Oct 29 2010 2:25pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 23

Winter’s Heart by Robert JordanThat’s great, it starts with an earthquake! It’s the Wheel of Time Re-read as we know it, and I feel fine, y’all.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 34 and 35 of Winter’s Heart, in which World almost fall down go boom—but doesn’t. There’s a good world!

“Distinctions”, the Prologue for Towers of Midnight, the upcoming newest release in the series, is now available for download, and a preview of Chapter 1, “Apples First”, is available here. The audio version of Chapter 2, “Questions of Leadership” is here, and a special preview of Chapter 8, “The Seven Striped Lass”, can be found here. If you would like to read my completely spoiler-free advance review of Towers of Midnight, you can find it here.

Please refrain from posting spoilers for all this preview material in the posts for the Re-read, in order to protect those who have not yet read them, or do not intend to before the release of the entire book. Spoiler discussion is going on here and here, in special posts just for discussion of preview material; please keep all spoilers there. Thanks.

Also, good news, everyone! I’m sure most of you have heard already, but in case you haven’t: the Wheel of Time FAQ has been updated through The Gathering Storm, thanks to the lovely folks over at Dragonmount. Go and give it a gander, whydontcha? I promise it is very shiny.

(And speaking of Dragonmount, you may want to go over and check out a certain podcast that just got put up there. It might have something sorta interesting in it. Maybe. Possibly. *whistles*)

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to all of the above plus links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general.

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

And since this intro’s not NEARLY long enough: As you know, Bob, Towers of Midnight goes on sale in the U.S. on Tuesday, November 2nd (or in other words in FOUR DAYSOMG), and in accordance with ancient tradition, that is also the day when my second and absurdly spoiler-soaked review of the new book goes live—and, incidentally, provides you a place on to discuss and revel in new-bookness to your heart’s content.

So be there or be square—but I highly highly highly recommend finishing the book first. No, like, really. For true.

Correspondingly, the Re-read will be going on another wee hiatus in the wake of the new release. But don’t worry; it will not be as long as the one after TGS. As of now I am tentatively planning the Re-read’s return on November 16th, and in the meantime there will be many fun things to play with like signing reports and such, and oh yeah NEW BOOK. So, I’m pretty sure you’ll be jes fine.

And that is more than quite enough for one intro, so without further ado, the post!

…Except wait, I forgot I have to talk about the cover art! Last post, you know.

And… erm.

It’s… blue? Blue is pretty.

Okay, moving on!

Chapter 34: The Hummingbird’s Secret

What Happens
Nynaeve waits in the alley, pretending to be shopping. Suddenly there is a commotion, and a large number of Guardsmen storm the area, knocking bystanders aside and even trampling someone. Nynaeve realizes with panic they are all converging on the bootmaker’s shop; she knows that her Well is half-empty already, but decides it will have to be enough. Before she can go to help, though, Alivia and Cadsuane appear and drag her away from the bootmaker’s. Min is with them, and tells them, flinching, that Rand is unconscious and hurt, though she doesn’t know how badly. Cadsuane answers that they can do them no good here, and she wants to be away before the Guard start asking women to show their faces. Nynaeve demands that they let her go back and help Rand and Lan.

“You have done quite enough already, you fool girl.” Cadsuane’s voice was cold iron. “I told you about Far Madding’s watchdogs. Phaw! You’ve put a panic in the Counsels with your channeling where no one can channel. If the Guards have them, it is because of you.”

Nynaeve says weakly that she thought saidar wouldn’t matter, and Cadsuane gives her a disgusted look. Nynaeve appeals to Min, but Min glares at her and tells her that if Nynaeve had helped Min convince Rand not to go in the first place, they wouldn’t have to rely on Cadsuane now. Nynaeve wants to know what Cadsuane could possibly do, and Cadsuane observes that “the boy” isn’t the only one who needs lessons in manners, and threatens to have Alivia sit on Nynaeve unless Nynaeve does exactly what she says. Nynaeve grimaces, but tells herself she can do it for Lan’s sake.

But when she asked what Cadsuane planned to do to free the men, the only answer the woman would give was “Much more than I want to, girl, if I can do anything at all. But I made the boy promises, and I keep my promises. I hope he remembers that.” Delivered in a voice like ice, it was not a reply to inspire confidence.

Rand wakes up in pitch darkness, in pain, and knows his jailers know who he is when he realizes his gloves are gone. He stands up, and soon discovers he is in a tiny cell “three paces long and just over two paces wide.”

Closed in, Lews Therin panted hoarsely. It’s the box again. When those women put us in the box. We have to get out! he howled. We have to get out!

Shaking, Rand sits in the center of the cell, as far from the walls as possible, and tries to remain calm, thinking he would be “as mad as Lews Therin” if he succumbed to panic. He thinks of how long it will take for Elaida’s sisters to get there to take him out, and almost loses it; he shouts out loud that he will not surrender. He begins going over the names on his list one by one, telling himself he has to be hard.

Cadsuane heads toward the Hall of the Counsels, irritated that Daigian, Corele and Merise had insisted on accompanying their Asha’man Warders with her, but she is particularly annoyed with Min and Nynaeve. Nynaeve keeps glowering and muttering that this will never work, and Min keeps giving increasingly worried updates on Rand’s condition; Cadsuane had not told Min what the cells were like. Cadsuane tells them both to stop whining, or she will have Alivia take them away and “give them something to whine about”; they look at Alivia and fall silent.

Nynaeve’s sullen glower irritated Cadsuane. The girl had good material in her, but her training had been cut far too short. Her ability with Healing was little short of miraculous, her ability with almost anything else dismal. And she had not been put through the lessons that what must be endured, could be endured. In truth, Cadsuane sympathized with her. Somewhat. It was a lesson not everyone could learn in the Tower. She herself, full of pride in her new shawl and her own strength, had been taught by a near toothless wilder at a farm in the heart of the Black Hills. Oh, it was a very ragtag little army she had gathered to try standing Far Madding on its head.

The party sweeps into the Counsels’ Chamber. Aleis tells Cadsuane coldly that this is a closed session, but Cadsuane interrupts to say she knows who they have in the cells. Aleis tries to feign ignorance, but Cadsuane accuses her of concealing that they have the Dragon Reborn, and offers to take him off their hands, citing her experience handling more than twenty men who could channel over the years. Aleis replies they prefer to talk to Tar Valon first, and Cadsuane knows this means they intend to negotiate a price for him. Cadsuane then mentions that the men with her are Asha’man; Damer, Jahar, and Eben step forward, looking dangerous. The Counsels are unnerved, but Aleis answers that they do not fear Asha’man. Regretting the necessity of breaking Aleis, Cadsuane reminds her that someone channeled inside the city; Aleis declares this an aberration.

“Even what we think is perfect can have flaws, Aleis.” Cadsuane drew on her own Well, taking in saidar in a measured amount. She had practice; the little golden hummingbird could not hold near so much as Nynaeve’s belt. “Flaws can pass unnoticed for centuries before they are found.” The flow of Air she wove was just enough to lift the gem-encrusted coronet from Aleis’ head and set it on the carpet in front of the woman’s feet. “Once they are found, however, it seems that anyone who looks can find them.”

Thirteen sets of shocked eyes stared at the coronet. One and all, the Counsels seemed frozen, barely breathing.

Nynaeve uses her Well to bring the coronet back to Aleis, while Damer makes a comment that implies he did it. Voice cracking, Aleis offers to release Rand to them, and Cadsuane notes the shift in attitude among the other Counsels as she accepts.

[Cadsuane] had promised the boy that whatever she did would be for his good, not the good of the Tower or anyone else’s, and now she had broken a good woman for his good. “I am very sorry, Aleis,” she said. You are building up a large account already, boy, she thought.

So, I’m not actually claustrophobic myself, but I do know what panic attacks feel like, which I have to imagine is at least somewhat comparable to what Rand is going through here. And, well, I just really really want to hug him and wrap him in a blanket and sing him a lullaby or something right now.

(Let’s just say, if you’ve ever wondered if you’ve experienced a panic attack, stop wondering, because if you’re not sure then you haven’t had one. Trust me, when you have one, you know. Wikipedia may not be the most stellar medical reference, but its description of panic attacks as “one of the most intensely frightening, upsetting and uncomfortable experiences of a person’s life,” well, that’s pretty damn spot-on as far as I am concerned. Assuming you haven’t been, say, shot at or anything, of course.)

Still, panic attacks, not of the fun. Which perhaps explains why I’m about ready to haul off and smack Cadsuane into the next Age here, even as she is essentially saving the day. Rand is building up a large account here? Excuse me, who locked up who in a box in this chapter? Out of Aleis and Rand, who is having a bad career day, and who is HANGING ON TO SANITY BY A FUCKING THREAD because of the other person?

Oh, right, that would be “the boy.” God, shut UP, Cadsuane. Why is compassion such an alien concept to so many of these people?

Okay, fine, I’m overidentifying here or whatever, I know, but I’m kind of really pre-disposed to be wanting to demand for Rand what I know I would want in the wake of such a horrible experience—which, needless to say, does not include cold assessments of “well, it was your fault you ended up there,” because really, Shut. Up.

Given all that, while I probably should have enjoyed Cadsuane and Co.’s clever hoodwinking of the Counsels—and it was very clever—let’s just say I found it a little difficult to concentrate on. Although it was nice the Asha’Warders got to participate.

Also in conjunction with the above, while I suppose Cadsuane has cause to think Aleis is a good ruler who didn’t deserve to be broken, in the sense that she was a good administrator or whatever, I have to say I hesitate to ascribe good leadership skills to someone who would imprison the prophesied savior of the world and then make plans to sell him to the highest bidder. When “mind-bogglingly stupid” is the most charitable possible phrase for describing a course of action, it might be time to reexamine a thing or two, is what I’m saying. Gah.

I saw some folks railing against Nynaeve in the comments to the last post for being so unutterably stupid as to use saidar within the city limits even after Cadsuane told her about the “watchdog” ter’angreal, but I’m wondering now whether Cads was actually quite as clear on that as she could have been. If she’d told Nynaeve in so many words that the ter’angreal detects both saidin and saidar, then Nynaeve’s protest that she thought saidar “wouldn’t matter” doesn’t make a lot of sense. Of course, she immediately follows that up with excuses about how it was only a tiny amount and she thought no one would notice, so maybe I’m overanalyzing and Nynaeve’s just an idiot. You know, all prior evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

Also, I feel compelled to point out that Nynaeve did have some independent evidence already that the watchdog wouldn’t detect a sufficiently small amount of saidar, from when she demonstrated the use of the Well to Rand at the inn. Since the consensus seems to be that’s not a gaffe, then it at least downgrades Nynaeve from “utterly moronic” to a mere “recklessly overconfident.”


Chapter 35: With the Choedan Kal

What Happens
Rand rides out of Far Madding with a small smile, “colder than any winter could be”; Nynaeve has Healed both him and Lan of their injuries. The officer at the gate is astounded by the paper Cadsuane hands him, which instructs that their party is to be neither inspected nor recorded as ever having been in the city. Min tells Rand softly that it is over and he doesn’t have to think about it anymore.

“I’m grateful to Far Madding, Min.” His voice was emotionless, distant, as it had been when he seized saidin in the early days. He would have warmed it for her, but that seemed beyond him. “I really did find what I needed here.” If a sword had memory, it might be grateful to the forge fire, but never fond of it.

He realizes that he’s still not strong enough to send Min away, though. They ride until the Source suddenly appears again, and Rand fills himself with it, feeling the Asha’man do the same; Lews Therin sighs in relief. He rides on to a particular spot, followed by the others, including Harine and her entourage, and Rand thinks of Cadsuane’s first advice to him, that he made a bargain with them and either must keep it or break it and be done. Using saidin, he unearths Callandor from where he’d hidden it, then turns to Cadsuane.

“I am going to remove the taint from the male half of the Source,” he announced.

Cadsuane is skeptical, and wants to know if he plans to use Callandor, but he tells her that he will use the Choedan Kal, the two immense sa’angreal buried in Cairhien and Tremalking, via the access key ter’angreal he possesses; Nynaeve will link with him to use the female one. Cadsuane only watches him, but Kumira and Nesune ask him if he has considered the consequences of failure, and that he might end up cracking the world “like an egg.”

Like an egg! Lews Therin agreed. They were never tested, never tried. This is insane! he shrieked. You are mad! Mad!

Rand tells the Aes Sedai that so far one in fifty Asha’man have already gone mad, and more will follow, maybe Rand among them; he’s not sure the world could survive that. He considers it worth the risk. He watches Cadsuane, silently considering what he would do if she tries to stop him, but Cadsuane only asks where he will do it.

“In Shadar Logoth,” he told her, and she nodded.

“A fitting place,” she said, “if we are to risk destroying the world.”

Lews Therin screamed, a dwindling howl that echoed inside Rand’s skull as the voice fled into the dark depths. There was nowhere to hide, though. No safe place.

He weaves a gateway to a hilltop a few miles from Shadar Logoth, and his wound from Fain’s dagger begins to throb in counterpoint with the wound from Ishamael. Cadsuane starts issuing orders, and Min kisses Rand before going to stand with the horses; Rand is astonished by her feeling of complete trust in him. Eben grins and comments to Rand how wonderful it will be to channel without the taint. Jahar joins Cadsuane and the rest of the Aes Sedai (and Alivia and Shalon), holding Callandor. Nynaeve comes up to Rand, muttering about Cadsuane, and Rand tells her they might as well begin, to her surprise and hesitation. Alivia comes over and tells Nynaeve Cadsuane says to give her the ter’angreal Nynaeve is wearing; Nynaeve glares, but obeys, giving her the bracelet angreal as well. Alivia heads off, and Nynaeve asks if Rand’s going to wait all day before sitting; Rand seats himself in front of her on the ground and takes the male figurine from her. She explains how he must be to link with her; he sees a man’s face that he almost recognizes for a moment, then puts himself on the brink of seizing saidin so Nynaeve can establish the link. Shuddering, Nynaeve asks how he can stand all that “chaos and rage and death,” and Rand is equally astounded by saidar when he takes control of the link from her.

Alongside the turmoil of saidin, saidar was a tranquil river flowing smoothly. He dipped into that river, and suddenly he was struggling against currents that tried to pull him further in, swirling whirlpools that tried to yank him under. The harder he struggled, the stronger the shifting fluxes grew. Only an instant since he had tried to control saidar, and already he felt as if he was drowning in it, being swept away into eternity. Nynaeve had warned him what he must do, but it seemed so foreign he had not truly believed until now. With an effort, he forced himself to stop fighting the currents, and as quickly as that the river was tranquil once more.

That was the first difficulty, to fight saidin while surrendering to saidar. The first difficulty, and the first key to what he had to do. The male and female halves of the True Source were alike and unalike, attracting and repelling, fighting against each other even as they worked together to drive the Wheel of Time. The taint on the male half had its opposite twin, too. The wound given him by Ishamael throbbed in time with the taint, while the other, from Fain’s blade, beat counterpoint in time with the evil that had killed Aridhol.

Rand uses saidar to weave a sort of conduit that touches saidin on one end and Shadar Logoth on the other, and forces saidin through it to touch the tainted city. For a moment he thinks it hadn’t worked, but then feels a stir in the taint on saidin, moving in the same direction. Nynaeve urges him to go on.

He drew more deeply on both halves of the source, strengthening the conduit as he forced more of saidin into it, drew on the Power until nothing he did would bring more. He wanted to shout at how much was flowing into him, so much that it seemed he did not exist any more, only the One Power. He heard Nynaeve groan, but the murderous struggle with saidin consumed him.

Elza watches Rand and Nynaeve, and envies the wilder, who is channeling more saidar than all the Tower combined could have. Cadsuane comments that what they’re doing will be felt on the other side of the world, probably, and that “it” will begin soon. She orders everyone to their places. Elza forms a circle with Merise and Jahar with Callandor, astounded by the foulness of saidin; Sarene and Corele link with Flinn, Beldeine and Daigian [and Erian?] with Hopwil, and Verin and Kumira link with Shalon. Alivia strides off by herself, and Elza thinks of what she would give to have those ter’angreal she’s wearing. The other three circles move off to encircle the hilltop, but Elza’s circle stays with Rand and Nynaeve (and Cadsuane). Elza asks Merise if she may lead the circle, and Merise, surprisingly, agrees.

Fire and ice and filth welled up in Elza, and she shuddered. Whatever the cost, the Dragon Reborn had to reach the Last Battle. Whatever the cost.

 A farmer named Barmellin is on his way to the Nine Rings Inn to sell brandy when he sees that the monstrous statue they’d unearthed last year is glowing like the sun. He turns around and dashes home, deciding to drink the brandy himself instead.

Timna walks on Tremalking’s hills, troubled by the Sea Folk being in an uproar about their Coramoor, until she comes upon a great stone hand sticking out of a hill, grasping a glowing sphere. She smiles to think that she might “see the fulfillment of prophecy and the end of Illusion.”

Cyndane is distracted from the Darkfriend before her when she feels the huge amounts of saidar being drawn to one spot.

So he had found a woman to use the other access key. She would have faced the Great Lord—faced the Creator!—with him. She would have shared the power with him, let him rule the world at her side. And he had spurned her love, spurned her!

She beheads the man in front of her to get rid of him and weaves a gateway to where the saidar is flowing, ready to kill him and the woman he had betrayed her with.

Cadsuane just barely holds the shield over the hilltop as lightning crackles off it, and uses her swallow-shaped ornament to track where the Power is being wielded. She points, and notes that Elza must be directing the resulting fountain of flame from Callandor. Merise murmurs “steady, my pretty” to Jahar, who smiles at her, and Cadsuane shakes her head, but her attention is on Rand. She wonders if he is even aware of what’s around him.

Rand could not see Nynaeve any longer. He could not see anything, feel anything. He swam in surging seas of flame, scrambled across collapsing mountains of ice. The taint flowed like an ocean tide, trying to sweep him away. If he lost control for an instant, it would strip away everything that was him and carry that down the conduit, too. As bad, or maybe worse, despite the tide of filth flooding through that odd flower, the taint on the male half of the Source seemed no less. It was like oil floating on water in a coating so thin you would not notice till you touched the surface, yet covering the vastness of the male half, it was an ocean in itself. He had to hold on. He had to. But for how long? How long could he hold on?

Stepping into Shadar Logoth, Demandred thinks that if he can “undo what al’Thor had done at the source,” he could kill or sever him, which he deems a risky but brilliant scheme.

The city… quivered. He could feel it through his boots.

He observes saidin-created explosions in the forest and Travels there, immediately running from the gateway site as he observes the explosions come toward him, noting that al’Thor must have a new kind of ter’angreal that detects a man channeling. He heads toward where he senses the access key, and sees two women accompanied by a white-haired old man in the trees ahead. Demandred intends to sneak by them, but the old man suddenly attacks with saidin, much more strongly than he should have, and Demandred realizes the three are in “a ring.”  Demandred tries to counterattack, but the old man holds him off, and Demandred is forced to retreat.

Cyndane runs from her third gateway to get away from the tracking explosions, cursing, determined to get closer.

Osan’gar hides behind a log, panting, and thinks his months pretending to be Corlan Dashiva had not kept him in shape. He grouses that he was never meant to be a soldier (“his genius” lay elsewhere), and plainly the other Chosen hadn’t taken care of this already like he had hoped. He doesn’t want to be there, but is terrified of Moridin, who he thinks had been mad even “before they were sealed into the Bore”, and is convinced Moridin will find out if Osan’gar flees. He skulks on, hoping someone else will get to al’Thor first.

Verin watches the woman in the color-shifting gown walk through the woods, and decides a captive Forsaken “might prove very useful.” Leading the circle with Kumira and Shalon, she tries shielding the woman, only to discover she is already embracing saidar even though no light shines around her, and is incredibly strong. Verin fights for her life, thinking she had come too far to die here.

Eben wishes he could ignore the cold as well as the three women linked to him, and smiles at Daigian, who is leading the circle, feeling her affection for him through the bond.

With time, he thought he might come to love this little Aes Sedai.

He feels the battle going on all around them, but so far they had not been engaged; Eben doesn’t mind, though he is a tad annoyed that Damer had been given control of his circle and he had not (neither had Jahar, but Eben figures Merise amuses herself “by making Jahar balance a cookie on his nose”). Suddenly a lushly beautiful woman steps out of the trees, asking them for help, claiming to be lost.

Suddenly, Eben felt the blood drain from his face. What he felt was impossible! The green-eyed woman frowned in surprise, and he did the only thing that he could.

“She’s holding saidin!” he shouted, and threw himself at her as he felt Daigian draw deeply on the Power.

Cyndane approaches the blond woman waiting for her cautiously, noting that she is not Aes Sedai, but preparing a reversed web just in case. She sends a ball of fire at the woman, but it falls apart before it reaches her, though Cyndane’s never heard of a ter’angreal that could break a web.

Then the woman struck back at her, and she suffered her second shock. She was stronger than Cyndane had been before the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn held her! That was impossible; no woman could be stronger. She must have an angreal, too.

She fights back, determined to see Lews Therin die.

Moghedien had deliberately arrived late, only forced there by Moridin’s playing with the cour’souvra, and does not intend to come any closer.

…in widely separated places in the forest spread out before her, lightnings and fires woven of saidar and others that must have been saidin flashed and flared beneath the mid-afternoon sun. Black smoke rose in plumes from burning clumps of trees, and thunderous explosions rolled through the air.

She notes a giant flattened black dome rising in the forest beyond where the access key is being used, and settles down to watch.

Inside his head, Rand was screaming. He was sure that he was screaming, that Lews Therin was screaming, but he could not hear either voice in the roar. The foul ocean of the taint was flooding through him, howling with its speed. Tidal waves of vileness crashed over him. Raging gales of filth ripped at him. The only reason he knew that he still held the Power was the taint. Saidin could be shifting, flaring, about to kill him, and he would never know. That putrid flood overwhelmed everything else, and he hung on by his fingernails to keep from being swept away on it. The taint was moving. That was all that counted, now. He had to hold on!

Exhausted, Cadsuane asks Min for news; they haven’t been attacked for a while now, and she cannot detect any channeling other than what Rand and Nynaeve are doing. Min is sullen at having been forcibly restrained from going to Rand, but answers that he’s alive, although in agony. Cadsuane looks at the black dome over Shadar Logoth, now over a thousand feet in height, and considers that interrupting them now could have dire consequences, but then Nynaeve slumps over, whimpering that she can’t take any more. Cadsuane knows that Nynaeve should be buffered by the sa’angreal against taking more of the Power than she can handle, despite currently channeling “more of saidar than the entire White Tower could have handled using every angreal and sa’angreal the Tower possessed,” but thinks that she could still die from simple exhaustion. Cadsuane hesitates, and then weakens the shield she is holding over them enough to try to wash some of Nynaeve’s tiredness away.

Osan’gar crawls up to the top of the hill and smiles to see al’Thor on the next one over, with Narishma and other people he dismisses as unimportant. He readies balefire, regretting that the access key would also be destroyed, but planning to take Callandor.

Elza stops in her circuit of the hill, seeing movement. She thinks that today had been a difficult day for her despite the conviction she’d come to as a prisoner in Cairhien, that it was paramount that the Dragon Reborn reach the Last Battle.

Today, she had been forced to fight the Chosen. Surely the Great Lord would understand if she had actually killed any of them, but Corlan Dashiva was only one of those Asha’man.

As Dashiva raises his hand, she draws on Callandor through Jahar and obliterates the entire top of the hill Dashiva was standing on.

Moghedien watches the dome over the city, now two miles or more high, and wonders why she is not afraid. Suddenly the dome boils “with Stygian fire” and abruptly collapses in on itself, creating a vortex which sucks Moghedien (and everything else in the vicinity) toward it.

Strangely, she still felt no fear. She thought if she survived this, she would never feel fear again.

Cadsuane drops the twisted ruin of the female access key, and puts the undamaged male key in a saddlebag. There is nothing but a huge crater where Shadar Logoth once was. Min is curled up with Rand on the ground; Lan runs to where Nynaeve lies, but Cadsuane assures him they are just unconscious, though privately she is concerned that Damer said the wounds in Rand’s side were unchanged. Damer is Healing Beldeine, having already done similar for Sarene and Alivia, but Kumira is dead, and Nesune is trying to comfort a sobbing Daigian, who is cradling Eben’s body in her arms.

“It’s clean,” Jahar said softly yet again. This time, Merise was the one sitting, with his head resting in her lap. Her blue eyes were as stern as ever, but she stroked his black hair gently. “It’s clean.”

Cadsuane and Merise are not so sure, but saidin is so alien to them they can’t tell. Cadsuane announces they are leaving as soon as the Warders return.

Night fell. On the hilltop, the wind blew dust across the fragments of what had once been a ter’angreal. Below lay the tomb of Shadar Logoth, open to give the world hope. And on distant Tremalking, the word began to spread that the Time of Illusions was at an end.


So that was pretty cool, eh?

And also, a bitch to recap, but you know.

This probably rates as one of the best—or at least one of the most significant—Big Ass Endings of any WOT book, even given that we haven’t actually seen them all yet. This is not just because it was suitably stupendous on the action front (though it was), or because it employed some seriously fantastic imagery (though it did), but because it represents what may be the single most important leap forward in the overall storyline we’ve seen thus far. Meaning, naturally, the cleansing of the taint on saidin.

I remember I was left stunned at the notion that it had really happened. After so many years and books of the taint being such a central factor in the makeup of the world and the plot of WOT, not to mention its overwhelming and ongoing impact on our central character, for it to actually be gone… well, golly, said me. I mean, this is Major, you know?

This also means that this is probably the most hopeful ending to a WOT book in the entire series up to this point, which after the rather downer endings to the last few installments in particular was equally stunning in its own way. Don’t get me wrong, Dumai’s Wells was extremely awesome, for instance, but I don’t think anyone would make the claim that it was also Happy Rainbow Fun Time, even so.

So, cleansing the taint = totally awesome. Oh yeah. Happy sigh.

…And then of course the fandom proceeded to have a huge fight over how exactly the mechanics of Rand’s TaintSucker2000 trick worked, which on the newsgroup at least included a lengthy semi-tangential argument about the physics of stealing gasoline, which made me laugh and shake my head at the same time. Geeks. So adorable. That said, I am so not getting into this, mostly because it’s already been explained better by others, so go read that iffn you’re interested.

I will note, in light of the importance of the whole saidin/saidar dynamic to Rand’s plan, that the Cleansing also represents (to my recollection) the first time in the series proper that Lightside channelers of both genders have cooperated together on a large(ish) scale, which is also pretty darn significant in the grand scheme of things—not least in that it enabled them to fight off a whole posse of supposedly badass Forsaken.

(Dumai’s Wells, I’m not really counting, because even though both male and female channelers were there on behalf of Rand, they still weren’t really working together, really—more like in unhappy conjunction. If that, even.)

The Forsaken, by the way, were another topic of spirited discussion in the wake of WH, mostly centered on disbelief that they could have sucked so much in their assault. But see, this is the entire point here: the Forsaken are each ridiculously powerful by Third Age standards, yes, but as long as they refuse to work as a cohesive group, their individual might can always be trumped by those who do work together. This is part and parcel of Jordan’s larger thematic point regarding the two halves of the Source being most powerful when working in conjunction instead of in opposition, and how the refusal to work in concert has been both sides’ biggest flaw, if for different reasons.

This, of course, is also the mistake Rand keeps making, his belief that he can go it alone, that he needs no help from anyone—and in particular not from Aes Sedai. For all my dislike of her, there’s no doubt that in this extremely important instance Cadsuane pretty much saved the day, for if she hadn’t insisted on dragging her ersatz army with him on this venture, Rand and Nynaeve wouldn’t have stood a chance of succeeding. So, okay, fine. Yay, Cadsuane!

(ow that hurt)

We also learned quite a few things about the Forsaken in this chapter. For one, two major Mysteries/Conspiracy Theories/Whatever are cleared up (three if you count Osan’gar=Dashiva, but that one was kind of a gimme): Cyndane’s Hell Hath No Furyness pretty much cemented her identity as our favorite psycho hosebeast Lanfear, and Demandred’s failure to recognize Flinn, on the heels of Kisman’s POV earlier in Far Madding, drove the last nail in the coffin of the Taimandred theory. Which, if you ask me, makes this chapter worth it for those two things alone. The only thing missing that would have made it perfect would have been a revelation on who killed Asmodean, but I guess you can’t have everything. (Where would you put it?)

Also, someone on the newsgroup back in the day observed how Osan’gar was totally skulking in the woods Mr. Burns-style in this chapter, all dry-washing his hands and going Ehhhxcellent right before the last person you’d think of kills him, and I have never been able to get rid of this image since. And now, I give it to you. Because I am EVIL. Mwahaha.

Also also, Moghedien gets a new T-shirt. Heh. And you know, I know she survives this, but I can’t recall if she’s done a damn thing since then. Guess I’ll find out!

Lessee. Other notes:

Erian Boroleos: Or, Dame Supposed To Have Been Appearing In This Chapter. After WH came out, a bunch of people immediately noticed there was no mention of her at the battle at all, even though she is definitely supposed to be there. This was an acknowledged gaffe on Jordan’s part, which he said would be corrected in later editions. My (first) edition of WH, however, does not include this correction, hence my being forced to guess in the recap where she was deployed. I picked Eben’s circle even though Elza’s POV only mentions him linking with Beldeine and Daigian, because in Eben’s POV later he thinks of having three sisters linked to him, so I’m guessing Erian was the (accidentally) unnamed third.

…Although I just checked, and Encyclopedia WOT claims the third sister in Eben’s circle was Nesune, whose position I realize also didn’t get mentioned in my edition, so really I don’t know. It could be either, I guess.

Speaking of Eben, aw. Poor Eben. And of course Jordan had to twist the knife with Eben being so excited beforehand about getting to channel without the taint, and his affection for Daigian right before Aran’gar appears. Man, that sucks.

I’m mildly disappointed, by the way, that the whole loony theory about Beldeine here never panned out. As mentioned, Beldeine was in the circle with Eben that confronted Aran’gar, and thus got firsthand knowledge that there was a woman out there who could channel saidin. “Beldeine” was also the name of Egwene’s imaginary Keeper of the Chronicles in her Accepted test waaay back in TDR. So the idea was that the “real” Beldeine was also the Acceptatron™ Beldeine, and she would end up being the one to expose Halima and thus end up Egwene’s Keeper.

Of course, as things turned out it didn’t happen that way at all; Jahar exposed Halima, not Beldeine (who to date has never been anywhere near Egwene, except when presumably they were both in the Tower in the early books), and Egwene made Silviana her Keeper in TGS. Oh well.

Merise: I skimmed over it in the recap, but Cadsuane makes a mental comment about not understanding in the slightest what goes on between Merise and “her boys,” and I gotta say, I don’t get it either, and on top of Eben’s thought about cookies later, I’m not sure I want to. *fishy look*

There’s more to say about this topic, but I’m at 6,500 words already and ain’t even finished yet, so we’ll dig into that can of worms some other time.

Elza: GRRRR. She’s the only one who got to kill a Forsaken, but I do not care. I really wish I could smash her.

Did Verin know she was Black when she semi-Compelled her? I must assume so… but then again maybe not. Verin is fairly diabolically daring in her own unique way, but given her almost-poisoning of Cadsuane earlier, I don’t know that even she would knowingly leave a Black sister within arm’s reach of Rand, brainwashed or otherwise.

Well. Other than herself, of course. Ah, Verin. So sneaky. Her calmly clinical thought on the usefulness of a captive Forsaken here always cracks me up.

And... um.

I think it is pretty much a guarantee that I am forgetting something here, maybe multiple somethings, but I have been typing for thousands of years now and my brain, she is Done. So I think we’ll stop here.


And thus ends, most satisfyingly, Winter’s Heart! Which means, we are actually kind of sort of two-thirds of the way through this series. Amazing.

(As a corollary to this, I cannot believe I originally thought I was going to finish this whole thing in nine months. I must have been out of my mind, y’all.)

And we out! Have a lovely Samhain, my kiddies, and enjoy what freedom you have left until Towers of Midnight EATS YOUR LIFE for the foreseeable future, insert evil cackle here. Catch you on the flip side!

1. bbelch

[As a lurker, you should know the rule about first comments. You've been warned.
- Torie/Mod]
Daniel Smith
2. Smittyphi
I love the sneaky Verin on wanting to capture a Forsaken on so many more levels now.

The cleansing of the taint is by far, the best ending for me. Also one of the best scenes ever. Twitching stopped for the 10-15 minutes it took me to read and write this.

And as always, Yay, new post!
S Cooper
3. SPC
This was the last published book when I first picked up the WoT - talk about leaving you frothing at the mouth for more. I always assumed Rand was basically using saidar as a filter, and particularly enjoyed his reaction to saidar. This is the first (or only) POV we have of a man in a circle having to deal with it, right? It was a nice reminder that while it may require surrender rather than conquest, it's no less dangerous.
Heidi Byrd
4. sweetlilflower
Wow! Very nicely done, Leigh. And now I must go check to see if my editions have all of the characters listed. Also,
omgomgomg only 3 and 1/2 days until I get to read the next book! omgomgomgomgomgomgomg :-)
I mean, I've been reading this seriers for 16 years! That's a lot of twitching...
Genevieve Williams
5. welltemperedwriter
R.E.M. reference ftw! (And how very appropriate, too.)
6. rjmclachlan
Great post. This is favorite chapter of all the books. (since the next book is my least favorite, I will have to savor this for awhile)
Daniel Hanley
7. Kythorian
Elza was on Verin's list of Black Ajah, so yes, she did know.

"She cursed when she found Katerine's name near the head of the list, then hissed in surprise when Alviarin's name came up. She'd heard of Elza Penfell and Galina Casban, though she didn't know some of the next few names."
-A Visit from Verin Sedai, tGS
Don Barkauskas
8. bad_platypus
and Taim’s failure to recognize Flinn

Hmmm... were you on the Taimandred bandwagon originally? (Freudian typo FTW...)
I picked Eben’s circle even though Elza’s POV only mentions him linking with Beldeine and Daigian

Word of God says:
RJ: Erian Boroleos was not meant to disappear. In my notes, she is placed guarding those with Cadsuane who cannot channel and not too pleased about it (there are reasons why she was chosen out for this, which I won't go into here), and there is even a note (under CHECKS AND CORRECTIONS, a category I use to make sure that I haven't blinked at the wrong time) to make sure of mentioning her in passing. It didn't happen, for which, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I was so certain that I had done it, that I didn't find out I hadn't until the paperback came out, but a correction will be made.

EDIT: weird spacing corrected
Skip Ives
9. Skip
I will never forget, the newsgroup had finally convinced me about the Taimadred theory days before WH came out. Then the big D sees Flynn and thinks "hmmm old guy out for a walk" and down goes Taimadred. Which, come on, you run into people in the middle of the woods and don't assume they are on the other side? You are on team Evil man, you geek the three just because they are in your way.

But seriously, the Cleansing has to be one of the better big fight moments in the series to date. The mostly happy ending helps there.

As for the forsaken not being all they were supposed to be cracked up to be, I think part of it is not working together like Leigh says. The other factor is that they are high-tech(magic) leaders trying to fight in a low-tech(magic) setting. They don't have the magical technology of their time to help them. Drop a 20th century great general back to the 10th century and he'll still be good, but he won't just walk over everyone.
10. Wortmauer
I love the Cleansing scene, of course, I mean, who doesn't ... very clever setup. RJ uses not only the ancient motif about saidin and saidar channelers working together to accomplish their "greatest works," but this is also the Taint and Shadar Logoth "fighting each other," like Flinn made them do. The Creator planted a lot of seeds for this scene, and long ago.

While I get the Taint suction strategy, and I get how circles of "half-trained children" can defeat Forsaken who aren't working together, the thing I never quite got was how Rand could wield saidar so skillfully, having never done it before. He has no instinct for it, either. His instincts were actually working against him. Is he really that quick of a study? Or is a reinforced tube of Air (well, more likely Spirit, like other tasks that involve the Power in a meta way, like shielding) just that darned easy to figure out? I gotta say, if I'd been Rand or Nynaeve, I'd've insisted on some practice sessions linked. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Aes Sedai / Asha'man pairs we see here had done exactly that.

Verin knowing about Elza: You do have to wonder. She's found just about all of the Blacks in the past 70 years. What's the chance she happens to uncover Elza just in the few months between TPOD and TGS? I have to think she knew about her already. But then, one might think she'd find a way to get her away from Rand, or poison her, or something. Perhaps not under the eyes of the Wise Ones, that would be pretty risky, but later.

Which brings me to the question of whether Verin has been quietly offing other darkfriends over the past 70 years, on sort of a best effort basis. Surely she could occasionally engineer circumstances where she wouldn't be suspected, where the Supreme Council would not even suspect that anyone was targeting them. Verin couldn't have done it often, or they would get suspicious, but I bet she could've occasionally.

...And while my mind is wandering on the Black Ajah anyway, why are they even called that? Everyone knows that The Ajah That Is Not is called "Black." If I were running things, I'd rename it. Then if a Purge ever came, my girls could all retake the First Oath and then declare "I am not Black Ajah."
Kat Blom
11. pro_star
R.E.M. reference? I saw a Wayne's World reference....oh maybe my mind is just blown over TUESDAY TUESDAY TUESDAY!!!

Yes, my bosses have already been prewarned that I will escape my cubicle of doom to go acquire the book...and not to expect too much out of me productivity wise ;)

Squeee!!! Thanks for getting this one done before ToM comes out Leigh! Closure! Yay! Looking forward to reading the spoileriffic review (oh, maybe by Wednesday or Thursday...let's see if I can go off no sleep for how long it takes to read ToM ;)
Rob Munnelly
12. RobMRobM
Comedian Steven Wright reference ftw too. Name that reference!

Daniel Hanley
13. Kythorian
To Wortmauer @ 10, on the issue of Rand using Saidar, remember that LTT would have linked with and used Saidar quite often during his life. As with other little abilities and skills that leak through to Rand throughout the series, it isn't so unlikely that something similar would happen here, at least fast enough for him to figure out how to guide Saidar into the general shape he wanted it.

I believe that Egwene was having people say "I am not a darkfriend", not "I am not of the black ajah". If it was "I am not of the black ajah", that wouldn't catch Mesaana anyway, since she isn't.
j p
14. sps49
Whoo doggie! Big STUFF happening!

TAN (sorta)- is anyone planning to be at the Sacramento signing?
15. joe heron
anyone here planning on attending the nyc signing?
Karen Jacobs
16. KJacobs
Sitting here reading the new post and listening to the podcast at the same time. Not a very productive Friday at work! Thanks for the great wrap up Leigh!

Can't wait for Tuesday! Toryx, RobMRobM, Darxbane & Blocksmith ---- are any of you fine gentlemen still planning to hit the Cambridge signing on the 7th?
Genevieve Williams
17. welltemperedwriter
@pro_star: oh yes, in the very first sentence of the post! (And also the jump text.)

I'm wondering when the new book will be available for audio download; I saw the audio CD listed on Amazon, but no Audible listing. With as long as my commute is, I've re-read (well, re-listened...well, whatever) the entire series thus far.
Captain Hammer
18. Randalator
re: Elza

I guess Elza was a relatively new member of the BA and not yet on Verin's Black-list (heh, blacklist...get it?) when she Compelled her. Wouldn't be very Verin-ish otherwise.

"Hi, I'm Verin the sneaky puppetmaster of awesome. Here, hold this while I pull some strings." *hands Rand a nuke*
"Heh, there's no way that this could blow up in his face...! Oooh, nice ball..."

re: Taimandred

Taim’s failure to recognize Flinn

So, does this mean that Taim isn't Taim...? *ducks*
Rich Bennett
19. Neuralnet
Thanks for the recaps Leigh. They are fabulous as always. one more book down... Hope you can get some REM sleep now before starting the next one.

I remember being so happy with this book at the time it was released just because the last couple had sort of let me down.. This ending was all sorts of MOA. I always hoped the black tower would find out nynaeve had helped cleanse the taint and giver her a medal or something... seriously you would think that all the male channelers would be going up to her to say thanks if they knew.
20. Freelancer
RE: Rand's "account"

It is immaterial whether Cadsuane believes that Rand is at fault for ending up in a Far Madding cell. Cadsuane is determined to take the action she believes most efficient at getting Rand freed, and since it is an action she would otherwise never have had a reason to consider taking, the displeasure of doing so is connected to Rand.

Now, if you wish to be outraged by Far Madding raised women as a whole, that's a badger of a different color. Aleis (actually, most assuredly the entire Council) had previously published their assent to Elaida's decree. Between that, the municipal ban on channeling, and the unusual circumstances by which they acquired the Dragon Reborn, there's no reason to expect any other behavior than to keep him jailed until a Tower envoy can arrive. That the Council wouldn't release him to Cadsuane implies political (and personal) intrigue which does not favor Cadsuane, with apparently good reason. That Cadsuane views it as more of a mercantile decision doesn't automatically make it so, but that point is well taken.

Still, how many options did Aleis have, really? She can't very well free Rand, he was involved in an illegal channeling incident. Yes, yes, small potatoes compared to confining the savior of the world when stuff is ready to be slung fan-ward, but we already know that rulers have tunnel vision, and concern themselves with the advantages of their own fief. Not news. And to ice the cake, there must be a smidge of smug self-satisfaction at being able to jail the most frightening person in the planet without fear of his horrible ability.
21. Wortmauer
pro_star@11:R.E.M. reference? I saw a Wayne's World reference
The song is "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)". The opening lyrics: "That's great, it starts with an earthquake."

Kythorian@13:on the issue of Rand using Saidar, remember that LTT would have linked with and used Saidar quite often during his life.
As good an explanation as any, I guess. I still think they could have practiced. Just like Egwene once pointed out with the SAS: they should have run some fire drills with their Forsaken Attack Emergency Plan.
I believe that Egwene was having people say "I am not a darkfriend", not "I am not of the black ajah". If it was "I am not of the black ajah", that wouldn't catch Mesaana anyway, since she isn't.
Well, it would've saved Talene. TPOD Chapter 26, "The Extra Bit":
Yukiri took the Rod from Pevara and channeled. "Under the Light, I will speak no word that is not true. I am not Black Ajah."
This seemed to satisfy the rest of the group. Talene was caught a couple minutes later.

Of course, the plan would have failed with Egwene's purge, since Verin surely would have told her about the loophole.
Maiane Bakroeva
23. Isilel
Rand is building up a large account here?

Well, it was really dumb of him to personally go after these 2 DFs in Far Madding and even dumber to walk into Fain's trap. Elayne's raid on the BA is the height of caution by comparison and incomparably more sensible.

And yes, Nyn was an idiot. Lifting a grown man actually requires a decent chunk of power. Post-Healing Siuan can't do it.

Moving to the next chapter, I felt that the Cleansing was dealt in a far too perfunctuary manner.
IMHO, at the very least how the bonding of Asha'man came to be and how the inter-sex linking was figured out after 3 millenia (and according to Asmo, it should have required some figuring out) deserved to be shown on-screen.
Also, it felt very jarring that after the volumes and volumes of bird and fish metaphors re: how different the both halves of OP are and first-hand accounts of how what seems instinctively right with the one would be suicidal with the other, everybody takes to weaving the opposite half at the first try. A big let-down for me here.

Generally, lots of irregularities with the OP use, and this chapter is all about OP use.
Like, some flagrant breaches of who can lead in mixed circles of 3 or more with just one man.
Or FS needing gestures to channel (of course, they did so off and on since the beginning, so this one "shortcoming" of the current AS never rang true).

Also, it was never clear why Daigian didn't notice what Aran'gar was doing, as from Rand's POV we see that the leader of a circle can see weaves from both halves of OP.
Ditto, didn't Nyn tell the others about reversing/hiding one's ability? Shouldn't Daigian have assumed that Halima was a Femsaken hiding her power?

Re: FS, I am sorry, but no excuses explain their bumbling idiocy. The most powerful evil channelers in history can't beat a circle of 3 average channelers? Really?
None of them thinks to use invisibility weaves? Only a couple think to hide their power/reverse? Etc, etc. And technology doesn't enter into it - the DO didn't choose the FS for their minds or leadership abilities, but for strength and skill in OP alone. Also, they'd been around for long enough to adapt at this point.

On the whole, I guess that I liked this chapter less than most. It felt very sloppy to me and lacking a lot of necessary build-up.
24. Splaaat
Joe Heron@15,

Yep, it's 2 blocks from my home. I'll probably be the stiff in the suit (unless I can get out of work early, then I'll be in jeans like everyone else).

Leigh, thank you for yet another wonderful re-read. I don't normally comment, but I really appreciate all the work you do, and I also love the commentary - lots of well-considered opinions and good research by the community.

Oh, and here's some bacon for the bunker.
25. MasterAlThor

I am envious and you know why. But still as always great job. Can't wait until Tuesday.

The endind of fthis book when I first read it caught me by suprise. In that I enjoyed it soo much. It almost replace my fav BAE. That would be LoC's Dumai Wells. You can say what you want but that is my fav to date.

I guess that one of the reasons that I like these recaps soo much is that Leigh takes the time to break it down. I just read the story to know the story. Then I go back over it to pick out the nuggets I missed in devoring it the first read through. Critical reading is not high on the list of things to notice until about the 4th or 5th read through.

So I am gone......see everyone on the 16th.

Rob Munnelly
26. RobMRobM
In case anyone was wondering about the Steven Wright reference referenced in @12 (I don't believe anyone tried to guess it):

" can’t have everything. (Where would you put it?)"

Wright also has - "You can try to change the world but if the jack slips you better get the hell out of the way" and "It's a small world but I wouldn't want to paint it."

Ben Norris
27. I_have_no_life
There is an obvious truth in WoT books.

Every third book ends in a big battle, and resolves major conflicts. (Tear, DW, Cleansing, Battle of Tar Valon)
The following book is a different section, normally with new antagonists for the characters, or swapping of them, and a new overall goal. (1, 4, 7, 10, etc?)
The next (2, 5, 8, 11, etc?) is building of tension, and other stuffs leadin up 2 the battle.

It can be divided into smaller plots. My English teacher would be proud that I actually applied the plot stuffs..........

Kat Blom
28. pro_star
ahh, I scrolled back and saw it. d'oh! I blame a case of the Fridays. (3 more hours til freedom!!!! well, until I get to lock myself into my oubliette and run some heating ducts! whee!!)

Okay, that was off topic. Apologies.

Lenny the Bruce is not afraid...
29. AndrewB

Thanks for the post. Let me echo Pro_star and say thanks for the REM reference.

One minor quibble. You did not give us your comments on WH's cover art. Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Matthew Hunter
30. matthew1215

Anyone planning to be at the Dallas signing? Another Dallas Darkfriend Social planned?

I don't know about anyone else, I was always disappointed by the description of what Rand is doing to cleanse the source. It makes sense on a meta level, but the description is sort of asking us to visualize in physical terms things that really aren't physical, and for some reason that bugged me.
Leigh Butler
31. leighdb
bad_platypus @ 8:

Whoops! Fixed now. Thanks for catching the error.
Captain Hammer
32. Randalator
AndrewB @29

One minor quibble. You did not give us your comments on WH's cover art.

Yes, she did.
Antoni Ivanov
33. tonka
@23. Isilel

People channeling in circle cannot see the other gender's weaves. It's pretty clear. Rand can sense, feel Saidar and in a way "see" what he is doing with Saidar because he is doing it but any other woman channeling he won't see a thing from her. Man cannot see saidar anymore than woman Saidin with circle or not cirlce unless they are channeling it and they will rather feel it and only what they are doing not what someone else is.
Mike Giroux
34. RMGiroux
Curses, it looks like DragonMount got TorDotted...
Daniel Hanley
35. Kythorian
To Isilel @ 23, that is a good point...It makes sense to me that Rand would be able to do stuff with Saidar fairly well, given the LTT abilities leaking though, but the aes sedai pick up using saidin in about 15 seconds. If the skills were that transferable, it seems like moiraine could have taught rand to link at the beginning of tDR and taught him at least the basics, using his own saidin.
Thomas Keith
36. insectoid
Yay, a new post... thanks Leigh!!

Actually, I hadn't heard about the updated FAQ (I know you handed it off to Dragonmount), but... that's GREAT news!! I'll be sure to glance through it over the weekend.

And yes, new book in FOUR DAYS. ::twitchtwitchtwitch::

Ahem... Wall!

Ch. 34
Poor Nynaeve! She was only trying to help.

Cadsuane: ::headdesk:: Even though she saves the day, still.

Scene with the Counsels: Was actually pretty funny IMO.

Ch. 35: Is Made. Of. Awesome. Let me count the ways...

Rand: Trusts Cadsuane & Co. to keep the Forsaken from killing him! And cleanses saidin. DUN!

The mechanics of the Cleansing: I'm not sure I totally understand them... but that's what the FAQ is for!

Nynaeve: Puts up with the Power all that time!

Elza: ::headdesk:: But she does kill Dashivan'gar, so, yay for ignorance?

Cyndane: Could she be any more obvious, or what?

Cadsuane: Is actually kind of awesome in this chapter. Without her coordination of the defense, I think the whole thing would have failed miserably.

Eben: Aw. But he does provide the information by which Halima is ousted later, so.

The Forsaken, overall: Sucked, of course! As for Moggy's T-shirt, I think it should read: "I Survived Shadar Logoth".

Erian: I don't recall where she was, but I suspect others will point it out before me.

I think it is pretty much a guarantee that I am forgetting something here...

Yes indeed... your recap of the book's cover! For what it's worth. ;)

Randalator @32: Huh? She already did? I forget when that was.

And that's quite enough for one comment... gonna go read the others.

j p
37. sps49
leighdb @31

I liked it better unedited. You encapsulated so much debate with one slip!
38. joe heron

but remember that with the fear of saidin, what woman channeler would want to risk going mad or even touch the taint? sorry for the bad analogy, but its like helping a bloody ebola victim when you have an open cut in your hands.

a thougth crossed my mind that Lanfear and Moriane actually swapped bodies, thus explaining why lanfear is short and holds less saidar.

i wonder how many ppl from here will show up. im still nto sure if i will actually buy the book or wait until new covers come out. im sorry, but those covers are atorcious, but then again...a signed copy.
Captain Hammer
39. Randalator
Insectoid @36

It's at the end of this post's introduction. ;)
Thomas Keith
40. insectoid
sps49 @14: A friend of ours is planning on being there to get a signed copy for us. You might see her there, but she doesn't follow this group, so.

Randalator @39: Really? I must have missed it. I'll go back and look...

It's blue! LOL!!

41. gabemar
Winter's Heart is probably the most underated book in the series. It mainly has to do with the fact that it's was released between two of the least popular books (PoD and CoT) . WH is IMHO among the top 5 books in the series. It has the most Awesome Mat storyline so far (even better than TDR, TFH or CoS); One of the most poignant scenes in the series (Rand and Lan on the rooftop) and one of the best endings of any book in the series. (Top three ending alongside LoC and TGH)
42. moonpook
Thanks, Leigh, for these re-reads... feels right to say that since this is my first comments here.

Great planning to get to the end of one book before ToM comes out. Can't wait, as so many others... but have no idea when I'll get it. Have preordered, but am in Sweden, and can't remember when TGS arrived. Probably some days after the release :(

Agree with this book-ending being one of the very best, so far. Lots of info, lots of tension and action - and almost a cliffhanger too. Can't get better - that is, if you don't have to wait some years for the next one...
Kimani Rogers
43. KiManiak
Yes! Finally caught up with the Re-read, right before TOM comes out. I don’t even mind the break; hopefully it will give me time to read TOM a time (or two) and participate in the discussions, as well as compare it to Leigh’s spoiler-filled review.

Before I comment, I just want to say that I have loved this Re-read since I came across it awhile ago and wanted to read every single posting before joining the present time. I’ve appreciated the posts, the comments (although I would usually only read about 30 -50 before moving to the next post), the polls and the (mostly) respectful debates/disagreements/differences in opinion (for the record, IMHO: Cadsuane is impressive but incredibly annoying and frustrating; Tylin definitely raped and violated Mat; and Lan has got to be the best swordsman in Randland). You guys have all been very insightful and have had me rethink and reconsider a lot of my initial impressions of this series I developed through my previous multiple re-reads. So thanks to all and I look forward to contributing. Now let me remove my lips from the groups' derrieres to comment oh so briefly…

I think this is probably the most powerful climax, and on such a grand scale, of all of the books so far (although the first 2 or 3 times I read it, LOC’s ending would give me chills). There was so much possibility after this, and I admit that part of the reason why COT ranks in my bottom 3rd of this series is because it followed something so powerful and full of possibilities, with its own complete lack of momentum and PLODding storylines (if I remember correctly, I only like Mat’s storyline and part of Egwene’s; I guess we’ll see as the re-read continues). At the end of WH, everyone is Ok (well, except for Eben and Kumira; RIP), saidin’s been cleaned and people are working together. I thought things would start to be resolved and the Light side would start to gain its necessary momentum towards victory at TG. Silly rabbit…

So, it seems that as a new commenter, tradition allows for me to pose my “loony theory,” (although I’m sure “loony theories” are always welcomed). I’ll qualify my theory by saying that although I’ve been aware of the WOTFAQ for the last 5 years or so, I wasn’t very aware of the various discussion sites and so I’m unsure of whether this has been debunked or seen as a common theory already, but here goes:

With the cleansing of the taint, Rand is one of only 2 existing Shadar Logoth/ Madashar “infested” places/ beings. Part of the reason “Ishydin” wants Padan Fain defeated is that the DO knows that the evil properties of Shadar Logoth is needed to properly defeat it. Fain is defeated by Rand before TG, allowing Ish and the other minions of the DO to feel no threat from our heroes assaulting Shayol Gol, and therefore toys with them instead of crushing them immediately. At SG, Rand will be able to use a combination of the one power (saidin and saidar from the SGs and augmented by Callandor), the true power (although I waver back and forth on whether I think its necessary) and the last remainder of power of Shadar Logoth/Mashadar in the never-healing wound 2.0, and is able to not only seal the bore but fully repair the hole to as-new-status, properly insulated from any counterstroke by the DO via the power of SL/M. (wow, that was a run-on). In the process, this kills Rand (I haven’t devised a unique way in which he’s returned so I defer to the different Nynaeve-brings-him-back theories that I’ve read here).

Anyway, I guess I wasn’t as brief as I planned to be. Oh well, add another wall of text to the post. I’ll end with a big “Thanks for the post, Leigh!” and a “Towers of Midnight is out on Tuesday!”

edit for some spelling, grammar and addition of a couple of words
Skip Ives
44. Skip
joe heron @15 I am going to try to be at the NYC signing.
Kat Blom
45. pro_star
joe heron @38

If that was the case, and there was some body swapping going on, don't you think Team Dark would have MASSIVELY used that to their advantage?

Hey look, crazy wench Lanfear now looks like the AS that Rand liked and trusted and let near him!
(and then Lanfear would have opened her mouth, called him LTT, or professed her love and Rand would have figured it out, I'm sure...but still)

Interesting thought though.
john massey
46. subwoofer
Wow! Leigh? Maybe you need to lay down? Recover from giving praise to Cadsuane;)

This ending was bags of awesome! Considering the start of this book it was like going from zero to mach 5 in 35 chapters. Cool beans. Blew me away! ... er... no pun intended. Just covered in awesome sauce all the Power beign tossed around and goodies and baddies fighting. Epic battle. Soooo worth it!

Rand- mastering Saidin and surrendering to Saidar- how cool was that? In a way it teaches him about the differences of the two sides of the Power and it also gives him a hint of how to fix things in the future- re the DO's seals.

Nynaeve- doofish, but totally redeemed herself! And her falling over from exhaustion hints to me as to why the access key melts. It was just too much for the buffer to take. But I think it did what it was meant to do- not fix the DO's wagon, but fix the damage the DO did to the Source.

Lanfear- how powerful was this woman? Geeze. Beauty+power= towering ego. Geeze!

All in all, the book was not as bad as everyone made it out to be. Especially with this ending.

john massey
47. subwoofer
@Islel- good point! Never really thought about it, but yeah- 3000 years of not linking because men were kukoo. And women linked with men before Saidin was cleansed... and Rand just up and does it. Maybe a little bit of more detail there. After all, when the women linked around the bowl, it was a big thing. Something similar should have happened here, but here you have it. All in all, still good.

john massey
48. subwoofer

"Only Peter Jackson could direct the Hobbit""If I ever run into Kevin J Anderson at DragonCon I'm going to punch him!"


Edit-@Insectoid- I want one of those shirts too! :)


Cameron Tucker
49. Loialson
POSTage. Crunch. Enjoy. Savor.

Leigh: It's so nice to have your reread. Really brightens my day after a long day of work.

And, of course, this ending is MOA, but that's an of course, sillies.

Yeah, never really understood the linkage stuff. I kinda feel there was a major lack of description on links between genders so far in the series. Plenty of how saidar/ saidin works independantly, even enough to grasp w/Eg's linky stuff, but as a link between genders, I am still confuddled.

Am I right in thinking this is the only true linkage we've seen so far between sexes(well, maybe btwn Graendal and Sammy before Sevanna waaay back when...LoC was it? But we didn't really see any logistics even if it was.)

I think one of my favorite parts in this chapter though, one that rarely gets mentioned, was of saidar modifying itself from the tunnel/tube Rand made to more of a flower. Pretty....sigh.

Perhaps that's why the opposite sexes didn't have to really worry about learning the opposite power. You direct it, it modifies itself. True source spellcheck.

Or something.

What do ya'll think? Explain enough why it worked? The whole Rand memory leakage works great for him, but I like mine for the other channies though.

Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! 4ish more days til I can get my claws on a copy of ToM. I am going to have to have a nice sit down at my local Barnes and Noble, or Borders, and snack on it til my shiny new copy comes from amazon...whenever it ships:'(

50. Tesla_sunburn
I have a theory about why all channeller seem to have an easy time wielding the opposite power. It has to do with the reason Saidin(the MALE power) has a feminine ending and Saidar(the FEMALE power) has a masculine ending.
Thomas Howard
51. didymos
Saidin has feminine grammatical gender? Er..huh?


That's a "No" on that one.
52. tuathdedanann
Thanks for that Leigh and for mention of "Samhain"-made me smile to remember a hallowe'en "horror" that was truly horrific and mispronounced "Samhain"- Sow-win as Sam Hane. Jaysus!! On behalf of our 2500 yr old tradition and on the phonic sensitivies of our language, Míle buíochas!
I was miffed that the cleansing didnt at least clear Rand's head. Seemed to suffer incremmentally right up to end of TGS
I know this is not the thread but could anybody guide me to thread where they discuss how aes sedai can protect themselves from adam? Got a virgin theory Iwant to throw out there.
Thomas Howard
53. didymos
Why would it clear his head? It would only stop the Taint from clouding it further, and he had waaaay too much stuff left on his plate for that to ease his stress much. Plus, he'd garnered too much crazy-momentum at that point to be slowed down.
54. tuathadedanann
@ 53
Surely abscence of the taint had to have given the guy some reprieve but didn't appear so is what I meant
Daniel Hanley
55. Kythorian
Keep in mind that Rand channeled...umm...all of saidin during the cleansing. meaning that a huge dose of the taint passed through him. He probably really should have gone completely insane from that. Rand's continued 'crazy-momentum', as didymos says, is the least of what we could expect from something like that.
Thomas Howard
56. didymos
I was more talking about how he'd gone so far down the road of becoming "hard" that turning him aside just wasn't gonna happen, triumphant victory be damned. Things like joy, relief, all that good stuff were just wan shadows. The guy had practically taken up permanent residence in the Void by that point. The Cleansing would be more like one of those distant things that skitter across its surface, those things that happen to another man, than it would be like anything resembling a normal emotional reaction.
Jamie Watkins
57. Treesinger
I wonder if the destruction of Shadar Logoth will have any effect on Fain? We haven't seen him at all since the fight in Far Madding. Did Rand wound him too badly? Has he lost all of his strange powers?
58. Tesla_sunburn
51. I mean of course in our language not theirs. I only meant that I think thats an intentional action on RJ's part. After all we just spent several threads talking about the use of Uppity. Why discount this so fast? In our language -in sounds somewhat feminine and -ar sounds very masculine. If nothing else it was an intentional reversal by RJ.
59. ericf
Strangely, I always thought the repercussions of the event weren't played up awesomely enough. CoT is mostly about going back in time half a day so that every other channeler in the world could look out thataway with mouth agape.

Think about Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and just about every other singularly horrific and world-altering event in recorded human history all rolled into one. Every channeler in the world has a front-row seat, watching this drama unfold like rubber-neckers at a car accident.

But this isn't a car accident, "the world could crack like an egg." The bomb bay doors on the Enola Gay open while hundreds of Zeros converge on Hawaii, smoke pours out of hundreds of chimneys at Auschwitz, Volcanoes rearrange mountain ranges, tidal waves rearrange coastlines, some guy's nailed to a hunk of wood over there, and finally, if even that imagery isn't enough, an asteroid the size of Mars is casting a shadow over the lot of it. The Book of Revelations is coming literally true right before their very eyes. The End is Nigh, this is not a drill. Alarm. Alarm. Danger Will Robinson. I have a Bad Feeling About This.

What are they _doing_? What are they _thinking_?

I distinctly recall being somewhat disappointed with CoT for exactly the opposite reason as everyone else, since it clearly was shooting to be the book I just asked for with those two questions.

Unfortunately, it fell short of the mark. My memory was that most everyone looked out thattaway thinking more or less, "oh that can't be good" and then never mentioned it again. The SAS at least went as far as to send a Star Trekkish 'away team' after-the-fact, but otherwise it was business as usual. I was rather hoping this event would have some rather more immediate and wide-ranging repercussions. (I can't recall, wtf did the Black Tower do?)
60. Shadow_Jak
Then the woman struck back at her, and she suffered her second shock. She was stronger than Cyndane had been before the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn held her! That was impossible; no woman could be stronger. She must have an angreal, too.

This quote seems to make it plain that somehow Lanfear was indeed as strong in the OP as it is possible for a woman to be. (as rumored elsewhere in the series)
She must have some reason to be so sure of that. I suspect that she was artificially enhanced in some manner.
(No no! Not like that. One Power-wise I meant... although the other might also be... nevermind)

Did her studies produce a method of enhancing strength in the OP?
Or did she maybe vist Finnland previously and make a wish?

I think maybe we will see more of this.
61. Tesla_sunburn
Her knowledge of being the strongest female channeler probably comes from nothing more than the years of records on Channeling. Pretty sure we can at this point get a good idea of how strong a man/women is capable of being. It probably has no plot importance.
62. Shadow_Jak
Yeah, Maybe wishful thinking on my part.
But mention of her strength just seems to have been slipped in too often for that.
Kimani Rogers
63. KiManiak
@ 60 -62,

I remember in the comments section of a previous re-read post (can't remember which one, unfortunately) that the discussion led to the ranking of strength in saidar and one of the commenters sent this link to the 13th depository site that presented levels of strength in the power.

Here is a link to the site:

The "Cyndane" and "Lanfear" sections suggest a theory that addresses your comments. I'm sure there are other theories out there, but I'm not that aware of the various discussion groups and sites that are out there.
Thomas Howard
64. didymos

51. I mean of course in our language not theirs. I only meant that I think thats an intentional action on RJ's part. After all we just spent several threads talking about the use of Uppity. Why discount this so fast? In our language -in sounds somewhat feminine and -ar sounds very masculine. If nothing else it was anintentional reversal by RJ.

OK, well modern English doesn't have grammatical gender (beyond a few vestigial things like ships being "she"), and as far as this "in/ar" thing goes...I'm not seeing that at all. Or, hearing, actually. They don't sound particularly anything to me in the least. They're just some equal-opportunity phonemes to my ear.

Mayhap, RJ happened to share that particular subjective view with you, but maybe not too. In any case, it doesn't seem remotely universal enough amongst English speakers to make it something he'd actually expect people to pick up on, much less employ it as a clue to WOT metaphysics. Possible, sure, but I'd avoid putting money on it.

Now, if I had to make a highly-shaky guess, I'd say saidin got the "in" due to it corresponding to the "yin" (or "in" if you're japanese) half of the AS circle and saidar got the "ar" because of...something or other. I don't know. Like I said: not a very good guess.
Thomas Howard
65. didymos
OK, wait. On further thought, I'll grant you this: when it comes to female names, there was a phase there where "een" and "ine" endings were very common (and are still relatively so). Still no idea why "ar" is all manly and stuff though. There was Thundarr the Barbarian. Oh, and Dar was the Beastmaster. I think I'm straying a bit with those, though.
Roger Powell
66. forkroot

I wonder if the destruction of Shadar Logoth will have any effect on Fain? We haven't seen him at all since the fight in Far Madding. Did Rand wound him too badly? Has he lost all of his strange powers?
There is information about the status of Fain in the Prologue to ToM. That's all I will say, to avoid any spoilers.
Sandy Brewer
67. ShaggyBella
My WH bookcover comment is that the folks look like Hobbits with their ponies. I do not know who the people are. Probably Perrin for the central one with the beard. An Aiel, and old guy and an Aes Sedai with one of those forhead dangles that Moraine wore. Also some foot soldiers, with bows, probably the Two
Rivers guys. Also, is the old guy behind that horse or astride it? He is holding reins. I guess he is riding, but he faces one way and the horse is at a 90 degree angle.

Twitch! I am planning to download the TOM audiobook since I still have Audible credits.
Tricia Irish
68. Tektonica
Hey Leigh...thank you for finishing 'er up! Great post and analysis, as usual. Glad you are feeling better. See you on the flip side, Tuesday....

I just loved the imagery of Nynaeve passing the link to Rand and his struggle to keep from drowning in Saidar and having to "surrender" to it....and his juggling act of surrendering and yet fighting Saidin. The first real instance of male/female channeling cooperation and a great lesson for what's to come at TG. Yay Rand and Nynaeve!

Aside: You know for the first few books Nynaeve drove me absolutely nuts! But I do think she may be my very favorite female in WoT now. She's so loyal, honest, dedicated and selfless in so many ways. She has shown uncompromised loyalty to Rand.

As for Rand getting his head cleared after this....I didn't see how that could possibly happen after being a conduit for all that taint, In fact, iirc, his nausea when grabbing the source worsens.

Isilel: I have to agree with you. So many hints and plot points led up to this chapter, and it was just "jumped into" from Far Madding, with no set up. A little more preview would've been welcome...built up some tension...then the MOA! It seemed like RJ was in a rush to just finish already. (I'm not usually one to lobby for more description, but here I would've loved it!)

And a grand welcome to our new posters/former lurkers! Well put, Kimaniak@43. Y'all join us in the bunker Monday night for a nail biting, tension filled night of theorizing until midnight, and then the big rush to the bookstore. Plenty of refreshments will be provided, and Suffa will provide coffee and brunch for the all night read through.
Kimani Rogers
70. KiManiak
Tektonica@68 and CireNaes@69,

Thanks for the welcome! Ah, the famous bunker. Thanks for the invitation. I'll bring the sour patch kids and M&Ms. We can have Suffa pick out and discard all the reds. :-)
71. Greenish-Yellow Ajah
Seeing the part about Verin speculating on the advantages of capturing Grendael is SO much more interesting after reading tGS!!

@67, that's the book cover I have as well

&*()$#+^#@%, the Baltimore book signing is when I'm supposed to be in North Carolina. :'-( And Harriet's going to be at that one, too! Is anyone going that I can give a copy to for signing?
Maiane Bakroeva
72. Isilel
Hm, I never understood why Verin wanted to capture a FS. Surely she must have known that chances of getting info out of one were practically nil and that she herself could be dragooned into a rescue attempt, possibly with much slaughter?
73. birgit
In our language -in sounds somewhat feminine and -ar sounds very masculine.

To me -in sounds male and -ar sounds female (in Latin -i is a male ending and -a is a female ending).

Now, if I had to make a highly-shaky guess, I'd say saidin got the "in" due to it corresponding to the "yin" (or "in" if you're japanese) half of the AS circle and saidar got the "ar" because of...something or other.

In Chinese yin is actually black / female while yang is white / male. RJ reversed the genders and colors.
James Hogan
74. Sonofthunder
Yay Leigh! Thanks for finishing up WH, with a smashing write-up as always!! I much enjoyed. Also, loved listening to the podcast last night(finally I think I'll remember how to say your name now, Leigh...I always thought it was "Lay". Oops. Also, as enjoyable as the ToM discussion was, the randomness and straying-off-topicness was great fun. Thanks for that! Also, I am firmly in agreement with Brandon that the outriggers really don't need to be written. Visually interpreted - via movie or whatever - , sure. But let's stay out of Dune territory. And gosh I need to close this parantheses).

And speaking of WH, I agree with gabemar @41 that it is vastly underrated(well, at least by me). On my first read of the series(which was 1-11), I think WH sort of drowned in the 7-10 quagmire. On my first reread, as I came to Path of Daggers, I remember thinking..."Oh no, the books that just go on and on...with nothing happening!" I was very surprised to see how fun WH really was. So much good stuff!!

Sidenote: On my second re-read, I greatly enjoyed CoT. Not really sure why...maybe because it was I was expecting it to be slow and boring again and instead I just enjoyed it and luxuriated in the tapestry of details.

But back to WH, great ending, but I also found it a little weird that the Forsaken were so...incompetent? I think on my first read I was sure that they would do some serious damage. And they definitely...didn't. I suppose Jordan was just pounding the point home that their "lone ranger" attitude(along with their arrogance they could easily defeat any Third-Ager) is killing them. Literally.

Oh and...THREE DAYS.
75. tuathadedanann
@didymos 65
nice observation. In the Irish language the suffix "ín" pronounced "een" is used to feminise boys' names; eg Pádraig for a boy and Pádraigín for a girl. Incidentally it is also used to denote a term of endearment or of whistfulness, eg síbín ( sheebeen) meaning small pub. As a native speaker of Irish, it has struck me through the books that some of the placenames in Randland are very Irish. Linda at 13th depository has a few interesting articles on worldwide sources that she suspects Jordan drew from in creating WoT
Daniel Hanley
76. Kythorian
To treesinger @ 57, RJ has confirmed in interviews that Fain was not weakened at all from the destruction of Shadar Logoth.
Jonathan Levy
77. JonathanLevy
46. subwoofer
(Nynaeve) falling over from exhaustion hints to me as to why the access key melts. It was just too much for the buffer to take

I think we need a different explanation. If I recall correctly, the Aes Sedai who investigated Shadar Logoth concluded that despite the huge amount of Saidar used, the amount of Saidin used was immeasurably greater - a mountain beside a molehill. If it was just a question of buffer overload, the male ter'angreal would surely have melted first.

59. ericf
Re: reactions to the Cleansing by other channelers.
Well, Teslyn and Joline almost freak out and it takes Mat's guidance to control them, Elayne wants to rush in and save him and only Aviendha's rings-memories restrain her. But practically speaking, the event is too dangerous to investigate, too powerful to be stopped, too distant to be reached (except for Elayne who and the SAS who can travel), and too terrifying to think about.

Here's a slightly different analogy to consider: The eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Smoke starts erupting from the mountain - what do people do? Not much. They can't stop it, it's dangerous and impractical to investigate, and the threat is not immediate. Only when pumice stones start landing on their heads to people start leaving or withdrawing to cellars. Some escape, many die. It seems to me that the behavior of most of the channelers matched the behavior of the inhabitants of Pompeii.

60. Shadow_Jak
This quote seems to make it plain that somehow Lanfear was indeed as strong in the OP as it is possible for a woman to be. (as rumored elsewhere in the series)

That quote could also make it plain that Lanfear has a really big ego. It's impossible that Lews Therin would leave me!!! It's impossible that Rand wouldn't fall in love with me!!! It's impossible that any woman could be stronger in the OP!!!

But I'll grant you that this is an open question, and I certainly hope it will be resolved.
john massey
78. subwoofer

Ahhhhhhh!!!! I can't take it!!!

We are getting down to the final days of a great adventure! Am starting to bounce off the walls!


She must have some reason to be so sure of that. I suspect that she was artificially enhanced in some manner.

-Yes! I have the same theory myself. Often I have wondered why it was called "The Age of Legends". Heh. Methinks that maybe there were all sorts of angreal floating around... more akin to that red rod than we think ;)

@JL- nope, not feeling it. Don't forget, women are pansies compared to men. Rand is just covered in awesome sauce at this point. Okay maybe it was the combination of the taint and the idea that Rand may not be as well versed in the use of Saidar as a female channeler. For all we know, if a woman was melding the flows the male access key woulda kacked. But I think the simplest explination is often the best.

Edit- and don't call me Shirley.

79. Ryamano
Not regarding this chapter only, but an issue Leigh has with there being only polygamous marriages with multiple women and single men involved.

This comes crom Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 14. It's when the Aiel Wise One midwife, Monaelle, comes to check on Elayne:

Monaelle threw back her head, laughing so hard that she had to wipe a corner of her eyes with her shawl. “I know this from bearing seven children and having three husbands, Elayne Trakand. The ability to channel shields you from the birthing sickness, but there are other prices to pay. Come, Aviendha, you must try, too. Carefully, now. Exactly as I did.”

So Monaelle has or had three husbands. She can channel and looks in her middle ages, so maybe she had one husband at a time, becoming a widower two or three times. Or maybe she married more than once, or is married to that men now. So who knows? This could be the first case of confirmed polyandry in WoT novels and has passed us by.
80. ryamano
Am I the only one who thinks Moghedien is toast after this chapter? She gots sucked into a vortex! Also, she says that she'd fear nothing after that and a good part of being Moghedien is being a coward. If she has no fear anymore, she wouldn't be an interesting character. She also doesn't appear in any meeting the Forsaken have afterwards. To me, she died there, in the Shadar Logoth vortex.
81. Ryamano
Edit: Looking at the encyclopaedia, it seems Moghedien lives after that. I don't know why, she just does some minion work. I wonder if she became a thrall after that.
Daniel Hanley
82. Kythorian
To Ryamano @ 79, several other wise ones have said very similar things, but have always clarified this to be about one husband at a time, just having lived so long that their husbands keep dying, so they get remaried. Given this context, it seems very likely the same was the case with Monaelle. It seems like that is just the culture of the Aiel...multiple wives are accepted, multiple husbands are not.

Of course, we have at least rumors that the green ajah aes sedai who got Lan's bond when Moiraine died whos name I can never remember is married to three of her warders. Granted, the reaction to that is scandalized shock, so thats not really put in a positive light, but to be fair, the same people's reaction to multiple wives among the aiel is the same. It is at least one example though.

To Ryamano @ 80, yes, Moghedien does survive. I am fairly convinced that she was behind the shiny dragon reborn who showed up and got Mesema to try and have Perrin killed. So thats fairly significant, as it is one of the closer times the shadow has gotten to killing one of them. We just have not had it confirmed she is behind that. Besides, enough time has been spent building up her rivalry with nynaeve that it would be rather disappointed if she died other than in another duel with her.

Oh, and Mogy was already mindtrapped at the cleansing. She got mindtrapped after she got freed from salidar.
Antoni Ivanov
83. tonka
There is very well done succinct recap of characters and plots by the end of TGS, courtesy of dragommount:
Captain Hammer
84. Randalator
ryamano @81

Yep, she survives. And she is on minion detail because she fucked up one to many times and got cour'souvra-ed in the face by Moridin.
85. Freelancer
RobMRobM @26

Oh, I knew the Steven Wright reference. What would you expect from a guy who names an album "Skating on the Other Side of the Ice"?

"I came home drunk one night and put my car key in the front door lock by mistake. When I turned the key, it started. So I thought to myself, 'What the heck?', and took it for a spin. I got pulled over by a cop. He asked me where I live. I said, 'Right here'."

Yeah, that guy.

joe heron @38

The theories about a Lanfear/Moiraine Power swap have been legion. However, Cyndane's strength in the Power is still more than Moiraine's, even if reduced from that of Lanfear. However, there is no similarity in appearance between Cyndane and Moiraine. Cynfear's description includes silver hair and an impressive bust. Moiraine's coloring is all dark, and she herself has slightly envious thoughts about other women's larger chests. No body swap here.

ericf @59

You left out "I think we need a bigger boat".

ShaggyBella @67

On the Winter's Heart cover, we have Perrin (curly hair, half-moon axe, beard, Red Eagle banner), Gaul walking beside him, Seonid riding next to Stepper, with Masema on the other side. The crowd behind include Ghealdanin and Mayener soldiers, Aiel including Wise Ones, Two Rivers men, Masema's "Dragonsworn", Cha Faile, Morgase's retinue, and oh yeah, Berelain.
J Lip
86. Cadsuwallop
Greenish-Yellow Ajah @ 71
I'll be at the Baltimore signing and would gladly take a book along for you. Contact me at to work out the details.

2.5 days...this is worse than waiting for Christmas or summer vacation!
Eric Hughes
87. CireNaes
Jonathan Levy@77 and subwoofer@46

I think what we are looking at here is the disparity of strength between the two channelers involved. Nyneave is strong, yes, but if Rand had used Alivia the access key would not have been fried. That's what I'm going with, since any other factor that I can dredge up should rightly have destroyed both keys rather than just the one.

This would also explain why Nyneave needed a boost from Cadsuane while Rand held on to the end under his own strength. As she says, the key should act as a buffer, but it sounds as if the buffer overheated because Rand can naturally go to "a whole notha level" with the suckers. A level that Nyneave is not capable of. It stressed the key too much to protect Nyneave from burn out. That's my entirely unprovable explanation and I'm sticking to it.

And everyone expecting more from the Forsaken need to remember that they were severely outgunned in this match, yet all but one survived the fight (Calandor being too big of a stick to avoid when directly applied in one's general direction). It is a testament to their skill level that they even managed to inflict a few casualties. This just rubs in how strong and skilled they are when they can retreat in a controlled and orderly fashion while defeating attacks being thrown at them by a stronger force. That being said I agree with others who have commented that if the attack had been coordinated before they all gated in, it would have had a much better chance of inflicting major damage rather than only killing a few. With Callandor on the field, they were lucky only one snuck past the other defenders. Moridin alone has stood toe to toe with that boom stick and needed copius amounts of the TP to make that possible.

The only thing that bothers me is why not one of them asked for access to the TP before their attack. Well that's all passed us now and we will just ignore that oversight.

Edit: For repetitive use of a single adverb, it annoys me, what can I say?
Eric Hughes
88. CireNaes
(finally I think I'll remember how to say your name now, Leigh...I always thought it was "Lay". Oops. Also, as enjoyable as the ToM discussion was, the randomness and straying-off-topicness was great fun. Thanks for that! Also, I am firmly in agreement with Brandon that the outriggers really don't need to be written. Visually interpreted - via movie or whatever - , sure. But let's stay out of Dune territory. And gosh I need to close this parantheses).

Made me chuckle. I struggle with that as well.
Tess Laird
89. thewindrose
Winters Heart does have a great ending. It was great to see the Light side working together. So will Moridin have to mind trap everyone on his side to get *Team Dark* functioning effectively;)

I think Cadsuane summed it up best in her thoughts:
'but Cadsuane did not like losing two of her people in return for no more than a few singed Forsaken and one dead renegade.'

Granted the renegade is a Forsaken, but it does show that team Light has to work together better than this. So I was happy to see some working together, however I knew it wasn't enough yet.

Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw
Miscellaneous thoughts on the recent posts... I'm pretty sure the question of how strong a channeler can possibly be will be significant in the upcoming books. I'm also sure that there will be more repercussions of the Cleansing and the madness that remains for those already affected (including Rand). And I think there's a good chance we'll learn a little more about using the OP in circles. (However, FWIW, I'm guessing that Rand in a circle may be just a little different than any other man in a circle. Not sure I could defend that guess, I just... think so.)

A few thoughts on the recap/commentary/comments... I'm afraid this will be an unpopular one. Oh, no. I'm not afraid, am I? I do this all the time. ;p Anyway, it will not be greeted with enthusiasm, but I'll say it anyway. Maybe it will stir up something besides twitching for Tuesday. (That ought to be a title for something: Twitching for Tuesday)

Re: Aleis - I think she's a good leader for Far Madding. She made a bad decision here, particularly in the big picture, but then she had bad information. There's also the factor of whether there would be any better choices, a question about which Cadsuane and Verin are far more informed than we. Given the trade-oriented society of FM, however, it's to be expected that she would try to get a little profit out of any situation.

The situation itself is hardly her fault, however. Nor is it the fault of the Aes Sedai, the Sea Folk, the Asha'man, the Kin, the.... you name it. The situation is the direct result of Rand, Lan and Nynaeve making a conscious choice to break the law. Several laws, in fact. Rand and Lan cut the peace bonds on their swords and went to killl. Nynaeve channeled the OP where it is forbidden. For whatever reasons, they thought they could get away with it; they didn't. So Rand and Lan are in jail for their own misdeeds, not because Rand is the DR. Nynaeve is not in jail, in spite of her misdeeds, because Min and Alivia went straight to Cadsuane, who promptly went and hauled Nynaeve's bacon off the fire.

Cadsuane is perfectly correct in laying the blame for the situation at Nynaeve's and Rand's feet, and charging them with the debt. Had they not put themselves, and therefore all their companions, in a completely untenable situation, Cadsuane would not have had to meddle with Far Madding politics; she could have left a competent leader in place, and not increased the local mistrust of Aes Sedai. As it was, she placed the safety of the DR above all other concerns; that doesn't mean she has to like the things she does to ensure it.

Incidentally, in spite of all her bad press, I'd like to point out something I only noticed this time around. (Only since my rethinking of the character, in fact.) Rand gives us, here, Cadsuane's first advice to him: if you don't intend to keep your part of a bargain, you need to free the other party of their obligations; otherwise, you're a thief. Fairly sound advice, that. (So as a reader I wouldn't mind if he said "Okay. Sea Folk, I'm breaking the bargain. You can go back to the sea, and I'll go my way without you." But the bargain was needed, so I guess it's just as well he didn't.)

After that little note, Rand breaks the big news of the cleansing. A couple of AS freak out about the possible damage, but Cadsuane asks three questions: 1) Are you using Callandor? (It is the use of Callandor about which she is - rightly - skeptical, given the flaw. She shows no skepticism about the plan.) 2) Who are you going to have use the female ter'angreal? 3) Will you be doing it from here? I'm sorry (no I'm not) but that doesn't look like someone trying to tell Rand what to do or manipulate him. She listens to his reasons and, apparently, concurs. She offers no advice, no argument, no obstacle. She goes along with it, knowing the danger, and proceeds (as Leigh noted) to set up a defense system, without which Rand and Nynaeve would have been toasted six ways from Sunday. (Without even getting the job done.)

And sharing just for the fun of it... the first quotation from Chapter 35 makes me chuckle a little these days. When our buddy "pattack" showed up a couple of weeks ago, whingeing around on one of the ToM threads, I was reminded that he and some like-minded folks were among those who made me really rethink Cadsuane in the first place. They made me realize how little patience I had for the attitudes, posturing and general rudeness of young men of... a certain level of maturity (or immaturity). (Okay, women can do it too, but they tend to sound shrewish instead.) They made me understand why she would require a level of at least verbal courtesy from Rand, even though she rarely required more than that.

It's really been fun to watch how different people have reacted here, when someone pointed out that their language or "posting etiquette" could be improved to meet the generally accepted standard of this group. (That standard is, admittedly, pretty high - you people are awesome company!) Some people step back, take a look around, and go "Oh, okay. I didn't expect that from an internet group, but I'm good with that" and proceed to fit right in. Not that they alter their opinions about the books, and no one wants that, just the way they present those opinions. Each one of those have been wonderful additions to the discussion. Other people get all up in arms about anyone who would dare to point out that they weren't really up to snuff, and accuse us all of being snobs, know-it-alls, or what have you. Most of those leave in a huff and never come back; some of them stay around and argue for a while, but eventually they wind down too. Oddly enough, even the ones who get mad tend to clean up their typing skills if not their language.

Anyway, some of them started showing up on the ToM threads just as I read this chapter in my own reread, and I cracked up at the thought "If a sword had a memory, it might be grateful to the forge fire, but never fond of it." And now you all can go hang them in effigy, for triggering my total rethinking of Cadsuane's position. It's all their fault. Really. ;p
Cameron Tucker
91. Loialson
Gah! I just read BS's post about being at the Provo, UT library at 4, with a copy of ToM to browse. It's now 5:23 here, I missed my chance. :(

I really should pay more attention to Brandon's tweet, instead of reading HP7 to prepare for the 7.1 movie installment :D

I live in provo too FTW!

Dorothy Johnston
92. CloudMist
Has anyone gotten into the new, improved WOTFAQ? It's asking for a screenname and password and won't accept my Dragonmount info.
Eric Hughes
93. CireNaes

I agree regarding Aleis, but I come at it from a differnent angle. Cadsuane has always been one who admires an individual's potential to achieve maturity and wisdom, no matter how large their flaws may be. This sizing up informs her willingness to work with others or her regret when she has to ruin them, effectively stunting said potential. So I don't think Cadsuane approved of her as a good current leader for Far Madding, rather she saw a potentially good leader for Far Madding.

So Cadsuane fancies herself as quite the affineur. She saw Aleis as more of a Gouda that's just been put on the shelf that would eventually need a good waxing. Instead, she had to chuck her in the freezer, all because of Rand's brashness.

Edit: for grammar.
j p
94. sps49
Cloudmist @92-

I viewed the new WOTFAQ yesterday with no problems. I don't even have a DM name.

Wetlandernw @90-

Without arguing any of your Cadsuane points (I think few opinions will be changed by now), do you not think Cadsuane could be elevated to Awesome status if she was more tactful? or if it was presented better that her manner is her time-tested method of herding cats?

The ToM threads will have to wait a few more days for me. I cringe, thinking how many posts are in the spoiler threads. Ah, well; at least I have Wednesday off. Get book at Arden Fair in Sac., then read it the next day. Then rest :)
Thomas Keith
95. insectoid
Wetlander @90: people are awesome company!

And so are you, Wetlander! We do enjoy your Walls of Insight. :)

CloudMist @92: sps49 is correct; you can read the new FAQ without a login. I'm not quite sure what the login is for...

Just over 2 days to go!!! SQUEE!!

M Anderson
96. DevilsAdvocate
Wetlandernw @ 90

Excellent comment! Agree wholeheartedly that Rand and Nynaeve are the ones who screwed things up. I think that Cadsuane has a right to be at minimum miffed if not outright angry with them.

And something I thought of in defense of Cadsuane earlier in the day: her use of "boy" when talking to Rand. My 90-something-year-old grandmother call mes "kid" or "kiddo" even now when I'm in my 30's, and not just as a term of endearment. If my gran has that perspective, is it really a stretch if someone approaching 300 views a 20ish-year-old person as a "boy" (especially when he acts like a boy). Sure, maybe it's meant pejoratively, but I don't think that's the only explanation.
Daniel Hanley
97. Kythorian
Yes, but if your grandmother was talking to a 35 year old president of the united states of america, would she call him "kid".
Scientist, Father
98. Silvertip
Hey all,

Glad to see the Cadsuane thing is all settled now.

Leigh quoted a passage I hadn't thought about in a while:

The male and female halves of the True Source were alike and unalike, attracting and repelling, fighting against each other even as they worked together to drive the Wheel of Time. The taint on the male half had its opposite twin, too. The wound given him by Ishamael throbbed in time with the taint, while the other, from Fain’s blade, beat counterpoint in time with the evil that had killed Aridhol.

Is this just a nifty bit of prose, or is Jordan telling us something here? Does the "opposite twin" of the taint on Saidin, apparently a reference to Shadar Logoth/Mordeth/Fain, have somehow something to do with saidar? I can't see how, but there's the paragraph. Unless it's just "these two things each have doppelgangers, but different ones?"

From the blindingly obvious department: The interaction between the natures of Rand's two wounds somehow has to be critical in what's coming, but I don't expect to see it until AMoL. Either at Shayol Ghul or King's Cross Station on the boat with the three women.

[Scratches Beard]. I guess I'll find out soon enough.


edit: patching format oddities
99. elliesaurus
I always wondered about the second access key that Egwene finds in The Shadow rising in her dreamwalk. Would the whole operation have gone more smoothly if two women of great saidar strength had linked with Rand? Was that why Nynaeve's key melts, because it was doing the job of two? Since, I think, a woman can control a circle with a man in it if there are more women than men, was the original plan to have women in control of the circle that would battle the Dark One/seal his prison during the War of Power?

Man oh man, I won't be able to get the book until Thursday, and that's AFTER working a 10 hour shift at work, and then another 8 hour shift the next day. |8 I won't have time to read. I -might- just have to call in sick...
Alice Arneson
100. Wetlandernw
sps49 @94 - Quite possibly, but I don't think she really cares what people call her as long as they use what intelligence the Creator gave them. I can relate to that.

DevilsAdvocate @96 - How very true. I'm not even close to my 90s (shut up, subwoofer!) and I have a hard time not seeing 20-somethings as kids - especially, as you say, when they act like it.

Kythorian @97 - Probably. I would.

And in other news... On a rainy day in the Pacific Northwest (yes, my name was chosen for a very good reason), November 2nd arrived early at a certain post office near me. See you all Tuesday!
Thomas Keith
101. insectoid
Wetlander @100: And you got 100 to boot! I'm so jealous... that you got the book already. ::green::


102. Greenish-Yellow Ajah
Silvertip @98, I love the Kings Cross reference!

Cadsuwallop @86, I just found out that a friend of mine would like to go to a signing. I just sent him the dates/times, so I'm going to see if he is able to go and take my book, since I've been wanting to see him anyway. I'll let you know one way or another, though. Thank you for your willingness to help out!!
Lindy Brown
103. lbrown
Wetlander @100: And you got 100 to boot! I'm so jealous... that you got the book already. ::green::

Me, too! I'm getting the book first thing Tues morning and will read it straight through. I have work off Tues-Fri. Yay! It will probably take me to Friday to finish it. I'm not a particulary fast reader. I am so excited!
Jonathan Levy
104. JonathanLevy
87. CireNaes
Jonathan Levy@77 and subwoofer@46
I think what we are looking at here is the disparity of strength between the two channelers involved. Nyneave is strong, yes, but if Rand had used Alivia the access key would not have been fried. That's what I'm going with, since any other factor that I can dredge up should rightly have destroyed both keys rather than just the one.

I think that's the best explanation we've got so far. I doubt we'll find a better one.

92. CloudMist
Has anyone gotten into the new, improved WOTFAQ? It's asking for a screenname and password and won't accept my Dragonmount info.
I had no trouble reading it last week without signing in at all. I'm very glad they updated it. However, one of the unfortunate side effects of all the plot-threads-being-tied-up and mysteries-being-revealed is that a lot of entries are reduced to "In book 943, Slayer's POV reveals that he killed them" instead of a collation of all the information from books 1 to 942. Still, it was a lot of fun to read again.

99. elliesaurus
That access key is broken, and cannot be used.
john massey
105. subwoofer
@Wet- wow! Good things come to those who wait:) You should go out and buy a lotto ticket- bumper crop of Asmo stickers, asking Brandon a bunch of questions in person and now this. Well done!

Can't be jealous for that- but geeze! You got the one hunny spot- must celebrate!

106. whoami
Leigh quotes LTT as saying the access keys were untested:

"They were never tested, never tried. This is insane! he shrieked"

The female key could simply have been flawed. There's an old design verification saying that goes "If it hasn't be tested, it doesn't work."

Callandor is flawed, the female access key is flawed, too, and melted on first use.
Bill Reamy
107. BillinHI
Wetlandernw @90: I wholeheartedly agree with you on Cadsuane's actions (and attitude) leading up to the Cleansing. I have always liked her purposes in her actions, just not always the actions themselves, but this time she nails it big time! Given that Rand has (already) become a huge head case by this point, a reasoning (and reasonable by our standards) approach to him would almost certainly have failed miserably. Hopefully after his revelation on the mount in TGS he will realize in ToM that not only can he not do everything himself, he never should have tried to do it all himself throughout. Kudos for Caddy here, which makes her lame-brained script for Tam in TGS all the worse as a way to help Rand.

I wonder if any of the Light-siders at the Cleansing ever find out that the "renegade" killed was, in fact, one of the Forsaken?

And I have to go a little grammar-police on you (and others as well): Shouldn't "whingeing" be whining? Not one of yours, but I also get tired of seeing "loosing" for "losing". Oh well, if that's the worst of my complaints (and it is), I should just shut up now. Cinnabons for the bunker!

Subwoofer @105: Best bit Peter ever did in the whole series! IMO the Multiverse episode was the best overall episode of the series.
Eric Hughes
108. CireNaes

Yet I wonder why the female access key did not overheat when they first started the process or why the male key didn't melt when it was first used by Rand and Asmo. They were both manufactured at the same time by the same design team. I think if she had been using it independently of Rand, then it would have worked just fine. Because Rand was pushing it further than it could buffer to protect Nyneave (who is at best a little stronger than Mogy) it blew the fuze. Mayhaps this was intentionally built in as a safety measure. I think your explanation is possible, it just isn't what jumps out at me considering the evidence.
109. whoami
In fact, if I recall, the actual sa'angreal was destroyed. The flaw may not have been in the access key at all. The sa'angreal itself may have been the problem, with feedback destroying the active access key.

CirNaes @108

Rand and Asmo only fought over the male key. The female key and sa'angreal must have been constructed differently from the male one, since it accesses saidar instead of saidin, and could have had an undetected manufacuring defect, which can happen even with the same design team.

Really, if this new technology was never tested at all, it simply may not work on the first shot. Or, it may work when channelling a smaller amount of the power, but not when channelling a larger amount. When channelling large amounts of power, minor flaws (micro cracks, for example) can become catastrophic.

I think LTT's quote on the Choeden Kal being untested is really the only piece of evidence we have. An imbalance between two independent sa'angreals as a source of problems doesn't have much real support. It's just a guess.
Tricia Irish
110. Tektonica

Well said and fwiw, I agree with Cads actions here. The whole Far Madding debacle was Rand and Nynaeve's fault. Cads saves the day both there and at the cleansing.

whoami@106: Chodan Kal:

It could've been flawed. Rand could have drawn too much through it, too. Nynaeve could perhaps have not been strong enough to use it in this extreme situation, but.....

I think the whole point of the female Chodan Kal being destroyed , is to eliminate it from the plot. Then on Dragonmount in tGS Rand toasts his, so they are both out of the picture for TG. It also conveniently eliminates Cynfear's interest in it's power.


I think whingeing is an "Englishism", and means the same thing as "whinning"'s just a bit of "foreign color".....while "loosing" and "losing" mean completely different things. ;-)
Jay Dauro
111. J.Dauro

World English Dictionary whinge (w?nd?)

— vb , whinges , whingeing , whinged
1. to cry in a fretful way
2. to complain

— n
3. a complaint

[from a Northern variant of Old English hwinsian to whine; related to Old High German winsan, winisan, whence Middle High German winsen ]


— n , — adj


— n

Part of the International flavor of the re-read, I guess.
Jonathan Levy
112. JonathanLevy
110. Tektonica
I think the whole point of the female Chodan Kal being destroyed , is to eliminate it from the plot.

Yes, its destruction is awfully convenient in hindsight, isn't it?
Eric Hughes
113. CireNaes

Well now you've gone and ruined my only WoT destraction until ToM comes out.


Yes, the actual Super'angreal did melt on the island. Or at least the part showing anyway. So both the key and the female Chodan Kal are toast. Maybe it wasn't cooled properly, what with it being buried and all. Reminds me of an HP laptop I used to own...wasn't really safe to operate unless I had it on a table with unrestricted airflow under the device.

:::looks around for another distraction:::
Eric Hughes
114. CireNaes
But just to keep the fire alive, I think it more likely that the key burning out is what fried the female Chodan Kal too. All that power being requested/pulled by Rand through the buffer is...well buffered...before reaching Nyneave. The key denies the continued overpull from the main device to keep Nyneave safe, overheats, and eventually melts. This long process creates a steady backflow of Saidar to the Chodan Kal that eventually bakes it too. Kind of like a drawn out version of how Rand "Care Bears" the male Chodan Kal in TGS.
Thomas Keith
115. insectoid
Mmm... Cinnabons.

CireNaes @113:

Reminds me of an HP laptop I used to own...wasn't really safe to operate unless I had it on a table with unrestricted airflow under the device.

That's what laptop coolers were invented for. ;) Incidentally, my dad and I disassembled a bad HP laptop last night...

If I may whinge a little... Wah, still a day and a half to go!

Eric Hughes
116. CireNaes

Alas, this one had an ill-fated 8400m soldered directly to the MOBO. Still bitter about that lappy. Still at a loss why that chip managed to duck the nVidia class action lawsuit, but that's how the cookie crumbles.
Barry T
117. blindillusion
Oh Snap!

Toy Story 3 comes out on DVD on Nov. 2nd! I know where I'll be...

Oh...wait...that's right....
Hmm. hmm. Conundrums abound....

Oh, Wetlander at 90. Very nice words. And Wetlander at 100. Lucky.
Thomas Howard
118. didymos
Re: the access key and manufacturing flaws. I find it a bit too coincidental that another female access key, broken in two, was found in Tanchico way back when, and then the second one breaks in two during the Cleansing (yes, it also partially melted, but I don't think RJ tossed in the "broke in two" thing out of whimsy).

The other thing that's interesting is that the arm shattered, and it corresponds to the same arm that triggered mass Amayar suicide.

Personally, I don't think it was a matter of how much Power flowed through, but rather what was done with each. Saidar was the one being used to contain and constrain saidin and the taint, so it seems obvious to me that it actually had the tougher job there. The strain was simply way too much for way too long, and especially if there was some sort of flaw with the female keys.

Given what Rand does in TGS, it's also possible some small fraction of Power was constantly being fed back into the female Choedan Kal, and it went on long enough to finally wreck the thing. Maybe the strain of what was done took a tiny problem and magnified it until the feedback was overwhelming.
Ron Garrison
119. Man-0-Manetheran
WetlanderNW at 90: Exquisitely said. I just popped in from my re-read of TGS and re-listen of KoD to see what you were all up to. So glad I re-read this thread.
My ToM is in transit and I should have on Tuesday! Wet, I'm sure is reading away!!! Peace and the light be with you all. See you on the other side.
Julian Augustus
120. Alisonwonderland
Silvertip @98:

Hey all,
Glad to see the Cadsuane thing is all settled now.

Says who?
I haven't been providing much of a counterpoint to my friend Wetlander's relentless campaigning on behalf of Cadsuane because I've been rather too busy of late, but I plan to come back after ToM when the re-read resumes . I agree she was awesome in this chapter and she saved everybody's bacon, but that has never been my bone of contention with Cadsuane. I'm not finished with Cadsuane yet.
Julian Augustus
121. Alisonwonderland
Bill @107:

And I have to go a little grammar-police on you (and others as well): Shouldn't "whingeing" be whining? Not one of yours, but I also get
tired of seeing "loosing" for "losing". Oh well, if that's the worst of
my complaints (and it is), I should just shut up now

In defense of Wetlander, "whingeing" is just the British way of writing what Americans would write as "whining", it is not an error. Wetlander just loves to throw a curve by using the British instead of the American spelling. As for "loosing" instead of "losing", I completely agree with you. I don't think "loosing", in the sense of being loose, is even a proper word.
Scientist, Father
122. Silvertip
@120 Alisonwonderland:

Don't worry, my tongue was firmly in my cheek. (Never found a good emoticon for that one). I'm eagerly awaiting subsequent rounds, especially since if we see enough of Cads in ToM there will doubtless be additional awesomeness and additional annoyingness to spice things up.

123. Jem182
Great chapters.
The Cleansing has to be the best ending so far. With characters working together for once and the Forsaken so effectively ineffective

Yay! Less than 24 hours before twitching can stop. Although, I may be preoccupied with some horse race that is on the same day.

BTW I hope Leigh chooses a different day to post the re-read after the ToM hiatus. With the time difference here in the Land of Madmen Australia I have to wait until I get to work on Monday to read the post.
Alice Arneson
124. Wetlandernw
BillinHI @107 - Well, the script was a bad idea, but Cadsuane shares the blame with Tam to some degree. He said himself that a) he shouldn't have followed it and b) he shouldn't have mentioned her name. ::shrug:: Anyway, I really liked her here, and it was fun to read with a new perspective instead of being warped by prejudice.

About Dashiva'gar... You know, I don't think so. Rand might figure it out, or Moridin give it away at some point. For now he's the mystery "is he gone or is he rebodied again?" Forsaken.

About whingeing - it's a term I picked up from watching too much British television. The first g is soft, which is (I think) why you retain the e in the spelling. It's wierd, I know, but there it is. It's such a lovely, descriptive term, although I suppose it requires context to make it so.

Alisonwonderland @121 - "Loosing" can be used in the sense of archers loosing their arrows, loosing someone's chains, etc. But that's a rare usage, outmoded if not exactly archaic. And it's almost never used intentionally, at least not in the comments!

Looking forward to discussing Cadsuane more after y'all have read TofM. :p
125. joe heron
Re:Choedan Kal .... Rand just destroys the Access Key in TGS, but not the actual statue right? im sure that farmer was getting drunk when rand was using it again.

Re:Cad, a B*tch with good leadership skill is still a b*tch. it doesnt mean one has to like her or like working with her even though there are good results.

1 day left! thank goodness there is Venture Brothers and The Walking Dead to keep me occupied!
Alice Arneson
126. Wetlandernw
joe heron @125 - No, he destroyed the actual statue as well as the key.
Rand used its own power upon it, crushing the distant globe, shattering it as if in the grip of a giant's hands.

The Choedan Kal exploded.
--TGS ch 50, "Veins of Gold"
Douglas Miller
127. douglas
CireNaes @ 87

I think what we are looking at here is the disparity of strength between the two channelers involved. Nyneave is strong, yes, but if Rand had used Alivia the access key would not have been fried. That's what I'm going with, since any other factor that I can dredge up should rightly have destroyed both keys rather than just the one.

This is my theory too, with an extra detail: the Choedan Kal are stated to be at the absolute theoretical limits of how powerful sa'angreal can be, and I think proper use of their full potential requires that the channeler also be at the theoretical limit of power. Rand is the undisputed Strongest Channeler Ever, so he can use the male Choedan Kal with no problems. Nyneave is strong enough to use the female Choedan Kal, but weak enough that the buffer gets overstressed protecting her for an extended period. She can use it briefly with no issue (same for Asmodean in Rhuidean), but channeling its full power for hours on end can only be done completely safely by the Strongest Female Channeler Ever - which the best evidence we've got suggests is Lanfear. So, a Rand/Lanfear team could have done the Cleansing with no damage to either Choedan Kal, but any other combination would likely result in at least some damage.
Thomas Howard
128. didymos

the Choedan Kal are stated to be at the absolute theoretical limits of how powerful sa'angreal can be

Uh, when did that happen? All I recall being said is they are the strongest ever known, not the strongest that ever could be known.
Thomas Keith
129. insectoid
Less than a day to go till the Book drops!! Squee!!

My mom told me that she got a shipment notification already. So when the mail comes tomorrow later today, I'll either SQUEE in delight, or I may have to call those nice men in the white coats.

edited to clarify: ...Meaning it MIGHT come today. (Don't panic, Sonofthunder.) If it doesn't, I'll be playing that song by Napoleon XIV...

James Hogan
130. Sonofthunder
Looking forward to discussing Cadsuane more after y'all have read TofM. :p

Wetlander@ 124....oh you had to slip that in, didn't you?? Thanks for whetting my appetite just that much further..

And I don't think I mentioned this before, but I absolutely loved Cadsuane's actions here at the Cleansing(and before in FM). She may be slightly abrasive at times...but hey, she backs up her legendary status here. Cadsuane's strategy owns Moridin's strategy. That's right, score a point for the Light!

Edited to too, insectoid? I fear I'll be the only one on here to not have the book before it's out! Excuse my hyperbole, but...ONE DAY.

Bouke de Boer
131. Bouke
Today is almost unbearable... Can't wait!
Jonathan Levy
132. JonathanLevy
I think I'll say a temporary goodbye to everyone here, as I will probably be getting the book a bit after everyone else, and I am determined not to get spoilered. :(
Dorothy Johnston
133. CloudMist
Thanks to those who answered my cry for help. I got in fine yesterday. It's just that when I see a request for a password/id, I tend to assume that I need the password/id. Anyway, in less than 30 hours!, I'll be curled up in my recliner, happily read TOM. (It pays to live within half an hour of a Barnes and Noble that opens at 9 am.) BTW, when are we going to get smilies in here?
Jay Dauro
134. J.Dauro
douglas @127

So you think that Latra and her group built a sa'angreal that could only be properly used by their chief rival on the Light side? Who is the leader of the group saying this should not be built. Interesting.
James Hogan
135. Sonofthunder
Bye, JL! And I'm off myself - I've already banned myself from Theoryland and tearing myself from Tor. See y'all in a week or so. 11 hours!!! After ToM...we will be waiting for the FINAL WoT book. Whoa.

Let's savor the moment!
john massey
136. subwoofer

Attica! Attica Attica!!!!

Going loopy over here!

Less than a day folks!

It is almost too much to stand... unless we mobilize- y'know? Get together, march on the bookstores- no stealing, mind you, but a few measly bookclerks are not going to stand in our way for what they get paid. En force we take the books and leave the money for them to ring in and then we march happily home and read the thing and surprise the heck outta Leigh when she drops the new post we are already there.

Just sayin'.

137. parabola
Awesomely incredible job thus far, Leigh!

I just finished my own personal re-read... over the last two, two and a half weeks.
I noticed how much more interesting the previously boring segments were to me, now that I have more information as to what they mean in the big picture.
I also noticed how jarring the writing style for Mat was in TGS, but I'm willing to let that slide.

It's scary how much I neeeeeeeeeed to read ToM...
Barry T
138. blindillusion
T Minus a little over 12 Hours until the Wal-Mart Hunt begins. Hopefully this year I won't have to go to 3 to find 1 that put the book out at 12.

And at least this year I didn't completely spoil the book for myself.

Oh, Leigh. I truly enjoyed this week's re-read. And while compassion is a good thing to wonder about in regards to Cadsuane, I'd be more interested in seeing a little empathy from her.

That goes without saying, I do appreciate Cadsuane a little more this go around, thanks in large part to Wetlander. But still, just a little understanding? A tensy, tinsy little bit? No? Oh well. Perhaps she'll walk away from ToM all roses.
139. OldWoman
I'm looking for some sympathy. My ToM will be delivered on time and I got sent to Vietnam for work and won't be home until Dec 22. My book will be sitting there and I will be far away without access. If only the ebook was available I would buy that too.
140. alreadymadwithcomingbook
Satisfy my curiosity, insectoid, are you and your mom gonna get like, separate copies or does someone get first dibs?

In a few hours I'm off to check the bookstore if they did reserve the copy I asked them to.
Rob Munnelly
141. RobMRobM
Been gearing up for the big day by doing a little bit of light reading - called The Way of Kings. Enjoying it very much and will finish on or before the train ride home tonight. Note - a local bookstore jumped the gun on WoK in August - and I'll check same place out this afternoon. Heh!
Eric Hughes
142. CireNaes

Haven't seen a post by you in awhile. Or have I just not been paying attention?


Alivia would have served just as well in a linked scenario since she is comparable in strength to Cynfear. Two other lightsiders who were not accesible at the time are also stronger than Nyneave (or will be soon), but are likely more around Semi's or Graendal's strength. This could have been enough to push the key that long.


See you in a few weeks.


There's always Leigh's spolier review, but according to the podcast she recommends reading the book first. You could read TGS again. I hear Sanderson has a few other smashing books that he has written as well.
Rob Munnelly
143. RobMRobM
@142. I could be wrong but I believe Mr. Dauro is in the process of getting married right about now.
144. whoami
I just cancelled my Amazon order for TofM.

Shipping estimate was Nov 8.

Screw that. I'll go to a store and pick it up myself.
Kat Blom
145. pro_star
In less than 24 hours, I will excape my cubicle hell and run off to the bookstore...flee my lawyers, and then return to my cube and quite possibly raise the ire of my bosses while I bury my nose in the book ;) shh! Their own fault if they don't keep me busy!

D.I. Rock
146. FeatherDancer
@132 Jonathan Levy
I feel your pain as I will not be getting my copy until around November 20-21. I will be avoiding the board for a few weeks too.
Ron Garrison
147. Man-0-Manetheran
My ToM is in Salina, Kansas and scheduled for delivery tomorrow! I guess I won't get finished with my re-read of TGS beforehand. But who's complaining!

On this, my third read, I've been focusing on Rand's darkness. I hadn't realized how many, many times it is mentioned or alluded to. It is, IMHO, the key plotline from now until the end of the story. It's all coming down to Moridin and Rand - as it should be. Yes, Rand's epihany on Dragonmount was wonderful, but Moridin hasn't left him yet. A lot of the Last Battle may come down to an internal struggle between them as they jockey for control.

The Fisher King story is essential. We've known since the Prologue of Path of Daggers that Moridin is playing both sides of the board - getting Rand to unwittingly perform dark acts. I read Rand's meeting with Tuon again last night. On this reading it was very clear to me that it was Moridin who spoiled the possibility of a truce with the Seanchen. Tuon was being swayed by Rand's ta'vereness and was just about to say "yes." But then she began to see this huge dark cloud surround him, became frightened and said "no."
Bouke de Boer
148. Bouke
Would've liked to receive my online order tomorrow as well. Unfortunately, I don't have time to go to the local bookstore (only open during office hours, when I'm, gasp, in the office), so I'll have to twitch for two more days...

Matthew Smith
149. blocksmith

Thanks for the reread...late in checking due to day off on Friday.

Overall, the final chapter elevated WH in my listing of the books bad to good. At times it plodded, but the endind had me riveted. And the reveals, slipped into numerous internal monologues and external action sequences (Osangar's flaming, Arangar's reveal, etc) were very well done.

And I completely missed that Erian was not in the scene (or should have been) until following WOT threads such as this.


I had planned on it, but unfortunately PW football getting in the way.


Oh to have y0ur time machine right now!!!!

And oh yeah....less than 24 hours til I pick up TOM. Life, you are hereby notified that you are on hold pending reading, considering, re-reading.
Tricia Irish
150. Tektonica
Man-O@147: **waves**

Nice to see/hear from you again. Things slowing down out there? Finally.

Loved your insight on Rand/Moridan. I share your views. And of course it comes down to...get ready for it....

Mano A Mano!

Amazon says my copy shipped yesterday...on a Sunday?.....but UPS won't give me a delivery date! Supposed to Nov. 2. I could be spending tomorrow at
B & N in a nice comfy chair.
151. Shadow_Jak
OK. Anyone know of any bookstores near Atlanta, GA that will be open after midnight tonight? *twitch*
Ron Garrison
152. Man-0-Manetheran
Hey Tek! **waves back**

Amazon had this deal where you sign up for their Prime service and you got guaranteed delivery on the day it hit the bookstores - and free shipping! I guess I must have hit it at just the right time. When I checked this summer, they weren't offering it. Through some sort of twist (ta'veren?), I never got around to ordering until the first week of October. The catch is that after 30 days, the Prime service automatically renews at $79 per year. Expensive unless you buy a lot from them. However, I've already cancelled the auto-renew. Yeah. Sneaky. Call me Verin...
Tricia Irish
153. Tektonica
Man-O: aka: Sneaky Verin.

We have the same deal. Bob orders EVERYTHING from them! So it pays for itself, I guess. I had no idea they sold anything you want! it.

So I'm supposed to get my book on drop date, and it's shipped, but I only have an estimated delivery date.
Thomas Keith
154. insectoid
Alreadymad @140: I get first dibs, even though she bought it. She reads too slow. ;) (We got seperate copies last year because we bought them at the local bookstore.)

Guess what came EARLY...! Amazon is so nice sometimes. I apologize if I'm making everyone jealous; as Han Solo would say, "it's not my fault!" ;)

(Or maybe Curly Howard: "I'm a victim of soicumstance!"

SQUEE!! See you guys on the Spoiler Thread in a few days! Ciao!

edit to add: Oh wait, I know... "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills."

Eric Hughes
155. CireNaes

Ah yes, mahwage. Thanks for the reminder. What blows my mind is I didn't even appreciate all that free time I had when I was single. It just seemed natural. Even when I was working 3 jobs. It was a steady fight over the first few years of marriage against going to bed earlier and earlier wondering where all my energy had gone.
M Anderson
156. DevilsAdvocate
Hahaha... I also ordered from Amazon with Prime shipping...

And it just arrived 5 minutes ago...

Stupid Finance Final tomorrow... must study... must resist temptation...

Lost cause, I'm afraid...
Janet Hopkins
157. JanDSedai
re: J. Dauro
Yes, I noticed that he has changed his status on his profile to read "married". Congratulations!

re: waiting

I will probably go to Wal-Mart to get the book at mid-night. I don't think I can wait for my bookstore to open on Tuesday. The price will be about the same.
One that note, thanx to all who ordered the book early, so that ToM will start sales on Tues. on the best-seller list, thereby enabling the rest of us to buy it at the 30% discount that most booksellers give to best-sellers!

The problem is that I have so greatly anticipated the events of Towers Of Midnight, that *anything* that is actually written will fall flat. That problably acounts for the pre-reviewers that say they are "underwhelmed". How can words written on paper (however awesome they may be) bear the weight of this anticipation?

So, I'm trying to go into this with no expections whatsoever, and hope that I'm pleasantly surprised!
158. Wortmauer
JanDSedai@157: So, I'm trying to go into this with no expections whatsoever
Yeah, good luck with that!


When I preordered The Way of Kings from Brandon's local bookstore, they mistimed the shipping, so I got it a day early. I have to admit I was *twitch* hoping they might make the same timing error this time around. But this *twitch* morning I got nothing but junk mail, so now I just *twitch* have to hope they didn't mistime it *twitch* in the *twitch* other direction.

Daniel Hanley
159. Kythorian
Heh...if we think this is bad, wait until next year. I can't imagine the twitching that will be going on waiting for aMoL.
john massey
160. subwoofer
Wow! Sooo Amazon putzed up with 2 people.

Hmmmmm... bears the question- how many other folks got their books early from Amazon?

Also- How many kind folks will leak stuff now?

Also- by posting this on TOR so the kind folks of TOR can see this, will they take steps to correct said gaff next time around or is this going to spark a mad dash to Amazon next year?

Personally, yay for the folks that get this early- boo for TOR and distribution chain for putzing it up for the rest of us. Dang safety for all $$&//OP`É' people! Is a day early really gonna kill ya?

Get your hands spanked?


john massey
161. subwoofer
Which brings me to another point- what the heck are we- TOR- the people that distribute and promote WoT etc doing wrong that this book is not getting the hype it deserves? I haven`t read HP, but dang it, folks were lined up at midnight to get their hands on a copy of the next book in the series. Same for that $/%$%$ called Twilight. WoT seems to not be getting the respect it deserves.

What does it take?

A nod from Oprah?

Massive add campaigns in a teen mag to get the 12-15 year old young girl demographic?


Daniel Hanley
162. Kythorian
There are already leaked details of the plot. Go to and look a the WoT messageboard if you are interested. For the past week or so, some people have been able to find independent bookstores that put it out early. There are several fairly detailed plot summaries there. I broke down a few days ago and read through some of them, so I already know in general terms what happens. *shrug* up to you if you want to do the same. It does help with the twitching, but I probably won't enjoy the book as much, knowing what is going to happen.
john massey
164. subwoofer

There is a thread titled "Where the hell are you guys getting the book?"

165. moiaussi
Yeah, I got the book this last Friday... Amazon Prime delivers again!
M Anderson
166. DevilsAdvocate
sub @ 161

Most of the books that I have pre-ordered from Amazon (especially on Prime) have come early, including TGS and now ToM.

As I said, it's actually a problem for me as I have a big final exam tomorrow night and I need to study... I have literally locked it in the car until my wife can lock it up until after the exam...
Kat Blom
167. pro_star
Never underestimate the power of teenagers. PS - I don't think the masses could wrap their heads around the epic awesomeness that is WoT. I mean, seriously, have any of you guys read the Twilight "saga"? It's literary CRACK! You KNOW it's horrible!! You know it makes you want to throw things. You know it makes you lose faith in humanity cause how the heck does something so horrible become such a money-making franchise?!?! (and the I never before wanted to throw a book across the room, set it on fire, pee on the ashes, and set it on fire again) (note: there have been moments of wanting to throw book across room before with WoT - but not to the burning point)
anyways....uh... /end rant.
ahem. Apologies all.
I hate all of you who got the book early (with love and envy).
Bill Stusser
168. billiam
I got laid off (from my job of 10 years) a couple weeks ago and I've been so busy trying to find a new job that I didn't even think about the fact that when I get the book tomorrow I don't have to do anything other than read (well, while my daughter is in school at least) =).
Maybe getting laid off wasn't such a bad thing after all.
Just gotta make sure I get my required job search contacts all done today so I don't have to worry about it the rest of the week, lol.
j p
169. sps49
Still planning to go to Sacramento tomorrow night- but I have to WORK until 7. $*%#! Hopefully the CHP won't notice me doing 85 mph on the freeway.

Never been to a book signing before. How do these things usually go? Buy the book, then get in line? Bring the book with? Q&A before, after, or both?

Any question suggestions?
Roger Powell
170. forkroot
sps49 - A quick piece of advice: Buy the book when you arrive at the store. I was at one of the signings last year (didn't have my copy of TGS, but was planning to buy Warbreaker and have BWS sign that). My mistake was waiting until I got up to the front of the line - at that point, all the Warbreaker copies were gone.
Karen Fox
171. thepupxpert
It's too bad BWS won't make it to San Diego, I don't think he's anywhere near SoCA this time around. Well I've been working my ass off and haven't had time to post but here we are the night before the big release and it's my 5 year anniversary at work and they gave me a $500 gift card! Nice to know the company's doing well. Can't wait, going at lunch to the nearest B&N to pick the book up tomorrow!

BTW I loved the whole cleansing scene and Leigh's re-read has really helped to keep it straight in my head. Now I've got to go back tonight and re-read the entire end of WH again!
Kat Blom
172. pro_star
Congrats pupxpert!!! That's sweet! Always good to know you're appreciated!

ps, totally off topic....boyfriend's work christmas party is at DISNEYLAND this year!!! So...uh...yeah...flying down...goin to DISNEYLAND!!!!!! (yes, he lives around san diego, I live in the frozen north of Alberta....oh well...there's lots of Cali is better because...AB is better because...) I've had about as much squee-age as I can get this past week...I don't know if I can handle any more epic awesomeness.
Daniel Goss
173. Beren
Hmm . . . have the book preordered at Schulers . . . but Wal-Mart is going to be open at midnight, and a quick call has revealed that they do have it sitting in the back on a pallet waiting for the stroke of midnight, while Schulers doesn't open until 9AM. Decision time.
Alice Arneson
174. Wetlandernw
JanDSedai @157 - I haven't read any pre-reviewers claiming to be underwhelmed, but I for one am NOT AT ALL disappointed by it. (Okay, so the only one I've read is Leigh. I'm not that interested in everyone else's opinions.) So far, I'm finding it awesome, and I'm over half-way through. Some serious MOAs here. Also, communication and thinking happen. Sometimes.
Daniel Hanley
175. Kythorian
*eyebrow* I have heard that a good bit of one of the big threads of the book is characterized by a continued lack of needed communication between two main characters.

I guess we shall see when I read it tomorrow...I keep thinking about skipping work tomorrow, but I really shouldn't...
Thomas Keith
176. insectoid
As I take a quick break from The Book (and watch the San Francisco Giants celebrate their World Series title in Texas), I'd like to give a shout-out to Lannis, whose name I found in the text! ::waves::

Alice Arneson
177. Wetlandernw
Kythorian - I had a nice response to that all written, and then decided that, while it didn't give any details, it might still be too spoilerish for this thread. So... not going there, difficult as it is to stay away. Tomorrow, on the new ToM spoiler discussion.
Joseph Blaidd
178. SteelBlaidd
Spoiler reveiw is UP. Picked up an early copy Sat. Took till today to finish due to baby girl.

Regarding panic attacks. As someone whose wife has them I can say that for some people unles you know exactly what you are looking for you can not tell. I have loong maintained that the buigest handycap most people hve dealing with Rand is that they are still WAITING for him to "go insaine" and don't recognize that he has been wading in to the deeps since around book two.
179. Greenish-Yellow Ajah
JanDSedai@157, I think I'm less excited than most people about this one, and therefore less likely to be underwhelmed because my expectations aren't as through the roof. I'm expecting to enjoy it a lot, but tGS answered most of the biggest burning questions I had, and I expect that the others will not be answered until aMoL.
j p
180. sps49
Thank you, forkroot.

SteelBlaidd @178 (+ other posters)

I do not see Rand as insane. He is a normal person channeler in an abnormal situation. Aside from the plot driven faults everyone has (comminication?), I don't know where, without hindsight and taking into accout the influences on him (Callandor w/o a woman, the TP influence), I thought he should do differently.

See y'all post-read!
Rob Munnelly
181. RobMRobM
KJacbobs, Toryx, etc - Still trying to get clear for the Cambridge booksigning on the 7th but having big problems, as I feared (with out of country guests and a birthday to work around). Will try to pin down my participation or not by tomorrow.

Heidi Byrd
182. sweetlilflower
AHHHHHH!!!! Only 38 minutes until B&N opens! I'm dying here!
Rob Munnelly
183. RobMRobM
Just got my copy from downtown Borders in Boston. Haven't cracked cover yet. Note for the Boston folk that copies in this store were selling steadily (six so far this a.m.) and they only have a dozen copies on shelf and one more box out back - so advice is to pick up when you can.
Karen Jacobs
184. KJacobs
RMRM@181: :( Was hoping to get a chance to meet you! I'll check this thread on Sunday before heading in town to the signing, just in case anyone from this area posts that they'll be going.

Pre-ordered my copy from Barnes & Noble, so I'm anxiously watching the clock for my lunch break so I can shoot to Braintree to get it into my greedy little hands!

A funny aside: My husband is not a big reader, and really can't fathom how engrossed I can get in any book, let alone WOT, so when I found out about the re-read, I expected to be going alone or with one of my girlfriends. It was only when I started talking about the different posters from this re-read that I might be able to meet there, and he found out that I appear to be the only female out of the group, that he suddenly decided he would go with me after all. Too funny! :)
189. ONEwithPOWER
T he
W aiting
I s
T o
C ease
H enceforth
Kat Blom
190. pro_star
squee!!! it is mine!!!!

Funny fact: ran into a fellow WoTer at the bookstore....told him to come here :)

Share the love everyone!!!!!! can't wait til I get home!
Ron Garrison
191. Man-0-Manetheran
It's on my desk, Compelling me................................. ! ! !
Tricia Irish
193. Tektonica
It's Here! It's HUGE! The day is complete!
Roger Powell
194. forkroot
Twitching here at my desk (at the customer site), waiting for noon so I can run off, get the book, and read at least a couple of chapters.
Rob Munnelly
195. RobMRobM
@194 - yeah, chapter 3 is awesome! Nyah, nyah!
196. joe heron
up to page 129.. im still deciding whether i should buy it or not. that cover is just so ....horrendous, on the other hand 30% off + author signature.

comment on chap 3: i thought she would be more awesome, instead i wanted to smack her. he was awesome though, even apologised!
Rob Munnelly
197. RobMRobM
Joe - no spoilers, please. We want to torture forkroot with withheld info, not disclose anything.
198. joe heron
sorry, i was responding to 195. and i thought my post was vague enough to not spoil anything.

mod, please delete my post on 196. and i apologise for anyone reading/read it and thought it was spoilerish.
199. ONEwithPOWER
Well it is rather spoilerish for anyone who has read "apples first", and I'm pretty upset...
But that really has nothing to do with your post, I'm still waiting!!!

It's 3:30, and.. nothing!!

::twitch:: ::twitch:: ::twitch:: ::twitch:: ::twitch::
200. BenM
Hi all,

On my honeymoon. Won't be reading the new book anytime soon. I'll be way behind you all. Enjoy, and seeya.

Thomas Keith
201. insectoid
About halfway through The Book. Pretty good so far.

Drat you BenM :)

Karen Fox
202. thepupxpert
Oh I SO wanted to get out at lunch to get the book but I'm just too important here at work for them to let me go and I couldn't sneak out. I'll stop by on the way home, I hope they don't run out! Hopefully everyone is fitting the time in to vote in between chapters! Cheers everyone!
203. aerynne
@thewindrose: The light side would probably have come out with a couple more Forsaken dead instead of singed if they hadn't let a Black sister lead the circle controlling Callandor.

No book yet for me; I have to wait for the library to come up with it for me. Agh.
Roger Powell
204. forkroot
RobM ::waves::
It's worse now ... I only had time to run out and buy the book and then read Chap 2 (which I'd heard on audio). Looked at my watch and realized that there's no way I could start Chap 3.

So....... here I am (book is out of temptation's reach until the end of the day) ... and I've got all this critical stuff to do. (Although not so urgent that I couldn't sneak in this little pain cry to my friends!)

Can't wait for the end of the work day!
Jay Dauro
205. J.Dauro
I'm in Atlanta for a training class. My book is at home in Huntsville (signed by Brandon.) I was going to pull the audiobook from Audible first thing this morning, but they didn't have it up. Finally got it at noon.

But couldn't start listening until after class. On my way now. Yes!!
Sandy Brewer
206. ShaggyBella
Finally got TOM downloaded from Audible and onto my cell phone. Now I just have to run next door to vote and then......twitchin' will be over!!!!!
Roger Powell
207. forkroot
ShaggyBella - Nice pic, BTW

10 more minutes and I'm outa here ... not that I'm clock watching or anything like that :-)
208. Chris Krycho
I got it today. I was sick, and so I read it today.

It's awesome.
209. Greenish-Yellow Ajah
Got it at lunch today! Looked at the first page or two while in line, but trying to be good and not start devouring it until I finish my re-read of tGS. (Also, since it looks like I'll have to hand it off to one person or another to get it signed this weekend, I don't want to start reading it and then not have it in hand for a few days.)
Kimani Rogers
210. KiManiak
What's the perfect reward for a horrendous day at work with last-minute nightmare assignments and crises that you didn't create but are now responsible for solving before you leave? Knowing that you can crack open TOM and become immersed in the WOT universe when you get home. :) All is now right with the world.

BTW, I totally get (and respect) those that read/heard the early-release prologue/chapters; but, for me, being able to let the anticipation build and now being able to read the entire book from cover to cover... welll, I had a huge grin on my face from the moment I left the book store until I walked through the front door of my apartment.

Enjoy the book, everyone! Looking forward to checking back in with the comments here and in Leigh's spoilerrific review when I'm done.

::shaking with excitement::
211. BenM

LOL, I didn't understand why you said that at first. I'm the one who isn't reading TOM. Why me? But I got it. 200 FTW! Anyway, sorry, man. :)

Thomas Keith
212. insectoid
BenM @211: No hard feelings. I wasn't really trying for it anyway. ;)

Douglas Miller
213. douglas
didymos @ 128

Uh, when did that happen? All I recall being said is they are the strongest ever known, not the strongest that ever could be known.

I think it's in the Big White Book (of Bad Art), aka The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time. That, or a Forsaken viewpoint, probably Lanfear's.

J.Dauro @ 134

So you think that Latra and her group built a sa'angreal that could only be properly used by their chief rival on the Light side? Who is the leader of the group saying this should not be built. Interesting.

They were working at theoretical limits, far beyond anything that had ever been done before, and I recall a Forsaken viewpoint or two stating that no one managed to ever even test the Choedan Kal between their completion and the loss of the access keys. I do not think limiting it to Rand/Lanfear strength was at all intentional, and even as is it's only a limit for prolonged channeling, such as what happened in the Cleansing.

It is a known fact that particularly strong sa'angreal can require a minimum strength to use without damaging yourself, potentially to the point of burning out or dying. It makes sense that it would be a soft threshold rather than a hard cutoff, and that would make studying the border zone of exactly where the line(s) lie difficult and potentially hazardous. For the rare occasions when channeling sa'angreal level power for extended durations was required, I imagine it was always done by a channeler substantially stronger than the sa'angreal's minimum. The issue of exactly where the extended use requirement is in relation to the short term use requirement probably actually mattered so rarely, and would require so much resources (not to mention major risk by Aes Sedai) to investigate, that no one bothered trying to study it that closely.

CireNaes @ 142

Alivia would have served just as well in a linked scenario since she is comparable in strength to Cynfear. Two other lightsiders who were not accesible at the time are also stronger than Nyneave (or will be soon), but are likely more around Semi's or Graendal's strength. This could have been enough to push the key that long.

Strong? Yes. Upper Forsaken level strength? Yes. Fully matching Lanfear? I doubt that very much. Oh, and the Alivia vs Cyndane match at the Cleansing doesn't really tell us anything about that because Alivia's strength there is boosted by an angreal.
Alice Arneson
214. Wetlandernw
By the way.... for those who have been complaining about the cover art for ToM, when you read the depicted scene in the book, there are only two, relatively minor, discrepancies. Otherwise, it's right on the money. And for the record... Brandon likes it. On the other hand, he's seen the artwork for AMoL, and he loves it.
215. OldWoman
Well, I couldn't stand it. I bought the Audio version and joined Audible. Now I will have 3 versions counting the book and the ebook I will also buy. Now my time will be filled. (Not counting work of course)
j p
216. sps49
Just got home with my signed books. Couldn't think of any good questions that haven't been RAFO'ed, but I was half asleep. A cute girl in a yellow shirt got a pic with Brandon while I was up there.

Arrived just after 8, was number 281, read to page 287 while waiting, left just after midnight, and my book's sig is number 829. What numbering system is that? Either a LOT of books were signed in Provo, or... I dunno.

Wetlandernw @214- I never had a problem with what DKS depicts. The faces, proportions, limb arrangement and perspectives are what jar me- ever since he did Heinlein's Between Planets (Sir Isacc can duplicate speech with a twelve key vocoder!).
Eric Hughes
217. CireNaes

And Cynfear was so vain that she (likely) ran around with a lower level angreal before she was regurgitated so that everyone thought she had even more natural strength than she really did. Granted that even without her old outfit she is still at the top, but I think Alivia is as strong or near enough that it is a mater of semantics (and yes, I keenly recall Alivia's goodies, which allowed her to survive the enc0unter and drive Cynfear off despite the disparity of skill between the two). If I were to look for an in text comparison I would liken it to Rand and Ishydin or even Demandred. Yeah, Rand is a little stronger, but not nearly enough to run roughshod all over them. Just enough to push Demandred over the top and seek out a new employer.
218. Ouroboros
The audiobook is hear! 38hrs! Yikes! See you on the other side.
Douglas Miller
219. douglas

The Lanfear-angreal theory was, as I recall, invented specifically to explain why Cyndane is weaker than Lanfear. (very minor ToM spoiler removed)

I'll grant that Alivia is strong enough that I think the Choedan Kal probably would not have been outright destroyed if she'd been the one linked with Rand, but I think there still would have been some risk of significant damage.

Given that sa'angreal have minimum channeler strength requirements for optimal use, it just makes a lot of sense to me that the theoretical strongest possible sa'angreal's requirement would be the theoretical strongest possible channeler. And again, this is a soft limit, so channelers weaker than that could still use it, but the greater the difference between the limit and the weaker channeler's actual strength the greater the risk and potential magnitude of damage and the less channeling required to reveal the risk. Nynaeve using it for the cleansing resulted in its destruction. Alivia probably would have left it intact but damaged somehow. Lanfear pre-'Finns would have used it perfectly with no damage, the same way Rand used the male one. Any of them could use it for short periods with no damage.
Roger Powell
220. forkroot
Spoilers are unappreciated here. Please remove or edit your post.

Speaking just for me, I'm only 1/3 of the way through ToM and you've certainly mentioned things I have yet to read about.

EDIT: And a quick edit now from me to thank you for your promptness on editing out the spoiler.
Roger Powell
221. forkroot
It's not clear at all who would have had a skills advantage between Alivia and CynFear. Ironically, Alivia is actually older in waking years and has very likely been involved in more One Power batttles. She's self-described as pretty much the best (at least by the standards of Seanchan damane).

OTOH, CynFear was Mieren who was certainly one of the most knowledgeable people about the uses of the power in the AOL. So although she probably has fought fewer times than Alivia, she would have all of the (presumably) lost AOL knowledge.

Conclusion: It's too close to call IMO
Karen Jacobs
222. KJacobs
Forkroot@ 220: I agree! I tend to get through the text a bit slower than many others because I simply don't have a big chunk of time I can devote exclusively to reading, so when people hint at things like that, it takes some of the thrill away. Thanks for speaking up!
Douglas Miller
223. douglas
A single "X extremely specific theory about a minor point is now debunked" is too much of a spoiler?


Fine, I'll edit it.
224. Greenish-Yellow Ajah
Plans have now changed, and it looks like I'll be at the Baltimore signing after all. Anyone else going that's still reading this thread?
225. Wortmauer
douglas@219, 223: I didn't see your original post 219, only the edited version, but given that you apparently repeated it in post 223, why even bother to edit it out of 219?

Perhaps the original post 219 gave away even more information than 219 and 223 do now?
Eric Hughes
226. CireNaes

Alivia's wound says otherwise. She would have lost if not for her trinkets.
227. vrf3
I would just like to thank you VERY much Leigh for this re-read. I only started reading it a couple of days ago and have just finished. You see I usually actually re-read the entire series (from TEOTW) a few weeks before the new book arrives but for ToM it seemed that it was suddenly there and I had just read TGS! So when I saw the link for this at Dragonmount I looked at it out of curiousity and I loved it! I thought this was just going to be a synopsis of each book but it was more, much much more! My problem is that you now have made me want to re-read the books again! Which I was trying to avoid by reading this! Anyway ToM doesn't come here in Singapore until next week or so, so I still have time to skim the books again this time with your "insights" in my mind. And since I am now current with your re-read I have it to look forward to for the next few months while waiting for aMoL. Again, thank you very much.
Gregg Sivyer
228. Destroyer
I'll add my thanks to everyone keeping the re-read spoiler-free.

I am DYING to read ToM which hasn't arrived yet, but that's okay because I still have tGS to go on my re-read (I only got the small paperback recently).

So... the cleansing. Good stuff indeed and it's amazing what a difference it makes reading these books in the knowledge of what comes later.

Also, I have no doubt whatsoever that Rand and Nynaeve were saved by the Anti-Forsaken Defence Grid.
Roger Powell
229. forkroot

Alivia's wound says otherwise. She would have lost if not for her trinkets.

There's no way to know, since we don't get a POV or health update on Cyndane afterwards. For all we know, she might have been substantially more damaged than Alivia. All we know for certain is that Alivia (with the ter'angreal) was able to force Cyndane to retreat, but did not kill her. Mind you, this was probably a fairly decisive win for Alivia because the Cyndane POV we get shows that she was insanely enraged -- so it's unlikely that she beat a Moghedien-style retreat. She would have had to have taken enough damage so that she was forced to run for her life.
Assertions about how it would have gone otherwise (i.e. without the ter'angreal) can only be speculation. Of course it's fun to speculate, and I'm not saying I disagree with your conclusion. I'm just pointing out that we really don't know enough to draw a conclusion on how other variations might have played out.
230. jerry2
Would someone tell me what FTW means? Most of the abbreviations I can puzzle out from context. However, this one has me stumped.

231. joe heron
For The Win.
Roger Powell
232. forkroot
Hello to friends that are done and hanging out at the Spoiler Thread (just in case you're checking back here.)

I'm about 2/3 of the way through ToM now. Ironically, it's taking me longer to make it through ToM than it did for TGS. That's because the last time I was deployed at a remote customer. I spent every waking minute (that I wasn't at the customer site) reading the book. I'd sit there at the hotel restaurant, reading while eating dinner, etc.

This time, I'm deployed at customer in my home town. So I go home to a wife who would like a little help with dinner (she has a job too) and some intelligent conversation (and no, she doesn't want to hear about WoT.) Thus it's not until dinner is done, the dishes cleaned up, and various chores attended to that I get to dive back into the book.

Curiously, this is making me appreciate the book even more. Every night, as I reluctantly put the book down (after yet another MOA scene), I go to sleep thinking about the story. You might say I'm "savoring" it more than I did TGS.
Karen Jacobs
233. KJacobs
Hi forkroot! I too am not making it through this time as quickly as last, although I'm determined to be finished before the signing on Sunday just so I don't accidently catch any spoilers while waiting in line. It is killing me not to check in on the other threads, but I'm detemined not to peak! :)

Question for anyone out there that has been to a signing before: How early should I plan on getting there? I have no idea what to expect in terms of lines, etc... Thanks!
Karen Fox
234. thepupxpert
Me too! I'm twitching here at work because I can't hang out at the spoiler thread - I promised myself I wouldn't look until I'm done. I picked up the book on Tuesday and will be about 1/2 way through by tonight. I'm getting about 2 hours a night reading into it after dinner, kid's homework, feeding animals, cleaning dishes, etc. etc. etc. I think I'm going a little too quickly through it cause I'm not savoring the MOA's as much as I'd like but I really want to get through it and then go back and read at my leisure and participate on the spoiler thread, that can't come soon enough for me. Glad to see this thread is still plugging along!
Sandy Brewer
235. ShaggyBella
I have been trying to listen to my new book, but sooo many interruptions! My family is needy, I think as are dogs, cats, work, phones and chores. At least you guys have been quiet.
Alice Arneson
236. Wetlandernw
Hey, folks! Greetings and salutations and all that. Quiet on the spoiler thread tonight, so I thought I'd check in here. FWIW, it's just passed 500 comments over there. Oddly enough, there are a lot less of those obnoxious know-it-all noobs this time. A few who jump in with an odd theory and proceed to behave as though it's the most important topic of discussion around, but not too bad. Interesting mix of nay-sayers, as usual, but that's not too bad either. Anyway... hang in there and savor the read. You're not really missing all that much in the discussion, and it's definitely worth savoring.
Karen Jacobs
237. KJacobs
Awesome time at the signing last night! Can't wait to finish my last 100 pages and check out the spoiler thread!

Also - for all you regulars out there that happen to check in..... Today is RobMRobM's bday - Happy Birthday Rob!
238. RoyanRannedos
Also, someone on the newsgroup back in the day observed how Osan’gar was totally skulking in the woods Mr. Burns-style in this chapter, all dry-washing his hands and going Ehhhxcellent right before the last person you’d think of kills him, and I have never been able to get rid of this image since.

When I read this book out loud to my wife, I read Dashiva using my best Mr. Burns imitation. It totally works.
Eric Hughes
239. CireNaes
Got ToM yesterday. Recently finished it. I'm glad I didn't visit the spoiler review thread until then. Keep holding out if you are. It's worth it.
240. birgit
To those who have trouble getting ToM in Europe: I asked in a German bookshop and they said it is not available and will take at least 6 weeks. When I asked in a different bookshop, they said the edition with the black snake and wheel cover is not available at the moment, but the one with the Sweet cover I can pick up tomorrow noon. If your bookshop says the book is not available make sure they check for different editions.
241. birgit
WoT reread posting statistics up to the end of WH

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
1: subwoofer;1637;247701;151.0
2: Wetlandernw;1355;323313;238.0
3: Freelancer;1176;276211;234.0
4: RobMRobM;1117;124435;111.0
5: alreadymad... (all);999;120267;120.0
6: Tektonica;889;134471;151.0
7: thewindrose;818;107795;131.0
8: jamesedjones;768;61134;79.0
9: toryx;678;128901;190.0
10: R.Fife;605;82532;136.0
11: insectoid;596;63203;106.0
12: blindillusion;572;90623;158.0
13: forkroot;558;80454;144.0
14: Man-0-Manetheran;548;54167;98.0
15: Randalator;491;90886;185.0
16: MasterAlThor;476;61146;128.0
17: Isilel;453;148870;328.0
18: Samadai;452;31012;68.0
19: misfortuona;412;44143;107.0
20: HArai;405;53375;131.0
21: Lannis;405;59311;146.0
22: Fiddler;339;45958;135.0
23: birgit;333;54135;162.0
24: J.Dauro;330;43664;132.0
25: gagecreedlives;311;35455;114.0
26: sps49;305;26138;85.0
27: UncrownedKing;304;25998;85.0
28: Lsana;302;62505;206.0
29: Shimrod;291;34888;119.0
30: tonka;278;36976;133.0
31: sinfulcashew;268;26563;99.0
32: SteelBlaidd;258;64412;249.0
33: Jonathan Levy;233;65908;282.0
34: ValMar;224;22554;100.0
35: Wolfmage;202;72770;360.0
36: blocksmith;200;27189;135.0
37: GatheringStorm;196;16246;82.0
38: odigity;191;29216;152.0
39: Longtimefan;187;56599;302.0
40: alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed;186;31831;171.0
41: hoping;180;15151;84.0
42: JennB;179;20453;114.0
43: Amalisa;177;49163;277.0
44: leighdb;176;15785;89.0
45: Sonofthunder;166;19104;115.0
46: Sulin;160;12330;77.0
47: Alisonwonderland;159;34008;213.0
48: bchurch;159;16638;104.0
49: Terez27;157;53628;341.0
50: lostinshadow;152;25902;170.0

top 50 posters by number of words
username;words;comments;average words per comment
1: Wetlandernw;323313;1355;238.0
2: Freelancer;276211;1176;234.0
3: subwoofer;247701;1637;151.0
4: Isilel;148870;453;328.0
5: Tektonica;134471;889;151.0
6: toryx;128901;678;190.0
7: RobMRobM;124435;1117;111.0
8: alreadymad... (all);120267;999;120.0
9: thewindrose;107795;818;131.0
10: Randalator;90886;491;185.0
11: blindillusion;90623;572;158.0
12: R.Fife;82532;605;136.0
13: forkroot;80454;558;144.0
14: Wolfmage;72770;202;360.0
15: Jonathan Levy;65908;233;282.0
16: SteelBlaidd;64412;258;249.0
17: insectoid;63203;596;106.0
18: Ouroboros;62874;145;433.0
19: Lsana;62505;302;206.0
20: MasterAlThor;61146;476;128.0
21: jamesedjones;61134;768;79.0
22: Lannis;59311;405;146.0
23: Longtimefan;56599;187;302.0
24: Man-0-Manetheran;54167;548;98.0
25: birgit;54135;333;162.0
26: Terez27;53628;157;341.0
27: HArai;53375;405;131.0
28: Amalisa;49163;177;277.0
29: Fiddler;45958;339;135.0
30: misfortuona;44143;412;107.0
31: J.Dauro;43664;330;132.0
32: tonka;36976;278;133.0
33: gagecreedlives;35455;311;114.0
34: Shimrod;34888;291;119.0
35: Alisonwonderland;34008;159;213.0
36: alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed;31831;186;171.0
37: Samadai;31012;452;68.0
38: drewlovs;30465;128;238.0
39: odigity;29216;191;152.0
40: blocksmith;27189;200;135.0
41: sinfulcashew;26563;268;99.0
42: sps49;26138;305;85.0
43: UncrownedKing;25998;304;85.0
44: lostinshadow;25902;152;170.0
45: Rebecca Starr;24745;101;245.0
46: PeteP;24236;121;200.0
47: aiel1219;23678;146;162.0
48: chaplainchris;23275;61;381.0
49: ValMar;22554;224;100.0
50: Siuanfan;22225;105;211.0

There were 3177 different usernames; 1896 appeared only once (including many alreadymad...).
242. birgit
WoT reread posting statistics WH only

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
1: subwoofer;297;47790;160.0
2: Wetlandernw;255;68807;269.0
3: Freelancer;206;40676;197.0
4: insectoid;195;20945;107.0
5: Tektonica;177;23712;133.0
6: RobMRobM;160;12783;79.0
7: Jonathan Levy;149;43821;294.0
8: thewindrose;127;18600;146.0
9: forkroot;95;14099;148.0
10: ValMar;95;8416;88.0
11: Sonofthunder;88;11203;127.0
12: alreadymad... (all);81;7886;97.0
13: blindillusion;78;8624;110.0
14: Man-0-Manetheran;74;8732;118.0
15: birgit;71;7939;111.0
16: jamesedjones;63;6460;102.0
17: jadelollipop;60;5211;86.0
18: Fiddler;59;5718;96.0
19: Isilel;57;17063;299.0
20: Terez27;53;14285;269.0
21: Randalator;51;8888;174.0
22: sweetlilflower;51;8597;168.0
23: MasterAlThor;48;7750;161.0
24: HArai;47;6885;146.0
25: lostinshadow;46;7122;154.0
26: ShaggyBella;44;6406;145.0
27: aspeo;43;10157;236.0
28: Beren;43;5233;121.0
29: Longtimefan;42;14952;356.0
30: thepupxpert;41;4180;101.0
31: sps49;40;3836;95.0
32: dmhman749;39;11370;291.0
33: AndrewB;39;7314;187.0
34: misfortuona;39;3393;87.0
35: toryx;37;7206;194.0
36: J.Dauro;37;4460;120.0
37: Kythorian;36;6673;185.0
38: blocksmith;35;3919;111.0
39: JennB;35;4287;122.0
40: Silvertip;35;6030;172.0
41: Samadai;34;3098;91.0
42: EarthandIce;33;6910;209.0
43: Alisonwonderland;32;7084;221.0
44: matthew1215;31;9372;302.0
45: Lannis;31;3957;127.0
46: CireNaes;29;2293;79.0
47: Smittyphi;29;2009;69.0
48: Wortmauer;28;8014;286.0
49: Shimrod;27;3346;123.0
50: chaplainchris1;27;8613;319.0

top 50 posters by number of words
username;words;comments;average words per comment
1: Wetlandernw;68807;255;269.0
2: subwoofer;47790;297;160.0
3: Jonathan Levy;43821;149;294.0
4: Freelancer;40676;206;197.0
5: Tektonica;23712;177;133.0
6: insectoid;20945;195;107.0
7: thewindrose;18600;127;146.0
8: Isilel;17063;57;299.0
9: Longtimefan;14952;42;356.0
10: Terez27;14285;53;269.0
11: forkroot;14099;95;148.0
12: RobMRobM;12783;160;79.0
13: dmhman749;11370;39;291.0
14: Sonofthunder;11203;88;127.0
15: aspeo;10157;43;236.0
16: matthew1215;9372;31;302.0
17: Randalator;8888;51;174.0
18: Hrothgordo;8875;25;355.0
19: Man-0-Manetheran;8732;74;118.0
20: blindillusion;8624;78;110.0
21: chaplainchris1;8613;27;319.0
22: sweetlilflower;8597;51;168.0
23: ValMar;8416;95;88.0
24: NerveAgent;8167;15;544.0
25: Wortmauer;8014;28;286.0
26: birgit;7939;71;111.0
27: alreadymad... (all);7886;81;97.0
28: MasterAlThor;7750;48;161.0
29: AndrewB;7314;39;187.0
30: toryx;7206;37;194.0
31: lostinshadow;7122;46;154.0
32: Alisonwonderland;7084;32;221.0
33: EarthandIce;6910;33;209.0
34: HArai;6885;47;146.0
35: Kythorian;6673;36;185.0
36: jamesedjones;6460;63;102.0
37: ShaggyBella;6406;44;145.0
38: Ouroboros;6100;24;254.0
39: Silvertip;6030;35;172.0
40: Fiddler;5718;59;96.0
41: SteelBlaidd;5350;23;232.0
42: Beren;5233;43;121.0
43: jadelollipop;5211;60;86.0
44: Andvari;5050;19;265.0
45: Ishmayl;4482;23;194.0
46: J.Dauro;4460;37;120.0
47: JennB;4287;35;122.0
48: thepupxpert;4180;41;101.0
49: Lannis;3957;31;127.0
50: blocksmith;3919;35;111.0

There were 581 different usernames; 319 appeared only once (including many alreadymad...).
Barry T
244. blindillusion
Sweet! Number 13 on the Post Count. Thanks Birgit.
Thomas Keith
245. insectoid
Birgit @241/242: Great job!! Looks like you and I are on the same page this time.

Except that I just now added one to the total. :)

David Guenther
246. stoonbora
I have to say Leigh that I'm a little disappointed with the lack of commentary on what is to date my least favourite WOT cover ever (although I of course understand, since this was a major section to cover and I'm sure you felt that it was already long enough). I have so many questions about this atrocity of a cover! Why is Perrin walking when there's a perfectly good horse right there? Why is (presumably) Gaul veiled when there's no killing to be done? Where did Berelain get Moiraine's staff? Why is there a hobo standing on a horse? Is that hobo supposed to be Masema? If so, why is he riding with Perrin and Berelain?
Tess Laird
247. thewindrose
stoonbora - Perrin is not riding because Berelain is. I beleive the hobo is supposed to be Elyas Machera. Gaul might be veiled because he is on the cover...

248. tommymac
Bargain Bookstore in N. Ireland are selling HB version of WINTERS HEART for £3.99. Yes, less than 4 pounds sterling. There is a store in Foyleside, Derry and the Castle Court, Belfast. Hope this is of some use to all you WOTers.
249. tommymac
Correction to previous post. The Bargain Bookshop is in the Richmond Centre, Derry.
250. qbe_64
"If a sword had memory, it might be grateful to the forge fire, but never fond of it."
M-Fing HELL, that's an amazing line.

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