Dec 21 2010 1:22pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Crossroads of Twilight, Part 10

God rest ye merry, WOTrians! Let nothing you dismay, for Wheel of Time Re-read is here to stay, I hope not sporadically!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 12 and 13 of Crossroads of Twilight, in which our fingers get all wrinkly and sodden, because that’s what happens when you stay in the tub too long, homes. You know it to be true!

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

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

Scheduling note: So it turns out it’s, like, Christmas and shit, you guys. Who knew? So here’s the deal: there will be today’s post, but Friday is Christmas Eve, so no. And then another on Tuesday on next week, so a post, and then Friday is New Year’s Eve, so no. And then we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted; the next Tuesday kind of entirely depends on how drunk I get over New Year’s.

Hey, at least I’m being honest, yeah? Yeah. And with that y’all will have to be satisfied, because I’ve got nothing otherwise.

So until, then, have some tidings of comfort and joy, and a post!

Chapter 12: A Bargain

What Happens
Elayne and Aviendha take a bath while Birgitte talks of recent news, carefully edited for the benefit of the maids. Elayne is disappointed there is no news of Gawyn, who both she and Birgitte eagerly wish was back in Caemlyn to ease their burdens re: commanding their forces. Elayne also wants him away from the Tower before Elaida finds out that he aided Siuan’s escape.

Elayne did not resent his decision to aid Elaida; he could not have known enough then to make any other choice. A good many sisters had been confused over what was happening, too. A good many still seemed to be. How could she ask Gawyn to see what Aes Sedai could not?

Birgitte also tells them that two sisters have left the Silver Swan in the city, but two more have arrived, keeping their numbers at ten, and Elayne wishes she knew whose side those sisters were on. Further worrying is that one of their spies at the inn overheard a mention of a woman named Cadsuane, which Elayne thinks too uncommon a name not to be referring to Cadsuane Melaidhrin, and points to the unnerving possibility that the “neutral” faction and Elaida’s faction might be talking sub rosa. There is a sudden commotion outside; Birgitte goes to investigate while Elayne and Aviendha get out of their baths. Aviendha runs to get their angreal even though Elayne tells her it is not necessary. Birgitte comes back to growl that Zaida wants to see Elayne, and then is shoved aside by Zaida herself, who enters with two of the highest-ranking Windfinders, Shielyn and Chanelle. Incensed, Elayne points out tightly that she was taking a bath, but Zaida ignores this to tell her that Nesta din Reas Two Moons is dead, killed by the Seanchan, and the First Twelve will be meeting to choose a new Mistress of the Ships in Illian. Therefore, she informs Elayne, in fulfillment of their bargain she will be taking all the Aes Sedai in the Palace except Elayne herself and Vandene (who is grieving), tonight, and the Tower will owe her the rest, though she has sent to the Silver Swan to see if the sisters there will help meet the Tower’s debt.

Elayne fought very hard to keep her own face smooth. The woman just announced that she intended to scoop up every Aes Sedai lying around loose in Caemlyn and carry them off? And it sounded very much as if she did not intend to leave any of the Windfinders behind. That made Elayne’s heart sink. Until Reanne returned, there were seven of the Kin with sufficient strength to weave a gateway, but two of those could not make one large enough to admit a horse cart. Without the Windfinders, plans for keeping Caemlyn supplied from Tear and Illian became problematical at best. The Silver Swan! Light, whoever Zaida had sent would reveal every line of the bargain she had made! Egwene was not going to thank her for spilling that mess out into the open. She did not think she had ever had so many problems dropped in her lap in the course of one short statement.

Thinking fast, she invites Zaida to join her for tea, and notes that Zaida accepts without a quibble, which indicates to Elayne that she has some leverage here. Once served, Elayne points out that the Tower has promised twenty teachers to the Sea Folk, not Zaida herself, and it was understood that the sisters teaching here was a temporary arrangement, in return for which the Windfinders agreed to help bring in supplies to Caemlyn. If they are leaving, however, that bargain is ended and so is their requirement to teach. Aviendha chortles that her sister “has [Zaida] by the ear,” but Zaida ignores her to counter that Merilille is part of the original bargain, and so must go. Elayne knows that is a lost cause, and agrees, with the caveat that she can recall Merilille as long as she supplies a replacement; to herself, she thinks that she might have to if it turns out Merilille is Black. The bargain is done, but Zaida makes no move to leave, and Elayne is determined to outwait her. After a prolonged staring contest, Zaida finally remarks that Elayne has need of women to make gateways.

Elayne sipped her wretched excuse for tea and said nothing.

“It might please the Light that I could leave one or two Windfinders here,” Zaida went on. “For a set time.”

Elayne wrinkled her brow as though considering. She needed those bloody women, and more than one or two. “What would you ask in return?” she said finally.

“One square mile of land on the River Erinin. Good land, mind. Not marshy or boggy. It is to be Atha’an Miere land in perpetuity. Under our laws, not Andor’s,” she added as if that were a small afterthought hardly worth mentioning.

Elayne chokes on her tea, but then considers that it is a small price for keeping Caemlyn supplied during the siege, and additionally in future will mean landlocked Andor will have access to everything the Sea Folk trade. She doesn’t let Zaida know this, of course. She demands in return that Zaida leave all twenty-one Windfinders with her, and keep that number as long as Aes Sedai teach Sea Folk. Zaida allows that she could leave three, but they must not be used in fighting. Elayne agrees to the latter, but counters that she needs twenty; Zaida can keep Shielyn. They haggle back and forth until they finally settle on nine Windfinders, and those under Elayne and Birgitte’s authority. Aviendha and Birgitte are both impressed, though Elayne suspects Zaida had expected a similar outcome.

That hardly mattered, either, nor did it matter what advantage Zaida hoped to gain toward becoming Mistress of the Ships. That she saw some was clear as good glass. All that mattered was that Caemlyn would not go hungry. That and the… the bloody beacon still blazing in the west. No, she would be a queen, and she could not be a moonstruck girl. Caemlyn and Andor were all that could matter.

“Elayne and Aviendha take a bath while Birgitte talks of recent news, carefully edited for the benefit of the maids.”

I feel that you should be aware that the above one sentence of my recap covers five pages of hardcover text—out of sixteen total for this chapter. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t exclude one iota of relevant information in that condensation, either.

That’s… well, that’s a lot, right there. And also, very little. And also, WTF, over?

I’m just—I have no idea what’s going on with this. Jordan’s never been exactly stingy with descriptive passages, and sometimes I’ve been vaguely impatient with them when he feels the need to describe every last wagon wheel and dress color in a five mile radius, but I’ve never before this felt that such a long stretch of text was actually pointless. But this bath sequence… Christ. It reads almost like one of those “domestic” fanfics, where the entire “plot” is 5,000 words of the characters cooking breakfast or cutting their toenails or something. I mean, the hell? Why does this merit five pages? Why are we wasting so much time on this?

And this isn’t even me knocking domestic fanfics as such, because those are, after all, deliberately pointless. Their point actually is that they don’t have one—they are just interludes, used as excuses to play with the characters, essentially. Which is fine if that’s all you’re going for, and are also, you know, a fanfic writer with no obligations to produce an actual plot if you don’t want to, but this is the bloody Wheel of Time, you guys. If there’s one thing this series doesn’t have, it’s a lack of plot to get through!

So again I ask, WTF?


Well, at least this chapter gives us the happy news that seventy-five percent of the frickin’ Sea Folk are finally getting out of Elayne’s hair, and, by extension, ours as well, which is awesome. Though of course it had to be achieved in the most obnoxious way possible. I suppose in a messed-up way I should give Zaida kudos for consistency on that front, though I’d obviously much rather give her a wedgie, because gah. And seriously, what is it with people in WOT being completely unable to keep from walking in on other people while they’re naked?

On second thought, don’t answer that.

But in any case, bye, Zaida! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, sheesh.

Gawyn: Elayne’s being way too generous with him here, in my admittedly irritated opinion, and also at the same time being rather condescendingly insulting to him, too. At least I give him enough credit for native intelligence to be pissed at him for failing to use it.

But then, I’m not operating under the Randland default mindset that (a) women are smarter than men and (b) Aes Sedai are smarter than everyone. Because, yeah, no. On both counts. Stupidity, in my unfortunate experience, is blissfully gender-blind—and by all in-story evidence, channeling-gene-blind, too. I’m sure there’s a less awkward way to phrase that, but you get my drift. Anyway, nicely subtle gender-flipped point there, maybe.

Speaking of our Selectively Stupid Duo, there’s also a rather glaring gaffe in this chapter in Elayne’s musings on Galad (which I left out of the summary):

Galad fancied Nynaeve, or had for a time—it was hard to imagine he still felt that way, with him a Whitecloak, the Light only knew where and doing what—but the truth was, he had started that war to rescue his sister.

Er, no. Pretty sure that should have been “Egwene,” there; Galad respected Nynaeve, but there was never the slightest indication he had feelings for her. And there’s no way Elayne is just mistaken about this, because she knew damn good and well Galad was all about Egwene—she teased Egwene about it quite a lot back in the day. This is pretty clearly authorial error; I have no idea if it’s been corrected in later editions, but it exists in mine, and so I note it.

And… yeah. Onward!

Chapter 13: High Seats

What Happens
Zaida leaves, and Elayne hopes that she wins over her rivals (and remembers Andor’s favor), but chews out her guard for letting her in. Birgitte’s reflected embarrassment forces her to back down a bit, though, which Aviendha finds hilarious.

“I think you two will make each other melt, one day,” she said, laughing. “But then, you already played that joke, Birgitte Trahelion.” Birgitte scowled at her, sudden alarm crushing embarrassment in the bond, and she returned such a look of innocence it seemed her eyes might fall out of her face.

Better not to ask, Elayne decided. When you ask questions, Lini used to say, then you have to hear the answers whether you want to or not.

Elayne gives up on her tepid bath and begins getting dressed, but Birgitte interrupts her toilette to tell her Dyelin has returned with four High Seats: Mantear, Haevin, Gilyard and Northan. Elayne is ecstatic at the news, and doesn’t understand why Birgitte is puzzled and annoyed. She changes into more formal attire and convinces Aviendha to do the same for once. She understands Birgitte’s hesitance, though, once she and Aviendha enter the sitting room and Dyelin introduces the four High Seats to her: they are all children, the oldest (Conail Northan) barely past sixteen, and none are accompanied by adult advisors. All four declare their allegiance to Trakand, which Elayne accepts with as little consternation as she can manage. Catalyn of Haevin asks rudely about Birgitte’s status and Elayne’s own as Aes Sedai. Elayne replies politely, gritting her teeth, and Aviendha makes a pointed rejoinder-slash-veiled threat. Elayne introduces her, and Catalyn is astonished to meet an Aiel who is also Elayne’s sister. Conail thinks they’re joking, and Branlet Gilyard keeps ogling Birgitte, but the four of them have brought between them three thousand armsmen (Catalyn points out repeatedly that she had brought the most), and have sent for more, so Elayne puts up with it. Elayne notes that Perival Mantear is shy, but seems to have a much better idea than the others of what he’s getting into. They chat for a bit before sending the kids off to change, and Dyelin congratulates herself for a job well done, though she notes that Catalyn is an “odious child.” Elayne is still distracted by the beacon in the west and Rand’s undoubted involvement with it, but Birgitte and Aviendha are both incensed at the notion that these children are to be allowed to command armsmen; Birgitte opines that people will die for this. Irritated, Dyelin begs to differ:

“I became High Seat of Taravin at fifteen, when my father died in a skirmish on the Altaran Marches. My two younger brothers died fighting cattle raiders out of Murandy that same year. I listened to advisors, but I told Taravin riders where to strike, and we taught the Altarans and the Murandians to look elsewhere for their thieving. The times choose when children must grow up, Aviendha, not we, and in these times, a High Seat who is a child cannot be a child any longer.”

Dyelin goes on to dryly suggest that Birgitte keep Conail in line by letting him look at her breeches. Elayne shrugs off Birgitte’s fury to point out that young or not, their men follow their High Seats, not Elayne, and so she will not treat them as less. She further adds that age doesn’t always necessarily bring wisdom, either, but still chastises Dyelin for not bringing their advisors along. As retribution, she makes Dyelin responsible for keeping an eye on them, which makes Dyelin wince.

It made Birgitte laugh out loud. “If you have any problems, I’ll lend you a pair of breeches and some boots, and you can walk for him.”

“Some women,” Dyelin murmured into her wine, “can make a fish bite by crooking a finger, Lady Birgitte. Other women have to drag their bait all over the pond.” Aviendha laughed at that, but Birgitte’s anger began to edge upward in the bond.

They are interrupted by Rasoria, who tells Elayne the First Maid and the First Clerk are here to see her. Elayne wishes her friends could all get along, and tells Rasoria to send them in.

“You already played that joke”: …uh, what exactly does Aviendha mean here? I have a feeling I’m being extraordinarily dense, but I don’t quite get it. I mean, the logical assumption is that she’s referring to the whole episode with the Hot Rod Ter’Angreal™ and Elayne (as we presume) table-dancing naked as a result, but how was that a joke Birgitte played? ‘Cause Elayne pretty much did that to herself, you know. Or does Aviendha just mean she told Min about it during the oosquai-and-accidental-voyeurism episode in WH? I don’t know, something about the phrasing here baffles me.

(It’s rather disturbingly easy to phrase many of the Supergirls’ adventures to sound like they’re describing vignettes from Animal House. I… have no response to that, really.)

(Also, this. Just because.)

And not to bring up The Dreaded Bath again, but, um. Why is Elayne complaining that her bath water has gone cold, when either she or Aviendha could make it hot again with a thought? Hello, what? How did we forget the Supergirls have frickin’ MAGIC which makes the heating of water a completely trivial exercise? What is this bath thing’s damn deal? Why is it so weird and long and dumb?

And, why am I still talking about it?

Well, possibly because there’s not a whole hell else of a lot to talk about in this chapter. I honestly could not care less about the Four Snot-Nosed Brats of the Apocalypse—although I must point out to Dyelin, just because you stepped up and did okay doesn’t mean that the idea of a fifteen-year-old commanding armies isn’t terrifying in general, you know.

(Okay, Alexander the Great didn’t suck at army-ing at that age, either. But still. How many people are Alexander the Great? I’m thinking, not many!)

Also, Dyelin is being ridiculously catty here, and also stuck-up in general, which kind of sucks. I liked her much better when she was being awesome and throwing chairs at assassins and such.

And…okay, I have nothing else to say. Which, considering I can blather on about just about anything, is a pretty fair indictment of how little this chapter signifies in advancing anything about anything. Jeez.

But the show must go on, WOT fans! I’m sorry to leave you in such lameness till next week, but console yourselves with egg nog and mistletoe and such, or whatever floats your goat, I ain’t picky. I’m sure you’ll find a way to carry on regardless. Until then, cheers, and Merry Christmas/Solstice/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/generic holiday/consumer orgy/whatever. You know I loves ya whatever you espouse! See you next week!

Jason Deshaies
3. darxbane
Catty or not, that was still a good burn, and even more so for being one of the few "jokes" that an Aiel finds humorous and actually makes sense.
4. foliis
Leigh - have you noticed your recap is following the same path as the entire WOT series? TEoTW had seven recap posts; TGH had nine. Now we'll all be commenting on your commentary about irrelevant detail in the bathing scene - and it's only the tenth recap of COT

It must be a curse. :)

Anyway, thanks for all the effort involved. I've really enjoyed having a manageable summary in the runup to the new releases and the chance to read well-informed commentary and speculation about the grand endings to come.
Maggie K
5. SneakyVerin
I love the comment by Dyelin too, and that shows a good example of the small detail Jordan was GREAT at...throwing in an off sentence that really defines a character. (Even if it was after five pages of 'she took a bath')
6. adambravo
You're never too old for action figures...
Barry T
7. blindillusion
Baths, Sea Folk and Youngling Lords/Ladies, Oh My.

On that note, though: Merry Christmas everyone.

yep, I'm still around....
John Alt
8. John_A
Ughh, girl I feel for you. Your prose was the only thing remotely entertaining here. I'm not sure why he bothered with all this BS over the Andor throne, unless he was 1) stalling for time to line up the plot lines, or 2) experiencing writer's block and just did mental picture painting ("descriptive passages") until he got out of the funk. I've strongly suspected the latter for this book.
Karen Jacobs
9. KJacobs
Happy Holidays to All!

I have a feeling it is going to be a slow week here . . . maybe I'll finally get caught up on some of the older posts that I had to just skim through. Always a silver lining :)
David Thomson
10. ZetaStriker
I've got a friend reading the series for the first time now. . . and I can't wait for her to get to these chapters so I can mock her relentlessly for having to slog through it.

In the meantime, I've got you, Leigh. Watch as I nourish myself with your pain.
11. Narlock
I always thought the make each other melt was when Elayne and Rand got busy and Birgitte melted. That was why Birgitte got so embarrased when Aviendha brought it up
12. hamstercheeks
Happy Feast of Lights to the WoT community!

Thanks for the post, Leigh! Your grousings are hilarious! And yet so accurate! Which is why they're funny!

God, what did they put in my eggnog?
13. MasterAlThor
Merry Christmas all.



So, I for one, am finally happy to see Leigh call out the women in this.

(a) women are smarter than men and (b) Aes Sedai are smarter than everyone. Because, yeah, no. On both counts. Stupidity, in my unfortunate experience, is blissfully gender-blind—and by all in-story evidence, channeling-gene-blind, too.

Generally our feminist friends are all too happy to point out when men are being evil and all superior like. But have amazingly little to say when the women are being...well, like men. I am sure that they know the whole 2 wrongs thing.

Anywho, I am just glad that Leigh took some time to point that out. Saved me a lot of trouble.

So everyone enjoy the Holidays and Dragon will see you anon.


PS. I watched an old episode of GI Joe with my sons. It happend to be an episode were Baroness took over Cobra and enslaved all the men. Cover Girl, Scarlett and Lady Jay had to come to the rescue and save the men. See ladies, there are things out there were you are not the ones needing rescuing.
14. Rootboy
Nadir of the series right here, folks. Nowhere to go but up from now on.
Sandy Brewer
16. ShaggyBella
Galad still fancied Nyneave in my COT eBook. Weird. He was the one who said to Mat:

"If you spend much time around Nyneave, you will need bow, quarterstaff and sword to protect yourself. And I don't know wether that would be enough."

Leigh, Glad you are feeling well enough to Post. Flu sucks.

Leigh Butler
17. leighdb
MasterAlThor @ 13:

I should leave this alone, but the persistence of the irrational and slanderous myth that feminism = "women are better than men" continues to boggle my mind, and I particularly resent when it is applied to me, considering the absurd amount of commentary on record from me which quite decisively in my opinion demonstrates otherwise.

I simply fail to understand how the fact that I want women to be treated as equals to men somehow tranlates into a belief that I think women are superior to men. That doesn't even make sense mathematically, let alone philosophically.

Evidently you disagree, though. So please, feel free to back up your case and point out to me where I have ever, once, seriously made a claim that women are better than men.
Kurt Lorey
18. Shimrod
My take on the "make each other melt" comment was that Birgitte was affected by the little red ter'angreal in some embarrassing fashion as well as Elayne.

As to Dyelin being catty, who would think that such an honourable person would be capable of stooping to such low levels of immaturity over such a little thing? Oh, wait...and not just in fiction. lol

Merry Christmas to all, except for our northern neighbours, where it would be Happy Boxing Day, eh?
j p
19. sps49
I thought the joke already played was the drunk oosquai, but wotever.

Was the bath tepid the whole time? Because pregnant women aren't supposed to be in hot baths, correct? I took this as more "boo hoo, no spicy food, no fun, no alcohol, too much fussing over" that Laydy Elayne Fairchild has been getting lately.

Merry Christmas, and don't get too hung over!
20. AielSedai
Long time lurker, first time commenter.
Thank you Leigh - I don't know how you manage to make the Succession plotline entertaining, but you do!!

Re: the sloooowness of the plotline: I hated the sucession thing more than anything except the Plotline of Doom, but I always assumed that Jordan did it to show just how nuts things were getting in Randland. It was sort of like everything was spiraling out of control and the characters had to muck their way slowly through it (getting half of it wrong of course). And although that was really irritating to the reader, it was also irritating to the characters and showed the general state of Randland pretty well. As the Last Battle approaches, people lose their Awesome --> bad things start to happen.

then again, maybe thats just me making excuses.
F Shelley
21. FSS
Elayne and Avienda take a long, hot bath together, their bodies glistening from the water, while Birgitte looks on...

...and it's still boring.

Not your best scene, RJ...
Billy Abbey
22. felix
Yes, otherwise he would have been Alexander the Normal or maybe Alexander the Good Enough.
23. KiManiak
Thanks for the post, Leigh! Oh, and combining lyrics from a Christmas carol with a “Clueless” reference? Gotta love it. Actually, considering our subject matter, your references and commentary were once again the only fun things about these 2 chapters. Really not much to discuss here.

It’s gonna be a slow week…

Happy (Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/ Solstice/Boxing Day(?)/etc) Holidays!
Lannis .
24. Lannis
"Stupidity is blissfully gender-blind..."

And that is one remarkably accurate statement. And it's now my catch phrase for the day. Or the entire holidays, depending on how stupid things get around Chez Lannis...

On that note, merry merry everyone! Cheers! :)

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Have a great holiday!
Maiane Bakroeva
25. Isilel
So, why didn't they already figure out that linking would allow the Kin to make large getaways? So that we'd be exposed to WFs for that much longer? Because, really, I don't see why the Kin couldn't have taken the role of the WFs during Elayne's rescue. All this "keeping the Kin out of battle", when little boys are getting shoved into the ranks and supposedly everybody who can channel enough to light a candle would be needed is such an awful BS...

Oh, and with Travelling the whole thing with strip of land for the Sea Folk, etc. just doesn't seem very relevant.

Some still dangling threads: who the heck were those AS in the Silver Swan and what was the meaning of their presence? And the upcoming Merillile/Talaan escape.

And and little kids without guardians in actual control of their Houses? Make no sense. Why would their family/retainers allow a child to determine their fate? Completely implausible, IMHO. And Alexander wasn't really commanding armies at 15 - like all princes of the time he was merely a figurehead, studying on the job, while an experienced general was really handling things. This bit just tops the ridiculousness of the Andoran succession storyline, IMHO.
James Jones
26. jamesedjones
Loved the second chapter, just so we could check out Rand's little cousin chillin' quietly and out-thinkin' everyone in the room.

But, ya, most of it was laced with Ambien.


I read MAT's comments as appreciation of Leigh defending and respecting both sides of the gender argument. It's not surprising to see Leigh defend both sides, but it is refreshing for anyone who takes either side to be able to take the other with the same zeal.

You're a rare treasure, Leigh. Oh, and you're funny as hell.
Thomas Keith
27. insectoid
Aw, we always appreciate you, Leigh, for taking the most boring of chapters and making them entertaining!

Happy Holidays to all! I suggested the carol-parody thing last post, but I'll reiterate here since no one seemed to notice. ;)

28. PoliteNate
Re: Galad fancying Nynaeve--

I had always read this as a bit of evidence delivered with a wink to suggest that Elayne really, really doesn't know Galad as well as she thinks she does.

But then there was an interview somewhere I'm pretty sure (ah: interview database) where RJ says that, no, Galad really did like Nynaeve at some point which is bizarre and makes me wonder if RJ had even read what he'd been writing all this time, but it does explain why the line hasn't been changed in subsequent editions.
Stefan Mitev
29. Bergmaniac

Isilel @25 -"So, why didn't they already figure out that linking would allow the Kin to make large getaways? So that we'd be exposed to WFs for that much longer?" - that's exactly what I wondered when I read the scene for the first time when the book came out. Then, of course, the answer "plot convenient temporary forgetfulness" was obvious after the events of KoD where the WFs were needed for the rescue. Though I still don't get the Kin's total refusal to use the Power as a weapon at any circumstances, including within the limits of the Aes Sedai Oaths, and why they hadn't been pressed on this point by one of the Supergirls. 

 Anyway, I feel a bit weird after those comments so far, I actually enjoy those chapters somewhat. Sure, they are bloated with pointless details about dresses, maids, meals, baths and all that, but they also have some quite amusing moments in the character interactions and the arrival of the High Seats was probably the most significant plot point in the book so far apart from the Prologue. Which is damning with faint praise, I know, but still...

About Gawyn - I don't think Elayne condescending here because Gawyn is a man and thus more clueless by default. It's simply that he, as an outsider to the Tower, who's not even a Warder, really didn't have enough info to make an informed decision there, which makes sense.

Though on the other hand, surely Gawyn must've noticed during those years Elaida spent with Morgase, that she's, to put it mildly, not the sharpest tool in the box, and thus totally unfit for an Amyrlin. Maybe Elaida got much dumber after her contact with Fain in TFOH.
30. AndrewB
In her intro above, Leigh said: "And then we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted; the next Tuesday kind of entirely depends on how drunk I get over New Year’s."

Will you also dance on tables like Elayne? In the interest of honesty, you know.

It's a good thing that WoT does not have cell phone cameras. Otherwise, Elayne's friends would have a really excellent hold over Elayne. Video evidence is so much more useful than simple eye witness evidence.

To Leigh, all posters and all lurkers -- Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

I do not have any comments on these chapters.

Thanks for reading my musings,
31. hamstercheeks
Re: "Galad fancied Nynaeve"

Yes, RJ did indeed say that Galad liked Nynaeve, an interest that was apparently sparked in this fabulous scene:

“Nynaeve, you wouldn’t - “ Gawyn began worriedly, but Galad motioned him to silence and stepped closer to Nynaeve.

Her face kept its stern expression, but she unconsciously smoothed the front of her dress as he smileddown at her. Egwene was not surprised. She did not think she had met a woman outside the Red Ajah who would not be affected by Galad’s smile.

“I apologize, Nynaeve, for our forcing ourselves on you unwanted,” he said smoothly. “We will go, ofcourse. But remember that we are here if you need us. And whatever caused you to run away, we can help with that, as well.”

Nynaeve returned his smile. “One,” she said.

Galad blinked, his smile fading. Calmly, he turned to Egwene. Gawyn got up and started for the door. “Egwene,” Galad said, “you know that you, especially, can call on me at any time, for anything. I hope you know that.”

“Two,” Nynaeve said.

Galad gave her an irritated look. “We will talk again,” he told Egwene, bowing over her hand. With a last smile, he took an unhurried step toward the door.

“Thrrrrrrrrr” - Gawyn darted through the door, and even Galad’s graceful stride quickened markedly -“ree,” Nynaeve finished as the door banged shut behind them.
(TDR, ch. 16)

I mean, who wouldn't fall in love with Nynaeve after she just totally pwned you? I bet Galad had naughty, naughty fantasies of pwning Nynaeve right back. (HAWT.) Or maybe he was just intrigued that she didn't react to his smile the way everyone else did. Y'know, the prettiest people are generally the most insecure.

So my point is, yeah, I'll buy it, even if it's author confusion/a typo. Gives Galad more depth.
Janet Hopkins
32. JanDSedai
Let me add my wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Joyous Holiday to the many we've already had. May we receive this holiday in the sacred spirit it was born, rather than in commercial hoopla.

I also thought "make each other melt" was a reference to Birgitte getting drunk in Ebou Dar with Mat, and Elayne feeling the effects. And in return, Elayne's night with Rand made Birgitte want to get drunk to "fuzz" the bond.
Ryan Silva
33. telaranrhiodRage
Hi Leigh, glad you are feeling better. I've been following the re-read with my own, but caught up and read right on through ToM. So, long time lurker, first time poster! It's been great to have the extra insight here to pick up on things I never did the first time through the series.

Like many, I remember CoT being slow and boring, on my second read though it was definatley better than I remember it. I was dreading this book the whole way through. But I got through it easier than expected. I still think RJ could have made this one book combined with WH, but eh, wotever.

Anyways, happy holidays all!
Vincent Lane
34. Aegnor
I vaguely recall an episode in an inn, I think it was after Tanchico (but i'm not certain). It was Nynaeve and Elayne, they saw Galad and he came over to the inn and spoke to them. He was a Whitecloak at that point. I seem to remember him showing interest in Nynaeve at that point.
Aaron Dick
35. disturbed_kiwi
The joke Birgitte played was, I always thought, when Rand and Elayne hooked up. Birgitte goes off to get drunk and try and overcome the emotions that are building up due to the bond. Next time we see Elayne she comments that she had been much more outgoing then she had thought.

So I figured Birgitte getting drunk caused Elayne to be kinda raunchy with Rand. And that's the 'melting each other' joke.
Birgit F
36. birgit
About Gawyn - I don't think Elayne condescending here because Gawyn is a man and thus more clueless by default. It's simply that he, as an outsider to the Tower, who's not even a Warder, really didn't have enough info to make an informed decision there, which makes sense.

Aes Sedai think that they are better than anyone, not just men. If AS can't understand the situation, they think non-channelers have no chance because AS are "a different flesh" above ordinary people.
Tess Laird
37. thewindrose
OK - I have seen it twice this post I believe - wotever. I love this, and may even start using it:) (And I am not being snarky or a grammer-wotever:)

The Dylin controvercy has some big points for both sides in chapter 13. I will get more into that when I am at home with the book. But there are some things that made me go hmmmm....

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Stefan Mitev
38. Bergmaniac
"Aes Sedai think that they are better than anyone, not just men. If AS can't understand the situation, they think non-channelers have no chance because AS are "a different flesh" above ordinary people." - certainly, and I agree it's a ridiculous belief. But in this specific case it has some merit, since Gawyn was outsider to the Tower and had really little info to base his decision on.

Dyelin - here's what Jordan said about her:

"Q: Dyelin is like Cincinnatus of Rome. True or false?
RJ: True, pretty much, except Dyelin was never really offered power; she had it for a little while as Elayne's not-quite-authorized regent, but otherwise wasn't really called upon to save Andor the way Cincinnatus was called upon to save Rome. Otherwise, yes."
This is a strong hint that she's not a darkfriend. I've always thought she's one of the good guys myself. She just doesn't have much desire to become a Queen and also is smart enough not to want to risk the anger the Dragon Reborn if she goes against his wish in regards to who's to take the Lion Throne.

Galad fancying Nynaeve - that's a bizarre mistake by Jordan and him sticking to it when asked about it is even more bizarre. There's nothing indicating it in the books. When they met in TFOH, Galad seemed more interested in talking about Egwene than about Nynaeve who was right in front of him. Even Nynaeve thought Galad considered her an afterthought:

"Galad’s head jerked in irritation. Or maybe he was offended. “How often must I tell you? I would never let harm come to my sister. Or to you.”
It truly was annoying, realizing that she was annoyed at the pause that made it clear she was an afterthought."
39. Kadere
Galad fancies Nynaeve and always did, which was clearly obvious in TFoH, not to mention TGH.

Anyway, my first question was: In book 10 Elayne mentioned that Galad fancied Nynaeve or had for a time. Did I miss something?
(I put his answer on tape, will type out his words, it will be as close to it as I can get it. Although my tape recorder doesn’t pick out everything and I am not going to listen to something 10 times to find his exact exact words. But it is really close)

First he had to repeat the question:
In the tenth book there was a thought that Galad fancied Nynaeve. I thought by Elayne.
Me: yeah

Yeah, and eh it’s hard to keep up exactly with who thought what and when.
Galad did have a certain interest in Nynaeve early on. As sometimes happens that interest has shifted. He is obviously not attracted to Nynaeve anymore.

Me: when did he had the attraction?
RJ: In the beginning when he goes to Nynaeve room. At that time he was interested in her. And Elayne still thinks he is..

Me: But at that time he was interested in Egwene, I thought.
RJ: no not yet. Not at that time.

Me probably staring at him in amazement.
RJ: no not yet.

So it is not a mistake, and will never be corrected.
Fake Name
40. ThePendragon
One thing I hadn't realized before, but I'm pretty sure Perival is Rand's cousin . . .

EDIT: @Leigh 17 You may want to re-read his post He's actually giving you props for not fitting into the stereotype. If instead you're angry at him for re-iterating the stereotype by saying that feminists generally seem to lean that way, then I understand. However, you seem to be responding as if he is personally attacking you for taking a man-hating stance, which he most certainly is not.
41. SoonerFan
In regards to channelling the bath water hot again...

I'm pretty sure heating/cooling matter is a lot harder than it would seem in Randland. 1. It could be that they do not know the weave, and 2. If they do know it, they might not be able to use it very well, because they do not have a fine enough control over the Power. We often forget that they are really inexperienced at channelling compared to other AS. Their strength often overcomes that weakness.

Remember, in TFoH, Rand thinks to himself about how hard it is to heat a room properly without setting everything on fire. If everyone has this problem, I could only imagine how hard it would be to heat water with the Power. This might not be true at all, but its a possible explanation.
42. Narlock
@41 people heat water all the time in the books they heat tea and wine as afterthoughts on the regular bases. I think your idea might be right however I personaly don't recal anyone heating anything larger than a pot of tea and I think they usualy just boil it not exactly perfect bathing tempurature
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
Leigh, again, I thank you for saving me from the rereading of this chapter book. Your synopsis says all we need to know, and in a much more entertaining fashion. I have no pertinent comments. Except......

Merry Christmas--Happy new Year---and General Holiday Good Wishes to All!!
Alice Arneson
44. Wetlandernw
Shimrod @18 - FWIW, Boxing Day is the day after Christmas.

felix @22 - LOL

insectoid @27 - I noticed, but haven't come up with anything good yet this year. forkroot? We need you!

Bergmaniac @29 - I totally agree with you on why Elayne thought Gawyn could be forgiven for not knowing all the Tower politics, more as an outsider than as "a man" or "not Aes Sedai." Not sure I agree about whether he should have "noticed...that is not the sharpest tool in the box" during her time with Morgase. She had a reputation for intelligence, and may have made a very good advisor. Neither of those, however, mean that she'd make a good Amyrlin. Also, we have a few extra insights not known to other characters - specifically, Elaida's Foretellings (some of which she kept to herself) and her interpretations thereof are very revealing to those (us!) who know much more of the truth. There is no reason another character, whether Morgase, Elayne, Gawyn or even most of the other Aes Sedai, would know how badly flawed her judgement in certain areas can be, nor that she had secret knowledge of coming events which she would try to use for her own personal advantage. And that had nothing to do with these chapters, did it? But it made for interesting reflections.

SoonerFan @41 - As Narlock noted, both men and women heat water for tea & suchlike on a regular basis. I got the impression that heating air is a little trickier, particularly to keep a room warm with a tied-off weave while you sleep. Might have something to do with Rand's strength in Fire vs. the girls strength with Water and Air, too... But it seems to me that heating an entire bathtub-full of water to perfect bath temperature might be a) a lot more work and b) a bit tricky - especially if you're in the bathtub with the water. Not something to experiment with!

For the record, while I don't have any major comments on the chapters at the moment (at least until I go reread the whole thing), I didn't find them particularly irritating during my last couple of rereads. There's not a lot of action, but there's a fair bit of info availabe.
craig thrift
45. gagecreedlives
I agree with the others who have said that the melting each other was a reference to Birgitte getting drunk to dull the bond while Elayne and Rand were getting reacquainted

Although I do wonder now if a) alcohol was effective at all in dulling the bond and b) if not what would it be like for Birgitte to experience Elayne’s orgasm(s).

Not sure what it says about me or my sense of humour but I thought Dyelin’s comments were pretty funny.


I think the last time I tried that I almost short circuited the little functioning bit of my brain that’s left. But……..


Another possibility just occurred to me about the melting each other. Did Birgitte maybe get drunk and score herself an ugly dude while Elayne was busy? Maybe the ugly inn keeper from ToM
craig thrift
46. gagecreedlives
Ok so its a slow day at work. Insectoid I hope you enjoy

The sun is shining
The grass is green
The gum trees sway.
It's a beautiful summers day
But on December the 24th
I will be thinking of some people up north.

I'm dreaming of a WoT Christmas
Just like the ones I love and know.
Where the re-reads glisten,
And we all start twitchin
To read Leighs posts as she's in the know.
I'm dreaming of a WoT Christmas
With every post I write.
May your days be merry and bright.
And may all your Christmases not be tainted by the blight.

Thomas Keith
47. insectoid
Wetlander, GCL: Oh, it's not just for my benefit... It's also for the other commenters, Leigh, Mr. Kite... ;)

As for me, I'm afraid I can't think of anything good, either. I think I'll just sit here and listen to the rain...

Kurt Lorey
48. Shimrod
@44 Wet.

I was generalizing. For you, I guess it must have looked like over-generalizing. Kinda surprised you didn't correct my grammar as well.
Tricia Irish
49. Tektonica

Thanks for the laugh to start my day! Well done and I love your Aussie "Reindeer"! Whatever works, mate!

Merry Merry!
John Massey
50. subwoofer
Hmmmm... well this could have sparked epic debate, especially considering the Sea Folk are involved, but meh, the bath scene did not live up to the billing. I was also baffled by Elayne going on about the temperature of the water- Channel it warm and be done with it.

Feminism- well... it does seem to be a slow news day sooooo... anyways, Leigh I want to say straight out that at no point have I ever thought about you or your views imposing female superiority over men. That being said, from my limited exposure, feminism can sometimes be construed as such. Back in my university days, I took an elective that I thought was the study of modern literature. Had I read the full tittle of the class I would have noticed the "F" word in there somewhere. Got there, it was me, some other guy and about 100+ women. Then the prof started in. I found it best to shut up and keep my head down. By the end of that class I was wondering who invented electricity and fire... apparently I have done much in my past that I have to make up for, because I am a guy. As a member of a visible minority I do understand the difference between equality and superiority. I am thinking that you write from the stance of the former.

@Insectoid- I noticed, but I got nuthin'. Whole lotta wonkiness going on.

Merry Christmas to all tho'. :)

Merry Woof™.
51. Bourgeois Nerd
You know, I actually like the Four Younglings of the Apocolypse. I don't know why; they're funny, I think. I wonder if Rand and Perival will ever meet, BTW. After Galad, he's probably Rand's closest relative. (Janduin either had no close relatives, or Aiel honor has precluded any of the Taardad from coming and saying "Hey, cuz!" to the Car'a'carn.)
Heidi Byrd
52. sweetlilflower
I'm sure once Elayne's and Perrin's idea for the Two Rivers is announced, relatives will be crawling out of the woodwork. Other than that, thanks for the great re-cap Leigh!

@gage LOL! love the Aussie stlye Santa and kangaroos!
Bonnie Andrews
53. misfortuona
So about this chapter, this book even. I enjoyed reading it the first time through, but since I never at any moment considered that Elayne was in any danger of not 'earning' the Lion Throne on her own, well to re-read it is just Meh!

Thanks again Leigh for doing the dirty work for us, and pointing out those little tidbits that we missed, or forgot.

So that out of the way, the purpose of this comment is simply to say Best of the Season to all of you, and may next year's re-read bring us as much joy as this one has.

God Bless

Mis-wishing you all the best
54. ruruna
I think that the Galad/Nyneve thing was kind of a 'mistaken crush' sort of situation. You know, when you first see someone and your heart skips a beat, and you think that person is really attractive and could be something more. Then you actually talk to them and get to know them and the illusion is shattered.

Seeing what Nyneve was really like must've completely killed it for him haha.
Daniel Goss
55. Beren
@27 Insectoid

Here's my contribution...

(with deeeeep apologies to Burl Ives)

Al'Thor the Dragon Reborn
Had a very shiny sword,
And everyone who saw it
Knew that it was Callandor.

All the thirteen forsaken
Used to try to kill him dead
I mean, except for Lanfear
Who tried to trip him into bed.

Then one foggy night in Tear
Be'lal came to say
Al'Thor with your sword so bright?
Won't you duel me now, tonight?

Then Moiraine used her balefire
And she shoulted out with glee,
Al'thor best grab your sword now
Or we'll all be history!

56. MasterAlThor

First I will say that you have misunderstood what I was trying to get across. If that is the case then let me apologize for not being clearer.

Second I will say that others who have read my post seem to get the gist of what it was I was trying to say. Now if you will kindly point out where I personally attacked you and said that you believe that men are inferior I will be happy to make a apologetic statement to you.

Leigh, we have our differences. But I will not insult you intentionally. And if I have a problem with you I will bring it to you, privately.

Again I apologize if I was not clear enough about what I was trying to say. So let me just take the time to do so now.

The feminist friends I was talking about are the nuts that are bound to be in every group. These are the people that will not call women to task for acting superior. Example, Nynaeve who cannot go through a single book without her men are too stupid to breathe slant. Whenever she goes on one very few feminist have anything to say about that mode of thought. But if a man was to have that similar method of thinking, feminist would be outraged.

What I brought attention to was the fact that you called out Elayne for thinking that way. And by saying that gave some of the more ardent feminsit posters something to think about.

I, like you, want things to be equal in ways that it makes sence for them to be equal. I could be no more a sexist, than you could be a racist. I hope that I have cleared this up for you

Corkryn Williams
58. MadCow21
You'd think a joke involving a fishing metaphor would go over the head of Aiel who prior to leaving the Wastes had never seen a body of water they couldn't step across.
59. pwl
The feminist friends I was talking about are the nuts that are bound to be in every group.
Whenever she goes on one very few feminist have anything to say about that mode of thought.

So are they the "nuts" or the majority? You don't seem to be able to make up your mind, and it's easy how one could take offense at the presumption that most feminists do not care if men are described as "too stupid to breathe slant".

Bill Reamy
60. BillinHI
I got nuttin' on these chapters (that hasn't already been said, anyway) soooo.....

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

Hawaiian Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Alice Arneson
61. Wetlandernw
Shimrod @48 "Merry Christmas to all, except for our northern neighbours, where it would be Happy Boxing Day, eh?" Come on, you have to admit that the wording really, really makes it look like you're thinking that the Canadians celebrate Boxing Day instead of Christmas. As for grammar, I gave up on commenting on people's grammar here a long time ago, unless they really, really, really beg for it. For you, I'd be willing to give it a shot if you ask nicely. :) (...said Cadsuane calmly)

Bourgeois Nerd @51 - I like the Four Younglings too. They provide a combination of comic relief, pathos and surprising acuity. Also a reminder that these are strange times for a lot of people, and these kids have no choice - they have to grow up faster than they should.

Beren @55 - Well done!
Alice Arneson
62. Wetlandernw
P.S. - Y'all did know I'm Cadsuane's twin, right? :p
Captain Hammer
63. Randalator
re: melting joke

As others already mentioned, when I read it I, too, immediately took it as a reference to the notorious Rand-and-Elayne-do-the-nasty episode. Elayne did a lot of melting there and by proxy Birgitte did too. Because of all the sex-having in the back of her head. Aww yeah!

That was after all the whole reason for Min and Birgitte to get blind drunk in the first place...
Thomas Keith
64. insectoid
Beren @55: LOL!! Good one!

Wetlander @62: You may have mentioned... ;)

edit: This totally unintentional snagging of a round hexadecimal number was brought to you by Zee...

65. MasterAlThor
Ok, one more time. Since pwl didn't think that I was being clear enough.

The nuts are the minority, though anyone who is part of a group would realize this without having to be told.

The second part of what you quoted is quite true. Not many, with the exception of Leigh, have not pointed that out.

So exactly were was I not being clear enough?


Edit: spelling
66. Tenesmus
"How could she ask Gawyn to see what Aes Sedai could not?"

That is some super subtle foreshadowing from RJ here. Remember Gawyn's dance with the invisible ninja death machines? He was the ONLY person in the Tower to "see" them. I love picking up these little bits of foreshadowing in re-reads.

Patricia Lawlor
67. NearToothlessWilder

Seeing that we are in a different age it is obvious that you are Cadsuane Reborn!

Thanks, by the way, for your many strong defences of Cadsuane - she is one of my favourite characters.

Merry Christmas to all from a snow-covered Ireland.
Valentin M
68. ValMar
Wetlander @ 62
This would explain a lot. But maybe you should've disclosed this before becoming an attorney for your sister :) At least you haven't spanked anyone, I assume ;)

MAT @ 65
For what it's worth I got what you were saying the first time.

Re: the chapters, not much to say.
But I also have to register my dissapointment at the bath scene. It just ain't right that the birthing/1st sister scene to be more, eh, interesting than the bath one.

This chapters exemplify the biggest annoyance I have with the "middle books". I enjoy adore RJ's prose and this includes the detailed descriptions of his world. And usually his descriptions are used to convey other info to the reader.
But here RJ went overboard, IMO. In terms of lenght, frequency, and lack of purpose. I wouldn't mind if this is how it continued till the end, I simply enjoy reading RJ. But already in KoD the pace shifts and important and long awaited events are resolved with a speed lack of detail which is jarring compared with the books before. One example is Mat leaving Luca's show and his battles and growing in the eyes of Tuon.
It just feels that moments I had waited for years were rushed because of paragraphs devoted solely on tapestries and vases in previous books.

I also don't mind the four youngsters. But Dyelin does sound like some old geezer saying "I've been smoking 20 a day since I was 12 and it hasn't done me any harm" when talking about their leadership in battle. Yeah, once I blindfolded myself and crossed the motorway. Reached the other side just fine. Allegedly.

Lastly, I took it (and still do) for granted that Elayne meant that Gawyn as outsider couldn't judge correctly in the chaos of the coup. Not because he was a man.
69. Bizzy247
I must say I've always liked the Succession plot line. Of course, I also happen to just about love Cadsuane and think Rand needs to stop behaving like a beligerant child, so maybe i'm on my own here. It is rather slow, I will admit, but it also seems more... realistic than a lot of other plot lines. There is no fast and easy path to victory for her, no single daring thing that she can focus on. She has to focus on ALL of it. Elayne has to keep everyone happy and still keep things moving towards gaining the throne. True there's no action, but at the same time it's a juggling act that rivals Thom.

This whole thing is bloody hard, just in a different way than we are used to. Not nearly as entertaining as some of her other exploits (unraveling the gateway anyone? So Awesome!). But we also get to see her handle a freakishly insane schedule. Think about how much she has done in just one day! And everything -except the actual taking of the bath - carried huge consequences in fine balance. No quick easy decisions, no off hand comments. The gal can't even walk down a hallway without being accosted by half the kingdom needing her to make a crucial decision (not to metion Aes Sedai who apparently can't think for themselves!) and yes there's way too much talk about getting dressed, but she does actually have to worry about that too. I for one would be exhausted, and while there are some things she could do better, this whole plot line really builds my respect for Elayne as a character.
70. Bizzy247
One last comment. I don't have the reference, but there is a point early in the Dragon Reborn where Galad is definiately trying to flirt with Nynaeave and she puts her foot on it hard. Galad is actually left totally at a loss that his pretty boy smile didn't work on someone (Nyn FTW!). We also never --that I recall - get actually confirmation from Galad that he liked Egwene; and we all know how accomplished the WOT populace is at assuming things that aren't quite true.
William Fettes
71. Wolfmage
I have to agree with the general consensus that the bath scene is gratuitously long. Though I generally agree with Bizzy247 @ 69 that the succession plot has a certain gritty appeal due to its protracted and messy nature, the bath scene doesn’t meaningfully contribute to this political dynamic. So it probably could have been safely culled from a book that is hardly noted for its ambitious pacing and plot development.

Re: Nynaeve and Galad

This one is a bit odd, I admit. I’ve just finishing reading the relevant tDR chapter, and it’s pretty clear even then that Galad doesn’t have an express infatuation with Nynaeve. Indeed, it's pretty strongly hinted that he’s interested in Egwene. Now, there may be other evidence in tFoH or the later books, but I don’t recall it and I’m a bit sceptical.

I think this may be something that RJ got stuck in his head, and so Elayne is just written to do a call-back to it.

Re: the feminism back-and-forth.

Whatever misinterpreting occurred here, I think it’s pretty clear that Leigh wouldn’t have objected if appropriate qualifiers were used. It’s no different to a mainstream Christian getting a bit annoyed when someone uses “Christian” as a pejorative, when they’re really referring to some outlier sects with kooky beliefs. Such an offence isn’t extinguished when that person plaintively claims: “hey I wasn’t referring to you moderates. Just the crazies.”

Leigh obviously self-identifies as a feminist, so she is hardly going to appreciate any attempt to limit the definition of feminism to militant, extremist sub-varieties. By virtue of the re-read, even if you’ve never previously encountered a moderate self-identifying feminist, you have met one up close and personal in Leigh
Theresa Gray
72. Terez27
re: Galad and Nynaeve, my footnote in the interview database:

It's pretty obvious that Galad was most attracted to Egwene - he was overly exaggerated in his normal chivalrous behavior with Egwene in the scene that RJ references (3.16 - Galad moons over Egwene, and Nynaeve chases them out of her room, visibly flustering Galad - and, Elayne tells Egwene after they leave that Gawyn is besotted with her and won't say so because Galad is interested in her, and because Egwene drools over Galad) and even long before (2.24 - Galad essentially asks Egwene to walk out with him!), and since it's Galad, we have to assume it's honest. This is the whole reason Gawyn was reluctant to show Egwene how he felt about her. (6.25)
Tess Laird
73. thewindrose
So I think Gawyn not seeing into the depth of the Tower is just because he is Gawyn - right Merry Woof™? **wink**

We have wonderful new CCO who is quite the wine aficcionado and we had a company party last night. So that is my excuse for not being around last night.

Anyways, I wanted to talk a bit about Dylin. I always thought that the Andoran succession was a smaller reflection of the White Tower schism.
Some points of interest in the chapter 13 we are reviewing here:
"I became High Seat of Taravin at fifteen, when my father died in a skirmish on the Altaran Marches. My two younger brothers died fighting cattle raiders out of Murandy that same year. I listened to advisors, but I told Taravin riders where to strike, and we taught the Altarans and the Murandians to look elsewhere for their thieving. The times choose when children must grow up, Aviendha, not we, and in these times, a High Seat who is a child cannot be a child any longer."

Just saying it was a hard year for the Taravins - brings to mind a certain Hadnan Kadere who killed his sister when she found out about his allegences. But anyways, we have much better food for though back when Dylin helps 'save' Elayne in A Cup Of Tea -Winters Heart.

Another great thing to look at here is who Dylin brings, and who she does not. She brings 4 kids and 0 advisors. That, I think streches belief to far. That there is not one advisor amoung them. I certainly wouldn't let a young relative of mine go into this situation without one, so I find it hard to buy that these kids had the blessing of their respective families to go off on their own with Dylin. Would it be easy to get a kid this age to leave with out proper guidence? Sure thing!

And why did Dylin never show up when Morgase was making such a mess of things? I find that curious with all the concern and help she offers to Elayne.

Hi MasterAlThor! Raising some rucus:) Good to hear from you!

Alice Arneson
74. Wetlandernw
NearToothlessWilder @67 - I alternate between the two theories. :) One way or another, though, we have to be closely related!

ValMar @68 - Disclosure? What for? Ruin all my fun, you would! As for spankings... only my kids! :)

Bizzy247 @69 - Nah, you're not on your own. We're a small but vocal (!!) minority. :)

Re: Galad & Nynaeve, the particular chapter we all go back and read sounds as though Galad is more interested in Egwene than Nynaeve. It's at least possible that RJ wrote it with a certain set-up in mind regarding Galad's preferences, and didn't realize at the time that it didn't come across at all as he had intended. By the time it came up in context of Elayne's comment, it would be far too late to go back and revise that scene in TDR to make it more clear where Galad's interest really lay. In any case, I don't see how it matters a great deal. Like both Egwene & Nynaeve, Galad is very thoroughly otherwise occupied in ToM, so it's not like their meeting (?) in AMoL will have any particular significance.
Wesley Parish
75. Aladdin_Sane
The best part of these two chapters was the difficulties Elayne had, facing a girl who was not that much younger than herself, and trying to repeat what her mother probably would've said to her at various times, without sounding like a total twit, an arrogant sod, etc ...

And yes, the bath times apparently had me switching off, falling asleep, to such an extent that I cannot actually remember having read these chapters previously until Our Fearless (re-)Reader Leigh, points them out to us all and sundry ... and I've read through the series - stopping at various books as-yet-unpublished - more than once. Good thing I have a snorkel, or I would've drowned, eh?
Maiane Bakroeva
76. Isilel
So, what's the deal with all those high nobles dying young? Dyelin's parents (she only mentions her father, but I assume that if her mother had still been alive she'd have been the guardian/regent deciding Taravin's fortunes), Morgase's parents, Moiraine's mother and her father's first wife, parents of the 4 snot-nosed Seats, etc. It's almost like RJ conveniently forgets that all those folks would have had access to AS Healing.
Also, their relatives - unless the brats are the last members of their House, seem to have self-preservation instinct of lemmings if they so readily entrust their own well-beings and futures to minor kids.

Galad - yes, weird. Didn't he invite Egwene to picnic with him at some point? And IIRC, he never displayed any interest in Nynaeve.

Re: Gawyn, much as I deplore Elayne's abyssmal treatment of her brothers, I don't buy her charitable view of his actions in this case.
Either he was an outsider - and then he had no bloody buisness interfering in the first place. Or he should have bloody known what he was doing and just blew it up massively. Neither exonerates him. You can't have a cake and eat it.
Besides of which, he knew from Min that Elayne was whole-heartedly involved in things and he was directly and knowingly sabotaging her choices and decisions. Elayne is very lucky that Gawyn never became her PotS.

On this note - Happy Christmas, folks!
Jonathan Levy
77. JonathanLevy
54. ruruna
Seeing what Nyneve was really like must've completely killed it for him haha.

Funny, but so cruel!

66. Tenesmus
Very nice catch.
John Massey
78. subwoofer

"So I think Gawyn not seeing into the depth of the Tower is just because he is Gawyn"

... don't think Gawyn could see to the bottom of a bowl of chicken noodle soup... without the noodles. I think this is one of the many cases where the ladies do prove themselves more than capable. Waiting around for Gawyn to take up his generalling duties. Birgette eventually says "screw it" and gets things done herself. Elayne, beyond putzing around with the BA, does a good job at the end of trapping troops at the gates between the gates and her rescue force. And she forgives Gawyn... something I would be hard pressed to do, considering he wanted to kill Rand.

Merry Woof™.
Valentin M
79. ValMar
That Dyelin managed to get the 4 youngsters to Caemlyn using Travelling is not that surprising. But how she got every single one of them, along with 600-1 000 armsen each, without one senior advisor/relative/chamberlain is beyond me. Not that big a deal, just curious.

Re Gawyn. I agree with Isilel that precisely because he was an outsider he should not have intervened. But IIRC it was his desire to sabotage Siuan's plans involving his sis Elayne and his beloved Nyn that led him along this idiotic path. His idea being that this would make the Supergirls safe.
He should leave logics/thinking to Galad the Whitecloak. What a family!

Anyway, in case I don't post again for a few days

Have a Happy Christmas and Holidays at home, an airport, frozen highway, Vegas, or wherever else you may be!
David Platt
80. The Not So Dark One
@ 79 Valmar

I thought Gawayn's reasons became clear in TOM? Although he justifies to himself that his intervention is about Suin and his sister it turns out he was just letting his ego run wild and wanted to be the centre of attention. This is also one of the reasons he hates Rand so much. I'm not saying there aren't other factors but he pretty much admits to himself in TOM that he allowed his own ego to build all these factors into a complex set of justifications. Deep down he's not a bad lad though and this is why he is so unhappy all the time. That and not being the centre of attention.

Merry Christmas all!
81. MasterAlThor

I thought it was your job to kick up dust. It is implied in your name. Good to "see" you too. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year..


As a member of a minority group I certainly understand what it is that you are saying. That said, I have spent a lifetime wasting my breath trying say "that not everyone is like that". People, in my experience, take actions better than words.

What I am saying is that I no more speak for black people like me than Leigh does for feminist like her. I represent myself as does she. There are crazies in every group. We know this. If you say "black people are....", then I could be offended, but only if that applied to me. And if it applied to me, how could I be offended?

See it is all about choice. I choose not to be offended if the person is not intentionally being offensive toward me. I wasn't trying to offend Leigh. I thought that was clear. Others have said as much. So where is the foul?

Valentin M
82. ValMar
The Not So Dark One @ 80
I just read the passage of Gawyn's epiphany in "A Good Soup" chapter. It relates directly to his feelings about Rand, the jealous little twit. Nothing relating directly to the coup, I think.
He really resented Siuan. And even level-headed Galad ended as a WC.
But with the uncovering of this character trait we may start looking at Gawyn's actions from a different perspective.
Fake Name
83. ThePendragon
I feel compelled here to defend MasterAlthor as it does feel like he is being unfairly judged not based on what he has posted, but on the fact that everyone here is a tad biased towards leigh. Read his initial post. There is some ambiguity there that could be interpreted with some negative intent However, I'd think you'd really have to not be paying attention, or actively trying to do so.

Also, I'd like to point out that we don't know if the kooks are a minority or majority or what percentage of the whole they make up. All we have is anecdotal evidence one way or another. It's wrong to label and entire group of people one way or another, but I find it just as disingenous to assume one stance over another based on PC BS. That's always irked me. Speak from personal experience, and don't be afraid to say, every feminist I've ever met is a man-hater and props to leigh for being a feminist and not being like that. And if people take issue with that, so be it. At least I'm being honest.
Theresa Gray
84. Terez27
MAT - Yeah, the problem was that you made it seem like Leigh was an exception to the rule, and in so doing you insulted all feminists. I don't know of any feminists who believe women are better than men.

Leigh seemed to take it a little too far in implying that you had insulted her personally, which you of course did not, but your original statement was still pretty ignorant. I'm not offended...just saying.

edited for a horrendous typo
Alice Arneson
85. Wetlandernw
Terez27 @84 - "I don't know of any feminists who believe women are better than men." You don't?? Lucky you! I know several who, though they would claim that they don't believe it, show by all their actions and attitudes that they do, in fact, hold that belief. It's really, really annoying. It's even more annoying when someone else assumes, because they've seen you being civil in associating with those women, that you hold the same beliefs. However, that doesn't happen too often if they watch you long enough to see that your own actions and attitudes don't support it.

FWIW, I'm another who saw Master Al-Thor's comments as being complimentary to Leigh rather than insulting - I think he knows some of those same women I know - and was a little surprised to read Leigh's comment. In retrospect, I can see where offense could be taken, but I made my assumptions based on what I know of the man writing it, rather than reading the comment in a vacuum.
Jonathan Levy
86. JonathanLevy
85. Wetlandernw
I think your distinction between claims and behavior contains the key to understanding this controversy. Anyone who can't understand how someone could possibly be dense enough to disagree with them on this issue should re-read the first paragraph of your post.
Theresa Gray
87. Terez27
@Wetlander - I know a lot of feminists who prefer the company of women to men, but they recognize that it is a personal preference and don't project it onto the world at large. But granted, my social circles are limited. I don't get around much. I don't socialize with the kids I go to school with for the most part - they're all ten years younger than me or so - and the most exposure I've had to people since high school was through 14 years at a job that was so low-class as to employ few people who even vote. The concept of feminism is a bit more high-brow than that. And of course, I live in the Deep South where feminism is taboo to begin with.

I was reading a Chopin biography (the old stand-by, though I haven't read it in many years), and I came across a quote...'Every mortal man has been many million times a woman.' Made me want to burn the book, but alas, it was a Google book.
Leigh Butler
88. leighdb
MasterAlThor @ 56:

I recognize that you were attempting to be complimentary to me in your original comment, and I probably should have acknowledged that in my response, because I do appreciate that.

However, the way that compliment was phrased strongly implied to me that you were congratulating me for what you saw as a reversal of my previously held sentiment on the subject:

I for one, am finally happy to see Leigh call out the women in this.

The relevant word being "finally". The obvious implication being that I had never done so before, or worse, done the opposite. And that, frankly, made me a little angry, which is why I asked you to show me how or when I had ever said anything to give that impression.

Then there was the following statement:

Generally our feminist friends are all too happy to point out when men are being evil and all superior like.

Allow me to restate this like so: "Generally our black friends are all too happy to point out when white people are being evil and all superior like."

Perhaps that helps you to see why your statement made me want to hit something?

I try in general to take sentiments in the spirit in which they are offered, but in sum your "compliment", whether you intended it that way or not, came off as a thinly-disguised insult. Let's just say, congratulating me on (finally) not being a hypocrite like all those other feminists is not the way to go about giving me warm fuzzies.

And if you only meant a few "nuts", you probably should have avoided using the word "generally" in your original comment. This is not an area in which one should be careless with the language used.

So, I hope that clarifies things a bit. I'm sorry if you feel like I'm singling you out or attacking you, because that really is not my intention. It's just that your comment, unintentionally as I now see, really pushed some buttons for me. But all is well; it was a misunderstanding, and I'm happy to let it go and move on if you are.
Alice Arneson
89. Wetlandernw
And on that note... peanut brittle and Irish Cream fudge in the bunker! Merry Christmas, everyone.

I'll add cookies if I have time after all the gift-wrapping is done. Have y'all been good?
90. MasterAlThor

I have to address one thing and then I will be content to let this go. Earlier I posted in a response to Wolfmage about how I would handle such things. I am referring to your black friends comment. Maybe I am oversimplfying this, but that is how I try to handle things.

I appreciate that you no longer find offense in what I said. I do see where you could take offense. Again I apologize for not being clearer. I also apologize for poor word choice.

So with that no harm, no foul. Enjoy your holidays Leigh.

Valentin M
91. ValMar
This feminism dialogue makes this thread sound like a good ol' fashioned extended family Christmas gathering. Someone must've dropped full open Vodka bottle in the punch bowl and forgot to take it out... Yeah, the time to hug and say how much we wove and rrrespect each other has come :)
Fake Name
92. ThePendragon
Wow, so the feminism issue is settled, but now something else just irked me. Is it just me, or does anyone else find this comment by terez@87 offensive?

I don't socialize with the kids I go to school with for the most part - they're all ten years younger than me or so - and the most exposure I've had to people since high school was through 14 years at a job that was so low-class as to employ few people who even vote. The concept of feminism is a bit more high-brow than that.

Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw
ThePendragon @92 - Not me. But then, I go out of my way to not be offended whenever possible, so... there you have it.
Damon Garner
94. IrishOmalley
Since we're on the thread of feminism.... The wife is in the kitchen making a nice stew, barefoot ... and "preggers"..Should I ask her to bake a pie as well?...... .... Run Away!
Tess Laird
95. thewindrose
IrishOmalley - I am asuming that she is cleaning up that mess too! And bringing you a brew...

When is the babe arriving? Congratulations to you both. ::Sending well wishes your way::
(Thinking we may need some child care in the bunker!)

James Jones
96. jamesedjones
92 ThePendragon

Heck ya, I'm offended! Woo Hoo! Break out Subwoofer's iced tea, and let's keep this party rolling. :D

*chirp chirp*

Lynn McDonald
97. meal6225
I have some freshly made sugar cookies (frosted by the husband while I went to work) coming to the bunker,as I have been very good this year! Fellow Cincy tower guards should I bring forkroot brownies too?

Peace and Joy of the Season to All
Damon Garner
98. IrishOmalley
@thewindrose ....absolutely! Thank you. Our baby is due the first week of July.
Tricia Irish
99. Tektonica
I had the great fortune to attend a "cookie exchange" party yesterday in our neighborhood, so a LARGE tray of Christmas cookies is now in the Bunker along with my spicey pecans...great with Bourbon on a cold winter's night.

May the Spirit of Christmas bring peace to the thread you all this Holiday Season!
Merry Merry...see you in the Bunker!
John Massey
100. subwoofer

::Sniff, sniff::

It's so beautiful... so thoughtful... a shiny new squeeky clean, fresh, 1 hunny post, just for me on Christmas Eve... thank you all. I am choked up...

I'd like to thank Jesus, Santa, Mrs. Clause, the East Bunny, all the little elfs and reindeer and everyone that made this possible...

Merry Woof™.
Sam Mickel
101. Samadai
I just wanted to wish all my friends here on the re-read a very Merry Christmas. May you find joy and happiness.
Tricia Irish
102. Tektonica
Sub....this was my present to you! I set you up and tied my hands behind my back refrained from stealing it myself, having just gotten one (finally) last post. Didn't want to be a piggie on Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all! Ho-Ho-Ho!
Thomas Keith
103. insectoid
Aww... lucky Sub!! :)

My mom and I made like 7 different kinds of cookies this week. I brought some to the cookie table in the bunker. Enjoy. :)

Merry Christmas to whom it may apply, and to all a good night!

Alice Arneson
104. Wetlandernw
Samadai @101 - Hey, been missing you! Any chance of a new story sometime? Been missing those, too. I know life's been nuts, but I hope it clears up.
Sandy Brewer
105. ShaggyBella
The Feast of Lights in the bunker seems like the place to be. May the Light shine on all of you and protect you from the Shadow. I'll bring some mead & chocolate truffles. Actually the little bar next door closed and we got a big box of leftover booze. Flavored rums, anyone? FTW

I really can't think of much to say about these chapters. I did like the kid heads of the Houses. Just shows how desperate Elayne was for support. She has to treat them with respect, even though she wants to switch Catalyn, who knows how to push her buttons.
a a-p
106. lostinshadow
Not much to say on the chapters themselves.

Hope everyone is having a lovely xmas and holiday season.
Theresa Gray
107. Terez27
Pendragon@92 - It's just the simple truth, at least in the job I'm talking about. These people don't care about politics, or political concepts for the most part. There were some rare exceptions like myself, but for the most part these people are beaten down. They don't take an interest in politics or causes because the world left them behind a long time ago. You can be offended by it if you like - I don't really care one way or the other - but it's true. It's not an insult to their intelligence, but an observation that I wager extends to most people who have low-paying, dead-end jobs.
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
Merry Christmas, everyone! I just came on to post a thank you to those who gave me scotch recommendations. I've got a handy little list, and for Christmas chose the Balvenie Doublewood for my husband. He loves it, and it was so much fun to get him a good scotch without having to ask him what to get! I'm keeping the list for future reference, and now he has cause to be slightly less eye-rolling about my WoT-fannishness. :) Thanks again!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.
109. Shard
Re: Stupidty, it'a an equal oppertunity habit everyone can enjoy. Aes Sedai, Kings, Queens and even Farmers.

You know I never blamed Gawyn for siding with Elaida over Suian, I blamed him for siding with Elaida over Elayne. It's just sad that it took Garth Bryne to smack some sense into him.

Nothing is as frustrating I think then hearing someone laugh over a joke and not being told the joke. With these references it makes you think something risque has happened and Jordan just won't spell it out.

I think Jordan may have been doing what you mentioned Leigh and kind of showing a "domestic" side of things. CoT is just full of everyone playing catch up to the Cleansing event.
Jonathan Levy
110. JonathanLevy
First time in forever that the main page on tor.com didn't have a link to the most recent WOT thread... :)

Merry Christmas everyone!
Sydo Zandstra
111. Fiddler
Not really, JL.

The Malazan threads did that a few times already. But maybe it's a matter of when you log in. WoT tends to be mainly being followed in the US, where threads like Malazan aren't. ;)

Hope you had a good Christmas :)
Alice Arneson
112. Wetlandernw
Hey, Fiddler, speaking of Malazan... I think you were spot on. One of the primary reasons I haven't found much to like in Malazan is the absence of actual (or at least acknowledged) good and evil. There seem to be lots of people out for their own gain and not much else; even the two sides of the conflict seem to be equally power-hungry and, essentially, meaningless. The hints about "gods" seem to be along the lines of the Greco-Roman (and probably most other) mythologies, where the gods are no more "good" than the humans - just more powerful. If the story were more able to draw me in, I might be able to put up with it; as it stands, without something more overarching than human selfishness as a motivator, I'm... un-compelled. And have returned Gardens of the Moon to the library, unfinished.
Alan Perry
113. stepper
Holiday Greetings to All!
Don't get to post often, so thanks again Leigh for the all the great insight!
Truly little to say on these chapters, though I did not find the "four children of the apocalypse" as annoying as some, I DID LOVE THE NICKNAME!
On my third reread of TOM and would just like to express my sadness at the death of Swallow. We went thru a lot together....especially remember the way Perrin kept hoping (yes naive and romantic but you hold on to what hopes you can muster) that if he could just get Swallow back to Cairhern, that Faile would be safe. Sigh.
Also Thrice Curse the Shaido for the Death of Swallow!

wow, that was a downer for the end of a holiday post,

Eric Hughes
114. CireNaes
I'll toss out another reason Elayne didn't heat up her bathwater. She wanted to impress Aviendha by not appearing soft. Although Wetlandernw could be right too with the safety piece about being in the water while doing the heating. Wouldn't want to do that unless you were absolutely certain of your ability to control the weave. The pregnancy itself may have started to cut into her abilities there. Another strong contender is the context that RJ put us in. Relaxation can have the interesting side effect where one will put up with some degree of discomfort providing it does not necessitate any further effort. Heck, I've suffered from that on occasion.

A belated merry Christmas to you all as well. I've never much enjoyed the New Year so I'll just say remember to date your documents, files, and checkbooks correctly.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
That reminds me - a couple of chapters earlier, Elayne & Aviendha are walking around in dripping-wet clothes because Elayne can't get hold of saidar and Aviendha doesn't know the weave to remove the water from their clothes. Could this be the same thing? It's a thought. Or it could be sort of a sour grapes thing - Elayne knows she shouldn't really take the time to spend more time in her bath, so she blames it on the water being too cold, which can then be blamed on Zaida for the interruption, rather than just admitting that she needs to get on with things.
Sydo Zandstra
116. Fiddler
@Wet, re: Malazan

Each of us have an own taste, which is a good thing. The intriguing in some of the books appeal to me, as does the lack of total black and white, and some gripping unexpected death scenes. Lostinshadow or Tek can explain that better than I do, I think.

On the gods, they aren't really in the Greco-Roman tradition. They can be brought down by humans and other creatures, and those in turn can ascend.

Sub, congrats to you and your family!
Tricia Irish
117. Tektonica
In case any of you didn't log into the ToM Spoiler thread:

Subwoofer had a Merry New Pup on Christmas day!!
Congratulations to all the Woofers...especially Mrs. Woofer, who did the heavy lifting.
Valentin M
118. ValMar
Just went to the ToM continuation thread but can't really post there since it's become too unyielding for my IE.

So I'll add here my congrats to Sub and family! Someone should start keeping a tally, a few babies were born to members of this forum :)
Rob Munnelly
119. RobMRobM
I will add a happy congrats to Subwoofer as well. Way to go and happy holidays to boot. Rob
120. Jonellin Stonebreaker
Congratulations to Subwoofer and Madam Subwoofer. What a Christmas gift!
Alice Arneson
121. Wetlandernw
Fiddler @118 - Yeah, the "gods" analogy was very superficial, only intended to refer to the fact that in both cases they have all the same faults and failings as humans. Many of the world's mythologies have gods that are just "bigger, stronger humans" in their behavior, and there is nothing of supreme goodness about them. I didn't really get far enough in Malazan to know much about the gods there, just that by "gods" they refer to beings more powerful, but no more good or wise, than the average human. Which, IMO, is a pretty lame excuse for a god.
122. Rand Al'Todd
RE: the "four children of the apocalypse"

"Dyelin introduces the four High Seats to her: they are all children, the oldest (Conail Northan) barely past sixteen, and none are accompanied by adult advisors."

Dyelin doesn't think Elayne is a supergirl, but she doesn't have to; as she mentions, she has seen other children forced to grow up suddenly.

Elayne, - being a college sophomore... I mean Accepted... I mean Artificially elevated to Aes Sedai...- has been out to see the real world on her own. Therefore she is absolutely positive that she knows EVERYTHING, and is certainly more grown up and mature than these little children.

Dyelin, on the other hand, hasn't witnessed Elayne's awesomeness on the high wire in Luca's Circus. Dyelin would not forget that Elayne is only 19 herself... and, from her middle age viewpoint, would probably see relatively little difference between Elayne and these four - both now and her projection of what they will grow to be 5 or 10 years down the road. And THAT is what she is making decisions upon, not just the extengencies of the moment.

And added Congrats to Subwoofer and Mrs Woofer on the new Pup!!!! Guess we will need to stock the bunker with a little less booze and more Pampers. (And one of those rocking cradles, so that the Grampas here can take a turn at soothing the wimpers.)
Kurt Lorey
123. Shimrod
@61 Wetlandernw.
As for grammar, I gave up on commenting on people's grammar here a long time ago, unless they really, really, really beg for it. For you, I'd be willing to give it a shot if you ask nicely.

No thank you, Wetlandernw Sedai. But, thank you ever so kindly for asking.
Thomas Keith
124. insectoid
Sub, congratulations to you and yours!! May the Light shine on little Gabriella and your family. Don't lose too much sleep... :)

Shimrod @123: She's sounding more like Cads every day, isn't she? ::runs::

Tess Laird
125. thewindrose
So I was away for Christmas - a whole state over - WI(and another world:) for 3 days. I had to work today so I was looking forward to all the posts I would need to catch-up on. So where are they?! If Mr & Mrs Woofer have a wonderful Christmas baby that is keeping them busy, someone here needs to fill in!

Rand Al'Todd - I am laughing so hard about Dylin missing the high wire act, oh man to funny!
Dylin is amazed to see the daughter heir up on the high wire. Ok, she thinks, the girl looks good in those spangled leggings. But can she do cartwheels?
After Elayne impresses the crowd with her flips, Dylin thinks this girl has what is needed to be Andor's Queen - even she(Dylin) couldn't do the flips without falling.

Ron Garrison
126. Man-0-Manetheran
@ many re. Dyelin's bringing the 4 youngsters to Caemlyn without bringing their advisors:
Seeing that they are really only declaring support for Trakand, I'm not that surprised. Wouldn't it make sense to leave the advisors in care of the estates? Someone with authority would need to keep things going, make decisions, etc. It makes perfect sense to pack the kids off to the safety of the palace in care of the highly respected Dyelin and a thousand troops.

But more importantly: CONGRATULATIONS to the Woofer family! Owwwoooooooooooo!
Julian Augustus
127. Alisonwonderland
Isilel @ 76:

You can't have a cake and eat it.
Why not? What prevents you from eating a cake if you have it?

This is one of those stupid (in the meaning of "it doesn't make any sense") aphorisms North Americans have corrupted from the original English. It always sets my teeth on edge. For the record, the original English expression is:

You can't eat your cake and have it.
Now, this makes sense, because once you've eaten the cake you no longer have it. Americans have turned the phrase around in a way that makes absolutely no sense, and yet the American version is faithfully repeated over and over with no questioning of its lack of sense. Rant over, and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

ps: even though this post refers to a quote from Isilel, I want to add that the comment is not directed personally at Isilel, but at how a perfectly sensible English phase is corrupted in North America. Another corrupted aphorism: "the proof is in the pudding". Say what?
Alice Arneson
128. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland - oh, that last example is my ultimate in corrupted aphorisms. I hate that one - and correct it on a regular basis! Grrr. They are many and irritating, but not quite all of them can be blamed on North America.

(By the way, Isilel isn't from North America...)
Julian Augustus
129. Alisonwonderland

I guessed as much from her profile and comments she's made before on these re-reads. I should have said she is repeating a common North American corruption of a sensible English aphorism.

Merry Christmas
Alice Arneson
130. Wetlandernw
Merry Christmas to you too! In fact, happy third day of Christmas to everyone. And don't let those French hens get loose - they make a mess of things. :)
Daniel Goss
131. Beren
@127 Alisonwonderland

Huh. I've never had any problem with that phrase; I've always heard it stated as "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Which of course means "You cannot have your cake and also eat your cake, as the act of eating your cake means that you no longer have your cake."
As for "You can't eat your cake and have it." I would put forth that this makes even less sense, as in order to eat any cake, you would first need to have it. Either way, however, the underlying message of this plattitude (that you may either possess something and enjoy having it, or consume it and reap the benefits of consumption, but not both) comes through.

Sometimes, I over-think things.

Kimani Rogers
132. KiManiak
Alisonwonderland@127 - re: corrupted aphorisms

::raises hand:: Ignorant American who didn't even know that "the proof is in the pudding," was the incorrect saying. Thanks to you, I looked up something I otherwise would have never researched (hey, I'll look up some obscure things on Wikipedia when I'm bored, but that one would've never made the top 1000 on my list).

I have to admit that I never thought that saying made sense. Now I know that the proof of the pudding's in the eating. (G.I.JOE!!!)

And to think, if not for the digressions that come from the one-post-in-a-week induced reflections of all of us commenters, combined with Leigh's recap of two boring chapters, I would have thought that somebody, somewhere once found verification in a custard-like dessert. :-)

Happy New-Leigh-Post Eve, everyone!

EDIT: In re-reading this, I see that it may come across as somewhat smart-a$$, but I really am thankful for the knowledge, Alisonwonderland. Keep 'em coming. :-)
133. CorDarei

Wow, hate Americans much?
Lynn McDonald
134. meal6225
Congratulations to Sub and his wife and the new baby girl! Hope all are doing well.
Cake and iced tea are now being served in the bunker!
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
CorDarei - at the risk of putting words in his mouth, uh, NO. If he hated us, he wouldn't spend so much time here and count us his friends! He just hates some of the things we've done to the language. Hey, I can relate - I'm native to the US and I hate some of the things we've done to the language!
Ron Garrison
136. Man-0-Manetheran
"wolde you bothe eate your cake, and have your cake?"

"You can't have your cake and eat it too -- One can't use something up and still have it to enjoy. This proverb was recorded in the book of proverbs by John Heywood in 1546, and is first attested in the United States in the 1742 'Colonial Records of Georgia' in 'Original Papers, 1735-1752.' The adage is found in varying forms: You can't eat your cake and have it too..."

A modicum of research shows that many variations are acceptable and clearly understood to mean that "you can't have it both ways."
Roger Powell
137. forkroot
Ever had a rum pudding? In that case the "proof is in the pudding" indeed! ::winks::
Ron Garrison
138. Man-0-Manetheran
Got it forkroot! An interesting story is how the term "proof" came to be associated with the volume of alcohol in a drink:
The term originated in the 18th century, when payments to British sailors included rations of rum. To ensure that the rum had not been watered down, it was “proofed” by dousing gunpowder in it, then tested to see if the gunpowder would ignite. If it did not, then the rum contained too much water and was considered to be “under proof”. It was found that gunpowder would not burn in rum that contained less than 57.15% alcohol by volume. Therefore, rum that contained this percentage of alcohol was defined to have "100 degrees proof".

Now see, y'all thought these chapters about Elayne's bath would be boring...
139. Moonray13
I am coming late, late, late to this party as I just received "The Gathering Storm" for Christmas and want to catch up on all the series details before I read the book.

Loving everything about this re-read and want to thank you profusely for your efforts. You're awesome.

Now, having said that, I have to point out something that's been bugging me since I started reading your blog. American English puts quotation marks outside punctuation, but you put it inside. Were you educated in the UK? Or Australia?
140. pwl
American English puts quotation marks outside punctuation, but you put it inside. Were you educated in the UK? Or Australia?

You're probably reading too much into it. You make "American English" sound like such a monolithic thing, which it's not. Especially when it comes to archaic punctuation rules. Things are especially split in this case with "typesetters' punctuation marks", especially on such an informal medium as a blog post. A lot of people see no use in always following the typesetter rule of punctuation always inside quotation marks, especially since it actually alters the material being quoted (which I personally despise). In my experience, older people are adamant about following the typesetter rule, while younger people shun it. Leigh's pretty young as things go. Personally I do not follow the rule in personal writings, although I need to follow the typesetter rule in formal work settings to be consistent with my company's style rules. And I was educated in good ol'fashioned US of A public school (in California, no less!).
Alice Arneson
141. Wetlandernw
@139 (& 140) - The inconsistency of "rules" regarding the relationship of quotation marks to other punctuation is so egregious as to render such rules non-existent. "American English" is about as inconsistent as it gets in regard to punctuation rules anyway, in terms of common usage, and very few people seem to remember what they were taught - if, indeed, they were taught anything about it at all. Mostly, people do what makes sense to them in the absence of standards. As pwl says, don't read too much into it. Leigh was (in her earlier years) educated in Louisiana, IIRC, although private school (also IIRC).

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