Fri
Dec 10 2010 2:04pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Crossroads of Twilight, Part 8

O HAI, Wheel of Timers. You can has Re-read?

Today’s entry covers Chapters 8 and 9 of Crossroads of Twilight, in which the best thing I can say is, at least we won’t be back here for another fifteen chapters. Yay?

Also, metaphorical Molotov cocktails lurk below. BE YE WARNED.

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

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

And nao, you can has post!

Chapter 8: Whirlpools of Color

What Happens
Perrin races after Arganda to where Elyas and a Maiden (Elienda) approach. Elyas tells Perrin and Arganda that they have found the Shaido; they are camped around a largeish town forty miles away. But, he tells Perrin, there are more Shaido than they thought; at least nine or ten septs, which means at least ten thousand spears and perhaps the population of Ebou Dar total. Perrin feels despair, knowing that his entire force and Masema’s combined would be slaughtered against that many Aiel. Aram, who along with Berelain and Gallenne and the Aes Sedai have caught up to Perrin et al, says that they beat that many Trollocs in the Two Rivers, but Elyas points out that they trapped the Trollocs in a vise there, and cannot expect the same advantage in this case. The Wise Ones also approach, and Arganda asks Marline if the Shaido would accept a ransom for Alliandre and the others. Marline says normally not, but the Shaido have broken with tradition already, so it’s possible. Gallenne, however, points out that ransoming is a fairly common practice out here in rural Altara, and yet they’ve seen only ruin in the Shaido’s wake, and no evidence that they’ve ever honored a ransom demand. Annoura disagrees, and argues that she should approach them to negotiate.

“No ransom,” Perrin said, and when everyone stared at him, most in consternation, Annoura with her face unreadable, he said it again, in a harder voice. “No ransom.” He would not pay these Shaido for making Faile suffer. She would be afraid, and they had to pay for that, not profit from it. Besides, Gallenne had the right of it. Nothing Perrin had seen, in Altara or Amadicia or before that in Cairhien, so much as hinted that the Shaido could be trusted to keep any bargain. As well trust rats in the grain bins and cutworms with the harvest.

Perrin tells Aram to get Grady to meet him at the Traveling ground, so Elyas can take Perrin to see the Shaido camp. Everyone looks ready to argue with Perrin’s declaration, so he gallops off before anyone can say anything, Elyas following, trying desperately to think of a plan. They stop at the stone slab with the Darkhound tracks on it, and Elyas muses on them:

“They were wolves, once. The souls of wolves, anyway, caught and twisted by the Shadow. That was the core used to make Darkhounds, the Shadowbrothers. I think that’s why the wolves have to be at the Last Battle. Or maybe Darkhounds were made because wolves will be there, to fight them. The Pattern makes Sovarra lace look like a piece of string, sometimes. […] [Wolves] avoid talking about Darkhounds, though, and they avoid Darkhounds, too. A hundred wolves could die trying to kill one Shadowbrother. Worse, if they fail, the Darkhound can eat the souls of those that aren’t quite dead yet, and in a year or so, there’d be a new pack of Shadowbrothers that didn’t remember ever being wolves. I hope they don’t remember, anyway.”

Perrin asks if they can eat the soul of a man who can talk to wolves, too, but Elyas doesn’t know. Elyas reassures him that the Darkhounds are surely too busy hunting their prey to report on him for a while yet. The others catch up and they head to the Traveling ground, Perrin ignoring Berelain’s attempts to talk to him. They meet up with Aram, Grady, Dannil, and a dozen more Two Rivers men. Grady looks exhausted, but works with Elyas to create a gateway to the spot Elyas wants; Perrin notes absently as he goes through that Grady’s gateways are larger than they used to be. Once everyone is through (Annoura glaring at Grady, Marline and Perrin in a fury), Perrin, Aram, Elyas, Arganda, Gallenne, Grady, Dannil et al, Marline, and Annoura head up the ridge. Halfway there they run into Sulin and another Maiden, Tuandha, who leads them the rest of the way. Perrin is shocked by the sight of the Aiel camp, which sprawls out for a mile on each side of the medium-sized walled town in the center. Marline murmurs that there are “too many.”

“Too many Wise Ones, Perrin Aybara. Wherever I look, I can see a woman channeling. Just for a moment here, a moment there—Wise Ones do not channel all the time—but they are everywhere I look. Too many to be the Wise Ones of ten septs.”

He drew a deep breath. “How many do you think there are?”

“I think maybe all the Shaido Wise Ones are down there,” Marline replied, as calm as if she were talking about the price of barley. “All who can channel.”

Marline is not sure, but estimates that means between four and five hundred channeling Wise Ones, plus apprentices. Annoura practically cries at hearing that just the Shaido Wise Ones equal half the Tower’s numbers, and Sulin derisively shoots down Dannil’s suggestion of trying to sneak into the camp. Perrin realizes he no longer feels despair now that he’s seen the worst. He notes an odd cluster of windmills outside the walls, which Sulin tells him is part of an aqueduct system running from the city to a lake five miles distant. Then:

The colors erupted inside Perrin’s head, an explosion of hues so strong that sight and hearing vanished. All sight except for the colors themselves, at least. They were a vast tide, as if all the times he had pushed them out of his head had built a dam that they now smashed aside in a silent flood, swirling in soundless whirlpools that tried to suck him under. An image coalesced in the middle of it, Rand and Nynaeve sitting on the ground facing one another, as clear as if they were right in front of him. He had no time for Rand, not now. Not now! Clawing at the colors like a drowning man clawing for the surface, he—forced—them—out!

Sight and hearing, the world around, crashed in on him.

“…it’s madness,” Grady was saying in worried tones. “Nobody can handle enough of saidin for me to feel that far off! Nobody!”

Annoura and Marline concur re: saidar, and the three worry about whether it is the Forsaken, but Perrin tells them it is Rand, and not to worry about it. Ignoring everyone’s stares, and Annoura’s attempt to convince him they must go investigate whatever is happening, he asks Sulin if she can capture him some Shaido prisoners to interrogate. Sulin shrugs, and opines that he won’t learn much from them; they will laugh at pain, and she doesn’t know if they can be shamed anymore. Perrin answers that even a little information is better than none.

His work lay in front of him. A puzzle to solve, Faile to free, and the Shaido to destroy. That was all that mattered in the world.

Commentary
And the Emo continues to continue. Thank God, really.

Interesting that the ta’veren color swirls seem to have practically attacked Perrin here, when the Cleansing started, while Mat only appeared to have a brief (and decidedly less traumatic) flash of them at the same time, back in Chapter 3. I suppose that Perrin’s thought, though, that they were punishing him for ignoring them so much before, is the explanation we should go with. Funny, I never really thought of the color swirls as anything but some weirdass effect of ta’veren-y whatever before, but this is making them seem almost… anthropomorphic.

Not that I’m really seriously suggesting that, but, um. Um?

Well, who the hell knows at this point, but it should be no shock that I am reeeeally interested, swirly-thing-wise and otherwise, to see what happens once all three Superboys are finally all together again in the last book. An event which, I might remind you, hasn’t occurred since the end of the third book. And we’re at thirteen and counting. I’M JUST SAYING.

(Note, since I know people will be picky about this: yes, technically all three boys are in the same place for the first seventeen chapters of TSR (the Stone in Tear), but as far as I can tell, never once in that time are all three of them together together. Perrin and Mat have a scene together (their last until ToM), and Rand has one with each of them separately, but they are never once actually all in the same room before Perrin leaves for the Two Rivers in Chapter 18 (and Mat and Rand leave for the Aiel Waste in the chapter following). Nor are they ever all together after that, either. It’s kind of wacky when you think about it.

(And really, looking at it more, even the end of TDR is pretty sketchy on the “together” part, unless you count “Mat and Perrin catching glimpses of Rand out of the corner of their eye” as being “together.” And while they might have all seen each other in between the ending of TDR and the beginning of TSR, we’re not told about it if so, and from Mat and Perrin’s behavior in TSR it seems kind of unlikely that they were. Thus, in terms of “together” meaning “all three of them actually interacting with each other in a meaningful way, on screen,” the last time it really happened was… wow. The Battle of Falme, at the end of TGH. Dude.

(Also, did I talk about this already? I think I did. Oh well.))

And now that that parenthetical aside has rendered meaningless both the word “together” and the concept of what sanely constitutes “an aside,” let’s move on!

I initially found it rather hinky that Annoura suggests trying to negotiate with the Shaido, especially in light of how well that hasn’t gone for everyone else they’ve come across. However, it occurs to me that Annoura can count just as well as Perrin can, and she doesn’t have his Emo to make her not care how badly they are outnumbered. All things considered, negotiating with them is actually the slightly less stupid option to suggest.

That being said, even while making fun of Perrin’s emo I agree with his sentiment. Fuck negotiating with Sevanna, dudes. SMASH HER. WE WANTS IT, PRECIOUS.

Darkhounds Redux: It was Elyas’ info here on how Darkhounds are created which made people—well, first it made people go “Yikes” because THAT SUCKS, YOU LEAVE MY WOLVES ALONE, DAMMIT, but then it also made people speculate on a possible connection between Darkhounds and Slayer, who after all has wolf-soul huntin’ as the main hobby on his Facebook page. Wouldn’t that be a logical way to, er, recruit new Darkhounds, so to speak?

Of course, if that’s the case you have to wonder why Slayer hasn’t ever, you know, used Darkhounds in all the many attempted Perrin-killings he’s done, since they evidently would have come rather in handy there. So, maybe not. It’s a neat idea, though.

(Also, random free-association thought: does Elyas know about/know how to use the Wolf Dream? I almost have to assume “no,”,because if he did know, why wouldn’t he have ever brought it up to Perrin, or at least mentioned it in passing? But if not, why not? All wolves are supposed to be able to enter the dream, right? And Perrin’s not the only Wolfbrother who can do it, either, as evidenced by Noam in ToM. So, why not Elyas? ‘Tis a puzzlement!)

 

Chapter 9: Traps

What Happens
Faile stands in the snow between the gai’shain camp and the main Shaido camp, reporting Sevanna’s words to Someryn; Someryn is not pleased when Faile says Sevanna said the other Wise Ones are “timid.” Faile is uneasy about being in the open so long talking to Someryn, but doesn’t dare move without permission. She contemplates the double-sided trap she is in; if Sevanna catches them spying on her, the punishment will be severe, but the penalty from the other Wise Ones might be fatal if they stop. And that is not the only trap Faile is in. Faile asks Someryn if she can go, but Someryn doesn’t answer, and Faile looks up to see she appears to be staring at nothing, mouth open in stunned amazement. Faile then notes two other Wise Ones staring in the same direction, and concludes that someone must be channeling on the ridgeline above the camp. She tries not to get her hopes up. Someryn snaps out of it, hits Faile and orders her off, and Faile goes quickly.

Pride said to maintain a cool defiance, a quiet refusal to yield, yet sense said that was the way to find herself guarded twice as closely as she was. The Shaido might take the wetlander gai’shain for domesticated animals, but they were not completely blind. They must think that she had accepted her captivity as inescapable if she were to be able to escape, and that was very much on her mind. The sooner, the better. Certainly before Perrin caught up. […] She was a soldier’s daughter. She knew the Shaido’s numbers, she knew the strength Perrin had to call on, and she knew she had to reach him before that clash could take place.

Faile hurries through the crowd until she finds Chiad, who reports that Lacile and Arrela’s escape appears to have been successful; Faile is mostly relieved that they had gone through with it rather than deciding honor demanded they stay. She comments again that the rest of them would have a better chance if Bain and Chiad came with them, but this offends Chiad, who tells her that she, Chiad, will follow ji’e’toh even if the Shaido do not, and leaves. Faile feels guilty, but lets her go for now. She contemplates the wreckage of the city for a moment before turning to go, but is stopped by a huge Aielman, who steps in front of her and informs her she is very pretty. Faile can smell that he has been drinking. She tells him meekly that she is gai’shain to Sevanna and must go, but to her shock the man ignores this and picks her up bodily and begins to carry her off. She kicks at him futilely and tries to scream, but he muffles her.

Abruptly, the monster carrying her stopped.

“I made this one gai’shain, Nadric,” another man’s deep voice said.

Faile felt a rumble of laughter in the chest against her face even before she heard it. She did not stop her kicking, never stopped writhing or trying to shout, yet her captor seemed unaware of her efforts. “She belongs to Sevanna now, Brotherless,” the huge man—Nadric?—said contemptuously. “Sevanna takes what she wants, and I take what I want. It is the new way.”

“Sevanna took her,” the other man replied calmly, “but I never gave her to Sevanna. I never offered to trade her to Sevanna. Do you abandon your honor because Sevanna abandons hers?”

There is a pause, and finally Nadric says she is not pretty enough to fight over, drops her on her back, and leaves. Faile forces herself to get up and stop shaking, and reluctantly thanks Rolan, who tells her he isn’t asking for gratitude. She tries not to snarl at him and lurches off to where she’d dropped her basket; Rolan catches up to her and picks it up. She starts to snap at him, and then reasons that that might be foolish, since Rolan has obviously been following her.

She was sure she did not need to fear him trying to force her. Rolan had had his chance for that, when he had her naked and bound, and he could have been looking at a fence post then. Perhaps he did not like women in that way. In any case, the Brotherless were almost as much outsiders among the Shaido as the wetlanders. None of the Shaido really trusted them […] If she could make a friend of the man, perhaps he would be willing to help her. Not to escape, certainly—that would asking too much—but… Or would it? The only way to find out was to try.

She smiles at him and thanks him again, and he smiles back and comments that he thinks she is “a woman of much ji,” and that he would like to see her laugh. She comments daringly that there isn’t much reason for her to laugh while in white; Rolan answers that he can make a woman laugh sometimes, and he’d heard she has a husband. Faile stumbles, and tells him she does, and that she loves him very much.

“What happens while you are gai’shain cannot be held against you when you put off white,” he said calmly, “but perhaps you wetlanders do not see it that way. Still, it can be lonely when you are gai’shain. Perhaps we can talk sometimes.”

Faile cautiously feigns interest, telling herself she could flirt some without letting it get too far if it meant convincing Rolan to help her escape. They reach the area near the aqueduct’s terminal, where Alliandre is doing laundry. Once Rolan leaves, Faile explains why she was smiling at him, somewhat embarrassed, but Alliandre shrugs and says she would marry him if he could get them out of here, and her husband would never need to know. Faile grits her teeth, and tells Alliandre about Lacile and Arrela’s escape; worried, Alliandre tells her Maighdin went to make a try for Therava’s tent, but she should have been back by now. Faile thinks of the dangerousness of despair, and reassures Alliandre that Maighdin won’t get caught. They wash clothes until Galina comes by to sneer at them.

Galina was pretty, but nowhere near beautiful, and Faile did not understand what Therava saw in her, unless it was simply the pleasure of dominating an Aes Sedai. That still left the question of why the woman remained when Therava seemed to take every opportunity to humiliate her.

Alliandre tells her Maighdin went to Therava’s tent to get “your ivory rod” this morning, and asks when they will see Galina’s promised help, but the blood drains out of Galina’s face at the news. However, just that moment Maighdin appears, looking worked-over, and tells them Therava caught her, but only thought she was there to steal, so Galina is safe. She demands of Galina what’s happening re: saidar, which even she can feel even though she has almost no ability to channel. Galina grabs her by the hair and wrenches her head back, but one of Sevanna’s gai’shain, an Amadician named Aravine, intervenes and throws Galina down. Galina blusters, but Aravine taunts her with what happened the last time she displeased Therava, and Galina threatens her and stalks off. Unimpressed, Aravine tells Faile Sevanna wants her, but instead of leading her straight to Sevanna, she takes Faile to where Lacile and Arrela are hogtied naked to a cart. Aravine tells her they wer caught this morning, and will be released at dark. Faile asks why she is showing her this, since no one should know of a connection between her and them.

“You forget, my Lady, I was there when you were all put in white.” Aravine studied her a moment, then suddenly took Faile’s hands and turned them so that her own hands were between Faile’s palms. Bending her knees just short of kneeling, she said quickly, “Under the Light and by my hope of rebirth, I, Aravine Carnel, do pledge my fealty and obedience in all things to the Lady Faile t’Aybara.”

Faile demands to know how she knows that name, and Aravine answers she overheard it from Galina. She knows they are trying to escape, and begs Faile to let her help and come with them. Faile briefly considers killing her, but then reasons that Aravine had already had enough info to condemn them and hadn’t said anything, so she accepts her pledge (with inner reservations) and asks if Aravine has anyone else she can trust to bring in on this. Aravine thinks there may be one or two, but she wants to be sure before approaching them. Faile approves this and then hastens to Sevanna’s tent. Inside, Sevanna is arguing with Therava, who wants them to head for the mountains in the east immediately, to get as far away from “whatever it is” that’s happening as possible. Sevanna dismisses her advice, and changes the subject to Faile. She unwraps the knife Faile had hidden away, and asks if Faile recognizes it; Faile knows she’s caught, and doesn’t bother to deny it’s hers.

“As well Galina brought me this before you could use it. For whatever purpose. If you stabbed someone, I would have to be very angry with you.”

Galina? Of course. The Aes Sedai would not allow them to escape before they did as she wanted.

Laughing, Sevanna asks Therava what she should do with Faile, and Faile admits to herself that Therava absolutely terrifies her. Therava opines coldly that she thinks Faile was trying to escape, but that she “can learn to do as she is told.” Faile ends up hogtied naked on a table for the night. Just as the cramping and cold is about to become unbearable, Rolan shows up with two braziers, which he puts under the table, and begins contorting her body and massaging Faile’s muscles to ease the cramps.

“You do not mind if I occupy myself while I try to think of a way to make you laugh, do you?” he asked.

Suddenly she realized that she was laughing, and not hysterically. Well, it was only partly hysteria. She was trussed like a goose for the oven and being saved from the cold for the second time by a man she thought maybe she would not stab after all, Sevanna would be watching her like a hawk from now on, and Therava might be trying to kill her as an example; but she knew she was going to escape. One door never closed but another opened. She was going to escape. She laughed until she cried.

Commentary
Oh, for crying out loud.

I really have to laugh at myself, because the first thing I thought when reading the last bit of this chapter was “That is so inappropriate,” which is hilarious both in its prissiness, and yet also in what a mind-blowingly huge understatement it is.

I don’t think I really identified until now what bothered me so much about Faile’s entire part of this plotline, quite aside from the more structural-meta Plotline Of Doom stuff I’ve already talked about. Or rather, I identified it a long time ago, but tried to convince myself I was overreacting about it.

However, I think that is Other People talking on that count, and since the whole point of this is for me to speak truthfully about How I Feel About WOT Things, well, here’s how I feel about this: the thing that bugs me about Faile’s part in This Damn Plotline, specifically, is that once you strip the obfuscating layers of it away, this entire plotline is a downright egregious example of the Damsel in Distress scenario, and the whole thing is dismayingly sexist as a result.

Oh yes, I went there. And I’m about to get comfy, too.

This is particularly upsetting because in general I expect better of Jordan on this front. Though even he has an unfortunate tendency to lean on the Women Getting Kidnapped plot crutch—one of these days I’m really going to have to make a list of just how many different ways the Supergirls managed to get themselves abducted and/or imprisoned over the course of the series—it’s really only this one in particular (at least that I can think of at the moment) that leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, and I think it’s because of the sheer volume of Wimmins In Danger stereotypes covered here, and the frankly rather creepily sexual overtones with which they are achieved.

Because, let’s review, shall we? Faile (and the rest of the women in her party—and it was only the women, I point out) have been abducted and enslaved in a manner that I would call almost disturbingly fetishistic—stripping, spanking, bondage, ritual humiliation, you name it. She’s been dominated, objectified, and rendered almost completely powerless, and tortured in ways which are extremely sexually charged; I mean, did you read the last few paragraphs of this chapter?

And while silk robes and excessive jewelry might not be quite as kinky as, say, a gold bikini avec neck chain, both outfits convey the same message: sexualized, fetishized ownership. The fact that it’s another woman doing it to her only mitigates the situation if you don’t think about it too closely, and it fails completely once you consider the Galina/Therava situation, which, okay, WHATEVER if you don’t think there’s a sexual element to that after the quote from Faile above about not being able to figure out what Therava sees in her! Because she’s not that pretty, no less!

So there’s all that. And now Faile’s been threatened with sexual assault, from which she was, again, helpless to extract herself. Also from which, I might mention, she was rescued by a man—a man whose own treatment of her hovers a razor’s edge from being the same goddamn thing. Not that “sexual blackmail” is much of an upgrade from rape, if it is one at all. And it’s just icing on the cake that the very strong inclination we’re directed to by the text is to consider Rolan a good guy for doing this. He may think he’s a good guy—Faile may even think he is, in a fashion—but just think about the implications of that for a few minutes.

And at the end of it, we already know, all her own efforts to free herself will still be contingent upon her white knight, namely Perrin, finally sweeping in and saving her. I could have forgiven the whole thing if Faile had gotten herself out of it, but whether you consider it was Rolan or Perrin or both who actually rescued her, the point is, it definitely wasn’t Faile.

Worst of all, Faile never even gets to avenge her treatment at Sevanna’s hands directly. I mean, at least Leia got to fucking kill Jabba the Hut herself. (Also, Leia was only one of several people being rescued, most of whom were not women. Trust me, it makes a difference.)

And that’s really just infuriating. All that creepy objectifying bullshit, and Faile doesn’t even get to take back her own power, either by rescuing her own damn self or confronting/defeating her tormentor?

In a word: Ugh.

Mind you, it’s not any one of these elements in isolation that make it sexist in my opinion; it’s all of them together. It’s just piling them all up in one place, and banging into every—last—stereotype of the DiD scenario on the way, that tips it over the edge from irritating into truly offensive.

So, yeah. I think it’s safe to say that, with the possible exception of That Thing With Tylin, the Perrin ‘n Faile Plotline of Doom is officially my least favorite thing in WOT ever. Like really really REALLY my least favorite thing. Ever. Ever ever.

Man.

As a sop to Jordan, though, I will point out there is another thing in this chapter for which I will have to offer him at least a partial mea culpa on, and that is this quote:

Perhaps [Rolan] did not like women in that way.

Which, while it’s not exactly a mention of Mr. and Mr. Al’Smith living in conjugal bliss (or conjugal strife, even) in Baerlon or whatever, or even the presence of an actual gay man, it is most definitely what I once claimed did not exist in WOT: a tacit acknowledgment of the existence of male homosexuality.

And while it’s still kind of sad that “tacit acknowledgment” is the best we can do here, it’s still more than I originally gave Jordan credit for, and so I am happy to say: my bad. I was wrong.

I just wish I was wrong about the Faile stuff, too.


Aaand there may be more worth covering in this chapter (though there may not be, either), but I am officially exhaustified, y’all, and so I will leave you all to be horribly outdone (or, hopefully, horribly contemplative) about My Thoughts on sexism in WOT (and also other things, too) in the comments. Remember, calm and reasoned discussion yay, ad hominem attacks nay. Have a lovely weekend, and see you Tuesday!

171 comments
Tenesmus
1. Tenesmus
A tacit acknowledgement...hmmm OK really what is the point.? The man was writing a fantasy novel, not social anthropolgy...
Tenesmus
2. Abra Genesis
Not linking women in that way =/= liking men in that way; the chaste hero is nothing new to fantasy literature.
Dan Vega
3. bigdtv71
Yay!! new post. I have not been able to read these when they come out. This is awesome. Thanks Leigh we appreciate you very much for doing this re-read. You always find things or look at it differently in every chapter than some of us. I thank you for that.
Frank Stellatto
4. Franco13
I always thought a key part of these chapters was when Perin ended the speculation of the power involved with the cleansing when he uttered that that was Rand's business...
F Shelley
5. FSS
Elyas tells Perrin that he stays away from the wolf dream in TOM.
Holly Finnen-Stewart
6. Branwhin
Hello, Leigh, awesome as always.

I must say I don't get the same sense of feminist ICK that you do here. Yes, very true that the tropes are all there. Many women in danger, sexual assault happening, women stripped naked for punishment, Rolan very close to doing more than flirting.

But though Faile has a few moments of fear and helplessness, she remains strong all the way through all of it, and does her best to inspire others. She never stops planning, never gives up. And through it, learns what a noble is supposed to be.

I guess where I'm going with that is that she, and many of her brave ladies, are just that - courageous fighters who don't meekly wait for men to rescue them. Nope! Faile doesn't even *want* Perrin to catch up, with her assessment of the odds.

LOL, I must admit I was frustrated at the pacing sometimes, but overall I enjoy the whole story of WoT, and never did quite understand the "OMG it's this part run away". That's just me, though.

Lovin' the reread and the community!
Noneo Yourbusiness
7. Longtimefan
@1 Tenesmus.

Granted it is a Fantasy Novel and not an Anthropological Treatise on the marriage customs of the Altaran people.

If you have noticed the tiny number of people who have commented on these posts and perhaps the slightly larger number of people who may have occasionally picked up these books here and there it is not about it being reality but about the idea that certain thought processes which people may already have subconciously are just being supported through and emotionally gripping fantasy series which no one will take seriously when making a concious decision.

It is not about the concious decision. It is about the innate acceptance of behavior which may be traditional and even emotionally accessable but not always benificial.

or since continuing down that path is long and boring and everyone knows about it anyway, it is, in the end, just about how Ms. Butler feels about certain topics and the incorporation of those topics in this series which is part of the joy of the re-read as a whole.

Indeed. If one has been reading this since the beginning it is actually something to be expected with this storyline and I think it is an interesting point to make about why the least popular story arc for a character who was generally liked before hand (Perrin, not Faile) could grate against some people whithout being obvious like the length or lingering.
But that is just my observation. Poorly spelled and hastily written as I have just popped in for a second and must away.

Hope everyone is having a lovely winter season and enjoying what holidays they hold close to their hearts.
Tenesmus
8. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
In Rolan's culture, the gai'shain normally wouldn't be a subservient position, or at least not a forced one. Gai'shain choose to become so by following ji'e'toh. Now while the actual way Faile, et al are being treated, is not the same as all this, these humiliating punishments are part and parcel of the whole Aiel gig. I submit that while Rolan's come on is super duper inappropriate to our eyes, I didn't get the feeling of any sort of coercement from him. The "sexual blackmail" isn't something I see. In fact he seems much more understanding of other viewpoints than your average Aiel, with his statement that what a gai'shain does while in white cannot be held against them later, but "perhaps you wetlanders do not see it that way." I think the joking during the massage is just joking, and another incident showing the strangeness of Aiel culture and humor. Rolan strikes me as a pretty good dude for the situation he was in, so much so that when Perrin killed him I was actually very sad, because knowing how big a heart Perrin had you know he would have been crushed if he knew he killed someone that helped his wife escape.
Mike McCaffrey
9. earlgrey
Faile does, in a way, get the instigator of the entire ordeal. Since the only reason she is captured in the first place is Masema's refusal to travel to Rand, his death at her hands is significant.

Franco13 @ 4
But you know the womens' attitude is "just because he said it doesn't make it so."
Birgit
10. birgit
Also, random free-association thought: does Elyas know about/know how to use the Wolf Dream?

"Do you ever visit wolves in your dreams, Elyas?" Perrin asked. "A place where dead wolves run and live again?" Elyas turned, eyeing him. "That place is dangerous, Perrin. It's another world, although tied to this one somehow. Legends say the Aes Sedai of old could go there."
"And other people, too," Perrin said, thinking of Slayer.
"Be careful in the dream. I stay away from it." His scent was wary.
ToM ch. 24

Vincent Lane
11. Aegnor
I'm not sure where you are getting the sexual blackmail from, regarding Rolan. He's obviously in love with her and he certainly isn't saying "have sex with me and I'll help you escape". His helping her is completely independent of that.

Regarding the sexual nature of the torture she goes through...that I'm unsure about. With normal people I would say you are absolutely right. But these are Aiel, and they view things very strangely. It would fit in with their characterization for there to be absolutely nothing sexual about it. But then again, the Shaido are different from a normal Aiel. Normal Aiel would be horrified by the idea of forcing themself on a gaishan.

Oh, and I think you are somewhat overreacting to the whole damsel in distress thing. Faile hardly played the typical damsel in distress. She organized a group of followers, and nearly engineered her escape on her own, becoming a leader in the process. So while she certainly required Perrin's help, she hardly fits the mold of a helpless female waiting for the man to come save her.
Ken Ray
12. Maclir
I had assumed Rolan "not liking women in that way" was more as a comparison to Nadric, who used / abused helpless women against their will, or at least, without ant though as to whether the women were interested.

I see Rolan wanting to be "involved" with Falie in a two way situation - he does everything he can think of to "woo her" (I can't think of anything that is less old fashioned). He doesn't force himself sexually on her, but gives her whatever assistance he can.

So the way he doesn't like women that way in my mind means he doesn't want to take a woman against her will, but he wants the woman to want him, too.

(I don't think I expressed myself as clearly as I should have there - but it's Friday afternoon after a hectic week....)
R B
13. MasterAlThor
I completely disagree with Liegh's thoughts on Rolan. Here is why. Rolan is not trying to "blackmail" Faile in any way, shape, or form. He is trying to woo here. Not the way I would go about it, but there it is.

As for the rest of it. Whateve. You like it or you don't. you are cool with it or your not.

I would submit that any man in that situcation would not be in any better position to extract himself than faile was. So that should count for something.

Dragon
Tenesmus
14. alreadymadwiththePLOD
Elyas just says he doesn't go into the Wolf Dream because it's dangerous, not that he can't.

Rolan is a creep.

He knows Faile is married yet makes a play for her anyway just because what happens when one is gai'shain cannot be held against them. Completely ignoring the fact that they should not be even made gai'shain to begin with.
Tenesmus
15. Halibulu
1st time poster here.
Do y'all realize that Faile's thoughts on whether or not Rolan "doesn't like women in that way" is the first reference we get in the WoT that there are homosexual males within the world of Randland? And I'm pretty sure that's the only reference. Interesting.
Tina Pierce
16. scissorrunner
Rolan = dangerous? - no,
a flirt? absolutely
taking advantage? only as much as any other human

regardless of the "legality" of her status as gai-shain, Rolan states clearly that while gai-shain things are different. that is a known Aiel custom.

and Faile is hardly suffering from "damsel in distress syndrome" she is actively working every angle to free not only herself but a boatload of followers that have attached themselves to her. She is becoming a real leader, despite herself.
Birgit
17. birgit
I had assumed Rolan "not liking women in that way" was more as a comparison to Nadric, who used / abused helpless women against their will, or at least, without ant though as to whether the women were interested.

A later comment by Faile makes it clear that that is not what she meant:

Despite Nadric, Aiel custom was for a woman to do the asking, after a man attracted her interest. Giving her gifts was one way. Making her laugh was another. So much for his not liking women.

CoT ch. 9
Lee VanDyke
18. Cloric
Let's not forget that when the actual "rescue" occured, it may have been Perrin with the Rolan's brain matter all over his hammer, but it was Faile and either Lacile or Arrela (I forget) who were standing there with bloody daggers as well.

As an aside, Rolan's death was what I thought RJ's "Gasp, how horrible" moment was. I genuinely liked the dude, from moment one.
john massey
19. subwoofer
Hi Leigh:) Greetings from the Borderlands- tundra up here these days, but a warm welcome none the less.

Well, Mat was already inflicted with swirling visions of Rand and Min knocking boots... That was enough for me at the time. The DO has always been after one of the boys, the going theory being- cut one leg off the tripod and the whole thing topples.

Perrin and darkhounds- is there a wolfbrother soul eaten by a darkhound? Will we meet them? Is that why Slayer is such a tit?

As for Elyas- wouldn't it be cool if he was the one who comes along in Perrin's darkest hour and helps him kack Slayer?

Faile, Sevanna, Galina, Therava- all lumped together. Don't see much of an upside to read those chapters at all. Yeeeee. Thanks for the Cliff notes on that front Leigh;) I sure skipped these chapters repeatedly in rereads and I see no good reason to buck that trend now.

Edit- I also see we have gone down that road again for sex, gender preference and all that fun stuff. This should be a fun thread to read come Monday:(

Woof™.
Tenesmus
20. hamstercheeks
Is Annoura a DF? If she is, maybe she and Berelain were all chummy before because there wasn't much Shadow interest in Mayene, and then Annoura got activated when she got to the mainland. Let's sniff along the trail: Masuri knows a lot about Darkhounds -- parallels with Sheriam who knew about 13x13, and Verin who knew about Dreaming -- and Annoura and Masuri were working together. Annoura suggests negotiating with the Shaido, which is very Gray of her, but it could've been just a ploy to trip up Perrin. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. I sure hope not, but who knows...

Good point re: sexual and fetishized ownership, and sure Princess Leia's golden bikini avec chain will forever remain the symbol for that. Clearly, Sevanna = Jabba the Slutt. Guess the point here is to point to the level of decadence that the Shaido leadership sinks to under Sevs. She sucks. What happened to her again?
Maiane Bakroeva
21. Isilel
And pointlessness continues... Some more suspicious Annoura shenangians, some more damsel in distress stuff. Now, looking back I still don't understand why we had to see Faile's captivity in such detail when in the end she didn't manage to escape and did zero to make Perrin's victory over the Shaido easier.

I used to think that maybe we'll see Morgase rebounding after hitting the rock bottom and finally demonstrating her political super-skills, that we have heard about so much, by engineering an open break between Sevanna and WOs, helping Perrin thereby. Or maybe that her Aiel coloring would have allowed her to escape and reach Perrin et al. where obvious wetlanders have failed. But nada. And frankly, as of ToM I continue to be mystified re: why she is still around.

Faile learning leadership? Who cares? We already had a surfeit of characters doing that and in more interesting ways. Besides, she seemed to be OK in that department even back in TSR. It is Perrin who is going to be one of _the_ leaders at the TG anyway, not her. I'd have rather seen more Black Tower and Logain... Sigh.
Lannis .
22. Lannis
Hmm... I hadn't considered the Rolan "maybe didn't like women that way" to be an implication of homosexuality, so much as an attitude towards dominance in a relationship.

I'm with MAT @ 13: He seems to be attempting to engage Faile as a person, an equal, despite the glaring imbalance of power here with Faile as gai'shain. Sure, he's helping her with the braziers--the woman's going to freeze, for Chrissakes!--but he sits down and keeps her company, like an equal. It's beyond the boundaries of ji'e'toh for him to interfere further. Cultural clash again. All he can do is communicate with her (re: his comment about what happens in white, stays in white), about his possible intentions, and let her either act on his offer, or not.

S'my opinion, FWIW.

Thanks for the post, Leigh! Take care! :)
Genevieve Williams
23. welltemperedwriter
I had mixed feelings about this entire part of the story. Because Faile is clearly doing everything that she can to get herself out of her situation, and just as clearly feels strongly ambivalent about Rolan, his attentions to her, and especially the idea of using Rolan's obvious attraction as a way of escape. As much as this entire plotline drove me nuts, this was where I really started to like Faile, because we see her in a situation where she has next to no power, doing what she can to amass as much of it as she can and make the best of a horrible situation.

I did not see most of the, er, kinkier treatment of people in this part of the story as sexual, with the possible exception of Therava and Galina. Thing is, while dominance and BDSM can be sexual, it doesn't have to be. In consensual situations, which this clearly is not, that's worked out between the people involved. My point in bringing this up is that we know that Therava likes to dominate; we see this before Galina's capture. Having an Aes Sedai completely under her control obviously thrills her, and whether or not it has a sexual element is secondary.

Beyond that, I got the distinct impression that the "wetlander gai'shain" are treated as they are at least in part because things like nudity make them so obviously uncomfortable. It seems to me as though Sevanna, and the Shaido by extension, are basically drunk on their power even as the way they're living clearly isn't sustainable long-term. It becomes another example of how they twist their historical social and cultural practices to serve short-sighted goals.
Tenesmus
24. tesla_sunburn
I don't wish to offend(but having written that sentence I believe I'm now obliged) but I gotta say that I think anyone who read "maybe he doesn't like women that way" and came back with anything other than "oh she thinks he's gay" is seeing what they want to see. Its pretty dang blatant. This isn't the only refrence we get to male gayness. At some point men are fired in the White Tower "even those who had no interest in women" so thats two.

Failes captive... yeah the sexual implications from from sevana's actions say that Faile is just one big human toy on a leash. I'm honestly surprised we never got an attempted rape from sevana.

I think the point of the DiD storylines are acturally intended to be gender switch of the Arrogant man who is saved by a women story that is fairly common nowadays. Its the alpha gender of this world(women) being reminded that the other side is just as important. Women need Men just like Men need Women.
Tenesmus
25. AlfredTungstan
@13 - You hit the nail on the head regarding the captured men. All information we have regarding the Aiel points to the fact that the women are not being treated any differently then the men, regarding their types of punishment anyway. The problem is, only the women with Faile survived their capture, all the men with them at the time where soilders and killed, and therefore we are only seeing things thru the eyes of the captured women. The attempted rape is a new developement due to the loss of honor amount the Shaido. But with female warriors present, there is no reason not to believe that some of the Maidens have not done the same thing to some of the male captives.

@15 - You may be correct that this might be the first time male homosexuality is referanced, is is certainly not the only time though. I remember quite clearly at least one other time. I believe it was after Egwene had been captured at the White Tower. She mentions at one point that all of the male servants have been kicked out, even those who didn't like women, because of the Red's dislike for men.
james killion
26. killergunrock
I really enjoy this re-read but I have to say that as I read through I have to disagree completely as to the motivation on Mr. Jordans part or perhaps Maybe Leigh's perception of it.
Biologically the drives that every human has sleeping, eating, drinking, reproducing, are what define us, so when you are trying to tear someone down or torture them mentally as the Shaido apparently love to do, you alter every part of their life; they wear a collar as a reminder that they are not free, they eat what they are given because they have no choice, they do what they are told because they are prisoners. This behaviour is not to simply get some jolly's free of charge its more of how regular Aiel would treat da'tsang you want them to be ashamed to be who they were born as and as a result become docile and able servants.
Is it right? heck to the no but it also isn't just as simple as female abuse the men would be going through similar treatments.
Rolan on the otherhand rather than trying to take advantage of a situation steps up acts with honor and self restraint he wants a willing partner and he wants faile, he does not dangle freedom as a price only mentions that they can have fun together now and it need not be an issue for faile and her husband later and in the meantime it won't quite suck as much as when neither one was getting action and they were stuck in the camp anyways. Also he makes it clear that he isn't asking for forever just for right now and he doesn't have a problem with the whole already married thing. (a whole lot of people in the world do not have a problem with it either) that does not make him a monster just a human with faults like everyone else.
Maybe none of this makes sense but it made sense in my head!! lol I guess my point is that here, sex is not the factor its more or less a process to break down people they consider to be inferior in order to make their own life more decadent and the only reason we get a female slant to this treatment is that it happens to be whose head we are sitting in when we get to view it. Thanks,
Stefan Mitev
27. Bergmaniac

Jordan's love for the "Women Getting Kidnapped plot crutch" has always been one of my main problems with the series. He used it way too often, some of those captivity subplots took forever to get resolved and pretty much every important woman in the series gets through at least one of those. Some of them go through 4 or 5 - Egwene being the leader by my count, and Elayne closely behind.    

On the other hand, the guys fare way better in this department. Only Rand had gotten captured more than once, and it's understandable since the whole world is out to get him. Perrin got in the trouble with the Whitecloacks in TEOTW, and that was it. Mat has avoided this entirely. I can't think of many captivity cases among the more minor male characters either. The implications of this disparity are not exactly flattering for the Randland women or for Jordan himself.

CoT took this to a new level, though, since half the book is about Perrin trying to save the captured Faile and Mat trying to deal with the captured Tuon. And let's not forget what happened with Egwene at the end of the book. Even the political plotline of Elayne in Andor was resolved by yet another "damsel in distress" plot twist this way in the end, though that happened in KoD.   

The whole Faile captivity plotline feels so pointless to me. So Faile became a bit better at leadership - she was pretty good at that to begin with, as we saw in TSR. About Perrin, I still don't know what he learned from this whole deal, if anything. 

Anyway, thankfully this is the end of the Perrin - Faile plotline for now and next week Leigh can move onto more interesting things. I don't know about you, but I'd take Elayne's baths and tea drinking over this emo stuff and the creepiness of the Faile situation any day of the week.
Marcus W
28. toryx
I get what you're saying, Leigh. On the one hand, I agree: the whole thing is pretty offensive and because it gets carried on for so long it's only doubly so. On the other, I can't blame RJ because I think he's just being honest about the way life is.

The part that really catches me, every single time, is Faile's thought:
Galina was pretty, but nowhere near beautiful, and Faile did not understand what Therava saw in her, unless it was simply the pleasure of dominating an Aes Sedai.

Because that's the kind or thinking that preoccupies the series a lot. People are always judging each other by how they look and questioning those who show any sign of attraction to someone who isn't deemed beautiful. That bothers me a lot.

The thing that gets me, though, is that I don't think it's a failing of RJ as much as an issue of reality being tough to bear. Because the fact of the matter is, in history and in the present women tend to be the one who get objectified and treated this way in one culture after another. Sometimes it's less brutal, less obviously demeaning but it's always present pretty much everywhere you go.

It's disgusting, is what it is. And whereas in a lot of ways RJ has prettied things up and softened the edge of reality in this series (particularly when compared to "grittier" novels like ASoIaF or the Erikson books) this stands out all the more for being an uncomfortably close reflection of life.

I'm regularly ashamed of being male by association due to the actions of so many other males and here RJ is, making me ashamed all over again. I don't like it, but I don't fault him for being realistic.
Marcus W
29. toryx
Second post to add: Even though I think the treatment of female characters in the series is realistic, that doesn't mean I approve of it. I'd have rather seen things done differently, even if it was in sheer defiance of historical reality.
Delos Rifenburgh
30. KaijuGamer
@28 - I agree with toryx on this one. It was highly uncomfortable, but regrettably not uncommon. One of the reason I believe this was drawn out more was to showcase just how much the Shaido had fallen away from ji-eh-toh.

Maybe to shy away from the uncomfortable implications, I noticed that while the ji-eh-toh collapse was particularly apparent here, there appeared to be no real major reaction to it. Compare this to Aviendha's trip through the way-forward machine and her shock and anquish over how far the Aiel had fallen in the future. You would expect that such an abandonment of their central way of life and culture would elicit a more visceral reaction, but instead got mainly a 'tsk, tsk' reaction. Partly that can be explained by the fact of being central in the decline, but those from outside (mainly Chiad and Bain, but also including Faile and the members of Cha Faile who are more knowledgable) should have noted this much more. It was an interesting point I noticed that was at most only tangentially commented upon.
Tenesmus
31. dubsub
Leigh, definitely agree with you on both Jordan's over-reliance on the Women Getting Kidnapped thing and the sexual creepiness of Faile's captivity.

I think what makes all the hogties and nakedness extra sexually creepy are their context in the series. Yeah, if it were the only time this happened, maybe my mind wouldn't instantly go there, but this is alongside all the other examples of forced female nudity, toplessness and spanking.

Definitely know what Jordan's personal kink was...
Tenesmus
32. whiteknight83
I agree with many of the above commentators about Roland and the Aiel. They don't see it as sexual harrassment or bondage obviously. Infact if you look at how they find shame to be the most effective punishment then this is something they would find very effective with wetlanders. Also I don't think Jordan probably ever consider it might look that way. Mostly I give Jordan a by on this whole plotline because as I see it the whole story bogged down around the cleansing. But it still could have finnished earlier.
Maiane Bakroeva
33. Isilel
Eh, what does historical reality have to do with WoT? One of WoT's flaws is IMHO that the worldbuilding is fundamentally different, but RJ still wanted his female characters to be "ladies", even when it made no sense, and occasionally DiDs, despite giving most of them enough firepower to technically be more than able to defend themselves. So, their DiDom had to come from very contrived lack of common sense...
And he wanted his male characters to be chivalric to a fault, even when confronted with supremely evil people, as long as those were of female persuasion... which I don't find very attractive or sympathetic either.

No, Faile et al. are not channelers, but still they are supposed to have skills and deserve to lead... and I am just not seeing it. People swearing to Faile did so because of Perrin and the hope that his army might free them, not because of anything that she herself did and in the end despite all of her big intentions she achieved nothing and had to be saved by her big, strong man. Ditto Morgase. What was the point of it, again?
Tenesmus
34. Gentleman Farmer
Re: Emo Perrin and the last time the boys were together

In regards to the anger/disappointment/frustration with Perrin, I was having a thought in regards to the beginning of TDR (I think).

My recollection is that Perrin is facing a myrdraal, who says something to the effect of "Chop off one leg of a tripod and the whole thing falls down".

I was thinking of it in the context of the colours. Even if it is a "ta'veren" thing, why these three ta'veren? I think it's more that there is something else binding these three that not only gets used together, and strengthened when the three of them are acting in unison (consistent with Min's vision of the lights filling up the darkness), but allows or causes some parallels in character.

I'm not referring to the issue with killing women, which is relatively easily explained as a cultural phenomenon, but more the changes they're undergoing in the series.

Rand has been facing two major character issues which seem to be, at least in part, externally imposed. He is being flooded with ancient memories of LTT to the point that he's uncertain as to his own memories and personality, and he is losing his sense of humanity in his single-minded purpose to destroy the Dark One.

Mat suffered through a great deal in TEOTW, up to and through TFoH and beyond in trying to deal with other memories (initially Mordeth and the dagger, followed by the Eel'finn memories), and ultimately, came to an ability to accept the memories and use them while retaining his sense of self and character.

Perrin in this plotline seems distinct from the Perrin Goldeneyes of the Battle of the Two Rivers in his all or nothing approach. His quote cited above "Faile to free, and the Shaido to destroy. That was all that mattered in the world". That's much closer to the "Dark Rand" we've seen evolving since ACoS. It's interesting that Perrin puts equal weight on destroying the Shaido with freeing Faile, just as Rand begins to put equal weight on destroying the Dark One, never mind the consequences to the world.

I wonder if, in connection with the colours and the tripod concept there is some bleeding over back and forth of the use of ancient memories and the singlemindedness of purpose, and whether the conquering of these aspects of personality by Mat and Perrin may end up being key factors to aid Rand in the Last Battle.

If so, then it's less an "emo Perrin", and more an attempt to highlight thematically that a singleminded "victory of the Light is all" or "freedom of Faile is all" approach can lead down a treacherous road to the loss of humanity, and a foreshadowing of the insight that Rand and Perrin will both need to come to in order to be truly victorious.
Boquaz
35. boquaz
I agree that the pointlessness of this section is ultimately it's main problem. It would have been much more dramatic had we known nothing about it until after Perrin rescues her and Faile tells Perrin about almost Rolan and almost getting raped in ToM. Wow, that would have been awesome.

Part of my problem with this section is the "evil mastermind" aspect of the Shaido. They read like Bond villians to me. They play a lot of games and talk tough, but compared to the stuff you read in the news (you know, real life) they just seem like half-hearted tyrants here.

Contrast this with Morgase's imprisonment with the Whitecloaks. RJ didn't need to go into details, but made it clear what was going on, and it seemed far more realistic and less of a "bad D&D hook" than here.
Thomas Keith
36. insectoid
Great post as always Leigh.

Iiiiiiii... think I'm gonna sit on the sideline for this one. Best not to stir this boiling cauldron, so to speak. (Though I tend to agree with Lannis @22.)

Bzzz™.
F Shelley
37. FSS
Re: Women getting kidnapped (really, it should be Egwene and the Supergirls being captured - THAT's the most annoying aspect of the series). The rest aren't too bad.

Anyway, here we go. I'll start, and if anyone remembers others, fill in the blanks:

1. Egwene and Perrin by the Whitecloaks in EOTW
2. Rand by the Royal Guard in EOTW
3. Egwene and Min by the Seanchan in TGH
4. Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne by the Darkfriends in TDR
5. Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne by the Black Ajah in TDR
6. Nynaeve and Elayne by Moghedien in TSR
7. Mat's family and the Luhanns in TSR
8. Moiraine by the Finns in FOH
9. Rand by the Tower Aes Sedai in LOC
10. Elayne and Nynaeve by the Kin (with help from Setalle Anan) in LOC
11. Mat by Tylin in LOC (yeah, I'm counting it)
12. Faile by the Shaido in POD (sigh)
13. Rand and Lan by Far Madding in WH
14. Tuon by Mat (sorta) in WH
15. Egwene and Leanne by the White Tower in COT
16. Elayne by the Black Ajah in KOD
17. Rand by Semirhage in TGS
18. Galad by the Questioners in TOM

That's all I can remember off the top of my head.

Added by others:

Morgase by the Whitecloaks in (LOC?) - good one, darxbane

Elayne and Nynaeve by the Macura woman
Elayne by the Black Ajah and Mellar in TOM
- good catches hamstercheeks



Siuan and Leanne after getting Deposed.
Faile in the hedgehog ter'angreal
Thanks Smitty.

And yes, let's keep this to Team Light.

Oh - Arad Doman's king and Illian's king, by Aes Sedai.

And obviously, Alliandre and Morgase along with Faile.
Jason Deshaies
38. darxbane
@27,
Matt doesn't get captured? Ebou Dar, anyone? Sure, he wasn't "officially" a prisoner, but then again, Morgase wasn't "officially" a prisoner of the Whitecloaks, either. Then the dagger twisting him to evil, which required him to be "rescued" by Aes Sedai (I am using way too many quotation marks, aren't I?)
Why don't we look at how many times each person has been captured and required rescue, and see just how lopsided it really is. I'll start with the Supergirls:
Egwene - I think she is the leader here with 3 distinct times she was captured. However, the first time, she uses the world of dreams to free herself, Nynaeve, and Elayne before Mat gets there. The second time, Nynaeve frees her, and the last time, she wins over the White Tower from within. Damsel in Distress doesn't exactly register with me here.
Elayne - While she puts herself into ridiculous situations, she has never been in trouble for very long, and never rescued by a man.
Nynaeve - Well, if she doesn't blow the DiD theory out of the water, then nothing will. Captured once by the BA in book 3, she has rescued Egwene, beat Moghedian (twice, and captured her the second time), healed stilling, helped cleanse the taint, and oh yeah, CAN EASILY TRACK THE BEST WARDER IN EXISTENCE!!!!!
Now let's also not forget that Aviendha was the farthest thing from a DiD imaginable, until Birgitte showed up that is.
FSS summarized a little more above, and I'll get to the men in more detail on another post.
Ron Garrison
39. Man-0-Manetheran
Ta'veren Technicolor: I take it as a metophor about the three guys. Red, Blue and Green light when combined make white Light. Rand, Mat and Perrin when combined make an unstoppable force for the Light.
Eric Hughes
40. CireNaes
I was disappointed to hear the regular, "What goes TDY, stays TDY." from Rolan here. He is applying cultural pressure on her in more ways than one. Just because he is charming does not excuse his blunt machinations on a vulnerable captive. That to me broke the camel's back as far as giving the man any sympathy when Perrin brought the hammer down. I would have brought it up before bringing it down, myself.

As far as Leigh's gut reaction, the only parallel I can think of is Rand's capture in Far Madding when SWSNBN swoops in to the rescue. Mat was inadvertantly rescued by Tuon's invasion of the country so there is a very weak connection too, followed by a quick reversal for her. I would point to Egwene as the first to break the pattern. I don't see this as being as one sided as some. It's the immersive element of the PLOD that drives it over the edge for a lot of folks. Just like Mat's Mansel in Distress plot line. If you have your nose rubbed in something enough, it starts to emotionally fray you.

If someone wanted to do a comparison between Tylin and Rolan as sexual predators working within the confines of their culture to satisfy their impulses one could write a dissertation.
Jason Deshaies
41. darxbane
@39,
Not bad! Though if you ask most of the people on this forum, Perrin should be blue.

@40,
Ummm, being forward while courting someone is not even in the same world as using your power (and when that didn't work, a dagger) to force yourself on someone. Rolan and Tylin do not compare, at all, end of story. Rolan shadowed Faile and kept her safe for weeks, and got nothing in return. In fact, his protection of her got him killed.
Ron Garrison
42. Man-0-Manetheran
darxbane - I didn't intend to align a particular color with each guy, but Raging Red Rand, True Blue Perrin and Greenback Mat is OK by me.
Daniel Smith
43. Smittyphi
Hamstercheeks @20
Sevanna - Jabba the Hut

HAHAHAAAAHAHAHAHA!
Priceless in light of Leigh's post

Lannis @22

That also was my thought. Homosexuality did not even enter my thoughts about that part. And like insectoid, that's all I'm saying regarding this.

Great post Leigh! Wading through Perrin's was a drag. Mat's part made the book worth it (and more).
Jason Deshaies
44. darxbane
MoM,
I know, I was just expounding on the whole emo thing. People forget how having 18 members of your family brutally murdered just to get back at you makes being emotionally unstable much more understandable then say, not being asked to the prom.
Mike Mulligan
45. cullion
Okay, so it seems I'm very much in a minority around here who actually liked the PLOD. There is some cool stuff there folks, honest. And high up on my list is Faile and how she gets through this.

Faile is as far from Damsel in Distress as you can get. She grows up in this ark from brat to future Queen of Saldea. She has mini-MOA's right through this plot line. One of the 1st we see here, is Aravine swearing fealty. I mean we have 2 bona fide queens around in Alliandre and Morgase and it is Faile who stands out as the leader.

And for the record, IMO Faile and her posse rescued themselves at the end of this. It just so happened that he white night showed up right after.

As a general point, despite the many kidnappings, I think there is much kudos in WoT for subverting the DiD thing. As pointed out nicely by darxbane @38, generally speaking they do a pretty good job of getting themselves out of trouble.

C
Daniel Smith
46. Smittyphi
FSS @37
Siuan and Leanne after getting Deposed.
Faile in the hedgehog ter'angreal

If just Team light, that's all I can think of. If team dark - Semirhage, Moghedien, Lanfear/Cyndane
Tenesmus
47. chewynewyork
Yooo!! Great post, Leigh, and welcome back. (This is my first post for COT ; )

I, for one, am glad that Perrin and his people finally found the Shaido, because it seems that he finally starts thinking somewhat straight about the situation. I guess its the practical matters of it, but still. You really could write a freakin' book on all the emo he goes through.

I will say he is being royally stupid about his opinion (at least initially) of how Faile is during her capture. Does this lump actually meet the woman he married?!?! Smh. C'mon, Goldy, get a fuckin' clue. Your wife is a tigress that will rip you a new ass if you sniffed the wrong way.

I would also like to throw in a long overdue shout out to one of the more overlooked characters in the series. Sulin, my dear, ass-kicking Maiden, you are coolness. Cubed.

I agree that the Superboys not being together for such a long time is a serious oversight or mistake on someone's part. It shouldn't have gone down like that, considering their awesomeness. The only thing I can think of is perhaps RJ thought that their individual coolness would sustain their respective storylines, without relying on interaction with one another to show that coolness. Just a guess.

RE Annoura: She is gray, after all. And a fuckin' wimp. Lift your skirt and grab your balls, heffa.

After a few readings (and with the help of this wonderful blog...thanks Leigh!!) I have grown a little appreciation of the Shaido storyline. It's entertaining, in a distracting kinda way. The main storyline is so hot, though, sometimes otherwise cool storylines might not get the shine that they deserve. I was always interested in the Shaido's deterioration, as a clan, and they way they are kinda making shit up as they go along. It is a measure of how far they have fallen from their culture and rules when the everyday life includes possible rape, beating, and all-around degradation.

And as to that, I gotta give it to Faile. (And I do hear you on the objectifying shit, Leigh). But, in the scope of things, the stuff that she gotta go through is pretty heinous. I thought New York was a dangerous place, but then again, I have never been to a 3rd world country before, where shit can really get real. The Shaido camp would probable come close.

Now that I think about it, the Aiel, in general, seem to be a pretty sex crazed culture. "What happens as gai'shain, stays as gai'shain"? So, like, anything goes??? (check). Have a wife, or three??? (check) Naked beatings, with a little booty rubbin to top it off??? (check) I don't know, fellow WOTers...sounds like Vegas filled with sadomasochists who can fight like ultimate fighting champions.

Another great re-read, Leigh. Keep up the excellent work.
Tenesmus
48. hamstercheeks
All right, here's the Supergirls DiD moments list off the top of my head:

Egwene:
1. EotW, by Whitecloaks (rescuers: Lan, Moiraine, Nynaeve)
2. TGH, by the Seanchan (rescuers: Nynaeve, Min, Elayne)
3. TDR, by bandits, then the BA (rescuers: Aiel, then Mat)
4. TFoH, by Lanfear (rescuer: Rand)
5. CoT, by TAS (rescuers: Siuan, Gareth, Gawyn)
6. ToM, by Bloodknives (rescuer: Gawyn)

Elayne
1. TDR, by bandits, then the BA (rescuers: Aiel, then Mat)
2. TSR, by Ronde Macura (rescuers: Thom, Juilin)
3. TFoH, by a mob (rescuer: Galad)
4. ACoS, knocked out by blunt arrow (Healed by Nynaeve)
5. WH, forkroot and assassins (rescuer: Mellar, except not really)
6. KoD, by BA (rescuers: Birgitte et al)
7. ToM, by Mellar (rescuers: Birgitte, Mat)

Nynaeve
1. TDR, by bandits, then the BA (rescuers: Aiel, then Mat)
2. TSR, by Ronde Macura (rescuers: Thom, Juilin)
3. TFoH, by a mob (rescuer: Galad)
4. ACoS, by Moghedien (rescuer: Lan)

I'd say Elayne is in the lead. Appropriate, nay, mandatory, since she's a golden-haired princess. Feel free to correct and/or add!
Jason Deshaies
49. darxbane
That's a good point, Smitty. The Forsaken women have definitely received the harshest punishments thus far. I don't think we have seen a male forsaken really punished yet, although that just might be because they always end up dead when they fail.
Tenesmus
50. hamstercheeks
Errr, I expanded the definition of DiD to include being in serious trouble. If it's just capture, the list would be shorter.
Eric Hughes
51. CireNaes
darxbane@41

I am not going to ignore the cultural element that is providing a twist on what is essentially the same scenario, even if others are willing to let him slide under the "nice guy" limbo pole of questionable activity. Both predators are working within the confines of their respective cultures and using what will get them what they want. If Rolan were hanging around Perrin's camp and pulling a Berelain then that would make him a tool who doesn't consider another culture's marriage vows as an obsticle for his desire for another woman. That is not what is happening here. When the object of your desire is in a state of captivity that you placed them in, then the whole ball game changes and the similarities abound between Mat/Tylin and Faile/Rolan. It negatively impacts the captive's ability to weather the captor's advances (and the motivations behind them). Rolan is using emotional connection and acts of kindness as a means 'winning' the heart of his captive. Notice what's wrong with that sentance? The captive bit. This does not make him a "nice guy" no matter how he helps her. It merely elongates the process and makes the transformation of the psyche of the captive into what the captor wants them to be much more permanent. It makes him an opportunist who fancies a woman who is off the market romantically and illegally obtained (by his cultural dictates anyway). If he had done all of that purely as care for the situation that he had gotten his gai'shain into (Sevanna and Therava) then we can start the golf clap. Not a slow clap obviously as she shouldn't have been taken as a gai'shain in the first place.

Edit: For a little more clarity thereby avoiding objectification.
Leigh Butler
52. leighdb
darxbane @ 41:

Assuming there can be any kind of legitmate and non-coercive "romantic" relationship between Faile and Rolan (i.e., a slave and her captor) is absurd.

"Courtship", by any sane definition, demands that the courted party be free to reject the courter's advances with no fear of reprisal or negative consequences by doing so. This is not the case here. There is no way Rolan is stupid enough to think that Faile isn't assuming that if she rejects his advances she risks losing his "patronage".

And just because he isn't pushing her on the trade (yet), that doesn't make it any less coercive. Or shitty. Even if he never acts on the implicit threat, it is irrevocably and unavoidably there.

And that? Is no courtship.

It's a protection racket, straight up, and morally no different than mobsters demanding payment from businesses to "protect" them from other mobsters. Except ickier. Rolan himself may not think of it in those terms, but if so he is, frankly, wrong.
Chris Chaplain
53. chaplainchris1
Nice recap and commentary Leigh!

Agree to a point on the analysis of the Faile situation, but I will add what I think are mitigating factors. (Again, this is not to say that I think Leigh is wrong - I think she's *right*. And I think the "it's fiction not anthropology/social commentary/meant to be taken seriously" kind of comments are, with respect, totally off-base. Fiction is the best kind of writing for making good/evil right/wrong sorts of commentary. And Jordan *obviously* wants us thinking about gender politics, since that's at the core of the whole WOT.

Anyway, mitigating factors:

1. Yes, it's only the women who got kidnapped, but that's b/c the men with the party were murdered out of hand. Which, I don't know if that mitigates anything really, but it's not like it's a *good* outcome for the men. Basic message is, life sucks for us all, if in different ways.

2. Gai'shain treatment and outfits *are* gender-neutral. It may only be women from Perrin's party who are kidnapped, but in the wider world it's men and women both who are kidnapped and dressed up in white with pretty gold belts by the Shaido.

3. Rolan, at this point, isn't *exactly* committing sexual blackmail. He's making an offer, but not making his behavior contingent on the outcome of his offer. He makes allowance for the fact that Faile's free to turn him down, and he'll still (supposedly) help out.

Ok, so he sorta is...definitely a hostile work environment! But he doesn't intend it to be coercive. Yay?

4. Faile's a damsel in distress, but never a helpless one. Nor are the others with her helpless. Did Perrin or Rolan rescue Faile & Co? Yes, but Maighdin rescued them first and foremost, by using the power to summon help, getting the attention of Faile's retainers. As for never reclaiming her own power - did Perrin rescue Faile from the Shaido, or did Faile rescue Perrin by killing Rolan?

In that moment Rolan pays for the evil he did, by the way - he's not narratively rewarded, and in fact, the narrative has him killed by the one he took captive. Faile's also the power that kills Masema.

Helpless damsel she is not. Unlike, say, Rand, who was helpless and in distress in Far Madding and was rescued by women.

So overall, RJ's track record is still pretty darn good.
Jason Deshaies
54. darxbane
Leigh,
Why is it absurd? Can you honestly tell me that there has never been a instance in real life where two people moved outside their initial relationship (captor/captive, enemy, etc) and came to love each other? The only way this is absurd is if we knew Rolan's intentions are not genuine; that his protection is contingent on Faile repaying the favor. Also, while the coercion can implied based on what Rolan knows about her and does for her, he never threatens to rat her out or stop protecting her when she doesn't reciprocate. And, Faile repeatedly rejects his advances. There is not one time where she gives in to his "charm". Sure she never flat-out tells him to piss off, but she never shows any physical affection to him, either. Unless of course you are implying that allowing someone to protect you from being repeatedly raped is being coerced just because that person likes you and puts flowers in your hair. If that's the case then I have no argument.
I really do appreciate this debate. I think this is the first post of mine that has illicited a response from you. It's like an early Christmas gift, and I'm not being sarcastic.
Chris Chaplain
55. chaplainchris1
I actually wrote 53 before reading Leigh @ 52, and I may be convinced.
Stefan Mitev
56. Bergmaniac
hamstercheeks @48 - "7. ToM, by Mellar (rescuers: Birgitte, Mat)" - this is not really correct, Mellar was already gone when Mat and Birgitte arrived. Not sure if the whole situation qualifies as a Damsel in Distress, since the only one who could've been said to have helped Elayne in this whole mess was Chesmal, who Healed her, and she was one of the bad guys.

When the Supergirls got captured on the way to Tear, they didn't really need the help of the Aiel to free themselves, since they were back in conciousness and destroyed 3 Murdraals in about 10 seconds, so the hndred or so bandits wouldn't have been a problem.
Tenesmus
57. normalphil
I think the Supergirls (and especially Elayne) ought to get a permament mulligan for being used in gender issues. It just isn't fair to use them in a sample. They've got head-damage.
Vincent Lane
58. Aegnor
leighdb@52,


Assuming there can be any kind of legitmate and non-coercive "romantic" relationship between Faile and Rolan (i.e., a slave and her captor) is
absurd.



"Courtship", by any sane definition, demands that the courted party be
free to reject the courter's advances with no fear of reprisal or
negative consequences by doing so. This is not the case here. There is
no way Rolan is stupid enough to think that Faile isn't assuming that if
she rejects his advances she risks losing his "patronage".



What you say isn't exactly true. Is it wrong for a very rich person to make a romantic advance to someone who is poor? After all, rejecting the advance would lead to negative consequences of not having a wealthy benefactor that they would otherwise enjoy if they were to enter a serious relationship with the rich person.
You would have a better argument if her situation would be worse if she turned him down, than if he didn't have any involvement with her at all. That is obviously not the case. The negative things are not a consequence of rejecting Rolans advances, but of being a gaishan. She is perfectly free to reject his advances and suffer no consequences that she would not suffer if he had shown no interest.

Also, Faile is not at all Rolan's slave. He captured her, and then
Sevanna took her. He has no authority over her, or at least very little. And what little he has, he has shown no indication of trying to exercise.
Tenesmus
59. Seamus1602
I hate Rolan more than most villains in this series. But I hate the 'redemption' of Rolan even more.

I can never forget that his decisions and actions led directly to the rape of multiple female characters (Alliandre, at least was specifically mentioned). Just because he decides he loves one of the women he kidnapped for no reason, and starts to protect her, does not absolve him of responsibility for the rapes of the other women he kidnapped and does not protect.

It is for this reason that I also HATED the 'we owe toh that cannot be repaid' scene in tGS with Faile et all. They don't owe toh. Rolan and friends still owe toh to them, toh that can never be repaid.

No matter which way you slice it, Rolan is willingly complicit in the rapes of members of Faile's party. That is not forgivable in any sense. I loved when Perrin smashed his head in in KoD, and only worried that doing so would cause more strife for them. Luckily, I only had to deal with the aforementioned 'we have toh' horrificness and some random mentions of Rolan's stone. I honestly hate Rolan more than most of the bad guys, largely because of the attempts to humanize him. I mean, even the freakin Seanchan don't rape their slaves.

So, in the end, Rolan
Tenesmus
60. Seamus1602
Rolan sucks worse than the Seanchan.

There was more that got cut off, too. Rolan is responsible for his actions, and those actions led predictably and directly to multiple rapes. F him.
Tenesmus
61. dubsub
Aegnor @58

I think a better analogy would be if a very wealthy person was the boss or patron of a poor person and then made advances.
Faile did have something to lose if she outright rejected Rolan -- she risked rape or worse at the hands of less honorable Shaido.
Tenesmus
62. Seamus1602
@Aegnor58

I disagree with your assessment completely.

"You would have a better argument if her situation would be worse if she turned him down, than if he didn't have any involvement with her at all. That is obviously not the case. The negative things are not a consequence of rejecting Rolans advances, but of being a gaishan."

So many things wrong with this statement. If she turns him down, the likely consequence is her rape. If he has no involvement with her, she will be raped. Further, she is only gai'shan to begin with because of Rolan and his actions. Rolan is directly responsible for her being gai'shan (a slave), and is thusly also responsible for what she must endure as part of that slavery. Whether she's 'his' slave or not, he is responsible for her slavery. Only setting her free can make up for that. Once her followers are raped due to his and his friends actions, NOTHING can make up for that.
Tenesmus
63. Seamus1602
@darxbane41

I realize that many here have a worse opinion of Tylin than I do. (Mat likes being with dominant women!) But to say that Tylin is worse than Rolan is hogwash.

Rolan made her a slave, knowing that rape was a possible (likely?) consequence. He and his friends are responsible for actual rapes.

Tylin used her dagger on Mat (which, if he'd any desire to do so, he could have gotten out of, easily). I can't call it rape when all Mat had to do to stop it is merely TRY to stop it.
Stefan Mitev
64. Bergmaniac
"I mean, even the freakin Seanchan don't rape their slaves."

Actually they most probably do exactly that. I highly doubt all those pretty da'covale with the seethrough robes are used just for the aesthetical pleasure of looking at them. And why do you think Suroth was given the Deadwatch Guard to serve them as they wish?
Tenesmus
65. KiManiak
60+ posts in 6+ hours? I gotta hand it to you, Leigh. You take boring, annoying chapters where not a lot worthy of note happens (basically, most of CoT) and more often than not, you find a way to get us talking about some interesting and thoughtful (and possibly controversial) aspect or interpretation or realization. Well done.

I don’t think I personally would interpret some of the story and characters’ actions in regards to the DiD scenario and its representations of sexism, fetishism, rape and sexual blackmail to the degree that Leigh states she has. But I do appreciate how Leigh’s re-reads and the comments on this site do have me constantly revisiting my opinion on things, resulting in it either changing or becoming more solid. Always food for thought…

Oh, and a Princess Leia and Return of the Jedi reference. Gotta love it! I had the Star Wars theme song playing in my head for the remainder of the re-read. There were some corny “use the force,” and “yank that chain” jokes that popped up, but I decided to spare you all.

cullion@45 – re: Faile & crew rescuing themselves. Umm, I must disagree. Whether it was Roland and the Brotherless rescuing them from the collapsed house or Perrin “rescuing” them from the Brotherless, they most definitely had some kind of help.
Max Espensen
66. Andvari
I wonder if this plotline would've been any better if it had been Perrin, Gaul, Galenne et al. who were captured and Faile had to rescue them. It got me wondering what might've happened, and to be honest my first conclusion was Perrin would just keep attacking people and get himself killed in 5 minutes...

Yep I would agree that the series as a whole does have a sexist overtone in a lot of these capture/exchange things - this also overlaps with another gender inequality thing, the prevalence of women being naked in public (for ceremony/captured etc.) and men not being in the same situation, the only example I can think of is Rand in TPOD post Fain-slash when he gets out of bed naked. (Note, I'm not clamouring for male nudity, just expressing how obvious to me the imbalance is). I suppose the homosexuality thing is the most extreme example and although there is a fleeting implication of it here it's hardly enough to call it a mention, as it basically is Faile going "OMG he doesn't fancy me, must be gay" and is even less valid as she is wrong anyway. Again, it's only noticeable by its counterpart being present.

This can all be summarised I suppose by the fact that even an excellent writer like Robert Jordan was writing from a certain perspective and had blind spots which caused inconsistency. It's a shame for his world-building that it was like that but at the end of the day I'm not going to stop reading it because there aren't enough strong women rescuing men or explicit mentions of male homosexuality.
john mullen
67. johntheirishmongol
Arrgh...this whole thing should have been wrapped up chapters ago.

Rolan, he has to realize he is in a position of power, even if he is being slower in his approach. And there may be a little Stockholm syndrome thing going on here as well.

The sooner this part is over the better.
Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
Okay, I'm going to write up my (hopefully brief) thoughts on the "horror" of the "sexism" in this chapter before I read anyone else's comments. I can only hope I'll be repeating a lot of people... but I doubt it.

While it is in a sense "sexist" I don't find the "damsel in distress" nature of the thing all that problematic. Quick example: look at the size of Nadric, and explain to me just how Faile, armed with... uh... a white robe and a jeweled belt and necklace, was supposed to do bloody anything to rescue herself. Like it or not, if you're a woman being scooped up and hauled off for playtime by a man 18 inches taller and a hundred-fifty pounds heavier than you, you're gonna need some help. So what?

She's surrounded by (whatever the numbers are) gazilion fighters and 4 or 5 hundred channelling Wise Ones, and her resources are pretty much limited to a very few other captives she can trust, not one of whom has so much as a knife to cut their bread, and one extremely weak channeller. I find it far more believable (not to mention plot-necessary) that she had to be rescued by Perrin (and in the short term, Rolan) than to imagine her finding a way out on her own hook, and leading all her faithful followers too, of course. The only way to pull that off would be to make the Shaido suddenly blind and lame, which would be far more egregious (to me) than all the complaints about the perceived dumbing down of the occasional Aes Sedai to make the supergirls look good.

The biggest reason it doesn't bother me, though, is that this plot isn't about Faile. Story-wise, it's all about rescuing her, and I think RJ had some excellent literary reasons for showing us Faile's situation, but in terms of actual plot it's about Perrin. He needs this experience (as I've argued many times before) to develop into the man he must be to fulfill his role in the Last Battle effectively. If Faile rescued herself, Perrin wouldn't go through the experiences he needs; he wouldn't form the (what I think will be) crucial alliance with Tylee Khirgan; he wouldn't learn the lessons he needs to learn about himself and leadership. And the Shaido wouldn't be neutralized.

So, maybe Faile, for all her wacky Saldaean fierceness and stuff, ends up needing to be rescued after being made to feel an object in several ways. (She needed to learn some things too, BTW, that she probably wouldn't have learned if she'd been able to rescue herself.) Maybe RJ spent a lot of time (words?) on her captivity, and maybe he made it more sexually charged than was necessary. (Incidentally, I find that a funny charge, after all the complaints about his "cut to the fireplace" approach to sex scenes in WoT, though.) As far as I'm concerned, it fits best with the things that needed to be achieved in the character development of one of our three ta'veren, so I don't have a problem with it.
Ben Reiskind
69. Alynn
Leigh, you're absolutely right about the damsel in distress tropes all being present, though Faile is (like many others have already said) a very determined and resourceful damsel, and to label her a DiD outright might bejumping the gun a little bit.

That being said, the kidnapping of Faile story line might have more of Jordan's trademark subversion than you seem to believe. He might be criticizing the viewpoint of certain people that when a man comes to rescue a woman it is always inherently misogynistic b/c of the gender roles involved.

Disregarding the various real world and Randland reasons and cultural mores that would lead to more women being kidnapped than men, and acknowledging that the DiD scenario is fairly antiquated and, yes, quite often sexist, this whole storyline might be to point out the psychological background of the man rushing in to save the day. That is to say, Jordan, in his meticulous detail, is reversing the standard tale by, firstly, giving us a Faile POV that is much less distressed than the sexist view of this story type would normally allow, and secondly by showing us the helplessness of the male, Perrin, through his POV.

So often, people assume that the hero rushing in to save the day is just some touhg guy out for glory (see Slayer's alter ego in the Two Rivers... which is actually a further comparison of these two characters... again acting as each other's foil ). Here we see that Perrin is desperate, just about as reckless in his usually well thought-out actions as he ever is. This is because he cares so much for the person he wants to rescue. This care is making him assume the worst... which, honestly, from personal experience and from conversations with friends, is what guys do a lot.
The genius of Jordan is that what Perrin is assuming as the worst is very, very close to the reality, thus emphasizing the rationale behind both his and his wife's reactions.
In comparing the state-of-mind of Faile and Perrin, it is telling that it is Faile, the kidnapped woman, who is the more calm, strategic and resourceful (given her circumstances). Perrin, on the other hand, is rash and panicked.

It's an interesting reversal. It's true that, ultimately, Faile will suffer the deeper psychological scars in the long run, but in the actual time of crisis, Perrin is clearly the more psychologically distressed.

So yeah... you have to look at the bigger picture here. Both sides of the story, look at both character before you jump to conclusions that this is another DiD fairytale with a helpless woman and a suave, collected saviour.

(Though, honestly, this is one of the more annoying plots in the whole series, I agree with you there)... and sorry for the length of this mini-essay.
Ben Reiskind
70. Alynn
Also, wow, I sound way more high-horse-y and soapbox-y than I mean to be. Sorry, Leigh, I like your posts and your comments a lot, and you are a great breath of (relatively) objective air in the my-way or the highway miasma of these here's internets.
Theresa Gray
71. Terez27
tesla@24 - About how to read 'did not like women that way' - agreed. Yet people have been offering up the same sort of arguments for years. Here in particular, it often degenerates to the pretense that all opinions on the subject are equal.
jeremiah lane
72. jc12741
@20 hamstercheeks

We find out that Annoura is not a DF. In her PoV right after she 1st meets Cad, Cad asks her if she knew anything about the vileness that happened 20 years ago. Annoura thinks to herself what vileness 20 years ago I was running around trying to keep the pact together. If shewas BA she should have thought about all the deaths of the lucky men and boys as all BA were order to seek out and kill them.
Alice Arneson
73. Wetlandernw
CireNaes @51 - Speaking of parallels... the first time Faile met Rolan, he did exactly the same to her as Tylin did to Mat - he sliced her clothing off her with a knife. In addition, he used some remnants of her clothing to tie her up, which I don't recall Tylin doing.

OTOH...

Seamus1602 @59 - As far as we know, Rolan is only responsible for capturing Faile. He was not the leader of the group that captured Faile & co, nor was he the only one there. You cannot legitimately blame the capture (and subsequent treatment) of Alliandre, Morgase, Lacile, Arrela, Bain or Chiad on Rolan. Each was captured and held by one Aiel, some male and some female, all of whom were following Sevanna's orders. If you want one person to blame, blame Sevanna.

tesla & Terez - Gotta disagree with "anyone who doesn't see ..... is seeing what they want to see." Not everyone here grew up with the same mindset, background or experience as everyone else. Frankly, your "immediate assumption" didn't even occur to me for many years. It's just not the way my mind works. I'm not saying that RJ didn't intend exactly what you assumed; I'm just saying that for me not to see what you saw is not necessarily wilful blindness, but a difference in perspective.

In other areas... I was struck on my most recent reread with the ways the different POVs about the Cleansing play out. Most of the significant POVs involve someone who has a means of knowing it's Rand (rather than the Forsaken) and have some reason not to interfere. I'd never really noticed that before. These are interspersed with minor scenarios where the only people around have no way of knowing what's going on. I'm sort of surprised more of those types didn't decide to go investigate, and get toasted for their trouble. It was fun to note this time how Mat, then Perrin, then Aviendha manage to keep those for whom they are responsible away from the Cleansing - and to realize that if they hadn't stayed away, they'd probably have been targeted and killed by Cadsuane's defense teams with no warning and no one to know what happened to them.

That was much more profound when I was thinking about it a couple months ago. It seems to have lost something in the meantime. Oh well. Maybe someone else can pick it up and run.

(Change of subject, anyone?)
David Platt
74. The Not So Dark One
Boquaz @35 - The Shaido arent actually villains - in the true sense of the word. From everything we are told they are the least honourable of the Aeil, and they have been subverted by a few bad leaders, which is why they are such poor baddies - for the most part their heart is not in it. This leads to the drinking and poor discipline as their culture tears itself apart.

AS for Rolan - He does have the excuse of cultural behaviour - It's no different from Maidens kiss or laying begoda wrathes or not drawing weapons at rhuidean - all these things are within the accepted culture of the Aeil.

And if saying - "Im going to help you, and if you choose to repay that help with liking me and consentual sex then thats great" is a crime then any guy who's ever taken a girl out for a meal, or helped her with her homework, or bought her a diamon ring is guilty of the same crime. The Gaishan thing is something that their culture does - no different to how Gaul is being twisted by his gaishan.
j p
75. sps49
Faile is not quite a typica DiD here; she is actively working to escape. Similar to Kip and Peewee in Have Space Suit, Will Travel and their unsuccessful escape attempts, if they hadn't tried they would be different characters.

Good point by prior posters that Rand was definitely a classic "damsel" in need of rescue in Far Madding; he was absolutely helpless there.

And IMHO,
Leia + metal bikini = Yum.
Shaido + extended S&M= blech.
bill morgan
76. runningmouth
Leigh - you do an awesome job on the re-reads.

Let us not forget that when Perrin and Faile are reunited, she jumps on him for him not considering that she might be working to free herself. Jordan may have been going to the DID well, but he knew it and acknowledged it.
Mikey Bennett
77. EvilMonkey
@ Seamus's extreme hate towards Rolan

Couple of points here. Yes Rolan did capture Faile and make her gai'shan. As stated by another poster Faile is the only one of the prisoners he is ultimately responsible for since he wasn't the leader of the party nor the director of the spears.
Second, I do not quite believe Rolan thought the Shaido had fallen as far in honor as we see later. Seems to me he intended to treat her like a normal gai'shan b/f Sevanna took them all for herself. Understand that I realize she should have never been taken gai'shan in the first place, but other than that glaring detail he was still planning on acting with honor.
Third, Faile never acceeded to his advances; why wasn't she raped or taken advantage of by him? If many of these posters are correct in saying that implicit sexual blackmail was indeed taking place, shouldn't something adverse have happened to her when she said no? As far as I can see she never so much as flirted with the man. She didn't toss him the coldest of cold shoulders but neither did she in any way attempt to become his blanket warmer. And yet she wasn't raped, she didn't lose his protection, and she had her life saved by him on at least 2 occasions.
Fourth, perhaps knowing he was wrong for the abduction, hollered at some of his Brotherless Buddies to provide protection to the ladies Faile came in with, unprompted by anyone. So he prevented the further rape and degredation of Faile's closest followers.
Lastly, he said himself that he should have never made them gai'shan in the first place after rescuing them from the collapsed building. With no garantee of getting some nookie, he still offers to help her and all her friends to escape to the nearest village, you know, shortly before Perrin makes his head explode. Honorable actions in an attempt to rectify a past mistake is what is going on here.
Do I think he is a hero or a great character? Not really. However, I still don't think he deserves the vitrol and hatred some people attribute to him. Just my honest opinion. For those who hate Rolan's guts, there's nothing I'm gonna say to change their minds. I just feel that Rolan ain't getting the benefit of the doubt from most fandom.

Shadowkiller
Tenesmus
78. Gorbag
I've been thinking, just how much of this is based on Robert Jordan's experiences as a US soldier in Vietnam - Shaido running rampant, violating the central tenets of their culture without thought, abusing the locals left-right-and-centre, etc?

If it is indeed based on his reflections on his tours of duty in Vietnam, I think he set out deliberately to offend. He's a very good writer - he certainly got a reaction, didn't he?
Chris Chaplain
79. chaplainchris1
@72 jc12741 Re: Annoura - no, you're remembering it backward. That's not Annoura's POV we get, it's Merana's. Annoura is there, and per Merana some of her reactions are suspect, and Merana also notes that she didn't realize Annoura was part of trying to keep the pact together. This raises the possibility for the reader that Annoura really *wasn't* involved with that, and that her odd reactions may indicate that she does know what the Vileness is. It's one of the many oddities about Annoura that make many of us suspect she is Black.
craig thrift
80. gagecreedlives
Leigh I must admit I completley missed the sexual blackmailing by Rolan. Yep he was hitting on her but I am 99% positive in KoD he unveils his plan to set her free regardless of sexual favours.

And I kinda think that not only hitting on Faile (or any gai'shan for that matter) is just the done thing to do but I wonder if Rolan is trying to keep a degree of independence between the Shaido and the brotherless by helping Faile.
Both have refused to see Rand as the saviour but one group has completely abandoned their heritage while another is holding to it no matter what.

I also get a feeling that when your gai'shan its kind of like going to vegas, What happens wearing gai'shan, stays in gai'shan

Am I the only one that wonders if difference between Elyas and Noam is the acceptance of the wolf dream?

As for the guys not getting captured or imprisoned as much I just thought it rolled with the whole theme of WoT. The boys do outright violent struggles where death and destruction is on the line and the girls tend to try and capture and subdue (also fits with saidar vs saidin).

All the guys in there fights have been massive epic duels ivolving lots of movement while on the female side it seems to be more of a contest of wills. I cant remember the boys taking a lot of prisoners but I can certainly remeber our girls doings so.
Eugenie Delaney
81. EmpressMaude
The Not So Dark One@74

First of all - "begoda wrathes"?

"AS for Rolan - He does have the excuse of cultural behaviour - It's no different from Maidens kiss or laying begoda wrathes or not drawing weapons at rhuidean - all these things are within the accepted culture of the Aeil."

Well, setting aside your implicit endorsement of moral relativism, even if we are to accept that Rolan is merely doing what his culture has programmed him to do, and therefore can't be held all that responsible , you will recall that the taking of Wetlanders is against ji'e'toh , because you can't expect people to be bound by a code of ethics and honor IF THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT IT.

The fact that Faile and her entourage were captured while engaged in recreational activities and yes, Rolan participated in that, is an utter perversion of the system by which you seek to forgive Rolan.
Debbie Solomon
82. dsolo
I always felt kind of sorry for Rolan and the other Brotherless. They were Aiel who couldn't accept Rand's revelations and so, wound up with the Shaido, which didn't go as planned. I think that they were already regretting it. Remember, the prophecy about Rand said that he would break all bonds. The Aiel started unraveling from then. There are the ones that are choosing to stay gai'shin after their year and a day, the sis'whatever with the headbands, the Brotherless, the run amok Shaido and the ones following Rand. Rolan and the others are trying to keep to the Aiel tradition, but they're definitely mixed up with the wrong crowd.

I didn't mind the PLOD when it first started, and I did find parts of it interesting, as Faile does begin to grow as a person. My biggest complaint about it was how long it took to resolve. As for emo Perrin, I agree with the poster that mentions Perrin's entire family's slaughter may be contributing to his emo state. Faile is literally the only family he has left.

As for Perrin Goldeneyes in TR, he thought he was going to die, so he was fatalistically calm.

I think what RJ was trying to show here was society coming apart at the seams, and how different people react. The Brotherless seemed to have jumped from the frying pan to the fire. They wanted to continue the Aiel way of life, then suddenly found themselves mixed up with a group of Aiel that were really not about the jie'toh. Rolan and the others seem to be realizing this, and their assistance to Faile, etc is their way of redressing that. The WoT is not only about the big battles, it's about what makes a society and what breaks it. The world changed after the Breaking, and new customs arose. This is a new Breaking, what will survive?
Chris Chaplain
83. chaplainchris1
On other things:

Poll for those so inclined. Is there a Black sister among the Aes Sedai with Perrin? And if so, which one? My money has been on Annoura, but post-TGS and TOM, as plotlines are being resolved, I'm beginning to guess that none of them are Black and we won't spend any time on the various oddities.

On the superboys: I really hadn't realized how long it's been since they've been together. No wonder, at times, it seems like they're hardly even friends. That's probably why the Perrin/Mat interaction in TOM felt so good - they were actually catching up and acting like old friends.

Was that the first time since the Stone of Tear that Perrin and Mat had been together?

I guess Rand & Egwene in the WT in TOM was the first time they've been together since LOC, right?

But, if Mat, Thom, and Moiraine make it, Rand & Egwene's confrontation at the Field of wherever in AMOL ought to reunite practically everybody. OMG SQUEEage.

Another poll: Is Elyas right, wrong, prudent, short-sighted, or otherwise, in his avoidance of Tel'aran'rhiod?
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
That reminds me... When (if) they all get together at the FoM, and have a chance to talk, it would be everyone who left Emonds Field together, plus Nynaeve, minus Lan. Will Moiraine get on Nynaeve's case for letting Lan run off to fight at Tarwin's Gap? Or will they whack Rand over the head and together take a legion or so of Asha'man and Aes Sedai to provide support? Or... something else or in between?

Chris @83 - I rather assume that one of Perrin's AS is black, just because it seems narratively appropriate, but I'm not ready to point fingers yet. There just doesn't seem to be enough to go on. I hope it's not all three.

Re: Elyas... I can only think he's made the best choice for himself. Noam needed TAR for his own sanity; in the real world, he doesn't function well. (Understatement, anyone?) Perrin, for several (mostly Pattern-necessitated) reasons, needs to be able to function well in both worlds. Elyas? He hasn't yet had any real need for TAR, and maybe he never will. And as he says, it's a dangerous place. He's been relatively content with his life in the real world, so has never felt any need to make use of it. I would also speculate that he doesn't enter it as naturally, almost irresistably, as Perrin does. (It seems to me that the Pattern more or less shoved Perrin in headfirst, so he had to learn.)
Tricia Irish
85. Tektonica
Wow...I checked out of here yesterday at about #17. You've been busy arguing!! All I'm going to say is:

Isilel@21 and Lannis@22: Yup. I'm with both of you.

Dsolo@82: You too.

Poll: I think Annoura is Black.
Another poll: I think Elyas knows himself and doesn't trust himself to come back from the Wolf Dream, thus he doesn't go there.
Valentin M
86. ValMar
Wetlander @ 84

Well, after the inevitable, certain, cast-iron, obvious, blasphemous-to-argue-against confrontation between Moiraine and Cadsuane, little Mo will go and have a dust-up with Nyn too. No doubt ;) They'll whack Rand over the head as a matter of principal. As usual.
Unless I'm lost with the timing, I think Moiraine will be too late to induce an intervention to help Lan. Someone else will probably do it.

Also, I too think that it fits the symmetry of the story for one of the AS with Perrin to be black. I don't want her to be either Seonid or Masuri.

As for Rolan, I think some people are being a little harsh on him. As has been pointed out already, while not a shrinking violet he continued to protect her without any tangible reward. Maybe originally he thought that he'll get into the cookie jar eventually and in the end events forced him to do the right thing regardless.
My gut reaction as he was killed was real sadness. The rememberance ceremony for the Brotherless was rather touching.
TW L
87. Shadow_Jak
Thanks Leigh. Good review and great fun, as always, to read your commentary

And the Emo continues to continue.

Let me preface to say that I'm a bit of a rookie at this internet posting suff.But just wondering... Am I the only person on this re-read that has never before seen the term "emo? I am? Really? Oh well, guess I'm just old as hell and out of touch.

Already mad... @ 14

Rolan is a creep.

Concur. He knows she is married, knows she was captured (by him personally, no less) against his code of honor. He teases her about helping her to escape (later) in an obvious at a tit for tat response (and I do mean tit). Perrin's hammer to the head was too good for him

Sub @ 19

Edit- I also see we have gone down that road again for sex, gender preference and all that fun stuff. This should be a fun thread to read come Monday:(

Leigh just uses that stuff to stir the pot a bit. Can't let things get too tame. (I think she gets paid by the number and length of responses!)

@ 15. enre male homosexuals.
Don't forget Hu and Tad, the stablemen from the Winespring Inn. Never see one without the other. Can't tell me there isn't something going on there. ;-)

Notsodark @ 74

And if saying - "Im going to help you, and if you choose to repay that help with liking me and consentual sex then thats great" is a crime then any guy who's ever taken a girl out for a meal, or helped her with her homework, or bought her a diamon ring is guilty of the same crime.

Only if he kidnapped her first and then helped hold her captive.(edit to try and remove some of those stinking spaces!)
Thomas Keith
88. insectoid
Still hanging out on the sideline with Woofer. ;)

Poll: It does make logical sense plot-wise for there to be a BA with Perrin's group; Annoura is a likely suspect; after all, wouldn't the BA want someone attached to every ruler?

Then again... the same plot-logic can also be applied to Mat's group; he has three AS with him as well! (Maybe Edesina? After all, she was sent to Ebou Dar by a known BA.)

Bzzz™.
TW L
89. Shadow_Jak
Wetlandernw @84 and others

Perrin, Elyas and the wolf dream
Perrin (and Rand and Mat) were all hauled into the dream world by Ishy right from TEoW. Not to forget his "hedgehog" hunt for Faile.
So it makes sense that Perrin is more inclined to go there. And as mentioned, Noam was trying to escape the real world. (Elyas just had to escape his Aes Sedai!)

A possible anomoly in ToM. Perrin can speak to Noam just like any other wolf. But he cannot speak to Elyas in that manner. Would he be able to speak to Elyas in the Wolf dream? Or is the difference due to Noam being more wolf than man now?
TW L
90. Shadow_Jak
@83 the BA poll

I really wonder about this also.
Would make sense for there to be one there, but if so, she would certainly have heard about the kill order somewhere along the way. But it seems none of them have tried to kill him.

Same logic goes for Mat's team. Even more so, since his Aes Sedai have certainly had ample oportunity to communicate outside his group (Perrin's group has been a bit more isolated). So any BA would have to know the DO has put out a hit on him.

Also, in Perrin's last POV in ToM, he has met with Rand. Seems likely that he would want a look at any channelers with him.

So my predition, and I have a perfect record of foretelling (ie, I've never been right about anything. edit:just ask my wife) is that none of Perrin's nor Mat's Aes Sedai are BA

So put me down for no.
Tess Laird
91. thewindrose
Elyas - So do any of you think Rina will be calling him back for warder duty?

Rolan - he left his clan because he could not accept what Rand told the Aiel. He and his 'Meridin' brothers join the Shaido and follow Sevanna as the clan chief. One of those things they do is take wetlander gai'shain.
There has to be some point where a person takes responsibilty for their actions. He has now found that he has an attraction (perhaps even love) for one he has made gai'shain. He knows now that he has made a huge mistake. I don't he would ever make Faile do anything against her will. I think he deeply regrets where his choices have led him and is trying to do something to meet his bad choices. (Yes - he is attracted to Faile - but that is not why he is helping her and her followers now.) We have Faile's PoV here, and so we know she thinks she needs to lead him on to keep his protection and maybe help to excape. When we get to the scene in tGS, Faile has realized this was not the reality of the situation(it was that Rolan owned up to his mistakes and was taking responsiblity). I thought Embers and Ash was very touching and well done.

tempest™
Kimani Rogers
92. KiManiak
Chaplainchris1@83 – re: poll – put me down for: Masuri (strong possibility), Annoura (50/50) and Seonid (little possibility).
-I buy into the parallels between Masuri (darkhounds) and Sheriam (13x13) in regards to knowing a little too much about the ways of the Shadow.
-Annoura’s had some shadiness, but who knows.
-Seonid, I don’t think we’ve seen much "questionable" to have us suspect her. Am I forgetting some "shady" behavior?

As for Elyas, I think he did what was right for him. I don’t think there is a definitive answer for this one.

wetlandernw@84 – re: Nynaeve and Moiraine – hopefully something in between (although both can say that they've already paddled Rand's backside) :-) Too bad Myrelle won’t be there as well so all of the AS who held Lan’s bond can have a nice heart to heart.

Shadow_Jak@87 re: Perrin is Emo – I vaguely recall hearing the term before here a couple of times (maybe on TV), but this re-read has definitely had me associate Perrin and his actions in this story arc with that word from now on. I go with it; it’s funny. Now I know what folks mean when they talk about emo music (I hope)…

Edit: Obviously I am not a musical expert. Well, its not like they jump in hip hop (unless its Kriss Kross) :)
Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw
Shadow_Jak @87 - LOL!! Must say that I'd never heard "emo" - at least used this way - until I got involved with this crowd. But some here would tell you I'm slightly older than dirt, so... we're good company!

@89 - I think Perrin could speak to Elyas in the Wolf Dream in the same way, at least if Elyas was willing to do so. It's truly a pity they can't do it in the waking world; scouting sure would have been a lot easier.

KiManiak @92 - One of the reasons I don't use the term "emo" wrt Perrin is that I actually looked up "emo music" when it came up here. Not an association I want in my head, so... I just cover my ears and hum really loud. :)
Jonathan Levy
94. JonathanLevy
Re: Ta'veren Telepathy
Say - when Rand dies, what does Mat see if a dozen people surround him chanting "RAND RAND RAND"?
I'm assuming the link won't be broken by a little thing like death, especially since he's supposed to come back one way or another.

Re: Not liking women that way
It always amuses me how people jump from "He doesn't like women that way" to "He is having sex with men" without it ever occurring to them that maybe he is not having sex with anyone.

37. FSS
Great list! I think that if completed it should be part of the FAQ. Permit me to correct a small typo - #12 should be:
12. Faile by the Shaido in PLLLLLLLLLLLOD (sigh)

Others, if you want:
- Mat playing Maiden's Kiss in the Stone of Tear - he only got back to his blankets in the morning! If you're counting Tylin, count this one too! :)
- What about Morgase by the Seanchan? That's when she saw Amathera doing poses of the swan.
Oh wait:
- Amathera by the Seanchan

Let's see:
- Teslyn by the Seanchan. We can lump Joline and Edesina with her.

I take it that 'Keeping it to Team Light' means you're not counting:
- Semirhage by Cadsuane
- Falion by Dollan Mellar
- Jaichim Carridin and his Tragic Death By Brandy (tm)
- Fain by Mordeth?
- Mierin by Moridin
- Moghedien by Nynaeve
- Moghedien by Shaidar Haran
- Moghedien by Moridin
Poor Moghedien!

48. hamstercheeks
Thanks for helping with the list!

52. leighdb
There is no way Rolan is stupid enough to think that Faile isn't assuming that if she rejects his advances she risks losing his "patronage"... It's a protection racket, straight up, and morally no different than mobsters demanding payment from businesses to "protect" them from other mobsters.
At this point in time, Rolan's patronage is offered entirely voluntary, and at some risk to himself. He is entitled to withdraw it whenever he wants to for any reason. How can withdrawing a privilege which you're under no obligation to provide be deemed coercion? The comparison with a protection racket misses the point entirely. In a protection racket, the protector is the same person who is behind the threat. It's not that Mobster A is protecting you from Mobster B, it's that Mobster A is demanding money otherwise HE will harm you and pretend it was Mobster B. At this point Rolan is not threatening Faile in any way. He is offering to protect her from genuine threats.


I see 58. Aegnor has made similar points in different ways.

Some people have argued that the fact that Rolan was the one to capture her changes things. That question requires perhaps a bit more thought to answer than I've given it so far. But the corruption of Gai'shiandom into da'covaleness is Sevanna's doing, and also the fault of those who go along with it. Rolan is part of this evil, and is guilty of his part regardless of whether he was the one who carried Faile off or was just standing next to the man who did it. But he is just one small part of an evil machine - he does not have the power to undo all that Sevanna has done. And he tries to do some small bit of good to counterbalance the large evil thing of which he is a part. For that, I think he deserves our sympathy. And the fact that he chose to work his good deeds with a pretty woman whom he fancies does not detract very much from their value. Even if he was moved to do this solely by Faile's beauty (retch), it would still only detract a little. Which of us ever did a good deed solely from pure motives? Even a man who tosses a coin to a blind beggar enjoys thinking well of himself afterwards.

74. The Not So Dark One
And if saying - "Im going to help you, and if you choose to repay that help with liking me and consentual sex then thats great" is a crime then any guy who's ever taken a girl out for a meal, or helped her with her homework, or bought her a diamon ring is guilty of the same crime.
What!? You've taken a girl out for a meal AND helped her with her homework!? You coercive sexist villain!! Don't you realize that if she'd turned you down she would have been worse off?? How could you do such a thing!? You're no better than Al Capone!

And don't even get me started on the diamond ring...

;)

87. Shadow_Jak
Don't forget Hu and Tad, the stablemen from the Winespring Inn. Never see one without the other. Can't tell me there isn't something going on there. ;-)
Remember, the stables are full of livestock... hm... perhaps that explains why Bela ran so fast to Taren Ferry! Rand's channeling had nothing to do with it.
David Platt
95. The Not So Dark One
Johnathon Levy @94 -

Its okay I deliberately did her homework badly so that I could live with myself morally - as caught so astutely by Empress Maude@81 - my typos can be quite awful.
Valentin M
96. ValMar
Re Mat's AS. He "acquired" them by chance. So the BA didn't have the opportunity to arrange for this. And the Forsaken were totaly clueless about him at the time. Also, there is the matter of Mat's luck. It might have improved the 1/5 odds of an AS being BA.

About the Rolan business. Whilst I do get a little dodgy feeling about it, what it comes down to is how cynical one is towards him.
I see no reason to assume the worst, as some have done here, given that his actions in the end prove the opposite.

JLevy & TNSDO @ 94,95

Good ones. Now if only you manage to prove that Rolan is not the evil mastermind behind the Shaido degradation.
I think that the problem for the Brotherless regretting their decision to join the Shaido is that they were split up and send deep into "enemy" territory. They had to stick with the Shaido.
Tricia Irish
97. Tektonica
Windrose@91: Well put. I agree.......And I hope you're not out shoveling....looks like the tundra is getting quite the dusting!

Jonathan Levy@94: Good points all, and you sir, are very funny!

Emo = Emotional: Derived from that wretched whiny love/life sick music. Not to be confused with Eno, Brian, an entirely different kettle of fish.

Question: I'm sure this will come up at some point, so I'll throw it out here, in hopes this thread might change direction slightly....

Why, with 4-500 channelers with the Shaido in Maldan, Wise ones all, I assume (except for Galina), does NO ONE kill Savanna?
The woman is a menace. She can't channel. She hasn't passed any Wise One tests. Why do they put up with her claim to lead? We know she rules by fear, but she would be so easy to take out. So what if she was married to a clan chief who died? No other woman has ever acquired leadership in the Aiel in this way? She is pretty much solely responsible for the mess the Maladan Shaido find themselves in.

The Brotherless, who rejected Rand's vision of their history, and want to return to the way things have always been, could certainly be the instigators in a movement to remove Sevanna, as she is even furthering the corruption of je'i'toh and Aiel customs.

'Tis a mystery.....of course the case could be made that the Plod required it. *Sigh.* So many disgusting aspects of this story line and many of these characters, makes these chapters really tough going, for me.
john massey
98. subwoofer
@Shadow Jak- it's not you, there is some wonky formatting going on when the " box is used. When the switch was made, my posts were a mile long because of the spacing gaps. Real pisser. It's not much better now either. Methinks the tech folk need to work on this- @Torie- Help!!!

@Insectoid- yeah- no good can come of this...

Just grinds because whenever these topics come up we really go off the rails. Heck, we cease using rails. Heck, we cease using wheels. Why don't we talk about other fun stuff in the WoT world- like how much fiber do they have in their diets and the absence of hemorrhoids?

This topic occurred to me for several reasons. The first being the weevils. Now back in the day food was not so refined so diets were packed with tons of nutrients and fiber. White bread was not really around, and raw veggies were in abundance. The DO comes along and spoils all the food and deals a savage blow to Randland in general- everyone gets bunged. Mind you, I suppose it is tough for dried lentels to go bad and most grains should be intact but still, folks need their veggies. Scurvy sucks. And do we hear about stuff like oranges and bananas? Would sure help with my killing Suffa with banana peels and a sheer cliff idea.

The other reason about the piles angle is all the horse back riding. Man that has got to be an epic feeling when there is inflamation down south. Saddle would be a medieval torture device. OTOH that jarring might stimulate the digestive system. Sorry, but this occured to me and I'd rather comment on this happy subject than the one that we seem to be focused on currently.

Black Ajah- well, there are a fair chunk of them floating around. I wonder if the DO gives them fiber. Anyways, given that membership in the BA seems fairly spread out amongst the Ajahs it would not be surprising to me to find a few Sisters with Perrin. What becomes the grey area for me is how many Wise Ones with Perrin are baddies and do they know the Sisters that are baddies and are giving them a pass?

We know that the Aes Sedai from Rand's camp are "apprentices" to the Wise Ones. Has their studies brought anything to the Wise Ones or are the Aiel being duped as well?

@Wet- they have medals for being as old as dirt;)

Edit- we could always explore the options of Leia in the metal bikini, heh;)

Woof™.
Tenesmus
99. vaxxils
Here is what I hate! Faile gets all pissed at Perrin for even mentioning Berelain, and here she is planning to sleep with a man. In later books she's says Perrin just doesn't need to know. What a hypocritcal cheating character! Perrin never once thinks of betraying her with Berelain.
Tenesmus
100. AndrewB
The Not So Dark One @ 74 said:
"The Shaido arent actually villains - in the true sense of the word. From everything we are told they are the least honourable of the Aeil, and they have been subverted by a few bad leaders, which is why they are such poor baddies - for the most part their heart is not in it."

I disagree with your analysis. The same thing was said about some of the Nazis who were stationed at the Concentration Camps: "they were just following orders."

Sometimes, following orders is not an acceptable defense. Nazi's stationed at Concentration Camps and the Japense executing US prisoners who could not keep up during the Bataan Death March are two such examples. Likewise, Shaido Aiel so abandoning and perverting their culture that they capture non-Aiel making them gaishain for life and assaulting gaishan is another example.


Subwoofer @ 98 said: "Edit- we could always explore the options of Leia in the metal bikini, heh;)"

When I first glanced at your above quote, I thought you wrote the following: "we could always explore the options of Leigh in the metal bikini ..."

Just saying that the words "Leia" and "Leigh" look alike when you read them quickly.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB

Edit: Finally, I get the 100th post. Take that those of you who sit around with nothing better to do than wait and jump on spot number 100.
Maiane Bakroeva
101. Isilel
ValMar @96:

I disagree. How many times were we told that Aiel are so awesomly sneaky that wetlanders only see them when they want to be seen? And they are so great at forage that they can hang around countries for months without impacting the food situation of inhabitants at all?
Mera'din chose to join the Shaido, and every day they chose to stay and abet them. I'd have had more sympathy for Rolan if he had been a Shaido.
Not that I hate him, but a good guy he wasn't, leave alone his fellow Brotherless who did accept sex from prisoners in exchange for their protection.

Tectonica @97:

I really don't understand Shaido WOs at all. It is as if they have somehow cheated on the 2 WO tests or maybe that the ter'angreal denied them the visions that everybody else gets. I mean, really, wouldn't, say, collaring for the rest of her natural life be an important enough event in any woman's life for her to retain memory of it and what could lead to it after the Rings? Or destruction of her clan?
Maybe some cleverly placed DF WO has poisoned trust of the Shaido WOs in both visions some time ago and they see it all as a trick of those long-ago AS? IIRC, there is little if any exchange of apprentices among the clans, unless they have Dreaming, so maybe the Shaido WOs have some kind of twisted tradition, compared to everybody else?
They were quick enough to accuse Moiraine of falsifying Rand's dragons. Hm... Damn, I should have asked BWS this, because it really begs for some explanation.

Re: Mat's AS, I agree that it is unlikely that any of them was BA. BAs were seemingly warned about the Seanchan - even the Keystone Koven managed to escape Tanchico intact, IIRC. And their ability to lie and to kill would have come out in the course of their breaking too, I am sure. And besides, they seemingly all went to TV and reswore without any problems.

Perrin's AS... it would have made eminent sense if at least one of them was a BA, but I don't see how after ToM it could be reconciled with their lack of attempts to kill him or his in any way, after the order went out. I mean, the BAs can be contacted in their dreams when something important comes up (viz. Delana who dreamed about Aran'gar).
It would be just ridiculous at this point if one of them turned out to be BA... unless it was one who was having second thoughts, like Ingtar.
Theresa Gray
102. Terez27
Even Graendal was reluctant to try to kill Perrin because he is ta'veren. Any number of things could go wrong. It maybe be that Masuri and/or Annoura are doing other things to undermine Perrin, and taking few risks so as to not be discovered.
Steve Cook
103. sccook
Much of what Faile goes through is due to the perversions of Aiel tradition perpetrated by Sevanna and the Shaido. Much like the story of Nazi Germany, a few truly evil men along with the inaction of many led to the horrors of the Holocaust. Thus through Faile’s story, we see that the Shaido have well and truly earned what will eventually happen to them.

From my perspective, the Faile/Shaido/Perrin plotline is simply another needlessly complicated and drawn out plot line whose main purpose is to stretch out the story for as many volumes as humanely possible. The milking of the WOT began with ACOS with the invention of Cadsuanne and the equally long, frustrating, and mostly useless search for the Bowl of the Winds.

Complaints about alleged anti-feminist leanings of Jordan pale in comparison to these two broader points.
Valentin M
104. ValMar
Isilel @ 101

I thought a little more about it and besides the fact that we keep being reminded that the Aiel are superhuman there is one more thing. When looking for Rand there were hundreds Aiel travelling at lenght in the "Wetlands", including cities, and no one appeared to notice. Also, the large groups of Shaido moving around are little more than a rumour.
There's no one to take a photo on their iphone and tweet it around.

I'm just trying to find a reason why would a decent Aiel stay with the Shaido. Probably those who joined them are less decent than the average. For them staying can be the easy, safer option.
Bridget Sullivan
105. Ellid
Recall, that Graendel and Sammael basically scattered the Shaido, but that Sevanna made sure she got all the channeling Wise Ones, plus she had her hand-picked cadre murder a pregnant Wise One (and pretend it was an Aes Sedai) as a way of manufacturing a causus belli against the Wetlands. Or something.

In any event, we did see that sympathetic sept whose septleader had decided to rally the septleaders against Sevanna, but then he was evidently killed.
Thomas Keith
106. insectoid
Sub @98: Oranges and bananas? Nope, never! (According to IdealSeek.) They do have peaches, plums, grapes, and by extension, raisins. ;) I love your "sheer cliff" idea for Suffa!

AndrewB @100: Good for you!

When I first glanced at your above quote, I thought you wrote the following: "we could always explore the options of Leigh in the metal bikini ..."


ROFL!! I'm wondering whether she'll find that flattering or not... otherwise, please forgive us Princess Leigha. :)

Bzzz™.
john massey
107. subwoofer
Hey hey hey now! Let's not be puttin' words in ol' Sub's mouth here! Getting me in trouble with our fearless leader... I can do that very well on my own thank you, don't need help from other people here ::coughAndrewBcough::

Glad we are onto other topics now. Was going to bring up the craptastic weather I am experiencing...

In a nutshell- the Shaido are up the creek. Sevanna hooped the whole Clan tho'. Her and that fiery red-headed nutbag should have been voted out of the tribe or something. When they started disturbing stuff at Rhuidean and then onwards to the Golden Bowl, folks shoulda put a stop to things then. I know it was a numbers game at the time, but still, folks in the clan should have seen disaster looming on the horizon. Since Rand was promoted "Chief of chiefs" things have not gone well for the Shaido. Some of their Wise Ones should ahve been earning their tittles. I suppose somebody had to play the "bad guy" in the Aiel saga tho'.

Woof™.
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
Very glad to see the subject wandering...

In defense of such vitriolic issues, however, let me remind you that when a similar debate came up about 14 months ago, it resulted in a veritable feast in the bunker, and the beginning of many such. (I might be wrong on this, but I'm reasonably sure that was the beginning.) Someone offered cookies in a (rather flat attempt to be) sarcastic comment aimed at people he thought disagreed with him - or at least didn't agree fervently enough, which seemed to amount to the same thing to him. *sigh* Lannis, however, proceeded to offer freshly baked snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies, and... well, things lightened up and we turned our attention to feasting instead of fighting. And we all had a lot more fun for it, too!

Let's hear it for Lannis, scholar of the Blue Ajah! :)
William Fettes
109. Wolfmage
I'll just echo everyone else here who thinks the Faile rescue plotline is rather egreciously belaboured. I also more or less agree with Leigh that this plot is a bit tainted by the overuse of the DiD convention. I know some have objected to Faile's travails being characterised so passively, but I just can't overlook the fact that but for Perrin and Rolan she would be absolutely stuffed. Her main achievement in this section is providing a source of comfort and inspiration for the other women who aren't as tough. She displays some modest character growth through the adversity of the situation, but not enough IMO to make it feel like a worthwhile payoff for the sheer amount of chapter ink invested.

I think this plot would have worked a lot better if (aside from being far shorter) Faile or one of the other captives had extracated themselves - either through an escape or some other shift in the power equilibrium between Therava and Sevanna.

Isilel@101

Yes, the Shaido WO's are a funny abberation in the series. Given the role of the Rhuidean archway and rings in the raising of Aiel WOs (which ought to mitigate at least some of the clan's common combustible tendencies and flaws), and the otherwise successful record of the universal customs and conventions touching on WOs for all other clans, it seems a little weird that the Shaido WOs are so messed up. They are so quick to abandon even a vague pretence of ji'e'toh that it seem like they're almost a cardboard evil parody of what a WO is supposed to be. But I guess the Shaido in general are fairly inscrutibly evil/stupid as a Aiel Clan, baring the Shaido maidens who follow Rand.
Alice Arneson
110. Wetlandernw
Maybe the ancestors of the Shaido had a significantly different attitude and/or experience, such that the Shaido leaders gain a twisted perspective from their trips through the columns. It seems that the rings ought to give the Wise Ones, at least, some mitigating warning, but depending on what they see in the columns maybe they place less value on that warning than others do. It's the only thing I can think of that would give them such a clan-wide, and apparently multi-generational, warped perspective of ji-e-toh. I also think it's a defensible possibility.
Tenesmus
111. Viddles
Gorbag@78:

Interesting; I didn't think about the Vietnam angle.

I did have a similar line of thought re Jordan deliberately trying to offend our sensibilities. I think that the reason the Shaido are portrayed the way they are is that we as readers have no frame of reference for ji'e'toh.

We are sort of vaguely aware that honor==good, but we don't live in a society for which honor and shame are the basis of everything. Doesn't matter how many Aiel say "The Shaido dogs have abandoned ji'e'toh!", we (or I, at least) don't really understand what it means; we can't feel it in our gut even if we understand it on an intellectual level. We don't feel the utter outrage that the rest of the Aiel do.

By showing what suddenly has become acceptable in a Shaido camp, and contrasting it with all the other Aiel camps/holds we have seen thus far, we get an understanding of just how far the Shaido have fallen, and just how perverted their new version of Aielness is. By showing them doing things that are shocking and outrageous even to us, Jordan is allowing us to feel just how horrific the Shaido have become.

Oh! Just thought of another name for the PLoD - the VAielness.

Or maybe not.
Alice Arneson
112. Wetlandernw
Completely OFF TOPIC note... for my friends who have recommended Malazan, I'm sorry. I've tried and tried, and I just can't get hooked. I'm afraid it's falling to the eight fatal words: I don't care what happens to these people. The writing itself is good, and I haven't found anything "too repulsive to read," but I just don't care. I don't know if it's the story, the characters, the world-building, or what, but I'm just... un-gripped. After a week or so of reading whenever I had time, and several more weeks of making myself pick it up when I had time, to be sure I was giving it a fair chance, I decided to give up. I don't have time or energy to make myself work that hard to read a fantasy! So I've given it back to the library; if, in a few months, I find myself thinking about it or wondering what happens to someone in it, I'll try it again. If not... oh well. I'm sorry; I really tried. It just didn't work.
Janet Hopkins
113. JanDSedai
I'm also sitting on the sidelines watching the dust-up. I somehow don't really care about these chapters one way or the other. I kinda wish that that RJ had left the whole PLOD out of the last two books, and picked it up when there was something to report. But the outcry from the fans when plotlines were omitted (Perrin in FoH and Mat in PoD) probably caused RJ to feel that he would cheat his fans by leaving out characters.

Speaking of feasting, it's time to think about a holiday party! My doctor has made me eliminate sugar, white flour, and potatoes from my diet (what's left?!), so I will be trying some lean protein/ vegetable dishes. I do have some home-made tatziki that turned out great, and the Bunker is welcome to share it.
Alice Arneson
114. Wetlandernw
JanDSedai @113 - Sugar, white flour and potatoes? What's left, indeed! Umm... Wow. All my favorite goodies involve at least one of those. Will have to think on it for a while. I'm sure we'll come up with something! I can cook gluten-free, but when you knock out the sugar and potato (I assume that includes potato flour?) as well, it gets dicey. However, I make a really good french onion soup, and if you leave out the bread (or use whole wheat, in your case) it should work. :)
Jonathan Levy
115. JonathanLevy
95. The Not So Dark One
You deliberately did her badly?? Oh wait - 'the homework badly'...

96. ValMar
Also, there is the matter of Mat's luck. It might have improved the 1/5 odds of an AS being BA.
Interesting way of looking at it. A rather scary statistic, come to think of it. What organization has ever been so thoroughly penetrated?
Good ones. Now if only you manage to prove that Rolan is not the evil mastermind behind the Shaido degradation.
Well, scattering the Shaido was Sammael's work, and he and Demandred were never able to work together, and since Rolan is obviously Demandred, that proves it.

No? :)

101. Isilel
I really don't understand Shaido WOs at all. It is as if they have somehow cheated on the 2 WO tests or maybe that the ter'angreal denied them the visions that everybody else gets. I mean, really, wouldn't, say, collaring for the rest of her natural life be an important enough event in any woman's life for her to retain memory of it and what could lead to it after the Rings? Or destruction of her clan?
Wow, that's a good question, isn't it? I'll toss out some half-baked ideas.

- Authorial oversight?
- Maybe they saw it was inevitable?
- Maybe they saw that the alternatives were worse? As in, the only Aiel who will survive TG will be the ones collared by the Shaido? Ugh.
- Maybe it was very unlikely, and they only saw it in a very small number of visions, so it didn't leave much of an impression?
- Maybe the Wise Ones foresaw a much more boring and draw-out plot than the PLOD, and decided to sacrifice their clan for the sake of the readers' sanity?

Lame excuses, I know. The Future-visions Ter'angreal is supposed to help you guide your people away from disaster. However you spin it, "Shaido Wise Ones" and "avoid disaster" don't go well together.

104. ValMar
I'm just trying to find a reason why would a decent Aiel stay with the Shaido. Probably those who joined them are less decent than the average. For them staying can be the easy, safer option.
Perhaps for the Shaido Ji is more important than toh? The Aiel in Aviendha's visions had that attitude, and their demise was Shaido-like in some ways.
Derek D.
116. Machinery
I can't say that I really found any of Faile's whole deal overtly sexist, or even really sexual. Sure, being strapped to a cart naked for days could be viewed as sexual, I guess, but being tied naked to things is a time honored torture tradition, and was rarely a sexual thing, and more of a 'survive these elements if you dare!' kind of thing. And it's probably extra-punishment for being a wetlander; an aiel would probably have no problem chillin' in the rain all naked, but everybody knows wetlanders are weak and soft.

Even the whole 'wearing gold jewelry' thing was a sexual thing, in context. It's a 'I belong to x' kind of deal, and ownership isn't always sexual. I can't really see Sevanna putting the sex on all of her Slave-people, I think she's just REALLY obsessed with showing off.

As for Rolan's whole deal.. Again, not really seeing the problem with the guy. He captured Faile, but he doesn't exactly LIKE the whole thing, and he helps her out even when it's obvious he's not going to get any of that sweet hawk-nosed booty. He didn't seem all that thrilled about the rest of the men raping people, and in the end he was going to take Faile the hell out of there anyways. So, why is he a bad guy, again? Is it because he was hanging with Mrs. Sevanna in the first place? I suppose he could've just tried to run away and get stabbed for his troubles, probably ending that whole Faile plotline prematurely anyways, or he could've, I don't know, stuck it out and actually do some good. Oh wait, he did.

Rolan? More like BROlan.

I think everybody's just really reading too much into everything. Not every spanking, poking, flagrant nudity, or smooching is a sexist, or even sexual thing.
James Hogan
117. Sonofthunder
Hm, see I'm a little late to the party...but that's all well and good with me. While the Perrin chapter's not that bad, the Faile chapter is just...excruciating. I'm sorry, Faile, I really do like you most of the time, just not these chapters with such un-fun people(Sevanna, Therava, Galina = best partay EVER. Not).

So, can I think of anything further to say on these chapters? Not really. I don't really feel like going into my thoughts on the perceived/actual "sexual" nature of the Shaido slavery, but I do think we can all agree that the Shaido are punks. True? True.

Also, Wetlander, I will add my voice to yours in your failure to appreciate Malazan properly. Sorry to all that I know love it so(Tek, looking at you!!), but I read the first book...and I just didn't fall in love with it. I agree with Wetlander that it was mainly due to me not really caring about any of the characters that much. And that dooms a book for me. I can definitely appreciate the intricate plotting, absolutely stunning worldbuilding and simply lovely description...but the characterers just didn't grip me. Sorry, y'all. I really really wanted to love it. Since I'm apparently incapable of enjoying Malazan though, I'll just let you all enjoy it for me. Or should I try another one? Or is my reaction to the first one indicative of how I'd feel for most of the series?
Tricia Irish
118. Tektonica
Wetlander and Sonofthunder:

Sad to hear you didn't get bitten by the Malazan bug. A few comments....I'm not sure I'd have fallen for the world without the reread on Tor and coaching from a few great commentors...thanks Fiddler, Taitastigon, and others. It is a dense and complicated beginning and you are dumped right in the middle of a 300,000 year history.

Also, Gardens of the Moon is really more of a prologue to the story, which really takes off in Deadhouse Gates, the next book. GotM was written 10 years before DG! SE became a much better writer in those 10 years and I must say his characters are the deepest, most involving, human, and flawed of any I've ever read. They and his philosophic musings are the reason I love it so much. He writes amazing dialogue.

But, as you say, to each his own.....if you ever feel so inclined, take a look at the reread thread here on Tor, or maybe give Deadhouse Gates a try.
Gerd K
119. Kah-thurak
@Wetelander & Sonofthunder


I don't have time or energy to make myself work that hard to read a fantasy!

I guess that is a key point in which WoT and MBotF differ. Erikson asks a lot more of his readers. He never gives a complete picture of anything in the first shot (if ever). While his characters are complex, flawed and have deep motivations, this is not necessarily told to the reader. It is hinted at, shown in the subtext. To some this is fun to read and challenging, to others just bothersome. Sometimes I wonder how it is possible to like both Erikson and Jordan, but then... I do. ;-)


Valentin M
120. ValMar
Viddles @ 111

Good point. Maybe the Shaido behaviour in the Wetlands shows what happens when the moral bounds which the Aiel place upon themselves are removed. When their apparently superhuman abilities are let loose to the worst effect.

J Levy @ 115
IIRC it was about 200 BA out of 1000 AS. This massive concentration of DFs may be because of 1- special effort by the Shadow, 2- the nature of the WT organisation and character.
Have we seen Demandred on screen in the last 2 books? ;)

Re Malazan
I picked up the first book few years ago and managed to get through it. But didn't pick up the next one. But it has been said here that the next one is much better. Maybe I should have a go. But what I also hear is that cast and location vary wildly between books (and timelines?). This I can find frustrating.

Kah-thurak @ 119
You sound like you haven't read the 11 WOT books written by RJ. But someone who has read both series, like Tektonica, should comment on this in more detail.
James Hogan
121. Sonofthunder
Tek, Kah-thurak, thanks for the input! I didn't really get the urge to read any more Malazan after finishing the first one(complete opposite with WoT - after EotW, I couldn't wait for more!!)...but if the next book(Deadhouse Gates) is really that much better, I think I may give it a try...can't hurt, after all.
Gerd K
122. Kah-thurak
@ValMar
I have read all WoT and MBotF Books multiple times (except for DoD and ToM). Naturally I can only give my subjective opinion on both works and I do like both of them, but concerning the complexity of the story, the WoT cannot compete with the MBotF. It wouldnt even want to I guess. Frustration in the WoT will come from staying at one point for so long that it is maddening. In the MBotF it is the other way around. Some things are difficult to understand on a first read, and if you have only read the first book once you only have the faintest idea of what it might be about in the long run.

@Sonofthunder
While I actually think that Deadhouse Gates is better than Gardens of the Moon, it is not necessarily easier to read. You just should try I guess. DG is my favourite fantasy book, and I read quite a few of them ;-)
Jonathan Levy
123. JonathanLevy
112. Wetlandernw

I had a similar reaction. A friend lent me read gardens of the moon. I finished it without a struggle, but had no urge to read any more of it.

119. Kah-thurak
(Erikson) never gives a complete picture of anything in the first shot (if ever). While his characters are complex, flawed and have deep motivations, this is not necessarily told to the reader. It is hinted at, shown in the subtext.

This is very true of WoT as well, no?
I guess that is a key point in which WoT and MBotF differ. Erikson asks a lot more of his readers.
Let me suggest a slightly different version of this for your consideration:
Both Jordan and Erikson created very rich worlds, which are rewarding for devoted fans.
The difference: If you don't put the effort in, you won't enjoy Erikson very much. But Jordan can be enjoyed even if you put no effort in. You'll miss 90% of the detail, but it's still a great story.

Or at least, it's true for books 1-7 and 11-13. 8-9-10... not quite as much.
Tricia Irish
124. Tektonica
Sonofthunder, Valmar, etc...re: Malazan:

The story(s) take place on multiple continents, with varied characters, over vast timelines. It is a puzzle and it is demanding. Just keeping the cast straight is difficult. Some characters overlap stories, and they do (eventually) come together. It is not an easy escapist read. It takes some work and some pondering. Someone said it was like eavesdropping on a conversation between old friends, where you don't know the backstory, and the reader has to fill in the facts as you get them....over numerous books!

That said, it is deeply philosophic, the people are very complex and fully realized, the action scenes are amazing, the humor and dialogue are real and honest......I find myself thinking about it constantly.

And I love WoT too...obviously....but they are very very different. And that's a good thing, in my book.
Gerd K
125. Kah-thurak
@Jonathan Levy
"This is very true of WoT as well, no?"

Actually in my opinion not very much so. The WoT is much more straight foreward. This isnt a bad thing. Just different. As I said I have read and like both works.
Valentin M
126. ValMar
Kah-thurak @ 122
I can't and don't compare WoT and Malazan. But Jordan's style in WoT is also "Show it, not Tell it". It is subtle. This is one of the main reasons why I like it. And everytime I re-read it I discover something new. Malazan plots maybe more complex (it won't take much for the characters to be) and subtle but you made it sound like all WoT books are like the last 2.
Also, as J Levy sais, you can follow WoT main plot without much effort but you'll miss out on much.
Just had to point it out ;)

J Levy @ 123
Great minds think alike it seems. Agree with the whole post, except that I got the book from the library, IIRC.

Tektonica @ 124
Thanks for the info. Chances are I'll check out the re-read on Tor for the first and then try the second book. I assume if I like WoT and aSoIaF I ain't complete simpleton and I'll manage Malazan's plots ;)
Gerd K
127. Kah-thurak
@Val Mar
Personally I rank The Gathering Storm among the better WoT books. I dont have the impression that the earlier books were more complex. They obviously contain more foreshadowing than the later books (because there was much more to foreshadow), which is something Jordan was pretty good at.

Do go ahead and look at the Re-Read on this site. It is pretty good I think. Maybe it will get your interest and you can see for yourself if you can share my opinion that the MBotF is more complex than the WoT, or not ;-)
Vincent Lane
128. Aegnor
dubsub@61,


I think a better analogy would be if a very wealthy person was the boss or patron of a poor person and then made advances.
Faile did have something to lose if she outright rejected Rolan -- she
risked rape or worse at the hands of less honorable Shaido.


But he is not Faile's boss or patron. At the time he makes the advances he has little to no power over her. You say that I am wrong and that Faile did have something to lose if she rejected him. I think you need to re-read my post. I never said she didn't have anything to lose, I said that her position would be no worse than if he showed no interest whatsoever in her.
Seamus1602@62,

So many things wrong with this statement. If she turns him down, the likely consequence is her rape. If he has no involvement with her, she will be raped.

So you are saying my statement is wrong, and then you agree with it. I'm confused. If she turns him down, she's raped by some Shaido (not true exactly, as he protects her anyway, but we'll go with it), if he has no involvement with her at all, she is raped. Its the same either way. She faces no negative consequences due to his interest. That is the key point. We all face possible positive consequences for accepting a romantic advance. Whether it be financial security, easily available...um...relations, oppourtinity to procreate, etc. The fact that you won't have those positive consequences if you don't accept the romantic advance, doesn't mean the person making the advance did anything wrong.

Further, she is only gai'shan to begin with because of Rolan and his actions. Rolan is directly responsible for her being gai'shan (a slave), and is thusly also responsible for what she must endure as part of that slavery. Whether she's 'his' slave or not, he is responsible for her slavery. Only setting her free can make up for that. Once her followers are raped due to his and his friends actions, NOTHING can make up for that.


His culpability in her enslavement is a completely different matter. He absolutely does bear some blame for her situation. He goes a long way towards atoning for his error, and eventually pays the ultimate price. I think he attoned for his mistake, but that is a matter of personal opinion.
Bill Reamy
129. BillinHI
Isilel @ 101: re DF's and Shaido: I don't recall (my memory sometimes seems to be as full of holes as Mat's was) but were we ever told (how many books back?) how Sevanna and Sammael hooked up? Did he find her or was she directed by a DF towards Sammael?

On a happier (cuter, at least) note, let's see if I can get a link inserted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-0WVfj76bo
a a-p
130. lostinshadow
Wow - go without much internet access for a month and boy does it take a long time to catch up on all the rereads. Well, I'm finally there!

Anyways - already in an annoyed mood due to RL so not touching certain topics on this particular thread.

Very sorry to have missed the various card games in the previous thread, though as ever no English speaker seems to be familiar with my favorite card game of King (yes, oddly enough though more often played by non-English speakers, it has an English name)

Back on point, regarding what is up with the Shaido WOs in particular...I've often wondered that myself but in light of ToM, maybe as Jonathan Levy alludes to at the end of his comment @115, the rapid degeneration of the Shaido actually foreshadows the potential degeneration of the Aiel as a people as shown in the wayforward machine?

I would assume that Avi is going to have some trouble convincing the other WO of what she saw, after all, from all that has been told to us so far, she should not have been able to go through twice and the columns are supposed to show the past not the future.

So assuming that our favorite Aiel are getting some kind of intel on just how the Shaido have been behaving, Avi can use the Shaido as an example of how quickly and easily the honorable Aiel are capable of abandoning ji-toh. After all it hasn't taken a generation for the Shaido to become totally disreputable, it has taken only a few years.

Re Malazan
As one of those who encouraged Wetlandernw to read Malazan, I feel bad she has not enjoyed herself. I seem to recall she has a love for a well made tiramisu, and since she's hankering for a feast at the bunker, I'm leaving some home made tiramisu for her. Enjoy!

On a more general note, I too have read both series multiple times now and quite frankly the level of detail and intricate world building in Malazan surpasses WoT exponentially.

I too love both series and WoT is very layered and complex with amazing foreshadowing but sorry, it terms of complexity and world building Malazan leaves every other story (of any genre) I have ever read in the dust. It's complexity is awe-inspiring

That said, a lot of it's characters are not at all likable, often one is drawn into the story despite the characters and despite even the story itself. And it is work.

Example: I read very very fast, I read ToM the first time in about 8 hours and I was trying very hard to make it last. I read any given Erikson book in about 1 week even if I'm skimming (I still refuse to read the poems). And then I need recovery time before I can continue onto the next one. (It takes me less than a week to read the whole of WoT and I don't ever want to take a breather).

My favorite books in Malazan would be 5-7 which actually start to bring in the various threads together. Until then it's more like reading stories that are vaguely connected but you're not really sure who, what, where, when and why. ;-) sorry about all that Malazan. p (and the tor reread is great!)
Tenesmus
131. hamstercheeks
JonathanLevy @94: It's a complicated mess, but it boils down to: Did Sevanna hold a gun/spear to Rolan's head/throat and force him to pervert ji'e'toh? If yes: he deserves our sympathy. If no: he's icky.

subwoofer@98: Hur, hur, hur. I believe the Trollocs get the highest fiber content in their diet. Team Light does not need fiber, as all Light-fearing souls can in fact photosynthesize sunlight via physiology. More in the WOT Outrigger: Biologies of the Wheel Edition.

Aegnor@128: Agreed, Rolan was doomed from the start. Making the moves on Perrin's lady? The narrative will never forgive him! And neither did Perrin.
Ron Garrison
132. Man-0-Manetheran
Rolan isn't killed until nearly the end of KoD. I foresee we are going to have to go through this many more times. Sigh.

Jonathan Levy @ 94: Well done.

Subwoofer @ 98: Excellent and funny attempt to change course. Alas...
Heidi Byrd
133. sweetlilflower
As referenced in some posts, there are honorable Shaido. These are the ones who left their clan to join with their socities and follow Rand. I am not going to join the Rolan debate, and I have never read the Malazan series.

I would like to make a point, hopefully a valid one. We don't know that payoff of the PLOD. We have not read the last book. Perhaps, after reading AMoL, we will look back at this plotline and realize how important it is. I am reserving judgement on the usefulness and pertinancy of this plotline until I have finished the whole series. Perhaps we could all show a bit of tolerance and patience?
Scott
134. Shard
You know I think you are on to something about the Taveren Trio not being together for so long. I remember Min talking how when Rand is around his two cohorts plus Supergirls, the Light fireflys are standing their ground against the Shadow, when they are away from him, the Shadow is wining.

Also I hardly call Rolan her rescuer. I'm sorry but Rand's kidnapping was WAY worse then what happened to Faile here.
Also I think the Pattern wants Mat and Perrin to return to Rand, and Perrin may have had an extra helping since he still needs to be there that "Second Time or Else Rand gets it BAD" thing.

I think as to why Elyas hasn't been Wolf dreaming is his Warder Bond, or he feels like keeping it to himself, men can be like that sometimes.

As far as the Faile kidnapping plot goes, I respect your opnion on this but I disagree. First off Faile and the group are being subjagated by women, second it's coincidence that Faile's group is all women as I am SURE that the Shaido have captured plenty of males.
Valentin M
135. ValMar
Kah-thurak @ 127
I have already conceded the fact that the Malazan is more complex than WOT- this looks to be the general consensus of their readers. But this talk of complexity starts to sound like who can eat the hottest chilli. Let's not allow this to detract from the true qualities of both the Malazan and WOT. To sum up, looks like it will be worth it having another go at the E&E saga.
As for my differentiation of WoT 1-11 and 12-13, it is about the style of writing. RJ shows what's going on (and is more subtle in general) so one has to keep more attention. Brandon tells in much more straightforward fashion, both inner monologue and in dialogs, so it's easier to follow. You have to draw less conclusions from your observations because it is laid out plainly before you.
Apparently Eriskon (and Estelmont?) also show- as someone wonderfully wrote "readers eavesdrop on the characters".

This overly verbose post of mine is to clarify what I meant on the differnce in the styles not which one is better. This isn't the place even if one wanted to have such a discussion.

Now, are we permitted to discuss Leigh in steel bikini? Subwoofer hasn't been back since this line of comments ceased... Brushing up those Photoshop skills, eh.

sweetlilflower @ 133
How could we forget those Shaido that split up! Thanks for remainding us. Interesting though- IIRC no Shaido WO left their clan. At least channeling one.
Tenesmus
136. hamstercheeks
Re: The Second Woman!

Shard, you just made me remember that back in TEotW, when Moiraine and Nynaeve were together, there were TONS of fireflies. Maybe this means they're the ones who will help Rand wield Callandor? The alternative interpretation is that each woman, individually, is a huge help. But I rather like the Moiraine idea... sorry Alivia!

Apologies for getting off topic(s).
Ron Garrison
137. Man-0-Manetheran
OK, New Topic: I'm curious about the choice of icon for Chapter 8: the ancient symbol for the Aes Sedai. I don't see how it relates to the chapter - which they always (usually?) do. We have Perrin, darkhounds, swirly colors, channelers. But? Anyone?
Theresa Gray
138. Terez27
I can only give my subjective opinion on both works and I do like both of them, but concerning the complexity of the story, the WoT cannot compete with the MBotF.

I'm not so sure this is true. If you equate 'complexity' with 'detail', then perhaps...but I tend to think of 'complexity' as being more of an inner connectivity between those details - a cohesive structure - and on that front, IMO WoT wins hands-down.
Marcus W
139. toryx
Jumping in briefly on Malazan:

I've read Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates (both within the last four or five months) and while I actually got to liking Gardens of the Moon enough to buy DG immediately after I finished, I did not like the second book. I didn't hate it, but it was not an enjoyable experience for me at all.

And here's the thing: I play RPGs. Not just the computer ones, but also the old fashioned things with friends gathered around the table rolling dice. And the world is so obviously an RPG world that it kind of kills the enjoyment for me. It's complex, sure, but most really well thought out RPG worlds are complex in kind of the same manner.

So I keep getting the sensation that not only have I experienced this thing before (or something like it) but it was more fun and interesting the first time.

Anyway, just my thoughts.
Chris Chaplain
140. chaplainchris1
@136 Hamstercheeks re: the Second Woman - I'm also fond of the (new for me, post-TOM) idea that Moiraine may be the 2nd woman using Callandor with Rand. There'd be a nice symmetry - esp. given Nyaeve's former hatred of Moiraine and her thoughts in TGS about wishing Moiraine were around. Moiraine linking with Rand & Nynaeve to use Callandor would seem to fulfill the viewing that she has something to do before the end.

Given her loss of power, it might seem odd to include her over other, more powerful women, but with her super-angreal she's more powerful than she was before - I wonder if she approaches the Cadsuane/Egwene bracket? We know that you can use an angreal and a sa'angreal at the same time, so there's no real barrier. It might make more sense, from the point of view of pure power, to use someone else. But then, the *most* sense would be for Rand to use Alivia and Sharina, armed with Vora's rod and some other sa'angreal. Obviously, there are more important considerations than power.

One might be strength of will/courage, and another might be competence. In those veins, Moiraine and Nynaeve indeed stand out. Not that Alivia or Sharina seem lacking, and certainly Cadsuane (oh, keep your gasps of horror to yourself!) might be another logical choice. But Moiraine and Nynaeve have both taken down Forsaken, as Rand has, alone and unaided. The only other woman who shares that distinction is Egwene.

Rand linking with Nynaeve and Egwene would have some nice symmetry too - the three super-channelers from Emond's Field, the three who've taken down Forsaken, joined via Callandor to battle the Dark One.

But I think the thing that distinguishes Nynaeve and Moiraine most is that Rand absolutely trusts them. I hope he and Egwene will work through their issues in AMOL, but right now, the two don't trust each other. Certainly Egwene doesn't trust Rand, and while Rand (and we) can trust her good intentions, we can't trust the Amyrlin Seat to easily follow, rather than try to lead. (Egwene's probably best used to keep the White Tower united and functional, anyway.) But I can see Rand linking to Nynaeve and Moiraine with no qualms whatsoever - no doubt of how they'll hold up under pressure, and no fear that they'd ever turn on him.
Antoni Ivanov
141. tonka
As far complexity and details go by Malazan beats WoT and it's much harder book to read. WoT is more light book. But Wot has a subtlety that is simply by far better than in Malazan.

Erikson often does not explain things he feels does not need to while Jordan leaves all those subtle and smart hints and leave it to us to try to find the answer. It's out there in the books if you are smart enough, if you look hard enough.(That is not to say that this is something missing in Malazan... but Jordan is the master of it).

As for for which is better. I cannot really say, even though they are both epic fantasy they are really quite different. As for which I enjoyed more. That would be WoT though.

Re:Rolan
Rolan is a nice guy even by any normal modern standard. He tease her a bit but he nerver really says or suggests that he will refuse to help her if she does not well...certainly not! He helps her despite the fact that she obviously does not have interest in him. He is hoping that she might fall in love with him or something. But there is certainly not coercion. Gods, really I was iiratated by Leigh for painting him so bad, very bad Leigh! (Well I guess I cannot laugh and enjoy every single post she makes, there would be some post that would make me miserable). She is naked because every gai'shin (sp?) is naked until they are properly attired(remember aftermath of Dumai's Wells. Why none was indignant back there ?). There were certainly not any sexual assault or any of the sort. You are too harsh on him, Leigh :(

As for other thing. Yes Faile found herself in position she cannot save herself from. If anything it is realistic. It shows that sometimes despite your best efforts you need that little help (or more than a little). And to be honest if it was not for treacherous Galina and collapsing a house on their heads and all the other moments she undermines them they might have been successful on their own.

Btw what about Rand and Dumai's Wells. If it was not the Shaido and Perrin and the Asha'man he would never managed to break his shield (because they start tying it off instead of holding it). He was damsel in distress! Of course his rescue took something like 3 chapters while Faile's like 3 books. But who's counting ?
Rajesh Vaidya
142. Buddhacat
Hmmm... hasn't Min's viewing about Rand twice getting hurt by women channerlers already come true? First with the LOC kidnapping, and then with Elza/Semirhage?
Scott
143. Shard
@142: That wasn't what Min saw. What Min saw was that Rand would be in trouble two times, and that Perrin NEEDED to be there or something BAD would happen to Rand. The first was Dumai's Well's. Perrin was not present for Elza/Semrihage and we could argue if Rand or the DO defeated those two.

There is still one more BAD event coming for Rand and Perrin needs to be there.
Theresa Gray
144. Terez27
Man-o-Manetheren@137 - You might say it's as simple as the fact that the Aes Sedai and Asha'man are both important in the chapter. Perrin trusts the Asha'man more than he trusts the Aes Sedai, obviously - it's one of the themes of the books, that the men are generally in a tight spot with all of the power-wielding people in the world being females who apparently want to manipulate them into doing things they don't want to do. The Asha'man are changing that. Hence the ancient symbol.


To his surprise, Annoura rode through the gateway just ahead of Grady, who was leading his dark bay. Just as every time he had seen her pass through a gateway, she lay as flat on her mare as her saddle’s high pommel would allow, grimacing at the opening that had been made with the tainted male half of the Power, and as soon as she was clear of it, she urged her horse as far up the slope as she could without entering the trees. Grady let the gateway snap shut, leaving the purple afterimage of a vertical bar in Perrin’s eyes, and Annoura flinched and looked away, glaring at Marline, at Perrin. If she had been anyone other than an Aes Sedai, he would have said she was simmering in a sullen fury. Berelain must have told her to come, but it was not Berelain she blamed for her having to be there.
...

Annoura climbed with ... little effort, floundering a little with her skirts but deftly avoiding the sharp thorns of dead cat’s-claw and wait-a-minute vines. Aes Sedai usually found a way to surprise you. She managed to keep a wary eye on Grady, too, though the Asha’man appeared to be focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

But I think that the real reference is to what was sensed at the end of the chapter:


The colors erupted inside Perrin’s head, an explosion of hues so strong that sight and hearing vanished. All sight except for the colors themselves, at least. They were a vast tide, as if all the times he had pushed them out of his head had built a dam that they now smashed aside in a silent flood, swirling in soundless whirlpools that tried to suck him under. An image coalesced in the middle of it, Rand and Nynaeve sitting on the ground facing one another, as clear as if they were right in front of him. He had no time for Rand, not now. Not now! Clawing at the colors like a drowning man clawing for the surface, he – forced – them – out!
Sight and hearing, the world around, crashed in on him.

“. . . it’s madness,” Grady was saying in worried tones. “Nobody can handle enough of saidin for me to feel that far off! Nobody!”

“No one can handle that much of saidar, either,” Marline mur­mured. “But someone is.”

“The Forsaken?” Annoura’s voice shook. “The Forsaken, using some sa’angreal we never suspected. Or… or the Dark One him­self.”

They were all three peering back to the north and west, and if Marline looked calmer than Annoura or Grady, she smelled as frightened and worried. Except for Elyas, the others were watching those three with the look of men awaiting an announcement that a new Breaking of the World had begun. Elyas’s face was accepting. A wolf would snap at a landslide carrying him to his death, but a wolf knew that death came sooner or later, and you could not fight death.

“It’s Rand,” Perrin muttered thickly. He shuddered as the col­ors tried to return, but he hammered them down. “His business. He’ll take care of it, whatever it is.” Everyone was staring at him, even Elyas. “I need prisoners, Sulin. They must send out hunting parties. Elyas says they have sentries out a few miles, small groups. Can you get me prisoners?”

“Listen to me carefully,” Annoura said, the words rushing out of her. She rose up out of the snow enough to reach over Marline and seize a fistful of Perrin’s cloak. “Something is happening, per­haps wonderful, perhaps terrible, but in any case momentous, more so than anything in recorded history! We must know what! Grady can take us there, close enough to see. I could take us if I knew the weaves. We must know!”

Most amusing is Annoura's about-face on saidin-made gateways. :D But this was the beginning of the event that made it possible for men and women to work together with the power once more, and though they didn't yet know the significance of what they sensed, it was done with both powers, and therefore sensed by both the men and the women. And so, the icon makes perfect sense.
Theresa Gray
145. Terez27
Shard@143 - Min did see that Rand would be hurt by women who can channel, 'more than once'. That might already be fulfilled with Semirhage (in addition to Dumai's Wells), but it's vague enough that we don't know.
Tess Laird
146. thewindrose
Buddhacat - that Min viewing needs Perrin to be there - not to avert the hurting, but to make it less. Like the first time when Perrin and company rescue Rand at Dumai's Wells. So I beleive the second time has to come yet - but it may have to do with what Cynfear is up too....

Everyone seems to be forgetting Asmo - he was a dude in distress;)

tempest™
Tenesmus
147. normalphil
My current suspiscion is that the second time that Perrin needs to be with Rand is going to be the Field of Merrilor (no Perrin or Perrin's Good and Huge Army with Whitecloaks in It, and Egwene has a balance forces and politics to make the Shadow's last best Let's You and Him Fight gambit seem like a good idea).
Theresa Gray
148. Terez27
Min's viewing of Perrin and the viewing about women who can channel hurting Rand are not necessarily related just because they are connected by Dumai's Wells.
Damon Garner
149. IrishOmalley
@146 - I agree. Perrin, I believe, is definitely going to help Rand out in the Wolfdream. He has been set up to be the top dog..... in the wolfdream. (Outside of slayer, of course)
Ron Garrison
150. Man-0-Manetheran
Ahh. I knew I could count on you Terez27 (or Wetlandernw) to explain it. That makes perfect sense. By the way, Perrin is still "stomping" down those colors at the end of KoD.
Tenesmus
151. hamstercheeks
chaplainchris1: I really like your reasoning as to trust being what would elevate Moiraine to be the second woman. Hey, wouldn't it be funny if Nynaeve weren't one of the two? I might headdesk of that happens.

Teres27: Chapter icon explained! Thanks! Speaking of Annoura, she's all flinchy because of saidin, and there's speculations about her being a DF. Have we seen other DF Aes Sedai repelled by the Dark One's taint on the male half? Because that's weird. "Ew, it's touched by the Great Lord. ...Oh, wait..." Wouldn't DF channelers have less of a problem with tainted saidin?
Eric Hughes
152. CireNaes
M-o-M@132

Rolan isn't killed until nearly the end of KoD. I foresee we are going to have to go through this many more times. Sigh.


The topic could keep Rolan along. Not as if issues like these will just Rolan over and die already. I think everyone will get a shot at it eventually before the window of opportunity can Rolan up.
Alice Arneson
154. Wetlandernw
Kah-thurak, ValMar, Sonofthunder, Tektonica, and whoever else I missed, re: Malazan.... I have no problem with complexity in world-building, plot, geography, or cast of characters. If a writer can't make me care about the characters, though, or at least about something in their world, I don't see the point. I guess I'm not so desperate for a good read that I'll read something I find, quite frankly, rather dull. I just couldn't find any reason to like anyone. I couldn't even find much reason to dislike anyone, for that matter. They just felt... artificially complicated, rather than complex, I guess. Hairlock almost managed to be repulsive, I guess, but that's about it. ::shrug::

Well, if I find myself wondering about them in a few weeks or months, I'll give it another try, because that usually means there was something more there. If not... my "to read" list still has plenty of good stuff on it, and I won't spend my precious few hours of free reading time on something I have to force myself into.

(Incidentally, I never meant that it was "hard work" to keep track of the plots or characters; that sort of thing isn't generally hard for me. It was "hard work" to make myself pick up the book and try again to find something of interest about these people or their world. I find the same thing is mostly true of Larry Niven or Vernor Vinge, so... there you go.)

lostinshadow @130 - Welcome back! Missed you. Not to worry, I know we all have different tastes. Maybe the fact that my RL is fairly complicated at the moment had something to do with my lack of care factor for the characters? Whatever. Thanks for the tiramisu!! Ah, I do love it, when, as you say, it's well made. I haven't figured out how to do that yet, but am grateful you have!

sweetlilflower @133 - RE: payoff of this plot line, I'm with you. I think we've seen some result already, but there may well be more, and more obvious, results yet to come. I for one fully expect to see it!

hamstercheeks @151 - Elza has much the same reaction to the taint, so apparently being a DF doesn't make it any less repulsive.

CireNaes - LOL! Rolan, Rolan, Rolan on the river...
Theresa Gray
155. Terez27
hamstercheeks@151 - The only Black who has channeled saidin in POV:


Elza allowed herself to be drawn into a link with the stern-faced sister, but she flinched when Merise added her Asha'man Warder to the circle. He was darkly beautiful, but the crystal sword in his hands shone with a faint light, and she could feel the incredible seething tumult that must be saidin. Even though Merise was controlling the flows, the vileness of saidin turned Elza's stomach. It was a midden heap rotting in a sweltering summer. The other Green was a lovely woman in spite of her sternness, but her mouth thinned as if she, too, were struggling not to vomit.
...

She expected to have to plead, but the taller woman hesitated only a moment before nodding and passing control to her. Almost immediately Merise's mouth softened, though it could never be called soft. Fire and ice and filth welled up in Elza, and she shuddered. Whatever the cost, the Dragon Reborn had to reach the Last Battle. Whatever the cost.

I can't think of an indirect incident like Annoura offhand, but I'm willing to bet that Sheriam or someone else has reacted similarly. Liandrin thought of it as the taint of the men, rather than the Dark One's taint.
David Platt
157. The Not So Dark One
Rolan, Rolan, Rolan, Though the streams are swollen, keep those dogies Rolan, Rawhide!
Jonathan Levy
158. JonathanLevy
Come on guys, these Rolan jokes really aren't that punny!
James Hogan
159. Sonofthunder
JL, for shame!

You guys are making me sad. Puns are much less fun than limericks!

I think I'll run over to my corner and cry while I wait for a shiny new post.

Symptoms of Leigh-withdrawal:
1) Terrible puns
2)Limericks
3)Thinking of Leigh in a metal bikini
3)Gorging ourselves on delicacies and mulled wine in the bunker
4)Twitching.
5)Cage matches
6)Talking about heretical documents other books such as ASoIaF, Malazan, etc.

A new re-read post will provide immediate-but-short-lived relief. Possible side effects include uncontrollable snorting, wasting of time at work, and liquid damage to keyboards. Please do not Leigh-and-drive.
Tess Laird
160. thewindrose
How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a Rolan stone ?

;)tempest™
Alice Arneson
161. Wetlandernw
Sonofthunder - I like #3 the best. :)

thewindrose - Oh, yeah! Well played.
Damon Garner
162. IrishOmalley
Hello all btw, I've following these posts off and on for over a year now. I started maniacally looking for anything WoT related last year before TGS came out. I was introduced to this thread when I read Leigh's non-spoiler preview of TGS and started to read the comments below them. Great stuff guys. I think I'll be following the re-read through to the end!
Tess Laird
163. thewindrose
Thanks Wetlandernw:)
Now there are some worried people thinking I am going to launch into lyric mode...Very busy at work - so don't worry.....

tempest™(be happy!:)
Tess Laird
164. thewindrose
A warm welcome IrishOmalley! Please join us in the bunker:)

Tek I see your comment from the other day - we sure did get a lot of snow! Very windy as well so there are drifts much taller than I. Yes, we have a lot of snow - and it's very cold.

tempest™
a a-p
165. lostinshadow
Welcome IrishOmalley!

enter the bunker, I see there are rumors of mulled wine... excellent idea for this cold, snowy winter
Chin Bawambi
166. bawambi
Rolan - Ewww in a 19yrold dating a 15yrold kinda way
Ericksen - Up to Toll the Hounds started early in the summer with breaks for WoT re-reads and ToM - enjoy it just as much as Jordan/Sanderson
Poll - Annoura (black) but not given death order yet b/c she has been a good BA by sowing chaos properly with Berelain.
Eric Hughes
167. CireNaes
Time to Rolan out of here. The next post is up.
T C
168. Freelancer
The Doobs may have been Rocking down the Highway, but Tina and Proud Mary were Rolan down the River.

And, glad nobody's here to read that...
Tricia Irish
169. Tektonica
I saw that Free...you lurker, you....

Keep on burnin....
Eric Hughes
170. CireNaes
Free@168
I would shrug, but Rolan my shoulders seems so much more appropriate.
Tenesmus
171. ophel1a
it occurs to me that to the best of the collective's WoT knowledge, elyas is still a warder. i vaguely remember moiraine mentioning that lan's dreams were safe from being tampered with by the chosen or darkfriends due to the bond--perhaps the bond finagles with the wolf dream as well? perhaps elyas 'stays away' because the bond leaves him weakened or somehow vulnerable when in the wolf dream? need more evidence!!

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