Oct 1 2010 1:08pm

Spoiler Thread for “Apples First,” the First Chapter of Towers of Midnight is pleased to offer “Apples First,” the first chapter of Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson! You can read the chapter here, but please keep discussion of spoilers to this thread, so as not to spoil anyone who has not yet read the prologue or other available material. (The prologue itself is available for purchase here.)

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

Bonnie Andrews
1. misfortuona
SQUEE!!!!! This is so freaking awsome you guys.
I must have had 2 dozen wow so what next ideas run through my head after I finished this.

The main one is. Rand's going to talk to Egwene and I can't wait to see, not only hers, but Gawyn's reaction when he shows up.

Thank you Tor, and thank you Brandon Sanderson.

Mis-gotta get my thoughts straight before I can say more.

*** Plus first comment on the totally awsome new thread. I must be in the wrong place.***
Noneo Yourbusiness
2. Longtimefan
What a lovely chapter. Thank you Tor and Harriet and Brandon for this nice gift. I look forward to the whole book this November
Tess Laird
3. thewindrose
(Reposted to correct thread)
That was amazing! It was wonderful. It sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes. It's going to be a long month of waiting isn't it!

So who thinks Rand is going to Tar Valon next?
The man looked back with a faint grimace. “To do something I’ve been putting off. I doubt she will be pleased by what I tell her.”

I dont think he would grimace to see Elayne, and we have the Elaida Fortelling to, umm, check off:)

Barry T
4. blindillusion
I thought the first chapter was going to be called: "Questions of Leadership"....

Oh, and thank you Tor. =)

I was just mentioning yesterday that I hope Tor gives us Chapter 1 on the 1st of OCT and Chapter 2 on the 15th of OCT. So...can we hope?

Also, welcome back Almen. It's been awhile.

Great Chapter. And I cannot wait to see Rand talk to Egwene. =)
Sam Mickel
5. Samadai
Absolutely amazing chapter. Rand has brought life back to the westlands. I can't wait for the book.
Thank you Tor, Brandon Sanderson, And Team Jordan
6. JonBob06
I have really enjoyed both chapters released so far. I know his appearance was bried but it definitely seems like Rand is going to have a Gandalf the White mojo going.
Daniel Hanley
7. dmhman749
(Reposted to the correct thread...again):

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

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

All i can say is that chapter one was awesome...I especially liked the "Almen thought— for a moment— he could see something around the man. A lightness to the air, warped and bent". All the Ta'veren power displayed in tGS, but turned towards good rather than evil. Towards protection rather than destruction. The bit about the goings on in Seanchan were also quite interesting, to say the least. Gah...I can't wait another month!

To thewindrose @ 3, yeah, he is definately going to see Egwene. Though I'm not sure how he knows she is in Tar Valon, much less that the tower is re-unified. But regardless, if he were going anywhere else than Tar Valon, he would have opened a gateway. And Egwene is the only 'she' he could possibly be referring to who is in Tar Valon
James Jones
8. jamesedjones
Well, as much as I love Leigh's posts, this was actually just a tad bit better for a Friday. :)

Of course, we will have to go back in time to catch up with Perrin and Mat and Moiraine and all of Leigh's 'I need a cookie and a hug' drama (might actually read the spoilers on, just to prep myself for that, before opening the book). But, at least the book starts on a bright note. ;)
Sam Mickel
9. Samadai
He might not know that Egwene is in Tar Valon, but he does know that she is in charge of the Rebel army that is besieging Tar Valon. So he will just be a little more surprised than before.
Joseph Armao
10. joeyesq
That was beautiful. The waiting for this book might just kill me yet.
Bonnie Andrews
11. misfortuona

I don't think he necessarily is going to see Egwene, though I'm pretty sure he knew she was with the Salidar AS outside of Tar Valan. He probably just means the Amyrlin.

Mis-my thoughts anyway

And Sam got there first. Great minds Brother.
12. mehndeke
These chapters are the TP and Sanderson is the Dark One. He gives it out in snipits and we're left addicted, waiting for more...
Megan Messinger
13. thumbelinablues
Sorry about the shuffling around, dmhman749! Thanks for understanding. :0)
Daniel Hanley
15. dmhman749
Ah...fair enough. He could just be setting off towards the camps around Tar Valon, to be re-directed into Tar Valon. But I am really more interested in how the rest of the Aes Sedai react to the Dragon Reborn just showing up than I am about what exactly Egwene has to say to him. Should be fun.

As for catching the others up, Perrin is the most behind(2 months, i think), but a lot of that will be taken up with travelling(since the asha'man are busy disbursing the refugees). Though i'm sure there will be plenty of wolf angst while he does it. Still, opening with such an awesome Rand chapter certainly gives me greater hope for how much Rand will be in it. Though building my anticipation even greater when there is still a month to go isn't really a good thing...
16. Team Moiraine #1
James Jones
17. jamesedjones
Blossoming and ripening before their eyes and protected from the DO's touch?

Song? What song? And tell those Tinkers to get off my lawn!
18. joe heron
nice. Rand made my morning better. its good to see him being positive and serene.
19. larkask
Now that we know that chapter 1 is a rand chapter and chapter 8 is a mat chapter. Any speculation on what chapters 2-7 are?
20. Grumpy Zombie

well its about time we see some elayne again
James Jones
21. jamesedjones
20 Grumpy Zombie

Nah. Chapters 2-7 would barely be enough time for her to get out of a bath.
Paul Long
22. Caveatar
"Almen watched the man until he vanished, then dashed toward Alysa’s house. The old pain in his hip was gone, and he felt as if he could run a dozen leagues."

WTH? Did Rand just heal the old guy by his presence?

Perhaps he will heal the Aes Sedai from their hubris as well. It is to be hoped. So far the "Servants of All" have been the "Masters of All" from their attitudes.
23. trench
Great opening chapter. One that I have been waiting to see for a long time. So I guess Rand is not only the Fisher King and Tyr but also Johnny Appleseed?
24. Ulthwithian
There are tears in my eyes. Seriously.

... I hope once more.

From a literary angle, the immense emotional juxtaposition of despair and hope was exquisitely done.

@17: Thank you! I never thought about the Song... this may reveal that the entire Age has suffered from a lack of hope. Avendesora...

I must read the book now.
Susan Brownhill
25. SusanB
This is an absolutely beautiful chapter. It made me cry tears of joy. I'm am so glad to have a positive Rand. And the imagery was incredible. I can completely picture his walk through the orchard.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I am very excited for Nov 2.
Daniel Hanley
26. dmhman749
Well, elayne(and caemlyn) is stuck 1 month in the past with Mat until it catches up. Since Mat and Elayne are likely to significantly interact during that month, Rand can't really interact with future elyane. But we will see her in Mat's plot.

My guess is that in chapters 2-7, we have 2 more rand and/or egwene chapters, 3 perrin and/or galad chapters, and a misc chapter of some side character. Maybe Tuon or Tylee? Or more likely some darkfriends/the forsaken. Need to catch up with what they are up to. From Leighs review, it seems like even if there is more light in the world from Rand, there is going to be a WHOLE lot more darkness.
27. larkask
I was actually shore this will be an elayne chapter , since we know that we need to do some catching up first on mat elayne and perrin, and since perrin was in the prologue and mat only first appears in chapter 8 I assumed it will be elayne so I was pleasantly surprised it was rand.

The fact that liegh seemed to imply that this book has a highr shift of pov than tgs us another factor to consider.
Matthew Hunter
28. matthew1215
@19: Good chapters.
@22: The land is one with the Dragon. Rand has healed his inner conflicts, and as he heals, so does the land and it's people. I'm not at all surprised. Well, except that it shows up in the penultimate book rather than the ultimate book.
Sam Mickel
29. Samadai
What I find to be greatly fascinating is that Rand implies if they harvest the apple before his presence leaves the area, the dark one will have no power to spoil the apples.
Daniel Hanley
30. dmhman749
“I wouldn’t say that,” the stranger said, glancing over his shoulder. “There are always things of use around, if you look closely enough. You can’t stare at them too long. To learn but not be overwhelmed, that is the balance.”

This quote also makes me more excited too. My guess is that Rand is talking about absorbing and learning from the memories of his past lives from this. I have never been sure of the theory that Rand is going to remember all of his past lives after tGS. If he is figuring out what he can learn from his past life memories without being overwhelmed...well, that leaves some potential for a lot of awesomeness.
Bonnie Andrews
31. misfortuona
Happiness and light is a great way to start this book. The problem is that we know that things are likely to go very wrong for him before the end. I fear for all the wonderful we've just been shown, the hearbreak will be just as complete before we reach a MOL.

Mis-spreading the cheer
Antoni Ivanov
32. tonka
I am pretty certain that chapters 2 to 7 are going to be Elayne/Perrin. I think we are not going to see Rand again till well into the books, since the others need to catch up.
33. Ron al Doskam
Wow, it is getter better and better. First Mat then prologue and now chapter one. We are getting spoiled.

Read most of the comments on several threads, and I think that every one will say, al we've got so far tastes and smells like the WOT of the beginning. Brandon is getting better and better.

Pus we get the talk between Egs and Rand, Now that is interresting
34. JonBob06
So, can someone clear up the various character/camp timelines?
Tricia Irish
35. Tektonica
Oh wow!!! Tor is taking good care of us! That was amazing.

I am encouraged by Rand's calm and the positive energy emanating from him! Looks like he's off to see Egs and feel her wrath. I wonder what it is she's not going to like hearing?

OK...I'm going to go read the comments.....squeeeeee!!!
36. larkask
Very interesting what's going on in seanchan . I wonder if anyone is getting close to winning th civil war- maybe the "murderer' in seandar. Perhaps he will attack tuon.
Daniel Hanley
38. dmhman749
To JonBob06 @ 34, Mat is currently about a month behind rand and egwene. We haven't seen Elayne in a while, but I assume she will be put into Mat's plotline at whatever point he actually gets to see her. Perrin and Galad are currently two months behind. Umm...thats it. Basically, tGS just advanced Rand and Egwene's timelines by a couple months without significantly advancing Perrin or Mat(though I believe Egwene was actually ahead of Rand at the beginning of tGS, but they have synced now).
David Platt
39. The Not So Dark One
Havent posted for a while but this has made me dust off the old keyboard and come out of retirement.
Awesome! Rand is Back Baby!
I thought the wind was a little...long winded?
Is Seanchan relevant or just a little reference to keep us in the picture/ look the wrong way?
So where have we seen Almen before? I dont want to look through every book for the one page with a minor character. Did he give the boys a lift in EOTW?
My Birthday is 4th Nov, so Im waiting for my early birthday present very eagerly now....I believe the new slang all the kids are using is SQUEE!!??
40. Planeswalker
*goosebumps on Rand - awesome
damn! now this one month of waiting left seems like years by the day! hahaha hayyyyzzz ;p

Chapter 1 comment: and prologue and chapter 8. the words are more Brandonesque now. nice and refreshing. though missing RJ. at the same time...
James Jones
41. jamesedjones
30 dmhman749
This quote also makes me more excited too. My guess is that Rand is talking about absorbing and learning from the memories of his past lives from this.

Ah, but he's still dealing with the effects of his damage from the taint, and the wounds to his side. The sickness almost stopped him from traveling away from Ebou Dar at the end of tGS. This new Assimilation/Apotheosis-Rand will definitely produce some miracles, but I don't think it's going to be often or on a consistent basis.
42. Backyardbob42
As I finished the chapter, visions of the last act of the movie Excalibur flashed through my mind, of King Arthur and his knights riding to battle again and the wasted land blossoming around them as they rode. Awesome intro to the book, can't wait for November!
Daniel Hanley
43. dmhman749
I believe that Almen was the farmer who gave Mat and Rand a ride into Caemlyn in tEotW. The night before they reached Caemlyn, Rand overheard a Fade tell a Darkfriend to find Rand and mat, who passed on the description to Almen, saying there was a reward for their capture, but he helped them anyway. mat was going crazy, and Rand was basically about to drop. It was a kindness simply for kindness' sake. I like that he is being repaid for his goodness when he expected nothing in return, even if it is after so long
Matthew Hunter
44. matthew1215
@35: Rand will know Egwene's wrath, but I doubt it will bother him much.
Daniel Hanley
45. dmhman749
Well, one of Leigh's comments on her review was that something had a great deal less yelling than she expected. Most people assume that is about the amyrlin's wrath. But do you scream at someone who just exudes peace and calm determination as greenery around him starts perking up just from being in his presence?

Edit: oh, and to jamesedjones, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't suffer from those things anymore. Those were not the normal effects of the taint that we have seen at any other time. I think they were just a side effect of Rand's decent into dark rand, possibly mixed with LTT screwing him up. Of course, he still has the wounds in his side, but that hasn't stopped him from being awesome in the past.

And if Rand is going to do 9 impossible things, he had better get to work with lots of MoA. He has...what...cleansed saidin, taken the stone of tear...what else. those are the only two impossible things I can think of that he has done so far.
Donna Harvey
46. snaggletoothedwoman
I just LOVE old charactors popping up again. Thank you TOR for this chapter! I got goosebumps!!!
DA Ford
49. Ford75
They really should push the release date up for TOM - I can't wait another month.
Ben Frey
50. BenPatient
"Rand, you're such a woolhead, and I'm in charge here! Be more polite! Respect my authority!!! Err...Um...why are the trees behind you growing flowers and leaves? Wasn't there a big hole in the tower wall over there a minute ago? Is that an orange? My hair feels funny. And my bussom seems to be straining my stole. That's weird. I've never even seen that color before...Do you want to maybe talk about re-considering that whole betrothal thing? No? Are you sure? Rand?"
51. Grumpy Zombie

haha yeah thats too true
52. Backyardbob42
The end of the first Matrix movie comes to mind too. Neo realizing his powers, rising up and making the bullets stop just by denying them, then the closing narration and the promise that things were going to change.
53. Demira
Awesome chapter. I didn't even mind it was a little short. I thought it was so cool, and how like wheel of time to come full circle. I think what brings the emotional impact into it is when we realize that Rand meets up with the same kind old man that he and Mat met on the road to Caemlyn in TEOTW. Well done BS and RJ.

Finally at least Rand is going to communicate with someone. I do hope it is Egwene, but I wonder if the "grimace" is because he is not sure if Elaida is still in the tower, and means to speak with her. I mean I know that he knows about Egwene being the new Amyrlin and all, but not maybe about Egwene being in the tower.

I hope Moridin is gone now too.

I'm wondering if Rand is going to have to actually "walk" among the fields for the "healing to occur. I am sooo excitied by what this implies. The power he drove thru the access ter'angreal caused him to have these "supernatural healing powers." My mind is spinning with all the possibilites his new power has. I mean, wow!

This is so much why the WOT is so fun to read becuase of what the characters do using the power. Rand, my favorite character and always has been, because he is the most exciting with his use of the Power. Now he has the True Power. I cant imagine what he will come up with next.
Joe Cheverie
54. jc4166050
Great opening chapter to ToM. Thanks for the preview, Tor! You can really feel things coming full circle with the re-appearance of Bunt. I enjoyed his scene with Rand and Mat in EotW. I really enjoyed the wind starting in Seanchan, showing the chaotic state of affairs there before moving to the mainland. Well-written scene, and can't wait for 11/2!
Adam Sampson
55. Relient A
I know it's bad, but I'm more excited about my name being in the chapter! I also saw the name of another person from the fund raiser as well.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the chapter as-is. I've been reading this series since 1997, I'm very excited for it.
Jonathan Levy
56. JonathanLevy
I sure hope it's Egwene that Rand is going to visit, because the alternative is.... Cadsuane.
Bonnie Andrews
57. misfortuona
Jonathan Levy @ 56
Or Elayne. He's been AWOL for a while. I could see him thinking she might be miffed with him. It could even be Allanna.
Yeah I'm pretty certain it's Egwene as well, just wanted to point out some alternatives to Cads.

Mis-just shared the chapter with my son. He gets to go back to school happy.
James Jones
58. jamesedjones
56 Jonathan Levy

You don't name her! That just draws her attention to you.

But I thought the alternatives were Egwene or Tuon. Seems like he made the wrong choice, but, hopefully, he just selected the nearest one.

Edit: "Ya know... I could walk to Egwene. Why don't I try her first?"
Ryan Reich
59. ryanreich
"in another age it would have been called tradewinds": this is quite possibly the only explicit reference to our own time being a previous age of the Wheel. Sort of breaking the fourth wall, though.
Joseph Blaidd
60. SteelBlaidd
"Apples first" have now been entered on the (very) short list of quotes that imediatly cause me to tear up.

Well Done.
Brandon Daggerhart
61. TankSpill
Great, great chapter all around. Love it. Glad to see Rand back in pure Hero-Form. Can't wait for 11/2.
62. MasterAlThor
I don't know what to say.....

I am not good with the URL thingy so someone else will have to post House of Pain's Jump Around for me.

That is how happy I feel.

Eric Hughes
63. CireNaes
Very enjoyable. Thank you all for posting this. I've been reading this series since I was 12 years old. It still gives me chills to read certain parts and consider this chapter added to the list.

And I think someone needs to have an in depth conversation with Rand about his mistakes so he can go about cleaning up after them. Who better than Egwene? Give her some credit, she's come a long way and so has Rand...finally.
Jonathan Levy
64. JonathanLevy
jamesedjones @ 58
You don't name her! That just draws her attention to you.

But I killed her at the end of TEOTW and at the end of TGH and at the end of TDR so nothing bad will happen now if I name Cadsuane
65. wagman26
heading east from dragonmount would be to tar valon. so egwene.
Warren Soulard
67. Hrothgordo
A very good chapter overall and so nice to see Rand as the nice guy again.

The meeting has many interesting facets. All of the AS are going to pass out when he rolls into town. But the big question is not so much the Egwene/Rand confrontation but the Rand/Gawyn one.

There has been zero time to pull Gawyn from the brink on his hatred. He will go bat(guano) crazy if Rand strolls on into the room.

Heck, maybe Egwene only unleashes her anger on Rand for the beat-down he puts on Gawyn. How cool would it be if he went all Mister Miyagi on him and just humiliates him with a sword and finishes him off with a honk on the nose.

As to Rand's comments I actually see the possibility that he is discussing the TP. That despite being sourced by evil, the energy itself can be harnessed for good.
Eric Hughes
68. CireNaes

It's possible to read almost anything into that statement, but I don't think that is one of them...Rand has been crippled as an immediate responder OP user due to his connection with Mordeth, but he can still use it providing he has a safe place with a bucket to embrace the source. I think this has more to do with his reframing the relationship he had with his past memories into something more healthy and useful. If Rand uses the TP to fix the DO's prison I will be a little disappointed. Evil should never be fixed with evil.
69. tyRandasaurs
@The Not So Dark One ..
I have you beat .. my birthday is on Nov. 2., so it will be a great day for me and everyone in WOT land as well
Sam Mickel
70. Samadai
I sure am happy they put this Rand chapter in the beginning of the book. I hated how they had the awesome Cleansing of the taint at the end of WH and then no Rand for 3/4 of CoT.
71. HUnter1
@ Hrothgordo

Not likely now that Rand has lost his sword hand and Gawyn has been shown beating a heron mark blade master and another very competent swordsman at the same time.
Tricia Irish
72. Tektonica
OK: Scene by scene:

Why do you think the Seanchan stuff was in the prologue? Are those the Towers of Midnight? (Among other towers.) Do you think they/it will play a part in this book?

Who are the attackers in the Harbor in Seanchan....large ships with blood red sails??

Who is the murderer that rules openly in Seanchan? Semi's dead. Is this a timeline problem? Was she ruling there after murdering the Empress and her family, then Travels back to collar Rand, and gets caught? Is this Demandred and some army? What army? Was she in cahoots with Demandred?
Much is mentioned here, but nothing is obvious to me, anyway.

There's quite the contrast between the chaos of Seanchan, and the calm before the storm in Randland.

As is the contrast between the despair Almen feels before Calm, Glowing, Healthy Rand shows up.

Btw, who were the passing mercenaries who ate all the food from the area around Almen's farm in Andor? Soldiers hired to fight Elayne for the succession?

Rand: “No. I’m not lost. Finally. It feels like a great long time since I’ve understood the path before me.” This gives me such hope!

Rand's eyes stare with "calm intensity" and cause Almen to want to tuck his shirt in and dust himself off. Rand is exuding charisma and calm and gives Almen a "strange sense of peace." And Hope.

Oh, I so hope this is The Rand throughout this book. Powerful, very powerful.

And what is it that he must say to Egwene, "I doubt she will be pleased with what I tell her." ?? BT and WT working together? Get her to parlay with the Seanchan? Bonding? Fealty? I just hope he remains calm and powerful and in command. I hope Gawyn's not there either.
Shawn Williams
73. srwilly
My bet is that Rand will tell Egwene he's making a truce with the Seanchan. Egwene will not like that at all. Since Tuon is now empress she won't accept anything less than Rand bowing down to her, as seen in the Seanchan prophecied.
Bonnie Andrews
74. misfortuona
Good heaven's Tek, you did post most of that conversation. Or at least the question parts, glad you left out the ramblings. Thanks.

Okay I'm still not guessing at the towers.

The red sails? This is probably obvious to some of the gurus out there, but the only thing I can come up with is an invasion from Shara or that Island of male channelers. Demandred anyone?

The murderer in Seanchan, well someone killed the ruling family. Yes we know it was Semi, but she could either have had a Suroth there who is now in charge, or it could just be public opinion. "Everyone is dead so whoever is left must be the murderer."

The mercenaries are most likely some of those thrown out of Camlyn during the succession.

I think that we might be wrong about where Leigh said she expected more yelling, maybe this refers to the meeting between Rand and Gawyn?
A couple of insults and a challenge from Gawyn, Rand continues to be Mr. Calm and Glowing. Egwene tells Gawyn to grow up and they all have a group hug.
Hey it could happen.

Mis-just following Tek’s orders
76. wagman26
I believe that the True Power may be able to seal the dark one's prison. "We had to touch it to him" was a quote from Lews T. to Rand on sealing the prison. Or could there be a balance for the True Power? A power of Light?
Eric Hughes
77. CireNaes

I would call that balancing power the Pattern. Hence Rand needs to sow up and vaccum the rug as the most powerful Ta'veren, not create some patch out of a different material. Don't get me wrong...I do enjoy me a nice the patch-work quilt and all, just not on the fabric of the WoToverse. Standards and all that.
78. JoakimAgder
Rand speaks of the lesson in every moment, it's the centerpiece of life, there's always a way out of you look for it closely enough, or maybe open your eyes wide open is a better way to describe it :)
It is the centerpiece of the evolution of life and the real lessons we humans suffer from in life.

Great chapter, almost getting tears in my eyes, such a stark contrast between Rand now and in tGS, can't wait for the book really, this was the nastiest tease EVER. Been reading this series for almost ten years now :D
diane heath
79. jadelollipop
My books are upstairs but iirc isn't Alman Bunt the one who gave Rand and Mat a ride to Caemlyn and stayed to fight when some revolted (I think this led to Gaebril being in power). He is not either of the men in the flashback scenes though.
Very happy to see Rand back on even footing and ready to do true battle with the DO. (the warping of the pattern around him is a warp of light YAY!!)
80. JWayneWolfbrother
What a treat to have so many glimpses into ToM before it arrives. I've always loved how the prologues set such a broad stage and get things going around the main characters. "Apples First" was a breath of fresh air and I couldn't agree more with another reader who said they were glad the book opened with Rand after his epiphany moment. Also, that the reference to EotW was brought full circle with the farmer. It's a very settling feeling that implies things are starting to come together before the Last Battle.

My impression on his new healing and hope-inspiring presence is that it's not necessarily just a result of destroying the access key and sa'angreal but more the growth of the Dragon Reborn to his full stature and power of mind. He was able to let go of the "dark presence" that the overwhelming power created by relinquishing it of his own will, and the sheltering presence can come to the forefront. Essentially, the light has shown through and it was an impressive sequence of events in the story and of writing.

Whatever the specifics of where we find ourselves... now it's time to do the damn thing!

Loved it and cannot wait until Nov rolls around!
Jennifer B
81. JennB
Yay! I usually don't read the bits they leak out before the book release, but I'm glad I did this time.
82. Freelancer
While it is plain that Rand's presence is healing the land, I question the supposition that his presence alone Healed Almen's hip. It is at least as reasonable that the adrenaline of the moment, the wonderful shock of finding that there is hope after all, the elation of seeing the overflowing apple trees, has squelched his bodily pains. If Rand walks into a sickroom and everyone gets up and dances around, then I'll be happily wrong.

Speaking of which, do you ever wonder why "faith healers" don't spend their working time at hospitals, where the folks needing healing are at?
Thomas Keith
83. insectoid
Great chapter! 31 days to go... *twitch*

Richard Chapling
84. Chappers
Nitpick time:

For hours, the wind blew—making what would have been called tradewinds in another Age—twisting between whitecaps and dark, mysterious waves. Eventually, the wind encountered another continent

If I'm reading this correctly, we have trade winds blowing easterly. As you may know, in this world "trade winds" are the winds that blow roughly from east to west between 30° N/S and the Equator, but not quite over it (WP). This raises several possibilities:

1. Randland's planet rotates the opposite way from ours.

This is easily removed: "The pale sun sat above the trees to the east, It was an awkward morning" (EotW, Ch1).

2. The described winds are in fact what we call "Westerlies", which blow (far less consistently than Trades) eastward, and occur in the latitudes between 35° and 65° (N/S). (WP)

To look at this one, I dug out the BBoBA, AKA the Guide. We note the wind started at Imfaral, then appears to travel briefly southward, then only east. Next, we assume the Randland world is about the same size as Earth, logical since it has been written to greatly resemble Earth. We also have to assume that both the world map, and the map of the Seanchan continent, are approximately accurate.
Now, according to measurements I took from this copy , Imfaral is about 2,400 Randland miles from the equator. The main problem is now converting this to real-world measurements.

i) If we assume the inch is the same, we get 2,300ish real miles, which is about 33° N. At this latitude, known as the Horse Latitudes, winds tend to be light and have no general prevailing direction, so you certainly wouldn't call them Trades.

ii) If we assume the foot is the same, we get 2,700ish real miles, which is about 39° N. This is within the Westerlies' region. If this is the case, the "other age" tradewinds are our Westerlies, setting their culture up so that the main transoceanic trade of the country whose language is used is to the east, rather than the west as in our world. Or something completely different.

3. Or, BWS and the rest of Team Jordan made a mistake.

Well, they do an excellent job, but we can't help picking everything apart. :-)

And now I've completely sunk myself into analysing one aspect of Randland's climate systems. Full book required sooner rather than later, methinks...
Sacha G
85. Fortune_Prick_Me
Thank you Brandon, Team Jordan and TOR!!

What a lovely chapter, true to RJ's style of showing events and characters through the eyes of the bystanders and the victims of the turmoil of this Age. What a different Rand from tGS too - he's become a Zen master come down from his lonely mountaintop.

I have a bad feeling about what's going to happen next though...

I posted a theory on the13thdepository a while back about how Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount could have been fulfillment ot prophecy:

Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed.
Once for mourning, once for birth.

This day has dawned twice (when the coulds cleared), Egwene even obliquely remarked on it at the close of tGS. If Rand goes to Tar Valon, meets up with Gawyn and gets killed (as others have speculated), that would complete this bit of prophecy. Needless to say my theory was totally shot down when I posted it, but this chapter makes me think it could still be true. Rand is going to die, we know, and Gawyn has vowed to be his executioner.

Besides that aside, I think we're in for a wild ride with this book. Can't wait!
Alice Arneson
86. Wetlandernw
First, that was beautiful. Tears in my eyes when I read "The apple trees were flowering." It was so unexpected, and so beautiful, and then Rand came walking down from the mountain...

I know there will be some horrific events in this book, along with some incredible MOA, but this was a lovely way to do chapter one. The prologue was decidedly grim, and the beginning of this chapter wasn't pretty either, but oh, the ending! I suspect this chapter is a microcosm of the last two books - people everywhere toughing it out as things get worse and worse. When it can't get any worse, it gets worse again. Then, in some way we completely didn't expect, the Light shines again, the Dragon heals the land, and mankind is once again shielded from the Dark One.

FWIW, I'm betting that Rand is on his way to see Egwene, but that we won't get to see it until at least halfway through the book. (I hope I'm wrong, but that's my expectation.) He can't really get together with any major players other than Egwene, Nynaeve, Tam, Aviendha or Cadsuane (basically people at the White Tower or who have been traveling around with him in TGS) until very late in the book, because the rest of them are so far behind him chronologically. As noted above, Perrin has two months of catching up to do, during which he will also have to connect with Galad. (Speaking of which, I had expected Galad to come along and possibly help Perrin fight the rest of the Shaido. Now I expect Perrin to rescue Galad, which I wouldn't have thought of in a million years...!) Mat has about 5 weeks to get through before he can meet up with Rand. Elayne may or may not have plotwise things to do other than meeting up with Mat, but she's definitely got that to do first.

Hey, given Rand's impact on the orchard, maybe when he meets up with Elayne the whole process will accelerate so much that the babies arrive in this book. (Of course, now all I can think is "OWWWWW!!!!! Don't you DARE !! Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch!!")

Still reading the comments; I'll wait to comment on those until I've finished so as not to repeat too much.
87. daviddragon3
Rand is that you. You look different. Good but different from when I last saw you. I missed you. You have been gone too long. I have wondered what I would say when I finally saw you again. Now, I don’t know what to say. Just that it’s good to see you my old friend. Where are you going now? Can I come with you? I don’t want to lose you again my brother. Man, it’s good to see you. No I’m not crying. I’m just happy. You know what? Seeing you again makes me hungry for pie. Would you like some apple pie? Ok, let’s go. I’m ready.
88. Ferolakra
This was a great chapter that almost had me tearing up to read Rand in a serene almost mystical light, and I can't wait for 11/02.
89. Mickero
Anyone else thinking that the thing Egwene wont like hearing is how Rand is going to seal the dark one's prison?, he now has LTT's memories, and in TGS Lews Therin mentions some plan that the female Aes Sedai would not be a part of. Maybe Rand means to copy Lews Therin's plan, which I suppose the Saidar users of this age wont like either.
Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw
Demira @53 - Please tell me you aren't saying that Rand did this land-healing business with the True Power. The True Source, saidar and saidin, is the One Power that keeps the Wheel turning. The True Power is the essence of the Dark One; while it is indeed powerful, and Rand used it against Semirhage (and Elza) to escape the Domination Band, it is not a good and happy thing. So... I'm hoping you were just getting all the powers confused...

Then again, Hrothgordo @67 seems to be implying much the same thing. I think it's a bit naive to think that the very essence of the Dark One can be used for any real good. It's still a possibility that a "padding" of the True Power will be placed between the Dark One and the One Power, but I begin to really doubt it. But... I'll just wait and see how that plays out. I have my opinions, y'all have yours. And RJ was a master of coming up with solutions none of us saw coming.

Tektonica @72 - Yes, the Towers of Midnight are in Imfaral, the sixth largest city of Seanchan. FWIW, Brandon said at the signing that "All of the book titles have both a literal and a metaphorical meaning." While I don't think we'll see action there on-screen, we might hear more about it as Tuon receives news from Seanchan and it may indeed be significant. I would assume that it would play a more prominent role in the outrigger(s) about Mat & Tuon, should they ever be written.

We really don't have a clue about the ships with red sails; they aren't mentioned in anything you can search with IdealSeek, anyway. My guess would actually be that it's part of the "civil war" and that these "invaders" are just invading from a subjugated area under the leadership of a power-hungry opportunist. Possibly an opportunistic Darkfriend.

The murderer... cannot be Semirhage, unless the wind took an incredibly long time to cross the ocean. It may well be some Darkfriend who served or aided her, however, and is now blamed for the whole bloodbath. Could be Demandred, but I don't see him sitting happily there in Seanchan while the Dragon Reborn is up to who-knows-what in Randland. I suspect a minion.

The "passing mercenaries" were most likely some of those who had been hired by one of the various factions in the Andoran Succession, who didn't have much problem just taking what they wanted from anyone in their path to their next job.

What will Egwene not like? I think your idea of the need to parley with the Seanchan is what he's thinking about. Alternatively, he's figured out what he want the White Tower to do for the Last Battle and knows she won't like it. I expect we'll find out soon. I'll be totally exasperated if we end up with all sorts of action, and the Epilogue is all about the upcoming meeting between the Dragon Reborn and the young Amyrlin...!!

Freelancer @82 - Spoilsport. I want Rand to heal Almen just be being his ta'veren self. ::pouts:: Maybe if we see him again later we'll find out if the pain ever came back. :)

Chappers @83 - Wow. That's a lot of time to spend on what truly is a nit. Whatever. ::shrug:: Maybe in an age not our own the Westerlies are called tradewinds and what we call tradewinds are known as Easterlies.

Mickero @89 - Well, I certainly hope not. RJ already told us that if they'd carried out LTT's original plan, saidar would have been tainted as well as saidin. I think Rand understands that, per LTT's statement in TGS that "something had to touch him" and that's where the taint was able to strike. They need something that can contain him without contact - like the antimatter containment fields in Star Trek.
Daniel Hanley
91. dmhman749
To Mickero @ 89, the plan that the female Aes Sedai wouldn't be a part of was the strike on Shayol Ghul. When all of the powerful females refused because they said it was too risky and wanted to do the Choden Kal thing, LTT went ahead and did the strike without them. Some people say that having no circles was what allowed the counterstrike to happen, but more likely, if female Aes Sedai had been brought along, Saidar would have been tainted too. Regardless, the one thing we do know is that Rand is not going to duplicate what LTT did. He created a patch. Rand is going to actuall re-seal the thing. No idea how, but it needs to be sealed before the Wheel of Time turns back around to the second age again. My guess is that Min will figure it out based on Harid Fel's books.

Besides, regardless of how much most of the Aes Sedai wouldn't like the idea of creating circles with asha'man, i don't think that (by itself, at least) would particularly bother Egwene.
Holly Finnen-Stewart
92. Branwhin

Welcome home, Sweetie. Per daviddragon@87, we've missed you.

And MAT, yes as a matter of fact I do feel like capering, reading that. HUZZAH!!! And oh, is His Evilness in trouble now.

Beautiful contrasting, too, darkness to light - and good indeed to see Master Bunt again. I'm glad he's one of the first Rand sees. A reminder of kindness can do nothing but help.

I think he's probably already holding the Source, if he did actually literally cause all those apples to grow (thus potentially eliminating the sickness problem**). Though as I recall the Blight retreated and flowers grew like crazy after the victory in the Gap at the end of TEotW. Could be either - Rand does have the Talent to make things grow, as Elaida does (sheez, talk about contrast).

**And on a potentially sadistic note, does anybody else hope that Moridin did *not* have time to prepare for that vast flare of Power, and found himself being hopelessly and wretchedly sick all over Demandred's boots?

Oh, and dentures FTW ... I don't think we've seen those yet in the series, though there are several mentions of people with teeth missing. That's going to be a real problem soon, Rand can't be everywhere!

Overall, I'm buzzing and grinning like a loon (Hi Insectoid...)! Thank you Tor, Brandon, and Team Jordan!
Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw
Branwhin @92 "And on a potentially sadistic note, does anybody else hope that Moridin did *not* have time to prepare for that vast flare of Power, and found himself being hopelessly and wretchedly sick all over Demandred's boots?"

Well, if that's sadistic, I guess I am too, because I find that mental image absolutely hilarious! Oh, what fun! "Uh, Mr. Naeblis, sir, is anything the matter?"
Chris Chaplain
94. chaplainchris1
Wow. I'm traveling, and didn't check in at all yesterday, almost didn't tonight either - since after all there's no new reread post. And then this! Squee squee squee, all the way home - that's what I'll do when I leave for home tomorrow.

Thanks Tor, Brandon, RJ, Team Jordan. Short chapter, but very cool! I'm surprised to see *just how dramatic* the change in Rand is, and *just how dramatic* the change is in his presence. We are really closing in on the Last Battle.

(Not to mention fulfilling a Foretelling - let's have Rand know the Amyrlin's anger, get past it, and move for TG!)
Julian Augustus
95. Alisonwonderland
I promised myself I wouldn't read this chapter, I wouldn't, I wouldn't, Iwouldn't read it, I would hold out and read the whole book at once ... and found that I couldn't concentrate on anything for a couple of hours, so I broke down and read it. What a perfect beginning to the book! It has made my day (and night!).
John Massey
97. subwoofer

Thank you TOR! That is greatly appreciated! You do like us:)

Rand- more and more the mesiah, his presence holding back the DO's taint on the world. Hope is kindled anew. In the end, I think that this is what being ta'veren is supposed to be about. The rest is incidental. To inspire people to flock to your banner, give them a feeling of hope and to not give up- that was brilliant.

And I love the tie-in of a character that was mentioned in passing close to 20 years ago coming full circle. Welcome back Almen, good to see you!

Sorry, I am sooo stoked I had to post and am now going back to see what other folks have said, so if I am repeating other's sentiments, well, immitation is .... yadda yadda

John Massey
98. subwoofer
Chapter was good- why is everyone getting weepy? Rand's got his head on right folks, I'm doing a dance of joy over here. Tail is wagging like crazy:)

Egwene- well, first thing that comes to my head- how does Rand know the schism in the Tower is over and Egwene is sitting on the Seat? And Rand, don't worry, Egwene knows who you are because she remembers who you were. Things will be fine.

Surest way to get people to flock to your banner, give them a reason to believe and let the story spread like wild fire.

Heidi Byrd
100. sweetlilflower
Sigh....I have been doing a happy dance all day :)
Matthew Hunter
101. matthew1215
@84: I haven't heard the guide called the Big Book of Bad Art in years! Thanks for the memory. (Apologies to the artists. Some of it was good. If any artists who worked on the guide are reading, I am sure the good art was yours.)

@85: Good catch. Scary possibility. I WANT THE BOOK ALREADY.
James Hogan
102. Sonofthunder
Amazing, amazing, amazing.


Thank you, RJ. Thank you, Brandon.

This scene has now catapulted near the top of my list of "most memorable mental images". The orchard, the old farmer, the trees withered and dying...and then life. And a tall young man comes striding through the trees. Rand is back, y'all!!!!!
Jay Dauro
103. J.Dauro
"the Tower of Ravens was broken as prophesied"

Have we heard of this prophecy before? Did Tuon know of this prophecy?

In a society that depends on prophecy and omens, this would be a real kicker.
Jonathan Levy
104. JonathanLevy
Branwhin @ 92

And on a potentially sadistic note, does anybody else hope that Moridin did *not* have time to prepare for that vast flare of Power, and found himself being hopelessly and wretchedly sick all over Demandred's boots?

Brilliant! But not nearly sadistic enough. Let it happen to him when he's with Moghedien and Cyndane... :)
Wayne Wilson
105. stylusmobilus
Thank you very much Team Jordan, BS, Tor and Fellow Posters.

Probably one of the better scenes in the entire series. A lot of great posts above me. I've just driven 350 kay. To come home, and find all this here has been the highlight of the day.

For Leigh's advance hints, this possibly could be #1, but more likely #2.

Seanchan is in a mess isn't it? I have a feeling Demandred might be using separate lords and armies as proxies, or one army, tearing the continent to pieces. Perhaps the red sailed ships are his navy, soon to sail across the ocean. All while Semi was keeping the Return on track for Team Yuckypoo. Who got to kill all the royalty would have been unanimously agreed to by the pair- death by torture doesn't really seem to be Dem's bag.

I see the link now, between Rand and the health of the land. I felt Rand started to really lose his way at the end of TSR, when he faced Asmodean, and the chora tree became burned. I thought the land started to turn spoiled around that time, continuing as Rand descended, and the DO worked his magic.

Rand speaking of his presence keeping the DO at bay (and his awakening to his purpose) tells me that a lack of that true presence has allowed the DO to spoil the world, and that Rand using the TP, while becoming more dark aided that spoiling.

I think Rand no longer has the use of the TP. To be more precise I'm thinking his true identity has rejected the ability. I'll know for sure soon.

No doubt where he is going. That will probably end up as Leigh described, where she thought there would be more shouting than there was. However, it may end up as # 5, with him finally being in the tower, getting a ripper deal on with Egwene, then it goes sour, the Hall comes in, pulls out some submission ter'angreal,...oh crap.

Would this 'presence' be similar to what Nym are infused with?

Once again, thanks Stakeholders of Fantasy Awesomeness. In the words of the venerable Steve Irwin, 'Crikey'. Can't wait for this book.
S Diller
106. CuenDiller
Thanks TOR! When I first opened the page I thought "this is rather short." What a great chapter though! Just plain awsome. I love that we see the farmer again. I'm excited about this new Rand, yet still apprehensive. I don' blame myself since he's been crazy for what seems my whole life.
107. mattyh
I wish a loyal andoran queen's man hadn't thought of aes sedai as 'witches'. I thought only whitecloaks used that term.

other than that, I really liked this chapter :)
109. someGuessing
Could it be Rand at the ToG? We see three people and five hands! Lot of complaints that the tower doesn't look anything like previous descriptions, and there is lot of growth and greenery around it!
And as for the three being one, there are lot of threes: three Taveren, three love interests, and three powers. As I read the comments above, LTT mentioning 'We had to touch it to him', they can get around Saidin/Saidar touching him, by getting TP touch him.
All Rand feels was being felt by Moridin (?), what would he feel now?
Rand bowing down before the empress and binding the nine moons to serve him, could both happen if he is collared and he bonds Tuon at the same time. Enough guessing for a day, I guess :-)
Tess Laird
110. thewindrose
Actually mattyh at 107, Almen Bunt didn't like the 'witches' even back in tEotW.(tEotW Chapter 34 The Last Village
"{...}Caemlyn is the grandest there is. Couldn't be grander. No, it couldn't. Unless maybe Queen Morgase, the Light illumine her, got rid of that witch from Tar Valon."{...}He spat into the night. "That for them. Morgase is no puppet to dance for any Tar Valon witch."

As some other commented up above, I love the full circle that Rand has made here(I know - something will happen...) with how after his first battle with Ishamael, the land gets better and now it would seem that as Rand walks the land it is getting better. Yet only for a short time:
“It’s not you who is mad, friend,” the stranger said. “But the entire world. Gather those apples quickly. My presence will hold him off for a time, I think, and whatever you take now should be safe from his touch.”

Jay Dauro
111. J.Dauro
someGuessing 109

Rand at the ToG?  Do you see red hair?
John Massey
112. subwoofer
Whoa! Boy do I have a few things to throw out there! So strap yourselves in folks, I have been pondering.

First off, getting stung by a wasp in the face sucks. Just putting it out there as it is the reason for my sudden reflectiveness.

Second, I have heard forever and a day about Egwene's wrath, the Amrylin's wrath to Rand. I am wailing through CoT- a surprisingly good read, once you get past the Perrin bits- and have just plowed through the Egwene chapters. Apparently the AS are all high strung because they thing that Rand has Compelled the Sisters into Oaths of Fealty. Dim. Brings me to the conclusion that of all the Aes Sedai in the Galaxy including Siuan, none in the SAS contigent seem to realize that Rand is the strongest ta'veren ever.

Geeze. Can they all really be this blind?

This all brought about the discussions to approach the Black Tower and I am not going to get into that much, just to say that I am changing my opinion on Romanda.

"Sometimes", she said, looking straight at Lelaine, "we must do things we would rather not."

As the oldest SAS floating around, I am thinking that Romanda has also learned the lesson of "what must be endured, can be endured." Heavy stuff. I am really starting to respect these old ladies.
Abdel Masdoua
113. TheDarkOne
"Apples First", Awesome!
I was so happy with this, I smiled all day!
And maybe a little tears to my eyes.
Well, it was dusty anyway...

Life is Good Again! I Heart Rand!
John Massey
114. subwoofer
WTF just happened? Pt 2 just got eaten.

Had to break this up and stuff seems to have gone sideways. Was getting epic anyhow but geeeze!

Ahem, yeah. The other thing that gets me is that Egwene knows Caddy is with Rand. Egwene knows that Caddy is a legend/ hot stuff. So in all of this there is no olive branch stretched out to her? Maybe there is an underlying assumption- grrr- that the Sisters already in the vicinity are in talks, but wha? no cemented proof. Dim. Sooo much could be cleared up if somebody just reached out and touched someone. No texting, no emails/M'haels, no bat signal in the sky. Nuts I tell you, drives me nuts.

OTOH Caddy, for her own reasons and motivations does not put out any lines to Egwene so that seems funny too. We know that the Tower is famous for communicating, and the spies and so on, but the Sisters usually present an united front to the rest of the world. Granted, at this time, the Tower is divided, but nobody wants to get the greatest AS alive on their side? Fishy. And the no fly zone over Rand? Fish guts. I am not feeling it. Somebody throw me a line here.

Michael Catapano
115. hoping
What a tasty treat. Thanks to all for the early release.

Rand is now more than just the most powerful channeler. He is coming into his 'dragoness,' which seems to be a non-truesource related power and perhaps stronger than what he could do with saidin. He is like a walking avendasora tree/green man and probably much more than that.

There's been a lot of speculation as to how Rand will re-seal the DO's prison. I don't think that this is how he will defeat the DO. No one, including LTT, thinks that they could do a better job of sealing than the Creator did, and that was defeated by some powerful channelers in the AOL when they drilled the bore. So, if the DO is merely re-sealed, he will be available for an appearance in a later age. That will make this age's TG, a last battle (one of many thru the ages) and not The Last Battle, the one to end the DO forever.

Which brings up the question of why the DO hasn't broken free already. Surely if all that was necessary is for the pattern to be unraveled, he could have had his minions balefire the pattern out of existence, and presto, he's free. This makes me conclude that somehow the DO needs the essence of 'dragoness' in order to break free. If all the DO needed was the absence of 'dragoness' he could have had Rand balefired out of existence on many occasions. So, I think that Rand and/or Min, will figure out how his anti-DO 'dragoness' power can be used to eliminate the DO for all time.

Or I could be completely wrong.

What are the odds- I have apple pie for the bunker.
Sharon E.
116. Sulin
To borrow my Spear-Sister's phrase: Awesomesauce!

What an amazing opening- I'm still processing it all. Bring on Nov. 2!

Thanks Tor, Brandon and Team Jordan!
117. SherBear
I'm just going to ditto the Yay for the return of good Rand comments! Heard the music from the closing scene of the first Matrix movie at the end of the chapter! You remember. . . the scene where Neo takes off flying . . .I want Rand to be the superior bad ass in this book! I want all the DF's and Forsaken from here on out to get wide eyed, open mouthed, and speechless as they realize they are going to lose TG!!!!
John Massey
118. subwoofer
Why hasn't the DO broken free?

Easy peasy. The DO has been imprisoned for thousands of years. Suffice it to say that his wardrobe is wayyyy outta date. I am sure that he is waiting around for his clothes to finally come back in style. Fashion conscious. Unlike Moridin who seems to be fixated on red and black for no apparent reason.


There is just no accounting for taste sometimes.

119. Doorman
Great Read!
With Rands new re-birth; comes a whole new tavern effect. he knows now how to control it for the better. So where ever he goes good things are going to happen. I wonder If tavern= true power?

Help me out. You know where Im going with this.
Sarah MacBeth
120. Aerie426
Hey there, a long-term lurker here.
Never had the balls(metaphorically speaking) to post before but I have a loony theory to share.

Keeping in mind that I've yet to read the prologue or Leigh's hints so I'm probably disproved already but ah well.....

Why is Rand walking anywhere? He has barely used his feet since Falme. While he is shiny new he's surely not going to dismiss travelling just because he feels better.

Someone last year while discussing TGS latched onto "The Power winked out." as a sign that while he hadn't destroyed the pattern he had destroyed the source ie. no more channies.
Needless to say I was less than impressed by this thought but it occurs to me now while that may be taking things too far it is within the realms of possibilities that he could have severed himself due to over-drawing the OP.

Explains the walking and the cheerful resignation of 'she won't be happy!'. If he is in fact walking to Egwene as the nearest team light she is not going to be amused - especially as AmSe - when he turns up all....

"Well Egwene, you know how I'm the Dragon Reborn and it's my duty to fight the forces of darkness? We might have a problem with that as I've just severed myself and I can't channel a lick."

"...Oh and as you've obviously figured out travelling yourself I don't suppose you could give me a lift back to my mates?"

She won't be happy with his 'wool-headed' behavior but he won't be too worried as if he can get back to Nyn she can heal him as good as new.

And that's it for my first loony publishing. I'm off to read Leigh's page and possibly prove myself wrong!
John Massey
121. subwoofer

Welcome Aerie:) Good you found your testicular fortitude... so to speak;)

Rand is a walker. I think it is as simple as that. He comes from a long line of walkers- Aiel. In tDR I do believe that Rand was outpacing everyone, on foot.

But it would be interesting if Rand did do something noobish when he nuked the male CK. Could happen.

Question- what the deuce happened to Graeger? A tree? Brimstone? Sulpher? Dark Houndish yet the tree angle leaves me baffled. Anybody?

Barry T
122. blindillusion

Simply another bubble of evil. Let's not forget poor Adrin.

Even with the positive slant of this chapter, let's not forget that the DO still has its thumb on the rest of the world.

Even Almen was two moments away from simply giving it all up, and he's pretty strong in and of himself. If Almen (all men; mankind) is willing to give in, what's everyone else going through?
Tess Laird
123. thewindrose
Hi sub - You had a run in with a wasp - ouch! That does not sound fun.
Hmmm, Graeger turning into the tree that smelled like brimstone when burned. Well, I don't know - I think I will just wait for someone like Linda to unlock it for me:) Be like - Oh of course, silly me didn't connect that together.

Rand walking, I think he has to be walking through an area to make it better for just a little while. And since he can't be everywhere and does have a battle to fight, maybe we find out about the Voice Talent he asked Elan Morin Tedronai about way back in the Prologue for tEotW - Dragonmount.

Hey hoping, welcome back :)

Sydo Zandstra
124. Fiddler

Why is Rand walking anywhere? He has barely used his feet since Falme. While he is shiny new he's surely not going to dismiss travelling just because he feels better.

Hi Aerie. (are you, by chance, a Baldur's Gate 2 player? ;) )

I don't think Rand dismissed Traveling, because I really doubt he climbed all the way down from Dragonmount by himself.

If he is heading for Tar Valon, which seems probable, the best way for him to get there is by mundane traveling, and he doesn't have a horse yet. Because there are a lot of female channelers everywhere around Tar Valon, and just popping up among them is not a good idea if you want to stay non-gentled.
Michael Catapano
125. hoping
I have been following along with the re-read, just not much to say. In fact, I am also reading tGS in prep for 11/2 and tSR. My wife just picked up the series and I'm following along with her. She loves WOT, especially the supergirls, and it's great fun to rediscover the books thru her eyes and see her excitement as the books unfold. Makes me remember my initial ardor for the series, an age long past. And to think it wasn't too long ago that she teased me as I read the series for the umpteenth time. lol

My guess is he can still channel. He had to compress the air up on dragonmount so he could breathe so he might have died if he was unable to do that. Also, I don't think he could have walked down its slopes without climbing gear. If he did, he would have left a path of green on the mountain. :) He probably gated to the base of the mountain.
Sam Mickel
126. Samadai
Well it is good to see you pop in and make a comment. I remember you commenting about your wife saying something to you about rereading the books umpteen times. It is good to know you have made another convert.
Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
J.Dauro @103 - The same thought occured to me last night, and I went searching. To the best of my knowledge, we had not yet heard the prophecy of the Tower of the Ravens being broken. I suspect, though, that there are a lot of Seanchan prophecies we haven't heard yet. We know that they have a separate set of prophecies as yet unknown to Randlanders, given by damane in Seanchan. (Don't ask me how we know this, other than by reading the Q&A; I can't find it by name in any of the books, even the BBoBA, but it's gotta be there somewhere.) Anyway, I wonder if we'll see a lot more quotations from the Essanik Cycle in this book. Given the title, it seems appropriate...

stylusmobilus @105 -
I think Rand no longer has the use of the TP. To be more precise I'm thinking his true identity has rejected the ability.
Yes!!! Exactly that! His use of it accelerated the spoiling, and its continuing touch would negate the healing. So true healing of the land, and Rand, can come only when he rejects it completely. Oh, I so hope that's what RJ had in mind!

mattyh @107 - Yeah, I know what you mean (witches) but I think it's a lot more common than we realize. We've been hanging around with AS a lot through these books, and Whitecloaks are the only ones who will say it to their faces, but I'm betting a lot of the common folk think it. For now. And as thewindrose pointed out, he's said it before.

subwoofer @112 - OUCH!!! Bummer, dude. Good thoughts, though. Verin, as well as some of those sworn sisters, seem to have caught on to the magnitude of Rand's ta'verenness, but most of them haven't yet. Siuan should, but... maybe she hasn't linked those two pieces of the puzzle yet.
I am really starting to respect these old ladies.
Why, thank you! ;)

and @114 - I wonder if Cadsuane is avoiding the Tower due to lack of confidence in their general ability to get anything done. She's given indication before that she prefers not to have anyone trying to second-guess her or interfere with her purposes, and she's got no reason (yet) to think Egwene will pull the Tower together and actually do something intelligent. I do hope they connect up pretty soon here, though; seems to me that they need to work together. Soon.

Doorman @119 - as long as you're not confusing "ta'veren = true power" with the True Power as used in the books. With the capital letters, it's the essence of the Dark One, whereas ta'veren are spun out by the Pattern as needed for balance. RJ indicated that the chances of a "dark ta'veren" are virtually non-existent. I have some suspicions regarding the power of ta'veren, but it may not be Power-related at all. But... that's an essay for another day, and Linda probably already wrote it at 13D.

Aerie426 @120 - Well, now, that's an intriguing idea... And you're right - Egwene certainly wouldn't be happy with him! LOL! It would be rather amusing... Nynaeve has to Heal the DR who just blew a fuse. Not sure if it could work, as "severing" vs. "burning out" seem to have somewhat different effects as regards Healing, but we really don't know all that much about it. I don't think you'll find anything conclusive to prove yourself wrong, though I don't think you'll prove it right either. Yet. In the immortal letters.... R A F O. As others have said there are arguments against, but... stranger things have happened.

P.S. Welcome! Don't go away - it's fun to have thoughtful new inputs!
Justin Vickers
128. ScoundrelTheToy
As far as sealing the Dark One it seems a pretty simple answer and one we've already been given, when the 'Three Become One". When the 3 main characters become one in their purpose or some manner and you have 3 ta'veren combined becoming one, who knows what will happen? The possibilities are endless though in a way.

We have been told numerous times how strong of ta'veren they are and when you put them together they could theoretically re-write or influence the Pattern to such a degree that they can re-seal the Dark One outside of the Matrix...err Pattern again. This would be how when the Wheel spins back around again to the 2nd age that the Dark One is completely outside the Pattern and history will repeat itself per WOT philosophy. But yeah, when the three ta'veren 'Become One', the Dark One better run and hide. Otherwise what is the point of Moridin ordering Mat and Perrin's deaths if the Dark One doesn't fear their becoming one as per prophecy :).
129. AndrewB
Subwoofer @114: I can think of two reasons that Egwene did not reach out to Cads once she learned of her existence.

a) Egwene was concerned with reunifying the Tower / taking down Elaida. Seeking help from an Aes Sedai who is traveling with Rand could be construed politically by Egwene's enemies as seeking out the help of the Dragon Reborn. Egwene does not want to reach out to Rand until she has won her civil war.

b) Siuan (based on Morianne's commments to her in the NS) believes that Cads is a member of the Black Ajah. Recall after reading Verin's book in TGS, Egwene notes that Cads was not listed as a member of the Black.

Thanks for reading my musings
Daniel Hanley
130. dmhman749
To Wetlandernw @ 127, a couple of points

First, I completely agree. Rand can't use the TP...or at least he better not. That is the power directly from the DO, or possibly even it IS a part of the DO. I think that the use of it was at least as much responsible as his desire to be even harder than steel after killing Semi and almost killing Min for causing him to go Dark Rand in tGS.

The power of his ta'veren-ness is going to be even more important than his channeling though. He has plenty of people who can channel. But his power as a ta'veren has continued to grow throughout the series. I see pretty much the entire world being pulled to follow him to the last battle as he walks the fields bringing life where the DO's touch has brought death.

About the people's dislike of the tar valon witches...can you really blame them? Its not even a dislike of their use of the Power making them basically demi-gods (or mostly not). The aes sedai have spent the past couple thousand years making thrones dance to their tune. They themselves say as much fairly frequently...with pride...No one likes some random group of foreigners manipulating everything in the world to suite their whims. And they never explain themselves, so there are too many stories of them just butting in and making things worse when people never see what the Aes sedai were even going for(the time Siuan made Gareth Bryne back off of the border he has sworn to protect for no explained reason comes to mind).

And their three oaths just make things worse. The Oaths define morality for the modern aes sedai, so anything that doesn't actually violate the letter of the oaths is just fine in their eyes. They may never lie, but the mislead so frequently and just by habit that you can never trust them

If I lived in that world, I would hate the witches too. The fact that some of our main characters are some of the very few actually likable aes sedai doesn't change that. And even they are as bad as the other aes sedai about thinking they know best and using manipulation to make people do what they want a lot of the time too.

About Cadsuane having no reason to think Egwene will be competant...well, there was that one quote by one of the wise ones(can't remember which one) in tGS. Cadsuane mentions that there might actually be one worthwhile aes sedai in the current crop about Nynaeve, and the wise one says that Egwene also has honor, or some such. But yeah, in general terms, Cads sees the rest of the aes sedai as mostly useless. To be used, but not to be allowed to interfere. And Egwene been Amyrlin of the unified tower for...what...two or three days?
April Moore
131. aprildmoore
Great chapter, first of all. Had me all teary with joy (but then, I do that).

Second, re: Rand's current aura/powers, back in EotW, when Rand first "activated" and defeated B'alzamon/Ishy at Tarmon's Gap, the reports from the returning soldiers said "...the Light took on flesh and fought for us....the Creator walked in the Gap to strike at the Shadow." I believe the "lightness to the air, warped and bent" aura we see in "Apples First" indicates Rand's renewed/reupped status as the Creator's Avatar and ALSO the Dragon Reborn - whom we've heard hasn't always fought for Team Light (even if Rand himself has never turned to evil in any of his prior lives). At the EotW, this event resulted in a sudden spring when they world had been locked in winter under the DO's growing influence.

In TGS the Dragon was in great jeopardy - having actually touched the Dark One by tapping into the TP - of turning into the Avatar of the Dark One. Things in the world at large were bad - not just due to bubbles of evil but because Rand's mental state as the Dragon is reflected in the Land itself. I believe (and most feverently hope) that he no longer has access to TP, having perhaps successfully "exorcised" himself now of the DO's influence.

But that is probably too optimistic for this series - I'm sure the whole "third man" LTT/Rand/Moridin thing may still play a role in the story, and most likely not in a way that will please me. Or, alternatively, Rand will be all good and then get gacked almost imnediately. I'm really hoping we'll get to see this good, uber-Rand for a little while before the Last Battle, but the irony of offing him now - only to be resurrected just in the nick of time -- would be just the sort of thing that R.J. and Brandon would enjoy doing to us.

And Bah! I've just killed my own buzz. :-(

Third, re: walking, I agree with posters who have postulated Rand is taking a walkabout to get a feel for the land, spread his influence, just take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that he's alive for a bit before he has to jump right back into the fray. After all, he DID just come through an incredibly life-affirming experience very narrowly. That tends to make you want to slow down and observe the world around you. And in his case, it gives him time to think about the upcoming conversation he has been putting off, maybe even gather some advance intel about the current status of the White Tower.

Fourth, re: the opening scene in Seanchan, I suspect this was a section that had actually been penned by R.J. or at least well detailed by him. He was planning to write the Outrigger novels after the Wheel of Time, so it seems likely to me he would have included these scenes as a hint of what would be addressed in the future books - but I doubt we'll get much more of this in tthis series (so, I doubt we'll ever get much more info on who the red sails belong to, who the "murderer" is, etc.) But it was nice to see those hints about what the Outrigger novels might have covered. If this section was entirely Brandon's, I'm more than impressed -- this sounded very much like Robert Jordan to me.

Fifth, - well, why yes, I do think Ch. 1 calls for a celebratory cocktail! Thanks for offering. Salut, Mr. Sanderson and Team Jordan!
132. Doorman
Wetlandernw @ 127
No. Tavern power. Seems Rand has figured it out. Is it a true power on its own? Seems to be a power that can be controlled, or at the very least understood.
Daniel Hanley
133. dmhman749
To aprildmoore @ 131, we know that Brandon did write this section. First, because RJ was planning on putting it all into one book, so there wouldn't have been a 'wind blows across' opening to what is just the middle third of the book. Second, because Brandon outright said that RJ didn't write the book opening in his blog at some point(I think back when he first started writing tGS). Brandon assumes that RJ just assumed whoever wrote it could figure that out the first lines, since they are always pretty much the same. Though RJ might have written the basic description of whats going on in Seanchan as meant to be a quick little section through someone else's eyes or something. I don't know.

Regardless...I have no opinion on if the stuff going on in Seanchan will be of importance in the last battle. We don't know enough. I do think that it will at least be addressed a little bit more, even if it isn't. Maybe through a report to Tuon once she sends someone back to check on Seanchan after they figure out travelling or something, I don't know, but it seems unlikely they would have put that much of a teaser for something that would go completely unaddressed.
134. klay aioki
Finaly...i have been reading this series since the '90s and it gets better with everybook. We all know what waiting for the next book to come out is like but for these last three books the anticipation is magnafied. Along the way (waiting for the next book to come out) since i started reading this series almost 20yrs ago i have grown up and started a it seems the characters have also grown so much...I hate to see the end in site but i can not pretend to want to wait anymore lol! A beutiful chapter 1...thanks!
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
dmhman749 @130 - Nothing to add regarding ta'veren effects - you've captured it well! I do look forward to some things going right, eventually... :)

Re: the "witches" attitude - I am in the unfortunate position of seeing both sides of the coin here. If I were Joe (or Jane) Everyone who had nothing but hearsay, rumor and legend to go on, as is true of most people in Randland, there's a good chance I'd see them as "witches" too. Depending on one thing and another, there is reason for the general populace to see them as anything from evil power-mongers to benevolent demi-gods. Human nature being what it is, the tendency to hate what one does not understand is likely to shift the weight of opinion toward the "evil power-monger" or "witch" side of the scale.

On the other hand, I can also see quite easily why the White Tower has developed as it has. I won't present all the arguments here, unless someone really wants them, but there are plenty of reasons to stay neutral as regards everyday politics, intervening only when it is needful for the general good. Again, human nature being what it is, this grows into aloofness from the world in general. Aloofness grows into arrogance, and you end up with Aes Sedai deliberately cultivating an image of superiority, mystique and unfathomable power. For those of us blessed with freedom , education and opportunity, it's really grating, but given the in-world set-up it would be nearly unavoidable.

aprildmoore @131 -
And Bah! I've just killed my own buzz. :-(
I know what you mean. I've been trying really hard not to think too hard about what's coming, because as lovely as this chapter is, you know that in a few more pages things are going to get worse, and get a lot worse before the end. I just want to ostrich for a few more weeks before we see the next awful thing happen to Rand. (Or... whoever the next bad thing happens to.)

I agree that we probably won't learn much more about what's happening in Seanchan, although I wouldn't be surprised to "see" a little more via intel arriving for Tuon. Even that will be outdated, though, unless they pry Traveling out of Suffa & co. and she sends a few teams back to Seanchan to find out. In any case, RJ was pretty clear that we wouldn't see any real action in Seanchan. I wonder if they borrowed these bits from his notes for the outriggers, or if they were in the AMoL outline already. Probably won't ever find out.

Doorman @132 - Tavern power? Is that what makes really good ale, or is it what really good ale makes?

I was simply trying to point out to you that when you refer to "true power" in this context, you need to be clear that you are not referring to the essence of the Dark One known as the True Power. You know, that stuff that Moridin has so much fun with. Gives you funny spots floating across your eyes. That stuff.

My personal opinion is that ta'verenness has no direct tie to the One Power, other than that which ties all of Creation together. Rather than going into lengthy arguments, I'm just going to quote RJ himself:

- The Wheel creates ta’veren at need, making someone who is already alive one. You aren’t born ta’veren. Can you imagine being around a ta’veren who is teething?
It would be possible for a Darkfriend or Forsaken to be made ta’veren, but it seems unlikely. Ta’veren are part of the Wheel’s self-correcting mechanism. When the Pattern seems to be drifting too quickly, and especially if it is in the wrong direction, one or more ta’veren are created. I can’t really see how making a Darkfriend or Forsaken ta’veren would help with correcting the drift of the Pattern. Ta’veren can oppose one another, when their conflict is what the Wheel “sees” as the necessary corrective. And, no, ta’veren is not Old Tongue for Deus ex machina. It came out of musings on luck, charismatic leaders, and the theory of the indispensable man....Someone who sees ta’veren sees them as glowing. The more strongly ta’veren, the brighter the glow. This is a Talent, and is something that only someone who can channel can do. While she was stilled, Siuan could not see ta’veren, nor could she have if she had been burned out.
Birgit F
136. birgit
It would be funny if Moridin inspects his troops in the Blight and suddenly the feedback from Rand turns him into a Nym who makes the Blight bloom.

Tavern power. Seems Rand has figured it out. Is it a true power on its own?

Setalle Anan will link with Basel Gill and lead the innkeepers channeling the tavern power.
137. Yakaji
stylusmobilus @ 105:

Absolutely agree about Leigh's review; I think this was her #2. Which is a bit unfortunate, actually... I was really hoping #2 would be a Perrin moment, so "All is forgiven, man" could be applied to him. But Rand has been a $&%#@&#$ for a while now, and I'll take forgiveness when I can get it. This was an awesome chapter.

As for the True Power, I'm not sure I buy that Rand doesn't have access anymore. Certainly, there must be something to the dichotomy between the dark aura Fortuona saw around him in tGS and the light aura Bunt saw here. But from a thematic and plotting standpoint, it'd be phenomenally inappropriate for us not to come back to Rand's True Power use. I mean, imagine the movie Gandhi if Ben Kingsley walks up to someone 3/4 of the way through the movie, pulls out a gun, shoots them in the head, and then everything continues as normal with no one ever referring to the incident again. I think it IS possible he no longer has access, but Jordan and Sanderson are both too skillful to miss out on the opportunity to revisit this, even if it's just Moridin complaining about how the True Power gambit failed. More likely, though, I think there are real consequences still to be seen for that brief moment of blackness.

In fact, if Rand does die before the end of ToM, I'm willing to go out on a limb and predict it will be BECAUSE of his TP use. The DO may have a degree of control over him, now, and the DO won't be very happy about the New Improved Model we're already seeing in this chapter. (But we know he needs to die if he wants to live; and anyway, Aviendha has to have weird babies to fulfill Min's viewing. I'm betting resurrected-Rand knocks her up)
138. Doorman
@ Brigit:
My Bad. Should of looked up the spelling. I like Setalle Anan.

Thanks Wetlandernw! I should know better then that. Out of practice.

139. Shadow_Jak
The wind churned morning mist, moving southward, chilling a small pride of torm. They reclined on a flat, lichen-stained granite shelf, waiting to bask in morning sunlight that would not arrive.

Show of hands please...How many students knew that a group of Torms is called a "Pride"?
I would have guessed a "Crash", or maybe a "Knot".
Animal Groups
Andrew Lovsness
140. drewlovs
Hi all, to anyone who remembers my ramblings on Leigh's posts last year before life intervened. My take, on finishing this chapter (ONLY this chapter, as I decided to wait for the book instead of buying a few pages in advance this time) was we are seeing the "new" Rand... the true Dragon Reborn. In other books, with other authors, you tend to lose their POVs, and they become a power other characters react to as opposed to relating with. Does that make sense?

If I am right, we will only get to "see" Rand through other's eyes, at least in the short term. Also, he will be righting the wrongs in an attempt to be ready for the final battle. Unfortunately, that means we do NOT get to see the LTT memories, the plans that Rand has, etc.

If I am right, we are as likely to see a Rand POV as we are to see a Dark One POV... which stinks, in my opinion. Sooo... I hope I'm wrong....
141. Shadow_Jak
The wind churned morning mist, moving southward, chilling a small pride of torm. They reclined on a flat, lichen-stained granite shelf, waiting to bask in morning sunlight that would not arrive.

Show of hands please...How many students knew that a group of Torms is called a "Pride"?
I would have guessed maybe a "Crash", or maybe a "Knot".
Animal Groups
Cameron Tucker
142. Loialson

Ok, now to be an adult:). This is the Rand I fell in love with when I started reading this series. I loved him much, but became frustrated with his uber dark man i hate myself type persona that evolved. It made me sad. Same with Perrin beind made of awesome in tSR turning into emo boy chop off others hands because im grumpy my snappy wife has been shipped off.

Guess being an adult didn't turn out too well. Huh. :P

I teared up a bit. I've needed some cheer and hope and love and awsome in this much beloved yet lately very darkly overcast tone of the books.

Aw, now I want a bubble bath to soak in with my copy of ToM....wait! I don't have one yet?! No bubbles?....

Daniel Hanley
143. dmhman749
To Yakaji @ 137, Oh, i think that Rand still has access to the TP...I just think that he will never ever use it again. But the tempation of it being there will be very important. In fact, i think there will probably be a moment where it seems like the TP would be vitally important to succeeding. Afterall, the DO wants to corrupt Rand much more than he wants to kill him, as has been shown over and over again through the series. Why would the DO not offer Rand access to the TP? Part of what Rand must do to truely win is reject that temptation.
Theresa Gray
144. Terez27
blindillusion@4 - I tried to tell people during the Hunt that there was no reason to think that the code numbers were chapter numbers, and plenty of reason to think otherwise (such as the fact that we knew there were 57 chapters but fewer than 50 codes). Ch. 8 was a good clue too.

@the many people talking about Almen Bunt, the Eye, and 'full circle' - don't forget about the dream in ch. 9 of TEOTW. And 'Dragonmount', for that matter. The dream in ch. 24 is also of note.

@apples - Don't forget about the Isle of Apples.

@Gawyn - It's hard to see Gawyn killing Rand in Tar Valon since Alivia isn't around. My guess is that Egwene gets him to leave before Rand gets there.

@the Amyrlin's anger - Don't forget about Egwene's dream of that confrontation (book 3 ch. 48). Rand is confronting not only her but also the women with her (no mention of any men), and one of the women is Seanchan. One of the Bloodknives? Seta?

@the murderer - Doesn't have to be anyone we know.

@the attackers - Almost certainly from somewhere in Seanchan to the south. Seandar seems likely as its landmass is right across a long bay with only a small passage out to the open sea (good possibility for a 'sleeping' bay), and though it's in the middle of the continent, it's accessible by river, and it's most likely a navigable river or Seandar wouldn't have been built there.

A possibility is the Deathwatch Guard. I doubt Semirhage managed to kill all of them, and their colors are green - almost black - and 'blood red'. I imagine they would be pretty upset about the death of the entire Imperial Family, and the 'grisly work' would fit something like that.

But if all they did was burn ships, then it seems unlikely it was the Deathwatch Guard. In fact, I could see them all killing themselves when they found out about the Imperial Family.
Tess Laird
145. thewindrose
drewlovs - Welcome back. Comment more:) Hoping is back to, and some others. Something big must be coming out soon;)

Deathwatch Guard killing themselves... Are they commited to only the person they serve, or would they automatically go to the new Empres if there is one? I know personal property kill themselves at the death of their owner(as we saw in the death of Turak). I know Tuon said something about the Ogier Garderners not being tied to her in that way, but what was it about the regular Deathwatch - maybe avenging and then dying? If they all killed themselves and they are property of the Empress they should have all been dead after the news of the Empresses death in Seanchen proper. So they must just get inherited by the next Empress or Emperor. Thoughts?

146. Marciajj

Yes indeed, methinks my Arthurian on the 13thD will be in need of a few additions soon...Linda dear apple of my eye...we'll have to have a chat under the bowers soon...lovin' it!!
Theresa Gray
147. Terez27
Karede indicates that it's their responsibility to seek vengeance. But he also indicates they aren't likely to kill themselves:

TITLE - Crossroads of TwilightCHAPTER: 4 - The Tale of a Doll

Dismissing thoughts of his servant, he returned to the display on his writing table, though he had no intention of taking up his pen for the moment. He had been raised to banner-general for achieving some small success in the battles with the Asha’man, in days when few had achieved any, and now, because he had commanded against men who could channel, some thought he must have wisdom to share about fighting marath’damane. No one had had to do that in centuries, and since the so-called Aes Sedai revealed their unknown weapon only a few leagues from where he sat, a great deal of thinking had gone into how to cripple their power. That was not the only request littering the tabletop. Aside from the usual run of requisitions and reports that needed his sig­nature, his comments on the forces arrayed against them in Illian had been solicited by four lords and three ladies, and on the special Aiel problem by six ladies and five lords, but those questions would be decided elsewhere, very likely already had been decided. His observations would only be used in the infighting over who controlled what in the Return. In any event, war had always been a second calling for the Deathwatch Guard. Oh, the Guards were always there whenever a major battle was fought, the swordhand of the Empress, might she live forever, to strike at her enemies whether or not she herself was present, always to lead the way where the fight was hottest, but their first calling was to protect the lives and persons of the Imperial family. With their own lives, when necessary, and willingly given. And nine nights past, the High Lady Tuon had vanished as if swallowed by the storm. He did not think of her as the Daughter of the Nine Moons, could not until he knew she was no longer under the veil.

He had not considered taking his own life, either, though the shame cut him keenly. It was for the Blood to resort to the easy way to escape disgrace; the Deathwatch Guard fought to the last. Musenge commanded her personal bodyguard, but as the highest-ranking member of the Guard this side of the Aryth Ocean, it was Karede’s duty to return her safely. Every cranny in the city was being searched on one excuse or another, every vessel larger than a rowboat, but most often by men ignorant of what they were searching for, unaware that the fate of the Return might rest on their diligence. The duty was his. Of course, the Imperial family was given to even more complicated intrigues than the rest of the Blood, and the High Lady Tuon frequently played a very deep game indeed, with a sharp and deadly skill. Only a few were aware that she had vanished twice before, and had been reported dead, to the very arrangement of her funeral rites, all by her own contriving. Whatever the reasons for her disappearance, though, he had to find and protect her. So far he had no clue how. Swallowed by the storm. Or perhaps by the Lady of the Shadows. There had been countless attempts to kidnap or assassinate her, beginning on the day of her birth. If he found her dead, he must find who had killed her, who had given the ultimate commands, and avenge her what­ever the cost. That was his duty, too.
148. justguessing
I think the senchean scene was added because Rand is going to see Tuon first (not Egwene) "the east and west must be one". This should be Rand's priority and duty is heavier then a mountain (the last thing he want's to do). RJ sometimes liked to lay out the obvious, while sending everyone in a different direction. Just saying and I'm probably wrong.
149. justguessing
Last point to my opinion,

Rand has been told he must unit Randland at all costs to win. We also know that Egwene would definately not be happy if he'd made a deal with Tuon regarding leashed Aes Sedai etc to make peace. If Rand is to receive Egwenes wrath I think making this deal first would qualify and fits with the story line. Tuon first then Egwene. Walking east is a red herring.
Tricia Irish
150. Tektonica
Various: Good thoughtful posts!
Re: Rand's Ta'veren-ness.......
I think he's figured it out, has integrated himself, discarded the need to be hard and steel, and has, of his own free will declined, the TP use. Someone above mentioned this, and I think it's important that it be a conscious decision. How this will affect his relationship with Mori? Don't know.

But he is indeed the Dragon Reborn! As in born anew....... Transformed, and becoming more Ta'veren by the moment, and in sync with the Pattern.

I was afraid initially that he'd be killed off right away too, but I forgot, he still has to make babies with Avi, so we get to enjoy the new improved Rand for a little while, at least.

Sub: Hope your face returns to normal size soon. Sounds painful.
Theresa Gray
151. Terez27
@Marcia - Did you write some of the Arthurian articles?

@Tek - Rand and Aviendha can always make babies after he's resurrected. But it does make sense for both sets of babies to get caught up in the re-bonding...
152. MarciaJJ
@151 Terez27

Both the Arthurian Parts 1 and 2, yes, with valuable input from Linda as always (and also...whispers..."Everything you ever wanted to know" mine too...heh). They were originally part of Wotmania's FAQ and were migrated to the 13thD thanks to Linda and Dom. I consider them pretty much the property of the 13thD now, seeing as I've gone somewhat underground as far as online WOT activity these days. But them apples are making me think...must be patient and wait though and see how things fully play out, see where Jordan takes the parallels, or not ;p
153. Doorman


Im 100 % on board on this one. he is indeed the Dragon reborn and
in sync with the pattern and the real world! Babies! Man he is going to be a busy boy!
Alice Arneson
154. Wetlandernw
drewlovs @140 - Hey! Of course we remember you! Don't take this wrong, but it would be nice (for us) if life stopped intervening in your WoT addiction. :)

As to the comment... Hmmm. You may be right. (I may be crazy... but it just may be a lunatic... Oh. Wrong thread. Sorry.) I certainly see what you're saying, and I can certainly see the possibility of it happening, especially in this book. In a way it would be quite cool, to see all the effects he has without knowing what's going on in his head. On the other hand... it's one of the things that's been very cool, to see the contrast between the way others perceive him and what he's really thinking and feeling. So all in all, I hope you're wrong, but either way I'm betting it'll be a great ride. Read. Whatever.

theLIGHTONE @142 - I'm afraid you'd end up dropping the book in the bubbles. It's gonna be big, and heavy in more ways than one. My expectation for this book is that the glorious light moments like this will be very awesome but far fewer than the times of watching things go badly in many places. I don't think we'll get the happy ending yet.
Birgit F
155. birgit
Deathwatch Guard killing themselves... Are they commited to only the person they serve, or would they automatically go to the new Empres if there is one?

In the outer cabin, the Deathwatch Guards, lining the walls in armor lacquered blood red and nearly black green, stiffened at her entrance. That is, they stiffened if statues could be said to stiffen. Hard-faced men, they and five hundred more like them had been charged personally with Tuon's safety. Any or all would die to protect her. They would die if she did. Every man had volunteered, asked to be in her guard. Seeing the veil, grizzled Captain Musenge ordered only two to accompany her on deck, where two dozen Ogier Gardeners in the red-and-green made a line to either side of the doorway, great black-tasseled axes upright in front of them and grim eyes watching for any danger even here. They would not die if she did, but they also had asked to be in her guard, and she would rest her life in any of those huge hands without a qualm.WH ch. 14

daniel martin
156. bakerdan82
what is Moiraine going to be like when she returns. the bond with Lan gone, Lanfear not as strong in one power as she was, the doorway it goes to the tower of ghenjei did Moiraine ues the 3 wishses to destroy Lanfear and wasped there powers or maybe more.
also i think Demandred is king or close to the king Murandy. Is Graendal dead or did she trick Rand somehow and somehow i think the black ajah will run to the black tower that may explane two of Elaida fortellings about the black tower and Andor being th key to the lasted battle.
daniel martin
157. bakerdan82
what is Moiraine going to be like when she returns. the bond with Lan gone, Lanfear not as strong in one power as she was, the doorway it goes to the tower of ghenjei did Moiraine ues the 3 wishses to destroy Lanfear and wasped there powers or maybe more.
also i think Demandred is king or close to the king Murandy. Is Graendal dead or did she trick Rand somehow and somehow i think the black ajah will run to the black tower that may explane two of Elaida fortellings about the black tower and Andor being th key to the lasted battle.
Daniel Hanley
158. dmhman749
It is stated in the Guide, and maybe in the books that the human Deathwatch Guards are property of the Empress, and therefore would die when their owner did. Maybe there is a special exemption for them allowing them to die avenging her death or something. The Ogier deathwatch are not property, and so would not, but the humans would.

Ah...i just read birgit @ 155. Yes, that sums it up nicely. I should finish reading the comments before i make my own...

to bakerdan82 @ 156, yes...Murandy seems the most obvious place for Demandred to be, given the evidence in the book. It followed the usual pattern found in other countries when a forsaken takes over in at least some ways. I don't know if I buy it though...Demandred would have wanted to be powerful in his hidden position, and even King of a united Murandy doesn't really qualify. Yeah, the king there is more powerful than any king of that country in centuries, but its still a relatively weak country. Demandred says his armies are ready to march...while I guess this technically qualifies as correct for the armies of Murandy, what is that one little army going to actually accomplish against Rand...

No, I think he took a place of much greater power. My guess is either in Seanchan, as the beginning of the chapter might point towards, or much more likely, in Shara. We have heard stories of chaos coming out of Shara for a while. While this might be caused by Graendal's kidnapping of the rulers of the country and their family (and probably was, at least in part), I think it was mostly the effects of Demandred consolidating power.
It would be perfect for him. He could march across the Waste with an army huge enough and with enough channelers to actually be a true threat to Rand by himself, which is what he would go for. And on his way, he can wipe out pretty much every single Aiel still in the Waste(the rest of the Shaido, and most of the craftsmen, etc who were left behind when the majority of the spears followed Rand). It would be a good start to leaving a remnant of a remnant. And Avi is ideally placed to serve as the POV to witness it as she comes out of the columns.

As for Elaida's foretelling about Andor, it was actually that the royal line of Andor would be critical to the last battle. Given that Rand's mother was the daughter Heir of Andor at the time the foretelling was made, Rand is almost certainly already the fulfillment of that prophesy. Elaida was a powerful foreteller, but possibly the worst ever to live at actually figuring out what her own foretellings meant.
Wayne Wilson
159. stylusmobilus
I hate driving to Brisbane. So many B-doubles on that road.


Possibly, after going through his moment of realisation, he thought, 'time to fix the farms. Let's start here.'


Exactly. I hope so too. I'm waiting for the next meeting with any Ogier.


Nah, it's gone, as per Wetlandernw's paragraph. He's the Dragon, and it doesn't fit with the mould. I see an Ishy POV, where he squashes a servant, contemplating on the change in Rand, while smarting from the flogging the DO just gave him for failing.


They would have to be property of the 'crown'. Probably 'property of the Hawkwing's direct descendant' or the like. it would be a bit of a waste to have them all iced after each Empress.


'Reborn' is probably as redundant as the Australian Police Forces. (I'd link that, Freelancer, but I'm too tired to do it.) This is part of what Lanfear was talking about when she said he didn't know the half of what he is, and what being the Dragon means.


Stripped of the ability, and living only on the fact MattehC and T-Dog are coming.
Michael Catapano
160. hoping
I get the impression that some folks are attributing Rand's newfound ability to heal the land to be due to his 'ta'verenness.' It seems to me that it is a separate and distinct power, a 'dragoness' for lack of a better word. The presence of a ta'veren can only make that which is improbable to occur, possible or likely. It cannot make the impossible happen and apples forming in a matter of minutes would fall in that category. Any thoughts on where this 'green man-like' power comes from?
April Moore
161. aprildmoore
To clarify on the Deathwatch Guard question - and thanks to Terez and birgit for citing the relevant references - I believe there is a distinction between Deathwatch Guards in general and Deathwatch Guard who are part of Tuon's personal bodyguard. The former have been charged with seeking revenge and protecting the Royal Family. For the latter, their duty is to protect Tuon at all costs. It seems clear from @155's citation that all but the gardeners in Tuon's personal bodyguard would take their own lives if they fail to protect her. I assume it would be like ritual sepeku (sp?), rather than an execution.
Daniel Hanley
162. dmhman749
To hoping @ 160, just because that is how other ta'veren work doesn't mean it is how Rand works. His 'dragoness' and taveren-ness are pretty much inseperatable at this point. But what a ta'veren does is twist the threads of the pattern around them. Other ta'veren do this by changing probability. But there has never been anything said that an impossibly strong ta'veren like Rand can't twist the pattern to do even impossible things. It has never happened before(in this age, anyway), but it seems a reasonable thing for Rand, as his ta'veren-ness gains even more power, to be able to do.

Until we get other information showing completely seperate powers, it seems best to just attribute what he can do to the powers he already has. Especially since it seems reasonable (to me, anyway) that they might expand in this way. Besides, we have quotes from...don't remember if it was RJ or Brandon, but anyway, quotes talking about 'dark ta'verens', which indicates that the stuff that Rand was causing back in tGS (instantly spoiling food, wine that went bad when he walked into the room, etc) was due to his ta'veren-ness, just infected with evil. This is just the opposite of that.
Tricia Irish
163. Tektonica

I always assumed, oh yeah, Rand's the Dragon reborn, as in he's been born again after 3,000 years. But now, Rand had been transformed, made whole and powerful, by self-realization.... he's discovered just what being the Dragon means, what his purpose is, (as he stated), so he has truly been Reborn to himself, his mission, his purpose.

This is really our first glimpse of him as the true Dragon.

Gives me chills.
James Jones
164. jamesedjones
150 Tektonica
But he is indeed the Dragon Reborn! As in born anew.......

Soooooo.... what was he before now? The Dragon Pre-Born? Come to think of it, Bill Garrett and Joe Shaw had some fun with that title for false dragons, "born before the Prophecy was ready".

Edit: here's the link
Tim FItches
165. El Fitcho
dmhman749 @ 162: I too am a little unclear at where this new power has come from; surely not just the result of his epiphany, but I don't think it's his ta'veren-ness either.

There is a quote from Rand in Chapter 1 of TGS - 'He could almost think these winds were a result of his own ta'veren nature, but the events he caused were always possible.'

And who better than Rand himself to know what his powers are capable of? Although granted this was before Rand underwent his dark 'changes'. Perhaps that somehow changed what it was and wasn't possible for his ta'veren power to affect, but it seems more likely to me that he's developed some different kind of power altogether, like hoping @ 160 suggests.

Other random thought: are we supposed to think that Rand has just walked all the way down from the top of Dragonmount and still looks fresh as a daisy? As someone who climbed mount Kilimanjaro a few years ago, climbing down something as big as Dragonmount is supposed to be would be no mean feat!
Tricia Irish
166. Tektonica
JEJ@164: LOL...thanks for the link. Always good for a laugh.

I trust you saw the clarification what I meant @163...lest you think I've been asleep for 12 books.
Antoni Ivanov
167. tonka
165.El Fitcho

No! We supposed to think that Rand travelled to the base of the mountain and from there he goes walking to Tar Valon because he is not crazy to open a gateway inside/near Tar Valon where there are Aes Sedai and soldiers all around (besiegers and such(he does not know that Egwene has unified the WT)).
168. alreadymadwithchapter1
dmhman749 @7, jadelollipop @79, aprildmoore @131While I have no qualms about turning Ta'veren power to positive ends, I think the warping of the air around Rand was just the weave he used to breath the thin air up on the dragonmount's peak.

Tektonica @72Who are the attackers in the Harbor in Seanchan....large ships with blood red sails??
Who is the murderer that rules openly in Seanchan? Semi's dead. Is this a timeline problem? Was she ruling there after murdering the Empress and her family, then Travels back to collar Rand, and gets caught? Is this Demandred and some army? What army? Was she in cahoots with Demandred?Much is mentioned here, but nothing is obvious to me, anyway.
Probably one of the claimants for the Crystal Throne. Since Semirhage killed the entire noble family, all the High Blood have a claim to the throne. So they'll all be on a race for more land, more ships, more soldiers, and the capital city itself, in no particular order.
Freelancer @82Difference in beliefs. If you go to the hospital you go for some tangible means of healing your pain. As opposed to the intangibility of faith.
Fortune_Prick_you @85I doubt Gawyn will be up to killing Rand. Since Rand knows that Morgase is alive and in Tear.
Mickero @89The plan Lews Therin mentioned that the female Aes Sedai wouldn't be part of was using the Seals. Latra and her cohorts preferred waiting until they could recover the access keys to the Choedan Kal. Both of these are now out into the gutter.
Branwhin @92Rand was most likely making things grow, but Elaida does not have this power. Elaida used saidar to make things grow and/or keep them blooming. It was a display of arrogance and vanity for her.
thewindrose @123Brimstone and its stench was in the Middle Ages associated with the Devil and his presence.
Wetlander @127Whitecloaks being the only ones to say witches to the Aes Sedai faces, kinda makes me reevaluate them. It certainly takes balls to do that.
Doorman @132, Wetlandernw @135Tavern power is what allows you to walk through several taverns, one after the other on your own power.
RE: Rand, his positive aura and growing thingsThis may well be the true power of the Dragon. And that Nym, and songs as well as Avendesora were just constructs to duplicate these effects. Sort of like living ter'angreal. It also ties in to Lews Therin being the Lord of the Morning. In this particular instance Morning applies to growing things.
Re: Deathwatch guardIt's probably Seanchan tradition that property die when their owners die. That said, I can see how Tuon and most others would think that the Deathwatch Guard would kill themselves. In Karede's POV earlier on the thread however, we see how mistaken they are. Others may think they should kill themselves, but in warrior tradition, the Guard themselves would rather exact vengeance first.
Theresa Gray
169. Terez27
alreadymad@168 - Morgase isn't in Tear; she's still with Perrin. Nynaeve went and fetched Tam, not the whole lot of them. And Gawyn is not exactly likely to take Rand's word for it.
Rob S
170. RobSS
Maybe farmer Almen could learn to channel and has the talent to know ta'veren. That is why he saw the air shimmer around Rand.
I also belong in the minority camp that thinks Rand is going to see Tuon.
I guess were have to wait to find out. :{
171. Matt123
Wow what a great start!

I am pretty certain that the healing of the pain in Almen's hip and the growing of the plants and apples is purely related to Rand being the Dragon Reborn. There is a prophecy in the Prologue of ACoS that refers to this:

"There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he one with the land. Soul of fire, heart of stone, in pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love." - From a much-disputed translation of The Prophecies of the Dragon by the poet Kyera Termendal, of Shiota, believed to have been published between FY 700 and FY 800.

I have always felt that beyond Rand being Ta'vern he is something very different from anything else in the world. The Dragon Reborn is a creature (at the end of TGS in Rand's musings he sees himself as an alien of some sort) that has a unique connection with world he is in. Somehow his inner struggles affects the world. He is something similar to the Fisher king that both sides want to control since through control of him that will determine the winner.

Another thought I have is that I think the True Power is an important part in the ending of the story. It is absolutely critical that Rand have it. I do not think that it is likely the connection was anything the Dark One planned for. I think that the quickening of the negative "Dragon" effects after Rand's use of the TP was due to the increased inner turmoil and darkness that took root in Rand rather than anything to do with the TP itself. This I think follows the pattern throughout the books where Rand's increasing hardness and such leads to worse "Dragon"/Ta'vern effects around him. I think that it makes sense that the 3 powers will be combined together using Callandor and I suspect that Elayne and perhaps Aviendah will be critical to this. The reason I think so is that they have unique talents with the power in regard to Ta'angreals which perhaps implies a connection they have with other power objects and I think that somehow these abilities will be needed to make proper use of Callandor. I think the true power is important to Rand in all this because it seems that this is the game changer from any other attempt to fight the Dark One. Even the Creator was not able to use the TP to imprison the Dark One. By using the True Power to imprison the Dark One you can have a barrier not part of the One Power blocking him in making it impossible for him to be freed through One Power use alone. Once the Dark One is locked out the True Power will probably not be a usable force making it a secure prison finally. LTT plan was to use both sides of the OP which possibly would have worked or possibly would have led to the Female side also being tainted. But assuming it would have worked the prison would have only been at most as good as it was before it was breached. Perhaps this way the prison can finally be perfected.
Andrew Lovsness
172. drewlovs
As for the power Rand now seems to have, if you think about it, it makes sense. He was always meant to be the "Weapon of Light", but he wasn't born ready. In many, MANY mythos, a person must give over completely to their God or Faith; once they stop trying to control their own destiny and accept that which God/The Universe has in store for them, they become "one with nature", as it were. The funny movie called "Kung Fu Hussle" best illustrates what I'm trying to say, if you have seen it.

My point is, Rand has now become the "sword of light", and(all this is my opinion, by the way) now has a nullifying effect on the Dark One's touch. It has nothing to do with any of the powers he has had previous to mounting Dragonmount. This, if I am right, goes right along with the reasoning that Rand POV's will be few and far between.

To expound, if you have read the Harry Potter series, you know you almost NEVER got to see what Dumbledore's plans were; having all the "answers", it would ruin the suspense. Tolkien worked around this by refusing to have a character such as this; even Gandolf was not in the "know". It should be interesting to see if we are expected to walk this road with Rand...
Theresa Gray
173. Terez27
I am pretty sure that Rand channeling the True Power is a Very Bad Thing. It's the red herring, sure. But the running theme seems to be that Rand isn't going to need an assload of Power to seal the Bore. He's going to need something else.

I think it more likely that the culmination of the True Power phenomenon will be another situation where Rand is tempted to use it, but this time, he has to resist. Maybe it will be to save his own life. But I have a feeling that if Rand goes to Shayol Ghul still linked with Moridin that the world is pretty much screwed.
Wayne Wilson
174. stylusmobilus

There would probably be a weave that would enhance the blossoming and fruiting. His presence stops them from respoiling. Obviously not for long, or with constraint as he points out. That farmer needs a few backpackers to sort out the pick. As for his knee, maybe Rand delved him, and Healed him.


Maybe that's what Leigh means by #1. His presence, combined with being ta'veren, Dynamic Lifter weaves, Ogier and singing, transformed Aiel.


Rand has no need of the TP in his true state. In fact, touching the TP now may trigger a regression. As a few have posted here before- it's beginning to look as if the Pattern is somehow going to be reweaved over the top of a cleaned-out Bore.

The DW Guard- They didn't commit suicide when the last Empress died. Maybe those personally charged with her protection did. If the DW Guard was personally attached, then yeah, he or she might. I could see Karede doing that if Tuon died. The Gardeners certainly wouldn't. The Seekers are probably in the same category.
Janet Hopkins
175. JanDSedai
re: Rand's "green man-like" powers

Rand has these powers because he is the Fisher King/Dragon. The land was suffering from drought and blight, not just because of the Dark One's touch, but because Rand was conflicted about what he was. TGS sees Rand reacting, not being pro-active. He hides out on his manor and reacts: to the bubble of evil, to Semirhage's escape, and Caddy's manipulation of Tam. When he comes down from Dragonmount, he is actively being the Dragon.

In the Age of Legends, the Aiel were called "the people of the Dragon", and they were intrinsically involved in the greening of the fields. So, by extrapolation, the greenman-like power is that of the Dragon.

P. S. There is apple cobbler, apple betty, apple jelly, and apple butter in the bunker!
176. mattyh
thank you to thewindrose and wetlandernw for their observations on the "witches" comment and reminding me that almen had much the same sentiment way back in teotw! nicely done, brandon :)

it's very interesting how polarised randlanders are towards aes sedai. In the borderlands, aes sedai seem to be revered, and even if not liked, they are at least highly respected. as we go further south, they quickly go from being tolerated to outright hated.
177. wagman26
Rand has no special powers beyond channeling. The Pattern is finally fixing itself, through the ta'veren of Rand, and probally Matt and Perrin. I believe Rand was quoted saying to Matt, in a previous book, that the pattern did what it was going to do and as soon as he stops fighting it, the smoother it would be. Or something like that. And now, I do believe, Rand has quit fighting it, himself and the pattern has some major ta'verening to do.

ta'veren (tah-VEER-ehn): A person around whom the Wheel of Time weaves all surrounding life-threads, perhaps ALL life-threads, to form a Web of Destiny.
178. joe heron
one the whole unity of 3 and the use of callandor, i believe it will not be Rand, Elayne, and Avi. Mostly because Elayne cant channel a wink right now and i doubt DO will wait 9/8 mo for her to channel again. i suspect it'll most likely be Rand, Egwene, and Tuon. it repersents a unity of lands and people. imo
179. wagman26
The True Power comes from Shai'tan, is in fact Him. Will there be a countering power from/of the Creator. Is the TP Old Grim's lure. They bored into his prison to tap into that "new source of power," and he awards the Chosen with it. This Age is almost over, long forgotton and yet to come. There will be blood, heartache and rejoicing in the days to come.

November 2, 2010........come on baby!
180. wagman26
How about this? Maybe callador is what allows them to tap into the True Source that is broke into two parts now, saidin and saidar. And that source is what is used to create a new prison. Maybe?
Don Barkauskas
181. bad_platypus
dmhman749 @162:
But there has never been anything said that an impossibly strong ta'veren like Rand can't twist the pattern to do even impossible things.

Actually, every single time this is mentioned (as in the quote from tGS by El Fitcho @165), it is emphasized that impossible things can't happen; everything is possible, no matter how unlikely.

Of course, all of the quotes are said from the perspective of characters inside the story, and as we all know, that's not always reliable. Also, it's possible that Rand's state is different from regular tav'eren-ness.
Nazley Frieslaar
182. Nazley
Woohoo! so excited for this book now. A "good Rand" first chapter, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Can we please have a re-reunion between Rand and Tam?

I'm liking the proxy as "murderers" idea, but Team Light better watch out, seems there as an army of badasses coming their way...
183. Freelancer
I have a hard time imagining what the point would be for any of the forsaken to continue being concerned about what happens in Seanchan. Semirhage caused the maximum possible amount of chaos there already, and once civil war was engaged, there is little chance that anyone from that continent is going to be thinking about the Corenne for some time. One of the forsaken spending time trying to push the outcome of that conflict is wasted energy, with the Last Battle clearly on the horizon.

Seanchan has for centuries been a place of deep and deadly political intrigues. What we're shown during the opening scene of Chapter 1 are events which could be expected to happen there given the death of the Imperial family. Who knows how many powerful interests would rush into the vacuum in Seandar?

Four weeks and a wakeup.
Wayne Wilson
184. stylusmobilus

It's not really a 'special power' as such. It has been quoted as 'the land is one with him, and he one with the land'. Therefore, actions such as going all mad and dark, and touching the TP reflect in the health of the land. This is possibly why all the food spoiled in Arad Doman.


The True Source has always been two separate parts. Unless you mean the sword can now draw both halves, or can be used by either sex without linking.

If Rand felt the Choedan Kal would be no aid in resealing the prison or killing the DO outright, it seems unlikely he would place that faith in Callandor. If his moment of realisation, where he remembered his past lives, told him he needed a sa'angreal like the CK to beat the DO you'd think he wouldn't have melted it. He has found out that no sa'angreal will aid him in this, and that it is something else, like a Pattern reweave, is the answer to the problem.
Wayne Wilson
185. stylusmobilus

Four weeks and half a wakeup. There's a couple of 24 hour newsagents around Brisbane that might stock this at 12.01 in the morning. This is worth the trip to Brisbane.

That would be about a full day in front of you. If I get it from the bookshop first thing (about 8am) it's about 16 hours or so.

186. Matt123
The reason I think Elayne may be the one to lead the circle with callandor is that she has a key role to play still.

In TSR Ch1:
"The very first thing Elaida had ever Foretold, while still an Accepted - and had known enough even then to keep to herself - was that the Royal line of Andor would be the key to defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle."

The foretelling is only clearly saying that something about the Royal Line of Andor will make a big difference, I am not sure what the big difference if Elayne or someone else were to rule Andor would be, so I suspect it has to do with some power related stuff. She has been very adept (in a way no one else in the world is) with power related objects (It is funny that in some earlier books this was made into a big deal and suddenly it has not been mentioned in ages, it leads me to suspect that there is an important reason RJ wanted their ability with Ter'angreal brought out, more so than for their help with Dream widgets and the Bowl of Winds) and therefore it would make sense that she (and possibly Avi who also has special talents) would be needed to use the power through an object in ways never done before. I suspect that this will be to use Callandor to use all 3 powers to seal the DO up better than ever (I think that in a circle she will be able to channel more than she normally can given the pregancy). I also think that if the DO is sealed properly, the connection to the TP will be lost as soon as the seal is complete, thereby eliminating the DO's continued influence on the world and its peoples. Perhaps this will be the ultimate challenge in using Callandor in that if it does not work right the TP will connect them to the DO in a bad way.
Obviously the final battle will be much more complex and convoluted than this but I think if this is part of it, it ties together some important plot lines in a concrete manner.

I do not think that Egwene will be doing this as she will probably be busy leading together with Logain (maybe) the AS. Also I am not sure I recall her having special talents with relation to the power. She is a dreamer but I cannot think how that helps with Callandor. There must be a few other AS who are just as powerful if not more powerful than her who could be part of Rand's circle.


Regarding Rand not having any special powers other than being Ta'veren, I think that ignores the whole messianic aspect of Rand. He is the Dragon Reborn, but so far other than being highly Ta'veren we are not told exactly what that means. So what he is a powerful channeler, there are other powerful channelers who could in theory carry out the same power related acts that Rand has carried out (proof is that when he cleansed Saidin he was linked with Nyneave, who is not the Dragon Reborn). The Ta'veren aspect is also not enough to explain what he is, because Mat and Perrin (and in the past Hawking and others) are Ta'veren to one extent or another. Further, even Mat and Perrin are more than just Ta'veren. Mat Ta'veren nature plays out constantly that chance is altered about him, but then there are those dice rattling that seem like a super Ta'veren power. Perrin has that whole wolf thing with the ability to interact with the dreamworld. I think that Rand also has some other power that makes him the Dragon Reborn and not just a powerful channeler or Ta'veren. I think that aspect of him is what makes him key to everything in this battle, although in what way or how is obviously a RAFO. All those prophecies that talk about Rand's blood spilling on Shayol Goul are hinting at that there is something very unique about Rand that is key to this.
Jonathan Levy
187. JonathanLevy
Matt123 @ 186

Elaida's foretelling came at the time when Tigraine was the daughter-heir of Andor. Tigraine travelled to the waste, became a Maiden of the spear, and died giving birth to Rand on Dragonmount. It is generally accepted that this has fulfilled that foretelling.
Tricia Irish
188. Tektonica

I agree about Seanchan, that's why I was surprised by it's inclusion in this chapter, raising myriad questions.

Perhaps the Seanchan bit was included simply to show us the chaos there, indicating that there will be no support from home for Tuon and the return. She's pretty much on her own in the Last Battle, to be fought on foreign ground in Randland. This might alter her bargaining position with the Dragon. Although she would never show it, she might be feeling a tad more vulnerable.
189. SheWolf
Can't wait! I can't wait. Really CAN'T WAIT. Oh no... I must wait.
Sniff. Sob.
Rob S
190. RobSS
Matt123 @ 186

I agree with JL(@ 187), the fortelling has been fulfilled... but maybe Elayne will be able to use her ability to make a ter'angreal that has the power blocking properties to stop a blacklash of the DO while sealing the bore. Matt has offered his foxhead to her for study. I know it is far feched but...
Jessica Thompson
191. CFP
I also am with JL@187, but when RobSS@190 mentioned Elayne making an important ter'angreal I was reminded of the dull dagger, and isn't it in her possession now, a gift from Avi? That and Mat's medallion make an interesting combination of special effects. ;)
192. alreadymadwithfetchedtam
Terez27 @169
You mean SWWNBN fetched Tam.
Tricia Irish
193. Tektonica

I believe CWMNBN sent Nynaeve to fetch Tam. First she found out where they were from Rand and then went for Tam. It makes sense, since Tam knows Nynaeve.

CFP, Robss, Matt123:

I do like the idea of Elayne making some helpful ter'angreal! (Especially since she can't channel a lick these days.) She must have some role to play. That could be why RJ had her asking to see Mat's Medallion repeatedly. Perhaps the Gholam, which the medallion blocks, is some manifestation of the TP, thus Dark, and whatever the medallion "is" could be used to protect Rand and his three from the TP, while weaving the Pattern shut on the DO?

Perhaps this should be on the Theories Thread.....
194. Ouroboros
Well, that was nice. and it seems that the Wheel of Time has now become the What's the Time. Oh, for a book that does things in chronological order.

Hello Seanchan. I don't know if we're going to be spending any time in your brown and unpleasant land - RJ indicated that we wouldn't - but it looks like you're having as bad a time as everyone else is at the moment.

So, where are these red–sailed ships going? Will we be seeing them again later? I have no idea what's south of Takisrom. Anyone got a map? It's also nice to see the Seanchan taking up Tyran weather terminology: dock masters sky? Anyway, that's enough from the wind - it smells.

Once again, the law of the conservation of characters rules supreme; nice to see you again Almen Bunt. And dentistry comes to Randland, but wood! Yuck! You couldn't even soak them overnight, unless you wanted very soft teeth.

Poor Graeger. That's certainly a new way to go. I hope it was a sudden transformation. Either way, I think I'd prefer that to being filled with beetles or turned into molten basalt.

So it looks like the Dark One's touch is more of a firm hold now. The village was starving and the air smelt stale. Good job Rand turned up. I'm wondering if this will play a part in his persuading the Aes Sedai to trust him. After all, it's hard to condemn a man who just saved Tar Valon from starvation. One thing though... Rand, stop making Almen spinning around like that, you'll make him dizzy.

It's interesting that Rand seamed slightly out of it. Maybe he's just enjoying the light. Speaking of which, that's a neat trick with the sunshine. That's probably why we had all of that "the sky is full of solid clouds" stuff to go with the wind. I wonder if that's always going to be happening now. I can just see the scene: "Rand, will you stop doing that, we're supposed to be hiding".

And here we have the new look Rand, man-sized Yoda and Fisher King in one. I wonder how long it will last. After all, Elayne, Min, Aviendha, Moridin, Cyndane, Cadsuane, Egwene, wound 1, and wound 2 are going to put that new found serenity to the test; not to mention that wretched hag who refuses to take the hint and roll over.

I hope Rand is off to see Egwene, 'cause... damn... it's about time.

Now for the comments.
Rob Munnelly
195. RobMRobM
Remember, at this point Rand probably still thinks that Elaida is the Amrylin, no? No wonder he's been avoiding the sit down. R
Antoni Ivanov
196. tonka

It is unlikely that Rand is going to Elaida. Remember, he sent Merise and Jahar to Egwene to offer them bonding Asha'man. And when he finds out about Asha'man bonding Aes Sedai (in COT) he is thinking that he doesn't need any more problem with the WT and that Egwene is hard bargainer (not Elaida again!). He doesn't recognize Elaida as Amyrlin at all. Not that anyone can blame him
197. wagman26
The pattern is the true power here and Rand just a tool. He lashed out against his fate by trying to force his will on the world. The pattern has its own designs and Rand has finally realized that, through his remebrance of thousands of lives stretched to infinity. That he is the Chosen Champion of the pattern is his curse and blessing. People need a symbol to rally to and he is it.

Also I wonder if the pattern will start correcting itself through Matt and Perrin the way it does with rand at the orchard. When they come together will it be even more pronounced?

Can the pattern just please make November get here already!
198. Rand Al'Todd

Apparently the AS are all high strung because they thing(k) that Rand has Compelled the Sisters into Oaths of Fealty. Dim.

And can't you just see it:

Rand: No I didn't Compell any of these sisters. Nyn, you can read the effect of the weaves, look at these sisters and prove it to them.
(points to pledged Sisters with him at the time, who happen to be some of the Verin-blessed.)
Nyn: OOPS, oh my god! I don't believe it! Rand, what did you do to these women!
Egwene: Rand... you got some 'plaining to do!!!
Sanctume Spiritstone
199. Sanctume
My skin got goosebumps. Must be the whether, but while reading this first chapter--oh so good!

I was also just read Brandon's free book Warbreaker over the weekend. "Ho, stranger" is Brandon's style I think. =)
Daniel Hanley
200. dmhman749
To RobMRobM @ 195, as someone pointed out to me when I said this same thing a while back, Rand knows that Egwene (was) in the camps around Tar Valon, so he might be going there to talk to her, and will be redirected into Tar Valon itself. I highly, highly doubt that Rand would be off to see Elaida. Even new and improved rand is aware that she would just throw in into a prison and shield him. And he needs to be up and about more than ever now.
201. alreadymadwithnyn&rand
Rand Al'Todd @192
Yep I can see it...

Rand: Are you absolutely positively surely sure?
Nynaeve: Yep, I can see the weaves.
Rand: And you're sure these weaves are made of saidin?
Nynaeve: No wait a minute.. these are saidar weaves, but that's ridiculous! Only a Black sister could do that! Why would a Black sister Compel others into bowing to you?
Egwene: ....
Rand: Dunno. But it definitely wasn't me and it definitely wasn't any of my guys.
Egwene: ... errr.. guys...
John Massey
202. subwoofer
Well- as Rand strolls along to meet Egwene I hope he is doing some kind of rehearsing in his head, because I have a feeling that Egwene may not be able to swallow the truth. For Rand's own sake, a few calming breaths may be in order so he doesn't give in to the temptation of lifting Egwene with the power again. The important thing is that Rand gets the message across that it was he that cleansed Saidin and not some numbnut Forsaken ritual. That big beacon? Yup that was me. Dunno if Egwene will give Rand credit, but it is worth a go.

The hordes descending, thanks to recent conversation, all I can picture now is the Borderlander army all lined up, swinging rabid weasels over their heads as Trollocs and Myrdrraals come marching down on them.

And poopy. Posting 202- remedial clicking of enter until you have it mastered.

203. Gizmoe78
Rand will still need the TP. How else is he going nab Grandeal? She is using it now and is going to start causing mischief. Moridin is also using it, so how would Rand defeat either without it?
Sanctume Spiritstone
204. Sanctume
Could it be that Egs' anger is not directed at Rand, but at Seanchan's recent attack on the tower, and of the existing adam / collaring of AS?
Karen Jacobs
205. KJacobs
What an awesome way to start my Monday! Tried to end my Friday that way, but lost power at work & didn't have time to log on at home :(
Thankyou TOR for such a treat!

Hi Hoping! Welcome back - we've missed you!
Henry Loose
206. schrodinger
Time for a new theory. Graendal survives tarmon gaidon. She is the baddie for the Mat + Tuon outrigger novels. All hail the Empress Graendal! :-P
207. Racquetball
Egs isnt going to like it when Rand tells her they must break the remaining seals and loose the DO. Great chapter!
Galen Brinn
208. GatheringStorm's been AGES since I posted.

I have to confess that the news of the release date and reading Chapter 1 and the Prologue are bittersweet for me. On the one hand, it's fantastic news and even better prose (Mat sounds like Mat again). The problem comes in that they have come out just as I'm notified I'm getting laid off. My last day of work is just before the book is due to hit the shelves...

Hopefully, I'll be able to acquire a copy reasonably soon thereafter.
209. Ouroboros
@ many on the true power

Can we be careful about when we use the words True Power? The TP is the essence of the Dark One, and that's what most readers will assume you mean if you use them. I'm not trying to be picky, it's just that it's a little confusing to see established terminology being used to describe something completely different. Grumble over.

I know this idea of the TP playing a vital role in defeating the DO is a popular one, but I don't buy it. To put it simply, the TP is evil. Every time Rand uses it, bad things happen. Also, there's no way that the apple trees are growing because he used the TP.

There are quite a few references to Rand being one with the land (Fisher King). In short: happy Rand = green and pleasant land; Angry Rand = cesspit. Whether this is simply due to the strength of his ta'verenness or a special Fisher power is another question, probably one for theorists, because I doubt we'll get a straight and simple answer on it.

Rand has been put in the position of having to make some very big decisions; far bigger than making peace with the Seanchan. The mountain top was just one, and not just because he could have destroyed the world. By choosing life, Rand has become a positive force again and the land is reacting accordingly.

As for winning TG, I really don't think it's as simple as "I have the Power." Once again, it will come down to a choice that Rand has to make. Others may not like it and disagree, but this is part of the problem. People need to trust Rand, he's been through enough now to make the right choices, and until others start believing that, things will not go well.

"Belief and order give strength"

This isn't military order, and not even belief in the Creator; most people have that already. It's belief in Rand and agreeing to follow him as one, not a pack of selfish, prideful opportunists. At least, that's what I think, and now that Rand is giving off good vibrations in spades, it's just possible that people will be prepared to do it.
210. groovyjohal
Thank you for this beautiful gift tor, Harriet and mr. sanderson!! I just can't stop re-reading this and smiling. Rand is here!
the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he is one with the land...
Aidan Young
211. aidanyoung1102
There are usually a few moments in each book that bring tears to my eyes. This is one of them, and it's CHAPTER ONE!!!! I'm so freaking excited you guys!!!!
Rob Munnelly
212. RobMRobM
196, 200 - on reflection, agree with your point that Rand is probably heading Eg's way towards the rebel camp but he's going to be surprised, probably pleasantly, that Egs is boss of all of them. Rob
213. joe heron
so i had it in my schedule to go apple picking this weekend. coincedence or ta'vern in real life?
Michael Catapano
214. hoping
joe heron
not ta'veren
Apple picking in Oct is a probable activity. Now if you were up in sub's neck of the woods in Feb and decided to go apple picking, then it could be ta'veren :)

Hi Thanks
**waves to KJ**
215. Ouroboros
56 Jonathan Levy

Wow! We're Cadsuane bashing in a chapter in which she isn't even mentioned. Impressive!

82 Freelancer. RE: Speaking of which, do you ever wonder why "faith healers" don't spend their working time at hospitals, where the folks needing healing are at?

Well, if Dr. House is working there, the faith healers won't go near the place.

90 Wetlandernw. RE: They need something that can contain him without contact - like the antimatter containment fields in Star Trek?

The False Power perhaps?

112 subwoofer

In the prologue to TPoD Verin thinks about how stupid Elaida's plan was, partly because of what would happen if a ta’veren as strong as Rand was let loose in the Tower.

Such a pity Egwene didn't try to clear Rand's name... oops... silly me... she believes them too. There also useful rumors for politicking type things.

and @ 114

Some AS have rather bad memories of Cadsuane and probably don't want to be trampled until they absolutely have to. Also, Siuan thinks she might be a Dark Friend. Oh, AndrewB already caught that one.

127 Wetlandernw

I'm pretty sure we've not heard a prophecy about trouble in Seanchan; the ones we have heard all seem to be about the Westlands.

And on Egwene and She Who Must Always Be Named: I really hope we get to see a meeting between those two. Could be a lot of fun.

154 Wetlandernw

Maybe the scene between Rand and Egwene will be from a third POV so that we don't get to see either Rand's or Egwene's thoughts. Either that, or we'll be switching PoVs all the way through, just to make things really confusing.

175. JanDSedai

What, No cider?

I also can't believe that no one has made the "how 'bout them apples" gag yet. Mind you, it's so lame that only an idiot would make it. Wait... what?

188 Tektonica

Yes, I'm not sure how much Seanchan proper will be a part of this. RJ said that the action would never move there, but maybe there's been a change of plan. I'm assuming that the Court of the Nine Moons transferred to Ebou Dar with Fortuona's taking the throne. If it isn't, Rand is going to have to pay Seanchan a brief visit for a little binding.

and @ 193

Nynaeve found out where Perrin was and told Cadsuane who says "we are going to find him..." I don't think Cadsuane would have left something this important to anyone else, although Nynaeve would have gone too because she knew Tam and Perrin. I hope we get to see this meeting.

203 Gizmoe78

Not sure. I still have a big problem with Rand using the TP again. This reminds me...

ACoS ch. 20
The watcher smiled crookedly behind his fancloth skulker’s mask. Nae’blis. That explained what had brought Graendal to heel, what had stayed her from killing Sammael. Even she would be blinded by that. An even greater risk for Sammael than claiming truce with Lews Therin, though. Unless, of course, it was true. The Great Lord delighted in setting his servants one against another, to see who was stronger. Only the strongest could stand near his glory. But today’s truth need not be tomorrow’s. The watcher had seen truth change a hundred times between a single sunrise and sunset. More than once he had changed it himself. He considered going back and killing the seven women in the clearing. They would die easily; he doubted they knew how to form a true circle. The black flecks filled his eyes, a horizontal blizzard. No, he would let that run its course. For now.

Is a true circle something special? Can it cut someone off from the TP? If so, and if Rand knows the way of it, then they may have a way to deal with M&G there.
Eric Hughes
216. CireNaes

Military Tour of Duty FTW!!!
217. jernau riggs
would the blood red armor of the death watch guards have any link to the blood red sails.

Also would rand's rebirth so to speak on the mountain count as dieing and living again|
218. alreadymadwithfetchingtam
Tektonica @193
I doubt it. Since Nynaeve isn't even familiar with the landmark Rand described. So she wouldn't be able to Travel there. Besides, Tam never mentioned Nynaeve in his narrative of how he got there. Full credit was givento SWSNBN.
219. Naysayer
I'm a long-time WoT in I read the first books in the early 90s and was immediately hooked.

As much as I think BS has been handed an impossible task in finishing the series, I have to say that I am consistently underwhelmed by the quality of his prose.
Michael Catapano
220. hoping
OK, it's not RJ, but it's pretty good

I'm ready for Chapter Two

Can I get a Post here?
Wayne Wilson
221. stylusmobilus

I agree with hoping. It's not RJ, you can tell the style is different. Underwhelming? Sorry. Disagree. In fact, it's made me look further at Sando's other works.
Tricia Irish
222. Tektonica

I reread the passage with Nynaeve and Cads and the one with Tam and Rand, and you are correct. Tam never mentions Nynaeve...he blames the whole debacle on Cads, thank goodness.....although if he had mentioned Nynaeve, Rand might not have overreacted, as he trusts that Nynaeve truly cares about him.

That said......When Nynaeve finally gives Cads the description of the place where Perrin is camped, Cads says," All right. We are going for him right now." (Bold emphasis mine.) Then she says, "In answer to your question earlier, child, Perrin actually isn't important to our plans.....There are people with him who are vital. One in particular."

I took this to mean that Nynaeve would accompany Cads to Perrin, as she knows both Perrin and Tam well, and would be able to facilitate a meeting. Could be either way.... a minor point.

These last few chapters of tGS are amazing and are essential rereading before ToM.....but you all probably know that!
Theresa Gray
223. Terez27
It is a rather minor point. Such things tend to get overdiscussed when they might possibly indicate that a guru has made a mistake. People get excited about that for some reason. :)
224. wagman26
Old Grim is causing the decay of the land and the pattern is now trying to combat that through Rand, but Old Grim is still pressing his attack, hence why Rand only holds him off for a little while at the orchard. Or so, I, maybe?
225. Owners.Inc

Agreed. He uses the wrong register sometimes and gets the tone of a character horribly wrong (though less frequently). I'm still annoyed by his Mat from TGS, but whatever, the 7-striped lass seems a little better, so maybe he improved between then and now?


If his epiphany on DM counts as a rebirth, and prevents the body swap from happening, I'm all for it. If there's a none body-swap, non-rebirth on DM alternative, then I'm more for it.
Frederick Huxtable
226. tegeus-Cromis
I can't help thinking that the actual Towers of Midnight:

The killing field surrounded thirteen fortresses, tall and cut entirely from unpolished black marble, their blocks left rough-hewn to give them a primal feeling of unformed strength. These were towers meant for war. By tradition they were unoccupied.

will play quite a large part in Mat and Tuon's fortunes, and thus, in Rand's, and the rest of Randland's, fortunes.
Precisely how, I have no idea ... but it just sticks out - to me at any rate - like a sore thumb. (I would, in a similar situation, have the happy newly-weds - or nearly-weds - open the Towers to shock Seanchan to stop the civil war and prepare them for the coming attack by the DO ... but I'm not writing the series ... :)

(Oh, BTW, in case you're really interested, Seanchan is one spelling of the name of a poet that W.B. Yeats wrote about. Sanchan is his other spelling ... FWIW :)
Frederick Huxtable
227. tegeus-Cromis
@209. Ouroboros

The Fisher King is a figure in mediaeval European mythology, who represents the health of the land. He turns up in Le Mort D'Arthur - one of those eople who they just couldn't keep out.

It isn't so much a "power" as it is an identity. He is the land's health.
John Massey
228. subwoofer
Hello all, things are settling down as this convention wraps up.

Something just occured to me last night. As far as I know, Nynaeve still does not have Lan's bond. I think there is something very significant about this. Lan is off to basically die and Ny is not linked to him. So if Lan dies, Ny will be heart broken, but the backlash from the bond will go to Myrcantremembertherestofthename. Methinks Brandon and RJ have done this on purpose, so unless this is part of the fallout, a barely alive Lan, whatsherpickle and Nynaeve finally getting the bond passed over, I am thinking that there is not much of a future for Lan, except if Nynaeve is preggers.

John Massey
229. subwoofer
Oh yeah, as I mentioned on WH20 Caddy has not approached the Tower. So Rand is strolling on over there. What are the chances that when he gets there Caddy is already with Egwene? I think there is something coming there in terms of Rand "facing the Amrylin's wrath" or schtuff. After Caddy gives Egwene the DL, it is very possible for Egwene to give Rand a what for and tell him to stop being a boob about Caddy.

Just sayin'.

230. tvssarma
@186  Matt123

May be I am wrong being a newbee but doesn't Rand belong to the Royal line of Andor? His mother bring the daughter heir?
231. tvssarma
I mean Rands mother Tigraine being the daughter heir
232. Freelancer
Rand is as much a prince of the royal line of Andor as Galad. Since Tigraine ran away, effectively abdicating her position as Daughter Heir, and forcing a Succession which delivered the throne to Trakand, a legal argument could be made that Rand is not of a royal family. Galad, on the other hand, is also a Damodred, with a reasonable claim to the Sun Throne.

Anyway, it isn't really important how Rand stands in the normal lines of any particular nation's royalty. As the Dragon, he's automatically the Big Kahuna of the world if they'd only realize it.
233. Naysayer
@219 Owners.Inc

I hope so, too...but some lines from that first chapter are off-key enough to make me concerned...particularly the one that reads "...raising a hand toward the man who could only be the Dragon Reborn..." Ouch.

I realize I'm griping about something that doesn't have a solution, but part of me would prefer to read a synopsis of the story's end than to have the tone marred for the remainder of the series.
234. Freelancer
I'm pretty sure that in about 20 months from now you'll be able to get your wish, by simply watching this space for the final re-read installment posted by Leigh.

Problem solved, your pain averted. You're welcome.
Daniel Hanley
235. dmhman749
To Naysayer @233, Owners.Inc@ 225, etc, I have to disagree with you. Oh, sure, we all with RJ could have finished the thing, and there were a few moments in tGS that were a little off(mostly Mat's sections), but for the most part Brandon has nailed it, in my opinion. Both Rand and Egwene(the majority of the book) were perfect in tGS. And the Mat of chapter 8 of ToM was back to the Mat we know too.

I think that people who find all these problems with it are just looking for problems in the writting, and wouldn't accept anything, no matter how perfect, from anyone other than RJ. Brandon has a little different style, sure, but its not worse...just different. Some things I think he does better than RJ, to tell the truth. Some a little worse, but as a whole, I think tGS was at least very close to as good as it would have been if RJ had written it. And from what we have seen so far, it looks like ToM might really match RJ's writting(as a whole) in my opinion. Whats the matter with "raising a hand towards the man who could only be the Dragon Reborn" anyway?
236. Freelancer
As I see it, any harsh criticism of the prose published in the final WoT books reflects directly upon the editor. Now y'all just go ahead and tell the author's widow that you don't care for what she has determined is worthy to be published in her late husband's name. I am neither wise enough in my analysis of fictional prose, nor unkind enough, to consider doing so myself.
237. FollowYourMuse
Rand/fisher King the heath of the Land is tied to the Dragon reborn, this is not surprising or new, it has been hinted at, and prophisied. And we know that the Nyn the ogiers and the Aiel had the power of growth, so it is a power that exists and is seperate fom the One Power and from Taveren effects.

@Yakaji "Aviendha has to have weird babies to fulfill Min's viewing. "
Nothing says her babies are weird, but that there was something odd about her having 4 at once.
My guess is that 1 or 2 are hers (maybe one is Min's) and 2 are Elaynes,
As first Sisters Each of their babies would be the others.
"Aviendha would have Rand's babies, too. Four of them at once! Something was odd about that, though. The babies would be healthy, but still something odd. "
Jay Dauro
238. J.Dauro
Anyone has the right to their opinion of how BWS is doing. And to compare what he has written to how they think RJ would have done. But we have seen people complain bitterly that "RJ wouldn't have written it that way" about sections that he actually wrote. So I question whether everyone out there is as good at detecting differences as they think they are.

Then we see all of the folks complaining about the middle books being too slow. TGS was not that, for sure.

Brandon said from the start that he would not try to imitate RJ's style. He would try to adapt his own style to tell the story of the WOT. And Brandon has also said he would prefer to read RJs book. But it is not to be.

So most of us are happy to read these. And most appear to enjoy them. I personally enjoyed Mat in TGS, and did not find him "off" from what I expected after his experiences. However YMMV.

So if you enjoy reading the 3 books do so. If they grate too much, and you decide you just want closure on the storyline, wait and you will be sure to find a synopsis of what happens. Or buy AMOL and read the last paragraph that we know RJ wrote.

This is just how life is.
239. Ouroboros
227 tegeus-Cromis

I was using the glib phrase "Fisher Power" to point out that the changes in the land were brought about by Rand's connection to the land and not through the True Power or One Power. It was a joke, just not a well pointed out one. Apologies if the turn of phrase was confusing.

BTW, Mallory gets tied up in knots trying to pin down the Fisher King; there are at least three of them in his work. I suppose that's what happens when you have too many sources to juggle. The Fisher King appears in Perceval, which is a much earlier work.

You should also check out Bran the Blessed (note the name) and his connection to the Tower of London (White Tower). Hmm, let's hope Rand isn't beheaded.

Speaking of which, I don't know if anyone has noted the similarities between Elizabeth and Mary, and Egwene and Elaida. Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower on the charge of supporting protestant rebels. It was Bloody Mary - who had hundreds burned at the stake - that put her there. After Mary's death, Elizabeth took the throne and proved to be a far more moderate ruler than Mary. It was during her rein that the Spanish Armada was defeated.

Trivia FTW.
Daniel Hanley
240. dmhman749
To Ouroboros @ 239...erm...I'm not so sure about the whole "proved to be a far more moderate ruler than Mary". Although Bloody Mary gets the bad name, Elizabeth actually executed around three or four times as many people for not being protestant as Mary executed for being a protestant. Though technically Egwene has had a whole lot more Aes Sedai executed than Elaida did, so maybe it fits there too.
Wayne Wilson
241. stylusmobilus
Yeah, I gotta go with Freelancer on the editor thing.

I'm just grateful that a series of books that I love is being continued by someone skilled enough to perpetuate the story. I'm sorry, but after reading some of Brandon's own work I think they've picked their man. Harriet has done him justice by giving Brandon the room to finish WOT in his own style. She's also shown him respect by editing his own work.

The whole outcome makes me so warm and fuzzy inside. Like when you do a 2km survey traverse and land within 10mm of the mark.
242. Ouroboros
228 subwoofer

The Green is Myrelle, not to be confused with Mareil, Marel, Marella, Merilille, or Maralenda. Sheesh!

Hows about this for a prediction.

Myrelle goes to the Black Tower, gets turn by a circle of 13+13 and compells Lan to betray the Light. What can I say, I'm feeling mean tonight.
Tess Laird
243. thewindrose
Ouroboros - Ah yes the 'Virgin ' Queen Elizabeth 1 and Egwene - that doesn't bode to well for Gawayn does it;)
Although to be honest, would an Amyrlin have time for a family? I guess we shall RAFO...

244. Narlock
Just out of curiosity does anyone else find it weird that all the AS think that Rand needs an AS advisor. I meen technicaly he is the only real AS on team light and the First Among Servants as well that makes him their real boss
245. Freelancer
A good "Boss" still knows that he requires the advice and input of wise counselors to be effective. The crux of the matter between Rand and the Aes Sedai is the dearth of wise counselors, and the glut of overbearing busybodies.
246. Ouroboros
240 dmhman749

I'm no history scholar so feel free to challenge this, but it's my understanding that Mary had nearly 300 people burned at the stake for being protestant; no other crime was required. Elizabeth, however, executed people who were directly involved in an uprising that included thousands of soldiers. In short, Mary was a fanatical tyrant whereas Elizabeth was protecting the throne. It may have been extreme, but not as bad as the heresy laws. Obviously, Elizabeth came off better in the PR stakes!

There may be other reflections of Tudor Monarchy as well. Aside from the obvious similarities between the queens of Andor and Elizabeth (who wore rose-embroidery at her coronation), there are also some elements of Seanchan that may have been inspired by the British monarchy.

The Tower of the Ravens

The Tower of London was often used to house political prisoners, and is also home to ravens. It's said that the kingdom will fall if the ravens ever leave the Tower.

The Death Watch Guard

The Yeomen of the Guard is a 500 year old unit that, although now ceremonial, used to be the royal bodyguard. They are well known in part because of their distinctive uniforms of red, black, purple and gold.
John Massey
247. subwoofer
I dunno. I think the problem for Rand is that no one gives him any credit for having a brain in his head. Advise, yes, but take into consideration that you are giving various scenarios, not telling the DR what to do. Or worse, giving misinformation in the hopes of using it to manipulate a situation. Too much bush beating, not enough giving of proper information in order to make good decisions. That is the crux I feel. Balwar, there is a decent guy, especially after Perrin told him not to beat around the bush. If the odd AS was like that, Rand should latch on to her and take her advise. Or he could go looking for pots of gold.

A Jeeves
248. Artur al Yorks
19. larkask

Now that we know that chapter 1 is a rand chapter and chapter 8 is a mat chapter. Any speculation on what chapters 2-7 are?

I guess 'Questions of Leadership' is the Rand v Egwene contract, 'Lighter than a Feather' is a Lan update, 'After the Taint' a Black Tower conflict, and the 'Letter/Ink' combo' somehow attached to Verin's legacy (a letter to Perin?). But there's so much on the verge of some sort of resolution, Morgase, her sons their reunion, Tuon + Seanchen next initiative. Just ideas, and setting up what will follow.
It is time for Rand to gather his forces, to bring them all in line with his new resolve, and end to each going their own way and operating towards different ends with differing motivations.
The Last Battle is near, no-one can sit on the side-line and wait.
Rob S
249. RobSS
There is a review of TOM by Jason Denzel
Light spoilers in part of the post.
He says who get the most screen time this time around.
250. wagman26
Moiriane still has a huge part to play with the DR. I believe possibly, she and Nyn are part of callodor threeway :)- Two Aes Sedai women, that he trusts completely.
Alice Arneson
251. Wetlandernw
Artur al Yorks @248 - Brandon made it quite clear that the chapter titles from the Great Hunt were not presented in the order in which they appear in the book. There is no reason to think that, for example, "Lighter than a Feather" is one of chapters 2-7; it's far more likely, IMO, to be Chapter 50.
Birgit F
252. birgit
Rand as the Fisher King is one with the land. The wounds in his side are like the Bore as a wound in the Pattern. If Rand's wounds are healed, will that seal the Bore?
Tess Laird
253. thewindrose
While it is true that Rand as the Fisher King is also one with the land, the Bore was there before Rand. So for that to be true, I guess you would have to say that he has accepted that he is the Fisher King? (His acceptence of this on Dragonmount?)
I guess I don't think it will be as easy as that - although, no one has been able to heal him of the two wounds that are 'unhealable'. Maybe that is what Nynaeve will do, but I am sure there are some other things that need to be done besides this to lock the DO away like he has never been around so that someone in the next Age 2 will discover him again.

John Massey
254. subwoofer

Seems we were talking about this on another thread. When Meirin made the Bore- was it the first break in the DO's prision? The hole that has been patched and re-patched or was the Bore a hole drilled into another patch?

To bridge the discussion from the other tread, Beren and dmh were weighing in on this along with another person who I can't remember, but the idea was put forth that Moridin seeing the unravelling of weaves was significant. This is something new to any age apparently. It was posed that "clearing the rubble" as Herid Fel put it, may refer to clearing away the existing weaves before making a new one. Makes sense in a way. This could be the reason why the seals are failing. We have already seen that weaves can be broken, given enough time and pressure, so maybe in order for Rand to properly seal the DO away again, he has to take apart the old weave holding the DO in place.

Kurt Lorey
255. Shimrod
I think that the way the Wheel works is that whatever it is that keeps the DO at bay is whole before the Bore, and if the Dragon succeeds, then it will be whole once again.

It might be a more fruitful discussion as to whether Rand will decide that the Wheel should continue (if he wins and lives), or that it be broken forever. In fact, Mat might have some say in that decision, or it might be his decision alone.
Steve Hussey
256. deihbhussey
Pure Awesome! Can’t wait until the book comes out. This chapter definitely brought tears to my eyes.

My two sense. I don’t think Rand has the ability to directly control the Pattern or his effect on it. I think it more likely that as he is pure, his effect on the pattern causes positive results (as opposed to when he was at his lowest in tGS & his effect was mostly negative). So I definitely agree that this goes back to his Arthurian (Fisher King) parallels.

If I can quote a movie – especially one line that is particularly telling (this is from memory so it might not be exact):

“Who am I?”

“You are my lord and king, you are Arthur”

“What is the secret that I have lost?”

“You and the land are one?”

Teleportation ensues followed by information exchange & catchy dialogue full of realization, introspection, and prompt decisions.

Que Carmina Burana and triumphant ride through a land that is in full bloom. I could almost hear that song as I read the end of the first chapter.
Daniel Hanley
257. dmhman749
It is very likely that Rand can at least somewhat control his ta'veren abilities. Maybe control isn't the right works towards what he believes he needs at least though. The best example is back when he was dark rand during the meeting with Tuon. He needed her to agree, so he focused on it, and the ta'veren-ness almost forced Tuon to agree, against everything she wanted. Only the fact that Tuon is very strong willed kept her from giving in to Rand's pure manifested will. He also at least believed that he could make SWMNBN's heart stop just by focusing on it, and making it to coincidence. Maybe he was wrong, but it seems likely given what we have seen since. Not saying this is proof...we don't know yet. But the evidence seems to point towards rand gaining greater and greater control over his effects, at least when he really focuses on it.
John Massey
258. subwoofer
For me, I have always felt that Rand is holding back. What I mean by that is he is the Dragon Reborn. We have heard comparisons to other male channelers and how he is ranked at the top, but IMHO this does not cut it. Regardless of whatever else, Rand has to fight the Dark One. Whether the Creator uses him as an avatar or Bela channels through him, or some out of body experience happens like in TFOH Rand has to have more in him.

Ta'vereness is one aspect of it. We see the start of this in his focus of holding off the DO's taint on the world. At the begining of this series, ta'vereness was fairly random and good and bad things would happen in Rand's wake. For me, the good things may be the effect of Rand and the bad, the DO power just drawn to Rand's vicinity because of Rand's effect on the Pattern. Or it could be randomness because Rand had no control over his ta'vereness. I am not sure on this point but as I have said, there has to be more to Rand than what we have seen so far.

It almost feels like Harry Potter. in the movies, all we hear about is what hot stuff Harry is. When push comes to shove Harry is acutally a pansy. For all the hype of "you're Harry Potter" to fizzle and splat. Rand has to have more to him then "you're the Dragon Reborn". There is something lurking that we are not picking up on as Rand is not aware of it himself. It may be LTT properly manifesting himself, it may be a case where Rand really becomes the Champion of Light and finds that he has been holding back in terms of what he can draw in. He should be able to stop Caddy's heart. He should be able to make Tuon, resistant or not, say "yes". I think he was just not there yet. He may be there now however.

Jury is still out on this.

Joseph Armao
259. joeyesq
As if the wait for this book isn't excruciating enough, I just got an email with the following subject line from Tor:

"Towers of Midnight Preview Chapter on!"

I got REALLY excited thinking it was Chapter 2. Instead, it was just week-old news.

Thanks for the tease, TOR! >=0(
John Ord
260. ord
Wow...just wow. That was amazing. I'm on pins and needles waiting for the book release.
261. anders777
anyone else thinking that the reason egwene saw the travelling people in her last dream is that the world will need a lot of sung seed if it is not to starve...... will rand remember the song........
262. Adam452
This chapter just proves how careful people need to be if they make wheel of time miniseries/movie...who would have thought the Dude rand and mat hither a lift from in teotw would be so important?

On another note...I think this book is going to be the most important in the sequence for me...when tgs came out I was in a dark place...but rands discussion with ltt brought me out of it and gave me back some faith...I'm looking forward to seeing the Light side of rand for once :)
Daniel Hanley
263. dmhman749
Well...I wouldn't be too optimistic about things. While there is more light in this book due to Rand, based on the early reviews, there is a LOT more darkness too. This book has been described as 'darker and grittier' than tGS...which was the darkest and grittiest of the series. Though at least it appears that most of the darkness is external, rather than within our main character, which is good at least.

We will see though.
264. Freelancer
Artur al Yorks @248

I'd like to offer some alternate suggestions for the contents of the chapter titles you've named:

~ Questions of Leadership ~ Perrin settling who he is, or Perrin dealing with having two queens and the Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks subject to him
~ Lighter than a Feather ~ Rand's death
~ After the Taint ~ Black Ajah forcibly bonding Asha'man, knowing that they no longer have to fear the effects of the Taint
Karen Fox
265. thepupxpert
@199 where can you get the "free" bws book?
266. Morridin
here are as many prophicies as i could find

There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he is one with the land. Soul of fire, heart of stone, in pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of the stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love.

The seals that hold back night shall weaken,
and in the heart of winter shall winter's heart be born
amid the wailing of lamentations and the gnashing of teeth,
for winter's heart shall ride a black horse,
and the name of it is Death.

"The lions sing and the hills take flight.
The moon by day, and the sun by night.
Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool.
Let the Lord of Chaos rule."
-chant from a children's game heard in Great Aravalon, the Fourth Age

And it was written that no hand but his should wield the Sword held in the Stone. but he did draw it out, like fire in his hand in the Stone, and his glory did burn the world. Thus did it begin. Thus do we sing his Rebirth. Thus do we sing the beginning.

The shadow shall rise across the world, and darken every land, even to the smallest corner, and there shall be neither Light nor safety. And he who shall be born of the Dawn, born of the Maiden, according to Prophecy, he shall stretch forth his hands to catch the Shadow, and the world shall scream in the pain of salvation. All Glory be to the Creator, and to the Light, and to he who shall be born again. May the light save us from him.

With his coming are the dead fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hour dwindles. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death.

And the Glory of the Light did shine upon him.
And the Peace of the Light did he give men
Binding nations to him. Making one of many.
Yet shards of hearts did give wounds.
And what was once did come again
-in fire and in storm
splitting all in twain.
For his peace...
- for his peace...
.... was the peace ....
.... was the peace ....
.... of the sword.
And the Glory of the Light did shine upon him.

The unstrained tower breaks and bends knee to the forgotten sign.
The seas rage, and stormclouds gather unseen.
Beyond the horizon, hidden fires swell, and serpents nestle in the bosom.
What was exalted is cast down; what was cast down is raised up.
Order burns to clear the path

'On the slopes of Dragonmount shall he be born, born of a maiden wedded to no man.'

Daughter of the Night, she walks again.
The ancient war, she yet fights.
Her new lover she seeks, who shall serve her and die, yet serve still.
Who shall stand against her coming?
The Shining Walls shall kneel.
Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

The man who channels stands alone.
He gives his friends for sacrifice.
Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal.
Which will he choose? Which will he choose?
What hand shelters? What hand slays?
Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

Luc came to the Mountains of Dhoom.
Isam waited in the high passes.
The hunt is now begun. The Shadow's hounds now course, and kill.
One did live, and one did die, but both are.
The Time of Change has come.
Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.

The Watchers wait on Toman's Head.
The seed of the Hammer burns the ancient tree.
Death shall sow, and summer burn, before the Great Lord comes.
Death shall reap, and bodies fail, before the Great Lord comes.
Again the seed slays ancient wrong, before the Great Lord comes.
Now the Great Lord comes.
Now the Great Lord comes.
Blood feeds blood.
Blood calls blood.
Blood is, and blood was, and blood shall ever be.
Now the Great Lord comes."

Some of the Karaethon Cycle p. 387-"
Twice and twice shall he be marked,
twice to live, twice to die.
Once the heron to set his path.
Twice the heron to name him true.
Once the Dragon, for remembrance lost.
Twice the Dragon, for the price he must pay.

Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed.
Once for mourning, once for birth.
Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow."

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

And his paths shall be many, and who shall know his name, for he shall be born among us many times, in many guises, as he has been and ever will be, time without end. His coming shall be like the sharp edge of the plow, turning out lives in furrows from out of the places where we lie in our silence. The breaker of bonds; the forger of chains. The maker of futures; the unshaper of destiny.

'Heart of the Dark. Ba' alazamon. Name hidden within name shrouded by name. Secret buried within secret cloaked by secret. Betrayer of Hope. Ishmael betrays all hope. Truth burns and sears. Hope fails before truth. A lie is our shield. Who can stand against the Heart of the Dark? Who can face the Betrayer of Hope? Soul of shadow, Soul of the Shadow, he is-'"

And it shall come to pass that what men made
shall be shattered, and that Shadow shall lie across
the Pattern of Age, and the Dark One shall
once more lay his hand upon the world of man.
Women shall weep and men quail as the nations
of the earth are rent like rotting cloth. Neither
shall anything stand nor abide...

Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow, born
once more as he was born before and shall be
born again, time without end. The Dragon shall
be Reborn, and there shall be wailing and gnashing
of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes
shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the
world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties
that bind. Like the unfettered dawn shall be blind
us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront
the Shadow at the Last Battle, and his blood
shall give us the Light. Let tears flow, O ye people
of the world. Weep for your salvation
And the Shadow fell upon the land, and the world was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.

And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again

i belive that rand's death could actually be one of his wives diein bcuz wouldn't that just kill him, and it says "his blood on the rocks" that doesnt mean he has to die, and according to Fel he needs to destroy the seals and find a buffer to protect them from the DO or to protect Sadin why not use ethier the TP or the taint in his side from Shadar Logoth

my FAV Quote
"If you must mount the gallows, give a jest to the crowd, a coin to the hangman, and make the drop with a smile on your lips."
-Birgitte Trahelion
Daniel Hanley
267. dmhman749
One of the answers Rand got by going through the red stone doorway in Tear was that "To live, you must die". So while "his blood on the rocks" doesn't mean he must die, that combined with the "to live, you must die" indicates pretty strongly that he will, in fact, die. Then be brought back somehow, so no worries.
eric whitehead
268. smaugthewyrm
i remember reading a comment by sanderson, "i can't create prose like jordan did. i won't even try."

well, this chapter is very well written. all of the 'feel' is there of books past.

imho, this is simply better writing than the last book.

freek'n tremendous!

well done sir.
269. kityarah
Ah thank you so much to Tor, Harriet, Brandon and Team Jordan. The wait has been killing me, this little taste may just tide me over for the next month now.

Brandon, very well written. I loved The Gathering Storm, but I already have more of a feel for Towers of Midnight just from this chapter.

The whole Wheel of Time series has been very important to me, and I am very grateful to everyone involved that it is getting finished.

November can't come fast enough!
270. Ace567
the quote from the 4th age about Rand
"Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs."
dose seem relevent. Although its interesting to see how Rand would utilize this power in a grand scale (he can't pass through every farm in the world).
I actually thought that the food problems will be solved by the Ogier and Tinkers. The Tinkers keep searching for the "song". During Rand's visions of the past in Rohidin he saw that during the previous war the Aiel and Ogier sang in farms to make the crop grow. I'm not sure but I think even the soldiers seem to respect what they are doing, as if there was great need for it! The Ogier seem to still know the song, and I thought Rand would make the connection. I also thought thats why when Egwene searched for what she needs in tGS she ends up in a tinker camp. She interprets it as a reminder of who she used to be, but there is obviously more to it.
Mabey this idea will pan out after all, but I wonder what gives Rand this new power. I doubt its a "I'm the dragon reborn and the creator loves me" kind of thing. Most likely its the pattern trying to hill itself from DO's touch and since Rand is ta'vern and no longer corrupted by DO, the patern can now use him to do so.
271. Morridin
the only thing i dont like about B.S. is that he isn't anywhere near as descriptive as R.J.
272. Morridin
Eric Hughes
273. CireNaes
In all seriousness, it's as much as a few candybars. Just buy it.
274. Goldenking
At theyv´ made a synopsis about the prologue!
275. Freelancer
thepupxpert @265

On Brandon's own website, there is a Word doc version of Warbreaker. (Edit: Brandon has added a pdf format file of the published version of the book)


First, you post a pile of WoT text which can be read at any of several available sites and didn't really need to be put up as a wall of text here, then you capslock us to beg, on Tor's own website, to get for free a product which they are selling. Does that not strike you as a smidge less than impressive?
Nathan Saunders
276. agntsmyth
I love reading B.S. grow as an author, if you read from Elantris to this you can see clearly his vast improvements. He has moved from good to great. I can't imagine any other author being able to finish this story so well.
277. Shimmer
Wow, absolutely amazing! Just makes me even more eager for the book and can't wait for the confrontation between Rand and Egwene!!!
Steve Stroud
278. Standard
Brilliant! Thanks for this Tor - being British and geeky only in a literary sense, not technological, I've been grinding my teeth with envy at you lucky yanks who've managed to download the prologue. I've been left with obsessively reading spolier threads to figure out what happens in 'Distinctions' (also found Brandon on Youtube reading Lan's passage) Chapter 8 was good but this was out of this world - it made my morning - can't wait for next month!
Tricia Irish
279. Tektonica

Thank you for assembling all those prophecies/quotes in one place. It's interesting to compare them all.

Now, start speaking in your inside voice (no yelling in caps!) and just buy the's awesome and worth it.
Thank you.
280. alreadymadwithprologue
I'm pretty sure there's a bootleg of the prologue somewhere out there by now. Tor wouldn't like it. But that's how it is.
anna patterson
281. dimpleam
Ok 19.larkask posted that chapter 8 is a Mat chapter. Please tell me how you know this. Has there been another chapter released that I'm not aware of???

Oh and chapter one was awesome! Loved it!
282. Canttakethepressure
Not happy. Life has been great and all things are running smooth and now this??? One shot of WOT and I'm off the wagon and hitting the books again??? Oh the humanity!
283. UnhappyWOTFan
Am I alone out here? I'm so disappointed with how Sanderson is writing/finishing the novels. His style is SO different and he has no grasp of characters like Mat. I had hoped they'd be finished in more of a "ghost writing" style. I'm so disappointed. It's ruining the series. It probably should have been left unfinished--or RJ's notes on how the story ends should have been published. JMO
Jay Shifflette
285. jaybird
Chapter 8 may be found on Brandon's site here
John Massey
286. subwoofer
@283- yup, you are alone. I am greatful that Brandon has taken on such a daunting task for us. He could say "forget this!" and leave us all hanging without any kind of ending or closure and there we would be blowing in the wind( er... hi theWindRose) with no end in sight. Brandon is a bloody good writer and more importantly, an actual fan of Robert Jordan, so he is not coming in to just do work, he has a passion for the world that Robert Jordan created, and the knowledge and respect for other fans out there who have devoted themselves to WoT. I for one, am not complaining.

@266- thanks for putting those things out there. For the Theoryland and 13D challenged, such as myself, it is appreciated. Please, just stop shouting;)- and pony up the mighty 3 bucks. It is soooo worth it.

This is the Last Battle. The biggest fight against the Shadow is yet to come out of the Blight. I get that it is not going to be all roses, but this is what we have all been waiting for, so in a month's time, let's strap in and hang on for the ride! I will say this, it has been a real pleasure going through this journey with some of you and getting to know you and share with you all along the way. I feel honored that you welcome me in and consider me your friend. Thank you:)

John Massey
287. subwoofer
@255Shimrod- interesting thought. To me, it has always been posed that if the DO wins, he will break the Wheel and the Pattern and put things his own way. It has never occured to me that Rand may want to do the same thing. The thing that has kept hope alive, as Fel puts it, is that at the turning of the Wheel we know that if it reaches a certain point, the DO will be back behind the seals. If the Wheel is broken, are we certain of that knowledge again?

Edit- our numbering system seems to be out of sequence here folks. I hope that we are all safe posting here and not about to face certain doom:/ Hi Torie ::waves:: please let everything be ok? Ok?

Antoni Ivanov
288. tonka
@ 281.dimpleam

Yes, Brandon, after a little fun game (including fans from all around the world), released chapter 8 on his site. Go there and look for it. I cannot post links here.
Tom Burton
289. Conky
UnhappyWOTfan @283:

I think you are amongst a very small minority of people who dislike how Sanderson is concluding the series. I think he has been fantastic. I will give you that I wasn't particularly happy with his voice for Mat or Talmanes in TGS, but it looked spot on in the preview of Chapter 8 so I'm feeling quite relieved.

That said, I thought he nailed every other character's voice in TGS, especially Rand, Egwene, Elaida, Nynaeve, and she who slaps too much and must not be named. TGS was a refreshing, plot-cruising story that I don't recall experiencing since TSR. Thank you, Sanderson.
Birgit F
290. birgit
The link to the Mat chapter is in the introduction of this page.
Daniel Hanley
291. dmhman749
To UnhappyWOTfam @ 283, you are not alone, but you are in the vast minority. There are always a couple of people on these threads that say they don't like Brandon's writting, but the vast majority of people say that its fantastic, which is a little weird. Yes, its a different style, but I think Brandon made the right decision to not try and copy RJ's style. It would have come off as just a bad copy. Instead, He uses his own style, and yeah, its different, but still very well written. And yeah, Mat was a little off in tGS, but go read chapter 8 of ToM. I thought Mat was right on in that chapter, so I think that BS listened to our complaints and made sure he got Mat right this time around. And all the other characters were very well done in my opinion.

But you are free to have your own opinion. If you really don't like them, you don't have to read them. I'm sure you can get a summary of them after they are out to learn what RJ planned to have happen, if that is what you want.

I, for one, am very glad that Brandon wrote these books though. Not just because I really want to see them completed, but because Brandon has done such a good job so far, and Im sure he will continue to do so. He has also grown as a writter a great deal over the past couple of years. I liked Elantris, but you can see the huge improvement in his writting between that and The Way of Kings.
Tess Laird
292. thewindrose
To 283, you are pretty much alone in this, most here are very happy to be getting an ending, but not the ending, for there are no ends to the wheel....
Hi subwoofer:) Agreed, I have really enjoyed getting to know so many of you, we do have fun here:)

So since we have this(Chapter 1) and Chapter8, do you think that will be it? No more chapters before 11/2? Last year it was just 2 chapters and the Prologue - any one in the know??

tempest™(I am rereading tGS and I so picked a good sign off with tempest!!!)
294. UnhappyWOTFan
See, the problem is that I read that new chapter and felt he was still WAY off the mark. I think my biggest problem is that I always looked forward to Mat as the part of the novels that lightened the mood and injected some humor. Maybe I just don't get Sanderson's humor. I did notice, in the last novel, that he merged with some of RJ's material. You could hear a voice shift to what had to be something RJ had written. It was pretty much in the Rand moments.

I know that people criticized RJ for repeating phrases, but people do that in real life and I miss that as well. I realize I'm in the minority out here, but maybe not with a lot of other fans. It's just not the same. I miss RJ. *sigh*
James Jones
295. jamesedjones
283 UnhappyWOTFan

Nah. You're not alone. Many folks agree that he screwed up on Mat (although not many of the commentors on this thread). His style is definitely different, and doesn't feel quite right for WOT. But he's improved a lot since the last book. And for characters I don't care about, it doesn't bug me at all. :P

However, if I love or hate the character, I really can't stand reading anyone else doing WOT. I've only read TGS once. Just remember, this won't be the ending. But it will be an ending.
296. Morridin
297. Beejay
So did the massive amount of Channeling cleanse Rand from the taint left by the true power and the taint that was in Sadin. Or is this the land responding to Rand's return to sanity?

also i can't wait to read Towers of Midnight after reading this chapter! I thought that Mat's chapter was okay but this one was awsome!
Jay Dauro
298. J.Dauro
The person who has expressed the most desire for RJ to have finished the books is probably Brandon. But unless someone here has the powers of the DO, it is not going to happen.

We have seen a number of people complain that Brandon doesn't write the same as RJ. Brandon will most likely agree with this. He does try to match the tone of the characters. We have also seen readers be dead wrong about the authorship of a particular piece of text. (We do know that certain pieces were written by RJ before he died.) Unless Harriet decides to let Brandon tell who wrote what, I doubt we will know for sure on the majority of the books.

And we do know that the ending was written by RJ.

As has been said, if you don't enjoy it, don't read it. You should be able to get a summary of the story after it is published.

There is also a distinct change in many of the character's tones between TEOTW and KOD. Our characters have grown and changed. I have been able to accept any changes in TGS as being consistent with this growth.
299. UnhappyWOTFan

You are right. It is not "the" ending. The wheel of time will keep turning. ;)
John Massey
300. subwoofer

Shout out to the Gabbly crowd! Hoowzzaah!

We got a big weekend ahead here, so lets put some fresh energy out there!

Question- Perrin and Faile- who wears the pants?

Mat and Tuon?

Rand and - well that may take some figuring out...

302. Ouroboros
Good boy! Have a biscuit
(I saw you stake out that post *chuckle*)
303. Morridin
i was wondering if any one else had any thoughts about "clearing away the rubble before you can rebuild" mentioned by Fel, or the buffer needed for the seal mentioned by ethier LTT of Fel

"In the last, lorn fight
'gainst the fall of long night
the mountains stand guard,
and the dead shall be ward,
for the grave is no bar to my call."
304. Ouroboros
Q: Perrin and Faile?
A: Berelaine.
Q: Mat and Tuon?
A: Well, I saw 169 ants walking across a big pile of lion poo. So today, it's Tuon!
Q: Rand et al?
A: The pattern, of course.
Daniel Goss
305. Beren

Perrin Vs. Faile
-- Deira

Matt and Tuon
-- Matt. Some nice pants, blue silk with a little lace, maybe some embroidery. Not too much lace. Well, maybe more than that. Come on, man, what are you, saving it for Tarmon'Gaidon, stop being so stingy with the lace!

Rand and the Harem
-- Only one pair of pants, supposed to be shared among the three of them until Elayne wore them and stretched them all out and now you need Aviendha's special "you have toh toward me" belt in order to keep them up and nobody wants to even look at that thing since she came back and caught Min and Rand attempting something probably better left to the professionals.

306. Morridin
where do i reconize ur username from Book? Movie? ___?
Sam Mickel
308. Samadai
Morridin@ 307

All I have to say to that is Meh.
309. Freelancer
@ 283 & 294

I'll reiterate this thought just for you. Any material published as Wheel of Time since Robert Jordan's passing is by the authority, and with the approval, of his wife and editor, Harriet McDougal. If you truly believe that the material is so bad, you have as much of a complaint with her as with Brandon Sanderson. Do you believe that she would allow work unworthy of her late husband's legacy to be published?

To answer your question, no. You aren't completely alone. But thankfully, you haven't much company. Good day.
310. UnhappyWOTFan
Freelancer @309;

Yowse, you might want to reel your attitude dial back a notch or two.

RJ's widow said she liked Sanderson's style of writing. Does that mean she can't make a mistake by disappointing fans? Nope. Not at all. She certainly can, and obviously has (you might want to read the other posts out here and on other boards).

Y0u have a right to your opinion, but the inflammatory and arrogant attitude you use when responding might eventually do more harm than good, when other people come out here to join the discussion. You might want to read other replies to my post for future reference. Their opinions are well thought out and are actually worth reading.
311. Freelancer
Aww, someone's feelings are hurt by having their opinion responded to opinion.

You'll live.
Henry Loose
312. schrodinger
Just a quick question: did anybody else think that the "weirdness" of Mat in TGS was also character development, rather than just Brandon's unfamiliarity with writing his character? Considering that A) he just got married B) found out that said marriage made him royalty, the most detested thing in the world and C) his wife went away without, cough... er... consummating the marriage, he's going to have some... pent up feelings that he needs to vent. So he reverted to his more immature slapstick seeming routine criticising women and pretty much anything that moves (granted, having to deal with 3 aes sedai has to wear anyone down, so some of his... analysis... probably comes from frustration in dealing with them).

Certaintly the writing was a little off, but I think that Mat's change was more because of a temporary character mood swing than anything else, brought on by stress, frustration, and annoyance.

you are in the minority. It is because you only chat with people who are of a similar opinion that you think otherwise. As for Freelancer's attitude... I thought he was being nice. You might want to dial down your own "inflammatory and arrogant attitude".
(sorry if I impeded, Freelancer, but I just couldn't help jumping in).

edit: as to the idea that Harriet has "dissapointed" fans, she has dissapointed some fans with her choice (try not to paint with such a large brush). I understand why you feel the way you do. The style is different, but most of us can get past it and enjoy the story for what it is and has become.
313. UnhappyWOTFan
@311 & 312

No ones feelings are hurt. I'm fine. I guess you're just arrogant in more than your posting style. C'est la vie.

Oh, and Schrodinger? You might want to check the box...your cat's dead.
John Massey
315. subwoofer
316. Mithrus
Something I noticed at the end of TGS that no one has mentioned yet...Rand was able to hold on to saidan WITHOUT the void. IMO this is a huge event that could have a very significant impact.

SPECULATION: I think Rand will no longer need to "seize" saidan; it is now just a part of him. I am curious if his wounds have changed, and if he will get sick the next time he tries to channel. I reserve the right be be completely wrong:)

Also, regarding the "she" at the end of chapter 1, I think other candidates besides Egwene would include any of his harem (what else can ya call it, really?), or maybe the AS that bound him (I forget her name). Granted, I agree the most likely person is Egwene, but I think it's best if we keep our minds open...
317. UnhappyWOTFan
Mithrus @ 316

Interesting thought. Is it because of the effects of when he was using the TP and then he learned to laugh again and left the TP behind? Or is this something like the TP that's more directly connected to the Creator?
318. Morridin
there is a slight possibility he could be going to see ethier cadsuane of tuon but we wont know for sure till the book comes out
319. Mithrus

If I recall the scene correctly (no book handy), Rand was about to balefire Tam, when the void shattered as he was siezing saidan, but Rand still was able to hold on to saidan anyway (the how of this I am very curious about, and is the source of my speculation). This of course happened when he was still "Dark Rand", but considering he was still holding the source at the end of TGS (IIRC), there isn't any concrete evidence yet whether he still is or not in chapter 1.

On a separate note, I think defeating of the DO is gonna be not involving the true source at all! Wouldn't that be an interesting twist?

RE: true power, I don't think Rand touched it other than the one time. I get the feeling he will either never use it again, or possibly use it as the "buffer" between the DO and the seal. Kinda like using evil to defeat evil.
320. jernau riggs
i really don't get why people think Rand will actually die and live again, unless he gets killed and some one kills his killer with balefire so he then never got killed like what hapened to matt earlier.
I think rand died on the mountain at the end of the last book, where he stood on top of lewis terns's grave
321. jernau riggs
by lewis tern's grave i also mean his grave
Daniel Goss
322. Beren
@317 UWF
That's a very good question. To answer it, I have two more.

1) When was the 'warping' effect first seen? Was it after his brush with the TP, or was it there before? I had thought that the light dimming and bending around him had less to do with the TP (as we've never seen that around the users of the TP that we've seen) and more to do with his growing influence on the 'pattern' and on the 'land.'
2) Is there a more Creator-focused power? I thought that the Creator's power was the One Power.

My thoughts on this are: I dont remember the darkness aura being mentioned prior to his use of the TP, but as we've not seen anything approaching the same thing around Moridin, I would tend to doubt that the TP was the cause. Especially telling is the fact that when Rand came down the mountain, the aura had changed to light, and he didn't do anything on top of that mountain besides changing his attitude. I would attribute this more to the fact that, as the Last Battle approaches and Rand as the Dragon Reborn is becoming more and more closely tied to the pattern, he is able to influence it as it influences him, and what people are seeing is a visible manifestation of that influence.
Antoni Ivanov
323. tonka
It's not the first time that Rand has been able to hold Saidin without the Void. There has been a couple of instances in previous books. It's not that big of a deal.
324. Morridin
The characters in this series have become like a second family to me (i've been reading thias series over&over since 01) and while i dont want to see any one of them die im getting kinda tired of the good guys always winning in every book, movie, ect.
325. joe heron
@306 Ouroboros in its more recent media was Resident Evil 5. being the new virus there. (per the name only). but its far older than that and even a recognisible symbol.

with the DO defeat, i think that Fain will be the key. he'll probably draw what evil/taint might come while the Light guys seal him up.
326. red9

BS isn't RJ. I still don't think he has Mat "right", but without cloning RJ, no one will. But he's probably the best option (given George R R Martin's inability to get Dance with Dragon's finished) BS's books are intriguing - look at the whole concept of WoT - "you're the saviour: you're going to go mad and die for the world. Deal". Not too dissimilar to BS's approach to Mistborn. People! Just be thankful we have a talented writer happy to fit the completion of WoT in!!
327. Johnny John
just remember that RJ himself wrote the ending.... and with what he has to work with BS is doin a good job in my opionion
Roger Powell
328. forkroot

RE: true power, I don't think Rand touched it other than the one time. I get the feeling he will either never use it again, or possibly use it as the "buffer" between the DO and the seal. Kinda like using evil to defeat evil.

Considering the fact that we are told that the "True Power" is the essence of the DO, I don't think it could qualify as any sort of buffer.

Let me suggest another possibility. How about the alternate evil represented (now) by Fain/Mordeth? We know from the Strike at SG that touching the DO directly with a weave of saidan resulted in saidan being tainted (and RJ has stated that if saidar had been used, it too would have been tainted.)

Perhaps the evil of Shadar Logoth is unable to taint saidan or saidar. In that case, could Rand somehow use Fain's evil as the buffer? We have a precedent (the cleansing) for taking advantage of the difference in the evils. Furthermore, it would surely justify Fain/Mordeth's place in the story.

Ah! Getting ready to post and I see that joe heron beat me to the idea. Well, at least there's two of us ....
Roger Powell
329. forkroot
Hmmm - when I said:
Well, at least there's two of us ....
I really wasn't begging for a double post!
Henry Loose
330. schrodinger
touching on the idea of using Fain's mashadar power to seal the DO up: no one is so far into shadow that they cannot be brought to see the light (or some such variant). Wouldn't it be interesting if Fain were the one true repentant DF?
Roger Powell
331. forkroot
Well, Fain actually is a repentant DF in the sense that he rejects the DO now (as Mordeth). In the prologue (highlight the text below if you are OK with a prologue spoiler):
we see Fain killing shadowspawn for pleasure - so surely he's no DF.

I would find it difficult to believe that Fain/Mordeth would reject evil though. That creature is totally corrupted, just not of the DO's evil. So... I would expect more of a "gollum" situation where he unwittingly aids Rand.
Daniel Hanley
332. dmhman749
To UnhappyWOTFan @ 310, yes, Harriot disappointed some fans with her choice to go with BS to write the end of the WoT. Do you really think she could have made any choice that wouldn't have disappointed some? I can tell you that I, and a horde of others would have been extremely disappointed if the books had never been finished, even if the notes had been published. And no matter who she got to finish the series, there would have been people complaining that it wasn't as good as RJ, and that the new author is ruining the series. It doesn't matter how good the writing is. The fact that it isn't RJ doing the writing, and that no one can really perfectly duplicate someone else's style would mean that there would be people coming away disappointed.

The fact that they got a talented author who really cares about the series to finish it is enough to make the vast majority of fans happy. That a few are disappointed is an unfortunate fact, but that doesn't mean that it was a mistake on her part. This option has about the smallest percent of fans disappointed as is possible to achieve. So even if you don't personally like BS's work, you can't really call it a mistake, given that the fact is that the vast majority of WoT fans have liked it and appreciated what BS has done.

333. Ryanus
@ 328

Not a new thought, but what if Fain becomes the DO? The whole Wheel is a circular never ending loop. What if the True Power being the DO is more significant than it seems?

Perhaps the True Power is the ultimate essence of evil, but the being giving it direction changes. Rand uses Fain not as a buffer but as an antithesis to the current DO, eliminating Shai'tan and replacing it with Mordeth. Mordeth is new and inexperienced in this and it takes time to learn to control what he has become. Thus explaining the seal healing entirely and ages passing where no one truly believing or eventually even remembers the DO existing.
334. chaffe roshan
Regarding the comments about fans being disappointed with Brandon's exectuion of the final three books, how many of us can honestly say that we were completely happy with every scene that Robert Jordan wrote? There were some of those-- sometimes complete books, even-- that were disappointing to parts of the WOT community.
john nerney
335. RexLupus
First and last time I will probably post on a blog thingy of any description...but...thanks for the chapter etc etc...but my god what a tease!hurry up with the rest of it and get it on the shelves!

Anyone want to email me copy of prologue...can not get it!haha i'll donate the 2.99 to charity if cant buy it on Amazon etc..
336. Johawn B
Ryanreich said that the reference to trade winds was possibly the only explicit reference to our era.
I recall that when Nyaneve was exploring the exhibits in the Panarch's palace in Tanchico just before her run in with Moghedian she saw an artifact consisting of a three pointed star inside a circle which emanated a feeling of incredible age and an aura of pride. Sounds like a Mercedes Benz bonnet emblem.
Would that be explicit enough?
338. Morridin
Chris Chaplain
339. chaplainchris1
Ok, Tor, that wasn't nice! I just got an email whose subject line said "Towers of Midnight preview chapter on Tor. Com!" Since there's been some talk that ch 2 might be released early, I immediately thought *this is it!* Imagine my disappointment to see that this email "bulletin" is a week old and just refers to chapter 1, "Apples First." Which was awesome, yes, and thanks for it Tor, yes, but this VERY LATE email was just cruel for getting my hopes up!

So...Rand being all zen and messiah-y was really really cool, on first read. But, um, one wonders how interesting he'll be to read about if all his self-conflicts are done? Of course, w/our very own Forsaken G-Girl still being out there, dedicated to filling his heart with grief, I suspect TOM and AMOL still hold plenty of heart-ache for our hero. I don't know what to think about that. Kinda like JK Rowling said about Harry, I feel like Rand's already been through so much that he deserves to keep his zen on. And there's plenty of external conflict still to be addressed and wrapped up. What do y'all think? Will Rand keep his newfound cool? Or will the clarity of his nigh-religious mountaintop experience wane as he spends time back down in the valley, the way such things often do in real life?

Of course, the main thing that might make him lose his cool would be the loss of Elayne, Aviendha, or Min. Anybody think that's a real fear?

Let's see, what other random bit can I throw out...found a $20-almost-new Audio CD version of the Great Hunt in a used bookstore last week, and have started listening to it. Interesting how much more I catch the humor now than I did back '96 when I first read it. Also interesting foreshadowing - Moiraine and Siuan are having their first heart-to-heart, and Siuan's talking about how they're at risk of being stilled, and she'd hate to be the third Amyrlin in history to be stripped of stole and staff. (I assume this means the third to have it happen judicially and openly, since she talks about all sorts of Amyrlin who come to ruin and get deposed with Egwene. Apparently only three had it happen openly, complete with stilling - Tetsuan, Bonwhin, and Siuan.) Siuan also talks about how stilled Amyrlins can't be let to run free afterward and become possible rallying points for dissent - hah! She also says that no one can rally to a woman forced to scrub pots all day - interesting in light of the situation Egwene was put in by Elaida.

Ok. Jonesing for a new post!
Chris Chaplain
340. chaplainchris1 can't please all the people all the time, but for my money, Brandon's done a wonderful job. And even if you're part of the minority who doesn't think so (and I hope it's a vanishingly small minority), I hope you can acknowledge how hard and diligently he's worked, and how transparent he's been, and how (viewed from afar via internet) classy. He's got my respect as well as gratitude.
Daniel Hanley
341. dmhman749
I think it will be a mix. I think that Rand will in general be a lot more Zen. I think that he will be able to keep his calm like he was through most of tGS, know...not so evil. But there will still be internal conflict as more people die around him and he struggles to save all he can. He just won't alternate between fury and a sense of isolation from it.

I discussed my thoughts on why I think that Min will die at some point in aMoL on one of the other WoT threads that are going atm...I don't remember which. Elayne and Avi are likely safe, if only because I don't think that the last battle is going to wait another five or so months for Elayne's children to be born, much less over nine for Avi's.

Edit: I called that the boxes of ordin would be used to end the series as of the end of book 2, so I wouldn't say that it was all that interesting. Or at least nothing next to the way RJ has kept us guessing.
Jay Shifflette
342. jaybird
UnhappyWOTfan @283
Thank you for your post it helped me post.

I have been reading WOT for 20 years now, which is only important because it gives a sense of what it means to me that RJ thought enough of his fans to work hard enough to give someone enough info to finish this series in his dying days. I am thankful for Brandon’s skill in finishing the story for us. I can appreciates someone’s displeasure that Brandon is not RJ but I feel Brandon is satisfying my wishes to an extent I was not sure was possible.

I also give my thanks to Harriet, Wilson, and all of those at Tor for their efforts in sharing and work required finishing such a project.

As a perpetual lurker, I also wish to thank Leigh and all the posters that have made reading these threads such a delight.
And by the way, I’ll gladly wait for her next summary and comments!
Patrick Huff
343. pattack

I couldn't agree with you more. I am a big fan of this series and am eagerly anticipating the final two books, however I too think that some of the storylines were dragged on like Rupal at a transvestite convention. One example would be Faille in captivity by the Shaido Aiel. I aged three years getting through this particular plotline. Now if it bears fruit with the remaining charactors like Galina and Therava then I will admit it was a necessary dragging. If this was the end of those charactors, then I believe it was a dead end and should have been handled in a more slimmed down version.

I agree that Mat's charactor was a little off and in listening to the audio version of TGS, the "she said, he said" was a little much and painful at times to listen to. In most instances, Brandon Sanderson was the equivalent of RJ and it was a well written book. There will always be nitpicking and dissention amongst the comparisons of the authors, but I was not disappointed in what I have read and heard from TOM or TGS.

It was a tragedy that RJ died and that he was unable to finish the story, but to put him up on the proverbial pedestal and crticize Brandon for undertaking a incredibly difficult job is unfair because the original author was not a perfect human being either. I agree he was brilliant, but not flawless.
344. Demira
@Wetlandernw127@Ouroboros@209. Forgive the lateness in my response, 16 hr day teacher and all that. I hope that I may have an opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding that wetlandernw had and I think ouroburos@209 may have had because of wetlanders@127 misconception over what I said.

I thought the growing of the apples didn't actually have anything to do with ANY kind of power, which was why I said, did he actually have to be "walking through the fields for the healing to occur"? I was thinking how can he? He wont have time to walk over the whole land, and feed ALL the people! I didn't think the power could be used to make even a turnip grow. Or maybe it had to do with the sun shining now too.

I think what you said about the TP may have been true as of TGS, but clearly something has happened here. The warp is one of light now, not darkness, Master Bunt saw it, so I was just being optimistic.

I think he's got something new, some different kind of "power". Rand also has a plan, and he needs Egwene and ALL the Aes Sedai to help him. This time they will unlike the female Aes Sedai didn't for LTT, because Rand and Egwene are, hopefully, friends again? (Rand and Egwene shake hands all is forgiven and how convenient Egwene you have learned how to make cuendillar!. )

Whatever Rand does with his powers, for good or bad it's part of the story, and good or evil, the end will be all that sweeter. So no I am not afraid to be "excitied" by what Rand will do next, even if it did involve an evil TP. Rand will do what he has to do. The way RJ wanted it written, thanks to BS, and I will enjoy every word. Besides, Rand is very smart, and his mind is just as impressive as his actions are sometimes.
345. Morridin
one thing that has been nagging at the back of my mind i just relazied is how did LTT & the 100 companions work together to seal the prison with out any females to link them
Kelby Kimball
346. Kimball
I think he's off to see Cadsuane. She's been trying to teach him so many things, and now he finally sees and understands what she meant to teach. That doesn't make it any easier for him to swallow his pride and admit that to her. I would grimace at the prospect of facing Cadsuane and admitting I was wrong!
347. Morridin
the forsaken swear that lanfear has not been brought back to life, could one of the challenges faced in the tower be that she is traped with moraine, also what does verin's letter to mat say could it be that moraine is black ajah and he must leave her there (i doubt it), but it could keep him from rescueing her if he reads it
348. naga_pd
I think he is off to see Tuan and renegotiate.
Alice Arneson
349. Wetlandernw
Demira @344 - In your post @53, you said
Rand, my favorite character and always has been, because he is the most exciting with his use of the Power. Now he has the True Power. I cant imagine what he will come up with next.
It sounded like you were saying that whatever he was doing from here on, he would be doing with the True Power, which Maria & Brandon have told us is the essence of the Dark One. I couldn't see how that fit with what happened in this chapter.

IMO, the growing of the apples was not something Rand did directly, in the sense of forming a weave to make something happen. I think it happened because of the proximity of the healing effect of the Fisher King. I also think, from what Rand said, that at this point he would indeed have to walk through all the individual fields and orchards to get this level of healing. However, there are two other possibilities for the healing effect: There could be a wide-spread but more limited effect, by which all of the land is beginning to return to health. There could also be an increasing effect as Rand grows and becomes stronger in his role.

(As for growing things with the Power, of course you can. Apart from Elaida I-deserve-roses-in-the-winter-just-because-I-like-them, Cadsuane once commented that growing roses in northern Ghealdan was nearly as bad as being dead: "What's the point if you use the Power, but do it without, and you grow ten thousand thorns for every - " (rose, presumably). So yes, you can. But that doesn't appear to be what Rand is doing here, as I read it.)

In any case, I don't think you can say that Rand has somehow appropriated the True Power for his own and made it good instead of evil, or Light instead of Dark. It is by definition Dark. I too am excited about what Rand may do, but he's not doing it with the essence of the Dark One. As of the end of TGS, he's no longer falling into the pit of despair, and he's ready to come into his own power of Light as the true Dragon, truly reborn.

I'm afraid I'm not making quite as much sense as I'd like here. But unless you can somehow turn the Dark One to the Light, you can't turn his essence to Light either, and Rand clearly does not think that's happened, since he expects the DO to continue to affect the world: "My presence will hold him off for a time, I think, and whatever you take now should be safe from his touch.” The touch of the DO will still be a bad thing, until he is once again imprisoned outside the Pattern.
350. Lord of the Mourning
Can I echo @335's request for an emailed prologue? I'm not a cheapskate, I'm just the last person on earth who will ever be given a credit card ever again. Email's and I WILL donate the 3 bucks to a charity, just as I WILL be in your karmic debt until the Wheel is broken and Time dies.
Meanwhile, I suppose I should say something in regards to the chapter and comment thread?
Sanderson, you rock my world; thanks to you and Harriet and Team Jordan for the glorious gift of this continuing series. While nothing is ever perfect, the time and effort spent on this project is evident and I (along with 99% of the fandom) could not be more excited & grateful to be revisiting our old friends once more.
That being said, can I have my freaking Towers of Midnight now?
351. Morridin
"But unless you can somehow turn the Dark One to the Light, you can't turn his essence to Light either, "

no one can fall so far under the shadow that they cant return to the light, some people posted that fain will ethier become the new DO, or he will return to the light, so if the DO is a fain from another age it might be possible for him to return to the light (i dont belive this but it is a possibility & i love to try to prove people wrong)
Daniel Hanley
352. dmhman749
To Morridin @ 347, We got Cyndane's POV during the cleansing...from her thoughts, it is 100% certain that she is Lanfear(she thinks about how she was stronger before the Finns held her, etc). So she definately isn't with Moiraine anymore. I assume we will find out what actually happened there in ToM though.

Also, we have had lots and lots of POV's from Moiraine through the first five books, many of which demonstrate that she is not a dark friend from her thoughts.

About the DO turning to Light...that seems...unlikely. Very unlikely. And if it happens, it won't happen until the very end, so it certainly isn't happening currently. Rand isn't using the essence of the DO to hold off the DO's touch. The idea is pretty absurd, so lets move on.
353. Ouroboros
305 Beren

Wow! I thought I was strange. :)

307 Morridin


308 Samadai

Or that.

312 schrodinger

Mat used to run away from his fate and then he endured it. Now he's trying to get a little control back. That's what all that business with the legends was about. The comedy routine was just the foreshock. This is just the whole accepting what it really means to be ta'veren story over again.

320 jernau riggs

There's a massive amount of foreshadowing that Rand will die. Not least of which is the Aelfinn answer: "if you would live, you must die." What happened on the mountain top was a process of integration - a major theme in the series - not death. IMO, Rand will have to actually die in order to fulfill the prophecies and viewings.

Also, Alivia is supposed to help him die, and it seems likely that this will be the death that he recovers from. I don't really care how it happens, so long as he doesn't jump into an abyss. Been there... read that... seen that... several times!

322 Beren

The first time we see the warp is when Cadsuane goes to Rand after Semi's attack. It seen several times after that so we're obviously supposed to spot the difference. Also, Rand's ta'veren bending of chance only results in negative things from that moment on. Rand doesn't actually embrace the True Power again after the attack, IIRC, so it seems more likely that the dark aura is just a manifestation of Rand's darker disposition. This is borne out by the light aura we're now seeing.

325 joe heron

Hay, look at that. I'm famous!

330 schrodinger

Not convinced. Fain is out right evil now. He was a dark friend to start with and then twisted by the DO and then again by Mordeth; it's hard to imagine a less wicked creature. The last few PoVs we've had from him make it clear that he's very unlikely to do anything remotely nice. He also hates Rand to his core, so if Rand does use him, it will probably have to be by force.

344 Demira,

It wasn't aimed specifically at you. There were a few posts that I needed to think about because the words "true power" appeared in the wrong context. I then just went overboard in making the rest of my points.

346 Kimball

Cadsuane seems unlikely. Rand says she won't be happy with what he has to say. I think Cadsuane will be delighted by this New Rand.

347 Morridin

I suggest you read the WoT encyclopedia. Aside from containing pages listing all the prophecies, viewings, foretellings, etc; you can use it to read the known facts about characters. It might save you a little time in the long-run. E.G. Lanfear died and came back as Cyndane. This is a known fact.
354. wagman26
No way Rand uses the TP to seal Old Grim away. The symbol of ancient aes sedai is basically a yin yang symbol. That has to be some kind of clue. All has it's counter balance in life, and he must counter the TP, which is Old Grim, with it's opposite power, presumingly a link to the Creator.
John Massey
355. subwoofer
I don't think the answer to any questions lay in the realm of using TP. I'd go as far as to say using TP period has disaster written all over it. It was by shearest fluke and desperation that Rand reached out with the TP as he had no other option with the e've chained about him. It is a version of the old "fruit of the poisonous tree" argument, Rand cannot succeed locking the DO away using the very tainted power that even Forsaken fear to use.

IMHO I feel that either Rand finds a way to unite the male and female halves of the Source together to use against the DO or Rand may have some help from the female AS. RJ has taken pains to craft a world that is very matirarch in scope. Everything RJ does is for a purpose. In this case it was because the men went loopy and Saidin was tainted. But 3000 years of history, skill and reasoning have to count for something. In the end, I feel that Rand needs a united One Power to fight the "True Power".

Call it Looney Theory # 69.

Daniel Goss
356. Beren
I'm with Sub (among others) on this one. I honestly don't feel that having access to the TP is going to be instrumental in any way to the outcome of the Last Battle of the final disposition of the DO. We've seen what happens when people try to use evil to defeat evil. It didn't work out all that well for Aridhol.

TP: It's only really good for one thing, and if you get the 2-ply it's better.
Eric Hughes
357. CireNaes
Lord of the Mourning@350

Might I suggest a debit card. I hate modern day creditors as much as the next guy. I think they've hijacked the American Dream of living a good life within your means and amplified it to disproportional and ludicrous levels all to pray upon the weakness of humanity for comfort and to make a buck (okay, more than a buck).

However, you are not alone in not having read the prologue. I haven't and I'm just fine. No twitching, foaming, or sleepless nights. If you're living with a cash only mindset now, bravo. That's wonderful. I commend you. More should. Just don't result to digital piracy merely to scratch a WoT itch. The book will be out soon. In fact, we are quite spoiled with the pace that BWS has maintained in churning out this conclusion of RJ's work. What was once an average 3 year wait has now become an average of 1 year. This in itself is amazing and should be reveled at. Part of the enjoyment of WoT is the anticipation of satisfaction. RJ was a master at this and BWS is not disappointing in this regard either.

The other poster's here who have given into their carnal sides seem to be a bit on the young side, so I will attribute their folly to the stupidity of youth and an underveloped prefrontal cortex. Stay strong. You have your support group right here.

Nevermind. I don't even know what I was thinking. Enjoy your ill-gotten gain.

Edit: For fail of morality...
358. orionrav
great chapter.... I too think the "she he refers to is Egwene....but she has no right to be angry with him. Rand was trying to unite all the people while she was off playing Aes Sedai games.....
Eric Hughes
361. CireNaes

She recognized the need for a repaired White Tower. One that will hopefully be much more effective now that it is not actively being undermined at every step by the Shadow. The Aes Sedai still have the potential to be one of the largest organized foils of the Shadow despite their many, many, many, many, many, flaws. Hardly games.

And Rand is not above critical or constructive anger. This is why I hope their meeting will reflect their newfound maturity levels.


I was hoping you wouldn't do that...sigh.
362. Lord of the Mourning
@357 whoops, too late. Morridin ftw!!!
Is this the thread to talk about how intensely amazing that prologue was, or is there another one?
I'm sure some will frown upon it, but the fact remains I'll be buying the book in it's entirety (plus a couple as gifts, no doubt) so I think it'll all come out in the wash.
Meanwhile, I'm in the 'he's going to see Egwene' camp, along with the hopes that both have come a long way and learned much in the way of pride-swallowing, patience and compromise.
There is that worrying foretelling of Elaida's though: kneeling before the Amyrlin and knowing her anger, or some such.
363. Morridin
i dont see the point of them making us pay for a snippet of the book when we are going to have to pay for the full thing in a month, it might be different if they gave it free when you preorder but they are making you pay for it twice, they want your hard earned mony so screw them
Jay Dauro
364. J.Dauro
Lord of the Mourning @362

Yes, there is a thread for discussion of the Prologue.

And a non-spoiler thread for theories about TOM

And the whole of Elaida's foretelling concerning this
"The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al'Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds. This I Foretell."

So we can see part 1 is done. Most of us suspect that Rand is heading for part 2, but have differing ideas  of exactly what this will be. Egwene has some definite bones to pick with Rand, although, as usual in WOT, many of them are not related to the truth.


Yes, amazingly enough Tor wants to make money. That's their business model, just like most every company out there.  So they offer you the chance to buy and read the prologue before the book is released, for a nominal fee. If you don't want to pay, then wait till the books come out. 

And Tor has released other teasers for free. Chapter 1 is out. Chapter 8 is out. 

Tor has to be responsible to its owners. They invest money and expect a return. Just as you might invest money and expect a return.  Or even expect your employer to pay you when you work. 

Even a eBook costs Tor. Yes, the actual book is digital. But Tor has to pay Brandon, Michael, editors, staff (both their own, , and in the long run, Maria and Alan),  host a website,  do promotion, and a host of other things. 

(Which is not to say that the folks who work at Tor don't also do it because they love what they do. )

When you buy the ebook, the retailer takes a cut. etc. And with less physical books being sold, all of the overhead still exists, and still has to be paid.

And hopefully, Tor makes a profit. Because if they don't, there won't be A Memory of Light. And the rest of the Stormlight Archive. And many other fine titles they will publish. 

Theresa Gray
365. Terez27
deihbhussey@256 - Some guy at the Malazan forums said the same thing.
Eric Hughes
366. CireNaes

J.Dauro@304 summed up my response to your logic before I finished typing it up, but I do have one last thing to add...
John Massey
367. subwoofer
Le sigh.

Why on earth would you post a link for the pirated copy of an ebook on the very site that owns the rights? Very similar to trying to sell stolen goods to the store that you stole them from. Not the best of plans.

Ahhh... I see the moderators thought so as well. Do not invite the wrath of Pablo.

Must think of happier things to discuss...

John Massey
368. subwoofer
Happier thoughts-

The wind continued eastward, and soon it was playing with the masts of half-burned ships at the docks of Takisrom. Out into the Sleeping Bay, it passed the attackers: enormous greatships with sails painted blood red. They sailed southward, their grisly work done.
The wind blew onto land again, past smoldering towns and villages, open plains filled with troops and docks fat with warships

Any thoughts here? Are these like the pirate ships in LoTR? Is this where the Seafolk repay their debt to Mat by coming to the rescue by river?
Are the ships Seanchan?

Or are they filled with Trollocs?- Come to think, do Trollocs even sail? Things that have me wondering... hmmmmm.

369. Lord of the Mourning
I feel really bad, because all Morridin did was do me, and others, a good turn. The only way Tor doesn't make a profit and put out the last book is if something really, really incompotent crops up on their end.
In which case I will be leading the torch-weilding mob with my 2.99 in hand.

As for "Happier Thoughts", could the red-sailed people be the Sharans? If we're ever going to get a glimpse of those guys, it must needs be soon.
370. Morridin
[b]this particular website is ballsy, but unwise. Stop doing it. - Moderator/Torie]
371. wagman26
Subwoofer 355
could not agree with you more. callandor is the key to touching the true source. one male, one female to tap into it, one female to direct the flow? just maybe, but probally not.
372. wagman26
anyone else think the dagger that aviendha believes keeps friends of old grim from seeing the holder of the knife, will be used in the tower of ghenjei?
373. H Brian McFarland
Some thoughts. First, can't wait for the book. Second, Rand can only be going to see the Amyrlin Seat since Tar Valon is extremely close. (Tuon doesn't make sense because he gave up on having the Seanchan as allies prior to the middle of TGS.) Third, I think Rand and Gawyn will have their confrontation, and Rand will tell Gawyn about Morgase being alive, and that will defuse the situation somewhat.
Lastly, I think chapters 2-7 will have very little to do with Rand and Egwene. However, we may see Logain and his attack on the Black Tower, or at least the preparations for it.
374. H Brian McFarland
Something I noticed at the end of TGS that no one has mentioned yet...Rand was able to hold on to saidan WITHOUT the void. IMO this is a huge event that could have a very significant impact.

Just wanted to mention, that rand has been channeling saidin for quite a while now without the void. I believe the problem started not long after he killed a bunch of people in the PoD with Callandor. (could be wrong, haven't done a full re-readthrough yet. )
375. Morridin
no one knows that morgase is still alive even galad thinks she is dead, i think faile may know but not anyone else
Mari Davis
376. sheiglagh
Morridin @ 375 - Rand knows that Morgase is still alive. Tam told Rand in TGS.

Perhaps you're getting confused by the timeline. At the end of TGS, Rand and Egwene is ahead by two months from Perrin. Perrin and company have a lot of catching up to do in OUR EYES as readers.

Tam just gave us a hint on what had happened in Perrin's camp, but as readers, we have not seen it yet. Chances are Brandon will bring everyone to the same point in time at ToM.
377. Beejay
I think that Rand will go to Tar Valon to see Egween then on the way; meet up with Gawyn he will try to reason with him and fail. Then a fight will break out, Rand will be forced to kill Gawyn. Then Rand will feel the Amyrlin"s wrath when he tell her he just had to kill the man she loves.
378. Morridin
i only got to read tGS once before i loaned it to my brother & he lost everything in a fire so i need to buy a new copy & refresh my memory
379. Morridin
rand says she wont like what i have to tell her, so that is probally what makes her angry, also didnt gawyn swear not to harm him till egwene could prove his innocence???
380. Lord of the Mourning
@377 Rand killing Gawyn would rock my world; seriously, that guy's been worse than a nuisance for 6 books running. Even Egwene's annoyed by him, and that couldn't have been easy, considering.
No, I think she'll be more pissed about the Asha'man bonding sisters and what-not. What else could he have done to get on her bad side? Aside from the usual being stubborn as a mule thing?
We can still hope for Gawyn to be turned inside out by the one power, though.
I'm hoping.
381. Lord of the Mourning
@379 Morridin
Maybe he's going to tell her it's time to fall in line. That would be a crowning moment of awesome right there.
Jonathan Levy
382. JonathanLevy
368. subwoofer
Or are they filled with Trollocs?- Come to think, do Trollocs even sail? Things that have me wondering... hmmmmm.

We had Trollocs reach the Stone of Tear in grain barges at the beginning of TSR. (Other Trollocs arrived in some country lord's wagons). It's not quite sailing in the open sea, but...

374. H Brian McFarland
Something I noticed at the end of TGS that no one has mentioned yet...Rand was able to hold on to saidan WITHOUT the void.

I hadn't noticed that at all. Could you provide references or quotes? My first impression is that this is either:
1) The readers have been hearing about channeling Saidin and Saidar for so long that we don't need to bother hearing about
the little details of how it's done each time. It's like describing each woman's dress each time. Oh wait...
2) Jordan used to describe it but Sanderson doesn't.

I'm not holding very strongly to this opinion, and may well revise it after reading the parts you're thinking of. But what we need here is a comparison between Rand seizing Saidin in TGS, versus his seizing it in previous books, plus such a comparison for other POV characters. Does Egwene do the flowering bud or riverbank thing? Because if not, it's an authorial difference, not an in-story one.

377. Beejay
I think that Rand will go to Tar Valon to see Egween then on the way; meet up with Gawyn he will try to reason with him and fail. Then a fight will break out, Rand will be forced to kill Gawyn. Then Rand will feel the Amyrlin"s wrath when he tell her he just had to kill the man she loves.

Tempting though it may be to indulge in fantasies of Gawyn's death, I think we can rule this out, because if it had, Leigh's preview would have contained the following entry:
383. Dem Apples
Actually the prophecy merely states
"He shall know her anger" or words to that effect. In other words that Rand will know the Amrylin. It doesn't necessarily mean that she will be angry AT him.
384. Owners.Inc
What's always bugged me about Rand and Egwene's relationship is that she never seems to give him any credit (granted, he never gives her any, but he never DIScredits for stuff either, as far as i can recall). This was especially grating in TGH times. I hope that the two of them have changed enough that they could have a civil conversation. I can't really think why Egwene would be angry at Rand. Most of the anti-AS stuff he's done is largely cos of Elaida, so Eg can't say that he should've approached her. In any case, I think Eg going to be pissed at Rand, because, by default Eg HAS to be pissed at Rand.
Wayne Wilson
385. stylusmobilus

I wondered about these ships too. Something twigged when I read this, it has something to do with the red sails. My personal suspicions are they are part of Demandred's team, and I still think Demandred's role in the Seanchan fallout was, and is, to install a proxy leader (or himself) and perpetuate civil breakdown in Seanchan.

I'm beginning to think Demandred has resources all over the world, and is planning to use them in a multi faceted attack, from within Randland proper and attack from outside.


Rand will not kill Gawyn, and Gawyn will not kill Rand. There is just too much that would totally break down if either happens.

This Tower visit is potentially shaping up to be one of the most interesting scenes in the whole series. We'll have Rand, Gawyn, Egwene and Mattin Stepaneos (I cannot wait for Rand's reaction to him) possibly in the same room.

Rand: There you go, moron. I was supposed to have killed him, too. Your mum's alive, douche bag. Dad told me. Here, have an apple.
Egwene: Don't call him moron...
Gawyn: (draws sword) Don't call me moron...
Mattin: He be right. You be a moron. I be alive.
Rand: That's not a knife. This is a knife...(channels)

Nah, like Lord of the Mourning says, she's gonna want her honeys back. She'll also be pissed at him getting crack Aes Sedai preggers. He should consider taking one of the better apples down there for her as well.
Julian Augustus
386. Alisonwonderland
One thing struck me. Rand obviously didn't recognize Almen Bunt, but shouldn't he have? Granted, a whole lot has happened since Bunt gave him and Mat a ride on their way to Caemlyn, but the circumstances then were so unusual, it seems to me Rand really should have remembered one of the very few people who helped them when they needed it most (Bunt even gave him a scarf, as I recall). Bunt did recognize Rand as one of the two young men he helped, and surely that was much more difficult than the other way round?
Michael Catapano
387. hoping
IIRC, Rand was just getting over his saidin sickness and was sleep deprived, as well. Perhaps that explains it.
Daniel Hanley
388. dmhman749
To Stylusmobilus @ 385, you say "Rand will not kill Gawyn, and Gawyn will not kill Rand. There is just too much that would totally break down if either happens". I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a LOT is going to break down over the last few books. Based on the early reviews indicating that this book gets a lot darker than earlier ones, I could see either of these things happening, and causing huge problems.

I personally don't think that Rand will die until the end of the book(though i give 50:50 odds that Gawyn will be the one who eventually kills him), and I highly doubt Rand would kill Gawyn simply because i don't see why he could possibly have need to. He could just wrap him up in flows if air and be fine if he has time to channel, and if he doesn't, he is going to lose to Gawyn. But the fact that either of these options would cause great problems for the side of the Light seems like evidence that it WILL happen, not that it won't. Things are going to get very bad for the Light soon.

To Alisonwonderland @ 386, I don't get where you are getting that Rand didn't recognize Almen...

“Do I know you?” Almen asked. Something about the young man was familiar.

“Yes,” the lad said.

So Rand clearly DID recognize Almen. Him not saying Almen's name and greeting him is just part of him being all Zen and mysterious.
Jonathan Levy
389. JonathanLevy
388. dmhman749
I personally don't think that Rand will die until the end of the book(though i give 50:50 odds that Gawyn will be the one who eventually kills him),

It's an interesting question, will Gawyn kill Rand. I can think of 3 strong arguments, but they don't all point in the same direction. I'll just dump my thoughts:

For 1: From a literary perspective, Gawyn has gotten a lot more screen time than his importance to the plot or character development deserves. He gets many POVs to forcibly build him up from a tertiary character to a secondary one. Maybe he has an important part to play in the future? If he was just supposed to be Egwene's love interest, he could easily have been excised. Yes, it's true that there are a million characters in WoT, but Gawyn isn't Almen Bunt - he's even more than Egeanin or Bayle Domon, and they had a role to play in advancing the plot. If he did kill Rand, then all the time given to him would look like a good build-up.

Against 1: Yeah, but the same argument applies to Morgase. She's been forcibly upgraded from a quartiary character to a tertiary one, and everything seems to be pointed towards her role being to prevent the clash between Rand and Gawyn. I would hate to think we've been wasting so much time on her for absolutely nothing.

Against 2: Isn't Alivia supposed to 'help Rand die'? How is that going to happen if Gawyn kills him in a fit of pique in the tower?
390. Morridin
one viewing of mins was that Eg. would ethier bond or be killed by gawyn so since neither has happened yet he cant die yet, another viewing is that berlaine would "fall head over heels for a man in white" this can only be galad so i belive his nobel behavior will win over some of the children, & the way he is treated will bring more to him sohe will become the one leader among them
Tricia Irish
391. Tektonica

Your mention of Morgase preventing the clash between Rand and Gawyn made me think of something......

Morgase is with Perrin. When they come across the Whitecloaks, with Asunawa in charge, holding Galad prisoner, Morgase could be the key that pits Perrin against Asunawa, as she knows what a scumbag Asunawa is, after "guesting" with the WCs previously.
So Perrin frees Galad. That could be part of Morgase's purpose, that and being the reason for Gawyn's bizarre hatred of Rand.

For those of you interested in the Rand/Gawyn conflict, check out Terez's theory on Theoryland. It combines the legends that RJ draws on, the books, and prophecies. Very thought provoking.
Henry Loose
392. schrodinger
I think that Gawyn and Rand will fight, and it will advance the plot, but neither will die. They will recieve news of an attack on Caemlyn and put aside the fight for another day. Rand will be horrendously injured in the ensuing battle (in the meantime, gawyn has a little sit down chat with his sister, mother, and egwene, and they all finally convinced him that Rand isn't a bad guy). Gawyn than DIES trying to save Rand, but fails. Alivia arrives in time to stop the baddies from capturing Rand, but the only way she can do so is to kill him (as per Egwene's accepted test).

We then get into the whole Nynaeve thing where she goes into T'A'R, rips Rand out (after 3 days, of course), and everyone is yay happy (except Egwene, who is mad at Rand for the irrational reason that he survived and Gawyn didn't).
Daniel Hanley
393. dmhman749
To Jonathan Levy @ 389, Morgase could at least as easily have been "upgraded from a quartiary character to a tertiary" one, as you said, in order to provide the needed push to get Galad to commit the Whitecloaks to following Perrin. That would provide plenty of justification for it. She may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with how things turn out with Gawyn. Certainly it isn't proof that she will turn Gawyn from trying to kill Rand. It could happen, but certainly might not.

As for Alivia helping Rand die, I agree. That is another reason why it won't happen in the Tower here. But it could easily happen later somehow when they are all in the same place. Again, I don't know. As I said, I give Gawyn 50:50 odds of killing Rand. So he might, but there is just as high a chance someone else will.

To Morridin @ 390, technically the viewing said that Gawyn will either kneel at Egwene's feet and bow his head to her or break her neck. There is no mention of bonding. Though your general point stands. Everything points towards there not being a major confrontation between Rand and Gawyn for the time being(no one will die yet, at least)
Chris R
394. up2stuff
Shrodinger @ 312

Just a quick question: did anybody else think that the "weirdness" of Mat in TGS was also character development, rather than just Brandon's unfamiliarity with writing his character?

I said something similar in the "Distinctions" thread at comment 509. Yes, I do kind of feel like this is kind of a temporary character trait. He had just been through what to him is possibly the most shocking lifestyle change he could make, so he could easily be a little rattled. He is making some mental adjustments, for sure. His "TGS voice" never bothered me.

However, like I said... I am definately not the expert that many of our co-posters are. I do not have anything like the investment of time that some do. This is pretty much the first actual reread that I have done ever. Being as frickin' huge as each of these books are and the amount of material, I just never had the attention span to pour through all the detail.

Frankly, they were probably just a little over my head from a maturity standpoint until now(ish). I was used to a little more meat and potatoes (Stick to one or two plotlines) method of story and never really dwelt on or appreciated the fact that Mat, Perrin, Nyn, Elayne, Min, Egwene, Avi, Morgase, Galad, Gawyn, Thom, Lan, Moiraine, and Bela all had large storylines too.

Now I can appreciate and absorb (usually) all of the material and keep focused on these wonderful novels. Suffice it to say, though, for me Mat was just having cold feet, or a moment of clarity, or spazzing out.
Henry Loose
395. schrodinger
you bring up a valid point... Bela does have an unusually large plotline for a horse... and an unusual amount of luck to have survived this long. She is either a more powerful ta'averen than Rand, or, as many have postulated, the Creator incarnate.

Something i've noticed: horses with awesome names seem to kick ass: (bela, mandarb)
horses with stupid names tend to head to the glue factory: (lioness).

Which horses do you guys think will bit the dust by the end of the series?

edit: this is rediculous. I need a WoT fix so bad that I'm talking about horses. I don't even like horses.

doubel edit: maybe its just horses with stupid owners... so expect stayer and stepper to go bye-bye soon.
396. wagman26
@ anyone who thinks Gawyn will still kill Rand

Why would anyone still think that Gawyn will try to kill Rand. That makes no sense to me. He already promised Egwene he would not untill she could prove him innocent, and his mother now lives. Why is this still a topic. Easy enough thing to prove to Gawyn. Let this theory rest.
397. Morridin
any one else believe that olver is gladial cain reborn
398. wagman26
@ 397 morridin

I have thought that. I believe it would be a good twist. Possibly even him dying and being brought back with the horn of valere at the last battle.
Henry Loose
399. schrodinger
You call a plausible theory stupid and then proclaim for a theory that THE AUTHOR, THE AUTHOR HIMSELF, has discounted and said is ludicrous.

We think that Gawyn will still try to kill Rand because Gawyn is a twit. Because he believes a random stranger over his sister and the woman he says he loves. Because he does not listen to those same women, and does what HE thinks is best for them, not what they ask him to (e.g. going into the tower after Egwene... worked out, but had huge potential for disaster... such as a horrific battle between two rival groups of channelers).

edit: sorry for shouting, I'm a bit tetchy today... returning to normal voice.
400. Rand Al'Todd
Morridin - you are either a troll or you haven't done ANY homework on the WOT support sites. As mentioned above, go to encyclopedia.wot and read up.
If you do take that advice, you will not try to recreate twenty years of postings and you might salvage the sympathy we usually grant to newbies.

Otherwise, your nexts posts will ask who killed Asmodean or suggest that Taim is Demandred.
Ali Davis
401. dejavoodoo114
I liked the idea that the greatships with red sails belong to the death watch guards still in Seanchan. They could most deffinently be avenging the death of the imperial family. I really can't think of many other reasons they would be mentioned at all. Keep in mind they never got any news about Tuons absence so in their mind she is empress. In light of this I doubt any of the Blood trying to take control of Seanchan will have their backing. Or the backing of the Seekers.

I have read talk that RJ was going to write more about Mat & Tuon after this series here. Anyone know if BS is going to do that too?

On another note, Chapter 8, is this the start of Mat's screen time? Because I have barely managed to keep myself from reading it. I abhor reading things out of order...... BUT my resolve is weakening! I don't want to read it and then have the earlier chapters spoiled by it. I don't ever read the backs of books or the titles of chapters for the same reason. Which, of course, can make it hard to find a new series... ;)
Scientist, Father
402. Silvertip
@400 Rand Al'Todd

Wait ... you mean Taim isn't Demandred? And I was so sure!


.... yes, I'm kidding.
Tess Laird
403. thewindrose
Well, I happen to think that Olver is Gaidal Cain. And Olver is also Demandred in disguise, and of course Olver/Gaidal/Demandred killed Asmodean. Asmodean was cheating at Snake and Foxes, so he snuck up on Asmo in the wine celler as Demandred. This confused the DO so much that he couldn't have transferred Asmo into a new body - even if he had wanted to. (Oh, Olver is also Taim's identical twin brother and Moridin is a fraternal brother to them.)

Chris R
404. up2stuff
rand @ 400

ease up. Someone mentions this every time olver gets screen time. It comes up...a lot.

wag...The general consensus on olver is he will give or has given mat a critical clue to the tower of genji b/c of his snakes and foxes oobsession.

good point though about gawyns promise not to raise a hand against rand. The reason it is questionable though is it is the last thing he tells rand at dumais wells, in spite of what he promised egwene and everyone saying rand didn't do it. I think Mins foretelling about alivia is more likely, but I don't know why gawyn is such a putz either.
405. buddhacat
I don't understand the Gawyn-haters here either - why they think he is still going to kill Rand. He has turned a corner with meeting Egwene finally. When Rand comes to meet Egwene, all he'll do on seeing Gawyn is say "your mother lives, will take you there, in a moment, once I finish with the AS." That's that.

I think people are just deeply invested in this theory for its own sake - similar to the old Taimandred and Asmodean wars of yore. That Gawyn at the end of TGS is a different man from all the previous books is of no account to them.

Daniel Hanley
406. dmhman749
*eyebrow at buddhacat* Gawyn is a different man at the end of tGS? I haven't noticed any growth at all, really. And given that Gawyn is absolutely convinced that Rand is evil and is manipulating everyone he cares about, Rand claiming that his mother is still alive is going to be dismissed as a lie instantly. The only thing that Gawyn would accept as proof that Rand didn't kill Morgase is Morgase telling him face to face that she is alive. Which she may or may not get a chance to do.

But in all, it is a running theme throught the entire series that the characters don't get all the information they need to make decisions. this is especially true for Gawyn, who has consistantly made bad decisions. I don't know why you people who deny that Gawyn has any chance of killing Rand think that this is suddenly going to change. Gawyn has gone seven books with Morgase alive without finding out. I don't see why he would suddenly happen to run into her now.

I'm not saying he definately will kill rand, but it has been set up as a very clear possibility. You can't just dismiss it. The fact that he promised to Egwene he wouldn't kill Rand without proof that he killed her mother could easily just go out the door in a fit of rage, or he could accept something that isn't remotely proof as proof because, as someone stated earlier, he is a twit. So please don't compare this valid theory(it is only a theory, but certainly one with support...mostly Gawyn's own claims that he is going to kill Rand combined with the fact that we know Rand is going to die, which seems like pretty strong evidence when you think about it) with something that has been stated by RJ not to be the case such as Taimandred. And especially don't claim that something RJ stated was absolutely not the case, as well as being impossible based on what we know of T'A'R' (olver is gaidal cain) as being a better theory than this one...
407. fcentauri8
Thank you Tor!!!! I held off on reading ch 1 because i knew the wait till release would be agonizing. I caved in, and now I realize that there are 23 days to go, lol. I am sooo looking forward to this.
408. Rand Al'Todd
Brandon has said, at DragonCon and elsewhere, that
Team Jordan has not yet made any decisions.
RJ's version of AMOL has gone from notes for one book to three complete books. In doing so, Brandon may be influening some wording and such in order to tell the tale, but he is pretty insistent that the main happenings and outcomes in the current books are all Jordan's.

The "outrigger" series and other "extention" books had less plot development by RJ, and thus were much further from being "finished" than AMOL. Brandon said that TOR would like to see the outriggers done - so that they can make money off them, of course, but that Harriet and Team Jordan are leery, as the series could easily be of lesser quality and could dilute RJ's legacy.

You don't have to read very far between the lines here. Brandon has his own series he wants to do, to create his own legacy. If he does them first, then tries to do the outriggers later, then enough time may go by for interest to die down. As noted in some of the other notes on this thread, there are some who criticize any choice of replacement author, and if the outriggers are passed on to a third writer, the complaining would probably only go up. And certainly the outrigger stories would cease to be Jordan's.

Team Jordan is considering an "Encyclopedia" which might document more of the background material and maybe some of the plot treads that just don't have time to close by AMOL - but it sounds more like scholarly discussion of notes rather than more narrative.


I too was a newbie here - when the re-read started. And I too have had some dumb thoughts. And most of us have taken some of the hints and run with them down the old roads.

Morridin has said a few inteligent things, and started down some of the oft tread paths. It has been suggested by others that he check the "authoritative" websites before he posts. I just repeat the request - and predicted the next "obvious" comments that we could expect to see if he does't.

He has also gotten multiple postings balefired by the moderator faster than anyone else I have noticed since the re-read began.

If he is not just trolling, and is really coming up with this stuff cold based on just his reading, then he is doing a fine job of commenting and will be a great addition to the discussion once he gets a little more background and learns some of the courtesies that make this the best behaved discussion group I have ever seen on the internet. In that case, Morridin, be aware of the Bunker: bring some cookies, or guzzle to share with the others and Suffa will clean up the mess after.

On the other hand, Morridin, if you are intentially trying to dredge up old controversies, just say "spanking!"
Theresa Gray
409. Terez27
Some thoughts on the Rand-Egwene confrontation, and the Gawyn factor:

I believe that we're about to see the fulfillment of a few Egwene-Gawyn prophecies. Perhaps all of them. I think it will end with Egwene and Gawyn bonded, and Gawyn sent to Caemlyn before Rand arrives. If Rand keeps walking, and keeps having the same sort of effects, I imagine that word of his coming will preceded him, and I'm really hoping that the 'very familiar' is a reference to Rand's first dream of the series.

With Gawyn out of the way, I hope for some kickassness at the Tower, and it would be amazingly awesome if Rand had something to do with A Call To Stand. With what Siuan tried to do before she was stilled. What Gawyn helped destroy with his thoughtlessness.

But back to the prophecies, and the reason I think Gawyn won't be there. First, Egwene had a dream about Rand confronting her, and the women with her. One of the women is Seanchan, but no men are mentioned.

Second, Min had a viewing that implied two possible futures for Gawyn:

TITLE - The Shadow RisingCHAPTER: 47 - The Truth of a Viewing

She glanced over her shoulder toward the Tower, the thick white shaft dominating the city, whole and straight, yet broken as surely as if it lay in ruins. For a moment she let herself think of the images she had glimpsed, just for a moment, flickering around Gawyn's head. Gawyn kneeling at Egwene's feet with his head bowed, and Gawyn breaking Egwene's neck, first one then the other, as if either could be the future.

The things she saw were very rarely as clear in meaning as those two, and she had never before seen that fluttering back and forth, as though not even the viewing could tell which would be the true future. Worse, she had a feeling near to certainty that it was what she had done this day that had turned Gawyn toward those two possibilities.

Despite the sun, she shivered again. What's done is done. She glanced at the two Aes Sedai – former Aes Sedai – both now studying Logain as though he were a trained hound, ferocious, possibly dangerous, but useful. Siuan and Leane turned their horses toward the river, Logain striding between. Min followed more slowly. Light, I hope it was worth it.

And thus, Min joins the unwitting crew of Rand's friends who will help him die. What did Min do that day that would have led Gawyn to those two possibilities? She essentially made the rebellion possible. She also unwittingly brought Siuan to Salidar to essentially take charge. Without Min's actions, Egwene would never have become Amyrlin. She also probably would not have left Gawyn in Cairhien, left Rand to his (necessary) fate.

The obvious interpretation is that either Egwene will bond Gawyn, or Gawyn will break her neck.

Third, Egwene has seen herself bonding Gawyn in her dreams. Dreams are only possibilities, and not certainties, but it seems likely that Egwene will bond him after all, and save her neck from being broken.

Fourth, Egwene has a dream similar to Min's viewing in that it has two forks: on one path, she and Gawyn marry; on the other, they do not. On one path, Gawyn lives a long life, and on the other path, he dies a violent death. Egwene does not know which paths correspond. I tend to believe that Egwene will bond him but not marry him, but I could be wrong. It could go either way IMO. I also waffle on whether Gawyn will die a violent death or live a long life. I could see either, or even both (if Rand kills him and then gets balefired).

Fifth, Egwene has a dream of Gawyn closing a door on her, and she knows that if she lets it finish closing, then she is dead. Referring to the Min viewing, it seems logical to assume that these two prophecies are related, since they both concern Gawyn.

Sixth, Egwene has another dual dream. She is trying to turn Gawyn to face the other direction. Sometimes, she is strong enough. The wording of prophecies 4, 5, and 6:

TITLE - Lord of ChaosCHAPTER: 15 - A Pile of Sand

Him kneeling while she cupped his head in her hands....
Twice, right atop one another, she dreamed of taking him by the shoulders and trying to turn him to face the other way against his will. Once he brushed her hands away roughly; the other time, she was somehow stronger than he. The two blended together hazily. In another he began swinging a door closed on her, and she knew if that narrowing gap of light vanished, she was dead.

My best guess is that Egwene prevents him from fighting Rand by bonding him as her Warder and then sending him to Caemlyn to be with his sister. In Caemlyn, or perhaps at Sheldyn, Gawyn will find his 'proof'.

This fits with what Jason said in his advance review:

The other scene that rocked me to read is one that completely embraces the spirit of the whole series. It's the epitome of what makes The Wheel of Time stand apart from all other fantasy series. To say that I was moved by it is an understatement. After reading it, I honestly began to question whether this story will actually have a happy ending or not. I mean, let's face it. Most of us assume the series will conclude with a victory at the Last Battle, with maybe a few heroic deaths along the way, right? Well this sequence I'm talking about proves that even victory can be disaster. It shows that even the most noble of intentions can have a butterfly-effect ripple across the Pattern. The sequence was beautiful to behold, and that alone makes ToM worthy of being on the shelf with your other WoT books.

One of the things that led me to the Gawyn theory in the first place is that everyone's intentions are noble, in every aspect of it. Gawyn is the most difficult to forgive, since he seems so intent on believing things that are wrong. But I really dislike the idea of Rand dying at the hands of a Darkfriend. I also really dislike the Alivia Assisted Suicide theory because she is such an underdeveloped character. There is no thematic significance for her in that role.

And the whole 'how many Knights does it take to avenge a woman who is not even dead' plotline is well-supported. Rand (Arthur) avenged her when he killed Rahvin, which led to his own name being connected to her death, which led to Gawyn's obsession. Galad found out she was still alive, and that she was dead again in the same breath (even though she's still not dead). So he avenged her too. Galad's duel being the only on-screen blademaster vs blademaster duel that was not accompanied by an encounter between Rand and either Fain/Mordeth or Ishamael/Moridin (both Mordred parallels).

Anyway, Gawyn vs Rand doesn't seem likely to happen in Tar Valon. So I'm still betting on Caemlyn for the reunion. Egwene will think she has noble intentions in sending him away, but really what she is doing is sending him where she has no control over his actions, where he can find his 'proof'. As long as he is in Tar Valon, she can prevent him from killing Rand, though he might not like it.
410. Morridin
SORRY i dont spend 24/7 researching i have more important things to do, you could be a little more helpful rather than just critizing, such as giving links instead of calling me an idiot, it said nothing on the olve/cain thing that i could find on encylclepida-wot, it took me an hour to find what RJ said when searching

the stuff i say is just from reading & thank you for being more polite than everyone else

also i know that gawyn reached blades master status by beating hammar but does he actually have a heron marked sword yet?
Daniel Hanley
411. dmhman749
I don't think there were any witnesses for the Hammar/Gawyn fight, which leaves him in the same situation Rand is in. So no, he isn't actually a technical blademaster yet. Galad is the only one who has actually met those requirements so far.

Sorry if we were harsh on the 'olver isn't gaidal cain' thing...its just the most common theory which has been stated to be incorrect. It pops up every third or fourth WoT related thread here, and it gets annoying arguing with people who are unwilling to accept RJ's word about this(I have actually had people say that RJ was lying to throw people off,(because of course Olver is the only ugly boy in Randland). ugg...). Also the fact that its impossible even apart from RJ's statement since Olver was 8 or so when gaidal cain was still running around T'A'R' talking with Nynaeve(do people just forget this??).

But if this is the first time anyone has ever pointed this out to you, we did over-react to the statement. Sorry.
Theresa Gray
412. Terez27
I get the impression there were a good number of witnesses when Gawyn killed Hammar, which is how word spread to the bridge guards. Gawyn wouldn't have spread the news himself. He just didn't take Hammar's blade, because he didn't think it was respectful.
413. wagman26
@399 Schrodinger

Kind of new on the internet. I am realizing that I may be out of the loop on the down low, through the years. Have always been a fan, since Eye of the World, but not much of a technology guy, always avoided it. So I did not know that me THINKING that olver may have been was so unacceptable.
But I believe that Gawyn may have been fulfilling Min's viewing when he "rushed in to save her", with Siuan and her General.
Water and Shade my brethren.
Theresa Gray
414. Terez27
I'm not sure how Gawyn rushing in to save Egwene could have fulfilled that viewing.
415. Morridin
its ok i am use to people disagreeing with my POV even to the point of yelling at me to shut up both online and in real life, i was unsure of how the time shifts in T'A'R worked and it is hard for me to find facts with all the theroies floating around

Rand - "I saw you and another man. I couldn't make out either face, but I knew one was you. You touched, and seemed to merge into one another, of you dies, and one doesn't."
Rand, wearing different masks, until suddenly one of those false faces was
Logain, laughing, steps over something onto a black stone. It looks like Rand's body, but when she touches his face it breaks like paper puppet.." He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one
could these be about him, LTT, & Moridin (or whoever his balefire connected him to ithink it was Mor.)

He "shall bind the nine moons to serve him."
lanfear or seanchan (both use nine moons)
James Jones
416. jamesedjones
414 Terez27

Everyone on the island was aware of Egwene's position. Big, flaming "fount of light", anyone? I'm sure a few blood knives were sneaking toward her as Gawyn et al picked her up and Traveled out of danger.

It makes perfect sense, and it's a really simple deduction.
417. wagman26

Not sure if it did. Just thought maybe. Don't know for sure if we'll see all her viewings filled before the end of series. Just going on, probablly a little defensively from early post. Just thinking out loud. Not much to go on I guess. But who knows. There was those assasains running around, and they had centered their attack on her, and she was alone and exhausted. Maybe?
Theresa Gray
418. Terez27
@416 - What does that have to do with Gawyn either breaking Egwene's neck or kneeling before her?
419. wagman26

It seems to be common knowledge that Hammar was killed by Gawyn, so that should be enough. Had to be dozens of witnesses, warders among them. And he bests Sleete and another who are Heron Blade holders. Or maybe just Sleete is.
421. wagman26
Maybe Im confused on Min's viewings and Egwenes dreams. Sorry.
Theresa Gray
422. Terez27
It's all good. I bet you're thinking of the dream where Egwene's head is on the chopping block, and someone has to run fast to save her. I don't think we even have any good reason to think that one is about Gawyn.
Alice Arneson
423. Wetlandernw
To add just a note to RandAlTodd @408, Brandon has said that if Harriet decides to have the outriggers written and asks him to do it, he will do so. He also said that (as noted) there is a lot less detail in RJ's notes about the outriggers, so they would have to make up a lot more of the plot.

What he's doing in these last three books is basically writing the narrative to flesh out all the detailed notes and plot points RJ left, and they (Brandon, Harriet, Maria and Alan) are doing all they can to stick to exactly the story RJ had in mind. What I love about it is that even though the storytelling takes on a slightly different flavor sometimes, the story is the original. I think of it in terms of High Chant vs. Plain Chant - either way it takes a master to tell it, but the wording is a little different. Same story, though.

Morridin @410 and others - May I suggest that you at least scan the Wheel of Time FAQ? There's a lot of great info all pulled together there, and it's a fun read besides (having been edited by Leigh Butler, it's bound to be!). I have a special fondness for it, since it was the first place I found so many of my questions answered. Other great sources of reliable information are the Encyclopaedia WoT, which has an amazing database of characters, items, history, geography, chapter summaries, and almost everything else you might want to know; and Theoryland's Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and Team Jordan Interview Database, which contains virtually every recorded interview all neatly referenced by character, culture or theme. Do yourself a favor and bookmark all three of those for easy reference.

If you have a question or theory about a particular character, go to one of those and see what you can find first. Alternatively, throw it out here and wait for it to be shot down, until everyone gets tired of doing the work for you and just ignores your comments altogether. Of course, before they ignore you they just might make a few pointed remarks; these tools are readily available, and we do generally appreciate it when people expend a little effort to make sure their theories haven't already been disavowed by the author(s).

Oh, and Morridin? When Torie makes a suggestion to you, it's wise to comply. Otherwise, your posts might show up with no vowels, or be automatically overwritten with gibberish, or just... vanish. Consistently. There are certain courtesies to be observed on the website provided by the publisher, after all.
Mari Davis
424. sheiglagh
The Gawyn Debacle … here we go again. :-)

First, let me say that Gawyn is one of my favorite characters. (No tongue-in-cheek, it’s the truth). Yes, I know he is flawed and I will be the first one to tell you that I find him annoying. I am also disclosing here that I wholeheartedly agree with Terez’s prediction / theory that Gawyn will kill Rand.

With that out of the way, here’s my two cents on Gawyn:
If WoT is real life and Gawyn is a true royal, then he will be tabloid fodder for being controversial. (Think Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan) Ha! Ha! I can see the paparazzi all over him just to see what he will do next.

There really is something about Gawyn that is polarizing. We love him or we hate him, or worse, you can be like me, I love Gawyn but if I could, I will slap him silly to get some sense into him.

But, for ToM and AMoL, we can expect to see more of Gawyn. He has a big role to play. Like what had been pointed out here, there is a reason why RJ had kept Gawyn around. In fact, for a writer of RJ’s caliber, every character that gets regular screen time – there is a reason for their continuous presence.

Case in point, even Bela the horse has a reason for being. I won’t be surprise if in the next two books Bela’s presence will remind Rand and Egwene of their “younger” selves who left Edmond Field. And with that reminder, the two forget their differences and work together to win TG.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that perhaps RJ had written Gawyn this way so that we will “hate” or “dislike” a friend of the light? To paraphrase Jessica Rabbit and with Gawyn speaking, “I’m not that bad. I’m just written this way.”

I’m not a guru on WoT. I’ve only been following the books for the past 5 years, but I can say that Gawyn’s reason for being is yet to be revealed. It is my belief that Gawyn will be the one to kill Rand.

We all know that Rand has to die. It will break my heart when he does. It will break my heart when it proves that Gawyn is the one who will kill him. But you know what? Even if we get a happy ending, there will be heartbreaks because that’s what a good yarn is all about. RJ is one of the best storytellers of our age so I expect tears first before I smile and laugh.
425. wagman26

That is it. Thank you. You seem to be keeping me correct again. This has turned into an addiction for me, and I need my TOM crack! I did not tweek this bad on the last book.

"I need, I need. I want, I want"- Bill Murray .
Theresa Gray
426. Terez27
Yay, another convert! I have always been a little miffed by the Gawyn-hate. Yeah, he can be annoying, but at least he has noble intentions. And I believe WoT is set up to be a tragedy with a happy ending; Gawyn killing Rand over a misunderstanding is classic tragedy. Three separate people avenging the death of a woman who is not even dead...that's classic irony. And good stuff, IMO.
Alice Arneson
427. Wetlandernw
wagman26 @421 - Click on the link to the WoT FAQ in my previous post; at the bottom of the page there's a section on prophecy. It includes a list of Egwene's dreams, with discussion of meaning & fulfillment, as well as a list of Min's viewings with same. It's not a complete list, as the FAQ hasn't been updated for KoD and TGS, but it's a good place to start - particularly for the subject currently under discussion.
Theresa Gray
428. Terez27
The Encyclopaedia has a complete list of the prophecies, but no commentary on the meanings.
429. wagman26
Just wanted to say that I'm not a Gawyn fan. Just not feeling the whole Rand/Gawyn feud leading to any death. How is he going to live a long life if he kills the Dragon Reborn. Fanatics would come after him for sure. Of course maybe that is the path he ends up on, but with Rand receiving news of his mother, and Rand's newfound comprehension of life's meaning, maybe he would want to ease Gawyn's pain and let him know his mother lives. Which would be easy to do once he gets to the Tower and someone could travel to confirm. Or wait, since things appear to be coming to a head.

Or not.
Alice Arneson
430. Wetlandernw
And to give you another reason to check out the theoryland database, there's this:
Amalisa: Has Egwene's dream of having her head on a block and an axe falling come true?

Brandon: "It has not; she is still in danger of that happening." Then he looked at us and said, "It may or may not also have something to do with Min's vision of Gawyn either saving or killing Egwene." Big smile on his face for that one.

Hi, Terez!
431. wagman26

I will keep that in mind before I wade into the deep end of the pool again.
Thank you all who help those of us a little behind the tempo of the most prolific WoT fact profilers. It is nice to have a chance to converse with other people with a addiction to this masterpiece of a series. Ive visited these sights for years, but never interacted. I believe I'll stick around, maybe even register at Dragonmount.
432. Freelancer
I see the weekend was busy hereabouts. I see some folks don't understand honor.

For all of the Light-side characters who act from noble intentions, whether always effectively or not, I am on their side. I cannot agree with the Gawyn-haters, the Elayne-haters, the Cadsuane-haters, and even the Galad-haters. These people all choose to act based on the greater good as they are able to see it at the time, founded upon the information available to them at the time. The same as each of us who has a sense of honor and listens to their conscience enough to act upon it.

Gawyn is indeed responding irrationally and from emotion rather than reason in refusing to accept Egwene's very strong belief that Rand could not have killed Morgase. The humorous thing is, nobody can prove who didn't kill Morgase precisely because nobody has any evidence of who did kill her, seeing as she's still well above room temperature. That will all be settled in another three weeks, so no worries there.

Aside from that, Gawyn makes rational decisions based upon inadequate information. He's mistaken about a few of those things. Just like every other single character in the story. He's trying his best, and is serving the Light. Galad is suddenly everybody's golden boy, yet he's still convinced that Rand is dangerous, and in a timeline perspective it isn't that long since he was torn between assisting Elayne or turning her in to the Children, because she as a channeler was an outlaw in Amadicia. Serving the Light the best he knows how, but not always following good information.

Certain people do not get this level of mercy from my opinion. Pedron Niall and Elaida come first to mind. Each was less concerned about serving the Light, than in ensuring that their legacy for the Light was renowned. Niall is gone, and Elaida would require some amazing level of redemption to recover from her horribly failed self-aggrandizing.
Theresa Gray
433. Terez27
@wagman - I think you will have better luck here than at Dragonmount, which I think has the highest proportion of members who are similarly lost. Every site has its gurus, and few of us are all that easy to get along with, but some of us are more dedicated than others.

@Wetlander - I speculated when that one was posted that Brandon's smile and random interjection of the bit about Min's viewing was devious in nature. Like, 'Ooh, look! Here is my chance to play RJ and reinforce the common misconception about that dream.'

theory stuff:

I figure that the dream being related to that viewing makes no sense because on the one hand, there is the assumption that Gawyn is going to save her neck, and on the other, there is the assumption that Gawyn is the one endangering said neck. Unless him kneeling in front of her is supposed to save her...but what does that have to do with running? Also, the running toward her bit seems to be completely opposite from the door closing in Egwene's other dream about her (possible) death.

To me, the only scenario that makes a great deal of sense is that Egwene averts being killed by Gawyn by bonding him before he takes off wherever it was he was going when the door was closing.

Then, later Egwene is in danger and she is saved by a Seanchan woman. This could be one of the Bloodknives, but doesn't seem to fit with someone running fast enough. More likely it is Tuon, Egeanin, or Tylee, though with each we have to consider what could possibly get them to Tar Valon, and how they would know she was in danger.

I would like to think that Gawyn will at the very least have something to do with that rescue. It could happen is that he survives his fight with Rand. I can see this happening a few ways. Rand could just let Gawyn kill him, like Janduin with Luc. This assumes that Rand's soul is not in danger of interception by the Dark One, since Gawyn is unlikely to miss Rand's heart if Rand won't fight back. No witnesses, and Gawyn gets off scott free, but then he sees his mother..and the truth. OUCH!

Another way is that Rand kills Gawyn, no witnesses, but then Moiraine shows up and balefires Rand, so Gawyn lives. Moiraine keeps the secret, and Mat too if he's there. Which I suspect he would be, since Moiraine would have learend about Rand being in danger from Mat, presumably (ta'veren connection). There might also be some other trustworthy people there, like Thom, or Egeanin and Domon. I tend to think NOT Elayne, but I could be wrong. Gawyn lives because Rand requests it, so all of the witnesses are satisfied. Someone takes the sword (Justice!) out of Gawyn's heart, head, or whatever before Rand gets balefired. Moiraine has her angreal to make it strong enough. And then there are seven more chapters for...Mat and Tuon? I would hope so. I'm ready for the truce, but I can see it being put off till next book.

Anyway, Gawyn lives, and what Brandon said about him having to live with his mistake for a long time is thus fulfilled. When Mesaana gets her hands on Egwene, Gawyn knows it through the bond, and therefore saves Egwene's life. He brings aid in the form of Mat and Tuon. That's my ideal scenario, anyway. Would be nice if all that happened in the last seven chapters of the book. Would be even nicer if the Black Tower was wrapped up. But I think that at least some of that will be saved for the last book. I got the impression from Jason's review that the ending was too bittersweet for all that much victory.
Birgit F
434. birgit
Galad is suddenly everybody's golden boy, yet he's still convinced that Rand is dangerous, and in a timeline perspective it isn't that long since he was torn between assisting Elayne or turning her in to the Children, because she as a channeler was an outlaw in Amadicia.

That is what the girls believed he might do, but he said she should know better than think that of him. He wanted to return her to Andor.
Wayne Wilson
435. stylusmobilus

Anyway, Gawyn lives, and what Brandon said about him having to live with his mistake for a long time is thus fulfilled.

Never heard this one before....enlightenment please?


I think a few people accept Elayne's view on Galad. I have before, then pulled my head in.
Daniel Hanley
436. dmhman749
To wagman26 @ 419 about the blademaster thing...I am almost certain that there were no witnesses of the Hammar/Gawyn fight...he says so at some point. I think in tGS, but I'm not 100% sure. I will look it up tonight. But although Gawyn wouldn't boast about it, he would tell someone that he killed Hammar so that they know...And that story would spread quickly. As for beating the BM warder in the spar (and the other warder) that isn't good enough according to the rules of becoming a blademaster. The ONLY ways to become a blademaster are to kill another blademaster in a one on one fight with witnesses to the fight (as Galad, or Tam for that matter, did), or spar another blademaster with...either 7 or 9 other blademasters to witness and raise you to blademaster based on your skill.

This is why Rand is not actually a blademaster. Although he beat a blademaster in tGH, there were no witnesses. The same holds true for Gawyn. The fact that you can prove your skills one on one in spars with another blademaster doesn't make you one.
437. UnhappyWOTFan
@337 Alisonwonderland

Please go back and read my post as to other posts. I was not trolling, nor did I bring up having TG write the books.
438. wagman26

How can a battle, where Gawyn rises to power with the younglings, have no witnesses. All we know for sure is, he didn't want to take the man's sword. Disrespectful and all that. But too many are talking about it in the books, not to be true. I even rember Siuan asking him about it when he helps Min, her, and Leane escape from the tower. And since Min, I believe, had a vision of him becoming a blademaster, surely he is by now. He seems to be so good with the sword, that warders think he should wear a heron to warn people. Anyway you like him, he is obviously one of the greatest blades of the time.

Although Mat still could whoop his @$$.
Tess Laird
439. thewindrose
Terez27 at 433:
No witnesses, and Gawyn gets off scott free, but then he sees his mother..and the truth. OUCH!

Yes, that would be a big ouch. But he has exhibited a crazy hate for Rand, one that defies the the small amount of rumors that he has heard. I don't see him thinking/saying - Oh Light! I killed the Dragon Reborn, and he was blameless in my mothers death. I think he will still feel justified - when I read his thoughts in these books, he has an overwhelming hatred for Rand. Like many have commented, it is kind of bizarre how he flips from the nice nobel boy in tEotW and tGH to I must kill Rand. I look forward to seeing how this plays out...

440. wagman26
"To live, you must die", could be describing the process of being reborn into the pattern. To live again in a future life, maybe Rand must die at Shayol Ghul.

As far as Brandon writing the rest of the series...I am appreciative. There would have been grumbling no matter what, and the tone is not paramount here, but the story is. Thank you Brandon, and all the Wheel of Time gang who are trying to tell it, and in the process saving my sanity. Could not have stood it, if this was not finished.
I believe Silmarillion was finished under similar circumstances.
441. wagman26
If I believed someone had killed my mother, I too would want to kill them. Not that irrational, considering Morgase went missing leaving her kingdom to fend for itself, however justified. To Gawyn it must seem unthinkable, but he will do some quick growing up in the days to come, and ralize that Gareth, Egwene, his sister are correct about events, ultimately confirmed by his own mothers presence.
442. Morridin
i have been using encyclopedia.wot since i found out about it and i will look at
however i am not going to search through 20 years of Q&A and theriores/discussion before i post my own personal beliefs, so ethier answer or ignore me but dont treat me like a 2 year-old, and please if you do respond i would like to hear your own beliefs not regurgitated theories from other people/sites
James Hogan
443. Sonofthunder
Morridin, many people on this board have been fans of WoT for years upon years. Thusly, most theories have been talked over again and again until consensus has been reached on many points. Debates have raged and theories have been attacked and defended, only to be ended with a word from RJ himself. And actually, even an express statement from RJ isn't enough to stop some of the more commonly believed theories(Olver=Cain, for one). Anyway, just giving you this background so you know that when people may respond wearily to your thoughts/theories, it's because they've been brought up myriads of times before. Honest, we are *usually* nice people! But all patience has limits, so when there exists a nice concise summary of RJ's words, possible explanations to a prophecy, etc, we'll be more likely to link you there rather than spend the many minutes to type up our own words.

And side-note, I've learned this from experience - generally people will take you more seriously if you post with proper grammar/spelling. Even though most of us try not to let that bother us...some of us can't help it. Nails-on-a-blackboard and all.
Daniel Hanley
444. dmhman749
To wagman26 @ 441, it isn't the desire to kill Gawyn's mother's killer that is irrational. Its his belief that Rand did it.

If someone killed your mother and a couple people you don't know walked up to you on the street and said that they heard from someone else that this guy did it. Then your girlfriend, another close friend, and your sister, all of whom know the guy in question pretty well, one of whom was with the guy on the day the people on the street who have met neither you nor him say he is supposted to have killed your mother, tell you that he didn't do it. And your girlfriend has some evidence to back it up that he is innocent, if not actual proof, while the people on the street have absolutely no evidence at all, would your immediate response be to:

A. decide that you should look into the matter more and track down who really killed your mother. And if that information leads back to the guy the people on the street said did it, fine. If not, you find who is actually responsible and can kill them.
B. grudgingly say that you won't immediately go out and murder the guy at your girlfriends insistance, but be completely certain that he did it in spite of her claims, not look for any further evidence one way or the other, and swear to yourself over and over that you are going to kill this guy, even though he is destined to save the universe from being consumed by evil.

Because Gawyn picked option B.
Mari Davis
445. sheiglagh
Ouroboros - Ah yes the 'Virgin ' Queen Elizabeth 1 and Egwene - that doesn't bode to well for Gawayn does it;)
Although to be honest, would an Amyrlin have time for a family? I guess we shall RAFO...

This might not bode well for Gawyn but history says that Elizabeth I had lovers. Now, where would that bring us? :-)
446. wagman26
I think that the fact that Rand occupied Caemlyn, was a strong indicator, to Gawyn at least, that he had some hand in Morgase's "death". But the books will both be out in a little over a year, and someone will eat crow. Interesting to see whom.
447. Mithrus
Ok, I leave for a day and the threads grown by a ton :)

Regarding containing the DO:

After more thought, I think the two wounds on Rand is really a solid indication of a foreshadowing of the solution for imprisoning the DO. Most likely, Rand will need to use Fain to "be" the force that reseals the DO, or at the very least Fain is an ingrediant to the solution.

Offtopic: When I compare WoT with the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, I see interesting similarities in the main characters. I wonder if the ending will be similar as well (not a fan of the first trilogy, but I loved the second trilogy).
Jonathan Levy
448. JonathanLevy
446. wagman26
I think that the fact that Rand occupied Caemlyn, was a strong indicator, to Gawyn at least, that he had some hand in Morgase's "death".

This is a very important point, in my mind, which goes a long way to justifying Gawyn's initial assumption that Rand killed Morgase, even if it isn't enough to explain his stubbornness in sticking to that belief.

In a Monarchy, when someone does a coup d'etat, the default option is to kill the previous Monarch. If he survives, he usually goes into exile and tries to gather support to reclaim his throne. If nobody hears of him... well, he's probably dead, or at the very best rotting in a dungeon.

It's worth noting that when Egwene speaks to Gawyn, she has no proof that Rand didn't kill Morgase. Does she even know that Gaebril was actually Rahvin? I'm not sure. But she doesn't know that Morgase is alive. All she knows is that Rand isn't like that, and even if he was he wouldn't do that because he has the hots for Elayne. But she doesn't want to reveal that, so she says nothing, and for all Gawyn knows Rand is already going mad, so who knows what he might have done.

That said, I think there's a lot more Egwene could have told Gawyn which would have gone a long way towards convincing him. E.G. Rand didn't murder Tairen High Lords on a whim, etc. But she says nothing except for 'trust my judgement'. Bah.
Sam Mickel
449. Samadai
JL @ 448

Egwene did know that Gaebril was Rahvin. Or at least she was there in the room when Rand said it to Mat.
Birgit F
450. birgit
Five blademasters had sat in judgment of his skills and voted unanimously to grant him the title. The vote always hat to be unanimous. The only other way was to kill the bearer of a heron-mark blade in fair combat, one on one.

KoD prologue
Daniel Hanley
451. dmhman749
Egwene was there when Rand said it to Mat and when Rand set out to Caemlyn in the first place after hearing that Morgase was dead. But oh well. Maybe he will run into Morgase before attacking Rand. We will RAFO.

Ah...five blademasters. Well regardless, it has been stated several times that there must be witnesses for the 'kill a blademaster to become a blademaster' thing. But tonight I will look up the quote from Gawyn saying noone saw his kill either, making him not yet a blademaster. Unless I am remembering completely incorrectly, which is possible.
Tricia Irish
452. Tektonica

Fain is the Cork!!

I know you are being completely serious....and I think your theory has merit...that just struck me as funny....his little feet kicking wildly as he plugs the hole in the Bore.

Can't stop laughing. I think I'm getting punchy waiting for Nov. 2.

Birgit@450: This reference was re: Gawyn, yes?
453. Morridin
And actually, even an express statement from RJ isn't enough to stop some of the more commonly believed theories(Olver=Cain, for one).
I think part of the reason for this is that they believe that the author would lie to throw you off track & keep you gessing when you get too close to the truth (I know I would) this way you are still suprised when you find out the truth. Also thanks for the spelling and grammar hint, sometimes it is hard for me because my computer and internet are crappy, & this site doesn't want to load half of the time.

As to everyone reaching a consensus, just because you all agree on something doesn't necessarily mean it is true, i would still like to hear original theroies whenever possible.
Daniel Hanley
454. dmhman749
Well its one thing for an author to refuse to answer a question, or possibly even to mislead, but I would instantly loose a huge amount of respect for any author who outright lied to try and get people not to believe a theory that turned out to be correct just for the sake of surprising. I don't believe RJ would do such a thing.

If RJ didn't want to tell us to know if Olver was Gaidal Cain, he would have said RAFO, not flat out that he isn't and that he finds it a rediculous theory. And of course the fact that based on what we know of T'A'R' it is impossible even outside of RJ's word.

But we do still discuss our theories, as im sure you have seen if you have read even just this thread, much less all the other ones. We just sometimes over-react when someone posts the same discredited theory (again). But as long as you stay short of that line you are fine. There are plenty of theories posted here that I think are MASSIVELY unlikely. They are the looney theories, that even the creators of the theories accept as probably not going to happen, but as long as it isn't something that is provably impossible or told to be incorrect by RJ or BS, we are fine discussing it here.
Ben Norris
455. I_have_no_life
Gawyn had a pretty good first impression of Rand. I think that Gawyn doesn't listen to reason due to three things:

1) Gawyn, the overpassionate person he is, is now blinded by rage, and is lashing out at the first possible punching bag.

2) Rand is sleeping with his sister. Now wouldn't you be pissed, even if you had jokingly reccomended them to eachother when you first met the dude? Gawyn knows Rand and Elayne love eachother, and he sees that as a fate worse than death for Elayne, which feeds the anger that clouds his mind.

3) MOB MENTALITY! If you are a psychology student, or just know people really well (I fall into the later), you will know that, unless given an excellent reason, or at least one you consider to be so, you will listen to the group almost every time. People are generally stupid, in that many believe that quality doesn't destroy quantity every time. If someone has a frickin good reason, don't listen to rumors. Damn it, why are people so stupid?
Always ragging on everyone that I don't like, many I do, and even those I barely know

Mari Davis
456. sheiglagh
Ah... life is not fair!!! The book comes out Nov 2, and Brandon will be here in Dallas on Nov 4th for book reading and signing. And I have my midterm exams that week!!!

That means, even if I see Brandon and have a book signed, I would have not read ToM.

Not fair!!! Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!
Janet Hopkins
457. JanDSedai
re: bookmarks

As long as we are giving the newbies other sites to explore, one essential has been overlooked; the Tellings of the Wheel by Steven A. Cooper. It can be found at .

It is important to realize that the books 7-11 occur in little over three months. If Dumai Wells occurred on New Years Eve, then Rand's hand was lost on April 9, the Battle of Maldin was on April 10, and Mat's "wedding" was on April 22 (closing POV's of KoD).

So nobody communicates because they haven't had time! And Travelling is still so new that the implications of instantaneous communication haven't been realized. (Although the battle intelligience is being implemented.) The characters haven't had fifteen years to think about it like the readers have.

And contributions the the Bunker Buffet are always welcome! So, "bring" your favorites! There is always a stock of cookies-- chocolate chip and snickerdoodles.
Daniel Hanley
458. dmhman749
To I_have_no_life @ 455, Gawyn does not know that Rand and Elayne are sleeping together...He knew that Elayne had a crush on him from his fall into the Palace, and Min told him that Elayne loved him, but thats it. And that was well after he had already developed his hatred of Rand to a fever pitch. For that matter, I could see him seeing Elayne for the first time and finding her pregnant and putting the peices together as what pushes him over the edge to kill Rand, regardless of his promise to Egwene. That would be almost funny. "You killed my mother and knocked up my sister you evil bastard!" "What? Your mother isn't even dead and...what? Elayne is pregnant?" Shock slows his reaction and he gets a sword in the chest.
459. Mithrus
I wonder what's the harem feeling through the bond now? Specifically, Min being the closest to Rand emotionally (from sheer exposure if nothing else). It does bother me a little that she wasn't able to feel the rage Rand had felt when almost-killing Tam. Her comments to the group
at least didn't include any info other than that his location changed.
460. Morridin
What I meant when I said "lie" is twisting words like Aes Sedai do to lie, RJ has come up with some facinating & confusing stuff, so he probably knows how to twist his words. Pay very close attention to his exact wording. He may or may not have twisted his words.

To those of you who think Gawyn will kill Rand, I don't believe it is possible unless he trys it like a Whitecloak Assassin, or while Rand is sleeping. And seeing as I think Gawyn has too much honor for either of those methods I do not see how it would be possible.
Jay Dauro
461. J.Dauro

Most of us are very aware of how an Aes Sedai can twist the truth, and very conscious of who wrote all of this. So yes, we do watch carefully.  ;^)

But this is pretty clear.

Crossroads of Twilight book tour 16 January 2003, Dayton, OH - Tim Kington reporting

Q: Is Olver Gaidal Cain?
RJ: No. I didn't really think that this would last as long as it has. The timing is wrong. He has another reason for being there besides being a red herring, though.

From everything we have seen RJ played fair (probably more fair than an Aes Sedai.)
462. Ouroboros
432 Freelancer

Okay, I might as well stick my head in the JAWS of death :)

I can't see how killing the man who is destined to save mankind from the shadow can serve the greater good. It's called the greater good precisely because some sacrifice is required for it, otherwise it would be called the easy good, or maybe just, the good. The whole of the human race for avenging the death of one woman is not a very good trade. Besides, Gawyn doesn't even try to determine if Rand is guilty of the crime. He just locks onto him as a good target and gets fixated, hardly honorable.

Of course, Egwene and Elayne are hardly without blame in this. Egwene could have told Gawyn more, including where Elayne is. That way, Gawyn could have tried to carry out his duty to his sister. If Elayne told Egwene not to, then it only shows how little the two of them understand what kind of obligation Gawyn made as a child. Communication FTW... again!

And this isn't his only stupid decision. He starts a fight with half a dozen guards to get to Bryne a little faster. Bryne smacks him down hard for this, and quite right too. He was acting like a spoilt little princeling. Again, the greater good?

On Galad

He thinks Rand is dangerous because Rand *IS* dangerous. He's left a trail of destruction a mile wide everywhere he went. You'd have to be close to him, or someone else who is, to realize what's really going on, and Galad has had no access to better information. That's what distinguishes him from Gawyn, who had several people telling him he was wrong.

Also, Galad never said he was going to turn the girls into the White cloaks, unless you have a quote I missed. This is just Elayne's opinion, which has always been childish where Galad is concerned.

I never had a problem with Galad. He's always struck me as one of those who tries to find the right answer in a situation that has no right answers. And Galad does usually make rational decisions. Most of the bad press Galad gets is from Elayne, who can be even worse than Gawyn when it comes to managing her emotions.

I had no problem with what he did in Samara. He was trying to get someone he cared about out of danger, and if we hated every character that did that, well, there wouldn't be many left to like. Besides, it was a mob of rabid Profit's men that were trying to stop him, and mob that definitely needed cleaning up. If anyone was to blame for that mess it was Nynaeve.

As for joining the White Cloaks, they actually look like a nice bunch with good intensions until you get to know some of the less restrained ones. Think about it. Good uniforms, regular meals and ridding the world of Darkfriends. That last one would definitely appeal to Galad. It's a worthy goal without allegiance to any throne. Galad probably thought that he could join and do some good.

Oh, and BTW, Berelaine is going to fall madly in love with Jaret Byar!
Jay Dauro
463. J.Dauro
they actually look like a nice bunch with good intensions until you get to know some of the less restrained ones. 

I'm not so sure I'll give you this one. It is well known that the Children of the Light consider Aes Sedai to be equivalent to shadowspawn. And that they will kill Aes Sedai, and women who have trained with Aes Sedai. Being raised as he was, Galad has to be aware of this. 
464. Ouroboros
433 Terez27

Ah, it's Wheel of Fortune time, I see. Here are some alternatives. Feel free to shoot them down, I'm wearing my Gray proof armor today. :)

*Disclaimer* These theories were baked in accordance with the 50% rule.

Gawyn kneeling or breaking Egwene's neck.

The fact that the viewing keeps flickering between the two possibilities implies that it will be a single event which spawns these two outcomes. That is, something will happen which makes Gawyn so angry that he will be strongly tempted to kill Egwene. If he can resist that urge, he will accede to her wishes. Either way, it's possible that Egwene will place him in that position. Perhaps she orders him to never kill Rand, regardless of any proof?

Egwene dreaming of Gawyn
Twice, right on top one another, she dreamed of taking him by the shoulders and trying to turn him to face the other way against his will. Once he brushed her hands away roughly; the other time, she was somehow stronger than he. The two blended together hazily.

This isn't as extreme as Min's viewing, but they could be referring to the same event.

Egwene's rescue

She's strapped to a block as a headsman swings. Somewhere, someone is running and if they run fast enough the axe will stop.

Mat riding desperately toward something unseen in the distance that he had to reach.

Mat shouting at her, "I am coming."

Are these all connected? That is, will Mat be the one trying to reach her? This begs the question, what is he saving her from? Given that it's Mat, the obvious answer is Seanchan. It's easy to see this. After all, the White Tower and the Seanchan are now building quite a history.

Back to Egwene and Gawyn.

In another he began swinging a door closed on her, and she knew if that narrowing gap of light vanished, she was dead.

I can't see how this relates to the other dreams and viewings without stretching plausibility. If I were to guess, I'd say that Gawyn decides to do something for "Egwene's good" but gets it hopelessly wrong.
"I'm going to leave you here in this cupboard until I get back."
"Who’s there?"

A few more general things
Min viewing Gawyn:
- that bloody mask again. More: a sword floated above his head, and a banner waved behind it. The long-hilted sword, like those most Warders used, had a heron engraved on its slightly curved blade, symbol of a blademaster, and Min could not say whether it belonged to Gawyn or threatened him. The banner bore Gawyn's sigil of the charging White Boar, but on a field of green rather than the red of Andor.

The ambiguity over the sword is interesting. Is a blademaster going to threaten Gawyn? If so, Who?

Another possibility is that Gawyn's own ability with the sword will place him in danger. In other words, it is his sword but it is also threatening him. I'm not sure how this pans out, but it could be that he kills someone and that act puts him in great peril. I'm sure you'll have no trouble working this into your favorite theory. :)

Min viewing Egwene:
I see things I am sure link you to Rand, and Perrin, and Mat, and - yes, even Galad."

Is the Galad connection just a general connection, or something much more specific? Maybe Galad will be the one who rescues Egwene, but from whom? Perhaps some more White Cloaks who are behind the times? Of course, it could just mean that the White Cloaks have to make peace with the White Tower.
John Massey
465. subwoofer
Just wanted to poke my snout in and say "h'lo":)

I see we are talking about Gawyn. Maybe if we're lucky he'll get his butt whooped by a farmer with a quarter staff. The lad had potential, but the way he carries on for Egwene... *headdesk* Get thee to Caemlyn and help your sister.

Galad- I don't mind the boy, but I do like the idea somebody posted about Perrin coming to his rescue and thus the Berelain connection. And Galad gets to meet mumsie. All very neat.

I am also waiting for the final Trakand reunion, Bryne and Thom included in all of this. RJ has all this stuff floating around out there for all these factions, Mat is parked on the doorstep to Caemlyn with Thom and much is going to happen. I just want everyone to finally have some catharsis in that family before things go "splat" at the Last Battle.

466. Ouroboros
452 Tektonica

Actually, I'm thinking of that Simpsons episode when Homer gets fat and stoppers the power plant. Maybe Fain needs to work a little harder on those candy bars.
467. Morridin
Mat shouting at her, "I am coming."
It can be argued that this has alread happened when Rahvin's lakeye was looking for them in Tear & the Black sisters were setting a trap for them, mat kept saying hold on i'm coming, this was around the same time she had the Dream.
468. Ouroboros
463 J.Dauro
That's a fair point, and all things being equal, would probably be a mark against Galad. However, Galad has seen close-up how the White Tower can use people. His sister and a woman he likes disappear, and upon their return, refuse to talk about where they've been. They then disappear again and this time the Amerlyn claims they are on a farm, and he and Gawyn can see through the lie.

While that's not quite as bad as being Darkfriends, it's hardly going to persuade him that the AS are an upstanding lot. Also, there was murder done in the Tower during his stay there.

Also, Galad's childhood example of AS was Elaida... :)

To put it simply, the AS have not done much to help dispel the White Cloaks beliefs.
Wayne Wilson
469. stylusmobilus

I've always seen that Min viewing of Galad as him killing Hammar and Coulin, thereby gaining the heronmark, and him forming the Younglings.
Jay Dauro
470. J.Dauro
True. But I wasn't thinking of Galad worrying about the Aes Sedai. He knows his stepmother was trained at the Tower. And that the Children would kill her for that.  Would stop me from considering their arguments.
471. wagman26
What exactly is the Whitecloak Mission Statement? They are obviously infested with darkfiends, but Galad states to Gawyn, at some point earlier in the series, (paraphrased) "Have you ever read the writings of Lothair Mantelar, they make a lot of valid points."

Could the current whitecloaks be so corrupted that they now are representing a false likeness of what a Whitecloak is supposed to be?

"But the Precepts say, to fight the raven, you may make alliance with the Serpent until the battle is done."

There seems to be some pretext for working with Aes Sedai before, and it is hard to hate someone you fight and die with alongside of.

The point may be that there is no way to trust evil channelers, therefore culling the human race of the ability, would make life safer for all.

Until, mankind creates its own vast destructive powers that evil men can control, whom cannot be controled themselves and then the ability of a channeler would be needed again. (July 16, 1945-present day).
472. wagman26
Is there a thread that lists all the theories that have been shot the authors.?
Alice Arneson
473. Wetlandernw
Terez @433 - I really, really need to document the Q&A stuff from Brandon's signing in Seattle... But one thing you might find interesting is this: Someone asked him about the title of the book, and among other things, he said that the working title in his own head was "The Three Towers" - partly because it was the second of three humongous books, but also because of the content. Then he added that "it's a good thing that name wasn't official, because as things turned out, it's not really relevant any more." He didn't say specifically, of course, but I took it to imply that either the White Tower or the Black Tower resolution would NOT happen in TofM. Obviously the Tower of Ghenjei is one of the Towers which figures prominently here; it's open to speculation as to whether the "not relevant" meant that only two Tower arcs were relevant, or whether there were additional Towers we didn't know about before. :)

Morridin @442 - One of the easiest things in the world is to go to one of the theoryland documents and do a "find" (Ctrl+F) to look for a key word or name critical to your theory. As for treating you like a 2-year-old, just make sure you don't act like one. Be sufficiently responsible to do at least a cursory search before you post theories.

@many - Re: what Egwene did or didn't tell Gawyn, and what she did or didn't know... There's a fair excuse for her not to remember all the details of the conversation between Rand and Moiraine when Mat brought the news about Morgase. The next morning, Lanfear nearly killed her; Egwene was injured badly enough that she had blinding headaches for weeks and was not even allowed to continue her Dreamwalker training for quite some time. It's just conceivable that she didn't remember everything with perfect clarity.

I_have_no_life @455 - Gawyn has no way of knowing Rand slept with his sister - and at the time of his initial rage, it hadn't even happened yet. The fact that Elayne loves Rand doesn't really play into it, and at that he only has Egwene's opinion on that - and NO knowledge of how Rand feels about Elayne. In fact, as of the end of TGS, the only people who know Rand slept with Elayne (besides themselves) are Min, Aviendha and Birgitte.

JanDSedai @457 - Glad you mentioned Steven Cooper's chronology. I didn't reference it, because it wasn't terribly relevant to what I was saying, but I certainly have it bookmarked and refer to it frequently. I even asked Brandon about it when he was in Seattle - specifically, whether it was reasonably close to the chronology Team Jordan maintains. He said Yes, it's very good; maybe not exact to the day in every single case, but certainly very close to RJ's original. (Paraphrased, but that's pretty much the intent.)
474. Freelancer
dmhman749 @436

I believe that you are recalling a conversation between Nynaeve and Rand, not about Gawyn at all:

"I killed a man with a sword for the first time in this city," Rand said softly. "I've never spoken of it. He was a Seanchan lord, a blademaster. Verin had told me not to channel in the city, so I faced him with the sword only. I beat him. Killed him."

Nynaeve raised an eyebrow. "So you do have a right to carry a heron-mark blade."

Rand shook his head. "There were no witnesses. Mat and Hurin were fighting elsewhere. They saw me right after the fight, but did not witness the killing blow."

"What do witnesses matter?" she scoffed. "You defeated a blademaster, so you are one. Whether or not it was seen by others is immaterial."

In Gawyn's case, the closest equivalent is when he is speaking with Sleete and Marlesh, and they are half-joking that he needs a blade with herons on it so people know what they're getting into when facing him. Gawyn denies that he's a blademaster, and is reminded that he killed Hammar. Just to be thorough on the thought, we are never told in the story if his fight with Hammar was handled as a one-on-one confrontation, so there could be doubt as to even that event providing his qualification. Unlike Galad, who had many witnesses to a formal duel with Eamon Valda.
Lyle Caldwell
475. Tower_of_Ganja
I don't see Gawyn killing Rand, as A) if Rand had one heartbeat's warning Gawyn would not pose a threat and, more importantly, B) it doesn't serve the plot/ratchet up emotion as much as other options.

For instance, if Gawyn were to try to attack Rand, and Min tried to stop him, and Gawyn injured/killed Min, then we get real conflict and despair while not having Rand die in a minor way.

There are better ways for an author to use Gawyn's hatred/ingnorance, and Brandon is a good author.

I've been intrigued by two concepts -

1) Why would Alivia need to help Rand die? To prevent him being turned by a circle of 13? There has to be some circumstance where his death prevents certain defeat, and where those channelers who love Rand would most likely not be able to bring themselves to take action. Either great power is needed, beyond even angreal-aided Cadsuane, or the action would be prevented by the Three Oaths.

2) Verin's musings about "this battle not being fought the way Rand thinks" and how she isn't sure what exactly the DO wants. The temptation on Dragonmount was certainly a major offensive in the DO's real battle, and there was no fight with an external force at all - it was all within Rand, and showed us clearly the ties between Rand and the land itself.

Man, I want to know what Verin's sealed letters say!
476. stephar
Hi Guys!

Long time reader, first time poster. Loved the first chapter, seems Rand has caught up to where he needs to be or moving very close to becoming what he needs to be.

Maybe I've missed it, but I haven't seen it before.

I don't think the growing apples have anything to do with TP/ta'veren/dragon-ness but simply rand as a very powerful channeler was holding the power making the fields around him blossom and give fruit and then tie the weave off. I mean, he's walking straight away after this and we know it takes time for tied weaves to dissapear.

What he also realized at dragonmount is not that he can do anything, or that he can will stuff to happend, but that he needs to be good in heart and soul, healing the land with kindness and respect instead of power and fear. I think he had his Neo-discovers-he's-the-one-moments, meaning he has grown alot in strenght in the power but also that he can create almost any weave without thinking about it and knowing before he does it.

LTT is gone, the link to moridin is not, I think this will play a _huge_ part in TG as it will be kind of like Harry Potters life-line back to life with Voldemort killing him, allowing him to sacrifice himself to save the world(blood at SG) but live again and strike back at the last moment.
Theresa Gray
477. Terez27
@Wetlander - if I had to guess at which didn't fit, I'd say it was the Black Tower. Brandon mentioned on Twitter that he wasn't sure if he would be able to fit the Black Tower resolution into the book early on. When he was near to completing the book, someone asked him if he'd managed to fit in Pevara's plotline that he had been thinking about publishing as a novella on his site (fan reaction put a stop to that). He said he managed to fit a couple of chapters of it in.

Of course, what he said about Pevara's story in the first place suggests that it wasn't terribly crucial to the story, so perhaps two chapters was all he could fit of it, and we simply won't be getting any more.

If there is going to be a Battle of Caemlyn, then the Black Tower almost necessarily has to be involved, but it might be that Tuon manages to mostly neutralize them with forkroot. In that case, there is a chance for Logain to finish the job in the final book.

But part of me thinks there is too much going on outside of Tar Valon for Egwene's final danger to be in this book. If she is going to be involved in the climax, then in order for those particular prophecies to be fulfilled, the reunion would need to be in Tar Valon. But the evidence doesn't seem to fit.

So, those ideas aren't all that helpful, are they?
Wayne Wilson
478. stylusmobilus

Dear Mat

Just wondering, how close to the Tower of Ghenjei would you be if you never waited to open this letter....

Has this caused chaos? If so, good. I am a Darkfriend, and that is my job.

Avi Meher
479. Balefired Balefirer
stylusmobilus @ 478 lmao that's something I'd really like to see LOL

The waiting is probably good, as Mat has already thought, but he'll still grumble

and in your post @ 469, I'm pretty sure you mean Gawyn (not Galad) killing Hammar...
480. Demira
Wetlandernw@349 Once again I feel you have misinterpreted me. I was trying to re-state my position that my comment @53 was not, I repeat NOT stating Rand was using the TP, or ANY kind of power to make the apples grow, and I illustrated it with the reference that the One Power cannot even be used to make a turnip grow. I was refering to WH pgs 57-58
.....(Toveine's POV as she watched Elayne and her "inspection" party in the BT compound. They were being escorted by a young Asha'man who said "I will show you the Craft Town. Quite a bit bigger than this. We can make everything we need Lady Elayne. " "Except turnips " one of the women said in a high voice, and the other laughed....." Maybe not the most perfect of illustrations, but I think we can agree that the One Power cannot be used to make FOOD grow? I am afraid you missed the point because you said...

@349 (As for growing things with the Power, of course you can. Apart from Elaida I-deserve-roses-in-the-winter-just-because-I-like-them, Cadsuane once commented that growing roses in northern Ghealdan was nearly as bad as being dead: "What's the point if you use the Power, but do it without, and you grow ten thousand thorns for every - " (rose, presumably). So yes, you can. But that doesn't appear to be what Rand is doing here, as I read it.)

Then you were kind enough to impart your knowledge of the differences between the powers. And please, I mean this in as kind a way as I can, I respect your input. Please, I understand the difference between the powers. When I mentioned the TP @53, I was really just referring to the fact he was able to use the TP, like a weapon available in his arsenol. Like a gun in the holster, used when needed kind of thing. Not that he was really using it right then. He also can use Saidin, but he was not using it right then. Get it?

Your tone with your comment @90, " please tell me you are'nt saying that Rand did this land healing business with the TP, is not a good and happy thing..."

I reply who says it has to be? Why should I only like the "good and happy" things in WOT? One of the scenes that hooked me to WOT was the scene in TEOTW when Rand was towing a wounded Taim back to Emond's Field and the Myrdraal was on the Old Quarry Rd, and Rand watched him, never taking his eyes off him as the Myrdraal moved on down the road, then when he was just about to break cover, the Myrdraal comes rushing back up the road, silent, cloak not moving. Scary right? Evil? Spooky? I loved the imagery, kind of reminded me of scary dreams of witches I used to have as a child. In comparison the scene where our main characters are in Emond's Field and talking about upcoming Bel Tine, with a Gleeman and Fireworks etc. I am not sorry to say which scene I found the most riveting.

Cut to TGS with Semi placing the collar around Rand's neck and he is choking the life out of Min, am I sorry he found a way, perhaps the only way possible, to break the collar and stop choking Min? Am I sorry it was the TP that he used? Not at all. I was again riveted by that scene. Even though I hated it at the same time.

I mean this in the kindest way I can, please dont take it wrong, but I do have the right, as a reader, to enjoy the parts that are evil as well as good, and your comment, ... "please dont tell me"..etc.,etc. almost seems dictator like.
Chris Chaplain
481. chaplainchris1
Yay, many of the usual suspects have made their way here, bunker buffets are mentioned, and conversation is picking up and interesting! I was losing it while the thread was in the 300s - very busy irl and disgusted by the rationalizations for theft of copyrighted material that people were batting around. (Thanks to Ouroboros for doing some heavy lifting - in terms of providing morality & interesting comments in that interval.) FWIW, I'm now skipping over Morridin's posts on principle since the posts seem rather trollish - someone let me know if he/she finds the Light and I need to start paying attention again.

Whew. Ok, now to catch up on the last hundred posts or so! Be back after I read...
482. demira
edit: I meant Tam not Taim
Ali Davis
483. dejavoodoo114
Terez @409. Uh hi. :) I would like to completely and politely disagree with the following conclusions you made.

“Worse, she had a feeling near to certainty that it was what she had done this day that had turned Gawyn toward those two possibilities.”

What did Min do that day that would have led Gawyn to those two possibilities? She essentially made the rebellion possible. She also unwittingly brought Siuan to Salidar to essentially take charge. Without Min's actions, Egwene would never have become Amyrlin. She also probably would not have left Gawyn in Cairhien, left Rand to his (necessary) fate.

I have always believed that what Min did that day to have led Gawyn to those possibilities has to do with the following. We all know that Gawyn is confused. He is angry at Siuan and so he fights and kills a man whom he deeply respected along with leading others to do the same. At the time he is ok with the choice he made to make sure Siuan pays. Then all of a sudden, Min, who he knows/likes, is helping the awful Siuan escape. She also tells him that Elayne and Egwene support Siuan. Trusting Min, barely, he helps her get Siuan out.

Now, say You killed your favorite uncle so someone would stay imprisoned. Then, two days or so later you help that person escape. Why did you kill your uncle again? Was there any point? Did you make the right choice the 1st time or the 2nd time? NOW is when he starts to get… Confused. This is what I believe turned him to the possibilities of either being bonded to Eg or killing her. His internal war which he seems to have snapped out of, or so I hope, in TGS.
484. alreadymadwithPoweredfood
Wetlandernw @473
Egwene knows Elayne is pregnant. And she knows Elayne isn't likely to get pregnant by anyone other than Rand. She probably also knows how such an end result came to be.

Freelancer @474
Indeed, I believe RJ was using this to illustrate a fundamental difference between the male and female perspective. To Rand there were no witnesses to validate his achievement. To him that was the point of wearing the heron-mark, to show that he had earned it in front of others. Nynaeve of course only understood that he had accomplished it, without caring for the forms involved.

Demira @480
I think Cadsuane and Elaida demonstrated that you could use the One Power to enhance the growing process of plants. I'm almost sure this would involve food if it's a food crop such a weave was used on. I think Elayne's party was referring to the fact that the Asha'man apparently do not possess this knowledge or they would not need continuous shipments of food.
Birgit F
485. birgit
It is possible to make plants grow better or faster with the Power, like Elaida's roses, but you cannot create food from nothing. The Black Tower originally was a farm, but the Asha'man probably don't have fields that are large enough to feed the whole Black Tower even if they make the plants grow faster (and they probably think farming is beneath them anyway).
Daniel Hanley
486. dmhman749
To Demira @ 480 in tEotW, when Rand falls into the palace and comments on the flowers to Elayne, she says that Elaida made the Palace plants grow. Elayne objected at some point, saying that Elaida should use her power to help the farmers of Andor, and she says that Elaida said that she could do so, and that if Elayne wanted, she could pick one farm in Andor that Elaida could make flourish while all the other farms around it died, and how would that really help anything.

Or something along those lines. I don't have the book in front of me, but it is very clear that Elaida could have used the one power to make food grow, or at least flourish when they would otherwise die. The fact that the Asha'man, who are trained almost entirely in methods of killing, don't know that weave is meaningless.
487. wagman26
In my Opinion:

@ Gawyn vs. Rand theory

I could believe this theory of Gawyn killing him more, if, Rand still had a halo of Blackness around, which would comform to Gawyn his need to die. But with a halo of Lightness around him, would surely stay his hand long enough for proof to be presented.

@ Min's viewing of Gawyn Kneel/ or Break

The release of Siuan, Min and Leane triggered the path of Gawyn kneeling before, or breaking, Egwene's neck. Ending with his battle between which side to choose. Rebel Alliance or Empress Elaida.

Having stated that, I do not know if either theory has been shot down by an author, but just concluding basically from the readings of the books.

Be gentle.
488. Morridin
will no longer be posting, as i hate technology/internet anyway, if anyone wants to have a civil conversation & discuss your/my opionions contact my gmail dragonreborn1123
John Massey
489. subwoofer
@Morridin 453-

I think part of the reason for this is that they believe that the author would lie to throw you off track & keep you gessing when you get too close to the truth

Y'know I'm half way convinced of the truth of this. My other genre- whodunits (for the longest of time I saw the words wood units- made no sense then and now) are chock full of authors that either held something back, some valuable clue or worse yet, altered something so in the end you could have everything mapped out and still not know who the killer was. Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton- all had me shouting at the books, "why didn't you share this with me in the first place". I suppose that is what makes suspense suspenseful. Go figure.
Hi ChaplainChris ::waves:: Great to see you here too!

Steve Hussey
490. deihbhussey
@365 Terez27-

Well, guess it means I’m not crazy ;-) … or does it? What’s that you said, LTT? "AHHHH, that song, I don’t deserve to make things grow, KILL HIM KILL HIM!!! ..... i’m allergic to applies!"

@408 Rand Al'Todd-

"Brandon said that TOR would like to see the outriggers done - so that they can make money off them, of course, but that Harriet and Team Jordan are leery, as the series could easily be of lesser quality and could dilute RJ's legacy."

I think it’s a 95% certainty that the outriggers will be made – we live in a capitalist society. However, I don’t believe it would damage RJ’s legacy. That is intact in my mind based on the books that he has completed himself. I view it in much the same way as the original 6 book Dune series vs. the outriggers by Brian & Kevin J. The former is – to me – the greatest series ever written (WoT has the inside track for 2nd greatest pending the ending). My love & appreciation for Frank Herbert is not tainted in the slightest by the drivel that encompassed the outriggers. Yet – even after disliking “Dune: House Atreides” due to rushed storylines, lack of an epic feel &, complete absence of the language depth that made books like Dune or God Emperor so good – I still continued reading each one as it came out. I’m a Dune fan & had to know where the story was going to go. As a result, they certainly made money even with the lack of quality. It will be the same with WoT. If anything it may even enhance the original author’s legacy since we – the readers – may further appreciate the singularly unique qualities that made us fall in love with a given story/writing style in the first place.

@432 Freelancer-

Completely agree, IMO hatred for Gawyn et al it as irrational as Elayne’s dislike of Galad for always doing what is “right” no matter whom it hurts (the latter of which is really just an example of true Lawful, Principled, Paladin style honor & shouldn’t be a reason for immature statements like “Gawyn’s my brother, not Galad” – paraphrased as I don’t have the books in front of me). They are all good fleshed out human (i.e.: fallible) characters staying true to what they view as “right” based on the evidence they have in front of them. Can their split second decisions be judged as “wrong” sometimes? Sure, in hindsight or when the decision is viewed by the reader who obviously has a wider understanding of motives and consequences.
Daniel Hanley
491. dmhman749
To subwoofer @ 489, the author holding back some single peice of information you need to figure out what is going to happen is entirely different from him lying to someone who does figure it out and telling them that it is not the case. All authors do that. I do agree that if an author actually changes something just to avoid having it turn out like everyone was expecting, thats not good either, but I think that RJ's books are too intricate and interwoven for this to really be possible, much less the fact that I don't think he would do something like this.

To deihbhussy @ 490, while TOR might care more about money than RJ's future image, you can bet that Harriot cares more about RJ's legacy than about whatever money she might earn from the outriggers. And as she ultimately controls if they are written or not, the fact that they would sell well in no way means that they definately will. It also likely depends partially on how the Way of Kings and its sequals sell. if they do very well, TOR may want Brandon to continue to write his own stuff rather than WoT. We will see. I hope they get written too, if only to find out what sorts of changes to the world RJ had planned for after TG.

I don't think that hatred for Gawyn is irrational though. I judge him entirely based on the information he has, and still say he makes terrible decisions. Certainly all the characters have made mistakes because they didn't know any better, but there are very few times in which they have not made the best decision possible with the information available. Gawyn on the other hand has made several very bad decisions when he had enough information to at least question his decision. He never does, and for that, I do blame him.
Steve Hussey
492. deihbhussey
Regarding closing the bore; this might be a loony theory but what if Rand’s current positive ta’veren effect actually seals the bore like new without the need for any power (TP or OP) whatsoever. If he goes to Shayol Ghul with negative resonance, the pattern allows the bore to rip further, thus freeing the dark one. If he goes there with his current positive resonance maybe the pattern seals the bore in much the same way it re-grew the apple trees (if indeed he didn't just do that with the OP anyway). If Rand and the land are one & he is the Creator’s avatar, then his state of mind is doubly important to align him with the force of ultimate good & allow said good to be channeled through him. In this instance, Rand himself just has to stay Zen & stable, which would be in-line with the darksiders’ plot to keep him alive & drive him crazy with Rage (i.e.: making him very un-dude ).

Obviously, this is a very simplified hypothesis, leaving out many other necessary variables & plot points, but it makes a certain amount of sense to me.

@ 465 subwoofer-

“I am also waiting for the final Trakand reunion, Bryne and Thom included in all of this.”

Bryne and Thom had their reunion already in Salidar and they even talked about playing stones after and Bryne remembering someone like him with a great deal of ability in a certain “Game” (although, you may have just been referring to Morgase seeing both of them again and not necessarily them meeting each other – if so, then disregard this comment and I apologize for ever doubting you ;-))
Chris R
493. up2stuff
Ouroboros and J.Duaro @ 462 & 463

I seem to remember little parts here and there in the early books where whitecloaks were portrayed as bullies...Pushing through the crowds roughly, being rude, generally seen as trouble makers with "I dare you to protest or Ill call you a DF" attitudes. I thought Mat and Rand had to avoid them in their first visit to Caemlyn and such.

It never really seemed like they were warm and fuzzy light siders. Maybe its just because they ARE a militant order and harsh by nature, but the general impression I always had of the common Child of Light ranks were bullies and the good ones in the order were the rare occurances. Maybe thats just what they had evolved into and the newest leaders under Galad were the up 'n comers who were exactly what was needed to restore glory and all that.

My point is, look at the leaders. Jaichim Carridan...Duh. Asunawa makes my skin creep (I think he is a DF) and Byar is a zealot who is little better. Only thing keeping him in check is he seems to have Masema's fixation on Galad...Prophet 2.0.

Niall was Niaeve, but I do think he was genuinely a "Good Guy". Dain Bornhald might be okay if he could get over his "Gawyn-ish-ness" regarding who killed his Father Geofram. I cant remember whether it is Rand or Perrin he blames for that, but he just kind of jumped to that conclusion. The older Bornhald was the only one I can ever remember seeming more concerned with what's fair, and weighing evidence in pursuit of DF's.

Galad and his seconds are the only ones that seem honorable and again, maybe it was the leadership attracting a certain kind of recruit. The organization does seem better now, but again, look who's in charge.
Steve Hussey
494. deihbhussey
491. dmhman749
You're right, Gawyn has certainly made some terrible decisions with his current knowledge at a few points & he does annoy me. I just don't & can't out right hate him. His character is deeply flawed but I enjoy the depth he adds to the story. He doesn't seem to have any common sense and exhibits minimal ability with anything other then battle tactics and sword play. I bet he's terrible at the Great Game (Andorans are generally noted to be very limited in their abilities to play it & he spent most of his time on tactics instead, whereas Elayne focused on politics) - he obviously doesn't understand how to read truth from rumor & almost needs Elayne or Egwene to make the big picture decisions (which in retrospect was likely planned during their upbringing - Queen vs First Captain).
Daniel Hanley
495. dmhman749
To up2stuff @493, I mostly agree about the whitecloaks. Though Niall was always pretty arrogant, and very concerned that people see him as the savior of the world. Also remember that he was the one who ordered that whitecloaks go down and commit random acts of evil, acting like dragonsworn to turn the countries against Rand. These groups ended up murdering entire, women, and children. At Niall's direct command. So even if you can't call him evil, certainly you can't really call him a good guy either.

For Dain Bornhald...well, on the one hand, he has a lot more evidence for Perrin's guilt than Gawyn does of Rands. his father did chase Perrin (a darkfriend, as far as he is concerned...and to be fair, Perrin was running around killing whitecloaks and having wolves help him. If you didn't know that wolves were anti-shadow, I would probably assume he was a darkfriend too) directly into a trap where the Seanchan wiped them out. Though as the whitecloaks come to work for the seanchan, you would think that he would start putting things together. But before that point, he had very good reason to think that Perrin was at least somewhat responsible for his father's death.

But yeah. people take their ideas of how they should act (somewhat, at least) form their leaders. When they see their leaders going around doing whatever the hell they feel like with no consequence, they do the same. When the see their new leader kill their old leader for raping and murdering a woman, they probably think they shouldn't follow in the dead guy's footsteps. Besides...they seem to be told pretty much constantly that they are the Light's representitives in the world, and that the rest of the people are a nest of evil and darkfriends. If you were constantly told that, you would probably act like a jerk towards people too.

We shall see, but yes, it seems that the whitecloaks are likely to come out of this whole mess purified back to an actually good purpose.
Hugh Arai
496. HArai
up2stuff@493: Don't forget that we've only ever seen the Children from one sympathetic point of view: Galad's. The other times we see them are either from the viewpoint of characters with an anti-Children bias or from specific Children who are DFs or Fanatics. For example we like Moiraine and the SGs and so on so we consider the Children are witch-hunters because many think the Aes Sedai are Darkfriends. Don't forget though that a non-trivial portion of the Aes Sedai are Darkfriends and the Children may very well have experience with them. Picture the opinion we would have of Aes Sedai if all we saw were Liandrin, Alviarin and Elaida.
Chris R
497. up2stuff
dmhman749 @ 495

I had forgotton about Niall's Anti-Rand antics. Peg or two lower if you ask me.

HArai @ 496

Yes if there were more of our "Friends" involved with the WC's, we might be more favorable, but... even with all of our likeable Aes Sedai, many of the common folk still think of them as witches too. This was the stigma I was referring to, irrational as it is. When Rand and Mat first begin their journey they ARE the common folk, country bumpkins. As dmhman pointed out, the WC's just go about acting like everyone is guilty of being a DF until proven innocent (and usually won't prove innocent) because their leaders say so. The commoners pick up on this. "Steer clear of WC's and AS both."
498. Freelancer
HArai @496

I understand your point about the Children, but it seems to me that you are being overly charitable to their common behavior. While I admit wholeheartedly that their bias is indoctrinated in their training and colloquial philosophy, I would say that it is fairly certain that they haven't got the slightest evidence in support of naming any Aes Sedai as a darkfriend.

We know that there are significant numbers of Black Ajah. But I would begin by pointing out how carefully they have hidden themselves. Until the murders committed by Liandrin & Co., the Black had consistently covered their tracks. If sisters with whom they have lived and worked for decades, even centuries, haven't sniffed them out, it is because they do their best to operate as though bound by the Three Oaths, and give no reason to be suspected, or kill anyone who learns the least possible tidbit. I think we can all agree on that.

If that is so, how or why would any Black sister ever deal with a Whitecloak in a way which would be suspicious?

In reality, the Whitecloaks' opinion of ALL channelers is that they are abusing a Power which does not belong to humankind, and therefore must have given themselves over to the shadow.

I've recently re-read this section, so it was easy to find. Niall has just gotten news of the Aes Sedai encampment in Salidar, and is scheming with Balwer about how to use this information:

Without taking his eyes from the banners, he said, "The split in the Tower is real. The Black Ajah rose up, the victors hold the Tower and the losers were driven out to lick their wounds in Salidar." He looked at Balwer, and nearly smiled. One of the Children would have been protesting that there was no Black Ajah, or rather that all the witches were Darkfriends; the newest recruit would have. Balwer merely looked at him, not at all as if he had just blashpemed against all the Children stood for.

Alice Arneson
499. Wetlandernw
Demira @480 - Well, we seem to be doing a fine job of misunderstanding one another. I certainly would never tell anyone that it's inappropriate to enjoy any part of the books. I was simply trying to figure out ("out loud" as it were) what you were implying regarding Rand's use of the TP. As a corollary, I was attempting to make the point that the TP is a Dark thing, and no matter what he does Rand cannot make it a Light thing. Certainly I'm glad he didn't kill Min, and I thought it was a masterful authorial device to make the power of the DO the only (apparent) way he could get out of that situation. Still, I don't think that the positive effect Rand has on the apple orchard (or any other positive effect on "the land") can be in any way associated with the TP, which was what I thought it sounded like you were saying. (Maybe I was drawing tighter connections between your statements than you intended?) FWIW, I personally don't think the apples had anything to do with either OP or TP weaves in any case; I think it's an effect of the Fisher King aspect of the Dragon Reborn, and I hope we get to find out more about that.

About the turnips... As per several others, I'm betting that for someone who knows how, the OP could be used for growing food just fine. I'm also betting that the Asha'man haven't figured out how - probably never occured to them - and that it's obvious to an attentive observer that they are having to obtain food in the more mundane fashion everyone else uses. I get the impression that it's generally considered a bit frivolous (by anyone who's even bothered to consider it) to use the Power to grow things, but in any case, it doesn't seem to be a common practice since it's only even mentioned four times. ::shrug::
Wayne Wilson
500. stylusmobilus

Your last paragraph leads me to thinking of 'Blightstrain crops'. Mesaana mentions that they might be 'trying a new strain, coaxing it to grow in the area'. (TGS, p.35) I'm thinking of three possibilities here- one, that the strains are a hardier version of normal crop, adjusted to suit Blight conditions, two- that the strains are normal crops that were subsumed by the Blight, and have adapted by themselves, without assistance or three- they are new strains of crop designed by Team Dark for Team Dark's purposes. Was the TP used for these adjustments or creations? Can only Shadowspawn snack out on Blightstrain? I envisage a Blightstrain tomato to have a heavy tinge of black, a rotten smell yet be firm and ripe. And make you very, very sick perhaps.

Hopefully, we'll see more info on these crops. It seems that most Shadowspawn would be carnivorous, however I would assume Gray Men and Myrddraal would be keen on a bit of veg every now and then. Maybe Draghkar, in a fashion similar to fruit bats. When there are no souls around to consume, of course.

Tess Laird
502. thewindrose
stylusmobilus - I remember the passage you are referring to, however I have a different take on it(and yada,yada - I do not have the any of the books at work;)). Moridin is living in the blight, or at last that is where Graendal went and visited him and saw the crops being grown. I think Moridin is having some people grow food for consumtion there / most likely darkfriend Asha'men. Not everyone with Moridin(himself included) are shawdowspawn.
After the bore was opened in the AoL, crops had to be sung, otherwise they would get the blight sickness. LTT even asked Elan(Moridin) if he had the Voice. So it would seem that some channelers have a 'Voice' talent that helps to grow healthy food.
Of course this is all speculation, and you may be right that the crops Graendal saw were special food for shawdowspawn. Do I hear a RAFO?

Daniel Hanley
503. dmhman749
'The Voice' had nothing to do with channeling. It was what the Aiel were doing in one of Rand's visions when he walked through the Columns(singing with the ogier to help the crops grow). We also do not know if this was something that was needed to keep plants from getting sick from the DO's influence, or if it was just something that was done to get a larger and more frequent crop
Hugh Arai
504. HArai
Freelancer@498: I understand your argument, but it seems that all of the realists among the Aes Sedai have been aware that the Black Ajah have been there all along. The refusal to admit it or discuss it doesn't make it less true. Also, the Black Ajah are hardly infallible. Heck, Moiraine, Lan and Siuan are a good example of loose threads that no one managed to clean up and they've learned far more than the least tidbit. Those three can't possibly be the only slip up in the last 2ooo years.
All it takes is one unnoticed survivor.

In reality, the Whitecloaks' opinion of ALL channelers is that they are abusing a Power which does not belong to humankind, and therefore must have given themselves over to the shadow.

That's certainly the common opinion now. We don't know that that was the common opinion when they were established. Personally I doubt it, because I think Galad would have found a lot more conflict with the founder's writings if that was part of them. So I'm simply arguing that the Children's opinion of Aes Sedai may have changed since founding and since we know not all the Aes Sedai are pure as the driven snow, there may well have been a good reason. It's also entirely possible the reason was cynical propaganda or a leader that sincerely "reasoned" his way to that conclusion. I don't think we can tell, unless we get more from Galad's PoVs
John Massey
505. subwoofer
Question- were the Children around before Hawkwing?

@deihbhussy- yep was going for the big reunion. Bryne and Gawyn have had a reunion of sorts too, but it is not nearly as satisfying as all of them in the same room, with Morgase- alive- and some smacking of Gawyn upside the head by either Egwene, Bryne, Thom, Morgase, aww heck, they could all take turns smacking Gawyn upside the head. All I really want is an "I told you so" scene where Gawyn eats a suitable amount of humble pie for thinking what he did and stops carrying on like Inigo Montoya.

Chris R
506. up2stuff
I am a little confused about what is the cause and effect here relating to the Fisher King, spoiling food, DO's touch, and Rand's epiphany.

Okay...Randland is a sucky place right now. Food spoils, crops die or won't grow, weather is bad. Is that because the DO is touching the world or because Rand feels crappy dying inside.

I know the people spontaneously combusting, rooms moving around in buildings, spewing bugs are the DO effecting the pattern, but the other things seem different.

Then, Rand has a light bulb moment on Dragonmount, and things start getting better. Were his Fisher King powers simply dormant until his trip up Dragonmount?

What I am getting at is if Rand's descent into his depression were what caused the crummy conditions, everywhere, then things everywhere should get better at the same time. Slowly, but without his having to tread every squalre inch.

It seems that this Fisher King effect on the land, whatever it is did not start until after Dragonmount and as a response to the DO and that is why "My presence will hold him off for a time, I think, and whatever you take now should be safe from his touch.”

I confess I have not researched the Fisher King so I don't know if it can be good or bad. I just wonder if the absense of Rand's humanity is allowing the DO to screw with things more, or if Rand is making the situation bad. The former would explain why his positive effects were only localized while it seems like the latter should have more general results.
John Massey
507. subwoofer
Some may really want to get into this, but up until the end of tGS, Rand was drawing more and more into himself and his inner turmoil. He lost his ability to trust others and by and large his connection with the world. After his epiphany on Dragonmount, Rand seems to have come to grips with his position as Champion of Light and has started to act accordingly. Openly acknowledging that as he is there, he can hold back the DO's taint for a bit. Yay for Rand.

Tricia Irish
508. Tektonica

This is just a cursory look at Wiki, but there's much more on the connection between Rand and the Fisher King mythology on Theoryland and Dragonmount. Check 'em out.

"The Fisher King, or the Wounded King, figures in Arthurian legend as the latest in a line charged with keeping the Holy Grail. Versions of his story vary widely, but he is always wounded in the legs or groin, and incapable of moving on his own. When he is injured, his kingdom suffers as he does, his impotence affecting the fertility of the land and reducing it to a barren Wasteland. Little is left for him to do but fish in the river near his castle Corbenic. Knights travel from many lands to heal the Fisher King, but only the chosen can accomplish the feat. This is Percival in the earlier stories; in the later versions, he is joined by Galahad and Bors."

My take on it is this: The DO is causing all the spoilage and the death of the land. When Rand was Dark Rand and cold and hard and then touched the TP, he was not able to balance against the ravages of the DO to the land. Now that he is feeling his Dragon-ness and has come back to the Light, he is affecting the land around him. The DO may have too tight a grip on the land as a whole by now for Rand to have an all pervasive effect. JMHO.
509. joe heron
on Galad.

i always liked ihm post White tower split. he does what needs doing and isnt selfish. funny theory going around is he might be able to channel.... wouldnt it be funny if he learns from one of perrin's ashamen and his talents lay only in healing?
Daniel Hanley
510. dmhman749
to subwoofer @ 505, I believe that the Children are somewhere around 800 years old. So they were not around during Hawkwing's time.

On the Rand/DO hurting the land, my guess is that it is the DO doing it...Dark rand just made things even worse in the area around him(food spoiling instantly, etc), and he wasn't holding the DO's touch away like he needs to.

To Joe heron @ 509, Galad was a pretty good character before the split too(the books set him up as a character we are supposted to dislike early on, but when you re-read it, there isn't any reason for that dislike other than what an extremely biased elayne tells us). I doubt he will be able to channel though. His purpose is in leading the Children(and maybe ruling Cairhein, but probably not). channeling wouldn't matter to this.
Hugh Arai
511. HArai
subwoofer@505: Formed during the War of the Hundred Years (which was the fight over Hawkwing's empire when he died).
512. wagman26
The TP is Him, Old Grim. To use it, is to touch Him. Do not believe we will see Rand using Him to battle for the Light. He definately wants mankind weak and depressed before the battle for that world begins. Attacking the pattern through weather, plants, spoilage, rot ,deacay, death, whatever.

Rand has now found a balance to his life, and his life being so important to the pattern, this will surely help balance against DO taint. But the DO is a worthy adversary, and the attack is still being pressed.

I believe Rand must and deserves to die. No man, not even the Dragon, should be able to use Balefire, making "Creation howl in pain." Butterfly effect in full swing now.

There must be consequences.
Daniel Goss
513. Beren
Random thought:

Moridin tells Graendal that Rand must know "anguish" and pain and some such. Does Team Dark know about Rand's connection to the Land, and is the only reason for the problems we've been having lately Rand's increasingly bad attitude? I mean, we've been assuming all along that the Dark One is responsible for the Land's failure to produce crops, etc. But what is the quote? "There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the Dragon is one with the Land, and the Land is one with the Dragon." Or something like that, I'm quoting from memory. What if this whole time it's been Rand that has been causing this starvation, death and pain.

I forsee Rand's newly-minted cloud-nine aura dissolving into self-loathing and guilt fairly quickly.
514. alreadymadwiththeland
subwoofer @505
Hey! Don't talk about Inigo Montoya like that. At least Inigo had empirical evidence on who killed his mother. Gawyn had nothing.

Beren @513
I'm practically sure that's part of it. Consider the events in Bandar Eban. Things started spoiling at random and got worse after Rand connected to the True Power. Then at the moment that he abandoned Bandar Eban... everything spoiled. Just as the Dragon abandoned Bandar Eban.
515. wheeloftimeman
Sanderson's writing makes me cringe whenever I read it. Robert Jordan was perhaps the best fantasy writer to ever live, and luckily for us readers his work is still able to survive Sanderson's maulings.
John Massey
516. subwoofer

@AMW- you have to admit though, Gawyn's been a broken record on this particular topic.

Fisher King- ahhh yes. I do believe one of the sages on these threads have commented on the whole aspect. Rand getting the idea for cleansing Saidin from the wounds in his side, sealed together- hence the big open pit that was Aridhol.

Rand's attitude reflecting on the land. Yeah, that would really suck if the weavels were because of Rand and not the DO. There is something to that idea actually. The Aes Sedai, both in the WT and in the Salidar camp have put wardings against such things and they cannot fathom why the wardings have "failed". Could it be that they warded against the DO's touch and not the Dragon's? Illan was a sign of that too when Rand's mood called the lightening down on his own troops.

Mind you, putting the idea out there that the blame for much of the hardship in the land is at Rand's feet is tough. The Aes Sedai haven't even made that connection, so how was Rand to know? Unless Caddy has made that connection- then what she did, regardless of her methods, is a stroke of genius...

Chris R
517. up2stuff
sub 505

I can definately see a scene like in the airplane movies where there is the long line of passengers shaking him vigorously and slapping him saying "Get ahold of yourself. Here Morgase, Let me. Slap. Here Rand, let me. Slap. Here Egwene, let Me. Slap. Here Gareth Let me. Slap.
Daniel Goss
518. Beren
@515 ROFL good one! That wasn't baselessly inflammatory at all! Nice job realizing that many before you hadn't already brought up that subject! In fact, now that you've enlightened us, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we've already decided to not read anything of Brandon Sanderson's again, and we're so incensed that we're also going to go to all of the message boards in the entire internets and start a "I hate Brandon Sanderson because he's not exactly the same as Robert Jordan" fan group everywhere! You Rock!
John Massey
519. subwoofer
@up2stuff- ahhhh yes... beautiful scene- with Gawyn in mind-they could take turns;)

Rob Munnelly
520. RobMRobM
dmhman - not just Elayne baselessly complaining about Galad - Min did too in full vision mode. Real and justified concern that Galad does what he thinks is right even if it hurts others. Rob
Alice Arneson
521. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @505 - the Whitecloaks were founded during the War of the Hundred Years - so, just after Hawkwing died. As someone else beat me to saying. Oh well.

up2stuff @506 - "Food spoils, crops die or won't grow, weather is bad. Is that because the DO is touching the world or because Rand feels crappy dying inside?" In a word, yes. :)

As far as we know, some of the effects are due to the DO messing with things, but his effect is currently still limited at least a little. The Fisher King effect goes both up and down - as Rand descends into darkness, the land descends with him; as he returns to the Light and at least some increase in (mental, anyway) health, the land also improves. So yes, things everywhere should be improving, at least insofar as the land itself is concerned. The effect on this particular apple orchard, which is far more dramatic, is the effect of Rand's direct presence. (Or it might even be a direct weaving, though I don't personally think so.) At least that's my take on it.

Okay, others have said all that, but I'll post anyway.

Beren @518 - Sarcasm, much? LOL! Why is it that every couple-hundred posts, somebody just has to jump in and say their ha'pen'orth in the middle of a group where, obviously, very few agree? *sigh*

RobMRobM @520 - The thing that always scared me is that Galad does what he thinks is right, which is not necessarily the same as what is right. This concern didn't turn out to be a big deal like I thought it might; the few instances where he was wrong in the big picture were relatively insignificant. And... I just don't see him making a huge blooper at this stage of the game. Hmph. He's got a pretty good track record lately, and looks to be setting up for a classic confrontation with Asunawa, who is unquestionably a dirtbag. Can't be wrong there.
Birgit F
522. birgit
Illan was a sign of that too when Rand's mood called the lightening down on his own troops.

That was because the tried to use flawed Callandor alone.

Rand's Fisher King connection is probably similar to the battle at Falme, where the Seanchan advanced when Ishy had an advantage and the Randlanders advanced when Rand had an advantage. When Rand is going dark, the DO can advance his corruption. When Rand feels good, he can hold back the DO's touch.
Hugh Arai
523. HArai

The thing that always scared me is that Galad does what he thinks is right, which is not necessarily the same as what is right.

Why is that particularly scary? None of the other characters have infallible knowledge of what is right either, and they take action as well.
524. alreadymadwithfarm&city
subwoofer @516
I'd agree with Wetlandernw. It is rather oversimplifying things to say that Rand caused the spoilage all over the land. The land is only as healthy as him. But we must not forget that aside from his own personal issues there are external factors involved. The Dark One is still striving to touch more and more of the land. The Dragon's presence is meant to stop this. What I'm saying is, Rand didn't cause the spoilage directly, but his attitude may well affect how extensive the Dark One's touch can be. We have the two contrasts in Bandar Eban and Almen Bunt's sister's farm. Rand abandoned one, and directly favored the other. And in both cases the effects were rather dramatic.
Theresa Gray
525. Terez27
birgit@522 - I don't doubt that Callandor's flaw played some role in the mishap, but it probably also had something to do with the after-effects of the Bowl being used. It got worse the closer they got to Ebou Dar.
526. Rando al'Rissian
alreadymad @514

I don't know about his mother, but I know Inigo had empirical evidence regarding who killed his father. ;)
527. Rando al'Rissian
deihbhussey @492

Since no one else has taken a stab yet...Big Lebowski. :)
528. wagman26
@ 525 terez

The bowl being used? Is that in reference to the way the power was being weird? Because I always thought that Elayne's unraveling of the web for traveling, and subsequent nuclear blast did that. Am I alone here? Callandor has been pointed out in the book, by Cads, as the reason why Rand killed so many of his men. The bowl of the winds, was never mentioned as making the power seem weird, and from the damane's reaction in PoD to the power, I believe that Elayne and co., would have stated so if power acted different. And terangel like the bowl, were used by many Aes Sedai before the breaking.
Rob Munnelly
529. RobMRobM
Wet - yeah, I saw the warnings re Galad as a bit of the proverbial Chekhov's gun that has been sitting on the mantle but only fired a little in series (as discussed below).

Harai - virtually all people, when making decisions, seek to avoid unnecessary collateral damage. If Galad doesn't do that, it is a potential serious threat to those around him.

Here is the only case I can see of the principle in action. His mother the Queen barely survives the Whitecloak-led insurrection in Camelyn in EoTW. Galad should have been fighting them tooth and nail and pointing out their nasty and underhanded insurrection tactics they tried to use to overthrow her. Instead, he joins the group, potentially strengthening it at a key point in Randland history. This allowed them to stay potent enough to harm Morgase seriously in later books. Despite the potential harm to his mother (or stepmother, if we want to be accurate) as a channelling Queen who supports Tar Valon, Galad "did what is right" and joined her enemies.

Theresa Gray
530. Terez27
@wagman - you are probably not alone in your assumptions, but nevertheless incorrect:

The Path of Daggers book tour 21 November 1998, VA - John Novak reporting

Someone asked RJ whether, if men had helped the Aes Sedai and Windfinders and Kin channel through the Bowl, the One Power would still have been screwed up. His implicit assumption was that the Bowl screwed things up....He went into a relatively detailed explanation to the effect that the Bowl was stressed far, far beyond its original design parameters because of the advanced knowledge of the Windfinders. It was affecting a global pattern, when it was designed for only a small region. Men helping would not have changed anything, and the effects linger most strongly near Ebou Dar, but also along the "spokes" which radiated from that place.

Of course, that much was fairly obvious from the descriptions of saidin:

TITLE - The Path of Daggers

CHAPTER: 14 - A Message from the M'Hael

"There was something else," Morr said abruptly, rushing again. "There was talk about some sort of Aes Sedai weapon. I found where it was used, a few miles from the city. The ground was all burned over, seared clean in the middle, a good three hundred paces wide or more, and ruined orchards further. The sand was melted to sheets of glass. Saidin was worst, there."
Torval waved a hand at him dismissively. "There could have been Aes Sedai near when the city fell, yes? Or maybe the Seanchan themselves did it. One sister with an angreal could – "

Rand cut in. "What do you mean, saidin was worst there?" Dashiva moved, eyeing Morr oddly, reaching as though to seize the young man. Rand fended him off roughly. "What do you mean, Morr?"

Morr stared, mouth shut tight, running his thumb up and down the length of his sword hilt. The heat inside of him seemed ready to burst out. There really was sweat beading on his face now. "Saidin was... strange," he said hoarsely. His words came in rapid bursts. "Worst there – I could... feel it... in the air all around me – but strange everywhere around Ebou Dar. And even a hundred miles away. I had to fight it; not like always; different. Like it was alive. Sometimes... Sometimes, it didn’t do what I wanted. Sometimes, it... did something else. It did. I’m not mad! It did!" The wind gusted, howling for a moment, shivering and snapping the tent walls, and Morr fell silent. Narishma’s bells chimed at a jerk of his head, then were still. "That isn’t possible," Dashiva muttered into the silence, but nearly under his breath. "It is not possible."

"Who knows what’s possible?" Rand said. "I don’t! Do you?" Dashiva’s head came up in surprise, but Rand turned to Morr, moderating his tone. "Don’t worry, man." Not a mild tone – he could not manage that – yet heartening, he hoped. His making, his responsibility. "You’ll be with me to the Last Battle. I promise it."

I suppose I can see how that quote would confuse the issue, since Morr described the effects of the unwoven gateway rather than the effects of the Bowl. But the effects of the Bowl were not yet visible at that time. The damane around Ebou Dar sensed the weirdness in the Power, but Elayne and Nynaeve and the other Aes Sedai and the Kin and the Windfinders didn't sense anything on the other side of the gateway. Logically, the consequences should have affected both sides of the gateway in all ways - the physical destruction was the same on both sides. Also, the gateway was only saidar, but the Bowl used both saidar and saidin. There's nothing to say an unwoven gateway couldn't also affect saidin, but the Bowl was the more logical choice, aside from the fact that the Power was only weird around Ebou Dar.

TITLE - The Path of Daggers

CHAPTER: 24 - A Time For Iron

"There’s something askew with saidin here, something amiss," Dashiva said, sounding not at all vague. In fact, he sounded... precise. And testy. A teacher lecturing a particularly dense pupil. He even stabbed a finger at Rand. "I don’t know what it is. Nothing can twist saidin, and if it could be twisted, we’d have felt it back in the mountains. Well, there was something there, yesterday, but so small... I feel it clearly here, though. Saidin is... eager. I know; I know. Saidin is not alive. But it... pulses, here. It is difficult to control." Rand forced his hand to loosen its grip on the Dragon Scepter. He had always been sure Dashiva was nearly as mad as Lews Therin himself. Usually the man maintained a better hold on himself, though, however precariously.

"I’ve been channeling longer than you, Dashiva. You’re just feeling the taint more." He could not soften his tone. Light, he could not go mad yet, and neither could they! "Get to your place. We’ll be moving soon." The scouts had to return soon. Even in this flatter country, even limited to no further than they could see, ten miles would not take long to cover, Traveling.

Dashiva made no move to obey. Instead, he opened his mouth angrily, then snapped it shut. Shaking visibly, he drew a deep breath. "I am well aware how long you have channeled," he said in an icy, almost contemptuous voice, "but surely even you can feel it. Feel, man! I don’t like ‘strange’ applied to saidin, and I don’t want to die or... or be burned out because you’re blind! Look at my ward! Look at it!"

Rand stared. Dashiva pushing himself forward was peculiar enough, but Dashiva in a temper? And then he did look at the ward. Really look. The flows should have been as steady as the threads in tight-woven canvas. They vibrated. The ward stood solid as it should be, but the individual threads of the Power shimmered with faint movement. Morr had said saidin was strange near Ebou Dar, and for a hundred miles around. They were closer than a hundred miles, now. Rand made himself feel saidin.

He was always aware of the Power – anything else meant death or worse – yet he had become used to the struggle. He fought for life, but the fight had become as natural as life. The struggle was life. He made himself feel that battle, his life. Cold to make stone shatter into dust. Fire to make stone flash to vapor. Filth to make a rotten cesspit smell a garden in full flower. And... a pulsing, like something quivering in his fist. This was not the sort of throbbing he had felt in Shadar Logoth, when the taint on saidin had resonated with the evil of that place, and saidin had pulsed with it. The vileness was strong, but steady here. It was saidin itself that seemed full of currents and surges. Eager, Dashiva called it, and Rand could see why.

We know that Callandor is flawed, but we also know that Rand had used it in a major way at least twice before this point without any consequences (or at least, saidin did what he wanted it to do, aside from Healing the dead girl...there might have been some consequences from 'magnification of the taint' but we don't know for sure). It's hard to ignore the fact that saidin was 'eager'. Morr didn't have Callandor when saidin did something other than what he intended to do with it.

Edited to add a quote, since I missed the last line of wagman's post:
TITLE - The Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: 2 - Unweaving

Something Madic had said caught his ear. "The weather, Madic?" The shadows of the palace spires had barely lengthened from their bases, but there was not a cloud to shield the baking city.

"Yes, Great Master. It is called the Bowl of the Winds."
The name meant nothing to him. But... a ter’angreal to control the weather... In his own Age, weather had been carefully regulated with the use of ter’angreal. One of the surprises of this Age – one of the smaller, it had seemed –was that there were those who could manipulate weather to a degree that should have required one of those ter’angreal. One such device should not be enough to affect even a large part of a single continent. But what could these women do with it? What? If they used a ring?

That (along with the previous quotes) is why the theory was popular before they asked RJ about it; we already knew the Bowl was stretched beyond its intended capacity.
531. Freelancer
The drastically increased spoilage of food in Bandar Eban was more complex than simply because Rand abandoned the city, but because of his inner turmoil. In spite of ending Graendal's hidden rule over Arad Doman, he has failed to accomplish what he came there for, to bring the people together behind him. His sense of failure and futility is just about at its apex. His aura is at its darkest, and his Dragon-ness is least able to balance the dark one's touch. Why? Because internally, Rand's spirit is, at this point, total Chaos, making him very nearly an ally to the dark one, as far as the land is concerned. Hence the instantly spoiled food. In contrast to all of that:

“The apples?” Almen said, turning. “But—” He froze. The trees were burgeoning with new, ripe red apples. The blossoms he’d seen earlier had fallen free, and blanketed the ground in white, like snow.

Those apples seemed to shine. Not just dozens of them on each tree, but hundreds. More than a tree should hold, each one perfectly ripe.

“I am going mad,” Almen said, turning back to the man.

“It’s not you who is mad, friend,” the stranger said. “But the entire world. Gather those apples quickly. My presence will hold him off for a time, I think, and whatever you take now should be safe from his touch.”

Here, Rand is no longer suffering under a sense of futility and failure. In his Dragonmount experience, he transcends the negativity he had been pulling into himself, and is free to become who he is meant to be. This Zen Dragon is now a force of Order, and his Presence banishes Chaos. This is not a thing of the Power. This is what the Creator meant:


Rand's fight with Ba'alzamon at Falme clearly presages this larger behavior. When he is under the oppression of Chaos, as when Ishamael held the advantage, the Seanchan pressed forward. When he suppresses Chaos, as when he forced Ishamael to retreat, the Seanchan fell back.

Everything must be in balance. Within this theory of creation, white matches black, order matches chaos, Preservation matches Ruin (oops!). The "opposites" must work, not only against, but with each other. This is the meaning of the ancient symbol. Where each half is strongest, it "drives" the other half before it, the apparent conflict simultaneously producing harmony. This is also what Moridin meant when he told Rand that his plan to destroy the dark one was stupid.
532. wagman26
@ Terez

Once again I am humbled. Nice to learn a new lesson. Humble pie is good for breakfast, so all is good. ;)

Amazing how much behind the scenes details are available.

Knowing that we are talking about make believe, I still ask this. How come none of the channelers felt anything, while using the bowl. Surely if it was taxed past its intended use there would be instant noticability. Maybe it is hard to wrap every detail in a story, and finish a series in 3, no, 4, or 5, was it 6, oh its 7, or 8, wait 9, eh,10, I think 11, could be 12, perhaps 13, no, 14 books.

Back in 1992 when I started this series, (junior year HS), I could have sworn this was a three book series.
Theresa Gray
533. Terez27
I don't suppose anyone has posted this yet:

Marcon Interview Memorial Weekend 2001- Sorilea reporting
Q: At one point in the story we see Ishamael talking to Rand, and telling him that they have fought countless times in the past, but this is the final time. Is there anything about his Age that makes it special?

RJ: No . . . Every Age is repeated, there is nothing that makes this Age any different from any other turnings of the Wheel. The Wheel is endless.
534. Freelancer

Actually, birgit quoted that very thing on the ToM Open Predictions Thread just a few days ago, where the question came up about advancing turnings of the Wheel inducing increased changes in the Pattern.
Theresa Gray
535. Terez27
@freelancer - I thought I had seen it somewhere.

@wagman - yet another quote (and hopefully another hint not to assume you remember what happened correctly!):

TITLE - The Path of Daggers
CHAPTER: 5 - The Breaking Storm
Talaan wavered, a reed in the wind, casting surreptitious glances at her mother, plainly afraid to sit. Aviendha stood straight, her fixed expression saying that willpower had as much to do with that as anything else. She gave a slight smile, though, and made a gesture in Maiden handtalk – worth the price – and then another – more – right behind. More than worth the price. Everyone looked weary, if not so much as those who had used angreal. The Bowl of the Winds went quiet at last, just a wide bowl of clear crystal, but decorated now with towering waves. Saidar still seemed to be there, though, not being wielded by anyone, not visible, but in dimly felt flashes like those that had played around the Bowl at the end.

Nynaeve raised her head to glower at the cloudless sky, then lowered her gaze to Caire. "All that, for what? Did we do anything, or not?" A breath of air stirred across the hilltop, warm as the air in a kitchen.

The Windfinder struggled her feet. "Do you think Weaving the Winds is like throwing the helm over on a darter?" she demanded contemptuously. "I just moved the rudder on a skimmer with a beam as broad as the world! He will take time to turn, time to know he is supposed to turn. That he must turn. But when he does, not the Father of Storms himself will be able to stand in his way. I have done it, Aes Sedai, and the Bowl of the Winds is ours!"

Daniel Hanley
536. dmhman749
To Wagman26, according to numerous RJ quotes, the series was supposted to be 5 or 6 books at the beginning.

Nice quotes Terez27. I am convinced as well.
537. wagman26
@ Terez

I remember that, rembered it before my post. But that is not the same sort of wildness described by the male channelers. I think a better description of weirdness from RJ,during this sequence, would have gone a long way to understanding the effects.

@dmhman 749

I may have been confused. Tom Doherty stated to Brandon Sanderson that "It is happening again. Jim sold me on one book, that somehow became three and now its happening again."
Think that stuck in my head.
Theresa Gray
538. Terez27
Did you not notice the second bit I bolded? And you clearly didn't remember it because you said they didn't feel anything at all that was strange. It was, as you said, 'instant noticeability' ...though of course, it got worse as the days went on. And RJ provided the detail that explains why. You just didn't remember it.
539. alreadymadwithbandareban
Freelancer @531
I see what you mean, and it does tie in to Herid Fel's advice that belief and order give strength. But sometimes a spade is just a spade.
Yes, Rand was progressively descending into apathy and despair all throughout the Bandar Eban arc. And yes over that same period the spoilages got increasingly worse. But he had at least hoped to leave the food stores that were still on the ships for Bandar Eban, even if he and his armies could no longer be there. This was not to be, however. And I don't see it as a coincidence that at the exact same time that he wove the Gateway back to Tear, the exact same moment that he was committing the physical act of abandoning Bandar Eban, all the food, including those still on the ships, spoiled. If it was just his Dragon-ness, why did the effect not continue elsewhere? The effect was rather specific to Bandar Eban.
Hugh Arai
540. HArai

Harai - virtually all people, when making decisions, seek to avoid unnecessary collateral damage. If Galad doesn't do that, it is a potential serious threat to those around him.
That's true. If he doesn't do that. However, unless I've missed something all even Min's viewings have established is that he won't allow potential harm to himself or others prevent him from doing the right thing. Unnecessary collateral damage is pretty much by definition not the right thing to do.

The Whitecloak pressure on Andor is an interesting point. I think you overstate the case about Galad joining allowing them to stay potent against Morgase. Their own military strength and Morgase's (Rahvin caused) misrule did that just fine. By the time it made a difference, Morgase was already a prisoner, mostly because of her own bizzare decision to go to Amadacia for support. It's pretty clear what Galad did from that point on. It's also pretty clear Galad is not in favor of the Niall/Bornhald faction's hunt for military and political influence. He's in favor of opposing Darkfriends not picking wars.
Daniel Goss
541. Beren
Not to tear down my own theory, but.

I'm coming to agree with those who say that it can't be just the fisher-power (does that mean Rand is Aquaman?) that has been causing all of the spoilage. Probably better to say that it has been a combination of the two. Rand does specifically say that his presence will "hold off" the Dark One's touch, so implicit with that is the idea that the Dark One is the one who made the apple trees fail in the first place. However I still think, based on the evidence of Bander Eban among others, that Rand's downward spiral has been an additional contributing factor.
John Massey
542. subwoofer
Is Rand's job to fight the Dark One or to deny him? In the Falme and stuff, ol' firey head was there and Rand made this big thing about not going over to the other side and denying the DO and then the black thread connecting the Forsaken to the DO appeared and Rand severed that.

Despite all that has happened to Rand, he has been left suspiciously alive, even when he was very vulnerable at an early age in the first books. I am wondering if Rand is either supposed to join the DO or sign up with another baddie like Lanfear and become the DO? I dunno... just spitballing at this point.

@Wet- yeah, I see what you are talking about. First the ladies fixed the weather, then Rand get's his mood fixed. I think things are going to be turned around here. Something beyond the DO's taint has to account for Wards failing and Seals dying and general poopy stuff going on. I think there is more to Rand than just being an awesome channeler and being able to ta'veren the Pattern. There has to be if there is any hope for surviving and keeping the land whole.

543. wagman26
@ terez

"The flows wavered in her grasp almost as if trying to twist free, then snapped into place so suddenly that she jumped." I totally missed this from TPOD. Humble pie is good for lunch also.

Anyway. Thanks for pointing out RJ's quote. Don't know what my point is.
Daniel Goss
544. Beren
The Dragon's Reborn
Come to Tarmon'Gaidon, but
pick the apples first!

Birgit F
545. birgit
They did notice the oddity of saidar after using the Bowl, but then they felt the damane channeling in Ebou Dar and fled through the gateway. They didn't have time to think about whether there was more to what they felt than the damane conquering Ebou Dar.
Wayne Wilson
546. stylusmobilus
Since I love WoT so much, I thought I would ask a completely unrelated question to the US posters.

Our local video shop is going through a hugeass America thing. They are selling US confectionery and softdrinks. I know that Pop Tarts are disgusting, and I don't like Dr Pepper either, so...

can you rate these others for me please?

Reese's- Pieces, Peanut Butter Cups, Crispy Crunchy
Nestle- Butterfinger, Baby Ruth
Peter Paul Almond Joy
Hershey's- Special Dark, Chocolate, Caramel Kisses
Big League Chews
Tootsie Roll
Moon Pie

Grape and Pineapple Fanta (we only get orange)
A&W Cream Soda
Welch's Grape

They are all pretty pricey so I don't wanna unload till I get some plugs. I will count up the ratings and go for the most popular.

Theresa Gray
547. Terez27
Avoid Nestle, because they are evil. Nevermind that their chocolate is good. It's probably got additives for extra addictiveness.

Anything by Reese's is freaking awesome. Big League, it's been a while. I don't like gum any more, but it's good gum. Twizzlers...meh. Some people love them. I don't get it really. I don't like flavored drinks for the most part, so can't help you there. Moon pies are okay but I'm not wild about them. If you get Moon pies, you need RC Cola. Just saying.
Theresa Gray
549. Terez27
I forgot to mention that Big League Chews are kinda like candy cigarettes in that they are supposed to imitate chewing tobacco (which is stereotypically popular among baseball players). They come in a similar kind of pouch, and the gum is shredded like chewing tobacco.
Wesley Parish
550. Aladdin_Sane
I was reading "Apples First" when the question struck me, "When was the last time Rand played the flute?"

I remember him playing it before LoC; I don't remember him playing it after. I'm thinking that it was probably taken by the Tower contingent.

And I'm also thinking, it was probably a life-line to sanity at the time ...

Just my 0.02c worth ...
Tina Pierce
552. scissorrunner

(here is one rating from a family of junk-food-junkies)

Reese's- Pieces, Peanut Butter Cups, Crispy Crunchy
PB cups - every time

Nestle- Butterfinger, Baby Ruth
both are good, but Butterfingers get stuck in your teeth (more for later?)

Peter Paul Almond Joy
smooth & yummy - IF you love coconut

Hershey's- Special Dark, Chocolate, Caramel Kisses

Big League Chews
just bubble-gum, no big deal

Tootsie Roll
chewy yum

the candy that fizzes. not a favorite

rubbery ewww

Moon Pie
the name is the cutest thing about these

Grape and Pineapple Fanta (we only get orange)
?? and what do you mean you DON'T LIKE Dr Pepper?!?!?!?!?

A&W Cream Soda
not bad

Welch's Grape
thats grape!!!

have fun with your munching!!

John Massey
553. subwoofer
First off- it's Friday and Leigh has not come on with her little messages of doom so we get a post today!!!!


Second- Big League Chew. Buy some and send it my way! The fun police have decided that since it simulates chewing tobacco, they pulled it off the shelves here. Same for candy cigs. Down side to it is that BLC is pure sugar, more than any other gum. Good stuff, but brush your teeth like a champion afterwards.

As for the rest- awwww heck, it's candy, give'r. I have a salty tooth, not a sweet tooth, so I'd rather go after Doritos than a Crunch bar. If it comes down to it though, I always go for the one with a contest going on. Figure I might as well win something while I am buying junk food- give it some kinda upside. Some day I will see the inside of the Wonka factory. Some day I will see an Oompa Loompa.

Theresa Gray
554. Terez27
Dr. Pepper tastes like rotten fruit.
John Massey
555. subwoofer
Leave the root, go for the beer instead. The real stuff. Makes your movie viewing much better.

Tricia Irish
556. Tektonica

Reese's Peanut butter cups are incredible. I ate one for lunch every day of junior high. (Age 12-14) With cruchy Cheetos! Those were the days. How did I survive?? Eeeeee gads.

Butterfingers are good too! I'm a Twizzler fan too. The rest, meh. Not a junk food junkie anymore. ;-(
John Massey
557. subwoofer
Could go for a Flake bar right about now...
ahhh I see the image thing has gone haywire again.

James Hogan
558. Sonofthunder
Aw, Terez...why'd you have to say that?? Dr. Pepper used to be my fav soda(until Mountain Dew passed it up in my university days). But now, I'm going to be thinking about rotten fruit next time I pick up a Dr. Pepper. :(
Theresa Gray
559. Terez27
It's not my fault that's what it tastes like.
John Massey
560. subwoofer
Here's the thing that really burns my a$$- up here in Canada, any clear soda, Mountain Dew, 7-up, Sprite, etc has to be caffeine free. Really honked me off cause back in the day, Mountain Dew used to be something. Made do with Jolt cola, the original ( other than a regular cup o'joe). Nowadays, there is no end to the cat-swinging as everyone is jumping on the heart attack band wagon- "we've got sooo much sugar and caffeine in this product it'll give you a heart arrhythmia." " Ours has soo much caffeine that it'll stop your heart and start it again". Damn gimmicy gimmics. Everybody has to one-up the next guy.

Wayne Wilson
561. stylusmobilus
@ sub.....ghhhhhhh.....ffllllaaaakkkkkke.......

@ Everybody

Thanks heaps!!

The list, so far is thus ( I shall write tomorrow's buy in red)

Pieces, 3
PB Cups, the undeniable leader, 5
Crispy Crunchy,2
Butterfinger, sorry Terez, the taint has me,3
Baby Ruth. That bloke was a sensational baseball player. 2
all rated one. Next week.
Big League Chews. They have 3 flavours of these I think. I'm givn'r. 3

Sub, I have to tell you. They are all just laying there, pretty pouches...Mate, I'll get 'em if you want 'em..

Tootsie Roll, 2, but my kid wants one of these.....
Razzles, 1, I'm not big on this type of candy either.
Same, 1, for Twizzlers.
Moon Pie, daughter wants a go at this too, 1
Peter Paul Almond Joy, 2, I don't mind coconut, sounds like a bounty bar.

Pineapple Fanta, 1 meh rating. Why am I buying it? Because we had a drink here once called Sunshine Pine, and it was absolute heaven. Then they withdrew it from the market. Please, let this drink be the one, true like.
Fanta Grape, 1 meh.
A&W, 1, but creaming soda is just awesome. Next week, for sure.
Welch's Grape, 1, Monday.
Okay. Dr Pepper. This got 1, ROTFLOL @ scissorhammer. I must concede a point here. The version we had, which I hated, was made in Oz. I believe our soda drinks are not as sweet as yours. Therefore, it could well be that your version, which is the real deal may be nicer.

Terez, I'm not sure if Nestle would get away with the additives in their stuff here, as our food nazis leave the SS for dead. These, however..

Aladdin@550, I'm not even 60% sure but I think he may have played it for Min. I'll hit the books later.

I still can't get Blightstrain out of my WoT drive, I'm trying to figure out what exactly it would be, and how it came about. Gahh.

I'm off to prepare for tomorrows' binge, by giving my choppers a good scrub. Cheers everyone.
VJ Bruce
562. vjbruce
Reese's peanut butter cups! Oh, yeah. GOOD stuff. Out of all of the junk food you listed, that's the only one I still eat( now that I'm not a kid anymore, except in spirit, of course).

Just finished CoT last night in my own re-read. Whew! For some reason, it felt like slogging through mud getting through it. Couldn't start KoD 'cause I had to watch Fringe on TV. :) Looking forward to starting KoD tonight!

Just popping in while waiting for Leigh's post. And I put some Reese's cups in the bunker!
Wayne Wilson
563. stylusmobilus
vjbruce rude of go the cans of cream soda, Big League chews for sub, and a few Almond Joys. Imported from Australia!

I can't reread. It's good, we got Leigh. I got two assignments due on the 25th, and we're moving house. I wanted to jump straight into TGS for a warmup but...
Kat Blom
564. pro_star
Sub: tell me about it! I went down to cali a while back, and the californians were mocking my shocked pleasure with the Mountain Dew Throwback goodness....mmm, now that's some good stuff. Can we smuggle some of that into the bunker? Please?

(and sub, my fellow canuck, I hope it's not snowing where you's the polite reminder that I need to put snow tires on! d'oh!)

vjbruce: mwahaha I'm two chapters ahead of you in the reread!
VJ Bruce
565. vjbruce
(grumble grumble) That's what I get for watching the dang TV instead of going back to my bookshelf.
Daniel Hanley
566. Kythorian
Poor canadians...No good Mountain Dew, no Reeces PB Cups, and its snowing there? Its 66 degrees Fahrenheit here(about 19 C). Feels great. *grin*
John Massey
567. subwoofer
@Kythorian- schmuck. Mock what you want but Canadian is spelled with a capital "C".

@pro_star- no snow... yet, was 20 here yesterday. As for snow tires, it is just a matter of firing up my compressor and swapping out the wheel sets. No biggie, makes us more hardy:)

As for the Mountain Dew- yeah, went down south and folks were giving me strange looks when I was raiding the coolers for the MD. Man is that good stuff! Just about makes up for the terrible beer;)

And who says we don't have Reeces? My wife loves them. And Reeces peices. That moon pie sounds like a plan too. I am sure there is a country song about this stuff somewheres...

Edit- must get my hands on these pretty pouches- The grape was highly addictive, but original...mmmm.

Kat Blom
568. pro_star
Kythorian, I have the joy of living in southern Alberta - we're about as borked for weather as you can get! and we do have the Reeces Pieces and the PB cups... I remember back when I lived in Ottawa...driving down to the Hershey Factory hour and a half away....and get the BIG HONKIN box of the stuff.

Sadly, I think they shut that factory down...curse you recession!!!

and YIPE!!! One of my bosses just called me into her's the big puffy fluffy flakes!!!!!
Karen Jacobs
569. KJacobs
Mmmmm Reese's! Only thing better than that is chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels! I'm sure I have a bag to add to the bunker somewhere....... :)
Jonathan Levy
570. JonathanLevy
550. Aladdin_Sane

I was reading "Apples First" when the question struck me, "When was the last time Rand played the flute?"

There's a scene from one of the later books (WH-ish) where he's playing some terribly sad song for Min from Lews Therin's memories. She irritably asks him to play something else, so he switches to The Drunken Peddler ... that was jolly enough to cheer up the dead. Lews Therin snarled at him.
Tricia Irish
571. Tektonica

You do realize we are talking about CANDY and SODA POP here on the thread???? We need you!!!

**I'm twitching so hard, I lost my balance.**
Chris R
573. up2stuff
@ many

Seems like the larger consensus is that Rand's Fisher-power (Yes. Aquaman. Is THAT the Big Unnoticed Thing?) is kind of ambiguous in its direct effects/results. The DO's touch is amplified by Dark Rand and reduced or even negated by Happy-Smiley Rand. Kind of relates to a debate several threads back. In and of itself I guess it is not good or bad. Kind of like ... Dare I say it ...

Guns and Gun Control?

(Probably just got myself banned from any further posts, hunh?) ;-P
Chris R
574. up2stuff
Scissor @ 552 and Stylus @ 561,

Razzles = Pop Rocks?

If so, don't chase them with a pop of any kind. Once, I knew this kid who ate some Pop Rocks. Then he drank a Coke...and his face exploded!!!

575. Smokinloon

NRBQ fan by chance?
Maiane Bakroeva
576. Isilel
I just have to jump in here and say that "for the greater good" justification in no way makes a person less evil or atrocities they commit forgiveable. I mean, Torquemada also did what he did for the sake of "good" as he understood it.
In fact, somebody or other very insightfully said that when "the greater good" squashes the small, mundane, everyday good is when the real horror starts. And they were talking about the history of USSR, so they knew their subject ;).
So, yes, Pedron Niall was one evil dude and the fact that he wasn's worshipping the DO makes him more so - since he should have known better.

By the same token, just because Gawyn's intentions aren't bad per se, it doesn't make his many, many idiocies more palatable. Particularly since most of them are rooted in his disregard and disdain for anybody's opinions and choices if they don't agree with his own.

Galad is an interesting case. I don't see how he could have ever believably considered joining the WCs to be the right thing to do, since he knew very well that they were mortal enemies of Morgase and Elayne. Given his position and upbringing, he also couldn't have been ignorant of WC depredations.

As we have seen often enough in WoT the WC MO is to assault anybody who looks at them crosswise, destroy their property and even kill them, unless there is a strong local authority to prevent them. And they kill any women accused of being channelers or having been to WT (however falsely). Oh, and if somebody actually _is_ pursued by Shadowspawn/ DFs, the WCs consider them to be accomplices of the Shadow!
So, yea, can't win with them - once they start disliking you for any reason, you are a DF in their eyes and to be terminated if possible.

And this is not propaganda - we have seen it with Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, etc., when the WCs had no reason to connect them to an AS... and even wolves vouched for WCs "smelling rabid" - and that was under the command of the comparatively sensible Bornhald Sr.

But beyond that, I actually understand why Galad is how he is. Consider - his blood parents caused the Aiel War in his eyes. He probably also knows or suspects that his father tried to kill and usurp Morgase. I.e. they commited the worst dereliction of duty possible. It is no wonder that Galad tries to be so dutiful and to always do the right thing - to make up for their failures/crimes, to prove that he is different.
And of course, Gitara Moroso's involvement in the tragedy of House Mantear likely fuelled Galad's stance versus AS. Still, given his upbringing and supposedly normal intellect, he should have known that the WCs are about as far from the "right thing" as it is possible to get without being a DF. And seen through Valda from the start. I mean, duh. The guy was anything but subtle.

And BTW, Elayne wasn't the only one to have negative opinion of Galad - Thom agreed with her.
Daniel Hanley
577. Kythorian
Well, as I remember it, Thom's view wasn't really negative towards Galad...He felt sorry for him, and was maybe a little cautious, but not really negative.

But regardless, I can't judge a character off of what others say about him, only his actions. And while joining the Whitecloaks was an...odd decision, he has yet to do anything I consider wrong while in the Whitecloaks, regardless of any evil that his fellow Whitecloaks commit.
Theresa Gray
578. Terez27
Smokinloon@575 - my dad (who was born in 1950) used to sing the song to me a lot when I was growing up. He's still likely to sing it if the subject of either Moon Pies or RC Cola comes up. In fact, he brings it up his own self sometimes, just so he can sing it.

My dad is weird. He has a song for everything.
Barry Dias
579. Beejay
i think that Rand will go to the Black Tower to teach all the weaves he learned or remembered from his past lives and discover that the BT is divided against him and will be forced to put down the dissenters
Scientist, Father
580. Silvertip
@ 576 Isilel:

Re "the greater good": my sentiments exactly, and better expressed than I ever could. Possibly my favorite scene in all of SF/F is the last bit of dialogue between Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias in "Watchmen." Did it all work out for the best in the end, Pedron Niall?

581. Shadow_Jak

By the same token, just because Gawyn's intentions aren't bad per se, it doesn't make his many, many idiocies more palatable. Particularly since most of them are rooted in his disregard and disdain for anybody's opinions and choices if they don't agree with his own.

Galad is an interesting case....
But beyond that, I actually understand why Galad is how he is. Consider...

You just like Galad because he's cuter ;-)

Serious question
What would Galad would have done had he still been in the Tower when Siuan was deposed?

(IE; if he had stayed around to do his duty instead of abandoning his younger brother and
sister to run off and joint the circus White Cloaks?)
582. Shadow_Jak
Follow-up questions.
What *should* Gawyn have done after Galad left?
Or should he have gone with him? (Would he be better loved if he had?)
Or should he have went back home and confessed to his mother that he had managed to missplace his baby sister?

His mother, the Queen, had sent him to the Tower to learn and to be with his sister. From his birth, his sworn duty was to guard his sister. Now his sister has vanished, for the 2nd time. This time, like the first time, Siuan was feeding him a bunch of obvious bull. He had no way of knowing her motives. His mother was none to pleased with the Amyrlin either and had already demanded her return.
What personal allegiance did he owe an Ameyrlin who stole his sister twice and fed him nothing but bull about it?
583. wagman26
@ White Cloak Haters

I can not believe that the white cloaks are bad. The biggest do-gooder in the series joins them for a reason. The principals of the order,must be sound. The DO has definately infiltrated the White Hand, and there lies the evil in the organization. What exactly did being close to Mordeth/Pain, do to Byar, and Bornhald? He is the embodiment of madasher, which is what killed Arindhol.

@ Gawyn killing rand theory

Why would this be important to the Aelfinn prophecy, "To live you must die." What would it bring to the story. I believe that the world will mourn Rand at the rocks of Shayol Ghul, and not before. To be reborn. And live again.

Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed.
Once for mourning, once for birth.
Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free man from the Shadow.

The Aes Sedai symbol was the Yin Yang, basically two opposing energies, encapsuled into everthing. They can not work one without the other. This seems to me, the key to sealing the DO's prison. Or more accurately, making it whole. Though the how still elude's me.

I hope I researched enough, that Terez doesn't have to spend to long schooling me:) She is always on her game.
584. Smokinloon

Your Dad is not wierd. If he's an NRBQ fan he's very Hip!
585. Freelancer
Terez27 @578

Hey now. That's what my kids say to their friends (the second part, their friends already know I'm weird). It was a game we used to play driving back and forth to church on Sundays. Name a topic, or even a phrase, and there's a song for it. It was almost like Gus claiming he could show how any word or phrase originates from Greek. Except the songs are real.

Funny, now that I think about it, one of the times the kids got sick of the game was on a Sunday night and one of them said "Moon!". After I sang snippets of 8 or 9 relevant tunes, they begged for mercy. And I never did get to "RC Cola and a Moon Pie"!
Wayne Wilson
586. stylusmobilus


That's the one I was thinking of. Ta.


Reversed in perhaps a reduced circle of distance, since he doesn't have the power of the Dark One? And once he's gone,the DO's hold returns. Guess we'll find out very soon.



Most of the common folk right across randland harbour a mistrust for the Whitecloaks, if not outright hatred. I'm also in the school that found his joining the Whitecloaks a bit odd. Obviously, he's making a difference now, so you could say it was all the Will of the Pattern...

On the flip side, there were rational Whitecloaks, Geofram Bornhald was an example of this. Trom seems fairly level headed too. In both the brothers' eyes, the Tower Management had prevented them, especially Gawyn, from carrying out their duties to their sister and the Andoran throne. ShadowJak@582's onto it.


I now understand why there is an obsession for Peanut Butter Cups. And I'm glad now that I ran the list here. Thanks again, everyone.

PB Cups. 11/10. I got half a Cup. My partner nailed two of these, and the youngest swiped the last. Very nice chocolate, and the peanut butter sweeps underneath. I went back to the video shop to buy two more of these but it was shut. Grrrr.

Big League Chew. 9/10. I have the Wild Pitch Watermelon flavour. Fantastic chewing longevity. Flavour lasts for ages. Resists when you chew it. The packaging, the history behind it and the gum itself all add to it, and you don't need that much either. My partner likes this too. I understand why you like this gum so much Sub.

Pineapple Fanta. 7/10. Pretty nice, but I have to admit, it wasn't quite what I was after. It's close, and I'll drink it again. I like the wide mouth can. We have these on some beer cans in Australia.

Tomorrow, 2x PB Cups, Welch's Grape, Tootsie Roll, more gum, and I might have a swing at a Krispy Krunchy since the Reece chocolate seems to be held in high regard.

For the bunker- Throwing in 2 packets of Tim Tams, a box of Barbecue Shapes and a pack of Allen's Snakes Alive.

John Massey
587. subwoofer
@Stylusmobilus- LOL!!!

& I think at the end of the day, Galad's righteousness is exactly what the Children need. Their initial purpose was to search out dark friends, not immitate the witch hunts of Salem. I think Galad has the reasoning and sense of purpose to bring them back to that. I mean look at it, Asuwana is labelling Galad a dark friend, and we all know he isn't. I am sure Galad will take this experience when he is Lord Captain Commander again and show the Children that sometimes people are good, and they don't have to be wearing white.

Ben Norris
588. I_have_no_life
Wow. This area has become very random. Nearly all of these comments are completely irrelevant to Apples First. So, if I may add my own relatively unrelated comment to the heap:
When is the second chapter coming out? I thought it would be released either yesterday, today, or tomorrow, but that idea has gone thin, as has my stomach from anxiety about this book.

By the way, here's a one-question pop quiz. Don't be scared; it's multiple-choice....

Q#1: What is the first rule of the universe:
a) The Law of Gravitational Pull.
b) Fat people should not go outside in swimsuits.
c) There is no "Q" in people.
d) Life sucks.

Answer Key:
A#1: d)

Reason: Letter a is a law, not a rule. Letter b is one of the rules, but not the first. Letter c is true, but not a rule.

Lacking a description of myself today,
Tricia Irish
589. Tektonica

You need to go outside and take a walk. Enjoy the planet! Just be, and enjoy! LOL.
John Massey
590. subwoofer
@IHNL- relax- life is what you make of it, and you have your whole life ahead of you. All is good:)

Theresa Gray
591. Terez27

@ Gawyn killing rand theory
Why would this be important to the Aelfinn prophecy, "To live you must die"? What would it bring to the story?

Why does Rand have to die? How can he die in a way that makes his death meaningful?

I believe that the world will mourn Rand at the rocks of Shayol Ghul, and not before. To be reborn. And live again.

There is a major problem with Rand dying at Shayol Ghul:

WinespringBrother reporting:

Tam: Ouch - Okay, now that you have killed my black cord theory, are the oath and covenants Forsaken make with the Dark One necessary for the Dark One to transmigrate a soul?
Jordan: They are not necessary, but he is not likely to do it for anyone who hasn't done, who hasn't sworn to him.
Tam: He doesn't have access to all souls to be able to grab any soul?
Jordan: No, no, no. Because of the Bore and the fact that the Bore is best perceived, the Bore doesn't really exist in Shayol Ghul, the Bore exists everywhere, it's simply in Shayol Ghul where it can be perceived most easily. By the same token he has greater access to people at Shayol Ghul than he does elsewhere, or did, and uh, that's, when you know, Rahvin died, Rahvin is balefired out of time, slain out of time, cannot be reached, gone. Be'lal, (names someone else).

Also, I have a feeling that if Rand goes to Shayol Ghul still linked to Moridin that he doesn't stand a chance. He needs to sever that link before he is ready for Shayol Ghul.

Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed.Once for mourning, once for birth.
Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free man from the Shadow.

This is one of the earliest indications of Rand's death, but it is rather confusing, isn't it? Rather than some paradoxical interpretation, it's possible that the first day his blood is shed refers to his own death - for mourning - and the second day that his blood is shed refers to his resurrection - a 'birth' similar to Birgitte's. The most common interpretation is that Elayne will have her babies, and though it's possible she could deliver them very early, she's only 3 months pregnant when she gains the Lion Throne.

I'm pegging Rand's death for around Sunday. The neat thing about solstices is that track of the the sun, through the course of the year, can be observed to move slightly across the sky each day. At the solstices, it appears to change directions, and at that point, the sun almost appears to stand still for about three days before its movement becomes quite clear again. I can see Rand dying on Sunday, but I can also see him being resurrected on Sunday. The connection to Jesus is pretty obvious there.

And the principle of him dying on Sunday at noon still remains the same a few days before - the difference in terms of the Shadow's weakened powers is still much the same because the days before Sunday are almost as long as Sunday itself. And the Shadow's powers are always weakest at noon, but perhaps more so on these longer days.

In terms of Arthurian legend, the days just before Sunday also work. Gawain's powers were tied to the sun - he was supposedly strongest at noon and weakest after sunset - and he killed Hammar and Coulin approximately (as in, Steven Cooper is not quite sure) two days after Sunday.

The Aes Sedai symbol was the Yin Yang, basically two opposing energies, encapsuled into everthing. They can not work one without the other. This seems to me, the key to sealing the DO's prison. Or more accurately, making it whole. Though the how still eludes me.

I don't believe this will have anything to do with Rand's death. You can read all about it in my Gawyn theory.

I hope I researched enough, that Terez doesn't have to spend to long schooling me:) She is always on her game.

Indeed. As to your first question, and the question of what it brings to the brings many things, IMO.

It brings tragedy, in a way that we should have anticipated, but didn't. The warning signs span the entire series, but we all remained convinced that Gawyn would get over it and all would be well. It brings dramatic irony to a new level, as the Gawyn becomes the third person to avenge a woman who is not even dead. Rand was the first to avenge her 'death' when he killed Rahvin. He held himself responsible because he had known she was a captive of Rahvin - Lanfear told him - and he had done nothing about it because he did not want to do what the Forsaken expected him to do. Galad was the second to avenge her 'death', and her (very real) rape, when he killed Eamon Valda. Gawyn will be the third, when he kills Rand.

It will be the final round of a pattern of blademaster battles that began when Rand earned the right to the heron mark (despite the lack of witnesses). The pattern is essentially Arthurian, because each battle between Rand and another blademaster (the loose parallel to the Knights of the Round Table), he has an encounter with one of the major Mordred parallels in the series (Moridin, Mordeth, and Demandred). These guys are the obvious Mordred parallels. Furthermore, every onscreen blademaster vs blademaster battle in the series is accompanied by Rand meeting either Fain/Mordeth or Ishamael/Moridin, not counting Rand's sparring with Lan.

When Rand fights Turak, he has an encounter with Ishamael in the sky. Their duel is obviously fashioned in at least some ways after the Arthur vs Mordred duel at Camlann, except that neither dies. Rand gets his first unhealing wound (genesis of the Fisher King parallel).

When Rand fights Be'lal, another blademaster, Ishamael shows up yet again. This ends with Ishamael dead. When we next see him, he is Moridin.

When Rand fights Toram Riatin with practice swords, he gets his second unhealing wound from Fain.

When Rand encounters Sammael, another blademaster, they don't happen to cross blades at all, but Moridin still shows up. Not sure if that should be part of the pattern, but I thought it worth mentioning.

When Lan fights Toram Riatin, partly on screen, Rand fights Fain. He escapes unwounded, having given Fain a minor wound.

When Gawyn duels with Sleete (and Marlesh, who is not a blademaster), Rand meets Moridin in the dream two chapters later.

The first onscreen blademaster vs blademaster duel to break the pattern was Galad's duel to avenge Morgase. And when Gawyn (Mordred) duels Rand to avenge Morgase, the real purpose (as in, the purpose the Pattern is after), will be to sever Rand's link with Moridin (Mordred), and to heal Rand of his never-healing wounds given to him by Ishamael and Fain. This fits with the Perun legends that I mentioned in the Nynaeve theory, and

It brings extra significance to Elaida's Foretellings, particularly the ones about the royal line of Andor being 'the key' to victory at Tarmon Gai'don, and 'From this day, Andor marches toward pain and division...pain and division come to the whole world, and this man stands at the heart of it'. RJ said that Elaida's Foretellings are more straightforward than most. We all thought we were clever when we realized that Rand was of the royal line of Andor, and that Elaida therefore misinterpreted her Foretelling. She did, but we did too. All of them are important - Rand (duh), Elayne, Gawyn, Galad, and Morgase too. Maybe even Perival Mantear. We also might have misinterpreted 'this man stands at the heart of it'. What if Elaida meant physically as well as metaphorically? Caemlyn has been described as a heart in many ways - it is the center of Randland, not far from where Hawkwing was to build his capital in the abandoned stedding - and for a long time, Rand's heart has been there. In LOC ch. 1, he describes the royal palace - where he stood when Elaida gave her Foretelling - as 'a heart that beat beneath the shadow of two banners'.

But most importantly, I think, Rand's necessary death comes at the hands of Lightfriends, rather than at the hands of the Shadow.

I was going to go on further, so sorry if this seems abrupt. I'm just too braindead to ramble much more tonight.
592. wagman26

My head feels a little damaged also.

In many books, the story of Jesus, and God are told. C.S. Lewis was well known for this, Matrix series also. The key is not to tell the exact story. A Dragon Resurrection would be far to close to just that.

Very well championed, can not wait to find out what is or is not.

As to the Yin-Yang. I believe a strong correlation exists between its beliefs and the struggle between Light and Dark in the series. Always in motion, always in struggle. A fight that never ends, because one can not exist without the other. This is why Ishamael is wrong, I believe, in his prediction of the DO winning, ever.

And I must admit to not having a clue as to how the Dragon's death will come about, but still have a hard time seeing Rand not just wrapping Gawyn up in air, and leave him chilling. Especially since he knows how he feels, and being a good'ol boy himself, can understand that a man would want his family avenged, could summarily present evidence, person to person of Morgase living, would solve everthing there. But can see how your theories tie together, can not dismiss them, and have no evidence of what is what, or how.

Holy Moley, you can post.

Enjoyed it immensely.
593. wagman26
@ Seanchan Last Battle Role/Rand Egwene confrontation

There seems to be a large likelihood that what "she probally will not be happy about", is the peace Rand is about to make with the Seanchan. Kneeling before Fortuona is a price He should be willing to pay and since Matt is now the Prince of the Ravens, he will be the median, possibly even fulfilling, "to give up half the light of the world, to save the world." Crystal thone is prophecied as leading the forces of light in the last battle. "The prophecies cleary showed that the Empress would defeat those who served the Shadow, and then she would send the Dragon Reborn in to duel with lighteater.

Taking into account that some here may believe these prophecies to be tainted, this has to be coming up soon.

This meeting with her seems like a good place to begin walking down prophecy pathway.
Antoni Ivanov
594. tonka
Something occur to me.
Rand's best female friend, the one he was almost engaged to, is the Amyrlin Seat.
The woman he is going to have child with is the Queen of the currently most stable and powerful nation in Randland.
His half brother is the leader of the Whitecloaks.
His best friend's wife is the Empress of Seanchan.
It seems that some of the most powerful positions in Randland are occupied by people close to Rand in some way.
Theresa Gray
595. Terez27

In many books, the story of Jesus, and God are told. C.S. Lewis was well known for this, Matrix series also. The key is not to tell the exact story. A Dragon Resurrection would be far too close to just that.

I disagree. Rand is supposed to be a general Messiah figure. Yes, he has some connections to Jesus, but the Dragon Reborn is something totally different from Jesus, who was essentially the Creator made flesh, and by his very nature could do no wrong.

It's incredibly unlikely at this point that Rand will get away with not dying at all, since it would be like cheating, with four separate prophecies saying Rand will die. It's also highly unlikely that Rand will die and stay dead, since Nicola's Foretelling indicates that he has already died, but it ain't over yet. Rand is still important. It can't just be Rand being called back by the Horn, because his three women are hanging out with his body as if it's important.

So, Rand is most likely going to die and be resurrected. You might as well start getting used to it now.

And I must admit to not having a clue as to how the Dragon's death will come about, but still have a hard time seeing Rand not just wrapping Gawyn up in air, and leave him chilling.

You should read the Gawyn theory. This part is covered pretty thoroughly.
Mari Davis
596. sheiglagh
It's really amazing how much we are perplexed by Gawyn. He is not the most popular character and arguably one of the most hated yet we always talk about him.

In WoT terms, perhaps he was also spewed out by the Pattern to be a wild card. Up to this point, we still do not know which way he will go.

In literary terms, perhaps even biblical, can Gawyn be to Rand as Judas was to Jesus? In the literary world, there is a school of thought that Judas was destined to betray Jesus. After all, how can Jesus become a martyr and prove his "god-ness" if he does not die. Someone has to do it and Judas was set to task. (No blaspheme intended)

Looking at it from a different point of view, it can easily be said also that the Trojan War became inevitable the moment Aphrodite promised to Paris the most beautiful woman in the world Helen of Sparta who became better known as Helen of Troy.

Were the Fates involved? Sure they were. The fame of Achilles and the way he would die was foretold.

Going back to WoT, Gawyn has to be more than just a pretty face. And we are running out of books. At this point in time, almost everyone's card have been dealt and opened. There will be surprises, but we already have an idea where the characters are going. Except of course for Gawyn who up to this point remain an enigma.

My take... Gawyn will kill Rand simply because there is no one else left to do the job which will give Rand the martyrdom needed to pull everyone together for the final battle.
Barry Dias
597. Beejay
Crazy prediction: SO Rand dies right, then during or before TG the Horn is used by Mat but then breaks. With the destruction of the horn the spirits of every soul is spewed back into the living world thus resurecting Rand and every other soul that is attached to it
598. wagman26
@595 Terez

I still disbelieve.

But a valid theory, you have made.

I am jonesing so bad for some new TOM material.

Sunday Funday is gonna leave a mark.
599. alreadymadwithgalad
Isilel @576
I would not be so quick to judge the Whitecloaks. Galad had been reading their "bible" prior to joining them and apparently found enough merit to sign up. Not his fault and neither is it Lothair Mantelair's that somewhere along the way, the teachings got twisted. In its purest form, directly from Lothair Mantelair's book, Galad must have found enough merit to join.
Galad is no fool. His behavior has so far been as one would expect from a descendant of both Damodred and Mantear, with a helping of Trakand upbringing.

tonka @594
That's the whole point of being ta'veren. The Pattern weaves around you. The stronger you are, the larger the scale.
Jonathan Levy
600. JonathanLevy
Terez27 @ 591

Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed

I always thought we were going to get a total eclipse of the sun to fulfill this prophecy.
601. alreadymadwithtwicedawn
Jonathan Levy @600
I'm kinda thinking the same thing. Or maybe at the moment that Rand breaks the last seal the entire world goes dark as the Dark One reaches out beyond his prison.
Theresa Gray
602. Terez27

In literary terms, perhaps even biblical, can Gawyn be to Rand as Judas was to Jesus? In the literary world, there is a school of thought that Judas was destined to betray Jesus. After all, how can Jesus become a martyr and prove his "god-ness" if he does not die. Someone has to do it and Judas was set to task. (No blaspheme intended)

Yes, I believe that Gawyn is set up to be a bit of a Judas parallel, and Mat is heavily tied into Judas as well IMO. That's the great thing about RJ...most characters are combinations of mythological characters, and the mythological characters are divided between multiple WoT characters. I have also talked some on the inevitability of the betrayal, and on the aspect of providence in the Judas situation. It's hard to fault Gawyn, knowing that the Pattern required him to follow this path, and especially knowing that his intentions are ultimately noble.
603. wagman26
@Gawyn theory

What happens to Elayne if Gawyn were to kill Rand. People are not rational. Dragon Sworn even more so. If he was to kill Him, then fanatics would be all over Gawyn, anyone who called him a friend, and any of his family. With Judas, and Jesus, all the world did not know that he was the King of Kings, only his followers and people who witnessed miracles, but in the world of RJ, the Dragon is known.

I really like the eclipse Idea. As to him living by dying, perhaps Nyn will be able to relearn the ability to bring him back to life. I believe I remember someone stating that it was able to be done, during the age of legends. Maybe Moiraine. I can not find this quote at the moment, but I am rather hungover. If anyone remembers this, please post relevant location.
Ali Davis
604. dejavoodoo114
I posted this in the prediction thread then realized it probably belonged here with all the discussion of Rand's demise.

I'm something of an insomniac so about 2 this morning, while lying in bed, I began going over everyones belief that Rand will die before TG. What about Nicola's Fortelling?

"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."

This implies to me that he dies at the last battle and will live again After TG. I think we all know that the first sentence is talking about MAE. I think that they wont necessarily be on a boat. This could just mean they are "floating" or "drifting" "lost" so to speak, you know? And then it says TG is done but other battles are not. I am thinking that TG Must start in this book. There has to be enough time in AMoL for the aftermath.

Anyhow, this is one reason why I don't believe Rand will die in ToM. Another being that if he dies at TG Alivia will be fighting with him and will be able to "help him die". I also think there would have been Some kind of Dreams or Visions showing Gawyn killing someone and, of course, they would have been vague. IIRC there were none except the one with the Heron mark sword, but that was about Hammar/Couldin(sp?).

Do please tell me why this fortelling seems to have been moved to the side. If this has already been shot down tell me where I can find the arguments and I'll apologize. Of course, we will all find out soon anyway... Not soon enough though!
605. BenM
Hey, Tor management services folks,

Are you going to release the audio of chapter 2, as you did last year?

Birgit F
606. birgit
As to him living by dying, perhaps Nyn will be able to relearn the ability to bring him back to life. I believe I remember someone stating that it was able to be done, during the age of legends.

They couldn't Heal death, only anything short of death.

Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives.

Is the "boat" a skimming platform?
Daniel Hanley
607. Kythorian
To dejavoodoo114 @ 604, we are aware of that foretelling. It is pretty vague though. "the great battle" may refer to the last battle as a whole, or it may refer to the opening battle of the last battle (probably the Battle of Caemlyn, if such a thing happens). So the "world not done with battle" could refer to the rest of the Last Battle. Or maybe not. Who knows. But it certainly isn't proof one way or the other.

The "rand dies before TG, or at the beginning of it, then comes back(however that happens) just in time for the final showdown at shayol ghul" theory is just a theory, but it is a valid one at this point. we will RAFO. And according to Brandon, the final events of ToM set up the events that kick-start TG. Many think that this event will be Rands death. TG is going to span pretty much the entirety of aMoL though. I'm sure there will be an epilogue which does a little wrap up, but RJ used to say that he hated those fantasy books where the last chapter tried to just neatly wrap up every single plotline or issue of the books. So we will probably learn the basics of who survived, etc, and maybe a little of what they are at least planning immediately after TG, but probably not much more than that.

As for dreams of Gawyn killing Rand, the only one i can think of is the time Egwene went into Gawyn's dream and gawyn killed rand to save her. Which was probably not prophetic, but could certainly be foreshadowing, and definately demonstrated what Gawyn thought of Rand well.
608. Alphaleonis
After reading Apples First, I went back and started reading TEOTW for the fourth time, and guess who I met ---- Rand!!. It's good to have him back. I think he's been all or partly missing since he left the Two Rivers. Hope he's back for good. (First time poster here. Have read the whole series 3 times except 7-11. Only 2 times for those.)
609. wagman26
@606 Birgit

I mis-remembered again. "Some Aes Sedai could fan life and health to flame if only the smallest spark remained," is what I was thinking of. Could not find that, until after I posted.
610. sukh_jatt
demadred i guess is the same as Mazrim Taim. hiding under our err...Rand's own nose:)
James Hogan
612. Sonofthunder
Alphaleonis@ 608...yeah, isn't it nice to see the real Rand again!! It warms my heart. I remember the first time I reread EotW and was surprised how...innocent and naive and awesome Rand was. Of course, Rand's not so innocent or naive anymore. But I sure hope his awesomeness returns. And it looks like it is!!

sukh_jatt@ 610, just to expand on Wetlander's succinct reply, no Demandred is most certainly not Taim, per RJ's own words. Sadly. I thought Demandred was Taim, when I was reading, only to be rudely awakened when I started looking stuff up online.
613. kraefzke
@604 et al.
Just rereading LoC and came across Avi telling Rand about "shared dreams" among some dreamwalking WOs:

"Melaine and Bair dreamed of you on a boat," she said, the word still awkward after all these months in the wetlands, "with three women whose faces they could not see, and a scale tilting first one way, then the other. Melaine and Amys dreamed of a man standing by your side with a dagger to your throat, but you did not see him. Bair and Amys dreamed of you cutting the wetlands in two with a sword."

Weeeeell, make of that what you want, just wanted to add my mustard (don't bother to try to get the joke if you don't speak German, it's not all that good).
Theresa Gray
614. Terez27
@613 - did you have any particular thought about that prophecy?
Chris Johnston
615. Khoram
I've been lurking a bit here :S and I've finally decided to post something. I've read and re-read the chapter, and each time I do, I get chills. Massive chills. Just thinking about Rand as he is now, as compared to before, I find it's almost eery thinking that this is the same person as before. It's good to finally see a clearer-thinking Rand, although I feel that the dialogue is a wee bit weird for him, even in his blissful state.

I get a kick out of Bunt's reaction when he sees the apple trees blossoming for a second time - each time, I crack up. And then when the apples are growing on the trees, I always picture Bunt with his jaw dropped down, like Genie in Aladdin. I actually picture this whenever any character is in a situation where he/she is in a jaw-dropping moment throughout the series.

Again, I am so glad to finally see Rand back to his usual... well, at much improved self (cause this isn't really his usual self, just like his hard, cold self wasn't his true self, either).

Anywho, that's my spiel.
Ambrose Scalvini
616. MagicDragon
I've read the first chapter a couple times now and WOW!! Great start to the book, can't wait to read the rest.
There have been many posts about 'what has Rand learned?'... The Song? How to create Nym? I think it would be interesting to see Nym being created to help make farms productive agian. That might even be part of the Aiel prophesy that He will slay them with the sword of peace, maybe Rand will want the Aiel to give up the spear and join the tinkers.
Almen saw a warp in the air around Rand, easy to assume this is Rand's being Ta'varen being more obvious than usual, though B.S. did say there would still be concequinces to Rand's being blighted from using the TP, which was also seen as a warp in the air around rand. Hmmm.
617. Zelmossan
I haven't the time to read the entire thread, but a couple of thoughts:

First, the easy one: the thing Egwene is NOT going to like at all is the Black Tower's leadership being filled with Darkfriends. IIRC, Logain and the others told Rand as much at some point. And, wouldn't you know, the only group capable of dealing with them are...(you guessed it) the Aes Sedai.

The other thought has to do with my understanding of what happened at the end of TGS. I may be reading too much into it, here, but I've got this sneaking suspicion that it wasn't actually Lews Therin who provided that sudden (and lucid) insight into the reasons for the endless cycle of death and rebirth in the turning of the Wheel of Time; Rand just *thought* it was. Instead, I believe it was a certain individual with the initials "TC" who has never before taken an open hand in the events of the series. To quote Al Pacino from his role in the Devil's Advocate, "He's an absentee landlord!"

Of course, if my theory is correct, in the Wheel of Time series he's absent no more, even if it was just one tiny act, a simple question, the asking of which had such a vast impact on the world.

Now, with that understanding, reread the preview of chapter 1 and you may see things in a new light.
Theresa Gray
618. Terez27
Verified by the Creator, RJ himself - the Creator does not interfere. Rand came to that realization on his own. It would be pointless if he had not. No one likes deus ex machina.
Ambrose Scalvini
619. MagicDragon
@617. Zelmossan
I've been thinking on what Rand was not wanting to tell Egween, as she already knows about the Aes Sedai being bonded from the Asha'man Rand sent and the ones he had swear to him. I belive you may be on to something there. Though this may also be an opening for Egween to give the red ajah a new direction, I had been thinking she would set them to hunting the black ajah, but perhaps she will have them hunting any darkfriend that can channel.
@618. Terez27
Is it interfering if Rand never knows? To take a quote for Futurama "If you do things right, no one knows you've done anything at all." :)
620. Zelmossan
If the creator does not interfere--ever--then it begs the question of who was really speaking when "Lews Therin" asked if the reason for constant death and rebirth was due to the possibility of second chances. The word choice and tone of that statement doesn't find with the Lews Therin personality's previous moments of lucidity (or insanity), nor does it fit Rand in general. It sounded too...I guess the best words would be "innocent", "wondering", and "childlike", not at all colored by the experiences of a harsh life.

So, if not Rand and not Lews Therin, who?
621. deathdie
awsome episode
622. kraefzke
Nothing special in particular. I believe the generally accepted interpretations (to be found on various sites) on these dreams to be probably true. It just hit me rereading the book. And as nobody else had posted it, and as there is clearly a connection to Nicci's FT, I thought I'd bring the scene back to everybody's mind.
Daniel Hanley
623. Kythorian
To Zelmossan @ 620, this chapter says that LTT was a part of Rand. Not a real seperate person. So LTT is just Rand's way of dealing with the fact that he is going insane, has a massive level of stress on him, and is having difficulty accepting memories from his earlier life showing up. Anyway, this means that LTT's personality is just a peice of Rand's personality. So in the past, this peice is the violent/crazy/angry/depressed side of him. But as we move through the series Rand starts rejecting not just these parts of himself, but also the kindness and hope that he thinks makes himself weak. But these are still a part of can't change your personality just by wanting it to be so. So they are ripe to show up in the LTT part of him when he really starts having a true psycological break. And so the hope for the future that Rand has tried to hide as deep as he can comes out in that question.

So while LTT might sound different from what he has in the past, its because the LTT fragment of Rand's personality is changing as Rand rejects more and more of himself in favor of becoming pure purpose. It has nothing to do with the Creator.

Though this does bring the discussion of the 'perfect clockmaker' that Deism is based around(which is basically what the Creator is in the WoT). Anyway, although the creator never interferes, he set everything up so perfectly that everything will work itself out in perfect balance as he planned. So although he wouldn't 'interfere' by saying anything to Rand, he might have created the world in such a way that billions of years later, genetics will combine in the exact way to produce the exact person (with the exact right people to raise him) who would have a fragment of his personality think that in that exact situation, saving the world from destruction. Or that was one interpretation taken under the Deist beliefs that came about in the 17th century. Who knows if that is how RJ actually wanted the Creator to work in the WoT.
624. Daeyel
So many people think Rand is going to meet Egwene. I doubt it. He's going to meet the Amyrlin Seat in the Tower, currently Elaida, so far as he knows. She isnt going to like what he has to say, because he plans on telling her the game is over. Egwene will be annoyed that he is meddling in Aes Sedai affairs again, and Gawyn will come for the kill. After the new Zen Rand does a matrix-like humiliation of Gawyn without using the power or a sword against him, (He will use the TP to anticipate and avoid him, however) Gawyn, exhausted, will admit defeat and new respect for Rand (born of the 3 way convo between Egwene, Gawyn and Rand) Hence, Rand gains Gawyn to his side.

Thats just my take however.
Ambrose Scalvini
625. MagicDragon
@ Daeyel 624
I don't see Rand going to meet Elaida unless he has enough Asha'man he can trust with him to ensure Elaida doesn't try to stuff him in a box again. He has already sent an Asha'man to the rebel camp to make a deal with them, so I have to disagree with you about which Amyrlin he expects to meet with.
The man looked back with a faint grimace. “To do something I’ve been putting off. I doubt she will be pleased by what I tell her.”

As I read that, he isn't grimacing about who he has to go see but what he has to tell her.
Theresa Gray
626. Terez27
We pretty much know that Gawyn is going to screw up horribly, and I doubt it's just a reference to Hammar and Coulin:

Brandon on Facebook - 21 June 2010 8:34 pm
A fanmail tonight includes a request for Gawyn to die, and Egwene to hook up with Galad. At least it's not another begging for Rand + Egwene.
10:24 pm
Wow. I did not mean to start an epic Gawyn/Galad/Egwene/Rand thread on my Facebook, but I appear to have done so.
11:05 pm
Some interesting reading if you're thinking/talking about Gawyn as a character can be found here:
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
from the comments:
Brandon: One other way to think of it is thus: The Wheel will keep on turning, and the Age that we live in (or like unto it) will someday arrive. Legends from what is happening in these books will have survived, and become the Arthur legends during our day. Or, in other cases, stories of other characters have survived in other mythologies. (Look up the Slavic god Perun sometime.)

Perrin is not a god, nor is Gawyn the knight of that story I linked. But perhaps someone who lived long ago, in another Age, gave birth to rumors about a young nobleman who made a mistake, and bore the weight of that sin for the rest of his days. And that gave birth to stories, which in turn inspired a poet to write a tale.

I find it interesting that the girdle of this story and the garter of the Arthur resurrection stories are both items worn underneath the clothing, next to the skin. The magic girdle that supposedly protects the wearer from attacks.
Cameron Tucker
627. Loialson
But Terez, what do you think that means? Mat's medallion? Nah, unlikely. Will Gawyn try to kill Rand but is saved by a magic cloak(that sounds rather silly to me)?

I'd love to hear your theories on how Gawyn will mess up so bad. :D
Theresa Gray
628. Terez27
I think the medallion is highly likely. Read the theory. ;) It got even more likely in ch. 8.

Also, keep in mind that is pretty much a rough draft of the theory. I wrote it as soon as the thought came into my head, but it's developed even more since then.
629. Johawn B
On the subject of the Crystal Throne. Tuon seems to believe that Rand will submit to her and after he has knelt before the Crystal Throne, she will direct him to fight against the Dark One. I cannot see Rand submitting to her control.

However, to secure an alliance he may agree to go through the motions of kneeling before the Crystal Throne. She may agree to this as I believe that the Crystal Throne imposes obedience on those kneeling before it to the person on the throne, and she may see this as a means of subjugating him.

I have long believed that the Tamerlyn Seat of the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends was in fact an actual artifact and not just an abstract concept, and I believe it is actually the Crystal Throne.
I have also thought that if Rand kneels before it, it may in some way recognize him as the true ruler.

This may be how he binds the Nine Moons to serve him.
Daniel Hanley
630. Kythorian
The "Tamyrlin Seat" is not a thing OR an abstract concept. As far as I know, those two words have never been used together in the WoT. There is the Amyrlin Seat in the 3rd age, but the ring of tamyrlin is the only reference to tamyrlin in the books. LTT's title as the head of the Hall of Servants was First Among Servants. But none of this has anything at all to do with any "Tamerlyn Seat".

Besides, there is a very good chance that the whole "kneeling before the crystal throne" was a corruption added by Ishy and won't happen at all.
631. Freelancer
theLIGHTONE @627

There is nothing silly about a Chaos Cloak.

RE: Tamyrlin

Is identified as the name of the first known channeler. A male sa'angreal is called the Ring of Tamyrlin.
Daniel Hanley
632. Kythorian
To Freelancer @ 631, as far as I know, it was just theorized by someone in the books (or possibly even just the guide) that Tamyrlin was the first channeler of the end of the 1st age/beginning of the second. I don't think that is confirmed anywhere though.

And we have no idea what the Ring of Tamyrlin is. It is almost certainly a Sa'angreal or a very powerful ter'angreal, given the importance that seems to be placed on it (much more so than if it was just a random angreal), but we don't know for sure.
633. Majkiel
Wasn't there a scene in TGS where Rand is trying to wipe out Saenchans and when sickness overcomes him he is forced to kneel and barely manages to run away from Saenchan guard? It's been a long time since I've read TGS so I' m not sure about that so I would be thankful if somone can clarify.
634. Mandarb_M'hael
Been reading the series since the late 90's by no means an expert. (Still learning about those great resource sites, please be gentle.)

All of this inciteful talk of the book I'm surprised no one has mentioned this sooner

“I am going mad,” Almen said, turning back to the man. “It’s not you who is mad, friend,” the stranger said. “But the entire world. Gather those apples quickly. My presence will hold him off for a time, I think, and whatever you take now should be safe from his touch.”

Maybe I'm just reading too much into this, but Everyone seems obsesses with the "Fisher King Theory." Could it be that instead of Rand actually healing the land he's actually healing mens minds, and that the food isn't spoiling people just THINK it is due to the DO's influence? If the taint can drive Male Channelers insane, why can't his touch on the world have a similar more subtle effect?
635. LTLurker
I would imagine that they need to touch the Dark One with Padan Fain's brand of evil. It is different from the DO's brand of evil, always has been, and it has always been in opposition to the DO. Evil, by its nature, is separate, antagonistic, and divisive. We know that the two wounds in Rand's side work against each other, and that sealing them together is how he has been kept alive. Rand's shed blood may be required because he has to lure Fain into this--and perhaps Rand's sacrifice or participation in the sealing is what makes it more than just a re-sealing, and makes the prison whole again.

Or, is all of the One Power used to seal the Dark One, which allows for the tainting of both sides--and humanity renounces the use of the One Power to avoid the consequences of the taint. In the Wheel's turning, there was a time before the True Power was discovered--there must have been a time before the One Power was discovered as well. Existing channelers might not be able to renounce the power, since channeling is such an addictive behavior--perhaps something more dramatic is required to close the True Source off for a time and to renew the DO's prison.

Where does Callandor fit in all this? I don't know, except that the second theory requires saidar and saidin together, as does Callandor. From the last sections of tGS it is clear that Callandor has a significant role to play in the Last Battle.
636. 11zeeshha
can anyone tell me why elayne's pregnancy prevents her from channelling.
I saw this for a while in the earlier posts but i didnt want to waste time by going through the other over 500 posts to see if there was an answer or something to this.
Alice Arneson
637. Wetlandernw
Johawn B @629 - Sorry, buddy. In Robert Jordan's blog post of 10 December 2005, he clearly stated that "The Crystal Throne is not the High Seat of the Tamyrlin." (In those exact words.)

Incidentally, back in 1998 someone asked him directly "Who or what is the Tamyrlin?" RJ answered, "RAFO."

The YA book "To the Blight" (Part 2 of TEotW) contains this glossary entry:
Ring of Tamyrlin (TAHM-ehr-lin): a legendary ring, believed mythical by most people, worn by the leader of the Aes Sedai during the Age of Legends. Stories about the Ring of Tamyrlin include that it was an angreal or sa'angreal or ter'angreal of immense power. It supposedly was named after the first person to learn how to tap into the Source and channel the One Power, and in some tales, was actually made by that man or woman. Despite what many Aes Sedai say, no one knows whether it was a man or a woman who first learned to channel. Some believe that the present title of Amyrlin is a corruption of Tamyrlin.

11zeeshha @636 - It's just the way it is. In Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 14, "What Wise Ones Know," Monaelle performs a weave called Caressing the Child on Elayne. In the same scene, she tells Elayne
"You will not have to worry about birthing sickness, but you will find that you have difficulty in channeling sometimes. The threads may slip away from you as though greased or fade like mist, so you will have to try again and again to make the simplest weave or hold it. This may grow worse as your pregnancy progresses, and you will not be able to channel at all while in labor or giving birth, but it will come right after the children are born. You soon will become moody, too, if that has not already started, weepy one minute and snarling the next. The father of your child will be wise to step warily and keep his distance as much as he can."


Elayne's mouth tightened, but what she said was "You can tell all of that with this weave, Monaelle?" ...

Monaelle threw back her head, laughing so hard that she had to wipe a corner of her eyes with her shawl. "I know this from bearing seven children and having three husbands, Elayne Trakand. The ability to channel shields you from the birthing sickness, but there are other prices to pay..."

So, long story short, that's the way it works according to the experience of the Wise Ones.
639. wagman26
@ Rand Kneeling

Why wouldn't Rand kneel before Fortuona. Her armies bring peace, order, and I haven't heard of their food spoiling, but not sure about that. Cleary she is a good leader, and the wife of his long time friend. To bring a peace, and unite together for the not so Last Battle, kneeling is a small price to pay. Perhaps this will be what "I doubt she will be happy about what I have to tell her" (Did not look that quote up, so it may be slightly wrong), is about.
640. wagman26

Just wanted to run this by you.

"Some Aes Sedai could fan life and health to flame if only the smallest spark remained."

Could, after Rand dies, the bond between he and the girls be that smallest spark, that some how Nyn, or someone, is able to use, and bring him "back."

Not sure if this has ever been discussed. But you seem to be very knowledgeable of many WOT theories. Would like your opinion on this. It was stated early in the EOTW, and I have always noticed that information early in a book or series, has a way of being important at the end.
Alice Arneson
641. Wetlandernw
11zeeshha @638 - My pleasure. I'd just read that scene a few days ago, so it was easy to find the answers again.

wagman26 @640 - "But you seem to be very knowledgeable of many WOT theories." Terez? Knowledgeable about theories? Well, that would be... affirmative. She's one of the guru types on Theoryland, that famed home of "hard-core fan freaks" who make Brandon Sanderson feel like he's "surrounded by a pack of wolves." If there's a theory out there, it's probably on Theoryland, and if it's on Theoryland, Terez has at least read it. :)

(New folks - please don't waste your breath telling me to be nicer to Terez. I am being nice - she loves those quotes as much as I do.)
Daniel Hanley
642. Kythorian
To wagman26 @ 639, the big problem with Rand kneeling is that Tuon(I'm going to keep calling her that. I don't like her new name), being the arrogant empress she is, would want to take over everything. Which would cause quite a few problems with a number of people who have fought with the Seanchan so far. And unless something changes, she is probably going to want to chain the Aes Sedai and other channelers if she is in charge. The Light can't afford that kind of division. The only thing that is going to work is Tuon agreeing to work for Rand. Maybe with the condition that Mat lead the Seanchan armies, I don't know or care. But even if it is a temp thing, everyone at least nominally accepting the leadership of the Dragon Reborn is the only thing that would work.

And about the bond being the smallest spark, the issue with that is that when a warder dies, that bond is broken. It doesn't remain after the death, so if he gets to the point where he is truely dead, the bond will go with that too.

And if you mean that the extra strength given by the bond keeps him from dying all the way, then he has not actually died as the Finns said he must. Its the same issue as those people who think he is going to fake dying. The Finns said he must die to live, not have everyone think he is dead to live.

On the other hand, we have seen many examples of 3rd age channies doing things thought impossible in the Age of Legends, so maybe Nyn really will learn to heal death. I find it more likely that she will just pull him out of T'A'R', or possibly the whole theory about him going into Moridin's body, but we will see.
Theresa Gray
643. Terez27
Actually, I haven't read most theories on Theoryland. I find most people's theories to be ill-researched and generally unconvincing. Like the 'Rand is dead but he's not REALLY dead but it counts for him being dead anyway' theories. ;)

MY theories, on the other hand, are awesome.

By the way, I have TOM now. I'm about halfway through. :D Just figured I'd drop the news to explain my upcoming near-absence from the forums. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. There is a nugget for Wetlander in ch. 3, though. I'm tempted to send it to her. :)
Alice Arneson
644. Wetlandernw
Terez - Well, you could shoutbox it to me, or email... :) But not if it will spoil the read. Can't spoil much, if it's in the next chapter, though... But I think I can guess the subject!

Oh, and yeah, I'd forgotten about the number of theories over there that aren't worth the time to read. I only read the ones that someone I trust recommends, so I forget that not all of them are that well thought out.
645. wagman26
@642 kythorian

Two things:

Rand's bond is different. First, Min can not channel, yet he is bonded to her. Second, veins of gold is what really got me thinking about the spark thing.


Who did you have to kill to get that!!
"I want, I want! I need, I need."--BM


I kind of knew Terez was the bomb diggity.
646. wagman26
@ terez

Now I am so excited, I can not sleep. Morning is coming early, and I'm on a fishing/hunting trip, and only thinking about TOM.


Have you ever had a dream, where you are standing on top of a pyramid, naked, and everyone is throwing pickles at you?
Or is it just me?
Jonathan Levy
647. JonathanLevy
645. wagman26
Who did you have to kill to get that!!
"I want, I want! I need, I need."--BM

Obviously, she used need in T'A'R to locate Leigh, (who was given a copy), and then ripped the book out of the dream world using Moghedien's weave, and bonded it as a warder.

The only alternative would be to get a copy of TGS which was accidentally balefire-stream-crossed with a copy of ToM during the binding process, and then crucify it on the day of a solar eclipse. Three days later you see that the cover is still of TGS, but the pages inside are ToM. This really works, but since only about 2% of books can channel, and even fewer know the balefire weave, it's not easy to arrange.
John Massey
649. subwoofer
Option "C" again- Terez is one of the special ones... kinda mentioned in the Prologue. It would figure that at some point she would get a book before the rest of us huddling masses. Heck, I'm surprised Terez did not get a copy the same time as Leigh. Probably was waiting for a complete print copy off the presses.


I'm a patient man, I can wait for the books. All I really want is that elusive TOR dingle ball that some moderators seem to be holding out on me with.

Naked and pickles hmmmm? Yeah been ther... oh wait, did you say on top of a pyramid? Nope, it's just you;)

Nicholas Grabar
650. Torman
Ok i've been following this about a week now. Came on the web to see when the next book was due to come out and found some free chapters to read. Since then ive read every single post it took forever but now im up-to-date.

Ok first of all, the chapter. It was good nice to see happy Rand for once hes been far too gloomy lately. I think it was pretty good if very short. I dont see where everyone is coming from with the whole made me cry thing. The only chapter I can think of off the top of my head that really made me cry was Verin's last moments. There are others im sure but thats the first that comes to mind. Ok i believe Rand is going to see the Amrylin but has he said hes been putting it off? im trying to think of someone hes truely been putting off seeing... Cadsuane maybe? Idk.

On the Gawyn kills Rand theory I dont think it will happen and heres why:
1) Gawyn wouldnt just attack from behind without letting Rand see him. He would want Rand to know it was him who killed him and besides Gawyn is honorable enough not to attack someone without any warning, especially someone with only one arm. he would probably face Rand in a fair fight. If Rand has access to the OP then it wouldnt be a fight at all. Even if Rand agrees not to use the OP or is somehow shielded or severed they would still have to fight. i suspect Rand can still swordfight with one hand I seem to recall him having to learn the sword with both hands at once point, dont got a book in front of me dont know exactly where it is might be mistaken. But Even if they do fight..

2) Min's viewing says Alvia will help Rand die. I cant see her Gawyn asking her for help killing Rand and i cant think of a reason why she would, i dont know, shield him? Perhaps it might happen but from our current knowledge id guess he wont kill Rand.

However i do not know of course it could happen we will just have to RAFO.

Now i am going to pose a question of my own. Since we have gone way off the topic of the chapter here im going to just go with it. What about the Sea Folk? First of all Min had a viewing that the Sailmistress who was with Rand's group (the one who struck a bargain with him) would one day be Mistress of the Ships. (I dont remember her name sorry) but right now the Sailmistress who obtained the Bowl of Winds and made the Bargain with Elayne and Nyn for teachers for the Athan Miere is the current Mistress of the Ships so something has to happen there. Also has Rand done everything that he is supposed to do as the Coramoor? Isnt he supposed to give the Athan Miere all the seas or something? So the Sea Folk are going to need some book space to finish thier story. Hows the Sea Folk going to play into TG if at all? any theorys?

Oh and


They say that you dream about whatever you were thinking about as you fall asleep so were you by any chance eating pickles in the nude while watching one of the Mummy movies or something? lol
Chris R
651. up2stuff
sounds like you were watching Real Genius with Val Kilmer. Am I right or did I just get kicked out of the bunker again?
652. wagman26
@651 up2stuff

I like to think of the late, great Socrates, when he said; "I drank what?"

Good call. no idea why I posted 646. Way tired, amped, little tipsy, stir crazy, insomnia, maybe some stupidity. Here is another obsure qoute.

"Another time, another place, coach Genero."

Back to the Wheel now.
Jonathan Levy
653. JonathanLevy
649. subwoofer


650. Torman
Also has Rand done everything that he is supposed to do as the Coramoor? Isnt he supposed to give the Athan Miere all the seas or something? So the Sea Folk are going to need some book space to finish thier story. Hows the Sea Folk going to play into TG if at all? any theorys?

My theory is that the Sea Folk will play their part in TG in a four-line retrospective quote by a Sea Folk historian of the Fourth Age printed after the last chapter of AMOL, or possibly in the glossary, and I desperately hope I'm right.
Nicholas Grabar
654. Torman
Ok I've read around a couple of the fan sites and such and I've never really seen anything on the Sea Folk and i was wondering what was left to happen with them. Anyone think Egwene will succeed in tieing the Sea Folk, the Wise Ones, and the Kin to the White Tower like she plans? She's basically got the Kin in her hands, if she can only convice the Hall of her Aes Sedai retirement plan. As far as the Wise Ones go, Egwene will need to convince THEM to associate with the White Tower at all. I like the idea of Aes Sedai going to the Wise Ones as apprentices. Maybe they will train any future dreamwalkers in the Tower since I can't see the Amrylin Seat taking the time to teach any herself, I'm sure there has to be some Dreamwalkers among all the Tower's new novices. And as for the Windfinders, as of right now it seems the Sea Folk are controlling the Aes Sedai and not the other way around. Wonder what Egwene is gonna do about that Bargain Elayne and Nyn made?
655. Shadow_Jak
@ Torman

Wonder what Egwene is gonna do about that Bargain Elayne and Nyn made?

Figuring two possibilities. No wait... make that 3

1. Mat has them call it even by calling in his chips for his part in the Great Escape from Ebou Dar, or...

2. Rand puls a Coramoor and has them call it off.
or my personal favorite...

3. Eggy tells them...
"OK fine. Bargain's off. We'll go back to square one. You can use the Bowl of the Wnds to set the Weather any way you want, we'll even provide Channels to fill in the Circle. Then we'll call it all even. No more trainers for you and you can just return in OUR Bowl of the Winds, (postpaid,please). End of Bargain, end of story.... unless maybe you want to negotiate an alternative?
Nicholas Grabar
656. Torman
Ha Yeah i like that third option but I have a feeling Halene (the Mistress of the Ships i probably misspelt it dont got a book on me) wont go for that. I'd love to see the two of them "negotiate" I have a feeling Egwene Aes Sedai calm wouldn't last too long. It looks like one of the Boys will have to save them (my guess is Rand, he is, after all, the Coramoor). Chances are the Sea Folk and White Tower are going to have to work together whether unless the change in management of the Athan Miere happens before Egwene is ready to talk. If thats the case Egwene will probably, not only get back the Bowl of Winds and all of the Aes Sedai teachers, but unlimited Aes Sedai use of Sea Folk ships, all of thier most powerful channelers for the Tower, and, of course, a vote from the Amrylin Seat for the choosing of the Mistress of the Ships. ;) after all the "ambassador to the Coramoor" hasnt proven to be the best Bargainer.
657. Shadow_Jak
If Eggy says the deals off, what are they gonna do. They got the Bowl. And they got the weather fixed. And they even got a bunch of free training. That's way more than a fair bargain.
Besides that, they also got out of town before the Seanchan got there and didn't get ate by the gohlam.

Speaking of Seafolk... Wonder if Talaan, the apprentice windfinder that Elayne lost will pop up in TOM.
Nicholas Grabar
658. Torman
She will probably end up in the Tower before long.. Or at least thats what i hope unless Merille is Black they gotta be going there eventually. After all she told Talaan she would take her to the Tower to become Aes Sedai unless im mistaken. And sure they couldnt do anything but Egwene wouldnt just call off a deal made by Aes Sedai for all of the Tower like that, undoubtably Egwene would consider doing so a violation of the First Oath. No she would find out Exactly what the Bargain was word for word and find a way to Aes Sedai around it. And Egwene wants to connect the Windfinders to the Tower. Slapping them in the face and saying ill be taking that Bowl back and theres nothing you can do about it is hardly a smart plan to "foster good relations"
Roger Powell
659. forkroot

Why wouldn't Rand kneel before Fortuona. Her armies bring peace, order, and I haven't heard of their food spoiling, but not sure about that.

In the prologue to TGS, Tylee Khirgan muses about food spoilage (just prior to the Trolloc attack). So the Seanchan were dealing with the problem as well.
Nicholas Grabar
660. Torman
And besides it doesnt matter whats fair, to the Sea Folk the terms of a Bargain are followed exactly like an Oath or Law. As far as im aware the only time a Bargain isn't followed is if Another Bargain is negotiated between both partys to replace it.
Rob Munnelly
661. RobMRobM
@643-44. I'm guessing that Cads has a hot flash and gets accidentally BF'd by Narishma. Oopsie.
662. Shadow_Jak
...Egwene wouldnt just call off a deal made by Aes Sedai for all of the Tower like that, undoubtably Egwene would consider doing so a violation of the First Oath....

Yeah, You're probably right. Best bet is likely Mat. They owe him big time.

Maybe more even yet, since I'm not convinced that the Windfinder he freed kept her part of the Bargain with him to wait... what was it, three hours before escaping?
Seems they were out pretty quick after he left.
663. Meerletalis
If channeling survives the end of the age, I could see an Egwene plan where all novices are handled by the Wise Ones, the active duty is the Tower, and the reserves are the Kin. She may very well be able to pull that off. There is also the possibility that they will all end up in collars...
664. Freelancer
Kythorian @632

I didn't say the ring was that. I said that it was identified as that. Hat tip to Wetlandernw @637 for a canonical reference in the glossary of "To the Blight".

wagman26 @639

If Rand did as you suggest and agreed to kneel to the Crystal Throne because of the need of the land, why would Fortuona not be pleased to hear about it? The two thoughts don't fit together.

Torman @650

The crying is over other chapters in ToM which haven't been brought up yet, except in non-spoiler fashion by those fortunate few who have early release copies.
And the future Mistress of the Ships is Harine din Togara Two Winds. (And I really hope that refers to the weather)
Nicholas Grabar
665. Torman
Ah Harine thats right, sorry i didnt have a book on me. Um yeah I'd hope the book has some emotional parts all good books do!

@ Meerletalis
If Egwene gets her chance there are Big changes in store for the Tower. I really hopes she does get that chance. And that we get to read about it!

Only one more week until the 2nd! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of ToM!
666. wagman26
@664 freelancer

Second quote was implied to be towards Egwene, as Rand is leaving the orchard and states, "I doubt she will be happy about what I have to tell her," speculating that she may not be happy about him about to kneel, and usher a peace between Fortuona and himself.
John Massey
667. subwoofer

I'm across the road from the Devil's address! I see the front yard is decorated nice for Halloween;)

Tricia Irish
668. Tektonica

You're across from Shayol Ghul? Well, you are up in the Blight.....
Better light a pumpkin to scare away the ghoulies....and the trollocs and the mydraal.....muwhaaaaaa.....
Chris R
669. up2stuff
Wag @ 652

Necessary Roughness? Truly one of Sinbad's CMOA.

Tricia Irish
671. Tektonica

Please don't tell me you have that on your truck. Trying to influence folks with stickers and license plates always amazes me....and amuses me.
John Massey
672. subwoofer
Nope, don't even have a vanity plate. Spoils the lines and all. I feel the same about folks that wear t-shirts with slogans. You don't need stuff to say you have an attitude, live life large and people will know it.

OTOH if someone wants to put stuff on their car, let 'er rip. It's their car, so be it. I'm not going to look down my snout at people exercising their freedom of expression. Besides "God is my co-pilot" sounds much better than "God is my swamper". Me? I'd rather nap and let God take the wheel- too many psychos on the road texting or talking while driving with no care at all that they are in 2000 lbs of moving steel.

John Massey
673. subwoofer
.... apparently if I want to end a thread, I just have to make people feel awkward about a simple proclamation of Faith.

... unless there are a lot of really bad drivers posting on this thread;)

James Hogan
674. Sonofthunder
sub, I'm with you on the bumper-sticker approach...very minimalist. I never even had any stickers on my old car at all until my roommate stuck a random "Drop Ducks Like Rain" decal on there just because he'd been sending away for bunches of free decals for his guitar case. I never knew what that meant for the longest time...
Tricia Irish
675. Tektonica

Don't misinterpret....I love reading all the crap stuff people plaster on their cars! What else is there to do in bumper to bumper traffic on I-95? I am entertained trying to figure out what some of the obscure stickers and symbols mean, and what the vanity plates say.

I just find the religious and political stickers odd, like a "slogan" would affect my beliefs or the way I vote. Gee, that would be superficial and uninformed! But hey, if you want to declare your views for all the world to see, go for it! It's a free country, last time I checked.
676. 11zeeshha
I was thinking about how Rand cleaned saidin and i realized something. Since saidin is infinite then that means that the taint on saidin was also infinite, yes?But if there's an infinite amount of saidin and therefore infinite taint, then how could saidin be fully cleansed?

I have a theory that the one power is not actually infinite and that's why we can't channel a few ages b/c the one power somehow needs to replenish itself. Wat do u guys think?

P.S. It's Moraine who said that the one power is infinite in TEOTW no idea what chapter to Egwene when she was explaining it to her. It's near the beggining of the book.

Since we all know that the three oaths don't prevent you from telling something false if you truly think its true, Moraine could be wrong and the one power actually can be used up.
Jane Smyth
677. Kaboom
As far as I understood it, the taint was just at the "surface" (or perhaps at the interface) of the source. They had to go through the taint to get to the source, but the source itself is not tainted. The taint got dragged with the power to the male channeler.

I do not believe that the power is finite as it is what turns the wheel of time. If it was finite, the wheel would eventually stop turning.

edit to clarify
678. 11zeeshha
@ 677

so is the taint finite?
I think for the taint to still be there after 3000 yrs or so and not be used up by ae sedai and forsaken during the breaking (unless those forsaken had protection), false dragons, dreadlords (in the trolloc wars), and also all the poor souls that go mad when they start channeling, it would have to also be infinite like saidin.

And yes i can see what you mean by the power being needed to turn the wheel. Then I suppose something happens to the humans? The culling probably? Except I don't think that male channellers will be persecuted anymore and here's why:

1.)Aes Sedai now know that saidin is clean so they wouldn't gentle anyone now.
2.)Also although we don't know yet since its never mentioned, but i think its implied, the aiel also might know, since Rand wouldn't want any aiel channellers to go kill themselves.
3.)Plus Rand has said to the sea folk or at least he was going to tell them not to kill their male channellers as well. (he was thinking that their might be another Jorlen Corbesan among them TGS CH 5)
4.)Now as for the Sharans they don't cull their population b/c of their breeding methods for channellers.
5.)Idk wat will happen with the Seanchan. Maybe Rand will ask them to leave their male channellers to him and then start training them as ashaman?
Roger Powell
679. forkroot

I just find the religious and political stickers odd, like a "slogan" would affect my beliefs or the way I vote.

So I guess there's no chance my bumper sticker would convince you that I killed Asmodean?
Michael Maxwell
680. pike747
I went to my local, downtown, bookseller today Friday 10/29 and asked if they would have The Towers of Midnight available on Tuesday.
“It’s in that box right there.” She said
“But I/you cannot sell it until Tuesday.” We said in unison.
She said she could let me see it though and opened the box with her like, two or three copies in it and let me hold mine. I was, at least, able to pay for it as well. So I had a very cool moment, at a bookstore about what I just know is a very cool book even if it seems as though it will hurt. The clerk was not a fan but she was obviously amazed at the level of interest in this book.
I suppose I felt a tiny fraction of what Leigh and other insiders feel. Yeah it was pretty cool!
And I would just like to say to Brandon that you are a hard-working and diligent young man! The community of The Wheel of Time fans could not have a better writer giving us all that we need and the lust for more.
I loved the first chapter and that Rand is on a positive wave. It will be a difficult three and a half days but I held it already!
Birgit F
681. birgit
I think for the taint to still be there after 3000 yrs or so and not be used up by ae sedai and forsaken during the breaking (unless those forsaken had protection)

The Forsaken were imprisoned when saidin was tainted. Ishy was the only one who occasionally was free enough to channel, and he had the DO's protection.
682. 11zeeshha
the ones known as forsaken now were only the thirteen most powerful. Moghedien says to Moridin that there had been 29 others who had been given permission to use the true power and we also know that almost half of the Aes Sedai went over to the shadow during the War of Power. They were ALL forsaken.
Daniel Hanley
683. Kythorian
To birgit @ 681 & 11zeeshha @ 682, I don't think we know that the 13 forsaken we know were even the 13 most powerful. We know from an interview with RJ that six of them were consistantly at the top of the chosen (Ishy, Demandred, Sammael, Graendal, Semi, and Lanfear), but the other seven were just those who happened to be at a meeting there and survived the fighting with the 100 companions. They would have had the DO's protection against the taint though. That comes as a side effect of the link that is formed when they make their oaths in Shayol Ghul.

Regardless, I think we can assume that the taint is finite, given that Rand removes a finite amount of it in the cleansing, and it appears there is no more. All this means is that when someone is driven insane from the taint, it doesn't remove the taint. After someone uses the one power, it returns back to the True Source to be used again by someone else. Apparently the taint does the same. When someone channelled saidin, the taint passed through them, driving them a little insane, then returned to Saidin.
Patrick Huff
684. pattack
I've read several of the latest posts concerning Egwene, the kin, sea folk and wise ones and I gotta put some sense into it all if I can.

If the Aiel are to be nearly wiped out, I don't think there will be many wise ones left to train Aes Sedai. The sea Folk will no doubt be used to carry reinforcements ,munitions and food from the southern cities like Tear and Illian upriver to the battle which will most likely take place near Camlyn. The kin and the revelation of their ages will undoubtable be a revelation for the Aes Sedai who survive the last battle. Also, The Kin are not subject to the restrictions of the Aes Sedai which could prove beneficial in the battle ahead.

One thing is for sure is Egwene will have her hands full in the Tower maintaining and training for the Last Battle. I was disappointed that there wasn't a little more said at the end of TGS to point her on her way.

The last battle will change the entire world no matter who wins and loses so keep in mind that lands,titles,cities and politics will definately change with them.
Daniel Hanley
685. Kythorian
To pattack @ 684, my guess is that almost all of the aiel who are currently in the waste are going to get wiped out, including the craftsmen, Shaido, etc, and the survivers will be the couple hundred spears who followed Rand out of the waste and who survive TG. But this number includes most of the channeling Wise Ones already. I'm sure a few of these will die facing Black Ajah, darkfriend Asha'man, and the remaining forsaken, but most should survive. There are currently several times as many channeler Wise Ones as Aes Sedai, so even if the fatalities run pretty high, there should end up at least as many channeling Wise Ones as Aes Sedai regardless.

Also, Aes Sedai can attack shadowspawn without breaking their oaths(that is specifically included in the oath). So apart from the fact that they mostly appear to be pretty bad at battle channeling as a group, they should be fine in the Last Battle.

I'm sure we will get more of Egwene training and organizing everyone in ToM...tGS was just about her actually unifying the Tower again. it has only been a couple of days since she was raised in the Tower as of the beginning of ToM.
Roger Powell
686. forkroot
pattack, Kythorian
I too am guessing that the Egwene chapters in ToM will be about training/organizing for the Last Battle, although I suspect Eg's first order of business would be to teach/remind the entire Tower about linking as an effective defense should there be another Seanchan raid.

The other question is: What to do with Gareth Bryne's army? Seems like they're all dressed up with nowhere to go (at least nowhere in Tar Valon).

I would hope that Egwene and Rand could come to a quick agreement on how to redeploy that army as part of the forces of Light. With TG imminent, I cannot imagine Bryne objecting - I'm sure he and his men would prefer to fight to save humanity vs the AS intramural dustup they just avoided.

Here's hoping we learn more in 3 days (I can hardly wait!)
687. bobxyzp
Sorry, I'm too lazy to read the previous 680 + posts, but just want to say:

That whole trade winds in another age bit was like a brick in the face, it took me out of the story that much. Please no more of that, Mr Sanderson.

Rand's dialogue was a bit clunky, and I feel the new names are a bit off, too, but that may be my imagination.

Having said that, the story itself was lovely.
688. zigeo
Can't wait!

I've just read through TGS again in preparation, and I've got some ideas (only speculation) on what I think is to come.

1. Is it just me or does anyone think "Mazrim Taim" is actually "Demandred"?

We don't know what he's actually doing from a chapter of the remaining forsaken back in KoD from the view of Graendal, and it hints that he likes commanding an army, and what better army than one who could take down the dragon himself, as he has wanted to do for so long?

2. Rand must be going to see Egwene as hinted in the prologue, but will be shocked by the change, to the White tower itself in ruins, and the fact she is now the Amyrlin Seat, and he may well have to have a lengthy chat to her about what's happened these last months, and will ultimately discover that the Seanchen have attacked the White tower. He may well learn of their prophecies, of which he is supposed to bow to the Crystal throne and be bound to them.
He could well see around this, by perhaps travelling to the palace of Fortuona, with Egwene and other Aes Sedia as an escort and bow to Fortuona but then force or persuade her to listen to him and being them round to his way of thinking.

She could then announce she's married to Mat, to throw him off guard as she has already shown she has a strong enough will to counter Rand's ta'vern pull, and then between them they work something out? Possibly?

3. Mat himself (as already hinted) will find out the fate of Moiraine Damodred, in the Tower of Ghenjei, and (my guess) is that it is some sort of place where, once inside, (I forget the desciption of what you need to do to get in, I know it's explained somewhere) you can talk and have access to the supposed dead, and there is a way where you can bring people back.
To do this though, I assume (in Moirane's letter to Thom) you need to play a game similar to snakes and foxes, and Mat and Thom will have to cheat (as you can't win the game without cheating) to win Moirane back.

My bet is that Oliver manages to persuade Mat to be the 3rd person, and it is him who works out how to win the game, probably involving Thom admitting he loves Moirane too much to let her stay in that place.

4. Perrin will (against his will) remain with his army, and Galad will (after a little hiccup with other whitecloaks) become the leader of them and lead them to Elayne and whilst there, will discover his mother is still alive, from Rand who will come to visit them to see how she is in charge of the Sun throne.

Those are my speculations (I have more but of course I don't want to spoil it for myself and will wait the couple of days to read it all myself!)

Yasiru Ratnayake
689. yasiru89
I'm actually glad I didn't come across this sooner, I wouldn't have been able to pay any attention to anything of import till I got my hands on the book if I had! This is likely one of the best written first chapters, with the overview of the Seanchan empire in shambles depicted in Jordan's customary detailed and allusion-heavy narrative by the beginning wind's course. The fusion of Jordan's and Sanderson's writing styles seems to have reached an equilibrium, and a very welcome one at that.
On the story itself I've been looking forward to something of this sort since the second quote before chapter one of The Eye of the World, but still the surprise of seeing an old character pop up who was due reward for his kindness- well, very nicely executed! Also curious is who rules Seandar; the imagery from Seanchan is likely to do the title, and though I've a feeling Mat's 'taking away half the light' event might be due in this book, I can't quite place it together with the Seanchan.

“There are always things of use around, if you look closely enough. You can’t stare at them too long. To learn but not be overwhelmed, that is the balance.”

That from Rand might indicate past memories (in a Kwisatz Haderach sort of way) or even things he's thus far been blind to in his tightly held but seething fury. But what's more interesting I think is the mention of balance, which might be telling of the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai ('Under this sign will he conquer' suggests interesting possibilities). Sealing the Dark One's prison might involve the True Power, but for now I think Rand is done with it.

If he's going to meet Egwene (the only other possibility I can think of is Tuon, but she's more easily reachable by gateway directly from the top of Dragonmount since he's already Travelled there), I think the grimace might have been for having to tell her that he needs command (she's going to be in no mood to relinquish that for anything, since most Aes Sedai seem to have the same mindset as the Seanchan of 'setting the Dragon against the Dark One', despite being scared silly of the latter), which he will need for any sort of cohesion within the forces of the Light during Tarmon Gai'don. And though she might overcome his ta'veren influence for the most part, I wonder if some Aes Sedai might not just drop to their knees at the sight of him. Also, Egwene's method of dealing with Rand- not shouting at him will simply be met with Rand not shouting at her either (and his serenity isn't the thin veneer Aes Sedai seem so proud of), so that rather explains the lack of a shouting match. A confrontation with Gawyn however might shatter Egwene's own calm.
About the attitude towards the 'Tar Valon witches', the Aes Sedai should feel lucky both for their foolish arrogance in thinking themselves 'of a different flesh' as well as people being uneasy around them- if anyone caught more than a whiff of the internal workings of the White Tower, they'd be known instead as the 'clumsy and incompetent Tar Valon witches' and people would simply refuse to listen to even their sound advice. They've certainly fallen far if even the Forsaken (who seem to despise Aes Sedai) seem to cringe at giving them the title (and they often also make the Forsaken seem well-balanced individuals in things they do and say and what they take for granted or underestimate or overestimate (usually themselves on this last)).
John Massey
690. subwoofer
@Zig- it is a head scratcher- there is a chapter at the end of KoD that says otherwise- "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule" etc, etc, but for the most part the Taim- Demo thing has kinda been disspelled. I dunno, I'm a simple pup- go ask the gurus- Terez? What say you?

Aiel being cannon fodder. Well, I think there will be a fair chunk of casualties in general. The Aiel are gonna be the ones charging h-e-double hockey sticks with a bucket of water and small clothes and that's about it. I dunno. Aiel are fairly fatalistic, but I also think that en mass, they are very skilled fighters. Folk's will die. Wolves will die. Big butcher's bill- but that has to happen in a massive war. Trollocs can't be the only ones to get it.

Personally- I think the bulk of the Aiel attrition is when they embrace the way of the Leaf. Coversely, it depends on who we now classify as Aiel- the warrior societies or the peaceful ones now. That might account for the vastly diminished numbers too.

Egwene- well folks I don't see a whole whack of training time between now and the Last Battle. Things are going to hit the fan quite quickly around here. Problem with the Kin is that currently- Elayne is sheltering them. They are just being used for Healing and transport, the Kin have not been taught how to use the Source as a weapon. So realistically, if I was a general, I would not waste time trying to teach an old dog new tricks, I'd be playing to the skills the Kin have. There are over 1000 Kin- or as numbers tell, nearer to 2000. I'd be using them for what they know- Healing, transport and support roles. Travel food to the troops. Heal the injured. Shunt messages around- and the most important- spy. The Kin look old/ normal, they do not possess the ageless Aes Sedai face. Use that to your advantage as well.

Yasiru Ratnayake
691. yasiru89
Another thing worth noting is that with the comments from Seanchan about the prophecies of the Dragon being corrupted on this side of the Aryth Ocean, it stands to reason that (being as vague as people find them on this side and as divided as the land is (narrative's side that is)) the explicit reference to the Nine Moons 'serving' anyone just irked the Seanchan and caused them to alter their versions so as not to let anything stand above the strong empire they were building (the Empress is treated more as God than is the Creator to the Seanchan if you've noticed). So I think the prophecy about Rand having to kneel before the Crystal Throne is simply fake.
As for the Aiel, it is doubtful that they'd be obliterated just because they're concentrated somewhere. It would make the 'remnant of a remnant' some part of whoever followed Rand out of the Waste, but this doesn't fit in (for me at least) with the more subtle ways the Aiel were broken thus far.
John Massey
692. subwoofer
And don't forget that Semi was neck deep in messing with the High Blood of the Seanchan. There is no telling what kind of things Semirhage has done to the original Seanchan prophecies and what is now tainted and twisted. Can't take anything on faith there.

Yasiru Ratnayake
693. yasiru89
I think it was also alluded that the Seanchan 'problem' is Ishamael's work during the time he was advisor to Artur Hawkwing. He could easily have manipulated events through the course of 3,000 years to make Rand's job more difficult.
Ishamael/Moridin is one of my favourite characters (well, yes, he is evil), because he seems to be what he is not for the temptation of power but for the inevitability he sees in it all. He might also have the same awareness of the past as Rand seems to have now, since he's always spoken of the two of them battling each other over and over (and well to note that at one point, Rand tells him with certainty that he's never bent to the Dark One in a thousand lives (or something like that)).
694. zigeo
@Woof- it is indeed a head scratcher. But the hint that he said "let the lord of chaos rule", much like a similar quote I remember seeing from book six (Lord of chaos!) and also from the myrddraal Shaidar Haran when they also say the same, hinting that the Dark One wanted Rand to sow destruction across the land whilst he was going insane, and Demo has to listen to the Dark One, and was probably happy that "The Dragon Reborn" was destroying everything when he was supposed to save.

I'm just trying to think where else he could be if not there! I'm sure they will have a showdown right at the very end though! It's seems right that an ancient rival should battle it out as a final thing. Possibly even somehow (I have no idea how but it happened in Star Wars as an example) that Rand somehow manages to make Demo change sides and help him when all else fails! You just don't know!

I dunno though. Guess we only have to wait a couple of days to find out!

John Massey
695. subwoofer
Yeah, good point. I don't think Ishamael has the same memory block that Rand does though. From all the encounters Ishamael's memories are completely intact. And, as I have said this before, I think Rand's big task is to not yeild to the DO. There has to be a reason that Rand is still alive despite the long odds. The DO could have snuffed out Rand a long time ago, yet Rand is still alive. I think the big pull is to turn Rand. Maybe the 13 x 13 trick will finally come into play. Who knows?

Michael Maxwell
696. pike747
My theories,
Rand has learned that he needs to bend, not break. I am sure there will be many battles and they will be brutal not beautiful battles. I think he has discovered that force and might are necessary to prevent the opposition over-running Team Light but not what is going to win. The way of the leaf and the song are key to victory. Almost everyone except the Tinkers will be amazed by this.
The Aiel. It could be said that a remnant of the way they were before Rand has been left behind and also the Shaido who were headed back to the Three-Fold-Land after Malden. Certainly many will wake from the dream and some will return to TWOTL.
Egwene. I can only hope that she can let go of her concept of Aes Sedai "controlling" The Dragon Reborn. IMHO that is the only thing between her and complete awesomeness. Rand is certainly not going to be able to fool her and they very much need to work together.
Mat has so much on his plate in these final days! The Tower of Ghenjei arc alone could take up most of this book and probably quite a bit of the next one. Add in getting the cannon and cannonballs made, some sort of interaction with his wife, preparing troops for the LB. I have to agree that Olver should figure heavily into the plot of the Tower of Ghenjei.
Elayne. My goodness she was absent from TGS. As someone else said earlier she couldn't get out of a bath between chapters 2-7. It will need to go something like Matt asking her to make some cannon. Drat Rand! Oh okay! Hi mother good to see you but I must run and rule you know. (I seem to remember Rand trying to sneak off in WH)
There could be more for several characters but I think I could fill seven or eight hundred pages with that. I didn't say it would be good. The tidbits from ToM have been very good thank you.
Yasiru Ratnayake
697. yasiru89
People expecting Rand to actually bend knee to anyone just makes me shake my head. Rand was the one who changed, not the petty lot surrounding him. Especially where Tuon is concerned, considering how everything almost fractured into a hundred little bits when people suspected Rand had gone to swear fealty to the Amyrlin, what can we expect if they heard the Dragon Reborn had knelt before the Seanchan Empress? That would be letting chaos rule!
Rand needs to 'bend' in more subtle ways, without compromising the awe-inspiring figure of strength people take him for. A good start is to stop making whoever he looks at soil themselves. Interesting that all this mollycoddling has to do with people, not for a second could Rand countenance yielding in any way or form to his ultimate enemy- the game there is not bend or break but seems to be to be broken and yet endure.
I certainly do wish for the 13 x 13 thing to resurface somewhere.
John Massey
698. subwoofer
Nawwww- I don't see Rand yeilding for anything. Yes, he is all touchy and feely- but by the end of this book- series- he has to whoop some a$$. It has to be- let the hunting baddies begin- bad diner food, skeevy motel rooms, truck stop waitresses with a bad rash...:)

Daniel Hanley
699. Kythorian
About the 13x13, Brandon has said that it would come up at some point in the last two books. .

To zigeo, RJ stated multiple times that Taim is not and has never been Demandred. There is also proof in the books themselves. I just had this discussion over in the ToM prediction thread, so go look there if you want the quotes. As for where Demandred could be, the two options are basically, either as the king of the newly united Murandy, or in control of Shara (in which case he will shortly be sending the sharan forces across the waste to attack).

I think he is in Shara. It is the only place he could gather both an army large enough, and with enough channelers to be a threat against Rand by himself. And remember that his primary motivation is to prove that he is better than LTT as a general and as a channeler. Shara is the only place at this point that he can get that. This is a quote from Brandon about Demandred that I think supports this:

When I met Brandon on the book signing tour, they gave us a sticky to write what we wanted him to write what we wanted. I am the proud owner of the only copy that says:

"To Kristi, I promise Demandred will be in A Memory of Light!"

I asked if I was right in thinking that RJ had saved the best for last, and Brandon simply said as far as the Shadow is concerned, the main player will be Demandred

-23 April 2010 - Kristi Deming reporting
So for a significant section of aMoL, Demandred is apparently going to be the main player. Because Moridin is the champion of the shadow, Demandred will eventually fall and Rand will face Moridin at Shayol Ghul, but for a lot of that book, at least, Demandred will be the main threat. Which indicates that he has to have some really impressive forces at his disposal. Which seems like it has to be Shara, to me at least.
700. zigeo

You're right of course. I had forgotton we hadn't heard much on the forces in Shara.

I must admit that does seem the likelier of the two, but I've never been to any forums concerning the WoT series, and don't follow RJ's messages very well, so I had no idea. For that I appologise.

If Demo is a mayor player in the next couple of books then it changes many of my predictions around. Thank you for enlightening me.