see why Wet and Tek have become doubters - not seeing a reason for doubt in text. I'm all ears if there is an alternative scenario that fits all of these pieces.

Re Mat, I'm betting the link is still there. Balefire makes things as if the intervening event never occurred, so the death and broken link never happened. Free is correct that we don't know that for sure but keeping the link is the way to bet.

Re the chapter, it is a very good one but not on my highest tier. Leigh is right that what makes the scene special are three elements: honesty of emotions, the presence of Nyn and Lan with said honestly expressed but unconventional emotions, and the out and out comedy of the Avi-Min-Birgitte-oosquai aftermath.

Re toh/toe, I would have bet money that Min made the same error several times during the series, and so (contra Leigh) I don't believe the reference in this chapter is meant to be ironic or humorous. Can one one of the mavens check out my memory on this?

Bluescan at 83 - Moiraine and Siuan were pillow friends, and she is Carheinian and therefore not shy about sexual openness. Very clear she can appreciate both genders, even if she has left acting on it long in her past.

Demira - great name, better go grey quickly before someone steals it.

Tek and Man - very nice pictures. Never realized you were that pretty - Man, I mean. *ducks*

So - veins of gold equal love? That adds a particular piece of poignancy to the use of Veins of Gold chapter title at the end of TGS. Love = Light = health for Randland via the Fisher King. There's an excuse for massive and continuous sexing with his three women: "Honey, we need to do it... for Randland!" LOL

Sara H
100. LadyBelaine
Andvari@93, others

"I'm surprised at how many people love the toe "joke". For me it was one of the most gauche things I've ever read. Firstly, it really wasn't funny on any particular level, and secondly it is, as Leigh points out, internally inconsistent with the fact that it only works in English, and English isn't even spoken in Randland."


There is another example of this somewhere in the story too - I beleive it was Nynaeve or Elayen eating "strawberries" for the first time and thinking "how odd, they taste nothing like straw."

That joke only works in English, and I wonder how that was handled in the translations.
john mullen
101. johntheirishmongol
New Poll!!!

Who would you marry? Pick one and only one. No rule on who you can marry, just choose who you like. Reasons are good too.
Rob Munnelly
102. RobMRobM
@101. Min. Short and sweet, with only a touch of tart.

Edit - got an error code but post still posted.
Tricia Irish
103. Tektonica
RobM@99: Welcome to Malazan! Absolutely fabulous. Erikson is a great writer. He throws you into the deep end, but the fog does clear...well, as much as it ever does. Nothing is obvious, but it's all fascinating. The blog is great too. I'm starting book 3. If you have any questions, Fiddler is a maven.

I am not a doubter of Rand's resurrection? My theory was that Rand would fight the DO in TAR, which is in all worlds, but outside of time.....where he will spill his blood on the rocks at Shayol Ghul, (the Bore being outside of the Wheel, as well), seal up the DO and die.

I think Nynaeve ripping him out of TAR, three days later, where he awaits the Horn, is well foreshadowed. Of course I could be completely wrong! Maybe there's the body switch with Moridan? I prefer his own repaired version. Maybe he waits in TAR as LTT? Nah, I don't like that one.

John@101: The Poll: Mat. I love me a reformed scoundrel! He has a heart of gold, he's brave, true and loyal. He's funny. He's smart. He's adventurous and bold. He loves women! Oh yeah, give me Mat.
Valentin M
104. ValMar

Very good point. Both toes, and strawberries won't work in languages other than English. Certainly don't in Bulgarian, Russian, the other related Slavic languages, French, German, Italian...

If someone here has the books in language different than English, maybe you can let us know how they delt with this?
105. Freelancer

Who would I marry? Easy, the one I did. ::phthphbtphbt::

Oh, you mean a WoT character?

Bonnie Andrews
106. misfortuona
JTIM @101
Mat of course.

Seems we have a problem Spear Sister. We both want the same husband. I'm willing to share if you are. :D

Mis-works for me

Holy massive error code batman. The only thing missing is Leighs flashing thingies
Sharon E.
107. Sulin
Hey Spear-Sister! *waves at Mis*

JTIM@101- the marriage poll: Rand. Why? He's super-tall, red-headed and he's got....BALEFIRE! (that's for you Gabbly-ites!) :D Plus, to quote Terez, "balanced heroes are boring."
Tricia Irish
108. Tektonica

We can discuss our man at Jcon, Spear Sister. This could work.....
diane heath
109. jadelollipop
Re: Poll I would have to say Mat over Rand or Perrin.
Tam would be a good choice also
Thomas Keith
110. insectoid
JTIM @101: Definitely Min. If necessary, I'll fight RobM² for her! ;)

BTW, I've let Torie know about the Massive Error Codes (™ pending); we'll see what comes of it.

Rob Munnelly
111. RobMRobM
@110 - you can have Min if and when she visits the West Coast. Can't get more fair than that....
Eric Hughes
112. CireNaes

Sammael is alluding to the more subtle forms of compulsion, not the heavy handed full on stuff (which we both know works whether you're holding the source or not e.g., Moghedien and Graendal).

The reasons for this we can only speculate on. Perhaps this is because the Source enhances your senses and it's easier to hold on to your will, which could naturally nullify the effects of a light weave.
Julian Augustus
113. Alisonwonderland
Hey Rob and Insect, don't you guys even look at Min- I claimed her first! and I'm not sharing!!!
Rob Munnelly
114. RobMRobM
@113 - You can borrow her when she gets north of the border. Can't get more fair than that....
Roger Powell
115. forkroot
On the marriage poll:

Min's an obvious choice - but I think I'll put in for Leane. Smart, sexy, practical, great personality. What's not to like?

Long-time posters may remember that this is a subset of an earlier poll that asked who you wanted to:

a) bonk
b) marry
c) kill

Among male responders, Berelain was the overwhelming choice for a. Min was the favorite for b, and c was all over the map (perhaps a slight plurality for Fain.)

For female responders, Galad was the clear choice for a, the other responses varied.

The best response was from a poster named "Lews Therin Telamon"

a) Mierin
b) Ilyena
c) Ilyena

IMO, that was worth a re-post ;-)
Bonnie Andrews
116. misfortuona
See this is why RJ didn't write the one woman 3 husbands scenario.
Alisonwonderland, RobM, Bug, you guys just have to learn to share.

Mis-spreading the love
117. Freelancer
Huh. Umm. OK. Alisonwonderland, never looked at your profile. Never considered you were male.
Rob Munnelly
118. RobMRobM
Mis@116 - we are sharing, just not in the same place.

Fork - excellent choice, IMO.
Tricia Irish
119. Tektonica
Mis@116: ::waves::

Bingo! Not in their nature.
John Massey
120. subwoofer
Soooo, I had to kill some time in my doctors office so I dug out my sleeping bag, travel pillow, and found one of my copies of Winter's Heart. Plowed through it for a bit, and a few things came to mind.

Whenever it has been awhile since re-reading a book, I get reacquainted with it and I discover why I love RJ's work. There is a certain feel to it. I don't know if it is the pace, the characters or the way I can immerse myself into the story with the feel that I am there, it is just plain good stuff.

I think it is interesting the way that Elayne bonds Rand to the threesome first and then knocks boot with him. No dinner, no movie, just "damn it man, help me with my buttons". The chuckles for me came with the other girls, Birgitte included, trying to be functional and yet drown out the racket in their collective heads.

I don't know about you two, but I intend to get drunk enough to... well... to take off my clothes and dance on the table. And not a hair drunker.

Geeze, at that point, why set limits?

John Massey
121. subwoofer
Yikes, I was rambling, so I decided to split it up so it is not one massive wall. Even my eyes would roll up if I had to read all my own crap.

I already answered the poll before it was suggested, but let me go further.

Was I a she, I'd go for either Loial or Bashere. Loial because he is big and cuddly and kind and patient and smart. Yay Loial. Bashere is married, but if I didn't have to deal with the crazy wife, his cool factor alone would have me at hello, then the Marshal Generalling etc.

Women. Well- I did say Avi. I like me a spirited lady. And I look for somebody that can keep pace with me, not someone I have to pull along. Avi fits that bill. If we were speaking of the best female character, then Bela would have my vote.

John Massey
122. subwoofer
Another thing I noticed on my reread made me jump off my moral high horse. RJ, in his own way, acknowledges the traditional version of marriage. Yes all three girls love Rand. Yes Rand loves all three girls. Yes they all have openly declared this. Yes I am going to take over the world... er, I don't know how that last one snuck in there... anyways, this is all in the open- but no one has married anyone yet.

Proof of this is with Min's musings-
Light, all this talk about him marrying all three of them was very well for talk, but which one was he really going to marry?

Methinks there is going to be stuff going down and some folks may die. Maybe Avi will be the survivor and run a daycare service for Rand's brood.

diane heath
124. jadelollipop
@122 Re: Min's musings.
And as for marriage, well, we’ll work that out between the three of us, so there!”
whereas Elayne and Aviendha both confirmed plans for marriage
“I love you, Rand,” Elayne said simply, “and although you haven’t asked, I want to marry you.”
“If you make a bridal wreath for my first-sister and me, I will pick it up"

Chapter 26 of Gathering Storm has this exchange between Aviendha and Min.
Min: I admit I don't like the idea of sharing.
Avi: Neither do I.
Min: Then what do we do?
We continue as we have. Aviendha said.You have what you wish,and I am occupied by other matters.When it becomes a different time, I will inform you

This was after Min approached Aviendha because she expected a confrontation between the two of them.
I expect Aviendha and Elayne to marry Rand (Aviendha at least) but Min not so much
Jerome Pare
125. jerome248
hi everyone... sorry it's been a while since i posted, and i apologize to insert myself in your conversation...

all this talk of marrying... i think there will be 3 weddings and a funeral...

hey, was that not the title of a movie or something?... ;o}

one Aiel wedding (with Elayne and Avienda as first-sisters-wifes), one royal wedding (with Elayne in Andor), and one private wedding (with Min)...

...and the funeral with Alivia...

Janet Hopkins
126. JanDSedai
Re: Aviendha "odd" children

Somehow, when I originally read that line, I got the image of Rand & Avi's offspring being Nyms. I don't know if constructs are "born" or what, but the story needs Nyms for Rand to discover the Song. And where better for them to come from than the "remnant of a remnant" Aiel? 'Cause they will need Aiel, Ogier, and Nym to complete the song, and they're gonna have to come from somewhere.

Of course, this is unfounded speculation, as Terez would say. I just juxtaposed two thoughts on the same idea.

and Jonathan Levy-- how do *you* say Bridgette Bardot?!
John Massey
127. subwoofer
Interesting- so is the funeral Alivia's or Rand's?

@Jade- I dunno, I hear what you are saying, though until there are some vows and "I dos" I'm not buyin' it beyond the quad love fest going on.

It will be interesting to see how it does shake out tho'.

Jerome Pare
128. jerome248
hi sub...

the funeral will be grandiose, with Alivia helping Rand die... although it won't be a literal death, more like an 'unmerging' of souls... sparks will fly...

Tess Laird
129. thewindrose
subwoofer - I know on some thread way back when - you said you had married Berelain!? So now it's Aviendha, interesting:)

I always have a good laugh when I read this chapter - great way to pan to the fire if you ask me.

We don't get to see Nynaeve confront Elayne on this either, as I believe this is the last time they are together. I wonder if Min has told Nynaeve about Rand being a dad?

Marry, hmmmm - I would pick Lan, unless we could have the cast line up?

Thomas Keith
130. insectoid
You guys are hilarious!

Wind @129: I just pulled up TSR#10 (which I'm surprised still works), and it looks like by the time Sub got to the boink/marry/kill poll, he had just gotten back from being married! And then he moved on to tutus... ;D

Alice Arneson
131. Wetlandernw
RobM @99 - The reason I disagreed with your earlier post was that it sounded to me like you were advocating the "Rand in Moridin's body" theory. I have come to completely not believe that will happen. I completely agree, however, that Rand will die, and will live again. I think it will be something similar to Birgitte being pulled from TAR, but I also have this tiny hope that it will be something more. I mean... that's been done once. When Nynaeve Healed Logain, Siuan and Leane, it had never been done before (as far as anyone including the Forsaken knew, anyway). While I acknowledge the point (Terez, et al) that there's a recurring note of Nynaeve being able to reproduce a weave if she's seen it once, I still hope there's a more Nynaeve-unique touch to it, not just a repeat of what she saw before. No idea what, but something...

FWIW, I couldn't find any other cracks (by Min or anyone else) about toes, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. I just couldn't find any. I would say her apology to Aviendha later makes it quite clear that it was deliberate "cheek" although it was aimed more at Rand than at Aviendha.
"I'm sorry for what I said. About toes, I mean. I know a little of your customs. There's something about that man that just makes me cheeky. I can't control my tongue. But don't think I'm going to let you start hitting me or carving on me. Maybe I have toh, but we'll have to find some other way. I could always groom your horse, when we have time."
Which is followed by Aviendha muttering almost to herself until she proves that Min has no toh. By the way, a page earlier she heard Aviendha muttering that "I will not drink the tea myself if I --" So I predict that Aviendha will get pregnant about the night she gets back from Rhuidean.

Freelancer @117 - ROFL!! I learn things about people that way all the time. ;)
Rob Munnelly
132. RobMRobM
Wet - I'm still betting on TAR but, as I noted, the Moridin option is not far behind it.

Re the "toe" pun, I couldn't find any other references on Ideal Seek either, so maybe I'm just dreaming it.

Alice Arneson
134. Wetlandernw
RobM - Well, for what it's worth, I was almost sure someone had said it elsewhere (probably Mat, if it wasn't Min) but I can't find any evidence. Either this one stuck in my head so thoroughly that I thought it had happened more times, or... something.
135. cluegoo
maybe this has already been posted but i can't be bothered looking for it in reference to a relationship between multiple men and a single female we do have an example in the form of Myrelle and her warders. In fact i would say it would actually be a pretty common occurrence amongst the greens.
Morgan Crawford
136. Jenesis
I had to comment just to say yay Leigh I'm so glad you love this chapter. I can never decide who is better in this chapter Lan or Nyn they're both great

Oh and i like Min's toes joke i laugh at that too i'm glad someone made the joke it needed to happen sometime
137. Freelancer
From Facebook...

Brandon Sanderon: What am I doing? I'm most certainly NOT adding two more quick scenes to TofM. Why do you ask? (Hides under his bed, keeps typing.)

Freelancer: He's insane. You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives. Clearly, he is hearing Robert Jordan's voice. I understand the descent into terminal verbosity can be. . .abrupt.
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
Terminal verbosity FTW! Thanks, Freelancer.
John Massey
140. subwoofer
@Wind- wha? I thought the choice was which of the three would you rather deal with. And I did note, the best female is Bela. But for er... smiles, B- Berelain, for all the Wot human females, has my vote.

IIRC, Mat was the one baffled by Aiel going on about their toes, when he figured out toh was honor he was even more baffled as to the things they take honor from. I think it was Fires of Heaven.

And what is wrong with tutus? Very manly. Were we not hashing over kilts recently?

Julian Augustus
141. Alisonwonderland
Freelancer @137
Brandon Sanderon: What am I doing? I'm most certainly NOT adding two more quick scenes to TofM. Why do you ask? (Hides under his bed, keeps typing.)

I wish somebody had made him (or that the terminal verbosity had started early enough to make him) add to TGS the scene of Elaida's struggle and capture. The off-screen capture of Elaida robbed me of one the biggest pleasures I wanted in that book.
Joseph Blaidd
142. SteelBlaidd
Much love for this chapter.

I always assumed Lan's reaction was of the "I'm not touching this with a ten foot pole" variety.

I had been speculating for a long time how they were going to include Min in a warder bond, and I thought it was great to see that Jordon's solution was much more elegant than mine. (^_^)

Lots of great little tidbits in this section. One of the things I love is Jordon's continued inversion of the assumptions of competence. Elayne seems awfully surprised that Rand figured out they didn't want Nynaeve to know what they we're doing, in a kind of taking dog way. Its one of the more explicit instances of the in world assumption that men just aren't as smart as women.

On a completely different tangent I think one of the reasons Birgite is so pissed at Elayne is, being s3x0r3d at one remove reminds her just how much she misses Gidal.

I think Elida was unconscious for most of her capture so she missed it too.(^_-)

RE: Lack of Polyandry. I think the main reason we haven't seen a Many to One Male/Female, outside of Myrelile, is there just isn't much in world need. The only RW cultures I know of where it s practiced is a small Amazonian tribe and a area of Rural China where brothers will often marry the same woman in order to avoid having to divide the family farm as the area is so land poor that the farms are generally barely big enough as it is.

Additionally even among the Aiel we have only seen clan chiefs with more than one wife and its always been a Chief-Roofmistress-Wise One arrangement making it as much a ruling council for the can as it is a marriage. Which Brings up the question of whats Min's position in Rand's Council as Elayne is obviously the Roofmistress and Aviendha is the Wise One.
143. peachy
Has anyone taken Alviarin? 'Cause I'm all over that... smart, sexy, evil - the perfect woman.
Roger Powell
144. forkroot
Hey, if your taste runs to the evil side, why settle for Alviarin when you can go for Mierin (Lanfear). By all accounts she's unbelievably beautiful. She's obviously smart (former famous researcher at the Collam Daan). What's not to like?

Don't tell me you'd be put off by the fact that she's batshit crazy?
Noneo Yourbusiness
145. Longtimefan
@126 JanSedai

How does one hear a difference between Bardot and toe?

It is very subtle but the "o" in Bardot is very soft like a sigh where the "o" in toe is abrupt.

Still essentially an "oh" sound more than and "auh" sound.

but that is just me. I liked Maureen O'Hara. If you are talking about actresses with significant oh sounding names.

As for who I would marry. Perrin. Maybe not the best choice for the end times but in any other time and place he is quiet and stable and just an all around nice guy.

Plus he can make things and that is handy.

If I have to follow the male/female rules of the series I would marry Suian.

Smart, capable, driven. Absolutely unafraid to do things that must be done and able to admit when she is wrong while going ahead with what she is doing.

As for sharing. I am a strong believer that if someone is worth being in a relationship with it is reasonable that other people would desire that relationship.

If the object of that desire knows what they want and are honest then they can make the choice to be exclusive or inclusive.

If that makes them less desirable then the relationship was not what other people may have assumed it would be.

In the story each woman sees Rand as being worth the relationship no matter the consequences be they other women or long periods of time apart or his upcoming death.

As adults they have to own their behavior. It does not make for a good plot device but it is only fiction. It works because it is told to work.

Tony Zbaraschuk
146. tonyz
I don't think I see Alviarin as sexy. (Unless you're into reasonably competent professionals.)

And the toe pun... yeah. Don't try that sort of thing unless you're Tolkien.
Jonathan Levy
147. JonathanLevy
"My heart is in your hands, Rand," Aviendha said, treating his name like something rare and precious.

I greatly admire how Jordan gives the "savages" the greatest depth of emotion, in spite of their outward control.

I think there's a bit more to it here. Aviendha always calls him Rand Al'Thor, because Aiel don't understand the first-name/last-name thing, because they only have one real name - the rest of being Sept & Clan. Calling someone by just part of their name is very intimate for the Aiel (sorry, I'm sure there's a ref for this, but I can't place it). Even after they've just MPS'ed, she uses his full name: "This will not happen again, Rand al’Thor". The bonding scene may be the first time that she just calls him 'Rand', and definitely the first time she feels entitled to do so.

how do *you* say Bridgette Bardot?!

Dammit, someone called my bluff.

Freelancer@137 LOL!

Have you forgotten Isendre? :)
148. peachy
Remember Lilah the Evil Lawyer from Angel? That's how I picture Alviarin. (And yeah, competent and professional is sexy. Insane - and insanely possessive? Not so much.)
149. teeg-whooo
RobMRobM @ 99 Re: Mat

Consider if Mat got balefired. Then, someone else blew the horn (because the link must at least be severed WHILE he is dead, right?), and then (and i dont know if they can, but let's say) one of the heroes from the horn uses balefire on whoever balefired Mat. What the hell would happen?

My point is, the balefire thing is not really straight forward whichever way you look at it.

Re: Poll, I would probably have married one of the farm girls in a little village and lived happily ever after. Or at least 'till TG
150. Freelancer
Jonathan Levy@147

Agreed, but I presumed everyone following the story thus far already gets that about the Aiel's awkwardness with wetlander naming. The point which that highlights is that the Aiel, far from being less emotional, as is often presumed by others, have an intense sense of emotion. They have learned to limit how it is displayed, perhaps as a by-product of ji'e'toh.

I also find it interesting that the closest comparison among wetlanders is Lan. Everyone makes the mistake of thinking him devoid of feeling, and they could not be more wrong.
Jonathan Levy
151. JonathanLevy

I see what you mean, and think you're absolutely right. It makes me think of Gaul, and what must be going through his mind, pursuing Chiad for 7 books now, and hardly expressing a single emotion. I think he's earned a Lan-sweeping-Nynaeve-off-her-feet-with-a-kiss moment, don't you? Maybe we'll get to see it before the series ends.
Amir Noam
152. Amir
Jonathan Levy@147:
how do *you* say Bridgette Bardot?!

Dammit, someone called my bluff.

Ah, but the real question is:
How do you pronounce "Leigh Butler"?

(runs for cover)
John Massey
153. subwoofer
@Free- excellent point. Although I fear the coming of the next chapter, I still cannot wait until we cover New Spring. In that book we get some Lan POVs which are priceless. Much of what Lan does has to do with honor and it is shaming in his culture to show so much emotion and reaction to things. At some point I believe the only way to absolve ones self of such shame is to draw a sword and kill somebody. This puts that much more emphasis on the things Lan says and does because he lets that much out. For instance, when he actually compliments Nynaeve on tracking him out of TR. Ny was right to glow with the praise as it was very highly given.

And let us not forget Aiel terms of affection. Shade of my heart- what the Aiel value most in a harsh environment. To a unpracticed ear it may not sound like much, but in the culture, it is everything. Sometimes the word "love" doesn't say enough. Sometimes love loses its significance because it is used so often and so casually. There is less impact to the word "love" when we love Ducatti's or we love Coke in the same breath we love our children. Sometimes being reserved makes displays of affection all that much more poignant.

Valentin M
154. ValMar
Yeah, from what I recall, much of Lan's internal POV had to do with keeping his mouth shut and avoiding killing people. Since then his priorities have changed too much for this to continue to be the case.

As for expressions of affection, indeed. All this talk of loving this, hating that. I don't know how it is in RL, but when watching US films or TV shows everyone is telling people "I love you". Seems like the habitual ending of phone conversations over there. Sounds more like a mantra. Probably it's just Hollywood.
Brandon D
155. Ishmayl

...he marvels at the rebellion and Egwene’s new status, adding that he guesses and the Band can stay with her for now. Elayne blinks at his misinterpretations,...

Wouldn't this have been a great time (since everyone was being honest and all) for Elayne to mention to Rand exactly what actually happened with Mat in Ebou Dar?
Lindy Brown
156. lbrown
I always assumed the "toe" comment by Min was just showing her ignorance of Aiel culture. She may not know about ji'e'oth. I never thought of it before as a deliberate pun on her part.
157. alreadymadwithGaul
Jonathan Levy @151
He did get a backrub with Bain and Chiad.
158. Freelancer

Well, obviously Leigh is pronounced the same as a famous General Robert E., but the shadow take me if I can get that last name right. Since she's from the South, I'd guess it's something like but'-lah. At least, I think that's rhett.
Tricia Irish
159. Tektonica
Hey Free@158:

I have a male friend who spells his name Leigh and pronounces it " Lee", and I have a female friend named Leigh who pronounces it "Lay" ???? Maybe our Fearless Leader could enlighten us??

Agree a southern lady should be "But-lah". LOL....but she's in NYC now??
160. mjjones
Longtimefan @145

Totally agree with you regarding Perrin and Siuan. If you’re looking for a longtime partner to thoroughly commit yourself to and who will be unconditionally committed to you in return (even with a few struggles now and then… *ahem*), you can’t do much better than these two. There are other worthy candidates in the WoT world certainly; but …maybe we can share, yes? ;p

Faile, Gareth, and Moiraine, can’t all be wrong!
Sandy Brewer
162. ShaggyBella
I would like to pick Fabio, I mean Logain. He is usually overlooked, a regular second banana. I think he could be a nice guy and definitely is a hunk. I am not sure about his attitude towards women, but so far we have only seen him with Aes Sadai, who do not count. He is a little smug, though. But he doesn't have a party in his head or wolf issues or a gholam after him.
John Massey
163. subwoofer
@Ishmayl- what? Folks communicate with each other? Crazy talk! This woulda been over in 5 if that was the case.

Leigh Butler- some could say her name rhymes with sleigh, or it could rhyme with tea- me? I pronounce her name "O fearless leader".

Edit- there is the other "Leigh Butler" too.

Scientist, Father
164. Silvertip
"Terminal verbosity." Love it. Have occasionally been accused of it. Anybody who finds a cure, please pass it on.

I don't quite get the griping about the "toe" pun. RJ didn't *make* a bad pun; RJ had a *character* make a bad pun. Min is normally a very self-assured person, but now finds herself lined up with (1) a Queen, or the next best thing, and (2) a serious warrior from a culture she knows little of, both of whom are extremely powerful channelers of a Power she can't touch, whom she's allowing to cast her into a mystical bond she barely understands with a man she loves who is fated to go insane and die, not necessarily in that order. Uncomfortable much? Trying to reassure herself with the first lousy joke that offers itself, even one she realizes two seconds later would give offense, is completely in character for someone not used to being so out of her depth. I thought it fit well with the situation and the characters.

Joseph Blaidd
165. SteelBlaidd
"RJ didn't *make* a bad pun; RJ had a *character* make a bad pun."
Quoted for Great Truth
Thomas Keith
166. insectoid
Tek @159 etc.: I'm pretty sure at some point in the re-read commentry (is that a word?), Leigh clarified the pronounciation for us—"Leigh" rhymes with "tea". (It could have been on one of the TGS threads. I'd look but I can't get TGS OST 1 to load...) Of course, if I'm wrong, Leigh can enlighten us.

167. Freelancer

You're not wrong. It's the same pronunciation as Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, opposite Clark Gable's Rhett Butler. All this talk of bad puns, and no comments about my horrible one, meant to make Min's more palatable.

Also, don't try to load the Behemoth TGS Spoiler Thread from Tor's link. It never works. I used Tektonica's profile, and at the bottom where it shows past comments, I selected Show All, then scrolled through until I found a comment from that thread. It will open that way, then just save that link as a favorite.
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
ValMar @154 - It's not entirely Hollywood, although they overdo it. But yes, we as a culture have cheapened a large portion of our language by overuse and misapplication. Love, hate, awesome, amazing, excellent, beautiful, terrible, horrible... Just a small sampling. It's gotten so bad that we now (apparently) resort to misspellings to provide emphasis. (Teh or pwn, for a couple of really lame examples.)

lbrown @156 - Go back up to the comment @131 and read the quotation. Min made it absolutely clear that she was being deliberately snarky, and she apologized to Aviendha for it.

Silvertip @164 - Exactly!!!
Amir Noam
169. Amir
subwoofer @163:
I pronounce her name "O fearless leader".
Well, it's spelled as Raymond Luxury Yacht, but it's pronounced Throat Wobbler Mangrove.

And Leigh has already clarified how to pronounce her name correctly many many times in the past :-)
Thomas Keith
170. insectoid
Free @167: Gone With the Wind, huh? Makes sense.
Re OST... Can't get in the back way either; I still get the fatal error in all three of my browsers:
Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in /www/sites/ on line 255
OST 2 doesn't load, either. Not even the old bookmarks of them I have work. Oh well... they would likely take 5 minutes to load anyways! ;)

Amir @169: Hee hee... so I see! Thanks Amir!

Jonathan Levy
171. JonathanLevy
He did get a backrub with Bain and Chiad.

Wha - ? Did I miss something? Please give a ref! And by "backrub", do you mean "backrub", or, "backrub - wink wink nudge nudge saynomore"?
Amir Noam
172. Amir
Jonathan Levy@171
Come on, you've got to provide the reference for that! :-)
173. Stromgard
@101: Marry: Siuan or Nynaeve. Probably Siuan. I always liked strong and sweet women.

Min: a bit too seductive.

Elayne: some think Elayne is strong, but I prefer to think of what other call "strength" as a mix of "volatile temper" (jumps up and down on the T'A'R ring) and "idiotic bravery" (oh, the BA has captured me? I bet someone is gonna rescue me soon. Nope, not the least bit afraid. La la la. They better hurry, I have an army that I need to lead in an suicidal charge soon).

Aviendha: she has a lot of good sides BUT she will draw me into Aiel culture where I am likely to get myself killed, since we know they have no problem of killing wetlanders when offended. (That being said, the Ebou Dari are worse.)

Egwene: while I admire her in oh so many ways, and would love to have her as a BFF, but marriage? With the Amyrlin? Not a chance. It would take someone like Gawyn to make a good match for her, he has the personality and the experience. Besides her being Amyrlin, marrying a woman that intimidates Elayne AND Nynaeve AND Siuan AND Rand? Eep!

Moiraine: Too scheming, but what can be expected from a Cairheinin noble?

Faile: I don't mind her being a wierd Saldean person, but also too scheming.

@ 143: About Alviarin: I don't see Alviarin as "the sexy bad girl". That part goes to Liandrin, I think. Shiaine would be a canditate too, I guess. For the role of "the sexy bad girl that's not evil, actually" I vote for Myrelle (with the part given to Alanna if Myrelle bites the dust).

I don't see Berelain as a badgirl-candidate since her father/daughter relationship with Rhuarc melts any coldness my heart may feel towards her. They have gotta meet up again. Plz? Besides, her treatment of Perrin is A LOT because of a.Perrin general cluelessness b.Faile having antagonized her on purpose and c.Faile actually trying to ENCOURAGE her attempts since she is sure of Perrin and think that a bit of jealosy from her side is healthy for the marriage.

Oh and Shiaine is a bit smarter than Alviarin and Liandrin, since she is not trying to scheme against the Forsaken.

Birgit@54: I didn't realize Fain was in Rand's head? Also, has anyone else thought that there is a connection between Rand and Demandred? Dem is born the day after LTT, he is doing EVERYTHING LTT does (and LTT does everything) and is totally awesome at it all, just... 0.1% less awesome than LTT. Also, the three times Rand plan a fight with the Forsaken, the invasion of Illian, the search for Graendel, and the battle at Shadar Logoth, he has his followers doing most of the work (all of the work at SL). Doesn't that sound an awful lot like how Dem does things? Could Demandred be the "Anti-Rand" of WoT?
174. Stromgard
Oh and Elayne actually _frighten_ people around her due to her temper. That is one HUGE turndown IMHO.
Kurt Lorey
175. Shimrod
All this talk about Leigh's name...maybe someday she will regale us with the story of how it was growing up in Louisiana with the last name of Butler? I wouldn't think that to be a popular surname in New Orleans (at least) to this day.
Birgit F
176. birgit
I didn't realize Fain was in Rand's head?

Fain can feel the three ta'veren, but not the other way around. When Alanna bonds Rand, Fain feels a change in his connection to Rand. Is he knocked out like Alanna when the girls bond Rand?

He could feel al'Thor, could point to him, this close. Al'Thor pulled at him, pulled till it hurt. There was a difference lately, a difference that had come suddenly, almost as if someone else had suddenly taken a partial possession of al'Thor, and in doing so pushed away a part of Fain's own possession.
LoC ch. 28
Valentin M
177. ValMar
Well, Americans have the reputation of being overly exuberant in expressing themselves, over here ("It's totally awesome, dude!!!). Personally I haven't noticed this to be the case, compared to other nationalities.
As for the spelling examples, they do annoy me and confuse me, as non-native speaker. I f***ing hate them!!! ;)

The discussion on pronouncing Leigh's name. I blame Ms Butler herself for this. Her dereliction of duty and downright lazyness. Dental emergency my a***! You don't need teeth to type. People like that we used to line them up and shoot them in the good old days, in our neck of the woods.
Joking aside, I remember hearing Leigh's name on one of the DM's podcasts. It was straight-forward, IIRC. Go listen to the podcast and be done with it. Problem solved.

As for the marrying poll, I don't know. All of them seem to be ball-bashers, convinced that men are brain-dead imbeciles, worthy only as sex objects and pets. Obviously I'm exaggerating, and RJ did the reversal with RL on purpose. But it gets tiresome reading it, let alone living it. Exceptions to different degrees, I think, are Moiraine, Tylin, Berelain, Min. And maybe others.
Basically women with extensive wordly experience, not only in age.
If push comes to shove, I'll be happy to be Moiraine's pet till death do us part.
Jay Dauro
178. J.Dauro
Jonathan Levy @171

TGS 21 - Embers and Ash

"Yes," Bain added. "Perhaps Gaul would like his back rubbed again, or water fetched for him. He grows so angry when we ask, but gai'shain gain honor only through service. What else are we to do?"
And yes, I can see the glint in her eye, and hear the tone of voice when she says that.
Tess Laird
179. thewindrose
ValMar - I think Thera(Amathera) is no longer a ball-basher - she sounds like totally awesome, teh bomb dude;) jj(^_^)

Ishmayl - It would seem like a good time to communicate, however Elayne had something else on her mind(with all the wink wink nudge nudge) going on in the comments I will say no more. It would have made more sense for Nynaeve to come clean with what happened and where Mat actually was, but she let Rand misinterpret what actually happened. Elayne came in, and since she is following the wonderful:) power hierarchy of the the Aes Sedai, she let Rand go on believing whatever Nynaeve had led him to believe. Besides, Elayne had to get hers!

James Hogan
180. Sonofthunder
Hm, for the marry poll...honestly, I don't know if I really like any of the girls in WoT enough to marry! But alas, if I *had* to choose, on pain of death, I guess I'd go for Aludra. She's funny, ambitious...and not crazy. Always a plus. I like Min a lot, too.
181. Freelancer
Hah. You're just dying to know what Aludra's secrets are. The ones not about fireworks. Well, not THOSE fireworks. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!
Jonathan Levy
182. JonathanLevy
No link should be necessary for THAT one!


I didn't realize Fain was in Rand's head?
Fain isn't really in Rand's head, but there's been a connection between them ever since part of Fain's soul latched onto Rand when the Avada Kedavra curse rebounded. It's called the Accidental Horcrux syndrome. Oh wait...

Thanks! I'm so not up-to-speed on tGS, probably because I haven't found it online :( But yes, you can just imagine the glint in her eye. Aiel can be so wicked sometimes. Remember in TSR when Moiraine & Egwene first met the Aiel and asked about Ji'e'toh? They were told a "hilarious" story about how a fellow almost wound up taking his wife gai'shain. I think the Aiel are going to be laughing over poor Gaul for many years.

The secrets, they will make you blush, yes?
183. MasterAlThor
Well I am late to the party again. I had a family reunion this weekend and it was a blast.

First the who would you marry poll:

Berelain, since I don't channel and I like sultry women.

Now the recap:

Good chapter. I like the little nuggets we get here and there.

First time I noticed the veins of gold. That is MOA. Loved that.

Multiple dance partners. If it works for you great. But I ain't wit it.

Fairness, who said life was fair? And others have already mentioned the Greens and their penchant for multiples. So there is fairness, I guess.


Free and Sub are funny sitll. Amazing for geezers

Wetlander still wears a professor hat.

Amd my fellow Gabblyities are crazy. Yes Balefire I am talking to you.

And curse you Facebook, curse you.


PS. Will be posting pics soon on For those interested. Sorry they will never be on FB.

Not even for taint cookeez
James Hogan
184. Sonofthunder
Aw, but MAT, FB is teh pwnzorz! (Just for you, Wetlander, and because I'm a young punk and can sorta(ok, not really) get away with it. Actually, the best thing about FB lately is Brandon's constant updates.

And Freelancer@181...*whistles innocently* I like fireworks. Or should I say, nightflowers.
Valentin M
185. ValMar
lol. Thera is on the other end of the scale. Either ball-bashers or fall to pieces in no time, like Merillile (bloody name! the AS who ran away with SF apprentice).
Rob Munnelly
186. RobMRobM
wind@179. Watch your language in the first para, young lady. Re the second, Python FTW.

187. Freelancer

Talk to the hand.


Down boy.


Who is Merillile? Oh, you mean Merilille, the Gray who snuck out with Talaan. I don't think she fell to pieces in no time. She got abused by the Seafolk for weeks on end. Before she got so frazzled she couldn't tell up from down. Same with Amathera, though for a shorter time, and from a more evil source.
Sam Mickel
188. Samadai
I hope you can forgive me, but here's a little bit of a story I'm working on.

It was still early, almost dawn, when they rode down through the valley. The fog that had settled in was just starting to lift as he motioned for his commanders to ride forward. He dismounted from his horse as Donran, and Geseil rode up on theirs.
“Donran, Geseil lead the main body of men on an attack as soon as you see both units of infantry engage. Sheer off a large portion from both sides and grind them against the infantry.”
Let’s hope your luck is with us this day, my friend,” Geseil said as he rode to his command. Donran looked him in the eyes and gave a salute, a quick wink and galloped off. It’s good to have great friends, he thought to himself.
He turned as he heard the large party of horses approach. They were all dressed in armor and had their visors opened. “Asrail Sedai, this plan depends most on you, we will get you close, but you and your sisters must be ready. If one person notices who you are then this will all be for naught.”
“Do not worry about us young king; we will appear as just other soldiers in your army. We are ready, lead us in, when he notices you, he should offer to fight you. Pretend to accept, when we are close enough, we will shield him. If all goes as you planned his forces should break and we can escape through the pass and head north to Tar Valon.”
He climbed back in his saddle and drew his sword as he heard the shouts from the camp in front of him. “Move” he signaled as he started forward with a trot. As he and his thousand troops closed on the back of the enemies lines, he watched Donran and Geseil lead their forces into the backs of the enemies. Caught in total surprise, from the early morning attack their lines wavered and crashed, hundreds of bodies mowed down in seconds. The lines collapsed and the infantry surged in. He rode directly to the center of the line, his sword in his hand, as his horse hit, the line collapsed down in front of him. Swinging left and right, again and again, he fought his way through until he came out in the clearing. A hundred paces in front of him stood the man he was looking for. “Guaire Amalasan” he yelled. “Come and fight me false Dragon, if you have the nerve.” Amalasan looked his way as his standard bearer rode to his side.
“Artur Paendrag” the great Hawkwing himself.” I’ll fight you, oh great king, and when I destroy your body, I will ride on and destroy your land. Clear the way, allow the fool to come near me, he screamed to his followers.”
Artur rode forward his honor guard following. As he dismounted from his horse, Amalasan stepped down. “Will you fight me fair or will you cheat and use the power?” he asked. I will not cheat, this power is part of me, should I choose to use it you will be destroyed.” “But for now, know that I also am a blade master and do not fear crossing swords with you.”As they both strode to the center, he watched as the Aes Sedai surrounded the dueling ground.
“Well since I was at such an obvious disadvantage coming here, I thought I should make things a little more even,” he said.
“What are you talking about little Hawkwing, how have you overcome my advantages?” Amalasan sneered.
“What you can’t feel that you’ve been cut off from the source?” he asked
“What do you mean fool, you are about to find out why you should never fight a Dragon.” Amalasan recovered, but a look of terror crossed his face as he tried to summon the one power. “We have been betrayed, fight.” As his men rushed into the circle, the Aes Sedai began casting fireballs at his followers. As the destruction mounted Artur approached Amalasan. Drawing his sword Amalasan swung with Fire Falling from the Sky, Artur countered with Bolt from the Ground. As Amalasan recovered and began the move for Unfolding the Fan, he froze in place.
“Sorry Hawkwing, we don’t have time for a duel,” Asrail Sedai said as she walked forward, pack him on his horse and let’s get out of here.”
“As you say Asrail, everyone mount let’s get out of here!” Artur mounted Windshaker. “Cosran, bind, gag and blindfold our guest. Put him on his horse and hold on tight.”
Hawkwing, the situation is unusual, but I ask for the protection of your army as we make for Tar Valon. We have far too few tower guards left to make it without being taken.
“You know that I will do that Asrail Sedai, but there has never been an army allowed on Tar Valon land before. Will you not be in trouble for bringing me?”
Asrail shared a troubled glance with her sisters, but said, “we will be welcomed home as heroes, just as you will be Hawkwing.”
“Cosran, sound the retreat, pass that we’re heading for Tar Valon.”
189. MasterAlThor

What???? I didn't do anything.....



Tricia Irish
190. Tektonica
Wonderful, Sam! I love the "young" Hawkwing pov!

What are those Aes Sedai thinking of for him? I don't trust them completely.....
D.I. Rock
191. FeatherDancer
101. johntheirishmongol

Rand - Crazy just always seems to work for me.
Tess Laird
192. thewindrose
Sam - I like how the ending matches what Elayne thinks when coming back to Tar Valon with the Horn after the battle at Falme:) -Thanks!

193. chaplainchris1
@184 Son of Thunder:

I will never be able to read mention of "nightflowers" in the same way again.


Makes me wonder what's so much better about Sky Lights?
Tina Pierce
194. scissorrunner
Sam , NEVER apologize for giving us an interesting POV. (esp. one well written!!!)
Valentin M
196. ValMar

Yes, that's the AS. I believe it took less time with her. On they journey to Caemlyn she was already "wide-eyed" IIRC. I have to check The Chronology.
My point is that so many of the characters are uber-composed that it becomes more remarkable when they are not. Or is more glaring when they are knocked of balance and become the opposite.

But this is a digression. My original idea was that re marrying one of them WOT ladies. They are very strong willed. Fair enough that's good and is the WOT universe. Problem is that many of the women express their strenght through pointless male-bashing, one way or another.
The above led to my difficulty in participating with the "who would you marry" poll. I had to settle with Moiraine, who is my favourite character anyway.

Thanks for reading.
James Jones
197. jamesedjones
196 ValMar

Why limit yourself to the male-bashing main characters? I'm pretty sure that, aside from the speed of the formalities, Mat's ta'verenocity had little to do with Riselle's engagement.
Alice Arneson
198. Wetlandernw
ValMar - you remind me of my "dance" analogy. The ones who actually comprehend the scope of the dance know that both men and women are not only needed, but worth needing. I.e., each person, in part because of their gender, is a vital part of the dance that is life in community. The kids get all up in their "my moves are cooler than your moves, girls are better than boys" stuff, because they really don't understand yet. Some of the adults never really comprehend the dance either, so they keep doing their "men are stupid, women are weak" foolishness long past the time when they should know better. Those are the ones (both in WoT and in RL) who reinforce the eye-roll-inducing stereotypes.

In the WoT, there is a certain... near-validity for that point of view when you're talking about channelers, because for the last 3000 years, the men have simply been too dangerous to include in the dance. While it would be nice to think that with a lifespan of two or three hundred years (or four, or six) the female channelers should be able to get past that, in truth they wouldn't. Partly they remain, of necessity, in the societal structures surrounding channelers. Partly they are only human, and roughly the same proportion in any group of people will be able to reach the maturity and clarity of vision required to see the value of the opposite gender (outside the obvious reproductive necessities). Mostly, though, they (until recently) must spend their whole lives knowing that all men are either less powerful than they, or too dangerous to let live. I think if I were Aes Sedai (or WO, or WF) I would have a hard time seeing any man as my equal, much less be willing to follow his lead in most things.

All that to say that, yes, the "men-bashing" is annoying, but understandable from the kids. It's also understandable, but considerably less forgivable, in the older folk who do the same. And from the channelers, it's not only understandable, but would be very difficult to avoid however it may annoy us. *sigh*

Darn it, I went and defended someone again, and I had no intent to do so. And it wasn't even really on topic. Well, y'all get to read it anyway, unless you glaze over and just page down. :)
Valentin M
199. ValMar
197 james

I can't sing. Also, if I were to go for someone like Riselle, Berelain would be ahead of her. As for the rest, I already listed a few above.
"Exceptions to different degrees, I think, are Moiraine, Tylin, Berelain, Min. And maybe others.
Basically women with extensive wordly experience, not only in age." So I picked Mo.

Another masterpiece by Samadai.
Valentin M
200. ValMar

There was no need for your formidable defence ability here :) I was stating a well established fact re: women's opnions of men in WOT. I said that the ones with experience know better- including AS with warders and who have spent times in the open world. This also applies the other way- Thom knows that women shouldn't be treated as if made of porcelain and says so to his younger companions, IIRC.
Still, you stated a point I agree and believe in much better than I, so my effort wasn't pointless ;)

And I know the reasons for this, as you state them. IMO they have other effects too, e.g. less developed warfare.

200 is mine!!! where's that dog :)
Thomas Keith
201. insectoid
SOT @184: I'll never think about nightflowers the same again... ;)

Sam @188: No need to apologize—very nicely done! ::applauds::

ValMar @200:
where's that dog :)
I'm going to guess out with Sub. ;)

Steve Hussey
202. deihbhussey
@94 Andvari

IMO, Part of the plot device is the Pattern providing Rand with enough people he loves & who love him unconditionally to stay sane for the LB. Also, Andor (and the expected Battle of Caemlym) would likely be much more difficult for Rand & the Light side if one of his unconditional loves wasn't ruling there to throw support his way. With all the dark side peeps (and prophecy itself) conspiring to make Rand insane and uncaring, I think the pattern balanced that out by making sure he has enough peoples who he trusts implicitly to remind him of the good things in the world.

Also on a practical level, for the most part these characters are all extremely busy with their own sh*t - often on other sides of the world. If he just had Avienda what happens when she needs to go off & do Wise Woman stuff, or if he just has Elayne what happens when they are separated & she has to do Queenly stuff, and so on. Basically I'm saying that so much bad stuff has happened and will happen to Rand that he almost needs at least 1 of his loves with him at all times to ensure he stays sane & "good-hearted" enough to win the Last Battle the right way.

Additional note regarding the "toes" grips:

Loved it, didn't have a problem with it, & agree with the people that indicated it was Min's way of breaking the ice in an uncomfortable situation. Additionally, I understand the whole "Only works in English argument" but at the same time, that's moot to me. I think in English, I read all of RJ's books in English so to me all the characters are speaking English (yes i know thats actually wrong, given the confirmation of Old English by RJ) - but I throw that out & overlook using my standard suspension of disbelief when reading any book that is not written for academia but is instead written as Fantasy entertainment.
Valentin M
203. ValMar

Yes. Let's hope there aren't any IT issues for him at work.
Tess Laird
204. thewindrose
201 & 203 - Sometimes his plans for world domination get in the way of his pursuit of the double 00's;)

Wetlandernw, we are still waiting for where the sa'sara fits into your analogy:)

205. Freelancer
Hey now...

Everyone just stop with this stuff about unequal treatment of one gender by the other. Women have more than enough burdens without constantly being kept dow...uhh, what? Ohh. Never mind, carry on.

One more thought on the "toes" pun. If a weak, potentially insulting joke is called for to make the scene what the author wants it to be, should he manufacture a pun that would supposedly work in a language unknown to the readers (thereby requiring additional explanation for anyone to "get it")? Or should he depend upon the readers' suspension of disbelief, and write what would be clearly understood for the intended meaning, in the language of the reader? Yeah, I thought so too. (Note: I realize that there is no good way to make this work in foreign translations, but that actually helps make the point)
206. Iamnotspam
Haven't been able to go back through everything yet so I ask blithely if the wierdness that Min has about Aveinda's children was her seeing Avidenda being mother to her own set of first sisters. Just like her and Elayne became first sisters and daughters to Amys. Just my crazy theory because I dont think Min understands that significance yet when she sees First Sisters who use the weave in the ceremony. Not sure if it is used in every ceremony or just the ones involving channelers who want to be sisters.
Steve Hussey
207. deihbhussey
Free@205 Agreed, good example & question. Also, probably a better way of getting the point across then my attempt, which likely made me sound like a rather arrogant American :-)
Valentin M
208. ValMar
Wind@204 Yes, these Canadians always plotting. I don't envy all you folks living just south of the border. One morning you'll wake up and find yourselves back under the benign rule of our Queen, may She live forever.


In case there is some missconseption about my writing re ball-bashing. I understand RJ's reversing to our world and history regarding genders. And the reasons for it in WOT- the Breaking and the female only AS.
If true equality is impossible I would much prefer genders to be as they are in WOT rather than how they are much of the time in RL. Of course, it's debatable which of the genders holds sway in WOT, if any. Or if it matters- ying yang, etc.
I guess Isilel or toryx may pipe in about this.

And yes, there's no need to be too anal about toes and all. But next time I'm back home I'll get a copy of "Surtseto na Zimata (WH)" and check it out.
209. Freelancer

It's all good. I'm fairly sure we agree on those points. I was just stirring the pot. (Or are we still banging pots this week?)
Valentin M
210. ValMar
No worries, clarifying just in case. Don't want to be taken for something I'm not.
And for the toes-toh joke I'm really curious how they dealt with it in the translation.

Anyway, enjoy your evening everyone across the pond. 'Night
Thomas Keith
211. insectoid
ValMar @208:
One morning you'll wake up and find yourselves back under the benign rule of our Queen, may She live forever.
That doesn't sound so bad... :) ::ducks::

Roger Powell
212. forkroot
One morning you'll wake up and find yourselves back under the benign rule of our Queen, may She live forever.
Gosh seems like she might just do that! (live forever) Tough old broad may yet surpass Queen Victoria's longevity record on the throne.

On a mostly unrelated note, there are times when I am glad that my wife does not post on this forum as there would surely follow a snarky post about my "longevity on the throne".
Alice Arneson
213. Wetlandernw
ValMar @200 - Sorry, I phrased that badly. I wasn't defending them against your attack; I was agreeing with you, and then expounded on it in a different direction. The bit about the Aes Sedai attitudes was a result that, frankly, took me by surprise. I hadn't intended to defend their superior attitude, but when I followed the logic path, I concluded that it would take an exceptional woman indeed to be able to wield the One Power (in any society but Seanchan) and not have some sense of superiority. Not necessarily valid from all perspectives, but reasonable nonetheless.

thewindrose @204 - LOL! Okay, I'll try to work that in next time. Don't forget, though, the sa'sara is only done by women, so who knows where that analogy will lead?

Freelancer @205 - Yup. I agree. If you require puns to make sense in a language no one knows... you just can't use puns. In fact, most of the word-play you would normally use becomes meaningless because it depends on idiom to some extent. So... take out all but situational humor, and then none of your characters can have a sense of humor. Thhhbbbbpt.

forkroot @212 - LOL!!!
John Massey
214. subwoofer
Wind was right, I was trying to er...cook up a scheme to take over the world. It involved subliminal messages in Rice Krispies. I replaced the "snap, crackle, pop" with "you must obey me". Unfortunately my lackey did it in original canine language so all that happened was a bunch of bowls of cereal barking at people. There is always tomorrow though.

Incidentally, I am not a queen. Nope nope nope.

Still bracing myself for the Cranky Pant fest tomorrow. If I start drinkin' now, I just might make it through the week.

Alice Arneson
215. Wetlandernw
Look out, subwoofer. I'm all ready to pounce.
Thomas Keith
216. insectoid
Fork @212: What do you do, take a book with you? ;D

Sub @214: LOL!! Reminds me of George Carlin's argument with his Rice Krispies...

::snap, crackle, *twitch*::

217. Freelancer
BTW, for anyone who didn't catch it on the ToM predictions thread:


Brandon Sanderson: Ladies and gentlemen...last draft is done. Towers of Midnight is set for an on-time release, November 2nd.
Thomas Keith
218. insectoid
Free @217: YAY!! :D Haven't been reading the prediction thread much; I suppose I should have a look before November...

Valentin M
219. ValMar
insectoid & forkroot 211/212

The old girl is tough. Just as well, given what ther rest of her brood are like.

I read your comment with fresher mind and the problem wasn't with your phrasing but with my reading. Was a bit distracted.

Who said you are a queen? As they say "the guilty runs even if not chased". Maybe Mrs Subwoofer should put a lock on her wardrobe ;)

I checked the WOT Chronology and Merilille started teaching the WF on 10 Jan and the party reached Caemlyn on 8 Feb. IIRC by then she was a nervous wreck. Still, it did take a few weeks but the symptoms begun to show pretty early, IIRC.
John Massey
220. subwoofer
@Free- was almost gonna break down and join facebook, then I came to my senses. As long as you are around to keep us posted, all is well. And personally, I don't care if the book is on time or not, I just want it to be good and give us the proper fix we need.

@Val- now, now. I wasn't sure if you were talking about the old biddy or not. She does have great taste in hats tho'. And what's wrong with a guy getting a little support? Gravity is a hard task master.

@Wet- I knew it! Pounce away, I have snark waiting in the wings. The next few chapters, RJ covers all the bases, except for Mat, which would be a nice juxtaposition with Cranky Pants, a major low, then a major high;) Speaking of which, I can't recall, but does Mat ever give old laughs-a-lot-not a taste of his charm?

Sandy Brewer
221. ShaggyBella
Mat has only seen CP with the Ta'veren link with Rand. He thought she looked like a "hard lady".
This was after he met up with Talmenes after leaving Lucas show.
Tess Laird
222. thewindrose
subwoofer said:
Speaking of which, I can't recall, but does Mat ever give old laughs-a-lot-not a taste of his charm?

Not as of yet... Could be in ToM though, at the high school reunion..

Yes ValMar - I was going to comment that She is the best of that lot. Are any of the grandchildren showing promise? We don't hear alot about them over here(we get to hear a lot about Paris, Lindsey,and the Kradashians(yep I am sure I did not do well with the names - I skip over those articles).

John Massey
223. subwoofer
Yeah, I'm waiting for the big reunion myself. Do you suppose Archie picked between Betty, Veronica, and the red head? And did Jug Head ever settle down with Little Ethel?

224. MasterAlThor
Morning all,


I am flinging poo in your direction. Not so bad. Live free or die.

Although we have been giving our freedoms away lately.


You a dance instructor now? Well me and the wife wish to learn some ballroom dancing when you have the time.


You too? I have a stash of books to keep me company.


I am told that girdles will take care of that gravity problem. I know nothing about it, I was just told.


You can't skip over those articles....that's were all of our intelligence comes from. How else are we supposed to know what the aliens are up to?


You were working at your computer reading about WoT.


Way to go brother. Now if only you could give us some insight on what happens in.....

Valentin M
225. ValMar

If I stop going to the gym a bra might be needed indeed.
So we should expect a duel with Wetlander over Cads? It promises to be spectacular!


I don't follow them that closely. The two princes- Will and Harry are playing at soldiers (well, the Ginger Bullet Magnet is more than playing). The other more notable one is Zara, who is successful Horse Jumping competitor.
William, the heir after Charles, seems to be fit for purpose. His brother should have a DNA test first if it comes to him.
Tess Laird
226. thewindrose
Thanks M - nice black suit;)

subwoofer - Freelancer is talking about distillation on the prediction thread, maybe Randland will start serving fine liquors after dinner in ToM?

ValMar ?? Looks like I need to do some google searches on Ginger Bullet Magnet and Zara:)

227. Freelancer

Just so you know, among the things which Brandon posted were these:
I went into this revision knowing that we were almost there. I wouldn't release the book at almost, though, regardless of consequences.

95% done. Note: though it seems I'm coming down to the wire, know that if I weren't confident the book were right, I'd have pulled it.

?96% I am feeling very good about the things I have fixed in this draft. This is going to be a great book.

Now, sleep. That was 17 hours straight after going to sleep at 8 last night and getting up at 12 to start. Whew. Deadlines!

He worked his duff off getting it done on time, but he repeatedly said that getting it done right came ahead of getting it done quickly. He believes in it, and he's given us no reason to distrust his own judgement on that.
Roger Powell
228. forkroot
I've said it before and I will say it again: We are SO FORTUNATE that Brandon was available (and chosen) to finish RJ's masterpiece.

When TGS came out, I had a mental image of RJ in a Better Place (we Christians call it Heaven) ... relaxing in a comfortable chair, smoking his pipe, reading TGS, and thinking "Damn good job, Sanderson".
Rob Munnelly
229. RobMRobM
"When TGS came out, I had a mental image of RJ in a Better Place (we Christians call it Heaven) ... relaxing in a comfortable chair, smoking his pipe, reading TGS, and thinking "Damn good job, Sanderson""....

....except for the Mat and Cadsuane parts. LOL
Daniel Goss
230. Beren
"No, no, no, Matt was supposed to be sillier. Why would you leave out the bit with the hats made out of ducks? Or the juggling flaming swords indoors with a low ceiling? Or the Spaghetti incident? Really, did you even read the notes?"

With apologies,
Alice Arneson
231. Wetlandernw
subwoofer - Last sentence of the first paragraph of the next chapter (13). You should be able to relate. ;)
Debbie Solomon
232. dsolo
Windrose @ 226

I believe Ginger Bullet Magnet is a reference to Harry's hair and the fact that he was pulled out of Afghanistan (I think) because his presence had been publicized, and they were afraid that would make his unit an extra special target (Bullet Magnet being self explanatory).
Valentin M
234. ValMar
windrose & dsolo @226,232

Yes, I think the nickname was given to Harry by the guys in his unit before they went to Afganistan. Zara is 1st cousin to William and Harry.


I share your opinion, if I understand it correctly.
235. pro_star
Yes, we Canadians are about as sneaky as can be!

I like what Brandon's done so far :) I know RJ had left notes, but come on, how many Moments of Supreme Awesomeness were in TGS? (zombie village nonwithstanding...)

dsolo@232, if I remember right, you're right that's why Harry was pulled...I don't know what I'd think about him as a monarch though, I still think he's got growing up to do.
236. chewynewyork
I am proud that I share a favorite scene with the esteemed writer of this post.

Gotta say that Min, Aviendha, and Elayne finally getting in the same space with Rand finally is definitely worth it's weight in gold. It sure took long enough, but it was worth it. I especially like when he actually verbalizes his feelings in front of Nynaeve. Us readers have known about this love quadrangle(?) for quite some time (along with those involved, of course), but I think this is the first time, if ever, that someone else outside of it actually hears it.

Really flattering to Nynaeve that she would be granted the honor - (hmm...nah) pleasure - (that would work if she is, like, in to watching that kind of thing...) Ah, no word really suffices. Bottom line, she's important, dammit. Kudos, Nynaeve, you pain-in-the-neck-sometimes. Yea...priceless. I try to imagine how I would sound if one of the boys I helped raise said the same thing. Suffice it to say, there would be alot more "bloody this" and "bloody that."

Re: Avi's children: I think this is one of the books hidden gems, one of the many subtle "somethings" that hint at the future of the series. Since almost nothing is said on the matter of Avi's kids, and this is what we're presented via Min's very accurate predictions, it seems like this is a bit of a dark harbinger on their collective futures. If these kids go the way of, say, Anakin Skywalker for example, that would just be the bees-knees, storyline wise.

Then again, maybe I'm just looking too deep into an obscure comment.
Sandy Brewer
237. ShaggyBella
For a little R & R, Maybe Rand can take the girls to the Waterwood for a swim in the pond. Maybe his dreams were a foretelling.
Tess Laird
238. thewindrose
ShaggyBella - Maybe that should be on the ToM Prediction Thread(^_^)

I did some google gossip reading, and I think I got it all now! thx everyone who shared:)

John Massey
239. subwoofer
@Free- thank you:)

@M A T- go pour yourself a bowl of cereal- Rice Krispies variety.

@Valmar- 3 words- lift and separate.

240. Aminatea
My very silly theory on Aviendha's 4 babies. As we all know, there are two sets of twins on their way at the moment. Elayne, and Melaine. What if Elayne dies in childbirth. And Mel snuffs it some other way. And Aviendha "inherrits" all four babies because she will be then be a Wise One married to the Car'a'carn or something. Four babies all at once, in a very off situation.
Brandon Wood
241. brad21088
I'm behind on the re-reads (obviously) and just got to this one today. I usually don't read the comments, but (unfortunately) decided to for this post since I also love this chapter so much.

Before I rant, I'd like to say thanks, Leigh, for doing such a good job with these re-reads, and for your commentary. Sometimes the commentary is just as interesting as the summary (which I mean as a big compliment!). Now, onto the rant.

Are you fucking kidding me? @19 calls homosexuality "that crap" and the ONLY responses in this entire thread to that comment are "I agree"??? I'm livid, and I normally don't get upset about internet stuff.

Here's why I'm so pissed: @19 called it "that crap." I don't give a flying fuck if you're so uncomfortable with your own sexuality that merely reading about a same-sex relationship would freak you out. That's your shit to deal with, and I wouldn't be offended if Faramir had just said, "I'm glad there are no same-sex relationship scenes." I would find it incredibly odd that he took the time to say so (hell, I find it odd now. Why the fuck did you feel the need to bring it up if it makes you so goddamm uncomfortable?), but I wouldn't be pissed off. Calling same-sex relationships "that crap" is incredibly offensive. It equates the meaningful relationships of same-sex couples everywhere to "crap." I realize I'm wasting my time and I'm not going to change anyone's opinion; I'm posting this because I was shocked that not a single commenter called @19 out on his comment. That's ridiculous, and my goal in posting this comment is to let anyone in a same-sex relationship who reads this post know that I, at least, DO NOT agree with @19's petty, childish comment.

All right. Back to reading Leigh's wonderful summaries and commentaries.
242. Kristine A L
I`ve never done this before, but i tought i`d try, since I read a theory in these comments, that one of the three wives was going to die, and that many thinks that it is most reasonable for it to be Min. Maybe she is going to sacrifise her life, for Rand to live again? Is that a really wakcy theory?
Terry McNamee
243. macster
@brad: While I would have put it less...confrontationally and without foul language, I can understand your anger and disgust and I have to agree. It is one thing to feel personally bothered by homosexuality and homosexual relationships, to morally or ethically disapprove of them or disagree with them, as long as you still allow them to exist and be given equal rights and value. (I.e., you can still feel, personally, that they are wrong/upsetting as long as you don't try and keep them from existing or being treated fairly.) It's something else to denigrate and tear them down. While no one (other than Faramir) actually did that, and under particular religious or traditional belief systems it is not surprising that some commenters would at the least be uncomfortable with such matters, allowing such a comment to pass by without remark, or even to agree with the sentiment behind it if not the phrasing, is essentially condoning that kind of hateful rhetoric and undermining equality. Believe all you like that such relationships are wrong/sinful/unnatural, but allowing them to be legislated against or the target of prejudice is neither appropriate nor fair and justifiable. And letting comments which suggest otherwise pass by, or worse agreeing with them, is rather appalling.

Knowing what I do of the beliefs of certain commenters, I can't say I am surprised. But I am disappointed, since I had thought that personal issues of faith or squeamishness or tradition aside, these same people (being the intelligent and fair-minded people they seem to be) would realize that allowing others their personal freedoms without de-valuing or outlawing their relationships was the proper way to conduct oneself in modern times, and would thus either not have such attitudes toward homosexuals and homosexual relationships, or would at least know better than to share their judgments or allow others to do so without remark. My mistake.

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