Tue
Sep 14 2010 1:47pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 17

With impetuous recoil and jarring sound, it’s a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 25 of Winter’s Heart, in which I rather unexpectedly have a homily, and out myself as possibly not-savior material. Well, at least it takes the pressure off!

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.

Scheduling note: With the now swiftly-approaching release of Book 13, Towers of Midnight, times in WOT-land are about to get kind of wacky, you guys. Rest assured Tor.com (and I) have some yummy ToM-related tidbits for you coming up very soon, so be sure to watch this space, but I’m uncertain at this point how it will affect the schedule of the regular Re-read.

I do know, however, that there is a hiatus in our near future; I’m just not sure when I’m going to have it yet. I will keep y’all posted once I get things a little un-discombobulated and have a better idea of how it’s all going to go down.

And now, the sermon post!

Chapter 25: Bonds

What Happens
Rand sits in his room at the inn and plays his flute while Min paces back and forth angrily.

The tune was called “Lament for the Long Night,” and he had never heard it before in his life. Lews Therin had, though. It was like the skill at drawing. Rand thought that should frighten him, or make him angry, but he simply sat and played while Lews Therin wept.

Min is both furious and worried that Alanna is here and coming toward them; Rand thinks of how his bond with her and Elayne and Aviendha feels natural as breathing, while Alanna’s has never felt like anything but an intrusion. Rand can tell through the bond that Alanna is nervous and determined, but mostly furious, and Min is fearful, though she tries to hide it; she suddenly hurls one of her knives into the doorframe. He switches to a cheerful tune (Lews Therin snarls at him), and Min abruptly changes the subject.

“Rand, I like Alivia. I do, even if she does make Nynaeve have kittens left and right.” One fist planted on her hip, Min leaned forward and pointed a finger at his nose. “But she is going to kill you.” She bit off every word.

“You said she was going to help me die,” he said quietly. “Those were your words.” How would he feel at dying? Sadness at leaving her, at leaving Elayne and Aviendha. Sadness for the pain he had brought them. He would like to see his father again before the end. Aside from those things, he almost thought death would be a relief.

Death is a relief, Lews Therin said fervently. I want death. We deserve death!

Rand points out that helping him die isn’t the same thing as killing him, but Min is not appreciative of the distinction. Rand tells her quietly that sooner or later he has to die.

He had been told by those he had to believe. To live, you must die. That still made no sense to him, but it left one cold hard fact. Just as the Prophecies of the Dragon seemed to say, he had to die.

He apologizes again for bonding her, and Min informs him that she won’t let him die, and if he does, she will follow him and bring him back and make him live in Far Madding as punishment. Rand smiles, amused, and then someone knocks on the door. Min confirms silently that it is Alanna, and promptly jumps into Rand’s lap before calling “Come in.” Cadsuane enters, looks at the knife in the doorframe, and asks dryly if they’ve been fighting; Min jumps up in embarrassment, and Alanna enters behind Cadsuane. Rand feels joy from her the moment she sees him, which he does not understand at all. Rand wonders aloud if he should be surprised to see Cadsuane, and asks who taught her to Travel; Cadsuane observes that he still has “no more manners than a goat,” and she hardly needs his permission to visit her birthplace, and it’s none of his business how she learned anything. She accuses him of saddling her with an overabundance of traveling companions, who all insisted on coming along to find him, and supposes she can dump them on him now. Rand jumps up with an oath, and snaps to keep them away from him; Cadsuane warns him about language, and asks what makes him think he can tell her what to do. Rand struggles with himself and grudgingly asks her politely to keep them away from him until his business here is finished. Cadsuane accepts his improved “manners,” and supposes she can keep his secret for the time being.

“Oh, yes. I should tell you, Merise has bonded Narishma, Corele has Damer, and young Hopwil is Daigian’s.” She said that as though it were just a casual bit of information that might easily have slipped her mind.

He did not bother to mutter his oath this time, and Cadsuane’s full-armed slap almost unhinged his jaw. Black spots shimmered in front of his eyes. One of the other women gasped.

“I did tell you,” Cadsuane said placidly. “No more warnings.”

Rand keeps himself under control, and demands to know why Flinn et al would accept being bonded; Cadsuane answers that he’ll have to ask them, and leaves, taking a reluctant Min with her. Once they are alone, Alanna comments that she dislikes being parted from a Warder so long, and that she’d thought it would be better when she was closer to him, but he’s still like “a stone in [her] head.” Rand ignores this to observe that Cadsuane didn’t even ask why he was here, and asks Alanna what happened to her oath to him, since she obviously was the one who told Cadsuane he was here. Alanna snaps back that she doesn’t think Cadsuane cares “two pins” about Rand. She says she keeps the oath as well as she can, but doesn’t know how to serve a man who walks off and leaves her behind. She demands to know what he did that left her unconscious for three days.

“I decided if I was going to be bonded, it might as well be by someone I said could.” He barely caught her hand before it landed on his face. “I’ve been slapped enough for one day.”

She glared up at him, teeth bared as if ready to bite out his throat. The bond carried only fury and outrage, now, distilled to daggers. “You let someone else bond you?” she snarled. “How dare you! Whoever she is, I’ll see her before a court! I’ll see her birched! You are mine!”

“Because you took me, Alanna,” he said coldly. “If more sisters knew, you would be the one birched.” Min had told him once that he could trust Alanna, that she had seen the Green and four other sisters “in his hand.” He did trust her, in an odd fashion, yet he was in Alanna’s hand, too, and he did not want to be.

Rand offers to release her from her oath if she releases him from the bond. Alanna answers that she’d dreamed of being free of him; she’d even asked Cadsuane to take it, but Cadsuane was outraged, and refused to consider it even with Rand’s consent. She continues that therefore Rand is her responsibility, “however I acquired you,” and she will not release the bond unless she is sure whoever bonded him can “handle him properly.” Horrified by the mere notion of being bonded to Cadsuane, Rand ignores her question to ask why she thinks Cadsuane doesn’t care about him; Alanna replies that the whole world wants to know where he is, but Alanna didn’t know for certain where Rand was until Cadsuane brought them here. She adds that Cadsuane showed Alanna how to Travel, too, so he won’t be able to evade her so easily in the future.

“And Damer and the other two allowed themselves to be bonded? Or did those sisters just take them the way you took me?”

A faint flush stained her cheeks, but her voice was steady. “I heard Merise ask Jahar. It took him two days to accept, and she never pressured him that I saw. I cannot speak for the others, but as Cadsuane said, you can always ask them. Rand, you must understand, those men were afraid to go back to this ‘Black Tower’ of yours.” Her mouth twisted sourly around the name. “They were afraid they would be blamed in the attack on you. If they simply ran, they would be hunted down as deserters. I understand that is your standing order? Where else could they go, except to Aes Sedai?”

She adds excitedly the news that Damer has discovered how to Heal stilling, and Healed Irgain and Ronaille and Sashalle, who have all sworn fealty to Rand, along with all the other sisters from Dumai’s Wells, even the Reds. She adds that Cadsuane doesn’t trust Nesune and the other four who first swore, but Alanna thinks he can trust them. Rand is rather astonished by the news that even the Reds swore to him. Alanna tells him intently that he needs the support of Aes Sedai, or even the nations he’s already conquered will eventually turn against him; but Elayne and the rebels in Cairhien and Tear will listen to the White Tower.

“The White Tower has stopped wars and ended rebellions for three thousand years. You may not like the treaty Rafela and Merana negotiated with Harine, but they got everything you asked for. Light, man, let us help you!”

Rand nodded slowly. It had seemed just a way to impress people with his power, that Aes Sedai gave him fealty. Fear that they might manipulate him to their own ends had blinded him to anything else. He did not like admitting that. He had been a fool.

A man who trusts everyone is a fool, Lews Therin said, and a man who trusts no one is a fool. We are all fools, if we live long enough. He almost sounded sane.

Rand tells her to go back to Cairhien and send Rafela, Merana, Bera and Faeldrin to the rebels in Haddon Mirk to negotiate a peace; he doesn’t care about the terms as long as Darlin stays his Steward, and the laws Rand enacted remain in place. Alanna is disappointed that he is sending her away again, though she’s rather glad she won’t be in close proximity to what Rand and Min are doing all the time. Rand clears his throat and tells her she can return to him after if he’s still here, which causes her to feel joy again. Alanna gives up on getting him to tell her who bonded him, and prepares to leave, but stops and asks why he is here; Rand thinks he could actually trust her with the truth, but also knows she would insist on helping, so he refuses to answer and sends her out. He returns to the issue of Cadsuane.

Min said he needed Cadsuane, but Cadsuane was not interested in him except as a curiosity. A bad-mannered curiosity. Somehow, he had to make her interested. How in the Light was he going to do that?

Verin arrives at Aleis’s private palace and tips the sedan chair “boys” even though she’s not supposed to, because “Eadwina” would not know any better.

Verin sighed. A boy in his middle years. It had not taken her long back in Far Madding to begin thinking as if she had never left. She had to be careful about that. It could be dangerous, not least if Aleis or the others discovered her deception. She suspected the warrants for Verin Mathwin’s exile had never been suspended.

She enters the palace and finds Cadsuane calmly embroidering while being confronted by a furious Elza, who demands to know how Cadsuane could let Alanna go, when this place could be a “deathtrap” for the Dragon Reborn. Cadsuane kicks Elza out and asks Verin to make some tea. As she does so, Verin asks if it was wise to let Alanna leave, and Cadsuane replies she could hardly stop her without giving too much away to “the boy.” Verin asks if she has any idea why he came here, and suggests that they might want to stop him if it is dangerous. Cadsuane answers that he can do anything he wants, as long as he makes it to Tarmon Gai’don, and if Cadsuane can stay with him long enough to make him learn to laugh and cry again.

“He is turning into a stone, Verin, and if he doesn’t relearn that he’s human, winning the Last Battle may not be much better than losing. Young Min told him he needs me; I got that much out of her without rousing her suspicions. But I must wait for him to come to me. You see the way he runs roughshod over Alanna and the others. It will be hard enough teaching him, if he does ask. He fights guidance, he thinks he must do everything, learn everything, on his own, and if I do not make him work for it, he won’t learn at all.” Her hands dropped onto the embroidery hoop on her lap. “I seem to be in a confiding mood tonight. Unusual, for me. If you ever finish pouring that tea, I may confide some more.”

“Oh, yes; of course.” Hastily filling a second cup, Verin slipped the small vial back into her pouch unopened. It was good to be sure of Cadsuane at last. “Do you take honey?” she asked in her most muddled voice. “I never can remember.”

Commentary
Back in my younger Catholic school days, I used to be deeply confused as to why “pride” was one of the seven deadly sins—and not just one of them, but generally considered to be the worst of the bunch, to boot. I’m not kidding, this used to seriously bug me. I mean, lust, envy, sloth, gluttony, wrath, greed—it was pretty easy to figure out why those were bad. Those, I got. But why pride? asked my young self. Why is that bad?

Aren’t we supposed to be proud, to have pride? Isn’t everyone always going on and on about the importance of pride—school pride, civic pride, national pride, yadda? Didn’t my mom tell me she was proud of me for getting good grades or actually managing to remember to clean my room or failing to chew all the erasers off every pencil in the house or whatever? (I was a strange child. Shut up.) Was she sinning when she said that? How is it a sin to be proud, to take pleasure in the ways in which you or your family or your team or your city or whatever does not suck?

I just didn’t get it, man.

Of course, the problem was that I hadn’t yet twigged to the fact that there could be more than one kind of pride; nor had I considered that even positive things can be warped into terrible ones, taken to sufficient excess. Youth, you’ve probably noticed, isn’t often all that big on subtleties, or ambiguities either. That’s the unhappy provenance of maturity, to be able to argue semantics.

Anyway. Pride, I’ve since learned, isn’t always about having a happy glow from taking first prize in the science fair, or having good self-esteem, or singing the school fight song at the top of your lungs. Pride can be a drive for achievement, but it can also be an adherence to impossible standards, and a refusal to extend leniency or mercy to those who fail to live up to those standards—even oneself. Pride can be a healthy self-esteem, but it can also be narcissism; self-love taken to the point where nothing can possibly be of greater importance than oneself. Pride can be loyalty to a group, but it can also be letting that loyalty override any and all objections raised against that group, regardless of their legitimacy or urgency.

Pride can also be about holding grudges; the refusal to forgive a slight to that pride, and the inability to acknowledge the importance of looking beyond those slights to the greater purpose at hand. At its absolute worst, pride taken to its logical extreme can be the downfall of those who would otherwise be among the greatest of men or women; pride as the sin of Milton’s Lucifer, once the highest of the angels, who so famously declared it was better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

The parallels between Lucifer and Lews Therin, Lord of the Morning/Rand, He Who Comes with the Dawn have been made very obvious by the names alone (Lucifer originally meant “light-bearer,” and was commonly translated as “Morning Star” or “Day Star”), and Jordan has throughout the series had a great deal of fun playing around with the host of ambiguities and conflicting or accreting legends surrounding the character of Lucifer/Satan/Shaitan/Iblis/I could go on but really, and applying that to the uncertainty of the Dragon’s role in Randland: is he a savior or destroyer? Agent of good, or evil? Angel, or demon?

And so on: obviously you could write a whole research paper on this alone. But my point in bringing this up is that it becomes increasingly clear over the course of the series that one extremely important (possibly, the most important) parallel between Lucifer and the Dragon Reborn is that they both share the same besetting sin: pride. Pride in all the senses I mentioned, and more.

It also becomes clear that the answer to the above questions—is Rand going to end up a force for the Light, or the Shadow?—banks on whether or not he will allow that pride to consume him, as the Lucifer of Paradise Lost did, and turn what should be a good thing into the very worst of things.

So there’s all that. And now you’re probably thinking, well yes, this is very interesting and all, Leigh, but what does it have to do with the chapter you just recapped specifically?

Well, sez me, nothing directly—except that this chapter made me realize that I was spending the entirety of it thinking at Rand, why are you putting up with this bullshit and not smiting the crap out of these people? Cadsuane just slapped you—for cursing, no less, because that’s a high-priority item during an impending apocalypse, for Christ’s sake—and yet you’re wondering how to make her interested in you!  Alanna is sitting there and daring to give you attitude after she mind-raped you, and WON’T TAKE IT BACK, yet you agree to work with her! What is wrong with you? How can you just let all that go? Have you no pride?

…Ah, perhaps now you see.

Because, you guys, it turns out that pride might not be just Rand’s besetting sin, here. And in fact, since it seems that his taint-addled, multiple-personality-having, stressed-to-breaking-point, weight-of-the-world-on-his-shoulders-(literally) self is apparently better at setting his pride aside for the greater good than I would be in the same situation, the disturbing conclusion to draw is that my pride issues may be even worse than Rand’s are—at least at this point in the story, anyway.

Which is, shall we say, a somewhat sobering realization to make about oneself.

Of course, I don’t intend to blow this out of proportion (heh), because there’s honestly no way of knowing how I (or anyone) would genuinely react to this type of situation until you’re actually in it, but, well. I’m feeling a bit sheepish just now, let’s just say.

Who overcomes/By force, hath overcome but half his foe,” as some English dude once said. Worth remembering, methinks.

…And all that went on a great deal longer than I intended it to, so I’m going to wrap this up, even though I didn’t get to several items of interest, most particularly Min’s viewing about Alivia and the circumstances of the Asha’Warders’s acceptance of their bonding. Another time.

Except, I can’t let this chapter go by without a quick nod to the (as usual) creepily sneaky awesomeness of Verin and her almost-poisoning of Cadsuane, until she determined that Cadsuane had (more or less) the same goals as she did re: Rand. Which, incidentally, convinced me more than ever that no matter how ethically shady she might be, there was no way in hell Verin could be Black Ajah.

Heh. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Clever Author.


And that’s a wrap, laydees and gennemun! See you Friday!

243 comments
Brandon D
1. Ishmayl
This was a chapter that actually got me really starting to think that Rand may be on the verge of the whole "laughter and tears" thing. Obviously (in hindsight), he had several books to go, but I really thought with his whole "how do I get Cads interested in me," schtick was a good indication that his head was starting to get to the right place. Not to mention, the quote from Lews Therin that "almost sounded sane." Of course, looking at it in a completely different light, maybe ol' Rand should have been focusing more on how to get things done, and just let prophecy (or Min's Viewing, what-have-you) take care of itself, and instead of pridefully believing he needed to get Cadsuane interested in him, maybe he should have just gone about his business and left the whole thing behind. Of course (in hind-hindsight), we know that the Cleansing probably would have gone horribly differently had Cads not been there. So, I'm rambling.

In light of finding out about Elza, I find her righteous anger over letting Alanna go to Rand in this chapter a little interesting. Was she worried that someone would oust her, or was she pissed that she wasn't in closer with Rand? Was this ever explained?

Finally, re: Verin/Black Ajah, this chapter actually did a good bit for me confirming that Verin may very well be Black Ajah. Not that I'm saying "I knew all along," but we've been told for awhile now, in various ways, that it may be just as important for the Dark that Rand make it to the Last Battle as for the Light (the whole No-Kill Order and all that yahoo), therefore, the fact that Verin was contemplating using poison (obviously evil, and something an Aes Sedai shouldn't do), but then changed her mind - and I think this is important - not because Cadsuane wanted necessarily to help Rand, but just specifically said she needed him to get to the Last Battle - personally, I always found that extremely suspicious. I think my syntax got a little out of whack there.

Sneaky Verin.

Anyhoo, good post.

Edit: Also, Leigh will you be doing both a spoiler-free and spoilerific (p)review of ToM this time?

Edit 2: Holy Shizzle, I was first, and wasn't even trying. Are all the Firstmongers in school today or something?
J.Dauro
3. J.Dauro
Very interesting comments Leigh ( but they always are. )

I always did love Verin here, and of course that's even better now that we know. I have always wondered about one thing mentioned here though. We know the first nine AS swore fealty to Rand while in his presence, so we can put that down to taveren. The other AS who were not stilled were compelled by Verin and swore. But what about the three that were stilled. IIRC Verin says that she did not have access to them, so she should not have been able to prepare them. So why did they swear. Is it still tavern?
R H
5. HammerVsAx
Interesting loony theory, that I haven't recalled seeing before,kinda based on the above post... (Thanks Leigh for all your effort!!)

Perhaps,
when all is rolled together, Rand WILL fall to pride, and take the place of the DO, seal the remnants away, thereby turning into the bad guy....

Then Alivia, will help him die, because at that point, I mean, he's a bad guy.... squish him....

The Nyn will heal him and leave all the nastiness behind, dragging him back to the good side...

Don't know if all that makes sense, but it made sense in my head, which is just kinda scary.....

(edit) Also, about Verin, I don't know that I figured she was black, even here. Part of me thought that we might have been supposed to think that Cads had hidden agendas for Rand, (of course she does) but when she said right out that she wanted Rand to survive to TG, that maybe she was at least on the right highway, if not looking for the right exit..... Unless you buy into the loony theory I stated above, and THAT's why Cad's really wanted him to get there.... She and Elza are in cahoots to get him a promotion to head-master-pride-filled-lets-fry-the-world-anew-baddie.

I know, fell off the track, but it's been a hellava couple days. Just broom me into the corner, sit a plant in front, and turn on the happy music.
J.Dauro
6. Qtip the Sixth
Leigh, great job once again on the recap! Pride is the greatest of sins precisely because it can be hard to see when it warps into something more sinister. It also causes one to blind herself to her other sins since she is too right to have that as a problem.

More to the point, looking forward to seeing how Alivia will help Rand to die.
Sean Banawnie
7. Seanie
Very nice sermon Leigh . Entertaining and enlightening. Sneaky,sneaky Verin. Here is where I thought she was Black.Looking forward to your thoughts on Elza, the Warderings and Alanna. Also looking forward to TOM stuff ----wwwhhhhheeeeeeeee !!!!
James Jones
8. jamesedjones
3 J.Dauro
Is it still tavern?


Yep. With enough alcohol any Aes Sedai would swear to the Dragon. I think they're called inns in this series, though...
Brandon D
9. Ishmayl
@ 5. HammerVsAx

Interesting loony theory, that I haven't recalled seeing before,kinda
based on the above post... (Thanks Leigh for all your effort!!)

Perhaps,
when all is rolled together, Rand WILL fall to
pride, and take the place of the DO, seal the remnants away, thereby
turning into the bad guy....

Then Alivia, will help him die, because at that point, I mean, he's a bad guy.... squish him....

The Nyn will heal him and leave all the nastiness behind, dragging him back to the good side...

Don't know if all that makes sense, but it made sense in my head, which is just kinda scary.....


Are you sure that even made sense in your head?

:P

I keed, I keed! I believe there have been other prominent theories in the past that have led to the possibility of Rand taking the DO's place, so that's not too terribly whacky, but the whole "And then we brought him back, and he was as good as ever," may be a little out of left field. :)
Scott
10. Shard
I was in the same boat as you Leigh I didn't get Pride at first at all, now I see it for just how bad and insideous it can be. It's like it's actually easier to combat the other six then Pride. Pride can be handed down from generation to generation .

The way you were pointing out how Rand can put aside his Pride and not go all wrathful shows why I still liked him and pittied his battle for sanity rather then disliking him.

Also reading the description of how the Ashamen got bonded sounds like extortion, not blackmail. Either way though I don't blame them I wouldn't want to go back to that Tower either. I wonder how things would have been had Logain gotten to be M'Heal instead of Taim.

I think RJ made sure that the BT turned into a festering boil of evil by allowing Rand to trust Taim enough not to be a DF or Forsaken.
Sean Arthur
11. wsean
Whoa. Did tor.com change the way they do their RSS feed? I used to be able to read entire articles in my reader, but no more.

Is this new, or am I just oblivious?
Daniel Smith
12. Smittyphi
Yay, new post!

I don't think most people get pride when they are young. Killing, stealing, etc. can be easily seen as black and white. Pride and being proud have multiple shades of grey that aren't easy discernable. Pride is something you ALWAYS have to be on the lookout for. It can creep up on you and before you know it, your chin deep and you don't even know how you got there or realize you are there.
J.Dauro
14. Up2stuff
Anyone have any thoughts on Gun Control?

(Ducks)

Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Barry T
15. blindillusion
ToM tidbits.

I'm looking forward to your non-spoiler review. And the up-and-coming chapter releases on Tordot. And the book. And all the new discussion. And...why can't November come after September?

Nope, not much to say about this chapter. But...should we go ahead and round up the horses. Let's hope not.
J.Dauro
16. Lurking Canadian
I was always taught that the fundamental sin of pride was really a lack of humility. It meant thinking that whatever it was, YOU did it, so you "deserved" whatever nice thing happened, instead of accepting that it was only through Grace that you aren't sleeping in a ditch tonight.

Since the Creator doesn't really intervene in Randland (if indeed, there is a Creator distinct from the Dark One, a point I have never conceded), I'm not sure that definition of pride fits, except as it shows up again and again in every subculture as "Those have nothing worthwhile to teach me because I am ".
andrew smith
17. sillyslovene
So, I think Leigh meant to make a comment on the use of the word "boy" in this chapter since she highlighted both Verin's use and Cadsuane's use of it.

I can't help but feel that this was a deliberate comparison made by RJ between Verin and Cadsuane and the way they both have dealt with their engrained Far Madding-ness.

I think it was deliberately set up to add another layer to why Cadsuane treats Rand the way she does. Don't get me wrong, I actually like Caddy as a character who is going through a trial and change inducing crucible just like everyone else and I think that she has an interesting and important role to play. I am not trying in any way to excuse or justify her behavior. I just think RJ put this in there as a sign that maybe Cadsuane hasn't come as far from her roots as she likes to think she has...

Her use of "boy" here shows that, at least partially and probably subconsciously, her deliberate belittling of Rand is motivated and informed by her upbringing in Far Madding and the lack of respect for anyone with a Y-chromosome and the need to "keep them in their place". This doesn't mean that she isn't right in trying to teach him manners, and/or get him to be human, just that her motivations, methods and means are constructed by her intellect and her experience, as well as her subconscious.

Kudos to RJ for creating real and complex characters.
Thomas Keith
18. insectoid
Great post Leigh!

I don't have a lot to say about the chapter, other than that I agree that Verin continues to be Ver(in)y Sneaky. (Veriny could be a new word!)

JEJ @8: LOL!! Even knowing that Jay meant ta'veren, that's too funny! Especially if the liquor in question happens to be oosquai... ;)

Smittyphi @12: Well said!

My 500th comment on the Re-read, FWIW. ::does happy dance::

Bzzz™.
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
Nice post Leigh but I really don't enjoy these Far Madding chapters. The focus of your re-read chapters on relatively tangential issues -- interesting but tangential, mind you -- are proving my point. Let's see - AS plotting, Cads, Sea Folk, Alana - Argh! Thank goodness for Verin and Min (throwng the knife in the door!) for making these even tolerable.

Rob
Birgit
20. birgit
In light of finding out about Elza, I find her righteous anger over letting Alanna go to Rand in this chapter a little interesting. Was she worried that someone would oust her, or was she pissed that she wasn't in closer with Rand?

Elza isn't angry that Alanna went to Rand, she is angry that Alanna left because she is the only way the other AS can find Rand (Cads hasn't told Elza and the others that they have already found him).
J.Dauro
20. Demira
Oh, yeah. Pride, totally agree. And I loved how it explains things about Rand. With his acceptance here of his death, further puntuated with the sad tune and Min's frustration. So sad, but I loved it. I had to smile at Min's complaint at Rand's "puffing on that thing". And when she layed on top of him when Cadsuane walks in was too funny! But why be embarrassed about it? Screw Cadsuane!

Can I complain about Alanna's hypocrisy? Oh. See some one did already. Ditto.

I was looking for this scene with Verin and Cadsuane and the vial and had mistakenly thought it had occurred in Cairhein. Could this be the same "poison" Verin killed herself with?
J.Dauro
21. alreadymadwithnewpost
Thanks for the new post Leigh..

jamesedjames @8
Err.. are you saying it was the oosquai?
J.Dauro
22. Rand Al'Todd
Demira @20

I believe prior posts have established that this is a different poison. This one is quick acting where the one she used was slower (giving her the hour to spill the beans). Sorry but any references were in that old post.
Tess Laird
23. thewindrose
Pride comes before a fall...

Another theme of this story, me thinks. I think all the main characters go through this, and most likely so do all the readers of the book. I know in my life, my teenage and early to mid twenties were a testament to that proverb. Even now, it is easy to fall into it again.

This is where I seriously began to think "What is up with Verin??"! Especially on subsequent rereads, with all the other driblets of info RJ gave us:)

Almost November, I am looking forward to your review Leigh!!!!

tempest™
J.Dauro
24. Hrothgordo
This comes close to being another catch-up chapter but is saved by some small amount of plot development/resolution and a little (useful) character interaction.

Plot wise, I am a little annoyed that basically the Cairhein/Tear rebellions are essentially wrapped up in a couple paragraphs, but I guess given the absolute snooze-fest of the Andor resolution I should be thankful.

Verin = Coolness. Cadsuane still annoys me, despite her effectiveness. One doesn't bitch-slap the hero where I come from.

As to Alivia, I have never really grown to care remotely about her character or her “viewed” role. I acknowledge it, and can appreciete her role to Nynaeve (as a pushy older sister type). Overall though I barely note her appearances in the story.

However, I was struck by the re-read of this chapter especially how Leigh encompassed it. Up to now I was firmly in the camp of fans that believed that Jordan was not going to cut off magic completely after TG. But scenes like this give me small moments of doubt.

The foreshadowing of Min going after Rand and bringing him back to FM after he dies. And the fact that the snake and Min prophecies can be (very broadly) translated to taking the Source away.

I could conceive of a scenario where Rand is in fact the “thing” that touches the DO in order to prevent him from escaping (which LTT has stated is necessary and allowed the Counterstroke/Taint to occur). Alivia kills/stills Rand at the last possible moment to prevent another Counterstroke, one which most likely would effect male and female.

Do I thnk that will happen? No. I find it much more likely that Rand’s access to the TP will allow him to bridge that gap without fear of a Taint and/or that Padan Fain will be used as an intermediary (although I hope not as it will be a little too deriviative of LotR/Gollum).


Regarding Leigh’s commentary, I think I see what she means. Certainly, I agree that Rand has very little personal pride in himself. Heck, a third of these books is him berating himself when he does feel personal pride. But that belief that he must do things alone, and the holding of impossible standards is another brand and it is near fatal to Rand (and Randland itself).
That is a giant issue. The battle of Rand’s personal pride versus . . . uhmm . .. let’s call it a pride of ownership. The knowledge that he has to do “IT” forces Rand to often sublimate personal pride. It is important to keep your eye on the ball, but such an abandonment of personal pride is impossible. To me it is the root of things like his “not killing woman” hang-up and forces almost all of the situations of him not ha working/sharing information with allies that need it.

However, I think with TGS, this battle is essentially over, since it comes to a head in “Veins of Gold”. Disgust from almost obliterating Tam, turns to disgust for humanity and he is ready to simply destroy everything. Only by putting down the obsession to fighting the last battle and replacing it with a desire to simply making the world a place (the opportunity to find love again) are we saved.

It seems simple, but moving this pride of ownership to an absolute thing (TG) towards a more conceptual goal should allow Rand to be much less rigid. And we have to assume the next two books will focus on working with the rest of Team Light.

I will actually be pretty annoyed if these pride issues need to be addressed much more in the next two books.
Birgit
25. birgit
Could this be the same "poison" Verin killed herself with?

Sorilea gave Verin a sleeping potion and warned her that an overdose can be deadly. That's probably Verin's vial.
Matthew Hunter
26. matthew1215
Good thoughts on Pride, Leigh. I'll add the following: It's possible to take pride in your humility, something that I think Rand may be engaging in a little bit here. He's so focused on saving the world that he'll take whatever abuse is necessary in order to achieve it... including abuse that isn't necessary at all. He would be well within his rights to require that Cadsuane treat him with the same manners she expects for herself; instead he suffers her inexplicable behavior.

Perhaps more importantly, though, we have Cadsuane's sin of pride. Of all the Aes Sedai we have met, who is more prideful than Cadsuane? Elaida is more arrogant, certainly, many of the black ajah more cruel... but Cadsuane's pride has earned her the near-hatred of many readers despite being clearly on the side of the warm-fuzzy-smilies. Here, in this book, and previous books, Rand has deserved none of what Cadsuane has put him through.

*SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER*

In The Gathering Storm, Rand does begin to suffer from pride, and by that time Cadsuane's tactics are so familiar to him as to be utterly useless. Despite all of her efforts, Rand gets a horribly swollen head, and the only thing she can do to fix it is.... swallow her pride and get Rand's Da. That's what she should have been doing the whole time, rather than slapping him around, but she was so focused on solving the problem herself...

Point made, I trust?

I now return you to your regularly-scheduled gun control debate.
Jeff Weston
27. JWezy
Ishmayl@1 - And remember that Elza turns out to be black. I imagine that she is under some form of orders to get close and stay close to Rand.
Steve Hussey
28. deihbhussey
I'm in complete agreement regarding Rand's willingness to overlook his pride being a good thing. During his fall to the dark side in tGS, it was apparent that he lost this willingness and no longer accepted any viewpoint or judgement that differed from his own - thus he made some pretty horrific and terrible decisions. As a reader and fan of the main characters, it’s hard to admit that another character – who is currently disrespecting one of our favorite characters – may be right to do so. Kudos to Leigh for pointing this out so succinctly.

To be honest it probably used to annoy me even more when Egwene or Nynaeve pulled the same, pride-popping, stuff that Cads is now pulling (especially when they did it as late as tFoH or LOC). Probably because I always thought they were on approximately the same level as Rand regarding real world experience so why should they have more wisdom – thus leading me to question why they felt they knew better (and vice-versa but it just always seemed like Rand was willing to let go of pride towards them but not the other way around). As an aside, my appreciation for Elayne grew a bit when she pointed out to Egwene in the dream world that Rand was supposed to be acting like the High mucky-muck since that’s his job now so essentially implying that Egwene needed to stop only seeing the boy she new. Rather ironic considering that Egs ended up needing to act the same way towards the girls from her village who couldn't stop seeing the person they used to know.

Whew, not sure how coherent this all was, sorry about the long tangent ….
Daniel Hanley
29. dmhman749
I actually liked the chapter as a whole, though certainly there were some annoying things (mostly alanna, who is one of the few Light side chars i really hope die). But as a whole, it was pretty good, especially the verin bit.

On to the pride discussion...I have long felt that pride is the source of the majority of evil in the world. people simply believe that they are more important, matter more, or are better than others, allowing you to do whatever you want to them as long as it benefits you...since, of course, the world revolves around you.

Murder, rape, betrayal, etc...all become reasonable courses of action if you believe that you matter more than those you are wronging.

Edit: To relate more directly to the WoT, anything becomes reasonable if you believe that your station or purpose(dragon reborn) matters more than anyone or anything else. Its the same result, just not based in pride in yourself as a person, but in pride in your title/purpose.
J.Dauro
30. J.Dauro
I love how my phone corrects my spelling. Oh well.

BlindIllusion. Sorry, as much as I'd like to for ToM, we can't skip October. Not only is my birthday in there, also my wedding.
Rob Munnelly
31. RobMRobM
@30. No big deal - go right to honeymoon.
Sandy Brewer
32. ShaggyBella
I love Min's comment to Rand, (and his reply):
"You listen to me Rand al'Thor. I won't let you die. And if you manage it just to spite me, I'll follow you and bring you back. I'll bring you back to here to live (Far Madding). I'll make you grow your hair below your waist and wear hair clips with moonstones."
He smiled at her. She could still make him smile. "I never heard of a fate worse than death, but I think that fits."
Daniel Smith
33. Smittyphi
RobMRobM @ 31 LoL. Wish I could've done that.
Barry T
34. blindillusion
Who said skip it? October can come after November this year.

And Congrats are in order. May the wedding be blessed.
Bouke de Boer
35. Bouke
Interesting thoughts on Verin. Especially how one gathers from this episode that she might be Black after all. Come on, you guys, from what we know of Aes Sedai and their dealings in the past, this shocks you so much that it makes you think Verin is Black?!
For me, this was a strong indication she was one of the good guys, nothing else. Apart from a very strong indication that she is sneaky. But that goes without saying.

Re: hubris. Typical behaviour of our conflicted hero. What to do when the whole world rests upon your shoulders? Yes, you are the man, but don't let it get to your head. I mean, that would cause some serious inconsistent behaviour, I would say, trying to act correctly and thereby swinging between the two, i.e. hubris vs humility.

jej @8: nice!

(edit for typo)
T C
36. Freelancer
"Vanity, definitely my favorite sin." ~ John Milton


Leigh,

You do realize that your (IMO very accurate) portrayal of Rand's humility goes against the opinions of many readers, who are convinced that by this point of the story, Rand's arrogance and pride have brought to him all of the troubles he currently faces. Unquestionably, he has made mistakes and misguided choices. He definitely has had moments where he lacked control, and succumbed to the arrogance of one who felt he could do ANYTHING. Well, with the Power at his disposal, and his lack of training/maturity in its use, this is understandable. But the person, Rand, has so far remained very grounded compared to most who could have been put in his place. He isn't prideful. Yet. But it's on the horizon, and then a long, long way to Dragonmount.


SillySlovene @17

Cadsuane's bit about teaching Rand manners isn't important to her at all, except that it is a vehicle of misdirection for keeping him off-balance and therefore easier for her to maneuver. And it is working, as demonstrated by Rand's belief that she isn't really interested in him. It is a method she has used successfully for a very long time, and has no good reason to discard in this case.


"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." ~ Proverbs 16:18
Hilde Sørensen
37. edlihs
matthew1215 @ 26


I'll add the following: It's possible to take pride in your humility, something that I think Rand may be engaging in a little bit here. He's so focused on saving the world that he'll take whatever abuse is necessary in order to achieve it...



Perhapes I missread this but I always thought Rand's "problem" was his unwillingness to make others suffer. He wants to save others from dying/get hurt by having to do "his" job. He fears they will die in vain. It is not that he doeaen't think they couldn't do some of it. He doesen't want to force them to.
Philbert de Zwart
38. philbert
So, does Cads suspect that Verin is about to whack her? Why else was she in such a 'confiding mood'?
T C
39. Freelancer
philbert @38

Only two possibilities. Either Verin hit her with the Compulsion-lite, or Verin is ta'veren. Whenever something unusual happens, like Cadsuane being in a confiding mood, it must mean one or the other, right?
Rob Munnelly
40. RobMRobM
I'd vote for a third: both older AS, both exceedingly competent, both originally from Far Madding - Cads finally found someone who is more or less a peer and decided to let her hair down a tad, so to speak. R
T C
41. Freelancer
And now for a serious answer. It just happened that way, is all. If Cadsuane believed for an instant that another sister was planning her ill, she would take pre-emptive action. With the advantages of her paralis-net, and her inherently greater strength in the Power, Verin wouldn't last a minute.
Brandon D
42. Ishmayl
@29. dmhman749


Murder, rape, betrayal, etc...all become reasonable courses of action if you believe that you matter more than those you are wronging.


Not to mention, they become "reasonable courses of action" if you start believing that the ends justify the means. If you act as if each person is an end unto themself, then you'll probably make wiser decisions, IMO. Of course, that's very much my deontological background coming out, and maybe it's not applicable in a world of fantasy.

Also, re: the later Oathes of Fealty to the Dragon, I don't see that as being so much ta'veren as it is these Aes Sedai, trapped in pretty desperate situations, making decisions that they believe will help them overall. I definitely the first Nine Sworn are all Rand's influence, but I think the rest are likely calculated decisions. With some Verinfluence thrown into the mix, obviously.
Valentin M
43. ValMar
I think the new batch of sworn AS were influenced by the fact that many of their sisters had already done so.
Chris Chaplain
44. chaplainchris1
I agree that Rand's at a mid-point between out-of-control pride and his grounded nice-guy self. Apparently a lot of readers (Leigh?) liked it when Rand was crowned King of Illian in ACOS - for myself, it was a big "oh, no, no, nononononono" kind of moment. Because sheepherder Rand from the Two Rivers was too sensible for that, but apparently that Rand and this Rand were parting company.

Likewise, in ACOS (or TPOD?), we get Rand trying to overawe Cadsuane with his crown/scepter/clothes/titles. Compare that to Rand's first meeting with the AS delegation in Caemlyn (LOC). They come in announcing their names with full honorifics, impressive as possible - he simply says "I am Rand al'Thor." The simplicity makes the room "whisper" with other titles - a cool scene.

Anyway, point being that Rand here seems a little more humble and balanced than the crazy guy with Callandor fighting the Seanchan in TPOD. But he's still the crazy guy who, right now, plans to cleanse the taint (exposing his position to the Forsaken and all) without any back-up. To his credit, he knows it's a bad plan; and to his credit, he went to get Nynaeve to link with him to do the actual cleansing; but to his detriment (and demerit), he doesn't think to tell Elayne, Aviendha, Egwene, Sorilea or Amys, etc. Meaning a) half the world thinks the Cleansing is some huge Forsaken act; and b) still no back-up of friendly Aes Sedai/Accepted/Wise Ones.

Which, coming to a point, means that Alanna has perhaps just justified her existence.

Huh?

Well, she's the one who gets Rand to accept that Aes Sedai can help him, and that he's foolish not to accept that help. His immediate use of that help is to end the rebellion in Tear; but then he immediately thinks about how to interest Cadsuane.

Without Alanna's advice, would he have asked Cadsuane to be his advisor?

Without that, would Cads have rescued him from Far Madding? Even if she had, would put-in-a-box-again-for-a-new-helping-of-crazy-Rand have accepted her help (or her simple presence) at the Cleansing?

Without Alanna, the world might be toast.

None of which excuses her actions...but perhaps justifies her existence.

I should perhaps say, apologetically, that I have trouble feeling viscerally that the fictional/magical/empathic "bond" has a moral equivalence to rape. (Oops - perhaps I'd have been better not to confess this?) I don't mean that intellectually I don't see it. But somehow the magical Warder bond doesn't have the same visceral impact that the other does. It has nothing to do with gender reversal; I have some trouble feeling the same outrage at Asha'man forcibly bonding AS, too. I just don't _emotionally_ give the same weight to a bit of empathic sharing (even though intellectually I recognize as forced intimacy and therefore wrong) as I do to the physical violation/domination/utter attack on personhood/most heinous of crimes that I think rape is.

That said, Ashaman mindbending AS to their will, denying them free choice, even the choice to fight - that I *do* loathe. Such utter domination is sick and wrong. Hm...come to think of it, Alanna did try to bend Rand to her will as soon as she bonded him. That's sick and wrong, too. So maybe I only feel less outrage because she wasn't able to complete the mind-violation by actually dominating/controlling him. Which means...

Which means Alanna sucks, is what it means.

Let's talk about gun control.
J.Dauro
45. Seamus1602
Re: Pride

The Black Ajah's continued existence and growth is due directly to the Pride of the AS.
The continued travails of the Shaido are due to Pride.
The SF ass-itude - Pride.
The Whitecloaks - Pride.
Elaida's coup - Pride.
Verin is BA only because her Pride almost got her killed.
Egwene's Pride is the only thing holding me back from full-fledged love after tGS ('Men are not to be trusted' = "True enough"); also why she was captured
Mesaana, Sammael, Demandred, Grendal - FS due to Pride (poss more, as well - I can't remember).
Meirin's Pride caused the Bore.
LTT's Pride caused the Breaking of the World (though it's always hard for me to blame him cause he saved the world first)
Latra Posae's Pride possibly also caused the Breaking per Strike at Shayol Ghul (or it saved saidar, which would make it 'good' Pride)
Nyneave's entire arc is about tempering her Pride.
Setalle Anan's Pride reveals the Kin.
Tuon's Pride means she doesn't believe in the true K Cycle, ta'veren, shadowspawn (until evidence comes), carion eater spies, etc. (same applies to all Seanchan not named Leilwin, Egeanin, or Alivia)
Birgitte's Pride has been hurt by her removal from TAR, so she now whines whenever people want her to be consistently awesome.

Anyways, those just kept popping into my head. Good tangent, Leigh, as it seems most of the issues in Randland stem from Pride. I'd go so far as to say the other 6 Sins could easily initially manifest as Pride.

I don't know what my view of Pride would have been as a child (didn't really spend time contemplating the 7 Sins), but I will say that most current social norms and school rules are in place to address the symptoms of Pride (no put-downs, common courtesy (ahem...Cads), sharing, teamwork, etc.) While kids may not be able to define it adequately, they're learning the actions necessary to avoid it in the future.
Lannis .
46. Lannis
::Contented sigh.:: Communication! Yay! Even if it is Alanna that's involved, I'll take all the communication I can get in this series. The headdesking from the lack thereof is getting to be enough, by book nine!

Sneaky sneaky badass Verin, with exile warrants!

Re: Pride. I agree with chaplainchris @44... I think Rand's Pendulum of Pride swings back and forth...

I'll concede that Rand putting The Rest of the World ahead of himself is definitely a lack of pride, but I don't believe he's completely without. The flipside for him is his "I must do it all alone" mentality... which, we'll be seeing melt a bit shortly when he hands Nynaeve a key to the Choeden Kal and lets himself be helped by someone (c'mon cleansing!).

I really feel this whole "lack of trust, must shoulder everything, I'm the biggest martyr of them all" mentality is a form of pride in and of itself. Sure, he's not thinking of his own wants/needs, but he's sure as hell not letting others help him do what needs be done, either. And I'll admit there's an element of paranoia involved, too (who can he trust, really? Especially after Moiraine's letter just laid it all out there...)

insectoid @ 18: My 500th comment on the Re-read, FWIW. ::does happy dance:: I'm rather in awe that you're counting! O_o

J.Dauro @ 30: Congrats on the upcoming wedding! After party in the bunker, yes? ;)


Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Have a great week! :)


EDIT: Aaaaand I can spell. I swears it. I is smrt.
J.Dauro
47. LogainsBrother
I always thought that Elza's "zeal" was only attributed to Verin's compulsion. After all, Verin said it herself: Her victims would have to find within themselves the reasons to swear to Rand. For a darkfriend, that reason would have to be very strong indeed, even fanatic.

Pride, deadly sins...I'm Jewish, so no worries for me there :P
Just kidding. I always thought the deadly sins were a good guide to life in any case, and pride does seem like the father of them all.
Thomas Keith
48. insectoid
Lannis @46:

I'm rather in awe that you're counting! O_o

Bad habit of mine, making lists of things. ;)


J.Dauro: Congratulations!

Bzzz™.
Drew Holton
49. Dholton
Re Verin's sneakiness:

What I've always wondered about this scene is how much did Cadsuane know? RJ had shown us her trick of knowing who was in the room by using the reflection from her sewing box, so did she see Verin pulling out the vial? Did she put together that Verin wasn't sure she could trust Cadsuane, and is that why Cadsuane decided to open up to her in such an uncharacteristic fashion? To reassure her without letting Verin know she was on to what she was doing? If all this isn't moonbeams and mist, say what you will about Cadsuane's character, that's some pretty awesome subtle sneakiness.
Ron Garrison
50. Man-0-Manetheran
Ishmayl@1 - Hey! Best first post evah!

This is one of my favorite chapters (it carries a permanent flag) with lots (in retrospect) of foreshadowing. And it has Verin and Cadsuane! Thanks Leigh for quoting the last two paragraphs. “He’s turning into a stone, Verin, and if he doesn’t relearn that he’s human, winning the Last Battle may not be much better than losing.” There you have it. I think this sums up RJ’s most profound moral in the story. I just love this section.

The other significant line, for me, is: Death is a relief, Lews Therin said fervently. I want death. We deserve death! I’ve posted before about Moridin and the “link” and the bleakness that will come should the Dark Lord prevail. Notice that LTT says “We.” Yes, sometimes LTT seems to be referring to himself and Rand, but here could he be including Moridin? Think about never being able to die. Think about Moridin’s castle in the blight. Bleak huh? I so want to see the end of the story to be a triumph of hope and light. What better way than for Moridin to come across or, perhaps, make a sacrifice that brings the Dragon to victory.

And lastly, “Great Post!” to sillyslovene@17, ShaggyBella@32, Freelancer@36, chaplainchris1@44.

Freelancer@39&41: I read it that Cadsuane recognized a kindred spirit in Verin. Both are unconventional (to say the least!) - and neither are dummies. I actually saw this “confiding” as a significant moment.
Daniel Hanley
51. dmhman749
I have always thought that Cads didn't know about the poison, but it is kind of in character for her to open up based on her seeing the poison...If this is the case, Cads could be ready to shield Verin if she does actually go through with the poisoning, so she isn't really in any danger as long as she watches the poison very carefully.

So in this case, it also serves as a test for Verin from Cads...she explains her motives, and if Verin attempts to poison her after that, it indicates to Cads that Verin has very different goals, and therefore might need to be removed. So it makes complete sense in that light for Cads to explain herself and watch to see what Verin decides to do with that information instead of immediately shielding her if she sees the poison.

Afterall, we just saw in the last chapter that Cads was equally ruthless(or close, at least), so it seems like she would be willing to accept that ruthlessness in another aes sedai in considering if they want to poison her, as long as such ruthlessness is also working towards her goals.

Hmm...no way to know for sure, but if true, it makes my dislike for Cads drop by a notch or two.
Maiane Bakroeva
52. Isilel
Argh, Alanna! I remember that this scene intially made me very angry because Rand put up with her BS instead of insisting on being released as was his right. What right does she have to know who bonded him and judge whether she is suitable?! And why didn't Rand made the obvious answer - that he'd be much safer if nobody knows? And Alanna is prurient too - no leaving the warder his privacy for her, oh no.
Her points about actually allowing sworn AS to contribute have merit, but I'd have preferred if they were made by somebody else.

Cadsuane - eh. When a woman preaching politness has to resort to slaps, she is doing something wrong.

Verin, the sublime Verin... All her scenes are great as usual and full of mysterious meaning.
I also wonder about the "confiding mood". Did Verin Compel Cadusane at some opportunity? Did Cadsuane see Verin's preparations to ax her reflected in her kettle? I kind of think that Verin wouldn't make such a mistake... And how could Verin be sure that Cadsuane was honest with her and not a BA lying through her teeth?
Re: warrants, they seem to be quite old as Verin isn't afraid of being recognized visually. Did she perhaps, make some waves during her first exit from Far Madding as a girl?

Oh, and BTW she did Compel the then-stilled sisters too. In that PoD chapter where she is busy she thinks about "questioning" them and IIRC gives corresponding instructions to her Aiel guards in the end.
J.Dauro
53. alreadymadwithverin
Wasn't that around the time her schedule got disrupted by Katerine Alrudin's escape? In any case she gave instructions on summoning one, but no indication that she considered them "compel-worthy", nor that she proceeded with questioning the other two.

And yes... Alanna's reply was extremely headdesk-worthy.
Matthew Hunter
54. matthew1215
37) That's my point. Rand's "pride" here is taking all of the suffering, anguish, and moral uncertainty upon himself. He's not sharing his burdens any more than he absolutely has to. He is the Dragon Reborn, he will suffer so no one has to sacrifice. What he doesn't get is that the burden is too big for any one man alone to bear.
Lynn McDonald
55. meal6225
Alanna--detest her way more than Cads.
Rand--so sad he's 20 and so resigned to his death.
All of you that want Moridin and Rand to battle each other is it the enhanced bloodshed/pain they would inflict on each other you long for? The connection would have to be broken between them before I would enjoy that battle.
J.Dauro Congratulations! May it be a glorious October day! Any SF vows?
A milestone day for myself and my son tomorrow--we move him into his dorm room at Ohio State! Yeah to be empty nesters!!!
Ben Kane
56. NerveAgent
Far from impressing me with Rand's supposed humility and control of pride, this chapter was another in a long sequence that turned me against his character, well before his complete meltdown in tGS. The specific thing I'm referring to in this chapter is subtle and is only hinted at obliquely, but it's there nonetheless.

Alanna talking to Rand about the newly sworn sisters:

"Rand, Damer has discovered a way to heal being stilled! Light, I can say that word without freezing my tongue. He Healed Irgainand Ronaille and Sashelle. They've sworn fealty to you, too, just likeall the others."
"What do you mean, all the others?"


"I mean all the sisters the Aiel were holding. Even the Reds." She sounded half disbelieving about that, as well she should, but disbelief melted into intensity as she put both feet on the floor and leaned toward him, her eyes fixed on his. "Every one of them has sworn and accepted the penance you put on Nesune and the others, the first five of them who swore."

Do we recall what that penance was? From PoD, Chapter 29:

Abruptly, Rand turned back, striding toward the line of women so quickly that Beldeine and Sarene stepped back. A sharp gesture from Sorilea jerked them into place again."Would you accept being confined in a box?" His voice grated, stone grinding on frozen stone. "Locked in a chest all day, and beaten before you go in and when you come out?" That was what they had done to him.
"Yes!" Elza moaned against the floor. "Whatever I must do, I will!"

"If you do require it," Erian managed shakily, and, faces aghast, the others nodded slowly.


That's right: Rand al'Thor - the "hero" - has been ordering the torture of incapacitated women, both explicitly with this barbaric "penance," and implicitly by letting the Aiel use their handy Khmer Rouge techniques when treating them as da'tsang: useless labor, physical torture, and brainwashing. Perhaps his penance would be more reasonable as a price for entering his service if the Aes Sedai's only alternative, continued captivity, was not one of endless torment.

Yes, the TAS treated him horribly, but at this point they were neutralized. By treating them so despicably Rand accomplished nothing but the destruction of any lingering sympathy I had for his character.

Time to wake up and smell the coagulated blood on the floor: Rand left the Light long ago. A man who orders the torture of helpless women might be a necessary tool for winning the Last Battle, but nothing more; he is certainly no hero of mine.
J.Dauro
57. Wortmauer
"Rand, I like Alivia. I do, even if she does make Nynaeve have kittens left and right." One fist planted on her hip, Min leaned forward and pointed a finger at his nose. "But she is going to kill you." She bit off every word.

I don't get it. Min knows very well that trying to warn people about her viewings never changes them. That's what she told Perrin early in TDR. Why is she trying to warn Rand about Alivia? Or is she just ranting, blowing off steam?
Isilel@52: Cadsuane - eh. When a woman preaching politness has to resort to slaps, she is doing something wrong.

Just so. Well, at least she didn't go all Far Madding and use a switch. (There was one hanging on the wall, right?)
Sam Mickel
58. Samadai
Nerveagent @56.
You are wrong.

He never ordered them to be tortured, just asked if they would be willing to have the same thing done to them as was done to him.
Daniel Hanley
59. dmhman749
NerveAgent @56 I don't think i have noticed that before, but...thats what turned you against rand? There are several problems I have with rand and his actions between books 6 and 12, but this is not one of them. every one of those women deserved what they got. They deserved more than they got. This was nothing less than justice...ok, its a flawed justice coming from the victim of the crime, since punishments for crimes should come from the law, not revenge. But it wasn't remotely disproportionate(rand was stuck in the box and beaten for weeks, and most importantly, he had no real hope of anything different in the future...these women know its only for one day, so that makes it bearable), and keep in mind that Rand is the king/the only authority who can bring these women to justice, anyway. Seems reasonable to me.

Rand is definitely a flawed hero, sure...and he drifts towards borderline evil in book 12, but i assume he will recover from that in the last two books after veins of gold.

I'm not saying Rand is a hero of mine, but stuff like this reinforces my liking the character, it doesn't diminish it. Overall, he is still one of my favorite characters in the series, even after everything(though there have been times that only knowing hes going to recover emotionally in the future has continued this).

Wortmauer @ 57, its different when you are trying to protect someone you love. Even if intellectually you know you can't change it, it would be very easy to try as hard as you can to ignore that and do what you can to change the future. Especially when the subject of that love is just casually keeping the person who is going to 'help them die' around.
Joseph Blaidd
60. SteelBlaidd
NerveAgent @56
Umm... He never orderd that they be betten day and night just asked if they were willing to accept it. The only thing he required is that they swear to him and then he sent them off to be aprentice Wise Ones. As Min observed, in the paragraphs just after the ones quoted, if he had ordered them beten night and day he would have broken.

RE Pride:
From one of the great Discourses on the subject.



Pride is a very misunderstood sin, and many are sinning in ignorance. (See Mosiah 3:11; 3 Ne. 6:18.) In the scriptures there is no such thing as righteous pride—it is always considered a sin. Therefore, no matter how the world uses the term, we must understand how God uses the term so we can understand the language of holy writ and profit thereby. (See 2 Ne. 4:15; Mosiah 1:3–7; Alma 5:61.)


Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of
the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.


The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my
will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)

Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled. (See Alma 38:12; 3 Ne. 12:30.)

The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives. (See Hel. 12:6.)
They pit their perceptions of truth against God’s great knowledge,their abilities versus God’s priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works.

Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily
offended, and sign seekers. The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s.

Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17; D&C 58:41.)

The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device
against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being
above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)
--E. T. Benson "Beware of Pride"



Heidi Byrd
61. sweetlilflower
I once saw a play that was based on Paradise Lost. The play added an 8th deadly sin, which was entitlement. This addition has really stuck with me for the past 15 or so years. While reading through the comments, I think entitlement is perhaps the worst form of pride and it is what most of you are trying to say. The AS feel entitled to their positions of authority, Rand feels entitled in his pain and self-reliance. There are many other examples. Simply having pride in one's appearance, school, homeland, whatever; is a healthy survival trait b/c it clearly defines the "us" and "them" that is built into every person's brain. However, when the pride becomes entitlement, other people become objects instead of other subjects. Once this transition occurs, we find sin.

Also, has anyone else noticed how weird the word "eightth" looks?

Edit: Yeah, I knew there was something wrong with what I was typing. I would have looked it up but my two-year old began demanding my attention. But, you have to admit that "eightth" does look weird!
Roger Powell
62. forkroot
sweetlilflower@61

Also, has anyone else noticed how weird the word "eightth" looks?

It looks weird because it's misspelled. Try "eighth".
Barry T
63. blindillusion
Meal6225,
All of you that want Moridin and Rand to battle each other is it the enhanced bloodshed/pain they would inflict on each other you long for?
That's a little uncalled for, don't you think? I tend to feel this will be the main physical battle, but not because I want Rand to feel any enhanced pain. I don't think anyone else who proposes this theory feels that way either.

If anything, while Rand isn't my favorite character, he's the one I'll go to bat for before any other.

--Beyond that. Um, Sam is right. Rand never had them placed in the box. I don't think I would have been able to write the above if he had. We've all seen what doing wrong to fight wrong accomplishes.

I think that would go towards what Leigh spoke to in her commentary. Twisted Pride.
Ben Kane
64. NerveAgent
Samadai @56, SteelBlaidd @60:

That penance was actually executed (Min evidently failed to restrain him...what else was Alanna referring to?) and the only choice Rand gave them in the matter was to accept it or be handed back to the Aiel. As I said, it would have been more reasonable had that alternative choice not entailed continued torture.

dmhman749 @59:

See above. What, pray tell, do you think the women "deserved"? Stilling and execution? They had been in the custody of the gentle Aiel for weeks. Also, this point was one of many things that made me dislike Rand intensely; not the only one. Perhaps at some point I'll write an essay on all the reasons why, but not at the moment.

In any case, you have your concept of a likable character
and I have mine, and Rand does not qualify. By his own actions, he's made himself nothing more than a dangerous but necessary instrument.
Daniel Hanley
65. dmhman749
I think they deserved to stay in the aiel camps for the rest of their long lives. Knowing that they still have the ability to channel, so hope remains alive and they don't just die, but never actually being able to. Knowing that they are Aes Sedai, but will never again be treated with the respect that they do not deserve. A single days punishment and then allowing them to go back to being aes sedai is mercy.

But you not liking him is fair...i was just surprised that this was such a big deal to you. it just doesn't seem particularly wrong or evil to me.
Ben Kane
66. NerveAgent
dmhman749 @ 65:

The rest of their lives? You have an interesting definition of "proportionate."
J.Dauro
67. DevilsAdvocate
Re: Verin compelling Cads

This doesn't seem likely. IIRC, Verin's Compulsion-Lite required pretty intense concentration on her part and was a big time investment. Doesn't seem like something she could do all sneaky-like without Cads picking up on it.
J.Dauro
68. DevilsAdvocate
NerveAgent @ 56

and accepted the penance you put on Nesune and the others, the first five of them who swore.

Was the penance being beaten and put in the box? I understood it as being apprenticed to the Wise Ones, but I could be wrong.
Barry T
69. blindillusion
“Would you accept being confined in a box?” His voice grated, stone grinding on frozen stone. “Locked in a chest all day, and beaten before you go in and when you come out?” That was what they had done to him.

“Yes!” Elza moaned against the floor. “Whatever I must do, I will!”

“If you do require it,” Erian managed shakily, and, faces aghast, the others nodded slowly.

Min stared in amazement, knotting her fists in her coat pockets. That he might think of getting his own back in the same manner seemed almost natural, but she had to stop it, somehow. She knew him better than he did himself; she knew where he was hard as a knife blade, and where he was vulnerable no matter how he denied it. He would never forgive himself this. But how? Fury contorted his face, and he shook his head as he did when arguing with that voice he heard. He muttered one word aloud that she understood. Ta’veren. Sorilea stood there calmly examining him as closely as Nesune did. Not even the threat of the chest shook the Brown. Except for Elza, still moaning and kissing the floor, the others were hollow-eyed, as if seeing themselves doubled up and bound as he had been.

Among all of those images spilling around Rand and the women, suddenly an aura flashed, blue and yellow tinged with green, encompassing them all. And Min knew its meaning. She gasped, half in surprise, half in relief.

“They will serve you, each in her fashion, Rand,” she said hurriedly. “I saw it.” Sorilea would serve him? Suddenly Min wondered exactly what “in her fashion” meant. The words came with the knowing, but she did not always know what the words themselves meant. But they would serve; that much was plain.

The fury drained from Rand’s face as he silently studied the Aes Sedai. Some of them glanced at Min with raised eyebrows, obviously marveling that a few words from her carried so much weight, but for the most part, they watched Rand and hardly seemed to breathe. Even Elza lifted her head to gaze up at him. Sorilea gave Min one quick look, and the faintest nod. Approving, Min thought. So the old woman pretended not to care one way or the other, did she?

At last, Rand spoke. “You can swear to me as Kiruna and the others did. That, or go back to wherever the Wise Ones have been keeping you. I’ll accept nothing less.” Despite a hint of demand in his voice, he looked as if he, too, did not care, arms folded, eyes impatient. The oath he demanded of them came out in a rush.

Min did not expect quibbles, not after her viewing, yet it was still a surprise when Elza scrambled up to her knees, and the others lowered themselves to theirs. In ragged unison, five more Aes Sedai swore under the Light and by their hope of salvation to serve the Dragon Reborn faithfully until the Last Battle had come and gone. Nesune delivered the words as though examining each one, Sarene as if stating a principle of logic, Elza wearing a wide, victorious smile, but they all swore.
How many Aes Sedai would he gather around him?

With the oath, Rand seemed to lose interest. “Find them clothes and put them with your other ‘apprentices,’ ” he told Sorilea absently. He was frowning, but not at her or the Aes Sedai.
“How many do you think you’ll end up with?” Min almost jumped at the echo of her own thought.

“However many are necessary,” Sorilea said dryly. “I think more will come.” She clapped her hands once and gestured, and the five sisters sprang to their feet. Only Nesune looked surprised at the alacrity with which they had obeyed. Sorilea smiled, a very satisfied smile for an Aiel, and Min did not think it was caused by the other women’s obedience.

tPoD, Chapter 29.

- Rand did not order anyone placed in a box. He had them placed into the Wise One's care.
Daniel Hanley
70. dmhman749
Fair enough. Lets take a look at their crimes and what punishments they would get under the US legal system.

1. 2 counts of Kidnapping, 1st degree: typically 10+ years. Up to 25 years, and this was a pretty bad example, so lets say a total of 40 years total.
2. Home invasion: 10-25 years. lets say 10
3. 2 counts of Assault, 1st degree: 5-20 years(lets say 10 total(min))
4. 2 Felony false imprisonment: varies, but generally up to 10 years(lets say max for rand, half for min): so 15
5. Criminal posession of a firearm(having extra aes sedai beyond what was allowed in the city...closest estimate): 2 years.
6. Torture: varies...usually life in prison without the posibility of parole, but lets assume 50 years instead to get a concrete value.
7. and the only slightly questionable one, but a...shit ton of felony manslaughter charges, since all the deaths at the the battle can be traced to the original crime, making them culpible: up to 10 years EACH...so...up to hundreds of thousands of years?
8. the whole thing can be charged under the RICO act, so each aes sedai is fully culpible for the entire amount

So NOT counting the thousands of cases of manslaughter, we are talking a total prison term of 127 years. they would certainly get at least SOME of the manslaughter charges, so life without the posibility of parole really seems reasonable to ME.
Sharon E.
71. Sulin
Yay- Another chapter! Interesting insights into pride, Leigh and as always thanks for all the work you put into this re-read.

Hmm, I'm so late in responding, everyone's (as usual) said what I would've/could've/might've (contractions, ftw!). I'll content myself with saying that I always enjoy this chapter, and all of the FM chapters.

I'll also add that in no way, no how did Rand order those AS tortured!

*waves at Sam*

SulinoftheLifeisTooCrazyTheseDaysSeptoftheEverBusyAiel
Tricia Irish
72. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh! I'm sorry to get here so late too....**waves at Sulin** But you have all said interesting things about Pride, Rand, Min, Alannah, Cads, Sneaky Verin, etc.

Rand did NOT order anyone put into a box. Thanks for posting the entirety of that section, Blind. One of the beauties of this reread is that we learn things from each other....things we've missed or misinterpreted. We come to understand characters in new and deeper ways.
Read and learn.

Congrats on the wedding too, J.Dauro! Reception in the Bunker! Save the date. What is the date?

On the road again.......
T C
73. Freelancer
chaplainchris1 @44


Let's talk about gun control.


OK. Steady hands and careful aim, resulting in hot lead delivered on target. The only reasonable definition of gun control.


Dholton @49

No. Cadsuane did not know what Verin was considering. How would she have not taken some form of action against Verin if she had known? The scene is what it appears to be. It was merely timely that Cadsuane made a comment which satisfied Verin as to her objectives regarding Rand and the Light, so Verin checked herself.


Man-o-Manetheran @50

Agreed. I wasn't trying to "set the scene", as it were, only suggesting that there was no supernatural or inexplicable component to what transpired. It would be natural for Cadsuane to be more comfortable with another sister who had survived a long time as something of a loner; a freelancer, if you will.


NerveAgent @56

In case you missed it, read Samadai @58. Nobody was put in a box on Rand's orders. Nobody was beaten twice daily on Rand's orders. The "penance" was becoming "apprentices" to the Wise Ones, and under their authority. Consider it for a moment. Which other Aes Sedai would actually carry out those orders if Rand had issued them? Not even the Wise Ones would follow through on that. They have better ways of shaming the da'tsang. Seriously, if you have chosen this point to decide to loathe Rand, you're missing the story completely.


forkroot @62

You catch that one, and miss a loose/lose swap? Are you slipping? ;-{)>
Alice Arneson
75. Wetlandernw
Hey, all! I haven't read the post yet, much less the comments, but had to get in here to say I had SO MUCH FUN tonight! Brandon is a lot of fun, got a lot of laughs, answered a lot of questions and was generally gracious and friendly. Since my incredibly generous husband gave me his birthday to celebrate mine, I stayed until the last ice cube melted. Literally, I was the last one out of the parking lot. But that's because I was outmaneuvering this big box... I got all the leftover swag!! Anyone need a bumper sticker? I'll post pictures tomorrow.

And for those who didn't see it on my facebook posts yet, Brandon is indeed planning to be at JordanCon 2011.
Jonathan Levy
76. JonathanLevy
Up2stuff @ 14
(So brave! I will match your courage!)
I've always thought that Gun Control was unequally applied to Lesbian couples in WoT, as opposed to Male Homosexual couples, who BTW should definitely be allowed to get married as long as they never had an abortion with a copy of Obama's birth certificate and the ceremony is performed at the mosque on ground zero by an inmate released from Guantanamo.

(Laughs madly in the face of danger)

Freelancer @ 36
"Pride goeth before a re-read, and a haughty spirit before a post." ~ Proverbs 16:19

Hrothgordo @ 24
Plot wise, I am a little annoyed that basically the Cairhein/Tear rebellions are essentially wrapped up in a couple paragraphs...

Plot wise, I am gibberingly grateful that the Cairhien/Tear rebellions were wrapped up in a couple of paragraphs!

LogainsBrother @ 47
Maybe you've heard this joke:
On Yom Kippur in the synagogue the Rabbi gets a little carried away preaching about pride and humility and raises his hands to heaven crying "Oh Lord, I am a nobody!". The Chazan follows his example and raises his hands to heaven crying "Oh Lord, I am a nobody!". The janitor of the synagogue also gets carried away and raises his hands to heaven crying "Oh Lord, I am a nobody!"
The congregation snickers: "Look who thinks he's a nobody..."

forkroot @ 62
It looks weird because it's misspelled. Try "eighth".

"eighth"
Still looks weird :)

dmhman749 @ 70
5. Criminal posession of a firearm...

NOoooooooo! What have you done!?!? What have you done!?!?!?!?! Name the Dark One and he appears!!!

Couple more thoughts:
He put the flute back to his lips and began "The Drunken Peddler." That was jolly enough to cheer the dead. Lews Therin snarled at him.

Hahahaha! Isn't that a great quote? I love it.

Re: Pride
Remember when Alanna bonded Rand in LoC:10? Pride was a recurring theme of that chapter. "Pride fills me. I am sick with the pride that destroyed me!"

Re: Alanna's strange behavior. I enjoyed reading the encounter between Alanna and Rand, for its subtleties. It's what convinced me that Alanna has been compulsioned by Verin. "I dislike being parted from a warder for so long". Ha! That's like a rapist saying of his victim: "I dislike being parted from my wife for so long".
Ben Kane
77. NerveAgent
DevilsAdvocate@68, Blindillusion@69:

The evidence seems clear that the sisters endured physical
punishment - including the box - before and after they swore to him. Giving them to the Aiel as Wise One apprentices wasn't the penance; that was a reclassification of their personnel status. For one thing, we have the vivid description of their treatment from Verin's PoV in tPoD prologue. Next, when Sorilea brings the first five to Rand, she proclaims:

"I think they feel their shame in the bone, now. Erian Boroleos was the first to ask to be beaten as you were, sunrise and sunset, but now each has done so. That plea has been granted."

Later, in chapter 13 of WH, when Corele brings word to Cadsuane that Irgain has been healed, Cadsuane asks, "I suppose she is offering herself up to be beaten like the others?"

So the Aes Sedai had three things to endure before they were accepted as Wise One's apprentices: first they were treated like da'tsang. Second, after they made the decision to serve Rand, they had to offer themselves up for beating at dawn and dusk to demonstrate their sincerity. Finally, after they swore allegiance, they were evidently stuffed in a box for an indeterminate amount of time and occasionally dragged out and beaten. Only then were they accepted as Wise One's apprentices. The reason why there is confusion about the box is because, as I said in my initial post, the evidence is not explicit, and the act itself occurred off-camera.

Blindillusion: Believe me, I am familiar with the scene you so diligently typed out. After I read Chapter 25 of WH, I went back to 29 of tPoD and re-read that section several times, trying to convince myself that what I feared didn't actually happen. Sadly, there is nothing in that scene that proves otherwise. Rand demands whether they would accept being stuffed in a box and beaten...they say yes...Rand fumes about this...Min has a viewing and tells Rand that they are sincere in their desire to serve him...he relents, accepts their oath, and sends them back to the Wise Ones. Nowhere does it indicate that he changed his mind about stuffing them in a box and beating them. Remember, Alanna said very clearly that "very one of them has sworn and accepted the penance put on Nesune and the others, the first five of them who swore." The Aes Sedai were not given the chance to "accept" service as WO apprentices; that was an order issued to them after they had already sworn allegiance. They were asked, however, if they would "accept" the box.

EDIT: I should also point out that Alanna herself became a WO apprentice after swearing to Rand, also under the threat of grievous bodily harm (Hm. Are we seeing a pattern here?), yet nowhere that I'm aware of does she consider that status to be a penance, so it seems incongruent that she would consider it so when referring to the TAS.

I'm a bit surprised at the disbelief accorded to this notion. By now in the series, there should be little doubt that Rand is more than capable of this type of thing. Not only did he consider murdering the Aes Sedai after Dumai's Wells, he nearly killed his childhood friend when the latter challenged his mistreatment of them. Yes, the confrontation was staged, but Rand's insane reaction was real: "I don't care how they're treated! They deserve a dungeon!" Straight from the horse's mouth, folks. And do I even need to mention what happens in tGS?

I want to especially emphasize the following point: even if Rand did not order that specific penance, there is no doubt that he permitted the Aiel to torture the Aes Sedai in the camps, and under the circumstances, that treatment was even worse. Twice already I have mentioned that I would not consider the box completely unreasonable as a penance, if the Aes Sedai were not forced to accept it out of despair. But they were. They were compelled to swear fealty in the first place out of despair.

“You can swear to me as Kiruna and the others did. That, or go back to wherever the Wise Ones have been keeping you. I’ll accept nothing less.”

And where were the Wise Ones keeping them? Under the lash, performing useless labor naked in the hot sun, evidently near the eyes of men, and God only knows what else after Verin handed over that list to Sorilea (she was a Black, after all). Commentors on this thread are aghast at the possibility that Rand subjected the Aes Sedai to the box, but seem completely indifferent to the fact that he tolerated their brutalization during their captivity.

dmhman749 @ 70:

You're invoking the U.S. legal system to back up your argument? In the US, sentence is passed only after a jury composed of the defendant's peers reaches a unanimous guilty verdict in a court empowered by constitutional law, and a verdict is only legitimate after a fair trial. Is Rand a legitimate authority for meting out punishment? Were the Aes Sedai allowed to defend themselves? Did they receive legal representation and a jury trial? Were they spared "cruel and unusual punishment"? Where, in the U.S. justice system, is it permitted to brainwash, break down, shame and humiliate independently-willed women "down to their bones"?

And, since you have made clear what you think is "proportionate," what about the servants that went with TAS embassy? Do they deserve to be held by the Aiel for the rest of their lives? What about the warders, who were oath-bound to obey the sisters who bonded them? What about the young sisters, weak in the power, who had to defer to the more powerful Aes Sedai, or those that had no hand in beating him? Is it "reasonable" for them to share the same fate as the expedition's leaders?

And while we're on the subject, perhaps you should tabulate a list of Rand's various atrocities and the sentences those incurred. How many manslaughter counts does he face for frying Natrin's Barrow? How many 1st-degree murder charges does he get for massacring that merchant's caravan in TDR (I hope he has solid evidence that they were all darkfriends)? What of his killing of Erian's warders, which is what made the TAS start beating him in the first place? How many years in the slammer does he get for dereliction of duty and negligent homicide when he killed his own soldiers with callandor? And for abandoning Arad Domon to starvation...hell, Rand's rap sheet makes him eligible for crimes against humanity. He better hope to God that the Justice Department doesn't sick Patrick Fitzgerald on him, because then he'll be facing trial for things that weren't even a crime to begin with.

My only point is that using the US legal system to justify your argument is (1) misguided and (2) probably counterproductive to your own purpose.

If we want to play with anachronistic legal formulas, then I would say that Randland is in a state of anarchy, and thus the Law of War reigns supreme. The TAS are Prisoners of War, and though Rand is entitled to hold them for the duration and demand a certain amount of labor from them, he is not entitled to subject them to inhumane treatment, which he did, even if the box penance didn't happen.

Freelancer @ 73:

So your point is that the Wise Ones wouldn't carry out the order because they have more shameful options available? Interesting perspective, to say the least, but hardly a counterargument. And you evidently didn't read my posts, because I mentioned twice already that this was not the one specific thing made me "loathe" Rand. I would also like to say that, though I do respect why my theory about the penance is controversial and subject to debate, I take mild offense at the comment that I'm "missing the story completely." Perhaps you would be willing to educate me on the meaning of the books, since you evidently hold the One and Only true interpretation?

I do think that the Wheel of Time fanbase is generally too quick to forgive Rand's various transgressions (in my observation, some of the worship thrown on him has fascistic undertones). Jordan wrote a very subtle story that interweaved the various themes of good and evil; light and shadow; love and hate; justice and mercy; self-interest and the common good; ends and means, etc., and the constant struggle between them. When readers condemn some characters but then excuse Rand of the same things, they fail to appreciate a very important part of the story that Jordan crafted.
Birgit
78. birgit
Either Verin hit her with the Compulsion-lite, or Verin is ta'veren. Whenever something unusual happens, like Cadsuane being in a confiding mood, it must mean one or the other, right?

If you need a ta'veren, Rand is in the city.
Jonathan Levy
79. JonathanLevy
NerveAgent @ 77

I'm guessing that dmhman749 was just trying to stress the magnitude of those Aes Sedai's crimes, not to suggest a universal moral yardstick for every questionable action ever committed in WoT.

But that's just a guess.
James M
80. Otoahhastis
@NerveAgent
"The evidence seems clear that the sisters endured physical punishment - including the box - before and after they swore to him."

The AS asked to be beaten to show they were repentant for what they done to Rand - they weren't beaten on any order from Rand.
The penance was being sent to serve the Aiel.
Quoting these bits again for emphasis:
“You can swear to me as Kiruna and the others did. That, or go back to wherever the Wise Ones have been keeping you. I’ll accept nothing less.”
“Find them clothes and put them with your other ‘apprentices,’ ”
The AS want beaten to atone and the Aiel are just obliging them.
"Nowhere does it indicate that he changed his mind about stuffing them in a box and beating them."
Nowhere did it say that he had decided this is what was going to happen to them either... he just asked if they would be willing to accept that.

I don't think that it's even implied that they suffered being stuffed in a box and beaten - the only beatings they received are the ones they requested.

Oto.
Ben Kane
81. NerveAgent
Otoahhastis @ 80


I don't think that it's even implied that they suffered being stuffed in a box and beaten - the only beatings they received are the ones they requested.

Yes. Except for the beatings that they got when they weren't hauling the rocks fast enough...or when they spilled a drop of water...or when they spilled more water from being beaten...or when they spilled even more water after even more lashings.

Except for those, the only beatings they received were the ones they requested. Which they were forced to request, in order to escape the other beatings.

And it is strongly implied that they were given the box treatment, as my posts show.
James M
82. Otoahhastis
Ok, I should have been clearer there - I meant they didn't receive any beatings ordered by Rand. The others were for failing at whichever task the Aiel had set them and were the same as anyone else would have gotten in the same position (harsh, but still given for a reason).

That's your interpretation, which is fine, i'm just giving you mine.
I just don't get that strong implication from it that you do.

He only asked if they would accept it - to my mind he wanted to see how serious they were about swearing to him.

Oto.
James Hogan
83. Sonofthunder
@WetlanderNW,

I'm going to have to find your FB so I can see your posts! Did you take lots of pics too? Oh how I wish I had been able to go to a signing...

@NerveAgent,

I never had considered the fact that the AS were being put into a box ala Rand, and I still don't think it likely. From a straight-forward reading of that passage, it seems that he asked them that in anger and then Min helped to temper him. I do agree that the WO were harsh towards the AS. Most likely, knowing Rand's views on women, much harsher than Rand would have approved of, even with his wrath over his imprisonment. I don't believe Rand realized exactly how badly the AS were being treated. As can be seen with his attitude toward the Black Tower, he can be remarkably dense at times. I do agree that Rand's behaviour and actions become ever darker, but I really don't think Rand willingly set a penance of beating and box-putting on the AS. But still, thanks for the thoughts, making me considered something I never had before!
Bouke de Boer
84. Bouke
Maybe the AS were stuffed in a box, maybe they weren't. From all the comments above, I think they were, but not at the direct order of Rand.
The WO just got carried away with his 'implied' wishes and their own correctional system. Beatings are common among the Aiel. Even Egwene got her fair share to meet her toh.

Yes, that doesn't excuse Rand, because he should have known better or at the least know that the WO might resort to that course of action.
However, I can get around these issues, since Rand is our conflicted hero (TM) of the story. Yes, he goes evil and dark, but at the end he redeems himself (we haven't seen that yet, of course, but the signs are there). Not that I hold these beliefs myself, but do most religions not condone this sort of character development? Redemption is good, no matter at what point? From my (extensive) knowledge of Christianity, that is one religion that would qualify...
James M
85. Otoahhastis
This is one of the things I like about this re-read and the comments. It's interesting to see how others interpret things and find out about their views on what happens.

Sometimes it even makes me re-evaluate my interpretation of a scene or clues me in on something I missed altogether.
Perhaps our views on this scene are based on how we see Rand and whether or not we think he is capable of ordering something like that done.

Oto.
Ben Kane
86. NerveAgent
As the Car'a'carn, Rand is directly responsible for the
behavior of his subordinates. Considering his knowledge of Isendre's treatment when they were travelling out of the waste, and his seeing the Aes Sedai's dismal condition when Sorilea brought the first five to him, I think he was aware of what was going on. And if he wasn't, he should have found out.

Anyway, Sonofthunder, since you mention the Black Tower, let me just say this. Lest anyone think that my dislike of Rand is irrational and untempered, I thought both Logain and Rand showed commendable restraint when reacting to Toveine's attack party. I wish that Rand had demonstrated such restraint elsewhere in the series.

At the same time, however, my existing opinion of Rand is hinging on events at the Black Tower. If any of the AS held by Taim are forcibly turned to the Shadow in the next book - which seems very possible - "intense dislike" will escalate to something far worse for allowing that cesspit to fester for so long. If anything in the WoT universe can be likened to rape - aside from rape itself - it's being forcibly turned by a circle of 13.
Jay Dauro
87. J.Dauro
The fact that the AS who kidnapped Rand are women does not and should not make any difference to the Aiel. They committed a very serious crime, kidnapping and abusing the leader of the Aiel.

They were punished as any member of the Aiel would be punished for the same crime, if not more leniently. As dat'sang they were given useless work. They were switched when they slacked off. They were not denied food or water. I imagine after Verin's information was received, they did some work in the nude in front of men. However, they were not abused.

When they accepted that they had done wrong, they were asked if they would accept the same treatment that they had given the Car'a'carn. They said yes. At this point they are deciding what it takes to meet their Toh. This is just as we see Egwene do with the Wise Ones, or Avi with Elayne.

At no time are they treated differently than Aiel who committed the same crime would be. Yes, it is harsh. "Weak things die here." But this is Aiel law and culture.

No permanent injury is given. No disfigurement.

For those whom the Wise One's feel adequete punishment has already been given (stilling) the Aiel work hard to prevent the woman from taking her own life, and attempt to find her a means of continuing her life.

Kidnapping is a capital offense in many cultures. Kidnapping the ruler of a country, while you are negotiating with him is probably going to be viewed very harshly, and usually start a war. I think viewed in that light, the Aiel acted in an extremely controlled manner. 
Valentin M
88. ValMar
Interesting debate on the treatment/punishment of the kidnapper AS. What I feel about it was pretty much written up by J Dauro just above ( congrats, by the way).
Given that these AS aren't more evil than, say, Cads or Verin, we wouldn't want our Light-side heroes to be particularly vindictive (an eye for two, a tooth for a jaw). The Aiel solution got the balance just about right, IMO.

On the Pride issue. What pride can cause is currently being shown by the way the Catholic Church has dealth with children abuse. The Church leadership considering their organisation as more important than stopping the abuse to thousands of children. And that the perpetrators are above civil law (i.e. prison).
Pride can cause also misguided nationalism, which can lead to war and worse atrocities.
Daniel Hanley
89. dmhman749
1st, yes, I was just pointing out the sentences under US law because you seemed to object to the sentice of life imprisonment which I suggested. Obviously they cannot be put under the US justice system, since such does not exist in randland. How justice works there is that the King(or lord, or whoever is appointed by the king or lord) hears the facts and decides...there is no juries, so we can't really ask Rand to follow the civialized system of laws we follow when such ideas don't even exist yet.

2nd, Yes, apparently all of the AS were beaten from sunup to sun-down, but it is clear that they asked for this treatment. NO ONE forced them to. Your own quotes demonstrate this NerveAgent.

Regardless, I get the feeling that the wise ones feel that the Aes Sedai's punishment is Wise One business anyway. I doubt they would have allowed Rand to interfere if he wanted to. In the past, when Rand has even asked about such things when someone is being punished by the Wise Ones, he gets told to mind his own business...they are being punished under Aiel law. You can call it unreasonable if you wish, but it is no different than how they treat eachother. Which might be a little barbaric, but...*shrug* its a fantasy book. it isn't happening in modern times, and its a lot less barbaric than much of what happened in our own middle ages, etc.

3rd, as for Rands 'crimes'...many of what you describe are not crimes...Frying Natrins Borrow...well, maybe. he was kind of evil at that point, no one is debating that. borderline at best. but even there, the argument can be made that he was simply attacking a hostile enemy position as an act of war. Its no different from the bombings that took place in WWII. The merchants caravan in TDR was trying to kill him, if you remember...that was clear cut self-defense. his killing of those warders was in an escape attempt from an illegal false imprisonment. It is completely legal to kill your captors in order to try and escape from such a situation. The deaths of his own troops with calendor was because of a faulty weapon, when rand had no way of knowing that the weapon was faulty. perhaps the weapon manufacturer could be charged if they were still alive under US law, but not rand...

doesn't really matter, you seem determined to not give rand a chance to redeam himself for the things he actually has done wrong, and want to blame him for what he hasn't even done and has had no way to predict.
J.Dauro
90. Hrothgordo
I am always surprised where these discussions end up.

The debate on what Rand is interesting. I certainly understand both the people who dislike him based on his actions actions (although I don’t agree) and those that don’t love him because his experience and motivation are far less “human” then our other heroes.

Jordan’s world is based on a simple premise that while there are absolutes of good and evil, humanity itself is always a mixture. People and cultures are almost always a shade of gray, because we not only make mistakes but also because sometimes our options do not include a good choice; only a less bad one.

Leadership is hard work because of this simple truth. Whether you are a parent or the POTUS you will be faced with choices like that.

Randcertainly has made mistakes, and given his position those mistakes have grave consequences. But there are very few exceptions of him not actively trying to make the moral choice. And the bulk of those exceptions (including the Aes Sedai’s situation) were predicated on his “I’m not going to purposely kill a woman” thing.

Dumia’s Wells is the most distinct example of this. After his treatment, the Aes Sedai had declared open war on him. By any legal definition, he had the right to take the Ashaman to the Tower and level it to the ground.


Killing the AS was a totally valid option and actually a probably would have been the better choice. Even the rebel groups embassy which had openly threatened him already, and brought force of arms great enough to do him harm and included a member who had “raped” him.

The forced oaths were the only portion that I truly thought to be over the top. All the other items were congruent with normal Aiel methods of punishment of their own people. In the end, all of the AS involved committed both an act of war but also serious criminal actions.

Basic premise I live by is don’t commit serious crimes in other countries and expect to not face their brand of punishment. Well unless you have Jimmy Carter or the Secretary of State on speed dial.

And let’s not forget that Rand’s third choice after death and the Aiel, was to send them to the Black Tower. Those 3 options suck beyond the telling, but I think we can agree that would have been the absolute worst.

As to the “box” question, there is no possible way that Rand was aware of this occurring. In TGS he won’t let one of the Forsaken be tortured (one who had tried to kill him and Min, not to mention blowing his hand off and the wikipedia list of crimes Rand knows about through LTT). You honestly think he would take a harsher stance with anyone else?

In regards to Natrim’s Burrow, Rand may have been socio-pathic at that point but his decision was still the best moral choice. Nynaeve’s reaction is the most important one to note. While initially horrified, she truly knows the level of Compulsion that would have been used on the people involved. At a minimum the action saved hundreds of lives.
J.Dauro
91. DevilsAdvocate
Bouke @ 84


Not that I hold these beliefs myself, but do most religions not condone this sort of character development? Redemption is good, no matter at what point?

Having studied a few of the world's major religions (in a scholarly sort of way), I would have to disagree with your rhetorical question. The major religions do not condone this sort of character development. Yes, redemption is good and, in most cases, it is taught that there are no irredeemable persons. However, none of the religions that I know would condone this kind of character development: a slide into moral terpitude because "redemption is good, no matter at what point"
Lucas Vollmer
92. aspeo
Wow I seem to have missed a lot! lol

As for my own thoughts on the whole treatment of the AS by Rand, I firmly believe that he didn't order them to be put in a box. Just because it says they would except that as a punishment doesn't mean that it happened to them. (Sometimes we see what we want to see, even if it isn't what actually happens) It says they were beaten at morning and night as part of their punishment as da'stang, and I think that is all there was to it. It also seems that when they were accepted as apprentices to the WO they were no longer beaten like they were previously, although I admit that I might not be remembering that part correctly.

Personally the reason that I am so willing to give Rand a break and forgive his trangressions is fairly simple. He is the hero of my favorite series of books. I want him to be the gallant knight, the honorable king, and whatever else at the end of the story where he (hopefully) saves the world. Also, most of his transgressions seem to have been enacted in life or death situations, or as an aspect of fighting a war.
Sean Arthur
93. wsean
Re: the box thing.

It is not implied anywhere that the AS get stuck in a box and beaten. That requires a pretty odd interpretation of the text.

Min clearly states that ordering the punishment would strike directly at Rand's most vulnerable point. If she's right, why haven't we seen Rand brooding about ordering them stuffed in boxes? If she's wrong, why never mention it again when it would serve as a great "harder-than-steel" obsession for Rand? It makes no sense either way.

No, the penance referred to is being forced to serve as apprentices to the Wise Ones. It's pretty obvious why this is considered penance--look at how the AS with Perrin are basically treated like children.

As for requesting to be beaten at sunup and at sundown... it's a toh thing. Remember that Egwene did the same thing, after a while as a Wise One apprentice. You could argue that they were brainwashed into it or whatever, but the upshot is that Rand did not order such a thing, and would not order such a thing. The Rand of TGS might well have, but he has not fallen so far quite yet.
J.Dauro
94. alreadymadwiththebox
NerveAgent @86
Rand just asked the Aes Sedai if they were willing to undergo the box to gauge their level of commitment when they offered to swear to him. He was pointing out to them that when they had him under his authority, that was the treatment he got, and that now their positions were reversed. He was pointing out to them, and the Aes Sedai understand, that based on their actions, the penance they deserve may require them to get the same treatment they gave out.
You're overreacting on the Black Tower situation. Toveine and her party are all under the supervision of Logain's faction. And IIRC are all out of the Black Tower as of KoD. Rand mobilized everyone in preparation for when his negotiations with the Seanchan break down, and first people out were Asha'man with bonded AS. If any are left behind they would be with Logain's people, and those should be ready for an upcoming confrontation.

J.Dauro @87
I don't think kidnapping and abusing the leader of the Aiel mattered that much to them. The Aiel are are hardy enough to understand that sometimes, the ends justify the means. To the Aiel, the real offense is that the Aes Sedai came to them under false pretenses. Pretending to treat honorably when all the time they were intending deceit. Kidnapping and physical abuse are things even Aiel will resort to when necessary. They will pay back their toh when the time comes, but they what they abhor is the fact that the Aes Sedai came pretending to negotiate when all the time they never intended to.

Hrothgordo @90
Agreed. While Nynaeve was horrified at such a massive use of balefire she also could not offer an alternative that would result in less loss of life.
Also agreed that after Dumai's Wells, Rand had enough justification to simply travel his 200 Asha'man to the White Tower and level it to the ground.

DevilsAdvocate @91
While most of the major religions would not condone it, they do often point to such a development as an object lesson.
J.Dauro
95. AppleBrandy
Pride is the opposite of the virtue of Humility. Humility is knowing who you truly are. Constantly looking down at yourself, thinking you should be better, is (somewhat counter intuitively) a form of Pride.

Rand never sees himself as he should. He thinks he is either the AWESOME DRAGON REBORN able to do anything, or he is belittling himself as not being hard enough. He doesn’t come to terms with what he is, which is Pride.

Oh, and gun control is using both hands. :)
J.Dauro
96. AndrewB
NerveAgent @86 said: " As the Car'a'carn, Rand is directly responsible for the behavior of his subordinates. Considering his knowledge of Isendre's treatment when they were travelling out of the waste, and his seeing the Aes Sedai's dismal condition when Sorilea brought the first five to him, I think he was aware of what was going on. And if he wasn't, he should have found out."

NerveAgent, where in the series does it say that because Rand is Car'a'carn, he is responsible for the behavior of his subordinates. Please provide a citation (just describe the scene; an exact quote is not necessary).

In actuality, Rand's status of Car'a'carn does not mean that he is responsible for the Aiel's actions. IIRC, Avi repeatedly tells him that being Car'a'carn does not mean that he should expect the Aiel to treat him like a Wetlander king (statements made in TSR and/or the TFoH -- unsure of exact quote).

The one time where he held the Aiel responsibel for their actions was when Rand ruled Andor. He said that the laws of Andor must apply equally to Aiel as they did to citizens of Andor. That is why he had to execute his Aiel friend (cannot remember his name in LoC; and that was only because Rhuric and Berelain choose to wait to tell Rand in person about the offense).

Further, I believe that you forgetting the purpose of the Aiel's reason for punishing the AS. It is not a form a torture. Rather, they punish the AS as a means of having them control their pride. See Soreila's conversation with Cads (I believe it was in PoD, but I could be mistaken).

I appologize for my lack of citations to back up my arguments. However, I do not have the time at this moment to research my examples. If there is a need, hopefully others will provide exact chapter and verse (or at least provide a suitable citation) so that others may read the above examples in their proper context.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
john massey
97. subwoofer
Wow!

I have so much to say... and I know I made a grab for 1hunny- but I figure I will break it down to make it digestible.*sigh, I miss spell check*

Anyways, SteelBlaidd@60 put up and excellent post that really hit to the heart of matters... not that there was anything wrong with what others have said, it just struck a chord within me.

Pride is an oft overlooked theme and failing in many and it has been my person downfall on many occasions. I am leading up to something of a revelation here so please bear with me. What really stood out for me personally in this chapter was the exchange with Alanna and Rand and how Alanna offered to pass the bond to Cranky Pants and CP refused- angrily.

This floored me.

Woof™.
john massey
98. subwoofer
I know Wetlander has really been beating a drum about the other side of CP, but to be honest with everyone, pride disguised as "righteous indignation" kept me from seeing that. At this particular point however I would like to say that I am feeling very contrite and humble about my negative perspective of her. Given this recent revelation, which I admit I have overlooked, I am willing to say that in her own way, Cadsuane is looking out for Rand and is honoring her own code of conduct.

Woof™.
john massey
99. subwoofer
Not to start a big flame war here or anything- if I wanted to do that maybe I would talk about ohh, I dunno, gun control...

Anyways, all I really wanted to put out there is that having Rand's bond would be a very big stick and a very big advantage that I do believe Caddy has the ability to use over Rand. I know Rand is special and he is the Dragon and such, but the intel- knowing where Rand is and his true emotions, would be a powerful thing.

Yes, she slapped him and is a honery individual to say the least that really grinds on me otherwise, but to me, this is a big thing.

Woof™.
john massey
100. subwoofer
Personally, pride has blinded me in the sense that I believe my opinion to be right. It is a hard thing for me to do to see the other side of things and that is what humility is about. Pride clouds a person's perception, believing them to be the one that is slighted. It omits the faults and favors every interaction in a positive light for the eye of the beholder. But it doesn't mean that what a person believes to be right is right or true.

I am just saying that there is more to look at here.

Yay! 1 hunny!!!

Woof™.
Hugh Arai
101. HArai
Isilel@52:

Cadsuane - eh. When a woman preaching politness has to resort to slaps, she is doing something wrong.

Very true.
Hugh Arai
102. HArai
Subwoofer@97,@98: Isn't there a Cadsuane POV where although she disapproves she admits she'd have considered it if Alanna hadn't already proven she couldn't compel Rand with it? Don't have access to my books but I'll try to find it. I'd like to see what you think.
J.Dauro
103. AndrewB
Subwoofer re posts 98-100.

Real tacky. No different than the people who post something to the effect of "Yeah. I am post number 1. No I will go read Leigh's post and make comments later if I am so inspired.

To each their own, I suppose. But come on. Using your ploy, how many places can one occupy to get to the magical 100 post. Is it ok for somebody at No. 95 to take 96-100 just to get No. 100. If yes, then what about 90? 75? 50? etc.

What is to stop me from trying to post from 101 until 200 so that I can get 200? Just wondering.

Sorry to preach. But stuff like this annoys me as much as the grab for No. 1 annoys others.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB

Edit: When I started typing, Subwoofer had only posted "Woof" on posts 98-100.
Rob Munnelly
104. RobMRobM
@52 and 101 - to quote Hari Seldon, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
john massey
105. subwoofer
I think Caddy has the skill and ability with the bond to have Rand dancing on a hat pin. If not out of force, then out of manipulation with the knowledge gained.

@Andrew, perhaps you have not heard me talk about the power of edit. And yeah, tacky, that describes me pretty well. I make no bones about it. Sorry if it came out of left field for you:)

Woof™.
J.Dauro
107. AndrewB
Subwoofer,

It did not come out of left field. However, I did not want to insult you personally. That is why I said what you did was tacky. Nevertheless, to each there own.

Moreover, while I might think what you did was tacky, it is permissible (since it was not, the Tor editors could have censored you like they did with the first poster during a prior posting.

Besides, I can live with tacky from you as you generally bring insightful and/or humorous comments that add to Leigh's re-reads. It is unfortunate that you are are not yet housebroken :). Since I do not have the patience to train dogs, I will just have to hit your nose with a rolled-up newspaper.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
J.Dauro
108. pro_star
Alright, the lurker returns. If it was mentioned before, I apologize, I just scanned the comments. About Rand's lack of ability to "manage his subordinates", with Isendre, didn't he try to interfere with her treatment and was told that Far Dareis Mei business.
To Subwoofer@105, regarding your thought that Cads would have him dancing on a hatpin with the bond, implying (if I'm wrong, forgive me) that she'd be able to read him and manipulate that way...
Haven't there been instances where Min has commented a lack of emotion through the bond? I'm not sure how much luck she'd have with that!
Alright, back to lurking.
T C
109. Freelancer
subwoofer,

Well played, sir. Nobody can argue with an object lesson when one employs oneself in such a way. So I ask, is that now how you truly feel about Cadsuane, or a momentary device to elicit a desired response? For while you prefer to be seen as somewhat superficial, as "just this guy", I know that deep down you are sneakly like Verin. And I mean that in the nicest way.


AndrewB @96

It seems that NerveAgent is applying a real life model of the responsibility of leadership. The captain of a ship is responsible for the actions of the crew, even while he is asleep. Applied to WoT, Rand is therefore responsible for every action of every person who is in one way or another subject to his leadership, which would seem to include the nations of Illian, Cairhien, Andor (up to this point of the story), Tear (ditto), the Sea Folk (Coramoor), the Aiel (Car'a'carn), the Aes Sedai sworn to him, and the rest of his extant entourage. Under this consideration, and to account for NerveAgent's loathing, Rand would legally be considered guilty of every crime (or act of mistreatment) committed by any person within the enumerated groups. In practice, the notion is fairly absurd when extended to such extremes. A lawyer once attempted to bring suit against President Reagan for an alleged rape committed by a U.S. military member in Lebanon, applying this same logic. And was summarily dismissed (separately, the case against the military member was dropped due to acquitting evidence).

Oh, and it was Mangin. He killed a Cairhienin man for having a tattoo mimicking the Clan Chief markings. Reminding us that, in spite of their deeply ingrained sense of honor and their well-structured societal heirarchies, there are a few ways in which the Aiel are indeed uncivilized.
J.Dauro
110. AndrewB
Freelancer,

You are correct. I stand corrected. The scene occured in Cairhienin, not Andor. Nonetheless, this error does not affect my argument against NerveAgent's position.

(I understand that you were not taking NerveAgent's position.)

Thanks for reading my musings
AndrewB

Thanks for reading my musings.
Hugh Arai
111. HArai
Freelancer@109: Doesn't a chain of command have to exist to apply that real world model of responsibility? One may exist between the U.S. president and a U.S. military member (I'm not very familiar with the details there) but it explicitly doesn't exist between Rand and the Aiel Wise Ones. I don't see how someone can claim Rand is responsible for their behavior when half their conversations can be summarized as Rand: "I want you to do X", Wise Ones: "We do what we want" and no one else blinks an eye.
Torie Atkinson
112. Torie
All:

It looks like you beat me to it, but see the previous thread re: gun control.

Subwoofer & Andrew:

Comment-jiggering is frowned upon and treated with the derision and scorn it deserves. I'm not going to moderate it, but the rest of the community is free to judge you accordingly. The way we judge people who cut in line, talk on the phone in the bathroom, post FIRST!!11!!!, and other mascots of scum and villainy.

Nonetheless, be nice and keep it classy.
J.Dauro
113. Hrothgordo
I would disagree that the Aiel are uncivilized. You may think their punishments extreme and flat out wrong in some cases, but that is a different argument

Mangin is the perfect example. He killed the man for daring to wear the mark of a clan chief when he had not earned it.

Certainly it has some parellels to urban gangs killing people over "colors" or stoning/beating a woman for not wearing a veil while in public. And I agree those are just flat out disturbing.

Unlike those examples though, the mark of a clan chief represents not only a title but also the trial one takes to achieve them. Aiel earn the opportunity to become clan chiefs through service to their clans, but also risk their very lives in getting them. This dishonors those that died as well as those that lived.

The other large point is ALL of Mangin's actions. He knew the law and made a choice based on his values. But he did so with complete acceptence of the consequences, up to and including walking himself to the gallows.

That to me represents a culture dedicated to law, and since the rule of law is pretty much the defininig quality of civilization.
Don Barkauskas
114. bad_platypus
RobM^2 @104:
Nitpick, but it was Salvor Hardin, not Hari Seldon, who used that quotation.
Rob Munnelly
115. RobMRobM
@112 My client is innocent, innocent, I tell you! First Amendment! Privileges and Immunities clause! Absence of mens rea! Forum non conviens! Res ispa loquitur! Non compos mentis! Woof.

Respectfully submitted,

RobMRobM
Rob Munnelly
116. RobMRobM
Just had two posts not make it to site. First flagged as spam. Second not showing up at all. What gives?
Rob Munnelly
117. RobMRobM
@114. Thanks. You are no doubt correct. R
Hugh Arai
118. HArai
bad_platypus@114: Is that quote attributed to Asimov or did he get it from someone else originally? Do you know?
Anurag Sahay
120. anuragsahay
You know what's sad? Despite the fact that I've read the series in general, and this book in particular dozens of times, I never twigged on the fact that Verin was gonna poison Cadsuane here.

Does that make me a bad WoT fan?
J.Dauro
121. pro_star
anuragsahay - nope. There's plenty I've missed out on ;)
Thomas Keith
122. insectoid
AndrewB @103: Aww... be nice to Sub. At least he had something useful to add to the discussion on all 4 of his comments. (As opposed to, say, 4 one-word comments.) And Sub does like big round numbers. :)

::waves at Torie::

anuragsahay @120: Naw... most of us miss something the first read-through. :)

Bzzz™.
Jonathan Levy
123. JonathanLevy
NerveAgent @ 86
As the Car'a'carn, Rand is directly responsible for the behavior of his subordinates.

The Aiel Wise Ones are in no way Rand's subordinates. They do not take orders from him, they do not report to him. Their favorite saying is "Even the Car'a'carn is not a Wetlander King". Rand can't even command his bodyguard of Maidens. I remember (no ref, sorry) a scene where Aviendha asks one of his guards to let her know whenever he goes anywhere, the guard agrees, and dismisses Rand's protests out of hand.
Not to mention the baths... Lamelle's soup...
(I now see AndrewB @96 has already addressed this).

Hrothgordo @ 90
As to the "box" question, there is no possible way that Rand was aware of this occurring. In TGS he won’t let one of the Forsaken be tortured (one who had tried to kill him and Min, not to mention blowing his hand off and the wikipedia list of crimes Rand knows about through LTT). You honestly think he would take a harsher stance with anyone else?

Kudos for bringing this up, I had forgotten about it completely. I was inclined towards the 'not boxed' theory myself, but I think this has pushed me all the way.
I can only think of one possible counter-argument. You're assuming that Rand's behavior would be consistent. It's possible that as Rand slowly loses his mind, he grips harder to what he has left. Hence he might not care (or affect to not care) about an AS being disciplined excessively harshly in WH, but flatly refused to torture a forsaken in TGS.
(Still, this debate has to take into account your point - if anyone else has already mentioned it, I apologize for not noticing.)

HArai @ 102
I remember it a bit differently. There are two parts:
1) She asks why Alanna didn't compel him. After bonding against his will, trying to compel is peanuts.
2) One of the other Aes Sedai remembers Cadsuane mentioning that she might have been looking for a warder, and suspects she was thinking about Rand.

Hrothgordo @ 113
The Aiel raid each other for cattle, and go to war at the drop of a hat. They were fighting each other for generations before Rand arrived. One of the chiefs says "Maybe one day we will no longer shed each others' blood" as if he can hardly imagine it. There's that other saying: "If two Aiel Chiefs meet, they discuss water. Three discuss water and grazing. Four will dance the spears".

A people who resolve disputes by the sword - sorry, the spear - they are not "a culture dedicated to law". They are a culture dedicated to Honor/Shame which is quite different from the Law. They have a an equivalent of our medieval knightly code of honor. Mangin did not agree to be hanged because he had broken the Law. He agreed to be hanged because he had toh to Rand (=because he had shamed Rand). When Rand said "His toh is to the man he killed", the Aiel were shocked, because it made no sense to them.
john massey
124. subwoofer
@Free- absolutely. I do firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, albeit good or bad. For Rand, a person with the weight of the world riding on his shoulders, mere reasoning, cajoling, manipulation, may not suffice. He doesn't know who to trust and he is at the point where he doesn't want to let anyone in. Even the boys he grew up with. I feel now, that it had to take something monumental to shake Rand out of the mindset he was in. Like the meeting with his father, orchestrated by Caddy.

For me, the most personal grow, self reflection, and self awareness comes when I have experienced great loss. It is easy to be a good person when everything is going your way. When things go sideways and you are not at your best, that is when your true colors show and your character is forged. You find out who your friends are, who truely loves you and what you can really take. Those people that were just around for the good times are long gone and folks that are still around- they're keepers. Rand needs to see that for what it is.

@Torie- I brush my fur every day, and twice on Sunday. I just don't like to do big epic posts and I do my bestest to be civil:D After all, it's always the dogs that get put down. Humans get the therapy, nice pills and the padded room with a view. Woof-> bang. I be goods.

Woof™.
Daniel Hanley
125. dmhman749
Good points, by and large...I do disagree with one though. Several people have said that Cads having the bond would have helped her manipulate Rand...I HIGHLY disagree. I think that taking the bond would have destroyed any chance she ever had, and she knew it.

Rand already doesn't trust her, and resists any manipulation attempts...but he at least attempts to keep her somewhat happy. If she took the bond, she becomes like Alanna...i.e., someone to look upon with contempt. Someone who is obviously trying to control him.

Cads only got away with it for so long because it wasn't clear that she was trying to manipulate him. As we see in this chapter, rand doesn't even think she is interested in him. All of that would be destroyed, and replaced with a desire to keep her the hell away from him so she can't control him...
Ron Garrison
126. Man-0-Manetheran
subwoofer! You dog you! And I mean that in the bestest way. I know you love to trick and treat us, but I do believe you are sincere. While I never disliked Cads, it always bothered me that she was so reviled by some. She may have annoying quirks, but she does some really incredible stuff. The Cleansing, for instance, probably couldn't have been completed if she hadn't orchestrated the defense of Rand and Nyn. Now if Tek posts a similar change of heart, my jaw will truly be on the floor! LOL.

By the way, "When boxes are outlawed, only outlaws will have boxes."
Ron Garrison
127. Man-0-Manetheran
Oopsy, Dupsey. Duplicate post deleted. And Subwoofer is a good doggie.
Hugh Arai
128. HArai
Jonathan Levy@123:
She asks why Alanna didn't compel him. After bonding against his will, trying to compel is peanuts.

I see it differently. Why would an AS bond someone against their will if they didn't intend to compel them with the bond?
Surely there's an easier way to convince someone to protect you than to make sure they'll go suicidal if you die.
Cait Glasson
129. CaitieCat
The way we judge people who cut in line, talk on the phone in the bathroom, post FIRST!!11!!!, and other mascots of scum and villainy.

So, he's going to the Special Hell with Mal?

/sneaky browncoatness

Also, where does one go to be a mascot of scum and villainy? Mos Eisley Vocational?
john massey
130. subwoofer
@Free & Mano- well, what can I say,
I gotta be me:)

Dang link thing!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGGXgjfOWTc

Woof™.
Hugh Arai
131. HArai
Regarding Cadsuane and Alanna, here's the text I'm referring to:
Unshed tears glistened in Alanna's eyes. "In my place, you would have done the same!" Cadsuane scowled over the cup at her. She might have. There was no difference between what Alanna had done and a man forcing himself on a woman, but, the Light help her, she might have, had she believed it would help her reach her goal. Now, she no longer considered even making Alanna pass the bond to her. Alanna had proved how useless that was in controlling him.





Bold emphasis is mine of course. I read that as indicating not only would she have assented to Rand being controlled via the bond, but that she would have demanded direct control. As far as I can tell the only thing preventing Rand from being compelled by the AS is that it didn't work.

The counter-argument I see is her caveat: "had she believed it would help her reach her goal". It's hard to say if she would believe it would help her or not that if the compulsion actually worked. The involuntary bonding is the one thing Rand keeps coming back to as the proof he can't trust any AS, so it's conceivable Cadsuane would have argued for him to be released, although her approach suggests she doesn't care if he trusts her as long as he does what she wants.
J.Dauro
132. alreadyfarmadding
So, yeah, new poll: which is the more annoying abuse of English spelling: "FIRST!!11!!!" to mean "first", or "hunny" to mean "hundred"?

And here's my vote that 3 or 4 placeholder posts leading up to number 100, retroactively filled in with filler material that could have been a single post but was broken up into the required number of pieces, sometimes including extra filler that's clearly there only to pad out the right number of posts, is far more annoying than a single worthless first post. At least the latter is easy to scroll past.

Yes, I know there's not actually a vote. Plus I'm a NPC and probably ineligible.


Edit: Yay, got number 132!!!
T C
133. Freelancer
HArai @111

The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of all Armed Services. He is the top of the military chain of command. That is why all military members are exercising proper protocal to salute the President whenever they are in uniform, and it is proper protocol for the President to return that salute, though he wears no uniform. (Presidents Clinton and Obama both have ignored this protocol repeatedly, acklowledging military salutes with nothing, or a nod at the most.)


Torie @112

The Woofer is a special case, you see. Comment-nabbing has been elevated to an artform in his case, and at least he uses The Power of the Edit™ to provide something of relative value, even if after the fact.


Hrothgordo @113
Unlike those examples though, the mark of a clan chief represents not only a title but also the trial one takes to achieve them. Aiel earn the opportunity to become clan chiefs through service to their clans, but also risk their very lives in getting them. This dishonors those that died as well as those that lived.

Your gang analogy is quite apt in this instance. The clan chief markings mean none of the things you describe above to a person from outside of their society. Therefore, a gang member killing me for disrespect because I walk on his turf unknowingly wearing his colors, is an exact analogy for Mangin killing that man because he disrespected their custom. That is uncivilized, thankyouverymuch.



Man-o-Manetheran @126

Nicely played. (Keep an eye out for Torie, she's subtle...)
Tess Laird
134. thewindrose
Why is everyone so cranky today? This is not a life and death forum. Chillax people!
“Oh, yes; of course.” Hastily filling a second cup, Verin slipped the small vial back into her pouch unopened. It was good to be sure of Cadsuane at last. “Do you take honey?” she asked in her most muddled voice. “I never can remember.”


Love the 'in her most muddled voice' part. Reminds me of when she is using her compulsion-lite and thinks she had developed her prattling to something of a Talent(most difinitely with a capital T).

tempest™
Roger Powell
135. forkroot
Freelancer@73

forkroot @62 - You catch that one, and miss a loose/lose swap? Are you slipping? ;-{)>

Actually there were two recent instances, both by experienced, thoughtful posters. As I've mentioned previously, nobody likes a nag so I try not to harp on it.
sweetlilflower had explicity asked about "eightth", hence my response.

Torie@112

The way we judge people who cut in line, talk on the phone in the bathroom, post FIRST!!11!!!, and other mascots of scum and villainy.

Don't forget the people that yell "Free Bird!!" at rock concerts and the people that spout Monty Python references at Renaissance Festivals.
J.Dauro
136. alreadymadwithbondcompel
HArai @128
IIRC it was Kiruna who asked why Alanna didn't try Compelling him. This was way back in LoC. I don't recall Cadsuane ever asking. Instead we have the POV that Cads already knows it doesn't work.
Hugh Arai
137. HArai
Freelancer@133: Thanks for the clarification. That's what I thought, but I didn't want to assume I was correct.

alreadymad@136: The part about asking was supposed to be me quoting Jonathan Levy@123 but this new comment editor hates me. Sorry for the confusion. I believe you're right, we don't see Cadsuane's opinion at a time she believes compelling Rand by the Warder bond would work. Making it nicely ambiguous :)
Thomas Keith
138. insectoid
Alreadyfar @132: Well, 'hunny' is how Pooh Bear spells it. ;) But FIRST!!11!!! is definitely the most annoying.

"Talk on the phone in the bathroom"... reminds me of the special fate for obnoxious telemarketers at our house. (Which is, walk the cordless to the john, press Talk, and pull the handle...) ;-}

EDIT: for spelling. :/

Bzzz™.
Rob Munnelly
139. RobMRobM
@135 I remember.

"What song is it you want to hear?"

"Blessed are the Cheesemakers." "We are all individuals - I'm not!" "Bloody peasant!"
J.Dauro
140. alreadyfarmadding
insectoid@138: Well, 'hunny' is how Pooh Bear spells it. ;)

It's how he spelled something. Been awhile since I've read about the Bear of Very Little Brain, but if I'm not mistaken, it meant honey, not hundred. I.e., the Woods didn't have a Hunny Akers.

(Also, fwiw, I'm not alreadymad.)
Thomas Keith
141. insectoid
Alreadyfar @140: Of course I know it meant honey—that is part of the joke. ;) Great name, BTW; I'm surprised AMW hadn't thought of it.

Bzzz™.
J.Dauro
142. Hrothgordo
Jonathan@123
Overall I think you can dismiss that possible counter-argument. As yoou state there is no textual reference for Rand doing anything purposely to condone the beatings or the possible "box" treatment.

Even with his "madness" I would find it insulting as a reader if we suddenly were to believe a character acted in direct opposition to a mantra that has been hammered into us for so many books. I mean Jordan went so far to have Rand muttering the darn "list" in his sleep.

I will also firmly state again that Rand has endeavored to act morally on every occaision prior to TGS. Moreso then Perrin and Mat. The big difference was that his options tended to suck more then anyone else.

And he is most definitely not responsible for the actions of the WO. Especially since I see the Aiel structure as govenrment set up with a checks-and-balances between the clan chief-roofmistress-WO. Holding Rand responsible for the WOs actions would be like holding a President responsible for what the Supreme Court decides.

As to the Aiel themselves , I still fervently maintain that they are civilized, although harsh justiced society.

The standards being asked of them to be conisdered civilized relegates the list of current civilized countries to pretty much just Switzerland.

Every other group uses honor and/or shame to enforce some sort of order, which includes codefied laws and simple taboos.

Each of these groups also are involved in raids and skirmishes over resources. Heck that is the major reason for most conflict, with religion being the only other force that comes close.

The Aiel view themselves as a people but did not see themsleves as a nation until Rand shows up. Although a martial society they are not a "might makes right" group. They have distinct rules of combat which include non-combatents, POWs and how much can be wealth can be taken.

Mangin enforced his societal rules, but also was willing to face hanging for disobeying the CAC. Again that seems civilized beahivor to me.
Sean Banawnie
143. Seanie
Jonathon @123 : how about the time his Maidens gave him that beating .......
TW L
144. Shadow_Jak
But on another subject.
Ever notice the eerie similarities between the Seanchan's unreasonable fear of un-leashed channelers...
and today's common fear of un-leashed gun owners?
...
I'll just head on over to the bunker now...

edit for my usual typos...
TW L
145. Shadow_Jak
Verin arrives at Aleis’s private palace and tips the sedan chair “boys” even though she’s not supposed to, because “Eadwina” would not know any better.


Wonder where she was returning from? BA business maybe?
In all the years she was "affiliated" with the dark side, she must have had to do some pretty dark deeds to maitain her cover.
Will we ever learn any particulars?
Mikey Bennett
146. EvilMonkey
Juss wanted to add something I believe is of relevance to the Rand is a horrible person arguement. NerveAgent said something along the lines of the things going on at the BT were Rand's fault and that his negligence of that place is dayum near criminal. Although I agree with that I still have to give him a pass based on what he himself said on the subject, that he really does not have the time to handle this issue along with the many other issues he is saddled with. Because he has such a monumental task he is forced to delegate not only more than he would like to, but more than is probably healthy for his cause. He knows Taim is bad news but until Logain shows up primed for glory he really doesn't have another option. Bottom line, he needs those men and the only guy he has to teach them is Taim. If he forsaked his other duties, of which there are legion, to teach the guys to channel then that army would not only be less effective, he would likely give the DO the victory b/c his minions would be free to wreak their havoc unapposed. Besides, the only candidate he had to head up this school other than himself was Taim. No one else knew enough of the power to be able to instruct that was not Forsaken. I'm not even sure if Logain knows enough to teach it to others, only to survive. Perhaps if Rand had 10 years to shape the world into an effective fighting force for the Light he could have dedicated the time it takes to cleanse the BT, but the world is unravelling in barely two. The Wheel forced this "just in the nick of time" type situation on the farmboy so he's pulling an AES Sedai. The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills.
Ben Kane
147. NerveAgent
Alright, looks like I've really stirred up the hornets nest. Before a few brief responses to comments individually, I will address some general points.

1. Several comments have mentioned that the Aes Sedai's treatment was reasonable within the context of Aiel society. True, just like stoning to death homosexuals and adulterers is reasonable within some Islamic societies. Relativistic arguments are a long slippery slope into nothing. This elicits an obvious response from me...what about "wetlander" society? What right do the Aiel have to treat them thusly, when they don't follow ji'e'toh in the first place? Keep in mind that Aiel society isn't something that deserves automatic respect. Before Rand reined them in, the Aiel were all too willing to commit genocide against an entire nation for cutting a tree down.


"Treekillers are fit for nothing except to be killed or sold as animals in Shara," Erim said grimly. Those were two of the things Aiel did to those who came into the Waste uninvited...- tFoH, Chapter 2




Also, a few comments have endeavored to argue that the Aiel's treatment of the TAS did not constitute torture:


As dat'sang they were given useless work. They were switched when they slacked off. They were not denied food or water. I imagine after Verin's information was received, they did some work in the nude in front of men. However, they were not abused ... No permanent injury is given. No disfigurement.




Oh. So the Whitecloaks must not have tortured Morgase then, either. Torture does not have to involve mutilation and dismemberment to be considered as such. The U.S. has just emerged from several years of debate about that question with a frim consensus.

2. Concerning the notion that Rand has no control over the Aiel, and is thus not responsible for their actions. If that were true, he should have never led them out of the waste. But it is not true. And the one clan outside of his control, the Shaido, he has sought to destroy. The Aiel have been following Rand's orders for the past eight books. By tGS, they've been doing his bidding for so long that they're starting to feel abused, and are considering leaving for the Waste. And as I mentioned in the above point, Rand quite forcefully imposed his will on the Aiel when he brought them into Cairhien to restrain them from committing further atrocities.

In any case, isn't it a bit ridiculous to suggest that Rand isn't responsible for the WO's treatment of the AS, when he was the one that gave them into their custody?

"I'm not responsible for their abuse; I don't control the Wise Ones."
"But you were aware of that before you gave them the Aes Sedai?"
"Yes."
"And you gave them the Aes Sedai anyway?"
"Yes."
"Are you an idiot?"
"No! I'm the Dragon Reborn! Do as I say!"

3. Most still refuse to believe that the AS were put into the box, and that Rand was not even capable of that type of thing. I've made my case on the box thing already, and as I said before, the evidence is not explicit and I can see why people would disagree. But the argument that Rand could not bring himself to do such a thing simply does not hold water. His mantra against killing women has not, in fact, stopped him from killing women. I'm not saying that some of those killings weren't justified (Semirhage and Elza)...but after Moiraine fell through the doorway, Rand ceased to regard it as a moral guidepost and instead it became a redline to measure his progress of decay. Thus, when he's forced to kill Semirhage, he thinks he's crossed the line and then becomes willing to kill whoever he wants for whatever reason.


Just one day, he thought to himself, and already I think of executing a woman for not agreeing to follow me. There was a time when I could barely stand to execute deserving criminals. But he would do what must be done.- tGS, Ch. 29.




Rand's sense of justice is quite personal and arbitrary. His current Far Madding adventure is evidence of such. Rand is willing to personally hunt down and kill renegade asha'man, but only because they dared attack him. Doesn't he realize most of the Black Tower is renegade at this point? What of the other crimes that Taim's minions are committing in the name of the Dragon? Likewise, he tolerates the Aiel's treatment of the TAS only because he was mistreated at their hands.

Now for some individual responses that will also address the larger point:

dmhman749 @ 89:

My purpose in briefly listing some of Rand's crimes was not suggest that I think he deserves punishment for all of them (though I do for some of them), but to demonstrate that the concept of "reasonable" goes both ways. You and others have given Rand the defense of justification: his actions were committed in desperate circumstances, he had no choice, there were no better options available, he didn't have enough information to act differently, etc. So be it. But why isn't that same defense extended to the TAS as well? After all, the prophecies indicate that the Dragon Reborn will go insane and break the world anew in the process of saving it. His actions thus far bear that out, even after he cleansed the taint. The Aes Sedai are under the impression that they are dealing with the most powerful channeler of a force that only results in insanity and destruction. Is it not reasonable that they would want to control him, to ensure that the damage is kept to a minimum? It's quite obvious that Rand has f'ed up quite a bit when he does his own thing. But for a reason I don't understand, the TAS aren't eligible for this defense, and instead you sentence them all to a lifetime of captivity and humiliation.

Hrothgordo @ 90:


Dumia’s Wells is the most distinct example of this. After his treatment, the Aes Sedai had declared open war on him. By any legal definition, he had the right to take the Ashaman to the Tower and level it to the ground.Killing the AS was a totally valid option and actually a probably would have been the better choice. Even the rebel groups embassy which had openly threatened him already, and brought force of arms great enough to do him harm and included a member who had “raped” him.




So not only should Rand kill all of the TAS, he should even kill all of the SAS who came to rescue him, and then he should go to the Tower and kill everyone there as well. In that case, he should probably travel to Salidar and ice all of those sisters, since they might give him problems in the future. In for a penny, in for a pound. Hell, why doesn't he just kill everyone that opposes him ... things would be easier that way (as he seems to be thinking, lately). And no, his abduction does not give him the "right" to level the tower to the ground. A real world analogy would be the United States nuking Tehran if the Quds force detonated a suicide bomber somewhere in New York. Proportionality is a component of the Law of War as well.


And let’s not forget that Rand’s third choice after death and the Aiel, was to send them to the Black Tower. Those 3 options suck beyond the telling, but I think we can agree that would have been the absolute worst.




And why were those the only three options? He could have handed them over to the Salidar Aes Sedai, either the delegation that was with him or the main body in Salidar itself. He could have handed them over to the Aiel under the stricture that they not be abused. And you touch on something about the Black Tower that I've been meaning to bring up:


At the beginning of aCoS, Taim and the Wise Ones demand that Rand give them custody of the Aes Sedai. Taim evidently wants both the TAS and the SAS who swore to Rand already. Rand makes it clear to the SAS that they are under his thumb and he expects absolute obedience. Indignant at the suggestion that they might betray their oath, Bera asks if he thinks them darkfriends.


"If I thought that," Rand snapped, "you would be on your way to the Black Tower with Taim. You swore to obey. Well, obey!"




As it turns out, a darkfriend would probably be well received by Taim at the Black Tower. Rand doesn't know that, though. He thinks the Black Tower a fitting prison for darkfriends. And yet, Taim had just been demanding the Aes Sedai a few moments earlier. That raises my eyebrows.


aspeo @ 92:


He is the hero of my favorite series of books. I want him to be the gallant knight, the honorable king, and whatever else at the end of the story where he (hopefully) saves the world.




So do I. But thus far, he hasn't lived up to those hopes. We'll see what happens in the next book but so far the series has been about Rand's long descent into the Shadow.


wsean @ 93:


As for requesting to be beaten at sunup and at sundown... it's a toh thing. Remember that Egwene did the same thing, after a while as a Wise One apprentice.




See above. Egwene accepted ji'e'toh. The TAS did not. What right do the Aiel have to judge them by it?


alreadymadwiththebox @ 94:


You're overreacting on the Black Tower situation. Toveine and her party are all under the supervision of Logain's faction. And IIRC are all out of the Black Tower as of KoD. Rand mobilized everyone in preparation for when his negotiations with the Seanchan break down, and first people out were Asha'man with bonded AS. If any are left behind they would be with Logain's people, and those should be ready for an upcoming confrontation.




You did not read my post correctly. I specifically commended both Logain and Rand for restraining themselves, the former for taking the Aes Sedai alive, and the latter for not going batsh*t crazy when he found out about the attempted attack. I was referring to the embassies that were sent from both Aes Sedai camps to the Black Tower to propose bonding asha'man as warders. By the time they arrived, Logain's faction was dispersed and Taim was running the place. As is mentioned in tGS, both embassies have not been heard from in quite some time.


Finally, let me just posit a general question. Is it really that surprising that I might dislike Rand? Compared to the venom that is thrown about on this blog for characters like Cadsuane, the things I've said have been mild.
a a-p
148. lostinshadow
Right then I've finally cleared the mountain of work that got piled on me and managed to catch up.

@147 - to answer your general question. I don't think it's surprising that you dislike Rand at all. Your arguments actually seem to me to be laying out and taking to the logicial conclusion things many commenters have posited in other parts of the reread about how they don't like Rand because he's arrogant, and prideful and "hard" and "crazy". In other (hopefully clearer) words, you are setting out step by step the path that has led many other readers to complain about how they don't like Rand any more and how he's become too dark. Maybe some are disturbed by how much earlier in the story this seems to have started than they realized. (and yes you have been much milder than many once Cads gets them going)

On the other hand, I disagree with your reading of the text but then again I never stopped liking Rand even in TGS and always viewed him as stressed, put upon, overwhelmed and heading well into depression rather than going hard and becoming dark.

As this reread shows, obviously many of us enjoy different elements of this story and don't always agree on what they are or even what they mean or represent.

Regarding Cads' refusal to take over Alanna's bond - I would agree with those above who quote the initial conversation she had with Alanna in first finding out how Alanna had bonded Rand. Meaning that she would have taken over the bond if she thought it would help her agenda and is not refusing Alanna because she thinks taking over the bond would be hurtful/bad for Rand but because it would be bad for whatever agenda she has with him.

As a side note, the debate on the Black Tower got me thinking. How Rand seems to ignore the BT has annoyed me throughout the series. Yes, he has a great many things to do and can't trust (often justifiably) many people around him but to pick Taim and set him loose and not really think about the BT at all seemed to be excessively stupid. All that roundabout background to say, maybe Rand has been avoiding BT because of the voice of LT in his head. As you all know, LT goes batsh*t crazy whenever he sees Taim and does not react well to any male chaneller so perhaps in trying to mute out LT, Rand also ended up sorta muting out serious thinking he should have done about the BT? Just a random thought.
Jonathan Levy
149. JonathanLevy
128. HArai
I see it differently. Why would an AS bond someone against their will if they didn't intend to compel them with the bond? Surely there's an easier way to convince someone to protect you than to make sure they'll go suicidal if you die.

It's a question of degree. Bonding Rand attaches several types of leashes to him, of which compulsion is only one. Some of the advantages, off the top of my head:
1) He can no longer hide from his Aes Sedai. Useful in Dumai's wells and Far Madding.
2) He's tougher to kill - also a nice side-effect for the good guys.
3) She can bend him to her will with Compulsion, of course.
4) She can bend him to her will in more subtle ways, for example, by going into danger - he'll have to come rescue her.
5) If they spend time together because of (1), (3) and (4), then some sort of relationship may develop (not necessarily a romantic one). She will try to convince him that it was for his own good, and that she wants to take care of him, etc. This is not guaranteed to happen, but it might.
Yes, I know some people will be horrified at the mere suggestion that someone might come to terms with a person who effectively raped them, but there is such a thing as the Stockholm Syndrome. For historical examples, see pretty much any society with arranged marriages, or where the woman is bought from the father. Specific cases in literature can be found in the Roman story of the Rape of the Sabine Women, the Rape of Dina in Genesis, not to mention Leah being pawned off on Jacob when he was drunk in lieu of her younger sister. She comes to love him, or at least, resent her sister.
6) Alanna is hot, and she's a Green. If Rand is a good boy, he might get lucky!
Of course, in Alanna's case it's much more likely that she acted without thinking things through.

thewindrose @ 134
Love the 'in her most muddled voice' part.

Absolutely agree. I remember someone (probably Leigh) saying about this line in TSR, that Jordan sometimes manages to compress an entire introduction into one sentence:
He was sixty-three, in the prime of life, not yet old enough for gray hairs, but he felt a tired old man.

I think the line you quoted is another masterpiece. A few words convey so many layers of deception and sneakiness.

RobMRobM @ 139
Won't haggle!?!?!

Hrothgordo @ 142
Overall I think you can dismiss that possible counter-argument.

I was more tossing it up in the air to see if anyone else wanted to go somewhere with it, than espousing it myself. As I said, the quote you provided was more than enough to convince me.

The standards being asked of them to be conisdered civilized relegates the list of current civilized countries to pretty much just Switzerland.Every other group uses honor and/or shame to enforce some sort of order, which includes codefied laws and simple taboos. Each of these groups also are involved in raids and skirmishes over resources.

I don't think I've understood what you're trying to say. Perhaps you can give a few examples? Here's how I see it. If I go to France (which some people consider civilized) and steal a guy's Baguette, he will ask for it back, and failing that will go to the police and take me to court. The judge will hear both sides, examine evidence, and give a verdict against me. The police will enforce it and I will sorely regret taking his Baguette. Also, he might have a gun. Wait sorry, wrong thread.

If I go to The Waste and steal a Shaido's goat, he will gather his kinsmen and friends from his Society and take it back by force, with some extra interest tacked on.

This difference means that if I am a big strong fellow, with lots of big strong brothers and friends, I will constantly steal goats from my weaker neighbors because they can do nothing. This will make me a rich man, with much Honor. I will not be able to do the same in France, because the police will come after me. Also, the police have guns. Wait sorry, wrong thread.

This is the difference between a civilized society and an uncivilied one. I am not suggesting at all that an uncivilized society necessarily has no rules whatsoever, and that therefore the presence of rules means a society is not civilized. The Aiel have many rules and customs. But the key question is - in the case of conflict, is the first resort the threat of violence or the threat of a legal process? Because the answer to this question determines so much about the rest of the society.

143. Seanie @143
how about the time his Maidens gave him that beating .......

Oh, that doesn't count because he secretly enjoyed it.
(ducks for cover)

Good thing the Maidens hadn't gotten their guns yet, though.
(ducks for cover again)

Shadow_Jak @ 144
Hahahaha! :)

NerveAgent @ 147
I'm not presuming to present a coherent arguement for or against your case. But a few small comments, I hope, will not be taken amiss:
wsean @ 93:
As for requesting to be beaten at sunup and at sundown... it's a toh thing. Remember that Egwene did the same thing, after a while as a Wise One apprentice.

See above. Egwene accepted ji'e'toh. The TAS did not. What right do the Aiel have to judge them by it?


I think in this case the entire point is that by requesting a beating, the AS accepted that they deserved the punishment, which is an acknowledgement of toh. It is the first step in accepting ji'e'toh, and it is this that convinces Sorilea that perhaps they should be given a chance to show they are honorable.

lostinshadow @ 148
I like your explanation as to why Rand is avoiding the BT. He can't deal with it LTTionally, so he lets it fester.
a a-p
150. lostinshadow
@149 actually I think you are missing the point on honor-based (as opposed to law based - though there is a huge jurisprudential and anthropological argument as to why that is not actually a true distinction) societies.

As per your example - the point would be that if it is against honor to steel from those weaker than you (and I think there is implied evidence that this is the case with the Aiel or if you want many nomadic societies throughout real world history) your own sisters and brothers will turn their backs on you when the person whose goat you stole comes to your house to steal it back.

The thing with the honor system is that your family does not back you up when you do something dishonorable, they will at the very least not help you and perhaps even help whoever you hurt to get their honor back (since family honor and personal honor are often tied together). So the only way you can steal with impunity just because you have many siblings would be if stealing is considered the honorable thing to do in that culture.

On a side note, you have clearly never driven in Paris since you seem to believe France is considered a civilized country.
J.Dauro
151. Wortmauer
So everyone's always all "Taim is so eeeeevil, even Lews Therin knows it, how can Rand just ignore the Black Tower?" But what realistic options has he got?

1. Not create the BT in the first place. Well, he gave his reasons when Bashere first showed up (see below). Chiefly, he thinks he's gonna need them in the Last Battle. Where he gets this notion, I'm not sure, but he's read a lot more of the Karaethon Cycle than I have. Moridin and Verin may not think the Last Battle will be much like the Trolloc Wars, but everyone else seems to think so, even Pedron Niall.

2. Not put Taim in charge. Who, then? Himself? No way would he have that kind of time. Way too much on his plate, then and now. So ... delegate to Jasin Natael? Slightly problematic. I mean, even if Taim hadn't snuffed him just prior to his grand entrance. Putting aside issues of trust, how are you gonna explain that your gleeman just happens to have an expert background in saidin?

3. Not put anyone in charge. So ... just sort of let the men teach themselves? 3/4 of them dying in the attempt? (Assuming Moiraine's stats are valid for saidin sparkers, which a 20-year Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah might or might not have occasion to actually know). Maybe figure out how to shoot a fireball with Aes-Sedai-like throwing motions?

Actually, it all comes clearer if you go back:
This part of his plan he had not meant to reveal so soon. Delay could be costly, but he had intended to have a firm hold on the nations first. Yet it might as well begin now. "I am announcing an amnesty. I can channel, Lord Bashere. Why should another man be hunted down and killed or gentled because he can do what I can? I will announce that any man who can touch the True Source, any man who wants to learn, can come to me and have my protection. The Last Battle is coming, Lord Bashere. There may not be time for any of us to go mad before, and I would not waste one man for the risk anyway. When the Trollocs came out of the Blight in the Trolloc Wars, they marched with the Dreadlords, men and women who wielded the Power for the Shadow. We will face that again at Tarmon Gai'don. I don't know how many Aes Sedai will be at my side, but I won't turn away any man who channels if he will march with me. Mazrim Taim is mine, Lord Bashere, not yours."
-- FOH, Ch. 56 Glowing Embers

So, Taim is eligible for the amnesty? Bashere isn't chasing him for channeling, he's chasing him for wreaking havoc all over Saldaea. So when Rand says "Taim is mine", presumably he's planning to offer him an embryonic BT. But was that the original plan? Clearly there was a plan, long before Bashere told Rand that Taim was in Andor, ripe to be dropped into the lap of a ta'veren. Did Rand even know Taim had been broken free of the Aes Sedai?

Looks like the original plan was to not do any of this until Rand had had time to delegate the ruling of some nations, so he could have time to invest in building and training the saidin corps personally. But time is not on his side, something he becomes increasingly aware of over the course of the series, something he must have known to a degree even back in FOH. Along comes Taim (also not on his side, as it turns out), the only other known qualified teacher in Randland, now that Asmodean has disappeared. Delegating what became the BT was a pretty natural decision.

So, you all say, how about some oversight? Ummm. Sounds great, but how would it help? We know the BT is full of darkfriends, but what degree of oversight would have been needed in order for this to not be true? Are Elayne's guards' regular visits helping keep out the darkfriends, do you think? Maybe Rand should meet and greet each new recruit, and ask if they serve the Great Lord? Dilute Taim's power by creating a triumvirate or ruling council with other recruits? (Yeah, sure.) Put Bashere or Dobraine or Berelain or someone in charge of the BT, with Taim merely an associate professor?

That last option is probably the best, in hindsight. But it would have had to be in place from the start. You can't take a thriving organization like the BT where everybody can explode human heads on command, and then put someone in charge of it who can't. I don't think he or she would have much authority. And who can you really trust? Who would Rand know (at the beginning of LOC) he could trust more than Taim, someone willing to take a new desk job and not already stretched thin? Bael? Berelain? Bueller? We of course have the perspective to know that there are quite a few people more trustworthy than Taim; Rand just knows the guy is annoying and full of himself, and that Lews Therin is paranoid around him and all male channelers.

Wrapping up, what should Rand have done,
1) when announcing his amnesty to Bashere in FOH
2) when offering Taim a job in LOC
3) since then
to build an effective corps, but with some assurance the tool wouldn't turn in his hand, as it were? Honestly, the only course I can think of would have been to take Taim on, but not as the leader, choosing instead a non-channeller whom Rand already knew enough to know he could trust, as of early LOC. (But who?) But given he put Taim in charge in the first place, I'm not convinced there's much of anything he could have done since then to rein him in, without just deposing Taim outright, bringing us back to who do you put in charge instead. (Logain, of course, but Rand doesn't know that. If you can't trust one former false Dragon....)
Ben Kane
152. NerveAgent
Maybe if Rand spent half as much time visiting the Black Tower as he did bedding down with Min, the situation wouldn't have deteriorated to this level. Some oversight would have gone a long way: ("Hmm. Taim is constructing his own palace. This can't be good.")

I think he could personally approve every promotion to full asha'man. Those that he trusts completely he could use as spies to keep an eye on Taim. He could even establish a force of political "commissars" to make sure that his will is enforced at the Tower. Yes, these things should have happened at the very beginning.

Rand created a ferocious weapon and handed it to a man he knew nothing about, with no mechanism of oversight or control. Were it not for Logain, none of the asha'man would be his. Rand will now have to destroy most of his own weapon before it can be employed in the Last Battle.
Anurag Sahay
153. anuragsahay
@147, NerveAgent : I'm not surprised you don't like Rand, no. Rand is, effectively, a deconstruction of the Chosen One/Messiah trope in fantasy. He's what you get if you ask, "What if the saviour was batshit insane?" So, as such, you're probably not supposed to like him all that much, at least, not at this point in the story. And really, when was the last time Rand actually exceeded Mat in terms of fan popularity? Given that, however, I don't think RJ intended you to dislike him either. More like pity him.

I'm hoping that the ending of tGS means we get back some of the awesome Rand from the first few books. =D

As for the Black Tower, there's really not much Rand could have done. IIRC, he started the amnesty at the end of the fifth book, got Taim in the 6th book. Throughout that book, he keeps an eye on the place, and keeps visiting them, ensuring their under his control. Then the stuff with the kidnapping happens, he hardly has any time to worry about the Asha'man. That story continues upto the middle of the 7th book, by which point Lews Therin has started going out of hand about other channelers. He was, as I recall, then completely focused on Sammael and Illian. Then he goes and gets himself slashed up by Fain, spends the rest of the book comatose, until the end of the book, when he wakes up and immediately executes his plan, going after Sammael, at which point aCoS ends. In tPoD, he makes use of the Asha'man against the Seanchan, realising his mistakes regarding the Black Tower, but between the Callandor madness and the weirdness around Ebou Dar, he really has no time to do anything about it. When he does finally return to Cairhien he gets attacked by Dashiva/Osan'gar and the rest, at which point he decides to go AWOL. After that, the only thing he really cares about is the Cleansing, post which he gets engrossed in the Seanchan peacemaking venture, trying his best to stay out of the limelight, meanwhile. Plus, between the two of them CoT and KoD represent only what, 2 weeks? Not much time to really go after Taim, now is there?

By the time tGS arrived, he really didn't have the time to handle Taim, and for that matter, he didn't have much time in tGS either, what with the Seanchan/Arad Doman, and then the Semirhage incident taking so much of his time.

That said, he could have undertaken measures to prevent this from happening back in book 6, but really, I doubt he had the foresight that he'd lose control over the Asha'man, what with his overconfident nature. ;)
Bouke de Boer
154. Bouke
DevilsAdvocate @91:

it is taught that there are no irredeemable persons.


Exactly my point, although stated differently. Obviously, these religions wouldn't condone this character development, if the reasoning behind the development was: "Hey, no matter what I do, there'll be redemption and forgiveness at the end of the road!" My point is: religions do condone this implicitly by admitting that one can always be redeemed.


HArai @102: Yes, I believe you're right about the Cads POV. Don't know the exact location either...HArai @131: Ah, there it is!

RobMRobM @115-117: Desperate to get that magical 117th post, are we? ;-)

Hrothgordo @142:

Each of these groups also are involved in raids and skirmishes over resources. Heck that is the major reason for most conflict, with religion being the only other force that comes close.


And how many of the so-called religious conflicts are basically about resources as well? I'd say resources are the reason for all conflicts. ::ducks::

NerveAgent @152: Now, now, Rand gets little enough pleasure as it is. Do you have to take the nookie from him as well? That is just evil, man...
J.Dauro
155. Stromgard
I haven't read all comments above, just wanted to reflect a little on Leigh's thoughts about Rand and pride.

It occurs to me that almost all of his major, lasting successes this far has been preceded by him walking up to someone and say in a humble way: "I NEED you."

The more he tries to intimidate and bully people around, the less result he is getting. A brilliant example of this is in this chapter when he sends sisters as ambassadors to the ones that rebels against, and actively opposes, him, with the message "I need and want this. What do you need and want? Let's work something out." He did exactly the same when he went to Caroline Damodred, and even though it was null and void from a pure military POV since the rebels in Cairhien were decimated anyway, he gained a VERY powerful supporter to his cause in Cairhien that day, and he got a Steward of Tear as well in the bargain. (And he set events in motion that led to Toram Riatin's death. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Oh wait. It couldn't have happened to a more evil guy I mean.)

Also, he got the awesome spin-off result of bonds starting to form between AS and Asha'man through his actions that day.

And that is the key to understanding his prophecied/foretelled kneeling before Fortuona and Egwene, respectively, methinks.

(Who was there to hear Elaida's foretelling, by the way? Alviarin? Sitters? Can't remember.)

He won't bow down in submission - that would be both silly and stupid, and potentially politically dangerous if it gets out - but in acceptance to them being his equals.

Because, let's face it, Rand does NOT need any more people to command around, it will only lead to misunderstandings and confusion. His day is twenty-four hours like everyone else, and - unlike the Seanchan and the WT, he hasn't have time to build a political structure that actually (potentially) works as intended. (Yes, the civil war wrecked WT, and yes, Elaida wrecked it even further, but they have the blueprints. Rebuilding should be swift, unless Mesaana does something unexpected but... why would she? A working White Tower won't hinder her pulling strings at all, and maybe make it easier. As far as I understand it, the Black Ajah had nothing at all to do with the sundering of the Ajahs or the civil war, especially since the Shadow is NOT trying to destroy the White Tower but to convert it. The only active actions the Shadow is taking against the Tower seems to be aimed at decreasing its political influence and damaging it's relation with the Dragon Reborn, which it seems to do perfectly well on it's own. Katherine and Galina were sent off by Elaida to kidnap him and the Black Ajah were all "huh?", and Alviarin actually tried to discourage Elaida from attacking the BT, and kept every Black Sister away from the attack force, just in case.)

Anyway, that was a bit of rambling, sorry. My point is that what Rand simply has to do is approach Fortuona and Egwene and invite them into a partnership. (The most tricky part will be them to accept each other, ofc. It will help tremendously that Fortuona is loved enough by her people (and powerful enough) that if she changes about the whole damane affair, her empire will change along with her, and that Egwene is one of the very few AS that has bad personal experiences of the Seanchan, and she will make the Tower follow her on this point, since, you know, she is all kinds of awesome.

Also, the others that have Seanchan experience (Teslyn, Joline, Edesina, Nynaeve and Elayne) also KNOW several Seanchan personally, and have a much more moderate view of Seanchan than Egwene have. Though I expect the Joline/Tuon catfight is not over yet, especially if Mat becomes Joline's warder. Then Joline can be ambassador to the Seanchan. I'm sure that will be a success. There is irony in the previous sentence.

Man, I hope if someone bonds Mat, it will be Teslyn. Joline is really starting to annoy me now. I simply don't get why she appears to take charge of the AS following Mat when Tes is older and appereantly more wiser and smarter, and also don't antagonize Mat, which should at least count for something?

The estimation of Joline's character is about the only thing I agree with Elaida on. Unless Teslyn were lying to her about what Elaida had said back when.

Silly me. Teslyn can't lie. She is Aes Sedai. I'll shut up now.
Bouke de Boer
156. Bouke
Stromgard @155:

As far as I understand it, the Black Ajah had nothing at all to do with the sundering of the Ajahs or the civil war, especially since the Shadow is NOT trying to destroy the White Tower but to convert it.



WTF?! Have you read nothing of what Alviarin has been doing while she was Keeper?


There is irony in the previous sentence.


Or is this sentence just placed at the wrong point of your post?
Daniel Hanley
157. dmhman749
In responce to the problems some people have with treatment of the black tower...first, as others have said, what choice does he have? Second, and more importantly, while it may seem obvious for us that the black tower is a nest of dark friends, this is based on information Rand doesn't have. For that matter, there are still some fans who believe taim isn't a darkfriend, which is insane, but there it is.

So as far as Rand knows, Taim is very arrogant and kind of an asshole, but thats it. As far as he knows, he has done everything that he has said. The only evidence against Taim(and even that isn't very major) is Logain's word, but he has even less reason to trust Logain than Taim. At least Taim has been around a while and has a history of doing what Rand says(and doing it well, really...he created and trained a black tower as a greater weapon than probably any on earth in less than a year). Rand doesn't have the time to do more than drop in, and everything appears fairly smooth in his visits.

Maybe Rand should have set up a better leadership structure for the BT, but when he created it, the BT was a handfull of possible channies(22, or something? Some of which couldn't channel, and only him being Ta'veren got as many as he did?) I don't think he expected it to grow so quickly either, and by the time he realizes it has, Taim is too firmly in control to change.

And finally...for him spending the miniscule amount of free tiem he has sleeping with Min...that is literally the only pleasure or even enjoyable activity he has as a 22 year old man who is certain he is going to die in a couple of months. You really think that isn't reasonable? He really would be a robot, beyond just a lack of emotion, if he decided that wasn't an effective use of his time, and he should be putting in more visits to the BT instead(which probably wouldn't have gotten him anything anyway...Taim is careful).
Rob Munnelly
158. RobMRobM
Bouke @154. I had a post or two flagged as spam. Looks like Torie unspammed them and dropped them in together. Makes for a confusing few posts.

R
Jonathan Levy
159. JonathanLevy
lostinshadow @ 150

As per your example - the point would be that if it is against honor to steel from those weaker than you (and I think there is implied evidence that this is the case with the Aiel or if you want many nomadic societies throughout real world history)

While theoretically possible, I believe that in most honor/shame societies, honor is gained by manly acts of war, and lost by dishonorable actions (such as breaking one's word). Naturally, a successful raid on a nearby sept gains more honor than stealing a spoon from a child. I am not familiar with honor/shame societies which push towards humility and fairness, but I believe that they would be the exception rather than the rule. The examples I have in mind are Medieval Europe & the Middle East.

In any case, my main point was:
1) The main question in judging a society as civilized ought to be whether, in the case of a dispute, the first recourse is to the threat of violence or the threat of a legal action.
2) By this criterion, the Aiel are uncivilized.

(I know, this is a simplified definition, but I'm not sure there's any appetite here for delving into the details, so I have not tried to address them.)

That the Aiel are led to uncivilized behavior by their culture of honor/shame was a secondary claim, on which the main one does not depend.


On a side note, you have clearly never driven in Paris since you seem to believe France is considered a civilized country.


Ha! :) I remember well the only time I drove in France. I had to find some way to get from Bayeux to Charles de Gaulle airport in time for my flight, because the damn trains and busses were on the biggest Greve since Vercingetorix. Cost me 50 Euro to take a taxi (!!!) from Bayeux to Caen, and 150 more for a one-way rental to drive to Paris. Not to mention the petrol. Made me want to skewer them with a spear I mean press a lawsuit. Trying to be civilized here, right? Vive la France.
Birgit
160. birgit
A reason why Cads doesn't want Rand's bond is that the bond works both ways. Cads wants to pretend that she isn't interested in him. If he knew how she really feels, that could be difficult.

The Aiel do have something like police:


"I am Rhuarc, of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel, and once I was Aethan Dor, a Red Shield. Sometimes the Red Shields do as your thief-catchers do. I say this so you will understand that I know what it is you do, and the kind of man you must be. I mean no harm to you, Juilin Sandar of the thief-catchers, nor to the people of your city, but you will not be suffered to raise the armcry.TDR ch. 54


T C
161. Freelancer
Jonathan Levy @150

He also seems to think that people in France are likely to be armed. Talk about fantasy.
a a-p
162. lostinshadow
Jonathan Levy @159

Japanese culture in general - and my feeling for the Aiel is that Jordan constructed their desert home based on nomadic Arabic cultures, particularly the Bedouin but that the concept of toh is largely based on the samurai concept of honor -- is very much based on honor/shame. That is why even to this date, Japanese persons who have "shamed" themselves and their families often commit suicide to absolve the family of the shame of their actions.

I'm not sure I agree with you that Medieval European culture and Middle Eastern culture (I myself could be considered Middle Eastern though the exact socio cultural identification of Turks is ambigious and hotly debated) is based on honor through abuse/exploitation of the weak. That abuse/exploitation of the weak occured in both examples could probably simply be stated as fact but I would say that at best it was not punished by society not that it was celebrated.

However I take your point that "The main question in judging a society as civilized ought to be whether, in the case of a dispute, the first recourse is to the threat of violence or the threat of a legal action". I'll give you that with the caveat that by your definition civilization = threat of violence being in the hands of a centralized government (that is after all what legal action is in terms of criminal law - the violence against the guilty is administered by the state)
Don Barkauskas
163. bad_platypus
HArai @118:
According to Wikiquote,
It is derived from the famous phrase by Samuel Johnson: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."


Ken Ray
164. Maclir
Freelancer@113

He is the top of the military chain of command. That is why all military members are exercising proper protocal to salute the President whenever they are in uniform, and it is proper protocol for the President toreturn that salute, though he wears no uniform.

I know my military service was in a different country (Australia, not the USA), but in boot camp, I was taught that you are showing respect by saluting the uniform - and the position that uniform and rank represents, not the individual. So you would never salute an officer out of uniform.

As well, whenever we were on exercises, simulating where there might be potential enemy, you NEVER saluted anyone - that was a dead giveaway that the person who was the subject of the salute was an officer, and a "higher value" target for a sniper.

Completely off topic, of course... but safer than gun control.
Tricia Irish
165. Tektonica
Man-O@126:

Not a change of heart really, but it occurred to me that you might not understand my feelings for the Cadster. I don't like her, but I do respect her. I particularly respect that she didn't want to take Rand's bond here. I think it would've driven him totally away from her, and she knows it...she's a very smart lady, after all.
As for the like part....I just wouldn't want to hang with her....and I still think she's not as effective with Rand as she could've been, but she's a marvelous character in WoT!

Rand: Rather than revile Rand, I think pity is a more appropriate response at this juncture. He's had many tough choices to make, made mistakes, but I do think his intentions are ernest and sincerely good. He has a very steep learning curve and a huge character arc through these 13-14 books.

As for the BT debacle in waiting: Rand started off well, delegating to Taim. I don't see that he had any other choice, given his myriad duties. I like Lostinshadow's thoughts that it was perhaps LTT in his head, clamoring for Taim's destruction, that kept him away. I only fault him for not listening more intently to Logain! I know Rand has general trust issues, especially with the Ashaman, but he should know by now that Logain is a good guy. Logain had good intel for Rand and was ignored.
Jeff Weston
166. JWezy
Birgit@150 - Actually, Aethan Dor is a warrior society, not police. His statement "once I was" implies that, as a Wise One would, he left behind his warrior society when he became a clan chief, I believe.
J.Dauro
167. AppleBrandy
NerveAgent @147 - lots of stuff in that big post of yours, I'll try to address a few of them.

#2 - Rand's control over the Aiel, and giving them the AS as prisoners/apprentices. He seems to have as much control of them as any other Chief of the Aiel does, but that doesn't make him personally responsible for every action of every Aiel. Particularly, the Wise Ones seem to only have to obey him in military matters. He didn't fully understand Aiel society and the give-take between the Chiefs and WOs when he left the waste (heck, he often still doesn't get it).

As far as giving them the AS prisoners - what other choice does he have? He can't let them go free, he doesn't trust Taim so he can't send them to the BT, and they have to be under the eye/control of other channelers. The WOs are the only group of channelers he remotely trusts at that point. He had no reason to trust the SAS, as they had just shown up with more people then they were told to, plus the woman who had mentally raped him. Not something that builds trust.

Also, IIRC, he showed shock at exactly how the WOs decided to handle the situation, but at that point it wasn't politically possible to change the situation (and he still had no other good group of channelers to send them to).

#3 - I have found no evidence that he put any AS into the box. In fact, when the first group of captured TAS come to see him to swear fealty, he asks them if they'd go into a box if he ordered it. IIRC, he berates himself for thinking that he'd actually do that to them.

He has an internally consistent sense of justice - but he's GOING MAD, so it doesn't necessarily make sense to those outside of his head.

#BT - (yes, I understand that makes no sense) Hindsight is 20/20, eh? If he knew that Taim, within a year, would have complete control over a force of 1000 deadly channelers; he probably would have set up a better system. He didn't really seem to think that he would get more then a handful, and that he'd have plenty of time to stop in and continually be able to make them see him as the head honcho. Between Taim's evilness and events taking more of his time - he didn't. By the time he could change that, it was too late. Now his best bet is to get Logain's faction as big and as strong as he can.

#General - Yes, by tGS he's gone completely loony tunes, but that's kind the point of his story at that juncture - how low can a guy go and be redeemed.


We'll see what happens in the next book but so far the series has been about Rand's long descent into the Shadow.

Exactly, the character is on a path of fall and redemption. Yeah, there are times when you are angry at what he does, saddened by what the situation has brought upon himself. In the end, he's a young adult who has all of the sudden had the fate of the world thrust onto his shoulders, with the power that it takes to be able to maybe handle that. However, that power makes you reviled by the world - and drives you insane. It's a long, sad, journey.


Finally, let me just posit a general question. Is it really that surprising that I might dislike Rand? Compared to the venom that is thrown about on this blog for characters like Cadsuane, the things I've said have been mild.

Once again, the difference is that Cads is in full control over her mental abilities, while Rand isn't. I don't like what's happening to Rand, I don't like the slow decent into shadow, pain, and madness that he's going through. In the end, throughout the worst of it, you can still see glimpses of the farm boy he was.
Ken Ray
168. Maclir
Nerveagent @152

Maybe if Rand spent half as much time visiting the Black Tower as he did bedding down with Min,

Noooooooooo! The poor guy has the weight of saving the world on his shoulders, a succession of crazy or evil guys sharing his brainspace, people either wanting to kill him, wanting to capture him, or wanting to worship him - and you want to deny him some nookie with the hottest woman in the whole series? (Did I just start another argument with that statement?)
Mothers milk in a cup, as someone would say. Without regularly bumping uglies with Min (and Avienda and Elayne - probably not as much as she is knocked up now...) he would have gone completely crazy and balefired the whole known world, and be dancing a tango with Moridin as we speak.
john massey
169. subwoofer
@the farmaddingdude( please note that “dude” is generic and not meant to indicate specific gender), how is my many posts harder to scroll by than the epics put up after? Inquiring minds need to know.

@Insectoid & all, thank you for your kind words of support. Yeah, I have my moments, but on occasion, I do try.

@Tek165- yes, that is a good way to put it. I am respecting Caddy and what her efforts are for. In my past, I have given her no credit at all, and I am feeling very contrite about that now. I just know that if I hang around her, it would not be sober.

There is a blog feature on word 2010- cool beans! Lets me know my horrible spelling and all… and grammar too apparently.

About the “BT debacle”- duck and cover, that’s all I have to say. It will not end happy.

Edit- 169 dudes!

Woof™.
john massey
170. subwoofer
Hmmmmm... maybe I have more to say about the Tower- should Rand have nipped the Taim thing in the bud/butt-heh- from the word jump? At the outset, we did not know the level of douche-baggery Taim would get up to. But upon hearing some of the "changes" Taim made... er, M'thingy and all, I would have dummy slapped Taim then and stopped the madness. Identify problem, deal, move on.

@Maclir168- good times! Yes, how do you spell relief? M-I-N and I don't want to type out "bumping uglies" but y'know?

Woof™.
D.I. Rock
171. FeatherDancer
142: Hrothgordo

The Aiel view themselves as a people but did not see themsleves as a nation until Rand shows up. Although a martial society they are not a "might makes right" group. They have distinct rules of combat which include non-combatents, POWs and how much can be wealth can be taken.

If the Aiel are not a "might makes right" group then why does Sorilea feel it is OK to beat Min to obtain informaton about Rand?
Roger Powell
172. forkroot
lostinshadow@150

On a side note, you have clearly never driven in Paris since you seem to believe France is considered a civilized country.

Admittedly I only rode in a taxi when in Paris, and I know of Italian drivers only by friend's testimony. Nevertheless, I have just returned from Boston (where I drove a bit.) If you judge by driving habits, it would be hard to make a case for any of those places being civilized (and, heck, I'm a native of the Boston area!)
OTOH, if you go by gastronomy, then France, Italy, and Boston should be considered near the peak of civilization. I spent the last week reacquainting myself with the delights of fresh seafood from the North Atlantic, as well as the little slice of Italy known as Boston's North End.
J.Dauro
173. DevilsAdvocate
Jeez...everyone is really wordy this week...

Bouke @154

Sounds as if we agree, I just think that "condone" is too strong of word for it.

NerveAgent @multiple

Funny (not Funny-haha, but Funny-strange) is that the reasons you list for not liking Rand, are reasons that I do like Rand. This is probably an unpopular opinion (not that I'm shy about that), but I cheered in TGS when Rand finally wiped out Semi and Elza. Then I cheered again when he wiped out Graendal at Natrim's Barrow. I was just disappointed he didn't do the same to the Seanchan (though I kind of like them). The possible end of the world is coming, time to stop fretting over a few casualties of war and just get stuff done.

I'm worried that after the end of TGS, Rand will go back to being his wishy-washy self of earlier books. If you want to be in charge, you got to be a little ruthless.

Yeah, yeah, you also gotta be humble and ask nicely for help, but when it comes to the baddies: Mow 'em down!
Sean Arthur
174. wsean
@NerveAgent - totally understand not liking Rand. I disliked him for large swathes of the later books. My only real issue is with the box thing.

Going back to the text one more time, let's look at the sequence of events: Rand murderously angry -> asks the AS to submit to being put in a box and beaten -> everyone (including the reader) is horrified -> Min tries to calm him -> Rand visibly calms down, tells the AS to swear fealty -> they swear -> everyone is chill. Why did the AS, Wise Ones, and Min relax, smile, etc if Rand still wanted them to go in boxes?

Then there's also the in-world argument that surely someone would have mentioned it again outside the single word "penance," or that Rand would've used it in his "harder than steel" self-flagellation thing along with the lost lady list.

No? Let's try an external argument. Rand is the main character of this series, and this is a key character moment for him. This is a moment where he very nearly steps over the edge, and then pulls back. It's a part of his downward character arc in that he actually considers doing this, but the step back is key--he still has further to fall, and a few more books to get there (I'd say the nuking of Natrin's Barrow probably qualifies as his lowest point). If he actually went through with the box thing here, it would be a Big Deal. It would be a major, massive author fail on Robert Jordan's part if he had Rand go through with it, but never ever mentioned it outside of a one-word, enormously subtle clue several books later. Such a thing would've been crucial to Rand's character, and never mentioning it would've completely undermined the point of having it happen in the first place.

This isn't Asmodean's death, where the clues to the identity of the killer are subtle and demand close reading. It's a character moment, not a mystery--there's no reason for such subtlety.
Hugh Arai
175. HArai
@various: With respect to the Black Tower, I agree Rand should probably supervise it a bit more. However, it's not as though Taim has done anything in Rand's presence where you could go "EVIL!". He's just been an arrogant jerk, like 90% of the people with power in the series. Also, even if Rand did supervise more are you so certain it would help? Look at the White Tower - Siuan spent her whole time as Amyrlin fully aware of the presence of the Black Ajah and found... none?
The BA hunters had the Oath Rod and the virtual torture chair, and found.. a couple? Egwene had Verin's book and still missed several. It's not as though any Darkfriends have blinking signs over their heads, and in the case of male channelers you can't just focus on the ones that act oddly because they could just (just!) be going mad instead.

FeatherDancer@171: Because as Min points out in some of her POVs the Aiel Wise Ones have adopted Min in an honorary Wise One apprentice mode, and in Aiel customs an apprentice who holds out on a Wise One gets punished until they smarten up.
john massey
176. subwoofer
@HArai, the BA have had centuries to infiltrate the Tower whereas any baddies in the Little Tower can be spotted by their white hats and the fact that they squeak when they walk.

Just sayin’.

Woof™.
Hugh Arai
177. HArai
subwoofer@176: But you can fling a cat over your shoulder in the White Tower and it will land on a Black Ajah. It's like they're on sale : 13 BA for 3.99. And still people can't find them.
J.Dauro
178. Up2stuff
Jonathan @76

Dont forget to check credentials to make sure at least one is a Citizen, they did not take Bailout Money like Chrysler, and Chevrolet, and had nothing to do with the Gulf Oil Spill.
Daniel Hanley
179. dmhman749
HArai @ 177 It is pretty pathetic...i mean, come on...all the BA red sisters appear to wear exclusively dresses that are described as 'so dark a red as to appear almost black'. The BA hunters should have just grabbed any red wearing a dress like that and they would have found 30 or 40 BA's.

I am confused as to why people think that Rand should automatically listen to Logain when he shows up though...Again, WE know based on other POVs, prophesy, and simply the fact that we know Taim is evil that logain is the 'good' former false dragon. Rand has no way of knowing this...some random guy Rand saw from a distance once shows up(who is ALSO gathering a group that appears to follow him, personally...sure, he is doing it in resistance to Taim's group, but it looks like very nearly as much of a power grab as Taim's thing...) and rand should suddenly trust him and hand power over to Logain?
D.I. Rock
180. FeatherDancer
175.HArai

FeatherDancer@171:
Because as Min points out in some of her POVs the Aiel Wise Ones have adopted Min in an honorary Wise One apprentice mode, and in Aiel customs an apprentice who holds out on a Wise One gets punished until they smarten up.

The thing is, I don't ever remember Min agreeing to be a Wise Ones' apprentice. Sorilea usurps what she chooses to. She is in a position to do so and she takes ready advantage of that position. It is not so different from Tylins treatment of Matt.

"Punished until they smarten up", that sounds eerily like the things abusive spouses and parents say to feel justified in pummeling their less powerful family members. Hmmm.
Bonnie Andrews
181. misfortuona
dmhman749 @179
That's a lot of numbers.
Anyway you said something very much what I had been thinking about Rand trusting Logain. I mean Rand doesn't have the info that we do about Logain, and yes he seems to doing everything much in the same way as Taim. So why trust him any more.
And the answer is because the one thing that he does have in regards to Logain is Min's word and her viewing. She spent enough time with him to have a possitive impression of the man, and then there is the halo.
Seems like a pretty good reason to see him as a good guy. At least IMHO

Mis-still crazy after all this time
Tess Laird
182. thewindrose
dmhman749 - I am not saying that Rand should trust Logain - but Min has also seen visions of glory for him(Logain) and has told Rand about them.
...and on refresh I see misfortuona beat me to it:)

tempest™
Daniel Hanley
183. dmhman749
To Featherdancer @180, I am also convinced that Sorilea is a darkfriend, in which case she is just being kind of an a**hole in order to gather information about Rand, as darkfriends are known to do. If that is the case, her actions are not indicitive of the level of the civilization as a whole of the aiel people.

To misfortuona @ 181...I don't know if i would say that Min really has all that much of a positive impression of Logain. Yeah, she spent some time with the man, but during that time logain got into a fight, burned down a barn let them get blamed for it, and though he did rescue them, he did so by knocking out an innocent man with a sling to the head...something that could well have killed him, as Min notes when it happens. Other than that Logain pretty much just shows a burning desire to have revenge on the White Tower, especially on the Red Ajah as his primary personality trait. She feels pity for him, but thats about the extent of it, from what I remember. Certainly they were not friends.

As for the viewing, all she saw is that he would have glory. That does not necessarily mean that he is a good guy. There are plenty of evil people, darkfriends or not, who have gained a fair bit of glory during the story. Who knows if Logain is going to get that glory in Rand's service or in doing something potentially very harmful to Rand. Its not like Min had a viewing saying he would serve rand in his own fashion like she did about Elza...heh. And we all know how even a vision as apparently clear cut an indication of someone being good as that turned out. The glory thing could mean anything.
J.Dauro
184. Wortmauer
FeatherDancer@120: The thing is, I don't ever remember Min agreeing to be a Wise Ones' apprentice. Sorilea usurps what she chooses to.
And where do y'all get "apprentice"? I thought Min was more or less an honorary Wise One. Which seemed pretty left field to me, since it's not like Min has done anything but be a pattern viewer. She hasn't gotten any WO training, she hasn't been to Rhuidean, either the rings or the columns. (I'd go so far as to say Egwene, being a Dreamer, would've been more qualified to skip the apprenticeship than Min was.) That, plus Aviendha's experience of, you pass the test by becoming sufficiently full of yourself to claim you passed, really makes me wonder how the WO structure can possibly work. How does it not degenerate into a bunch of Sevannas?

And speaking of dreamwalkers ... as Amys or someone says, dreamwalking is not a thing of the One Power. So how is Corianin Nedeal's Moebius ring a ter'angreal? That seems to be stretching the definition a bit, eh? It doesn't require channeling; and its function is to induce a state that non-channeling dreamwalkers like Bair can enter by themselves. Now, the amber discs are ter'angreal, sure, as they actually require you to channel Spirit into them.

Rambling ... I've always been bothered by the definition of a ter'angreal, anyway. Like Mat's medallion. Everyone calls it a ter'angreal and people like Elayne have this idea that all ter'angreal are fundamentally similar enough to each other that learning to make them is a single field of study. But, really? Seems to me, learning to "make ter'angreal" is a bit like learning to "make a vehicle". I wouldn't think the skills gained by learning to build wooden rowboats would be of much use when it comes time to design and build an aluminum frame bicycle, or a dirigible, or even a jet ski. Anyway I've always thought the in-world characters are just playing with semantics when they say things like "Oh, it affects the One Power, therefore it must be a ter'angreal." A tautology, not a useful statement, and not evidence that it has anything in common with other ter'angreal other than this arbitrary categorization.

Then again, the worldbuilding does point to Elayne and co being right when they assume that ter'angreal, meaning any magical artifact that isn't an angreal, are all fundamentally similar. She does figure out how to make both the stone ring and the amber disc, and we're led to believe they really are similar. So I guess I'm not disagreeing with the assumption so much as with the worldbuilding that validates the assumption.

Still rambling ... Is Bair pronounced Bah-eer, with two vowels, like Taim? (And Jah-een Farstrider?) If not, why not?
Daniel Hanley
185. dmhman749
To Wortmauer, it is specifically stated by many people, including age of legends people that not all ter'angreal require the user to use the one power. You don't have to channel into many of them at all. I think we can rely on the definition used by the forsaken. Elayne states at some point that a slightly different structure of the one power is used in making a ter'angreal that uses the one power and one that does not, but that they are very similar. Keep in mind that Elayne has created both types...she created copies(bad copies, but copies) of both the twisted ring, that allows anyone to enter without channeling and the ones that the 13 BA stole that require channeling. So she would know. And clearly they are close enough to the same to be put into the same category.

Oh, right...you go on to say that. I should finish reading posts before i respond to them. As to the worldbuilding that set it up that way, why not have them all be ter'angreal? there is no reason, from what we know of how the one power works, that they shouldn't work along the same basic lines, just some of them requiring the one power and some not.
john massey
186. subwoofer
@HArai- cat flinging, I believe I saw that event at the local Highland Games. It was sandwiched between cat swinging and the haggis toss;)

Woof™.
john massey
187. subwoofer
There is also the underlying assumption that all Sisters have taken the Oaths and are honest. I don’t see a group meeting where the Amrylin asks everyone-
“How many of you are Black Ajah? Be honest now, let’s have a show of hands.”

So anyways, it is not so easy to tell the baddies er… even if they are wearing a certain color of dress.

Black Tower? Nothing is holding any guy in check beyond a misplaced sense of loyalty and the limit of the amount of Saidin they can draw in.

Woof™.
Maiane Bakroeva
188. Isilel
I like Rand, he is my second-favorite character. That doesn't mean that I like everything he does or am ready to give him a pass on everything.
He engages in a lot of head-desky behavior, but that's why he feels much more "real" to me. When your savior is a completely unprepared 20-year-old there are going to be mistakes, terrible ones. It is how Rand deals with them that ultimately makes him worthy, IMHO.

Having said that, the BT was his biggest mistake so far, IMHO, the second-biggest being his stubborn refusal to learn to understand Aiel.

Now, the BT. It should have been perfectly clear to Rand that a lot of men were going to get cold feet at some point and be exposed to terrible temptation.
He'd been courted by DFs himself, he heard Ishy's blandishements, which seemed to be tailored to a male channeler. He had every reason to think that Asha'man would be exposed to something similar and that many would be unable to resist.

Also, the fact that Taim's favorites were consistently agressive and confrontational towards Rand and finally tried to assassinate him (!) was so painfully obvious, that it required tons of willful blindness to pretend that it wasn't a neon sign that things were hitting the fan. Those guys were trusted lieutenants of Taim and highest-ranking Asha'man commanders after him. I mean, really?
john massey
189. subwoofer
Just putting it out there, I know Rand has been burned before by Aes Sedai and he does have serious trust issues, but should he trust AS? I dunno, if we want to talk about epic mistakes, it seems to me that Rand spends much time trying to reinvent the wheel instead of using the one he has at hand. AS are a recognized seat of power. They have the trust of the nations and at the very least, the various countries know where they are coming from. Rand and the Black Tower, well, everyone gets the hebbie jebbies any time someone even mentions a male channeling, so all I see is an uphill slog for Rand going that route.

Big issue for me is how to teach Rand to trust. I do not know if that is on CP’s agenda, but while she is doing the misery and comedy routine, she may as well tack on a few other healthy character traits to help Rand with. Call it “tough mentoring”. And then maybe later she can do a soft shoe shuffle.

Woof™.
J.Dauro
190. Hrothgordo
Featherdancer@171

Sorilea is a bully no doubt, and as an individual she certainly takes the stance of “the ends justify the means”. Look at her actions and you will see most (if not all) of her extreme actions, including the questioning of Min, are all about saving as many of the Aiel as possible.

The action is wrong no doubt, as it does amount to torture. But then again I have never been faced a situation where all of my friends were in immediate danger and I had access to someone who knew how to prevent it.

I also disagree with you as using Sorilea for how the Aiel are based on “might makes right” To me it shows the exact opposite. She is an old woman and the weakest channeler we have seen outside of Morgase. Her authority is based solely on her position and the respect she has earned among her people.

Others point to the fact that there is raiding among clans for water/goats. But they are separate clans. Even in that battle for resources the Aiel provide several “legal” avenues of resolution and communication to such disputes.

Wise Ones and individuals traveling to “join their societies” can move freely between each side.

Neutral meeting locations and the rules associated with them are firmly established

NerveAgent@Numerous

We have a different view overall. I accept fully why you care for Rand.

However, I disagree with your interpretation of the books at many points though.

I think your expectations of what Rand can accomplish at the smallest levels of administration are a tad naive, especially since Rand does not have the insight we have from reading the rest of the story.

I also think we simply will not agree on there being a difference between the moral thing to do as a person and the correct/moral response of a ruler. I do not expect a normal person to be willing to cause the death of other people, but I demand that a ruler be able to do so.

As I have stated before, pre-TGS Rand has (to a fault) tried to always make the moral personal choice of the options available to him.

The correct response to his kidnapping as a ruler would have been killing the Tower AS involved and assaulting the Tower. Instead he made the moral personal choice of not killing the women.

Now the Salidar group had not kidnapped him, but they had raped him (Alanna), threatened him (Mirror of Mists, LoC), and brandished arms against him in his own land (13 AS). And then showed up to negotations with arms (bringing more AS than he had told him would be safe). If you don’t think you those are serious offenses (if not acts of war) I do not recommend becoming an ambassador anytime soon.

And if you think he had other options besides the BT or WO as jailers, you are simply mistaken. You need channelers to police channelers. Even if he had known that Egwene was Amyrlin (which he did not) the designs of the rebel group were unclear, even to themselves.

At least with the WOs he gets political cover within the Aiel and a guarantee that those AS won’t be back to screw with him. Salidar provides neither

And you berate him for not having enough control of the WOs and wanted him to send the prisoners to a group with which he had no control? That is non-sensical.
Hugh Arai
191. HArai
FeatherDancer@170: You asked how Sorilea could feel it's ok and I tried to tell you. I said nothing about Min agreeing to it. The Aiel are nearly as bad as the Seanchan for insisting their own cultural usages apply to others. The standard Aiel punishment for foolish stubborness is pointless physical labor and/or corporal punishment. Holding out on a Wise One is considered by the Aiel to be foolish stubborness. Someone like Aviendha would expect the same sort of treatment for doing that. And there you have it. Whether or not it's abusive is a whole other story.

subwoofer@186: It used to be weasel flinging. But they bite when they land.

subwoofer@189: Until an AS is willing to explain what her goals are and what she would like Rand to do and why (in other words behave in a trustworthy manner) I don't see Rand trusting any of them and I don't see why he should. Moiraine made a start just before her big exit, but Nynaeve is the only one that consistently does so, mostly because she wouldn't know subtle if it booted her in the head. Guess who Rand trusts? Nynaeve. Why does Rand trust Min, Bashere, Lan, Rhuarc, Perrin, Mat, Tam and Loial except when he sinks to his very lowest? Because they say what they mean and do what they say. They show themselves to be trustworthy. Why does Rand trust a player like Thom over Moiraine? Because Thom explains, assists, teaches and Moiraine mysteriously decrees.

I'm not saying Cadsuane or Moiraine or many of the others can't be trusted, just that they don't act in a way that would cause someone to trust them. They don't ask and explain, they manipulate and prod. To be honest, I think for Cadsuane to teach Rand how to trust, someone would have to teach her how to trust first.
Bonnie Andrews
192. misfortuona
Good heavens it isn't already up here.
The Great Hunt has ended and the chapter of the ToM is up and complete.
You can read it here.
http://www.brandonsanderson.com/thegreathunt

Mis-loving the Mat goodness
Valentin M
193. ValMar
What is this Great Hunt? Is it additional content to TOM which one isn't getting with their copy from the bookstore?

I.e. is the text in the link going to be in the book?
Debbie Solomon
194. dsolo
I'm kind of surprised that Rand is generating so much negative reaction. He's going through the Creator's version of boot camp before the final battle. At the core, he's still the sweet sheepherder, but that part of him is buried by all the horrific things that have happened to him. The Hero's journey isn't lollipops and rainbow, it's usually a test of character to see if he'll break.

As for the discussions about "civilized" behavior, the Aiel that practice that are called Tinkers, and regularly get their butts kicked. The Breaking of the World caused a major shakeup in everyone's customs. It didn't just happen over a couple of weeks, and then everybody started picking up the pieces. It went on for decades, until civilization was completely destroyed. It's very easy to judge a society from the outside and call them barbaric, but at some point, their traditions were part of their survival mechanism. The Aiel were not native to the Waste, and over time, anyone who didn't harden died. When soldiers are being trained for combat, they are put in harsh conditions, because preparation will save their life. Civilization can only occur when survival is assured.

Try putting yourself in Rand's place. For the past 2 years, a concerted effort has been made to kill or control you by almost everyone you meet. You can't go home without endangering everyone you love. Your friends are scattered. You've got a dead man screaming in your head all the time. You don't know who to trust except for the three women that you're in love with (which brings on a whole other level of guilt) and you know that you're doomed to go insane and die. I've always felt that Rand was holding up remarkably well. My reaction to his actions in tGS was pity. I thought he'd finally lost it, so I was relieved when he finally laughed on his "grave". Rand is finally back on the right path, but his innocence is gone forever. He'll never go back to the simple country boy he was. He also would never have realized his potential if he'd stayed in the Two Rivers. I'm still hoping that the prophecy of his death was garbled.
Cait Glasson
195. CaitieCat
Geez, I hadn't noticed that.

Wortmauer?

*blinks*

Gut gespielt, mein Herr. Gut gespielt.

*slow clap*
Ron Garrison
196. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks Mis for the news and link at 192! Blood and bloody ashes! BWS used "blood and bloody ashes" a total of 8 times and the simple "bloody ashes" 4 times. I had to laugh knowing that he checks on us from time to time.
john massey
197. subwoofer
Wow!!!!

Thank you Mis! I am soo stoked now! That chapter really pulled me in. Brandon is getting the pace down fairly well. And go figure, an Aes Sedai, being honest about owing Mat a debt. See? When push comes to shove, character comes out.

I'm going back for a reread. That was the best pick-me-up I have had all day.

Edit- I will draw your attention to the fact that I am not barking... much and I am at post 197... and counting. Heh.

Woof™.
Tess Laird
198. thewindrose
Ahhhhhhh That was good! Must go read it again!!!! It is going to be hard to wait now, but agree with the Woof - best pick-me-up:)

tempest™
Sam Mickel
199. Samadai
I'll help whoever it is going to be out and make 199 mine.
The chapter is awesome and ends with a cliffhanger, YAY!!
Can't wait until Tuesday for the prologue
Tricia Irish
200. Tektonica
Whoopppeeee!!! That was incredible. Forget the nap I was going to take....that'll never happen now! But we have to wait for the rest!!!
*twitching twitching twitching*

Thank you Mis for the post and Blind for twigging me onto it!

Edit: Thank you Sam....I didn't even realize what the numbers were! I got 200!! Wheeeee....(How ridiculous)
Valentin M
201. ValMar
Can someone let me know what's up with this Mat stuff on BS's website? I don't want to read it in case it is part of the main book. Pretty please.
Sam Mickel
202. Samadai
ValMar
It is a chapter from the new book, titled The Seven Striped Lass. Do not go to that site if you don't want to read it.
Brandon and Tor had a contest going. He hid several codes while on his tour, and as people found them it opened up new sections of the chapter. They found the last clue today, so the chapter became totally visible.
James Jones
203. jamesedjones
Re: The Seven-Striped Lass

Well... if that was all written by BWS, then he's gotten a lot better. Still seemed a bit off for Mat, like a piece that needed more polishing by the master, but entire worlds better than TGS.
Valentin M
204. ValMar
So, basically, through the Clues Contest they made a chapter from TOM available early, for free? Thanks Sam.

So how are we going to deal with this chapter and the prologue in the posts and comments?
Sam Mickel
205. Samadai
Last year for t GS most people were very good at keeping spoilers off of the main reread page. We talked about them only on the posts made for them. You should be okay, but if anyone wants to post something, they should preface it with :::spoilers::::
Barry T
206. blindillusion
Spoiler Light

*tip of the hat* Any time Tek.

And I don't know JEJ. I thought Mat was spot on in that segment. Won't say anymore than that, unless you wish to discuss it on the Clues page or FB.

But...good development.
Ben Kane
207. NerveAgent
I also want to read the unlocked secret so I'll try to be brief this time:

AppleBrandy @ 167:

#2- I don't think you can parse things that thin. Rand has military control over the Aiel, but nothing more? Time and time again in the series he has imposed his will on the Aiel, and they have obeyed. It is not unreasonable for him to do so concerning treatment of the TAS prisoners.

"As far as giving them the AS prisoners - what other choice does he have?"

He could have handed them over to the Wise Ones along with the understanding that they not be abused. Also, some comments have mentioned that the TAS asking to be beaten constitutes an acceptance of ji'e'toh. It is still not legitimate, because they did so only to escape their treatment as dat'sang. One would think that Rand would be disturbed by the number of liegewomen who swore to him out of despair. Believe me, folks, if it had been Aiel men wielding the switches in the camps (actually, it probably was from time to time), most of you would be singing a very different tune on this. Jordan tries to soften the blow of torture by having women do it to one another. It doesn't work.

"In the end, he's a young adult who has all of the sudden had the fate of the world thrust onto his shoulders, with the power that it takes to be able to maybe handle that. However, that power makes you reviled by the world - and drives you insane. It's a long, sad, journey."

The most important measure of great leader is the grace with which they deal with the inevitable dehumanization of power. It is a difficult and treacherous course to navigate, but history reveals many figures that have done so successfully. Rand has not. If the conclusion of tGS shows that his outlook has changed, he has a very long uphill climb to get back on the right track.

"Once again, the difference is that Cads is in full control over her mental abilities, while Rand isn't."

Cadsuane's worst offense is occasionally being a domineering b*tch and reminding Rand that the Last Battle is about more than just him. Rand's worst offense, on the other hand ... well, we don't need to go there. It is not obvious that Rand isn't in control of his own mental abilities. One of the major themes in the series is the question of whether or not Rand is insane (even if he is, I'm not sure how much of a mitigating factor that is), and what constitutes "insanity." Events in tGS strongly suggest that Rand is in full control of his own actions.

Maclir @ 168:

1. We all have to make sacrifices, the Dragon Reborn more than most.

2. Min is the hottest woman in the series !?!?

DevilsAdvocate @ 173:

I don't mind ruthless characters, but ruthlessness should be directed against the correct targets. When it is combined with megalomania and sociopathology, you have the makings of a villain. It is not too much to ask that Rand refrain from unnecessary cruelty.

wsean @ 174:

Again, I don't think serving as WO apprentices was the penance Alanna was referring to, especially since (1) she doesn't seem to regard her own service as such, and (2) it was more of an order/personnel action given to the Aes Sedai after they had sworn to him.

"This is a moment where he very nearly steps over the edge, and then pulls back. It's a part of his downward character arc in that he actually considers doing this, but the step back is key--he still has further to fall, and a few more books to get there."

Well that's just it: with subtle clues like this, Jordan is dropping hints of the darkness to come. He's making us wonder what Rand is really capable of, and just when the reader has been convinced that it didn't happen, he subtly brings it up in the next book, making us question it all over again. Keep in mind that there is not very very much in-universe time between LoC and tGS. His "low-point" is not that far off.

Hrothgordo @ 190:

Wait a minute...you mean execute both groups of Aes Sedai after they had been captured? Wow. Just...wow. And what about the servants, warders, low-ranking sisters, and those that took no part in the beating? Execute all of them too? What you describe would have been an atrocity and a war crime of unspeakable proportions. Had it occurred, (1) I wouldn't be reading this series, (2) Perrin would have probably put his axe into Rand's skull. There have been rulers that have done things like that, and history remembers them as the monsters they were. If you think the mass execution of helpless prisoners would have been the "correct" thing to do, then we do indeed disagree on many things, and I'm not the naive one.
Thomas Keith
208. insectoid
Mis @192: YAY! Something new with Mat to read!! ::dashes off::

*twitching for Tuesday*

EDIT to add: Squee!

Bzzz™.
T C
209. Freelancer
After all that work, all we get is a Mat chapter? And a dull one at that. Oh well, as Elwood said, waddya want for nuthin?
Jay Dauro
210. J.Dauro
I will have to say Brandon did a great job picking what to reveal with The Great Hunt. The chapter is interesting (at least to me), draws you in to wanting more, ends in a cliffhanger, and actually reveals very little that we didn't already know at the end of TGS. I too cannot wait for the Prologue.
J.Dauro
211. Hrothgordo
NerveAgent@191

OK, I am honeslty not sure if you are serious at this point. Or just trolling.

How anyone can think that Rand has total control over the Aiel is beyond me. Beyond the 617 references that "The Car'a'carn is not a wetlander king" you need only look at the very accurate statement Egwene makes when someone says that Rand subjegated the Aiel:

"No one subjegates the Aiel, he earned their respect"

The Aiel were the first people to accept Rand without being conquered by him. He was indoctrinated into their current power structure which includes checks-and-balances between the clan chiefs, wise ones and roofmistresses.

The Aiel have only followed orders directly related to his role as a battle leader and even then with limitation. He could order the Aiel after the Shaido, he could distinguish how the Fifth was to be taken but he could not keep the Maidens from battle nor needlessly place himself in danger by seeking out Couladin for a duel.

In those cases where he has changed custom, final decision has always been at discretion of the Wise Ones. Once he turned authority of the AS over to the WOs he had ZERO control.

He understood that at the time, which is why he struggled with the decision. But it was the best option at the time. It kept the AS alive (his primary concern), it kept the Aiel from going rogue (who thought he had abandoned them and was now a puppet of the AS) and destroyed the political legitimacy of Colavere's crowning.



As to killing the AS, yes I whole-heartedly believe that he had the right to kill them. You seem to think that this is a POW situation entitling the AS to "Geneva Convention" protection.

Although they both commited acts of war, neither the WT or the rebels have declared war on Rand. They were not enemy combatants, but supposedly ambassadors. And given access to a soverign ruler based on that position.

Feel free to look up how many modern countries have the death penalty for:

Trying to kill/maim/kidnap a king or president.
Espionage or actively trying to undermine a government.

Both groups were guilty of each of those to varying degrees. Not to mention a host of other criminal activities.

And without being privy to very specific plot points killing them actually would have been the correct decision as would have attacking the WT and removing Elaida.
Ben Kane
212. NerveAgent
Hrothgordo @ 211:

So disagreeing with you constitutes trolling?


He started toward the Jindo tents - Couladin's people were not likely to offer him a resting place - but Amys turned him toward the flat father up where the Wise Ones' tents stood. "They might not be comfortable with you among them just yet," she said. Rhuarc, falling in beside her, nodded agreement.Melanie glanced at Lan. "This is no business of your, Aan'allein. You and Rhuarc take Matrim and-"
"No," Rand broke in. "I want them with me." Partly it was because he wanted answers from the clan chief, and partly it was sheer stubbornness. These Wise Ones were all set to guide him around on a leash, just like Moiraine. He was not about to put up with it. -tSR, Ch. 34.



"No!" Melanie snapped, eyes like green steel. "Be silent, or send Aan'allein and Matrim away.You must go, too, Egwene.""It is not permitted," Amys said in a just slightly softer voice, "to speak of what occurs within Rhuidean except with those who have been there." A fraction softer, maybe. "Even then, few speak of it, and seldom."
"I mean to change what is permitted and what isn't," Rand told them levelly. "Become used to it." - Ibid.



I stand by my argument.
And I will let your "whole-hearted" belief speak for itself.
J.Dauro
213. Hrothgordo
Nerve,

The reason I suspect you are a troll, is simply your insistance of Rand's control of the Aiel.

You don't like Rand. That fine.

We may disagree on points of "law" and semantics. And certainly what we think is the correct course of action by a government. Again, strong area of debate

But you or anyone else that tries to argue that the Aiel are controlled solely by Rand . . .in that you would be just flat out wrong.
Ben Kane
214. NerveAgent
I never said that "the Aiel are controlled solely by Rand"...only that his influence over the Wise Ones is more than enough to modify their prisoner treatment policies.
Daniel Hanley
215. dmhman749
First, for the great hunt chapter...I liked it. And for whoever said that it wasn't that great of a Mat...I think it was very good. If you are looking for differences, I'm sure you can find them, but if you read this without knowing BS wrote it instead of RJ, I don't think you would possibly notice or object. And likewise, if you read some of the Mat chapters from books 10 or 11, thinking they were written by BS, i think you would probably find problems with them too. There were some problems with Mat in TGS, but it appears that BS realized that and has taken it to heart. I like this representation of Mat. And really, it makes sense for Mat to be a little bit different than he used to be...He has grown a lot as a character, and is coming to terms with being married.

To Nerveagent...not going to really get into it again, as we have all stated our position fairly well. I do agree with Rand's control over the Aiel though. Ok, sure, if he made a huge deal over it and demanded a change in custom, he might have been able to insist that the wise ones hold the AS without the wise ones treating them as they saw best...I'm still not certainly of that, but its possible you are right. But it would NOT have been as simple as a statement of "you keep them, but don't beat them or anything". Ultimately, it is a very great difference between refusing to allow the wise ones to control him(including talking about things they dont' want him to to people they don't want him to, etc), and actually controlling their actions...It would have been a huge struggle, and would have created yet more breakdown in the Aiel culture. There has already been plenty of that when it really is needed, and I think rand wants to limit it to times when it IS needed. If he starts demanding control over the Wise One's activities, it breaks down the system of checks and balances between the Wise Ones and the chiefs that forms in many ways the foundation of the system of authority for the Aiel people...Which is why I still believe the wise ones would have said no, no matter what Rand said, but if he had won that fight, it would have come at great cost to the aiel people. So I'm not sure how that is better just to prevent a few beatings of women who either tortured rand, or at the very least participated/supported in the kidnapping of a sovereign monarch.

Finally, on the morality of the execution of the captured Aes Sedai...while I don't think that would have been the smart move for Rand, as it would have been him accepting the declaration of war the Tower had more or less made by kidnapping him...He would have had to attack the tower at that point to crush it before they could return and attack him(not that they didn't with their 50 sisters attacking the black tower anyway, but it would have been with greater force and directly against rand if he had had those AS executed). But thats just a discussion of what is the smart thing to do, not what is right...as far as right, I don't think that Rand would have been morally wrong to execute them.

As Hrothgordo said, this was supposed to be an embassy...something which was abused by the Tower to launch an underhanded attack on the effective King. If such was done in the US to the president, while we would probably not execute those who did it, the argument could easily be made in a court of law that such a punishment could be legally applied to them. As Rand is the only applicable justice system in that world for such a crime, I don't see the problem. Certainly it isn't a war crime...it would just be a criminal trial, with capital punishment applied. The only difference is that in that world, there are no juries, there is just rand. Of course, the servants would not have been convicted of as great a crime, just the aes sedai and warders who were directly involved with the kidnapping.

Again, i dont' think that would have been the smart move, as it would have required a completion of the war with an attack on the Tower, which would have cost too many lives(aes sedai and asha'man) that are needed in the last battle. But morally? *shrug* I don't have a problem with it.

Oh, and one final thing...you said,
"The most important measure of great leader is the grace with which they deal with the inevitable dehumanization of power. It is a difficult and treacherous course to navigate, but history reveals many figures that have done so successfully. Rand has not. If the conclusion of tGS shows that his outlook has changed, he has a very long uphill climb to get back on the right track. "

I would say that NO leader in ALL of history has had to deal with what Rand has...World leaders just don't have that many powerful people who personally want them dead, or THAT much pressure of what you have to do on you(not the thriving or even survival of your nation, but literally the existence of the universe). Or a dead man yelling at you all the time. It isn't so much about the corrupting influence of power, its more the constant spirit shattering pressure on him, and the fact that everyone he meets just wants to use him and control him
Alice Arneson
216. Wetlandernw
Haven't read all the comments yet, but must say this:

Shadow_Jak @145 - "In all the years she was "affiliated" with the dark side, she must have had to do some pretty dark deeds to maitain her cover. Will we ever learn any particulars?" Sneak peak at the report I haven't filed yet from the BWS signing on Tuesday night: I asked Brandon if I was even close on my fic about Cadsuane, and he said, in effect, "I can't answer that yet, until Harriet decides for sure whether we will do any of the prequels. It's the same reason I can't give much of Verin's history; it might affect other stories, and we don't want to spoil them." So... eventually we'll learn more of Verin's backstory, but it could be a long time, depending on when Harriet makes that decision; she could also decide right away not to do the prequels and just put all the info into the Encyclopedia.

Please note: that is not a direct quote because I don't have the time and energy to poke through 3 hours of recording to find that particular comment; it's the gist of what I understood him to say. I'll get the exact quote when I have time to finish the transcription.
Ben Kane
217. NerveAgent
Hrothgordo,
Dmhman749,

No investigation, no trial, no chance for the accused to defend themselves ... just off with their heads (including, in Hrothgordo's opinion, those that came with the rescue party)? I take your point that you don't think it the "smart" thing to do, but "justice" that arbitrary is not "moral," even in a pseudo-Renaissance world such as Randland, as shown by Perrin's strong reaction against the possibility. And I'm not quite sure that it is true that Rand's whim is the only possible authority for dispensing justice. I'm sure a nation as sophisticated as Cairhien has a judiciary of sorts aside from the King's diktats.

You are assigning all the mitigating factors to Rand, but failing to consider the mitigating factors and varying levels of culpability among the Aes Sedai. The embassy was sent by a madwoman under the influence of a Black sister, and the embassy itself was headed by a Black. It is not just the servants and some of the warders that are innocent: the weak sisters had no choice but to defer to the leaders, and it is obvious that others disagreed very strongly with Rand's treatment. And had they known there were Blacks in their midst...none of it would have happened.

Hrothgordo made the point a few posts earlier that none of this was known to Rand at the time, and thus, he would have been justified to kill every last one of them. Wrong. Such a drastic action could be considered 'moral' only after a maximum effort to discern the guilt of the accused, which in this circumstance would produce - at best - only a handful of tenuous cases, nearly all of which are Black Ajah. Anything short of this would by a summary execution, and it has been many centuries since that was considered acceptable in our own world, and evidently in Rand's as well.

There is an ocean of difference between killing someone in combat, and killing an incapacitated prisoner unable to defend his/herself. The only circumstance when the latter is permissible is with a very strong case against the accused. Guilt by association is not enough. Anything less is murder.

And it goes without saying that, had Rand decided to kill the Aes Sedai - and he survived long enough after making his intentions known (Perrin, the Two Rivers folk, maybe even the Aiel might have killed him) - Rand would have to wield the axe himself, because only sociopaths like Aram would be willing to carry out such a despicable order.

If Rand was really that type of leader, he deserves far worse than the box.

I know you might not agree with me, and I'm not trying to offend anyone by making this argument. But that's what I believe, and I think I have a strong case on my side.
Heidi Byrd
218. sweetlilflower
@NerveAgent
I would like to add something else for you to consider, and that is PTSD. I am sure all of the soldiers here can confirm that PTSD is a horribly debilitating disease. You can see the effects quite clearly when he is imprisioned in FM, and other times, when he freaks out about "being in the box" again. What is interesting about PTSD is that the medication that works the best to allieviate symptoms is an anti-depresant. Also, persons suffering from extreme cases of PTSD would have a legal defense of insanity, since we are discussing the "legalities" of the situation. If you are not familiar with this disease, then I suggest you go read up on it and then re-evaluate your opinion of Rand.
I will say that it has been interesting reading this post, as opposed to the last one, and that is probably due to your comments. They remind me of something BWS said at Dragon*Con. He was talking about how people have certain conceptions of the story that they will hold to even when confronted with textual evidence to the contrary. He gave the example of a friend of his who thought Thom did not have a mustache. The friend said that the descriptions in the book were just wrong and he was not going to believe them. In your case, the text does not specifically refute that the AS were put into boxes and beaten, but I agree with those above that if it had happened, there most definitely would have been textual evidence to support it. But, heh, to each her own :)

Edit: Just in case anyone does not know, PTSD is post traumatic stress disorder
J.Dauro
219. Wortmauer
CaitieCat@195: Thanks! I'm not even sure whether my alias is grammatically sound. But yeah, I was hoping it would be close enough for at least someone to catch the meaning. Glad you did.

On Rand vs. Taim: I sure hope the people who think Rand should have been more involved in Black Tower oversight aren't the same people who have been saying Rand needs to learn to delegate and trust others and not feel personal responsibility for every last little thing in his kingdoms.

On Min being the hottest woman in the series: now that Lanfear's been downgraded, who's there to compete? Raised chin just isn't sexy, Elayne. Egwene, yes, that stole does make you look fat, even if the stripes are vertical. Plus ... did you wear novice white after Labor Day? Aviendha, sorry, girl, that cultural ignorance and prejudice is a major turn-off too. Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, y'know?

It might actually be a three-way tie between Min, Berelain and Birgitte. (Halima is DQ'd.) But, well, Herid Fel was a pretty learned dude, and he only remarked on one of them. Sure, it's because he only met one of them, but still.
Janet Hopkins
220. JanDSedai
Squee! Just read the GreatHunt excerpt! I've been following that all week! And truly, it's not a very spoilerific chapter; as in most introductory chapters, we're just re-establishing the characters and where they are. But it's Mat!!!

Finally put my finger on what bothered us with Mat's viewpoint in tGS. It's the degree of objectivity with which Mat viewed himself. I know that Mat is awesome, and you know that Mat is awesome, but Mat doesn't know that he's awesome, or even thinks he is. This new viewpoint has a nice balance of telling us what we want to know, with being true to what Mat thinks. There were a few things RJ would have done differently, but on the whole, this is the Mat we know and love!

And someone else says "Bloody ashes" , as well as Mat!
William Fettes
221. Wolfmage
There's no evidence that Rand orders the TAS to be locked in a box and beaten. That scene is obviously about Rand confronting them with the reality of their treatment via the threat of reciprosity. At best, it's a kind of emotional venting that remains a hypothetical threat because it never crystalises into intention, or still less, an actual soveriegn command. If the only evidence you can adduce to support this theory is the notion that the word penance is otherwise unexplainable, that's not strong evidence of anything without further textual support.

As for Rand's control over the Wise Ones - I don't think you've made a good case for this. Let's look at some examples of Rand's ability to change Aiel culture and see whether they really demonstrate what you think they do...
Rand alters, inter alia:
-The permission for non-Aiel to enter Rhuidean
-The enforcement of local laws against Aiel peacekeepers
-Taking the fifth (ie. not looting at all or locale-specific looting)

Seems pretty obvious these primarily concern military matters and administrative concerns. Now, you might make a case that the TAS are prisoners and so fall under military jursidiction, but it's telling that they are actually Apprentices, not prisoners, under Aiel designation, and there isn't a single example of Rand changing the norms surrounding Wise Ones. Moreover, we have several examples of the Wise Ones rebuking all outside authority over Wise One business, including Chiefs and wetlanders, and especially where Apprentices are concerned. Perrin, as a military commander, gets his nose bitten off precisely for presuming he can intervene in Wise One business with Apprentices.
Ben Kane
222. NerveAgent
Wolfmage @ 221

A few posts ago, I cited two very blatant cases of Rand imposing on WO business. If the WO's were as independent of Rand's authority as most seem to think, why didn't they just take the Aes Sedai immediately after Dumai's Wells? Why did they ask permission first? Why did they ask Rand what he wanted done with the first five who asked to swear fealty?

I don't think it's a very productive enterprise to parse down the degree to which Rand influences a specific segment of Aiel society, be it military or administrative. Whenever he thought it necessary to do so, Rand has forcefully imposed his will on the Aiel, successfully. Yes, perhaps they grow tired of this treatment, but it holds true for all that still follow the Car'a'carn.

The Aes Sedai did not become Apprentices until after their time as das'tang. They were Rand's prisoners; he captured them, and thus, I think he had ample standing to dictate the conditions of their captivity.

EDIT: Also, some have commented that the box penance seems unlikely due to the lack of further reference to it, aside from Alanna's mention of a "penance" in this chapter of WH. Well, why would there be more? The Aes Sedai accepted it, the penance was executed, and now it is complete. Why would the narrative dwell on it more, especially when Jordan is deliberately subtle on things like this?

EDIT 2:

Wortmauer @ 219 -

Why is Halima disqualified? Sure, she's a man on the inside, but she's definitely not a man on the outside, and when we're talking about "hot," that's what counts.
Jonathan Levy
223. JonathanLevy
sweetlilflower @ 218
I am sure all of the soldiers here can confirm that PTSD is a horribly debilitating disease.

You know, there is such a thing as a soldier who does not suffer from PTSD, and is also not intimately familiar with it via others.
The idea that every soldier suffers horribly from his war experiences and goes through life as an emotional cripple is a modern hollywood trope.
(I do not mean to suggest that this is your opinion, or that you intended to state it to be such, but it is a possible inference from what you said)
Jonathan Levy
224. JonathanLevy
Aha! #224 is mine! MINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINEMINE!

(Actually, duplicate post, sorry.)
a a-p
225. lostinshadow
I want ToM to be out now... all these teasers are killing me!
Birgit
226. birgit
the BA have had centuries to infiltrate the Tower whereas any baddies in the Little Tower can be spotted by their white hats and the fact that they squeak when they walk.

The Little Tower is the inn that is the HQ of the Salidar AS. You are talking about the Black Tower.

So how is Corianin Nedeal's Moebius ring a ter'angreal? That seems to be stretching the definition a bit, eh? It doesn't require channeling; and its function is to induce a state that non-channeling dreamwalkers like Bair can enter by themselves. Now, the amber discs are ter'angreal, sure, as they actually require you to channel Spirit into them.

I think ter'angreal are objects that use the OP. Some have to be activated by channeling, others only draw the OP themselves. The Bowl draws saidin and saidar although there are only women in the circle using it. Maybe other ter'angreal draw only one side of the OP.
Bouke de Boer
227. Bouke
DevilsAdvocate @173: OK, would 'tolerate' suffice then?
;-)
Subwoofer @189: I'm with Leigh on this one. The returning theme of the whole series is a lack of trust and communication. Given the way these 'so-called Aes Sedai' have been behaving, I'm all with Rand trusting them as far as he can throw them (without the Power obviously...).

Misfortuona @192: Yes! Thank you for the update!
The chapter is indeed not that spoilerific, but still a nice status update. And a cliffhanger! ::twitch::
john massey
228. subwoofer
Trust is a very hard thing to do, especially when your trust and faith has been abused. Rand came from a place where everything in his world told him to trust those in authority. He had his world ripped away and he feels very vulnerable because the people that are supposed to be guiding him are, in his POV, doing so out of manipulation. Rand does not know which way to turn.

All I am saying is that at some point, he has to start trusting again. Rand has to let people into his life. Leigh's favorite moment in this series, Rand bonding with the girls, to me, was a guarded trust. Rand let the girls bond him but the guilt was there in his heart and it surprised him that the girls just felt love towards him.

At some point it has to hit home that there are people on his side. I think on Dragonmount Rand came to that conclusion. Where he goes from there remains to be seen, but I think he has turned the corner, and may not start by trusting Cadsuane nec, but maybe beyond Ny to Moiraine, maybe he trusts Egwene after a confrontation. I am not sure how, but Rand has to let people back into his life.

Woof™.
Heidi Byrd
229. sweetlilflower
@JonathonLevy:
I, of course, did not mean to suggest anything of the kind. But, if you have seen even one companion suffer, I gaurantee you will never forget it. My Mom is currently conducting research through the VA and Emory University to study PTSD. It affects a lot of different groups, such as battered women and fire fighters, but soldiers are the most common. Note that I am not saying that most soldiers suffer from PTSD, just that most PTSD sufferers(another weird word) are mostly soldiers. It is b/c of this skewing that it is such an important disease to study and allieviate. If there is any subgroup that deserves attention, it is our brave men and women who fight for my right to say that our government sucks:)

@NerveAgent:
EDIT: Also, some have commented that the box penance seems unlikely due to the lack of further reference to it, aside from Alanna's mention of a "penance" in this chapter of WH. Well, why would there be more? The Aes Sedai accepted it, the penance was executed, and now it is complete. Why would the narrative dwell on it more, especially when Jordan is deliberately subtle on things like this?

As others have noted above, if the AS had been put into the box, it would be a huge step for RAND!! I think you are missing the entire jist of the argument. Who cares about the stupid, inept AS? There is NO WAY RJ had Rand torture a bunch of women and not tell us how he internally dealt with it. NO WAY AT ALL! Yes, RJ is generally subtle, but we know what happened to Rand. Why feel the need to hide the same thing happening to someone else? In fact, Rand's torments are usually right out there for us to see. I can't, off the to of my head, remember a time when Rand was assaulted, physically or mentally, and we don't get a good description. Perhaps with the secondary and tertiary characters RJ makes us read between the lines, but not with Rand.
J.Dauro
230. Wortmauer
NerveAgent@222: Why is Halima disqualified? Sure, she's a man on the inside, but she's definitely not a man on the outside, and when we're talking about "hot," that's what counts.

I'm using a broader definition, I guess, taking into account things like Aviendha's xenophobic narrow-mindedness to mitigate her lithe, supple, athletic charms. Anyway, perhaps Halima can compete in a separate division, with R. Fife Sedai.
Birgit@226: I think ter'angreal are objects that use the OP. Some have to be activated by channeling, others only draw the OP themselves.

Point is, though, why would the stone ring use the One Power? Given tel'aran'rhiod isn't particularly related to the OP. Sure, you can get there in the flesh through a OP gateway, but here we're talking about the dream mode, which all people can do unconsciously and a few non-channellers like Bair can do consciously. Calling the stone ring a ter'angreal seems to be back in the mode of saying a ter'angreal is defined as any magical artifact that isn't an angrael (or sa'angreal, which seems to be much the same thing). By that definition, the Portal Stones would also be ter'angreal, as would the stedding. Even though apparently they weren't manufactured during the AOL.
john massey
231. subwoofer
Halima can compete in a separate division, with R. Fife Sedai.


Perhaps warning a person when you say such things, a disclaimer if you will? There is tea everywhere now! Where is that bottle of brain bleach? Agggghhhhh! There is no competition here for men trapped in a woman's body, or for that matter, men parading around in yellow shawls! How on earth can there be a winner here? Yeeeeeeeeee!

Woof™.
Sean Arthur
232. wsean
@NerveAgent- That's just it... Jordan isn't subtle about this stuff. See Mangin, Colavaere, the lady list.
J.Dauro
233. alreadymadwithwiseones
@NerveAgent
Whether others agreed or not, they were acting as a group, and therefore shared culpability. Their act was essentially an act of war. Nevermind that they were sent by a mad woman and led by a Darkfriend. Rand did not know. and the White Tower by itself was supposedly sophisticated enough to have its own system of checks and balances. What they did to Rand was torture, plain and simple. And it wasn't even to gain any information. The goal was to make him good for nothing but obeying the diktats of the White Tower. To break him. If kidnapping him was an act of war, that makes torturing him a war crime. A capital offense.

Cairhien in a time of peace might have had a sophisticated justice system, but as of current has just recently concluded a civil war and is still effectively under martial law. And guess who makes the laws in a state under martial law. Yes, the one with the largest army.

Rhuidean was not only "Wise Ones business". Yes the custom is for Wise Ones to stamp with approval who goes there, but the actual individuals involved are not only Wise Ones. They include Clan Chiefs as well. It is only by custom that those who have gone to Rhuidean not speak of it. But by right of having been there, and the extraordinary circumstances surronding his going there, Rand made a judgment call that he could change that custom. And the Wise Ones, acknowledging his being a "special case", agreed. That in no way constitutes an agreement that Rand was to have permanent control over Wise Ones activities.
J.Dauro
234. Hrothgordo
Nerve-

I had already touched upon the points you cited (even before you quoted them).

The first item occurs when Amys plans to tell Rand about his parentage. This is not a case of him trying to override Aiel law, but simply a taboo. This is Rand’s personal business and most likely an attempt to keep him from being shamed in front of others.

Such a divulging of private personal information is shaming in general to the Aiel. Look at the reaction Melanie had that Rand found out about her pregnancy before her husband.

The other Wise Ones already know Shaiel/Janduin’s story and Egwene is now an apprentice. Apprentices and gai’shan are shown to be outside many of the strictures of the honor code. Basically they can incur toh but it is very difficult for others to incur it to them.

It did not effect Aiel law, nor did it threaten the WOs mission to save as many of their people as they could.

The second case is, again, a matter of taboo. It is not law.

WO’s and Chiefs do not talk of Rhuidean because it makes them extremely uncomfortable. And certainly they would feel shame at wetlanders learning this secret.

Egwene is included here because, although they can’t be shamed in her knowing, she could pass the information along which the other Aiel aren’t ready to deal with.

It did not effect Aiel law, nor did it threaten the WOs mission to save as many of their people as they could.


Rand has been bathed and fed against his express will by the Maidens. He has been told to pound sand when trying to effect the punishment of Isendre, duel Couladin, or send spies to the Shaido.

Even when acting in his sphere of influence (battle) he has been overturned by custom. He had every intention of keeping the Maidens from battle and lost. In your view he should have been able to simply command them not to kill themselves.
Ben Kane
235. NerveAgent
alreadymadwithwiseones @ 233

The Aes Sedai were neutralized. There was no urgency in the situation requiring their immediate deaths. If Rand was vindictive enough that he wanted to kill them, he had plenty of time to determine which ones truly deserved it, and which ones did not. Only then would their execution have a remote chance of being considered "moral" (and in my own opinion, not even then).

Hrothgordo @ 234

We really can go in circles with this point indefinitely. The secrecy surrounding Rhuidean is not just a taboo among the Aiel, it's the one secret the holds Aiel society together. Compared to that, telling the Wise Ones not to abuse the prisoners that he gave them would be a trifling matter, and I don't see how it would be a subject of Aiel law.

EDIT: I know we're all getting sick of talking about the box thing...I am too, and I'm not trying to hold up anybody from moving along with Leigh's commentary. But let me just make a final point and posit a brief question.

No one believes that Rand gave such an order. That's fine, and I can see why not. I do, and as I've said, I think Jordan was using it as a subtle clue to hint at a looming darkness within Rand. He is willing to bury these things in his conscience. If you will recall, he had to ask Alanna who she was even talking about she brought the news. "Uhh...the sisters you stilled...and the other ones that you captured. Remember?"

But is anyone even willing to entertain the notion that the Wise Ones carried out the penance on their own accord? As so many comments have pointed out to me, they are perfectly willing to act as they see fit, and Rand never told Sorilea, "Hey...about that box thing. I wasn't really serious. Don't do it."
J.Dauro
236. Hrothgordo
Nerve,

Yes, I ceased debating with you on the morality of what Rand could have done with the AS at Dumai's Well. We have pretty much said our peace on that, and we simply disagree.

And as I have said I think that is a fair debate, despite my feelings in the contrary.

I keep coming back to your view of the Aiel though, because it is so well established in the books that he does not have absolute control.

The few examples that you can cite with Aiel relenting to his demands are all in matters relating to either his military command as a Chief or to customs (and even than it is dicretionary, seemingly based on whether the Aiel in question believes strongly enough to disregard the order).

Rand captured the AS in battle and pronounced judgement with his decision to give the prisoners to the WOs and not the BT.

The situation that obliterates any argument of his being able to stop any corporal punishment is Isendre. He actively tried to lessen her punishments, not only because it bothered him but because it risked her cracking and revealing Asmodean's identiity (or at least that he was a DF).

The Maidens and Aviendha both tell him that he has no authority to do so.


Whether the "box" thing actually occured I think is ambiguous, and personally I don't really care whether it happened one way or the other. Especially as it is evident that Rand is not aware of that treatment.

Again this is an item I don't think is up for debate. The author has gone through too much effort to firmly establish Rand's code regarding women. A code that took torture and being forced to strangle his lover to break (not to mention touching the DO directly).
Ben Kane
237. NerveAgent
The point about the Aiel was what I was referring to in my previous post. The pattern of the debate has gone thusly:

Me: "Rand could have put a stop to the Wise Ones' treatment of the AS."
Comments: "No he couldn't. He has no control over the Aiel."
Me: "Yes he does."
Comments: "No he doesn't."
Me: "Well, look...he's done X, Y, Z. He has plenty of standing on this matter."
Comments: "Oh, well...yeah, he's done X, Y, Z. But not A, B, or C, and only sort of D."

Yes, we're at an impasse, and we'll have to disagree at this point.
diane heath
238. jadelollipop
Did I miss something? Was Friday's re-read post cancelled?
Teksty Piosenek
239. tekstypiosenek
This is one of the things I like about this re-read and the comments.
It's interesting to see how others interpret things and find out about
their views on what happens.
john massey
240. subwoofer
@Jade- nope we are up and running on pt 18!

Woof™.
J.Dauro
242. Lspider
Leigh has done an excellent job, but having carefully examined everything she says about why Cadsuane is such a ass, a bad person, I find nothing wrong with her from the begining to now. She is the eldest, expects good manners and nothing more than she gives herself. When Leigh claimed blackmailing, that was not the way I saw it. Even here, Leigh does not go back and say "Oh, I was wrong about blackmailing the Asha' man to allow bonding." But see here is evidence. And Alanna, she is in love to her warders, not strong because she knows it is only a 1 way thing, but enought to want to be friend him. I think Leigh does not understand a country gentleman RJ, which I do admit is difficult at times, but I know that causes her misconstrude thoughts toward his writings.
J.Dauro
243. Lspider
the most awesome thing about Leigh, is your knowledge and special funny words,.. lol, you are amazing about writing,.. I wish I had only a little of her talent. And to do all this, I am really appriciative. Since I have ability now to do a quick read. Thank you

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