Nov 19 2010 1:37pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Crossroads of Twilight, Prologue, Part 2

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert JordanI said, what do I know, Wheel of Time Re-read? But you’re feeling so bad, ‘cause you know, don’t you.

Today’s entry covers Part 2 of The Prologue of Crossroads of Twilight, in which the spies hang out in every corner, but you can’t touch them, no. (eek)

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 now, the post!

Prologue: Glimmers of the Pattern [Part 2]

What Happens
Worrying about the news (and lack of it) from outside Tar Valon, a very jumpy Yukiri walks through the halls of the Tower with Meidani (also Gray) and Leonin, Meidani’s Warder. Meidani is one of the Rebel “ferrets” Yukiri et al have made swear an oath of obedience, an act which still makes Yukiri uneasy, though she thinks under the circumstances it was a necessary evil. Meidani is giving Yukiri a report on the activities of Atuan Larisett (Yellow), one of only three Black sisters Talene knows by name; they are interested in her especially because she is Talene’s “one more,” outside of her own “heart,” so Atuan presumably knows two more Black sisters Talene does not. Meidani keeps getting interrupted, though, by other sisters in the halls, never alone and always grouped with their own Ajah, and all radiating wariness and suspicion.

Hostility was all too usual, nowadays. The invisible walls between the Ajahs, once barely thick enough to hide each Ajah’s own mysteries, had become hard stone ramparts with moats. No, not moats; chasms, deep and wide. Sisters never left their own Ajah’s quarters alone, often took their Warders even to the library and the dining rooms, and always wore their shawls, as though someone might mistake their Ajah, otherwise. Yukiri herself was wearing her best, embroidered in silver and thread-of-gold, with the long silk fringe that hung to her ankles. So she supposed she was flaunting her Ajah a bit, too. And lately, she had been considering that a dozen years was long enough to go without a Warder. A horrible thought, once she sifted out the source. No sister should have need of a Warder inside the White Tower.

She thinks that something has to be done about the situation, which Yukiri considers largely due to the rumors about the Reds the “ferrets” had spread, but can’t see how to do it without revealing Meidani et al, which would effectively remove ten of the fourteen women they could be sure were not Black in the Tower, and possibly ensure all of their deaths if their hunt for the Black Ajah became known before they were ready to move. Yukiri and Meidani are both unnerved when they pass Atuan herself in the halls. Yukiri thinks of how Pevara went into a rage once she was finally convinced Galina Casban was Black, and how Yukiri had felt about learning about Temaile Kinderode, but having Atuan walking around free in front of them was worse.

It was like living with a red adder, never knowing when you would find yourself eye to eye with it, never knowing when it might bite. Like living in a den of red adders, and only being able to see one.

Yukiri interrupts Meidani’s resumed report on Atuan to tell her that she’d remembered that Meidani and Elaida had been friends as novices, and she wants Meidani to renew that friendship; Meidani tries to demur, but Yukiri makes it an order. Meidani then tells her that she’d tried already, but that the Keeper prevented it, saying Elaida is too busy. Yukiri counters, though, that Alviarin has left the Tower and packed for a few days, so she will be out of the way. Meidani wonders where Alviarin could be going; Yukiri wonders the same thing, but tells Meidani she need only be concerned with getting close to Elaida, and seeing who if anyone is reading Elaida’s papers.

Talene said the Black Ajah knew everything that came out of the Amyrlin’s study before it was announced, and they needed someone close to Elaida if they were to find out how it was done. Of course, Alviarin saw everything before Elaida signed, and the woman had taken on more authority than any Keeper in memory, but that was no reason to accuse her of being a Darkfriend. No reason not to, either.

Seaine then appears, calling to Yukiri and startling her and Meidani both. She is accompanied by Bernaile Gelbarn, another ferret. Yukiri is irate at Seaine’s lack of discretion, and tells her so; Seaine is abashed, but insists on talking anyway, telling Yukiri she needs to discuss “the second mystery.” After a moment, Yukiri realizes she is talking about the secret meetings of the Ajah Heads, which Yukiri finds much less important now that they know about the Black Ajah, but agrees to talk about it. To her surprise, Seaine weaves an eavesdropping ward about the two of them. She first makes a plea for them to stop treating her like a novice, insisting that she would already be dead by now if anyone knew about her conversation with Elaida, but Yukiri tells her she’ll have to talk to Saerin about that. Moving on to the Ajah Heads, Seaine asks if the Head of the Grays (Serancha, though Seaine doesn’t know that) had had a hand in choosing Andaya for the Hall; Yukiri reluctantly confirms this, even though she thinks Andaya was young for it yet.

“I knew it.” Seaine nodded excitedly, not at all her normal manner. “Saerin says that Juilaine was handpicked for the Brown, too, apparently not their usual way, and Doesine says the same about Suana, though she was hesitant about saying anything. I think Suana may be head of the Yellow herself. In any case, she was a Sitter for forty years the first time, and you know it isn’t common to take a chair after you were a Sitter that long. And Ferane stepped down for the White less than ten years ago; no one has ever entered the Hall again so soon. To cap it off, Talene says the Greens nominate choices and their Captain-General chooses one, but Adelorna chose Rina without any nominations.”

Yukiri is irritated at the rudeness of bandying about Ajah secrets so casually (and additionally thinks that “Captain-General” is a ridiculous title). Yukiri spells out what Seaine is driving at, that of the five Ajahs who had to replace Sitters when the rebels fled, four have chosen sisters who are in some way “unusual” choices. She scoffs, however, at the notion that the Heads are conspiring over this in some manner, pointing out the Browns picked a “normal” choice in Shevan. Seaine counters, though, that unlike the others the Browns had had to replace two Sitters instead of one, and while Shevan was a “normal” choice, the 2nd new Sitter (Juiliane) was not.

“But there is a pattern, Yukiri—a puzzle—and whether it’s rational or not, something tells me we had better solve it before the rebels get here. It makes me feel as though somebody’s hand is on my shoulder, but when I look, there isn’t anyone there.”

Yukiri still isn’t entirely convinced, but reassures Seaine that they have time, since the rebels can’t possibly get to Tar Valon before next summer anyway, though she rather wishes it were not so, thinking their arrival might be what is needed to bring the Ajahs together again. She tells Seaine to go back to her room, and continues on.

In a barn in the village of Dorian, outside Tar Valon, Gawyn wakes from troubled dreams of Egwene. His first Lieutenant (Rajar) tells him that a sister has arrived from Tar Valon. Gawyn thinks to himself that he should have gone back to Caemlyn to wait for Elayne the moment he found out the Younglings had been banned from Tar Valon, but he hadn’t been sure whether Elayne would come back to Tar Valon first, and now he was trapped, both by winter and by the army of at least twenty-five thousand or so that had seemed to appear out of nowhere at the river Erinin.

Any army would take notice of upward of three hundred men on the move, and the rebels would have no goodwill toward the Younglings. Even if he went alone, travel in winter was very slow, and he could reach Caemlyn as quickly if he waited until spring. There was no hope of finding passage on a ship, either. The siege would mire river traffic in a hopeless snarl. He was mired in a hopeless snarl.

He and Rajar go to the Mayor’s house see what the sister from the city has to say to the Aes Sedai here in the village. Inside, Katerine Alruddin and Tarna Feir are with a third sister named Narenwin, who interrupts herself when she sees Gawyn to inform him that she has orders for him from the Amyrlin Seat. Gawyn asks bluntly why he should obey orders from the Amyrlin after she has disowned the Younglings, but Katerine impatiently cuts this off to go back to their discussion of Narenwin’s contacts among the fishermen, who might possibly be able to get them back into Tar Valon past the besieging army. Gawyn thinks to himself he would not be sorry to see either Katerine or Tarna leave; Tarna had arrived and taken over the eleven sisters there barely a day after the rebel army arrived, and Katerine had arrived only the day before and taken over from Tarna, refusing to explain how she had escaped Dumai’s Wells or where she had been since then, but both had shown far too much interest in the Younglings for Gawyn’s comfort. Narenwin tells them she is supposed to take over Covarla’s group here, but Katerine tells her she was never part of Covarla’s group, so that does not apply to her, and Tarna is insistent that Elaida not know she is even here (which makes Katerine frown). Katerine insists on going to Narenwin’s fishermen to get back to Tar Valon, and reluctantly tells Tarna she may come along as well. Tarna accepts this, and she and Katerine go to leave the house. Gawyn demands of Narenwin whether she has any news of his sister, but can tell she is going to give him a non-answer. Suddenly, Tarna turns and tells him calmly that Elayne is with the rebels, astonishing both Katerine and Narenwin. Tarna assures Gawyn, though, that his sister is safe from “retribution,” since as an Accepted she cannot choose which Aes Sedai to obey. Gawyn says roughly that she might have told him before, to which she answers that he never asked, and leaves. Narenwin tells him that like Elayne, he is also sealed to the Tower, for all his talk of “disowning.”

He closed his eyes, and it was all he could do not to scrub at them with the heels of his hands. The Younglings were sealed to the White Tower. No one would ever forget that they had fought, on the very grounds of the Tower, to stop the rescue of a deposed Amyrlin. For good or ill, the tale would follow them to their graves. He was marked by that, as well, and by his own secrets. After all that bloodshed, he was the man who had let Siuan Sanche walk free. More importantly, though, Elayne bound him to the White Tower, and so did Egwene al’Vere, and he did not know which tied the tighter knot, the love of his sister or the love of his heart. To abandon one was to abandon all three, and while he breathed, he could not abandon Elayne or Egwene.

Wearily, he asks Narenwin what Elaida wants.

And the Prologue continues to continue. Someone figured out back in the day that COT’s Prologue constitutes something like 15% of the entire book, which is just the beginning of how structurally wonky this novel is.

This, of course, is all due to chronology: everything that happens in COT’s Prologue takes place before the Cleansing at the end of WH, in some cases well beforehand. It’s pretty safe to assume that the length of it is due to the fact that Jordan was attempting to even up the timelines between the many many plot threads, some of which are by this point seriously out of alignment with each other time-wise. All of the Prologues of the later books, actually, have served this “chronological clearinghouse” purpose for any story arcs which were not going to be central to that particular novel in the series, but the sheer length of COT’s cleanup attempt could be interpreted as a sign that the series was spinning a wee bit out of control in this regard.

On first reading, this was…not frustrating for me, precisely, so much as just confusing, at least initially. I’ve mentioned before that I have a tendency to ignore chronological wonkiness unless they are made really obvious, and this was definitely one of those times, since I dug into COT being extremely eager to find out what the fallout would be from the Cleansing, and instead was confronted with almost a hundred pages of narrative where no one even seemed to be aware of it. It took me a bit, actually, to realize that this was because the Cleansing hadn’t actually happened yet; like I said, I’m kind of slow on the uptake on larger—I guess “technical issues” is the best way to describe it—the first time I read something.

So I was a bit miffed once I did finally figure it out. I consoled myself, though, that we would definitely get to fun post-Cleansing stuff once the actual chapters got going.


Anyway. On with the show, eh?

Yukiri: Though she of course is completely (well, mostly) wrong about why the Tower is doing a fair imitation of the Cold War these days (except split six ways instead of two-ish, which is even worse), I still sympathize. That’s got to be…stressful, to say the least. Imagine suddenly realizing some unknown but significant percentage of the people in your extended family—people you thought you’ve known your whole life, or nearly—are in reality all members of some extremist cult or something, who hate you and everything you stand for, and would like nothing better than to see you suffer, and yet you can’t say or do anything about it. I’d say that rates a Crispin Glover or two on the Freakout scale, don’t you?

That said, I’m still rather annoyed with the Black Ajah Hunters’ not having made more progress by this point, however, even though less than a month has gone by (for the characters, anyway) since they discovered Talene was Black Ajah. I giggle now to think that I originally assumed the entire Black Ajah Thing would be taken care of in this book. And as usual, it’s difficult for me to judge if their cluelessness re: Alviarin’s (to me) OBVIOUS EVILITUDE is clunky authorial blindspotting, or it just seems so to me because I as the reader know far more than the characters do.

(And where did she go, again? I swear, COT and KOD are like a complete blur to me. Oh well.)

I’ll freely confess, the “Ajah/Sitter Mystery” aspect of the Tower split storyline always rather made my eyes glaze over, and I was never able to make heads or tails of it back in the day. Admittedly, this is probably because I didn’t have to try that hard; Rich Boyè’s willingness to take that particular FAQ article off my hands during the updates for WH and COT was a godsend as far as I was concerned. *sends Rich a shipment of Internets*

Mind, this isn’t to say I disliked this storyline; I thought it felt very cool and complicated and politicky and (therefore) realistic-sounding, actually. I just didn’t feel like putting in the effort to actually keep all the names and affiliations and titles and blahbihdah straight in my head.

Nowadays, ironically, I can actually talk quite intelligently about the whole mess simply through sheer repetitive osmosis, but at the time COT came out I was content to simply nod and smile and relegate the tsunami of names and etc. to the same mental backwash in which I store Star Trek technobabble. In other words, as long as it sounded good enough to pass a minimal bullshit filter, and I understood the results of said babble, I was more or less content to trust that Jordan had a good grip on the Aes Sedai Yellow Pages (especially considering he wrote the Aes Sedai Yellow Pages) and was not actually just making shit up at random, and so felt no need to independently verify his methodology, so to speak.

I should note that, judging by the lengthy…well, we’ll call them “discussions” on the newsgroup on this topic, I was rather alone in this blasé attitude among the fandom. This is probably because “blasé” is by definition kind of completely antithetical to the entire nature of fandom in the first place. What can I say, sometimes I’m a freak. Or just lazy, take your pick.

In any case, the whole thing is more or less cleared up and/or made irrelevant by events in TGS, though I tend to think the criticisms about it being far too convoluted a scheme to have been implemented under the chaotic circumstances of Elaida’s coup still hold some water. But, it is what it is.

I was a bit startled, admittedly, to realize that part of the plan evidently involved the Ajah Heads’ essentially staging a (clandestine) coup of their own, though given Elaida’s spectacular lack of leadership skills (perhaps most adequately demonstrated by her staging such an insane revolution in the first place!) the decision isn’t all that unreasonable, really.  Which isn’t to say I wasn’t relieved Egwene was able to squash it but good once she took power. At least I think she has; to actually expect Aes Sedai to stop scheming altogether at any point, even an apocalyptic one, is probably a tad optimistic.

(Evidence I have been doing this too long: I can type any iteration of the word “apocalypse” without the slightest hesitation over the spelling of it.)

Anyway, blasé attitude or not, I did find the revelations here concerning the Ajah Head titles and all to be pretty interesting from a world-building perspective. I may not have been making much of an attempt to keep it all straight, true, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t (or don’t) appreciate how obvious scenes like this one make the depth and complexity of Jordan’s world. At this point in the series the universe of WOT has long since attained a weight and internal cohesiveness equal to or greater than any of the great fictional landscapes out there, up to and including Tolkien’s (barring, perhaps, the languages). Which is, you know, pretty darn cool.

I agree with Yukiri, though, that “Captain-General” is a silly title. Unless the Greens actually have a formal military ranking system, using “Captain-General” for your leader’s title strikes me as…I dunno, rather disrespectful, really.

Though then I distracted myself for a good ten minutes trying to think what would be a good title for the Head of the Greens. I couldn’t come up with anything less silly-sounding; maybe you guys’d like to give it a shot.

And then we have Gawyn, who I feel is going to owe me a new desk (or, possibly, a new skull) by the time we get to his (provisional) redemption from Emo Twatness in ToM. Why, yes, yes you should have gone to Caemlyn, you idiot. You should have gone long since. You should have gone after Dumai’s Wells at the very least, especially considering you knew by then that Elaida was trying to get you killed, you daft knob. No, scratch that, you should have left Tar Valon with Siuan and Min in TSR after the coup—or better yet, not helped Elaida’s stupid-ass coup succeed in the first place, YOU GIANT MORON.


The most amazing thing about Gawyn is how he manages to keep going down the same road of Stupid even as he’s telling himself how stupid it is. I mean, that’s just special, right there. This passage being an utterly typical example, since it consists of Gawyn finally finding out Elayne is alive and (supposedly) with the rebels…which somehow leads to his decision to fall back in line with Elaida.



So, yeah. Other than that, this scene is pretty non-interesting, except that I can’t remember why Tarna doesn’t want Elaida to know where she is at this point, since I seem to recall she’s been trying to get back to Tar Valon to report on the Rebels ever since her visit to them back in (wow) LOC. So, maybe something hinky there, though for the life of me I can’t recall if anything comes of it.

Also, I’m all sad in advance on her behalf now, in light of what happens in ToM. Crap. Especially considering that she’s just about the only Aes Sedai here who shows anything like a scrap of consideration here for Gawyn’s feelings, backhanded though it might be. Which is even more impressive considering she’s Red, and thus not very constitutionally inclined to give a crap about A Mere Man. And since I am constitutionally inclined to automatically give extra credit to anyone who manages to rise above their own prejudices, this just makes her forced rotation to the Dark Side that much more tragic in my opinion. Blargh.

So which way do I turn, when I forget everything I learned? Towards next Tuesday, methinks, when we polish off this Prologue puppy. Don’t forget your cloak and dagger!

Debbie Solomon
1. dsolo
I think Tarna didn't want Elaida to know where she is, because she really dislikes her since the "unpleasantness" after the Aiel war. Tarna was exiled and Elaida got to be advisor to Morgase and then Amyrlin. At some point, I believe that Tarna was actively planning to expose her. Am I really first post? Yea!
Tricia Irish
2. Tektonica
Yeah Leigh! I'm so glad you are recapping this and I'm not reading it, because, like you, I totally glaze over....thank you.

"... at the time COT came out I was content to simply nod and smile and relegate the tsunami of names and etc. to the same mental backwash in which I store Star Trek technobabble. In other words, as long as it sounded good enough to pass a minimal bullshit filter, and I understood the results of said babble, I was more or less content to trust that Jordan had a good grip on the Aes Sedai Yellow Pages...."

Absolutely hysterical and describes me to a T. I'm crying off my makeup. LOL. So glad I'm not alone.

And Gawyn. Blargh indeed.
John Massey
3. subwoofer
Hi Leigh- in the tradition of $^!t my Dad says... I put a "WISH" out there and it was granted;)

"Gawyn thinks to himself"... really? That happens in this book? That has happened ever?

Birgit F
4. birgit
I can’t remember why Tarna doesn’t want Elaida to know where she is at this point

What Tarna is saying is that Elaida's orders don't apply to her because Elaida doesn't know that Tarna is there.
Lannis .
5. Lannis
Re: Yukiri's "best" shawl... I think this is the first time I realized that Aes Sedai might have different shawls... I always assumed that they only had one--and wore it for formal occasions. Apparently not...

Re: Captain-General... After the Seanchan Raid on the Tower, and seeing how completely ill-prepared the "Battle Ajah" is for Tarmon Gai'don, I'm willing to title the Head of the Green Ajah "Head Doof."

Re: Length of the prologue... Um, there's still another part this monster?! Talk about taking one for the team...

Speaking of which, thanks Leigh! Have a great weekend! :)

EDIT: for clarity.
John Massey
6. subwoofer
And while we are on the topic of sacks of hammers- I do feel kinda gyped that the BA hunters have not sussed out Alivarin. IIRC she was not figured out until the V book... or ever. Can't remember exactly.

OTOH, it woulda been great if the ladies made some faulty leaps in judgement upon realizing about the orders coming out of the Amrylin's study and took Alivarin and Elaida down for the count.

As far as the world building goes- I have to agree, this was the introduction to the heads of the Ajahs, something I had not considered in the past. We know about the Amrylin, the Keeper, and the Sitters. Now learning about the Ajah heads. I like the name the "Highest" and "First Weaver" . "Captain-General" kinda sounds redundant redundant.

Edited for link.

Roger Powell
7. forkroot
As I've said before, Tarna's situation in ToM bothered me more than it should have for an admittedly minor character. Considering that AMoL will probably have a lot of "bad stuff" happen for Team Light before a (hopefully) happy-ish ending .... yikes!

If someone I really like (e.g. Leane) were to be turned ... That would really bug me!

Re: The whole Ajah heads + mysterious sitters puzzle. This was one example where the fan sites really nailed it (unlike, say, Verin's shtick). Personally, I never worried too much about it and let the resolution of the plotline happen (in TGS) go by with an attitude of "yep, ho hum".

What was sadder (for me) was the fizzling of the BA hunters plotline. They pretty much get subsumed into Egwene's awesomeness in TGS and really don't have that much effect on things. Too bad ... I was looking for a minor character MOA and won't get it from Yukiri or Seaine. OTOH, Pevara (our favorite Red) might get a second chance at one in AMoL - and hopefully so because she's in deep doo-doo right now!
Roger Powell
8. forkroot
You're back? I thought you were dead hundreds of years ago! ;-)

Re: Captain-General... After the Seanchan Raid on the Tower, and seeing how completely ill-prepared the "Battle Ajah" is for Tarmon Gai'don, I'm willing to title the Head of the Green Ajah "Head Doof."
I think you are going easy on Adelorna. The title I would use for her would not pass muster in polite company. Not only do the Green appear ill-prepared, but Adelorna is even part of the attempted mini-coup that the Hall tries on Egwene in ToM.

What an ungrateful jerk! In retrospect, I wish Egwene had not saved her during the Seanchan raid - Sivi would have been a very good damane.
John Massey
9. subwoofer
Naw, I'm going with Lannis on this one- IIRC it was a Brown that was kicking but while the ol' green ajah was screaming in the night. And at some point, when Adel comes to her senses, doesn't she try to take the reigns from someone and gets put down for it? Wait- maybe it was the same scene, but anyways, the Greens were just that- green, when it came to actually fighting in a fight.

Tess Laird
10. thewindrose
So going along with Egwene's thoughts of sending Accepted of to train with Wise Ones, I think some full Sisters should go as well. I think Seaine could benefit from a crash course with them in getting a back bone. She has shown some good thinking that if the Black Ajah knew about her task, she would be dead, so therefore they don't - so she doesn't need to be sent to her room. And really? Sitting in her room is going to be safe with the Black Ajah out walking the halls with impunity?

Gaah I say - and that leads us to Gawyn. Very fitting;)

Also, it was so maddding to me that they have all thought about Alviarin, but no follow through. I was yelling at them at first, but after a few rereads I was just like, yeah well they are Aes Sedai, which means that aside from a few shining examples they are good at keeping their heads in the ground and humming lalalala. And I really don't think I am being to harsh:)

Barry T
11. blindillusion

Tarna was never exiled. You're thinking of Toveine.
Tarna was a newly raised Aes Sedai after the Aiel War. She is an Accepted in New Spring.

...Also, would appear in KoD that we learn Elaida made a pass at Tarna, but Tarna prefers men.... That could be a reason Tarna gives Gawyn that information.
Roger Powell
12. forkroot
You might be thinking of when Katerine (gah I hated her! Loved her demise in ToM) tries to take over from Saerin (who is by far the most awesome Brown other than you know who) during the Seanchan attack. Saerin FTW.

Adelorna was "miss not-appearing in that scene" :-)

BTW - one item on the plus side of the ledger for the Captain-General: she was the first of the Ajah heads to suggest Egwene for Amyrlin (they all had to be thinking it though.)
Brandon Daggerhart
13. TankSpill
@7 Forkroot - it is my belief that the Black Ajah hunters, because of their snooping into White Tower politics, are now primed to really take on the Really Bad Stuff going on at the Black Tower, which is why, minor as it was, I was really ecstatic to see Pevara get some POVs, and especially one that seemed to imply, "Hey, it's time to get some shit DONE here, yo!" I think her little group and Logain's posse are going to beat some ever-living something out of Taim and his cronies, hopefully right in time for Rand to show up and do something useful.

And, seriously Leigh, the sacrifice you are making for us by reading this in our stead is nothing short of martyr-ous. Thank you.
Mike McCaffrey
14. earlgrey
re: subwoofer @ 9

The greeness of the Greens is similar to the greeness of the White Cloaks is TOM, not enough experience. If you plan on placing yourself at the front of the battle against the dark side, it would probably be a good idea to practice instead of just relying on your inherent awesomness or cuteness or whatever.
Rob Munnelly
15. RobMRobM
Blind - you beat me to the punch. Also nice insight re Tarna-Gawyn.

Re Green Ajah, I propose Head of Lettuce. That's pretty green and fights as well as our presumed battle ajah.

Fork - remember that Saerin had a MOA in ToM - she became Siuan's buddy. Not much but it's something.

Leigh - a leeeetle tough on our Gawyn, aren't you? I for one don't fault him for the Tower Coup or escorting sisters before and after Dumai's Wells. After it is clear that Elaida's trying to get him killed, that's when he goes off the rails. Thank goodness he hit rock bottom in Camelyn in ToM and came back pretty darned awesome. Yeah!

16. hamstercheeks
Thank you, Leigh!

Yeah, "Captain-General" for the head of the Fail Ajah seems a little inappropriate. It's so very hard to find a title that combines what the Green is supposed to do and what they've actually (not) accomplished. Well, maybe they'll actually be better in the next Seanchan raid, or in TG.

Again -- waaaaah, I like Tarna! Nynaeve, fix her!
Barry T
17. blindillusion
Hmm, what they're supposed to do and what they've accomplished?

K. They're Ajah Head can be called....dun dun dun...Battle Loss.
Lannis .
18. Lannis
forkroot @ 8: Nice. ;P

RobM @ 15: Head of Lettuce... nice! It's green, all right. Slight crunch when eaten... do Trollocs like lettuce? I think it's safe to say they like crunchy Greens...

blind @ 17: BAHAhahahaha!

Wow. These Green Ajah jokes are so easy...

Elsewhere in the Tower... yeah, I wish the BA hunters had just decided to take out both Elaida and Alviarin. That would have been fun to watch. ^^

EDIT: GAH! Oy, I have an issue. Every time I see Crossroads of Twilight in the sidebar, the word Twilight stands out and I think sparkly vampires... aaaaand now my head hurts. Feel free to mock--I'm doing it myself as well. Oy. :|
19. AndrewB
I forgot that Meidani was ordered by the Black Ajah Hunters to renew her friendship with Elaida on screen.

Wow. Talk about a minor character who has had a bad run of luck in this series. Here is hoping that RJ had no plans to have her suffer anymore now that Elaida has bee deposed.

Is there any opinions on whether Egwene will reward Meidani for the sacrificaes she had to make?

Thanks for reading my musings?
Daniel Hanley
20. Kythorian
The whole 'Captain-General' thing isn't that bad when you think about it. As I understand it, the Green Ajah did have a military structure (at least somewhat) once upon a time back in the Trolloc Wars. This is probably when that name was created. So yeah, the head of the Green Ajah doesn't really deserve the title anymore, but its traditional, and it made sense when it was created. Doesn't seem so unreasonable to me.

Also, I think that people are a little overly critical of the Green Ajah in general. Yeah, its easy to laugh at how pathetic and useless the majority of aes sedai are in this series(with a few very notable exceptions), but to be fair, neither the Green Ajah, nor really any other aes sedai have any experience fighting other channelers. Second, they were fighting humans humans...the green ajah always expected to fight shadowspawn(or at least darkfriends, who are easy to categorize as non-human), not humans. Its more difficult from a psychological standpoint to kill another person, especially when you have not prepaired yourself for it, than people give credit for. And finally, the whole thing was a complete surprise. It wasn't supposted to be simply difficult to attack the Tower, it was supposted to be impossible. Certainly impossible to mount a surprise attack. They are on an island with a wall and tens of thousands of soldiers between them and anyone who might try and get to the Tower. No reasonable person would expect them to be ready for an attack in what is probably literally the safest place on the entire planet by way of creatures that they didn't know existed.

Anyone would have performed poorly in these circumstances. The fact that Egwene doesn't, and that others like Rand, Nynaeve, etc have performed well in similar circumstances speak of their pure inhuman awesomeness, not really anything negative about the aes sedai, nor the green ajah specifically.
TW Grace
21. TWGrace
I thinkt captain-general made perfect sense...since isnt it one of the highest ranks in Randland?

I could see the Greenies thinking they could just go in and take charge of the Tarmon Gaidon (however you spellit)...since they "have the rank".

Of course them doing that would end up like McNamara running Vietnam...
22. DontDriveAngry
In short: I hate Gawyn. ToM redeemed NOTHING in this reader's eyes- in fact, the obbvious force-feeding of him as somehow being worth anything managed to make me hate him even more.

This dead-weight anchor should've been killed off a long time ago, and instead, he's dragging down my opinion of Egwene, who, if she exists in any kind of meta-state, has to be wondering why the writers in this series are forcing her into this inexplicable and chemistry-less romance with such a loser.
23. hamstercheeks
DontDriveAngry -- Don't think (about Gawyn) and drive.
John Massey
24. subwoofer
Hey now- Don't let the Gawyn taint Egwene, she is still a beacon tower wise:)

@Fork12- yeah, that's the one. Go Brown! ( er... and I am not chanting for UPS).

@RobM- LOL!!

Yeah, thing that had me wondering is the idea of AS practicing. We see the Novices and Accepted practicing till the end of days for their tests- 60 weaves or whatever. After the shawl, it all goes away. Dang. Another thing is would the Oaths limit the AS ability to practice against each other? It would be kinda cool to have a training ground like the Xavier Danger Room, to actually train for the Tarmon Gai'don.

John Massey
25. subwoofer
Maybe they could practice weaves in T'AR?

Sara H
26. LadyBelaine

up until the point where Elayne started making copies of the T'A'R ring, most Aes Sedai never even had access to it. The twisted ring was Coriannin Nadeal's and not listed in the inventries, and then Verin kept it to herself.

Without access to T'A'R' ter'angreals, average Jane Sedai has no way of getting into the astral plane.
John Massey
27. subwoofer
Well then, that sucks... but if, as Wind has suggested on another thread, T'AR is gonna play a big part in sealing the Egg, then the ladies are gonna have to start figuring stuff out. At some point the training wheels are coming off, ready or not.

28. SoonerFan
I like what the Sea Folk were doing for practice when they were with Nynaeve in WH. Granted, the method they went about it kinda sucked (for Nynaeve, anyway). The idea though to practice dueling, is a great idea. It pushes the channelers to expand their mental capabilities under stress. Just like anything else (especially sports), people who practice a lot at a certain skill are able to be act calm and effectively under stress. I don't think the Supergirls or Superboys, did that well at the beginning of the series, but continued practice and exposure to danger is what in part has made them so effective in dealing with those situations.
Thomas Keith
29. insectoid
Great post Leigh!! Silly long Prologue.

I'm doing some desperately-needed spring cleaning on my mom's computer, so I'll have more later on.

RobM² @15: Head of Lettuce... ROFLMAO!! That's perfect! xD

Joseph Armao
30. joeyesq
Leigh, "Emo Twatness" made me spit coffee all over my desk. Good job! ;0)
Janet Hopkins
31. JanDSedai
re: Seaine & Saerin

Does anybody know how these names are supposed to be pronounced?! I keep getting them confused, and maybe if I could mentally tag them with some difference, maybe I could tell them apart.

So I guess y'all don't think of the Green Ajah as a "lean, green, fighting machine"?!
John Massey
32. subwoofer
More like "lean, green tools" but yeah, pretty much.

Joseph Armao
33. joeyesq

Don't know if its right, but in my head Saerin is "Say-rin" and Seaine is "See-eye-nee".
35. pwl
Adelorna was "miss not-appearing in that scene" :-)

Different scene. Not the "coup" one. In tGS, Adelorna was the one that Egwene saved after being collared as damane.

No reasonable person would expect them to be ready for an attack in what is probably literally the safest place on the entire planet by way of creatures that they didn't know existed.

Cuz it's not like Egwene spent weeks saying the Seanchan were going to attack. Egwene, who spent plenty of time in their captivity and was aware of the weapons at their disposal (sans Bloodknives, of course). The "Captain-General" was straight negligent for not inquiring, if nothing else to find out what their capabilities are. That's normally the type of information one in charge of battles wants to know from people who have been behind enemy lines.
The Greens are a joke. They can't help it, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be scoffed at.
Karen Fox
36. thepupxpert
Boy I've missed alot, I logged in and not one but two recaps! Thanks Leigh, I'm lurking only - I'm really busy with work right now to actively contribute. Most enjoyable however! Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Matthew Smith
37. blocksmith

Great re-read....funny funny funny. Made my day.

My nominations for the title of head of the Green Ajah (and this only because they appear so actually ineffectual when it comes to actually fighting).
Greenest of the Gills
Green Dim Lantern
Great Green Jello (soft, squishy, and also a favorite treat of Trollocs)

That being said, if they do redeem themselves, battle-wise, I think Captain-General is appropriate. They would be the head of the Green Ajah Army of Channelling Aes Sedai (does that sound too much like an add for a circus?).

I recall being generally not-caring-so-much about the whole appointed sitters thing. I felt like finding the BA in the tower would be the overiding concern...kind of like you are on a sinking fishing boat and someone says "wait...I didn't secure the hook on my fishing rod" Really? figuring out why/how the sitters were appointed is remotely close in importance as to finding and surgically removing the single most dangerous non-Forasaken group of people (besides black asha'man of course) in the world? Suffice to say, I did not focus on it.
Antoni Ivanov
38. tonka
@35 pwl
It's true that Egwene warned all Aes Sedai but they didn't believe her at all. They were arrogant and sure of their (non-existent) superiority over everyone else. But I think the discussion is not about how utterly stupid were they for ignoring Egwene but how effective and competent they are in battle. They didn't make good show of it. But they were pretty much in shock that the WT has been attacked and this is an excuse, not big one, but it's something.
James Hogan
39. Sonofthunder
Just one comment for now...Leigh, your intro is totally made of win. You've now won my undying love(ok, not that that's creepy or anything...). Mmm, Coldplay...

And I'll be back later when I have more time to sufficiently comment(hopefully positively), but for now I wanted to say that I heartily agree with all of blocksmith's suggestions for Green Ajah head. I just may have laughed out loud.
Claire de Trafford
40. Booksnhorses
What happened to Talene? I assume she got her head chopped in TGS but is it stated? Thanks for this reread and all the resources coz I just can't keep it all in my head and still operate day to day.

When I started reading this thing way back when I was with the supers in wanting to be Green. Now with my weight of maturity and the lameness of the Greens I'm changing Ajahs to Brown.
Ron Garrison
41. Man-0-Manetheran
I think it was right about here that I decided I needed a cheat sheet to keep track of all the Aes Sedai. My head was spinning...Seaine...Saerin...Suana...Shevan...Serancha...etc., etc. Still I put it off for the longest time and kept getting more confused. And the first time I listened to an audiobook I was confused again as I had been pronouncing them all wrong!

@35. pwl: "The Greens are a joke. They can't help it, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be scoffed at." But they do seem to get laid a lot.
Valentin M
43. ValMar
Leigh as usual is doing an admirable job with a "difficult" passage of WOT.
About the name of the Head of the Greens I agree with the rather obvious statement by someone above- the name, as everything else Aes Sedai, was adopted millenia ago. I'm sure it was very apt during the Trolloc Wars, and later.
So what should the Greens do now? Meet up and the Captain-General says "Sisters, since we've become a bit shite now, the name C-G sounds a bit stupid. Let's change it into something more appropriate. Any ideas?"

I get the image of the Parliament convening in Westminster and PM Dave announcing to a grateful nation "Dear Countrymen, this charade has continued for long enough. From today we drop the "Great" and call ourselves just Britain".
I could've gone for "States which voted for the elephants leaving the UnitedSA" but thought- maybe too soon. But you see the point.

PS Don't meen to be a party pooper but it's your own fault that no one has managed to think of an alternative name funny enough to satisfy my high standards :)
44. KiManiak
Thanks for the post, Leigh. Wow; 15% of the actual book is made up of the Prologue. Thank you so much for reading and recapping this in our stead. Don't know if I could put myself through that again...

Ok, I will give some benefit of the doubt to the Greens since they probably never have (and never really expected to) fought fellow humans. Maybe the uneasiness of having to kill another human would make them uncomfortable.

But if you label yourself as the “Battle Ajah” and your leader as the “Captain General,” then you need to be better in reaction to threats, an understanding of tactics and keeping a level head under fire than Adelorna displayed in TGS.

Shouldn’t the Battle Ajah (who are supposed to counter enemy Dreadlords) make it a focus that each of their members be trained in reacting to and countering the power when used in destructive ways? If nothing else, couldn’t they have their own training regimen, or something?

And wouldn’t an effective Captain General make sure that her troops see some combat experience? Tar Valon isn’t too far from the Blight. They could rotate Green sisters to the various Borderland realms to assist in defense against Shadowspawn, or something.
Valentin M
45. ValMar
The Greens are failing like the other ajahs in their respective fields. Each ajah to a different level but failing nevertheless. I personally wasn't that surprised by the Green's performance in the Tower raid. Especially given the circumstances- the extraordinary assault and the state of the Tower. Unless Eg specifically warned them about the possibility of an aerial attack under the cover of darkness.
I'm turning into Wetlander. Maybe within 20 or so years I'll master the skills and articularity too.
46. pwl
But I think the discussion is not about how utterly stupid were they for ignoring Egwene but how effective and competent they are in battle.

I was responding to a very specific comment, which I was kind enough to quote. An argument was being made that they cannot be held responsible for not knowing about certain possible tactics or vulnerabilities and thus their blundering is excusable, which I disagreed with on specific grounds. Their failure to inform and prepare properly has direct bearing on how effective and competent (read: not at all until the Child Amyrlin bailed their asses out with Vera's sa'angreal) they were in battle.
Don Barkauskas
47. bad_platypus
forkroot @7:
Instead of looking at the BA hunters as not being successful (and I was rooting for them as well), I look at it as the BA "heart" system doing exactly what it was designed to do: in case of a breach of security, it minimized the damage to allow enough time for the BA to detect the breach and react before the entire organization was exposed. That's the entire purpose of systems like the heart system, and it worked as intended. The fact that Verin's work trumped this is more a commentary on her awesomeness than the hunters' (relative) ineffectiveness.
Justin Levitt
48. TyranAmiros
How about "Greenest of them All"?

I've never understood why Egs is so insistant she would have chosen Green. She's always seemed like she's fit better in the Blue to me.
49. Syman

Awesome post, as usual.

You expressed my feelings about Gawyn more completely and succinctly than I ever could.

(Edit for spelling).
Ron Garrison
50. Man-0-Manetheran
"It's not easy bein' Green." - Kermit
51. Auspicium
In defense of the Green, I'd like to point out that they were the largest ajah to defect to the rebels (after the entire Blue, of course) so most of them weren't even in the tower during the Seanchan attack. And Adelorna lost a Warder so I think she did well enough considering. Also, since we're on the rebels's side wouldn't we want the Tower Greens to be suckier than the Rebel Greens? Just my two cents...
j p
52. sps49
IRL there have been Colonel-Generals. Ack.

Why should the Greens (and the Aes Sedai) have a blind spot for humans? Are there been no Darkfriends? Are Dreadlords so far in the past that they believe none will ever rise again? Are male channelers considered Shadowspawn?

Now that I think of it, just how do the Oaths allow the One Power to be used to sever male channelers? I'm sure no one felt they were defending their life against Owein, for instance.

And definitely ALL Aes Sedai, especially the Green Ajah, should have a continuous presence deployed to the Blight or fighting alongside the Borderlanders. Back in TEotW, in Fal Dara, I wondered why no Aes Sedai were there besides Our Heroes. Stupid lazy White Towerians, grmbl arg ack phthpbt!
Lee VanDyke
53. Cloric
Ya know, something about the Green Ajah during the Seanchan raid just occured to me. This may point out the single greatest disadvantage of the Oath about using the OP as a weapon. The sisters have to wait until they feel like they or another sister (or their Warder) is actually in danger before they use the power as a weapon. Well, considering the superior attitude most AS have, those Seanchan could easily have gotten close enough to collar them before they could have done anything if the AS didn't realize how big a threat they were. Perhaps we shouldn't judge the effectivness of the Ajah in battle against other humans, since the 3 Oaths basically cripple them in combat like we saw. Yes, the Tower was under attack, but I'd be willing to bet the Oath doesn't take that as "Danger" enough to attack an individual, the sister would have to have specifically known or felt strongly that the person/persons they were facing were enough of a danger to allow them to respond appropriately.

Just a thought.

Oh, and I don't have the gumption to look it up right now, but is the Oath specifically "My Warder" or "A Warder?"

Edit for a typo ("just" instead of "judge") And to add the final question.
Jay Dauro
54. J.Dauro
1) To speak no word that is not true. 
2) To make no weapon for one man to kill another. 
3) Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending your own life, that of your Warder, or that of another sister.

So does the second that mean the life of another sister, or the Warder of another sister?  ;^)
Lee VanDyke
55. Cloric
@ 54

Thanks for that. I think it is SUPPOSED to mean the life of another sister, but I guess a case could be made that it *might* allow you to defend someone elses Warder.

This just kinda reinforces my opinion for me, though. The Seanchan raid had a primary objective (Capture marath'damane) and a secondary one to kill if capture wasn't possible. So, if the damane were coming at sisters with non-lethal weaves, would the "last extreme" clause keep sisters from weaponizing the OP? And, furthermore, if your Warder gets killed immediately by a damane or spear or arrow, or whatever, then you can't defend his life anymore, right? Defense doesn't include vengence.

I think we may being going a little hard on the Greens, given the circumstances. Yes, they were woefully unprepared. Yes, they should have listened to Egwene. But, to me, it makes total sense that they didn't. She wasn't considered trustworthy as a two-time runaway, and "pretender" to the Amrylin Seat.
Captain Hammer
56. Randalator
I don't get what's so "silly" about the Captain-General per se. They call themselves the "Battle-Ajah" for crying out loud. Of course they're gonna have a system of military ranks.

The only silliness about it is the significant lack of battling the Green Ajah has done during the last two millennia, give or take. So I suppose Yukiri is remarking on the discrepancy between the Ajah's purpose and reality or (from an Aes Sedai perspective) the discrepancy between the Green Ajah's oh-we're-so-badass attitude and expected Aes Sedai decorum respectively. Possibly the latter...
Alice Arneson
57. Wetlandernw
Leigh - I didn't really say this on the previous post, for some reason, but I have some hope that your experience with TPoD (right?) will repeat itself here. When you took your much-needed vacation during WH, I went on ahead, and was rather surprised to enjoy this book quite a lot, this time through. I blame it on all the discussion here - I'm reading it with a different perspective, and there's some stuff worth discussing. But (as I did say last time) part of that is knowing what to expect, and not having to wait another two years for the next book...

blindillusion @11 - I believe it was Galina that made the pass at Tarna. The point stands that, humorless and cold as she generally seems, she doesn't hate men. Given her character, I have to wonder just what kind of men... But I won't really go there.

Re: Green Ajah head... Remember that the title was probably established well over a thousand years ago. Maybe in the Trolloc wars, the head of the GA really was a general and fought like one of the Great Captains of "our" time. The fact that it's descended to the level of wishful thinking in recent years is hardly a reason to break centuries of tradition, right? (These are Aes Sedai we're talking about, after all!) Besides, with TG looming, it gives the Green something to aim for. They do rather seem to lack much in the way of targeting skills... maybe such a lofty title will give someone a little incentive! Okay, so its a little late for that.

(Since I see Kythorian beat me to the reasonable part of that, I'll throw in a little more of the unreasonable stuff: Maybe Adelorna can abdicate in favor of Cadsuane, who will be so displeased by the combination of "getting stuck with the mess" and "the pathetic state of the Ajah" that she'll line them all up and march 'em out - and the Trollocs will see the scowling leader and run for their stinking little lives. At this point, Cadsuane will turn around and smack a few Greens for gaping like loobies, resign in favor of Aviendha, and glide off into the Blight to make sure the Trollocs mind their manners on the way home.)

ClairedeT @40 - Talene ran away. After her Oaths had been removed and she was being guarded by the Hunters, she received a summons to appear before the BA Supreme Council. She was pretty sure she wasn't going to receive either a commendation or a special assignment; the other alternative was too frightening to contemplate. She took off in the night and has not been heard from since. (KoD Prologue)

ValMar @45 - Welcome to the insanity that is DA! :) You're doing fine, just fine.

And also, you make a very good point. We readily criticize the AS in general, and now the Green in particular, but each Ajah as a group seem to have less vision for their stated goal than one would expect. Look at the limitations of the Yellow's Healing weaves, as compared to what Nynaeve and Sumeko have come up with on their own. Look at the only real exposure we get to the Whites - angrily debating over which mathematical model best describes the failure of the Wardings (?) and the rotting food in TV. Etc. It's easy to make fun of the Green, because their stated goal is a little more obviously understandable for us, but they've all become complacent and limited in their vision. Part of it is simple atrophy - not much has really been required of them in recent centuries - and part is that no one really wants to believe the apocalypse might be on their doorstep. Part of it may also be the work of Ishamael and the BA, distracting the AS from anything that might prepare them for the Last Battle.

bad_platypus @47 - Very good point! Much as we dislike the BA and want them to be at least as incompetent as the rest, the structure really was well done. Additionally, the BAH were only at it for a few months; it took Verin seventy years to get anywhere close to a complete list, and she was an insider! For them to have tagged Talene, Atuan, Marris and Karale in such a short time was pretty good, but it would have inevitably ended in disaster soon, given what they were having to do. The BA was far more extensive than they realized, and it couldn't have been much longer before the BA identified and eliminated the hunters. So I'll give them props for a job well done, even if it was rather OBE.

sps49 @52 - I'm pretty sure they didn't consider severing male channelers "using the OP as a weapon." We might, but considering their perspective, they wouldn't. Ergo, no conflict.

@53, 54 and 55 - They could easily consider the defense of another sister's Warder a defense of the sister herself, don't you think? Considering the effect the loss of a Warder can have?
Lee VanDyke
58. Cloric
@57 I'm not sure that would work, actually, or if it did, I think the mental gymnastics would be astounding. Now if the Warder bond breaking by the Warder's death caused the AS to go batshit suicidal kill-em-all crazy and she didn't have a care for her own life or safety, I could see that. But from what we've seen, the death of Warder just makes his AS an emotional wreck for an uncertain period of time. Don't think that could be justified enough to use the OP as a weapon.
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Yes, but if the AS in question saw that a sister's Warder was in danger, and the combination of removing that Warder and the resulting effect on the sister would almost certainly mean the death of the sister, it would be perfectly justified.

Mostly I'm just playing with words, but there is a real point here. An Oath, sworn on the Oath Rod, means what the Oath-bound person thinks it means, no more and no less. If she thinks it means she can use the OP to defend not only her own life, but that of her Warder, another sister, or another sister's Warder, then that's what it means for her. We've already seen at least one scene where different sisters were stopped by their Oaths at very different stages of a situation, based solely on their differing perceptions. We might find this a silly way to construct the limitations, but the fact remains that when you swear on the Oath Rod, your Oath means what you think it means, not what anyone else wants it to mean, or thinks it should mean. And it changes as you change; what might have made you fear for your life at 25, might just make you shrug at, say, 250. That would mean that in the same situation, at 25 you'd have been able to use the OP as a weapon, but at 250 you don't have that choice. Alternatively, if you thought you were in life-threatening danger, you could grab the Power, but as soon as someone else convinces you that you're not really in that much danger, you can't hold it (for that purpose) any longer.
Barry T
60. blindillusion
Ah yes, I stand corrected. Read Encyclopaedia WoT a little too quickly.
61. alreadymadwithprologue
Egwene didn't so much squash the Ajah Heads' conspiracy so much as gain their blessing to take over. There's a difference, how can she squish something she didn't really know about?
Also I don't believe Tarna was hiding from Elaida at this point. The only thing Tarna had to hide really, was that it was her idea to bond Asha'man. Not something Elaida would've liked. Particularly when Tarna was selected Keeper of the Chronicles. And yes, she is one of the cooler Reds at this point, which is why it utterly disturbs me that she seems to have been 13x13'ed.

dsolo @1
Tarna wasn't exiled for the vileness. Those were Toveine Gazal, Tsutama Rath and Lirene Doirellin. See above for what Tarna has to hide.

JanDSedai @31
see-AEYN & SAY-rin is how I pronounce them.

ClairedeT @40
IIRC She disappeared just around the time the Black Ajah hunters were planning to disrupt this Black Ajah meeting. The consensus is she found a way to run.

bad_platypus @47
It is also a testament to how long Verin has been working at it.

sps49 @52
Considering that channeling males were a danger to themselves and everything around them, they probably just saw it as something that needed doing.

Cloric @53
Good point. Egwene essentially had to convince Adelorna to "shoot to kill". And this was after she had just rescued her from being collared.

Wetlandernw @57
I believe Tarna has a POV somewhere about men who weren't intimidated by the Power.
James Hogan
62. Sonofthunder
@alreadymad...I'm not intimidated by the Power, hmm...of course, I also don't know any women that can channel...

@multiple, at this point, I had long given up on remembering the names of all the minor Aes Sedai - I figured if they did anything worthy of importance, I'd just naturally remember their names. Otherwise, I wasn't going to put in the effort. I love the fact that Jordan's worldbuilding was so deep as to have hundreds of Aes Sedai named(ok, maybe not, but it feels like it...), but some things I just can't be bothered with remembering...(sorry, random Aes Sedai. Please don't smooth your skirts at me. Or sniff)

And I just may be weird, but I love the prologues!! We get to see lots of fun random characters that we may not see for another book or two. I much enjoy getting viewpoints from the "minor" characters to see what else is going on in the wide world of Randland. And Jordan's characterization is so beautifully done that I can immediately empathize with random people like Yukiri or Ituralde. Ok, maybe not Gawyn though. I'm with you on my disdain for him, sub. ;)
John Massey
63. subwoofer
@Sonofthunder- agreed. I also don't know any female channelers per se. Although I think some of the mind games certain co-workers and my wife play on me may qualify... never underestimate the power of a guilt trip...

@all- now we all know that there are five Great Captains- but I don't think that is their rank- it's more like a phrase of reference. I am fairly sure that Bryne is the general of his army. I guess in the long run it is a matter of semantics, but the title captain-general just doesn't flow for me. Looking up on wiki- I see that RJ drew from medieval times for his references. I am just used to modern day titles is all.

About cutting the Aes Sedai some slack-hmmmmmm- pass. Nope, not gonna do it. These ladies tout themselves as the pillar of knowledge, strength and good hygene for the free world. Well then, get'r done. It is not like the ladies do not know the Last Battle is coming. The exact date is not nailed down, but what are the ladies thinking? "Oh yeah, the DO said he'd give us a century's heads up before he attacks us". Somehow I don't think so. Borderlanders (and I know I have said this before) are trained and prepared from birth. Be on the ready. Tower is attacked and all the ladies have for protection is their egos and a bunch of Novices grouping together.

Actually, I very much like Wetlander's idea- let Cadsuane be in charge of the Green Ajah. Heck, let Cadsuane be in charge of the Asha'man - general both channeling fighting forces, while we are at it. On a smaller scale Caddy has already proven that she can organize and marshal forces, why not take it to the next level? Big thing is that I am fairly confident that Cadsuane can cow all the female channelers to listen to her... and I am equally confident that she can brow beat the male channelers to do the same.

Edited for punctuation.

Stefan Mitev
64. Bergmaniac
CoT's prologue is the best part of the book IMO. It's about minor characters, but at least stuff happens at a reasonable pace unlike in the rest of the book which is extremely slow. A lof of those minor characters are interesting too, Ituralde especially, or the BA hunters in the Tower. Too bad both of those plotlines don't get any more development in this book and we instead we got a whole lot of the main characters doing very little.

Gawyn - I can understand his actions during the Tower coup given the information he had. But after that he became a complete idiot until ToM. One absolutely mindboggling decision after another. He heard a rumor "The Dragon killed Morgase" and immediately decided to kill Rand. He was not a Darkfriend and knows the world will lose the Last Battle if Rand dies. But somehow the thought about what would happens to the world if he had killed Rand never occured to him until Elayne pointed it to him in ToM. He was ready to kill the only one who can save the world because of a rumour without even trying to investigate the truth of it much. This was probably my biggest headdesk moment in the entire series.

Then he stayed with the Elaida forces for months even though he knew she was trying to arrange some sort of fatal accident for him. Why not leave? He should've gone to Andor to examine the situation there and see if his sister needs his help or if there's anything else he could do to help. It's his duty after all, the one he's been brought up for.

OK, Gawyn rant over. I just had to get this out of the system. Thankfully he finally got some common sense back in ToM.
Debbie Solomon
65. dsolo
blindillusion@11 - Thanks. I usually go to WoT encyclopedia to verify info (and character names), but I was in shock at being the first to post. Thank goodness somebody took the trouble to list all the characters, because these similar names blur together in my memory, especially if they're in the same Ajah.

I like Gawyn when he and Elayne were first introduced. They seemed like nice people, royalty aside. Unfortunately, their character development seems to stress their pig-headedness. I suppose that was to set up his redemption in ToM, but it really should have been done long ago. You can't act like a jerk for the majority of the series, and suddenly go "My bad" and everything is ok. I suppose RJ's intent was to show us that even people on the Lightside can do the wrong thing.
John Alt
66. John_A
After ToM, the appropriate title for the head of the Green's is obvious: Lord Captain Commander

That said, I'm not even going to attempt to re-read this book, and my condolences to you, Leigh, for doing it. Even reading your abridged version, which I'm most grateful for, it's hard not to Yada-Yada through. Gawyn hit a low here, along with many other characters (Perrin, oh Perrin).

Oh, be sure to keep us up to speed on the bathing!
Roger Powell
67. forkroot
Whatever excuses we make for the Green Ajah's lack of readiness in the last Seanchan attack, one thing is for certain: If they are not ready for the next one, they are hopeless!

If Adelorna had an ounce of sense, she would have consulted with Egwene and begun immediate training and organization of defenses. Ideally this would include all Ajahs, but presumably the Greens should take the lead.

First things first, there should be a buddy-up system in place that makes it clear how to form circles quickly upon notice of an attack. Stuff like who should lead, how many per circle +/-, etc. Note that the rebels in Salidar had worked this out, so hopefully that plan can be used by the reunified tower.

Secondly - there needs to be a OP-based "watch" that supplements the regular tower guard. At any time, there should be sisters holding saidar much the same way a sentry holds his weapon ready. Of course the defenses should be supplemented by weaves. In theory, the tower knows more of those tricks than the Seanchan damane.

There are two crippliing problems with the Seanchan. The first is that the a'dam is itself a circle - preventing damane from joining a circle. There is a deeper problem though, that stems from the Seanchan attitude toward channelers.

Damane are not treated as people. Where the Aes Sedai congregate, share knowledge and develop weaves as free women, damane are limited to the collaboration of their sul'dam. Although it's true that damane know many powerful battle spells, it seems like their subhuman status has prevented the kind of collegial collaboration that would have discovered more ways for the OP to benefit society (and things like wards, etc.)

In point of fact, if the White Tower had been less dysfunctional (blame Ishy), they would have likely progressed further with the OP and been truly back to becoming "Servants of All".
Ron Garrison
69. Man-0-Manetheran
@57 Wetlandernw: Cadsuane as the Captain General. ROFL! You have gotten her character down to the T. "...make sure the Trollocs mind their manners on the way home." Oh yeah.

& re. Oaths @ 59: Well stated. Like the Seanchan attack, the sisters that believed the raken were shadowspawn could channel at them. It made no difference if they were truly shadowspawn or not. It was what the individual sister believed to be true that allowed them to channel or not.
John Massey
70. subwoofer
@Fork- yeah! Come to think, because of the regressive attitude of the Seanchan they are at a disadvantage with their next attack. On the face of it, the Seanchan are very much like Asha'man, powerful weopons, but they lack the strength of circles. One on one, the Seanchan damane probably could take on most Aes Sedai, but if the Sisters manage to link ahead of time, the tables could turn.

One thing jumps out at me, if linked Sisters are powerful enough, they could sheild the damane much easier. This would in turn be like having nipples on a bull. Sul'dam would be controlling squat... as long as the Aes Sedai understand it is the damane that have to be sheilded. Heck, give the Seanchan traveling, that would just be like leading lemmings off a cliff if the Tower is ready for the next attack.

Jury is still out on that part. Egwene and her girls are gonna have to hitch up their garters and make preparations so the Tower can be seen to be proactive instead of reactive.

Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheren @69 - Thank you. I thought you'd enjoy that. :)
72. endertek
In the same vein of thinking as has been expressed regarding the Yellow Ajah going out into the world and creating free hospitals for the good of humanity, shouldn't the Green Ajah have been posting itself along the border all these centuries and routinely helping out the poor borderland defenders? I understand the oath and all, but just living there and having trollocs come at you would be sufficient to keep a lot of borderlanders alive to fight another day.
Captain Hammer
73. Randalator
endertek @72

That's basically the main point of criticism against the Green Ajah over the years. The "Battle-Ajah" has been all over the place except the places where there's been battling going on...
Mikey Bennett
74. EvilMonkey
I have great hopes for the newest Armilyn. I just think that if Eggy survives the LB some of the things we have been complaining about could be fixed. Elayne has already started the hospital thing in Carhein as a way to give the Kin something to do. Yellows could take up the mantle with Nana as the hospital director. Not as good at administration so she would need an assistant to handle that, but she is the most talented healer ever, aside from dearly departed Semirhage. The battle ajah (lower case intentional) can kick it with the Guardians and fight off trollocs if they still happen to be around in the aftermath. Greys can be the administrators between the other channelling groups, Sea Folk, Wise Ones and Kin and the Blues can handle the rulers. Browns can administer the libraries and schools that will pop up afterwards, Aes Sedai University, I don't know what whites will do as I consider them pretty useless. Reds can have a transformed role as the hit squad, do the dirty work and be generally nasty bitches. Darkfriend hunters extraordinare (after all, Eggy said she prized the vengance of a Red when giving her big Armilyn speech in TGS). I can see Eggy setting these measures into place, I mean there could be worse rulers than she (Elaida anyone??!!?!?!? Boy I hate her and wish she would just die already). There are seeds of this reworking in TOM. They still need to smoke the Seanchan though.
Jonathan Levy
75. JonathanLevy
11. blindillusion
...Also, would appear in KoD that we learn Elaida made a pass at Tarna, but Tarna prefers men.... That could be a reason Tarna gives Gawyn that information.
Wasn't it Galina who made the pass?
Ahh, some confirmation from 57. Wetlandernw
And more at 60. blindillusion
Looks like I joined this conversation a little too late :)

12. forkroot
sub@9 You might be thinking of when Katerine (gah I hated her! Loved her demise in ToM) tries to take over from Saerin (who is by far the most awesome Brown other than you know who) during the Seanchan attack. Saerin FTW.
Adelorna was "miss not-appearing in that scene" :-)

There was a scene where Egwene rescued a Green, who tried to take command, and was firmly put down ('give me a penance later, but for now my authority must be unquestioned. You will address me as Mother').
That might have been Adelorna, after she personally wet herself at the battle of the White Tower.
I see 35. pwl has addressed this already.

20. Kythorian
1st paragraph: Well said.

45. ValMar
The Greens are failing like the other ajahs in their respective fields. Each ajah to a different level but failing nevertheless.

Yeah, that does put it in perspective! :)

48. TyranAmiros
I've never understood why Egs is so insistant she would have chosen Green. She's always seemed like she's fit better in the Blue to me.
She wants to marry her warder. Blues aren't allowed to marry.

62. Sonofthunder
And I just may be weird, but I love the prologues!! We get to see lots of fun random characters that we may not see for another book or two. I much enjoy getting viewpoints from the "minor" characters to see what else is going on in the wide world of Randland. And Jordan's characterization is so beautifully done that I can immediately empathize with random people like Yukiri or Ituralde. Ok, maybe not Gawyn though. I'm with you on my disdain for him, sub. ;)
Yeah, there is something to that, isn't there? As long as it's not Fain + Whitecloaks... :)

63. subwoofer
@Sonofthunder- agreed. I also don't know any female channelers per se. Although I think some of the mind games certain co-workers and my wife play on me may qualify... never underestimate the power of a guilt trip...
I'm starting to think wives can channel. And use compulsion, because ... ah, mind's gone blank... what were we saying? We have discussed it.

64. Bergmaniac
Then he stayed with the Elaida forces for months even though he knew she was trying to arrange some sort of fatal accident for him. Why not leave?
He suspected that Elaida was trying to arrange an accident. To suspect and to know are two very different things. We've got enough reasons to mock Gawyn without stretching to create new ones.
Rob Munnelly
76. RobMRobM
Jon@75 - Greens often marry their warders, which certainly helps explain Eg's interest (plus the whole battle ajah explanation in TDR) but I'm not aware of a prohibition on Blues marrying theirs. If so, Siuan wouldn't be discussing marriage with Brynne in TGS.

Valentin M
77. ValMar
@75, 76
Also Moiraine seems keen to marry Thom. I am under the impression that the "rules" on AS marrying are more of a customs bourn out of millenia long habits and practicallity (e.g. life span, power, expectations for AS lifestyle and behaviour). These, as well as peer presure, are probably stopping most AS marrying.
And attitudes towards men, mostly for the Reds.
F Shelley
78. FSS
@ Leigh et al over the years...

You know, I always thought Gawyn has been judged a bit harshly over his part (and the Younglings) in putting down the Tower Revolt.

1. Suian was deposed and stilled legally according to Tower Law (not justly, not rightly, but legally)
2. Gawyn had certainly learned along with Elayne from his Mother that if the ruler doesn't obey the law, there is no law
3. While we as reader know everything going on around the coup, Gawyn, the Younglings, the Tower Guard, and the Warders largely do not. In that position, they all had to decide where their loyalties were: with an individual woman (Suian), or with rule of law itself.
4. Gawyn knew Elaida from childhood, and judged her harsh but fair.
5. Gawyn had known for weeks that Suian was lying about where the Supergirls were.

Based on these things, I think Gawyn made the only right choice he could, given his apparent moral framework and limited knowledge of the situation. Yeah, he's whiny, and should have reported back to Caemlyn (although how that matches up with Tower Law in regards to desertion, even from a quasi-official organization like the Younglings isn't clear), but on the night of the Tower Revolt, I think I would have sided with the Law over loyalty to any individual sister.
F Shelley
79. FSS
Re: the Ajah Heads and the too-young Sitters. I'd caught on pretty quick that the too young Sitters were placed in each camp to ensure that when the Tower reunited, they could be swept to the side. What I didn't (and don't) get is how the Ajah heads managed to place too young Sitters in both sides' Halls. Unless the Salidar group had Ajah Heads who thought exactly the same thing as the Tower Ajah heads. Or were somehow in contact with them.
John Massey
80. subwoofer
@FSS- now don't think you have fooled me for a minute here. I see you trying to open up the "Gawyn is a Doof" thread.

Nope, nope, nope... we have already gone down that road, even in recent history. Refer if you will to the spoiler thread pt 1. All bridges have been crossed and burned.

Gawyn is still defying the odds at avoiding natural selection.

"How could such a great, towering dolt be so stupid and still alive?"

Edit- I'll let you find which post has that quote.

Richard Boye
81. sarcastro
Re: the Ajah Heads and the too-young Sitters.

"What I didn't (and don't) get is how the Ajah heads managed to place too young Sitters in both sides' Halls. Unless the Salidar group had Ajah Heads who thought exactly the same thing as the Tower Ajah heads. Or were somehow in contact with them."

Indeed, that remains a huge kink in the explanation. At the Ajah Head Star Chamber meeting last book, they claimed to have taken each of the youngest Sitters from each Ajah and told them to go run off and join the Rebellion and Make It Stop.

Several problems with that, including:

1) what are the odds that each of the fleeing sitters, who I started calling the Ob5 (the obstructionist five), who were selected only because of their age, would also happen to be Sitters who were left out of Elaida's electoral shenanigans?

2) How long did the Ajah Heads have to conceive of this plot? Was it explained that they actually knew of Elaida's incipient coup and purposefully told the proto-Ob5 to wait it out in case there was a rebellion about to happen? Or did they not fully expect a full blown armed conflict to erupt, thought about once it happened and then sent them on their way?

Regarding how it was being orchestrated in Salidar, we have the throw-away thought bubble from Romanda that she and Magla (the Yellow Ob5) differed on who should join the rebel Hall. Romanda wanted Dagdara (who, it should be noted was actually Black) and Magla insisted on the too-young Salita, so I always took that to mean that each of the Ob5 Sitters were internally responsible for the "unsuitably" young replacement Sitters. From that, I gathered that we are supposed to extrapolate that in jiggering the installation of "unsuitably" young replacement Sitters, the Ob5 were enacting policy directed to them from Ajah Head Conspiracy HQ. Whether or not it was actually possible for the Ob5 to be able to ram their selections through the existing internal Ajah power structures in Salidar is another issue not fully developed (could Faiselle overrule Myrelle, for example?).

All in all, in order to accept the Ajah Head Counter-Coup-In-Secret idea you either have to accept that the Ajah Heads are amazingly farsighted and were able to map out their plans in the event of a zillion contingencies, or they were somehow in clandestine conversation with the Ob5 the whole time. Neither idea is particularly satisfactory.
Antoni Ivanov
82. tonka
I am not going to let myself be drawn in yet another discussion why Gawyn is not so bad, and why his decisions are not illogical under his circumstances. I like Gawyn. He is what most humans are. Nothing special except very lucky and very good blademaster.
Daniel Hanley
83. Kythorian
To Sarcastro @ 81, not really...the ajah heads sent off the youngest sitters from the tower, who it makes sense were not directly included in Elaida's...shenanigans, as you say, because they were the youngest sitters, and therefore not very important or influential. They show up at Salidar, and...well, they have served as sitters in the Hall isn't a stretch that they could get themselves made sitters in the hall in salidar too. There are plenty of seats in the Hall that were going to people who had never served as a sitter in the Tower, so anyone with experience (and the power with the Saidar to be elected in the Hall int he Tower) would likely be raised in Salidar too.

Its not guaranteed, but it seems a reasonable assumption for the Ajah Heads to make, and it seems reasonable to me that it worked out in such a way without any direct influence from them on those in Salidar. You seem to be making this out to be more complicated than it needed to be.
Richard Boye
84. sarcastro

"You seem to be making this out to be more complicated than it needed to be. "

... which wouldn't be the first time I've been told that :)


For example, the plan almost didn't work with the Yellows - what if Romanda got her way and instead of the inappropriate sister (Salita) she was able to foist Dagdara on Magla: what would happen when the the Great Reunion happened?

And, allow me a "However"

I still think it a decidedly clunky explanation that the youngest sisters were conveniently left out of the Electoral Shenanigans. Elaida and Alviarin were working with an extremely thin majority - I can't imagine they would have left of any Sitter who would have added a necessary vote (recall, the youngest Sitters, the proto-Ob5, are not atypically young - they just were younger than their colleagues).
Birgit F
85. birgit
Greens often marry their warders, which certainly helps explain Eg's interest (plus the whole battle ajah explanation in TDR) but I'm not aware of a prohibition on Blues marrying theirs.

"Are there many customs like this pie? I can cook, but my elder sister did all the baking." "Oh, yes," Rafela said happily, and she regaled them with arcane customs while they walked along the Tower's first level, some as silly as wearing blue stockings when leaving Tar Valon, some as sensible as refraining from marriage. Aes Sedai did marry now and then, but Moiraine could not see how that could end other than poorly.
"You can hear the others later," Rafela said, shifting her shawl down to her arms. "Be sure to learn them all quickly. Some are enforced as strictly as Tower law. I think they all should be, but at least some are."

NS ch. 11
Jonathan Levy
86. JonathanLevy
76. RobMRobM
85. birgit

Thanks for the quote, Birgit. RobM - this is what I was referring to. Granted, it could be worked around, in theory, but not for a newly raised Aes Sedai choosing her Ajah and knowing she wanted to get married.
Sandy Brewer
87. ShaggyBella
So at the Beginning of Crossroads of Twilight, I am trying to figure out where all the armies are. I have been skipping around the books lately and can't keep track.
This is where I think they are. I wish I had one of those maps to stick labeled pins in. Who & where am I leaving out?

Borderlanders -Braem Wood 200,000
The Band ofthe Red Hand ...Murandy? Not with Egwene anymore, I think
The Rebel Aes Sedai....Near Tar Valon 50,000
Seanchan......Almoth Plain & other places
Elayne/Queens guards....Caemlyn
Andoran Nobles - seige outside Caemlyn 30,000
Rodel Ituralde /Domoni....Tarabon
Lord Darlin/Tear?? Illian??
Children of the Light...?? 9,000
Davram Bashere Caemlyn 8,000
Rand's Aiel.....Cairhien
Jarid Sarand ...unknown
King Roedran....Lugard
Sandy Brewer
88. ShaggyBella
Re: Training channelers for battle
They could have power duels ala Harry Potter.
That was always fun.
Maiane Bakroeva
89. Isilel
FSS @78:

Suian was deposed and stilled legally according to Tower Law (not justly, not rightly, but legally)

Well, a lot of AS disagreed on legality of Siuan's deposition, hence the rebellion. But her stilling was clearly illegal, IIRC, as she didn't get a trial. Elaida's raising was also deeply dodgy, with her own vote being the deciding one.
In any case, it wasn't Gawyn's place to interfere - he was a foreign exchange student, basically.
He did, because he somehow imagined that with Siuan gone, Elayne would be magically brought back to him and what he thought to be safety of the White Tower (LOL).
Gawyn's typical irrational wish-thinking is very clear in this very prologue segment - even after having been told by the woman whom he supposedly loves and by another whom he used to trust that Elayne has aligned herself with the rebels and the DR, he still hangs on to delusion that she might swing by the Elaida-held WT on her way to Andor! I mean, really.
And while normally having a family member on both sides of a civil war could be used to secure clemency for those finding themselves on the losing side, Elaida has clearly shown herself so ungrateful that even Gawyn couldn't count on any favors from her at this point, surely.

Re: Greens, I have long felt that RJ went way too far with making the AS and the WT so inept that basically everybody could be be depicted as superior to them. It is not feasible that such an organization would still have a power it wielded even in TEoTW.

And sisters in the Borderlands? Some of them, actually live there, like Vandene and Adeleas did, for Pete's sake! Are we supposed to think that they just continued to putter in their kitchen garden while the long expected and seemingly unstoppable attack of Shadowspawn at Tarwin's Gap was happening?
What's more, AS fighting and healing in the Borderlands would be revered - I'd think that this alone should have attracted the weaker sisters. Instead of being on the bottom of the pecking order in the Tower, they could really live their dream. It is riduculously implausible that nobody seemed to take that opportunity. Apart from Moiraine, apparently, who was well-known in Fal Dara, both personally and for her combat abilities.

Re: the BA hunters, I actually like that they failed. Otherwise the AS, beginning with Siuan and Cadsuane (who both knew about the BA and both could have organized a couple of trustworthy people for the search, I am sure) would have looked even more idiotic.
But the young Sitters mystery seems to have went out with a whimper - I used to think that something more would come out of it.

The pretty incongrous thing is that the Sitters who helped to organize Elaida's fiasco and the Ajah Heads weren't re-elected after the unification.
John Massey
90. subwoofer
You know, it's like folks are purposely trying to bait me. It is with herculean effort that I am refraining from making any kinda comments on the OB5. But I really, really wanna:)

@ShaggyBela- you are forgetting a couple of armies.
Lan's 10000 at the Gap.
Perrin has about 100000 or so on those fields.
Bryne and the rebels had 50000 but the Tower itself also had matching numbers.
Bashere has more than 8000 dragonsworn under him now. Unless you are talking about the Saldeans Bashere took with him to bring back Taim.
Mat has something like 30000 troops marching for him.
There is at least as many troops in the Borderlands as there are marching with their monarchs.
Staggering number of Aiel.

Bottom line, a person has to wonder about the population boom in Randland. You can't swing a cat for all the people you hit especially when numbers should be depleted in times of war... well considering Rand knocked up Elayne on his first go... ahem... anyways all these troops milling about have to have some crazy supply trains etc. Good thing Travelling has been invented. Being a hungry soldier sucks.

John Massey
91. subwoofer
Sisters- well, I have always looked on them as either nuns or career women. It is a pity that more Aes Sedai don't have children, keep some bloodlines strong. I understand the arguments, Highlander used the same logic, although he had wives. Anyways, when most women come to the Tower to learn to channel, they have a burning ambition in themselves to become an Aes Sedai. The ladies either want the shawl, the knowledge of how to control their gifts or to use the shawl to further their own ambitions- ie- Nyneave wanting to be a healer. The process that they go through leaves little time for canoodling with the Tower Guard or er... undertaking extensive research "picking" a Warder.

I was also under the impression from Moiraine that an Aes Sedai's very presence, or the presence of the Source, could hold back the Blight.

I don't hold many of the Sister's failing to the Sisters themselves. Instead I hold the Sitters, the Ajah heads and the Amrylin accoutable. Epic fail for leadership over the centuries. I know the squabbling and hen pecking sessions that break out, but really, at some point look at the world, see what needs doing and delegate to get it done.

Send x amount of Sisters to each country in the Borderlands. Put them on a 5 yr rotation. Kinda like the RCMP up here in our borderlands. Get some training done, passing the test for the shawl should be the start of training, not the end. Do some recruitment drives "Aunty Sam wants you!" Biggest thing that jumps out at me is the autonomy given to the Sisters for the most part. Novices and Accepted go through bootcamp fairly extensively, and very militaristic. Afterwards is a joke and that is where the Tower goes sideways.

Sandy Brewer
92. ShaggyBella
At the beginning of COT, I don't think Lan has left for the gap yet. Perrin also just has the 2 rivers folks and the Mayenners and Winged guard. He is seriously outnumbered by the Shaido
John Massey
93. subwoofer
Sorry I didn't see the b of COT bit. And yeah, it is really staggering how large each respective army does grow.

I can't remember if the Seanchan have attacked the Children yet, but before the attack I think their numbers were at 20 000.

Perrin did have a number of troops with him though. IIRC, Rand gave him a sizeable force to deal with the Prophet's people and a country in civil war. Didn't it take a while for the people following Perrin to go throught the gateway?

Unless we are not there yet either.

Valentin M
94. ValMar
IIRC Perrin had initially just a couple of thousand troops. The Mayene cavalry and TR longbows. Soon he added another thousand Ghealdan cavalry. He wasn't supposed to deal with Masema and sort out the country. Just get the psychotic bastard to Rand. A chat between Masema and Rand in TGS would've been a hoot...

As for the massive rise in armies, looks like Randland is experiencing what Europe did in the Napoleonic Wars, and again in WWI. Or the US in the Civil War.
Still, the fantasy numbers BS came up with for (the practically failed middle-size state of) Arad Doman in TGS did throw me out of the story for a bit. I believe at this stage it wasn't really BS's fault, a world building issue which Team RJ might've corrected.
Sandy Brewer
95. ShaggyBella
At the start of Perrins mission..Way Back in Crown of Swords
Sulin and some maidens 20-30
Two Rivers archers (300)
Faile has Cha Faile (2 dozen)
6 wise ones
2 Dragonsworn Aes Sedai, 3 warders
2 Ashamen
Berelain & 900 Winged guards
Added in Gheldan: Queen Alliandre and an equal amount of soldiers (900)

Not to hard to research with the ebooks & Kindle for PC. But, now I have to go back & read Dumais Wells. I get sidetracked easily.
Antoni Ivanov
96. tonka
There are only 10000 Children of the Light. The rest are Amadician/Altharian/something else. It is mentioned in some of the earlier POV of Galad in the book
97. endertek
I am a fairly new lurker - so I don't have all the history down from blogs years ago, but I have been reading these re-reads fairly closely. To my knowledge, I haven't seen anyone ever posit a reason for the Seanchan all returning. Other than because it was prophesied, does anyone know why thousands (millions?) of Seanchan would be willing to relocate to Randland? Is there something wrong or inadequate with Seanchan land? Plague? No room for expansion? Any thoughts would be appreciated....
John Massey
98. subwoofer
Because the Empress willed it so.

Why did thousands leave home and everything and go across the pond in the first place? Because Hawkwing willed it so.

...And the prophecy stuff doesn't hurt either.

@Tonka- in which book?

@ShaggyBela- thanks:) See? Dori-like memory coming into play. That's right Perrin had a piddly force, now I remember. I did a double take when I read a comment on the spoiler thread that Perrin had an army of 100000 with him. I had to go back and read that again because I clearly skipped the bits where Perrin's army escalates from 2000 to massive. Then I clued in on the refugees and people coming out to join the Wolf Banner and then Perrin's supply trains and his looking for food to feed x number of people etc.

... It's all coming back now.

Justin Levitt
99. TyranAmiros
@ Jonathan Levy

Yeah, I know she talks about wanting to marry and had that vision where she was raised from the Green. I know she justifies to herself why she would be Green. But I still think that she's more tempermentally a Blue--and if she really thought it through, she'd come to the same choice.

I think she's a natural Seeker After Causes, such as doing what she needed to in order to reunite the Tower or pursuing an agreement with the other female channeller groups. Maybe this is partly a problem with the way the Greens have been written generally as men-obsessed, but I can't imagine Egwene fitting in well. She's too focused and single-minded to be a good Green.
James Hogan
100. Sonofthunder
Yeah, I always found it quite amusing how both of the younger women(Elayne, Egwene) really wanted the Green. "Oooh, men!!" Those are the times I remember that they're both only 19-20 or however old they are...

But Nynaeve, the older and (maybe) wiser one didn't bother with obsessing over the Green and just went for the Yellow because healing is awesome.
Egwene definitely would make the most sense as a Blue, at least in my mind. But too late for that now, since she is now of all Ajahs anyway(deep down, she really IS of all Ajahs, as I think back to TGS and her talks with the Sitters from different Ajahs. Weren't every one of them trying to recruit her for their Ajah? Oh Egwene, what a chameleon you are. Whatever you need to be).

Elayne is most definitely Green though, since we know how she likes rushing into battles and adventures. No doubt there.

Myself, I think I'd go for the Brown. I love histories and I love reading and I love libraries. The problem is, I can't channel. And I'm not a woman. So yeah, never mind.
Claire de Trafford
101. Booksnhorses
Hey Son, you can be my asha'man and we'll do the Brown research thing together!
James Hogan
102. Sonofthunder
Alright, you got it! Just don't take away my dragon/sword pins..
Maiane Bakroeva
103. Isilel
Subwoofer @92:

I don't hold many of the Sister's failing to the Sisters themselves.

It is not even a matter of failings, but a matter of human nature. Whilst in training they dream of being heroes and the tests ensure that they do have the mettle necessary. And when they finally graduate, they have this wonderful opportunity to live their dreams, to be respected and revered.
Or they can stay in the WT at the bottom of the pecking order. Or they can pursue whatever obscure schemes they are interested in, which could be nice, sure, but won't lead to public recognition.
I'd have thought that out of pure selfishness a good chunk of sisters should have gone out and helped out in the Borderlands and to lesser degree Andor and Cahirien. It is wildly implausible that they don't. As a nice side-effect, doing that would have attracted superior warders, too.
And what about the Browns? Why would they be so different from other scholars, who like to make their works known, etc.?

As to the Greens, I hope beyond hope that they have something cooked up for defense of Tar Valon from Travelling foes, but I am afraid that we will get the raid redux with Rand and Co. saving the WT's bacon.
Antoni Ivanov
104. tonka
@98. subwoofer

Towers of Midnight.
I think it is mentioned in previous books too though (that the Children are acompanied by Althran/other troops, those that were with Asunsawa (sp?))
Gerd K
105. Kah-thurak
Hm... with the prologue of CoT beeing discussed in more than one post I get the feeling that this re-Read is creeping to a stand-still. Nothing really happens in the book let alone the prologue. Why not wrap it up in 3 chapters per post and be done with it?
F Shelley
106. FSS
@various - bah - I'm justing saying it's wrong to judge a character based on the fact that he, unlike us, isn't privy to third-person limited knowledge.
Valentin M
107. ValMar
Re: Gawyn. IIRC in ToM he admits that a major driver for his behaviour was simply jealousy of Rand's power and not wanting to be in the shadow of women- El & Eg (can't remember if he stated it in such misogynist way).
If someone is so worked up by Gawyn, his epiphany prompted by El in ToM cannot be ignored when discussing his actions, IMO.
James Hogan
108. Sonofthunder
Oh boy, why am I even commenting on Gawyn? And yet I can't stay away, like a moth to a flame. Sorry, sub.

But I have no quarrel with his decision to support Elaida - based on what he knew, it was the right decision(I still shouted "Idiot!" in my head when I read what he did). I probably would have done the same in his place. Taking charge of the Younglings and following Elaida's orders is still defensible. It was good for him to have that command experience. But as soon as he learned of Morgase's "death", he should have gotten his sorry rear back to Caemlyn as fast as he could. He's First bloody Prince of the bloody flaming Sword and he has duties and responsibilities to Andor and to Trakand(his family!!). He came to Tar Valon to train up his skillz, not to be bound to the Tower forever. Him sticking with the Younglings for so long is why I have so little respect for him. They're all grown men(mostly) and I'm sure they could have found another commander. But yes, I can understand why he did what he did and where he was coming from(Re: Valmar@107), but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Oops, sorry for my mini-Gawyn rant. Even with his ToM MOA, I still don't really care for him. Alas. I'm not sure if Jordan intended Gawyn to be seen so negatively by so many...but the wheel turns as the wheel wills.
John Massey
109. subwoofer
@SonofT dang you!!! Nope- must resist, must be strong... gah!

@Is- agreed. The thing is, if there was a structure in place, beyond your small potatoes argument, then the Sisters would be doing the guarding of the Borderlands, research, healing, guiding nation etc. because it would be their job, as delegated them by their leaders. And yes, it seems like currently, if a Sister stays in the Tower her hopes for status is an interest in political intrigue or she can draw in a lot of the Source, so she will not be deferring all the time.

My point is, if the Amrylin and the Hall actually did more than squabbling for power and recognition for themselves and their ajah, the world might be a better place. Servant of all should be more than a catchy saying in another language.

@Tonka, yes, but it was also mentioned that a lot of Children died or were captured during the Seanchan invasion. Galad did a couple of speeches and that was one of his mission statements as to why an alliance with the Aes Sedai might be a plan and why the Seanchan cannot be trusted.

Valentin M
110. ValMar
me @ 107
I personally wouldn't take my post as a defense for Gawyn. Rather the opposite.
But I like this, it's good for the story. He is flesh and blood after all. Gawyn's own reasoning on why he really acted like he did actually makes very good sense, IMO. At least he is man enough to admit this and change his ways before any more damage is done.

PS Also want to add my agreement to the above opinions on the lack of activity of the AS.
And bewilderment at why weaker AS stay in the tower. Especially reading from Moiraine and Siuan's PoVs in NS. They seemed to be more excited by the prospect of going out into the World and do things, have adventures as full AS, than finding the DR.
OTOH the weaker AS tend to spend very long time ,being Novices etc, in the WT. Many decades. Maybe having entered the WT aged 15-16, after becoming full AS aged 60 they have become almost "institutionalized".
Amir Noam
111. Amir
Kah-Thurak @105:

Nothing really happens in the book let alone the prologue. Why not wrap it up in 3 chapters per post and be done with it?

No kidding.
Based on negative reviews, I've actually skipped CoT entirely - went directly from WH to KoD. The only thing I knew was that Egwene was captured at the end.

Surprisingly, I felt no gap in the story. None. I had no problems following every plot thread in KoD as if they were a direct continuation from WH.
Tess Laird
112. thewindrose
ValMar - that is a good way to look at it re: the low strength sisters have spent 40 to 60 years becoming a sister. But they do live about 100 years after being raised(low wattage in power equal shorter life plus taking the 3 Oaths). You would think that some would get out the Tower after serving tea for a couple of decades and get some respect.

But maybe they don't realize that would happen? Or it may be they are just not encouraged to go. Look what the stronger sisters did to Seaine - they told her to stay in her room because she is weak in the power and the black ajah is about. And she put up a token fuss but where is she hanging out right now(at this point in the story)?

Re: skipping CoT - there is gold in all the books. I am looking forward to seeing what I have missed(I will admit I can gloss over long bits of description - but that is where RJ hid some of the best nuggets;)

Sonofthunder -
Elayne is most definitely Green though, since we know how she likes rushing into battles and adventures. No doubt there.


subwoofer - The OB5, I really didn't think to much about them during my first read, but after reading all the stuff on wot faq - some people had a lot of time on their hands, although in a way I don't mind that I missed that whole period.

Birgit F
113. birgit
One reason the Greens seem to perform so badly in battle might be that we have mainly seen those who stayed in the Tower and played politics (Sitters, Ajah head). The ones who are actually doing something are scattered over the world and don't appear in the book. They are the ones who have battle experience, while the politicians are inexperienced in fighting.
Amir Noam
114. Amir
Birgit @113:
You may be right, which could redeem the so called "Battle Ajah".
But this makes the "Captain-General" title of the Ajah head even more ridiculous.
Maiane Bakroeva
115. Isilel
I disagree that CoT re-read should be accelerated. Most of us tend to skim over it in our own re-reads and looking from the vantage point of ToM there are probably some interesting hints and clues that we typically miss.

As to weak AS - they don't take _that_ long, LOL. IIRC Elyn Warrel was one who took the longest and it was only about 28-29 years: 7 when Rand was born in NS + however old he was in... KoD? Or whatever later book where she was finally raised to the shawl. And that's extreme case.
Nor is it true that weakish AS never leave the Tower. Cabriana Mercandes, for instance, was travelling all the time, it was only by chance that Moiraine and Siuan met her in NS. No, they just seem to avoid doing anything that would bring them respect and recognition, something which all people crave in some measure. Which, duh?
Particularly since the old approach to recruiting tended to attract ambitious folks in the first place.

Sub @109:

My point is, if the Amrylin and the Hall actually did more than
squabbling for power and recognition for themselves and their ajah, the world might be a better place.

And my point is that it is implausible that the self-interest, glory-hounding and desire for recognition of individual sisters wasn't already accomplishing this, to some degree.
Oh, and recognition for the individual ajahs would have also been only enhanced by this.
Valentin M
116. ValMar
Isilel @ 115
It took 6 years for Mo & Siuan to become AS, I think, and this was considered very quick.
117. hamstercheeks
subwoofer@91: "Aunty Sam wants you!" LOL, where do I sign up?

endertek@97: Migration is usually prompted by a search for resources. That is the likely reason for Hawkwing sending his kiddies to Seanchan in the first place, OR it may have been (Dark?) prophecy-fuelled. The Return is definitely prophecy, self-fulfilling in this case.

damane because she chooses not to channel. I hope she dies. Or at least gets sense knocked into her. Grrrr. Grrrrr.]

Sonofthunder@100: Elayne is headstrong, brave/foolhardy, vain, and likes men. Yep, color her Green. Meanwhile, I think Egwene's desire to be Green is based on her initial thinking that she would bond more than one Warder -- IIRC, there was a point in time when she considered bonding Rand and Gawyn. Or maybe Perrin or someone else. Anyway, I guess she never got over that multiple bonding fetish, so there ya go.
Lynn McDonald
118. meal6225
As for battle training are our Two Rivers girls still in Caemlyn? Will they be put to use beating down some Trolloc's before they even test Accepted?
Tess Laird
119. thewindrose
meal6225 - the Two River girls were brought to the rebel Aes Sedai, iirc Egwene had to have some of them punished because they didn't respect that she was the Amyrlin - they arrived in tPoD.

John Massey
120. subwoofer
@Is- hear what you are saying but the problem is still that if the Sister's were actually doing stuff, the Blight wouldn't be taking over more and more land, the nations would not all be in civil war, etc etc.

This whole topic started because the question was posed "is the Tower ready for the Last Battle"? I am saying that if the Amrylin and Hall had of been doing their jobs and getting the Sister's in line, the answer would have been "yes". Instead we all complain about what a sham the Tower and Aes Sedai are. So you are saying that the Sisters are ready because of the leeway they are given now?

Amir Noam
121. Amir
Isilel @115:

I disagree that CoT re-read should be accelerated.

Oh, I agree with you there. I think that CoT can be safely skipped when reding the series (that's what I did). But that's different than The Re-Read. While I don't care about this book at all, I really look forward to reading Leigh's comments on it. I'm sure it will be better than the book :-)
James Jones
122. jamesedjones
Isilel and Sub, the structure is in place. Unfortunately, it's one that sucks the talented Aes Sedai into the politicking of the WT. Remember what happened to Suian and Moiraine? Suian wasn't even given the chance to leave the tower. And Moiraine was able to leave only because of the Amyrlin's intervention, and the Blue's tendency to meddle in the field. Most of them end up working for the Tower instead of the world, like Moiraine.

The truly talented Aes Sedai are pulled into the more powerful AS machinations, because they are seen as useful tools. Before long, they are stuck as tools or players. It is a self-propagating cycle that results in the giant sucking sound heard coming from Tar Valon for the past few centuries.
Maiane Bakroeva
123. Isilel
Sub @120:

So you are saying that the Sisters are ready because of the leeway they are given now?

Not saying that at all. IMHO, RJ went implausibly overboard with how useless the AS were. Even lacking direction, individual sisters just following their own interests and drives should have resulted in much more being done. Ditto ajahs trying to grab some prestige, etc.
They still would have been unready, of course, as the story demands, but it wouldn't have created so many plot-holes.

Nor do I think in any shape or form that the AS don't need a vastly better organization. In fact, I don't see how their traditional near anarchy and lack of accountability didn't result in anihilation of WT's political power long ago.

Jamesjones @122:

The truly talented Aes Sedai are pulled into the more powerful AS machinations,

I happen to disagree with traditional AS that strength in OP is the only talent that matters ;).
IMHO, intelligent and dedicated weaker sisters could do much on the Blightborder - particularly since they wouldn't be able to reliably fall back on ol' fireball like Moiraine and thus would be forced to become more creative and to cooperate with other people. Not to mention that we have seen that Healing is one of those Talents that is less dependant on strength. There are a lot of good and decent Healers who aren't powerhouses otherwise.
Valentin M
124. ValMar
windrose @ 112
Some of the weaker AS may become proteges to more powerful ones, like Sitters, or their ajahs may force them to stay.
Also agree that even the poorer WOT books are worth a read. Plus a detailed re-read will save on re-reading them ourselves.

birgit @ 113
Good point. Alanna in TR with her catapults comes to mind.

Isilel @ 115 and Sub
Weaker AS do leave the WT of course. I never use "never" anyway or other absolutes. It leads to pointless conversations ;)
Indeed, even when the AS who spend a lot of time outside the WT, whatever their strenght, tend to be rather furtive in their actions. This seems to be their default way of operating.

There may be one general explanation of why this stagnant and passive culture developed in the WT. 1/5 of the AS are BA. And from what we've seen their influence is stronger than their already great numbers.
How long would've a truly great and reforming Amyrlin lasted? And rendering the Hall useless is a child's game. Even without the BA it's Ivory Tower politicking makes it the last place to look for leadership in the way Sub suggests.

My last paragraph still doesn't excuse the excessive and general uselessness of individual AS. Of course we've seen a number of capable ones too.
Stefan Mitev
125. Bergmaniac
 I totally agree with Isilel about the weaker Aes Sedai. It makes no sense for most of them to stay in the Tower and let the other  Aes Sedai order them around, when they can go out into the world, enjoy the prestige of the Aes Sedai title and do whatever they are inclined to do. They can just enjoy a life of luxury if so inclined since they get a really generous allowance. Helping the fight against the Trollocs seems like an obvious choice for the more adventurous among them, and they wouldn't even need to risk much. Just by sitting at the back and Healing the wounded, even the weaker Aes Sedai can help a lot and earn plenty of gratitude and prestige.

hamstercheeks@117:  "Elayne is headstrong, brave/foolhardy, vain, and likes men. Yep, color her Green. " - LOL, so true. Don't forget beautiful too, the Green seem to be Ajah with the biggest percentage of gorgeous women. ;)

 Speaking of the so-called Battle Ajah,  have we seen any of them so far demonstrate any kind of knowledge of military strategy and tactics? You'd think that they would have made educating their members in this a priority, but it doesn't seem to be the case unless I am very much mistaken.

IIRC Elayne knows the basics, but it was because she was trained for Queen by Gareth Bryne. Adelorna was clueless during the attack of the Tower. I don't recall Alanna giving suggestion on tactics during the defense of the Two Rivers. 
Amir Noam
126. Amir
Bergmaniac @125:

Speaking of the so-called Battle Ajah, have we seen any of them so far demonstrate any kind of knowledge of military strategy and tactics?

Of course. They have a very specific military strategy:1. Find a good looking swordsman.
2. Bond him, making him a better fighter.
3. Marry him.
4. Repeat as needed.

Ron Garrison
127. Man-0-Manetheran
re. Sisters & the Blight: It is generally believed by the Borderlanders that the Tower failed to come to the aid of Malkiere, and many blame them for its defeat.

@122 jamesedjones: "The truly talented Aes Sedai are pulled into the more powerful AS machinations, because they are seen as useful tools. Before long, they are stuck as tools or players." And people here criticised Cadsuane for refusing the Amyrlin Seat and going out into the world. Am I right Wetlandernw???
128. hamstercheeks
“In the Trolloc Wars, we were often called the Battle Ajah. All Aes Sedai helped whereand when they could, but the Green Ajah alone was always with the armies, in almost every battle. We were the counter to the Dreadlords. The Battle Ajah. And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be a Green.” -Alanna, TDR, ch. 23

The operative word here is "were." They were the Battle Ajah. Now they're the Ajah of exciting multiple bondages. I mean bonds. At the time of this quote, only Siuan, Moiraine, Leane (?), and Verin among the AS know that Rand was getting active, so Alanna probably wasn't even aware that the Last Battle she was boasting about "standing ready" for was just around the corner. Whoops.

Re: Green tactics

"The catapults' stones fell among them--and exploded in fire and shards, ripping open holes in the mass. Perrin was not the only one to jump; so that was what the Aes Sedai had been doing with the catapults. He wondered wildly what wouldhappen if they dropped one of those stones loading it into the cup." -TSR, ch. 44

See, they're not useless, they're just more used to dealing with Shadowspawn.

Bergmaniac@125: Right, beautiful, forgot about that. I mean, we have Alanna, who looks like a "darkly beautiful queen;" Joline with her big eyes and nice boobs (says Mat); the "elegant and statuesque" Kiruna; and even "pleasant-faced" Elza. There's also Erian, who's so pretty that Sarene -- Sarene for Light's sake -- and Galina think about how pretty she is. Too bad being pretty isn't an effective battle tactic. Again, whoops.
John Massey
129. subwoofer
@Hamstercheeks- hmmm-
beautiful, forgot about that. I mean, we have Alanna, who looks like a "darkly beautiful queen;" Joline with her big eyes and nice boobs (says Mat); the "elegant and statuesque" Kiruna; and even "pleasant-faced" Elza. There's also Erian, who's so pretty that Sarene -- Sarene for Light's sake -- and Galina think about how pretty she is.

Does this mean that Berelain can channel?:P

130. AndrewB
Correct me if I am wrong, but is not Sarene a White?

Re Egwene's choice of Ajah (had she had to make said choice). IIRC, she thought to herself in an earlier book that Blues were too focused. That (plus the fact that Greens are more likely to marry their Warder(s) than Blues) was the reason she thought of herself as a Green.

Thanks for reading my musings.
131. hamstercheeks
AndrewB@130: Yes, Sarene is White. Galina is Red. I'm just making the point that Erian is a Standard Beautiful Green, such that the loveliest White and a Red pillowfriender comment about it (in their minds, at least).

subwoofer@129: LOL
Tess Laird
132. thewindrose
subwoofer at 129 - It would mean that Berelain could become an honorary member of the Greens. (I tend to think she would pass due to the less than stellar performnce exhibited by the Greens to the point of ToM.)

Roger Powell
133. forkroot

but Adelorna is even part of the attempted mini-coup that the Hall tries on Egwene in ToM.

Oops - I was wrong about that. Adelorna is the head of the Ajah, but she is not a sitter. Still, all three Green sitters were part of the conspiracy against Egwene, which pained her somewhat due to her affection for that Ajah. I have to blame Adelorna for not being firmly in Egwene's corner (like Saerin) and for not controlling the Green sitters.
Roger Powell
134. forkroot
Hey TorChris!
I've got an idea for a new thread. This thread would be filled by automatic redirection of certain posts to this re-read.

Whenever someone posts a comment, it would be run through a filter (similar to the spam filter) - so certain posters would get a message like:

Your post has been redirected to the WoT ReRead: Discredited Theories and Stale Topics" thread.

The filtering logic would match against a set of possibilies to include:
1) Olver is Gaidal Cain2) Taim is Demandred
3) !(Rand|Mat|Perrin) is ta'veren
4) Gawyn sucks
5) Gawyn does not suck
6) * SWMNBN *
7) * actors for a WoT movie *

Whaddya think?
Daniel Goss
135. Beren
But then what would happen to my theory that Olver is Gaidal Cain, Taim, Demandred and the Easter Bunny? And that because Rand is Ta'veren he can bend the pattern to make Gawyn both suck and not-suck at the same time, except when in the presence of Cadsuane (there goes another Ta'Veren getting slapped -- that's a callback, folks!) and because of this he can only be played in a WoT movie by a genetic graft of Harrison Ford and Betty White?

I mean come on, these have got to be worth discussing at least one more time . . .
136. hamstercheeks
Yeah, and what if I want to campaign for Meryl Streep playing Lan? Opposite Orlando Bloom as Nynaeve?
Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
Amir @121 - "While I don't care about this book at all, I really look forward to reading Leigh's comments on it. I'm sure it will be better than the book."

If you've never read the book, how would you know?
Tess Laird
138. thewindrose
Well, I thought that Olver was Demandred and Gadal is Taim. I think that Andy Serkis should play Fain - you know why precious;)

Not only are Rand, Mat and Perrin Ta'veren - so are Egwene, Nynaeve, Min, Elayne and Aviendha, and Faile and Berelain trade off on being so.

Cadsuane was trying to teach Gawyn manners during the Tower Coup, and that is why he is such an ass until now. It seems he has remembered how to laugh and cry because he just ran into Cadsuane again, and she slaped some sense into that boys head!
And the actor who played Dawson will be great for Gawyn and the one who was Pasy(pasley) what ever the bad boy from that show can play Cadsuane's new warder.

And I am sure I have commited a good number of grammer and spelling errors just for those of you that care:)

139. Freelancer
J.Dauro @54

Wetlandernw covered all of the philosophical ramifications of the belief which binds an Oath, and others chimed in, but nobody actually spoke to the grammatical consideration of the sentence in question. For starters, emphasizing the word your as you did doesn't cause the structure of the statement to change. Here is how it needs to be highlighted to match what it says:

Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending your own life, that of your Warder, or that of another sister.

The subject being amended by the term that is someone's life. To be completely accurate, the wording which is binding to a new sister is said in the first person, as:
...or in the last extreme of defending my own life, that of my Warder, or that of another sister.

So, the intent which the only correct reading of the words can have would be expanded as:
...or in the last extreme of defending my own life, the life of my Warder, or the life of another sister.


PS: Wetlandernw's accurate assessment regarding the inherent connection between the life of a sister and her Warder would still allow an Aes Sedai to apply the logic that defending any Warder is, in fact, defending the sister bonded to him, and would require no great mental gymnastics for a sister to act upon within the constraints of that particular Oath.
Jay Dauro
140. J.Dauro

The question in 53 was "my" warder or "a" warder.

I highlighted the your to emphasize that it says a sister may defend her warder, but not the warder of another sister. 

I then made a wisecrack that the second that could refer to Warder instead of life (thus the smiley.)

No problem in reading what it actually says, even though I do think it is misguided. Then again, I believe the AS would probably be better off without the Oaths, and with a habit of actually trying to be truthful and honorable in their dealings with people.
Alice Arneson
141. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheran @127 - You are correct, of course. IIRC, someone accused Cadsuane of shirking her duty because she refused to be made Sitter, Ajah head or Amyrlin, insisting on going off and doing her own thing instead. LOL!

Freelancer @139 - You also are correct, of course. I spoke only to the intent and belief, and the way Oaths work in general. The specific Oath really is quite clear, as you say, and I would think the meaning of "that" (=life) would be clear in the mind of the Sister taking the Oath. ::muttermuttercan'tbelieveIdidn'tseethat::
John Massey
142. subwoofer
Meryl Streep? Too pretty. I think Herid Fel was talking about her. How about that androgynous one that played Elizabeth and Gabriel in Constantine? Tilda Swinton? Or Cate Blanchett? She did play Bob Dylan one time.

Come to think, Olrlando Bloom is pretty too. Even has a pretty name. Matthew Gray Gubler could make a good Nynaeve. I always get him confused with the woman that plays the lead in Bones Emily Deschanel.

Sandy Brewer
143. ShaggyBella
After Elayne's rescue from the Black Ajah (KoD)

The decision to carry her personal banner had to have been Charlz Guybon's. Sitting a tall bay with is helmet resting on the saddlebow, he bowed to her, a broad smile on his lips.. The man was a pleasure to look at. Perhaps he would do for a third warder.

Gotta love that girl, a true Green!
144. Shadow_Jak
Armies @ Shaggy Bella 87

Legion of the Dragon, 30,000 ? Andor ?
The Prophet's followers, 20,000, Altara
Amir Noam
145. Amir
Wetlandernw @137:

If you've never read the book, how would you know?

I don't know. I see this as a reasonable assumption based on Leigh's (considerable) abilities :-)
Jonathan Levy
146. JonathanLevy
134. forkroot

Great idea! How about a few more?

8) Any discussion concerning Tylin & Mat
9) Gun control
10) Insufficient Male first-brothers
11) Insufficient Male Pillow-Friends
12) Insufficient Males bonding each other
13) Insufficient Males spanking each other
14) Insufficient spankings in general
15) Min is a Lesbian
James Hogan
147. Sonofthunder
forkroot @134 and JL@ 146Wait, wait, wait...all these are well and good. But if these were all re-directed..what would we all have to talk about here? We wouldn't even make it to 100 posts!!

*looking forward to Joline and Mat's goat-killing 'moment' later in this book* Wait, that is in this book, right?
Amir Noam
148. Amir
Jonathan Levy @146:
Wait a minute. Items 9-14 on your list might become relevant when we find out more info on Taim's... hmm... special sessions with his favorite Asha'man.
John Massey
149. subwoofer
Well then we can get into the debates of:

-Moiraine is not dead.
-Asmodean is not dead.
-Verin is not dead.
-Jain is not dead.
-Sammael is not dead.
-Hopper is not dead.
-Bela is not dead...

The debate could go on for years supported by certain passages of text;)

Jonathan Levy
150. JonathanLevy
147. Sonofthunder
Obviously, we would start arguing about which topic should be on what list, and why certain posts got past the filter.

148. Amir
LOL! No wonder Tarna's eyes look half-dead.

I wonder what would happen if Taim tried it on a Green rather than a Red.... hehehe... she'd probably get carried away and wind up with a few more warders than she expected.... and be pretty disappointed when she figured out they'd rather spend time with each other!
Jonathan Levy
151. JonathanLevy
Joline Maza got carried away,
at a party - and woke the next day
with nine frat boys bonded,
but quickly absconded -
when she realized the whole lot was gay!
Jonathan Levy
152. JonathanLevy
A pretty Green Aes Sedai claims,
that she never plays drunk party-games
But has twenty Gaidin,
from that one she did win
And she's still busy learning their names!
Amir Noam
153. Amir
Jonathan Levy:
Is that a challenge? :-)

Mazrim Taim, quite without reservation,
said: "I just thought perhaps I should mention:
I've heard Leigh's calmness fails
-- she thinks none here spank males,
But my dreadlords still come for more sessions"
Mikey Bennett
154. EvilMonkey
Is it just me or does it seem like the WT could fit in to an all girls high school, Tar Valon High,

Greens for their prettiness and supposed promiscuity could be the cheerleaders.
Greys for their government treaty skills are the gals on the student council.
Browns are of course the nerds; always hanging out in the library added to poor social skills.
I can just see the Blues holding 'Save the Whales' signs in front of the school.
Yellows? Pre-med and future nurses of Randland club.
I can see Reds as either the mannish looking atheletes or the goth girls who smoke cigarettes and scribble grafiti on the bathroom walls.
The Whites would probably be the ones in like the physics club or the mathletes or something like that.

Weird huh?

156. hamstercheeks
There was once a young lady named Min
Whose lover could channel saidin
She wears tights and high heels
She knows just how he feels
And at the Last Battle she'll win!
Jonathan Levy
157. JonathanLevy
Just for you, Amir:

The M'Hael, speaking of his collection
of channelers (trained to perfection):
"Believe it or not,
I think it's quite hot
When my Asha'man stand at attention!"
158. Freelancer
And that's when the Sideways Meter™ exploded.
Linda Taglieri
159. Linda
@7 Forkroot

I felt quite sad when I added Tarna to the Darkfriends and Black Ajah articles last week as part of my update for TOM. In part because she's a minor character I've written a bit about and grew to like, but also because she, and the othercharacters turned to the Shadow, never even had a chance to make Verin's choice.
160. Laotsekung
"Crispin Glover" Freakout-o-meter.
That alone made this post a winner for me.

161. Arila
I'm always so sad that I am so far behind in this re-read. I may never catch up to current at the rate I'm going. :(

Anyway, I had a thought about the BA hunters and their ajah head mystery. They were told to look for the BA in the highest positions in the Tower. Sure, Elaida hoped that would lead them to the Keeper, but I'll bet from their perspective Alviarin is firmly on Elaida's team - she did help organize the whole shebang when Siuan was deposed! So....who's next? Well, the Ajah heads, of course. AND they are sneaking around and doing strange things. Also, they all know each other even though they aren't supposed to. Almost as if....they have something else in common????!

So, I think it's totally appropriate for them to suspect and investigate those women with priority.
162. Avendesora
So, I know this is completely out of date, but someone had a question about how Seaine's name is pronounced, so I figured I'd chime in for anyone else still reading these blog comments.

Seaine is pronounced "see-ANE." This is confirmed by the 4th Age podcast #79, in which Team Jordan, aka Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk, read a list of WoT names so the listeners know how to pronounce them.

Seaine is one of my favorite secondary WoT characters, so I hate seeing her name mispronounced. :)
163. Gabster
It seems like another point against the Green that both El and Eg want to choose it as much for its policies re:marriage and number of warders as for its mission statement. Not that there's anything wrong with thinking pragmatically about that aspect of one's Ajah choice, but it really ought to be secondary to, you know, PURPOSE IN LIFE?!
Captain Hammer
165. Randalator
What if your purpose in life is being awesome and getting all the sex-jays? There are worse purposes, you know...
James Hogan
166. Sonofthunder
Wow, this brings back memories!! It makes me a bit sad, after reading through some of these comments, I realise how much more active I was in the re-read back in the day. Hm. I shall post in the current re-read topic one of these days, I swear!!

And be on-topic, I heartily approve of your comment, Wet. These are the moments when you remember that Elayne and Egwene are very, very young. And very, very interested in men.

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