Tue
Nov 2 2010 1:00am

The Wheel of Time: Towers of Midnight Spoiler Review

Towers of Midnight by Robet Jordan and Brandon SandersonGather round, WOT fans: the day you’ve been waiting for, it is so here. Aw, yeah.

Welcome to a world where the Wheel of Time is actually almost finished, for today marks the U.S. release date of the 13th and penultimate book of the Wheel of Time series, Towers of Midnight.

Penultimate, you guys! I know, I can hardly believe it myself.

Therefore, as promised, I have here for you my second and infinitely less vague review of the new novel, which will incidentally provide you with a place on Tor.com to discuss anything and everything your geeky little hearts may desire having to do with Towers of Midnight. See how deep our love is for you? It is so, so deep, you guys. It’s almost a little creepy.

Also, therefore, comes the obvious caveat, qualification, admonition, and severe warning: there are GIANT, RUINOUS, BOOK-EXPLODING SPOILERS for Towers of Midnight below the cut of this post.

Seriously. Really, I’m not kidding here. And with that in mind, I very very VERY strongly suggest that you do not read this post until you have finished the novel.

Not least because hi, ginormous Godzilla-like spoilers, but also because I have written this review with the assumption that you’ve read the book first, which means that I often do not fully explicate what I am referring to—mostly because I’d like to try and keep this review from becoming its own novel. (I kind of failed at that, but, well.) Ergo, if you read this post without reading the book first, you will likely manage to be both massively spoiled and horribly confused, which is a pretty neat trick, if I do say so myself.

So, the moral of the story is: read the book first, kids. This post ain’t going anywhere, I totes swears.

If you would like to in the meantime read my first and completely spoiler-free review of Towers of Midnight, you can find it here. Links to this and all other manner of Wheel of Time miscellanea on Tor.com, including my ongoing Wheel of Time Re-read series, can be found in the Wheel of Time Master Index.

And now, having dispensed with the introductory obligatoria for the nonce, without further ado I invite the fully-read-up to click on!

Aes Sedai symbol chapter icon

I more or less summed up my general initial reaction to Towers of Midnight (henceforth abbreviated ToM) in my non-spoiler review, but since then I have managed to get through most of a second reading (not all of one though – you may have noticed that this sucker is humongous. I feel really sorry for the post office guys who have to deliver millions of these things today, because seriously, you could bludgeon someone to death with this behemoth and hardly break a sweat), and I find that the book has only improved on further revisiting.

The simplest way to put it is this: TGS was good. ToM is better.

In My Opinion, Of Course. Which gives me many gleeful squirmy feelings about the advent of the last book, A Memory of Light, I can tell you.

But that is not yet. ToM first!

The title, by the way, rather threw me at first, because I thought initially that it was referring to the towers in Seandar mentioned for all of one sentence in the opening “wind” bit of Chapter 1, which seemed like a rather random thing to name the book, all things considered, but Egwene’s Dream early on in the novel clarifies things. The towers she sees clearly (for my money) refer to the Forsaken, Ishamael/Moridin being the tower that almost falls and then comes back stronger than ever. (Which, yikes.)

The choice of title, assuming I’m right, is still a little odd to my mind, seeing as other than Graendal and Mesaana the Forsaken barely appear in ToM at all, but maybe it’s a more generalized “bastions of the Shadow” thing and I’m overthinking it, or something. Also, er, there really just aren’t a whole lot of Forsaken left by now, are there? And even fewer by the end of ToM! Heh.

Aaaand I think that’s enough of general stuff, really. On to the nitty gritty, yeah?

If you recall (and I bet you do), in my initial non-spoiler review of ToM I provided a list of reactions I had to various unspecified moments in the novel. So I figure, the best way to get this shindig off the ground is to just plow right in and tell you just what the hell I was talking about there, and then we can talk about stuff that didn’t fall into the scope of my initial list.

So let’s take ‘em one by one, shall we?

1. “I totally cannot decide whether to be pleased about this, or kind of freaked out.”

Several people called this one correctly, especially after Chapter 1 became available online.  Yes, this refers to the Jesusing of Rand, which as indicated I have decidedly mixed feelings about.

On the one hand, it is completely awesome that the poor man has finally found some balance and inner peace and Zen and whatnot, even if Rand’s oblique comments on the True Power to the Borderlanders (and Nynaeve’s Delving of him later, which, eek) indicate that his struggles with the Dark Side are hardly over. But even so, after basically torturing the character for 12 books, it is only meet that he should turn the corner in this way, and finally mostly resolve what has been his central character conflict (and Achilles’ heel) for most of the series.

Additionally, I totally agree it is the right thing to have happened, from both a narrative and a character development viewpoint. At last, we have a savior who, you know, kind of ACTS like one; and hey, after so much gloom and decay and general ickiness, having “the Prince of the Morning sing to the land, that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs,” finally, well, that’s pretty darn awesome, really.

But on the other… well, I miss Rand. True, this calm, collected, Jedi Master, Walkin’ On Sunshine Rand/Lews Therin hybrid guy is much more relaxing to be around—or at least, he’s now unnerving to be around in a much more relaxing way, if that makes any sense—and certainly he’s more, er, environmentally sound than the old Rand was, especially in the later books.

But you know, I’ve spent over a decade by now following the adventures of Just Rand al’Thor, in all his pissy, infuriating, bullheaded, scarily badass, semi-bugnuts, ridiculously noble, achingly damaged, eye-rollingly naïve and occasionally catastrophically stupid glory… and I want him back, dammit.

I wouldn’t have thought I’d be so upset to see Rand’s personality change for what is unquestionably the better, especially after what happened in TGS, but—well, in a certain way it’s almost like he died, and this new person showed up to replace him. And I find that in some ways I am really not cool with that.

Granted, this is basically what Min’s viewing in ACOS about this whole thing said would happen, and again I agree that it was necessary, but you know, I didn’t like the implications of Min’s viewing when I first read it either. Not to mention, at the time I had comforted myself with the thought that surely the end result of the merger would be more Rand and less Lews Therin; ToM, however, gives the distinct impression that it’s the other way around. And, dammit, Rand al’Thor is supposed to be the hero here, not Lews Therin.

Of course, the caveat here is that if I recall correctly, we are never once actually in Rand’s head in ToM (except once very briefly at the end), and thus we are only seeing what the other characters see, which may not have anything at all to do with what’s really there. In addition, I’m remembering Siuan and Bryne’s conversation when Rand comes to the Tower, regarding Bryne’s theory about Aes Sedai serenity and what it truly hides, and his subsequent comment that that’s what Rand now looks like: an Aes Sedai.

(As a random side note, do you realize that that chapter is the first and only time Rand has ever been in Tar Valon, in the entire series? That’s kind of crazy.)

Anyway, hopefully what we see in ToM is not necessarily, or not completely anyway, what we get for Rand. Or maybe I’ll get used to it. One of the two. And again, it’s awful nice that it now looks like the Light finally has a chance at, you know, not losing the Last Battle, so maybe I should shut up and deal.

2. “Okay, that may or may not have been quite a Crowning Moment of Awesome for _____, exactly, but that is unquestionably one of the coolest things that has ever happened in this series. All is forgiven, man.”

Hah, this one threw a lot of people, but again, several got it right. Jason Denzel disagrees with me on this one, but in my personal opinion, the scene where Perrin and Neald forge the first new Power-wrought weapon in three thousand years was unquestionably my favorite moment in the book. That whole thing was just—magnificent, really. And again, totally the kind of thing I signed up for in the first place with this whole “reading fantasy” thing.

And I modify my original statement slightly; as far as I am concerned, it totally was a Crowning Moment of Awesome.

It was wonderful, not only for the inherent coolness of the act itself, but for what it symbolized, which was Perrin, at LONG GODDAMN LAST, finally accepting who and what he was. “About bloody time” doesn’t even really cover it; it’s only been Perrin’s central Thing for ten books now, fer crying out loud.

A strong argument can be made, actually, that Perrin’s journey to finally accepting himself, both as a Wolfbrother and as a Leader Of Men, is as close to the central storyline of ToM as is possible considering the overall scope of the book. Certainly I have a very strong impression (based on one and a two-thirds-ish readings, so take it for what it’s worth) that Perrin’s storyline drives the bulk of the action in ToM; probably because Perrin’s arc was the furthest behind of any of Our Heroes—both chronologically and in terms of character development. I’m about ready to throw a party over it, myself. It is so nice to have Perrin finally moved up from the bottom of my list of Our Heroes, for the first time since LOC. Yay, Perrin!

And may I say, while I suspected something of the sort had to happen in ToM, considering that Perrin was barely in TGS and presumably the last book is going to have slightly larger fish to fry, I really never saw the actual method of the resolution of Perrin’s fears about losing himself to the wolf coming—by which I mean Noam/Boundless’s revelation of his abusive past, and that becoming the wolf was something he chose to have happen. What a poignant (and extremely appropriate) twist that was. Well done.

3. “Is it possible to have a complete seal-clapping moment of YAY, and shriek in utter fannish outrage at the same time? Because I have a feeling I’m about to find out.”

Ah, yes, this. Well. As far as complete seal-clapping moments of YAY go, surely the return of Moiraine is hard to beat as a worthy cause—not even to mention the ass-whupping of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn Mat pulled off to achieve it. As I said, I liked the hammer-forging scene with Perrin better for the sheer sensawunda factor, but there is absolutely no question that the Tower of Ghenjei sequence was a textbook example of a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Mat. (I have more to say about Mat below, but let’s get through the list first.)

As for the fannish outrage, I’m not a hundred percent sure I have cause for it yet, but something Moiraine said afterwards makes me veeeery suspicious that I might have some shriekage in my future. Specifically, I’m referring to her comment that the Eelfinn did indeed give both Lanfear and Moiraine their three wishes before starting in on the Power-sucking, and the possible implications this has for (what else) the murderer of Asmodean.

If you recall, I am on record as saying that (a) I thought that either Graendal or Lanfear dunnit, preferring Lanfear as the more viscerally intuitive choice, and (b) that I would be royally pissed if it turned out that Moiraine was the culprit. It wasn’t definitively said, of course, that either one of them used a wish to off Asmodean (or what any of their wishes were for, actually, except Moiraine asking to keep the bracelet angreal), but, really, c’mon. I expect we’ll find out for sure in AMOL.

So, I figure I’ve got about a fifty-fifty shot here on whether I’ll be needing to have some throat lozenges on hand or not. We Shall See.

But all that aside, still. Moiraine, you guys. I am positively bouncing in my seat to see her meeting with Rand in the next book.

EDITED TO ADD: Okay, so the commenters have since pointed out that the murderer of Asmodean is, in fact, revealed in ToM to be none other than Graendal—in the frickin’ Glossary. Needless to say, I
completely missed this in my own reading.

And, I’m a little miffed, here. Yes, Shaidar Haran comments in Graendal’s last POV in the novel (now that I went and looked it up) that Graendal is responsible for the deaths of three Forsaken, and includes Mesaana in that count even though Graendal protests she’d had nothing to do with it, but I have to say, even if I had caught this the first time around, I would have assumed the other two he was talking about were Aran’gar and Sammael, not Asmodean. If you consider her dreamspike scheme going awry to be enough to make her responsible for Mesaana’s downfall, then surely her misleading Sammael to believe that he could try to kill Rand with impunity back in ACOS counts as well?

But, whatever. I guess if the frickin’ Glossary says so, it’s so. At least Graendal being the killer occasions no need for shriekage from me on the merits of it, so I’m just going to refrain from commenting further about the method of delivery.

Moving on!

4. “This is suddenly seeming veeery familiar…”

All I’m going to say is gollumgollumgollumgollum

(Now with a side order of portable Mashadar, of course. Anyone want to take bets on whether there’s a giant lava pit in Shayol Ghul?)

5. “Well, finally, I have only been asking for this for like fifteen years. This is awesome. This is—wait. Uh, what’s going on… what are they… what does that… oh crap.”

This refers to my satisfaction on finally finally getting a (very interesting) Slice O’ Life segment on the Black Tower, since I have only been complaining about the lack on this front since pretty much the moment the Asha’man were bloody invented—only to realize I got two long-standing complaints out of the way at once on that one.

And let’s just say, now that we’re seeing (by implication) the 13x13 trick actually being used, I wish to take back all the grousing I’ve done about it never showing up, because holy shit DO NOT WANT. Tarna, no! And you were one of the cool Reds!

Seriously, I had a shiver of dread and everything when I realized what had to be going on. Androl and Pevara had better work that shit out TOOT SWEET, you guys. And where the hell is Logain?

(Okay, this may require at least a little explanation for those who are not familiar with the fannish jargon here. The “13x13 trick” refers to the fact that there is a method of forcibly turning channelers to the Shadow, which involves a circle of thirteen Darkfriend channelers weaving through thirteen Myrddraal. Jordan explained that the weave works by twisting the victim’s personality into the worst possible version of him- or herself, effectively turning them evil. Apparently it only works on channelers; it is also, as far as I know, irreversible. Which is horrifying.

To date we’ve never seen this ceremony performed “on-screen,” but it’s pretty damn obvious from Androl’s second POV that this is exactly what Taim and his lackeys are up to in his little palace at the Black Tower, and needless to say, this is VERY VERY BAD and someone needs to stop it right the hell now. *shudder*)

6. “Man, it’s like a Barry White song up in here, except hilarious.”

Well, this one is kind of a “duh” once you’ve read the book. Let’s just say, I snickered like a ten-year-old the entire time I was reading the scene where Galad and Berelain meet for the first time. Heh heh heh. Head over heels, indeed.

7. “Wow, and just when I thought it wasn’t possible to despise you more. Nice job RUINING EVERYTHING, ____. Gah.”

I don’t think anyone got this one right, but without knowing what was going to happen beforehand that’s not that surprising: frickin’ Elaida, giving the frickin’ Seanchan frickin’ Traveling, because THAT’S not going to lead to total disaster at all. Rassafrassamumblegrumble.

The fact that I am actually being unfair to Elaida for blaming her for this only pisses me off more. Why couldn’t her raken have gotten shot down over Tar Valon, I ask you? MUST she continue to be in my literary life? Can someone throw me a frickin’ bone, here?

Also, Ms. Fortuona really needs to stop being all “Yay, damane-breaking is my favorite spectator sport!” because I’d really rather keep liking her, and right now? Not so much. Of course, her cackle of “the White Tower, she is SO DOOMED” didn’t help either. You back off my Egwene, woman!

8. “Oh. Er. So, I totally called that wrong. Am a bit red-faced now.”

This would be my blithe post-TGS assertion that the Bloodknives (the Seanchan super ninja assassins sent to the Tower in TGS) were kind of sucky super ninja assassins, because I thought they all died in the battle.

Turns out, they really, really didn’t. Oops?

9. “Okay, so maybemaybeyou have redeemed yourself a little bit here, ____. You are provisionally allowed off my shit list. FOR NOW.”

Speaking of Bloodknives. So, in ToM Gawyn manages again to be mostly an idiot throughout 95% of his screentime—and then is completely kickass and saves Egwene from multiple super ninja assassins. (Even though even then he manages to be a little emo about it, but still. Multiple super ninja assassins!)

And I’m pretty sure there’s a rule somewhere that says you get at least one Get Off The Shit List Free card for defeating multiple super ninja assassins. And if there isn’t one, I just invented it. So There.

(I may also just really like the phrase “multiple super ninja assassins.” It makes me happy.)

10. “I think this is what they mean when they use the term ‘logical extreme’. About time, really.”

This is about the almost absurd lengths to which everyone and their dog—heh, no pun intended, Perrin—takes the rules (or lack thereof) of Tel’aran’rhiod to wage nutso Matrix-y battle on each other in this book. I mean, just Slayer and Perrin’s shenanigans alone would make it insane (the image of Perrin running cross-country with a mile-wide purple umbrella over his head is hilarious to me for some reason), but then you’ve got half the Tower running around in there rearranging the mental architecture and blasting everything to bits and Egwene snapping Mesaana’s tiny little mind (yay!) and, yeah. As I said, it’s about time someone took that to its logical extreme.

(Also, our Ooh Ooh Girl bagged herself a Forsaken, y’all. Sweet.)

11. “WHAT? That is… that is horrible. No, no, no, no. THAT HAD BETTER NOT HAPPEN, TEAM JORDAN, DO NOT MAKE ME HURT YOU. I need a cookie now. And a hug. I HATE YOU ALL. (But, uh, man. Good writing, right there. I never would have seen that coming in a million years. P.S. I STILL HATE YOU.)”

Oh, man. Of all the things I thought might happen in ToM (or ever in WOT, really), going back to the Wayback Ter’angreal in Rhuidean was never even remotely one of them. That the Wayback Ter’angreal could also be the Wayforward Ter’angreal, occurred to me even less.

But that was nothing compared to what Aviendha actually saw in it.

It’s safe to say that in my personal opinion this is just about the most horrifying thing I’ve read in this entire series. Even knowing that it is only a potential future (at least I’m staunchly assuming so, because otherwise I may just have to pitch an almighty shitfit), the chain of events leading to the (possible, dammit) future destruction of the Aiel were all too terribly plausible, especially given so many of the cyclic, decay-of-history themes running through the series. Also, I think Jason Denzel put it best when he remarked that this sequence was what made him think, for the first time, that it was possible this story wasn’t going to have a happy ending.

Which… well. There you go.

I just—I just really didn’t want to know any of that, y’all. Once again we have a scene where I had to put the book down and walk away for a while after reading it. Even money, really, on whether this one was worse than the one in TGS. No, scratch that; it totally was worse.

I reiterate: that had better not happen. Aviendha had better just fix that.

Please?

But I also reiterate: once again the part of the book I hated the most was also probably the part of the book that was the best-written. Shockingly, perhaps, I would tentatively venture the opinion that this second Rhuidean sequence comes within a fair margin of equaling the first.

And considering that Rand’s original trip through the glass columns in TSR is generally put forward to be one of the best-written parts of the entire series… well, I’ll just let that observation stand for itself.

(Also, Aviendha really does have quadruplets? Damn.)

12. “Well. I was kind of thinking that was going to be a bit more… dramatic. Or at least have a lot more yelling. But, you know. Okay then.”

This is the only one most people got right, but I guess I wasn’t all that sneaky here—anger, yelling, they do kind of go together. I don’t know whether to take this reaction back, though. The first time I read Rand’s “confrontation” with Egwene in the White Tower I thought it was, well, a little anticlimactic, but on second reading it seemed just more fraught with tension than anything else.

And there’s also the fact that it seems Rand and Egwene are due for a second confrontation, on the big staging ground everyone’s gathering at by the end of the book (the Field of Merrilor, which, Tolkien much?). And considering that just about the entire military puissance of, um, everywhere is going to be there, that has a hell of a lot more potential for explosiveness than the first one did. So, maybe the Foretelling about facing the Amyrlin Seat and knowing her anger isn’t actually yet fulfilled.

13. “Holy hell, _____ just had a Moment of Awesome. Of all freakin’ people! I didn’t even think that was possible.”

The honors for this one goes to none other than Dain Bornhald. Who, in case you forgot, saved Perrin by killing Byar. Seriously, my mouth dropped open. Does this mean I have to like him now? (Also, does this constitute proof that one really can scrub off Fain’s paranoia-mold if one tries hard enough?)

Freakin’ Galad, anyway, for making me like Whitecloaks at all. What is the world coming to, I ask you… oh, wait.

The whole enemies-to-détente-to-alliance between Perrin and Galad, by the way, is another reason I so enjoyed Perrin’s storyline in general. Even though I tend to think the whole Morgase-sitting-in-judgment thing was oddly played (and I additionally was a little underwhelmed by everyone’s rather (as I recall) laidback reaction to the revelation of her identity—even Galad’s!), I thought the irony of Perrin of all people being the one to bring the Whitecloaks into the fold of the Light was, again, incredibly appropriate.

Also, Galad is totally badass, even while he’s acting like a twat. But we knew that.

14.  “Oh for the love of Pete, _____, will you please DIE already? What’s it going to take, a nuclear goddamn strike? Sheesh.”

A lot of people assumed this referred to Graendal, and in retrospect it would have made perfect sense for them to be right, but the person I was actually thinking of here was Slayer, seeing as Perrin spent like the entire book running around trying to kill him, and he just—wouldn’t—die. ARGH.

And also, he killed Hopper. You bastard!

(Aw, Hopper. *sniffle*)

15. “Wait, what the hell just happened? I am so confused. And also, what?”

Seriously, what was that, with Lanfear showing up in Rand’s dream right at the end? Are we actually going down the road that she’s Really Good Deep Inside? Is that what that is, or a big hoax, or what? I’m… yeah, I got nothing. Except deep suspicion. I am officially giving this development the stinkeye, Team Jordan!

16. “HAHAHA I TOTALLY KNEW IT HAHAHAHA”

Graendal’s survival, natch. I TOLD you guys—no body, no death!

I confess to being a tiny bit relieved by this one. Despite my extreme preference for things getting Wrapped Up by this point, if that had really been the way Graendal went that would have been, as I said, a terrible waste of a potentially awesome villain. Though, honestly, she didn’t so much bring the awesome with her total failure to do anything to Perrin. Not that I’m complaining about that, but—okay, you know what, I’m shutting up now.

(Aran’gar, well, I really didn’t care that she died. Once she was (rather anticlimactically) ousted from her position as a (rather weaksauce) threat to Egwene I basically lost all interest in her anyway.)

Wheel of Time snakes and foxes chapter icon

So, there’s the list, although naturally this does not even begin to cover everything that happened in ToM. Realistically there is no way I’m getting to it all in one review, nor do I really feel it necessary to do so (I am eventually going to be recapping this thing in an embarrassment of detail, after all), but there are a few more things which really need to be addressed.

The most important of which, of course, is Mat.

I didn’t make much of a fuss about this in the wake of TGS, being rather more occupied with events and characters more central to that book, but for what it’s worth I more or less agree with the sentiment expressed by many fans, that Mat’s “voice” in TGS felt… off. Not enough to derail the character, and not consistently throughout his TGS screentime, but enough that I noticed, and that it bugged me.

His humor was just ever-so-slightly off-kilter; some of it reached too far and some not far enough. It’s difficult to define, but there’s a delicate equilibrium that needs to be struck in order to achieve the “adorable rogue” character, which balances precariously between “being a buffoon” and “being a jerk,” and in TGS sometimes that equilibrium was… not there. Given that, I approached the inevitable heavy featuring of Mat in ToM with, I will confess, more than a little trepidation.

Turns out, though, I needn’t have worried: Mat in ToM was a vast improvement over Mat in TGS. The humor worked better, the character felt more real, and it was just a lot better on all fronts. And just in time, too, as Mat’s trip to Finnland was only the single most important event of his overall story arc since Rhuidean. Not to mention, one of the most fan-anticipated events in WOT in, well, ever.

Speaking of that particularly, though, I’m… hmm. I’m not sure why, really, that my enthusiasm for the Finnland sequence, while high in thuse (lame joke, never mind), doesn’t quite equal the way, say, Jason obviously felt about it, and (I anticipate) how most other fans will feel about it. Because there’s nothing bad there; it was a great scene. I very much loved the way Mat figured out how to escape with his ashanderei (which I am kicking myself for not figuring out ahead of time, by the way), and grinned with glee at his exit line, and as mentioned was greatly pleased by Moiraine’s return. So why, with all the goodness there, did I simply not enjoy Mat’s storyline, or this part of it anyway, quite as much as I did Perrin’s?

…Okay, so I actually went away and thought about this for a while, and I think I know why. Mat’s whole thing was awesome, no question, but the difference between what he did in ToM and what Perrin did, is that Mat’s story arc (with regard to the Snakes and Foxes, anyway) progressed more or less exactly as we all thought it would. And that’s the difference.

Not that I’m saying it shouldn’t have gone the way it did; it couldn’t have gone any other way, really, given the avalanche of Foretellings and foreshadowings and fore-et ceteras we had on it up to that point—everything from Mat’s losing his eye to Moiraine being alive to Noal’s lack of survival (aw). But that’s kind of my point: it was great, but I already knew pretty much precisely what the progression would be… and for me that kind of lessened the thrill. The only genuinely surprising thing in the whole scene, in my opinion, was the final gambit with the ashanderei, but otherwise it was rather like clockwork, really. So in Mat’s case specifically, I feel that this was one instance in which being such a knowledgeable fan really rather worked against me, because it took the surprise factor away, even more so than usual.

Whereas Perrin’s storyline in ToM, by contrast, really surprised me. The forging of the hammer, and his winning-over of Galad, and Boundless, and even his battles with Slayer—the roadmap for all of that was so decidedly less defined ahead of time than Mat’s story was, that I think I got much more enjoyment out of the newness of it all. Because you have to admit that genuinely startling newness, at this stage of the WOT game, is rather, well, novel, and needs to be appreciated as such, I think. I know I did, anyway.

So, there you have that. Make of it what you will.

And… man, I am so about to collapse, but there is so much stuff I haven’t even covered yet. Loial’s perfect little preamble, and Nynaeve’s raising to Aes Sedai ordeal, and Olver’s (and Verin’s) shocking cliffhanger (AAAAHHH), and Rand’s bitchslapping meeting with the Borderlanders (which, the hell?), and Nynaeve (again) figuring out how to Heal taint-induced insanity (awesome), and the fan names snuck into the narrative (I only caught one or two, but Page 104, man—I grinned like a maniac), and Mat’s reunion with Perrin, and Birgitte, and Elayne, and Elayne helping Mat pull a (double!) bait-and-switch to defeat the gholam (worth it just for the (I suspect) shoutout to Door #6), and Elayne finally (FINALLY) taking the Cairhienin throne and lighting a fire under everyone’s asses, and Ituralde’s desperate last stand in the Borderlands, and Lan’s involuntary magnetism (heh), and, and everything just slowly aligning together for the final showdown, at long freaking last.

So much, but enough is as good as a feast, and plus I have to stop this somewhere. I fully trust that whatever I didn’t get to here, you guys will be more than happy to cover in the comments, and thus the cycle of blogging life continues. Or, er, something.

But, in sum: Pretty damn awesome, you guys.

And thus ends the spoiler review of Towers of Midnight! I hope you enjoyed reading it, and now you are cordially invited to share your own thoughts on the newest WOT book in the comments below. Share, enjoy, be excellent to each other, and cheers!

Wheel of Time serpent wheel


Leigh Butler is a writer, blogger, and a third unexpected-yet-clever thing, who enjoys reading and writing—at length, evidently—about fantasy, science fiction, and the deep philosophical thinkings (or lame pop culture in-jokes, whichever) to be derived therefrom. She lives in New York City, and totally promises to remember the date of the NYC signing this time. It’s November 31st, right?

1142 comments
Jason Denzel
1. JasonDenzel
Hold on there, Tiger. I want to be CRYSTAL clear: I LOVED the scene with Perrin forging the hammer. I loved it to itty bitty pieces. Along with Avi's trip through the glass columns, that scene stands triumphant as one of the finest moments in the book, and yes, even the series.

-Jason
Leigh Butler
2. leighdb
I know that. But you said you liked the Mat thing better, is all.
Jason Denzel
3. JasonDenzel
Did I? Then I lied. We weren't like, RECORDING that or anything were we?

BTW: I completely agree about Rand. You couldn't have put it better. I want Rand to win the Last Battle. Not Lews Therin.
Chandra81
4. Chandra81
Wow...can't wait to grab hold of my copy...you see it was hard to resist temptation like this...but to be honest I am even more eager to read it now...I'll have my copy on 4th thats day after tomorrow :-)
Joseph Blaidd
6. SteelBlaidd
Oh but it is Rand winning the last battle.

Pay very close attention to his conversation with Min in Ch 51 "A Testing."

He says:

"Isupose I an him. But Min, what you 're missing is that he was always me as well. Iwas always him\. I'm not going to change just because I remember-Iwas the same. I'm me. An I always have been me."


Heroe's of the horn are spun out as corective measures by the pattern and I propose that this is because the Pattern can depend on them to do the things that it needs to have done . Therefore each life they live causes them to reneforce certain personality traits, so that life after life they become more and more themselves.
It makes sense if you think aof Brigitte as an example. Consider how cosistant her character is despite the fact that she has aparently had an incarnation at least once every 200 years. Yetin every life ther is the bow and there is Giddal Cain and her firey soldiers personality.

The Dragon is the same way. He is a man who care deaply, who bleads for his people. "Surely he has born our griefs and caried our sorrows." He is an honest man and a just man and I think, if you look, that you will see the seeds of "Zen Rand" even as far back as book one.
Chandra81
7. Terez27
@LEIGH

OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DIDN'T MENTION '50 WAYS TO KILL A GHOLAM' WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
Chandra81
8. Owners.Inc
This is likely to be the first time at a WoT thread hasn't been overloaded within hours of posting...likely cos its the middle of the night and most people are busy poring over their copies

@Leigh Just to check - I heard people say that we definitively find out Asmo's killer in this book - but the way you've phrased it Leigh, makes it seem much more open to debate...we're not going to need to have a 'who killed amso debate v2' thread at DM right?
Chandra81
9. rome294
Leigh-big thanks for the review. I was not going to read your spoiler review but audible failed me. There was no ToM to listen to at midnight. They PROMISED me that there would be one but alas there was nothing to download to the IPOD. This is after I finished reading over and also relistening to the entire series and re-reading the prologue and the freebie chapters for ToM three days ago. I needed a fix bad and your review did it. Now I just have to rush to Borders tomorrow and snag me a book.
Chandra81
10. Jasper 2
Just spent $66-00 to get me a copy couriered (priority international) to South Africa after reading this....

Thanks for flattening my wallet there Leigh...
Chandra81
11. littleleicesterfox
I got Galad and Berelain! *dances around the room*

Argh! Can't wait!
Karl Johan
12. Apneseth
anyone know when the book will be available for download?
Wesley Parish
14. Aladdin_Sane
Sounds good. All this ratcheting up for Tarmon Gaidon ...

I'll definitely keep an eye out for this, for when it appears in the bookshops. though given my buying patterns, I'll have to wait an extra year before the smaller paperback comes out, 'cause I generally don't buy hardback, and generally don't buy trade paperback either.
Nikolaus
15. Nickel020
You missed something with #3. It's in there in one of Graendal's scenes, but I missed it the first time as well. For some reason it's then clarified in the glossary, and upon re-reading her scenes you'll see it. If you want to look for it yourselves, don't read the solution.

Solution (tried to make it hard to read accidentally):
Glossary said she killed Asmodean, which suprised me, but when you read her last scene she's referred to having a part in the killing of three Forsaken, i.e. Aran'gar, Mesaana and of course Asmodean.

PS: Thanks for the review, I enjoyed it ;)
Claire de Trafford
16. ClairedeT
Bookmarking this page. Eyes shut, fingers in ears; will be back after I get my copy shipped to Oz. Have fun discussing it guys - thanks Leigh - see you soon I hope.
Chandra81
17. kraefzke
I so totally hate myself for not being able to resist! But then, it was pretty clear from the beginning that I wouldn't be....
Thank you so much for giving us this delicacy...now I can hardly wait to read it all in full. Amazon tells me, my book will be shipped on 4th (in spite of pre-ordering months ago....screw amazon.at!), so hopefully I will able to start reading this weekend. Since I live in Austria, I couldn't find one single bookshop that would get the book earlier than that *hatethemall*. If there is anyone reading this in or around Salzburg who's got a copy: You name the price, I'll pay!
James Jones
18. jamesedjones
So.... why does the fact that Olver beat the game indicate that no one has tried to see what would happen if you rolled nothing but sixes and the S&F rolled nothing but ones? Is this really what happened (it's really late/early, here)? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, with the pattern unraveling, and entire honking corridors moving, that a few lines on a hand-drawn game might have shifted?

My personal favorite theory is that Olver carved himself a few d20s, cause we know he's just that cool... :P
Bouke de Boer
19. Bouke
Must. Resist. Must! Resist!

Aaargh!!
Chandra81
20. Koenzwaard
Hello Leigh,

Thank you for posting. I must be a lesser fan, for it often happens when reading your posts, I wonder how anybody can get so many theories and Foretellings out of the books.

However when you say Mat's storyline went according to "prediction" (Luca going with him as third man, preposterous!), is not the same true of the story of Perrin?

True, the Making of the Weapon is Qualified Awesome, but on the whole, well... Could there have been any other outcome then Perrin becoming Leader, do some much needed wrapping up, and marching off to Pellenor Fields?

I thought the whole book had the feel of "pack up your stuff, standby, 3, 2, 1.........."

I think The Gathering Storm was better. There.

Thanks for your dedication, and good luck during the long wait until we go, once more, unto the breach!
Mike Giroux
21. RMGiroux
I didn't read the review yet, because I'm only 1/2 way thru the book.

I just wanted to vent again: this is the LAST hardcover I'm ever going to buy.

Someone needs to buy Harriet a freaking Kindle or Nook or something, so she can appreciate the weight and convenience difference between that and this stupid dumb brick of paper.

Also, I haven't tried, but I'll bet that by this weekend, googling

"Towers of Midnight" torrent

will find one - clearly she's not going to deter pirates with this luddite approach when there are high-speed scanners and OCR software out there.

Vent over.

So far, I'm loving the text, even if the container is stupid.
James Jones
22. jamesedjones
Love the container. It's nice and solid, and keeps my car from skidding when it's wet.
Mike Giroux
23. RMGiroux
@22 jamesedjones: You're welcome to it, especially if it serves such a worthy secondary purpose for you :)

I'd just like the option to have my preferred container as well, which fits in the blackberry I carry anyways!
Maiane Bakroeva
24. Isilel
Hm... I have to say that I am not really sure that after 1 reading I like ToM more than TGS.

Maybe because I still find the whole "Perrin as the leader of Men" plot-line relatively uninteresting, Whitecloaks (who also turned to be sucky in fight against Shadowspawn - ha!) quite unimportant in the big scheme of things and Graendal's plot to kill Perrin to be utterly lame.
I mean, a genius psychologist should have had a field day against Perrin with all his problems and used more subtle means than a boring Shadowspawn attack, which she failed even to properly support.
All in all, while not as dreary as in previous installments all of this still had a feeling of marking time for me.
Now, Perrin-Hopper interaction and T'AR sequences in general were pure gold of course, but not enough to make the whole Perrin-centered chunk of the book (and it is the single biggest one) awesome for me.

Egwene disappointed me after her performance in TGS. Not because she disagreed with Rand, which was the right thing to do, IMHO or because I thought her fight against Mesaana underwhelming (IMHO, it was quite kick-ass).

But: she did nothing to prepare WT for the coming battle. No new, smarter ways to fight were researched, no forcing to full capacity and battle training of AS and intiates was taking place, no critical review of OP strength hierarchy was underway. It was also hugely disappointing that Egwene still clung to the whole "Accepted must be protected" dictum (aren't they adults and at least as mature as most soldiers?), but intended to raise people based on the OP strength and skill alone.
What happened with AS being about education and knoweldge too? Isn't it what distinguished them from other channeling groups?
On the contrary, "stronger is better" is in full force again.
Also, no help was sent to Lan even when Nyn must have told Egwene about Lan's situation.
And then Egwene abdicated the conduct of war to the Hall, which pretty much guarantees that WT will severely underperform as a military force.
Oh, and while Egwene's eventual fight with Mesaana was good, her prior traps for the resident FS turned out to be so lame that non-channeling assassins managed to easily overcome them Duh! Wasn't Moiraine able to completely ward her room against entry in TGH?

Elayne - more foolishness. Not only did her DF prisoners expectedly cause trouble, but she _still_ tries to shield when outnumbered in battle against confirmed DFs. WTF? When will she learn to fight properly? And why was she marinating DFs for so long, when she knew very well from triple previous experience on the subject that they would be eventually rescued or murdered with much slaughter either way?

Mat - his parts were actually my favorites in the book, even though I am normally not a big fan of his. He sees truly important things that need doing, makes clever plans and does them! And retains his self-deprecating humor throught. It is a pleasure to watch and even his extreme luck doesn't put me off, because yes, it helps, but it is not all there is to Mat anymore. Thankfully. Also, his reuinion with Perrin was great.

Rand - I am more disturbed by his having "leveled up" and gotten even more powers than by his Zen. I would have preferred a powerful, yes, but still within human possibilities Rand. IMHO, he was already a bit too powerful before, but this is getting ridiculous. What do we need everybody else for? Yea, he says that he shouldn't use his powers to randomly, but this doesn't sound very convincing given the sheer scope of them. Also, I hope that his confrontation with Egwene wasn't what it seemed.

Moiraine - I have very mixed feelings on her as well. On the one hand, I like how she was written, the little that we had, and that Mat was finally able to see her as she is and appreciate her.
But on the other, I really hate her de-powering, particularly since it is part of the general pattern of de-powering of formerly powerful women in WoT.
And Cynfear is back anyway and with 3 shiny wishes to boot, so it seems like even more of a waste.
Also, Moiraine's first wish was very underwhelming. And WTF is that with her offering to throw away the angreal? I mean, sure, she wanted to show Thom her love, but with TG looming she had no right to offer something like that.

The Shadow - we have an utterly lame plot that basically wasted Graendal and utterly removed all the points she got for intelligence and comptence in the Prologue. It seems that finals are a game that only boys can play :(.
And in accordance with this, Taim's corruption of the BT seems to be progressing very nicely. We also finally see why 13x13 wasn't used much more widely previously and it makes sense! Yay! I wish yet again we had seen more of the BT instead of another helping of Perriniad, though.

P.S. I don't think that Aviendha's vision represents a likely future, as it requires that all important characters of the series die within 20 or so years after TG. And Prophecy of Rhuidean has to be wrong on certain points too.

So, yea, it is a necessary warning that Aiel have to change and that Rand has to do something different with Seanchan, rather than a picture of immutable doom, IMHO.
John Massey
25. subwoofer
Holy Russian novels Batman!

I knew it!!!

Ahem- Thank you Leigh for this review.

Thank you Brandon for such an amazing book.

::stop- soap box time::

DANG IT TOR!!!!

Every other reread post we are twiddling our thumbs until some point in the afternoon- this post you are punctual with. Geeze folks!

And I am still not impressed by the sloppy distribution- some folks getting the books early from Amazon, the other safety for all stores being book nazis about releasing the darn things. How about some control and equality here?

::steps off soap box::

Heh, thought Mat got rocked on the old "eye for an eye" exchange. Should of asked for a Bud Light, maybe even some Pabst Blue Ribbon...

Will rant more later when I finish the book. Or collapse from exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

Edit for spelling or lack there of.

Edit- many Star Wars like parallels here too- Luke makes his own lightsaber-Perrin- bags of awesome blacksmith.

Oh yeah am still wondering if the is "A New Hope" or "Empire SB".

Woof™.
Dan Vega
26. bigdtv71
Thanks Leigh,

I love the spoiler. settles the twitching since i'm stuck at work all day and won't get my book till i leave today......tried to call in sick but had no-one to cover....so i'll stay up all night to read the book tonight....can't wait ....so excited...
Brook Smith
28. bsmith51
I thought the book was great! AND I loved how Asmodean's killer was confirmed in the glossary of all places. It was mentioned in a backhand fashion near the end but the glossary puts it to rest.
Anita Reynolds
29. bobbins
Thanks Leigh for clarifying why I found the Tower of Ghenghi part unsatisfying though I could not figure out why, as in it was exactly what I expected, except for the end so why do I feel cheated. Because we knew what was going to happen, and Mat is usually so unexpected. And someone light a fire under Audible, it's 9 am est and the book is not up yet. ARRRRGGGGGG! and Bloody Ashes!
John Massey
30. subwoofer
And I was right, dang nay-sayers. I knew and I said Perrin`s blacksmithieness would come into play.

I should get a dingle ball for that...

Woof™.
Anita Reynolds
31. bobbins
And I agree with RMG @21 about the weight, I am old and have joint pain in wrists and fingers, and after both the Way of Kings recently and now TOM the sore spot on my breast bone will probably not quit hurting until January. With the fingers hurting I am at least one pair of knitted mittens behind.
I need this on the kindle, I buy the hardbacks anyway, (don't know if I want Brandon signing the Kindle) but I want to read it on something lighter.
Stop picking on the old lady!
Chandra81
33. An Old Fan
WOW!!! May I say!!!!!!
Richard Fife
34. R.Fife
Asmo's killer in-narrative hint: I blinked at that, because she could also be implicated in Rahvin's death, as she didn't help him and was there. So that'd be Aran'gar, Mesanna, Rhavin, and Asmo. Also, the shadow wanted Asmo killed, so why get on her about that? I was rather annoyed that it was a glossary reveal of all places.
Daniel Hanley
35. Kythorian
Yeah, Graendal is revealed as Asmo's killer both in the book and the glossary. So no need to shreik in fannish outrage. I don't think the Shadow is 'getting on her about Asmo's death' though. Two seems bad enough. And you know Graendal...of course she isn't going to risk her neck when people are throwing around balefire just to save a forsaken. But Aran'gar(on purpose) and Mesaana(on accident) seem plenty of reason for punishment on their own...I do hope we get to see a little redemption though, because from what I have heard, it doesn't sound like she lives up to the build up we have had for her. Which is too bad.

Otherwise...wow...Not done with the book yet, but I read some spoilers a few days ago, so I already know whats going on. Knowing doesn't really ruin it though. It has still been pretty unqualified awesome so far.

No time for a detailed response. Back to reading!
Matt Cookson
36. cookson
Graendal did kill asmodean, at least thats what it says in the back of the book
Chandra81
37. horatius
So what was the big thing from books 4-6 that the fans missed that Brandon alluded to? I read the whole thing in one sitting on Friday, so maybe it's something obvious that I missed (like Graendal killing Asmodean!) but what was it?
Michael Maxwell
38. pike747
Just began reading, there is peanut butter fudge in the bunker with Towers of Midnight I shall hunker. Much more later. Anticipation combined with satisfaction is a heady mix ;-[ }
Daniel Hanley
40. Kythorian
To horatius @ 37, Mat's spear(I can never remember the spelling for the correct name for the thing), which he received fromt he Finns, apparently.

I am more interested in the thing up in the blight that no one knew about, according to RJ. Brandon said it would be hinted at in ToM. Anyone have any theories?
Chandra81
41. Ryanus
@37. My thoughts are that the missed thing is from Book 4. Specifically the Ashandarei and that it was given for free with no strings, no request and no payment granted.
Chris Greenland
42. greenland
@40. I would guess that there is an army of male Aiel channelers in the Blight, since we saw a "shadow" Aiel in the epilogue. I wonder if that's the thing we missed? Books 4 through 6 are where we learned that the Aiel send their male channelers into the Waste. (I think?) But we just assumed that they killed a bunch of Trollocs then died. I wonder if Ishamael and/or Demandred is responsible for assembling and training them.
DA Ford
43. Ford75
I thought the thing we missed was the Ashendari (Sp? Mat's Spear - LOL), as a way out of 'Finn-land.
Chandra81
44. Vanye
My thought here, re; happy ending....there will be a new power in Shayol Ghul...and it's name will be Rand Al'Thor...

Just sayin'
DA Ford
45. Ford75
D'oh - hit Post to soon.

Great review Leigh. I got the book on Saturday, and promptly set-aside my reread of TGS (I was just past Hinderstrap), and jumped into TOM. I'm now continuing on TGS, and will reread TOM at a more leisurly pace when I finish it.

A couple things I haven't seen mentioned of things that struck me while reading (I won't bother going into all the stuff already mentioned - LOL)
- Avienda's walk in the "Way-Forward Machine", there's mention of the three bloodlines of the Dragon, so now we know that Min's going to get knocked up too. (And Egwene really needs to get Avi into the White Tower to go through their stores of Terangreal. Avi, El and Setalle (After she's healed by Damer of course)
- Eg's dream of the 6 towers - Graendel has been cast far down, what if she's the one that rises up higher than ever (after Rand & Moridin face off and do some sort of body-swap thing).

Hmmm, I'm sure there's actually WAY MORE stuff, but I need to jog my memory - LOL.
Tricia Irish
46. Tektonica
OOOOh Leigh...Thanks ya! I always love your, way with words. I've been haunting the various Spoiler threads for days, so even though my book from Amazon Prime has not arrived yet today, as promised even though others got theirs days ago, I just had to see what YOU had to say.....and it sounds good to me!

I love Spoilers! Now I can calmly read this book and enjoy the subtleties! Thank you!

I do have a bit of a grouse however, similar to Sub's....why is the delivery so random? Why do some get their books waaaay in advance and others not for days/weeks? And how, pray tell, did so many people get advance copies? Enough to fill many Spoiler threads? It just seems so, well, random. ??
Tricia Irish
48. Tektonica
Thanks Terez....be right over!

Edit: That was great!
Daniel Hanley
49. Kythorian
Hmm...about the dream Egwene had in chapter 3. Its pretty clear it was the forsaken, but the fact that six towers remained at the end of the chapter seems to be the first clear indication that aginor is gone for good. (leaving Moridin, Demandred, Graendal, Mogy, Cyndane, and (at the time) Mesaana). Aginor just died in a fireball (the second time), so there is nothing actually keeping the DO from bringing him back again, unless there is just some limit on the DO's reincarnation abilities we don't know about. Is he just not bothering after that level of incompetence?

It also at the least deeply weakens the 'Taim has been raised to Forsaken status' theory, since there would be seven then.

Unless taim has been raised to Chosen and aginor is back, but mogy and cyndane no longer count as 'towers', since they are just metaphorically part of Moridin's tower now?

Any thoughts?
Chandra81
50. Magentawolf
I have to agree with Leigh a bit in regards to the 'new-and-improved' Rand... If they had toned down the 'Messanic' aspect a bit, I would've been happier. Yeah, he's the Lord of Morning and yaddayadda, but I would have rather seen his presense simply remove the Dark One's touch, rather then go to the extremes we see with the apples.

Also, his new Zen-like state of mind... even when we see him destroy the trolloc army in what he claims to be a rage, I don't really feel any anger from the character.
Chandra81
51. Johny990the
Can somebody please write me detailed summary for the book if it is not big deal to ask.I'm from Serbia and we will have to wait at least month or so before we get our books.SO please please please
Daniel Hanley
52. Kythorian
Below is a relatively complete spoiler filled summary of the book. The only errors appear to be that he included Slayer and Aliarin dying, which did not happen. If you have specific questions about certain events, feel free to leave a shout to me.

http://www.readandfindout.com/wheeloftime/messageboard/165159/
paul Hend
53. tugthis
Thanks for the review Leigh, and I am even now debating reading it before the digital version of the novel comes out. ( I am a confirmed Kindle user now). A review should appear as or before a book is published and it should give a critical opinion. Now if someone could please let me know without spoiler--- is it a good book or not?--don't need stars but a simple thumbs up or down. Thanks.
DA Ford
54. Ford75
Thumbs Up!

An don Messianic Rand - I didn't mind it too much. I actually thought it was great when he told ... (I almost want to say Caddy, but maybe it was the Borderlanders?) to call him "Rand Sedai". It must've been Caddy, because he made the comment about having lived for 400 years.
Theresa Gray
55. Terez27
If we didn't like it, we wouldn't be reviewing it. But we're hardcore WoT fans - if you want different opinions, you'll have to look elsewhere. I though it was awesome, and among the best books of the series. But that's just me.
Chandra81
56. johny990
Can somebody please write summary of the book,I read the review but so much of it is confusing to me because I didn't read the book.SO PLEASE
Tina A
57. Tinaa
Wow. Going to sit quietly and digest now. And then probably start again.

I think I agree with Greenland @ 42, regarding the Big Clue we all missed, namely being the male Aiel channellers descending from the Blight, red veils, pointy teeth and all. How do you think they're going to react to the cara'carn? I can only hope they won't be the remnant of a remnant...

Going back to my book now...
Theresa Gray
58. Terez27
The small detail from books 4-6 was the ashandarei. Brandon said it would 'save the day' in TOM; the 'Aiel' don't fit.
Daniel Hanley
59. Kythorian
The Aiel in the blight might fit for the 'thing up in the blight that no one knew anything about and would play a huge role in aMoL' that RJ talked about and that Brandon said would be hinted at, but not revealed in ToM though. There was never any indication that they were the same. In fact, we know they are not, since the 'thing from books 4-6 that everyone missed' is revealed in ToM(the ahsandarei), while the 'thing no one knows about up in the blight' would not be revealed until aMoL. I was just asking what people thought about that.
Chris Greenland
60. greenland
@58. Ah. I actually can't remember what the ashanderei did now...might need to reread ToM at a slower pace!
Daniel Hanley
61. Kythorian
heh...its what allowed Mat to escape the Tower of Ghenjei. You really should read slower if you missed that bit. I thought their escape was really well done.
Maiane Bakroeva
62. Isilel
Tectonica:

For some reason a lot of cities in continental Europe got ToM early, which is strange, because we usually get everything much later. I bought mine on Thursday. Anyway, that, rather than advance copies is the source of most of those spoiler threads you've been reading ;).
Nikolaus
63. Nickel020
@Johny990the

Get the audiobook if you can afford it. I think with some of those audible plans it actually becomes quite cheap.
I did it last time when amazon was very late shipping my book.
Skip Ives
64. Skip
I hate being a responsible adult and not starting my read until I get home tonight. I don't mind being spoiled, because: 1) I already know much of what has to happen at this point; 2) I read the books for the writing, not the surprises; 3) I have a bad short term memory. :)

I am so glad I finished up Side Jobs the other day.

@49. Kythorian - Aginor was told there would be no second chances, and he is pretty lame without all of his "high-tech" magical equipment.
Janet Hopkins
65. JanDSedai
WoW! I went out at 12:30 to Wal-Mart, and picked up the book. Started at ch.3; all kinds of awesome! Egwene Dreaming again, and Rand all Aes Sedai-like. Got to chapter 10, and then started skimming through the book for chapter icons, viewpoints, and awesome scenes. What a rush!

Now to really read, much more slowly. Just wanted to comfirm Leigh's list of Awesome!
Amir Yoeli
66. Betterthenyouknew
What the hell were those red-veiled Aiel???

Olver opens the Verin Letter... Awesome...

Oh, and me, saving Rodel Ituralde's butt... Most awesome... :)

Yoeli.
Chandra81
67. TitanicTater
Regarding Rand's "Messianic"-ness and his becoming Lews Therin...

I feel once we get Rand's viewpoint in the next novel (so far in TOM, all we've gotten is others' impressions of the New Rand), we'll truly be able to see that it is not Lews Therin commanding his attitude and thoughts. I believe Rand is still the same old Rand, but his acceptance of Lews Therin gave him a sense of calmness about his future...he submitted to the idea that he was the Dragon Reborn rather than accepting it. Instead of saying it is my duty, it is my burden to be the Dragon Reborn, he realizes that "he was always that man and that man was always me." Subtle difference semantically, but emotionally it was Rand's breakthrough.

Also I think we'll see glimpses of the Old Rand later on, there's no way this inner peace and calmness lasts long. He is in control right now, therefore everything is simple for him (simple might be the wrong word...). We're forgetting that almost every character in this series puts up a front, some sort of facade to hide the turmoil and uncertainty within. Soon, Rand will see the unexpected (e.g. like Lanfear in her pitiful state) and then we see the Old Rand again, the uncertainty and the anger.
michelle Pearce
68. littleleicesterfox
@51, Jonny

I have got a spare copy in the UK coming - I can send it to you if you'd like? It'd be quicker than the month :)

@42

That is genius. I did not see that in the slightest and I'm kicking myself as we have seen how the DO has a habit of gathering up these one-way ticket visitors (Luc and Isam for example). Brilliant, thank you :) I was wondering where the new dreadlords were going to come from and you've just sent a sunbeam though my thinking.
Chandra81
69. TitanicTater
@66 Betterthenyouknew

Those red-veiled Aiel...

They seem like a parallel to Tolkien's "men from distant lands who answered Sauron's call" or whatnot... (I'm thinking of that scene in LOTR movies where Gollum, Sam, and Frodo are near the Black Gate and they see all those men marching in...)

I'm guessing they're from lands above The Blight and Shayol Gul...nobody knows who lives there, we all just assume it is a barren landscape under the Shadow's power....
Anne D
70. cheyinka
I'm with you on the "man, I kinda miss Rand" front, Leigh, but the Dragon Reborn is an awesome enough character that it doesn't really make me too sad. (I was kind of getting tired of his "I Told You I Was Hardcore" thing.)

Also, I am totally with you on the DO NOT WANT of the 13x13 trick. Auuuuugh that was so well-written and so stomach-turning. I'm not sure it matters whether Taim was 13x13'ed himself, but my guess is on no, not that it matters since it's irreversible.

Now we know the "something odd" about Aviendha's quadruplets, right? (That they're going to be channeling from the time they're children?) The Wayforward Columns seem to suggest all or at least some of their children will, too ("the Dragon-blooded"), and I don't think that's something that will change if (when, please let it be when) she averts the doom in the Aiel's future.
VJ Bruce
71. vjbruce
Tektonica @46:
I love spoilers now, too! Last year when tGS came out, I avoided all spoilers and then had to read really, really fast to find out what happened first. The problem was that I knew I was missing stuff but didn't care at that point. Then it took months before I re-read it the second time, and I enjoyed it much more then. I also realized just how much I'd missed the first time, yikes.

So I decided to read the spoiler reviews (thanks, Leigh! and thanks, Terez, I read yours, too -- both excellent!) and then enjoy a slower-paced reading this time. I know I'm going to enjoy it much more than I would have otherwise.

In my own re-read, I just finished tGS (again) last night. There is a pretty good hint in there from Perrin that he's going to deal with his avoidance of leadership (can't quote it, no book with me at work) :) so I knew that was coming, but I can't wait to read it 'cause I was so hoping he'd have a MOA or two on the way!

Only 45 minutes to go before I can go home and read....
Leigh Butler
73. leighdb
Nickel020 @ 15:

*blink*
Well, shit.

That'll teach me not to read the Glossary, I guess.

(Really, Brandon? The Glossary?)
Cassandra Cookson
74. cass
Easing the badger? REALLY?? Someone was reading the old newsgroup to drag out that one. I almost fell off the couch.
Anne D
75. cheyinka
I just checked the Glossary, which I hadn't read either. WTF. That was really cheap.
Jim Millen
76. jim.millen
@73 and @75 - Well, as @15 pointed out, it is also pretty clearly spelled out in Graendal's last scene in the main body of the text. My guess the glossary entry is just to finally put it beyond any possible doubt.

@74 - Yep, I was very nearly literally ROFLOL at that one. :-)
Leigh Butler
77. leighdb
FYI, Point #3 in my post has been updated to add the info about Asmodean. Thanks to all who pointed it out.
Skip Ives
78. Skip
And I was so sure it was Bela in the closet with the candlestick.
Anne D
79. cheyinka
@76: Well, yes, I did read that last scene, and yes, I did see "three Chosen", but no, I didn't pick up on that. Especially since when she leaves Aran'gar to die she's all "oh shit I killed one of the Great Lord's Chosen", which implies she hadn't done so even that directly before.
Michael Ikeda
80. mikeda
Skip@78

Bela manipulated Graendal into doing it. Bela's sneaky that way...
Jim Millen
81. jim.millen
I'm chuckling that we're still quibbling about Asmo, but something was nagging me so I've just been to look up Graendal's conversation with Moridin in chapter five. To quote:



"...One might think you are making a habit of this kind of thing, Graendal."
"I live to serve"...

"Surely you do not imply that Aran'gar had turned traitor."



That, together with SH's comment, is more than enough confirmation for me.
DA Ford
82. Ford75
@81 - That was when I got my first clue, and then slyly looked at the Glossary (after hearing everything about avoiding the glossary due to spoilers) - LOL
Chandra81
83. Jon87
If you all look at the first greandal/morridin scene, you will see that it is revealed there that she killed asmodean... morridin says to her that she killed another of the chosen, and she can't claim that he was a traitor this time
Anne D
84. cheyinka
@81, @83:

Thank you. That I did overlook, somehow. All better! The mention in the Glossary no longer feels cheap. :)
Chandra81
85. Cursedonez
Omg, i just hate you right now! lol
Because you only made me want to read it even more! I'm waiting for my copy, that should arrive by the end of the week, i must prepare myself, because i'm not gonna eat, sleep or even going to the freakin bathroom loool
Pete Pratt
86. PeteP
Good spoiler review. I just finished my initial speed read.....

Overall, very good book. I think it is better than TGS because 1. No more Rand as crazy/demonic/arrogant SOB. I like the new Rand (sensing DFs was just wonderful). He can confidently go into places with lots of AS because of the True Power.

2. Mat's voice is so much better.

3. Wrapped up a lot of story lines. Loved Moiraine's rescue.

4. Lan's finally accepting himself for who he is was really cool too.

5. Battle at Maradon was very, very good.

6. Perrin's story line really dominated the book, but I kept thinking it could have been half as long and still been just as good and effective.

But, IMHO, the final chapter in TGS was better than the end of TOM by a long shot. Rereading TGS last week brought this home. It was an absolutely beautiful ending. And I really love how it changed Rand. He finally gets "it" and has want he needs to succeed.

Great book.
Skip Ives
87. Skip
jim.millen @81 I first found rawsfr-j because I had thoughts about Asmo after TFOH, but no one to share them with. I was a smart usenet user (thankfully) and lurked a bit, and posted on something else .

I'm glad to see it resolved finally, and without resorting to a 'finn to solve it.
Daniel Hanley
88. Kythorian
To PeteP @ 86, it is not because of the TP that Rand doesn't fear aes sedai. He apparently leveled up his channeling, and is now just a whole freaking lot more powerful. Exactly how much, we don't know, but he did kill about a million shadowspawn by himself. And Egwene at least believes that he is just powerful enough to break a full circle of 13 aes sedai with ease. Given what happens at maradon, i tend to agree that it is likely.

But pretty much everyone in that book was awesome...Rand was, obviously made of awesome, Perrin was impressively awesome, especially im comparison to his earlier annoying self, Lan got over his "I must die alone" thing, Even Mat (who has always been awesome) did good. I liked his re-evaluated opinion of Moiraine now that he can look back on what she did through the lens of his experiences over the past 10 books.

I do very much hope that they don't make a Rand-lanfear love...well, not triangle, but you know what I mean. That would annoy me to the upmost. My guess is that Lanfear is trying to play him, but even if she isn't...gah...just don't go there, please. Almost as important as some indication that the future for the aiel is changable...
Jovan Vujnovic
89. Jovan19
After all these spoilers I want to read the book even more.
Tricia Irish
90. Tektonica
I've already admitted to reading all the spoilers I could find, so disregarding plot, I thought I'd make a few comments as I read the book slowly and lovingly on my own.....

In Ch. 3: Egwene states that "She must never forget that there was an entire world outside the White Tower's walls. The purpose of the Aes Sedai was to serve that world."

That gave me a lot of hope for her. She wasn't particularly sharp with Rand, but given that the rest of the Tower was struck dumb by his mere presence....and she remembered that He was also just Rand, she might pull her head out of a dark place before TG. I am optimistic, let's say.

I also thought Rand was very Rand! I reread TEofW recently and he was a very cool, laid back, guy back then, when he felt comfortable in his own skin, in his own place....as I think he finally does again. And yeah, what a relief!

Rand: "I am both, Egwene. I remember him. Lews Therin. I can see his entire life, every desperate moment. I see it like a dream, but a clear dream. My own dream. It's part of me."

And it's so cool that Perrin has finally agreed to let Hopper tutor him in his own way!

So far, so good......Oh this is so much fun!

I did have a weird thought: Next year (or close to next year), we will be opening The End. I will approach that day with mixed feelings. I am dying to know what happens, but then it's over.
:-(

I don't think I'll be doing Spoilers next year.
Dorothy Johnston
91. CloudMist
I started reading at about 9:30am and finished at 8:02 pm. I loved how Lan's plotline progressed from: "Okay, Bulen, you can come with me, but don't tell anyone who I am;" to "I'd obey my king's order to leave, but there's no king here, right;" to Lan finally giving up and raising the Golden Crane banner!
Patricia Lawlor
92. NearToothlessWilder
I need a lot more time to consider the major implications and developments. One minor point that pleased me a lot - a definite end to the "Morgase and Tam" theory that always annoyed me! Now for the slow re-read.
Henry Loose
93. schrodinger
sigh...
That was good.
My bookstore opened at 745 and I finished it at 7 pm.
So many moments of awesome.
I was a little surprised at the pace of the book: it started out fast, and just got faster, until there were about 200 pages left, at which point it really slowed down. It only picked up again when Mat went to the ToG (and, of course, when the epilogue came about... it now seems like a really stupid idea for mat to ignore verin's letter).

couple of reactions:
Yay, Perrin's finally in LoC form again (but fo' real).
Mat: is there anything this guy can't do?
"you can all go rot in a flaming pit of fire and ashes you unwashed lumps on a pig's backside. Have a grand bloody day."
best. quote. ever.
Zen Rand: meet the new boss, same as the old boss (that's really old boss to you, Cadsuane.)
Galad/Berelain: I'm thinking her talk of political maneuvering is just like Mat's muttering about nobles and women being like goats: somehow trying to convince herself that she's not really head over heels (goes all the way back to her passing him in the halls of the stone of tear in TSR).
Hopper: I understand why, I just want to know why?

More thoughts to come. Probably after a second re-read.
Ben Norris
94. I_have_no_life
Floorgenschneckleblop.

There. This book has left me speaking gibberish. Need I say more? I have been depressed for quite some time, bcuz now I have another frickin YEAR to wait for AMoL.

"Always look on the dark side....."
-Ben
Chandra81
95. Jerusalem
Well Amazon or the USPS decided to screw me and not have my book here for me today, so I held out as long as I could (which was about 3 minutes) and read this review.

I've thought for a while now that it was Graendal in the hallway with the balefire, so it's nice to get at least some of that confirmed (does she say how she killed him? I mean, balefire's a fairly obvious guess, but if there's an official answer it'd be nice) so to actually have that confirmed is awesome.

It sounds like there will be much joy in reading Perrin again... finally... and Mat, as always, seems to be a favorite, so I'm looking forward to that.

Do we actually find out who Mesaana is/was in the WT or is that glossed over and its just Mesaana all the time with no disguise?

Anyway. Hopefully at some point in the next couple days I'll be able to hold my new shiny in my greedy greedy hands and I simply cannot wait.
Theresa Gray
96. Terez27
@Leigh - lol, dunno how I missed that...
Henry Loose
97. schrodinger
Mat's reunion with Perrin... pretty darn close to the funniest thing ever.
Pete Pratt
98. PeteP
Kythorian @88: Rand specifically mentions that the Guardian of Far Madding only stop the One Power (hinting that he has his True Power ready to strike down anyone as necessary). Min hints to Cadsuane as much (using the Well to make a Gateway is to protect Min, not Rand).

While Rand has reached new levels of the power, remember how he already destroyed a horde of Trollocs back a couple of books ago with Death Gates, etc.

So, being a super stud channeler is nice. But it is because he has the True Power that he does not fear Aes Sedai and a circle of 13. LTT was always fearful of 13.....

@90 Tektonica: Exactly. While some others have noted that they thought Rand distant, I thought Rand was more like the EotW Rand than he has been since at least the Great Hunt.

@87 Skip: When I found usenet in 1992, rasfw was a huge benefit and a source of many debates and fun flamewars. We got kicked out of rasfw for a good reason. It was a good refuge at rasfw-rj...
F Shelley
99. FSS
Huh - I had posted something before, but apparently it didn't go through. Here goes again.

I think I should get partial credit for guessing Elaida on #7. My post on the non-spoiler review (mine is #64) guessed Elaida would try to bargain her way out Seanchan hands by offering Traveling. I was sooooooo close....

I'm not happy about Asmo's killer being revealed in the Glossary, but ultimately, when I read it I just assumed it was Lanfear and wouldn't have bothered caring if it weren't for all the speculation on the Internet Boards. It seems kind of pointless, though, to do the big reveal in the Glossary after, what, 15 or more years of people asking and the Author and his minions saying RAFO.

I only finished a couple of hours ago, and my brain is only now ceasing to spin. I was happy with almost the whole book, except for maybe the feeling that it was almost like too many things were going right for Team Light. After books and books of the Shadow taking o'er the Land, it just seems...almost too easy. Bah - I need another re-read or 2...
F Shelley
100. FSS
@95 - Egwene meeting Mesanna in T'A'R, which leads to Mesanna's discovery as Danelle.
Jacy Clark
101. Amalisa
*waves from the shadowy corner*

Long time, no see...

Listening to the book right now. About four hours into it. Enjoying it muchly. Restraining myself from reading all the spoilers. 't ain't easy.

I'm listening to Gawyn and Sleete as they are investigating the murder of the White Sister. Gawyn asks: "Why kill with a knife?"

Which led to an immediate Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves flashback. "Why a spoon, cousin? Why not a knife?" "Because it's dull, you twit. It'll hurt more."

Oh, and I want it noted that I'm not being all smug over the Graendal thing. Really, I'm not... ;)

Later, y'all... :D
Ranjan Asrani
102. Allchaos
I laughed out loud at the Mjolnir part, I was like whoa what a funny way to spell that name.
Corinne Keogh
103. hatsumora6
No. 1: MOIRAINE. YES!!!!! I'm with you on this part. Soooo happy she's back, and I can't WAIT until Rand sees her (Oh...dammit I'll have to wait. Boo hiss).
No. 2: Elaida. Why won't she just die? Why, oh why, did she have to show the Seanchan Travelling? YOU'VE DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE. LEAVE US BE.
No. 3: I think the only time I laughed harder than Mat's letter to Elayne was when Berelain and Galad were making eyes at each other. I just have one thing to say about them as a couple: they will make GORGEOUS babies. We mere mortals will be blinded by their RADIANCE.
One thing that I don't think you really addressed though was the cliffhanger Verin left us. (Thanks for that, Verin. You're awesome, and I love you, but why didn't you just tell somebody sooner?? I mean, come on. There's good drama in those pages, but do we REALLY need The Blight, The Black Tower, The Seanchan, AND this Super-Secret-Portal-From-Whence-Darkspawn-Will-Miraculously-Materialize-With-Harrowing-Intent? I think not.)
Anywho, great post! Keep it up!
F Shelley
104. FSS
Does anyone has a list of the people who had Verin's sealed letters? I know I read mention of at least one other person besides Mat with one. I seem to recall more than one. It will be interesting to see what comes of them...aside from the attack on Caemlyn, of course...
Madeleine Lee
105. keita12686
Sorry, everyone reading this thread, you get my somewhat incoherent babblings about the book because no one I know has finished it yet.

Aviendha's WayForward views: totally agree with Leigh, that had better not happen. And I'm still waiting to see what's 'odd' about her kids. I bet it has something to do with her seeing this sort of thing now. And, um, the future has not yet been written so it can be changed, right? Right?!

I seriously thought that Perrin was going to die, when he was having his big show-down with Slayer and he brought it to the White Tower. I'd also like to know how Mesaana/Danelle (awesome that the FAQ called it) circumvented the Three Oaths but I guess we won't know that. And his "it's just a weave" moment was awesome, especially when it lead to Egwene's awesome later.

I literally LOL'd at Mat catching a badger. Nice one, Mat.

Speaking of the dreamspikes, Taim's got one. This is bad. This plus the implied 13x13 means he's definitely working for the Shadow. I think that when it comes time for promoting to Forsaken Taim has to be at the top of the list.

I absolutely missed the ashanderei thing the first time around, and I've read the books about a million times. So, wow. I was trying to figure out what it was and I guessed something to do with Birgitte. I was close?

And wow, Mat's going to kick himself for not opening that letter. That was also not what I thought would be in the letter.

Nice to have Noal-as-Jain confirmed, and it was obvious in retrospect that he'd die, since Moiraine didn't know who he was.

I didn't think of the male Aiel at the end, but thanks for pointing that out, greenland @42. Seems like a good candidate.

I'm sure there's other things I'll want to discuss, I can come back if I think of them later.
Alice Arneson
106. Wetlandernw
Just have to jump in to say that one of the killer things in this book, for me, was Harriet's chapter-title choices. Man, did she ever pull us every which way with those! All that speculation about what would be in which chapter, and most of the "obvious" ones were so far off I had to laugh even when the content was anything but funny. I'm just trying to figure out if she did that deliberately, just to yank our collective chain, or... Yeah, I'm thinking it was deliberate yankage.

Loved the book!!! Of course. More comments after I read the rest of the comments so I don't repeat everyone else too much.
Bill Milligan
107. gt4431b
Bought it this morning, and even with many large interruptions just finished.

Honestly, I was expecting this book to revolve heavily around, well, TOWERS. Black, Ravens, and Ghenjei. I think I was on page 750 or so before we finally start addressing the BT. The Seanchan barely get a mention. The Ghenj scene seemed terribly rushed -- a lot of the book could have used a much tighter edit to give it more room.

Okay, the Ashanderei trick was uber-cool. Mad props for prior planning and hiding in plain sight!

Graendal's faux return was utterly wasted. Even so, it's kinda hard to maintain the Forsaken body count at this point. Does she still count? Does Cynfear or Moggy? Does Moggy even exist anymore? I understand keeping Demandred under wraps until the last minute, but why Moghedien?

Graendal's main plan wasn't terrible but it lacked any sort of brilliance. Outsourcing your biggest job to Slayer with minimal oversight was pretty dumb and not keeping with the amazing super forsaken standards that Graendal sets. Of course, it pales in comparison with her JBP -- the "Jenn Backup Plan". You know, the plan that isn't? It was pretty boneheaded. Still, she's being treated far more harshly than Moggy and Cyndi.

What's with all the new plotlines? It seemed like as of KoJ there were no new plotlines and characters, a policy that has been rescinded!

Pleased to say, I totally called Weiramon and Danelle! But the explanation for how Weiramon was uncovered was pretty lacking.

Graendal may have killed Asmodean (yeah baby, I called that one a dozen years ago), but we still don't know for certain WHY?! Especially if it were not sanctioned from above, as it turns out not to be!

Brandon promised us a "darker" book. Except for the fast-forward Aiel scenes -- which I'll grant you is pretty durn bleak -- I'm not getting it. Everything's coming up roses!

Rand is no longer really a character but a plot device in this book. I suppose it was necessary to his character development here, and it looks like there are hints at more characterization next book.

Elayne is far less annoying when written by Brandon.

The twisty timeline was confusing. I'd be in the middle of reading a chapter, reminding myself that it happened long before the events of two chapters ago. I wanted to read the book with a calendar in hand!

I was disappointed by the big reveal of who the guy stuck in Caralain Grass was. Big whoop! Even returned the guy has little relevance without the support of the Merchant Council!

I was pleased to see that the Talmanes character was toned down from TGS and Thom restored to his rightful plot-place. Still, all the maidens, many of whom were real breathing characters before, have turned into little more than a horde of hats. Or veils, if you prefer. Mat was much better. It's harder to tell with Elaida, who underwent a brainectomy between KoJ and TGS, whether she's back in RJ-form or not, having so few lines.

I'm creaking and moaning mainly because I'm just tired -- There were a lot of really good points to this book, but on the whole I'm a little disappointed. I don't have the same sense of satisfaction I've had for every other WOT book (esp. TGS of late). Still, I'm looking forward to the final chapter.

Last night I had this weird dream where I went to the bookstore to buy ToM, and came away with the wrong book! Instead of ToM, I got an advance reader copy of AMOL part 1! And I'm going, they split it AGAIN!!!

I'm wondering if they'll have to. There are so many new plot points to deal with after this book, new characters and forces and prophecies -- and so many things haven't been dealt with already! RJ was taking us somewhere with the point of the Sea Folk, for instance. BS has kind of forgotten about them and their various characters altogether. There are other things mostly dropped that aren't springing to mind mainly because, wow I'm tired.

Good night!
Greg Bloom
108. MuleHeadedLummox
@104 - I caught two other letters from Verin, although we don't know the contents of either. One was passed to Rand from an Aes Sedai (I can't remember which one), and another was given to Alanna, which seems to have led to her leaving Tear. I suppose we'll have to wait for aMoL to find out what other info Verin left behind.
Chandra81
109. nihiru
@FSS for some reason I think Alanna's sudden disappearance had something to with Verin's letter. Don't have the book with me so not sure how that thought got stuck in my head....
Alice Arneson
110. Wetlandernw
A few more incoherent thoughts before bedtime (well, actually it's long past bedtime, but... oh well.)

I'm so cracking up over the big Asmo-killer reveal. Clear confirmation only in the Glossary, of all things. I can't help thinking that it's somehow very fitting, in an ironic way... Poor Asmo. Even his big mystery resolution is relegated to a footnote. It's there in the text, but to put the clincher in the Glossary! Love it - I'll bet it was RJ's idea, too. He never thought it should be such a mystery in the first place. (Then again, that might be my slant, because I never cared all that much.)

Oh, yeah - I got Leigh's #6 & 12, of course, but I also got 13. Yippee. The rest? Not even close.

Definitely fun finding fan names! A few I clearly caught, and a bunch of others that I was pretty sure were although I've no clue who the fans are. That was pretty sweet. Page: 104, 198(?), 228(!), 483, 708... Oh, yeah, I was pretty sure Yoeli was a fan-name the first time I saw it, but must admit I thought it was a riff on Joel.

jamesedjones @18 - Thought it was pretty cool that Olver got the "reflection" of Mat's win. :) Not sure if there's more significance than the ta'veren thing kicking in or not.

I'm with the (I assume?) majority here in thinking that the "red-vieled Aiel" are Aiel channelers, snapped up & turned by Moridin or Demandred. Can't see that there would be enough (given the time limitation on their activities) to qualify as Demandred's "army," so if there turn out to be a significant number of them, it would have to be something set in motion by Ishamael on a previous surfacing, wouldn't it? Possibly related to the snapping up of Isam and Luc?

cass @ 74 - I cracked up on that one. Gee, let's give it a twist no one expected - make it really simple and innocent.

FSS @100 - Say what? Not quite. Delana died in the prologue, remember? It's another D...
Janet Hopkins
111. JanDSedai
A thought--
Maybe Elayne's ter'angreal copies are flawed because she needs both Saidar and Saidin in each piece.

And Avi's children are odd, apparently because they can channel as children. Perhaps Avi channeled/ was exposed to a ter'angreal when she was/is pregnant?
Chandra81
112. Atulbir 122343255
if rand is not the sword then he is probably the seal
Chandra81
113. Lord of the Mourning
Also bought it this morning and also just finished. I must say first that it was WoT and I'd read a WoT phone book and be happy, so I naturally loved the book. But it was still not the book I was expecting. Maybe a re-read will do it justice but so much of it was all "Perrin blah, blah, wolf dream, leader stuff" and just total snooze control. The set up of Galad and Perrin to have this big showdown was just total chapter-swallowing weak sauce. I didn't believe for one second that they weren't going to become BFF's by the end, and of course they did, so maybe Perrin can get over Aram now.
Then some stuff happened for 500 pages and they finally rescued Moraine and then I had to come to Leah's spoiler review to find out about the glossary thing.
See you next year guys!!!
No one's said anything about it yet, but Rand's comment to Cadsuane: "If you wish, you may call me Rand Sedai" was Teh Awesome.
Almost as awesome as the pillars of Rhuidean going all Lost style and giving us flash-forwards instead of flashbacks. I'm going to break with popular consensus and say that I'll feel cheated if they do change the future. Cause that's cheating, y'all. Fantasy cheating and, more importantly, it's 2 precious chapters we'll never get back. The Aiel must die, my friends.
All told I think I enjoyed tGS more on the whole; it had way more wtf moments. But Matt was better in ToM and the Last Battle is right around the corner. We mustn't get greedy. :)
Adam Hoffmann
114. scrix
Started reading at ~1030, finished at about 215am, totally worth a wasted day, and how has NOONE mentioned Mat's snarky message to egwene via teslyn sayin yea youve got my horn and im comin for it!
Chandra81
115. arthurphilipdenu
Beowulf (the wolf) vs. Greandal = win
making of mjolnir = win
finally raising the Golden Crane = win
odin losing his eye = win

On the whole, there was a heck of alot of win in this book.

Will Rand get a silver hand in AMOL?
Chandra81
116. Lord of the Mourning
@114 Totally forgot about that! The Hornsounder Cometh!!! Maybe if they'd rescued Moraine first i could have paid attention to these things.
Theresa Gray
117. Terez27
Jan@111 - that has been the assumption all along, since she couldn't get the colors right in the stone ring. It has been theorized that, for instance, the cuendillar seals are made by a circle, since women appear to make white cuendillar. Perhaps men make black. So that led to the idea about why she couldn't get the colors right in the stone ring.
Chandra81
118. Chani167
Finished my read about a half hour ago. I've been kind of sitting in a daze.

Is it weird that out of everything that happened in that book, I am totally caught up with the question: Who in the world was Nakomi? She really weirded me out.

Also, after the last chapter, I was satisfied. After reading the epilogue, however, I started to feel squirmy. Too many ominous things happened. Still, LOVED this book, but I'm full of foreboding feelings now.
Chandra81
119. Vysirez
I have to say that I like the new Rand just fine. I didn't feel like he was replaced by LT at all.

I was a bit disappointed, in that I thought the book would have a bit more screen time for Mat. Not that he didn't get an ok amount, I just hoped for more considering how little there was in tGS.

I generally didn't like Perrin arcs in most of the last few books, but I did like the stuff here just fine. Thought the whole training in the wolf dream and resulting badassness was very cool. My read on the whole Perrin vs Slayer thing was that Slayer enters the dream in the flesh, so is much more powerful then your normal dreamer, and yet Perrin managed to beat him. Very cool.

I have to say I was disappointed with the letter from Verin to Mat. She made this big thing about how Mat has to promise to do what is in the letter and of course she has to know that it will make him much less likely to open it. What, did she somehow think that Mat wouldn't warn anyone that a hord of Shadowspawn were going to come through a Waygate? I just have to wonder why Verin thought she had to make it a requirement. If she had just given him the letter and asked him to not read it for a few days, then everything would likely have worked fine. Curiousity would have ensured he read it, and then he would have done something about it. However because she added the conditions, we end up with what happened at the end. Didn't really like that at all.
Chandra81
120. Ragar
Very interesting read from the last hours. Few quick thoughts
loved Perrin's forging sequence,, and his basic "I know this place leave Egwene" in Tel' duirng the battle with Slayer, especially the disappearing of balefire.
The Borderland Army and Rand meeting definitely did not go as i thought it would, but good resolution to that thread.
13x13 goodness, eh badneess. Should be fun next book.
Nice to see the reunion chapters, and what, actual sharing pof information!!! Finally.
Mat. all that needs to be added right now as I love how he finally figured out his answers, and truelly understands his luck now.
Dorothy Johnston
121. CloudMist
Did anyone else notice that our favorite blackmailer, Nicola, managed to get herself killed during the Smackdown In T'AR?

Also, what with both TOM and the elections in the U.S., I didn't get much sleep last night/this morning, so I had plenty of time to worry about the flashforward rings. First, I thing Nakomi is either Moggy or one of the BA. The Aiel in that future seem to have kept the old ways but remained in the wetlands instead of returning to the Way Of The Leaf. The Seanchan also made Rand kneel to Fortuona instead of Rand binding the 9 Moons to serve him.
F Shelley
122. FSS
Ah - lovely to be up the morning after.

@110 - yep - you're right. I blame a buzzed brain, which I got from reading the thing cover to cover in 11 hours. I know, everyone else does it too. Does everyone get a buzz from it? My post is corrected now. Thanks!

Re: The New Rand. To be honest, I'm still not sure what's going in his brain. I do think he's still mostly Rand, especially given his reaction with his father. Now THAT's something I've waited a dozen years for.

So, what, Darkfriends can't behold his radiance now? Whoa.

And Mat telling the White Tower he wants the Horn back for the Last Battle...wow.

I'm not sure what I think of the way forward machine. Talk about major bummers. I know all things end, and empires fall, but to see a people lose their way like that. I mean, I about cried reading how they lost ji'e'toh. And Avienda's own children and grandchildren having so much to do with everything. I'm hoping it was a warning. About how Avienda needs to mold ji'e'toh to the new World the Aiel find themselves in, now that the Waste isn't their Three-Fold Land anymore.

Or maybe she just needs to stop Rand from making the Dragon's Peace. Else the Seanchan conquer all...

Let's see - the final scene with Lanfear/Cyndane/Mierin - a ruse to trap Rand? Lanfear was the queen of T'A'R (by her own reckoning). Was she finally about to break through Rand's Dream Wards? Or is she being punished for a new failure? Shaidar Haran's last words to Graendal seem to indicate someone was going to be given her tasks and tools...

So where Sulin this book?

Overall, I loved the book. Oh, I still have my quibble that everything seems to be coming together a bit too nicely for Team Light after books and books of overall Darkness, but then again, maybe everyone else has been kicking ass, and the main difference is just...Rand. After all - a year ago, would anyone have imagined that we'd have an entire book, 800+ pages with the flipping List?

That's right - in case you didn't notice.

No...flipping...List!

And I thought Moiraine's return would do something majestic to Rand and that List. Been thinking that for years. Now, I don't know. Does Rand still recite it? Does it mean something else now? Does it mean anything?

I think that's enough for now. Sure I'll be back...
Chandra81
123. Ragar
@115 "Will Rand get a silver hand in AMOL?"

Didn't Min see an Onyx hand? Need to go back and check
F Shelley
124. FSS
oh, one last thing for a little while anyway.

Added for clarity: WHat I was thinking when I read the Nynaeve/Myrelle scene for the first time:

Ahem.

MYRELLE YOU FUCKING BITCH JUST PASS THE BOND ALREADY.
Jovan Vujnovic
125. Jovan19
@littleleicesterfox
you offered to send me a copy of Towers of Midnight.How much do you ask for it.And please if you can write down price in Euros.Tnx
Anita Reynolds
127. bobbins
Book signing tonight in Cincy OH If anyone else from this list is there, look for the short fat old lady with the knitting needles. Come over and say hello. Anita
Daniel Hanley
128. Kythorian
To FSS @ 124....erm...she did. After Nyn's testing, she travels to Myrelle, demands the bond now that she is going to be an officially raised aes sedai and all, and gets it(after a few threats, but still).
F Shelley
129. FSS
@128 - yeah I know. I meant to be representative of my reaction while reading it, but I was in a hurry to take my daughter to school, and posted too quickly. I will correct it...

I did like how Lan tried to pass a message of fierce love (and sometimes frustration) through the bond. I wonder if Nynaeve felt it...
Daniel Hanley
130. Kythorian
I was thinking over how the next book will begin...wow...that is going to be a really busy day. We have the attack on caemlyn, with the band trying to save the dragons from capture, the meeting north of Tar Valon with pretty much all the armies of the world there, at which I assume Rand is going to demand everyone swear to the Dragon's Peace, almost certainly the planned Seanchan attack on the Tower by gateways(which should be interesting when they find all of Randlands armies there), Lan's attack on the gap...hmmm...

I'm also curious about the references to the Dragon 'leaving' in Avi's visions. They are consistant and don't sound like him dying...but where would he go? Through one of the portal stones maybe? Possibly with the Ogier? I know the book's beginning was made to mirror the beginning of Lord of the Rings, but that might be taking it a little far.
M G
131. parabola
Ok... wow. Tore through it, and I agree with just about all of Leigh's sentiments.
Want to add Rand's anger-fueled maelstrom of ShadowSpawn-AsskKicking was... well, kick-ass.

Two things are nagging at me though: (1) Why did Verin, who we can all agree is very sneaky and generally knows what she's doing, just rely on Mat's curiosity to stop Caemlyn from being demolished?! A little flimsy that, as we see from the story. Why not just leave the message for someone else to pass to Elayne? Verin knew Egwene could enter dreams, why not tell her?
(2) Why is Egwene carrying the idiot-ball in re: the seals? Yes, she's doing very well with the Hall, etc., but why is she so convinced that breaking the seals is wrong and that she must stop Rand to the point of putting the whole friggin world on the brink of a war with itself, right on Last Battle Eve?
Bill Milligan
132. gt4431b
If Nakomi is some WOTtish version of Hoid, then color me disappointed.

Easing the Badger. I LOL'ed.
M G
133. parabola
... just wanted to add that Mat letting himself get caught by the Palace guards, and then talking his way into a dice game with them while waiting for Birgitte was fantastic and endlessly amusing.
Daniel Hanley
134. Kythorian
to parabola @ 131, (1), I agree that there are several better ways Verin should have gone about that. Just making Mat promise to wait in Caemlyn 5 days and not open it until that point would have been fine. No need to make him promise to follow what is inside. Given what is inside, surely he would have regardless.

(2)I don't see how this is the idiot-ball. I was ready to take that view from w hat spoilers I read beforehand, but rand does nothing to explain why he thinks that breaking the seals is the right thing to do. He doesn't even explain to her that the DO will almost certainly not be immediately freed, just that he is going to break them in a month, and that she is expected to be there. For their entire lives, everyone has believed that the only thing keeping the DO from comsuming the world is the seals. They limit his touch of the world. In egwene's(very reasonable, from what she knows) view, breaking them is an unneeded risk. Why can't the Dragon Reborn face the limited DO with at least some seals still intact?

And she isn't even saying no, just that they need to discuss and research the plan more before they risk the survival of the world on it. Rand even says he doesn't know how they are going to seal the DO up again! ...Is it really not reasonable to want to make Rand consider his plan a little more when it, as far as Egwene knows, consists of breaking the only thing holding a world consuming deity from breaking free when he doesn't even appear to have any plan for after said deity is free to begin with his world consuming?

On the other hand, it also appears that Rand wanted Egwene to object to his plan and gather all the nations of randland together, so he didn't tell her the reasons behind his plan on purpose.

Egwene is also not quite sure how sane Rand is right now. Certainly based on the plan and him talking about remembering LTT's past (but giving no evidence at all to back it up), he sounds pretty crazy.

It all seems very reasonable from my perspective.
Daniel Hanley
135. Kythorian
No, what annoys me about Egwene is her comments about how she has gone through so much recently, can't she at least expect her friends to support her? Ignoring that Rand has gone through even more (even when you only limit it to what she knows about), but apparently she thinks his friends should all abandon him.

But thats the same stuff Egwene has always done...she has many of the same experiences that Rand has(but not as bad), and has made comments about how she wishes that people would just give her advice instead of trying to constantly manipulate her. She complains that she is the Amyrlin now, and that people should respect her, not try and control her, etc. Then she turns around and makes plans to treat rand the exact same way that she is getting upset about people treating her. Sometimes in the same chapter.

But still, Egwene had enough awesome in the book, that in spite of these little continued annoyances in Egwene's character, I was able to maintain the respect for her she earned in KoD and tGS.
Chandra81
136. Landro Gaidin
Elaida gave away Traveling because she was being tortured by the a'dam. Those are really nasty and evil torturing devices. Avienda's visions in Rhuidean show however that a direct assault on the Seanchan will not bring victory. The Seanchan will have to be convinced to stop using them.

Verin wanted Mat's army near Caemlyn. The whole deal with the letter was just to delay him and make sure he wouldn't move his troops away. Verin is nothing if not sneaky. Ofc, Elaine had to sabotage yet another plot for the light by moving half the Band to Cairhien. sigh........

Rand threatening the Borderlanders with the TP seemed a bit out of character. I thought he wouldn't have access to it anymore since his revelation.

We see a very big change in Rand. Before he had to threaten and bully people but when he returned to Bandar Eban, all he had to do was ask people to do the right thing and they did so. This is also why he could enter the WT and not worry about being shielded. He could have just asked them to release the shield...... and they would have because it would have been the right thing to do.
Daniel Hanley
137. Kythorian
To Landro Gaidin @ 136, Rand didn't threaten the Borderlanders with the TP. He just pointed out that their plan was foolish because if he had come a month ago, he would have destroyed them regardless of the guardian. It was just him looking back at what would have happened if things had gone a little differently, not a threat of what is going to happen now that he has had his revelation. He may or may not still have access to the TP...regardless, I don't think he will use it again.

I don't think that the Broderlanders even heard the comment about the Guardian only blocking the One Power. the scene was from Cads' POV, and she was beside him, and it says he whispered it, so she is probably the only one who heard.
Chandra81
138. Balescream
so after reading the glossary....... the towers of midnight are thirteen unpolished black marble fortresses in Imfaral, Seanchan. At the time of the Consolidation of Seanchan, it was the center of military might. The final battle of the Consolidation took place there, leaving Hawkwing's descendents in power. Since that time, it has been unoccupied. Legend has it that in time of dire need, the imperial family will return to the towers of Midnight and "right that which is wrong." So...........I don't get it. Why was the book titled Towers of Midnight when the Seanchan weren't even a factor except for the bloodknives? It was an amazing book with a great ending, but the title seems a bit wierd.
Daniel Hanley
139. Kythorian
To Balescream @ 138, The Towers of midnight refer to a lot of things. The towers do represent the seanchan somewhat, I guess...in spite of the fact that they were not in the book a lot, they were important in the egwene thread, and extremely important in the future past the last battle, as seen thr0ugh Avi.

But they also refer to the forsaken themselves, as seen through Egwene's dream in chapter 3. There were 13 towers, then they fell one by one, the remaining ones growing taller as each of the others fell. One almost fell, then grew taller than all the others(moridin). So yeah. The forsaken.

And finally, the Tower of Ghenjei(sp?). Which, while not black, certainly is a pretty evil tower.

Maybe the Black Tower too, which we don't see a lot, but which certainly has become a nest of evil.

So there were a lot of Towers which qualify as Towers of Midnight. Between them, they are important in pretty much every plot line except maybe rands, so it seems appropriate as a title.
Chandra81
140. Marie Anzalone
A few thoughts, as I just finished reading the book. I'll try to pick up on points I don't think anyone else covered, or offer different perspectives.

First, I have to say, when I first saw the viewing about Berelain falling for a man in white, my thought was, "I bet it's Galad". Loved those scenes. But did it seem to you that Berelain cannot possibly be as good at seducing as she is without knowing at least something of affairs of the heart?

Did anyone else chuckle, horrified, at the visual of A'ranGar seducing Delana on the couch in Arad Doman?

Does it seem to anyone else that there are at least TWO versions of prophecy concerning the Final Battle, and they don't necessarily agree with each other? The future is uncertain, and could tip one way or the other, depending on which version is fulfilled. I'm thinking there may be as many as three, including the set revealed in Moridin's hands this book.

Why don't the Dedicated and Aes Sedai think to tunnel out of the Black Tower?

I'm thinking Warders are going to start using Bloodknife t'erangreals.

I bet that Verin used her owl to gather a lot of information, similar to how Graendal used the dove but wished for an owl when she surveyed her landscape.

I'm wondering if the red-veiled Aiel with the gnashing pointy teeth were not a construct of Fain's? Seems to be in the area we last saw him, skipping along merrily with Mashadar.

I am guessing that Shaidar Haran, and possibly Moridin, are vessels for permitting some of the Dark One's essence to touch the world. Remember Ishamale's theories on the battle between the DO and the Creator- how sometimes, the shadow turned the Dragon to his side, sometiems not. It seems to me like at the last turning, LT was almost turned, but had final moment of clarity. Perhaps what we are seeing now is that LT's soul could have gone either way (two definite sets of prophecy, one light, one dark); and was close to going over to the dark this time. However, something in Rand's upbringing, the love he was shown, being surrounded by the awesome people he points out, allowed the Creator to partly enter him instead. I think what we are seeing is the Dragon as the Creator intended, if tempered by the fact that Rand is still human.

Following this theory, had the Borderlanders killed him, it would have been because he did not remember humanity, and they would have possibly been right to do so. The only other option available was to be turned to the Shadow.

If the Dark One can unravel the pattern, and unmake everything, it explains exactly why the cuendillar seals of the prison crumble as chaos reigns and nation after nations fall. I'm betting that Kandor falling may have actually taken another seal with it.

I think that some of Aginor's creations may have been partly drawn from the realm of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. Their properties are very similar. I also think that the Seanchan power comes partly from an alliance made with the realm. The rings used by the assassins seem to grant Myrddral like ability to the wearers, and the ashandari bears the symbol of two ravens. Too much coincidence. Base don Aviendha's visions, I'm betting that the Seanchan may be a stronghold of the DO's power, regardless of what happens at Shayol Ghul.

I'm beeting that Nynaeve musters the Aes Sedai to Travel to Malkier's aid this time.
Chandra81
141. Marie Anzalone
one more comment:

I think the oaths prevented Verin from being able to tell anyone outright (except maybe Egwene) about the attack on Caemlyn. The loophole about the hour of her death permitted her to write it in a letter to be read after her death.
M G
142. parabola
@Kythorian (134-135)
You're right, it is reasonable. I guess I'm just annoyed at Egwene that, despite the many reconciliations and meetings and (finally!) sharing of information, Egwene is still holding out and not trusting Rand.

Also, boo-yah! Rumor of Mat hanging for 9 days!
M G
143. parabola
Oh yeah...
Anyone else think of David Eddings' Belgariad series when Moridin whipped out his evil prophecies of evil?
We looking at competing prophecies?
M G
144. parabola
Last one (for now)...
That Ashaman's son who is as pretty as a stump is Gaidal (or whatever Bridgette's partner's name is)?

Also, re: Aviendha's future-scope visions...
Do we have a timeline re: whether that happened during the tenure of Rand 2.0 (bug$%#! crazy-dark) or Rand 3.0 (Zen Master Rand Sedai). My personal theory (until utterly debunked by y'all) is that the future vision was the result of Rand's ignoring of the Aiel (like Rhuarc's descendant said in the vision). After his epiphany on DragonMount it seems he is more attuned to everyone, including the Aiel.
Chandra81
145. images8dream
Finished the book last night. It was FILLED WITH AWESOME. I really loved every bit of it, with the small exception of the whole Elayne/Cairhien/Nobles politicing. At this stage of the game, I really don't care to much about political manuevering anymore.

One of my favorite non-pivotal moments of the whole books was when Rand tells Cadsuane that she can call him "Rand Sedai." I thought that was a totally epic smackdown. The women in the world need to realize that they have no reason except bigotry to keep the Aes Sedai club exclusive anymore.

As for the whole Aviendha plotline, it was so awesome because it was so unexpected. I figured we would just see her as a wise one in this book, not experience her trip. As for the visions in the ter'angreal, I can think of three options

1) It is the future, and the future is determined. There is escaping. Still, this is a pretty thin reading of the whole "remenant of a remenant" jendai prophecy stuff. Also pretty bleak. But then again, that Oncala is not a nice person; I don't know how anyone with have a brain could even try to equivocate that contingency plans and actual attack plans are the same thing. She should at least admit that is a henious liar. So, in a sense, I could live wth it.

2) The ter'angreal is a "warning." I really hope this is not the case, because it is ridiculously lame. Why is it lame? I can accept all the prophecy/dreaming/fortelling because it is usually cryptic and doesn't help the characters actually do much, except on some occasions. And there is always the element of misinterpretation that lurks, and the unwillingness of other characters to agree with a character who has actually interpreted correctly (think Egwene and the Seanchan attack). However, Aviendha's vision was pretty clear, and it just feels like cheating if she can use that as her motivation for changing the Aiel.

3) The whole thing could be a projection that draws from Aviendha's own struggling with the purpose of the Aiel. Before the ter'angreal, Aviendha has been struggling with her warrior nature (not personally, but the warrior nature of the Aiel people) and the uselessness of old traditions. Perhaps this inner conflict revealed to Aviendha a possible future based on the thoughts that she was already having. This is similar to option 2, but I like it better because it is really just a manifestation of Aviendha's own doubts and worries. It is a more personal future. After all, it is her children that bring about the fall of the Aiel. So perhaps this is not a vision for the whole Aiel people, but an Aviendha specific vision. As cool as it was, I would have still liked Aviendha to reach those conlcusions on her own. I get a little tired of prophecy, future visions, etc. It is bombastic and epic and cool, sometimes I want characters to actually figure things out on their own.

I really liked the Lanfear/Mieren thing, because the last sentence shows how Rand is by no means Zen Rand. He feels hatred and "a seething desire." Whoah...Rand still lusts for Lanfear? This could get ugly.

All in all an amazing book.
Irene Gallo
146. Irene
Ok guys, ebook cover time! I have some solid ideas from Leigh and Jason but would love to hear a few more thoughts. Got a favorite visiual?
Chandra81
147. Seamus1602
Irene@146

-Perrin vs. balefire with Egwene looking on
-Rand standing the middle of the Hall of the Tower (or walking to it, through all the AS)
-Perrin forging Aegis-Fang (or whatever it's name actually is)

Note: I feel like Rand opening up a can of Light on the Blight is a little too obvious, but would certainly look cool (also, it would probably look too similar to LoC, despite having only 1 person in frame)
M G
148. parabola
@Irene (146)
Ideas: (1) Perrin forging the hammer - wide view, like from Faile's POV perspective.
(2) Mat covering Thom and Moiraine's escape from the ToG.
(3) Mat kicking gholam through the skimming portal, surrounded by burning house.
(4) Mat grabbing gholam's hands while holding copy medallions.
... so many awesome scenes in this book!
Chandra81
149. Astyn
In the scene where we find out for sure that Graendal didn't die, it's made very obvious via Moridin that Graendal killed Asmodean. Especially when he questions her about Arangar being a traitor.
Henry Loose
150. schrodinger
I think that the wayforward/backwardtron might hold some clue to the future. But I think that it has more to do with Avienda's fear of what might happen should the Aiel abandon their honor and how they will survive in this new world order. Moiraine saw multiple views of the future (regarding Rand), so it is possible that Avienda just saw one possiblity (say, if Rand does bow to the seanchan.

In his current state, he might be willing to bow, but I don't think that the pattern has that in mind for him, so it will not happen. It is true that individuals with strong wills can resist Ta'averen pull (egs and tuon both were able to resist to some extent). However, Tuon only recieved 'dark' rand ta'averen pull, and I don't think he was trying with Egwene, so it will be interesting to see 'light' rand try to convince Tuon.
Sam Mickel
151. Samadai
WOW!!!

That was a great book! Great job Brandon S. and team Jordan.
It is great to see Rand coming into his role as savior with eyes that are no longer blinded. His moment with Suian is touching, She is the only othe Aes Sedai (besides Egwene) who has the nerve to speak with Rand. Rand telling Egwene what he is going to do and asking them all to meet him in a months time to go to the last battle are very finite controls he has placed. He knows that they will be trying to come to stop him, I believe that he has the argument ready for why it needs to happen.

Perrin is just amde of awesome in this book( Of course I have never disliked his plot at all). His final understanding that he is not a man and not a wolf but both is epic. That he can control himself but be the wolf when necessary is great and through that acceptance he comes to the realization that though he might not be a great leader he has to lead because he knows it is needed. I enjoyed the Galad confrontation and the Galad- Morgase reveal, it was very touching(well all of them with Morgase and children were). You clearly have a picture of the love they all share(even Elayne and Galad) I knew Galad would end up a follower of Perrins for the last battle.

Mat vs. the Gholam was just classic Mat. If you can't beat them,trick them into thinking they already won. and kick them in the shins. Loved it
Mat, Elayne, Thom and Birgit all together again was priceless. Look out world, here comes a great big boom.
Perrin vs. Slayer vs.2.0 was just amazing. Perrin has finally come into his own as Wolfking, he Rand and Mat are finally strong legs of the tripod of light, they might still fall, but not from their own doubts or fears. Perrin being the master of Tel'aranriod and showing Egwene how to defeat Mesaana was also great. Poor mindless drooling thing.....LOL

Once again Elayne makes a poor decision,but luckily no one on team light died for it. ( I realize that kin and guards people died, but they had died before she decided to try being sneaky)

Lan becomes a rolling avalanche by finally understanding that everyone has the right to fight for what they believe is worth it.

Mat and the tower of Ghenjei went pretty much as most figured it would. I was very happy to see Moiraine again, it was a long awaited moment of great. I almost thought Mat would actually break and marry Thom and Moiraine for a moment.

And What the hell is Cynfear up to now? I assume she has been given the new opportunity to mess with Rand and Co.

Rand being able to see darkfriends is a great new weapon. Nynaeve healing taint madness is totally made of awesome. When she delved Rand and found the tendrils of madness all around him, but held off by the light, I knew he was safe from it
Chandra81
152. AutomatedTeller
I'm not sure why Rand is so distressing to anyone.

1) He didn't power up so much as take control of his ta'vereness. It was random for much of the books and turning to the Shadow in TGS. Now it's working for the light.
2) I don't see him as being Zen, per se, as just growing up. And it's not like it came out of nowhere - it's basically been Cadsuane's goal since she joined the series. And the way he does it - doesn't it feel a lot like Tam, and Master Al'Vere?

This HAD to happen for Rand to be able to face the Dark One - he had to understand his power. This gives him 2 whole books to get the Light's act together. It gives him time to persuade Egwene that the "destroy the seals" plan is the right one.
Sam Mickel
153. Samadai
Irene @146

A great scene would be of Elayne and Co. on one tower and Mat and Redarmson the other tower watching the first succesful test of the new Dragons
John Massey
154. subwoofer
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

671 and no end in sight!!! What in the __?!!! This is book could kill Ewoks!

I know there are bags of awesome coming up but I just had to share while I can still remember stuff!

Brandon- man you did a good job! You are getting the characters right- the feel is there, bang on! Rodel, Perrin, Bryne, Thom, Elayne- heavy sigh- Trakand, Gawyn- great thumping doof- Trakand and all! This book really pulls me in. Had to stop as head hurts- too many MOA.

Perrin, buddy-I knew you had potential laddie.

And I`m sorry folks, I know we all have our favorites, Mat`s super snarky and whoops butt, Rand`s glowing- er... underwear, Egwene going all whoocha!! on Meseena etc. Berelain was also super.... hoochie mama too.

My favorite of this book has to be Nynaeve tho`. Tells the Aes Sedai where to stick it and is loyal to who she is. Heals taint madness. Even gives Egwene pause to think- pg 312-


What people call me doesn`t change anything inside of me. Lan, however... he is more than a title. I can still channel- I can still be me- if I never become Aes Sedai. But I would never be myself again if I abandoned him. The world changed when I married him.



And even when not there, outsmarts hubby.


"How did you notice me?" Lan asked, containing his anger."The horse,`Kaisel said nodding to Mandarb. "She said you might disguise yourself. But you would never leave the horse."Burn that woman, Curse Nynaeve. Lan thought as he heard a call being raised throught the fortress. He`d been outmaneuvered. And bless her too.

And so far my favorite line-

"Rand al`Thor," Nynaeve said, folding her arms as he walked up to them. "You are-""An idiot?`Rand finished, sounding amused. "An arrogant fool? An impulsive, wool-headed boy in need of a sound ear-boxing?"
"Er. Yes."


LOL!

More to come after head stops hurting. Brain no work- need oatmeal.

Crap- sorry for the epicness folks. But if you consider the size of this book... meh.

Woof™.
Daniel Hanley
155. Kythorian
To parabola @ 143, well, these are not competing prophesies like the ones in those books were. Some of the prophesies(like the seanchan ones, probably, at least) have been corrupted over the years, but as I understand it, all of the original prophesies are true. They have been mis-interpreted all too often, of course. Like how graendal and moridin thought the bit about the wolf who has died once dying the final death (or something...i don't have the book with me, and i have only read that prophesy once at this point) was about perrin, while it was actually about hopper.

But even the dark prophesy came true, after a fashion at least. Just not how they thought it would.
John Massey
156. subwoofer
What the?? Edit one little post and...

Right. Perrin. There is no spoon.

And I knew he was a blacksmith for a reason. BFG!!

"I am well enough to fight if I have your mount."
"Well then, let`s be on with it." Aybara eyed him."I`ll stay by you, though, just in case it looks like you might fall."
"Thank you."
"I`m fond of the horse."
Smiling, Galad joined him, and they waded back into the melee.
Yay for horsies!

Woof™.
Chandra81
157. Ron Derry
My favorite moment reading the book was on Page 163.

I liked the Mat parts better than the Perrin parts. I really enjoyed the Perrin parts because the character that started his growth in the Dragon Reborn and pinnacled his cool moments(Up until ToM) during the siege of the Two Rivers finally advanced as a character.

I didn't mind the Olver chapter. He's got to grow up and father Gaidal Cain eventually.
Chandra81
158. b-dubbs
Who the heck was that Nakomi character? Was that chapter just a way for Aviendha to express doubt while adding one more character/fan for Brandon to throw in? Did Nakomi do something to Aviendha with the meal? Could this be why there is something "wrong" with her children?

Also, regarding viewing the future of Aviendha's family:
1. Rand must be getting some in AMoL, or he survives the last battle
2. Rand must win TG, or his children would not be alive afterwards.
3. How does Avi die in the future? As she is only around 20 right now, she wouldn't be any older than 38 (unless Rand survives last battle).
4. Ronam considers the "old empress" to be a woman of honour?
Tuon and Rhuarc both dead? TG, or after?

Also, on an unrelated note, I have a feeling that whatever goes down at the Black Tower in the last book is going to be the MOST EPIC part of the series. Aes Sedai there, Asha'man, Taim, Logain (who will return, based on Min's viewing), that Dreamstick or whatever it's called, people being turned to the dark. Should be grand. Other scenes will probably be more moving and cause more emotional instability, but this has the makings of a battle for the ages. Also, potential for the biggest circles ever with men and women both being present. Can't wait!
John Massey
159. subwoofer
@Wetlander- agreed. The chapter titles felt a bit off... "A Backhanded Request" coudl have easily been called "The Last Leaf". I dunno.

Just sayin`.

Woof™.
Douglas Miller
160. douglas
1. “I totally cannot decide whether to be pleased about this, or kind of freaked out.”

I rather liked the new Rand. He's suddenly actually sensible and doing things right. Oh, and I was rather amused how towards the end of the book some characters actually started reasoning "oh, the clouds just broke, Rand must have arrived."
2. “Okay, that may or may not have been quite a Crowning Momentof Awesome for _____, exactly, but that is unquestionably one of the coolest things that has ever happened in this series. All is forgiven, man.”

Agreed, though I really hope that hammer turns out to have more than just extra durability and burning Shadowspawn on touch. When I saw Neald in the background going "holy shit ... link NOW, something special is happening here", plus Perrin's emotions feeding into it, I got the impression that it was going to be more like some kind of ter'angreal superweapon than just a power-wrought hammer. We've already seen it burn shadowspawn on contact, but I hope we see more from it in AMoL. It seems obviously inspired by Thor's hammer Mjöllnir, maybe we'll see some throwing/returning action.

3. “Is it possible to have a complete seal-clapping moment of YAY, and shriek in utter fannish outrage at the same time? Because I have a feeling I’m about to find out.”

Having Moiraine back is nice, but I was hoping for it to happen earlier in the book and the whole Tower of Ghenjei sequence seemed too short. It was built up as this ridiculously tough, insanely risky, near-impossible place to get through that we'd been waiting for and building up for a very long time... and then Mat trumped it all with some dice and his luck and they were out in no time. It was a bit of an anticlimactic letdown, even with Noal's sacrifice, because it was over too easily and quickly.
4. “This is suddenly seeming veeery familiar…”

Yeah, I won't be surprised if Fain turns out to be an important part of Sealing the Bore - Properly This Time.
5. “Well, finally, I have only been asking for this for like fifteen years. This is awesome. This is—wait. Uh, what’s going on… what are they… what does that… oh crap.”

Agreed.
I'm guessing Logain almost got captured for a 13x13 treatment at the very beginning of when this scheme got started but got away and is now in a desperate hit/run/hide contest trying to either warn his followers in the BT about it or get out far enough to make a gateway and get help from Rand. I'm leaning towards Logain resolving it all without bringing in Rand because that would work much better towards getting all that glory Min saw.

As for how it gets resolved, I'm betting the Resistance will team up with the captive Aes Sedai and learn to link, and Androl's Talent with gateways combined with a circle's power to back it will punch through the dreamspike's blockage, enabling some combination of escape, finding Logain, and getting reinforcements. Also, on the heels of her discovery of healing Taint madness, I suspect Nynaeve may find a way to heal 13x13 turning - if she ever gets the chance to try.

6. “Man, it’s like a Barry White song up in here, except hilarious.”

Heh, Galad and Berelain falling for each other was rather amusing. Also obvious, and a perfect match. Maybe Berelain will finish the job Morgase started in convincing Galad to accept a more realistic worldview - without changing his basic character, of course. Galad just wouldn't be Galad any more if he stopped being an unbreakable paragon of virtue, he just needs to understand that shades of grey do exist and that it takes more than a label to make men true champions of the Light.
7. “Wow, and just when I thought it wasn’t possible to despise you more. Nice job RUINING EVERYTHING, ____. Gah.”

Er, did anyone ever think the Seanchan would not get Traveling from Elaida? That was blatantly obvious to me the instant it was revealed she'd been captured. Learning Traveling was, in fact, one of the primary goals of the raid on the White Tower, as I recall. Nothing in this scene surprised me at all.
8. “Oh. Er. So, I totally called that wrong. Am a bit red-faced now.”

The Bloodknives were not a terribly great surprise to me.
9. “Okay, so maybe—maybe—you have redeemed yourself a little bit here, ____. You are provisionally allowed off my shit list. FOR NOW.”

Heh. Yes, I think Gawyn has managed to mostly redeem himself and find his proper place now. I doubt he'll be doing any more extreme screwups like before.
10. “I think this is what they mean when they use the term ‘logical extreme’. About time, really.”

Great fight sequence, and I was amused at how the Perrin vs Slayer and Egwene (and company) vs Mesaana (and company) fights ran into each other. The Perrin/Slayer part of it really reminded me more of Dragonball Z than of the Matrix, though - all that teleporting away from each other's attacks in rapid succession. Technically in DBZ it's actually just really fast movement, but on the scale of the battles it's functionally equivalent to teleportation.
Oh, and Perrin scolding Egwene about how dangerous it is - right after stopping Balefire with his mind ("it's only a weave") - was a very amusing reversal. I really hope those two meet up again and talk about it.

11. “WHAT? That is… that is horrible. No, no, no, no. THAT HAD BETTER NOT HAPPEN, TEAM JORDAN, DO NOT MAKE ME HURT YOU. I need a cookie now. And a hug. I HATE YOU ALL. (But, uh, man. Good writing, right there. I never would have seen that coming in a million years. P.S. I STILL HATE YOU.)”

Indeed. Aviendha had better be able to avert that future. Telling all the Wise Ones about it should at least be a good start, though I think she'll really need to take a hand in how Rand's peace settlement with the Seanchan gets crafted. More than that, though, I think she'll need to somehow avert the decay of the concepts of what honor means. In the visions, it seems that within the space of just one or two generations ji comes to mean just doing well in battle, with no concern for why the battle was fought or any other aspect of society. I think the seed of the solution was planted by the strange woman Aviendha met on the way to Rhuidean - she needs to find a new purpose for the Aiel people once the Last Battle is done.
12. “Well. I was kind of thinking that was going to be a bit more… dramatic. Or at least have a lot more yelling. But, you know. Okay then.”

I don't think the real Dragon/Amyrlin confrontation has happened yet - that will be on the Plains of Merrilor in AMoL.
Also, I was kind of hoping Rand would at some point walk into the Tower and say, "I've got Lew Therin's memories and I want to try leaving a legacy that will outlast me. Summon the Browns, I'm hosting an Age of Legends Q&A, preferably focused on possible technological/societal/One Power use improvements that could be brought back. Also, bring out the ter'angreal stores, I can identify most of them for you on sight."

13. “Holy hell, _____ just had a Moment of Awesome. Of all freakin’ people! I didn’t even think that was possible.”

It was very nice to see that Bornhald, at least, was able to look past his prejudices to the actual evidence.
14. “Oh for the love of Pete, _____, will you please DIE already? What’s it going to take, a nuclear goddamn strike? Sheesh.”

I actually thought this was rather well done and drawn out just the right amount. Slayer is extremely experienced in TAR, and having Perrin beat him too quickly, easily, or early would have seemed very much a cheap copout. As it is, he was an appropriately very tough opponent that Perrin beat in a sensible manner after a sufficient training period to reasonably give him the skills necessary to do so.
15. “Wait, what the hell just happened? I am so confused. And also, what?”

I think this is less a "she’s Really Good Deep Inside" and more a "she's learning Be Careful What You Wish For". Lanfear turned to the Dark for ambition, power, and jealousy. She was at the top, and all was good. Now she's seeing the down side of it, and may be re-evaluating her priorities. I would not be surprised to see her come out of this deciding that, while she doesn't really buy into the Light Side philosophy personally, settling for a subordinate position for the Light is better than entering the Dark power structure with the risk of ending on the bottom. Thus, she gives up her drive for power above all else, and returns to the Light because the good guys have a better teamwork dynamic.
16. “HAHAHA I TOTALLY KNEW IT HAHAHAHA”

Ok, yes, you called it and I didn't.
John Massey
161. subwoofer
@Irene- got a few favorite scenes for you to pick from:

The image Faile has of Perrin forging the Hammer.

Perrin and army riding down on the baddies to save Galad`s bacon, a la LoTR...

Lan & Co riding through the narrow gap between the two fortresses. The army waiting there, the Golden Crane flying...

Perrin with the wolves on Dragonmount watching darkness turn to blinding light with Rand coming to his epiphany.

Edit- Mat, Thom and Noal surrounded by the Finn about to have a close encounter- maybe holding them off with torches and knives.

Or Mat vs the Gholam. Get Mat and the baddie in the circle of lanterns with people holding back and Mat spinning the spear thingy, with the medalion on it.

Holy wow! There are tons in this book! Pick any and I would be happy Irene:)

Woof™.
Daniel Hanley
162. Kythorian
Oh...god...no...so the theory has advanced from 'olver is gaidal cain' to, 'olver will father gaidal cain' ??? That one doesn't work any better than 'olver is gaidal cain' ...We have seen gaidal cain in book 4. at that point (so a year ago, now), gaidal cain was either conceived or born, or somewhere in between(I don't know if RJ ever said at which point the soul went into the body, but it is at birth at the latest). T'A'R' timeline doesn't skip around. It might flow fast or slow, but given that all kinds of people have been in and out of T'A'R' in book 4, we know that around when in the real world gaidal cain's soul left T'A'R'.

So Olver can't be gaidal cain's father, since gaidal cain's soul has been out in the world for years by the point he is old enough to father anyone.

Anyway...To b_dubbs,
1. Yes, he will probably be getting some with avi in aMoL.
2. this works the same way min's viewings do. The fact that there are viewings of after the last battle is meaningless. These are the futures of the threads of the pattern, but the pattern can still be destroyed. It is only if the pattern survives that these futures will come to be. So it doesn't mean that Rand wins TG (though im 100% sure he will, but not from this)
3. we are given no clue. Her granddaughter knew her face though, which raises the question of if she was actually still alive during the final step of the walk through the collumns. I guess she might have seen a painting or something, but i didn't get that impression from how it was written.
4. Well, Tuon and Rhuarc survives TG. in those viewings, Ronam says that his father almost worked out a solution with the former empress, which would have been Tuon, and would have happened after TG, based on how it is discussed. They both are dead by the point at the beginning of the final viewing though(so 30 or so years at the latest, after TG)

I doubt the black tower resolution with the Aes Sedai will be all that epic. Brandon was talking for a while about not even putting Pevara's story in the book, so it can't be all that important if it is even possible to tell the story without it.
Karen Fox
163. thepupxpert
I just got the book last night and am up to about page 110. Against Leigh's wishes, I started to read her spoilerific review and I had to stop at No. 3 - I decided I just don't want to know! So I'll be back in a few days once I've got that first read under my belt. Enjoy, everyone!
Chandra81
164. b-dubbs
Kythorian
Great logic. Makes sense to me. Also, do you or anyone else know what to make of Nakomi?
As well, could it be that somehow one of Lanfear's requests from the Finns was related to Rand? Such as making him desire her, or her being brought to the Light again so she would have a chance? The ability to get into his dreams? I know it seems off because there has been years for this to happen, but who knows?
Chandra81
165. b-dubbs
And I still think Androl and the Black Tower will be awesome. Pevara just ended up being in the right place at the right time, that's why she's being used.
Alexander Hatch
166. SpyderZH
Hey Leigh-

First off, I have a test on Thursday (read tomorrow) in Financial Accounting, a course which I totally do not understand. It's the second most failed class in my college. I haven't started to study for it. Instead I spent the entire night and most of today reading ToM. So beyond worth it. I can only hope my prof is a WOT fan too, though I doubt it.

Also, how could you not mention the greatest scene in the book, imo? While short, Rand and Tam's "Reuniting and It Feels So Good" scene was absolutely amazing. That could be because the flip side of that was by far my favorite TGS scene as well, but still. I'm not a particularly emotional guy, but even I got a littke choked up at that. Tam=AWESOME.

Also, the million and three little things wrapped up here kind of annoyed me. Like the Weiramon and Anaiyella debate was nothing more than a throw away line. It's almost like Brandon was like, "Oh ya, they're in Tear. Might as well get them out of the way." Kinda annoying.
Matthew Smith
167. blocksmith
Ok. Finished TOM, finished spoiler review, finished comment review. All reading and no work makes blocksmith a bad employee. Oh well.

First take...I loved it. So many hanging plotlines tied up. So many evil characters done...wait, is that piece of human filth Mellar still alive?...damn. Graendal in Shaidar Haran's clutches...still hate that even for Forsaken.

So many of portions of the book were so well done...dragons, Nynaeve's testing, the Gholam Never-Ending Story...errr...death.

Also, loved the end of chapter 13...

Father, Rand said, resting his hand on Min's back. This is Min Farshaw. And she's very special to me.


Yes indeed, the tears they were a flowin'.

Most disturbing, I have to agree with Leigh, was the Aiel look-back, no forward Ter'angreal. JWDenzel hit the nail on the head with concerns that winning may not end up with the world being all green pastures, butterflies, and beer.

Thanks so much Leigh.
Ben Norris
168. I_have_no_life
I'm gonna take a whack at the evils here, with my really big stick (my awesome touch-screen computer of death).

First of all, I have a theory (ALREADY) about why the Aiel had such a sucky future. Maybe the time corresponded to....when Mat was not in the dimension at the time. Maybe the pillars were showing the events of the future--minus Mat, who is the biggest bridge between the Seanchan and Randlanders. This makes good sense. Also, it mentioned that Tuon was dead. Tuon can channel. She will live longer, probably even off of only suldam link feed. The other way is for her to get killed. Can anyone here possibly believe (WHILE RETAINING SANITY) that anything could get past Mat to kill Tuon? Has Mat EVER been defeated lately? C'mon. HE FRICKING KILLED THE GHOLAM! THE FORSAKEN FEAR THOSE! Nothing beats Mat, not even monsters from another dimension. Thus, my theory.

So, since Jordan never failed to always hide specks of Light within the darkness, I'm thinking the infamous 13x13 trick can be undone.

Also, potatos are awesome, always were awesome, and always will be awesome. Though NEVER as awesome as Mat.

Your totally unfriendly neighborhood novice prediction man
-Ben
Henry Loose
169. schrodinger
to be honest, when I first saw mellar's name pop up again, I skipped a few pages because my first thought was "good god! is this floozy going to get in trouble again?! For the exact same reasons? (no warder around, taking the BA on while overmatched and pregnant)" Turns out, I was right, and she was stabbed. Thank god she wasn't kidnapped, or we'd have the perrin faile thing all over agian (although this would be much shorter: Rand: "give me back my woman". BA: "shit, please don't kill us" Rand: " Too late").
Max Espensen
170. Andvari
Wow, finished at last. The book had some great moments, but I did feel a little flat after it, I think largely because of the overall lack of grand climax.

I think the Perrin plot arc was overall pretty awesome in terms of things that happened (accepting leadership (like FINALLY), making peace with the wolf within himself (like FINALLY, and the realisation with Boundless was touchingly done), making Power-enhanced weapons, destroying the dreamspike, neutralising the Whitecloaks; he’s not been this good since LoC for sure. However, his arc did still drag and I find it incredible how long-winded it became at times, with unnecessary elements. I was aching to read about the BlackTowerfor example and it didn’t come up until 46 out of 56 chapters. I’d much rather have trimmed Perrin down a couple of chapters and had more going on. The trial bit rather bored me to be honest.

Mat’s arc was great, BS definitely got the voice much better (give or take a couple of places) and he is still in contention for being favourite overall character. Loved the gholam removal (and another score for people working together giving positive results) but something about the Tower of Ghenjei bit seemed a bit flat and I think it’s this that has coloured the overall feeling of the novel for me.
Firstly, I think after all the build-up since Thom read his letter it seemed 2 and a half chapters was almost too little. To be fair it might have been too drawn-out if it had gone much longer and similar complaints to above might have started. But then I realised that it ties in with what Leigh said, it was all too well-known. Apart from the trick with the ashanderei, even the most casual reader of anything online would have known all these things that would happen. Now, that’s not the authors’ fault, but it definitely did colour my feelings. But then looking back it was still an awesome sequence and the more I think about it, the less I dislike it. I still thought it was overall fairly anti-climactic though in the sense that there was no real suspense and that the next two chapters and epilogue were interesting but not very dramatic. Atl east Moiraine’s back! Yay. I’m very intrigued about what she will do to save the world. Way back when, I assumed she would be the one to cause the epiphany that happened on Dragonmount, it seemed a great deal was made of her being first on that list. But we’ll see. Hopefully no-one will come up with a too convincing reason!

Elayne’s arc was good, we had never seen BS write her before, but I think he did well. I like the development of the dragons and her cordiality with Mat. I’ve always been a bit anti-Elayne for Sun Throne though, albeit probably irrationally, it just seems a bit greedy and Galad should have more right to it. I actually like her impersonating a Chosentrick, it was far less silly than the House on Full Moon Streetepisode. (And Birgitte’s line about her setting the bar high was excellent – I think BS wrote Birgitte well too).

Nynaeve: What a legend. Her role was somewhat reduced, but almost everything she did was awesomeness crystallised. Healing madness (said to be unlikely in the AoL), and the description of it really made me wince, it was very evocative. That was awesome, but the way she defended herself for passing the test was also really lovely. And the Malkieri following Lan is all down to her too, the part where there 2 beome 5 or whatever it was was poignant. The Golden Crane chapter in KoD still is one of my all-time favourites and will nearly always give me a lump in my throat.

Rand: I like new Rand. TGS was tough going at time. And actually in general, really ToM is so light and fluffy for the majority of the time* compared to TGS, largely due to him. It barely occurred to me that we hardly ever see him through his PoV actually. The calm smackdown to Cadsuane he gave was one of my favourite bits of the book though. Rand Sedai indeed.

* in terms of style and immediate content. In fact, there are lots of rather dark bits in terms of what might happen, not least Aviendha’s futuretron viewings and Tuon saying they’ll attack and the potential of Aiel male channeler armies and Trollocs burning Caemlyn and wow...did I call it light and fluffy?

The Aviendha section was rather harrowing, possibly one of the best bits of the book, well written and in some ways is actually the darkest bit of the entire series. I sure hope it is only a possibility and she figures out what to do from it. At first I thought it was the possibility of going forward as well as back that was the unnoticed thing. And in fact I still wasn’t sure until I saw people say it was the ashandrei and then recalled how it was meant to save the day. Not that Aviendha’s warnings might not, mind you. The Nakomi character was interesting. Need to re-read but I hope it is Verin.

Glad Gawyn stopped being a total tool for a bit. Interesting to see what he says about how Randmurdered his mother now. Actually the three children’s reunions with Morgase were pleasing scenes. The bloodknives were a bit meh.

The Asmodean killer reveal was done very subtly, I didn’t twig the first convo it was only the three Forsaken bit that did it and then reading the Glossary. In fact going back to the first Graendal/Moridin convo was the more conclusive bit now I see it. It all seems a bit arbitrary though. Why was she kept alive only to fuck up again? Is Shadair Hain going to mindtrap her? Has she lost all relevance now?

I still can’t decide if I like it more than TGS. I think I need to digest and re-read before I work it out. I’m erring towards ToM > TGS though.
Chandra81
171. b-dubbs
i_have_no_life

162 addresses Tuon dying.
Chandra81
172. Coren216
Maybe I missed this in my reading of all the comments, but why has nobody brought up Tam al'Thor's all-of-a-sudden "I have to go to Rand, like, right now, don't ask me no questions" moment? I found that to be incredibly... odd. Who told him he had to go, and why? Are people trying to once again use him to manipulate Rand? I want to know what's going on there!
Douglas Miller
173. douglas
Coren216 @ 172

Remember, the timelines are all out of sync here. TGS had Rand and Egwene go way ahead of everyone else, and ToM has everyone else playing catchup. In the chapter where Tam has to go, Veins of Gold in TGS hasn't happened yet. It's the pickup that leads to the Tam/Rand reunion and near-patricide in TGS.

Specifically for Perrin's timeline, you can pinpoint where it matches up to Rand's by one of his scenes in the Wolf Dream. The time where he goes to Dragonmount and the decision of whether there will be a Last Hunt or not is made is simultaneous with Veins of Gold - the decision the wolves tell Perrin about, and that interacts so dramatically with the storm in the Wolf Dream, is Rand thinking everything over and deciding whether to continue or to destroy the world.
Chandra81
174. coren216
Confusing timelines are confusing, especially when I was sure I read about Tam going to confront Rand AFTER Rand got all zen. Except that, as you said, the timelines are all out of whack.

Glad to see that by the end of ToM the timelines are all caught up. No more confusion for my brain.
Daniel Hanley
175. Kythorian
I do hope that Graendal does have a role in aMoL. She was built up too much to just be useless now. I do disagree with what some people have said about her plan in ToM for killing perrin being pathetic. It really should have worked. The only thing that stopped it from working was Bornhald killing Byar to save Perrin's life. Who could have possibly predicted that. If being a ta'veren can twist events that much, ta'veren are as good as immortal, so you can hardly blame her for that failure.

So hopefully she can actually have a chance to strike an actually intellegent blow against the Light in aMoL. All of the other remaining Forsaken have a role to play in TG. Mogy to have a last showdown with Nynaeve, Lanfear to...ugg...try and do whatever she is doing with Rand, Demandred to lead armies against the Light, and Moridin to face Rand at Shayol Ghul. I think that at this late date, if she wasn't needed for anything, she would have been killed. There is no room for deadweight anymore.
Justin Levitt
176. TyranAmiros
First, I think this book definitely stands up to the other WoT books. It was great to finally see things happen, to see Moiraine again, and see all the reunions between the characters--can't wait until Rand meets up with Avi again.

Speaking of that, there's an important connection, I think, between Avi's trip through the columns and Rand's statement to Rhuarc that he has toh. How will Rand meet his toh? The fate of the Aiel is at stake.

This points more directly at an important theme both in ToM and the series as a whole: pride goeth before a fall. Lews Therin failed because in his pride he believed he could seal the bore. Graendal failed because in her pride she believed she could lie her way out of any situation. Perrin suffered from the pridefulness of false modesty. And the Aiel will fail because in their pride they believe they can defeat any enemy. We can see this in the council between Egwene, the Wise Ones, and the Windseekers.

I'm not convinced that the Aiel returning to the Way of the Leaf is the answer. The Aiel may not be exterminated by the Seanchan in that case, but they will still be subjugated under Seanchan rule.

More generally, I kinda expected not to see much going on at the Black Tower in this book. I thought it made a lot more sense as a plot for the last book--to show the Shadow come openly into power. Same with Demandred. We have to have at least one other non-mindtrapped Forsaken at the Last Battle besides Ishydin.

I was a little underwhelmed by Ghenjei as well, mostly because I think it could have benefitted from a bit more development of the world within Finnland. I was also hoping to see more of Nynaeve in the later parts of the book--why isn't she pushing Egwene to bring Aes Sedai to Tarwin's Gap to help Lan?

Finally, I was wrong about where the book would end; I thought we'd actually see the Battle of Caemlyn in the book. I guess it'll make a powerful opening to AMoL? I still think Rand must die before Tarmon Gai'don for him to win at Shayol Ghul and we still have all those nifty Fortellings about three ladies and a bier and Alivia helping to kill Rand to fulfill in the next book. I did like the cliffhanger we ended on. The Last Battle is here and it's time for our heroes to Make It Work.
Chandra81
177. Pnr060
Was it just my imagination, or did Graendal take Alteima home with her after killing Asmo? At least, that's who I'm assuming the beautiful, dark-haired, former High Lady of Tear in Graendal's escape-cave was...
Philip Thomann
178. normalphil
Burst-through impressions:

Perrin and Galad
Psychotically reasonable people being psychotic, reasonable, together.

Dream Battle
Best convergence fight since the Stone of Tear. Better than, even- the “all stops pulled out, even the ones they didn’t know were there” nature of it put it over the edge.

Future Walk
Dragon Reborn? Car’a’carn? Tarmon-freaking-Gaidon? Sure. But even The Dragon Empire couldn’t survive the coming of Mary Sue.

End
Huh. There’s Chaos Aiel now.
Rikka Cordin
179. Rikka
ToM was SO MUCH BETTER than TGS.

But that might be because I am a Mat-fanatic and you are so right about his voice being infinitely better this book.

I actually enjoy Rand-as-Zen quite a bit. Maybe it's just comforting to me that he remembers all of LTT's life now. He IS going to be smiting some Dark One's ASS next book. Gods know how that's gonna work though.....

There were so many scenes that occurred that NEEDED to happen that I'm just extremely grateful this book got written and cannot WAIT for AMoL.


Enough caps-for-emphasis. There's too much to say, I can't say it here.
Rikka Cordin
180. Rikka
Also, is it me or would Galadedrid and Berelain have some damnfinelooking children?

Unfair.
Cassandra Cookson
181. cass
SpyderZH@166

I'm a prof and I'm a fan. You never know.

You should still study for your exam though :-)
Skip Ives
182. Skip
I'm a prof too (and a fan 'natch).

But the book will be there after the exam. Study Grasshopper.
Kat Blom
183. pro_star
Okay, I was bad (and worse than an addict!) I was reading this in my cube. The bosses were laughing at me.

Anyway, I haven't read all the comments yet (but I am sure I will do so tomorrow!) but I just wanted to say...was anyone else wiping away tears at Rand's secondary reunion with Tam?
Greg Bloom
184. MuleHeadedLummox
I think the reason that the Tower of Ghenjei sequence seemed to go by so quickly was as much about the distribution of the storylines in the book as it was about the fact that we had guessed most of what would happen. Although it takes place over three chapters, these three chapters are placed consecutively in the book. IIRC, there haven't been two chapters solely from the same character's POV since Brandon took over the writing, let alone three as we get from Mat in the tower raid scene. If they had been interspersed with scenes from other characters' POVs as is more typical of Brandon's writing, it may not have seemed as rushed. Also, I was waiting the whole book for it, thinking 'surely they won't split this between this book and aMoL will they?' so my anticipation kept growing throughout the book.

As far as Nakomi goes, I had assumed that her presence there was part of Aviendha's test, and was arranged by the Wise Ones. That she was either a non-channelling WO or that she was sent by them to give Aviendha things to think about as part of her test.
Chandra81
185. dejavoodoo114
Ok, So as far as Lanfear's wishes... That strange dream in the end... We already new she could break through Rands wards but she said it would be painful for him so I don't think thats what happened. I'm thinking she either wants revenge or... *shrug* crazy b@%* who know what she's thinking.

The Red Veils, can't wrap my head around the idea that they are Aiel channelers... When male Aiel find out the can channel they go to the blight to die becaues they are Honorable... If they weren't they would try to use it in battle 'cause that's what Aiel do, fight. Also, why use the knife? And the RED veil... Feeling Deja Vu... Red Sail's, Red Veil's... What purpose would that serve for hiding etc? Its so, Hi I'm Right Here!

LOVED the Mat and Perrin scene! Hand shoots out with bag and all!!!! ROFL!!!
Douglas Miller
186. douglas
dejavoodoo114 @ 185

Yes, we are told that all male Aiel channelers go to the blight to kill as many shadowspawn as possible before dying or going insane, but all anyone really knows is that they go to the blight and do not return. They might go intending to die in a blaze of shadowspawn-killing glory, but for all we know they could be getting captured and 13x13 turned instead. If this were happening, the Shadow would want to hold them in reserve so as to not let word of it get back to the Aiel and spoil their source of new recruits.
Bethany Pratt
187. LiC
Thoughts:

I mentioned this to Brandon on Facebook - but Birgitte doesn't carry a sword. I've got the page bookmarked at home, but it specifically mentions Birgitte walking away from Elayne with a sword strapped to her waist. Birgitte's said before, when she was first raised by Elayne, that she wouldn't carry a sword because she's always died in her past lives when this happens.

Queen Tenobia of Saldea as a Darkfriend. She's tight with the darkfriend cousin who killed himself, AND Min saw a black dagger over her head - which I'm 90% sure Min's seen before over a Darkfriend (Black Ajah, specifically).

I don't know who decides the covers, but this should have been a Perrin cover. Yes, the Tower of Ghenjei is HUGE, but it's so little of the book. This is, thru and thru, a Perrin book. Perrin posed at a forge making his hammer with the Asha'man and Wise Ones sitting nearby would have been awesome.

I hate Elayne. I just hate her after this book. She's completely insane throughout - the Cairhien plan is ridiculous and won't work, she's just moving her problems from one place to another. And as for her brother - as soon as he left Egwene, I started hoping he'd up and die soon, like Egwene's dream foretold. Blaaahhhh.

The no-happy endings bit -
I definitely see this, especially given that stupid arrangement with the Two Rivers Elayne insisted on. It's plain foolish. Perrin saved the Two Rivers, he ought to be raised for his accomplishments and the other High Seats can just go stuff themselves over it. By making him Steward, they're lessening his accomplishments. But what's worse, they're putting the "taxes" into a fund which the Dragon Reborn can draw on when he wants too. As well as his children? If this is the case, then Perrin and the Two Rivers are royally screwed because Elayne's brats can do whatever they want.

Aviendha's quadruplets. This pisses me off to no end. Min's viewing specifically saw 4 children born at once and there being something strange about it - but whyyyyy this? I liked the idea that Melaine and Elayne both died, leaving their kids to Aviendha to raise. *sigh* Aviendha must die in childbirth, or soon after. Her daughter's POV didn't mention her at all. Without her influence over the Aiel and her understanding of wetlander ways, as well as her near-sister relationship with the Queen of Andor, I can see relations between the Aiel and heck everybody else, floundering. AND WHAT THE HECK? They were able to channel since birth? JEEZ. That's just cheap. I don't like it. You can't make someone stronger in the power so you give them wilder talents unmatched since, well, EVER. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth, a nasty, nasty sour taste.

Min's got no future. Unless she marries Rand, which isn't going to happen. It was pretty clear in this book that the Maidens are only hanging around her to get at Rand, and that's the case for everyone else. She can't see her own future so we've never known what's going to happen there. Her best shot seems to be at going down south to live in Illian or Tear with Darlin and co. If any of the 3 actually marry Rand, it'll be her, because she's got nothing else.

Oh wait - that's a lot of criticism. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. I love all the WOT books.
Deepali
188. Deepali
@113 - You spotted that Rand Sedai bit too! I just loved that, had to read it twice to understand...the only one of the properly raised male aes sedai to not turn..

The towers of Ghenji I really enjoyed, despite knowing the outcome...it was good to see the place again through a grown-up Mat's eyes.
@172 - Tam al'Thor got sent by the aes sedai to Cadsuane and Rand to talk him around...it just seems a long time ago, but as another comment pointed out, the non-Rand/Egwene timelines are just catching up now.
So glad to tie up all these loose ends in this book!! Finally, more threads closed than opened.
Ali Davis
189. dejavoodoo114
"He pulled out a knife, flipping it. Then, on a whim, he tossed it behind him without looking. He heard a soft screech, then turned to see a rabbit slump to the ground, speared by the idly thrown knife. . . . Yes, he might not be able to judge distance, and he might not be able to see as well. But luck worked better when you were not looking anyway."
That is SOOOOOOO MAT!!!! Welcome back, luv ya, Thanks BS! Great end with Mat!

@119 and 134 re: Verin's letter.
I totaly agree that she didn't have to make him promise to do as the letter says. He would have opened it if he didn't and he Would have done what it said! Grrrr.

I have been thinking for the past year that all Elaida had to do was vow to NEVER reveal the weaves for traveling to anyone EVER! Alas, the terrible, selfish Amrylin... Die please.

So many good parts to choose from. Rand Sedai and Perrin forging his war hammer currently rank top for me! May change when I re-read.

IMO Rand deliberately didn't explain his seal breaking theory to Eg's so that she would do exactly what she did. He wants everyone there. BUT he is NOT going try and convince them. He even said he was going to give them Demands. One of my favorite quotes comes to mind here. "This is not a democracy, it is a Dictatorship!" (I use that with my kids a lot, hehe) He will outline what they will do and they will do it.
"On the morrow, they'd hear his demands. Not what he would demand to keep him from breaking the seals-he was going to do that, regardless of what Egwene said. No, these would be the demands he made on the monarchs of the world in exchange for going to Shayol Ghul to face the Dark One."

Hey, as I was writing this I started thinking maybe this is where we will see a demand for the "Dragon's Peace". Yes? Maybe? Anyway, he is counting on his reputation for being irrational. Just saying this isn't going to be much of a discussion. Eg's will be surprised.
Pete Pratt
190. PeteP
I have the strange idea that Verin's letter to Mat was one of the those unresolved issues left hanging by RJ's passing. As such, Verin's conditions on it (and Mat's subsequent refusal to read it) seem very odd. Verin should have just told him to tell Elayne to destroy the Waygate immediately. I don't think that would have violated a BA oath..... Instead, we get a climax and coming problem almost in spite of itself. It just does not flow as well as it should (which is why so many have already brought up the issue)...
Ali Davis
191. dejavoodoo114
Ok, so I thought I was done. *giggle*

Re: Eg's 3rd dream ToM Ch 3.
"She saw an enormous sphere made of the finest crystal. It sparkled in the light of twenty-three enormous stars, shining down on it where it sat on a dark hilltop. There were cracks in in it, and it was being held together by ropes. There was Rand, walking up the hillside, holding a woodsman's axe. He reached the top and hefted the axe, then swung at the ropes one at a time, chopping them free. The last one parted, and the sphere began to break apart, the beautiful globe falling in pieces. Rand shook his head."

Could this be the same sphere from TSR Ch 26?
"... his eyes fixed on the Sharom; the white sphere, a thousand feet in diameter, floated as high above the blue and silver domes of the Collam Daan. Mierin had said today was the day. She said she had found a new source for the One Power... What seemed a tiny chip of white spun away from the Sharom in a jet of black fire; it decended, deceptively slow, insignificant. Then a hundred gouts spurted everywhere around the huge white sphere. The Sharom broke apart like an egg and began to drift down, falling, an obsidian inferno. Darkness spread across the sky, swallowing the sun in unnatural night, as if the light of those flames was blackness. People were screaming, screaming everywhere."

I know that one says crystal and one says white but with all the years and diff authors there are a few such errors. If, in fact, the dream's symbolizm is as follows: The spheres are the same. The ropes around the one in Eg's dream is like the seal. Rand cuts rope, ie breaks seals. Maybe yes, maybe no?

My confussion centers on the 23 stars. What do you guys all think of this dream?? I'm very curious.
Daniel Hanley
192. Kythorian
Yeah, I had questions about that one too. The other two dreams were obvious, but that one was not. Egwene obviously thinks that represents Rand breaking the seals. I tend to think it must mean something else simply because that is what she believes it means.
Ali Davis
193. dejavoodoo114
@190, you may be right about the unresolved issue of what was in the letter when RJ passed. (BTW Galad also had a letter with a red seal.) But our experience with BA has shown that they can't rat out any Current plans. Also, she wouldn't have told Eg's because she thought it was dealt with.
Ali Davis
194. dejavoodoo114
Kythorian, I read it again and Eg didn't have a single thought about that dream. The other two but not that one. Not in that chapter at least...
Chandra81
195. AParks
Waited by the door to intercept the delivery of ToM!!! [I think the driver thought I was nuts when I practically tore the package out of his hand, he has no idea who RJ is/was.. :0 :0]
Am only a third through and my eyes need to readjust. What better way than to check up on the review!!! Did not read all of it though... not spoiling my fun!... Happy reading everyone, I know there will be lots of discussions soon and I am looking forward to them!
Justin Levitt
196. TyranAmiros
deja @ 191
I like Terez' theory on Theoryland that the twenty-three stars refer to some council the Aiel must set up to survive. In the ter'angreal, Avi sees a "Council of Twenty Two", which likely is made up of a clan chief and a wise one from each of the eleven clans remaining (discounting the Shaido).

Presumably, it's failing because (a) Rand will only be car'a'carn until the Last Battle. (b) And once the Aiel meet their toh to the Aes Sedai, they will still need a twenty-third member, perhaps a permanent car'a'carn, to give the Aiel direction as a people.

The dystopian future has a few real-world parallels I picked up on, particularly the settlement of the American West (the railroads and the miners move west and destroy the Native American tribes).
Chandra81
197. MikeDragonTattoo
First of all a big thank you to Harriet and Brandon for finishing the series. Brandon was handled an impossible task--finish the series to meet all of us fans' expectations. Honestly even RJ was struggling with the story with the last few books.

That said, reading this series made me keenly miss RJ's writing. I feel like the emotional depth wasnt there with any of the scenes that deserved it. Perrin's whole section should have killed me (though to be fair maybe I read too fast). I guess it seems to perfunctory. Although, again to be fair, Brandon has a lot of wrapping up to do.

I dont know whose decision it was to meld Rand and Lews Therin, but it was a terrible idea. We have essentially lost Rand and have Lews Therin in his place. It could have been handled differently. They could have made peace with each other and Lews Therin moved on, leaving Rand with a sense of who he had been before but only that, a sense. Brandon doesnt have time to make us love Lews Therin. I wholeheartedly agree with those that have said they miss Rand. Of course I'm super attached. I started reading the books when I was 13. Rand and Lan and Mat and Perrin influenced the kind of man I wanted to grow into and partly I'm sure influenced my decision to serve in the USMC.

Secondly, please don't take this a jealousy, but I really hope fans arent being incorporated into the text of the book. It's a disservice to RJ's work as art. It smacks of disrespect to the vision of his work.

Of course it makes me a little sad, but I will once again be at the bookstore when it opens sometime a year or so from now, buy AMOL and read it straight through.
aaron drew
198. FogNSteel
Most everything that was on my mind has already been covered in depth, so I won't repeat it. But....there is one thing that kinda popped out at me....

Avihenda's quadruplets....The last battle is litteraly a couple of days away and there was no mention in Rhudien of Rand surviving it. If Rand is going to knock her up....he'd better get on it! (pun intended)
Richard Boye
199. sarcastro
Pnr060 @177
Was it just my imagination, or did Graendal take Alteima home with her after killing Asmo? At least, that's who I'm assuming the beautiful, dark-haired, former High Lady of Tear in Graendal's escape-cave was...

Nope - that's her, I'm sure of it. I knew we'd see her again.
Henry Loose
200. schrodinger
MikeDragonTattoo

The problem is that LT is not a separate person and cannot move on. He is Rand. Rand is him. LT is simply a part of Rand's memory. (he is still Rand, but we have yet to see this, in depth, from his own mind).

The fans names in the books are part of a charity. People give money, and the highest ones get put in the book. I think it was started by RJ, but I'm not certain.
Chandra81
201. Chani167
@197 MikeDragonTattoo

Brandon Sanderson isn't responsible for writing new material. He's got detailed notes that he uses. None of the Wheel of Time is being made up by him. Robert Jordan had it extensively planned out before he passed away. So everything that we are reading is not necessarily being written the way Robert Jordan would have written it, but it is information that would have been included in the book(s).
Chandra81
202. Steel.Pirate
The POV of the Glass Columns at the end is obvious a warning, not a prediction.

Conisder the following:
#1 Channelers like a Long Time. Aiel Wise Ones number many channelers.
#2 Large numbers of Aiel survived the Last Battle. Enough to consider fighting the Seanchan
#3 Ergo, it seems unlikely that the older Aiel Wise Ones all died in the Last Battle. These Channeling Wise Ones... would still be alive. Its hard for me to see the Aiel making such a .... strange choice... just 40 years after the last Battle... attacking the Seanchan because they are bored.

I think the glass columns (future columns) take people's assumptions about life and find the flaws in the thier outlook... its possible that Avi. doesn't realize if she lives past the Last Battle, (which is said in the POV) that she is likely to live hundreds of years... that is unlikely the Seanchan will continue to use the Damanae (since Sul'Dam -become- Damanae).

Avi's flaw is that she believes the Aiel can go back to being Aiel after the Last Battle. They clearly can not do that... but the glass columns didn't paint for me a convincing future path. (Where is Egwene? Ny? Elayne? Moriane? Amys? Logain? Your telling me all these people either die in the last battle or are -fine- with the A'dam and Male A'dam?)
Rob Munnelly
203. RobMRobM
Ok - finished it. So much has been said that I will not repeat. But here are a few points
- I liked the writing in it quite a bit better than TGS, especially Mat.
- I was a bit disappointed that not all that much happens during the course of the story. Ball gets moved down the field but not anywhere near scoring position - I expected more fireworks (Black Tower, Battle of Camelyn, etc). Lighter on Towers than I would have expected.
- I, for one, am heartily disappointed by the loss of my Tam-Morgase theory. Grumble, grumble. I'll go to my grave wondering whether that would have turned out differently with RJ writing it - as we still don't know how Morgase became acquainted with Two Rivers speeach as discussed in EOTW and I thought why would Morgase be the only Trakand without a Two Rivers mate. Grumble grumble.
- Liked very much the Avi way-forward machine. I believe I'm correct that a good chunk of the problem was that the Aiel also were being hunted down from the Shara side too. I am correct, right? That's why I through the red vieled Aiel at the end could be Sharans....but the Aiel male channelers could work too, I guess.
- Really disliked the way Nyn acted in the Tower testing. Brilliant performance on merits but she expressly and unashamedly agreed she violated the decorum rule and rule re moving promptly to the magic mark and not screw around by channeling the heck out of things to protect imaginary friends. I totally would have said no . She was being treated unfairly but her obligation was to suck it up and do the freaking weaves and get out.
- Re the bloodknive ninjas, not realistic for Egwene to discount Gawyn's descriptions and warnings, especially since both Byrnne and Siuan saw one during tower battle.
- Still totally shocked the Beldeine didn't buy the farm. I thought Min's dream with a knife over her head indicated that she'd try to return to tower and get sliced.
- Perrin bringing purple umbrella to Tar Valon was on the silly side. He had never been there before, for goodness sakes. Should have brought the freaking thing to Camelyn or Tear. The implausibility of Perrin showing up at same time as Egwene battle was jarring too.
- I'm getting confused by dead/alive issues - is Graendel dead or essentially dead via SH? Did Lanfear/Cyn die at end? Where was Moggy during all this? I did like the Graenel comment she was in Ebou Dar to manipulate Tuon. Compulsion?
- Thank goodness Gawyn finally came back to reality. Yet another plot line that lasted far too many books. Thank goodness!
- I hadn't thought about 13x13 potential for Tarna and that guy Ashamany but the mention in these comments and in Leigh's review made me go ... probably yes. Ick.

Could go on and on but I won't. Nice review Leigh, nice work Brandon, more to ponder over upcoming weeks.
Kate Smith
204. Rukaiya
Hrrrm. First of all, thanks for the review, Leigh. I'm still trying to marshal all my thoughts about this book versus the last one. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the way The Gathering Storm focused in on Rand and Egwene, giving us a big dose of character development. I love me some character development. On the other hand, it was kind of awesome how all the major characters--and some minor ones!--finally all seemed to have a plotline in Towers of Midnight. They're just totally different books in style and I liked both of them for different reasons. I am also now officially going to go crazy waiting for the last book. A few thoughts, questions, and reactions:

- Wow, I totally didn't catch on that the robo-Asha'man had been 13x13ed until I read Leigh's review. I feel silly now. I second whoever mentioned that Nynaeve's newfound skill in healing compulsion/taint-induced madness may come in very handy in that regard. After all, it seems like being 13x13ed must be similar in some respects to compulsion.

- Speaking of Nynaeve, she's pretty awesome in this book. When I first read this series several years ago, Nynaeve annoyed me no end, but in my re-read this year, I really appreciated her a lot more. Even though she doesn't have a huge part in TOM, she has just enough to highlight how much she's grown up. I love her loyalty to Rand and Lan, and the way she sticks to her principles. I also rather liked how she surprised Egwene by not kicking up a huge fuss about treating her like the Amyrlin. The old Nynaeve would have been yanking her braid and sniffing quite a lot.

- Regarding Aviendha's trip through the Wayforward Machine, I thought it was pretty incredibly bleak, but I guess I wasn't hit as hard by it as a lot of folks seem to have been. It's stated pretty explicitly during her visions what the fundamental issue with the Seanchan was. Rand bowed to them, therefore they considered him an inferior, and they felt they were free to treat the citizens of Randland however they wanted. I do hope, however, that Aviendha doesn't take this to mean she has to nobly refrain from having anything to do with Rand, in order to prevent the annoying descendants.

- Gawyn! Yes, he was still annoying, but I was so happy that he kind of toned down the angst after visiting Elayne in Caemlyn. Not to mention finally finding out that Rand Did Not Murder His Mother before he did something really stupid. Terez had me really really worried about the Gawyn kills Rand theory. Although I noted that we never saw where Mellar disappeared off to with the ter'angreal copy. That bodes ill.

- I loved that they showed us the Shadow Prophecy that had Moridin and Graendal all excited. I love how it seems to have happened, but totally not the way they thought it would. Although there's still the stuff about the Lord of the Evening. Could the parts about "he shall take our skin, for our flesh shall serve Him, and He shall take our lips, for only Him will we praise" refer to 13x13ing?

- I'm curious about the new Dreadlords and I also wonder if we didn't see some of them when we saw the red-veiled Aiel. We know from Ituralde's scenes that the trolloc armies were being accompanied by male channelers, but I don't think we ever saw them there or the channelers handling the Waystone when the trollocs attacked Perrin. Although they could be 13x13ed Asha'man, Aiel seem like reasonable candidates as well.

- I'm so glad Waystones made a reappearance. It seemed that they'd pretty much been a plot device that was discarded after the early books. Yay for them being relevant!


- I also loved Rand's Cadsuane put-down. Huge Moment of Awesome for Rand. "By the way, you can stop calling me boy, because I'm older than you. Oh, and you can address me as Rand Sedai." I've only been waiting for that moment since Cadsuane first appeared!

Whew, that's a lot. I'm experiencing total WoT overload right now.
Chandra81
205. Shadowslayer
Was noone just shocked at the Prophecy of the Shadow at the end? That was just an oh no moment. Coupled with the Rhuidean future and that prophecy, happiness does not seem to be coming =/
Chandra81
206. Meerletalis
@203

I believe that Perrin was headed to Dragonmount. He could probably be forgiven for getting his directions a bit off on his first trip there. He didn't follow the roads or stop and ask directions.
John Massey
207. subwoofer
@Rob- Maybe Tam ends up being a Warder to a nice Domani woman. He deserves a bit of fun;)

& Ny has always been difficult. Why would she change now? Loved that she stayed true to who she is, an awesome channeler that tries to do things that others can't- get the heck outta Dodge and save the day.

The umbella thing was what it was- but I loved how Perrin totally showed up Egwene-" naw, that Balefire does not apply to me".

Good times:)

Woof™.
Kate Smith
208. Rukaiya
@205

Huh, I interpreted most of the Shadow Prophecy as having already been completed in Perrin's storyline. It seems to be the prophecy that inspire Moridin and Graendal to try to kill Perrin early on, as they assume he's the Broken Wolf. Instead, to hazard a guess, "the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith's pride" refer to Perrin's stubborn refusal to take up leadership of his people and his insistence that he's not a lord, which is a sort of false humility. "The Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers" seems to refer to Hopper, who's already known death since he died once, dies again due to the schemes of Moridin and Graendal, the Midnight Towers. And as to his destruction bringing fear and sorrow and shaking their very will . . . it certainly brings fear and sorrow and will-shaking to Perrin. Of course, maybe it isn't that simple and the prophecy applies to both recent events and Last Battle-type events, but it seems to fit too perfectly.
Chandra81
209. Rawwarawr
I enjoyed ToM more than TGS, I found "The Light of the World" upsetting, i know it was inevitable but the finn are just...... evil, have to say im surprised Rand didn't bow down in this one, infact given the name i expected a lot more scenes with the Seanchan, I'm glad we have Moiraine back but why'd she have to get reduced in power :(, and my final point is..... seriously is Mierin (lanny) Actually a double apostate, or is this a scheme to kill Rand/lews
Chandra81
210. eamonnA
are you all mad or just senile ''to live you must die'' sound famillure how about '' three in a boat with he who is dead yet lives'' lewis therin has most controll now over rand so he can finaly die at the last battle and rand can be free
Chandra81
211. MikeDragonTattoo
@200 Schrodinger

Ok thanks for the info on the fan thing.

Is there evidence that Lews Therin experienced the same phenomen during his life? Having the previous Dragon in his mind? I don't believe I have ever read that. I still maintain it was unecessary for it to be so overt.

@201 Chani

I don't think everything is explicitly written out. Brandon has spoken of the work he is doing. I believe there are outlines and notes, but if everything was outlined in detail, the series would have been completed already.

Regardless, I don't think RJ would have effectively killed off Rand, but if he had, I would probably reacted the same way. Maybe he would have given us a couple Rand POVs so that he didnt seem so alien. But honestly, doesn't it seem like a cop out?
Theresa Gray
212. Terez27
re: competing prophecies.

I don't think that there are necessarily competing prophecies. I think that, for example, Aviendha's vision of the future was a possibility, much like what is seen in the Rings of Rhuidean. Aviendha's future probably fulfilled the letter of the prophecies, but the letter of them can be fulfilled in many different ways.

Of course, there is a matter of the planted prophecies, supposedly the version of the Karaethon Cycle that Luthair Paendrag brought over the ocean with him. Big reasons to suspect Ishamael was involved in that, aside from him having claimed it to Rand in TEOTW. Aviendha's vision of the future suggests that Rand found a way to bind Tuon to him by bowing to her, as her prophecies suggested that he must. That's not necessarily exactly what went wrong, though.

I get the feeling that Foretellings and Min's viewings are absolute foretellings except in case of the Pattern being destroyed, and of course sometimes there are either-or prophecies, like Min's viewing of Gawyn. If Egwene hadn't bonded him, Gawyn would have broken her neck. We're not sure why or how, and we'll probably never know.

Dreams, on the other hand, are only possibilities. They can be prevented, whereas Min's viewings cannot. Elaida's foretellings are also absolute. Both Elaida and Min can feel the truth of their foretellings, and Egwene can also feel when she has interpreted a dream correctly. I suspect that the crystal columns are related to dreaming in that sense. The past is the past, but the future...I think Aviendha saw what was, at that moment, the most likely future. And that this might be a more accurate interpretation of 'truth long hidden in the ancient dream'.

Anyway, prophecies are simply Foretellings that have been written down. They are subject to corruption, but I don't think they work in the same way as Eddings' competing prophecies, or Goodkind's branching. They will all happen, one way or another.
Thomas Keith
213. insectoid
Finally finished, you guys. Took me longer to read than TGS, even though I got it a day early! Bloody brick. ;)

Time to read the review and catch up on comments. (200 already? Got there a day faster than last year... :) )

(OMG MOIRAINE SQUEE)

Bzzz™.
Chandra81
214. Mad Dog 311
Awesome book, I loved it. One more to go people!

@ 197 As said before, fan names are used from a charity auction. A good thing I think.

@200 Yeah, RJ did start the trend. I know Charlz Guybon from KoD was one of those used. Not sure when he started doing it though.
Theresa Gray
215. Terez27
Rukaiya@204 - Rand bowing was NOT the fundamental problem. Oncala assumed that the Seanchan would not hold to the Peace because Rand had bowed to their Empress, but the Seanchan were not the ones to break the peace. Oncala manipulated the Andorans into entering the war by showing her plans for her assassination, but Oncala did not mention that these were only contingency plans that the Seanchan had drawn up IN CASE Andor entered the war.

The Aiel were the ones who broke the Dragon's Peace. Of course, they were never a part of them - Rand granted them an exclusion from it. This was foreshadowed in other parts of the book - Edarra especially speaks strongly about it with Perrin.

The reason why the Aiel started a war with the Seanchan was ostensibly the Aiel prisoners that Edarra spoke of, who were not returned after a year and a day. This is probably why they demanded to be free of the Peace, and since Rand had toh to them for his actions in TGS, he had no choice but to give them what they asked for.

But it was not worth the price, and I suspect that the real reason the Aiel started the war is because they have an honor-based society. Their main way to earn honor was in battle, so after decades of peace, they began to feel worthless.


TITLE - Towers of MidnightCHAPTER: 49 - Court of the Sun

Alalved shook his head. "The spears grow restless. The Aiel are not meant to grow fat in lush lands, tending crops. We are warriors.

"The Dragon asked for peace," Tavalad said.

"The Dragon asked others for peace," Alalved replied. "He excluded the Aiel."

"That is true," said Darvin, chief of the Reyn.

"Do we return to raiding one another after all these years of holding our blood feuds in abeyance?" Ronam asked softly. He was an excellent clan chief, much as Rhuarc had been. Wise, yet not afraid of battle.

...

"I say that we must reclaim our own who are held by the Seanchan," said Marinna. She was training to become a Wise One.

Alarch seemed uncertain, and he glanced at Janduin. Alarch often deferred to his brother.

"The Aiel must have a purpose," Janduin said, nodding. "We are useless as we are, and we made no promise not to attack. It is a testament to our patience and respect for my father that we have waited this long."

...

"Some say we should have returned to the Three-fold Land," [Padra] said.

"No," Ronam said. "No, that would have destroyed us. Our fathers knew nothing of steamhorses or dragon tubes. Were the Aiel to return to the Waste, we would have become irrelevant. The world would pass us by, and we would vanish as a people."

"But war?" Padra said. "Is it right?"

"I do not know," Ronam said softly. "We are Aiel. It is what we know how to do."

Padra nodded, feeling more certain.

The Aiel would ride to war again. And there would be much honor in it.


The Aiel went to war with the Seanchan because they felt like they had no honor without it. Like Janduin said, the Aiel need a purpose. If their only purpose is war, then war is inevitable. But if Aviendha convinces them that they must return to the Way of the Leaf? It has the potential to change everything.

But I suspect it's not that simple. Another problem is the fact that the Seanchan are still collaring channelers. That practice has to stop, and I think this is where 'binding' the Nine Moons will come in - Tuon will be forced to make an Oath to release and reintegrate them after the Last Battle. But that has little to do with the Aiel.

As Ronam said, I don't think the Aiel should return to the Waste. They should 'take back their places of old', and earn their honor through their service. In the Age of Legends, they served the Servants, so perhaps there is a possibility for something similar.

Another problem seems to be that Rand left them. That might be inevitable, but it might also answer the question of why Rand seems so important to the future in Nicola's Foretelling, and in the Wise Ones' dream. He could be the 23rd member of the council of 22, thus making sense of the connection between Egwene's dream of the crystal globe, and Aviendha's vision of the future.

And I also think that Aviendha might realize that it is inevitable that the Empire will conquer all of the free lands in Randland. She might think it wise to avoid that war by accepting the Empire now. As we saw with Beslan...aside from the damane issue, it's not all that bad. And if the Aiel can find honor in service, then it might be that they can help Tuon end the practice of slavery.

Many possibilities...but I don't think that Rand bowing was the death knell at all, despite the possibility that this prophecy was planted by Ishamael. That was just Oncala's fear, and there didn't seem to be much evidence that she was right about that.
Michael McCarthy
216. KilMichaelMcC
You know something that irked me?

Randomly offing Nicola like that.

Not cool.
Thomas Keith
217. insectoid
Great review, Leigh!!

I'll have my own thoughts on the book as the week goes on; my head is swimming right now from the read, as if I had run a marathon. Think I'll sleep on it.

Re: p. 104: ::scans, finds name:: Oh, crap. I totally missed that!! (Sorry, Kate...) I did, however, find Lannis on... ::thumbs through brick:: ...p. 228. Congrats, Lannis--you're now officially a Blue! :)

Sub @27:
Is "bugnuts" a word? ;)


YES it is! Better be careful who you say it around... ;D

Bzzz™.
Chandra81
218. spikyce
A strong addition to the WoT, but I had a few problems with it:

1. Mat's adventure felt like it went too fast. Also, it was rather...unrealistic to see Mat lose an eye, scream for about a second, and then run around for hours beating off dozens of foes with scarcely a complaint. If you lose your eye, you are out of the picture. Period. You don't go running around after that.

2. I didn't feel like the Lan story arc had enough tension. It didn't feel dramatic enough. Felt...off. I don't think Sanderson wrote Lan quite right. Shame, because I love Lan.

3. Minor thing: Killing Nicola off like that. Seriously? I thought when I first read that a Black Ajah member imagined a Nicola look-alike into the dream world to lure Egwene out, but nope.

4. Another minor thing: none of the characters had any kind of intimate relations. I mean, I felt like Sanderson actively avoided showing any real intimacy. I know it's a thing of his, because he's very conservative and a Mormon. In his other books, that's fine. It is that way from the start. But Jordan has shown the characters getting closer to each other. I felt this was actively avoided (like when Rand returned from blowing up thousands of Trollocs. Min is happy, thinks that she is content just to share in his relief, and that's it.)
Greg Bloom
219. MuleHeadedLummox
RobM@203 Shaidar Haran did not kill Graendal, he raped her as he has done to several of the other Forsaken as a punishment. This may mean that she will be mindtrapped like Moggy and Cyndane when we see her next, but she is still alive. He tells her "You shall not forget that which comes next." It would be pretty difficult for her to remember unless she were still alive.

I agree that Perrin showing up with the Dreamspike does stretch credibility abit. I suppose we'll just have to write it of as a ta'veren being in the place he was needed by the Pattern in order to get rid of Mesaana.

Terez@212 My take on the Gawyn being bonded/breaking Egwene's neck vision is that it involves Gawyn's character growth and his choice to return to Tar Valon. If he hadn't gone back, Egwene would have been killed by assassins that he was capable of stopping. While it may be a bit of a stretch to move from this to breaking her neck, he essentially had a choice to either stay in Caemlyn, which would end in Egwene's death, or to return to Tar Valon, where she survived and bonded him.
Hugh Arai
220. HArai
RobMRobM@203:


- I, for one, am heartily disappointed by the loss of my Tam-Morgase theory. Grumble, grumble. I'll go to my grave wondering whether that would have turned out differently with RJ writing it - as we still don't know how Morgase became acquainted with Two Rivers speeach as discussed in EOTW and I thought why would Morgase be the only Trakand without a Two Rivers mate. Grumble grumble.







I thought your theory had a certain charm to it, but in my opinion it died when it became apparent that Tam was going to be leading Perrin's Two Rivers contingent and Morgase was going to be in the near vicinity a lot while posing as a servant. If there was a past bond it should have been discovered during that time. Look how fast Galad discovered her for example. Morgase is certainly described as memorable to any that have actually seen her close up.

Re the bloodknive ninjas, not realistic for Egwene to discount Gawyn's descriptions and warnings, especially since both Byrnne and Siuan saw one during tower battle.










I thought it was pretty consistent actually. I don't think we've seen a single Aes Sedai give full weight to warnings about their safety from their Warder/Warder-candidate. They always seem to feel the Warder is over-reacting. Also, Egwene has a strong tendency to give less weight to opinions differing from her own.
Look at her take on the rescue in TGS for another example of her discounting the opinions of Siuan and Gawyn regarding her safety.

Speaking of Egwene discounting people's opinions, anyone care to speculate why she feels she knows more about how the seals should be handled than the person who actually lead the sealing in the first place? I agree Rand seems to be provoking her response but I'm not sure what she's basing that response on other than an automatic assumption that she knows better than Rand about everything.

spikyce@218: I'm not sure who you were expecting to see have intimate relations. In the example you gave, Rand probably fell asleep in seconds once he made it to a bed. All the relationships I recall offhand either had someone absent or simply too busy, or were not yet at the intimate relations stage. Also, you mention how BS is a conservative Mormon and that changes how the series is being written but really, where are your examples of the explict sex scenes RJ put in his books? It's been fade-to-black from the start as far as I recall.
Chandra81
221. psychoticloonie
@212 terez27
I suspect that the crystal columns are related to dreaming in that sense
And cynfear always claimed tar as her own turf.
Chandra81
222. psychoticloonie
Also, Demandred as king of Murandy really shaping up now. Only ruler not showing at the fields of wherever.

Perrin smacks Slayer in the head- "By mighty Mjolnir, I say thee NAY!!
Theresa Gray
223. Terez27
spikyce@218 - Perrin and Faile got it on for Shanna'har. Outside, even! That's pretty kinky. Gawyn even made fun of Egwene for being a 'conservative innkeeper's daughter'. He thought it was funny that she thought he would be sleeping in a different room.
Kimani Rogers
224. KiManiak
Wow. TOM definitely gives you your money's worth, and then some (both in content, and in total amount of text).

Feels good to finally be able to check out the spoiler review without being spoiled. 215+ comments already?! In 2 days? Aren't we the active group :)

Thanks to Leigh, as always, for the review. I was only able to guess #7 and #9 from the early spoiler-free review. I knew Elaida would find away to f*@$ things up even more than she already has. But to punk out even more by offering 20 of her sisters to replace her? RJ and B Sanderson are great authors, but I don't think there is anything that could potentially be written in AMOL that could have Elaida be redeemed in anyone's eyes. Well, maybe if she stumbles on the method to nullify, or (better yet) reverse the forced link of the adam. Hmm.... Nope; even then I'd still really really dislike her.

So, I have to say that ever since ACOS Perrin has been (by far) my least favorite of the Rand/Mat/Perrin Holy Trinity, but TOM had certain scenes where I had to give him mad respect.

My favorite was when he was forging the war hammer. As I was reading it, I was thinking to myself somewhat sarcastically, "Wouldn't it be funny if he named it Mjolnir and the One Power was infusing it with the ability to affect the weather." And then he named it Mah'alleinir! I had to bust out laughing! But I loved it! Who knows, maybe in AMOL we'll find out that not only does it sear Shadowspawn, but it can call down the lightning on them too. (BTW, this scene had me checkout Mjolnir on Wikipedia, which recommends also seeing the Axe of Perun! This is one of the many reasons I love this series!)

Wouldn't it have made more sense for it to be Perrin al'Thor, though? :)

Second favorite Perrin scene was him schooling Egwene in TAR. He re-directed Balefire! After only studying for less than a month! Part of me wanted him to say to her "I've only been at this for about a month. How long have you been practicing in here for, Egwene?" Okay, that's kind of petty. A lot of us were the Oooh-Ooh girl/boy in school, I'm sure.
Kimani Rogers
225. KiManiak
The 2 strongest emotional reactions TOM was able to elicit out of me:

Mat's letter to Elayne. I read it 3 times and cracked up harder each time!! I love how he uses a "big" word and then decides to define it for her! And the multiple P.S's? Classic! And the commentary on Thom's actions ("laffing")!

Elayne's questionable ill-considered just plain stupid attempt to interrogate the BA in her dungeons. Alone. While pretending to be a Forsaken. Without planning it out first with Birgitte, or Alise or any random person in the palace who could have informed her of the MULTIPLE potential flaws and dangers with her plan. I've never been driven to toss a book (these things are little treasures, after all), but I was so upset at her that I was yelling at her sheer stupidity as I was reading along (She didn't seem to hear me, though. Just like those people who ignore me in the TV; quite rude). Of course things went wrong. Of course she gets bailed out by a combination of luck and bad-guy incompotency (although not unscathed, to be fair). And, of course she complains when she has to suffer the consequences of her actions ("Bed rest for a week? The horror!"). She did play Faile and Perrin masterfully, though...
Kimani Rogers
226. KiManiak
Ok, last post (for awhile, at least),

We had to wait 600 pages before we find out about Aviendha?!?! Really? And this was after I was convinced during my first reading of TGS that she would appear in "Veins of Gold" atop Dragonmount and be the one to talk Rand down. Obviously RJ & BWS wrote it so much better; no complaints from me about that. We just got so little of her in TGS or TOM (and no interaction between her and Rand).

To be fair, her story arc in TOM was pretty powerful, though. I echo Leigh's feelings re: #11. Put me in the camp of folks believing that she saw an alternate/possible future, and not the future.

Ok, coming down from post-reading high. I think I can rest now...
James Hogan
227. Sonofthunder
Wow.

(Finally checking in after finishing my first read last night).

But yeah. Wow. Epic book. I definitely loved TGS, but for me there is no contest. ToM >>>TGS. I think this may be my one of my fav books of the series now, alongside TSR and LOC. Partly because I love Perrin and he just OWNS in this book! And partly because Rand is Super-Awesome-Rand now instead of Evil-Dark-Rand. And that makes me happy. While I definitely appreciated and enjoyed TGS for its place in the series...well, it's just a dark book. I guess that ToM has been said to be darker, and I understand that's because of all the nasty foreshadowing and imminent Bad Stuff to come, but ToM is just so much more of a pleasure to read now that Rand is Certifiably Awesome again. I don't cry at books, but the scene that I came closest to becoming emotional was when he hugged Tam...and then presented Min to him. That really got to me. So Rand being Awesome(and very Lews Therin-y) pushed this book far above TGS for me. I don't like dark main characters much. Yay Rand!!

And as for Perrin, well. As I said previously, he pretty much dominated it up. Hammer-forging scene was EPIC. And I didn't catch the Mjolnir reference until now. That's what you guys are for! As I was reading it...I was just thinking, "Whoa. They're making a power-wrought HAMMER. SWEET." Oh yes. And then the line a bit later(don't have book with me), when he put the hammer over his shoulder and strode off, as the Wolf King. Oh yes. And I'm not a super fan of TAR scenes, usually. But I loved them all in this book(could just be because they were mostly Perrin TAR scenes and not Egwene TAR scenes). Also, I got VERY upset when Egwene tried to tie Perrin up and "leave him for later". When there are BA and Forsaken around? Really?? Punk. Good thing Perrin's TAR skillz outstrip hers! When he stopped balefire..."it's just a weave." Aw, yeah.

And since I like Faile, it made me most happy to see her playing a mostly decent role in this book. I loved their anniversary!! The only Perrin/Faile bit I didn't like was when they were with Elayne. Oh Elayne. Perrin deserves far more than to be the "Steward" of Two Rivers, as Rand's caretaker! I can't believe Faile let Elayne get away with that. I thought Perrin would truly be a king. *grumbles*

This is already getting far too long, but briefly...yep, Mat's still awesome. Most of my laugh-out-loud moments were his. Loved that he and Perrin got to chill for a bit! And my favorite moment(I think) of his was when he named his price. "Half the light of the world." Oh Mat. Heroic much? Also loved his parting shot at the *finn. And yeah, MOIRAINE. She is awesome. Even though it's sad that she's lost some of her power...I'm willing to bet that she has a more important role to play. Can't wait for the Rand/Moiraine meet-up! Moiraine, PLEASE get to Rand before seal-breaking!!

And speaking of seal-breaking, I have very mixed feelings. First of all, Rand seems to know what he's doing. So I get angry at Egwene for STEALING his people. But then apparently that's what Rand wanted all along? So yeah. We'll see what happens.
Also, Nynaeve is still amazing. I love how she continues to do the impossible. Saidin madness? No bother, Nynaeve can fix that. And good for her to stick up for Rand and against the Aes Sedai traditionalism.

Avi...wow. I was NOT expecting what went on during her sections. Depressing much? As soon as I figured out she was viewing the future, I just got sadder and sadder the deeper(or, rather, more recent) she went. She comments how the viewing doesn't seem like the possi-viewings of the usual Rhuidean experience, so that worries me. How can the Aiel be so corrupted, so fast? I thought that ji was not measured by taking lives. Definitely the darkest part of the book.

Of course, seeing the effects of the 13x13 was also a bit dark. I agree with Leigh. DO NOT WANT. Tarna! I liked her. So so creepy. Very well written.

And epilogue...oh so well done. Rand POV! But...Lanfear's in his dream? Or did he step into TAR from his dream? I pity Lanfear. And Graendal...from the heights to the depths. Bye, now. So we have two real Forsaken left, right? Demandred(WHERE IS HE) and Moridin. And I'm assuming those creepy-Aiel are Moridin's, right? Red-veiled, black-eyed Aiel. CREEPY. And why did we have to end with a Dark Prophecy?? Eek. And Caemlyn's being invaded, yikes. Elayne? Might want to come back now.

Thinking back on the book, there was no real "climactic ending", which I actually felt was a good thing. This was the penultimate book, so it needed to end....penultimately. Which it did, with indications of Many Bad Things to come. Epilogue was brilliant. Really, while a lot of big things happened in this book, it needed to be a big set-up book. And that's all good with me.

And this is FAR too long, but just wanted to say again, thanks Brandon and RJ and the whole Jordan team for this epic book. Masterfully done. I can also say that I was not bothered at all by the writing style(except...can we slow down with the undulating tempests? please??) and...well, I just loved this book. TGS was great. ToM was AMAZING. TGS was narrow and focused and delicious...ToM was sprawling and grand and loverly. Good job, y'all.
F Shelley
228. FSS
Hey Terez - has anyone else pointed out that Graendal in the Prolouge uses "Light!" as an internal exclamation? And the Epilouge she uses "Dark One" instead of "Great Lord", twice I think.

I beleive that's the first time we've seen Forsaken internal dialouge that uses Light-side terms like that. Any theories there? Or were they slips by Brandon and Team Jordan?
Maiane Bakroeva
229. Isilel
Doesn't it seem really strange that Seanchan outstrip the Aiel and their allies in new uses of the OP in Avi's vision of the future? I mean, how is it possible? Being brainwashed into animals should have destroyed any potential creativity in channelers. And also, how is it that people who could build huge mixed circles were unable to overcome those who couldn't? Does this future require one of the FS to survive TG and set his or hers shop among the Seanchan?

Also, maybe there is a warning for more than Aiel there. WT and BT are still separate in it and fall. But when Egwene was in T'AR she saw the old symbol of combined AS in the window of the White Tower, which hints at possibility of unification.

Finally, did Graendal get her claws into Beslan? He was acting very weirdly.
First of all, he should have already known about Travelling, as he was part of the search for the Bowl and SGs and Co. did tell Tylin how they intended to leave. They also did it quite openly from the palace grounds - a lot of people must have seen them. And Mat was supposed to go with them too. So, Beslan's jaw-dropping surprise at Travelling makes zero sense.
And his "OMG, they could attack us at any time!" also doesn't make much for the person he used to be.
Daniel Hanley
230. Kythorian
To dejavoodoo @ 194, I don't remember where, but at some point Egwene is thinking about Rand breaking the seals and thinks something along the lines of 'just like she had seen him cutting ropes in her dream'. I thought it was when he first told her about the plan to break the seals, but it could have been later. I don't have the book with me to look it up.

To MikeDragonTattoo @ 197, we simply cannot know how much of Rand is still left at this point. the only Rand POV we get is the one in his dream in the epilogue. From his external actions, I can still see Rand. He is kind of the book 1 rand, but with the authority and experience of book 12 Rand, without the evil. Hopefully we will get some more POV's from him in book 14, but of course there are going to be some changes. Perrin and Mat are both recognizable as the same characters as from book 1, but are both very different by this point. Should we expect any different from Rand?

To FogNSteel @ 198, Avi's visions refer to the Dragon 'leaving', not dying. We have no idea what this means, or at what point it happens, other than no more than 20-30 years after TG. So if Avi's visions are a strict view of what will absolutely happen, he will survive. I hope it isn't though. I would rather have Rand die, and prove that Avi's future has been changed

To SteelPirate @ 202, This doesn't really work...there are too many things like the dragons, the Court of the Sun(which we know will exist in the 4th age from 4th age writtings), etc, in Avi's visions that are based on the present that she doesn't know about. The visions are clearly based on a whole lot more than just her beliefs. I don't know if that means it is changable or not, but it is a future.

To eamonnA @ 210, please don't insult us...especially when you are just wrong. Rand isn't 'controlled' by LTT, the book has made it very clear that Rand is LTT. And LTT is him. they are the same being and always have been. Rand is just aware of it now. So go away and troll somewhere else.

To spikyce @218,
1. Its Mat. Hes awesome.
2. Yeah, Lan was a bit off.
3. I didn't like her, so I didn't mind.
4. Don't really care if that is off screen or not. He did have aran'gar and delana(sp?) having sex on screen, if that makes you feel better.

To FSS @ 228, it has been pointed out, yeah. I don't mind the "Light!" Thats just a curse. An athiest or satanist or whatever could say God, or Goddamn it, etc. The Dark One is a bit...well, its probably a mistake that will be fixed in the next version.
Theresa Gray
231. Terez27
Yeah, that was pointed out when the prologue was released. Now we have new complaints like Rhuarc saying 'the Waste' instead of 'the Three-fold Land'.
Henry Loose
232. schrodinger
eamonnA


are you all mad or just senile ''to live you must die'' sound
famillure how about '' three in a boat with he who is dead yet lives'' lewis therin has most controll now over rand so he can finaly die at the last battle and rand can be free

Except that Rand has the most control over himself right now. He is Lews Therin and Lews Therin is He. They are not two different people. Lews Therin is just Rand's past. As Rand stated, the main difference between him and LT was that he was raised better. Same exact person, just raised better.

Also, I wonder if you should be diagnosing people as senile when you can't even spell, hmmm?
Maiane Bakroeva
233. Isilel
Oh, and another thing - Graendal thinks about hiding in one of the Portal Stones worlds. I wonder why this idea didn't occur to AS during the Breaking. Why didn't they evacuate some Aiel and citizens, not to mention their own families there?

Ditto the Ways - why weren't they used as a refuge? IIRC there used to be fruit growing in them and everything...
Grainne McGuire
234. helen79
@187 LiC
Elayne didn't strike me as that bad. After all it's a standard ploy from leaders: go to war with another country to unify everyone within your country and sort out the problems there. Okay, she wasn't intending on fighting Cairhien, but taking over a less than friendly neighbour probably does encourage a bit of unity and patriotism.

Perrin and the Two Rivers: maybe not the fairest but understandable. If she lets one bit of her land go, or raises him above everyone else then it sets dangerous precedents. Her reign is not the most stable as it is.

Bottom line - (in my opinion): she's a politician and she's playing the game.

The Black Ajah stuff on the other hand...
Chandra81
235. joe heron
egwene: anyone else wanted to .. to .. SPANK her? and i dont mean in anyway pleasent. seriously, how'd u go from awesome to closed mined in a span of weeks? she sure is uppity the way she talks to everyone.

p.s.-i know about ppl feelings on the word uppity, but the same goes for the word picnic. And today's context i dont think i'll stop using it, it doesnt have the exact same meaning anymore.
Daniel Hanley
236. Kythorian
To Isilel @ 233, Whos to say they didn't? The aiel couldn't be sent there because the aes sedai knew that all those ter'angreal, etc would be needed in randland later, but i'm sure some aes sedai probably did flee to some portal world where things were not so bad. These people are just not relevent to the story, and so there is no need to mention them(or any way that anyone in randland would even know about them).

And the ways didn't exist until late in the breaking, so that wasn't really an option. And even when they did exist, the Ogier might not have even revealed them until after the breaking.

To joe heron, Egwene has always been kind of full of herself, and very sure that she has all the answers and that other people are just wrong, and should always agree with her. It is a large part of why she is still kind of annoying. But I thought she was still fairly awesome in ToM. The whole opposition to Rand breaking the seals is fairly reasonable if you think about it. See my comment @ 134 for a more complete explaination of why.
John Massey
237. subwoofer
It`s okay to bounce off the walls when your room is padded:)

Some things that occured to me.

Egwene is sounding all Aes Sedai like more and more these days. I like the meeting she had between the Aiel Wise Ones and the Windfinders. That was an idea a long time in coming. What is really getting me down is the "I am the Amrylin Seat, I am thousands of years old" drum Egwene has been beating. That is really getting tired. At the end of the day, despite all her training and book studying, Egwene is still very young and wet behind the ears. Egwene does not have memories of other soldiers or other channelers or wolves to draw from. What Egwene knows is finite. So her crap with Meseena was a bit strained. I did love how Perrin schooled her though- "see, ring or no, you don`t know it all".

And Egwene thinking that she needs to change stuff that Rand is doing. WTF?!! Who is the DR around here? Hopefully Rand schools her again. Walks right in the middle of all the Aes Sedai and tells them"I`m going this way, come with me if you want to live";)

I also love the way Nynaeve told the other Aes Sedai- Rand wants me at the Last Battle. I want to be at the Last Battle. You think that shawl is more important to me than the end of the world? You tell èm! Tell the world!

Tai`shar Malkier!

Oh yeah, and I love the way the three Malkier were doing laps around Lan. "We`re not with you, you don`t own the road, we just happen to be going this way..." Heh. Involuntary magnetism:)

Woof™.
John Massey
238. subwoofer
I dunno IMHO there are three worries I would have in taking refuge in another plain of existence. First, if the "Real World" winks out or is taken over by the DO, does that image reflect in other worlds? Second, once I am in another world, how do I get back? Third, When that doorway closes, does the world wink out after a period of time or is it stable? All worlds are not created equal, that is why the current world is what it is and the others are what they are.

Woof™.
Yasiru Ratnayake
239. yasiru89
I wonder if Egwene and the Wise Ones realise that getting killed in Tel'aran'rhiod seems to be the equivalent of getting balefired. Or at least, going by what Perrin's narrative explains, it seems to be for wolves.
Considering how Elayne was so intent on 'hoarding' and what the Black sisters said during her Crowning Moment of Stupid sequence, I should have expected the karmic justice of Andor being taken in a brutal way while her arrogant back was turned. Little short of a miracle if the Shadow doesn't get hold of dragons now. But going by Aviendha's (who was that woman she met in the Waste anyway?) 'Wayforward' sequence (which was one of the most depressing scenes ever, however well-written it was) the Seanchan get hold of the dragons too, but with Tuon soon supplanted and Rand and Aviendha's children gone all Atreides twins on us! I believe 'bloody ashes' is the appropriate reaction to that. But I believe those outcomes can change- Tuon dying would certainly lead to disaster and I doubt that's going to happen (perhaps Mat will save her from something and since the 'giving up half the light' event was a 'nexus point' or whatnot, the future might swing either way from there). Also, hopefully Aviendha's polarity-reversal is permanent (in which case future Wise Ones and chiefs will see the woes the future holds- but this can't be because no one pointed out that they were heading exactly along the path to ruin as seen in the glass columns in Aviendha's vision sequence- get it?). As a last resort, maybe the Dark One will step in to save the day- unravelling the Patter just enough before Rand gets his stride back that this future doesn't remain fixed.
No one seems to be bothered overmuch about the Shadow prophecy, but to redeem Perrin so well in ToM (hands down the most awesome character in the book- starting with leaving Egwene spluttering in Tel'aran'rhiod- probably almost single-handedly prompting her to beat Mesaana through sheer indignation, to the epic hammer forging scene) just to kill him off in MoL with the Last Battle seemingly not yet done is troubling- and Mat's supposed to be the one with the extra life!
Coming to Mat, he was hilarious throughout- I wonder if getting married might have unhinged him a bit, in some way that makes him funnier (a cruel joke having been played on him). I was partial to supergluing a foxhead medallion to the gholam's tongue myself, but the plan worked out very well. I wonder if we'll see Noal/Farstrider again- he might now be tied to the Horn of Valere (if you remember what Hawkwing told Hurin). Never did see the ashandarei thing coming (or that it could be burned- always figured it must have some sort of indestructible trait on the whole thing instead of being simply wood).
I thought the Black Tower situation was as horrifying as what Aviendha saw and what came on Andor at the end- at first I was reluctant to think it was the 13x13 trick turning people to the Shadow and instead something like Compulsion, but the former seemed increasingly more likely- disturbing is not in it! That along with the red-veiled Aiel (anti-Aiel? 'Dedicated' to the Shadow perhaps? The male channellers turned to the Shadow theory seems most popular, but they didn't particularly seem the channelling type when they appeared) and the scene of burning Caemlyn made ToM suitably unsettling I think (scarily so combined with Aviendha's worries for the future even if the Last Battle is won).
About Messiah Rand, well, I don't mind his power-ups at all, even with Callandor I think he would have been done for as he was in the tGS with regards to sheer power against the Shadow (I also believe that the Choedan Kal would have been a minor inconvenience to the Dark One had they both been used, the Dragon's ta'veren attribute and Callandor being the sword of destiny and what not will probably be more important). The character hasn't been completely 'whitewashed', we just need a real-world extended POV in the next book. In fact, the end of his only POV at the end of this one points to a troubled mind. I think Lanfear might genuinely be in some trouble (though a trap is as likely since Moridin has her on a pretty tight leash), it would be interesting to see her turned from the Shadow if she will. Both Rand and Lews Therin still seem to hold some feeling for her in some way though it might not be love.
Cadsuane (who got own'd in tGS) and Nynaeve (who did improve in tGS) are off my own sh*t-list (though not for the latter's yet-another-new-thing, which was cool, she just matured as a character, while the former, well, good-intentioned as she was, was forced to mature). About Gawyn, I don't know, he now seems a Truthspeaker and da'covale hybrid to me. If a man with prior aspirations can take that kind of life and be content, good for him. Though I suspect he's going to use those ter'angreal and die before the Battle is done.
Ali Davis
240. dejavoodoo114
Kythorian, yes your right. I looked it up and she says that in the same chapter but when Rand is speaking with her in the Hall. The sphere is clearly representing the seals on the DO's based on what was said. However, while I can see that the 23 stars meaning the council... Well, it doesn't seem to fit with the fact that we know that the sphere is the seals. Why would the Aiel council be the only ones connected to that?? I'm thinking it must mean something else or I am missing a connection. Any thoughts?
John Massey
241. subwoofer
@yasiru89-

::blinks::

- Oh wait, you said Elayne was intent on hoarding. Sorry, saw something else.

::whistles innocently::


Woof™.
Daniel Hanley
242. Kythorian
To subwoofer @ 238, I believe all your questions were answered in book 2. Unless Lanfear was lying, which she might have been. But assuming she wasn't, some of the other mirror worlds have fallen to the shadow, which didn't destroy 'our' world. I don't see any reason why the opposite shouldn't be true too. You get back through another portal stone, just like Rand and co. did in book 2. I don't even know what you are talking about 'when a doorway closes'. There are no doorways, just the portal stones. Some worlds are more likely than others. The more likely it is, the more 'real' it is. According to lanfear, there are plenty of worlds that are fairly different from the one in the books, but are still as likely or almost as likely as it, and so are at least very close to as real as it. Close enough that you probably wouldn't notice anyway, and certainly better than being raped by Shadar Haran, and possibly mindtrapped.

To yasiru81@ 239, getting killed in the flesh in T'A'R' means no rebirth, yes. I don't think the same is true just from getting killed there while dreaming. Balefire doesn't do that though. You can still get reborn if you are balefired, so the comparison is not really very apt.

The shadow prophesy about the wolf dying is already fulfilled...it was talking about hopper(read it again. its pretty clear if you know what you are looking at). They just thought it was talking about Perrin.

To dejavoodoo @ 240, well Egwene thinks that the dream with rand cutting the ropes refers to him breaking the seals. I don't think it does, but I could be wrong.
John Massey
243. subwoofer
Well, putting being cornholed aside, are we sure that the DO can`t stalk our ass across any plain of existence?

And I see a lot of "according to Lanfear". According to Lanfear, LTT and her were meant to be together. The woman`s a nutter. Bugnuts if you will;) And IIRC Rand and co were in a world that "might be" and it was ahead of the world that was. So that tells me it was based on the RW. So the RW goes bye bye, what happens? And by doorway closing I mean that not necessairily everyone can channel. So you run and hide and the guy that got you there- the key- gets kacked by a multi eyed dog type thing, then what? Doorway closed. Poof. Trapped. Poopy.

Woof™.
Chandra81
245. Looking Glass
Maria Anzalone @140: Is Berelain that good at getting people to fall in love with her? Lots of people lust after her, and she certainly uses that, but I don’t recall any evidence that she’s capable of intentionally encouraging an emotional connection.
--

LiC @187: Does Birgitte not wear a sword, or just not use one? They’re not necessarily the same, especially for people with fancy uniforms and formal military offices.

Though it’s possible she has said she won’t wear one somewhere, and I’ve simply forgotten.
--

Dejavoodoo114 @191: Well, the Sharom was a literal place, while the dream crystal sphere is more metaphorical; I think the intention was not a precise match so much as deliberately parallel imagery.
--

RobMRobM @203: I don’t think Nynaeve knew they were imaginary, not consciously, anyway. And she made a reasonable and thematically appropriate argument in her defense: that sometimes doing the morally right thing should trump the Tower’s arbitrary rules, and that an Aes Sedai should be able identify the extent to which she can intervene for the better without sabotaging her overall goals.

On Perrin at the Tower- is that any less plausible than, say, Rand and Rahvin taking it to the world of dreams just in time for Nynaeve to get the assist? The characters are all magnetically attracted to the plot, just like they always have been.
--

Rukaiya @204: I’m not sure there was an explicit problem with the Seanchan in the future, beyond the nasty bits of their culture we’ve already seen. It seemed to me that the problem was more in the Aiel losing their way after the last battle, and not picking anything up beyond revenge.
--

Yasiru @239: Then again, humans appear to go somewhere other than TAR when they die, heroes notwithstanding, so there may well be a different mechanism at work.

Is it clear that Aviendha actually did anything to the pillars? I know the thought occurs to her, but between “no-one has been through since Rand spilled the beans” and “they always showed us what we needed to know” and “they’re super-complicated, almost alive”, I’m wondering if they’re not performing exactly to spec.
--

I agree that the dark prophecies probably compete with the light ones, but man, are they foreboding. And going back and looking at the original set from TGH, I find that set also forebodes, long after what I had thought to be their bode-by date. Maybe more than they did before, especially with the Lanfear bits. Creepy.
Chandra81
246. joe heron
Kythorian@236: my dislike for Egwene wasnt because of her disagreement with Rand. i respect that, considering her dream prior and everything else, rather it is as you said, she has this other should ALWAYS agree/cower around her. atleast rand had the taint, dying, learning saidin, rebellions and a tonnes more for an excuse. WTH was that exchange with with Nyv?

btw- that was the only portion of the book i skimmed, Nyv's testing. and i was pretty sure Lan would show up at the last one.

woof@237 AGREED! im glad the WO still knew how to handle EGnnoying Al'Ways
M G
247. parabola
I've been giving some thought to the throwaway line Mat said to the former sul'dam when they went to Tar Valon.
He said something about not letting the fact that sul'dam could learn to channel destroy the empire.

In KoD and TGS he was dead set on fighting and defeating the Seanchan - wouldn't destroying the empire amount to the same thing? Except destroying the empire would amount to ruining Tuon whom he loves.

So Mat wants to fight the Seanchan off from conquering the world, but does not want to destroy the Empire. I have a feeling that if he manages to walk that line, he could avert the future that Aviendha saw in the wayforward machine. And since he now has a foot in both "worlds", he's the one to do it. And that's why the *finn say he's at the center of it.
Yasiru Ratnayake
248. yasiru89
I also have a suspicion that Egwene getting her shift in a knot about Rand breaking the seals is going to distract her from his conditions- conditions ('peace'- bloody snares of the Way of the Leaf) that might lead to ruin with the Seanchan snapping at everyone's heels. I hope Aviendha sees Rand before then (though her action isn't clearly anticipated at this juncture).

@242: I'm pretty sure getting balefired means no rebirth, why else would the Dark One seem frustrated that Rahvin was beyond his reach when he's brought back his non-balefired Chosen?
Perrin seems to share the concern of eternal death in the dream too, so I wonder if being there in the flesh is actually needed to die the final death.
About the Shadow prophecy, that kind of makes sense, except I'm scratching my head over how Hopper's death would bring fear to the hearts of men or something.
John Massey
249. subwoofer
@Looking Glass- the woman has the look. Berelain has it in spades. I mean c`mon- Galad- Mr. Pretty Princeling, has women constantly fondling fawning all over him. Berelain comes along and he can`t even see straight enough to handle a cup of tea. Galad takes one look and its PBJ time. There may be a spanking in her near future. Or, conversely, maybe Galad has been a naughty Whitecloak O:)

Woof™.
John Massey
250. subwoofer
Annnnd... how messed up is Rand that he seems to have millions of the points from the taint in his head? Boggled the snot outta Nynaeve.

The throw away line from Mat? One thing that really got me going was Mat laughing at Thom and saying that-

"To be bonded to a woman? Isn`t going to happen to Matrim Cauthon."

"Is that so?" Thom asked amused."Didn`t we determine that your Tuon would be capable of channeling?"

Anyone else see Mat becoming a Warder in his future? The harder the man fights, Mr "I`m no lord Cauthon"...

"Mat`s been too busy to keep track," Thom added. " He`s been spending his time marrying the Empress of the Seanchan."


Moiraine blinked in surprise."You did what?"


"It was an accident," Mat said lamely, hunching down.


"You accidentally married the Seanchan Empress?"


"They`ve got some odd customs..."

Ooooh- and yay for Noal- going out that way! "The Light shine on you, Jain Charin, and may you shelter in the palm of the Creator`s hand. The last embrace of the mother welcome you home."


Edit- this quote spacing error thing is really getting me down.



Woof™.
Henry Loose
251. schrodinger
yasiru89@248
You can be reborn if you are balefired, the DO just can't do it. You have to go through the natural way of getting born.
Chandra81
252. Marie Anzalone
[Following up my post yesterday after re-reading a few key points from this and previous books]

I am almost certain now that those red-veiled "Aiel" are Padan Fain's army. Read his section very carefully. They are created from where he is spilling drops of his own blood in the blighted soil. Look what he is doing to Trollocs and Myrddral- he touches them, and makes them into husks that do his bidding. He mentions he just might take down the Dark One. Guys- this isn't the rambling of a lunatic. He can do it. His evil is as great as the Shadow's- there are more than 2 forces at work here. Padan Fain has the power to create, and to undo what was made by shadow.

I am also pretty sure that the Dark Prophecy book came from Finnland, and was created from Aes Sedai trapped there much like Moiraine was. I have a hunch that there are a lot of clues pointing to Finnland being important somehow in the Last Battle, including the fact that Rand (The Fisher) can apparently move between the worlds without being harmed. This suggests to me that the Finn's have some role to play, or at least feeds my theory that the Finns are connected to the Seanchan Empire.

With that being said, it gives us some pretty strong clues about what might go down at the Last Battle and its aftermath. Think about the wounds in Rand's side- the one from Ishamael, and the other from Mashadar. They cannot be healed, but they have been set to fight each other. Rand's body is a symbol of the land, and of the fight. His losing his hand was losing half the support of the world to the Seanchan. The seals break as the world falters. With the Borderlands falling, I doubt many are even still holding, if at all. "The world is connected to the Dragon". I think Rand has to set Padan Fain against the Dark One to win this fight, just as I think he is right that the women Aes Sedai have to be part of the strike at the Bore this time around. That was what caused only partial success last time. It wouldn't surprise me if Lan's army facing Tarwin's Gap is what breaks the last seal. Notice that most of the known world is about to converge, and that Rand has promised aid to Lan. The world left Malkier to its plight when Malkier fell, now it would be justice for the world to show up to take back the holdings and push into the Shadow.

More later after I think some more.
Chandra81
253. Marie Anzalone
Looking Glass: Dunno, really. To be successful at seduction, you need to make some kind of connection. Even Lanfear connects with her victims. To me, Berelain's character seemed too flat, too one-sided, too something.
Yasiru Ratnayake
254. yasiru89
schrodinger@251- Are you sure? I remember Lews Therin mentioning wanting to 'die the final death', would he have been on about a convoluted idea of dying in the World of Dreams to accomplish this? The 'burning out of the Pattern' phrase attached to balefire always made me automatically assume it's a one way ticket out of time. If you're right however, what Rand did to Leah (who was caught in Mashadar) and the people in Natrin's Barrow (who were mindwiped) aren't nearly so horrible as they are made out to be- he would have been doing them a favour!
M G
255. parabola
Marie Anzalone@252
That's some interesting ideas. Another thing that makes me wonder about that is the mirror of the taint on saidin, mentioned in WH when Rand cleansed saidin.
That was the first difficulty, to fight saidin while surrendering to saidar. The first difficulty, and the first key to what he had to do. The male and female halves of the True Source were alike and unalike, attracting and repelling, fighting against each other even as they worked together to drive the Wheel of Time. The taint on the male half had its opposite twin, too. The wound given him by Ishamael throbbed in time with the taint, while the other, from Fain’s blade, beat counterpoint in time with the evil that had killed Aridhol.

Maybe I'm picking at semantics here, but it sure implies that the same relationship as applies to saidin and saidar applies to the DO and Fain/Mordeth/whatever he is now.
Chandra81
256. Marie Anzalone
Parabola:
I'm pretty sure, based on things said by Moiraine and others who have dealt directly with Fain, that Aridhol was destroyed by an evil that rivaled that of the DO, but was different. This character eats Shadowspawn for breakfast. I think we're dealing with the introduction of a true third player that is possibly not connected to the Wheel at all.
John Massey
257. subwoofer
Yeah, Fain feels very much like Agent Smith, to me.


Woof™.
Ali Davis
258. dejavoodoo114
Everything is connected to the Wheel. But I do agree with you about a 3rd player. Someone mentioned the red veiled Aiel being Fain's army because of his dripping blood on the ground in the blight. There is a proph about blood on the ground etc... I don't have time now to find it but I will. I'm wondering if that might prove this theory.
Chandra81
259. Marie Anzalone
dejavoodoo114:

The theory you are talking about was the one I put forth yesterday, and clarified this morning with more evidence. I found myself reading that part, asking, "now why the HELL would he be doing that, if it did not have a purpose?"

The prophecy with blood on the ground actually refers to blood the Dragon will spill, I think on the rocks of Shayol Ghul.

Now here's something I have not quite worked out yet: Black above, red below. Why is that so important? It is mentioned too many times for it not to be. And--- is it just coincidence that black and red are Moridin's colors?
Chandra81
260. Marie Anzalone
deja:

One more point: Not everything is bound to the Wheel. The Dark One was never bound to it, being imprisoned by the Creator outside of Time (the Wheel) at the moment of creation. It never say the DO was the only entity bound outside of time. The DO needs human assistance to touch the world and break free of his prison. Could there not be other things like that? Let's hope at least one is good!
John Massey
261. subwoofer
And what if somebody takes the Lug Nuts off the Wheel?

Woof™.
Kat Blom
262. pro_star
Chani167@118 - okay, so long as I'm not the only one getting the heeby jeebies from Nakomi. That was just...strange. Non-channeling wise one, forsaken in disguise, random Aiel that stumbles across Avi's campsite and then dissapears...wonder if we'll figure that out. I'm curious to see if we get a POV whenever Avi goes to consult with the Wise Ones (I'm hoping it'll happen...and not in a "HEY LOOK! AVI'S A WISE ONE! GLOSS OVER EVERYTHING!" sense.

lookingglass@245 - Avi did probe into the columns beforehand...who knows it could have wonk-ified it...I'm hoping, that's a bleak look to the future.

Myrelle and Nyn's exchange was pure awesome. "I have passed the test and don't hold the Oath Rod until tomorrow so HA! GIMMIE MY MAN OR I BEAT YOU!"

More Nyn goodness: her healing the 'taint madness'...and delving Rand...you know, I gotta wonder, the Light seems to be holding the darkness at bay...but...what would happen if Nyn did remove some of the darkness? would it remove the light as well? or would we have an even MORE (if possibe) ZenRand 3.0?

Boundless/Noam: Wow. Just...wow. I can understand why Noam would turn to the wolf in that case. Glad that Perrin's mind has been put to ease...but, let's hope nothing happens to Faile, lest he go true wolf.

LiC@187 re: Elayne. Okay, glad to know I wasn't the only one who's just been infuriated by Elayne this book. I wanted to THROW THINGS anytime I read her. If anyone needs a spanking, it's her!

I am hoping that Rand and Moiraine meet up soon...I'm curious to see how THAT reunion will go!
Matthew Smith
263. blocksmith
Mikedragontattoo@197

Reread the end of chapter 13...that is all pure unadulterated Rand Al'Thor.

Clearly, Padan Fain's power has grown...some wild things going on there. Animating dead Trollocs? Disturbing to say the least. Not afraid of Worms? Even Lan (this is not blasphemous I swear!) is cautious around worms.

So, how many months do we have to conjecture about the red-veiled Aiel, WWII on the White Tower, 13x13 turning tricks in the black tower, Moiraine and Rand Reunion, The Decision NE 1000 (no not Lebron, to break or not break the seals) and all the others?
John Massey
264. subwoofer
Funny how most of that stuff was thrown in at the end of the flippin` book! Don`t forget Andor in flames too. Mat`s probably gonna be putzing with that in the new book. And we still get barely a hint of Fain in this book. >>> I don`t know if that is good or bad yet.

Woof™.
Michael McCarthy
265. KilMichaelMcC
Where was Dobraine? He's one of my favorite tertiary characters, and I was disappoimted that he was completely missing from this book. Is he still in Tear? I really want a POV from him before the end.

Where was Alivia? Her, I don't particularly care about, but I found it odd she wasn't ever mentioned.
John Massey
266. subwoofer
I thought Dobraine was Steward in Cairhein. Thought we saw him in the book. On my second read I am going to have to slow down and pace these things out.

Woof™.
Daniel Hanley
267. Kythorian
To yasiru89 @ 248, RJ has specifically stated that balefire doesn't mean your soul doesn't get reborn naturally. All balefire does is make the person have died before this moment. And since the DO needs to grab the soul at the moment of death, by the time that he knows they are dead, the soul is already gone to wherever souls go between rebirths, which is apparently beyond the DO's reach. So the Dark One can't put a soul into another body if it gets balefired, but balefire does nothing to stop a person from getting reborn naturally as the wheel turns.
James Hogan
268. Sonofthunder
Ohh, I don't remember Dobraine or Alivia either. Most odd. But then, there was so much else in the book, that I don't think there was quite space! And yeah, sub, I was thinking the book was going to end on a fairly upbeat note - Moiraine rescued, Elayne ruling Cairhien, Perrin being awesome...and then the epilogue hit. Very dark, foreboding ending...but suitable for the penultimate book. Think...only ONE more book. Wow.

And per Irene's earlier question, I think that the Perrin forging scene would be epic(and would be my pick!), but not sure if we'll get another Perrin cover so close to the last one. Would also LOVE to see a Perrin/Faile cover, but I concede that's unlikely. Otherwise, I think seeing Mat(Thom and Noal with him) negotiating with Eelfinn would be amazing...with Moiraine hovering in the background. Oooh, another idea! Elayne on the Lion Throne, with Perrin and Faile standing before her. That would look amazing. Or...Lan's charge into Tarwin's Gap. Ohh yes. Or Mat and Perrin relaxing after they first meet(with badger bag in the background, of course). Really, there's so many amazing moments, I have no fear that I'll enjoy whatever scene you pick out. Can't wait!!
Chandra81
269. stargazer
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere yet, so I'm going to hazard a prediction of my own:

What's wrong and dangerous with Callandor is that it's also an angreal for the True Power. Rand either knows or is going to figure this out, and is then going to use the DO's own mojo back against him.

I'm also still betting that Demandred is running Shara these days, and is going to show up with some humongous foreign army from there. (riding giant four-tusked elephants, perhaps? T'go along with Gollum Fain...)

The saddest part of this book for me is that Verin just lost some of her Total Awesomeness. Whoops...
Henry Loose
270. schrodinger
sargazer@269
I would disagree that Verin lost her awesome groove. I don't think that she could divulge what was in the letter, directly or indirectly, so she made it very unlikely that Mat would open it, but insured that He and his army would be in the vicinity of Caemelyn when the Trollocs attacked. She just didn't count on him going after Moiraine and Elayne taking half the Band to Caihrein.
Irene Gallo
271. Irene
Thank Yous to the guys pointing out alternate cover scenes. My path is now clear. It'll be fun to get back to cover posts.
Bethany Pratt
272. LiC
@ Looking Glass 245 -
Yes. Birgitte has said that she will not wear a sword. It's back when Elayne started building up her Queen's Guard with gaudily dressed women. She wanted to give Birgitte a sword, but Birgitte refused it.

Ok, I've been going back thru the book, re-reading my favorite parts, and Min does not see a black dagger above Tenobia's head, it's a spear. Which seems silly, unless she marries an Aielman. Which is entirely possible.

I wish we'd gotten more from Alliendre. She's pretty kick-ass, the woman was like the 4th monarch in 2 months from Ghealdan and we know next to nothing about her.
Justin Levitt
273. TyranAmiros
I think the cracked crystal in Eg's dream is the Aiel people, not the seals, no matter what Eg believes. The imagery is pefect: the Aiel are cracked. For millenia, they have turned from unified peaceful servants to warrior clans fighting with each other. They have prospered and grown, true, but at the expense of divisions. Rand bound 11 of the 12 clans together, bound by their shared toh to the Dragon, to the Aes Sedai, and now Rand is freeing them of this toh by fighting the Last Battle.

To me, the connection between twenty-three stars and the "Council of Twenty Two" in Avi's journey is too close to ignore. The Aes Sedai analogy is apt; the Hall cannot run affairs without an Amyrlin and the Amyrlin requires a Hall for open debate. The Aiel need that twenty-third, a permanent car'a'carn (perhaps a representative of the tinkers), to keep themselves from either of two dystopian fates: returning to the Waste to resume their blood feuds or outward into failed conquerors. Either fate means destruction of the Aiel.
Daniel Hanley
274. Kythorian
To stargazer @ 269, how would that be possible? Callandor was created by the side of the Light during the War of Power. By a bunch of people who knew nothing of the True Power outside of their experiences fighting people who could use it. I don't really see how people who couldn't even use the TP would be able to make a sa'angreal for it.

I do agree about Shara still being most likely, in spite of the King of Murandy not showing up for Egwene's meeting.

And yeah, Verin wasn't quite as awesome here, but I am willing to forgive her a little mistake. Especially since we all thought that Mat would open the letter too, and we have been inside of his head. Mat has just changed a lot recently...gained a lot of impulse restraint, since the last time she spent time with him. So she can't be expected to know that he would be able to control himself.
Anthony Pero
275. anthonypero
Ok, I skipped about 100 comments here, so if someone said this first, all glory and credit to them, lol.

Regarding the wayback/forwardtron being the real future or a warning: in the WoTverse is is BOTH. We know that the WoTverse is built around the multiverse theory, because of the protal stones and how they operate. At the same time, their reality is considered the central reality, because the further off the reality is from theirs, the "foggier" it looks in the Portal Stones. The Columns couldn't show Avi a set future, but it could show her the most likely future based on how things have progressed to this point. So it is a true future. It will exist, either in their reality, or a Portal Stone world. And it's a close, close branch, if not exact.

More thoughts in another post. Loved this book, but really thought Perrin's arc could have been significantly condensed.
Chris Chaplain
276. chaplainchris1
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! And a Wall of Text alert.

Just finished about 5 hrs ago. I also while reading found that my normal dread of a book ending (esp. one this good) was pretty much suppressed by my anticipation of finishing, reading Leigh's spoilery review, and then discussing with you folks. This is cool.

So - my impressions, before I actually *do* read the review. The book was *great*. The tone was even better than the last book, characters (like Mat) were more on (and really really funny in a more Mat-like way than in TGS), and pretty much *all* the main characters got some significant screen time and had good character developments and some moments of awesomeness. I hesitate to say it, and who knows if this will hold up over time, but at the moment this may be my most – uh, satisfying? Yep. My most satisfying WOT read yet. That doesn’t necessarily equate with the *best* book. But it means that many, many long anticipated moments occurred. A few were underwhelming, but most were extremely gratifying. Many many reunions, many instances of information exchanged and relationships restored, many instances of people behaving like friends and allies again.

About damn time. Blood and bloody ashes, people, this whole Last Battle thing may pan out!

Btw, I notice that bloody ashes was all over the place in this book - and it *did* feel more natural. I wonder if Brandon decided to use it *alot* to help us acclimate to it and decide it was ok? Worked for me, if so.

Ok, this is getting long for a first impressions, so let me be stream of consciousness:
-Lan – love that he notices when Nynaeve takes his bond. His progression to the King of the Malkieri is believable. Not sure about charging 150000 trollocs, though.
-Perrin & Faile's arcs, seperately and together - very good, very natural, hardly annoying at all. Nicely done. Very believable acceptance of the wolf, and I liked how accepting that was so much a part of accepting leadership. I hadn't really seen those as flip sides of the same problem, but it worked.
-Also, Hopper. Very sad.
-Wolves at Dragonmount watching Rand/Shadowkiller and howling in triumph when he emerges from the dark. AWESOME. I think that makes us WOT fans equivalent to the wolves, btw – watching from another world, and howling in joy when Rand wins out – which is a neat thought.
-Galad and the Whitecloaks - eh. Whitecloaks ick. Do we now have confirmation that Byar was a Darkfriend? Whatever, he’s gone, and Bornhald might live up to his dad’s example eventually. (Not that Bornhald sr. was a saint.) I'm pleased with the effect Morgase has on Galad, though, and despite the high hopes subwoofer and others had (and that I'd almost begun to share) for “noble paladins of the Light” I'm pleased to see them eat some humble pie when faced with real Shadowspawn. Galad and Perrin play well off each other - both of them want to do the right thing, no matter what, and speak plainly without evasion. I'd never noticed that similarity.
-Galad and Berelain - not very convincing, I must say, but ok. Berelain’s worldview makes sense, and is sad.
-Men and women making better gateways together is explained, and the explanation works for me.
-Nynaeve - much smaller role in this book than in TGS, as expected, but what time she has is really well done. Even more than Egwene, maybe more than any other living AS we know, she's learned the Servant of All lesson. LOVED her healing Taint-madness, loved her venturing into the aftermath of the Bubble of Evil Baby Powder in Tear, loved her taking time to comfort families afterward. Her compassion shone. Loved Rand Sedai (heh) giving her a pep talk about being her own definition of AS and not losing her passion. Loved her taking the lesson to heart and choosing to pass the AS test *her* way. (And loved her confidence - yeah, sure, I can do those weaves. Really. No problem.) Loved her choosing Lan as most important (redresses things I didn't like from her Accepted test) and her willingness to be herself even if it cost the shawl. She was awesome. Way to take that bond, woman!
-Loved Rand. What Nynaeve saw when delving him was pretty terrifying – I was expecting Light, but the mix makes sense. Regardless, I wasn’t sure how – mortal – he’d seem, if he was a person or a force of nature. But he has the right mix of Two Rivers Sheepherder/Messiahnic Hope/Ancient Channeler. Calmer, but still capable of passion - laughter, tears, anger, hope - more transcendent and yet more human than he's ever been. Blows me away in every scene.
-Loved him politely but firmly telling Cadsuane that politeness needs to go both ways.
-Rand and Tam - great! Too brief for my greediness, but perfect. All is made well. And I loved Rand introducing his girl to his dad. (Stil wonder what Tam will do when Rand produces the other two girls!)
-Rand and Egwene – the exception to the general rule of being happy with reunions. I was full of “uh, what? That’s it? So...ok...what?” Very disappointing, and since it was the first brand new chapter, it gave me worries for the rest of the book. But other reunions were good, and Rand obviously had his reasons for wanting Egwene to help him gather the forces together, and Egwene *did* let him go. So, Ok.
-Elayne – her political shenanigans were not overly annoying, I guess, and were all resolved in one book, more or less. So ok. I can’t believe Mellar escaped. Douche. I can’t believe those Blacks were still there and not stilled and executed, or shipped to Egwene to be stilled and executed. Once again, Egwene’s decision in the previous book to execute rather than hold captive and interrogate is proved to be the best.
-Egwene – not nearly so awesome in this book as in TGS, due to her determined opposition to Rand. But she’s still good. Enjoyed her meeting with the Wise Ones and Windfinders. Enjoyed her take down of Mesaana and winnowing of Black Ajah ranks. I’m a little sad about Nicola, though. I shouldn’t be, but she redeemed herself a lot in the last two books, and she was one of the 6 or 8 strongest (potentially) in the Tower and had the Foretelling. Oh well.
-Egwene and Gawyn – eh. Whatever. I think Gawyn’s arc was done fairly well, and I liked Elayne’s insights into him. I’d never seen Gawyn’s problems as being, essentially, the chauvinistic desire to do great things rather than support his woman in her great things. But I like that he’s able to accept it and move on. The Dream about him needing to be there to save Egwene is now certainly fulfilled. And he’s not gonna have a duel with Rand. So that’s all good.
-Morgase, Galad, Gawyn, and Elayne all have seen and reconnected with each other. Hallelujah, and another undying plot thread is dead.
- Gholam is dead. Ok. I guess gholam *can* go through gateways without dying. Heh heh he.
- during the Tower of Ghenjei, when Noal points out that they’re only safe *from the foxes*, I had a momentary image of the gholam falling out of a whole in the air and into their laps.
-speaking of the Tower – wow. Towards the end of the book, I was beginning to fear it would end with us facing the Tower, and we wouldn’t see what happened inside til the next book! My howls of rage would’ve shaken cyber-space. Then, when we got inside, and I started to think we *would* resolve it, I thought it might feel rushed. Me of little faith. It was great. GREAT. Noal went out with style, while confirming he’s Jain. Mat’s luck was *really* a super-power. Thom being the Man to pull Moiraine out of fiery mist. Mat’s bargaining was funny, and his parting words – calling the ‘Finn the unwashed bumps on a pig’s backside? OMG, I laughed and laughed and laughed.
-The Finn were eating the power to channel? ICK ICK ICK. Not sure what I think about Moiraine’s diminished capacity, but she’s back, not stilled, is herself, is making Thom her Warder, has an angreal which makes her more powerful than before, and Mat gives her great tribute in realizing that she’s been the most honest and selfless of all those who have interfered in the lives of the Two Rivers folks.
-Relationships – Elayne and Mat’s meeting was perfect. Perrin and Mat’s meeting was great. Mat and Moiraine, great. Rand and Tam...aww. Faile teaching about anniversaries – nice. Just lots of great reunions that overall had me feeling positive and hopeful in this book, despite lots of dire happenings.
-Graendal – huh. Wow. Sucks to be her. Will Shaidar Haran kill her? Or will she end up violated and mind-trapped like Moghedien?

Overall feeling of hope – but lots of “oh crap this is really, really bad” moments. And the book kinda ends on that note, for me. Not feeling good about the Seanchan. Nice to see Suffa is suffering, and by the way how despicable that she would buy her freedom with other sisters, but I really was NOT expecting Tuon’s decision to invade Tar Valon in force. The only upside is that hopefully most of the AS are gone at the big meeting to meet up with Rand and the nations. Also in the “not good” camp are Aviendha’s visions of the future (AWESOME to have her Rhuidean experience be different, by the way), and by the way, who the HECK was that woman she met in the Waste? And while on who/what the HECK was that, what is up with Rand meeting the soul of Mierin/Lanfear? Is this related to *her* mindtrap? Or has she, unbeknownst to us, been under the DO’s control all along? Perhaps since drilling the Bore? Or was she 13x13’d? What the HECK was that about? There’s the Shadowspawn sacking of Caemlyn, and our favorite sneaky Verin may have been *too* sneaky at last. Caemlyn is toast. There’s Olver’s thoughts – funny, but he won Snakes and Foxes and wants to grow up to confront the Finn. That is SO NOT GOOD. On the bright side, he and Talmanes and all of Caemlyn are about to DIE miserable DEATHS, so that’s, um, better ? There’s Moridin revealing some of his arsenal – unknown numbers of objects of the power, along with freakin’ SHADOW PROPHECIES?!??! Crap. The closing prophecy of the book, by the way, which I’m guessing is the one Moridin showed Graendal? What the HECK is it talking about? Dursn’t sound good. Moridin’s second dreamspike is obviously at the Black Tower. As if we didn’t know they were under Moridin’s thumb. But things there are REALLY scary, and even though Rand’s finally taking the problem seriously, not sure what he can do at this point. Looks like some of Logain’s people have been 13x13’d, and Tarna has as well. The description of the dead thing in their eyes is creepy as hell.

Wow. That’s how I ended the book. I closed it, and said wow. Paused about 10 seconds, said “wow.” Silent for about 5 minutes.

Said “wow” again. THAT was...something.

So, when does A Memory of Light come out? Heh heh heh...
Chris Chaplain
277. chaplainchris1
Forgot to add - Mat's loss of his eye was heartbreakingly brave. I hadn't realized that Mat had figured out what "giving up half the light of the world" meant. He did. And he gave up his eye, and he did it in the light of cold reason, not the heat of passion or anything.

To save the world. OMG, Moiraine! Well done, Mat. Tai'shar Manetheren.
Skip Ives
278. Skip
subwoofer @257 Great, now every time I see Fain I am going to hear "Mr. Al'Thor....."
Elena Vaccaro
279. EarthandIce
Just finished the book, have not read all of the comments, but OH MY WORD!

Blocksmith@ 263: The news I saw about a week ago was 18 months give or take. The interview said Bandon would do a complete re-read of the series prior to finishing A Memory of Light.

Ok, for the commentary. I though the book was wonderfully written. I do have a few picks about editing. There were two or three places where the content of the sentence did not make any sense and it threw me out. One was when Perrin was dealing with the Whitecloaks and it really messed up my train of thought as well as concentration on the story. I was REALLY involved there.

I did not think Perrin’s arc was drawn out; it filled in things for me. I might have missed clue-bats before, but to me it was not over done. I liked how Galad’s sense of honor allowed him to deal with Perrin after the trial and accept him after Byar’s death, and no I did not twig about him until later when in Greandal’s arc it stated her last piece had fallen. I just thought he was a fanatic. Oh, well.

I also liked how Hopper was able to show Perrin Boundless and his lesson. I agree the scene with Perrin and Young Bull was a misty moment.

Finally! Faile and Berelain will not be at each other’s throats!

I really liked how Rand has became himself, he started to be true to himself not what he thought he should be. Steel will shatter if hit with enough force. Big difference. That is reflected in how he treated Egwene when he told her he had to break the seals. Feld said the same thing when Rand asked him about it. Then the prophecy of King Easar confirmed it.

Black Tower. We knew Taim was a Dark Friend back when he attempted to kill Rand in the Sun Palace, and I do not think he was 13 X 13. I think that is what he is doing to the Dedicated and Soldiers who were loyal to Logain. The eyes of the one who turned to Taim did not look right to his former companions. Probably Tarna too. I also think Androl will be able to create Death Gates at the last battle.

The scene where Egwene tells Messana that Moggy’s mistake was to accept the a’dam was priceless.

Tinna @ 57: I do not understand how you got male channelers out of the red-veiled Aiel. I read the section several times trying to figure that out. My opinion is they are the Shadow Runners, the Aiel that have pledged their soul to the Dark One.

Marie Anzalone @ 140: We have know the Shadow has prophesies since The Great Hunt when the Dark prophecy was written in blood in the dungeon at Fal Dara. Then there are the two that Team Light has, which sometimes seem to contradict each other, but then make sense when they are fulfilled.

RobMRobM @ 203: agree with most, but did Suian and Bryn tell Egwene about what they saw and experienced? Not in the text anyway.

I think Lanfear/Cyndane is still mindtrapped as well as Mogheiden. I think that is what is going to happen to Graendal.

Terez27 @ 212: Granted it has been a while since I read the Eddings series, but I think the prophecies were complementary until, oh rats I cannot remember the name of the god who tried to take the Orb, creatively re-wrote them to say what he wanted them to say.

Ok I am done for now. After I read it again I might post more.

Chocolate Chip cookies in the bunker if someone will bring the milk. Make that coffee or hot chocolate, I am freezing in the library.
Daniel Hanley
280. Kythorian
From what Brandon said, it should be more like 15 months, not 18. He thinks that a careful re-read with notes, etc will take 2-3 months, and that should push back the completion of the book by 2-3 months. So probably Jan or Feb of 2012.
Douglas Miller
281. douglas
yasiru8 @ 254

The reason balefire prevents the Dark One from bringing people back is that he has to grab the soul at the moment of death. When someone is killed by balefire, they go directly from "alive" to "died a minute ago" so the "died just now" moment the DO needs never happens. It does not prevent normal rebirth at all. This is hinted at by the DO's statement in LoC concerning Rahvin that "even I cannot step outside of time," and has been confirmed explicitly by Robert Jordan in response to fan questions.

Kythorian @ 274

They didn't necessarily do it deliberately. Cadsuane reveals at some point that Callandor is "flawed". Specifically, that it lacks the normal buffer sa'angreal usually have and that it magnifies the taint. Now, the taint may be different from the True Power, but it's certainly related at least by sharing a common origin, so it's not a big stretch to guess that it also magnifies the True Power.
j p
282. sps49
Irene @146-

I support the Perrin and Egwene White Tower fight or the Mat- Thom- Jain- Moiraine Tower of Ghenjei fight.

Yay everyone- except Verin. Intel of that importance? You couldn't have gotten a promise for a week insteand of a month? I thought she knewMat better than that.

Gawyn + the Bloodrings- he's going to screw up again, isn't he?

The ToG sequence was taut, and creepy. And sad- lost Jain, and the 'Finns consumed part of Moiraine's ability? Weird. Now I want to know the 3x2 requests.

Aviendha's FutureVision should be like a Dream. A forewarned Rand should know the consequences of:

leaving the damane culture in place,
submitting to Tuon, and
not planning a future for the wetland Aiel.

(Speaking of which, is the Song going to be found?)

Hopefully Tuon will veer away from her damane-breaking fun now that Graendal is, um, otherwise occupied.
Chandra81
283. Natural20
To me, Aviendha's vision of the future was probably the greatest scene I've ever read in the Wheel of Time. I love WoT deeply and love every book, but I have never read any piece of fiction that has made me actually feel sad afterwards. Even if the vision is only a potential future, it made me feel something I've NEVER felt before reading anything.

The rest of the book was wonderful, but I just felt I needed to comment on that particular part in a way that I've never felt compelled to do in the past seven years since I started reading.
Chandra81
284. Steel.Pirate
On the WayForward Machine

I think many people want this to be important, because the sequence is well written and engaging. However, things just do not make sense as the "likely" future, even if important.

Yet again, Nicola's foretelling strongly suggests that Min, Elayne, and Avi are to survive the last battle. When the Aiel decide to start the war with the Seanchan, all 3 would be alive. When Oncala tricks the Andorans, Elayne and Avi should still be alive. When the Aiel retreat to the 3-fold land, Elayne and Avi should still be alive. So maybe, maybe, they decide to retreat from the world. But can anyone here see Elayne or Avi just going to an island someplace and not caring about the rest of the world?

I will agree with others, all things are possible in the WoTverse, so the Wayforward machine is showing a possible future. But I think the original use of the columns as a Ter'angel is to warn people about their internal flaws taken to the extreme. There are many Ter'angels like this... the Aes Sedai use a few of them in testing.. there are other used for punishment that have similar effects. Looking at Moriane's trip through the Aiel rings, the Ter'angels don't make a difference in experience between likely futures and unlikely futures. Nor does Rand's trip through the Portal Stone suggest a difference in feeling in the other worlds.

Avi's trip through the Wayforward machine shows one of the worst possible futures if the Aiel resist changing with the change of the Age. They will cease to exist (I am thinking from the time frame, this is 250-300 years). I agree that the Aiel would cease to exist, but I find the Wayforward machine to not make alot of sense... It seems more like a warning to change the way that Avi thinks... I would think if 1,000 wise ones walked through the columns that there would be many futures for the Aiel. Maybe one that feels strongly that the Aiel should return to the Way of the Leaf shows that the Aiel all die in 4 generations because the Seanchan/Wetlanders just take them all.

The 4th Age is not a return to the Age of Legends (the 2nd Age?) . The Aiel can not be as they were in the Age of Legends or in the 3rd Age.

Oh, I have wondered a long time why the Aiel sung the Seed Songs in the Age of Legends. What made the Aiel different than everyone else in the Age of Legends to allow them to have that talent? (The "Song" is a ceremony ment to focus the One Power. I think... like Treesong... which requires a Talent in Ogier)
wesley
285. wagman26
@ Leigh

I would not worry too much about Avi's "VISION" of the future. I suspect Nakomi was a forsaken, and had something to do with twisting her viewings of the future. Something just seemed off in that meeting. Tat direction does not seem to fit RJ's wish to write of future adventures of Matt and Fortuona. I believe he wanted to write about them one day. Not much of a researcher, just going off memory. Shooting from the hip, if you will.

@Logain

His destiny for glory, must be in wrestling control from that son of a goat, Taim. This has the opportunity to be one of the best battle scenes in the entire series. And hopefully, if the dreamspike is in wolfdream, Perrin will destroy it, and that other SOG, Isam, aka Slayer, Lord Luc as well. But that right may lay still with Lan also, since thay are half brothers, I believe, and is hunting him also.

@ Callandor

I believe that it will be found to be a way to tap into the One Power, reuniting Saidar and Saidan, and bringing the Creator's touch to bear upon the dark one. Yin and Yang. One Power vs. True Power?

@ Towers of Midnight, what it means

This is also in the glossary.
Marie Anzalone
286. MarieAnzalone
Does anyone remember running into the Ogier's "Book of Translations" before? Is this a translation of the Karaetheon Cycle, or something else? It almost sounded to me like the Ogier have a way to leave if they so choose.
Debbie Solomon
287. dsolo
Bloody ashes! My wall of text was eaten. I'm not going to rewrite it, but I will put some of my questions back in. This site helps clarify a lot of things going on in the series, both with references and theories.

Loved ToM. Loved Perrin's smackdown of balefire and Mat's smackdown of the gholam. Also, 2 favorite Mat moments - letter to Elayne and telling Moraine that he "accidentally" married the Seanchen Empress. I like Rand's transformation. Like Perrin, he has accepted his destiny and thrown off the influence of the DO. As Dumbledore once said, "It's not our abilities that define us, but our choices." As for LTT, it sounds like the integration has healed him also. His presence is similar to Birgitte's memories of her past lives and Mat's borrowed memories. They provide needed clues and abilities for the Last Battle. Rand's interaction with Tam, and his making amends for his actions while under the black cloud are definitely our favorite sheepherder.

Now, to my ponderings.
1) Is Grady getting any kind of "concern" from his wife back at the BT?
2) Could the red-veiled guys be Sharran? Or, didn't one of the Seanchen have a servant with pointed teeth from some wild tribe in Seandar?
3) re: Seanchen prophecy about the ToM - could that refer to finding out that their whole culture was manipulated by the Dark One or is it about discontinuing the practice of enslaving women who channel?
4) Did Rand or Galad ever open their red sealed letters?
5) What ever happened to the missing Windfinder and Aes Sedai?
6) Where are the Shaido?
7) Notice how less annoying many of the characters are? The females are getting less crabby and no one is sniffing (which never made sense to me).
8) On that note, loved the little nod to all the WoT tea parties, with Morgase's PoV on how to serve tea. I heard a story, on a British talk show, about one of the Queen's Lady in Waiting whose sole function is to be in charge of her teacup. Taking it when held out and returning it when the Queen puts her hand out. She stood behind the Queen, who never even glanced at her.

One of the themes that keep recurring is changing customs - Egwene is already shaking up the WT and their bad habits (another awesome moment was Nynaeve's test and her response to the "calm" Aes Sedai, followed by finally getting Lan's bond). Avi's campfire visitor (I like the Verin theory) and her vision of the future have shaken her belief in Aiel superiority. It has been stressed repeatedly that she was "too proud and too stubborn". That seems to make her a typical Aiel. They already had a big shock with the revelations about their past, so they are going to have to learn to intergrate back into the world.

The Dragon's Peace could be like Artur Hawkwing's empire - held together only by the force of the person. I like the idea of Rand's schools and there needs to be a lot of cross-cultural interaction.

Last thought, I knew Weiramon was too stupid to be true. Although, his outing as a DF was a bit underwhelming. I liked the Egwene's cleansing of the BA better.
Anthony Pero
288. anthonypero
On another note: There seems to be some confusion as to why Verin told Mat he HAD to do what the letter said. She said that so he WOULDN'T open the letter right away. She never thought he'd be able to wait a month, but for some reason, she felt it was necessary for him to wait longer than a few days. She was hoping to live through her death sequence somehow, and take the note back from him.

I'm assuming that reason will soon be revealed.
Debbie Solomon
289. dsolo
@286 The Book of Translations is mentioned by Loail's mother after she catches up with him and marries him off. She has been speaking at the Great Stump advocating it's use. And yes, it's a way for the Ogier to leave. Loail is opposed to leaving the humans to face the DO alone, and wants to argue his point at the Stump. His mother tells him he's too young, and his wife mentions that it's her decision now, not his mother's.
wesley
290. wagman26
@ Egwene's Vision of Rand cutting ropes

Not convinced that this refers to the Dark One's prison. Could be him cutting the ropes he has tied to the countries, and people he has accrued. He may be wanting free will to take more of a part, and the scene coming up on the Field of Merrilor seems to be that opportunity. Egwene immiediately thought of her dream, when he stated he wanted to break the seals, but that seemed to fast of a resolution to me. Dreams are not as easily interpreted as foretellings.

What do you think, yall?
Marie Anzalone
291. MarieAnzalone
@289: thanks, dsolo. I thought that was the case, but that's the one book I can't seem to get my hands on right now.

Rereading more parts, a big Holy Hell just dawned on me. I completely missed the fact that someone just completely sacked Seanchan at the beginning of Chapter 1 (I usually skim the part that usually is just more or less recap). According to the passage of the wind, the warships are to the east of the capital, and are sailing south. My first thought was, "Demandred made his move". Semirrhage slaughtered the royal family and created chaos, but someone else just conquered and set him/ herself as the ruler of the continent. I thought I saw another thread where someone speculated (apologize I can't recall who) that Demandred might have sequestered himself in Shara, and I'm thinking I agree. Who else is left with a fleet of warships that could sack a nation? Not the Sea-Folk, and there seem to be too many ships for it to be one of the island theories brought up.
Chandra81
292. Seamus1602
Great book, can't wait for AMOL.

My thoughts:

Rand - He still felt very much like Rand to me, just awesomer than he's previously been. So, he's changed, but he's still Rand, IMO. Also, I believe that the blackness Nyn found in his mind is integral to him having access to LTT's memories and must remain until at least the end of TG. I also believe that Cynfear's dream call for help was due to Moridin having her mindtrap and Rand still having a link to Moridin (though I'm not sure he still does; I'm also not sure if he still has access to the TP). If it's a trap, I think it's Moridin's trap. But I think that Cynfear has been broken and is reaching for the one thing she still believes in - the Dragon.

Mat - Well written. Count me a LOVING his letter to Elayne. Pretty much everything he did was great. Can't believe Verin left him the Waygate intel the way she did - seems too ignorant for Verin.

Perrin - Very much liked his story, didn't think it was overlong. His scene with Egs in TAR was perfect, especially b/c Egs needs to be knocked down a peg or two. As soon as Hopper started using people's nightmares for training, I knew he'd be more powerful than Egs and I couldn't wait until they met up. Also, for the same reason, I spent the beginning of the great TAR fight just wondering, "Ok, so when is Perrin going to get to the WT and show Egs how awesome he is?" So I wasn't surprised to see that that's what happened. A Perrin/Egs TAR meeting is something I've been waiting a long time for.

Egwene - Her arrogance is still disturbing (and without Gawyn is suicidal), but I can completely understand her opposition to Rand's 'plan' of breaking the seals. But I also believe that Rand has more of a plan than that and really just wanted to manipulate Egs into gathering the forces of the Light so he didn't have to worry about doing it. Her plan for the WOs and WFs was much more reasonable than I expected (though her thoughts sometimes betrayed her arrogance). I did love her redux of stomping the Hall politically. As soon as she revealed she was ok with the Hall's plan, Romanda et all should have known what was going to happen. I did. Be careful what you wish for.

Elayne - Super annoying attack on the captive Black Ajah. Redux of her failure in capturing them in the first place. Other than that, I really liked her. I especially loved that she was able to talk Gawyn into some personal growth. That alone might be the most difficult and amazing task she's ever completed. Also liked her handling of Mat and Perrin. I think she got the best of Mat, though his general ambivilance to anything other than keeping the Band autonomous and keeping some Dragons for himself certainly helped. I though the Perrin meeting was much more balanced (someone upthread said she clearly got the best of them - I completely disagree). She was forced to give up a portion of her kingdom for all intents and purposes to the family of the future king of Saldea. Everything else was just politcal maneuvering to make that happen. Perrin is a Great Lord. No more 'Manetheren rebellion'. Elayne retains some control. Win-win-win.

Nyn - How awesome art thou? Too awesome. I was really hoping that she'd come out of her test, toss her ring at the assembled AS and walk out while saying, "You're not worthy of me." But, that would have damaged Eg's rule. All her reasoning was perfect. Also loved how she stood up for Rand when discussing with Egs and Siuan. When did she become the most reasonable character? How weird is that? Also, I completely missed, on first read, that it was her testing that took most of her hair. For the rest of the book, I was like, "When did she cut her hair?" but was too eager to finish to look back. Luckily, her testing was one of the scenes I HAD to go back and re-read immediately.

Graendal - So, I'm guessing she's getting mindtrapped. I think she had control of Byar (definitely) and Beslan (probably). Also, the dreamspike ended up being so benign. After her reaction upon receiving it, I was sure it was some sort of SuperCompulsion tool and would lead to Leigh's #11. SO happy that wasn't true.

Tuon - Not sure what to think of her plan to re-attack the WT, but I suspect that she'll get quite a shock if she does so. Egs knows they have Travelling, she's got to have some wards/protection in place, right? I would be sure of that if she wasn't so arrogant. Also, I really want to like Tuon, and I do, except when she keeps harping on the fun of training damane and breaking people. Thx, Semi-light! You need Mat so, SO bad.

Rodel Ituralde - is my hero.

Avienda - I concur with those who think her visitor was Verin. I also think that her Wayforward journey was what might happen, not what will happen. I concur with poster upthread that this is why Mat is the 'at the center' of the coming battle. He is the only Randlander with the possibility of creating a reconciliation with the Seanchan.

Gawyn - Yay, you're not an idiot anymore! Wait, you're taking those rings? Gawyn, c'mon... Oh, whatever, just go die.

Galad and Berelain - Ha! But really, my biggest Galad thought was that I wanted to hear Birgitte's thoughts about him. Just think that'd be funny.

Other random thoughts:
-Maybe I read Drizzt too recently, but Perrin's hammer-making had me thinking about Aegis-Fang the entire time. And the magic power of his hammer was... underwhelming. Magical boomerang powers FTW!
-The Black Tower continues to suck and be Rand's biggest blind spot. At least he mentions that he tried to Travel there in this book, but still not enough.
-ToG was great, but predictable. Ashandarei to get out was a good reveal.
-Perrin v. Whitecloaks was similarly predictable. Tam's brief report to Rand in tGS made it seem (to me) that all those mentioned were getting along, so I was just waiting for Morgase reveal and Perrin/Galad friending for the first 2/3 of the book. Of course, Tam's report occurred when the WCs were still a danger, but I didn't think that reading it in tGS.

I know I have more thoughts, but my brain's kinda fried right now. Loved the book.

"You may call me Rand Sedai, if you wish" - You deserved it, Cads, but now I don't mind you so much.
Chandra81
293. ericf
Verin's note thing. I thought it made perfect sense. Giving him this note with such circumspection and mystery was probably the ONLY way she could have passed this information, given her BA Oaths--the use of the waygates had to be a Black secret, afterall.

She could neither outright tell him, nor even just give him the note and say "here, uh, just do me a favor and don't open this till tomorrow, and please don't ask why, kthxbye." This violates the whole "don't give away the BA or our secrets" thing.

But by the added layers of deception and circumspection, she circumvented the Oaths by exactly the same means as her deathbed confession: "well, as long as I can manipulate him sufficiently that he does not read this until after I'm dead, and may not even read it at all, then I don't violate my Oaths, hereyago Mat, have fun re-storming Camelyn."
Chandra81
294. Seamus1602
@dsolo287

I'm pretty sure that Rand's red-sealed letter was the location of Asalam (or at least an indication that he was still alive under AS protection/control). Evidence is his comments after meeting Asalam with Cads, referencing getting info from a friend re: Asalam and Mattin of Illian in the WT.
Michael Maxwell
295. pike747
@Leigh Butler
“The simplest way to put it is this: TGS was good. ToM is better.”

I could not be more accurate or succinct. Although I do try to refrain from saying one thing is better than another.

2. “Okay, that may or may not have been quite a Crowning Moment of Awesome for _____, exactly, but that is unquestionably one of the coolest things that has ever happened in this series. All is forgiven, man.”

The forging of Ma’ha'lnier is in my top five at least and that is saying a lot! This was a very emotional part of the read for me.

”Okay, so the commenters have since pointed out that the murderer of Asmodean is, in fact, revealed in ToM to be none other than Graendal—in the frickin’ Glossary. Needless to say, I
completely missed this in my own reading.”[/i]

I missed this as well and I scanned the glossary because of a spoiler warning and did not catch this.

”(I may also just really like the phrase “multiple super ninja assassins.” It makes me happy.)”

Just one part of why you get to do what you do :-}

”But that was nothing compared to what Aviendha actually saw in it.
It’s safe to say that in my personal opinion this is just about the most horrifying thing I’ve read in this entire series. Even knowing that it is only a potential future (at least I’m staunchly assuming so, because otherwise I may just have to pitch an almighty shitfit), the chain of events leading to the (possible, dammit) future destruction of the Aiel were all too terribly plausible, especially given so many of the cyclic, decay-of-history themes running through the series. Also, I think Jason Denzel put it best when he remarked that this sequence was what made him think, for the first time, that it was possible this story wasn’t going to have a happy ending.
Which… well. There you go.”
I reiterate: that had better not happen. Aviendha had better just fix that.

Have to agree with this strongly

and totally promises to remember the date of the NYC signing this time. It’s November 31st, right?

I think it is Nov 8th. That would be this Monday. Wish I could make it there and I live pretty close :-{
Chandra81
296. Seamus1602
Re: Avi's Wayforward journey

Haunting, yes, but also, IMO, clearly a warning and not The Future. As a possible future, it doesn't seem all that daunting.

However, Birgitte's comment after the initial Dragon test WERE very haunting in a way nothing could take away.

"The world just changed."

So true, and something that is The Future, not just possible. We've known it's been coming for a while, but the advent of the Age of Gunpowder and having the best archer of all time comment on it, was the saddest thing in the book.

As amazing as Avi's sequence was, Birgitte's one line held more emotional power for me.
John Massey
297. subwoofer
Right- I've got some time to kill while my wife figures out what she wants to eat...

First off- @ChaplainChris- many excellent points! Yeah, for me the Whitecloaks getting many of their dogma's dispelled was worth it. Nope, they ain't pallidins yet, but now they know the difference between "shadowsouled" and people that just don't like the Children. I consider it a watershed moment. Now, if they want to be in the business of upholding the Light, get thee forth to the Blight and wage your battle on sin. That'll put hair on their chests. Monsters are real.

Verin. Yep I was a bit peeved at the timing of opening that letter. Made no sense that hey, I know stuff is going to hit the fan here, so I am going to put a time limit on when you can open stuff so as to give you limited time to prepare.... dim.

Speaking of letters, I was talking with Mis and Scissorrunner earlier- it is agreed, Mat's letter to Elayne was fall down funny.


I was going to rewrite this letter, but Thom is laffing so hard at me that I want it to be done.

Killer:)
Mat did have some good times- His "tell me to shut up/brain me with something heavy" line cracks me up still.

About the Tower- it's a pity that Perrin didn't leave that dreamspike at the Tower, it would have kept the Seanchan from Travelling to Egwene's doorstep. Mind you I think Tuon & Co will have their asses handed to them this time round if they do and Egwene may have some wards for travelling- like Sammael did- and put the smack down on.

Edited because I spell worse than Mat.

Woof™.
diane heath
298. jadelollipop
I loved Mat's letter to Elayne (if he didn't swear how would she know it was from him :) ) I would be hard pressed to find a scene with Mat that I did not like. I really enjoyed Perrin's storyline which on one level was a surprise. I think I liked it because it was Perrin and Hopper training and the whole dreamspike sequence. (Loved Loved Loved that Perrin told Egwene to stay out of T'AR because it was dangerous and then stopped balefire...
The whole Berelain/Faile plot was much muted and not nearly as annoying. (Love the Galad/Berelain gah gah moments )

Re: The Seanchan Tuon will have her backside soundly tanned by one or more characters (figuratively at least). Rather ominous that she mentioned how rare it would be for an Empress and a Prince of Ravens not scheme against each other.
Mat may indeed be able to save the Aiel...(I had thought that the Aiel of future would be the Shaido and how they had fallen). I also question if it was not a Shadow induced vision since it was prior to Rand at Dragonmount.
Chandra81
299. sagely
ok, i've just finished the book and then had to get online to see what other people were saying about it. i've got a full list of things i wanted to discuss with other people who have read it and i was really excited to see what other people had to say. so i read the spoiler review and about 150 of the comments.

The red-veiled aiel right at the end were a huge question to me. and still kind of are. i keep on feeling that they are male channelers mostly because when there were encounters with shadowspawn in the book the asha'man could always feel saidin being channeled. but then again in all the years male channelers had become incredibly rare. i kind of doubt that many male aiel channelers would be alive in the blight.

i really hope the future aviendha saw does not come to pass. i have rarely been so uncomfortable reading a book. it was just awful. i hope it gets fixed.

also, while i was reading i got the impression that taim was moridin. because of the dreamspike. moridin said he had 2 and there's no way he would part with one after the other got destroyed.

when mat had to give up half the light of the world i was really disappointed. that has been something that has been floating around since book 3 or 4. it is a perfect answer to egwene's viewing of mat putting his eye on a scale. but such an unsatisfactory answer to mat giving up half the light of the world. i always though this was going to be so much more important, so much of a bigger deal. i thought he would literally have to do it, make a terrible bargain that would only save half the world but was necessary. to learn that the bargain only meant his eye was a letdown in a way. i almost expected another "breaking" at the hands of mat, half "breaking" at least.

i liked this book a lot better than TGS. that book was just dominated by poor delivery of mat and rand to me. rand seemed the most different. in jordan's books rand was always hard and cold and kind of crazy but i kind of liked him for it. i think sanderson got way in depth on rand's depression in TGS. i didn't like rand at all last book and i blame sanderson for it. never before had i disliked rand. this book was a lot more like old times though, not necessarily for rand but for how well i liked the characters. especially perrin. perrin's forging will likely become one of my favorite parts of the whole series. i read it and couldn't put it down. it will be a part of the story that i look forward to greatly as i reread the books later in life.
Jamiel1 Haynes
300. Haynes1
Wow! Great story. Go Rand. Mat and Perrin rocked, just wished the book was longer. lol.
Chandra81
301. sagely
i forgot to mention how much i hate the seanchan. if they do anything to ruin my hopes for a happy land after TG i will be mightily upset. if all the lands that i've been reading about for so long and so many times aren't still around because the seanchan have come and now are the rulers of the land i'll be angry. andor and cairhien and tear and the two rivers and others have to stick around! i can't stand the thought of them not existing and a seanchan empire in it's place.
Theresa Gray
302. Terez27
dejavoodo@240 - No, we don't KNOW that the dream refers to the seals, at all. Egwene assumed that, but she was not actually able to interpret the dream. Without that feeling of surety, she has been known to be wrong before.
Daniel Hanley
303. Kythorian
To sagely @ 299, umm....well, Rand going evil was a plot thing. He had to sink that low in order to have his Dragonmount moment. So don't blame Brandon for that. If you didn't like the depths of Rands coldness, that just means that Brandon did a good job writting it. The fact that he went that far down was something RJ would have planned out though.

And about the loss of the eye...I thought that went really well. Yeah, we all figured it out a long time ago, but it was still a very powerful moment. Mat understanding what he had to do, and being willing to stand there and accept it. Could you just let someone rip an eye out of your eye-socket? Well, maybe for the safety of the world, but it was still a powerful moment for me, in spite of me already knowing it was going to happen.
matt
304. mattyh
what worries me about aviendha's future visions from rhuidean is that they confirm nicola's foretelling, "..the last battle done, but the world not done with battle.."

:(
Michael Maxwell
305. pike747
@114. scrix
”and how has NOONE mentioned Mat's snarky message to egwene via teslyn sayin yea youve got my horn and im comin for it!”

Good Point!

I read somewhere that Brandon said most of the Mat sections in TGS or at least the parts we said Mat seemed off a bit were written by RJ.
I was one of the people who mentioned this and I would just like to say that Mat was written very well in ToM. I have stopped thinking about who wrote what in these novels and for me that is a good thing. I love RJ’s writing and I am extremely impressed with what Brandon and the rest of team Jordan has done. AMoL comes out when? I Already cannot wait
Chandra81
306. I can smell your fear
I too thank you for the good review and for all the people posting thoughts here. I thought this book was very good. I am torn over how high up on the list I would put it. Overall I thought BS has done a good job of wrinitng the series. I have not even tried to look for where is it a RJ or a BS difference. I look at it like I look at the Conan books RJ did back in the day. He did'nt start Conan, but he did a good job continuing on with the series. I know Conan is not WOT, but that is how I look at the different authors. My one reason for not putting this higher than TGS is that there were times where the book dragged a little for me. I usually get board of reading about the adventures of the Super Chicks, and it is common for me to skip them in re-reads. That did happen a little for me here with the politics of being Queen. I also got a little bogged down with the balck tower stuff. It was necessary and it was good information, I just got a little bored with Androl after a while.

I was at first thinking that the way forward machine was like cheating since the WO's get to go through the rings, but the rings only show a woman what the possibilities are with her own future, not her decendants. I also think this particular ter angreal was made durring the breaking specifically for the Aiel and the Dragon, and it therefore shows the Aiel how they can be easily changed when pressure is brought to bear on them from outside forces. The Aiel think of themselves as superior, stronger, and better than everyone else simply because they win more often than they lose. When you realize that they are people just like everyone else they are far more susetible to change. They believed themselves to be singled out by the creator for strengthening, one of the reasons they are in the waste. When the creator shows them as much concern as any other part of creation (which in WOT is not very much concern) there is little difference between the Aeil and a bunch of ants. Kick the Aiel ant hill and they are in just as much turmoil as any other. I hope it is a warning, and not a pre-determined path for them to follow. All prophecy so far has been able to be fulfilled or not depending on the choices made by the characters, and as long as some key choices are made correctly by Avi then it is possible that the future she saw can be avoided.

I am not sure if the dream of Lanfear is a play or not, but I would bet that it is. The thing that has me questioning is why would Lanfear wait until now to enact her finnland wishes, which is what I think could be the only way to describe how she got in to Rands dream. She has not exactly been the agent of patience and tranquility when she got herself worked up over something.
Arvid
307. SoneA
Is it confirmed that moridin is ishy ? sry for typing errors. Writing on ipod
Chandra81
308. Jonathan111
You're crazy! The new Rand is freaking awesome! I could not have asked for a better Rand. I am sick of the old one. He had begun to suck very much. This new Rand is absolutely perfect. All-powerful, wise, very knowledgeable...what the heck else did you think would be necessary to defeat the Dark One? The old, very-flawed Rand? I want nothing but Rand's POV from here on out! He has become the greatest character of any fantasy book ever written, imo. I want someone perfect and free of flaws. This is fantasy, not reality. I do not want the reality of a "flawed human being." I want someone perfect, infallable, undefeatable. Then I want to watch that person just kick everyone's ass. We have that finally!
Chandra81
309. MarieAnzalone
dsolo: Both of your theories concerning the red-veiled creatures at the end are plausible. However, the narrator's reaction to these things indicated quite clearly to me that what he was looking at probably were not human. "Something much worse" than Aiel. Aiel were known as fearsome fighters, but they did not leave a feeling of dread the same way that seeing a) something whose soul was taken such as the happenings in the BT, or b) something that doesn't belong in this world, like the Myrddral.

I still hold to my theory that Fain created them somehow when he walked around the Blight spilling drops of his blood.
John Massey
310. subwoofer
@sps49 282- they found the song already. Loial sang the song when addressing the Stump.

Woof™.
Chandra81
311. KZK
Towers of Midnight, Hardcover, 1st Edition, TOR

Known / Suspected Errata / Typos:

Prologue: Anachronism / Out of place Jargon / Terminology: "Pawn". Again, as in tGS, there does not seem to be chess or chess terminology in randland or the previous books.
http://dposey.no-ip.com/IdealSeek/IdealSeek.cgi?q=pawn

Chapter 5: Typo: Page 108: "Give this" should probably be "Given this".

Chapter 15: Typo: Page 217: "Her food" Should be "Her foot".

Chapter 19: Anachronism / Out of place Jargon / Terminology: "Technology". "Technology" is not a term that would be used.
http://dposey.no-ip.com/IdealSeek/IdealSeek.cgi?q=technology

Chapter 19: Typo: Page 296: "Tom". Should be "Thom".

Chapter 25: Missing Word: Page 404: "He cut off as [] saw Rand." Should be "He cut off as [he] saw Rand."

Chapter 27: Typo: Page 426: "I h ave". Should be: "I have" OR "I've".

Chapter 29: Slight Errata: Page 481: IIRC Sunlight does not shine in T'A'R, although this scene can very easily be considered special circumstances.

Chapter 31: Typo: Page 492: "consider woman who". Should be: "consider women who".

Chapter 32: Probable Errata: Ituralde thinks/knows the term "Deathgates". AFAICT It doesn't seem like he should know this term, unless his ashaman knew how to do this, which seems unlikely (not knowing who which ashaman he controlled, etc.).

Chapter 33: Missing Word: Page 511: "if I [] become". Should Probably be: "if I['ve] become" OR "if I have become".


Chapter 33: Extra Word: Page 515 "working for straight" Should likely be: "working straight".



Chapter 34: Missing Word: Page 528: "None of the [] Would". "Men"? "People"? "Warriors"? It isn't clear what exact missing word is.

Chapter 36: Flipped Words: Page 558: "will now not reject". Probably should be: "will not now reject".

-----
*****

Chapter 37: Major Continuity Error: Pages 571,589: The Text in Towers of Midnight suggest that Carlinya is dead. This Directly contradicts Fires of Heaven: TFOH: 26, Sallie Daera, 317: "a raven floating beside her dark hair; more a drawing of the bird than the bird itself. She thought it was a tattoo...". Min has a viewing of Carlinya becoming Property of the Empress/Seanchan, and this has not happened in the Books (so far). So: Either 1. witnesses are mistaken about seeing Carlinya die, 2. There are huge as-yet-unforseen Balefire effects, or 3. an Error that will need to rectified in future printings.

*****
-----

Chapter 37: Possible Errata: Pages 571-572. The Text says Amys disappears: "Fade away". But then the next page she is still there. She can't have left the dreamspiked area. She can't have awoken (she wouldn't know of a problem). Nobody else "fades away" when they fail to leave the dreamspiked area.

Chapter 37: Missing Word: Page 574: "Position he [] been". Should be: "Position he['d] been" OR "Position he [had] been".

Chapter 38: Pages 591-2: This might not be an error, but Egwene's thoughts about the war of the shadow and Messana's life are somewhat wrong. We know from the BBoBA & various snippets that the war of power was not some short brutal affair like Egwene implies, but rather a long drawn out affair that lasted over a hundred years, slowly building momentum to crescendo.

Chapter 40: Page 613: Probably not an error, but Perrin never quenches his Hammer. This is odd because he is mostly unaware of the special weaves being incorporated into the metal & it is an important part of setting the crystalline structure of the metal & it's various properties. (Not suggesting that quenching is required of power wrot items, but that Perrin acts out of character for a blacksmith.)

Chapter 45: Wrong Name: Page 669: "Still, Egwene would". Should be: "Still, Elayne would".

Chapter 45: Page 675: Not an error, but Aviendha's thoughts seemingly imply that people lived in Rhuidean before rand came along, which IIRC, only happened after rand.

Chapter 50: Missing Word: Page 743: "west of [] realm". Should be: "west of [the] realm".

Chapter 52: Typo: Page 762: "started, the stepped". Should be: "started, then stepped".

Chapter 53: Missing Word: Page 777: "gateway [] more". Should be: "gateway [was] more".

Chapter 53: Extra Word: Page 784: "It was set up a little too high up to feel natural." Could be: "It was set a little too high up to feel natural." OR "It was set up a little too high to feel natural."

Chapter 53: Wrong Word: Page 787: "straps crossed the". Seems like this should be: "straps across the".

Chapter 56: Typo: Page 819: "black-coated man stood". Should be: "black-coated men stood".

Chapter 57: Missing Word: Page 823: "She [] been too". Should be: "She['d] been too" OR "She [had] been too".

Epilogue: Minor Errata: Page 831: Perrin see's Sunlight in T'A'R. IIRC, There is no Sunlight in T'A'R.

Epilogue: Extra Word: Page 839: "Borderlands would couldn't have". Possibly: "borderlands wouldn't have" OR "borderlands couldn't have". Also is "Borderlands" supposed to be capitalized?
Chandra81
312. sagely
@ 303. no no no, i understand it's a plot thing. i just think jordan would have done it better/the right way. rand in TGS was different from rand written by jordan in every other book and it wasn't because of plot. he didn't feel like rand. just a subtle feeling
Tricia Irish
313. Tektonica
A quick comment on the Avi's Wayforward Machine experience:

I felt that it was a possible future because of the time line discrepancies .

If the Wayforward machine shows possible futures based on the current situation, then Avi's trip occurred when Rand was still Dark Rand, and Edarra was saying to Perrin (in his camp pre-Whitecloak encounter, p. 319):
"Wise Ones cannot be taken gai'shain, but perhaps the Seanchan ways are different. Regardless, we will give them a year and a day. If they do not release their captives when we demand them after that time, they will know our spears."

Also, in the scene in Tear when Rand reappears, he apologizes to Rhuarc for leaving the Aiel, and says that it won't happen again....and Rhuarc says that that won't change what has gone before. Then Rand says; "This is true, I will meet my toh, then." (He does not specify when is?)

So, as things in Real Randland Time change, the outcome/fortold in the Wayforward Machine should change. Much depends on what agreements Rand comes to with Tuon, and what Rand does to meet his Toh to the Aiel. If he finds a new purpose for them, now that he is Mr. Light, the Wayfordtron visions could be averted.

Edit for typos.
Chandra81
314. sagely
if jordan had written it he would have still had that low point and been dark and stuff but he would have felt like rand.
Yasiru Ratnayake
315. yasiru89
What everyone's telling me about balefire makes me think of Rand's 'crimes' as much less horrible and Hopper's death as far sadder than I thought. But I still wonder how else one might accomplish a 'Final Death'.


Further thoughts:

Verin just pulled a Brown on us- 'oops, forgot to mention the invasion to Egwene, who, at the seat of power, might just have done something about it'. This with Verin aware that Egwene is a Dreamer and likely with contacts outside the Tower at the time.


About Birgitte's sword, she wouldn't be petty enough that she'd refuse one even when it's the best means of guarding Elayne. The scene where she plops down on the Sun Throne had me 'laffing' aloud.


Alliandre's POV was a pleasant surprise, she's a good queen (and better now after the Shaido ordeal I think) despite ruling a weakened nation now. Also, Faile's comment about riding side-saddle later applies to her.


The Noam/Boundless thing was unexpected and worked out quite well, but I have trouble fitting in Noam's brother 'enraged' with the mild-mannered sort of fellow we met back in tDR. Might have cared for something a little more explicit.


As someone mentioned, Mat's 'I'm coming for my horn' declaration is probably one of the more reserved awesome moments in the book- but still an awesome moment.


Loial, Dobraine and Alivia were all sorely missed, but at least for Loial I think the aMoL (when's that out anyway?) might feature a POV around the beginning, preferably of the alluded Loial stumping the Stump scene.


This book also marks the first instance of Nynaeve not being remotely annoying (she had her moments in tGS too, but not as nearly so bad as before that). Wonder if it's the braid-singe that did it- maybe that was her own link to the Dark One? Loved how she own'd the White Tower's way of thinking, even putting Egwene (who I think it being thoroughly manipulated by Rand) out of countenance.


The 'murderer in Seandar' makes me wonder if that's who gets rid of Tuon in order for Aviendha's visions to happen.
Rand needs to find a way not to kneel to the Empress- that seems to have been a root cause for what happens to the Aiel later on.
A little suspect is that Rand was actually more Aiel than ever when he said he would meet his toh. I doubt Rhuarc (who was very Stilgar here- with the mouse-like desert creature reference) would have told his son Rand always found himself out of place after that.


Rand's one mistake might be the 'Dragon's Peace' thing mentioned in Aviendha's visions. I'm not sure if she'll think to or even get the opportunity to make him reconsider that seemingly mundane part though. Rand also needs to get those Borderlanders into the Blightborder if what that guy who encountered the red-veiled Aiel is anything to go by.


The Well Rand mentions makes me suspect the Ring of Tamyrlin, though that seems unlikely given what else we've been told about that object.


Mellar might be as big a loose end as Fain.


If this were a different story I'd almost surely call time traveller on Nakomi, perhaps one of Aviendha's descendents- what she said made sense in a perfectly moral sort of way, not what would have been the case for one of the Forsaken, and I think changing the glass columns was entirely Aviendha's doing- they might respond to 'need' like Tel'aran'rhiod OR possibly Nakomi's (under the 'if she were a time travelling descendent of Aviendha's, she might have done something to make Aviendha see her own ancestral memories- thereby making the Wayback ter'angreal remain a Wayback ter'angreal. Though this sort of thing in Wheel of Time seems unlikely, it's one of the best solutions to Aviendha's horrible sinking feeling that what she saw was an inevitable future.


Nicola's death was actually rather sad. Kind of makes you wonder if White Tower Aes Sedai (now that we have Rand Sedai) will ever become responsible people (whoever gave her that dream ter'angreal ought to be birched).


Faile and Berelain's relationship might actually turn into a genuine friendship.


Also, did Graendal get raped like Mesaana presumably was? That latter experience might have helped break Mesaana (poor end for one of the Forsaken, though I wonder if she's gone for good- for instance, they can send Isam/Luc to kill her then the Dark One can bring her back. Would she still be broken? Probably).
Nicholas Grabar
316. Torman
Just finished reading my copy and it was great to finally get some WoT back in my system! I NEEDED that! Not a great book overall, if not my favorite book of the series. i must say that Aviendha going through the pillars in Rhuidean was definately the most horrifying scene we've had of Post-Last Battle in the entire series. The Aiel crushed, the White Tower destroyed and the Aes Sedai all leashed. That had better not happen. If it does Team RJ will probably have a large riot of WoT fans on thier hands. Personally i believe it is only a Possible future. I hope I'm right too...

So Pevara's Reds wanting to stay longer at the Black Tower is b/c of a 13x13?? I can see that now for Tarna but my original thought was that Javindhra was Black Ajah and didn't want to return to the Tower because she had somehow heard of what Egwene was doing to her type.

One more thing, the silvery web of light underneath the taint that Nyn found. Any ideas on what it is exactly? it seems to be countering the madness... My guess is it appeared there after Rand's revelation on Dragonmount but what is it? Its like the opposite of the madness which is the essence of the Dark One. A Creator's "taint" perhaps? How can Nyn SEE madness anyway? Its not like its a thing of Saidar more associated with the True Power if anything.

This is basically the first time I've ever posted on one of these things, my sister would never leave me be if she knew i was on one. She isn't one of us haha.
Chandra81
317. MSedai
Wow!! and: WARNING-WALL OF TEXT

First, I think it is odd we still have some hold outs on "this isn't how RJ would have written it..." Really? Hasn't that ship already sailed?

Anyway...

After reading the comments, I'm really confused as to what those crazy red-veiled Aiel are-- I just thought "uh-oh" to myself on reading it, came here and went "of course they are mad Aiel channelers taken over by Ishydin!" and then other theories creeped in... WTH are these guys? Obv trouble...

Also, regarding Avi's Wayforward Machine visions, I haven't seen a couple of things mentioned: before she walked through the second time (which you aren't supposed to survive) she was feeling for what the ter'angreal did, and felt them to be doing something with the power. Then, after she walked through again, she felt for them, and they were silent. What happened? Did she use them up, break them, by going in again? Or were they just done with her after the second time, and wouldn't let her go through? And didn't Rand walk through them after he had seen his visions without any effect? What is going on here?

@170 Andvari: I nodded when you said "light and fluffy" and then reflected and thought, well, not really... Rand's personality change has that much effect on the feel of the book. Awesome writing, in my mind.

@275 AnthonyPero: Oh, I don't like that at all...

Also, I think ToG rescue was anticlimactic to all of us because it played out almost EXACTLY like we knew it would. Which made it awesome to read during, but flat to reflect on- I mean what is there to discuss? Oh, we would never have thought of the ashandarei, but on reflection (and a re-read) it's obvious how important it was going to be. And I laughed at Mesaana being Danelle. Of course you guys would have figured that out. Between the offhand way it is mentioned that she was Danelle, and the "easing the badger" comment, you know that it isn't just the names that are being written in directly for fans...
Chandra81
318. shadowstruk
Lanfear/Cyn/Mieren:
She had a part in opening the bore, makes sense that she will have a part in sealing it in the end.
Theresa Gray
319. Terez27
Why is everyone so sure that Carlinya is a mistake? Min was never able to interpret that viewing; it might have simply meant that she would be killed by the Shadow.
Rob Munnelly
320. RobMRobM
So many random things on which to comment....

- So the Towers of Midnight are actually the Foresaken, per Eg's dream in chapter 3. More like little black huts.
- Egeanin heading to Tar Valon. Looks like she'll be the one with the sword who saved Egwene when the big Seanchan attack comes.
- Alanna clearly getting one of Verin's letters and then disappearing in a rush to go to Arafel or somewhere nearby in Borderlands. What mysterious mission did SV (tm) put her on? Could she actually show up at Tarwin's Gap to help Lan and show all and sundry how the Green Ajah can kick serious ass in the battlefield?
- Rand tells Min to figure out what he's missing with Calendor? Appreciate that the spirit is willing but that's putting a lot of chips on a single number without a big track record. A little help for her, please.
- What about Setalle - when is she going to learn Elayne is making ter'angreal and offer to pitch in. I was sure that was coming given her amount of screen time with Mat.
- Lannis of the Blue Ajah for the win! Yea for one of our homies!
- Agree that Fortuona and Beslan surprise at travelling was not right. The damane sent back to the City from the burning hand festival came that way. Tylee is one of the senior staffers in Ebou Dar and she did it personally.
- By the way, not enough Seanchan. What about Musenge? What about Tylee - is she a two book wonder and will fade away? What about the talk about the machinations of Galgan - is that setting up for Terez's theory that Fort will channel and Galgan will get her collared? What about the suldam channeling stuff and presumed devastating impact on Seanchan society - next book, eh? The discussion of the White Tower attack being a big win- hah! They lost huge numbers of raken, tor'raken and damane and only got an offsetting number of sisters and accepted back. I would have liked recognition of losses and desire to really take the White Tower out of play before it could do more damage to them.
- Rand got a Verin letter too, but it also was not opened on screen. Is that the one that advises where the King of Arad Doman was? I believe that's correct.
- So, the wayforward machine assumes a Seanchan-Rand deal to work together at TG, a defeat of Dark One, Avi's grandkid lying to the Andorans and getting them to backstab the Seanchan, and serious Seanchan infamy in eradicating the Aiel. So...what's Avi going to do about it? Presumably, get Rand to "bind" the Seanchans to him permanently as opposed to playing Let's Make a Short Term Dragon Deal. Also what happened to all these longlived channelers? Elayne should have been alive. Ditto Avi. Ditto Rand (assuming he died and came back somehow). Had to be a really bad scenario for all of them to be dead when the deal was broken.
- What the heck was up with Rand mentioning Mattin Stepaneous and then ignoring the subject entirely. Did Rand plan to have someone do something about it?
- Nice to see Draghkar come back. We've missed them since TSR (I know I have).
- How the heck can Rand look at Weimaron and what's her name and know they were Darkfriends - what did he develop on Dragonmount, DSP? Still doesn't explain the TGS comment by LTT that he liked Weimeron - the biggest WTF comment of that book. What Brandon on drugs back then? What else explains it.
- Little bit of character development for Alliandre, which didn't go all that far. What does Brandon have in mind for her? Does she have a nearby guard she can marry?
- Curious that both Dobraine and Breinne didn't make an appearance in the book. Where did she go, in particular - was she with Basil Gill? On a scouting trip with Langewin? One of those minor scenes I have been waiting for is the Taborwin family reunion. Frustrated it didn't even happen here. Not even a sniff.
- Sorilea? Rhuarc? Bueller?
- With all the armies at the field place at the end of the book, I wouldn't have slept a wink - how do you know a gateway from afar wouldn't appear and slice you in two?
- Why wouldn't Elayne have reached out to her counsin Caraline before moving on the Carheinian throne? Having her by Elayne's side in an open endorsment might have made things better. Or Dobraine for that matter. Anybody?
- The old poison pin trick in Carhein - or it is really Dune? Birgitte sitting on the throne was actually funny.
- The Aran'gar, Delana and a couple of Graendel's pets orgy was also actually pretty funny - even a bit hot?
- Thank goodness the Sea folk boats in Arad Doman finally got to go home, after the loaves and fishes scene. I was getting worried.
- Final point - Am I the only one who thought Silviana turned very unawesome and petty in this book? What a come down. Geez.

Rob
Chandra81
321. RevanRedem
Frankly I LOVED THIS BOOK. only read it once so far, will read whole series again. but, there were some points that kinda put me off, can't really put my finger on it, but I actually thing that TGS was written better than TOM. Can't really substantaite why I'm saying this, just a feeling. But ya Perrin vs Slayer battle was FUCKING EPIC!!!! Elaida pissed me off something horrible. Damm woman. I also missed all those random saying that women say about men thinking with the hairs on their cheasts.

But all in all, I CAN NOT WAIT for next year.
Hugh Arai
322. HArai
RobMRobM@320: Silviana was fairly clearly one of the Reds bigoted against men in TGS. Not a stretch to see her being petty to Gawyn.
Chandra81
323. galinsydney
Is it just me or is everyone else satisfied with the explanation that Mat's 'memories' are memories stolen by the Aelfinn/Eelfinn from other men and giving it to Mat? (not sure i'm putting this right) I mean how did they get access to so many men throughout history?? I doubt all of them visited 'Finn land and therefore the 'Finn could watch through their eyes.

I somehow feel there's more to it than that. I mean Mat could speak the old tongue and had memories of battles long before he first entered 'Finn land, such as in tDR when he was being released from the dagger and he shouted to them in the old tongue. And after when he awakened, he had a vision about a battle.

Not only that, in tEotW when Lan asked Aginor how he had found them,
"He guided us." The hand that pointed to Mat was old and shriveled to scarcely human, lacking a fingernail and with knuckles gnarled like knots in a piece of rope. Mat took a step back, eyes widening. "An old thing, an old friend, an old enemy. But he is not the one we seek," the green-cloaked man finished. The other man stood as if he would never speak.

And again in tSR, one of the answers given to Mat was
“To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!”
I mean, yea its obvious he did die but its the once more that got me thinking. Of course it could refer to the other men's memories he would get but doesn't once more imply that he, Mat, had lived it before and not other men??

I don't know but this is what i think. If anybody can prove me wrong please go ahead and put me out of my misery.
Arvid
324. SoneA
I'v read through some of the comments and was wondering about padan fain and mierin. Doesn't the lanfear prophecy say something about blood ?and since fain is going and dripping blood of the blight they mighty have something in common?
Chandra81
325. Chani167
@211 MikeDragonTattoo

I think it's more of something that had to happen to Rand. I mean, we couldn't have Rand going to the Last Battle just totally off his rocker, right? At least this way, he can not be concerned about hurting people he loves on accident. However, I do think that this is a permanent fix, especially reading Nynaeve's description of the white light holding off the madness.
Chandra81
326. galinsydney
@323
I thought they would address or explain it more in this book but nothing of that sort...which is why i'm asking for other opinions...
paul brown
327. bigredpaul
Why oh why do I have to be the fly in the ointment? I so wanted to love this book, and some parts of it made me laugh and even tear up, but I just couldn't. I am disappointed, not in the story itself, but in the telling.

Maybe I'll like it better upon a second reading - I hope so, but the editing is just really, really bad, and it makes the story lurch and hurtle in unpleasant to read ways. The too obvious time-shifting is the worst part of it for me. I know we needed to get everyone up to speed, but it just jerked around without the amazing subtlety that Jordan used in his story-telling, and made the book not work nearly as well for me.

I love all the amazing stuff that happened in this book, but I rather enjoyed TGS better of the two Sanderson books.
Marina Brindley
328. WhereWomenGlow
Thanks for your awesome (as usual!) work Leigh – had to force myself to stay away until I finished the book, but was really looking forward to finding out what your teasers referred to, so glad you did it that way.

Initial impression after finishing my first read was that I loved it, loved it, loved it - the few niggles I had with it were overwhelmed by my huge sense of satisfaction at finally getting resolution to so many things. Lots of new questions though, and I fear the long wait until the last book is going to get very painful… On the other hand, am in no rush to get to the end! Aarrggh...

I will concede that I’m quick to cry with books, particularly when I’m as involved as I am with WOT, but there were a notable number of tear-worthy scenes in this one for me:
- Rand’s reunion and reconciliation with Tam
- Morgase’s realisation of what had REALLY happened with Gaebril
- Nyn getting Lan’s bond
- Avi’s trip through the Ancestron
- Mat’s decision to give up half the light of the world: “Maybe I am a hero after all”. Oh yes, you so are!
- Hopper sending Perrin to Boundless/Noam
- Moiraine’s reunion with (and proposal to!) Thom

But I also laughed out loud at Mat’s letter to Elayne, and was seriously ROFLMAO about Perrin “easing the badger”!!!

Book throwing/headdesk moment – definitely Suffa. She is a VERY bad damane! I know, I know, she’s being tortured and was always the likely culprit for giving Travelling to the Seanchan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t despise her for her sheer cowardice and selfishness.. I liked the contrast between the two Amyrlins: Egwene in TGS sacrificing herself to torture and pain to save the Tower and those in it, while Suffa here offers up anyone and everyone she can think of in a bid to save herself pain.. Grrrrrrr! Am so with Leigh on this one, didn’t think I could despise her any more than I did already, but amazingly, I can.

I really enjoyed Nynaeve in this book. Really good to see her character maturing and deepening so nicely. Granted, she’s always been my favourite Supergirl, but she does so many awesome things in this book. Healing madness, doing her best to save Lan, even getting Egwene to really think about the nature of Aes Sedai and their relationship to the world.

Perrin being on Dragonmount when Rand was having his epiphany: was this the second time Perrin needed to be there in order for Rand to survive (the first being Dumai's Wells)? Did his presence help Rand, or was it irrelevant - was Rand even aware he was there?

“Twice he's going to have to be there, or you [Rand]...." "If he's not, something bad will happen to you." "Very bad." Rand: "Then I'll just have to keep him around." Min: "I don't know that that will be enough, it will happen if he is not there, but nothing I saw said it won't because he is. It will be very bad, Rand."

Not sure myself, am wondering though.

OK, going to go back for a second (slower!) read now. Still feeling the WOT joy..
Jennifer Hill
329. goatberryfarm
He dialed it. TOM had the right sound, right feel... of course, I love each book & delight in many situations/characters that some dislike. I've just finished read #1. Plan to go back & re-read TGS & TOM.
I did manage not to totally zone.... I did actually sleep. & I was able to discipline myself in order to have time to deal with other life issues... Thus, one night & two short evenings.
It was hard. I really wanted to read it around the clock & could have. But, family comes first. bah humbug!
Sanderson, you did a very good job on this one. Much better. Much smoother.
Now, I want the next one twice as long, please.
Chandra81
330. KZK
People are misunderstanding Verin's letter to Mat. It's simple, as it relates to Egwene's dream of him balancing 2 Aes Sedai: Moiraine & Verin. Had he opened the letter he would not have saved Moiraine and, we know from Min's viewings that Moiraine is the Key to the Victory of the Light.

Dream1:
Mat, placing his own left eye on a balance scale.

Dream2:
Mat, weighing two Aes Sedai on a huge set of balance scales, and on his decision depended....She could not say what; something vast; the world, perhaps.

Viewing1:
RAND: "He would almost certainly fail without a woman who was dead and gone..."

Viewing2:
MOIRAINE: "it was not as if she had really expected Moiraine to turn up alive. Moiraine was the only viewing of hers that had ever failed."
Alice Arneson
331. Wetlandernw
I just have to ask... How on earth is Nynaeve going to be able to fight in the Last Battle with no braid to tug? Can she accelerate hair growth with the OP? This could be really bad, folks. Really, really bad...

:p
sandi vogel
332. sinfulcashew
Hi all!
It has been quite awhile since I have graced the halls of these comments!
But of course, my book is in the mail, and I am champing at the bit!
I see some newbees and some oldbees, cool!
I needed to read the spoilers etc. just to get a feel, and then when I read my very own book(yeehaw!) I could, maybe, maybe, ad my quarters worth of opinion!
So until it arrives, maybe the fifth (or the eleventh?????Fed Ex). whatever,
I will dance back to the corner and lurk til I have done my own read.
Love to you all and happy chatting,
sinful?
Chandra81
333. Caline
I've finished the book and caught up on all the comments and pretty much everything I would've said has been pretty well covered. However, one thing I'm surprised no one has pointed out is that I'm pretty sure the identity of Gaidal Cain has just been revealed: On page 172, Grady is talking with Perrin about slipping back to the Black Tower to see his family and mentions his son, Gadren: "He might be big for his age, but he's about as pretty as a stump." Not a lot to go on, but a super ugly child? And living in the middle of the Black Tower? My theory: Gadren is Gaidal Cain reborn - and perfectly positioned to be right at the heart of the 13x13 mess.
Theresa Gray
334. Terez27
Why does every ugly person automatically become a Gaidal Cain candidate? It's not as if ugly people are all that rare.
j p
335. sps49
Am I correct in thinking th pin in the Sun Throne was planted in advance- by Elayne? Maybe I'm just too far behind on my sleep, for some reason.

subwoofer @310-

Oh, you'd better be hiding in the bunker after that!

Terez27 @334-

At least Gadren would be consistent with the timing. Barely. If still an infant.
Thomas Keith
336. insectoid
Okay, I still haven't read many of the comments, but now that I've had a day or so to collect my thoughts (and rest my brain), here are my reactions to the various character/story arcs in ToM.

(BEGIN massive WALL_OF_TEXT)

Rand: The new attitude / LTT-dominant personality is kind of weird. But I'm pretty sure it needed to happen, since things would be Very Bad if hadn't.
...Rand's offhand comment to the Borderland monarchs about using balefire with the True Power, and Nynaeve's Delving of his madness, suggest that he may still have some inner demons to exorcise problems to resolve before the Last Battle.
...However, I am SO HAPPY that Rand finally is COMMUNICATING, getting along with the Aes Sedai, and fixing his mistakes after all this time.
...Also, way to step up to the plate and hand an ENTIRE ARMY of Shadowspawn their asses!
...I'm picturing sometime in AMoL Rand welcoming Moiraine with open arms. And then he'll go and shake up the Black Tower and balefiring Taim.
...Nynaeve's healing of madness and browbeating of Myrelle were pretty awesome.

Perrin: About FRICKIN' TIME he accepted his role as a leader!!
...The forging of the hammer (which made me think both of Thor's Mjollnir, and the forging of Aegis-fang in Salvatore's Icewind Dale Trilogy) was VERY cool. Finally, Neald has something to do besides make gateways!
...Also, it's nice that Perrin finally found his balance with the wolves; the last scene with Boundless/Noam was cool.

Mat: OMG MOIRAINE SQUEE!! Need I say more?
...The reveal of Mat's ashandarei being their ticket out was unexpected to say the least.
...I'm a little sorry to see Noal/Jain go; he was a great character.
...Oh, and compared to TGS, in ToM Mat is HILARIOUS, especially his letter to Elayne (and what he tells the Aes Sedai (Joline?) about his swearing in it a chapter or so before. xD
...It's too bad Moiraine didn't wish for Lanfear's strength in the Power while she was there. I really liked the "Moiraine the White" theories. Though, she does have the angreal, so that's something.
...The trick they pulled on the gholam was pretty clever.
...Surely Verin could have told Mat that if she wasn't back in 3 days that he should OPEN OPEN OPEN the letter?! Now they have to race to the rescue; Moiraine can cut all those Trollocs into little pieces!

Egwene: Gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome in the Battle of the Dream-Tower, breaking Mesaana's mind like that.
...I'd be surprised if Leigh didn't shriek when Messy put the a'dam on her.
...When Egwene subsequently saves Gawyn's life (after he saved hers) by bonding him was an Awww moment.
...Speaking of the battle in the Dream: WHAT THE HELL, with the Nicola getting offed like that?? (I notice some others concur with me on this one.) Why waste a valuable Forteller?

Galad/Whitecloaks: I about laughed out loud when he first saw Berelain (and the several meetings afterward); I was thinking, "Ho boy, they're BOTH going to fall head-over-heels!"
...The reveal of Morgase (and subsequent reunion with Elayne) were both well-done.
...I literally breathed a sigh of relief when he told Perrin his non-lethal punishment.
...Oh, and Byar DIES. ::does happy dance::

Elayne: For some reason I assumed that there would be a coronation of some sort when she assumed the title of Queen. Oh well.
...I liked her arc, except for the stupid, STUPID, nine kinds of STUPID idea to pose as one of the Forsaken. Seriously, WHAT THE HELL—that had disaster written all over it (so to speak).
...The little trick with the foxhead copy was pretty convenient.
...Also: is this the first time Birgitte gets a POV in the series? I don't recall.

Gawyn: Was a doofus for 2/3 of the book, and THEN finally comes to his senses just in time to save Egwene from the Bloodknives. THREE of them at once!
...The phrase "multiple super ninja assassins" makes me happy too! Especially when they are on the wrong end of the hero's sword.
...I'm a little puzzled why he kept the ring ter'angreal, though—I was actually thinking, "Oh crap, what if the rings kill him?"

Lan: How could I have forgotten!? He finally caved and raised the GOLDEN CRANE, for Light's sake!

Black Tower: EURGH. ::shiver shiver:: YEEK NO TOUCHIE!! Gah.
...Though it's interesting to see at long last the fabled 13x13 trick (presumably) in use.
...Poor Tarna. I actually kind of liked her.
...Pevara, Androl, etc. had better get out fast, find Logain or Rand and DO something about this Dreadlord breeding ground!

Graendal/Forsaken: Yeah, I figured Graendal would figure out how to escape Natrim's Barrow. Though I do wonder how Graendal had the foresight to have Halima'gar do the Compulsion.
...First time AFIAK that we've seen a Forsaken use a
bird or other creature as eyes!
...As for the end: I suppose we have to guess for the next year whether Shaidar Haran killed Graendal?
...And Graendal killed Asmodean! HA!
...Oh, and HA HA HA HA HA, Mesaana was Danelle! We all totally knew that—how often does that happen? ;)

Slayer: ARGH. Why... won't... you... DIE!? Seriously. Perrin could have at least tossed him into the volcano, too!
...The dreamspike concept is interesting; I wonder if there's one of those at the Black Tower in the Dream? It's too alike and coincidental to be anything else.
...And, HOW DARE YOU KILL HOPPER! ::sniff::

Seanchan: GAH. ELAIDA, YOU IDIOT. I suppose she's been more or less broken; otherwise I don't think she would have given the Seanchan the tactical advantage that could DOOM DOOM DOOM the White Tower.
...Bad Suffa, bad damane! Go sit in the corner!

Aviendha: Oh, um. So... that's the future. ::shudder:: FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT!
...That would be horrible if the world turned out like that. Gotta blast the Seanchan to kingdom come, for starters! Then Mat and Fortuona can take whatever's left and sail off into the sunset. (So to speak. "Travel off into the sunset" doesn't sound right.)

The book overall: Great! Awesome! And a few other spiffy adjectives!
...I really did like this book better than TGS; Brandon has definitely improved since then.

(END WALL_OF_TEXT)

Annnnd... this must be my longest comment on record—and getting longer! (Right? I suppose the Bunker's resident statistician can check on that...) I'm not sure if I did something quite this long last year, but I could be wrong. And I probably forgot something (since I don't have the book in front of me at the moment), so I'll add anything later, after I've caught up on the comments.

Bzzz™.
Rob Munnelly
337. RobMRobM
insect - sure feels like the longest (in a good way, mind you).

Another misc comment/question - if Sylvase's torturer is a DF (he is, isn't he), does that imply Syl is one too? Did she kill her uncle to get her house seat? Would she back Elayne so she could get close enough to do bad things to her later? Yikes.
Chandra81
338. Xcalibr7
AMAZING BOOK!

By the way- does ANYONE have ANY idea where in the world Demandred is??? Seanchan??? Black Tower???
Marie Anzalone
339. MarieAnzalone
@ Excalibur 338

I posted a theory yesterday that he's the one who overthrew Seanchan.

Question of my own: Anyone want to hedge a guess on who the man was who visited Moiraine while she was being held in Finnland, and said, "She's not the one I want"? My bet is Moridin. What disturbs me about this theory is it would imply that Moridin can freely enter and leave Finnland, like the Fisher from the game. Something tells me this is not new. The Dark prophecy book is vound in pale skin, like the skin the Foxes wear; which is why I think it came from there. I'm pretty sure Moridin got that book there when he was still Ishamael, perhaps even in the LAST age.
James Hogan
340. Sonofthunder
Yeah, I bet it's Moridin too...probably because he wanted to get Lanfear out. Why though?? Interesting thinking of Ishamael with a connection to the Finns - maybe he has some kind of permanent arrangement with them? Creepy to consider. I'm still wondering why Moridin went to all the trouble of rescuing Lanfear though, when she is one of the least stable of the Chosen and doesn't really care about working for the Shadow as much as just getting Lews Therin. Hm.

Actually, that whole dream sequence in the epilogue was weird. Lanfear being tortured by...who? Moridin? Or was that whole dream just Moridin messing with his head. Or was it MORIDIN's dream that Rand got to see because of their connection?

I must ponder this further.
Anthony Pero
341. anthonypero
Ok... Lanfear did NOT break into Rand's dream wards. SHe probably could, but she said it would hurt Rand if she did, and Rand wasn't hurting in that scene.

However, there is someone who can walk into Rand's warded dreams with no effort whatsoever: Moridin. Rand walked into his dreams in the last book, and they had a nice little fireside chat, remember? The connection between the two seems to allow for this. Since Rand seems to imply that he can still use the TP in TofM, it stands to reason that his connection to Moridin is still intact as well, and if Rand can waltz into Moridin's dreams, than Moridin should be able to enter Rand's dreams... and since Moridin is an evil genius, amd, I believe, a true Dreamer, it also stands to reason that he could set up that scene we saw at the end of the book, with Lanfear, whom he is currently controlling through the mind trap.

This is a Moridin setup.
John Massey
342. subwoofer
Weeeeeeeee! Hi Insectoid- love your post! Never seen you type so much. Must be bugnuts:P

@spf49( seriously,why not just call yourself sunblock? It would be easier to type) Me? Bunker? But can't you just picture a large gathering of Ogier, surrounding a talisman of growing, singing that song. The world would be as one again;)

@Insectoid- your epic postfulness has got me thinking about certain subjects.

Gawyn- yes, his royal numbnuts does have those rings doesn't he? I can only hope and pray that he tries one on, it gets stuck to his finger and it shortens his life drastically. Sucks for Eggy tho', but she was a donkey to bond him.

Nynaeve- yeah, she is all sorts of awesome sauce here. Again. Liked her so much it bears repeating.




I swear to you, woman, if you do not pass me Lan's bond this very moment, I will step into that tent and teach you the meaning of obedience.

Awwww yeah, Ny gives the smackdown!!!

Galad and Berelain- Leigh had the right idea, just the wrong song.

And I said it before, but Perrin skooling Egwene was bang on- "Perrin, you shouldn't be here, it's not safe." Perrin "meh". Egwene- you were TOLD!

Ahem- WAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Am sad for Hopper. He died a good death, but geeze! How is it possible that a douche like Suffa can live and Hopper gets it? Why?!! Why?!!! Noooo!!!

Woof™.
Anthony Pero
343. anthonypero
Hey, where was Bela? Maybe Nakomi was really BELA!!! I swear if Nakomi was Hoid, I will be very, very disapointed in Brandon Sanderson for the first time ever.
Anthony Pero
344. anthonypero
In fact, I would very much appreciate a twitter comment from Peter Ahlstrom or Brandon in the next few days that just says "Nakomi is not Hoid, RAFO more"
Daniel Hanley
345. Kythorian
Ok, looney theory of the day...First, I do think that Nakomi was probably Verin, but the following idea did occur to me.

I read an interesting theory about Avi a while back. You remember back when the SG were escaping from Ebou Dar, and Aviendha made a weird gateway that for some reason required a lot more strength than gateways normally do? When you look at the times given in the descriptions around that scene, it appears that Avi MIGHT have created a gateway that allowed her to go back in time a couple of hours in addition to moving from place to place. Its nothing conclusive, but there are enough weird things surrounding the event that it is suggestive if you read it closely. Anyway, what if the woman was Aviendha herself from the future, guiding the younger Avi to try and avoid the mistakes made by the aiel in the future(as we later see through the columns). It seems like Aviendha might have still been alive at least during the first couple generations of those visions, since her granddaughter knows Aviendha's face. So what if she actually survives to see the Aiel driven back into the waste(and is now in her middle years), and goes back to set things right?

Probably not, but I thought I would throw it out there.
James Jones
346. jamesedjones
342 subwoofer
How is it possible that a douche like Suffa can live and Hopper gets it?

Because Egwene is, as you said, a "donkey". She decided she was going to waste one of our hero's time by trying to tie him up. Accomplished nothing other than delaying Perrin from being there when Hopper caught Slayer. Hopper's dead because of Egwene.
Grainne McGuire
347. helen79
@342: Gawyn + rings

A thought: Gawyn has those forked paths towards him: violent death vs long life+bed death, marriage to Egwene or not. Maybe taking the rings have sent him towards the violent death.
Daniel Hanley
348. Kythorian
Wow...people are really determined to hate Egwene and blame everything on her. Yeah, she is a bit annoying at times, but she doesn't deserve that. Lets go through the implications of if Egwene hadn't 'wasted one of our hero's time' (and keep in mind that she had no way of knowing that Perrin was at least as able in T'A'R' as she was...she was trying to keep him safe). But lets say that Perrin runs off immediately and saves Hopper.

This time he isn't there to stop the balefire from killing Egwene. And even if she dodges that, Egwene doesn't learn the lesson that weaves don't matter, they are a part of T'A'R', and anything can be changed with force of will in T'A'R'. So she dies, or at least loses to Mesaana, and ends up collared and under her control. Mesaana kills a bunch of Aes Sedai. The black ajah and mesaana continue on a rampage killing more aes sedai, further crippling them. Maybe Mesaana manages to get herself made Amyrlin, or at least gains control over whoever is(or kills her too. you really think anyone other than Egwene or Nynaeve could defend themselves against Mesaana if she wanted them dead?). Egwene isn't around to continue gathering the forces of the Light, as Rand apparently needs, and the Tower is either crippled, or at least set against Rand (further than Egwene already is).

The Light loses to the Shadow in the Last battle. Whoops?

But hell, at least Hopper lives another month or so until the DO breaks free and destroys all the wolves.
Matthew Smith
349. blocksmith
EarthandIce@279 and Kythorian@280

Thanks....I think. Couldn't you have lied and said like six months?

Shadowstruk@318

I like it....somehow Mierin/Lanfear/Cyndane helps reseal the bore...symmetry.

Quick prediction for AMOL....not sure if this has been said before...

Assuming the Asha'man's (Grady? cant recall) son is Gaidal Cain, I think it likely that Birgitte does not make it through AMOL and then is very quickly reborn as one of Elayne's twins. Thus Gaidal is only a few years older than her and they are able to once again be together.

Also, I predict that Mellar/Hanlon ends up being slowly spit roasted over a Trolloc cook fire...that may even be faster than he deserves.
James Jones
350. jamesedjones
348 Kythorian

I'd be ok with that. It's not like there's going to be a happy ending, anyway. Or did you skip that part with Avi? :D

Edit: Here's to hoping that Egghead is still alive when the Raven Empire conquers the tower. lol
Matthew Smith
351. blocksmith
Subwoofer@342

Another prediction of mine is that Fortuona and Egwene meet in some kind of parley-like setting after the attack on the WT does not go as planned and Gawyn is there wearing...yes indeed...three bloodknife rings as trophies. I think even she might be a little..."oh crap this guy is badass if he took out three of my super ninja assassins (copyright leigh butler, 2010)" and this helps the negotiations along.
Brian Vrolyk
352. vyskol
Somebody needs to put a collar on Tuon.
Marie Anzalone
353. MarieAnzalone
@sonfothunder:

I'll take it a step further. I have reason to suspect a Seanchan/ Finn comnnection, as well as a Moridin/ Ishamael connection. We know that Ishamael has been wreaking havoc on humanity periodically since the Bore was sealed, ie, starting the Trolloc Wars, etc. Doesn't inciting the Seanchan to invade Randland at the worst possible time kind of fit that bill for him? What if Ishamael was behind the invasion? He succeeded in getting a large population of the Seanchan into "our" world. leaving a weakened structure behind that I am pretty sure Demandred just set himself in. In effect, now there are actually TWO Seanchan nations to contend with. Rand may ally with one, but what about the other? There is a new ruler on the Crystal Throne, and it is not Tuon/ Fortuona.

Is it possible that Ishamael has been manipulating the Seanchan Empire since Hawkwing's days, both in person and through Finn influence?
John Massey
354. subwoofer
@Kythorian- not hating on Egwene or blaming her for Hopper- I'm blaming her for Bonding Gawyn. Whole different animal. The man was knocking on Death's door. Let him through. Put him out of our misery. I am sure Egwene could find a pretty Warder or two to keep her occupied. Get whatshispickle- the Captain of the Tower Guards- he could be useful. Anybody not Gawyn.

Well, I suppose now that Gawyn has met mumsie he won't be so unbearable, and he did admit that he is a donkey... Maybe he's provisionally off my "people to toss in my busted minivan and roll off a cliff"... well, maybe he's moved outta the driver's seat to one of the back passengers. Jury is still out on him.

Edit- post got epic- had to break it up. 362 is the balance. Sorry.

Woof™.
John Massey
355. subwoofer
@blocksmith- I could go with that... except that would mean that Gawyn is still alive. Maybe Tuon sees the rings and flips out and demands them back as they are the Empire's property? Tuon breaks Gawyn's shin ( about as high as she can reach) and he falls like a carp and Tuon snatches the rings back.

Yeah, I got a feeling we'll see those rings play a role like that somewhere's in the future. Good call.

But Grainster could be onto something too. I hope. Maybe he puts the ring on, it attracts darkhounds and he sees the doggies and he wants to go pet them?

Kidding... I did say Gawyn is provisionally out of my front seat...

Elayne OTOH? Now that girl is really starting to grind. If it wasn't for Brigitte's tacit awesomeness, and Mat moments Elyane would be totally in the "chapters to skip" category. "I'll dress myself in a cat suit and meow, when they come with the saucer of milk I'll slip under the door and they won't be the wiser." Gahhh! Gimme strength.

Woof™.
Hana Woelfle
356. SheWolf
Now I am in a bad place. Finished the spoiler review. Read the comments. No book in sight. I can shop in Switzerland or Germany... everything gone. Pre-order didn't help!! This is terrible. I don't know if I will survive the wait...
Brian Vrolyk
357. vyskol
@338. Xcalibr7

He's the king of Murandy.
So say I.
(And something I read on Theoryland)
Chandra81
358. joe heron
anyone else cheered for mesanna when she was fighting egwene?
Rob Munnelly
359. RobMRobM
@323 - We've had the debate re Mat's memories many time. RJ is quoted as attibuting them all to the finns. I agree with you this makes no sense - Mat had Manetheren pre-life memories in EOTW and especially DR and could speak Old Tongue well enough to converse fluently with the first set of Finns in Tear before he got the old memories. But... water under bridge at this point in story.

Rob
Debbie Solomon
360. dsolo
@319 Terez
I agree that Carlinya wasn't a mistake. It was Seanchen, not Shadow that killed her. IMHO, the raven image being almost like a tattoo, instead of a real raven referred to the time limited nature of the Bloodknives. They hide in shadows, and literally use up their own substance.

Loving the walls of text. So many speculations for AMoL and the future of the Aiel. I wonder if Brandon will try to resolve the Seanchen problem, since the possibility of Mat/Tuon outrigger novels is not definite (although would be a really, really good thing for us WoT fans). Perhaps Harriet could approve some shared universe stories (kind of like the Man/Kzin books or the Darkover/Valdemar short stories, which got started as fanfiction). Are you listening Tor? Harriet? Maria?

I'm hoping for some kind of epilogue, set 20-100 years after TG, that updates us on how things progressed.

Also, kind of like the idea of Birgitte being reunited with Gaidal through immediate rebirth. Of course Grady's son is Gaidal - why else mention how ugly he is. Ever since Olver was definitely declared not-Gaidal, we've been watching for a mention of an ugly young boy.

Thanks for clearing up the message to Rand being the location of the Domani king. Completely missed that. Any ideas on Galad's or Alannah's? I don't think Alannah is BA, because Verin wouldn't have warned her. Maybe she knows about a plot to use Alannah against Rand and warned her. Can Alannah just release the bond, since she knows he's bonded elsewhere?
Greg Bloom
361. MuleHeadedLummox
@MarieAnzalone - While I can easily see Ishy manipulating the Seanchan for a long time, I have a hard time believing the Finn have anything to do with the Seanchan. Mat leaves Tuon some pretty big hints about having gotten answers he knew to be true and his bargains with the Eelfinn. If the Empire knew about the Finn, Tuon would have known enough to recognize what he was talking about, not laughed off his 'true answers'.

So was I the only one that , when the Alliandre POV began was thinking, 'Oh crap. She's going to end up being Graendal's pawn that she claims is close to Perrin.' I couldn't think of another reason we'd be getting her POV, (and to be honest, I'm still not sure why that scene was there if not to try to head fake us into believing this).

Also, one of my favorite moments in the book was when Morgase found out that Gaebril was Rahvin. Her reaction just felt so real and it was a bit heartbreaking. Of course she managed to overcome it, and knowing she was compelled and to just an idiot may have helped her in the long run.

And the point I was certain I was going to like how Brandon was writing Mat in this book was when he was discuessing writing his letter to Elayne with Joline. "Are you going to swear at her too?" "Of course I am. How else is she going to trust that it's really from me?" Priceless.
John Massey
362. subwoofer
Y'know- give over with all the Gaidal talk. Somehow, and I think RJ did this on purpose, Gaidal and Birgitte are not going to happen. Nope. Best bet, Mat blows the Horn and Gaidal comes forth in the fog and sees Birgitte. Dun.

Oh yeah, and as far as teaching his wife a thing or two- Mat blows the Horn, Artur Paendrag Tanreall comes through the fog. Tuon and her groupies see him and fall to the ground. Hawkwing tells her to stop being a divisive douche and help in the fight against the Shadow. Dun.

And he might also school her in embracing the Source and stop leashing folks... well, that last bit is wishful thinking, but still.

Woof™.
Chandra81
363. Tabernerus
I haven't gotten through all the comments on this thread (about half-way), so forgive me if I'm re-treading someone else's thoughts here. I'm also halfway through the actual book, but my willpower failed and I skipped around for a few critical things. A couple of quick thoughts:

1.) With Aviendha and the flash-forward, a few things struck me. First, the machine is designed as the final test of a Wise One. The Wise Ones are always talking about how it's easy to harness your fear and rush into battle, but it's tough to harness your fear and do what must be done when you can't just go tearing off after the Trollocs. So as I read the progression, I thought, "Fear is the mindkiller..." My gut reaction is that it is designed to make Wise Ones face their great cultural and personal fears, all at once. If you survive that, then you really ARE a Wise One. The flash really was set up to be the worst-case scenario for Aviendha, personally and culturally. It also could totally actually happen, in a nice logical way. But I also thought that after Moiraine went through, the Wise Ones told her that while certain events from her own life would indeed happen, it was by no means certain that they all would. Or was that a different flash-machine she went through??

2.) There's a solid Joseph Campbell argument to be made that Rand died on Dragonmount at the end of TGS - that the Power winking out was also Rand laying his own life aside. The Creator then gave to him enough life to complete his tasks before taking him back, a la Babylon 5, Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica, and countless other myths. But I don't really think so. I think he was changed, but I suspect the next real POV we get from him will be somewhat for Randish than we might expect.

3.) Galad, you may have just become my favorite character, at least among the minor characters. The moment when he pauses to consider his mother's advice about coins and shades of gray was classic. In that moment, the kid grew up. It was great. He's one of about four really competent and useful characters in positions of power at this point, so damn, that was good to see. It was total competency porn.

4.) Wait, was Jaret Byar being influenced by Graendal? What??
John Massey
364. subwoofer
I was happy that Perrin schooled Egwene. She needed it. So far we have seen Rand come on Egwene's door- Eggy's full of crap herself, needing to tell Rand the error of his ways- we the audience knows she is full of it, but Egwene still plows on and Rand has to school her. Thirteen Aes Sedai? 100? Meh. Rand shows her the meaning of ta'veren. Rand even tells Egwene-

The last time I tried to seal the Bore, I was forced to do it without the help of the women. That was part of what led to disaster, though they may have been wise to deny me their strength. Well, blame must be spread evenly, but I will not make the same mistakes a second time. I believe that saidin and saidar must both be used. I don't have the answers yet.

Now Perrin comes along, in T'AR- theoretically Egwene's stomping ground, and Egwene wants to tell Perrin the error of his ways. Perrin schools her, shows Eggy the meaning of truly handling the Dream. Great Eggy learned from that. Maybe somebody- a guy- can do something too. Perrin- wolfdream? Can that be possible? Wise Ones- tell this girl what's what.

Egwene smelled amazed. She spun on him. "Balefire? You stopped balefire? Nothing should be able to do that.""It's just a weave," Perrin said... I'm sorry Egwene... Be careful in this place. You probably already know that you need to be, but still. It's more dangerous than you know."
He turned and ran, leaving Egwene sputtering.


Now I am waiting for Mat to come along for his horn. Any bets on Egwene wanting to tell Mat the error of his ways? Maybe scoffs at him and his band of soldiers?


Great job on becoming Amrylin Egwene. Doesn't mean you or the Tower are the be all and end all of power. There's three wise guys I know of that have a clue or two about how to get things done.

Edit- wow that got long. Had to break it up from354. Guess I still have much to say. Sorry folks:)


Woof™.
Marie Anzalone
365. MarieAnzalone
@muleheaded lummox:

But she did recognize his ashandari, and it is engraved with two ravens. There was a carving of roses in the Finnland, and the Bloodknife rings are carved with roses. I'm not saying it's a huge or well known or recent connection, but there are hints of connections. I'm not sure we're done with that world.
Chandra81
366. Meerletalis
If Lanfear were hit with enough balefire, the bore would never have been opened. That is a scary thought. I hate book series that end up by undoing the entire story they told.
Chandra81
367. Nimvin
I don't know why I have not seen anyone mention this, but I am pretty sure the seals are already broken, back in CoT there are several scenes where the world warps around everyone three times, which come after all of Rand's Stewards/Helpers are attacked and searched and none have been attacked since. The seals were found and broken by the DO's servants and that is what is caused the warp. Rand is still talking about breaking them because he has not gone back to Rhuidean (where I think he hid them for safe keeping) to retrieve them. So yes he planned to break them, but the damage is already done, hence the reason the shadow has jumped to a lead in the Last Battle.
Brian Vrolyk
368. vyskol
I see some people mentioning all the "new" plot points and wondering how they're all going to be resolved in one more book....

They won't be. Brandon has stated that RJ never intended to answer everything in this series. Some would be in the outriggers and prequels, and some just wouldn't be laid out for us.

So.... We will likely never see a full resolution for the Seafolk. We probably won't get any more info on Shara. We will likely see Avi try to change the future she saw, but will never know for certain if she's successful. Aaand, we probably won't find out how the Seanchan war resolves and whether they do away with their leashes; Though we get to see the likely (non)resolution in Avi's "visions". The Dragon's peace indeed. Blech.

I'm sure there's others, but the bottom line is this: If it's not directly relevant to the coming Last Battle, it'll likely be left to our imaginations.
Brian Vrolyk
369. vyskol
@366. Meerletalis
It's already been stated that Asmo's death couldn't be undone in this fashion. It happened too long ago. Undoing the drilling of the bore would be even more impossible.
Hugh Arai
370. HArai
dsolo@360:
Of course Grady's son is Gaidal - why else mention how ugly he is. Ever since Olver was definitely declared not-Gaidal, we've been watching for a mention of an ugly young boy.


You do realise that's exactly the "logic" that got Olver incorrectly pegged as Gaidal in the first place? You really think there's only one ugly young boy in the world whenever Gaidal is reborn? You might want to wait to see if Grady's son is young enough to be born after Gaidal was last seen in Tel'aran'rhiod, AND grows up to be a famous swordsman AND doesn't grow out of being an ugly kid like so many do AND falls in love with an expert archer with golden hair. And even then it might not be him. It takes more than being an ugly kid to be Gaidal Cain. If he's young enough it may very well be him, but unless we get a "twenty years later" epilogue we'll never know.

Why mention it? To get a reaction out of the fans is one distinct possibility :)
Chandra81
371. Seamus1602
@marieAnzalone365

Tuon did not recognize Mat's ashandarei, she merely saw that it had both Old Tongue script and ravens on it, which would naturally draw her attention. She, in fact, specifically asks Mat what it is in WH.

@subwoofer362

What about Min's viewing of Birgitte with the same man both older (as Gaidal always has been) and younger (which has never previously been the case)?

@joe heron358

No, I did not root for Messy. A'dam capture is like rape to me. I can't EVER like it. Similarly, it's hard for me to even accept SH's rapes of Moggy, Messy, and (likely) Graendal. They're terrible people, and they deserve to die, but rape's something I can never get behind, no matter how evil the victim.


Other random notes:

-Faile's aversion to gold belts. Missed this on first read. Nice touch.

-How did Egwene hear about Elayne's pregnancy from Avienda? Avienda and Egwene haven't seen each other since WH and Avi is not a dreamwalker, so how did THAT happen?

-The red-veiled non-Aiel: The most disturbing part is the filed-down teeth. For this reason, I'm more inclined to think they're creations of Fain (who would do something creepy like that), as opposed to merely creations of the Shadow.

-Does Rand still have access to the TP or does he now have conscious(sp?) control of his taveren-ness? His comments re: meeting Egwene seem to indicate the second.

-I really wish Mat had mentioned to Setalle Anan that Elayne had actually visited her inn, as well, thus starting her process of realizations leading to her being re-Aes Sedai-ed. Though it's possible this will never happen.

-Possible DF theories debunked: Tenobia and Davram Bashere - both were in Rand's presence and looked him in the eye without flinching = not DFs. Not sure how many WOs he's seen in his month, but I want some further confirmation of Sorilea, at least.

-When is Avi in the storyline? It would seem that she's still at least 2 weeks behind everyone, but she hasn't shown up back in Randland during those 2 weeks.

-While I think the Elayne-Perrin 'treaty' was good for all parties, I do wish Perrin had been more forceful re: Trollocs and WCs ravaging 2Rivers w/o help from the crown (held by Rahvin at the time, I think), both flags being direct results of AS meddling, and that not only would Rand be upset by any military action, but that Elayne would be declaring war on the grandfather of her children because he had the gall to defend himself against Trollocs, part of which was the raising of symbols of hope (the flags). But Elayne wasn't all bad. She talked Gawyn off the ledge.

-Was Jain Malkieri? I forget. I can't imagine any other reason for his last words of "If you ever see a Malkieri..." The only connection I remember him having was his capture of the DF who broke the country. Why would he need the Malkieri to know he died 'clean'? Also, wouldn't he have seen Lan in aCoS?

-Someone noted a lack of Breanne in this book, but both she and Langwin show up in Galad's description of those he captured.

-How come Egwene didn't try to make contact with the Borderland armies during her gathering of forces? I'm glad she didn't so that Rand's ultimatum can stand, but it would seem she would have at least tried, thus offering them a way to SG w/o swearing to Rand.

-Liked Rand's intro of Min to Tam, but isn't Tam already aware of Rand's link to Elayne? What's he think of that? Really can't wait for, in aMoL, Rand giving 2 more, "Father, I would like you to meet Avi/Elayne, she's very special to me". Poleaxed is the only word I can think of.

-Really wish we had gotten to see Mat's dinner with Elayne, Talmanes, Dyelin, et all. Does Elayne now know Mat is married to the Empress of Seanchan? How does everyone know she's the Empress (Mat's the only one denying it)? She wasn't last time any Randlander saw her.

Theory: I have long thought (in part due to Nicola's foretelling) that TG will actually occur at the end of Act 1 or 2 of aMoL, not Act 3, which will be devoted to the Seanchan. The whole setup at the end reinforces this belief, IMO.

Thank you, Brandon, you've done a great job with these past 2 books and I can't wait to read aMoL. Having said that, I'm pretty sure stacking TOM, tGS, and The Way of Kings atop one another would break my coffee table. That's not a complaint, though. I LOVE long stories. When I finish aMoL, I know I'll be wishing for more, even if it's more Perrin BROODS or Elayne POLITICS or Gawyn SUCKS. I just want more.
M G
372. parabola
re: Jain and the malkieri... In KoD Olver mentions how Jain captured Cowin Gemallan after Gemallan betrayed Malkier to the Shadow. I wonder if there's more to that story, esp. since we know that Jain was messed with by Ishy. (way back in EotW)
Barry T
373. blindillusion
I’ve had a few days now to collect my thoughts on ToM. I’d like to take a minute to write down those thoughts. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that a Wall-O-Text is on the way. As an admin note…I haven’t read any of the comments, so if I repeat those above me…well, I’m sure I’m not the first.

Rand:I don’t know why exactly, but I like the whole Rand+LTT=ZenMasterNinjaJesus with a healthy dollop of Next Level Badassery
- I especially liked his scene with the Borderlanders. The way in which they accepted him as the Dragon was very well done. Doesn’t really excuse them abandoning the Blight Border, but it goes a long way towards explaining why they did so. And just think how wrong it could have gone….
- Wish we’d been able to see him apologize to Hurin on screen
- Truly TRULY enjoyed the way in which Rand pretty much put Cadsuane in her place, but in a COMPLETELY respectful manor. HAH! I’d say take that…but…Rand Sedai simply made it seem the right thing to say.
- I like that he pretty much wrote it in stone that Nynaeve will one of the Two to help him wield Callandor. I’m going to have to say Moiraine (as she’s now more powerful) will be the second.
- “This time I was raised better.” AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Final Note: WTF is up with this Dragon’s Peace BS. If I’m reading this correctly, Rand plans to demand the Countries be peaceful with each other, and if they do, he’ll fight in the Last Battle?!? Holy Hell, Batman. Also, if what Aviendha saw in that ter’angreal is any indication, Rand doesn’t so much die in the Last Battle as walks away from the world…. Much to look forward to in AMoL.

Perrin:the forging of Mah’alleinir was perhaps one of the best scenes in a novel full of great scenes.
- But Perrin’s most powerful scene…perhaps the most powerful scene in Perrin’s entire arc thus far…has to go to that moment in T’A’R where Young Bull and Perrin are standing beside each other on the hill…their scents the same.
- It’s somewhat disheartening that Simion turned out to be an abusive ass. Poor Noam. But at least he’s found peace.
- And…while the destination was known, the road Perrin took to reach his peace was very well crafted. This novel goes to Perrin.

Mat: He stole the show. Hands down.
- But there is one question I have. Is the Gholam not a construct? Granted, this was an excellently written way in which to take out a Gholam, but still, how is that thing not a construct?
- He should speak to Uno about fighting prowess while wearing an eye patch.
- I suppose we can gather that while the ‘Finn are not of the Shadow, they didn’t have a problem allowing Moridin to seek out Lanfear.
- Mat’s luck expanding was fairly unexpected, but I suppose if one is to be the Center of All, extra luck goes a long way. (And just what does that mean anyway?)
- He was humorous, lucky, charming, dangerous and 7 Kinds of Badass. Did we know what to expect? Yes. Does that make it any less awesome? No. While the novel may go to Perrin, the best sections are Mat’s.
- And…Mat and Perrin’s reunion…best so far.

Min: She may not have had much to do in this novel, but, as always, she was well written and I enjoyed seeing the world through her eyes. She’s still the only one who sees Rand, not Rand+Dragon Reborn. She’ll find the answer.

Moiraine: It is so wonderful to have her back. She stayed strong, didn’t give into despair and came out wiser than before. Her reunion with Thom couldn’t have been better…and I cannot wait to see a gleeman Warder. At this moment…her reunion with Rand is what I’m most looking forward to in AWoL.

Nynaeve: Justified my love for her in spades. She earned the ring and shawl. She put people in their place…hell, the entire establishment of Aes Sedai pretty much…. And she found a way to cure sadin induced insanity. That’s of Cleansing MOAness, that is.

Egwene:Got schooled in T’A’R. One can hope she is willing to learn from Perrin…and not try to run him down. And it’s sad really. Her character was stagnant in this novel. While she did some MOA things (quelling the Hall and taking out Mesaana), she also went Status Quo on us: Aes Sedai are the only bastion against the Shadow and everyone else much fall in line with what they say. Bleh. And Gawyn: Regained some cool points. Hopefully he keeps them and loses those rings!

Elayne: I thought she was very well written (to include Birgitte, Darlin, Norry and Guybon). The only blight on a strong arc?: ding ding…impersonating one of the Forsaken.

Lan:Nice to see he finally realized he is a King and that his people need him. Also: Yakobin the Undaunted? WTF? There were a few times that typos or misplaced names took me out of the reading, but this is the one time in the novel I literally said: “What the fuck was that?”

Aviendha: I’m going to have to say that was a possible future. Because egads man…that was the saddest thing I’ve ever read. An entire population…reduced to such a pathetic state. *Tear* It had better not freaking happen! As Leigh said: Aviendha had better just fix that! Also, Aviendha will hopefully let Mat know that eventually someone is going to take out Tuon. Also, I wonder how exactly Tuon forces Rand to bow to the Crystal Throne.

Tuon:No! You will realize the mistakes you’re making. And chances are you’ll get pulled into the Last Battle right around the time you try to bring DOOM to the White Tower. Gah! A plague on your house! And Suffa: Die already. It’s not so much that you have the Seanchan Traveling (which was to be expected and you didn’t have a choice), but: “I’ll bring replacements you can leash in place of me.” Just die, please.

Children of the Light: Am I the only one who wasn’t the least bit surprised that the Children couldn’t hold their own against the Shadowspawn? Galad+Berelain=Saw That Coming…pretty much the exact way it was written, at that. I wonder…who was Graendal’s final tool? The obvious suspect is Byar, but I wonder if it might have been Bornhald….

The Shadow:With the exception of Slayer and a few hundred thousand Shadowspawn, was it even in this novel? Graendal proves once again (sad really, considering I thought she did well in the Prologue) that a reputation for being a genius does not a genius make. Notes: I do believe the gauntlet has been thrown (and then cut into bite sized pieces, coated in glass and shoved down Slayer’s throat) between Perrin and Slayer. Where’s Fain? The dreamspike was awesome and lead to some of the more gut wrenching scenes in the novel.

The Black Tower:Finally! Good evidence that Taim is…well…more that a Darkfriend/Dreadlord… Junior Forsaken, perhaps?... If that man doesn’t have a dreamspike courtesy of Moirdin…well, then he’s got some pretty sick powers going down.
- The 13x13 is perhaps the most horrendous thing shown thus far in this ENTIRE series. This is like Nuclear Grade Compulsion, ladies and gentlemen. Tarna - *sniff* I hope there is a way to reverse this.
- Hopefully a Bonded Asha’man Gateway Master can figure out how to get them out of there. Come on Androl and Pevara! I have faith that you two can do this shit!! And if not, I’m pretty sure either Naeff will get word to Rand, or Grady will inform Perrin, who will in turn tell Rand. Perrin can clue you guys on how to get rid of the dreamspike.
- And: Anyone else starting to see that for the most part Asha’man is now interchangeable with Dreadlord (only perhaps even more horrible as a result of the 13x13). Thanks a lot Taim. You douche.

Shadow Aiel:Joy! Now we know what happened to all the Aiel male channelers!! They were 13x13’d and kept hidden until now. YAY! Not. Oh my god, but I’m seeing bad tidings from this.

Caemyln: I think I see where Mat, Thom and Moiraine are going to be at the beginning of AMoL. Hopefully someone snatches Olver before he gets in over his head. And Verin’s letter: Seems this was her one mistake. She thought she knew Mat. She was mistaken.

And finally: Is my book the only one that had these two mistakes:

Mat and Thom followed, and Mat led them straight into darkness.The Light of the World, pg 796.
and
Heart pounding, Mat charged after Mat and Noal.The One Left Behind, pg 805
Same mistake twice within 10 pages of one another? Sigh.
Daniel Hanley
374. Kythorian
To Meerletalis @ 366, balefiring Lanfear back over three thousand years, would destroy the entire pattern. Given how much the bore has impacted every single thread in the entire pattern, the entire thing would unravel if they did manage to balefire her back that far. So doing that wouldn't re-seal the bore. It would destroy reality.

We can be 100% confident that this is not how the series will end.
Matthew Smith
375. blocksmith
And I think a fairly easy prediction...early in AMOL, an army of absolutely impressive, butt-stomping Ogier show up in the nick of time.
Chandra81
376. Seamus1602
@blindilusion373

Will Mat even be aware of the Caemlyn situation? Grady's picking them up, and Grady is presumably at Melinor Fields. I could see a situation in which Rand asks Mat to stay for the big meeting, essentially leaving Talmanes and Caemlyn alone to deal with the Trollocs. Also, I think Mat's comments early in the book about the Palace being like a fortress that could hold out even if the rest of Caemlyn fell will end up being quite prophetic.
John Massey
377. subwoofer
Been meaning to get to this the long way round- hmmm.

Anyways, there has been a lot of character growth since TEotW. I should hope so anyways. Dealing with the same static characters for 10000 pages would be loopy.

Egwene and Perrin in the moment that I talked about in post 364 have both come a long way too. IIRC and I don't have that book about, Egwene and Perrin wound up together on the same side of the river when they were running hell bent for leather after the Trollocs were chasing everyone. Egwene and Perin wound up starving- with Bela of course- and eventually bumped into a group of the Traveling People.

Egwene was still trying to figure out what to do about her hair, and putzing around with Aram etc. Perrin starts to take a pointed stance on the downfall of pacifism. There has been much water under the bridge since then. Egwene has had some maturity spanked into her;) and is now a poobah. Aram is dead. Perrin, is off his "I'm just a guy stance" and is now embracing his furriness.

Good times.

Oh yeah, at that point, Perrin and Egwene bump into Elyas, who saves their collective bacon and introduces Perrin to Wolves. Funny how Elyas is now leaving Perrin to Join the wolves on the Last Hunt. Think that was on purpose?

Also, I think the only person giving anyone credit for character growth so far is Rand- he comments to Egwene that

"(she) has done her part, I see. The Amyrlin's stole fits you well".

Everyone else seems to be up to their normal hijinx. This meeting coming up in the next book is going to be all about "hey, look at you, nice outfit. How much for that purse? Did you lose weight"... and the other usual stuff that goes on at high school reunions. But it will be a good scene about folks realising everyone has come into their own. And then stuff hits the fan.
Woof™.
John Massey
378. subwoofer
@Semus- did you see my bit about bumping into Gaidal in the fog? I'm tellin' ya, easy peasy. Dun.

& Jain.

Woof™.
Chandra81
379. Seamus1602
@subwoofer378

Thx for the Jain info.

Gaidal and Birgitte in the fog wouldn't fulfill the viewing of her with a younger version of him, though.
Barry T
380. blindillusion
Seamus1602@376

I simply say that because Mat makes mention of going back to Caelymn.
John Massey
381. subwoofer
Sure it would. We don't know that Gaidal will appear old and crusty. Maybe he will come out young and ugly just for Birgette. Nothing says ghosts can't change their appearance. Dun.



Woof™.
Brian Vrolyk
382. vyskol
@Irene@146
I like Parabola's (148) first suggestion. A wide view of Perrin forging the hammer would a truly awesome visual. The crowd, the circle of wise-ones and asha'man, the shower of sparks, the hammer descending to the anvil... Sweet.
Matthew Smith
383. blocksmith
Blindillusion@373

My version has the same misprints...but really, it's the story that counts. Typos happen!!!

I have to agree with KZK@330...I think the delay in opening the letter may have been necessary...either save Caemlyn or save Moiraine. Of course, some will argue that he delayed for weeks when if she had just told him to open it, he could have had the waygate sealed and still rescued Moiraine. Clearly, Verin felt that Mat would open it quickly and she also hoped she would have been back the next day to release him. There must have been something in her BA oath that prevented her from telling him to open it to soon.
Marie Anzalone
384. MarieAnzalone
@seamus371:

I got the distinct impression that Rand still has access to the True Power, and can use it now even when shielded from the One power.

re: Jain being Malkieri: yes, I believe he is. He was among the group that herded the infant Lan out of Malkier when it fell. As pointed out by another reviewer, he was captured and "painted as a fool" by the dark. He was the one who warned of the coming of Sightblinder.
Chandra81
385. Steel.Pirate
On the Shadow "Aiel"

There are a few issues with them being actual Aiel Channelers.

#1. The "Dark Glassy Eyes". How many Aiel have we seen with Dark Eyes?
#2. Strange change in Dress. Black and Brown? Carrying Spears? (If they were Channelers why use spears... or if EVIL why use spears?) Red Viel (part of the viel was to hide! when you killed).
#3. The filed down teeth and the knifing at the end clearly indicate to me that they are going to eat that guy. Which is a very non-Aiel thing to do... I think you would need to seriously mind-wipe them to get the Aiel to that point... and then why rebuild them into the Shadow Aiel

Overall, to me, it seems strange. They might be 13x13 Male Aiel Channelers. But if so, why all the strange changes in custom and dress. If I were Ishy setting this up, I would want my male Aiel to be able to mingle with normal Aiel. Or if I was to grab male channelers, wouldn't it be easier to just grab a few from Shara... with the added benifit that they won't be crazy? (IE swear to the Dark One before discovering they can channel)

I have no idea what they are... and they might be the male Aiel Channelers... but I hope that Sanderson at least gives a reason why they are so different rather than just a "its the Shadow"...
Chandra81
386. mediri
I LOVED the book but there was one thing that really bothered me. Could someone please explain what is going on with Avi's future children channeling from childhood? It just doesn't seem to fit in with the rules of the the One Power works in this world. I know their dad is the Dragon but it was discordant to the point of throwing me out of an otherwise very powerful moment.
Chandra81
387. b-dubbs
@385 steel.pirate

Throughout the first books of the series I'm pretty sure that Aiel are called "black eyed".
Barry T
388. blindillusion
Steel.Pirate
Well, most of that "Shadow Aiel" comment was in jest. A part of me believes that they will turn out to be exactly what my first reaction was, but that other part is more than willing to say I have no idea.

As for why Channelers? Well, if Tarna and Company (namely the Lackeys of Taim) are any indication, the 13x13 causes it's victims to smile a lot, and not in a pleasant way.

Why spears? Well, if they are Aiel, why would they not carry spears? Pretty much every other male channeler carries an alternate weapon. Seems to be a theme of the series.

Change in dress. Well, as these "Aiel" are just now showing up in the series, I suppose it's safe to assume they've never been meant to integrate into the main Aiel population. And they are traipsing around the Blight, which is a pretty dark place. Perhaps black/brown blends into the surroundings better. Aiel are nothing if not adaptive. As for the red veil? Well, I have no answer for that. If they are male channelers, then it’s not really like they need to hide anyway.

Dark eyes would be why I made the comment in jest, for the most part.

As for the eating of a human being a very non-Aiel thing to do: Have you read what being 13x13 does to a person? If not, I’d recommend going to Terez’s quotes page on Theoryland and finding what Mr Jordan had to say about the subject. I mean what I said in my comment that being 13x13 is perhaps the worst thing that has happened in this series thus far. So, eating a person? It wouldn’t surprise me.
Marie Anzalone
389. MarieAnzalone
@steelpirate

I think Fain created them from the drops of blood that fell as he walked along cutting himself. They grew out of the spots of darkness that appeared where the drops fell.
Chandra81
390. normalphil
@373 Blindillusion

Children of the Light: Am I the only one who wasn’t the least bit surprised that the Children couldn’t hold their own against the Shadowspawn?

That was less a "Children of the Light against Shadowspawn" thing and more a "Cavalry trapped against Terrain" thing.
Marie Anzalone
391. MarieAnzalone
To elaborate my reasons for thinking #389:

[besides everything you mentioned, which also did not sit right for me about the "Aiel channeler" theory:

-Fain's power is growing. "Soon he would need a new name". We see him creating an army of dead trollocs,and know that hsi touch is now immediately lethal to Myrddraal, which typically don't die until sunrise (?). He says the storm clouds above his head (and by implication above Seanchan as well) are a result of his hatred.

-He repeats "Black above, red below" over and over again. What colors are the "Aiel" wearing? Red veils, black and brown. Black sky, red blood, brown earth- the creatures came from the earth as a result of the black storming sky and the blood spilled.

-From a distance, given the way they moved, the guy thought the creatures were Myrddraal, until he saw the "Aiel-like garb". Men, even turned ones, I would venture, don't move like Myrddraal.

-It is very important to him that he retain the ability to spill drops of blood on the ground, instead of wearing gloves so he can have his "sport" with Myrddraal. You have to ask yourslef, "why? What is so important about the blood? Why would he drain away his vitality unless it served a purpose even more terrifying than his reanimation of dead trollocs?"

-He mentions offing both Rand and the Dark One. I'm getting the feeling he can do it. This dude is totally raising an army of the undead, and he now also apparently has powers of creation. As scary to me as what's going on in the Dark Tower... and I'm still wondering about the "coincidence that Moridin's colors are also red and black".
Barry T
392. blindillusion
normalphil@390

Well, that was part of it, at least. Another part was that it was a very effective ambush. Another part was that the Shadowspawn appeared from a Portal Stone. Another part was that the Children believed the only danger to them was Perrin's forces.

But yet another part was that the Children are supposed to be one of the greatest military forces in the land, but many of them were not prepared to face Shadowspawn. (One of the Amadicians, a Child, was surprised Trollocs even existed.) They couldn't turn the ambush. They couldn't adapt to the situation.

Am I perhaps being a little hard on them? I suppose. I mean, one could say that the Children have failed in every major battle they've fought in. Of course, one could argue that they've been set against the One Power in one of those battles and Shadowspawn in another.

Still, for a military organization, they have yet to be effective...at all.

Finally, if the Children are competent, then why in the world did they place themselves in a situation where they could be so easily ambushed? Arganda and Gallenne recognized it as such simply by looking at a map.

So, perhaps it's not that I'm surprised the Children failed against the Shadownspawn, but that I'm not surprised that they failed in all regards.
Chandra81
393. Bri Guy
I am waiting for Egwene to walk into her next meeting with (For)Tuon(a) with her warder wearing three of the those Bloodknives rings on a chain around his neck. I think that might be a little initimdating to the Seanchan.
Chandra81
394. normalphil
(One of the Amadicians, a Child, was surprised Trollocs even existed.)

Not a Child. Amadician soldier.

They were swarmed out of a ruin they knew to be empty. Cavalry got trapped without enough space to shift around forces, so the line got pieced. Whatever army that marched into that portal-trap was getting smashed, if it couldn't portal out itself. "Shit happens" situation.
Barry T
395. blindillusion
Hmm. Misread that bit regarding the Amadician. Meh. Perhaps I just don't like organizations along the vein of the Children.

Guess we'll never know how a different army would have handled the situation.

(Still say they should have realized they were setting up camp in a perfect ambush site. Ruins or no.)
Hugh Arai
396. HArai
Blindillusion@395: If I recall correctly they were watching for Perrin's troops to try for the ambush site. They had scouts out but they couldn't stop them because Perrin gated straight there ("Dark Powers!"), but Galad already had them reacting to Perrin's appearance when the Trollocs appeared. So they were watching for the ambush that Arganda and Gallene recognized. The portal stone on the other hand, well people are unlikely to guard against ambushes coming out of decrepit old signposts, which is all a Child would see.

The inexperienced Children's biggest problem I think is that they actually believe being on the Light's side will protect them.
The Trollocs didn't get the memo.
Lannis .
397. Lannis
Finished! Yay! Was excellent! And full of many gleeful moments! And so much CONVERSATION! Light-side communication FTW! :D

Personally, I love that Brandon let his fanboy out, re: easing the badger! Ha! Haha!

Re: Lanfear? Really? I do hope that Rand/LTT will see through this ploy (if that's what it is...). Though if she's in his head, it's opening up the whole "Last Battle will rage in Rand's mind" argument. Though it makes me wonder if this trick was one of her Finnland wishes... ::shudder::

Re: Gawyn. Still wanted to kick him in the stones, then he got better, then, well, he grabbed those rings and decided to hang on to them?! WTF?! Gawyn + rings = headdesk fer sure!

Re: Mat. Dead on. Loved it--he's back! Totally knew the whole "lose an eye" thing was coming and still squirmed and yelled "NO!" at the book when it was happening... And that's one bloody good hat! Loved the "the Band will miss me, but at least they've got those dragons so they can blow shit up..." ha!

Re: Perrin. His "training" passages seemed to drag for me. And I got emotional during the trial and he was remembering that night in tEotW--Egwene's words, "will you dance with me at Sunday, Perrin?" ::tear::

Re: Rand Sedai. ::ginormous grin:: I and love Cadsuane's "I've never heard of a paralis-net" comment... ha! And "this time I was raised better" Yay! :)

Re: Verin's letters. Who's receiving the rest? I vaguely remember Galad holding a letter with a red seal... anybody else?

Re: Elayne: You have a WARDER! Let her do her JOB! And stop making that job so bloody difficult! GAH!

Re: Lan's bond. Love that Myrelle's all "oh, here, just take it already. Whatev."

Re: Asmodean's killer. I've been in the Graendal camp for years (literally), and as one of the Forsaken, Asmodean always kind of was a footnote... ha!

Re: Suffa: Omigod! Get back in the bunker, you bad damane! ::headdesk::

And is there a master list of the fan names inserted? There's a scavenger hunt for us while we're waiting for AMoL! :)

So many little nuggets of fun hidden in there! ::sigh::

I feel for the readers who come after us and are reading the series for the first time beginning to end--they'll never get as much out of it. And they won't be able to recreate the experience we've had, folks. Enjoy it--one more book and we're done. :)


Thanks for the post, Leigh! Enjoy your second (slower) read of ToM! :D
Henry Loose
398. schrodinger
Those shadow Aiel freaked me out at the end. Mostly because, as somebody pointed out earlier, sharp teeth and the killing with the knife indicated that they were going to eat the dude. This reminded me of something that Semi said in TGS about how much it would take to make an Aiel dine on the flesh of a blacksmith? (this leads to another thought about blacksmiths: what if Perrin survived Malden because the Shaido recognized the hammer as a blacksmith's tool and thus tried to avoid killing him?)
Andrew Belmont
399. rosetintdworld
Late to the party, as the book took me all of 3 days! I agree that it was awesome in all the ways expected and many we didn't, although I did think it was paced a little strangely. Brandon warned us that it would be all over the place in terms of POV, but Perrin seemed to carry every other chapter...until he vanished and then Mat carried the ending. I didn't think this was bad; it was just not what I was expecting. Much more for Egwene and Elayne to do than I would have thought, too.

The Epilogue was probably the best part of the entire book for me. So many unanswered questions now.

Let me weigh in on one mystery. If Lanfear's appearance was a trap, constructed by Lanfear and/or Ishamael, why did she not appear in her original form? I mean, if she's meant to seduce Rand with feelings of pity or lust and lead him astray, it seems like she would have appeared as someone he could actually recognize immediately. I think there is much more going on here than a simple plot to snare Rand. The epic diction at the end, and the triple repetition of her name, suggests a game-changer. Well, while I can't like seeing one of my favorite villains sniveling, I am hopeful about this development. She was so important to the first half of the series and watching her languish on the sidelines was painful. I'll be thrilled if she turns out to be vital to the endgame.

Quick question. For all the discussion of Lanfear and Aviendha's mystery companion in the Waste and the Evil Aiel (Sharans?), I haven't heard anyone ask about Tiana's letter to Rand. Am I missing something? Was this supposed to be really obvious?

Oh. And uh, also, nobody's asking about Perrin's Prophecy. I mean, I'm sure there's a catch. But still. Nobody has brought this up. What do we think is going to happen to him? Has he "met Death" figuratively any other time?
Rob Munnelly
400. RobMRobM
Lannis - I certainly hope you found your Delta Tau Chi pledge name in the book, sister. We did. Congrats. R
Barry T
401. blindillusion
HArai -

You're correct. They were watching a long the road. I stand corrected on that. Also that yes, Perrin's showing up the way he did contributed to the chaos which came about.

I believe I'll simply stop talking about that section for the time being.
Lannis .
402. Lannis
@ RobM: OF COURSE I did! You should have seen the mess of SQUEE! my hubby had to witness. She wasn't pretty. I'm just not one to rub things in. ;)

And FWIW, my cousin and I were all atwitter over whether or not Lannis would survive the Last Battle--turns out she's been dead for years! Ha! XD
Bethany Pratt
403. LiC
@311 KZK

Thanks for that list. I noticed a number of those errors as I was reading thru the book, but I didn't mark them all.

This is why I don't care if it takes 1+ years for a book. We need proper editing and continuity. Otherwise it's going to drive us freaking NUTS!!!!

Btw, what about Egwene's dream of the Seanchan woman saving her as she falls off a cliff? Somehow, I don't think this applies to what happened in TGS. Egwene had just met Verin and was going to start revealing the Black Ajah with the help of her ferrets and the other Seats. The attack didn't NEED to happen. And now we've got Egeanin on her way (already arrived) to Tar Valon. Awesome.

Btw, I hope we get some scene showing Egwene ordering all the angreal and sa'angreal turned out. Gotta arm her Aes Sedai!

Oh, and when do you s'pose we're going to find out who has Rand's fat little man angreal?
Noneo Yourbusiness
404. Longtimefan
Wow, what a great book. Wow, what a lot of posts!

It is all still scrambly wambly in my brain mostly from fast reading (and other life things) and somewhat from the jumpy timeline.

I would like to just comment breifly on the Aviendha bit. I really did not get the interaction between her and the other woman. I mean I think it went well (in a way) but the appearance and dissapearance made it more confusing than I felt was neccesary. With one book to go there are mysteries I am interested in and then there are those I really dont care to be introduced this late in the game. Meh.

I am thinking that the glass columns were reset by Aviendha when she was "reading" them and in that it is possible that the information they presented was based on what she knows instead of what the Wheel will weave.

The Past is not just set but could possibly be given into the columns from the people who passed through before. Since the information is relative going into the past is retrievable because it has happened. The future is not as certain.

If it is basing the future on possibilites based on what Aviendha knows the prediction may not be as certain because the information is not complete.

It is a terrible future and it does fulfil the "remnant of a remnant" prediction. However it is not the only way a remnant could be preserved.

Because Aviendha does not know how the glass columns work, we the readers do not know how the columns work. At this point in the books no one can say for certain that the future she saw is the future that will happen.

I also found it odd that such strong channelers like Elayne and Aviendha were not alive further along in the future. If they are both stronger than Cadsuane they should live for 200 to 400 years depending on if they are bound (Elayne) or not (Aviendha). Provided they do not die by other causes.

As a Queen and a Wise One respectivly I would think they would be safer and prone to fulfiling their full life spans.

This short lifespan for two powerful women could be a tiny hint that the future shown is not a certainty but a possibility.
Hugh Arai
405. HArai
blindillusion@401: No worries. The reason I remember that part pretty well is I had the same initial impression you did: The Children really didn't seem to perform up to expectations. We have to remember they must have lost virtually all the veteran fighting regiments Niall had built up between Falme and the Seanchan conquest of Amadacia. Their in-fighting probably cost them experienced officers too, not just Niall.
Brian Vrolyk
406. vyskol
@276. chaplainchris1
I really like the analogy of us being the wolves watching from another world. Very cool thought.

Regarding the cursing, I noticed an awful lot of "Mother's milk in a cup!" :)
Debbie Solomon
407. dsolo
sub@362 Gaidal can't come out of the fog, he's already been reborn according to Birgitte. He is either a baby or very young boy (which was the main reason Olver didn't fit). If Birgitte doesn't die and get reborn right away, I guess she has to wait about 20 years and welcome him to Cougartown. Somehow or other, she's going to find Gaidal Cain, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be a happy ending (horrible example - she dies trying to rescue him during an assault on the BT). If there's no reunion scene in AMoL, check the glossary.

Isn't Harriet getting all the material together for a WoT encyclopedia? It's entirely possible some of the fan questions will be answered there.

I agree that Alliandre's PoV was strange. My feeling was that it was to demonstrate that not everyone is fooled by their act.

You know who else I missed hearing from was Lini. She's mentioned, but not seen. Seems like she would have smacked Galad upside the head, and told him to let them get on their way.

re: Gawyn and the rings. That's not necessarily stupid. The more they know about the weapons of their enemy, the better, especially with Fort making evil plans for the WT. Does he know that Elayne is getting to be an expert in angreal, et al? He could plan a quick trip to Caemlyn to tell her and run right into the invasion. Since Elayne is in Cairhien, and Galad's in love, his training and knowledge of the palace defenses could end up being crucial.

As for the whole red/black, Aiel/Fainbots/Sharan plotline and Lanfear/Mieren/Cyndane - it looks like we have something to theorize about for the next 15-18 months. Personally, I like the Lanfear is Moridin's trap theory. As for the first one, all the theories sound plausible.
Debbie Solomon
408. dsolo
Mentioning Galad made me think about Perrin's thoughts about his first meeting with the Whitecloaks. He said they smelled wrong. Didn't he also say something about Masema's scent? Could he be smelling fanaticism/zealotry? Both Masema and Byar are zealots, and impervious to rational counterarguments. If you don't agree with me, you are a Darkfriend. Doesn't necessarily mean that the CoL is full of DF, but it does make it easier to manipulate them. Like Elaida, they reject any facts that don't fit into their belief system. They are also singularly lacking in empathy.

Speaking of CoL, did we ever find out what the message was that Pedron Niall got right before being offed?

Regarding the young Andoran noble girl (Janse?) with the DF questioner. Is she or isn't she a DF? If she were, it seems like she wouldn't have thrown her support to Elayne when she did. The DO probably would have liked the war of succession to go on even longer. However, she does seem to have been a victim of abuse, and to be lacking in empathy, so she would be a perfect tool.

People who don't untilize their critical thinking skills (and even our heroes are guilty of this periodically) are more susceptible to propaganda/gossip/innuendo, etc. I'm still not sure if Byar was a DF, or just a fanatic who saw Darkfriends everywhere - much as the Ashaman saw Mydraal in all the shadows before Ny invented Randland psychiatry. I'm really glad that Galad got his wakeup call from Morgase. Obviously the CoL appealed to his very definite ideas of right and wrong. Curious, considering that his father seems to have been an unscrupulous jerk.
Scientist, Father
409. Silvertip
@399 rosetintdworld

What do we think is going to happen to him? Has he "met Death" figuratively any other time?

This happened in an incident that was removed from the book for length upon final editing. When the various notes are published after the series is complete, it will be revealed that the World of Dreams is actually the same thing as Discworld. In the deleted scene, Perrin comes out of one of his accelerated steps to accidentally collide with a cloaked figure carrying a scythe at a crossroads. He can see this cloaked figure due to his wolfbrother-enhanced senses.
Perrin: Oh, excuse me.

Cloaked figure: DON'T MENTION IT.

Prophecy fulfilled.

S

p.s. great book. great job. I could rant for paragraphs, but I'll just reply to Leigh and the other commenters with a great big What They Said. Wow.
diane heath
410. jadelollipop
@293 re: Have fun re-storming Caemlyn --didn't Mat specifically rejoice at a battle at C where he was not involved and did he not also comment to hisself about a memory (pre-Andor?) of a battle there??
i am still working thru the comments. My book is upstairs but I may have to re read it this quickly because I still missed parts (Nynaeve lost her hair??)
R B
411. MasterAlThor
Oh and so now it is my turn.

Well first things first.

Insctoid,
I am taking your man card. Squee one more time and I rip it up. Don't make me do it. You can have it back when you start grunting and scratching yourself again. LOL.

Isilel,
So only boys can play in the finals huh? Well the boys are the MAIN characters. Other than that I just don't agree with your assesment. I think that women will play a huge role in AMOL and the Last Battle. You should really get off the "women get the shaft thing". Pun not intended.

Terez,
I see that you believe that Nakomi is Verin. I went back and read that chapter two more times because you said that. I noticed that something was wrong with the woman the minute she started speaking. She didn't sound Aiel enough. I will have to look into this further. Any ideas where to start?

And now on with the show.

I really enjoyed this book, but there were a few things that I found disturbing. So I am going to start with those and then get to the good stuff.

Yes here is the Wall O Text warning.

Egwene's character growth seems to have stopped here. I didn't care for that at all. She can disagree with Rand all she wants but when she goes all "Hey I know everything and everyone else better just fall in line with me" that's when I say stop.

Speaking of character growth.....or lack thereof....Mat. Yeah you guys are going to jump all over me about this but really if you look at it, Mat did not really grow. He is still 9 kinds of BA, but I didn't see the growth. Terez got someone on this at Dragonmount and I imagine she might do the same here.

Elayne's chapters just made me want to yawn. Still acting like a child and jumping head first into trouble. Birgette had better settle her down. I swear if she does one more stupid thing...she is taking Nynaeve's place as the character I love to hate the most.

I also didn't care for the way that the book jumped time periods. You know like some of this stuff could have been put in TGS and some of TGS could have been put in TOM. Like all of Avi's POV.

Well enough of that....on to the good stuff.

Rand
Jedi Master much? That was flaming cool. I come down off the mountain and I heal everything and everyone around me. Ressurect the dead and we will just have to call you Jesus. Seriously the best Rand part is when he walked into the WT and told them basically I am breakinjg the seals...what? And the look he gave Egwene when she thought for a second that she could hold him. Don't make me do something I will regret. Yeah that was awesome.

Egwene,
Well now I said I didn't like how she seemed to be stagnant on the character growth thing, but that doesn't mean that she didn't have some good parts. Like her tricking the Hall into leaving her the sole authority to deal with the Dragon. Or her battle in TAR.

Perrin,
I am finally happy to read about him again. Whew that took a long time. So let's start with the best and work our way backward. Perrin's Neo Moment. Yeah I can unweave balefire. WHAT!?! I about dropped the book. I couldn't believe that he was that BA. Make me proud. Then to make it even better he goes and makes Mlojnir. (yeah I totally stole that line from someone on Dragonmount). Too sweet. And of course all the training with Hopper, learning to become a leader of men and battling Slayer. Perrin got so much in this. Blind or someone said that Mat stole the show......nope. This was Perrin's book and it was about damn time he got back to being like he was in TSR. (or was it TFOH?)

Mat,
I like Mat. I do. And he lived up to his comic relief self. He also gave the best line in the book.

"Tell the foxes I'm mighty pleased with this key they gave me. Also you can all go rot in a flaming pit of fire and ashes, you unwashed lumps on a pig"s backside. Have a grand bloody day."

I am fighting anyone who doesn't thinks different. And yeah I got army behind me too.

Elayne,
She made copies of Mat's foxhead. That's about it.

Nynaeve,
You know what....I am gonna get beck to her later.

Gawyn,
You guys all bag on him. I think the is the most misunderstood character out there. For some reason I get him. Also you guys might be wrong about the rings. I think that he wears them to spook the Seanchan. I think that he knows they will strike again. Imagine the look on their faces when they see that he has three bloodknife rings around his neck. Who is gonna step up to that?

Faile,
I actually liked her character this time. None of that "well he is my man you better step off" crap. She was as pleasant to read as Perrin was.

Nynaeve,
Yep it is time to get back to this. Nynaeve has become a likeable character to me. There I said it. What? Don't push me. I'll take it back. The concern, the love, the singlemindedness, the dedication to her friend (Rand) and her husband. Yep that made her BA in this book. She redeemed herself. And the best part.....she didn't do all that much man hating business. I am doing a dance.

Hopper,
Can we just have a moment of silence.










Thank you. Nuff said.

Ok, now I have to get to some other stuff that just breaks my heart. Yes I have one. It is two sizes too small, but I have one.

Avi and the wayforward machine.
I don't have the words for this other than Team Jordan. If any of you are reading this, if Rand bows to Tuon ( I still ain't using her Empress name) and the Aiel go out like that. I am staging a revolt. A coup if you must. In which our demands will be thus. Brandon will have to write AMOL over to our liking. One where the bloody Seanchan get blown to kingdom come and off our Randland. I like Mat but he can go live over there if Tuon needs to be over there.

That whole part of the end of the Aiel was gut wrenching. And well written. I have to read it again.

Olver,
Am I the only person who thinks that some of Mat's luck is starting to rub off on the little tyke? It's just me? Ok. Well I hope that is the case. Cause Caemlyn is going through its We Didn't Start the Fire phase and poor little Oly is all caught up in it.

There are some other things I want to talk about but, I will leave that for later.

DragonoftheIfinishedthetomein3daysAiel

Shout out goes to Lannis of the Blue Ajah. I missed that completely until Bug pointed it out.
Drew Holton
412. Dholton
Irene@146

My favorite would be Mat opening the portal with "Gungnir" the ashandarei. But given how little service Perrin has gotten on the covers (just a view of his back!), it might be fairer to do the Forging of Mjolnir. Other possibilities would be Perrin raising his hand to stop the balefire in T'A'R (with the proper look of crogglement on Egwene's face of course!). A less obvious choice, but an image that sticks in my head is that of Talmanes and Olver staring at the burning glow of Caemlyn in the distance.
John Massey
413. subwoofer
@dsolo- yeah we know at the time that Brigette was ripped from the Pattern that Gaidal was born. What we do not know is 1. The difference in time passage from the Dream realm to Randland. For all we know, a moment over there is like 20 years real time. 2. We don't know for sure if Gaidal is still alive. There is this whole schlock about them always being together but that was before things happened to Brigette. Without Birgette maybe Gaidal doesn't make it to a healthy age. So he gets himself killed by some farmer with a quarter staff and pwang- back as a Hero of the Horn. Mat blows said Horn, cue fog, cue Gaidal. Dun.

Edit- @M A T- usually a wall o text warned works better when you put it at the beginning of the wall. Somewhere in the middle it becomes more like mortar and less like a warning;)

Woof™.
Michael Maxwell
414. pike747
As I read through these posts and ponder the part where Perrin forged the power-wrought hammer and someone said war hammer it occurred to me that the description of it upon completion might be construed as it having more than a war purpose.

It would be interesting to see Perrin have Neald and the WO AS form a circle again while he uses it to forge another power-wrought item. There is a reason that the Aiel hold blacksmiths in high esteem even though they only become combatants in times of extreme need.
This part was very well written the way he starts with the other blacksmith’s horse shoe project and just feels his way into making something that requires more of him then Neald beginning to help by keeping the metal at a more consistent temperature while he works. That would increase the quality of the work even without infusing the item with The One Power IMHO. When Neald follows his feelings to weave Saidin into it and form a circle. Made of Awesome Moment of AWESOME! They should follow their feelings to forging something for Rand. Maybe get an Ogier or two and some other singers, Thom and Moraine come to mind. Her speaking voice is always described as musical. I am pretty sure she could play heart strings with her singing voice. She certainly has the Life Experience, The Agony and Ecstasy to bring it and Thom is er .. umm, Thom.
Michael Maxwell
415. pike747
@411. MasterAlThor
Olver,
Am I the only person who thinks that some of Mat's luck is starting to rub off on the little tyke? It's just me? Ok. Well I hope that is the case. Cause Caemlyn is going through its We Didn't Start the Fire phase and poor little Oly is all caught up in it.

I thought this as I read and totally agree with you. I also think it was significant that he was playing the game and won for the first time as Mat and CO were in and leaving the Tower. I was having a blending in my mind of Olver's throws and Mat's throws.
James Jones
416. jamesedjones
408 dsolo
Speaking of CoL, did we ever find out what the message was that Pedron Niall got right before being offed?

He found out the first message from his spy wasn't due to insanity, and the Seanchan were probably more dangerous than the dragon, at the moment.

Re: Galad being kinda unbalanced regarding right and wrong. Sadly, this makes a lot of sense. Many people who were abandoned as children suffer from finding a reason to blame themselves. Some decide that they did something wrong, and become less adaptable in life or even a little OCD because of it.
Chandra81
417. Looking Glass
Darn it, now Fain has me wondering if (the mist-animated corpse of) Sammael is going to put in an appearance.
--

MarieAnzalone @291: Semirhage explicitly stated that most of the Seanchan nobility is involved in a no-holds-barred succession war; it's likely the battles there were just part of that.
--

Sonea @307: Yes, it's confirmed. If the other forsaken's certainty and the various visions weren't enough, the conversation between him and Rand in TGS made it dead certain. Rand recognizes him as Elan Morin Tedronai, Ishamael's old self.
--

Galinsydney @323: When Aginor pointed to Mat, I took that to mean the taint from Aridhol, which Mat was deep into at that point.
--

Blocksmith @349: Min's viewings indicate that Birgitte is still tied to Gaidal, but he will be much younger than her in future incarnations.
--

dsolo @408: That last message to Niall was solid confirmation of an earlier reports he had been dubious about, about the Seanchan invasion.
Chandra81
418. bwardj
The one person that I only saw brief mentions of in the review or the comments and I think needs to be given more credit is Rodel Ituralde. He is one of the biggest heroes in this book in my opinion. Anyone that does anything greater is either ta'veren, weilds the one power, and/or has some other extra human ability. Rodel is just plain awesome all by himself.

If he didn't have plenty of reason to be one of the great captains before his appearance in the series (though it's clear he did), I'd still think he outstrips all the rest.

Pedron Niall was kinda cool, though a bit misguided and never did anything that noteworthy in the series.

Gareth Bryne is obviously a good leader but really hasn't been shown to do anything that special beyond recruitment.

Davram Bashere has just been following Rand around and not doing a whole lot.

Agelmar Jagad is obviously cool, but we haven't seen nor heard of anything he's done since Rand left Fal Dara in The Great Hunt (as far as I remember). Maybe he's been full of awesomeness defending the Blight Border, but we don't know.

I fully expect great things of Rodel in A Memory of Light. Put him and Mat in charge of tactics in the Last Battle and I think we're golden.
andrew smith
419. sillyslovene
@408 Dsolo
-Byar is confirmed to have been a darkfriend- Graendal thinks to herself in the Epilogue:
"Only moments had passed since her last tool had failed her, Aybara surviving the battlefield. That was supposed to have worked!
...That fool Isam, Graendal thought, stuffing the papers in her pack. And that idiot Whitecloak!"

She had a whitecloak under her thumb who was supposed to make sure that Perrin died. Byar is the only one that fits this bill.
Chandra81
420. TheTuna
This book was PHENOMENAL. Matt was HILARIOUS, Perrin was super badass; his moment facing Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod was one of the best Crowning Moments of Awesome ever. Really.


Also, I HATE the Seanchan sooooo much. Ever since they first showed up. Not enough that we KNOW they would fail utterly if they faced the Shadowspawn themselves, but they have to keep trying to screw everyone else over? Please. Tuon, I want to like you, but just do everyone a favor and pull your head out of your rear for one moment? Thanks. :)

And AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH at the Caemlyn thing. I don't blame Verin, seeing as she was under the oaths she was at the time, but gaaah! That's not gonna end well at all; they will need Rand, and immediately, or Caemlyn is royally screwed. I'm hoping that will end well, though, because there are quite a few important or relatively important characters there, along with the dragons. I REALLY don't think we're going to have the dragons built up for so long just to have them stolen again.

So yeah, Rand needs to get his butt to Caemlyn like now, Matt is hilariously awesome, and the Seanchan need to a) knock it off and actually help fight the damn forces of pure evil or b) go die.

Honestly, I really don't have a preference, but I suppose it'd be better if they helped out at the last battle.

I am confident that Brandon will handle MoL well, though; the third Mistborn book had an incredibly epic conclusion and was superbly well done.
Marie Anzalone
421. MarieAnzalone
@LookingGlass:

I respectfully disagree. The red-sailed ships came and did some kind of wholesale slaughter in Seanchan, and the land is in an outrage about a "murderer sitting on the throne in the Tower of Ravens". Thye were in civil war, yes, but I think it's even more sinister now. The people wouldn;t claim the end of the world is coming just because there is civil war. They are used to bloodshed and scheming among the nobility. I think the civil war set them up for being overtaken; and yes, I think there are now two Seanchan factions, not just one to deal with. Might also make sense in light of the competing propohecies...

Just my opinion... but it is a very strong hunch. Demandred had a stronghold somewhere, and there weren't too many places left where he could have amassed a large force and used someone as a proxy, as is his way. Shara/ Seanchan/ Mainland fits that very neatly.
James Jones
422. jamesedjones
419 sillyslovene
Byar is confirmed to have been a darkfriend

So, who was channeling saidin to portal in the trollocs? I think he was her failed tool, whoever he was.
Lannis .
423. Lannis
dsolo @ 407: re: Gawyn and the rings. It's not that the possibility for intelligence isn't there... it's just that Gawyn's history leads me to believe that his possession of those rings does not bode well... :|
Chandra81
424. wotfanak47
Just finished ToM and...wow. Thanks for the great review, it highlighted basically everything I loved and hated about the book. I absolutely loved Perrin's storyline because I've hated him since the end of TSR when it seems like he last actually did something. In fact, I think his few scenes in TGS just about killed him because he shows up but does NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. That said, way to go, Lord Perrin.

Mat was the biggest disappointment for me. He had quite a few scenes, and they were better than those in TGS. HOWEVER, the Tower of Ghenjei, while totally predictable (except for the ashandarei thing at the end), was a bit of a let-down in my mind. BS said this would be Mat and Perrin's book (correct me if I'm wrong) but I got the feeling that this was really Perrin's book. Mat didn't show up often and he didn't do a whole lot. The tower sequence was well-written and fulfilling to read, but it take a very short time for something that we've been waiting for for such a long time.

Also, the Wayback ter'angreal: called it after two scenes. It was blatantly obvious what the thing did, why oh why oh why did it have to be spelled out in the last few paragraphs of the chapter? That was frustrating. That said, that had better NOT happen or I think legions of fans will be royally PISSED. There has been so much sorrow and pain in this series that there had better be some happiness at the end.

My last thing, something that has been mentioned once or twice in the comments (and no, I didn't read all four hundred-whatever there are) is the weird Lanfear in the dream sequence with Rand. I would like to point out a few paragraphs in Graendal's POV:

"She licked her lips again. Her entire mouth had gone dry. There had to be a way out. 'I have a better plan, more bold. You will be impressed. Al'Thor thinks I am dead, and so I can--'

'No.' Such a quiet voice, but so horrible. Graendal found she could not speak. Something had taken her voice. 'No,' Shaidar Haran continued. 'This opportunity has been given to another. But Graendal, you shall not be forgotten.'"

While the case could be made that Shaidar Haran is referring to the death of Perrin, I think the case can be made that he is referencing Graendal's plan for Rand. Seems to me she has some plan to get back at him (probably in retribution for destroying Natrin's Barrow). But he says that opportunity has been given to another, and I think (based on the single Rand POV we have) that it is Cynfear's job. Let's face it: we have never ever ever ever ever (ever) seen a hint of remorse from Lanfear/Cyndane throughout the series. At no time do we see her want to come back to the Light. If anything, she grows more determined to seduce and take Rand. I'm convinced she no longer (if she ever) loves Lews Therin/Rand; all she wants is to get back at him (see her POV in Ch. 35 of WH). Her remorse and fear is all a ploy in Rand's dream; a final effort by the Shadow to trap/destroy Rand before TG.

That does bring up the question of WHY she can appear in his dreams when they are warded. My only thought is that perhaps, similar to Birgitte and Gaidal Cain, Lews Therin Telamon and Mierin Eronaile are linked threads in the Pattern and that has something to do with the dream weirdness. I don't know; and I don't feel like speculating more at this point; but I am intrigued.

Cant't wait for AMoL. It's going to a long wait.
andrew smith
425. sillyslovene
@422
I would assume that the person channeling to bring in the shadowspawn is one of Moridin's ubiquitous male channelers (like at Maradon) lent to her for the trap.

Are you insisting that the last tool that failed, the whitecloak under her orders, and the person channeling are all the same person?

Her thoughts definitely spell out that a whitecloak, who is a DF or under compulsion, was tasked with making sure that Perrin did not survive the battle. Since Byar attempts to kill Perrin, and is killed in the process by an unaccounted for person (another Whitecloak), thus failing and falling, it seems clear to me that he was her "ace in the hole" so to speak to make sure that Perrin fell and not just count on some random trolloc doing it...
Barry T
426. blindillusion
But MAT, I acknowledge that ToM is pretty much Perrin's book. I just think Mat stole the show as a result of pure humor and Badassery.

Granted, Rand also takes major points for Badassery...but Rand's not 7 Kinds of Badass...which Mat is.

And I will also say, again, that Perrin had one of the greatest scenes in the whole book, namely: Young Bull and Perrin standing on that hill, their scents the same. Great, great visual, there. And thanking the wolves. Talk about MOA.
James Jones
427. jamesedjones
425 sillyslovene

You're assuming that the tool and the "idiot whitecloak" are the same person. Not unreasonable. But this book was written by a fan. Idiot Whitecloak has always refered to Bornhald or Galad. I think the tool was someone else.

You're suggesting that the tool and the Whitecloak are the same (neither being the channeler). I'm suggesting that the tool and the channeler are the same (neither the being whitecloak).
leigh
428. hobbes01
TOM is brilliant. I found that whilst the book was alot more Perrin than I expected, I really enjoyed the growth of his character. The only disappointment being no knockout blow for Slayer.

Whilst there is more Perrin in this book I feel that Mat's contributions ie the dragons, rescuing Moiraine, rescuing Elayne again (will she ever think) and getting rid of the Gholam were as important.

In terms of Mat i ROFLed after Elayne read his letter and the humour overall was great, even if the bargirl would suit X was overdone. Whilst the Tower scene was fairly similar to predictions backending (it to build the tension) and its writing made it so tense. In truth the way Mat readily gave up the eye and worked out the ashandarei was "the way out" made the scene for me.

Hopefully the 13x13 trick reveal and dreamspike means a decent chunk of AMOL will address the Black Tower and surely Logain crowning moment.
Chandra81
429. JustLis
My favourite Mat quote -"I didn't do half of what they say," he grumbled, "and the other half wasn't my bloody fault."  I startled my husband awake with laughter at that one!

Also, of course, Perrin, SO badass! Especially with Egwene being all condescending "Sorry Perrin, I don't have time for this" and he's like uh huh, k then, let me just stop this balefire WITH THE PALM OF MY HAND...alrighty, seeya later. 

I loved Rand's advice to Nynaeve -"Don't let them ruin you" 
And I can't be the only one who cried at "there, holding to his father, the Dragon Reborn began to weep" ?? That's the way I always wanted the reunion to happen...sometimes you just need your daddy, ya know? 
The 'look in my eyes if you dare, darkfriend scum' part was pretty cool too..I can't wait till Rand gets to the Black Tower and uses that shit on those scary bully boys...it's gettin pretty Lord of the Flies up in there!

I think Faile and Gawyn have both grown up quite a bit too, so give those kids an extra-large cookie and a shiny gold star!

I also need to say I LOVE Thom! The whole "I don't care" and just getting all roasted grabbing Moiraine...he's such an unassuming hero..Thom doesn't get enough love, imo! 

The stuff I didn't like...a few typos, ect that jarred me right out of the read...and Graendal's use of "Light!" as an exclamation seemed a bit strange.  There were a few places where a character would use a phrase that sounded a bit too modern, or just a tad off to me. Then again, I try to ask myself, if I didn't know that someone other than RJ was writing, would I even notice those things? I'm just glad to be able to find out the end of the story at all!

Also...OMG...Hopper, noooooooo! Perrin trying to will him back into existence made me so sad too :(

So many long awaited events, and reunions, Morgase/kids, Egwene/Rand, Moiraine/Thom, Mat/Gholam, Gholam/eternal darkness....and I loved the Mat/Perrin reunion...so hilarious..just don't tell PETA about the badger thing ;)

Wow...I'm so sad that I finished it! I can't wait for the next one...maybe if we all make simultaneous sad pouty faces in the general direction of Sanderson/Team Jordan, it will speed up the process?? Pretty Please???
andrew smith
430. sillyslovene
427 jamesedjones

I can see your point and can recognize the ambiguity.

I've never noticed in my rereads that any time idiot and whitecloak are in the same sentence that it's a hard and fast rule that they must refer to either Bornhald or Galad.
IF that is the case, then are you suggesting that Greandal is cursing Bornhald or Galad?

If the first, then, in my mind, that reinforces that Byar was her last tool, because Dain Bornhald killed him, messing up her plans (how would she know? does she have others present to report?).
If the second, then she must be cursing Galad for getting his army in the way of Perrin's and messing up her plans (which seems rather weak, considering that Perrin almost got killed in the battle anyway...and Galad's army was maneuvered where they were by the Shadow)

As for the channeler, there is no indication that I can see that he was the one that failed. Graendal thinks of and curses only two people that failed: Isam and the idiot Whitecloak. The channeler either must have performed his job admirably to be able to bring that many trollocs/fades in that short of a time or she doesn't blame him for her failure.

Sounds like a question for Brandon...
wesley
431. wagman26
@ Nakomi

As I read her part, I could not help thinking of Lanfear posing as a merchant earlier in the series. Both characters had same feel to me. And since Lanfear holds a grudge against Avi, could she have somehow been involved with what was seen through the columns? Wanting to drive Avi mad before whatever she is planning for her? Or maybe she was ordered to by Moridin.

I am fairly new to posting, but will try to stick around for awhile. Really like the interaction. Do not have the time at the moment to read 400 posts, but will try and keep up from here on out.
Scott Talley
432. ska622
There seems to be a building consensus that Rand still has access to the DO's True Power because of his statement to the Borderland rulers.  When he says that the Guardians block access to the One Power only he is in the middle of telling them that a little while ago he didn't have those memories.  

That would also be the same time that he was able to wield the TP.  I doubt that the new Rand has access to it and even if he did wouldn't use it, as he seems to be frying darkfriends on the spot.

 Anyway, didn't mean to sound so authoritative on my first post, just wanted to throw that out there.
Hugh Arai
433. HArai
jamesedjones@416:

Re: Galad being kinda unbalanced regarding right and wrong. Sadly, this makes a lot of sense. Many people who were abandoned as children suffer from finding a reason to blame themselves. Some decide that they did something wrong, and become less adaptable in life or even a little OCD because of it.



Also, his father plotted to kill his beloved step-mother when he was 12. As far as I recall, it's unknown if he knows any of the details of that, but if he does that could affect his opinion on the importance of doing the right thing.

I found Galad's PoVs in this book really interesting. Up until now he's always given me the impression that he saw the full range of shades of grey but held himself and others to the high standard of always "picking white". In this book it seems that he's never really seen more than black and white, and if that's the case, then since he's a good kid of course he always picks white.
Chandra81
434. Lurking Canadian
I got finished the book just now. Tried to read the whole thread, but only got to about #250. My thoughts:

- I am so very tired of Know-It-All Egwene. Is this supposed to be some kind of dramatic irony that she exhibits EXACTLY the arrogance that used to piss her off in Rand? I'm still holding hope that she's got residual compulsion from Arangar, 'cause damn.

- Rand's epiphany came a few hours too soon in TGM. The world would be a much better place if he had first balefired the entire Seanchan empire out of existence. Cute little Tuon watches people being tortured and broken for relaxation; when she isn't doing it herself, I mean. What a lovely person Mat has married! Gosh, it sure will be swell when the Seanchan conquer the world! In any other fantasy series, the Seanchan would be the Evil Empire the good guys are trying to overthrow.
Yasiru Ratnayake
435. yasiru89
Just realised Perrin unravelling balefire like that probably gave Egwene the idea that the a'dam only works if you accept it. So it was more than her indignant outrage at being left sputtering by someone she'd convinced herself she's superior to (which is everyone else mind you).
Egwene's always been a know it all- 'I know things about the Dream they don't even suspect I do and probably can't do themselves- HOLY HELL BAIR TURNED INTO A CHAMELEON- AND WHAT THE- PERRIN! A MAN JUST WENT NEO ON US!?!!' pretty much sums it up. Her character development has always been on a very 'on the surface' level. In fact, her finally conquering the a'dam in this book is as good as it gets for her- like Moiraine once said, she was hardened before being moulded and whatnot so it's difficult to instil change on her.

Also, Lews Therin apparently had the original paralis-net and not just a Well, so my Ring of Tamyrlin being a Well idea goes out there (unless it was part of it, which I doubt)- wonder if the thing will show up again, that sword Rand's wearing seems to be Justice, so that at least has come back.




Elayne didn't plant the needle- she would have just sat and gotten herself killed. It might be Darkfriends among the Cairhienin.




About Carlinya, the raven tattoo never made much sense to me- but one possible explanation is that one of the Bloodknives killed her (as I remember they're all property of the Empress) and amidst the confusion of battle, the others saw her disappear and assumed one of the Black Ajah got her.


I'm having a little trouble with the 'power levels' here- we have Galad a better blademaster than Gawyn (but the latter beat some of the best Warders the White Tower had/has), but Galad had some trouble with Trollocs while Rand back in The Great Hunt did all his Shadowkilling all the while resisting the 'song of saidin' hardly breaking a sweat. There's also Mat, who took on both Galad and Gawyn at once and own'd them, leading to a long suspected conclusion that Mat is more awesome than three 'super ninja assassins'.


Since Rand seems to be in Perrin's camp now, I wonder if Galad ever finds the truth about his birth mother- at least Berelain would be ecstatic that she has a closer connection to the Dragon Reborn than she'd originally thought with Galad (further justification for her). It might be the final step in his character growth, in accepting the 'grey' areas seeing as he seems resentful or plain indifferent about his birth mother.


About Gaidal and Birgitte- didn't Min see a viewing of her having various adventures with a much younger man (I can't really remember the specifics of this scene, it was probably while Elayne was getting busy with Rand)?


If anyone can rewire people's brains after the 13x13 it's going to be Nynaeve. Hopefully Flinn asked her about removing the madness and will be able to do it too. Hopefully this way there won't be more male Dreadlords than Asha'man (particularly chilling if you consider the possibility that those red-veiled Aiel might be male channellers)- hell, if Taim starts taking in those sisters Egwene's camp sent they might be caught and Compelled through the male to female bond or 13x13'd too, giving the Shadow a fair few more female channellers apart from the Black Ajah as well!


Anyone else think that Asmodean was a far better Chosen (I say 'Chosen' to emphasise what I mean) than Moghedien? Either through incompetence or otherwise he taught Rand far less than she taught Egwene!


Another thing about Aviendha's visions- Rand might be the one able to shed light on whether what's seen through the ter'angreal is a set future (hopefully Aviendha talks to him, better yet if there was some way to show him what she saw). Everything we've seen set about the future has been vague (Min's visions) and even the prophecies are just specifying 'conditions' that would guarantee some outcome. What Aviendha saw was way more specific.


Byar didn't have to be a Darkfriend, like Masema he was serving the Shadow simply by being the zealot he was. How much chaos did both stir up? Masema with his 'Light = Dragon => be Dragonsworn or DIE!' brigands and Byar by pitting the Children against Perrin and the rest all the way from tGH.
It would make sense if he was a fail-safe for Graendal, but then again not, since she'd not even have had to Compel him to get the very outcome we saw.


Gawyn carrying those rings around is actually a smart idea- of course it might kill him, but this is the bloody Last Battle on their doorstep! Some desperate measures might be necessary and he's fully aware of the consequences.


About Perrin's new hammer- I wonder if it was something about Perrin himself that made it what it was rather than simply being Power-forged. Remember how he started with the anger and then finished it off with resolve? Now consider how it's warm as though there's a molten core on the inside. Don't think that's ever going to be reproduced except maybe for an equally awesome, defining moment.


I wonder if anyone thought Olver winning the Snakes and Foxes game (as much a tribute to what Mat and co. did for real as it was) might be a bad thing? As in- the Pattern unravelling? Unless everyone in the Wheel of Time universe is exceptionally bad at graph/game theory, I'd take their word about never being able to win at Snakes and Foxes- so likely it's another facet of the Dark One's touch.


I thought Graendal was referring to Galad as 'that idiot Whitecloak' (or something along those lines), yes- even the Forsaken are peeved by Galad's insufferable righteousness. It might have been Byar like most seem to think, but as I said, that would have been a bit of a wasted effort for Graendal, since he might well have done what he did anyway- on the other hand, if she had access to Whitecloaks like that the obvious choice would have been Bornhald, with his grudge about his father and being teetering on the edge of possibly being a decent person and being an unreasonable zealot.


Even after Elayne's stupid actions were helped along by the Pattern (probably after a sigh and 'why couldn't the Dragon have just ended it all?' on the Pattern's part) in letting her know the plan for invasion Elayne pretty much did nothing in the way of fortification. Of course, the threat is coming from within the Caemlyn by way of the Waygate, but she could have sectioned off the city in any case and kept a sharp eye about (might even have looked for Portal Stones if she knew about the things, but that's forgiven since she probably didn't). Instead, she was just plain greedy through the entire book, even ready to execute Perrin, knowing he's ta'veren and likely instrumental against the Shadow in the Last Battle, just because of her royal outrage at the thought of losing a district that the Crown hasn't cared about (let alone cared for as a proper rule should) for generations (she seems certain that she should get things without giving anything in return- the most frustrating part is that she got pretty good deals throughout the book, only Mat and Perrin made anything near even deals).
Micheal Jessop
436. moggle
Just finished the book. Had to burn the midnight oil a few nights to get it knocked out over the last few days, but, hell, it's a new Wheel of Time novel. I think it's generally required. We're all close, now, to the big finish! In the words of Martha Stewart: "It's a good thing."

I thought that Towers of Midnight started somewhat like a snowball being rolled down a hill in an old Disney short. It took awhile for it to gather a head of steam, but now it's a gigantic sphere of snow, as tall and as wide as a house. It's a lot of momentum to carry into what can only assume will be an epic A Memory of Light (I've always been enamored with that title. Maybe the best out of the entire series).

Jesus Rand is tits. Some folks like the angsty Mr. Al'thor more -- and to an extent, I get that, as he certainly had his moments -- but I've been waiting for what seems a lifetime for the boy to get his shit together and start acting like a conduit for the Light, instead of the goth kid smoking in the alleyway outside the school dance. I reread the first chapter a few times, simply because I was so excited Rand finally got his apples in a row. Ha! Get it? Apples in... Nevermind. Anyway. All Hail Jesus Rand, for he's the only mofo around who can walk into the White Tower, cool as a cucumber, and have the whole lot of them Aes Sedai quaking in their slippers.

Nynaeve gets it, man. I never did like her much through the first, oh, six or seven books, but now she's my favorite of the Super Girls, or Wonder Chicks, or Baddass Babes, or Fantastisch Frauleins, or whatever they're going by these days. I think if Egwene would just give Rand a big hug, they'd have fewer misunderstandings. Speaking of, how about that big ol' hug between father and son? Eyes got a wee bit misty on me, I won't lie.

Ah, Perrin. Finally, brother. It's nice to see ya making some headway, cowboy. It sure beats sitting in a forest in Ghealdean for two books, right? Right. Actually, you're not just making headway, you're up and up shaking all the peaches right outta the tree. Power-Wrought weapons, awwwwww right! Plus bringing the 'Cloaks into the fold, getting Morgase back to her kids, rocking the wolf dream -- Power-forged Hammer: $2000. One massive army: $1,000,000. The look on Egwene's face when Perrin goes old school in tel'aran'rhiod and one up's her Aiel-trained (psssshaw! The Aiel should train with the wolves, for seriously now!) ass: Priceless -- getting Galad and Berelain together, indirectly offing Graendal... Whoo. Outta breath. Good job, Perrin. Got some plot threads wrapped up. For such a long time, you were sort of boring, but now... You cool, man. You cool.

I keep expecting Elayne to be closer to popping those kids outta her Queenly nethers than she actually is. I'll have to put a sticky note up that reminds me that the time between books' releases is not equal to the amount of time that passes in the books. It's only been about two years since Moraine up and skidaddled with the Two Rivers lads and lassies, as the book gleefully noted a few times. Crazy. Anyway, she has a string of luck the exact opposite of Mister Cauthons'. What a time to pick to go scare the bejeezus out of some Black Ajah! Right during a jail break! Thems the breaks, I suppose. Good stuff, though. I sorta missed not having her plot thread show up in The Gathering Storm.

I would have to concur with Miss Butler that Aviendha's sequence through the glass columns is nearly as good as the original. Whew. It was compelling as anything in the books up to this point, I'd offer. So well done. I had to read it twice because I felt obligated to pick up every nuance of the scene. Even though the series is coming to an end, the future of the Wheel of Time world is so interesting to think about. Who knows if we'll ever get more of it other than these small bits through Aviendha's eyes, but I enjoyed the hell out of every moment of it.

Matt is awesome sauce. He's long been my favorite character, as I know he is for so many of us. It never particularly bothered me that his voice was a bit 'off' in The Gathering Storm. It convinced me that Sanderson wasn't trying to mimic Jordan's writing, but, instead, just trying to do the best justice he could to the source, but in his own way. However, I was happy to see that Cauthon leveled out somewhat in Towers of Midnight. And the letter was, indeed, a friggin' masterstroke. Laughed out loud. I don't do that much when reading. I'm not going to get into some boring diatribe about the whole Tower of Ghenjei being 'predictable' thing. I just wanted to note two things: First, that I thought it was very well done. Second, that I wallowed in the predictability of it like a pig in shit. Personally, I didn't want anything other than Mat, Thom, and Noal marching into the Tower, taking names, kicking ass, and pulling Moraine out. I find it impossible to be upset that, as a reader, I got exactly what I wanted out of the whole scene. Tomayto, tomawto, I guess.

One thing does bother me, though. It's a general lack of urgency. Well, I'll take that a step back: Some characters, like Perrin, have it. Others... I'm not so sure why they don't understand that the world is just about to end. The sky is a perpetual mess of black, striating clouds, crops fail, the world dies, and Elayne wants to quibble over who is going to rule the Two Rivers? Save that nonsense for after the big battle, sister! Actually, that's not even the worst of it: She asks aloud why she shouldn't kill Perrin and Faile as traitors. She must have missed the memo that this Perrin Goldeneyes fella is pretty much tied to the fate of the world's survival. Beyond anything and everything else she might think of to spare his life, that's a solid reason not to voice stupid questions. I mean, I can't speak for Andor, but where I come from, 'Fate of the World rides on his shoulders, at least in a one-thirds sorta way' is generally a good reason not to lop of somebody's head.

And does the entire collective of Seanchan have their carefully shaved heads up their respective asses? The entire fabric of reality is failing around them, and all they can think about is attacking the White Tower. It boggles my little mind. I dunno. Maybe I put too much stock in the thought that if the embodiment of evil is just about to remake all of time in his name, that even the most quarrelsome of cultures might, yanno, throw in their lot with the good guys and try to get some shit done for the Light. There'll be enough time to shoot scavenging Aiel later: Right now, get up north, kaythnxbye.

Well, this whole write up has gone on long enough. Several paragraphs beyond what it should have ever morphed into, that's for damned sure. However, I just have to finally say that the ending gave me goosebumps. The Black Tower about to go apeshit, Caemlyn burning, and Lan charging into over a hundred thousand Shadowspawn? America, fuck yeah! Hell, Jordan could have ended every single book with Lan leading a charge into Trollocs, and I'd of been okay with that. Nice work, Mr. Sanderson, Team Jordan, et al. Bring on A Memory of Light.
Alice Arneson
437. Wetlandernw
dsolo @287 - Re: the red-vieled guys and the Seanchan guy's servant - I'm guessing you must be thinking of Furyk Karede and his servant Ajimbura? As far as I can tell, there's not really any description of his teeth. He does, however, eat rats, if that helps any. ;)

General note: Verin's letter to Mat. Her plan made perfect sense. I can't be the first to go back to TGS and see what the conditions were, and how they developed, can I? Verin originally asked Mat to wait 10 days and then do exactly what the letter said. He refused, thinking he could be in Caemlyn in 20 days of marching. Her first compromise proposal was that, if he chose not to open it (and she didn't come back to relieve him of it) he could burn it, but must wait in Caemlyn 50 days. He bargained her down to 30 days, thinking that even if he had to wait it out, at least he'd be in Caemlyn where he could be working on getting Elayne to make the dragons. So the final deal was that, if she didn't return, he could open the letter after 10 days and do as it said, or stay in Caemlyn at least 30 days before leaving. Remember, also, that the letter was already written when they met for this bargaining session.

As has been noted before, she couldn't risk that he would open it too soon, any more than she could tell him what was in the letter; because of her BA Oaths ("the hour of my death"), she had to be absolutely certain that he would not open it too soon. However, by requiring him to stay in Caemlyn for 30 days, he (and the Band) would still be there when the trollocs arrived (her letter said "Caemlyn will be lost before the month is out" which would be 28 days or less). She made a mistake in her confidence that his curiosity would make him open the letter; the Mat she knew before would no doubt have supported her belief, but she had no way of knowing his current resistance to Aes Sedai plots. Still, she wasn't entirely counting on it - she made sure he'd stay in Caemlyn long enough to be there when it mattered. Her information was, apparently, off by just a few days; the trollocs arrived in 31 days, just after Mat left. Unfortunately, Elayne's political maneuvering has pulled part of the Band away from Caemlyn, what's left is still outside the city, and Mat is out in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a gateway that will open tomorrow at noon and probably take him to the Field of Merrilor. It's not looking good for Caemlyn or Aludra's dragons - unless she can find a way to turn them on the trollocs.

Re: Rand recognizing Darkfriends... at first I thought he had some new ability to see the DO's mark on them. Others have said that it's just a matter of the DFs not being able to meet his eyes. (I couldn't quite see that, at first, because Wieramon's never been all that coy before - he could brazen it out with the best of them and never bat an eyelash, much less refuse to meet your eye.) After the full read, I think it's a matter of DFs having extreme difficulty even looking at him - his Light is too much for those sworn to the Shadow. What's-his-bucket (Torkumen) in Marador, digging his eyes out with a writing quill because the Light was too strong? His wife jumping out the window? How exactly Rand learned of this I don't know (as noted many times, we really don't get his POV any more), but I suspect that learn he did, and used that to reveal the DFs by their inability to look directly at him without a supreme effort, like Wieramon "gritting his teeth, his eyes watering."

galinsydney @323 - Mat's Old Blood certainly has a part in him, and he has some memories either from past lives or "genetic memory." However, RJ clearly explained that, at times in the past when the Tower of Ghenjei was not so forgotten, adventurous men would seek it out. The memories bestowed by the Eelfinn were collected from those adventurers, and stretch over a span of many hundreds of years.

Caline @333 and others re: Gaidal Cain - Gadren is still too old. He was four when the family came to the Black Tower. Maybe Sora's pregnant from before Jur left the BT, and there's an ugly brother on the way. But no matter how wierd the timing of TAR, a four-year-old is too old to be Gaidal. Sorry. For that matter, we don't know what RJ's assumptions about the soul were: When a hero is reborn, does the soul leave TAR when the child is conceived, when he is born, or somewhere in between? In any case, Cain is either an unborn child or a mewling infant at this stage. We haven't seen him yet.

RobMRobM @337 - I wondered about that too. We were clearly told (by BWS) that Sylvase is not a Forsaken in disguise, but not about her possible Darkfriendliness. And given her apparent mental competence (at least, I think that's what we're supposed to see, even though a lot of characters underestimate her) one seriously has to consider the fact that if her agent was Dark, she is as well. Buh.

dsolo @360 - There will be no "shared universe stories" for the WoT. RJ was quite, quite specific in his dislike of that idea. As I understand it, he and Harriet both loathed even fanfic. In fact, one of the biggest reasons the outriggers may not happen is that Harriet (and Brandon) aren't sure they want to try to create them from the limited material available, and Harriet is NOT going to make WoT into a free-for-all.

Tabernerus @363 - Moiraine went through the ring ter'angreal, just like Aviendha did on her first trip to Rhuidean. Moiraine has never been through the columns.

About the timelines - Brandon said that he had been shooting to have all the plot arcs synchronized by the end of ToM. However, "they aren't quite there, but they're a lot closer than they were." Let that mean what it will to you, but at the end of the book we know that someone (probably Mat, at least) is not quite in sync with the rest.

Okay, so does anyone seriously question whether there's a dreamspike at the Black Tower? When Graendal was given the one she handed on to Slayer, Moridin told her there was another already "being put to good use." The effects at the BT were exactly like the effects at Perrin's camp. What more do you want?

dsolo @407 - Yes, Harriet is working on a massive encyclopedia; Brandon mentioned a while back at a signing (WoK) that it would be HUGE. Also quite complete, although not necessarily with future outcome info. From what he said (I'd have to go back and listen to my recordings to give it word for word, but...) I got the impression that she would be deciding in the next few years whether to do the outriggers & prequels, or to just incorporate the info (especially from the prequels) into the Encyclopedia. Something like that, anyway. He also refuses to give any historical background on Verin or Cadsuane, as they may have bearing on the prequels, should they ever be written.

same @408 - That was Sylvase, not Janse. Speculation, it is rife. Solid evidence, it is lacking.

Silvertip @409 - YES!! Prophecy fulfilled, indeed. LOL!
Chandra81
438. Ulthwithian
So many points...

Aviendha's POV was... heartbreaking. I guessed a trip before she found out that she had changed the ter'angreal to show the future rather than the past. Having said that...

If there is anything that would get Aviendha to change in a radical way, seeing her descendants personally responsible for destroying the Aiel would be it.

Remember, her 'job' regarding the Dragon was to educate him in Aiel ways. Her descendants in the 'memories' clearly didn't know Aiel ways. Therefore, it could be argued that the 'memories' are a reflection of her worst fear: that she is unable to carry on the traditions of the Aiel.

@299: Yes, you are the only other person in the thread who sees the location of the second Dreamspike as revealing Moridin as Taim (to the reader). Rereading chapter 5, Moridin says to Graendal only that 'the other is being put to good use'. At the very least, Taim is Moridin's most important current-Age DF. At the worst, Taim is Moridin.

The ashandarei's true use was absolutely outstanding. I don't think anyone figured that out.

Demandred's location is the only real secret left, that I can think of. I feel at this point that it almost has to be Shara, because, IIRC, it's the only society on the planet (until the BT) that doesn't kill male channelers on sight. The Wetlands have the Aes Sedai (particularly the Red Ajah) hunting them down, the Sea Folk sink them, the Aiel use them as shock troops against the Blight, and the Seanchan are, if anything, more brutal than any other with their dealings.

Shara, though, not only 'permits' them to live (to 21), but uses them as breeding stock. Since the ability to channel seems to run along bloodlines, this means that Shara is maintaining, perhaps since the Breaking, a higher level of possible channeling than any other society.

It might not have been too hard for Demandred to set up a training area for Sharan Ayyad, and turn them into Dreadlords. Also, recall that Shara is in turmoil (as of LoC, I believe), and this shocks Rhuarc.

I guess I am trying to answer the question of, 'Where did the Trolloc Invasion get its channelers?' Easy answers are:

1) The Black Tower. We know there are DFs in the BT, and they could have been sent to aid the armies. However, there are Asha'man with Ituralde's army, and you'd think that at least someone would remark on seeing someone they might know on the other side.

2) Male Aiel Channelers. I find this highly unlikely. Except for quite recently, the DO I don't think even had 13 Channelers to do the turning trick. And I'm fairly sure that, the very rare Male Aiel Channeler DF aside, the only way to get one of these on the Shadow's side would be the 13x13 trick.

3) Shara. Note that the Forsaken who are known to be in a detente (Demandred, Mesaana, and Semirhage) were placed in areas with great amounts of channelers. Demandred hints at this in LoC when he says, "When I think of where we were placed..." Also note that this had to be at the DO's express command, as Ishamael was either dead or not yet Moridin at this point.

Here's a wild idea about the 13x13 trick, Androl, and the need of the Dreamspike. We know that the 13x13 trick needs 13 Fades. We also know that Shadowspawn die if they go through a Gate. (Hence the entire idea of a Deathgate.) What if someone turned by the 13x13 trick cannot go through a Gate without either dying (due to the connection with a Fade) or the connection breaking?

That would explain why Moridin definitely needs the Dreamspike at the Black Tower (because the people may not realize it). It also turns Androl into a Chekhov's Gun for dealing with it. (IOW, it explains how his Talent ties into the plot.) Now, the simple explanation of his Talent is that, linked in a Circle, he may be able to break through the Dreamspike.

Also, does the Dreamspike's use imply that all Traveling requires movement through T'A'R?
Chandra81
439. Michael J Goodwin
Even without the glossary to tell us Greandal did it, on page 116 [IIRC; I don't have the book handy] Moridin accuses Greandal regarding the death of Aran'gar, and I forget her response, but it's something along the lines of her already having killed another Chosen, to which Moridin replies asking if she's really trying to say Aran'gar was a traitor. Only one Chosen in this Age turned traitor, so right then and there, there was only one thing that conversation could have been referring to: Asmo's death.
Yasiru Ratnayake
440. yasiru89
Ulthwithian@438- I thought Aviendha was seeing Ages past, even before the Age of Legends to show her that no people are exempt from great falls as well as great glory, a mundane revelation to be sure compared to what it turned out to be (which I figured at the mention of the Raven Empire even if the Seanchan might have been a recurring theme) and truly tried Aviendha's resolve (cf Nynaeve's treatment during the raising- this was far worse).

The ashandarei is a curious point now- is it only an escape route from the Finn realm or does its purpose extend beyond that?

I'm hesitant in accepting the idea of the red-veiled 'Aiel' being male channellers too, but the Shadow certainly did have channellers- the whole time since the Trolloc Wars if not the Breaking- the Black Ajah to be specific- and their comings and goings as initiates of the White Tower are their own business so a little trip to Shayol Ghul on the way from manipulating some monarch or other would go unnoticed.

The Sharans are pretty big on plausible deniability going by the glossary entry. And considering the curious way the rulers die after seven years, we have reason to believe that the Ayyad are actually in complete control behind the scenes. This sort of secretive nature would be perfect for one of the Forsaken (I'm betting Demandred) to slip in and manipulate them to his own will (Compulsion and 13x13s might well feature there too).

Disagree about 13x13 making Shadow-turned people unable to Travel by gateway. This would make channellers useless and doesn't concur with what's been said about the trick- that it lets the worst possible personality of the turned person take control. It does not turn a person into Shadowspawn or make them retain some connection with Fades to work (it seems very permanent, like the Taint affecting people from when it first took root even when it's gone from saidin now).
I wonder if the Dreamspike prevents the 'gateway' that allows access to Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh- if not, perhaps Androl discovers this and with Pevara destroys the thing there. The only other means of escape seems to be moving it in Tel'aran'rhiod or just getting out of its perimeter in the real world and then Travelling. It also seems to have an ability to recognise exemptions- so Taim and his lackeys can probably still Travel with it in place.
Thomas Keith
441. insectoid
Okay, I'm going to play catsup catch-up, 100 comments at a time. But first:

MAT @411: Yeah whatever... ::grunts::

And a big welcome to all the new commenters trickling in! Good thing we got more chairs for the Bunker.

Leigh @5: LOL.

Ah yes, the gholam. That was a pretty clever trick, shoving it into the eternal freefall of the Skimming Place. Sure is nice that it didn't unravel the gateway, huh?

Now that I think about it, Elayne hasn't taken the Oaths. Couldn't she have made Mat the foxhead into the form of a spearpoint or something so that he could just stab the thing? Surely it must have a vital organ...

JEJ @22: LOL!! A book that defies inertia...

Ugh, Verin. Surely she could have told Mat that if she wasn't back in 3 days that he should OPEN OPEN OPEN the letter?! ::scratches head:: Maybe now that Mat & Co. have Moiraine with them, she can Cut the Trollocs Into Little Pieces!

(Probably not a great idea to listen to Pink Floyd while doing this.)

Oh wait... Mat should go get the Horn and sound it in Caemlyn! That could work.

Sub @30: Go ask Torie real nice for one. :)

The ashandarei was the Big Thing We Missed?? Really? Huh... whattya know. Makes sense.

Terez @47: Oooh, shiny!

I'm puzzled about the red-veiled Aiel, too.

Betterthenyouknew @66: Very cool!

Leigh @73: I agree... that was sort of a backhanded reveal.

cass @74: ::blink:: Not the first thing I thought of, but that's pretty hilarious!

Tek @90: Re: The End... Yeah... I'm thinking a lot of us are going to have post-Tarmon-Gai'don-WoT withdrawl. But probably not Re-read withdrawl! So there's something to look forward to. (Besides the Encyclopedia.)

Bzzz™.
Drew Holton
442. Dholton
Well, I've read about half the posts, and nobody has broached this subject yet as far as I can tell. Not even Leigh, which is somewhat surprising since it's one of the themes that she has pointed out in the rereads. And that is that throughout the series, lack of communication amongst the protagonists continually leads to bad things.

Yet in this book, it seems everybody has learned their lesson, and reap the rewards. Mat and Elayne catch each other up on their happenings, then actively cooperate in taking down the gholam! Mat provides the medallion for copies, Elayne gives Mat the copies, and gives him the tactic of stranding the gholam in the Skimmingverse! Give and take! Share and share alike! No wonder the Pattern is quivering in shock. Who needs a Dark One?

Perrin and Faile talk and reconcile. Then Perrin negotiates with Galad, and comes to a resolution with the White Cloaks through said negotiation. Then Perrin and Faile sit and have a rational discussion with Elayne, resolving the sticky problem of the Two Rivers. Perrin and Mat meet and exchange tales, and Mat actually tells Perrin about Moiraine. And Perrin didn't even need to be in the loop on this! Who needs balefire!?, asks the Pattern, this is downright scary! While they don't need to work together to rescue Moriraine, this lays a sound foundation for future teamwork.

In fact, it seems that everybody catches up with everybody else except with Rand and Egwene, and between Rand and Egwene. And look at what seems to be happening. Rand and Egwene are set to face off on the Field of Merrilor. And even there, while tense, I believe negotiation will win the day. Communication rules!

some other observations:

-I find it quite amusing that Rand seems to have played Egwene by getting her to gather the WOT nations' forces for him

-Given everything above, does it seem like everybody is being too reasonable all of a sudden?

-How bloody stubborn is Perrin, that it takes him half the series to accept his role as leader and wolfbrother? Even Rand had accepted his role by TSR.

-While the voices of the main characters were much improved in ToM, the more minor ones still seem a little off, cuch as Berelain and Bashere. On the other hand, Androl, a new character, was one of the most real to me. Perhaps because he was Brandon's to develop from the beginning?

-Does Rand now have concious control over his Ta'vereness? Sure seems like it.

-Was Rand using Callandor at Maradon?

-just how many shadowspawn can there be? Seems like we've seen the better part of half a million killed already, and they just keep on coming.

-on the question of the Wayforward Machine viewings, I'm unfortunately leaning in the direction of them being at Min level certainty:
This was not like the events she had seen when passing into the rings during her first visit to Rhuidean. Those had been possibilities. This day's visions seemed more real. She felt almost certain that what she had experienced was not simply one of many possibilities. What she had seen would occur.


And I get the impression, since evidently most of the Aiel didn't perish in the Last Battle, that this is how they become "a remnant of a remnant". And once again are driven to the Way of the Leaf. Although, it seems way too early in the Wheel's turning to come around to that again so soon.

-On the same subject, it not only sucks the Raven Empire destroys the Aiel, but that in the process, they evidently conquer all of Randland. That sound you hear is my teeth grinding.
Thomas Keith
443. insectoid
Catsup, part 2...

gt4431b @107:

Graendal may have killed Asmodean (yeah baby, I called that one a dozen years ago), but we still don't know for certain WHY?!


Darn right! We want a motive, Brandon!!

Last night I had this weird dream where I went to the bookstore to buy ToM, and came away with the wrong book! Instead of ToM, I got an advance reader copy of AMOL part 1! And I'm going, they split it AGAIN!!!


::shudder:: That's even more horrifying than the Wayforward Machine!

FSS @124: ROFL!!

Those Prophecies of the Shadow are creepy. And had BETTER not come true!!

Irene @146: Hmm... I'm thinking one of three things:
--Rand wiping out the Shadowspawn army;
--Perrin and Neald forging the Mjollnir-analog;
--Any scene depicting Moiraine. :)

Samadai @151: Hmm, yeah, the Cynfear scene sort of threw me for a loop. What the heck is she up to?

Sub @154: What surprises me is that ToM is thicker than Way of Kings, but WoK has more pages! ToM uses thicker paper, maybe?

Oh yes... here there be Dragons!

douglas @186: Good point.

My reaction to the not-quite-right Asha'man was "Oh, sh*t... 13x13'd!" (Not out loud, of course. Wouldn't want to give anything away.)

KilMichaelMcC @216: Totally agree... that wasn't nice! Poor Nicola.

KiManiak @224: Love the name.

215+ comments already?! In 2 days? Aren't we the active group :)


And we're outpacing the first TGS Open-Spoiler Thread. Projecting 1000 by mid-next week.

FSS @228: Hmm, yeah... that is odd.

Sub @237:

It`s okay to bounce off the walls when your room is padded:)


LOL!! That's how I felt after eating too much leftover Halloween candy this last week! ;)

Looking Glass @245: Re: Wayback/forward Machine... Or perhaps it's performing exactly to spec, and that this is why the Wise Ones don't allow them to go through the columns more than once—because the future is/will be too horrible.

Sub @249: ROFL!!

More later, need Z's.

Bzzz™.
Chandra81
444. Confutus
My prediction is that Elaida Sulla's revelation of Traveling to the Seanchan will turn out to be a good thing. They're supposed to be on the Light's side. There is a lot to admire about Seanchan culture, but the a'dam and sul'dam are abominations that have to go.

Rand had a go at trying to bring them over, but that was before he learned to laugh and weep again. Besides, it's been suggested from way back that it was Mat's job to bind the Nine Moons to Rand. With Mat now headed for the Tower, the Empress and the Prince of Ravens will be at odds as tradition requires and Fortuona will find out what kind of man she married.
Chandra81
445. kraefzke
Amazon shipped my book. Yesterday at 8 pm. That means I won't get it before Monday. So much for pre-ordering half a year in advance!
Bill E. Brooks
446. billebrooks
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere long ago that the ashandarei was a key. Someone did figure it out.

Dholton@442.
"Was Rand using Callandor at Maradon?"
Probably. He suspiciously had two "maidens" with him. Maybe they were Wise Ones in disguise.

"on the question of the Wayforward Machine viewings, I'm unfortunately leaning in the direction of them being at Min level certainty"
I strongly disagree on this. I've thought about how that future can be changed. Rand simply needs to make the right agreement with the Seanchan. Mat and Perrin will have to help him make it. These are the mistakes he needs to avoid:
1. He must not place himself below the Empress Fortuona.
2. The Aiel must be part of the peace.
3. There must be an enforcement mechanism of some kind. Otherwise, everyone will break the agreement.
4. The Seanchan may need to release some or all of the damane they control.
Yasiru Ratnayake
447. yasiru89
billebrooks@446-
Unlikely that Rand would use Callandor in Maradon when he might be driven mad by its power and all. And Ituralde might have remarked on the crystal hilt jutting out of the sheath in his PoV.
No I think he got a power-up.

Somehow I don't think Tuon is the one responsible for the Seanchan becoming complete jerks (again) in Aviendha's visions of the future, I fear she's somehow to be supplanted. What with the new 'actually talking to your allies about your problems' card now in play, Aviendha just needs to sit Rand and Mat down and let them know about this horrid outcome she witnessed (and find a way to make sure Rand's bloodline isn't given undue priority just because who he is, even if they're some sort of super channellers).
Marie Anzalone
448. MarieAnzalone
@Muleheaded lummox 361: I'm not so sure she did not recognize the spear. In WH, she is amazed to find it, and offers to buy it from him at 10x the price he paid (finally found the ref I was looking for). She recognized it as being related to the Inperial Seanchan line. The sigils for the line are ravens and roses, and we have a spear with ravens coming out of Finnland, and carvngs of roses very similar to the Bloodknife rings seen in Finnland. We have a book of dark prophecy coming out of Finnland (my guess given what it is bound in and how its origin was explained) and a prophecy among the Seanchan that seems to coincide with Dark prophecy. Something seems to suggest a past connection to me.
a a-p
449. lostinshadow
Right then, finished the book (thank you express post and customs) and actually read all the comments.

Wall of Text:

RobM2@203 - I completely disagree with your disappointment in Nyn for failing to follow the rules. I think it was a MOA for her perhaps equal to everything else she's done so far. I think her actions, particularly what she said afterwards to both Eggs and the Sitters, were a direct challenge to the White Tower's arrogance, smug certainty that it is always right and must be followed without question. To me the confrontation showed that the WT has not learned the lesson Rand has learned, they need to feel to fight for the Light. The demand sacrifice of every personal feeling and loyalty and we've seen how well that worked out for Rand. But in her test and subsequent challenge, Nyn shows that you can feel, you can help and you can pass the hardest test for the shawl ever administered. So kudos to her (and she healed insanity)!!!!

Egwene - have to admit she's never been one of my favorites and she is particularly annoying to me in this book. I can understand the point some made about Rand not explaining to her why he wants to break the seals but couldn't she a) at least consider it might be a valid option, b) ask some sisters to do some research on it, c) ask Rand to explain rather than saying no way, what you crazy? instead of spending her time marshalling support against him. really? this close to TG? have we learned nothing about dividing the forces of light? grrrr

Elayne - now she's normally a favorite of mine, I actually like her but her plot isn't working for me. For one thing, threatening the execution of Perrin, really, her baby daddy's BFF? not even getting into the nothing will happen to me thanks to Min's viewing thing.
Still, I actually think Perrin got the better of her regarding Two Rivers, remember we as fans might want Manetheren resurrected but he already promised the Seanchean that we won't ever raise the Manetheren banner. And Perrin would not break is word so he actually promised Elayne nothing.

Rand seeing Cynfear - no way she's switching over, that would totally betray that character, I think she's a trap for Rand. Like noted @424, "another has been given that opportunity" Rand is now unequivocally good (hence start of TG and full on attack by forces of dark) so hopes of turning him are done, now the plans will be to destroy him somehow.

I actually like Rand, I didn't feel that he had been totally subsumed by LT. I also think that we will be seeing quite a few weaknesses in the next book.

WayForwardMachine - hmmm I think I may be balefired for this but that scene really did very little for me. Don't misunderstand, I love the Aiel - hands down my favorite peeps in the series - and the future Avi sees is demeaning and horrible. But really if all it takes is less than 10 generations for the coolest people ever to become half wild scavengers then Rand should take his women and go or better yet let the DO destroy the pattern.
Perhaps I was too distracted by Avi's encounter with Nakomi (never occured to me that it could be Verin and doesn't really make sense to me if it is) creeped me out because to me it seemed like the aim was to have Avi question the meaning of her people's existence not to give them purpose but to undermine them (self fulfilling prophesy is a fact of life, if you fear something enough, it will happen to you). Not sure if I'm clear, to me it seemed like she was not warning Avi but trying to pull the rug out from under her and through her all of Aiel society. So that scene disturbed me so much that I felt Avi may have somehow corrupted the columns.
Or maybe the WO now have another Acceptraton and if you can come out of it you can be a WO.
Also, honestly it felt more like a side plot setting up a spinoff (or outrigger as they call them with books I guess) than anything serious. beh, don't know
a a-p
450. lostinshadow
Right and one more thing

so how likely is it that the second Seanchean assault on the WT occurs as Egwene is busy trying to bully Rand

So we could conceivably pretty much have Rand demanding many things of all the world's leaders and armies (minus the Seanchean) while the borderlands are overrun, Caemlyn is attacked, the WT is attacked and civil war breaks out in the Black Tower, with a force of ships with red sails and "murdering emperor" coming from the ocean, some unknown pointy toothed creatures come out of hiding (I'm of the created by Fain's blood camp). All at the same time

for those who are complaining that this book was too rosy and things went too well even though BWS had promised us lots of darkness, errm well just wait another year and a half or so.
Lannis .
451. Lannis
Well, I for one didn't think ToM was too rosy--there had to be some Light-side connecting in order for Our Heroes to have that essential communication happening, and we KNOW that AMoL is going to be chock-full of ugly, so when will there be time for said communication?

Besides, one word: Maradon! There's some darkness for you! And Perrin's arc was not rosy, regardless of the 'hurry up and wait' for the trial with the Whitecloaks.

::sigh:: Still digesting. So many great throw-away lines... speaking of Whitecloaks... everybody catch Galad's thought about having been beaten by someone with a quarterstaff before? Haha!
R B
452. MasterAlThor
Bug,

Hehe.....just a few more and....

Sub,

Yes I know but at least it is there and no one can say I didn't warn them. Plus I write by the seat of my pants, so.....

Blind,

I think that Perrin was the star. I don't think that Mat did enough to steal the show. Oh he was BA but there wasn't enough IMO.
Scientist, Father
453. Silvertip
My biggest problem with the Nakomi = Verin idea is that Nakomi shows a really deep understanding of Aiel culture and history -- more so than Aviendha in some ways. I don't recall any evidence that Verin could do that. Of course I have no other ideas at all, however.

I almost hate to do this:

We know that Graendal is "responsible" for the deaths of Mesaana (OK, not quite dead), Aran'gar, Asmodean.

Mesaana: Graendal wasn't anywhere around, but flubbed (from SH's point of view) the handling of the dreamspike, resulting in her defeat.

Aran'gar: Graendal didn't actually kill her, but kept her from escaping Rand. Absolutely she deliberately and consciously left her to die, I have no intention of saying that she wasn't directly responsible, but there's more to the story than simply killing her.

Asmodean: we have no new details on what actually happened. Are we really really really sure that Asmo just discovered her hiding and she flamed him, as seems to be the assumption? Or might there, here also, be more to the story, since there was more to the story in the other two cases where SH considered the Forsaken "destroyed by [her] actions"? Could we STILL be in RAFO country?

@449 lostinshadow: A lot can happen in 10 generations or so. Start counting at 1492 and see what happened to some pretty sophisticated cultures.

Some thought. Going to go give my kids a hug now.

S
Chandra81
454. wishtochannel
Here's an offbeat theory:

What if Cynfear appearing in Rand's dream was NOT the result of her actions, but rather the connection that Rand still has with Moridin? Hmmm... my mind is whirling because there's something here to discuss: Lanfear went through the doorway with Moiraine, and thus would have been granted her three requests. Now, after getting those requests, she was killed by the Foxes (depowered too quickly); hence her being reborn as Cyndane. But there's still the question of what those requests were.

What if she asked for the Foxes to severe her tie with the Dark One? And somehow, depending on how she asked it and what the other requests were, we end up with Cyndane as the rebirth of bad portions of her soul, and Mierin as the rebirth of good portions... at the same time!

Someone wiser than I can figure out a way to tie all this together... also the idea that at some point while both Lanfear and Moiraine were stuck in the Foxes' world, someone (presumably Mordidin) came looking for them. How does that fit in?

Other random point that might help back this up: because Mierin was the first to bore into the DO's prison, maybe it makes sense that she'll have to be part of the process of restoring that prison (not just patching it)?

On a completely different note, I think it's possible that Taim is Slayer/Isam/Luc. Not sure why, but the dreamspike appearing at the BT helps the theory along, a little bit. Didn't RJ or BS tell us that Taim is definitely NOT Moridin?
Chandra81
455. Wolfger
Moridin said that he had found two dreamspikes and that the other was being used elsewhere. And I thought we had been told that Luc/Isam cannot channel.
John Massey
456. subwoofer
@Lostinshadow- I completely agree with your complete disagreeing:)

... but then I have already said my bit on the subject.

... and are you COMPLETELY OFF YOUR ROCKER?!! Rosy book?? Were we reading the same thing?! This is Towers of Midnight we are talking about right? Hopper dies. Noal dies. Mat's serving dude dies. Many other wolves die. Gawyn lives. Berelain is off the market. Rodel's army is slaughtered. Whitecloaks are slaughtered. Suffa proves she is dumber than a sack of hammers. Aviendha sees some serious drek. Elayne doesn't sit on the needle I planted. AAAAHHH! I could go on...

@Insectoid- yeah, I'm not gonna hold my breath on that one. I'm thinking TOR is discriminating against 4 pawed people:(

@APero- don't think Brandon would do that to us here. No Hoids abound.

Perrin did do well in this book. The strength of the tripod relies on all three legs being equal. Mat is doing his part, Rand has his head on straight, and Perrin has finally accepted who he is- Young Bull and a Lord. The Last Battle is coming, we don't have time for a pity party.

I am still harping on my timeline comment in regards to Gaidal.

Seanchan. Option A- Mat blows horn, Seanchan see Hawkwing and come to their senses. Option B- Seanchan travel to maybe overthrow Rodel or something and pop themselves in the middle of a hoard of Trollocs. Maybe seeing the Shadow first hand will smack some sense into Tuon. Dang midget is holding on to some old dogmas that are just plain wrong. All her kung-fu won't amount to a hill of beans when she can't even reach to smack a Trolloc in the nanners.

Edit- and for the person that says Mat didn't do much in this book... he loses a flippin' eye here folks. Isn't that enough? On top of killing the Gholam, saving Moiraine, making Dragons and Dragon Eggs, easing badgers...

Woof™.
a a-p
458. lostinshadow
ok just to clear something up, I don't think TOM was rosy, I was responding to someone way above who complained the BWS had promised us a real dark book and not really delivered since Rand was all that is light and good and people were cooperating.

Personally I'm satisfied with the level of darkness. Rand might not be crazy and scarhing the sh*t out of everyone but I actually found TOM very disturbing because of all the tension permeating throughout all the storylines even though a lot of "good" things happened too. For me the sense of TOM is like the "shadows" some Ashaman are seeing, you can feel them watching you but you can't quite pinpoint them but you know in the end, they will destroy you.

sub@456 Here's a thought - what if Mat arrives at the WT to get his horn just as the Seanchean attack? even if Tuon isn't leading the attack (the empress probably doesn't do stuff like that) there might be some Seanchean officer who recognizes the Prince of Ravens. What happens if Mat then says stop
Tomas Gerst
459. IamnotSpam
Ok everyone has been touting off Fain as Golum, but now I wonder if Lanfear wont end up being the sacrifice at the end of this or to close the core?
Michael McCarthy
460. KilMichaelMcC
So, was I the only one sort of hoping for some kind of redemption for Elaida? That would she show some heroic resistance against the Seanchan? Instead, she actually sinks even lower than she's ever been, offering to trade other Aes Sedai for her freedom. Didn't like that one bit.

I also disliked the ridiculous retconning of Berelain's motives for insistance in pursuing Perrin. It seemed like a hamfisted attempt to paint her as better person, acting out of political motives rather than simply to spite Faile for confronting her in the Stone.
I mean, Berelain hardly needed some special tie to the Dragon Reborn when she was already one of his trusted allies.
diane heath
461. jadelollipop
@387 re: black eyed Aiel....someone made that comment to Aviendha (don't recall which book) She was puzzled because the Aiel don't have dark eyes. (I think Egwene was the first brown eyed person she had met)
a a-p
462. lostinshadow
I still maintain that they have to bind the Dark One to the pattern to defeat him. That outside of the pattern makes DO not subject to any rules and undefeatable so first he needs to be part of the worlds he wants to destroy (Fionovar or Malazan anyone?)
Chandra81
463. Sinsecato
So does the waygate in Caemlyn have the same type of Shadowspawn killing warding that the Shadar Logoth gate did? It seems foolish to me for Rand not to have warded them all similarly, because, well, why wouldn't he? I realize that the Trollocs could still rampage for some time in Caemlyn, but at some point they would all start to die. Of course even if he did there would be ways around it, for instance Shaidar Haran seemed to be able to unravel Cadsuane's wardings around the male adam, so there is plenty of room to have the shadow get around the waygate wardings if you wanted to write that in.

As for the Dragon's Peace, currently it seems set up for Rand to make the pact with just the Randlandian rulers, and not the Seanchan, whereas from Avi's visions if i recall correctly it seems that they are part of the pact. So that is something that already seems potentially different from the visions, which would indicate that the visions are something more along the lines of Avi's fears than a glimpse of fate. Of course someone (leigh?) mentioned that the Seanchan would be attacking Tar Valon soon and that with this large armed gathering so close by maybe Rand can negotiate a peace that includes them not attacking Tar Valon and keeps the Randland armies from fighting the Seanchan then and there.
David Platt
464. The Not So Dark One
Good Book - but a huge compromise in so many ways.
The cutting of the book to get TGS released left so many plotlines out of sequence. Whilst I understand why they cut it at the time - why couldnt they put the timeline back together in this book - yes that would mean more of some characters at the start but reading about Tam being with Rand - post redemption- then much later reading where the Aes Sedai come to get him was quite jarring.
Some storyline seemed to have great care taken to finish them as fully as would be expected. Many people do not like Perrins leadership storyline but half a book to finish a five book plotline is about right. Half a chapter to tidy up Children of the light leadership seems rushed and sloppy.
Would like to add my voice to those unhappy with Glossary reveals - yes the clues where there but that's why they are clues - to just say it in the Glossary is rubbish, really poor effort.
@118 and @123 - I think it was an onyx hand - and could it possibly be a ter'angreal which helps to negate the damaging effects of using callendor.
Anyway - thats all from me for now - *avoid wall o text*

TNSDO

Edit for saying Perrin instead of Rand (In Bold)
Chandra81
465. yoyo yusuf
I just finished the book and i must say what a disappointing book this has turned out to be. After the brilliant TGS, this book falls into path of daggers territory. Leigh is dreaming if she thinks this book is better than the gathering storm

The book starts of with lan riding to his apparent death. with all due respect to al lan mandrogoran, i do not care one whit about lan. His death makes no difference to the grand scheme of things. What's worse is his apparent distaste with people following him and yet marching on regardless. His whole mantra of being a king without land is just tiresome and wasteful. Then we got some borderlander perspective and trollocs overunning his tower. Something that could have been in the final book. Instead they waste pages on this.

Now let's get to the meat of the story. Perrin. Perrin who was once one of fave characters has turned out to be one of th biggest waste of space ever. The constant dont want to be king, then fighting his wolf side is so 1997. yes 1997. how long is this useless arc going to be continued? oh i must not give in, oh i dont want to be a leader blah blah. Sheesh the whole book was wasted on him. This was something that should have been resolved back 10 friggin years ago.

Rand and egwene. Having got through remarkable transformations in TGS and being the stars of that book, here their plot meanders to meaningless. Calm jedi rand goes on to apologising to everyone which is nice. But the story remains stuck in second gear. No plot advancement. Ditto egwene apart from being bullheaded. what a waste.

Now on to the forsaken. just as i predicted the forsaken came out as cropper. the dark one and his minions are simply useless. just useless. where the fuck is demandred by the way? the forsaken has became an enemy to be pitied and not feared.

The black tower arc. 2 books and still no plot advancement. We know what's going in the tower. And yet nothing seems to be happening apart from taim and his baddies recruiting for the dark one. The turning of tarna is the only thing in this book that made me pause. And while she was a cool red her turning would'nt accomplish much in the grand scheme of things. Which begs the question where is logain? The black tower arc has just been relegated to meaningless side plots by sanderson.


Moraine's rescue. The only plot advancement and long overdue in my opinion.

Final words, a poor book with so many words and yet accomplished very little when it has come to the story apart from certain characters meeting up after ages. No epic endings or climactic battles that drove the story forward. The shadow still inept and clueless and forsaken still useless.
The book should have ended with rand breaking the seals. Instead i fear tarmon gaidon is going to end up as simply a larger version of Dumai wells. Another book and not one single light character has bit the dust. Not one that mattered anyway.


One more book and i get the feeling it's going to end in an anticlimactic fashion
Barry T
466. blindillusion
I don't think ToM was all roses either. Every moment, for the most part, had it's element of darkness. Some of those moments were pitch black: Fain, the Black Tower and the ending with the Shadow Aiel (for lack of a better name/and it hints that the Blight is full of things we don't know about yet).

And the darkest question of all was left hanging at the end of ToM: Will Egwene give Rand the support of the White Tower if he breaks the Seals.

Oh, and we still don't know the location of Demandred, though Murandy is the obvious answer...which probably means Demandred has never set foot there. Sigh.

- I don't think Rand has access to the True Power. The first time he visited the Borderlanders, perhaps. We'll never know (I hope I hope) if Rand had access to the True Power then, or if he only believed he could access it because he'd done so before. The second time he visited the Borderlanders, I'm thinking he's just commenting that he knows of another Power the Guardian cannot defeat, not that he has access to it. (Sigh. "Access" now looks funny.)

- Let's look at the ways in which Mat stole the show is now the Center of All and why AMoL will be his novel more than any one else's (hey, Rand got tGS and Perrin got ToM).

1. He is the Horn Sounder - We know at some point in AMoL he'll make his way to Tar Valon to reclaim the Horn. Hence, Mat, perhaps the greatest General in Randland, will lead the greatest band of warriors during the Last Battle. (Rand will be too preoccupied to lead them, though I'd imagine a similiar circumstance as we found at Falme, with the better Rand does, the better the Heroes will do.)

2. He is the Prince of Ravens - Someone above made the comment that Mat will be in Tar Valon when the Seanchan forces make their appearance. This sounds about right, to me at least. The issue of damane will be forced between Mat and Tuon (at least until the end of the Last Battle).

3. He is Felix Felicis - Or at the very least, he has it bottled in his pocket. His luck expanded in ToM because he's still learning how to use it.

Have to run. I'm sure there are other things I could think of to say why AMoL will be Matcentric...I'll have to think of them over the next 15-18 months.
Maiane Bakroeva
467. Isilel
Seamus 1602 @376:

Will Mat even be aware of the Caemlyn situation? Grady's picking them up, and Grady is presumably at Melinor Fields.

I bet that either something will prevent Grady from picking them up or maybe Moiraine, once she is a little recovered, will determine that Mat's desire to go to Caemlyn is rooted in his ta'veren nature. Then she'll reveal that she got AoL channeling knowledge as one of her wishes (maybe as part of what she needs to know about sealing the Bore) and take the 3 of them there, just in time to repel the Trolloc invasion and plug that Waygate.

IMHO, Mat's outburst re: not marrying Thom and Moiraine was there so that Moiraine could in good conscience go into battle before meeting Rand.

Also, I bet that Caemlyn will be shut to Travelling either by the BT dreamspike or by some other means, so that no channeler would be able to avert Elayne/Rand (cause it would be a very short-lived invasion otherwise), but Mat's camp will be just outside of the blocked area.

Re: defensive position of the royal palace, it doesn't mean all that much when channelers are involved. Hopefully, Androl @ Pevara will keep the BT sufficiently occupied so that Taim's cohorts won't be able to support the invasion of Caemlyn as strongly as planned.

@460:

So, was I the only one sort of hoping for some kind of redemption for Elaida? That would she show some heroic resistance against the Seanchan?

Nope, I was with you there. We were told so many times that Elaida was intelligent and strong in some ways despite appearances to the contrary and I hoped that we will finally see some of it. All it would have taken, with the 3 Oaths, was swearing that she'd never perform for Seanchan. Instead, she just sucks completely.
But, I guess that they must somehow arrive to the conference of nations and this supposed invasion of TV will be the ticket.

Of course, we were told that Graendal was a genius and she even seemed somewhat sensible in the Prologue and ditto. I mean, really, a psychologist taking Perrin apart? She couldn't have gotten an easier assignment and she couldn't have used the more innapropriate tools for it. I mean, really, Compulsion FTW. Brain-fry Faile and you are home-free. Cough, cough.
David Platt
468. The Not So Dark One
Oh, and also couldnt decide whether I loved or hated that after soooo long, everyone just suddenly started talking to each other.

There was lots of , okay so this is what we're gonna do....whisper whisper, and this is what happened......and did you know I......

We've all moaned about lack of communication in the past and thought that if they talked it would be better, but somehow I thought there would be events that made people realise, or coincidences or forced situations - not sitting down in the pub and saying, so..hows it been?

TNSDO
Scientist, Father
469. Silvertip
@460, 467:

Elaida failing here actually feels right to me. She is, at root, a bully. When she has succeeded, it has been by successfully bullying people from a position of power. In my experience, bullies very often wind up being bully-able [sic?] cowards when it's them on the short end of the stick. Her folding up in the face of the Seanchan is, I think consistent. Remember this has happened before -- Alviarin was surprised at how easy she was to blackmail into doing what Alviarin wanted. I'll buy a MoA for someone like Dain Bornhold, who basically needed to grow up, but not for Elaida.

S
Chandra81
470. Meerletalis
Wheel of Time: Hoid will not appear in WoT according to Brandon from previous appearances.

Someone had to ask about Av's guest...
Vikas Mittal
471. The__Matrix
I think Mazrim Taim could be Ishamael himself. Ishamael does say to Graendal that he has two dream spikes and other he is using somewhere else. The other is being used at black tower. Also, Mazrim second only to Rand draws a parallel to Lewis Therin and Ishamael.
Chandra81
472. yoyo yusuf
By they way how sad is it after 13 books the shadow has not managed to kill not one single major light character.

The shadow has stopped becoming scary after book 5
fletcher
473. fletchersr
The greatest moment in this book for me was the actual physical relief I felt after realizing I would not have to read about Perrin's mental anguish. It must have been planned in the outline to make the reader so pissed at having to read some of this shit that it would be like "seeing the light". Overall I thought the effect was very nice after putting the book down but the re-read is a long way off.
I can imagine it is not an easy job advancing all of these plot lines, and some of it seemed a little rushed in this book, but I won't complain too much about progress. Still I think some of the story lines could have been changed and dedicated to more of the major themes, which could have resulted in more whining so maybe I should be happy with what we got.
Loved me some Mat, although the last bit with the TOM, what I assumed would be a major part of the story (title and all) wasn't really that great. Happy to have Moiraine back.
Thought there were a lot of great little hints and teases throughout the book. Won't name any cause I am too lazy to go look right now, but I remember coming across them every once in awhile.
I read the book without sleeping very much and ate only when the characters ate. I guess that is a pretty good indicator of how much I could put it down and don't mind my whining cause it could go on for 336 more pages. (When does aMoL come out?) Forgive if I have copied anyone word for word, I swear that I haven't read all 450 reviews.
Alice Arneson
474. Wetlandernw
KilMichaelMcC @460 - FWIW, I didn't see this as retconning Berelain's motives at all. She presented herself that way clear back in TSR, and has always been presented as doing everything for the good of Mayene. Back in TSR, she went after Rand first; when that became clearly not an option, she dismissed Mat as "too much like me" and went for Perrin. Over and over we've been told that she has used herself and anything else she can find to keep Mayene free and stable. Look back to the beginning of the Perrin-going-for-Masema-and-Alliandre thread: Rand was planning to send Berelain back to Mayene, feeling that he had taken her away from her responsibilities long enough and that she deserved to be somewhere safe now. She all but begged him to give her something else to do, because she couldn't trust written guarantees to be enough to protect Mayene later.

I don't have time now to go into all the proofs, but we've been told all along that Berelain does everything for political reasons. Her oath to Faile was personal, but count on Berelain to combine personal and political gain if she can.

I can't believe it. I just defended Berelain, albeit in a somewhat backhanded manner...
Chandra81
475. NiccMac
I'm not trying to be unproductively negative...I enjoyed this book and I have many good things to say about it, but one passage in particular was so glaringly sloppy that I just had to mention it.

On page 769, Setalle says to Mat:

"I see.... So you're using boots as a metaphor for the onus of responsibility and decision placed upon the aristocracy as they assume leadership of complex political and social positions."

Again, I love Sanderson, and I think he's doing a very good job with this series, but just what in the hell was he thinking when he wrote this? Does this sound like something Setalle would say? Does this sound like something anybody in the Wheel of Time series would say? How did this get by Harriet, Team Jordan, Tor, and the beta readers?

Sanderson's anachronistic dialogue has been much commented upon, and this is probably the worst example. I'm glad we got this book on time, but for the final volume in the series, I hope he takes it slow and does his absolute best to reconcile his own style with Jordan's. Though he made a few missteps, I sensed that effort from him in tGS...not so much in this book.

(Alright...with that out of my system, I intend to post later with more complete and balanced thoughts).
Hugh Arai
476. HArai
wetlandernw@474: Well said. I should add that showing Berelain as someone so politically focused that phrases like "trusted ally", "beloved wife" and "honest man" are truly meaningless for her doesn't strike me as painting her as a better person. It paints her as kind of pathetic and pitiable and it does explain how she can so totally misunderstand Perrin and Rand. It also suggests interesting times in the future because Galad is apparently just as dense in the other direction :)
David Platt
477. The Not So Dark One
I believe it has already been pointed out that during the scene where Perrin meets the white clocks he asks for the Aiel scouts to "ride out". Am I remembering right that in Avi's flash forwards one of the Aiel thinks to themselves "The Aiel ride to war again" or something like that. Maybe an edit for future editions of the book should change these things.

TNSDO
z drake cupsford
478. zdrakec
Loved the book, but - the language used by the characters is occasionally jarring, to say the least. Mat: "you can't sell the technology", or Elayne: "They played us", etc. I would like Sanderson - who, don't get me wrong, has done a fantastic job - to go read Ursula LeGuin's essay, "Language of the Night". I think it will favorably inform his future work.
Still, great work!
Lindy Brown
479. lbrown
@ Leigh
"...and the fan names snuck into the narrative (I only caught one or two, but Page 104, man—I grinned like a maniac)."

Was that Kate Nepvue (Kateri Nepvue), the one who does the LotR Reread posts? I noticed that, too, on my read through.
z drake cupsford
480. zdrakec
Okay, just read Leigh's comment about Graendal being confirmed as Asmo's killer in the glossary. Remember, though, that Moridin chided her for Aran'gar's death, calling her destruction of other Chosen something that appears to be becoming a habit. I thought Graendal was Asmo's killer before; that cinched it, I figured.
Of course, after years of speculation, to have it actually confirmed in the Glossary, of all places, does seem a bit lame.
Hugh Arai
481. HArai
NiccMac@475: Actually I thought that sounded like a former White or Brown, I forget which Setalle is currently assumed to be. Or any of the Tower scholars really, regardless of Ajah. It's not as though the concepts are beyond the grasp of Randland society or even Mat. If it's the large words you're blaming on Sanderson you must have forgotten the arguing arithmetists in KoD, who use quite specialized vocabulary and are pure RJ.
Lindy Brown
482. lbrown
I bought the book right at 9am at my local Barnes and Noble on Tuesday morning and read it almost straight through. I finished (finally) last night at 12:30am. I am exhausted. I took me 4 days with 12 hours of reading (only 8 hrs on Tuesday because I mostly just quickly skimmed through the Prologue and Chapters 1 and 2 (because I’d already read them). I took 4 days off work for this very purpose. I just can’t get myself to skim through a book like this. I have to take it slowly and drink in every detail. But it is kind of annoying when it takes so long :).

Anyway, the book was awesome! While I did really enjoy all the different plotlines and the awesome stuff that was happening, I was also a little disgruntled that we had to wait so long for the Tower of Ghenjei sequence. This was the event I was most looking forward to in ToM (and in tGS, too, actually) and it was pushed back to the very ending. It also seemed like the ToG sequence was pushed back a whole month more than was needed? Mat only needed to wait in Caemlyn 30 days, right? And Brandon said at a signing that Mat was 30 days behind Rand’s storyline. But it appears that Mat didn’t go to the ToG until a month after Rand’s meeting with Egwene in Ch 3, when everyone was meeting on the Field of Merrilor (and why there?) So that’s 2 months he was waiting in Caemlyn? Why?

Re: Mesaana- I really thought that Leigh’s # 3 reaction (seal clapping/ fannish outrage) was regarding Mesaana’s defeat, because that is how I felt about this. I mean, yes, I am happy Mesaana was defeated, but breaking her mind with Egwene’s force of will????? Really????? I really did not like that and I felt that we were short changed.

Re Perrin and the dreamspike: I really thought something terrible would happen to Team Light in the White Tower when Perrin decided to take himself there in T'A'R when he was dragging around the violet dome. I kept thinking, “Not a good thing, Perrin. Why’d you go to Tar Valon of all places?” The one place where this dreamspike effect would definitely be felt, and exactly the time that Egwene and Co. are fighting the Black Ajah. I really thought one of the good Aes Sedai would be killed because of this. But it turns out the dreamspike being over Tar Valon had a totally opposite effect, being that it actually saved the good Aes Sedai from falling into Mesaan'a trap. So, good job, Perrin (you were lucky).

Asmo’s killer: I, too, really wanted Lanfear to be the killer, even though that theory doesn’t fit with what RJ said about the killer being obvious. (Lanfear’s motivation was obvious, but not the method since Lanfear was trapped in Finnland at the time). I thought that would be a lot cooler than the killer being Graendal. I also think, like many of you, that it’s kind of lame that the black and white confirmation of Graendal’s guilt came in the Glossary. (I missed that, too.) But I was already very, very strongly suspecting (approaching certainty) that it was Graendal from her two scenes in the book. I just wanted there to be a more explicit statement of it in the book. (Oh, well).

RE: Verin’s message: I don’t blame Mat for not opening the message. I blame Verin. Something this important and Verin just hands it to Mat saying “you can open or not. It’s your choice”? What? Obviously Verin severely underestimated Mat’s strength of will.

Re Aviendha seeing the future: I did suspect this was the future from the first scene, mostly because of the gun that was used to shoot Malidra and the talk of the railroad. But, damn! That is awful.

Re Gawyn and Egwene’s conflict: I was actually on Gawyn’s side. Up to now I haven’t been a Gawyn fan but I don’t know. His story arc in this book made me really sympathize with him. When Gawyn took off to Andor, I was saying, “Good job, Gawyn. Yeah, get away from that b***tch” (meaning Egwene). Egwene was treatly him pretty badly and gave him no credit at all for scaring off the bloodknife at Egwene’s door and wouldn’t even listen to him when Gawyn tried to tell her what he thought was really going on (and he was totally right). It was the Bloodknives, not Mesaana, that was the threat (at least for the moment).
Ben Jensen
483. bwardj
@lostinshadow re:458

I had a similar thought. I was wondering what would happen if Mat is at the white tower when the Seanchan attack and decides to blow the horn. Between himself and Artur Hawkwing I'm sure they could smack some sense into the Seanchan, and maybe even educate them a bit.

Mat has blown the horn before and obviously will again. There's no reason that he can't blow it several more times. Additionally, I don't believe there's even a reason that he'd have to have the heroes fight if he were to blow the horn. Could not calling them forth to ask information of them be a valid use of their time? It's obvious that the heroes of the horn know a lot from their experiences and their vantage in TAR and could be a good resource for information.
Nathan Martin
484. lerris
Well, not very far in, but I'm not disappointed that I was on the wrong side of the debate regarding Graendel's fate.

I'll get back to read the review and comments when I'm done.
Chandra81
485. NiccMac
HArai@481

Of course they understand the concepts; it's the language that Sanderson used that is the problem. When reading of the arguing arithmetists in KoD, one did not get the impression they were sitting through a 20th/21st-century sociology class. It is rather jarring and out of place.

The very word "aristocracy" is anachronistic because it only has meaning from an exterior frame of reference, outside of the society being examined. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it's ever been used in RJ's writing.

(I was going to make the same claim about word "metaphor," but it turns out that - to my surprise - it was used at least one other time, by Verin in Chapter 12 of TDR.)
Chandra81
486. Donald S. Crankshaw
Well, I guess I'm the only one who thought Mat was still off. He's better, but Brandon's Mat is kind of dumb. He just doesn't have the clever but foolish vibe of Jordan's.

As for all the people saying that Aviendha's vision proves that the Seanchan must be destroyed, I think they're missing the point. The vision wasn't about the Seanchan, but the Aiel. They're the ones who started the war against the Seanchan, they're the ones who manipulated the rest of the world into joining their side against them (going so far as to misrepresent the documents they stole). The problem, as Aviendha herself realizes, isn't that the Seanchan are evil (which they may be), but that the Aiel simply have no idea how to live peacefully. Even if the Seanchan disappeared before the last battle, the Aiel would still be unable to live peacably with the rest of the world.
T C
487. Freelancer
James Rigney Jr. is most certainly smiling from Heaven.

Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Harriet McDougal Rigney, Team Jordan:

Thank you.

This volume belongs with The Great Hunt, The shadow Rising, indeed with The Eye of the World. It delivers on the promise implied in those great earlier segments. It's a wonderful book, and was incredibly enjoyable to read, even while it yanked my emotions about like a loose sail in a Cemaros.

More to follow...
T C
488. Freelancer
Primary reactions...

Only Nixon could go to China, and only Perrin could get through to Galad. It took a simple, straightforward, honest man, one not prone to self-aggrandizement, or Aes Sedai-like twisting of facts, or Cairhienin-esque playing for advantage, to finally break through Galad's presumption that all which is not in line with his view of pure white must therefore be pure black. Certainly, a dollop of Morgase hitting him with the cluebat over that very thing helped, but Perrin did the yeoman's work of avoiding unnecessary deaths against poor odds.

The "Jesusing" of Rand. I must heartily disagree with Leigh about this. It could not possibly be more appropriate. When a person comes to the end of themself, and realizes that they must surrender to Something Greater (usually by realizing that that Something Greater has always been caring for them even while they tried to do it all themselves, continually failing), a transformation is utterly unavoidable. What would have been improper was for Rand's presentation to have been left as before, following his Moutaintop Experience. One gains a completely different form of humility, and acceptance of others when that happens, and it shines through them to everyone they know. Now, all of that is true for ANY individual; how much more so for the Creator's Chosen One?

The dreamspike(s). Well, quite the convenient, previously unmentioned device for setting up awesome action scenes. And yes, I had totally the same image as Leigh, of Perrin bouncing around Tel'aran'rhiod with with massive violet dome following overhead. An oddity that the gateway weave is the only one which it blocks, and blocks it not only from passing into or out of its boundary, but even movement within. The later information we get about its additional attributes suggest that the one in place at the T'a'R version of the Black Tower will be featured in interesting ways in the final volume. When Graendal was first given the dreamspike by Moridin, I had a small case of "What, another deus ex machina ter'angreal?"

Verin's letter. Wow, sneaky Verin swings and misses this time! She presumed that Mat couldn't resist opening the letter, and as a result Caemlyn is ovverun by Shadowspawn at the very moment that the army is out of town. I wonder if Talmanes will be able to rally the dozens of mercenary camps to aid in that fight.

Aviendha's Ancestitron trip. Eesh, can't call it that anymore, can we? I am glad that we didn't get to witness her backwards looking time in the ter'angreal, it would have been hard to write it and do justice to the two chapters in TSR devoted to Rand's trip. Now there will be new questions regarding Rhuidean.

Before I move on to other thoughts, this seems to be the right place to say WOW, the action scenes were excellent! Especially poignant scene in Maradon. The Lord and Lady, darkfriends expecting to be kept safe during and after the shadowspawn assault, can't take the presence of the Dragon. She jumps to her death, he claws his eyes out.

More to follow...
Henry Loose
489. schrodinger
Freelancer @488
I think that the dreamspikes have been mentioned before, just not by name. I remember somebody, sometime, somewhere mentioning ways of disrupting traveling during the War of Power. When I read about the dreamspikes, I just assumed that they were exactly that way. Sorry I couldn't be more specific, but I just don't remember.
T C
490. Freelancer
Funniest line: Well burn me for a fool, Mat thought. Maybe I am a hero after all. Didn't that beat all?

Questions settled:

~ Noal = Jain Farstrider

~ Graendal killed Asmodean. The Glossary? Really? I was prepared, when I finished reading, to come on here and groan about still waiting for this one, and then I remembered about the warnings to not read the Glossary before the story. I guess there was no good way to bring the topic up in-story

~ Morgase. Revealed to Perrin's group, reunited with her family, and married to Tallanvor.

~ 13 x 13 is real. And actively being used to create dreadlords at the Black Tower.

~ Slayer was in Moridin's employ previously. This was expected, but unspoken.

~ Lan raises the Golden Crane. Burn that woman! Bwahahah...

~ Mat will never stop checking out female flesh, even Setalle. Even Moiraine! Well, this was never really a question, but still. Also, Mat remains self-deluded about his motives for checking out female flesh since his marriage. "It's for Thom." "It's for Talmanes." "It's for a random red-shirt Redarm." Curse your wandering eyes, Mat. Oh, too late.

~ The Borderlanders. Wow, if that was the intended reason for them chasing down Rand since the TPoD Prologue, that's some serious plot preparation.

Now they had to find Rand al'Thor. And do what needed to be done. Whatever the price.

I feel much better about this than I was expecting to. Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain. These rulers left their blightborder lands behind, with 200,000 armsmen, to fulfill a duty they saw as that important. Works for me.


~ Mesaana = Danelle

~ Nynaeve gets Lan's bond. Nice setup, too. Nynaeve to Myrelle: "I've been Raised, but I haven't sworn the Oaths. Try me..."

~ Elayne assumes the throne of Cairhien. One more deftly crafted political strategy which will get no credit from most readers. So much for the King Galad theories.

~ Rand did not die in this volume

~ Gawyn did not attack Rand at noon in Caemlyn

More to follow...
Barry T
491. blindillusion
Week 14 Question: Military strategy in the War of Power must have been odd, indeed. How do the concepts of capturing and holding territory even make sense in a world where forces can Travel?

Robert Jordan Answers: Good question, though not all of the forces involved could use gateways. (Rafo! Rafo!) Think of the ability to Travel in terms of moving troops via aircraft, and you will begin to get the picture. Even with the largest possible circles, there are limits to the size of gateways and thus limits to the front along which you can move troops out through it, the numbers you can commit simultaneously. Of course, you can use multiple gateways, but each is still only so large and can admit only so many soldiers at a time.

So-called front lines were very fluid, but you couldn't fling your forces in anywhere without regard to what would be surrounding them or how you were going to resupply, reinforce or withdraw them. Although no one has shown it so far in the books, there are ways to interfere with the making of a gateway - and ways to defend against interference - so the battle would take place on many levels. Yes, any area you hold can be attacked by your enemy, and you can attack any area that he holds. (Part of the result was great destruction and a great fall-off in the ability to produce high tech items. By the time the Bore was sealed, soldiers were already much, much more likely to ride horses and carry swords than to ride armored vehicles or aircraft and carry shocklances, which had all become very rare.) But holding an area is not impossible so long as you can successfully disrupt your opponent's attempts to make gateways into it. Even if he manages to get those first soldiers in, if you can disrupt his ability to reinforce, resupply or withdraw, it becomes another Dien Bien Phu for him. Of course, if you fail, then it becomes Gettysburg or Waterloo, a bloody fight that will be decisive for somebody. At least until the next "decisive" battle is fought. Remember, that designation is always given after the fact, by historians."
T C
492. Freelancer
Time to score my guesses on Leigh's non-spoiler teaser responses:

2. Perrin ~ Correct. Bruenor forging Aegis-Fang Perrin forging Mah'alleiner, including the One Power uber-buff.

6. Rand/Aviendha redux ~ Incorrect. Galad/Berelain, and it didn't have the same effect on me. In fact, where a few readers have complained in the past about the "contrived" pairings of our main characters, that's how this felt to me. What's worse, the first reaction presented of the pair was Galad's, which felt odd. Being founded upon Min's viewing, it rightly should have been Berelain who gasped first.

7. Padan Fain ~ Incorrect. Elaida, and she hasn't ruined anything yet, but it is certainly bad news. On the other hand, didn't we all know that she was going to be forced to give up Traveling? Not worthy of such a reaction, in my view.

9. Gawyn ~ Correct. And Leigh, "for now"? Come on, many pages have been devoted to showing that while uncertain and misguided, Gawyn has never been as big a fool, nor as worthy of the hatred as he's received. But then again, he isn't Mat, so it is to be expected.

11. Rand ~ Incorrect. Aviendha, and going back into the crystal spires to see the future of her family line.

12. Egwene/Rand ~ Correct. And also, agreed that it was obvious. Also agree that it might get a more fulfilling er, fulfilling on the Fields of Pelennor Field of Merrilor.

13. Elaida ~ Incorrect. Dain Bornhald for saving Perrin by killing Byar. Prior to reading any of this volume, it could easily be agreed that he'd never be considered for a MOA. But once Perrin's trial was done, and other facts came out, it's understandable that Bornhald would recover honor. He was never as off-the-hook as Byar, simply driven to deal with whom he believed murdered his father. I find it quite appropriate, since Byar is responsible for Bornhald believing Perrin to be the murderer and a darkfriend, that Bornhald would pay him back for all of the anguish and futility which that incorrect report has caused him.

14. Padan Fain ~ Incorrect. Slayer. Well, Fain was a good guess, given his cameo in the Prologue.

16. Graendal (and I don't mean as Asmodean's killer) ~ Correct. I knew that Leigh was laughing at many of us here, so it had to be Graendal's convoluted and illogically crafted survival at Natrin's Barrow. What? Denial, me?

I also, in that thread, made non-guess comments about #8, which turned out to be the bloodknives, and #11, where I said that I was morbidly, creepily, Poe-esque fascinated by Leigh's reaction. Poe-esque indeed. Yikes!

More to follow...
Bill Reamy
493. BillinHI
Overall I absolultely loved this book! Didn't get it until Wednesday evening and can't really stay up all night reading now and took Thursday evening off for a Three Dog Night concert, so it took a while to get through. Not to mention almost all day today to read all the comments!!

Loved the new Rand and Perrin FINALLY getting his act together. I was really disappointed in Perrin through TGS but he is now one of my faves. He has gone through the most character growth of anybody in the series ... except for Nynaeve, of course. I absolutely hated her in the early books but have loved her for a while now. I thought her rant at her raising was absolutely the right thing to do and totally necessary to shock the AS into at least starting to realize that mostly isolating themselves in the WT was always the wrong thing to do.

Egwene: Despite her many MOA's, she has a lot of character growth to go yet, IMHO. Maybe Perrin showing her up in TAR will put a little nugget into her mind that she does NOT know everything and that her way is not always the only right way. And Rand definitely played her at their meeting: he wants as many armies and their leaders together in one place as he can get, and it was a really good idea to get Egwene to do it for him.

Demandred: Yeah, where the HELL is he? I don't think he's in Murandy as that seems too small and now isolated. If it wasn't for Moridin being so obviously involved with the BT, I would think he would be there, so I guess Shara is the likeliest spot left. They certainly would have a ready supply of channelers and, given their isolation, it would be realtively easy for him to gather them up and turn them to the dark side.

Mat was awesome, as usual, now even more so although I really didn't like waiting that long for the rescue. I do think Verin missed the mark on this one, if only slightly. She really thought Mat would not be able to resist opening the letter. Of course, at that point she was probably hoping to get hold of the Oath Rod and if it worked, she wouldn't have had to kill herself.

Nice to see Galad and Gawyn both get straightened out, although I'm not sure it was a really good idea for Gawyn to take the Bloodrings.

Avienda's second trip through the columns: That cannot possibly come to pass!!! If it does, we will have to kidnap Brandon and force him to re-write AMoL the way it SHOULD BE!

lostinshadow @ 458: Re: Mat and the Horn: I had exactly the same thought. Even if Tuon is not there, the combo of Prince of the Ravens and Hawkwing with the rest of the Heroes of the Horn should jog somebody's memory!

Black-eyed Aiel: Those comments usually come from wetlanders who don't know better and is probably a corruption of black-veiled Aiel.

Graendal's escape from Natrin's Barrow: I was convinced in TGS that she was toast, but after seeing the spoiler in the WH thread, I got to thinking that since whatshisname told her that Rand sent him, she was smart enough to figure out an escape plan. Of course, we didn't know then that Halimagar was there with his/her pillow friend, giving Graendal somebody else to do the Compulsion that vanished when the Barrow was Balefired.

That's about all I got. I'll do a re-listen later in the month as my Audible credit doesn't post until the 23rd or so. Full price is a bit much, especially after what I paid Amazon for next day delivery for the hardback.

Huge Mahalo to Brandon, Harriet and the rest of Team Jordan for a job extremely well done!
Barry T
495. blindillusion
Free.

Graendal's murder of Asmodean is mentioned in the novel. It's somewhat obscure, but it's mentioned in Writings, pg 116.

You kinda have to read between the lines and squint, but it's right there...and it's even humerous...to a certain degree.
Chandra81
496. Tesla_sunburn
Until evidences arises to the contrary I'm assuming the Redveils are Demodreds army. Perhaps turned aeil male channelers sent to the blight bolstered by Aeil Darkfiends. Wouldn't it be just like Demodred to form is masterstroke from the discarded outcast of the Dragons chosen people?
Matthew Smith
497. blocksmith
MasterAlthor@411

Wow...going all Kathy Bates on Brandon/Tor? Let me know if you want me to get the hammer.

Wetlandernw@437

Yep...that's what I was trying to say about Verin's letter and Mat. Once again, you say it much better than I.

Yoyo@465

Its your opinion...one thing you are way off on though is that Lan does not view his followers (or those trying to be) with distaste...he more than anyone knows what the Blight and battles with Trollocs mean. Most of his followers will die. He considers this battle his alone and does not want anyone else to die for him. And if you don't think Lan isn't important to the ending/the story...wow, you really may want to take up some other hobby than reading.
Justin Levitt
498. TyranAmiros
On the issue of chronolgy, I think Aviendha's the furthest behind right now. She left for Rhuidean around 20 days before Veins of Gold, which means she probably entered the columns and passed through twice before Veins of Gold. We also have no idea on when Padan Fain's at, and probably only a rough idea about the Black Tower.

We know the other characters are more or less aligned, even though Perrin in ToM doesn't catch up to Veins of Gold until almost 500 pages in. This also means that the meeting between Graendal and Ishydin in Chapter 5 is probably just before Perrin's confrontation with Slayer in Chapter 24.

On the other hand, I'm glad BS didn't have the first 14 chapters be about Perrin. That could have seriously dragged the book down.
wesley
499. wagman26
Some theories

1. Nakomi=Lanfear

2. Graendal did not kill Asmodean, anymore than she killed Massena.

3. Rand is reading the pattern clearly, and knows that all the armies of the world, including the Seanchan, will bend to him at the meeting.

4. Moiranne asked the Snakes and Foxes how to seal the Bore.

5. Lanfear is trying to set up Rand through his dream, and Avi through her visions.

6. The red veils are in fact the Eelfin, or Aelfin.
Scott
500. Shard
I think Jason and Leigh you misunderstand what Rand is saying. I believe he IS 100% Rand Al'Thor. The thing is, like in the Taoist religion that you can access memories of past lives. Watch "Avatar: The Last Airbender" to see what I mean. I think when Rand says "I sealed the bore last" he is accepting responsiblity for his actions as Lews Therin. He is not acting like Lews, just accepting that Lews Actions in the past were things RAND has to fix.

I think your right in that seeing Rand from other's POV makes it look like Lews is in control but he he's not. Look at how the writing describes Rand now versus when he was conflicted in the past. There would be times where Rand's eyes would flash between grey and blue, now they are ALWAYS Grey. Rand used to tug on his ear and hum, a charactristic of Lews and now that is gone. This is Rand Al'Thor accepting that he USED to be Lews Therin.

Also um Is Graendal dead? Because it doesn't seem like Shadar wants her to die with the comment "You will not forget what I do to you"
Bill Reeves
501. RebelLives
Hello all. I'm still reading through the book, but just read page 162 and had to ask a question. I had donated money for the charity name auction before Memory of the Light as many of us did, but didn't win that I knew of. However, on page 162 when Mat is account for those killed by the gholam, one of them is Will Reeve. My name is William Reeves. It's not an uncommon name so could be coincidence. Just wondered if anyone knew if Brandon is using names at random from the charity donations?
Alice Arneson
502. Wetlandernw
RebelLives @501 - Brandon did indeed continue to draw names from the most recent charity auction. He says that coming up with good names is very difficult for him, so he liked the idea of pulling names from the charity donors and modifying them to fit the culture as best he could. There are quite a few in ToM, because of the number of incidental characters necessary, and it's been great fun to find them. He announced most of them on Twitter as he used them, but you had to be looking at the right time to find yours.

Yoeli
Kateri Nepvue
Lannis
Denezel

These are the ones I know of off the top of my head, and I also suspect Leeh. The dice game Koronko's Spit was also named for a donor.
John Massey
503. subwoofer
Yay Free! Glad to see you finally join us:)

What took you so long? Did the early bed times slow you down or was it hard to flip the heavy stone tablets? ;)

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on the Gawyn front tho'. IIRC Gawyn freely admits to making some really stupid choices instead of doing the right thing. He knows he is being a dunce. I think at the heart of it all is that he is very much like his sister, Elayne leaps before she looks, much to the dismay of Birgette, Dylin and everyone else that gives a fig about her safety, Gawyn- same thing. All the training in tactics and statesmanship and everything else in the world doesn't do any good if the prevailing attitude is tainted with entitlement. It takes him a while to realize that royalty doesn't mean he knows everything. When he comes to his conclusion though, he does get himself off my personal shit list and even gets Bonded to boot. Gawyn did come up with a rather brilliant suggestion of making it Tower law to have all Aes Sedai bond Warders as a safety protocol. Not bad reasoning at all IMHO.

Very good point about the Borderlanders. I will admit that I personally was judgemental of them. Knowing what I know now, Prophecy and all, in the end the Kings of the four countries are still doing their duty. Well done there. And yes, it was a very good lead up and maneuvering.

Woof™.
A Jeeves
504. Artur al Yorks
Finished the book about an hour ago.
Wow! A rollercoaster ride of emotions.
Have read Leigh's review - brilliant (once again) but not all the comments, so I interupt - to say; What's the thing with Verin's letter to Mat? It makes no sense.
At least that was my impression when I read the revelation from Olver. Why Mat? Why the delay?
It just seemed over played, and largely pointless.

Now my critique is over, I'll go back and return.
Well done RJ, well done BS. ............. I love it!
Scientist, Father
505. Silvertip
Some pedantry:

Also, er, there really just aren’t a whole lot of Forsaken left by now, are there?

I think the count is about right. In Egwene's vision, six of the towers still stand (as of the beginning of ToM). Let's count villains:
Dead with extreme prejudice (balefired): Bel'al, Rahvin, Belthamel/Aran'gar, Semirhage.

Dead twice, and presumably out of chances: Aginor/Osan'gar

Dead by other or unknown means, but not known to have been brought back: Sammael, Asmodean

Active: Demandred, Graendal, Mesaana, Ishamael/Moridin, Lanfear/Cyndane (mindtrapped), Moghedien (ditto). Total six standing, per vision.

After the action of ToM, we can make the following changes:

Alive but (apparently) permanently out of commission: Mesaana

Alive but having a really bad day: Graendal

So four, maybe five (depending if Graendal gets another chance, likely mindtrapped) towers stand for AMoL. The major remaining Forsaken are Moridin and the Moridinettes, none of whom are known to be in disguise anywhere, and Demandred. Presuming Moridin to be part of the Big Confrontation at the end, that leaves Demandred to be a big part of the action for the first part of the book, and the only remaining mystery. Where is he? Got me.

I just picked up that Lord Algarin is in the Black Tower under the name of his brother, whom Cadsuane helped to survive for ten years after gentling. Nice touch. BTW, there are some serious hints that there is some important untold backstory to Androl. What is he being careful not to reveal to Algarin? Let the AMOL theorizing begin!

S
Alice Arneson
506. Wetlandernw
Just had to share this one that Brandon posted on Twitter/Facebook:
Amazon keeps indicating to me TofM is out, asking if I want to buy it. Dudes. Thanks for the offer, but I'm good.

I almost fell out of my chair.
T C
507. Freelancer
Comments on comments (so far):

FSS @104

It was noted that Verin had more sealed letters when she was meeting with Mat, but no, we have no information on anyone else receiving one.


keita12686 @105

The thing which is odd about Aviendha's quadruplets is that they all begin channeling, and with apparently full strength, as pre-teens. Also, on your last comment, not simply male Aiel, but channeling male Aiel. Yes, a virtual army of dedicated dreadlords if true. (I'm skeptical, because male Aiel channelers would have been subject to the taint, even if 13/13 turned, and mostly gone mad, so building up such a force to any significant size would be unlikely)


gt4431b @107

The Tower of Ghenjei rescue was not rushed. It was just right. No telling what Graendal's current status is, RAFO. New plotlines? Like what? How is the explanation for Weiramon being uncovered lacking? Rand can now look into the eyes of a darkfriend and know them for what they are. Graendal killed Asmodeam because she had popped into the palace in Caemlyn to grab anything of use left behind by Rahvin, and ran into Asmodean accidentally. Or she had been inside the palace all along, as part of the plan for them to ambush Rand when he went after Sammael, and she was coming out of hiding when Asmodean ran into her accidentally.


Kythorian @134

You have it right in your later thought on why Rand didn't tell Egwene more. He apologized for having to defy her, told her what he was planning, then offered the meeting only after she opposed him about breaking the seals. He expected her to gather a massive force there, with the express purpose of hoping to prevent him from doing something terrible. This is Rand out-Aes Sedai-ing the Aes Sedai. If he asked all those monarchs to bring their armies to that field for the Last Battle, many would have balked, or disobeyed behind his back, or delayed. But when faced with the threat that a possibly insane Dragon Reborn might break the seals, nobody will refuse the Amyrlin Seat's request to meet there to stop him. Sneaky Rand Sedai, you would make Verin proud.


MuleHeadedLummox @184

Your thought about Nakomi seem reasonable on the surface, until you think about it a second time. Nakomi specifically questions her about the reason for them being in the Three-fold Land, and what their future holds, all concerned with after the Last Battle. The Wise Ones wouldn't have set that up. Verin might have, but I don't believe the new theory that this is Verin.


Isilel @229

You are mistaken about Beslan knowing anything of Traveling. While Elayne did tell Tylin of their plans, they told ONLY her and made it clear that it was a discretionary bit of information on their part, not to be shared. Also, they did not leave "quite openly", but took great pains to ensure that the area of the grounds from which they traveled was off-limits. Remember that they were that concerned about others learning the weave? Enough that first Aviendha, then Elayne, felt it necessary to risk disaster to unweave those gateways? Yeah. Not common knowledge. Also, on the subject of Beslan, yes, it's a good act, and he is still the person he used to be. You think he's loyal to Tuon? Really? Tuon is wise to check up on him, but foolish to presume that just because he isn't trying to hire assassins he must be true to her. Wait and read. Beslan is not done defending Altara.


Kythorian @230

In Egwene's dreams, there are ropes holding the cracked crystal sphere together, and she sees Rand chop them off, and the sphere fall apart.


I just cannot believe the those who continue to call Elayne everything but her own name. Try to imagine what was about to happen in her dungeons if she hadn't happened to try that trick at that time. All of them would have been free, and likely to begin doing piles of damage around the Palace. Instead, several more Black sisters are toast, and the others are running for their lives. Tai'shar Andor!


anthonypero @275

Aviendha saw her own family's near future. Not the next turn of the Wheel, not a multiverse alternate. The text makes it clear that she gathers positive evidence from the events she sees, including her own quadruplets, the children of the Dragon Reborn, that this is the future being viewed.


KZK @311

::eyeroll:: Nothing better to do, eh? Well, there's at least 25 items that you missed in your list. I'm sad that this is so, but I'm not interested in trying to embarass or impress anyone at TOR by posting them here. However, since you bring them up...

"Pawn" ~ To presume that the name of a chess piece originated with the game of chess is uninformed. Surely you could understand that when the pieces were named, they were named with commonly understood terms. A Pawn is a marker for a loan, or a hostage, or political collateral. The etymology is quite a bit more arcane than the game of chess.

The sunlight in T'a'R is, as you consider, a special circumstance.

Chapter 34: Page 528: Not a missing word, but a missing letter. "None of the[m] would..."

Chapter 36: Page 558: The wording is not improper, especially in such a formal meeting setting.

Chapter 37: Pages 571-572. No errata. Amys says: "I was able to go to the place where we were before, but I cannot leave the city." She tried a long distance movement and failed, then tried somewhere else inside the Tower, which succeeded.

Chapter 45: Page 675. You misinterpret Aviendha's thoughts. When she says "Coming to Rhuidean", she speaks of Wise One and Clan Chief candidates.


anthonypero @341

Rand doesn't necessarily imply that he can or would use the True Power still. He tells the Borderland rulers that, had he met them when they first arranged it, he would have balefired them for their slaps. Tenobia snorts in disbelief because of the Guardian, and Rand says that the Guardian only blocks saidin, meaning that the True Power would work. He's speaking of a past event, not telling them he'd do such a thing now.


Kythorian @345

Aviendha's gateway from the palace in Ebou Dar wasn't strange in any way. She is ashamed that she, in spite of her great strength, cannot make one as large as some others who are not as strong. It is like a limited block, because her first gateway was made while fleeing Rand, and now her maximum sized gateway is inadequate in her eyes. There is no time movement involved, even with the closest possible reading. And Nakomi as future Aviendha? So now she's Bruce Willis?


Seamus1602 @371

Jain Farstrider is indeed Malkieri. No, he wouldn't have seen Lan. He is seen by Mat in ACoS, but they don't actually meet until the first gholam confrontation, which is well after the Seanchan take the city. Nynaeve and Elayne & co. left Ebou Dar before that.

Egwene didn't know where the Borderland armies were by then. She couldn't have heard that they were hanging out in Far Madding.


blocksmith @375

Without question, we will learn of Loial's success at the Stump, and witness the arrival of some Very Long Handled Axes™


billebrooks @446

The Maidens with Rand at Maradon were Maidens. First, he has no need to be sneaky about something like that. Second, he has promised, admitting his toh, that he wouldn't run off without an escort again.


Silvertip @453

You mean aside from the Glossary stating straight out:

A ruthless killer, she was responsible for the deaths of Aran'gar and Asmodean and for the destruction of Mesaana.



KilM @460

I disagree about Berelain. She has always played her game from a political perspective. She believed that Rand intended for her to hook up with Perrin when he arranged for her to join their retinue. Even when she had been scared to death by Rand, when he offered to send her back to Mayene, she stood up to him, afraid that he would completely forget her work in Cairhien, that he would forget Mayene entirely. So she's ambitious and paranoid. That causes her to misinterpret other peoples' intentions, just as the Cairhienin folks over-read Rand's actions in TGH. It made sense. Besides, she proved to Faile that she really didn't understand Perrin as a man, because she's already convinced that he's just like "any other man". It works.


The__Matrix @471

Mazrim Taim cannot be Ishamael, but he could be his student. As for the "second to Lews Therin" parallel, that's Demandred, not Ishamael.


Wagman26 @499

Those are some truly loony theories. The red veils are the 'Finn? Really? Graendal did not kill Asmodean, even though the glossary says she's responsible for his death, and there was only one person he ran into before "death took him"?
Lindy Brown
508. lbrown
@ 311. KZK Chapter 34: Missing Word: Page 528: "None of the [] Would". "Men"? "People"? "Warriors"? It isn't clear what exact missing word is.

I think it might have been, "none of them would".
Alice Arneson
509. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @507 - Actually, if we can assume that an envelope with a red seal is a letter from Verin (which, given what we see, seems to be a valid clue) there are four that we know of: Mat, Rand (ch 3), Alanna (ch 12) and Galad (can't give you the chapter # at the moment). There may be more, but I don't recall seeing them. On my second read, I'll be looking for those, as well as fan-based character names and fallen theories. :)
Chandra81
510. VoxOrange
Hmm, I thought that the 2nd oath would prevent a sister from making a weapon with the one power. So I guess that Perrin's hammer does not count then?
Thomas Keith
511. insectoid
Catsup part 3.

Sub @257, 261: ROFL!!

Blocksmith @263: Yeah, Fain's new powers are pretty creepy. ::shiver::

KilMichaelMcC @265: Neither Dobraine or Alivia were mentioned in this book, IIRC. In TGS Dobraine was in Tear, and Alivia was with Cadsuane's group.

Torman @316: Javindhra is not a confirmed Black Ajah. (I paused in my read to look that up, myself.)

Terez @319: Well, one interpretation of the viewing is that the "drawing" of a raven is a Seanchan tattoo; thus that Carlinya would be captured or killed by the Seanchan. (dsolo beat me to this.)

bigredpaul @327: I never had a problem with the time-shifting, since I was expecting it.

KZK @330: Good point!

::waves at sinfulcashew::

Sub @342: Well, yes I am... frequently! ;)
break it break it break it break it...

I never did get the Nakomi thing. I'll have to go and re-read that section the next time I have the book handy.

Kythorian @348: Good point! Well said.

Sub @355: LOL!! Just like Sauron's Ring attracts Ringwraiths, these Bloodrings will attract Seanchan beasties? Maybe some grolm... ;)

Sub @364: Egwene getting school was pretty funny, alright.

Blind @373: You didn't repeat me, but your comment does look eerily like mine with the formatting. :) Oh, and 3+7+3=13. ;)

The 13x13 is perhaps the most horrendous thing shown thus far in this ENTIRE series. This is like Nuclear Grade Compulsion, ladies and gentlemen.


Well said! Poor Tarna.

Sub @377: Re: high-school reunions... Reminds me of your comment on the Prologue thread. xD

::waves at Lannis::

dsolo @407: Good point re: the Bloodrings. Elayne will probably see them and say, "Hey, what are those? Are those ter'angreal? Can I have them to study?"

bwardj @418: You are right... many have not mentioned Ituralde, including me. However, I did mention that Rand pretty much saved his bacon (after Yoeli saved his bacon). Mmmm... bacon.

Wetlander @437:

Okay, so does anyone seriously question whether there's a dreamspike at the Black Tower? When Graendal was given the one she handed on to Slayer, Moridin told her there was another already "being put to good use." The effects at the BT were exactly like the effects at Perrin's camp. What more do you want?


You to remind us? :)

Catsup part 4 mañana. Then the bottle will be empty, and... I'll have to go out and buy more catsup. ;)

::waves at Free:: Sure am doing a lot of waving... :)

Bzzz™.
Chandra81
512. Confutus
VoxOrange@510:

Perrin had the assistance of the two Asha'man (Neald and Grady) and the six Wise Ones in his camp. No Aes Sedai, so the Three Oaths didn't apply.
Jonathan Levy
513. JonathanLevy
215. Terez27
re: Origins of the war which ruined the Aiel.
Well said, and needed to be said.

216. KilMichaelMcC
You know something that irked me?
Randomly offing Nicola like that.
Not cool.


Yeah, I didn't like that either. Of course, it might have been someone else in disguise... :)

228. FSS
WHOA! I gotta check my book when I get home... wonderful catch!

240. dejavoodoo114
The sphere is clearly representing the seals on the DO's based on what was said. However, while I can see that the 23 stars meaning the council... Well, it doesn't seem to fit with the fact that we know that the sphere is the seals. Why would the Aiel council be the only ones connected to that?? I'm thinking it must mean something else or I am missing a connection. Any thoughts?

I'm thinking 23 is the size of the channeling circle which will be necessary to close the DO's prison after the seals are removed. I'm not sure of the exact rules regarding circles, but if we needed 12 men we might require 11 women to create that circle which would get you to 23.

253. Marie Anzalone
To me, Berelain's character seemed too flat, too one-sided, too something.

Multiple descriptions have roundly yet firmly established that Berelain is not flat.
Oh wait... ;)

317. MSedai
Also, regarding Avi's Wayforward Machine visions, I haven't seen a couple of things mentioned: before she walked through the second time (which you aren't supposed to survive) she was feeling for what the ter'angreal did, and felt them to be doing something with the power. Then, after she walked through again, she felt for them, and they were silent. What happened?

I also remembered that Avi walked through them a second time, but I was beginning to suspect my memory because nobody else here seemed to think that.

My guess is that the columns have always been like this. First time through, see the past. Second time through, see the future. If you can't handle what you see, you die. Now the Wise Ones say that a woman may go to Rhuidean twice, and more means death. I suspect that a few of them tried to go through twice, and did not come out the second time. The Aiel future is so much more horrible than its past, that the mortality rate might be much higher the second time through.

460. KilMichaelMcC
I also disliked the ridiculous retconning of Berelain's motives for insistance in pursuing Perrin. It seemed like a hamfisted attempt to paint her as better person, acting out of political motives rather than simply to spite Faile for confronting her in the Stone.

I agree that the motives which Berelain gave make no sense. However, I don't interpret this as authorial retconning.
What does it remind me of? For example, Alanna's decision to keep Rand's bond and be loyal to him because she feels responsibility to him as a warder of hers. Or Elza's fervent loyalty to Rand because he must reach the last battle alive.

In short, it looks a bit like the rationalizations which a mind makes up to explain a choice which was actually dictated by a primitive form of compulsion, like Verin's.

I suspect Annoura. :)

General comments:
Re: Last Battle.
We've got the Fisher King parallel, right? Rand is kept alive by sealing the Fain-Taint and that DO-Taint in a ball of the One Power. Maybe the last battle will be as follows:
1) Break seals.
2) Kick Fain into the bore.
3) Re-Seal.

The seals aren't necessarily any better than before, but now we've got Fain inside the prison. Fain keeps the DO busy in a struggle for the next 3,000 years, until it's time for the 5th age.
What do you guys think?
Ed Rafferty
514. BigBoy57
First off - loved this book, definitely better than TGS.

Great set-up for AMoL - Brandon is doing a brilliant job.

The only thing I would like to comment on is the Nakomi scene with Avi. Seems to me that the whole thing took place just after she closed her eyes "for a moment" - sounds a bit "Nightmare on Elm Street"-ish.

Basically what Nakomi was doing was getting Avi to think of the Aiel's future before she got to Rhuidean - I could sense no evil intent there at all. Who was it really? Who else has great experience in "the Dream"? I'm guessing it would have been Amys or one of the other Aiel Dreamers - who else knew where she was going? Plus the strange extra coals and quick cooking vegies - very dream-like.
Ben Frey
515. BenPatient
didn't see it mentioned, but perrin almost cut gawyn's foot off with his purple dome of doom.

i thought that was a nice moment for those paying close attention.
Michael Maxwell
516. pike747
I found Nakomi a somewhat Don Juan moment for Avi. Was she dosed with something?
Michael Maxwell
517. pike747
Does anyone think that Mat or Thom will get around to telling Olver That Noal was Jain Farstrider? For some reason the part where Mat was going to be pissed at Noal if he put Olver off his favorite book kept coming to mind.
Chandra81
518. VoxOrange
@Leigh:

In the podcast there was mention of a ideal by the pre-readers that "X" should happen. And Brandon came back and said "X" is great, I agree - but RJ has already specified "Y". Can you elaborate on what you thought should have been different?
Lindy Brown
519. lbrown
One moment that made me think, “Oh, wow. Dude” was when Mat asks Birgitte , “And how’d you get out? How’d you fool them?” (Talking about the Tower of Ghenjei). And she replies, “I didn’t. The Eelfin never healed [Gaidal]. They killed us both. I didn’t survive, Mat. That is the end of that particular legend.”
That was a moment when I put down the book and thought, “Oh, crap.”

Perrin’s reason for accepting his leadership responsibilities sounded really familiar to me. He was thinking that he wanted to lead the people himself because he was afraid that anyone else doing it wouldn’t do the right things and wouldn’t be good for the people. That sounded a lot like what Brandon said about why he decided to take on the writing of the ending of WOT. He didn't want to see anyone else mess it up and he knew he was the right man for the job.

After what Wetlandernew said at post 106, I went back and looked at the chapter titles. Ch. 10, After the Taint, definitely was one to throw us off. It seems like that one would be an obvious Black Tower chapter, but it was actually a Perrin/ Galad chapter. Any others?

One that I caught a glimpse of in the Table of Contents before I started reading was “Return to Bandar Eban”. I was seal clapping at that one because I knew what would happen. Yay!
Chandra81
520. Gregos
Hi Guys, I haven't seen this mention yet so I'm not sure if I'm completely mistaken here - but did the sun seem to come out wherever Elayne went, in much the same way it did for Rand?

Rand's babies perhaps??
Rob Munnelly
521. RobMRobM
More misc thoughts/observations re above and my first re-read of book:
- Wet is correct re Verin's letters. Mat, Rand, Alanna, Galad. Would really love to know what is in the latter two. Alanna's, I've speculated about above. Galad - plainly not about invasion of Camelyn, or he wouldn't be heading off north. Doubt it's the "Rand is your brother" note because we w0uld have seen some reaction and not clear Verin knows that. I have no clue.
- In the scene with Aludra at the wall shooting off dragons, she refers to Birgitte as Maerion. WTF? My assumption without checking the books is it is one of hero Birgitte's other names but why would Aludra use it here? Curious.
- Egwene could well face a crisis of confidence in next book. She treats Gawyn like dirt and finds out he was correct. She treats Perrin like dirt in T'AR (wrapping him in ropes with BA and Mesanna around - is she nuts?) and finds out he knows more than she does. She makes a point of involving Nicola and another accepted in T'AR training for the express point of taking advantage of her willingness to ignore prohibitions while being warned several times by Silviana that this is unnecessarily dangerous to the girls, a concern she expressly rejects, and Nicola ends up dead after going into T'AR against orders - the same characteristic that Eg sought to employ in involving her in the first place. I don't see this as a WTF random death - the Nicola dying is directly on Egwene's head. (Also, note she is going to head off to the fields even though she knows
from dreams a second White Tower attack is coming from the Seanchan. She's going to walk back into a trap and have to be saved by Egeanin, who is in Tar Valon already.)
- OK, the question has to be asked. Where the heck are Talann and Merlille? Missing since KoD.
- In the AMOL speculation front - I agree with the comment above (Free?) that Rand was playing Egwene - talk about breaking the seals, get Eg to gather allies to stop him and then turn the tables on them all and use them for TG. But he told Egwne he will give them his "terms" then. What terms will he give them?
- Remember that Mellar now has one of the copies of Mat's medallion. What trouble is he going to cause with it?

Rob
Jonathan Levy
522. JonathanLevy
521. RobMRobM
In the scene with Aludra at the wall shooting off dragons, she refers to Birgitte as Maerion. WTF?

Aludra met Birgitte when the supergirls were travelling with Valan Luca. At the time, Birgitte was calling herself Maerion so as not to call herself to Moghedien's attention.
Marie Anzalone
523. MarieAnzalone
@513: I said her character was flat, not her, ahem, person.
Chandra81
524. Viixin
Ok, first off I have to get off that I am quite disappointed in the editing job of this book. There are so many spelling and grammar errors it's ridiculous. I especially love the spot when "Mat charges after Mat..." I like the plot line, but I am so angry over the lack of attention the editing got. Don't get me wrong, I've always rolled my eyes at the small mistakes in the RJ books, but they were few and far between. I fully believe if I were to mark the errors in ToM there is upwards of 50 of them and to me that is ridiculous. Did anyone else notice the sentences that didn't quite make sense because they had forgotten to put a simple word in there to make it make sense? It was easy to infer what the word was supposed to be, but all this waiting and they send us all home with majorly flawed copies. TOR-GET A NEW WOT EDITOR FOR THE FINAL BOOK!!!

Okay, now that I'm done ranting about that. I haven't yet read the glossary as I get bored with the repetition of it so I tend to skim it. I guess I need to check it since it sounds like this time Asmodean's killer is revealed in it.

Until I had read some of these comments I never quite put together the Gaidal Cain thing. I knew he had already been spun out based on what Birgitte said so many books ago about not seeing him in sometime. I never thought we would actually see him, but maybe we will. They do tend to point out quite often how ugly Olver is and how Birgitte only likes ugly men. They have also said that in past lives there could be a significant age difference between the two and they still find their way back to each other. Could Olver be Gaidal?

Like some of you I also was in tears over the what happened to the Aiel in the "future" when Avi went through those rings. I do not at all believe the future is set in stone. Come on, are they really going to end the series in that depressing manner? NO WAY! One of the biggest keys there I think is Tuon. In one of Avi's steps through the rings it mentions that the previous empress (Tuon) had been almost agreeable to the Wise Ones and Aes Sedai, which hints that she was assassinated, as the Seanchan do. So all they really need to do is keep her alive in the final book and actually come to that agreement that she was almost to, then the Aiel could completely be changed. It speaks of how the Black Tower still fights too, maybe Avi can somehow use her knowledge and if they do have to fight the Seanchan one last time there is no reason Asha'man, Wise Ones, and Aes Sedai together could not somehow work it out to defeat them (there has to be more of them combined than there are sul'dam and damane).

I also was wondering why it was all up the children of the Dragon. Who cares if they are the "children of the Dragon" that should not auto make them in charge, they should still have to learn and grow like everyone else and go through proper training. It was their mistake in letting the one child channel but still be a maiden, shouldn't they have forced her to become a Wise One just as Avi had to before her? All Avi also has to do is learn from that, don't spoil them just because they are the children of the Dragon, raise them the same as you would if they were ordinary. They always pointed out the Car'a'carn is not a king so why in the future do they treat his children like they are one? Oh, and notice they don't call them children of the Car'a'carn, which is the TRUE Aiel way. I think it's very small changes that will need to be made and I think Avi working with the Wise Ones, Min, and Elayne could secure the future for a happy ending once the Last Battle is through.
I am also curious as to why when looking through the eyes of her children Avi and Elayne are no longer alive (from what we can tell) because yes, as they are both channelers they should still be alive for another couple hundred years, if not more for Avi because no three oaths will make her life shorter (assuming after the babes Elayne does take the three oaths).

In the end it sounds like all they need to do to have a really good future is to raise those children of the Dragon properly, and with honor. Raise them all to note that if you see dishonor in your own siblings to call them out on it!
Chandra81
525. DRockPritchard
i haven't read everyone's posts, but I can guarantee that the second person that handles Callandor with Rand is Lanfear......take that to the bank.

She always loved Lews Therin (or Rand as Rand stated) more than the Dark One, so there you go.
a a-p
526. lostinshadow
For those who keep complaining about the bad editing, true it can get annoying but I think you guys are forgetting that with regard to these particular books Team Jordan and Tor are on a considerably shorter time schedule so that they can drop the book on the promised date - so cut them some slack.

Besides anyone who has ever edited anything should be able to tell you that you can edit something 100 times and you will find something wrong every single time.

And I'm sure there's an errata page or other more appropriate medium where you can air your frustration about this issue - this particular forum is really more about celebrating and discussing the story.
wesley
527. wagman26
@507 Freelancer

Says she also killed mesanna, when really just her actions caused it. Just saying that maybe her actions caused Asmo's death, not her directly. She really has not got her hands very dirty at all. Still not as looney as Gawyn killing Rand...:0.....yes i did.
As to the finn/red veils...the sharpened teeth led me to believe that they were them, and who knows what bargain Mordith made, if it was he who saved Lanfear, made with those sons of goats. Perhaps he made an alliance, even though they are not truly evil. I think I remember that from earlier in the series, not evil that is. And yes they are kinda out there, but that is why I'm theorizing, not stating facts. Lanfear is up to something, I do not believe she forgets a grudge, and she knows Avi slept with him, and promised death to Rand at the docks. She traveled with the Aiel before and she would have lots of info about them. Just an feeling there is all I'm going on, and just wanted some input, so thank you for that. Who do you think Nakomi is, Ive heard Verin mentioned, but I hope the DO did not get his mitts on her.

Hope you find water and shade today.
Mike Mulligan
529. cullion
Just finished, awesome book. Some other thoughts I haven't seen in the thread so far.

A lot of people giving Egwene a hard time opposing Rand on the breaking the seals thing, but it makes sense to me because
a) from where she stands the seals are the only thing that keeps the DO down so breaking them sounds like a whole can of crazy.
b) from a WOT perspective, LT tried and failed to convince the female AS to help with the bore (again a whole can of crazy) so it must be that Rand gets to have another crack at it so to speak, the whole wheel turns thing y'know.
One last thing here, from our pov we assume that Rand is right and breaking the seals must be done, but Egwene could be right too. Just sayin'

In Maradon and at the Jehannah road battle male channelers are sensed working alongside trollocs. I think this is the 1st time in the series this happens, a reference to either the BT or the crazy Aiel perhaps.

I think given Mat's farewell to the suldam (who let's not forget are on their way to the WT) seemed full of PORTENT. I'm pretty sure that somewhere in there lies the end of seanchan collaring.

As for Avi's viewing's, bleak though they are they have a lot of real world parallel's. Most revolutions and wars of independence here in Europe have been followed by civil wars once the common enemy is defeated. So many people who live on a war footing for years, just can't adjust to another way of life.

That's all I got for now.

C
Marie Anzalone
530. MarieAnzalone
@528:

You know, of all the interesting and brilliant things I've had to say on here, THIS is what you choose to focus on??? :-)
Chandra81
531. aetherical
@524 Viixin
Sometimes I find it hard to remember that despite it being 20 years for us, the readers, it's been about two (2) years for the characters. Gaidal Cain shows up in TAR in one of the first books (either TSR or FoH) and chides Birgitte over her breaking the rules by interaction with others. It's been stated that while time in TAR is odd, that time in Randland marches on and there's no going back in time. At most Cain is 1 year old at this point and therefore cannot be Oliver. (Robert Jordan also said that he Oliver is too old)

Meanwhile, I'm in my 2nd reading; this time going more slowly. I only read about 150pp on Tuesday, then had 70pp left to finish on Thurs. Prior to the re-release, reread all the books, just to have it fresh in my memory. I've also been hitting "reload" here to see what everyone has to say.

I liked ToM a lot. I do think that Mr Sanderson has done an excellent job with an enormous task. I'd challenge those who hae complained about character X or Y not behaving or sounding like they think the character should to try to do better.

Yes, the tower scene was a little anti-climactic on first read. Admittedly, I was reading it while taking care of a sick six year old, so it's perhaps not the ideal circumstances.

There were many moments of awesomeness -- I really loved Rand's scene with Tam. Mat's letter was great. Perrin's acceptance of himself was long in the making -- though admittedly it makes sense; throughout the series, Perrin always seemed to be the most self deprecating of the three, despite always doing what needed to be done, he couldn't see that it was in any way more than ordinary. Many, many more...
Chandra81
532. lilyannerose
Wow, I can't believe that I just read a review by the Carrie Bradshaw of Fantasy Fiction. Damn! Who is handling the PR on this publication a Ms Samantha Jones?

TOR can you find a grown up to handle the next review? I know Carrie Bradshaw thought she had it covered, but frankly I found her to be a real nowhere type of woman.

Thank you.
John Massey
533. subwoofer
@MarieAnzalone- I'm sure it was a... slip of JL's tongue;)

@BP- yeah, I noticed the dome almost slicing off Gawyn's foot, but at that time I felt a little cheated. Thing about it- if Perrin had better wolf skills (and this is the only quibble I have with Perrin) the dome could have circumcised Gawyn. Dang.

@Insectoid- well, true, but this book seems like a Tyler Perry Family Reunion, not a high school reunion. Am still waiting for everyone in the village to get back together.

And here's another bottle in case you run out.

Woof™.
Patrick Huff
534. pattack
Just finished...

I wish more would have been settled in this book as far as the various plots concluding. Instead, we have just opened more worm cans than emptied. The slayer story? Verrins letter? The Seanchan? The Ogier? The Black Tower? Graendal? Demandred? Morridin? Logain? Shara? Callandor? The Black Ajah?

It seems like this book was sacrificed to make AMOL as spectacular as possible. Why muddy up the waters further with one book remaining? Why did it take so long to tell the Perrin story when we could have closed up some of the remaining subplots? I couldn't wait for his story to conclude because in looking back through the series he was always the least interesting of the Taveren.

Anyone who cares to argue this point feel free, I would love some input on it.

It was not a complete waste. Aviendha was awesome, Rand was stupendous, Mat was great, except the Tower story fell a little flat. Rodel Ituralde was finally interesting, as was Gawyn. Berelain finally gets a man she can have and Nynaeve finally loses her braid... what is she gonna tug on now LOL???

The best line from the book was Byar talking to Galad... Some are skilled with the staff and bow. "I am aware" Galad said flatly, recalling a particularly embarrassing lesson he had once been given. Awesome to infinity. I just wish there were more moments like these. Oh well, now the long wait begins for 14........
Patrick Huff
535. pattack
@ 520

Isn't that awesome, I noticed that as well. What a great indicator of things to come.
John Lofgren
536. JohnTheLurker
Freelancer @507 I think that you've got Egwene's warnings about Rand breaking the seals right. It's drawing rulers and armies that might have otherwise avoided the upcoming battle. I think she's doing it intentially and that she trusts Rand to do the right thing at Tarmon Gai'don.

I met Brandon and Harriet at the Bailey's Crossroads, VA book signing yesterday. Harriet read the first scene in the Prologue: Lan gains his first follower. No new insights in the Q&A. Over 200 at the signing.

A great time was had by all.
Bill Reamy
537. BillinHI
Freelancer @ 507: While I agree that some good came of Elayne's (really stupid) trick in the dungeons, ALL of those people should have been executed 30 seconds after Elayne was crowned, if not even earlier.

Oh, I also don't believe the theory that Verin is Nakomi, but who (or what) she really is? I have no clue.

Insectoid @ 511: Wasn't it mentioned at some point that Dobraine was not in Cairhien and hadn't been for some time? Was that at Elayne's coronation in the Sun Palace? Or was it earlier in Elayne's plotting?

pattack @ 534: IMHO, Ituralde has been MOA since his first appearance on-screen. Of course, Maradon was his crowning MOA (for now: I suspect he will be involved in the Last Battle also ;) )
Jonathan Levy
538. JonathanLevy
530. MarieAnzalone
In my defense, I must point out that if I've erred through being distracted by Berelain, I'm in good company. :)

@All
One main difference I noticed between this book and all the previous ones - which changes the entire flavor of the read, in my opinion - is that people finally start behaving like adults instead of children.

The White Tower, Wise Ones, Windfinders get together and instead of having a dozen ego-clashes.... they work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Perrin and Galad seem poised for an inevitable clash.... but instead they find a way to work things out, including Perrin actually explaining to everyone what the deal is with his eyes.

Rand declares his toh to the Aiel.

Rand apologizes to his father.

Rand returns to Bandar Eban.

Rand treats Cadsuane with the respect she demands without deserving, and calmly asks for the respect he has deserved without demanding.

The Saldeans stop throwing a hissy fit about someone fighting the shadow in their land, and go to help them.

Even Mat and Moiraine manage to get along.

Yes, there are exceptions (e.g. Rand not being forthright with Egwene about the seals, Egwene trying to bind Perrin), but my point is that these are the exception rather than the rule. You'd have a hard time finding six such examples in all the previous books.

Just my 2 cents.
Chandra81
539. Robert Edwin
I kind of like Asmo's killer being a glossary reveal, in a way. Kind of seems like the way RJ himself would've revealed it (assuming he ever would've revealed it), as sort of a throwaway....."oh yeah, and this is who killed Asmo, btw".

Also, I don't see why the Shadow would consider Graendal's hand in 3 Forsaken deaths to be a bad thing, worthy of punishment. Isn't there a FS pov somewhere in book 6 - 8 where we hear something like: "The DO liked his minions to fight amongst themselves, as it ensured that the strong rose to the top." But I could be remembering that incorrectly. And my apologies if someone already made/debunked this point.....I haven't had a chance to read through all 500+ comments yet.
Chandra81
540. tearl
I'm only at comment 385, so if someone has made this comment since: Yeah, what he/she said.

Regarding Verin and her instructions to Mat about the letter, I don't think the BA oaths would have let her say anything more or ask to wait any shorter. Note, if Mat had waited the whole time, the attack would already have happened. Verin likely was compelled to make the wait this long but planned on Mat's curiosity to make him unable to wait. It probably would have worked, if only he didn't have this other duty pending/conflicting.
John Massey
541. subwoofer
@510- (heh I used to have 5-10 shoes- good rubber that was) anyways, Perrin used Asha'man and Wise Ones to forge his hammer, none of those groups are bound by the Three Oaths.

@507 Free- good point, it's about time that Rand started giving as good as he got from the Aes Sedai.

OTOH, the downside of Elayne doing her magic trick in the dungeons is that now the Black Ajah have ter'angreal that protects the bearer from weaves. That could very well crop up later and cause some lives to be lost.

Woof™.
Debbie Solomon
542. dsolo
@538 Jonathon Levy - I agree with you about everyone finally growing up! One of the most aggravating things about reading this series is how annoying some of the characters were. Some of it was due to youth and inexperience (all our main characters) and some of it was cultural (Seafolk, Seanchen, Aiel, Aes Sedai), but it was starting to get old. I do have one correction on my own post however, I commented that none of the women sniffed in this one and on reread, I found Cadsuane sniffing when Rand "pardons" her.

I also agree about some of Brandon's too modern idioms, especially his use of Norry being "played". Next we'll have Mat saying "What up?" That aside, I really like how Brandon is moving the plots right along. As for the introduction of new plotlines, I have a feeling he's following RJ's instructions. I bet these "new" plotlines will turn out to have been set up 6 or 8 books ago, in some random paragraph buried after a major plot point. RJ was sneaky that way.

re: Graendal knocking off a few Forsaken. Didn't Moridin already tell them that they weren't supposed to be going their own way anymore? The DO is trying to get all his ducks in a row, and the dumb FS keep getting offed.

I'm not going to scroll back up to find it, but I enjoyed the post about Perrin "meeting" Death.

*SO DID I.*

Wait, what the......
diane heath
543. jadelollipop
Things I did not like were 1. Egwene being so sure that Rand was wrong. On one level she doesn't think of him as the Dragon Reborn but the wool-headed sheepherder she once thought of marrying. She never understood his stresses (even though she has suffered some milder forms of the same) and cannot even see that he is "cured"....He wants to do something without her input and permission therefore He must be a. wrong and b. insane
2. Gawyn at various points but am glad Elayne got him to see sense. (As did Bryne). Still think something will go wrong with the bloodknife rings.
3. Not to fond of Galad jumping on the "Perrin is Shadowspawn" bandwagon so quickly. Glad he changed his tune
4. One thing we can say is that even though Lan had the same arc as Perrin (I don't/can't be a leader) his was mostly offscreen (between New Spring and TEOTW) and it was completed in this one book. He knows that he has those who follow him and expect him to lead. He is a king.
5. Not happy with Elayne --she should have let Perrin keep the title of Lord of the Two Rivers and not made such a big deal about being a step above the other houses of Andor. He does bring her a connection to Ghealdan and Saldea...
6. If 13x13 can be reversed I hope Nynaeve is able to save Tarna. I guess Myrelle and company are safe (they are outside the BT are they not?)
I still think that Aviendha's visions are based on the future prior to Veins of Gold and could be shadow influenced. Perhaps the Shaido who returned to the Three Fold Land will fall to that extreme but I really think/hope Aviendha prevents it from occurring. (changing names of her kids for one haha)
Scientist, Father
544. Silvertip
@542 dsolo:

Just try edit->find on, um, ...

CLOAKED FIGURE

Yeah, that'll work!



(You know, it must be a lot of fun to be Terry Pratchett.)

S

EDIT: Smoothed out dialogue
Chandra81
545. Confutus
I don't think Graendal is coming back. Asmodeon was a traitor, no great loss. Aran'gar failed, but s/he still could have been useful. But after costing the DO Mesaana when she was winning, Graendal is toast. Buttered, eaten, chewed and swallowed.
Chandra81
546. prw2732
As first mentioned by Sage@399, Taim is Moridin in disguise, with inverted weaves. I think this was clear at the end of the Gathering Storm, when all of Taim's colors were red and black, the same as Moridin. The second Dreamspike at the Black Tower is ample confirmation.

Cyndane/Lanfear will have a major part to play in the final book, since at least one of the keys to sealng the Bore will be how the Bore was drilled in the first place. And only Mierin is around to tell how she accomplished that. It is quite likely that the Bore was created with both saidar and saidin, and will required both to repair or undo the Bore. And the male channeler died at the time the Bore was created.

My other guess is that Demandred will be part of the Borderlanders, though I do not know which one. The whole scheme of removing the Borderland armies to Far Madding has just got to be a Chosen plot.
Patrick Huff
547. pattack
The borderlanders in Far Madding story was so lame. Are we to believe that all the borderland nations and their armies would desert the blight at the time of Tarmon Gaidon over an obscure prophecy? I don't know if this was what RJ actually intended or if this plotline was all Brandon. I don't know the size of the army or to what lengths it would take to feed and armor a substantial force like this but with resources in the area depleted by Camlyn, Carhein, Tear and Illian not to mention the band of the red hand, the Seanchan, Perrin, the Shaido and the Two armies of the White Tower, how in the world is there any food left?

I guess I was expecting compulsion or at least one of the Forsaken to be behind their army. I could believe that, but not what transpired in the book. I know this is just a fantasy story but it should follow a logical conclusion all the same or it becomes just a bad fantasy story.
Matthew Rodgers
548. matthew_r_rodgers
Loved the book, already listened to it twice. Egwene is still the most infuriating woman in the series but only because Fiel seems to have grown up finally. Anyone thought of demondred being the new King of Murandy?
Chandra81
549. andalex
The first thing that occurred to me when I seriously thought about Galad and Berelain procreating was something along the lines of, "Hah. It'd be funny if they have, like, the butt-ugliest offspring this side of Mama Trolloc's brood."

Which leads to the logical conclusion, of course, that Galad Jr. will be Gaidal Reborn.

...

Great book. I have my quibbles, but you've all done a great job covering most of them. (Though if I were Rand and I'd just developed Darkfriend-senses, I would Travel to the locations of all my loved ones and give their companions the stare-down, post-haste. ) Thanks for all the extra fun post-first-read!
Scientist, Father
550. Silvertip
Freelancer @507:

Precisely: I'm just speculating on how much wriggle room there is in that phrase, "responsible for." In the case of Mesaana, quite a bit. In the case of Asmodean?

Honestly, I'd be just as happy if indeed Graendal simply torched him when he walked in on her, and that's what I expect the answer to be -- that mystery was never as significant to Team Jordan as to the fandom, after all. But I think there is a loophole there still.

S
TW L
551. Shadow_Jak
OK, I'm really trying to read all the comments before commenting... But they are coming in faster than I can read them! (Haven't had a day off since Nov 1 st, so my time is limited)

But I just got to say it...
Best scene in the book, Rand destroying an army of shadowspawn... single-handedly

*Sorry, just could not resist
TW L
552. Shadow_Jak
Loved the book. I enjoyed it much. much, much more than TGS (which I also enjoyed thoroughly)

Of course that may be just because I was so afraid that TGS was not going to measure up, that every little thing kept shaking me out of the story for a moment.

This time, maybe because TGS settled my fears, I just dove right in and enjoyed... and enjoyed... and enjoyed.

Enjoyed it almost as much as Knife of Dreams, which is close to my favorite WOT novel (thus far).
Chandra81
553. Wes S.
Finished ToM a couple of days ago, am currently rereading it. Loved the book.

One thing I haven't yet seen in the comments - I might have missed it; there's over 500 of them so far - is reference to Perrin's possible demise, as foretold in the Shadow Prophecy Moridin showed Graendal during their "This is your last chance" conversation back toward the beginning of the book.

The prophecy, reprinted in full on the very last page of the epilogue, speaks of the "One-Eyed Fool travel(ing) the halls of mourning" and says "the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith's pride shall come."

What a downer on which to end ToM, huh? Although you have to scratch your head at the "pride" reference; Perrin is one of the most self-effacing characters in the novel.

And does the "One-Eyed Fool/halls of mourning" line indicate that Tuon is going to get whacked in AMoL?

...Not much else to add that hasn't already been discussed at length. Just about everybody we care about had Crowning Moments of Awesome in the book (and a few, like Dain Bornhald, that we don't care about, for that matter; heck, even Padan Fain killed a Worm with a freakin' knife!), but I will say this:

If Brandon is the one who wrote the scene where Perrin and Neald forged Mah'allenir, then my hat is off to him. That may be the most vivid scene in the entire series (and that's saying something!) It was so vivid that I was dazzled by the sparks and I could almost literally feel the hammerstrokes.

Oh yes, and the creepy cannibal Aiel at the end that unveiled themselves to kill, the better to show off their sharpened teeth. I'm not sure if they weren't somehow even more disturbing than the wretched scavenger Aiel from Aviendha's Waybackatron vision; they were just as corrupted, devoid of honor, and debased, but in a much more violent way.

One last thing: Rand's "madness" as viewed by Nynaeve when she delved him - is that an artifact of his connection to Moridin and his channeling of the TP in the last book?
Alice Arneson
554. Wetlandernw
insectoid @511 - My comment about the dreamspike was directed at those who, for some reason, seemed to be questioning whether that's what's going on at the Black Tower. Most of us seem to have gotten the clues, but some either missed it or don't believe it, to read their comments. ::shrug:: Just seemed wierd to me.

Jonathan Levy @513 - comments on your comments on the comments.... :)
Re: the sphere in Egwene's dream... I for one am not at all sure that it refers to the seals. Just saying. The only connection we're given is that when Rand mentions breaking the seals, Egwene thinks of her dream. It may well be something completely different - like breaking the remaining bonds which hold the Aiel together, or which held them to the Aes Sedai, or... something else. But as many have said, the Aiel council makes sense as the stars, and they have no more to do with the seals than anyone else. So maybe the sphere is something else. Egwene's been wrong before.
Re: Berelain... Oh, that was bad. In triplicate. :p
I like the end-game theory. Should be worth at least 3000 years.

BigBoy57 @514 - I'll have to go back and read the Aviendha/Nakomi scene. I read it as though it were a waking event, but an expert dreamwalker can pull someone into TAR. The Wise Ones say it's evil to do so; in that event, she would almost have to be a DF or Forsaken. And probably not Verin, since we have no hints that she's an expert in TAR. Hmmm. Requires further pondering, I think.

pike747 @517 - I hadn't thought of the Jain-reveal in connection with Olver, though it does make sense. I certainly hope they make it known, that the hero was a hero at the end. Maybe Thom will write an epic ballad.

lbrown @519 - I'm glad you mentioned that. "The End of a Legend" was one of those chapter titles that sent us all haring off in the wrong direction. Most of the consensus was that either Cadsuane or Jain would die in a chapter with that title. The reality was, in one sense, lighter, because no one died in the current timeline; in another sense it was far sadder, and more poignant, because it was no blaze-of-glory scene, just an old story where the heroes died, and the story seemed to have died too.
Other chapter titles where we were way off:
*Lighter than a Feather
*Blood in the Air
*An Unexpected Letter
*An Empty Ink Bottle
*Shanna'har
*The Strength of This Place
*Into the Void

Loved your second comment - I had written much the same earlier and never posted it. When I read that scene with Perrin, I immediately thought of Brandon's decision to write AMoL!

@many - I'll throw it in here FWIW. Have you ever purchased the first edition of a book, and not found large numbers of these little errors? Somehow the proofreaders always miss some, and they usually manage to correct most of them in the next printing. Live with it. Specifically to
Viixin @ 524, "Get a new editor"?? Are you serious? If it weren't for Harriet McDougal, RJ's wife and editor, as well as the owner of the rights for WoT, you wouldn't be reading this book.

lilyannerose @532 - I don't think TOR has much to do with who the various publications choose to write their reviews. Just saying.

Robert Edwin @539 - I'm with you on Asmo-in-the-Glossary. I think it's funny, and very Jordanesque. The info was in the books, just not overtly, so they put the boring flat-out answer in the glossary, for those OC enough to read it. I liked it.

dsolo @542 - Re: sniffing - our friend Fiddler pointed out elsewhere that in this book we actually have a man sniffing - Chubain sniffed at Gawyn (page 104). I also want to state my agreement with your comment about Brandon following RJ's instructions on the "new" plotlines, and the probability that every one of them was set up previously. There's simply no way that Brandon would be introducing new arcs on his own, or that Harriet would have allowed it in any case. As he has said several times, he's just putting the narrative together from the notes, recordings, instructions, outlines and written segments that RJ left. He may not write a particular character's thoughts or words in quite the same way RJ would have, or use the same words to describe a scene, but the action and events are true to RJs intent. I for one think RJ would be quite pleased with it.

prw2732 @546 - All you can prove beyond reasonable doubt is that Taim is a Moridin-minion, not that Taim is Moridin himself. It could still go either way.

FWIW, the male channeler who helped Mieren drill the Bore was a man named Beidomon. He did not die at the time, but when they realized what the results of the experiment was, he became... very unpopular. He eventually committed suicide.

pattack @547 - " Are we to believe that all the borderland nations and their armies would desert the blight at the time of Tarmon Gaidon over an obscure prophecy? I don't know if this was what RJ actually intended or if this plotline was all Brandon."

It could hardly be "all Brandon" when it was set up in TPoD. Do you honestly think RJ started this quest arc without having their reason completely worked out way back then? The fact that many of us expected something related to Dark influence (which may still be a factor somehow) doesn't change the extreme likelihood that RJ created this prophecy, and probably its exact wording, back in 1997 or 1998. For me, a lot of the fun of the series is in its complexity, and the twists that I really didn't see coming. That makes it better, not worse; if I could figure out the reasons for everyone's behavior all the time, and predict what would happen next, I'd find it boring and hardly worth reading. I have to give you this, though - Brandon is a master of unexpected twists and sending his stories places you never thought they'd go, so if he were putting new things in, this would be a prime candidate. But he's not, so it isn't.

matthew_r_rodgers @548 - Yes, Demandred = Roedran has been thought of and discussed quite a bit. However, there are other equally valid theories and we still don't have enough to go on.

andalex @549 - I too thought about Galad Jr., (LOL!) but he'd be too young. Gaidal has already been spun out somewhere. He's got to be something between newborn and about 10 months old. OTOH - I love the picture of Rand zipping around Randland giving everyone around his favorite people the mesmer stare. LOL.
M G
555. parabola
re: Cynfear's appearance in the dream-Epilogue...
We already know that Moiraine has to do something, else Rand won't succeed. I'm betting that this is a trap to get Rand (with his newly-incorporated Lews Therin-ness) softened. Then, along comes Moiraine, reminding him that she was willing to sacrifice herself to save him from Lanfear, and he shakes her off.
Chandra81
556. Dnevets
Book was put together very well.

Shai'tan and his minions are uber stupid. Makes one wonder how this creature and his army of dofuses undid the Age of Legends.

That being said you keep on committing evil deeds and don't get toasted for it you will eventually hit a few homeruns.

Hopefully I can read through the posts tomorrow. What is deal with Lanfear in Rand's dreams?

In many ways I believe this novel could have been titled Gathering Storm part 2 or MofL part one. Has no good complete ending, but definitely ties up many loose threads.

There is going have to be an offing of quite a few folks that we have come to like to give this freight train any decent credibility.
Tricia Irish
557. Tektonica
Quick thought: Re: Nakomi visiting Avi in the Waste:

She calls her "child" several times.....sounds Aes Sedai to me. But who? Perhaps it is an AS who is good in the Dreamworld? Who? I can only think of Egs, currently. Or could it be one of the Forsaken? Mesanna, pre- mindwipe, or Moggy? But why? Simply planting doubt seems weak after going to such lengths.
sandi vogel
558. sinfulcashew
(waves) To all (one) who waved at me!
I ordered my book from Walmart on the third and received it on the fifth. Almost fell off my porch! I love FED EX!
Am almost in the middle and am thoroughly enjoying it.
At first I would read a chapter or two and then later some more, taking my time to digest it as I went!
Got about 1/4 through and am going gang busters now?
Sooooo many people and some that I do not recoginize from previous reads.
Each chapter is short and leads right on into more book.
A lot of jumping from here to there, but Okay!

The only quibble I have is that the names of people don't quite have the same ring as RJ names., but nevertheless, I still love and adore this story! No offense, BS!


Just read wet's (Hehe) use of "quibble": I hadn't read her yet so I am not copying her!!!! So there!
TW L
559. Shadow_Jak
RobMRobM @337 and Wetlander @437
Sylvase a DF. Unknown, but recall that her "Secretary" was not hers originally, but was acquired from Arymilla. Who we know was working with the BA and DF's, though perhaps unwittingly.
T C
560. Freelancer
DRockPritchard @525

That bank will need a bailout.

wagman26 @527

By Mordith, I presume you mean Moridin. Whatever deal was made, it isn't likely to allow the 'Finn to wander freely about the countryside far from any portal to their existence, else they wouldn't depend upon humans to come to them for their "savoring". As to whether the 'Finn are to be considered evil, here is Birgitte speaking to Perrin in T'a'R (TSR Ch.28):


"Those are the ways to win against the snakes and the foxes. The game is a remembrance of old dealings. It does not matter so long as you stay away from the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn. They are not evil the way the shadow is evil, yet they are so different from humankind they might as well be. They are not to be trusted, archer."



cullion @529

So many people who live on a war footing for years, just can't adjust to another way of life.


That seems like a great line for a movie, but it isn't remotely like the truth. Unless you've served and know differently yourself, I reject your statement as frivolous and hollow. I've known veterans who struggled with returning to civilian life after their service, but it was usually about shifting from a regimented, pre-planned routine to one where fewer decisions are made in advance for the individual. That, or the different demands of the corporate workforce compared to the military. It never had a thing at all to do with being used to a "war footing", or preferring a life of combat to one of peace. That's completely baseless, and horribly insulting to those who have served. Just saying.


JohnTheLurker @536

You misread me. Egwene's actions are exactly what she says they are. She isn't helping Rand intentionally, she is trying her very best to stop him from doing what she believes will be a monumental mistake. Rand knows this. He also knows that he would have less than acceptable success at trying to call all of the nations' armies to himself for the Last Battle. So he's playing Egwene and letting her do it, knowing that she will try to use sheer numbers to make him "see reason". For proof that Egwene is hoping to stop Rand, from Chapter 56:


"Egwene, what if al'Thor isn't coming? What if he did this to distract everyone from whatever else he's doing?" "Why would he do that?" Egweene said. "He's already proven that he can avoid being found, if he wants to." She shook her head. "Gawyn, he knows he shouldn't break those seals. A part of him does, at least. Perhaps that's why he told me--so I could gather resistance, so I could talk him out of it."



BillinHI @537

Elayne is following Tower protocol. It is the Amyrlin's purview to execute Black sisters. I agree that everytime someone lets a darkfriend channeler live, they are begging for new troubles. But I can't blame Elayne. If you notice, each of our heroes is still a tiny bit uncertain just how to deal with and work with the others. It's still painful to watch, but at least they are finally trying. Rand is the only one who is giving the others credit for their advancements and success. He gave Egwene direct praise for attaining the Stole, and for reuniting the broken white Tower. Meanwhile, she is uncertain of his mental health. ::sigh::

RE: Rodel Ituralde. Absolutely agree. He has proven his status as a Great Captain more times than anyone else in the series. Poor guy has been kept way too busy.


Jonathan Levy @ 539

I agree with your sentiments (excluding about Berelain, not distracted for a moment by that jumped-up barmaid) with two, shall I say adjustments:


The Saldeans (sic) stop throwing a hissy fit about someone fighting the shadow in their land, and go to help them.


The problem here wasn't a hissy fit, it was that Lord Torkumen was a darkfriend. The honorable Saldaeans saved Ituralde and many of his men once they could stand no more and mutinied.

Rand not being forthright with Egwene about the seals


Rand told Egwene straight out that he planned to break the seals. He didn't tell her that he predicted her decision to oppose him, that he expected her to gather all possible forces to convince him, and that he would use that. He didn't lie to her, and she chose not to tell him to what lengths she would go to stop him. Who was more honest, who was less?


subwoofer @541

The Black Ajah has nothing. Daved Hanlon has one of the copies, which is flawed. Actually, I'd prefer if the Black had it. They wouldn't want to use it, since one of its flaws is the inability to channel while wearing it.


pattack @547

Prologue, The Path of Daggers, Deceptive Appearances:

Four hands reached out and met, gripped, heart's blood mingling, dripping to the ground, soaking into the stony dirt. "We are one, to the death." Easar said, and they all spoke with him. "We are one, to the death." By blood and soil, they were committted. Now they had to find Rand al'Thor. And do what needed to be done. Whatever the price.


What needed to be done?

"I see him before you!" Paitar quoted. "Him, the one who lives many lives, the one who gives deaths, the one who raises mountains. He will break what he must break, but first he stands here, before our king. You will bloody him! Measure his restraint. He speaks! How was the fallen slain? Tellindal Tirraso, murdered by his hand, the darkness that came the day after the light. You must ask, and you must know your fate. If he cannot answer, then you will be lost. You will bring his end swiftly, so that the final days may have their storn. So that Light may not be consumed by he who was to have preserved it. I see him. And I weep."


They needed to prove that he had Lews Therin's memories, or he would not be fit to succeed at the Last Battle, and better that he died there, that the world suffered another turning without the dark one fully sealed, than with the chance that al'Thor could have been turned and become the shadow's champion. I can't see Brandon making this up just to fit an empty hole in the story. I also can't see the Prologue of TPoD being written by Jordan as it was without the ending of that thread being prepared.


andalex @549

I too consider that it would be a form of justice for Galad and Berelain to produce unattractive children. But Gaidal Cain is already alive somewhere.


Wes S. @553

No, what Nynaeve sensed in such great abundance in Rand is the same thing she healed in Naeff. It's taint madness, plain and simple. Too bad she wasn't around before the Breaking, eh?
Jane Smyth
561. Kaboom
As expected, by the time I finished the book there are already more than 500 comments. It did not help that Amazon was late... I only skimmed through them, but I don't think this has been approached yet. If so I apologize.

Loved the book! Loved in particular Perrin's part.
By the end of the book though, I was almost convinced that Perrin will die before the end of TG. I don't think the 3 sets of prophecies are contradictory. They are all vague enough that they could all happen, if not in the manor or with the consequences we think. Even the not so vague ones could happen in a very different fashion than they would appear.
I think it is a definite possibility that Perrin dies as mentioned in the dark prophecies, but since he is a wolfbrother he would then appears in the wolf dream (like Hopper did after his death) and has there a very important role (perhaps to do with the other dreamspike and/or in leading the wolves) in TG that helps the light team to win, thus his death resulting in a very different conclusion than the one made by Moridin.
Mike DMonte
562. MickeyDee
Are you freakin' kidding me?! I printed out and read all the comments posted (at that time) on Friday afternoon before leaving work. It took me all the weekend in between domestic chores, obeying SWMBO (tautology intentional), beating the kids and the occasional beer (well ok – more than occasional but I was reading the comments while sipping right? ;) ) thinking to myself “Mike” (‘cos that’s what I call myself when I think to myself), “at least when you post something you’ll have had the courtesy of having read nearly everything everyone else has posted and you won’t be repeating the same thing that has been posted umpteen-gazillion times.”

The last comment when I printed this out was up to RevenRedem@321. Now we’re just over 550! OK, so I am not going to read all the comments before posting. So there! If I repeat things that have been noted ad nauseam so be it.

Couple of things that jumped out at me (I have decided to start spelling the character’s names phonetically – why? I’ve been listening to various podcasts and the mangle that many people make grates me greatly so here I’ll put myself in the target sights and allow peeps to correct me while I make their teeth grate in turn):

Gren-darhl didn’t die! Awwwwww did she have to survive? I mean ok she has great hair and an impressive rack but..oh..I mean she is one of the most affective and devious of the Chosen but by the Great Lord did she have to get away? Then again it did lead to my next observation…..

Gren-darhl diddit! – in her convo with Ishydin no less.
“Grenny, you’re not claiming another one went bugshit renegade are you?”
“Yeah…um…Nope.”

(Note, these and other quotes may differ from what you have in your copy. I put this down to your printer mangling the text. ;) )

I punched the air and yelled “Yesssss!” Received weird looks from the kids. Hmmm, humouring your old man…that’s a paddling.

Nigh-neeve you rock my world. Made of awesome with awesome sauce. Love the short hair, no, no it doesn’t make you look like you are cruising for pillow-friends. What made you think that?
You’ve almost supplanted Marrin Al Veer as my #1 married wot-woman I want to seduce. (And before you all start, yes I know Marrin is not going to leave Bran-bloody-male-pattern-baldness-Al-Veer anytime soon but we can dream can’t we. She has the reputation for putting it about after all. I mean c’mon don’t tell me you didn’t get the “code” about how every male reckons she has the tastiest “honey-cakes” in the Two Rivers). And no I am not just interested in her because she has five daughters! And no, not because she half-owns a pub. Well OK, you got me there. The pub is a big part of it.

Dav-ramm Bash-ear is not a darkfriend – whew. Levelled-up Rand being able to know them on sight (verra cool indeed laddie and plausible too ) saw Bash-ear when saving the Little Wolf’s pelt at Marradon. Fain can tell them on sight as well (darkfriends not midget great captains) so as I said – plausible extra Talent.

Speaking of verra cool laddies….It-ur-ral-day – you are the man! Lots of your men cop it in the neck which is exactly what we should expect in the Last Battle (opening, middle or end stages). It is not going to be a cake walk – in fact it is going to be as close run a thing as a thing could be.

Gollum (Gollum) getting off’d via gateway – yay – so called that. Not in the particulars but feeling smug nonetheless. Bye-bye Gollum (Gollum).

Blood knives – yep, well, sorta expected them to kill a few more.

Too-on – my favourite little empress is being uncool here. Later on we find out that Gren-darhl has been active in Eb-oo Darrrrrrrr (it isn’t just the woman that get to roll their ars in Ebou Dar – it is the city too). And I put two and two together and got a fiscal deficit. Too-on is operating an empire under the “influence”. Not cool babe.

13x13 in the BT – didn’t catch it – I thought that they were simply being Compelled. But on reflection it is 13x13 instead. No Tarn-nah noooo!

Perrun in TAR Big-Fuckin-Fight-Scene– brilliant. Taking the dreamspike there – um, yeah. Had to happen, was supposed to happen, did happen. Now has a probability of 1 of having occurred. No problem with it.

Meh-Sarh-Na is Dann-El – yay we called it.


Avi-end-dah in the way forward machine. Brilliant, brilliant piece of writing. Made me say “Oh Fuck!” aloud. Got me a “Shhh Dad, we’re trying to watch Dexter” from the kids. Telling your dad to be quiet…that’s a paddlin’.
My call – true vision of the future. But then again I am not a fan of the happily-ever-after, Disneyfied fairy tale. Give me a Brothers Grimm variety pack with a side order of Baba Yaga every time. And if the Shaw-Chan empire lasts a thousand years before imploding at the start of an Age without channeling? So what? The wheel will continue to turn.

Ee-Layne (named after a store manikin probably) doing her thing with the BA sisters – my thoughts: “Huh? Why haven’t they been stilled and executed yet?” Closely followed by “Seriously, are we going to repeat our past mistakes here?” Sigh. Yep we did. She got off lightly and allowed some to escape. Sigh.

Re all the politicking in this book with the LB already starting. Far too plausible for my mind. Sigh.

The resolution with the Borderlander armies – nice. The extra super-special-super-secret prophecy – extra nice, not plausible but hey, it’s a fantasy book and we need to get the loose threads tied back up.

Rand-Sedai – heh. I liked.

Matt letter to Eeee-Lain. Liked it lots. Made me smile. Re-read it. Made me laugh.

I too felt that everything seemed to be going swimmingly for Team Light, but that last part of the book just extracted a rueful chuckle of foreboding. More bad bodings of things to come. In fact more bad Boding than going into a room of mirrors with Bode-I’m-not-jail-bait-they-haven’t-passed-a-law-like-that-yet-wait-for-the-industrial-age-here-tell-me-what-you-think-of-this-Scumble-my-Nanny-Ogg-made-Caw-Thorn.

Hundreds of thousands of shadowspawn erupting out of Came-lynne. (Olver, you taking that knife to go fight Trollocs? Bye-bye Olver. Bye-bye infant soldier).
Red-masked blokes who were not Eye-Eel (dark eyes for a start).
Hundreds of thousands of shadowspawn erupting out of various parts of the Blight.
Gren-darhl’s been playing with the Shawn-Chan? That is not going to be good.
Tah-Eem and his party of, um, let’s see, one, three, seven, eight, fifteen,…….127 and growing bad-arse channellers - is going to be very nasty, oh my yes indeedy. No, you go tell him we don’t have a table reservation for him.

OK – enough of my ramblings. Have at me!

Mickey-I-could-pretend-to-have-male-pattern-baldness-Dee
Marie Anzalone
563. MarieAnzalone
@Wetlandernw :

I agree that we have no proof that Taim is Moridin. The fact that Taim was channeling before all but Ishamael, Aginor, and Balthamel were released is dead set against this theory (the others were trapped further from the surface, and emerged later, sometime in TGH). What makes more sense to me is that new Chosen are being selected, to make up for the ones who can or will no longer be reincarnated in some form or another. New Chosen, new Dreadlords. As Moridin is Nae'Blis, it makes sense that half the know dark legion is wearing his colors and doing his bidding.
Marie Anzalone
564. MarieAnzalone
One more thought- FIVE Bloodknives were sent to the Tower. We know three were taken out by Gawyn (don't mess with a man's woman, yo, even if she hasn't declared for him an' all). Anyone wonder what happened to the other two? Are we assuming they were blasted out of the sky, did I miss something... or are they still lurking the halls of the WT?
Mike DMonte
565. MickeyDee
MarieAnzalone@564: One was killed by Gareth Bryne, one remains unaccounted for. Perhaps he/she stepped out for a noon-er?
T C
566. Freelancer
The fifth and final bloodknife was found after a search once Egwene saw the truth of who they were, not Black Ajah. The last one took out two Sisters and a Warder before succumbing.
Mike DMonte
567. MickeyDee
Arrrrgh! Of course they were! Nice recall Free.
Sharon E.
568. Sulin
Leigh, what you said about missing Rand is exactly how I felt when reading Rand's parts in the book. I miss him! I want to read about Rand al 'Thor, not Qui-Gon Rand. ;)

Isilel@24- Regarding Rand-


Also, I hope that his confrontation with Egwene wasn't what it seemed.

Er, what did it seem to you?

Now, to finish reading the comments!
Chandra81
569. gambit
I find it was really stupid how Verin left such an important piece of info in a letter like that and i might not be opened at all. Why not just tell Egwene that too when she was talking to her?
Chandra81
570. Donald S. Crankshaw
Wetlandernw@554 - A minor quibble, but while Harriet may be content editing the WoT novels, I doubt she's also the copy editor. It's generally a bad idea to have just one person content and copy edit. It's a legitimate concern that Tor needs better copy editing. Sometimes you can do that just by adding another person to check the manuscript for mistakes, preferably someone brought in at the end, so they're not so used to the text they