Sep 21 2010 7:30am

Spoiler Thread for “Distinctions,” the Prologue to Towers of Midnight

Tor.com is pleased to offer a place to chat for those of you who have gotten a chance to read “Distinctions,” the prologue to the upcoming Towers of Midnight. Feel free to let loose in the comment threads about the exciting developments present in the prologue, where you think they might lead the story, and more!

For those interested in posting or reading theories, check out the Towers of Midnight speculation thread. All things Wheel of Time can be found here. And if you still need your Wheel of Time fix after “Distinctions,” take a peek at the first Mat chapter from Towers of Midnight, “The Seven-Striped Lass.”

[Spoilers below!]

Wayne Wilson
1. stylusmobilus
I would if I could get a copy but....

I can read what's on here and Dragonmount and Theoryland. Crapped off that Graendal survived.
Sarah Litchfield
2. sklitch
If you follow these instructions -


It is so easy. I had the prologue in front of me in about 10 mins.

And what a prologue!
Mike Giroux
3. RMGiroux
Quick impressions:

1) Wow, short prologue!

2) Some vermin just won't stay dead, dangit!

But that was a good read - can't wait for the rest of the book.
4. gt4431b
Back in 2000 (2001?) when they offered the WH prologue for sale, it was so easy! Purchase, then download a pdf. It's gotten ridiculously complicated. I hate the direction that proprietary ereaders have taken us.

Good prologue. But far too short. I was surprised that we got a Lan POV. I honestly wasn't expecting that until the final battle scene. I figured that RJ had a reason for never showing Lan's POV in the main series, and that there would be a Big Reveal when we did see it, something akin to Verin's. Oh well.

Hasn't Perrin resolved his psychoses in three consecutive books already? Geeez....

There's one part of the Graendal POV that bothers me. Why would she have required Delana to do the compulsion thingie? She didn't understand that Rand was going to do his punch-in-the-face trick until afterward. If I can get past this little bit of contrived trickery (and also the lack of any Chekhov's Dove) then this is a pretty bad-arse section.

I've never liked Galad POVs much, but this one positively shines. Well done.

Padan Fain takes another level in psychopath wizardry. And makes me think of Al Bundy. Nevermind, you'd have to be me to get it.

One (short) prologue, two coming of age ceremonies in doomed circumstances. What are the odds?
Wayne Wilson
5. stylusmobilus
I can't post on Theoryland, my a/c won't work, but....

thank you big time to Tercel @ Theoryland.
Jim Millen
6. jim.millen
From my extremely hurried skim-read of the prologue this morning, I got the impression that Graendal was explicitly thinking of somebody - like Nynaeve - being able to read the residues of Compulsion. So being sneaky by default, she had somebody else do it - just like she also had Aran'gar add further Compulsion to confuse the issue.

Basically she was acting to thwart whatever Rand was planning - and it worked, just. She had no idea he was taking such a nuclear option, but she guessed he was up to something sending in such an obvious decoy.

Although it's a bit contrived to allow Graendal to survive, I felt it was pretty in keeping with her character as one of the more devious and effective Forsaken. Would have been a shame if she'd gone that easily... and it sets things up beautifully for a dramatic revenge attack at some point, hopefully in this book and not aMoL!

Good news that Rand did at least get one Forsaken - not a completely wasted effort...
7. gt4431b
Agreed, Jim. I'm glad my Forsaken-counter has been accurate. If misleading. And it does make for better story. Arangar had become plot-useless, all surprises blown, nowhere to go but into petty thuggery. Graendal is a better character to continue.
8. Nero379
Nice read. I bet the first chapter will be Padan Fain as his new name, Mashabaddass giving birth to Sammael. No one is actually "Toast" in the WoT.
diane heath
9. jadelollipop
Don't have the prologue but have been reading the discussion threads. The comments re: Perrin's POV (what again with the Oh Woe is Me I am a Wolf/Man :) ) make me laugh to recall when everyone was saying the difference between Perrin and Mat is that Perrin had accepted his fate/role while Mat was running away. HA
the shoes ...they are on the other feet.
10. Ghenjei
@6 Jim-
your analysis is correct. contrived but workeable and fits well with the plot. a little too lurid on the Arangar/Delana thing but I suppose Sanderson has to make his mark somewhere.

Lan POV: weak, but moving the story-arch in the right direction.

Fain: awesome POV, but Trolloc Zombies? WTF? I thought only Tor was doing that, and it was last week!

Kandor: Awesome one-off POV. Sometimes these miss a bit, but when they hit, it's out of the park. Excellent job showing the effects of the main characters' actions on the world as a whole and the people in it. I got pretty fired up there at the end.
11. Bourgeois Nerd
Short prologue. Short, but good!

I knew Graendal wasn't dead! But, hey, we got rid of disgusting Aran'gar and poor Delana, so Rand's balefire-a-thon wasn't a total waste. And, I must admit, I've always "liked" Graendal. At least she has a brain. Nynaeve's going to totally eff her up, though, I predict.

Total MOA for Galad. Take that, Elayne!

By the Creator, why Hopper bothers, I just don't know. Can Perrin just DEAL and stay dealt?
Daniel Hanley
12. dmhman749
I liked it. It did seem a little...abrupt to take out one of the most interesting of the forsaken like that, so i am glad(in a way, at least) that she survived. I am even more glad that the whole thing wasn't completely pointless though. Yeah, it is a little odd that Graendal did what she did, given no prior evidence to point towards anything like that being remotely needed. I know the book states she is very smart, but no one could have predicted what Rand did, and ANYTHING else he did would have made it pointless.

But still, i like the way it worked out. Get rid of a useless forsaken and preserve a 'good' one. I don't think nynaeve will take her out though...Nynaeve will take out mog(of course), and maybe mesaana, depending on how things go. I don't think she would beat Graendal though...If she can get out of a trap like Rands, I really don't see how anyone is going to reasonably get her. I guess we will have to wait and see.

But I liked it as a whole...it was short for a WoT prologue though.
13. Trench
I have only one word for this prolouge Balescream, now thats an awesome word.
Justin Vickers
14. ScoundrelTheToy
The prologue was pretty good, albeit short. I shiver to think of what damage Grandel might cause now. If I had to guess, either Alivia or Nynaeve will take her out after she blows Cadsuane away.

Perrin's attitude is worse than it's ever been. What direction is Perrin suppose to be going because it seems to me he takes a few steps forward then just reverts back to Perrin the boy from book 1 who can't look anyone in the eyes. His angst over the wolfbrother thing, leadership and all that is getting really old; either accept it or just kill him off if all he's going to do is whine. I will say though that there is hope of redemption for Perrin, but he'll have to do some awesome things to get it, including stop whining!
Wayne Wilson
15. stylusmobilus
Perrin, that is just frustrating. Work it out, the Pattern will not let you turn into a wolf. Just go and get Galad.

I wanted Graendal more, as she is the biggest threat and probably always has been. Still I'll take Draginor as a poor second. He was wasted anyway-should have been in the Blight pumping out Block III shadowspawn.

I get the feeling Lan is going to seriously dismember some Trollocs and Fades. Mainly because he is so pissed at Nynaeve for playing him. I know it's stating the bleeding obvious, but it came to me while I was reading it and I giggled inwardly.

Block III Shadowspawn? What about Fain! What an upgrade!

Unfortunately, Galad's going to cop a quilting before the cavalry comes. Perrin's ordained meeting with Asunawa is coming, and I reckon this might be the switch that turns Perrin to awesome, as he washes clean his past with the Children by slaughtering Questioners.

Noice prologue. Thanks, worth the Grand Angus burger.
Henry Loose
16. schrodinger
First, Graendal. Rand's plan worked... sort of. He just forgot the cardinal rule that someone is always watching and ended up balefiring the wrong forsaken. Well, in this case it was the right forsaken because Graendal still has evil to do and Arrangar was just plain stupid in comparison.

Lan's pov left something to be desired... it might be that I've just been so used to reading Perrin's whining about leadership that I have a permanent distaste for those who avoid what they know they should do (although with Lan its that he doesn't want people to die, rather than Perrin's "I just want to be a blacksmith, so leave me alone" BS).

Fain. Wow. Dude's getting some serious power. Dude's getting scary... dude's becoming more sane as he gets madder (I suppose with the ciclical nature of time, maybe sanity is ciclical to...)

Galad. This scene reminded me a lot of Egwene's battle v. Elaida in the Tower. I'm thinking that we're going to get something like the seanchan raid on the tower and Galad will be the one to step up and save them.

can't wait for the first few chapters.
James Hogan
17. Sonofthunder
The best part about the Perrin POV was that Hopper was laughing at him. Oh Perrin.

Lan's POV was cool, although I'd hoped more would be with him by now...than ONE. Ah well.

GRAENDAL. What now??? And I didn't find her having Delana/Balthamel do the weaving odd...she stated somewhere in there that she wanted to lay a false trail. She was already freaked out enough that they'd tracked her to her lair, so she didn't want her fingerprints on Ram-whatever at all. It seems to me just another symptom of Graendal's signature exaggerated caution. I loved seeing the sweet Dove-Eye weave in action! Very very nice. I'm glad to see she's not gone yet, even though Rand might be a bit...unhappy when he finds out.

Galad's POV was cool - again, Galad is more and more awesome every book. Well played.

And the last POV...*sniff* I almost got emotional. That's all I can say.
John Massey
18. subwoofer
'K I read it- first off HOLY $h!t!!!!!!

Was that good! I seem murmers of dissention here, but geeze, c'mon! We can focus on little idosyncrasies and turns of the word or we can focus on the big picture- The Last Battle is coming! Finally!

Best part was the Kandor bit. I will be honest, anyone that knows me here knows that I love the everyman, the soldier, the guy that stands up for what's right without special gifts or powers. Just normal people doing very courageous things. Incredible ending for me and incredible for what is to come.

Thank you Brandon! Thank you Tor.

Matthew Haase
19. Indagator
I found Graendal's POV totally in character, dammit. As soon as she called Delana in, I knew she was getting away. Still, great scene. Does she try to stay close to Rand, or go after someone else he's close to? Does she even know about Elayne or Aviendha?

It was nice to see Perrin at the forge again, even if only in dreams. Dare we hope that the image of forging men helps break him from his self-centered, moping paralysis?

The Galad POV was great. I think it's fascinating (and ironic) that out of all the unaffiliated potential-Lightsiders, the Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks is the one most reasonable about setting aside prejudices to fight the Dark One.

Did anyone else find the Kandori names slightly off-putting? Maybe it's just me, but they felt more like "generic fantasy" than usual for WOT names.
John Massey
20. subwoofer
Fain's time was coming. I could not put a finger on it but he could hold the Myrrdraal hostage, rule Trollocs and affect/infect others. There has to be a power there. The Mordeth thing- stands to reason too. Where did the Black Wind come from? And something like that just doesn't die. I am not sure about the repeated references of the red and black but wow! This is a wild card that makes things interesting.

Theresa Gray
21. Terez27
Brandon says he sucks at making up names. That's why he likes using the charity ones.
John Massey
22. subwoofer
Galad- you know, the idea of the Children has always appealed to me. Paladins fighting for what is good and right. The way the Children have been carrying out their duties have bugged me. The suspicion, fear etc. At TG it would be good to finally see the Children as they were meant to be, fighting Trollocs and the Dark instead of undermining the Forces of Light. Fighting along side the other allies of Light. Yay! Weeeeeeee!

John Massey
23. subwoofer
Hi Terez! RU on Dragonmount too?

Mind you, Dragonmount has been under construction the last little bit. I have had problems getting on there this morning.

Theresa Gray
24. Terez27
Yes, I saw you there. I am mostly on Theoryland, though.
John Massey
25. subwoofer
Incidentally, here in Canada, I had no problems getting the Prologue from Amazon. I just downloaded the Kindle Ap for the PC and away I went. It worked out great, no fuss, no muss, no 20 questions. They even said thanks for my order.

John Massey
26. subwoofer
Hmmmmm... I am Theoryland challenged. I can never navigate that place right and it is too tiered for me. I am not good with secret handshakes and decoder rings. If there was a Theoryland for Dummies, I would be there, as there are many incredibly valuable contributions there, but alas- sub to simple to go to those lofty heights.

And cheap. What do I do if I forgot my name and password? Can't find the link that says "hey, loser, type your email here and we will show you the way"... or words to that effect.

27. Alrin Kharr

I believe that was Mashadar, not the Black Wind.
John Massey
28. subwoofer
???????????? Isn't it the same? Sorry, couldn't spell "Mashadar" so I called it the Black Wind. Black Wind must be the thing in the Ways and Mashadar is the thing from Ahridol. Gotcha. Thank you for the correction. I am all smrt now:)

29. Alrin Kharr

The name for the Black Wind is Machen Shin.

No problem, glad I could help, heh.
Jay Dauro
30. J.Dauro
Anyone who does not think that is worth the money just doesn't understand anticipation. I especially liked Lan's thoughts about how he could not pull the Aes Sedai tricks, trying to weasel out of what he promised. Earlier with Nyneave he has shown that he still calls it lying, even if they don't. I predict a discussion when they reunite ( probably after the LB, and a few other distractions. ;^) )

Yes Sub, the Kandor scene is awesome. It is good to see regular people fighting the shadow with honor. Does make me wonder about some rulers though.
joseph rodarte
31. BLUNTrauma
@Trench 13
Yes balescream is a pretty cool term, I'll promote that to word of the day for now if nothing else. Speaking of which though, it seems pretty capricious of Rand to white-out an entire uh ... what was that a small city? Just the palace? I got the impression it was a small city. Anyway, it seems like after Rand went to the mountain in the last book he was kind of turning over a new leaf you know. But this. Damn.

I mean we've heard repeated warnings about the use, and abuse, of balefire. Rand has sort of taken the approach that balefire, like any fire, is fun for all ages when used in appropriate applications ... kind of like a machete. Good for chopping down large weeds/brush and playing pretend, but giving your friend a pedicure with one is probably a bad idea. Uh ... so yeah we've been specifically warned by this point about the effects of on the pattern of wiping out an entire city. The pattern "unravels" if you recall. As if to highlight this point Sanderson mentions right before this balefiring how even using the TP "scars" the pattern in some way. So yeah the DO's cronies are irresponsible jerks but waitaminnut ... what does that make Rand? I have to wonder just how far Rand has moved back in the sane direction. It doesn't really seem like he's back on an even keel here and that brief glimpse of Rand we get seems to suggest that at the very least he's still somewhat unstable. I mean okay we can balefire away all of our problems if we really want to, but bringing the access terangreal seems a bit much. It's like swatting a mosquito with nuclear weapons. Effective, but maybe just a tad much.

@ everyone talking about Perrin. I agree. Perrin's teenage angst re: wolves/leadership/responsibility is getting old. Or actually it was old like seven books ago. I really hope he pulls his head out of his ass in this novel, and quickly. He's got his wife back, so it's time to get down to business already. Ugh.

Re: Lan's POV. I don't really know how to respond to this. Lan's always been a cool character for me, but not a very deep one. He's like 99% "MUST KILL BLIGHT" and .132% Nynaeve "oh mashiara!" The remaining percentage of his emotion being taken up by a deep and abiding affection for Mandarb. Emotionally the guy is pretty much a one trick pony, being consumed with his war against the shadow as he is. So while I found his POV sort of uninteresting, and frankly boring, it makes sense if you think about it. Dude is obsessed with his own personal war against the shadow. It's weird though that he's still trying to refuse help. He's all "no no this is my fight stay out of it", even though it's clear that against the combined forces of shadowspawn he's likely to last about 10 seconds without the aid of any channelers to help him, not to mention having an army by his side to you know - fight the things they're actually capable of fighting. I kind of hoped for a little bit more, but again it does sort of make sense. Lan is riding to, as far as he knows, his death in the Blight, so I get that after all these years he's finally going to fight the battle he was born to fight. Somehow though it was just sort of unsatisfying.

All in all I really enjoyed the prologue. Both that and chapter 8 have whet my appetite for the forthcoming novel. (as an aside I think Mat's voice in that chapter was spot on, reading that was a real treat). I'm really looking forward to diving back into that world again, and while I definitely enjoyed Sanderson's first entry in the series I'm feeling better and better about the new book. Sanderson just seems like he really gets it, and I just want to take this opportunity to say thanks to him, Leigh, everyone at Tor, and all of you wonderful people in the wot fan community. Everyone here makes this site a fun place to come and play every day. Thanks!!
Daniel Hanley
32. dmhman749
To BLUNTrauma @ 31 It was a palace, but with hundreds of servants and guards, so in terms of size it at least equals a decent sized villiage. I wouldn't go so far as to say a city though.

As for the reasonableness of the use of balefire...*shrug* Rand was pretty crazy at that time, but the argument can be made that it was reasonable. It was the only attack SURE to kill whoever was inside, so even knowing the danger of balefire, as long as rand knows he is the only one using it, and he only uses it in that large a way very infrequently(or only once), he knows the pattern should be ok...afterall, it was used in the war of power by both sides of an entire world war for a year, destroying entire cities(plural) over that year. one large village isn't going to destroy the pattern, and he knows that. its not GOOD for the pattern, but its a risk he feels is worth it. Casting aside the argument that can be made for how evil that sort of thing was, from a purely rational point of view, i can't disagree with him.
James Jones
33. jamesedjones
31 BLUNTrauma

Re: Rand's psychosis

The scene was when Rand balefired Graendal's palace before he had his epiphany on the mountain. Yes, it's the same deal as with the whole first third of Crossroads of Twighlight being just other character's views of what we already saw.
John Massey
34. subwoofer
Lan nudged Mandarb into motion, Bulen followed on foot. And the one became two.

That is what I took away. Lan was bound and determined to wage a personal war with the Shadow. He was going to throw himself at the Blight by himself. Donkey. Through the persistence of this one boy, this one who
Kept to the old ways

Lan is no longer alone. I think this was necessary as the rest of the Borderlands empties to follow the Golden Crane. Heck, when the Borderland armies finally come back- Man! And then Mat's army, and Bryne's army and the White Cloaks. It will be one for the Ages.
I am soooo stoked!

jason drumm
35. gotstewart
Yeah in the war of power, both sides used balefire for a year and nearly unraveled the Pattern. But the question is, was the Pattern already in as shaky state as it is now? With the Pattern already coming apart b/c of the DO's touch, wouldn't balefire's use be worse now?
John Massey
36. subwoofer
I will preface this by stating upfront that I am not a guru. I failed the entrance exam for spelling guru. Apparently the "k" is not silent.

Balefire- loved the term balescream, I second it for word of the day- I don't think there is as big a problem with it now as times gone past. All sides have made a truce not to use it. There was a ripple with Rand because he wiped out a whole lotta folks. Bound to be side effects, ripples in the Pattern. That being said, during the big war using balefire, everyone was using it. The Pattern just about came apart. It has been thousands of years. There has been recovery and people, with the exception of Rand, don't seem to be bent on repeating past mistakes.

I think there are bigger fish to fry than the balefire threat. I am sure it will be used later for Worms and Fain, but in all honesty, I think Rand has more pressing matters. And Caddy can slap him upside the head again if needs be.

Daniel Hanley
37. dmhman749
The DO was LESS sealed during the war of power than he is in the current age. 3 seals still hold, so he can do much less than he could then. Of course, this begs the question of why the DO didn't just destroy the world during the war of power if he had that much more power than he does now and he can do so much now. But thats a different issue. As far as the effects of balefire, Rand had every reason to believe that the effects of even that much balefire would not be a serious threat to the pattern.
jason drumm
38. gotstewart
Rand also has every reason to believe Graendal is dead too. Lets see where that gets him lol.
Matthew Haase
39. Indagator
@37 dmhman749 -
The DO is not necessarily less sealed now than during the War of Power. Based off what we know from the BWB and other hints, the DO gradually eroded the fabric of creation around the initial bore. What LTT and the Hundred Companions sealed was probably much larger than the initial bore some 110 years earlier. Furthermore, as the DO was only improperly sealed, he has continued to wear away the edges of his prison. The seal still holds, at least in part, but there are gaps. I think it's possible the DO is as free to act now as he was at the end of the War of Power.
40. kab1
I was also bothered by the use of Delana for the compulsion, as soon as I read this part (listened actaully- the prolouge is available as an audiobook as well) I figured Greandal would get away. I'm not following the logic @6 that she had Delana do the compulsion because Nyn could read the residues. Does this mean that Nyn when read the residues she'd notice that it was done by a different channeler? If so, pretty cool, I didn't realize it would reveal that. Maybe because they would have woven the weaves so differently from each other??

Either way I'm excited that Grandeal is still around...... also still allows us to get a possible Grandeal POV where she may reveal she killed Asmo. After her presumed Balefiring in GS I thought she might be off the list of suspects- assuming that when we find out it will be from the POV of the killer.

Loved Lan- but annoying that he won't just accept help. I get it, I get it- a man alone with his battle against the shadow. But logic and reasoning stills here Lan, you will need some help to defeat the shadow.

Found Perrin to be *still* annoying, but surprisingly not as much as I thought I would. I think I've accepted the fact that he can't accept the fact that he's a wolfbrother and will whine. Well, at least one of us had come to terms!
Thanks Brandon and Tor- can't wait for the rest!!!!!
John Massey
41. subwoofer
One thing got me thinking- Perrin at the forge. We know Elayne can make ter'angreal. But Perring working the forge made me ponder the idea of him making a power wrought weapon. There are Oaths and such, but why else would RJ make a blacksmith one of the main characters?

Arrow heads.



Karen Jacobs
42. KJacobs
Hooray for Loial!!!!! I've been hoping we would get to see an excerpt from his book at some point, and thought maybe it would be the closing line from AMoL; I was so excited to see it first off in the prologue!
John Massey
43. subwoofer
? Are we talking about the same prologue?


Must go back and check out the chapter...

44. gt4431b


Rand is the destroyer. You can tell this by his own internal monologue. Okay, internal dialogue.
Perrin is the builder. You can tell this by the blacksmithing. The blacksmithing itself is something he's grown beyond and just a red herring; it's what it represents that actually matters. If any of the three pu'boys are going to find the Song, it's going to be Perrin.
Mat is the preserver. You can tell this by all the ancient knowledge he has stuck in his head, and by the fact that his battles are mainly about preservation and protection rather than attack and conquest. He's the balance point between Rand and Perrin.

I griffin' hate captcha.
Daniel Hanley
45. dmhman749
creating power wrought swords is done with the one power through a talent known as aligning the matrix. Are you saying that perrin can create the physical sword, and a non-oathed channie can do the aligning the matrix? Possible, i suppose, but whats the point? Perrin being involved wouldn't make it any different than any other master smith creating the blade. I don't think that Perrin is a blacksmith because he is actually supposted to smith something physical...he is a blacksmith because of a lot of reasons, ranging from RJ wanting him to be a big and strong but careful thinker type, to the fact that RJ wanted some job with physical labor that Perrin could keep coming back to as something he wanted to do instead of being a leader. He is also metaphorically someone who is re-forging a broken kingdom as someone re-forges a broken weapon.
Henry Loose
46. schrodinger
Perrin's contribution to the entire series: the SLINKY OF DOOM! It gives the DO about 5 minutes of fun, and then hours of endless frustration trying to untangle it.
47. FTHurley
So wait, when did Galad freaking Damodred become the single most competent and respectable leader inthe entire world? That POV actually elevated him into my top five favorite characters, from somewhere down in the low 400's. Nice!
Daniel Hanley
48. dmhman749
to FTHurley @ 47 I don't know what you are talking about. Galad has always been one of the most competent and respectable leaders in the entire world. This is just the best it has so far been demonstrated.
49. Ghenjei

The Hindu trinity much? I like the Matt/Vishnu analogy but a bit of a stretch.

So how big is Fain's Zombie Trolloc Army?
And we're clear it's Mashdar he's using right? Not Machin Shin? I know he and Machin Shin have a truce of sorts, but nothing like the merger with Mordeth/Mashdar
John Massey
50. subwoofer
@FTH- lol!

Galad has always been about being honest and speaking the truth. Elayne even said so. That was why she was afraid of him because he would not tell a lie to anyone. Which also makes him the perfect leader of the Children.

Honest to a fault.

Will be interesting to see how Brandon handles torture etc...

But in the end, as I have said, it needed a character like Galad to bring the Children around to the way they should be.

@44- excellent points! I hate Safari too.

Karen Jacobs
51. KJacobs
Sub@43: Page 6, between the Author's Acknowledgement and the Map.
John Massey
52. subwoofer
Oh! Wow!

Thank you!

I totally missed that!

Yet another reason that the $2.39 was worth it!

Loial speaking before the Stump. The march of the Ogier!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I can't stand it!

Gonna try and zoom in on the map. Maybe there are changes.

53. TheCen0bite
In regards to the archtypes and Perrin as a blacksmith, I'd always viewed the three taveren as the Norse God archtypes. Rand is Tyr, the one handed lightning God, for pretty obvious reasons. Mat is Odin, with the spear, wide brimmed hat, head full of ancient knowledge and all the raven symbolism. The prophecy of 'giving up half the light of the world to save the other" is foreshadow to Mat losing an eye, just like Odin. Perrin is Thor, the warrior with the hammer. Aside from the gentle giant and deep thinker persona, making him a blacksmith gives you a storyline dictated reason for the hammer.
Barry T
54. blindillusion
The Prologue as a Whole:

Loial – Finally, Loial has something good to say about himself, if one is to understand that that section came from his forthcoming book. I truly want to see him standing before the Great Stump, calmness stealing over him as he seals the Ogier to a fate.

Lan – Yep, characters in the story never truly go away. Welcome back, Bulen. It was good to see through Lan’s eyes. Yet, there really isn’t much to say about this section.

Graendal – I swear, I cannot recall the last time my heart actually pounded while reading a section of the Wheel of Time (though I suppose it might have been Hinderstrap). Granted, it was for a different reason than one may suspect. I kept waiting for her to mention killing Asmodean.

But, this section has some key telling involved, namely Graendal’s thought regarding the Creator and the Dark One. I found it interesting to include these thoughts so late in the novels. Also, it somewhat sets the two up as equals, with the Creator first among the two.

Also, Graendal pretty much took some serious leaps down the ladder of despicable here. Namely, her thoughts after the deed: “Her greatest ally among the Chosen. Gone.” Yes, because you killed him in order to ensure Rand thought you were dead. But then…this is one of the Forsaken we’re talking about.

Also, it seems somewhat obvious why Graendal had both Delana and Aran’gar use Compulsion on Ramshalan: She had to make it convincing. She knew Delana wouldn’t be able to create a weave convoluted enough, so she had Aran’gar add to the mix.

Why them and not herself? Well, Rand wanted her to lay the weave. Why in the world would she even consider doing what Rand (and by Rand I mean Lews Therin (but only this one time)) wants her to do?

In the end, it’s nice to see Graendal finally live up to the hype surrounding her name. She showed she’s intelligent, as opposed to simply talking about it.

Galad – Needs to meet up with Gawyn so he can smack some sense into his little brother. While I’m dreading yet another “prove yourself through torture” scenario, I don’t think it will last long. Either the Lords Captain with Asunawa are going to end up turning against him due to his methods, or Galad will be freed by Perrin & Co. I hope Bornhald and Byar don’t free him, as it would undermine Galad’s position as Lord Captain Commander.

Fain – Red and black. Red and black. Red and black. Wonder if a part of Rand’s link to Moirdin is shifting through to the one that perhaps wants to kill him most. Also, it’s pretty amazing that now Fain has Mashadar-esk powers. The Wild Card is beginning to show his true fangs.

Also, he is now the Zombie King. Well, in a world where the dead walk and the Dark One is loosening the Pattern thread by thread…why not zombies? I’m looking forward to the Fain sections. And I’m really wondering who’s going to have the privilege of killing him it.

Also, a Trolloc “peeked” around a corner. How priceless is that. Aaaaannnddd, it would appear Fain is going to camp out at Shayol Ghul. Hope he enjoys his alone time.... Maybe he'll teach the Trollocs to dance.... 'Cause this is thriller!!....

The Kandor Section – Much like the first section of tGS Prologue, this was a nice touch. It goes towards showing just how near the end is, but that humanity is not running. Into battle, a blade to seek the Shadow’s heart. MOA + 7 Kinds of Badass = 13 Kinds of MOA.

And finally Perrin – what, you didn’t think I’d forget Perrin, did you? – What can I say? His issues are still obvious, if only he’d listen to those around him, namely Hopper. At the moment he’s too weak to be a part of what is to come. As mentioned above, I think his catalysis to becoming what he needs to become will be settling things with the Children.

- All in all: A very good introduction to ToM.
55. gnatnate
Re: Perrin

I know this POV has bugged a lot of people, and I get it... however, knowing that this is Perrin's starting point for the book, I can deal with it.

Yes, he's still angsty. Yes, he still worries over leadership and his balance between Man/Wolf. But really, after the last few books, did we expect anything different? This is how Perrin has acted for half the series now! And knowing Brandon, I'm really hoping for some major turnaround and character development by the end. I still have some hope that something awesome can be salvaged out of the ball of woe that is Perrin.

The one thing that has really bugged me about the whole situation is that I don't think we have ever seen him ask Elyas, "how do you do it?" He constantly worries about losing himself, but doesn't ask the one man he knows has made his peace with it. I really hope we see this conversation between the two of them in this book.
John Massey
56. subwoofer
@All- I do believe our fearless leader- er... for those not on the Reread, that means Leigh- had stuff to say on her FAQ

Hi Blind! Glad you got the Prologue!

Perrin- not sure what part of the galaxy he is in but it does make sense that he comes to Galad's rescue. I mean, after all, how is Berelain supposed to find her white knight if the Pattern does not step in?

57. cheekyhamster

I almost cried when Bulen asked for Lan's permission to wear the hadori. That part was a great complement to the last section of the prologue. Sanderson writes out the "becoming a man" theme very well.

Graendal has snuggled herself deeper into my heart. I like the "borrowing" of the dove -- Granny Weatherwax, anyone? And I got the shivers at how many times she thought about Nynaeve. As if Moggy weren't an annoying handful already! But my money's still on The Braid. Beware, Forsaken!

When I read Perrin's POV, I thought that he would be the "man in white" that Berelain will end up with. He's in white because he's mourning Faile's richly-deserved and long-anticipated death! Hurray! I mean, how sad. But Min's wording ("Just a man in white who will make her fall head over heels") seems to suggest that this man will be someone new, ie Galad. Le sigh.

Galad's speech: awesome. As is his logic in arguing with Asunawa.

Fain: went so far beyond the creepy horizon he's in outer space.

Thank you, Brandon Sanderson! Thank you, RJ!
James Jones
58. jamesedjones
54 blindillusion
Maybe he'll teach the Trollocs to dance.... 'Cause this is thriller!!....

Anyone, anyone with any ability with computer graphics, I need a Shadowspawn Thriller ASAP!
59. normalphil

He always was! Mindblowing! That's information bias for you. "Right" DNE "Legal" or "authority figure arbitrarily tells me to". Elayne never admitted that to herself, and cynicism means interpreting honest-to-the-light "righteousness" as "self-righteousness". Ours and others information on Galad came primarily from Elayne for so long, and we're a cynical lot, so...
F Shelley
60. FSS
Ha - I just caught the Loial section and was coming here to see if anyone else caught it (the Kindle version opens straight to the prolouge).


And I suppose that means he wasn't the unknown scholar from TGS. COuld it have been Min?
61. aross07
Truly great POV for Galad. I know everyone's favorite was Graendal's, but Galad's was mine.

It was a bit like a favorite scene of mine from Gathering Storm, when Egwene debates Elaida and wins. Though Elaida claims the victory in battle, imprisoning Egwene, she loses the war. That debate actually captures the imagination and loyalty of the Hall and the Tower at large. I believe it will be thus with Galad's imprisonment.

I don't think Perrin will need to free Galad, though such a rescue might be fun. Rather, I believe that Galad has already swung the war in his own favor. Asunawa will not be able to keep him imprisoned forever - to do so would be to risk war among the Children. And perhaps, Asunawa will have to admit that executing Galad is impossible because Asunawa cannot rule the Children himself. Especially not after Galad's fitness for the role has been demonstrated.

Again, echoing Egwene.

This will be a fun storyline to follow, but I believe this will be a war of words and not weapons.
62. Freelancer
I think many know how I felt about the "inside" POV at Natrin's Barrow. I'll deal with that another time. I fear to release that rant just now.

Loial. Poor, self-conscious Loial. Afraid to speak in front of people he knows, much less the Great Stump. Awesome Loial, sets aside his fear in the face of the scope of the issue. Dying to hear his speech.

I have a mildly different take on Perrin's angst than most. He isn't "holding on" to it. He knows he has to find a balance with his wolf-self, and isn't quite there yet. He knows that if he embraces it just a little too much, he'll lose himself to the wolf, and that won't help. He knows that he can no longer try to ignore it, because that also won't help. He is not ignoring his responsibility, he is struggling like mad to get it right.

Galad's encounter with Asunawa is reminiscent of Christ's confrontation with the devil. Each thing that Asunawa throws at him is met with the Children's own founding principles and beliefs. Better yet, Galad draws those words from the Lords Captain following Asunawa. Would a darkfriend ever refute being named a darkfriend using those tenets? No, and the other Children realize this. Galad has gained trust from some of those who came to arrest him. He raises that trust by offering himself to gain parole for his men and prevent brothers-in-arms from killing one another. What darkfriend would avoid the chance to kill Light-serving warriors in this way?
Yes, this setting is much like Egwene vs Elaida, and will have similar results.

The Kandori Battle Tower scene. Loved it, loved it, loved it. A thing which is sorely lacking in modern society is an honest and honorable rite of passage. Others of good will may disagree, and that is well, but a recognizable line of demarcation between child and adult, based on something of merit, truly changes a person. And in any form of fiction, there is little which is more irresistible than a nobly tragic scene, standing to the last, defying evil.

Lan. Is Lan. Why would we expect him to suddenly change who he is? He has been on this road since Ryne back-stabbed Bukama, and the last reason for him to stay away from the Blight was gone. Moiraine turned him from that road for 20 years, but he had to be unleashed or else explode.

A very tasty morsel, it needs satisfy for but five weeks. Come on, election day.
John Massey
63. subwoofer
We have also seemed to come full circle in terms of chapters for all the characters. Galad gets developement, we find out more about Perrin, Lan is back, in short, it feels like we are going to be having all the characters on page unlike past books where individuals disappear for books at a time. I think all the paths will converge at some point soon here and we will have that massive infor dump we have all been waiting for.

Mat? You're a lord and a general? How did that happen? You used to be quite douchy.

Egwene? You're the Amrylin? When did that happen? And why is that loser Gawyne following you around? Is that why you're angry? No? You are angry at Rand? Why? He didn't spank you...

Perrin- what happened to your eyes? Why are you scratching? You got fleas? Did Faile give them to you? What? You married her? On purpose? Is there a baby?

Rand- Oops sorry, guess I have to shake the other hand. What happened there? Cut yourself shaving? What's that? Three girls on the hook? Are they all knocked up? Looking forward to dying at the Last Battle aren't you.

Nynaeve- You're still short. In all your time you didn't get a haircut... what? You married Lan? On purpose? And he said okay? And some priest said okay? wow. You preggers?

Elayne- Preggers? Who's the dad?

Aviendha- Preggers? Who's the dad?

Min- Preggers? Couldn't you see this coming in a vision? You know who the dad is?

Moiraine- Thought you were dead. You look nice in white. Preggers?

Hugh Arai
64. HArai
Loved Galad's POV. Everytime someone would go "what jerk, how could he go and join the Whitecloaks?" I hoped something like this would come about. He didn't join the Whitecloaks, he joined the Children of the Light. Because it was the right thing to do.
John Massey
65. subwoofer
@HArai- exactly.

@Free- I couldn't agree with you more. There are no "rites of passage", at least in Canadian culture. Beyond the "hey, you are x years of age. It is now legal for you to go to a bar and get drunk. Or hey, you are x years of age. It is now legal for you to get your licensce. Or hey, you are x years of age. Leave home now."

Not sure about ladies, but for guys, it would be a very strong bonding moment for a dad to say, before the world, "son, I'm proud of you. You're a man now."

Thomas Keith
66. insectoid
Okay, so I've read it. And enjoyed it thoroughly.

*Squee* Can't wait for November... *twitch*

Let's see... Certainly a more diverse Prologue than the one in TGS.

Lan: Still being a stubborn mule.

Perrin: I thought this section was kinda creepy.

Graendal: And NOW we know what REALLY happened... looks like some of us weren't too far off in our guesses. So, Aran'gar is toast. Good. (Well, at least Rand DID manage to kill a Forsaken off for good...)

Galad: *headdesk* Gave himself up way too easily.

Fain: ::shudder:: Eurgh. Although... Killing Worms?? That's some weird idea of entertainment.

Kandori: Hmm... mirrors. Clever. (Although now I have Gandalf's words echoing in my head: "They are coming." ;) )

Will get to comments later.

John Massey
67. subwoofer
@Insectoid- exactly! The beacons are lit!!!

Barry T
68. blindillusion
I don't know aross07. My favorite section was actually the Fain section. He's the Joker in this story, but his placement in the deck is (seemingly) set. It's nice to finally be able to put a definite pin in the map exclaming: Certain Character Here and Here Is Where He Will Stay (perhaps).

Free - I'd like to see your disagreement with Graendal's POV. I realize this completely divebombed the Graendal is without doubt dead theory, but still...I find it interesting that from the ashes (of a supposed death) Mr Jordan and Mr Sanderson finally managed to show Graendal's intelligence, as opposed to simply telling us about it. She thinks on her feet, which is pretty cool.

One thing I'm not liking is that not only does Nynaeve now have a target painted on her, but Min does as well. I'd put my money on Nynaeve over Moghedien any day of the week. But Graendal is dangerous. She reacts, and acts, with quick thinking. For the first time, I'm worried about Min. (And hey, look at that: I actually had something good to say about one of the Forsaken other than Moirdin.)

Moiraine- Thought you were dead. You look nice in white. Preggers?


Bug- Galad...did the right thing.

And agreed. At least one of the Forsaken is gone. YAY.

Thomas Keith
69. insectoid
Sub @63: ROFLOL... ::clutching sides::

69 FTW! ;)

70. elliesaurus
Monkeyfeathers! This is the third time I've tried posting this. every single time I've accidentally clicked to another page. Curse you, jerky mouse.

Okay, those of you who say this is a short prologue OBVIOUSLY did not listen to it on audio. Two hours. @__@ It took TWO HOURS to listen to everything. Bless the Light, but I wanted to scream "HURRY UP I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT."



Lan: Sounds like Wolverine, apparently. From the 90s cartoon. Still, Supply Guy was pretty awesome. Enjoyed this POV, although it wasn't my favorite.

Perrin: "Hello. In order to reach the Wahhh-mbulance nearest you, please dial Whine-One-One. Thank you, and have a great day."

Graendal: Is clever. And scares me. That is all.

Galad: is British, apparently. The only Brit in all of Randland. He is also now one of my favorite characters. I mean, who takes on known torturers, in public, and -wins-?

Padan Fain: Ten kinds of creepy in one convenient fun-sized package. And now I have images of trolloc-zombies doing thriller with Masahdar swirling all around for ambiance. Thank you, brain.

Kandor: This part had me -crying-. Sobbing like a little girl. Selfless sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds, so that a woman might not know the pain of -another- son dying by the Blight? I really, really hope those messages make it through, and the Borderlander rulers are seriously Gibbs-slapped for being complete and utter idiots. "Lol, lets strip the front line of the fight against the Shadow of 200,000 able-bodied soldiers! :D Sounds like an awesome idea to me!"

May you rest in peace, Heath Tower.
John Massey
71. subwoofer
As for the Forsaken- well, we have all complained about how dumb they are. These guys that have been around for 1000's of years and they are very petty and fall into traps and... well you know the rest. Now we have one who is evil, but is actually showing some skills. I am not going to go out and join the" Graendal for Mayor" campaign, but geeze, let at least some of the baddies be competent.

72. elliesaurus
Guys, I think I broke it. o.o
John Massey
73. subwoofer
Impressive. Monkeyfeathers indeed.

and the award for the longest post goes too...

Jim Millen
74. jim.millen
@71 - Yes, absolutely agree. The FS need a bit of credibility, otherwise the Last Battle would be a walkover... At the moment Graendal, Moridin/Ishy and just maybe Demandred still hold some menance; the few others that are left seem pretty hopeless.
75. jasonreid
So who was Yanet and why does Graendal fear LTT's anger if Rand has remembered this murder from his past life.

This leads to the question of what are we going to get of Rand post scenes of revelation on the mountain top. Will we get a fully realised integration of Rand/LTT with all his past life memories/abilities/skills/powers with Rand in complete conscious control? This apparantly is something that the most effective of the Foresaken genuinely fear.

Even this late in the game, we've really only seen Rand stumbling along grasping at the edges of his power and using abilties that 'come to him' in the heat of battle. Just how powerful would Rand in full command of LTT complete knowledge be?

Also, I wonder if the fact that Galad is Rand's older-half brother (even if this is currently known only to Rand) will eventually play some some part in the story when they end up side by side in the Last Battle - I hope it does.

Lan - And the one became two. (This gave me goosebumps!)

Fain - FINALLY he goes from being just a pain in the arse plotline that won't dies to some fracken creepy harbinger of doom. I love the Zombie Trolloc idea.

Perrin - Dude, get down off the cross, somebody else needs the wood!
John Massey
76. subwoofer
I tried to find Yanet on Tar Valon.net nuthin.

We need the big wizards, long beards, guru type folks working on this.

77. pineapple
I have nothing to add to the comments about the actual prologue (other than: SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!!), but I do want to mention that Brandon explicitly dedicates the book to our very own fearless re-reader-leader, Leigh. Yay, Brandon! Yay, Leigh!
Hugh Arai
78. HArai
And... looks like Loial gets to finish his book after all. Wonderful.
Thanks to those above that pointed out the Kindle skips past that part.
Tricia Irish
79. Tektonica
Wow. I must set the stage.....I downloaded the Prologue this morning in San Antonio, and read it in the car driving west in Texas to Marfa....through the Blight.....dark lumpy clouds, in and out of rain, the smell of earth and grass, hills giving way to desert....put me SO in the mood!!! Come on November! Wow. So good....and some surprises!

OK.....Perrin....I can barely comment. I just want to smack him. Yeah, Free, he's struggling....he's BEEN struggling for 10 odd books! Slow? Ya think? As someone above asked, "Why doesn't he ask Elyas how to make peace?" Well duh....he is with him! Bah.

Graendal! Surprise! I thought she was toast, but agree, better A'rangar, who has served his/her purpose. Like Blind said, better that we SEE Graendal do something smart than just keep getting told that she is. There are many other tidbits of info in there too, re: the creator and the DO, balefire, the pattern...I'll have to reread.

Fain: Creepola! Yikes...now he has Mashadar working for him making zombie Trollocs! Very bad.

Lan: Why can't you accept help? What is with the pride thing? You'll get to fight the DO too. Give over, accept some help for gods' sake. There's too many of them for just One Man. Thank goodness Nynaeve is out there drumming up an army! (Love Lan tho! And his new BFF)

Galad. I always liked him because Elayne said not to. He is rather strict in his black and white-ness, but it's appropriate for the Children of the Light. Perhaps he will indeed bring them back to their original focus. I do hope there's not a bunch of torture for him. Maybe Perrin will get his catharsis here and a MOA, but Galad could do it himself, which would be all the cooler. His questioning of Asunawa....who I think is a bonafide DF, not just a megalomaniac....was incredible. Well done Brandon!

Kandor: A wonderful wonderful scene. So touching. So human. Just human and awesome. The son was incredible sending the other boy away from danger, and his father was too, for officially acknowledging his son as a man a few days early. "Die a Man, son." Oh, it made this mother of a son very verklempt.

This scene also made me even madder at the Borderlanders for haring off after Rand with their huge army, abandoning their posts and their responsibilities to their people. Grrrrrr......

Thank you Brandon! Excellent! Along with the wonderful Mat chapter, too! Thank you Tor, as well...for releasing it, and for making this shiny new thread for us to play on!

FWIW, I agree it would be nice to have some Rite of passage in our culture too...other than getting a drivers license and being able to drink in a bar. Maybe it would help our teenagers grow in responsibility, sooner.

BTW,I downloaded the Kindle for Mac, and it did not have anything about Loial!! Boo hiss. Where can I see whatever it is?
John Massey
80. subwoofer
@Tek- arrow back. it is one of the begining pages. The kindle opens to page one of the text, but that is not the begining of what we get from kindle.

John Massey
81. subwoofer
@Tek- also, speaking as a man, it is very hard to ask for help. Everyone has to be a rugged, John Wayne- man is an island, I'll do it myself mentality, or you are soft and weak. Lan is the archetype of that.

82. gt4431b
For those of you wondering about the Loial section, it's the book's epigraph. It's long for an epigraph, totalling three paragraphs and is not your typical cloudy prophetic/apocolyptic poem thingy like we normally see. It's a straight narrative as told from the first person perspective of Mr. Son Of Arent himself.

I'm debating myself whether it's considered fair use whether I can just copy the thing here.

Fine, just one sentence then:

"It was in this time of great sorrows that I stepped up to the Great Stump."

That should give you a flavor. Only the whole thing is a lot cooler than just the sentence. Loial is a hell of a writer when he pens "The Dragon Reborn".
Richard Boye
83. sarcastro
Yanet is a new name, as far as I can tell. A quick looksie on Ideal Seek (http://dposey.no-ip.com/IdealSeek/)
indicates no earlier mentions. I am going to assume that Graendal killed a close associate of LTT and she assumes that he still holds a grudge. It's probably not LTT's lover because LTT's main squeeze was Ilyena Sunhair.

I'll wager that Yanet was LTT's best friend.

Cool enough, but I still think that BS really has a tin ear for names, both personal and place. They just jar - "Proska Flats." "House Rai." "Keemlin." "Heeth Tower." I really would hope that Team Jordan could help the dude out.

But yes, the Beacons have been Lit! Will Rohan answer the Call?

I am thrilled to bits that Graendal survived, and thrilled even more that Aran'gar didn't. I am a little perplexed, however - if Graendal is whining internally about losing her best ally among the FS, then she probably shouldn't have shielded her and left her/him (shim?) to Balefry. Hmmm.

I wonder how many Lord Captains there are, among the WC, though.
John Massey
84. subwoofer
Heh, my wife is from Cold War era Poland... some of these names are a real throwback. Perhaps a computer program that generates random names...

Edit- Yes- Gondor calls for aid? Will Rohan answer?

Joseph Blaidd
85. SteelBlaidd
I think its interesting that the majority of the prolouge was about people accepting the duty to lead.
Loil stepping up to the plate and taking up the job of convincing his people to accept their responsibility to participate in the salvation of the world.

Galad shouldering the burden not just of the Children of the Light that followed him but of those that didn't.

Perrin desperatly trying to figure out what hes supposed to be doing. His unconcious is trying to make it clear to him that he needs to turn his hand from forging iron into tools into forging men in to an army and people in to a nation.

Lan is STILL ducking his responsibility to be both General and a King. Which he has been avoiding for 50 YEARS. And unlike poor Perrin he at least was trained for the Job and knew it was his.

I got a hold of Terez's transcription of the iTunes preview that had Lan's PoV up to telling Bulen to go away.

This was my reaction.

Is any one else getting a serious Sancho Panza Vibe off of Bulen?

Also I'm pissed at Lan.

"Al'Lan t'al'Mera Mandragoran I name thee Hypocrite and Liar, Coward and Thief."

"I say thee again, Hypocrite. Well dist thou teach unto a youth and farmboy, a son of Chiefs and Queens, that 'Duty was heavier than a mountain' and he has shouldered his burden though it be the whole word and the people therein and all the deaths that come or not for his merely being and yet thou wilt not recognize your duty, thou Uncrowned King, to even so much as one life that would willingly stand at your side and help hold back the hordes in defense of those he loves. Verily thou art a Hypocrite."

"Again I say thee Liar. Thou dist plead 'War' unto thy wife to leave her side and go and face Trollocs at the Gap because the Rulers of the Borderlands were not marshaling their forces. But in truth thou didst merely wish to return to you boyhood haunts for one last hurrah before they were gone for good. Verily thou art a Liar."

"I say the Again, Coward. Because thou dost refuse to 'Lead men to their Deaths' where they might stand as a Bastion against the Forces of Darkness and Shield before their homes and families and instead would rather leave them to their deaths when the Hordes break over their lands like tidal wave and leave all behind them broken and devoured, so you can 'cast your solitary defiance' into the face of the ravening locusts of the Lord of the Grave like a spoilt child stamping his foot and declaiming 'IT'S NOT FAIR. These are MY toys.' Verily thou art a Coward"

"And lastly, I say thee Thief. A rare Woman whose worth is indeed far above Rubies has given thee her heart. And though that heart breaks to send the away from her and into danger, because it was thy Duty yet she has done so. And though thou dost protest to love her yet when she has made all provision within her power to see thee safe to her side once more thou dost fain to flee her gift as a sneak thief doth flee the watch, so you can cast the life thou dist promise her on thy wedding night at the feet of thy old mistress. Verily thou art a Thief."

Contrast this with the Men of Heeth Tower.

Speeking of which I Don't think Lan is going to make it all the way to Tarwin's Gap before the Trolocs catch up with him

Dorothy Johnston
86. CloudMist
For me, the only downside to Graendal being alive is all the grief we naysayers may get from the truly dedicated "Graendal Lives" fanatics are likely to give us heretics. :)
Barry T
87. blindillusion
Steel - BRAVO!

That was truly awesome. Granted, you're probably going to be beaten to a pulp panned by many here, but still, nice way to throw down the gauntlet.
88. jasonreid
Steelblaid @85

Why should Lan be any different from every other WOT character.

In fact, isn't it a WOT rule that you can't be a leader of men without whining about it for at LEAST 3-4 whole books...
Roger Powell
89. forkroot
OMG, OMG - What a prologue! And thanks KJacobs for pointing out the Loial section, as I too would have missed it. iPhone Kindle reader does the same thing.

Freelancer take heed ... When the Graendal POV started, I thought "aha - we'll get her POV where she thinks about how she offed Asmo - then she'll get balefired. Just like I predicted!"

So I read on, and when she called Delanna to do the compulsion weave I began to get ready to call "BULLSHIT" on BWS. I mean I was really disappointed. But I read on.

Ah... but, now when she tricked Aran'gar into the complex compulsion weave and she used the dove to track Ramshalan my ire cooled considerably, especially as I realized that Rand was still going to wipe out one of the Forsaken.

To be honest (and a bit rude), all of the "Graendal lives" ideas that I had seen posted in this forum were rather weak. None of them had the imagination (and plausibility) of what Brandon actually wrote.

After reading the story, I am delighted with it! As others have noted, we dumped one fairly useless (and clumsy) Forsaken while keeping a very devious and dangerous one.

So I am going to insult every reader of this forum mildy (including myself) and say: "I'm glad that Brandon Sanderson is finishing WoT, not me or you!"
Thomas Keith
90. insectoid
Sub @80: Well... curse Amazon then! I totally missed that. (Belated thanks to KJacobs)

Sub @84: I heart those movies. :D

Roger Powell
91. forkroot
By the way, SteelBlaidd you captured my disgust with Lan perfectly. His actions are indeed selfish and (ironically) cowardly.

Don't get me wrong - I defend his right to throw his life away in a meaningless fashion. It's his life. Just like I would defend anyone's right to live (or dispose of) their own life in RL; however that would not stop me from criticizing their choice.

If someone in RL wants to waste their life doing drugs, I believe in their right to do that. It's their choice. But tolerance of their choice (i.e. not incarcerating them for possessing "illegal" drugs) does not imply approval. I would openly disrespect their choice.

So it is with Lan. Of course he can have his little pity party and one man suicidal charge. Or he can wake up to the fact that Tarmon Gaidon is here, and that he has tremendous value to the light as anything from a Warder to a Battle Leader.

BWS has done a terrific job of portraying Lan the same way that RJ did. Here's hoping that the planned storyline includes a large dose of self-realization for Lan in the coming chapters.
John Massey
93. subwoofer
Yeah, all I can do is gush... and tell everyone on the other thread that this is totally worth every penny just to read. Yes, the whole book is coming out in a little bit but wow, what a teaser!

It accelerates like a buggati veyron- First couple of pages then- wham! Warp speed Mr. Scott.

I am glad that most of the Tor dot regulars are here, it would not be the same otherwise. And now we have a month and change to figure out where things are going and how we can possibly get there from here.


Edit- what in the name of-?! Grrrrrrrrr! Wisenheimers!

Barry T
94. blindillusion
...You know Blark@92, that might just be the most fascinating dissertation I've ever read. It is all clear to me now. The meaning of life. Why we are here. Is there life on other planets. Who built the pyramids Which came first, the chicken or the egg. ...All the great mysteries solved with the utterance of but one word:


Let us now celebrate. We are free.

Thank you sir, thank you.

Let us usher in our new Dark Overlords.

Wait, Torie...can you please please please simply eradicate this person's email address from ever being able to post on Tordot again?

At least elliesaurus apparently made a mistake.

Edit: 9+4=13. FTW!
Edit2: Hmm. Well, that works too. Hmm. I suppose there is nothing to see here. Wait, what is that doing here!!:
Roger Powell
95. forkroot
Can you tell I'm pumped up with that prologue?

More on Nynaeve: I wouldn't give her much of a chance of surviving considering that Graendal is planning to stalk her (and Nyn doesn't even know that!) The only “ace in the hole” for Nynaeve is that Graendal probably doesn't know that Nyn has the various defensive ter'angreal as well as a pretty powerful angreal. When Alivia had that setup, she outranked the original Lanfear (per Cyndane's POV at the cleansing). While Nynaeve isn't quite as strong as Alivia, she's Forsaken-class without the angreal and so with it she would probably be stronger than Graendal in a head-to-head fight.

Of course Graendal is extremely careful, so I would imagine she'd scope out Nynaeve and try to take her with a surprise attack. Nyn's going to need some luck to survive.
96. wagman26
If Ishamael (Moridin) remembers countless lives, then it seems that Graendal could also. So could Yanet be a wife/lover of Rand/Lews from a previous age??
97. wagman26
Will Lan be the savior of Kandor? Will the Borderlanders return to there duty to protect, or will Demandred keep them away? What of Luc/Isam? Will Lan kill him or Perrin? Let November come! Thanks go out to Mr. Jordan. Whichever realm you now call your own, God bless.
98. elliesaurus

If I could fix that massive wall of What Is This, I would. I'm sorry. ): I did not mean for my first post here in Ages to go sideways on me.
Roger Powell
99. forkroot

If I could fix that massive wall of What Is This, I would. I'm sorry. ): I did not mean for my first post here in Ages to go sideways on me.

That's one of the advantages of "going grey" (registering) ... you can edit your posts.
Barry T
100. blindillusion

Completely understandable, and sorry to imply that you in any way intended for that post to happen.

Blark's post simply upset me. Sure, it's all font on an endless sheet of internet paper, but still...some people come here to read other's words and respect one another.

And I agree with Fork. Register. It's the New In Thing.

Welcome to the site.

Edit: Wait, what's that? 100 you say? Nay, I say. 1 hunny.
Hi Sub.
101. elliesaurus
Well, uh. I actually am registered. *cough* Just not under this name. I was lazy and wanted to get a quick post in and that is what being lazy gets me.
Pete Pratt
102. PeteP
I had turned towards Galad after his duel -- this only confirms how awesome he is.

But as to Lan, his country and family were destroyed before he could even walk. He did not want to lead others to their death on a useless quest, but sought to maintain the oath made in his name by his parents. And doing so, he has fought the Shadow all of his life.

But he knows that his homeland died in large part due to people going on useless quests (taking large armies along with them to their death) and searching for personal honor. As such, he has avoided leading men into the Blight or accepting personal honors.

Now, his wife gave him a chance to do his duty (as Lan saw it), but also is trying to get him to finally allow himself to be the king he can be (as she seems him).

Is he supposed to suddenly rejoice in this role of being what he rejected throughout his life? We know that eventually Lan will lead an army attacking Trollocs, blazing the trial through the Borderlands, but am I very glad we did not a sudden, overnight transformation.
Theresa Gray
103. Terez27
wagman26@96 - Moridin doesn't remember a lot of past lives, I don't think. He's said such before, but in POV (TPOD prologue) he is frustrated about not remembering.
104. wagman26
Terez27- "Ten years! You pitiful fool! This war has not lasted ten years, but since the beginning of time. You and I have fought a thousand battles with the rurning of the wheel, a thousand times a thousand, and we will fight until time dies and the shadow is triumphant!" - Elan Morin Tedronai, aka Moridin, aka Ishamael, aka Betrayer of Hope. From the prologue of The Eye of the World.
105. Freelancer

Since you bring it up...

The story is what the author(s) intend it to be. I will never gainsay that. The moment Aran'gar and Delana were introduced as being at Natrin's Barrow, I knew that Graendal was going to survive. I'm not bothered by that in the least. I am, however, displeased that the irrationally convoluted set of conditions to make it work leave me with one of two conclusions, neither of which I care for:

1. Graendal was originally intended to die as described by the scene in TGS, but was meant to be an uncertainty. Then when fans (not taking credit for this, my thoughts were among many others) offered fairly airtight arguments for Graendal not surviving, he decided to ret-con a different result. I summarily reject this option as not in keeping with Brandon's stewardship of the story.

2. The TGS scenario was crafted precisely to create a seemingly impossible situation for Graendal to escape, solely for the purpose of waiting a year to spring the "Aha!" of how she did in fact avoid death. This is by far the more likely, yet still disappointing. Why? Because it required several conditions, behaviors, and suppositions which, all combined, should have resulted in the instantaneous appearance of the Heart of Gold, because we have most certainly attained infinite improbability.

~ Ramshalan shows up, Graendal goes on the alert. Makes perfect sense.

~ Graendal considers leaving, then compares that action with what has Aran'gar currently under punishment, and changes her mind. All good so far.

~ Graendal unwraps her own Compulsion, then has Delana replace it with her own best efforts. Odd, but not yet too unreasonable.

~ Graendal considers how Rand might have found her, during which thoughts she wonders if Nynaeve is able to read Compulsion weaves. It is incongruous that these thoughts don't occur before the changing of Compulsion on Ramshalan, aside from it being an awfully thin idea that someone could read the weaves of her best work. Graendal is exceptionally careful, but she is prideful of that caution. She says herself that she had covered herself perfectly. A strangely humble consideration to ponder if one of these modern primitives was skilled enough to detect her work.

~ Graendal has Aran'gar add additional Compulsion, ostensibly for the purpose of confusion. I don't see any confusion to be gained here. First, she is supposing that Rand is also possessed of the rare talent to detect such intricate weaves, only mildly unlikely in and of itself, considering that he is who he is. But what if Rand and Nynaeve had indeed each detected weaves of their respective sources? Rand would have attacked all the quicker, correctly and unavoidably deducing that the saidin-wielder was a male forsaken, or else a rogue asha'man. Therefore, there is no logic to having Aran'gar do this. But, the device is required in order to have Graendal bind both Delana and Aran'gar to be left behind for the balefire. A bit of cart-before-the-horse in the scene construction.

~ Graendal, thanks in part to the dove, but otherwise nearly from whole cloth, suddenly solves Rand's entire plan. (Why, in all this time, haven't the forsaken been eavesdropping on everyone using locally available birds before this? If this method had been employed even once before, it wouldn't be so out of left field.) Since she has seen that Nynaeve did in fact read her Compulsion, and probably presumed that Rand has done likewise, she further deduces that Ramshalan is simply a litmus test for the presence of a Compulsion-weaving channeler in the palace, followed by the balefire destruction of said channeler, being verifiable by the disappearance of Ramshalan's Compulsion. Therefore, she can't let Delana or Aran'gar leave. Again, it only makes retroactive sense from the result of Aran'gar's death, that there was any value in having herhim apply the saidin-based Compulsion.

Oh well. I'm completely fine with sneaky (need I show my "Verin - Mole for the Light!" membership card?), and I'm fine with remarkably clever. I'm less sanguine about contrived, convoluted, semi-illogical, with a dash of deus-ex-machina to get there.

Two items of follow-up. Graendal had collected numerous items of the Power. One would expect that one or more of them would be made of cuendillar. These items would have survived the attack and been left lying on the ground which had previously held the foundation of Natrin's Barrow. Scavenger hunt, anyone? Also, Graendal's penultimate thought was:
She was suddenly the safest she'd been since escaping the Dark One's prison.

Since when does a forsaken not use the term Great Lord?
106. wagman26
A little hard on Lan in here huh? In New Spring, Malkieri men and women were "forgetting, trying to forget" the memories of Malkier. p 218. "No one will sorrow for me when I die, because those who would are dead already."-Lan "You said you burned your past. Let the past have its ashes. This is the same war, Lan. The most important battle yet in that war. And this one, you can win."-Moiraine Everyman has his times of doubt and weakness. It allows us to question ourselves and seek our true path in life. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. This is a man who has fought since near birth against the shadow, and seems to just not want the responsibility of leading people to their deaths as he sees it. "But some have greatness thrust upon them."
Theresa Gray
107. Terez27
wagman - Like I said, he's said such before...but his thoughts in the TPOD prologue indicate that he was bluffing. He probably knows of his eternal role from the Dark One, but he doesn't actually remember it. Or, in RJ's words....'And you believed him???' ;)
Theresa Gray
108. Terez27
@Freelancer - I posted some similar thoughts on Dragonmount last night/this morning some time. I enjoyed the scene as I read it, but the fact that she didn't figure out the balefire aspect until the last instant bugged me, and so I went back to read the scene again, and came to the same conclusion. Why did she get Delana and Aran'gar to do the Compulsion? Even if Nynaeve could 'read' the Compulsion weaves, I can't think why she would be sure it was Graendal's Compulsion, or why it would make any difference at all outside of the balefire problem. But...meh. :)
Thomas Keith
109. insectoid
Free @105:

...which, all combined, should have resulted in the instantaneous appearance of the Heart of Gold, because we have most certainly attained infinite improbability.

Spot on, my friend! Well analyzed!

110. wagman26
Terez-yes yes, but has Graendal lived those passed lives, and does she remember all of them? That's a fair question. Right? She may just be the best of the worst, and doesn't seem to worried about Moridin. What about when Rand dreams himself to Moridin, and he feels more whole then he can rember, but seems to know even more about his past life/lives than before. What was that place? Did it allow time to catch up with the players there, and past lives to reveal themselves easier. I wonder if Moridin is more aware in that place also? Just a thought. Been wrong lots of times. Will be wrong lots more. May you find water and shade.
111. wagman26
"Truth can change a hundred times in a day, or not at all in a hundred years."
Theresa Gray
112. Terez27
Graendal has expressed skepticism of the concept of rebirth before (back before she had good reason to believe that Rand remembered), and she's also never shown any indication of past life memories.
Ben Tags
113. bohika5
Why use the True Power weave on the dove? The Dragon Reborn knows of her location, best watch the messenger for a while just to be safe.
Why did Graendal remove her compulsion? She was aware of Rand knowing of her location, she has no reason to confirm this to him through Nynaeve reading her weaves - I'm pretty sure it is not known to what extent they can be read.
Why did Graendal get Delana and Aran'gar to do the Compulsion? To lay a false trail.
Whats the first thing you do when you observe the Choedan Kal being drawn upon by an enemy on the ridge overlooking your palace? You get the hell out of there.

Seems pretty straight forward really.
James Hogan
114. Sonofthunder
I was also interested in seeing your thoughts, Freelancer...well analyzed! I was also dubious of the "Graendal lives!!!11" theories, just because most of the reasoning I read was overly contrived, in that way only fans can love. I posted earlier that I think all her actions were just due to her cautious nature. Remember, she's the one who flees as soon as her hiding place is discovered(as she almost did, before she realized she wouldn't want to face the Great Lord's wrath) - I think those thoughts she had while Delana was doing the weaving were actually the thoughts that prompted her to have Delana do the weave in the first place. Who knows what these 3rd Age primitives have figured out now?? I do agree that it's semi-contrived and will now forever color how I read that part in TGS, but I've found a way to make it work for me. Graendal's EXTREME caution/paranoia FTW!
James Jones
115. jamesedjones
83 sarcastro

Re: Names

I'll agree, some of the names sound terrible. But I don't think it's due to BWS's skills. It's more likely due to the charity program in which he and team Jordan encouraged readers to participate. For the one or two folks not following along on Sanderson's facebook page, he agreed to name WOT characters after donors to a charity for the same disease that took the master from us. Absolutely honorable and cool, but with the exception of one upcoming Lannis character, the names sound a little off.
James Hogan
116. Sonofthunder

After your comment about Graendal using "Dark One" instead of "Great Lord", I noticed a few other times...namely where she's thinking about her weave on the dove, right before the Compulsion bit. Now that's going to bother me...thanks. ;)
F Shelley
117. FSS

Why, in all this time, haven't the forsaken been eavesdropping on everyone using locally available birds before this? If this method had been employed even once before, it wouldn't be so out of left field.)

I w0uld say Ravens and Crows are mostly locally available, most places in Randland. Except the Borderlands, where apparently they are shot on sight...
Barry T
118. blindillusion
Well, wasn't that weave made of the True Power? Something the Forsaken not only fear, but have had limited access to. Meh, I could be wrong as I was reading rather quickly yesterday. Perhaps a reread....
John Massey
119. subwoofer
Another strong reason for not using birds is that for quite a while there, no one knew where Rand was. He kept Travelling from place to place, throwing a wrench in the stalking and killing of the Dragon.

Graen? Well, the cream rises to the top. With so many Forsaken arrayed against him, there had to be some balance of the scales to even the odds. Granted there is infighting, but, as I have said, at some point, some of the bad guys have to live up to the billing or you have another Inspector Gadget scenario on your hands.

John Massey
120. subwoofer
Yes, all Gren's weaves were using the true power. It was a trickle, but enough to get Ar'angor's attention and enough to do what she needed.

Edit-@Ellisaurous- I also appologize. I did not mean to imply that your post was not welcome... it was just impressive. Feathers and all;). Also, you and other people have said that you wanted to "fast post" so you did not log in. ??? I find it lightening quick to log in. My browser saves my login and password so I just have to type in one letter and I am good.

121. cheekyhamster
forkroot@95: Agree that Nynaeve needs luck to survive Graendal's stalkerage. Hoping for an epic showdown. I think a lot of people are banking on Nynaeve surviving TG, but what if...? (noooooo)

Freelancer@105: re Graendal thinking "Dark One" vs "Great Lord" = I vote for editing error because: (1) All Graendal's POVs indicate she's B-A-D, (2) she says "Great Lord" a little later on, and (3) "Darkness within!" -- I mean, c'mon, who curses like that?
Aleq Reese
122. raptonyus7
Okay, i think that a nyneave Graendal showdown woudl be interesting, but what if it was Min who finished of the Chosen. Graendal, who believed she and the others were more like gods than humans.
And i think the Nyneave showdown will be with Moghedian. I mean, Nyneave can use balefire. She has before.
Tom Burton
123. Conky
Zing, I predicted that Graendal forced a pet Aes Sedai to use compulsion instead of herself here: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/02/wheel-of-time-open-thread @1314. Sorry, I'm usually not this arrogant, but I never get these predictions right, so let me bask in the glory. That said, I'm glad that a Forsaken still died, and doubly so that it was the stealth Saidin weilding Aran'gar. I figured her to be a tricky one to kill and am glad that she can't cause any more ruckus.

Edited to spell Graendal correctly.
John Massey
124. subwoofer
Well, the other thing this prologue does is make me wonder about match-ups. I have said it in the past, but the plain truth is, Rand cannot take everyone on. And now things are shaping up that all the female baddies want to take a round out of Nynaeve. We still have Aviendha, Elayne and Alivia that needs their buddies. Any speculation as to how the forces of Light vs. the Baddies will line up?

Moggy vs. Nynaeve, the Re-match is a given.

Perrin vs. Slayer/Isam.

Mat vs.- I dunno. Fain?

And how will the Seanchan line up, which side? Or are they another random factor like Fain? A third side of a war?

Didn't really notice the Graen "DO" slip, but I think it was just that, a slip in editing.

125. Freelancer

Mat doesn't have anything to do with Fain, other than a shared experience with the dagger. Mat's nemesis is the gholam.

I don't think Fain is going down until the very end. The wildcard/joker is not going out without a large amount of drama. "You wanna know how I got these scars?"
Roger Powell
126. forkroot
100% agree that BWS would not ret-con just to tweak the fan base. This was definitely planned either by him or possibly even RJ.

I disagree that the plot required suspension of disbelief. I though BWS wrote it well.

There's a guideline that good bridge players use (on defense) when they are working out what's going on in a hand. When it's clear that declarer wants you do something, it's best to do something else if you can. E.g. if declarer has played his cards in a fashion that offers you a ruff you did not expect, it is often correct to decline the ruff. So if you haven't otherwise worked out what is going on, you decline the ruff on that principle.

So it is with the most cautious (some might say paranoid) of the Forsaken. Al Thor has sent her a disposable doofus almost begging her to lay a compulsion weave. Her natural instincts tell her to avoid that (actually to remove the compulsion weave she used to get the base information), even if she can't quite discern his strategy yet. You might call it instinct, a rule of thumb, whatever, but most great competitors have that innate intuitive quality of gamesmanship that elevates them over the merely good.

All series long, our heroes (and heroines) have cheated death with close escapes, and not just through taveren-ness (think Nynaeve on the boat at Ebou Dar). Is it so unreasonable that one of the major baddies gets to survive a close shave herself?

BTW, Excellent point about the cuendillar artifacts that should have survived the balefiring of Natrim's barrow!

Of course, as I have pointed out in past posts, RJ's treatment of the effects of balefire has been somewhat uneven. If you hit a living being with a beam of balefire, the whole being is affected (removed), whereas if you hit a column (like in Tanchico), it's more like a disintegration ray where only the area struck by the beam is removed.

So what exactly happened at Natrim's Barrow? Did Rand make a broad-enough "ray" that the entire castle would be disintegrated? In that case, one would presume that surrounding trees, perhaps part of the hill would disappear also.

Perhaps there's a cut in the hillside where the castle stood, and if you bothered to sift the dirt there, you'd find the cuendillar artifacts.
Tom Burton
127. Conky
stylusmobilus @15:

Looks like you got your gars mixed up. Aran'gar was Balthamel, not Aginor. Aginor became Osan'gar.
128. BlueOx
Last time I got my gars mixed up, it cost me like 2 grand for the mechanic to get 'em put back in the right spot....
Tom Burton
129. Conky
Edited because my post under moderation did reappear @123. Deleting this one now that it's irrelevant.
Rajesh Vaidya
130. Buddhacat
Graendel saying the Dark One is bad enough - there's a worse mistake as well: When she realizes Rand's real purpose for sending in Ramshalan, she says "Light! How clever he has become!" That's just wrong - no Chosen would ever say "Light!"
131. Seamus1602
re: Lan

I don't get why people are angry at Lan's reluctance to lead men into the Blight. He made a promise to himself (only slightly less binging for him than a promise to others). In the span of a few short pages, he first rejects, then accepts the presence of another. Now, if he keeps complaining, I'll be pissed. For now, though, I see nothing wrong with Lan's dedication to his personal quest, especially in the light of him moving beyond it in these very pages.

re: Greandal

I didn't think Gren's use of Aran'gar for 'confusion' was deus-ex-machina in any way. Has Rand ever attacked a FS when he knows more than one is present? I can't think of a single situation in which he has done so. In fact, his plans have usually involved isolating FS to then attack. Gren's use of saidin to confuse Rand is a very logical plan that would, based upon his actions thus far, mean that Rand would not attack her.


I don't believe in God, but I'll use phrases invoking his name, as they have become commonly used idioms, like 'Light!' in Randland. Same goes for Gren's using 'Dark One' instead of 'Great Lord'.
Karen Fox
132. thepupxpert
re: Grandael, am I the only one who thought Rand's plan of placing Ramshalan in the middle of the woods 2 days away from the nearest village with no pack horse or supplies, would have been an instaneous giveaway to her? I haven't read the prologue yet but I can glean from the comments that she guessed as much, used the dove to verify, and then left the other FS and AS to take the heat.

My question is, what was her reasoning for allowing them to fry? She could have just as easily told them that her lair had been compromised and they all could have left together. Something more happening here than meets the eye...

edit to change tense.
133. Paulw
My question is, what was her reasoning for allowing them to fry? She could have just as easily told them that her lair had been compromised and they all could have left together. Something more happening here than meets the eye...

Did you read the prologue or are you just going off of other people's reactions to it? Graendal was quite explicit in her thinking. In her mind, if she had allowed Delana or Aran'gar to escape Rand would think/know she was still alive. Leaving them to die allowed him to leave under the delusion that Graendal was dead, since the Compulsion he assumed she wove was no longer present. She could not let Aran'gar leave with her because she was anticipating Rand noticing saidin woven compulsion, even though he did not check and based on reader knowledge would have likely been none the wiser had Aran'gar lived.
Abdel Masdoua
134. TheDarkOne
So, I resisted the temptation to read a full day...

Then, I bought both the audio and the ebook:
How is that for determination and strong will?

Anyway, I just loved the Kandori POV, it felt so human and rang... well, right. Don't really know how to put it in words, but I was very moved here. Goosebumps, especially with the audiobook...

Really enjoyed Graendal's POV.
Clever, cunning, and very quick thinking on her part, I really liked it. I think Brandon nailed her character (no pun intended).

Galad was just awesome! I'll admit I had some issues with him in the earlier books (surely Robert Jordan's intent), but since COT, I think that, basically, he rules! Yay for Galad!

Other than that, Lan's POV was good and 'the one became two' line was great.

Perrin was... there. Whining. Again. End of story.

In other words, great Prologue, good way to get our fix until Nov. 2, and much to discuss, so worth the price!

Edit: I too was bothered by Graendal's slip ('Light' and 'The Dark One's prison') but I assumed it was some kind of minor edition mistake. Someone should ask Brandon about it though, ans since he's not coming to Paris, I'll just have to rely on you guys!
Roger Powell
135. forkroot

I wonder if merely having Delana put compulsion on Ramshalan would have fooled Nynaeve. Delana's weaves (and the resulting effects) would have been substantially simpler than what Nynaeve would have previously seen (on Kerb.)

While acknowledging that Nynaeve cannot detect weaves of saidan, perhaps she could detect the results of Aran'gar's work. Nynaeve is a skilled healer, who can see deeply into the structure of minds. We've previously seen her detect the "severing" and heal Logain.

So I'm thinking that Nynaeve was reading the results of both compulsion weaves vs the weaves themselves, and was convinced by the extent of the "damage" to the normal neural function that it had been Graendal's doing.

Just a theory.
Scientist, Father
136. Silvertip
@105 Freelancer:

One would expect that one or more of them would be made of cuendillar. These items would have survived the attack and been left lying on the ground which had previously held the foundation of Natrin's Barrow.

Notably, Graendal possessed an angreal (an unadorned ring, IIRC). When we (or at least I) thought her dead, I had likewise assumed that it had clattered to the ground at the Barrow. Now, I notice that we are not told if she was wearing it when she got out in her socks, so to speak. Suppose we'll hear more about this?
137. Paulw
While acknowledging that Nynaeve cannot detect weaves of saidan,perhaps she could detect the results of Aran'gar's work.

That's definitely the question. This does seem to be what Graendal expects (or at least considers a possibility), and likely what she means when she refers to being able to "read Compulsion". It isn't really made clear that this is what Nynaeve does, though. In fact, I came away from the chapter wondering why the saidar-detected Compulsion was different than the known Graendal one she had sensed before -- I don't have immediate access to the books, but as I recall it was described or hinted as being weaker and less subtle. I don't think it would have been described as it was if she was also reading the results of a Compulsion she could not see the weaves of.
138. Freelancer
forkroot & others

I enjoyed the Natrin's Barrow scene. I am not complaining that Graendal survived. I am not taking Brandon to task over the setting. I simply believe that the chronological and logical sequence of events is too improbable to fit even the most calculating forsaken.

As I argued, there is no good reason, on the face of it, to have Aran'gar add to the Compulsion. Graendal has no idea how gifted Nynaeve is, but supposing that she could read, not only the saidar Compulsion weaves, but the physical manifestation effects of both Compulsion weaves, strains credulity to the breaking point. Also, doing so absolutely guarantees that Rand will attack, which adds no value to Graendal's situation, especially given that she isn't expecting an attack until after she sees him light up the access key. Doesn't fit.

Given that, the need to have Aran'gar add Compulsion exists only to satisfy his/her destruction. Graendal could not allow either Delana or Aran'gar to escape, or else the Compulsion on Ramshalan would not have changed enough, and Rand would suspect that Graendal had survived. She wants to be safe, so she gives Rand what he's hoping for (what she shouldn't have been able to deduce with such little information), the instantaneous loss of the Compulsion from Ramshalan's mind following the balefire attack.

As to the Compulsion proving to Nynaeve that it was Graendal's work, that's a non-starter. From Rand's point of view, who else but Graendal herself would be weaving Compulsion on Ramshalan at Natrin's Barrow? A milder Compulsion wouldn't have triggered in Nynaeve an idea that it was somebody else's work. It was a simple yes/no situation. Rand tells her to test him for Compulsion. It's there (she adds that it is a very heavy Compulsion, but do you think Rand wouldn't have attacked had it been a very mild form instead?)

Bottom line: It is only when Graendal is fleeing in terror that she realizes that she can't let Delana or Aran'gar survive. It is only then that she realizes Rand's game, that he sent Ramshalan as a Compulsion test dummy who could be used to verify the presense of a Compulsion weaver, and said weaver's removal from the Pattern via balefire. Since Graendal didn't solve that puzzle until that moment before binding her friends and diving through a gateway, her decisions prior to that, which appear to be based on already having solved all of the above, are anachronistic.


Paulw @137

Actually, when Rand tells Nynaeve to test Ramshalan as he first returns to the hillside, she reports that yes, he is under a very heavy Compulsion. Not mild, not weak. She did not otherwise qualify what she detected, as to it's similarity with what had been placed on Kerb. Of course, if she had said anything of the kind in TGS, it would have increased the suspicion among the readers that something was out of place inside Natrin's Barrow, and I for one would have been less convinced that Graendal had died.
139. Freelancer
Meant to make this comment earlier...

Ghenjei @10

I don't know how you get that the mentioned-in-passing makeout session between Delana and Aran'gar is "Sanderson making his mark". In my reading of their respective works, Brandon is far less likely to write prurient, scenery-only intimacies than Jordan. Also, Balthamel/Halima/Aran'gar has been seen attempting to seduce Graendal herself. With Delana directly under her thumb, it is reasonable that she would avail herself. As to Brandon using the opportunity of completing the Wheel of Time to somehow "make his mark", you couldn't be more wrong. He says, everytime it comes up, that this is Robert Jordan's story. He refuses to add anything to it that would not be in keeping with how Jordan would have wanted the story. Also, there's Jordan's widow, Harriet McDougal, who is the editor, and wouldn't allow anything into the story that was out of realm for how her husband would have intended it.
John Massey
140. subwoofer
Lan- well, he started the show off, but as far as it goes, out of all that happened in the prologue, I think he had the most dramatic character change and emotional experience of anyone. Lan was all set to harden his heart more, like Rand, and he was going to die.

Mandarb's hooves beat a familiar rythm on broken ground as Lan Mandragoran rode towards his death.

This was that hairy chested drivel that I was talking about earlier. Lan was set to die by himself, and the only thing niggling at him was that Ny was hurt over this. Bulen came just in time, and of all the understated characters, his loyalty and his conviction may have just turned the tide of battle by giving the Borderlanders their leader, and not some guy throwing his life away.
I nominate Bulen as hero of the day.

Roger Powell
141. forkroot
I think I provided (@126) a very plausible reason for Graendal to change her expected behavior based on initial information and instinct. If I haven't convinced you, we'll agree to disagree on that point.

Thanks for giving us the wording in TGS. I think that Nynaeve specificallly mentioning "heavy" compulsion in TGS lends credence to the idea that Aran'gar's weaves (and apparently, their effects) were needed to trick Rand et al into believing it was Graendal's work.

IMO we have (for the reader) a win-win, namely: The attack on Natrim's Barrow was a victory (of sorts) for the Light and all of the chapters with Nynaeve's detective work weren't a waste of paper. There is one more Forsaken gone for good, which is one less plot thread (and Pattern thread :-) ). The best part is that the skilled and dangerous villain lives on (while the incompetent one is history) keeping Team Dark that much more dangerous and the story that much more tense.

It also makes the scene from the prologue of TGS that much better (in retrospect) as Graendal is still going. Aran'gar was pretty expendable as he/she seemed to be being written out of the storyline anyway.
Janet Hopkins
142. JanDSedai
I, too, could not resist, and read the prologue tonight. And, yes, it was awsome! What everybody else said.

Even if I did not think Greandal lived, at least the disscussion alerted me to the possibility ( bordering on certitude) of Halima being at Natrim's Barrow. So, I wasn't too surprised about that.

And Perrin's appearance is the re-establishment of a major character. As I've said before, I'd rather have this than a 'what-has-gone-before' spoilerific summary. There are thousands of readers who do not analyze every word RJ and BS have written, who need to be reminded of who the characters are in their character development, and where they are.

I read the spoilers before I read the prologue, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. But the line with the Kandori boy/man sending his friend out of danger put me in tears. I need a cookie...
143. ryanr
Good on those of you who picked up Graendal's inconsistent theological epithets. I am a very trusting person, so I am disinclined to believe that something so blatantly inappropriate as a Forsaken saying "Dark One" or "Light" (repeatedly!) would be missed by the editors. I feel like it is supposed to say something about Graendal herself; clearly, it supports the notion that she has Ambitions. We know, because of how she thinks of Moridin, as well as her performance to Shadar Haran a few books ago wherein she retained the Dark One's favor, that she is systematically ascending the Forsaken hierarchy. We know that she is interested in the preservation of her power, and for the moment, that comes from the Dark One. Perhaps she sees it that way too: serving the Shadow is only a tool for her, and she doesn't really believe.

Here is an inconsistency I can't explain away: in tGS, we see that the access key glows red when Rand draws through it; we know from previous experience (I forget in which scene) that this indicates the True Power. Note also that he was not ill while channeling. But if he was filled with the undetectable True Power, why did Aran'gar feel "all that power" as if she were feeling saidin?

To Freelancer, regarding Graendal's thought process: your main issue is with the order in which her reasons are stated. First she has Delana lay Compulsion, then she later observes that the others must die in order for Rand to observe that Compulsion vanishing. Granted, she did not have the full picture when she instructed Delana, but she was operating on a principle: don't reveal herself to Rand. Later, details emerged that allowed her to refine that idea, but they didn't change her basic model of the situation (that Rand was trying to get her to reveal herself somehow).

Basically, her first instinct was to flee, but she decided to stay and do some dirty work; nonetheless, she didn't want to tie herself down in any way simply because she is so cautious that the option of fleeing was always in mind. Just consider that between her first interrogating Ramshalan and then having Delana lay the Compulstion, absolutely nothing changed the fact that Rand was on her doorstep and therefore dangerous; the motivation to evacuate was no different.

On top of that, consider that she was always planning to abandon Aran'gar and Delana: they walked in on her opening a gateway to her secret hideout to which she was surely not about to invite them. Her thoughts were therefore surely, "I should stay so as to screw with al'Thor. However, this is obviously dangerous, so I'll let these two others stand in the way of whatever is coming. Uh uh, it looks like a whole lot of Saidin is coming. Their lives are now forfeit as I make my escape."

You also state that you think Graendal's presuming that Nynaeve could pick up on the physical damage done to the brain by Compulsion is unbelievable. Not so: Graendal had already deduced that Nynaeve must have tracked her to her hideout by using her talent at Healing to keep one of her robots alive long enough to talk. Therefore, she has some experience with just such an endeavor.
Antoni Ivanov
144. tonka
Here is an inconsistency I can't explain away: in tGS, we see that the access key glows red when Rand draws through it; we know from previous
experience (I forget in which scene) that this indicates the True Power.
Note also that he was not ill while channeling. But if he was filled
with the undetectable True Power, why did Aran'gar feel "all that power"
as if she were feeling saidin?

I don't know what you are talking about? Rand has used the True Power one and only one time, when he killed Semirhage. He used Saidin to balefire Natrin's Barrow.
John Massey
145. subwoofer
@JanD & DO- welcome! Glad you guys came over. One thing I have learned, when something is leaked about WoT- jump on it, don't waffle.

It was Saidin that Rand used to form the weaves of balefire with the access key. I am going to have to go back and read exactly what was written, but I don't know if what was said was on purpose.

After reading about several... er inconsistencies in tGS Brandon did say they were going to go back and change future copies so they are not so niggling. It may be a case here where these e-copies are suddenly rare birds as when the book hits the stands there will be no glowing read, or whatever happened on the particular pages.

Tom Burton
146. Conky
I agree with tonka here. I'd like to add that the one time he used the True Power, it was without the access key. I recall Rand thinking to himself at one point (after slaying Semirhage but before balefiring Natrin's Burrow) that the yearning to draw either the True Power or to draw Saidin through the access key were equally enticing but essentially cancelled each other out, allowing him to ignore both. I recall nothing of the access key glowing red.
Chris Chaplain
147. chaplainchris1
Ok quick comments - very, very, very, very cool. My jaw dropped when I heard Graendal's name. I was all "what, wait, she's dead!" Then I realized that we were catching up the timeline, and thought, oh, this is her at Natrin's Burrow. OMG, we're gonna see her buy it! She's about to be toasted! Then when Arangar and Delana were there I was torn. On the one hand, two of the most annoying Agents of Evil were gonna get toasted along with Graendal. On the other hand, *another* Forsaken gets toasted in this scene? Man, thought I, those Forsaken really are the most useless and disappointing wankers ever, as Scary and Legendary Agents of Evil go.

I chuckled at the irony, as Graendal stifled her impulse to leave. Man, thought I, that was a mistake!

I sat bolt upright when Graendal suddenly did her TP weave on the dove. HOLY...er, wait, don't say that word...OMG, I finally noticed the cluebat whacking me, GRAENDAL'S NOT GONNA DIE IS SHE!!!???!!!

I cannot say how pleased I am about this. As we all know, the Forsaken as a whole have been disappointing. But Rand/LTT gave Graendal a HUGE build-up in TGS, talking about the difficulty in beating someone smarter than you. He made Graendal sound as if she were smarter than anyone. She'd been more effective than most Forsaken; she'd messed up Arad Doman so thoroughly that Rand and the Aiel couldn't put it back together again (as he had, more or less, gotten Tear, Illian, and Cairhien, and sorta Andor back together); she'd managed to obtain an angreal; she'd kept her composure (and her ambition) when meeting and submitting to Shaidar Haran; she was a prime suspect for the Asmo-killing (and since she survived, I'm now ready to join the Graendal-done-it camp for real); and she was suddenly gone.

To have her survive; to have her live up to the hype of her intellect; to have her use a new, previously unguessed weave, using some of the AOL knowledge we've heard of but which has generally not been used to great effect; to see her so effectively and carefully lay a counterplot by having Delana and Arangar do some Compelling while she watched; to have her figure out what was happening, and react quickly enough to not only escape but leave Arangar and Delana helpless to be taken out, "confirming" her death - well, that was really, really cool.

It never occured to me that a BA might be present to do the Compelling. That was great. I do wonder how Graendal knows that Arangar did as she asked and did a complicated Compulsion as well, since Graendal can't *see* what Arangar was doing. But oh well.

We were told, early on, that the Forsaken were incredibly scary and formidable. We were told, last book, that Graendal was scary brilliant. This time, we weren't told - we were shown. Nice to see.

I have to say, too, that I got a chill when Graendal so quickly deduced that Nynaeve helped Rand trace her, and decided that Nynaeve and Min had to die. Yeah, sure, in general we know they're all in danger from the Shadow. And Nynaeve's had her own personal Forsaken enemy for awhile now, in the form of Moghedien. But Graendal's so much more formidable - strong in the Power, yes, and whatever items of power were lost, I assume she was wearing her ring angreal - but beyond the Power, she's so smart and intuitive! To have such a woman know you by name, and decide you're too dangerous to live...scary.
Ryan Reich
148. ryanreich
I would ordinarily provide a more precise reference but my book is nine thousand miles away :) If you do look: mine is first printing. If there were any corrections later, they may have changed this (which would of course indicate that I am wrong), but it would be nice to know whether I imagined this.
149. John Bones
I liked seeing that bit from Loials future book... Though it is a BIG spoiler - > Obviously his book gets published in the future, which means there is a future. It's no secret anymore the forces of light win the last battle! And there i was cheering for the Dark One :(
lol ;)
Chris Chaplain
150. chaplainchris1
Graendal's ploy to confuse things by having male and female Compulsion used was cool. Wasted effort, but shows how she thinks. And...having been one of those appalled by the moral implications of Rand's act at Natrin's Burrow, *and* by the damage he risked to the Pattern (love balescream too!), I'm sort of pleased that it failed to accomplish its purpose. Yes, it did take out a Forsaken and a Black sister - and yay, b/c really, who was panting to see more of Delana and Useless'gar - but Nothing Good should come of such actions, and in a conflicted way, I'm glad that it did not.

Other thoughts - Lan's POV was good, not blown away by it, but fine. I'm glad Lan was moved by the guy's hadori/fight the Shadow speech - b/c I was. And Lan telling him to keep it quiet - dude, give it up! As if Nynaeve hasn't spread the word over the whole of the Borderlanders already! Liked his inclination to use AS wordplay and his decision not to.

The scene with the Borderlanders at the Tower was really well done. This is why I don't want the BorderlandArmy to be tools of evil - Borderlanders dedication to fighting the Shadow is just awesome. (In my head, any Borderlander almost has the same resonance as Aragorn and the Rangers of the North. I instinctively like them.) The scene with the captain and his son earning his sword and his status as a man by sending another kid to safety in his place brought tears to my eyes. Really, really well done.

Fain. Is Still Creepy and Still Alive and I Guess Still Has A Role to Play. But not fun reading about him. (Somehow, I expected Slayer creeping through the Blight - maybe b/c of the bookblurb's reference to T'A'R and Perrin's unseen foe. I WANT SLAYER! Er...to read about, I mean.)

Perrin. Eh. It's still just the prologue, and he's wrestling with his wolfy and leadership issues in a way that hints at coming resolution (I'm glad the conflict is showing up in his dreams, for one), so ok. I guess, but get it together soon, dude.

Was Hopper *in* Perrin's dreams, the way dreamwalkers can leave T'A'R and enter dreams? B/c it seems clear that Perrin wasn't in T'A'R, but also clear that Something Was Up. I was a little annoyed with Hopper's dismissal of Perin's human concerns; he's a Wolfbrother, dude, not a wolf. At the same time, Hopper's pained incomprehension of Perrin asking if there was a way to reverse it also pained me. Glad Perrin wrestled some with the morality of his willingness to use the wolves as tools.

I was also unexpectedly moved by Perrin's grieving for Aram. I dunno, I guess I just found Aram such a wanker that I was glad he was gone...and hadn't thought to realize that for Perrin and others it was a tragedy.
Chris Chaplain
151. chaplainchris1
I 2nd Subwoofer @ 18 - thank you Brandon and Tor!
Daniel Hanley
152. dmhman749
To chaplinchris1 @ 150: back when the blurb on the prologue first came out, people were claiming slayer would be the one creeping through the blight...I didn't understand that at all. why would slayer be creeping through the blight? First, hes slayer...he can go wherever he wants in the blight, and second, he can walk through T'A'R' to wherever he wants and just appear there, so its REALLY pointless. Glad I called that one right. *grin*

For the hopper in Perrin's dreams, he has been doing that for a LONG time now. remember all the way back in book...might have been 2, but at the latest, it was 3, Ishy was coming into perrin's dreams and a wolf tried to guard him? didn't go well, but there have clearly been wolves entering perrin's dreams for a long time.
Ryan Reich
153. ryanreich
Update: it turns out I can get someone else to look in the book for me :) Didn't get pages, though. Here are the relevant passages in Chapter 37:

"Rand stepped up to the lip of the ridge, removing the access key from his pocket. It started to glow just faintly, a red light coming from its very heart."

"The access key's globe burst alight with a more brilliant color, seeming crystalline. The light within was scarlet, the core brilliant and bright. As if someone had dropped a glowing rock into a pool of blood."

I have to admit, I have no idea how anyone could miss reading that. I don't remember where the previous occurrence might have been mentioned; I may have made that up. Still, I submit that this particular color has never been mentioned in connection with the access key (and in fact, it has been consistently described as glowing white or gold).
Chris Chaplain
154. chaplainchris1
@46 Schrodinger - Slinky of Doom. @54 & 58 Shadowspawn Thriller. @47 FTHurley "So wait, when did Galad freaking Damodred become the single most competent and respectable leader inthe entire world? "


And no, Galad wasn't always that way; he himself in this POV draws attention to how he's grown up. Maybe he *wasn't* as bad as Elayne thought, but he was kind of a twit in some earlier books.

Re: Acknowledgements, Map, Loial's book...uhm...what? None of that in my audio version. Is there a way to get a print version? Or is that only if you have a Kindle or something. If so, grumble grumble.
James Hogan
155. Sonofthunder
chaplainchris, I got the Kindle version...and installed the eReader on my computer and read it from there. So you could do that...but you might have to pay another $3. *shrugs* Sorry, man.
Ryan Reich
156. ryanreich
@154: Don't feel too disappointed. The map is just the map (and not the color one either), and Loial's "scene" is the quote that always starts each book. Its content is: Loial spoke before the Stump. It is implied (surprise!) that his speech was influential.

On the other hand, you missed something pretty cool in the dedication :)
John Massey
157. subwoofer
@Chaplainchris- yay! You made it:)

Bummer about the audio books. I tried that format but it always didn't jibe with the voices in my head-no comments from the peanut gallery- so I just stuck to plain old print. Bottom line, Loial's speech reminded me much of Elrond's musings in LoTR- about humans shouldering the burden... I heart Loial.

I know I get carried away sometimes.... well, most times.... well all the time, but anyways, in terms of parallels to Tolkien, this has me thinking of the Hobbit. What was it, seven armies converging on one spot? Something like that. Well, we hear about the endless hordes of the DO, Trollocs coming in waves out of the Blight. We know that there are 200 000 guys milling around pointlessly. We know Egwene has forces of at least 100 000 floating around. Elayne is growing her army. Mat and his Band. Rand seems to be stockpiling Aiel the way I collect beer- er, no pun intended there... Any way you slice it, TG is shaping up to be a doozy! And now Ogier? Ahhhhhhh! I can't take it!!!

Chris Chaplain
158. chaplainchris1
IE crash, lost a lot of my other comments. Grr. Let me just say that I love the Thriller Zombie images and the waah-mbulance/whine-one-one! And thanks for 155 & 156 info.

On Lan: when he was young, his stance on not taking others on a pointless battle in the Blight was sensible and responsibile. He was oath-bound to "avenge what cannot be defended" but his war was ultimately futile and not worth other men's lives. But after Moiraine clues him in to the birth of the Dragon - giving him a new battle in the same war, but this one a battle that he can win - his useless one-on-one battle in the Blight ended. So this reads like a relapse - he's supposed to be heading to Tarwin's Gap to do what Rand and the BorderlandFour aren't doing. But he'll still be pretty useless alone. On the other hand, this is Tarmon Gaidon. A) It's no longer a cause not worth sacrificing other lives - those lives are all in danger anyway. B) This is the Last Battle - in a war with the Shadow that can potentially be won. But only with all hands on deck. Lan refusing to take folks with him is regression and relapse - he's reverting to prior behavior forgetting the reasons why that behavior makes sense. Granted, that's a very human thing to do, and we see him beginning to come to terms. One became two.

Freelancer, your thoughts on Natrin's Burrow are interesting, though I (obviously, from my other comments) disagree. Two things: a) Graendal's normal impulse is to run. Rand told us that in TGS, that if she knew you were coming she'd just vanish. We see that here - Graendal went so far as to open a gateway. That she then reconsidered, based on the DO's anger at Arangar, is good - but it doesn't change her basic personality. So she's balancing the need to follow orders with her basic inclination to disappear. If you read the scene, you can see her fear at the thought that Rand has found her, her far-ranging speculations as to how it happened. What's important there is not her specific thoughts, but the pattern of them. She thought she'd covered her path perfectly, but obviously she didn't, because Rand/LTT is HERE. Has she underestimated them? Obviously, because they're HERE. Did Nynaeve trace her? How? Just how extensive are her talents? Clearly, she's too dangerous to live. And etc. We see Graendal, unlike most of the Forsaken, not dismissing Third Age folks out of hand, and wondering just how dangerous and unexpected their abilities might be. We see Graendal's desire to flee mounting. Even though she resists the initial impulse, she still feels it. Myself, I'm just surprised she didn't open a gateway and step to the other side, keeping the gateway open, while she watched the dove. But the point is this - Graendal decides to seek info, but still with the impulse and the plan to fun.

B) Arangar's compulsion. Graendal doesn't have shim do the Compelling to leave evidence of him being toasted. She leaves it b/c while she's fishing for info, instead of running, she wants to throw the opposition off-balance. She wants them to detect a man's touch and wonder what it means. As it is, it turns out that Graendal's gone from underestimating to, instantly, overestimating. Rand & Ny *don't* detect a man's touch at all. Of course, Rand didn't bother to look or to have Ny do a thorough examination, because that wasn't the point. But because Graendal wasn't sure what the point was, she did some extra machinations to hopefully throw 'em off balance.

I like this much better than the image, from TGS, of Graendal languidly laying compulsion on Ramshalan from her divan, laughing at how she was outsmarting the idiot Dragon Reborn. Given how smart she was supposed to be, I had trouble with this last time. The image of her immediately realizing Something Is Up and doing something convoluted in return rings true with how she's been built up.

C) True Power/dove eye weave. Out of left field? Yes, but as I've mentioned, I've been disappointed that the Forsaken haven't have more heretofore-unheard-of weaves to show us. They should use weaves-from-left-field all the time.

And it *is* a weave of the TP, which only Moridin uses regularly and freely. And we, as we know, get very little POV stuff from the Forsaken - so who knows really what they can do?
159. AndrewB
I did not read the prologue (nor will I until I read the book). Thus, my knowledge of its contents are based upon the comments made here. With that said I have two comments regarding the Graendal scene.

First, I agree with Ryanr @143's unspoken premise. If there is one Forsaken who could survive the Last Battle where Team Light is victorious, it would be Graendal. She is certainly capable of enjoying her comforts; but at the same time smart enough to keep herself hidden and one step ahead of any future hunters. Mogy, on the other hand, may think she could hide well enough in a post Light victorious world, However, I do not think she has the same intellect as Graendal. She would eventually get caught. I would also point out Mordin's comments in the TGS prologue noting the differences between Graendal and Mogy.

On a slight tangent. I would like to see Graendal surive the Last Battle and try to live in a world where the Dark One is destroyed/completely imprisoned (depending upon how the Last Battle plays out). I think this would add a realistic touch. In battles between good and evil, some agents of evil can survive even if his/her team losses. For example, the Nazi's who actively murdered Jews and others during the war escaping to other parts of the world. There Red Ajah's new purpose could be to hunt down escaped Dark Frieds (including members of the BA and Dark Friend Ashaman), as well as any Forsaken who survive.

I am one of those (even before reading the comments about Loial's comments in the ToM prologue) that believed that Team Light would win. From a literary perspective, I could not conceive that the bad guys would win the day. Further, at least one of the other notes in the beginning/ending of the books was from the Fourth Age (i.e. the Age after the Age where the WoT story takes place).

My second comment is something that I have not seen mentioned here. Please remember that RJ's original intent was for the last 3 books to be one volume. It was only split into 3 books after RJ died (and for editing reasons at that). Would your opinion of Graendal escaping/surviving change if she apparantly died in the TGS scene. However, two chapters later (after the chapter that Nyn tells Cads about what happens) we get the Graendal PoV as depicted in the ToM prologue. If this happened, I think that people's reaction might be different.

IIRC, BWS has stated that he had previously written some scenes that appear in ToM before the decision wasmade to split the last volume into three novels.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Skip Ives
160. Skip
Okay, a few random thoughts:

Loial – I’ve been waiting for this since he got married and just the hint of what’s to come has me excited.

Lan – I’m with Subwoofer that Bulen was the man of the hour here. Lan isn’t going to be this way for everyone. That is why the “one became two” is important. To accept Bulen means to accept everyone that comes to him. He is Aan'allein no more.

Perrin – I know he’s still emo, but it has only been a few days for him, not the years we’ve been putting up with it. I thought the things he was crafting were people. He’s trying to come to terms with the fact that even as a king you cannot change people. They are cast, not forged so to speak. Coming to terms with the wolf is a larger part of his plotline of coming to terms with who you are and what the world makes you.

Graendal – She makes a good baddie and Aran’gar has a tendency to go places the series has mostly avoided except by reference.

Galad – very nice, he’s the perfect answer to Asunawa, because he’s not a darkfriend, no one would believe him one, and he won’t admit to it, ever. It’s going to suck to be him for a bit, but hopefully he meets Berelain soon and we can end that thread. And where the heck is Demandred? We are running out of armies for the “great general”

Fain – Well written and scary.

Kandor – I’m a father of three boys – ‘nuff said. Though it isn’t surprising that Lan is on the border as the Trollocs attack, and no other Borderland ruler is nearby. Methinks Lan is going to end up with more people than even Nynaeve hoped for.
Chris Chaplain
161. chaplainchris1
Hi Subwoofer! *waves, barks* I think most of us are a little giddy right now, huh? When's the post-prologue-party in the bunker start?

Re: audio format, good for long trips. Music makes me happy and sleepy. Books make me tense for what's coming next. Much better to drive with, esp. driving alone. I *do*, though, generally prefer to read it first, before listening. Partly so I can turn the pages faster, of course. Anyway - I've got 5 or so of the books on audio version, so it seems pretty familiar and not jarring. In this case, I'd have done the print version first had I realized I could!

Tolkien refs for the world! Interested to see 1) your Tolkien refs and 2) your admiration for paladins of the light. Since, as I've mentioned, the Borderlanders make me think of the Rangers of the North, standing in the gap so the Shire-Folk can go on thinking that Trollocs and Fades are just ghost stories.

The Council of Elrond is a fave scene for me. Loial speaking at the Great Stump, of course, makes me think of Treebeard rousing the Ents with Pippin and Merry's help. Loial is sort of like a cross between Treebeard and Merry anyway. He is very heartable.

The Hobbit ref. is to the Battle of Five Armies! Men, Dwarves, Elves vs. Orcs and Wargs. Of course, I've always thought it misnamed, since there's an Eagle army...and one hobbit! But yeah, Tarmon Gaidon is shaping up to be that on a macro-scale!

Egwene's Army - 50,000+, a Great Captain, hundreds of AS in circles with 1500+ novices and Accepted

Elayne and Andor - she's thought before that, with great effort, Andor might match the Borderlander Army's 200,000

The Band assembled outside Caemlyn.

No idea what Seanchan numbers are, or Aiel numbers, but could be in the millions.

Rodel Ituralde's got 100,000 or so, somewhere on the Blightborder?

Unguessed numbers of Malkieri gathering to Lan? (Probably small, but still tens of thousands possible.)

The forces of the reunited Tear assembled. Likewise Illian. Likewise, I guess, Cairhien.

200,000 random Borderlanders who need to be gated home post-haste.

Will SF Navies have anything to do?

Plus Trollocs, Fades, Draghkar (vs. raken would be cool), Worms, Bubbles of Evil, 70-100 surviving Black Ajah Dreadlords, 100 or more Black Tower Dreadlords, plus Fain and Mashadar-Zombies (Light help us if he learns to Zombie-fy Worms)...

This is the Big One, all right.
John Massey
162. subwoofer
Wow, several thoughts come to my mind now. First off, Andrew, don't hold off buddy, this prologue is soo worth the buy.

Second, Forsaken surviving. I have always pondered this. Forsaken have survived in the past, been sealed up in the DO's prison, come back etc. If the Forsaken die this goabout, is it a final death?- Of course I am not talking about the chuckle heads that were on the wrong end of balefire.

Third, RJ, yes he intended one book, but let's be real. Was that book because he was at his last days and just wanted to get'r done? In my mind there is no way all the threads that RJ left out there could have been wrapped up in one book. Heck, when this was supposed to be a trilogy, I was getting to the end of tDR and thinking- there is no way this can end in the next couple of chapters... Then tSR came around and it was "hey, more plot lines. This end thing is not going to happen". tFoH... what? Are you kidding, we are going to be going for a whole other series... LoC came around and I figured, "heck, this is Mission Earth". So a one booker ending? Not going to happen.

Ryan Reich
163. ryanreich
@159 AndrewB: I totally agree with your assessment of Graendal but I can't say it had occurred to me :) I do think that she is fast becoming the main villain, what with Moridin becoming Dark Rand (or Rand becoming Moridin). I have been Graendal-dunnit wrt Asmodean for many years after being convinced by the FAQ, and her behavior in this chapter is additionally convincing. I could almost hear her think, "she had caused the death of ANOTHER one of the Chosen" at the end there. She's a bigger threat to them than anyone but Rand :)
Skip Ives
164. Skip
@159. AndrewB - IIRC RJ said he'd finish it in one book if it needed to come with it's own wheeled case. So it might have been one 6500 page book. But I'm happy it is getting finished well. The writing seems more well integrated, at least what I've read.
John Massey
165. subwoofer
@Chaplinchris- yeah, the party's going on, but mind the salsa... Freelancer has a cracked sense of humor.

I agree totally about the weaves Forsaken have. There is all this talk about rediscovering things, stuff stuck in Stasis Boxes etc. It is about time one of the Forsaken went bickety bam! "Hostess Twinkies! How ya like me now!"

It's hard to read and drive.

Perrin- well he may recover from his emo malase... if Faile hands him his nuts back... maybe giftwrapped in a sack.

Interesting pose- Is Asunawa a DF? We know the Shadow has penetrated the Children- how high does it go?

The armies- putting it on paper like that- wow! If you think about it, if Rand somehow unites everyone- that would be something, but the Shadow would have to fight everyone peicemeal otherwise. The Gap may be full of bodies.

The Seanchan. We read about the Return. Endless ships with endless amounts of troops. What side do they stand on?

And then there is the x factor that ChaplainChris mentions that I have not yet. The channelers. We have the Kin, the Windfinders, all these new girls since Egwene opened the Novice Book, and of course, the Wise Ones. Heck, the Shaido had at least 500 channelers in their own clan. How many among all the clans? And then there are the men. Now that Saidin is cleansed, they are safe- not counting those that are already looney and those that are in the Taim-the douche- camp. Geeeeeeze! Will November come already!!!

See?! This has me so pumped I am epic posting all over the place!

Antoni Ivanov
167. tonka
About the True Power/dove eye weave: It's not entirely Out of left field. It was mentioned since book 1 that the Dark One and company can use diffent animals (mainly ravens and rats) but we were never told HOW they do it until now. 13 books later we find out HOW. It was amazing.
John Massey
168. subwoofer
Paladin's of the Light- yeah, I have been beating that drum for a while now. It just disappoints me when I read about the Children, these guys that have no borders and are supposed to be the Creator's chosen. What went so wrong there? The Dragon Fangs, the Questioners, etc. In RJ's world, there is nothing positive in association with the Children and that has always bugged me. Galad is reading a book about the tennants of the Children, the core of what they are supposed to be- it gave me a bit of hope.

In culture, I have always associated the good guys with the wearing of white. In WoT the Children are talked about wearing gleaming white, yet their hearts are tarnished. Galad is the mechanism that will turn that around. I think the Children were meant to be greater that how they are portrayed currently. At least that is the feel I get from the books.

Is the Shadow stronger than the Light?

Do the Children of the Light surrender?

Edit- arrghh! There be wayyy to many WoT posts about ToM to keep straight here. I am looking for the comment where somebody said that there is a rampant outbreak of upside down triangles sketched on random rock outcroppings and the resources of the kingdom are exhausted dealing with this.

Tess Laird
169. thewindrose
Or sub at 168, you may want to ponder - 'Does a person walking in the light cast a shadow;)

Agreed, it is getting a bit confusing with all the active threads for WoT'ers!

Roger Powell
170. forkroot
subwoofer - Not disrespecting the Battle of the Five Armies but (from memory) the battle of the Ring (or whatever the final conflict is named) was larger.

You don't see it onscreen and I think you might need to dig some of it out of the Appendices, but Tolkien's version of Tarmon Gaidon included battles outsite Lothlorien and a huge battle outside the Lone Mountain in addition to the dust-up at the gates of Mordor.

:: deep breath::
So with all the above said, I'm hoping for a rock-em, sock-em battle to end all battles worthy of a series the size of Mission Earth Wheel of Time (sorry sub, I loved your joke so much I had to repeat it.)

In fact, I hope a large part of AMoL is exactly that - various battles within the overall conflict - lot's of MOAs for Team Light along with brilliant, dastardly deeds by Team Dark.

Yes, I know, Rand and the Tinkers will probably end it, but even after the ring melted in Mt Doom, there was a lot of clean-up action required.
Maiane Bakroeva
171. Isilel
I gloat! Graendal is alive, as I have been tirelessly telling everybody who'd listen. She was less stupid than I feared, but not as intelligent as I hoped...
The whole thing with Aran'gar seemed contrived and IMHO a needless sop to Dark Rand. All those channelers of Light whom various characters were busily organizing and uniting for lo! these many books need some worthy opposition! Balthagar sucked at everything else, but at least s/he could channel on AoL level.
Also, if Aran'gar was decent at Compulsion, then her ineffectiveness re: Egwene and SAS is even more appalling.
I thought as well that if a female channeler hides her ability and inverts weaves, the male channeler doesn't have goose-bumps? At least, Rand didn't notice his female escorts embracing the Source under such precautions in KoD.

Use of birds to spy, OTOH, was well foreshadowed and it seems like another TP-caused but not channeling per se special ability of Myrddraal.

Loial - makes my heart warm.

MashaFain - awesome. It becomes ever clearer that he is the missing element for perfect DO's prison.

Lan - himself. I disagree that he is a one-track character and I have enjoyed his POV.

Galad - interesting. I do hope that his arc does not mirror Egwene's too closely. Also - didn't he always call Morgase "mother"? Oh, and yet another mention of Morgase's awesomeness pre-Rahvin - when will they stop telling us and finally show us?

Kandor - love doomed last stands, though it seems likely that Lan will come into his own as a general of Light there (he is not far from the capital, after all) and possibly save them.
OTOH, didn't Lan himself receive the hadori and was taken to the Blight at 15.5 and it was supposed to be early? 14 seems far too young for coming of age in Randland, nor does it make sense for boys to come of age earlier than girls in the society where women aren't supposed to be inferior.

Perrin - meh. After all these books?! Why did we have to suffer so?!
Don Barkauskas
172. bad_platypus
Here's a question: Where did Delana learn Compulsion? According to Aran'gar, " has been trained ." Graendel didn't train Delana (she had to ask whether Delana knew it), and Aran'gar couldn't have (as a saidin channeler). It's not common knowledge among the Black Ajah (e.g., Liandrin had only "her little trick" and Verin got hers by cobbling together half-remembered versions of Liandrin's trick from various sources). I don't remember any mention of Delana having contact with any of the other Forsaken. So where did Delana get her training?
Antoni Ivanov
173. tonka
Delana was one of the two Black Sitters in the rebel's Hall , it is likely that she had contact with most of the Forsaken at one point or another. And where did she learn compulsion? It's not big deal to know, maybe she thought herself like Verin, Liandrin or some of the Forsaken thought her. She learnt it, there were other Aes Sedai who knew compulsion.It doesn't stretch credibility that she knows it.
Skip Ives
174. Skip
@169. thewindrose "Agreed, it is getting a bit confusing with all the active threads for WoT'ers!"

- Well you could always repost a part of the post you are responding to, and then add your reply. Just don't top post.
(This is a joke and an ob ref to the RAWSFR-J usenet group)
Ryan Reich
175. ryanreich
tonka, I think it's impossible that Delana taught herself. Compulsion has been shown to be way too sophisticated to discover independently in this Age. On the other hand, it and Traveling seem to be sort of "need to know" techniques that the Forsaken are careful about handing out (for good reason!). Aran'gar speaks in such a way that it seems like Delana's training was her idea; I imagine that it was considered useful for her in manipulating people (or, perhaps, protecting Halima).
Maiane Bakroeva
176. Isilel
Bad_platypus @ 172:

"Aran'gar couldn't have (as a saidin channeler)"

She could have, if they linked and Balthygar knew how to do saidar Compulsion weave. Semi knew a funky saidin torture weave, so why not?

BTW, funny how Delana could tell that something wasn't right with Graendal's intentions, but Aran'gar blithely went ahead.
177. Freelancer
So, I went back to ACoS, Chapter 36 "Blades", just for the obvious comparison. Has nobody else considered that Fain himself was the cause of the unnatural fog there?

A dense fog, reaching out tentacles to grab things, doing various kinds of damage. Given the hybrid which is now Fain/Mordeth/Ordieth, and his menu of evils, it's conceivable that, if he now carries a form of Mashadar around with him, it might also have an array of attacks rather than just the soul-sucking and body-dissolving we saw in Shadar Logoth.

Let us also look at the setup. Rand sees Fain with Toram Riatin, tells Caraline who he is, and that he's a dead man. A moment later, Fain is no longer with Toram. He's gone outside just before Riatin challenges Rand to a sparring session. Then the fog strikes. While they are heading north to get out of the fog, Fain attacks Rand from within it.

Roger Powell
178. forkroot
I don't think that linking in a circle would help - weaving saidan is fundamentally different than weaving saidar. We've seen that allow both male and female channelers can Travel, the way that the weaves are constructed are quite different.

I'm more of a mind that Halima'gar probably had Delana trained by Semirhage. Remember that Semi was involved with Halima's cover story (former secretary to Cabriana Mecandes.) She killed Cabriana and her warder after extracting enough information from them for a cover story. It's not unreasonable that once Halima joined the Rebel camp, she might have gated Delana out briefly for some skills lessons with Semi. Just a guess of course.
Roger Powell
180. forkroot
We've discussed in the past whether Fain was responsible for the killing fog in ACOS. The issue seemed to be settled when a later volume (WH I think) included a glossary entry for Daved Hanlon that stated that the White Lions (of which he was a member) were mostly killed in a "bubble of evil".

I agree that the timing was awfully fortuitous for Fain -- but it would be in direct contradiction to "canon" to say that he caused the fog in ACOS.
Daniel Hanley
181. dmhman749
A male can teach a female a weave through a circle...when you make a mixed circle, the leader controls both saidar and saidin. So if the male leader knows the saidar version of the weave, you can just link with a woman, make the weave using their saidar, which obviously they can see(as rand did when he used nynaeve's saidar in the cleansing). Now they know that weave. It is reasonable that aran'gar knew the female version of compulsion, so there is no reason this wouldn't work.

Also, there is a breakdown of the armies of randland in the WoT FAQ. Its a little out of date, but the numbers should be mostly correct.

Interesting thought on fain all the way back in book 7...i had not considered that, but it might be...
Sydo Zandstra
182. Fiddler

Well you could always repost a part of the post you are responding to, and then add your reply. Just don't top post.

(This is a joke and an ob ref to the RAWSFR-J usenet group)

Hehe. Don't forget to add where you snip properly... ;)


Let us also look at the setup. Rand sees Fain with Toram Riatin, tells Caraline who he is, and that he's a dead man. A moment later, Fain is no longer with Toram. He's gone outside just before Riatin challenges Rand to a sparring session. Then the fog strikes. While they are heading north to get out of the fog, Fain attacks Rand from within it.


You may be reading (or considering) too much in this scene here. Fain is evil enough not to be targeted by this Bubble of Evil.

Also, the fog there was described as being thick, with tentacles seizing people and limbs being torn off and all. Mashadar is more like a thin looking mist, and not bloody at all.

My take on that scene is that Fain felt something evil coming up, and quit the tent. Him finding Rand in the fog isn't strange, since Rand still has a homing beacon for him to aim towards.

On a side note, I wonder why Fain just didn't go for Rand during the duel there. Except for plot convenience.
183. FollowYourMuse
Where did Delana learn Compulsion? Even Mogy could have taught her while they were in the rebel camp. I also think unlike Liandra, Delana could have been high enough to have learned from Messana too.
Daniel Hanley
184. dmhman749
Mogy could NOT have taught her at the rebel camp...(or not unless she came back later). She couldn't channel without the bracelet wearer's direct permission. And if the black ajah was aware she was mogy, i can't imagine they wouldn't have taken the bracelet(and not returned it). this never happened, so I think we can safely assume that mogy was not free to be teaching anyone other than Elayne or Nynaeve during her captivity. But it is possible that one of he other female forsaken taught her later. Or that Aran'gar taught her through a circle. It doesn't really matter to me. There are plenty of reasonable ways she could have learned, so it doesn't bother me that she knew.
Maiane Bakroeva
185. Isilel
Forkroot @178:

I don't think that linking in a circle would help - weaving saidan is fundamentally different than weaving saidar.

Not all that different, apparently, as the AS who bonded Asha'man figured out how to weave saidin in a circle very quickly and did so at the Cleansing.
Not that I liked that developement, mind you, as weaving the opposite half of OP is supposed to be completely counter-intuitive. But there it is.

As an AoL channeler it is almost a given that Balthy'gar was skilled at weaving saidar in a mixed circle and could teach any BA whom s/he cared to link with. All that birds and fishes stuff was just ignorance of the 3rd Age channelers.
Ryan Reich
186. ryanreich
I think Rand's experience at the cleansing was pretty instructive: he tried to weave saidar into a long tube, but of its own accord it formed a blossom instead. It seems like, at least in a link, the leader can weave naturally and produce the desired result.
187. StubbyLegs
I was so excited when Galad saw the army coming over the hill... until I realized it was Asunawa. One of the scenes I want to see most in ToM is Galad and company meeting up with Perrin:

Dain (drunkenly): You killed my dad!
Perrin: No he was killed by Seanchan and ghosts summoned by my friend. All I do is talk to wolves and smash people with my hammer.
Byar (frothing at mouth): You must die darkfriend!
Galad: Let's all work together!
Perrin: Good plan. Let me introduce my servants...
Galad: Hey that's my mum, your queen!
Perrin: Oh. That explains a lot, hey look there's Nynaeave. Let's all go with her so Rand can nearly kill his father. Oh and by the way Galad there's a hot chick named Berlain over in that tent I bet she would love a man dressed in white. Wheee

I can't wait for it all hehe : )
Alice Arneson
188. Wetlandernw
dmhman749 @184 - Except for when she first entered the camp as Marigan, and no one knew she was really Moghedien. I won't suggest any particular reason why she would have chosen to go to Delana and teach her Compulsion, but she would have had the opportunity, as she was in Salidar for roughly 4 days before she was caught and collared by Nynaeve and Elayne.

Edit to add: However, I think it's most logical that Halima would have linked and taught Delana.
Roger Powell
189. forkroot
The problem I have with the idea of a man being able to link with a woman and teach her weaves (or vice-versa) is that if that is viable, Lanfear would not have had to go to the trouble of setting up Asmodean as Rand's teacher.

If Balthamel knew how to weave saidar while in a circle, then certainly Mierin/Lanfear would know how to weave saidan in a circle. Yet IIRC, she disavows being able to reach Rand. I'm working from memory here (since I'm pretending to be at work :-) ) but I think the relevant passages are in TSR.
190. AndrewB
Subwoofer @162:

RJ announced his plan to have the book after KoD be the last (irrespective of how large it would be) during the KoD tour signing. This was before he was diagnosed with his disease.

That said, you might be right. Even if RJ had lived, the last book would have had to been split.

Thanks for reading my musings.
John Massey
191. subwoofer
Whoa, I said whoa!- Durned camel!

Now before everyone gets carried away here, I put the exact same thing on Dragonmount- about Fain, the cloud etc. Yes there are tenticles, and yes, it was explained away as a "bubble of evil", but I am telling you, Elivis has not left the building here. Not that long ago we also said Graendal was dead and Sheriam was an awesome AS. We stand corrected. So let's not just throw this theory to the wayside here. If Fain comes around and smacks people upside the head with a tenticle or something out of Mashadar- Free and I are going to have a great big fat "Told you so", and I will throw in "neener, neener, neener" for posterity. This is fiction folks, stranger things have happened.

John Massey
192. subwoofer
@Andrew- if RJ finished the final book himself- and I have a sneaking suspicion that if he were around and fine, we'd get to 20 books easy- anyways, covering all the bases in one book, it would be the mother of all books. I am sure we would go down in Guinness for the biggest bug killer flippin' tomb ever, bar none. Heck the shear weight alone would probably rival the stone tablets the 2 Commandments came on.

193. syncap8
It seems to me that Graendal's thought, "Except, of course, that she'd just caused the death of one of the Chosen." Would read differently if she had killed Asmodean. Something like, "another Chosen." Don't you guys think?
194. Freelancer
As I pointed out, Padan Fain has changed. He is not simply Fain, not simply Mordeth. Perhaps this brings changes to the nature of his portable Block II Mashadar. As for the descriptions of Mashadar in Shadar Logoth, there are descriptions of it being very thin, and descriptions of it being thicker than a man's leg, and very dense. The "wave" of Mashadar that consumed Sammael was massive. Also true that it didn't seem to result in bloody attacks in Shadar Logoth, but how do we know how much is the same, and how much has changed? Mashadar couldn't leave Aridhol until Mordeth was freed from the city. Now Mordeth is more than he was before, it would be unwise to presume that Mashadar remains constant. If you wanted an argument to refute me, Mashadar was constricted against being out in the sunlight, while in Shadar Logoth. How could it have operated so strongly in the middle of the day in Cairhien?

All that said, I'm not claiming that the scene in ACoS was Mashadar. I'm saying that new information from the ToM prologue raises the question.

And as for the glossary, it couldn't very well say that Daved Hanlon's White Lions were decimated by Padan Fain's Mad Mobile Mashadar, since no such thing had yet been confirmed. It would not be the first time that an entry in the Glossary of a book was redefined by later revelations. Anyway, it was little more than a point of interest. I'm not going for any "neener-neener" action myself. That's all you, sub.
195. Freelancer
syncap8 @193

I had considered that when I read it, but there's a distinction. Asmodean had been understood to have defected, with what Lanfear told everyone else. You could say that he was effectively stripped of his "chosen" title, and was under a sentence of death from Shayol Ghul, or at least from Nae'blis. Not at all the same thing as crafting the death of Aran'gar.

So I'd say this adds no information one way or the other to Graendal's chances of being Asmo's killer. Now that we'll have several more POVs from her, I suspect her polling numbers are way up on that issue.
William Fettes
196. Wolfmage
Wow - that was excellent.

Very pleased to see Graendal is still alive. I too had thought she was toast, but I always felt she was one of the most interesting, dangerous and clever Forsaken. The Natrin's Barrow scene was awesome enough to be an end, I suppose, so it wasn't exactly a total waste, but far better that she's still around.

Fain going deep into the Blight was wicked. I generally love Fain scenes, and this one did not disappoint. Super creepy! Loved the idea of the corrupted Trollocs and him being above all the terrible conditions and creatures of the Blight.

Also, I'm glad to see Fain's power over the mist is made more explicit here. I was never satisfied with the bubble of evil explanation of the Mist phenonemon in Blades, so it's good to see what I thought was more-or-less obviously implied about his nascent powers via the Mashadar / Mordeth / Machin Shin unity.

As for Perrin, I think I agree with others above who've expressed their disinterest. It wasn't a bad scene at all, I just don't find myself caring about his wolf / humanity dilemma, his guilt over Aram or his Hammer vs Axe decision. All of those are rather tired, belaboured themes at this stage, and I just want his character to progress to the next stage finally, which will hopefully be soon.
197. syncap8
Freelancer @195

I agree completely on the distinction, it just seems weird that the thought, possibly along with the distinction, wouldn't have come up in her mind as she was thinking about causing the death of a Chosen. But, agreed, no real evidence one way or the other ...
198. Freelancer
Graendal's concern about causing the death of Aran'gar would be fear of the DO's displeasure. There was no fear of that regarding Asmodean. Killing him after he'd joined Rand would be applauded by the shadow at large. And if we're giving Graendal credit for all the fast and precise thinking she did to escape in that scene, how could we suppose she wouldn't consider the difference between Aran'gar's and Asmodean's deaths?
John Massey
199. subwoofer
@Free- well, you have always conducted yourself with class and tact and restraint. I OTOH am me, not the most er... diplomatic of people. But I'll throw in an extra "neener" for all of us underdogs out there:)

And look what is around the corner- somebody go for it- it calls- it becons, it has a cute fluffy tail...

200. intrusion
While what you say about a saidin weaver being able to show a saidar user the actual weave, he would be USING saidar to do so, and so the weave would only fuction when using the female side of the Power. I personally do not see how Aran'gar could have made a compulsion weave using saidar regardless of if he/she knew the method to doing so.
To that effect, since Graendal asked her/him to add in whatever other elements she/he chose to, I would have imagined that when Nynaeve started to unwind the weave, the compulsion added by Saidin should have been at odds with what she would see. Or maybe even Rand should have seen the threads of Saidin (assuming it wasn't inverted). Either way, they should have known a man had done at least part of this weave and I think that should have let the cat out of the bag.
201. intrusion
I was kind of thinking about the DO's displeasure at her act, but they have said time and again that the DO allowed his Forsaken to kill each other and vie for the top-most positions previously. That He, in fact, enjoyed watching the conniving dissention among his folk.
Granted, that may have been more acceptable in the previous Age when there were many many more to choose from to keep his work going. Maybe this very very DIRECT cause of death would irritate Him.
William Fettes
202. Wolfmage

I take your point that this was the conventional wisdom. However, I don't think that quote is quite as dispositive as many think. The phrase "bubble of evil" in the glossary is put in quote marks which is consistent with it being a textually apparent (read: wrong) explanation rather than a definitive authorial statement. Why else place it in quote marks like that if it should be read at face value?

Personally, I find the idea of Fain manifesting Mashadar powers inherently consistent with his merger with Mordeth. We know Mashadar is a manifestation of the evil spawned by Shadar Logoth under the influence of Mordeth, and we know Fain is a walking amalgam of these forces which incorporates this evil to the point that he is more than the sum of his parts, seemingly manifesting new powers all the time. Accordingly, it's hardly a stretch to assign such powers to him. These fog powers may or may not have been originally Mordeth's but they were certainly an associated phenonemon of his evil.

In contrast, the idea that the fog in Blades was just some random bubble of evil, which happens to precisely mimic the effect of Mashadar, I find to be fairly contrived and it does not sit well with me. All the previous bubbles of evil have been rather fantastical things like cards coming to life, inaminate objects suddenly becoming animate, sand whirlwinds, unquenchable fires, and mirror reflections coming to life. Why in this one instance would it mimic the exact same powers of an existing phenonemon - Mashadar?

Also, there is something deeply metaphysically discordant about it, such that I think this explanation would amount to a literary failure. Think about it, bubbles of evil are created by effluvia eminating from the Dark One's funky hot tub of evil. They are indepedenent and somewhat random, but they are still fundamentally part of the Dark One's agency.

But Mashadar is not part of the Dark One's agency! Mashadar is actually a distinct form of evil that is replellant and opposite to the Shadow. Literally, it originated to kill the Shadow with its own brand of evil. Accordingly, it would make no literary sense for the DO's agency to duplicate the voodoo of this kind of opposite evil. It would seem to dilute one of the coolest thematic strengths of the series - the negation of evil against against evil and Fain being a wildcard.
Tricia Irish
203. Tektonica
I just had an internet malfunction and it erased the whole d*#m post I wrote, so carefully replying to many. grrrrrrr.....

I just can't do it again. One comment:

Delana could've known compulsion for many years! Verin knew it, and many wilders know it intuitively. It is taboo, but it is known and certainly a BA sister wouldn't hesitate to use it.
Ryan Reich
204. ryanreich
@203: No, she could not have known on her own. There are no precedents.
Ken Jack
205. nanaimobar
Prologue of AWESOME!

Just get the feeling that Lan is somehow going to either get to Heeth either just in time, or just too late, and the result is enough for him to raise the Golden Crane AT LAST.

Perrin is setting up for a HUGE arc of awesomeness. Bringning along Galad too. Can't wait to see Asunawa get his. Hope it's Fain!

Yep, 90 % sure Graendal smoked out Asmo, but predict it will be Moraine who makes her Balescream like a little girl.

Caught the "Dark One" typo - please fix for the printed version.

So looking forward to this book, and the next.

Brandon, my man, you are positively ON. Great start. And my thanks.
Maiane Bakroeva
206. Isilel
Forkroot @189:

if that is viable, Lanfear would not have had to go to the trouble of setting up Asmodean as Rand's teacher.

No, that situation was very different. While Lanfear could have taught him saidin weaves in a circle, Rand also needed to be taught how to touch the OP properly, which really required a male teacher. Also, Lanfear would have needed another female channeler in the link to be able to control the mixed circle.
And - why implicate herself in treason to the DO when Asmo was gullible enough to do it in her place?

The thing is, in AoL most important channeling work was done in mixed circles and both Sammael and Semi expertly wove the opposite half of OP on-screen. There is every reason to think that all other FS are/were similarly proficient.

Heck, even the Third Age the AS/Asha'man seem to be catching on to it really quickly. Didn't Rand muse somewhere how a mixed-link Travellig gateways are much larger than his own? Though, given how different the principles of male and female Travelling are, the mind boggles that such a thing is even possible...
Birgit F
207. birgit
What about when Rand dreams himself to Moridin, and he feels more whole then he can rember, but seems to know even more about his past life/lives than before. What was that place? Did it allow time to catch up with the players there, and past lives to reveal themselves easier.

The meeting was in TAR, where the Heros wait between lives and remember all their lives. Maybe that is why Rand is better integrated there.

Ishy was coming into perrin's dreams and a wolf tried to guard him? didn't go well, but there have clearly been wolves entering perrin's dreams for a long time.

Ishy pulled the boys into TAR. The Wise Ones know that that is possible, but they forbid it because it was once used for evil.

Ishy doesn't remember past lives. He is a philosopher and his view of the eternal battle between good and evil is part of his philosophy, not a direct memory.

Moggy probably taught Delana after she became Moridin's pet.
John Massey
208. subwoofer
@200- intrusion, you forgot the fluffy tail...

There, that's better. I will call him "George".

Barry T
209. blindillusion

Mat never expected the Gholam to fight so dirty.

Now that's just evil....
Chris Chaplain
210. chaplainchris1
@200 re: the dual-compulsion weaves on Ramshalan.

A) First, linking is weird. It doesn't work like it was described in early books - both saidin and saidar remain distinct. I imagined linking would mesh the two sides of the power into, well, One Power. But consistently with linking we are shown the leader of the circle weaving the two sides of the power separately, with men awkwardly managing saidar, or women awkwardly (and usually with trepidation) managing saidin. How this squares with the notion that the greatest deeds in the AOL were done by linked circles confuses me, since it seems that the leader of the linked circle would almost always be more awkward with the other gender's power.

B) Nevertheless, this means that if you spend lots of time doing mixed gender linking, you're gonna get *some* familiarity with wielding the other gender's power. And given that the Forsaken are from the AOL were mixed gender circles were the norm...any of the Forsaken could conceivablyhave some facility in weaves of the other gender's power, though that facility would obviously only be useful when linked. Put another way, if Balthamel/Aran'gar *ever* linked with a DF female during the AOL, which seems *highly* likely, he'd have had opportunity to see how to do Compulsion with saidar. If he melded the flows for those hypothetical circles - and he *is* one of the Chosen, so that seems highly likely - he might have lots of practice with it. Compulsion is, after all, one of the Shadow forces' most-used tools.

C) None of that's conclusive, but it makes it entirely possible that Arangar linked with Delana to teach her some AOL tricks like Compulsion. IOW, he would have taught her Compulsion using her own power.

D) Now, however much all this is reasonable, it's also reasonable to believe that Arangar/Balthamel still isn't nearly as comfortable with saidar as with saidin. Lanfear might well have been able to teach Rand some common saidin tricks, but she couldn't teach as well as a man could. (Though of course, she didn't want Rand taught TOO well.) And linking would require trust from Rand as well as Lanfear, and letting him practice might mean passing control of the circle to him - I don't see Lanfear doing that willingly. (Asmo even mentions linking - that if Lanfear really wanted Rand taught in the most effective way, she'd stay to link herself, Rand, and Asmo in a circle of three ).

E) Finally, as to the idea that Rand and Nynaeve should have detected the dual-compulsion on Ramshalan - remember that Graendal certainly wanted them to notice it and assumed they would. But she assumed they would examine him carefully, try to unweave the compulsions while trying to guess the implications of a man also being present. That was how she was playing for time. But Rand's plan didn't call for that. He didn't have Nynaeve check Ramshalan thoroughly, just verify that there was Compulsion present. And he didn't check Ramshalan himself at all. Once he knew the dude had been Compelled, he launched his assault.

Once the attack was over, Nynaeve verified there was no Compulsion present any more - it had been wiped from the Pattern. I assume that if Nynaeve had been given time to examine Ramshalan thoroughly, she'd have seen that Something Was Up. But Rand didn't give that time.
Daniel Goss
211. Beren
Not to derail the conversation completely . . .
So, just to be clear: Are we allowed to post spoilers for The Seven-Striped Lass in here, or just for the prologue?
John Massey
212. subwoofer
Well, as SSL is available to everyone to view, I don't see any resonable grounds to bar any discussion here.

I do believe we have even made an comment or two on the subject here somewheres.

Daniel Hanley
213. dmhman749
There really are not any significant spoilers IN the seven-striped lass. Mat is in Caemlyn...we knew that. Mat is considering opening Verin's letter, but has not yet...we knew that. People are circulating Mat's picture to try and kill him...we knew that. I guess the gholam being in Caemlyn is new, but hardly a massive surprise.

I think it was mostly chosen as the chapter to post because it had no significant spoilers. And because it was a good mat chapter, which i think they wanted to reassure people that Brandon had taken into account problems with mat's 'voice' in TGS.
John Massey
214. subwoofer
There is the timeline going on- Mat has a letter from sneaky Verin, and he is still wanted, and Elayne has not met with him, and the big news about Dragon Eggs should be splashed all over but isn't, which makes me think... Much going on, but it is a good reconnect with Mat.

Roger Powell
215. forkroot

BTW, Welcome back - it's been a little while, and it's good to have you back in the forum.

In contrast, the idea that the fog in Blades was just some random bubble of evil, which happens to precisely mimic the effect of Mashadar, I find to be fairly contrived and it does not sit well with me.

I disagree with the assertion that the fog precisely mimicked the effect of Mashadar. Nowhere before have we seen Mashadar coalesce into "creatures" that attacked people. OTOH, a single touch of a tendril of Mashadar appears to be enough to kill a victim - we don't see that with the killing fog which is described as surrounding everyone.
Tess Laird
216. thewindrose
Beren - I agree with subwoofer - anyone can read it.http://www.brandonsanderson.com/library/65/Towers-of-Midnight-Chapter-Eight-The-Seven-Striped-Lass Arrgg the link function doesn't like me!!! And this is a spoiler thread. We are guessing what some of the prologue means for the rest of this book, and the next in some cases - so I think why not!

217. Dirtybird18
Ok maybe this is not a good place for this question. But something odd struck me in my re-read. Why did the Eelfinn's give Mat the
Ashandarei? Hey asked for 3 things:
"I walk around with holes in my memory, holes in my life, and
you stare at me like idiots. If I had my way, I would want those holes
filled, but at least answers to my questions might fill some in my
Memories of generals and tacticians long dead, some long before the Trolloc Wars (LoC, Ch. 5).

"Well, I want a way to be free of Aes Sedai and the Power (...)"
The foxhead medallion (TSR, Ch. 26)

"(...)and I want to be away from you and back to Rhuidean, if you will not answer me."
The Eelfinn let him go back to Rhuidean, but because Mat does not specify how he wants to be back, he is hanged from Avendesora (TSR, Ch. 26). "He had said he wanted to leave and failed to say alive, so they took him outside and hanged him" (KoD, Ch. 10).

We all know that he was hung from the tree with a rope tied around the ashendarei, but that really did not seem needed. So is there maybe more signifigance to his weapon that we have yet to see? Is it the one thing we as fans have over looked with that whole books 4-6 thing?

Or did Mat just need a cool weapon, like Callendor or Perrin's Hammer/Axe?
John Massey
218. subwoofer
"Thus is our treaty written; thus is agreement made.Thought is the arrow of time; memory never fades.
What was asked is given. The price is paid."

It is something that represents the pact/deal Mat made with the 'finn. I am sure they could have given him a commemerative plate or something, but this fits with the story and how Mat is. It started to lead up with the fight Mat had with Galad and Gawyn. The rest, as they say, is history.
Daniel Goss
219. Beren
I always associated the gift of the Ashandarei with the quote on the blade. It was his . . . receipt if you will.
Thus is our treaty written; thus is agreement made.
Thought is the arrow of time; memory never fades.
What was asked is given. The price is paid.

Basically. Here's what you asked for, and we can prove that we held up our end of the bargain.
*aaand Subwoofer beat me to it.
220. Dirtybird18
I think you are correct as well Woof & Beren, but was just kicking around some random ideas. Just seeemed odd that for every question he asked he got something specific for. Then they threw in a parting gift.
221. cheekyhamster

There's... ANOTHER...spoiler chapter? Chapter 8, you say? On Brandon's site?


(At first I thought "Seven-striped lass" referred to Egwene. D'oh!)
222. hawkido
As to the objects of power in Natrim's Barrow... The only objects of power ever mentioned made of cuillendiar are the Seals.

All others are made of ivory, stone, jade, metals, and a few that look like some type of wood. Go through the list of those recovered from the Bowl stash. All other *'angreal are made from destroyable material... (thus the careful handling of them... Moiraine's carefully wrapped ivory figurine, etc...)
Even the Access Keys were destroyed (everyone we know of anyway...) Power-wroght swords have even been destroyed (the original heron mark sword belonging to Tam.) A'dam have been destroyed as well.

The Seals do not actually do anything... I imagine they just hold the knot that LTT tied off for the seal on the DO prison. Just LTT's way of making sure the weave didn't unravel. So the Seal's are not powertools, but just a power-made cement used to keep a weave from unraveling. If LTT could make *'angreal then Rand should be able to as well (Painting, songs, weaves, etc.. all learned from the long dead LTT)
Chris R
223. up2stuff
Lots of people @ Greandal comments:

Lots of us are hung up on why Greandel, Grandal.. (Hell just gonna call her G-Funk cause she is kind of awesome), used Saidin weaves too for the compulsion on Ramalamadingdong. Seems overcomplicated, whatever. Isnt that just her nature? Hasnt it been obvserved several times that she complicates things for the sake of complicating them in order to look elaborate or clever? Seems like bad guys have said that about her, good guys have said that about her and she has said that about her. She likes it complicated. I think.

Also, people seem awed by the fact that the FS are 3000+ years old. But, they were only awake for the "+" part of that. I know some of the Kin and all are 600 years old but, remember they were taking a REALLY long nap and a lot of things are different.

The Descent or whatever after the Bore to the end of the War of Power was like 110 years. They were probably 300-400 years old before all that cause they didnt look old. They are Bad News, but they are not soo Demigod-ish. They are just strong and REALLY mean. Strong and arrogant doesnt always mean smart, right?
Chris R
224. up2stuff
Wagman26 @96 - You have a point that Ishy/Mory said they fought a thousand times, blah, blah, blah and it does sound like he remembers previous lives, why not G-Funk? (Greandal) None of the other light siders remember previous lives, I dont think the FS do either.

Okay, so maybe being the bad guy version of Dragon Reborn, Ishy could but he has been awake since the AOL when he was a philosopher. He HAS had 3000 years to refine the ideas he came up with waaaay back then. Or at least more of that time than the others. See, He's Bat-sh!t Crazy, too! Not from Taint madness either. Good argument, but I dont buy it
Daniel Hanley
225. dmhman749
to hawkido @ 222...you are mostly correct. Almost all ter'angreal, angreal and sa'angreal have been made of ordinary materials. You are leaving out Callandor though...it blocked balefire, strongly indicating that it IS made out of cuillendiar(sp?). Not that I'm arguing against your point, i just felt it should be pointed out. You are correct that there is no reason to think that Graendal definately had any cuillendar. On the other hand, she likes to collect beautiful and ancient things...given her personality, it seems likely she probably DID get some cuillendiar at some point, but probably nothing that really matters from a plot perspective, so we can probably move on.

2nd, there is no indication that LTT could make cuillendiar...it was his plan, but that doesn't mean he actually made the seals personally. Though he is quite powerful in earth, so he probably can. Just stating that we have no evidence of this particular talent....but at least that is a fairly common talent(apparently). there is NO indication that LTT made ter'angreal, angreal...
226. hawkido
Callendor didn't absorb the beam of balefire as cuendelliar would (as has been demonstrated a few times in the book). Callendor split the beam (prismatic refraction?). Perhaps the medusa shield trick would work on a would-be balefire attack? What would happen if you reflected a balefire beam back on the caster? The beam would destroy them before they shot it so they themselves would not be destroyed? Good question!???

but I still hold the position there are no power objects made of cuendilliar... Heartstone is a product of the power but not a power object.

Another question... when they found the weakening seals of the DO's prison... why did they not just channel at them to restrengthen them... if heartstone cannot be destroyed why mention channeling strengthens it? unless it can decay, and thus needs to be re-strengthened from time to time?

It was said LTT created the Seals... there is no argument against that... let it stand until such time as it is proved different.

Shouldn't rand make a breastplate and armor (shield as his hand isn't much good for else) out of heartstone? Aes'sedai could make armor as it is certainly not a weapon and that would be less of a "skirting" of their oaths than what they have already been doing.
227. Paulw
Shouldn't rand make a breastplate and armor (shield as his hand isn't much good for else) out of heartstone?

It wouldn't be very practical. If it is just a breastplate/shield, he's still vulnerable to headshots. If it's full-body armor (helmet included), he could still get balefired through the breathing holes by a simple human-sized beam of balefire. Not to even get started on the mobility issues that would be present in a suit of infinitely inflexible material...
228. hawkido
@227 paulw

Please see full platemail and get back to me... also:
as opposed to the extremely flexible nature of Iron and steel?

Due to the strength of Heartstone, you could make the armor less than paper thin, reducing the weight to less than a pound for a full suit. also mail mesh can be woven such that it is still flexible but present no clear path through the mesh (see mail gloves used in sharp knife industries like cutting chicken).

Even rand unaided couldn't make a beam larger than a man's leg (see Rahvin) and then only for a flash.
229. hawkido
Thinking back on the Balefire'ing of Natrim's Barrow... Is this the first time we see balefire not originate from the channeler? It seems the beam struck from above...
Daniel Hanley
230. dmhman749
good point on the splitting...I had not considered that. I wonder what callendor is, in that case..

I highly doubt that a mirror would reflect balefire though...i mean...its balefire. just because a one of a kind sa'angreal can split it doesn't mean it can be reflected.
the seals were no longer working like cuellendiar when they were discovered...channeling into them might have broken them as well as a hammer. Who knows

When you say "LTT created them" that could mean him personally, or it could mean the hundred companions, which he led, and which was based on his ideas. Who knows. It doesn't really matter.

Rand doesn't know the weave to create cuellendiar yet...maybe Egwene can make him one.

While a breastplate and shield might not stop all balefire(like you said, he could still get headshots, or whatever), but its stupid to say that something not being 100% effective means it isn't worth doing...most balefire is not human sized, and people tend to aim at the center of the target, so there is a decent chance that just a breastplate would block it...and even just a decent chance of survival when he would otherwise be dead seems worth taking.
231. Paulw
Please see full platemail and get back to me... also:

Please show me any people in Randland aside from heavy cavalry using full platemail. There might be a reason for that...

as opposed to the extremely flexible nature of Iron and steel?

Yes, compared to cuendillar those are much less rigid.

also mail mesh can be woven such that it is still flexible but present no clear path through the mesh (see mail gloves used in sharp knife industries like cutting chicken).

I can't believe I seriously have to explain this. Mail mesh works against bladed implements because even sharp knives have thickness greater than the gaps between the mail links. when the weapon we're talking about is feckin light, it's a whole different ballgame. Any gap (greater than the wavelength of visible light, anyway, and even if it's less some light would still scatter through) and the light can get through.

Even rand unaided couldn't make a beam larger than a man's leg (see Rahvin) and then only for a flash.

Much clearer citation needed. Just because he constrained the size of balefire used doesn't mean it's some sort of practical limit. Moiraine performed balefire at least as large and for longer in killing the darkhounds in TSR, and even if she was using her angreal (I don't recall) that still should have her weaker than Rand without an angreal. And even if that's an upper bound on size, the size is hardly necessary for what I pointed out. Just aim the balefire at your "mail mesh", or if it's an actual breastplate like dmhman is proposing aim it at wherever the cuendillar pieces are joined (seriously, if you're wearing a cuendillar breastplate it would require 2 separate pieces with a hole in the breastplate for something to attach them together, which is an obvious and trivial vulnerable point).
Seriously, snarky can be good (main reason I miss good ol' rasfwrj) but try to actually think through what you're saying first.

Didn't there used to be a section on the FAQ regarding cuendillar armor? I thought there was, but if so it's not there anymore.
232. Freelancer

Just for accuracy's sake...

Light can penetrate an opening of any size, regardless of the wavelength of the incident beam. How the light behaves upon passing an aperture of less than 1 wavelength is determined by the ratio of the two, the relative angle of incidence, and the total coherence of the incident light (and other factors even more technical and less interesting).

Unless you think I'm just babbling trash, state of the art semiconductors have recently attained a 25nm minimum feature size. The creation of these features involves laser lithography, utilizing 193nm deep ultraviolet laser "light" passing through pattern reticles with apertures much smaller than a single wavelength of the beam.

Bottom line, there is no protection from balefire unless you are in a cuendillar cocoon.

The discussion regarding Callandor's prismatic behavior upon a balefire stream has been had in the re-read threads, but of course given we're discussing fiction, there is a limit to the point of such exchanges. Except to say that any thought that Jordan didn't carefully consider these details in his worldbuilding usually turn out to be incorrect.
Heidi Byrd
233. sweetlilflower
@Freelancer, please don't take this the wrong way: I love you :)
I get such a kick out of reading your comments.
Wayne Wilson
234. stylusmobilus
@225 dmhman749

There is possible verbal proof, from Be'lal, that LTT could make sa'angreal.

"....one of the most powerful sa'angreal we ever made. Take it..." (TDR, Ch. 55, pg. 649)

However, Be'lal may have meant 'we' as describing all AOL Aes Sedai. I take it as meaning he, LTT and perhaps a couple of others. You'd have to think LTT was a gun angreal maker. Although they did stuff up somewhere because apparently it is flawed.
235. Freelancer
sweetlilflower @233

Aww shucks, ma'am, that's mighty kind of you. I'm going to guess that many more readers just roll their eyes...

stylusmobilus @234

To me it has the feel of the corporate form of "we" you suggest. Also, considering the actions described in The Dedicated, it seems to me that Callandor was made after the Strike. The text strongly suggests that it was the plan of Solinda Sedai and her group to put finishing touches on the Sword (perhaps the buffer it never did get), but ended up having no time, hence, "The sword must wait". To follow your supposition that Lews Therin, Be'lal and a few others are what is meant by the "we" would have to indicate that they in particular were the makers of the Sword. Not very likely.
Wayne Wilson
236. stylusmobilus
@ Freelancer

I just had another look at that chapter. Been a while.

That conversation to me has always suggested that the focus needed to be on the Eye of the World first, then the Stone and Callandor. Solinda's immediate summoning of the Nym seems to indicate a decision like that being made.

I do see your angle, however. Definitely valid. Still of the mind that a group of about six or so, including Be'lal and LTT, made the sword. Perhaps there was no women involved when they made it. Maybe the group was larger. I'm fairly convinced it was made before the Strike.

And, rereading your last paragraph @232, I thought it may have been the Source being drawn through the sa'angreal at that time which prevented it and Rand being balefried. As you say, all the views on that have been shared earlier as well.
Wayne Wilson
237. stylusmobilus
Conky @127

Yah. I did indeed. I do it all the time, then I remember that he is she and vice versa. It's a 'gar dyslexia I have.
John Massey
238. subwoofer
I am not sure if it has been said, but the idea of cuendillar armor appeals to me, no so much as a deflector of balefire- crazy talk, why not be Wile E Coyote and hope an umbrella will stop the sky from falling- but as a better suit of armor a la Lan's bleeding carcass.

One of the things that has always bugged me is the lack of guys prancing around without so much as chain mail- er... except for Lan, again. I do get the idea that as blademasters, they need to be unencumbered to move around and they can find any hole in armor but c'mon, "ounce of prevention" here.

Having such armor may have saved Rand from the second hole in his side. Save Perrin from having to get stitched up. For protection from the Source, maybe too mundane, but for protection from swords, knives, crossbow bolts and arrows, I think there is merit for armor here. We have mention of the Children in armor, Gareth Bryne, Seanchan, Sheinarans etc. The Aiel do without, but I think they are modelled after ninja and prize mobility, although having 6'6" lumbering ninja bagels me.

Edit- added the "s". Could be the word "boggles" but bagels seem to be equally baffling. Thanks Windrose:)

Tess Laird
239. thewindrose
subwoofer -I had to bring this up...

Aiel do without, but I think they are modelled after ninja and prize mobility, although having 6'6" lumbering ninja bagel me.

So the Aiel are running around with bagels(how do they keep them fresh) - or is a dried out bagel that becomes a deadly ninja star? ;')

Athony Clearwater
240. BaneDv-ile
alright i am most likely kick myself for asking this but i got to know at what point in the book did it get stated that cuendillar could stop/deflect balefire case i must have missed it
Jay Dauro
241. J.Dauro
BaneDv-ile @240

I believe folks are extrapolating it from a couple places.

In TSR 54 
"You cannot destroy it. That is not metal, but a form of cuendillar. Even balefire cannot destroy cuendillar."
Little more than waist-high, the bar sawed sideways, carving a swathe through both walls; between, cases and cabinets and wired skeletons collapsed and crashed. Severed columns quivered; some fell, but what dropped onto that terrible sword did not survive to smash displays and pedestals to the floor. The glass-walled table fell before the molten shaft vanished, leaving a purplish bar that seemed burned into Nynaeve's vision; the cuendillar figures were all that dropped out of that molten white shaft, bouncing on the floor.
The figurines did not break, of course. It seemed Moghedien was right; not even balefire could destroy cuendillar."

hawkido @228

TSR 54
Saidin raged inside Rand, and he loosed it all. Not to Heal. - “Rahvin!” he screamed, and balefire flew from his hands, molten light thicker than a man, driven by all the Power he could draw. 
242. Freelancer

Yes, yes, mithril shirts for everyone. But then Rand would not have received that second wound, and would not have solved how to cleanse saidin.

Oh, and Lan does have armor. He wears it into the blight in TEotW. But when his most common opponents are going to be less mundane, there's little point, as you clearly indicate.

One could make a cuendillar hauberk of double-link chain, but you would have to turn each individual link to cuendillar after turning it, and carefully to make sure it doesn't fuse to adjoining links. I think the channeler assigned would just want to die after a few days of that.
243. AndrewB
Question: Why did Aran'gar bring Delana with her when Aran'gar ran to hide with Graendal?

(Note: I did not read the ToM prologue. Also, I do not remember an answer to this question in any of the above posts.)

I understand why Aran'gar would leave the rebels camp with Delana in KoD. However, why did she not just travel (or order Delana to travel) to a diserted area and kill Delana and Delana's maid? Afterwards, she could travel alone to Graendal. Was Aran'gar ordered to submit herself & Delana to Graendal as a form of punishment?

It seems an unnecessary burden to bring Delana with her. It would be more in character with a Forsaken to kill a Black Ajah member whom the Forsaken no longer has a need. Certainly, after being exposed, Delana no longer useful to Aran'gar. Thanks.

To paraphrase one of the Forsaken (Sammael, I belive) -- The best thing about Aran'gar certain death is it widdles away the dead wood even further.

Thanks for reading my musings.
244. AndrewB
This is a test post to make sure my prior post posted. I got some weird error message.

edit: apparently post number 243 posted.
Jay Dauro
245. J.Dauro

What do you mean, no longer useful? Aran'gar can always use a servant to boss around, and do minor errands. Besides, she's handy to have around as a toy. Always time to dispose of her later.  ;^)
Sydo Zandstra
246. Fiddler
I don't think Aran'gar was as useless as some say here. She could have done a lot of harm among the Seanchan.
John Massey
247. subwoofer
@Free- exactly.

Interesting point tho'. Can we directly attribute Rand's pulsing wounds to how to clense Saidin? Flinn could have just sealed the main injury away. He had two so he dealt with two.

Yeah, I remember Lan plunging into the Blight and coming out with holes in his armor, and him going to find Ny, again donning armor. Hence my "except Lan" pose. The only guy with an ounce of sense.

As for the rest, Caddy had it figured out. Use a shield wrought of Power. Deflects lightening, aminals and all sorts of otherwise negative things. For those without the ability to channel, armor it is.

248. Narlock
I feel left out what is this I hear about a chapter from the book that I can read
Jay Dauro
249. J.Dauro
Narlock @248

As part of the release tour for The Way of Kings, Brandon and Tor sponsored The Great Hunt. Codes were given out, and when enough were found and submitted, Chapter 8 was revealed. For more info on the hunt see  https://docs.google.com/View?docID=dcjspjqg_881z2xd56fn&revision=_latest

To read chapter 8 go to http://www.brandonsanderson.com/thegreathunt
  or http://www.dragonmount.com/Books/Towers_of_Midnight/seven-striped-lass.php

BTW, the clues appear to be the chapter names from ToM, so they are interesting also.
250. Narlock
Thank you now i just wish it was November already

Thanks for ruining all of October with anticipation Brandon and Tor
Lindy Brown
251. lbrown
This is the first time I have ever gotten the Prologue early, but I couldn't resist this time.

I did notice the Loial excerpt at first, even though my Kindle version opened where the Prologue started. Me and my OCD made me go back and verify that that really was the first page. :) That's when I discovered the Loial excerpt.

As soon as Graendal put that weave on the bird, I knew she was going to escape and was screaming, 'NO! You are dead!" But anyway, I actually thought that Graendal was just testing the weave on the bird first and then was going to put it on Ramshalan, so she could look out of his eyes. (But I guess, the weave only works on animals?)

Anyway, at first I was displeased that Graendal was still alive but now after thinking about it and reading these comments, I am happy about it and think it's all for the best.
Lindy Brown
252. lbrown
Oh, yay! My post posted. I got an error message and thought I would have to type it all out again.
Athony Clearwater
254. BaneDv-ile
J.Dauro at 241 tanks but thats not exatly right in all the paragraphs you shared it mearly stated that balefire could not destroy cuendillar none of these say that what was behind the cuendillar was protected it seems to suggest that the balefire flowed around the cuendillar and sill destroyed what was behind it there fore rendering any use of a cuendillar armor useless it dosen't as far as i can tell suggest that cuendillar could block/deflect balefire
Alice Arneson
255. Wetlandernw
BaneDv-ile @254 - As J.Dauro prefaced his quotations, it is generally inferred from several passages, of which he quoted two. As far as I know, we aren't 100% sure. However, the assumption that a large piece of cuendillar would effectively shield anything behind it from balefire is at least as valid as the assumption that balefire would flow around it.

FWIW, I did a quick search through most of the available resources, and can find nothing to directly support either assumption.

P.S. Your posts would be a lot easier to read if you used a few punctuation marks and capital letters. Just saying.
Skip Ives
256. Skip
@182. Fiddler
>>Well you could always repost a part of the post you are >>responding to, and then add your reply. Just don't top >>post.
>>(This is a joke and an ob ref to the RAWSFR-J usenet >>group)
>Hehe. Don't forget to add where you snip properly... ;)

I thought my original snip was enough to include it by reference. I hope this suffices.

@255. Wetlandernw (RE: BaneDv-ile @254 ) -
“P.S. Your posts would be a lot easier to read if you used a few punctuation marks and capital letters. Just saying.”

This just seemed to fit here. Insert your own JSN3 joke.
Skip Ives
258. Skip
Freelancer @257

Who am I to stop you?
Chris R
259. up2stuff
Free @ 232

Physics much Freelancer?

What kind of Rocket Scientist are you?

The stuff you people know, blows me away!
John Massey
260. subwoofer
@WeT- LOL! hOws abo'ut w-e usE punktuashon. prawperly
What kind of Rocket Scientist are you?
Free invented fire.

John Massey
261. subwoofer
Question- Who has the Horn now?

Chris R
262. up2stuff
I agree that Greandal not calling the DO Great Lord is a little strange. Saying "Light" as a curse word seems understandable though. Its a curse word.

We have seen good guys and bad guys drop the F-Bomb or "S" word in movies. Moreso, I don't think many bad guys, real or fictitious have trouble saying "G.D. it!" I know that "The Light" is the RL version of the Holy Ghost or something, but swear words dont always mean a specific deity or action. Saying "Light" is their equivilant to us saying "(F-word)!" or "Oh, Shit".
Forsaken or B.A. saying "Light" to me would be like a Jewish Person or Muslim saying "Jesus (blank)"!, which I have witnessed.
Barry T
263. blindillusion

It should be in the White Tower somewhere. TFoH, Chapter 19, is the last time it's physical location was mentioned.
John Massey
264. subwoofer

Just thinking- the Horn hasn't been seen or heard from in a while now. Fain didn't toddle off with it, but lots of craptastic stuff has been going on in the White Tower- Some BA, including Alviarin have skipped town, there was a rift in the Tower before the re-unification, the Seanchan paid a visit. All sorts of stuff happened and folks were wandering around, taking sa'angreal and all sorts, do we really know the Horn is still there? What if a Seanchan flier "borrowed" it and Mat finds the Horn in Tuon's hands or something.

Just sayin'.

Roger Powell
265. forkroot
I seem to recall that the Horn was hidden in a place known only to Verin and Siuan. You can pretty much count on it being protected by some nasty weaves.

I believe that both Siuan and Egwene know that Mat is the only one who can sound the Horn, so if there's ever a general council of War for Team Light (maybe early in AMoL?) perhaps they would hand the Horn over to him then.
266. hbrianmcfarland
One problem with that. Remember that Mat died in Rhiudean and therefore is no longer tied to the Horn. So anyone can sound it now. (And if someone does, the horn will be unaware of any previous ties to it.)
Tess Laird
267. thewindrose
Elaida was probably using the horn as a decoration piece - of course being completely clueless to what it was.

OK - what I really believe is that Laras is in possession of it - but I cannot decide if she knows what she has or not. It's hard to decide. I mean it was sneaky Verin having her hold on to it. ::I am one who believes that Verin hid the HoV with Laras::
We know that Laras has the personal bolt hole from the Egwene scene. We also know she helped Min get Siuan and Leane and then escape from the Tower(but they didn't get to use the bolt hole - did Laras have it then - or is this something she just made recently??) And we have Min's stories about Laras being very adventurous. We have Verin complementing the tea(that took her away from
us:( ). But Verin was of necessity very cautious. So, what do others think - if Laras has the Horn does know what it is?
Skip Ives
268. Skip
@266 hbrianmcfarland - That may be, or it might not. We don't know how the rules work on that. The balefire incident might have severed his connection as well. Though, I wonder if that letter from Verin tells Mat where the horn is?
Chris R
269. up2stuff
hb@ 266..

"Can open...worms everywhere." There have been debates on this before whether or not Rhuidean counted as Mat's Die and Live again. Even his perspective telling Tuon how much he paid for the Ashendarei...spear...thingy is kind of inconclusive. Lots of posters dont believe this counted on account of CPR seems a relatively simple solution. Others don't.

Some think that Rahvin killed him at Caemlyn and then Rand un-killed him when Rand Balefired Rahvin right between the eyes. Some are not sure if this undeniable death counts to sever the link though because Rahvin was dead BEFORE he killed Mat, Avi, Asmo, and all in the attack in Caemlyn due to Balefire effects.

I, myself am undecided because both arguments have validity. I suggest you keep an open mind on this. Who has the Horn seems much more possible to reason out than who can use it. Did I get that right, everyone?

Skip beat me to it
diane heath
270. jadelollipop
Re: Mat, his "die and live again" answer and the Horn. My understanding is that he (Mat) thinks Rhuidean counts but is not sure. The actual fulfillment was the balefire incident in Caemlyn (which he does not remember). I think that he is still tied to the Horn because his death was reversed. I am not fluent in interview answers but seem to recall that RJ stated that Mat's view (Rhuidean) was wrong.
Barry T
271. blindillusion
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.

there's that....

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.


And this makes 1000 comments.
John Massey
272. subwoofer
I think Jade and Skip has it so I'm going with a couple of folks on this one. The fulfillment of Prophecy as far as Mat dying has not been met yet. RJ was dancing around it but IIRC it was one of those Miracle Max-"mostly dead" scenarios. The link is still there and Mat still has it to do.

The other thing is, as Verin is very privy to the knowledge of the location of the Horn- providing it has not moved- there may be some very specific things about it in the letter. And there is nothing that says that Mat cannot take it to the ToG. One of the threads that has to be tied up is reuniting Mat and the Horn. No two ways about it. I think that Letter that Mat is tapping around has everything to do with it.

Edit- there's the quote- Thank you Blind:)

Roger Powell
273. forkroot
Sub - Agreed that Mat did not die at Rhuidean, however the consensus seems to be that dying from Rhavin's lightning blast fulfilled the Aelfinn's prophecy for Mat.

It's certainly subject to debate - after all, if balefire erases an event, did it really happen? (Seems like one of those "tree falls in the forest" kind of questions.)

Then there's the matter of the link to the Horn - presumably Mat still has the link, since balefire erased the event of his dying ... but then we're back in the forest again, aren't we?
John Massey
274. subwoofer
@Fork- yeah, I dunno about the lightening blast, or for that matter, the Darkhound saliva. Still pondering. Besides, I happen to be very fond of trees. They are great to pee on. And without trees, I'd have no bark. Heh.

Hey! Hey! What the?! Do people still carry around rotten vegtables these days?! C'mon, throw something in season at least.

275. Danofire
Crazy Verin Theory. She lives!!! Let just say she stopped by to see Osangar and Delana. They give her the poison that she uses to off herself. They get blasted by the mega balefire (balescream?) courtesy of Rand. The rule of Balefire IIRC is that they would be burned out of the pattern by to proportion of balefire used and thus the poison Verin consumed never existed and wakes up in the bowels of the White Tower ready to save the day. This she knew because of a visit through the Redstone door frame way back in Tear.

Heidi Byrd
276. sweetlilflower
@many: Well, it seems that we have two possibilities. 1)The balefire scene in Caemlyn counts as Mat dying, in which case his connection to the horn is probably severed. 2) The balefire scene did not count and Mat is still probably linked to the horn(probably b/c hanging from the tree may have counted as him dying). If number one is true, then he may still blow the horn a second time simply b/c Egwene thinks he is linked to it and gives it to him. If number two is true, and hanging didn't count,then Mat still has to die at some point. I'm voting for number 2 but only b/c RJ was cagey and creative and loved to throw out red herrings and misdirection.

@Danofire: I would love to see Verin come back, but somehow I doubt it will happen. Unless Verin was originally given the poison by Halima'gar to give to Egwene and then Verin ended up using it on herself. The hour timeframe was to establish an alibi. That could actually work :)
Linda Taglieri
277. Linda
@274 subwoofer: Back in the earlier interviews when RJ was a lot more forthcoming, there is this report from Balticon XXX in 1996:

Jordan noted that Mat's death by lightning and subsequent undoing of his death when Rand balefired Rahvin, fulfills a prophecy about living, dying, and then living again.

@267 windrose: :) Laras and the Horn is one of my favourite theories. i had a lot of fun writing it. I think Laras doesn't want to know what's in Verin's parcel. Wise of her.

Verin's nudging of Egwene to see Laras was brilliant.
John Massey
278. subwoofer
Wow! Hi Linda:) It is good to hear from you after so long!

I am wondering if you managed to get your hands on an advanced copy of ToM? Being the gifted person that you are.

Laras and Egwene, hmmmmmm. Interesting. The next question then is how do we get Mat to Tar Valon? I am not seeing him visit the place for the next hundred years or so, especially given the way in which he snuck out of the place. I also hope Mat at some point realizes that he has used up his nine lives.

279. Freelancer

That would be my father-in-law, he's a Rocketdyne retiree. I'm just an old squid who spent a couple years teaching engineers to maintain industrial lasers. The stuff rubs off if you aren't careful.

Mat didn't die in Rhuidean. Mat died to a Rahvin lightning strike in Caemlyn. Balefire reversed Mat's death in Caemlyn. Mat's connection to the Horn is uncertain. The Horn's whereabouts even more uncertain.

Which reminds me, since I'm thinking about Siuan now. Someone was predicting that Gareth Bryne and Siuan would be among those who don't survive. I was doing some hunting around and came to the bit where Siuan, Leane, and Min have just escaped from Kore Springs, and Bryne is deciding to chase after them:

House Bryne had owned this land -- or it had owned them -- since Andor was wrought from the wreckage of Artur Hawkwing's empire a thousand years before, and for all that time it had sent its sons off to fight Andor's wars. He would fight no more wars, but it was too late for House Bryne. There had been too many wars, too many battles. He was the last of the blood. No wife, no son, no daughter. The line ended with him. All things had to end; the Wheel of Time turned.

And by the norm for WoT characters' introspection, Bryne will be wrong. therefore, Siuan and he will have to have at least one child.
Dorothy Johnston
280. CloudMist
It just occurred to me that the Prologue's Galad segment might be the beginning of the justification for the whole Morgase-on-the-lam plotline that so many object to. Consider, if you had a decade or so to think it over, can you pick two Whitecloaks less likely to convince Perrin Aybara to come to the aid of another Whitecloak than Child Byar and Dain Bornhald? I think the only reason Perrin will agree to their pleas is thru the intervention of Morgase.
281. alreadymadwithaudiobook
gotstewart @35The Dark One was able to touch the Pattern more strongly during the WoP. So yeah, despite the current shakiness, it probably is still better off now than then.
cheekyhamster @57I loved that scene too. "I will wear my father's hadori" or some such. Awesome.
jamesedjones @58Now you've done it. The image of zombie trollocs dancing with the King of Pop will stay with me for some time.
insectoid @66Not just killing worms. Killing them the right way.
elliesaurus @70I feel your pain. Two freakin hours. I didn't pay for it, somebody else got it and I just listened in, so beggars can't be choosers. Still. Two freakin hours. And no Loial either.
Galad, isn't Andor supposed to be analogous to England? Nice accent though.
sarcastro @83Halima'gar would be a hir.
forkroot @95Don't forget Graendal has a ring angreal of her own. And even with Alivia having so many advantages, it still wasn't enough to put Cyndane away for good.
wagman26 @104Ishamael's specialty was Philosophy. Hence he is something of an expert on the cyclic nature of events in the Wheel. He simply states that the battle/war has been waged in previous turnings of the Wheel. Not that he actually remembers it.
forkroot @135In addition, it's also only the second time Nynaeve has delved a Compelled mind. Graendal probably counted on Nynaeve being skilled enoug to identify her by the Saidar weave used. Nynaeve probably didn't know better and as you noted just looked at the dammage done.
blindillusion @271Well, this is fantasy, where being dead isn't as simple as just being dead. There are apparently several levels. Almost dead is one, as is mostly dead. Of course in real life, we also have clinically dead.
re: GraendalIt's not really that surprising. Rand in TGS pointed out the link between Healing and Compulsion. Graendal probably knows this as well. So she knows as long as Rand has a topnotch healer(read Nynaeve) with him, chances are good that with Rand remembering more and more of LTT's memories, he can point the way to understanding and reversing Compulsion.
As for Yanet... don't know, don't care. How many people do you meet and make friends of in a life that spans centuries? A lover, a lieutenant, an apprentice, a friend, could be anything.
Linda Taglieri
282. Linda
@278 Thanks subwoofer. :)

I don't have an ARC of Towers of Midnight ATM. Will that change? I don't know.

The balefire undid what Rahvin did - send lightning - so Mat's link should be restored. Should.

If Mat is believed to be the Hornsounder, then no one else will try to sound it. So it might now matter if Mat is linked. The link could be remade when he blows it again.

Since Perrin is doing quite well in the Bannerman role amassing a large army, Mat probably will sound the Horn at the Last Battle.

The Horn could be brought to Mat, rather than Mat come to it.

And my Laras and the Horn theory
Ian B
283. Greyfalconway

The Dhoomriangles are from me, over in Leighs advance review, about 10 comments up from my alt ToM cover.

Hurin and Bela are sure going to have their hands full with this one
Now to continue reading through all these comments
Ian B
284. Greyfalconway
Whoops, by 10 comments up from my alt cover, I mean like a gajillion up, its @84 Greyfalconway in the advance review comments, the alt cover is @158 lol
Wayne Wilson
285. stylusmobilus

Think I'll be joining you both with that 'told you so'. I've always thought Fain was behind that 'fog' at the rebel camp. I'm of the mind that Mordeth was part of Mashadar, or it a part of him.
286. alreadymadwithmatsspear
Isilel @185
From what I can tell there are two ways to use the Power boost in a circle. You can simply add the total Power now available to your own weaves and increase their potency, as Elsa did to Agin'gar and in Travelling, or you can take the other Power and weave with it.
If that is unacceptable, you can always say fireball is a rather basic weave to learn.
ryanreich @186The other lesson in Rand's experience is that if you're unused with the other gender's Power, then it will not behave as you expect.
Dirtybird18 @217
Or the Ashandarei just happened to be a convenient thing they could hang Mat from. These are Finns. They don't like Iron.
Beren @219
If the spear was the receipt, then as far as the Finns are concerned Mat has no unfinished business with them. That is contrary to what Mat thinks.
John Massey
287. subwoofer
@GFW- cool beans- it has been duly bookmarked! I love the idea that WoT needs a graffiti crew to deal with a bunch of old skool taggers. Heh. One of the throw backs of the Age of Legends- spray paint, has not been "discovered" in this current age by Egwene or one of her crew. It is much easier to clean up than the re-buffing of stone facia:)

@Style- yeah! Welcome- see? Great minds think alike:D

Wayne Wilson
288. stylusmobilus
One thing that has always bugged me about Mat's exit from the second doorframe ter'angreal- why did he end up hanging in the tree, and not back out the door, skewered by the ashandarei? He came back out the door in Tear...

I saw a Wacko filmclip last night, and my kids were asking me what was so funny....thanks, blindillusion. Every time I see an MJ clip from now on....yep...

On that note, it's 20 past one in the morning. Time for a cup of Milo and bed. See your posts tomorrow, and hopefully some of the posters too. Cheers.
J Lip
289. Cadsuwallop
Ok I just can't hold this in a moment longer.

My son was selected as the recipient of this year's Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship by the Hall of the Tower at TarValon.net! I am incredibly proud of him!

His winning essay and interview can be found on the "News" page at TarValon.net.

Thanks for humoring a proud mother.
290. Rando al'Rissian
Cadsuwallop @ 289

Tricia Irish
291. Tektonica

Congratulations to you and your son! You've every reason to crow and be proud. Aren't kids great! It's always amazes me how much happiness my kids' successes can give me....and and RJ award, to boot! Double cool.
Karen Jacobs
292. KJacobs
Cadsuwallop@289: Wonderful news! Congratulations to you both!

Edit to add: I just went back & read the essay and accompanying interview. Truly inspirational. Your son sounds like an incredibly gifted, intelligent, grounded young man.
Daniel Goss
293. Beren
Since this seems to be the place to put spoilers and I don't see it anywhere else.
Chapter one. Amazing. Just . . . wow.
294. Freelancer
Hah, Beren beat me to it. And yes . . . wow.
Tess Laird
295. thewindrose
Thanks Beren!

That was amazing! It was wonderful. It sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes. It's going to be a long month of waiting isn't it!

Daniel Hanley
296. dmhman749
And men cried out to the Creator, praying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the Prophecies, as he was in Ages past and will be in Ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

That has always been my favorite 4th age quote, and we finally see it begin to come to be. Oh, Rand has fought to protect people before, but this is the first time we see Rand's power directly confronting the power of the Dark One to shelter the land and his people from the DO's touch.

All i can say is that chapter one was awesome...I especially liked the "Almen thought— for a moment— he could see something around the man. A lightness to the air, warped and bent". All the Ta'veren power displayed in tGS, but turned towards good rather than evil. Gah...I can't wait another month!
Chris Lough
297. TorChris
Hi folks,

We're going to have the first chapter up for you momentarily, complete with a separate spoiler thread so folks who haven't read the prologue can talk about the first chapter without prologue-specific spoilers.
Noneo Yourbusiness
298. Longtimefan
@289 Cadsuallop,

What great news. Congratulations to your son and to you.
Chris Lough
300. TorChris
Hello again, folks. The spoiler thread for Chapter 1 is open now. Just refresh the homepage.

Here's the direct link to copy-paste, since links are still wonky in comments:
Copy paste if link isn't working for you:

(Great chapter, too.)
Sam Mickel
301. Samadai
That Chapter was great. I knew Rand was all better. I wonder who the female is he is talking about? Egwene maybe.
302. AndrewB
Just heard the audio version of the prologue. Cannot wait to get the book and actually read the Graendal scene and the scene and Kandor.

Since Leigh is on vacation and we need something to keep us occupied until she comes back, I suggest the following contest: design a symbol for the character fomerly known as Fain (hereinafter "TCFKAF"). If Prince can give himself a symbol, we can give one to TCFKAF.

I nominate a black twister (for college fans, I envision the Iowa State Cyclones symbol, only black).

In addition to Masidar, he also has control over the Black Wind (see TGH).

Thanks for reading my musings.
Mike McD
303. msmcdon
I'm surprised to see so many thinking Asunawa is a pure DF. Recall a few books ago when we see him sitting in his little house in the snow, re-reading Lothair Mantelar's book that founded the Children (forgot the name). It was an outside POV, from another Whitecloak who thought it odd that the High Questioner would be reading that book when it was usually for new initiates to look over.

To me, this reminded me of Morgase's response to being under Compulsion -- she looked for familiar things, like going to see her old nurse Lini. I think Asunawa is under Compulsion. Source? Unknown. Demandred or Graendal, I'd guess.
304. ShaunD
Um...I thought when Moridin was named head honcho that no other Forsaken could use the True Power anymore?I'm not sure where it was said but I remember thinking that made sense.
Daniel Hanley
305. Kythorian
He was, for a while at least. Apparently Graendal has been given very limited access to the TP. She is probably going to loose it after this fiasco, but prior to the events in the Prologue, Graendal was one of the few reasonably successful forsaken around. So it makes sense that she be given that privledge.
Mike Timbers
306. HaloJones
Just listening to the audio of the prologue and I'm shocked at the atrocious reader! My bed-time stories to my kids are better than this. The voices of the characters are OK but the narrator is really poor.
Spencer Pr
307. mycoltbug
I hate listening to audiobooks. To hard to pay attention and notice details. I wish there was an online version. Oh well. This is free and 14 days earlier than the real book.
Mike Timbers
308. HaloJones
Wikipedia's entry for Balthamel now contains a spoiler of his death from this prologue!
309. Prince of the Morning
Hi guys I am new here.Its been 5 years for me since I started reading WOT.Love all the comments posted here.

Most here seem to think that AWOL will be based on Ishamel's character.But what about Graendal.I myself have not read the prologue but there are some here who have posted that Graendal mentions "light" in it.For a forsaken it is supposed to be taboo.

Well she is smart and may figure out the DO's ultimate plan and change her alliegence to the light.May be AWOL will be based on her character.......Just a thought.
310. UnhappyWOTFan
Okay, so I've started the book. I won't give away any spoilers, but so far it looks like all of RJs original stuff has been rewritten in this one, so it keeps a more uniform style. That's an even bigger mistake than mixing styles. At least in the other one there were wonderful moments that were exactly how RJ had wanted it written and you could tell it was in his "voice." So far this book is even more disappointing than the last. The characters are being written wrong and even something as simple as how they speak to each other is so far from the other books it's laughable. *sigh*

I know many other rabid WOT fans will disagree with me, but I'm guessing there are some who will feel as I do. I just wish they'd hired a ghost writer who was really good at their job and knew how to mimic the "voice" of another author. It's not that hard to learn to use RJs style--he only wrote thousands of pages that could be used as a reference!!! Still disappointed. I probably should just stop. I can't help but skim the Mat parts. Anything with him and Tom are just SO BAD.
311. tesla_sunburn
According to BS several pieces of the book were all RJ. One very long piece being the Finn.
313. UnhappyWOTFan
Thanks, tesla. I'll check keep plugging away. ;)
314. anonymous10000
!!! "Towers of Midnight" spoliers warning !!!

ToM, "Distinctions" - Graendal survived? A few odd things though: First - why will she call Delana to weave the "Compulsion" - AFAIK the waves do not carry "DNA" with them and I don't remember when she or any other Forsaken did call for one of the "newbies" (Forsaken's POV to nowdays Aes Sedai) to wave instead of them. She "masked it" (the "Compulsion") as if she "knew" the end of the scene. Second she saw the balefire through the Portal and survived - hows that possible - balefire doesn't go through portals or portals are immune to balefire? Ok she needs to survive obvoiusy (authors POV), but the scene could have been done better in my opinion. It displayed Mat's luck but in Graendal's "possesion" and I disliked that.

"The Gathering Storm" is very well done. Keep up the good work.

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