Nov 15 2010 3:55pm

The Wheel of Time: Towers of Midnight Spoiler Review Thread Continuation

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon SandersonAs was bound to happen, Leigh Butler’s spoiler review of Towers of Midnight is getting overloaded with comments. We’ve opened up a new post here so folks can still jump in on the conversation without getting timed out of the original page (which can be accessed through the above link).

Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
I wasn't trying to grab this first post, it was just here when I got back from lunch.

Someone on the last thread was wondering if Rand still has that list if names running through his mind still. I believe that he does. When Rand gets back to the stone from Maradon, he tells Bashere that it is right for him to feel sorrow for who has been lost. So I believe that though he still reads the list it is to remember who he is fighting for
Mitchell Swan
3. mcswan
@Too many to list.

Chapter 37 Darkness in the Tower

“Report!” Egwene demanded.

“Shevan and Carlinya are dead, Mother,” Saerin said
grimly. The brusque Brown was panting.

Egwene cursed. “What happened?”

“We were in the middle of our ploy, having a discussion about a fake
plot to bring peace to Arad Doman, as you’d ordered. And then...”

“Fire,” Morvrin said, shivering. “Blasting through the walls. Women
channeling, several with incredible Power. I saw Alviarin there. Others,

Now, tell me again how Carlinya was killed by a Bloodknife?
Charles Hopkins
4. charlesghopkins
Ok, here is my question of something that I haven't seen but is pretty obvious to me: Why hasn't someone made a "learning" adam for women. one that doesn't lock you into the bracelet and necklace but allows someone to help learning to channel?

Marcus W
5. toryx
Damn. I totally lost the post I'd spent the last 20 minutes trying to make in the original forum.

Anyway, I'm halfway through the book and not at all surprised that Elayne is still every bit the light-blinded mulehead she ever was. As is her brother. The two of them remain my least favorite of the Light-Siders. Man, they're infuriating!

Besides them, however, the book is definitely good reading.
6. AndrewB
I have to give Leigh her props. She said that tomorrow (11/16) she would be continue the re-reads. This was one day after we finally crashed Tor's system.

Ladies, gentlemen, & animals (but not Suffa) take a bow/ courtsey.

However, Leigh if you do not continue her re-read tomorrow, some of us will make like Fain's pet mist and seek you out.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Eric Hughes
7. CireNaes
Just going to repost my last comment here since it looks as if I got the last point in at the previous thread...


Folks that are talking about using a Mac or their default browsers... slap yourselves and come to your senses paying more for less I use my little mule here, Pepe, and this thread loads just fine. I have Firefox as my browser- Sponge Bob skin and all- and things are just peachy.

And you weren't content with merely a fight over Egwene's core personality issues? Although I do appreciate your affection for Sponge Bob. I prefer Firefox on my Mac over Safari, but IE looks like the culprit here. And the 13" MacBook Pro was a near perfect combination of batterylife, decent horsepower, better than average screen, and great input devices (keyboard and trackpad) a year ago, which was when I bought mine. Cost less than my old HP too. Three years ago I would have agreed with you, but Apple has made some real strides in value per pricepoint that the Mac Tax has almost disappeared in more than half of their products. You're failing to see the 'character' development of Apple. Their near parallel comparisons to the old and new White Tower are stunning.
1) Less software sandboxing than they used to/the beginning of the integration of other channeler groups.
2) Less computing arrogance as they adapt more PC'ish features/White Tower recognition that their way is not necessarily the best way or only way.
3) Starting to become genuinely useful as a platform for the 'average' user/starting to recapture more of a "Servant of All" montra rather than their prior stance of manipulator of all.
4) Steve Jobs resuming leadership has led to phenomenal market growth/Egwene taking control has led to growth of Tower initiates.
5) Both Egwene and Steve Jobs struggle with arrogance and sort of live in their own world, but are both undeniably powerful leaders and smart.

So...Egwene is Steve Jobs...and Rand is Bill Gates...

Rand struggles with viruses, but is at his core a more powerful computing platform due to his flexibilty, upgradibility, and driver support. Zen-Rand has now begun to apologize and share his Dragonesk benefits with others. The Gates couple are intent on giving away their fortune to fight world suffering. Rand and Gates both still have trouble accepting their competitor's products. Okay, I'm done with this analogy.
Daniel Goss
8. Beren
re: Carlinya

I don't suppose we're willing to accept that Carlinya was being killed in her sleep by a bloodknife at the exact same moment that she was being incinerated by black ajah in the world of dreams? Because if that's the case, she'd have to be some kind of anti-ta'veren for her luck to be that bad.

Just thinking out loud (typing out loud?)
James Jones
9. jamesedjones
8 Beren

Anti-ta'veren exist! They're the folks that can never find the other sock.
Thomas Keith
10. insectoid
What the... We got booted off the other thread already? It wasn't that bad... Well, as long as none of Sub's posts got eaten up like last time... ;)

Re: Why IE is slow... Hmm. Well, I tend to think it's because it uses more memory. But I suppose it also has a lot more plug-ins and junk, too. (That's my IT non-professional answer. ;) )

@2 (1145): Good for you, we'll send you a nice kitten! ;)

CireNaes @7 (1150): ROFL!!

James Hogan
11. Sonofthunder
Thanks so much for this new thread - y'all are awesome!!

...and CireNaes, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Although I'm slightly disturbed by how well my feelings for Mac/PC mirrors my feelings for Egwene/Rand.

I guess that's why I like Rand more than Egwene, since I'm a PC user. Hm.

One more off-topic point before I run away: I just got my flatmate to start reading Way of Kings. VICTORY.
Ron Garrison
12. Man-0-Manetheran
CireNaes @ 7: "So...Egwene is Steve Jobs...and Rand is Bill Gates..."
Good analogy, and from recent news stories Google is turning out to be Moridin...
Janet Hopkins
13. JanDSedai
Okay, okay, we only had the spoiler thread for two weeks, and we already broke it!

re: Verin's timeline

Verin Gateways Mat to Camelyn on May 4. She then appears in the tower in Egwene's room (and dies) on May 31. So, she could have been anywhere in the meantime.
Avienha leaves for the Waste about the middle of May. That's why she is a contender for Nakomis.

I guess Brandon read "Hiawatha"?
Roger Powell
14. forkroot
Some interesting points made about Egwene, but I think subwoofer had the right of it when he pointed out that Eg was extremely constrained in their public meeting due to her power base not really being shored up.

The good news is that Egwene has a ready communication channel to Rand via Nynaeve. Later in the text, we see Nyn arguing on Rand's behalf with Eg. I have faith ... Egwene is a smart gal and I believe the balance of evidence will convince her to work with Rand - I'm actually more worried about her ability to herd cats forge the tower into a unified fighting force.

Changing the subject: No disrespect to Gareth Bryne, Agelmar, the late Pedron Niall, nor to Davram Bashere but when it comes to "Great Captains", I'm beginning to think that Rodel Ituralde is in a class by himself. If there's a overall General for Team Light, it would be interesting to see if he or Mat would be the one.

I suppose it should be Mat because of the memories, but he'd do well to work closely with Ituralde.
15. Thor al'Thor
Bit of a non sequitur here, but is anybody else still paranoid about Alliandre? What was with all that scarf stuff?

In related paranoia, I figure the personal assistants to the Seanchan generals are going to kill all the Seanchan hierarchy.

t a't, Rand's third stepcousin once removed
Eric Hughes
16. CireNaes

I think it is more his style of strategy that "fits" the times that has made him rise above the rest. He's the guy you want commanding your forces when you're in a withdrawal or last stand scenario. The most bang for your buck, but you're likely to spend every last dollar. I'm reminded of Erwin Rommel's African campaign when I think of Itrualde.
Don Barkauskas
17. bad_platypus
jamesedjones @9:

Was that a deliberate How to Train Your Dragon reference or just coincidence?
18. Chaosanth
Someone has probably already suggested this at some point, but I think Moridin will end up with Cyndane, Moghedien and Graendal to match Rand with Elayne, Aviendha, and Min...just another way they are mirroring each other. This isn't really a spoiler just a prediction.
Tricia Irish
19. Tektonica
Thank you Tor for our shiny new thread!

Cirenaes@7: Brillliant!

JEJ@9: Or the butter in the fridge.

JanDSedai@13: Thank you for that timeline. I had a feeling Verin had some wiggle room in there and plenty of time to deliver mail, Travel to the waste (?), and numerous other spots.

I have a feeling there may be various unresolved anachronisms popping up, that may become known to us as "Verinisms". Btw, Verin is probably from the latin root verum, meaning truth.
20. 11zeeshha
@AndrewB on the previous thread

"Re outing Darkfriends: Rand has outted Darkfriends before. Rember whenhe was in the Aiel Waste and encountered the merchant caravan (that included a disguised Asmo and Lanfear). He also tried this when he looked at the eyes of the Tower delegation in LoC."

The only reason Rand knew that the peddlers in the waste were DF was b/c he knew Asmodean and Lanfear were among them

As for the tower delegation, he did not try this. Rand merely was looking at the servants faces to see if any of them were trying to hide the fact that they were Aes Sedai but not showing their faces.
Debbie Solomon
21. dsolo
Good point about Carlinya. Now, how do we make it fit? Hmmmm.... How about this - the Raven looked almost like a tattoo (per Min), not substantial, so we could interpret this to mean that she was going to be around when there was some sort of shadowy threat from the Seanchen. Guess she would have been targeted, but the BA beat the Bloodknives to her. If that doesn't work, how about.............. I got nothing.
22. Wookster
Only read the 1st 650 or so posts, so forgive me if this has been covered.

Regarding Mat's spelling: most, if not all, of his memories are in the old tongue. Can't see how that would help him with spelling in common.

Just a thought.

Antoni Ivanov
23. tonka
Happy New Thead! :>
Let me pitch in.
Carlinya was killed by black ajah aka. by the Shadow (hence the raven in Min's viewing). I don't get where this killed by bloodknives thing come from ?

I think you are a bit unfair to Bryne, Agelmar, Niall or Bashere
So far no one has been put in situations like Ituralde was since he was introduced. When your back is on the wall you find reservoirs that you've never thought exist. I'm pretty certain that the other Great Generals would have manage as well.

The truth is we've never seen any of the other Generals in action as much as we've seen Ituralde. Bashere is Rand's General and and usually has in his disposal hundreds of Asha'man and Aiel and all the nations's armies. Garet Bryne was busy with a siege everyone hoped that will never come to fighting. Niall was busy being prejudiced and Agelmar busy running away from the Blight.
Nevertheless the only of the Great Generals we've seen being great on the battlefield is Ituralde (and Mat of course).(though Bashere and Mat ware behind the plan against Sammael and Bashere was the tactic behind the raids against the Seanchan in The Path of Daggers)

Ha! Nice juxtaposition between Rand and Moridin!
Sharon E.
25. Sulin
Samadai@1- *waves* Hey Brother! Agreed, RE Rand's list.

JanDSedai@13- Thanks for the timeline! I'm now even more convinced that "Nakomi" was Sneaky Verin.

Thor al'Thor@15- Yes, I am also wondering WTH was going on with Alliandre's scarf-making. Suspicious....

I'm doing a second read-through now, reading each POV character all the way through.

26. wishtochannel
2 quick questions:

1) Why do we think that red-veiled pseudo-Aiel with the pointy teeth can channel? There's been lots of discussion about the lost male Aiel channelers... but the short blip that featured these scary dudes didn't include anything about them channeling.

2) Moiraine went to the land of the Aelfinn/Eelfinn twice, right? So does that mean she actually has 6, rather than 3, answers that we don't know about yet?

BTW, can't wait for Moiraine to encounter Cadsuane.
Sam Mickel
28. Samadai
I see you Sulin. :D

Yes the more I think about that, the more it seems likely.

Rhys Douglas
29. Mr.Nkgnto
Long time Lurker, first time poster. Absolutely buzzing with how awesome this book is. Loved, loved, loved it!! Bring on a Memory of Light...
A couple of thoughts that I haven't seen posted...

Wondering if the foxhead replicas will negate the power of the a'dam? Maybe the Aes Sedai can duplicate the ter'angreal so each sister at the Tower would have one. Wouldn't the Seanchan get a surprise during their upcoming attack when they place the a'dam around the sisters necks and they just reach up and take them off.

The Bloodknife ter'angreal may work a little different on a Warder's finger... Seeing as the Warders get a 'vitality' power up from the Bond with an Aes Sedai, maybe they won't succumb to their death after 3 maybe 4 weeks like the Seanchan assassins do. Would be interesting if they could be duplicated for all the Warders, then watch them unleash at Tarmon Gai'don.

Anyway, this book was Made Of Awesome!!

Kia Kaha, people of the Light!!
30. AndrewB
Just to further add to what Tonka @23 said re Carlinya -- Per Encyclopedia WoT, Min's viewing of Carlinya was "an image of a raven floating beside her dark hair; more a drawing of the bird than the bird itself."

Carlinya died in Tel'aran'rhiod where she was using a dream terangrael (sp?). The terangrael makes the user appear faint to others in Tel'aran'rhiod. The faint image of the raven represent her death by the Balck Ajah in Tel'aran'rhiod.

That is the great thing about prophecies/foretelling. Everything is clear after the fact. (Thank you Mesaana for that tidbit.)

So as somebody once said -- That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Conor Murray
31. NotPropaganda
Just regarding the Egwene discussion in the last thread, I know it got a bit ridiculous with analogies and things, but I have to admit I didn't really see any over-the-top criticisms of Egwene - it was more disappointment because of how awesome she was in TGS. I spotted one comment that basically said anti-Egwene comments were sexist. This was way over the top in my opinion. Nynaeve is one of my favourite characters, all series long, regardless of how frustrating she could be. All of them have grown as characters incredibly. I love them.

The Aes Sedai, as an "institution" cannot be praised too much though. They are a stagnant group, trapped in their own prejudices and ideas and self-importance. That's why people like Egwene are so important, and I was just disappointed with her attitude to Rand, that's all. Nynaeve really impressed me with her standing up to the other Aes Sedai and sticking up for Rand as well. I have a feeling Egwene will be listening to her a lot in preparation for this meeting.

@wishtochannel, re: the "male Aiel channelers", there actually isn't anything that particularly makes them stand out as these male Aiel. It's simply the guys description of them as "Aiel-like garb" or whatever it was, and people like me who really hope that's the link haha. However I saw plenty of arguments linking these guys with Fain which, to be honest, make a lot more sense.
John Massey
32. subwoofer
@CireNaes- Steve Jobs is panty waste not one of my favorite people. Don't believe the hype, funny that my post is following not propaganda... M Night what'shisbucket released a movie about Apple stuff a couple of years back. People who bought them just started to lose the will to live. Some form of mind control I hear. Guy's a slick marketer. Be careful if Jobs starts selling snakeoil.

Edit- up here Mac's cost 1.5 times as much for half the processor power of a PC... and then the buyer is stuck with a Mac.

Hello Mr nkgnto?! Welcome to our happy little corner of the world:) I am still hoping that bad things happen when Gawyn puts on the ring... er... beyond a bad rash and stuff.

Hi Sam:) S'up?

Edit- Whooot! #32!!!! Long live Jim Brown!!!

Shannon Wallace
33. Bravehearted
Finally finished the book. What can I say, I am a slow reader. I loved it so much I am working on rereading it now. Great posts I am about half way through with them. So happy to have found this site. I do have a few questions and I will wait until I am finished reading all the posts. Thank you Brandon Sanderson for a job well done! Its just what I have been waiting for.
Michael Maxwell
34. pike747
@1142. and 7. CireNaes

That was a very awesome analogy. I'm a PC but play just fine with Macs ;-)
35. AndrewB
I am going to try to disect second paragraph from the passage of The Prophicies of the Shadow (pg. 843, ToM). I have not seen this done yet in as much detail as I will attempt. Appologies to anybody who has. (At the present I have yet to read posts 550-800 on Part I of the Spoiler Review.)

"In that day, when the One-Eyed Fool travels the hall of mourning, and the First Among Vermin lifts his hand to bring freedom to Him who will Destroy, the last days of the Fallen Blacksmith's pride shall come. Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one who Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers. ..."

I guess that "the one-eyed fool" is a reference to Mat, the "First Among Vermin" is Rand, and the "Blacksmith" is Perrin.

I interpret the second portion of the above quote (concerning the "First Among Vermin) as Rand breaking the final seals and releasing the Dark

So does that mean that the hall of mourning is the Finnland structure where Mat and company rescued Moiraine? If so, then Mat's plot and Perrin's plot is several days ahead of everybody elses at the end of ToM. On the day that the seals are broken, Mat will rescue Moiraine and Perrin's pride shall cease.

The loss of Perrin's pride could have been his acceptance of his full wolf powers and his conversation with Boundless. That would also place that scene a day or two before the beginning of the next book.

Alternatively, the hall of mourning could refer to Camelyn (the mdoern day location of the Aes Sedai's headquarters in the AoL). LTT was referrred to as the Lord of Morning. As the head of the AoL Aes Sedai, one could linguistically refer to that location as "the hall of morning." The word "mourning" could be a play on the word "morning" or a misinterpreation by the person who transcribed the prophecy.

The second interpretation of the "hall of mourning" would mean that Perrin must further loose his pride. The only guess that I have is if pride were to be interpreted as a group (such as a pride of lions). Thus, on the day that Mat walks the halls of Camlyn, and Rand destroys the seals, Perrin will loose a portion of his army.

I welcome your comments on this aspect of the prophecy.

The third sentence of the Dark prophecy states the following: Yea, and the Broken Wolf, the one whom Death has known, shall fall and be consumed by the Midnight Towers."

I cannot quite get its meaning. I believe the prevailing opinion among us is that this sentence refers to Hopper and his death in the World of Dreams during Perrin's battle with Slayer. If that is correct, then what does it mean when it says " ... be consumed by the Midnight Towers."

I understood the Midnight Towers to be the remaining Forsaken (see Egwene's dream in Chpt 3 of ToM). If I am right, then the prophecy indicates that Hooper died at the hands of one of the Forsaken. Unless I am mistaken and Slayer received a promotion of screen, then I must be interpreting this sentence wrong.

Any suggestions of the Broken Wolf being consumed by the Towers of Midnight?

Thanks for reading my musings.
Brent Longstaff
36. Brentus
What makes Egwene so sure Rand is wrong about breaking the seals? It's not like she has memories from the age of legends. Nor has she been puzzling over it as long as Min and Rand. Does she want to be the next Latra Posae Decume and oppose the dragon just because she thinks his plan is risky? That worked out so well last time.
37. liciawasallthat
Two comments:
First, was it just me, or did anyone else see a possible tie in to RJ's own battle with his illness and Rand's trip up the mountain and triumph? Perhaps too personal? Don't remember ever feeling that something from RJ's life was actively shown in the books but I wondered after reading this.
Second, I hate to say it, but what if the Blacksmith's pride is Faile?
Oh, and what if the Ravens mentioned in Avi's future are Mat's army that he runs after Tuon dies (the hall of mourning)?
38. hamstercheeks
Re: Egwene

I think her encounter with Rand in the WT is more plot-driven than character-driven. This is clearly a parallel to the "Fateful Concord" (as described in The Strike at Shayol Ghul), where the female channelers rallied against the creation of the seals, which is a nice contrast to the current age's campaign against breaking the deals. It also links back to Rand's realization on Dragonmount that he is reborn so he can have another chance to do it right. Egwene is just a thread in the Pattern here; she's acting out the part played by Latra Posae Decume during the Age of Legends. Since Rand is now pretty much every single Dragon ever, not just Lews Therin, he will clearly have something planned with all the armies that Egwene gathered to support her cause. Yep, Egwene's been played.

Also, can I just add that ToM was the one single WoT book where I didn't absolutely despise Faile. Whoa.
39. hamstercheeks
"Seals." I meant, "a nice contrast to the current age's campaign against breaking the seals." Gah.
40. SemiCircular
I'm not sure if its been brought this up yet but its been bugging me.
Its WOT. If Rand does exactly as the Pattern requires everything should loop back to the start. Every new/re discovery takes the world closer to the Age of Legends. All the questions with the Aiel destroying themselves has to be a possible future. (loved/hated reading that section)

Even when Avi goes in the Ter'angreal it indicates that the world heads toward a new age of Legends (the light stick etc), and that the Aiel went astray because Rand didnt know what to do with them (he even left them out of the dragon's peace).
Surely to get it back to how Rand saw the Age of Legends in his trip back in the columns; he must: find the Song; teach it to the Aiel (who dont sing except battle songs now) so they can follow the way of the leaf and return Avendasora to the world.
This will stop them from attacking the Seanchan and starting the war that destroys them.
They're supposed to be the people of the dragon. If the dragon wants peace then they will have to be peaceful. Perhaps only a Remnant of those remaining after TG will follow his orders.
41. Girmie
I was amused to realise that one of Egwene's scenes where I thought she was doing something really worthwhile - her meeting with the Wise Ones and Windfinders - has been prempted by both groups, although she only knows about the bargain that the Windfinders made with Elayne and Nynaeve. The Wise Ones have been making apprentices of the Aes Sedai that Rand handed over to them from the start.
Kimani Rogers
42. KiManiak
Low numbers again! Nice.

AndrewB@1128 old thread – Re: Nicola – I was kind of bummed about her passing, simply because it seemed she was being set up to possibly benefit from a “redemption” type arc. She went from being the bane of Egwene’s existence in TPoD-CoT, to being one of her biggest supporters in KoD-ToM. Add that to her being fairly strong in the OP, and I hoped that she would play some kind of important role in AMoL, or at least in TG. Her death in ToM is just mentioned in passing, as a small part of one of the climaxes. That was kind of a bummer, for me.

birgit@1132 old thread – Re: Logain – I also initially thought that he was either out on a mission or is exhibiting caution. But BWS may have dropped a subtle clue (as I read it, anyway) that there maybe more. In Working Leather, Androl mentioned that Logain had left in the night with Mezar and 2 other powerful Dedicated loyal to Logain (p682). In Something Wrong, Androl communicates to his fellow Logain-faction-Ashaman that Mezar has returned, but he’s acting like what we the readers are interpreting as 13x13 conversion behavior (p818). My speculation is that maybe Logain has been captured, and it will require Naeff, Pevara and Androl to help Logain reach the “glory” that Min has foreseen. Anyone else notice any other clues?

Darth.agilus@1133 old thread – I liked your 3rd & 4th paragraphs.

CireNas@1142 old thread/7 new – That was hilarious! Great addition to the discussion!
Kimani Rogers
43. KiManiak
charlesghopkins@4 – I see what you’re getting at. I think the quick answer would be that since the a’dam is just a “forced link” that the Aes Sedai could replicate the same behavior by just doing a regular link with initiates. Seems like a cool idea to train some slow learners in the more complex weaves…

JanDSedai@13 – thanks for the timeline. I guess my questions would be that if Verin gives Mat the letter on 5/4, why would she write in her letter that if he’s reading it, she must be dead, immediately after she states she planned to return and release him from the oath in a single day? If she was alive for 27 more days, then shouldn’t she had all kinds of time to reclaim the letter, pass on the information to Elayne and whomever, etc? So, I’m not sure about the timeline, but I am leaning towards Nakomi being Verin; I see this as Verin’s “gone, but not forgotten” act in ToM.
Kimani Rogers
44. KiManiak
forkroot@14 – re: the Great Captains – Well, I think Ituralde was the only one to be given such dramatic opportunities to show his stuff. Pedron Niall was trying to play the long game and tie the nations to the Whitecloaks against “the false Dragon,” and it might’ve gotten some serious traction if he wasn’t assassinated by his lame “spymaster.” Bryne and Bashere have only had to do boring, relatively simple stuff. Agelmar’s been mostly off screen. Rand now has the direct allegiance of 3 of the Great Captains, plus Mat. Let’s see what kind of havoc they can unleash at the Last Battle.

wishtochannel@26 – I believe Moiraine went to the Aelfinn once and the Eelfinn once. She should have had 3 questions answered and 3 wishes granted. I’m also looking forward to Moiraine vs Cadsuane. I think Moiraine will supplant Cadsuane easily, if that’s what M wants to do.

Mr Nkngto@29 – Nice. I like both of your suggestions. For the Foxhead, I hope that Elayne thinks to try it out. I wonder if the OP-negating qualities of the Foxhead cancel out the forced link of the a’dam (and all of it’s built in protection/punishment measures).
45. kikotaichou
I'm curious to see how Rand will kneel to the Crystal Throne (not sure if I'm quoting it correctly). What will happen when Tuon realizes (or the Seanchan discovers) that she is able to channel? What will the Seanchan's role be in the battle?
Eric Hughes
46. CireNaes

I am familiar with the price hikes in the various apple stores for other countries. I don't buy into the "hype" that he spouts off (such as his consistently delusional statements that Apple has invented this new great thing that has been around for quite some time, they just made it easier to use and threw their popularized image behind it). I merely acknowledge the
facts surrounding his accomplishments and failures. Much like all the WoT characters. Though I've become more lenient towards their short comings than I used to be. As a teenager I would revel when any Aes Sedai was taken down a notch or two, no matter what methodology was used or whether or not it was even deserved. This was a direct reflection of my own immaturity. I was blind to Rand's flaws. Now I sympathize with him, but don't perform mental backflips to rationalize or excuse his failings. I am relieved that he has come back to the position of strength found in his upbringing. As I mentioned before in my LTT is real theory, forgiveness of self (and/or his other) was the key hangup that prevented integration (making LTT very real). He became a liability to existance rather than its defender. An emotional coward who hid behind cold rage to avoid past actions and current experiences. Who dessensitized himself as a survival mechanism, not realizing that he was tying a noose around his own neck. I was further encouraged about Rand's newfound strength when he discovered the healthiness inherent in righteous anger (as opposed to his use of it before to "power up" and further distance himself from others). This broke down one of his few remaining barriers standing in the way of a chance at victory as he shed his fear of what his new self had catagorized as wholly wrong, rather than just misused.
James Jones
47. jamesedjones
17 bad_platypus

Nice catch. I've only seen it, like, dozens of times.
John Massey
48. subwoofer
@kikotaichou- Welcome... and gesundheit;)
One thing I am sure of and Rand has echoed, it is hard to fight a war on two fronts. Dealing with the Shadow is enough. Dealing with the Seanchan on top of that... dang near impossible. Was thinking that somehow Rand has to at least reach a truce/ detente/ something so all attention can be focused on the DO.

Enough putzing around already. I have a few thoughts on this. First off, at some point, Tuon has to have first hand experience dealing with Trollocs and Myrddraal. That'll take some of the starch outta her. As far as we have seen, every time Mat talks about the beasties, Tuon raps him on the head and tells him to stop making up stuff. Girl needs a little RL to set in on her sheltered life.

Second, Tuon is married to Mat. At some point Rand should cash in on this relationship- get another meeting with Tuon, maybe they could have a "peaceful" meeting in the Gap where Tuon can see that stuff just got real. One of the things that may change Tuon 's mind is to come to the realization that yes, the Last Battle is happening. Now.

Third- dunno if Tuon's channeling ability matters right now. I don't see much of the final book spent on an identity crisis with channeling on top of dealing with the end of the world and her husband... er... Mat. I think anything in that realm is going to happen off screne.

Fourth, with Rand's uber ta'vereness in full swing now I am not seeing Tuon resist him again. Rand may be a gentleman and bow/nod to her for the sake of her saving face, but I am not seeing any oaths or pledges of subservience to the Crystal Throne....

Or Rand could make some kind of oath that only holds him until he dies, so when he dies and comes back to life, he is freed of any oaths. Heh, wouldn't that be sneaky.

Edit- @Cirenaes- ::blinks:: ... um, wha?

Eric Hughes
49. CireNaes
@42, 34, 19, 12, 11, and 10
Thanks. I'm here all week...and M-o-M, I couldn't agree more. Google's existential crises is imminent as they absorb more and more information.
:::activiates electronica voice:::
:::deactivates electronica voice:::
I've also kind of seen the Dark One like this as he struggles to break free from the Pattern
Eric Hughes
50. CireNaes

So I didn't have much of a transition to that stream of consciousness. Guilty as charged.
Don Barkauskas
51. bad_platypus
jamesedjones @47:

My Mom sent me an e-mail on the 16th (it came out on the 15th) basically saying "Don't buy it; we'll get it for you for Christmas." My response was that I had bought it on the 15th and my wife and I had watched it as soon as she got home from work. We've watched it at least six or eight times since. Awesome movie!
D.I. Rock
52. FeatherDancer
Finished TOM this weekend. I liked it and thought Brandon did a good job. One thing that made me sad was Brandon's "Contemporary Voice" that resulted in uncharacteristic dialog. I didn't hate it; sometimes it was fun but it did make me miss Robert Jordan's "Voice".

Most comments I would make have already been covered but ...

On Rand - Awesome how he came back in big ways like doing mighty deeds and one upping Egwene and Cadsuane. But, I gotta say what got to me were the little things that brought him back like always having a hand for Min and being thoughtful of her concern for him.

Question: Did I get the right impression that Rand would not be sealing the bore with Calandor but another tool/blade? I came away with Calandor having multiple flaws and it would ultimately be weilded by a dark agent that Rand would confront while holding a different blade.

973. Freelancer
Regarding Isam/Luc - I have always been hopeful that Rand survives Shayl Gul and "his blood on the rocks" refers to his uncle Luc's blood.
Darth Agilus
53. darth.agilus
@42 Kimaniak - Lot of talk about disappoint on Nicola. When I read this I was bothered but I expect there's more to it than we've been shown yet. The most logical explanation for her mysterious appearance is that she is Black, although I can't remember if we are told exactly who kills her. In any case I have a feeling there is more to this story and we'll see it next book.

Re: Tuon and the Seanchan. I have a feeling that the key to turning Tuon willbe the Crystal Throne. I'm not a WoTmaniac like many here who can probably quote this like a holy text, but I seem to recall talk that the Throne is an *angreal. I've also believe the empire has been ruled by a woman for a long, long time. Perhaps the two are related. Perhaps only a channeler can hold the Throne and this forces Tuon's conversion.

CireNaes - love it!

@35 AndrewB - lotta talk about that prophecy here. Myself I don't think we have the information to decipher it yet. We'll really have to RAFO. As for "In that day", its a literary affectation. It doesn't actually mean one rotation of the earth. It means a homogenous period of time, eg "in the day of Abraham Lincoln".

However I was thinking the same thing that someone else mentioned in the previous thread, the Broken Wolf is Ituralde, either that or its Perrin. Its certainly not Hopper cause of the second part about crushing men's hope. I'll say that it really is Perrin, to keep my theory of his death and involvement in TAR battles alive. Perhaps he fully enters the dream, thus knowing death, then while fighting in TAR is overcome by the Forsaken. Another possibility is Slayer. Hasn't he been referred to as a wolf before? And he has certainly known death.

As for the Fallen Blacksmith, I'm going to say that isn't Perrin. It maybe Asmodean. But regardless "pride" refers to the blacksmith's greatest work. Some long standing artifact, likely of a Forsaken, will be broken.

The one-eyed fool is clearly Matt but not in Finnland, nor Caemlyn. It refers to him traveling with Tuon back to Seanchan where there is some kind of hall of mourning. This is probably when Tuon reclaims the Crystal Throne. Perhaps Callandor is part of the Crystal Throne and Rand must kneel to it to join the two in order to win the LB.

Thanks to everyone like Kimaniak who gave me some great compliments and support. Go Team Jordan!
Sandy Brewer
54. ShaggyBella
The White Tower has lost a lot of Aes Sedai in the last few books. They have ran away and been executed (Blacks), taken by the Seanchan, killed by assassins, bonded to Ashamen, apprenticed to Wise Ones, and sent to the Black Tower.

So how many full Aes Sedai are left? Their numbers were dwindling, even though Ewgene has her 'hundreds' of new novices, but I am thinking there are not too many sisters left.
Darth Agilus
55. darth.agilus
Now that I think about it, its possible that all of these characters in the dark prophecy refer to champions of the Shadow. One-eyed Fool might be the biggest stretch. Not sure I'm aware of any one-eyed DFs/Forsaken. But the First Among Vermin could be Moridin; Fallen Blacksmith = Aginor or whoever the engineering Forsaken was; Broken Wolf = Slayer
Darth Agilus
56. darth.agilus
@52 FeatherDancer
There are a couple alternatives for blood of the dragon but I'm pretty sure there is enough surrounding evidence for us to believe it really does mean Rand.

As for Callandor, I know what passages you are referring to but I didn't get the same impression. I suspect Rand gets a new hand. It should be easy with the OP and a construct. Also i suspect the flaw works both ways. Whoever attacks Rand through the flaw has exposed him/herself in the exact same way that Rand is, and this will end up benefiting Rand. Of course I'm convinced that Rand in someway subsumes the DO and possibly Moridin to become the new Lord of Death but with a positive spin.
57. wagman26
@ Subwoofer, Terez or anybody

One thing that has been bothering me is the bloodknives life span. When did they go from living only a few days after using the rings, to up to a month. The Glossary states only a few days. Has this been answered already somewhere? Or did this get stretched to fill in the gaps of the plot line that jumps around from timeline hopping. I know this is a small thing, but it is in the glossary one way, written another. Help please. My brain hurts.
58. Meerletalis
There are thirty days in a month, so matter of days could be a month.
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
JanDSedai @13 - LOL!! I thought that too, when I found "Nakomi" - the name sounded way too familiar. Thanks for looking up the timeline. I lost all my bookmarks, so haven't done the research for the last few days. Re: same @several, FWIW, Brandon mentioned at one point that Mat wasn't supposed to be as far behind as he ended up, and they might have to change a "two" to a "four" (probably weeks) in the text of TGS. Even so, and even with WoT weeks, that would put the Verin/Mat/Caemlyn gateway on May 24, which still allows 7 days for her Travelling to intercept Aviendha before the meeting with Egwene. And if Aviendha left Arad Doman in the middle of May, it works pretty well, since we're told she didn't Travel to Rhuidean because she wanted to take time to run in the Three-Fold Land.

KiManiak @44 (and wishtochannel @26, and many, many others) - I'm not sure that a meeting between Moiraine and Cadsuane would be that big a deal, other than Moiraine's earlier suspicion of Cadsuane as a BA. Why should it be a confrontation, or a matter of "supplanting" anyone? Cadsuane has never tried to manipulate Rand to any end other than regaining his humanity, whatever you think of her methods for achieving that. She has never stood in Rand's way regarding his plans, nor has she tried to control or direct his actions in preparing for Tarmon Gai'don. Now that Rand has had his epiphany and returned to his sanity and humanity, she's apparently content to advise or help when he asks. And she's only his advisor because he asked, not because she sought that particular relationship. (I actually wonder, a little, if she'll be the other woman (with Nynaeve) to help him with Callandor. I'd be a little surprised, because there are so many reasons to think it would be someone else (Aviendha and Moiraine being the prime candidates), but I must admit I think it would be hilarious - if only for the effect on fandom!)

Back to the beginning of that wandering paragraph... If Moiraine is coming out planning to tell Rand what to do again, or expecting to manipulate him into some particular strategy, I can see a conflict between her and Cadsuane. Otherwise, I'm expecting to see Moiraine come to Rand with some Finn answers and granted wishes which will help him determine his strategy. If Cadsuane sees some potential flaws in it, she'll ask questions until the flaws are corrected or proved negligible. Otherwise, she'll give her opinion of said strategy if he asks, and help with implementation as appropriate. I don't see a lot of reason for conflict. Of course, part of this is based on the assumption that Moiraine is going to be a little less manipulative and more straightforward due to the impending-doom-ness of the situation...

kikotaichou @45 - Fortuona already knows that she could learn to channel. She has rather forcefully informed Mat that the difference between her and a marath'damane is that she can, and does, choose not to learn. As for "I'm curious to see how Rand will kneel to the Crystal Throne" - Yeah, you and several thousand other readers. :) Fandom seems to be split between 1) It won't happen, it's a false prophecy because Ishamael tampered with it; 2) It will happen but not in the way anyone expects and not with the meaning everyone assumes. There are also small factions for "he'll do it because it doesn't really matter," "he'll do it and it will be a disaster," and several other possible scenarios. A significant faction says something on the order of "I sure am looking forward to seeing how this plays out, and I have no idea what it will be." That's me, actually, with a slight tinge of #2, because "obvious" prophecies are almost always anything but.

wagman26 @57 - Can't give you the quote right now, but the Bloodknives can stretch their lifespan by finding places to hide and removing the ring, using it judiciously only when needed. Apparently it only has its maximum effect (both in draining the life and in hiding the wearer) while it's actually worn. If they wear it constantly, they've got a few days; if they hide and take it off for a while, they've got longer, but still no more than a month. HTH. Check Terez's Theoryland quotes database for more accuracy. (Or, as I like to say... TAFO!)

Meerletalis @58 - in Randland, there are 28 days in a month, 10 days in a week. Just being nitpicky because... I can. ;p Doesn't have the slightest effect on your actual statement, of course.
Antoni Ivanov
60. tonka
I thought about something. It has to do with people overextending themselves when channel (like Lew Therin when he created Dragonmount and Elisande when she destroyed all trollocs).

Elisande is the last Queen of Manetheren. When she feels Aemon's death, she lashes out with the One Power, and destroys the Shadow's forces. The amount of One Power she uses is so great that she destroys herself and the entire city of Manetheren at the same time. It must be much much more than she can channel safely because if she could do that she would have done it without killing herself. It's enough to destroy every shadowspawn in the short time she had. That means a lot of power. Probably as much as she would've channeled with powerfull sa'angreal.

Now Callandor lacks a buffer (every angreal has a buffer preventing you from channeling more the power than you can handle), it's possible that Rand has to channel so much of the power and pass the limit of what he can safely channel, because of the power of sa'angreal, he will be able to channel even more than with Choedan Kal, maybe even use the whole One Power (despite that it is infinite).True that would kill him, it may even kill those linked with him but he may need it only for short time. For what exactly I don't know, maybe sealing the bore.(Alivia can be the other aside from Nynaeve, although he wants Aviendha or Elayne, they might not be powerfull enough for the task, hence how Alivia would help him die)

Though I don't believe that shear power would be enough to beat the Dark One. Lanfear was fool to believe that she can challange the Dark One with the Choedan Kal. I think even Choedan Kal is little to nothing compare to the Dark One's Power. But I thought I will throw this thoughts here.
Janet Hopkins
61. JanDSedai
re: timeline

Putting Mat's Gateway to Camelyn on May 24 would make so much more sense. Then we don't have to explain what he was doing all that time at Camelyn. However, the bell-founders would need all that time and more to cast cannons. I am not intimately knowledgeable about cannon manufacture, but my impression is that you cannot cast a cannon and have it ready in the next day or so. I think getting it done would take the whole month the timeline gives us.

My new theory is that Nakomis is Lanfear, because, well, it says in the poem "Daughter of the moon, Nokomis", and Lanfear closlely associates herself with the moon...;)
Jonathan Levy
62. JonathanLevy
I was about to post this on the previous thread, but it's now locked.

1120. wagman26

I think it was the 2-ton transportation truck which is usually attributed with winning the war, rather than the jeep.

1116. Jammond
Your point is similar to one I stated previously. I agree that Egwene's decision to oppose Rand's plan is quite reasonable, given what she knows and how he behaved. I have no complaints with her on that regard. But her decision to oppose him, and her treatment of him during the meeting are completely separate issues. Her general attitude towards him, treating him as a pawn (rook? :), or as a supplicant, rather than as an equal partner, is much less reasonable, and much more grating on this reader.

That said, certain facts mentioned in this discussion have shown me that my initial judgement of her was too harsh. Whether it needs to be reversed entirely is another question.
Jonathan Levy
63. JonathanLevy
3. mcswan
Thanks, I was hoping someone would post the details of Carlinya's death.
Here's Min's viewing from TFOH:26
"It would be far better," pale-cheeked Carlinya cut in icily, "if he had died as the rumors say." It was not the ice of anger, but of cold reason. She was White Ajah. Her ivory-colored dress looked as if it had had hard wear. For an instant Min saw an image of a raven floating beside her dark hair; more a drawing of the bird than the bird itself. She thought it was a tattoo, but she did not know its meaning."

4. charlesghopkins
I don't think a learning A'dam is necessary. The novices can see the weaves of the Aes Sedai when they're demonstrated, that's all they need to learn it.

14. forkroot
Egwene is a smart gal and I believe the balance of evidence will convince her to work with Rand

This, I think, is something both sides of the Egwene debate can agree on. I feel confident Egwene will get everything right in AMOL, even if I think (and I know people disagree with me) that she's got an attitude problem in ToM.

16. CireNaes
Re: Ituralde
I'm reminded of Erwin Rommel's African campaign when I think of Itrualde.
Or von Manstein's withdrawal of Army Group South after Stalingrad. I've recently read his memoirs, and heartily recommend them.

18. Chaosanth
Hahaha! Like it :)

29. Mr.Nkgnto
Regarding Gawyn's rings, I was wondering - do we know for sure they have to be worn to work? Because if not, well, he's carrying 3 on his body, and if they get splashed with his blood, say, from a wound taken in battle, it might activate them...

30. AndrewB
I can't tell if people are being serious or facetious with their Carlinya explanations. Isn't it almost 100% certain that Sanderson got mixed up? He wanted an Aes Sedai death for drama and tension, pulled a name out of a bag, and didn't notice it had a foretelling attached. No?

52. FeatherDancer
Regarding Isam/Luc - I have always been hopeful that Rand survives Shayl Gul and "his blood on the rocks" refers to his uncle Luc's blood.

LOL! It doesn't even have to be Luc's blood, it can just be Luc himself. Maybe Rand defeats the shadow by pushing Luc onto a black rock in Shayol Ghul.
Of course, it could be Galad as well, no?

61. JanDSedai
If you'll recall what happened last time Lanfear saw Aviendha, I think you'll agree that she's not a good candidate to be Nakomi.
Brad Smith
64. Legend of Imrahil
55. darth.agilus

I'm not saying that youre wrong, but in all likelihood, the first three people referred to in the prophecies of the shadow are most likely the taveren trio. As for the broken wolf, however I completely agree that its Slayer ( makes sense, because hes known Death and death lol, he died and met Moridin). Or RJ/ BWS are pullin a fast one and referring to Ituralde (how funny would that be), cause hes a General and was fighting around towers (a stretch I know). Or for that matter it could be talkin about Hopper come back as a darkhound to terrorize team Light haha, the possibilities are endless :P.
Fallen Blacksmith cant be any other than Perrin (esp with the pride ref) and One-eyed Fool? We all love Mat, but we know a Mat reference when we see one right? And as for First Among Vermin, thats a Tamyrlin reminder, right there. Who else could it be? However I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Antoni Ivanov
65. tonka
@63. Jonathan Levy:
No, because Sanderson himself confirmed that it was not a mistake:

Towers of Midnight book tour 7 November 2010 Harvard Coop, Cambridge, MA - kamarile reporting

Carlinya's death, specifically whether that was a mistake. I had assumed that it was, because Min's viewing regarding her hasn't, to my knowledge, come to pass. (That viewing being the one of ravens, drawings of them, settling on her shoulders.) According to him, that was NOT a mistake, and that that viewing doesn't necessarily mean what most people take it to mean.

AndrewB is right, the part "ore a drawing of the bird than the bird" make much sense for TAR.
Linda Taglieri
66. Linda
@4, @63 Channellers can be greatly accelerated in their learning if taught in a circle as Asmodean tells Rand:
Rand cut him off. "You are not teaching me very well." "As well as may be expected, under the circumstances. You can grasp saidin every time you try, now, and tell ne flow from another. You can shield yourself, and the Power does what you want it to." He stopped playing and frowned, not looking at Rand. "Do you think Lanfear really intended me to teach you everything? If she had wanted that, she would have contrived to stay close so she could link us…I've told you I am not a very good teacher, especially without a link.
- The Fires of Heaven, Pale Shadows

Men can’t link without a woman, so for men this sort of teaching is done in a circle of 3: the male teacher, his pupil and the woman linking them. I think this procedure is the explanation for the rapid increase in channelling skill that Logain’s faction notes for a couple of Taim’s cronies, Nensen and Kash.
"The men who take Taim's private lessons learn too quickly," Nalaam said. "Nensen was barely powerful enough to be considered for Dedicated just a short time ago. Now he's full Asha'man.
- Towers of Midnight, Working Leather).

If practised extensively, it might also cause the man to gain his strength rapidly too.

Teaching in a circle is simpler still for women; a circle of two is sufficient - one to teach, one to learn.
D.I. Rock
67. FeatherDancer

63. Jonathan Levy

52. FeatherDancer Regarding Isam/Luc - I have always been hopeful that Rand survives Shayl Gul and "his blood on the rocks" refers to his uncle Luc's blood.

LOL! It doesn't even have to be Luc's blood, it can just be Luc himself. Maybe Rand defeats the shadow by pushing Luc onto a black rock in Shayol Ghul.

Of course, it could be Galad as well, no?

Yeah, I thought of that, but I really want it to be Luc's blood.

Kurt Lorey
68. Shimrod
I will have to disagree that "Nakomi" is either Verin or Lanfear/Cyndane.

First, she doesn't "sound" like either one. Lanfear/Cyndane would have simply killed her (or at least hurt her), and Verin seemed to be a wee bit more proactive than whatever it was that "Nakomi" was trying to get Aviendha to think about. "Nakomi" was more like "guiding gently" and truly did seem to know Aiel ways very well.

Second, I noticed that Aviendha's comments about her meal were almost exactly the same as Cadsuane's when she was commenting on how good the food tasted when she was in Rand's proximity. I found that very intriguing.

I have the inkling of a looney theory of my own, but it is a little expansive right now, so it would seem to be just that - looney.
Antoni Ivanov
69. tonka
@ 68. Shimrod:
I don't know but Nakomi did sound like Verin to me. And Verin studied the aiel ways very carefully while she was Apprentice-Aes Sedai.

As for Lanfear. She does not have a will of her own anymore. If Moridin wants her to influence the Aiel(or Rand) through Avi in some way Lanfear would do what she is ordered.
Birgit F
70. birgit
Any suggestions of the Broken Wolf being consumed by the Towers of Midnight?

Hopper died near the White Tower while it was a battleground against a Forsaken and some BA.

If Rand does exactly as the Pattern requires everything should loop back to the start. Every new/re discovery takes the world closer to the Age of Legends.

The Wheel has seven spokes/Ages. It will take some time until the AoL comes again.

Tuon has to have first hand experience dealing with Trollocs and Myrddraal. That'll take some of the starch outta her. As far as we have seen, every time Mat talks about the beasties, Tuon raps him on the head and tells him to stop making up stuff.

Tylee brought her some dead trollocs.

Another possibility is Slayer. Hasn't he been referred to as a wolf before?

He likes hunting wolves and maybe turns them into darkhounds.
Jonathan Levy
71. JonathanLevy
65. tonka
Thanks for that quote, I hadn't been aware of it. But it's still a very dissatisfying explanation, for me. A tattoo of a raven just screams "Property of the Empress". Being killed by the Black Ajah in T'A'R is a very weak substitute.

I understand that Sanderson did it on purpose, believing it to be what Jordan had planned all along. But is it possible that he got that from a note which Jordan left, but that note was an error? He would naturally be very hesitant to make any change to an express instruction from RJ.

66. Linda
Ummmmmm, yeah that pretty much settles that question, I stand corrected.

69. tonka
That's a good point about Verin studying the Aiel when she was apprenticed to the Wise Ones. I hadn't thought of it. I think it adds a bit to the Nakomi=Verin theory.
Valentin M
72. ValMar
Hello everyone. It's been great reading the discussions so far.

Wetlander @ 59
Re Cads and Moiraine possible meeting. You forgot to factor in your comment Cadsuane's strongly negative opinion of Moiraine. Perhaps bordering on contempt. This may spice up the meeting. OTOH Rand will be rather pleased to see Mo and Cads may decide to thread carefully this time.

PS I forgot to add my welcome to all the new posters who have contributed so well. And to encourage them to "go grey".
John Massey
73. subwoofer
@birgit- yes, Tuon has seen the heads, but has she experienced dealing with Trollocs and Myrddraal upclose and personal? Nope. For me, there was a whole world of difference seeing a stag's head mounted on a wall and hunting the things out in the bush. I was actually thinking of using a ground blind instead of a tree stand, Bambi didn't look so tough. Then factoring in the weight, speed, height, sharp hoove and pointy horn advantage, I came to my senses. Tuon goes off and has some of her Deathwatch Guard killed by a fist of Trollocs, and then has to take on the gaze of a Myrddraal, I think she will be changing her tune. Tuon strikes me as a person that follows the "seeing is believing" paradigm.

@Tonka- that's for finding that as well. It has been niggling at me too.

Maiane Bakroeva
74. Isilel
I have to say that I am rather annoyed with Egwene, though for other reasons than most. I have always liked her and her climb to power storyline and believed that despite all the crap and dumbage that the authors unleashed on the WT, it would play a very important part in the Last Battle.

Now, finally the WT is unified and should be doing a million things to shore up the crumbling world and prepare for TG and what? Nothing is being done and less than nothing. Instead of Egwene getting her war powers prolonged and actually doing stuff, she abdicated the conduct of war to the Hall! I mean, really!

WT is in the unique position to develop truly integrated strategies and tactics for channelers and soldiers, with channelers actively contributing to planning and holding some commands. But is anything being done there? Of course not. Has somebody even bothered to explain to Bryne what is or isn't possible with OP? Has anybody even bothered to think in this direction?
Did it occur to somebody, anybody that using their weakest powers of Fire and Earth in battle is not optimal? That often it would be most efficient to help the soldiers to do their thing, rather than kill Shadowspawn directly?

BTW, it is really difficult to consider Siuan at least somewhat intelligent and capable when she, who thought that she would be Amyrlin during the TG for 10 years, did absolutely zero to make necessary plans for it.

What is more, thousands of novices is well and good, but they are not ready for battle and usual WT program won't suffice to prepare them in time. They should be cramming battle weaves, Healing, linking and military tactics in their every moment awake. Linking would allow them to push themselves without risk.
So, what is Egwene doing about it? Nothing. Her only thought on the matter is desire to raise strong channelers as quickly as possible, which is moronic because learning the 100 test weaves is a waste of time that they can't afford and AS shouldn't be raised based on channeling alone anyway.

And of course, Egwene's very first action as Amyrlin of the whole WT should have been to send observers to the Borderlands and then sisters and soldiers to help them when the invasion started.

Oh, and as has been pointed out many times, Egwene really should have put somebody onto the task of figuring out how to seal the DO.

Rand annoys me too. BTW. It seems that he has learned nothing from his previous stint at Dragoning and still clings to "my way or the highway" notion. He may have unique ta'veren insight into _what_ to do, but the _how_ could stand a lot of improvement.
Mitchell Swan
75. mcswan
@65 Tonka
According to him, that was NOT a mistake, and that that viewing doesn't necessarily mean what most people take it to mean.

I also agree with Jonathan Levy, that is some seriously weak shit on Brandon's part. I'd rather him admit that it was an honest mistake than try to foist off some crap about how a tattoo of the bird that every single reader immediately identified with the Seanchan was somehow NOT Seanchan.

Now I'm actually peeved at Brandon. That's really shit.
76. psrtegger
Sorry for disturbing this discussion, but browsing through the web I came across this picture of a seal to the DO's prison (black-white, divided by a sinuous line?!) and now I'm afraid I can never ever get it out of my head again and will always get laughing-breakdowns whenever the seals are mentioned in the books.
Tricia Irish
77. Tektonica

I agree is seems very very lame that Egs isn't in full battle mode.

It would also help focus her power in the WT and stop the other AS from fomenting plots to unseat her. Keep them busy. Let's hope she is doing this, but it's off screen.....which is it would be very cool to see, even if it was just a couple of paragraphs.
Gerd K
78. Kah-thurak
I also agree that the lack in preparations / focus on the last battle is a strange thing in Egwene's behaviour. She seems to spend more thought on a proposed time after the last battle than on the last battle itself. To a lesser degree this also holds true to Elayne, who, hadnt Mat dropped the invention Gunpowder weapons in her lap, also is more concerned with annexing Cahierien than with setting up her army and including the Kin channelers into the battle plan (which oddly enough noone even seems to consider).
Valentin M
79. ValMar
Yes, especially after Rand's visit to the Tower, the AS have a specific point in time to look forward to. In the month Rand gave them I was expecting the WT to be a hive of activity, in the kind of ways Isilel mentioned just above.

Still, at the very least I am hoping that Egwene has prepared some nasty surprises, if the WT is assaulted again, for the Seanchan to enjoy. Maybe these are kept from us the readers to increase the gleeful seal clapping when they come a cropper.

I did also consider that much is done off-screen, but as Tek says it will be very lame. Given the size of the book(s) at least a paragraph, some subtle clue in the text- if you want to surprise (most) readers.

Mind you, I agree that Tuon must get seriously acquainted with shadowspawn as soon as possible. The one ambush and thousands of death soldiers didn't have enough impact on the increasingly annoying little imp.
John Massey
80. subwoofer
Yay Isilel!! I can always trust in your comments to make me think:)

Ahem- What should Eggs and bacon do? I like what you say about training the novices in useful weaves. Worked for the Asha'man, why not use that same practice in the Tower. Or at least take Nynaeve's example. Yes Ny has been channeling a bit longer, but look at how she blew through the test for the Shawl. Nynaeve did the hundred weaves and added some of her own, and it wasn't a big challenge for her. Admittedly Ny is one of the most powerful channelers to come along... I guess what I am trying to say is that some real world experience doesn't hurt.

Kinda like the difference between a RL ivory tower, university and a tech/trade school. Both have methods of teaching, but usually trade schools give you some field placement training whereas university uses a lot of theory and books. Both teaching methods work, it just depends on what the end use is as to which method is more effective. Gonna go onto grad school and maybe an MBA and a cush job or pass your Bar exam and go into law- uni. Gonna be a welder or an electrician or be a draftsman- tech school it is. It is rather hard to teach the theory of fabrication without actually picking up a torch and learning not to burn through a weld.

As I have said, in this one particular case, Egwene can learn from the Black Tower and have the girls do a lot more stuff using the Source. The hardest thing about the Tower is overcoming the entrenched dogmas and things done by rote and adapting that to suit current events. There is always the old guard that says "in my day we always did things this way".

I think Bryne has figured some stuff out as far as what can or can't be done with the Power. Especially now that he is a Warder.

Egwene's Law of War decree lasted only as long as Elaida was opposing her. That was the original charge, Egwene declaired war on Elaida, and that war is over now that Elaida is Suffa. I don't know the precidence for declairing war on the DO. How will anybody know when that war has ended? The Shadow never sleeps. Is it when the DO is sealed up again? Is it when some of the ground is reclaimed from the Blight? Like Malkier? Is it when no Trolloc or Myrddraal walks the earth?

I think Egwene made some serious strides when she passed a law saying the Hall can't sit without her. Eliminates potential coups and now the Hall cannot go behind Egwene's back. I feel that there is going to be some epic speech in Egwene's very near future about the need to haul a$$. Get some of the geezers to go stand on the front lines and then let them come back and "feel the need to debate for days". I think that process will be expidited. Well, enough ranting for now.

-Wanna seal the DO away for good? Use the shrink wrap for CDs and Blue-Rays. Stuff is nigh impenetrable.

Edit @psrtegger- nice seal, very sinuous;)

Score-#80 Rice!

81. wagman26
@ Nakomi

I also tend to believe she is Lanfear. Lanfear is under the control of Moridin, and he has already interfered with the Seanchan in an earlier life, and could have easily sent her to push Avi toward his goal. She seems to "lose time" during the meeting, and while Verin also seemed to hypnotize some of the people she was interrogating in earlier books, I'm sure the forsaken have similar tactics. Moridin would love to see a battle between his enemies, and pushing Avi toward a warped vision, via some weave that affects her viewings of the columns, seems to be a way of doing that.
82. mike123
The Wheel of Time, my interpretation:
The Wheel of Time represents history and future, not present. When you look at a wheel, you can go clock wise and see the past and you can look counter clock wise and see the future. In my opinion the spokes of the wheel seperate the different ages. We are currently in Age 3 and soon will be going to Age 4. It may be safe to assume that the AOL is either age 7 or age 1. If it is age 7, and you assume that each has the approximate same amount of time that would mean that there is thousands of years before we enter the AOL.
My predictions is that Avi future will be realized and that channeling will be a thing of the past/future and long forgotten just like many of the other talents and skills. (This parallels well with our own myths. Think about when magic was prevalent in our literature. Its not as prevelant now that we have so much technical advancements.) I also predict that around 2 ages before the AOL age there will be a mass destruction of technology and people will revert to a Dark age era. The ability to channel will soon manifest itself in an attempt for the pattern to usher in a new age. As more and more people begin to channel, the world will begin to move out of a Dark age post apolagolypse era into the beginning stages of the pre AOL. Keep in mind that if so, each age is 1000's of years and the mythos is that when one age startes people begin to forget the previous age. This is not due to alzhiemers, this is due to the span of time and the telling of stories from one generation to another. I also predict that none of the Heros of the Horn have been around to see a full turning of the wheel. I suspect that at the most they have only seen 3.
To convelute this even further, its also possible that the AOL is Age 2 and our current age is 3, so thinking about the time span from the AOL to now as only 2 ages and with 5 more to go before we come full circle, that's a lot of time.
David Platt
83. The Not So Dark One
The best reason I can think of for Verin not being Nakomi is that if she was then it would almost certainly never be explained in the time that remained. Who would be able to reveal it?

In a "real world" situation it would not be unusual for someone to do something that no one ever found out about, but in books you generally get the reveal at some point.

Shimrod @68 - is your Theory that Rand is Nakomi?

Interesting one and the food is a clue, but I also like the theory that someone used much earlier saying that it's the veins of gold girls who are also making food good, as well as Rand. Oh, and of course Matt and Perrin - Perrin's food does not go bad - though he does have Weevils.

But I do like Rand as Nakomi - it's possible he would now know the origin of the Glass Columns since his reconcilliation with his former self and therfore prime Avi to do what she did. The bond would be an issue I guess, even muffled she would have been able to detect him that close.

Mostly I just think Nakomi was a device to stretch out and make more interesting Avi's journey to Rhuidean. After all if she just turned up and had that admittedly very good scene it may have felt sho-horned in. Now it has a build up, a mysterious character and a whole load of new theories.
84. Hawkido
Okay 2 points (I think):
First the light holding back the taint:
Prologue of TEotW: Ishmael protects LTT from the taint. He said it isn't tru healing but it is the best he can do. *POOF* LTT is protected from the taint, and becomes sane again.
Fast forward to the end of TGS and Rand merges with LTT and *POOF* Rand is now protected from the taint and becomes sane. Fast forward to ToM and Ny examines Rand and sees that he is protected from the taint somehow but not healed of the taint... Recap Ishy actually protected Rand from the taint by protecting LTT back at the end of the War of Power. Makes sense to me, only the metaphysical question is the taint on the soul/mind, or in the body? If the soul/mind then I could see that the quasi-protection that Ishy dished out could possibly transmigrate to Rand with the merge/acceptance.

Next point Callendor:
Call is flawed, needs 2 women to act as buffer for one man wielding the Not-A-Sword. May further have other flaws as in a true lack of control, blah blah... lot of speculation as to the rest of the flaws...

Here's my 2 cents worth: SAD bracelets on 2 women + 1 man + Not-A-Sword = buffer problem solved, plus other problems controled through the SAD bracelets. Also Callendor may also be a TP Sa'Angreal... The Forsaken sure seem to want it bad.

Side thought as an alternate... Avi and Elayne play touchy feely on the sword and figure out what is incomplete about it and finish its fabrication. Remember that Callendor isn't flawed, merely incomplete.

Okay so that is 3 Points... Sue Me /Braces Self/
85. hamstercheeks
psrtegger@76: That image is a very strong argument against breaking the seals.

Re: Carlinya's death

tonka and AndrewB already pointed this out, but it really is likely that the raven in Min's viewing stood for the Shadow, and the fact that it was faint meant it was in T'A'R. Crows and ravens are the Shadow's messengers, after all. A bunch of us interpreted the raven as standing for the Seanchan, which is reasonable. Of course, the looney theory may be that Carlinya was offed by the Bloodknives at the exact moment the BA were shooting fire. The Wheel weaves weird, sometimes.

Whatever it was, I'm sad that Carlinya died. I liked her as a character.

Re: Nakomi

My gut tells me it ain't Verin. She/It is probably a construct of the Rhuidean ter'angreal, meant to guide Wise Ones candidates. Avi's subconscious could have triggered her, for all we know, since Avi is deeply concerned about the future of the Aiel. Not Verin. Although if it were our favorite Brown/Black, I will campaign for having an e-book cover dedicated to her, because she is the epitome of awesome.
86. kraefzke
Actually, I think it's been stated pretty much right out, that AOL is Age II, current Age is III and TG marks transition to Age IV.
Valentin M
87. ValMar
kraefzke @ 86
Yes. And probably this means that in Age I channelling was unknown.
Barry T
88. blindillusion
Callandor – As to its second flaw of leaving its wielder open to attack: Well, we’ve already seen Rand use the sword form Sheath the Sword once in an attempt to defeat Ishamael. Perhaps this weakness within Callandor will be a mirror of that sword form, though on a much grander scale (and of course, not literal, as I very much doubt Rand will be using the Sword That Isn’t a Sword as a sword) and Rand will once again choose this path, though this time it will be Moridin that the form is used against. (What can I say…I’m still of the theory that at no point in this series will Rand actually physically battle the Dark One himself, but that the Battle with Moridin will be the ultimate battle for Victory.) Perhaps this will also lead to the fulfillment of the Prophecy of the “Dragon’s blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul.”

Onyx Hand – I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this (though I know some have questioned whether or not it could be a ter’angreal), but could this be a creation of Elayne’s for Rand? I realize, of course, that Min’s Viewing of Elayne involves a “severed hand”, but there isn’t much detail given about it. Perhaps the viewing does entail Rand’s actual hand, but why, when it doesn’t specifically have anything to do with her…unless, of course, the hand is part of a Viewing because it foresees Elayne creating a replacement. (And wouldn’t it be awesome if Elayne actually: had the idea for, put in the work of and created her own ter’angreal as opposed to always copying others.)

Err, if these thoughts have been mentioned by others…all credit to them, of course.

89. Mike123
Thanks Kraefzke. I was unsure which Age represented AOL in our current timeline. I feel even stronger now that the end of the Aiel as we know it will occur during Age 4 and that channeling will become a thing of the past/future around the end of Age 4 also. I wonder if any outrigger novels will be created that might address this issue?
Anyways, thanks for the info.
90. Megaduck
Re: Blood on the Rocks

I do notice one charecter who's bleeding a lot. Each time he appears it mentiones how he bleeds from cutting himself with a dagger.

It would follow the whole Gollum thing going on.
Israel Gonzalez
91. Gonzalez
I think the broken wolf could be Ituralde if he was supposed to die. I can't find my book right now, but Rand says something about how the DO threw so much at Maradon to crush everyone's spirit and that's why he stepped in. Maybe he tavarened the prophecy and messed it up.
Conor Murray
92. NotPropaganda
@81. wagman26

Moridin would love to see a battle between his enemies, and pushing Avi toward a warped vision, via some weave that affects her viewings of the columns, seems to be a way of doing that.


This line of thinking doesn't make sense to me, because the visions only served as a positive (essentially) impact on Aviendha. Even if it is a warped vision of the future, it is getting Aviendha to think on how to solve a problem that is pretty clear when you think about it. It's getting her to be proactive in trying to secure a future for the Aiel after TG (providing Team Light wins...) I don't see any gain whatsoever for the Forsaken to interfere with Aviendha's trip to Rhuidean, and especially the way this interference has manifested itself.

It's either Verin (or someone linked to Light), or simply a construct/vision linked to the trip and I'm leaning towards the first because Verin is awesome :D
Antoni Ivanov
93. tonka
@Jonathan Levy and @ mcswan

You are being silly and I mean it in the most well-meant manner. It's not the first time that Jordan has misled us a bit. I'm certain Brandon didn't make a mistake. Man up and accept that you were wrong (as I did). Though I guess Taimandred still goes on even these days, so it's not big deal if you don't.

@Tektonica@77 and Isilel@74: I have to agree with you about Egwene. Someone should ask Team Jordan about that.
As for Rand. I think it's too early to have any more serious opinion. We don't know anything about his plans, and very little about what he has done in the month prior to the meeting at the Plains of Merrilor (sp?). We know that he went to the Egwene, then was 3 days absent, went to Bandar Eban, went to Maradan, went to the Borderlands, and that's from outside POVs.
Anthony Pero
94. anthonypero
Wow, I go away for two days and you guys trash the place! ;)
Anthony Pero
95. anthonypero
@all RE: Lanfear being Nakomi

I have no idea who the woman is, and quite frankly, the whole plotline is starting to annoy me to know end. I HOPE its Verin, my gut tells me it has nothing to do with Wise Ones, but I'm finding the arguments against Lanfear to be less than compelling.

The fact that she tried to kill Aviehdha last time has no bearing on this possible encounter. Lanfear is a conniving, manipulative (you know the next word.) If she thought something would cause long-term pain, she could easily engage in that behavior rather than wanton destruction. Her encounter in Cairhien had come on the heels of her finding out about Avi. She flew into a jealous rage and tried to destroy her. The rage has had a year or more to cool.

This is not a good, solid argument against Lanfear.
Mitchell Swan
96. mcswan
@93 tonka
Well, mileages, they do vary, and - at least on my part - no offense is taken, I just still disagree with you.

It just still seems a very weak stretch. It would have barely made a ripple to have Carlinya *actually* killed by a Bloodknife. The coincidence that the Bloodknives didn't kill any sisters with Warders was pushing it a bit anyway. I know the story needed it in order for the characters to be mis-lead, but it was still weak.

Did Carlinya have Warders anyway? Can't remember.

And yes, Jordan (and Brandon, I guess) have given us vague hints that have turned out to be wrong. What they haven't done is given us blatant clue-bats as a Min viewing that have turned out to be wrong. At least, not that I can think of offhand. Moiraine doesn't count. We all knew she was coming back. The fact that Min stressed that it was a drawing, like a tattoo, screamed at us that it was Seanchan. I just don't buy that it meant something else.

My peeve level has indeed dropped, a little, but it's still weak. I guess my irritation is based on the fact that I KNOW he could have done so much better.
97. 11zeeshha
@ 35 AndrewB

I agree with your first theory on the "Hall of Mourning". Mainly b/c Caemlyn isn't the modern day location of the Aes Sedai's headquarters in the AoL. And Mat does travel through Finnland in which there are halls, and they mourned the death of a friend, Noal.

As for the "Broken wolf" I have got some ideas for that. I noticed that "Death" is capitalized. That tells me that it can't simply mean that that person, etc has been killed. Death is also a name: Moridin. Now when it says "shall fall and be consumed by the midnight towers" that doesn't mean someone dies. "Fall" could also mean disgraced or lose power. Likewise "consumed" doesn't have to mean they die either. They could be mindtrapped and in that sense they are "consumed".
Finally, The "Broken wolf" doesn't have to be a wolf. I think Slayer was reffered to as a wolf sometime (plz correct me if possible). Also he calls Perrin a cub in one of their conversations in T'a'R. Cub as we know is the wolves' terminology for a young one.

so this is what i think will happen. Slayer will screw up somehow and "Fall' meaning he will lose his standing as a DF. Then the Forsaken will use him in some way to satisfy the meaning of "consumed". And ofcourse he already knows "Death".
John Massey
98. subwoofer
Dang refresh!

Right then- What is Rand doing off screen? Dunno. We see him popping around from place to place and I can't recall what the "swirling colors" say whenever Perrin and Mat think of Rand, but at least he is not playing footsies with Min anymore. As to dealing with the Shadow or training forces/ preparing for Tarmon Gai'don, that is what Bashere and Rand's other generals are for. The important thing for Rand is that he keeps his current state of mind. Rand's mindset is what is going to save him and keep him going through some very tough times. If Rand is spending his final month in meditation, that is fine by me.

Fain and Rand are not related at all, right?

Callandor. It has always been my thought that Logain would use the sword that isn't with his two bonded Aes Sedai. The women would control the flows but Logain can control them through his modified bond. My own looney theory.

John Massey
99. subwoofer
@AndrewB- I am also going with the Slayer is the Broken Wolf idea. First off, I don't see how Hopper can be referred to as "the Broken Wolf" to begin with. Hopper is a good wolf, not broken, even in death, Hopper is good in the Wolf Dream. Second, there has to be a reason that Slayer is personally vendictive to the wolf population in general. Not sure about Slayer's history, but maybe he was Perrin like in RL, jus able to control the color of his eyes.

Also going with what @97 said about Moridin being Death and Slayer's relationship with him.

Score! 99- somebody else squat on 1 hunny:)

Jane Smyth
100. Kaboom
Re Egwene (@ 77 and 74)

To be fair to Egwene re not making tower-wide plans for the last battle, remember that she had a true dream that if Messaana was not killed, the world was doomed.
Consequently, it is normal that she put most of her efforts in dealing with her.

I really don't think that channeling will be lost in the fourth age. I agree that it will be lost before the next Age of Legends, but as mentionned before, that is a long way to go. It is finally possible for things to be done with both sides of the power together and it will be necessary to acheive a level of recuperation from the last battle. Then again, this could just be wishful thinking on my part.

edit for spelling
Bill Reamy
101. BillinHI
psrtegger @ 76: ROFLMAO!!

various: I don't really have a problem with the lack of planning for TG as noone really knows how that's going to play out, e.g., where will the DO attack? Tarwin's Gap? All the Borderland countries? All over Randland? However, there certainly should be massive amounts of training going on and while Egwene may be doing stuff off-screen (I'm not too hopeful about that, BTW), Elayne is acting the twit as usual in annexing Cairhien instead of training up the Kin. Yeah, I know the Sea Folk won't have anything to do with the shorebound war ... until it's way too late, of course.
Theresa Gray
102. Terez27
A couple of comments on the previous thread:

1. Someone asked for an instance of Egwene trying to figure out why Rand wanted to break the seals. Just thought I'd point out that she did try to get him to talk to her about it when he showed up on her doorstep, and he blew her off and left.

2. What is the difference between 'first post!' and the race for 100, or 1000?
Kurt Lorey
103. Shimrod
My "looney theory" concerning "Nakomi" is that she is of the Jenn Aiel, and that she is somehow ta'veren. What else could explain her finding Aviendha out in the middle of nowhere and how she managed to make Aviendha have such a tasty meal?

Just because the Jenn Aiel disappeared from Rhuidean doesn't necessarily mean that they died out. Still, I think I'm channeling (lol) Asimov on this one, though. (Ducks).
Maiane Bakroeva
104. Isilel
Subwoofer @98:

The women would control the flows but Logain can control them through his modified bond.

Slavery FTW? I hope that whatever it is that needs to be done with Callandor will be done by free people of their own free will.

BillinHI @110:

Elayne is acting the twit as usual in annexing Cairhien instead of training up the Kin.

I have no beef with annexing Caihirien, but she even thought to herself that she couldn't ask it of the Kin to participate in battles. Argh! Of course, I hope that in AMoL Moiraine will lead the Kin in defense of Caemlyn and plugging of the Waygate, while Mat leads the troops ditto.

I am also rather disappointed that Rand doesn't seem to be dessiminating his LTT knowledge. He could teach both male and female (via a link) channelers so much, both for impending battle and for survival afterwards. He could tell them how to copy what Nym did with help of the Singing, for instance.

Re: Moiraine versus Cadsuane, it could be interesting. Mat, of all people, has grown up enough to recognize that Moiraine's actions were largely necessary, so I don't buy the notion that she really dropped the ball, despite her mistakes in TSR.

Cadsuane, OTOH, did. She had known what was coming for much longer and yet didn't manage to prepare the ground or to find and protect Rand. And Rand did need protection - IIRC the Aiel Dreamers saw that without Moiraine Rand wouldn't have lived to come to Rhuidean and of course he wouldn't have survived Lanfear if Moiraine hadn't gone through the Rings and then sacrificed herself. So yea, Cadsuane really doesn't have a leg to stand on in her criticisms. And I am pretty sure that she will try to upbraid Moiraine, so we'll get our confrontation ;).
Theresa Gray
105. Terez27

My "looney theory" concerning "Nakomi" is that she is of the Jenn Aiel, and that she is somehow ta'veren. What else could explain her finding Aviendha out in the middle of nowhere and how she managed to make Aviendha have such a tasty meal?

This made me laff. Also, the Jenn foresaw their own extinction.
John Massey
106. subwoofer
@Isilel-Slavery? Dunno if I would go there- dunno why you went there.

Logain so far as I can remember has treated his girls with a fair bit of respect and stuff as compared to say... other Asha'man. When Logain is going from place to place with Rand or for Rand- like his visit to the Sea Folk, Toveine and Gabrelle were not with him. As far as what I was trying to say, I am not sure of the linking protocols, but the last time Callandor was used, whatshispickle died because he was not in charge of the flows, he could only throw himself at his attacker. I am thinking that in this instance, Logain has the opportunity to control the flows and hopefully live.

Maiane Bakroeva
107. Isilel
However Logain treats them, they are still his slaves who must obey his every word. And our favorite cross-migrated Forsaken is dead too, so no repetition of this incident can happen. Nor do I see that Logain's situation would have been any different. His AS obey him absolutely, yes, but in a mixed link of 2 women and one man, a woman must lead. A bit of Compulsion doesn't change that.
108. wagman26
@93 notpropaganda

I believe that she would resist working with the Seanchan knowing what she does of the Aiel future, which could lead to a battle between them. Just reaching here.

@95 anthonypero

Lanfear is not in control of herself, Moridin is, and that could be the difference in her actions, if she is Nakomi. We have know idea who that woman is, and one guess is no worse then the other. This also makes me wonder about Rand's dream of her at the end of the book, could be Moridin pulling more strings.
109. hamstercheeks
Okay, Nakomi sounds like a Japanese name. People with Japanese-sounding names come from Arafel (e.g., Kiruna). Therefore, Nakomi is from Arafel.

OMG Nakomi is Kiruna!!!

There, I've solved it.
Barry T
110. blindillusion
Hmm, Kiruna...

That depends. Did Nakomi say, "My name is Nakomi," or did she say, "You may call me Nakomi."

It would be nice to know what Kiruna is up to though....
Birgit F
111. birgit
To a lesser degree this also holds true to Elayne, who, hadnt Mat dropped the invention Gunpowder weapons in her lap, also is more concerned with annexing Cahierien than with setting up her army and including the Kin channelers into the battle plan (which oddly enough noone even seems to consider).

El does think about it:

What she didn't have, however, were channelers to use in battle. She knew she couldn't ask this of the Kin. They'd never agree to it, nor would Egwene. Nor would Elayne herself. Forcing a woman to use the Power as a weapon would make her no better than the Seanchan themselves.
She needed something. An edge against the Seanchan. Something to balance their channelers in combat. The only thing she could think of was the Black Tower. It was on Andor's soil. She'd told them that she considered them part of her nation, but so far she'd gone no further than sending inspection parties.
What would happen to them if Rand died? Dared she try to claim them? Dared she wait for someone else to?

ToM ch. 17
Kurt Lorey
112. Shimrod
@105 Terez27.

Well, I did admit it was a "looney theory", after all.

Still, "Nakomi's" appearance is rather odd on several levels.

And, it's not like the book isn't introducing anything new at this late point (Red-veiled "Aiel"), eh?

I need to go back and see if the Jenn saw when they would become extinct. Do you know offhand?
113. Eric the Blyndref
Could it be that Callendor's flaws have to do with channeling the one power through it? What if the flaw was corrected by channeling the "True Source"? If channeling saiden and / or saidar linked together is risky what if the channelers male and linked female have to all be channeling the true source to make it work correctly? Not sure if someone mentioned this or not?
Rajesh Vaidya
114. Buddhacat
@ Too many to list

Folks seem to think that Egwene should be doing a lot more to prepare for TG, almost abusing her for not doing so. We've seen Bryne making plans, Siuan knows about these, and that they are on-going. She's prepared her political power, by having the Hall take over Bryne's 50K or so soldiers, while she takes control of working with all the monarchs and their 100's of thousands of troops. She showed her preparation in the defeat of the BA and Mesaana. She's given Seaine, Saerin, Sylviana, etc the tasks of finding out details of Mesaana, of the Seals, etc.

These are some the things mentioned. There are obviously other things not mentioned. So why is everyone convinced that she is not preparing for TG? Lack of evidence is evidence of lack?
Ron Garrison
115. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. Carlinya, Mat timeline, etc.: With all the typos, hacked sentences, etc. that I noticed, I have no doubt there are story errors in this book as well. I considered these as evidence of a rush to press (and I'm OK with that!!!). All of which leads me to ask if there is someone at Tor that tracks these mistakes for correction in subsequent editions and if they want us to send them.

Re. The Dark Prophecy: Personally, I'm not putting any stock in it. You believe the Dark One? You believe the Betrayer of Hope? Team Dark might want (need) to believe it will happen that way, but I don't think so. False prophecies are not unheard of in WoT...

Re. Tuon & Trollocs & Myrddraal (oh my): What if she's attacked and without thinking begins to channel to protect herself? She may have chosen "not to learn," but channelers only need to see a weave to learn it, and she's seen plenty of damane channel death and destruction. She knows even if she doesn't acknowledge it.
Theresa Gray
116. Terez27
@MoM - There are threads at both Theoryland and Dragonmount on the TOM spoiler boards for reporting typos and plot errors.
Thomas Keith
117. insectoid
psrtegger @76: ROFL!! That's a sinuous seal, alright!

So many comments... brain struggling...

Ron Garrison
118. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks Terez. I'll start a list on my second read.
Rajesh Vaidya
119. Buddhacat
Dang, wronger thread.
Roger Powell
120. forkroot

kraefzke @ 86Yes. And probably this means that in Age I channelling was unknown.

Unlikely. The Portal Stones came from an earlier age, and they require channeling to operate.
Eric the Blyndref@113

Could it be that Callendor's flaws have to do with channeling the one power through it? What if the flaw was corrected by channeling the "True Source"? If channeling saiden and / or saidar linked together is risky what if the channelers male and linked female have to all be channeling the true source to make it work correctly? Not sure if someone mentioned this or not?
I think you are confused. Saidan and saidar together comprise the True Source, also referred to as the One Power. It's all the same.

Were you thinking of the so-called "True Power" which is the essence of the DO and the only other thing that can be channeled? FWIW, angreals do not affect or amplify the channeling of the TP. You can only channel the TP with the DO's permission (perhaps there was a certain unforeseen exception to that rule though!)
Darth Agilus
121. darth.agilus
@111 Brigit and others Re: Kin- I took this purely in the context of an Andoran power struggle with the Seanchan. Since AS don't get involved as combatants in typical politically motivated wars, there is a strong compulsion not to allow other channellers to either. However engaging in battle vs the DO and the Shadow is something completely different, for the AS and other channellers. I expect the Kin to be involved in whatever method is necessary, as weapons or not, in the LB.

Its one thing to say I'm not going to involve you in Andoran political manuevering but quite another to say - no you go ahead and sit on the sidelines while the fate of the world and our continued existence is being decided.
Tyler Durden
122. Balance
First, That was a great review. Thank you Leigh. Shit like that is why I come here.

I'm hopping in on the Force Light, pre-end of the world preparededness discusson. I never thought I’d do this, but I have to defend Elayne. She’s got her army built up from the seige. This includes all the Queens Guards and some mustering of retainers from the Lords and Ladys of her court. She has a ton of Merc’s camped around her capitol. More keep trickling in. They don’t realy have a place to go and I’m sure they would give reasonable rates. She has the Band. This is not an insignificant force of manpower at her fingertips. She has either made or is working on an agreement with the Kin to provide Gateways. I can’t remember the exact chapter from ToM, but its in there. She has Cannons. This is a very good last battle army.

I agree with the decision to take Caihirien. Somebody needs to. Rand has been chillin in Tear mostly. Sometimes hanging out with some borderlanders. Darlin has been forming in Tear. I know he has Dobraine. However it has been the intention for about 3-4 books that Elayne would take Caihirien. Plus Dobs has been in Bandar Eben for a while. This allows for a coordinated use of both those countries forces and resources. Nobody has been mustering the Caihirien. Even if Darlin has been pulling from there it’s not a true mustering. Elayne said we would bring some of the Caihirien lords, who are with the Band, with her. They can re-up while they’re there. She could really get that country moving, and they were pretty rich before all the shit went down. Lots of resources. Lets get them in the fold and working on dragons.

This brings up another point. Gateways completely change the game when it comes to logistics. The ability to transport 100,000 troops, and all the shit to support them, to anywhere, Today, beats the hell out of anything anyone can do in our time. It’s a big deal. The use of Gateways means you can muster your forces on any spot on the planet and be ready to go. So long as they are all together so you can have channelers to move them. Elayne has hers. Eggs is getting everyone else together to meet Rand. The Aile and Bashere are still out there, both with either Wise Ones or Asha’mans. The borderlanders are all grouped together. Rand said he’d send someone to give them a lift. Perin can Travel now. The Seafolk always suck, so you can’t cout them anyways. Other than the Seanchan that’s pretty much the majority of Force Light reg troops.

The last Battle won’t be fought with a wall of troops at the Blightborder. Large contingents of troops will Travel to either attack or defend. The foreshadowing of this military tactic was displayed by the Little Wolf in his defence of Maradon. Where he decided not to defend the wall, instead to fight the Shadow where they came to him. Walls don’t stop the Shadow. They have Dreadlords. There are portal stones and unattended Waygates. Rand isn’t planning on fighting, nor could Team Light susstain, a defencive war anyways. He’s doing an Alexander and going for the head. Attack Shay Ghoul , break the seals.

While I agree everyone isn’t doing perfect, and that they may have missed some things, but (and I know I’ve used this word a lot) as far as mustering the swords and shields, Team Light is doing fairly well. This uncoordinated readyness is a little more realistic for this fantasy setting. Also, with all the wild subplots going on, I’m surprised things are as coordinated as they are.

P.S. sorry about spelling mistakes, I’ve been playing around in my computer and now Word don’t work quite right/
123. wagman26
@120 forkroot

The One Power comes from the true source, and is separated into Saidar and Saidin. The true source has always seemed to me as the balance to the true power of Old Grim.

@ 113 blydref

Yes that theory has been mentioned. Not sure when first stated, but I have been trying to get it started in these forums since I joined. You are the first to echo this, that I have noticed, but I may have missed others. It makes the most sense to me that the True Source must battle True Power, and callandor seems to me as the key to access this power. The Aes Sedai symbol is basically the yin yang symbol, which basically is the belief that all forces are interconnected and needed. One force balances the other. There has to be a balance to the DO, and the True Power. Rand and the True Source, I think, are that balance. Callandor is the key to the True Source, in my opinion.
124. wagman26
@ Logistics

The Seanchan are still at a disadvantage in traveling. They cannot form a circle, so the size of their gateways will be smaller, and choke rapid troop movement. Shear numbers of channelers help with this, but still large wagons, and probably their larger animals will be kept out of the way. Also, it has always seemed to me that a gateway could be a choke point, if defensed correctly.
John Massey
125. subwoofer
Its funny how some folks get so engrossed in the medium that they miss the message. 'K, Logain doesn't control the circle, I hope he lives. But the point is I am predicting that Logain is using Callandor instead of Rand... and it doesn't matter if the guy dressed as a girl channeling like a guy is dead, other stuff could happen.

126. Draykas
Ugh, Egwene pisses me off so much. Each book makes me hate her more and more, I don't know how she can even be a likeable character at this point >.>
Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
JanDSedai @61 - You know, as soon as I made the connection with Hiawatha, the lines popped into my head:

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.

I can't believe it took me so long to make the connection to Lanfear. I find myself in the odd situation of actually wishing I knew who wrote that scene, or at least who chose the name. If it was Jordan, I'd be 99% sure it was Lanfear. If not... I lean toward Verin, just because I thought Nakomi sounded a lot like Verin. I wonder if we'll ever know for sure.

Jonathan Levy @62 - "That said, certain facts mentioned in this discussion have shown me that my initial judgement of her was too harsh. Whether it needs to be reversed entirely is another question." In my experience, the first is frequently the case. The second, sometimes but not nearly so often.

ValMar @72 - Hmmm. I wouldn't call Cadsuane's opinion of Moiraine "strongly negative" - more like low or negligible. Her only comment that I recall since NS is the bit about "even a child like Moiraine..." when she first met Rand. So... you expect Cadsuane to be doing needlework again, so she can "thread carefully?" ;)

Isilel @74 and others - I don't know, I thought Egwene had a pretty valid reason for dumping prosecution of the war on the Hall. If the Greens are worth half their name, they ought to be the ones working that out, not Egwene (either as a 19-year-old girl OR as the Amyrlin). And in the trade-off, she got the Hall out of the way in terms of dealing with Rand. (She may or may not do a great job of that, but a committee of AS would almost certainly do worse!) We haven't seen much of it on screen, but I certainly hope that the Hall - or at least the Green Ajah - is actively working on preparations. Between collecting the rulers and trying to deal with Mesaana & the BA-in-TAR situation, Egwene's done quite a bit. Trying to do all the war preparation herself, as well, would mean that none of it got done properly.

My approach is to assume that at least some of the actions you name are taking place, but we don't see a lot of it. If we get to the next book and find that Egwene's been the only one in the WT doing anything while the rest of them twiddled their thumbs and scuffled over political power, then I'll be irked.

mcswan, Jonathan, re: Carlinya - In the first place, who says Brandon even wrote that scene? It could have been one of the sections already written by Jordan, for all we know. Secondly, who says Brandon didn't have the specific interpretation of the viewing right in front of him? Just because he didn't say so, and you didn't see the interpretation given, doesn't mean Brandon did it wrong. IF it's wrong, then you'd better get busy blaming Harriet, Maria and Alan too. It certainly would have been very easy to have Carlinya killed by a bloodknife instead of the BA battle in TAR. That in itself is a fair argument that the way it happened in the book was purposeful; the other would have been so easy that I'd say there must be a reason not to have done it that way. (For example, if Jordan had clear notes as to the meaning of the viewing, and this scene was written to fit.) And no, she didn't have a Warder. Enough said; if you don't like it, you'll just have to live with it unless Team Jordan decides they used the wrong name and they change it in the next edition.

Kaboom @100 - I'm with you! on both paragraphs.

Terez @102 - question 2... IMO, it's because people going for #100, or 200, or 1000 have already read the comments and are just noodling around, since we've (generally) all had time to discuss. On the reread, most of the "first post" things prove only that they haven't actually read a thing, since it's usually posted less than 5 minutes after Leigh's blog post. Not sure why the latter irritates me so much, but it does.

Isilel @104 - "Cadsuane really doesn't have a leg to stand on in her criticisms." Which criticisms would those be, exactly? Her comment that Moiraine had failed to teach Rand manners? Or maybe Rand's lack of manners? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall her even mentioning Moiraine after that one. Why do you expect Cadsuane to "try to upbraid Moiraine" anyway? I don't get it. Not saying I think there will be a great deal of respect or awe, but I don't see the need for a big confrontation.

@several - Where on earth does anyone get the idea that Callandor was created to use the TP?? That makes no sense at all, since it was made by those opposing the DO, who would a) have no access to the TP and b) wouldn't want it anyway.

Buddhacat @114 - Well said!!

Man-o-Manetheran @115 - Yes, Maria is working to catch as much of the errata as possible. As Terez said, Dragonmount and Theoryland each have a thread going on that subject; Maria also told me that she'll go through the discussion here at and pull out anything she finds.
Bill Stusser
128. billiam
The reason I think Elayne made a mistake in taking Cairhien is that she was told by the BA that the shadow was going to attack Caemlyn. Why go to all the trouble of almost getting yourself killed to get information when you aren't going to do anything with that info?
Hmmm, a large army of the shadow is gunna attack Caemlyn, I think I'll go to Cairhien. Really?
And what about Sylvase? Not only has she screamed DF from the first but her secretary let the baddies free. If I was Elayne I would've had her locked up immediately.
Jonathan Levy
129. JonathanLevy
127. Wetlandernw
Re: Carlinya's death
In the first place, who says Brandon even wrote that scene? It could have been one of the sections already written by Jordan, for all we know. Secondly, who says Brandon didn't have the specific interpretation of the viewing right in front of him? Just because he didn't say so, and you didn't see the interpretation given, doesn't mean Brandon did it wrong. IF it's wrong, then you'd better get busy blaming Harriet, Maria and Alan too. It certainly would have been very easy to have Carlinya killed by a bloodknife instead of the BA battle in TAR. That in itself is a fair argument that the way it happened in the book was purposeful; the other would have been so easy that I'd say there must be a reason not to have done it that way. (For example, if Jordan had clear notes as to the meaning of the viewing, and this scene was written to fit.) And no, she didn't have a Warder. Enough said; if you don't like it, you'll just have to live with it unless Team Jordan decides they used the wrong name and they change it in the next edition.

These are good points, and I'll try to address them all, but in a different order.
1) I fully agree that it's possible that Brandon had both the viewing and the interpretation, in which case no fault can be found with him, or with Jordan. If I discover that this is the case, then I will shrug my shoulders and move on. But if I had a chance to ask Brandon a question, this is one that I would ask. Because it's also possible that he just had a note saying "Carlinya dies in Tower Attack", and inferred from this that people misinterpreted the viewing. In this case, it increases the likelihood that it was a mistake.

2) My question was pure speculation, and at no point did I hint that it was anything more than that. At least, I did not intend to. I fully agree that it's possible that RJ would have written that line exactly as Sanderson did, and stood by it firmly.

3) But yeah, I kind of don't like it. Don't worry, I'm resigned to living with it. But I will be curious to check in the next edition to see if it was changed. Based on Sanderson's comments, I do not expect it to be.

4) Regardless of the speculation around Carlinya's death, the question of authorship here can be addressed. Of course all conclusions are tentative - there can be no proof save from Sanderson et al. But we know that Jordan wrote the key scenes, and left outlines for the rest. Granted, there are also secondary scenes which he wrote or dictated (e.g. the prologue of TGS, which took me, at least, by surprise). But the off-screan death of a minor character reported second-hand in one line at the very beginning of a battle is not a leading candidate for a scene which RJ took pains to write himself. It's not like the confrontation with Mesaana, which he might very well have written himself. It is more likely (though not certain, of course) that Sanderson wrote it, based on Jordan's notes. It is interesting and diverting to speculate on the extent and precision of those notes, and wonder if an error may (I stress may) have occurred. I do not pretend to have a certain answer.

Why do you expect Cadsuane to "try to upbraid Moiraine" anyway? I don't get it. Not saying I think there will be a great deal of respect or awe, but I don't see the need for a big confrontation.

Well, Cadsuane upbraids pretty much everybody she meets, no? :)
I'm not saying there has to be a big confrontation, mind you. If we're lucky, they'll settle things like Amys and Sorilea did. But if Cadsuane tries to treat Moiraine the way she treated Merana & co. in ACOS, we might wind up with a confrontation anyway.
Kimani Rogers
130. KiManiak
wetlandernw@59 – I admit to being curious how Team Jordan chooses to write the Mo/Cad meeting. It could either be written as a small part of a major scene focused on something else (Rand setting his "terms" to Egwene and the leaders of the Free Nations, maybe), but after ToM, where a lot of the anticipated meetings (admittedly, mostly reunions) received a decent amount of attention, it wouldn’t surprise me if their meeting is at least a medium sized deal.
But, let me first clear up that although part of me thinks it should be commemorated with thunder, lightning and a 7.0 earthquake, I think it could be just as poignant with a pleasant-on-the-surface conversation, a “Phaw!” or two, and a raising of her eyebrow by Moiraine.
As for supplanting, I would think that the re-appearance of Moiraine; Rand’s affection for her and the alleviation of his guilt; and, not to mention, the embodiment of the annulment of someone from his “list of dead women” would have Rand taking Moiraine’s advice over Cadsuane's, any day. Moiraine wouldn’t have to try to supplant Cadsuane; Rand would probably seek Moiraine’s counsel and choose to listen to Cadsuane less. Cadsuane could still be an advisor. But do you honestly believe that Rand wouldn’t be more apt to seek/listen to Moiraine? My point is more so that Moiraine can decide whether she wants to allow Rand to restore her to her previous position, or if she’ll take a step back in favor of Cadsuane. It may depend on what she got from the Eelfinn.

Linda@66 – re: teaching via a link - Thanks for clearing that up.

Isilel@74&104 and various others – I echo the frustration with Egwene and Rand in regards to prepping their various forces for the Last Battle, Tarmon Gaidon and (for Egwene, specifically) possible future attacks by the Seanchan. Yes, they both have probably done a decent job of delegating certain responsibilities to their generals. But we’ve seen nothing on-screen, and no hint of anything off-screen, that shows Rand teaching AOL weaves to his forces (I don’t count his efforts at Maradon), or that has Egwene prepping the Tower for a plausible Travel-aided Seanchan strike by creating wards, inverted-weave booby traps, etc. Believe it or not, I actually would come down harder on Rand for this one. A 2-hour session with multiple Asha’man and Aes Sedai in attendance, where he is linked with Cadsuane and shows various “lost” weaves using both Saidin and Saidar could be incredibly beneficial. He’s a living treasure trove of information! Share the knowledge, my man.

Various re: Nakomi – So many good theories, challenges to the theories, and amended theories. I admit it: I have no idea who she may "really" be. I could easily see RJ & BWS writing this as anything from a minor character who really just “crashed” Aviendha’s campsite and then snuck away in the night (coming back to reclaim her stuff when Avi left the campsite to look for her); to being a small piece of a complex plot by Moridin via Lanfear to somehow cripple the Aiel before or during the Last Battle. I just don’t think we were given enough clues to really produce an educated guess at this point. 16 or so months til we find out for sure!
David Platt
131. The Not So Dark One

Ishy's healing of the taint in the EOTW prologue would not hold good now on Rand. Healing is a physical thing for a start, plus the imperfect nature of the healing would have been to rip out the black hooks as Nyn did in TOM. Once healed the taint would begin again surely? The reason Rand is protected from the taint is that he cleansed Saidin. However, as shown by Nyn's healing - he is still quite tainted/mad - maybe just not in any overt way.
It may even be that he needs the level of taint he has for his link back to his former self - or maybe not.

Michael Maxwell
132. pike747
Cadsuane, Moiraine.
Cadsuane's main purpose in regards to the Dragon Reborn was to point out the flaw in Callandor. Her secondary purpose is to "teach him manners".
Moiraine seemed to know more than anyone else in this age about the Forsaken/Chosen, shadowspawn and the "forbidden weave".
I see Moiraine's role as more significant. She put her life, her very soul on the line to ensure that Rand reach TG alive and on the side of the light.
Each made mistakes. Each showed bravery and commitment. The pattern chose Moiraine to be among the first to know that The Dragon was indeed reborn.
IMO Moiraine trumps Cadsuane but each person is significant and still has a part to play.
Antoni Ivanov
133. tonka
Btw (about Carlinya's death)
I expect that when Jordan wrote a viewing, dreamer/wolf prophetic dream or fortelling, he would write down the meaning of it and how it goes down. He would not write a viewing without writing down the meaning of it too.
Anyway, I am done with this :).
Abdel Masdoua
134. TheDarkOne
On a totaly unrelated note, I went with my fiancee to see Brandon yesterday evening in Paris.
He did a reading of Lan's part of the Prologue, then a quick Q&A, and after that a signing of course, so business as usual!

Fun fact though:
My fiancee asked Brandon the first question about the Prince of the Ravens' role in the Seanchan Imperial family 'cause she is really fascinated about the Seanchan culture (except for the whole damane-slavery-yikes part), which he RAFOed.
But while answering, his tongue slipped and he answered her about the Prince of the Raisins, which was just hilarious!

Anyway, I just thought I'd share with you guys, because it was pretty amazing to have Brandon come all the way here, and he is just an awesome human being to chat with!
135. kraefzke
Do you (or does anybody else) know if someone recorded the Q&A in Paris and if there will be a transcript available?
Mitchell Swan
136. mcswan
@129 Jonathan Levy

Nice summation, I agree with you.

Also, I'm done too. We'll all agree to believe what we wish and move on.

Good discussion, folks!
Tricia Irish
137. Tektonica
Re: Mo and Cads@various:

I don't see why Rand can't rely on both Moraine and Cadsuane. They serve different purposes, as stated above, and they bring different perspectives and experience.

Hopefully Moraine has gotten some new valuable information from the Finns, and Cadsuane's long history and experience might have some interesting perspectives on the usual Finn twisting of information. If mutual respect can be achieved between the ladies, and I certainly think it can, Rand could have a very formidable team of advisors....Mo, Cads and Min, with all her reading from Fel's books. The team, combined with his past knowledge from the LTT years, should provide the key.
Valentin M
138. ValMar
Wetlander @ 127
Cads thinks Moiraine did a bad job with Rand. I.e. she thinks Mo competence is low. Calling her child implies that Cads thinks Mo is less experienced than necessary.
We know that Cadsuane doesn't mince her words with people she judges to be incompetent and inexperienced.

As for "threading carefully" what I meant was that instead of calling her , say, "useless, stupid child" Cadsuane may try to be more subtle in her criticism of Moiraine and even have or pretend to have a discussion with her about Rand and how best to help him.

Whether Mo will supplant Cads, I think it's N/A. The time left to the Last Battle is too short and eventful. Both of them will have something to contribute. If one of them is more important, it will not be a matter of "supplanting", IMO.

forkroot @ 120
Fair enough. But if there was an Age without channeling which one. Now I think it is probably the 7th. One thing I definitely believe- the predictions that the Power will go out of business soon after the Last Battle are wrong. Technological advancements are irrelevant, IMO.
139. alreadymadwithbrokenwolf
Speaking of Lan, I have a sinking feeling that he is the Broken Wolf spoken of in the Shadow Prophecy. He's the only one in real danger of dying and the one whose death would cause the greatest shock to the forces of the Light.
Abhijit Srivastava
140. abhi_sedai
Prince of the Raisins: I think Mat might prefer this title. rotfl.

My thoughts:
Cadsuane and Moiraine: Both have a similar purpose in their life - namely to ensure that the DB reaches Tarmon Gaidon as a champion of the light. Both had tried to manipulate him. To give credit to Moiraine, she realized the futility of the same, admitted her mistake and tried to work with him instead of trying to control him. Whereas Cadsuane still hasnt admitted that she was wrong. Her pride caused Rand to be captured by Semirhage, and she has never apologised for it to Rand or even admitted her mistake to herself. Still both have worked to ensure that Rand becomes the man he has become to fight against the Dark one.

Aviendha's trip to Rhuidean:
I think Aviendha visions (in a very stark way) warn her of what might happen if the Aiel are left bereft of purpose. I feel this a worst case scenario with Elayne, Aviendha (both quite young at the moment) are not there to guide and lead their next generation. Even Rand is missing.
Nakomi (who I wager is Verin) raised very important questions in Aviendha's mind on the need for the Aiel to change. they cannot continue as before (as warriors). All this while, the Aiel's outlook towards outsiders has been one of suspicion and contempt (milk hearted wetlander/ treekillers). Egwene's attempt to forge ties between the WT, Seafolk and Aiel Wise Ones, is one step that will possibly lead to their assimilation into the rest of randland. Aviendha probably needs to contemplate a alternate way for the Aiel to find honour and purpose in their existence.

IMHO, I think that the Aviendha might realize that the best way to gain honour is to serve mankind. (just look at the revered status of blacksmiths in their society).
Abhijit Srivastava
141. abhi_sedai
@139. alreadymadwithbrokenwolf:
I think the broken wolf, might refer to Rodel Itularde, didn't he break his leg in the battle at Maradon. Don't remember whether he was healed.
142. alreadymadwithdeadwolf
Yes, but he didn't die. And his death won't be as demoralizing as Lan's.
John Massey
143. subwoofer
I dunno- I don't see Nynaeve letting her husband die. Worst case scenario, Ny feels a tug of sadness or regret or something through the bond and weaves a gateway to her husband and "accidentally" pushes Rand through- "here, come smell these roses..." ::shove::

@Is 74 re Egwene- I hear ya, you may want to see what I said on the last thread at post 1126&1127 then rebut them;)

144. hamstercheeks
balance@122: Agreed. Rand is going go straight for the DO at TG. Which leads to...

subwoofer@143: Nynaeve has to be there with Rand when he goes for the fiery lava toilet. But hey, if she found time to Travel to Myrelle for a threatdown, she'll probably find time to swoop in and grab her man before it all goes pear-shaped. Nynaeve is the Light's Immovable Object, the complement to Rand the Irresistible Force. BAM.
Maiane Bakroeva
145. Isilel
Yes, well, there is some evidence that the Hall isn't doing an acceptable job re: war planning. The Borderlands are being overrun without any help from the White Tower showing up, Bryne is doing the war planning alone without AS particpation. And BTW, isn't it ludicorously OoC that Siuan tried to talk him out of his planning instead of trying to help?
There is no sign of any channelers training to seamlessly work together with the soldiers either.
And the most damning is Egwene's conversation with Silviana re: how the Accepted shouldn't be risked. I mean, those are women in their mid-twenties who have passed trial by fire during the Seanchan invasion, why exactly are they less fit to take risks than 14-year-old boys? What's the point of thousands of novices if they aren't going to fight? And if they are going to fight, why not prepare them and hold them to the same level of responsibility as soldiers, many of them of substantially younger ages, are held?
I'd really like to be proven wrong and to find out that the Hall is handling all this with aplomb and that Seanchan are going to be unpleasantly surprised during their next invasion, but unfortunately there are zero reasons to count on it and a few that speak against it.

Re: Cadsuane and Moiraine, Cadsuane did think that Moiraine mucked things up with Rand and that if she had known what the "wretched girl" (?) had been up to, searching for the DR, she would have stopped her. Which is really backwards, because Cadsuane herself wasn't even looking for the DR and consequently would have let him die before he became prominent enough for her to notice.
Generally, the depiction of Cadsuane's character suffers from the same problems as that of Siuan - she supposedly had known about the advent of the DR and imminence of the TG for a long time, yet did very little to prepare the ground.

As to Moiraine's manipulations, by now even Mat realizes that they were necessary. Rand and Co. needed to learn things, resisted doing so and refused to be convinced. Oh, and they were also lapping up Ishy's dream propaganda to make it even more "interesting" for her. Moiraine's mistake was in not changing gears quickly enough, when Rand abruptly and profoundly changed and real cooperation became not only possible, but essential. But without Moiraine, Rand wouldn't have even lived to reach this stage, so...
She also saw the necessity of helping Rand to retain his humanity, but Egwene and Avi whom she had trusted to do it in her absence failed her in that respect

IMHO, there is definitely going to be a confrontation, if Cadsuane is still alive by the time Moiraine rejoins Rand.
Tess Laird
146. thewindrose
I know Rodel Itularde has been nicknamed 'The Little Wolf' but I don't see that the Shadow Prophecies are meaning him. I do think that it is very likely that the Shadow Prophecies will be fulfilled as well. As we see from Sheriam and Carlinya, the prophecies can be fulfilled in a way that most fans did not come up with. If everything was so easy to solve, I doubt we would all be here discussing it!

alreadymad at 139 Nynaeve would get to Lan somehow to save him - at least that is what I am going with! ;)

Did anyone else think it was funny when Suian thought that is was good they got Nynaeve back to the Tower because she was agreeing to much with Rand. Nynaeve FTW!!!

Ron Garrison
147. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. Moiraine & Cadsuane: Tek has the right of it (@137), I'd say. A most wonderful team is beginning to gather around Rand, each with their own gifts: Min, Cadsuane, Moiraine and Nynaeve. And like Wetlandernw, I ask, why the hell would anyone expect some big confrontation between Cadsuane and Moiraine? It makes no sense whatsoever. I'd think Cads would be one of the most interested in hearing Moiraine's experience in Finnland. To others: calling someone younger than herself a child is not a disparaging remark for Cads. Nearly everyone is a child compared to her. Get over it.
Mikey Bennett
148. EvilMonkey
Hello all,

Been a while since I weighed in on the boards, and the very first time I have proposed a loony theory. This is in regards to who Nakomi is. The concensus seems to be either Verin or CynFear. I question both choices as the culprit and I'll tell ya why before I hit you with my candidate.
I do not think its Lews Therin's old gf for a couple reasons. First, the potential to help. If I was Team Dark I wouldn't give an important person on team Light any hint of something that could potentially help the light, especially not in time for anyone to do anything about it. Second, these are events that will happen after the LB, seems like Team Dark is planning for failure. That may be something Ishydin might do, he seems to take the long view, but if so, why send an ex to talk to a current? We have seen that the girl ain't too tightly wrapped. The hold he has on her is a powerful motivator, yet I can't see her staying that calm cool and collected in the face of a rival for the Dragon's love. When I first read the scene I had a terrible sense of forboding about Nakami, that something would happen with some kind of poison or a strike at Avi with the power that she'd have to fight off. That she left with a good idea and something she could fight takes LannyCyn off the suspect list for me.
Now for Verin. Quite compelling and it seems like the time frame is workable. The problem I have with assigning Verin as the culprit is motive. She is awesome true, but she doesn't really care about the Aiel. Her focus is on Rand and by extention the Last Battle. She isn't sure of the outcome yet she knows that if the world isn't strong there won't be an afterward. Helping Eggy clense the Tower is a part of that. Helping the Aiel find a purpose after the LB is certainly not. In fact, distracting the Aiel loyal to Rand just before Tarmon Gaidon is probably not a good way to go about surviving the LB. And althougth Verin is a champion at study, did she have the time to unearth the secrets of the wise ones, figure out that Avi was going to be one, find out when she was going to be sent, and understand Avi well enough to know that she would not travel straight to Ruidean? There isn't even any evidence that she had any conversation with Avi at all. Besides, as seen by her handling of Mat, she isn't always the strongest at knowledge of people, if she ever did talk to Avi it's certainly possible she could have made a mistake.
So here comes my loony theory. I believe Nakomi or whateva (do not have the book in front of me so I know my spelling is off) is none other that Avienda herself! Before you laugh me out of the room hear me out. First, becoming a Wise One is a very significant event, there is no way she isn't going to know the route she took or every moment of the journey. She cares deeply for the Aiel, after all they are her people. So Avi would both know where to meet her old self and what to say to her to prompt her second trip through the Ancestatron. So she has both the motive (saving her people from a future without honor and eventual extinction) and the knowledge of where to find her old self. She isn't ta'veren so we can discard the theory of a stranger knowing exactly what to say and when to say it, as well as where to find her so she could say it. As to how, my guess is that she gets with Rand and gets some of his AOL knowledge specifically about portal stones, her and Elaine or Min figure out how to do some time travel with it. That's a bit farfetched, but I cannot think of another person that meets all the prerequisites for Nakomi except for Avi, either older or with a power-wrought disguise, traveling back to holla at her younger self, giving her knowledge that will help her people going forward. LannyCyn wouldn't wanna help, and Verin, even if she does care enough to help, wouldn't know where to go in order to impart the knowledge.

You guys are now free to call me crazee.

John Massey
149. subwoofer
To others: calling someone younger than herself a child is not a disparaging remark for Cads. Nearly everyone is a child compared to her. Get over it.

Says one of the geezers on this thread;)

::Flees!! Run, run, run and hide!!!::


152. hawkido
Hopper comes back as a darkhound (thus the line about bringing dread to man or some such). There is a pretty good indication that Slayer is assisting in the procreation of darkhounds. As the packs of darkhounds are pretty well numbered and counted that exist in the world, however in this book we see a startling increase in the number of packs and the size of the packs. Slayer seems to have a task of killing the dream wolves to flesh out the packs of dark hounds, enjoy it as much as he does... he continues the task dutifully even when he has other more enticing prey afoot (Perrin). It could be tru that he was focusing on the wolves to prod Perrin out in the open. But he wasn't on task to hunt perrin in the two rivers and was still there methodically hunting and killing wolves.
Birgit F
153. birgit
Calling her child implies that Cads thinks Mo is less experienced than necessary.

When Cads first met Moiraine she was a newly raised sister running around alone in the Borderlands. Cads tried to protect her, but Moiraine managed to escape Cads' supervision and got in a fight with BA. Cads was right that Moiraine was inexperienced and she only survived with luck and Lan's help (she met Lan after the encounter with Cads).
Tricia Irish
154. Tektonica

A very good argument. I could never figure out the purpose of Nakomi in the first place. These are concerns that Avi would naturally have, being one of Rand's bond holders/wives, going into the last battle, with the known prophecies about the Remnant of a Remnant nagging at her.

She could well be dreaming. After the far-back ancestatron experience, which was what she already knew, from Rand, she was looking for something new, some clue to save her people. The whole Nakomi scene just seems like another prod to herself, a gut feeling, if you will, that she should look further for something new.

I think you're onto something.

Man-0@147: Sorry I forgot about Nynaeve....she is definately part of that team! She has become absolutely a top notch human being, brave, truthful, strong, loyal...always there for Rand.

Speaking of loyal....where is Loial? Can we have him back, please.
Valentin M
155. ValMar
birgit @ 153

I am aware of this meeting. This is one of the reasons why I think Cadsuane has a bad opinion of Moiraine. Whether Cadsuane or Moiraine was right in this situation is irrelevant, IMO. Both acted as best as the info they had allowed them to.
Mo was trying to find the DR and save him from the BA hunters. She suspected that Cads might be BA. Cads thought that Mo was a silly newbee taking stupid risks. Mo didn't do much to dissuade this impression.
Also, given the odds against Mo and Siuan, they need all Luck , Lan, and the Pattern to survive. They duly obliged.
Theresa Gray
156. Terez27
re: Verin as Nakomi's motives - she might not care too terribly much about the Aiel, but she does care about the future of Randland. She probably sees the Aiel as being the only possible chance that the free Randland nations have to hold off the Seanchan, though of course the Asha'man will help too.
paul Hend
157. tugthis
Glad there was a reboot on this thread. I finished the book after a week and a half of reading and am becoming a bit worried about the level of suspense. Personally I think it is time some of our favorite characters start to die.

I do not mean to be ungreatful to their contributions, but the 3 wonder girls and 3 superboys and all of their boyfreinds and girlfriends seem to have achieved premature immortality. For Pete's sake even the characters we thought were dead come back to life. Over the course of 14 some books and some ten thousand pages it seems like the good guys could have suffered some casualities.

Going into the last book, I am really looking for drama, pathos, surprises. Not getting any will make goods seemingly inevitable triumph over evil in Randland look way too easy and matter of course.
158. Freelancer
Man-o-Manetheran @12

Google is Shaidar Haran. Hand of the Dark, FTW!
Ron Garrison
159. Man-0-Manetheran
You may be right, Free. Moridin is probably just the Chief Marketing Officer...
160. 11zeeshha
@ 142 alreadymadwithdeadwolf & abhi_sedai

maybe it is one of them and maybe not. Look at my understanding of the phropechy at 97. It might help.
Patrick Huff
161. pattack
@148 Evilmonkey

Far be it for me to call any theories crazee. I am all for new thoughts on the mysterious world of Jordan, (unlike some stiffees I hear on this thread.) I don't agree with what you are saying however, simply because Aviendha goes through the rings and has to deal with it anyway.
I think Verin is a great choice for Nakomi. She is one of the main shapers of the pattern within the series. To say she has no real interest in the Aiel is crazy, because she is a scholar to the pattern itself. I think that the Aiel are the only true enemy able to stop the Seanchan from covering the entire world. In many respects their cultures are quite similar. Structure, leadership and honor. However, Da'vacole, damane and Suldam are in direct conflict in their belief of freedom. How many times is it pointed out the rather harsh opinion the Aiel have of servants. The reverance shown to wise ones and any thought that one who channels is in any way better than one who cannot.

I'm not saying that Verin is privvy to all this knowledge of both cultures, but she is the one most interested in the future and the importance of history in looking forward. She has also spent considerable time among the Aiel and wise ones to know enough of what Aviendha is about to witness.

As far as wacky theories go, I was the one to suggest that Tuon was Ta'veren because she was able to fight off Rand when they met. I was summarily dismissed, but that did not deter me from voicing my crazee theories on the WOT and it shouldn't anyone else either. It's what makes these threads interesting after all!!!!
162. wagman26
More and more,to me, Hopper seems to fit the bill for the Broken Wolf. He has previously known death. He did die again. Not sure about the Midnight Towers though. Darkhound breeding grounds? Also, it seems that some prophecies must be wrong. The Dark and the Light can not both be right. Can they? Kudos to AndrewB and others for previous post on Hopper/Broken Wolf.
Theresa Gray
163. Terez27
The problem with Hopper as the Broken wolf is that his death didn't break the will of men - the only man who was truly affected by it was Perrin. IMO Rand is the only one who really fits that aspect, but he would certainly be a counterintuitive choice for 'wolf'.
Captain Hammer
164. Randalator
Finally got to read my copy of ToM and breezed through it in less than 24 hours. Never been faster with a WoT-Novel.

And DISCLAIMER where DISCLAIMER's due: I did not, I repeat: NOT, read all 1306 comments on this monster and its little offspring. Because, seriously you guys, I love
you, but no way. Nu-uh.

So if I say anything in this here comment that has already been said by others, which will probably be true for just about everything I'm about to say, just know that I don't give a flying to'raken-dropping. I just have to get my thoughts out of my system.

Wait, didn't I say something like that on a very similar blog post not too long ago? Nah, must have been imagining hell of a déjà-vû, though...

Okay, first of all a general comment about the book in...uh...general: HOLY HAPPENING SHIT, BATMAN! There's shit happening! And lots of it. Again.

Rand: He's like totally like that Jebus-guy from the Chryslerianity religion or something. I can't even remember when it was the last time that reading a Rand scene was a joy and now basically all of them are. And he badassed umpteen million shadowspawn into a bloody pulp, too. Which was, as one might have guessed, badass.

Egwene: Is Amyrlin. And broke a Forsaken's brain with her...well...brain. Yay!

Mat: This time BWS got his voice spot on, as far as I'm concerned. Funny, snarky, badass and monoscopic. *sigh* Well, not like we didn't see that coming from ten books away. Still not happy about it, though. At least he won't have to worry about the 3D-craze...

Elayne: Is queen and gets other people killed. Nothing new, move along.

Moiraine: *SQUEE!*

Aviendha: Gets to see some shit. Literally. You better not let this happen, sister! That goes for you too, Team Jordan! I would be very upset otherwise. You wouldn't like me, when I'm upset.

Elaida/Suffa: One page of screen time. ONE! SINGLE! PAGE! And she still manages to snatch the victory in our 2010 Morality Limbo by a fair margin. Gah!

Perrin: Back to being awesome. What took you so long, buddy? Oh. Yeah. THAT.

Berelain/Galad: Well, not like we didn't see that coming from eight books away. I call dibs on one of the daughters they'll better bloody have!

Gawyn: Huh. Apparently he DOES have a brain. I wonder why it took him 13 books to use it when virtually the first result of him and his brain working together is a Crowning Moment of Awesome. He should do that more often...

Noal/Hopper: Hate to see them go.

Arangar/Mesaana/random Black Ajah: Glad to see you go.

Lan: Still riding to his death. No longer alone. Okay, that's slightly better I guess.

Nynave: "You know, I have to be off what with really becoming Aes Sedai and all. But I still have a couple of minutes left, so I guess I could heal insanity, why not! Beats sitting around bored..."

Verin's letter: If that journey through the waygate hadn't been in EotW I would have said that THAT'S the big honking clue we missed. And all our heroes too. *bleep* this *bleep*ing *bleep*, how could we *bleep*ing *bleep*s *bleep*ing miss this *bleep*? *BLEEP*! *Bleep-O-Meter* breaks down in a puff of smoke and flying bits of gear and molten plastic*

Lanfear: I'm about to quote the Boondock Saints and the Bleep-O-Meter is no more. Sensitive eyes should be averted, scrollwheels should be used. You have been warned.

"Fuckin'...what the fuck? Who the fuck fucked this fuckin'...? How the fuck did this fuckin' fuck...? FUCK!"

There. Sometimes this word seems to be the most diverse of them all. I don't know what else to say on that particular revelation-cliffhanger-WHAM-thingy...

13x13: Oh hai there, 13x13. Glad to see you in action and not just be a lie. You still suck, though.

Alanna: Now, she...wait, wasn't she here just a moment ago? I could have sworn that she...huh, weird...

ForTUONa: You know, I kinda liked you better when you weren't wearing a black hat and twirling your mustache.

Phew. Anything else? Guess not. Not right now at least. Seems like we'll have to take a closer look at the comment section now, Robin. To the WoT-mobile, away...!
165. AndrewB
At the end of ToM, textual evidence exists to conclude that Tarna has been 13x13'd. Evidence also exists that Javindhra is on Team Balck (either 13x13'd herself or a member of the Black Ajah). It is equally clear that Pevara is still on Team Light.

Any thoughts on the other three Reds who came with Pevara, Tarna & Javindrha? Are Desala, Jezrail & Melare still on Team Light or were they traded to Team Dark ?

If I had to guess (and that is all it can be at this point), I would say that of the 6 Red Sisters, only Pevara remains on Team Light.

Thanks for reading my musings.
166. wagman26
@ terez

Not break, but shake. This still is a hole, you are right there. Could it be a misguided version of the prophecy. Could the seer of the prophecy confused Perrin and Hopper, and that failing led to the misconception? Both prophecies, Light vs Dark, can not be right. Not in this age anyway.
Theresa Gray
167. Terez27
They are not actually contradicting; Brandon has indicated that both Light and Dark prophecies are true.
Jay Dauro
168. J.Dauro
More and more I am convinced that we will see all of the prophecies (Light, Dark, Karaethon, Essanik, you name it) come true.

Just as we saw the prophecy on Sheriam come true in an entirely different way than expected, we will see other (apparently contradictory) prophecies both be fulfilled.
169. wagman26

Really? Wow. So the DO spills Rand's blood and brings the "Darkness so beautiful", and "his blood shall bring us Light". Hmmm. This is interesting. Thinking "out loud now". It's almost mirroring the Aes Sedai symbol, half black half white. At that point when both Darkness and Light are present, balanced, the pendulum must swing. Will it come down to "people weeping for their salvation" or "begging for their destruction". Is the will of the people, the deciding point? Are they the deciding factor?

If Nakomi is Verin, is she trying to fulfill prophecy through Avi? He "shall slay his people with the sword of peace, and destroy them with the leaf", part of prophecy from TDR. Pushing her toward Way of Leaf, The True Aiel, the Jenn, a remnant of a remnant? Bolstered by her viewing that battle will lead to the destruction of the Aiel, and the other free nations as well through the Aiel's deception. Verin would account for the "lost time" in the scene, where the food seems to cook faster than it should. Verin had previously "hypnotized" others who did not remember what she had done to them.....I'm in, or at least on the fence. Verin as Nakomi is very plausible.

I think a Verin POV flashback would be an awesome thing. Maybe the Wheel can weave it so.
Theresa Gray
170. Terez27
As for Rand's blood bringing the 'darkness so beautiful' - I imagine it will, temporarily. Rand dies, 'I have won again, Lews Therin MWAHAHAHA' and everyone thinks the world is about to end. Then they resurrect him.
171. wagman26
Hmmmm. Has it been sixteen months yet?

"I want, I want, I need, I need! "- Bill Murray, What About Bob?
Jody Liner
172. LightBlindedFool
Theory 1:
Elaida will swear her soul to the Shadow to get free from the adam.  Especially when she learns that Egwene is Amyrlin for real.  Self-agrandizement (her pre-adam), cowardice (offering others to save herself) and envy (Egwene is the foretold Amyrlin) makes for plenty of Darkfriend motive.  Plus, wasn't she black ajah during Egwene's Accepted test?
Jody Liner
173. LightBlindedFool
Theory 2:  
The red sails in the prologue will give the Sea Folk something to do during the Last Battle besides twiddle their tattooed thumbs.
Sandy Brewer
174. ShaggyBella
One disadvantage of the audiobook is no glossery at the end. I have a question, though. Where did Perrin's Wolf Guard come from? Are these the refugees or another group? Is it in the glossery?
Sandy Brewer
175. ShaggyBella
I am rereading the series and there was a part in The Dragon Reborn that struck me as odd, for a Mat POV

He found himself wondering if Morgase played dice. Wool-headed thought. Queens don't toss dice. But when I give her this letter and tell her somebody in the Palace means to kill Elayne, I'l wager she gives me a fat purse. He indulged himself in a small fancy of being made a lord; surely the man who revealed a plot to murder the Daughter-Heir could expect some such reward.

Mat had thoughts of being a lord??? LOL
Mikey Bennett
176. EvilMonkey
Well if we find out my theory for Nakomi turns out to burn in flames, I could see Verin as a runner up. Like I said, my problem with Verin is finding Avi. Did she put a Finder on that Rose n Thorn bracelet off screen, a la Moraine's coin trick to the superdudes in TEOTW? That may be slightly more plausable than time traveling.
I guess its all a question of what Verin knows. She seems to be able to piece together a remarkably complete picture of things based off of understandably limited info. By observation she could have possibly ascertained the nature of Wise One rank structure, Avi's importance as the Aiel's human link to Rand, and Avi's girlfriend status with Rand. Has she figured out how an apprentice becomes a full fledged Wise One? Moraine could have told her had she not died b/f Verin came back into the picture. Could she have known of Avi's Ter'Angreal reading talent? As far as we can figure out, the only one who knows about that talent is Elayne. Does she know that some of the Aiel are thinking beyond the Last Battle? No evidence suggests that wise ones are going around sharing that sort of info where a sneaky sneaky Verin can hear. However, this woman penetrated the Black Ajah, possibly the most secret organization in the history of Randland (or real life for that matter) as an inside agent. She was an apprentice. She just might have gathered that info listening at tent flaps in Carhein, well everything except for Avi's ter'angreal read capablility. I still think Avi makes the most sense but Hey, we all will RAFO in about 16 months, or maybe not.

Mikey Bennett
177. EvilMonkey
Speaking of Verin, she is the one who comments in the Great Hunt that Dark Prophecies have a disturbing way of coming true as much as Light Prophecies do. Fortunately, Dark Prophecies are generally as obscure as the Light ones as well. Both Dark and Light prophecies show what will happen as a set up for conditions, not a guarantee of victory. The future teeters on the edge of a blade, so saith Nicola, may she live forever, or rest in peace or something.

178. kennethmosely
I got it, Nakomi is Bela! But seriously any ideas were Bela might be?
Sandy Brewer
179. ShaggyBella
I got it, Nakomi is Bela! But seriously any ideas were Bela might be

She was with the rebel Aes Sedai, Siuan rode her to the river while rescuing Egwene from the White Tower.
Kimani Rogers
180. KiManiak
ShaggyBella@174, I think that early on in ToM we find out the Wolf Guard is comprised of refugees and various mercenary groups (that don't have food) that Perrin's group picks up. Tam and Dannil help to train them into a somewhat formidable force.
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy @129 - FWIW, the rant re: Carlinya wasn't really aimed at you in particular. Also, I asked Maria if she could throw us a bone on this one... we'll see what she has to say. (Also tonka @133 - I totally agree. I'm pretty sure RJ never wrote in a viewing or a prophecy without knowing exactly what the fulfillment would be.)

"Well, Cadsuane upbraids pretty much everybody she meets, no? :)" - Only when they act foolishly. I thought Merana deserved it, even back when I didn't like Cadsuane. Chances of Moiraine getting the same treatment are fairly low, as I wouldn't expect her to go hysterical when she meets Cadsuane. Light, I hope not, or I'll lose a lot of respect for her!

KiManiak @130 - Like everyone else, I'm looking forward to seeing the Rand/Moiraine reunion, but I'm not sure what Cadsuane has to do with that. I see no need for competition between Cadsuane & Moiraine. As I said before, Moiraine spent her time with Rand trying to steer his strategies in the way she thought would be most expeditious. Cadsuane spent her time with Rand trying to get him to regain his humanity. The only thing they did in common was try to keep him alive as best they could. The only conflict I envision is if Moiraine tries to convince Rand that Cadsuane is BA (which shouldn't last more than long enough for Rand to burst out laughing), or if Moiraine argues against using Cadsuane's years of research into things like Callandor. I don't think Moiraine is that stupid; YMMV.

pike747 @132 - I'd disagree with you on Cadsuane's purposes wrt: Rand. Her main purpose was to get him to return to his humanity, her secondary to provide him with the results of her various researches. "Teaching him manners" was only a means to an end: getting him to drop the living statue act. It didn't, in the end, work terribly well, but Rand's atrocious manners were directly related to his idea that he couldn't be human (he had to be stone, or steel, or cuendillar) and that as the Dragon Reborn he was somehow above the niceties of human interaction. Eventually, his reunion with Tam led him back to his humanity, his need to love and be loved. (BTW, did y'all notice that he's a lot more polite to people, generally, in ToM?)

And why must one "trump" the other? They're on the same team, for the Light's sake! You trump the opponent, not your teammate, or you're wasting your resources.

Tektonica @137 - You go, girl!!! Hear! Hear!

ValMar @138 - Just yanking your chain. I assumed you meant "tread" as opposed to "thread" but maybe we're using different lingo. Cadsuane was unimpressed by Moiraine's work with Rand, but as for calling her "child" - relatively speaking, she is. We should be used to that from the coming-up-on-three-centuries types. At 40 or so, Moiraine is still a child, relative to her life expectancy of 250 or 300 years. I still maintain that Cadsuane's only comment on Moiraine in the main series was that she failed to teach Rand manners; I couldn't find anything else. ::shrug::

Isilel, I do wish you'd provide the actual quotation. (It's not "wretched girl," FWIW.) I've been searching and searching, and I can't find Cadsuane mentioning Moiraine even in her thoughts after that one comment in her opening scene. Unless it's in New Spring, which I don't really care about in terms of current attitudes.

Man-o-Manetheran @147 - THANK YOU.

So - y'all have my permission to make a big thing of it if there's a large-magnitude-earthquake effect from the meeting between Moiraine and Cadsuane. And if it's no big deal, you can bet I'll point it out. :p

For now, I'm going to grit my teeth and ignore all further comments regarding Cadsuane which result from assumptions not provable in the text. If someone actually comes up with something new... well, that would be refreshing. Alas, it doesn't seem likely.

pattack @161 - Crazy theories are generally dismissed if there's authoritative evidence against them, such as "Robert Jordan's blog says..." or "someone asked Brandon exactly that, and he said..." I don't recall your particular theory being debated much, but then there were a lot of theories being propounded last year - like "I know, I know, Olver is Gaidal Cain and Taim is Demandred!" *sigh* So I carefully forgot a lot. As for Tuon being ta'veren, the only argument I could give either way is 1) whether or not she should be considered "major" and 2) whether or not she's been seen by anyone who "sees" ta'veren (Siuan, Nicola... who else? Seems like there's at least one other). For 1), RJ specifically said that none of the "major" female characters are ta'veren; for 2) well, that's pretty obvious. Never mind. Those, and Brandon said "The reason she manages to resist is that she has a lot of willpower." However, since that was in response to a question about whether the TP had reduced Rand's ta'veren mojo, it doesn't directly address the theory. RAFO? Incidentally, there's somewhat of a parallel in Rand's meeting with Egwene in ToM, where the rest of the AS felt like they could hardly breathe. And we know that Egwene is definitely NOT ta'veren. It doesn't prove anything, but it's worth consideration.

J.Dauro @168 - "More and more I am convinced that we will see all of the prophecies (Light, Dark, Karaethon, Essanik, you name it) come true." I totally agree. And I think we'll be doing a lot of "HUH?? It meant WHAT?" as we see them fulfilled.
Birgit F
182. birgit
anyone who "sees" ta'veren (Siuan, Nicola... who else? Seems like there's at least one other)

183. kraefzke
And that Ogier woman....don't recall for sure which one, think it was Erith's grandmother Alar, though not sure.

re: Nyn and Lan:
I see a repeat of history in the coming, thereby finishing a circle: Last queen of Manetheren died when she drew too much of the OP to avenge her people and, foremost, her husband. Manetheren died. I suppose Rand will finish off the DO (though my guess is by locking him up again, not killing him permanently). At the same moment the armies of team Light will be pretty much overrun (I'm not going with the Falme-thingy, that Rands successes against DO will project themselves on the battlefield and vice versa) and Lan will be kille. Nyn, feeling his death, will then draw too much OP and kill of all the Trollocs, Myrries asoasf, dying herself in the process (see the parallel: Eldrene died with Manetheren, Nyn's death will bring back Malkier, of which she technically is queen, and she's of Manetheren's blood).
If I'm not first to post this theory, forgive me. I swear by the love of the Light that I just came up with it myself right this moment, but if anybody was faster than me (which I suppose is pretty probable), all credit to them!
Captain Hammer
184. Randalator
ShaggyBella @175

Mat had thoughts of being a lord??? LOL

Of course he had. That was until he actually met one. *g*

birgit @182

You're right, Alar is the fourth character who can sense ta'veren. Her talent is very weak though and she can only feel not see it, unlike the human characters.

"Verin says you are ta'veren," she said at last, "and I can feel it in you. That I can do so means that you must be very strongly ta'veren indeed, for such Talents ever run weakly in us, if at all."
(TGH, ch. 36)
185. kraefzke
Thank's for looking it up and quoting it! I probably wouldn't have found it that fast.

re: Nakomi
I'm not yet through with the book (only 'bout halfway), so I haven't even read the actual scene. Anyway I'm already in the "Jenn Aiel"-camp, though I haven't made my mind up as to the how of it: Either the ancient Aes Sedai provided the Jenn with the means of sending a message into the future (I'm thinking R2D2 ter'angreal, "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi"), though why a meal would be part of the conversation in that case I can't guess. Second option: Hey, the dead are walking just about everywhere in Randland. Why shouldn't the ghosts get an upgrade to communicate (yes, and even eat) as the fabric of the pattern weakens?
Chris R
186. up2stuff
I like the Verin = Nakomi theory for a VERY unorthodox reason. I am fully aware that there is almost NO WAY in HEEELLLL that this is even remotely possible given the zeal of Team Jordan's RAFO convictions, and yet...

Just before TOM came out, I was listening to the audio book of TGS. When I think of the chapter when Verin reveals all, and then about the chat Nakomi and Avi have, to me the dialogue just feels similar. Verin's story feels kind of meandering and kind of "prattle-ish". Nakomi's conversation as I recall FELT the same. There were all these little "Well,"'s and stuff that just really stick out in my mind thinking back.

NOW, like I said, I know this is probably the weakest reasoning possible.

1. I haven't READ TGS since last winter, and Reading's "voices" may just be generic or overlapping.

2. Maybe SHE has her own pet theory.

3. Again, Team Jordan jealously guards each revelation and clearly realizes how important and fun all the debating and speculation is to the fans. I don't know if there are any "instructions" on characters provided to Reading and Kramer. Maybe/maybe Probably not.

4. I have only read ToM once, and I know that I could be WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY off on my recollection of the conversation with Nakomi and Avi.

Admittedly, this line of reasoning probably holds less water than a damn spaghetti strainer (mmmm, Spaghetti in the Bunker everyone), but stranger things have happened. Many guesses in the course of this amazing story have been right, for completely wrong reasons. Sometimes, knowing why something ISN'T right is just as helpful, though.

Chris R
187. up2stuff
I don't like the idea of Lanfear/other Forsaken influencing Avi.

I see the point of them setting her up with information that would influence Rand's integration with the Seanchan. Give her false info that leads him to the wrong choice so that he sets up his TG plans the wrong way, BAM - victory team Dark.

What I don't see is how they would know she is going there to use that Ter'angreal. As far as I know, Asmo and Lanfear were the only ones who would have seen it at Rhuidean.

Doesn't seem that any of the others would have known that that particular Ter, was in that particular place, at the particular time that Avi was headed there, and to use it for that particular purpose. So far as we know, no one knew it could go forward too. And Team Dark doesnt know her well enought to show her her fears for the Aiel or her children. Same could be said for Verin, I guess. Although, she is just giving our main characters clues or tasks to make them stronger not influencing her reading of the wayback machine.

Even if the FS DID know about the Ter, from Avi's touch its purpose was infinite or something. It doesn't seem like it is able to be manipulated. The process itself is first time, wayback. Then it has to be "delved", I guess you could say to switch to wayforward, like a railroad switch. There the control seems to end for me. There is not a hidden knob or keypad to change the settings to fiction, horror, fantasy, etc. Avi is not as skilled perhaps but definately as strong as FS and it would have swept her away let alone any meddling by a FS.

FS playing Avi by jerking around with the wayforward machine just seems a bit unlikely.

Chris R
188. up2stuff
Kaboom @ 1 hunny

I agree about Channeling not going away in Age 4. At least not initially. Whether it will dwindle toward Age 5 or happen some time in Age 5,6,7, or 1, I don't know. Like you said, Saidin is clean, but Talents are coming back, too. Dreaming, (Yes, Aiel had it still, but...), Reading/Making Angreal, others.

Also, Non-OP stuff is coming back too. Perrin, Elyas, and Noal, for example. How many other wolf brothers were there before them at one time. I think Moiraine said waaaayyyy back that she did not know if it was something old returned, or something new entirely, although I think the wolves knew better. Hurin and his evil-sniffin' nose is another thing being spun out again. .

Age 4 seems like maybe it will be a blend of science and magic, with the steam engine and electric batteries at the Cairhein school, but I think it will be the best of both worlds. Several AoL items seemed Science-y, but they were the science of Magic.

Seems like physics and chemistry and the like will be MORE prevalent leading up to Age 5/6 which are PROBABLY science ages like our own. I think these are likely to be where our world is because they are kind of opposite of the RL ages on the wheel.

Jane Smyth
189. Kaboom
up2stuff @188

Probably everybody has their own interpertation of the different ages. Here's mine that I wrote down the first time we had these kind of discussions (a year ago?)
In this interpretation our age is the seventh.

As time is circular I have started with the second age and finished with the first.

Second age:
What is called the age of legend. There is a high level of technology, both woman and man channel, and the DO prison is intact with no fighting and war. Near the end of the age, the bore is drilled, which result in people knowing the DO and the beginning of fighting and war. In the end the prison is patched and the world is broken.

Third age:
The age of the story. There is no technology, only woman can safely channel, the DO is well known with the patch in the process of breaking and a lot of fighting and war. Near the end of the age, Saidin is cleaned and the patch is redone much better with the help of both men and women.

Fourth age:
the level of technology start low but steadily increases. Both men and women can channel. The DO is well imprisoned but people still remember well and there are still fighting around (formation of new countries).

Fifth age:
The level of technology and channeling ability is high again, and research well established. Creation of the portal stones and discovery of the 'finns in another dimension. Through research, a method for permanently fixing the DO prison is found and implemented. The result is the sudden lost of channeling for both men and women and a cataclysm similar to the breaking that destroyed knowledge and technology.

Sixth age:
no or low level of technology, nobody can channel. Eventually the knowledge that channeling used to exist is forgotten, the memory of DO is fading but there is still low level of fighting among people.

Seventh age:
Our age. Start with low levels of technology but steadily increases. Channeling is completely forgotten and no memory of the DO. But as is current, fighting still exist. Near the end channeling is re-discovered.

First age:
pre-age of legends. Technology level continue to increase, both men and women channel and through both technology and the channeling ability, most problems of life are solved (poverty and disease) and fighting and war slowly disappear.

edit spelling
190. alreadymadwithdamodred
Wetlandernw @181
Cadsuane does refer to Moiraine in at least one POV but doesn't quite mention her by name. She refers to her as "Damodred's cousin".
Winter's Heart ch 13
Antoni Ivanov
191. tonka
I don't really get why people believe that Cads and Moiraine would fight in any way. It's a bit silly. They are grown up women, both legends, both smart, and both with the same goal - winning the last battle.

For those wondering when Cads mentioned Moirain in her POV (Winter's Heart Chapter 13) :

Once she had thought herself on the point of rooting out the Black only to watch her quarry slip through her fingers like smoke, her bitterest failure except possibly for failing to learn what Caraline Damodred's cousin had been up to in the Borderlands until the knowledge was years too late to do any good.
Caraline Damodred's cousin is Moiraine and her being in the Borderlands is for those who've read New Spring.

Barry T
192. blindillusion
Kaboom. That is a very rational, well thought out dissection of the Ages. *bookmarked*
Roger Powell
194. forkroot
If the Portal Stones were created in the 5th Age (and survived all the way around to the 3rd Age) and the 7th Age is our Age, why don't we see any Portal stones?

You could tweak your theory to move the Portal Stone creation to the 1st Age and make sure to destroy them somewhere in the 4-6th Age.
Marcus W
195. toryx
Yet another Toryx-in-mid-read Commentary:

I'm very pleased that after a terribly angsty start, Perrin is beginning to rock again. I especially enjoyed his treating Egwene like a novice in Tel'aran'rhiod. Stopping Baelfire with the palm of his hand? Priceless.

On the other hand, the scene where Perrin is almost killed by Byar (who didn't see that one coming) was almost ruined for me completely by the line stating that they heard Byar draw his sword (presumnably from his scabbard). Why, pray tell, would anyone, much less a rabid Whitecloak, sheathe his sword in the middle of a battle? It makes no sense and totally tossed me out of the story at what could have been a great scene.

Anyway. I just read the line about Perrin easing the badger out of the sack Mat had put him in. Amusing but entirely unnecessary.
Jane Smyth
196. Kaboom
Forkroot @194

Good point about the portal stone staying that long but unnoticed in our time. Now moved to first age!

But I still want to leave discovery of the 'finns in the fifth age. Something important has to have happen in that age :)
Barry T
198. blindillusion
Forkroot, Kaboom -

Well, as seen from tGH, Portal Stones, even in Rand’s age, are not being destroyed, so much as claimed by the landscape. In that light, perhaps one could say they are never destroyed/created, but more along the lines of rediscovered, studied and then lost during certain Ages, buried as it were.
Roger Powell
199. forkroot
Hmmm... due to the circular cosmoslogy of WoT, you are perhaps wondering if the Creator made them? If not, then somebody has to and thus they must be destroyed later so that they can recreated when that Age rolls around again.
200. hawkido
anyone who "sees" ta'veren (Siuan, Nicola... who else? Seems like there's at least one other)


Don't forget Loial
Barry T
201. blindillusion
Good point, that.

Though that brings the entire cosmology into question, you know? After all, if time is circular, wouldn't the entirety of Creation have to be destroyed at some point, so that the Creator could rebuild it?

Unless, of course, the Creation of everything is in a different, larger circle of Ages - with the 7 Ages mentioned in the story being a smaller, inner circle - and that Wheel takes a much longer time to turn.

Or perhaps Creation exists on a linear path, while Time travels in circles. Yes, yes…and the Dark One is the square peg trying to go into the round hole. By George, I’VE FIGURED IT OUT!!!

Of course, the Creator could of just like rock sculpting....
Antoni Ivanov
202. tonka
About Byar, supposedly, the tide was turning and the battle was away from them now (they had "breathing room to plan", you don't plan with your sword out, kinda unncessary when there is not fighting exactly around you)

A figure, pull-ing free his sword. A hiss, a flash of metal. Byar's eyes, alight with anger.

Or you could interpret this as pulling free not of the scabard but of something else.

And for the Perrin easing the badger out of the sack Mat had put him in. What do you mean by Amusing but entirely unnecessary.
It is necessary because it is amusing. This is a book and is supposed to amuse among other things. And it is the kinda thing Perrin would do in the situation.
Roger Powell
203. forkroot
Re: Easing the badger

This is an example where BWS's voice is noticeably different from RJ's in that the former is willing to stray near the fourth wall, even in WoT (heck, he deliberately shatters it in the Alcatraz series!).

Personally, I found it intensely amusing, although that sort of reference should remain rare. E.g. I do not want to hear anything more about a Nine Horse Hitch!
Tricia Irish
204. Tektonica

Initially, I thought "Easing the Badger" might be related to some prank that Mat and Perrin pulled when they were young'uns in the Two Rivers? And Mat was bringing the sack with the badger in rememberance of their old friendship and childhood together. Nynaeve could enlighten us here.

Also, it was an Inn in Illian, although I don't remember Mat or Perrin ever being there together, or at all, actually?

From the urban slang dictionary: "Probably the most accepted explanation is that badgers live in burrows, and the sign shows a man carrying a silver shovel and dancing with a badger, as if he might be about to dig a burrow. "Easing" sometimes refers to carefully inserting something into or removing something from a space (e.g. easing a car into a tight parking spot)."

Ergo: There's some reason to believe that in modern parlance there is a sexual connotation too. I can't imagine that Brandon meant that, but it does kind of break the 4th wall, so to speak, like forkroot mentioned.

I couldn't figure out why that scene was there at all, really. It just seemed like kind of a childish thing for Mat to do, and while that didn't used to be odd at all, I think Mat has grown past that behavior by a mile now.

Obviously, this is really a very minor quibble. I'm just glad to know it struck someone else as odd.
Chin Bawambi
205. bawambi
Re: Easing the badger
I even went back to see if there was foreshadowing in the easing the badger chapter. I was expecting to see a Forsaken attack Perrin immediately as the easing the badger was when Mo & Co were in Illian.
Re: Nakomi
I read that as straight Jenn Aiel ghostly visitation
Re: Kraef Nyn theory
I love it with one mod - either Logain/Rand destroy shadowspawn force so Nyn in her anger HEALS the blight to burn herself out
Re: my Annoura looney theory
Have to get a POV I think - her grumblings could be anything at this point - any gurus remember if Perrin has missed any black sisters or Forsaken in his midst (close enough for smell-o-vision)
206. wagman26
@easing the badger

Didn't Perrin already do that, on his anniversary picnic? :P
Sam Mickel
207. Samadai
Didn't Perrin already do that, on his anniversary picnic? :P

No, that was pin the tail on the Falcon.
Mari Davis
208. sheiglagh
Wow 200+ already! I tried to read the over 1000 comments on the first thread but ended up skipping about 25% of it.

That said, I won't bore everyone with my observations and opinion because it had been discussed extensively here.

I just want to say that I totally enjoyed the book. The eschewed timeline did not bother me at all. I've been through one in Pulp Fiction.

Just want to thank Brandon Sanderson, Harriet and Team Jordan for giving us this book. I will try to patiently wait for A Memory of Light though It will be easier said than done.
Barry T
209. blindillusion
Well, Tek...

I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure the reference to the badger goes back to tEotW and involves the prank Mat planned to pull on Bel Tine, i.e. releasing a badger on the Green. Dav was involved and Mat wanted to pull Rand in on the prank. One can only assume the prank was mentioned to Perrin at some point as well.

Granted, I found this to be one of the best parts of the novel and to date, next to Rand and Tam ('s second reunion), the best reunion of characters. It tied tEotW to ToM my eyes at least.

As for skirting the 4th, I've always enjoyed when authors/actors do this as long as they do it well.

- Easing the Badger in ToM - good example
- Zach Morris in every Saved by the Bell episode - bad example

Of course, if you know this already and are talking about somthing else...well, oops. =)
Alice Arneson
210. Wetlandernw
birgit @182 - Yeah, that one! How could I forget Logain? Hmmm. So far, no one who's actually met Tuon.

up2stuff @186 - Well, if it makes you feel better, I lean toward Verin = Nakomi for much the same reason. I have completely given up on trying to guess Verin's motivations in most regards, but I, too, thought Nakomi sounded a lot like Verin. (Not per the audiobook, just in the reading.) I haven't analyzed speech patterns or anything, she just comes across in much the same way. There are plenty of holes in the theory, but it's as good as any and better than some, IMO.

alreadymad @190 - Thanks, I thought there was something like that.
tonka @191 - Thanks for the quote. Doesn't really tell us what Cadsuane thought of Moiraine's project, does it?

Tektonica @204, et al... The original badger was in the first chapter of the first book, when Mat told Rand,

"Dav and I caught a big old badger, all grouchy at being pulled out of his den. We're going to let it loose on the Green and watch the girls run."
Rand's smile broadened; it did not sound as much like fun to him as it would have a year or two back, but Mat never seemed to grow up.

It read to me as something not entirely unheard of; maybe they'd done it before, or talked about it, or there was a story of someone having done it about 10 years ago and they wanted to try it... that kind of thing. In ToM it was clearly Mat reminding Perrin of "the good old days" before they were stuck with all this responsibility.
Roger Powell
211. forkroot
As noted above, "Easing the Badger" is the name of an inn in Illian that shows up both in TGH when Bayle Domon meets someone there and again in TDR when Moiraine, Lan, Perrin, Loial and Faile visit.

The name caused a flurry of comments and wisecracks during the reread, beginning with:

I believe that the general amusement in the WoT fan base over that unusual name is why Brandon did a small homage in ToM. You might call it an inside joke that will be missed by the less obsessed readers.
Tricia Irish
213. Tektonica
Wetlander, Blind:

Thanks for the Perrin/Mat refresher. That was my original take on the Badger scene....I had a vague memory of some shenanigans they were up to as teens, and assumed the badger in a sack was a reference to that.....but why Mat needed to do that, meh, I don't know. It seemed kind of like forced bonhomme....but kind of nice and circular.
214. Meerletalis
Lanfear: "I want a way to give even with that *itch that slept with Lews Therin, that hurts her the most." = Nakomi, perhaps the pillars.

"I want a way to win Lews Therin back." or "I want Lews Therin to love me." = Rand feeling concern and desire for Lanfear/Mierin.

"I want Asmodeon gone for good." = he dies by balefire.

These seem to fit her mood as she fell through the arch.
215. wagman26

I am of two minds. Verin vs. Lanfear. Can see reasons for both, and Avi seems to "lose time", during the scene and that could be Verin using her trick that allows her to dig info from and suggest things to people. Or it could be Lanfear doing a similar technique to her for her own, or Moridin's, purpose. RAFO I guess.
Justin Goffinet
216. Darcnes
Things I loved about the book.
Perin told Balefire, "No."
Rand set Cadsuane down.. hard.
Super Sayan Randviendha kids.

Things I cared for not so much.
Perrin / Thor reference. Mah'alleinir - Mjöllnir ... really?
Mat / Odin reference. Give an eye for knowledge, ravens on the ashandarei and hung from a tree... REALLY?
Oh hi Jain... bye Jain.

Things that make me go hmmm....
Rand's mind is covered in madness, it's got a silver lining. Is this the light interceding between his own and Lews Therin's lives? Is Lews Therin's life memories on demand merely a complete manifestation of madness held at bay by this light? What would happen if other Heroes of the Horn manifested madness in their current lives?

What WOULD Rand have done if Egwene had said no???
Barry T
217. blindillusion

Nakomi is Narg sent by Bela to confuse Aviendha because Aviendha doesn't like horses, which Bela doesn't like...and, of course, if Bela doesn't like it, then it is hated by Narg...and summarily destroyed.
Mari Davis
218. sheiglagh
Re: Avi and the future of the Aiel. I am thinking that she is still behind in terms of the timeline that the Dragon peace that was mentioned had actually passed. I'm talking about the time that Rand went to see Tuon and was turned down.

If that is the case, then this possible future no longer holds true.
219. Jaboney
@ #88 blindillusion

Thoughts on Callandor and the Onyx Hand, and how the Dark One will be defeated/bound.

Min: "Have you ever wondered why Callandor is so often called a 'fearful blade' or 'the blade of ruin' in the prophecies?"

: "There's a phrase," Min said, "in the Jendai Prophecy. I wish we knew more of them. Anyway, it says 'and the Blade will bind him by twain.' "

: "There's another phrase, from The Karaethon Cycle. Anyway, I think that Callandor might be flawed beyond that. I think it might . . . Rand, I think it might make you weak, open you to attack, if you use it."
Min: She glanced at him, and a viewing sprang to life above him. A glowing sword, Callandor, being gripped in a black hand.

A theory I just cooked up.

Callandor is bait and hook for the Dark One. The last time around, his prison was one-sided: saidin only. During the last battle, the Dark One will be allowed to capture Callandor -- probably via Shadar Haran. Olivia will be there, with Nyneave, and Rand will be killed (goes to Min's vision of Olivia 'helping him die' and of Nyneave 'knelt in grief over a man's body').

Shadar Haran -- something of an avatar for the D.O., will grasp Callandor in an onyx black hand, satisfying another of Min's viewings.

How is Callandor a 'blade of ruin'? It will open Him -- the Dark One! -- to attack, weaken him, making it possible to 'bind him by twain' using saidar and saidin. Most likely, it will be Logain and Egwene slamming and locking the door on his prison -- explaining the glory yet to come to Logain (after he offs Taim had takes control of the Black Tower) -- another viewing -- and symbolically uniting saidar and saidin, White Tower and Black Tower.

Rand falling is consistent with much heroic myth -- from Moses to MLK jr, prophetic leaders frequently fall before reaching the promised land -- not to mention sacrificial/messianic myth. And then there's the viewing of Rand on a funeral barge, surrounded by three women.

220. Syman

I found another passage where Cads has less than complimentary thoughts about Moiraine (from POD, chapter 12):
"Do not keep me waiting, Alanna," she said in an icy tone. She had no sympathy for the other woman.  Alanna was another in a line of sisters, from Moiraine to Elaida, who had bungled and worsened what they should have been mending.  While she herself had been off chasing first Logain Ablar and then Mazrim Taim.  Which did not soothe her mood.

And one other passage where she thinks of Moiraine, but more or less neutrally -- for Cads.  (from WH, Chapter 13):
She had begun gathering sisters she trusted, those here with her and others, the day she first heard of strange events in Shienar—her eyes and ears had kept watch on Siuan Sanche and Moiraine Damodred for years without learning anything useful until then—yet just because she trusted them did not mean she intended to let them start going their own way.

FWIW, I don't really expect a confrontation either -- there will probably be too much else going on, and Moiraine knows she doesn't need to prove anything.  If there is a contest for Rand's attention, she'll win just by showing up.  I do think there is some justification for thinking there is potential for conflict, though.

BTW, looooong time lurker here.  I would like to express my appreciation to Leigh and the regular posters for increasing my enjoyment of the WOT.  I think I've posted here a couple of times, but by the time I get to the posts, anything I have to say has usually been said better by someone else.
Alice Arneson
221. Wetlandernw
Jaboney @219 - I like it! Now we'll let Terez or someone point out all the difficulties; I don't see any right off the bat.

Syman @220 - Thanks; I wonder why my searcher couldn't find that. Or if I overlooked it somehow. Yeah, not a high opinion. OTOH, now that Rand has recovered his laughter and tears and generally humanity, I don't see much reason for her to be interested in assigning blame. JMO. I guess we'll find out in 16 months or so.
Antoni Ivanov
222. tonka
No, not very helpful quote if you want to know what Cads thinks. Neither are Syman's quotes unfortunately.
I'd really like to know what she thinks of Moiraine and Egwene. She has heard that The Wise Ones have great respect for Egwene (in TGS, when she says that Nyneave might be the only salvageable from the current crop, the WOs said that Egwene has much honor). But so far she has never thought of Egwene in her point of views :(
223. rebbi
Hmm, while rereading the Rhuidean future: there is nothing in there that implies Rand lived beyond the Last Battle. Does that mean he really dies there, and that's it?
Guillaume Bergeron
224. Nightbaron
Things I cared for not so much.
Perrin / Thor reference. Mah'alleinir - Mjöllnir ... really?

Mat / Odin reference. Give an eye for knowledge, ravens on the ashandarei and hung from a tree... REALLY?

Except this has basically kind of been the point of the entire series... The Wheel of Time turns, memories become legends and legends become myth... These two examples have been pretty clear for a while, and we've had more examples going as far back as the beginning of the series, like with the giants Mossk and Merk and their lances of fire, Anla the Wise Counselor, Elsbet the Queen of All, etc...
John Massey
225. subwoofer
Weeeeeeee! Friday! Sooooos- we made it after all:)

@Jaboney- very interesting theory. I am assuming you meant Alivia and not Olivia- the latter is one letter removed from margarine... Theory has potential, blows my Logain idea outta the water but meh. Thing that worries me is the DO's avatar would have mucho power grasping the sword. Also, how would SH get past all of Rand's weaves that supposedly guard Callandor?

I dunno, it has always been a though furthered by Cadsuane that Rand would need two women to form a circle and channel with him. Two women in the sense that it would take two women linked using Saidar to balance the power of Saidin Rand can draw in. I think that may have been the problem with Nynaeve channeling with Rand by herself, it was too much for just one woman, even one like Ny.

I often wonder if the female CK would still be intact if Rand had thought of using a second woman with Ny. Maybe that is what is meant by balance- women were never meant to channel alone, that is why they can link and men cannot. Men have the ability to draw in more power but cannot link. So maybe the flaw of Callandor is buffered by two women acting in balance with one man.

While I am picking nits- @Blind- I am also assuming you mean "oops", instead of "opps";)

@Randalator- yay! Missed ya! Am thinking that you forgot a f^#$ in your quote though.

@Sam207- thought it was "hammering the anvil".

226. hamstercheeks
I staunchly stand by the theory put forward by blindillusion@217. Nakomi is the brainchild of Bela as implemented by Narg.

Re: easing the badger - now we need an homage to nine horse hitch.
Hur hur hur hur hur...
John Massey
227. subwoofer
I think Bela is getting a bum rap here.

Narg as Nakomi? Avi woulda seen through that one...

Guillaume Bergeron
228. Nightbaron
Someone in one of the two threads advanced a theory that got me thinking. This person (sorry, I don't have time to find who had advanced this theory) had suggested that Moridin would mindtrap Graendal and thus would mirror Rand by also having a trio of girls.

It made me come up with a slightly different theory. If Rand is to face Moridin at the Last Battle, while he's using Callandor, then maybe Moridin will only mirror him with his current two girls; Cyndane and Moghedien. This way, Rand and his two helpers (Nynaeve and ?) would face Moridin and his two girls.

Following this logic, I advance that the second woman to use Callandor with Rand and Nynaeve will be Moiraine. We know that one can use more than one *an'greal, as Rand used both the Choedan Kal and the little fat man an'greal when he fought Asmodean, so Moiraine will still have access to her bracelet sa'angreal while using Callandor. Thus, we'd have three epic rematches; Rand facing Moridin for the Nth time, Nynaeve facing Moghedien for the 3rd (4th?) time, and Moiraine facing Lanfear for the 2nd time.

That's my theory as for why Moiraine will be the second woman with Nynaeve and Rand.
229. hamstercheeks
nightbaron@228: I like the parallels you draw for the one man + two women dogfight, but the only problem is that Moiraine is way, waaaaaay too weak, even with the bracelet sa'angreal. IIRC, she could only manage a bonfire with it! Still, linking doesn't work exactly exponentially (am I right?), so maybe Moiraine's lower Power level won't count.

Anyway, just nitpicking. Based on the pure symbolism of your pairings, I would go for Moiraine as the second woman. After all, Rand fails if she's not there, right?
Barry T
230. blindillusion

Didn't Moiraine say that with the bracelet sa'angreal she is more powerful than she was before she was held. That was the caveat she mentioned to Thom, saying she would get rid of it, should he wish it.

Thom then said he would not limit her.

The only limit she mentioned was that even with the sa'angreal she could only take away the pain of Mat's eye being ripped out, not Heal it completely. It seems that without the sa'angreal she would not even be able to do that much, as her Power has been depleted so much.

I wonder if this is something a female channeler can Heal, female to it takes a male to Heal female stilling and vise versa.... Hmm, Nynaeve...want to take a crack at this?
Theresa Gray
231. Terez27
For those wondering about the timing on Nakomi...Aviendha still had a few days to run to Rhuidean when she met Nakomi. Her first trip through the columns took several days. The clouds broke during her second trip through.
232. Joanne
pfew...finally finised the book and al comments...
I liked TOM even better than TGS and it made me really curious for the last book! But I think there will be much discuss until then to pass the time.
I will not write down my toughts further as many people before me have expressed them so much better.

One short thought on the current discussion of the women forming a circle with Rand and callandor.
What is with Alivia? She is still with Rand (I think?) and very strong in the power. Also, there is still Mins vision that she will help him die which should come into play somehow.
Any thoughts?
233. hamstercheeks
blindillusion@230: You might be right. I was in a daze reading that chapter, because (a) SQUEEE Moiraine!, and (b) when, when, when did she and Thom suddenly become irresistibly attracted to each other? This is the only reference I've seen to that:

Pushing open the door to his room, he stopped in his tracks. Moiraine straightened as if she had a perfect right to be going through the papers scattered on his table and calmly arranged her skirts as she sat on the stool. Now there was a beautiful woman, with every grace a man could want, including laughing at his quips. Fool! Old fool! She’s Aes Sedai, and you’re too tired to think straight. (TSR, ch. 17)

So, um, I guess most of it happened off screen? I confess that my nerd laser-focus is usually only on during Nynaeve chapters.

My gut reaction to your end question is nahhh, but Nynaeve has shown herself to be beyond epic when it comes to Healing, so maybe she'll pump her Power into Moiriane to restore Moiraine to her original Power level? Or maybe, since channeling is dependent upon the soul of the channeler, she can enter T'A'R and poke into the Pattern and find Moiraine's thread and Heal it? Or she could have Elayne create a Perpetual Powerup Power Item? Why, the possibilities are endless!
Barry T
234. blindillusion

I don't know, but after listening to tEotW, I would put forth that Moiraine was attracted to Thom even then. Granted, we don't hear it in her thoughts, but still. I think it took Thom longer to come around to it than it did Moiraine.
Paul Long
235. Caveatar
@ 110 Blindillusion

Hmm, Kiruna...

That depends. Did Nakomi say, "My name is Nakomi," or did she say, "You may call me Nakomi."

"Then you will soon find much honor," the woman said. "I am
Nakomi. I promise that I mean you no harm, child.""

Now if we just knew what Nakomi means. 'Traveling' 'Lost', 'Tired', 'Hungry', 'thirsty', or many other things.
236. Jaboney
@subwoofer - I stand corrected: blood and bloody spell check!

Was listening to the audio book during the morning commute, heard Min's voice her concerns and things just clicked. The basic idea feels right. More worried about how Rand dies than about any guards on Callandor should he drop it.

(Long suspected that the final scene will involve Rand riding shotgun behind someone's blue eyes in another age, and thought that Alivia may have a role to play in making that happen... now, not so much. Perhaps its as simple as she's incredibly strong and a walking weapon, while Nyneave's incredibly strong and an increasingly talents healer: nice congruency with Perrin's hammer -- creation and destruction, wielded together.)

Rand can't be meant to simply deliver the sword and bleed all over the rocks, so he Alivia and Nyneave must have some major part to play: I just don't think it'll be sealing the prison.

When Rand dies, it ought to appear that all is lost. Perhaps his face-to-face battle with Moridin will be interrupted by Fain and the three will take out each other, leaving SH, acting as the D.O.'s avatar to pick up the sword: That would look very bleak.

I imagine SH/the D.O. might unleash catastrophic ruin on... oh, the assembled Aiel clans rushing to the Car'a'carn's aid (think of the sort of destruction Rand unleashed on that Trolloc army, only ranks upon ranks of dead Aiel). By the time Egwene and Logain turned Callandor's weakness again the D.O., all that would be left of the Aiel nation would be 'a remnant of a remnant'.
Michael Maxwell
237. pike747
Surprised that some people are as surprised as Mat was about the Love between Thom and Moiraine. I admit that I did not catch it early on. By the time I read the part where Mat reads Moiraine's note I saw that Thom was the man Moiraine would marry and who she referred to in TSR?
Bill Reamy
238. BillinHI
subwoofer @ 225: Minor nit to pick on Callandor: IIRC, Cadsuane has custody of Callandor now and I don't think there are any weaves guarding it as she has other AS studying it. Or am I totally wrong?

On another note: Do you own Youtube? Or just spend all your non-WOT time hunting up some really great clips? I wonder if Birgit has ever totalled the number of clips you put up? Anyhoo, keep 'em comin'!!
Tricia Irish
239. Tektonica
I'm still clinging to the thought that Rand will reweave the pattern sealing out the DO and will do it in T'AR.

He could have help there from Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, etc. He could be in T'AR in the flesh, or be there after he sheds his blood on the Rocks of SG, waiting with the rest of the heros for Mat's horn blowing. Nynaeve could still rip him out like she did Birgit.

I still think some part of the LB is going to be fought in T'AR, which is everywhere in all worlds. While the trolloc hoards are charging around Randland, T'AR could be a separate front.
Roger Powell
240. forkroot
Well let's see - one easy way Rand could get to T'AR would be to die, right? After all, he's a Hero of the Horn and they hang out in T'AR between lives ... so maybe he hooks up with our favorite dreamwalkers, Eg and Perrin.

I can see it now - together they work up the perfect plan to repair the Bore and they start the weave...

Unfortunately, back in the regular world, Mat blows the Horn of Valere and Rand disappears in the middle of the process :-(
Tess Laird
241. thewindrose
Hi Sister Tek::waves::
I don't think you need to cling onto that idea - at least the part about T'AR being an important battle ground. Too much has been built up about T'AR for it not to be a big part -if not the solution for winning against the DO and sealing him up again. Rand , Egwene, Perrin and Nynaeve all have been seen to have talent at working in T'AR, and Verin's statement that all worlds have T'AR as a constant - well that equals a big old clue bat - at least for me:)

eric s
242. silverprl1
This book to me illustrates the great amount of historical, physical, scientific, and battlefield knowledge Robert Jordan had, the Sanderson totally lacks. Sadly in fact. As I am on my second read, and have listened to the Audio Book, it feels very much like seeing the first Matrix movie. Leaving the theatre, I was amazed that Keanu Reeves did not ruin the movie. Whereupon I saw it again, the bad acting came through rather clearly.

Sanderson does forward the story towards the end we need, but the reality of the scenery is lost, and certainly not because it is unravelling in the mythical. Great events from the previous 11 books are simply forgotten: Powerful objects found, deeds done, people met, and interactions.

I think the worst part, the part that, had I not invested 20 years in the story, I would destroy in a review is the dialogue and painful monochromatic character shifting that occurs. There is a great interview that explains these failures in detail, and is included at the very end of the book 12 audio book. It is an interview with Sanderson about finishing the books, how he came to them in the first place, what they meant to him, and most importantly, how the characters were actually the friends he did not have in high school.

The high school comments and the fact that Sanderson clearly attaches characters to friends and foes alike from his high school days is devastating to this story. With this simple observation, consider who Mat is in the high school clique Sanderson was not a part of. Birgitta is the attractive girl who talked to him, and he always dreamed she would fall for the ugly duckling he imagined himself to be.

As where Jordan had lost the ability to grow the characters in substance, and allowed their traits to fall into partial character stereotyping, Sanderson is disgracing the story with his high school lens distorting each and every thought, piece of dialogue, and manner of victory. He mentions his attempts to write WOT stories from these characters as well as re-reading his past attempts to prepare for the WOT completion. Sadly it is so blatant, and in the end, profoundly distorting the characters.

Sanderson also has forgotten seemingly all of the hidden treasures of observation, learning, experience, and the physical Jordan worked to lay down for use in the future. Perrin no longer even recollects how and why he met Gaul when sorting his white-cloak situations. Mat has reverted to acting like an illiterate 12 year old who curses because no one tells him he can't. Rather than seduce the occasional woman, he only leers constantly and always discloses in his mind that he is married. This list of failures and characters encompasses the entire field.

Lastly, I will have to wait to check my belief against the next book, but I am not sure that Sanderson even knows one of the keys Jordan used throughout the series: If you notate what ideas and thoughts are expressed verbally to others, heard from others but related to that character, those thought about in the previous manner, and some other "keys" to foreshadowing and telling the future. - This is important stuff. The flaws are serious enough to ruin this book for anyone who has time invested in the Epic World View versus just the story of the few people. It also seriously erodes the reading level to that of maybe 9th grade, and , if I did not know that Sanderson had supplanted Jordan, I would say it feels like it was phoned in by an author who has completely lost his connection and care for the WOT and just needs to finish it as promised. Check Please. $
eric s
243. silverprl1
One other thing -

Sanderson has RE-MADE another part of the "WOT Laws of Physics." Traveling is directly linked to the world of dreams, if not totally dependant on it, noted by the dream spike.

previously, and in this book, "Death Gates" kill shadow spawn. Re-read if you want the spoken definition by Rand Therrin - But the gollum enters a gateway with no problem, and survives. CRAP adherence to the "WOT Laws of Physics."
John Massey
244. subwoofer
@Wind- yuppers- big clue bat. And LTT has a grasp of the Dream too, at least so it seems.

@Bill- naw- I just love to 'tube:)

eric s
245. silverprl1
Also.... Most of the questions I read above can be answered by watching the History Channel and reading the book of Daniel and the New Testament Revelations, the secret diaries of Isaac Newton, various articles and books about the Temple Mount and King David... - You'll be saddened at how un-original all our reading is, and that you have been reading a modern take on the bible as mythology all along.
Barry T
246. blindillusion
From an interview with Brandon Sanderson:
We discussed the gholam, if someone had pushed it through a gateway, would it have just died? Brandon said that gholam CAN go THROUGH gateways (from one place to another). He mentioned that this was the first time he had shared this information. Gholam are Shadowspawn of a more perfected kind. It would have been way too easy to kill if you just needed to shove it through a gateway (to another place). However, falling through the Skimming gateway for a few minutes did kill the gholam and it is really dead and it's not going to show up again.

From Robert Jordan:
Q: Why can't Shadowspawn pass through gateways?

RJ: It's because they're artificial constructs. They can't tolerate the passage.

Q: So would a Nym have the same problem?

RJ: Yes.

Q: How about Ogier?

RJ: No. Ogier are not artificial constructs.

I'd imagine the notes were pretty clear on this. Perhaps not the specifics of how Mat kills the Gholam, but yes, I'd imagine somewhere is the notes on the Gholam that in mentions they can go through a gateway.
Also, you'd be surprised by how unsurprised we are that this story follows the the legends of our time.

Also again, that statement is not 100% false. If you'd read the story, you'd know I was making mention of the fact that it takes a male to completely Heal of female of stilling and a female to completely Heal a male of gentling.

Perhaps you should think of all the relative aspects of a discussion before calling something false.

As for the rest, meh. I'll let others tell you how wrong you are. I'd just assume be done with you.
eric s
247. silverprl1
@blindillusion -

The below statement is 100% false. Nyn has healed both men and women. the first 3 went: man - woman - woman

I wonder if this is something a female channeler can Heal, female to it takes a male to Heal female stilling and vise versa.... Hmm, Nynaeve...want to take a crack at this?
eric s
248. silverprl1
#246 -

Point is a total FAILURE of the Jordan based WOT physics. I hate that is psy-fi. The gholam is shadow spawn. It is simply a failure of the author to conjure a real solution, so they break their own rules and make a convenient shortcut. I don't listen to interviews really, and they hold no water to the books either... If they did, there would be a trilogy.
John Massey
249. subwoofer
@Silverprl1- BTDT- here ya go.

Note- it was Leigh back in the day- since 1993... for instance. Folks do notice stuff...

Birgit F
250. birgit
The below statement is 100% false. Nyn has healed both men and women. the first 3 went: man - woman - woman

Same-gender Healing of severing is incomplete. Logain is fully Healed, but Siuan and Leane are weaker than they were.
eric s
251. silverprl1
#249 - It's about the History Channel NOW. They are running a a WOT - I mean - End of Days series.


Anybody that says so and so said is too caught up in wanting to believe the story can never be wrong, which I guess is very biblical of you. But the reality is that Sanderson is taking great exception to the WOT physics, as he does in mystborn, by simply changing the rules when he needs to out-fantasy himself from a common problem. Jordan did this too. Forkroot is the most blazing example, but there are PLENTY more.

If the excuse is always that the characters told the reader a fact that they thought they knew, but the Author really KNEW and simply let the character mis-state things - That is itself a terrible example of WOT Physics failing and the author writing an out.

I hold Jordan to this standard because he makes statements about Assimov and Tolkien that are almost degrading in his interviews - So when he fails to follow his own rules, it is particularly bothersome.

I also find errors in those "Leigh" historical pages often. Where an assumed truth is allowed to be assumed, therefore made fact, and therefore perpetrated by all. A very fox news way to challenge fact with an opinion.

If the truth is that Jordan always felt he could re-write the truth to suit his needs, then I am wrong. I go by the few interviews I have heard, and he is very "I am better than them" in these regards.... so these changes or "new rules" are exceptionally irritating.
John Massey
252. subwoofer
Missed the point entirely. I was saying that we have been through this before- this debate has been debated.

Funny that you made it to book 13 and are still not pulling the pin. With all your er.... issues with the books and Brandon and RJ, you shoulda given up around book... well, you shoulda just given up. At least you're in it this far, that's something.

eric s
253. silverprl1
I can enjoy the story without giving it blind faith. That's really my point. If I let the glowing fallacies to the WOT Physics force a halt to reading, I would have needed to quit within 2000 pages.

I know it has been discussed. It might blow your mind to know that people don't care that you have been discussing this since 1993.

My point was, and since this was a spoiler alert thread, that you shouldn't watch the History Channel or concentrate on biblical references right now, as the series on the History Channel is running lock-step with the ending of the book.
eric s
254. silverprl1
Over and out - I'll be back next year for 14 as I was for last for 12
255. hamstercheeks
silverprl1: Wait. What? You veer off into real-life literature to make a point about WoT unoriginality? I think you may have missed the entire point of RJ's epic fantasy.
256. wagman26

Nothing in life is perfect. Most of us here enjoy a little fantasy, and retelling of religious stories, in one way or the other is fairly common in literature. (C.S. Lewis, Wachowski brothers in the Matrix movies,etc) To obsess over a fantasy world, can turn into a Fantasy Prone Personality disorder. There will be mistakes, man is not perfect. The ability to hold a reader, and inspire them are the most important traits in a book that I look for. I am not going to over analyze a writer's shortcomings if I enjoy the work. If you don't like Sanderson, or Jordan, and by your rant I believe you have serious problems with them, read something else.
John Massey
257. subwoofer
@silverprl- shucks, not asking folks to care, and my mind was already blown when they changed the formula for Coke. People don't have to care that we have been talking about this forever, they should be aware that the arguements they are coming to the table with are not new, and have already been discussed.

Think of it if you will as when MJ died- it was done to death, there were movies, TV specials, etc.- the world stopped and the whole world knew about it. And then somebody, I dunno, Perez Hilton, that was trapped on a desert island or on the toilet, comes along, and says "what?! MJ died?!" And then ol' Perez starts rehashing stuff that has been said and done. Substitute Perez for you.

Nope, simple fact of the matter is, this is a fantasy series.

Faith is another book altogether.

Edit for spelling- didn't mean Perez was trapped on a giant key lime pie- but rather something covered in sand.

Jonah Feldman
258. relogical
Okay, I really want discuss something besides telling silverprl1 he's wrong and using him as a punching bag. So on back on topic, I've got a Big Theory.

We know Taim isn't Demandred. But is there any evidence that can prove that Taim isn't Moridin? I've seen other people mention this, and it seems increasingly likely. The way I think it works is this: after his capture, the real, insane, false Dragon Taim was sprung by the BA, but found too mad to be useful for their plan. Meanwhile, Ishamael was being reincarnated into a young man's body. Moridin got some information from Taim, killed him, and took on his appearance, using Illusion via the True Power to conceal himself, meaning Rand couldn't detect it.

But anyway, here's my further evidence:

1. Moridin's second dreamspike being in the Black Tower is the biggest clue to suggest Taim is Moridin. Of course, he could have just given it to "random minion Taim", but it seems a stretch that he'd trust Taim with it, even if he was a very important DF. But he'd definitely trust Taim if they were one and the same.

2. Taim saying "Let the Lord of Chaos rule." Everyone thought that meant he was Demandred or something, but he could have heard those words from the Dark One if he were Moridin, too.

3. His lack of madness at an advanced age, his skill with the Power, etc. "Random DF Taim" might have been given training and protection from madness, but no other DF Asha'man have... And protection from Madness comes directly from the DO's link to the Forsaken, and it wouldn't be given lightly.

4. Both Moridin and Taim are the only two characters who have referred to "these so-called Aiel". Coincidence? I think not.

5. In KoD, Logain describing Taim when he's angry: "His eyes were practically on fire." Hmmm, didn't Ishamael have eyes made of fire? I know, it was just a figure of speech. But it could be a clever hint from RJ.

6. How does Taim know how to perform the 13x13 trick? Remember, it was first mentioned as being used by the Dreadlords in the Trolloc Wars, and Ishamael led the Shadow during that time, so of course he probably taught it to them!

7. Moridin exclusively uses the True Power. A good way to disguise himself from the other Forsaken and Rand when he uses the OP as Taim.

So there's my theory. Thanks to the WOTFAQ for some of it. Discuss.
Barry T
259. blindillusion
Well, who's to say that Moirdin isn't simply, well, Taim? Who's to say the Dark One didn't simply place Elan Morin Tedronai's soul into the body of Mazrim Taim?

Oh, and the 13&13 Trick was created in the War of the Shadow by Semirhage. (Or at least according to the BBoBA, which is questionable at best.)
Roger Powell
260. forkroot
I have argued in the past that it would be difficult for Moridin to pose as Taim because Rand would detect the illusion weaves; however I was thinking of OP weaves. If there is a way to use the TP to do the same trick it could work I guess.

From a logistics point of view, it might be tricky as both Moridin and Taim appear to have a lot on their respective plates. Juggling appearances back and forth with/without the disguising weave would be challenging.

Oh, BTW, you left out another argument in favor and that is Taim using Moridin's prefered color scheme (red and black.)

All in all though, I can't shake the feeling that RJ was trying to tease us with those little indicators and that something else is up with Taim. Just a feeling.

He couldn't be Taim directly because Moridin's description is different. Rand has met both (first time for Moridin was in Shadar Logoth during the duel with Sammael.) Then he meets him again in the dream, and considering that was not anticipated by Moridin, we can pretty much conclude that the way Moridin looks in the dream is his "real" appearance.
Ron Garrison
261. Man-0-Manetheran
@ many re. Moiraine's strength or lack therof: Don't forget that Egwene was full of forkroot when she battled the Seanchan at the Tower. She drew the novices strength and amplified it with the (s?- t?-) angreal.

re. Moridin as Taim: Here is the "playing both sides of the board" again. To the Randlanders, it has been assumed that Taim is working for Rand. As readers, we see that is probably not the case. Well stated relogical.
Barry T
262. blindillusion
Eh, I know that. I think they're two separate individuals. For the longest time I hoped Taim would turn out to be a man out for himself, not a Lightsider or Darkfriend.

After the Dreamspike and 13&13, I now see he's nothing more than another Darkfriend, though perhaps one with benefits. Minion Taim, though minion to Moirdin, not Demandred.
263. wagman26
@ Woof or Terez or anyone in the know

Why wasn't Sammael brought back from death? I know he is dead, I remember a RJ quote about him dying. But, is death from Mashadar final. If not, could he have been inserted into Taim's body. Or have I missed a lot from not being on the internet for years?
Roger Powell
264. forkroot
Hmmm... IIRC, RJ indicated that the DO was pretty pissed with Sammael and was disinclined to bring him back. So it wasn't that he couldn't, rather that he didn't.

From a timing perspective, Sammael couldn't be Taim. Taim shows up fairly early in LoC (book 6) and Sammael is not killed until the end of ACoS (book 7).
265. Girmie
On a re-read of the series - Perrin's blocking balefire in TAR is actually something Rand does in TDR ch55, when he uses Callandor to split a beam of balefire. It works because of Callandor's flaw - wielding it, Rand 'knows' he can do anything. So that lack of a buffer is actually how he survived that first mad chase through TAR.

re. Mat in ToM: I think the way his character's written is alot better, but still slightly off. People have mentioned the letter to Elayne, the repeated 'only looking at the pretty woman for his friends' sake', but what really bugs me is that although the Band is now reunited, the only one of his officers we see is Talmanes - what happend to Daerid, Estean, etc? It feels wrong, especially after the reunion scene in KoD.
Theresa Gray
266. Terez27
wagman@263 - Brandon said that his soul was corrupted by Mashadar. So far as I know, the only Forsaken that the Dark One could have transmigrated, but didn't, was Osan'gar.
John Massey
267. subwoofer
Hi Terez- figued you would chime in eventually:)

I also get a different feel from Taim as compared to the POV's with Moridin. Taim hates Rand flat out. Moridin is linked to Rand. That vested interest alone speaks volumes. And I would think that if Rand saw Taim, he'd have some kinda flashback reaction due to his link if Taim was Moridin, or vice versa. Guess the question is- since the balefire incident, has Taim and Rand been in the same room? Has Rand had one of his Moridin visions when Taim was in the room? I don't have the exact quote off the top of my head but I think that is a nyet.

As far as theories for who Taim is, The Lord of Awesome has an interesting theory on Dragonmount... it is not nec. who Taim is, but fallout resulting from Taim's connections. As for Taim's identity, I kinda stumbled upon this theory... I find it very plausable.

@wagman26- if you have questions, I strongly suggest putting it to Terez, Linda, or one of the geezers gurus on this thread like Free or Wetlander. They have a much better grasp on the given subject matter than I do. My Dori-like memory makes me more of a menace than a resource:)

Edit- see?!! Dori skills in action- meant to give a link to Dragonmount, instead gave you encylcowot. Crap basket. Fixed that now, sorry folks:)

Tom Burton
268. Conky

Couldn't Asmodean also be put in the camp of Forsaken that the Dark One chose not to bring back? He wasn't balefired by Graendal, right?
Mikey Bennett
269. EvilMonkey
I don't think Taim and Moridin are one in the same, as shown by Kisman's POV just before getting poked with the nasty dagger by Fain in Far Madding. I do not have Winter's Heart in front of me so I cannot give you the exact quote, but I do remember Taim and Moridin giving the fearsome 4 different instructions. Taim tells the boys to kill him, Moridin says to kill him if ya gotta, but really get the Choden Kal (or whatever is in his possession). Plus, Taim would prob murder Rand on sight if he had the chance, Moridin is linked to him so there has to be some hesitation before striking.
Ron Garrison
270. Man-0-Manetheran
Interesting theory about Taim as another Forsaken from the AoL. It's rather plausable but it does require some leaps of faith. He would have made a great killer of Asmodean though! "You? No!"
271. wagman26
@ terez
thank you. Corrupted and without a doubt not brought back? Was BS "tied to the three oaths" on that answer?

Apparently so. No wriggle room here. Thanks to all who helped this slow boy catch up to some old quotes.


Timing was not really an issue for me, since a body can be taken over at any time.
272. wagman26
@ red veiled aiel

The only characters in the series to have sharpened teeth before these "aiel", were the Finn. Could there be a connection?
Thomas Keith
273. insectoid
Time to play catsup again. Where's that bottle...

Went back to Perrin's meeting with Mat and got a good chuckle from that "Easing the Badger" reference... xD

Tek @137: Well said!

Sub @143: LOL!!

Hamstercheeks @144: Fiery lava toilet... ROFL!! Wondered when that would come up. xD

Moiraine & Cads... I can imagine a Moiraine/Cads meeting as something like two strange cats in a small space... Mo might get berated a bit, but then she'll hang Cads upside-down by the ankles. Or they could just get along. ;)

EvilMonkey @148: That's... an interesting theory. ::goes looking for strait jacket::

Man-0 @150: He is that alright!

Randalator @164: Welcome back! And ROFL!! Here's a fresh Bleep-O-Meter.

wagman26 @169/171: Agree about the Verin POV! Samadai still owes us a fiction-fiction Verin POV. ::waves at Sam & Spear Sisters::

Hmmmm. Has it been sixteen months yet?

Stop saying that! ;) By the twelfth month the waiting will be unbearable...

Kaboom @189: Nicely summarized! I can see it happening that way.

Blind @201: Now my brain hurts... ;)

Sam @207: BAHAHAhahaha!!

BillinHI @238: Count Sub's YouTube links?? That sounds like it could take months... even 16! ;)

Blind @246: Thanks for the quote re: the gholam!

Darn... missed my chance at 0x100 again. Oh well.

Man-0 @261: Sa'angreal. ;)

Whoa... I reached the bottom O,o

Birgit F
274. birgit
I have argued in the past that it would be difficult for Moridin to pose as Taim because Rand would detect the illusion weaves; however I was thinking of OP weaves.

Moridin certainly knows how to invert weaves.
I don't think he is Taim because he was only using the TP when his connection to Rand made them dizzy whenever one of them channeled saidin.

Couldn't Asmodean also be put in the camp of Forsaken that the Dark One chose not to bring back? He wasn't balefired by Graendal, right?

Knife of Dreams book tour 11 October 2005 - WinespringBrother reporting

WSB: Since you said at an earlier signing that the Dark One couldn't have brought back Asmodean if he wanted, was that at the time of Asmodean's death, or after that?
RJ: The Dark One couldn't bring back Asmodean because of the combination of 2 factors: HOW HE DIED and WHERE HE DIED. Not one or the other, both factors.

Netherlands tour 8 April 2001, Elf Fantasy Fair - Gonzo reporting

RJ: Sammael is dead. He is dead. He is dead. He may be reborn again, but then he will not remember he was Sammael. He cannot be reincarnated. He is dead.

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Scottsdale Public Library, Phoenix Arizona 16 November 2009 - kcf reporting

Q: Are there any circumstances of death that could prevent the Dark One from resurrecting someone (other than balefire)?
A: Yes, but I’m not going to tell you what.

This lead to a fair amount of discussion about balefire and such. At one point, Brandon said ‘all Forsaken other than Sammael who haven’t come back were balefired’. I immediately jumped on this and asked if that included Asmodean – Brandon said that he wasn’t talking about Asmodean (we all didn’t even want to go there), but this is further evidence of Brandon slipping hints that Asmodean was balefired. This lead to a small debate about Osan’gar – I didn’t think he was balefired, everyone else at the table thought he was.

Brandon also said that the Dark One would have liked very much to transmigrate Sammael but didn’t. Apparently, since he died by Mashadar, Sammael was either unable to be transmigrated or it would have been a very bad idea. Basically, Mashadar tainted Sammael’s thread somehow.

It was also mentioned that balefire does not mean that someone can’t be reborn into the Pattern. I was very surprised by this and hadn’t heard it before, but apparently Brandon has said it in previous Q&A sessions. Brandon said he was also surprised but that Maria was very insistent about this – so if the Dragon Reborn was balefired, he could still be reborn.

275. wagman26
@ Birgit

Thank you. that answers a lot. Where is the best place to go for the authors' quotes?
Tricia Irish
277. Tektonica
Sub@267: **waves**

You are not a menace! You have great knowledge of these books and put it out there in a most unique way. We love you! We need you!

I read the theory you linked us to, and it is certainly plausible. My only gripe with it is there has been no foreshadowing of his being from the AOL or surviving in some stasis box or whatever. Seems DEMish to me. ?
John Massey
278. subwoofer
Awwww, shucks Tek:) Am blushing all over and am feeling all warm and fuzzy inside (nope, it's not the liquor, too early for that). But you never know, I could be a random factor like Fain, Gawyn, Sorilea, Cadsuane, Bela or the Children- putting stuff out there, but for Team Light or the Baddies, or to sew the seeds of chaos?;)

I like the theory on the basis of the ideas put forth at the end simply:

HBFFerreira on Twitter - 20 July 2010 2:35 pmThe Gathering Storm: Rand's dark aura was an effect of channeling the True Power, right? Winter's Heart prologue: didn't Taim cast a similar aura?Brandon - 21 July 12:18 amYou're the first to notice that that I've seen.

I am thinking that Taim can channel the True Power- this means that Taim has a direct line to the DO. I am also thinking that the link of Rand to Moridin would have sent off alarm bells if Moridin was Taim and Rand and Taim were in the same room post stream crossing incident.

@Wagman26- Terez does have it figured out. I think the amount of time she spent putting this stuff together gives her the advantage of recall first hand. Try this out. Should give you access to pretty much everything out there.

Edit- have a wonderful trip Tek, and a safe flight:)

Darth Agilus
279. darth.agilus
@Jaboney 219 and @88 blindillusion

I agree with Callandor opening the DO to defeat through him seizing it. I like the concept of SH being the onyx hand in this way even though I had originally argued for Rand getting a new hand.

The quote you missed was: Light is held before the maw of the infinite void, and all that he is can be seized.

I think its mostly been interpreted as Rand being seized through the flaw on this thread, but who can remember everything said in these thousands of posts? I think that the author's are sending us on a goose chase though. All the references to Callandor and Rand in different ways makes us think this is Rand being open, but this quote doesn't specify who "he" is. So I'm taking this line as further support for my, and I'm sure thousands of other's, theory that Rand will be "seizing" the power of the DO to bring victory for Team Light. Its been said several times on these threads that the DO is an integral part of existence and thus can't be destroyed. To overcome that Rand will take the DO's place in the working's of this universe. So that Wheel in the sky will keep turning. We may not know where WOT be tomorrow. But that Wheel in the sky will keep turning. Just as a happier place without a nihilistic Lord of Death.

Thus Rand's blood is on the rocks; he dies and lives again; and he "leaves" the Aiel in Avi's vision.

The mechanism? How about the flaw in Callandor as has been pointed out, with Jaboney's suggestion that SH gets his hands on it? Then he foolishly uses "the sword that is not a sword" as a sword to run Rand through. Of course that means Rand will also be holding Callandor, albeit in his body cavity. This allows Rand access to the DO through SH and the flaw in Callandor. Then with no buffer Rand pulls all of saidin and saidar (through his link with Alivia), with no fear of the consequences since the Callandor wound will kill him. He uses this power to "seize" the DO and take his place in the pattern.
Tim FItches
280. El Fitcho
With talk of breaking the seals in ToM, I've been thinking about Herid Fel's note that he left to Rand in Lord of Chaos:

"Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build. Will explain when see you next. Do not bring girl. Too pretty."

Most fans, and the books themselves, seem to focus on the 'clear rubble' part, which we all know is a cryptic way of telling Rand to destroy the seals. But since this part is cryptic, might there be other hidden messages in the note that we are overlooking?

E.g. perhaps 'Do not bring girl. Too pretty' isn't just a throwaway comment about Min, but a cryptic clue to Rand not to bring female Aes Sedai with him when he attempts to reseal the DO's prison; or maybe Fel is warning Rand against some future temptation from Lanfear/Cyndane (hinted at at the end of ToM).

And is there a deeper meaning to the 'Belief and order give strength' part as well?

Probably reading too much into all this, but I do reckon this note has some other part to play. Min has been holding onto it for so long, that I can see her having a 'eureka' moment with it.
John Massey
281. subwoofer
@darth.agilus- that kinda sounds like a "sheath the sword" theory I have heard somewhere before.

Edit- and see? I had to edit my 267 post as my Dori-ness gave a link to a site not Dragonmount...

282. wagman26
@ callandor flaw

It keeps being said that callandor has a flaw. Perhaps the flaw is that no one knows how to use it properly. It has just been assumed that it is just a sangreal, but I still think it is a way to link into the True Source, not just the One Power, and not to be confused with the True Power. If there is a balance to the True Power, could this not be it? Light power vs. Dark power. Both use the One Power, but the forces of Old Grim get to use the TP, so wouldn't an opposite power be needed to balance this? Every action has an opposite and equal reaction. Right? Any takers here?
283. Jaboney
@darth.agilus Thanks. I had that quote rattling around but neglected to get it down, and it does strengthen the argument, significantly.

I don't believe RJ would have written Rand into the D.O.'s place, though such an ending wouldn't be too much of a stretch for BS given how Mistborn places out. RJ's universe is too much determined by eternal recurrence for such a radical displacement.

You may be onto something with the sheathing of the sword move.
284. Jaboney
"... given how Mistborn plays out," I meant.

Buttered onions! Between auto-spell check and a sticky keyboard, I might as well dictate these posts and have Cauthon scribe them down.
285. markga
If/when Perrin finds out that Faile murdered Masema - what will his reaction be do you think?
Captain Hammer
286. Randalator
re: Moridin as Taim

One very strong argument against that theory (apart from logistics) is Moridin's constitution. He would have been handicapped in the same way Rand was after their Ghostbusters-moment in Shadar Logoth. Among Forsaken that doesnt matter because he'd be using the True Power anyway but in the Black Tower he would have had to use the One Power extensively. Asha'man would have noticed the channeling sickness.

Furthermore, after Rand lost his hand Moridin displayed the same effects: chronic pain, partial immobility of his left hand and favoring of his right. Again something that he couldn't have hidden if he had been posing as Taim. He wasn't even able to hide it from the Forsaken and those are probably the last people on earth you would want to show weakness, especially if you're holding the title they all crave.

All arguments pro "Taim-idin" work just the same or even better for Taim as Moridin's minion.
287. alreadymadwithcallandor
El Fitcho @280
"Belief and order give strength"
The effects of this are being seen now. As Rand has come to believe in himself and bring order to the chaos around him, the land is also progressively being strengthened against the Dark One's touch.

wagman26 @282
I've advanced the theory before that Callandor can also be used as an angreal for the True Power. It might seem creepy to use it, but Rand has been implying that he can use it if truly desperate enough. Though he'll likely regret it afterwards.
Michael Maxwell
288. pike747
wagman26 @282
I am with you on this. Rand is still channeling something besides saidin, imho. It would not be much of a stretch, to see Callandor as a sa'angreal for these "higher powers".
Theresa Gray
289. Terez27
Hey peeps. I would much appreciate it if you guys would point me in the direction of any signing reports that were posted here that I missed. I don't have anything from here since the TGS tour. Wetlander says she'll post hers on TL when she finishes it.
Roger Powell
290. forkroot

If/when Perrin finds out that Faile murdered Masema - what will his reaction be do you think?

Well she didn't murder Masema, she executed him after armed conflict that he initiated ("seize her!"). This was similar to what Ituralde did with the Seanchan general (Turan) in TGS. Of course there are differences ... we know that Turan was mortally wounded - we don't know if Masema's wounds were mortal. Also, Turan requested the execution, Masema didn't.
Bottom line: There is no Geneva Convention in WOTland and precious few court proceedings (Galad/Perrin notwithstanding). Masema was a known murderer who had attempt to murder Perrin (through turning Aram.) Faile's actions were reasonable in context.

Now will Perrin find it so? I think the Perrin we see in the later parts of ToM would understand. Yes, he was charged with bringing Masema to Rand; however now that he has embraced his leadership role, I believe he also understands how a leader needs to focus on the big picture. With TG impending, there isn't a whole lot of time to fiddle with trials, etc. We've already seen him willing to hang individuals whose guilt had been clearly established.
Bill Stusser
291. billiam
Randalator @ 286
I'm not sure I buy into Taim being Moridin yet but something I noticed while reading:

"Taim said, walking with one hand folded-fingers making a fist-behind his back. With his other hand, he pointed toward a distant, part finished wall of black stone."

ToM, Ch 53, page 771

This is when Taim is walking with Pevara at the Black Tower. He seems to be favoring one hand behind his back just like Rand does.
Ron Garrison
292. Man-0-Manetheran
"Belief and order give strength" Also sounds like what Perrin learned about the Wolf Dream reality.

billiam: Good catch about Taim favoring one hand as Moridin does.

Several people have pointed out that if Taim and Rand were in the same room, Rand would see Taim as Moridin. I don't recall them being in the same place for a long, long time - maybe since the crossing of streams. Anyone know for sure?
Mikey Bennett
293. EvilMonkey
The attack on Carhein, was that before or after Rand attacks Illian, gates out to Aridhol, crosses streams with Ishydin, watches Sammy get swallowed by Mashadar, and claims the Crown of Swords? B/C that's the last time Rand talks to Taim. I think it was after. Don't have the book in front of me so I ain't positive but I'm sure its after.
Ron Garrison
294. Man-0-Manetheran
Sammael is killed by Mashadar in the last chapter (41) of A Crown of Swords. He skims back to Illian and Lord Gregorin offers him the crown. I don't have the books with me either, and I don't remember Taim being involved. (?)
paul Hend
295. tugthis
Besides Rand, who else on team light will die in the final book? It is hard to tell if any of the big six will die, but maybe some of the fringy characters might. I know that it may cut across the grain but although I eagerly read the last few books they are becoming more and more unsatisfying. Like watching the last episodes of Star-Trek-- you just know in the back of your mind that everything will always work out fine for the main characters. . . A little GRRM surprise or two would really give the last book some emotional heft.
Ben Gilbert
296. bengi
I'm not sure if anyone else has posted this but the Glossary in ToM has this entry:

Towers of Midnight, the:
Thirteen fortresses of unpolished black marble located 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 descendants 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.” See also Consolidation.
297. AndrewB
Tugthis @295. I agree that some major seondary character should die. Otherwise, it would seem too Hollywoodish -- big shootout and all the good guys are left standing at the end (even though they were badly outnumbered).

Characters like Davram Bashere are ideal candidates (Yes, I know, some of the foreshadowing would indiacte his death). I may be in the minority, but I also would not mind seeing Lan, Nynaeve, Ayms, Cads & Sorilea die at some point during the next book.

I doubt any of the characters in the preceding paragraph will before or during the Last Battle (with the possible exception of Bashere). Although we have seen some of minor Aes Sedai and Black Ajah die, major characters (primary or secondary) have not.

One of the few problems that I had with the last Harry Potter book was that with the exception of two characters (Fred and one of the Creevley brothers), no non-Death Eater character who is in Harry's generation dies. The reader is informed that 54 non-Death Eaters died during the first part of the final battle (Fred, the Creevley boy, Lupin & Tonks; I find it inconceivable that noe of the 50 were fellow students).

That said, one secondary character that I do think will die is Bain. I think that she will sacrifice herself to save Gaul -- knowing that her first-sister Chiad would be devistated if Gaul died. I have no basis in the story to think this will happen. Rather, a Jordanesque twist.

Unrelated subject. Re-reading ToM. I think the info that Graendal gave Mesaana (in exchange for Mesaana's angrael) was knowledge of a weave that would circumvent the effects of a binder (i.e. the Oath Rod).

Thanks for reading my musings.
298. hamstercheeks
El Fitcho @ 280: "Do not bring girl. Too pretty." = Don't bring Min to TG. She's too pretty to die.

There, I've solved it.
299. wagman26
@287 alreadymadwithcallandor

Just wanted to clarify that I was not talking about the True Power, but the True Source.
Mikey Bennett
300. EvilMonkey
Man O,

Taim was not involved in the taking of Illian. I was asking if the taking of the Crown of Swords happened before the attack of Carhein by the 4 amigos (Torval, Kisman, Osan'garshiva and Gedwyn). I think the crowning happened first. The last we have seen of Taim and Rand together happens in the aftermath of the attack when Rand gives Morr a cup of sleep.
Ben Goodman
301. goodben
Okay. You'll have to forgive me for not wading through the comments. This will be my general musings for the characters in ToM and where the series is at this point. Most of it will be likely already hashed out, but I'd like to talk about it.

Rand: I agree with Leigh. He's almost too perfect at this point. It's nice that he's gotten over his angst and "hardness" issues, but it's a pretty big leap. Also the integration with Lews Therin is supposed to have not changed him, but since we mainly get him through the way he talks, it seems like he's changed a bunch.

Perrin: It's about time. He's been my favorite character most of the time, but his brooding and refusal to take responsability in the last few books has been really grating. I like how things worked out in this book for him.

Mat: He hasn't changed a huge amount since LoC. Still pretty enjoyable to read. I especially love how he "doesn't flirt with pretty girls any more now that he's married." He has come around to deciding he's a hero, more or less.

Elayne: I don't enjoy Elayne as much as during her travels with Nynaeve, but her stuff has been wrapped up pretty satisfactorly.

Nynaeve: I liked her "raising" ceremony and the conclusion to it. She can really do some good for the Aes Sedai if she comes to prominence. She effectively separated what being Aes Sedai should be about from what was merely tradition.

Egwene: More continuation from TGS. She's just what the Tower needs. If Rand felt her "wrath" in this book, that was a pretty weak foretelling. I suspect there will be more in AMoL. I am kind of baffled as to why she thinks gathering armies will change Rand's mind about the seals.

Lan: I always thought that his insistance to die alone was pretty lame. He's the one always spouting "Death is lighter than a feather. Duty is heavier than a mountain." Glad he finally got over that. Not sure if he's going to survive.

Aviendha: I have to imagine that she'll make changes that prevent her vision from coming to pass. I have to think that she's still alive when she sees through her daughter's eyes since her grandaughter knew what she looked like and her daughter was 17 at the time of the vision. I think she had just retired somewhere with Rand, especially once her children reached adulthood. The most likely outcome is that she gets the Aiel included in the Dragon's Peace. It's pretty sad that Tuon is already gone by then (the only one confirmed dead in the vision), since that means she's dead by the time she's 40?

Galad and the Whitecloaks: I liked how this turned out. I also liked that Bornhold was the one to kill Byar. I'm kind of surprised these guys are making it to the Last Battle, but happy to see them get a reformation of sorts.

Faile and Berelain: This worked out rather well. I'm rather pleased with it. But really, the world's most beautiful man with the world's most beautiful woman?

The Borderlander Monarchs: Sheesh. That so wouldn't have worked out for them if they'd got Rand at the wrong time. He has to have been talking bout balefiring them with the True Power. I wonder how that would have worked if they'd caught him wrong and managed to kill him? I guess it would be better to end it all rather than having the world turn into Shadar Logoth part II.

Fain: I sure hope he doesn't fill the Gollum role. I haven't been reading these for 15 years for that.

Graendal: This is why you have to be insane to work for the Dark One. The penalties for failure are rough. I mean sending his monster avatar to rape you? And if you succeed? Ruling a nearly empty world.

Demandred: He's got to be the only Forsaken left besides Moridin not in the dog house. Probably because he hasn't shown his face. And why does Ishy get a pass on the punishments for failures?

Lanfear: Not sure what to make of Rand's Epilogue vision. I can't see Lanfear being truly repentant. Was it a true vision? Did the Dark One send him bait through his wards? Was it just a nightmare?

The Seanchan: This is one of only two plot threads left dangling. This will take up quite a bit of the last book, I think. There's the second attack on the White Tower plus the Dragon's Peace to get to. And Mat and Tuon reuniting.

The Black Tower: This is the other dangling thread to be resolved or seen to before the Last Battle. I can see this taking up less pages than the Seanchan with a jail-break and Taim heading to the Blight (but maybe not). I wonder if Nynaeve can heal 13x13 turning? If she can heal taint madness, I have to think this will be pretty similar. Also where is Logain? Does Taim have him? or did he only catch Mezar (who left with him)?

Juicy reuinions:
Rand and Galad--Rand has to have figured out who his half-brother is by now. Galad, of course, is clue-less about this.
Mat and Tuon--I have no idea how they will overcome their cultural differences.
Rand and Moiraine--Moiraine and Cadsuane (and Moiraine and Nynaeve) ought to be mildly amusing as well. I imagine that Egwene and Moiraine will be pretty low key.

The first part of AMoL ought to be the first time all the major characters (minus Lan) are together since the beginning of TFoH. As near as I can tell they're all there now minus Mat, Thom, Moiraine, and Aviendha. Mat and his crew should be arriving soon since Perrin is opening gateways for him daily. I imagine Aviendha will too.
Michael Maxwell
302. pike747
@301. goodben

Demandred: He's got to be the only Forsaken left besides Moridin not in the dog house. Probably because he hasn't shown his face. And why does Ishy get a pass on the punishments for failures?

This thought has crossed my mind quite a few times. I suppose that when the DO chooses Nae’blis it means he really likes you. Perhaps it is because his mission is turning Rand and he is not done failing at that. The DO probably punished him half way ‘round the wheel and back for each time he failed ad infinitum. He is quite mad, even in his less obvious Moridin type of madness. In that persona he is a scary, cool, customer. Ishy was a cackling fiend.
303. alreadymadwithrandawesome
goodben @301
Rand may seem to have changed to us, but by other characters' POV's, he is actually closer to what he used to be before it all started. With a hint of awesome, of course. Agreed though that it's too perfect. That silver coating on his Taint madness, too convenient if you ask me. How in Shayol Ghul did it get there and what is it for?
Jonathan Levy
304. JonathanLevy
297. AndrewB
Unrelated subject. Re-reading ToM. I think the info that Graendal gave Mesaana (in exchange for Mesaana's angrael) was knowledge of a weave that would circumvent the effects of a binder (i.e. the Oath Rod).

Great idea! Very original. But wouldn't Mesaana the researcher be a better candidate to know such a weave? Unless it was a form of self-compulsion....hmm.... Perhaps it was a 'doublethink' weave, allowing the person who used it to both believe that she was swearing the oath and believe that she was not swearing it at the same time.

302. pike747
@301. goodben

And why does Ishy get a pass on the punishments for failures?

One of my pet theories was that Ishamael was reincarnated in a body which can't channel, or at least, can channel only very weakly a la Morgase. This forces him to use the TP all the time. This could be an aspect of his punishment, plus it binds him to the DO even more closely.

There is some evidence for this, but also serious counter-arguments.
John Massey
307. subwoofer
In light of the 296 post, will Tuon make a deal with Rand for Callandor? Will Tuon agree to join in a circle with Rand only if he agrees to Travel with her to Seanchan and restore some calm to the land? Or maybe the bargain will be to give the Crystal Sword to the Crystal Throne?


Birgit F
308. birgit
I was asking if the taking of the Crown of Swords happened before the attack of Carhein by the 4 amigos (Torval, Kisman, Osan'garshiva and Gedwyn). I think the crowning happened first.

The crowning and the crossing balefire streams happened on Jan 11 in ACos ch. 41, the attack of the Asha'man on Feb 9 in PoD ch. 29 (dates from

When Ny defended her behavior in the AS test, she was taking Rand's advice:

"Don't let them ruin you, Nynaeve. They'll try." "Ruin me?"
"Your passion is part of you," Rand said. "I tried to be like them, though I wouldn't have admitted it. Cold. Always in control. It nearly destroyed me. That is strength to some, but it is not the only type of strength. Perhaps you could learn to control yourself a little more, but I like you as you are. It makes you genuine. I would not see you become another 'perfect' Aes Sedai with a painted mask of a face and no care for the feelings and emotions of others."
"To be Aes Sedai is to be calm," Nynaeve replied.
"To be Aes Sedai is to be what you decide it is," Ran said, his stump still held behind his back. "Moiraine cared. You could see it in her, even when she was calm. The best Aes Sedai I've known are the ones who others complain aren't what an Aes Sedai should be."

ToM ch. 15
"I did what I had to. Who among you would not run if you saw people in danger? Who among you would forbid herself to channel if she saw Shadowspawn attacking? I acted as an Aes Sedai should." "This test," Barasine said, "is meant to ensure that a woman is capable of dedicating herself to a greater task. To see that she can ignore the distractions of the moment and seek a higher good."
Nynaeve sniffed. "I completed the weaves I needed to. I maintained my focus. Yes, I broke my calm - but I kept a cool enough head to complete my tasks. One should not demand calmness for the mere sake of calmness, and a prohibition on running when there are people you need to save is foolish.
"My goal in this test was to prove that I deserve to be Aes Sedai. Well, then, I could argue that the lives of the people I saw were more important than gaining that title. If losing my title is what would be required to save someone's life - and if there were no other consequences - I'd do it. Every time. Not saving them wouldn't be serving a higher good; it would just be selfish."

"I wonder if," Nynaeve said, "we sometimes put the White Tower - as an institution - before the people we serve. I wonder if we let it become a goal in itself, instead of a means to help us achieve greater goals."

ToM ch. 20
John Massey
309. subwoofer
Also, I believe I have mentioned this, but there has to be something more to Rand than just his ability to draw in the Source. Let's face it, Rand could be head and shoulders above all the other male channelers in the world, but that will still not put him on equal footing with a god-like figure. Using a tool like Callandor- will that bring him close? Dunno.

I think the biggest fear so far is if Callandor is in Moridin's hands, will that make Moridin more powerful than Rand? Well, back to my original question. Rand is starting to control his other power- his ta'vereness. I think, as been hinted, it is Rand's will that determines the outcome of things, not his ability to channel.

The biggest clue what at the beginning of the book when Rand met Egwene. Rand was surrounded by hundreds of female channelers. Thirteens upon thirteens, and no amount of full circles could have kept Rand in Tar Valon when Rand decided to leave, no matter what Egwene said. That is Rand's real power. When the Dragon is more powerful than all the Sisters in the Tower combined, methinks that is the hint of things to come.

310. wagman26
@ Terez

Tuon would have to willfully allow herself into a circle, and that would demoralize her entire people. Plus, the fact that she would have to give up control to enter a circle, makes me think no way. I believe callandor has been in the Stone for 3000 years, so can not see how it could be Justice. Not sure if that was your point, but can not see it. A sword of crystal would surely be remembered in stories as such.


Do not believe that Rand is more powerful than all the Sisters, but he does have an aura of some sort that seems to incapacitate others to one degree or another. Do not believe he could keep this aura of incapacitation, if he does not follow what the pattern wants done. The pattern has come to a head, through him, and that is the real power.

Also, I do not believe that callandor's "flaw" is a weakness, but a purposeful design of the weapon. It is only described as a flaw because it has not been used for the purpose it was created for yet, and when it is used for that purpose, it will be clear why it was made the way it was.
Antoni Ivanov
311. tonka
I am pretty certain that Rand is as powerful in the One Power as before. It's his dragon(aka fisher king) effect and maybe his ta'verent effect. If he has decided that he wanted to break the shield there are couple of ways: something very improbable /but not imposible/ thing would happen (like the sister slipping on the floor and losing the source) or maybe he knows a trick as Lews Therin that the current AS don't know how to counter. In any case the pattern did not allow even that far. They didn't have a choice but to let him go.
Daniel Hanley
312. Kythorian
To tonka @ 311, people have said this before, but I don't buy it. Mostly because of the battle at Maradon later. That wasn't just increased skill. We saw what a channeler of Rand's power with LTT's abilities in the One Power could do when he and a couple dozen asha'man killed a hundred thousand shadowspawn. We know that was the limits of what LTT could manage, because that WAS LTT channeling. And he needed a couple dozen other channelers duplicating his weaves to kill a hundred thousand. Maradon, on theo ther hand, is described as like a whole army of channelers channeling. And he kills...we are not given numbers, but definately at least several hundred thousand, and likely more, all by himself.

That, together with his attitude in the tower, is all but absolute proof that he is many times stronger in the one power than he was before. So I don't see how any one can be 'pretty certain' that Rand is no more powerful than before.
313. wagman26

Perhaps he is just more skilled and precise now. He remembers all of LT's actions/abilities, and quite possibly is tapping into a higher power than the one power, which could be a more powerful source, just as the TP is more powerful than the OP. Not necessarily making him stronger, just using a stronger source of power, or a more refined use of the power. Who knows what Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends could do, and he was certainly one of the best. We have had foreshadowing of him doing nearly impossible feats before this. And at Maradon he was channeling for over an hour with devasting weaves, and earlier it was not just LT channeling, he was still fighting for control of himself. Coming together and accepting who and what he is could have brought on far more abilities to his repertoire. But strength in the power for men is gained with usage, and he has used a considerable amount of power recently, so perhaps he has gained strength, but I believe it is not a vast amount. The asha'man commented on his amount of weaves not his amount of power. Egwene has also been noted for her amount of weaves she is able to perform, though not to that extent. Also all of his weaves seemed to be related, from the winds, lightings, fires, and land upheaval. Perhaps this allows for easier channeling if the weaves are using the same elements. Just my 2 cents.
314. hamstercheeks
brigit@308: Thanks for pointing out the direct connection between Nynaeve's talk with Rand and her performance in the AS test. I didn't even make the link the first time, because I was too busy howling over the possibility that Nynaeve wouldn't pass. She's been developed so much as a character that it would be devastating if something happened to her in TG. Arrggghhh when is AMoL coming out again?
315. Jaboney
@ El Fitcho On this point:

"Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build. Will explain when see you next. Do not bring girl. Too pretty."

I think on the first sentence needs explanation, and belief could refer to either Tel'aran'rhiod, where believing something so makes it so... a point made time and again... or, to Min, or both. Min reiterates, time and again, that she believes in Rand. He affirms that he depends on her support and confidence. I imagine that her support, her belief in Rand, would powerful buttress Rand in the Last Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod.

But "order"? Tuon's regime is certainly orderly....

Crackpot idea of the day: what if Rand rescues Lanfear, playing it straight but expecting that she'll betray him, taking Callandor with her (would explain how the D.O. gets possession of the key to his defeat).
Jonathan Levy
316. JonathanLevy
310. wagman26

Tuon would have to willfully allow herself into a circle, and that would demoralize her entire people.

We've gotten a few hints that it is possible to bring someone into a circle against their will. First, the A'dam does this. Second, when the bowl of winds was used:

One of the Sea Folk jumped to the conclusion that someone could be forced into a circle, and one of the Aes Sedai denied it, more or less as follows: 'I have read all existing writings on the subject, and all of them say it is impossible'. Elayne thinks to herself that something was funny about the wording, and reminds herself to ask her about writings on that topic that were deliberately destroyed. She never follows up on it.

We may see an involuntary circle (else why build up the subject?) but it's not likely to be Tuon, I think - much easier to snip an A'dam on her and force her to start channeling.
Antoni Ivanov
317. tonka
@312. Kythorian

I think there were only tens of thousands trollocs not in hundreds, and when he fought against the 100 000 army in KOD he was still not fully himself, so he was not really channeling at his full skills. I don't buy it. Rand is no stronger than before (actually maybe a bit stronger as it is normal for man who can channel to increase their strength, but not much more stronger), but he is different and more skillful for one.
318. wagman26
@316 jonathan levy

An a'dam doesn't involve a circle, and it prevents the seanchan from forming a circle. It allows a link, between two channelers giving one dominance over the other. I believe it has been called a dominance band by the forsaken, but that could be something different.

Actually, after a little research, I see that it is a forced circle, that requires dominance from the wearer. The male a'dam is called a dominance band, but has two bracelets because a man is harder to control than a woman, and can eventually control the woman as much as she controls him. So having two women linked to a man slows this process but a woman can use it alone.
Barry T
319. blindillusion

The Domination Band is the proper name for the "sad braclets". The male a'dam.
320. alreadymadwithartifacts
wagman26 @318
Nope. A'dams were unknown in the Age of Legends. Those who have seen it in this age refer to them as involuntary rings. The Domination Band as a term is only applied to the male version with two bracelets and one collar. Strangely enough, the Forsaken seem familiar with those.

subwoofer @307
I doubt the Crystal Throne will be interested in the Crystal sword, being a males only artifact, and seeing as the only way to use it safely is to be in a circle, which damane can't join. That said though, Rand may not entirely be out of bargaining chips. If that sword he is wearing at his side is indeed, Artur Hawkwing's Justice, the Crystal Throne will be interested in it indeed.

Terez27 @
I don't know about Tuon being part of the circle, and not just because her actually channeling with any degree of skill is debatable. It's just that even blood relations are no guarantee of safety from Seanchan court intrigue.

tonka @317
Agreed. I don't believe Rand was any more powerful now than he was before. Maradon sounded like a repeat of Tarwin's Gap back in EoTW. And I suspect this is the kind of strength Lews Therin Telamin at his mightiest can put forth.
321. wagman26
@319 blindillusion

Thanks. Do not have my books with me, but basically the same operating principal. Right? Dominates, but does not form a circle.

Found out it is a circle. A forced circle at that.
322. wagman26
@320 Alreadymadatartifacts

Principle is still the same. What was the Nope for? The misnaming of the a'dam, or it not being a way of dominating the wearer.
Daniel Hanley
323. Kythorian
To tonka @ 317,

"Beyond the hill, surging down through the pass, was an awesome force of Trollocs, many times the number that had assaulted Maradon. The wave of monsters seemed to continue forever"
-A Storm of Light

As far as I know, we are not given a number for the shadowspawn attack on Maradon, but we know it was large, being as it survived the combined assault of 100 asha'man and all of Ituralde's men and tricks(which have historically managed to take out two or three men for every one he looses without any channelers). Given this, the shadowspawn army rand destroyed had to be hundreds of thousands in size, not tens of thousands. It outright says that tens of thousands are dead right at Rand's feet. Add in all those who fled and those who died not right at Rand's feet from all the stuff he was throwing out/deathgates/etc, and...well, thats a lot of dead.

-And to alreadymadwithartifacts @ 320, Rand had the power of the Eye of the World at Tarwin's Gap. So he had far more power available at the time than he could naturally draw pre-dragonmount. So even if he did just do the same thing(and all indications are that he killed far, far more shadowspawn at Maradon than he did at Tarwin's Gap...we had...what..6 Draghkar at Tarwin's gap, and "clouds" of them now, not to mention the rest I discussed above), it is still demonstrating far more of Saidin than he could use unaided before. Far beyond a simple slight increase in power from continued development of his natural ability. No, this is a Champion of the Light thing. And I don't see why it is so unreasonable that he should get a power boost from this, along with the rest, and why people are so skeptical about this happening, in spite of at least somewhat strong evidence that it is.
Daniel Hanley
324. Kythorian
Well, I guess I get it. People want to be able to identify with Rand as a human being. Prior to this book, he was powerful, sure, but still something that could be understood by the measurements of humanity. In this book, he progresses to demi-god, both in attitude and power. I guess I can see people resisting this, and wanting their old rand back. Besides, where is the excitement when the main character is all-powerful?

The evidence seems rather strong for him being much more powerful in saidin though, and I have yet to see anyone present any evidence showing he isn't. Just people's opinions. Which is fine, but it seems like you shouldn't be as certain you are right when you are on the side with absolutely no evidence. Not that you might not be right. I don't know...we will see. It just seems quite likely that Rand is indeed far stronger than any other channeler including LTT(other than possibly Moridin, who is very likely experiencing something similar) based on what we have actually seen from him.
Theresa Gray
325. Terez27
@alreadymad - 'involuntary rings' most likely refers to the Black Ajah method rather than the a'dam.

Tuon already has the requisite weaving skill; she doesn't have to tell damane to weave stuff; she just does it herself.
Alice Arneson
326. Wetlandernw
Kythorian @324 - "Just people's opinions. Which is fine, but it seems like you shouldn't be as certain you are right when you are on the side with absolutely no evidence."

Let me ask you a question: Why would anyone claim an opinion they did not believe was correct? Of course people are "certain they are right" when they state their opinion; that's what an opinion is, and it has nothing to do with what others call evidence. Frankly, opinion is all we have, whatever evidence one person or another may claim, until the text gives us a specific answer. Just because you don't consider someone's rationale as the correct interpretation of "the evidence" does not invalidate their opinion. It just proves that your opinion and their opinion are different.
327. wagman26

Still do not see this as a power increase, more of a skill increase. The amount of weaves used, has to do with skill, not power. IF other channelers could weave that many weaves, similar events would follow. Weaving is a learned skill, and Rand has had hundreds of years, during which he was become very skilled, he just has not had access to that complete knowledge until recently. Furthermore, the weaves he used were able to feed off each other. Lighting is easier to call from a "hurricane" weave already in place, and the "earthquake" weave is earth only. Rand seems to have perfected weaving without waste, if you will.
Brad Smith
328. Legend of Imrahil
@297 AndrewB

Dude totally the reason I started hating that HP book series. Its one thing to have a main character death here and there, I'd almost go as far as to say its inevitable. But (and this is just an opinion) JK Rowling went on a killing spree with the majority of her protagonists (including just about every character I liked). When an author gets so famous and intent on selling books she kills as many people as she did (probably set a record), it just seems lazy.
Antoni Ivanov
329. tonka

Another things to consider is that the Asha'man there said he has never seen someone weave so many weaves at once so skillfully (something like that) but certainly he didn't mentioned anything about Rand's strength. If there was a huge increase the Asha'man would have noted it. (Btw (as a side note) it's possible that Rand has found angreal, I don't really think so but we really don't know much about what he has been up to in the month between VoG and the Plains of Merrilor (sp?) except for the few glimpses we get).

I am not saying that your theory is incorrect. It's possible, I do not believe that there is anything impossible (certainly not in a fantasy book), but I find it extremely improbable. It's against the laws Jordan created. Everything has their limits. Rand is as strong as any man can be strong but no more.
Janet Hopkins
330. JanDSedai
What does VoG mean? Not getting the words. Of course, when you tell me, I'll go "Oh, yeah!".

Just having a brain fart.
Thomas Keith
331. insectoid
JanDSedai @330: I believe he means "Veins of Gold", the chapter in TGS where Rand has his epiphany.

332. wagman26
@ terez

Is it not the act of forcing a circle what prevents the damane from extending it beyond 2? And if so, would forced participation limit the number of all circles, particularly the before mentioned circle with Tuon?
Also please give me your input on this.

I read an article where RJ said that during the cleansing of Saidan the Forsaken attacked from the direction of their locations. Demandred attacked from the south and since we know he was working with Semirhage could he not be....Lunal Galgan? He was a great military commander, and the role would fit him perfect and he is "gathering his troops for war". RJ stated that Demandred had not been seen before KOD, and that is when he was introduced. I believe this is him. Any chance you have my back on this one?

Never mind, already busted.
Michael Maxwell
333. pike747
Just finishing second read. A couple of points stood out.

Rand tells Tenobia he was barely able to save Maradon, with help. Not sure if he means Ituralde or some other help.

"I stepped in to prevent Maradon from falling. It was near to it, Tenobia. The walls are shattered, your troops bloodied. With help, I was able to save it. Barely."

The hammer Perrin forged can almost certainly be used to forge other items of power with more than strong, sharp, edges.

"Perrin lowered his tools. On the anvil--still glowing with an inner heat--was a beautiful hammer. A work beyond anything he'd ever created or thought he might create. It had a thick, powerful head, like a maul or sledge, but the back was formed cross-face and flattened. Like a blacksmith's tool. "
David Platt
334. The Not So Dark One
Terez @ 305 - on your link to Theory Land you say that there are hints that Callendor is Justice? Could you name a few of those for me? I was under the impression that Callendor was formed during the war at the end of the AOL and that it has hung inside the Stone since the new age was young. The Stone stood, with Callendor inside, when Hawkwing was alive didnt it - or have I gotten my timelines wrong?
Antoni Ivanov
335. tonka
@ JanDSedai
Yes, VoG is Veins of Gold, the epiphany Rand had at Dragonmount.
I am sorry I usually avoid using acronyms for that reason alone but I was lazy.

@332. wagman26
And Brandon Sanderson said that we haven't seen him on screen in KoD(Knife of Dreams) and TGS(The Gathering Storm) too. So he is not Galgan.

Calandor is not Justice. The sword Rand found between KoD and TGS is most likely Justice.
John Massey
336. subwoofer
Right then, several things here- and good to see that there is some fresh material that we are going over. Yay!

@Kythorian- I think you are on the cusp of something and I find myself nodding my head with you but some of the other folks do make valid arguments as well. The biggest thing that jumps out to me is the point Tonka made about the other Asha'man commenting on Rand's strength. If Rand had such a marked increase in his power level, then there would have been fitting comments made in that direction. Maybe not so much a before and after comment, but more so something along the lines of "whoa, dude makes me look like a weak kitten in comparison". The comments I heard sounded more like, "whoa, dude's got skills".

@AMW- yeah, but until now the Seanchan have killed all male channelers. If Tuon realizes that channeling isn't bad because she does it herself, and that Saidin is clean, there might be a change of atitude towards the sword. Justice would sweeten the pot as well.

Theresa Gray
337. Terez27
I never said that Callandor is Justice, just that I think they might have been confused a time or two in the prophecies.
338. JackMyDog
Thanks to all.
Did anyone notice that Rand recognized Siuan, nobody recognizes Siuan. To me it seems that she and Garth are in for more screentime. Their saving each other had a higher purpose
339. JackMyDog
And those "relics" on the Field of Merrilor. Can you see it now,
---Rand Standing by an obscure boulder of granite all weatherworn, "Tighten up close everybody, you there, that Army in the back, bring it in, Everybody ready, got your stuff (pikes, swords, whathaveyou) ?"
--Flicker Flicker --
The whole Bloody crowd simultaniously arrives at the Gap.
"Hey Lan, use a little backup"
John Massey
340. subwoofer
Did somebody say Callandor was Justice? Don't see that happening as Hawkwing had the Sword on him when Callandor was still in Tear.

Portal Stones- those things totally came outta left field again. I'd almost forgot they were of any use especially after Rand focused on the Waygates. I suppose that because the Ways were closed to Trolloc troop movement, there had to be another plan.

Back to Rand's strength thing. Maybe the strength of Rand's ta'vereness has increased exponentially? Many Asha'man can see Rand's strength in the power but only a very few people can see Rand's increase in his ability to bend the Pattern. Min always sees a bunch of stuff around Rand, has Logain commented on Rand's increased glowiness? Although on the face of things, everyone in the book seems to comment on the "glow" surrounding Rand, almost a warp in the air. I am thinking that's Rand's increased mojo. Or maybe Rand just has control of that now too.

341. hamstercheeks
JackMyDog@338: You're right; Siuan usually goes unrecognized until she says something (c.f. Mat asked her to dance, LoC). Egwene also nodded to her right before she meets with Rand. And why shouldn't she get more screen time? She's been pulling the strings since Rand was born. Her story is at once heroic and tragic -- an embattled Amyrlin, faced with a stagnant Tower, trying to prep for the Last Battle without knowing who to trust because of early experiences with the BA, deposed, escaped, manipulated some more to get her "appropriate" replacement, fell in love, etc.

However, precisely because her story is so good, she's on my Tarmon Gaidon Death List. I'm calling this one.
342. wagman26
@ tonka

Uhhhhg! Really was hoping that I was on to something. Now I think I'm going to research BS quotes so that maybe my next theory will not be bs. :)
Daniel Hanley
343. Kythorian
To wagman26 @ 327 "The amount of weaves used, has to do with skill, not power." ...This is not true. the number ways you can split your weaving is directly a result of your power with the OP. So before Rand could split his weaves...well, he could do a dozen in tSR. Maybe 20 pre-dragonmount. Now he it is described as 'an army of channelers' or 'a storm of the power'(or something like that. Don't have the book with me). That sounds like a statement about his massive level of power right there.

To subwoofer @ 340, describing Rand's actions in a tone of awe as 'like a storm of the power' seems like a comment on his power with Saidin dwarfing their own to me.

Also, I'm pretty sure that Suian is the only person who can see Ta'veren we have seen meet Rand(and she does describes it in a way that seems like it is much stronger than last time, though that was way back in tGH). Rand did not meet with Logain(or not on screen) in ToM. I still don't see how being a stronger ta'veren allows Rand to do what he did at maradon.

But who knows...we will see, i guess.
344. wagman26

Still disagree. Power has less bearing on your ability to split weaves than skill does. Skill in weaving has little to do with the power.
i.e. Androl and the hard to weave gateway. Also Egwene under the influence of forkroot, and still splitting her weaves further than most of her "teachers" in the tower.

Power has to do with the size and immensity of a weave. Stronger in the power means a bigger gateway. We already knew that Rand is one of the strongest to ever live, and the length of this demonstration of his power is about par with what the other Ashaman went through at that battle. Better part of an hour with all they had, even though they had been fighting for days.
Daniel Hanley
345. Kythorian
To wagman26 @ 344, well splitting your weaves is linked to power because it takes considerably more than twice as much power to do two things at once as it would have taken to do one of them. (this is explicitly stated multiple times). Egwene could still split 14 ways under forkroot, but each of the weaves was miniscule. individually, they took almost literally no power. They are the sort of things that Morgase could have done. Split them 14 ways, and it is requiring as much of the power as she could draw at that point.

Then we have rand...splitting weaves dozens(at a minimum) of ways, each of which is more powerful effects than what the asha'man were doing. The waves of fire, at least, are explicitly described as similar, but much larger than what the asha'man were doing(larger than what the...100...asha'man were doing). This means that he was doing dozens of things with more power than the 100 asha'man could manage individual things...meaning he was using 100's of times as much of the power, by definition. the books have flat out stated that this is how splitting weaves work.
Antoni Ivanov
346. tonka
@ wagman26
The strength in Power does have bearing in the size of a Gateway(after all Rand's Gateways are usually biggest and there are other examples) but is not the only thing which was proven in the last book. Androl is extremely weak, yet he could do very large Gateways (a wagon can pass through).

Egwene directly mentions when that it's unlikely any other Aes Sedai can split the weaves so many times. It is absolutely certain that Morgase cannot do that. She can barely manage one weave. No offense but that was a but ridiculous (to me). Anyway. The point I am trying to say is that the strength of the channeler does influence how quickly they learn, the supergirls learn faster than anyone else in the Tower. Rand can weave more weaves that them even when he was half trained but it is far from the only thing.

Skills you acquire on your own and knowledge are imporant factors as well (probably there is more than this). Jordan rarely has straight answers about the One Power. I already mentioned the Gateways. True, the stronger you are the bigger the Gateway, but that's not the only thing asAndrol proved it.

Or another thing, how big you can make the place when you skim. Rand was thinking about that when he went to Rahvin. Is that how big he can make it or does he put his own limits, or is it strength in the One Power or some combination ?
347. wagman26
@ tonka

Agree. Should have stated that some exceptions are noted in the series. Generality was what I was referencing.


Still unmoved by this line of reasoning. But that is what this is all about. No? I do enjoy your take, and maybe you are right, but it seems more likely that his ability to use weaves in previous unheard of adroitness, is the main factor.
348. AndrewB
Post ToM, Mesaana's mind has been reduced to that of an infant. All she is able to do is breath, make some coying sounds (presumably), swallow solid foods and liquids) and soil herself.

Suppose the Aes Sedai execute Mesaana as her status as a Forsaken would justify. (To this point, the Aes Sedai do not know that the Dark One has the ability to reserect dead Forsaken.). Could the Dark One reserect her and place her soul in a new body? Or is the soul connected to her mind, thereby destroying her soul from the pattern until she is spun out again in due course?

I think it might be the latter. Why else would Graendal's glossary entry in ToM state that she "destroyed" Mesaana? I do not recall of another example of a WoT character (even one in passing) who was referred to as "destroyed."

Any thoughts would be very appreciative. Moerover, I do not think it is one that AMoL is likely to answer.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Ron Garrison
349. Man-0-Manetheran
@301 goodben: With all the grimness of Avienda's trip to the future, I missed that Tuon was dead. Cool! Mat becomes Emperor - may he live forever! "Let my damane go! ...especially that pretty that I'm no longer married..."
350. alfalfa936
This is my first post, but I've read through most of the posts, both in this thread and the closed one and there was one thing I don't think anyone mentioned . When Avi goes through the Wayforward machine, she's Oncala and trying to convince the Queen of Andor to attack the Seanchan, it sounds like The Two Rivers might have become it's own nation? Here's the quote, Ch 49 page 729

The documents were Seanchan plans for attacking Andor, along with a detailed plot for the assassination of the Queen. Underneath that were similar plans for dealing with the rulers of Tear, The Two Rivers, and Illian.

Or maybe I just read it wrong. Any thoughts?
Daniel Hanley
351. Kythorian
To tonka @ 346, I just meant that Egwene's individual weaves were weak enough that even someone with Morgase's power could manage them, not that morgase could have done all 14 of them.

To Man-0-Manetheran @ 349, well, according to Avi's visions, the damane certainly do not go free. And thats also not how the Seanchan do things. When the Empress dies, the Prince of the Ravens doesn't become Emperor, their childs does. Given that Mat isn't mentioned, it seems likely that he is dead by this point too, or at least irrelevent. But hopefully that will all change.

To alfalfa936 @ 350, based on Avi's visions, it does appear that the Two Rivers does become a nation. Though its possible that it is a client nation of Andor. So the Seanchan could still have plans for killing its ruler, should it join the Aiel, while it is still subservient to Andor. Who knows. I think we are all hoping that that the future described in those visions change though, in which case we have no idea how the Two Rivers will turn out.
Amir Noam
352. Amir
BTW, I haven't seen this mentioned in the thread, but has anyone else noticed the following exchange when Elayne gives Thom a position as a royal bard?
Tom just chuckled, then glanced down at the scroll in his other hand. "And this was unexpected as well."

"Well, Andor doesn't have a court-bard," Mat said.

"Yes," Thom said, looking over the scroll. "But there's a pardon written in here too, for any and all crimes -- known and unkown -- I may have committed in Andor or Cairhien. I wonder who told her..."

"Told her what?"

"Nothing, Mat. Nothing at all."
This is a very subtle reference to Thom being the one who murdered the king of Cairhien way back about 9 or 10 books ago, which is the very reason why the throne is open for Elayne to claim in the first place.

(I doubt that Elayne has any way of knowing that, but since Morgase banned Thom from Caemlyn, it makes sense for her to give him this pardon.)
Ron Garrison
353. Man-0-Manetheran
@351. Kythorian: Just being silly. I took Avi's viewings to be a possible future anyway, not gospel. I put only slightly more stock in them than the Dark One's "prophecy."
Stefan Mitev
354. Bergmaniac
I think it's implied Elayne somehow knew or at least suspected that it was Thom who killed Galdrian, otherwise there's no reason for the pardon to include crimes commited in Cairhien since this was before she gained the Sun Throne.
Antoni Ivanov
355. tonka
@350. alfalfa936
That doesn't have to mean much. Two Rivers is its own nation already, for all practical purposes, it is the Seat of the Dragon Reborn with Perrin High Lord and Steward there and he is just a step beneath the Queen of Andor. It has its own sizeable army (discounting the Whitecloack the rest can be said that are Perrin's and there are still more who are in Two Rivers, refuges and all that). It is autonomic millitary, economically and by governance. It could be said they are already their own nation with very strong ties to Andor.
Daniel Hanley
356. Kythorian
To Amir @ 352, Yeah, i noticed does seem odd that Elayne would include cairhien in the pardon. She knows she needs to pardon him in Andor, but if she didn't know about the whole king-slaying thing in cairhien, he hasn't done anything he needs a pardon for there.

I thought at the time about how she could have found that out, and nothing occurred to me. So few people far as I know, only Thom and that innkeeper from book 2, who seemed quite loyal to Thom, and unlikely to talk to the queen of Andor about it. So maybe she was just guessing just in case he had any minor crimes outstanding in Cairhien. Just seems odd for her to include it, and especially for Thom to notice and specifically mention it if she doesn't actually know.

To Man-O-Manetheran @ 353, well I hope you are wrong, buecause Brandon has said that the Dark Prophesies are just as valid as the Light prophsies. They are equally as open to mis-interpretation, as we saw from Graendal and Moridin's misinterpretation of the prophesy at the end of ToM to mean that Perrin would die (maybe more, given how self-deluded the forsaken and darkfriends are), but they are true prophesy.

If you go through the Dark Prophesy at the end of ToM most of it has already come true, for that matter.
Marcus W
357. toryx
Well, I finally finished the book. And although I finished it a whole four months earlier than I did the last one (in terms of time after publication) I'm still obviously too late to take part in much of the discussion.
But I'm going to post my thoughts on it nonetheless.

Rand: I actually agree with Leigh that it seems as though the Rand we all knew and loved (and came to sort of fear and dread) has kind of died. But that doesn't really bother me because I expected it to happen as soon as the split happened. I rather like the new, mostly calm and remarkably rational Rand even though I mourn the original one.

The most interesting thing about the metamorphosis of Rand into the Dragon Reborn for me is that it effectively eases one of my greatest difficulties in reading the new books. See, when RJ was still alive, I'd buy the new books the day they came out and start reading them like most people still do now. Unfortunately, with RJ's passing, I largely feel as though his characters have passed too. To me, reading WoT now is like reading a story set in one of the Mirror Realms. Everything is almost the same but there are subtle differences.

In the 'death' of Rand and Lews Therin, it actually fits to have a new person with some similarities and some differences. That actually makes it easier for me to read the changes in tone that I detect, minute as they are.

I purposely ignore the Jesusification of him, refusing to allow my conscious mind to dwell on the parallels.

Perrin: Perrin was the most satisfying character for me in this book and also the character I think Sanderson does the best job of voicing, aside from the scenes with Mat later on. It took way too damned long for Perrin to reach the peace that he's finally freakin' found but I really loved his moments of awesome all the way from the forging of the hammer through to the fight in Tel'aran'rhiod. Perrin reaching out and stopping balefire thrilled me no end. I actually enjoyed that even more than the forging. I also loved the way he handled Egwene.

I do feel that the comraderie between him and Mat felt off, however.

Mat: I was one of those who felt that Mat came across as seriously off in TGS. I still feel that way, though I agree there has been some improvement. The thing is, Jordan's Mat was very much a creation of his own imagination. I don't know where Jordan got Mat from, all the composites that make him up and I'm not really concerned about it. Mat simply had a very distinct personality in the earlier books that only continued to evolve following his separation from the dagger.

Sanderson's Mat, however, is clearly (to me) a composite of recent pop culture icons. The most obvious elements of his personality in these books is a mixture of Han Solo and Indiana Jones. When I read ToM I kept seeing Harrison Ford come to mind whenever Mat came up and it was horribly distracting. The humor feels decidedly off balance to me, and rather roughly forced into simple cliche's. All those comments about the hat, about finding women for other people, and crafting complete backgrounds...they just irritate me in the manner of a pebble stuck in my shoe that I don't have the time to take out. I can't get over it and it made me dread Mat chapters.

Nevertheless, I was generally pleased with the escapade to free Moiraine, though I think Noal's death came across as kind of cheap, considering the way they finally got out. I guess it kind of had to happen but when the solution was so simple, I have a hard time with Mat only figuring it out after Noal died to give them more time. That just bothers me a little.

Gawyn: Okay, finally Gawyn had a bit of a purpose. But I simply do not buy that he was able to hold off three super ninjas at once while he was trying to figure out the way to defeat them. It does not compute. Sure, the fact that he was mostly dead when Egwene finally woke up kind of helped to balance it but not enough. That was, in my mind, Sanderson simply insisting "Yes, Gawyn is super cool, he is! See, I made him cool and that's just all there is to it." I hated the way he was revealed to be a blademaster in TGS and I really hate the way he did the absolutely impossible in ToM.

And that's not to even mention the fact that Gawyn identity was entirely wrapped up in his vow to Elayne that he never freaking met and then decided "Oh well, I'm just going to break it because it's not really that convenient."

Elayne: Grrr. Fortunately she's somewhat bearable after the absolute idiocy of going to talk to the BA but I still had to take a break from reading after that particular scene. She doesn't have the sense to rule one kingdom, not to mention two (IMO) and I just can't conceive of why she'd end up with two kingdoms when she can't even manage the first. It's the whole super Gawyn thing all over again. I can't even blame this on Sanderson because Jordan's portrayed them both as impossibly capable since the start despite continual fits of idiocy.

I know a lot of people are likely to think my opinions of the terrible two are completely off-topic but seriously, I think the series as a whole would have been vastly better if they'd never been part of it.

Moiraine: Another of my predictions that was more or less on target. I knew that the book would end right about where she got rescued. Okay, so it went on for another fifteen minutes longer than I'd expected but I was still right. We got a little bit of information about her imprisonment and all, but there sure wasn't much of Moiraine, was there?

The Black Tower: Holy crap. I knew it was going to be a bad situation all around but it's a lot worse than I'd suspected. And where the heck is Logain, anyway? He's due to have a moment of serious off-the-chart awesomeness in the next book. But hey, now we've seen evidence of the 13x13 finally.

I could say more but this is way too long as it is. Sorry. All in all, I liked the book a hell of a lot more than TGS and I definitely saw some real improvement in the overall writing. I'm definitely looking forward to AMoL. Sanderson's doing as good as anyone could, I suspect but I do so weep for never seeing these books done the way RJ would have done them. It breaks my heart.
Roger Powell
358. forkroot

Nevertheless, I was generally pleased with the escapade to free Moiraine, though I think Noal's death came across as kind of cheap, considering the way they finally got out. I guess it kind of had to happen but when the solution was so simple, I have a hard time with Mat only figuring it out after Noal died to give them more time. That just bothers me a little.
The way I read it, the Ashandarei would only work on the wall of the room where the remains of the twisted doorframe were found. That room was "adjacent" to the skin of the Tower (or whatever term you would use for the Finn's strange geometry.)

In order to get to that room, they had to use Mat's luck, which often involved what appeared to be backtracking (running right back into the corridor that they had just come from.) Unfortunately, when they were being pressed by the Aelfinn, they could not do that.

What Noal/Jain's sacrifice enabled them to do was to get several rooms away from the pursuing Aelfinn. Then they could "backtrack" (of course with the Finn's geometry, it really wasn't backtracking) and thus make the progress which eventually got them to the room with the ter'angreal remains.

So.... Tai Shar Malkier!
359. AndrewB
Toryx @357. I disagree with criticism of Gawyn re the Bloodknives. From the Seanchan point of view, the Bloodknives are these superior nijas who only die because their life energy runs out. (See the former damanea (?) and suldamae (sp?) explanation to Gawyn in ToM.)

However, TGS and ToM show that they can be defeated/killed (albeit by extraordinary warroirs), specifically Warders or Warder-like soldiers. Although Gawyn was not a Warder at the time he fought them, he was a very gifted warrior who was not surprised by the Bloodknives' presence.

In my opinion, the Bloodknives are not gifted swordsman. Rather, they are assassins who rely on stealth and their terangrael possessed ability to hide in the shadows. When forced to fight in combat against a highly trained soldier, their prowess is lessened.

This is why I believe that Gawyn was able to defeat the three Bloodknives (along with the element of luck that BWS has said that Gawyn possesses).

Thanks for reading my musings.
360. hamstercheeks
AndrewB, the Bloodknives are supposed to be super ninja assassins, who fight with swords, too. I have no basis for this, really, but "ninja" makes me think of a katana, ergo, sword.

Gawyn deservedly got badly wounded fighting three of them. I agree that he's lucky, but he was also fighting to save his love. Maybe his adrenaline levels managed to go up high enough to compensate for being outmatched and supposedly outclassed?

His character is still at least 60% lame.
Mari Davis
361. sheiglagh
Tory@357 Gawyn has been trained since childhood to be a warrior. He has also trained by the best starting with Bryne and the Warders. Plus, he had to survive extraordinary circumstances like Dumai Wells, the deposing of Siuan, among others.

Gawyn has the necessary training and the experience. So, it is plausible that he can defeat three super ninja assassins.

And no, it was not a cheap victory nor a ploy by Brandon Sanderson to make Gawyn cool. Why make one of the most hated characters in the story cool in the penultimate book?

I believe that Gawyn still has a role to play other than being a Warder to Egwene. In fact, Gawyn, Elayne and Galad are going to be important in aMoL... That's my prediction. After all, they are all part of the royal line of Andor. And as foretold by Elaida, they will be pivotal in the Last Battle.
Mari Davis
362. sheiglagh
Hamstercheeks@360 - super ninja assassins was a term used by Leigh to describe the Bloodknives. I believe they use knives instead of swords, or perhaps the better description is that they are better with knives than with swords.

Anyway, ninjas are not invincible. If unsure just look at Japanese history or even the latest pop culture stories like kill bill. A highly trained warrior can defeat ninjas even super ninjas. Case in point, Tom cruise did in the last samurai and he was not even highly trained yet, albeit they were ordinary ninjas not super ninjas.

In short, please give Gawyn a break. He's not perfect but he tries. He does not want our love, he just want Egwene's. He can be as lame as we can see him, and Gawyn does not care as long as Egwene does not see him as lame.
Michael Maxwell
363. pike747
They can be lame together! I am only kidding. I do find each of them annoying, at times, but Egwene does have MOA and in ToM Gawyn found some redemption. It is kind of funny to me how he and Galad exchanged places in my mind in FoH.
John Massey
364. subwoofer
@Toryx- I loved the book myself, but I do seem to be in complete agreement with you on my response to a couple of the characters.

Gawyn was letting his er... junk hormones dictate his actions of hanging out with Egwene instead of doing his duty as a Prince of Andor.

"I can't even blame this on Sanderson because Jordan's portrayed them both as impossibly capable since the start despite continual fits of idiocy."


The Black Tower- well, stuff is gonna hit the fan in the next book.

Mat- very hard character to write as he is most everyone's favorite. No matter what, somebody will be ticked off at the way he was penned. And Mat is a tough character to do. Childish, yet dutiful, irreverent, slacker and general, rogue yet keeps his word. Tell me that it is not hard to find that balance. Everyone wanted to be Mat or marry him, or just hang out with him. Bottom line, Brandon is doing his best.

Stefan Mitev
365. Bergmaniac
I have to agree with toryx that Gawyn defeating 3 Bloodknives at ones was totally implausable to me. Defeating any 3 competent fighters at once is difficult enough, and those were not only highly trained, picked among the best the Seanchan army has to offer, but had the ter'angreals granting them superhuman strength and speed.

They should've won and killed both Egwene and Gawyn, which would've been perfect for me, since those two happen to be the 2 main characters I really dislike.

Oh, well, maybe next time. And Gawyn actually showed s he has a functuoning brain and a bit of common sense in ToM for the first time in ages, so I can make my peace with him surviving. Poor guy now has to be Egwene's Warder, which is fate almost as bad as death as far as I am concerned. ;)
andrew smith
366. sillyslovene
I'm not gonna wade fully into the Gawyn v the three bloodknives debate, but I think that it would be important for y'all to consider that he only killed one of them while the rings were effective. He was lucky and skilled to last as long as he did (and to kill one of the three), but it was only after he doused the lantern, putting the whole room in the dark and negating any advantage that the remaining two bloodknives had (their slight extra strength and speed are not worth much if they can't see what they're fighting and are relying on the same factors as he is, i.e. sound), that he was able to defeat the other two. Without the hint he got from what's-her-face about shadows and what-not, and putting 2+2 together, he would have died. And at that, he only killed the last of them by means of using himself as bait and opening himself for a mortal wound...(see pp. 582-3)
paul Hend
367. tugthis
The Gawyn battle scene could have ended no other way. Did you think he would die?--- Of course it would have made Eggy a more interesting character if she had to deal with that personal grief; it would have been a nice complication in the Elayne story line, but truth be told it is probably the case that Sanderson found a note card in Jordan's desk that said these characters will live (more or less) happily ever after-- and all the characters are on it.
368. wagman26

Rand is of the royal line of andor and that is what Elaida foretold, though she did not know it.


They are supposedly the finest warriors in Seanchan. According to Kaisa, the former sul'dam, and she also states that they live no more than a few weeks a month at most. But in earlier books, and even in this glossary, it states that they die in a matter of days. It bothers me that the rules seem to change here. I do not buy the theory that they kept removing them, to prolong their lives. Where would they remain hidden. Think this rule was at least stretched if not broken.
369. wagman26

He has been anointed the third best blade master by BS. Lan, Galad, then Gawyn. Also Rand was on the same level as Gawyn, by BS.
Sandy Brewer
370. ShaggyBella
Gawyn is not so smart if he is wearing the Bloodknives magic rings. They might drain his life away or cause other mayhem, if they accidently get activated. Maybe he will wear one and "level up" his fighting skills, then drop dead. Cool way to go.
Sandy Brewer
371. ShaggyBella
Rand al'Thor at the top of Dragonmount...I get this visual in my mind (sorry - tis the season)

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit, He rode to the tiptop to dump it!"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
"The all the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"

(snipped a little)
And what happened then...? Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast! And he... ...HE HIMSELF...!
The Grinch carved the roast beast!

Alice Arneson
372. Wetlandernw
forkroot @358 - That's the way I saw it too. I don't think it would have worked just anywhere in Finnland; it had to be one of the places with a link to the other world, at least. So maybe the room where they first entered, or either of the doorway rooms, but that would be the sum total. And they never would have found any of them again if Noal hadn't given them enough room for the "backtracking luck" to work.

wagman26 @368 - "Rand is of the royal line of andor and that is what Elaida foretold, though she did not know it." - Well, at least that's what we generally assume. For all we really know, the Foretelling was actually about House Trakand as much as House Mantear, and we just haven't see the full out-working yet.

Not getting into the Bloodknives thing just yet, until I do a little more research. I've been doing dishes, and that always sets things in motion. Give me an hour or so...
373. wagman26

I believe foretellings are so vague, that we will never know for sure, but both will be important in the fight against the shadow, Andor's armies led by house Trakand and of course Rand.
374. asdfg69
Hi all - I'm new to these postings and am realizing I am no where near as fanatical as many out there but I thought I'd post anyways just to be part of the cool crowd :)

@369 Really? I would think that Gawyn was a better bladesman that Galad. He did kill the 2 warder masters/trainers didn't he? He also defeated 2 warders simultaneously in a spar pretty effortlessly. I thought I read that Siuan or some other Aes Sedai (can't remember who) said that she used to think that Galad was the more dangerous of the two, but she wasn't sure anymore. Btw, I don't know why anyone wouldn't consider Gawyn able to hold his own against 3 of the Super Teenage Mutant Ninja Sancheans. Ninjas are deadly in stealthy combat and I'm sure they could throw knives better than Gawyn, but in an open sword fight I would bet on a blademaster like Gawyn, Lan, or Galad any day. Those rings making them all shadowy was all that saved their sorry arses from Gawyn flowing into Hummingbird Kisses the Donkey's Left Buttocks move and dispatching them all without a sweat.

So...if Avi's visions (and maybe other things) were to come true, she would have to have Rand's children right? So is she already pregnant? If not, do we really think Rand is going to have time to bang her between now and the Last Battle? I mean, forces are gathering and Rand is already saying he has too much to do and too little time to do it in. I don't think getting Avi pregnant is on that list of things to do. So...then would that mean that Rand has to live past the Last Battle if for no other reason than to procreate?

Could Galad be the blood of Rand that gets spilled? I know he's got a woman and all now, but the totally righteous guys like Galad make good martyrs.
375. wagman26

Really. According to the author.

@ anyone

Min's viewing of Avi having Rand's babies has always seemed to have an underlying element to me. She states that there was something odd about it, but does not seem to know what. A weird theory that keeps popping up in my head is that they are Min's children, and Avi is acting as a surrogate via some aiel previously unknown weave that places the children in her body, due to the death of Min. Just a crazy, crazy, thought.

Be gentle.
376. Jaboney
@ asdfg69 374. Yeah, Galad would make a good martyr.

He received a letter from Verin at the end of the book, and she's aware of many of the Dark prophecies. I'm betting Verin told Galad to keep an eye on Perrin. Min had a vision of two men dead on the slopes of S.G. surrounded by scores of trollocs. Between Galad's swordsmanship and Perrin playing Thor, I think they're good candidates for that vision.

@ wagman26 376. Pretty sure the weirdness of Aviendha's pregnancy is accounted for by the children growing up able to channel. Sounds a lot like the pre-cog births of Paul Atrides' sister and children in Dune.
377. asdfg69
@ Jaboney 376. He did? I don't remember Galad receiving a note from Verin. Now I have to go find it :)
Amir Noam
378. Amir
asdfg69 @377:
It's after Perrin + Galad make it to Andor.
Either Perrin or Faile (I forgot who's POV it was) notes Galad holding a letter with a red seal on it.
Amir Noam
379. Amir
wagman26 @369:

He has been anointed the third best blade master by BS. Lan, Galad, then Gawyn. Also Rand was on the same level as Gawyn, by BS.

That was my estimate on their skill level several books ago. Now, not so much.
I think that Galad's duel with Valda was much more realistic. Valda is claimed to be one of the best swordsman alive (Morgase later comments on that) and Galad just barely beat him. This shows that despite Galad's bad-assery with a sword, it's not a given that he can beat anyone in front of him.

Gawyn, on the other hand, shows the same "magical" sword abilities that Rand quickly manifested early in the series (before relying on channeling) - i.e. the ability to beat several expert swordsmen together in a fight without breaking a sweat. Rand has ta'veren as an excuse. Gawyn doesn't.
Antoni Ivanov
380. tonka
Gawyn beat Hammer who was likely a blademaster. His skills has been hinted even early.
David Platt
381. The Not So Dark One
Man-o-Manatheren @147

I think the reason that there is an expected confrontation between Moiraine and Cadsuane is that as of the end of New Spring Moiraine is 100% convinced that Cadsuane is a darkfriend. Right or wrong she will be very worried to hear that Cadsuane has attached herself to Rand. Also, throughout Cadsuanes inner monologue in " A Promise to Lews Therin" her comments could be taken both ways - probably a deliberate tool used by the Authors. The only thing she says that could suggest she is for The Light is that she calls the Forsaken "The Forsaken" rather than "The Chosen" - although other Darkfriends with POV's have mentioned that it's a habit that is difficult to lose.

Anyway - assuming they have not seen eachother since New Spring then it is safe to assume that Moiraine and Cadsuane's first encounter will be an interesting one.

Edit for Grammar
382. Jaboney
Bets on Setalle Anan a) being healed, b) becoming an advisor to Tuon, c) both?
She left because she was revolted by how the Seanchan treat women who can channel, but any sort of accommodation reached with the Seanchan has got to involve Mat, Rand bowing and making a gift of Hawkwing's sword, and some sort of truce with the Tower, and Anan's best suited to that.
Jay Dauro
383. J.Dauro
Rand has looked into Cadsuane's eyes. With his new skills, I doubt she could be a darkfriend.

From Linda's excellent article on Who is not a Darkfriend. (13th Depository.)

Her thoughts:

Cadsuane did not like losing two of her people in return for no more than a few singed Forsaken and one dead renegade.

-Winter’s Heart, With The Choedan Kal

She wasn’t on Verin’s list either, and Verin identified over 90% of the Black Ajah. She was also able to look Rand in the eyes after Rand’s epiphany with no hesitation, whereas Darkfriends are unable to (Towers of Midnight, For What Has Been Wrought).

384. wagman26
@ amir and tonka

Gawyn is awesome with the sword, but Galad always handled him in practice. Brandon says that Gawyn is far luckier than he realizes, and that accounts for much of his swordplay. I also had my doubts on who was the best, but I will go with the author every time. After all he is this world's new creator.


Not really sure why I think this, it just popped into my head years ago when I first read the book. Would be a good twist I think, and I've never heard anything about Min and Rand's children mentioned, but I guess that doesn't mean much since Min sees the visions, and the wise ones do not speak of their dreams to often.
Jane Smyth
385. Kaboom
Several people have mentionned at different times that they thought Setalle will be healed. But I don't think so. While Siuan and Leanne were stilled, it seams like Setalle was burned out. I imagine stilling as a neat cut in the brain circuit necessary for chanelling, relatively easily reconnected while I imagine burning out as a major tear with frayed end and maybe a section missing (ends not close to each other). Part of this imagery I got from the description by Nynaeve when she was studying Logain just before she accidentally healed him.
Another point to support this is when Leanne before being healed put on the bracelet of Mog adam. She could feel her emotions but could not do anything with the adam. When Setalle when tried the adam in Mat's plan to escape Ebou Dar she couldn't feal anything.

There was also a lot of emphasis on the different methods of loosing the ability to channel in the beginning of the series. That always made me feel like the differences were bigger than just the name.
Theresa Gray
386. Terez27
Amir@351 - She doesn't necessarily know about it. The only person who could have possibly spread the word was Zera, the innkeeper in Cairhien - she's the only one who knew. And she doesn't give any indication of knowing in her thoughts here:

TITLE - Towers of MidnightCHAPTER: 52 - Boots

As she rode down that broad passageway, lined with the rectangular buildings Cairhienin favored, she realized that perhaps these people had been waiting for an event like this. Talking of it, spreading tales. Some of those tales had been hostile, and those were what Norry had reported. But they now seemed to her more a sign of worry than hostility. Cairhien had been too long without a monarch, their king dead by unknown hands, the Lord Dragon seemingly abandoning them.
Theresa Gray
387. Terez27
Also, Brandon was guessing on Rand's skill level, and he was wrong; RJ said that Rand was second only to Lan with the sword before he lost his hand.
388. Tabernerus
This may have been mentioned elsewhere in the thousand-odd posts across two pages, but I have a quick Taim theory. We've started to see (we think) the effects of being turned to the shadow via the 13 channelers and myrddraal. Basically, the big-picture problems are that you half-smile in a weird and disquieting way, and while you look the same, you look very slightly different to people who know you - I describe it as being like a different person is wearing you as a costume. So instead of assuming that Taim is a Darkfriend who is doing this to others, how about this? Taim himself was the first turned. He keeps half-smiling in a way that creeps out observers, and when Bashere first sees him in Caemlyn with Rand, he takes a second to recognize him, like he looks just a little different in a way that Bashere can't quite put a finger on (and that Taim explains away by saying he had shaved since they last met). And as far as the process bringing out his inner worst self, he sure SEEMS like a brutal, whacko ruler who likes smacking people around. So I think that's what happened between his escape from the Aes Sedai and his appearance in Caemlyn. He was turned to the shadow (though in his case, it admittedly might have been a much shorter turn than some others). :-)
David Platt
389. The Not So Dark One
J. Dauro @383 - I'm not saying Cadsuane is a Darkfriend - the evidence would suggest she is not (although the evidence is not concrete). I said that as of Moiraines last meeting with Cadsuane, that we know of, she believed she was a Darkfriend, hence people believing the meeting bewteen them may not be all smiles.

Also - as far as swordsman rankings go - Ryne, from New Spring, was a better swordsman than Lan, and Lan still killed him.Like Wagman says - sometimes luck and/or determination is just as important a factor as skill - although it cant hurt to be skillful too.

(anyway - Rhuarc and Gaul could take the lot of them)
Amir Noam
390. Amir
Tabernerus @388:

It's certainly possible and is consistent with the introduction of Taim.

However, this will detract from the established parallelism between Taim and Demandred. Not claiming that Taim is Demandred (heavens forbid), but just that there is much similarity in the (persumed) reasons they both turned to the Shadow (i.e. resentment and fury at being seen as second best to Rand/LTT).

So while there is merit in your theory from plot perspective, I would hope it's not the case for literary reasons.
Amir Noam
391. Amir
The No So Dark One @398:

(anyway - Rhuarc and Gaul could take the lot of them)

Are Rhuarc and Gaul on the same skill level?I always thought the skill ratio of Rhuarc vs. Gaul to be similar to Lan vs. an average blademaster.
392. hamstercheeks
Tabernerus@388: Your theory that Taim was turned via 13x13 prior to LoC seems plausible. But I don't think his creepy half-smile holds up as proof. Pevara had no trouble recognizing Tarna, for example, even though Tarna had shaved her beard. Oh, wait, she never had one.

Kidding aside, Taim's personality is certainly unpleasant enough to warrant further nosing into this theory. If it's true...

"13x13 -- spreading the love."
Marcus W
393. toryx
forkroot @ 358:

Hmmm. I hadn't thought of that. I suppose that's possible and it certainly would make Jain's death more noble. I'm inclined to take your word for it. Thanks!

AndrewB @ 359 & Sheiglagh @ 361:
Gawyn's first encounter with the bloodknives pretty much proved (to me) that their enhanced speed was too much for him to match. He only barely managed to avoid getting killed by one of them who wasn't actively trying to kill him.

Fighting three people you can't see clearly who have enhanced speed to the level that these guys had? It just strains my credibility too far. If Gawyn had already been bonded and had the enhanced ability of a Warder I could buy it. But all he had was minor luck and unenhanced skill. I'd have been able to handle him facing off against one bloodknife, I might have even accepted two like that, but against three bloodknives while he's also trying to protect Egwene? Sorry, I can't buy it.

subwoofer @ 364:
Oh, I completely agree that Mat's got to be one of the most challenging character's for anyone to write. So I can't really blame Sanderson for not doing that well (my own opinion) with him.

My personal belief is that Mat is the closest to RJ's own personality. I didn't get to spend more than a few hours with him, but there were a couple of things that he said to me and some others that were just like the kinds of things Mat would have said. Anyway, I get the impression that Sanderson never really got the chance to meet RJ at all, which would make it doubly difficult to accurately portray him.

sillyslovene @ 366: I agree that once Gawyn extinguished the lamps the playing field was more even. My argument is that Gawyn should have been cut to ribbons and/or beheaded way before he even thought that far.

And hey, I'm not even talking about the fact that not only did Gawyn survive getting gravely wounded, but he was probably poisoned to boot.

ShaggyBella @ 370:
I actually think Gawyn's going to use the rings intentionally and die in the last battle. I could be wrong, but wearing the rings the way he does, without telling any of them what he knows about them? It seems to be a smoking gun all over again.

wagman26 @ 375: My money on the weirdness of Aviendha's babies is going to be the way they're constantly holding the One Power, even while sleeping. That's freaking weird and kinda scary.

Side Note: I hate this new comment editor Tor has saddled us with. It's one of the reasons I haven't been hanging around here that much anymore. So if there's any weirdness to the post, it's because I still have the habit of writing in a word pad and copying it to here, which totally screws up the format.
Amir Noam
394. Amir
toryx @393:

I actually think Gawyn's going to use the rings intentionally and die in the last battle.

That would have unpleasant consenquences for Egwene, though, now that they are bonded. I don't see him doing this to her intentionally.
Mikey Bennett
395. EvilMonkey
I didn't think the letter Galad was carrying was from Verin, I thought that came from Berelain. After all, isn't red one of her colors?
Also, does anyone have a link to the BS interview that says Gawyn is luckier than normal? Because when I read that on the thread it set off alarm bells in my head. B/C being exceptionally lucky is one of those warning signs that you can channel, either you can learn or that u have the spark inborn. I don't think that is too implausible a wrinkle. His moms can channel, his sister can channel, channelling is a genetic trait. He is at the age when that sort of thing begins to manifest itself in men. Bottom line I wanna see Gawyn in a portal stone a la the Big Three in TGH, see if in one of his alternate lives he became a False Dragon.

Roger Powell
396. forkroot
BWS presented Gawyn as pretty damn awesome with the practice scenes in TGS. (Which is why I'm a bit surprised he still rated Galad ahead of him.) I think we have to go with "awesomeness" and luck along with intelligence (dousing the lights) and desperation. It all added up to a narrow win for Gawyn.

Side Note: I hate this new comment editor Tor has saddled us with. It's one of the reasons I haven't been hanging around here that much anymore.

Totally agree with that. It screws up formatting and loses the handy spell-check that a simple text box had. The best thing to do would be to scrap it.
Amir Noam
397. Amir
EvilMonkey @395:
That's... an impressive theory. Never thought about that. And Gawyn has never been around men who can actually channel, who might be able to clarify it (besides meeting Rand before Rand himself knew he can channel).

And given Gawyn's envy of Rand, him being a False Dragon in an alternate reality seems plausible.
Ron Garrison
398. Man-0-Manetheran
@381. The Not So Dark One: That is certainly a good reason, and thanks for pointing it out. I felt many of the other commenters were just hoping for a "bitch fight," and I saw no reason for that. Yes, Moiraine would likely be very concerned, but I doubt it will be a "big scene." I also agree with you that RJ wrote Cadsuane in a way that would make people wonder whether she was black or not. (Just one of the reasons I love his writing.)

@395. EvilMonkey, re the notes: I'm on my second read of ToM, and I'm watching for descriptions of the wax seals. The notes from Verin seem to be described as "blood red." This may or may not be the case as I'm just starting to pay attention to that item, and I haven't gotten to Galad's letter yet. When Alanna disappeared there was an empty envelope with a "blood red" seal.
Marcus W
399. toryx
Amir @ 394:
Gawyn would use the rings to save Egwene's life, though. He'd do it in a heartbeat and I think that's what he's saving them for.

forkroot @ 396:
Yeah, I remember Sanderson portraying Gawyn as suddenly amazing in TGS. I was bothered by that too. I still think, however, that there's a huge difference between fighting three warriors who are all using swords and were trained by the same groups of people (Warders) and fighting Ter'angreal enhanced assassins who were trained by a completely foreign agency using knives as well as swords that we've also been told were poisoned.

We've had it drilled into our heads over and over again that the Seanchan are superbly trained warriors, by the standards of everyone on this side of the ocean. These guys were supposed to be the best of the best and enhanced to boot. If Gawyn was taveren, I'd have an easier time with it. But he's not. It just isn't plausible, no matter how much Sanderson talks about Gawyn's luck.
Bill Reamy
400. BillinHI
Toryx re Mat: I find it hard to believe that RJ didn't leave very detailed notes on all the characters and their development/changes over the final book (now 3 books, of course). I truly don't think you can lay all the changes in Mat (and I don't really see that many) at Sanderson's feet (or is that his pen hand ... or keyboard fingers?).

Try using Notepad instead of Wordpad - it's really only an ASCII editor (at least in XP, which I still use) and shouldn't cause any changes at all when copied to the comment box.

Edit: Yay for 4 hunny!
Darth Agilus
401. darth.agilus
@376 Jaboney

I believe, and think its been said elsewhere on this thread, that Galad's letter from Verin tells him he has another little half-brother, one Rand al-Thor. It also likely tells him how to verify it - take the picture of your mother from the Andoran Palace and show it to X, Y, Z Aiel that knew Rand's parents.

@395 EvilMonkey

Sure it could be but given where we are in the story, seems unlikely that the author would set up this ultra-cool plot device with the letters and then muddy it with lame red herrings, like oops that was just a love letter, especially when there is a big secret like Rand's Andoran heritage yet to reveal and no other clear way it will happen.
Peter Leventis
402. PL1
A couple of comments I haven't seen mentioned in the 1500+ posts.

First, in chapter 46, Working Leather on p 689, Nalaam spouts some gibberish after the encounter between Androl's group and Cotereen.

"Makashak Na famalashten morkase," Nalaam mumbled, "delf takaksaki mere!" It wasn't a language Androl knew--it wasn't the Old Tongue, that was for certain. It probably wan't even a language at all.

Any thoughts about whether that means anything, or is it a sign of the Taint on Nalaam's mind?

Second, does any one else think that a link between Androl and (perhaps) Pevara might allow them to weave a gateway to leave the Black Tower grounds? There's a bit of hinting about men and women working together right at the end of Ch 58, Something Wrong on p 820. Androl's gateway weave earlier in the chapter (pp 817-18) seemed closer to working than anyone else's.

Edit for spacing.
Birgit F
403. birgit
Also, does anyone have a link to the BS interview that says Gawyn is luckier than normal?

@sleepinghour Who is the best swordsman in #WoT right now? Lan, Galad, or Gawyn?
Brandon Sanderson: Lan. Then Galad. Then Gawyn. Gawyn is luckier than he thinks he is.
Gawyn is not necessarily luckier than other people, his sword skill is just more luck than pure skill.

Alice Arneson
404. Wetlandernw
@ several re: Galad's letter - While snooping around in TAR, Perrin saw a letter with a red seal in Galad's tent. No one has seen it "on screen" outside of the dream world, so presumably only Galad (and at that point, Verin, since she'd still be alive) would know the contents. I speculated earlier that the letter might be to inform Galad of Rand's relationship to him, but it is pure speculation. We do NOT know what was in it. (I still can't think of anything else that Verin would be likely to tell Galad in one of those tell-all-before-I-die letters.) And obviously, I agree that while we don't KNOW that the letter was from Verin, any more than we KNOW about Alanna's or even Rand's, I have made the logical assumption that Brandon used the red seal to tell us that they all came from the same source - Verin. Could be a red herring, but I think it's just a red seal. Who has, possibly, eaten all the red herring...

PL1 @402 - I assumed that Nalaam's thing was taint madness, from before the Cleansing. Still, we don't really know. And re: Androl and Pevara? I think we all hope so!
Daniel Goss
405. Beren
I thought Hopper ate Perrin's pet seal . . .
406. AndrewB
Re Gawyn: I, like many of you, have not liked how Gawyn has acted throughout most of the series. That said, I have to give the devil his due in two instances.

First, as leader of the Younglings. He kept them together (and a relatively effective unit) through difficult circumstances -- specifically, when the organization that they were supporting wanted them eliminated (or at the very least, its leader).

Second, in ToM, Gawyn was very effective in how he handled the situation with Chubain. Gawyn quickly perceived that Chubain though Gawyn wanted to replace Chubain as the head of the Tower's Guard. The manner in which he approached Chubain (by asking for Chubain's help so that if successful, Gawyn may become the Amyrlin's Warder) was very deft.

I guess that even a blind squirrel finds a nut once or twice.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Ron Garrison
407. Man-0-Manetheran
@404 Wetlandernw: I see what you did. "Red seal" LOL. ...and if he ate all the red herring, he would probably be a "bloody red seal."

edit: herring is plural as well as singular
Rajesh Vaidya
408. Buddhacat
I'm thinking Verin's letter to Galad could be about his uncle Luc/Isam. She was in the Two Rivers when he meddled there and when the Trollocs shouted "Isam!" as a battle-cry, she found it "interesting". I think she was also the one to study the Luc/Isam prophecy, shown back in TGH.
409. wagman26
@ Gawyn and his unbelievable battle with the blood knives

I can only attribute his staying alive to the will of the pattern. In several books we are shown how the pattern bends chance, more often around tavern, but this is the only explanation that I can surmise. Especially given BS's comments on Gawyn.

And at the rings he wears, I'm betting that Elayne copies them, and they work without having to add blood to them, being imperfect copies. Or at least some of the abilities are copied.
Alice Arneson
410. Wetlandernw
Wall-o-text warning....

In thinking about Gawyn & the Bloodknives, I noticed a certain similarity between that fight and Galad's fight with Valda.
...Byar put a gauntleted hand on Galad's shoulder and leaned close.
"He likes to strike at the arms and legs," he said in a low voice, casting glances over his shoulder at Valda. From the way he glared, some matter stood between them. Of course, that scowl differed little from his normal expression. "He likes to bleed an opponent until the man can't take a step or raise his sword before he moves for the kill. He's quicker than a viper, too, but he'll strike at your left most often and expect it from you."

As we know, that's exactly what happened, and Galad used it to win. He realized that it was going to work if he didn't end the fight soon, so he made Valda think it was working better than it really was. He had taken two wounds on his left arm, and three more on his left thigh as he apparently tried the same ineffective tactic for the 5th time; Valda, thinking Galad was done for, was a little too casual about the counterstroke, and Galad took him in one final stroke.

Note, also, that Galad was fighting to avenge and to defend the honor of a woman he loved deeply, his (step)mother. Failing to kill Valda would have left her unavenged and, by the tradition of the "Trial Beneath the Light" would also have left her honor abased, since the winner was supposed to have been granted justice by the Light. I would suggest that Morgase's honor was even more important to Galad than his own life.

Okay, now Gawyn:
The only reason he was still alive was because the three were being careful, wearing him down. Once he fell, that sul'dam had indicated they would go on a rampage through the White Tower...
No! Gawyn thought as one of them tried The River Undercuts the Bank. He leaped forward, dodging between two blades, swinging his weapon. Amazingly, he actually struck, and a voice cried out in the room. Blood sprayed across the ground, one shadowy form falling.
The two others muttered curses, and all pretense of wearing him down vanished. They struck at him, weapons flashing amid dark mist...
...Blades cut the air around him as he spun and slammed the pillow on the lantern, smothering it.
Plunging the room into darkness. No light. No shadows.
He raised his blade for a desperate strike, using Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose, predicting where the Bloodknives would move. He was no longer distracted by their misted figures, and his strike hit true, sinking into flesh...
Gawyn was feeling shaky now. He'd lost too much blood. If he had something to throw to create a distraction. . . but no. Moving would rustle clothing, would give him away.
So, gritting his teeth, he tapped his foot and raised his blade to protect his neck, praying to the Light that the attack came low. It did, cutting deeply into his side. He took it with a grunt, but immediately lashed out with all he had. His sword hissed, and with a brief tug it sliced true. A thump followed...
Gawyn slumped against the bed, blood gushing from his side...
He hit the floor a moment later. His last thought was that he still didn't know whether or not she was dead.

Okay, I quoted more than I probably needed, but I couldn't figure out what else to cut. Anyway... even before this scene, Gawyn was badly hurt, "growing weak and tired," so he used their assumptions against them and did what they didn't expect. First, he jumped away from Egwene while swinging, when he'd been clearly trying to protect her. (Part of his luck may have been in hitting a target he couldn't really see while he was moving.) Second, he got smart enough to take away their shadow-advantage and level the field. Third, he's spent a lot of time practicing against two swordsmen so that, at least to some extent, he could predict how they would attack. Luck may have had something to do with his prediction being right, but it was right. With only one left, he set himself up (like Galad had) to take the possibly (but not immediately) fatal blow, because it would give him that one opportunity to swing at a clear target. It worked. Yes, he was lucky, but he was also as well-prepared as he could have been.

Gawyn, too, fought for more than his own life; he knew there was a possibility that Egwene was still alive, and he fought for her life. If she was not, he fought to avenge her and to protect those she had sworn to lead and defend. Like Galad, his own life was the least part of the reason to win; there were more important things at stake.

Incidentally, in spite of what some expected, the Seanchan do use many of the same sword forms as the Randlanders:

He recognized the forms the High Lord used; they were a little different from what he had been taught, but not enough. The Swallow Takes Flight met Parting the Silk, Moon on the Water met The Wood Grouse Dances...

and so on, from The Great Hunt when Rand fought Turak. So the claim that Gawyn's opponents would have been trained differently doesn't really hold water; the forms are the same, or as close as makes no never mind.
Jay Dauro
411. J.Dauro
TNSDO @389

Sorry, but I took
Also, throughout Cadsuanes inner monologue in " A Promise to Lews Therin" her comments could be taken both ways - probably a deliberate tool used by the Authors. The only thing she says that could suggest she is for The Light is that she calls the Forsaken "The Forsaken" rather than "The Chosen" - although other Darkfriends with POV's have mentioned that it's a habit that is difficult to lose.

to indicate you were considering it, since last I checked Moiraine hadn't read any of Cadsuane's inner monologues. ;^)
Theresa Gray
412. Terez27
Re: Gawyn's luck:

As I have mentioned here several times before (ahem), Gawain's powers were dependent on the sun. He was strongest at noon, and his power waned with the sunset. Theoretically, he should be at his strongest at the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

By Steven Cooper's best estimation, Gawyn killed Hammar and Coulin two days after Sunday (the summer solstice). The chronology isn't up yet for TOM, but it's looking like Gawyn's fight with the Bloodknives was also on or around Sunday.

Edit: yes, I know that his battle with the Bloodknives was in the middle of the night. That is beside the point. :D
Mari Davis
413. sheiglagh
What is it about Gawyn that invites controversy? Among the WoT fans here at Tor, I believe I'm the only self-confessed Gawyn fan and yet I also openly say that he annoys the heck out of me at times.

That said, I will ask again, what makes Gawyn so controversial? Are Gawyn and Egwene the Brangelina of WoT. Oh wait! It's actually Galad and Berelain.

Brandon Sanderson had already commented on his Facebook page that the moment he wrote down something about Gawyn, he received a barrage of comments.

Anyway, I still believe that Gawyn will do something important. It might not be to everyone's liking but he has to be more than just a pretty face. My prediction, the rings he is wearing is the key.
Birgit F
414. birgit
These actions {balefiring Natrim's Barrow} would tear at al'Thor, rip at his soul, lash his heart raw and bleeding. He would have nightmares, wear his guilt on his shoulders like the yoke of a heavily laden cart. She {Graendal} could vaguely remember what it had been like, taking those first few steps toward the Shadow. Had she ever felt that foolish pain? Yes, unfortunately. Not all the Chosen had. Semirhage had been corrupt to the bone from the start. But others had taken different paths to the Shadow, including Ishamael.
She could see the memories, so distant, in Moridin's eyes.

ToM ch. 5
Is this memory (especially Moridin's) A Memory of Light?
David Platt
415. The Not So Dark One
J. Duaro - Ha, I was mainly just leaving my options open - but yeah I think they may not be friends, just at first.
David Platt
416. The Not So Dark One
Amir@391 - Rhuarc is more skilled than Gaul, but I dont think it ever says anywhere how much more - I think it is mentioned once that Gaul would be likely sent for Clan Chief once Rhuarc was gone.

But my totally irreverent point was that Rhuarc and Gaul together would beat Lan/ Rand / Gawyn/ Galad and their dad's too. ;-)

Edit for misspelling Cheif/Chief - Gaul will be the head Chef
Darth Agilus
417. darth.agilus
Re: Pevara and Androl. Don't forget that there is a new person who suspects something fishy in the Black Tower and may be instrumental in resolving the problem.

Riding into Caemlyn, Perrin notes that Grady attempted to travel to the Black Tower, after their dreamspike was removed, and failed. He also says he's going to look into it.

What if ... Perrin enters TAR and finds the pink dome over the BT, the first night he is in Merrilor. He'll do two things but not necessarily in this order - let Rand know, and remove the dreamspike. It would help advance some plots if he moves the dreamspike to Tar Valon temporarily. We could see Tuon's attempt to attack the WT thwarted. Instead she would turn to the next most important target, the BT and Caemlyn. She travels there, meets back up with Matt who has rejoined the Band and is fighting the Trollocs. She makes a temporary decision to assist. Then someone, Rand, Matt, Perrin, Logain?, rides to Pevara's aid.

This would pose some difficulties to the Crystal Throne prophecy. Maybe Rand never meets Tuon before confronting the DO. Maybe he travels to Seanchan and steals the Crystal Throne from the DF holding it, combining it with Callandor by "kneeling" to the throne, and uses the souped up, flawless new angreal to rock the DO.
John Massey
418. subwoofer
@Not So Dark- well, that would be okay, maybe if Bain and Chaid(sp?) er... the two Maidens that Gaul seems to be interested in, well techinically one, but I think they come as a match set... Ahem, anyways if the ladies new Gaul was a good cook, maybe they wouldn't give him such a hard time when it comes to the bridal wreath thing:)

Edit- and I'd like to see Gaul in Ramsey's kitchen. Swear at me will ya?...

Marcus W
419. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 410:
As usual, a well reasoned and thought out argument. I think the parallels between Galad's fight and Gawyn's are pretty good points as well, though I also think that this is actually part of the problem with the scene as written of Gawyn's battle against the Bloodknives.

In the end, there are certainly reasons the writers have for depicting a scene in one way or another. I can only judge, as a reader, based on the effectiveness of that scene for me. Granted, Gawyn is one of my least liked characters and that makes me biased. Regardless, the scene of the battle in Egwene's bedchamber was not satisfying to me.

Your argument actually highlights one of the points that bothers me the most regarding the scene:
The only reason he was still alive was because the three were being careful, wearing him down. Once he fell, that sul'dam had indicated they would go on a rampage through the White Tower...

This makes no sense to me. In Galad's battle with Valda, Valda's tactic struck me as a part of his personality. He liked to cause pain, he liked to toy with people he believed inferior to him. It wasn't a tactic for success but one for pleasure.

On the other hand, we have three Bloodknives fighting one male in the White Tower. They're there for a purpose: To fulfill the instructions given to them by the Empress to cause as much death and destruction as possible in the White Tower. So why would they waste time toying with one male soldier when they're supposed to be waging death and destruction? Since they've been in the Tower for some time, they clearly know whose bed chamber they're in. Why didn't they focus on seeing the Amyrlin Seat slain rather than toying with a male fighter? Why didn't they dispatch Gawyn as quickly as possible so that they could get on with their true business in the Tower?

Out of caution? Their lives are already lost, they have no need for caution. In fact, the longer they waste toying with one man, the less likely they are to succeed at their goals.

Now granted, Gawyn is important to the story (much as I hate to admit it). He needs to win so that he can do whatever it is he's going to do to help the story to it's ultimate conclusion. So of course he's going to win. But the manner in which this chapter is written, particularly given the points I've laid out, were disruptive to my immersion in the story and therefore led to my ultimate dissatisfaction with the scene. In my opinion, the neat little parallels between Gawyn and Galad's battles were simply not worth it. I know it was supposed to be a Moment of Awesome for the character but by turning Gawyn into Superman, it totally fell flat with me.
Gerd K
420. Kah-thurak
I agree with you there. That Gawyn was able to defeat three power enhanced elite warriors is not very believable. I guess it was included to show that he is good something at last. But it would have been better to tone it down some in my opinion.
Ron Garrison
421. Man-0-Manetheran
@414 birgit: "'She could see the memories, so distant, in Moridin's eyes.' Is this memory (especially Moridin's) A Memory of Light?"

This is a question that's been circling in my head for a long time. Moridin is no dummy and is a philosopher. He knows if the DO wins, the Wheel will be destroyed as well as the world. Being Top Dog over nothing ain't such a great thing. What does he have to gain if the the DO wins?
Marcus W
422. toryx
Man-O @ 421:
Moridin is no dummy and is a philosopher. He knows if the DO wins, the Wheel will be destroyed as well as the world. Being Top Dog over nothing ain't such a great thing. What does he have to gain if the the DO wins?

Oblivion. At least, that's what he seems to believe. He's tired of the endless cycle of death and rebirth and wants an end to everything.

Honestly, I can't blame him. If he really has fought the same battle over and over again, why wouldn't he want it all to end? That's a whole lot of suffering.
Jonathan Levy
423. JonathanLevy
414. birgit
What a creative idea!

422. toryx

Oblivion. At least, that's what he seems to believe. He's tired of the endless cycle of death and rebirth and wants an end to everything.

Well - wait a minute. Each time you're reborn, you start from scratch. You don't have all the memories of your previous incarnations. It's your own life you're living, not an appendix to someone else's. This line of reasoning works for Moridin only if he has all the memories of his previous incarnations, and hates it.

In fact, it's very much like the moment before Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount. He hates the world and wants to destroy it. They're mirroring each other a bit - this might also be a part of it.
Jonathan Levy
424. JonathanLevy
402. PL1
First, in chapter 46, Working Leather on p 689, Nalaam spouts some gibberish after the encounter between Androl's group and Cotereen.

Well, we've had the Immaculate Conception, the Transfiguration, we're expecting the Crucifixion and the Resurrection in the next book, so what's a little Speaking in Tongues between friends?

If we're lucky we might get a whole Tower of Babel. After all, the land is all one language.
Sam Mickel
425. Samadai
I have been wondering lately if Moridin has the memories from his previous lives. All of the forsaken have commented on how crazy he is, even how crazy he was before the sealing of the bore. Did something happen to him like the taint? Pulling the incarnations of his past lives through time? Is that why he went over to the dark side of the force?
If indeed he was the greatest philosopher of the age, in his mind he could easily see that the only way to be free would be to let the Darkone win.
Daniel Hanley
426. Kythorian
To Jonathan Levy @ 423,

Well - wait a minute. Each time you're reborn, you start from scratch. You don't have all the memories of your previous incarnations. It's your own life you're living, not an appendix to someone else's. This line of reasoning works for Moridin only if he has all the memories of his previous incarnations, and hates it.

I disagree...even if you don't actually remembering, knowing that everything you did with your life was just repeating the exact same steps over, and over, and over, and over again, and that ultimately, no matter what you did, it would be completely pointless and change nothing, and that you would suffer life after life. As you said, its not so different from what Rand went through, except that Moridin has no love to try for again. There is no 'good' outcome, just an endless stream of crappy ones...well i could see how that could get depressing enough to want to end it, and the only way it can end is the destruction of the wheel.
Ron Garrison
427. Man-0-Manetheran
Oblivion: - Yes. Which leads me to wonder if the Betrayer of Hope might betray the Dark One at some point. i.e., he has this "Memory of Light" - maybe through the bond with Rand - that causes him to reconsider his position.
428. hamstercheeks
Agreed! Moridin just wants to win, for once, and let it all end in sweet, sweet oblivion. He don't need no stinkin' memories.

But then...the karmic cycle of birth and rebirth posits (among other things) that we are born near the same people, in different roles. Does Ishymori'blis know this? Did his incarnations keep getting smarter and he figured out he just kept getting reborn as number one tool for the losing side? Gosh, philosophers are scary.
Birgit F
429. birgit
Well - wait a minute. Each time you're reborn, you start from scratch. You don't have all the memories of your previous incarnations. It's your own life you're living, not an appendix to someone else's. This line of reasoning works for Moridin only if he has all the memories of his previous incarnations, and hates it.

To a Hinduist or Buddhist Moridin's philosophy makes sense. The goal of those religions is to escape the cycle of rebirth.
Sydo Zandstra
430. Fiddler
Re: Elayne pardoning Thom for crimes he committed, known and unknown, in Cairhien.

I know it's probably a moot point. But...

This apparently was before Elayne took possession of the Sunthrone. Which makes this pardon unlawful, at least where Cairhien is considered, since Elayne doesn't have the authority (yet) to pardon anybody for crimes done there. And if she's as smart as she seems to be, Elayne should have realized that.

Considering how seriously Morgase took the responsibility presiding over Perrin's trial, I wonder what would happen if Thom would get an accusation of regicide aimed at him...

As I said, it's probably not going to happen, certainly not in the last book; and with what's about to happen TG-wise. And I don't want it to happen, since I heart Thom.

But if it does, Thom should, by law, get a death sentence ruled on him, if proven guilty. Possibly by Elayne too.

Another possibility is that BS and TJ made a slip. ;-)
Ron Garrison
431. Man-0-Manetheran
But, of course, "A Memory of Light" could just be referring to Rand's epihany on Dragonmount. It was intended to be all part of the last book.
Alice Arneson
432. Wetlandernw
toryx @419 - Thank you! I take that as a major compliment.

RE: "So why would they waste time toying with one male soldier when they're supposed to be waging death and destruction?" My only answer to this, and I agree it may be a bit lame, is that they thought it would be better to take their time and bleed him to death than to risk one of them taking an injury and reducing the mayhem quotient. If they are careful, they ought to be able to do him in without any risk to themselves, and then they have four assassins at large. ::shrug:: It makes a little sense, anyway. What doesn't actually make sense to me is why they would wait this long in the first place, instead of having gone on their rampage while the Tower was still reeling from the battle back in TGS. I'd think they could have killed about half the remaining AS if they'd gone for it right away. Seems like they could have got into the Tower and started looking for loners, and done far more damage in the first 24 hours than they did this way - or would have, even if they'd killed Gawyn here. Maybe they wouldn't have gotten the Amyrlin, but if she only had about 20 live AS to lead, who cares?

Dunno. We all have our opinions, and since Gawyn has never annoyed me the way he has so many others, maybe I just don't expect him to be a doof all the time. As I said before, I thought it was reasonable that, given his presented background and a few major strokes of luck, he managed to kill them before he collapsed. I'm not a swordsman, so what do I know? For me, it wasn't such a stretch. Whatever. :)

Man-o-Manetheran @431 - I finally came to the conclusion that "A Memory of Light" couldn't be referring only to Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount. If that were the case, why would they save that title for the last book? Wouldn't they assign the title to the book containing the event, and come up with something else for the last one? I think the final meaning is yet to come. But that's just how I'd have done it, and I'm not on Team Jordan. (Rats anyway. Would love to get a job as an AMoL proofreader...!)
Theresa Gray
433. Terez27
Samadai@425 - Moridin's POV in the TPOD prologue suggests that he does not, in fact, have past life memories. Or did not, at least. I imagine most of what he knows comes from the Dark Daddy.
Ron Garrison
434. Man-0-Manetheran
I suspect you are correct Wetlandernw. It must be something more. My hope of all hopes is that the ending is something so awesome that none of us guessed it.
Alice Arneson
435. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheren @434 - I hope you're right! That's what I'm longing for...
Rob Munnelly
436. RobMRobM
I'm still in the AMOL refers to Moridin's memories camp. Rand has lots of memories of light - not a big deal for him. Is a big deal for Mori.
Roger Powell
437. forkroot
Nicely done! A great explanation of Gawyn's strategy and (relative) success. The most important piece of luck for him was that Eg's T'AR battle finished and she woke in time to save him.

Not sure I agree that the Bloodknives would have done as much damage right after the attack. At that point, the tower was full of soldiers and every Aes Sedai was holding saidar. Furthermore, they have not had the time to identify the leader of the AS (didn't realize that Elaida was taken) and other key assassination targets.

But for Gawyn, their actual strategy would have been very successful. They would have taken out the single most important AS in the tower, as our "ooh-ooh" girl is on her way to being the greatest Amrylin in history. They would have likely bagged a bunch of lesser targets too - although it hardly would have mattered ... without Egwene I doubt the White Tower would be much use.

Umm... it occurs to me ... seems like you do a lot of your best posting after doing the dishes. With Thanksgiving dinner coming tomorrow and undoubtedly lots of dishes to follow, may we expect some more excellent insights tomorrow night? Just askin ;-)
Alice Arneson
438. Wetlandernw
forkroot @437 - LOL!! Yes, I've noticed a connection between doing the dishes and doing some good thinking. (Some might question the "good" part...) Tomorrow... well, if my brain isn't addled from all the excellent food and drink, you never know. Just might happen. :)

Good point about his greatest luck being Egwene's timing. A few more minutes and... well, we wouldn't have anything to debate about Gawyn in the next book!

Hadn't thought about the fact that all AS were holding saidar post-battle. Not sure (without going back to look, and I'm too lazy now) how full of soldiers the Tower was, but it may have been the better part of valor to wait until they thought they were safe. Still, it seems like they waited a long time to go all-out. Could be, as you say, that rather than random mayhem, they wanted to pick key targets. At least that would make some sense out of it. Thanks - I feel better now. :)
Roger Powell
439. forkroot
I suspect that the timing of the attack was deliberate. Egwene had gone out of her way to let the Tower know that there were frequent visits to T'AR, as she was trying to entice the Shadow to attack there.

We know that the Bloodknives were lurking and scouting (from Gawyn's earlier encounter) along with picking off random vulnerable Aes Sedai. I think the random murders were either to cause minor mayhem, or more likely to test defenses. I believe their eventual intent was to produce a spectacular bloodbath, starting with the death of the Amyrlin.

As the Bloodknives lurked and gathered information, it's possible that they could have picked up the fact that Aes Sedai who were dreaming in T'AR were more vulnerable than normal. They also might have realized that the night in question was a planned T'AR night as there was the scheduled meeting with the WO's, Sea Folk and so forth. Or they might have realized it once they saw a large number of Aes Sedai using the sleep ter'angreals. Regardless, they picked the perfect time to strike.

Call it the pattern's intervention or whatever, but their plan was excellent. Had Gawyn not obtained the information from the captured sul'dam, rushed back to TV, and had his personal MoA (as you documented so well), the Bloodknives would have produced a slaughter.
craig thrift
440. gagecreedlives

Here is the quote Terez27 was referring to

The Fisher was always worked as a man, a bandage blinding his eyes and one hand pressed to his side, a few drops of blood dripping through his fingers. The reasons, like the source of the name, were lost in the mist of time. That troubled him sometimes, enraged him, what knowledge might be lost in the turnings of the Wheel, knowledge he needed, knowledge he had a right to. A right!

So yeah gonna say he doesn't remember his previous lives
441. Shadow_Jak
My thoughts about the Blood Knives...

Would not really make sense for them to be chosen primarily for their fighting skills.That super warrior image is likely just something carefully cultivated among the masses (and among the blood knife candidates) to enhance the image and boost recruiting.

They are much more likely to be chosen simply for absolute fanatical loyalty. Also small stature of course, as are all "Fists Of Heaven"

But the main advantage is likely just that they have the suicide cloaking rings and their superiors have decided that they really are crazy enough to actualty use them.

In other words, your basic suicide bomber type.
442. Shadow_Jak
Blood Knives cont...

I don't mean to say that they are not very, very good warriors.

Just that they are not likely of; Blade Master, Aiel, Wolf Brother, super dooper, super ninja, quality.

More likely just your typical; Warder, Deathwatch Guard (human), Band of the Red Hand soldier, type quality.
443. Shadow_Jak
Mo and Cad meeting...

Cad, "You!"
Mo, "You!"

Together, in harmony, and on Que...

"I thought your were dead!"
444. Jaboney
@ Wetlandernw 432. "I finally came to the conclusion that "A Memory of Light" couldn't be referring only to Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount. If that were the case, why would they save that title for the last book?"

I expect the series to end with an epilogue in which Rand's consciousness is riding shotgun behind another's sky-blue eyes. That youth, or more likely child, will be as yet ignorant of what's to come, but Rand -- the determined passenger -- he'll remember. That'll answer the reference.
John Massey
445. subwoofer
Rand finally found some batteries for a flashlight, they called it a "shocklance" back when. Title will be "remember where I put that light?"

446. wpppat
I'm looking for a place to comment on my disapointment with TOR's withholding the ebook version of Towers of Midnight. I was willing to pay paper book price for an electric version of the book. My position now is to read the version at the library and not allow TOR to profit from withholding the ebook version.
Alice Arneson
447. Wetlandernw
wpppat @446 - That place is not here. You could try this, but realize that a lot of others got there before you. I know it doesn't show TofM on the list; FWIW, it wasn't originally going to be released until next October sometime. Brandon persuaded Harriet to go for the February (?) release.

Also, for what it's worth, I happen to know that Team Jordan is working really hard right now - to the exclusion of pretty much everything else - to catch all the typos and errata possible from the first release, to get them corrected in the ebook version. So there is a benefit to waiting.
448. wagman26
A thought on Moridin.

Perhaps he wants the wheel to stop, because Old Grim will not allow his soul to be reborn. Just keeps claiming him from death, and now to add insult to injury, he can not even remember his past lives. Or he could be a Pontius Pilot character, only he may save this time, instead of condemning.
Scientist, Father
449. Silvertip
@445 subwoofer:

"No, I said A Memory of Bud Light!"

Gerd K
450. Kah-thurak
@432 Wetlander
"RE: "So why would they waste time toying with one male soldier when they're supposed to be waging death and destruction?" My only answer to this, and I agree it may be a bit lame, is that they thought it would be better to take their time and bleed him to death than to risk one of them taking an injury and reducing the mayhem quotient. If they are careful, they ought to be able to do him in without any risk to themselves, and then they have four assassins at large."

It is rather dubious if prolonging a fight is a sound strategy to minimize risk for injury. Espeacially if you fight 3 against 1. Anyways it is rather pointless to discuss why or how Gawyn won against the three assassins. It was written that way and thats it. I just think this scene could have been set up better and therefore made more believable.
Tricia Irish
451. Tektonica
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Missing the blog but enjoying your comments.
Jonathan Levy
452. JonathanLevy
448. wagman26
A thought on Moridin.

Perhaps he wants the wheel to stop, because Old Grim will not allow his soul to be reborn. Just keeps claiming him from death, and now to add insult to injury, he can not even remember his past lives.

Hmmm... interesting idea, but I'm not sure it's practical. First, if he keeps getting resurrected, then he doesn't have any 'past lives' to remember, it's just one long life.

Second, when the Dark One is bound away, I don't think he can resurrect souls. So Ishamael must have been born naturally in the Second Age.
John Massey
453. subwoofer
Right- tGS pg 239- A Place to Begin.

"He has failed before and will fail again," Rand said. "I will defeat him."
Moridin laughed again, the same heartless laugh as before."Perhaps you will," he said. "But do you think t hat matters? Consider it. The Wheel turns, time and time again. Over and over the Ages turn, and men fight the Great Lord. But someday, he will win , and when he does, the Wheel will stop. That is why his victory is assured. I think it will be this Age, but if not, then in another. When you are victorious, it only leads to another battle. When he is victorious, all things will end. Can you not see there is no hope for you?"
"Is that what made you turn to his side?" Rand asked." You were always so full of thoughts, Elan. Your logic destroyed you, didn't it?"
"There is no path to victory," Moridin said. "The only path is to follow the Great Lord and rule for a time before all things end. The others are fools. They look for grand rewards in the eternities, but there will be no eternities. Only the now, the last days."

John Massey
454. subwoofer
And just before that:
"We are all reborn," Moridin continued. "spun back into the pattern time and time again. Death is no barrier to my master save for those who have known balefire. They are beyond his grasp. It is a wonder we can remember them."

So some of the others really were dead. Balefire was the key.

Jay Dauro
455. J.Dauro
But that just means that the DO cannot recover a balefired soul. We do know that the pattern can bring the soul back.  (stated by RJ.) 
John Massey
456. subwoofer
Preaching to the choir.

Thought it was implied in that quote. Will get the rest where Moridin says that folks are constantly re-spun into the Pattern.

Jay Dauro
457. J.Dauro
Oh, you really don't want me singing in the choir. I can't carry a tune in a bucket.  ;^D
458. wagman26
@452 jonathan levy

If he has lived and died, I'd call that a past life.

The DO is bound, and he has always been able to resurrect souls.
Jonathan Levy
459. JonathanLevy
458. wagman26
If he is resurrected, but has the same memories, and same personality as he did before he died, then I call it the same life continuing in a new body. But regardless of how we call it, we agree it's not at all the same as being spun out again, right?

I don't think the DO was able to resurrect souls before the bore was drilled.
460. Dr. Thanatos
Perhaps I missed this in the hundreds of posts, but:

1) Anything besides the glossary entry and the SuperFade™ comment to tie Grendal to Asmodean's exit stage left?

2) Was there any reference to the Towers of Midnight in this book other than a brief mention in the prologue? And if not, any comments on the title of this volume?

Janet Hopkins
461. JanDSedai
re: Greandal & Asmodean

Look at post 655 on the original spoiler thread. This is a well thought- out and logical exposition of the reasons that Greandal would have to kill Asmodean.

The towers of Midnight also refer to Egwene's dream in chapter three, where the towers are the Forsaken.
Darth Agilus
462. darth.agilus
@460 Dr Thanatos

Check the earlier thread. It had a lot of discussion on the towers. One other likely theory is that the towers in Finn-land are actually the Towers of Midnight in Seanchan. Either way I believe the Tower of Ghenji (?) is called the Tower of Midnight and would make it plausible to call the Finn towers the same, even if they aren't in Seanchan. Frankly pretty hard to find names for this middle section of the original 1 AMOL book. Perhaps A Storm of Light would have worked but then AMOL would be an awkward title.
Thomas Keith
463. insectoid
Everyone on this side of the pond have a nice Turkey Day? :)

Still enjoying the comments here, even though the discussions seem to be winding down. Maybe someone should suggest a new topic, or a poll, or something. ::wink wink::

Grainne McGuire
464. helen79
A poll?

Years ago at a UK DFS pub day, we looked into arm-folding: do women fold arms under breasts or not?

IIRC, in our highly scientific study we found that it was 50/50 between under and over.

Any interest in that .

In case anyone does bite, I'll begin with I'm an "over".
465. JackMyDog
Eg's again:
So in TGS prologue we have this nice tale of Borderland farmers looking at the sky, realize what's coming, make arms from scratch and head out for the LB,-- leaderless!!!
They arrive at the field, a MOT(Taveraness) like has never been seen and EGOwain to her new mien, "Gwayn, go check that rabble out". Ostensibly cause they look like trouble, no Lords or even uniforns but also to absorb their numbers into her side of the arguement with Rand. All the arguments I've read, didn't skip one comment and I still think her great big Attabo0y in TGS is wiped out by her attitudes in ToM.
Heck in TAR at the WT the way she "handled Perrin". She of all people should know about Him. She was there when he got the Goldeneyes and knew who he'd become and had met him in TAR on at least two occasionsIIRC.
The WO from the outset of her training have explained the futility of weaves over will. And she still doesn't get it even after Perrin's will defies weaves she still blows out a wall with the OP cause she tells herself it's quicker.
Jonathan Levy
466. JonathanLevy
440. gagecreedlives

The Fisher was always worked as a man, a bandage blinding his eyes and one hand pressed to his side, a few drops of blood dripping through his fingers. The reasons, like the source of the name, were lost in the mist of time. That troubled him sometimes, enraged him, what knowledge might be lost in the turnings of the Wheel, knowledge he needed, knowledge he had a right to. A right!

So yeah gonna say he doesn't remember his previous lives

For the record, I don't think it's likely that Moridin has been constantly resurrected throughout the turning of the wheel.

But the fact that he doesn't have all the memories backwards that he thinks he should isn't proof of this, in my opinion, because when Aran'gar and Osan'gar are resurrected, Osan'gar notices that he's got holes in his memory. So if someone were repeatedly resurrected, they would eventually find themselves not remembering a lot of things that they used to.

Hmm... that might make them angry. They might even feel they had a right to those memories...
467. JackMyDog
It's been posted here comments that speculate that Verin is Nakomi. While that might be true one argument for it is that "Verin studied Aeil, as Browns will do.
While I love Verin deeply and always have, I disagree with this premise.
In tGH Verin leads the pelaquin over the Dragonwall and meets Urien. She is all surprised and excited hearing of Wise Ones and Rhuidean, like it's all news to her. Then afterward(after Falme) she's briefly at the WT to give Eg the TAR T'er and then off to the TR to find sparkers.
After the Wells she's absorbed into the WO's clutches where she does a decent job of getting around the WO but spends most of her time doing her secret weave to the swown AS and the minute the strings are loosened by the WO she's joined up with Cads, No POV showing any interest in Aeil matters.
My theory for Nakomi is an Aeil hero of legend living in TAR like Birgette and Gaidel. There must be othersw, there are just constraints prohibiting them from contacting the living. So Avi is in dreamland, not being real experienced or trained in dreamwalking (Egwene glomed all the training) and doesn't realise it when she meets Nakomi who Avi detects can't channel. Unless of course she'e inverted a weave that masks her ability. Tricky explaining that one. Can anyone see through that weave?
468. JackMyDog
Yes Verin can lie but we never see any indication that she answers to her BA heart. If she's a heart leader (hearthrob) she should have the occasional visit from FS or Naeblis or whatever and have some missions to accomplish,goals to meet, people to mess with, you know, dark things like killing Mat and Perrin. How could she not answer for those failures. Is (was) Verin a freerange Darkfriend.
And the Darkdeeds we know of, compelling sisters, was indeed for the Light.And even BA sisters were compelled to help Rand reach the LB. Elza still caved though and I don't know how that failed. What really happened there ? My copy of tGS is on hiatus!
469. hamstercheeks
JackMyDog -- Semi removed the Compulsion-Lite on Elza.

Re: Sorilea as Darkfriend

This theory only applies if Sorilea was indeed the one to undo Cadsuane's security measures around the box. What if she isn't a DF at all? What if, like Aviendha, she saw a vision in Rhuidean that prompted her to do this? Maybe her Rhuidean visions hinted that Rand has to go through wearing that collar, so that he would reach the absolute bottom, before rising to the top as JesusRand.
470. JackMyDog
What other charactors reside in TAR, former (will be again) humans? Hopper couldn't see Birgette? Are there lots of others? Will Noel go there? Yes MAYBE he'll be a Hero of Legend but who decides who gets spun on the wheel this way? Why not the Queen AS of Manatheren, Aemons wife or Aemon himself or any of thoses great holefillers in Mat's mind. I'm sure many of them deserve HOL status.
Theresa Gray
471. Terez27
Jack@468 - She probably went after the boys in TGH on orders from Alviarin (who was at Fal Dara). She spoke of her orders when she gave the books to Egwene. Other than that, we could hardly expect RJ to give us much info on her orders without giving away the secret - I suspect nearly everything she did was on orders. Nearly. Elza had her Compulsion removed.
472. wagman26

Also remember that she has been pulling peoples deepest secrets from them under her ability to hypnotize. She surely has knowledge of dangerous plans, that she is certainly trying very hard to disrupt.

@ The Chosen having holes in their memories

I believe this is from being trapped in the Bore, for thousands of years. Does anyone remember which book talked about this? Terez?
Alice Arneson
473. Wetlandernw
forkroot @437 - Well, not so much thinking yesterday... One of our guests sat down at the piano and played all sorts of great stuff - Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Rachmanianov and several others whose names I didn't know. With that to listen to, my mind was otherwise occupied. Blame Laurie for being such an excellent pianist! :) Also, blame the lack of current puzzles that haven't been beaten to death already.

Kah-thurak @450 - speaking of beaten to death... I just have to remind y'all that Gawyn, at about 6'3", would have a significant reach advantage over the Bloodknives, who are "small of stature" as required to become a member of the Fists of Heaven. Given their stealth mode, it's a good chance they aren't carrying the longest possible swords, so Gawyn might well be using something quite a bit longer than they. Combine those, and he's got a reach advantage of at least a foot, maybe more. Not to mention that he's in the habit of practicing against multiple opponents. I'd call just that much a fair start at "setting it up." There are more points to be made, but mostly they have been, and you just don't like it. Oh well. As you say, it is what it is.

Dr. Thanatos @460 - WoT titles always have both direct and metaphorical meanings. So Towers of Midnight refers directly to the Seanchan location we saw in the prologue, but it also refers metaphorically to the towers in Egwene's dream, Mat & co. in the Tower of Ghenjei, the White Tower battle against the BA & Mesaana, and, to some extent, the nightmare that is starting to be revealed in the Black Tower. Also, that things are looking pretty dark in general - it's midnight, and dawn is a long way off.

grainster @464 - Well, as it depends mostly on how a woman is built, I'm not sure how meaningful the question (or answer) is...

JackMyDog @465 - You are, of course, entitled to your opinions. However, no character has, until this book, known that the Wolf Dream and TAR are the same thing. How on earth would Egwene know that Perrin was getting expert wolf training in TAR?

ditto @467 - There is a certain amount of evidence that during her time with the Aiel, Verin was at least observing them as closely as possible. Given her talents, this could be very closely indeed, even while she was busy with other things. To all appearances, she was with them for approximately 1.5 months (50 days or so), allowing for a fair bit of study. She certainly didn't spend all her time with the other AS there.

ditto @468 - We know nothing of Verin's heart or her position in it. Even if she were the "leader" (if they have such) there's absolutely no reason for her to have contact with any Forsaken. We've been told quite clearly that orders are mostly passed anonymously among the BA, but of course we weren't shown any scenes where Verin received such orders. That little secret, while faintly hinted throughout the books, was saved for its big reveal in TGS. Wouldn't have been much of a surprise if we'd seen her taking orders from Mesaana, would it?
474. wagman26

Well no one may have known that the wolf dream and Tar were the same, but it has been hinted at by Moiraine stating that wolves have been seen in Tar before, and also when she notes that Faile has been trapped there by the hedgehog device and Perrin subsequently freeing her. But agree with Egwene not possibly knowing he was entering Tar, and as to 465 I can not remember them meeting in Tar before this last book.
Birgit F
475. birgit
Given their stealth mode, it's a good chance they aren't carrying the longest possible swords, so Gawyn might well be using something quite a bit longer than they.

The Bloodknives use knives, not swords.

We know nothing of Verin's heart or her position in it. Even if she were the "leader" (if they have such) there's absolutely no reason for her to have contact with any Forsaken.

She met at least Mesaana:

One of the Chosen is in the Tower, child. It's Mesaana, I'm certain of it. I had hoped to be able to bring you the name she was hiding under, but the two times I met with her, she was shrouded to the point that I couldn't tell. What I did see is recorded in the red book.

TGS ch. 39
But agree with Egwene not possibly knowing he was entering Tar, and as to 465 I can not remember them meeting in Tar before this last book.

Eg saw Perrin the first time the used Verin's ring (TDR ch. 27).
476. dr. Thanatos
Thanks for the thoughts on the Towers. But vis-a-vis Graendal vs Asmodean:

The glossary, under Graendal, states that she was responsible for destroying Mesaana and Asmodean. The only direct reference I can find to this in the text is Fade-boy telling Graendel that "she was responsible for destroying 3 of the Chosen." I guess by process of elimination that means Arangar, Mesaana, and Asmodean. But is there anything else in the text that refers to this?
Stefan Mitev
477. Bergmaniac
Yes, there's this in Chapter 5:

"Aran'gar is dead, lost to us—and after the Great Lord transmigrated her soul the last time. One might think you are making a habit of this sort of thing, Graendal."
"I live to serve, Nae'blis," she said. Confidence! She had to seem confident.
He hesitated just briefly. Good. "Surely you do not imply that Aran'gar had turned traitor."
John Massey
478. subwoofer
@Wetlander- yes, but did your guests play "chopsticks"?
::Sniff:: There is no excuse for some people's tastes;P

@JackMyDog- er Woof™. Welcome to the pack. Now I do agree with Wet that nobody, with the exception of Faile now, knows about the Wolf Dream. That being said, can Egwene be given the credit for being that intelligent for extrapolating the idea from what she does know about Perrin? Most of Perrin's changes were of the physical nature, specifically his eyes. I am kinda wondering about how many folks remember about Perrin's sense of smell tho'. He did become a sniffer for a bit. The Wolf Dream... did the Aiel Dreamwalkers mention it? Do they even know about it? That would be the only way that Egwene would even have a clue of Perrin's abilities.

John Massey
479. subwoofer
Bloodknives. Well, they do have the advantage of stealth, and Gawyn is an idiot, so that's another point in their favor. It was skill that let Gawyn overcome his stupidity and figure out how to "see" the little biters snip around. My opinion is tainted tho' because I do bear a grudge against Seanchan. Once again, like Suffa, the Seanchan could end things and give me peace, but no, Suffa lives, Gawyn lives. Tuon is going to have to pull a rabit outta her a$$ to make me change my opinion of the massive bungling her people are doing. The IOU for redemption is getting steep here folks.

Patrick Huff
480. pattack
If someone could help with this it would be great?

I am wondering if there is any known reference as to how long Morridin has been free from the bore or if he had always been free causing havoc all over the world.

The black Ajah has been around for a while and must have been started by someone with a connection to the DO. The trolloc wars must also been propigated by someone with considerable power and influence. Unless Shaidar Haran was behind that.
Patrick Huff
481. pattack
You know what, nevermind, I just remembered the prologue in EOTW. That pretty much summed it up!!!!
Daniel Hanley
482. Kythorian
To pattack @ 480, Ishy was cycled in and out over time. So he would be sealed away for 40-50 years, then get a few years free. Or something like that. I seem to remember someone working out a theory about the exact lengths of his time spent in stasis and the time spent free, but yes, he spent a fairly significant amount of time free, yeah.

We know he started the black ajah, started the trolloc wars, was Hawkwing's advisor(and turned him against the Aes Sedai), corrupted the prophesies of the dragon when Hawkwing's son went off to Seanchan, and killed the head of the black ajah when he found out she was trying to have the Dragon Reborn killed back when Rand was born. Thats all i can think of that has been confirmed as him, but yeah, he has been rather active over the years.
Alice Arneson
483. Wetlandernw
birgit @ 475 - During the scene with Gawyn & the 3 Bloodknives, they are described as using swords. (Must admit I thought that a little odd - seemed like they ought to just have knives, but... that's what it says.) Still, I'm betting their primary tool is a knife, and they only use a sword for situations like this. Not that any of them get much practice at the assassin thing, since it's rather a one-off.

Hmmm... There's a point for Gawyn, maybe. Given the way the ter'angreal works, they can't actually practice with it. So I'm sure they study the effects and are trained with them in mind as much as possible, but it's not like these guys are "experienced" in this particular situation. I wonder if they get a little over-confident with the "no one can hit you because they can't see you properly" thing. Their job is ostensibly to sneak in and kill without even being seen; they aren't supposed to have to fight confrontationally. As fighters with the Fists of Heaven, they ought to at least be experienced with it, but when you go on this kind of mission you wouldn't be expecting it. Just a musing...

About Egwene & Perrin in TAR... I was too lazy to look it up yesterday, but I did have the notion that she had at least seen him at some point, (and possibly vice versa) but without realizing they were both there intentionally. If the only time she's seen him there was when she first used the dream-ring, it would stand to reason that she wouldn't make any real connection with his developing skill. At that point, she didn't know much about it herself, but she did know that people occasionally dream themselves there. And that was a long time ago, relatively speaking. Thanks for finding the reference. :) You always come through!
Guillaume Bergeron
484. Nightbaron
Re: Perrin and Egwene meeting in TAR:

I don't quite recall when this happened, probably in TSR, but there was the time that Perrin was looking at holes in the sky in TAR, saw Egwene and Amys watching the White Tower crumble or something, and they turned around and saw him. I don't have my books with me now, but that was another example of them encountering each other in TAR.
Abhijit Srivastava
485. abhi_sedai
The number of posts cranked up in the continuation thread in such a short period is scary now. My contribution is usually restricted to lurking on the thread looking up new theories.

Looking to change that with a few of my thoughts.

@439. forkroot
I don't think the bloodknives knew about the Aes Sedai excursions into TAR and the dream terangreal. I think they just wanted to strike when Egwene was asleep after eliminating the guards. As Egwene surmised, the noise of their struggle with the tower guards was meant to lure Egwene outside the protection of her wards, so that third hidden bloodknife could finish her off.

@478. subwoofer:
I think the Aiel wise ones now know of Perrin's ability to step into TAR. Edarra I believe kept Masuri from healing Perrin while he was in the wolf dream battling Slayer in the nightmare). saying it would not work until he was awake.

Few of my own theories:
1) The letters with the red seal given to Rand:
I think this one reveals the whereabouts of the Domani king. Rand had no knowledge of this prior to visiting the White Tower when Tiana handed him the same.

2) Aviendha's trip to the way forward terangreal.
I think on further contemplation and subsequent discussion with the Wise Ones, she will discover that the experience in the way forward terangreal is something every Wise One undergoes on their second trip. A glimpse into the possible future. I think the other WOs got a glimpse of what might have happened if they hadn't sent the Aiel to find the Car'a'carn.
Jay Dauro
486. J.Dauro
abhi_sedai @485

Rand makes a comment about this
"A friend left me a secret," Rand said. "The White Tower collected Mattin Stepaneos to 'protect' him. Well, it wasn't too much of a leap to wonder if they might have done that with other monarchs. And if they sent sisters to Arad Doman to seize him months ago, before any of them knew of gateways, they could have gotten trapped in the snows on their return trip."

So Verin apparently told him of Mattin Stepaneos in the letter Tiana delivered, and he made the deduction for Alsalam.

I doubt that the other Wise Ones have done the Way Forward trip. If they expected Avi to do so, they would have told her to go back and walk again. But the Wise Ones had told her to enter twice is forbidden. The Wise Ones are more likely remembering their trip through the Rings, along with their skill in the Dream.
Ron Garrison
487. Man-0-Manetheran
On Gawyn and Bloodknives
Much has been discussed but yesterday* during my re-read I came across Gawyn's first encounter with a Bloodknife. It was while he was trying to avoid guarding Egwene, but just kept being drawn to her door.

“There was a flash of movement, and something spun in the air. Gawyn threw himself to the side, and steel struck stone. ... The knife that had been thrown for his heart skidded across the tiled floor. ...

"A person leaped out, swinging a sword for Gawyn’s head. He whipped his blade into Cutting the Reeds, knocking aside the attack. The assassin was much shorter than Gawyn, so he should have had a strong advantage in reach. Yet the assassin moved with a blurring speed, sword darting at Gawyn in a series of thrusts, not using any sword forms Gawyn recognized.

So, from this we know that the BK's use both knives and swords, are smaller than Gawyn who therefore exceeds them in reach, and they use sword forms not of the types recognized in Randland. I hope that helps, tho' I think having three attack him was really stretching plausibility for no good reason. Killing one in defense of Egwene would be a MOA, two would be greater, but three was over the top. storywise.
*yesterday is known in the states as "Black Friday" and it's not just the ominous name that convinces me it is the creation of the Dark One. I refused to participate and spent a relaxing day reading instead of fighting crowds of crazed consumers.
Alice Arneson
488. Wetlandernw
Ha! Smart guy. I, too, avoided the black death and stayed home for some quality time.

And - well spotted. Both knife and sword as needed, Gawyn has the reach... Odd that in this scene, the BK uses sword forms he doesn't recognize, but in the other at least one move looks like a familiar form (River Undercuts the Bank is used twice).
Jonathan Levy
489. JonathanLevy
486. J.Dauro
I think you misunderstood abhi. The implication is not that many other Wise Ones have already seen the forward vision during their second trip to Rhuidean, but that any Wise One can see the wayforward visions if they go through the columns again.

If I have understood abhi correctly, then I agree completely. I also think that it's possible that some Wise Ones did try to go through the columns in a second time, but none came out - hence the restriction that a woman may go twice to Rhuidean (first time - rings, second time - columns), but more means death.
Abhijit Srivastava
490. abhi_sedai
J. Dauro @486
You could be right that Rand's deduced, rather than being explicitly informed about Alsalam's kidnapping by Aes Sedai in the letter Verin left with Tiana.

Regarding the wise ones,
I think Jonathan got my point. I feel that each wise one sees the Aiel's future in their second trip to Rhuidean (in the wayforward terangreal). They see a glimpse of what might happen if they don't play their part well. It seems the onus is on Aviendha's to help the Aiel find purpose and honour. The true dreams also help guide their actions.

Taking an example of Amys. I feel that she might well have seen her people's complete destruction if they did not find the
Car'a'carn and follow him.

Interpreting something from the dreams and hearing prophecies is one thing, but to actually watch the destruction of their people from the eyes of their own descendents is another (in the way forward terangreal.

If this theory is correct, I will be quite interested to know what Sevanna and the other Shaido wise ones saw.

Regarding the Blackknives:
Does anyone know how many still survive?
Birgit F
491. birgit
Much has been discussed but yesterday* during my re-read I came across Gawyn's first encounter with a Bloodknife.

I just got to that scene in my own (re)read. (It's really the first read because at first I couldn't get the book, only the audio version.)

*yesterday is known in the states as "Black Friday" and it's not just the ominous name that convinces me it is the creation of the Dark One.

The only Black Friday I know is the stock market crash in 1929. Wikipedia has a long list of Black Fridays, but none seem to be the right date.

I feel that each wise one sees the Aiel's future in their second trip to Rhuidean (in the wayforward terangreal).

The Wise Ones go through a different ter'angreal that shows them all possible futures the first time they go to Rhuidean. The second time they go through the history ter'angreal once.

If this theory is correct, I will be quite interested to know what Sevanna and the other Shaido wise ones saw.

Sevanna never went to Rhuidean. When Rand reveals the true Aiel history, she doesn't believe him.
Jay Dauro
492. J.Dauro

We know the Wise Ones have seen the past of the Aiel, they have talked about it. They have also said that no one can walk the Pillars more than once. So I do not see how they could have gone through the Way Forward.

We know that they experience possible futures in the Rings (as birgit said.) We know that they can see visions in Dreams (and even send a letter to someone who will not be at a location until the letter arrives.) We know they have extensive prophecies of the Car'a'carn. (Heck, even Couladin knew the Prophecies about the Car'a'carn, and he never went to Rhuidean.)  I do not see any need to assume that they see the Way Forward as Avi did to explain their knowing what they need to do, and that they need the Car'a'carn to prevent the destruction of the Aiel.

Avi did something she was specifically told not to. If they expected her to go through the Way Forward, why would they not tell her to do it?

BTW, the Friday after Thanksgiving is not called Black Friday because it is bad (though traffic was originally the cause of the name in Philadelphia, according to Wikipedia. It is called that because this is supposedly when merchants start moving into the 'black' for the year. (That is, they start making profit.) Maybe. I just stay home.
John Massey
493. subwoofer
Maybe it should be renamed "Buffet Day". That should get more people out and about. I am not sure about Golden Corral, it has cute commercials, but up here we have a Bonanza and my wife has a buffet place right across from her work...

Geeze I'm hungry over here!

Patrick Huff
494. pattack
I'm wondering when Egwenes dream sequence regarding the rescue of her by the Seanchan, namely the Empress, is going to take place in AMOL. If I remember correctly, Egwene is supposed to be hanging on a ledge and is offered a hand by her most hated enemy.

I wonder if the Empress and her army has been invited to the meeting in Mellinor. I would say no, considering the only news we heard from Fortuona is her attempting another attack on the White Tower. I don't know how many sisters Egwene took with her at the end of TOM, but maybe this would be the most opportune time to attack the tower and collect as many Novices and accepted as possible.

Rand is going to make peace with the Seanchan from what we heard from Aviendha regarding her trip through the rings. The Seanchan prophecies say Rand will kneel before the crystal throne. We know that these prophecies are corrupted, but the Empress is unaware of this, as is Rand. Will Rand go to Seandar to fulfill a prophecy without Fortuona? Kneel before another holding the throne there? Rand has been there before when he bedded Aviendha, so it would be possible to reach the continent with her help.

This could possibly be the key to solving Aviendhas dilemna with the Aiel and Rands problem uniting the armies of all against the DO. It is quite possible that Rand could convince the power in Seandar to attack the armies of Fortuona in Ebou Dar and points west.

Personally, I think Mat, Perrin and Egwene will decide the fate of the Seanchan alliance and I would not be surprised to see Mat at the White Tower picking up the Horn of Valere when the Seanchan attack takes place and is thwarted.

It is hard to predict the outcome of all these events. I, am by no means saying I am correct. I am only speculating on how the unification is going to take place considering the hatred among all the factions
Mari Davis
495. sheiglagh
Black Friday - to those who are not from the U.S., black Friday denotes the time that retailers start making a profit, referencing an old accounting practice of writing losses in red and profits in black.

Same as in other parts of the world, western europe and the U.K. In particular, the lion's share of selling is done during the holiday / Christmas season. Because of that, Christmas had been commercialized so much.

And before someone complains about businesses taking advantage of the spirit of the season, please try to remember that retail is a big part of the economy and if a retailer lays off employees, a lot of people lose their jobs.

That said, I would also like to add that early figures show the for the black Friday weekend, estimated sales is over US$4 billion. That will go a long way for the economic recovery that everyone is waiting for.

Now, back to Gawyn. I still believe that Gawyn surviving the BK attack is very plausible. He is on the top three list of top swordsman in Randland. And like what Brandon said, Gawyn is luckier than he thinks.

Skill and luck can go a long way.

I believe that the reason why many cannot believe Gawyn's victory as well earned is because many of us here do not like Gawyn as a character. If it was Mat, I wonder if the outcry will be less.
Alice Arneson
496. Wetlandernw
abhi_sedai @490 - All 5 bloodknives (I assume that's what you meant) are now dead. They got the last one later that same night or the next day, IIRC.

pattack @494 - Well.... there are several theories regarding the true identity of the Seanchan woman who helps Egwene up the cliff. Speculation includes: Fortuona, Tylee Kirghan, Egeanin, and "the Seanchan people in general."

It's doubtful that the Seanchan have (yet) been invited to the Fields of Merrilor, since at present it's limited to Rand's (and Egwene's) allies. Fortuona is still thinking in terms of subjugating the one and leashing the other, so she's not exactly an ally just yet...

Of course, it all remains to be seen, and Brandon will be writing it soon, what's not already written. I personally think it would be just about perfect (and hilarious, in a way) for Mat to blow the Horn of Valere to defend the White Tower against the Seanchan attack. Especially if, unlikely as it is, Fortuona was there to watch. Uh... woops? I can only hope!

sheiglagh @495 - I agree with you on Gawyn, personally; much as I deplore some of his decisions and general way of thinking, he's always been presented as a prime fighter. And I cracked up at "If it was Mat, I wonder if the outcry will be less." Ya think? Of course, he'd use the ashanderei, and those in favor would say it's been set up better. Oh well.

Re: Black Friday... I think it should be Moridin Friday. The retailers go into the black, and the consumers go into the red. ::shrug::
Sydo Zandstra
497. Fiddler
Re: Bloodknives and what they fight with.

The first attack on Gawyn was with a throwing knife. I guess the sword that assassin used in the follow up would have been either a short sword, or a longknife.

My bet would be a longknife here, but maybe that's because I always picture assassins using those. More fitting for stealth, I guess, and maybe it's because the assassins in Erikson's Malazan books (Kalam, Apsalar, any Clawmember) use them.

That also explains why Gawyn only sees a few moves that sound familiar. He's been training with a long blade, in a 2-handed fighting style (I'm basing that on the fact that we never see him use a second blade or a shield, and 2-handed seems to be the main Warder/Warrior fighting style in Randland). Different weapons require different moves.

Re: how many Bloodknives are left...

IIRC, there were 5 Bloodknives to begin with. Bryne killed one in tGS, and Gawyn killed three.

If I was right in the starting number, and didn't forget something, that leaves one unaccounted for. Of course that one could easily have died offstage, but I guess a body should have been found then.

Edit: Of course Wet beat me to it. Although I'm not sure about the last one being caught. IIRC Gawyn only has 3 rings. He'd have taken the 4th as well if he could, is my guess.

Anybody care to enlighten?
Ben Kane
498. NerveAgent
ToM, pg 637:

One other assassin had turned up. They'd lost two soldiers and a Warder killing her.

The fifth bloodknife is accounted for. Don't know what happened to her ring.
B. Loppe
499. Myriads
Oh, Dragon! I have read all of both threads, and I am now exhausted. I am happy to be able to finally close this tab on my browser! I have (at the moment) just one thing to add, and I am amazed that no one has brought it up specifically. If someone has, and I missed it, I'm sorry.
Regarding Egwene's actions wrt to Rand and his plan to break the seals, I think there is an important passage in "A Call to Stand" as she is writing her letters to the various rulers. For me, it casts all of her actions after her meeting with Rand into quite a different light; one where she's really working with him, rather than against him.

"Obliquely, she realized what she was doing. She was using Rand's proclamation as a beacon by which to gather and tie the monarchs to the White Tower. They would come to support her arguments against breaking the seals. But in the end, they would serve humankind in the Last Battle." (p 428)

This passage really stood out to me on my first read, and on reflection and taking into consideration everyone's criticisms of her actions, I think it's important to remember that Egwene has taken the Three Oaths. She can't lie, even to herself, so she has to completely endorse what she claims are the motivations for her actions. When she writes something in a letter, then that ruler can't doubt what she writes is true (at least ostensibly.) Obliquely, she is using Rand's proclamation as tool, and a goad, and bait to cause those who might hold back for their own insane reasons from running when Rand calls for their participation in the Last Battle. But by gathering them to stand in opposition to what seems like insanity in Rand's plan, when he does meet her to discuss that plan, then she could be "convinced" quite easily not to oppose him, and then ... when the Amyrlin and the Dragon both say that something's maybe probably a good idea, there's not much that can stop them. And as many have pointed out, the armies being all gathered and ready to fight is necessary. However, if Egwene didn't believe what she was writing was true, then she couldn't use those claims to convince the reluctant rulers to get their armies' asses moving. So she's aware of what she's doing in some corner of her mind, but she can't pay too much attention to that or her hands will be tied.
Sydo Zandstra
500. Fiddler
Thanks, NerveAgent. I guess that settles it. :)
501. JasRiddle
Wow! I've spent the whole day just reading all the posts and all I wanna say, I really look foward to the meeting of Mat and her empress in AMOL - should be really cool.
Alice Arneson
502. Wetlandernw
B.Loppe @499 - First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! You made it all the way through!

As for content... Good catch! It might even go a long way to explaining why Egwene isn't working too hard to see why Rand might need to break the seals; she's got to let herself believe that it's a bad thing at least long enough to convince the various monarchs to come. Once they're tied to the WT, she can direct them to follow whoever is necessary to fight the Last Battle. So her ultimate purpose is to get them into place for the LB, even though the immediate goal is to keep Rand from doing something (the world at large thinks is) clearly insane. Mind you, I think she is convinced it's a bad idea; however, I think she also recognizes that Rand, as himself and as the DR, may know something he hasn't told her yet.

Fiddler - and you caught 500, too! :)
Sandy Brewer
503. ShaggyBella
Where are the Fields of Merrilor located? Is that where the farmers in the TGS prologue were heading? Is there a new map in TOM? I guess I miss some good stuff listening to the audiobook. I could not find mention of it in the other books. Thanks.
John Massey
504. subwoofer
@Wet- exactly what I said! Tuon shows up, Mat blows the Horn to deal with her lovingly invading army and Hawkwing comes from the mists. Tuon sees him, falls to her knees and finally steps into line and stops being a nipple.

@B.Loppe- exactly what I said! Egwene is not a complete tit, she marshalls the troops, but we gotta give her more credit than to believe the Last Battle is around the corner and she is going to stand in Rand's way. Egwene is boobish, but as I have said, not a complete tit. I am thinking ducks are just lining up.

@Sheigla... its not that I can't believe that Gawyn can't defeat the BKs, I am just dissappointed that he is still alive. If Egwene hadda dithered on the Bonding process, we all would be Gawyn free and put out of our misery. Are there banana peels in Randland? Couldn't some wayward Warder eat a few, toss them over his shoulder and somebody forgets. Gawyn blunders along and zip- boom! Gawyn go bye-bye. A pup can dream, can't he?

505. Wilderwest
Thanks to everyone here for such a great discussion on my favorite addiction. It's fascinating going through all the comments and theories. Keeps me going back and re reading the books again and again.
Just a thought...Probably loony tunes time, but here goes..
Could any of the new characters be from a Portal Stone accessed reality? The Strange Aiel woman Nakomi, and the red veiled toothy guys?
I seem to recall that the world Rand, Hurin and Loial ended up in with "Selene" was a world that could have been. One where Hawkwing was defeated and the Trollocs were given free reign until there was nothing left to destroy or eat.
So.. since there are many symbols on the Portal Stones to choose from, that would imply that there are many alternate realities as well. Why couldn't someone come to Randland from their own Portal Stone in their world? Or perhaps Ishydin knows about the Portal Stones, and is recruiting.
Like I said...Loony tunes time.
Anyways, I left a half full bottle of Laphroaig and a bowl of Hersheys semi-sweet chocolates in the bunker. Enjoy
Thomas Keith
506. insectoid
Wilderwest @505: That's not a bad idea! Graendal's reference to the Portal Stone worlds in the Epilogue couldn't have just been a throwaway line or a red herring. (Red seal?) ...Or could it? ;)

My mom just finished the book, and is reading the first spoiler thread now, and asking a lot of questions.

Ron Garrison
507. Man-0-Manetheran
@503 ShaggyBella: Fields of Merrilor - They are described as north of Tar Valon and on the border of Shienar. If you look at the black and white maps in the books you will see a road from Tar Valon that ends in Fal Dara just south of Tarwin’s Gap. I imagine the Fields to then be roughly where that road intersects the border of Shienar.
Jay Dauro
508. J.Dauro
I believe Egwene does want to bind the nations to the White Tower. But I also do not see any way she does not believe Rand has to be stopped from destroying the Seals. She does not leave herself wiggle room in some of her statements.

"I will not let you break the seals," she said. "That is madness."

"Yes, but the seals? That's foolhardy. Surely Rand can face the Dark One, and defeat him, and seal him away without taking that risk."

Rand knows this, and in fact, is counting on it. Reading Chapter 3 he is leading her to do this. And then, he will take advantage of them being together to tell them what they must do.
Alice Arneson
509. Wetlandernw
Jay @508 - In chapter 3, when Rand springs his seal-breaking idea on Egwene, she has all of about two minutes to adjust to the idea before he leaves. That is hardly enough to assimilate the possibility that opening the gates of Hell is anything but madness. In "A Call to Stand" (ch. 27) she's had time to send messages to monarchs and receive replies, so at least a few days must have passed. (Not being one of those who can figure out all the little time-clues, I can't tell you how long it's been, but at least a few days.) At this point, she's still not convinced it's a good idea to break the seals (since Rand has given no clue why it might be good), but as quoted @499, she's gotten to the point of thinking that, whatever the outcome with Rand, it's vitally important that the armies be gathered to fight the Last Battle (not to fight Rand, BTW).

I just scanned back over that chapter, and there are some huge things there; it's well worth re-reading by itself. Egwene presents good reasons to turn the war over to the Hall, she shifts them out of the means of trying to deal with Rand themselves, she gets them to change Tower law to make sure the Hall can no longer sneak things through with a bare quorum, or circumvent the Amyrlin by secret meetings. She also makes some very good points (both in her words and in her thoughts) about Aes Sedai in general. Very revealing, I find.

Until Rand presents some rationale, I don't see her changing her mind about the seals. (I'm not entirely convinced he's right anyway, but that's beside the point.) Even if he's right, he can't reasonably expect everyone to agree if he won't give any more reason than he has so far. The more important issue, in terms of what Egwene (or anyone not in direct and frequent contact with Rand) can do, is preparation of the world for war. In this chapter, the WT learns that the Borderlands are being invaded by massive hordes of Shadowspawn. Since the armies of the world are still scattered around in their respective homelands, Egwene can best spend her time by doing exactly what Rand hoped she'd do - marshall as many as she can get, in a staging area not far from the front lines. The more I think about it, the more I'm glad she a) dumped the Tower's war prep on the Hall and b) isn't wasting a lot of time searching for arguments for or against the seal-breaking question. Considering the immediacy of the situation, I'm even rather glad she's not spending a lot of effort trying to get all those novices ready to fight; in the time frame, she'd end up with a bunch of less-than-half-trained cannon fodder.

I suddenly find it very funny that while we've had great complaint about dumbing down other characters to make the super-kids look good, at the same time we have complaints about Egwene, all by herself, not doing seven impossible things before breakfast. She actually, contrary to most of the action in most of the series, delegates a bunch of the detail work and tries to focus on the most important stuff, for once. Instead of applauding, we rag on her because she's not looking for info on the seals, finding a better way to seal the DO's prison, training and graduating novices, recognizing Perrin's great skill in TAR, getting help to the Borderlands and being empathetic to Rand all in the space of a couple of weeks at most, all while battling the BA and Mesaana in TAR, getting the national armies gathered, and manipulating the WT into something resembling a unified front against the Dark.

Okay, so that was a ramble, aimed at no one in particular. Another 15 months or so until we find out more, I guess. I just realized that I think Egwene has done far better with her time than we as a group give her credit for.
Don Barkauskas
510. bad_platypus
Fiddler @497:
and 2-handed seems to be the main Warder/Warrior fighting style in Randland

Actually, Rand says/thinks as much in KoD, after Semirhage burns off his hand:
"I'll have to learn the sword forms all over again, though." Bashere nodded. Most forms required two hands.

Kimani Rogers
511. KiManiak
Wow; it’s been a long time and there have been a lot of good comments and points made that have me itching to throw my 2cents in…

Wall of Text Warning...

Tabernus@388 – Re: Taim theory- Wow. I never looked at it that way. I could definitely see it. I have to say that I do hope that the 13x13 conversion is reversible. It would be interesting to see a de-Darkified Taim. Would he be repentant? Was his entire False Dragon experience before or after the switch? Would he still be arrogant, yet willing to (this time for real) accede to Rand’s authority as the Dragon Reborn? Interesting…

EvilMonkey@395 – Re: Gawyn having the spark or being able to learn to channel – I like this theory. Actually, this would have me like Gawyn a little more than I do now (and my current opinion of him post ToM is the highest its been since TEotW). I even wouldn’t mind seeing him as a False Dragon in a portal world.

Buddhacat@408 – Re: Verin’s letter- Now that one is new. I think that Verin’s letter could tell him multiple things about his family: his mother in the Waste; his half-brother; his uncle in the Blight; and does he know his father planned to seize the throne and become Andor’s first king? (I think I read that; although I don’t remember exactly where).

Sheiglagh@413 – I actually like Brangelina; have from the start (I get sick of the paparazzi’s coverage of them, though). I like Egwene just fine, but Gawyn is no Brad (even though I may now start envisioning Gawyn as Achilles from the movie Troy the next time I read a Gawyn scene). Oh, and now I have a better mental image for Berelain, too. :D

Wetlandernw@432 –Re: why didn’t the Bloodknives kill AS right away - I’m completely with you on this one. That’s kind of bugged me from the start. I know there are times in the various novels where it seems well trained and respected characters (whether they’re Bloodknives, various Aes Sedai or even Ajah Heads like Adelorna) act in ways that seem somewhat stupid and beneath their implied awesomeness (I believe several of you have made this point; Isilel stands out as one who makes this point often). But this is a big one. 4 super ninja assassins loose in the White Tower right after an incredibly effective and demoralizing raid; and all 4 decide to wait until the Tower heals itself, while only one attempts a strike on a lone sister, healing the wounded and surrounded by armed soldiers? I don’t get it.

Even if you argue that this way they can try to strike terror in the Aes Sedai and sow discord by knocking off the AS leader, I still think the smarter tactical play is to try to knock off as many of the marath’damane as you can while they are incredibly vulnerable and before they ready any counterstrike; and not wait weeks while the Tower rebuilds and hatches potentially more plans and schemes against your Empress (may she live forever… er until Tarmon Gaidon) before deciding to strike. You and Forkroot@439 do bring up some good points, though.

MoM@487 – re: Black Friday – I wish I could have hid from the masses as well. I was dragged out to help my sister and mother select the right electronic devices to buy, and I strongly agree that it must be a creation of the Dark One. :)

B.Loppe@499 – re: Egwene’s ability to lie – I believe that the first Oath is, “I vow that I will speak no word that is not true.” Or at least, that is how Egwene swore in Sealed to the Flame in TGS. Unless she convinces herself that writing (or thinking) is just the same speaking, she can lie to others in writing and to herself when she thinks. Actually, I think many AS often lie to themselves in their thoughts. But, I do agree that the armies needed to be there, and Egwene effectively gathered them all there.

I love how the Star Wars movies marathon has now become a holiday staple for SpikeTV. If ever I need pleasant background noise while I'm reading or online, there it is...
512. MRéka
Am I the only one to whom Brandon Sanderson's writing style is like nails on a chalkboard? With all due respect (because I can only suspect how difficult it must be to take over after Robert Jordan), I still read the Sanderson-written books as quickly as possible and not dwell on the details because they are just so jarringly wrong. Kind of like trying to swallow your vile tasting medicine while holding your nose... It is exactly like bad fan-fiction, except this guy knows the story.

Where Robert Jordan was a master of what was left unsaid, Sanderson feels the need to clobber the reader over the head with the explanations. Repeatedly. And bluntly.

And the dialogues are just painful. Painful. He's gotten a lot better in this book than in the previous book, but man, it's still really bad. Would any of the characters really talk like that? No. When I first read The Gathering Storm, my very brief 6-word review was this: Oh the dialogue! Oh the humanity!

I'm sorry to be a killjoy. I respect all the work that must go into finishing the series. But Sanderson's books are still painful to read.
Thomas Keith
513. insectoid
Wetlander @509: All good points! I did think it was rather smart on Eg's part to rein in the Hall—after all, it's things like bare quorums that got Elaida elected...

Seven impossible things? Hmm, well she is a Supergirl. And there are (or were) seven seals. But I don't think she's gone mad... Hey! That could be a new poll—make a list of seven impossible things for Egwene to do in the next book.

What? I haven't gone bonkers bugnuts yet. ::nudges Sub::

KiManiak @511: I actually think the Star Wars marathon what seems like every other month is a bit annoying. Don't they know about variety? ;) Although, background noise is nice. ::turns on Pink Floyd:: As for Black Friday, I think it was invented to torture us tech-savvy people. (FWIW, Saturday wasn't much better.)

Drat... missed 0x200 too. Where's my sense of timing?

Oh, that's right. It went down the rabbit-hole. ;)

Maiane Bakroeva
514. Isilel
Wetlandernw @509:

The more I think about it, the more I'm glad she a) dumped the Tower's war prep on the Hall

I am not, since so far the Hall has been shockingly incompetent and mired in political scheming on the top of it. WT had a unique opportunity to develop tactics that seamlessly incorporated channeling and normal troops, with both sides contributing and providing officers. Now it won't happen and the body toll for the Light will be all the higher for it.
Also, I'd like to be wrong, but I expect the Seanchan strolling in and taking the WT with very little opposition, since Hall didn't figure out decent protections for Tar Valon. Wouldn't surpise me if the Waygate is unguarded too.

and b) isn't wasting a lot of time searching for arguments for or against the seal-breaking question.

Eh, what? Surely if Egwene objects to Rand's intended course of action, she must be able to offer alternatives. And generally, as leader of the AS, it is her job to have some ideas on how the re-sealing is to be accomplished.
Of course, I always felt it ludicrous that Siuan, who had known that this was coming for 20+ years and was stuck in Tar Valon for all that time, didn't already come up with plans, however flawed, concerning a) + b). She isn't supposed to be a total moron, after all.

Considering the immediacy of the situation, I'm even rather glad she's not spending a lot of effort trying to get all those novices ready to fight; in the time frame, she'd end up with a bunch of less-than-half-trained cannon fodder.

Couldn't disagree more - the Pattern is providing exceptional assissts to everybody training for the TG (see Perrin's refugees). Lord Emarin was able to make gateways less than a month after arriving at BT. Most of the novices already have a decent grasp of channeling, but they need to be taught to fight - both channeling-wise and by learning some military tactics. And to Heal, as far as their talents allow. Even without the help of the Pattern, a month could have made a lot of difference there.

Oh, and will somebody please figure out how channelers who are mainly strong in Water and Air can use their strengths effectively to fight, rather than relying on their largely weak powers of Fire and Earth? This drives me batty.

Generally, TGS ended with Egwene firmly in the saddle, all the Ajah heads supporting her, etc. All this politicking feels like a major regression and out of place, with TG so close. The dumber the authors make the AS the more one has to wonder why Egwene's "unification of the WT" storyline (which I largely liked, BTW) was at all important. And really, the AS already seem to have the IQ of flatworms, so why continue stomping on them, making them ever more idiotic? Argh!

Speaking of the BT - isn't it way to convenient and unbelievable that the TR boys weren't touched by the taint? Didn't Taim report that he had personally harvested "the blackberry bush" back in ACOS? Or was it TPoD? Anyway, there was at least a month between that and the Cleansing - most of the TR boys should have been channeling by then, surely.
Tricia Irish
515. Tektonica
So nice to be back here and on my own computer, complete with commas and asterisks and keys in the proper place!

It was nice to avoid Black Friday and all the attendant hype, too! My kids are now at the ages that stuff is no longer as appealing as experiences...thank the light. We just had our Christmas in the form of a great family vacation! Shopping done!

You guys have been busy! A few quick comments....

Wetlander@473 & Wagman@474:

I don't have my books handy, but I seem to recall Egwene stumbling across Perrin with Hopper in TAR in one of the early books. I think she wrote it off as him accidentally dreaming himself there. ? So, although she has seen him there, given her usual mindset, I don't believe she would assume that he was in TAR "on purpose". Therefore, she shouldn't be too surprised at seeing him there in ToM, but it was obvious his skill level blew her away!

Edit: Thank you Birgit! You are on the facts, as usual! TDR, ch. 27.

Various: Re: Avi and the wayforward trip: It does seem that the purpose of her walk into the future was to help her see that the Aiel need new purpose and direction, and need to be involved in the peace process with the Seanchan...all of which she is in a unique position to help with, having Rand's, er, ear, etc.

I interpreted this as helpful for the Aiel, which makes me lean toward Nakomi as a positive figure, ie: Verin or Avi's own dream state....not Lanfear. We have had numerous prophecies and statements about the "remnant of a remnant", the Tinkers being what's left of the "true" Aiel, the bleakness Rand divulged, etc. Giving Avi a clue as to what the Aiel need to survive in a positive way, is a good thing!

I never thought that Nakomi's little pow-wow with Avi had DO connotations. Why would Nakomi be Lanfear or someone else evil.

Isilel@514: I agree with you whole heartedly. I would love to see the whole Reunification of the WT make the AS shine for TG. Not just Egwene, but all of them. And it's not something Egs has to do by herself. She is good at delegating! So Egwene, be the model and leader with a PLAN. I do hope we get to see some of her planning in AMoL.
Marcus W
516. toryx
Man-o @ 487:
Re: quotes depicting that the Bloodknives were using swords and forms that Gawyn didn't recognize.

Thanks, Man-O. That's exactly what I was saying in the first place. Complete with quotes to back me up!

Wetlander @ 488:
I think there are certainly sword forms that are shared between the two cultures but with a divergence of several centuries new moves are bound to be discovered and developed on both sides. Chances are high that some of the forms Gawyn and other Warders know would be completely alien to the Seanchan as well.

It also makes a large difference in that Gawyn was primarily trained in the sword, whereas the bloodknives were trained with sword, dagger, and both at once. Different disciplines in training lead to different ways of approaching combat, as demonstrated by Mat when he took on Gawyn and Galad at the same time.

sheiglagh @ 495:
That scene with Mat way back in the day is part of why I've been bothered by the leaps and bounds that Galad and Gawyn have taken in their abilities with the sword. Mat defeated both of them simultaneously when he was sick just a couple of years (I think -- I'm sure someone would provide the exact number of days that have passed in between if they wanted) before the present day. Now Mat is super-enhanced with hundreds of memories so he'd be considerably better than he had been on that particular day and yet Galad is now number two and Gawyn is just slightly behind him. Being a blademaster is one thing, but how does that compare to those who don't use swords? Mat should still be both their betters in melee combat but people seem to ignore that. Sanderson says that they're the best in the world with the sword, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't get their asses kicked from here to next Sunday against combatants who use alternative weapon styles.

And seriously, luck is the primary argument for why Gawyn survived? Luck isn't a very strong plot device in most books.
"Why does Rand win the Last Battle? Oh, he was just lucky I guess." If the series ended like that there'd be a massive outcry, and for good reason. That's like one step away, plotwise, from saying it was all a dream. Oh wait, to the Aiel it is!

Okay, though I have more to say I'm going to stop there because I'm frankly running off my fingers too long. Still hating this new comment box, by the way.
Marcus W
517. toryx
MRéka @ 512:
Actually, I'm inclined to agree with you. I made it through the Mistwalker series by sheer force of will alone and when I first read The Gathering Storm, Sanderson's tendency to tell us things (over and over again) rather than showing them drove me bugshit. And I've already bitched at length about his portrayal of Mat (It's a Bloody Good Hat!).

On the other hand, the story I want told is getting told and after spending three months torturing myself with Steven Erikson's Deadhouse Gate I found Sanderson's simple style to be a welcome relief. I might just save the next Erikson book for reading just before AMoL comes out.

Also, it bears saying that everyone has their different tastes. Others I really admire really love both Sanderson and Erikson and might not like GRRM and Stephen King (who I adore). So I consider it all to be bygones. Unless, of course, you're a Stephanie Meyer admirer, in which case all bets are off. :)
Roger Powell
518. forkroot

Hey! That could be a new poll—make a list of seven impossible things for Egwene to do in the next book.

Well, per my predictions about what would (not) happen in ToM, the first impossible task would (not) be:
Get Rand to put the seat back down

Just trying to help out here.
Rob Munnelly
519. RobMRobM
Here's the better and more productive poll - list of unsolved mysteries as of end of ToM. I'll start with questions - feel free to offer more questions and even some answers....

- Where is Demandred?
- Where is Moggy?
- Where is Alanna/what was in Verin's letter
- What was in Galad's red sealed letter?
- Who/what are red veiled guys?
- How will getting Moiraine back "save the world"
- Status of Graendel?
- Status of Liandrin?
- location and activities of Merlille and Talaan (missing since KoD)

Keep them coming. Rob
Antoni Ivanov
520. tonka

Luck is very used plot devise in most fantasy. Being ta'veren is being very lucky (and very unlucky, of couse, again luck though). Then what about Mat! By that logic he is the worst made character plot-wise.It is even realistic, sometimes some of the most successful people are there because they've been very lucky.

The 7 Impossible things for Egwene:
1. Stop being arrogant
2.Bowing to Rand
3.Beating Perrin in TAR
4.Making Siuan stop with her fish cursing
5.Making the Aes Sedai stop being squabling children
6.Helping Rand in the last battle
7.Acknowledging the Asha'man as equal to the Aes Sedai

Come to think about it point 4 is really impossible but Egwene can do it.
Grainne McGuire
521. helen79
Wetlander @473, very valid point re folding arms though Jordan's women uniformly fold under irrespective of their assets (which are often described in far more detail than seems necessary, IMO - but I am not a man).

Anyway no point in wasting any more time or bandwidth over such a thing - I apologise for raising it. The constant descriptions of the folding arms, sniffing and adjusting skirts used to drive me mad first time through the series, especially back in the dark days of 99-07 .

So back to Egwene, Gawyn and all that. How many fewer posts would there be if Gawyn were not in WoT?
Kimani Rogers
522. KiManiak
2 polls! Let’s see…

Impossible things for Egwene to do:

-Stop being arrogant and hypocritical… ah, tonka@520 beat me to it! :)

-Become Romanda & Lelaine’s favorite Amyrlin (and best gal pal)

-Get Cadsuane to stop saying, “Phaw,” “Girl,” and “Boy.” Oh, and to make her call Rand “Lord Dragon,” or “Rand Sedai”

-Get Gawyn to become likable (hmm, couldn’t even be done with him beating 3 Bloodknives)

Couldn’t get 7, but more to come….

Unsolved mysteries at end of ToM:

-Where is Logain/Is he captured by Taim like Mezar (sp) was?

-How will Aviendha ever become pregnant before the Last Battle if she still hasn’t gotten back yet from the Waste - and if Min is still sharing Rand's bed :) ?

-How will Egwene react to having 2 sul’dam that she knows (I think) in the White Tower?

-Will Teslyn give Mat’s message to Egwene? What will be her response? Will Mat have to come get his horn?

-Where are the remainder of the 13 Black Ajah that left the Tower in TDR (aren’t there like 4 or 5 of them left)?

-What will come of Daved Hanlon and the stolen Foxhead medallion?

-Can Pevara and Androl find a way around the dreamspike in the Black Tower? Will Naeff help?

-How many Ashaman are now sworn to the Dark?

-How will Logain achieve great glory?

-Will Egeanin regain her appeal by helping Egwene save the White Tower? Or will it be Tylee? Tuon?

-Will having the 3 ta’veren in one place increase Rand’s Shadow Dispelling Aura?

-Does Rand really have a plan to repair the Bore, or is he just playing it by ear?

More to come!

Edit for clarity.
Marcus W
523. toryx
Tonka @ 520:
Ah yes, but for Mat luck isn't just a random scapegoat for his success. His luck has been explained to us, just as the workings of the taveren have been explained, and built into his character. It's been suggested (though I'm not entirely sure how confirmed the suggestion is) that his luck is part of what he was left with after his link with the dagger was broken.

It's an entirely different thing with Gawyn. His 'luck' isn't a part of the story at all. It's just the author's way of explaining how the character beats impossible odds, an explanation haplessly given outside of the context of the book. Quite unsatisfying in my opinion.

But I know, the subject of Gawyn is beaten half to death. I'll stop with it now.

Edit to correct a typo. Said edit took me 35+ minutes to accomplish for one stupid word.
524. tinkerGal
I loved Perrin's story in the book. And Mat's story was better, but I do find myself really disappointed with the Tower of Ghenji sequence. Biggest reason? For four books or more Olver's been obsessed with the Snakes and Foxes, he's been saved by luck and the skin of his teeth. In this one he announces he's figured out how to beat it... and it doesn't matter. No one pays attention to him. Mat goes to the tower taking Noal with him -- why? I mean other than he's Jaim and we need to resolve that. Mat trusting his dice, we expect. Mat rolling a 1 on two dice, we expect. Mat trusting Olver, that you can win by going back and forth between two rooms, that would have been a suprise.
Maiane Bakroeva
525. Isilel
Toryx @516:

Mat defeated both of them simultaneously when he was sick just a couple of years (I think -- I'm sure someone would provide the exact number of days that have passed in between if they wanted) before the present day.

But did it really have that much to do with Mat's skills? He wasn't even the best staff fighter in TR and he didn't touch a staff for a year in addition to having been sick. But that's when his luck and ta'vereness first kicked in.
As to Mat now? His combat prowess has even less to do do with skill, so it is strange to compare him to the 2 Gs.

But just because super-luck is such an integral part of Mat's character doesn't mean that other characters, even Gawyn (sigh), can't get lucky occasionally, does it? IMHO it would have been interesting if his luck in this case had really been the first sign of channeling.
526. Dr. Thanatos

If Gawyn wants to get lucky occasionally, he should treat Egwene better.

well, someone had to say it...
Sandy Brewer
527. ShaggyBella
I thought Galad was the one who would channel first, not Gawyn. In his swordfight with Valda (KOD):

Floating in emptiness, he drew his sword from the scabbard Bornhald proffered, and the slightly curved blade became part of him.......Galad was not distracted.Every creak of saddle leather was clear and distinct, every ringing stamp of hoof on paving stone. He could hear flies buzzing ten feet away as though they were at his ear. He almost thought he could see the movements of their wings. He was one with the flies, with the courtyard, with the two men. They were all part of him, and he could not be distracted by himself.

He would probably not even be aware of what was happening.
528. hamstercheeks
List of unsolved mysteries:

-Who undid the traps on the sad bracelets?
-How will Caemlyn be defended?
-Will Lan and/or Nynaeve die?
-What is Cyndane up to?
-How will Rand re-seal the Bore?

Seven impossible things for Egwene:
1. Get over her panic attacks when faced with Seanchan/an a'dam.
2. Get back together with Rand.
3. Lure Galad from Berelain.
4. Force Cadsuane to apologize to everyone she's ever spanked.
5. Run a half-marathon in under an hour.
6. Have sleepovers with Elayne.
7. Defy the laws of narrative causality.
Jane Smyth
529. Kaboom
ShaggyBella @527

I doubt either Galad or Gawyn has yet started to channel (if they ever will).
I don't recall either of them being sick upon inadvertently touching the source (about a week after for the first time) as has happened to Rand.

I think there's a lot more chance for Gawyn since both his mother and sister can channel. Gawyn and Galad had the same father, but not the same mother. That description of Galad is probably the effect of the void that is also used by some non-channelers (ie Tam and Rand before he could).
Sam Mickel
530. Samadai
I just had a thought, I wonder if anyone has mentioned or thought of it.

The vision where Perrin needs to be with Rand to save him a second time.
What if it has to do with the dream spike at the black tower? Rand knows what a dream spike is from his LTT memories(I would assume) He is currently with Perrin who is planning on checking in on why traveling isn't possible to the BT. Rand and him go to the dream world. Slayer pops in to stop them, is about to kill Rand, when Perrin uses his wolf king abilities turning Telaranrhiod into his own personal playground, just wills Slayer dead, and whammo he dies. I am sure it will be more complicated than that, but it strikes me as possible.
Ron Garrison
531. Man-0-Manetheran
@ 512 MRéka & 517 toryx: The first time through I was focused on the story and only rolled my eyes occasionally. The second read though, really brought up a LOT of language stuff that is disconcerting at best. And yes, lots of repetition. I had to laugh out loud at Birgitte’s comment regarding the dragons: “I have a terrible feeling that it’s only the beginning.” DOH!

Still, I’m happy that the books are being finished, and I doubt anyone could have completely duplicated the Master’s style.

Ahhh. A RobM2 Poll! These are tuffies, and I only have a couple ides:
- Where is Demandred? - Training an army of Aiel male channelers.
- Where is Moggy? - Hanging around (Moridin’s neck)
- Where is Alanna/what was in Verin's letter - oooo, good one!
- What was in Galad's red sealed letter? - Hmmmm.
- Who/what are red veiled guys? - see Demandred above
- How will getting Moiraine back "save the world" - She and Nyn will hold the colander with Rand and strain out the flaws.
- Status of Graendel? - She will have a bigger role to come.
- Status of Liandrin? - dunno
- location and activities of Merlille and Talaan (missing since KoD) - dunno
Darth Agilus
532. darth.agilus
Should I do it? D'oh! I don't know last time I did it I got called some pretty horrible things. Ahh what the heck its only a comment and there's actually some stuff we haven't covered about Egwene in the last 2000 posts.

@Wetlandernw and several others. I'm with you that Egs is getting picked on for way too many things. A Call to A Stand was actually one of my favorite chapters and she has done some great things in this book. Yeah she's playing politics but she never has had unified support, see Lelaine and Romanda, and its not like the tower is holding hands and singing Kumbaya. As for handing the military to the Tower, my thought was to cringe for Bryne (coincidence Suine's boyfriend is brine?). It was a brilliant move by Egs. Gareth will have the army ready despite the WT and she gets the Hall out of her hair.
Personally I figure the novices will be treated as giant OP batteries just like in TGS, there is no way you could get them combat ready and why bother? Amping up Red and Green Sister's combat skills, and Yellow's healing skills with novices through circles actually is a more efficient use of the OP.

However, as for Egwene's resistence to Rand's "obviously" insane plan. Ummm have you noticed it apparently isn't that obviously insane? No one else is having the reaction that Egwene and the AS are having. Nyn says it makes sense. Egs practically calls her tainted by Rand as a result. Perrin says it makes sense to him. Elayne, when Egs tells her, says - ehh they're crumbling anyway. Amys and Bair are concerned but say only "This is disturbing news ... We will consult with him on this." Darlin says " your words bring me concern. The destruction of the seals is not something we should undertake without careful discussion." So the reaction of every other character we see to Rand's "obviously" insane plan, ranges from agreement to reasonable concern calling for discussion. That is very different from where Egwene is at by the end of the book.

And she is not psuedo-intentionally helping Rand. She's being manuevered because, I assume, Rand feels the best way to gather all forces of Light with the least amount of effort, for him, and time that they lack, is to have Egwene rally them to confront him. She clearly doesn't want him going forward with this. And in the quote given above, she isn't thinking about tying these forces to Rand. She's thinking about tying them to the WT, as she explicitly states in the quote - to herself, and her leadership going into the LB. She's even deluded herself into believing these comments of concern and desire to discuss the plan are somehow commitments of support to stand with her against Rand. They quite clearly are not. They are at most agreements to get Rand to discuss and explain his plan.

It will be quite interesting to see her reaction at Merrilor when she realizes she played right into Rand's hand(s) and that all those supporters she thought she had, really never committed to supporting her.
B. Loppe
533. Myriads
I'm sorry to keep bringing the discussion back to Egwene, but ...

Wetlandernw @ 502
Thanks! You managed to be much more articulate, I'm not surprised. You said " Mind you, I think she is convinced it's a bad idea; however, I think she also recognizes that Rand, as himself and as the DR, may know something he hasn't told her yet." I agree that she is convinced that it's a bad idea; I just think that there's a part of her that is purposefully not working on finding reasons not to think it's a bad idea, or reasons to trust Rand regardless, so she can use the very handy carrot he's given her to marshal the homeland forces.

subwoofer @ 506 - yes, Egwene is a bit of a boob, I would also like to think she has earned a little credit; I'll make up my mind as to whether she's a tit once I see what happens in the last book!

I thought I remembered something from when someone - maybe Rand? - got a letter from Alviarin, and another Aes Sedai assures him/her that he can trust what assurances and statements are written because Aes Sedai cannot lie even in writing. But I can't hunt up the quote since I'm not sure which of six books it's in. I'll see if my Google Fu can turn it up.

darth.agilus @532 - I dunno, maybe your reading of this is right, and Egwene is only being manipulated by Rand; I think we might just call it Ta'veren-related plot neccessity - in order to get everyone where they need to be, Egwene needs to have her head stuck in the sand so that she can write letters without lying that will convince those who won't come because the Dragon says it's time where they need to be, when they need to be there. I think there's a tiny hint there, though, that Egwene might be, way at the back of her mind, trying really hard not to think about whether this is a manipulation of her, so that she can be honest when she asks rulers to come and help her convince him not to.
And yes, she's thinking about tying them to the WT, but for the sake of fighting in the Last Battle, so IMO, it's six of one, half dozen of the other. In this case, I say to-mah-to.

On a different topic, there was a thought in the way-back of the old thread that one thing the Aiel could do afterwards was enforce the Dragon's Peace ... whoever thought this, I thought it as well, and I wanted to give you some solidarity. I'm sorry but I don't recall who you were, though ... it seems to me that the Aiel would be fairly good as peacekeepers, and fairly deadly to face especially after a few generations of no war go by. It gives Rand a reason to exclude them from the Dragon's Peace, but only gives them a reason to fight if another country provokes a war of aggression. They could fight each other in the meantime, as long as they're in the Waste (if there still is a Waste) to keep their fighting skills sharper than anyone else's. Other countries would not have an excuse for extensive or well-trained armies, since they could not attack anyone, and if anyone attacks them, then the Aiel would do the bulk of the fighting. This seems like a logical next step in their service to the Dragon. I hadn't thought of the diplomacy/banking ideas you mentioned but they are intriguing.
534. Syndar
@ A bunch of folks: RE: Callandor being used to channel the True Power instead of Saidin or Saidar.

I really can't see this theory holding any water. The True Power is, well, kinda evil. Just look at Lews Therin's reaction when Rand first touches it. Look at Moridin's crazy eyes! After having Rand become all good guy again, it would be really twisted to make him take up such a dark power to try and win. Plus, all the DO would have to do to stop him would be to deny Moridin the right to use the TP, since the only reason Rand could use it was because Moridin could. No way the DO is going to let Rand use his own essence against him. One cannot overcome evil with evil - that was the mistake Rand has been making for the past 5 books, and I'll be seriously pissed if he goes back to that again.
Jonathan Levy
535. JonathanLevy
533. B.Loppe
And others, regarding the Aiel as enforcers of the Dragon's Peace.
one thing the Aiel could do afterwards was enforce the Dragon's Peace

Forgive me for being blunt, but I think the line of reasoning that goes:
The Dragon's peace needs to be enforced, otherwise it won't work. The Aiel are the best people to enforce it. Therefore, the Aiel will enforce the Dragon's peace. This also explains why they were not a part of it.
betrays some naivete about how foreign affairs actually work.
First, the assumption that the Dragon must have set up an enforcement method, otherwise the peace "won't work". Whence comes the assumption that the Dragon's peace will work? Throughout human history there has never been an effective peace-enforcement mechanism, and the attempts to set one up in the 20th century were pathetic failures (Balance of power before WWI? League of Nations before WWII?). Modern-day United Nations "peacekeepers" are sent in only when the conflict is over, and they are either spinelessly withdrawn when it renews (U.N. observers in Sinai in 67), intimidated and corrupted by terrorists (UNIFIL), sit around and do nothing during genocides (Rwanda), or sexually molest children to pass the time (Congo). The international sphere is not a kindergarten with a nanny in charge, nor a baseball game with umpires, nor a civilized nation-state with a police force and a justice system.

It is much more likely that when everyone meets on the field of Merrilor, Rand will make them swear them not to fight until after his death. The Aiel will not be part of the oath because they will not be there to swear it for some prosaic reason. After the last battle, Rand will "leave", (perhaps after his death and resurrection) - and the confused nations will keep his peace for a short time from inertia and from fear of his return. It will slowly be frayed around the edges by small skirmishes, and fall apart after some years. If you think about it, this is more or less what Aviendha saw.

Furthermore, the Aiel are not suitable as 'peace-enforcers' because they couldn't care less about the other Randlanders. Some wetlanders fight with some treekillers, and some of them die - why should the Aiel go to war? Neither their honor nor their interest compels them. Which side will they punish? Will they judge the case? By which law? How will they distinguish between genuine aggression and a staged provocation? Which nation will humbly accept their judgement, instead of raising armies to fight what they perceive to be an unjust invasion by a foreign army, cleverly manipulated by their ancient enemy?

If the judgement of the Aiel is not accepted by the nations, then they aren't really a peace-enforcement mechanism at all - they're just the biggest bully in the yard, hated, despised, but feared by the other bullies.

The Dragon's peace will not be enforced, and it will not work (except in the short term) - just like every other international peace system humanity has attempted.
536. MRéka
Toryx @517

Ah, so nice to find someone who feels the same way. So the trick then is to find a book that is even more atrociously written and read it right before...
537. alreadymadwithwall
J.Dauro @508
Agreed. Egwene really means to stop Rand from breaking the Seals. I suspect she may go as far as inciting the rulers supporting her to attack Rand's armies just to stop him, hence her insistence on Darlin bringing all of his troops. I also think she's being a doof. Darlin already gave valid reasons why he couldn't bring all. I also agree that Rand manipulated her into gathering the armies for him.

bad_platypus @510
Kandori I think have a fighting style where they use two swords at once. Makes me think

Isilel @514
You don't need to be particularly strong in fire to create particularly destructive weaves. Even a small fireball can cause nasty burns. Aside from Fire and Earth, lightning, I believe is a thing of water and air. As are hurricanes, thunderstorms. Walls of air to act as barriers or mists to conceal armies. There's also blades of Air such as those used by Asmodean in Rhuidean.
Maybe some of Two Rivers men were touched by the Taint. Taint madness is progressive after all. Getting worse over time spent channeling. Just because it wasn't mentioned doesn't mean it's not there. Case in point, we've known Naeff since TGS, yet we don't even learn that he has a form of madness until ToM.

toryx @516
I was under the impression that all swordforms were handed down from the AoL clique that developed them(LTT, Bel'al, etal).More likely some fell into disuse in Randland. The other possibility is that there are a certain set of swordforms for shorter blades and dual wielding. And since Gawyn primarily trained with long blades, he wouldn't recognise short blade or dual wield forms.

KiManiak @522
Teslyn said she would deliver Mat's message, and she can't lie.Rand has no clue how to reseal the Bore. He only knows he must break the Seals first.

hamstercheeks @528
I thought this was resolved by Team Jordan. Elza Penfell liberated the sad bracelets from Cadsuane's hiding place under instruction from Shaidar Haran.

Kaboom @529
Ah but Galad is descended from Mantear and Damodred. Both families have produced extraordinary channelers.

B. Loppe @533
Rand received Alviarin's letter in Cairhien. That was maybe a day or two before Moiraine was trapped in Finnland.

Syndar @534
It's not that Rand will do it, only that it can be used to do so. Callandor's flaw allows it to magnify the Taint. The Taint is nothing more than the Dark One's touch on Saidin. The True Power, his essence. It's not much of a leap to think Callandor can also channel the True Power because of its flaw.
Thomas Keith
538. insectoid
I was sort of only half-serious about the "seven impossible things" poll. ;) Don't let me stop you, though—funny stuff!

Syndar @534: Well said! I totally agree.

AMW @537: Re: Callandor... So, I'm guessing what you mean to say is, in a hypothetical scenario, the Sword That Ain't might theoretically be able to channel the True Power. Am I right?

Jay Dauro
539. J.Dauro
TFOH-51 Rand and Moiraine
 I assume an Aes Sedai can’t write a lie more easily than she can speak one?” He did not wait for her nod. 

This assumes that as AS cannot nod a lie either. ;^)
540. alreadymadwithnods
insectoid @538
Hypothetically speaking, yes.

J.Dauro @539
A nod is a valid substitute for a verbal yes. And an Aes Sedai's Oath prevents her from answering otherwise when she means to answer the question.
Douglas Miller
541. douglas
Ah, but the oath (assuming is a reliable source) is specifically phrased as "To speak no word that is not true". By typical Aes Sedai literalism and hair splitting, this covers neither writing nor nodding.
Valentin M
542. ValMar
AS can't write lies, I'm pretty sure. Unless they are BA obviously. British Airways are really noughty. And the trade unions and their bloody strikes don't help...
Captain Hammer
543. Randalator
Seaine and Pevara on "speak no lie, write no lie"

"Looking at reports will be safer than asking questions with no idea who we're really asking. Logically, a Black sister must be able to lie despite the Oaths." Otherwise, the Black Ajah would have been revealed long since. That name seemed to be coming more easily with use. "If any sister wrote that she did one thing when we can prove she did another, then we have found a Darkfriend."

(ACoS, ch. 32)

Odd thing that, given the usual Aes Sedai word-twisty-ness and the specific phrasing of the oath, but there you have it...

Edit: ...or in the light of this definition maybe not...

speak - verb (used with object)

14. to declare in writing or printing, or by any means of communication.
15. to make known, indicate, or reveal.

So a definite ix-nay on the ie-lay concerning gestures like nods...

Antoni Ivanov
545. tonka
Randalator, You do realize that there is not Oxford dictionary or like that in Randland ? Obviously the Aes Sedai interpret it their way. Probably it is something ingrained during their training and they take it as given that writing a lie is like speaking a lie.
Captain Hammer
547. Randalator
Tonka @545

RJ was kind enough to translate the Randland New Tongue into plain old englisch for us readers so I'd say it is fair to apply real world rules and definitions.
Roger Powell
548. forkroot

The Taint is nothing more than the Dark One's touch on Saidin. The True Power, his essence. It's not much of a leap to think Callandor can also channel the True Power because of its flaw.

No it cannot. Here's an RJ quote from 2004:

Q: Can Moridin use a male angreal if he channels the True Power?

RJ: No.

Callandor is a sa'angreal - so it won't channel the TP. There might be another quote floating around saying that there are no *angreals for the TP, but I can't locate it at the moment.
I think the confusion stems from the fact that we have been told that the lack of a buffer on Callandor magnified the effect of the Taint on a male channeling through it.

Now that the Taint is gone, that particular problem is no longer a concern; however there is still the issue of the "flaw" in Callandor (which may be more than just the lack of a buffer). According to RJ, this a manufacturing flaw, not something deliberately designed in.

Also to clarify the TP/Taint ... from a 7/29/10 Twitter exchange:

Azral Hanan

Are the taint and the True Power the same?

Brandon Sanderson
No, they are different.

This is in accordance with what you said, namely that the TP is the essence of the DO, whereas the Taint was a corruption of saidan done by the DO's touch.

For those curious about the nature of the TP: Here's where those quotations came from - can't do a link because of the silly spam filters:

EDIT: To battle the worthless comment widget on formatting. Tor, go back to the old text field please?
Donna Harvey
549. snaggletoothedwoman
One question I have for the guru's out there... Has anyone seen any mention of Mat's dad with the Two Rivers guy's with Perrin? He hasn't been in the picture since the Trolloc attack, really..really? I liked him and the way Mat always attributes great trading to him, I thought he would be essential to Tam to keep the young guy's in line.
Jim T
550. nabcif

According to (which doesn't include Towers of Midnight yet, I believe), Abell Cauthon was last onscreen in the prologue of Lord of Chaos. So after the Trolloc attack, but before Perrin left the Two Rivers to join Rand.

So maybe he stayed behind to keep everyone else in line. :-)
Sydo Zandstra
551. Fiddler

I was discussing some Tuon WoT stuff with Tek, and she said I should post it as a theory, although I guess it's not really a theory.

I quote:

Tek: I always hoped she (Setalle) had made some inroads with Tuon about Randland customs and AS, but in ToM, Tuon seemed worse than ever!

Me: Yes, and that may be Brandon's doing...

Tek: could be
Tek: you'd think Harriet would have some input there.

Me: Depends on how far that plotline had been worked out.
Me: Maybe, they decided that the outrigger novels with Mat and Tuon in Seanchan won't happen. In that case there is no need for Tuon to remain nice and survive TG.
Me: Which could explain the stuff about Tuon in Aviendha's visions chapter too. (add: about the 'former' Empress)

Tek: oh good....Mat will be free to find himself a fun wench that likes to laugh and dance!
Tek: You mean the "lack" of Tuon?

Me: Yes.

If the outrigger Mat-Tuon novels aren't going to happen, there is no need for Tuon to be good and survive it all, regardless if Rand bows to the Crystal Throne or not.

Selucia and Mat would make a nice couple too ;-)
Daniel Hanley
552. Kythorian
Even if the outriggers do not happen, and even if BS and Harriot know they are not going to happen at this point (which based on what they have said, is not the case), there is no way that BS would change things so much as killing off a major character who was supposted to survive. BS has always stated that the last books of WoT are still exactly RJ's story, just told through BS's words. All he is doing is filling in little gaps and actually writting the thing. He isn't making changes as he goes.

On the other hand, i suppose it is possible that BS is writting Tuon to be a little harsher at this point than RJ really intended. I don't think he would purposefully do this though.
Jim T
553. nabcif
Fiddler@551: Aludra and Mat would make a better couple, I think ;-) ....but I can't see Brandon and Harriet changing the plot from RJ's original that much (or at all for that matter, if it was written down). And to me, it sounds like Avi's vision implies that Tuon died only relatively recently in-vision, not during TG.
Alice Arneson
554. Wetlandernw
alreadymad @537 - You really are already mad!

I suspect she may go as far as inciting the rulers supporting her to attack Rand's armies just to stop him, hence her insistence on Darlin bringing all of his troops.

Do you honestly think Egwene is so stupid or self-centered that she'd deliberately set Light fighting Light on the eve of the Last Battle? Wow. As if the flood of Shadowspawn to the north isn't bad enough, they've got some seriously questionable armies (Seanchan & co.) to the south - and she is fully aware of both. She would hardly set the few she knows really are on Team Light to fighting one other. She clearly gave her secondary reason for collecting them all - they would be in place to fight the Last Battle in spite of themselves. She even says as much in her second letter to Darlin:
I know that the Seanchan are a danger to Tear, but let us not forget that the Dark One, not the Seanchan, is our primary concern during these worst of days. Perhaps it is easy to think yourself safe from the Trollocs when so distant from the battle lines, but how will you feel once the cushions of Andor and Cairhien have fallen?"
Her primary reason, of course, is to get Rand's attention. Do we have any evidence that she had even been thinking in terms of Rand bringing "armies" to the FoM? She was collecting all his allies to look him in the face and say "Don't do it," not finding or creating enemies to fight him down.

B. Loppe
555. Myriads
Jonathan Levy @ 535:

That is a fairly convincing argument, but the picture you paint of this world is very pragmatic, very realistic, and not very ... fantastic, I guess. I don't really expect everything to be a puzzle piece that will find its place after the Last Battle. I don't think that the Dragon's Peace will last forever, but at some point, the world will find a peace so lasting that people will have forgotten about war by the time the Age of Legends comes again. It's just probably not on schedule for it to happen at the end of this age.
Marcus W
556. toryx
I still hope that the whole talk of the Outrigger novels was a total misdirection that had no bearing whatsoever on reality. The idea that RJ was serious about those novels just offends me no end.

Having said that, I seriously doubt Tuon will die, mainly because it'd be too damned convenient.

By the way, I agree with Wetlandernw that alreadymad is clearly mad. :)
557. alreadymadwitheggy
toryx @546
There was no warfare or swords. There was however, a game called swords. A rather tame game that was once said to be not quite as lethal as it used to be. Until a small group of people, including Lews Therin Telamon and Duram Laddel Cham who would later call himself Be'lal took it and learned to kill with it. Be'lal himself references the feat when they meet at the Stone of Tear, while holding a sword made of the One Power, but embellished with the heron mark of a blademaster.
The chronology is clear. We do not know if the Bore already existed at the time, but we do know that at one time Lews Therin Telamon and Be'lal together became the first blademasters. With the requisite degree of skill. Be'lal certainly knew what he was doing with a sword. Certainly more than Rand did, who was trained with "modern" forms.

Wetlandernw @554
If all Egwene needed was a consensus from the rulers of the land to stop Rand, she would not need them to bring all their armies. She understood that Tear and Illian had pressing concerns with the Seanchan, yet she insists they bring all they have, abandoning the realms they are meant to protect to make her argument convincing.
Well if she needs armies to be convincing, then it follows that she will use the armies to convince. You wanna convince with the stick you hit with it. Hard.

She didn't want to think of what would happen if he forced her hand. TOM ch56, p816

She won't like doing it, but in the end she is convinced that breaking the Seals is the wrong way to go about it. And if she has the armies and Rand proves unreasonable to her, then she is prepared to use the armies. There will be a bloodbath, but at the end the last one standing will dictate how the Last Battle is to be fought.
558. wagman26

Agreed. Personally I believe that it will be used to tap into the True Source, which is where the One Power comes from.
Darth Agilus
559. darth.agilus
@wetlandernw and alreadymad

Keep in mind, what she intends to do with those armies, is not the same thing as what they will do. She seems to be laboring under the assumption that everyone is there to support her against Rand but we haven't seen anyone commit to doing more than showing up to talk. No one has agreed with her that he must be stopped.
560. 11zeeshha
To everyone who's still discussing the "breaking of the seals" proclamation, it's obvious if you read the epilogue why no further info was given to Egwene. As for egwene since she didn't get an explanation it makes sense for her to stand against it. Although she does say in chapter 3 that they should discuss it but i think she's given that up.

@525 Isilel

Mat could beat Galad and Gawyn because he was using a quarterstaff. After the fight Hammer (the warder) says that the best blademaster in history was beaten by a farmer with a quarterstaff. He then tells the students to remember this fight.
So yea in this case Mat's weapon of choice was the reason he won. Not to say that he's unskilled b/c he definitely is one of the most skilled fighters out there.
561. Rand-y Girl
My first posting ever. I figured it was my last chance to add to the conspiracy theories since AMoL will be the last (gasp!) book in the series. I am, btw, incredibly sad about this. I started reading this series in middle school, and have faithfully reread each and every book several times during the gap between publications. That being are a few theories/comments I have.

I agree with the several posters who believe that Rand will not actually fight in the last battle.
" I thought I was being forged into a sword," Rand said, eyes growing distant. "But I was wrong. I'm not a weapon. I never have been."
Min later asks, "then what are you" but Rand doesn't answer.
I think the answer is demonstrated in Perrin's arc. Rand- like Perrin's hammer- is a tool; not a weapon. Perhaps I'm being to literal in my assumption, but I think that his body/blood will literally be the seal to the Dark One's prison.

I've also always been of the opinion that 2 of Rand's ladies will die. My bet is on Elayne and Aviendha. Perhaps this explains Elayne's strange vision of the 4 children. I think Elayne's twins will be reared by Aviendha, as well as her own.

Off to work now...but I have tons more to comment on.

Until later.
562. Syndar
@ Rand-y girl 561

Its much more straightforward than the "I am not a weapon" quote. After Rand kicks the crap out of that massive trolloc army with saidin, he says straight out to Bashere and others that it will be they who fight TG, not he.

As for the Rand and/or 2 of his ladies dying, this doesn't seem to me like RJ's Modus Operandi. Unlike George R.R. Martin, or Joss Whedon, RJ doesn't have a habit of killing off main lightside characters. I mean, Moiraine got taken out for a bit but she's back now. And other than her what plot-central light side characters have died, after 13 books of chaos and death? None of them. Of course it is possible that this trend will suddenly change in AMOL and Brandon will start murdering main characters left and right, but my instinct is to assume that Rand and the girls will live.
Birgit F
563. birgit
Graendal says that she was influencing Tuon. That might be part of why Tuon seems to forget what she learned when she was with Mat. Another reason might be simply that she is back in her own culture and falls back into familiar habits.

I've also always been of the opinion that 2 of Rand's ladies will die. My bet is on Elayne and Aviendha. Perhaps this explains Elayne's strange vision of the 4 children. I think Elayne's twins will be reared by Aviendha, as well as her own.

If Avi is one of those who die, how can she take care of El's children?
564. alreadymadwithdiscussion
11zeeshha @560
When an Aes Sedai says discuss, she usually means get you around to her way of thinking. By any means necessary.
Jonathan Levy
565. JonathanLevy
561. Rand-y Girl
" I thought I was being forged into a sword," Rand said, eyes growing distant. "But I was wrong. I'm not a weapon. I never have been." Min later asks, "then what are you" but Rand doesn't answer.

I say he's a sacrificial lamb! YouTube: watch?v=4-nW3j6FGyE

Though to be honest I think Dies Irae is much more suitable for AMOL, especially with Mozart's version. :)
566. JackMyDog
SubWoofer@back there some where
Thanks for the welcome ***wag wag sniffs butt***
The posts grow so fast on this group.
Still no comments on the relics that Eg notices in the Field of Merrilor.
Perrin noticed relics to Galad's great relief.
lake sidey
567. lakesidey
Long time lurker, first time poster. Thanks Brandon and Harriet. Thanks Leigh, Tor, and all the folks on these threads for adding even more new ways of looking at a series which I have been reading for 13 years now. I’ve been following the re-read for a while now, and started my own re-read around June (optimistically hoping to be caught up with Leigh by the time ToM came out, and to start posting then. Alas, I’m still 3 books behind her – Real Life trumps Rand Land!).

I waited ten days to lay hands on the book (and then discovered that the courier folks had messed up. Sigh). It took three days to read it. And a week to go through the comments. Most of what I’d have liked to say has been said already, and far better. Decided to jump in at the deep end anyway, toss out a few opinions and perhaps, later, some very loony theories I haven’t seen yet (though I tried to read all the 1600+ comments, I may have missed some – if I have infringed any copyrights, I have toh!)

Will just drop my first impressions, loony theories shall follow in a later post. This post is already a wall-of-text!

Favourite quotes off the top of my head:
“You may call me Rand Sedai”
“You accidently married the Seanchan Empress?”
“How else is she going to trust that it’s really from me?”
“In the morning, I swear the Three oaths. I’m free of them for one more night”
“And how did you get out? How did you fool them?” “I didn’t”
“Are you not one of those they name Great Captain? Show me what that title means…”
“I…what was I saying?” Also “Er.”

On the Superguys
Rand Sedai: is sneaky with Egwene. And introduces Min to Tam. And thulps shadowspawn (does anyone think he might have his little fat man angreal with him again at this point?)
The Prince of the Ravens: is still awesome. It’s all about the boots, indeed. (And bye-bye, Gholam!)
Lord Perrin Goldeneyes: is back to awesome (Mjolnir, balefire stoppage, easing badgers....)
Lan: is not up to his usual (very high) standards. Still, he leads a charge of the “Light Brigade” at the end, which redeems much….

On the Supergirls
Nynaeve: Getting better every book.….heals taint madness, passes AS test from hell, outsmarts her husband, is loyal to Rand and Lan – you go, girl! (I suppose it is too much to hope that Egwene will fall gloriously in the last battle and Nynaeve will end up Amyrlin? Yes, I thought so. Ah, well.)
Elayne: Still giving blondes a bad name. I don’t envy Birgitte.
Egwene: Is a disappointment, after TGS. Has chastening encounters with Rand and Perrin. But has a literally “mind-blowing” MOA with Mesaana. And plays the Hall totally (nothing new there).
Min: Does nothing of note. At least, doesn’t get used against Rand this time.
Aviendha: Doesn’t do much, but is part of an awesome scene. Or do I mean awful? Very well-written anyway – Team Jordan, that better not happen. Or there will be spankings. This I Foretell.
Moiraine: *squee* yes I know she doesn’t do much. But was always a favourite and it is so good to have her back. Maybe she can be Amyrlin (and her new warder can be Tamyrlin – he has the name for it!)

Non-super guys and gals:

Faile and Berelain: less fail than usual. Gawyn and Galad: moving alarmingly between headdesk and awesome (nothing new there). Noal and Hopper: Awwww no? (and I think Olver is headed there too. Somehow I don’t really care much about Nicola popping it…). Thom and Ituralde: amazing. Fain: Yuck. Logain, Loial, Alivia, Sorilea….too many people missing in action….

Bring on AMoL! How many months, again?
Tricia Irish
568. Tektonica
Welcome to great new posters!....Lakesidey, JackMyDog,
Rand-y Girl, Snydar?, and others I've probably forgotten. So nice to have fresh eh, seriously.... Welcome!
569. alreadymadwithdialogues
One of my favorites was the Garelain dialogue:
"Would you like some tea?"
"I'm having some."
"Have some more."

There's also Lan meeting with the Borderland princes.
"The horse, she said you might disguise yourself. But you'd never leave the horse."
Burn that woman.
lake sidey
570. lakesidey
Thanks Tektonica. I actually had a post that was twice as long (gulp) but realised it was out of hand already at that point! I suppose I ought not to wall-of-text on pretty much my first post. But I’m a teacher in real life (no, not Mesaana, I swear it beneath the Light and by my hope of rebirth and salvation) and well, what can I say, longwindedness is a habit!

Why I’m really really glad Moiraine is back:

Barring Nynaeve, the Supergirls are not all that super as yet, in terms of practically dealing with the Dark. For all their collective theoretical awesomeness, I couldn’t help noticing – between them they have managed to (kind of) defeat two and a half forsaken, and one and a half of that’s mainly thanks to Nynaeve (my favourite SG) who beat Moghedien (twice) and half-fried Rahvin. Egwene has managed to off Mesaana but got so pwned by Lanfear, she was in bed for a month recovering. And manage to terrify prisoner-Moghedien and get headaches from Halima. Elayne, well, has managed to unsuccessfully impersonate one (trying to be charitable here). Aviendha got toasted by Rahvin just after being pwned by Lanfear and Min was a liability (not her fault, true) in both Semirhage encounters.

Moiraine, on the other hand, has single-handedly taken out Belal and Lanfear (though the latter returned). I guess that’s why the knowledge that she’s back is most reassuring. Also, squeeeee?

A couple of loony theories:

Loony Noal theory:
I think we haven’t seen the last of Jain Farstrider. I doubt the Finn would have killed him, just incapacitated him if possible – he has so many experiences to be savoured. Perhaps we could get him back by offering something even more savoury, like a fairly powerful channeler? Suffa, go through this twisted doorway and offer yourself in exchange for Jain Charin, will you? There’s a good damane…

Alternately, of course, he could have become a Hero of the Horn. But that’s too….predictable?

Theory on why Egwene did no preparation for TG:
In the matter of preparing for TG, I would actually probably take Egwene’s side somewhat. She probably couldn’t do much about the war for a while. Firstly, there’s the fact that with Mesaana running around loose and unidentified, planning might be pointless as all plans could be going right to the enemy. That issue, at least, is now solved. Secondly the three oaths prevent her and the other AS from making weapons. Or practising weaves of death. Possibly the new accepted and novices can do something about this – I can see Sharina being a force to reckon with.

I hope not, though, because this would probably interfere with my Sharina theory:
Sharina could be the 3rd person with Rand and Nynaeve. I admit that I hope it turns out to be Moiraine (wishful thinking!), and Aviendha, Elayne and Alivia all have strong cases for them. And even Mierin Sedai. But Sharina is potentially (perhaps) the most powerful of them all, is proven to be level-headed, and was foreshadowed as far back as Nynaeve’s accepted test. I do hope she has a MOA or two coming up… Another candidate I had in mind was Fortuona – a dark-skinned hand holding Callandor, sounds familiar anyone? – but I'm going with Sharina. Talking of strong channellers – where is Talaan? I hope not 13x13!

Marcus W
571. toryx
Alreadymad @ 557:

I still say that 3000 years of warfare versus a couple of centuries is too great a difference. I simply can't believe that the blademasters of the Age of Legends could possibly know as much as those in the modern era. That makes no sense to me.

As for Egwene: I have no idea what she really intends or how far she thinks she'll go but I have to say that she'd have to be absolutely insane to consider starting a battle if things with Rand don't go her way. She has to know that they need as many of their forces as possible to hold up against the Shadow, and a fight between those armies isn't going to stop Rand from doing what he thinks he has to do.

I've assumed -- by counting on Egwene to have some capacity for rational thought -- that Egwene is bringing all the armies together because she knows that regardless of what happens, the Final Battle is here. She's got to be intending to send them to the blight to fight and I think what she's really attempting to do is to get them to fight beneath her, rather than Rand. Rand's idea to break the seals is just the leverage she intends to use to get them to follow her.
Of course, I could be wrong.
Stefan Mitev
572. Bergmaniac
Lakesidey @570

Sharina has incredible potential in the Power, but i don't think she's reached it yet. I don't see her being chosen for the most important channeling circle of this Age after only several months of training, no matter the potential she has. Plus Rand has no reason to trust her, and he said this will be his main criteria. Pure strenght in the Power won't be that important, since the circle will have Callandor to help them.

The third woman would be either Moiraine or Alivia IMO.
Avi and Tuon have an outside chance too. Elayne is out of the running due to the pregnancy which makes her channelling unreliable.

"Secondly the three oaths prevent her and the other AS from making weapons. Or practising weaves of death."

I don't see why the Oaths should prevent them from training to make fireballs, for example, if they aren't throwing them at anyone. And they are preparing to fight Shadowspawn after all, which isn't against the Oaths.
573. AndrewB
My appologizes to anybody who already suggested the following.

I saw Olver's winning Snakes & Foxes as a mirror image of Mat's trip into the Tower of Genjhi (sp?). By this, I mean that at the moment Mat, Thom & Moriane escaped, Olver won. Had Mat not escaped, Oliver would not have won.

This comment is not to suggest that Olver is anything other than he appears to be. A pre-teen (who happens to be quite ugly). I do not think he can channel or has any other talents that people today do not have. In addition, I do not think that Olver's winning will have any importance in AMoL.

Thanks for reading my musings,
574. hamstercheeks
Lakesidey @570: Sharina would be great, but Moiraine and Alivia are more likely candidates. Also, wasn't it a black hand holding Callandor? I could be wrong, but that wording changes the meaning of the vision, I think.

And yes, Nynaeve is the SG when it comes to directly fighting the Shadow. But props to Egwene for smooshing the WT into a semblance of unity after, what, nine books? Still, I thought it was condescending of her to think that Nynaeve was "dissatisfied" because she and Elayne had risen far. All Nynaeve has ever wanted to do was Heal. I'm glad she told Egwene that title be damned, she'd Heal the world!!! Keep your stole, honey, I'll be out in the field saving someone's life! Yes, I will touch the common people!

toryx@571: You're probably right--Egwene wants the armies under her command, or under Gareth Bryne's, who of course reports to her. Well, girl thinks she knows best...
Tess Laird
575. thewindrose
I think that the next time that Egwene and Rand meet will be when Rand will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger.

I do hope that Noal/Jain was killed(so that he isn't being held by the snakes) and that everything he has done for the Light will earn him a place as a Hero(if he isn't one already). How cool would it be when Mat sounds the HoV and Jain is among the Hero's! I know it would make Mat very happy.

Since Graendal did mentioned some plots she had going around Tuon, I am hopeful that Tuon is just being used and hasn't really become as demented as she seemed in her short stint in ToM.

Did you all notice that during Nynaeve's test, someone had a pink and orange dress for her to wear.(Some people had mentioned that no one ever wears orange in WoT. She did think it was a horrible combination:))

Also noticed that the pointy sharp teeth of the snakes and foxes were mentioned many times in Mat's thoughts - and Mat also think about what the light colored 'leather' might be that they wear. (This also may indicate that the snakes and foxes hunt humans and eat them and then wear the tanned skin - as when people hunt animals for food and then use treated skins for clothes. Just trying to think about why the red veiled pointed teethed 'people' looked like they were about to eat the merchant at the end of ToM.)
I will have to admit that the red veiled 'people' being something put togther by Fain makes more sense though.

576. wagman26

It seems to me that Rand, Nyn, and Avi will wield it during the confrontation with Old Grim. Nyn controlling the weaves and "healing" the hole in the bore.

@575 thewindrose

I also have thought it suspect that both the red veils and the Finn have sharpened teeth, but I have been met with lots of skepticism on this. Still, they are the only characters to have this trait, so we may be on to something here.

@Demandred Identity

Does anyone know in which books we may have been introduced to his potential cover identity. I remember that RJ said not before KOD, but was he in KOD, or any others.
Sam Mickel
577. Samadai
wagman26 @576

When I talked with him during the GS book tour, I asked him if Demandreds alter ego had been seen in either KOD or TGS. He said he wouldn't answer it because too few characters are introduced in the 2 books. So you can take that as you will, but it sounds like he could be one of the new characters in one of those
Birgit F
578. birgit
I still say that 3000 years of warfare versus a couple of centuries is too great a difference. I simply can't believe that the blademasters of the Age of Legends could possibly know as much as those in the modern era.

Any blademasters from the AOL who could directly compare their skill with modern fighters are channelers (LTT, Forsaken). They practiced fighting during the whole war at the end of the AOL (a century?) and are still young. Modern warriors are not channelers (except Asha'man who take their sword training seriously, but they didn't have decades of practice) and the experienced ones grow old while the young ones are not as experienced as the AOLers. The knowledge of the whole culture about swordfighting might be bigger in the present age, but the experience of individual fighters is less.
Rajesh Vaidya
579. Buddhacat
Yeah, birgit makes a great point. The AOL channelers who were also blademasters were able to practise and perfect their skill over 100 years and still be young and spry age-wise. Whereas the blademasters of the present age learn and perfect their art in a few years and die by 70 or so of old age, if not sooner.
lake sidey
580. lakesidey
@Birgit 578 : That's a nice point. However, if experience makes so much of a difference, it makes it even more unbelievable that Gawyn and Galad have managed to get so good, so fast, with less than 3-4 years of experience at the top level (and half of that with training swords, presumably). At a similar (?) age, Lan was nowhere the best in the world....

I mean, even before his ninja super assassin heroics, Gawyn's killed Hammar and Coulin, and beats {Sleete + 1} with ease (and Sleete is considered one of the best after Lan), while Galad breaks the mob (unscathed, where even seasoned warriors like Uno take cuts) and beats Valda, who seems to consider himself pretty much the best swordsman alive. OK, Galad is still a reasonable age, but Gawyn's basically entering his tweens. Lucky doesn't really cover all that, does it?

(About Gawyn being lucky, that got me thinking - do we know of any other great swordsman with a similar storyline? Son of royalty? Considered "the luckiest man in the world" by some? Who managed to win a fight he should have lost (when he was still a youngster)? And who was then bonded by the joint second strongest Aes Sedai then living? Coincidence?)

Ron Garrison
581. Man-0-Manetheran
@534 Syndar re. True Power: I was thinking about this last night. Who calls it the True Power? The Great Lord and his Chosen. We know them as the Dark One and the Forsaken. I think it might clear up some discussion to refer to the True Power as the Dark Power.
And by the way, you are absolutely correct that "one cannot overcome evil with evil."

@535 Jonathan Levy re. Aiel as peace-enforcers. Totally agree, and plus they hated the police work in Bandar Eban and told him so.
Marcus W
582. toryx
birgit @ 578 & Buddhacat @ 579:

And yet Lan is supposed to be pretty old and he's still considered #1 with the sword. I don't buy it. Hell, isn't Lan supposed to be pushing 60 or something?

Lakesidey @ 580 is right. If experience by age is what makes the difference then both Galad and Gawyn are even more unbelievable. I've only accepted Rand's skill (when he had both hands) because I thought he was drawing on experience and technique from LTT's life and merging it with what Lan taught him. Unconciously of course.

Either way, it doesn't really make any sense so I guess you just have to choose where you'll suspend your disbelief.
583. wagman26
@582 Toryx

Lan is old, but he has been given the powers of a warder, which more than balances out.

@577 Samadai

Lunal Galgan is my best bet for Demandred, but Tonka stated towards me that Demandred has not been seen on screen in KOD or TGS. Just wanted a second source. Now I am not sure if Tonka is correct.


Where did you get that BS said we have not seen him on screen yet?
Nathan Martin
584. lerris
AndrewB @ 573:

I agree that Olver's winning of Snakes and Foxes has nothing to do with any attribute of Olver's. I attribute it to his close relationship with Mat, whose combination of luck and ta'veren pull generated the win.
Stefan Mitev
585. Bergmaniac
Berelain would be so happy when (if) she learns Galad is Rand's half-brother. She will have a really close bond to the Dragon Reborn and the most handsome guy in Randland for husband too. ;)

Not to mention all the other political connections this marriage will bring her. She will have the Amyrlin and the Queen of Andor and Cairhien for sisters-in-law, and also will have a connection with the King of Tear Darlin, since he will be marrying Caraline Damodred, who is Galad's cousin. The Berelain-Galad marriage would be a masterstroke politically for Mayene.
Jay Dauro
586. J.Dauro
Towers of Midnight book tour 7 November 2010 Harvard Coop, Cambridge, MA - Zaela Sedai reporting

Q: Was Demandred or his proxy in Towers of Midnight?
A: No he was not; he will be in A Memory of Light.

The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Powell's Books, Portland, OR 19 November 2009 - Matrimony Cauthon reporting

Someone asked for clarification about whether we had seen Mesaana's and Demandred's alter-egos on screen. Sanderson said that we had seen Mesaana's alter-ego on screen as of Knife of Dreams, but that we had not seen Demandred's alter-ego on screen as of Knife of Dreams. Sanderson would not elaborate on whether Demandred's alter-ego had been seen in The Gathering Storm—Sanderson didn't want to narrow down the suspects for us if Demandred really had appeared in The Gathering Storm.
Darth Agilus
587. darth.agilus
Anyone know if all the character arcs ended on the same day? Is the raid on Caemlyn happening at the same time as the gathering at Merrilor and Matt, Moiraine, and Thom drinking tea?
Kimani Rogers
588. KiManiak
birgit@563- re: Graendal and Tuon – When I read that, I attributed Tuon’s bloodthirstiness in attacking the White Tower (twice!) to Graendal’s subtle use of Compulsion. She seemed a little too fixated on defeating the White Tower at this moment in time, even when she knows that they are the Dragon’s allies and that he must be able to battle the Dark One in Tarmon Gaidon and would probably need all the help he can get. Yes, it could be argued that she expects the Dragon to kneel to the Crystal Throne and that all marath’damane need to be leashed, but it seems like she’s making too strong a push to capture the White Tower right after she learns Traveling. Why not secure the neighboring countries first?

Along those lines, I think this has been mentioned in this thread before, but I think that Egwene’s actions in regards to her stance on the 3 Oaths, and even in regard to Rand and the Seals, is linked to Halima’s use of Compulsion and/or other AoL saidin goodies. Egwene is inquisitive, intelligent, opinionated and stubborn. Why would she do a 180 on her stance about the 3 Oaths, when she had previously identified the various limitations the Oaths saddle the AS with? Add to that the knowledge that the use of the Oath Rod shortens their life, and I think its fair to say that its rational to question Egwene’s complete conversion to the pro-3-Oaths side. And if Egwene has been lightly Compelled, wouldn’t it make sense that Team Dark would also include a subtle direction to oppose or unnecessarily complicate any plan the Dragon might have in regards to the Dark One and the Last Battle.

lakesidey@567 – re: Rand and the angreal – Either he found his old angreal (I think less likely) or he found some other one. I think it may be hidden underneath that brown cloak (or was it coat) he’s been seen wearing ever since he came down from the mountain top. Oh, agree with your assessments of the Superboys & girls.

Re: Rand, Nynaeve, Callandor & the other woman – if we assume that Rand will “die” in his confrontation with the Dark One, I am going to continue to lean towards Alivia as the other woman. I’m going to interpret Min’s viewing rather literally in this regard.

Thewindrose@575 & wagman26@576 – I’ll restate that I think the red-veiled folks in the Blight are also either the ‘Finn or a distant cousin from Finnland. You are not alone :)

Bergmaniac@585 – re: Berelain’s wedding connection – yeah, it appears that she hit the familial jackpot. Related to 3 of the most powerful (both politically and channeling-wise) people in the land. And she didn’t even have to scheme or seduce in order for it to happen…
589. Syndar
@Tektonica 568 Ty for the welcome :D I figured, only one book to go, better get in on the community action while there are still mysteries to discuss!

@Lakesidey 580 - who are you referring to with your comment on Gawyn being like another famous swordsman? At first I assumed you were talking about Lan, but then I started thinking Aedemon, the last king of Manetheren for some reason. I would love, love, love it if Gawyn was a reincarnation of him.
Alice Arneson
590. Wetlandernw
JackMyDog - Re: the ruins of the old fortress... I assumed that they were just that - the ruins of an old fortress. We know that there are a great many places where people used to live that have long since been abaondoned, and we've seen a lot of them along the way. No real hint yet that these are any more. I also didn't see anywhere that either Perrin or Galad made any note of the ruins, just Egwene.

Re: the onyx hand gripping Callandor - can someone tell me what chapter (or page) that's in? I'd like to review the wording. Onyx isn't normally black, but depending on the way its worded it might be here.

darth.agilus @587 - re: the timelines, Brandon said that they were "much closer" at the end of ToM than TGS, but they aren't entirely synced. He did not say who was out of sync, but I think the only ones not at Merrilor are Mat, Aviendha and Lan, right? Well, not sure whether Rand has his entire contingent in tow or not - Min, Nynaeve, Cadsuane & co. could be elsewhere, but I assume they're there. At the moment I can't give you Brandon's exact words, but it was to the effect that "I was hoping to have all of the characters synced up at the end of ToM; it didn't quite happen, but they're all a lot closer." Sorry I can't be more accurate.
Amir Noam
591. Amir
J.Dauro @586:

Q: Was Demandred or his proxy in Towers of Midnight?A: No he was not; he will be in A Memory of Light.

Of course. I can see the scene already:
MoL last chapter:

MoL epilogue:
Demandred steps out of the shadows near what used to be Shayol Ghul.
"Have I not done well, Great Lord?"
The Great Lord's laughter filled Demandred's head.

The End.
592. alreadymadwithswordsteens
Galad and Gawyn didn't exactly pick up swords for the first time in Tar Valon. As nobles they would have been learning the sword since their early teens, though not necessarily wear it all the time. The Reds take note of such a fact in KoD when they first arrive at the Black Tower. Saml al'Seen was wearing a sword though he was barely out of his mid teens and the Reds note that a noble would have been practicing the sword for years by that point. Other examples include Conail Northan and Perival Mantear. Both wore swords at their belts during the succession. And Conail at least seemed confident enough in his skill to offer to challenge any comers personally.
Jonathan Levy
593. JonathanLevy
584. lerris
I agree that Olver's winning of Snakes and Foxes has nothing to do with any attribute of Olver's. I attribute it to his close relationship with Mat, whose combination of luck and ta'veren pull generated the win.

I attribute Olver's winning of Snakes and Foxes to his being a character in a novel, whose author wanted to feed his readers a metaphor for the unlikelihood of what Mat accomplished.

Make no mistake, I enjoyed reading it very much, and thought it well done - the Rule of Cool wins again.
lake sidey
594. lakesidey
@582 Toryx : I guess he is pushing 50 at worst....was in his twenties in New Spring I think? Should be 45-ish now. As wagman23 said, he has warder powers (and we have seen how those rejuvenate Gareth Bryne, and even older fogeys like Jaem)

@588 KiManiak : Tuon probably realises the WT will figure they have travelling and start preparing to protect themselves - so she wants to give them no time to prepare. Also, she doesn't realise that the last time the Seanchan attacked, half the sisters were out of the tower and the rest were divided - she thinks they will be easy meat, given how they flapped like headless chickens last time. Now the tower is reunited, and with plenty of accepted/novices of signifcant strength who are not bound by the oaths (and they're also protected by Gawyn the magnificent, don't you know!), but she doesn't know about all this.

Of course, with everyone off at the field of Merrilor, she might still have an easy time of it...

This btw is one of the things which really irritates me wrt Egwene's stance on the three oaths - the only reason she could proactively defend the tower was because she had not taken the oaths - else would only have been able to channel at someone who attacked her directly. That should tell her that it isn't the smartest of plans, but no, she goes straight off and swears the oaths. Maybe she deserves Gawyn.

@589 Syndar: No no, I meant Lan. That princeling in New Spring referred to him as the luckiest man in the world.

@592 alreadymad: well, Gawyn was in Caemlyn when Rand "dropped in" on the palace, so he's been training with the warders only since Elayne went to Tar Valon (some 2 years) and at that time he is clearly shown to be fairly good, but not brilliant (he himself comments how much better Galad is, just before Mat thumps them both. Yay Mat.). Before that I don't doubt Gareth Bryne and his men would have trained him, but not at that level - and I doubt he saw life-and-death fighting before the breaking of the White Tower. He's a really fast learner, is all I'm sayin'.

John Massey
595. subwoofer
Just a random thought with nothing to do with anything else, but I was rereading tGS and Min gives Rand the idea of breaking the Seals. Maybe if she had a sit down with Egwene and explained things. Min could even use things like books and logic and stuff. That should count for something.

Edit- and what is with everyone?!!! Lan is the man! 'nuff said.

Edit-@JMD- ::sniff sniff::
Funny story there... from what I understand dogs don't sniff butts, they sniff each other's junk. That's why when an overly friendly dog walks up to you their snout goes right for the crotchel region. Heh. Reminds me of a story from my youth... awww skip it, content may be too colorful for some viewers:)

Marcus W
596. toryx
subwoofer @ 595:

Yeah, that's occurred to me as well. In fact, it cracks me up to think that Egwene would have the answer so easily if she opened her mind to the possibility that someone who doesn't channel might actually know something. But of course, because Min doesn't, I bet Egwene hasn't spared a thought for her in months.

I also think that even if Min went up to Egwene and tried to explain why she thinks breaking the seals is the right thing to do, Egwene would totally dismiss her. Because Min's not Aes Sedai and therefore can't possibly know anything.

Different topic entirely: Is anyone else kind of bothered by the whole thing with the Dragons? It's not like we didn't know this was coming ages and ages ago, but I can't help but think that the whole discovery and eager acceptance of the Dragons in warfare is going to kind of make the world a more unpleasant place all around. Elayne's* eager acceptance of it without any thought to the consequences kind of turns my stomach.

I see the necessity of it and all, but it really does make me sad.

* Yes, I know Mat's just as gung-ho about it, and that bothers me too. Though I seem to recall (and I may be wrong about this) that he's at least given thought to how the introduction of them is going to change the world as they all know it.
597. Dr. Thanatos
1 Min is not bound by any gosh-darn Oaths; if she went to Egwene and said "golly gee I saw Rand break some seals and it looked like a good idea, and you know my visions always come true..." Ethical, no. Fair to do to Egwene at this point? Could be.

2 Regarding Dragons and their becoming a bad thing, and Mat's curious enthusiasm. Who says Demandred has to have a male disguise? Perhaps he's the Illuminatrix...
Ken Ray
598. Maclir
Some comments about Gawyn offing the three bloodknives. I think part of the concerns expressed is because of them being referred to as "super ninja assassains", making them out as incredibly kick ass all round killing machines.

My feeling is they are chosen to be assassains. They are smaller than average, and haev "enhancements" that allow them to hide incredibly well. Their job is to be super sneaky and use their enhanced hiding to kill someone that doesn't even know they are there. That's why they have specilized weapons - knives, short swords, poison. They aren't necessarily fantastic sword fighters - if things go to plan, they should never have to go toe-to-toe with anyone - before even a blademaster would have a chance to draw their sword, they are dead. See how Gareth Byrne was almost killed by one in AMOL

So, I have no problem with a great blademaster being able to take one, or even three of them in hand to hand melee.

What I have a problem with is how the five remaining Bloodknives hung around the White Tower for so long after they were sent in the initial raid.
599. KiManiak
lakesidey@594 – Re: Tuon – I agree that’s a concern. However, the trip from the Tower to Ebou Dar had to take at least several days, even with raken. Add that to the time necessary to break Suffa (let’s give her the benefit of the doubt that she held out for a couple of days at least), and it could be argued that she shouldn’t expect the AS to be caught with their shifts down. However, her timing may lead to a good number of AS being out of the Tower. The Novices and Accepted would be easy pickings in comparison…

subwoofer@595 – Re: Egwene listening to Min – Whether you believe Egwene’s been compelled by Halima to oppose the Dragon’s plans re: the Dark One or if you think she’s being regular Egwene-stubborn, I don’t think she would listen to Min either way. Egwene is intelligent, opinionated and stubborn; she would think she knows what’s best, and that Min has been affected by being so close to Rand.

Dr. Thanatos @597 – Re: Dragons and the Illuminatrix – Do you mean Aludra? Well, since she was making out with Mat (in TPoD, I think), I guess you’d have to ask yourself how dedicated Demandred would be to his role. :)
lake sidey
600. lakesidey
@ 598 Maclir: Valid points and I would whole-heartedly agree, except for one thing - Gawyn's already faced one of 'em ninjas (and been comprehensively unable to match up) not too long before. That's what I can't quite reconcile with this scene.

And yeah, I agree the bloodknives hanging out wasting the few days they have left makes no sense.

@597 Dr. Thanatos: Perhaps the Illuminati existed even in that age? (though it seems that in modern times they've lost one of the five powers - Fire, Water, Air and Earth seem to have survived, but no spirit!).

Seriously, though, Demandred as Aludra?? If so, Mat has a remarkable talent for ogling disguised male Forsaken. (Hmm, now you've got me suspecting Setalle Anan...)

601. Dr. Thanatos

If Demandred was Dedicated, he'd be working for Taim...
But if his goal is, as stated, to increase chaos, what better way than to make out with Mat and then reveal himself right before the Last Battle? Can you say The Crying Game, Forsaken Edition?

And from what we know of Demandred, he would make an excellent illuminatrix
Ken Ray
602. Maclir
@600 lakesidey

True - the first Bloodknife Gawyn faced caused him big problems. But in between that encounter and the three-ninja-beatup, he gained the advantage of being told exactly what they are, where their powers come from, and he worked out ways to counteract their advantages. Knowing your opponents strengths and how they are likely to attack can help you negate them.

But still, having Gawyn singlehandedly kill all three at once - even though it almost killed him - was a bit over the top.

And Judge, he needed killin' anyway.
Tess Laird
603. thewindrose
So it is very interesting that BwS stressed that Gawyn has luck on his side, which helps him with his blademaster status. Future chaneller? Minor Ta'veren? Got touched by Mat - just kidding:) It would be interesting and I guess nice for Egwene if he was a channeler. (Maybe Egwene should learn the new Asha'man bond.) A year and change may tell...
John Massey
604. subwoofer
Well then- about those Dragons... that is a though thing to sell. On the face of it, there is a natural evolution from fireworks to "other things that go boom". Where it really changes the landscape is in regards to war. Now we have taken conventional weapons to a whole new level. Things like swords and arrows and armor became obsolete in our world when guns came onto the scene. What would happen in Randland?

It is just a matter of time before somebody comes along and realizes that they can make Dragons smaller. And have a more concentrated charge etc. The only thing I can think of is the reference to "shocklances". At some point there is a big cataclysm that reboots everything in the World. Knowledge is lost, civilization is lost, people go from craft that fly in the air to a very basic existence. The question becomes, at what point are we in terms of the evolution of Randland?

From all indications, Rand has a plan that will end things forever with the Dark One. Dunno where that will leave things. OTOH in terms of the turning of the Wheel, there are still a few ages to go before we get back to the First Age again, there still has to be an "Age of Legends" occuring in this cycle. What makes things interesting is the blend of magic with technology. We have an inkling of trains, internal combustion engines- or at least methanol, hot air balloons etc. Things are coming to the fore, how they are melded and used in conjunction to the Source remains to be seen. And don't make me talk about the Avi thing, because no happiness can be found there.

605. wagman26
@ Gawyn defeating the Bloodknives

I'll quote Rand here. "Not ridiculous...Simply implausible." P.409 conversation with Iralin. The Wheel weaved it so, is the point.
606. wagman26

I believe Rand has come to realize that the DO must be a part of the wheel, since good can not exist without evil and vice versa. Everything has a balance. If the DO is defeated forever, then there would have to be another to take his place. Colbey Calistinsson anyone?
Alice Arneson
607. Wetlandernw
wagman26 @606 - "... good can not exist without evil and vice versa." That all depends on your cosmology. RJ was not entirely clear on the relationship between the Creator and the Dark One. Many assume that they are "equal and opposite," but personally I wonder how the Creator could have imprisoned the DO if they were truly equal. OTOH, RJ did set this cosmology with a lot of "balance of power" being needed to make things work right, so it's possible. As a general statement, however, I disagree vehemently with what I quoted there. Evil cannot exist without good, but good can (and does) indeed exist without evil.
608. wagman26
@607 wetlandernw

Never meant to say that the Creator and the DO were equal. The Devil and God are not equal. My point is just that without evil, how do we know what is good. One defines the other, in a way. Yin and Yang.
William Fettes
609. Wolfmage
367. tugthis @ 367

“The Gawyn battle scene could have ended no other way. Did you think he would die?--- Of course it would have made Eggy a more interesting character if she had to deal with that personal grief”

And more importantly, she would have to own that death as a tragic miscalculation. Egwene has seldom found occasion in the books to cop to any major mistakes despite there being a veritable cornucopia of candidate errors or morally dubious activities on her part. She has, of course, justified a bunch of stuff on the basis of necessity (some plausibly), supposedly reconciling the moral ledger by paying the price according to Aiel custom, but she’s not really had a moment of genuine contrition over anything major.

Whilst many characters in WoT put on heirs and demonstrate significant hubris, most still keep themselves in check with a fair dose of introspection, second-guessing themselves within the sanctity of their own mind, or confiding in or listening to a trusted confidant. Egwene seldom does this; her own internal deliberations are almost impossibly self-assured and doubt-free and her confidences tend towards the manipulative or are one-sidedly means-end orientated.

Like her indefensible shuning of Siuan in TGS after the rescue attempt, Egwene’s treatment of Gawyn post-Bloodknives is almost insufferably pigheaded in its inability to simply admit she was wrong without hedging and invoking a blamegame. That is, she was wrong about the source of the murders and the genuine potential danger to her person. Now, whilst she certainly had good intentions in focusing her efforts on prosecuting the plot against Mesaana, she was clearly not in a position to be disapproving in this situation. Just as with her rescue rebuke, she is too fixated on the moral purity of her mission, even if that means being hung up on obedience for the sake of it -- (remember her work in the Tower was not undone by the rescue, and there was no reasonable basis to assume it would be at that point).

Personally, I recognise that she has a legitimate need to preserve the stature and dignity of the office of the Amyrlin Seat, especially given her age and the precarious nature of WT politics. That does put a heavy onus on maintaining strict lines of authority in public view. However, I have rather less sympathy when she uses that need for authority as an excuse to avoid introspection, or just to throw her weight around in personal relationships.

If you want a better example to emulate, look at how Siuan treated Moiraine in tGH. Siuan manages to strike a better balance between having dignified carriage of the office and maintaining some humility, grace and friendship.

Also, can I just say that Gawyn's line (paraphrasing here) about how she’s the Amyrlin Seat, charged with saving the world, and so she should let him make wedding arrangements was truly cringe inducing. It sounded like it was lifted straight out of a Mills and Boon romance novel. Eek.
Alice Arneson
610. Wetlandernw
wagman26 @608 - At the risk of going WAY OFF TOPIC (ya think? :) I'd say that God defines good, and that which is not of God is evil - including, of course, Satan. We may find good & evil easier to understand in terms of the contrast, but God, the source and definition of all good, can and does exist perfectly well without any evil to define Him.

Wolfmage @609 - "Whilst many characters in WoT put on heirs..." Wow. You lost me on that one. Elayne's in the process of developing a couple of heirs, but... nah, I don't see how it applies to Egwene. The Amyrlin Seat isn't handed down by family anyway. We can only hope Mat will have a chance to do something about heirs sometime...

611. sbt3998
Great book. Don't know if this has been brought up, the sheer number of post is to much to go through, but what do you think of the significance of Rand thanking Min, Mat, Perrin, Nyaenve, Aviendha, Morainne and Elayne in the chapter he meets the Borderlander kings and queens.
612. Rand-y Girl
@ 563 I meant to say until Aviendha dies herself...i don't know how to edit. Sorry.
@565 I think that the habit of keeping all the major characters alive will change. I think Team Light has to suffer some deaths eventually. And, I think that the people who die will be major players. I guess we'll see in AMoL, but it doesnt seem realistic to me that all of the main characters have survived when Team Drak has lost so many.

On that point, I have a loony theory about who else will die. Feel free to tear my theories apart with contextual evidence and Team Jordan information. IMHO Perrin will die. I don't buy into the idea that the Dark Prophecy is referring to Hopper or Rodel as the Broken Wolf. How could their deaths bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men? Of course, the Dark Prophecies like those of the Light always come true but not in the way in which we who knows. I think Perrin will still live on in the Wolf Dream and fight the Last Battle from that front.

I think Demandred is in Shara. I don't understand why RJ would have introduced us to this land, if they weren't going to play a role in the series. This, in combination with Demandred's statement that "my rule is secure" =sense to me. Also, and I can't find the quote directly but I think Grandeal mentioned spending time in Shara...correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't her and Demandred in an alliance @ some point?

@568...thanks for the welcome!
613. Rand-y Girl
Excuse the spelling mistakes. Does anyone know why I can't edit my comments?
Kimani Rogers
614. KiManiak
Rand-y Girl@613 - I believe you need to register and create a Tor account (or, "Go Grey," as I think some on this re-read call it) in order to have access to the Edit ability. Creating an account is free and takes a couple of minutes, max.
Gary Masterton
615. GM
Ive read comments expressing unease about Lanfears bit in the Epilogue; worried about a last minute redemption. Turns out she's just misunderstood, a lonely and in-love gal caught up in this crazy world of theirs, spurned for that trollop Illyena, and getting mixed up with a nefarious and enabling sugar-daddy, the DO. You know, just made some bad choices and paying for it.

Honestly, i hope thats the case.

One of my favourite characters in the series is Asmodean; assuredly the reason TFoH is one of my favourite novels. Somewhere, i forget, RJ said Asmo was just a cat that tried to cross the tracks and got run over, didnt make it. I loved that! I mean, a Musician, nerdy little guy, lowest of the Forsaken, cant channel anymore, thinks hes going to go insane, and most likely spend eternity in torment when the DO gets its hands on him. He died before he could disappoint us by betraying Rand, he volunteered to go to Caemlyn, tried to Heal Rand, held that gateway to Seanchan open, it seemed like he was earnestly trying to cross the road. Along with all that, he was an ascerbic and witty guy. I mean, cause of death, looking for some good wine!! Died for wine.

So i hope Lanfear tries to cross the road as well in AMoL. Itd be interesting character development, Rand and Mierin Eronaile doing the whole Ex thing, and most of all, hopefully, going some way to supporting the sparsely supported adage that no-one can walk so long in the Shadow that they cant find the Light.
616. JackMyDog
About Asmo, I agree, he taught Rand a lot of very important stuff and even tho caught in his weakness. he threw his lot totally in with Rand.
"Died for Wine"
Loved that!
Rand should have spent more time on music studies with Asmo, his flute playing still needs lots of improvement.

Music soothes the savage beast =circles the rug and lies down=
Niki Grasern
617. kraefzke
First of all, I'd be very grateful to everyone who can provide me with the quotes that tell us anything about the Shadowspawn/Constructs/Travelling issue. I am curious about the exact wording in the books and author's quotes, so summarizing the facts won't help me (and I think I'm pretty familiar with them anyway). So please, gurus, help me out!

Secondly I had some thoughts reading through the posts (including one pretty loony theory and one very loony, improbable, but would-be-funny theory), so in no order whatsoever and with all credit to whomever may have posted this first:

It has been stated by several people here that Callandor cannot channel/enhance TP. This is certainly correct, confirmed by Author himself and I never liked the Idea anyway: TP has been called the essence of the DO and when Rand channels TP, LTT panicks and says something like "We must not touch it, it is him". Also TP is per Rand's description it was comparable to holding the Choedan Kal (sp?), and the DO alone decides the amount of TP any given privileged individual is allowed access to, so a) no point and b) no possibility to enhance the amount.

These musings led me to the following line of thought:
Ishamael was more than half-mad in the end and probably thought he was the DO himself, as stated by various of his collegues. He was a known TP-addict and frequent user, from which probably his firy-eyes-and-mouth thingy came (next-level-saa). Now what if he was not so far off by believing himself to be the DO? LTT said the TP WAS the DO, so what if, by drawing in so much of the TP=DO he became (at least partly) an incarnation of the DO as opposed to simply his champion. Also, this might be the key to defeating the DO at TG. I propose the following scenario:
Rand gives Callandor to Moridin who tries to blast him away with saidin, but Superrand withstands that. Moridin is uberconfident in his abilities thanks to Callandor, but realises OP is not enought to defeat Superdragon, so he draws TP instead (not through Callandor, mind you), all of it, thereby becoming the DO for real (human soul dies to be spun out again 6 ages later). Rand then links with two girls and takes up Callandor again to seriously kick DO's ass and ban him from the pattern for the next few ages (doesn't need to be more powerful than DO for that, simply powerful enough to push him out and reseal the bore). After that, my theory from post 183 re: Nyn and Lan kicks in. As to wether Rand will die/be resurrected I can see many of the theories around turning out to be the right guess, so I don't have much to say on the topic, except that I would like it most if he simply survives somehow (which is unlikely to happen).

And now to my really looniest theory ever, and I seriously hope it's mine for real and I'm first one to post it, because although it's the most improbable thing RJ could come up with, I'd simply love to see this happen:
Taim is indeed a AOL channeller that survived to our day (I have some theories as to how, but won't dive into them unless specifically asked to do so). In ranking he stands below the other 13 FS, but high enough to be protected from the taint. At the very least Moridin and Greandal know of him being alive in the current age. He is Greandals minion and killed Asmodean (who knew him personally, but might or might not have known about him being around; "You, no!") at her order, therefore making her responsible for his death without her being the actual killer. LTT might even have known him personally ("Kill him, kill him, kill him"), but we can't know that for the lack of post-epiphany-Rand POVs.

If I was indeed first to post this on any forum and it turns out to be true, I hereby claim some fancy title!

ps I'm not a native English, nor Old Tungue speaker, so forgive me any misspellings and grammar errors.

pps @all Gurus: Don't forget over my ramblings that I started this WoT with a plea for information.
618. Robss
@ 617

Love it GREAT Theory
Niki Grasern
619. kraefzke
*blush*, thank you, but which one of the two theories do you like? The one about Ishidin or the Taim-theory?
620. Dr. Thanatos
My loony theory :

RJ: Demandred has never posed as Mazraim Taim

Aes Sedai Advisor: Because there are no magazine covers or photo shoots in Randland, he has never actually posed...
621. alreadymadwithdragonlites
subwoofer @604
Handheld projectile weapons are described in Aviendha's Way Forward trip through the glass columns.
Jay Dauro
622. J.Dauro
kraefzke @ 617

This is what I find.

KOD - 19
"Did you intend keeping these new weaves for your favorites, like Taim? Those gateways. Where did we send those Trollocs? I just copied your weave exactly."
"It doesn't matter where they went," Rand said absently. His attention was focused on Lews Therin. The madman, the bloody voice in his head, drew a little deeper on the Power. Let go. man. "Shadowspawn can't survive passing through a gateway."
"Not too many in any one place, though. The destination shifts every time a Deathgate opens." Rand rubbed at his temples. That pain was a warning. He was close to the amount of saidin he could hold without dying or being burnt out. You can't die yet, he told Lews Therin. We have to reach Tarmon Gai'don or the world dies.

Towers of Midnight book tour 16 November 2010 WH Smith, Paris, France - Jonathan B. reporting
We discussed the gholam, if someone had pushed it through a gateway, would it have just died? Brandon said that gholam CAN go THROUGH gateways (from one place to another). He mentioned that this was the first time he had shared this information. Gholam are Shadowspawn of a more perfected kind. It would have been way too easy to kill if you just needed to shove it through a gateway (to another place). However, falling through the Skimming gateway for a few minutes did kill the gholam and it is really dead and it's not going to show up again.

Knife of Dreams book tour 24 October 2005 - Tim Kington reporting
Q: Why can't Shadowspawn pass through gateways?
RJ: It's because they're artificial constructs. They can't tolerate the passage.
Q: So would a Nym have the same problem?
RJ: Yes.
Q: How about Ogier?
RJ: No. Ogier are not artificial constructs.

Crossroads of Twilight eBook "Glimmers" Interview
Q: Why don’t the Forsaken every just open a gateway for floods of Trollocs to pour through, instead of messing with the dangers of the Ways? 
RJ: RAFO, my child. RAFO.

Mari Davis
623. sheiglagh
Maclir @ 598
My point exactly about the Blood Knives. They are not "super humans", just enhanced. And they can be killed, or else, the Seanchan will not have that tradition that Blood Knives do not return once they are sent.

Speaking of that, Tuon "supposedly activated" them when she sent them away. From there, they knew that they are not coming back and their enhancement should have slowly killed them because the enhancement is poison.

lakesidey @ 600
Gawyn did not know what they were the first time he encountered the first Blood Knife. The second time he saw them, Gawyn knew what he was up against.

By the time that Gawyn encountered the three BK, they had passed their half life and their enhancement is working against them instead of for them. The "poison" should be killing them at this point in time.

For all the posts re: Galad and Gawyn's skills as swordsmen

They are highly trained even before they came to the White Tower. They have been training since they can hold a sword, which is very young.

As an analogy, think of a gymnasts and figure skaters who started training the moment they can wear skates. Real life examples are the Olympic champions who are barely 16 when they win the Olympic Gold.

That said, Galad and Gawyn might be young (in their mid to late 20s, Galad might even be 30 at this time) but it does not mean that they are not experienced with the sword.

If they are not skilled or highest rated at thsi time, it's just like saying that figure skaters have to be older than they are to get the Olympic gold.

In fact, some of them do not get to to go though they are ranked #1 because they are too young.
624. wagman26

Jesús, I like him very much, but he no help with curve ball.
625. fergusm1
first time posting, thought id see how it goes... hopefully this doesn't end up too long.

So this hasn't been mentioned lately, but I'm just rereading ToM again and have happened upon the part with Aviendha and the mysterious Nakomi.
there seems to be two main theories for who nakomi is (verin or lanfear) and a handful of others.
I don't personally like either verin or lanfear in the place as nakomi, for a couple simple reasons: aviendha should recognize them. at the very least, recognize short plump verin as not being aiel. There are weaves, i suppose, which could change their appearance, and they could invert the weaves so that aviendha wouldn't read them channeling, but i find that a bit of a stretch. plus there's the finding one person in the middle of the waste. far as we've seen, neither verin or larnfear or capable of this. possible, i guess. plausible, not really.

I'm always reluctant to throw time travel out there, unless there's evidence that it's possible, which so far we haven't. The only way we know to affect time so far is balefire... and that doesn't really apply. plus, time travel explains a lot of things in a lot of stories, but rarely is actually used. so again, possible, but im not buying.

but it does bring up a good question: what about a jenn aiel, or other aiel, from the past? ghosts have been walking for some time now, would having one be self concious be such a leap, expecialy if it were a jenn aiel or some such? possible, i would say.

the other best idea,in my opinion, also already brought up, was that it was a figment of aviendha's imagination. I don't think it happened in dream world, being it's a bit late for aviendha finding she can go there, but a normal dream, maybe? or just she talked to herself. noone's actually referred to how the strange nakomi made the same food as avi's mother had. altho, that could re-enforce either of these ideas? in that it's an old fashioned food (see: ghost from past) or a comforting food which ave herself picked.
it being a figment of her imagination could also explain why the food was so delicious?

another plausible idea is that she is jenn aiel, maybe one who's somehow had her eye on avi for a while, as an important young one, who would be a leader.
so many questions.... thanks a bunch sanderson/jordan... haha.
626. AndrewB
Appologies to anybody who suggested the following theory. As of yet, I have not seen something similar posted on this thread.

In LoC, Min tells Rand that Perrin must be near him beacuse twice something very bad will happen to Rand. We have always believed that the first of the two events was Dumani Wells.

What if the second instance is at the FoM (where Rand, Egwene, Elayne, Perrin and most of the other armies of Light are meeting). Maybe Perrin is instrumental in convincing the Amies of Light to support Rand's plan to break the remaining seals and/or work with Rand to do whatever is necessary to make a new seal.

A different interpretation of the 2nd bad event is Perrin being key to destroying the dreamspike at the Black Tower. In ToM (the chapter where Perrin and Faile meet with Elayne), Perrin notes to himself that Grady could not Travel to the Black Tower. Perrin says he will investigate this problem in the World of Dreams later that night or the next night.

Maybe Perrin is the key to destroying the dreamspike. Without Perrin's assistance, Logain, Perva, Androl and the rest of their allies will be turned to the Dark Side (i.e. 13 x 13'd). The loss of the "good guys" at the Black Tower will spell doom for Team Light.

I think my first theory is more probable for two reasons.

First, I am not sure how something bad will happen to Rand if Perrin does not destroy the dreamspike. At the present, Rand is not at the Black Tower. While the fall of the entire Black Tower to the Shadow would be bad, I do not see how it would directly harm Rand (thus satisfying Min's viewing).

My second reason is from a literary point of view. In ToM, Perrin entered the World of Dreams and was able to destroy the dreamspike. I hope that RJ would not have Perrin do the same thing to destroy the second dreamspike. I would like to see a different resolution of that problem.

Even though I did not buy my second theory, I thought I would throw it out for discussion. Please feel free to comment on the possiblitiy of either theories.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Andrew B
Rob S
627. RobSS
re: kraefzke @619

Sorry it took so long to answer.
I love the idea that Taim has been around as long as the forsaken. That explains how come he seems to have know Rand (LTT) and shown contempt that I never understood.
If it was him that pulled off the hit on Asmo, that would explain Asmo's surprise in his final word, "you," to me.
628. Dr. Thanatos
To add to the surprise, suppose that Asmo not only saw someone who shouldn't be there, but someone who shouldn't exist.

In other words, Taim is either Voldemort or Bob, the long-lost 10th Nazgul...
Jay Dauro
629. J.Dauro
Just a quick thought.

Rand in TSR says he cannot go back to the Two Rivers, because that would let his enemies know that they can hit him by damaging his home. He feels he has to separate himself from Emmond's Field to protect it.  And now Elayne has tied him to it in big letters.

Granted, it's late in the game, and Perrin is already connected. But will Rand appreciate this? 
John Massey
630. subwoofer
@617- sorry dude, Terez already posted a similar theory on Theoryland.

John Massey
632. subwoofer
"The Wheel has turned, for better or worse. And it will keep on turning, as lights die and forests dim, storms call and skies break. Turn it will. The Wheel is not hope, and the Wheel does not care, the Wheel simply is. But so long as it turns, folk may hope, folk may care. For with light that fades, another will eventually grow, and each storm that rages must eventually die. As long as the When turns, Ast long as it turns..."..."That has the sound of a song about it, Thom."
"Aye," Thom said, almost with a sigh."An old one, forgotten by most. I've discovered three versions of it, all with the same words, set to different tunes. I guess the area has me thinking of it; it's said that Doreille herself penned the original poem."

Yoiks! Found this in tGS. Methinks that something may be up here. May be a hint that at some point Thom may play a role in finding the Song. It may be a stretch, but I think RJ may have a higher purpose for putting everyone's favorite gleeman in the story, beyond the ToG and his er... connection with Moiraine.
John Massey
633. subwoofer
@Terez- right, this is getting me down. I know I saw said theory on the site, heck I commented on it IIRC. But for the life of me I can't find it now. Ran a search but it is taking me the rest of whatever to weed through everything. I seem to recall it was you because it was very long and there was tons of quotes... or was that the FAQ?... hmmmm anyways, I know I have seen this theory before and it was a huge theory backed up with a lot of info. Something about Taim being kept alive in a Stasis Box like the Gholam and that is how he survived the centuries. Also there was something about a familiar quote of there being many Chosen, some just didn't make the top 13. Taim was one of those.... and you have commented on every one of these theories!

Still lookin'. Heck, there is a flippin' faction on this.

Alice Arneson
634. Wetlandernw
subwoofer - try your second link @267. I think that's what you're looking for. It wasn't Terez, but it was Theoryland.
Darth Agilus
635. darth.agilus
@ 626 AndrewB

I think its been suggested that the second time was in ToM, where he stands on Dragonmount and watches Rand assimilate LTT. If it hasn't been suggested I'm doing so now, :)

Anyone else surprised the Tinkers didn't make an appearance? I figured this was the book when we would start moving towards them getting the song. Perhaps it will end up being a post LB scene.
Alice Arneson
636. Wetlandernw
FWIW, I vote for the second time being a Black Tower/dreamspike event, when Rand decides to confront Taim. Maybe they'll meet up outside the BT, or even when they both "ride to the rescue" of Caemlyn. Then they return to the BT, but Rand can't Travel out - until Perrin removes the dreamspike and Taim's plans blow up in everyone's faces. Actually, Merrilor is only behind by a smidge in my voting; it's a pretty good contender as well. And, of course, the many yet-unknown confrontations that will occur in AMoL. It has indeed been suggested that the second time was Perrin watching Rand on Dragonmount, but I don't buy it. Perrin did nothing but watch, and I don't see how his presence affected anything. YMMV.

Tinkers... well. I think they'll be important yet, but considering where the action was in ToM, I'm not surprised they weren't on screen. When we see more of Fortuona, we'll see more of the Tinkers. This I Foretell.
Alice Arneson
638. Wetlandernw
Not really, I'm just feeling pompous tonight. :)

It mostly seems reasonable that, since they're in the same place, they might show up at the same time. I could postulate a couple of reasons that the Tinkers might be significant to Fortuona, but they'd just be airy speculation. At least for now, until I read the book a couple more times...
lake sidey
639. lakesidey
@several: It's so refreshing to see the trust we have in Jordan's (and Sanderson's) implicit sneakiness: even after explicit info that Graendal offed Asmo, we're still finding ways to Aes Sedai our way around it. That's, y'all.

@Subwoofer: I also remember reading that theory, couldn't relocate it though. Sorry!

@Wetlander: That makes sense actually - the Tinkers have been moving to Seanchan controlled lands....

I wonder (not really a theory, more a hope) - if the song is indeed rediscovered onscreen (which I seriously doubt, given only one book left and many other matters to be resolved) wouldn't it be interesting if they find out the song from the Seanchan Ogier? Those Ogier with long-handled axes sound interesting, more about them needed. Also (I think this has been asked before but never read any answer) if - hypothetically - Covril were to succeed in opening the Book of Translation, would it affect the Seanchan Ogier too? I ask because I can see an interesting scene - ForTuona's armies marching to face Rand's, and suddenly 10,000 axe-bearing Ogier in the front ranks "softly and silently vanishing away..." (I really really hope this does not happen - because then we'd lose Loial too!)

@several above: About Perrin; I don't think that episode on Dragonmount counts as the second time. I suspect it will be a combo of some of the theories above (Perrin gets killed, returns in the world of dreams, and helps Rand win there).

A thought. If Perrin gets killed, it would be tragic and all but..... I wonder, if Perrin dies, will Faile also go out in a blaze of "I will take up your sword if you fall" glory? If so, it might make it bearable. (Besides then maybe Bashere won't die. And I like Bashere. Cool fellow!)

Just throwing out a non-serious (and really loony – almost luna in fact!) Nakomi theory:
Someone above (can't recollecct who) pointed out that “Daughter of the moon, Nokomis” could indicate Lanfear, but it could equally well indicate the “Daughter of the Nine Moons”. Who is also from their equivalent of the ancient US of A (big unknown land across the Western ocean, with scary intelligence units etc etc). Yes, I know, even the “Nakomi = Rand” theories above are more likely than this one. She doesn't remotely resemble Tuon, and Tuon hasn't yet accepted that she can channel, and none of her folks know the relevant weaves anyway. This ranks somewhere with…“Nakomi = Bela” perhaps?

Birgit F
640. birgit
Also (I think this has been asked before but never read any answer) if - hypothetically - Covril were to succeed in opening the Book of Translation, would it affect the Seanchan Ogier too? I ask because I can see an interesting scene - ForTuona's armies marching to face Rand's, and suddenly 10,000 axe-bearing Ogier in the front ranks "softly and silently vanishing away..."

That would be funny, but I doubt it works that way. It sounds more like a kind of Portal Stone leading to a specific world, maybe activated by singing instead of channeling (like the Talisman of Growing El and Avi found). Those who use it probably have to be close to it. The Gardeners should join the fight against the Shadow. Unlike the Ogier on this side of the ocean, they know how to fight.

Red-veils unveiled
Lindy Brown
641. lbrown
I just finished the Mistborn trilogy and would recommend it to anyone. It has a great, satisfying ending. Does anyone know of any good Mistborn fan communities/blogs/ mailing lists?
Sandy Brewer
642. ShaggyBella
@641 lbrown
there is a Mistborn wiki
These are the same guys that have the WOT Wiki
Lindy Brown
643. lbrown
Thanks, ShaggyBella. I'll go check it out.
Lindy Brown
644. lbrown
507. Man-0-Manetheran
Re: the Fields of Merrilor

Thanks. I always forget how far east Tar Valon is and it's right below Arafel.
Lindy Brown
645. lbrown
@ 553 nabcif

Yeah, I was always kind of sad that Mat and Aludra couldn't get together.
Alice Arneson
646. Wetlandernw
lbrown @641 - There are also at least three Brandon Sanderson fan sites that will have discussion possibilities; is the only one whose name I can remember at the moment.
Antoni Ivanov
647. tonka
There is also and
Niki Grasern
648. kraefzke
sub@630 and others re: my post @617
I do recall reading it theorized that Taim was a "minor FS" from AOL, also that he was Asmo's killer (and I'm pretty sure I have also read those t