Feb 1 2011 2:04pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Crossroads of Twilight, Part 19

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert JordanTwirl your mustaches and practice your cackles, WOTers, for it’s a Wheel of Time Re-read, coming to a railroad track near you!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 30 and the Epilogue of Crossroads of Twilight, in which….

*an hour later* Jeez. Do you know there seem to be no videos anywhere on the Internet of the old silent “cliffhanger” serials with the damsel in distress literally hanging off the cliff? I was going to be all clever and shit with that, but noooo. Curses, I am foiled again!

The closest I could find was this, which is just kind of random (and hilariously un-PC). Why isn’t there an equivalent to Project Gutenberg for historical films on the internet, I ask you? I should be able to find this!

Anyway. Uh, cliffhangers! Yes.

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 before we begin, a scheduling note and an Announcement:

Scheduling: As today we end a book, I’m going to do my traditional breather here and take a day off. Therefore, there will be no post this Friday. But fear not, gallant damsels! The Re-read will resume next Tuesday.

However, on Tuesday we will not be starting Book 11, Knife of Dreams. As I mentioned… er, at some point, I decided a while ago to tackle the series in publication order, and it turns out that the one prequel to the series Jordan published before his death, New Spring, was released in between COT and KOD. Ergo, we will be covering New Spring next, and then KOD. Can I get a WOT-WOT?

As for the Announcement, I am very pleased to disclose that barring disaster, I will officially be attending JordanCon 2011 in Atlanta this April. Yay!

I’m not a hundred percent sure yet what I will be doing there, other than, you know, showing up, but I’m pretty sure that I will be doing something. More As It Develops. In any case, I’m very pleased, and looking forward to seeing a bunch of youse mugs there.

So there’s all that. And now, the diabolical-ish post!


Before we begin, let’s do the traditional last-post look at the cover art, in which… erm. Well… er. The, uh… the horses! Yes, the horses look very… horse-like?

Okay, sorry, but I hate this cover. It’s awful. It’s a bunch of nothing. It corresponds to no scene in the book I feel like we should recall, no one looks natural in it, and Mat and Tuon both look completely hideous. I don’t know who the hell way-too-prominently-featured arrow-guy on Mat’s left is even supposed to be. Harnan? And if so, why put freakin’ Harnan on the cover, instead of someone more important to the plot, like Egeanin, or Aludra, or Luca, or even goddamn Joline, any one of whom would have been more visually interesting to depict anyway? Seriously, what the hell?

Well, whatever.

Oh, but before we move on, I have to share this with you:

Leigh Butler’s Crossroads of Twilight copy

…which was my super high-tech method of making notes to myself for the COT update to the WOTFAQ, and which for some unexplained reason I have never bothered to remove from my copy of the novel. I dunno, I guess I thought it was funny or something. Seriously, you guys, I have moved like five times since originally doing this, and packed the book as is every time. There’s probably something wrong with me.

And, yeah. Onward!


Chapter 30: What the Oath Rod Can Do

What Happens
Egwene eats breakfast in her tent, thinking of how most people think this is just any other morning, when it isn’t. Nisao enters and tells Egwene that Kairen Stang is dead, her neck broken by someone using saidin. Egwene realizes that the next “best” after Leane is now Bode Cauthon, a novice. Egwene asks if Nisao knows of any link between Kairen and Anaiya other than that they were both Blue, but Nisao cannot think of any. Egwene orders her to find out if there were any such link, and after dismissing Nisao follows her usual routine, as it is important there be no deviation from it today. She walks to her study, noting the number of Aes Sedai walking about holding saidar and the general feel of paranoia in the air. Once there, she is surprised to be visited by Theodrin, who tells her that Romanda desires a meeting with Egwene, which Egwene grants. An Accepted named Emara comes in as Theodrin is leaving to tell Egwene that Lelaine wants a meeting too, which Egwene also grants; Emara sneers at Theodrin in passing, and Egwene reprimands her sharply about it. After Emara leaves, Egwene looks at the note Theodrin slipped her, about a rumor out of Cairhien that has the Yellow Sitters “buzzing,” and seems to be connected to Nynaeve in some way. Siuan enters, and Egwene gives the note to her, asking if she had made the necessary changes in light of Kairen’s murder; Siuan answers calmly that the less time Bode has to think about it, the less time she’ll have to panic.

A frown creased her forehead as she read the note, though. “First Faolain goes into hiding,” she growled at the paper, “and now Theodrin brings this to you instead of to me. That fool girl has less brains than a fisher-bird! You’d think she wants someone to find out she’s keeping an eye on Romanda for you.”

Egwene brings up her concern about the way Theodrin and Faolain are treated, and points out that much of what can be said about them applies to Egwene herself. Siuan snorts and opines that to the contrary, she thinks the Sitters are beginning to see Egwene as “another Edarna Noregovna,” whom Egwene knows is regarded as the most politically skilled woman to ever hold the Amyrlin Seat. Egwene is still thinking of Shein Chunla, though. Sheriam enters, seemingly recovered from her collapse in the Hall, to give Egwene the report on runaways from Tiana, the Mistress of Novices. Today the report has only one name on it: Nicola Treehill. Egwene sighs, then notes the date.

“Nicola ran away three or four days ago, Sheriam, and Tiana is just reporting it? She isn’t even sure whether it was three days or four?”

“Nicola’s cousins covered for her, Mother.” Sheriam shook her head ruefully. Strangely, her small smile seemed amused, though. Or even admiring. “Not from love; apparently, they were glad to see the child go and afraid she’d be brought back. She was quite overbearing about her Talent at Foretelling.”

Egwene tells her Tiana will handle it, and asks if there has been any change in how the sisters are talking about her Dream about the Seanchan attacking the White Tower. Sheriam instead tries to suggest that she should pardon Nicola’s “cousins” because one of them (Larine) is from the Two Rivers. Egwene is befuddled at the suggestion that she play favorites, and rejects the idea, returning the topic to her Dream. Sheriam’s reply confirms Egwene’s suspicions that no one really believes her Dreams are real Foretellings.

Anaiya had been sure, but Anaiya was dead. Siuan and Leane believed, yet neither stood high enough now to be listened to with more than impatient politeness, if that. And it was quite clear that Sheriam did not believe.

Sheriam leaves, and Egwene wonders why she came if that was all she had to say. Morvrin and Myrelle enter, and say much the same as Sheriam when Egwene asks them about the Dream; Morvrin mentions that it might have been different if Anaiya were still alive, but… Myrelle starts to say something about the event at Shadar Logoth, but is interrupted when Maigan enters. Maigan is the Blue replacement for Anaiya on Egwene’s “council,” and sends Siuan for tea contemptuously. Morvrin leaves, too, and Myrelle and Maigan (who hate each other) busy themselves pretending the other doesn’t exist while Egwene looks through reports. Siuan reenters with tea, followed by Ragan, who reports that the raiders from Tar Valon may have crossed to their side of the river, and that Bryne advises all Aes Sedai keep close to the camp tonight. Siuan leaves again; Egwene snaps at Ragan that Aes Sedai go where they wish and dismisses him, which pleases Maigan and puzzles Myrelle, but Egwene knows what Bryne’s message really means.

The boats were in place. In a few hours, Leane would gather Bode and ride well away from the camp before explaining what they were going to do. […] Bode must do what needed doing. Egwene had been younger than Bode when she was set to hunt Black sisters. Shienarans served their war against the Shadow in the Blight, heart and soul. Aes Sedai, and those who would become Aes Sedai, served the Tower. A stronger weapon against the Shadow than any sword, and no less sharp to an unwary hand.

Romanda enters with a sullen Theodrin. She reports that the talks with the Tower are going badly; Egwene knows that every Sitter who had held a seat pre-split (with the exception of Janya) have taken over the negotiations, pushing Beonin to the side, and gives a noncommittal answer. Romanda answers that it shows Elaida is dug in “like a rat in a wall,” and the only way to get her out is to send “ferrets” after her. Egwene carefully doesn’t react to that, and gives another neutral answer. Romanda switches her attack to the Kin, expressing disbelief that there are over a thousand of them or that they live so long, but Egwene points out that the Tower didn’t find out until very recently about the Windfinders either. Romanda opines that they are wilders and will have to be disbanded in any case; Egwene counters that almost none of the Kin are wilders, but women sent away from the Tower for not being strong enough to earn the shawl. She asks how Romanda proposes to hunt them down, when they have successfully hidden under the Tower’s nose for two thousand years, and show age just like anyone else, even if more slowly. Unsettled, Romanda says they must have “the look” if they channel, and there is no way they could live five or six hundred years.

“There is only one real difference between Aes Sedai and the Kin,” Egwene said quietly. The words still seemed loud. Even Romanda appeared to be holding her breath. “They left the White Tower before they could swear on the Oath Rod.” There; it was in the open finally.

Romanda jerked as if she had taken a mortal blow. “You’ve not taken the Oaths yet,” she said hoarsely. “Do you mean to abandon them? To ask sisters to abandon them?” Myrelle or Maigan gasped. Perhaps both.

“No!” Egwene said sharply. “The Three Oaths are what make us Aes Sedai, and I will swear on the Oath Rod as soon as it is ours!” Drawing a deep breath, she modulated her tone. But she leaned toward the other woman, too, trying to draw her in, to include her. To convince her. She almost stretched out a hand. “As it is, sisters retire to spend their last years in quiet, Romanda. Wouldn’t it be better if those were not their last years? If sisters retired into the Kin, they could tie the Kin to the Tower. There would be no need for a futile hunt, then.” She had gone this far; she might as well go the last step. “The Oath Rod can unbind as well as bind.”

[Romanda stands slowly.] Only then did Romanda speak, in a voice like stone. “When I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming Aes Sedai. From the day I reached the White Tower, I tried to live as an Aes Sedai. I have lived as Aes Sedai, and I will die as Aes Sedai. This cannot be allowed!”

She leaves. Maigan and Myrelle are astounded by the idea Egwene has raised, but Egwene can see they are thinking about it. A bit later, Lelaine arrives and takes a jab at Myrelle which makes the Green take her leave swiftly, and then segues that into a broad hint that Elayne might be getting herself into trouble, which leaves Egwene wondering whether Lelaine knows about Myrelle and Lan, or something about what was going on in Caemlyn. Off balance, she asks if Lelaine thinks Kairen’s murder is enough to stop an agreement with the Black Tower; Lelaine doesn’t think so, but suggests that they might want to make sure that the Aes Sedai are in control of any agreement that occurs with the Asha’man. Maigan swiftly chimes in with a suggestion that perhaps a bond with an Asha’man could be modified to remove the “tweak” needed to make the man do as you wish. Egwene tells her that that sounds a little too much like Compulsion, and Maigan counters that it’s a certainty that Compulsion was used on the sisters in Cairhien.

“There might be a way to remove the sharing, perhaps some of the awareness. Then perhaps the madness would not be a problem. It would be a different sort of bond, not like the Warder bond at all. I’m certain everyone will agree it wouldn’t be like having a Warder, really. Any sister could bond whatever number of Asha’man was necessary.”

Abruptly, Egwene realized what was happening. Lelaine sat apparently peering into her teacup, but she was studying Egwene through her eyelashes. And using Maigan as a stalking horse. Smothering anger, Egwene did not have to make her voice cold. It was ice.

“That sounds exactly like Compulsion, Lelaine. It is Compulsion, and no twisting of words will make it anything else. I will point that out to anyone else who suggests this. And I will order the birch for anyone who does more than suggest. Compulsion is banned, and it will remain banned.”

“As you say,” Lelaine replied, which might have meant anything at all. What came next was more pointed. “The White Tower makes mistakes upon occasion. It is impossible to live or move without making mistakes. But we live, and we go on. And if we sometimes need to conceal our mistakes, whenever possible, we rectify them. Even when it is painful.” Putting her cup back on the tray, she left with Maigan at her heels.

Egwene thinks that sounds very close to suggesting that she, Egwene, had been a mistake to be rectified, but it is not that which troubles her. She thinks all through her dinner about Bode, and Larine, and Nicola, and what it means to be a novice, and the lessons you had to learn before being more than that. She also thinks about the Tower’s laws restricting the Amyrlin from putting herself in danger—except in times of war. When Siuan returns, Egwene orders her to saddle Bela, and tell no one that Egwene is going for “a ride.” She leaves her stole behind, and rides Bela to where Bode is waiting to board the rowboat. She tells Bode that she will not be going, but is to wait for Egwene to come back. Bode demands to know why.

“I can do this. Leane Sedai explained to me, and I can do it.”

“I know you can. But not as well as I can. Not yet.” That seemed too much like a criticism that the other woman had not earned. “I am the Amyrlin Seat, Bode. Some decisions, only I can make. And some things, I shouldn’t ask a novice to do when I can do them better.” Perhaps that was not a great deal milder, but she could not explain about Larine and Nicola, or the price the White Tower demanded of all its daughters. The Amyrlin could not explain the one to a novice, and a novice was not ready to learn about the other.

Egwene boards the boat, and the rowers head out into the river. Egwene sees something flash in front of the moon, and thinks for a moment it might be a Draghkar, but then dismisses it as a bat. The boat reaches the wall of Northharbor, near enough for Egwene to embrace saidar and weave Earth, Fire and Air on the chain across the harbor mouth. The chain flashes from black to white just before Egwene senses someone embracing saidar above her, and something knocks her into the river. She comes to, and sees an Aes Sedai’s face above her.

“Do you know who this is?”

“Well, well We certainly got better than we bargained for tonight.”

She is forced to drink something with a minty taste.

Egwene tried to push the cup away, tried to embrace saidar, but she could feel herself sliding back down into darkness. They had been waiting for her. She had been betrayed. But by whom?

Cliffhanger, whoo!

I was pissed about that, too, when I first read it. Mostly because I knew I would be waiting two to three years to find out what happened next. Which I was.

There were a lot of words in this chapter, but basically the entire thing was a set-up for Egwene’s capture at the end of it, to induce confusion over who it might have been that spilled the beans on her plan. It was well done as far as that goes, too: any of the players mentioned here seem to have had a legitimate (to their own minds, anyway) reason to betray Egwene’s plan. Pretty much everyone who appeared or is mentioned in this chapter, other than Siuan (and Egwene herself), makes a case for herself to be the traitor.

And… you know, this is pathetic, but I’m not sure what the answer is to the question “who betrayed Egwene?” I thought it was Beonin, but my (admittedly fuzzy) memories of KOD suggest that while Beonin definitely defected to the Tower after Egwene’s capture, it was never specifically stated that she had betrayed Egwene before that.

Or was it stated? Did we ever get a definitive confirmation of who spilled the beans? ‘Cause I tell you, I sure as hell can’t come up with one.

Argh, I can’t remember. I’m going to assume that we do know who betrayed Egwene, and I’m just having another massive smelly brain fart on the matter. I’m sure someone will set matters right in the comments, because y’all are all astute and stuff.

(You’re welcome for the fart image, by the way. You stay classy, Leigh!)

Other thoughts:

Maigan: Is kind of a bitch, wow. And not in a good way, either. I thought all through reading this that she was one of the ones who turns out to be Black Ajah (probably because of the heinousness of her suggestion re: the Asha'man, and also because she was, well, kind of a bitch), but I’m pretty sure I was actually thinking of Moria, one of the Rebel Blue Sitters, who gets outed as Black in ToM. This may constitute proof that there are way the hell too many Aes Sedai whose names begin with “M.”

Romanda: I’ve never been much of a fan of Romanda, which is probably not surprising considering I generally don’t tend to like characters that seem to exist solely to throw caltrops in My Heroes’ paths, but I have to admit I sort of perversely admired her here. I have this slightly bizarre tendency to appreciate (up to a point, anyway) stubborn loyalty to an ideal in an individual, even when I think the ideal itself is kind of stupid. This, I suspect, is a result of encountering rather too often a certain subset of artistically-minded intellectuals whose opinions on any given subject might be best represented as one of these.

Obviously, of course, you can take things too far in either direction, but as a rec.arts friend of mine once remarked, “It is possible to be so open-minded that all your brains fall out.” As an artistically-minded overthinker-of-things myself, I’ve always taken that as a cautionary reminder; I like my brains, and I’d prefer to keep them, thank you.

My admiration of Romanda sticking to her Aes Sedai guns, admittedly, might be helped along by my conviction that Egwene’s proposal, while elegantly simple in theory, will unquestionably turn into a logistical nightmare in practice, because have you met these people? Oy. In any case, I suspect this will be one of those things that we never see come to fruition (or not) in the series proper anyway, so I’m not inclined to worry about it overmuch.

I was prepared to be all scornful of Egwene’s reasoning on why she should be the one to go cuendillar-ize the harbor chain instead of Bode, but I find on reading it again that I kind of understand her logic even while acknowledging it’s slightly hypocritical of her. It is hypocritical from a certain point of view, but Egwene does have a point in that just because she was expected to shoulder an insane amount of responsibility as a novice doesn’t mean she should turn around and be that unreasonable herself to the novices in her care. True, that point may be undermined a tad by the fact that everyone, novice or otherwise, is going to be thrown into the deep end of Armageddon Real Soon Now anyway, but maybe it’s a little bit admirable that she wants to keep Bode from having to deal with being a grownup for as long as possible.

Or, it’s the kind of Star Trek faux-logic where the captain and officers always beam down to the unknown and dangerous planet instead of the logical low-level minions who should do it, because we need the above-the-line talent to have stuff to do in every episode. Either one, take your pick.

I also originally thought that the “bat” Egwene sees in the boat was a raken, and meant that the Tower was going to be attacked that night, but I guess it really was a bat, because as far as I recall there was quite a stretch of time between Egwene’s capture and the Seanchan attack on the Tower. Though I guess it could have been a scout? Either way, it always seemed a little silly to me that Egwene of all people would just dismiss it out of hand, given her Dream about the Seanchan and all.

(Although, does she even know about raken, or that the Seanchan have them? Did she see any in Falme? …Huh.)

Incidentally, the fact that two different characters point out in this chapter that the Rebels’ acceptance of Egwene’s Dreamer status would have been more, well, accepting if Anaiya were alive gives a lot of support to the idea that that’s why she was killed in the first place. I’m just saying.

Anyway, so, bye, Egwene! Hang on tight for a bit, we’ll be right with you after these messages! Or prequels, whatever!


Epilogue: An Answer

What Happens
Rand stares out the window, wounds aching. Bashere enters the room, still dressed in diplomatic finery, and tells him the Seanchan are “crazy as loons,” but amenable. They require a meeting with Rand in person, though.

“Apparently a member of their royal family has arrived. Suroth wants you to meet someone called the Daughter of the Nine Moons.”

Thunder rolled again for distant lightning.


We rode on the winds of the rising storm,
We ran to the sounds of the thunder.
We danced among the lightning bolts,
and tore the world asunder.

-  Anonymous fragment of a poem believed
written near the end of the previous Age,
known by some as the Third Age.
Sometimes attributed to the Dragon Reborn.

Well, there’s really only one thing to be said to this, which is:


I wonder if Rand really wrote that poem, or not? We’ll probably never find out—unless Team Jordan tells us, of course.


And so ends COT! Whew.

It was… not the most stellar installment of the series, though also not quite as heinous as I’d dreaded, so there’s that. And again, I think it works much better once you are assured of continuation material to follow it, which fortunately at this late date we have. I can’t say I’m not glad to leave it behind, though. Onward and upward, is what I say!

And that’s our post, people! New Spring next, whoo! Have a mahvelous week and weekend, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday! Cheers!

Tina Pierce
1. scissorrunner
Perils of Pauline!
Perils of the Oath Rod too!
can't wait for New Spring!
(or ANY spring for that matter! this snow is getting downright tedious)
April would be perfect! (AND we'd be a JCon! see you there!!)
edit - cuz I can't spell so good
2. Kadere
Wouldn't be a Wot re-read if Leigh wasn't pissed about something, or several.
3. AndrewB
Leigh, I agree with you on the cover. Like TSR, the cover does not depict an actual scene in the novel.

After KoD, I always assumed that Nicola betrayed Egwene. I thought it was implied in that book.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Rich Bennett
4. Neuralnet
hmm.. I am not a big fan of the cover art in general, but I always sort of liked the cover of this book particularly the depiction of Mat.

The worst thing about this book was the cliffhanger ending and having to wait soooooooo long to get the next installment. I remember being so pissed that new spring came out next instead.

Thanks for the rereads and comments Leigh!
5. Dank12345
Climatic Endings of the series so far:

EOTW - Rand battles Forsaken and foils the trolloc attack through Tarwin's Gap.

TGH - Rand battles Balzamon in the sky over Falme, while the Heros of the Horn fight the Seanchan.

TDR - Rand slays Balzamon, Perrin rescues Faile from the dream trap, Mat recues the supergirls.

TSR - Rand battles Asmodean in Ruidean, secures the Choden Kal and the allegiance of the Aile. Perrin saves the Two Rivers from Trollocs.

TFOH - Moirane saves Rand from Lanfear, Rand fights Rahvin while Nyneave battles Moghedian.

TLOC - Huge freaking battle at Dumai's Wells.

ACOS - Rand fights Sammael in Shadar Logoth.

TPOD - Rand survives the attack on the palace in Cairhien, Fail gets captured. (This one was pretty poor compared to the rest).

WH - Rand cleanses Saidin amidst a huge battle with multiple Forsaken.

COT - Egwene gets captured trying to do ... something. (Worst ending of the series by far).

Is it any wonder why people think POD and COT are the worst entries in the series?
Jeff Weston
6. JWezy
One of the reasons why I prefer the hardcover editions is that I can remove the dustjacket while I am reading it and not have to look at the cover art.

Oddly, I seem to have a UK paperback edition (or something) of Crown of Swords - it is a mostly monochrome burgandy color with gold lettering and a simple image of the crown. This is the last one I have in paperback, I could not wait for the others to come out. No idea why it is different, but I like it.

(like this:

If I can't have the fantastic e-book cover art, at least I have this.
7. pwl
If I can't have the fantastic e-book cover art, at least I have this.

I've often wondered if TOR has considered producing hardcover book-sized prints of the Ebook covers, so we can after-market mod our collections. Seems a little petty, but I really like the ebook covers and really dislike plenty of the DKS stuff (for instance, this one looks like Mat's ashandarei was originally a short spear and simply had some length added to the end, leaving the blade appearing shorter than other versions and mashing the butt into Selucia's horse's nose) .
8. BenM
COT, whew! Like many others, I was so annoyed at the end of this book, because it seemed like pretty much NOTHING happened – or was resolved, anyway. And we’d have to wait years for anything to happen. And then, there was Egwene. Just when she was getting awesome in the series, in this book she goes and does what seems to be the stupidest thing she could possibly do, get captured. As the AS themselves are fond of telling people, just because something comes out alright in the end, that doesn’t excuse how bad (and/or stupid) your actions were. I always figured that even though she’d probably get rescued or something, she’d pissed away what little power and influence she’d amassed.

One thing that’s never been answered to my satisfaction, that I can recall: If memory serves, Egwene in a POV clearly thinks to herself that she couldn’t even come close to attacking a ship headed to TV, not even to put the fear of the Light into them. Because they MIGHT get killed, and that would be using the One Power as a weapon. No AS sworn on the OR could even make herself form the WEAVES. And yet, the TAS do exactly that to her. She fell in the water and could have died. What’s up with that? It’s always made me think the BA must have been involved. And at least one of them was, sure enough. Katerine Alruddin. I can’t help but wonder if they all were? We don’t actually know who did the weave, do we? In any case, the BA seems to be one of the most logical candidates for Eg’s betrayer(s). Mesaana could have gotten a report from Moria or something.
Frank Stellatto
9. Franco13
I think the 'rat' for the Egwene's capture was Sheriam...she did turn out to be black later and probably informed her masters...
10. Master Ablar
Thanks for the re-read Leigh.
So who does that poem refer to? I always thought the "we" was the ashaman.
And why do the aes sedai think that the ashaman would enter into any sort of agreement with the them that would require them, the ashaman, to be the lesser partner? And that's a nice way of putting it. They all but want the ashaman to be their servants.
11. Seamus1602
I can honestly say that Sweet's cover 'art' kept me from this series for at least 3 years between when it was recommended to me (2o06) to when I finally picked it up (2009). Absolutely awful.

I hated the HUGE Lan, tiny Moiraine cover on TEOTW and it hasn't gotten better. The new ebook covers make the old ones look even worse.
12. mityorkie
Youtube has (or had) old Buster Keaton films available for viewing (along with a bunch of other old movies that come 2/$1 at your local drug store). Surely there's at least one train tracks-tied or cliff-dangled maiden among the group.
13. EllenS
Woo Hoo indeed!

I've been lurking here for a year. I've read the whole series twice, but have never read New Spring.

I just got my copy in the mail yesterday and was going to start reading it tonight.

Tricia Irish
14. Tektonica
Hey Leigh....a Big Thank You for wrapping this baby up! I feel better already. And have a good week off.

YAY for you coming to JCon! See you there. Should be incentive for many here to book a room!

btw, I particularly loved your friend's quote and will use it mercilessly from now on.....

"It is possible to be so open-minded that all of your brains fall out."

There are times and situations where judgement is required.
Stefan Mitev
15. Bergmaniac
 The thing that annoy me about Egwene being captured here is not so much that she went herself, though this was still pretty stupid. It's the fact that she didn't invert her weaves and thus made herself visible from a long way. If she hadn't done it, the TAS would have had an awfully hard time finding her in the dark even given that they expected an attempt on the chain.

 This whole episode just screams to me "plot necessity, logic be damned". 

 The other major problem I had with this ending was that to have a cliffhanger at the end of a book in which almost nothing important happen was really adding insult to injury. 

 The way the weaker Aes Sedai are treated by the stronger, almost like servants and humiliating them as par for the course, as we saw here with Maigan always made me wonder why the hell any of them stayed in the Tower. If I were in their position, I'd have left as soon as I learned about this tradition and went on to live a much better life somewhere far from Tar Valon, enjoy my very generous allowance and do whatever I want, instead of letting the others order me around. You can't even say that they are paying their dues by staying, because even after 100 years, they still won't get higher ranking and more authority, unless they happen to be chosen for Sitter, which is extremely unlikely for someone weak in the Power.

 If Romanda wants to die as Aes Sedai, it's her choice, but to say "this cannot be allowed" and thus try to doom the others to cut their life span in half, was extremely arrogant. I would hope not all Aes Sedai are so brainwashed in the whole "being Aes Sedai is the only thing that matters"mentality. 
Birgit F
16. birgit
I thought it was Beonin, but my (admittedly fuzzy) memories of KOD suggest that while Beonin definitely defected to the Tower after Egwene’s capture, it was never specifically stated that she had betrayed Egwene before that.

When Eg confronts her in the Tower, Beonin denies having betrayed her:

"Me, I betrayed nothing," she said quietly. "I would not have sworn to you except that the Hall, it would have had me birched if it learned the secrets you knew. Perhaps more than once, even. Reason enough to swear, no? I never pretended to love you, yet I maintained that oath until you were captured. But you are no longer Amyrlin, no? Not as a captive, not when there was no hope of rescuing you, when you refused rescue. And you are a novice once more, so that oath, it has two reasons to hold no longer. The talk of rebellion, it was wild talk. The rebellion is finished. The White Tower, it will soon be whole again, and I will not be sorry to see it so." "I tell you, I have betrayed, n-!" She finished with a strangled grunt and put a hand to her throat as if it refused to let the lie leave her tongue. That proved she was not Black Ajah; but it proved something more.
"You betrayed the ferrets.

KoD ch. 24
I also originally thought that the “bat” Egwene sees in the boat was a raken, and meant that the Tower was going to be attacked that night, but I guess it really was a bat, because as far as I recall there was quite a stretch of time between Egwene’s capture and the Seanchan attack on the Tower.

The Seanchan were already planning the attack when Karede left Ebou Dar to go after Tuon in CoT ch. 4. It was probably a raken scout Eg saw.
Thomas Keith
17. insectoid
You're going to be at JCon? Waaaahh... and I (more than likely) can't be there! :(

Great post, Leigh! That's a lotta sticky notes. XD

This is about the only real cliffhanger we get until ToM, isn't it? I can't recall any of the others having one. But my brain's a little scrambled, so maybe. (Thanks for the list, Dank12345.)

Captain Hammer
18. Randalator
Oh hi, CoT. Bye, CoT.

You're still fun to read, writing-style wise. But would it have hurt to actually have something happening between first and last page? Anything? *grumble*

BenM @8

I suppose they had enough Aes Sedai standing by to grab the few people in the boats with flows of Air so that no one could drown. That would override the oaths that would normally prevent them from attacking.
Don Barkauskas
19. bad_platypus
Kadere @2: Nice The American President reference. (I don't normally like romantic comedies, but I love that movie.)

Seamus1602 @11: In DKS's defense, Lan is 6'6" and Moiraine 5'1" (approximately), so there is quite a size difference. (Still gotta go with the e-book covers, though. Wow!)

Bergmaniac @15: Yes, it was stupid of her to not invert the weaves, but Egwene decided at the last minute to change the chain, so she didn't have much time to think about strategy. Given the speed at which she makes cuendillar, the only way she was going to be detected is if they were there waiting for her; i.e., if the plans had been betrayed. Maybe it wasn't smart to assume she wouldn't be betrayed, but especially because she was doing it on the spur of the moment, I give her a little leeway on this one.

As to who betrayed the plan, I don't think we ever find out for sure. I've always assumed it was Nicola. With her penchant for digging up dirt on people, she might have somehow figured it out, and it would be exactly the sort of thing she'd run to the Tower with to make them let her be a novice there.

I don't think it was Beonin; IMO her viewpoint and actions make it clear that she kept her vows until Egwene was actually captured and Beonin could convince herself that Egwene was no longer Amyrlin.
Sorcha O
20. sushisushi
So that was CoT, then. It wasn't as painful in re-read as I remember, particularly I think it was it was the first WoT book that I had to wait for and I distinctly remember wailing in frustration at the lack of plot progress. It's also the first one that I bought in hardcover, so my copy has a rather nice marbled red cover with the wheel-and-snake logo on it, rather than that horrible artwork. It least this one is vaguely anatomically correct, apart from the escapee from 'Planet of the Apes' with the bow and arrow on the right. I just had a closer look at a high-res version online and realized that the person in cyan on the left is supposed to be Tuon. I had never looked that closely and had thought it was a bloke. Oops. It's not as dreadful as Sweet at his worst (coughknifeofdreamscough), but there isn't a single person sitting on a horse in a vaguely natural or realistic manner in there.

On the identity of the traitor, I was pretty sure it was Nicola, although now that I think about it, how would she know about the plan to cuendillar the chains? Listening at tent flaps again? She is making cuendillar in the earlier scene with Bode and has a nose for dirt, but I have a feeling that I fell for a great big red herring there. Who knew about the plan, anyway, other than Leane and Siuan? The entire Hall or just Egwene's 'advisors'? Sheriam is probably Number One Suspect, given her Blackness, although I don't remember any confirmation of a back channel between the two groups of BA.
Sorcha O
21. sushisushi
One other small thing - one of the footnotes on the
EncyclopediaWOT page for this chapter says that RJ confirmed that it was just a bat flying past the moon and not a raken or anything else.
Captain Hammer
22. Randalator
sushisushi @20

I just had a closer look at a high-res version online and realized that the person in cyan on the left is supposed to be Tuon. I had never looked that closely and had thought it was a bloke. Oops.

That's not Tuon. That's obviously a dude in drag.

Leigh, re: cover

It’s a bunch of nothing. It corresponds to no scene in the book I feel like we should recall

What, you don't recall a certain scene where a certain fan favourite orders a certain redarm to shoot a certain ex-sul'dam in the back?

Okay, Tuon and Selucia shouldn't be there and the bow should be a crossbow. But if it escapes sweetification it's not a WoT-cover...
Karen Jacobs
23. KJacobs
As with several others above, I always thought Nicola was the betrayer - I think it was her bargaining chip to be allowed into the Tower as a novice when she was much older than those that would normally be taken.

On an unrelated note . . . Has someone been using the Bowl of Winds? These snow storms are getting WAY out of control! :(
Robert Crawley
24. Alphaleonis
bad_Platypusd @ 19

Rand was the tallest man in the three rivers IIRC, and Lan is about his height. I live in a suburban neighborhood and there are 5 guys who are 6'-8" or taller within 2 or 3 blocks of my house that I know on a first name basis. Within a slightly larger radius, maybe 5 or 6 blocks away is a guy that started for a local college basketball team and played professionally a few years in Eorope who is 6'-11". I have always pictured Rand as at least 6'-9", thus Lan also. In my suburban community of about 5,000 families there are probably 20 or 30 guys 6'-9" or taller. So maybe the three rivers was a community of shorties?
Birgit F
25. birgit
Who knew about the plan, anyway, other than Leane and Siuan? The entire Hall or just Egwene's 'advisors'?

The Hall knows:

Romanda had opposed any sort of negotiations, spurious or not. And she knew what ws to happen tonight. Keeping the Hall in the dark about that had seemed a needless slap in the face.

CoT ch. 30
The traitor was probably some BA in the Hall or Sheriam.
Captain Hammer
26. Randalator
Alphaleonis @24

Word of God says Rand is 6'6". But remember that Randland is a medieval/renaissance-style community, so average height is a bit smaller than today. About 5'7" for men and 5'3" for women probably, peasants would be even a bit shorter than that, so Rand is a full foot taller than his fellow Duopotamians.

RJ wasn't quite as specific on Moiraine's size, ranging from 5'0" to 5'3" but given his description and average heights of similar real world societies, I'd go with 5'0"...
j p
27. sps49
Egwene can't send Maigan for tea?

And what is it that the Oath Rod can do? Catch Beonin trying to lie?

Why did Sheriam visit?

Are you reviewing the New Spring novella or novel?
I remember wanting to BITE NAILS when it came out AGAIN, as a NOVEL, rather than the next book.

JordanCon in April? Mmm, maybe if I get a decent job by then.
Robert Crawley
28. Alphaleonis
@ 26 Randalator

I knew in the back of my mind that RJ had said that Rand was shorter then I had pictured him. But for my 20th century visualizations, I have to picture him as at least 6'-9" or taller. It doesn't work while reading for me to picture him 6'-6" and being taller than any other non Aiel. I've got too many friends and relatives taller than that for it to work for me. As for Moiraine, if we are talking 20th century, I would picture her as 5'-0". Medieval, I would say 4'-6". The front cover of TEoTW has always worked for me.

On another topic, I thought that somewhere (KoD?) Nicola had confessed to Egwene that she had told the White Tower about the plan to Cuendillar the blockade chain. But that she had not thought Egwene would be captured, so she was sorry.
Sydo Zandstra
29. Fiddler

But remember that Randland is a medieval/renaissance-style community, so average height is a bit smaller than today.

Ahem. WoT is Fantasy. So basing average hight in Randland on Western European average heights in medieval times is not really applicable here.

Unless you found some sources that all people from, say, France are short like Cairhienin are. ;-)
30. Greyhawk
The cover art for the original releases has always been a big turnoff for me--it kept me from the series for years as well. I always figured that there was some contract in place that tied their hands as there were vastly superior alternatives available e.g. every single e-book cover.
Sorcha O
31. sushisushi
birgit@25 Okay, so we're probably looking at Delana, Moria or Sheriam getting info back to the White Tower, then. I didn't get the impression that they had any detailed communication with each other, though, just the level of a panic signal.

Unless Delana told Halima and the Forsaken actually co-operated with each other for long enough (shock!) to pass the message to one of the Tower BA. I didn't think they were working together that much, though.

Alphaleonis@28 I just checked the Prologue to KoD and Nicola doesn't say anything about the chain there, just that she thought they would let her go faster there.
32. deBebbler
This time around, I thought that Sheiram was the rat, and that the small smile when regarding the news of Nicola was, in fact, her Black Ajah glee at the impending capture of Egwene.

My 2¢.

Thankx Leigh, for including New Spring in the list. When I started on this Re-Read trail, that was the one I was looking forward to the most.

Jay Dauro
33. J.Dauro

Great to hear you will be at JordanCon. I for one owe you more than a few drinks for your work here.


Egwene berates herself for not thinking to invert her weaves (KOD-24), and considers her punishments in the Tower a form of penance. In TOM we see that she does not vary her pattern of attack when they are fighting the BA in Tel'aran'rhiod. I could believe that part of this is a lack of training in tactics, so it is not second nature to her.

RJ's blog 6 October 2005 "AND ONE MORE TIME"
Oh, yes, just to settle an argument that seems to be ongoing, Egwene saw a bat, guys. After Falme, she could recognize the long sweeping wingstrokes of a raken or to’raken, and she knows a bat when she sees one. Bats really do flutter, to confirm those who have pointed this out.
Henry Loose
34. schrodinger
The best literal cliffhanger that i've ever seen is the end of North by Northwest, when both the hero and the heroine are clinging to the face of george washington on mt. rushmore (bad guy takes a plummet).

On to the chapters.
I think it was nicola who betrayed egwene (and that we find out in KoD by nicola apologizing for running away and tattling on Egs).

I've always hated this ending, mostly because it is silly, stupid, and quite boring... that said, the epologue was quite enjoyable, if short. The fact that we know that Tuon is with Mat, and the fact that Rand doesn't know that screams out: ITS A TRAP, bad things acomin'.

My guess on the poem is that it's a poetic paraphrase of something that Rand said, either written down by Loial or Thom (my guess being Thom, as he has more talent at embellishing).
Fake Name
35. ThePendragon
Dank12345 @5I always felt the climax of PoD was the scene where Rand blast the Seanchan with Callandor, which I always thought was a pretty damn awesome climax, since it's the first real major defeat we see for him and makes sense getting closer and closer as we were to the end (or so I assumed at the time).

As for the covers, they drew me towards and away from the books, and so the indecisiveness caused me to end up waiting almost a year before taking the plunge. I began with the third book since it was the only one available at my library at the time. I thought the glowy floaty sword was awesome, but thought the characters looked awful.

My favorite cover DKS cover has always been EotW. Never understood the hate there. I always felt it was the most, I don't know how to put it, but just gave off such a strong vibe of magic and fantasy. I still feel that the Lan on that cover looks badass, and I like how Moiraine looks too. I had never noticed the scale problems. The background and night sky looked great. Following that, I always felt a Crown of Swords had the second best cover. However, that's because I always assumed that was Sammael on the cover, not Rand. Never understood why anyone thought it was Rand. Aside fromt that though, all the covers are terrible. Some of the E-book ones aren't that great either, there are some awesome ones there, and on the whole I prefer them.
Kent Aron Vabø
36. sotgnomen
Everything about besieging Tar Valon was a drag for me and really tested my suspension of disbelief. I just dont buy that it is that hard to block a river. Sure they have the chains, valid for a city on the ocean like Tear or Bysantium, but come on. There is not a city for miles in either direction, how hard can it be to blockade a damned river? And the claim that Hawkwing could not do that for ten years, with all the land loyal to him boggles the mind.
As for the cover, either Moiraine is a child on a pony, or Lan is an ogier(he actually kind of looks like Loial on the GH cover) on master al'Vere's durrhan.
Btw, it is a myth that people in Europe were shorter in the middle ages. They ate lots of meat, even the poor(though not necessarily very good meat). The general trend of shortness didn't come until victorian times, when grain was common and meat was for royals. In China on the other hand..:)

Yes, it is indeed fairly obvious that I too was frustrated by this book:P. Onward to New Spring!
William Fettes
37. Wolfmage
Bergmaniac @ 15

”This whole episode just screams to me "plot necessity, logic be damned". “

Agreed. Notwithstanding Egwene’s skill at weaving cuendillar, I find her decision to take-over the chain job to be a little forced, or at least it comes off as rather questionable when you first read it. I think it is only mitigated somewhat by the demands of the plot, the historical coolness of the chain tactic, and our foreknowledge of how Egwene takes advantage of her captivity in the next books.

I think the reason for this is simply that RJ was balancing so many competing demands at this point in the series. He urgently needed to get Egwene into the Tower without a hot military confrontation. He needed a solo effort and a betrayal to do that but he wanted to obscure the identity of the betrayers to support a cliffhanger ending. He liked the chain-blockade tactic, but he wanted it to be revealed obliquely rather than through a self-conscious viewpoint or explicit planning session. And in terms of Egwene generally, he was well and truly committed to building up Egwene’s mystique of leadership which ties into the last point. By this I just mean that as Egwene rises in power and stature, like Rand, we get less privileged access to her inner-most thoughts and plans because she is such a major player. Obviously we still get to see inside her head, but it’s a much more limited kind of access which still allows us to be surprised by her initiatives.

Unfortunately, I think in combination these factors all pushed the one way, which led to too much obscurity, and that accentuated the big problem with CoT’s overall lack of genuine payoff material.

“The other major problem I had with this ending was that to have a cliffhanger at the end of a book in which almost nothing important happen was really adding insult to injury.”

I guess having a cliffhanger works thematically with a book titled Crossroads, but I think it was less successful than it could have been for the reasons cited above.
38. Freelancer
Hi Leigh. Well, you covered this segment so fully that I haven't anything text-related to contribute.

For the record, while there are significant zones of divergence in our respectives opinions on issues, you are exceptionally good about being fair and considered in developing or revising yours as the information available suggests. I say this in reference to your impressions of Romanda. For all we know, sans an internal POV detailing her motivations, she is operating at the utmost integrity in terms of her own experiences and beliefs. It is pretty clear that such is not the case, given the back-and-forth with Lelaine, and the obvious disdain for Egwene early on, but pretty clear isn't certainty. You are right to give her the benefit of the doubt regarding her passion for the institution of the Aes Sedai, and her concern that Egwene was going to damage the very foundation of the organization. This is not surprising, you have always been consistent about giving credit, even to less pleasant characters, when it is honestly warranted. You have also been consistent about avoiding the misattribution of credit or blame where the situation is ambiguous or less than black and white.

For example, I strongly approved of your commentary regarding Perrin's "torture" (it was not) of the Aielman. For someone to take exception to your thoughtful consideration as "equivocation" would be unreasonable, given that what you stated was your heartfelt uncertainty about how you would behave in a similar situation. You simply cannot debunk a person's candid expression of their feelings about something, and you were surely candid.

So, mini-wall-o-text just to say You Go. Next person who tries to take you to task for an opinion gets spanked.
Chris Chaplain
39. chaplainchris1
Edit to correct: Changing "Graendal" to "Mesaana". That was a weird glitch - for some reason I guess I have Graendal on the brain. (I was just listening to a Graendal section of TOM.) Anyway, corrected - thanks Ki Maniak @ 51!

On the betrayal (and word of warning, this unexpectedly turned into a substantial WALL OF TEXT): several folks have said they think they remember Nicola apologizing and revealing her betrayal. This isn't so.

I've checked the Prologue to KOD (after finding the scene via Encylopaedia of the WOT), and all Nicola actually apologizes for is running away, saying she thought they'd let her learn faster in the Tower.

It's unlikely that Nicola learned the reason for the cuendillar weave - Egwene kept it very close to the vest until the end, when she let the cat out of the bag to the Hall. And if Nicola's the betrayer, she'd have apologized for that too while pouring out confessions.

Unfortunately, the Hall gives us many suspects. In addition to the Black, and to Lelaine and Romanda as Egwene's rivals, there are the Ob5. You know, the Sitters from the Tower who weren't really rebels, just plants from the Ajah Heads in the Tower? Any of them would've had motivation to betray Egwene's plan.

Note that some of these folks wouldn't have betrayed Egwene herself - Arangar, for example, needed to keep Egwene close. Egwene's capture was a blow to hir (heh!) position. But since Egwene wasn't supposed to be there, Arangar and hir cronies wouldn't have hesitated to betray her *plan*, preventing the rebels from gaining an advantage and keeping the stalemate going.

I do wonder *when* Egwene told the Hall, since knowing how long they had to betray Egwene's plan might give some insight. For example, if they knew prior to Nicola's leaving, then it becomes more possible for Nicola to be the culprit - since there are many more people Nicola could spy on to learn the secret. I suspect the timing is a little too tight for that, though.

The Hall all have access to the dream ter'angreal at this point, so assuming they had time enough for a nap or a night's sleep after learning about the plan, any of them could have spilled the beans via Tel'aran'rhiod. The question is who in the White Tower could have received such a message - and the only plausible answer is probably Mesaana. Mesaana probably hasn't started training Tower Blacks in TAR, since she hasn't yet had Sheriam steal the dream ter'angreal.

So my best guess is that Delana told Halima who passed word to Mesaana to be alert. Possibly in addition to sending the guards Mesaana via Alviarin via...somebody...made sure a Black was in each group of guards. Do we know if the group that captured Leane contained any Blacks? Ah, yes...thanks, Encyclopaedia WOT - Zanica who helped capture Leane is Black. And Katerine, of course, helped catch Egwene. Both of those could be coincedence, of course, but either way, betrayal by Blacks seems most likely.

Of course, if the Hall was informed sufficiently early, any of them could have sent word via pigeons or gateways, considering the appalling lack of security in the camp.

So in conclusion...we really don't know. But I bet on Delana via Arangar via Mesaana.

That's all for this Wall of Text. Thanks for the reread, Leigh, and thanks for getting us past COT! This truly is the crossroads, y'all - while New Spring isn't my favorite (the novellete I loved; the novel not so much), it isn't bad, and there's plenty of interesting stuff in there. And once we hit KOD, TGS, and TOM, I universally love love love all these books! Even the Perrin-arcs-of-never-ending-doom! Yay!!!
Captain Hammer
40. Randalator
Fiddler @29

Unless you found some sources that all people from, say, France are short like Cairhienin are. ;-)

Well, on average people from Finnland tend to be about 2" taller than people from France, for example. So why shouldn't it be feasible that Cairhienin are about 5'4"-5'5" (male) and 5'1"-5'2" (female) where Andorans are 5'6"-5'7" and 5'2"-5'3" respectively?

Btw. we're still talking about average heights here, so it's not like all Cairhienin are small. Barthanes Damodred is "no more than half a head shorter than Rand" which would make him ~6'2"-6'3"...
Alice Arneson
41. Wetlandernw
Okay, I'm going to break my usual rule and post without reading the comments, because I have to leave. Book group - primary purposes reading SFF and eating foreign food - who can pass that up? So - Thai food and "Man Plus" - I enjoy the former more than the latter.

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts triggered by Leigh's recap and commentary:

Okay, now that's funny. I had never realized Tuon was supposed to be on the cover, because I have the paperback version in which she and Selucia (presumably) are buried in the title on the spine. So I'm like "What? Tuon looks hideous? Where is she?"

Have a great break, Leigh! Wish so much I could be at JordanCon too. Very cool that you will Officially be there - it bodes well! :)

As far as I (and the FAQ) know, we don't know for sure who betrayed them. My money is on Sheriam - but not very much money. Pretty sure it wasn't Nicola or Beonin.

About Egwene's reasoning re: taking Bode's place... there's the notion that you shouldn't ask your underlings (and in this case, one with not nearly enough training) to do things you could do better yourself, and there's also the fact that Egwene can do it orders of magnitude better. Egwene is the only one who can do that "flash - it's done" thing. I think when you combine the "novice" issue with the "skill level" issue, you come up with Egwene being the right person to do the job, even if she is the Amyrlin and (in theory) the least expendable person around. I actually rather like this in Egwene; it's not overconfidence to know she's the best, and while she acknowledges that the Amyrlin isn't exactly "expendable" she also acknowledges that she herself may have to be, if it's in the best interests of the Tower.

FWIW, I don't think Egwene knows about raken yet; she thought "for an instant" that it was a Draghkar, and then decided it was a bat. RJ said somewhere that "Egwene knows a bat when she sees one. It was just a bat." Or words to that effect.
Chris Chaplain
42. chaplainchris1
A quick word on Bodewhin, for no particular reason except that I like her. Even though she and her personality get no screen time. But I'm interested in the rating of her potential - being geekily interested in charts detailing the strength of the various channelers (mostly the women, as that's where most of the data is). Her potential is just a little short of Egwene's - making her roughly comparable to Nicola? How does she rate against Cadsuane, then? Or New Spring's Kerene or Meilyn? And what about Larine - I get the sense that her potential is probably at least in the Sheriam range, though that's much more speculative.

What should probably be more interesting about Bode is wondering if she and Mat will ever meet up. What would Mat, who finds all channelers suspect, make of his sister being in the White Tower? What will Bode (and the Tower) make of learning that she's the sister-in-law of the Seanchan Empress? For that matter, what will Tuon and the Empire say to learn that Tuon's the sister-in-law of a mar'ath damane? (To say nothing of the whole "sul'dam can be leashed" revelation.)

Come to think of it, Mat is planning a Tar Valon trip to reclaim the Horn of Valere. He and Bode could meet up then. Hm...and wouldn't it be interesting if Mat's visit coincides with the Seanchan's Traveling attack? (What if the Seanchan take the Horn?!?) Would they break off their attack, if Mat can make himself known as Prince of the Ravens and ordered them to do so? If Mat, the Seanchan, Egeanin/Teslyn et. al. all show up in Tar Valon at once, things could get very interesting!

Er...of course they'll be very interesting regardless, I'm sure. :)
Jay Dauro
43. J.Dauro
A mar'ath damane or a damane has no family, and so cannot be a sister-in-law.

But it would be interesting to see Mat at the Tower when the attack comes.
Susan Brownhill
44. SusanB
Hi All,
In Leigh's scheduling notice she says that we will be covering the ONE prequel novel that Jordan published while he was alive. Are there other prequels out there or are others being worked on? If so, did Jordan write them or someone else? I tried to google more info, but I couldn't find anything. I know most of you are more tech savy & WOT informed than I am, so I'm hoping you can fill me in.
45. gadget
Good recap Leigh, I just thought I would go through a list of suspects for "the betrayal".

First we have the obvious (and therefore must likely to be a red herring) Nicola: it seems like RJ is beating us over the head with her as the prime suspect, and I initially thought she was the likely culprit. Yet as time goes on and in the next couple of books she becomes practically an Egwene worshipper, I don't think this is as likely. It seems more and more like a decoy.

Next we have Sheriam: She was not much of a suspect until we found out she was black ajah and under Halima's thumb, so we would probably have to consider Delana/Halima in the the same breath (though I'm not sure that Delana & Sheriam knew about each other). While it can be argued that Halima would not want the Rebels to gain the decisive advantage of closing off the harbours and making the siege more effective, I'm not sure that is the case. If anything, closing off the harbours would escalate the conflict and add more bitterness and rancour between the factions, possibly increasing the likelihood of armed conflict. Though the fact that Kairen was murdered by Halima initially seemed to indict Team Shadow, this was later shown to be merely because Kairen knew Cabriana too well.

Penultimately, we have Romanda/Lelaine. Romanda's freak-out about the Kin-Oath Rod seems a flimsy attempt to add her to the suspects list. Lelaine, on the other hand, seems to have something up her sleeve by being so obviously hostile and antagonistic. It seems unlikely as a non-black ajah Blue she would have any sympathies with the Tower faction, yet she may have ment the debacle to undermine and embarrass Egwene. We later learn that she sweated the truth of Egwene's situation out of Faolian and it could be that she decided to do something about this "puppet" Amrylin.

Lastly, we have the pre-split Sitters, who were sent to hinder the rebellion and usher it towards reconciliation by the ajah heads. They may have viewed the blocking of the harbours as--ah, a detriment to this goal. It could be that one or more of them was in contact with the Tower faction and decided to foil the plan in hopes of accomplishing their original mission.

There you have it, all had motive, and presumably the means and opportunity to do the deed.
Alexander Hatch
46. SpyderZH
Is it just me or is everyone overlooking a more subtle point in this chapter? Granted, I'm not reading along so I could be wrong here, but is there now any doubt that Faolain is Black, either here or at least in the Black Tower at the end of ToM? Disappearing for a long time with no reason I remember? Doing something odd/out of character like joining the Rebels despite seeming very Red (at the very least pink)? Swearing fealty to Egwene? Those are all pretty suspicious to me. Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but I dunno. I never trusted her. And now that's she's in the Black Tower, she's been converted no question. Above-average power? Something... off about her? Perfect recipe for Blackness.
William Fettes
47. Wolfmage
Freelancer @ 38

"For example, I strongly approved of your commentary regarding Perrin's "torture" (it was not) of the Aielman. For someone to take exception to your thoughtful consideration as "equivocation" would be unreasonable, given that what you stated was your heartfelt uncertainty about how you would behave in a similar situation. You simply cannot debunk a person's candid expression of their feelings about something, and you were surely candid."

Hmm. This is pretty obviously a shot at me given the scare quotes around equivocation. So I guess I’ll respond here, though it would have been nice if you’d engaged in the relevant thread where this was being discussed.

First, I don’t actually agree that Leigh’s post was particularly thoughtful about the issue of torture. It was, consistent with all her other posts, a witty, well-written and textually accurate treatment of the literary aspects of the scene. It was also sincere and provided genuine, heartfelt prose to express the conflicted nature of her position on torture, certainly. But that’s not the same as being thoughtful in a comprehensive sense - showing a strong conceptual, empirically and philosophically well-grounded grasp of the issues around torture policy. I definitely don’t think it was that. I think she dodged that part of the issue and that's why I found it decidedly lacking.

Indeed, my post did not attack Leigh's reaction to the scene itself. I was very careful in framing the issue of the scene in separate terms to the torture question. I also didn't attack Leigh's integrity or good faith over the broader torture question, I just found her equivocating line on torture discordant with her otherwise strong record of moral commentary about issues that arise in the WoT universe.

I also flatly reject your underlying claim here that sincere or candid expressions of opinion ought to somehow be sacrosanct and beyond discussion. That’s pretty obviously never going to wash on a blog like this where we discuss anything and everything endlessly, including very detailed and obscure aspects about a fictional world's culture, laws and morals.

It’s also a bit of a moral cul-de-sac. Someone can be entirely genuine in their Holocaust denial or apologia for dictators such as Pol Pot in Cambodia. There is no shortage of such people, but their views don’t warrant a demure response merely because they are sincere and candid or use elloquent prose. Now, I’m not saying Leigh’s post was the equivalent of that, but the principle is the same. Being polite to Leigh and other posters, not questioning people's integrity or good faith, showing care in engaging with the content of their posts, and following the conventions of the community is all that is really required here. I think that applies universally, although arguably some views might be so repugnant that they hardly warrant excessive civility. Anyway, I don't think you'll find anything in my post on the subject that was impolite or a personal attack. Just because it is strident about an issue you disagree with doesn't give you the right to declare that discussion out of bounds.

Also, and I’m not being a smartarse here, I rather doubt such an injunction would survive very long if applied to yourself. You’d be painting yourself into a rather nasty corner given Leigh’s penchant for sincere and candid commentary about gender politics in WoT. Are you going to refrain from noting when you disagree with Leigh when she devotes entire slabs of text to tiny details in order to comment on gender politics that you don't accept? No, I thought not. That’s entirely proper. Those who don’t agree with Leigh are entirely free to debate and push back against her arguments if they find them to rest on a kind of bias or mistake. As long as people can do that without insult, I think it's good and part of healthy debate.
48. gadget

on a One Power strength rating, Bode ranks about even with Cadsuane and stronger than Nicola. Here is a link to a One Power strength rating chart someone researched and put together (no one outside of Team Jordan can verify the total accuracy, but it seems pretty accurate, though one could nit pick here and there). http://13depository.blogspot.com/2009/02/saidar-strength-ranking.html


Jordan had planned on Three Prequal novells: One to explain how Mor. & Lan meet, and how Mor. & Siun find out about the Dragon being Reborn and start their search; another about how Tam left the Two Rivers and became a Captain in the Illianer army and came to find Rand as a baby; and finally one about events right before Mor. & Lan journey to the Two Rivers. Sadly, he only ever wrote the first one, which was relased as New Spring. He may have notes or outlines on the other two, I don't know. As to whether they will ever be written and published, that is still up in the air and will ultimately be decided by Team Jordan.
49. bungo
The Shadow wanted the Aes Sedai facing eachother off (and hopefully coming to actual civil war) for as long as possible. Mesaana or Aran'Gar (can't remember which now) had to work pretty hard to convince Moridin that the conflict was still there while Egwene was in captivity, and that she hadn't been broken.

My money's on Nicola.
Kimani Rogers
50. KiManiak
Thanks Leigh. Glad you got us through this book with a minimum of headdesking and bloodletting.

Some pretty interesting theories about who betrayed the Rebel’s plans to transform the chains into cuendillar. Put me in the camp that thinks it’s the BA and/or Forsaken. To me, it seems in retrospect that Halima or one of her minions informed Katerine or someone else in the WT about it, although we haven’t been told for sure. Sheriam, Delana (and through her, Halima) and Moria knew, and it fits (to this reader at least) that the best way to maintain the TAS/SAS standoff was to betray the plan and maintain the status quo. But, we’re never given a definite answer.

Other quick observations:

-Egwene using AS arrogance and preconceptions to have Bryne pass messages to/from her right under Maigan’s nose. I thought this was pretty clever. And also represents the problem that the AS arrogance and elevated sense of self could allow for some serious blind spots.

-Romanda’s exclamation that she always wanted to be AS and will die AS. I’m fine with anyone believing so strongly in their principles and values that they are willing to fight for them. It’s unfortunate that this also precludes her from seeing the benefit of retiring into the Kin.

-The “bat” was presented as a possible raken red herring. I’m glad RJ cleared that up, as a few of you have shown, but it just seemed weird that at that time (when Egwene had Dreamed a Seanchan attack, the reader knew the Seanchan attack was coming, and of course no one believed Egwene that the attack was coming) Egwene happens to notice the bat against the moon.

I wasn't thrilled about the cliffhanger ending after a novel where not too much exciting happened, but hey, that's what we got. Whether it was a plot contrivance (likely) to get Egwene into the Tower and pave the road for her impressive actions in KoD and TGS, or not, it wouldn't be the first and (I'm allowing for the possibility that) it may not be the last one with Egwene.
Kimani Rogers
51. KiManiak
Master Ablar@10: re Ashaman – good point. It is curious how little Lelaine/Maigan and other As seem to regard the Ashaman. Of course, to be fair, these AS don’t know about the Ashaman at Dumai’s Wells or when the Ashaman captured the TAS who tried to gentle them.

@many re: the covers – Okay, most of them aren’t that good. Some of them (TSR, TPOD) don’t even really seem to be depicting a scene in the book. Or, they horribly misinterpret/misrepresent a possible scene (TFOH, ACOS, TGS) or take certain aspects from the story and combine them (TDR, WH, CoT). But, to be fair, the KoD cover and the ToM cover did seem to accurately display an actual scene from the books.

As for the e-book covers, I like them and all (especially the Perrin forging pic on the ToM e-book). But they almost seem like the kind of covers you’d see on a graphic novel. Would either group have prevented me from buying WoT books? I don’t know; I’d like to think not. I was turned onto this series by a coworker; I don’t even recall if I knowingly passed over these books in the bookstore before then, or if they just blended into the numerous other SFF novels that weren’t Anne McCaffrey or Piers Anthony or Frank Herbert or Timothy Zahn or the like. (Wow, my tastes have changed/been refined from 13 or so years ago)

Chaplainchris1@39 – re: who betrayed the cuendillar plan – I like your deductions. I think you might be confusing Graendal with Mesaana, however. Also, its possible that Halima didn’t pass the info to Mesaana directly, but had one of her BA minions pass the info on to one of Mesaana’s BA minions.
Jonathan Levy
52. JonathanLevy
27. sps49
And what is it that the Oath Rod can do? Catch Beonin trying to lie?
I think it refers to Egwene's revelation that it can unbind as well as bind.

BTW, how does Egwene get this knowledge? I don't think it's common knowledge, otherwise Romanda wouldn't have had to be told. The only person I remember mentioning it in the series is Sammael, when he talks to Sevanna. Galina also knows this, but she would have learned it when she turned black.

The Black Ajah hunters in the tower discover this, but Egwene doesn't know about them yet. And while you can infer that there must be a way to get rid of the oaths, otherwise the Black Ajah wouldn't survive, that's not the same as knowing that the Oath Rod can be used to remove the oaths.

Does anyone remember how/when Egwene learned this?

35. ThePendragon
My favorite cover DKS cover has always been EotW. Never understood the hate there. I always felt it was the most, I don't know how to put it, but just gave off such a strong vibe of magic and fantasy. I still feel that the Lan on that cover looks badass, and I like how Moiraine looks too. I had never noticed the scale problems. The background and night sky looked great. Following that, I always felt a Crown of Swords had the second best cover.
You know, you really had me going there until you started praising the ACoS cover. :)
Birgit F
53. birgit
And what is it that the Oath Rod can do?

It shortens the life of AS and can unbind as well as bind.

What would Mat, who finds all channelers suspect, make of his sister being in the White Tower?

Rand told Mat that Bode is with the Two Rivers girls who want to become AS (LoC ch. 33)

Are there other prequels out there or are others being worked on?

RJ had planned 3 prequels (New Spring, Tam's past, how Moiraine and Lan arrive in the TR just in time) and 3 outriggers (Mat and Tuon after the main story).



Lastly, we have the pre-split Sitters, who were sent to hinder the rebellion and usher it towards reconciliation by the ajah heads. They may have viewed the blocking of the harbours as--ah, a detriment to this goal. It could be that one or more of them was in contact with the Tower faction and decided to foil the plan in hopes of accomplishing their original mission.

They were all in contact with Tower faction AS because they took over the negotiations.

Granted, I'm not reading along so I could be wrong here, but is there now any doubt that Faolain is Black, either here or at least in the Black Tower at the end of ToM? Disappearing for a long time with no reason I remember? Doing something odd/out of character like joining the Rebels despite seeming very Red (at the very least pink)?

Faolain is Blue Ajah. She disappears because Lelaine finds out that Eg sent her to spy.
Stefan Mitev
54. Bergmaniac
Jonathan Levy @52 "And while you can infer that there must be a way to get rid of the oaths, otherwise the Black Ajah wouldn't survive, that's not the same as knowing that the Oath Rod can be used to remove the oaths.

Does anyone remember how/when Egwene learned this?"

She didn't actually learn it per se - the Supergirls inferred that it must be so since that's the only way to explain how the Black Ajah were able to lie and kill. It's in WH, during the TAR meeting after the assassination attempt on Elayne:

"Once the Hall learns about the Kin—once
they’re over pitching fits—I think I can get them to agree that a sister who wants to retire should be able to. With the Oaths removed.” They had decided long ago that the Rod could be used to unbind as well as bind, else how could Black sisters lie?"
Wesley Parish
55. Aladdin_Sane
About the bat, raken, and Egwene at Falme ...

TGH, Ch 42, Falme:

could not become used to seeing people riding things that looked like bronze-scaled, tailless cats, and arider on one of those flting things was always enough to make her feel dizzy; she was always glad there were so few of them.

And in Ch 47, The Grave Is No Bar to My Call:

Two flying beasts, with leathery wings twenty spans tip to tip, soared high overhead, keeping well away from where the bright bolts danced.

So Egwene would have been aware of them. She would've found it difficult not to ...
John Massey
57. subwoofer
No time to properly comment.

Don't get the ending. Never will. Egwene- as Leigh did point out very clearly, no amount of explaining can tell us why the Amyrlin would have to put herself in harms way when there were other folks that could have done the job. Egwene should have just strolled along one of the bridges and said "I give up. Take me back as a novice". That would at least make more sense to me.

Gerd K
58. Kah-thurak
Actually the whole "Have to turn the harbour chains to Cuendillar" idea is faulty. Other options would have existed in abbundance if the goal was just to prevent Tar Valon from beeing supplied. It is merily a plot device for Egwene to be taken by the Elaida fraction without anything clever beeing done by them.
59. Rob Kerr
Two things, revelations I had while reading (cheers Leigh!)

1. Even if Egwene had masked her ability and inverted her weaves, she had been betrayed and thus would have been captured (as Liane, who had taken both precautions, was captured). Until I realised this, I had huge problems with it. Now, the problems are only minor (Egwene should still have taken those precautions, even though her ability at the weave meant she would only have been channeling for an instant -- which may have been the reason she didn't take them).

2. The Seanchan: there's no real reason to think that their society would be overturned by learning about sul'dam being able to channel. We always talk about those with the spark as those who 'must channel' -- it's really only they who could be considered marath'damane, and the Seanchan would, with some thinking, easily come to that conclusion (especially with Tuon in the driving seat).
60. boquaz

Seriously, people, it was a simple request.
Brian Kaul
61. bkaul
Obviously, of course, you can take things too far in either direction, but as a rec.arts friend of mine once remarked, “It is possible to be so open-minded that all your brains fall out.” As an artistically-minded overthinker-of-things myself, I’ve always taken that as a cautionary reminder; I like my brains, and I’d prefer to keep them, thank you.

Reminds me of a G.K. Chesterton quote: "The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."
Heidi Byrd
62. sweetlilflower
Doesn't Egwene mention in KoD that she wishes she would have thought to invert her weaves? She finds out that Leane inverted her weaves and thinks that she (Egwene) wishes she would have had more time to plan and think about these things.

On the Seanchan society being overthrown by learning about sul'dam: Well, since the sul'dam who have been working for a loong time can be held by the collar, then I would say that there would be a problem. There would be a new testing of all the sul'dam and most of the experienced ones would be collared. There would be more damane than sul'dam, and the sul'dam that were left would be the new, relatively inexperienced ones.
63. Freelancer

When Leigh adresses an issue and offers her opinion about the substance of the issue, and I disagree, I say so. When Leigh discusses an event (fictional or real), and addresses her own emotions, perspectives, and moral judgements (or considered lack of same) about that event, I will never offer critical remonstration. Those emotions etc are genuinely hers, and cannot be gainsaid. See, there's a "tiny" difference between the two. Not painting myself into any corner at all, and you can put down your brush.

A shot at you? No, you've reverted to your past reflexive egotism which you had seemed to rise above over the past year or so. My comments were rather a defense of our hostess. Again, there's a "tiny" difference between the two. If your comments provided a semantical vehicle for that defense, go ahead and wear that shoe.
Captain Hammer
64. Randalator
Kah-thurak @58

Other options would have existed in abbundance if the goal was just to prevent Tar Valon from beeing supplied.

Like what?
Chris Chaplain
65. chaplainchris1
@51 KiManiak - thanks for catching my brain hiccough. I've edited my post at 39 to change "Graendal" to "Mesaana." If you'd asked me "What Forsaken is pulling strings in the White Tower?" I'd have said Mesaana without hesitation or thought, yet it came out Graendal here. Weird brain glitch.

@ 53 Birgit - yeah, I know Mat knows Bode went to be trained; but I'd still like to see more reaction from him. And I'd like to see him meet up with his little sister.

@43 J Daur0 - that's a matter of opinion, obviously, and we shouldn't agree with the Seanchan that damane have no families. More importantly, Mat certainly won't agree - and at some point Mat having a sister who's learning to be Aes Sedai might well be an issue for the Empire. Would they specifically target Bode for capture, to prove that even in the Imperial Family damane won't be tolerated? That would certainly put Mat and Tuon in conflict, and might also increase Tuon's own danger. She may make the distinction that she doesn't need to be leashed since she refuses to learn to channel - but will her own subjects chop logic that finely, once the truth is known?

Anyway, I don't expect much or any of that to be in the books, but I enjoyed the speculating.

@48 gadget - thanks for the link, I always enjoy looking over Linda's work on saidar strength rankings, and I didn't realize it'd been updated for TOM. (If you'll read through the comments, you'll see my name show up a few times - as I do, ahem, quibble with several of Linda's rankings and the assumptions they're based on, though overall it's masterful work.)

At any rate, as you'll note in Linda's comments, Nicola's ranking is a minimum placement, and she may have placed a tier higher, and thus been equal to Bode. Or she may not. That was one of those niggling little questions I had, that were of no real importance to the series, but I geekily wanted an answer anyway.
66. XLCR
Finally done with COT! Still, I've found that in fact it has some of my favorite parts of the story, mostly with Mat. I think the thing that bothered me, besides the obvious fact that it left us hanging for several years, is that so late in the series there was very little sign that he was beginning to draw all of the strings together. On the contrary, new characters and plotlines were introduced, ten books into the series! And it was the blizzard of new Aei Sedi names introduced in this book that finally convinced me it was time to to re-read the series to see if any of them were just ones I had forgotten, and to see what else I might have forgotten.

When I say that, realize that I started reading WOT from the first book when it was introduced some 21 years ago now. I'VE had to wait for every single one of them. My second re-read was after the intro of TGS, as enough years had passed to see the need for a refresher. I was going to do it again for TOM, until I stumbled upon this online re-read.

And thanks again, Ms Butler, for giving me an alternative, I gives me something to do when it's been hitting -31 here in Eastern Montana and the snow is deep, deep outside.

Winter's Heart, indeed.
Barry T
67. blindillusion
Nothing to add, but I did want to say it'll be cool to see you in April, Leigh.

Tek, looking forward to it.
j p
68. sps49
DKS's covers are eye-catching and colorful at their best.

What throws me is the terrible perspectives and proportions, the absence of the cube-square law (what horse could support tEotW's Lan?)(a Xanth cover with a "roc" that was a magnified chi-chi bird, not a flyer that looked big), and limbs that just can't be placed wehere they are without joint damage.
Jay Dauro
69. J.Dauro

I agree that seeing what Mat and the Tower think would be interesting. I was more referring to

For that matter, what will Tuon and the Empire say to learn that Tuon's the sister-in-law of a mar'ath damane?

I am looking forward to many possible scenes in AMOL. (And if that's not an understatement for most everyone reading this, I will be greatly surprised. )
70. Master ablat

I think in Lord of Chaos, he tries to ask Nynaeve about Bode but she thought Mat was angry at her at the time and refused to even talk to him. After that he just had other things on his mind. Like trying to keep Elayne and Nynaeve alive.
Sorcha O
71. sushisushi
limbs that just can't be placed wehere they are without joint damage
Ha, yes, that drives me bonkers, as well. I had a look at his website and he apparantly does have a knowedge of anatomy, so I'm at a loss as to what's happened with the last few covers. I know other cover artists like Josh Kirby often seemed to only have a passing acquaintance with human anatomy, but you can get away with a damn sight more if you're not working in a (supposedly) realistic style.
72. archaeo
@many re: the believability of Egwene's plot,

Doesn't this seem like EXACTLY the sort of thing that Egwene would do? I mean, yes, I agree that it wasn't the smartest move. But recall ISAM's mock summaries:

"Egwene: I’m off to do something.
Siuan: What?
Egwene: None of your business. Now, if memory serves, I gently ease my foot into the trap like this."

Mocking aside, Egwene rushing forward to do the job herself is very much in character. The cuendillar plan is the only option that doesn't allow the TAS to just blow the blockade out of the way with the power or the Tower's army to forcibly move it, and Egwene's technically allowed to put herself in danger given the Law of War. I think, all things considered, that this is a pretty reasonable plot development.

And since I've been harping about Egwene since I got here a few weeks ago, I'm looking forward to a long period of re-read without her.

re: the covers (again @many)

Tor is in the business of marketing books, and unfortunately, fantasy novels seem to require the sort of art that DKS paints. This is only the latest in a long string of really atrocious covers; it never stopped me from reading the series (I was like 13-14, and had a very insistent friend pushing them at me), but it definitely made me wish I had some way to hide the softcover artwork when I was in public.
Stefan Mitev
73. Bergmaniac
It's definitely in character, I was just hoping Egwene had learned after being captured the previous few times and given that she was a leader now, which should've made her more cautious. But apparently the concept of leaders staying behind and not taking risks unless absolutely unncessary isn't popular among the main characters in WoT. They don't care much for bodyguards either. Good for them that they are really lucky and have super powers, otherwise they should've been dead many times over by now. ;)
Eric Wells
74. ewells
Frequent reader, rare poster. On the height issue I rememeber being struck by a comment in one of the Musketeer novels (Twenty Years After, maybe.) There was a remark about Porthos being a foot taller than most men at 5' 10". This was a book written in the 1800s, about the 1600s (I think.)
John Massey
75. subwoofer
@Ewells- s'up? Good to see your input:)

@Folks- new baby + life= sub no go to jcon. wah.

@archaeo- Heh! I needed that at the end of this horrid day. Not only blew goats but somebody made cheese from it.
- but good point, we are in for a quiet spell on the Egwene front. Actually, come to think, in New Spring, we get to see Mo, Lan, a young Sheriam, Siuan, Elaida( gag even then), and a few other folks at the begining of the quest for the DR. Was a good book. Cadsuane was honked off even back when. And we see the beginnings of her wanting to spank Moiraine. Had a very good ending. Much better than CoT. I even liked the cover.

Oh yeah, about that cover- I did like TEotW cover. It was the reason I started reading the series back in the day. Yes Moiraine looks small, but let's face it, she's just this side of being a midget and it has been remarked on time and again. Lan looks as badass as ever and that's what counts. The swords on the back are baffling, but I do believe whatshisbucket did say he bases the cover on a paragraph of text and that's all he gets. AND IT SHOWS!

TOR- you have this cash cow waiting in the wings- these ebook covers- bring them out in hardcover. I'm waiting.

andrew smith
76. sillyslovene
Agreed. Although the one exception I think of off the top of my head for a main character not wanting to take risks (and it's an exception for him also) is the quote from Mat in tSR (I think...can't remember exactly where...too busy eating tapioca pudding to go look it up. mmm...tapioca....all mine, none for you in the bunker...mmmm) about "A good general never leads from the front" from his memories, and then he thinks "A man could get killed in there." Pure Mat Cauthon.
Sandy Brewer
77. ShaggyBella
Things I have been wondering about tonight:
Did any of the Tower AS that were taken prisoners have warders already, if so what would happen to that bond? Out of 51 sisters, it is hard to beleive none of them did. Especially for a dangerous mission like gentling Ashamen.

On the subject of gentling, or UNgentling as it is...Rand's black horse, Tai'Daishar, was a gelding when he appeared in CoS & PoD, and in KoD he is now a stallion. Maybe he was Healed??? Cool!
William Fettes
78. Wolfmage
Freelancer @ 63

“When Leigh adresses an issue and offers her opinion about the substance of the issue, and I disagree, I say so.“When Leigh discusses an event (fictional or real), and addresses her own emotions, perspectives, and moral judgements (or considered lack of same) about that event, I will never offer critical remonstration.”

Sorry, but I don’t accept your attempt to characterise my post as a critical repudiation of Leigh’s immediate, visceral reaction to the text. That’s precisely what I did not do. I can only suggest that you re-read my post more carefully. I was painstakingly clear that I felt the scene itself provided ample scope for nuanced, qualified reactions. I only entered the policy debate because I felt Leigh had raised it in a general sense, beyond the immediacy of the scene, but had not IMO treated it with sufficient care and attention to the kind of empirical and philosophical details that demand serious thought when you’re prepared to open such a Pandora’s Box.

I stand behind my right to discuss such matters here when they are raised in this fashion, even when it is clear that a particular position was reached with some fraught emotions – like, say, those emotions that arise in the conflict between Leigh the liberal and her dark passenger (to borrow that wonderful phrase from Dexter). In doing this, I am making a distinction between the essentially personal and inscrutable nature of emotions and immediate reactions, and abstract judgements which depend on a contestable intellectual framework of values, logic and relevant facts. Such a framework is not beyond debate, despite your attempt to conflate it with uncontestable personal emotions.

Leigh’s comparative ambivalence about the torture question can be contrasted powerfully with her more-or-less unqualified condemnation of slavery and violations of ideals of gender equality in previous posts. I would argue those issues evoked more clear-cut reactions from Leigh not because of any significant difference in emotions or the immediate reactions triggered by the books. Rather, they are cases where first principles are more readily applied because Leigh has a more acute and developed framework to makes sense of these issues. My post was not an attempt to castigate Leigh in any kind of crude way for failing some moral test determined by me. It was a genuine attempt to carefully develop the empirical and philosophical background of torture as an issue, to the point where the application of first principles ought to become self-evident to the same extent. Judging by some of the complimentary responses I received, I enjoyed at least some small measure success in that task, which is enough for me to feel it was worthwhile, even if nobody else was moved.

“Those emotions etc are genuinely hers, and cannot be gainsaid.”

Again, I never once attempted to gainsay her emotions. My post was directed at those parts of her post that I felt hedged on the torture policy question. My method was to provide a survey of the history of torture, its ineffectiveness and unintended consequences, its corrosive effects on the rule of law and institutions, the availability of tough, sophisticated and proven alternative techniques, and the dubious nature of the ticking time bomb scenario that has done so damage to moral intuitions in this area to such a point that torture no longer attracts the universal stigma it once did. The post was anything but a glib form of moral grandstanding as you are trying to portray it as; it was careful and measured.

‘See, there's a "tiny" difference between the two. Not painting myself into any corner at all, and you can put down your brush.”

I think you should let others decide what constitutes a departure from the strict confines of textual analysis and what’s a more general foray into a policy issue, thanks. Who are you to police the comment threads otherwise?

“A shot at you?”

No of course not. Your scare quotes around ‘equivocation’ and your backhanded remarks must have been directed at someone else . How silly of me!

“No, you've reverted to your past reflexive egotism which you had seemed to rise above over the past year or so. My comments were rather a defense of our hostess. Again, there's a "tiny" difference between the two.”

I see - I’m returning to my natural state of egotism now? Thanks. It didn’t take too long for you to resort to insult again now did it? It’s rather revealing that I’ve never once insulted you in this manner, or anyone else here for that matter, yet you take such exception to whatever it is about my style that irritates you – my moral certainties, my legalistic approach, my prolix writing, whatever – that you resort to ad hominem attacks out of frustration or annoyance.

You're right it was no real shot though. I think if you really wanted a proper shot at me you would have raised this issue in the relevant thread: either the thread of the actual Perrin scene or the Renna thread where these issues were revisited.
79. Rand Al'Todd
Anybody else out there think that RJ might have intended the "bat in the moon" to be a raken until he realized a book and a half later (counting New Spring) that he just couldn't fit his remaining plot threads into the story soon enough???
After all, he thought the entire series would be a trilogy, and AMOL would fit into one book!
Guess that means that the three Mat-Tuon outriggers would have turned into at least five to seven books.
Robert Crawley
80. Alphaleonis
TGS Chapter 39 "AVisit From Verin Sedai" page 613: Meidani - speaking to Egwene - "It's well known that she (Nicola) is one of your greatest advocates among the novices"
It was odd to hear that of a woman who had effectively betrayed her, but the girl couldn't really be blamed for that, all things considered.

I believe there are other references to Nicola being the one who revealed to the WT about the plan to Cuendillar the blockade chains, and I believe that the fact that Egwene thinks that she couldn't be blamed is because Nicola didn't know that it would be Egwene herself doing it.

I still think there is a confession and an apology from Nicola to Egwene about this somewhere.
Alice Arneson
81. Wetlandernw
Sorry, I'm playing catch-up here, but I'll post a few thoughts anyway.

bad_platypus @19 - I'm with you on Egwene. Given her speed with that particular weave, the only way they could have seen her was if they were waiting. In addition, let me give you (well, everyone else) a quote from KoD's prologue, when Egwene hears the TAS discussing what happened at Southharbor:

"Clever Leane," Egwene murmured. For an instant, she squeezed her eyes shut. Leane had prepared everything in advance, before coming in sight of the harbor, all inverted and her ability masked. If she herself had been as clever, she likely would have escaped cleanly. But then, hindsight always saw farthest.

Granted that it was a plot necessity, but why should she not have made a mistake like that? Certainly she had all the knowledge and skill necessary to do exactly what Leane did, but she didn't think of it. Would people rather have characters who never make mistakes and are unrealistically clever all the time, or characters who are sometimes so busy thinking about other things that (just like us) they miss something they should have caught?

@several - Rand is 6'5" to 6'6"; Perrin is 6'1.5" to 6'2"; Mat is 5'11" to 6'; Moiraine is 5'0" to 5'3". These are based on fans asking RJ at book signings. Clearly he didn't have the details written up on everyone; he had mental images and answered the questions based on those. So no, Rand is not a full foot taller than anyone else in the TR, or anywhere else except maybe Cairhien. And as someone said, basing heights in WoT on medieval averages is completely unfounded. There are many similarities to our medieval times, but it's not the same in all ways.

SusanB @44 - As has been said, there were notes and some plans for two more prequels as well as three outriggers (side stories or later time frames), but only the one prequel was actually written. It's faintly possible that Harriet will decide to ask Brandon to write them, but not very likely. The primary reason, as I understand it, is that the notes for finishing the main series were quite complete, but the notes and outlines for the others were much less so. (No actual scenes were written, for example.) It would require a lot of invention on the part of Team Jordan, and could conceivably end up going in directions other than what RJ had considered. Since Harriet has no need or desire to make an extensive franchise out of WoT beyond publication of the original series, Team Jordan has so far given strong indication that the prequels & outriggers will not be written. FWIW, Team Jordan will be publishing a massive Encyclopedia when they are done with the books, which will probably fill in some of the things we don't know and may also include some of the things that were in the notes for the p&o. The decision to do or not do will probably take place before publication of the Enc, so they can decide if there's info they want to keep out of it.

SpyderZH @46 - Faolain's disappearance is not unexplained; Lelaine admits to confining her for a time after learning that she was spying for Egwene. (KoD Ch. 1)

Wolfmage @several - Wow, you're really trying hard to make it a personal argument, aren't you? Give over, already.

@many, on the DKS covers - the artist is often given a very brief description of a scene, often not even directly out of the book, and must do the art based on only that. RJ said that, on the occasions that they wanted something changed, if they were able to reach DKS personally, the changes were always made. Unfortunately, sometimes they had to go through "channels" (not his word, but I don't remember exactly how he phrased it) and then, more often than not, the requested changes would not get passed on accurately, or even not at all, and then the art wouldn't get changed in time to do any good. FWIW, in preparation for AMoL, Harriet asked Brandon for a recommendation on the cover art. He gave her a three-page description of a scene which hadn't been fully written yet but he knew would be there; she agreed and sent it on to DKS. Brandon has seen the artwork and thinks it's fantastic. Then again, he doesn't dislike the DKS covers as much as some here, so YMMV.

Alphaleonis @80 - Well, the FAQ has been updated and it still won't claim a finalist for the betrayer position, so... I'm thinking there's nothing provable yet. We may never know, for that matter.
William Fettes
82. Wolfmage
Wetlandernw @ 81

Wolfmage @several - Wow, you're really trying hard to make it a personal argument, aren't you? Give over, already.

Thanks, but I rather think chronically misrepresenting someone's post under the guise of giving Leigh a compliment and calling them a habitual egotist is rather more personal than anything I've said in this thread or elsewhere. My worst crime here is simply cluttering the thread with too many words, carrying on a conversation that was inane to begin with. Obviously you're a close friend of Freelancer, and you often back each other up as a collegiate posting bloc, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that your call to get over it was absent your usual even-handedness. I'm done here as far as that goes.
Jonathan Levy
83. JonathanLevy
54. Bergmaniac
"Once the Hall learns about the Kin - once they’re over pitching fits - I think I can get them to agree that a sister who wants to retire should be able to. With the Oaths removed. They had decided long ago that the Rod could be used to unbind as well as bind, else how could Black sisters lie?"
Thanks for that quote, Bergmaniac, I had forgotten it. Still, it seems like an unwarranted inference on their part. That BA can lie makes sense. That they were released from their oaths is a reasonable logical inference. But that they were released using the Oath Rod (and not, for example, using the Dark One's power) is jumping to conclusions. True conclusions, as it turns out, but not strictly warranted by the available data.

55. Aladdin_Sane
Re: About the bat, raken, and Egwene at Falme ...
To add my 2 cents in support, if I remember correctly from TGS: When Egwene is battling the Seanchan using Vora's Sa'angreal, she recognizes the flying creatures by their names (raken, to'raken). This suggests she was familiar with their appearance and their names.

59. Rob Kerr
Re: point #2
If the Seanchan see their empress held by an A'dam, no subtle rationalization will be unable to correct the impression of that image. In the Seanchan mind, those held by an A'dam are animals (like a horse - Tuon's thoughts), and they have no Name (from Bethamin's thoughts). There is no distinction between different types of women who are held by an A'dam, no distinction between "dangerous non-human ones" and "not dangerous, human ones who just happen to be held by an A'dam". They are all marath'damane.

77. ShaggyBella
Did any of the Tower AS that were taken prisoners have warders already, if so what would happen to that bond? Out of 51 sisters, it is hard to beleive none of them did. Especially for a dangerous mission like gentling Ashamen.
Interesting question. But weren't they mostly Reds? In the scene where Toveine gets captured, I recall her ordering about her guardsmen, but no mention of warders.
On the subject of gentling, or UNgentling as it is...Rand's black horse, Tai'Daishar, was a gelding when he appeared in CoS & PoD, and in KoD he is now a stallion. Maybe he was Healed??? Cool!

Really?! What a miss. Do you have references, by any chance? I'd love to read that for myself.

Of course... this may have been done on purpose ... so that in AMoL ... well, so that Tai'Daishar will be able to shaggybella ... ;)

Re: Ad Hominems
I think this would be a good point to quietly let the argument drop - before it deteriorates any further.

Edit: I see this last suggestion was posted 18 minutes too late. Can we please let it drop? Please?
Jonathan Levy
84. JonathanLevy
Ok, sorry for jumping the gun into New Spring, but we've got a week to the next post :)

I just started reading the novel version, and struck with two Big Thoughts.

1) The first half of New Spring (the story of Moiraine and Siuan) reads completely differently after TGS and the Chat with Verin Sedai. It's like a new story. Before TGS, it was "How Moiraine Became Aes Sedai and Went Haring Off on her Great Adventure". Now it's "How Moiraine Miraculously Escaped from the Clutches of the Black Ajah".

Jordan drops three dozen names in one chapter, which (before TGS) are entirely peripheral to the story, but now on each one I'm going "Is she Black? Is she Black? OMG! She's Black!!!". It's a completely different read now, without changing a word.

Jordan must have loved writing it.

2) The only reason Moiraine (and Siuan) survive is because of Moiraine's inbred political paranoia, a result of growing up a high noblewoman in Cairhien. This completely changes the meaning of the Cairhien chapters in TGH for me. Previously, Daes Dae'mar was a little plot device for book 2, which also lent some depth to the WoT universe - different places have different customs, etc.

Now, it's a perfect background for Moiraine's behavior in NS. Without TGH, Moiraine's caution and insight in NS would have seemed like a shabby plot device to make her survive against all odds. With TGH, her behavior is fully in character and makes perfect sense. Whenever I'll re-read Rand's stay in Cairhien, I'll be thinking of Moiraine the Accepted.

It's sad to think how much of WoT was lost with Jordan's passing. Each prequel would have been more than just a wonderful novel in itself - it would have made the original books seem that much richer.

(Edited for spehllingg...)
James Hogan
85. Sonofthunder
Oooh, JL, good thoughts on New Spring. I haven't read it post-TGS yet, and after reading your post I have the strong desire to do so. And I'm greatly looking forward to our reread of NS here just because...MOIRAINE. I love her so so so much. And I love the focus on the White Tower and all its intricacies and traditions...fun times. The description of her AS test is just *amazing*.

Also...I can see how the climax to this book is kind of lousy...but at the time I was first reading it, I didn't care though. Just closed the book and picked up KoD. Which made me sad, because it was the last WoT book currently out...and I knew my journey was almost complete.

Also, as much as I want to rag on Egwene for getting herself captured...it really is logical for her to do the job herself, especially because she's SO much better at it than anyone else. The only quibble I have with her plan is that she didn't have decent backup to protect her. So I have no problem with her strategy - just her tactics.

Also...along with a few others here, I didn't realize Tuon was on the cover either!!

And now...back to my hot chocolate on this cold morning...brrr. Stay warm, y'all!!
Gerd K
86. Kah-thurak
"Mocking aside, Egwene rushing forward to do the job herself is very much in character. The cuendillar plan is the only option that doesn't allow the TAS to just blow the blockade out of the way with the power or the Tower's army to forcibly move it, and Egwene's technically allowed to put herself in danger given the Lawof War. I think, all things considered, that this is a pretty reasonable plot development."

That is a little ...uninventive... isnt it? MacGyver could have blocked that river with a swiss armyknife and half a pack of chewing gum, and the SAS have an Army and a hundred Channelers and all they can come up with is this? Even if you stick to the principle cuendillar idea it could have been done without even getting close to the actual harbour.
Jonathan Levy
87. JonathanLevy
85. Sonofthunder
The description of her AS test is just *amazing*.

I liked the description of her test too - except for the last one (Elaida's test). It just doesn't ring true when you consider it together with the Accepted test. If Moiraine's accepted test was anything like Nynaeve's and Egwene's, then having her daddy appear and say "Oh no mummy's dying" should have been no challenge at all - just a watered-down version of the Accepted test.

86. Kah-thurak
That is a little ...uninventive... isnt it? MacGyver could have blocked that river with a swiss armyknife and half a pack of chewing gum, and the SAS have an Army and a hundred Channelers and all they can come up with is this? Even if you stick to the principle cuendillar idea it could have been done without even getting close to the actual harbour.

Actually, I think Egwene's way was the only way to do it. Remember, her objective isn't just to turn the chain into Cuendillar. It's to turn the chain into Cuendillar without any bloodshed between Aes Sedai, and without revealing the Cuendillar weave.

A strong backup would have attempted a rescue, with bloodshed as a result - better to have them taken prisoner, even if they reveal the weave. Coming in with 20 boats and dozens of channelers providing cover and protection - well, it greatly increases the likelihood of being detected, which means you give up the weave, and also increases the chance of a confrontation which produces casualties.

If Egwene had done that, and wound up with 5 dead and 50 injured on each side, we all would have been like 'Gee, couldn't she have snuck up and done it in the middle of the night? What kind of writing is this anyway?'
Gerd K
88. Kah-thurak
@Jonathan Levy
So... why do it in Tar Valon? Buy a large number of thin iron chains (chain mail like in diameter), attach them to each other, turn them to cuendillar and use them to block the river half a mile before Tar Valon. Naturally there are better ways to this without cuendillar chains but well... Jordans goal wasnt to block the river but to get Egwene captured. For that the plan was perfect.
Rob Munnelly
89. RobMRobM
Kah - putting the chains upriver would let them get ripped out of the ground by channellers using the power. The advantage of the existing chain is it is attached to Ogier-built, power wrought buildings that are nearly channeller proof.

I'm in the camp that Egwene's decision was reasonable and firmly in character. She's a risk taker and much better than Bode at the weave in question. Nuff said.

Is everyone sure we're not reading Winter's Heart? Up here in Boston we have 2-4 feet of snow on the ground with more expected shortly. I really need a New Spring, stat.

90. Rob Kerr
Seanchan again. I really don't think that equating marath'damane with 'woman who can channel' is how their society works. It's not as simple as bam! revelation and all is set asunder. Think about what marath'damane means -- 'those who must be leashed'. Thinking it through, there's no need for a woman who can learn to be leashed, as without being taught, she will never channel, and hence will never be a danger in the same way that a sparker will. The Seanchan have a vested interest in maintaining their status quo, and Tuon at least would quickly reason her way to the same conclusion I've reached, I reckon. And societal inertia is a powerful force. I believe they would quickly conclude that there is no need for them to change, except to possibly make an allowance for sul'dam eventually needing to be leashed after many, many years of working with damane. But the numbers are against them -- the figures in the books say it was around 10 sul'dam to 1 damane, and lots of sul'dam had to wait for long periods before being 'complete'. There's always going to be a ready supply of potential sul'dam, as I see it, and hence no need for the system to change so drastically.
Gerd K
91. Kah-thurak
Tar Valon was under siege at that point. Blocking the river out of sight of the city would mean that the Tower Aes Sedai could only have reached it with a sortie. Not a very likely scenario.
John Massey
92. subwoofer
@Wetlander- I said that about DKS, but I think I refered to him as whatshisbucket. Regardless of what tho', after the first few books the artwork kinda blew. I understand things being wonky in book 1 but after a couple of books DKS shoulda had a better feel... unless he didn't actually read the series.

@Shaggy- what somebody else said. Elaida didn't trust anyone else but her own Ajah to get the job done so I think she sent a bunch of Reds out. Consider it a mass arranged marriage. heh.

@JL- dang! Beyond Sheriam, I'm going to have to look back and write down some names of Sisters so I can spot the clues. Elaida is a gimme as a douche, but the BA... this is gonna be work now.

Chains... it's a pity more Sister's don't have Graendal's skill at taking over animals. They could possess a flock of pigeons and dive bomb ships as they enter the harbor. And if they have real talent, maybe they could change the poo to cuendillar and brain the unsuspecting sailors. Just a thought.

All we are saying...

C'mon now.

Sandy Brewer
93. ShaggyBella
@83 Jonathan Levy - Tai'daishar's un-gelding
CoS, Chapter 34 when Rand rides Tai'daishar out to the Sea Folk ship he is a gelding.
"The big fiery-eyed black gelding he had ridden from Dumais wells had been brought out to him..."
KOD chapter 21 Riding into Tear before the steamwagon shows up.
"Tai'daishar was sight to stare at, a sleek black stallion with a massive chest, a horse that drew attention......"
Also mentiond in Chapter 27 on the way to the meeting with the false'Daughter of the 9 Moons'.

The WOT wiki & encyclopedia also have him as a gelding only ;-)
Jonathan Levy
94. JonathanLevy
90. Rob Kerr
Seanchan again. I really don't think that equating marath'damane with 'woman who can channel' is how their society works. It's not as simple as bam! revelation and all is set asunder. Think about what marath'damane means -- 'those who must be leashed'. Thinking it through, there's no need for a woman who can learn to be leashed, as without being taught, she will never channel, and hence will never be a danger in the same way that a sparker will. The Seanchan have a vested interest in maintaining their status quo, and Tuon at least would quickly reason her way to the same conclusion I've reached, I reckon. And societal inertia is a powerful force.

The current Seanchan definition of marath'damane is simple and straightforward: If a leash holds her, she must be leashed. We saw how Egeanin reacted when she discovered Bethamin was held by the leash. "Bring it to me and I will take it off". You are expecting them to abandon this simple and clear test for one which is far more subtle, and is based on facts which are not widely accepted. They have no concept that some women will channel on their own, and some have to be taught or they'll never do it. The people with this knowledge are Aes Sedai, who are no more than marath'damane in the Seanchan's eyes. Even if the First Oath convinces a few Seanchan, it will not convince the masses. Marath'damane cannot be trusted. They are full of lies, devious, and want to enslave people. This is how the Seanchan see them. Do you really think a Seachan will uncollar a damane simply because a marath'damane says that she'll never channel on her own? Cultural prejudice is also a powerful force.

Logically, of course, your argument makes perfect sense. There is a rational distinction which will allow the Seanchan to maintain their institutions. Culturally, however, it seems impossible.

91. Kah-thurak
Tar Valon was under siege at that point. Blocking the river out of sight of the city would mean that the Tower Aes Sedai could only have reached it with a sortie. Not a very likely scenario.
Less likely than the Tower Aes Sedai offloading Aes Sedai and Gawyn's guards on the west bank, right under Bryne's nose?

Also, if the SAS can't stop boats getting to Tar Valon without creating a cuendillar chain, how would they stop an Aes Sedai raid on their chain? You'd need to put Aes Sedai at each chain, - or, more precisely, at each anchor point of each chain. That requires you to split your forces 4 ways. If you try to bus forces to a threatened site using Travelling, the Tower faction will see the weave and learn to copy it.

Getting rid of such a chain might not even require a concentrated raid. How much does a cuendillar chain weigh? Especially if you make it from thin slices of iron. One Aes Sedai might be able to lift it in the air using the Power. She might even be able to do it from the middle of the stream, if the chain has become completely rigid.

I'm with RobMRobM on this one.

93. ShaggyBella
I'm going to re-read that when I get home. Great catch! And thanks for the references.
Valentin M
95. ValMar
I personally like the EOTW cover. Mostly for it's atmosphere. I'm sure it played a part of me picking up the book. Now all my WOT books are UK editions so I haven't any problems with the covers. But I still have my first, foreign language, copy of EOTW.

As for blocking Tar Valon, one should really look at its map. The river is huge- it isn't at all feasable to put a chain across it up and downriver. As was said above, it has to be fastened to something. And TAS can sail to the chains and take them down with the power. SAS have to guard them and there will be a direct SAS-TAS power battle. Exactly what Eg wants to avoid.
With the chains snuggly across the harbours and the abillity to make cuendillar it's really no-brainer. And remember- all tactical considerations must be made with keeping in mind Eg's desire to avoid out-and-out AS fighting.
Which is why the SAS haven't Travelled in and finished this joke of a siege a book ago, and instead I am boring you with this.
And of course, someone got in there before I finished my post - JLevy ;)

Also, on Eg not doing what Leane did. Putting aside plot advance necessity, we should look with more balance on what mistakes characters make. I don't think everytime one of the heroes screws up we should overreact.
IMO Eg was right to go herself on this mission and, perhaps due to last moment change of plans, failed to take some precautions. But even without them she would have got away with it if not for the ambush. Overall, IMO it was a reasonable mistake to make and consequences to follow.
Captain Hammer
96. Randalator
Kah-thurak @91

Tar Valon was under siege at that point. Blocking the river out of sight of the city would mean that the Tower Aes Sedai could only have reached it with a sortie. Not a very likely scenario.

Why a sortie? They could just send a ship with Aes Sedai out of the harbor, up/down the river to the cuendillar barricades, get rid of them and then form an Aes Sedai Guard that sends one of their members with every merchant ship from then on in case the barricades get re-erected...
Gerd K
97. Kah-thurak
In that case, why bother with the harbour at all? Just supply other land and guard the merchants... obviously the rebel Aes Sedai are blocking land traffic. There is no real difference or difficulty in doing the same for a river. It is just not wanted plot wise...
Valentin M
98. ValMar
Kah-thurak @ 97
RJ had many Medieval-Reneissance port city sieges to draw from. Cutting off supplies from the sea tends to be the biggest difficulty.
The Ottomans besieged Constantinople several times before 1453 and never came close to taking the city because they couldn't close the port. In the 1453 siege 7-8000 defenders would've most likely kept the city vs 80 000+ attackers and cannon if not for a very audacious Ottoman solution to the "chain problem".
To keep with the Ottomans, they had a number of sieges of Island/Sea ports (e.g. Rhodes, Chandia, Salonika) they tended to last for years, successful or not. Same with the French difficulty with Calais.

Also, as J Levy implied above, the land blockade isn't very successful. SAS supplies are constantly ambushed.
99. archaeo
Kah-thurak@97, I'm not exactly sure what you're saying, but logically, Egwene's chain plot is the only solution to her problem.

First, note that blocking the harbor is the only way the SAS have of actually putting the hurt on the TAS without resorting to outright violence. So take it as a given that they have to find some way to block the harbor in order to even make the siege worth it.

Next, note that cuendillar is really the only foolproof way of blocking things. ANYTHING else would lead to breaking an oath (creating conditions so dangerous that people would likely die) or would lead to a direct confrontation with the TAS. Any method that relies on sisters actively maintaining a barrier would end with them being shielded, followed by more shields, until the first AS decided "my life is in danger," and then it all goes to hell. Any method that relies on troops can be solved by troops. And everything besides cuendillar can just be undone by the Power.

This plan is the best one. It requires two sisters sufficiently skilled with a specialized weave, two boats, and a dark night.
Gerd K
100. Kah-thurak
Now if you look at your examples and compare them to Tar Valon, what is the essential difference? A river is not a sea.... blockading a sea port is naturally much more difficult though it has been done by superior navies.

And if the land blockade is not successful, why bother with the harbours at all?

So you say that buying of commandeering 1-3 ships themselves and using them to interdict travel on the river is ouright impossible? That ballista could not be used to sink ships approaching Tar Valon? No other possibillity at all? There must be dozens... is it so hard to accept that this plot point does not make very much sense?
Birgit F
101. birgit
The introduction to the New Spring short story has a funny version of the Three Oaths:

To speak no word that is not true, to make no weapon for one man to kill another, and never to use the One Power except as a weapon against Shadowspawn or in the last extreme of defending her own life, or that of her Warder or another sister.

If that were the true version of the Third Oath, maybe more AS would be fighting Shadowspawn in the Blight instead of playing politics.
Valentin M
102. ValMar
Kah-thurak @ 100

Re Sea/river- according to the map, the river north/south of TV is 2 miles across. Plus TV is on an island and the river is 1 mile across either side. It's practically like a sea port. No Medieval artillery can be effective due to short range.

The land blockade stopped food and soldiers coming in. But TAS could still use the river for this.

It just sounds like a WUM act, no offence Kah-thurak. It is obvious, plus it is stated many times in the text, that Tar Valon is almost impregnable by conventional means. It is also stated that the SAS and TAS have similar forces. The attckers usually need large numerical advantage. And Bryne was hobbled by the rules of engagement given to him by Eg (IIRC), by time, and lack of equipment (ships for river blockade).
Eg knew this and was counting on blocking the harbours with the cuendillar.
Robert Crawley
103. Alphaleonis
@81 Wetlander

The fact that Egwene calls Nicola her betrayer is good enough for me. I don't have to wait for the FAQ to tell me. Or is there another time that Nicola betrayed her besides the harbor incident.

On Rand's Height: As I said earlier, I can go out into my yard and shoot a three rivers longbow and hit the houses where 3 guys live who are 6'-8" or taller and one who is 6'-11". So at least in my neck of the woods, Rand at 6'-6" would be MUCH shorter than the tallest man in the district, which the text of WOT calls him. So 6'-6" does not work for my visualization. 6'-9" is even cutting it close, but it at least let's me think of him as a tall man and not just a man of above average height. As very many of the pasters here have said, in reference to pronunciation of names, even after hearing the "official" pronunciation: I'm sticking to my original thought- Rand is 6'-9", maybe 6'-10". That would still allow for some of the Aeil (Shawn Bradley?, Manute Bol?), at 7'-6" to be taller.
Thomas Keith
104. insectoid
Sub @92: Re: pigeons... ROFLMAO!! That's very creative of you. XD

ShaggyBella @93: That is an... interesting gaffe. ;)

Birgit @101: Also interesting. There certainly wouldn't be much Healing or Delving or Traveling going on, would there?

105. litg
Leigh, Nicola betrayed Egwene. She didn't know Egwene was going to freeze the harbor chains, but she did know about the plan, because she was one of the potential pool of novices that was going to perform the deed, I'm guessing. Anyway, whatever the reasoning, somebody flat out says it in one of the books later on, I'm pretty sure. It wasn't Beonin, because she swore an Oath to Egwene, and until Egwene was captured (and therefore not the Amyrlin anymore) she couldn't violate it.
Bill Reamy
106. BillinHI
Speaking of horses, I just noticed in going back over some earlier books (ACOS & TPOD) that Egwene's horse is named Daishar (Glory in the Old Tongue) and Rand's is named Tai'daishar (Lord of Glory in the Old Tongue). Both are noted as geldings in those books, altho Rand's, of course, is referred to as a stallion later on.

I found this too late to put in the last post when we were discussing lions in Randland, so here it is now (not exactly PC, but my wife laughed at it too, so it can't be _too_ bad).

Captain Hammer
107. Randalator
Kah-thurak @97, 100

As ValMar already said, the Erinin is huge. Ships travelling the river are well beyond the effective range or even maximum range of any type of ballista. The sheer size of the stream also makes an attempt at blocking trade with ships extremely difficult bordering on impossible unless you had a full fleet (which the rebels neither have nor can acquire in reasonable time as Bryne explained). And if you actually managed to cut down trade with your ships TV could just send Aes Sedai guards with the trading ships that could blow your ships to smithereens as soon as they attacked. That would mean the rebels had to send Aes Sedai with their ships as well, which means Aes Sedai fighting Aes Sedai, which means fully fledged war between Tower and rebels...which is the exact thing Egwene tried to avoid so desperately.

As for your other point, the Rebels might not have been able to completely stop merchants coming to TV although I can't see how they would just march up to the gates and the Tower Guards would be all like "Jolly good, in you come. Say, that's a mighty fine trojan horse you got there!". And on top of that Tar Valon is way to big to be supported via the bridges alone.

So in short: Merchant flow via the bridges is already not enough, rebel patrols have cut them down to a minimum and those who make it through would most likely not be let in anyway. And don't forget that it would be a lot easier for any road travelling merchant to just sell to the rebels in the first place. That only leaves the harbor as a means of supplying the city which you can't stop unless you're blocking the harbor and we're back where we started...

So the question really should be: is it so hard to accept that this plot point makes very much sense and is well established in universe?
Sorcha O
108. sushisushi
archaeo@72 I don't believe the argument that fantasy books need lurid covers to sell, it seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. They seem to do absolutely fine in the UK and Ireland with much more dignified artwork. I also suspect that the genre gets more non-hardcore readers if less people are embarrassed to be seen with the artwork.

alphaleonis@80 and 103 Finding those references to Nicola revealing the plan would be excellent, because even the WOTFAQ seems to think it was an open issue.

Wetlandernw@81 Giving an artist a scene or two is totally standard practice for book covers but they usually manage to get the arms and legs in anatomically appropriate places.
Tess Laird
109. thewindrose
So I remember the first time I read this book, when Egwene decided to take Bode's place - I knew she was going to be captured. She was going to undermine Elaida and reunite the Tower from the inside. But it was still an awesome ride to the top with her. Can't say I liked her to much in ToM though. I personaly hope her thoughts on Rand were given a push by Halima - but we will see soon enough.

So to help Kah-thurak - the SAS could have completly rerouted the river - thay would have been really cool, and not killing anyone. Could you imagine waking up and the river is five miles away. And then yes, the TAS could have then moved it back so never mind;)

Janet Hopkins
110. JanDSedai
As for Egwene not preparing herself like Leanne by shielding and masking, it didn't do Leanne any good. She was also captured; just not recognized.
Robert Crawley
111. Alphaleonis

As quoted above - Egwene called Nicola the betrayer on pg. 613 of TGS. Unless Nicola also betrayed Egwene in another instance, that means that Egwene is pretty sure that Nicola is the one. I will continue looking, because there may be something even more concrete. But Egwene, whatever her faults may be, is not usually acusatory without proof.
112. pwl
As for Egwene not preparing herself like Leanne by shielding and masking, it didn't do Leanne any good. She was also captured; just not recognized.

This is partially because Leane takes significantly more time to turn an item to cuendillar than Egwene does. Egwene is the only known person that can perform the transformation instantly.
Also, count me in for the people pointing out the issue of SAS not being able to sink ships because people might be killed, but the TAS can do it just fine. Yes, the TAS planned to rescue anyone on the boat, but the SAS could have made the same plans. Unless the capture parties purely consisted of Black sisters, the others should have been thinking "wtf, how did they just break an Oath? must be Black". The whole situation is just a pretty poorly conceived plot to get Egwene captured, consistency or logic be damned. That said, it is rather in character for Egwene to do what she did. Far more than the "I am the ancient Tower, hear me ROAR" from ToM, at least.

I enjoyed CoT far more than most, but this part of it was lackluster.
Tricia Irish
113. Tektonica

Couldn't agree with you more on the book covers. They are terrible anatomically, and luridly embarrassing. I am always embarrassed to carry these things around with such cartoon like covers. They're as bad as some of the 'bodice rippers'.

How does this genre expect to generate any literary respect with these silly covers?GRRM has dignified covers and his popularity doesn't seem to be suffering.

Beautiful type would suffice for me. The ebook covers are far superior to the DKS ones. They are at least good artwork that is relevant to the story.

I do hope we get a reissue with the new covers!!
114. archaeo
Kah-thurak@100, every single one of your alternative solutions inevitably leads to conflict.

"So you say that buying of commandeering 1-3 ships themselves and using them to interdict travel on the river is ouright impossible?"

Not outright impossible, just unacceptably dangerous. It doesn't take the One Power to take down a ship. TAS can blow the shipwrecks out of the harbor with Air. However well this works, it inevitably leads to a pitched battle rather than a skirmish.

"That ballista could not be used to sink ships approaching Tar Valon?"

Again, wouldn't be much of a skirmish when the Tower Guard get involved. Even if you locate it far downriver, Elaida does have Traveling, and she might be tempted to give it out to some subordinates in order to get what she wants.

"No other possibillity at all? There must be dozens... is it so hard to accept that this plot point does not make very much sense?"

I think I've really made all the points I can make. Every other thing I can think of just leads to actual battle between TAS and SAS forces, which neither side wants. I think one could make an argument for having Egwene willingly turn herself in to get inside the Tower, but that would require a sneaky Egwene; while she's politically astute, she's not terribly sneaky.

I don't know, like I said, I think I've talked myself out on this issue.

sushisushi@108, I don't think that fantasy publishers have to use lurid covers, but you can't deny it works. It signifies a certain kind of story that fantasy readers want. It's part of the schema marketers have established; it's the same reason the Ender books all have fancy spaceships on the covers despite the fact that most of the "action" involves characters philosophizing at each other. I'm saying, I haven't seen the data, but I imagine that Tor and other publishers have very good reasons for using the covers that they use. It's like seeing the red and white of a Coke can; a lurid fantasy cover is instantly recognizable as a certain kind of story, and Tor is trying to get people interested in these stories interested in cracking a book.
Roger Powell
115. forkroot

it didn't do Leanne any good. She was also captured; just not recognized.
The fact that she wasn't recognized was unrelated to the whole inverted weave/masking discussion.

She wasn't recognized because she had been Severed then Healed and had yet to re-acquire the "ageless" look. The SAS had all gotten used to her (and Siuan's) new appearance, but this was the first that the TAS had heard of it.
Jay Dauro
116. J.Dauro
Egwene accuses many of betrayal, including Beonin and Medani. Her line about Nicola is "effectively betrayed" Revealing the plot to make the chains into cuendillar would not be "effectively betrayed", it would be actually betraying. The AS guarding the chain appeared to know the actual date, which Nicola would probably not know.

Egwene would consider abandoning the SAS to go to the Tower an "effective betrayal", and could also consider Nicola's attempted blackmail after bringing her into the SAS an "effective betrayal". It is possible that Egwene meant that Nicola was the betrayer, but it by no means certain.

We know that 51 sisters were captured by the AM. There was only one White (Ayako Norsoni), and this is mentioned, so there were more than 1 of all other Ajahs (except the Blue, of course.) The majority were Red, and all of the 4 accompaning Toveine were Red (include Jenare and Lemai.) 9 other parties were captured. The others mentioned are:

Akoure Vayet - Gray
Carniele - Yellow
Desandre - Yellow
Gabrelle - Brown specifies no warder)
Adrielle - Gray
Aisling Noon - Green

So I would expect some Warders, but AFAICT none are specified in the text.
Jay Dauro
117. J.Dauro
Egwene accuses many of betrayal, including Beonin and Medani. Her line about Nicola is "effectively betrayed" Revealing the plot to make the chains into cuendillar would not be "effectively betrayed", it would be actually betraying. The AS guarding the chain appeared to know the actual date, which Nicola would probably not know.

Egwene would consider abandoning the SAS to go to the Tower an "effective betrayal", and could also consider Nicola's attempted blackmail after bringing her into the SAS an "effective betrayal". It is possible that Egwene meant that Nicola was the betrayer, but it by no means certain.

We know that 51 sisters were captured by the AM. There was only one White (Ayako Norsoni), and this is mentioned, so there were more than 1 of all other Ajahs (except the Blue, of course.) The majority were Red, and all of the 4 accompaning Toveine were Red (include Jenare and Lemai.) 9 other parties were captured. The others mentioned are:

Akoure Vayet - Gray
Carniele - Yellow
Desandre - Yellow
Gabrelle - Brown specifies no warder)
Adrielle - Gray
Aisling Noon - Green

So I would expect some Warders, but AFAICT none are specified in the text.
Captain Hammer
118. Randalator
pwl @112

Also, count me in for the people pointing out the issue of SAS not being able to sink ships because people might be killed, but the TAS can do it just fine. Yes, the TAS planned to rescue anyone on the boat, but the SAS could have made the same plans.

Um, there is actually a difference between a rowboat and a merchant ship.

The former has only a handfull of people in it, all of which are in plain sight and can easily be taken care of by a group of Aes Sedai. Especially when they're pretty close to the boat like for example directly above them on the harbor wall.

The latter has dozens of people on board, quite a lot of them below deck where you can't see them. You sink that ship you're inevitably going to miss some of the crew no matter how well you prepare. Some might get trapped in the sinking ship (like Nynaeve in Ebou Dar), others might get knocked out or pulled under by a piece of debris or even their clothes. And since you only have a few slow boats you would attack the ship from the river bank which is, as was noted earlier, a freaking mile away.

So, few people close by and in plain sight vs. lots of people a mile away and hidden below deck...see what I'm getting at...?
Alice Arneson
119. Wetlandernw
Wolfmage @82 - FWIW, you were not the only one who expressed, directly or indirectly, the opinion that Leigh should have taken a more definitive stand. If you like, you can take it as a compliment that your wording was used as an example, but to take Freelancer's whole comment as a personal affront based on that alone is rather egotistical of you. Do you not wish to share culpability with others who shared your opinion and supported your arguments? While you are correct in your assumption that I have great respect and liking for Freelancer and consider him a friend, it's not really relevant. I have this "get over it" reaction to anyone who repeatedly (and in this case, at great length) insists on taking a disagreement as a personal attack, and it has nothing to do with the identity of the parties on either side. I've said it to various people before, and I'm sure I will do so again. The sentiment that "this was obviously aimed at me, so I'm going to wear you down with walls of text defending my position and attacking yours" is one that I find tedious, at best. If you really think the shoe fits, by all means wear it; if you don't think it fits, drop it and walk away. If it makes you feel better, IIRC I once told someone here to grow up and get over herself. So there's that.

subwoofer @92 - Yeah, well, I've never seen any suggestion that DKS actually read the series at all. I don't think it's required or even expected of an artist. For that matter, several of the ebook-cover artists haven't read the series either, so... I don't know what it proves, but it ought to prove something.

Kah-thurak @100 (and others) - You keep forgetting that the AS want to avoid killing - even the soldiers, if they can. As mentioned elsewhere, the Erinin is way more than a mile wide here, so blockading the whole river is... difficult, at best, by any means. Far more reasonable to blockade the harbor, if you can. You keep saying "there must be dozens of other ways" - so, present some that require no bloodshed and are actually easier to pull off than turning the harbor chains to cuendillar. Remember, if the plan had not been betrayed so that there were TAS waiting for them at the exact spots, it would have worked perfectly. As it is, even though Egwene and Leane were captured, it did the job quite well; Northharbor is closed and Southharbor is so nearly closed that they can't get anything much bigger than a longboat through. (Not exact wording - look it up if you want.) Tar Valon is effectively cut off from its supply lines.

birgit @101 - ROFL!! That's too funny! Clearly an editing case of reading what you expect to see instead of what's there...

Alphaleonis @103 - Believe as you like; we all do. I'd be much more convinced if someone could show me the actual text where Egwene thinks (based on anything other than Nicola's presence) that "Nicola betrayed our plan" or, better yet, could show text where Nicola apologizes for giving away the plan. Since the FAQ is pretty good at basing the list of probable culprits on actual text, and there are a large number of people combing the text for clues, if the FAQ says there's no proof... Well. If you have textual proof you can convince me. If not, you can't convince me based on "I'm sure it says so somewhere." Not that you particularly care if you convince me, I hope, but there it is. I agree that Nicola is a contender for the position, but as far as I'm concerned, we don't have enough evidence to prove anyone guilty. (FWIW, I'm with J. Dauro on the interpretation of "a woman who had effectively betrayed her" - Egwene would consider changing sides a betrayal, regardless of whether or not Nicola had knowledge of any secrets to betray.)

As for your visualizations, do what you need to do. I was just pointing out for those who discussed it that RJ gave some numbers at book signings and said that a) Rand is about 6'6" and b) he's NOT a foot taller than everyone else. (4-5 inches taller than Perrin, 6-7 inches taller than Mat.) If it makes you happy to "see" Rand as seven feet tall, or Nynaeve as four-and-a-half, feel free. Just don't try to convince other people that Rand is "supposed to be" seven feet tall, when the author said he's 6'6".

sushisushi @108 - Yeah, I'm totally not touching the anatomy question, except to say... I've seen worse. (Scary thought, isn't it?) I was just pointing out the fact that when people complain about the composition of the cover scene, the artist can't honestly bear the full blame. Issues of style are another whole area, and I'm not going there (mostly because I don't care that much). I just hate to see anyone being unfairly blamed for something that's not really their fault.
John Massey
120. subwoofer
@Wetlander- what should it prove? Wells I think there is a Gieco commercial about it all- something about cavemen- but dang, if the folks that haven't read the book and do the ebook covers kick ass and DKS hasn't read the books and his covers' blow goats, then stop using this DKS dude to do the drawing. At the very least, hire me, I may only be able to draw stick figures, but they will all be to scale, you can tell who's who and I'd get Mat's spear, Lan's sword and the odd horsey depicted right.

@Sushi- OTOH I don't see anybody with a Skittle's tree coming out of their abdomen, so there is that.

Windrose has a point, if the Sisters link they could use earth or something and reroute the river. Heck if a beaver can do it, a few Sisters tapping into Saidar should be able to muster up something.

Egwene could also talk to the Sea Folk and strike up another Bargain with them to patrol the river with their Rakers. We get glimpses of naval warefare with the Sea Folk and the Seanchan battles, but we never really get a good feel for the power of the navy. Point is, there is more than one way to halt the flow of boats on a river. WoT is mostly land battles. What if Mat comes up with the idea of mounting his Dragons on ships? If there are any rivers in the Blight it might be worth while.

This late night post brought to you by crying baby. As soon as her vision focuses better I am going to spend the rest of my waking days with her teaching her how to tell the time. Midnight- we all sleep. Daytime- we are awake. Don't confuse the two.

Gerd K
121. Kah-thurak
I guess the most interesting question is, why the SAS didnt start bullying the merchants supplying Tar Valon into "not getting involved in Aes Sedai affairs" and stop trading with the city at all. Naturally the TAS would do the same and the poor merchants would begin their descent into madness. THAT should have worked shouldnt it?
Kimani Rogers
122. KiManiak
ShaggyBella@77 and others re: Ajah of AS who attacked Black Tower – I’ll have to double check exactly where (Ok, went to go check and got caught up reading about the battle at Dumai’s Wells. Love reading that. Anyway, Elaida ordered 50 with Toveine as lead, but didn’t specify Red Ajah. Lightnings, ACoS), but as I recall Alviarin assigned the 50 AS who attacked the Tower (Alviarin thought it was doomed and so didn’t include any Black Ajah; reference is somewhere in TPoD, still looking for exactly where), and not Elaida. Although there were probably a number of Red, I got the impression that there were a fair share of the other Ajahs as well (otherwise, why would a Brown like Gabrielle be included?). So, it would be logical to assume that some of them had Warders.
And I see that J.Dauro@116 makes this point since I started reading the battle at Dumai's Wells in LoC and ACoS and since the last time I refreshed this comment page…

Alphaleonis@80&103&111, litg@105 and anyone else re: Nicola’s betrayal – I’m pretty sure that Egwene viewed Nicola’s defection to the White Tower as the betrayal. Actually, defecting to the WT is what Nicola apologizes to Egwene about when Egwene is first brought captive into the Tower (Embers Falling on Dry Grass, KoD). Otherwise, Egwene wouldn’t have later accused Beonin of betraying her and her plans to Elaida and being Black Ajah (Honey in the Tea, KoD,). I checked, and couldn’t find a confession from Nicola regarding betraying Egwene’s plans anywhere. The only confession she issues is the one I mention above in the beginning of KoD.

Unless you can cite the source proving otherwise, I’m fairly confident that we are never told who betrayed the cuendillar plan. The reference in A Visit from Verin Sedai in TGS says
“It was odd to hear that of a woman who had effectively betrayed her (emphasis mine), but the girl couldn’t really be blamed for that, all things considered.”
That quote is definitely open to interpretation (Egwene could see Nicola defecting to the WT as a betrayal; Egwene’s use of the phrase “effectively betrayed,” where if she thought Nicola gave up the cuendillar plan she would have accused her of “actual” betrayal , not “effective betrayal; etc.).
And I see that J.Dauro@116 makes this point too. Darn, man, you are killing me :-) Well, great minds think alike, and all that jazz, I guess…

(Oh, and Alphaleonis@111 re: Egwene and proof, um, Egwene has accused Rand, Perrin, Mat, Moiraine, Nynaeve, Elayne, Elaida, Beonin, and probably many others that I don’t recall of various things without proof. To Egwene, until she is informed otherwise, often her opinion alone is proof enough).

JL@84 re: New Spring – Good points, that I hadn’t thought about. I look forward to discussing New Spring and the various AS who turn out to be BA, based on the info we know as of the end of ToM. I may even reread along with Leigh and the group; I think it’s easily been a few years since I last read it.

I know I’m hard on Egwene, but I saw her actions of taking over for Bode, cuendillaring the chain and then getting captured, as completely in character. Why would she think about masking her ability to channel and inverting the weaves to escape detection? Why should she rationally expect Tower AS to be outside the City and near the chains at that time of night?
Sorcha O
123. sushisushi
Alphaleonis@111 Ah, she does indeed. She's not 100% sure but has put two and two together with nosy Nicola defecting a few days before their plan is betrayed, and applied Occam's razor to come up with 'effectively betrayed'. It's not an admission from Nicola, mind you, nor does she specify that Nicola has betrayed the plan, as opposed to Egwene as leader of the SAS side.

It does make sense that Nicola would spill everything she knew on arrival to the Tower, because how else would a woman in her twenties showing up, claiming to be a novice, get accepted (no pun intended!) without having some information to bargain for initiate status? I wonder who questioned her, because the TAS don't seem to display that much knowledge of their besiegers, other than stopping the harbor chain scheme. Unless this was a scenario where the questioner(s) didn't share any information beyond their Ajah, which doesn't prove that that knowledge of the scheme came from Nicola - it could just as easily have come from the Black Ajah, via a Forsaken back-channel.

Tektonica@113 and archaeo@114
As I said earlier, the spec fix genres seem to do okay in UK/IE with non-lurid covers. A quick look at the biggest bookstore in Dublin (Hodges Figgis) has a massive SF/Fantasy/Horror section with very few American style covers in sight, selling happily away. I haven't got much hard data to go on, either (I wonder where one could find that for the UK? I found a site that said fantasy/SF sales were 7.8% of all US books sales in 2009, but the spamguard keeps eating any posts I make with links in). Even as far back as the early 90s, there was a significant difference in cover art styles between Europe and the US - I remember going into a Barnes & Noble for the first time in the US then and being horrified by the lurid, cliched covers in the SF/fantasy section.

Wetlander@119 Fair enough. There really are two issues with the covers, not one - a) lack of accuracy towards the detail of the books and b) poor composition and observation of anatomy. I'll happily charge into the latter, myself :)
What really annoys me about it is that if you look at DKS's website, he's done some absolutely amazing hyper-realistic landscapes and Western scenes, so it's not like he's not got the ability to produce realistic scenes. I suspect that he's been sucked into the whole 'fantasy covers need to be lurid to sell' idea, so has ditched a whole load of things (e.g. anatomy, perspective) in lieu of 'people waving staffs/spears in the air on rearing horses/dragons/misc. creatures' cliches. Either that or they aren't paying him half enough or giving him enough time for the amount of work involved, which would surprise me greatly. If you read the articles on here about the ebook covers, several of them haven't read the series, but still use human models to pose for their images, in the interests of realism.

subwoofer@120 I'm afraid to ask...
Gerd K
124. Kah-thurak
The covers of the new german edition of the WoT books manage a quite decent compromise between the american and the uk covers.

Though I still prefer the UK ones.
125. deebee
I think I`d settle for just about any cover which actually stayed on, my WOT paperbacks are all disintegrating. Yes they`re well-used, but I have many other books in soft covers which seem to have survived much better.
126. pwl

Um, there is actually a difference between a rowboat and a merchant ship.The former has only a handfull of people in it, all of which are in plain sight and can easily be taken care of by a group of Aes Sedai.

Not enough of a difference. The reason the SAS cannot do anything is that someone might be hurt. By the same token, the TAS cannot do anything even to the small boat because in sinking it, a piece of debris might pierce Egwene's heart or she might kill herself hitting her head on the boat as she pitches over. All this "might" and "may" absolutely inhibiting action moots the difference between a rowboat and a ship. That's the whole silliness of "cannot do anything because it might result in someone getting hurt, thus qualifying as a 'weapon'".
Have you checked out
http://www.steelypips.org/wotfaq/0_admin/0.06_loose-covers.html ? Still sucks, but there's stuff you can do.
Jonathan Levy
127. JonathanLevy
103. Alphaleonis
111. Alphaleonis

The fact that Egwene calls Nicola her betrayer is good enough for me. I don't have to wait for the FAQ to tell me. Or is there another time that Nicola betrayed her besides the harbor incident.

Well, abandoning Egwene's camp and going to Elaida's might count. Egwene certainly considers Beonin's actions a betrayal.

I agree with you that it's important to read any relevant quotes in context. I see you've already found one reference - I'll have to go look it up. It's p613 in the hardcover edition, right? I would be very happy if the gang in the bunker managed to find definite proof on this matter.

(I see 122. KiManiak has addressed this much better than I have)

116. J.Dauro
Interesting points, regarding the precise wording of Egwene's complaints about Nicola.

107. Randalator

So in short: Merchant flow via the bridges is already not enough, rebel patrols have cut them down to a minimum and those who make it through would most likely not be let in anyway. And don't forget that it would be a lot easier for any road travelling merchant to just sell to the rebels in the first place.

I'm not disputing your conclusion, but I think there are two sides to the highlighted argument. It might be easier to sell to the rebels, but the prices for food in a city under siege will be much much higher.

118. Randalator
Hmmm. Good points.

120. subwoofer
Careful. When her vision focuses, she might learn to stop crying only when Daddy comes to visit. Remember Murphy's laws?

121. Kah-thurak
Aes Sedai must maintain their mystique. They're not about to wash the dirty laundry in public.

122. KiManiak
Just wait until we get into all the little 'pillow-friends' hints in New Spring. Won't that be fun?
Jay Dauro
128. J.Dauro
I understand that many of us find the DKS covers to be a bit lacking. But remember that the reason he does the covers is because RJ picked him. And Harriet decided to complete the series with him.

If it's really that bad for you, I could consider printing up the ebook covers in the correct sizes on adhesive paper, so we can stick them on the existing covers. Could make a tidy profit from what I've seen. Hmm, wonder if Tor would license this? ;^)
David Thomson
129. ZetaStriker
Leigh, for some reason your saying that COT was not as heinous as it could have been reads very much like a battered wife musing that "at least he still loves me".
130. Ryanus

There's still a singular different between the TAS sinking a row-boat and the SAS refusing to sink the bigger ship. It's already been mentioned that the rowboat has all passengers visible and on the surface while the other has those below deck.

We don't know Where below deck they are. If Egwene starts ramming holes in the hull at water level there's a chance she'll nail a sailor with the weave she's using to break the boat. With the rowboat the TAS can specifically aim away from all people, even if a splintered piece of wood hurt someone that's not directly their fault. I wouldn't think the SAS would disagree with that logic. But the chance that they'll directly harm or kill someone is still there.
Captain Hammer
131. Randalator
pwl @126

The reason the SAS cannot do anything is that someone might be hurt. By the same token, the TAS cannot do anything even to the small boat because in sinking it, a piece of debris might pierce Egwene's heart or she might kill herself hitting her head on the boat as she pitches over. All this "might" and "may" absolutely inhibiting action moots the difference between a rowboat and a ship.

Yeah, and creating a glowing ball for illumination or, I don't know, make flames shoot out of the ends of your staff and twirling it over your head might give an unsuspecting bystander a heart attack. That doesn't prevent Aes Sedai from creating glowing balls or staff-y flames.

To make the oaths kick in, there has to be at least a realistic chance of seriously hurting someone. In this case they are NOT blowing up the boat so there's absolutely no splinters flying about. The way it's written, it seems they push the people out of the boat and turn it over with flows of Air.

There is absolutely no realistic way that the people on the boat could get seriously hurt by simply being pushed into the river so naturally the oaths don't come into play.
132. pwl
Yeah, and creating a glowing ball for illumination or, I don't know, make flames shoot out of the ends of your staff and twirling it over your head might give an unsuspecting bystander a heart attack. That
doesn't prevent Aes Sedai from creating glowing balls or staff-y flames.

Yes, that's my point. The rule is silly and nonsensical as used by the SAS to justify the chain plan. They could magically beach the boats instead of "blowing them up", which would have less of a risk of hurting someone (especially if they form circles and gently pluck them out of the water instead of moving the current to run them to ground) than people "simply being pushed into the river".

There is absolutely no realistic way that the people on the boat could get seriously hurt by simply being pushed into the river so naturally the oaths don't come into play.

Seriously? Does Westland not have rocks?
Captain Hammer
133. Randalator
pwl @132

They could magically beach the boats instead of "blowing them up", which would have less of a risk of hurting someone (especially if they form circles and gently pluck them out of the water instead of moving the current to run them to ground)

You have to be able to see in order to channel. So how are you going to prevent ships entering the harbor when they're just coming in at night?

Seriously? Does Westland not have rocks?

Right in the middle of a river two miles wide at the mouth of a huge artificial harbor? Think again...
134. Ryanus
And again, we're talking might cause damage from side effect versus might cause damage directly.

Moraine could do the spinning fire, she was very carefully keeping the flame from hitting anyone. Anyone who jumped on the fire or had a heart attack, not her fault.

She would have been prevented from doing the same trick if she was, say, in a swarm of people where her flames could hit people just from proximity.

Tipping Boat when you can see everyone and grab them with air =/= slamming a hole in the waterline of a boat where someone might be standing behind that particular section and nailed by your air blast/fireball/what have you.
Fake Name
135. ThePendragon
@52 JonathanLevy

I just don't see what's so wrong with the aCoS cover as long as you interpret that as Ishamael on the cover and not Rand, which I do. I know I'm likely wrong, but I don't care. The trollocs are how I always imagined them, and so is Shadar Logoth. I never thought that might be Rand until Leigh mentioned it in here re-read, so by that time it had always been cemented in my mind as the second best of the DKS covers. I really can't think of anything wrong with it looking at it from my perspective.
136. archaeo
pwl@132, the ultimate problem with this plan isn't the Oaths. Beaching would be quite effective. The problem is that it requires lots of AS constantly watching the river to beach boats, not to mention the fact that, after you beach it, you might find it full of Tower guards and pissed-off Reds ready to shield and pillage. There's no way that turns out well.

I agree that a sufficiently clever AS would figure out a way to divert boat traffic without killing anybody, but it would inevitably lead to battle. Same way with diverting the entire river, which would, after all, be a huge undertaking requiring all of the SAS working for several dozen miles to create a huge new riverbed. Do you think the TAS would just sit there quietly, sniffing at each other and twitching their shawls and smoothing their skirts?

The chain plan gets the harbor blocked and requires two AS, less than thirty minutes or so, and gets the job done so well that no one can fix it short of dismantling huge chunks of heavy masonry.
It's stupidly clever, really, using a weapon the TAS can't possibly expect in the middle of the night. The only flaw is that the TAS were there waiting for them, and that's hardly Egwene's fault; a traitor sold her out.

KiManiak@122, "To Egwene, until she is informed otherwise, often her opinion alone is proof enough." I would love to respond in depth to this, but I'm almost positive that I have spent more time defending a fictional character than I have doing actual work today, so, uh, I'll come back to this.
137. Ryanus
@135, I mean this with absolutely no insult intended, but I have to ask. What did you make of the dragons twined around the cover character's hands in Crown of Swords?
Chris R
138. up2stuff
Um, wouldn't the biggest detraction of putting a chain anywhere along the river be that they would have to procure or make it first?

Remember, there is constantly a worry as to the expense of paying the men, procuring food, arrows, supplies let alone buying 2 loooonnng ass chains to string across the whole damn river. There is maybe not enough time OR material to make their own.

Even if they could buy OR make one, they would need a lot. 1 ton of chain link that is thin as, say a chain on a child's swing set would still weigh 1 ton. As was mentioned above turning it to Cuendilliar could make it as light as a feather AFTER but they can't turn it until after it is placed. Where do they get 1 ton of metal to turn into chain (if even that much is enough)?

Why not use the chain that is already provided in the harbor? It's free. It is anchored and in place. Ideally, it will take a few mere moments to change. Wah-lah.
Valentin M
139. ValMar
up2stuff @ 138

Good point on the practicallity of the chain- it's simply non-starter. But for using the chains off the harbours, again, look at the TV map (TDR, p146 on paperback). I guess google would do it too. Even if the defenders let you take the chain (an attemt will 99% lead to AS vs AS battle) it's waaay too short.

archaeo @ 136
Leanne and Eg did almost totally closed the chains and it did have a major effect. The only problem was the capture of Eg The Trojan Horse.

About hauling the ships around for miles, I am under the imprssion that AS have difficulty moving largish objects.
Chris R
140. up2stuff

I do like the idea of beaching the ships/boats, whatever. However, do the SAS have strength and stamina to do this 24/7 for the weeks needed to starve the city. I suppose they could link for strength, but it seems like a prolonged and difficult solution.

Ships will be HEAVY. Remember, Suian tried to lift Gareth into the air after being healed, to find herself no longer strong enough to lift him, let alone the three she could before her stilling. (It was three, right?) A ship full of cargo will be MUCH heavier than three people, and Suian used to be toward the strong end of the AS, IIRC.

Now, I know that they do not have to pick the ships up, "carry" them to the shore, and put them down, but wouldn't diverting a ship floating downriver be as hard if not harder with that much inertia? Even floating? Seems way beyond the abilities of your average AS, to me anyway.

Chris R
141. up2stuff
Valmar, You can see I was thinking the same thing about "weight ratios." (Swallows vs Coconuts, anyone?)

I am sorry, could you clarify what you mean about the rest of your chain explanation. I am missing something.
Valentin M
142. ValMar
My point is that using the harbour chains wouldn't have been a solution either. Taking them would've led to a battle- they were heavily defended. Also, looking at the Tar Valon map you can see that the harbour mouths (& hence chains) are in total about 1 mile long. The river is about 2 miles wide so they need 4 miles of chain.
I hope this is what you needed cleared.
Captain Hammer
143. Randalator
up2stuff @140

I do like the idea of beaching the ships/boats, whatever. However, do the SAS have strength and stamina to do this 24/7 for the weeks needed to starve the city. I suppose they could link for strength, but it seems like a prolonged and difficult solution.

And there is still the drawback of darkness preventing you from beaching the ships for hours on end. Come to think of it, one single Aes Sedai on the ship could create fog as cover (like Moiraine did in EotW) so once the TAS suss out what's going on, your whole plan beaches more thoroughly than any of the ships up to that point...
Luke M
144. lmelior
Woot! Finally caught up again after reading ToM! I must say, CoT was much more interesting only reading Leigh's summaries.

Although I antagonized Leigh many books earlier in the re-read whenever she brought up sexism (remember the hoopla about boats being named after women?), I was fully with her on her rant against the overused Damsel in Distress in Part 8. When I was on that Part I started to type a longer, supportive response but I realized the last comment was two months ago, so I figured I'd just leave it at this.

Also, the retiring and unbinding bit still doesn't seem like a fair idea compared to not binding at all, which at least one commenter picked up on in Part 13. Another commenter did some math for this retiring business, and for a typical Aes Sedai raised at 20 and retired at 270, the oaths take away over 200 years of life! Not just any two hundred years either, but straight from the prime years. Hopefully someone less stupid than Egwene sees this before the end.

Really looking forward to the New Spring re-read. Despite being here from the beginning, this might be the first one where I actually read along!
Alice Arneson
145. Wetlandernw
ValMar @139 & 142 - I don't think up2stuff was suggesting that they take the chains off the harbor to use elsewhere. More like confirming the validity of what they actually did - instead of trying to come up with huge lengths of chain to cross the entire river, just use the chains across the harbors right where they are, already neatly in place and firmly anchored to Ogier-wrought stone at both ends. At least, it sounds to me like you thought the suggestion was to remove them from the harbors and use them up- and down-stream, which would be truly ineffective, as you say.

lmelior @144 - Welcome back! And to prove how welcome, I'll argue with you! ;) Just thinking that, as reasonable as it sounds to us to just eliminate swearing on the Oath Rod, the chances of getting that through the Hall any time in the next 200 years is slim at best. In spite of our outside perspective, to any Aes Sedai (except our supergirls) the Oaths are a huge part, maybe even the most important part, of what make you Aes Sedai. It's not something they'll give up lightly, even for an extended lifespan. We can hope they'll give it up eventually, or at least revise it so that it doesn't chop lifespan in half. Frankly, I'd be mightily disappointed if they did it too lightly. It's been The Standard for over a thousand years, and any change to it would have to be considered very carefully.

(I wonder if they'd go for something like carving the gist of the existing oaths in a stone tablet and then as each AS is raised she swears to live by the tenets of that tablet. One oath, but just as binding in all three points. It's a thought. Or maybe Elayne can make a ter'angreal that will be just as binding but not have the associated aging effects.)
Chris R
146. up2stuff
Wet, Thanks. That IS what I meant. Prolonged commute home kept me from posting a clarification. Thanks for the back-up. Val-mar, I realize it may not have been entirely clear. Sorry.
Kimani Rogers
147. KiManiak
archaeo@136 – re: Egwene – Yeah, I admit that my “her opinion alone is proof enough…” and “Egwene has accused (everyone and their mother in WoTland)” comments were a slightly cheap shot at Egwene’s expense for comical (it was funny to me, anyway) effect. I agree with the overall message/points of my comments (I mean, come on, ToM alone shows us that Egwene will believe what she wants to believe, regardless of valid points to the contrary volunteered by Gawyn (I know we take potshots at him, but he is capable of speaking sense on occasion), Nynaeve, and Elayne, who were supposed to be the people in the world that she loves and seeks respect from the most), but if I were having a serious discussion about Egwene, I would have presented my points a little less simplistically and mockingly.

Anyway, if you are still moved to comment on this, then by all means, please do; I can discuss Egwene (both her strengths and weaknesses as I see them) in a less jocular (but completely civil) manner, if you’d like. Lord knows, I’ve done a lot of that in the CoT reread posts and the ToM (Ok, there I got a little too passionate, but I'm better now; :p really) spoiler review :-) Now if you bring up Elayne, however, I’m gonna have to talk a lotta s#!+, er, doodoo as we discuss her serious deficiencies… :-)

Re: the 3 Oaths and the removal of the use of the Oath Rod for AS – although I still have issue with Egwene’s conversion to "pro-Oath Rod" for AS, and I still have issue with the AS continuing to bind themselves like criminals in general, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect the current Aes Sedai to just give up the use of the Oath Rod.

I think a generation or two (100 years, maybe) of AS would have to come along and (possibly) work with Ashaman (who I sincerely doubt would allow themselves to be bound; also, do we know that this Oath Rod will work on men & women?) before the possibility of being Aes Sedai without submitting to the restrictions of the Oath Rod would be widely accepted. I’m sure that most of the Aes Sedai who have currently been raised for at least a few decades would see the 3 Oaths similar to the way Romanda does, as part of what it means to be Aes Sedai.

I think Wetlandernw@145’s suggestion of a “3 Commandments” type of treatment for the 3 Oaths could be a plausible method to slowly implement change (less of a fan of the binding ter'angreal without the life sucking attribute, though).

Just to be clear, though, I personally think that continuing to allow themselves to be bound by the Oath Rod is foolish, but completely realistic and true to the character of the organization that RJ created.
148. archaeo
lmelior@144 and Wetlandernw@145, how are you doing that math? I'm not sure how quickly unbinding works; when the Black Ajah hunters in the Tower unbound themselves, there was no mention of looking any younger. However, judging by Siuan and Leane, stilling instantly unbinds and brings you to the point where you would've been had you otherwise naturally slowed. To get all those years back, still, heal, and enjoy!

I am totally prepared to be wrong about this, though, and I would love to be corrected. I agree with the last thing KiManiak said: the Rod is "completely realistic and true to the character of the organization that RJ created." Siuan's speech in *mumblesomebookmumble* totally swayed me.

KiManiak@147, now that I'm finished with work, I do think I want to address this. I didn't mind the jocularity; if I'll forgive that, forgive this wall of text.

I think "To Egwene, until she is informed otherwise, often her opinion alone is proof enough" sums up your argument quite nicely, really. In many ways, Egwene is the most self-assured main character in the series, and it gets her into constant trouble. It's also responsible for her greatest victories. It's sort of her ironic character flaw, like Nynaeve's temper issues or Elayne's obsession with bravery. It's interesting to compare these with the Superboy's flaws, which are almost reversed; Rand spends almost none of the series feeling assured of anything at all, Perrin can't seem to find the temper (or spirit) he needs, and Mat has his own strange obsession with bravery.

Now, that's an armchair comparison, and I don't know if it holds up. But I think it's an interesting way to read the series, and fits in nicely with Jordan's gender roles and the whole Yin Yang thing. This could do with a nice expansion, but that's an essay subject right there, and I'm trying to avoid essays until I get into grad school. :)

So, do I see Egwene as flawed? Yes. She almost gets herself killed numerous times because of it. She almost gets Gawyn killed, too. I'm not sure what you mean about Nynaeve and Elayne in ToM, since they seem like they're right there with her, and Jordan has spent a lot of time establishing Egwene as the leader of that little threesome.

But I also see her character growth (from a know-it-all girl to a rather competent woman) and her ability to know when she's screwed it all up. I also think there's another shoe to drop for Egwene, whether it's long-term compulsion from Halima, a real step up in maturity at the FoM, or just a stern talking to from Moraine. Plus, since she's clearly the equivalent of What's-Her-Face (the AS who opposed the Dragon in the Age of Legends, T-something?), it really remains to be seen how Jordan's plans for the ending are going to play out.

If you're not done discussing this ('cause I could go on all weekend), by all means break it down as to why Egwene (and Elayne if you feel like it) deserves scorn from readers. Did Jordan and Sanderson fail to make her sympathetic enough? Or is she just too idiotic to believe?
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
archaeo @148 - I wasn't really intending to do any math - I just said "getting it through the Hall any time in the next 200 years" with the idea that anyone who is AS now will probably not go for it, and it should be about 200 years before enough of the noobs are Sitters to get rid of the Oath Rod thing. And that's if the supergirls can be really persuasive wrt the stronger noobs.

However (and what lmelior was referring to), jcmnyu came up with a pretty cool scenario for how the aging thing works at comment #26 of CoT Part 13. Check it out; it's pretty logical, and a very well-thought-out analysis. It's not gospel, but it makes a lot of sense.

Re: how the unbinding works, it seems to normally take a few days for the ageless look to wear off. That's why the BA don't show any change from their pre-re-oathing look. In the case of Siuan & Leane, RJ indicated that they changed faster due to the trauma associated with the capture, stilling and ensuing torture. But I'm not sure stilling returns you to the age you would have seemed had you slowed unbound. I don't think it's spelled out anywhere.

On your other comments, I just have to say that I really appreciate the fact that all the characters have flaws. Those flaws occasionally make me want to smack them, but they'd be unrealistic and, frankly, boring, without the flaws. (Even Lan has flaws, and I really did want to slap him upside the head several times - especially in ToM.) But as you say so well, those flaws are also their strengths, and that's very true to life. Oddly enough, I was having exactly that conversation with a friend today regarding my son - he's very tenacious (also obsessive-compulsive!) which in some cases gets him in trouble and in some cases gains him success in a skill he's working toward. That particular characteristic leads to both his greatest successes and his greatest difficulties.

BTW, I think you mean Latra Posae Decumae (often referred to in the comments as LPD). Not sure if I agree that Egwene is "clearly the equivalent" of LPD, other than the obvious fact that she's the most prominent single female leader-of-channelers now. With the notable exception of Tuon, who is not a channeler but directs a... rather large number of them, all women. Hey, there's a thought - Tuon is LPD Reborn. Lucky Mat! :p
Theresa Gray
150. Terez27
@Leigh - lol, that looks almost exactly like my copy of LOC did when I asked Harriet to sign it last JordanCon, except my post-its were on the side (easier to keep up with them that way). And she asked me what all that was for, so I told her it was marked up for my Lews Therin character analysis that I did on TL (also years ago, though I admit, not quite as many - I think that was 2006, and I also never bothered to remove them for some reason). And then she pointed out that it was signed by RJ. I had noticed it before, but convinced myself it was just printed that way...so, yayness. Looking forward to seeing you there this year, though I'll probably be socially retarded as usual.
Sandy Brewer
151. ShaggyBella
It could have happened this way..."Fictional Wall of Text"

Damer Flinn, Tomas and several other warders and Aes Sadai, were sitting on benches in the stone paved courtyard of Lord Algarin's Manor House in Tear. They were smoking their pipes and watching Jahar Narishma's attempts to best Lan Mandragoran at swords. His futile attempts. So far. At least the Arafellin was not a quitter.

"Too bad this is not a contest about something more useful than swords." Damer said.
"Like wits or skills," added Tomas. "Much more useful."
Damer said with a grin, "We might be a little gray or slightly wrinkled, ...but I know I could best any youngster at say...healing."
Nynaeve, sitting on a nearby bench, pulled her eyes away from Lan and gave Damer a sharp look. "How long have you been using the One
Power?" She said sharply. "And what training have you had?" She herself had not much formal training. That was true, but she had become very skilled at all kinds of healing. “How can you think to out do an Aes Sadai of the Yellow Ajah?”
"I am just saying," he grinned.
Tomas added, "I heard you have both healed what could not be healed, Stilling and Gentling."
Corele, her wild black hair swirling behind her, joined them with a quick smile for Damer. "I think they are even, both with three apiece." "Three!...you?" Nynaeve and Damer said at
the same time, looking at each other with scowls. "Yes," said Corele. "My Damer here, he healed the three sisters that were stilled at Dumai's Wells. And you, Nynaeve, I heard you healed Siuan Sanche, Leane Sharif and even Logain himself! Amazing!"
"Well, that's as may be," Nynaeve sniffed. "We shall see who is the best." she returned to watching Lan's battle with Jahar, He did not even look tired yet, although Jahar was starting to breathe heavily.
The next day, Damer was in the manor's stable, unfastening his saddlebags before handing his mount to the groom. He overheard the head
stableman muttering to himself. "What seems to be troubling you, Master Walt?" he asked casually. The stables were always well run, neat and organized and usually the man was in good spirits.
"I was just thinking, what a bloody shame it is. Me with two excellent mares in season and the finest horse in the stable isn't available. Whoever cut the Lord Dragon's mount should have been whipped. What a waste, to make such a fine animal a gelding."He shook his head sadly.
Damer commiserated, "It is a shame, for sure." He walked back to the manor with a thoughtful look on his face.
After supper that night, Damer went up to his room in the manor for his coat. Corele followed him, questions in her large blue eyes. “Damer, where are you going? I know you are up to something, You can't hide it from me.” He could feel her warmth and caring through their bond. It was truly wonderful to share feelings with her.
“I am on a mission tonight,” he said with a grin. “I want to heal what has never been healed. I do love a challenge, you know.”
“No one is better than you,my fine Ashaman,” Corele said in her lilting Murandian accent. "Nynaeve Al'Meara does not know what she is up
against. Can I help you?”
“You may come,but whatever you do, don't tell Cadsuane. Or anyone.” Corele nodded and put on her cloak, as it was windy outside. They made their way by the back stairs, seeing no one. Damer limped a little, as he led the way to the large stable behind the manor. The grooms were in their room in the back, with a small light shining under the closed door.
Motioning Corele to be very quiet, he went to the large stall near the front of the stable. Tai'Daishar was there, staring at them, his
nostrils flaring. Damer took a honey cake from his pouch and offered it to the large, black gelding. The horse sniffed and then his lips
wrapped around the treat. Tossing his head, Tai'Daishar munched the cake.
“What are you?”...Corele began.
“Shhhhh” Damer whispered. “ I am going to un-geld him. If it is possible.”
“You what?” She whispered in suprise with a smile. “You really are amazing. I'll see if I can hold him for you. She took the halter and gently stroked the horse's muzzle, calming the animal.
Damer put his hands on the horse, with a look of concentration on his face. “Let's see, I can feel inside where he was cut. I am in luck, there is a small amount of tissue left that I can work with. He drew deeply on Saidin, the power filling him. Damer moved his hands, making small weaving motions with his fingers. Tai'Daishar began to tremble and stamped his hooves trying to move away. The horse threw his head back, eyes rolling. Damer stepped back, smiling broadly. “Done! I would like to see Nynaeve top that!”
Corele, examined the horse, who now appeared to be whole, “You did it, Damer!” She whispered excitedly. “What will the Lord Dragon think of this? What a fine joke!”
“I don't know what he will think,” replied Damer, “but it is time for us to be gone from here.” He took another honey cake from his pouch and held it out to the still trembling horse, equipped now as a stallion. “ I will leave him some extra food. It will probably be a few days, before his body realizes that it is whole again. Maybe Master Walt will get the foals he wants next season. Damer and Corele slipped from the barn, arm in arm, laughing quietly.
152. archaeo
Wetlandernw@149, whew, what a mathy post you linked me too. I agree that it's a nifty piece of analysis, but I don't think there's any evidence that slowing is exponential; all the text seems to say that one's aging slows by a constant rate after beginning to channel. Since the Oath Rod doesn't just arbitrarily kill middle-aged-looking women at 300, but very old-looking women at age 300, we can assume that binding cuts down the slowing.

I think the problem here is that we've never actually seen someone unbound but keep their channeling ability; Siuan and Leane were stilled, which might cause other things to happen. But I think it makes logical sense for the Oath Rod to completely undo what it can do, that being bound shortens the lifespan and being unbound extends it. Otherwise, it's a really barbaric punishment, where if you were innocent but bound, you would be maimed forever even if they corrected the mistake later.

Regardless, you're absolutely right that it's not really spelled out anywhere, and unless the whole last half of the novel is a long epilogue explaining how all the characters lived happily ever after, I doubt we'll find out for sure. Oh well!

And thanks for the reminder on Latra's name, I should've been less lazy and just looked it up. I think Jordan and Sanderson clearly intended readers to see the parallel, and I'm pretty sure Rand or LTT makes a reference to it somewhere, though I can't hunt it down. Egwene's the leader of the largest faction of female channelers, and on the issue of breaking the seals, it looks like she's managed to convince the Wise Ones it's a bad idea too. The women of the world vs. the Dragon seems pretty equivalent to me, anyway.

Gah, and I just spent a few minutes looking over ToM, where Egwene meets with Rand and then later meets with Elayne and Nynaeve. It's really a shame that Rand felt the need to be so annoyingly enigmatic with Egwene, and it's even more of a shame that Egwene couldn't have a real discussion with Elayne and Nynaeve due to being attacked and all the secrets. Secrets, secrets, secrets; there better be some honest talk at the FoM, is all I'm saying.
Thomas Keith
153. insectoid
ShaggyBella @151: ROFL!! Those Healers certainly like challenges!

::small twitch::

Kimani Rogers
154. KiManiak
Archaeo@148 – re: Egwene
First off, archaeo, when it comes to Walls of Text, well dude (I’m defaulting to our society’s tendency to associate unknown labels and titles with the masculine pronoun (or nickname, in this case) more often than the feminine; my apologies if you’re a dudette) if you’ve seen most of my posts in this reread, then you may have seen that I find it difficult to comment unless it’s via Wall of Text; so there is nothing to forgive. Still, I appreciate the courtesy and I hope that my desire to convey courtesy as well comes across as intended. (And, now that that’s outta the way…)

Another Wall of Text Warning from Yours Truly

Or is she (Egwene) just too idiotic to believe?” Believability/Realism of the WoT? Hmm… Obviously, I realize that this is a work of fiction, and so “believable” or “realistic” would be relative, taken within the context of the story. We have to consider the world and characters that the Creator (RJ the great) shaped, and how he shaped them. Working off the assumption that we’re all fans of this world, I think we are all biased towards giving RJ’s creations the benefit of the doubt whenever we waver between viewing a character or plot arc as “good” or “bad.” (Hmm…I’m kind of rambling here and going off topic and away from what I initially wanted to talk about. Course correction needed…)

Anyway, I think that based upon the universe that RJ created, the great majority of what he writes is “believable” or “realistic” based upon the rules/laws of said universe. Does my “great majority” include Egwene or Elayne? Since I don’t want to discuss Elayne now (I don’t have the energy to adequately express my opinions of her), I’ll just focus on Egwene.

So your assertion and 2 questions at the end of your post: do I find Egwene worthy of scorn; do I find Egwene sympathetic; do I find Egwene believable? My issues-with/discussions-about/debates-regarding Egwene have rarely just focused on those in the general sense.

(By the way my quick-n-dirty answers, when factoring in the rules/laws of the universe that RJ created, would be “no,” “no” and “yes” respectively. I think Egwene and her actions are worthy of challenge/question, not necessarily scorn; I don’t think Egwene was written to be overly sympathetic like the 4 others from the 2R; and I think that if we allow for the whims of the Creator/Pattern that have shaped the WoTverse, then we should believe that Egwene’s position and actions are possible.).

And this was too long, so I’m splitting it into two posts.
Kimani Rogers
155. KiManiak
So, part 2...

My “differences in opinion,” or “friendly discussions,” with others on this reread about Egwene are usually when reflecting on an action Egwene took, a behavior Egwene consistently displays, a position that Egwene holds or a rationale that Egwene… uh…rationalizes. I don’t think there’s an argument about whether or not Egwene is flawed (all of RJ’s characters are). I would argue for the fact that there has been (some) character growth on Egwene’s part (I would like to see more, and in areas of introspection, humility, awareness of her own strengths & weaknesses, etc that we have seen in significantly more detail and to a higher degree in the other 4 protagonists from the 2R). I don’t believe that’s the issue.

My issues with Egwene, and what I usually call Egwene out for, are her: specific acts of arrogance; hypocrisy; underestimation of the knowledge/skills/abilities of her friends and allies; overestimation of herself and her own knowledge/skills/abilities; lack of respect for those whose respect she conversely (not the word I’m looking for I think, but I can’t grasp it right now) demands; lack of loyalty to those whose loyalty she conversely expects (Rand and Gawyn in ToM); inability to see the growth/development of her friends as she herself has grown; tendency to elevate the importance of her role and the role of the Aes Sedai above all others, including the Champion of the Creator that she supposedly professes allegiance to; inability to consider that someone else’s opinion/argument might have merit; she is either unaware of or doesn’t claim responsibility for her mistakes; etc.

And each of those reasons doesn’t operate in a vacuum; they are usually associated with one or more specific and noteworthy parts/points of the story. I could expand on specifics, if challenged and considered necessary… but preferably not for each and every one. That would take a realllly long time and a whole lotta energy; and I like commenting on this reread post, but not that much :-)

Still, all of these points are being submitted with the qualifier that I like Egwene. She is driven to be the best that she can be; she works hard; she demands a lot from others, but she also demands a lot from herself; she’s relentless in pursuing her objectives; she’s incredibly smart and a quick learner; she doesn’t let obstacles in her path phase her, she overcomes them; she has incredible deductive and analytical skills; she’s courageous; etc.

(As I said in one of the previous CoT-posts, I currently rank my favorite Superkids in the following order: Mat, Rand, Nynaeve, Egwene/Perrin, a huge gap, and then Elayne dead last. The first five range from “Awesome” to “Like,” with Elayne in the “Tolerate-Because-I-Have-To” level.)

Egwene may be the “ooh, ooh girl” as folks here have labeled her multiple times; but I think a lot of us had a little (or a lot) of that “ooh, ooh boy” or “ooh, ooh girl” in them and can relate, which I also think has been stated here multiple times.

Anyway, that’s a small look into what gets me going on Egwene. There’s more, but this has been long enough.
Kimani Rogers
156. KiManiak
Ok, so even though I just posted 2 looong posts about Egwene, it looks like a few comments were added while I was composing those 2, and since I'm still up...

ShaggyBella@151 – That was funny, clever and entertaining! The only other possible explanation that I could see is that your namesake Healed Tai’Daishar (I believe that folks here view her as either the Creator or the Dark One, right?) :-)

archaeo@152 – re: Egwene’s meeting with Rand – see, this would be a specific part of the story in which I would discuss/debate the possible interpretations of Egwene’s and Rand’s actions (and did, quite a bit, in the ToM spoiler review). But, since I’ve already spent the previous 2 posts criticizing (critiquing? Is there a significant difference between the 2? I don’t remember…) Egwene, I’ll just state I’m not of the opinion that Egwene convinced the Wise One’s that Rand’s idea was a bad one; just something that they would like to know more about. I'll discuss my interpretation of how the Wise Ones received and view Rand's plan, instead.

The first time we see Egwene interact with the Wise Ones in T’A’R after Rand and Egwene meet in the White Tower (A Vow, ToM) she informs the Wise Ones about Rand’s plan to break the seals and Amy says “This is disturbing news… We will consult with him on this. Thank you for bringing this to us.” Their response to the information is to not automatically oppose ("We must stop him"), but to discuss ("We will consult with him") and potentially explore the merits. Their response is similar to Darlin’s (A Call to Stand, ToM) where he mentions in his letter that he’s not opposed to questioning or discussing the matter with Rand. BTW, see how Egwene chooses to interpret the Wise One’s “consult with him” and Darlin’s “question/discuss” as “those who resist him” and “oppose his brash intentions.”

The Wise Ones (and Darlin) are experienced and seasoned leaders, whose first impulse isn’t to jump to conclusions, but discuss and gather more information. Compare those initial responses to Egwene’s initial response “Rand, no.” Not, “This is disturbing news” or “your words bring me concern.” Not “What?! Why?!!” or even, “By all that is holy, why would any sane person ever consider such a thing?!?!” Egwene’s initial (and sustained) reaction to Rand (the Champion of the Light, the side she’s supposedly on) is to oppose. The Wise One’s initial reaction is to discuss. So is Darlin’s. That’s why, in my humble opinion, I don’t believe she’s convinced the Wise Ones. She does have them concerned. Anyway, we'll find out for certain where the Wise One's, the Aiel Clan Chiefs, Darlin, Gregorin, the King of Arad Doman and their respective armies will stand in this confrontation in AMoL. Were one day closer to its release...

(I could go even deeper into how the Wise Ones and Darlin observe and acknowledge Rand’s authority and position of leadership as the Car’a’carn and Dragon, which will allow them to consider giving Rand the benefit of the doubt and to consider Rand’s plan to be worthy of discussion; whereas Egwene never has observed or acknowledged that authority (her multiple attempts to continue to boss him around and put him in check, in TSR, TFoH and LoC), yet automatically expected Rand to acknowledge and respect the position of the Amyrlin Seat the very first time he interacts with her when she holds that position, but maybe I’ll save that for later.)

Okay, I’ve talked/written waaay too much. Archaeo, it’s your turn if you want it.
Captain Hammer
157. Randalator
Wetlandernw @149

But I'm not sure stilling returns you to the age you would have seemed had you slowed unbound. I don't think it's spelled out anywhere.

Siuan Sanche was born in 958 NE, so she was 41 years old when she was stilled. During their escape from Tar Valon she muses on the positive aspects of her fate:

If Leane is any guide, I've lost a good fifteen years, maybe more. I've known women who would pay any price for that.

(TSR, ch. 47)

Leane is about the same age or at best a year or two older and about the same strength which makes the "age physics" the same for the two. So Siuan is 41 years old looking 26, or possibly even younger (considering that both of them look rather the worse for wear after what they went through).

That should be about what she would look like had she slowed unbound...
Valentin M
158. ValMar
Wetlander, up2stuff @ 145,146

Today I read the last paragraph of post 138 with fresh mind. Feeling a bit sheepish. Should've read it a bit more carefully. In my defence, I was distracted with my PC having problems (generic host process for win32 servicess error message blah-blah).
Anyway, thanks Wetlander for helping clear things.
KiManiak @ Eg
Nicely put re Egwene, IMO. Well balanced. Of course I think so because my opinion is pretty much the same.
Birgit F
159. birgit
So Siuan is 41 years old looking 26, or possibly even younger (considering that both of them look rather the worse for wear after what they went through).
That should be about what she would look like had she slowed unbound...

Siuan was only bound for 20 years, not 200+. The difference between what she lost by the binding and how she would look without it might not be very big.
Lindy Brown
160. lbrown
I have the paperback version of the book and never saw before those people on the side (Tuon and Selucia). They are actually on the spine of the book and are mostly covered up by the title, Crossroads of Twilight. Do these characters show up on the front on the hardback edition?

Thanks, Leigh, for pointing them out. I would've never known they were there.
Robert Crawley
161. Alphaleonis
@ many posters above

My tentative apology for my earlier posts @28 & 80 re: Nicola's confession to Egwene about the betrayal of the cuendillar plot. Perhaps my memory was faulty on this. I have, since posting the above, reread KoD and the first part of TGS. (Mostly speed read, but very carefully read all sections with Egwene or the SAS) and haven't found any such confession. I am still hopeful of finding it between pages 149 and 613 of TGS. Most applicable material on her betrayer found in the prologue of Kod, and pages 115, 572, and 577 of the same book (paperback).

So I have learned my lesson not to post a vague recollection here without a bit more of a disclaimer. (Note to Archaeo @152 I hope your memory about Rand's and LTT's identification of Egwene with Latra doesn't send you on such an extensive reading quest).

Wow! My posts sparked so much debate -even expanding into the drawn out debate on Egwene's character between KiManiak and Archaeo (since that debate was started when KiManiak objected to my favorable comment on Egwene @111). Since I enjoyed reading KiManiak's posts so much - even though I am on the other side on this - I am glad to have played a hand in sparking the debate.
Birgit F
162. birgit
WoT reread posting statistics up to the end of CoT
(up to comment 160 in this thread)

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
1: subwoofer;1776;277857;156.0
2: Wetlandernw;1473;368322;250.0
3: Freelancer;1206;280653;232.0
4: RobMRobM;1139;127131;111.0
5: alreadymad... (all);1015;123675;121.0
6: Tektonica;963;143865;149.0
7: thewindrose;866;115585;133.0
8: jamesedjones;793;64496;81.0
9: toryx;691;131475;190.0
10: insectoid;647;69138;106.0
11: forkroot;604;87971;145.0
12: R.Fife;602;81962;136.0
13: blindillusion;591;93430;158.0
14: Man-0-Manetheran;589;56988;96.0
15: Randalator;531;99144;186.0
16: Isilel;492;162854;331.0
17: MasterAlThor;484;61953;128.0
18: Samadai;469;32553;69.0
19: Lannis;421;61424;145.0
20: misfortuona;414;44233;106.0
21: HArai;411;54289;132.0
22: birgit;373;61597;165.0
23: J.Dauro;358;46827;130.0
24: Fiddler;351;47286;134.0
25: sps49;329;28458;86.0
26: gagecreedlives;321;37202;115.0
27: Lsana;308;63206;205.0
28: Jonathan Levy;307;91174;296.0
29: Shimrod;303;35819;118.0
30: UncrownedKing;299;25870;86.0
31: tonka;297;39452;132.0
32: ValMar;282;30506;108.0
33: sinfulcashew;264;26212;99.0
34: SteelBlaidd;262;64917;247.0
35: Wolfmage;239;95016;397.0
36: blocksmith;213;28776;135.0
37: Longtimefan;206;63686;309.0
38: Terez27;202;58689;290.0
39: Sonofthunder;198;24794;125.0
40: GatheringStorm;190;15864;83.0
41: odigity;189;29140;154.0
42: alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed;186;31831;171.0
43: leighdb;185;17598;95.0
44: JennB;179;20453;114.0
45: hoping;178;15122;84.0
46: Amalisa;176;48777;277.0
47: Alisonwonderland;163;34497;211.0
48: Sulin;159;12223;76.0
49: bchurch;159;16638;104.0
50: lostinshadow;158;26791;169.0

top 50 posters by number of words
username;words;comments;average words per comment
1: Wetlandernw;368322;1473;250.0
2: Freelancer;280653;1206;232.0
3: subwoofer;277857;1776;156.0
4: Isilel;162854;492;331.0
5: Tektonica;143865;963;149.0
6: toryx;131475;691;190.0
7: RobMRobM;127131;1139;111.0
8: alreadymad... (all);123675;1015;121.0
9: thewindrose;115585;866;133.0
10: Randalator;99144;531;186.0
11: Wolfmage;95016;239;397.0
12: blindillusion;93430;591;158.0
13: Jonathan Levy;91174;307;296.0
14: forkroot;87971;604;145.0
15: R.Fife;81962;602;136.0
16: insectoid;69138;647;106.0
17: SteelBlaidd;64917;262;247.0
18: jamesedjones;64496;793;81.0
19: Longtimefan;63686;206;309.0
20: Lsana;63206;308;205.0
21: MasterAlThor;61953;484;128.0
22: birgit;61597;373;165.0
23: Lannis;61424;421;145.0
24: Ouroboros;60406;141;428.0
25: Terez27;58689;202;290.0
26: Man-0-Manetheran;56988;589;96.0
27: HArai;54289;411;132.0
28: Amalisa;48777;176;277.0
29: Fiddler;47286;351;134.0
30: J.Dauro;46827;358;130.0
31: misfortuona;44233;414;106.0
32: KiManiak;42409;84;504.0
33: tonka;39452;297;132.0
34: gagecreedlives;37202;321;115.0
35: Shimrod;35819;303;118.0
36: Alisonwonderland;34497;163;211.0
37: Samadai;32553;469;69.0
38: alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed;31831;186;171.0
39: ValMar;30506;282;108.0
40: drewlovs;29711;125;237.0
41: chaplainchris1;29600;90;328.0
42: odigity;29140;189;154.0
43: blocksmith;28776;213;135.0
44: sps49;28458;329;86.0
45: lostinshadow;26791;158;169.0
46: sinfulcashew;26212;264;99.0
47: UncrownedKing;25870;299;86.0
48: Sonofthunder;24794;198;125.0
49: Rebecca Starr;24745;101;245.0
50: PeteP;24236;121;200.0

There were 3340 different usernames; 1985 appeared only once (including many alreadymad...).
Captain Hammer
163. Randalator
birgit @59

Martine Janata a.k.a. Setalle Anan was about 60 years old and bound twice as long as Siuan at the time she was burned out by a ter'angreal in 975 NE. From the way she is described (pretty with a little gray in her hair) she seems to look like she's somewhere around the 50 mark. If she reverted to just a bit above the outward age of Leane and Siuan (say 27 or 28-ish) and aged naturally from then on that would fit the age she displays now.

So the, admittedly scarce evidence, points toward Aes Sedai reverting to their "god-given", channeling-slowed age when they're unbound...
Eric Hughes
164. CireNaes

Impressive...most impressive. A little crazy too. Wet needs to stop doing the dishes.
Alice Arneson
165. Wetlandernw
So... I stop doing dishes, subwoofer's daughter learns to sleep... what do we do about Freelancer and RobM? :)

Thanks, birgit! I always find these statistics interesting, if a little humbling. Just don't anyone show my husband the list; I'm sure it would be bad for his blood pressure.
Thomas Keith
166. insectoid
Birgit @162: Thanks Birgit! I'm in the top 10 now... woot!

Not that it matters, but your count for me is off by 7 (654, not including this one)... hmm. A quick search on my comments page seems to agree with my total. Perhaps balefire is to blame? ;) In all seriousness, though, I do appreciate your efforts! :)

That's odd... why are the "words" counts smaller in the second list than in the first? ::confused::

Everyone on this side of the Atlantic ready for the Super Bowl? I'll bring a half a dozen kinds of junk food to the bunker party. ;)

Wetlander @165: Hmm... maybe convince Freelancer to become a full-time vacuum salesman? ::runs::

Theresa Gray
167. Terez27
@birgit - Yay, I made the list! But I think you left me out of the second one; by the wordcount given in the first list I should be on there.
Birgit F
168. birgit
I accidentally posted the data up to ACoS in the second list. I've corrected it now.

Not that it matters, but your count for me is off by 7 (654, not including this one)... hmm. A quick search on my comments page seems to agree with my total.

Does that count include comments on the TGS/ToM threads? My count is only for the reread.
Thomas Keith
169. insectoid
Birgit @168: No. If my count included TGS and ToM, it would be closer to 900. ;) In any case, if you count the search results for 'Re-read:' and 'Reread:' (there have been both) on the Comments page in a user profile, it should give the correct number.

Hey Wetlander... you've leapfrogged Free and Sub in # of words since last time! That's a lotta dishes:)

Alice Arneson
170. Wetlandernw
Hey, I noticed that if you scan through the average number of words per post, KiManiak is blowing us all out of the water with 504... Is that why you've taken to dividing your posts up into pieces? ;)

insectoid - yeah, what can I say. Lots of dishes here.
Eric Hughes
171. CireNaes
@165 and 166

Free could start a Facebook campaign to reignite interest in the Boeing 747 ABL Project. RobM could support the effort by going door to door with laser pointers and a petition sheet to lobby congress with. Good exercise. Although I could see Free selling Dysons, what with being a snazzy dresser and all that.
Alice Arneson
172. Wetlandernw
CireNaes @171 - LOL!! How appropriate! Any interest of your own in this project, just out of curiosity? I almost went to work on that project, once upon a time.
Tess Laird
173. thewindrose
I am hiding with Wetlandernw in the bunker - mine would not be so happy at where I sit in the rankings. Oh good insectoid is bringing some goodies for the SuperBowl tomorrow. Hey, this is one I am actually going to watch - I was born in WI so that is like an automatic you will be a Packers fan for life deal.

Hmmm, I wonder how DKS would draw someone wearing one of those ugly cheese head hats.

Good fan fiction ShaggyBella!

I always thought is was funny that Egwene and Rand named their horses so similar - and with RJ you know that was intentional.

Big !!yay!! for Leigh - you made it through CoT, and in record time it seems! I did mention before, but will again - it is going to be interesting re-reading New Spring(New Snow just for you Tek::wink::my bad). With all the BA we know about now from tGS and ToM, it will be almost like reading a different book, plus I think I have only read it at most twice.

tempest ™
Eric Hughes
174. CireNaes

I used to work at McConnell AFB and I would see them rolling it out every now again since Boeing was right next door. I always wondered at the feasability of the project and how it might change things with international politics in and around Korea. Well, that ship has sailed. Que Sera Sera.
175. archaeo
KiManiak@154-6, I think "dude" is pretty gender neutral these days, but I'm a guy anyway.

Thanks for the extensive thoughts on that issue. I've actually got to run soon, so I don't have time to really exhaustively talk about this yet; I'll come back around this evening maybe to give it a good go. Needless to say, my opinion's different, but you do such a nice job of putting together your points that I can hardly complain.

re: the new listing, it looks like I'm going to have to do some serious work here to catch up with you folks who have been following this from the get-go. : )
Theresa Gray
176. Terez27
Oh wow, that's for the whole re-read? . :s I only came in around TPOD I think...maybe ACOS? I don't remember.
Sydo Zandstra
177. Fiddler

24: Fiddler;351;47286;134.0

Amazing, since I don't really post much anymore. I must have posted a lot before, or others just don't post much. In any case thank you for making the effort, birgit! Danke. :)

@Randalator: I read your reply, but I'm not going to make a discussion there. I think you got my point, and I am way late to get back anyway. Sorry for that. :) ;)

@Wolfmage: You said some good stuff.

@wetlandernw re:Wolfmage:

Wolfmage was not wrong when he said you jump in right away when somebody criticizes Freelancer. Please take this as an observation, but you have a habit of doing that. Which is not wrong. It's good to defend your friends. :) But on the other hand, you should be able to switch that off in discussions.

In the case I saw here it seemed to me like an auto-reaction from you.

I think Free can do his own word battling here, if he cares. ;)
Bonnie Andrews
178. misfortuona
**Waves to everyone***
Wow, so CoT came and went mostly without me, and still I'm sitting way the heck up there on birgit's pole. Yikes. I sure had a lot to say about things way back there.
Perhaps I'll dust off my opinions for NS. It could happen, I really enjoyed the book, and like many people, have only read it once as opposed to the multiple times for the rest of the series.

John Massey
179. subwoofer
Yeah, but Terez- you crush all in Theoryland when it comes to total posts. I visit there from time to time, but it is hard to get into the flow of conversation because some of the folks there are very er... insular when it comes right down to it. That, and by the time I have figured out what I want to say, I can't find the thread I wanted to say it on... then the durn thing times out on me.

Superbowl. I'm bringing the bowl of the winds. I don't really want to get on a moral tear, but I hate Big Ben. I think the guy should be in jail. 'K, my typing got away from me, but my lactose problems aside, I'm with the other Cheese Heads rooting for the Packers. Rogers deserves his place in the sun.

Comments- Wetlander destroys all. I think there is a restaurant on the West Coast that Wet owns. Either that or she has a family of 20 or so. Thems be a lot of dishes. My baby has me posting less and less as it is very hard to type with one hand.... heh, not so funny story there. Have you ever cut yourself and not noticed and go about your day and then you look down and there is blood all over your shirt and pants? Well I did something similar changing a poopy diadee. Didn't notice there was poo on my hands... ahhh fatherhood.

Alice Arneson
180. Wetlandernw
Fiddler - I stayed out of it for a while, but after 6 screens worth of Wolfmage trying to prove that Freelancer was talking about him and only him, I found it extremely annoying. ::shrug:: I just wanted him to drop it, already. Maybe I should have said "drop it" instead of "get over it" but I notice I wasn't the only one who was heartily sick of it. Whatever.

subwoofer - ahhh fatherhood indeed. :) I've done both - the blood and the poo. *sigh* That's why they're so dang cute - so we'll keep taking care of them even after that sort of thing. About the dishes... well, the faster I think, the slower my hands move. At least that's what my husband says, and I suspect he may be right. :)

Speaking of dishes...
Eric Hughes
181. CireNaes

The worst poo incident I've witnessed was when my daughter was leaning forward while sitting on my wife's lap and had an explosive diaper that was siphoned directly up her back and went airborne since she didn't have a onesie on. I've never been glad of my need to wear corrective eyeglasses before that event. My wife was not so lucky.

Edit: To adjust spacing.
Kimani Rogers
182. KiManiak
birgit@162 – Thanks for the list.

Um… I’m kind of embarrassed. I didn’t even check to see if I was on the list since it was for the total number of comments/words for the entire reread, and I only joined October, 2010 (somewhere during the middle of Winter’s Heart, I think).

::sheepish grin and a shrug::

I’m really ranked 32nd on total words? For the entire reread? And birgit isn’t even counting the ToM spoiler thread (where I’m sure I posted another 10 or so times, and some pretty long ones too)? Gotta just shake my head at myself for that one. Okay, proof that I’m possibly “talking” a little too much here. I will aim for more succinct posts (at least when I really don’t have that much to say, anyway) in New Spring. Let’s see if I can do it…

wetlandernw@170 – yeah, I knew some of my posts were running long, but averaging 504 words per!? :-) Sheesh. Brevity and succinctness; that’s what I’m gonna be aiming for…

archaeo@175 – I don’t want you to feel rushed or anything; I will look forward to what your reply has to say whenever you have the chance to say it…

sub@179 – Hah! Very funny. A lotta my relatives with newborns have told me times when they’ve done something similar; I make sure to check their hands before I give them hugs… :-)

Ok, word count says 240. Gonna bring down that average…
Sharon E.
183. Sulin
Wow! I can't believe I still made the top 50- (granted, I'm at the bottom of the list) I've hardly been here lately.

I'm looking forward to beginning NS- I think I might read along with this one!

@Shaggy Bella- ROFL and Awesomesauce! Very amusing
Rob Munnelly
184. RobMRobM
Congrats on the usual interesting work, Birgit.

Have you done the CoT specific stats? I didn't see those. I expect I'd be way down on those. Been busy at work and at life, and also being unfaithful to WoT with Erickson, Game of Thrones upcoming miniseries, Bujold's Vorkosigan books (as they are now free on line, I keep re-reading the darned things - I enjoy them so much) and ongoing reading (working through the works of Dan Simmons - Hyperion, Endymion, Ilium and progency; Connie Willis' massive Black Out/All Clear duology; David Sedaris' brilliant and snarky Squirrel seeks Chipmunk animal tales; and waiting to get my hands on Jo Walton's and Dennis Lehane's new ones) .

Chris Chaplain
185. chaplainchris1
Re: word count - I wish I were shocked, since I've only been around a year or two, that I made a list; but I are indeed wordy, I are. I predict I will move up in future lists, willy nilly.

Re: Nicola as Egwene's betrayer - I made a long post on my new smartphone 2 days ago which never made it here. Argh! Time and circumstances (only other computer access is at work, for instance) have precluded my posting since then. And I'm not sure if anyone has beaten me to these points.

But quickly: Nicola's "betrayal" is (imho) simply that she ran away to Elaida. She put her own petty learning goals above Egwene's cause. I don't believe she had opportunity to learn about the cuendillar plan (Bode didn't learn until the day of, for instance, so Nicola being part of the practice group doesn't at all imply knowledge of the plan). But all it takes is leaving the rebels and going to the Tower to qualify her as a betrayer.

IOW, Egwene saying that Nicola betrayed her does not, in my mind, equate to Nicola being THE Betrayer.

Re: those who think the TAS were loose with the 3 Oaths when they knocked over Egwene's boat - I'll just say that there's a rather large difference between blasting HOLES in a SHIP causing it to sink, and capsizing a rowboat. The latter is much less catastrophic, and much less likely to lead to collateral deaths.
Tess Laird
186. thewindrose
Ahh sub - It does stop - so glad I no longer have to deal with that.

So after reading about how CoT has some different views depending on hard cover or paperback - I pulled mine out(get yer mind out of the gutter -jeesh:). I have the hard cover. So I thought this was based on when Mat and Tuon left the circus - but that doesn't happen in this book! Thom is dressed in purple here -( and I thougt he was a Packers fan) - I believe he had been dressing down in a brown jacket?
Tuon and Selucia are indeed pictured - and I do not know what Tuon is wearing - very weird looking. So this can't be the scene where Mat had Harnan shoot Renna. Tuon and Selucia are there, Thom is there and if you look on the back cover there are pack horses with them that are carring quite a bit of baggage. So this totally looks like when Mat and company left the circus, as described by Rand in Chapter 18 News for the Dragon in KoD:
Colors spun in Rand's head, twin rainbows swirled im water. He knew how to suppress them, now, but this time he did not try. One resolved into a brief image of Mat riding through forest at the head of a line of mounted folk. He seemed to be arguing with a small, dark woman who rode beside him, taking his hat off and peering into it, then cramming it back onto his head.

Now doesn't that sound like the cover we are looking at? Maybe the artist got a description, and then the scene was moved to the next book?

Theresa Gray
187. Terez27
Yeah, Theoryland is definitely insular. It's mostly populated by the 50 or so active old-timers (Heroes of the Horn for the most part) who rarely post in WoT discussion, and those of us who do post in WoT discussion all have a tendency to avoid (for the most part) debating with each other because we've had every debate a thousand times, and even for the new stuff in TOM we can more or less anticipate each other's opinions on things based on past arguments.

A certain webmaster once said that Theoryland is a sink or swim sort of place. We breed a certain type (though we are widely divergent personalities), and that type is namely those who are willing to ignore that insular discrimination and put up with the abuse and post intelligently enough to be taken seriously (which usually takes at least a year no matter how intelligently you post simply because most old-timers can't keep all the noobs straight). It's a challenge for the noob, to say the least.

That being said, this place is insular in its own way. I only have a vague understanding of the community quirks and dramas and such, but I feel like I have an outsider's perspective here despite my ranking in the post/wordcounts (that's mostly due to me using a lot of quotes and writing Walls of Text in response to various posts without much attention to all of the other posts in the thread). There is a wide variety of many things here. Various levels of hardcoreness, many generally nice people and a few controversial types, not to mention a few persistent trolls and/or idiots. Some funny types, and some think-they're-funny types. But from an outsider's perspective, this community seems far more insular to me than, for instance, Dragonmount.
Alice Arneson
188. Wetlandernw
KiManiak @182 - Nah, don't feel too sheepish. To paraphrase Leigh, brevity and I aren't much more than nodding acquaintances. Not sure how you feel about the company, but I think it's good... :)

RobM @184 - I was thinking that too; some of our regulars might not even make the list for CoT. Several of you have been pretty busy with life and all...

Terez @187 - Trolls? Who are you calling a troll? I ain't no troll!! :)

(BTW, if I were able to be at JCon, I'd at least drag you off for a drink with the tordotreread crew, if we had to tie you to your chair and pour it down your throat.)

(Well, okay, maybe not that forcefully...)

Book-related, sort of: I probably shouldn't open the worm-can again, but I was thinking of a "put yourself here" fictional scenario to see how people would react in a slightly different context paralleling the Perrin/Aiel scene. If I get it written, shall I post it
a) here?
b) on CoT Part 17?
c) nowhere, never?

We needed a survey anyway, right? Haven't had one for a while.
Sandy Brewer
189. ShaggyBella
Interesting idea.
I vote COT 17 with a notice to the current thread
Theresa Gray
190. Terez27
@Wetlander - Okay now, none of this 'if I was going to be at JordanCon' business. You're either going or you ain't. But I will take a drink from anyone who is buying, no dragging, tying, or pouring down my throat necessary.
Alice Arneson
191. Wetlandernw
Terez - I have no plans to be at JordanCon, unfortunately. I really really really wish I could, but... I just can't. *sigh* I'll have to be content with "I'm there in spirit" or some such drivel.
Sandy Brewer
192. ShaggyBella

you mentioned

Bujold's Vorkosigan books (as they are now free on line, I keep re-reading the darned things - I enjoy them so much)
I would like to know more...good stories and free?? Where could one find them, unless Tor would object? Which one to start with?
Julian Augustus
193. Alisonwonderland
Like many others, I find myself with very little time to keep up with the re-read these days the occasional skim, as I managed to do today.

KiManiak at 156:

But, since I’ve already spent the previous 2 posts criticizing (critiquing? Is there a significant difference between the 2? I don’t

Yes, there is a difference. It used to be a bid difference a hundred or so years ago, but over time the difference has narrowed somewhat. Simply put, a criticism is a negative comment, review, opinion, whatever, expressed in opposition to another comment, review, opinion, etc. A critique, on the other hand, originally meant a critical (as in academic) analysis of a theory, or proposition.
Thus, when Immanuel Kant wrote A Critique of Pure Reason, it was universlly understood not as Kant criticizing the concept of pure reason, but that Kant was intending to provide a detailed analysis of the concept.

Of course, these days it appears people tend to use criticism and critique somewhat interchangeably. I don't know whether to put it down to changing use of language or just ignorance. Your guess is as good as mine.
Julian Augustus
194. Alisonwonderland
I saw a few comments above linking Egwene with Latra Posae, which reminded me that I wrote a theory about it on my website 13 years ago. So I dug it up. Re-reading the theory now, I must admit I was then a bit prone to asserting linkages and suppositions as obvious facts, and wouldn't be quite so certain now as I was all those years ayo. But then, I was so much older then, I am younger than that now. So, here's the theory I wrote then; there is still more than a grain of truth in it, especially the concluding parts.


I have always thought it likely that it isn't just Rand, but all his primarysupporting Emond's Field cast in the battle against the DO, are important peoplefrom the AoL or the Third Age reborn. Specifically, RJ has dropped several
carefully hidden clues to suggest that Egwene, Nynaeve, Min, and Aviendha arefrom the AoL, and that Mat may be Aemon (in addition to several hundred otherpeople). We know that LTT was reborn as the creator's champion to face the DO inthe last battle. LTT, in the Age of Legends, couldn't face the DO and all theForsaken alone. He had the Hall of Servants to help him in that task. Therefore,it makes sense to suppose that, in the pattern preparing the Dragon to face theDO again, the reborn LTT will come with other reborn helpers he can trust implicitly. After all, it is no coincidence that all the central characters wereborn into an obscure isolated little village so they could grow up together.

The problem with the hints concerning Egwene, Nynaeve, and Aviendha is that although we suspect they are from the AoL, it has been difficult to tell specifically who. However, with the publication of The Strike at Shayol Ghul, RJ has supplied an AoL identity for Egwene. I believe Egwene is Latra Posae reborn,and in the following I will set out my reasons. Some of this is purelyconjecture, but it makes sense to me.

Clue No 1.
The first clue we get is in (tEotW, Chapter 18, "The Caemlyn
Road"). Our Emond's Field heroes are fleeing from the trollocs, and have justcompleted their first battle with the dark forces.: The following conversation takes place:

Egwene: "What....what was it you were shouting. Mat?"
Mat shrugged uncomfortably, "I don't remember." He stared at them defensively. "Well I don't. Its all foggy. I don't remember what it was, or where it came from, or what it means. He gave a self-deprecating laugh. "I
don't suppose it means anything."

"I...I think it does," Egwene said slowly. "When you shouted, I thought...just for a minute I thought I understood you. But it is all gone,
now." She sighed and shook her head. "Perhaps you're right. Strange what you can imagine at a time like that, isn't it?"

"Carai an Caldazar,"Moiraine said. They all twisted to stare at her. "Carai an Ellisande. Al Ellisande."

Now we know that what Mat was spouting is the Old Tongue, the language spoken in the AoL. We also know that only nobles know a smattering of the Old Tongue, and nobody in the whole Two Rivers even has the vaguest idea of the language. If Egwene thinks she understood what Mat said, then obviously she is drawing on some sort of "inherited memory" of when she spoke the language herself in the
AoL. The very strong implication we get is that Egwene is somebody reborn from the AoL.

Clue No 2.
The next clue is in (tDR, Chapter 26, "Behind a Lock").
Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne are in the Tower basement looking for the items left behind by Liandrin and her BA cronies. Take a close look at what happens:

She moved her ball of light to the wall and fastened it there; she was not certain how she did it, but when she took her hand away, the light remained. I keep learning how to do things without knowing what they are, she thought nervously.

The most likely explanation for Egwene's ability to do things with the Power without being taught, in many cases things the current AS no longer know how to do, is inherited memory from her previous life, perhaps in the AoL.

Clue No 3.
The strongest clue about Egwene's AoL identity is in (tSR,
Chapter 11, "What Lies Hidden"). Egwene has dreamed herself into Tanchico, to try and find out what the BA is looking for there that is dangerous to Rand. In the Panarch's palace she has entered a chamber containing " a grand display of artifacts of ages long past, of the Age of Legends and Ages before...", and is examining the artifacts. Among these,

One thing actually seemed familiar, though she could not say why.Tucked into a corner of one of the cabinets, as if whoever put it there had been uncertain that it was worthy of display, lay the upper half of a broken figure carved from some shiny white stone, a woman holding a crystal sphere in one upraised hand, her face calm and dignified and full of wise authority. Whole, she would have been perhaps a foot tall. But why did she appear so familiar? She almost seemed to call Egwene to pick her up. (Emphasis mine)

Now we know what Egwene didn't, that this is one of the ter'angreal for accessing the huge female sa'angreal in Tremalking. Egwene had never even heard of this ter'angreal, yet she felt an intense affinity for the figure and an overwhelming urge to pick it up. Where did this terangreal originate? It was made by Latra Posae's faction during the AoL, to use in the fight against the
shadow. Hence, Egwene's subconscious recognition of this ter'angreal makes the conclusion inescapable; she is somebody from the AoL reborn. The question is,

Okay, But Why Latra Posae?
I believe her affinity with the Tanchico ter'angreal (and by implication the Tremalking sa'angreal) suggests she may be
Latra Posae herself. Remember the construction of the giant sa'angreals as well as the access terangreals was a closely held secret even in the AoL. Only the strongest male and female AS were privy to their existence. Among those involved in their construction, only Latra Posae is known to us. It seems far-fetched to suppose that one of the anonymous AS involved in the creation of the terangreals, and not Latra Posae herself, would be reborn as one of the Dragon's pillars in the coming battle with the Dark One.

But what makes me believe strongly that Egwene is Latra Posae is her current station in the Third Age. One of Min's viewings about Egwene was a white flame. Note that the white flame was in addition to all the usual stuff swirling around Aes Sedai. Thus, Egwene's white flame represents more than just an AS, but the Flame of Tar Valon, one of the titles of the Amyrlin Seat. Add to this the fact
that Egwene, barely eighteen years old, and only a lowly Accepted, was nominated as the Amyrlin Seat for the Salidar AS by six experienced Aes Sedai, with combined ages of over a thousand years. Given the fact that the AS usually
consider Accepteds to be far below themselves, this is absolutely extraordinary. Not only that, she was confirmed in this post by other Aes Sedai more than 10 times her age, some of whom were themselves scheming for the stole.

I would suggest that the reason such an unprecedented event has occurred is that it is Egwene's destiny; the pattern wants her as Amyrlin Seat, NOW; she was born to lead the female AS in the fight against the DO. Who led the female AS in the War of Power during the Age of Legends? Latra Posae Decume.

Egwene's Attitude is Very Similar to Latra Posae's
Latra Posae opposed Lew Therin's plan because she considered it "too rash", and still held the female AS against it even when her own plan clearly was no longer feasible and
there were no other options left. She thought she knew better than Lews Therin, and was determined to use the female AS to achieve what she wanted, regardless
of the consequences. Reading the Strike at Shayol Ghul, I got the distinct impression of Latra Posae as somebody who thought men couldn't be trusted to do anything right, and was prepared to maintain a male-female confrontation, even
in the face of certain distaster.

What has Egwene's behaviour been ever since she learned of her own potential as an Aes Sedai?

1. She has consistently called Rand "arrogant" and "swollen-headed"

2. She consistently sided with Moiraine, a comparative stranger whom she didn't particularly like, against him, and expected him to follow Moiraine orders even though she knew Rand was the DR. Apparently, to her Moiraine being a (female) Aes Sedai superceded his being the DR, the World's intended saviour, and whatever "understanding" she and Rand had had growing up together.

3. She consistently refused to share even the most basic information with him, yet she expected him to tell her whatever she wanted and thought him "arrogant" when he
didn't. Even when he told her how important it was that he find Elayne so he could put her on the thrones of Andor and Cairhien and prevent both countries from blowing up in his face, she still wouldn't tell him.

4. In the meeting with the Wise Ones in TAR (aCoS), she scoffed at the very idea of bringing the Salidar AS to Rand, saying (and this is very revealing) she has no intention of
leading them to kneel to ANY MAN! This, despite knowing that he and he alone represents humankind's only hope in preventing the DO from taking over the world, and how important it is that he gets the whole world united behind him before Tarmon Gaidon!

In short, I see a lot of Latra Posae in Egwene. Are we seing another male-female split on the side of the forces of the Light? Will LPD reborn (Egwene) do to LTT reborn (Rand) what LPD herself did to LTT in the AoL, cripple
him? Who knows. Whether she will still try to use the Aes Sedai to push her own ideas of how Rand should organize the rest of the world and fight Tarmon Gaidon remains to be seen. But, based on her attitude so far, the situation does not look very promising for Rand.

This page was last updated on September 28, 1998 @ 1:30 PM.
Jonathan Levy
195. JonathanLevy
93. ShaggyBella
151. ShaggyBella

Actually, Tai'Daishar's un-gentling makes perfect sense if you take into account a little-remarked scene from the prologue of TPOD, and which I reproduce below.


To call it a voice was to call a pebble a mountain. Its careened through the Bore into his home, crashing back and forth against the walls of his prison, echoing through his skull; its weight crushed him to the floor, his breath coming in gasps, rivulets of sweat trickling down his forehead.


"Sammael is dead, O Creator, and Rand Al'Thor has taken Illian. Also, Moridin did not stop by for tea yesterday. O Creator, I do not believe in coincidences this large."


"O Creator, Tai'Daishar is a vain fool, casting his attention on hay and oats. He can be destroyed, I - "


The word clove his tongue to the roof of his mouth. Nae'blis. The one who would be but one step beneath the creator. The one who would bring her oats, and braid her mane, and check her hooves for stones. Nae'blis.

"I wish to serve, O Creator."


The Dark One's mind wheeled in confusion as the Creator expounded her plans. Bela was difficult to predict at the best of times, but these pieces would not fit together however hard he tried. Semirhage could easily be summoned from Seanchan, but sneaking her unseen into Tai'Daishar's stable? And with the female Choedan Kal? It was madness. Madness.

And yet... a plan did start to form before his eyes. If it worked, she'd keep herself busy for the next Age, and he might finally get some peace and quiet. That would be better than being Nae'blis. He'd had three thousand years of quiet after his buddy Lews Therin had sealed the bore for him last time. That project had been many times more complex than this one, and it had worked perfectly - except for a bit of uncontrolled flatulence just as the seals were placed. That had been so embarassing, and Lews Therin's friends had made such a fuss.

But this plan could be made to work. And if it failed... blame could be made to fall elsewhere. A bit of the True Power, and Lews Therin would balefire away the mess. He had cleaned up other... messes... in the past. They went back a long way, Lews Therin and him.

And if it did work... the Dark One glanced at his bookshelf, eyeing the half-read 'Tales of the Fallen' series. He might even manage to finish that one, if he had another whole Age to work on it. Yes, his plan would succeed. He would see to it, this time.
Birgit F
196. birgit
WoT reread posting statistics CoT only
(up to comment 195 in this thread)

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
username;comments;words;average words per comment
1: subwoofer;149;31439;211.0
2: Wetlandernw;132;46310;350.0
3: KiManiak;81;41559;513.0
4: Tektonica;76;9756;128.0
5: Jonathan Levy;73;25241;345.0
6: hamstercheeks;64;8590;134.0
7: Bergmaniac;62;13000;209.0
8: ValMar;59;8037;136.0
9: insectoid;59;6683;113.0
10: thewindrose;51;8522;167.0
11: Terez27;51;10360;203.0
12: forkroot;47;7936;168.0
13: Man-0-Manetheran;43;2910;67.0
14: birgit;42;7634;181.0
15: Randalator;41;8385;204.0
16: Isilel;39;13872;355.0
17: Wolfmage;39;23069;591.0
18: Freelancer;38;5860;154.0
19: Sonofthunder;31;5650;182.0
20: J.Dauro;28;3163;112.0
21: RobMRobM;27;3187;118.0
22: jamesedjones;27;3547;131.0
23: archaeo;27;9163;339.0
24: chaplainchris1;27;11176;413.0
25: ShaggyBella;27;4008;148.0
26: up2stuff;25;4871;194.0
27: AndrewB;25;4471;178.0
28: pwl;24;4842;201.0
29: Shadow_Jak;24;3076;128.0
30: sps49;24;2320;96.0
31: sweetlilflower;23;2742;119.0
32: CireNaes;21;3195;152.0
33: Longtimefan;20;7206;360.0
34: alreadymad... (all);20;3579;178.0
35: Beren;20;2276;113.0
36: FSS;20;1712;85.0
37: blindillusion;19;2832;149.0
38: Kah-thurak;18;1545;85.0
39: tonka;18;2442;135.0
40: toryx;17;3414;200.0
41: Samadai;17;1541;90.0
42: Lannis;16;2113;132.0
43: Shimrod;16;1130;70.0
44: IrishOmalley;15;780;52.0
45: gagecreedlives;15;2154;143.0
46: TankSpill;14;2846;203.0
47: AlmenBunt;14;6910;493.0
48: blocksmith;14;1649;117.0
49: JanDSedai;14;1367;97.0
50: Fiddler;14;1809;129.0

top 50 posters by number of words
username;words;comments;average words per comment
1: Wetlandernw;46310;132;350.0
2: KiManiak;41559;81;513.0
3: subwoofer;31439;149;211.0
4: Jonathan Levy;25241;73;345.0
5: Wolfmage;23069;39;591.0
6: Isilel;13872;39;355.0
7: Bergmaniac;13000;62;209.0
8: chaplainchris1;11176;27;413.0
9: Terez27;10360;51;203.0
10: Tektonica;9756;76;128.0
11: archaeo;9163;27;339.0
12: hamstercheeks;8590;64;134.0
13: thewindrose;8522;51;167.0
14: Randalator;8385;41;204.0
15: ValMar;8037;59;136.0
16: forkroot;7936;47;168.0
17: birgit;7634;42;181.0
18: Longtimefan;7206;20;360.0
19: AlmenBunt;6910;14;493.0
20: insectoid;6683;59;113.0
21: Freelancer;5860;38;154.0
22: Sonofthunder;5650;31;182.0
23: up2stuff;4871;25;194.0
24: pwl;4842;24;201.0
25: EvilMonkey;4800;13;369.0
26: AndrewB;4471;25;178.0
27: ShaggyBella;4008;27;148.0
28: alreadymad... (all);3579;20;178.0
29: jamesedjones;3547;27;131.0
30: toryx;3414;17;200.0
31: CireNaes;3195;21;152.0
32: RobMRobM;3187;27;118.0
33: J.Dauro;3163;28;112.0
34: Shadow_Jak;3076;24;128.0
35: Alisonwonderland;2962;6;493.0
36: Man-0-Manetheran;2910;43;67.0
37: TankSpill;2846;14;203.0
38: blindillusion;2832;19;149.0
39: sushisushi;2805;12;233.0
40: sweetlilflower;2742;23;119.0
41: Aegnor;2608;13;200.0
42: tonka;2442;18;135.0
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44: ScoundrelTheToy;2278;5;455.0
45: Beren;2276;20;113.0
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47: gagecreedlives;2154;15;143.0
48: XLCR;2115;9;235.0
49: Lannis;2113;16;132.0
50: sarcastro;2075;6;345.0

There were 400 different usernames; 199 appeared only once.
Thomas Keith
197. insectoid
Alison @194: Nice analysis of the Eg=LPD theory! Wait... you're younger now than you were then?

Hmm, I wonder... is there anything additional from books 8-13 that might support this theory? Perhaps one of the gurus around here (Wetlander? Terez? Linda?) can find out for us.

JLevy @195: ROFL!!

Birgit @196: #9... wow. I must be trying too hard, or something. Or maybe not... it's CoT. :D

198. archaeo
First off, yikes, birgit@196, I nearly cracked the top ten on the CoT word count list and I've only been around for about half of this book. Hopefully I haven't made a nuisance of myself. I tried to be brief here, but, uh, look out below.

KiManiak@154-6 and 182, I thought about it, and I don't know if I really disagree with you after all. I still don't think that she's quite as bad as you say, but there's no arguing with the fact that several of Egwene's "specific acts" were pretty cruddy. I'd have a really hard time making her sound good when she has, either through correct characterization or a bit of an authorial blind spot, been pretty thoroughly nasty at times. Like Wetlandernw said, flaws and strengths go hand-in-hand, and that's sort of Egwene in a nutshell: totally self-possessed and driven, so much so that she doesn't really stop to put herself in anyone else's shoes.

Your argument was very thoughtful, and while I don't think I can get behind Egwene being LPD reborn, Alisonwonderland@194, you made excellent points, too. Regardless of whether Egwene is LPD reborn or just a SOB, it's clear that she has an important part to play in the pattern, and it's equally clear (in my mind, anyway) that Jordan intended the Latra/Egwene parallels.

We, as readers, are inclined to trust Rand and understand his motives; I don't think Egwene has ever been given particularly good reason to do so other than Two Rivers team spirit. Yes, we all understand that whole Champion of the Light thing, but the prophesies don't say, "None shall disagree with the Dragon, for his words will be gospel." We have seen inside his head, while Egwene has often seen a secretive, conflicted, and arrogant young man. Her skepticism may not be totally justifiable, but it's understandable under the circumstances.

The way I see it, the whole plot has required Egwene's attitude with Rand; it allowed her to break away at the right time to become Amyrlin, and it sets up the conflict on the FoM, which the entire series seems to have been building up to. Since Rand is going to win, Egwene will have to come around one way or another, and I have a feeling it will rehabilitate her character somewhat. Of course, Jordan could have been planning on something out of left field, but c'mon; this is a fantasy epic without any G.R.R.M.-style revisionism, all the characters have paired off, and there are hundreds of pages spent establishing future plans and a better world in the Fourth Age. I'm betting on a happy ending.
Theresa Gray
199. Terez27
@insectoid - The closest thing to support for it comes in the fact that Rand almost seems to see it that way:

"I'm going to need you, all of you," he continued. "I hope to the Light that this time, you will give me your support. I want you to meet with me on the day before I go to Shayol Ghul. And then . . . well, then we will discuss my terms."

But it's pretty thin support. This is the kind of thing that Team Jordan will probably never confirm or deny. Mat's Aemon memories is probably the best we'll ever get, but even that could well be Old Blood. The implication is supposed to be that it's Old Blood, so past life memories has the loony theory status.
Birgit F
200. birgit
Egwene had never even heard of this ter'angreal, yet she felt an intense affinity for the figure and an overwhelming urge to pick it up.

Rand feels the same need to use the CK when he is near it without knowing what is going on. Eg might have heard about the CK in lectures at the Tower (even if the AS don't know the name).
Stefan Mitev
201. Bergmaniac
I have to say the evidence for Egwene being Latra Posae seem really thin to me. I admit I am biased though since I don't like the idea that every time the key players in the battle against the Dark One should be the same people reborn. It would be too repetitive. One Dragon and one champion of the Dark is enough, give the others a chance to make a key contribution to the fight.

Egwene's behaviour towards Rand is really similar to that of the vast majority of other Aes Sedai. For all of them the idea of obeying any man is heresy, and the most of them think men are good for nothing and can't be trusted to do anything important right. The lack of information sharing applies to almost every character in the series too, especially when it comes to communication with the opposite gender.

As for her affinity to the Choedan Kal ter'angreal - IIRC channellers, at least some of them like Elayne, can sense angreals and terangreals, and the access key to the strongest sa'angreal ever must be easy to sense. Rand noticed the access statues among all the other stuff in Rhuidean right away.

Besides, everyone in the WoT world gets reborn, so chances are all of them could have some latent memories from the AoL and the Old Tongue, not just those who are reborn AoL celebrities. ;)
Jonathan Levy
202. JonathanLevy
161. Alphaleonis

I, for one, am very pleased with the debate your posts sparked. Before you brought up the subject, I hadn't realized that I didn't really know who betrayed Egwene. Thanks to the discussion we had here, I know that it's still something of a mystery, and not that I missed something obvious. You have my gratitude.
John Massey
203. subwoofer
Holy cow! Or should I say horse? Did I just read a post where an Asha'man grows a horses nanners back?

Naw, that can't be right.

::Goes back and looks::

Nope, I saw what I saw. Wowza. Well, I guess anything short of death can be healed... er... no comment.

@Alison- Holy cow! Interesting points you make. Couple of things there... In the beginning, Egwene didn't really pick sides as the main focus was not Rand vs. Moiraine but moreso Moiraine vs. Nynaeve. And lets face it, when Liandrin came and said Rand was in drek, Egwene fled from the Tower to bail his hiney out.

It seems to me there was a bit of polarization ie. males vs. females. Men think with the hair on their chests or keep their brains in their scabbard, women are stubborn and muley. At least that was the common thought patterns when folks reflect on each other in these books.

Egwene was also deferring to Aes Sedai as she is a Novice. But she does get away from that when Egwene enters the Waste and meets the Wise Ones. Ultimately she comes to a crossroads and aligns her loyalties with the Tower as she has joined their ranks.

I think the next step for Egwene will be when she realizes or LTT points out that originally, he was part of the Tower to, so her loyalty should be with him, not against him.

As for sharing of info... well, let's face it, that is the main theme of the whole series. AT&T or Verizon were to appear on the scene, this would have been a trilogy.

John Massey
204. subwoofer
Oh yeah... JCon... Terez, there would be merry carousing, but the location and the fact that I have a new born is gonna keep me away from this one. Really, its too bad... there would be singing on tables... and not on tables... and perhaps a tussle, maybe even a fray... dicing. Ahhhh good times. I am still beating the drum about location, location, location. I live in a poopy one.

Gonna have to make do with ComicCon.

As for us here, we always welcome fresh blood. It keeps the conversation going cause at some point we have stated our opinions thoroughly and need to take apart fresh ones;)

@up2stuff140- ships don't have to be manhandled at all. Sisters just have to channel air to the sails in a different way, maybe adjust the rigging and blow the ships to shore.Maybe even just take "control" of the rudder...

I do like the comment made that Egwene was a Trojan Horse, in a way that is very fitting. Guerilla tactics of using logic and reason against a lunatic like Elaida in the hierarchy of the Tower... interesting. Although at some point Egwene abandons logic and reason for pomposeness and teeth grinding melodrama. Dang it- stick to the facts!

Elaida is a douche, she had several bad calls, 50 Sisters up in smoke, trying to box, leash and cage the DR, disbanding an entire Ajah, taking a shawl away from a Sister, building her own palace when there are bigger fish to fry- wasting Tower resources and time, and the biggie- DOING PRACTICALLY NOTHING TO HEAL THE BIG HONKING RIFT IN THE SISTERHOOD WHILE THE WORLD IS ON THE VERGE OF TARMON GAIDON... not to mention the questionable legality of what she did to Siuan. Did I mention she is a douche?

@whomever was talking about Macgyver-yeah. But then again, Macgyver was a guy, so he got stuff done instead of spending endless time debating it in some Hall....

Gang way!!! ::Flees for bunker::

Rob Munnelly
205. RobMRobM
ShaggyBella @192. Pull up a chair and let's chat about the Vorkosigan stories by Lois McMaster Bujold. All but one (Memory) have been put free on line by Baen publishing as of late October, when the latest book (Cryoburn) came out. To find them, I'd suggest googling Vorkosigan and Baen and Free and looking through the ensuing responses to find the link to the proper site. The works are gathered into a half dozen compilation volumes and you can either select the option "Read as Html" to read on screen or you can download in several other reading formats.

Yes, you should read the Vorkosigan books and novellas. Jo Walton of this site loves them and has written many spoilerific posts discussing them in great detail. They are award winning -- several have won Hugos and Nebulas, and most of the rests have been nominated as finalists. Each one is quite different from the others and they cover a whole bunch of genres - military adventure, character studies, mysteries, romance, farce. And they are very, very enjoyable.

The tales are set in a future time not too distant from our own where wormholes have allowed humanity to settle on a dozen or more planets. They center on the mixed marriage between Aral Vorkosigan, a controversial military hero and leader from the tradition and honor--bound, somewhat backwards, militaristic planet of Barrayar (think Prussia), and Cordelia Naismith, captain of a scientific survey ship from the technologically advanced, socially liberal planet called Beta Colony (think California); and of their only child Miles, a physically challenged, hyperactive genius growing up on a planet that prizes physical perfection.

As the stories progress one can see how Aral, Cordelia and especially Miles change Barrayar. The cast of characters around the core family are interesting and fascinating. Miles' best friend Elena, daughter of Miles' scary bodyguard Bothari; his feckless appearing hunky cousin Ivan; Miles' various coworkers in his adventures; his interesting romantic partners through the years; various bad guys and gals that interact with Miles through the tales, etc.

In terms of the books and novellas themselves,
- Shards of Honor and Barrayar (Hugo winner) tell the tale of Aral and Cordelia and how Miles came to be who he is.
- Warrior's Apprentice starts the adventures of Miles at age 17 and hoping to get in somehow to the Imperial Military Academy on Barrayar, that his father and ancestors have attended for generations., but things turn out quite a bit different and a lot more interesting then planned. The title's subtle reference to the classic Disney tale of The Sorceror's Apprentice is not accidental.
- Next come various tales of early Miles - The Mountains of Mourning novella, my single favorite work in the entire series - easily won both Hugo and Nebula - The Vor Game (Hugo), and Cetaganda.
- Then come more of Miles as he enters his prime: the novellas Labyrinth and Borders of Infinity (these are collected with Mountains of Mourning and a framing story into a hard copy collection entitled Borders of Infinity), Brothers in Arms and Mirror Dance (Hugo). There is also a side novel in which Miles doesn't appear but is discussed and one of Miles' compatriots is one of the two main figures, called Ethan of Athos. In chronological order, you would read it after Cetaganda and either just before or just after Labyrinth.
- Then come a shift in tone and focus in the tales of Miles as he ages - Memory, Komarr, A Civil Campaign, Winterfair Gifts (novella), Diplomatic Immunity and, finally, Cryoburn, where Miles has reached the ripe old age of 39.
- Apparently, the next book will focus on cousin Ivan and will be set about five years before the events in Cryoburn. Fans of the story are dying to read it and Bujold has been reading chapters from it at event. No idea re publication date. Who knows where the series will go after that. Bujold has spent most of the past 15 years writing fantasy books, which are also excellent - the three Chalion books, the four Sharing Knife books. Her Miles output has slowed greatly - Diplomatic Immunity, the Winterfair Gifts novella, and Cryburn are her only output over the past decade. There probably need to be two or three more at least to tell the full story of Miles, but who knows?

I should note in passing there is also the novel Falling Free, set in the same universe but about 200 years before Miles was born and having nothing to do with Barrayar, Beta or other aspects of Miles' part of the universe. It is quite good and won Nebula. Probably best to save it until you've read the other books - or read it before reading Diplomatic Immunity, which centers on the same part of the universe as Falling Free and reading it will help with background.

So, enjoy. My favorite single piece is the novella Mountains of Mourning and it gives a great short taste of what the novels are like if you want a test run. My two favorite novels are Mirror Dance and Memory, with Miles being forced to deal with very serious crises. I do have to say that since the novels are free on line I keep returning with pleasure to the romantic drama Komarr and the romantic farce A Civil Campaign, but all are excellent. Enjoy.

Rob Munnelly
206. RobMRobM
Birgit - thanks for the updated stats. I'm middle of the pack, as expected. Rob
207. deebee
Pwl @126

Many thanks for your suggestion. Sadly the patient is too far gone for reconstructive surgery, interment took place some time ago.(The other candidates being largely held together with sticky tape...)
Chris R
208. up2stuff

@up2stuff140- ships don't have to be manhandled at all. Sisters just have to channel air to the sails in a different way, maybe adjust the rigging and blow the ships to shore.Maybe even just take "control" of the rudder...

I still see some problems. Do you channel all of the wind on the river to move all ships at the same time? Seems like something on the order of what only the Windfinders can do without the bowl of winds, as per Moridin. One wind flow per ship? You need a lot of sisters, since it doesnt seem like there are many of sufficient strength. Either way, LOTS of time and effort. Not to mention risk of ambushes, capture, etc...

Channel for the rigging/rudder? Many more delicate and precise flows, far over the water. Even tying them off, I get the feeling there is still a distance issue for most of the sisters to "place" the flows. Again, I don't think most of the sisters were capable of that level of power and control. And again, lots of them running around at one time for days on end.

I still think the chain is the most efficient solution in terms of all resources. Again; its there, its effective, and simple. If anyone other than Leane had been even close enough to Egwene in ability in this task, maybe she would have given a smidgeon of thought to using them instead. Probably not, but maybe.

Granted it was still a blunder in that she did not take ANY precautions. But if there weren't a traitor, it would have worked.

Captain Hammer
209. Randalator
sub @204

ships don't have to be manhandled at all. Sisters just have to channel air to the sails in a different way, maybe adjust the rigging and blow the ships to shore.Maybe even just take "control" of the rudder...

Just as an addition to up2stuff's points: Merchant ships usually have oars (see TDR, ch. 32, 37). If Aes Sedai started meddling with their sails or the wind in general they could just take in sails and use the oars instead.
John Massey
210. subwoofer
Man! What a bunch of naysayers- how did you folks settle the west cryin' like that?

@209Rand0- anybody goes for the rigging- the Aes Sedai bitch slap them behind the ear with a flow of air. Most sailors would cower after one was made example.

@Up2- meh. Precision to move a rudder? Really? Turn rudder right and hold. Easy peasy. As for the Sister's not being able to manage... wells considering that the SGs have seen the Windfinders do stuff and there was mostly one on each ship and they moved huge flows of air... I think a little bit in the way of lessons and there are some promising girls that could manage.

Lemme put it this way- if the Aes Sedai have problems now running a few ships into the ground by air or mechanical manipulation- they are in deep shit when it comes to facing dread lords. So you either have to believe that they can do it or not be surprised when they all die in the last book.

So what's it going to be? Can the Sisters do stuff or are they as functional as tits on a bull?

Julian Augustus
211. Alisonwonderland
Insectoid @197

Alison @194: Nice analysis of the Eg=LPD theory! Wait... you're younger now than you were then?

Ah, you caught one. I slipped in a couple of musical references and apparently you were the only one who caught on to the odd thought above. The music may date me a bit, but I expect your mom (Hi Babokathy) would have caught it. It was a song by Dylan (My Back Pages). Here's my preferred version, by The Byrds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS6OhC-4Zyw
Lets see if anyone can spot the other more hidden song reference.
212. archaeo
Sub@201, plus everybody else re: moving ships,

I have no doubt that, with a bit of creativity and a couple of circles, any group of AS could probably keep ships out of Tar Valon without struggling too much. There are any number of ways; maybe a solid wall of air stretched across the space? Or a razor thin wire of air set about 10 feet above the deck of oncoming ships? And I'm sure any circle could manage enough strength with air to get ships onto the river bank.

But it would require more than a handful of the SAS to be constantly posted at the river banks, and it would be exceedingly dangerous. In that situation, Elaida would certainly counterattack, and then the Battle of Tar Valon would really begin. Not to mention that it could potentially scare merchants away entirely and cause a lot of headaches for the reunified AS.

RobMRob@205, thanks for the thorough recommendation. Tycho of Penny Arcade mentioned the series awhile back and I thought about reading it; I definitely will now that you've given it such a glowing review.
Chris R
213. up2stuff

I agree with you that the complexity of the weaves is not that serious. But I seem to remember Egwene reflecting on how much more difficult two weaves were than one, let alone the six or whatever she was able to channel while in captivity and drugged in the tower. I thought she earned a penance for showing up her teacher in that episode juggling six different colored balls of fire even while drugged.

It also seems that we heard somewhere that distance is a factor too. If a sister were in a small boat on the water or on the ship (as a WF is), yes, grab the rudder, reset the rigging, bitch slap the sailors, all very easy.

But on a moving ship 3/4 of a mile out on the water, rudder grabbing, rigging adjustments and bitch slapping, times maybe 2-5 ships at a time, seems a little harder. Flinging a fire ball 3/4 of a mile across a field at hordes of shadowspawn requires less control, IMHO.

Also, I did not think that many WF's were with Eg's. Arent they all bitching at Elayne? She would have to buy/trade for those lessons, too. Even if there were enough sisters of strength, I dont think the WF's on the big ships are beginners, seems that that kind of weave takes time to learn.

Finally, it just seems the more complicated strategy, hence the more probability for screwup or ineffectiveness. Granted Eg WAS captured, but but I would rather coordinate two sisters, attacking two targets, at one time, than marshalling one sister to cover every ship from the north, and another to cover every ship south, day after day after day. Just a different kind of expense that SAS cant really afford in terms of manpower and time.

Just my opinion, and if you do not agree, cool. I am prepared to let it drop, I just wanted to make one last defense of my position.

On another note, I FINALLY MADE A LIST! #26, and #23 respectively. Squeee. Thanks to birgit for keeping count! I feel kind of established now.

Re: Superbowl... Is there a way for BOTH teams to lose? No? All right. Mumblegrumblegopackerstheyrebetterthanthe steelersmumblegrumble.

Edit: aaaaand archeo pretty much summed up my argument better.
Alice Arneson
214. Wetlandernw
up2stuff @208 - You reminded me of something we sometimes seem to forget, in discussing whether or not Egwene should have gone on the mission. The plan was for the mission to be performed by the two (non-Amyrlin) Aes Sedai who were best at the weave. Even though Egwene was far better at it than either, there was no real consideration of her going (at least not that we saw). Sadly, one of those two was murdered only hours before they were to go. There were no other full AS who could hope to do it quickly enough; the next best was a novice. So the choice came down to a novice with 34 days of actual training (plus whatever she and the other TR girls picked up from two AS while traveling from the TR to Caemlyn and then to Murandy), or the Amyrlin who had White Tower, Wise One and personal former-Amyrlin training, who had rediscovered the weave, and who could do it instantaneously. As has been noted, they also had no reason to suspect that anything untoward would happen. The risks (small boat, wide river, being spotted by the odd soldier in the middle of the night?) are more than outweighed by the advantages of training, control, skill and speed.

same @213 - More good points. Neither Egwene nor anyone else with the SAS have ever seen Windfinders work. Elayne is the only AS anywhere who has really had a chance to watch a Windfinder at her work; the other few with her now saw them work the BotW, but that's not anything like the same. So it would take a lot more long-term planning, to say nothing of a whole new Bargain, to get some WFs to train some AS to handle flows of air of that magnitude.

And I whole-heartedly agree with your last paragraph.

edit: well, the last paragraph before the edit. :)
Tricia Irish
215. Tektonica
Hi Windrose! Sorry about you having New Snow instead of Spring. ;-(

A Mis sighting!!! **waves** Hope you come back for Spring!

I had a BUNCH of comments and they got erased when I bookmarked RobM's treatise on Bujold. Damn. And thanks RobM. Those could be next after Malazan. (Just finishing Reaper's Gale.)

Thanks for the compilations, Birgit! I just don't see how I could've been so verbose on this book....I dislike it so. Sigh.

Love the Bella curing Tai'Dasher's "problem" very funny, Jonathanlevy, etc.!

Poor Sub. Ain't parenthood great! Those poopy memories will stay with you forever! (It's totally worth it, too.)

Alisonwonderland: Totally enjoyed your LP/ Egs comparison. I think there's much validity in your thoughts. It kind of makes sense that all the important people of the aol would come back and know each other, maybe even growing up??

From an emotional standpoint, with absolutely no supporting evidence, I'd like Nynaeve to be LP. She has been so loyal and helpful to Rand. It would be cool if she were redoing the mistakes from the aol that LP made. I know..it makes no sense. (And I caught you're Dylan reference too....dating myself)

Terez: I'm sure there's no shortage of people here that would love to buy you a drink at Jcon...myself included!

Now, it's almost superbowl time. Sub is in the Bunker with the Bowl of the Winds. I've got white chicken chili...very spicy....so come one come all. Go Cheeseheads!
Antoni Ivanov
216. tonka
I have to mention that after reading everything here it would seem that Egwene's plan with the chain was actually the best one possible. I was hoping someone would offer something better.
John Massey
217. subwoofer
Ahhh... so I see that everyone has adopted the stance that the Sisters are as useful as tits on a bull. Soooo I guess everyone is expecting them to die come TG.

Me? I do believe that they coulda blocked the river by other means. If it was really as tough as folks make out- distance, weaves, Elaida... then they might as well all lie down and die right now cause they're not going to stand a chance. Like I said in previous posts, a flippin' group, flock, heard, bunch of beavers made a dam that you can see from space, you folks are honestly going to sit there and tell me that beyond the chains there was no way to block the river because other options were too difficult? Yeeee.

The way I see it, the SAS had two advantages- Firstly, they have no Reds amongst them, and they had all the Blues. Point 2, they don't have Elaida at their head. Let us not forget the complex weaves a Sister has to memorize and do under duress just to get a shawl. Team a couple pairs in a boat, pair one handles the boats, sinking, beaching or whatever, pair two handles the bitch slapping and defense, I'd say it's a done deal. And if the distance is tough for the SAS then it will be the same for Elaida's crew, so unless some TAS are manning boats too, all they can do is hurl insults from the walls. While Elaida's manpower is busy building her a tower, Bryne and Co could do some catapults and bows and stuff to peg off the odd counter stroke. I'm telling ya- it's easy to say- nope, it can't be done. But like TR said-

"Believe you can and you're halfway there."

And more importantly-

"When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it."

Let's have some can do attitude and get over with the excuses of why folks can't.

Edit- and let's not forget- buildings don't move very fast. So the SAS could Travel down river, do the boat thing well outta sight of the TR walls and things are all good.

John Massey
218. subwoofer
Superbowl- well it was a case if the Packers won their final game, my Giants were bumped outta the playoffs, so I was bummed. OTOH I do not like Big Ben and by proxy- the Steelers so go Packers...

Le sigh. There's always next season... if there is no strike.

Theresa Gray
219. Terez27
@Tek - I might take you up on that. :D

@Sub - We welcome fresh blood at TL too. We just chew very thoroughly.
John Massey
220. subwoofer
@ Terez, I'll make sure my pockets are full of pork chops.

Alice Arneson
221. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @217 - Yes, but the thing is, why come up with a complex and difficult plan when you already have a simple, workable one? Its only problem (as a plan) was that they didn't have much depth on their team. Of all the things I've seen suggested here, not a single one is better than what they came up with. Some would have been workable, but would have required far more in time, resources and effort.

Face it; when you've already got a chain strung across a narrow harbor entrance (about 1/2 mile) and you have the means to make that chain immovable, it only makes sense to try that before you try finding ways to block a whole two-mile-wide river, or divert ship after ship after ship.

And let's not forget (how can you? I keep saying it!) it worked.
John Massey
222. subwoofer
Sure it worked... except the bit where the Amyrlin gets captured. Unless you're saying that was done on purpose, I think that it is a hard sell for me to see it as a success. Way simpler to beach a couple of ships down river and scare the pants off the rest as an example.

Face it, beach two ships and put a huge ass sign on a boat sayin' "go past this point and that could be you" is much more preferable than losing your leader to the enemy.

How complex is 8 Sisters and two boat crews Travelling down river as compared to Egwene putzing around and getting captured?

Chris R
223. up2stuff
Okay, I know I said I was gonna let it go. Last time, really. So, 8 sisters traveling up and down a river, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for long enough to deplete all the stores in a city as big as TV, (Weeks/Months), rain, shine, snow (Wasnt it winter, too?) in a conflict with their sisters. I would rather be in your position changing all the poopy diadees than have that assignment.

For that matter, why would SAS fight the TAS tooth and nail. Long run, they are on the same side. One just wants Elaida, the other Egs. I don't think any effort would be shirked in the fight against the hordes of shadowspawn that just want to put them in their cookpots. Doesnt seem like an apples to apples situation. My point, other options are possible and feasible, just what is the BEST option. The only hole in the plan was the one in Eg's head. She just didnt think anything could go wrong, like MOST teenagers.

Fighting the Tower IS kind of like the Tits on a Bull. Just like the idea of taking down Elaida, at first something like that was kind of fascinating, but when they started thinking about having to actually fight the Tower, the idea just gets kind of gross.
Jay Dauro
224. J.Dauro
All of the plans that require active channeling against non Aes Sedai have the major drawback of increasing the distrust and dislike of Aes Sedai in the people. And Egwene is quite aware of this.

The plan was not a bad plan, and as originally conceived had little risk. (2 AS and 2 boat crews.) There may be other methods, but I have yet to hear one that would have been as efficient and with less risk.
Thomas Keith
225. insectoid
Congrats to the Green Bay Packers, and the Cheeseheads among us. A game well-played!

(FYI, that's American football I'm talking about... ;) )

Sandy Brewer
226. ShaggyBella
Thanks for the book recommendation. I already had an account at Baen from when I got The Witches of Karres.(That was a hard one to locate and a fav from a long time ago.)
Anyhow I was able to get the Cordeia's Honor and Young Miles...both compilations. I will get to them after I finish my re-listen to TGS & TOM.
The books, they are piling up, while I am in this Wheel Series that has no beginning or end.
Jonathan Levy
227. JonathanLevy
217. subwoofer
Like I said in previous posts, a flippin' group, flock, heard, bunch of beavers made a dam that you can see from space, you folks are honestly going to sit there and tell me that beyond the chains there was no way to block the river because other options were too difficult? Yeeee.
There is a substantial difference between working against nature and striving against other human beings. People don't just sit down and get dammed (pun!), they get up and strive against you with determination and ingeniuity. You think you can block river traffic 10 miles upstream and the TAS will sit down quietly and starve to death? No, they'll send out a reconnaissance in force to investigate and break your blockade. You plan to send eight Aes Sedai in a boat to interdict traffic? Elaida will ambush them with 40 and you'll compromise the Travelling weave. One setback, and the SAS will lose confidence in Egwene, and her hall will take over.

Consider further the political difficulties the alternate plans will cause for Egwene. You want 20 Aes Sedai on constant patrol? You need to arrange about 80 of them in four shifts. Then you need to have at least another 20 on a 2-minute notice for backup in case the patrol gets in trouble. You'll need to get the cooperation of the hall, and of all the Ajahs.

And then the arguments will start. "I'm a Brown, I'm no good with Air, why should I have to go? Send the Greens, they do this all the time." "We Blues are doing twice as much patrolling as the Whites!" "Half the Whites have been excused for sea-sickness, and no-one else has!" "Our Ajah had 3 people sent away on errands, so our quota should be reduced by 1". "Lelaine is strong in the power, and she made Theodrin go instead of her, so why shouldn't I make Faolain go instead of me? What do I care if the patrol winds up consisting only of weak Aes Sedai?".

I think you've been on guard duty, sub, you know what it's like. And the Aes Sedai aren't even an army (with some form of discipline and a chain-of-command) - they're a heard of cats. Arranging this would be a political and logistical nightmare. The Cuendillar plan has none of these problems. Egwene can send 2 Aes Sedai in the middle of the night on her own authority, and in secrecy (until the last day, anyway).

I had some other things to say, other people said it better, so I'll just quote them.

223. up2stuff
My point, other options are possible and feasible, just what is the BEST option. The only hole in the plan was the one in Eg's head. She just didnt think anything could go wrong, like MOST teenagers.
221. Wetlandernw
...when you've already got a chain strung across a narrow harbor entrance (about 1/2 mile) and you have the means to make that chain immovable, it only makes sense to try that before you try finding ways to block a whole two-mile-wide river, or divert ship after ship after ship.
John Massey
228. subwoofer
weeeeee! This is fun:)

Ahem- Heard of cats. LOL! That is the best description of AS ever!

Naw, it doesn't have to be like that. I said beach a couple of boats then put up a sign on a boat down river. Think of it like a scarecrow or like a skeleton hanging from a tree. Beware all those that go past this point. Rumor spreads like wildfire in WoT. Easy peasy.I'm almost sure that there's an 80\20 rule here somewhere.

As far as TAS, well, they didn't get their hands on Travelling immediately so back to my idea of Bryne using catapults and arrows and stuff to wail on them. And you know, if a war starts, I'm cool with that, sucks to be in one but it would be fun to read.

And don't think that TAS would be quick to react. They'd bring it before Elaida, then get a "who would dare?!" then there would be endless discussion in the Hall, at which some point Elaida would overrule and then back to infighting....

And if I have not said it, the idea of the chains is simple and I am perfectly willing to accept it- if it did not result in Egwene being the one to have to do it. It's the same problem I have always had with Star Trek- there's never a good red shirt around when you need one.

Amir Noam
229. Amir
re: AS as a herd of cats:

OK, I just have to post this link for those not familiar with it:
Chris R
231. up2stuff

TAS vs SAS battle...DEFINATELY would be fun to read. Battles always are. I was looking through Leigh's first reread post and one of Mat's lines is "Battles interest me." They always do.

I think you may have underplayed Elaida's reaction to an attack. I think it would be more along the lines of the most spectacular temper tantrum seen in this or any age.

Re Star Trek: Riker definately had the right idea leading the away teams. Most important person should not in the most danger if possible. I think being a glory hound was a bit of an ulterior motive for him though.
Chris Chaplain
232. chaplainchris1
@228 redshirts -

Sub - I'm not sure that you haven't already been convinced, like me. (As I've mentioned, the discussion has been good for me - I've always thought Egwene's plan was dumb, and through the discussion I've decided otherwise.) I will say one last thing in Egwene's defense, which is that she did *try* to find red shirts. She decided *WAY WAY BACK* in chapter 12 of ACOS (A Crown of Swords - that's 3 books ago, and thanks encylopaedia of the Wheel of Time!) to begin testing every sister in the camp for the ability to make cuendillar. (For ability with metal and ores, is what she thinks - but in COT we learn why.)

For about 3 months, she's been having sisters, and even students, work to gain skills, eventually identifying two red shirts (Leane and Kairen) who could do the job. Even then, in COT chapter 17, Egwene's worried that their skills aren't good enough for the task.

Kairen fulfills her red shirt duty BEFORE the mission, though, leaving Egwene the option of sending, not an enlisted red shirt, but an untrained and inexperienced girl; or of giving the task to the person who was hands-down best qualified. She chose the latter, and was correct imo to do so.

Where Egwene's inexperience showed was in deciding to act unilaterally and to basically sneak off, rather than bringing guards and back-up. She shouldn't have needed guards or backup, wouldn't have if not for the betrayal, but she should have brought both just in case. Her plan was good, but plans only last until the first contact with the enemy! By the law of war, Egwene had the right to go into danger; she should have embraced that, brought some discreet back-up, thought her way through the problem - inverting weaves, masking her ability, etc. - and then she should have acted.

Her failure to prep adequately and to anticipate the unanticipated (?) led to her capture, but her overall decision to go herself was, I think, sound.

And certainly the plan with the harbor chains was far superior to wrestling with the ships, risking battle with Aes Sedai (avoiding that was, you recall, one of Egwene's prime goals, and a reason to avoid rescue) and harm to innocents. There were many things Egwene could have done, including a Seanchan-style raid via Gateway to capture Elaida - but that would have led to sisters battling sisters.

If Egwene's plan hadn't been betrayed, by the way - then how demoralizing for the Tower Aes Sedai! Blockaded with no hope of getting free, and proof yet again that the rebels know weaves they've never imagined!
233. jfh
Even if Egwene had brought guards and backup with her, how could she have avoided the kind of fight/battle that would have occured when she was captured?
Thomas Keith
234. insectoid
JLevy @227:

And the Aes Sedai aren't even an army (with some form of discipline and a chain-of-command) - they're a heard of cats.

A herd of cats? No wonder cats like Aes Sedai so much. :)

Amir @229: ::watches:: LOL!! Hadn't seen that one. XD

John Massey
235. subwoofer
@ChaplainC- no no, still not convinced over here. Lemme put this another way... there was this work of fiction in movie format... we'll call it, oh, I dunno, INDEPENDENCE DAY. In that movie the flippin' PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES had nothing better to do than suit up, mount up, and fly a fighter jet into harms way. His justification- "we need all the fighter pilots we can find"- oh my aching back. So the world is decimated, the VP and the JCOS are all gum on some alien's foot and the only useful leader is going up in a plane against vastly superior forces to play chicken. Yeah. Dim.

Now we have Eggy, I know, I've read all the rhetoric, and I know how everything works out in the end... but looking at the decision from the beginning, not knowing the turn out, it was an epic fail. Bring guards as back up? I'da brought the kitchen sink... well I dunno if they had any back when, but I'da brought a chamber pot... maybe even full to hurl at the enemy. I'da told Bryne, "listen, I'm going to do something that is very important, but it is akin to poking a bear with a short stick, can you lend me some people that run slower than me?"

OR I'da waited and trained somebody, anybody else to do the job. Nicola. Anybody else. Did I mention anybody else? I think no matter the justification, you don't put the leader of your forces on the front line as cannon fodder. I don't care if she's the only one that has beer flavored nipples. Find anybody else. Dress them up in cat suits. Elaida is holding herself above everyone else and touting herself as some kinda queen person. Egwene is taking the entirely opposite stance, I'm surprised she hasn't taken to being a farrier for Bela. The army is useless without strong leadership- remember the Law of War or whatever. How can the Amyrlin guide the tiller if she's in a 2x4 cell or being spanked all day or killed outright for being a treasonous deserter and leader of the enemy- we didn't know they'd just make her a novice when she was captured. For all we know, Elaida would have had her head mounted on a spike at one of the bridge gates.

Lemme see- turn the chains into heartstone vs. dead Amyrlin. Hmmmmm, that's a toughie.

Edit @Up2things- yeah, Elaida would have had the biggest hairy spaz ever. Worse than when Alviarin gave her a weggie.

Amir Noam
236. Amir
I'd like to point another very negative result to Egwene's capture: Her capture is what led Beonin to decide that the rebellion was over and go to Elaida. And this directly resulted in the Seanchan learning how to Travel.

So, even with perfect 20/20 hindsight vision, we can see that Egwene being captured was good for ellegently resolving the Tower split, but terrible for the whole Seanchan mess (especially when concidering Aviendha's visions).
John Massey
237. subwoofer
Oh yeah, and as I have mentioned, the SAS would not have to block all the ships... just the ones carrying the TP- toilet paper that is. Let's see the TAS channel their collective way outta that one.

Edit- I just remembered that Tar Valon has a huge library. But a war could be sparked as the Browns go to defend their precious books against an er... urgent need. Kinda funny that the Browns would be... Browns in this case. heh. Imagine the upheaval.

Sandy Brewer
238. ShaggyBella
Is it time for a new post yet? Pretty please. Poor Bela is being beat to death. If RJ had to think of ALL these ramifications of his fictional character's actions, there would be only one book every 5 years, or none at all.
Fake Name
239. ThePendragon

I always assumed it to be Sammael, so I never looked for them. I didn't actually notice them until I went back and looked for them last week when I posted here. Only knew what it was because I was looking for it this time. Really, it just looks like smudgy yellow lines on Sammaels wrists.
John Massey
240. subwoofer
@ShaggyBela- Quitter!

Coming from the one that gave us the story of growin' a horses' nuts back. Bela's fine, she has a new friend now;)

241. KiManiak
Congrats to the Packers and all of their fans! Yesterday’s game continues the recent trend of entertaining, non-blowout Super Bowls.

Let’s see…

thewindrose@186 – re: the cover – I think your suggestion sounds the most reasonable explanation for the CoT cover. I’m willing to give the artist the benefit of the doubt; maybe he did receive the information for that description we get from Rand, and then later RJ/Harriet decided to move the scene to KoD…

wetlandernw@188 – Thanks. Yeah, I’m aware that I might drone on a little too much on this site and I intend to be a little more brief, but this may end up like one of those times when you know you’ve had too many nachos and vow to not eat another one… and then all of a sudden the nachos are all gone, you have nacho cheese on your hands and crumbs on your shirt. I tend to blame society and its subtle messages that I should consume mass quantities, while deeming myself an innocent victim :-)

Oh, and re: your poll – I’d be cool with you placing it in either location; just as long as you do post it.

alisonwonderland@193 – thanks for the “critique/criticize” comparison and historical example.

JL@195 – Nice. I especially felt the Dark One when he was thinking about his issues finishing the Malazan Tales of the Fallen series. I’m almost done with the 1st book; there’s a lot to digest! Those books seem challenging, but enjoyable…

birgit@196 – Thanks for doing these, birgit. Hmm. 3rd and 2nd. And on my least favorite WoT book… Yeah, just gonna focus on the positives. Top 3! Yeah!

archaeo@198 – My issues with Egwene usually have a common theme where I think Egwene does a lot of questionable things worthy of challenge/criticism. You could probably say that for all of the Superkids; I just happen to point it out more for Egwene and Elayne, because I think Egwene tends to do those things the most and Elayne tends to do those things the dumbest. But these are what make all of the Superkids interesting and fun to read about.

But I applaud those of you (Wetlander and all others) who tend to automatically defend any character/group that the commenters seem to be piling the insults on; and who especially check the lazy “I hate so-and-so because their an idiot” commenters. That doesn’t add anything productive to the discussion. I respect that those of you who choose to defend the maligned demand that the attackers come with high quality reasons and story supported analyses. In my normal life I tend to play the Devil’s Advocate role a lot (to most of my friends’ chagrin) so it’s refreshing to see other doing it here. Please keep it up!

RobMRobM@205 – Thanks for the very detailed summary. Now I’m intrigued…

@many re: the “insularness” of this reread group – I have found this place to be incredibly welcoming of new blood and ideas. Even when something kinda silly or way out there is put out to the group ::cough my-does-RJ-playfully-have-a-smal -thing-against-Georgia-post cough:: someone may actually try to address it, or at worst, it will just be ignored.

@many re: the cuendillar plan – I don’t want to wade into this pool too deeply about what was the best way to disrupt river trading into Tar Valon, but I’ll just say again that taking responsibility for something particularly dangerous, difficult and in an area where they excel at is a characteristic of all of our Superkids.

I think Egwene was being true to form. I wouldn’t even take her to task for taking this all upon herself, and not bringing along soldiers or Sisters as backup. This was supposed to be a stealthy, zip-in, convert-to-cuendillar, zip-out mission. More numbers affects the stealth and expedience factors. More numbers could lead to mistakes. And a main reason for needing more numbers would result in the very thing Egwene is trying to avoid: a conflict between the 2 sides.

As for not preparing for every contingency… Well, she could’ve masked her ability and inverted the weaves. She also could have got her hands on a strong angreal, used a pair of Gareth Bryne’s binoculars and not even had to approach the river. I’m sure that, had she wanted to while imprisoned in the White Tower, Egwene herself could’ve came up with a whole bunch of things that she could’ve done differently. But she had little reason to believe that TAS sisters would be right there, waiting to ambush her. And yes, Leane did prepare better. But, Leane still got caught.

I'm not even gonna look at my word count. I see my new resolution lasted all of one post...

New day, and a New Spring come tomorrow…
John Massey
242. subwoofer
Yes, but why not bring at least a chamber pot?

And back to my cuendillar chains vs. dead Amyrlin stance.

We didn't know the outcome at the end of CoT. Cliffhanger. Next book coulda started with Egwene's mock trial and resulting stilling and beheading.

Tricia Irish
243. Tektonica

I hope you hop on over to the MBotF reread threads....they are pretty spoiler free and are pretty well noted when they are not. It's an addiction, and it only gets worse......I mean better.....I mean I'm totally hooked on SE.

Your erudite observations would be most welcome!
Jonathan Levy
244. JonathanLevy
237. subwoofer

You've been changing too many diapers, sub! :)
Kimani Rogers
245. KiManiak
Sub@237 & 240 – Comedy! I like books too much to endorse the “emergency toilet paper” plan. I’d have to be on the side of the Browns. The Sisters have their own personal maids, right? Just get a sponge bath after you do your business. And to call someone a “quitter” who just wants to stop the perceived beating of the proverbial dead horse? :-) Hilarious…

me@241 – 780+ words? Yeah, so much for that whole brevity and succinctness thing. :-)

Tek@243 – I like Gardens of the Moon, but God is reading that work. I’m right at the beginning of Chapter 21 (really seems to be building up into something epic; I’m really enjoying the tension & suspense) but I swear I must’ve read most of the first 20 chapters at least 2-3 times each just trying to understand and absorb what happened; or to catch a little word that I glossed over that clarifies the understanding of a whole passage; or something like that.

Oh, and thank God for the “Dramatis Personae” at the beginning of the book (or at least, the beginning of my copy). I swear, for the first 14 or so chapters, I would flip back to that to remind myself who was who, and where. Then, trying to figure out what warrens were associated with who, and if I was supposed to know yet whether a particular name, god, warren, race, city or kingdom was noteworthy or if this was a brand new one and hadn’t been referenced a few chapters earlier. So many small details to absorb...

(EDIT: Oh, and how could I forget? Dragons?! Freakin' dragons appear out of left field (although, if you pay attention to something that was mentioned chapters earlier you find out that not only were dragons foreshadowed, but even the dragon's name is dropped as a possible challenger to another character's power if that character were ever to do something shady. I think... maybe I'm just confused again). And...uh...I'm sorry if this could be seen as spoilery. It's vague enough, right? No specific mention of names, plot points or actions taken. Yeah, maybe I'll just stop here...)

Having said all that, I’m enjoying it. I do have to allow myself time where I know I can focus all of my attention on the book, which is hard for me. I usually prefer to read with a semi-mindless procedural show or Sportscenter on in the background, after a long day at work. Gardens of the Moon demands a lotta attention. And I want to read the Malazan re-read posts & comments (partly because I want to make sure I'm getting some of what's being put out there correctly), but I’m a big non-spoiler guy if I’m into a good story and I’m freaked out by the small chance that I read something that spoils the end of GotM or a future book in the Series.

I do plan to post on GotM rereads as soon as I finish, and I’ve got a coupla weeks vacation coming up which I plan to dedicate to reading as much Malazan as I can stand. I’d like to catch up to the Crippled God no more than a month after it’s been released. Ambitious, I know. Especially if the entire series is as dense and chock full of small, yet important information and references as GotM is. I also hear that “A Night of Knives” can be a challenge to read that weeds out a lotta potential folks. So, we’ll see; I wouldn’t mind being part of another addictive series’ reread group. But if I’m gonna get into it, I just can’t learn anything spoilery about any of the books before I read them; it would ruin it for me.

Ok, now we've discussed Bujold's Vorkosigan series and Erikson's & Esslemont's Malazan series on the Wheel of Time's CoT reread thread.

Bring on New Spring, I say!
Amir Noam
246. Amir
As Tektonica said, you're quite welcome to join the MBotF re-read. We do try to keep it mostly spoiler free (though sometimes some things to slip through, unfortunately). Thankfully, for the most part, most spoiler material will mean nothing to new readers and by the time they reach the relevant book they will most likely forget it.

The Malazan books are definitely not to be read in a "semi-mindless" mindset. However, my personal advice is to not try and catch all the subtle clues and cross-references. I don't think it can be done on the first read (or second, or third). Don't be too worried if some things are not 100% clear (some are not meant to be).

And GotM itself, besides being a good first book, is really just the prologue to the series. Most readers feel the gears shift when they land in the second book.

And now it's really time for New Spring to start, otherwise people might start talking about GRRM :-)
Jonathan Levy
247. JonathanLevy
228. subwoofer

I had my reply at 230 blocked by the antispam, so I'll repost it.
The redshirts discussion reminded me of this youtube video:


It's fun!
248. howdyalikethemapples
My thinking on the lack of forethought for inverted weaves by Egwene is that without the betrayal there would have been no issue as some have mentioned because of the brevity of her actions.

I think the compelling evidence that it is not even a particularly big mistake by Eggers to not invert is her proximity to Tar Valon where as we know channeling is abundant, such use of the power should have been in normal circumstances part of the background 'noise' of channeling that goes on 24/7.

For me this confirms absolute betrayal, and as such the 'mistake' of not inverting the weaves is utterly insignificant as without betrayal it is unlikely anybody would have noticed or been able to react in time and get to the location of the channeling quickly enough. This leads me on to the issue of who betrayed the erstwhile ass oops i meant lass.

For it to have been the BA who betrayed her I find it difficult to rationalise although the evidence seems to indicate it is likely to have been as Nicola would have confessed and the proof of the three oaths given above with the other likely candidate Beonin.

For me it hangs on the question of benefit for their cause: what would they gain by having Eggers captured in the tower? With her on the outside an all out war between the two AS factions was on the cards, the status quo was unlikely to continue, although if it had then it would also suit them to have a paralysed white tower. So if war had happened they win through the ensuing chaos and the ability to manipulate one of their own as leader in the aftermath of battle - quite easily I would think: hypothetically - Alviarin bumps off Elaida and Sheriam does in Egwene. As i said a stand off just leaves both factions twiddling their thumbs and utterly ineffective, but preoccupied and out of the picture.

The capture of Egwene could only lead to a united tower whichever way it fell, Elaidas way or Eggers.

Also to those who said the cuendillaring of the chain was a weak plot deveopment, I vehemntly disagree - for me it was an excellent and wel thought out notion, crippling the White Tower by restricting supply chains is exactly how a siege general would act. In light of the three oaths as well it was the best and really most unlikely (from Elaidas sides perspective) development. As soon as we found out the Egg could make heartstone my only true expectation for its application was to make new seals for the DO's prison. I love that RJ gave the talent relevance in another major plotline.

Ah well I better stop banging on, but the fact of betrayal if it is the BA doesn't sit right with me from a motivational aspect. Sadly there seems to be no other candidate than Sheriam. The only way it sits right is if Shezza thought she or one in her 'heart' would become Amyrlin 2 in Eggies place and be able to force war. But surely a quick assasination would have been more productive for this goal?
Rob Munnelly
249. RobMRobM
Ki at 245. GoTM is very hard work. Book Two and Book Three are somewhat more linear and easier to follow but, as Tek says, only if you don't strain too hard to pick up all the nuances buried into the text that will come out only after multiple re-reads. Note that most on the Tor.com re-read seem to list Books Two or Three as their favorites (I'm very fond of both), so you have some good ones coming up once you get through.

Re Vorkosigan - I'm glad of the positive response but I don't think I've made clear just how well written and out and out funny Miles is as a character, often highlighted by his surounding cast. (For one small example, in Vor Game Miles ends up putting all three of his past bosses -- from three different situations - into adjoining cells in a lock up. One of his oldest friends comments wryly, "Boy Miles, you're awful hard on your superiors.")

Gerd K
250. Kah-thurak
I dont think it is such a good idea to read Night of Knives after Gardens. It was done in the re-Read but from the reactions it got there I think it is better to read it at some point between Memories of Ice and the Bonehunters (publication order may be the safe choice).

While the re-Read is not completely spoiler free you should be able to join in after you have caught up with it.
John Massey
251. subwoofer
@245Kimaniak- yuppers, I got the gist of the comment, but I was aiming for another tack...

GRRM- I dunno, I'm in a happy place right now, I found reading him had the same effect as the first two Keaton Batman movies. Where is the sun in this blasted place?

Rob Munnelly
252. RobMRobM
@250. I second Kah's excellent suggestions re MBOTF

@251. The sun is in the many cool characters, large and small: Tyrion, Jon Snow, Varys, Arya, Aemonn....
James Hogan
253. Sonofthunder
Since we're talking about non-WoT books right here...thought I'd poke my nose in and ask if anyone here has ever read the Wrinkle in Time trilogy?? For some reason I've been thinking about those lately...they were my mom's favorites when she was growing up and I quite enjoyed reading them when I was growing up! For some reason they popped in my head recently and I'm feeling a craving to reread. Anyone here read those? Anyone??

Oh and I'm quite looking forward to New Spring.

Rob Munnelly
254. RobMRobM
@253. I re-read Wrinkle last year and didn't enjoy it as much as when I was a kid. Much more religious than I had expected. I didn't read any of the other books (there's a half dozen or so - far more than a trilogy).
255. KiManiak
howdyalikethemapples@248 – re: who was the betrayer – I hear ya (and agree) in regards to the whole inverted weave thing, but I still see the Black Ajah as the likely culprits of betraying the cuendillar saboteurs.

Remember, nobody knew that Egwene was going to be the person to cuendillar the chain. Those few who did know (including 2 sitters that we know were Black, the Keeper and Halima) thought it would be two rather insignificant pieces (Bode, a novice; and Leane, a weak Sister) in regards to the TAS/SAS Mexican standoff.

So, from the BA’s perspective, this would negate the SAS’s attempts to gain significant leverage in the siege and it would only cost the SAS 1 sister and 1 novice. That’s why I think the BA, or really, Halima/Mesaana would be strong candidates for being the “betrayer” in this regard.

RobM2@249 – Thanks. Is “Night of Knives” considered “Book Two” by most fans? Kah-Thurak@250 mentions that the reread has ANoK as the 2nd book, but that wasn’t necessarily how everyone progresses (Oh wait; you clarify @252, so nevermind). Regardless, my intent is to soldier on to at least House of Chains as (when I was considering starting a new series) I got all excited and bought 5 of the books at once. Oh, and thanks for raising my interest in the Vorkosigan series. If MBotF pans out well, I may do Vorkosigan next.

Kah-Thurak@250 – thanks for the advice. I’m not sure how I’ll progress yet; I hope to finish GotM in the next few days, and then read the reread for that book. I’ll see how I feel after that and whether I want to move forward or get more background (I think I heard/read that ANoK looks back at events that happened either before or in the very beginning of GotM, whereas Deadhouse Gates moves the story forward). Also, if the reread is incredibly helpful and not spoilery, I may just follow it and check on my progress and the newbie reread poster’s progress (I forget her name right now). But, I really do appreciate all the advice. Thanks.

Sub@251 – Yeah, sometimes certain clever references go right over my head (even when I know someone who owns a shirt like that). :-) Good one!

SoT@252&RobM2@253 – I’ve heard the same thing about the Wrinkle in Time Books (from multiple sources, if it makes a difference); that they don’t stand up so well when you reread as an adult. Still, if you’re in-between other long term investment type series, you could probably knock those books out quickly and see if others’ opinion holds true for you. I recently (Ok, about a coupla years ago) revisited some of the Narnia books, and it was very different reading them now vs. 20-some-odd years ago. But, (for those who may know them) the Chronicles of Prydain were still a fun read as an adult (and I tend to make slight comparisons between Eilonwy and Nynaeve, for some reason), and go by really quick, too.
Tricia Irish
256. Tektonica

I vote for skipping NoK for the moment too...keep moving forward. It is a pretty quick read, compared to Erikson, but is not necessary at this point. I'd move right on to Deadhouse Gates, which is considered by most to be Book 2. And is excellent!

Amanda, the newbie reviewer, is a sharp cookie, and everyone is trying to be very respectful of her newbie status...trying not to ruin her surprises along the way. Occasionally is does happen, but it's rare. People mostly post *spoiler below* or print in white if there is a spoiler.

The books get very complex with a huge cast of characters, so if you have a question just shout box one of us for a clue...Kah-thurak, Fiddler, Taitastigon, RobM, Robin...all have been very helpful to me when I was wandering in the forest.

It's a long wait until MoL, so come on over!
Rob Munnelly
257. RobMRobM
@255 - yeah, reading the first four Malazans and then dipping into Night of Knives sounds good to me. Go for it.

Also agree strongly that Prydain remains as awesome to me as an adult as when I first read them in third grade. You're correct, there are funny parallels between Eilonwy and Nyneave - also Coll and Tam; Gwydion and Lan; Achren and Lanfear; Gurgi and Elayne....just kidding on that last one. No doubt Orwen, Orrdu and Orgoch would have made awesome Aes Sedai to boot.
James Whitehead
258. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Some good book suggestions so far. I've always liked the Prydain series & have gotten my two boys hooked on it. Haven't read the Wrinkle in Time series since I was 13 so I'm not sure how it would stand up.

Reread the Narnia series to all three of my children and still loved them. ;-) Nothing better than reading to a child, especially when it is a book you loved as well at that age. Read the Princess Bride to get a funny take on that.

I've enjoyed the GRRM series but am getting tired of waiting for the next book - as, I am sure, we all can relate to. I would recommend Moorcock's eternal champion books and he delves into some pretty interesting themes - particularly his Warhound & the World's Pain.

As to the whole issue with Egwene going off as if on an Away Team mission, it struck me as more of a last minute, gotta do this kind of thing. Egwene felt she she was at the precipice, which she was, and had to act quickly; as the time for deliberation was past (the first arrow was loosed so to speak).

Rushed decisions can lead to rushed results (kinda like miracles, no?)

As we've hit, at this point, book 10 with no end in sight (I was figuring on three more books when I read COT for the first time) our facility for 'suspended disbelief' has worn thin. Only so many times our favourite heroes & heroines can blunder before we start thinking that they might not be too bright.

Also, we all know that the leaders aren't supposed to do this stuff but it wouldn't be terribly thrilling is Egwene, or Rand for that matter, gave orders, hung around the campfire, and waited for results. Same with Star Trek; yes Kirk, Picard, et al shouldn't ever have left the ship but how interesting would the show have been if those famous missions were all performed by 'redshirts?'

Also, I think I would've gone a little bonkers to read of a new AS performing the task that Egwene ultimately takes upon herself (especially if the AS' name started with the letter 'M').


PS - @ RobMRobM, I like the pairings but I think Orwen, Orrdu, and Orgoch wouldn't have made good AS as they aren't nearly as circumspect. ;-)
Rob Munnelly
259. RobMRobM
Kato - oh come on, can't you see them hanging out with Romanda, Lelaine and Cadsuane and the other old biddies?
Chris Chaplain
260. chaplainchris1
@ various - I love A Wrinkle in Time (and other books by L'Engle - A Swiftly Titlting Planet, The Other Side of the Sun, A Ring of Endless Light) even more than I did as a kid. But then, I like the religious aspect - but I think L'Engle does it in a less heavy-handed way than Lewis or Pullman, and in ways that are profound and simple and beautiful.

I also love the Prydain books, but for me, they always remain children's books - charming and with surprusing moments of profundity, not at all inferior - but children's books. A Wrinkle in Time strikes me as working well on multiple levels - a level for children that's all about plot and character, but another level is added for adults. All imho.

(I should add that I love Lewis - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is perhaps the first book I read on my own, for pleasure, because I was home sick with the flu in 2nd grade and my aunt told my mom to give me a copy. Still, Lewis is heavier-handed than L'Engle, whose writing is just filled with life.)
Theresa Gray
261. Terez27
re: Malazan - If I had read GOTM and then NOK, I probably would have never read further.
Barry T
262. blindillusion
Hmm, 13 in total number of comments for the complete wrap-up? One would almost think I'm trying....

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