Sep 3 2010 2:25pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 15

Some day, Wheel of Time, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this Re-read a gift on my… uh, well, on this random Friday. Here, kiss my ring!

Today’s entry covers the rather stupid-long Chapter 22 of Winter’s Heart, in which some bad guys make other bad guys sleep with the fishes, and Rand helps, and we’re not sure what that makes him anymore, except not a very good family man. Or something.

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

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

And now, have an ominous trumpet solo, and a post!

Chapter 22: Out of Thin Air

What Happens
With his hair dyed black and wearing nondescript clothes, Rand draws little attention as he follows Manel Rochaid through Amhara Market, one of only three in Far Madding that allows foreigners to trade.

Savion Amhara was one of the three most revered women in Far Madding’s history, though none was known very far beyond the lake’s shores. Two men from the city were mentioned in every history of the world, though it had been called Aren Mador when one was born and Fel Moreina for the other, but Far Madding did its fervent best to forget Raolin Darksbane and Yurian Stonebow. In a real way, those two men were why Rand was in Far Madding.

Rand is contemptuous both of Rochaid’s ostentatious clothes, and the likelihood that he would catch Rand following him. Lews Therin pants at Rand that he is the fool, and they have to get out, but Rand ignores him. He’s not worried even when pigeons start crashing into each other from ta’veren effect, since Rochaid already knows Rand is in town; Rand wonders which of the carefully placed hints he left pointing them here they had found. Lews Therin moans that being here “is as bad as death,” and Rand agrees, but thinks killing the traitor Asha’man is more important. As he continues to follow Rochaid, Rand is hit by a wave of dizziness and sees “a murky face” for a moment which makes him almost crash into a passing Aielman, who only apologizes meekly and moves on.

You destroyed them already, Lews Therin whispered in his head. Now you have someone else to destroy, and not beforetime. How many will we three kill before the end, I wonder.

Shut up! Rand thought fiercely, but cackling, derisive laughter answered him.

Rand thinks he’s lost Rochaid for a moment, but then catches a glimpse of him and hurries after, trying to remain inconspicuous. Rochaid ducks into an alley; Rand follows, only to find Rochaid waiting for him. Rochaid has a sword that looks like it has the Far Madding “peace-bond” on it (scabbard and hilt wired together), but has been cut to allow it to draw. Rochaid taunts him that he was easy to bait, and invites him to try to run.

Rand did not run. Instead, he stepped forward, slamming his left hand down on the end of Rochaid’s sword hilt, trapping the blade still half in its scabbard. Surprise widened the man’s eyes, yet he still did not realize that pausing to gloat had already killed him. He moved back, trying to get room to complete his draw, but Rand followed smoothly, keeping the sword trapped, and pivoted from the hips, driving folded knuckles hard into Rochaid’s throat. Cartilage cracked loudly, and the renegade forgot about trying to kill anyone. Staggering backwards, wide-eyed and staring, he clapped both hands to his throat and desperately tried to pull air through his ruined windpipe.

Rand was already beginning the killing stroke, beneath the breastbone, when a whisper of sound came to him from behind, and suddenly Rochaid’s taunting took on new meaning. Back-heeling Rochaid, Rand let himself fall to the ground atop the man. Hard-swung metal clanged against a stone wall, and a man cursed. Grabbing Rochaid’s sword, Rand let the motion of falling turn into a roll, pulling the blade clear as he tumbled over his own shoulder. Rochaid gave a shrill, gurgling scream as Rand came up in a crouch facing back the way he had come.

Raefar Kisman stood gaping down at Rochaid, the blade he had meant to stab through Rand instead driven into Rochaid’s chest.

Kisman and Rand face off, and Rand tells him quietly it is “Time to die,” but then they hear the Street Guards approaching. Kisman says frantically that they’ll both be hanged if caught standing over a corpse, and Rand nods reluctantly. Kisman runs off one way, and Rand another. He thinks he has more to worry about than hanging; the Far Madding Counsels had accepted Elaida’s odd decree about him, and will deliver him to the White Tower if they catch him.

Kisman moves through the crowd, deeply relieved at having avoided capture, and thinks he was a fool for letting Rochaid talk him into trying for al’Thor before the others arrived. He’s angry that he could have been deprived of his chance to live forever, but also because he’s not completely certain whether they are supposed to kill al’Thor or not.

“Kill him,” the M’Hael had ordered before sending them to Cairhien, but he had been as displeased that they were found out as that they had failed. Far Madding was to be their last chance; he had made that as plain as polished brass. Dashiva had simply vanished. Kisman did not know whether he had run or the M’Hael had killed him, and he did not care.

“Kill him,” Demandred had commanded later, but he had added that it would be better they died than let themselves be discovered again. By anyone, even the M’Hael, as if he did not know of Taim’s order.

And later still, Moridin had said, “Kill him if you must, but above all, bring everything in his possession to me. That will redeem your previous transgressions.” The man said he was one of the Chosen, and no one was mad enough to make that claim unless it was true, yet he seemed to think al’Thor’s belongings more important than his death, the killing incidental and not really necessary.

Kisman thinks that Chosen make his head hurt, then feels a scratch on his arm. A man whispers “He belongs to me,” but Kisman doesn’t see who the voice belongs to. Then he sees with horror that his arm is swelling and turning black. He tries to run, but only makes it a few steps before he falls; his last thought is to wonder what the Chosen were punishing him for.

Rand enters the inn where his party is staying to find Lan in the common room; Lan follows him upstairs without a word, and Rand thinks Lan looks dangerous even unarmed, which is not helping their low profile.

Several men at the tables glanced Rand’s way, but for some reason, they looked away hurriedly when he met their eyes.

He stops outside the Women’s Room, where men are not allowed; inside, Min, Nynaeve and Alivia are chatting with the innkeeper, Mistress Nalhera. Rand is not sure he believes Nynaeve’s story that Alivia had “insisted” on coming along, and notes the ostentatious amount of expensive jewelry Nynaeve is wearing, though she’s hidden her Great Serpent ring. Calling her “Wife,” he tells Min he needs to speak with her, trying to be polite by Far Madding standards; he tells through the bond that Min is delighted by the title. Alivia, looking very different from the subdued woman Rand vaguely recalls from the Seanchan campaign, challenges Nynaeve on taking so long to respond, and Nynaeve glares at her before standing. Rand hurries upstairs with Lan, and tells him briefly what happened; Lan only comments that at least one of them is “done,” and goes to pack his and Nynaeve’s things. Rand goes to do the same in his and Min’s room; the women enter, and Min asks why they are packing, adding with a laugh that Mistress Nalhera thinks Rand would have better manners if Min “switched him every morning.” Nynaeve snorts and asks who would want a man you could make “jump through hoops,” and Rand and Min both stare at her in amazement. Alivia opines that Nynaeve thinks about men too much, but Nynaeve ignores her, and Rand explains what happened and why they have to leave. All three of the women stare at him, and Rand doesn’t understand why; Nynaeve shakes her head before leaving, and Alivia tells him he has too much to do to get killed, and should let them help. She leaves, and Rand asks Min if she’s had any viewings about Alivia; Min answers, all the time, but none that make sense.

“Rand,” she said slowly, “you did all that, killed one man and faced another, and… Rand, I didn’t feel anything. In the bond, I mean. No fear, no anger. Not even concern! Nothing.”

“I wasn’t angry with him.” Shaking his head, he began shoving clothes into the hamper again. “He just needed killing, that’s all. And why would I be afraid?”

“Oh,” she said in a small voice. “I see.” She bent back to the books. The bond had gone very still, as if she were deep in thought, but there was a troubled thread worming though the stillness.

Rand promises not to let anything happen to her, and she smiles and promises the same. She adds that Alivia is right, though, and if he can describe these men for them, they can help him search. Lews Therin murmurs about dead men not being quiet, but Rand ignores him, suddenly realizing that he could draw Kisman and the others well enough that anyone could recognize them.

Except, he had never been able to draw in his life. Lews Therin could, though. That should have frightened him. It should have.

Isam studies the room’s reflection in Tel’aran’rhiod, unbothered by the flickering changes in the items in the room.

He could not use Tel’aran’rhiod the way the Chosen could, but here was where he felt most free. Here, he could be who he wanted to be. He chuckled at the thought.

Stopping beside the bed, he carefully unsheathed the two poisoned daggers and stepped out of the Unseen World into the waking. As he did, he became Luc. It seemed appropriate.

Luc stabs the two figures in the bed repeatedly until he is sure they are dead, then lights a candle so he can see their faces, thinking of his enjoyment at getting to kill those two Aes Sedai in the Stone of Tear, even though that had been Isam, not him. He studies the man and woman on the bed, then steps back into the Dreamworld, where his “patron of the moment” is waiting for him. Luc knows he is a man, but nothing else, for he uses the Power to disguise everything including his voice, but Luc is sure the man had to be one of the Chosen.

Few save the Chosen knew how to reach him, and none of the men among those few could channel, or would have dared trying to command him. His services were always begged, except by the Great Lord himself, and more recently by the Chosen, but none of the Chosen Luc had met had ever taken such precautions as this.

Luc tells him his victims were not the right ones, which the man says is “a pity.” Luc asks if the man wants him to try again; the man replies, maybe, but only when he tells Luc to, and reminds him to keep quiet before making a gateway into “a snowy forest glade” and leaving. Luc agrees it is a pity, as he had been looking forward to killing his nephew and “the wench,” but decides to pass the time hunting.

He became Isam. Isam liked killing wolves even more than Luc did.

So, I think my main reaction to this chapter the first time I read it was rather painfully divided between wanting to be in awe of Rand for his sheer badassedness—seriously, you guys, he just crushed a man’s windpipe with like his pinky finger—and wanting to call on the men with the backwards coats and happy pills and sic them on him, because damn.

It was a bit of a shock, honestly, because I had really expected that the triple-bonding thing (and the sexing, lest we forget) from the last time we saw him was going to mellow Rand out a bit, at least for a while. But yeah, not so much!

Too much to hope for, I suppose. This whole progression of Rand’s toward the—well, not Dark Side, not yet anyway, but definitely the Somewhat Sociopathic Side—has been going on for a while, of course, but here is where I think it really started to kick into highly upsetting gear, at least in my perception.

And as always, even while being disturbed by the actual revelations here, I really like the way Jordan shows it to us. I’ve said it before but one of my favorite devices that Jordan employs in his writing is the outsider POV—showing us what our protagonists look like from a remove.

The crazy twist here, of course, is that it is actually Rand who provides this outsider POV, to himself, because he’s becoming so detached from the rational responses to his own actions that we are forced to rely on Min and Nynaeve et al to provide the proper context to judge them in—namely, that his behavior is kind of completely frickin’ scary. I remember I found it both awesome and disheartening at the same time. Still do.

But, okay, at least two of the renegade Asha’man are dead, which was frankly a relief because it indicated to me that maybe this plotline was actually going to be wrapped up in this book for a wonder. (And even more of a wonder, I was right.)

Which leads me to my standard groan of crap, Padan Fain. Not so much for what he did, because hey, one obnoxious tertiary villain down, all yays for that, but for the certainty that it meant that Fain was going to fuck up Rand’s life in some spectacular way, again, Real Soon Now. (And not at all for a wonder, I was right about that too. Pfeh.)

Kisman: We very rarely get rank-and-file Darkfriend POVs in WOT, so this was pretty interesting even aside from all the Demandred/Taim/Moridin hoopla which basically just makes me tired at this point (and which made Kisman’s mental comment about how the Chosen gave him migraines snort-out-loud worthy to me, because man, do I feel you on that one).

I’m… pretty much going to let you guys fight about this one in the comments, because I have totally given up on the Demandred thing at this point. Other than who he definitely isn’t (Taim), I Don’t Bloody Know And I Don’t Bloody Care who or what or where or why the dude is. Other than “Annoying,” I got nothing. Y’all can hug that one out; I’m just gonna wait until ToM, where hopefully he is squished like the very large and obnoxious continually-hiding-in-the-goddamn-cracks cockroach he is. So There.

Far Madding: I deliberately elided most of the description and tidbits in the narrative which tell you what kind of place it is, because this chapter was quite long enough already, thank you, but the upshot, for me, is the impression of something like a Puritan town in colonial New England, except with the genders reversed. That’s not precisely the correct analogy, but it’s as close as I can come at the moment, so it’ll do until someone comes up with a better one.

And I think I gained this impression for one simple reason: that altogether I found the whole thing pretty much exactly as infuriating as I would an actual Puritan village, for pretty much exactly the same reasons. If there are people I want to be around less than a bunch of dour, rigid, paranoid, xenophobic, close-minded, and oh let’s not forget screamingly sexist assholes, I can’t think of them at the moment.

Gah. We might talk about this more later, but for now, I think gah pretty much sums it up.

(Though I will say the name itself, Far Madding, is one of the more lovely references in WOT, in my opinion. Fun fact: I have an antique illustrated book of this poem, published in 1884, on the bookshelf behind me right now, a gift from my mother. It’s one of my favorite possessions.)

Isam/Luc/What The Bloody Hell: Otherwise known as The Scene That Made Me Rewrite The Entire Asmodean Section of the FAQ, aka Sometimes I Hate Everything. Since you’ve all already read the article (right? RIGHT?), I won’t get into how this flung everyone into a tizzy of Slayerdunnit re: Asmodean except to say that I liked the notion a whole lot more on first blush than I do now. Now, well, I pretty much think it’s bunk. We Shall See if I’m wrong!

However, whether or not Luc/Isam killed Asmodean, we do finally find out here that he was the one who killed Amico and Joiya in Tear (nailing their tongues to the door, too. You stay classy, Slayer!), as well as the Gray Man in the Tower in TDR, though honestly that entire incident still confuses me. I think we’re supposed to divine that it was Slayer who shot the arrow at the Supergirls, mainly because that seems much more his style than a Gray Man anyway, but then the question becomes why was a Gray Man there at all? Is this like one of those wacky comedies where, oops, we sent two assassins to do the same job! and hijinks ensue? Because otherwise, it makes no bloody sense to me at all. Not that it matters at this point, I suppose.

(I’m not really bringing up the second Gray (Wo)Man who showed up in Sheriam’s bed, because now I’m pretty sure that was a more or less totally separate By the way I admire your pictures very much incident.)

One thing about this scene I never noticed before was this line in particular: “Here [meaning Tel’aran’rhiod], he could be who he wanted to be. He chuckled at the thought.”

Which is kind of hilarious because I’m pretty sure he means that literally. Basically the prevailing fan theory re: Slayer before this scene was that, since we only saw Luc in the real world and Isam in the Dreamworld, the logical(ish) conclusion was that Luc was “the one who lived” (referring to the Dark Prophecy about them in TGH), and that the dead Isam was controlling his body, which is why (according to the theory) Slayer only looked like Isam in the Dreamworld. Many people also theorized, based on this, that Luc was actually a good guy, and either his “soul” (or whatever) was gone and only his body remained for Isam to pilot, or Luc was in there but trapped in your standard demonic possession sitch and just had no control over the situation.

Well, so much for that idea, eh?

As of TGS there’s still nothing on this to explain why exactly Luc is apparently just as evil as Isam, or why they are BFFs in their evilness, all texting each other like idk, u want 2 kil sum wolvz nao?, or just in general what the hell their Deal is or what purpose the character(s) is eventually going to serve. I find this lack of information… irritating.

I find his continuous linkage with Fain to be significant, though. Jordan often said that Fain was the “wild card“ character in WOT, but I would say that Slayer is just as eligible for the title as Fain is, despite having done less overall. Perhaps it is a Match Made in Evil Heaven.

Or, er, something.

Oh, and I suppose I have to talk about Slayer’s “patron.” Mostly I remember thinking that the instant assumption of many fans that he was Sammael was really perfectly logical, and once Word of God blew that theory out of the water I just kind of shrugged. This sums up the cases for who else it could be pretty well, and really isn’t outdated in any significant way (which points up how little movement we’ve had on this front in, like, ever). If you ask me, my money’s on Taim.

And that’s about what I got for this one, kids. Please assume I came up with another (or, one) clever Godfather reference to close it out, and have a fabulous Labor Day weekend if you’re American, and a fabulous random weekend if you’re not! Ciao!

Richard Chapling
2. Chappers
Always love a bit of Rand to hand combat...
Barry T
3. blindillusion
Rand -big goofy grin- "And I helped." Roll credits.
Daniel Smith
4. Smittyphi
Yay, new post.

I always forget how awesome Rand becomes in combat, just using skills that Lan (presumably) taught him.
j p
5. sps49
I remember my first read of this chapter, with Rochaid wearing red, besworded, and twirling his damn mustaches. I could hear Admiral Ackbar shouting the while time.

(It's a TRAP!)

My opinion is still that RJ changed Taim when the Teeming Hundreds caught on too quickly. There isn't anything to do except go over the arguments AGAIN, and I'm sure we will. TODAY.

Me, I thought Rand was pretty badass. I dunno how it would work out if I needed it IRL, but the edge-of-hand to the windpipe is a basic martial arts technique.

EDIT: oops, this isn't the edge of the hand;
"panther fist" is what I learned the "folded knuckles" as (I see this as the first 2 finger joints folded under with the 3rd still parallel to the back of the palm) .
Tina A
6. Tinaa
The "snort-out-loud worthy" made me grin.

The bit that sticks with me from this chapter is Min's reaction to Rand killing and not reacting at all. If someone I loved could act like that I would be in for some long, hard thinking...
7. earlgrey
Thanks Leigh. The time when Pane is from a Far Madding crowd.
craig thrift
8. gagecreedlives
In first reading through this I thought the grey man in the white tower was sent so slayer could kill him, setting up a bit of a panic of shadowspawn in the White Tower.

Now I think Lanfear sent Slayer to protect the girls to further advance her plots and I think Lanfear v.2 is Slayers mysterious empoyer in KoD (i think thats the right book)


Good one
Joseph Blaidd
9. SteelBlaidd
This bit with Rand has always made me think of Manngin in LoC "He needed killing so I killed him. The drains needed cleaning so I cleaned them."
James Hogan
10. Sonofthunder
Mm, I always love the Far Madding chapters, just because we get to see a little more of Rand being awesome. Beast. I guess we've seen him using the OP for so long to do his heavy lifting...we forgot he's a pretty effective mano-a-mano fighter as well. He doesn't need no bloody sword! Of course, as Leigh(and Tinaa) mentioned, Min's response to his detached emotions is chilling. No fear? No concern? I think if I was going up against a man with a sword, intent on killing him, my heart would be racing at a million beats per minute! Of course, I'm not the Dragon Reborn. "It needed to be done." *shudders*

And we also get to see two of the Shadow's hounds in the same chapter(even if one of them is a bit off the leash at the moment). Joy. Fain always irks me(is he not one of the most evil persons in the whole series? Mm? Ok, I guess we have a lot of Evil in the series, never mind) but Slayer is such an enigma, it always makes me happy to see a scene of his.

Again, this chapter's full of yummy Rand goodness, complete with Lews Therin on the side, drawing talent included! That would creep me out. Yeah. But sadly, Rand's almost used to this by now. Ah Rand, carrying such a mountain. We feel for you. All you ever wanted was to be a simple shepherd.

Thanks for the post, Leigh!
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
Funny, I have the opposite reaction to some - the Far Madding chapters don't do much for me. At base, my problem is why the heck Nyn would give Rand and Lan a boost knowing it would set off the guardian and get troops there in a hurry. Too dumb for words. Also I get a bit tired of the Far Madding man bashing. And too much Sea Folk whining. And I was always confused whether Fain or Slayer sliced up the second renegade Asha'man. Some bits are good (this hand fight scene and more Verin sneakiness in particular).

12. Rand McNally
Happy Birthday!!!
13. Tenesmus
I am glad you posted the scene of Rand's Badassness verbatim. That is one of about a dozen scenes that are vividly etched in my minds eye. I just love it! Definitely between my Top 5 and Top 10 WOT visualizations.
j p
14. sps49
RobMRobM @11-

I don't think Nynaeve knew about the guardians yet. And her smaller use of her Well later (before they head for Blue Carp Street) doesn't seem to cause a fuss, although maybe they had left before the po-po arrived.

I wonder- do the FM ter's act for the True Power? Probably not, and we will likely never know.
James Jones
15. jamesedjones
Re: Rand's lack of emotion

I dunno. We know that Rand was getting harder and harder, there's no way around that development, but I've never been able to shake the impression that this is a special case.

We've seen from Rand's POV that his AM are a sword that might turn against him at any moment. He doesn't consider this as part of a betrayal, but a natural progression from the taint. Dashiva seemed to be leading the renegades, and he's never been all that stable. Plus, there was Rand's intent to kill Flinn and Narishma if they gave him the chance in the last book. I think the last point is key here. While this is a major assumption, since Rand never comes out and says or thinks it, I believe that Rand simply considered the maddness as a potential possibility for the AM attack. Not mentioning it, even to himself, is understandable considering his concern about hearing LTT.

I can't think of any point where Rand decides that the AM might be darkfriends, except maybe in the ambush with Fain. We know that Rand is moving beyond sorrow (with his Made of Suck list), so he might not feel anger at the thought of putting a "rabid dog" down.

Edit: to add "attack" in order to clarify
16. CaitieCat
À propos de rien, Leigh, Monday is Labour Day in Canada. I can only assume that this is the same as your bizarrely-spelled variant. ;)
17. ian b manc
Fain. One of my favourite bad guys in WOT.
I find his evilness less mundane than the forsaken, and thus more creepy. The nastiness that infects just by being in his presence. Pure hate and anger in one filthy scrawny ball of violence.
I've always had the feeling is that he will be the key to defeating the Dark One permanently. Especially since he was right there at the beginning. The player in Risk who everyone ignored until he captures 3 continents in one go.

And as for the Great Hunt: Loving it!!
Birgit F
18. birgit
Slayer's employer is probably the same person who is pretending to be Sammael later and sends Trollocs south.

And I was always confused whether Fain or Slayer sliced up the second renegade Asha'man.

It was Fain's Shadar Logoth Dagger.
Bonnie Andrews
19. misfortuona
Hand-to-hand fighting, men getting down and dirty. Simply sheepherders becoming cold hearted killers. Ah the things that make fantasy wonderful.

Thanks again Leigh. Excellent and funny post.

I totally agree with your take on Rand's response to killing the AM. He's doing what he's expected he'd have to do since he founded the farm, destroy weapons gone mad or turned against him.

Not much more to say, other than YAY Rand.

Mis-wondering if we're going to get a WoK thread to play on as well now
Morgan Crawford
20. Jenesis
For me too the most memorable part of this chapter is Min's reaction to Rand not feeling anything. As an aside I thought Min liking being called wife was cute

Also Rand learned hand-to-hand from Rhuarc (sp?) and other Aiel.
Sydo Zandstra
21. Fiddler
We're getting to interesting stuff again, finally, IMHO. Interesting enough for me to comment anyway :p Bad book coming up after this one...

I find his continuous linkage with Fain to be significant, though. Jordan often said that Fain was the “wild card“ character in WOT, but I would say that Slayer is just as eligible for the title as Fain is, despite having done less overall. Perhaps it is a Match Made in Evil Heaven.

That, and there is still a standing order for Slayer to eliminate Fain, from way back in TSR. And, on purpose or not, the trail still seems to be hot...

In general, I find the FM Guardians an interesting concept, and something that had to show up with all the Randland history...

Also, famous channelers coming from FM are not exclusively False Dragons. Verin is from there as well. I wonder how she found out she could channel...

I think the same goes for Cadsuane, but I'm not sure if she just visited FM before, or was from there...
23. AndrewB
Leigh, thanks for another excellent post.

Question to ponder. Do you wish we had more Forsaken/Dark minions PoVs concerning their opinion of Fain?

I do. I want to know what the Forsaken think about Fain. Do they fear him? Do they underestimate him? Do they consider him insignificant that they do not bother to think about him? You get the picture. (I know we got Mordin's statement that he thinks that Fain is a rat. But what we do not know is if he underestimates Fain.) Like Leigh, I too think that Fain will have a bigger role to play in the next two books.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Matthew Smith
24. blocksmith
My first post using the New Box.

First off, Leigh, Congrats on the safe birth of your nephew. Perchance is your family Red Sox fans?

The Rand introspective further convinced me (recent history not withstanding) that LTT was real, not memorex. The whole "I can't draw a lick, but now I could paint their likeness" thing. I may have been wrong...but at least there was a lot of evidence supporting it.

I thought the hand to hand was very well down and yes, confirmed Rand has still got "it". Further enforced by how he did not understand why people shied away from meeting his eyes after observing that Lan was still MOA Personified.

Have a great labor day weekend everyone...and those of you (us) on the Northeast coast...batten down the hatches.
25. Dolphineus
After reading this re-read, and then reading the linked FAQ articles, I think we need to address the 1.4.04: Who is Slayer's mystery employer?

It can't be Mazrim Taim

From your WH re-read (this very page)
"Few save the Chosen, knew how to reach him, and none of the men among those few could channel"

None of the men who knew how to reach him could channel, save the Chosen.

Pretty clear it ain't Taim.

(as an aside, what an annoying captcha you have)
Sean Arthur
26. wsean
Some of the Taim theories have him as a sort of apprentice to Demandred. In which case, it could indeed be Taim.
27. Danofire
In this quote, Is LTT referring to himself, Rand and Moridin when he says "we three"?

"You destroyed them already, Lews Therin whispered in his head. Now you have someone else to destroy, and not beforetime. How many will we three kill before the end, I wonder.

Shut up! Rand thought fiercely, but cackling, derisive laughter answered him."
Brandon D
28. Ishmayl
The entire Far Madding sequence is one of my favorite in the entire series, and mostly because of the interactions between Lan and Rand (in particular, their last interaction, coming up not too terribly long from now). It is also where, in my opinion, we first really see how hard (and badass) Rand has become, as Leigh pointed out.

However, though I think Leigh meant to get to this point, since she was talking about other peoples' perceptions of Rand, and she also quoted a specific line, she never mentioned it directly, and I just want to bring it up here.

Take a look at the quoted text above:

Several men at the tables glanced Rand’s way, but for some reason, they looked away hurriedly when he met their eyes.

Which came right after Rand was thinking to himself how much of a hardass Lan looked, and how that wasn't helping them to blend in. To me, this was basicaly RJ's way of showing us that Rand was just as badass (if not moreso) than Lan, and his attitude, demeaner, and general walking/strutting-gait was just as problematic in those regards as Lan's.

Also, as far as the mystery Forsaken is using Slayer, I always just assumed Demandred, because Moridin has never bothered disguising himself, and Dashiva/Osan'Gar/Aginor has never done much of anything useful at all, and I took it for granted that Sammael was dead at this point. I suppose it could be Taim pretending to be Forsaken, but that seems unlikely, with Slayer's perspective about how "few dared to use him."
29. Freelancer
Hi Leigh,
And that’s about what I got for this one, kids. Please assume I came up with another (or, one) clever Godfather reference to close it out,
Sounds like an offer I can't refuse.

It's a quibble, to be sure, but Rand didn't kill anyone in this chapter. Oh, Rochaid would have been a kill, but Kisman poached it from him by mistake. And then Fain kills Kisman.

Slayer's daddy here has to be Demandred. You know, the guy you don't have the energy to guess about any longer? Who else would hide themselves so thoroughly when dealing with the dark's most reliable assassin(s)? Why would Taim feel the need to disguise himself to Slayer? Just saying, seems like a fit with the guy who hasn't shown us even a glimpse of his secret evil lair yet.

Smittyphi @4

It was much more Rhuarc who taught Rand the unarmed combat techniques, though Lan did indeed begin those lessons.

RobMRobM @11

Nynaeve was under the mistaken impression that drawing the Power from her well wouldn't ignite the Guardian the same as it would drawing the Power from the local ether. She was wrong, and Cadsuane will tell her so quite pointedly RSN.

jej @15

Well, possibly, but it was the main function of Rand's trip to Far Madding to lure in the Asha'man whom he had reported to Taim as renegades. Too many forget to give Rand credit for being a fair strategist and thinker. I don't believe he feels that madness is part of what motivates these four, or he wouldn't have depended on them finding his clues, or actually chasing him down. He believes that they are acting in accordance with someone's orders, and that pretty much has to mean a darkfriend somewhere.
Lannis .
30. Lannis
Hmm... swanky new Comment Box... nice upgrade, Tordot!

I can remember reading this chapter and thinking "can we leave Far Madding already and Do Something? Why are we wasting our time on these doofs?" Yeah... Far Madding--though Min seems to enjoy it--doesn't cut it for me. And on rereads, I feel the same way... lets get to the Cleansing already!

Thanks for the post, Leigh! Enjoy your weekend!
Jennifer B
32. JennB
Far Madding...Another place that I don't think that I would want to visit.

Long ago, when I first read this chapter, I thought Slayer was after Lan and Nynaeve. Later I realized that Lan would be his cousin not his nephew and he was after Rand.

I have never understood exactly how the guardians are supposed to work. They block access to saidar within the city and saidin both within the city and some distance outside. Okay, so then what's with the big arrow that points to places within the city where people have channeled?? If you can't channel in the city without a well, then what sets off the arrow when Cadsuane is meeting with the council? She and Nynaeve are the only ones with wells and they are in the building.

Maybe I should wait until we get to that scene since I am probably not remembering it correctly.
33. Demira
I picture this scene with Rand's defeating Rochaid, like the new Sherlock Holmes movie, where the cinematographer slows the live action down during the fight, and we hear Rand,( or in the movie, Robert Downey Jr), narrating the moves in advance . This is one of my favorite Rand scenes.

Having Lan there again is a real treat for me. I always feel safer when a warrior has my back.

I am so torn about Kisman's POV. A few little sentences that told us everything, yet revealed nothing. Its like giving a starving man a potato chip! *sigh*. But still, I was glad to have at least known he is no more.

I had totally forgotten about Sheriam and that gray man being in her bed. Thanks leigh!
j p
34. sps49
JennB @32-

Yeah. The triangulators (quadrilangulators?) tell you if someone is in the city channeling-which they shouldn't be able to do, no? or if someone is on the lakeshore having fun, gating in siege supplies, or chucking rocks at you. The design purpose is not clear to me.
Ron Garrison
35. Man-0-Manetheran
I love the Far Madding chapters mostly because of all the weird stuff that is thrown in. Ok, not thrown, but carefully deposited nuggets:

LTT's little aside: "How many will we three kill before the end, I wonder." I don't know how many times I passed over that without asking "three?" WTF? Now it seems likely to be Rand, LTT and Moridin.

Then the little "'Kill him,' Demandred had commanded later" Huh? What? Where did you come from? When did you meet up? Where? And off we go without explanation.

As I said, all of Far Madding is strange. Right off there is the map - not the one at the beginning of the chapter - the ones on the end papers. This huge lake has no tributaries. It's probably just the map makers error, but still... weird.
36. MSedai
"idk, u want 2 kil sum wolvz nao?"
And, that's pretty much why I love this reread, and Leigh.
Bobby Stubbs
37. Valan
Thanks Leigh! I love the Far Madding chapters. Well, I love Rand's entire storyline in this book, its the reason Winter's Heart is up there on my fave WoT list. Also because Mat is back, and is awesome. And hilarious.
38. Hari Coplin
Oh, I tell you all, Taim is Be'lal, despite the weak balefire.
Tricia Irish
39. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh! I kind of like the Far Madding sequence because it's so different. I love Rand's awesomeness, and yes, as someone above pointed out, his hand to hand combat skilz have to have come from Rhurac and the Aiel. His cold matter of factness about killing those who need killing, was chilling, and also kind of thrilling in a ruthless, business is business kin d of way. No gray there. Very clear.

The juxtaposition of Min's liking it when he refers to her as his wife, and then her chill when he is matter of fact about killing Rochaid, is brilliant. Two ends of the emotional spectrum.

I am completely at a loss as to who was controlling Slayer/Luc....I always was, and I'm still in the dark. Pick a Chosen any Chosen...who's still around.

Fain has had too much screen time to not be very important in the last two books. He's always precipitates some big event. Will it be Rand who kills him, do you think? (It would be so funny if after all Fain's obsessing over Rand being HIS to kill, if Rand just looked at him and zapped the scene in the first Indiana Jones with the knife wielding Berber in the market. ) Not likely, I know.

Also, I do not remember any gray man in Sheriam's bed? Where? When? Ick.
Tess Laird
40. thewindrose
I am pretty sure Rand condsiders the renagade Asha'man darkfriends. In his point of view as he is following Rochaid, he thinks:
Maybe Rochaid was meeting Darkfriends. But if so, why had he waited?

Some of Rands(LTT's?) arrogance is definitly leaking out/showing itself with his comtempt for Rochaid. Not thinking that this could be a trap - which he finds out it is. And then later(chaper 33) he leads Lan into the next trap set for him.

And wowowowow - I have read these many times, but never put Fain and Slayer being covered in the same chapter before(this chapter I mean)!

Now to go against the arrogant comment I had above, I also appreciate how Rand doesn't realize that he radiates the same dangerous air as Lan.

Lucas Vollmer
41. aspeo
Good job Leigh!

Here's my take on this chapter, even though I think a lot of it's been said already.

I love this first scene with Rand fighting! It's another one of those scenes that I think would be great to see in a movie. Rand is such a badass here that I can see why the men in inn a little later won't meet his eyes. He thinks that Lan is hard looking, but right now I bet he looks even more so.

Also it's pretty telling just how hard Rand is getting by the exchange he has with Min. He is so hard that it's almost a wonder that he didn't come closer to snapping sooner than he did in TGS.

Far Madding is a bit of a strange place with the way the people act, but at least they can be reasonably safe from channelers. I would imagine that the ter'angreal makes the people feel a little more secure than a lot of other places that don't like people who can channel. I do find it interesting that a place like Far Madding has produced some very big name channelers. Besides the two false dragons, I'm pretty sure Cadsuane and Verin came from there. That's fairly impressive to me.

All I have to say about Slayer is that I hope he dies soon. He just gives me the creeps every time I read about him.


LTT's little aside: "How many will we three kill before the end, I wonder." I don't know how many times I passed over that without asking "three?"
WTF? Now it seems likely to be Rand, LTT and Moridin.

It's kind of crazy that Rand seems to be aware of it, but doesn't seem to be too worried about doing much about getting Moridin out of his head.
42. Hari Coplin
Oh, Demandred has a high opinion on himself, but I think he is the current king of Murandy, though he has conspired the Borderland trouble also.
Captain Hammer
43. Randalator
Please assume I came up with another (or, one) clever Godfather reference to close it out

You mean "Say hello to my little comments section!" or "Who put this re-read together? Me, that's who! Who do I trust? Me!" or "You know what The Wheel of Time is? Getting re-read! Next Tuesday!" or something like that?

Oops, that's Scarface...but still an offer you can't refuse.

aspeo @41

I love this first scene with Rand fighting! It's another one of those scenes that I think would be great to see in a movie.

Reminds me of Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi...big build-up to a fight scene, words back and forth and then WHAM!, blink of an eye and the fight's over...
44. Hari Coplin
Oh, I think Luc could channel, or rather learn to channel, thus he could be turned. For once, I do not think Graendal is Slayer's employer; though I do think she now, with Sammael dead, controls the gholam.

Oh, well, lastly, with ToM coming, Graendal did kill Asmodean, because the killer had to see Asmodean was going to open that door, which wasn't just any door but a small door... etc.

--Graendal's favourite
john mullen
45. johntheirishmongol
Some nice Rand awesomeness here.

What I like about each of the cities in WOT is that they each have their own character and flavor. Far Madding is different from Ebou Dar which is different from Caemlyn..etc. I think its one ofthe main aspects that hold the world together.
Scientist, Father
46. Silvertip
@32 JennB: I have been confused on the same point ever since first reading. Maybe Leigh and/or the usual guru suspects here can help us sort it out when those chapters come around.

Slayer's patron, I got nothing, except: It would be somewhat Jordanesque (?) to have the one thing Slayer was sure of be wrong, i.e., to have the patron be female.

Thanks for the chuckles, Leigh!

Jennifer B
47. JennB
Hari Coplin @ 34
Good idea. That would explain why Luc is evil. I guess we assume that Isam was raised evil because he was lost in the Blight as a baby. Poor kid.

Sps49 @ 34 and Silvertip @ 46
Glad I am not the only one. : )
Kate Collura
48. dreamwalker
A chapter with both Slayer and Fain is pretty much the height of creepiness. I can't quite figure out why Slayer's existence in this story bugs me me. Both are exceedingly weird creatures, presumably for some specific purpose to the story that we haven't seen yet, but somehow Fain's weirdness makes a certain amount of sense to me. I get that he has to be the way he is to serve his function (whatever that may turn out to be). I even sort of get how he came to be as he is. I cannot even begin to imagine why Slayer has to be a real world/dream world combination of two random people joined by their evil souls or whatever. I'm not even going to try to adequately describe what Slayer is because I don't think it can be done at this point.

Anyway, I have no doubt Slayer is more than just a T'A'R assasin and that in ToM we will find out why he has to be such an indescribable freak of the Pattern (or whatnot), but as of right now ???????

Speaking of weirdness, Demandred states at some point that he doesn't want anyone but himself (or the DO) to kill Rand. It seems he won't be satisfied uness he kills Rand with his own bare hands. So why is he ordering lackeys to kill him? Don't have the quote right now but does anyone else remember this?
Captain Hammer
49. Randalator
dreamwalker @48

Well, if it was a "KILL HIM BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY"-order straight from the DO then what's a poor Demandred supposed to do? You don't argue with ALL CAPS orders...
Tess Laird
50. thewindrose
JennB - Here is an article from The Thirteenth Depository that descibes Far Madding's Antichannelling Ter'angreal:(Please forgive me, I knew how to use the bbcode link, but I keep getting hung up with trying to use the link in this box::shrug::)

Far Madding possesses a ter’angreal with a three-fold function (or perhaps two or three ter’angreal): to duplicate a stedding against saidar and another against saidin, and to detect both saidin and saidar being channelled inside and outside (for at least a short distance, since Narishma was able to go beyond the range of the ter’angreal and give a demonstration) these steddings.

It does this by creating “invisible protective bubbles” that block people from touching the One Power. The Guardian doesn’t stop weaves being made, since a channeller can use a well inside the ter’angreal’s stedding however, just as in an Ogier’s stedding (Winter’s Heart, The Hummingbird’s Secret). More sinisterly, the Guardian can’t stop the True Power either (Storm Leader report from The Gathering Storm booksigning in Philadelphia).

The larger stedding against saidin begins about a mile from the lake’s edge and it surrounds the smaller stedding against saidar which begins before the bridge to Far Madding’s island (Winter’s Heart, To Lose the Sun). The ter’angreal’s very function prevents its or their examination or removal (Winter’s Heart, Among the Counsels), since like in a Stedding a channeller in Far Madding can neither channel nor feel the True Source, nor, according to Sarene, can a weave made outside affect what is inside. Yet Nynaeve thought that a weave aimed into Far Madding from outside, as Rand was threatening to do, should work (The Gathering Storm, Scents Unknown). This would severely compromise the protection the ter'angreal offers if Nynaeve is right.

The ter’angreal is a double pointed red oval rimmed with yellow sitting in the centre of a blue and white tiled intricate maze. Around the edge of the tiled floor are three clouded crystal discs a span across inlaid with a long thin wedge of clear crystal that points toward the centre of the floor. Metal collars surround the murky discs, marked off like a compass but with ever-smaller markings, probably numerals, between the larger. A woman watches each of these discs (Winter’s Heart, Among the Counsels). If a man channels within range of the ter’angreal, the clear wedges on each disc turn black and point to roughly the same direction. The women then establish his location using triangulation and a map. If a woman channels, the ter’angreal apparently reacts in the same way, except that the wedges turn red. Once the channelling stops, the wedges immediately turn clear and point to the centre again. Kumira speculates that the ter’angreal may be able to do more than this (Winter’s Heart, Among the Counsels).

Interestingly, Rand hid Callandor just outside the ter’angreal’s stedding against men, so the ter’angreal would have detected his channelling and location (Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal).

Far Madding’s ter’angreal are believed to have been made during the Breaking, as protection from insane male channellers (Winter’s Heart, To Lose the Sun).

(Much Thanks to Linda for this thorough research!!!)

I hope this helps with questions.
Ron Garrison
51. Man-0-Manetheran
aspeo@41: You are right. Cads and Verin are both from Far Madding. The chapter coming up is outstanding with sneaky Verin having to adopt an assumed name as she was exiled from FM. The last two paragraphs of that chapter are highlighted in my copy! It all has to do with Rand's hardness that you mention here.
I'm not sure that he is aware of Moridin in his head, per se. I think he is just getting better at ignoring LTT and not really paying that comment any more attention than I did previously. Nice way RJ has of dropping a clue and then giving it the brushoff.
Thomas Keith
52. insectoid
Better late than never.

(...) it meant that Fain was going to f*** up Rand’s life in some spectacular way, again, Real Soon Now. (And not at all for a wonder, I was right about that too. Pfeh.)

Don't you hate being right all the time? ;)

Oh dear—let's not get into discussing Asmodean again!

Rand: Is badass... but is getting so cold it's a wonder Min can stand him. (Of course, this is just a drop in the bucket until TGS...)

Fain: Not him again! Isn't one group of Darkfriends per chapter enough?

Slayer: GYAH. Also, his employer is undoubtedly (in my mind) Demandred, because he has been the most secretive up till now (we don't even know where he is!).

Birgit F
53. birgit
Also, I do not remember any gray man in Sheriam's bed? Where? When?

Sheriam found another Gray Man. A woman. Dead as last week's fish, and not a mark on her. She was laid out as if resting, right in the middle of Sheriam's bed. Not very pleasant for Sheriam."

TDR ch. 29
Max Espensen
54. Andvari
So, one of the things about Far Madding I always wonder is how it doesn't fit in with my theory about gender in WoT. Why is the world, generally, is power and structures of power more female-orientated? Amongst most cultures there is a hierarchy whereby women are preferred (Andor, Seanchan (always Empresses for the last thousand years), Sea Folk (always Mistresses of The Ships), Aiel (Wise Women - men can't be wise though they are clan chiefs I suppose)). Obviously Jordan was trying to make a specific point about genders and flipping the roles of our own world's (getting-to-be historical) system but what is the internal logic to it? The only obvious conclusion is the free use of the One Power by females. Even if it is not specifically used outside Aes Sedai by rulers per se it gives the overall impression that women are, in a generalised nebulous sense, more powerful and therefore capable of power, much as presumably in our historical societies men with their overall superior physical strength and more competitive nature (yes, I know it's a generalisation but is indisputably overall true from a biological and sociological perspective) naturally became more likely to be leaders and once social attitudes get set it is obviously much easier to enforce them.

This is all well and good, and there is places like Tear, where channelling by either gender is forbidden and so here women are not generally in the positions of power, Andor with its strong ties to Aes Sedai have a great predilection for female rulers, even insisting that men cannot be monarch. However it does fall down in Far Madding. This is the one place where channelling is not so much frowned upon as physically impossible. This should be a place where women are not seen as more powerful or authoritative than men, and if you apply our historical attitudes if anything men should be more likely to be in power. And yet it is probably the place in the world where men are subjugated most. It just seems out of reason. Of course, there are al ot of assumptions made but only ones which are logical and most obvious conclusions drawn. That was quite a long-winded way of making my point but there you go. I suppose I was just trying to show that it's something I've thought about rather than just came to a half-baked theory in my head on the spur of the moment.

I personally quite like the Far Madding chapters, for the record.
Tricia Irish
55. Tektonica
Birgit@53: Thank you for the Sheriam reference. I had no idea it was that far back. I never would've found it on my own.
lin mei
56. twicemarked
To Andvari@54,

Being a famous false Dragon may well require personal skills beyond channeling. To organize a following and to inspire followers are no simple matters. Most of the 7-footer can not play bastetball.

It is very likely that the famous false Dragons from Far Madding rise to power using their personal charm and political savy, and then discover they can channel. Thus Far Madding had experienced the horror of male leadership turning out to be dangerous mad men. As a result to prevent any future occurance of such events, it evolved into female domination.

It is like the pacifist constution of Japan. Due to its militist past, it adapted a pacifist view, even though no other country that started large scale warfare took the same stance.
Wayne Wilson
57. stylusmobilus

The guardians have a dual role, detection and prevention. They should detect the source anywhere within range, even within the city boundaries. In fact, it would be pointless to have detectors that wouldn't work inside the danger zone. Also, it is likely that the makers of the guardian knew of 'wells', and factored that into the design.
Jada Lewis
Graendal killed Asmodean per RJ.
j p
59. sps49
Thank you, D1RTNAP, for reminding us of Vercingetorix's question which is discussed in the WOTFAQ. From years ago.
Lawen Griffith
60. Lawen
I do not often post, but I have two things to say.

1. Thank you Leigh, I have been reading the re-read since the beginning and really look forward to it. Please know that your work is appreciated.

2. There is a chapter in KOD, I believe it is called In the Gardens. There is a Forsaken meeting that is seen from Halima`s POV. It is announced at this meeting that someone disguised as Sammy ordered 100,000 + Trollocs into the ways. These Trollocs then attack Rand and co. at the manor house in Tear. Halima thinks to herself "I wonder who is playing at my game?" I took this to mean that she had disguised herself as a man and ordered Slayer to kill Rand and Min in Far Madding. The only weakness I see is, "how did she know Rand was in Far Madding?" But if the FAB 4 could figure it out, how hard would it be for a Forsaken?
61. violetdancer
Lawen beat me to it. Having a woman's body and voice, Aran'gar is the only one with a good enough reason to be so disguised in contracting Slayer. Birgit@ 18 and Silvertip@46 came very close.
I'll go back to lurking now.
Scott Terrio
62. Renegade248
Everyone here should check out the new ebook cover of TGS. It is awesome and Leigh's input made it happen. Thank you Leigh.

Also check out the ToM book trailer at dragonmount. Pretty awesome and made by fans.
Valentin M
64. ValMar
Indeed, no new spoilers :)
Been waiting for this moment for 11 years. It ain't easy to have a favourite character in a series of 14 books and she not to be in bloody half of them.
So yeah, good job Jason and team.
mark Proctor
65. mark-p
D1RTNP: You have ruined it now ;) Actually I think he ignores the Graendal part, so maybe it is someone else after all.

Also from the cnn chat is this question:
Question from Rodynus: Was the name of Far Madding a literary allusion to An Elegy in a Country Churchyard?Robert Jordan: No. That straight-out answer shocked you, didn't it?
I thought the name came from the Thomas Hardy novel (only because I had never heard of the the earlier poem, Thanks to Leigh for the link) but could be a coincidence too.
Spencer Fancy
66. UnknownSoldier
Hey, asking this here because it's the newest entry and I can't find any "general" area to comment for the re-read.

So basically I read the entire series during the Summer of 2005, and I believe Knife of Dreams during that Fall. Now, I bought The Gathering Storm earlier this year but haven't had to chance to get around to it until now (was doing a re-read of another series). The problem being I can only remember vague things from the series, and since I don't feel comfortable jumping right back in I thought it was about time for a re-read, which lead me to here.

So all that leads me around to my question. In the first entry it says spoilers regarding the series up to Knife of Dreams is to be expected, but that was a year and a half ago. What I'm wondering, from anyone who has followed the re-read the whole way, is are there any spoilers for The Gathering Storm?

(Took me forever to get to the question ;3 )
Valentin M
67. ValMar
UnknownSoldier @ 66
Yes there are spoilers- a lot of stuff happens in TGS! Naturally, the spoilers begin to appear in posts/comments made after TGS was published last autumn.
Richard Chapling
68. Chappers
TGS was released at the end of October last year, so nothing posted before then should have spoilers, but you might want to stay out of the comments, since some are almost certainly people posting stuff like "Ah-ha, I knew X would happen because of this." When Leigh finally gave up not talking about TGS, she did mention it, and after that the posts all say they have TGS spoilers.

For easy reference, the last post before TGS was released was the last one of LoC, and the warning about TGS is then in the first of ACoS.

Okay, got beaten to it, so a different warning: pages can end up hugely long, especially if there was a gap between posts, or other random crazy ensued. :)
Chris Chaplain
69. chaplainchris1
Pretty cool chapter - but as others have said I'm kind of annoyed at how little there's been of Fain and Slayer since this. I was sure Fain was at work in So Harbor, when we saw the weirdness there, with everybody dark and paranoid and dirty, but that seems to not be the case. As for Slayer - I think he's cool and creepy, but he's had *very* little screen time - much less than somebody like Shiane or Bornhald or etc. This seems a waste - given that he was introduced via Dark Prophecy way back in The Great Hunt, and that he's related to both Rand and seems weird that there's been so little pay-off. I can't help but wonder if this is a part of the expanding story that got away from RJ a bit?

Anyway - awesome chapter and re-read. And have y'all seen the book trailer for Towers of Midnight! MOA, y'all - seriously.
70. BiggMann
Anyone ever wonder why the Children of the Light didn't set up shop in Far Madding? Seems like the perfect place for them: easily defended city, no one able to channel, a bit closer to the 5 main cities of Illian, Tear, Tar Valon, Camlyn, and Cairhein to spread their influence, no order (or rather centralized government) in the surrounding countryside, and it is a major center of commerce.

I never understood the point of the gray woman in Sheriam's bed thing.

No one has asked the question, "Why didn't Fain kill Rand while he was stalking Rochaid and ignoring all else?"

You wanna talk badass? Just think of how bad the little Rand-Avienda mites are going to be!

What does MOA mean? Cannot figures that out. Took me a minute to get FM and and a second or two for AM.

Can you believe Carolina almost pulled that out?,
Sandy Brewer
71. ShaggyBella
MOA = Made of Awsome, I'm pretty sure.
But could the Rand/ Aviendha mites take on the Mat/ Fortuana clan? If any of the above ever get together to create said offspring, that is.
Jonathan Levy
72. JonathanLevy
Suddenly a wave of dizziness hit him, a murky face filling his vision for an instant, and he staggered against a passerby

Moridin channeling again, eh? I wonder, has anyone collated all the cases when Rand gets dizzy without seizing the source, and compared them to all the instances we know where Moridin channeled? It might be interesting to see if there's exactly the same number, and if they match chronologically. It would give us a firm date on all those Forsaken tea-time parties.
Jonathan Levy
73. JonathanLevy
Andvari 54

Yeah, if any particular place in Randland might be expected not to have a strong Matriarchy, Far Madding would be it. I definitely agree with that. But the fact that it isn't is just a burr under the skin, not a blatant contradiction. It wouldn't be the first time a cultural way of thinking remained in force once the original reason for it had disappeared. Come to think of it, most cultural conventions remain in force even if the original reason disappears.

Also, little, minor, picky quibble: I think Ebou Dar is the place where men are subjugated the most. There, a woman killing a man is considered justified unless it can be proven otherwise. When a man gets married, he gives his wife a KNIFE, and tells her to use it if she is DISPLEASED with him. Boy am I glad I didn't get married there, let me tell you that.

Speaking of submissive husband, isn't this quote simply delightful?
Nynaeve snorted. “Who wants a man she can make jump through hoops whenever she likes?” Rand stared at her, and Min’s mouth fell open.

Nynaeve forgot that not everyone else knows that she has to obey Lan's every whim in private, and enjoys every minute of it!
74. Elezar
I really liked this chapter, because it reminded us that magic isn't everything. In the earlier books, the point was made quite a bit, that learning the sword and hand-to-hand combat was very important. Rand even forced Taim to include lessons for the AM. However, we haven't seen anything of it in awhile (I think the last time was when Rand killed the Warders after being kidnapped by the TAS). I liked getting the reminder that Rand isn't one-dimensional in his fighting ability, especially in such a kick-ass (And disturbing!) way. I have a feeling this is going to be Very Important somehow, in the final 2 books.

Sps49 @ 34, Silvertip @ 46 & JennB @ 47
Here's the tl;dr version of what thewindrose quoted:

The Guardians' normal use is to detect channeling in the general area of Far Madding. It's just that because of the way they work, they coincidentally also can point out someone using the Power on the island. The First Council (Or whatever the leader of Far Madding's title is) even tells Cads that the Guardians might have glitched when they identified Nyn channeling in the city. So, it certainly isn't the expected functionality for them to identify anyone in the city (At least now. Possibly the makers during the AOL considered wells).

aspeo @ 41
I don't think that Rand is aware of the link to Moridin yet, at this point. The last time before this, that he mentioned the face he sees, he assumed it was LTT's face. I think he's still working under that assumption now, and he dismisses LTT's comments about "we 3", etc, as evidence of how mad LTT is (He even made a comment not too far back that LTT seems the most mad when he sounds the most sane, after LTT made a similar comment)
Jonathan Levy
75. JonathanLevy
SteelBlaid @ 63

Thanks for the link! Unfortunately, in preparing the trailer they accidentally used a draft version of the dialog, instead of the official version, which I am reproducing below:

My Dearest Bela,

When you receive this you will be told I am dead. It may be that one day soon, you, Wind, and one other horse may try to rescue me. If you do, it must be only you three. More or less would mean death for us all. Should you still decide to come for me, young Mat knows the way. But come soon - we've run out of oats, and I am getting hungry. May the Light keep you safe, and perhaps I will nuzzle you again soon.

- Aldeib
Thomas Keith
76. insectoid
Pretty quiet around the bunker today... until I played that preview on the big-screen. (Nice and loud, that is :P ) To quote our Fearless Leader...

OMG! Moiraine! Squee!

JLevy @75: BAHAHAhahaha!!

Birgit F
77. birgit
Anyone ever wonder why the Children of the Light didn't set up shop in Far Madding?

The Children seem to be men only, and Far Madding is ruled by women. And you can't use the excuse of hunting witches to terrorize people in a place that channelers avoid.
78. BiggMann
birgit @77,

Although the AS never attacked the Whitecloak fortress, they do not believe that the AS have taken any Oaths, or that they mean anything if they did. Therefore they should be worried about added protection of their HQ from the OP if they ever got their wanted war with their "witches", or just a sneak attack, or even some madman channeling against them.

And I was assuming the Whitecloaks would execute a hostile takeover of Far Madding and become the de facto rulers of it. My fault for not making that clear.

They could use the excuse of this is the only place that has given rise to 2 false Dragons that commanded enough followers to make them known throughout Westland's history. "This place has fallen to shadow and needs the viligance only the Children can and care to provide." That type of logic.

That trailer was hot. Were there any others made for past books anywhere?
79. alreadymadwithfarmadding
BiggMann @70
Precisely because there are no Aes Sedai there, nobody for the Children to rouse the rabble against. Besides, the women will switch them.
Realistically though, taking over Far Madding is easier said than done for an army built around the military doctrine the Children favor. They are primarily cavalry, and while they can easily take the surrounding plains, actually making it past the bridges to take the city is a different matter entirely. They would need to build siege engines and some how get those onto the bridges before Far Madding can muster its own defenses. That is if the inhabitants don't simply scuttle the bridges. It's built on an island in the middle of a lake. Extremely defensible.

MOA is either Moment of Awesome, or Made of Awesome, depending on usage.

JonathanLevy @73
That's just Nynaeve being Nynaeve. Conveniently forgetting that as Wisdom of the Two Rivers, she was constantly trying to get people to jump on her say so. And continuously frustrated that the Village council would not jump for her.

Seriously, my reaction was two-fold. On the one hand, it was MOA that Rand could kill without even feeling anything. On the other, it was also cause for concern at how callous he had become. And then there's the fact that Rand's skill is equal to a blademaster, and we know Taim and his cronies absolutely detest learning the sword. So Rand could probably tell how good Rochaid was with the sword just by how he carried himself with it and could see he was no threat to him. What do you know, that's a threefold reaction.
Maiane Bakroeva
80. Isilel
IMHO, it is pretty interesting that Demandred and Moridin only gave the DF Ashaman fourthsome their orders _after_ their initial attempt failed, i.e. after they left the BT. And that initial attempt was commanded by Taim alone. IMHO, that makes it likely that Demandred's involvement with the BT is minimal.
Also, I wonder about Taim's motivations - those 4 were known to be his favorites and leutenants, seems kind of dumb to use _them_ as an assassination team.

Otherwise a loss of some promising potential Dreadlords. Seems kinda strange that they didn't think to enlist some fellow DFs with experience of mundane combat or assassination, though.

I really like Rand's and Lan's interaction in Far Madding - IMHO it is a great pity that due to various misunderstandings and suspicions those never became as close friends as they could have been.

And yea, it is nice to see Rand to rely on skills other than strength in OP and/or LTT's memories of nifty weaves. For once, he is using the skills that he had mostly learned as himself. I don't see LTT as a HtH fighter, somehow... Of course, stalking the fourthsome by himself was a bit dumb too and would have gotten him killed, but for being ta'veren. Still, pretty cool.

Far Madding - yet again, RJ kind of skirts logic here. Like, if men are so powerless there, wouldn't they be unfit to be guards?
Also, Far Madding may have some other protections against invaders.
Re: WCs setting up shop there - isn't Far Madding on Almoth plain? I thought that founding a WC state there _was_ in Niall's plans?

Re: TOM trailer - I really hope that this is the sign that Moiraine will not only appear there, but will also have a lot of screen time. She is my favorite WOT character and I have been waiting for her return for what feels like forever!
Jay Dauro
81. J.Dauro
Don't we have a comment that LTT helped to take swords and make it a killing art?
82. alreadymadwithswords
Isilel @80
Indeed, it was a waste to send his four most trusted lieutenants. But then again, short of going himself, he probably thought four against one was enough to insure success.
Almoth Plain is the large scrap of empty space between Arad Doman and Tarabon way over on the western edge of the Westlands. The plains around Far Madding are the Plains of Maredo, and it's in the crossroads between Tear, Illian and Andor.

J.Dauro @81
Yes, it was Belal who made that comment, IIRC. Making LTT himself one of the first, if not the first blademaster during the AoL. In fact, I'm pretty sure his swordsmanship was the first of his skills to bleed over into Rand. Long before the random weaves and drawing skills. How else would you explain standing as if a heron marked blade belonged to him within weeks of picking it up? Then standing toe to toe against an actual blademaster some months later?
83. BiggMann
AMWFM @79,

Just have WCs enter the city in extremely small groups until you have a sizable force inside the city living in different areas of the city and/or disguising themselves (like what the AS were doing to Rand in Caemlyn), then when your main force draws the FM guards attention to the city's bridges, you already infiltrated force attcks from behind at one of the three and secures that as an entry point. Then it is sheer weight of numbers that would win it for the WCs. Besides, the FM guards are a police force which would be no match for a military campaign with proper or no political involvement. I know easier said than done, but this was meant to happen hundreds of years before now.

Isilel @80,

No, Almoth Plain is on the west coast of the Westlands between Tarabon and Arad Doman while Far Madding is south of Caemlyn, north by northeast of Illian, and north by northwest of Tear.

Another Random Thought,

Anyone thinks that maybe the lake that FM sits in may be connected to the lake that now sits in Rhuidean?

Also, I think Demandred currently resides in the Land of the Madmen attempting to organize them for some chaotic invasion of the Westlands. That place surely was Shadow controlled at the end of the War of Power and stayed that way during the Breaking. I think of that place like Antartica, Greenland, or Iceland and we think that it was Demandred that left Slayer for a snowy landscape.

Randomly Thinking Again,
84. alreadymadwithwhitecloaks
They'll be disarmed as they are inspected upon entering the city. And it's not like Whitecloaks can easily disguise themselves as anything else. Subterfuge isn't one of their strong points.

I don't see how the lakes can be connected. They are separated by a huge distance with various types of terrain in between. Rhuidean's location was clearly selected on the basis of having an available reservoir of water underground. Far Madding was selected because of its defensible location.
Sydo Zandstra
85. Fiddler
@ARM, Re: Whitecloaks setting up shop in Far Madding.

They won't be disarmed, they just will get that wire on their swords (which Rochaid and Kisman easily took off). And since there is no policy in FM concerning Whitecloaks, there is no need for a disguise. They can just enter as Whitecloaks, like everywhere else in Randland (possibly barring Tar Valon, although I think they can enter but just don't dare to do so).

So, having a few advance Whitecloaks squads, and armed too, inside the city would have made it easy for the Whitecloaks to take at least one bridge, and that would have been enough to take the city. Far Madding has no standing army and no possibility to raise forces by feudal means (even if they did, it would be outside the city, so that is no real factor).

The Whitecloaks probably didn't go to Far Madding because they didn't think they needed a bolthole, and rightly so. Until the Seanchan attacked Amador, they were secure enough there.
86. AndrewB
Another reason that the Whitecloacks did not go to Far Madding is that Far Madding is a city-state. It has no villages/land beyond the city. In other words, if they ruled the city, the Whitecloacks writ would only last until the bridges.

What the Whitecloacks wanted was their own nation (without the need to act through a puppet king). This was why the Whitecloaks wanted to take Almouth Plain in the earlier novels. Had they set up their own kingdom, they would have contolled all of the villages on AP, as well as the city of Falme.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Sydo Zandstra
87. Fiddler
Oh, on a side note, Whitecloaks all ride horses, but that doesn't necessarily make them all cavalry.

They don't have pikemen, but I'm assuming they can hold their ground as sword infantry. I've always seen them as allround fighters. There was a cavalry charge on Almoth Plains, but being cavalry only just wouldn't be practical with their purpose of neutralizing AS...
Hugh Arai
88. HArai
Fiddler@87: The purpose of the Children of the Light is not to neutralize AS. They were formed to be a counter to Darkfriends. Most of them may equate AS with Darkfriends now, but I don't think we have any proof Lothair Mantelair originally made that connection. In fact, I think Galad's behaviour indicates otherwise. Regardless of that side point, Pedron Niall was considered one of the Five Great Captains, and it's highly unlikely such an expert military man would build a military organization composed solely of cavalry.
Ron Garrison
89. Man-0-Manetheran
AMW@79: "They are primarily cavalry, and while they can easily take the surrounding plains, actually making it past the bridges to take the city is a different matter entirely. They would need to build siege engines and some how get those onto the bridges before Far Madding can muster its own defenses. That is if the inhabitants don't simply scuttle the bridges. It's built on an island in the middle of a lake. Extremely defensible."

I think it's actually more like Extremely Vulnerable. By occupying the approaches to the three bridges, an army would cut FM off from all supplies. There is no river for boats to supply the island, so it is only a matter of time until the food supply on the island runs out. Then their only choice is to surrender.
Ron Garrison
90. Man-0-Manetheran
oops. dupes.
William Fettes
91. Wolfmage

I don't think it's particularly useful to view the disparate cultures of Randland as being overly determined by the presence and use of saidar in their native lands. That a subset of women can safely exert magical power in this raw sense is obviously one important factor in how Randland views women. It’s easy to see, for example, how habitual recognition of such power can morph into political legitimacy over time. The White Tower, as a hyper-power, certainly exerts tremendous influence over the mainland, and Aes Sedai are imbued with special status by virtue of this power and mystique that this naturally permeates gender role perceptions across mainland cultures, even in the absence of a domestic class of channellers.

But it’s not just the uplifting pull of female magic that raises female status, it’s the repellant push of tainted male magic that reinforces the divide. You can’t overlook the fallout from the male taint as a separate issue – which is far weightier than merely the negation or absence of male channelling power. Given the history, attitudes about male channelling have a lot of potential for overspill into general views about male corruptibility and their responsibility for the breaking of the world. We see that attitude consciously present amongst the Reds Ajah, so it’s not beyond the pale to think it probably has some subtle long-form influence on Randland cultural development as well.

But even beyond that, I find the strength = power function far too schematic an approach to sociological and political development, even in this kind of a fictional fantasy setting. I think we have to give RJ’s gender inversion a tad more credit than that.

I mean, look at the Aiel Wise Ones – channelling is incidental to their status in Aiel culture. Sorilea is regarded as amongst the most fierce and intelligent of them and she can barely channel at all. Moreover, Bair is as formidable as any woman in the series, and she cannot channel at all. I don’t think a power function adequately explains this even if you're prepared to take the step to claim dreamwalking is a kind of power.

As for Far Madding – I think it makes perfect sense as a very stiff-upper-lip, insular society that happens to be stuck in a matriarchal setting. The important point is that it's stuck - not necessarily that it's matriarchal. I mean, look at Cadsuane’s silly remarks about Bandar Eban in TGS. She can’t stand the fashion, the moustaches, the spicy food and the unkempt streets. She is expressing a certain kind of social conservatism, excerbated by her permanent state of curmudeonly old-age, which reflects the underlying cultural ossification of Far Madding. They are a very insular society which mimics at a sociological level the magical protection they hide behind.
92. BiggMann
Wolfmage @91,

I think the difference with the Aiel is that their leadership directly knows their full history, not the victors' rendition of it. Can't really put it into words, I just think their system of leadership selection makes them stand out as a people.

Reliving the history of your anscestors and your people gives the leadership enough sense not to rely on birthrights, physical appearance (size, beauty...), wealth or even intelligence to select new members of the leadership. Being exceptional in any one or two of these things do not necessarily make good a leader. They don't even select the ones they think can survive the experience, as more than a few do not.

Can you view the Aiel system of government as parallel to the American system? With the hundreds of Wise Ones far outnumbering the 13 Clan Chiefs (congress to the executive cabinent), then you have the Roof Mistresses (state governors), and now they have their Car'a'carn (President). But the CCs seem to be closer to the people than the WOs, their tents are not separate and the WOs can cross clan feuds.

I'll dig on your other point once I'm sure I know what ossification means. ;) But I think you're right.

AMWWC @84,

I meant connected in some sort of magical way (the Guardian vs the significance of Rhuidean), or the same underground source. Something weird and fantastic.

MoM @89,

I didn't think of the supply issues of FM, which could be the best reason not to invade unless you plan to control the surrounding countryside at least 30 miles out on all sides. But maybe the WCs could do that.

Loving the Aiel but could never be one (too damn hot and dry in the Waste),
93. Daezer
Leigh, I was trying to get to your tgs full review, with seems to have embargoed the page. Is it available?
Thomas Keith
94. insectoid
Daezer @93: Someone should let Torie know about that... it's been a problem for a while. Site has a 30-second timeout for loading pages, I guess, and the TGS Spoiler Threads are both too big to load in that amount of time.

Tess Laird
95. thewindrose
hmmmm - Commenting seems to be 'Out of Air'.

Jonathan Levy at 75 - Ouch, I had thought Aldeib and Mandarb were an item...

Leigh Butler
96. leighdb
Hi all,

Unfortunately there will be no Re-read post today. Sorry, guys, but it just wasn't going to happen, for reasons too numerous to explain. I will post the next one as regularly scheduled on Friday.

As to the TGS spoiler review being unviewable: I've asked about that before, not sure what the problem is. I will notify TPTB about it again.

Also, quick note to say thanks to all y'all who have expressed appreciation for the Re-read in the comments and elsewhere lately. These past couple of weeks have been... a lot, and the support is genuinely awesome to have. Really, thanks, guys.
Rob Munnelly
97. RobMRobM
Leigh - and we thought you were going to be Labor-ing on Labor Day (grumble).

Just kidding - we understand. See you on Friday.

James Hogan
98. Sonofthunder
Aw Leigh, we'll miss you...but we'll survive. Maybe.

Looking forward to Friday!!
diane heath
99. jadelollipop
:( to hear that the re-read is delayed. Hope all is well with you.
When I realized that Monday was Labor Day,I had gone back to see if you had planned to wait til Friday so not surprised that there is no Tuesday post.
Have a good week :)
Jay Dauro
100. J.Dauro
We always appreciate your hard work in feeding the ravenous hoardes here on the re-read. And although there will be much twitching and moaning we will survive.

All of us look forward to your masterful summations, but even more to your insightful and humerous comments.

See you Friday. **twitch**
Eric Hughes
101. CireNaes
Your reviews and this community have regularly been some of the brighter points of my weekly grind. Thanks for your work Leigh and thanks to everyone else who makes this site enjoyable.
Tina A
102. Tinaa
Aww, boo. No post. ~Pouts~

I hope all's well Leigh, and we'll survive till Friday. Hopefully. Cagematch, anyone?
Jack Diamond
103. violetdancer
Here's something to help me with while awaiting Leigh's excellent Friday post. Does anyone recall where (book/chapter) Egwene was reunited with Bela?

I thought it was when Egwene arrived in Salidar, but I may be confusing that with the T'A'R Bela she rode there. I'll post this on a few other threads too.
diane heath
104. jadelollipop
IIRC it would have been in Salidar. Didn't Suiane use Bela to escape from TV with Min and Leane?
105. BenM
leighdb: are you going to be getting an advance copy of ToM and review it, the way you did with TGS?

Tina Pierce
106. scissorrunner
Hope all is well Leigh, twitching looking forward to Friday!
OK I'm gonna twitch anyway.....

Voiletdancer I think jadelollipop is right about Bela.

cagematch? fun! topic? who?
Kurt Lorey
107. Shimrod
Leigh, for taking on the burden of this onerous task (putting up with all of us, lol) - I salute you!

All of us await you with patience and understanding.

Don't we, everyone??? Hmmmmm?

Straighten those lines! Chins up! Shoulders back!

No whining in the ranks.
Thomas Keith
108. insectoid
Leigh @96: ::gasp:: Oh the horrah! I hope everything's all right.

Umm... what does TPTB stand for?? ::puzzled look::

Shimrod @107: Well said!


Leigh Butler
109. leighdb
Insectoid @ 108:

TPTB: The Powers That Be.

Who have temporarily reposted the TGS Spoiler Review for you guys, by the way, because they rock.
Swami Holanwanda
110. SwamiHolanwanda
Leigh @ 96

I seldom post despite reading all your re-read entries. They are great fun and I just cannot believe how you can make even the most tedious chapter (and yes, I am talking Elayne, Perry and Faile here) sounds witty and interesting. So thanks for the countless hours I spent reading your adventures with the desk (that must hurt) over the past....wait, can it really be over the past one and a half year? Wow, it seems yesterday!
Hope everything will be all right.
Rob Munnelly
111. RobMRobM
@102 - so, you want a cagematch? Battle of the re-read posters


1. Wetlander

2. Freelancer

3. Subwoofer

4. Tektonica

5. Master Al Thor

6. Already Mad

7. Lsiel

8. Birgit

1 v. 8 New World versus Old World gurus

2 v. 7 Crankypants II v. Crankypants III (Just kidding, of course - mostly).

3 v. 6 Battle of the Wild Guys

4 v. 5 Heart of Midwest versus Voice of New South

Voting on first round below closes at 12 noon tomorrow (Wed)

Thomas Keith
113. insectoid
Leigh @109: Of course... that makes perfect sense! :) And yes, they totally rock.

RobM² @111: ROFL!! Okay, if that's what it's gonna be...

1 Wetlander v. 8 Birgit: Wetlander, because of her supreme Walls-o-Text.
2 Freelancer v. 7 Isilel: Free, just because.
3 Subwoofer v. 6 Alreadymad: Sub; he never fails to make me laugh aloud.
4 Tektonica v. 5 Master Al'Thor: Gosh... this is a tough one. I gotta choose one, so... um... Tek.

::runs and hides::

Chris Chaplain
114. chaplainchris1

a) not surprised with it being Labor Day weekend; so no fear!
b) your re-read is awesome; I'm so grateful to have found it;
c) if you've not noticed from the Book Trailer thread, I blame you for adding "squee" to my vocabulary, but I will keep reading *any*way; I love what you do *that* much; and
d) I find myself looking forward to your review of ToM nearly as much as I look forward to reading ToM myself. No higher compliment can I pay.
115. Freelancer
RobMRobM @111

I discharge a flatus in your general direction.

Also, she wouldn't stand a chance, IMHO (YMMV).
Tina A
116. Tinaa
RobM² @111
... SO not getting into that one! Just NOT!
(What have I done?)

~hiding in the bunker with Insectoid~
Rob Munnelly
117. RobMRobM
@115 (ducks)

I understand this is a somewhat evil grin project but I was inspired to come up with something different for the re-read by having lunch and brews with Forkroot and his lovely wife earlier today during their visit to Beantown. EDIT: obviously, not their fault and I didn't discuss this concept with them. The specific concept was inspired by Tinaa at 102 (waves).

I should also note that decisions of who made the cut and not among the many worthy candidates was difficult and required the imbibation of several cups of coffee and a snickerdoodle to make the requisite arbitrary decisions on inclusion and seedings. YMMV to the nth.

Rob Munnelly
118. RobMRobM
For poops and giggles, I'll put my votes in.

1 v. 8 - Surprisingly close match where Wet's volume, depth and consistency tip out Birgit's pinpoint precision on finding relevant support citations and statistical compilations. I bow before both gurus.

2 v. 7. Most brass knuckled match of the day between our two most opinionated, thoughtful posters. Very tempted to go with Lsiel based on the uniquness and independence of her Randland worldview but, again, tipped out by the depth and quality of Free's portfolio, plus that little extra zing he brings to many of his posts.

3 v. 6. Have to go with the Woof man based on the creativeness and range of his contributions (e.g., the Tor dingleball).

4 v. 5. MAT wins in a battle of heavyweight contributors (not physical, no no no).

Tricia Irish
119. Tektonica
So sad there's no new post, but I do understand....glad you had a bitty break, Leigh. Hope all is well. Have a cookie.

RobM: We need a much bigger field! We have time to kill until Friday, after all! I am honored (I think) to be included, but oh, it's all too weird. (I do like being "Heart of the Midwest" tho.)

And BTW, why aren't YOU on that list?!
120. daviddragon3
Long time reader first time poster here.

Leigh I just want to say thank you. The re-reads are amazing and have been my source of many hours of pure bliss. I find myself turning blue as I wait for your posts then with great relief I get to swim in your fantastic wit and passionate pros. I have been reading these unbelievable books since they first came out in 1990 and the characters have become some of my best friends over the years. Sad but true. I first found your re-reads over a year ago and I was amazed at how much you see and how much I missed. And the posters in the comments have been just as through and insightful as well as a little intimidating. I guess I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you and your re-reads and how I look forward to your bi-weekly posts.

Keep on keeping on sister Randlander.
Sandy Brewer
121. ShaggyBella
103. violetdancer

WOT encyclopaedia - Bela

Egwene rides Bela from the Salidar Aes Sedai camp to the River Erinin where her men are waiting with a boat. CoT,Ch30

Gawyn brought Bela to Siuan when she went to rescue Egwene TGS Ch40

She's my namesake, after all! (Or me hers..whichever-Edit)
Rob Munnelly
122. RobMRobM
Tek - you were actually intended to the be the Voice of the New South. If you were from Fla originally, you would have been Old South.

I'm open to recasting this as a group of 16 but it was a bit too ambitious for me after having my two beers at lunch. Also, a group of eight fills up time between now and Friday (noon on Wed, Thurs and Fri for the three required votes to pick a survivor).

I thought about including myself but decided....nah. Cagemaster's prerogative. Call me Crankypants IV if you'd like.

Tricia Irish
123. Tektonica

Florida isn't the South! It's Southern New least on my coast. But I'll be whatever you need me to be. (I'm from Illinois, via Iowa and NYC, btw.) ;-)
John Skotnik
124. ShooneSprings
@leighdb - You and your re-reads are indeed awesome and I hope life improves for you soon.
Sam Mickel
125. Samadai
I am going to the Portland, OR, WAY of Kings signing next Monday the 13th. If anyone has any questions they would like me to ask, about WoK's or WoT please let me know.

Also if anyone would like to meet up put a comment in my shoutbox.
126. up2stuff
shaggybella @ 121, violetdancer @ 103,

Suian was riding Bela on the way to and from the meeting with the nobles at the andoran border when Egwene starts her push to take over the SAS. It was the meeting she called in TPoD, Ch. 17. Although technically, she wasn't riding Bela since she "was't suitable" for the Amyrlin so maybe that is not what was meant by "reuniting".

I have been following the posts as they come up, but am also doing a re-read, er... listen via books on CD. Im in Path of Daggers now. Keeping all of the timelines straight is a bit confusing, but a fun challenge.
127. Elezar
violeetdancer @ 103,

If you mean the actual moment they would have been reunited, it probably would have been in one of her first few days in Salidar. Siuan rode Bela to Salidar, so she would have been there already when Egwene arrived. Surely Nynaeve at least would have told her, once everything calmed down a bit. But, if you mean their "on-screen" reunion, up2stuff already answered that. :)
Jonathan Levy
128. JonathanLevy
thewindrose @ 95
Ouch, I had thought Aldeib and Mandarb were an item...

He's so obviously gay, Aldeib never looked at him twice.

(ducks for cover)

Freelancer @ 115
I discharge a flatus in your general direction.

What are you doing in England?
129. Freelancer

Alright, so I've wondered for quite a time, and never asked. Why do you so commonly substitute the name Lsiel for Isilel? Inquiring (and apparently opinionated, according to you) minds want to know.

Jonathan Levy,

One needn't be AT a location to target a gaseous emission TOWARD said location. Aside from that, I'm not letting you inside my castle.

Not much WoT being discussed until Friday's post, it seems, so I'll shift gears. Just a few moments ago I finished The Way of Kings. I expect to ruminate over it for a few days and then go back through it again. I have no intention of writing the equivalent of a review, but I am compelled to say that anyone who is a lover of epic fantasy must immerse themselves in Roshar. While recognizing that a substantial portion of my life will be spent waiting for volumes of this story, I am content to do so. Magnificent.
Rob Munnelly
130. RobMRobM
Free @129 - Sam asked me precisely the same question in a shout. My answer is - her name looks likes it starts with an L on my computer screen, and assumed that was it. The internal misspelling is due to fact I got it wrong in my head one of the first times I saw it and never realized I was spelling it incorrectly until advised by Sam (and you).

Also watch out for those feelthy English K...niggitts.

James Hogan
131. Sonofthunder
Free @129,

I feel I'm one of the last ones left who hasn't read WoK! I'm putting it off until after my move to Scotland(partly because if I got it now, it would take up far too much room in my bags). It makes me most happy to see so many glowing remarks from those whose opinions I value. I was initially going to wait for the paperback, but I don't think I'll be able to muster that kind of self-control. Alas.
James Jones
132. jamesedjones
131 Sonofthunder

You might be one of the last, but you're not the last. Rave reviews or not, I'm not touching that series until book 8 or 9, at least.
Tricia Irish
133. Tektonica
Sonofthunder@131 & JEJ@132:

I'm waiting too. I did buy the book, but between WoT and Malazan Book of the Fallen, I'm swamped.

It is comforting to know I have something so highly recommended in the wings!

Is anyone else having trouble with Tor loading slowly this AM? All other sites seem to be normal.??
Jack Diamond
134. violetdancer
Thanks everyone re my question on Bela/Egwene reunion.

I found what I was looking for.
135. Freelancer
Sonof thunder,

I wouldn't say you're even remotely among the last. The book was released on Aug 31. I didn't want to blast through it as I did TGS, so I was careful to break it up into 8 sessions of around 120 pages each, allowing myself maximum immersion.


After I closed the book last night, I sat there wondering how much larger a story Brandon has in his mind, that this was volume 1 of an expected 10. The story arcs begun here, seem as if they could encompass no more than 3 additional books. There are a great number of things which were not precisely introduced, but certainly suggested, giving room for expansion in a variety of directions, but trying to imagine 10,000 pages of this saga and what it will all include? Boggled, I am.
Tess Laird
136. thewindrose
Tek - Slow over here too. -Its just one of those days...(Yes the Limp Bizkit type - what? - I listen to just about everything:)

I am excited to read tWoK, busy with life, but it is pulling at me. It will be hard to have to wait for the next 9! books, but I am a WoT addict so have that down pat.

I don't think I am going to touch the new cage match, lets just say the cage master gets pummeled by Bela(or that should be trodden).

Lucas Vollmer
137. aspeo
I'm getting tWoK tonight after work! I received a gift card to Borders, and tonight is when I finally get to use it. The series certainly seems ambitious, and from the chapters I read here on it seems like it might live up to the hype.

To be somewhat WOT related I have a question.

Who is controlling Taim? Is it Demandred? Maybe Moridin? Or is he vaguely under someones control, but now becoming more of a forsaken class person on his own?
Rich Bennett
138. Neuralnet
leigh - Hang in there and thanks for the rereads... more people look forward to them than you realize I bet
Rich Bennett
138. Neuralnet
leigh - Hang in there and thanks for the rereads... more people look forward to them than you realize I bet
Bouke de Boer
139. Bouke
Seeing as how these re-reads improve my life, I'm going to wish you all the best, Leigh! Because I'm selfish!

And also because you and your re-reads rock...
Bouke de Boer
140. Bouke
Sonofthunder @131: You might want to get it now anyway, since the UK release hasn't happened yet...

That's why I can't wait to leave this island and get my hands on a copy somewhere else!
Barry T
141. blindillusion
Sonofthunder, Free, JEJ, Tek.

Nope, not the last to pick up WoK. Truth to tell, I haven't even seen the book in person yet (which seems sad really, as it means I haven't walked into a book store in the last few weeks).

But with the reviews the book is getting, I don't think I'll be able to resist picking it up before 2011 rolls around. Yet, like Tek, I'm reading through Malazan (which captures you pretty quick, roughs you up a bit, lets you think you’re in the clear and then goes in for the a pretty MOA type of way).

Still, need something to read once ToM is merrily sitting on my shelf, read through twice and examined extensively on tordot.

And Leigh at 96.

You rock, of course. A large part of why I rediscovered my love of the Wheel of Time (besides the group of ...err... buds I talk with in the comments) is this re-read. I mean...if it wasn’t for you, I’d probably actually be doing work on Tuesdays and Fridays...and...just...the shame of it all.

Anyway. Thank you.

We Bag Heads Saints fans have to stick together, after all.
Marcus W
142. toryx

I'm still around. Just not much to say, lately. For myself, over a year of chatter on the re-read leads to the feeling that everything to be said has been said already. Maybe that'll change when ToM is released.

I never tire of Leigh's commentary.

I've been curious to see what people have to say about Way of Kings. I don't expect to read it myself but I like to see people enjoying books that work for them.
Tricia Irish
143. Tektonica
I wondered where you'd gone, Toryx. Nice to see you again, so to speak. Do pipe up once in awhile.

These chapters aren't very ambiguous, in general, and I imagine a lot of peeps are on vacation, but hopefully we'll get a full head of steam again further on and after ToM...squeee! Only 2 more months...not even!

Hey Blind...where are you in Malazan? Nice description of what the author does to you! Absolutely agree. Did you see Erikson dropped into the reread? Very cool.
Julian Augustus
144. Alisonwonderland
Freelancer @115
I discharge a flatus in your general direction.

Great movie.
Rob Munnelly
146. RobMRobM
OK - since the re-read guru poster cagematch has gone over about as well as a wet flatus, let's blink our collective eyes and pretend it never happened. The problem (problem?) is that we are peace-loving, group oriented sorts who don't enjoy ripping each other up in a cagematch setting. So...we'll cancel it or at least defer this type of effort to a future date when we are feeling particularly feisty, if not out and out bloodthirsty, such as following re-read chapters involving Crankypants, a couple of Sea Folk, Nyneave and Fain...and maybe someone like Toram Riatin. Something like that, yes.


p.s. In any event, congrats to the participants and thanks for playing.
148. Rand Al'Todd
Spent much of DragonCon watching Brandon and my son play Magic into the wee hours. I concur with many others that Brandon is a great guy.

There is another thread that has the link to the book preview and comments on the two sections Brandon read from the ToM Prologue.

Brandon did give me a RAFO on a general question about seeing more of Cadsuane's backstory on screen.

He shot down my glorious Looney Theory about Cadsuane's "toothless old wilder" Norla playing a role in winning TG. Norla is so important to the last book that Brandon hasn't even looked at RJ's character file on her.

I still think Norla is/was Latra Posae Decume (from the Strike) who later gained the name Shadar Nor. The Strike "article" includes a footnote which specifically states that no one knows when or how she died.
Ron Garrison
149. Man-0-Manetheran
RobM2 - Good move. I really am uncomfortable pitting my WoT friends against each other, even in a hypothetical way. Especially the 8 you selected as I admire them all.

Toryx - ::waves:: I haven't contributed much lately either. Even though I find Winter's Heart a much better book than many, there still isn't much to haggle about. Come on ToM!

Leigh - We love you and miss you when you can't post. It's a dose of giggles we all look forward to. I can scarcely imagine how difficult it must be to be funny when RL hands you a load of crap. OK kids, let's all channel some spirit her way!
150. Freelancer
toryx @142

Let me begin by saying that your business is your business, and none of mine. It's not my concern whether you choose to read a particular work, or why. That said, I'd like to make a suggestion. If your decision to not read the Stormlight Archives is due to a less than positive impression of any of Brandon's other stories, you might wish to reconsider. The most impressive thing about this first volume, in my eyes, is the measurable leap in maturity of the story's presentation compared to Mistborn or Warbreaker. I don't like comparing authors or stories, but the closest analog I can think of for the scope and depth which Brandon has introduced is Dune. If, however, your reasons are other than these, I'll shut up, smile and wave.

Rand Al'Todd,

Yep, Brandon is a fairly nifty guy, as well as an awesome Magic player. And he's a pretty good storyteller, while he's at it.
Regarding Norla, I find it incongruous that Cadsuane herself could have spent great amounts of time with someone and not uncovered even a hint of such a huge secret in a person's past. She may be unpleasant, but she's incredibly observant, and a grand master at digging out truth.
Valentin M
151. ValMar
Bouke @ 140

They sell it in Forbidden Planet store in London.
Hugh Arai
152. HArai
Rand al'Todd@148: You think Latra Posae Decume would come across as a wilder? She was surely educated and trained to a level far beyond modern Aes Sedai and one of the hardest things to hide is knowledge you're not supposed to have.
John Massey
153. subwoofer
Wow, I go schleppin' through the brush for a few days and things go all bonkers. Hunting season is looming so I scouted some trails and put up some tree stands, but I ran outta liquor and dry stuff to burn so here I are.

Rand- all that training with Rhuarc & Co. finally pays off.

Rand barely heard the voice in his head. Suddenly he knew he did not have to describe Kisman and the others. He could draw them so well that anyone would recognize the faces. Except, he had never been able to draw in his life. Lews Therin could, though. That should have frightened him. It should have.

Yeeeee- big tip off there folks.
Cage match?! Wha?

Right, sooooo Alreadymad was Alreadymad when we fought, bit me, so I am also alreadymad, then I had to be put down because people are scared of a little bit of foam... poopy. Pacifist? Me? Phaw! I just didn't want to make it to the next round and have to deal with Cranky Pants Mark I- IV. Scary stuff. Almost as frightening as "what if Cranky Pants forgot to put on makeup and went around in public?" Yeeeeeee!

Er... on other fronts, question- Tuon and Mat- when does Tuon ask Mat about seeing Hawkwing's face and Mat tells a lie to her?

Tricia Irish
154. Tektonica
Hiya Sub! Nice to see you again too! People are resurfacing!

What do you hunt up there? Deer? Elk? Bear? Snipes?
Just curious.

Anyway, I think Tuon asks Mat in the upcoming circus wagon sequence when he's dropping into her wagon with paper roses and being regularly insulted. I'll see if I can find the exact chapter....I bet Birgit knows....she knows everything!
Julian Augustus
155. Alisonwonderland
Rand @148:

I still think Norla is/was Latra Posae Decume (from the Strike) who later gained the name Shadar Nor. The Strike "article" includes a footnote which specifically states that no one knows when or how she died.

Your obsession with making Norla into Latra Posae is puzzling. You do know that if that were so Norla would have been over THREE THOUSAND YEARS old? I mean, come on. Or are you just pulling our legs?
156. Rand Al'Todd
Wall of Text on Norla and Cadsuane:

Enclyclopedia WOT entry for Cadsuane says:
Shortly after attaining the shawl, Cadsuane is taught a humbling lesson by Norla, a toothless wilder in the Black Hills.

But from what we have learned of the Kin, someone who did not use the Oath Rod (binder) would need to be pretty darn old to be described as “toothless” and “old”.

The references are brief:
WH,Ch34 ? Cadsuane recalls her humbling experience with the toothless wilder in the Black Hills.
CoT,Ch23 ? Cadsuane recalls earning her hair ornaments from Norla in the Black Hills.
ACoS,Ch19 - It has been over 270 years since she (Cadsuane) took on a task she could not accomplish.

It is now about 1000NE, so that means about 730NE, when Cadsuane was 25ish – i.e. right after gaining the shawl. So it is easy to presume that the failed task was subduing the wilder Norla, or at least associated with Norla.

Cadsuane still does not know what the toys all do, so something must have happened to stop the “earning” process and cut off the flow of information.

The Strike at Shayol Ghul says that Latra Posse Decume was the female leader of those who opposed LTTs plan for the strike and refused to assist him. During the fighting against the Shadowsworn she gained the name Shadar Nor which, in the Old Tongue, means "Cutter of the Shadow" or perhaps "Slicer of the Shadow." A footnote in the Strike story specifically points out that no one knows when, how, or where she died. (Chekov’s gun is smoking…).

So part of my Looney Theory is that Shadar Nor Latra Posse Decume becomes “Norla.” Since she seems to have had a bundle of "goodies" in her possession when Cadsuane met her, I think that Latra was one of the wagon masters when the Aes Sedai decided to take their toys and run away.

She easily may have taken a doorway to the 'Finn to learn how to survive until the Dragon was reborn and maybe the best way to reseal the Bore. But, if I recall, there are now limits on what one can ask related to the Dark One. (Did the 'Finn impose those limits during the Breaking? Or did they come later?) So maybe the best answer she could get was how to live that long (now about 3000 years).

And the Answer is: Spend time in Portal Stone lands where time passes slower than in "the real world." (Verrin told us they exist.) Come out periodically to look for "signs" that TG is near - info from 'Finns or from various foretelling. (Or she might have just been chased by ShadowSpawn, reached a Portal Stone, and ducked into a Portal World to evade pursuers.)

Perhaps Latra, like Mat, failed to word her request perfectly and she failed to include that she should still be mentally competent at the end. Perhaps she misread some of the signs and spent too much time here and got too old.

Since Latra opposed LTT on the basis that his plan would not work, she must have been very familiar with both his plan and the “physics” of the Bore. Her plan appears to have been to use the giant statues, but the keys were lost behind enemy lines. But she would be one of those most likely to be able to put together an alternative plan, and she’s had 3000 years to do so. So I suspected that Cadsuane could have learned her plan on how to defeat the DO and reseal the Bore. Certainly no one else has actually come forward with an actual “how to” and Cadsuane is emphatic that TG will not be fought the way Rand seems to expect.

Cadsuane says that she swore an oath to live long enough to help the Dragon Reborn. Who did she swear to??? Herself alone, or to Norla – possibly a dying Norla? Is that part of the reason that Cadsuane, a Green, has been spending her career working with male channelers so that now she has faced more than any living Red?

I have been told that RJ said that no one who survived the Breaking is still alive. But I cannot find the statement in any reference, and that still would not preclude Norla from having passed on vital info to Cadsuane before her death.

But, Brandon gave a strong indication that Norla herself won’t get any more screen mention, at least not in enough detail for him need to know the background RJ devised for her.
Barry T
157. blindillusion
For Sub and Tek.

Chapter 3 of CoT: A Fan of Colors


Oh, Tek...I'm still meandering through Deadhouse Gates.
Tricia Irish
158. Tektonica
Thanks Blind.

Your Real Life must be very busy with work, 2 little ones, and a great wife, to keep you from Deadhouse Gates. It's takes a while to get to know all the new people, but boy is the pay off worth it. *grins*

I just finished Memories of Ice. Tragic. With much foreshadowing.....surprise!
Ron Garrison
159. Man-0-Manetheran
Rand Al'Todd: Excellent argument.
I can easily see that she might have regretted her failure to defeat the Dark Lord. She visits the Finn and asks how “to live long enough to get it right.” ...and what you said.
Jonathan Levy
160. JonathanLevy
Rand Al'Todd @ 148
The Strike "article" includes a footnote which specifically states that no one knows when or how she

That's also true of Latra's sister, her aunt, her cleaning maid, and pretty much everyone who was alive at the breaking - we don't know when or how they died. Norla could be Latra's cleaning maid by that reasoning. Not knowing how someone died after the breaking is not sufficient grounds for suspecting they're alive in 730 NE. The fate of most of the Aes Sedai Rand sees in Rhuidean is equally unknown. Perhaps one of them is Norla?

Regarding the footnote, the main point of it was to stress how much information was lost after the breaking - not even the name of the leader of the forces of Light was known, and now that that has been rediscovered, still nothing is known of her fate.

Plus - as someone already said quite well - an Aes Sedai from the AoL would not seem like a 'toothless wilder', no matter how old they were. We met Aginor and Balthamel in TEOTW - they may have been toothless, but wilders? Nah.

But from what we have learned of the Kin, someone who did not use the Oath Rod (binder) would need to be pretty darn old to be described as “toothless” and “old”.

I'm not sure this is 100% precise. I'm pretty sure (but open to corrections) that it's been established that the degree of Slowing depends also on how much a woman actually channels, and that wilders, often being unconscious of their ability, do not channel much in practice. This is why we don't have a 300-year-old wisdom in each village. So if Norla channeled often, being toothless might indicate a great age. But if she channeled rarelyit might only mean she's 100 years old. Also, it might only mean she did not have a good dentist nearby.

I think we're reading too much into a few details whose only purpose is to flesh out Cadsuane's background.
Jonathan Levy
161. JonathanLevy
Man-0-Manetheran @ 159
I can easily see that she might have regretted her failure to defeat the Dark Lord.

Why would Latra Posae consider the failure to be hers? She counseled against Lews Therin's plan, he went ahead regardless, and brought disaster. Why would she consider that her own fault? Much more reasonable to expect her to blame him. In fact, the whole world blamed the Dragon for bringing on the breaking, and blamed him so well that 3,000 years later his memory is still cursed.
Bouke de Boer
162. Bouke
ValMar @151:
Alas, I'm in the Northwest... But no worries, I'm back in the Netherlands in a week to get my greedy hands on a copy there!
Daniel Hanley
163. dmhman749
I agree with most of the people here...while it is an interesting theory, you have absolutely no evidence to support it...even the moost looney theories usually have some tenitive evidence. But the fact that we don't know how Latra Posae died during a time when the better part of humanity died violently and almost all records were lost doesn't have much meaning. And even if she survived, we have literally no indication anywhere that she is in any way connected to Norla.

There are so many kind of out there theories that people have presented that have at least some support in the books that it seems pointless to consider one with absolutely no evidence, and some fairly unlikely conjecture for how it could even remotely be possible under the rules of that world.

Also, given that BS knows exactly how Rand is going to learn how to seal the Bore, or whatever he is going to do, but has not even read Norla's backstory from RJ's notes indicates that she certainly isn't going to be the source of that information.
Marcus W
164. toryx
Freelancer @ 150:

Your comments are quite helpful and your assumptions are fairly accurate. I've read the Mistborn trilogy and Warbreaker. I gave Elantris a try but gave it up. Of them all, Warbreaker was the one I liked best but by the time I finished the Mistborn books I'd come to the conclusion that I just don't like Sanderson's writing. That was doubly-confirmed by TGS.

I glanced at some of the first preview of WoK and I just wasn't interested enough to get past the first paragraph.

If you feel that this latest book is a great leap in Sanderson's abilities, however, I might be willing to re-consider my decision. I'm not going to run out and buy the book but if it's available at the library I might pick it up and look it over. Or maybe I'll be particularly impressed by ToM (which I do intend to read).
Donna Harvey
165. snaggletoothedwoman
Hello everyone, been lurking and love the conversation.
I've seen alot of refrences to "The Strike" but haven't found where this story is. Can anyone clue me in?
166. up2stuff
Snaggle @ 165,

I know the Guide goes into what happened from a historical perspective. LTT wanted to do this, while Latra Posae wanted to use the Choedan Kal and convinced all the Female Aes Sedai not to help LTT. Saidin tainted, male channelers go grazy, yada yada yada. World Breaking Hijinks ensue.

Anyway , To make a long story short, (TOO LATE), my edition was one of first editions. I know there is a newer one, since a couple books have come out, but I dont know if there is a story from LTT's point of view.
Karen Fox
167. thepupxpert
Just getting caught up here... Jonathan @76 you brought up an important point (at least to me!) that has been knawing away at me for a while: what in the world happened to Aldeib? I don't recall her being mentioned again after Moraine went through the door.

Anyone know?
Karen Fox
168. thepupxpert
Son @ 131 - I haven't read WOK yet either but I'm going down to San Diego tomorrow night to see Brandon and get a signed copy - if my 11 year old lets me!
Barry T
169. blindillusion
Aldieb is currently housed in the stables at the Sun Palace:

TOR Questions of the Week, February 2005-July 2005.
170. Freelancer

::grumble:: What blind just said as I was typing. And whether through brilliant, ingenious planning or coincidence, there's no more appropriate place for Moiraine's horse to be cared for, than the palace where she spent much of her childhood.

And hey, looks like I'll see you tomorrow night. I won't be hard to find. Get here early to get a seat, it's a small shop and only room for about 30 chairs.
Karen Fox
171. thepupxpert
Free - do we get nametags? Should I walk around with "pup" on my sweatshirt? I've never been to one of these and like I said, if my 11 year old doesn't have a complete meltdown I do intend to make it there in time for the reading and such. How won't you be hard to find?
Karen Fox
172. thepupxpert
Boy I'm losing posts right and left today, that doesn't usually happen to me.

Thanks Free & Blind for the info on Aldeib. Do either of you have the specific link you can send me so I can read about her?
Thomas Keith
173. insectoid
Free @170, Pupxpert @171: Because he's tall! (There is a picture of the two of us in my profile, if you'd like to look.) Sorry to say, my mom and I won't be able to make it; we have tickets to the ballgame tomorrow night. :(

Oh, and: Aldieb.

Donna Harvey
175. snaggletoothedwoman
up2stuff@166 Thank you for the tip, I checked out the guide and found one online at a reduced price. Don't know how I missed getting this for my collection. Sounds like an interesting addition. Thanks again!
Thomas Keith
176. insectoid
Snaggle @165: The full text of "The Strike at Shayol Ghul" is available online at the Library. Not to suggest that the BBoBA Guide isn't a good buy, as well. For the extra reading. ;)

Thomas Keith
177. insectoid
Pup / Free: Ooh... I know what you guys can ask him! Ask him if he thinks he'll be back in San Diego for a ToM signing. I for sure would be at that! :D

Sure is quiet... *twitch*

178. Freelancer

Between my height, my mostly-gray beard, and mostly missing hair, it's pretty hard for me to hide. Here's hoping the young one is compliant.


Brandon has said that where he visits for WoK he will not for ToM. I've spoken to the Mysterious Galaxy staff, and when they checked, they were surprised to realize that they have nothing on their schedule for ToM. It is still early enough that nothing is certain, but it doesn't seem likely. LA is not on the WoK schedule, so it is extremely likely he'll be going to Mystery and Imagination in Glendale for ToM.

(ok, I tried making that link work in three different browsers, with three differeny kinds of failure. What's the deal, Tor?)
Alice Arneson
179. Wetlandernw
Freelancer, are you going to post anything about the WoK signing? If so, where? Would love to know what your Q&A are, so I don't repeat on Tuesday. Ditto for thepupxpert and Samadai, as well as anyone else who has been or will be at any of the signings.
Thomas Keith
180. insectoid
Free @178: Well, Glendale's not too far; we'll have to see.

Re: links... I've been having to make them in the usual (bbCode) way in notepad, and then copy-paste them, and they work fine. Don't know what the deal is with the built-in link thingie; I tried it once and it didn't work.

John Massey
181. subwoofer
Wow! It only took one day back at work to make me feel that being cold, wet and miserable wasn't so bad... and no, I do not mean being homeless.

Built in link thingy works kinda, it gives me an error message, but my link still posts if I go back in and click on most recent comments.

Free is also very distinguishable by the black boots and bright red suit with the fluffy white trim. And although it seems kinda unprofessional, he also substitutes a large, velvety bag type device for a briefcase. Go figure;)

James Hogan
182. Sonofthunder
Bouke @140, Thanks for the advice on getting WoK now...I decided I didn't really want to wait until the UK release date, so I went ahead and bought it last night! I don't really have room for it in my suitcases I'll just have to carry it everywhere. It is BIG.

Already a couple hundred pages in(which is actually only 1/5 of the book. Whoa). Excellent thus far!
Bouke de Boer
183. Bouke
Sonofthunder@182: No problem, mate!

Should be plenty of room for handluggage on an overseas flight, though... Glad to hear that the book is heavy with awesomeness!
184. Freelancer
Thanks for the tip, I should have thought of that. D'oh!

Someday, brother, you're going to be within arm's reach of me, and they are much longer than yours. I'll wait patiently until then.

Ok, folks, this is the right time and place. Since this post is about to be superseded, I'll ask for any last minute WoT-related questions anyone would like posed to Brandon tonight. I'll check again just before I leave.
Tess Laird
185. thewindrose
Freelancer - How about did Verin write a letter to Min? But that is probably going to be an automatic RAFO... (They have traveled together, and Verin knows about Min's visions and also about all the book reading.) Maybe, can you name another person that Verin left a letter for besides Mat?? Or, did Verin leave letters for others besides Mat.
Or how about the Great Hunt that is going on - Is what is being uncovered going to be a chapter from ToM?(It dosen't look to be Chapter one because it doesn't seem like the beginning has the wind passage - so maybe chapter 2?

Will we meet King Roedran in ToM?

John Massey
186. subwoofer
Hi Free ::waves::

look at the bright side, you will be within arms reach of Brandon and can pepper him with questions. One thing that has been burning me is all these letters that have been floating around. Especially since that teaser vid is floating around, it really makes me wonder what is out there and who knows what.

To be honest, I think I have been short changing the AS as a whole and specific AS greatly. Cranky Pants may annoy me to the point of tears, but through plot twists or whatever, if she has the biggest MOA in this series, it would not surprise me. Humble me, yes, surprise me, not so much. Moiraine and Verin- those two ladies seemingly have a life time of Dragon chasing and studying that Rand & Co should have been using to their advantage instead of holding them at arms length. Yes, they are AS. Yes, they do have a way with words. Get over it and use them to help you.

Alice Arneson
187. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @186 - In a few minutes I'll pick my jaw up off the floor and reattach it, but I don't need my jaw to type. That was incredibly well said, even for you. I'm in awe. One short paragraph, and you sum up what I've been thinking about these women for months. Bravo!!

I'll see Brandon at the Seattle signing next week - anything you want me to ask? Assuming I get a chance?

::Okay, where's that jaw? Oh, there it is. Teeth all intact... Yup. Now to reattach it...::
John Massey
188. subwoofer
@Wet- well, if you do have the opportunity sure- I am not sure if it has been asked or answered before, but since the er... epic scene in TGS, does Rand still need CP? I know it has been stated that CP will teach Rand and the asha'man something, but were they the same thing? Has Rand gained his knowledge and the asha'man still have to learn their lesson?

Alice Arneson
189. Wetlandernw
If I get the chance, I'll ask that one! Fits well with something else I'm hoping to ask him about, so that's even better. I find myself hoping the event is not terribly well attended so I can ask more questions. ;)
Tess Laird
190. thewindrose
::Snicker:: I hope you frame that Wetlandernw:)(The subwoofer admission) I may put something back here for your time with Brandon - am thinking:) Hope you all had fun last night!

191. Ace Gem
I already found a site where I can buy cheap blog post but of good quality, all unique. 

Just sharing with you guys!
William McDaniel
192. willmcd
Is it just me, or is the island on which Far Madding is located shaped like the command emblem for the starship Enterprise?

In this chapter (which I, like others, like very much), RJ made the highly interesting narrative choice of not telling the readers about the 800-pound gorilla governing Rand's passive pursuit of the renegade Asha'man: which is to say, that you can't channel in Far Madding. We don't find out about the Guardian until the next chapter. Upon first reading, many of us were probably wondering why the heck they weren't shooting fireballs at each other, or gateway-ing all over the place the way conflicts between channelers usually play out.

So Rand's thought (regarding the two False Dragons) "in a real way, those two men were why Rand was in Far Madding" is an example of a line that can't be properly understood the first time one reads the book (like something out of Joyce's Ulysses, or that gag in "Napoleon Dynamite" where the old guy shoots the cow). Rand has come to Far Madding to shift the odds in his favor; if he goes one-against-four in a channeling matchup, he takes a chance. But we know (having read Chapter 1 of LoC) that Rand is quite capable of taking on multiple skilled opponents in melee combat and consistently winning. So Far Madding, which presumably has the Guardian because of its False Dragon legacy, presents a fine opportunity for him to gain advantage.

As others have said, I was pretty chilled by Rand's matter-of-fact statement that Rochaid "needed killing". At this point, post-kidnapping, post-crossing of the streams, Rand has become an almost "Lawful Neutral" hero who takes the actions he feels are best for society in the biggest picture, tending towards the amoral in his evaluation of their peripheral consequences. This will, of course, become even more pronounced in TGS.
William McDaniel
193. willmcd
One additional note: as I creep through the re-read 3 years late, I was particularly pleased to see the return of Wolfmage (@91) to the discussion. He was one of my favorite commenters, and I was sad to see him disappear after the post-LoC re-read hiatus.

Now if Dominic would just re-join Linda at the 13th depository, I'd be happy as a lark.
William McDaniel
193. willmcd
Double post.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment