Nov 30 2010 2:17pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Crossroads of Twilight, Part 5

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert JordanIiiiiiiii ain’t got nobody, Wheel of Time Re-read! Won’t you take a chance on me? ‘Cause I ain’t so bad.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 2 and 3 of Crossroads of Twilight, in which some people find out Mat’s not just a gigolo, and some don’t. He’s so sad and lonely. Or, rather, he’s sad and extremely annoyed, but that doesn’t go with the song.

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

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 13, Towers of Midnight. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And when the end comes I know that life goes on without me, but until then, have a post!

Chapter 2: Two Captains

What Happens
Valan Luca’s Grand Traveling Show and Magnificent Display of Marvels and Wonders is not doing much business these days. Petra, the show’s strongman, is warily watching two horse-handlers dice along with his wife Clarine, which puzzles Mat until Petra tells him quietly that there are twenty Seanchan soldiers in the camp, talking to Luca. Egeanin demands to know what they want. Noal is ready to make for the horses, but Petra tells Egeanin (respectfully) that he doesn’t think they are here to search. It becomes obvious he’s watching the horse-handlers to keep them from going to the Seanchan to rat “Leilwin” out; Egeanin reminds them that they’ll be handsomely rewarded if they keep silent, and dead if they talk.

Mat ground his teeth. For one thing, that was his gold she was promising with such a free hand. She had her own, but not near enough for this. More importantly, she was trying to take charge again. Light, except for him, she would still be in Ebou Dar scheming to avoid the Seekers, if not already being put to the question. Except for him, she would never have thought of staying close to Ebou Dar to throw off pursuit, or found a hiding place with Luca’s show.

Mat is worried, but not overly so; there’s no dice in his head, though he tries not to think of how many times he’s almost been killed without them warning him first. He tells the others there’s nothing to worry about. Everyone but Petra seems surprised he said anything, and Mat tries not to grit his teeth, telling Egeanin and Noal to go find Olver while he goes to see Luca. He heads off, but Egeanin catches up to him and puts her arm around his waist, continuing their “lovers” charade. He demands to know what she’s doing; what if the Seanchan officer recognizes her? Egeanin scoffs at the odds that they would know each other, and Mat growls at her to least not glare at anyone. He sees Aludra on the way, and thinks of her promise to tell him the secret of fireworks if he solved a riddle; so far he hasn’t had much luck. Near Luca’s wagon (which Mat thinks “would make a Tinker blush”), Mat is unsurprised to see Bayle Domon and Blaeric (one of Joline’s Warders) casually hanging around, keeping an eye on the soldiers waiting outside the wagon. The Seanchan officer and Luca soon emerge, and Luca watches the company go with a fake smile. Egeanin keeps her eyes down until they leave, and casually mentions that she did know the Seanchan officer after all; she’d had to “put him straight” on her ship once.

“Blood and bloody ashes,” Mat breathed. How many other people had she gotten crosswise, fixing her face in their minds? Egeanin being Egeanin, probably hundreds. And he had been letting her walk around with just a wig and a change of clothes for disguise! Hundreds? Thousands, more likely. She could irritate a brick.

Mat, Egeanin, Domon, and Blaeric all converge on Luca to find out what the soldiers wanted, which turns out to be horses; Luca’s warrant from Suroth prevented the officer from taking any, but Luca is not sure how much longer that will work, considering how desperate the Seanchan are for mounts. He rants at Mat for keeping him here, even though he’d needed almost no persuasion at all to stay, and Mat tells him soothingly that they’ll leave as soon as Thom gets back from the city. Luca is delighted, but Egeanin shoves Mat and says furiously that she gave orders no one was to leave. Luca bows to her with a flourish, but tells her regretfully that Mat has the gold, not her; Mat thinks to himself that for enough gold Luca would agree to “help kidnap the Dark One.” Egeanin is set to berate Luca some more, but he runs off shouting for everyone to prepare to move out. Mat heads off, and Egeanin and Domon catch him up; Blaeric is gone, no doubt to report to the Aes Sedai, and Mat is glad it saves him the necessity of visiting the wagon he’d forced the sisters to share with the sul’dam.

“Two captains on one ship make sure course for disaster,” Egeanin drawled with overdone patience. Her understanding smile looked as if it hurt her face.

“We aren’t on a ship,” Mat replied.

“The principle’s the same, Cauthon! You are a farmer. I know you’re a good man in a tight spot.” Egeanin shot a dark look over her shoulder at Domon. He was the one who had brought her and Mat together, back when she thought she was getting a hired man. “But this situation needs judgment and experience. We’re in dangerous waters, and you have no knowledge of command.”

“More than you might think,” he told her dryly. He could have spun out a list of the battles he remembered commanding, but only an historian would recognize most of them, and maybe not even an historian. No one would believe it, anyway. He certainly would not if someone else had made that claim.

They reach the wagon where Juilin is playing Snakes and Foxes with Olver at the same time as an out-of-breath Noal, and Mat frowns and wonders why he hadn’t come directly here like he was told. He tells them (and Thera) that the Seanchan were only interested in horses. Egeanin marches up (Thera hides) and orders Juilin to pack up. Juilin glares at her; she considers him a thief for taking Thera, which he finds greatly insulting. Olver wants to know if he can ride Wind, but Mat tells him not yet, and asks Juilin to let the others know; only then does Juilin get up. Noal dashes off before Mat can ask him where he’d been, and the entire camp is beginning to stir.

It was going to take some time yet before the show was ready to travel, but that was not what made Mat groan. He had just heard those bloody dice start rattling in his head again.

I’m trying to be fair to Egeanin here (though I’m not sure why beyond the sheer mental exercise of it), and I suppose, looking at Mat from her own uninformed perspective, it makes sense that she should assume a recently-ennobled ship captain such as herself is a better choice for a leader than a farmboy-turned-gigolo who just half-married himself to the heir to the empire in the process of kidnapping her, and wow that sounds even worse than I thought it would before I typed it out. And that’s leaving out the part about being the root cause of a massive jailbreak (or, from a more nauseating viewpoint, attempted robbery), which caused hundreds or maybe thousands of deaths. Although actually I’m not 100% certain Egeanin knows Mat was responsible for that part specifically, though it’s not like it takes rocket science to figure out that he was.

So okay, fine, Mat’s not exactly coming off as the world’s safest bet here, no pun intended. And she’s also totally right that you can’t have two people fighting over mission command without everything going to shit sooner or later, regardless of either party’s relative fitness for that command. There really is a reason for the rigidity of hierarchy in the military, after all. (I think the standard wisdom is that the absolutism of military rank is a terrible idea, except for how all the alternatives are worse. Or is that democracy?)

So, yeah, all of that. Doesn’t matter, though, I still want to punch her.

One thing that never fails to irritate me is when a character I like is not treated with the respect I think they deserve. This means I’ve spent a lot of time in this series being irritated (and that may deserve a nomination for Understatement of the Decade, really), but some instances are worse than others. I think Mat’s predicament here bothers me more than most because, as Mat himself points out, he literally has no way of proving his (otherwise stellar) leadership credentials in a way that anyone would believe. Not at this juncture, at least. And that has got to just epically suck.

Luca: You’ve got to kind of admire a man who makes a virtue of his flaws. Yes, he’s flaky as hell and his morals are totally for sale, but to all appearances, once he’s bought, he stays bought. There’s a certain perverse honor to that. Also, I left it out of the summary but I think it’s hilarious that Mat is still mentally carping about the man’s wardrobe.

Noal: I’m really not sure what if anything is up with Noal sneaking off for a bit here, but I’m assuming it’s something, because otherwise why have Mat comment on it? Law of Conservation of Detail theoretically should still apply, after all, though that might be something of an unreasonable expectation in this particular installment of the series. Either way, whatever Noal’s deal might (or might not) be is totally escaping me at the moment; I may have mentioned COT is pretty much a blur in my mind. I… can’t really say I’m exactly waiting with bated breath over finding out, though.


Chapter 3: A Fan of Colors

What Happens
Mat can’t decide whether to curse or weep about the dice starting up again and what that might portend. Olver asks if he’s all right, and Mat realizes he’s been staring off into space. He reassures Olver that they’ll be fine as long as they keep their wits about them, and sends him off to help Thera. Egeanin then steps up to him and hisses that they will have this out; she will not have him “wrecking their journey” by countermanding her orders. Mat tells her bluntly that he was never her hired hand, and announces he’s going to see Tuon. Egeanin goes pale and insists he can’t call her that; Mat grins and invites her along, and Egeanin stiffens and heads off. Domon pauses before following and comments that Tuon may be tougher than Mat suspects.

“Do you believe you could be so calm if you did be carried off in the night? Whatever you be playing at, with that wild talk of her being your wife, have a care or she may shave your head at the shoulders.”

“I was just cutting the fool,” Mat muttered. “How many times do I have to say it? I was unnerved for a minute.” Oh, he had been that. Learning who Tuon was, while he was wrestling with her, would have unnerved a bloody Trolloc.

Domon advises he stop doing that before he gets them all killed, and leaves. Mat tries to convince himself that Tuon couldn’t possibly be all that tough, but remembers how she had almost broken his nose during the kidnapping. He wanders around the camp for a while, trying to pretend Tuon’s inexplicable calm at her situation does not alarm him, and trying to imagine how a marriage between them could possibly come about. Finally he winds up at the wagon where Tuon and Selucia are being held, with Setalle Anan as a guard. Outside the wagon, two of his Redarms (Harnan and Metwyn) report that all has been quiet, seeming rather unnerved by the lack of a fuss themselves. Mat goes inside.

Tuon was tiny, not just short but almost slim as a boy, and a loose-fitting dress of brown wool, bought from one of the show-folk, made her seem a child wearing her older sister’s clothes. Not at all the sort of woman he enjoyed, especially with only a few days’ growth of black stubble covering her scalp. If you ignored that, she was pretty, though, in a reserved way, with her heart-shaped face and full lips, her eyes large dark liquid pools of serenity. That utter calmness almost unnerved him. Not even an Aes Sedai would be serene in her circumstances. The bloody dice in his head did not help matters.

Then he barely manages to duck as she throws a cup at his head in retaliation for making her cover story that she is a servant, and a thieving one at that. Selucia stops her from throwing the chamber pot, and an amused Setalle hands her another cup to use instead, ignoring Mat’s glare. Tuon tells “Toy” she will not be known as a servant. Mat protests that that’s not his name, and that he could hardly tell the showfolk he’d kidnapped the Daughter of the Nine Moons, and it’s too late to change the story now. He tells her that he couldn’t leave her behind to raise the alarm, but he promises her that no harm will come to her, and as soon as he can figure out how to get her home safely he will. She replies evenly that she will see what his promises are worth, and asks where his ring is. Mat thinks it odd that she asked about it, but replies that he doesn’t always wear it. The women won’t let him sit, so he lounges against a cabinet and grins at their disapproval. Then Tuon asks him if he remembers Hawkwing’s face.

Mat’s smile felt frozen. Light, what did she know? How could she know anything? He lay beneath the burning sun, holding his side with both hands, trying to keep the last of life from leaking out and wondering whether there was any reason to hold on. Aideshar was finished, after this day’s work. A shadow blotted the sun for an instant, and then a tall man in armor crouched beside him, helmet tucked under his arm, dark deep-set eyes framing a hooked nose. “You fought well against me today, Culain, and many days past,” that memorable voice said. “Will you live with me in peace?” With his last breath, he laughed in Artur Hawkwing’s face. He hated to remember dying. A dozen other encounters skittered through his mind, too, ancient memories that were his, now. Artur Paendrag had been a difficult man to get along with even before the wars started.

Drawing a deep breath, he took care choosing his words. This was no time to go spouting the Old Tongue. “Of course I don’t!” he lied. A man who could not lie convincingly got short shrift from women. “Light, Hawkwing died a thousand years ago! What kind of question is that?”

Her mouth opened slowly, and for a moment he was sure she meant to answer question with question. “A foolish one, Toy,” she replied finally, instead. “I can’t say why it popped into my head.”

Tuon goes on that she hasn’t decided what to do yet when she returns to Ebou Dar; perhaps she will make him da’covale, but for now, in return for his promises she makes her own: she will not escape or betray him, nor cause dissension among his followers, as long as he keeps his own promises. Everyone including Selucia is astounded; after a moment Mat accepts by spitting on his palm and holding it out to shake.

“Your customs are… earthy,” Tuon said in a dry voice, but she spat on her own palm and clasped his hand. “‘Thus is our treaty written; thus is agreement made.’ What does that writing on your spear mean, Toy?”

He did whimper this time, and not because she had read the Old Tongue inscription on his ashandarei. A bloody stone would have whimpered. The dice had stopped as soon as he touched her hand. Light, what had happened?

He thinks that makes three times the dice had stopped when Tuon was involved in some way. Someone knocks on the door, and Mat is so on edge he spins with two knives in his hand without thinking, before the visitor proves to be Thom. Mat notes Selucia’s considerable interest in his move, and thinks he wouldn’t have pegged her to be into dangerous men. Thom reports that judging from the gossip in the town, Egeanin’s assertion that Tuon’s disappearance was being kept under wraps is true; Tuon is incredulous that Mat would think Suroth would allow such an ill omen to be made public, even if Suroth doesn’t take her own life in shame. Then Thom tells him that Tylin is dead. Stunned, Mat demands to know how, and Thom tells him she was found still tied up, with her head torn off. Mat sits down on the floor abruptly. Thom says they are officially blaming her death on Aes Sedai, even though Mat knows that makes no sense. Tuon asks cautiously if he cared for Tylin so much.

Yes. No. Burn me, I liked her!” Turning away, he scrubbed fingers through his hair, pushing the cap off. He had never been so glad to get away from a woman in his life, but this…! “And I left her tied up and gagged so she couldn’t even call for help, easy prey for the gholam,” he said bitterly. “It was looking for me. Don’t shake your head. Thom. You know it as well as I do.”

Tuon asks what a gholam is, but clearly does not believe Thom’s explanation, and tells Mat sharply that he does Tylin’s death no honor by succumbing to “superstition.” They are interrupted by Blaeric, who tells Mat Joline wants to see him, and won’t take no for an answer. Tuon demands to know who Joline is, sounding almost jealous; Mat tells her (to her shock) that Joline is “a bloody Aes Sedai,” and leaves. He follows Blaeric to the Aes Sedai’s wagon; Blaeric warns him that the situation with the sul’dam is untenable and something will have to be done. Mat grumbles and goes inside, where the tension between Joline, Edesina, and Teslyn on one side, and Renna, Seta, and Bethamin on the other is thick enough to cut. Joline is ignoring the sul’dam, but the other two sisters are not nearly so sanguine. Mat tells Joline this had better be important, and tells them about Tylin. Joline tells him he needs to stop Luca from heading north to Lugard, and instead ferry across the harbor to Illian. Teslyn immediately begins fighting with her about this, saying it is too risky; Joline mocks her for accepting a greater danger “to avoid a lesser,” which almost gives Teslyn apoplexy. Renna (who is the one who mentioned cutting off damane’s hands and feet to Mat) drops a book on the floor to interrupt them, and tells Mat that they still have their a’dam, and offers to teach “these girls” to behave; Bethamin says they can do it without, suggesting (to Renna and Seta’s shock) that she thinks they are “done” with a’dam.

Joline was staring at the three sul’dam in outraged disbelief, but Edesina was sitting up straight, gripping her belt knife with a determined expression, while Teslyn was now the one shrinking back against the wall, her hands clasped tightly at her waist.

Eyeing Edesina, Mat tells the sul’dam that that won’t be necessary, and asks Joline what she means by “greater danger.” Sulkily, Joline tells him that someone is channeling. Alarmed, Mat thinks she means in the camp, but she corrects to say that it is far away, to the north, and Edesina explains that it is much further than any of them should be able to sense it, which means there is more being channeled there than all the Aes Sedai in the Tower could do put together. Joline says it must be the Forsaken, and they do not want to go toward that. Mat pauses, and then tells them they’re sticking with the original plan.

Whenever he thought of Rand or Perrin, colors swirled in his head. A part of being ta’veren, he supposed. This time, he had not thought of either of his friends, but the colors had suddenly been there, a fan of a thousand rainbows. This time, they had almost formed an image, a vague impression that might have been a man and a woman seated on the ground facing one another. It was gone in an instant, but he knew as surely as he knew his name. Not the Forsaken. Rand. And he could not help wondering, what had Rand been doing when the dice stopped?

Ta’veren Telepathy in Technicolor™: coming into focus! Whoo!

So, poll: did Mat’s dice stop because of his bargain with Tuon, or because the Cleansing had just begun?

I’m leaning toward Tuon, myself; the timing is a little too perfect otherwise, and while the Cleansing is obviously a very big deal, it is only indirectly of concern to Mat himself, and it seems like the dice thing is virtually always connected to events that happen to Mat personally. But hey, whatever. Maybe it’s both.

Otherwise, really good scene with Tuon and Mat, probably one of the better ones in the book. The obvious corollary to my dislike of favorite characters being unfairly disrespected is my deep love of scenes where those characters reveal (inadvertently or otherwise) their inner awesomeness (or at least importance) to others. And of course it’s hilarious that Mat is totally unintentionally just blundering into fulfilling all of the criteria of Tuon’s prophecy from Lidya—the exact wording of which we find out in KOD (I think) but the general gist of which is pretty clear just from the questions Tuon’s asking Mat here.

Also, I never noticed it before, but the name of the man in Mat’s memory of Hawkwing is none other than Culain, who as you may recall has an inn named after him in Caemlyn: Culain’s Hound, where Alanna bonded Rand against his will in LOC. I don’t have a point here, I just think it’s neat.

I think my favorite bit, though, even more than the Hawkwing thing, is Selucia sitting up and taking notice of Mat’s badassery re: knifework. Maybe not just a jumped-up farmboy after all, eh?

It’s a little hard to tell, what with the pottery hurling and the “Toy”ing and talk of da’covale and all, but anyone with a decent grasp of Seanchan hierarchical etiquette and Tuon’s place in it (i.e. one rung from the top) should recognize that she is actually giving Mat an astounding amount of social leeway, by her lights. I have to wonder how much their interaction would have differed if she hadn’t had that foretelling first—on Selucia’s part as well, since it’s obvious that Tuon told her about Lidya’s fortune. I’m guessing it would have been a hell of a lot less pleasant, all things considered—very possibly ending with Mat dead before they ever got out of the Palace. So here’s to prophecy unscrewing something for once, eh?

Tylin: Man. She inspired deep rage in me, I’ll be the first to point out, but nobody deserves to die like that. I was going to say “at least it was quick,” but based on some of the stories I’ve heard about guillotines and such I’m not actually sure that’s true. Either way, not even close to being in the top ten ways I would prefer to shuffle off to Buffalo this mortal coil. Yeesh.

Although, biased little reader that I am, I still felt more badly about how it made Mat feel than about the murder itself. I freely confess that the first thing that leapt to my mind when I first read this chapter was “Man, she even managed to make her death fuck with Mat’s head,” because jeez. And, well, if that makes me a terrible person I guess we’re all just going to have to live with it.

So, bye, Tylin; that totally sucked and you didn’t deserve it, but I’m really glad you’re not around to do any more damage to my boy’s psyche. Sorry.

Of course, there are plenty of other people lining up for the job description of “make Mat’s life interesting, in the Chinese curse sense” in the wake of Tylin’s demise. Yay, not. The top candidates for which being, naturally, the Aes Sedai and sul’dam. Why on earth Mat ever thought sticking them all together in one small enclosed space was a good idea, I’ll never know; you’d probably get less drama sticking a skunk in a hornet’s nest and then setting the whole thing on fire. It would probably also be less irritating. And have less potential for collateral damage.

First there’s Joline irritating the crap out of me with her sulky whiny self totally not getting (or caring) about Teslyn and Edesina’s trauma, and then there’s goddamn Renna, who needs to be bitchslapped into next week just on general principle. Bethamin at least seems to acknowledge the raging hypocrisy Renna’s waving around like it’s going out of style, but she loses points for not seeming to realize there may be a few logistical difficulties involved in beating up three women who can hang her out to dry without moving a finger.

Well, Joline could, anyway. And Edesina, maybe. Probably. Teslyn, sadly, would probably just freak out and have a heart attack at this stage, poor woman. Still, this doesn’t make Bethamin’s assertion any less cockeyed in my opinion.

But nobody listens to me, ‘cause nobody cares for me. Nobody! (Nobody!) So I guess I’ll shut up and try again Friday, eh? Hummala bebuhla zeebuhla boobuhla hummala bebuhla zeebuhla bop! You know, like you do. Bye!

2. Trevayne

Sam Mickel
4. Samadai
I haven't said it in a while, so, Leigh thank you for doing the rereads and giving us a place to talk about the books

I really liked these 2 chapters, but then I am one of the few who liked Crossroads of Twilight the first time I read it. I was disappointed when I first read it, hoping for some Cleansing fall out, but I still liked it.
John Massey
5. subwoofer
Soooo... is it Mat that is the gigalo or is it Valan? How rich is he anyways. The guy hordes money and from all appearences, makes money hand over fist. Mostly off the skills offered by the people he "adds" to his show, especially in Mat's case.

Or was this a comment of Tuon's view of Mat being a "Toy". Lemme tell you how that misconception really burns my a$$. I'm glad it gets straightened out later.

Edit- or are you lamenting the gigalo lifestyle yourself?

Hi Leigh- we missed you much! Good to have you back... all regular like and everything:)

Hmmmm there appears to be two schools of thought on the spelling. One being the Deuce Bigalow variety, the other seems to involve a dictionary of some sort.

Mike McCaffrey
6. earlgrey
Totally agree with your assessment of Egeanin's state of mind re: Mat. It is interesting to see her complaints taper off as Mat displays that he is capable of directing his posse and heading them down the correct path to safety.
Roger Powell
7. forkroot
Nice point on Selucia's interest in Mat's knife skills. The first time through, I had not yet picked up that she was also Tuon's bodyguard (as well as her Voice), and I missed this hint. In fact, it wasn't until the later "Hell" scene that I finally understood how capable Selucia really was.

That's the fun thing about re-reads: The second time through, you pick up a lot more (e.g. Tuon's commands to Selucia to stop her from attacking Mat.)

Back to Tuon: The single most annoying thing about her is her routine dismissal of information from Mat if it doesn't fit her worldview. In this case, there's no particular reason for Mat or Thom to make up a story, yet she dismisses the existence of the gholam out of hand. It's a pity she'll never get to meet the gholam "up close and personal."
Stefan Mitev
8. Bergmaniac
I have to to say that this is the point Setalle Anan, which I liked quite abit until then, started to really irritate me. I don't get why she was on Tuon's side in almost everyone of her arguments with Mat. Here's the first example - she's supposed to be guarding her, yet is amused when Tuon started throwing stuff at Mat.
Setalle is supposed to be on the Mat's side and has to at least dislike the woman who is a leader of the invaders to her country who forced her family to flee. Instead she starts taking Tuon's side for no other discernible reason except that Tuon is a woman and Mat is a man.

Apart from that, some good interactions between Tuon and Mat. Though it's strange that Mat didn't think of Tuon learning somehow that he had been at Falme as a possible reason for the question about Hawkwing's face.
9. parabola
I love all the Mat and Tuon chapters since they combine a character I love with a a "slice of life" style that just worked for me.
10. AndrewB

Thanks for another entertaining and enlightening post. You said "Petra, the show’s strongman, is warily watching two horse-handlers dice along with his wife Clarine,. . . "

I do not remember that Clarine was dicing with the two horsehandlers. If that was the case, then I am surprised that we did not get a thought from Mat re women dicing. (Come to think about it, I do not remember if Mat has ever commented upon women gambling. There are a couple of instances where Mat gambles/witnesses women gambling. For example, in ToM when Mat learns that the gholam is in Camelyn.)

Let me also echo that I loved the interactions between Mat and Tuon throughout CoT and KoD. They were one of the strongest aspects of the Mat chapters in those books.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Captain Hammer
11. Randalator
I'm going to hi-jack this re-read post to talk about a loony theory concerning the mechanics of Tel'aran'rhiod I developed in the last days. Sorry about that but if I don't get it out soon I might suffer brain hemorrhage or something. I don't know if someone else has thought about it before me but I can't remember seeing it mentioned anywhere else, at least. So here goes:

The Wise Ones always claim that entering T'A'R in the flesh is teh evilz and should not be done ever because if you do you will lose a part of yourself. But I think that actually it is the exact opposite. It offers possibilities that border on omnipotence and the WO prohibition actually serves to prevent abuse. To explain how this works we'll have to take a look at the basic mechanics and the few physical visits to T'A'R we've seen so far.

We all know that when you enter T'A'R in your sleep you have remarkable control of you surroundings and yourself. You can make stuff appear or disappear, you can change your clothes and even your features. Nynaeve disguised herself as as Rendra (TSR, ch. 19), Amys became some kind of monster to scare Egwene shitless (TSR, ch. 35), etc. Additionally you can change things about other people in T'A'R, like Egwene giving Nynaeve Aiel girl braids to mock her.

Now, when Rand battled Rahvin in T'A'R the Forsaken attacked not only with the One Power but also by using the properties of the world of dreams. He created fish that attacked and injured Rand and he started to transform him into some sort of bear-like creature. The latter was not only an illusion but a profound change, Rand felt the Source slipping from him because the creature he was being turned into was not able to channel.

And here it starts to get interesting. At first glance that looks just like any other T'A'R battle but then it occurred to me: Rand is there IN THE FLESH. He is not just some sort of astral projection, he is actually there physically. So what Rahvin does he does to Rand's body, Rand's body is physically changed into something else entirely. And now think for a moment about the fish related injuries Rand brought with him after the battle.

Let it sink...

Yep, what happens to your body in T'A'R is permanent. You enter T'A'R physically, you get injured, you still have the injury when you return. What does that tell you about other changes you could make to your body in the world of dreams?

Let's start slow and say Rand enters T'A'R in the flesh, imagines himself with his left hand back where it should be and then steps out of T'A'R again. According to what we've seen he should have his hand back in the real world, too. And from there on you could just go crazy with the self-improvement. Random just-barely-strong-enough-to-travel Ashaman could enter the world of dreams physically, rewire is brain to that of a saidin Powerhouse with blademaster skills, add an extra 15 pounds of muscle and to top it of change his eye color to just the right shade of metallic blue. Or you could bring your recently deceased and imagine them being alive again, all vital signs at 100%, no decay, no nothing, picture of health. The only limit is your imagination. Literally.

Pretty cool, right?

Now some might cite Egwene's physical visit to T'A'R and that she took away the pain from her flogged backside and it returned as soon as she stepped back into the real world. But Egwene made a simple mistake: She took away the sensation of pain itself but didn't think to actually HEAL herself. So naturally the pain returned once she was back. But had she healed herself...

So, what do you ladies and gents of the WoT-obsessing kind think?

Rand's battle with Rahvin happens in Book 5, by the way. Maybe this here loony theory is a candidate for BWS's big honking clue?
12. KiManiak
Thanks for the post, Leigh. A lot more meat in these chapters to discuss, plus its Mat! Like many followers of the WoTverse, Mat is my favorite character. Has been since halfway through TFoH, when he took over from Rand (One of the many comparisons I draw between this series and Star Wars: both have “the only hope” who is fighting against the more powerful Dark (side), and as you progress through both stories you find your more inclined to like the roguish “scoundrel” then the somewhat whiny farmboy. I know this comparison has probably been done to death, but hey, a Star Wars marathon was on this weekend so its prevalent in my mind). Anyway, Mat is great. But like you, I’m going to try (really hard) to see this from Egeanin’s point of view.

I actually wouldn’t be so hard on her. To her knowledge, she is the one with military and command experience. She thought (although Mat never saw it as such) that she had selected someone who could help get her and her love out of the snakepit they were previously in. Then, not only does he act like a loose cannon during the planned escape, he freaking kidnaps the ruler of her people (on this side of the ocean, at least)! Next, he undermines her authority by decreeing they are going to stay for several days right next to the city from which they just escaped. Then, he directly countermands her orders (true, its to his followers, so she shouldn’t be bossing them around anyway, but I’m sure she cleverly chooses to ignore those details). Anyway, I can see where she’s coming from. And if she had always been this type of close-minded, unfun character, (and hadn’t given the freaking domination band over to the Seanchan) it would probably be okay, and I might see her character as someone who is kind of annoying, but okay overall. Too bad. Anyway, go Mat!

I think when I first read this, I was more moved by hearing about the rapist… er Tylin’s death than I thought I would be. I was surprised that part of me liked her character. Excluding how she treated Mat (which was a very difficult exclusion for me to make), I thought she was a very good queen and a good character. I looked forward to finding out about how she would handle the Seanchan and still maintain her kingdom. Another reason I hated the gholam…

As for Mat and Tuon (put me down for dice stopping because of their agreement), and Mat and the Aes Sedai, hmm…. More on that later. That requires more thought, and free time…
13. Megaduck
I really do understand where Egeanin is comming from here with Mat and don't really hold it against her. He hasn't shown her that he is in fact, one of the three people destined to command the human race during the apocolypse so I can see how she might be leary about putting an untested farm boy (Queens plaything no less) in command.

I happen to really like Tuon's and Mat's relationship because it feels real to me (as I might have mentioned before). Or at least, the miscommunications are not comming because they're not talking to each other or because it would make the plot more interesting (See the rest of team light who can't spit out ANYTHING of value to each other.) But because we're looking at a cross cultural romance of epic proportions. Tuon and Mat have backgrounds that are total opposites. It's amazing they even both speak the same language.

The part with her throwing stuff at him is slightly annoying but it all pays off in a big way once they finally reach the Band of the Red Hand. The scenes where she suddenly has to look at him in a new light are some of the best in the series.

I am looking forward to how they interact with each other when they are finally married and are learning to live with each other. I liked Tuon's comment in ToM where she wonders if she might have a Prince of Ravens she doesn't need to plot against and who won't try to kill her.

The supersticion part is slightly annoying but then you have to consider. With all the stuff Ta'varen and Co get to meet you can sort of understand someone who doesn't realy belive they've seen all they have. Consider mat, he's been hung from the tree of life, has the memories of hundreds of lives in his head, fights the Shadow personally, mets strange extra dimensional beings, met the green man, went to the eye of the world, blew the horn of valeri... ect.

It's sort of nice to see someone skeptical.
Marcus W
14. toryx
I think the dice stopped rolling for Mat when he and Tuon made their agreement because of the agreement. It gave Tuon an opportunity to see how seriously Mat takes his word which generally reinforces every positive aspect of his personality. It also puts a lot more weight on his part of the marriage ceremony.

I'd also say that this agreement put Mat as close to equal with Tuon as he was ever likely to get, and without it they'd never have really gotten to know each other as well as they eventually did.

Anyway, Egeanin's attitude is pretty annoying to me, and I was stunned kind of speechless when I discovered that Mat had the gonads to put the Sul'Dam and the Aes Sedai in one wagon. That's akin to storing the fireworks and tindersticks in the same box and it's amazing he got through the books without getting severely burned over the deal.

Tuon's refusal to accept local 'superstitions' while holding so fervently to her own always sort of amused me. I kind of figured that RJ was making a rather pointed remark on people in general because that same sort of thing happens every day between peoples of different religious and theosophical backgrounds. In this sense, Tuon really kind of represents every one of us.
Matthew Smith
15. blocksmith

I think your theory is interesting but I don't 100% buy it...maybe we find out in AMOL.

Regarding the big clue...I'm pretty sure the item was Mat's Ashandieri...that the writing on the spear indicated that was the way out and we, the readers, should have clued into it. That occurred in TSR, so falls in the range.

Of course, I could be wrong.
Matthew Smith
16. blocksmith

I agree on your superstitions thing...and it goes both ways. If you recall, Mat is equally unimpressed at her constantly seeing omens in things like owls and such.

It does ring as a comparison to the differences and intolerances in our society relative to religion, ethnic traditions, politics, etc. So yeah...agree there too.
John Massey
17. subwoofer
And the next chapters that are coming up are fairly spectacular. Mat get's his spank on, and deals with more dice. I was always thinking that we really haven't explained the purpose of the dice spinning or if it was a "gift" from the Finn? Personally it seems buggered up in comparison to actual "Spidey sense" because Mat has absolutely no clue as to what the dice are warning him about. IIRC there was a Bill Cosby skit about said circumstances... what's the point of putting a dip sign just before you hit a dip?

As for Mat's upcoming name for Tuon- I think he missed the mark. Tuon calls Mat "Toy" Mat should call Tuon "Donkey". Seems fitting considering the massive pain in the a$$ she becomes, not only to Mat but to Rand and Egwene as well.

Mat remembering Hawkwing's face- priceless. The wimpering in response, and not realizing that he does make a horrible liar- heh:)

Kurt Lorey
18. Shimrod
I was going to make a joke about Louis Prima, but I learned some interesting trivia along the way instead. Maybe you should get added to the (long) list of people who have covered that particular tune?

Mat and Valan. They grate on each other because their personalities are almost exactly alike.
John Massey
19. subwoofer
Both like wearing lace?

Or is it that secretly, Mat wants to wear a red cape? ;)

Maiane Bakroeva
20. Isilel
Umm, ya, I remember my rage deepening on the first read, when Mat was _still_ hanging around Ebu Dar here. It wasn't even a snail's pace, but complete stasis.
Was not a fan of CoT on release and don't like it any better on re-reads, BTW.

I never liked the Mat-Tuon "romance" because it was so heavily based on prophecies and could have never ever come about naturally. It was full of irritating WoT gender games to boot, as well.
Nor was it clear to me why Tuon thought it worthwhile to drop everything for indeterminate amount of time just to learn to know her prophesized husband a little better. Given the realities of High Blood back-biting it was an almost certain death sentence for her and an invitation for massive power struggle among the remaining leaders, wasn't it? And hey, if Mat was the foretold one, she didn't really have to do anything, did she?

Setalle's character seems to be pretty shizophrenic, too - in WH she hated Seanchan so much that she had uprooted her whole big family and sent them on a risky journey to Illian. And now she is all cozy with Tuon and takes her side against Mat?!

Egeanin, sigh. What made her think, that she, a Seanchan who was relatively clueless about Randland could have successfully lead their expedition? Why, oh why did our first sympathetic Seanchan have to be turned into a harridan?

Joline - ugh. Yet another supremely irritating woman and the one who was too stupid to survive for this long. How could somebody like her ever pass the 2 tests? They do require _some_ common sense.
Also, I have to point out again that Edesina, who was a damane for much longer than Teslyn seems to have it together much better. Will we ever learn why?
Or will it get dropped off the edge of the world, just like the numerous suggestions of Noal's shadiness, notably also in these chapters, hm?
Donna Harvey
21. snaggletoothedwoman
I love these chapters, yes the story kinda stalls, but the interaction with Mat and Tuon, the learning about each other and Tuon learning a bit about the land she thinks should be hers, just gets me giggling.( Sorry about all the comma's) :) Setalle Anan had me puzzled with her attitude and being on Tuons side in arguments. Then I started to think about the life She had been living. You have to agree that the Women of Property in town all stuck together and ridiculed the men as lesser thinking beings. Even if she did like Mat, you could see she wasn't to impressed with him. I think as the story goes along Setalle changes her opinion of Mat, and thinks much more of him. Mat may be crass and sometimes a bit crude, but his heart is in the right place. The Two Rivers morals will win out everytime!
22. Looking Glass
Randalator @11: You probably could change yourself substantially in the world of dreams, but that doesn’t mean it’s anything like a good idea. For one, just because we haven’t seen some some horrible side-effect to entering T’A’R physically doesn’t mean there isn’t one. The first few times we saw balefire used didn’t really indicate that, “by the way, you can accidentally unravel reality with it”.

That possibility aside, intentionally modifying yourself that way in the world of dreams still seems like a really risky idea, even acting with the best of intentions. Do you know enough about how the mind works that you’d want to try what amounts to rewiring your own (or even someone else’s) in real time? Especially in an environment where any conscious or subconscious thought you have anytime during that process can also rewrite reality? It seems like the odds of that going anywhere near well are slim to none.

Heck, that might even be cause for the warning: there physically, a stray thought might as easily rewrite your personality as your appearance.

Even something as (relatively) simple as restoring yourself to state you could remember being in previously (say, two-handed) could go horribly wrong. It almost did, when Rand nearly turned himself into the dead madman he remembered being instead of the version of himself he was aiming for.
John Massey
23. subwoofer
@Randalator- I see where you are going with this... we get Berelain in there- dream some "augmentation"... see if it sticks;)

Stefan Mitev
24. Bergmaniac
Joline's reasoning for her demand to change the plan for retreat is simply retarded. If they go with the slow-moving Luca show, they will be still be at almost the same distance away from the monstous channelling display two weeks from now if they stay with it, and surely until then it would either be over or destroy the world.

"I never liked the Mat-Tuon "romance" because it was so heavily based on prophecies and could have never ever come about naturally. It was full of irritating WoT gender games to boot, as well."

Agreed. It has a few good moments, but not enough to compensate for the many teeth grinding ones. And the whole time I kept thinking that those two wouldn't ever have given the other a second thought if it wasn't for the prophesies. Jordan probably considered this really ironic, but it's just irritating for me.
25. Taveren
@Randalator - I'm not 100% on board with your theory, but that could also explain how Slayer switches between Isam and Luc. Have we seen him make the change anywhere other than TAR?
26. hamstercheeks
Am I the only person here who likes Joline? She's kinda Nynaeve-lite, but pouty instead of prickly and minus the epic awesomeness. Brandon even wrote her as a competent Green when they went through Zombie-ville. Ah, well.

subwoofer@17: "Precious" is a pretty good nickname, if you invest it with the right amount of snark. You could even go all Gollum on it.

Isilel@20: Maybe Yellows are tougher? Ryma of the Yellow, back in TGH, was still hanging on. Maybe their Ajah's "arrogance" makes for thicker skin. Could be just a personality thing, though. Edesina seems like the beware-the-quiet-0nes type.
John Massey
27. subwoofer
@Hamstercheeks- I dunno- if Mat wanted to go the "snark" route, he coulda named Tuon "dammit". That way he'd never forget what to call her when things get heated up. ie the bar fight- "dammit! I thought I told you to get out of here"...

"Dammit! I thought I thaw a puddy tat!"

Brandon Daggerhart
28. BDaggerhart
Thanks yet again Leigh, though as I'm reading along (which is the first time I've ever re-read this book, btw), I'm not finding it quite as tedious as I did before. Maybe it's because I know that when I read it, no matter how boring it is, later in the week, you'll come along and make things awesome.

I have a brewing theory on why the dice stopped when Mat shook Tuon's hand. You notice that Tuon's exact words are:

"Still, you have represented certain promises to me, so it pleases me now to promise, as well. So long as you keep your promises, I will neither escape nor betray you in any way, nor will I cause dissension among your followers. I believe that covers everything necessary.

(emphasis mine)

I believe that the dice stopped because, this bargain will save the Aes Sedai from the Seanchan and help create the pact which ends the slavery. We know Tuon is a woman of her word, and she had several important witnesses to this bargain. By the the time of ToM, I believe we could safely assume that, no matter how much havok Tuon and her damane wreak at the next, she will not be able to allow Joline and Teslyn to be captured, as they could certainly be considered 'followers' of Mat. Since those two are on the way to the Tower as we speak (and may be there by the time Egwene meets everyone else on Merrilor), they will likely be there when the Seanchan attack again. Because of this bargain, those two (at least) won't be made damane. When other Aes Sedai realize this, and when Rand makes the Dragon's Peace on Merrilor (which I believe are going to be his 'demands' he mentions in his POV in the epilogue of ToM), the people will realize that the Seanchan are there to stay. Then, when Mat shows up married to the Empress, anyone who swears to him and the Empress will be saved from ever being made damane. This will cause the Aes Sedai to work something out with Tuon to become 'followers' of Mat and the Empire on Randland, thus ending slavery right there.

Anyway, I know it needs a lot of work, but it's something I've been thinking about.
Don Barkauskas
29. bad_platypus
Taveren @25: From the Theoryland quote database:

RJ's blog 4 October 2005 "ONE MORE TIME"

Slayer just chooses who he will be when he steps into or out of Tel’aran’rhiod. The stepping in and out is part of the mechanism for his change. He couldn’t do it in the middle of a street, say, not without the stepping in or out. Which might be a little noticeable, since he would vanish from sight for a perceptible time.

30. Looking Glass
Isilel @20: On Tuon- I’m not exactly her biggest fan, but I can certainly see some reasoning in her decisions. What exactly has she promised Mat here, after all? That she won’t try to escape at the first safe opportunity, if and only if he voluntarily helps her leave at the first safe opportunity?

She’s not abandoning any duties in the Return, because while she’s “High Lady Tuon”, her subordinates are supposed to be running the show like she’s not there anyway. She was basically on vacation even before she was kidnapped. High blood backstabbing doesn’t (well, shouldn’t) apply to her, either. Imperial family backstabbing, sure, but they’re all on the other side of the world; no other Seanchan would dare (and even Suroth doesn’t, until Semirhage both orders her to and destroys the entire imperial family).

She has embarrassed Suroth, but I sense that’s not especially high on her priority list. Plus she was assaulted and kinda-kidnapped in a palace Suroth was supposed to have secured. Some embarrassment is in order.
31. hamstercheeks

"That's my wife, dammit!" AHAHAHAHA

TankSpill@28: Good theory, but Tuon might interpret "dissension" differently from "enslaving" or "collaring" or whatever term she prefers.
Tess Laird
32. thewindrose
TankSpill - I think that the agreement that Mat and Tuon shake on is ended when she goes back to Ebou Dar with Karede - safely.

I wonder how Mat and Tuon will act around each other now that Tuon is the Empress. She will get her fight with Mat if she is still making damane and da'covale out of Randlanders when they meet up again.

I know I mentioned this before, but no one commented. Since experienced sul'dam are close to the channeling brink, the a'dam works on them (see Seta, Bethamin and Renna). So to negate the effect of the sul'dam in battle, you would need to just sneak someone close by and snap the a'dam on them. Elayne can make *angreal so - why not use this idea?

33. Megaduck
Thewindrose @32

Sneaking up to Randland's version of a tank in the middle of a battle and trying to snap a coller around it's neck doesn't seem like it would be conductive to a long life.

If you could get that close, all you'd really need to negate a Sul'dam is a sharp knife.
Chris R
35. up2stuff
For Leigh or anyone else who's kareoke'd David Lee Roth,

"Hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla boobuhla
hummala bebhuhla zeebuhla bop !"

First try got spammed.
36. Seamus1602
I've always loved the Mat-Tuon interactions. They can be annoying with all the 'Toy' and 'superstition' BS, but they've been consistently entertaining for me.

Setalle later states that she sides with Tuon because she pretty much twigs to the situation from the word Go. She sees 2 kids courting (one of whom's a 'rogue'), even if they don't really see it. She also is able to use her proximity to Tuon to be the only Randlander to effectively make points to Tuon re: Seanchan culture is stupid. In KoD, Tuon states that Setalle's reasonableness is the reason why she's one of the only Randlander's Tuon will listen to. In fact, I would say that that is the most Aes Sedai thing we see from Mat's entourage for the next 2 books. She's doing what AS should be doing: trying to improve the situation in any way she can and accepting the consequences (hanging with the Seanchan empress), regardless of what they are.

Also, I don't get why people discount the Mat-Tuon relationship merely because it started with prophecy. The same can be said of the Rand-Min and Rand-Avi relationships. Plus, who cares how it starts? Mat needs a powerful woman to be his better half (only previous relationships being a Maiden and Tylin, who never pissed me off, because of Mat's acceptance of the situation; can't be rape to me if the rape-ee has the ability to kick the rapist's ass whenever he felt like it - for all he complains about it, he LIKED IT). So, in short, Mat and Tuon are awesome together and I need more of that.

Egeanin - I get her issues with Mat and thinking she's the best commander, but it's all on his dime, so she's full of it. He's 'Captain of the Gold', as she once told Setalle. Plus, she cost Rand his hand and helped starve Bandar Eban (stupid Sad Bracelets; and yes, I may be reaching the bounds of causality).

I can't wait until Mat spanks Joline. She deserves it. I've always wanted to know more about Edesina, though. She's kind of a non-entity compared to Joline and Teslyn the Awesome Red.
Claire de Trafford
37. Booksnhorses
Mat chapters are always great. I think that I like Tuon when she is with Mat, but otherwise can't stand her. The depressing thing is that she hasn't changed much and we only have 1 book to go. There's going to need to be a serious amount of storytime spent getting her to see the error of her ways and I'm not optimistic that that will fit in. Hope I'm wrong.

@11. I'm loving your theory, after the last battle perhaps the black and white towers could set themselves up in the cosmetic alterations business.
craig thrift
38. gagecreedlives

I had completely forgotten that there was another spanking scene coming up. Could be some interesting times ahead on the comments


I thought Tuon’s promises were only to last until Mat had either broken or fulfilled his promises. Which he had done by the end of KoD.

But even if you are correct there are probably ways around it. Tuon (well probably not her but somebody Seanchan anyway) could simply ask Joline or Teslyn if they are followers of Mat and when they reply in the negative on go the collars
Rob S
39. RobSS
As for the poll I think the dice spin when chance could go either way. By the agreement they made, the chance went in the direction of the prophecy.
40. pwl
So long as you keep your promises, I will neither escape nor betray you in any way, nor will I cause dissension among your followers.

This doesn't seem like it would work to keep from collaring anyone. In fact, note that she personally collars Teslyn and Joline in KoD, when they were already followers at the time the oath in question was made.
Amusingly, as Prince of the Ravens he's Seanchan nobility. So collaring Aes Sedai, even if they follow Mat, would be the complete opposite of causing dissention. They would be quickly broken and even more compliant to his leadership.

Of course, in another way, it would cause dissent among non-channeling followers. If anything that is where an oath like this could have an effect. Continuing to leash sparkers would cause dissention and revolt among the non-channeling relatives that could be followers of Mat since his position would make him complicit. But I don't think Jordan was thinking along those lines, and I think the oath was only meant to last until the fulfillment of Mat's promises in KoD. It makes no sense that a saavy plotter would make an oath in perpetuity to do nothing to cause dissention for those who follow the Prince of Ravens, when she fully believes he will be actively plotting against her (anything else is a fairy tale).
Mike Mulligan
41. cullion
I loved the Cú Chulainn reference. And add to that the Celtic mythology versus the Arthurian. Some deep world building right there.

I was not a fan of CoT when I first read it, but on my rereads, this is the book I have the most admiration for. Technically there is a lot of clever stuff here. The reactions to the Cleansing alone are brilliant. They really add to the sense of how big an event it was. There is a lot going on here, albeit beneath the surface.

Captain Hammer
42. Randalator
subwoofer @23

Last time I looked Berelain didn't need any augmentation other than me...

LookingGlass @22

The LTT cameo was due to two personalities battling for leadership in a moment of extreme physical and emotional stress. That's not exactely common.

Restoring your hand, though, should be a piece of cake given that even someone volatile as Nynaeve can easily change her appearance into that of someone else without popping a vein or wavering unless she is really preoccupied. She can even go into battle with a Forsaken controlled with nothing more than an imaginary a'dam, for that matter. The latter is an indication, by the way, that you don't need to know how something works to create it in T'A'R.

All it takes is an "I want X"-thought, no need to actually know where all those synapses go in your new and improved blademaster brain. Just think "I'm myself but with Blademaster(TM)", et voilà.
Scott Terrio
43. Renegade248
CoT is a book that is better on a re-read than when it was first publised. Everytime I do a re-read, I tend to like it a little bit better than the last time. Lots of information here, even if it doesn't advance the plot too much. And I don't have to stop and wait years for the next book, just jump right into KoD. CoT does as a nice setup to KoD.

The Mat and Tuon chapters are fun to read. Even Egwene chapters are ok in this book. Perrin on the other hand, meh.

And for the poll question. I am betting the dice stopped as Mat and Tuon made the promises. Had nothing to do with the cleansing.
Sandy Brewer
44. ShaggyBella
A little off topic...
I have been listening to FOH and noticed that Juilin had the hots for Amathera even back then..
After Juilin, Thom, Elayne and Nyn rescued her from the Black Ajah and had left Tanchico
(Nyn:)"Amathera was difficult, but I do not wish her any harm, do you?"
"A pretty woman," Juilin said, "especially in one of those Taraboner serving girl's dresses, with a pretty smile. I thought she-" He saw Elayne and her looking at him and quickly pulled his hat back down, pretending to sleep again. She and Elayne shared a glance, and she knew the other's thought was the same as hers. Men
I had never really figured out why he was hanging with her in the Tarasan Palace. I guess RJ thought of everything.
Thomas Keith
45. insectoid
Hi Leigh... fancy seeing you here! We do care, you know. :)

She could irritate a brick.


Mat: Continues to be awesome. Yay, dice! ;) Loving the TTT too—I wish they'd use it more often!

And this is where we find out that Tuon knows more about her future with Mat than she lets on...

Tylin: Damn it... no one should go like that. I actually feel sorry for her loss.

Joline: Is whiny. And sulky. And doesn't know she's going to get spanked. The End!

Now that I'm done ranting... Hey, Torie, can I have a lolcat? ::flags @2::

Randalator @11: ::raises eyebrow:: Interesting.

Sub @17: Mat's dice first appeared in TDR, before his visits to the 'Finn.

Sub @23: ::snortROFL:: Bad Woof!

Sub @27: LOL!! "Could you go get me an ale, dammit?"

Tricia Irish
46. Tektonica
Another fun reread! Thanks Leigh. I'm enjoying this book so much more through your eyes. These were good chapters. I had hopes that things were about to take off and well, I guess they do in a "getting to know you, character development" kind of way.

I actually like the Circus chapters. Luca is a riot and as someone pointed out, Mat and Luca are so much alike and neither of them see it.

I agree with Isilel's assessment that the only way this relationship with Mat/Tuon would ever happen is through the prophecy thing. I still think he needs a nice fun girl who likes to dance and has hair. ;-) But the dance they do in conversation is interesting. The teasing and questions and nicknames lead to a great reveal when Tuon sees our hero as the Lion on the Plain at the end of the book.

The AS and former sul'dam and damane all together are like itching chigger bites. Argh.

Tankspill@28: There are some good thoughts in there.....we know something's got to give to make a lasting peace with the Seanchan, before or after TG. The Mat/Tuon relationship is no doubt key. If the agreement still holds, it would depend on the interpretation of "followers".

Given the diametrically opposed lives of Tuon and Mat, I can not fathom Mat putting up with slavery and collaring women in any way shape or form. Rand either, for that matter. The Two Rivers "take care of the women" chivalry we've been handed over all the books will no doubt come into play.

PS: Sorry if I've repeated anyone from above. When I started reading this thread there were 2 posts and I started typing 4 hours ago. Sigh, real life got in the way!
craig thrift
47. gagecreedlives
Not just the chivalry Tek, dont forget Mat also has a sister that can channel. Pretty sure the Prince of the Ravens wouldnt react well to seeing lil' sis collared.

Could make for an awkward family reunion next time the Cauthons get together at Bel Tine
48. Freelancer
Hi Leigh. Just FYI, the U.S. military isn't absolutish about rank. Rank commands and deserves respect, but subordinates are not without the ability to express themselves if they see something differently. Of course, there are times and places when only immediate and specific obedience is acceptable, but those times are not so very many. Any military superior who presumes to expect absolute, blind obedience is no leader.

Just saying.

Egeanin has every reason to suppose that she is most fit to command in this situation. Mat never argues with her about it. He simply chooses to go on about his business in spite of her reactions. He knows he can out-command her, but he knows it's folly to try and prove that with words. So he goes on about his business. She owes him at least some respect for getting her away from the Seekers. Mat simply hopes that respect will hold until she sees that he's capable at his business.
Sandy Brewer
49. ShaggyBella
Chapter one had a great insight into the memories that Mat has now, besides remembering dying, he never really mentions much. And he can't tell anyone about them.
"Are you certain about the Windfinders who were caught? I've heard talk about cutting off hands, or feet." Mat swallowed a sour taste. He had seen men die, and had killed men with his own hands. The Light send him mercy, he had killed a woman, once! Not even the darkest of those other men's memories burned so hot as that, and a few of those were dark enough to need drowning in wine when they floated to the surface.

50. alreadymadwithcollaring
Isilel @20
Setalle Anan may have disliked the Seanchan occupation as a whole, but what White Tower acolyte worth her salt would pass up the opportunity to influence the world view of one of the most powerful rulers in the land? Particularly if the ultimate goal was a better way to deal with channeling women. As for taking Tuon's side, why not? If she wanted Tuon's ear she had to act sympathetic to her.
I think Edesina held up better to being collared because of her low standing in the Power. She's more used to taking the subordinate role, as opposed to Teslyn who was a Sitter and therefore in a position of leadership. Teslyn would have had more of her pride handed to her not to mention possibly be given more notice because of her (presumably) higher standing in the Power.

pwl @40
Tuon did collar the Aes Sedai, but this was at a time when they were very much not acting like his followers, bossing, bullying him around and generally making life miserable for him. And her.
Tyler Durden
51. Balance
Mat and Tuon romance.

I think Tuon was attracted to Mat from the start. As soon as he first enters her sight she perks up. From what I remember, she first inspects him, then gets close enough to see his ring. Plus Mat is a good looking guy. How many times have we heard some woman think or say he's got a nice ass? Plus he has game. How many serving girls flirt with him for more than tips? If your the Queen, you don't have to pick an ugly lover. All I'm saying is Mat has some skills, and Tuon is a little hot for Mat from the get go.

For Mat it took a little more time. After he started to hang around her more, he starts to see her beauty. He likes her eyes and her heart shaped face. In the beginning she really just intriegued him. He wouldn't have pinched her in a taven if he didn't know her, but she was certiantly on his radar. When he's near her is when he actually starts to See her, and to like what he sees. If you notice this is a reaccuring theme with romance in these books. Think of Perrin and the Falcon. She annoyed the hell out of Perrin at the beginning, but she made all the first moves. Perrin started to See her. Rand and Min? Rand thought she was just some crazy girl, telling him weird shit outside a stable, but she got his attention. We hear from Min later that she liked him on the spot. Fate or no, she still felt the heat from the get go. Lan and Nyn? Same thing, she impressed him with her skills and they moved from there. Rand with Elayne is an exception. He was moved by her when her first saw her. Galad and the Double B? They struck sparks from the start. Eggs and douchebag? Well they were the same as Tuon and Mat, just in reverse. Hmmmm. So OK, I guess what I'm trying to say is that, the Mat and Tuon arc is the secound best romance in the books, behind Rand and Min. I just find it interesting that our three main characters each have a romance that procedes in this manner.


@42: Nice.
@48: Agree.
j p
52. sps49
I do like the Mat and Tuon development and repartee here. My teeth did grind when Mat was placed next to Ebou Dar STILL, he's only been there since Book 6, and here is Book Frickin' Ten and AUUUGH! Lucy has yanked away the foot ball again! but I'm okay now. Where was I? Fun with Mat and his Traveling Non-harem, the last of whom finally leaves in, what, Book 13? Right.

So, one more chapter of Mat fun, then we get the Falconchase, Rosesucksession, SAS (Slow Aes Sedai), and Rand ignoring Logain's BT report before we get him again.
55. Shadow_Jak
Thanks Leigh. I'm one of those who very much enjoys CoT. Hear we find some of the absolute best 'Mat' in the entire series. Gotta love seeing the world through his eyes.

@20, Teslyn's timidity vs Edesina
Teslyn was singled out for special treatment back in WH. She gave herself away a bit after Mat's promised rescue.
Bethamin saw that she was faking it and recommended harsher training on her inspection (in WH, Ch20, I think.)
Jonathan Levy
56. JonathanLevy
8. Bergmaniac
also 20. Isilel
also 21. snaggletoothedwoman
I have to to say that this is the point Setalle Anan, which I liked quite abit until then, started to really irritate me. I don't get why she was on Tuon's side in almost everyone of her arguments with Mat.
Here's a theory to try to explain that. We know Tuon and Setalle are becoming friends, and using their time to have serious, in-depth discussions. Tuon is showing a relatively open mind for a Seanchan, and at some point this makes an impression on Setalle. It is also possible that:
1) Tuon told Setalle about Lydia's foretelling.
2) Tuon asked enough questions about Mat that Setalle deduced that she's attracted to him.

If either of these is true, then Setalle sees the Mat/Tuon interchange as highly charged flirting. It's not surprising that it amuses her. In her mind, Mat is good-looking, a player with women swooning at his feet (remember how she assumed Elayne and Nynaeve were trying to attract him?), and quite in charge. She assumes Mat just wants to dandle Tuon on his knee, and Tuon (for all her titles) is a completely inexperienced girl who has just been kidnapped, and is younger than some of Setalle's daughters.

It's not so surprising she falls into the role of an older sister, helpful aunt.

11. Randalator
Well, nice theory, but I don't think it'll work. We know that you can't take physical objects you imagine out of T'A'R. I don't think you could make changes to your body that would last. Think about the Age of Legends - why bother whisking Semirhage to the end of the world to heal someone, when you can just create a gateway to T'A'R, stick them through, imagine them healthy, and bring them back?

The fishbites are not a change someone made to Rand using the mechanics of T'A'R. They are not a change someone imagined. They are physical damage done in T'A'R using physical sharp pointy teeth. That those teeth were created by Rahvin's imagination is beside the point. This is quite distinct from imagining your hand back, and leaving T'A'R and expecting it to still be there. I think that would fall under the "cannot-take-out-of-T'A'R-something-you-created-there-using-your-mind" rule.

17. subwoofer
Mat remembering Hawkwing's face- priceless. The wimpering in response, and not realizing that he does make a horrible liar- heh:)
Yeah, there's a wonderful line in KoD in Tuon's POV when she remembers to herself how obvious his lie was. And here Mat is so pleased with himself for deceiving her. Ha!

18. Shimrod
Mat and Valan. They grate on each other because their personalities are almost exactly alike.
If you're willing to restrict that statement to the impressing-the-ladies category (as opposed to the saving-strange-women-from-murderers-in-barns category) I'll say you're 100% right.

20. Isilel
also 26. hamstercheeks
Also, I have to point out again that Edesina, who was a damane for much longer than Teslyn seems to have it together much better. Will we ever learn why?
Teslyn was given the particularly harsh treatment, since Bethamin suspected that she was pretending to be tamed. As an aside, with Joline, Edesina and Bethamin, Jordan is giving us different reactions to the A'dam. Joline has never been leashed, so she doesn't take it seriously. Edesina is grim and willing to die fighting. Teslyn is paralyzed with fear.
Ninja'd by 55. Shadow_Jak !

36. Seamus1602
Agreed with most of your points, especially this one:
I can't wait until Mat spanks Joline. She deserves it.
42. Randalator
subwoofer @23
Last time I looked Berelain didn't need any augmentation other than me...

Perhaps subwoofer was thinking that a man in T'A'R might be tempted to do some self-augmentation in order to impress Berelain...

47. gagecreedlives
Not just the chivalry Tek, dont forget Mat also has a sister that can channel. Pretty sure the Prince of the Ravens wouldnt react well to seeing lil' sis collared.
Oooooooo, Good point!
On the other hand, she was a little snitch, wasn't she... :)

48. Freelancer
Egeanin has every reason to suppose that she is most fit to command in this situation. Mat never argues with her about it. He simply chooses to go on about his business in spite of her reactions. He knows he can out-command her, but he knows it's folly to try and prove that with words.
Yes, Egeanin has every reason to try to take command. But Mat's silence is unjustified. He doesn't have to tell everyone about his other men's memories. He lead several thousand men at the battle of Cairhien. He killed Couladin. He leads the band of the Red Hand. These things count as much as Egeanin's experience. He could have mentioned them. Egeanin might not have accepted it, but it's not true that he can't try to prove his suitability with words.

51. Balance
Don't forget Mat's good taste in clothes!
Birgit F
57. birgit
So, poll: did Mat’s dice stop because of his bargain with Tuon, or because the Cleansing had just begun?

It's his agreement with Tuon. Mat's dice are about events in his life, not something that happens far away. Mat is the only one of the ta'veren 3 who is not with Asha'man. Does he even know that the Taint is gone in ToM?

You said "Petra, the show’s strongman, is warily watching two horse-handlers dice along with his wife Clarine,. . . "
I do not remember that Clarine was dicing with the two horsehandlers.

Petra and his wife are watching the horse-handlers dice.

Setalle is something like Tuon's AS advisor. A Seanchan wouldn't accept a channeler as an advisor, but a stilled AS can be an advisor because she cannot channel.

Mat expains Tuon's question about Hawkwing as ta'veren pull making her say something improbable. In earlier books he always tried to ignore that he is ta'veren, but he is now beginning to accept it.

Amathera's full name is Amathera Aelfdene Casmir Lounault. Sylvase's torturer is called Jaq Lounalt. Is there a connection?
58. alreadymadwithlounaults
Jonathan Levy @56
There's no point in telling Egeanin any of this. Do you actually expect her to believe? That's the whole point why Mat's stint as Tylin's Toy was so effective. He could have told her this and he'd only come off as even more out of his element than before. With fancy tales to boot. Even surrounded by the Band of the Red Hand, Furyk Karede did not know what to believe. Egeanin does shut up once the Band shows up.

On the Lounaults:
Probably. On the other hand, Jaq Lounault is now a known darkfriend. Is there a connection?
Kurt Lorey
59. Shimrod
@56 Jonathan Levy. I specifically said personalities, not behaviour. Horses of different colours.
Rob Munnelly
60. RobMRobM
A couple of quick thoughts (I was tied up in work all day yesterday, my apologies):
- The Mat-Tuon romance has always worked for me. The two have very different styles but the two share strong core values of courage, honor and the sanctity of one's word. They also are strong leaders who care deeply and take personal responsibility for those under them. Tuon has her team of who follow her out of love and respect (Seluccia, Karede, Mylen) and Mat has his team (Talmanes, Thom, Setalle). Two peas in a pod as far as I am concerned.
- Setalle quickly has figured out that Tuon is a young woman of honor, and is going to be important to the future of Randland. It makes perfect sense for her to establish a trusting relationship with Tuon, absolutely akin to an Aes Sedai advisor role. She also knows Mat and knows his considerable charms have inadvertently broken a few hearts (including one of her waitresses). She is very concerned that Mat will do the same to Tuon, who is a young and surprisingly inexperienced girl, and is understandably protective. She also knows Mat is resilient and can take a bit of cr@p with equinamity, so she's not afraid to take Tuon's side openly. Again, this all made sense to me.
- The spitting in the hand thing re the oath is odd. I don't recall anyone from Two Rivers doing it. Not clear to me that it is an element elsewhere in mainland Randland. All we get is that it was part of the Sea Folk arrangement in Ebou Dar. Was Mat impressed and decided to adopt it as his own? Is it some kind of way of honoring the sacrfices of the Sea Folk. Weird.
- I have no problem with Mat putting AS and sul'dam in same room. They are hiding, people - space is not unlimited. Not a great situation but putting Tuon and Seluccia in with either group would have been far worse (albeit more entertaining).
- Joline: can DIAF as far as I am concerned. One of my least favorite characters in the entire series. I'm re-reading Deadhouse Gates in Erickson's Malazan series and she reminds me of the nobles in the Chain of Dogs -- that is not a nice comparison, for those who have not read those books. And I have that freakin Dolly Parton song running through my head each time I think of her. Not helpful.
- I don't get the "dashing around" Noal thing either. I don't believe he was somehow possessed and doing something evil. Wasn't he trying to keep an eye on someone for Mat? I don't remember.

Jay Dauro
61. J.Dauro
RobMRobM 60

Mat does the Spit in his hand thing with Nestelle in WH - 31. But in LOC 37
"Done." Egwene spat on her palm and held out her hand, and after a moment Elayne spat on hers and grinned as they clasped to seal the bargain. 

So it looks like it is a Two Rivers thing
62. Ryamano
@11 Randalator

Slayer says in ToM that you can't heal yourself in T'A'R. You can replace your blood, but not heal yourself. So Rand couldn't get his hand back that way.
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
JD - excellent catch. Marriage must agree with you. R
John Massey
64. subwoofer
Yeah! Wait- wha? Don't be puttin' words in my mouth now... food yes, words- nyet. I was thinking along the lines of making B a natural blonde, us gentlemen prefer them:P

Mat and Tuon. Y'know, I never really bought into the attraction thing, always felt forced to me. Mat always went for more... earthy, full figured women. And Tuon's attitude... gah. I hate to drag up the B thing, but she shied away from Mat because he was too much like her- and she is playing footsies with Galad now. Unless this is some reverse psychology thing- when Mat says he's "not a lord" he actually wants to be called that and Mat is attracted to power then Tuon is a good fit. Personally she would drive me bonkers. Criticizing Mat about superstitions, smoking him on the head with her knuckles then talking about ants and birds flying around...

Maybe a poll- who should Mat hook up with is a better fit for Mat?

Edit- I was always hoping for a Mat- Birgitte connection.

65. Mike123
Ryamano @62 reread that section. If my memory is correct Slayer says somethign to the effect, you can't heal yourself like that. He alluded to the possibility that if done correctly one could heal himself, but he just didn't know how it was done. I think it is very possible for Rand to be healed in TAR, but I don't think it is plausable or will be included in the plot. I like the theory of Nyv ripping him out of TAR after he dies personally.
Jonathan Levy
66. JonathanLevy
58. alreadymadwithlounaults
Yeah, Egeanin might not believe. But it still doesn't make sense that Mat doesn't even try. You wouldn't think a Sea Folk windfinder (or whatever) would agree to go with Elayne and Nynaeve just because Mat told her to. He still tried, and it still worked. I'm not saying it would have worked here. But it's strange that he didn't even try. Maybe he just doesn't like arguing with noblewomen, and Egeanin is in that category for him.

59. Shimrod
I was also speaking of personalities. I was just using an example of behavior to denote to which aspect of their personality I was referring.
67. hamstercheeks
I'm with subwoofer on the Mat/Tuon pairing. It's a great setup in terms of narrative tension -- two complex characters from fundamentally different cultures, gosh how will they ever get along? etc -- but Tuon is so unsympathetic, both because of Seanchan culture and her trying to force her superstitious beliefs on Mat. I'm glad Setalle is around to point out when she's being hypocritical. And, yes, okay, her giving the doll to Karede was touching -- gawd, I love RJ's writing -- but she backtracked again in ToM with the "Mwa-ha-haaa, WT kill kill!"

BUT--is there even anyone single and available for Mat to get with at this point? Might be a case of Only Girl Left Wins.

Balance@51: Good observation about the pairings. Uh, why is Berelain called the Double B?

Also, where are the WoT humor sites? Some posts make us LOL, but it'd be great to have an entire site dedicated to the lulz.
68. hamstercheeks
James Hogan
69. Sonofthunder
Ahhh, hamstercheeks, you stole my thought. And typing your name feels really weird, by the way.

Mat, Aludra is awesome...HELLO!
Chris Chaplain
70. chaplainchris1
Man, I'm a day late and dollar short on all the re-reads lately!

Hah, Mat and Egeanin. "Egeanin being Egeanin, probably hundreds...she could irritate a brick." *snicker*

I like Setalle handing Tuon another cup. I mean, in person, the "all-for-one, one-for-all" gender wars stuff really grates, but reading it is (usually) funny.

And not much else to say, except:

a) I knew Culain had popped up before, but not where, so thanks;
b) on the poll, the dice stopped for Tuon;
c)I too love Selucia's recognition of Mat's knives - and I think it's interesting esp. after the fight in Maderrin that Mat never twigs to Selucia's real position as a bodyguard;
d) love Mat outmanuvering Egeanin.
Chris Chaplain
71. chaplainchris1
@11 Randalator- Perrin tried to revive/recreate Hopper and failed, endangering himself in the process. So the limits are obviously more than what you think. I'd have to reread Egwene's traveling to Salidar to see if you explanation of her pain returning holds up - for now, I doubt it.

@14 and 16 - interesting on superstition and how it goes both ways. Of course, Mat's "superstitions" are factual and Tuon's are retarded. He's right and she's wrong. :0p
Peter Mitev
72. Jack Shaftoe
Personally I mostly like Mat/Tuon but I think it would have worked better if she didn't have a prophecy telling her to marry him. We have way too many self-fulfilling prophecies in WoT as it is.

Umm, ya, I remember my rage deepening on the first read, when Mat was _still_ hanging around Ebu Dar here. It wasn't even a snail's pace, but complete stasis.
Was not a fan of CoT on release and don't like it any better on re-reads, BTW.

Yes, I remember my rage about that too. CoT was the first volume I had to wait for. After Mat's storyline in this book ended I had the even more terrible realization that he was still quite close to Ebou Dar. Lots of headdesk action ensued...
F Shelley
73. FSS
Re: fighting damane in battle; should a channeler be able to shield/sever the suldam very easily, since they do not actually hold saidar? And once the suldam is severed, the adam shouldn't work for them, rendering the damane useless...
Donna Harvey
74. snaggletoothedwoman
Subwoofer@64 Nahh, Brigitte wouldn't have him for anything but a friend, He is too pretty! lol She preferrs them ugly, or should I say rugged?
75. hamstercheeks
FSS@73: Theoretically, going after the sul'dam should work. When severed -- a la Siuan and Leane -- the sul'dam will be unable to fully use the a'dam. But that's if you can get past the damane's weaves coming at you hot and fast.

Sonofthunder@69: Uh, I guess you can call me "hammy"? I might be compelled to live up to that name, though....
Tomas Gerst
76. IamnotSpam
I think that Mat just reads the situation correctly and handles
Egeanin just the right way which is to do things his own way and if she gets to be to much just offer a visit to the kidnapped princess to make her go away. The romance between Mat and Tuon reminds me of a younger Richard Castle and Kate Beckett. Smart and sassy all the way.
j p
77. sps49
RoMRobM @60-

Dolly's Jolene was a redhead, and thank you for starting that song up in MY head!

FSS @73-

Interesting question- can any non-sparker be severed before being taught to embrace/ seize the Source? or a sparker, if done before the ability manifests? Would they suffer from not being able to sense something they never knew existed?
78. hamstercheeks
Which leads to another question... when a channeler shields another channeler, where exactly is the "connection" between the channeler and the Source? Is it in an actual physical space, like the pain/pleasure centers in the brain that Semirhage loves so much? Do channelers have an extra hypothalamus or something? Or is the connection in the ether? The only quote I found was:

There was nothing to see, no grand weaves sweeping down from the sky. The Source lay at the heart of creation. The Source was everywhere, even in Shadar Logoth. (WH, ch. 35)

If the connection is in "the heart of creation," and the non-sparker has never developed/used the ability, would shielding/severing work the same way as with a normal channeler? Methinks yes, because the connection is there. Or maybe just cuz.

snaggletoothedwoman@74: Birgitte likes them ugly. Great name, by the way.
craig thrift
79. gagecreedlives

Not sure if Mat has been told on screen about the taint being gone. Perrin might have mentioned it to him while they were catching up over a few ales.

IIRC from Mats PoV sections in ToM he didnt seem at all squeemish about using the gateways the asha man (Grady maybe) made. Then again Mat is a badass so maybe he just took it in stride.


I have been advised that Verin told Mat that Rand cleansed the taint in tGS
andrew smith
80. sillyslovene
@57, 79

Mat was told about the cleansing by Verin when she finally tracked him down in tGS, The Death of Tuon, (552 in hardcover edition)
81. ONEwithPOWER
I got a question for you guys, you seem to have a better understanding of the intricacies of the wotworld so...

From the previous discussions and what-not, it seems the general consensus is that the memories the Finns gave Mat are from those courageous, battle-loving lads daring enough to venture into the land of the unknown, but if this is the case... How can Mat remember all these deaths? How could the Finns obtain memories from dead dudes..? Tis a puzzle...
Kimani Rogers
82. KiManiak
Ok, so for some reason Tor didn’t like my last 2 attempts (I think it has to do with attempting to insert a link) to put up some of this, and those attempts are now lost somewhere in limbo, so we’re gonna try this a different way…

Randalator@11 –re: T’A’R and making personal upgrades – I like your theory. I could see the possibilities, but I wonder if there is a drawback to being able to affect yourself when you enter into T’A’R. You mentioned Egwene and her soreness, and suggested a way around her temporary self improvements. My question would be, why didn’t the Forsaken (Rahvin or Ishmael) give themselves upgrades when facing Rand in T’A’R? Rahvin apparently knew how to manipulate T’A’R quite well. If it was possible to augment yourself, why wouldn’t he immediately imagine himself able to channel 10x the amount he normally could? Or for that matter, why wouldn’t he imagine a sa’angreal for him to use in his hand? (For that matter, why don’t the AS do that anyway when they enter T’A’R in the dream? I think there are some rules about T’A’R that we may not know about yet. Maybe it has to do about augmenting yourself, either directly (new hand for Rand) or indirectly (sa’angreal). Maybe B Sanderson will spell it out for us in AMoL, or maybe we’ll have to wait until the Encyclopedia.

subwoofer@27 – re: Tuon called “dammit” – this immediately had me thinking about the Bill Cosby bit (Tor won’t let me link to the site, but here is the address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwYVqMj5i6k ) So, would that make Selucia “Jesus Christ?” :)

thewindrose@32 – re: Mat and Tuon’s actions now that she’s Fortuona – I think that nears the top of my “reunion” list for AMoL along with Mat/Perrin/Rand; and Elayne/Avi/Min/Rand with Alana in spanking distance :)

gagecreedlives@47 – re: the Cauthon family reunion with their new daughter in law – yeah, I don’t think that would go over well. :) Who would win, Bode or Tuon? What would Selucia say when she’s told, “Family only?”
Kimani Rogers
83. KiManiak
Mat and Tuon – I don’t know; I’ve always seen Mat’s somewhat befuddled attempt to woo his future wife as kind of sweet. He decides to treat it like a battle and plans out his various tactics; and like a battle, sometimes unforeseen factors (like Setalle flipping from his side to Tuon’s side, and Tuon’s general unpredictability) he can only try to survive and come up with another counterattack.

I think you could argue that hardly any of the romances in WoT happened naturally or “organically.” Perrin was incredibly annoyed by Faile, and then all of a sudden he’s madly, obsessively in love with her? Some farmer sneaks into the garden and falls off a tree and Elayne automatically falls in love with him? Min sees Rand and knows that she'll love him and have to share him with 2 other women, and since she knows her viewings come true she just automatically falls in love? Egwene & Gawyn? Bryne & Siuan? Rand’s feelings for Elayne, Min and Aviendha do seem to develop somewhat naturally due to adversity, exposure, temptation, and denial. And by extension, I guess you could argue Aviendha’s feelings for Rand seem somewhat realistic, too.
Anyway, I like Mat and Tuon together. Even Tuon’s (not always so subtle) attempts to test Mat and see if he’s the one for her seem in character. And as of ToM, she slowly begins to realize that she might have feelings for this guy, and that she wants him to rejoin her ASAP.

Re: Setalle Anan – I always saw her as having a little fun with someone she perceives as a casanova, while ultimately being on his side in the pursuit of his chosen lady. I didn’t see her as trying to wiggle her way into Tuon’s confidences, but I think those who’re arguing that are bringing up some good points.
Kimani Rogers
84. KiManiak
Last one, for awhile...

RobM2@60 – re: suldam and AS – That’s how I looked at it. Mat was already shelling out major coinage to get accommodations for his followers and neither group was going to be put in with Tuon. Also, Mat hoped that each group would kind of keep an eye on each other. Plus, if you’ve got 2 sets of potential troublemakers, doesn’t it make sense to keep them all in one place?

subwoofer@64 – re: Mat’s ideal mate poll – Again, I like Tuon, but if I had to pick someone else? I’d like to see who would handle who between Mat and Leane. They shared that one dance in LoC (I think), and I always kind of wondered, what if…

hamstercheeks@68 – re: Mat and Aludra – this would have been my second choice. But would he be into her for her, or just for what he can get from her :) Meaning her DDragons of course…

FSS@73 – re: attacking the sul’dam- I’ve always thought they are the Achilles heel of the a’dam arrangement. You wouldn’t even need to worry about shielding or severing her; you could just swing several 2x4’s of Air at her head. You knock her out, the damane feels twice the pain and is knocked out too. Then you sever the sul’dam and free the damane.

hamstercheeks@78 – re: the location of the source – wow, pretty deep. Is the channeler’s connection to the source in their head, their torso, or is it connected to their entire body? I’ve always assumed that when channeler weaves a shield and slams it on another, it covers the entire body. But, when Rand/LTT were exploring the hard and soft points of the shield while being held in the box in LoC, it seemed almost like it was happening on the psychic plane or something. As for how shielding/severing would work on a non-developed channeler, I would assume the connection was always there and can therefore be disrupted before the channeler can access it. So yeah, I think you could sever a channeler before they can channel. Nice, preemptive strike.
Sandy Brewer
85. ShaggyBella
It seems like once Mat got around to kissing Tuon, he liked her pretty well. He thought she was a fast pupil and a nice armful, even if she wasn't his type.
Alice Arneson
86. Wetlandernw
hamstercheeks @78 "...where exactly is the connection between the channeler and the Source?" FWIW...

Week 8 Question: When a person that can channel is shielded, where is the shield placed? Is it placed around the whole body of the person or around the head of the channeler where they sense saidin/saidar? If you are shielded from the One Power, are you also shielded from the True Power? What happens if someone in a circle is shielded? Can a Warder feel that his Aes Sedai is shielded?

Robert Jordan Answers: A shield exists both as a barrier around the entire person and as a single point along with everything in between. (In a way, this is like the Bore, which does not actually exist as Shayol Ghul. The Bore exists everywhere, but Shayol Ghul is the place where it can best be detected. Which is not to say that there is any connection between the Bore and a shield. Both simply exist in different states simultaneously.) Someone who is shielded and trying to get past the shield can "feel" their way along its inner "surface" hunting for weaknesses, such as the points that indicate where the shield is being maintained or has been tied off. Shielding against the One Power will indeed stop someone from reaching for the True Power. It isn't possible to shield one person out of a circle since, in effect, the circle has become a single person for the purpose of channeling. You would have to shield the entire circle, which would require either a circle of your own or a pretty hefty sa'angreal. A Warder cannot feel that his Aes Sedai has been shielded, though he would be aware of any agitation on her part. But this would tell him no more than that she was agitated.

ONEwithPOWER @81 - Mat's theory is that when they get a chance, they create a link with those who visit them whereby they collect all memories from that person thereafter, rather than previously. It fits, since he didn't acquire many youthful memories, and no childhood ones (except his own). RJ indicated, though I don't know that he said straight out, that Mat was probably correct.
craig thrift
87. gagecreedlives

Im gonna put my money on Bode unless Tuon has started to channel. But either way Mat loses

And I dont know if Selucia would say anything but I can imagine she might have some interesting hand signals to give.

Speaking of which is there a Randland equivalent of flipping somebody the bird?
Jonathan Levy
88. JonathanLevy
70. chaplainchris1
c)I too love Selucia's recognition of Mat's knives - and I think it's interesting esp. after the fight in Maderrin that Mat never twigs to Selucia's real position as a bodyguard;

I loved the fact that Thom did notice, and hinted that he would keep her secret.
Alice Arneson
89. Wetlandernw
JL & CC - I just read that scene, and while I think I had always assumed Thom referred to Selucia's skills, for some reason this time the first thought that occurred to me was that Thom saw Tuon do something with the OP... I expect it's the former, but it was a fun thought.
Birgit F
90. birgit
Or for that matter, why wouldn’t he imagine a sa’angreal for him to use in his hand? (For that matter, why don’t the AS do that anyway when they enter T’A’R in the dream?

It should be possible to imagine an angreal (the a'dam works), they just don't think of it.

Leth Filorn on Twitter - 1 August 4:55 pmIf Rand goes to Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh, imagines himself a new hand (or a new body like Lews Therin's), and then walks out, what happens?2
Brandon - 9:42 pm
It wouldn't go with him, I'm afraid. Towers of Midnight gives some hints on why, actually.3

2 It should be noted that this would work to give Rand a new body if he died and was then ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod (which is what I suspect will happen).

3 There were also some hints on it in Lord of Chaos when Egwene made her pain go away when she went to Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh, and she made a dream Bela to travel on. When she left, the pain returned, and she couldn't take Bela with her. I'm hoping there will be even better hints in Towers of Midnight, though.

Wotmania Interview 2004

Q: What happens to objects left in Tel'aran'rhiod? Could an Aes Sedai free herself from the Three Oaths in Tel'aran'rhiod by creating an Oath Rod?
RJ: The only way for an object to enter Tel’aran’rhiod would be for it to be carried there by someone who entered physically rather than through a dream state. If left there, it would remain until it was retrieved by someone else who entered physically. And, yes, an Aes Sedai could free herself of the Three Oaths with an Oath Rod created in Tel’aran’rhiod, but remember that relatively few sisters actually have access to the World of Dreams, and for those who do want to remove the Three Oaths – sisters joining the Black Ajah – there is the Oath Rod in the White Tower to serve that purpose.

Wesley Parish
91. Aladdin_Sane
You know, every time I read "Daughter of the Nine Moons" I wince. She can't be the only person to have been born in Seanchan!

It's so goddam obvious for a fertility title! Makes me wonder just how bad conditions were like in Seanchan before Luthair Paendrag turned up and turned everything upside down.

Now I've got that out of the way - @28.TankSpill:

"Still, you have represented certain promises to me, so it pleases me now to promise, as well. So long as you keep your promises, I will neither escape nor betray you in any way, nor will I cause dissension among your followers. I believe that covers everything necessary.
I've always read that as Tuon promising she won't violate the good faith of the camp - though she is, technically, there under duress, she won't pull rank, she won't cause any strife, she won't lay claim to Mat's followers' obedience or the like, she won't set any of them against each other, she won't take advantage of any dissagreements between Mat and his followers to bring him down, etc. A good parole agreement between her and her captor. As it happens, it saves her life.And

I enjoyed the Culain reference too. Woof, bow-wow-Wowie, woof!

It's probably called "flipping the Draghkar". And in Seanchan, "flipping the raken".
Suzanne Clewley
93. Sue#11
FSS@73 & KiManiak@84: Egwene used that technique in defending the White Tower. She had her circles of novices attack any sul'dam that came within range. When Adelorna looked around after she was rescued, she saw at least one woman in gray just kneeling there completely neutralized.

The Seanchan may use similar techniques although we haven't seen it on screen. IIRC from Bethamin's POV in Ebu Dar she remembered battles where "hundreds" of sul'dam were killed and large numbers of damane were stilled or killed.
94. Freelancer
Cruising back through comments...

Did someone hack Isilel @20? Doesn't sound like the same commentor. ::shrug::

PWL @40

Tuon did not cause dissension among Mat's followers when she whipped a'dam on the Aes Sedai. There was already dissension aplenty, and from both Tuon's worldview and her opinion of the circumstances, what she was doing was bringing order into a chaotic situation. No question that what she did wasn't pleasing to Mat or anyone else involved, but it cannot be said that her actions created, or even magnified dissension. We as readers can disagree with her motives, and believe that her actions were wrong all day long, but that doesn't come close to claiming that she broke her word to Mat.
John Massey
95. subwoofer
Righto- was cruzin through the comments- thanks for all the barkin' much appreciated:)

I think some folks are missing the point, in T'AR you don't have to channel to do stuff- you just have to have the force of will to imagine it so. Perrin doesn't channel and he kicks butt. Nobody needs to imagine using a weave to get things done, they just have to make it a fixture in the Dream. Power of the mind yo. Mind over matter.

@GCL- I dunno, in WoT it might be less symbolic and more real. They actually might flip a real live bird. Tuon and Selucia would consider it a bad omen, but whatever;)

I'm rooting for Bode, something about a farm girl... mind you, I always cheer for the under dogs- woof.

96. pwl
There was already dissension aplenty, and from both Tuon's worldview and her opinion of the circumstances, what she was doing was bringing order into a chaotic situation. No question that what she did wasn't pleasing to Mat or anyone else involved, but it cannot be said that her actions created, or even magnified dissension. We as readers can disagree with her motives, and believe that her actions were wrong all day long, but that doesn't come close to claiming that she broke her word to Mat.

Uh, and how would this differ from Tuon leashing the whole of the White Tower to "bring order to a chaotic situation" and keep them from dissenting with the Prince of the Ravens? You miss my point, I'm not trying to get on Tuon's case. She's one of my favorite characters. I'm pointing out how silly the idea of the CoT oath being the manner of keeping any AS from being leashed by Seanchan is.
97. pwl
I should add that my assertion isn't that she broke her word. My assertion is that her word (in this case, her oath to Mat) did not include an implicit prohibition on leashing channelers, even if they are "followers of Mat".
Tess Laird
98. thewindrose
Speaking of reunions, how about Seta and Egwene(to bad Renna is dead, she was the one who 'collared' Egwene). Joline is bringing the 2 former suldam to the tower, so there is a chance for this to happen.
It would seem that Egwene is starting to get over the a'dam, but it takes her a few moments(like when Mesaana collared her in T'AR). Will she have to go through it once more in the real Randland, when Tuon sends her forces for the second attack? I was getting the idea that she was becoming so strong in herself that the a'dam wouldn't work - do any of you agree with this?

This would also bring about the question - did the attack on the white tower happen before all the forces have gathered on the field of Merrilor? I think there is about a month of time from Rand and Egwene's first meeting and the one that will happen in aMoL. Are we going to flash back, or is this someting that is going to happen during TG?

99. deebee
Hi folks, my first post here (I`ve been watching from behind the redstone columns for weeks...)
Started a complete series reread in August in preparation for TOM, as other posters have commented, COT is sooo much less frustrating when you know you can move seamlessly on to the next book and the next...
A question-if Mat is going to travel "the halls of mourning" could this be his reunion with Tuon? I see a situation in which the Seanchan believes he has been killed (maybe one of their owls flies upside down or something??) Mourning is declared-meanwhile Mat has been despatched as Rand`s messenger to soften up the Seanchan ahead of a second attempt at a peace plan...cue Mat arriving at his own funeral party...
Rajesh Vaidya
100. Buddhacat
@98 thewindrose:

The timeline for most plots is at FoM meeting - 1 day. So the Seanchan attack hasn't happened as of the meeting's eve. If it happens when all the amies are there, that's really just perfect luck for Egwene - she can then kick some serious Seanchan ass. Unless Rand stops her.
Mike McCaffrey
101. earlgrey
I was getting the idea that she was becoming so strong in herself that the a'dam wouldn't work - do any of you agree with this?

Egwene has always been depicted as having less potential strengh than Nyneve, who has less strength than the "help Rand to die" damane. So - no I don't agree.
Marcus W
102. toryx
thewindrose @ 98:

I don't think Egwene would ever be strong enough to resist the a'dam. No one could. The thing about the a'dam is that it can punish you for just thinking about something, in ways that go even beyond pain. That's far more significant than what the beatings at the Tower did to her.

But you bring up an interesting point about the timing of everything. It'd be incredibly effective if the Seanchan raided the Tower with their gateways while Egwene and a bunch of people are at Merrilor. If enough of the Aes Sedai got taken, I could see the situation seriously put Rand in a conundrum. He might actually be forced to kneel to Fortuona in order to resolve the issue.

Much as I hate to admit it, Rand needs the Tower as whole as possible.

And can you guys imagine what would happen if the Sul'dam got into the Tower storerooms and raided their cache of angreal, sa'angreal and ter'angreal? Madness!
Tess Laird
103. thewindrose
Re: Egwene
I guess I wasn't very clear, I didn't mean power-wise, I mean strong identity - strong like Sorilea if you will. This shows in Egwene's mind battle with Mesaana. I kind of look at the a'dam as a control of the mind. "I don't like what you did, so now you will feel pain.' or 'If you think of taking the a'dam off you get nauseated or your finger cramp up.'

Also, since I mentioned Sorilea - I really hope she is not on Team Dark. It was nice to see someone who wasn't super strong in the one power be pretty much the lead Wise One of the Aiel. Even the Shaido stepped lightly around her, and the wetlanders as well!

104. Shadow_Jak
@84 Suldam as the weak link

Very true, but with a catch

Remember way back when Eggy was first leashed, She punched her Sul'dam (Renna, BTW); and she feels that same punch, through the a'dam, but magnified several fold.
Damane feel their sul'dam's pain much more severely than they do, so even a light blow to a sul'dam might disable her damane.

But the catch is, the damane know this and learn to protect their Sul'dam first, before themselves.

(On that note, too bad Moggy wasn't still on the other end of a leash while Eggy was taking her spankings!)
105. Shadow_Jak
Windrose @103
I agree.

If anyone can beat the a'dam it's gonna be Eggy. Aside from her over-all awesome, she has several advantages...
She has spent considerable time on BOTH ends of the leash.
She has had significant, recent experience "embracing" pain.
She is a Dream walker, and that might somehow help. If nothing else, she could eventually find the dreams of the sul'dam and take a little revenge!
106. Shadow_Jak
Completely unrelated thought. Mat has two of Elayne's imperfect copies of his Foxhead.
His POV has him saving one for Olver and one for Tuon.

Both sound very interesting.
Is Olver already wearing his? Will it help in the battle of Caemlyn?

And once Tuon gets hers, all sorts of possibilities come to mind.
For one thing, since these imperfect copies prevent channeling, do they represent a "get out of a'dam free" card?
Also note, the Seanchan have demonstrated pretty good abilities at duplicating ter'angreal. Suspect all her Deathwatch guards would soon be sporting a new addition to the uniform.
Warren Soulard
107. Hrothgordo
Well, I think the medallion actually represents the most feasible way out of the practice of slavery for the Seanchan.

Outing Tuon as a channeler can help force a cultural change of channelers not being “evil” in the eyes of the Seanchan populace but it may not change the institutional process of damane slavery.

Because revealing the Empress can channel (or all sul’dam) doesn’t deal with either the loss of resources inherent in abandoning the system, nor does it have a way to deal with rogue channelers.

The Seanchan are a rigidly structured society. Everyone has some fear of the repercussions for transgressions; be it from shame or being violently punished. (I don’t want to get into the right or wrong of that type of legal system though).

Marath’damane are essentially unregulated without the a'dam (and other damane to battle them). And although Sul’dam can technically channel they can’t really do much to stop a Seeker from taking them if they aren't wearing a bracelet.

But mass-producing the medallions suddenly allows a “normal” to be able to police a channeler. If you think that is not important, look at the interaction between Mat and the AS during this book (including yet another spanking Leigh gets to make commentary on).

Without the medallion Mat would have never achieved even the modicum of respect he got from the Aes Sedai. Because it is near impossible to not be effected by such gigantic strength differentials in how you deal with others.

It won't make them all evil but it definitely would make all of them extremely less likely to being patronizing or dismissive to a "normal".
Barry T
108. blindillusion
Thanks for the re-read Leigh. Wonderful as usual.

In other news - and rather off topic - I was listening to tGH (lo and behold, the audio books are MOA...who knew?) and heard this:
“As far as I am concerned, you are worse than a murderer, worse than a Darkfriend. I can’t think of anything worse than you. The fact that I have to wear this thing on my wrist, to be the same as you for even an hour, sickens me. So if you think there is anything I’ll balk at doing to you, think again. You don’t want to be seen? Good. Neither do we. No one really looks at a damane, though. As long as you keep your head down the way a Leashed One is supposed to, no one will even notice you. But you had better do the best you can to make sure the rest of us aren’t noticed, either. If we are, you surely will be seen, and if that is not enough to hold you, I promise you I’ll make you curse the first kiss your mother ever gave your father. Do we understand each other?”
Chapter 45, Blademaster.

I'm sorry, but Nynaeve is awesome.
Sam Mickel
109. Samadai

What is even greater than that will be the moment that Seta is presented to Egwene. You know Nynaeve will most likely be there. That will be a fun scene
Captain Hammer
110. Randalator
xhaplainchris1 @71

Perrin tried to revive/recreate Hopper and failed, endangering himself in the process. So the limits are obviously more than what you think.

Hopper was not there in the flesh, any attempt to revive him permanently was bound to fail. I wonder, though, if the dead wolves in T'A'R work the same way the dead heros do. Then he could have been ripped out Birgitte-style...although you'd probably have had to invent a way to bond animals as warders to keep him alive. T'A'R is weird...

Of course, Mat's "superstitions" are factual and Tuon's are retarded. He's right and she's wrong.

What makes you think Tuon is wrong...?

Kimaniak @82

Or for that matter, why wouldn’t he imagine a sa’angreal for him to use in his hand?

Because he's dumb that way. All long-time channelers are so set in their ways that they've completely lost the ability to think outside the box. Moghedien has become so used to do everything with the OP that Nynaeve outsmarts her twice, once by punching her where she expected an attack with the Power, a second time by creating an a'dam around her neck. And T'A'R is supposed to be Moggy's living room. That's a general WoT theme...just think about Nynaeve's new way of Healing.

The a'dam proofs, by the way, that you actually can create *angreal and use them in the world of dreams. All it takes is imagination and creativity, but most Randlanders are severely challenged in that regard.

birgit @90

Great, way to go shooting down my theory. Stupid sexy Brandon! *pouts*

No! I don't care. I'm right and he's wrong. There! Neener neener!
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @ 98 - I don't tend to get heavily invested in theories, but I agree that it's possible that, especially combined with the stuff in ToM, Egwene will be strong enough to withstand the a'dam. I'm not sure how it would work, because as toryx pointed out, the a'dam works differently, and outside TAR you can't just say "it doesn't exist." Still, I think if anyone can, it will be Egwene - or Sorilea.

earlgrey @101 - We're not talking about strength in the One Power; it's strength of will and sense of self that would enable her to withstand it. Like the way she was able to withstand the treatment meted out to her in the WT under Elaida.
matt leahy
112. uncleremus678
I can't possibly imagine Mr. Sanderson capable of writing a chapter as good as these two. RIP Mr. Jordan. Mat died with you methinks.
113. hamstercheeks
blindillusion@108: Nynaeve is awesome. I started WoT in the nineties--out of nowhere, my grandma presented me with The Shadow Rising and instructed me to read it--and I was hooked as soon as I got to this bit:

“Tanchico,” Nynaeve muttered. Her dark, wrist-thick braid hung down her back to her waist as she stared out of one of the narrow windows, casements swung out in the hope of catching a night breeze. On the broad River Erinin below bobbed the lanterns of a few fishing boats that had not ventured downriver, but Egwene doubted she saw them. “There is nothing for it but to go to Tanchico, it seems.” (ch. 5)

Chalk it up to the strength of Jordan's writing, but knowing nothing about this character, having not read any of the previous books, I instantly became a Nynaeve fan. Still am. I hear the audiobooks are great; I'll get 'em for sure!

Can't wait for Leigh's next post!
Alice Arneson
114. Wetlandernw
Am I the only one who gets tired of people getting on here to post nothing but a whine about their personal dislike of Sanderson's writing? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but come on. If you have nothing to say, why bother to say it? Seems rather pointless; childish, even. Oh well.


In other thoughts... I've been reading KoD, and something occurred to me. It's one of those scenes where Elayne is being seriously irritated because the OP keeps slipping away from her. (In this case, she'd love to dry her clothes, but can't get hold of saidar and Aviendha doesn't know the weave.) Even though she has trouble getting hold of the Power, would Aviendha be able to bring her into a circle if they tried? IIRC, you hold yourself on the edge without trying to actually touch it, and then the other person somehow takes it through you. Whaddaya think? Could Elayne be brought into a circle? If so, would she then be able to take control of the circle, or would it all slither away? Just an odd thought, and probably not significant, but.... I'm curious as to what the rest of you think.
115. Syman
blindillusion@108 - I love the audiobooks. I have all the books in both printed and audio, and while I don't think I could stand to listen to them on a first-read (I read a lot faster than that), they are fantastic for re-reads (re-listens?). Not only do I catch things I missed on my umpteen read-throughs, but I can get my WoT fix while doing chores, running errands, etc.

Kimani Rogers
116. KiManiak
Sue#11@93 – re: neutralized women in gray – The women in gray are the damane, not the sul’dam. When Adelorna is freed, its because Egwene disconnected the a’dam from the damane (and Adelorna) and then killed the sul’dam. Not saying that she didn’t have her Novices adopt the tactic of attacking the sul’dam; but if she did, it happened off screen.

deebee@99 – re: Mat and the Halls of Mourning – hmm… Maybe. This was from the Dark Prophecy, right? How would Mat’s appearance at his own funeral signify any type of benefit to the side of the Dark? Not really criticizing your theory; I’m actually curious.

thewindrose@103 – re: Sorilea – I echo your sentiments about Sorilea. I have to say, I can only find really weak evidence that she might be a Shadowrunner. Is the biggest support of that theory that someone must have recovered and reversed the traps on the Domination Band, and almost everyone else (excluding Elza) has been proven to be on the side of the Light? Would Sorilea have even been strong enough to do that (ignoring the fact that it was most likely Elza or Shadar Haran anyway)? What other incriminating evidence am I missing?

Shadow_Jak@104 – re: damane protecting their sul’dam – I agree that makes sense to us, the readers. Is there anywhere in the books that shows us that, though? Multiple sul’dam and damane have been captured in TPoD, KoD and TGS. Most of these happened off screen, but isn’t it just as likely that some sul’dam got knocked out first, leading to the capture of the pair? Maybe we’ll find out more about fighting sul’dam and damane when they attack the Tower in AMoL.

blindillusion@108 – re: Nynaeve being awesome – in the earlier books I would have grudgingly agreed, with a lot of qualifiers. In the middle books, with a few exceptions, you would have heard me argue that her negative qualities outweigh the good ones. But as of TGS, I wholeheartedly agree. I think she has grown and developed (get your mind outta the gutter :-) ) more than any female character, and on par with all of the Superfellas except for Rand (come on, no one’s gone through more character growth and development then Rand). Nynaeve is awesome personified.

Randalator@110 – re: channelers set in their ways – true that. Other than Nynaeve (and Mesaana, copying Nynaeve) no one has thought to utilize any type of *angreal in T’A’R. Maybe Rand will the next time he’s in T’A’R.
Kimani Rogers
117. KiManiak
Wetlandernw@114 – re: tired of the complaints – you aren’t the only one. I got your back. I enjoy reading most folks comments and theories, whether I agree with them or not. Most commenters here like to share in (various degrees of) productive or introspective looks at the story, themes, characters, symbolism or whatever, and often in ways that I would never have come up with. That’s why I’ve been thrilled to join you guys and share some of my own opinions. Now, I 100% agree that those who wish to complain about the change in authorship have the inalienable right to post their opinion and speak their mind; but I also have that same right to say that I don’t think they’re adding anything productive to these discussions. Tell me why you think these chapters in CoT are so good. When we get to TGS and/or ToM, let’s dissect what seems weird or off about the characters, and what worked.

We all (Mr Sanderson included, I’m sure) would have loved for RJ to still be alive and telling these stories that we’ve loved, some of you for decades. Unfortunately, reality didn’t work out that way (excuse me if that comes across as rude and/or insensitive; that is the opposite of my intent). I personally am happy that Harriet and Team Jordan are willing to let RJ’s story continue to be told. For those who don’t like the voice of the teller, let me ask you, are you saying you’d rather the story remain incomplete? Are you sure that any other author would have told the story to your satisfaction? I’ll admit my bias; I like Mr Sanderson. I liked Elantris and the Mistborn trilogy, I think The Way of Kings was really good (even though a lot of time was spent getting to Kaladin’s evolution to leader and hero). But most of all, I’m enjoying the fact that RJ’s story is being told as close to what RJ wanted to tell as Harriet and Team Jordan and Mr Sanderson could have it be. I hope that those who don’t like the current teller’s style or voice will someday feel the same.

Wow; that became somewhat preachy. Anyway, everyone's entitled to feel how they feel, and post about it on here if that is their wish. But Wetlandernw, no, you are not the only one.
Stefan Mitev
118. Bergmaniac
uncleremus678 @112 - Yes, Sanderson could never write chapters as good as those two masterpieces, in which nothing much happens but is described in great detail. Who needs exciting action-packed chapters like "The Last that Could be Done" or "A Fount of Power" when you can have 40 pages of Mat strolling around the circus and thinking how much all women around him are making his life miserable... *headdesk*

Don't get me wrong, those two chapters here are enjoyable since mat is fun, but no way they are anywhere close to great.
Steven Pattingale
119. Pattingale
@ Wetlanderw, KiManiak, and Bergmaniac *thumbs up*, I agree.

@ Randalator's T'A'R theory BS may have vetoed body change but I think you have a good seed of an idea there ... in a recent re-listen of TDR I noticed Hopper telling Perrin that he could change things in the Wolf Dream. (Anyone with a print copy handy to quote?) Even if one couldn't imagine changes to one's own body couldn't one imagine perfect plate mail, cuendillar hard - feather light, and power wrought blades to boot. For the One Power users, the suggestion of sa'angreal in hand makes perfect sense too. Maybe someone who's witnessed Aludra's Dragons could envision a hand held Dragon even...

Rahvin's fish seem to be just the tip of the iceberg as well, couldn't one bring any imaginable creature into being to throw at your foes? Worms maybe. The mind boggles at the possibilities.

And twitches too. :)
Tina Pierce
120. scissorrunner
Wetlandernw, KiManiak, Bergmanuac, Pattingale, (& the rest)
ditto- -this should be a discussion of CoT, not RJ vs BS writing styles!
(but BS has a delightful series aimed at pre-teens. "Alcartaz vs The Evil Librarians" starts it off. fun read, and yes, he has built an entire world fo this one too)

and Wetlandernw - I had similar thoughts about Elayne being brought into a circle. I think that she'd be easily brought in, and with the added strength of the others in the circle she would probably be able to take control.
121. alreadymadwithguns
Pattingale @119
Hand held projectile weapons are described in Aviendha's Way Forward Trip through the glass columns. I suspect these are guns.

scissorrunner @120
IIRC, when a woman is brought into a circle, she stays until released. The real problem is being able to channel reliably enough so as to brought into one. As an example we have Salidar scene where they had a bubble of evil and Nynaeve was still having trouble channeling then. I imagine a similar thing might happen to Elayne.
Jonathan Levy
122. JonathanLevy
114. Wetlandernw

Am I the only one who gets tired of people getting on here to post nothing but a whine about their personal dislike of Sanderson's writing?

Nah, doesn't irritate me at all. If it's nothing but a whine, I'm usually at the next message already. It doesn't get under my skin, and I see no need to complain about it.

Of course, if it's a well-reasoned and substatiated criticism with specific examples, I usually enjoy reading it and thinking about it.
Sam Mickel
123. Samadai
I am uncertain on this, but I believe that someone(I think Terez) posted a Q&A with B. Sanderson. Someone asked where Sorilea was during ToM, he responded that she was with the other Aiel wise ones in Tear. So if indeed she was, then I would assume Rand saw her and proved that she is not a darkfriend once and for all.
Tina Pierce
124. scissorrunner
alreadymad @ 121 - good thought, but IIRC the woman doesn't have to actually embrace the sourse, just prepare to & be open to a linking. Nyneave has trouble (still I think) being willing to give someone else control, its almost part of her block. Elayne, not so much, she understands the logic in following.(whe she has to)
Alice Arneson
125. Wetlandernw
Re: Sorilea - From Terez's interview database, "I him if Rand has met with Sorilea since his time on Dragonmount, and he said he thinks that Rand has." As to the theory that she's a DF, as far as I know it's a combination of a) thinking that someone significant needs to shock us by turning out to be a DF, and b) thinking that the only way Elza/Shaidar Haran would have been able to find the Domination Band and disable Cadsuane's protective weaves would be for someone who has seen it to give them the secret. Hence, Bair or Sorilea, but Bair can't channel so couldn't have seen the weaves.

Thanks, all, for the input on my questions. I appreciate it!
John Massey
126. subwoofer
@119Pattingale- see my comment at 95. You don't need to channel to turn someone into a turnip in T'AR, you just need a strong enough mind to will that they are a turnip. Likewise you don't need to form weaves for a bolt of fire, you just will a bolt of fire. Don't need to channel or need an angreal or anything to make stuff happen in T'AR. There is no spoon.

Theresa Gray
127. Terez27
Nice bits on Culain:

1. Culain's Hound

2. The inn is in Caemlyn, and though Caemlyn was not a part of Aldeshar, Ishara's grandfather was the last king of Aldeshar.

3. Bode was there.
128. JackMyDog
Methinks Egwene could defeat the Domination Band. Rand used the TP but he obtained that through force of will, I don't think he sought the TP, he just wanted the thing off of him so damn bad that it (TP) came to him. Do I have that right? Certainly Eg has WP (will power) UTA and has no fear of pain.

Do they have a pet policy at Culain's hound? -- arf
129. JackMyDog
It has never been mentioned AFAIK that possibly the two handed DomBand requires a male and female to be totally effective. Other things have been such, ie: Callendor
130. JackMyDog
All these thousands of pages read, most 3 or 4 times now and I cannot recollect anybody having a doggie, not talking DH's here, just ordinary pet dogs. I know they exist in WOT cause they're mentioned as not being visible to those in TAR. RJ did a good job bringing us all those fine horses. Not knowing him I can only presume he got himself some fine horses once the checks started rolling in but no dogs?
John Massey
131. subwoofer
Tinkers have dogs. It has been mentioned several times. That is all that protects the Tinkers from baddies.

132. JackMyDog
Me@130 What was I thinking, where was my mind, thank you Sub

---goes and hides
John Massey
133. subwoofer
No worries:)

You should come join us on #7- we don't bite;)

If you really want to get down to things, what jumped out at me was the amount of Aes Sedai that owned cats, especially the bad Aes Sedai, must be a sign. I don't see the dog lifestyle fitting into the WoT world, at least as I know it, not unless they are hounds or something. Or like Hondo's dog, I could see that work. For myself, I always figured Hopper as my four pawed friend. Maybe that explains Perrin's attraction to Faile- he just gets her scent. Anyways in Tarmon Gai'don I don't see a big cat vs. dog fight... unless at some point the Seanchan get their lopars out for bear.

134. JimF
Leigh: I've come back after many months away, and I find your take on these wonderfully great and bad books still as sharp and penetrating as ever, and sometimes as stupefied as mine:

"...But nobody listens to me, ‘cause nobody cares for me. Nobody! (Nobody!) So I guess I’ll shut up and try again Friday, eh? Hummala bebuhla zeebuhla boobuhla hummala bebuhla zeebuhla bop! You know, like you do. Bye!..."

Seriously, you're great. And also great are these chapters that deal with Mat. Almost every sentence - certainly every paragraph - that gives his POV is, to me, hilarious or human or both in some way that rivets me to these books. The others of the Trio or the Supergirls more and more are almost cardboard cutouts (except Nynaeve and yet she's becoming almost a caricature lately); their humanity is almost obliterated in a bunch of bullshit of various kinds.

Mat shines through as someone whose thoughts we are fully privy to, and whose manner of formulating those thoughts always makes me laugh delightedly and/or increases my respect for him as someone who keeps his promises and who I would want to "have my back".

'Nuff said. Glad to be back. My thanks for what you're doing with such skill.
135. JimF
85. ShaggyBella

"...It seems like once Mat got around to kissing Tuon, he liked her pretty well. He thought she was a fast pupil and a nice armful, even if she wasn't his type...."

Haahahhh. That's a hoot! Don't mess with Mother Nature.

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