Feb 18 2011 2:19pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: New Spring, Part 4

New Spring by Robert JordanGreetings and salutations, O my peeps! Welcome to another Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 7 and 8 of New Spring, in which we contemplate professionalism in the workplace, proper job training techniques (or the distinct lack thereof), and how there are some people who should just really not be allowed to do the right thing, ever.

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 now, the post!

Chapter 7: The Itch

What Happens
As they add more names to their list the next day, Moiraine realizes that no woman is actually going to admit to having a son born on the slopes of Dragonmount; the prophecies are garbled for many, but that bit everyone knows. The truth would need to be gleaned through careful questioning, which Moiraine likens to “playing Daes Dae’mar with the world at stake.” Tamra enters, and Moiraine thinks she almost caught her entering a name into her little book. She dryly marvels at their continued enthusiasm for the task, and gives Moiraine a message to take to Kerene Nagashi, a Green sister. As she goes, Moiraine looks about the Green Ajah’s quarters with great interest, noting the decidedly martial décor and the large number of men—Warders—present.

You could see Warders in any Ajah’s quarters, excepting the Red, but most kept rooms in the Guards’ barracks or even in the city. Greens’ Warders often lived in the same apartments as the sister!

Moiraine observes the Warders with fascination. Some are chatting or playing music, and others are practicing; she sees Rina Hafden cheering on her two Warders, Waylin and Elyas, as they spar with each other. Another sister is attempting to teach one of her Warders to dance.

Kerene’s door, bearing a sword lacquered in red, gold and black, also stood open, with the sounds of merry music coming out. Moiraine had no idea what the lacquering meant, or the colors, and she suspected she never would unless she chose the Green. That would not be, yet she disliked not knowing. Once she identified something she did not know, the ignorance became an itch on her shoulder-blade, just beyond reach.

Inside, Kerene is embroidering while one of her Warders reads and the other plays a gittern, but as soon as she reads the letter the two men begin readying themselves to leave, even though she hasn’t said a word yet. She comments to the Warders on the way out, though, that Tamra wants her urgently and yet won’t say why, and Moiraine smiles at how sisters seem to forget Accepted have ears. On the way back she runs into Siuan, who had been sent on a similar mission to Aisha Raveneos, a Gray; Siuan bets it was the same message as to Kerene, and wonders what it could be. Moiraine tells her that Tamra is gathering searchers for the boy, and Siuan demands to know how she knows that. Moiraine thinks it is obvious, and very like Daes Dae’mar, and wonders how Siuan can be so good with puzzles and yet not see it.

“What matter could be more urgent to Tamra right now than the boy-child, Siuan?” she said patiently. “Or more secret, so she dares not put the reason on paper? That secrecy means that she believes the Reds cannot be trusted. That is what you were right about. More than that, how many other sisters will at first want to deny that this child really is the one prophesied? Particularly if he evades discovery until he is a grown man and already channeling. No, she means to use sisters she is sure of to search for him. Where I was wrong was in thinking he would be brought to the Tower. That would only expose him to the Reds, and others who might be untrustworthy. Once found, Tamra will send him into hiding. His education will be at the hands of her searchers, the women she trusts most.”

Siuan clapped a hand atop her head. “I think my skull will explode,” she muttered. “You built all of that from two messages, and you don’t even know what they said.”

Siuan threatens to make her do blacksmith puzzles in retaliation, and Moiraine sticks her tongue out at her. The next day Tamra sends three more messages, to Meilyn Arganya (White), Valera Gorovni (Brown), and Ludice Daneen (Yellow), all of whom, like Kerene and Aisha, are known for their adherence to Tower law, and have all held the shawl for over a hundred years. Moiraine considers it confirmation of her theory, but thinks five sisters seems far too few considering the number of names she and Siuan have collected as the days pass; however, she doesn’t know if Tamra is using people other than themselves as messengers. Moiraine’s lack of knowledge frustrates her, and she takes to spying on the entrance to the Amrylin’s study until she is caught by Aeldra Najaf, who has been raised Keeper of the Chronicles to replace Gitara. Aeldra scolds her gently but firmly, and Moiraine knows she will have to stop spying.

Moiraine began to think she would scream from that cursed itch.

Moiraine finally gets to be a little badass in this chapter, methinks, with her political acumen. She may not have much enjoyed being a member of House Damodred, but the intrigue skills it taught her are clearly serving her well. It’s also nice to see her be better at something than Siuan for once, too.

Also nice to see here the birth of the rationale Moiraine and Siuan eventually come to in their decision to let Rand go his own way in TGH. It’s that decision more than anything else (in my opinion) that shows their rapid maturing, trusting to fate in that way. Granted, it’s initially motivated more by (totally justified, it turns out) distrust of their own people, but that doesn’t make the decision to let the Savior and/or Destroyer of the world run free (well, more or less) any less brave to make. Also, there are way too many parenthetical asides in this paragraph. (Oh, well.)

Several people in the comments last post were speculating, I believe, on how differently the story would have gone if Moiraine and Siuan’s positions had been reversed—if, say, Moiraine had ended up becoming Queen of Cairhien or something, and Siuan had been the one to go out into the world to look for Rand. It’s a bit of a challenge for me personally to think about, because the first five books in the series are practically impossible for me to picture without Moiraine being there with Rand et al, but I could theoretically see it going one of two ways if Siuan had been the one to find him: either she would have been much more easily able to get along with Rand than sneaky manipulative Moiraine, or her blunt directness would have alienated him so thoroughly it’s not even funny.

And that’s because the effectiveness of bluntness as a social tool depends to a huge extent on the reaction of the recipient. Some people enjoy it, and some people really, really don’t. People under extreme duress, as Rand is… well. I dunno for sure, but I think on balance it’s a pretty good thing Siuan got mired in one place instead of Moiraine.

Also, Moiraine is perceptive and all, but she’s seriously kidding herself if she thinks Tamra hasn’t already guessed what she and Siuan are up to. She totally knows, dudette, get real.

The little slice o’ life bit of the Green Ajah was—er. Okay, I am really beginning to wonder if Jordan wasn’t just fucking with us epically the whole time with this Aes Sedai/Warder… thing. Seriously, I ask, because I really can’t tell anymore: am I supposed to be getting the subtext I am getting from this scene, or have I just been on the internet too long?

I just cannot figure out, at this point, whether Jordan genuinely meant for us to believe that the majority of Aes Sedai and Warder relationships were not sexual in nature (even among Greens, I’m positive that was implied/said somewhere), or if the whole thing was a big wink-wink-nudge-nudge DADT… thing.

Maybe it’s just me, really, because I am aware that I have been conditioned by a lifetime of literature and television and movies that fall back on the Ole Faithful trope of Unresolved Sexual Tension to generate conflict between lead characters in a story. Which is fine in fiction (no conflict, no story, remember) but also tends to lead to the unfortunate implication that men and women cannot work together professionally, ever, without sex coming into it.

And in the real world, y’all, that is just not true, as I and many others who work in non-fictional professional environments can testify. I’m not saying it never happens, because duh, but it certainly doesn’t as a general thing, especially not in recent decades, as the number of women in the workforce has expanded to be on par with (and possibly even exceeding that of) the number of men (in the U.S., anyway). I mean, if UST were universally true no one would ever get anything done, and unless you want to get seriously wacky with conspiracy theories on the cause of the recent economic crisis, then, no.

So perhaps I am falling prey to a stereotype I actually vehemently disagree with to see it here. I might possibly have to be ashamed of myself a bit.

OR DO I? Cause, you know, usually one is not actually sharing living quarters with one’s co-workers, is what I’m saying. So, er, um. Maybe?

I dunno. But these were my thoughts on reading that bit, and therefore here you have them. Talk amongst yourselves.

(But in any case: Hi, Elyas! I squeed a tiny bit when I saw your name!)


Chapter 8: Shreds of Serenity

What Happens
The Accepted go back to having lessons with sisters as the days pass, though some sisters show their displeasure with Tamra’s orders by refusing to teach. Moiraine wonders why Tamra’s searchers haven’t left yet; she recognizes that they think he is a baby, and that it would be cruel to take him from his mother that young, but she frets over the size of the list she and Siuan have compiled. She tries to subtly increase Kerene et al’s urgency by pointing out rumors of disturbances near the Blight, but is shut down firmly. An Accepted named Ellid Abareim tells them of a rumor she overheard from Adelorna, that Gitara Moroso had Foretold that Tarmon Gai’don would come in the lifetime of sisters now alive. Moiraine and Siuan discuss it later, and Siuan wants to know why it matters if Gitara had had more than one Foretelling.

“Siuan, did you never wonder how Tamra could be certain this is the time, that the boy will be born now? I would say it is very likely that at least one of those other Foretellings spoke of him. Something that, put with what we heard her say, told Tamra that now is the time.” It was Moiraine’s turn to frown, in thought. “Do you know how the Foretelling was with Gitara?” It took different women in different ways, including how they gave voice to a Foretelling. “The way she spoke, he could have been being born at that instant. Maybe the shock of that was what killed her.”

Siuan doesn’t know, and suggests they practice for the shawl test. That night Elaida comes to Moiraine’s room and observes as Myrelle and Siuan test Moiraine; Moiraine tries to concentrate even harder, and gets through sixty-one weaves before losing control. Elaida pronounces this “pitiful,” and declares she will show them how to test properly. She commands Moiraine to begin again. Her “distractions” start as flashes and bangs and whistles, but quickly move to lashes and blows and switches. Moiraine only gets through twelve weaves before losing saidar in pain. Siuan tries to head Elaida off, but Elaida only tells Moiraine “Again.” She only completes nine weaves the second time.

“Again,” Elaida said.

On the third try, she completed six weaves, and only three on the fourth. Sweat rolled down her face. After a while, the flashing lights and ear-piercing whistles hardly seemed more than annoyances. Only the incessant beating mattered. Only the endless beating, and the endless pain. On the fifth attempt, she fell to her knees weeping beneath the first shower of blows. The pummeling ceased instantly, but huddling in on herself, she sobbed as though she would never stop. Oh, Light, she had never hurt like this before. Never.

Elaida is unsympathetic, and declares she will Heal Moiraine in the morning to start over again, but first it is Siuan’s turn. Siuan does better than Moiraine, but not by much. She refuses to cry, though. After six attempts, Elaida stops, and warns them as she leaves that even if they had finished this way, they still would have failed.

“There isn’t a shred of serenity in you.” She fixed first Siuan and then Moiraine with a stern eye. Remember, you must be serene whatever is done to you. And you must be fast. If you are slow, you will fail as surely as if you fall to panic or fear. Tomorrow night, we will see if you can do better.

She leaves, and Siuan immediately begins sobbing. Myrelle and Moiraine join her, hugging each other for comfort. Myrelle then goes to get salve for the other two’s welts, and comes back with Sheriam and Ellid to help treat them. Ellid declares this is wrong, and Sheriam and Myrelle agree, but Moiraine replies that she thinks Elaida is trying to help them, that she wants them to pass. Siuan is incredulous, and declares she is sure Elaida wants them to fail. They all agree, though, that nothing good would come of trying to complain about it in any case. Elaida returns to Heal them the next morning, and the next night to test them again, and again the day after that. Each night, Sheriam and Ellid and Myrelle come to treat Moiraine and Siuan’s wounds, and Moiraine begins to be terrified that Siuan is right and Elaida is trying to ensure they fail. On the third morning, however, Merean appears to Heal them instead of Elaida, and she tells them that Elaida will not trouble them again, and that she’d almost earned herself a penance for it. Siuan demands to know why she didn’t get one.

“Had she used saidar to punish or coerce you, I’d have seen her strapped to the triangle for birching, yet what she did broke no law.” Merean’s eyes twinkled suddenly, and her lips curved in a small smile. “Perhaps I shouldn’t tell you, but I will. Her penance would have been for helping you cheat in the test for the shawl. All that saved her was the question of whether it actually was cheating. I trust you will accept her gift in the spirit it was given. After all, she paid a price in humiliation for giving it when I confronted her.”

[…] The icy lump that had melted from Moiraine’s middle when she learned there would be no further lessons from Elaida returned twice as large. She had almost helped them cheat? Could she have given them a foretaste of the actual test for the shawl? Light, if the test meant being beaten the whole way…! Oh, Light, how could she possibly pass? But whatever comprised the test, every woman who wore the shawl had undergone it and succeeded. She would, as well. Somehow, she would!

Moiraine’s dread grows as she continues to fail to complete the hundred weaves time after time. They don’t see Elaida for two days, and when they finally run into her in the hall, she only glares at them silently. Moiraine realizes that Elaida must think they had gone to Merean themselves, and further realizes that they have just earned themselves an enemy for life.

When she told Siuan as much, and her reasoning, the taller woman grunted sourly. “Well, I never wanted to be her friend, did I? I tell you, once I gain the shawl, if she ever tries to harm me again, I’ll make her pay.”

When exactly one week has passed since Gitara’s death, a sudden thaw causes all the snow around and on Dragonmount to melt, except for the peak, and Moiraine knows that the limit has been set: a boy born within those ten days was the one they sought. A few days after that, their list is more or less complete.

Nine days after the thaw, in the dim light before dawn. Merean appeared on the gallery as Siuan and Moiraine were leaving for breakfast. She was wearing her shawl. “Moiraine Damodred,” she said formally, “you are summoned to be tested for the shawl of an Aes Sedai. The Light keep you whole and see you safe.”


So, okay, my wonderings earlier about whether Elaida and Moiraine ever interact with each other on-screen now look downright ridiculous. How could I have forgotten this bit so completely?

Maybe because I blocked it out? Because, uh, yeah. Just in case we needed any more confirmation of how much Elaida truly, madly, deeply sucks, y’all, HERE, HAVE THIS CHAPTER. Holy hell.

I do think Moiraine is right, though: in her own horrible, deluded, screamingly wrongheaded way, Elaida really was trying to help them. Elaida’s history as a character has always been that she truly believes that she is doing the good and right thing—but the ways in which she tries to do it are always utterly, disastrously, *headdesk*ingly wrong. It would be downright tragic, if there were any chance Elaida could ever be the kind of person to realize how much she is her own cause’s worst enemy. It’s actually kind of fortunate (for her, anyway) that she can’t.

Well. It would have been tragic, had she not been destined to end up tortured and brainwashed and a prisoner for life, which kind of beats out “realizing you are a sucky person” on the “tragedy” scale, objectively. Or hell, maybe not; at least this way she can believe it was the world that did her wrong, instead of herself.

Man. Okay, now I’m depressed.

In any case, I can’t see how on earth Elaida’s “method” here can possibly help. Maybe some people think holding a person’s head under water is a good way to cure them of their fear of drowning, but I see a few flaws in that chain of logic, personally. But then again, I don’t remember any of the details of Moiraine’s testing (I haven’t read the next chapter yet), so well, we’ll see, I suppose.

Also, what do we want to bet it was Sheriam who ratted on Elaida to Merean, and not out of the goodness of her heart either? Black Ajah motto, you know: any chance to generate discord without being detected. I don’t really know if Sheriam was the tattletale or not, honestly, but considering the ultimate result of Elaida’s animosity toward Siuan, twenty years down the line, if Sheriam did do it, it might just count as the single most effective evil thing any Black sister’s done to the Tower, in the long term. Huh.

Moiraine’s speech to Siuan about the timing of Gitara’s Foretelling made me laugh at how directly it addressed my earlier musings about why no one realized she was talking about something that was happening that second. Thus we see the perils of doing commentary on something you haven’t read already—or in this case, read so long ago you might as well have never read it in the first place, because wow, I clearly remember jackshit about NS. At least it’s fun for those in the audience who know what’s coming, right?

In that vein, I keep wanting to yell at Moiraine to realize that Tamra’s searchers aren’t in a hurry because they don’t have an equivalent list to the one Siuan and Moiraine have compiled. I don’t actually remember if this is true or not, but given that the natural order of things tends toward “clusterfuck,” I will not at all be surprised to find out I’m right.

And that’s the story, morning glory! At least for now. Have a lovely weekend, and I’ll see you Tuesday!

Will Grooms
1. Will Grooms
My favorite book of the series told by one of my favorite people. Thanks Leigh.

4th of 3
Anne D
2. cheyinka
Hmm, I imagine that if Sheriam did tattle, it wasn't so much for causing discord (could she really have expected it to turn into a decades-long resentment?) but out of jealousy that she wasn't getting extra tutoring. So the so-very-useful-to-the-Black-Ajah decades of discord were sparked by accident. Awesome.
Will Grooms
3. drragoon83
Also Tamra's searchers no doubt think they have all the time in the world to be secret and stuff about getting ready to find him. Also Im beginning to see why it took twenty years to find Rand, his birth mother is dead yall, your totally looking for the wrong thing.
Chris Chaplain
4. chaplainchris1
Sheriam's not Black yet, of course, since she's not an AS - though I guess she *could* be a DF. Since she became a DF to get ahead in Tower politics, it would seem a little early for to be one already, though. I *could* see her turning in Elaida, though, possibly even out jealousy.

And what the heck, is that *really* Wilson posting, or is somebody pulling our legs!??!
Debbie Solomon
5. dsolo
I love your rereads, Leigh. Totally missed Elyas, until you mentioned it (and I have read and reread NS more than once). I don't think Sheriam is a DF yet (just my opinion). From her comments about confiding in the wrong person, it seems like she became an accidental BA. At this point, I think they are all just friends, and if anyone ratted out Elaida, it was probably to be helpful. Kind of funny to have Siuan commenting on making Elaida pay if she ever harmed her again. I'll bet she was mad that the Seanchan got her first.
Debbie Solomon
6. dsolo
I love your rereads, Leigh. Totally missed Elyas, until you mentioned it (and I have read and reread NS more than once). I don't think Sheriam is a DF yet (just my opinion). From her comments about confiding in the wrong person, it seems like she became an accidental BA. At this point, I think they are all just friends, and if anyone ratted out Elaida, it was probably to be helpful. Kind of funny to have Siuan commenting on making Elaida pay if she ever harmed her again. I'll bet she was mad that the Seanchan got her first.
Donna Harvey
7. snaggletoothedwoman
Thanks Leigh, I love these re reads. I had forgotten about the beatings Elaida gave the girls. This behavior continues all through Elaida life. Didn't Elaine say somewhere that she was the reciepient of Elaida's quick temper? And then the Ewgene beating, and with the power! She must be really good at convincing herself of her reason for using the one power in this manner. @#4 Do you think anyone else would really post as Wilson?
Chris R
8. up2stuff
Was gonna point out the Sheriam as DF/BA contradiction, but others have beat me to it.

Something that Leigh pointed out about Siuan hunting for Rand, is that despite her bluntness/directness being so contrary to Moiraine's behavior, I wonder if the TR gang would have listened any more. I'll bet they would have still listened to everything that she said and STILL wondered what she was REALLY up to even if she had told them everything from the beginning what with the AS reputation and all. Might have been interesting to see Suian and Eg's interactions from the get go, though.

Also, Suian did have a Warder, but it was a damn good thing that Moiraine was the one that searched because that meant Lan was responsible for teaching the boys so much of their initial combat skills.

Granted they all had different levels of training in the longbow, and in Mat's case the staff, but Lan the baddest blademaster in the land, was responsible for MOST of their formal training. Suian's warder wasn't as good, no one is and that might have made the difference in some of the near scrapes they had.
Leigh Butler
9. leighdb

Aw, shucks. Always a pleasure to hear from you, Wilson!
Will Grooms
10. Delafina
"I just cannot figure out, at this point, whether Jordan genuinely meant for us to believe that the majority of Aes Sedai and Warder relationships were not sexual in nature (even among Greens, I’m positive that was implied/said somewhere), or if the whole thing was a big wink-wink-nudge-nudge DADT… thing."

I think actually both are going on.

Any time you have an organization that's different, and mysterious/secretive, you have rumors about it. People being what they are, the "juiciest" rumors are usually sexual in nature.

So, you have rumors about rampant homosexuality among the Templars, sex rites among the Masons, etc.

The Greens are unusual both in their militant nature (I'd argue that the Reds are actually more militant, but the Greens' charter is military in nature), and in allowing (or even encouraging) their members to have multiple Warders.

This makes them stand out in a way that most other Ajahs (again, the Red being an opposite and correlate) don't. The fact that their unusual practices have to do with the opposite sex makes it likely that rumors about them will be sexual in nature ("OMG, the Greens SLEEP WITH all of their Warders!!!").

That said, while I don't think that it's a given that working together leads to sexual attraction, there *is* a scientificly proven correlation between stress and attraction. They're both forms of arousal with similar physiological effects, and it's easy for the brain to confuse them. There's a famous study in which men asked questions by a pretty female research assistant standing on a rickety suspension bridge were much more likely to ask her out than men who met her on stable footing.

Also, there's the perception that you tend to fight harder for someone you love. Ancient Thebes actually used this as military policy, assigning lovers to the same units. It'd be pretty cynical (and probably unnecessary, given the consequences for Warders if their Aes Sedai dies), but I could see an Aes Sedai reasoning that taking her Warders to bed was one more way to ensure their absolute loyalty.

So, if I had to guess, I doubt there's an official policy encouraging Greens to sleep with their Warders, but there may be a "custom stronger than law" encouraging them to share quarters so as to foster loyalty.

Individuals being what they are, some may take that to the next step (e.g. Myrelle), while others may just hang out.
Stefan Mitev
11. Bergmaniac
I have to say I was surprised by the bit at the start of the chapter that almost everyone knows that the Dragon reborn must be born on the slopes of Dragonmount. You got to wonder how all those Fake Dragons, which clearly weren't born on Dragonmount, were able to get massive gatherings behind them. I guess you could say they fabricated stories of being actually born on the slopes of Dragonmount, but that must've been hard for someone like Logain, who was a nobleman IIRC.

Plus I don't think any of the Two Rivers guys knew that bit of the prophecies. IIRC it was Elayne who told Egwene and Nynaeve this bit of the prophesies back in TDR, and it was news for them. The Superboys also seemed unaware of this part of the prophecies.

I had forgotten about Elaida's treatment of Moiraine and Siuan here too before my latest reread a few weeks ago. It really shows not only what a terrible and misguided person Elaida is, but also how flawed the Aes Sedai training system is - apparently a full sister can beat up with impunity Accepted under the excuse of helping their training.

BTW, I am too lazy to check right now, but I am pretty sure Moiraine reflected after the est that she wouldn't have passed if not for Elaida's help with the training.
Philip Thomann
12. normalphil
Also, Moiraine is perceptive and all, but she’s seriously kidding herself if she thinks Tamra hasn’t already guessed what she and Siuan
are up to. She totally knows, dudette, get real.

This actually makes me feel a lot better. It means Tamra had that to hold on to, at the end.
Brandon Daggerhart
13. BDaggerhart
Ack, I just want Moraine to leave the Tower - all these chapters are boring to me. I honestly think the Legends short was better, because it cut out all this stuff. To me, the entire first 10 chapters or so of this book was just a big wink from RJ to the fans, like, "let's throw in all the characters we can to see how well you've been paying attention, kiddies!"

And I actually really like Moraine.
Will Grooms
14. Foztrot
Can anyone point me to a good analaysis of Aes Sedai sexuality. In particular, I find it very odd that they never have children given that a significant percentage of women do want to have children. Does using the Power cause infertility?

Second, though Elaida definately has her flaws and blind-spots (she's a kind of an idiot), how much of "the ways in which she tries to do it are always utterly, disastrously, *headdesk*ingly wrong" was due to BA manipulation. Elaida's flaws certainly made it easy to push he to ignore contrary advice and act forcefully, but she may not have done so without Alviarin and other balck sisters egging her on.
15. MasterAlThor

Is there something in the story that you didn't include in the reread that makes you believe that Tamra knew what Those Meddling Accepted were up to?

Just wanna know.

swingset acid
16. swingsetacid
Using the power does not cause infertility, the obvious example being Elayne. It would make sense that, given White Tower politics and the fact pregnancy *does* interfere with channeling, that Aes Sedai pregnancy is very rare.

A number of references are made to heartleaf tea as a contraceptive. My assumption is that it is avoided intentionally through herbal remedies or, perhaps, the power itself.
Will Grooms
17. vsthorvs
I think Moiraine is wrong about the Dragonmount birth being general knowledge. It is mentioned in the Prophesies, but she's overestimating how common knowledge about the prophesies are. In the Two Rivers, anyone who started speaking about them was hushed, and it's probably like that elsewhere. Besides it is clear that people don't nescessarily follow the prophesies logically, as seen by the destructive nature of Dragonsworn, and by the fact that Rand's followers continue to plot against him even though he is The Savior.
Will Grooms
18. Drewd
@16 I agree that AS birth control would likely involve some sort of herbal remedy. It's one of my favorite tropes in Fantasy - herbs can cure everything and they are abundantly available!
Ron Garrison
19. Man-0-Manetheran
I’ll have to agree that Sheriam is not BA just yet. The Oaths would hang her up at initiation time. She probably ratted for the same reason she (later) joined the BA: for personal gain.

Oh, and for those scratching their heads re. WillGrooms, check out RFife's interview at
lake sidey
20. lakesidey
What ho! I get here an hour or two late and.....over a dozen comments already, I see.....(and more while I write this, I don't doubt!)

One thing in NS (the novel), I felt Elaida was too nasty. I don't think she was quite as bad in the main series before Fain influenced her, (a bit too stern maybe) so it was a slight shock to find her being so....obnoxious here.

@11 Bergmaniac: "I was surprised...that everyone knows that the Dragon reborn must be born on the slopes of Dragonmount"

Well, this is true only for a given value of 'everyone'. This is Moiraine's POV, and at this point she has experience with lots of AS (who definitely know the prophecies) and before that witht he Royal Court in Cairhien (where also, a lot of people would at least be aware. On the other hand, the common man (in the largely rural areas) might have a passing acquaintance with "the Travels of Jain Farstrider" but would be unlikely to be up-to-date with the latest edition of "The Karaethon Cycle: Enter the Dragon". In fact in the villages, any stories regardeing the Dragon seem to have occasioned superstitiuous dread, if anything (not to mention the Dragon's Fang on doorways) So, not surprising that Rand etc haven't heard the prophecies.

That's also why Logain and others might have got support. Then again, if bloody sour-faced Masema can get a gazillion followers, then certain a guy like Logain, who seems to have a powerful and almost mesmeric personality (at least when not around Cads) should be able to convince folks to follow him.

@10 Delafina: Does it work in reverse too, the suspension bridge thing? As in do girls also tend to ask a guy out under those circumstances? (goes lookin' for a ramshackle bridge...)

Richard Chapling
21. Chappers
Of course, the Two Rivers is really beyond-the-back-of-beyond at this point in the story, so people are far less likely to know the Prophecies there than other areae anyway. It does remind me of the paradox of the DO's name, though: if no one is ever supposed to say it, how do the (mostly illiterate, after all) people know it?

Once she identified something she did not know, the ignorance became an itch on her shoulder-blade, just beyond reach.

Moiraine, I so know what you mean. Wonder if this was why she went hunting for Balefire. (Must have been interesting testing that one out to make sure it worked...)
22. Freelancer
::waves @1:: Hey, quite excellent for you to catch "first", and especially to say something of substance. No kitty for you!

So, Leigh, interesting err, analysis(?) regarding the Warder-Aes Sedai relationships.

I posit that, while Jordan played plenty of mind-games with us regarding many subjects, he was first and foremost a pragmatist. He was very well aware of the growing diversity of society, of the growing acceptance, nay expectation, of less narrow moral representations in fiction. He shrewdly played his hand, making it possible for people of different (dare I use the word?) sensibilities (I dood it!) to read the story comfortably. Still, some folks will walk over dollars to grab at pennies, and make these things into much larger issues than they really are, or ever could be.

You referred to the uncommon nature of coworkers bunking together. Given that the Green is the "Battle Ajah", it would be more in keeping with their group persona to have a para-military style of living. They are already in each others' minds, when in the field they will share sleeping spaces (how closely isn't to be decided here), it wouldn't be that unnatural for them to do so within the Tower. They just aren't typical, is all I'm saying.

So it comes down to this. Those who aren't interested in hunting for non-traditional romantic relationships which aren't clearly spelled out, will read the story and not find them. Those who are interested in same, will find remotely to strongly suggestive phrasings and be sure that they are there. And everyone between the extremes is also likely to perceive the story in a way which conforms to their own thinking, wherever it isn't obviously otherwise (e.g. Rand's three loves).

That's usually considered a win-win situation, because the author gets to retain the happy readership of each group, excepting folks who refuse to accept that he didn't write the story more clearly one way or the other.

MAT @15

I just doublechecked, and there's nothing that I can think of. I'm glad you asked the question, because my thinking is that if Tamra really knew that our proto-heroines were prepped lists for the purpose of finding the Dragon freshly-reborn themselves, she would have made their lives such that they would be wishing for a return to Elaida's gentle ministrations.
Jane Smyth
23. Kaboom
Lakesidey @20
a ramshackle bridge is all good and everything, but that is only half of the equation. The other half is that the girl (or boy in the reverse case) must be pretty.... :)
Now obviously it may be the case, but ... nobody here knows!

Well after about a year's break of the re-read, I'm finally all caught up, and.....
I have nothing really do say about the post. :(

Like so many have said before, it is nice to re-read this book as I havn't read it as often as the others. It does feel refreshing. But on the other side, it is very difficult not to read the book faster than the reread... It requires lots of disciplin during the ride to and back from work.
Maiane Bakroeva
24. Isilel
Ya, since Greens suck so much in the series, their Ajah-specific mysteries fail to fascinate.

Also, for some reason I keep thinking that this new Keeper Aeldra must have betrayed Tamra to the Blacks. Either that or one of the searchers must have been a mistake... but then it would have been somebody that Moiraine and Siuan didn't know about. Oh, and somebody blabbed to Cadsuane too? Hm...

Gitara's Fortellings that TG cometh making rounds just don't make sense, since it is such a shock to vast majority of AS in the early volumes of WoT.
Also, in view of complete unpreparedness of the WT - they should have been at least going through the motions, if nothing else.
It wouldn't have been much of a risk on Siuan's part to push some preparations too, since it wouldn't have hinted at any secret knowledge on her part. So, yet again something that unnecessarily contradicts and undermines the main series.

Re: AS and Warders, that's hardly a case of normal co-workers, is it? They are essentially very lonely people who mainly only have each other.
And on top of that they have this very intimate bond that keeps them aware of each other's physical condition.
So, ya, IMHO it would have been logical for majority of them to be in relationships with each other, as they can only have very shallow affairs with outsiders. So, even for multiple Green Warders, why not? They chose to be stuck for life with their AS and each other anyway.
I guess that RJ just didn't want to complicate Lan's any Nyn's romance or something.

Another thing is that I kind of fail to see how MoN could know whether somebody is ready for testing. Or, really, anything about her charges, given that she is always in her study when somebody is getting sent to her, at any time of day and night. That's not conducive to actually _knowing_ novices/Accepted and their skills.
MoN doesn't teach and anyway it seems that the Accepted only practice for the test in private, with the help of friends.
And of course we were told so many times that initiates are allowed to go at their own pace in their studies, as long as they aren't shirking.
Moiraine is obviously not ready here, while Siuan is, so huh? Did Merean want Moiraine to fail? Is it the case of one hand of the BA not knowing what the other wis doing? Or does Jarna think that it would be easier to make Moiraine Queen of Cahirien and keep her under control if she never becomes AS? There is still the risk of her dying, though.

As to Elaida, I just can't see her actions as a sincere attempt to help, however misguided. If she Healed them immediately afterwards, I could see it, but she lets them suffer through the night, which doesn't fit any benign intentions, IMHO, and gradually weakens them physically.

Vsthorvs @17

I think Moiraine is wrong about the Dragonmount birth being general knowledge.

For what it is worth, Taim knew and didn't care. TR can't be really taken as an example, as it used to be very insular. I am sure that the Prophecies were much better known in Randland at large and being camped in view of the Dragonmount probably set the tongues wagging among the troops and their families.
Will Grooms
25. pwl
The Oaths would hang her up at initiation time.

Not necessarily. There is no part of The Oaths that demand one exclaim their independence from the Dark One's rule. This is a minor plot point later on in the series. There have been mention of AS who were Darkfriends before they even go to the tower, since Darkfriends are tested for potential (specifically Liandrin was a DF before she was an AS or even a Tower initiate). The Black Ajah likely has a routine where Darkfriends are spirited away to remove the Three Oaths shortly after their AS testing.

There's a famous study in which men asked questions by a pretty female research assistant standing on a rickety suspension bridge were much more likely to ask her out than men who met her on stable footing.

One wonders if they corrected for the fact that someone willing to walk across a rickety suspension bridge is braver than your average person, which could manifest in other ways (such as being more willing to follow up on chance meetings). The way I had heard that study discussed was focusing on the aspect of fear, not stress, in crossing the bridge (framing it as a fight or flight mentality, where one was acting more instinctually, blah blah). Can't comment too much, though, since I haven't read the study myself.
Chris R
26. up2stuff

"Somebody blabbed to Cadsuane, too...Hm.."

Do you mean that she knew to start looking for the Dragon? If that is the case, she may have just figured it out. She is aware of all of the stuff Min keeps pointing out, so she has probably studied the DR more than anyone. She probably knows all of the prophecies better than even a Brown, hence she should know the part about "On the slopes of Dragonmount shall he be born, born of a maiden wedded to no man." TDR, ch 39.

Plus, even now hasnt she captured and helped gentle a gozillion men who channel? I'll be she knows what to look for. She just randomly pops in on Rand after all.
Thomas Keith
27. insectoid
Great post, Leigh! I may actually have things to say about this one.

Ch. 7:

Siuan clapped a hand atop her head. “I think my skull will explode,” she muttered. “You built all of that from two messages, and you don’t even know what they said.”

That pretty much sums up my opinion of Moiraine and her political astuteness here—awesome. Figured out a puzzle Siuan couldn't!
Siuan threatens to make her do blacksmith puzzles in retaliation, and Moiraine sticks her tongue out at her.

That made me LOL. (It's also pretty hilarious in the comic.)

Ch. 8:
The quote about Gitara's Foretelling, of course, is the only thing I wish I could remember about this chapter (slightly amusing to us readers as it is). Unfortunately, this chapter also has That Scene with Elaida in it.

Excuse me a moment. ::removes glasses::
*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* Ow.
Elaida, you nasty, horrible, evil, insane, witch you.

::puts away thesaurus::

Sure, Elaida may have helped them A LITTLE. But IMHO, Elaida was beating up on them for fun. She's just jealous that Moiraine and Siuan are going to potentially be as strong as she is, and doesn't want competition.

Now, reading it the first time (Whenever that was. It wasn't before I read TEotW, that's for sure) was vivid enough. But when I read the third issue of the New Spring comic... Seeing that smirk on Elaida's face made me want to reach through the page and give her what-for. (Irrational as that may be, for a work of fiction.) That is NOT to say that the Graphic Novel wasn't well-done—it was, most definitely, if a lot behind schedule.

I don't blame you for wanting to block this scene out of your memory, Leigh—it's quite a teeth-gnasher.

Oh, and Sheriam is described as quite the gossip. Had to be her.

::Waves at Wilson::


John Massey
28. subwoofer
Elaida- man that chick really butters my toast the wrong way!

@Wetlander, y'know, I get what you are talking about with this book. I was at my doctors office and literally had hours of time to kill in the waiting room, so I brought along ToM. Just reading the first few chapters- night and day compared to New Spring. The depth, the plot lines, everything. I think New Spring is more like fanfic, and others have said this, because it makes the rounds, but it doesn't really get into the meat of things. I was all teary eyed and weepy after the prologue, the other chapters are like a rollercoaster ride, New Spring in comparison- meh.

But it is nice to see Lan... before he started chewing rocks for breakfast. And we eventually see one of the women that found him actually attractive... at some point. Good times. Oh yeah, there were a few fight scenes too in the book.

janele janele
29. krq
Re- Elaida's "tough love":

I have to agree with whoever said in a previous entry that perhaps RJ had to have undergone this form of teaching in military school.

In my brief foray in the police academy, we had drill instructors. We all knew they were using head games to get us to break or choke. At the same time, we knew that they represented the worst thing we can possibly encounter, stress-wise, to see if we can perform our duties. Some of the things they did to those of us unlucky to get their attention were downright deplorable: This woman once broke her arm trying to go over the wall, but they made her go over the wal again and again. Unfortunately, none of the DIs used Healing. They just liked to make us feel worthless -- if we let them.

Re- Moiraine's claim that it was a well-known prophecy (to the highly educated) that the Dragon will be reborn on Dragonmount's slopes:

If Tam knew this, wouldn't he have wondered about this at some point when he found Rand? Or wouldn't Tam's wife have been hesitant about keeping Rand? Granted, longing for a baby might trump Prophecies for some people.
D. Funk
30. archaeo
So I decided that since I accidentally ended up spending much more time commenting here than I thought I would initially, I would just go ahead and register.

Re: Elaida's "Help," I think part of the reason she was seen as helping the girls cheat in these scenes is because it went above and beyond the actual test. The initial weaves they put on the test taker, which apparently have something to do with memory, focuses the mind in a way that doesn't happen during these practice sessions. I'm prepared to be wrong about this, though. Elaida seems like a total monster in any case, and I reassert my position that she's a weaker character for it, but whatever, she's still a lot of fun to hate, huh?

In my mind, the arduous testing seen by the Accepted in NS might have something to do with the Black Ajah being a bit leery of allowing incredibly capable AS through. Which brings me to...

Isilel@24, while the new Keeper being BA wouldn't surprise me, I think it's altogether possible that the Blacks found out through dark prophesies or their own reading of the Lightside prophesies. I think it would be pretty easy here to put two and two together. First, the slopes of Dragonmount are, for probably the first time in recent memory, inundated with people during and after the battle. The Amyrlin is acting suspiciously, sending Accepted out of the Tower to gather the names of women who have given birth, and sending for a certain type of sister. I mean, Moraine has a lot more information and picks it up almost immediately; one imagines the BA couldn't be far behind.

Sub@28, I mean, what can you really expect? NS is a dead simple novel, all things considered; it uses what we know about the world as a platform, but it's relatively self-contained, and focuses its story and action in places where readers don't spend a lot of time in the WoT proper. I think it's a nice little book, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who stuck with the series for exactly the sort of complexity and depth you get when you're as deep into a series as ToM is.

krq@29, along with all the others that have commented on Moraine's musing about the widespread prophesy stuff, I think it's totally possible that she has some blinders on, as I know people have suggested. Everybody she knows would know about the Dragonmount line, but one imagines that it's not all that common. Plus, Tam and everybody else on the battlefield probably wasn't thinking too much about prophesy when they were in the thick of it. Part of the reason the battle even happens seems to be the pattern throwing up a bunch of chaff, obscuring an incredibly profound event.
j p
31. sps49
The Black Ajah did not have the Foretelling information that Moiraine had, so I do not think they figured out what was up. Either they noticed unusual summonses by the Amyrlin, or one of her searchers leaked the info.

I have more respect for Tamra Ospenya than almost anyone else in the series. She kept back specifics of Gitara's Prophecy, sure- but she had placed Siuan and, more so, Moiraine, in position to find the Dragon Reborn. She took a chance- they could've been Darkfriends- but they were her best, last hope while being put to the Black Ajah version of the question.

I don't think Siuan kept as much back as Tamra after being deposed.

I do wonder, now, if Tam suspected Rand's identity. He kept his birthplace secret and, as an Illianer Companion captain, is more likely to have heard some of the Prophecies. I think he at least kept Dragonmount under wraps because at the very least, someone might've decided Rand was the Dragon Reborn due to his birthplace.
Alice Arneson
32. Wetlandernw
Isilel @24 - Not sure why it's so hard to believe the WT didn't jump up and start getting ready for TG based on the rumors of Gitara's other recent Foretelling(s). They were only rumors, and while we can be fairly sure they were well-founded, within the WT they appear to have been unconfirmed. That kind of rumor will go the rounds and get the excitable ones excited for a while, then it will die down and they'll decide it was nothing. Given the distinct possibility that Tamra & Gitara were the only ones who were present for the actual event, and that Tamra didn't trust the AS enough to make the details public, it's quite possible that the only other people who knew much about it were Tamra's searchers - all of whom appear to have been hunted down and killed, and with them (and Gitara & Tamra) all sure knowledge of the Foretelling. That leaves you with a few (like Siuan & Moiraine) who know enough to suspect more, but who dare not make their knowledge & suspicion public, and the BA who know whatever they know from their interrogations but have a vested interest in keeping such rumors from becoming a serious concern. I find it completely believable that within a few months - especially months that involve the death of the Keeper and then the Amyrlin - rumors without evidence are discounted and mostly forgotten.

Leigh, I wasn't entirely sure just what question you were asking by the time you got done with all that... but it sure was entertaining reading. For myself, I have the impression that sexual involvement between an AS and her Warder are, first of all, private matters in general, and secondly that it's not terribly common outside the Green. As for the Greens, there's quarters and then there's quarters. We don't get a really good look at the extent of the apartments; it's quite possible that, at least in the Green section, each AS has a suite of rooms that include 4 or 5 bedchambers as well as a sitting room and whatever else is needful. So what goes on inside would be only the concern of the AS whose quarters they are; some might be sharing beds while others are not.

In any case, it doesn't really affect the story all that much, does it? It's mostly just curiosity on the part of the readers who want to know the intimate details of the characters' lives. It's one of the things I find moderately amusing; for all the extra detail RJ could include in his world-building, there were several areas where the detail wasn't necessary to the plot and he left it to each of us to read it according to our own preferences. So like Freelancer said, with a few clear exceptions we can read it the way we want, and it won't change the story at all.
Will Grooms
33. peachy
The prophecies aren't all of a piece. There are parts that apparently no-one could figure out, like the involvement of the Aiel; and parts that seem to be fairly common knowledge, like the fall of the Stone - every false Dragon heads for Tear as soon as he has a big enough army. I'm guessing there's a correlation between dissemination and simplicity... so I'm further guessing that the "born on Dragonmount" aspect is common, though not universal, knowledge. And I'd bet that it was virtually universal in the army - I mean, the thing's right there, you could hardly avoid talking about it.
Will Grooms
34. ImmortalOne
@22 Freelancer
I agree with your reasons for Warders and Aes Sedai sharing quarters. I mean, if Moiraine and Lan returned to the Tower (even after the Black Ajah Purge) do you really think Lan would accept living down in a Warder's barracks or do you think he would insist sleeping in Moiraine's quarters? Probably in the front room, so any intruders would have to go past him to reach her.

As for your suggestion that Tamra didn't know about Moiraine and Siuan's search. I think her reaction would be tempered by the fact that she knew they would be tested for the Shawl in less than 20 days (she'd have to, she's the Amyrlin Seat). Perhaps their maturity in devoting themselves to the cause and keeping their search secret added to her decision to raise them to the Shawl.

Also, I think that she would do as Siuan later did with Elayne and use an Aes Sedai 'truth'; "No, of course I didn't include those two in the search". Tamra couldn't really keep the secret from them - they already knew - and two more searchers (especially ones nobody would suspect, ones she didn't actually have to order and thus could say with perfect truth that they weren't part of the official search) might be a good thing - especially considering how it turned out.

@24 Isilel
Your arguement for most of Randland knowing the Prophecies more than those from the Two Rivers is likely correct, but you should also factor in that Taim was Saldaean - a Borderlander - and thus would be more likely to know the basics of the Prophecies than any southerner.

Finally, @ anyone interested
The thought that Gitara had a Foretelling about the Last Battle coming within a generation (for Aes Sedai anyway) was only a rumor from an Accepted, do you really think Aes Sedai would put much stock in it? Also, everyone seemed to know that Gitara had a Foretelling before she died. This particular rumor is one of the most obvious ones to make up when gossiping, no?
Birgit F
35. birgit
You got to wonder how all those Fake Dragons, which clearly weren't born on Dragonmount, were able to get massive gatherings behind them. I guess you could say they fabricated stories of being actually born on the slopes of Dragonmount, but that must've been hard for someone like Logain, who was a nobleman IIRC.

What said I was not the Dragon Reborn? All I had to do was fulfill just one of the Prophecies." "Like managing to be born on the slopes of Dragonmount?" Rand said coldly. "That was the first Prophecy to be met. "
Taim's mouth quirked again. It really was not a smile; it never touched his eyes. "Victors write history. Had I taken the Stone of Tear, history would have shown I was born on Dragonmount, of a woman never touched by a man, and the heavens opened up in radiance to herald my coming. The sort of thing they say about you, now.

LoC ch. 2
"Somebody blabbed to Cadsuane, too...Hm.."

Cadsuane didn't know what was going on at the time. She was probably trying to hunt the BA when she met Moiraine.

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

WH ch. 13
Stefan Mitev
36. Bergmaniac
The comparison between Moiraine's and Nynaeve's preparation for the test for the shawl demonstrated yet again that the normal rules of training doesn't apply at all for the Supergirls (and the ta'veren trio, for that matter). Nynaeve was only showed the weaves once, didn't train at all to do them under distraction, and treated the whole learning process as something to pass the time and distract Daigian from her grief, yet of course she passed her test even though Egwene and those operating the ter'angreal made sure to make it harder than usual.

Of course, the big difference between Moiraine and Nynaeve at the point of their lives when they took the test, is that Nynaeve has been through far more and has had to channel under real pressure and extreme danger quite a few times. Still, I feel Nynaeve should've trained at least a bit channelling those specific weaves while someone was trying to distract her. Now it's another example of the Supergirls innate talent helping them pass with minimal or no training something which for all others require an awful lot of preparation and hard work.

One other thing - the Aes Sedai really need to come up with different types of tests for Accepted and the shawl, which don't kill a significant percentage of those who take them. Not only it's horrible tragedy to get people killed in a glorified exam, but it's also a huge waste, given how rare channellers are and how necessary they are against the Shadow and useful in many other ways.
John Massey
37. subwoofer
@ImmortalOne- welcome, good to see you over here:)

@Archaeo- what did I expect? Well, being as this novel is not weighted down with the TR characters and their various POVs, and the Forsaken and their POVs,I was hoping for some depth and insight and serious groundlaying for stuff. We (I can't believe I'm saying this) could have been treated to more POV from Cadsuane and got a better impression of some of her reasonings and mindset from 20 years past. Laras we only get a brief flash of.

There is so much that goes on in the Tower, when Egwene was there her observations seem more accute, Moiraine, is very er... focused in her observations. And she is involved with a limited amount of people. I dunno, maybe Moiraine could have spent more time with the Amyrlin before she dies or get dragged into the 13D or putzes around with ter'angreal or hints of the CK or we hear about the beginings of Tear, see more about the Aiel... just sayin'. I like the book, but it seems like a quick effort.

Edit- and I was also hoping there was and Uno type person in Lan's past... somebody inspiring, somebody that maybe spouts Jaynisms or something that gives Lan a wealth of quotes to draw from when he is passing his knowledge onto Rand and the boys.

& I agree with Free, I don't see Warders liking being separated from their AS being any more than that. Theoretically Warders are supposed to stand watch and be ready, First in, last out and all of that. I can't see a Warder having much success doing that if they are relegated to living elsewhere and having to hang out outside their AS doors... and I can see quite a few pulling a Gawyn in that instance, so might as well give over and give them living quarters. It makes sense and I don't think it has to be any more complicated than that.

I thought only Tamra and the girls were present when Gitara keeled over? If that is true then the rumors flying around can't be more than idle speculation as we do not hear about Siuan or Moiraine telling anyone and unless Tamra is in the habit of blabbing....

John Massey
38. subwoofer

Did I mention that I am starting ToM again? There is some interesting stuff in there juxtaposed with the current book we are going over.

"The familiar hallways, the scent of freshly washed stone, the echoing of footsteps... When last she'd been in this place, she'd commanded it. No longer.

She (Siuan) had no mind to climb her way into prominence again. The Last Battle was upon them; she didn't want to spend her time dealing with the squabbles of the Blue Ajah as they reintergrated into the Tower. She wanted to do what she'd set out to do, all those years before with Moiraine. Sheppard the Dragon Reborn to the Last Battle."

Oi! Very interested reading indeed.

D. Funk
39. archaeo
Wetlandernw@32 and Freelancer@22, I pretty much completely agree with the idea that Jordan layered things pretty nicely. It really applies to the whole series in more or less every way; things are spelled out enough and characters' roles are so clearly defined that you can enjoy the whole of the WoT on the merits of its surface plot alone, while the intricacies of the series provide ample rewards for those inclined to give a close reading.

Which, if you don't mind me bringing it up again, is why I can give the whole gay/lesbian thing a pass, really, despite my own incredibly passionate opinions on the issue. Jordan (unlike Sanderson, to be frank) never broadcasted all this stuff, allowing it to be part of the background, along with a ton of other cultural and social aspects of his worlds, and it only serves to enrich it. Maybe I'll get around to writing my Big Gay Fantasy Epic someday, but I'm cheerful reading the WoT in the meantime.

On a completely different topic, Berg@36, I personally thought Nynaeve's testing was pretty believable. Jordan elided the scenes, but it seemed clear that Nynaeve had at least practiced the weaves more than once, and prior to that had been shown to be remarkably quick in picking them up. I think it's also been pretty well established that strength in power corresponds to quickness in learning it.

But we're in complete agreement about the stupidity of the testing. Why would they consider it a good idea to use ter'angreal they barely understand, especially ones that result in even a 1% loss of test takers? Ugh.

And Sub@37, don't forget that this was the first of three planned prequels, which one would assume would give us plenty of time to thoroughly cover the twenty-odd years between Rand's birth and Winternight. Along with the sorts of things you're looking for, although I think Lan picked up most of his little hints and things during the twenty-odd years before we meet him.

No telling whether or not we'll get to see any of this now, though. Oh well, c'est la vie, etc.

Edit: nice looking out in ToM, which I'm actually going to re-read today/tomorrow myself. I still don't know how I feel about Sanderson's use of internal monologues, but I give him enormous credit for how well he has captured the characters and their histories.
Sorcha O
40. sushisushi
On the Green Ajah and their Warders, I always found it odd that some of the Aes Sedai seemed to have their Warders living in the city, far away from them. I mean, look at the example of Merise, who is so incredibly no-nonsense and overbearing that her treatment of her Warders is compared to someone with some large hairy dogs. You could understand why she might keep them in the barracks in the Tower grounds under normal circumstances, where they can concentrate on their training and not bother her while she's engaged in political hobnobbing. At least they're nearby, if she needs them, though until the Tower started fracturing, to *need* a Warder inside the Tower would have been unthinkable. But, given the size of the city, I don't see the point of bonding someone so they know your exact location and physical condition, have enhanced endurance and fighting capabilities, and then send them off to live in an inn somewhere in the city, maybe several miles away? The Green attitude makes rather more sense, in some ways, by integrating the Warders' lives with those of their Aes Sedai, regardless of whether there is hanky-panky going on or not (as pointed out above by Freelancer and Wetlandernw). At least they are on hand if needed, and not just for carrying books, as someone snarked early on. (Was it Moiraine?)

Another related point - isn't there an Aes Sedai somewhere in the series who is rumored to have her brother as a warder? I'm not sure that I'm not imagining it, mind you...
Bridget Sullivan
41. Ellid

In tGS, we are introduced to Moradri (ack, that name!) a Mayener sister whose warders (plural) are rumoured to be her brothers).

Sorcha O
42. sushisushi
Ellid@41 Aha, thanks! That's one odd Warder set-up, if it is true and not just a rumour beause they're also Mayener and look kinda like her.

Ah, the joys of speculation...
Will Grooms
43. XLCR
I would like to briefly thank Liegh and everyone here for the priceless distraction you have all provided me in the last few weeks. I started reading this re-read because of the appearance of ToM and the fact it was a quicker and easier alternative to re-reading the entire series, as I did last year when TGS appeared.

But somewhere in the process the health of my father failed, and it soon became a badly needed relief from sitting by his bed and watching him fade away. My father was the closest thing we will ever see on this world to a real-life Mat Caulthon. His luck in cards really was phenomonal, though it was really less luck than an incisive mind, an excellent memory, and great powers of observation. In other words, he was a card counter.

He had several careers, a piano player in a road band in the Great Depression, a warrior in the Second World War, a railroad engineer for thirty years, but it was his ability, like Mat's, to step into a bar anywhere there was a game going on and leave with a pocket full of money that smoothed his path through life and insured that, even when he was laid off, his children never went hungry.

Last Wednesday my father, Harold Eugene Kransky, drew his last card, and passed into the Light.
Sam Mickel
44. Samadai

May the light shine on you, your family and your father, may the creator welcome him home.
Tess Laird
45. thewindrose
I think that the Accepted testing must take into account the strength of the channeler. There is no way a sister like Daigian for example could have gone through such a test as Moiraine or Nynaeve and survived it. I think the sisters administering the test make it a challenging test, but only challenging enough for the strength of the woman going through it.
Also of interest is the thought of where this test is actually happening. The next chapter is all about Moiraine's experience during her test - and there are some interesting bits in there like when she gets dressed an then turns around to look in the the stand-mirror and is like hey where did that come from. We also have Nynaeve's test to look at, and it looks like Egwene is on the ball on thinking it has much to do with T'a'R.

XLCR - I am sorry to hear of your loss and happy that we help in some small way. I remember you also enjoy Zelazny:
Good-bye and hello, as always.

Alice Arneson
46. Wetlandernw
Ellid @41 (and sushisushi) - I fail to see why an AS having her brothers for Warders is "ick" inducing. If, at age 22 or so, I were a new Aes Sedai and could have chosen anyone to be my Warders, my brothers would have been my top choice. I know I can trust them with anything, including - maybe especially - my life. I know they'll watch my back not only because of the bond but because they love me. And I'm finally in a position to be able to give them some benefits (strength, stamina, Healing, etc.) via the bond to do what they've always done - protect their little sister. The only reason for it to be "ick" that I can think of is if you insist that it is required for Greens to have sex with their Warders, which is patently false.

On another subject that's come up a couple of times here, I forgot to say this last night. I totally agree that Tamra knew what Moiraine and Siuan were doing, not based on textual evidence that she knew but on my reading of her character and human nature. She's a very intelligent woman, and she knows that Siuan & Moiraine both heard and understood Gitara's Foretelling. She also knew they were fairly intelligent; it's only reasonable that they would know what she was looking for when she sent the Accepted out to record names for the bounty. When she found them doing the job of recopying the lists, she'd have to have completely forgotten who they were to NOT assume that they were simultaneously searching the lists for boys who fit the Foretelling. My assumption is that she didn't say anything about it because she didn't want to overtly acknowledge it or make it in any way a "sanctioned activity" for them. Of course they're going to do it, but if she never speaks of it and they remain silent as well, there's at least one layer of backup that no one else knows about. Which, of course, was very foresighted of her, because she and all her official hunters were murdered by the BA, but the girls were left alone because no one else knew about them.
Valentin M
47. ValMar
I thought it was a common knowledge that Mo and Siuan were there when Gitara died- surely the BA would've made the connection?
Commiserations for your loss.
Bridget Sullivan
49. Ellid

I say 'ick' about Moradri (ack, that name!) because it seems to me that the warder bond imports a lot more information between the bonder and bondee than would seem appropriate between siblings. Emotional states, physical states, etc...

I would presume, for example that Moradri (ack, that name!) would be vigilant to "tamp down" the bond when one of her brothers was out to go score some. Or vice versa.
Bill Stusser
50. billiam
First off let me state that i don't think Elaida was right in the way she tried to help Mo & Siuan train for the testing.
That being said, those of you that can't see her as 'helping' though have probably never played in organized sports or been in the millitary.
I have known quite a few Elaidas, people (coaches, team mates, drill sergents) who thought the best way to help someone was to be hard as hell on them, to the point of being abusive.
Once again, I don't believe that or condone said actions, but I have seen it many times.
Tina Pierce
51. scissorrunner
XLCR - now that your father has woken from the dream, may your dream be one of peace and may you know joy once again
Tina Pierce
52. scissorrunner
btw, I just got my copy of the New Spring graphic novel.
FUN!!! I heartily recomend it to all!!
John Massey
53. subwoofer
@XLCR- I am sorry for your loss.

@Billiam- yeah, I knew a few MC's that believed the more you sweat in training exercises, the less you bleed on the battle field.

@Wet- interesting points. Which really make me think. First off, Tamra seems on the ball, and knows the LB is coming- the DR heralds that, what should the next steps be? Finding the boy- then what? Should the Tower be alerted? Preparations for the end of the world should have as much lead up time as possible. And when Tamra died and Siuan took the shawl, Siuan should have started said preparations as well. It has always bothered me, that the Aes Sedai knew Rand was walking the earth in the last few years and they were more focused on an internal squable than preparing for the end.

As far as a cloak of silence, at least one person knows that Moiraine and Siuan were present when Gitara died, but as Moiraine covered, Gitara said nothing, just died in her arms. I think the reason folks started dying was the particular open involvement in looking for something. The missives and such- Siuan and Moiraine had little to do with that and that was the focus of the BA... and the egos involved- what could a couple of Accepted know or do... far below a full Sister.

Stefan Mitev
54. Bergmaniac
The BA must've done a pretty poor job with their interrogation of Tamra, they didn't even know they had to look for a baby and kept killing adults. You'd think that the whole baby bounty deal with the huge sums offered under such a flimsy pretext would've given them a clue...
55. MasterAlThor
Let me add that of my families wishes and prayer to you and yours. May the Creator give you comfort in this trying time.

Hello sister. Hope all is well with you and yours. I have a comment about something that you said about Tamra.

Just about every Aes Sedai has that haughty attitude concerning Accepted. Even the really smart ones. I don't believe that Tamra new, but if she did then I accept your reasoning as to why she didn't say anything. Though I have only a small problem with that too. It has to be assumed that Tamra knew about the BA. If she did, then wouldn't her instinct to make sure that the girls weren't meddling in the affairs of Aes Sedai?

This is the only problem I have with NS. There were so many people that we could have gotten a POV from. It would have been interesting to see what the motivations were of some of them.

Hello to Sam, Wind, Scissor, Free and Sub. Man all of us haven't been on in what seems like forever. I really gotta get out more.

Will Grooms
56. AndrewB
Wetlandernw @ 46: I agree completely (although I could never had articulated those thoughts as eloquently as you did).

Bergmaniac @ 54: I disagree. I always believed that Tamra, by the strength of her will, was able to withhold some key points. For example, Siuan & Moiraine's unofficial involvement and that the Dragon Reborn was just born.

Sometimes, an interogrator is limited by his/her own thinking. As Aes Sedai, Tamra's interrogrators would never had supposed that anybody but a full Sister would have searched for the Dragon Reborn.

Further, as agents of the Dark One, the Black Ajah interrogrators would have been frightened of the Dragon Reborn who could channel and/or about to channel. Such a man would be a danger to their cause. However, they would not be concerned about a baby. Thus, why should they think that the Dragon Reborn is a baby at this moment.

Another example of an interrogator who was blinded by her own prejudice was Mogi in TGH when she compulsed Nyn and Elayne. She asked them to turn out their pockets hoping to find an angrael or a terangrael. However, she would not expect somebody would have had such an object but not kept it on their persons at all time.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Will Grooms
57. chaplainchris1
(This is still me, just not at home computer and no password handy - so I'm red instead of gray.)

Isilel @24 - I always get a lot out of your comments, but I always think that you're (even) more harsh with the Aes Sedai than they deserve.
Gitara's Fortellings that TG cometh making rounds just don't make sense, since it is such a shock to vast majority of AS in the early volumes of WoT.

Perhaps, but it's easy enough to understand - rumors of Gitara's Foretellings made the rounds, but when no official confirmation or action was taken by Tamra or the Hall, everyone would've dismissed it as only rumor. After all, most sisters didn't believe in the existence of the Black Ajah - which is the main reason Gitara's Foretellings couldn't become general knowledge among the AS (well, that and potential Red Ajah over-zealotry). If all the AS were truly faithful, then this would be something that would be worked on by the whole tower. Absent an announcement, the whole flap blew over. (And even so, in the early books there are rumors and theories that the Last Battle is coming soon - it's not a complete shock to all the sisters.)
Also, in view of complete unpreparedness of the WT - they should have been at least going through the motions, if nothing else.

Really? Do you prepare for armageddon on a regular basis? It's one thing to preach that something is going to happen. After thousands of years, believing it's going to happen in your time and preparing accordingly - even believing it might happen and going through the motions - is likely to take a back seat to the real, every day needs of the moment. (And I say this as a Christian minister who knows there is a committe meeting tomorrow to discuss whether the youth can paint their Sunday School room in brighter colors or not. It's human nature to focus on the everyday minutiae, I think. Certainly someone among the AS, all things being equal, should've been reminding them of the bigger picture. But all things weren't equal, as the following indicates:

It wouldn't have been much of a risk on Siuan's part to push some preparations too, since it wouldn't have hinted at any secret knowledge on her part. So, yet again something that unnecessarily contradicts and undermines the main series.

This I completely disagree with, and think it's very unfair both to Siuan and to RJ. The Black Ajah was actively working to keep the Tower from being ready for the Last Battle. By the time Siuan came to the Amyrlin Seat, she knew of several sisters murdered, including probably (from her perspective) two Amyrlins. Whether or not she revealed her secret knowledge, any serious Last Battle prep would certainly have made her a target for assassination as well. Her only real option was to lay low until Moiraine could locate and "secure" the Dragon. By laying low, she could make sure that she could run a bit of interference for Moiraine in the Hall, and also make sure that an Amyrlin they could trust could break the news to the entire Hall and Tower when the Dragon was safe. By waiting until he was secure and then announcing it widely, she could prevent the BA assasinating and replacing her prematurely.

The plan would've worked, too, except that for all her precautions the BA knew something was up, and manuvered Elaida to unseat her. Still, given how disastrously it turned out for her and the Tower, I can't see how you can argue that Siuan should've been less cautious. So I see no contradictions and no undermining of the main series in these events. And I suspect you're just determined to be contemptuous of the AS no matter what. Which is understandable. :)
Will Grooms
58. chaplainchris1
@41 & @46 - Ellid, sushisushi, Wetlander - as one of two older brothers with a younger sister, I agree with Wetlander. I thoughtt the AS with her brothers for Warders was sweet. And yes, since we know the bond can be masked, no problems with creepy voyeurism.

@XLCR - so sorry for your loss. Good thoughts and prayers to you and yours.

@53 subwoofer - as I said to Isilel in 57, the BA were out to make sure that the Tower didn't prepare. So no overt preparations were Siuan's only defence against assassination.

@55 Master Al'Thor - I don't think we should assume Tamra knew about the BA. She may have, but Moiraine's assumption of the reasons for Tamra's initial secrecy deal more with keeping the knowledge from the Reds, for fear of them getting out of control in dealing with a man who can channel.
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Ellid @49 - Well, I may see some things differently, because my brothers are some of my closest friends. Certainly you'd mask the bond during some... activities, but then, you'd do that with any Warder, wouldn't you, sibling or not? I don't know, I just don't see it as a problem.

@ several re: Tamra's ideas about Moiraine and Siuan... In the absence of direct textual specifics, we're all guessing. I'm only saying that I believe Tamra would have had a pretty good idea what the girls were doing, because it seems logical to me. Only she knew that they had heard Gitara's final Foretelling. While others may have known that they were present when Gitara died, there's never been any confirmation that she had a Foretelling just before she died, so no reason for anyone - BA or otherwise - to think they know anything special. In fact, even though it was a matter of misinterpretation, it's been stated publicly and unequivocally that Moiraine had said that Gitara did not have a Foretelling before she died. In point of fact, Tarna wasn't lying, either - she was stating what she thought to be true based on her assumptions about what she had asked and Moiraine had answered. But that's the closest to an official statement that's been made about it, and there's no reason for anyone to doubt it unless Tamra fills them in on the details. It fits right into the "interrogator blinded by her own preconceptions" comments by AndrewB @56; if they think they know there was no Foretelling at that time, they don't ask Tamra about it, and there's no connection to the girls at all.

Incidentally, while I couldn't begin to guess all the reasons Tamra might have for wanting to conceal this particular Foretelling, and specifically for telling the girls "if anyone asks, it didn't happen," it's a fair guess that one reason is to protect them. (Somehow, I think she seems to have a pretty good idea that the BA does exist.) That concealment may have been one of the reasons the BA interrogators didn't ask quite all the right questions and didn't learn about Moiraine & Siuan. My assumption, based on her stated actions, is that she guessed what the girls were doing, watched to make sure they were discreet, and never said word one to anyone about them. If they weren't doing anything, there's nothing to say; if they were, it shouldn't really affect her own plans to have her few trusted AS go find the boy. In the end, her plans were destroyed by the BA, and it's possible that the only reason she was able to keep from mentioning Moiraine & Siuan under torture was that she had never told them to do anything they were doing. She was forced to reveal the identities of those she had sent to search, but (because no one knew about that last Foretelling?) she was able to keep secret the facts that he was an infant and that the girls knew about him.

MasterAlThor - Hi there!! Been missing you around here lately.

subwoofer - don't forget there were two more Amyrlins between Tamra and Siuan, each of whom had an unexpectedly short tenure. (Tamra, 6 years; Sierin, 5 years; Marith, 4 years) This might make a too-young, not-yet-strong new Amyrlin (who is keenly aware of the existence but not identities of the BA) walk very carefully with regard to overt preparation for the Last Battle. Revealing knowledge of the Dragon having been reborn might be a quick ticket to her own rebirth, courtesy of the BA. My assumption has always been that she had some plans (or at least ideas) that she didn't dare set in motion until they found the DR and were sure of him. Then she could make the announcement that he'd been found, was firmly settled with an AS advisor, and it was time to begin preparing for TG. Unfortunately for her, she announced the first two and was promptly deposed and stilled by that glowing red rodent Elaida, so we never got to find out whether she had plans or not.

chaplainchris1 @57 - You crack me up! and a very cogent example, too; even though there are matters of much greater import to be considered, sometimes a room still needs painting, and somebody has to decide what color to paint it... And you just said most of what I've spent the last 20 minutes working on... *sigh* You'd think I'd have learned by now to finish reading the commments before I spend so much time writing my own! But I'm going to leave it anyway. And thanks - it's good to know that I'm not the only one with sibling friendships close enough to think the brothers-for-Warders is a cool thing. :)
Thomas Keith
60. insectoid
XLCR @43: I'm very sorry to hear that. May the Light shine on you and your family during this trying time.

Scissor @52: Good for you! I second that recommendation. It's really rather well-done, despite the revolving door of personnel... *grumblewishtheydfinishtheeyeoftheworldgrumble*

Wetlander @59:
that glowing red rodent Elaida
Huh... wish I'd thought of that. But 'rodent' and 'glowing' didn't show up in the thesaurus under "*itch". ;)

Jonathan Levy
61. JonathanLevy
Once she identified something she did not know, the ignorance became an itch on her shoulder-blade, just beyond reach.

This reminded me of a quote from TEOTW:52, which now becomes just that much richer:
(Rand) shrugged. “As you wish. But he’s dead. The Dark One’s dead. I killed him. I burned him with . . . ” The rest of memory flooded back then, leaving his mouth hanging open. The One Power. I wielded the One Power. No man can . . . He licked lips that were suddenly dry. A gust of wind swirled fallen and falling leaves around them, but it was no colder than his heart. They were looking at him, the three of them. Watching. Not even blinking. He reached out to Egwene, and there was no imagination in her drawing back this time. “Egwene?” She turned her face away, and he let his hand drop....
“What happened?” Moiraine said. “Tell me everything!”

4. chaplainchris1
Agree completely. You took the words out of my keyboard.

34. ImmortalOne
I think that the decision to Test Siuan and Moiraine was made by the Amyrlin herself. She kept them with her until the snow melted, and then tested them right away - regardless of the fact that Siuan was more ready than Moiraine. Formally, the decision may be made by the MoN, but if the Amyrlin says "I want them raised NOW", then she'll acquiesce unless she feels strongly that they're unready.

Re: Rumors of Gitara's foretellings.

The Aes Sedai's reaction seems perfectly reasonable to me. In our world, there have been numerous millenarian movements and prophecies, which are usually ignored by the authorities. It makes perfect sense that everyone would talk about it, but nothing official would be done.

36. Bergmaniac
The comparison between Moiraine's and Nynaeve's preparation for the test for the shawl demonstrated yet again that the normal rules of training doesn't apply at all for the Supergirls (and the ta'veren trio, for that matter). Nynaeve was only showed the weaves once, didn't train at all to do them under distraction, and treated the whole learning process as something to pass the time and distract Daigian from her grief, yet of course she passed her test even though Egwene and those operating the ter'angreal made sure to make it harder than usual.
Yeah, this is a big difference. I'm not sure if you're suggesting that this additional skill is contrived in order to make the plot progress properly, or if I'm reading too much into your comments. That's certainly one explanation, but I think there's another one within the story. The Forsaken repeatedly think to themselves how 'what are now called Aes Sedai are just half-trained children who know nothing'. But the supergirls are Forsaken-class, or nearly so. Perhaps it makes sense that tests designed to be grueling for 3rd age Aes Sedai should be easy for them?

43. XLCR
My condolences for your loss...

46. Wetlandernw
The question is whether the intimacy of the Warder bond is not a little excessive for a brother-sister relationship. For example, little sister will know each time big brother is getting it on with the barmaid. Sure, she can block out the feelings, but it might still be too much info, knowing that he starts burning with passion each time the handsome Youngling with the fetching overbite walks by... whoa, did I just stray into another discussion which I'd sworn to avoid?

I see 49. Ellid has covered this point with more tact. :)

56. AndrewB
Good points re: interrogation. But still, the bounty is so ridiculous that you'd expect it to have drawn some open-ended questions.

Also, I was thinking about the interrogation under the First Oath. Must be kind of a bummer for the person being interrogated, no? Beyond the usual bummer-dom of being interrogated. But on the other hand, while it certainly benefits the interrogators, can't it also be used as a tool by the person being interrogated? If you can keep your presence of mind, you can certainly use their prejudices against them, just as you said.
Will Grooms
62. alreadymadwithtamrasplot
If it was Sheriam who tattled on Elaida, I doubt it was for any other reason than her friendship with the two. It's not like she became Black out of malice. Besides she did seem to cultivate a long enough friendship to be appointed to Siuan's staff as Mistress of Novices.

I'm pretty sure Tamra deliberately included Moiraine and Siuan in her plans. Given Moiraine's known training in Daes Daemar and Siuan's ability with puzzles, she could have done a lot more to keep them out of the loop if she wanted to. Instead she gave them enough clues to puzzle out her plan and intended for them to be backup. Experienced Sisters on some secret mission from the Amyrlin was almost certain to attract unwanted attention. Two newly raised Sisters on their first adventure would attract less.
John Massey
63. subwoofer
Whoot! Beautiful day today:) I'm having my little girl baptized so I am very happy about all things in life.... even Gawyn.

@Wetlander- excellent point- I thought there was only one Amrylin between Tamra and Siuan. Hmmmmm... I guess I'm wrong, again:) No biggie, I'm used to it by now.

But you and ChaplainChris( Hi there:) good points too!) bring up a few points that have not been addressed yet.

"If all the AS were truly faithful, then this would be something that would be worked on by the whole tower."

That one statement really cuts to the heart of the matter. All Sisters are not faithful hence the BA. It was not until Egwene's purge that all Sisters have been properly sworn in again, and even then Mesaana found away around the Binder. This really bothers me that the leader of the last bastion of the Forces of Light can't make a very important announcement for fear of meddling and death. Drives me nuts. So the question becomes, how does one prepare on the eve of the Last Battle?

University was a while ago for me, but I can tell you, cramming for an exam never really worked. Same goes here. It may be a case of "too little, too late".

The other thing I noted- and maybe I should put this up in the spoiler thread, but I'm here anyways so meh- is of all the people in the galaxy, Gawyn actually made a suggestion that made sense. I am still floored. Heck, I think Egwene is still floored.

"We're preparing for the Last Battle, Egwene... and yet there are sisters without Warders. A lot of sisters. Some had one, but never took another after he died. Others never wanted one in the first place. I don't think you can afford this.... Well, the choice to go to war is very 'personal' and 'intimate' as well- yet all across the land, men are called to it. Sometimes feelings aren't as important as survival. Warders keep sisters alive, and every Aes Sedai is going to be of vital importance soon. There will be legions upon legions of Trollocs. Every sister on the field will be more valuable than a hundred soldiers, and ever sister Healing will be able to save dozens of lives. The Aes Sedai are assets that belong to humanity. You cannoth afford to let them go about unprotected."

From the mouths of babes.

Birgit F
65. birgit
There were rumors about a Foretelling that the Last Battle is coming, but it is important that this was during the last days of the Aiel war. Some people thought that the Aiel were sent by the Shadow (that is why Lan came south), and rumors among common soldiers might turn that into fear that the Last Battle is coming. In such circumstances it is only natural that there would be talk about the Dragon being reborn. When the war ended and nothing seemed to happen people forgot about the rumors or dismissed them as war hysteria. The few AS who knew better were murdered by the BA. Only Moiraine and Siuan (and maybe some BA) were left of those who knew the truth.
Tess Laird
66. thewindrose
subwoofer - !!(blink) I am pushing my jaw back to were it belongs - not on the floor. Positive thoughts on Gawyn, from you - you must be having a great day;)
That makes me think about what a great duo Thom and Moiraine are going to make - a great help to Rand I think. Also - just think about what these two can accomplish when they travel the world after TG, these two are not meant to sit in one place.

Tamra seems to be a competent Amyrlin, so it would make sense that she knew what Moiraine and Siuan were up to. If so, it is well that she didn't mention it to anyone, or I think Moiraine and Siuan would have met untimely deaths or been put on a farm for a long time(death would be much more likely.) It would seem that the light side uses farms as punishment while the darkside just kills, after toture ofcourse. So the Amyrlin after Sierin Vayu, Marith Jaen, exiled the three Red sitters to farms(Toveine, Tsutama and Lirene), while she got herself killed within 4 years of being Amyrlin.

Hi MasterAlThor!

Will Grooms
67. AndrewB
thewindrose @66: Where was is stated that Marith Jaen was murdered? IMO, she died of natural causes. If I am wrong (and it would not be the first time), please advise.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Tess Laird
68. thewindrose
AndrewB - My bad on the Marith Jaen - it is not known for sure if she died of natural causes or was killed -not much of anything is known about her. In fact Siuan's predecessor is never taked about in the series.

Thomas Keith
69. insectoid
AndrewB @67: You are correct, as far as the Encyclopaedia WoT knows. All it states is that "Marith Jaen dies in 988 NE", which is from the BBoBA. Her fate is not mentioned AFAIK in ACoS or TPoD; only her role in exiling the Red Sitters.

Leigh Butler
70. leighdb

My sincerest condolences on your loss. I know what it is to lose a father, and I'm honored we could provide any kind of comfort to you during such a time. I wish you and yours all the best.

71. MasterAlThor
Man it is late over here. Had a wonderful day too. Had a good time a church and then my baby boy had his birthday party. He turns 4 on Monday. He was over the moon with his party.

So on to this....

Wetlander I like your reasoning, it is sound, but I still find a small flaw with it (which probably means that it is closer to the truth). Tamra (IMO) would not have stood for Suian and Moiraine looking into this as it would have been too dangerous. Not only that can you imagine her putting the hope of the world in the hands of two Accepted?

I don't believe that Tamra had that much foresight and I don't believe that she knew that Moiraine and Suian were that intelligent. I just all around think that everyone is giving them too much credit.


I have missed you all too...Bzzz, Woof, Tempest and Soaked One
Tricia Irish
72. Tektonica
Hi all. I'm on the road without my NS book, so I'm just following along.....besides you guys have said it all!

Congratulations Sub! Big day. Hope it was splendid.

**waves** Hi Wind, Fiddler, MAT!

Happy Birthday to your son, MAT. Good times.

@XLCR: My sincerest condolences on the loss of your father. I know personally how hard that is. You are in my thoughts.
Will Grooms
73. alreadymadwithdeadamyrlin
I thought it was understood that she died of a Black Ajah assassination but the actual means were never found and the death ruled as natural causes.
Alice Arneson
74. Wetlandernw
XLCR - You have my sympathy, and I pray for peace and comfort for you and your family. I know what you mean about the need for distraction during such a time, and I'm glad you could find it here with us. It sounds like your father was quite a guy, and his stories must have been fascinating. Hold the memories, be grateful for the times you had, and enjoy the rest of your life enriched by the past.

subwoofer @63 - WHOOOT! Congratulations on the big event! and a beautiful day for it, too. :) Also - I love your quote from ToM. The boy has some issues, but he still has a brain, excellent training, and the ability to put them together when it comes to warfare.

Incidentally, I found some very interesting reading (in light of some of the discussion here) in Moiraine's observations of the Green Ajah quarters. But... I'm going to spend some time on that and make it a separate post later tonight.

@several re: Nynaeve vs. Moiraine Aes Sedai test. Someone already pointed out that Nynaeve has been out and about a lot more than Moiraine prior to her testing, and that she also has the ability to see a weave once and be able to repeat it at will. I'd like to add that several of the older novices (SAS) have a similar ability in replicating weaves, and a fair amount of life experience. We probably won't see any of it on screen, but I would rather expect that many of those women would pass their Accepted test quickly, and would be prepared for their AS test as readily as Nynaeve, and with the same ability to perform the weaves under stress.

alreadymad @73 - You might be thinking of Sierin Vayu, her predececessor, who "died mysteriously" but in truth was murdered by the Red Ajah at the instigation of Chesmal Emry. We know Chesmal was Black, but apparently this murder was her own idea and not directed by the BA Supreme Council.
75. MasterAlThor
hey Tek!!!! Do you ever stay home? Do you just get the itch and have to wander the earth? Cant wait for my turn. Don't see everything before me, I would like to discover something in my lifetime.

Wetlander you most recent comment mad me think of something. It was just a tickling of a thought. Who was the BA sister that died supposedly checking a ter'angeal? It was during a Alvarin POV.

My real question is when did she die? Was it during the time of vielness? I remember that she died cause she killed an Amrylin. But who was it and when did it happen?

76. MasterAlThor
Nevermind I have found the answers to my questions. Jarna Malari was the head of the Black Ajah. She had Tamra killed and because of that she is killed by Ishamael.

Will Grooms
77. MAT's answer
It was Jarna Malara.


She participated in the torture and murder of Tamra Ospenya.
Ishamael learned that she had given the order to search for and kill the Dragon Reborn, and abandoned her within a ter'angreal for which no use had been found that had not been tried in centuries. She died shrieking and screaming over a period of ten days. The use of this ter'angreal, or even how to activate it, remains unknown. Alviarin is appointed after her to take over the Black Ajah.
78. MasterAlThor
Another mystery has surfaced....

Who is MAT's answer? They are in red which would mean that they are not a regular. Unless they are not at a their normal logon computer.

Hmmmm. The game is afoot.

By the way....thanks for the answer.

Andrew Foss
79. alfoss1540
1) Leigh - WooHoo Elyas!!!!! I almost wet myself when they mentioned him and had to quick pick up TEOTW and reread the tinker parts where he mentions about being a warder.

2) @16 and 18 Herbal Remedies - Don't AS spew hatred and disgust at herbals for the longest time? AS Healing works so much better. How often does Moiraine Squak at Nyneve on the Flight to Caemlyn before admitting that they actually help? But later they do embrace Forkroot. Further proof of AS hypocracy. If they didn;t invent it with the power, it can't be so.

3) @31 - RE: Tam and hidden identity. He also was probably aware the Little Rand was probably Aiel. Dragon...Aiel, Aeil..Dragon..... Which Evil is he most trying to conceal. I was actually hoping to find out that Tam and Kari's discovery and whisking away of little baby Rand was more like The Whisking away of Leih Organa. So far that's not the case.

XLCR - Sorry for your loss
80. MasterAlThor
I think that the person is a regular. Why? Cause they know enough to call me MAT. Of course that could be a kwinky dink but I don't by that.

Need more clues to make an educated guess though.

Scientist, Father
81. Silvertip
@XLCR: As others have said, I have been there, far too young in my own WWII-Navy-vet father's case (thank you R.J. Reynolds). I'll be thinking about you. But damn, it sounds like he had quite a life!

@64 Fiddler: Your reference to Legends made me chuckle. I picked up the same paperback because it had a new Earthsea story, and it got me going on both Terry Pratchett (Granny Weatherwax, she rocks!) and WoT -- for all that I recommend to new folks to start with EOtW instead, Jordan had me at "the lands where he always knew he would die." I'm with you though -- the short story was better. The discipline of a word limit really kept the writing tight and compelling. In deliberately telling the same story at greater length for the novel, Jordan just gave himself license to be his most self-indulgent, and the writing suffered for it.

On Elaida. I have fairly regularly been in a position of helping graduate students prepare for their Ph.D. preliminary or final oral exams (or administering said exams, but that's another story). There's certainly something to be said for making the preparation rigorous enough that the exam itself is not a surprise, so Elaida does have a quarter of a point somewhere in there. But, and it's a big but, the real strategy is to set the kids up to succeed by letting them find their feet and *then* ramping up the intensity. Continuing to pile on when performance is decreasing is so bloodymindedly counterproductive that it's hard to distinguish from sheer sadism.

You know, when you find yourself, out of all the characters in two chapters of NS, identifying with *Elaida*, it may be a sign that something needs to change ...

Thanks as always Leigh,

Will Grooms
82. alreadymadwithregulars
LOL. are all regulars in gray?

Maybe the name is just to identify the purpose of the post. That is to answer your question.
83. MasterAlThor
Well alreadymad, you are about the only one I recognize as a regular in red. Though you do have a point.

lake sidey
84. lakesidey
@83 MAT: I would guess it's alreadymad himself. Occam's razor. Also, belated birthday wishes to the younger al'Thor.

@81 Silvertip: I also help students prepare for interviews; sometimes I am very harsh on them (have on occasion made people cry) since the actual interviews I am training them for have a reputation of being occasionally taken by ogres. But after each session, I make it a point to spend enough time in a friendly feedback where I explain the reasoning behind the interview and discuss ways to counter what they faced. That is where I disagree with Elaida; she seems to be taking almost vindinctive pleasure in the 'helping' and deliberately pushes them even when their performance is deteriorating. And leaving their bruises unhealed overnight? That is so not cool!

This whole Elaida scene reminded me a little of Ender's Game - where Ender is pushed harder and harder by his teachers (with the best of intentions) and deliberately led to believe that he can count on no one. (And with all due respect to RJ, I think Card did a better job of converting a shorter story to a full novel. Though both were far better than what Asimov did to Nightfall.) And talking of novellas....

@64 Fiddler: Legends was indeed a wonderful collection - my friend and I bought it for the Pratchett and RJ pieces and got introduced to GRRM. And I loved the shorter version of NS. It was tighter overall, better paced. Mercifully all the best lines and dialogues are retained (though I guess I oughtn't to mention my favourites as most of them are further down the re-read...)

@63 Sub: Feeling good about Gawyn? Whoa. Just as long as you don't go overboard and promise him your little girl's hand in marriage. I assure you, you'll start hating him again in a couple of days...

@43 XLCR: I'm sorry to hear of your loss. The Light shine on him, and the Creator shelter him. May the last embrace of the mother welcome him home. He sounds like a person who lived a full and brave life...

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,

James Hogan
85. Sonofthunder
XLCR, my sympathies and thoughts and prayers are with you. He sounds like a remarkable man indeed.

In regards to having siblings as a warder...just speaking from an older brother's point of view(I have three younger sisters!), I know that if one of my younger sisters was Aes Sedai(which is an odd thought!), I would be first in line to be her Warder. As has been mentioned previously(I think?), privacy issues would be problematic regardless of sibling status...and since I'm already closer to my sisters than most other women, it makes more sense for me to be a Warder to a sister than a woman I barely know!! (Sort of like if Gawyn was Warder to Elayne...wait a second, that makes so much sense, seeing as he's First Sword of Andor and all that...)

Anyways, just wanted to say I think it'd be awesome. I do believe, though, that if I was married to an Aes Sedai, I would have to be her Warder. That would definitely trump my sisters(sorry sisters!!).
Valentin M
86. ValMar
MAT @ 71

I think Tamra knew/thoght Moiraine and Siuan were pretty intelligent. They had been Novices and Accepted (about to become AS) for a record short time. For AS this is key indicator. Also, there aren't that many Accepted so it's not that hard to keep track of their abilities.
87. MasterAlThor

Right you are about that. I still think that it is just a huge assumption being made that Tamra knew what they were up to and sanctioned it by saying nothing. Just incase her plans fell through. That is not the mark of an intelligent person. And we are lead to believe that Tamra was intelligent.


One moooorrrre thing.

Lakesidey, you may be right. I thought the same thing.
Valentin M
88. ValMar
MAT @ 87

Well, as far as what is in Tamra's mind on this particular issue- it is a matter of speculating. I am not sure, personally, so I am not arguing for or against.

Perhaps there is a middle ground here. Say Tamra wasn't totally clueless and had an idea that Mo and Siuan were gathering info. But, she also thought that they would not be able to do anything about it for a while (and are intelligent enough not to do something stupid in that time). So she let them be.
By the time M&S can act on the issue, things would be settled by the grown-ups. Or if disaster happened, there would be two very promising future AS who can continue the fight with some leads on the task.
89. MasterAlThor
That is pretty much what Wetlander and everyone else is saying. And I like the theory. I was just pointing out what problems I had with it.

It really doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

Valentin M
90. ValMar

Actually it doesn't matter to me either. Hence me not participating in the discussion, and apparently not reading it too carefully ;). Just a bit of curiousity. What was Tamra's reasoning? I guess RJ left the issue open on purpose.
91. MasterAlThor
Yeah he did. I can only imagine that he thought it wasn't important enough to go into.

Kimani Rogers
92. KiManiak
Back after almost a week (and after going through major WoT reread withdrawal). Although I was fine missing last post’s turn of discussion :-)

So, let me start off by saying that I normally find Elaida to be one of the most close-minded, non-insightful, lack-in-intuitiveness, set-in-her-own-ways characters that we find in the WoTverse, including the majority of the Two Rivers peoples. Having said that, on this (my fourth reread of New Spring), I can actually see where I think Elaida is trying to help S & M in their test for the shawl. Seeing some of what Moiraine will have to go through in the next couple of chapters (and even moreso, what Nynaeve has to go through in ToM), I think that Elaida, in her incredibly deluded and detached from reality way, may have thought she was helping by “forging” or “forcibly” crafting Siuan and Moiraine into a candidate that could excel at every scenario the test for the shawl could confront them with.

I’m not saying that it was the right thing to do (I can’t think of many times I’d put “Elaida” and “did the right thing” in the same sentence); just that I could see someone like Elaida viewing those types of actions as helpful. Including not Healing them until the morning to let the night of pain be a powerful teacher. I think Elaida was trying to help. Also Moiraine does end up crediting Elaida’s “assistance” as helping her pass the test, in regards to the speed of her weaving of saidar.

As for who “told” on Elaida, for some reason I always thought it was Myrelle, not Sheriam. I can’t recall if it’s mentioned in NS or if that’s just the conclusion I came to on my own. It seems to fit her personality; she’s got a fiery personality and would probably begrudge anyone striking at her friends. But, that’s purely speculation on my part based upon my view of her character.

XLCR@43 – I would like to add my condolences to those of the group. Your dad sounded like an incredible guy. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
Will Grooms
93. AndrewB
XCCR @43: Sorry for your loss.

BTW, I am also a regular who is still red.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Alice Arneson
94. Wetlandernw
So... about those Greens. Moiraine, being the ooh-ooh girl that she is, loves to get a look at Ajah quarters, even for those she knows she's not going to join. (I think she likes to know what makes people tick, which is what makes her a good manipulator most of the time. The times when she fails, it usually seems to be a matter of not being able to figure someone out correctly because there's a layer, or a core, to them that she didn't see. Anyway...) So Moiraine is sent to take a message to a Green sister, and she observes what she can about their quarters in the process. In the recap, Leigh focused on the Warders, their presence, their potential living arrangements and their (observed and implied) activities. Most of what Moiraine focused on, though was the quarters themselves and what they said about the Ajah and the individual sister.

Swords everywhere. Every floor tile is emblazoned with a sword, in many different styles. Every door is carved with a sword; some are gilded, some silvered, some lacquered; the only thing she knows about them is that the gilded ones are the Sitters' rooms. She also notes that

No Aes Sedai had ridden to war since the Trolloc Wars, but when the Last Battle came, the Battle Ajah would ride in the forefront. Until then, they fought for justice where it often could be obtained only through their Warders' swords, but that was just what they did while they waited on Tarmon Gai'don.

Then there is the... decor... in Kerene's sitting room, which is mostly bookshelves.
Along with a few books, they held a large lion's skull and an even bigger from a bear, glazed bowls, vases in odd shapes, daggers adorned with gems and gold and daggers with plain wooden hilts, one with just the nub of a broken blade. A blacksmith's hammer with the head split in two lay next to a cracked wooden bowl that held a single fat firedrop, fine enough to grace a crown. A gilded barrel clock with the hands frozen at just before noon, or midnight, stood beside a steel-backed gauntlet stained black with what Moiraine was sure was blood. They and all the rest were mementos of well over a hundred years wearing the shawl.

In another place, this same AS (Kerene) is giving Moiraine lessons, and they're working on the history of Hawkwing's empire. This would seem to indicate that, along with collecting quite a range of trophies, she has actually studied history and, presumably, warfare - since that seems to have been the most notable thing about Hawkwing's empire.

One more note, when thinking about her choice of Ajah: "The Blue sought to right wrongs, which was not always the same as seeking justice, like Greens and Grays." In another place, "The Gray handled matters of mediation and justice, where it came from laws rather than swords..."

I'm not really trying to prove anything here, it's mostly just observation. For one thing, the Greens clearly have every intention of leading the charge for TG; for another, it seems that they have done little or nothing in terms of preparing to actually fight as a unit. An individual AS appears to have had quite an adventurous life, but they seem to go out in ones or twos, thinking that this kind of "fighting for justice" is adequate preparation for TG.

Reading those bits gave me a little more confidence that, at least at the individual level, many of the Green do know what a fight looks like and what to do. It remains unclear whether they have any grasp of strategy or tactics, and from their performance in TGS it seems that they have done little by way of becoming a Fighting Force, as it were. This still begs the question, which may yet (I hope) have an answer, of why they are not routinely going to the Blight to fight Shadowspawn by way of occupying themselves while waiting on Tarmon Gai'don. They can't be oblivious to it, so...

Like I said, I'm not trying to prove anything. It looks, though, like they've lost sight of the forest and gotten lost in the trees instead. And I can't think of a single good reason for it, other than the possibilities that 1) the BA had more influence in setting their policy than I could have believed or 2) there's more going on than we've been allowed to see yet.

Well, that was mostly a matter of a few things I noticed and thought some of you might have further insight. Something to play with in the morning while y'all wait for the new post, anyway.
lake sidey
95. lakesidey
@94 Wetlandernw: Let me play Devil's Advocate, even though I am also rather irritated with the Greens for their complete and utter lack of battleprep in tGS.

As you said, many of the Greens do go out and get first-hand experience of fighting. At least insofar as it is possible under the constraints of the oaths. And I am sure many of them (originally at least) join with every intention of being great warriors. But I am sure there are also a significant number who join "to have a dozen warders" (I think we encounter an example later in NS? Iselle says something like that. And Elayne thinks after bonding Birgitte that now she would have to join the Green so she could bond Rand. Not that she wasn't planning to anyway, but...) Now out of these, during the Seanchan attack, which bunch is more likely to be remaining in the tower?

Most of the "golly gee, I need to get practice for Tarmon Gai'don" bunch will be out getting practice. Note that Kerene used to be mostly out of the tower. So is Cadsu... that woman. And Merise. And Kiruna and Bera (who don't do badly at Dumai's Wells, iirc) and Alanna and even some weaker ones like get the idea. Not to mention, the only other female AS besides Moiraine to have killed a Forsaken (admittedly unintentionally!) was also a Green. Cue Grr Leigh smash here. Most of the more powerful Greens tend to go out and see the world (if Cads and Kerene are any indication.

Of course, Adelorna, the Captain-General, remained....but she did try to put up a fight. Not very successful, but hey...better than some. And of the more powerful Greens (the sitters etc) left in the tower, Elaida exiles Joline, Talene has vanished at this point I most of the Greens left behind in the tower are.....might I

Mind you, I still think they were woefully ineffective. All I'm saying is, maybe they have them some extenuating circumstances here...

Come to think of it, Rina also stays behind. And is a sitter to boot (though probably one of the 'too-young' bunch). Wonder if Elyas will come face-to-face with her again?

Hugh Arai
96. HArai
Wetlandernw@94: I would think the Green suffer from the same basic problems the Aes Sedai as a whole do:

The person strongest in the Power is in charge of the people in their immediate presence regardless if they actually have any idea what they are doing. It's about as intelligent a way to run a fighting force as making the tallest person in the army the General. As far as I can tell, the standard response for any Aes Sedai that realizes that is to get the hell away from other Aes Sedai so that they can act as they see fit. This would result in the Green being a Fighting Force as a whole only in the unlikely event that all the best Green strategists and tacticians also happen to be the strongest in the Power. If that actually happened in the past, it was probably short lived as the BA would likely be able to put a stop to it quickly.
Alice Arneson
97. Wetlandernw
lakesidey & HArai - you both make good points. It seems silly to me that the head of the Ajah isn't chosen - at least in part - for her ability as the Captain-General they name her. Seems that would be the most logical position for the best general they have, but considering the emphasis on strength in the Power, I suppose some compromise is made. Quite true that many of the more... aggressive... Greens would be out and about much of the time rather than twiddling around the Tower, and as you say, Cadsuane (easily the strongest) seems to have spent very little time in the Tower at all. For that matter, she left rather than be forced into the position of Sitter, Captain-General or Amyrlin Seat - any of which would arguably have been a waste of her particular skills as well as she being completely unsuited for them. (Although... given her tendencies, with her as Captain-General they would have functioned as a unit by sheer force of her will; no one would dare do anything else. Whether she would make the right strategic decisions as a general is less sure. I don't think she thinks she would, but that's only my opinion. She's the type that would take the job only if she thought the other options were so much worse that she'd better do it herself.)

So... in the Tower, you find mostly the youngest and the oldest, along with a few who don't really want to fight all that much and those who are willing to play politics instead. Out and about, you have a lot of individualists with a range of skills, training, and battle comprehension who have never really learned to work together.

Well, if nothing else they'll do a fine job riding out front throwing fireballs for a while, until the Dreadlords knock them down or they get overwhelmed by sheer numbers of Shadowspawn. I find myself hoping that Adelorna has something better up her sleeve, or that Myrelle turns out to be a great strategist.
Will Grooms
98. alreadymadwithbackupplan
lakesidey @84
Occam's Razor would also demand that if MAT's Answer were me, I'd identify myself as such(i.e. alreadymadwithMAT'sanswer). So no, it wasn't me. And I don't have a problem w/ Asimov's Nightfall either.

Sonofthunder @85
All i that I can say is that if a sister of mine(and I have two) wanted to be Aes Sedai then more power to her. I would in no way feel obligated to act as her protector by being a Warder since Aes Sedai have a demonstrated ability to protect themselves in most circumstances. That bond you're talking about, mighty overrated in my opinion.
In fact if a sister of mine were Aes Sedai, then I'd take my sword and my channeling genes over to the Black Tower. Ride some lightning of my own.

Valmar @88
My point exactly. Mo and Siuan were the backup plan. And as far as backup plans go, Tamra could have done far worse than a couple of newly raised, untested but highly promising Aes Sedai who were already in on the secret.

MasterAlThor @91
Either that, or he intended to chalk it up to the mystique of Aes Sedai intrigue.

Wetlandernw @94
Agreed. Where individual Greens such as Alanna and Joline are presented as having some technical skill in warfare, the Green Ajah as a whole is eventually shown as incapable of acting as a cohesive unit in a battle. And this problem seems archetypal not only among Greens but among Aes Sedai in general.

lakesidey @95
Adelorna may remain in the Tower now, but I suspect this is more due to her position as Captain General. In her younger years I suspect she built up her own credentials among Greens. After all, Greens apparently decide such issues by secret ballot. And what use would a full time Tower resident have for several Warders?
Hugh Arai
99. HArai

Well, if nothing else they'll do a fine job riding out front throwing fireballs for a while, until the Dreadlords knock them down or they get overwhelmed by sheer numbers of Shadowspawn. I find myself hoping that Adelorna has something better up her sleeve, or that Myrelle turns out to be a great strategist.

Well I think perhaps the Aes Sedai as a whole are going to get a real wake up call from encountering a military style channeling force: When the Black Tower is "rent in blood and fire" I suspect they're going to find out what it's like for individualistic Aes Sedai to fight Asha'man squads. I don't think it's going to be pretty, even if they have the sense to link. I hope enough of the Asha'man escape from Taim's grip to show the Aes Sedai how it's done, because even after the Seanchan attack they don't seem to be getting the idea.
Stefan Mitev
100. Bergmaniac
One of the problems with the Green Ajah is that they concentrate too much on finding and training Warders. Warders are useful, don't get me wrong, but an average channeller can do much more damage on the battlefield than even 5 Warders unless those Warders are Lan, Galad, Gawyn, Mat and Rhuark. ;) Cadsuane shows very clearly you don't need a Warder to be an effective Green.

So the Greens should concentrate more on their channelling training and especially on working as an unit, linking, coordinating with other Green sisters, etc. All of this seems totally lacking so far from what we've seen. And since they are preparing to face the Dreadlords in Tarmon Gai'don, they should've been more active in helping the Reds against male channellers and gaining valuable experience in channelling combat.

Another problem with them is that it seems a lot of Aes Sedai choose Green because they are "the sexy Ajah" and it's considered normal and acceptable for them to spend half their time gawking at the muscles of training Warders, flirting with men and sleeping with your Warders. It's also the only Ajah where marrying is considered acceptable and is not frowned upon, so again this could lead some Aes Sedai to choose it even though they don't have much interest in combat training and preparing for the Last Battle. Note that the first thing Alanna said when Egwene asked her about the Green Ajah was "First, you must love men.", not "You must have an interest in battles and train hard to be ready to be a killing machine at Tarmon Gai'don".

I am still hoping the Greens present themselves in a better light in the last volume, but given their record, it seems unlikely. Some individuals amongst them will do excellent, but as an organisation they are just too flawed and unprepared.
Kimani Rogers
101. KiManiak
Wow. Could you imagine Egwene with Galad, Gawyn, Mat (and, although it would never, and I mean never happen, even less likely than Mat, which would be darn near impossible, let's just add) Rhuarc (over Amys' and her sister-wife's dead body) and Lan (over Nynaeve, and probably Lan's dead body)?

Just the thought of those 5 as Egwene's Warders... She would almost equal the awesomeness she displayed in TGS, and she wouldn't even have to do anything. She could still oppose Rand, and I'd still feel some kind of awe for her. Talk about badass... If she actually listened to her Warders and utilized their knowledge, wisdom and experience anywhere near their full capabilities? She'd be damn near unstoppable. She'd whip the AS in to shape and probably be able to adequately lead almost half of the Light's armies under Rand in Tarmon Gaidon (as long as she listened to and implemented Mat's and Rhuarc's plans, anyway).

Okay, I know it would never happen (Galad is a maybe at best; Mat would never allow it, nor would Tuon for that matter; Lan, like I said, over Nynaeve and Lan's dead bodies; as for Rhuarc, I can't even imagine a possible scenario) . I'm just allowing my inner fanboy's imagination to run a little there.

Thanks for the idea (and the food for my wild imagination) there, Bergmaniac :-)

Wait, now I just thought of Cadsuane or Elayne with those 5. Mat, Lan and Rhuarc all commit seppuku.
Back to reality :-)
John Massey
102. subwoofer
Yay I can log on!!!! Boooo I missed 1 hunny:(

Anyways- couple of thoughts.

What is the the point of walking and not running in the test for the shawl? And why the limit on when someone can channel? Moiraine does this stuff and passes the test, Nynaeve doesn't do any of this and totally destroys the test. But why all the - you need to get out and move on, don't fix the problem at hand stuff?

As far as Greens and fighting- you can have all the training and planning in the world, but all that goes out the door when the first shot is fired. The Greens may have knowledge and prep forever, but it won't help them from freezing up when they are put to the test. Character and experience come into play then. Folks like Bryne have experience, folks like that Brown whose name I cannot remember but took charge and lead during tGS, count.

Edit- I mean destroy in a good way- Ny totally crushed her test. And she helped Lan and she helped Perrin. None of it was real but this is not some math test, there are many more variables and this way the AS do things leaves little room for individuality.

lake sidey
103. lakesidey
@98 alreadymad: Not necessarily! Occam's razor does not account for "already mad" people! Besides, I thought your "LOL. are all regulars in gray?" was a broad hint, in the best Jordan traditions.

And, I didn't mean Adelorna was a bad fighter - I mentioned her to point out her rarity - she was one of the very few "fighting Greens" left in the tower (I guess Myrelle is the leader of the Salidar Greens?). She managed to stay fighting after a warder of hers was killed; not bad, says I!

@99 HArai: The Salidar AS do practice linking and so on with TG in mind - they did so once when a bubble of evil swept through the camp. Also the whole point of their contacting the Asha'man was to increase the size of their circles (after feeling what Rand and Nynaeve did at Shadar Logoth, assuming it was the Forsaken and thinking "by gum, we can't match that with only 13!"). So maybe, just maybe, the united tower will learn.

@100 Berg: (congrats on the hundred btw!). Very well put about Greens in general. But warders are still a good idea. Ask Nynaeve in the Rahad and Moiraine on the Cairhien docks (OK, granted that was Lan both times, but still). Or ask Egwene, after the Bloodknives business.

I seem to remember - Cads used to have a couple of "long-in-the-tooth" warders around the time of the Aiel war (though we don't see any sign of them in NS). And somewhere she thinks to herself that the only reason she has not taken another is that she expects to die soon and doesn't want some poor fellow to suffer the effects of being bonded to her then. Can't remember where though.

I wouldn't mind being a warder myself, if talking people to death is an acceptable form of being dangerous. But I'd probably settle for being an Asha'man, now that saidin is suits me!

@101 KiM: I would rather vote for Nynaeve deciding to go green with Lan and Mat - and maybe Galad (Berelain can't channel, and Tuon doesn't want to yet. Also Mat and Galad both respect - and maybe trust - Nynaeve).

Or at least - Moiraine with Lan, Thom and Mat. I can see that as not totally impossible, if Nynaeve is willing to share warders (now we know that more than one lady can bond a man).

Does anyone think Ituralde might get bonded (I can see him agreeing if Cadsuane asks, given that she brought back his king - that would be one awesome scary combination!)

(P.S. Gandalf chose the wrong Ajah when he came back from the dead. Gandalf the Green would have been so much more appropriate! White, forsooth...)

Sorcha O
104. sushisushi
Have been away for the last few days, also at a family funeral (my condolences to XLCR, too), and only catching up now.

Wetlandernw@46 On the 'ick' factor, I certainly wasn't suggesting anything of the sort, particularly when we have several examples of Greens-who-aren't-shagging-their-Warders wandering around the books. I wouldn't be keen on my brother having a non-stop running commentary of my emotional state, either, nor me his, particularly if there were any sexual encounters going on with anyone else, on either side. I'm not sure I'd want a cranky, elderly brother in the back of my head
while I still looked twenty-ish, either, but it's not really an issue that I have *that* strong feelings about overall. It was more to check that I wasn't imagining an alternative model for a relationship between a Green and her Warders. There was a comment somewhere in the main series that Greens with a single Warder are usually married to them, and most of the rest of the Greens with multiple Warders seem to work on variations of the Merise model. I have a suspicion that Myrelle and her multiple sexual relationship is actually an outlier in the Ajah, all propaganda to the contrary.

Jonathan Levy@61 On testing Siuan and Moiraine, considering that the Mistress of Novices in question was a member of the Black Ajah, do you not think that might have brought them under more suspicion?

lakesidey@84 Your point on Ender being pushed as hard as possible, as well as M&S, reminds me of the way the Wise Ones treat Aviendha in TGS, until she cracks and declares herself their equal.

Silvertip@81 *quakes*
Guess what I'm going to be doing in the next few months…

Wetlandernw@94 You've started off a fascinating discussion on the dynamics of the Green Ajah, there. I know next to nothing about matters military, so I'm going to just nod along here :)

subwoofer@102 Saerin.
Simon Southey-Davis
105. Glyph
Oops, I missed this one when it was up: Kerene's trophies!

A gilded barrel clock with the hands frozen at just before noon, or midnight

Ha - that's the Doomsday Clock, right? The text also picks out a broken blacksmith's hammer, a cracked bowl holding a ruby and a bloodied gauntlet (red right hand?); anyone recognise one of those as a particular symbol or reference?
Will Grooms
106. hamstercheeks
bergmaniac@100: Re Alanna's quote ("First, you must love men...")

This made me giggle uncontrollably, especially since you posted a viable alternative statement, BUT we can also take Alanna's words to mean that you must love people in general, and not be a total whore-faced whore pardon my French like some of the sisters who hate the other half of humanity. Servants of All and everything.
Will Grooms
107. Dwhieb
It makes me sad to see Ryma mentioned here, knowing she becomes damane, and illustrates to Egwene how they've broken her.
Terry McNamee
108. macster
Idly looking back through old entries...

Re: the tattling about Elaida. Whether it was Sheriam or Myrelle who told, the person they would have told would have been Merean, who we know was Black and would have had a vested interest in keeping powerful channelers like Elaida, Siuan, and Moiraine from becoming allies. Even if Sheriam were jealous of the extra help (and based on how she reacted to their beatings, I can't see why she would be), she'd have no reason to tell Merean she was tattling at Siuan and Moiraine's behest. So the person who told Elaida they were the tattlers had to be Merean herself. Therefore, whether or not Sheriam was a DF at the time (and I don't think she was), the BA was still involved in setting this vendetta off...and someone like Merean would certainly be in a better position to guess the results of her actions than an Accepted.

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