Oct 19 2010 1:20pm

Spoiler Thread for “Questions of Leadership,” the Second Chapter of Towers of Midnight

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon SandersonTor.com is pleased to offer the audiobook version of “Questions of Leadership,” the second chapter of Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson! You can listen to the chapter here, but please keep discussion of spoilers to this thread (or other spoiler threads), so as not to spoil anyone who can’t listen to the chapter yet or who hasn’t read the other available Towers of Midnight material.

Towers of Midnight, the thirteenth book in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series comes out on November 2nd from Tor Books.

1. wagman26
ohh boy!

Can a traveling weave, not be tied off?
Daniel Hanley
2. Kythorian
Hah! This practically proves that it was Rand's ta'veren-ness that caused the apples in chapter 1. Perrin appears to be causing a much lesser effect based on his ta'veren-ness (at least holding the dark one's touch away so food doesn't rot, if not causing things to spontaniously bloom again, but we know he is a much weaker ta'veren than rand).

Edit: Oh, and about the gateways, keep in mind that Perrin has horses and wagons, etc with them. So they need to make big gateways to be able to actually move the refugees. I guess they could gate Perrin back to Rand, but he won't abandon his people.

And besides...the pattern is clearly keeping the asha'man unable to make gateways until Perrin accepts that he is to lead the army, rather than disburse them back to where they came from as Perrin currently wants.
3. k2432
Thanks TOR for posting this.
However it appears that there is no iphone version and no way to download it to listen on iphone?
Do I need to be actually sitting next to my computer to listen to this?
S Diller
4. CuenDiller
AAhh!! 5 more hrs. till i get out of work. How am I supposed to get anything done now?
Daniel Hanley
5. Kythorian
Just listen to it now. *grin* That was certainly not how I expected the whole Galad thing to go though...Should be very interesting to see how things turn out between the whitecloaks and Perrin now.
Daniel Hanley
7. Kythorian
To Sanctume @ 6, There is no text version. They did the same thing with tGS. release a text verison of chapter 1, and an audio of chapter 2. If you don't want to listen, you will have to wait for nov 2.
8. wagman26
Galad situation wrapped up fairly quickly. I suppose a lot of loose ends will be tied up in this book, so I doubt there will many new threads to weave. Rand Taveren'ess power was definately, in my opinion, what was at work. The pattern is the true authority, and its will must be done. Taveren are tools that are used to fulfill this will. I wonder if Hinder Strap will recover from the bubble they are in, just because Matt stopped and fought there. I keep thinking of his fight, and refusal to leave his man behind to face that madness.
Ben Frey
9. BenPatient
There won't be a text version until the ebook comes out next year. and there won't be an iPhone version until the book is officially out. that's OK, though, Steve Jobs told you that you don't need Flash for anything. ;D
10. MasterAlThor
I can't contain myself. This was a nice little anti twitch salve. But it wasn't enough. Oh the joys of waiting for Nov 2. I almost wish that we could just balefire the days inbetween, but then that would eliminate my mothers and nephews birthdays. And it would get rid of Halloween. Oh well sacrafices must be made.

11. shargon14
I can't believe that we haven't gotten past Perrin's "I'm no lord" schtick. A dissapointing chapter.
12. Bain
Anyone who seeks leadership over others is unworthy of it. Leadership should go to those who make it their goal to serve.

Go Galad and Perrin!

2 more weeks! :-D
Justin Levitt
13. TyranAmiros
Kythorian @ 2: I had the same thought about Perrin, except I think the Pattern is holding him there until he can unite with Galad and the Whitecloaks.

I really enjoyed the Galad plot--I was happily surprised that the revolt came from within. It really works a lot better in terms of character development with the Whitecloaks second-guessing themselves and realizing that they must reform from within.
John Massey
14. subwoofer
Perrin is a humble man. He doesn't have Mat's memories or Rand's power. He is just a blacksmith, but what he is doing is the right thing. This chapter to me, is about everyone following Perrin, but Perrin having that same doubt within himself.

He is a leader in action, he just has to find that self confidence to accept it in spirit.

Thank you TOR!!! Thank you Brandon!!! This is well done and keeps the spirit of Perrin intact. Yay!

John Massey
16. subwoofer
Perrin needs to find his pride and his self confidence. His ta'vereness is working through the loyalty of the people following him.

Galad? Yeeeeee! Did not see that coming- seems like a lot of action happened off the page.

James Matson
17. angelsfan
Quick question. Should I listen to this if I haven't read the prologue yet?
Daniel Hanley
18. Kythorian
To shargon14 @ 11, we already knew that a significant part of this book is going to be Perrin working his way through his "I'm not a lord" and "I'm not a wolf" issues. Perrin's part of this chapter is just building on that off of his section of the Prologue, and Galad's part is building on his part from the Prologue. There is still a ways to go in Perrin's journey. I wouldn't say it was a disappointing chapter just because of that though. Several interesting things happen outside of Perrin's cotinued sulking

But yes, Perrin's issues are getting old. Even Mat has accepted his role faster than Perrin, which would have shocked me if I had been told that back at book four or five.

To TyranAmiros @ 13, well, the pattern is forcing Perrin to remain there until he can accept his leadership over the army that is coming together. Part of that is almost certainly going to be joining the Whitecloaks to that army, so I guess it is both.

To subwoofer @ 14, yes Perrin is a humble man. But excessive humility can be just as annoying as excessive arrogance (or close). As Rand learned early, and Mat learned recently, you need to accept what the Pattern gives you. Fighting against it won't change it, it will just make it more difficult for you.
19. Tabernerus
Can someone give the two sentence summary of what happened to Galad? As in, "Asunawa killed him in front of Perrin," or "He killed Asunawa to save his mother," or something like that? Just curious HOW resolved his plot line is. :) Thanks!
corey chapman
20. martianblues
To Sanctume @ 6
I think someone from Dragonmount or Theoryland may make a transcript of it in the coming days, but it might take a little while.

I agree @13, it is nice to see the Whitecloaks ousting some of their own over-zealous members, and not accepting that Galad is a DF just because a questioner says so.

Too short tho! Such a tease. But I guess that is the whole point, eh? Thanks anyway Tor.

NO you need to read the prologue first. or the Galad stuff will be out of place.
Daniel Hanley
21. Kythorian
To Tabernerus @ 19 The other Lord Captains turn against Asunawa, execute him (off screen, dumping his head in front of Galad), and release Galad, all agreeing to make him Lord Captain Commander.
22. Tabernerus
Thanks Kythorian (@21)! Talk about wrapping some crap up in a hurry! Yeah, baby! Giddyup! :-)
Maiane Bakroeva
23. Isilel
So, Perrin is still in denial stage, like he was for the last how many books? Really, 2/3ds of his chapters after TSR should have been cut.
And I whole-heartedly agree with him - he is a bad leader. Never understood why RJ was forcing Perrin in this position, which he is manifestly unsuited for. But with Pattern forcing the issue even a stump would manage to lead and conquer, apparently.

Hm... so Morgase is just there to prevent the imminent clash between Galad and Perrin? She didn't even get to organize Galad's rescue? I could hope that she is one of the people learning to fight from Tam... but no doubt I'll be rudely disabused in a couple of weeks, as most WoT women _prefer_ to be helpless unless they happen to be decent channelers and even then they chose to be helpless in situations where channeling wouldn't serve...

Yes, the Galad thing resolved itself very quickly and easily, and apparently in this case pride and inflexibility carried the day, rather than all that strength through submission and acceptance stuff that Egwene had to go through... I guess that Perrin-Galad confrontation is coming up next.
24. wagman26
Galad standing there steady, ready, whatever, whenever, was a very cool moment. One who stands with the Light.

Still comes across as: an excessively or annoying virtuous person, though sincere.
Sanctume Spiritstone
25. Sanctume
Had to find some ear buds and use the work computer. =)

Re: Perrin. Ever since EotW, Perrin has maintained that he takes things slow and think about it. Perrin always thinks of himself as careful because he knows he can cause damage by his size. His character is always been that way, and he is not comfortable in the changes happening to him.

Re: Galad. It's good to know that the CtoL have one leader on the correct side of Light that ties that loose end to move forward to the Last Battle.
Daniel Hanley
26. Kythorian
To Isilel @ 23, Perrin is not actually a bad leader, talent-wise. As Faile points out in this exact chapter, actually. He just refuses to accept this role. In some ways, once he accepts himself as a leader, he will probably be the best leader of the group. People follow Rand because of who he is and because of his power (military and personal). he has done relatively little true leading, and much of what he has done he has done fairly poorly, though its difficult to determine how much of that was due to his Dark Rand thing he has had building for a while. And people follow Mat because he is a military genius and lucky.

I'm not sure where you are getting the whole 'most WoT women prefer to be helpless" thing from...Morgase has had a life where she has become used to being a queen, and other people did the fighting for her. She had no business learning to fight until recently, and relatively little useful she could do with it even if she had. But otherwise, there are tons of women in this series who can't channel and still fight quite well...Birgitte, Min, Egeanin, all of the Maidens, etc. I'm not sure who you are getting this from.

If anything WoT seems to err in the other direction...women are regularly presented as being able to stand toe to toe with men in physical combat, which isn't really all that realistic in most situations. Thats more just a standard fantasy trope though.
Jonah Feldman
27. relogical
The thing about Perrin is that he's a different kind of leader. He's not a diplomat, or a charismatic speaker, or a brilliant tactician. But he is a leader. He just steps up to the challenge, doesn't give up, and lets his ta'veren, which is quite subtle compared to Rand's and Mat's, do the rest. He unites people together, and gets everyone to rally behind him through his determination. It's an interesting kind of leadership, and it's not surprising that he has trouble seeing himself as a leader.
28. wagman26
@ Perrin

A leader who thinks, believes, that he must be the very best possible leader, and protect all that he can, and when not achieving this high standard, berates himself for it, is a problem all leaders should have. Wish my elected leaders struggled with their conscience a little more.
John Massey
29. subwoofer
@Kythorian- soooo- R U saying that Perrin needs somebody Tylin-like to tie him up and run him down like a prize stag to build up his confidence?? ;)

I do agree that out of the three, Perrin is good at being lead by duty.

Oooo- but you also forget Live Free or Die Hard, and Kickass- girls can kick butt. With skill, it can happen. Fighting is not all about brute force.

Rajesh Vaidya
30. Buddhacat
Wow. Reading Perrin's old "I'm not a leader" spiel for the last NINE books was bad, annoying, and boring enough, but hearing it spoken aloud like that - that was awful. Almost puke-worthy. Blech.
31. wagman26
@29 Woof

That is a sound theory. Ahem.

Teresa Williams
32. teresaw2007
I can't wait until Nov 2!!

The Galad issue is crazy!! I was like "YES!" and pumping my hand in the air! Even though I know that it wasn't the way he wanted it to happen, he should know by now that the wheel weaves as it will and that it was meant for him to be in command of the Children. It's killing me knowing that his mother is with Perrin and co., and there's still that confrontation coming up...why doesn't she just SAY who she is for crikes sake!? Blood and bloody ashes! These storylines drive me nuts sometimes!

I am also one that is kinda tired of Perrin's "I'm not a lord" attitude. It's still too one-sided in the negative for me. I'd feel better if he were like Matt and start kinda excepting the role more since he has to know by now that this is the way things are until Tarmon Gaidon (sp? don't have my ref. guide handy lol). I just hope that his hesitancy is more resolved in this installment, since it just wouldn't seem right for him to do a 180 in the last book.

I really enjoy listening to Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do these audiobooks! They are wonderful!! Nov 2 can't come soon enough!!!! :) Thanks so much, TOR, for providing us with this wonderful teaser :)
Jeanette Baker
33. FollowYourMuse
Perrin is the best leader pf the 3, as pointed out Rand is in charge, but not a leader, Mat's followers follow because of his military strengths and because he is lucky, and I think because many of them truly like him, but if you notice when it came to leading regular people he was not so good, He is a Military Leader a good General. Perrin is a leader of people, all people.

I have never had the issues with Perrin most have had, I found his struggles to actually be more true to reality for any one that would have been in his position, and it has taken Mat just as long to accept being a leader, and really Rand has not yet that we have seen accepted being a Leader - a ruler yes but not a leader.

I had a feeling that we would see the book take on a faster pace with sometimes less details to get the rest of the story in 2 books, am glad, I can deal with some off scene resolutions for side plots so that I can get conclusions on things and more information on majot arc's.

I am glad that Galad gained his freedom this way, this shows that it is by the Light, that it was not a rescue by his step-Mom, or another, I think that would have been bad.
This gives Galad true leadership and support, what the Children need. This way too when he does meet up with Perrin it is on equal footing.
Daniel Hanley
34. Kythorian
To subwoofer @ 29, yes, a skilled woman can defeat an unskilled strong man, but assuming equal skill, the stronger person will generally win in physical combat. Brute force isn't everything, but pair it with skill, and it certainly helps. Historically, there are a few examples of women who have been able to successfully fight with men, but these examples are vanishingly few compared to the percent thrown at us in the WoT or most other fantasy. I guess it isn't PC to accept that while women have their own strengths, all other things being equal, their lack of physical strength does put them at a significant disadvantage in physical combat.
Jovan Vujnović
35. f4bles
I think this speed process with Galad being named Lord Captain Commander is Brandon's work.If the late Mr.Jordan is alive he would given it at least few chapters if not the whole book to resolve.But i like it this way better.
No disrespect intended for Mr.Jordan's work.
John Massey
36. subwoofer
On the face of it though- look at the differences:

Rand is the Dragon, the man who can channel to save the world. There is a certain amount of fear and awe that comes with that tittle. Even though we see weasely nobles trying to work around this, Rand has that pull.

Mat, the man's luck brings coin, and his battle savy carries a certain confidence with his men. I think Mat's noble friends are the ones that keep the troops in line.

Perrin- the guy has not learned how to delegate. he seems trapped into micro managing. And his heightened senses seem to let him notice everything going on around him. And he tries to solve everything himself. I think that readers find Perrin's thread grinding because it shows the real side of war, the refugees, the mud, the hardship. There is nothing glamorous about that. So it is a grind, but from personal experience, that is the real side of war. I think men follow Perrin because of how humble, honest and thoughtful he is. And I think that Perrin will turn his corner when he is reunited with Rand... or starts to listen to his wife- I can't believe I said that- wow. Go Faile!

To understand something you have to figure out its parts.

One thing that does bother me, why didn't Perrin get the Aes Sedai to Heal the Asha'man? It would save Perrin some time and grief if he could skip the mud and manure bits.

Edit- @Kythorian, this is obviously not real life. If that was the case, we wouldn't have these giant Aiel who claim to be able to run. Biology shows that most distance runners are light and lean. Look at the Olympics for distance runners. Heck, I was infantry, I know firsthand what running over long distances with full combat gear does to you. Not like Gaul or Rhuarc or the rest of them who are over 6 feet tall and over 250 etc pounds. So clearly we are suspending real life here. And in this world RJ has a female warrior society- called the Maidens, that do a very good job of kicking men's butts.

Edit some more- Thank you once again TOR- don't know if this took off the edge or got me wound up even more for Nov. 2! But it is a good thought:D

Daniel Hanley
37. Kythorian
To subwoofer @ 36, it said in the prologue that the damage done by the bubble of evil couldn't be healed all that well...the aes sedai were able to prevent most people from dying, but it couldn't stop them from being really really sick.

-It isn't so much the hardship that people find grating about Perrin's thread...its perrin's attitude. He refuses to accept that he is a leader, even though he has over one hundred thousand people following him at this point. Thats just blind refusal to accept the facts. It gets old after a while. On the other hand, we come from a very different time than they live in. In a fuedal society, there is a huge social difference between a commoner and a noble. commoners were generally just accepted as being incapable of leadership. it wasn't their place, and they should stay out of it. So I could see it being difficult to get past that mindset that one of the many nobles floating around these days should be doing the leading. It still gets annoying though.

And I don't have a problem with suspending disbelief. Its one of the most enjoyable things about reading fantasy. I was just objecting to whoever that was who said that women seemed unwilling to learn to defend themselves in the WoT world, since it seems obvious that the WoT has gone the opposite way from reality on that point.
Alec Ross
38. aross07
I feel pretty good that I predicted that, like Egwene with Elaida, Galad freed himself through the debate with Asunawa.

I didn't think it would happen so soon.
John Massey
39. subwoofer
Over 100 000? Really? I musta missed that part. Must listen again. Good catch.

The "I'm not a lord theme" is an old one, but Perrin's guidance in his coming to terms with this is the voice of his wife- Faile, who has been captured for the last few books. If anyone can break down Perrin's TR stubborness, it is her. Maybe if she dances the sa'sara for him then whacks him on the head and plants the thought subliminally in his brain...

"The worst sin a general can commit, worse than blundering, worse than losing, worse than anything, is to desert the men who depend on him. Men fight when they should run, and fools fight when they should run. But I had no need to say it twice."

Edit- Perrin's ta'vereness is holding off the DO's taint on the food too. Give the lad some time. This is the book where the training wheels come off. Look at Lan, this book he stopped going to fight the Shadow by himself. In the next couple of chapters, Perrin will be awesome, "save Rand"," save Mat", and probably "save Faile" Perrin once again.

Edit- hi Blind:)

Barry T
40. blindillusion
Well, that was abrupt. I thought Perrin would end up rescuing Galad, thus assuring, if not a friendship/respect scenario, then at the very least leverage to keep Bornhold and Byar off his back long enough for him to explain to Galad that he is not a Darkfriend. I suppose it’ll be Morgase that plays matchmaker amongst this group.

Perrin’s leadership issues: This late in the game, I’m simply waiting for the catalysis which will force him to except what the Pattern has made of him. It’ll either be his reunion with Rand, or perhaps Galad will help force the issue in some way.

As an aside, I’m truly happy to have gotten this Chapter. But I cannot wait for the 2nd when I can actually read it. I much prefer my books in written form.
Rob S
41. RobSS
why do they pronunce all the names wrong? :)
John Massey
42. subwoofer
The Puzzle seems significant.

And I think what throws me off is Perrin referring to this travelling city as "his camp". Soemhow I think a massive line of people is more complicated like that. The supply lines, the latrines, food, cooking- blacksmithing etc. I just get an impression of starving people and mud and the sticky "scent" of mud might be more than mud. No wonder it is taking him so long to get from A to B. But is this how the Perrin time-line catches up with Rand and Mat's time-line?


Daniel Hanley
43. Kythorian
Well, we have already skipped forward almost a month. Perrin went from over two months behind to almost caught up with Mat, at least(though it looks like mat skips forward a couple of weeks in chapter 8 too, so Perrin is still behind him, and they are both weeks behind Rand)

-Also, yes...the puzzle does seem significant. Maybe just as a symbol of his struggle to figure out all the peices of himself, but it would be interesting if it was a ter'angreal or something like that. Perrin has demonstrated that he is very good at puzzles like that in the past, solving complicated ones that have other people stumped very quickly. He has spent a month with this one. That suggests that it may be something special, beyond just a well made puzzle.
Sanctume Spiritstone
44. Sanctume
Yeah, first time I've heard those words and I've been saying differently.

Faile = FAIL. Fa-eel
Aiel = ALE. A-eel
Tricia Irish
45. Tektonica
Thanks Tor! What a treat. This definitely helps in the Tuesday *twitch* department! That said...I prefer the written word too, Blind. Nov. 2nd! Yay!

More dittering on Perrin's part. It's an old saw. Boring. He is a good leader. He's thoughtful and careful and acts too! Just go with it, man. And go figure out that wolf thingy too. Enough already. Time is running out! We need you!

I really liked the Galad bit. I like that the WC's figured out who the bad guys were within their ranks, and made a choice.....A good, Light-side choice. Long live Galad! I loved his backbone, and determination to not appear cowed before the questioners, by cleaning himself up and rising above his pain, and his determination to remain true to the Light in the face of their terror tactics. I'm also glad he didn't have to go through it.

It will be interesting to see how the Perrin/Galad meeting goes. Byer still wants Perrin on a skewer, but I believe Galad will listen to Perrin's side of the story, should he get to tell it, and he will hear his mother vouch safe for Perrin too.

I think we may see many threads tied up fairly quickly, like this one. Doesn't bother me....there's so much to resolve!
46. akers
I'm really starting to wonder is the Moiraine/Mat scenario gonna be completely told in this book. I get the feeling that Towers of Midnight is gonna end and leave us hanging. Something like, they fight the Finns, and right when they step back into the real world, Moiraine says" We need to get to Rand, I have something very important to -(show)-(tell)- him". Then curtains. Finito
corey chapman
47. martianblues
They are pronouncing things "wrong"?
Pronunciation of Aiel in one of the glossaries is given as (eye-EEL). I have listened to all the audiobooks from the beginning, and other than a few minor changes after a the first few books, they are pretty consistent with the pronunciations. I can't imagine that RJ and Harriet and co. didn't have any input in the production of the audiobooks, so I think they are probably saying things "right". There were a few things that threw me off to the first time I listened to the audiobooks, a different emphasized syllable than what I had read originally or something, but it's all good to me now.
Philip Thomann
48. normalphil
Well, now we know where the dead mules came from, I guess.

The whitecloak thing was as if late in book five, after Elaida's first council meeting, the Sitters said "Huh.", and then all got up to methodically beat her to death with their chairs.
Daniel Hanley
49. Kythorian
And I think we can all agree that it would have been awsome if that had happened normalphil. Would have saved us having to live through so much stupidity on her part. We just don't have time for that sort of thing at this late point. And I don't really want to suffer through it again anyway. Besides...Perrin might be close enough to be manipulating events with his ta'vereness.
Rajesh Vaidya
50. Buddhacat
I don't think the Byar-Bornhald hate-filled kill-mongering still continues. Especially Byar (odd that they pronounced it as "beer"; I always say it as Bye- er) - he seems to take Perrin's golden eyes as a personal affront. He may have had a brother or someone who was a wolf-brother. I think him or Bornhald is a candidate for Leigh's "I didn't think _this_ guy would have a MoA". Byar may even help Perrin with accepting his wolf-hood, in some way. You heard it here first!
51. hamstercheeks
Thank the Light Asunawa got what was coming to him.

Also, am I the only one who almost vomited when Perrin commented on how beautiful Faile was? *BARRRRRFFFFFFF*

In other news, I finally learned how to pronounce ta'veren!
52. Jasin
huh I always pronounced Galad like salad.
Eugenie Delaney
53. EmpressMaude

"The whitecloak thing was as if late in book five, after Elaida's first council meeting, the Sitters said "Huh.", and then all got up to methodically beat her to death with their chairs. "

... and indeed, that would be awesome. In fact, we could have seen the same scenario repeated all throughout the series if RJ (rest him) had employed the same ruthless practicality as BS in showing leaders acting pragmatically and not just politicking and being inane for politicking's sake, and for making the plot seem full of eventful, um, events.

We would have seen the multi-factions of Salidar beat each other to death, for example. I dare say very few high ranking Sea Folk chieftesses (whatever) would have emerged unscathed. Don't get me started on what would have happened if Tylin decided that her 'embassy' from the Tower was just absurd and just skewered them with her belt-knife.

In fact, if the Andoran upper crust acted with a shred of patriotism and realpolitik, they would have foisted Dyelin on the Lion Throne years ago, locked Elayne out and told her to go suck her Great Serpent ring. .
Daniel Hanley
54. Kythorian
heh...I didn't vomit, but it is funny reading this description next to the one in tDR when they first run into Faile. She doesn't really seem very attractive from that description. But it certainly doesn't bother me that Perrin finds his wife beautiful as it seems to you.

To Buddhacat @ 50, Byar for the MoA is an interesting idea. The only other person I can think of who fits the "I can't believe ____ would have a MoA" as well is Suffa. I think he is just a fanatic though...doubt he has had any contact with any other wolfbrothers. He just takes everything he sees as evil as a personal affront.

To EmpressMaude @ 53, while it would have been fun to see the seafolk beat eachother to death as well, I do have to disagree with your assessment of the Andorian nobility...while Rand was there, they couldn't do anything, and he was saying no to everyone except Elayne. And noone other than Dylin had the support needed to gain the throne on their own. Elayne did at least as well as any of them in gathering support. Clearly noone else was able to gather the support needed to have themself crowned between when Rand left and when Elayne gained the throne. Besides...while it may have seemed to take forever as it dragged on over several books, as wars of succession go, Elyane's was over very quickly from a timeline perspective...it was only a few months. It just should have been covered in two or three chapters, rather than two or three books.
Patrick Huff
55. pattack
I have listened to and read all the new chapters for TOM and the one thing that is constant in all of them is the bloviating that Brandon Sanderson is doing. I didn't find anything surprising about any of the content. I can see the reason why the book was split into three... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Daniel Hanley
56. Kythorian
...it was split into three because of the massive amount of material they need to cover. Brandon is already progressing through plot much, much faster than RJ did in earlier books (it isn't clear if this is just Brandon's style or if RJ planned on speeding up events as things came to a head). I don't possibly see how you could expect Brandon to move through the material any faster. Many people complain that he is moving too quickly as it is, and is leaving out a lot of the depth of development RJ put in.

And are you even reading the same chapters as the rest of us?? Yeah, chapter 8 had nothing new. That chapter was picked exactly because it is just a re-introduction chapter. It reminds us of what Mat is up to, and sets things up, but not much happens. But the prologue, chapter one, and chapter two were filled with developments...The whole Graendal thing was huge...Rand's re-appearance was huge...Galads story reached the point I thought it would be at a third of the way through the book in half of one chapter...these have had some of the most frantic pacing of the entire series, so you need to get off your high horse, stop bitching, and go away.
57. alsor
We should all walk in the light like tor.com ^^
Perrin is the char i like the least. Humans are in IRL greedy and Perrins is just unreal (mat like beer etc and women understandable, Rand was just angry at retarded ppl that don't understand that if you do not follow him you die gg). Perrin is unreal cause ppl like him never become leaders irl cause they are failures. Farmers that has no real brain and are in general retards. TBH this whole WoT is really so unreal from an irl perspective.

Tho it is a fantasy book! I sometimes fail to relize it when i am reading these books.
I hate myself for starting reading this book but once i start a thing i must follow it through, so one more book after this and i am free from this cursed book line.

P.S ty Brandon for speeding it up!
58. TorSaric25
At the risk of getting off-topic, I have a hard time understanding the sentiment that Perrin is unrealistic. I guess I just have had atypical experiences, but I identify far more with Perrin than with Mat, who I see as an unrepentant rascal, or Rand, egomaniacal and threatening. I can see how they work as characters but find them less real. I understand my opinions are well in the minority though. Just my two cents.

On a different note, I am excited for the coming book! I can't listen at work, but look forward to listening when I get home tonight. I have read the rest of whats released and look forward to Nov. 2.
corey chapman
60. martianblues
I think RJ may have been being overly optimistic about finishing the series in one more book. Considering how much had to happen, how many plotlines needed to be finished, and how long-winded he liked to be at times, if he had tried to rush everything thru to an ending, I don't think he, or we, would have been as satisfied as having more details like the rest of the series. It just wouldn't have felt right if it was too rushed.

@57 - alsor:
"Farmers that has no real brain and are in general retards." wow, have you ever tried living on a farm? If you were a brainless retard you would starve. He's not a farmer anyway, he's a blacksmith, also not a brainless profession.

@58 - TorSaric25
I also see Perrin as being realistic in some ways. A lot of people are whining about him taking so long to accept his position, but think about the timeline:
For us as readers it has been years and years of us reading about his reluctance to accept his role. But to Perrin it has really only been a matter of months, not years, since he has been thrust into this position. Not a very long time to get accustomed to going from a blacksmith's apprentice to a general with people flocking to you for guidance. No wonder he's a little depressed, that's a lot of stress for someone who just wants to go back home and be a blacksmith.
Lauren Tombari
61. alfie949
I can't listen to it! I'm signed in, but I just get a blank box at the top of that page where I assume if it loaded correctly you click on something to listen. Can anyone help?
Tricia Irish
62. Tektonica

Scroll down Tor's main page to the article announcing the Audio Release of Ch. 2.(It's 3 or 4 articles down now...right in the middle..the big articles.) Within that paragraph is a blue link...click on that and the audio box thingy should appear. Then you can click on the arrow to start it. Hope you get what I mean.
Matthew Smith
63. blocksmith
Not a big fan of the audio books...voice is never how I "hear" it when I read, but that said I liked the content.

One of my predictions was that Galad would end up the universally accepted Lord Captain-Commander, but never would have thought he would be a victim of Asunawa...and man am I glad he finally met his end. One of many that justly deserved it. Too bad it wasn't slower though...
64. CrunchCapt
Thanks for the pre-release audio sample Tor. But PLEASE get your act together with ebooks. People WILL buy the ebook, there is no reason not to release it on Nov 2nd.

As far as the sample chapter itself: Awesome. I sense Perrin's "I am not a lord" argument will come to a relatively quick resolution (Finally!). Faille was about to discuss the broken crown issue in the context of the duo's new leadership skills - this will only add to the size of the inevitable kingdom under Lord Perrin Goldeneyes.

And Galad's scene was a pleasant surprise ending to a plotline that has dragged on in the prologues for quite some time. I look forward to the meetup with Perrin and Morgase.

Now if we could only get that pighead Gawyn to reunite with his mom and stop blaming Rand, things with the Trakand family would be looking up.
Matthew Smith
65. blocksmith

A piece of advice...you can choose to follow or no.

The commenters on the WOT related threads are many and come from a wide variety of society and family situations. For the most part they are thoughtful, bright people that enjoy sharing their ideas and comments. You should choose your words more carefully. While it was related to describing characters in a fictional story, your casual use of the term "retarded" demonstrates you have some growing up to do.
Maiane Bakroeva
66. Isilel
Kythorian @26:

Perrin rallies people becuase he is ta'veren, nothing more, nothing less. He wouldn't have ever been a leader otherwise. And generally people who hate their jobs and whine about them incessantly aren't actually any good at them.

While I agree that unqualified people often desire and scheme to lead, truly reluctant leaders don't do too well. For instance - Louis XVI ;).
Washington was not a reluctant leader, BTW, - he volonteered and willingly participated in various military endeaviours as an officer in ever more important positions over the years and later equally willingly engaged himself in politics. He just didn't want the very top job.

Re: Morgase, she could have used the training to be her own last line of defense in case of assassination/abduction attempts and/or to take more hand in command of her troops, as all male rulers in Randland seem to. And IIRC both Thom and Bryne offered to teach her their skills and she laughingly (!) refused.


Historically, there are a few examples of women who have been able to successfully fight with men

Historically, it was nearly impossible for women to get any combat training or even to practice sports, so... Also, historically the best fighters with lethal weapons weren't necessarily the most physically strong ones. Leave alone the fact that victorious armies often consisted of less physcially preposessing individuals. Sure, strength and reach are big advantages, but there are other things that trump them, apparently.
I find it funny that you even bring this up in a series where people become expert swordsmen after a couple weeks of training.

And contrary to RL, women in Randland can have jobs/positions that would make weapons/combat training desirable.
Like, oh, AS in many many cases when they can't afford to channel and don't have warders. Heck, the Reds should all be ninjas or something!
Or Borderwomen, who can expect incursions from the Blight at any time.
Or anybody who travels a lot and can't afford bodyguards.
Or ruling ladies who want to maintain hands-on control of their own troops.
Or generally women who want to make their way in the world and have physical prequisites for it . In Westeros, army is still the best way for commoner to make a career. etc, etc.
Daniel Hanley
67. Kythorian
To Isilel @ 66, not going to argue about Perrin's leadership...we will see how it goes. I have seen many positive leadership traits in him, he just resists them because he doesn't want to be a leader. which is a significant issue, granted, but hopefully one he will overcome in this book.

I agree that Morgase was an idiot for refusing to learn at least some basic self-defense when two very able people were willing to teach her. I was speaking to the fact that you appear to have attempted to turn this one example of stupidity into a universal thing.

I'm not sure where you are getting that historically the best fighters with lethal weapons weren't necessarialy the most physically strong ones...while skill trumps strength, as I pointed out, strength with skill trumps skill without strength every time, which gives a significant advantage to the stronger person. Are you really denying that?

Also, not sure where you get that people become expert swordsmen after a couple of weeks of training...we have, as far as I know, two examples of someone becoming a blademaster very quickly. Rand spent maybe 6 months on fairly heavy training, and almost certainly some early memories of LTT leaking in, not to mention all the lives he lived when he went through the portal stone a few days before, many of which included gaining the heron, so that isn't remotely a useful example. Aram spent over a year of literally constant training, and was very talented too. Other blademasters have all required 5+ years.

Reds are almost universally stupid, so they are not a useful example either, but regardless, we don't really know one way or the other if they train in self-defense. Some of them, at least, might for all we have seen. They also suffer from the same issue that the Asha'man suffer from. When you have that much power at your fingertips, all the effort doesn't seem worth it. It just goes into something that there is a good chance you will never need, since in most situations, you can just channel your way out of, or if you can't, you are probably completely screwed anyway.

Borderwomen do train, so this is explicitly a point against your argument. They are known to pick up their husband's swords after they fall and continue fighting. Fighting well, from what has been mentioned on the topic. And we have Faile's example.

The only ruling lady we have seen other than Morgaise that we know anything at all about their level of combat training would be Berelain...who can kick some serious ass when needed, if you recall from her fight with Faile in the Stone. She specifically states that all Firsts of Mayane are trained to defend themselves against assassins.

So, again, your point appears to consist entirely of Morgase's example, and everything else you mention, we either don't know if they receive any self-defense training, or we have proof that they have.
Simon Taylor
68. VoxOrange
"ask some Maiden's to RIDE back along the road"

since when?
68. drewoftherushes
@67 Six months? From the time Rand picks up a sword to the scene at the beginning of tGH when he's sparring with Lan is about three months. One month of not traveling.
Tess Laird
69. thewindrose
Thank you Brandon and Tor!! Great chapter, wow things are starting to move fast!

I thought for sure that Galad was going to be serving Asunawa some soup. But I am cool with Asunawa's head being served on a platter. I guess Galad was able to do the right thing and will now make the Children an honorable group again. I look forward to seeing how Byar and Dain take to Perrin.

It is hard to realize that it has only been a short time that Perrin has had to accept being a Lord, but it will be nice when he just accepts it.

Me want book now:)

Eugenie Delaney
70. EmpressMaude

"Borderwomen do train, so this is explicitly a point against your argument. They are known to pick up their husband's swords after they fall and continue fighting. Fighting well, from what has been mentioned on the topic. And we have Faile's example."

Actually, Borderwomen DO NOT train. It's bizarre. Faile specifically says that girls are "not taught war, or the sword" in Saldaea, but then their societal custom is exactly the opposite: ladies and officer's wives are expected to ride accompaniment on campaign and even assume leadership if their husbands were to fall, but are specifically NOT trained. Huh?

Faile is an aberrant example, as one of her footmen was a soldier under her father and taught her some combat skillz, but that was informal and not all regular for their class.

As for the other Borderlands, Ethenielle of Kandor specifically says "that flame-brained Saldaeans" try to lead armies and use swords, but that is peculiar to Saldaea.

Plus, I don't know how you can say that we have no 'proof'' about ladies and their combat training, when there is even a glossary entry about how weird and uncommon it is for ladies to learn combat training and/or military science and so they have lance captains/captains of horse etc.. as a universal across the lands.

High Lady Rosana of Tear is noted as an oddity for personally wearing armor and leading her levees and carrying a mace.
71. 11zeeshha
@martianblues I'm pretty sure it's been 2 yrs now. In my opinion it should only have taken perrin a year to get used to the idea that he is considered a lord, NO MORE and the rest of the time doing whatever he needs to do. My opinion anyway.
Btw does anyone else thinks perrin is kinda selfish. I know that he loves his wife and all but still rlly. Skipping TG just to rescue faile. This is not a recent thought by him either.
P.S. I belive the reason for him taking so long to figure all this internal conflict out is because its essential to the plot that it takes so long. either way i'm close to crying with happiness that it's going to end in this book. I can't take the phrase "I'm not a lord" anymore
Marshall Garey
73. mogbob
A few things. First, about traveling/tying off weaves: Rand did it once accidentally, but he couldn't figure out how to do it again and even Asmodean said that only a few (including Lews Thering) could do it. TFoH, I believe. And about the Asha'man being Healed: the AS could do it, but it would simply leave the AM really tired again, and they'd still have to wait for them to recover.

About Perrin being realistic or not: I think he's the most realistic of all the main characters. Excepting his wolf abilities, he can't do anything else a normal person can't. He doesn't use magic, isn't insane, doesn't have other people's memories stuck in his head, isn't unusually lucky, etc. He's also made his fair share of mistakes, as real people do every day.

And about people expecting him to change his attitude: I think he is changing, but going very slowly, as is normal for him as well as his plot. He and co. are traveling very slowly, and his character seems to progress at the same rate of the events that have happened. Plus, he's had a lot of really bad stuff happen to him recently. He seems to be struggling with some form of depression or anxiety, and these people tend to take a very long time to come out of it. I think that we'll see something big happen that will help him to come out of his unwillingness to lead.

Even though he is unwilling to lead, the pattern is definitely forcing him into leading an army. Besides, he seems to be doing a pretty good job of leading anyway, even though he is reluctant.

I'm super excited for ToM, and I get to brag to all of you because I'm right here in Provo and am going to the midnight release at BYU bookstore! *Laugh with glee!* Woot!
Philip Thomann
74. normalphil
I think I have a definitive idea on how Elayne and Galad’s childhood went now.

(Galad is dragging a filth-encrusted eight-year-old Elayne Trakand back to the palace, after she decided to put on what she figured as commoner’s clothes, and walk the city incognito to learn of her future subjects, a minor crisis ensued, and he managed to find her at the edge of the outer city.)

“I will not chide you on this choice, it may have been the only one… I am sorry sister, I seem to be unable to finish my intended statement for cause of imminent laughter.”

(somehow Elayne manages to tilt her head in such a way that her chin is pointing straight at full-grown eighteen-year-old’s face. Mud flies quite impressively.)

Galad loses his noble defense against imminent laughter.
75. AndrewB
Let me echo those who feel that Perrin's "I am not qualified to be leader" mindset has gone on too long. I wish that Perrin would find accept his role (even if he does not like it). One would have thought that after Dumani Wells and rescuing Faile, he would have gotten over his insecurities.

Neverthless, the scen in the prologue and chapter 2 were well written.

Question: What did Perrin see at the end of Chapter 2? Any thoughts. Could it be the Whitecloak army fighting itself?

Galad scene: I thought his subplot (taken by the Asanawa (sp?) and ultimately vindicated was wrapped up perfectly. I love bloody battles in my fantasy literature. However, had we had a point of view from any of the other Whitecloack characters, it would have come across awkward. We have yet to be introduced to any of these characters in a meaningful way (i.e. be privy to their thoughts). Seeing this scene through Galad's eyes was the best means of presenting this information. I think it was more genuine this way than if we got to view the civil war in the Whitecloack camp first hand.

Thanks for reading my musings.
76. 11zeeshha
@ kythorian

I think Isilel was exaggerating when he said "2 weeks".

Also u forgot gawyn. he couldn't have possibly been at the tower for a year. Even if he was, then that's still a very short time to become a blademaster. Also rand didn't have LTT memories back in TGH when he became a blademaster if u could call it that. There is no proof for it. Also the lives he lived could not have affected his skill in anyway. They only showed him what might have been. Besides many of his lives with the heron mark blade weren't with him actually earning it. He usually had either just found it in his father's chest or his father giving it to him saying that he needed or something close to that not actually earning it except maybe for the one where he is part of elayne's guard. The fact remains that it's true that in fiction important characters usually develop skills way faster than it's realistic.

oh and one other thing u keep forgetting. You talk all about skill and strength but u forget speed and agility and reflexes. May i remind u that when rand killed his first trolloc in TETOW it wasn't because of skill or strength, it was speed/agility/reflexes. Speed, etc matters alot about swordfighting too not that i know anything about it but a faster swordsman can easily deflect a slower one's blade even if he isn't as strong or skilled. As with physical combat.
I'm not saying that skill and strength aren't important b/c if someone fast but weak and unskilled ever got caught in a hold he'd be done. but if his quickness is paired with either skill or strength or both then he could defeat almost anyone.
Maureen Sampson
77. msampson
I'm wondering if Morgase is indeed with Perrin or if she is with Master Gil and group who went the wrong way to Lugard?
Marshall Garey
78. mogbob
@All: let me make it clear that I'm excited for Perrin's imminent change of attitude. I'm just empathetic to him, because I've personally seen how hard it is for people to change and get out of depression, anxiety, stress, etc from being forced into doing something extremely difficult and life-changing. It takes some people years to come out of it, and others never do.

@AndrewB 73: Before I listened to the Galad portion, I thought the maidens saw the Whitecloaks. Now, however, I have no idea. It's like Mat in ch. 8: what happened there? Was it the golem? But the golem doesn't make sense because there never seems to be any blood (of any significance, at least) whenever it is involved.
Ben Norris
79. I_have_no_life
The first rules of battle:
1) The big guy eats the little guy unless:
a. The little guy has a bigger gun
b. The little guy has a bigger brain
2) Ball shots are pathetic and cheap unless you don't wanna fight or are facing a true asshole
3) The guy with the nuke, ALWAYS WINS!
4) Skill is nothing if you are charged by a 400-pound teenager with a mind to sit on you with his fat ass. Unless you have a weapon. Or really fast legs. All that momentum makes him hard to dodge, but if he misses, he punches a hole in the floor.
5) Potatos are awesome
6) Violence is golden
7) In real life, the good guy loses EXACTLY 76.97473% of the time, as of 20 seconds before.
8) No weapon is unfair, except 300+ additional weight.
9) The most hilarious way to kill someone is indisputedly the curb stomp.
10) In the Wheel of Time series, Mat always wins, but not without paying for it.
11) Ben was here!
John Massey
80. subwoofer
Well, if you can wrap your head around the WoT calendar, it is basically 300+ days from Perrin mustering the farms in the TRs in the book TSR to the end of TGS. Roughly a little less than a year. Perrin is doing his thing, to us it seems an eternity, for Perrin, he is who he is, a normal guy thrust into extraordinary times. As with all the things he has done, rescuing Rand, Faile, Emond's Field, Faile, going after the Prophet etc, while Perrin is a reluctant hero, he gets the job done, with a conscience too.

Let's not stoop to the level of telling people where to go and giving them directions. C'mon, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if it differs.

And farmers have earned their respect. Doing what they do in the face of the modern era, their duty and their ties to the land, I can't express enough how they do something that is vital to everyone's survival.

"It is better to be quiet and be thought of a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

Marshall Garey
81. mogbob
@Subwoofer 80: If I could *like* your quote, I would.
Mark Tisdale
82. Meerletalis
It sounded as if Gaul was on a horse. What was the name of the scout who gave Perrin the news?
John Massey
83. subwoofer
Oki doki:

"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."- KJV Proverbs17:28

Fair warning to all, I am know for my lack of spelling ability, but for the most part I do it on purpose, although I do still manage to throw in the odd capital etc. When Wetlander gets here, brace yourselves.

Edit- Gaul was not on a horse.


Daniel Hanley
84. Kythorian
To EmpressMaude @ 70...Hmm...I had forgotten about that quote. I know that it is mentioned that several ladies have effectively taken up their husband's swords and lead the men after they fell, so I assumed there was some training involved. That there isn't is rather insane. So I stand corrected in that instance. But yes...it is rare for women to learn to fight. Why wouldn't it be? Most women just have no need to learn to fight. There are a few examples of women who should learn to fight, such as those who will be going to battle such as the borderland women, but other than that, there isn't a whole lot of need most of the time. Or no more than there was on earth during the middle ages, and women didn't learn then, so I don't know why you see it as so strange that women didn't learn the sword very much in the WoT world.

To mogbob @ 73, what rand did was block someone else's gateway as it was closing. This is entirely different from just leaving your weave tied off, which is something that can be done by anyone who knows how on any weave. The problem is the size of the gateways.

To 11zeesha @ 76, Gawyn trained for years under Gareth Bryne(a blademaster) before he went to the White Tower. He was just polishing his skills and having it all come together there. And it did appear that "2 weeks" must have been exactly what he meant. if he had meant "I find it funny that you even bring this up in a series where people become expert swordsmen after a year or two of training"...that doesn't really make his point.

-First, we have no idea when LTT's skills started leaking over. Just because he wasn't talking to Rand yet doesn't mean he wasn't getting some benefit. Rand was using very complicated weaves that a wilder shouldn't have been able to figure out long before LTT started talking to him too. And there is the simple fact that Rand did master the sword so quickly. It is flat out said that even a talented person would probably require 5+ years to become a blademaster. The fact that Rand does it in 6 months-ish indicates pretty strongly that he was either getting something from LTT or from the going through the portal stones. And im not sure why you think the portal stones couldn't have helped his sword skills too. He didn't just see these lives, he lived them. including many of them in which he became a blademaster, and so he went through hundreds of lives learning the blade over and over again. He could easily have remembered bits and peices of this to help him become a blademaster so quickly. There were several of these lives where he did earn it.

But yes...main characters generally master things very quickly. I don't know why you are being so dismissive of several reasons why it might actually be justified in this case.

Yes...speed and reflexes matter a lot. speed and reflexes which a man can have just as easily as a woman. The only significantly difference between men and women as a group when it comes to combat is physical strength. So in general, men are just going to be better at melee combat assuming the same training. There will be exceptions to this, but they should be very rare...more so than they are in the WoT world, not less, so I don't know what people are complaining about.
Marshall Garey
85. mogbob
@subwoofer: I stand corrected about the gateway thing. It's been awhile. You are definitely correct about the size thing. The fact remains that even if the AS Heal the AM, they'll still be tired, and the pattern is very clearly delaying Perrin for its own reasons.
John Massey
86. subwoofer
@mogbob- agreed:)

To me this feels like the precursor to the seige of Tar Valon. Bryne was gathering his forces and Egwene and the Salidar Aes Sedai were mustering their courage to lay seige to their home and their Sisters. When things are ready, the Asha'man will be miraculously Healed or rested at the very least, and boom- Caemlyn. I just do not see Perrin willfully letting the refugees suffer for longer than needed. He is too compassionate a leader for that. And he is running out of food, money and other supplies.

Of course, Elayne might get a bit peevish with 100 000 folks suddenly appearing at one of her gates, asking for the odd cup of sugar...

Theresa Gray
87. Terez27
TOM Preview Freebies

That includes the two free scenes from the prologue and the transcript of chapter 2.

I'm figuring the thing by the road at the end of Perrin's POV is the statue of the sword.
Daniel Hanley
88. Kythorian
To Terez27 @ 87, unless Perrin stays there for a long while, that isn't it. The day perrin's part of chapter 2 takes place on is around day 776 of the series(the burned building from the bubble of evil). Rand sees Perrin at the sword statue on around day 801. We have about 25 days to go.

My guess is that it is the whitecloak camp. Keep in mind that Brandon appears to be setting a blistering pace for the beginning of this book...Assuming this is maintained, Perin is going to be meeting with Galad fairly early in the book, so he needs to go ahead and discover the camp.
Theresa Gray
89. Terez27
Yeah, but all indications are that he was hanging out there for a while, so I don't see why not. Also, the timeline is at least a little bit screwy, so it might not be quite that long.
Daniel Hanley
90. Kythorian
For 20+ days?? He appeard to want to hurry as of chapter 2. Unless something major changes that, i can't imagine him staying that long. For that matter, I can't imagine anything major enough to make him stay that long. And Bradon has said that although the timeline is off a few days here and there, it is pretty close. So it might be 22 days, it might be 30, but its not just four or five, which is the longest I can see Perrin staying, even assuming the stuff with the whitecloaks takes a little while.
91. Freelancer
Hilarious. After TGS, many berated Perrin for being such a horrible leader that he would chuck everything to the curb for Faile. Then Perrin comes to that same conclusion in the Prologue, expresses it here, and those same people want him to get over that and realize he's actually a great leader. Sheesh.

What's much more important than Perrin being consistent to his character (lest you all complain that BWS "missed" in writing him), is Faile working through an agonizing reappraisal, and deciding that her captivity was necessary for the both of them in many ways. Veddy interestink.

Pop-quiz: What's worse than a dark friend? Hardly a word of complaint that Asunawa dies too quickly, and off-screen. Good. Riddance.

The last descriptions we have of the locations of Perrin's and Galad's groups put them not terribly far apart, so it's any day now.

Sanctume @44

I've been pronouncing them in my head like this:
Faile = feye-eel
Taim = tah-eem
Aiel = eye-eel

Now, with Galad, I've always accented the second half, and pronounced it as the second and third syllables of Galahad, from whence cometh his name in the first place. As to his last name, I accent the middle "O", as Dam-o'-dred, rather than Dam'-o-dred as the narration has it. For that matter, I say Ghealdan as Gee-al'-den, not Geal-don'. But who knows? If it isn't pronounced in the glossary, and there isn't audio of Jordan saying it, to each his own.

hamstercheeks @51

One could hope.

Empress Maude @53

I think you attribute to Brandon a "ruthless practicality" which is more probably outlined by the original author. We won't know for at least two more years (and probably more, as Brandon will not want to quash discussions by telling), exactly what portions of the story are his own construction, and which are him following the information already set down by Jordan.

As for the Andoran "Succession", you forget that with multiple claimants to the throne, the nineteen major Houses are split; until one claimant has the backing of ten or more Houses, nothing can be settled. Patriotism? In the face of an opening for power? Yeah, good luck with that.

Hmm. Now it seems that Brandon has been tagged as an vrblwn wndbg as well.

alsor @57

May you never again in your life be so cursed.

I_H_N_L @79

About three times as much useful information as usual.

Terez27 @87

That's what I was thinking. Since we know they were camped there when Rand "peeked" at Perrin to give Nynaeve a clue where they were, and that has to be happening RSN...

And, that can easily be where they meet up with Galad's Children. There are surely going to be one or two unexpected events related to that reunion, some of which might cause the whole crowd to remain there for a time, even though Perrin is wishing to get on the move. Some or all of the following will happen:

~ Galad's reunion with his step-mom
~ Perrin's (and Faile's) realization that he has not one, but two queens in his retinue
~ Galad, after getting away from the Seanchan with 7,000 Children, runs into Perrin, who just recently allied with the Seanchan to save his wife and other people. No conflict of purpose there
~ Balwer may actually throw a monkey-wrench in the works. While he didn't like Valda, he served Niall's delusions of grandeur quite proficiently, even suggesting methods to weaken Morgase's resolve about letting Children be garrisoned in Andor. What chance he's been a darkfriend all along?
~ Alliandre and Morgase together might just convince Perrin that he's an outstanding leader
~ Berelain finally forgets about a blacksmith. What Ogier oath?
~ Perrin comes to realize that Rand needs not just him, but armies, and that he already has one

And all of this before Nynaeve and Cadsuane show up and "borrow" Tam
Theresa Gray
92. Terez27
@Kythorian - we know the statue is not far from where Perrin is now, so obviously something is holding him up down south. Likely the Pattern. I wondered if the mud was not just a random bubble of evil but something providential.

I can see it being something else besides the statue. I don't see why the statue would cause the Maidens to be 'concerned'. Perhaps it will be the reason that Perrin stays there so long?

Probably at least part of why the Pattern wants him to stay there is the army he's gathering. He can pick up a lot of the random Dragonsworn and 'Dragonsworn' and whatever while he's in the area. I'm sure Perrin's ta'verenness has something to do with it, but it's also probably something like Renald Fanwar's compulsion to just go join an army, somewhere. Wherever there happens to be one. The world is going mad, and people want to fight it.
Rob Munnelly
93. RobMRobM
Quick comments
- generally disappointed by the Perrin section. Emo Perrin returns despite the overwhelming success of Malden rescue. Step backwards.
- Even Gaul was boring, and that's saying something.
- Guess I need to reevaluate my belief that the Verin discussion of getting patternized in order to help Mat in TGS was complete horse hockey, given that pattern plainly is giving Perrin extreme fits (weather, refugees, ill Asha'men, etc.)
- Galad section wasn't so great either. I was expecting a Perrin-led rescue, with ensuing puppy dogs and unicorns and reunions. Now all we have to look forward to is emo drama, followed by the magical reunion. *le sigh* But the Galad-Berelain sexuual tension should be entertaining.
- Having Galad's posse exectute the Assman was fitting but not exciting.

Request to all: please don't discuss Prologue spoilers, as I haven't read it. (I only read free spoilers.)

Theresa Gray
94. Terez27
If you get spoiled, it's your own fault for being to cheap to shell out $3 for it despite being fan enough to have problems staying away from other spoiler threads. ;)
Rob Munnelly
95. RobMRobM
@94 - all too true, Terez. Guilty as charged.

@91 - Free, my problem is that Perrin had post-Malden emo phase in TGS when he was working on wagon wheels but then got nicely schooled by his mentor, Tam. I had expected him to be past it by now.

John Massey
96. subwoofer
I'm going with Free on this one-shocker!

I was commenting on Gabbly earlier today that this was very well done. It is very hard to tell what RJ has put down vs. Brandon's words. That is the best compliment I can manage. Perrin is consistant and his feeling and thought process is seemless from tEotW to now. Good job Brandon, you have this character down perfect!

Paitence folks. Perrin's time is coming.

97. wagman26
@73 mogbob

I believe he said that only LT and a few others could tie one off that was already closing.

@76 11zeeshha

Gawyn has been training with the sword his entire life. And Gareth Bryne holds a heron.

@77 samson
Morgase is with Perrin. She was in Malden.

I see now these have already been posted.

@ Terez

Right on. Statue. Pattern making them wait.

Rand needs are: soldiers, channelers, peace, war, etc. The pattern is providing. The end is building. The Time has come. Nov. 2

The ta'veren tripod will be doing a lot of bending and pulling in the days to come.
98. FollowYourMuse
Kythorian @88 I can not imagine the Aiel madens telling Perrin that you need to see something by the side of the road it it were an army camp. They would have returned with veils drawn and not told Perrin to come look at a possible enemy army.

Terez27 @92 I agree, the statue is a real possibility,
and something else is there to cause concern for the Maidens
I do think something in making the decision, on which way to go or some other Pattern reason will delay them there until the Whitecloaks catch up.
If I recall, the Whitecloaks had only reached an area outside of the swamps, they had not yet reached a road of anykind.
Barry Dias
99. Beejay
The effect of Taveren is multiplied when more than one are in the same place right? And the taveren keep the Dark One's touch away or atleast weaken it to a degree. So after they clear out the bore could the three Taveren together could they fix it that way
Theresa Gray
100. Terez27
Worth mentioning is that the food stopped spoiling in Caemlyn after Elayne rounded up the Darkfriends and Dupes.
Holly Finnen-Stewart
101. Branwhin
Ah! A wonderful bit of my evening. Thank you, Tor!

And who said we never got any loverly masculine eye candy? (LOL - not that poor Galad would appreciate my saying so, and I'd very much prefer looking without the injuries) I love Galad's quiet determination and courage here.

And the poster above who commented on Galad and Elayne as kids; I can *so* see that!

Loved it! And I definitely need to get my mitts on the audiobooks. Those two readers are amazing!

On a different note regarding gateways, didn't Grady at one point in KOD say that he's taken to tying them off instead of holding them open, he's so tired? (Actually I think he says that right around when he also says one of the best, silliest lines in the series)

I also find Faile's new rock-solid confidence in her purpose very interesting, and hope she'll be able to get through to her stubborn woolhead of a husband (is that now a wolf in sheep's clothing, or...)

Squee! Very happy Wot-geek.

Patrick Huff
102. pattack

Let me clarify my post a little if I could. I was referring mostly to the Perrin saga. This hand ringing and leadership questioning is getting old. I did appreciate chapter one, because it at least progresses the charactor. The Graendal thing was a little bit of a shock, I agree there, but the rest is all information that we know already or have heard before.

I wish we would have a wider variety of plot threads.
I hope that when we get to the last book we don't have a million things going on at once when some of it could have been addressed already. Where is Logain, Taim, Elayne, Morraine, Thom, Olver, Birgitte, the borderlanders, Loial, the rest of the forsaken and the remaining Shaido Aiel to name a few.

I just want to know why Perrin continues to have the same story without progression, when the pages could be filled with meaningful dialogue from charactors adding to the story. I would even settle for the Perrin story through another set of eyes like Tam, Alliandre, Morgase or Berelain.

I am not on a high horse, I would just like to see some progress with the story. If a chapter does not add to the entire series it is a waste of ink. If a chapter reiterates plotlines explained 20 times already, (ie Perrin) then move on.

Quality, not quantity make a story great.
Patrick Huff
103. pattack
For the record Kythorian, I'm not goin' anywhere. I am not "bitching", I just want a good story. There is not a single poster with the right to tell anyone what to say or how they say it.

If you disagree with my assessment, that's all you need to say, you only belittle yourself by addressing me in such a negative way.

From what I have seen from TGS and the released chapters of TOM, I could easily see this story as two books, not three, if the regurgitated material was eliminated, unnessasary plot threads were expunged and minor charactors were addressed in more compact ways using third party dialogue and hindsight.

Was there a point to Gawyns first chapter in TGS? Could that chapter have been eliminated and told in a few sentences after he gets to the rebel camp. Was the whole Hinderstep plot line necessary to the story in the length it was told? It added nothing to the story. It could easily have been told on the road to the town they meet Verin in using half a page.

I am only suggesting that more charactors could be supplying critical information to the story in a more compacted way, giving the whole story more life.
Patrick Huff
104. pattack
Sorry Rob, don't read my posts.... Prologue spoiler beware, It won't happen again.
Alice Arneson
105. Wetlandernw
Re: what did the Maidens find that they thought Perrin would wish to see? I agree that the sword statue would be logical, since we know Rand saw Perrin there before he told Nynaeve where to look. My next thought was that the Maidens found Cadsuane (and possibly Nynaeve) waiting near the statue as well, but the wording doesn't seem right.
"There is something beside the road, Perrin Aybara," the woman said. She smelled concerned. That was a dangerous sign. "It is something that you will wish to see."
That sounds like an object rather than a person. Actually, it sounds eerily like a dead body, or several, rather than a living one (or several). The remains of the Whitecloak confrontation? A Tinker caravan, a la TGH? In any case, something that the Maidens think would be of significance to Perrin. Something to do with Shaido? or Seanchan?

Okay, that didn't actually contribute to anything much, other than providing a little more fodder for discussion. Hopefully we'll find out in chapter 3.
Ambuj Agarwal
106. Taishar_lethal
It seems people are forgetting something very important here. At this point in time, Aviendha has just finished fighting the flames at the manor and Rand is not even in Bandar Eban. Rand goes to Bandar Eban, stays there a few days and then becomes sure that Graendal was in the historic fortress. After that he balefires it. Ought to take some days right. This is when he tells Nynaeve that Perrin is camped besides that statue.
So it is evident that Maidens saw something important like the dead bodies of the people killed in whitecloak uprising to free Galad or the whitecloaks themselves.
Before Perrin and company meets Galad, there is no way they are going to know that Morgase is with them and Tam knows it while talking to Rand.

So my guess is that it was Whitecloaks that the maiden saw but they also saw something strange about the camp ( Like people guiding from a threat from within etc ) which they could not explain because of it being a wetlander thing.
Jonathan Levy
107. JonathanLevy
Ok, first time for me listening to an audio book, and I'm wondering if anyone else had my reaction. I know that what I'm bringing up is a matter of personal taste, and I in no way mean to disparage people whose opinions differ from my own. I am not attempting to comment on the quality of this particular performance (which I am assuming to be of the highest standard), but on audiobooks in general. I am, of course, open to corrections on this point.

My impressions:

The narrative parts are tolerable, but are not a pleasure to the ear. Having it read to you is slower than reading it yourself, and this grates a bit. Also, all those "he said gruffly", "she said irritably" sound a bit silly, because they're unnecessary. Hearing descriptions like "She was wearing a green dress bla bla" also felt discordant, though I'm not sure I can explain why. Maybe I just quickly skim those bits when reading, but have to wait for the narrator to spell it out for me.

But the different voices sounded so absurd they had me giggling each time he switched from one person to another. This made the dialog sections a trial to be endured. It sounded to me more like a parody than a serious performance.

I suppose Tor's purpose in releasing an audiobook version rather than a text version was to guide us into sampling something new, in the hopes that we might decide we like it. With me, it had the opposite effect - I'm never going to buy an audiobook unless I have absolutely no choice.

Do people here buy audiobooks? Does anyone actually prefer them to text? Or do people just get them because they have no time to read at home and so they listen to it in the car on the way to work?

I'd be interested in hearing other people's impressions.

41. RobSS
why do the pronunce all the name wrong? :)

I was thinking the same thing myself! "Shawnchan" Ha! "Galadde" Ha!

47. martianblues
It was a joke. A jibe.

52. Jasin
huh I always pronounced Galad like salad.

Me too.

73. mogbob
A few things. First, about traveling/tying off weaves: Rand did it once accidentally, but he couldn't figure out how to do it again and even Asmodean said that only a few (including Lews Thering) could do it.

Asmodean's comment was about stopping someone else's gateway that was closing, not about tying off the weave of a gateway.
84. Kythorian
Ah, I see you've already answered this. Others too.

75. AndrewB
Seeing this scene through Galad's eyes was the best means of presenting this information

I agree 100%.
108. Freelancer
wagman26 @97

As others have said, it wasn't about tying off a gateway weave and leaving it in place, but holding open someone else's gateway. Asmodean told Rand that he believed only Demandred could ever block open a gateway that had begun closing.

And, where do you find Gareth Bryne named as a blademaster? He isn't.

Sorry, RobMRobM.

Jonathan Levy @107

Actually, that is the pronunciation for Seanchan. It's fairly easy to put together even without authorial input, given the uncertain pronunciations, rumor-driven mispronunciations, etc which are found in the story. However, there is authorial audio calling them the "shawn-chan", and the capital city "shawn-dar".
109. wagman26
@108 Freelancer

Gareth Bryne is definately a Blademaster. In the TGS somewhere, not sure where mentioned before that.
Grainne McGuire
110. helen79
(I have wondered why that one

@107: audio books

I've listened to a lot of audiobooks (while commuting, exercising etc). Generally a good experience but I've only ever listened to books I haven't read and generally books released as podcasts. Books in this format don't contain the endless "she said, he said"s, are lower on the description and more to the point you don't have preconceptions as to how the character sounds, never mind how the name is promounced.

@41 Pronunciations:
Varying kilometres for different people. I'm the type of person who pronounces words my way (even if I know RJs correct pronunciation). I suspect my versions Faile, Seanchan, Faolain are very different to most people's (these words look like Irish Gaelic words to me, eg Seanchan = Shan - a - can).

Any former UK darkfriends out there?
James Hogan
111. Sonofthunder
Sadly I saw this online last night *right* before I had to leave work, so I had to endure the drive home, manically anticipating new ToM goodness! And oh, it was good.

First of all. Perrin, Perrin, Perrin. First of all, I totally understand his progression and reluctance to be a leader. And quite pleased that he realizes the fact that his willingness to give up all to save Faile may be detrimental at times. And so while I understand his character, he still aggravates me at times. Sometimes, you just have to do the job that's put in front of you. You're the best leader they have. Lead.

Perrin may be silly at times, but I still love him. And Faile is awesome. And I also expected the thing by the side of the road to be a whitecloak body...but now that is seeming to not be the case. Because the next segment...Galad!! I loved this scene. Particularly the moment when he slowly pushed himself to his feet and stood in the warrior stance. Standing silently. Standing resolute. Standing. Epic.

And as they spilled the head out of the bag, I was so pleased to find out the owner! Perfect death. We didn't need to see it...he didn't deserve a proper on-screen death. Also quite shocked at how fast that wrapped up, but can't say I'm displeased. Now Galad, go forth and find Perrin.

Note on the audiobook...my first experience was with CoS. I found it at the local library and so was able to take it home and then listen to it in my car driving back and forth to work. I honestly don't remember my first impressions, but I do know now that I love the audio version. I'm very much a big reader, so books are always my first love - and I'd always choose to read first. But for driving or traveling...I have no qualms putting CoS on(since that's currently the only one I have). The only reason I don't have more is because of the expense.

And you'll find that over time, your mental pronunciations start to match up to the audiobooks(most of which are correct, I believe). Also, since I'm a fast reader, listening forces me to pay more attention to detail. And I love the different voices they do, as well! Even though his Perrin voice this time threw me off a bit. It seemed quite different from his old Perrin voice...a bit more gruff and gravelly. Ah well, that's my only nitpick.

Also, Kate Reading's Nynaeve POVs are AMAZINGLY awesome to listen to. They crack me up so much. I had serious issues trying not to laugh sitting in the airport a few months back...
vo mabulay
112. alreadymad
jasin @52
Lol. Me too.

Kythorian @67
Agree with most of your points. Except the part about Asha'man. Only Taim's minions disdain the use of the sword. Everybody else takes their sword training seriously. Jahar did. Neald and Grady did.

drewoftherushes @68
The point is that Rand is a special case in that he has memories from Lews Therin's blademaster skills bleeding through.

11zeeshha @76
Gawyn did not learn the sword exclusively at Warder school. It is remarked in KoD that nobles start learning the sword very early though they don't actually wear them around unless they're expecting trouble. It should not have been a surprise that both he and Galad immediately rise to the top of Warder school since as nobles they would have been learning the sword for years.

As for Rand... It is not explicitly mentioned. But as early as Eye of the World while on the run from the Two Rivers he could already stand as if a heron mark sword belonged to him. Even Gareth Bryne, a blademaster himself, says so. This would have been around the same time he was slowly tapping into the One Power. So you could take our word for it or not, but IMHO the sword was one of the earliest instances of LTT's skills leeching through and into Rand's skillset. There are more instances of such bleedthrough as the series progressed. Random weaves, the drawing skill just now in the Winter's Heart re-read.

Terez27 @87
Not to disparage whoever transcribed it... but they could close of their quotes...

wagman26 @109
Never mentioned before TGS. He does eventually show Siuan that his sword has the heron mark(that sounded kinky) around the same time the Seanchan were raiding the White Tower.
James Hogan
113. Sonofthunder
alreadymad, I think Terez transcribed it. ;) And just wanted to thank you, Terez - good to read it! I think this was the first time, ever, that I'd listened to WoT before reading it. A bit odd. So I thank you for transcribing it so I could get my reading fix in. :)
Birgit F
114. birgit
I think this speed process with Galad being named Lord Captain Commander is Brandon's work.

He was named Lord Captain Commander after his duel with Valda (written by RJ). Now Asunawa's followers also accept him (did they have a replacement for Valda?).
John Massey
115. subwoofer
Yeah, to me, Galad =salad.

So tossed salad = tossed...

I am a bad dog...

Bryne is a blademaster- was mentioned in TGS.

I like affordable liquor. To drink even. The taste:)

... then again, I went through a Mariah Carey phase before she went loopy so my taste is suspect...

Bill Milligan
116. gt4431b
I think I've divined the contents of that final scene that RJ penned first.

Imagine a campfire in the center of the carnage of an immense battle. There are very few survivors huddled around its warmth. I'm paraphrasing here, because obviously pages will be devoted to describing the styles of clothing on the corpses.

At the campfire, Rand sighs, tired out from surviving his death. "I'll never understand women like Mat and Perrin," he says.

Mat switches his eyepatch to cover his other good eye and groans, "I'll never bloody stop drinking and gambling, drink a cup of milk on mother's day with bloody buttered onions if I don't!" However, only Rand can understand the Old Tongue, but he's quite uninterested in Mat's maunderings.

Perrin alternates growling and snarling, dog-fashion, with disconnected human subtext. His eyes glow yellow sometimes, on and off, like blinking LED lights that reflect weirdly off his broken crown. "I know I got her back, but ... I can't believe I lost Faile to Shaido! I am not a Lord! Hopper, you're dead!" He is universally ignored.

Except by Naenaeve, who sniffs. She can't do much else, since there is a wadded up Accepted's dress in her mouth and tied there with a leather strap. Her arms are folded underneath her breasts, but they are tied in place. A spike has been driven through the end of her braid into the ground to keep her from running off, but she keeps nodding her head vigorously. For comfort, no doubt.

Egwene sits silently, fuming. She has borne her injuries in heroic stoicism, in the hopes that it would inspire the sheepbrained woolheads to snap out of it and kiss her ring because the Brown Ajah has reliably informed her that Mary Sueness trumps ta'veren any day. Nevertheless, her ordeal continues. At least Elayne is home safe, Egwene thinks to herself. It's a good thing Tarmon Gaidon took place at bathtime!

The only other survivor capers around the tiny huddled mass of Emond's Fielders. He gestures wildly, declaiming to the night,

"And he says to me, he says to me, you got Style, baby! but if you're gonna to be a real villain you gotta get a gimmick…and so I go I says Yeah Baby! A gimmick, that's it! Ruby-hilted knife! Stab Myrdraal right through they's eye sockets! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!!

So he says to me, you gotta do something smart, baby, something big! He says you want to be a supervillain, right, and I go yeah baby, yeah yeah! What do I gotta do? He says you gotta kill all the good guys and help the good guys kill all the bad guys and be the buffer between the One Power and the Dark one…you'll go down in Randland history and I go Yeah baby 'cause I'm the Evil Midnight Mordeth what Mordeths at Midnight!!! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

It's never over, al'Thor! Never, ever, ever ever ever evereverevereverevereverevrrvrvrrrvrvrvrvrrr *gak* *gasp* evervevrevrvereverveeevervrvevevevr *wheeze*...

The End of the Fourteenth Book of the Wheel of Time
Maiane Bakroeva
117. Isilel

We have many, many examples of people in WoT picking up a weapon and becoming awesome with it immediately or after a very few lessons.

Aram with the sword - he picked it up and was effectively fighting Trollocs the next day. Rand and Perrin with their weapons - after some very few short sessions with Lan on the way to Baerlon (which itself took less than a week).
Mat with knives after very short tutelage with Thom. Effectiveness of the throwing knives as killing weapons is yet another fictional thing, BTW. Etc, etc.

Oh, and here we heard how former gai'shan are picking up swords and are already good with them, after a month. I mean, really. There is a reason why iRL only people with
substantial training used swords, while levies and militias gravitated to something else. Sword is a versatile weapon, but it does require skill to use effectively.

What is more, neither Mat nor Perrin ever train during the books after that (Mat didn't even touch a staff for a year that we followed them when he, sick and weak fought Gawyn and Galad) and _still_ totally trash professional warriors
by the dozen.

Yet none of this strikes you as unrealistic? But the very few somewhat competent female fighters do? Hm...

And BTW, look at Mat - he is the epitome of fighter, but he is not the strongest or biggest guy around. So, why doesn't it seem unrealistic to you that he doesn't get totally schooled by those other, physically superior fighters? Because here you take into account other things, like eye, quick reaction, ability to predict the opponent's moves, killer instinct, etc.

As to AS being able to channel their way out of trouble - given that they used to mostly travel and operate incognito and that revealing themselves could invite an assassination attempt by WCs and their supporters, not so much. As we have seen repeatedly with SGs, BTW.

What makes the situation with SGs even more ridiculous is that they have Thom right there for months and could have learned something about knife fighting/throwing from him. But no. Wouldn't be ladylike and would make putting them into damsels in distress situations more difficult, so... Nyn's upbringing as a tomboy never comes up either, after TEoTW's tracking episode. I mean, she should know how to shoot a bow at least, or why teach her tracking?

And appearing conventionally tough would actually discourage a lot of unpleasantness that might require obvious channeling to get out of.

So, yes, the AS had every reason in the world to train at arms. And with centuries of practice they could have actually become really good at it.But RJ wanted them to be "ladies" and wear silk clinging dresses with plunging necklines, so...

And again, unlike RL, in Randland women often occupy positions where weapons training would be very helpful, even if they would be mostly at disadvantage in a duel against men with the same amount of talent and

Not that it couldn't have been useful in many
cases iRL too, but other considerations took precedence over the better chance to defend the home base while men were away...

And in WoT, with the Last Battle coming, it would make imminent sense for everybody to try to avoid being completely helpless fodder for the Shadowspawn hordes.
Tricia Irish
118. Tektonica

Good point that Perrin has to meet up with Galad (salad) before Tam is taken by Nynaeve and Cads to see Rand.....as Tam knows Morgase is alive and well, and tells Rand so.

Who knows what's on the road...the sword seems likely and the timeline could be slightly messed up, but Perrin does have to meet with Galad before he moves on.

I'm looking forward to many interesting things happening in that meeting....as per Free's list @91.....btw, you left out the Perrin/Byer/Bornhold confrontation!

Audio books: Ummmmm.....I found this one disconcerting and not just from the pronunciation issues, which were minor for me. I have only listened to audio books in the car on long drives and commutes and it's an excellent way to pass the hours quickly! However, they were for books I'd never read. Here, I already had a sense of how these people sounded ,and these voices didn't match the ones in my mind. *shrug* I also found it slow going and the descriptions were odd to "listen to", and the "he said" , "she said" .

Actually, if it hadn't been for the audio book of The Hobbit, I probably would never have read the LOTR, as the names drove me whacko! It introduced me to the players and the names and eased me into the rest of the books.
Jay Dauro
119. J.Dauro
I have done all of the books as audiobooks first. I have always been a voracious reader, and read very quickly. I have found the audio forces me to slow down and I enjoy the time to think about what is happening.

One of the problems is the recordings are usually done from galleys. And the errors that are corrected in reprints never get fixed in audio.

Each to their own. I now carry all of the books on my phone as kindle, and on my iPod as audiobooks, so I am ready either way.
Tricia Irish
120. Tektonica
GT4431b@116: ROFLOL!!!

Well done and a great way to start the day! Thanks!
Gerd K
121. Kah-thurak
While Robert Jordan did write a lot of nice fighting scenes they are in most cases unrealistic. Also the characters tend to learn in weeks what would take years to accomplish, and the success rate of unarmed fighters against armed opponents is ridiculously high, as well as the too high number of really good female fighters. Not that much an issue in a fantasy series though from my point of view.
Maiane Bakroeva
122. Isilel
as well as the too high number of really good female fighters.

Um, where? Or do you think that the Maidens constituting 7 - 8 % of the Aiel fighting force is too high? Because IMHO, it is much more realistic than many other aspects of WoT ;).
Gerd K
123. Kah-thurak
Yes, I think that is too high. I am practicing martial arts for 11 years now, and the number of women I met who I think could compete with a man who has half their training is miniscule. There is a reason why there is no tournament system in which men and women compete... and on battlefield the results would be no better. As I said this is not an issue in a fantasy series, in fact I like it that way, but it is highly unrealistic.
Daniel Hanley
124. Kythorian
To Isilel @ 117, In order:
There was very little melee fighting for at least a little while in the two rivers, since the bowmen kept the trollocs off for a while, so Aram had at least a week or so to train before he started to actually fight. Yes, he was unrealistically good at that point, but he is presented as a savant with a blade. *shrug* hence the reaching blademaster level in a bit under a year instead of five. But this sort of thing does happen in some cases in real life too. And with Perrin's ta'vereness around, it gets more likely in that world.

-Rand and Perrin were hardly good with their weapons after a week of training. They managed to survive, barely in a couple of fights. probably at least partly because of their ta'veren. And it doesn't take that long to learn the basics of swordplay. They were not learning advanced skills, they were just learning how to make effective swings and try and keep themselves alive for a couple of seconds until lan could come in and save them.

As far as I can remember, we have no idea if Mat practiced with knives before thom started teaching him. I have more of an issue with how fast mat learns to juggle and Rand learns to play the flute than with their weapons practice.

It doesn't say that the gai'shan are actually good with swords at this point, only that an unusual number are showing a talent with them, based on perrin's ta'vereness.

Mat was supposedly the best young person with a quarterstaff in the village, and all of the two rivers are apparently supernaturally gifted with weapons(bow and quarterstaff, mostly) based on the old blood. Given that this is literally a supernatural thing, I don't see why you are even bothering to compare it with reality.

"But the very few somewhat competent female fighters do?" So I assume we are just ignoring thousands and thousands of maidens here?

Mat is the great fighter mostly because he has hundreds of memories of warriors in his head. So his skill is greater than anyone else alive. As I mentioned, skill can trump greater strenth, but in normal cases, as men have just as much a chance to practice their skill, their greater strength just gives them a large advantage.

The SG situations are not really normal for aes sedai...in fact, the red ajah, which you pointed out is the one most in need of martial training since they have no warders, very rarely works incognito.

But I don't really care that much. I just wanted to point out that the WoT world has a lot more female martial ability than real life, not the other way around as you seemed to have suggested. There are good reasons for that, and they probably should have taken it even further given their situation(the female borderlanders stands out here), but there, as in our history, there are social reasons why this is not the case. Oh well. Lets move on.
Tricia Irish
125. Tektonica
Two cents on the Fighting Female front:

In the Malazan World of Steve Erikson, the women are totally equal soldiers. While this is unrealistic from a RL strength standpoint, he wanted to create a world without sexism, where people relate to each other on equal ground.

This is Fantasy! Not Real Life!!

Just imagine if, in Real Life, women and men had equal physical strength, size, and capabilities in fighting....the political and social landscape would look quite a bit different.

This is a fantasy that pleases me!
Gerd K
126. Kah-thurak
"I have more of an issue with how fast mat learns to juggle and Rand learns to play the flute than with their weapons practice."

Now that is a strange statement. Have you ever tried to learn armed or unarmed close combat?

You are absolutely right, and as I said I also like this aspect of fantasy novels. But people tend to get unrealistic ideas about this. Not that this isnt the case in any other aspect of fantasy/movie fighting vs real world fighting.
127. hamstercheeks
gt4431b @ 116: BWAHAHAHAHA. Will you write the parts for Moiraine and Thom as well? Pretty please?

Kah-thurak @ 121: I agree that the heroes fighting prowess tends to be unrealistic. Remember at the beginning of LoC when Rand was beating up five guys at once? Suuuure. But maybe he trained like a madman (heh) after Moiraine "died." I think RJ actually points out that multiple-on-one fights don't go well for the outnumbered--I'm thinking of New Spring for some reason.

I'd say it's not the melee fighting where this series shines, but the amazing descriptions of One Power battles (which are one-sided sometimes). Nynaeve and Moghedien going toe-to-toe was nail-biting; Asmodean teaching Rand was poignant (well, for me anyway, I liked Asmo, what a woobie); Dumai's Wells; Healing the weather; cleansing the taint; etc.

I think Brandon does a great job describing One Power use, from Aviendha's fire hose without the fire hose, to Rand's balescream. And who can forget Egwene's smackdown of the Seanchan? I'm looking forward to more righteous OP battles.

Gerd K
128. Kah-thurak
@127 hamstercheeks
Fighting against a group as a single fighter is not as hopeless as it seems, if there is room, the opponents are not well coordinated and the single fighter outclasses each of his individual oponents. This is a lot about movement and control of space. It can be trained. 5 opponents is a lot though. This is still is not half as unrealistic as for example Tuon's fighting exploits. A person so small and light is next to useless in Hand-to-Hand combat.
Daniel Hanley
129. Kythorian
To Kah-thurak @ 126, some, actually, though not nearly as much as you. But Rand and Perrin are not put forward as really all that skilled with their weapons early on. Perrin pretty much relies on being really, really strong, and Rand is...well, rand is basically just lucky in tEotW. I mean they learn not to cut their own limbs off, but not a whole lot more until later.

On the other hand, Mat learns to juggle six or seven balls in a weeks time on a boat(from personal experience, getting above four starts getting very difficult even on unmoving ground), and rand reaches the same level of...if not mastery, at least pretty advanced skill with the flute in the same amount of time.

*nod* but yeah...fighting groups isn't so bad as long as you can keep them from coming at you all at once. Which Rand does in that fight. Most of the description is taken up by him manuvering around them to make sure they can't surround him, for that matter, so I think RJ was very aware of this. Also, he did lose in the end that time anyway.

Edit: But yeah...tuon's hand to hand fighting makes me think of hitgirl from Kick-Ass. Even in that, once she gets into close up fighting she needs brass knuckles, a knife, etc to even somewhat keep up with a less skilled opponent(and loses in the end). And that was a comic based movie...
Stefan Mitev
130. Bergmaniac
I personally don't find Perrin's refusal to accept his role as a leader and lord that unrealistic. He's a humble guy forced to take responsibility against his will. But this doesn't mean it's not really annoying reading about that in almost every one of his chapters in the last 8 volumes. His thoughts are so repetitive with the same issies taking centre stage all the time - "I don't want to be a leader", "The axe or the hammer", "Only Faile matters" - rinse and repeat. Let's hope Faile finally manages to convince him to accept his role.

Thank God for the Galad part, so refreshing compared to Perrin. I like that he was quickly released, we've had more than enough prolonged "save the capture" plotlines in the series and the last thing we needed was yet another one this time about one of the minor characters.

I definitely agree that Mat learning to juggle 6 balls at once and Rand becoming skilled with the flute in 2 weeks is one of the most unbelieviable things in the series so far, much more than their battle training or sure.
131. Joe Kingsmill
Loved it! Much too Frakkin short though.

Finally got to see the Children in a good light and I can only hope that sometime soon Perrin will stop Whining.
Gerd K
132. Kah-thurak
You are right, up to EotW the juggling thing is more unrealistic than the fighting skills, which are shown by then. But by the end of The Great Hunt Rand kills a Blademaster in a duel...
Daniel Hanley
133. Kythorian
To Kah-thurak @ 132, Rand defeating a blademaster is explained, as I mentioned earlier, by early skills bleeding over from LTT to Rand and by just having lived through dozens of lives in which he obtained the heron when he went through the portal stones. So its ok for them to be unrealistic since they really are supernatural abilities.
Gerd K
134. Kah-thurak
You can use pretty much the same or similar explanations for the flute or juggling skills. I dont have a real issue with any of these, but they stay unrealistic ;)
Daniel Hanley
135. Kythorian
To Kah-thurak @ 134, except that was before anyone went through the portal stones and I'm pretty sure LTT didn't play the flute(think it is stated to be the case when Rand is thinking about how he hasn't played the flute in a long time, something that is him alone. Or something along those lines). And mat doesn't have a LTT for skills to bleed from anyway. Unless it is something from the old blood, which would be...odd...but possible, I guess.
Gerd K
136. Kah-thurak
I guess the essence of this discussion is the following: Jordan was very generous to his main characters regarding their skills (and looks ^^), and this is not allways well explained beyond "He is Ta'veren/It is the Old Blood/...". This can probably be seen as a weakness of the series, but it does not bother me very much.
Antoni Ivanov
137. tonka
Of course that they are skillfull and lucky and talented. Why would anyone bother write a book about someone ordinary? It doesn't matter if it is a documentary or a fantasy.
Daniel Hanley
138. Kythorian
On to another topic...Has the puzzle Perrin is working on been mentioned before? I think it might be more than just a symbol of his inner struggle to "understand the parts". There have been several times in which Perrin has easily solved similar blacksmith's puzzles in the past, so it seems like this might be more than just a particularly complicated one. Especially since Haral Luhhan is presented as unusually skilled (like everyone else in the Two Rivers), so the puzzles Perrin is used to working on would be as complicated as could likely be made with current technology, and he solves those quickly and easily. This one has been worked on for a month. Could it be a ter'angreal or something similar?
139. Franky Franklin
It takes much more than skill and speed to be effective with medieval weapons. Cranking a cross bow, drawing a longbow, these are things that take an immense amount of strength. Skill/speed doesn't matter much when some can shoot an arrow or a bolt 20 yards farther than you can. And swords are REALLY heavy. Especially swords from regions that didn't have the minerals or knowledge to make good ones.

Some women can get close to being as strong as a man , but it is pretty rare and when they really study them hormonally they are almost indistinguishable from a man. (i.e. if Bridgette was real her only curves would be her biceps.) Also, I should clarify I mean a man at his genetic best. I'm sure there are plenty of women as strong or stronger than me :).

As for the protagonists skill with weapons:

As was mentioned before, I think Rand gets most of his from leakage from LTT. Perin basically survived on brute strength and wolf inspired bloodlust until he was able develop skills by not dying in battles. Matt's father taught him how to use the quarterstaff and we know that his dad was one of the best around with it.

The only thing that people seem to pick up way too quickly is knife skills. Both Mat and Min.... but then again, maybe Thom is just an awesome teacher.
140. wagman26
@ Advanced Weapons handling

Farmers are very handy with hunting tools. Living off the land is a battle. Bears, cougars, wolves, are all a threat to a farmer, especially farmers with no leadership providing security. Balance, precision, gumption, and being in the zone (void), are needed most to be a good fighter.

@ Women Warriors

"Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, andcharming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swords women she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaki sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor then any of his other warriors.
-- Tale of the Heike The Bushi women of Japan practiced martial arts and warplay. However, it is a fact that while able to be good at weapons, they prefer to keep their distance in a fight, since close combat allows men to bring their superior weight, and strength to bear.

Amazon women were well known for their fighting skills, and helped the Greeks win the Trojan war. Albeit, that they are usually thought to be myth, there has been some evidence that they existed, and many grave sites of women in full battle dress, with battle wounds have been found in China, and other regions. Leading many to believe that the Amazon women of legend may be based on fact.

Vietnamese women often fought along side men.

Granted women do not generally follow war like men. After all from a early age we men dream of sword play, chasing dragons, :), fighting bad guys, etc. Women, at least as far as I know, do not daydream about these things, to the extent that most boys do. Sugar and Spice and all that.

There are examples, though percentage wise they are fewer. But the Aiel, especially, are a different breed of people. An army of Gingers is a very scary site. Male of Female.
141. hamstercheeks
Kah-thurak@128: Yes, Tuon would be useless, unless her secret unarmed technique involves high-velocity attacks, but then she'd need a loooot of space. For-tuon-ately (groan), she has Selucia, whose attack, I hope, consists of fwapping bad guys with her... endowments.
Jane Smyth
142. Kaboom
Fianally! a tread that I find that does not already have over 500 posts! Got lucky to find chapter 2 closely after its release, unlike the others...

Kythorian @138.

I am probably wrong, but I don't remember Perrin being good with blacksmith puzzles. I thought he had mentionned other people being good at them. We have also seen one warder that Min was talking to that was very good at them.

Can you refresh my memories
143. docdc
Dont get me wrong, I love the books, love them. BUT, with so much to write and to get thur why do we keep coming back to Perrin questioning himself about his leadership, seems like we are wasting time filling space. Get him to where is wants to go and use the space on other people.
Chris R
144. up2stuff
J. Levy @107
Audio books were a shock to me too. I started my reread borrowing books 1-5 from the library in I think January. Took me until May what with work, 2 year old, and extended family obligations. Then I realized, I have an hour travel time round trip for work, and time after my wife and said 2 year old go to sleep each night. Instead of borrowing books, I switched to CD's, put them on the ipod, and now I can listen whenever.

I still "skim" over descriptions, or other boring stuff (Gawyn), by listening with one ear, while typing at work, filing contracts, or ignoring my boss. It has worked VERY well. The pace is slower at the reader's pace, but I get to spend the important time with my wife and little one and still enjoy the books.

Pronunciations were not what I initially expected in a lot of cases, but they have been consistent in the subsequent books. Kamen's version of Loial's voice still irritates me though.

Subwoofer, a tip for you when your pup gets here - wish I had thought of this when my son was REAL little during some of the late night feedings. Good way to pass the time in those instances, and the headphones wont wake the baby.

NEVER wake a sleeping baby.

Also, for any parents who have that one cd/dvd on the player in your car for the kid's entertainment, my ipod and a pair of earbuds has saved my sanity. Don't get me wrong...I like Camp Rock 2, but going from the dvd in the living room, to the cd player in the car while running errands, to the dvd player again at home,(wash, rinse, repeat) makes me want to scream a little bit. Any one who is in or has ever been in the same situation, take this suggestion. I suspect it works for Grandparents in the same situation, too.

Chris R
145. up2stuff
oops double posted...sorry
146. Ryanus
Loved the chapter, agree with the Perrin needs to take responsibility stance, but it's coming.

Just have to throw out one tidbit on this lovely side rail we've got going about real life weapons training and such.

@139 Franky, Swords actually weren't that heavy. As wierd as it may seem we've actually lost some of our ability with metal as modern day replicas actually tend to be heavier and more unwieldy than antiques. But look at the real deals? I collect and study quite a few, I've had the chance to pick up an authentic german two-handed blade. it weighed around 6 pounds. I've handled numberous one handed and hand and a half blades and they all run a 2-3 pound range area. They aren't heavy, but even 2 pounds of metal, extending away from your arm and being moved rapidly becomes exhausting very quickly.
Daniel Hanley
147. Kythorian
Its not so much the weight as the distribution of that weight. Because so much of the weight is so far away from your body, it becomes harder to control without fairly good muscles. If you have several of these, try a quick swing and recovery of the blade. Even 6 pounds can feel heavy. its the difference between holding a weight at arms length and against your chest. Except even more so. And there is also the matter of how hard you can swing the thing, which certainly helps, since it makes it harder to parry or block. So strength still matters a lot, even though 6-8 pounds doesn't sound like a lot.
Chris R
148. up2stuff
@ several people

women fighters...
Faile, Min, Avi, Tuon, Selucia (not on screen, but very little can SHOCK Thom Merrlin), Egeanin (Leilwin), Tylee, Probably Raken pilots (I think they tend to be female), female Hunters of the Horn, Elaynes bodyguards, Maidens of the Spear. Those are the ones that I can think of that make their living fighting.

There are also what I would call casual fighters, meaning they may not be sword handling blademasters, but dont pee in their Cherios or they will kick your ass...

Dyelin is kind of a Badass the way she attacked Elayne's assassins before Mellar "Saved the Day". Evidentally others like Selucia in Seanchan society, the female half of the population of Ebou Dar (man asked to get knifed unless proven innocent), and every frickin' Aiel woman.

I am not sure whether the female half of Aiel Society is more numerous than the female pop of Ebou Dar, and I will again concede that these two groups are not soldiers, but every last woman in Ebou Dar has or gets a marriage knife and knows how to casually use it if defending her honor. I seem to remember someone's POV at Malden regarding how Perrin attacking was a bad idea because every last Aiel, in the place would pick up a spear and fight or some such.
149. FeelingPerrinsPain
For those of you that hate Perrin and wish for the fear of leadership to end. Have you ever been tapped for leadership? Singled out for your skills leading others when you didn't want it and didn't know you could do it? Worse, have you ever had another person's life in your hands? RJ did.
150. zantorkc
From what I remember, Rand's early progress with sword training was linked to him entering the Void. This had been taught to him by Tam to improve his archery.

It was also mentioned by the Warder trainer (can't think of his name) as a technique Warders used, and is pretty much how he draws on the source.

Wouldn't him using this technique, rather than "leeching" of LTT memories explain his early proficiency?

I vaguely recall that Rand finally managing to enter the Void, and the resultant sudden increase in skill, was the reason he won his first Blademaster fight with the Seanchan guy (his name also escapes me).
John Massey
151. subwoofer
Female combat- you guys can argue till the cows come home... and apparently you have, but this is a FANTASY book! Real life does not apply here. Tek is absolutely right. What RJ says goes. So nyahh:P

Combat otherwise- well whatever, I'm army trained in hand to hand. Before that I took wing chun and I have a 2nd dan in it, so I've been around the block. I've heard the spiels etc. Bottom line in all things is survival. You take on a few guys, your best bet is to run. Who cares about how tough you look- alive is alive. Guy with a knife that kinda has a clue... run. This isn't Hollywood, you'd be surprised how fast you bleed from a cut on your arm, leg, stomach, shoulder, neck etc. And all the moves and training in the world can't save you if there is a gun involved. No amount of reflexes can be faster than the time it takes to pull a trigger. Somebody can temp fate and prove me wrong, but that would suck for you when I'm right... unless you have nothing to live for, then give'r.

Best weapon is your mind. Think your way through things before they happen and try to talk your way out of a confrontation first.

@Up2Stuff- thanks:) Sound like sage, experienced advice!

152. 11zeeshha
@ 149

Hate perrin? I suppose some of these ppl do but I think ppl are just annoyed that perrin is still having this dilemma. I understand that he's finding it tough to get settled into his leadership role but I'm still annoyed with him sayin "I'm not a Lord" EVERY SINGLE TIME. ppl just want something new from him. They just want him to act sensibly and just take the leadership without complaining.
i personally would have liked perrin if not for this and the fact that he's selfish when it comes to faile.
I would also like to say that RJ probably prolonged this was because it's essential to the storyline throughout the books with the decisions he's made or going to make.
153. Freelancer
RE: Sword weight

Kythorian @147 makes an important point regarding the drag on your stamina from a long blade being held away from your body. However, many of the swords employed in WoT by the blademasters are variants of the hand-and-a-half type which include katanas. Among the many advantages of this weapon's construction is that there is as much weight of metal in the handle as in the blade, putting the balance point at or just beyond the handguard. This imparts remarkable control, with far quicker slashing, slicing, and pivoting, as well as reduced fatigue.

And most katana-style weapons, with single-edged blades, come in at under 4lbs.

up2stuff @148

Did you make a list of women fighters and leave out Birgitte? Dude...
154. alreadymadwithmaidensmile
On what's next for Perrin:
Only an impending dance would make Maidens of the Spear smile like that. And since they know via Chiad and Bain of the bad blood between Whitecloaks and Two Rivers folk. My money's on them having found Galad's camp.
Darth Agilus
155. darth.agilus
@147 Kythorian

"It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple question of
weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut."
Ross Hathaway
157. RossH
Hi everyone,
Do you want to know a secret? Cause I know one, and it is so good to hear it. You want to know what it schwas? OK, here it schwas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKxB55rTm_E

Now that I am proven to be a credible witness, I will say some stuff that is probably not terribly believeable to the average Westerner.

@ woof 151 - I agree for the most part, but I think there are some exceptions. Morihei Ueshiba was the founder of Aikido, and he did some amazing things. I don't do Aikido, but I read some parts of a book about Mr. Ueshiba, and it said he once told a group of soldiers or other people with guns to stand in a circle around him and shoot him. He then yelled, and the soldiers fell down and Morihei Ueshiba was fine. I don't know if they shot, though - he may have knocked them down with his energy before they pulled the triggers. I don't have the book with me, so I can't guarantee that this is the exact story. He was also reported to have been able to dodge bullets because of a certain type of clairvoyance or something whereby he could see where the bullet was going to go before it got there.
I think that average people can do amazing things in extreme situations, and that this "seed of special ability" can be developed and controlled through training.
I do not really do this myself, nor am I in some sort of cult. However, I do believe that our own beliefs about what is possible and impossible severely limit our potential. People thought it was impossible to run a mile in under 4 min or something like that. Then, an awesome dude just thought something like "That's BS. Why can't I run a mile in under 4 min?" He then trained a ton and proved everybody wrong. I don't think any kind of training can directly prepare one to dodge or block bullets or any of that stuff. The men who stare at goats tried going directly for the fancy stuff and failed. They were trying to run before they knew how to walk. But, learning to control your own energy gradually, along with the help of a good motivation/mindset (which the goat-starers also lacked), could probably lead to these special abilities.

Also, I heard somewhere that Jackie Chan was attacked by a mob which may have had some members who had knives or guns (I don't really remember that exactly), and Jackie Chan messed them up and walked away without much injury. I don't have a source on this, though.

Love to all,
Bibty "munchkin" Poopoopants
Gerald Collins
158. tor@mudcatstudio.com
You can read the prologue for free by going to a Barnes and reading it in the store on one of their demo ereaders. That's how I read it.
159. MickeyDee
@157 RossH - LOL, just what we need on a Fantasy thread - RL fantasies!

@68 (the first #68 not the second) VoxOrange - yeah, the trouble you're having see, is like, um, a translation issue. The characters in WoT don't actually speak English and messrs Jordan and Sanderson have to use Babelfish to work their speech into something we can read. Sorta like you say tomato and I say love-apple; you say Lanfear's a crazing whacko beeeacth and I say bonkable babe. See? Same phrase just comes out a little different. LOL

Seriously though - nice pick up.
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy @107 - I do listen to audiobooks, but only certain things. Much of it depends on the writing style and "flavor" of the books. For example, we have all the Harry Potter books in audio, and I've never read them at all. (From what I've heard, this may be a good thing. I hate it when authors use all caps, for example.) They make good road trip tales, because they really aren't all that complex and it's much more action and less description. I would hate to listen to WoT; between the things you described and the fact that I like to flip back and forth, audio just doesn't cut it for me. Like you, I read much faster than they talk, and I read descriptions in "chunks" most of the time; hearing it word by word is disconcerting at best. (It's not as bad if I have something to do with my hands, but WoT doesn't lend itself well to multitasking.)

The other thing that really messes me up is pronunciation - when they say a name or word differently than I do, it drops me right out of the story for a second while I do the mental editing. I hate that, so it's another reason that I won't do WoT in audio. Something completely new (to me) I might consider, like Malazan or Outlander (on my current reading list), because I don't already have the names and places pronounced in my head, but never the WoT. Nor The Way of Kings - I dropped out of the preview things because I just didn't want to listen to the audio chapters. ::shrug:: Just my reactions.
@several regarding pronunciations... I just figured out why I say Galad as I do (emphasis on second syllable). It's because in the TEotW glossary, his name is given as
Damodred, Lord Galadedrid (DAHM-oh-drehd, gah-LAHD-eh-drihd)
The compulsion to find out how the author said it should be pronounced strikes again - like how it always drives me nuts when people say (or type) Julian instead of Juilin.

Freelancer @108 - The beginning of TGS, Chapter 40 has Gareth Bryne drawing a heron-mark sword, although I didn't find "blademaster" mentioned specifically. Whether that's because Brandon assumed (like RobM) that he was a blademaster and gave him the sword without confirming, or whether it was in the notes but hadn't been included in the text yet... your guess is as good as mine. In either case, Maria & Harriet let it pass.

Isilel @several - I dunno... Birgitte didn't seem to have a lot of trouble finding women fighters for Elayne's bodyguard, and she was mostly limited to Caemlyn. Between the mercenaries and the Hunters for the Horn, there seem to have been a fair few available - and they all knew what to do with their weapons already.

@multiple - I don't know about juggling, but if the "flute" was more like what we think of as a recorder than the flutes in today's orchestra (which it usually is in this kind of context), it's not that hard to learn to play familiar tunes. And there were many times when Rand's playing was clearly stated as not that great, but better than nothing for a bunch of locals who didn't get to hear any sort of musician very often. Of course, with practice (which you get when you play the same half-dozen tunes in a different place every night) he did get better, but nowhere did he or anyone else think he was really all that. He just got to the point where he didn't murder the tune half the time. It would require a certain amount of natural talent and a reasonable ear for music & rhythm, but it's not impossible. About juggling - Mat's always had quick hands. ::shrug::

tonka @137 - So very true!! The stories of ordinary people are really... ordinary. So we wouldn't be reading it.

Kaboom @142 - Where on earth have you been?? It's been a long time!

And... minor reflections on the content of the chapter: I was rather taken aback by the quick resolution of Galad's capture & release. After thinking about it a bit, I suspect this is mostly due to the fact that I had expected Perrin & Morgase to have something to do with that resolution. Having just reread the KoD prologue, I was reminded that Galad just hasn't had that much screen time, and to draw out the resolution really wouldn't make much sense. I just didn't expect it to happen so fast, or so soon. I wonder, now, if he'll really have much of an on-screen presence; for some reason I had expected it, but now I'm wondering if it will be mostly a matter of "now we're all on the same side" and the Whitecloaks will simply be another Light-side army to put in the mix. As in, mostly a resolution of the previous conflict so that we no longer have to worry about them. Hmmm.

This leads me to consider reader reaction to this chapter, in which some are disappointed that Galad's situation was resolved so quickly but frustrated that Perrin's shows very little sign of resolution, quick or otherwise. I personally think that if Perrin had suddenly popped into acceptance of his leadership role in this chapter, it would have been far more jarring than Galad's quick resolution. As has been mentioned, Perrin doesn't make decisions - or change direction - quickly. Given where he left off in TGS, it would be inconsistent for him to suddenly show up here, all Lord Perrin Goldeneyes, Leader o' the Forces o' the Light. I understand that people are tired of the last 10 years or so of Perrin longing to be a blacksmith instead of a lord, but (as has also been pointed out) from the battles in the Two Rivers until the relief of Malden was only 10 months. Now, suddenly, he has over 100,000 people to be responsible for, and although I haven't figured out the exact date for this chapter, it's got to just barely a month since the battle of Malden. In that time he's had the aftermath of battle, the reunion with his wife, the exodus from Malden, a truly nasty bubble of evil and its aftereffects to deal with. The fact is, he IS dealing with them, but in a month he hasn't gone from "I'm just a blacksmith!" to "I'm a Lord and a fine leader!" If he had, it would be... wierd.

Incidentally, Perrin thinks here that "it had been over a month since they'd left Malden" but at the same time we know it's only 35 days (give or take a couple) from Malden until Rand sees Perrin with Galad via Tela'veren Technicolor. So... next 3 or 4 days has to bring them together. Good chance that what the Maidens found will pertain to this meeting somehow...
161. Freelancer
RossH @157

These are not the droids you are looking for. Move along.
April Moore
162. aprildmoore
@ 153 - Thanks, Free, for bringing that up. I am a woman and I have been fencing with swords - Olympic style (which are ridiculously light) but also historical reproductions - for about 12 years. It does depend on the weapon and how it is designed to be wielded. (My personal choice is sabre or cutlasses, which can be tip heavy but were designed as cutting weapons to be wielded at speed.)

Strength is an asset, especially with certain types where the weight is further away from the hand, but speed and precision are of greater use for others. Many people assume that two-handed claymores could only have been wielded by people who are 6 foot tall and very strong, but actually they were used with a style that fell somewhere between quarter staff and bladed weapons. Strength was useful, but understanding leverage and momentum and fighting smart were far more important. Strategy also plays a crucual role in many martial arts - deception, feints, distance, awareness, observation, experience - these are the tools of a warrior, in addition to speed and strength.

In some weapons, strength can actually be a negative, as it encourages you to overthrust or make "big" attacks, leaving you vulnerable to a riposte or counterattack - but skill always trumps.

Not to say that strength is not important - it is - but here the definition of strength is more muscular fitness than raw strength. Also, in general, while men may have greater physical strength, women have greater visual accuity - which helps with precision and distance. Endurance and speed also factor in tremendously in combat, but from my own observations, those vary greatly depending on familial genetics, will, and training and are less influenced by sex. (But perhaps someone here has some actual scientific evidence to deny or support that observation...)

Generally, women were excluded from training in martial skills throughout "real world" history - but there have also been ample exceptions of women who successfully bucked the system.

To bring this rambling discourse back to the Wheel of Time, I think that Jordan's world is realistic in that regard - few women historically chose combat - although some did and were very effective with it. But the Pattern requires more fighters now and so more and more women are learning how to fight.

In regards to the amazing skillz of our heros - in Rand's case specifically I ship with those who think his mastery of the Flame and Void was the biggest differentiator for him, but having all that know-how from previous lives bubbling into his subconscious couldn't have hurt, either. And of course all the heroes have to be amazing - that's why they are heroes. In a fantasy setting, it's only necessary to make it realistic enough to avoid incurring an unacceptable "suspension of disbelief" debt. What that tipping point is will vary from reader to reader, but if you've read all the way up through Book 13, surely you can suspend your disbelief a bit longer?
Theresa Gray
163. Terez27
Wetlander - I also pronounce Galad as it is in the glossary. At least in my head. I noticed Brandon pronouncing it differently - did you listen to his reading of the prologue scene?

Also, I said the same thing about the Asunawa scene earlier at 13th Depository. For giggles:

(in response to person saying what everyone is saying about it being too abrupt)
I think that is only because we all expected Byar and Bornhald to team up with Perrin to rescue him. In retrospect, probably a silly thought. If they're going to be BFFs, then it will have something to do with Galad's charisma.

Asunawa is important because it's easy to see how some could have viewed Galad's move against Valda as a power grab. Galad had to further prove to them that it was not. It required some discussion on the part of the Lords Captain, and probably some planning, but I'm not surprised or disappointed that it was resolved so quickly.
Antoni Ivanov
164. tonka
Btw Tam mentions in TGS that Perrin has been balancing the Seanchan, the Prophet's men, the Whitecloaks. But most importantly he implied that the Whitecloacks were creating troubles or something. So it would not be a happy reunion, flowers and sunshine.
165. Randal Thor
I never post here, just wanted to say Terez is awesome
Theresa Gray
166. Terez27
For a minute I thought you were talking about my amazing theories. Then I realized you were probably talking about the transcript. :(
James Hogan
167. Sonofthunder
Don't worry, Terez, we love you for your amazing theories too. :) Even if I'm not always in full agreement, they massively stimulate my thinking. And I'm still a bit worried that everything will turn out exactly as you've said(the manner of Rand's death, etc) and that reading it will be a bore. I may then have to come hunt you down for ruining a potentially sweet emotional climax.
Theresa Gray
168. Terez27
It may be boring for you, but I'll be excited! lol...I think he'll die in ch. 49, which everyone seems to agree is Brandon's best writing in the book.
John Massey
169. subwoofer
@Ross- yeah, I'm going with Free here, sounds like a cool Jedi mind trick.

I've also heard stories about a finned dinosaur living in a deep lake in Scotland.

I'll make it simple for you. Just stand there, hold your hand out in front of you, and twitch your index finger. See how fast that was? Now go do some funky bullet dodging move that fast. There are all sorts of stories on the net about things, but for the average person, run. Or just avoid getting into stupid confrontations to begin with. The mind is your best defense.

What? Rand dies? Where did that come from? Well.... I suppose it was in some sort of prophecy somewheres....

@All- I have not drank the kool aid yet. I am er... Verin like in my exploration of the Dark Side... aka facebook. Strictly for any Tor or Brandon type leak of the new book. That's my story and I am sticking to it. Lalalalalala.

Oh yeah, saw the trailer for the new Smurf movie coming out soon. I wonder if it is a bad thing if Smurfs have blue ... nahhh.

Edit- Terez'a 626 post on the other thread and other posts like that are the founding reason. I said to myself, "self, where do they get such wonderful toys?"

James Hogan
170. Sonofthunder
sub, does that mean you're not going to tell the rest of the Black Ajah(...er, us facebookers) your identity?? Alas. I've been on facebook since 2005...and it's really almost scary to see how much it's morphed since then. It used to be so nice and simple...
James Jones
172. jamesedjones
Re: Perrrin's angst

I'm kinda in the group that is hopeful because of this sort of intro. Check out some of Sanderson's Writing Excuses podcasts, and you'll see some formulas that he follows when writing. This is not to be confused with formulaic writing. These are just rules to help ensure a book is worth writing and reading.

Perrin's issues with leadership need to be resolved before the series ends (at least I hope so). If they are going to be resolved in this book, then the author must re-introduce them to the reader so the resolution can be a satisfying moment rather than just another boring, small step in progression.

Perrin's single-minded obsession with saving his wife may have confused some readers by making them think he had gotten over the leadership issue. But in truth, he was just ignoring everything else instead of whining about it. Now (hopefully), Perrin should face and come to terms with his position - maybe with Galad's help. If this is going to be a big MOA, then the reader must be reminded of how much Perrin needs it, and how great a change it will be for the annoying emo character that frustrates us all most of us.
Jane Smyth
173. Kaboom
wetlandernw @160.

It's good to be back. But I really did not expect people would remember me... It gave me a very warm fuzzy feeling.
For a while (well a long while) life took over...
Although I did warn people not to expect much from me for a few days after nov 2!

As for the prononciation in the audio book chapter, it also bothered me. (that was my first ever audiobook listening, so I didn't know what to expect). But after reading these comments here, I realized that my mental pronounciation of the names is very different than most people. I now realize that since the names really don't seem english, I moslty pronounce them with french intonations and thus very unlikely that the audiobook reader would pronounced them the same.

For the martial art conversation. Strengh obviously is important, but having sparred against male training partner I have quickly learned that it does not matter so much if you develop speed and can evade most contact.
Charlie McMurchie
174. FromtheLangToun
Sub @ 169. There's only one lake in Scotland - Lake of Menteith - everything else is a loch. You're thinking of Loch Ness, there have also been claims of a monster in Loch Morar.
@ many, I'd always put Rand's sword skills being at least as much to do with him being ta'veren as anything else, especially in his duel with Turak (?).
@ many re' females fighting abilities & training, the women of Emond's Field do remarkably well in the battle with the trollocs. I think it's a great scene, if your back's to the wall & you're fighting for something/someone you hold dear you can rise above your normal abilities.
Chris R
175. up2stuff
Free @ 153

(smacks palm to forehead) Of Cooouurse! How stupid of me. I KNEW I was going to leave someone out.

I was kind of leaning toward blades or hand-to-hand rather than long range, but just because she PREFERS her bow does not mean she can't open a can of whoop-ass. (HEADDESK, HEADDESK, HEADDESK). What should my pennance be? I just listened to some Avi and Egwene chapters in TGS. Should I sort seeds? Carry river rocks? When was the last time the Bunker floor was scrubbed? Do I need to clean the kitchen fireplace?
Gerd K
176. Kah-thurak
Sure, if you are interested in reading about real life fighting or self defense, you better go and read something like "Ambushes, Cheapshots and other Lectures" by MacYoung instead of Robert Jordan.

How does a 2nd Dan relate to Wing Tsun? I allways thought the Kung Fu styles didnt use the Budo graduation systems.

But discussing which parts of a fantasy book are at least halfway realistic and which arent isnt totally without interest from my point of view... and espeacially Tuon's "ninja-skills" are a little far off ;-)
Chris R
177. up2stuff
Kah-thurak: Isn't Wing Tsun that 80's group that sang the song "Everybody had fun Tonight"?

Gerd K
178. Kah-thurak
It's just a different transcribtion. Vin Tsun, Wing Tsung and Wing Chun etc mean the same thing.
Ross Hathaway
179. RossH
@ Free - Sorry, I'm not up on Star Wars or pretty much anything that refrences are made to. What droids am I looking for and where can I find them?
Tricia Irish
180. Tektonica
Off topic:

If you guys want to read an amazing post about writing, by Steve Erickson, author of Malazan Book of the Fallen...head over to the left hand side of the main Tor page and click on the bookmarked post. It will give you a good sense of the depth of these books...without spoilers.
181. Freelancer
Who mentioned Star Wars? Whoever did can surely answer your questions as well as I.

RE: Aikido. The highest rank is 8th dan, which requires a minimum of 10 years' standing at 7th dan, and a minimum age of 46. 8th dan Master Sensei Tamura Passed away this last week at age 77. The linked clip is 26 years old, and he was still training and performing demonstrations 2 years ago.
Sorcha O
182. sushisushi
kaboom@173 Yes, I found the pronunciations in the chapter really jarring, too, and I think it's because I've been 'hearing' most of them with Irish pronunciation rules, rather than American. Faile, in particular, was a bit of a shock, because it parses really naturally to something like fawl-ya, so I missed the first mention of her name and was wondering who the hell Perrin was talking to!

I thought the reader here was rather stilted, although this may be because neither Jordan nor Sanderson were or are writing to be read aloud. All that description and detail is wonderful on the printed page, but seems a tad odd when you read it out.

Otherwise, a great chapter, nothing much to add, other than agreement that we need to get one last dose of the Perrin-emo, before he Gets Over It, finally...
Chris R
183. up2stuff
Kah-thurak @178

(Blinks in surprise, Grin slipping off face)

Uh, Okay. Reference was a bit too obscure apparently. Sorry. I was talking about "Wang-Chung".
Tricia Irish
184. Tektonica

IIRC, during that mud bubble of evil, the asha'man (among others) were bitten by snakes, and the wounds are hard to heal. But if I heard that well, ONLY one of the AS was bitten. If so, I think it may have some significance, meaning, those AS that weren't bitten may be serving the Shadow. It wouldn't be the first time we got hit with the clue bat...

i should probably go read Terez transcription....but if anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear it.
Jane Smyth
185. Kaboom
Is it possible that only one of the AS is very good at healing. If that was the case, the pattern would only have needed that particular AS to be bitten.
Ross Hathaway
186. RossH
Hello again,
Free @ 181 - Thanks for the clip! I didn't really know what you meant when you were talking about droids, so I just figured it was a refrence to Star Wars.

JamesDJones @ 172:
"Perrin's issues with leadership need to be resolved before the series ends (at least I hope so). If they are going to be resolved in this book, then the author must re-introduce them to the reader so the resolution can be a satisfying moment rather than just another boring, small step in progression."

Wow, this totally hit the spot for me. It is such a good point.
Daniel Hanley
187. Kythorian
We have absolutely no indication as far as I know that darkfriends or black ajah are somehow protected from bubbles of evil. In fact, I seem to remember a black ajah being injured during the bubble of evil in Salidar that one time, but it has been a while since I read that section and could easily be wrong. Please correct me if so.

But based on how bubbles of evil have been described, they just drift along the pattern until they pop somewhere. If this is the case, not even the dark one would really have any control over it. the bubbles may be formed from the DO, but the pattern has more control over them than him, as I understand it at least.
Marshall Garey
188. mogbob
About juggling:

I learned to juggle 3 balls in just a few days with only an hour or two of practice per day. Granted, I wasn't very good, but I've since learned to juggle for much longer without even very consistent practice. With Mat, practicing at least several hours a day for a few weeks (I think? Somebody can correct me on that) it's not surprising that he can learn very quickly, especially given his ta'verenness and the fantasy world. Given that he learns to juggle very quickly and is already a good fighter with a quarter staff, and has very quick reflexes as a result, it makes sense that he could learn knife throwing quickly as well.

Not to mention that this is fantasy, and not real life.

I really like how we see Perrin's ta'verenness in protecting the food from spoiling. Another sign of awesomeness and the last battle and tarmon gaidon are coming quickly.

By the way, didn't Herid Fel or Min say that LB/TG may not be the same event? Somebody correct me on this, please. I can't remember it very well.
Cameron Tucker
189. Loialson
voxorange @68

I know!

Would someone please explain any theory why Perrin has the Maidens riding?

"Pass the word to the others, if you will," Perrin said to Gaul. "We'll hike down the road to the
place you found, then discuss what to do next. And ask some of the the
Maidens if they'll ride along the road in the other direction to make
sure we're not going to be surprised by anyone moving up the road behind
us." Gaul nodded and moved off to pass the word.

This is the quote from Terez's shiny new transcription(btw Terez was that legal??? I'd feel bad taking money from Harriet ya know, yet I read it anyway:)) I hope so bc I LOVE reading it as opposed to listening. Michael Kramer is great, but I do not care for his gruffly voice for Perrin, jams my cool vibes for P-dog(heh))
But yeah, any ideas? It took some MAJOR convincing to get Avi on a horse IIRC, (or maybe that was Siuan, or both:)) and I doubt any of them would do it willingly. Gaul should at least be like "yeah, sure wolf-man. I can ask, buuut...."

Sydo Zandstra
190. Fiddler


IIRC, during that mud bubble of evil, the asha'man (among others) were bitten by snakes, and the wounds are hard to heal. But if I heard that well, ONLY one of the AS was bitten. If so, I think it may have some significance, meaning, those AS that weren't bitten may be serving the Shadow. It wouldn't be the first time we got hit with the clue bat...

For the record, Tek asked that question on behalf of me. I haven't been able to be on TOR much this week, but I did listen to this chapter once, and I asked her if somebody had noticed this in the discussion here. Thanks for putting it up, Tek! You rock.

I'll explain some more. When I heard Perrin thinking both Asha'man were bitten and only one AS (I still haven't seen confirmation, but that is what I thought I heard), all my alarm bells went off. Especially with the whole 'you have to figure out all the pieces before solving the puzzle' thing he has going on (I am probably paraphrasing).

I read the above comments about how this is not how we know bubbles of evil, and how the DO cannot control them.

However, we are on the verge of TG and the DO is so strong that it takes Rand and Perrin's Ta'verenness to keep food from spoiling. Meaning he has more influence on what's happening and could perfectly well be aiming this stuff more and keep his minions out of harm. Especially since he'll be needing them soon.

Try and think these happenings to be aimed by the DO; they went random at the start at the shooting range, but now he has gotten new glasses/better sight, and is therefore able to aim better... ;)

Also, some of the AS in Perrin's camp have been behaving suspicious. Just like, for example, Sheriam and Verin in earlier books. This is what I meant by 'being hit with the cluebat'...

(in any case I think this deserves a closer look)
191. jneuhoff
I hate Audio Books, the narrators ability is always worse then you would think. Give me Morgan Freeman
Ambrose Scalvini
192. MagicDragon
I picked up on Perrin saying ride instead or run or scout (which sounds best to me), I took it as just a figure of speach not that he actually expects them to get on horses.
Its both Aiel and Siuan not liking to ride. Aiel cause thier legs work just fine, Siuan cause horses are wild beasts with minds of their own and you just don't know what they will do next.

This 2nd chapter is the first time I've heard any book on audio. I think I'd rather read it, its too easy for my imagination take my mind on a detour and find I've missed large sections. It was interesting to hear his pronounciations (I knew some of what I was saying was wrong, but when the people you talk to also say it wrong its still good lol). All in all it was a good chapter.
Rich Wallace
193. Richman2000
I've read all the WOT books, then I listened to the Audio books. Some people can read and retain everything, and some people do better in lectures. It's reffered to as "Locust of Learning". RJ would listen to the WOT audio books. He didn't have a problem with the pronounciations of the names.

On Nov 2nd, I will be at the book signing in Sacramento. I'll have my copy of TOM in my hands, and listening to it while I wait in line.
Roger Powell
195. forkroot
Ah grasshopper! Look within yourself to find the locus of learning.
196. Ryanus
I'd also point out that he tells that group of Sell-Swords he takes on to ride on back to talk to Tam. It's specified that none of them have horses. I'd take that as just a phrase Perrin's using and this first occurance lampshading that to hopefully make it less strange with the Aiel.
198. 11zeeshha
@ 188

Herid Fel said that every age might have a last battle and that since the prison has to be sealed before the second age comes again then that means that it doesn't have to be the last battle of this age that defeats the dark one. It could happen in any age.
Something like that anyway. Hoping that someone will make it clearer what he said.
John Massey
199. subwoofer
@Kah underscore... yay! Somebody to talk shop with:)

Well, a couple of things... according to my Sifu, the dan/kyu sytem is a last 150 year evolution. And the dans are not just supposed to reflect er... ranks or grades but also the "evolution of the spirit" towards perfection. He also scratched his head and wondered how I've fallen so far down on that end. What really ticked me off was that when you get your black belt, then they teach you the good stuff. Before it is all stance and discipline and very rigid teaching. I guess when they see you aren't going to poke yourself in the foot, give'r. In some ways that is why I prefer JKD more, in that you get to the good stuff right away, but the downside is, you are not taught the respect aspect, which, in hindsight, is very important. Last thing you need is a bunch of kids roaming the streets convinced they can take on the world and looking for trouble.

What I was going for is that hey, IRL- people get hurt, there is no winning in fighting.

We were talking about fantasy and people were howling "no fair" because women were put on equal footing. Whatever. It's a fantasy series. Literary licensce and all that good stuff. RJ made it interesting, so there is no use saying, "hey, a woman can't do that" because, let's face it what is the point of quibbling if a woman beats you with a sword or cudgel or open hand when they can wrap you up in air too?

John Massey
200. subwoofer

ahem... a little speech about the folks I'd like to thank...

Thank you God, you heard me cry about many a past number being shunned to the wayside and not celebrated. You heard my prayers and answered them:)

I'd thank my wife, but she does not like me being here, so I'd like to thank my old Master Corporal for teaching me the art of subterfuge. And my two pooches for running interference.

Edit- Oooo- that is not to imply that I do not enjoy talking shop, WoT or otherwise, with all the fine folks here:) It very much is a pleasure spending time on this thread.

Alice Arneson
201. Wetlandernw
For those at 188 and 198:

The stout man's head jerked up. "Oh. Yes. Ah, question. Last time. Tarmon Gai'don. Well, I don't know what it will be like. Trollocs, I suppose? Dreadlords? Yes. Dreadlords. But I have been thinking. It can't be the Last Battle. I don't think it can. Maybe every Age has a Last Battle. Or most of them." Suddenly he frowned down his nose at the pipe in his teeth, and began rummaging across the table. "I have a tinderbox here somewhere."

"What do you mean it can't be the Last Battle?" Rand tried to keep his voice smooth. Herid always came to the point; you just had to prod him toward it.

"What? Yes, exactly the point. It can't be the Last Battle. Even if the Dragon Reborn seals the Dark One's prison again as well as the Creator made it. Which I don't think he can do." He leaned forward and lowered his voice conspiratorially. "He isn't the Creator, you know, whatever they say in the streets. Still, it has to be sealed up again by somebody. The Wheel, you see."

"I don't see. . . ." Rand trailed off.

"Yes, you do. You'd make a good student." Snatching his pipe out, Herid drew a circle in the air with the stem. "The Wheel of Time. Ages come and go and come again as the Wheel turns. All the catechism." Suddenly he stabbed a point on that imaginary wheel. "Here the Dark One's prison is whole. Here, they drilled a hole in it, and sealed it up again." He moved the bit of the pipe along the arc he had drawn. "Here we are. The seals weakening. But that doesn't matter, of course." The pipestem completed the circle. "When the Wheel turns back to here, back to where they drilled the hole in the first place, the Dark One's prison has to be whole again."

"Why? Maybe the next time they'll drill through the patch. Maybe that's how they could do it the last time -drill into what the Creator made, I mean - maybe they drilled the Bore through a patch and we just don't know."

Herid shook his head. For a moment he stared at his pipe, once more realizing it was unlit, and Rand thought he might have to recall him again, but instead Herid blinked and went on. "Someone had to make it sometime. For the first time, that is. Unless you think the Creator made the Dark One's prison with a hole and patch to begin." His eyebrows waggled at the suggestion. "No, it was whole in the beginning, and I think it will be whole again when the Third Age comes once more. Hmmm. I wonder if they called it the Third Age?" He hastily dipped a pen and scribbled a note in the margins of an open book. "Umph. No matter now. I'm not saying the Dragon Reborn will be the one to make it whole, not in this Age necessarily anyway, but it must be so before the Third Age comes again, and enough time passed since it was made whole - an Age, at least - that no one remembers the Dark One or his prison. No one remembers. Um. I wonder. . . ." He peered at his notes and scratched his head, then seemed startled to find he used the hand holding the pen. There was a smudge of ink in his hair. "Any Age where seals weaken must remember the Dark One eventually, because they will have to face him and wall him up again." Sticking his pipe back between his teeth, he tried to make another note without dipping the pen.

- Lord of Chaos, chapter 18
Alice Arneson
202. Wetlandernw
Rats! I forgot to post this an hour ago...

jamesedjones @172 - YES! Thank you. That's it exactly. If Perrin just suddenly showed up in this book all happy-leadery, it would truly stink in terms of character progression. Thank you for pointing that out.
Jon King
203. jkingdude
ok a couple of things.
we should not be suprised that Galad's situation was resolved quickly for 2 reasons:
1. Rand had a vision with the ta'veren sight that he shares with Mat and Perrin showing Perrin and Galad speaking. That was at the end of TGS.
2. Even though the children of light seem to be a feared group, on the whole their overall purpose is not evil. In general, they are honorable men, if sometimes misinformed and overzealous. I didnt think the other captains would put up with how Galad was being treated given what he prevented (a COL civil war) and how.

Changing subjects, I am proposing the following theory:
I believe the hole in the DO prison was actually created in or somehow using Tel'aran'rhiod. If/when the DO emerges from his prison, it will be first in Tel'aran'rhiod. I think his touch is already present there strongly and he can see everything that occurs there. It explains the enseen eyes that everyone seems to feel when there. Even the Forsaken claim to be suprised but how much the DO seems to know about the world while at the same time, ignorant about other important events. I also believe that the 'bubles of evil' are acutally nightmares created in Tel'aran'rhiod and pushed into the real world by the DO as his powers grow. And finally, this would also explain why Perrin and his wolves will be so important for Tarmon Gai'don.

Anyway, my 2 cents. :)
204. Freelancer
Wetlandernw @201

Hmm. Something in the midst of that quote usually gets ignored, but needs attention:
He moved the bit of the pipe along the arc he had drawn. "Here we are. The seals weakening. But that doesn't matter, of course." The pipestem completed the circle.

It is a majority opinion that Herid Fel believed it was necessary to destroy the seals before the Bore could properly be resealed. This statement very strongly supports that concept. For the absentminded philosopher to bother adding the phrase, "But that doesn't matter, of course", indicates that he has given it significant thought, and is unconcerned about the state of the seals, within the larger picture of the ages. As if to say, "It doesn't matter how weak they are, because they need to be removed completely before the prison can be properly closed up again".

jkingdude @203

The hole in the dark one's prison was created by Mierin Sedai and Beidomon Sedai, working with the Sharom at the Collam Daan. Rand, looking through Charn's eyes during his visit to the Ancestitron in Rhuidean, witnessed the event. It did not happen in Tel'aran'rhiod.
205. Kaigee
:/ Galad's timeline seems to be way ahead of Perrin's timeline at this point. There's already light in Galad's timeline.
Mari Davis
206. sheiglagh
For those who think that he is an excessively or annoying virtuous person, though sincere, the same thing can be said about Egwene and we had to endure that for a long time.

With Galad, it was short and sweet and quite frankly, Galad was better at it than Egwene. Egwene is prideful and a Miss Know-it-all which is truly annoying and at times she as more annoying than Gawyn.

FYI – I like the way Galad held himself.

Enough already! Gosh, we talk of Gawyn as flawed but at least we don’t endure Gawyn for long since he is only a secondary even a tertiary character. With Perrin, we had to endure his useless musing for a long time. And he is as flawed as Gawyn just in a different way.

Is Perrin a leader? I see him as a whiner.


Yes, he is a leader, even when he was the Dark Rand. He made hard decisions, even unpopular. But he sticks to his guns.

I remember one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when Counselor Troi was undergoing command training. She kept on failing until she realized that she would have to make hard decisions and send men to die.

Some in here will disagree, but leaders do that - “send men to die” either literally as in war or figuratively as in business when the boss throws someone to the wolves to get a business deal going. We might not like it but it happens.

We might even hate some of the great leaders in history like Adolf Hitler. There are leaders we love and/or respect like Gandhi and Mother Theresa.

Leadership has its price. Rand and Matt are willing to pay it; even Elayne and Egwene are willing to pay it. Galad is willing to pay it. But oh no, not Perrin, because he is “better than others”… bleeeeeeeh!!!

As for those saying that Perrin’s ambivalence is nearer real life. Well, maybe, perhaps it is but from where I’m standing, I see Perrin having been in a leadership position for almost 2 years and he has moved an inch from his indecisiveness.

Oh yeah… it’s real alright. I see a man who has been President for 2 years and still blames his predecessor with what is wrong in the country. Ha! Ha! Ha! Lame like Perrin.
(sorry to insert politics here, just making a point)

Pattack @55

Bloviating? I had to look that up.

Frankly, I don’t think the reason for 3 books is $$$ as you say. It would have been a very thick book if there was only one. Also, Brandon has made things short, that is, shorter than most RJ fans would want like having things happen off screen. I like the way the books are progressing. My only problem is that I have to wait for them to come out.
Mari Davis
207. sheiglagh
drewoftherushes @ 68

From the time Rand picks up a sword to the scene at the beginning of tGH when he's sparring with Lan is about three months. One month of not traveling.

Rand started training with Lan at EOTW, and that was at 2 years ago according to WoT timeline.
208. wagman26
@206 RE Galad

Goody Two Shoes : an excessively or annoying virtuous person, often insincere.

I do believe he is sincere.

Good view over all of whitecloaks, misguided at times.
Ambrose Scalvini
209. MagicDragon
@ 206
I agree with you about the decision of 3 books instead of 1 was not about $$$. I watched an interview given by RJ, some time ago between book 9 and 10 I think, where RJ had said he expected it to take 13 or 14 books to finish the story. Somewhere between book 10 and 11 he changed and insisted book 12 would be the end, but I suspect it was health problems that prompted him to want to finish sooner. I suspect that if RJ had as much time as he wanted to finish himself, we would be looking at 15 books (which I would only be upset about having to wait for the books to be released if that were the case).
Alice Arneson
210. Wetlandernw
Kaigee @205 - Galad's timeline isn't exactly "way ahead" of Perrin's timeline - the light changes pretty fast once it changes, and it can't really be more than a few days difference, given Rand's Technicolor Ta'veren Teleview of Perrin and Galad together. Per Steven Cooper's WoT Chronology, the Battle of Malden was on Day 749; Perrin notes in this scene that it's "more than a month" since Malden; Rand "sees" Perrin with Galad on Day 784. With only 35 days lapse between the first and last of those, and a standard 28-day month in Randland, it must be less than 6 days until they meet.

(For those who don't trust my source, I asked Brandon last month how close the WoT Chronology comes to the timeline that Team Jordan maintains. He said it's very good; maybe not 100% day by day, but always accurate within a day or so. RJ was almost fanatical about his timeline, so every reference to the phase of the moon was deliberate and reliable. Mr. Cooper made use of those, along with all the "two days ago" kinds of references, to put together a highly reliable calendar.)

sheiglagh @207 - Yes, but drewoftherushes @68 specifically states "at the beginning of TGH" - so he is correct in his statement. Actually, it's several days short of three WoT months from the time Rand picks up Tam's sword on Winternight until he and Lan are sparring on top of the tower in Fal Dara. In fact, if you leave out the elapsed time while they were doing the portal stone gig, during which I think it's safe to say Rand wasn't actively practicing the sword forms, from the time Rand picks up Tam's sword on Winternight until he fights and kills Turak in Falme is a total of 110 days - right about 4 WoT months, somewhat less in our months.
James Hogan
211. Sonofthunder
Minor point on the Herid Fel quote - he wonders if they called it the "Third Age", when the prison is whole. Isn't that the Age of Legends?? And I thought the Age of Legends was the Second Age. I feel silly - this must be a really basic question, but that just really confused me.

Also, I love Herid Fel. It made me quite sad when the gholam got him. I do wonder why he was killed, though. Just because of the info that "the seals must be destroyed"? Isn't that what the Dark One wants too?
Janet Hopkins
212. JanDSedai
re: sword forms

While Rand was not actively practicing in the portal stone, he experienced many lives where he was an accomplished swordsman. So, we could argue that this subliminal experience coupled with the "leakage" from Lews Therin was responsible for his prowess with the sword. Okay, I don't buy that either, but it does make for a good story.

And as for Rand's competence with the flute; he may have made a reed flute to amuse himself while he was watching the sheep. That would require a basic knowledge of pitch and tone that would help him in learning from Thom.

There are a lot of new posters here! Glad you found the discussion, and hope you stay.
Ken Ray
213. Maclir
A though regarding Perrin's leadership abilities. I noticed that when he was talking with Faile, Perrin berated himself (as usual) about how terrible a leader he is, and how he ignored his responsibilities during the hunt to rescue Faile. Faile saw (reported) the exact opposite - how he managed a large force of almost feuding parties, successfully brought the Seanchan in, rescued everyone, and so on.

My feeling is that Perrin is exhibiting all the classic micro managing mistakes all new leaders make, because he believes that he is personally responsible for every tiny aspect of his charges. But when he is preoccupied by something far more important, he releases his control over all of the less important thing, delegating them to others.

I suspect he will have this pointed out to him in the not too distant future - and thus he will (eventually) recognize that he is a "true" leader, and will bring a large kick-arse force to TG, right when Rand needs it. And as much as many people hated the whole "rescue Faile" plot line, it was essential for Perrin's character development.
214. wally0272
As I recall from an earlier book, Min made a statement about Berelian along the lines of "just wait till she meets the man in white." I'm thinking that Perrin's Hawk problem is about to go away, since she'll be too busy trying to corrupt the Lord Captain Commander.
215. morpheusstone
Why is there such an issue with Rand learning so fast?The guy practically has Eidetic memory being able to remember practically anyones name even after only meeting them once and naming every woman who's died in order of their deaths.Guy also has a great many physical attributes that could make it easier to fight since he's part Aiel and very long limbed.
Jane Smyth
216. Kaboom
This is also an observation that I have made. All the characters have a perfect memory. For example, Egwene when studying with the wise one has to be able to repeat everything they tell her only once. They all remember all the names, and the discriptions of everybody they meet and more. This is what I found the most difficult in suspending disbelief. Probably because I have such a bad short term memory. I was almost jealous of fictional characters!
Henry Loose
217. schrodinger
Worth mentioning is that the food stopped spoiling in Caemlyn after Elayne rounded up the Darkfriends and Dupes.

This plays on an interesting theory that I've had for some time. The DO is not exactly touching the world yet, it has been stated before that if he was, it would be a shitstorm. Things are just mildly bad right now (in my mind at least, compared to what could follow). My theory is that he can only touch the world through those who pledge their lives and souls to him, using them as a conduit that has a risistor built in that reduces the effects of his touch on the world. If no DFs are near a place, not a lot of bad things can happen because his touch on his followers is not there. It will be interesting to see how this progresses.
Theresa Gray
218. Terez27
Freelancer@204 - unlikely. From the end of that very same conversation:

"Is there any reason you can think of to break the seals?"
Herid’s eyebrows shot up. "Break the seals? Break the seals? Why would anyone but a madman want to do that? Can they even be broken? I seem to remember reading somewhere they can’t, but I don’t recall now that it said why. What made you think of a thing like that?"
Brian Vrolyk
219. vyskol
Brandon is bloviating?? Did you even read Jordan's last half dozen books?? Would you like more chapters focused on Elayne's baths and the intricacies of Andoran politics?

Brandon is doing an incredible job of moving the plot along and wrapping up a tonne of loose threads.
Mari Davis
220. sheiglagh
Terez 27 @ 218

I'm getting confused. There was a scene (can't remember which book) between Rand and LTT about the seals needed to be broken for the DO to be imprisoned again.
greg gauvreau
221. nigelski
egads! While the release of a "chapter" is to be lauded, could they have found anyone else to read it? This guy makes Ben Stein sound animated, by the Great Lord! I guess I'll have to take what I can from the comments, because listening to that monotonous and grey drivel makes watching paint dry in a Clockwork Orange like aparatus seem like a fun day at the beach.
Theresa Gray
222. Terez27
sheiglagh - Yes. Rand had a little episode when Taim first gave him the seal in LOC Ch. 2. He tried to break it, and Bashere tried to stop him, and Rand thought Lews Therin was trying to take over. Then Rand asked Herid Fel about it, in the scene that Freelancer mentioned, the same scene I quoted from, and Fel thought he was crazy. Later Fel wrote him a note saying he needed to 'clear the rubble' before he could build, which indicated that Fel had given further thought to the question about the seals and decided that they needed to be broken after all. Then in TGS, Min tells Rand that she thinks that is what Fel meant (which we, the fandom, have suspected all along, of course), and Rand says he agrees.
Sydo Zandstra
223. Fiddler
Thanks for ignoring me, everybody.

I will not gloat when Perrin ends up with Darkfriends AS in his lap. Because I don't care; I just want to see this story getting ended.

Feel free to furtherly discuss stuff on women warriors.
Theresa Gray
224. Terez27
@Fiddler - I had to go back up to see what you were talking about. Luckers has a theory on that.
Daniel Hanley
225. Kythorian
...Wow...relax Fiddler. First, we did discuss your theory. most of us decided it seems unlikely since everything we know about bubbles of evil indicates the DO doesn't control them. But maybe the DO has gained greater control recently. As you say, we will see. And second, even if we had ignored you, it happens. No need to be so uptight about it.
Tess Laird
226. thewindrose
Fiddler from 190:)
I would imagine there have t be some black ajah sisters with Perrins group. Someone over on Theory Land(I beleive Luckers) has put out a theory that Moggy sent two of the first 13 sisters led by Liandrin to Masema(Rianna and Berylla). Further speculation is that Annoura and Masuri(the 2 sisters who go and meet with Masema) are the balck sisters from Perrins camp.

So is Seonid the sister who was bitten?

It has been a few times that Ta'veren attract bubbles of evil, so it makes sense that something happened in Perrins camp. Perrin is also holding off the DO's touch on their food supply as terez noted above.

I have a question for you all. Has the fortelling by Min that Egwene will have something to do with Galad been satisfied yet? :(From the Great Hunt)
"I've read you, Egwene.... I see things I am sure link you to Rand and Perrin, and Mat, and - yes, even Galad."

I know there is a boatload of theories and even idea's from the books that point to Galad being Berelain's man in white. Or that Galad will fulfill the link by subsuming the White Cloaks into Egwene's army. But would it be fun if RJ had done all of this a red herring. Gawyn does something aweful and pays his life for it, and Egwene and Galad end up together. Egwene and Galad have a lot in common, don't they;)

Jane Smyth
227. Kaboom
I have just read Luckers theory from the link provided by Terez.
I found it interesting.
I also liked the theory about food spoiling and other weird things happening being caused by the presence of Darkfriends. This might even explain the major building rearrangements seen in the white tower and the Camelyn palace. Several black ajah in the white tower and at least one in the palace.

However both of these theories are exclusive. Perrin's camp food would not be safe if there are 2 black ajah in the camps.
Jane Smyth
228. Kaboom
Jessica Thompson
229. CFP
Do we have any info about the ajahs of the 13 BA sisters that Moggy sent on errands and which ones are left? I thought we should, but I haven't kept track.
Joseph Blaidd
230. SteelBlaidd
A thought has a ocured too me.

One of the reasons Perrin is lagging behind the other boys in his acceptance of his raised position in the world is that of all the Two Rivers folk he has spent the least amount of time with "Other Nobles."

Rand has had Legendary beings daclaring him "One of Us" and has to deal with Lords and Ladies of of all types and elivations. Mat palls around with Talmanes and Naestin and rembers various noble lives. Thats won of the reasons he dosen't want to be one, Cause he thinks they're all bloody prats.

Up until the start of the PLoD Perrin's only contact with Nobles is Faile and running from Barrilain. He still thinks Nobles are some thing special he still dosent realize just how low the bar is for entry into their "exclusive" ranks.
Alice Arneson
231. Wetlandernw
Sonofthunder @211 - About "did they call it the Third Age" - I wondered about that too, as I was copying it. Was that a typo all the way through? He uses it repeatedly, and it's the same in my book, which is the paperback version from a year or so after the HC came out, so it seems like a typo would have been corrected by then. Dunno. As for why Herid Fel was killed, I hope we RAFO. I had a couple of looney theories, but I think they've been debunked by now...

Fiddler @ 223 - Ignore you? Nevah, nevah, nevah! Fact is, I couldn't think of anything to say that you hadn't already said. FWIW, though, you convinced me long ago that there is probably at least one BA with Perrin, and quite possibly with Mat too. At this point I'm just eager to RAFO! (And as our favorite tempest points out, if Seonid turns out to be the sister who was bitten, it will look even more fishy.)

Kythorian @225 - No worries. Fiddler doesn't get uptight - not about this stuff, anyway. He's been around for centuries ...uh... quite some time now. (As in, contributed to the discussions in developing the WoTFAQ and all the "early days of internet discussion" stuff.) He's just poking us.

thewindrose @226 - I was wondering about that viewing recently too. I can't see how its been fulfilled, other than in the most vague, "we're all on the side of the Light" terms. My take on "most likely scenario" is that Galad as Lord Captain Commander will make an agreement of some sort with Egwene as Amyrlin Seat, and that agreement will be of great significance in the upcoming conflict. (As in, the conflict will be between Dark and Light instead of these particular two Light-side forces in conflict with one another.)

Kaboom @227 - I haven't actually read the theory, but it could well be that ta'veren trumps Darkfriend in this matter. As far as we know, there are no ta'veren in the WT or Caemlyn at this point. Might be worth noting whether the food spoilage, etc. in Caemlyn decrease even more when Mat shows up...

CFP @229 - Of Liandrin's 13 BA, there were two from each Ajah except Red, which only had one (Liandrin). Of those 13, four are dead (yellow, green, blue, gray), five were captured in Caemlyn (yellow, 2 browns, white, gray), three (white, green and blue) haven't been seen on screen since receiving their instructions from Moghedien back in TFoH, Chapter 18, and one (red) was da'covale to Suroth last time we saw her. As far as I know, we haven't learned what happened to her when Suroth was made da'covale herself, in the KoD epilogue. All this and more great stuff can be found in the Encyclopaedia WoT - although you may find yourself spending hours clicking around, with all the good stuff to peruse there.
Jonathan Levy
232. JonathanLevy
221. nigelski
egads! While the release of a "chapter" is to be lauded, could they have found anyone else to read it? This guy makes Ben Stein sound animated, by the Great Lord!

Would an "animated" voice be suitable for this plotline, in your opinion?

216. Kaboom
This is also an observation that I have made. All the characters have a perfect memory. For example, Egwene when studying with the wise one has to be able to repeat everything they tell her only once. They all remember all the names, and the discriptions of everybody they meet and more.

The Egwene & Wise Ones example is true. It is also said of Nynaeve that she learns weaves quickly, but I believe that goes with strength in the power. However, there are counter-examples. Min and Mat don't recognize Birgitte when they first see her at Salidar, even though they've both seen her at Falme. You'll need to provide more unlikely examples to convince me.

215. morpheusstone
Why is there such an issue with Rand learning so fast?The guy practically has Eidetic memory being able to remember practically anyones name even after only meeting them once and naming every woman who's died in order of their deaths

Rand repeats the litany over and over again, and when he doesn't, Lews Therin does it for him. If he had such a perfect memory, he wouldn't need to.
Tricia Irish
233. Tektonica

As far as Rand repeating the "litany" over and over....I think he does it more to keep himself sane. A touchstone to his humanity, if you will. Killing women was where he drew the line and the litany of names reminds him of the cost of what he is/does/must do, and what he has promised himself NOT to do.
John Massey
234. subwoofer
Morning Tek:)

Option C- Rand is OCD and that is a ritual that once started, must be finished to the end. It is like prayers on a rosary. That litany is Rand's way of prayer and pennace.

Tricia Irish
235. Tektonica
Good morning, Sub! ;-) *waves coffee cup*

Time for breakfast....carry on......
Antoni Ivanov
236. tonka
@ 231.Wetlandernw and Sonofthunder @211 - About "did they call it the Third Age" - I read it as did they call the previous 3th age "The 3th Age". Which is valid and interesting question.
Brian Mulhall
237. moleman1976
I'm not sure if this is dealt with upthread, as I've just listened to the chapter, but:

FINALLY! Asunawa is DEAD! I've hated that Tourquemada wannabe since his first scene. I'd have liked to seen it "on camera", but that's OK - as long as it's done.
Jay Dauro
238. J.Dauro
226. thewindrose

Masuri was the Aes Sedai who was bitten by snakes in the bubble of evil.
Tess Laird
239. thewindrose
Thanks J.Daurno - I am not used to listening to the books!
I don't know if that really proves or disproves anything. Bubbles of evil don't discriminate. But they are attracted to ta'veren.

Fiddler at 223 - I was wondering what you thought about how the different women warriors dress;)

Louis van Appeven
240. Louisvanappeven@hotmail.com
I'm actually getting a bit tired of Perrin's "I'm not a leader!"
it's time he accepts that he is a great leader cause he's , in my opinion getting a bit boring like this. i liked him better in the earlier books, especially in tEotW
Rob S
241. RobSS
The books are in a book store near me. My daughter works there. She can't get me a copy.

Alice Arneson
242. Wetlandernw
tonka @236 - It is an interesting question. It just sounded a bit odd, because he was talking about the Age of Legends, and about how the DO's prison must be whole so it could be drilled through again. It reads like he's equating the AOL with the Third Age, but I thought the "current" age was the Third Age, making the Age of Legends the Second Age. Or is that a flawed assumption, that the Second Age ended with the Breaking? Is the current age is the same age as the AOL, as far as the Wheel is concerned?

J. Dauro @238- I missed that. One of the many reasons I dislike audiobooks for something this complex.

RobSS @241 - Now that truly stinks. Can she memorize chapter 3 and recite it to you?
243. Shadow_Jak
OK, a few comments on the chanpter...
First, I like Perrin and was very satisfied with his Malden resolution in Knife of Dreams. Great stuff.
I also agree with earlier comments (from Wetlandernw an others) that the author needs to remind us a bit about Perrin's leadership quandry, in order to then go on and have a satisfactory resolution.

So, in general, I was very satisfied with Perrin in chapter 2

I do have a few problems with the details. Mainly, they've been on the road a month and have not caught up with "Master Gill and the others"!
The folks he sent ahead, afoot and in carts only, maybe an hour before the assault? This does not ring true.

Someone would have been sent to catch them right after the battle. Maidens on foot or Two Rivers men, or even Cha Faile ahorse would have easily located and caught up with them the same day, next day at the latest. I mean, they knew exactly where they left from and the direction they were going. I'm no Aiel scout or Two Rivers woodsman, but even I could have followed a bunch of cart tracks and caught them in very short order.

Asside from the weak excuse... why does the plot need them to be separated from the main group?
244. Shadow_Jak
As for Galad POV. Great stuff!
Loved how he was on his feet waiting when the came in. Reminiscent of some advice Lan gave Rand early on, (TGH maybe). Something to the effect of, whatever comes, a man always trys to meet it on his feet.

BTW, Prediction time...
Predict that Galad will be meeting more Seanchan very soon and that Perrin will still have to pull off a bit of a rescue.
Daniel Hanley
245. Kythorian
Well, immediately after the battle, the soldiers were needed to clean up in Malden, gather refugees, and they were not sure if the remaining aiel were going to come and attack them again for a while. So they couldn't really spare anyone to go get the presumably safe Gill and his people. And no reason to do so. Perrin thought that the entire group would catch up to them fairly quickly. The reasons why they did not once the refugees and everyone were gathered up are specifically listed in chapter 2. Between the mud and the bubble of evil, they were pretty severely slowed, not to mention the 100,000 refugees with all of their wagons, etc.

So I don't see why this is unreasonable. And we can always fall back to the fact that the pattern apparently needs Perrin to not catch up to them, and so is making it happen. I assume there is a good reason why they need to be seperated, which we will learn at some point in this book.
246. Shadow_Jak
Still seems very unlikely to me.
Whatever the situation, he should have had scouts out in every direction anyway... to watch out for those other Aiel and anything else that might be about to fall on them. And logically those scouting north would have caught up to (and passed) the slow movng carts in the process and communiated with them on the way.

Intersting to speculate on why the plot Pattern might need them to remain separated for a while. Maybe to help Morgase remain undercover?
Nope. Just came to me!

I predict that they encounter Galad first so that he can learn that Morgase was not killed by Valda after all (and hear a bit about Perrin from another source).

Bet Galad also gets an earful from Lini!
247. Shadow_Jak
Turne was a lanky fellow with curly red hair and a beard he tied off with leather cords. He carried a warrior's axe in a loop at his belt, a wicked thing with a spike at the back.

Curious that there's no thought of Perrin's own Axe. (Rather his X-Axe, since he's tossed it)
Wonder if this was intentional from Brandon, to let us know that he's over the whole Axe vs Hammer thing.

Or is the description just a random bit of color added to that character that Brandon didn't consider relevant for Perrin, imagery-wise?
Rob S
248. RobSS
@ 242

RobSS @241 - Now that truly stinks. Can she memorize chapter 3 and recite it to you?

LOL In my dreams
249. jernau
Was really looking forward to this book until i heard most of it would be about perrin, the guy is a looser who needs to grow a pair, every time i reread a wot book i completly skip his chapters, once through them is bad enough thanks.
Daniel Hanley
250. Kythorian
To jernau @ 249, first, "most of it would be about perrin" isn't true. From what Brandon has said, the main focus will be about equally on Mat and Perrin, with Rand and Egwene and some random other people also taking their roles. In the past, even when a book 'focuses' on a given character, that character generally only receives about 20-30% of the chapters. If this book follows the pattern set by earlier books, my guess is that Perrin and Mat will each receive around 25% of the book, with maybe 10% each for Egwene and Rand(or probably more tilted towards Rand, since he has more he needs to wrap up before the Last Battle), and the remaining 30% split between all the other random people in the series...Avi, Logain, Tuon, Ituralde, the forsaken and other random darkfriends, etc.

I would hardly call that "most of it" being about perrin. And besides, this book will probably be the book in which Perrin, as you put it "grows a pair". He still has plenty of issues, but that just gives him room to develop. And since he pretty much has to get over at least the leadership and wolf issues(which are the main ones) before the Last Battle, that development must come in this book.

I look forward to it. Perrin was probably my favorite of the three in the first three books, then Rand and Mat started becoming more and more awesome, while Perrin became more and more annoying. If Perrin can manage to catch up to them in this one book, it should be something very impressive to watch.
Alice Arneson
251. Wetlandernw
Kythorian @250 - I am in complete agreement! Oh, and I'd add Elayne, Lan and Moiraine to the list of significant people who will take up the other 30% or so, although in a sense Elayne and Moiraine will be sufficiently involved in Mat's and/or Rand's plot lines that it might not be entirely distinguishable.

For myself, I'm looking forward to Perrin doing something besides a mostly-stationary rescue plan & execution. Head 'em up and move 'em out, boy!

BTW... I wonder if we'll see the massive Darkhound pack again in this book. Perrin is obviously going to have to confront that at some point; I hope he's got some channelers who know balefire beside him when it happens.
252. Shadow_Jak
Yes, I am really looking forward to seeing Perrin rise to his full potential. I have extremely high hopes.

Was also wondering about the Darkhounds.
Maybe that's them just ahead, beside the road...
If they were looking for Fain, and I think they were, the just might all be dead.
OK, pretty looney I'll admit
Daniel Hanley
253. Kythorian
Ohhh...Fain with a few hundred undead, almost unkillable darkhounds? That would be...interesting.

But my guess is that although we might briefly see the big darkhoud pack again in ToM, it will survive, for the most part at least, to fight the wolves in TG.
Alice Arneson
254. Wetlandernw
Hmm. I always just assumed the Darkhounds were looking for Rand (or possibly someone with him) and kept getting frustrated by his Travelling all over Randland and making them change directions all the time. Never really thought about them looking for Fain. Could be, though. That should be an interesting... confrontation. How does that guy get around, anyway? Does he go through the Ways, or does he have his own version of Traveling by now?
255. Shadow_Jak
Well we know he can use the Ways pretty much a will. But other than that. I dunno. I guess he's pretty tight with Mashadar now. Maybe he can kinda ride the mists?
Seems that he should may have some non-mundane mode of locomotion by now.
John Massey
256. subwoofer
Wow! These are my kinds of topics:) Much better than gun control or leashing debates.

Fain- our lovable little slime ball... well the guy does get around, and he can't fly or channel Gateways... as far as we know. Although he does save time by not bathing, Fain is no Aiel, so I don't see him hoofing all that distance. Horses? Well maybe that is the most plausible answer unless Suroth gave him a Raken. The problem with Fain using the Ways is that Rand sent Loial and Elder Haman to seal the Ways shut. I don't think Fain has an access key or a Talisman of Growing.

The Darkhounds are another very interesting topic for me. They were supposed to be a sign that the Wild Hunt is on. As for Perrin's role with them I have mixed thoughts. For one thing, I am not a big fan of them battling wolves. Hundreds of wolves could die just to kill one Darkhound, and if a Darkhound eats a wolve's soul on the way out-pwang- new Darkhound. I like wolves too much for this to happen.

I am thinking the solution for this lays in Perrin's ability to step into the Wolf Dream. Perrin hurt Slayer in the Dream. This same Slayer was a hunter of wolves and had scores of pelts as trophies on his wall. I am wondering if there is a link between Slayer and the Darkhounds. What I am thinking is that if Perrin kills Slayer, he in effect, cuts off the head/ controlling feature of the Darkhounds and they go away. Either that, or Perrin discovers that it is easier for him to kill a Darkhound in the Wolf Dream and goes to town on them. Maybe Perrin and a bunch of Hoppers will open a can of whoop ass and this is the Battle that Perrin was meant for... er, beyond saving everyone's butts- Rand's, Galad's, Faile's, spanking Berelain, y'know.

Theresa Gray
257. Terez27
@Wetlander - you should read my Fain theory. ;)

Also, here is my non-spoiler review. But if you thought Leigh's review was spoilery, then you'll think mine is too.
Kate Smith
258. Rukaiya
Ooof! Terez, your review makes me nervous! I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I started reading the Wheel of Time when I was 13 and now, as we approach the final resolution, I find myself almost uncertain if I want to know how it turns out. Yes, I know this may almost sound like blasphemy and realistically there is no way I could resist reading Towers of Midnight . . . but I almost wish I could. After following this series for so long, re-reading it so many times, and getting so attached to the characters, I'm afraid to find out what happens to them! Argh! Cowardice assails me!
Barry T
259. blindillusion
Thanks Terez.

I'm now shaking. With anticipation? Dread? It's hard to tell these days.

Yet, as with all days, those between now and next Tuesday shall rather rapidly fall away...and I suppose we shall see, yes?
Birgit F
260. birgit
The problem with Fain using the Ways is that Rand sent Loial and Elder Haman to seal the Ways shut. I don't think Fain has an access key or a Talisman of Growing.

I don't think he closed them the way Loial did at the Manetheren gate. He put some weaves on them that kill Shadowspawn slowly. Does Fain count as Shadowspawn for this weave? Maybe he also asked the local Ogier to guard the Ways.
Jay Dauro
261. J.Dauro

Thanks. If you see a car going down the road twitching left and right, you should know you caused it. 
Jane Smyth
262. Kaboom
someone a few post up mentionned the talisman of growing.
I wonder if Elayne or Aviendha will eventually realise that they have one in their little collection of terangreal.

I have no idea how but I think that eventually the ways will be healed and as such it would then be safe to grow more waygates so every city could have a functional one.
Tricia Irish
263. Tektonica
Oh Terez! I'm becoming afraid to read this!! (Of course, I will anyway.) Thanks for the review. I appreciate your honest reactions. I'm going to put on my mental armor now.

We've all been so giddy about the penultimate book arriving soon.....I think we're all going to sober up pretty quickly. Of course I expect bad things to happen, but your crying has me really worried.
Daniel Hanley
264. Kythorian
Well, we don't know that ter'angreal is a talisman of growing...according ot the ogier, only one was made, which they have. But the desc. avi gave does make you think of that, yes...we will see though.

I agree that Rand will heal the ways. He still has at least four or 5 impossible things to do, and he has been thinking about the ways for a while.
Jay Dauro
265. J.Dauro
Checking I do not find that the Ogier explicitly say that only one Talisman was made. When they do refer to it as the Talisman of Growing, it is always a lowercase the, which could be taken to imply only one, but in that case I would expect an uppercase The.

Here are all the places I find the Talisman mentioned through KOD

TEOTW - 43
"When the last Aes Sedai left the stedding, they gave to the Elders a key, a talisman, that could be used for growing more. They are a living thing in some fashion, the Ways and the Waygates.

TSR - 43
The Waygate. Yes. I cannot destroy it, but if I remove both Avendesora leaves completely, they will die." He grimaced at the thought. "The only means of opening the Gate again will be for the Elders to bring the Talisman of Growing.

LOC - 20
The first Waygates could not have been made inside, with the ability to channel blocked by the sledding itself; even when Ogier were given the Talisman of Growing, and could themselves make the Ways grow to a new Waygate, the Power was still involved, if not channeling.

LOC - 21
"I can lock it," Haman said, "so it cannot be opened again without the Talisman of Growing. Um. Um. A simple matter; simply done." He did not seem eager, though. He certainly did not move any closer.

And this is the description from KOD - 15 where Aviendha examines ter' angreal
A stone carving the size of her hand, all deep blue curves—it felt like stone, at least, though somehow it did not really look carved— was for growing something. Not plants. It made her think of holes, only they were not exactly holes. And she did not believe anyone had to channel to make it work. Only sing the right song! Some ter'angreal did not require channeling, but really! Singing? 

I think that Kaboom is correct. (And the folks at Encyclopedia WOT suspect so also.)
Tricia Irish
266. Tektonica
J Dauro@265:

TEOTW - 43
"When the last Aes Sedai left the stedding, they gave to the Elders a key, a talisman, that could be used for growing more. They are a living thing in some fashion, the Ways and the Waygates."

Good catch! The Aes Sedai left a talisman for growing more, but that doesn't mean that the AS didn't have more! They just gave the Ogiers one. I think Avi may be onto something.

Daniel Hanley
267. Kythorian
I wasn't saying it wasn't a talisman of growing. That does seem most likely, unelss its something else that we just have no way of knowing about. I was just pointing out that we don't know it is a talisman of growing. One additional possibility I have read is that it is used to grow vacuoles, which would fit just as well as a talisman of growing.
Birgit F
268. birgit
TEOTW - 43
"When the last Aes Sedai left the stedding, they gave to the Elders a key, a talisman, that could be used for growing more. They are a living thing in some fashion, the Ways and the Waygates.

If the stedding is plural, several male AS at different stedding might each have given a Talisman to the local Elders when they left.
David Platt
269. The Not So Dark One
On the Ta'averen v's One Power argument over the apples I think there has to be an element of both, maybe related to the fireflies and shadows that Min often talks about.
As I understand it ta'averen doesnt make things happen, it just makes something that was possible but only had a million to one chance happen, sometimes keep happening. Whilst they may have some affect on holding off the Dark One's affect on food there is no chance - not even a million to one- that would make apples grow in ten seconds, as this is not possible. I think Rand, similar to how Elaida kept the roses in Caemelyn, must have used the power to make the apples grow.
David Platt
270. The Not So Dark One
I think Perrin will have a "House" moment when he figures out the puzzle, just as Faile says something and suddenly he will not only "get" faile, but understand all this leadership stuff.
Then, in a "Columbo" stylee, He will ask Morgase something, before starting to walk away and stopping to say, "And Ms. Morgase...one more thing," She will then realise shes been rumbled and bolt and during the ensuing "T.J. Hooker" chase they will roll across cart hoods, trash piles and leap from 2nd story windows before he stops her and convinces her she's safe.
Galad meanwhile will arrive with the Three Stooges of Trom, Byar and Bornhald and much eye poking and face slapping will ensue.
All will be well though when Rand turns up as Kane, walking the earth, making things right as he goes...or should that be the littlest Hobo? Hmm, maybe I need to think this through more.
271. wagman26
No way the Power was used to grow apples. Using the power is taxing to the individual. This is an orchard that is absolutely huge, and Rand would have been exhausted using that much power. The pattern is now fighting back more fiercly, since it is not fighting against the Dragon anymore. Taveren have no power by themselves, they are just a focus point for the pattern.
272. Daft Dave
I don't believe channeling the one power over an area as large as an orchard would really be all that taxing to Rand. Assuming his Taveren nature stabilises the area against the dark ones touch ,which seems quite likely, then the amount of power required would be relatively low as he would just need to give them a kick start to grow as they wanted to grow in the first place. Also given Rands strength in the power if Elaida could maintain the palace gardens in full bloom even in the heart of Winter then an orchard during the summer would be a simple matter.
Chris Chaplain
273. chaplainchris1
Only through comment #33, but I'm going off-line til tomorrow, so now that I've finally had a chance to listen to the chapter, just a couple of thoughts.

@Perrin - yes, as so many are saying, his leadership issues are tiresome. However, based on the small smattering of comments I've read thus far, I think Perrin (and incidentally Brandon) need to be given some credit. Perrin’s actually making progress, and seems to be in a new phase of his "I'm not a leader" drinking game. Instead of sticking his fingers in his ears and refusing to consider it, he's talking about his actual performance, and acknowledging that his obsession with finding Faile (to the point of ignoring Tarmon Gaidon) was wrong and dangerous. Perrin's emo-ness here *does* show signs of growth, or at least change. And Faile's not *just* manipulating him into being a leader, she's talking frankly about what Perrin's actually achieved. (And taveren or not, the coalition he put together and the plan he formed to take down tens of thousand of Shaido spears and 500 channelers was impressive.)

So from this vignette I see reason to hope for him. And I have to admit, it would do violence to his character arc for him to just suddenly accept his. The point is, his thinking has progressed, thank the Light.

Sadly and predictably, the whole Berelain/Faile/Perrin drama seems destined to be recurring. And if there’s one thing I’m heartily sick of even more than emo-Perrin, it is Oh-my-GAHH! Berelain and Faile fighting over him. Sigh.

What’s the burnt out building Rand’s in front of when Perrin sees him via ta’veren technicolor telepathy?

Not sure what to think about Galad’s arc here. He shows some bits o’ awesome, and good for the Children to overthrow the Questioners. But it seems…abrupt. All that buildup in the prologue, and swoosh, resolved. Nice change for the WOT, but…I dunno. I may have to wait and see what it feels like when reading it all back to back in one volume.

I realized today that I anticpate this book’s release even more than the Gathering Storm. That book had almost equal parts dread mixed in with the excitement. This time, I trust Brandon, and it’s just pure anticipation. In fact…hm. I’ve been alive since 1973…this and Deathly Hallows probably tie for my most-anticipated book release e-var.
Daniel Hanley
274. Kythorian
I agree with wagman26. Ta'veren does a lot more than just alter chance. They are the tool of the pattern to make the pattern be what it needs to be. In other times, the adjustments have not needed to be so great, so just things happening by chance could push things onto the course the pattern needed. Now something greater is needed...So the most powerful ta'veren alive in thousands of years twists everything around him to be as it needs to be. It holds the DO's touch back, and returns life to what the DO has tried to kill in order to bring balance back to the pattern. So once the DO's touch is pushed away, life floods back into the area, causing things to grow. Besides, the way that Rand talks about it makes it seem like his presence is what caused the growth, not something he actually did.

To chaplinchris1 @ 273, the burned building has to be the manor which the buble of evil made that guy burn down the front of in tGS. When Avi dumped that stream on him to put it out. Which conveniently serves as a way to tell how far back in time Perrin is(about 25 days behind Rand, and about 8 days before Rand saw Perrin and Galad together). It also fits in with being around a month after Maldin.

For Galad, yeah it was abrupt, but on reflection, I am glad they did it that way...There just isn't time for another extended rescue attempt. Galad needed to get command of the Children so he could meet Perrin on equal footing, and they can come to some sort of arrangement.
Chris Chaplain
275. chaplainchris1
Kythorian @274 - thanks, that's got to be it! Agreed on Galad, too, about the need for speed - still waiting to read the book in one fell swoop to decide what I think about pacing overall, of course.
Chris Chaplain
276. chaplainchris1
Normalphil @ 48 - thanks for the mental image. Yes, this was *exactly* like that! I especially like that the Sitters *methodically* beat Elaida. ROTFL, and a good belly laugh to end my night with. Laters!
Birgit F
277. birgit
Maybe the reason Perrin hasn't caught up with Gill is that Gill will meet Galad first and tells him that Morgase is with Perrin. Then Galad convinces Byar and Bornhald that Perrin is not a darkfriend and the meeting between the two groups will be peaceful.
Antoni Ivanov
278. tonka
I doubt that. From Tam's conversation with Rand in TGS we know that Perrin and co. are not happy with the Whitecloacks. Whatever happens, the Whitecloacks are going to create problems for sure.
Henry Loose
279. schrodinger
I believe that Tam said that there were difficulties at first (I don't have the book in front of me, so I can't check). The impression that I got was that Tam was more amused at how Perrin was able to keep all the different factions from each other's throats. I also got the impression that the difficulties with the whitecloaks had been put on hold, at least until the last battle was done.

Of course, I could be completely wrong.
Alice Arneson
280. Wetlandernw
Rand's mood darkened slightly. "Wait. Perrin has been using Two Rivers folk?"

Tam nodded. "He needed us. That boy's put on a balancing act to impress any menagerie performer. What with the Seanchan and the Prophet's men, not to mention the Whitecloaks and the queen --"

"The queen?" Rand asked.

"Aye," Tam said. "Though she says she's not queen anymore. Elayne's mother."

"She lives, then?" Rand asked.

"She does, little thanks to the Whitecloaks," Tam said with distaste.

"Has she seen Elayne?" Rand asked. "You mentioned Whitecloaks -- how did he run into Whitecloaks?" Tam began to answer, but Rand held up a hand. "No. Wait. I can get a report from Perrin when I wish it. I will not have our time together spent with you acting the messenger."

From TGS, Chapter 47, "The One He Lost"

That's all it says about Whitecloaks.

birgit @277 - Do we have any reason to think that Galad would recognize Basel Gill?
Birgit F
281. birgit
Do we have any reason to think that Galad would recognize Basel Gill?

Gill can probably recognize Galad (or at least he will recognize the name of the Whitecloak leader). Maybe he hears other Whitecloaks talk about Galad's duel with Valda and tells Galad what really happened to Morgase.
Henry Loose
282. schrodinger
It could be that Tam is referencing the previous encounters with the whitecloaks that Morgase had. Perhaps she told them her story when it was revealed that she was who she was. I don't see the whitecoaks under Galad's control harming Morgase, even if she was tower trained (they all seemed so gung ho about following him to ally with the AS to fight TG). The only conflict I see arising from the whitecloaks is the three stooges vs. Perin.
George A Jones
283. Georg39
Has any one posted a list of stores that are going to be open on nov 2 at 00:00
284. MickeyDee
If you are really desperate then take a plane down to here Australia. Grab a book and head back to the States. Chances are you'll finish the book on the 14-16 hour flight back and you'll still have the book before Nov 2nd 0:00 Pacific Time.
George A Jones
285. Georg39
Some of us are on vacation that week.
Roger Powell
286. forkroot
MickyDee - Wouldn't it make more sense to fly to Fiji? You'd get the book an hour earlier and wouldn't have to fly as far. Of course I love Oz, so I wouldn't mind going back anyway.
Patrick Huff
287. pattack
My guess is that Perrin has been bogged down for a reason, that being a reunion with the Children of the Light. The only way this will ever be a mutually acceptable reunion is the former queen of Andor found alive and well and well taken care of by lord Goldeneyes. She will be the mediator between the elements of hate within the Whitecloaks bent on Perrins destruction as a supposed darkfriend.

It will be great to see the conclusion of this animosity realized after nearly 20 years. It is one of the oldest standing subplots in the series, make it a good one Brandon!!!!
290. MickeyDee
Forkroot, but then you wouldn't get to have ten or twelve beers with me! Besides, the book goes on sale tomorrow here in Melbourne as Tuesday is a public holiday. So you'd have a chance of getting back to the States with the book half finished while it was still Monday your time .... beers 'n book 'n bloody early: can't get better than that! LOL
Yasiru Ratnayake
291. yasiru89
Thank you Tor! At first I thought this would be frustrating in the way of a teaser, but then my curiosity got ahead of me. Glad that it did though, the resolution of the Whitecloak situation, brisk as it was (though the seed of it is apparent in the prologue), gives back a certain lost authority to the Children. Of course, they've not been commanded a very welcome authority almost since inception, but I believe Galad will change that (he's been more an advocate of change for the Whitecloaks than Egwene has ever been for the Aes Sedai). Much better this way than having Perrin's group involved in some sort of rescue again (though it might have done something for the Bornhald and Byar vs Perrin troubles).
Perrin's point of view was where the frustrating bit was to be had. Though it wasn't as bad as I expected despite his whining. I wonder why the Aes Sedai or Wise Ones wouldn't just link with the Asha'man- allowing the latter to use the women's strength to open sizeable gateways again. Mat found out about saidin having been cleansed but Perrin's the one who needs it if the women are simply afraid of the taint to see this course of action. But I suppose well they didn't since it will facilitate a reunion between Galad and Morgase (the Pattern uses temporary amnesia sometimes, it seems).
Also, I wonder if Perrin's apparent 'confusion' (best I can come up with to call it, 'unease' doesn't exactly cut it) might be holding his ta'veren influence back (to just keeping the food free of spoilage). Perhaps, even though he's weaker, if he were as clear-minded as Rand now is (from chapter one, though chapter two seems set chronologically before those events) he might exert as noticeable an influence.
292. WindOnMoon
ETA for my shipment is November 18th. Maybe it's time to reread tGS *nods*.

Also i'm looking forward to read how meeting of Perrin and Galad will go after the recent events.

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