Mar 4 2011 2:13pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: New Spring, Part 7

New Spring by Robert JordanHey-hey, peoples: It’s a Wheel of Time Re-read, almost live! Hopefully your week has not been as eventful as mine.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 13 and 14 of New Spring, in which there are dresses and funerals and exodii, oh my!

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 13: Business in the City

What Happens
Moiraine and Siuan eat dinner in the Aes Sedai hall, which is considerably more high-class than the Accepted’s, and return to the Blues’ quarters to meet with Eadyth, who gives each of them a letter-of-rights for a thousand in gold, their annual allowance. Siuan is shocked at the amount, but Moiraine knows that often enough the appearance of wealth is useful for making others decide you have power. Siuan deposits her allowance with the Tower, but Moiraine heads into the city to her banker, Mistress Dormaile, who greets Moiraine with warm congratulations on her promotion, and mentions that if Moiraine seeks more information, everything Mistress Dormaile knew was in the letter she sent. Moiraine freezes, and replies carefully that perhaps she should tell her again. Mistress Dormaile tells her a man with a scar on his face, calling himself Ries Gorthanes and purporting to be from the Tower Guard, came to her nine days ago; Moiraine recognizes neither the name nor the description. The man gave Mistress Dormaile a letter supposedly signed by the Amyrlin Seat, directing her to reveal the particulars of Moiraine’s finances to him, but Mistress Dormaile recognized it as a forgery and locked the man up; however, he escaped before he could be questioned.

The only reason the Tower would have held back Mistress Dormaile’s letter was that the Hall hoped to lull her into thinking they had decided against putting her on the Sun Throne. But they had made their first moves, or rather, since they would have been as careful as thieves trying to cut a well-guarded lady’s purse, many more than the first. Enough for someone to puzzle out their intention. Nothing else explained a Cairhienin trying to find out how she was dispersing money, and to whom. Oh, Light, they were going to do it before she knew what was happening, unless she found a way out.

She rewards Mistress Dormaile for her discretion, and gives her specific instructions before returning to the Tower and asking around for a good seamstress. The next day, she drags Siuan along with her to Tamore Alkohima’s establishment. She is only able to convince Siuan to pay for six new dresses, but Moiraine orders twenty, all in silk, knowing that the order will make the Tower think she is settled in Tar Valon. Siuan scandalizes Moiraine (and the seamstress) by demanding prices, and Moiraine hurriedly tries to educate her on the importance of not pissing off her dressmaker. Tamore’s revenge for making her wait is obvious in the fitting of Siuan’s dresses (snug) and the hue of Moiraine’s (pale), but Moiraine considers that it could have been worse. She tells Tamore that she wants five more riding dresses in the Cairhienin style, with six slashes on the breast, which is far fewer than Moiraine’s rank entitles her to.

“I would like them made last, if you please,” Moiraine told her. “And do not send them. Someone will pick them up.”

“I can promise you they will be last, Aes Sedai.”

Oh, yes; her first dresses were going to be pale. But the second part of her plan was accomplished. For the moment, she was as ready as she could be.

One thing that Jordan’s writing always makes me very glad of is that I never went into politics, because damn. Granted, American politics aren’t quite so literally cutthroat as WOT’s (at least as long as you don’t subscribe to the Tom Clancy version of them, anyway), but even aside from that, man if all the sneaking and subtext and subterfuge doesn’t just make me tired.

So apparently certain Cairhienin are not overly thrilled at the Tower’s plot to put an Aes Sedai and/or another Damodred on the throne! Let’s all try to contain our shock, shall we? Really, after Laman’s war-causing shenanigans and the historical precedent re: Aes Sedai queens, I almost can’t blame them.

I really do wonder how that’s going to work out for Elayne (and, probably, Nynaeve as well). Though I object in principle to saying someone can’t be queen (or king) because of an inborn trait they have no control over, I have to admit there’s a legitimate concern there when you consider the average life span of any given channeler. I mean, even an Oath-bonded channeler will live around three centuries, which is a damn long time if they also happen to be a sucky monarch, let’s just say.

I was going to say something here about being surprised, given the above, that the Illianers gave Rand the crown, but then I laughed, because of course no one expects Rand to live past the Last Battle. So actually it was a pretty smart move on their part: placate the scary Dragon man with the crown, and once he bites it, which should be Real Soon Now, select someone else, no big.

Assuming Illian’s still there after Armageddon, of course. It’s always something.

(Of course, the biggest oopsie would be if Rand lives. Hah.)

Anyway. There’s not a whole lot else in this chapter worth talking about. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind all the “domestic” detail in this chapter with the dresses and all; I actually found it rather pleasant and fun to read about. I just… don’t have anything of interest to say about it. Except that sneaky Moiraine is sneaky, even in her sartorial choices. Yay!

And, yeah. Onward!


Chapter 14: Changes

What Happens
Moiraine and Siuan spend the following days being educated in the customs of the Blue Ajah, as well as the weaves not allowed for Accepted to learn, such as the Warder bond. Moiraine is startled at the complexity of the rivalries and alliances between the Ajahs, such as the centuries-old entrenched animosity between the Red and the Blue, and thinks the tangle makes Daes Dae’mar look like “child’s play.” Moiraine is also very interested in the fact that there are weaves known only to the Blue, and thinks of her own secret weave she had concealed from everyone; she wonders if Siuan has a secret weave, too, but does not ask. They also learn about the trick of ignoring the heat or cold, and Moiraine is irritated at how much more quickly Siuan picks it up. The Feast of Lights comes around, and though it is meant to be a joyous celebration, Moiraine is saddened to see how many unused chambers in the Tower have to be opened up to light candles in them.

Chambers unused for centuries. The White Tower was dwindling, and she could not see what was to be done about it. But then, if women who had worn the shawl two hundred years or more could find no solution, why should she be able to?

As she is “hiding,” Moiraine refuses all invitations to celebrations. Meanwhile, Siuan is not having a good time with Cetalia.

“Fish guts! She expects me to jump like a spawning redtail! I never jumped so fast when I was a – !” She gave a strangled grunt and her eyes popped as the First Oath clamped down. Coughing, her face turning pale, she pounded a fist on her chest.

Moiraine’s task of distributing the bounty is excruciatingly boring, and she becomes more resolved than ever to run if necessary. The day after the Feast of Lights, Ellid goes to be tested, and fails to emerge from the ter’angreal; Moiraine wears mourning ribbons for her. In the following days, Elaida avoids her and Siuan, and then returns to Andor, to Moiraine’s relief. She deepens her friendship with Anaiya and another Blue named Adine, and Leane’s friendship with her and Siuan both takes up right where it left off. Tamra’s five searchers eventually leave the Tower, and Moiraine is frustrated at not being allowed to participate. Siuan begins to grow interested in her job with Cetalia, and Anaiya and Kairen are vindicated when the pies Moiraine and Siuan make for Aeldra make her sick. Sheriam is tested and passes, and Siuan manages to steal the sixth kiss/pie, as Sheriam is a great cook. Siuan wants to bring Sheriam in on their hunt, but Moiraine eventually talks her out of it, citing Sheriam’s penchant for gossip.

Sisters began to talk of a resurgence in the Tower, with so many passing for the shawl in so short a time, and perhaps another one or two who might very soon. By custom, none spoke of Ellid, but Moiraine thought of her. One woman dead and three raised to the shawl in the space of two weeks, but the only novice to test for Accepted in that time had failed and been sent away, and not one name was added to the novice book, while above twenty novices too weak ever to reach the shawl were put out.

Those chambers would remain unused for centuries more at this rate. Until they were all unused. Siuan tried to soothe her, but how could she be happy when the White Tower was destined to become a monument to the dead?

Three days later, Ryma Galfrey (Yellow) enters the dining hall to announce that Tamra Ospenya has died in her sleep. Moiraine is stunned, and wonders what will happen to the search now. Then she is disgusted with herself, and as penance wears an inappropriately ornate dress to Tamra’s funeral. She weeps at the service, and burns the dress afterwards. Sierin Vayu is raised from the Gray to replace Tamra, and fails to grant the indulgences that are typical when a new Amyrlin is raised. She also fires every last male clerk in the Tower, supposedly for flirting with novices or Accepted, even those who were grandfathers or “had no liking for women at all.” Three sisters are exiled for a year, and two more are stretched on the triangle and birched. Oddly, both the new Mistress of Novices (Amira) and Sierin’s Keeper (Duhara) are from the Red; Moiraine doubts that Tamra’s searchers will report their findings to Sierin.

To Sierin, her own view of the law was the law, and without a shred of mercy to be found in it. Or in her.

Nevertheless, Moiraine goes to Sierin to ask to be relieved from her task of distributing the bounty. Sierin is annoyed that the bounty even exists, and grants her request, but then adds that they will have need of Moiraine soon anyway, and Moiraine’s heart sinks. She reports the conversation to Siuan, and Siuan asks what she will do.

“I am going for a ride. You know where I will be, in what order.”

Siuan’s breath caught. “The Light protect you,” she said after a moment.

Moiraine dresses in a dark hue, leaving her shawl behind, and hugs Siuan quickly before hurrying out, not wanting a long goodbye. She is stopped on the way by a suspicious Eadyth, and not-lies to her that she has no intention of crossing a bridge that day. She retrieves her horse and rides to Mistress Dormaile’s, who has several fat purses waiting for her, and then to Tamore’s to retrive the Cairhienin dresses of minor nobility she had commissioned.

Before leaving, Moiraine tucked her Great Serpent ring into her belt pouch. Her hand felt oddly naked without it, her finger itched for the small circle of gold, but too many in Tar Valon knew what it meant. For now, she truly must hide.

She heads to Northharbor and books passage on a ship named Bluewing. While boarding, she notices the dockmistress talking to a man on the wharf and pointing at her ship; she embraces saidar to see him more clearly, and realizes the man matches Mistress Dormaile’s description of the fake Tower Guard.

But how had he found her here, and why had he been searching? She could not think of a pleasant answer to either question, least of all the second. For someone who wanted to stop the Hall’s scheme, someone who wanted another House than Damodred on the Sun Throne, the easiest way would be the death of the Hall’s candidate.

The ship sets sail, and Moiraine knows she has now officially disobeyed a direct order from the Amyrlin Seat, plus she has a likely assassin on her trail; she thinks she should be frightened, but she only feels excitement.

They could not put her on the Sun Throne, now. By the time the Hall found her, another would be secure in it. And she was off to find the boy-child. She was off on an adventure as grand as any ever undertaken by an Aes Sedai.

Grand adventure? Honey, you have NO IDEA.

I don’t think it was made clear before New Spring how Moiraine didn’t so much leave the Tower as escape it. I’m not entirely clear on this, but I have to imagine that she never once came back in the intervening years between this moment and the start of TEOTW (or, actually, any point since then too), because even once Siuan was in charge I can’t imagine that Moiraine could have been let off with no consequences for being so blatantly mutinous.  

*shrug* Though, who knows, maybe she could. Helps to have friends in high places, after all. Maybe Siuan purged the records, or something.

Still, I tend to doubt Jordan had worked out that Moiraine’s departure from the Tower was quite this insubordinate early on in the series, because otherwise I would have expected her appearance at Fal Dara in TGH to have been quite a bit more momentous to the other sisters there with Siuan, particularly Anaiya. But nothing is said or hinted about that at all that I can remember, so.

Also, as clever and sneaky as Moiraine’s plan is here, she’s still not quite at the top of her game yet. I mean, even I figured out that the assassin guy probably picked up her trail by having Mistress Dormaile’s place watched. Sharpen those skills, girl, you’ll need ‘em soon!

I was struck, here and earlier, at Moiraine’s frequent musings about the sadly dwindled state of the Tower. This has always been a feature of the descriptions of the Tower, how empty it is, but no other character that I recall has ever viewed it with the kind of near-alarm Moiraine does (at least not until Egwene gets back in there in TGS). It’s a sharp reminder that the Tower as presented, here and in the series proper, is actually not meant to be a good model of how things should be run. That it is, in fact, a deeply flawed and corrupted version of what it should be, even if most Aes Sedai don’t seem to realize it themselves. It’s odd that I tend to forget that, but I do, so it’s nice to be reminded of it here.

Tamra: Dude. I was kind of shocked at the abruptness of it, the announcement of her death, even though I knew it was coming. I found myself wanting to yell at them to do an autopsy, which is probably a sign I need to stop watching crime procedurals. But still, how could they have not been more suspicious that a young(ish), seemingly perfectly healthy woman just croaks in her sleep like that?

Also, Ryma Galfrey, crap. Her life is about to so completely suck it makes my heart hurt. Well, not for about twenty years, true, but still.

Sierin: Yikes. A veritable bundle of joy, that one. Also, that’s what the icon for this chapter means? I say again: yikes.

First Oath: Have we ever seen any other Aes Sedai get affected by violating the First Oath as strongly as Siuan does here? I guess it makes sense that we wouldn’t, since most Aes Sedai we see have had more than enough time to get used to just avoiding lying (well, blatant lying, anyway) altogether, and so avoid incurring the consequences.

The only other instance I can think of offhand, actually, is Ryma, once she is made (or, broken) into being the damane Pura; Suroth (or someone) comments at some point that they were unable to force her to say white is black no matter how badly she was punished. Though of course the cause and effect of “consequences” may be a tad bit reversed, there, so I don’t know that it actually counts.

It also makes me want to bash Suroth’s (or whoever’s) face in a little, but that’s another rant. Not that this is actually a rant, but you know what I mean. Hopefully.

Sheriam: Whew. Talk about dodging a bullet, eh? Several commenters have opined that Sheriam may not yet be Black at this point, and it’s perfectly possible she’s not, but even so it’s still a very good thing she wasn’t clued in to the whole Dragon Reborn hunt thing at this point, or ever.

Oh, yes, and there’s a mention of men who “don’t like women at all” in this chapter. Yay. Clap. Clap. Clap.

And that’s our show, y’all! Have a delightful weekend, and I’ll see you Tuesday!

lake sidey
1. lakesidey
Anyone remember what happened of the whole Ries Gorthanes storyline? I don't think we hear from him ever again.

Also, I guess Sierin was the only one who explicitly knew Moiraine had gone off against orders at this point, and she's soon going to have her hands full with powerful AS dropping dead. And then she follows suit, and in the ensuing chaos I hardly think people are going to remember a little running away - especially if Moiraine waits a couple of five years before going back (by then she'll be higher than anyone left in the tower except Lelaine). I suspect Siaun would have got into more trouble than Moiraine, because she ran away from Cetalia, who is still presumably alive when she gets back...

Edit: Oh, and we're getting back to Lan next chapter. Can't wait! Enough of dresses...

Heidi Byrd
2. sweetlilflower
Thanks Leigh! I always liked the discussion about the dresses as well, but there really isn't much to say except, "don't piss of your dressmaker!"
Dorothy Johnston
3. CloudMist
I always thought that it was not so much the ornateness of the dress Moraine wore to the Amyrlin's funeral that made it a penance as the fact that it was very form-fitting, with the elaborate embroidery serving to emphasize that fit. Given how reserved Cairheinin(sp?) are in public, that would really make it a penance.
Kat Blom
4. pro_star
Just a thought - didn't this Ries Gorthanes show up in TEOTW as watching Rand in...oh goodness it's been too long...Barleon? or before? and Moiraine and Lan both kind of shrug it off?

Very strange. If he was after Moiraine's Cairhienin connections and possibility as being on the throne, why would he be watching (and scowling at) Rand?

Happy Friday everyone!
Richard Chapling
5. Chappers
The Fifth I give you!

(always wanted to say that...)

Oh, content. "exodus", as we all know, is Latinized from the Greek ??????, which has plural ??????. The Latin plural is therefore exodi, since the word is second declension. (Oh how I love Latin...)

And I see the comment software can't handle Greek...
6. iamnotspam
If they were going to do an ebook of New Spring what moment of awsomeness would you want to see? I know there are several to come but I thought one of Moraine on a ship looking back at the tower might make one. A certain pond would be great but I think it would be hard to use on a cover. Maybe passing her test but as she was clad in the light that might also cause problems. What do yall think?
7. Jfh
In tGH chapter 4 "Summoned", Moiraine puts on her shawl to meet with the Amyrlin, so at some point she has returned to the WT, or someone brought her shawl to her. Or, I suppose, she could have had another one made.
8. flodros
Hi Leigh, missed you on tuesday, hope everythings OK?

"I’m not entirely clear on this, but I have to imagine that she never once came back in the intervening years between this moment and the start of TEOTW (or, actually, any point since then too)"

IIRC in TGH when Moraine is walking with Anaiya and Liandrin, Anaiya says something along the lines of " only two visits to the tower in the past twenty years".

"Have we ever seen any other Aes Sedai get affected by violating the First Oath as strongly as Siuan does here?"

Also Beonin when Egwene discovers her in the tower. "Me, I have betrayed noth..." or something. Not quite as violent as Siuan's, agreed, but maybe still the next most visable in the series.
9. halibulu
Moiraine definitely travels back to the tower and stays for a time on at least a few occasions. We get this from Gawyn's musings in TGS after his fight with Steele that Steele had managed to best Lan in sword practice 2 or 3 times "back when Lan still practiced with the other Warders." Ha, apparently our beloved Lan became so skilled he was better off practicing solo or just going into the blight to kill shadowspawn than wasting time with Warders.
Daniel Smith
10. Smittyphi
I don't remember anything about Ries Gorthanes either. I wonder if Moiraine is ever thought to be black because she left and other Aes Sedai were killed shortly thereafter. The whole "running makes you look guilty" thing and all could be pretty bad for her

Thanks for the post Leigh
11. flodros
@cloudmist #3

"I always thought that it was not so much the ornateness of the dress Moraine wore to the Amyrlin's funeral that made it a penance as the fact that it was very form-fitting, with the elaborate embroidery serving to emphasize that fit. Given how reserved Cairheinin(sp?) are in public, that would really make it a penance. "

I actually thought it was the paleness of the dress that discomforted Moraine. Doesn't she make a conscious decision to wear the lightest of the dresses? It's be a while so please correct me if I'm wrong.

As to why a pale dress would be frowned apon I'm not sure.
Birgit F
12. birgit
I actually thought it was the paleness of the dress that discomforted Moraine. Doesn't she make a conscious decision to wear the lightest of the dresses? It's be a while so please correct me if I'm wrong.

She wore a pale dress because white is the color of mourning.

If Sheriam can't avoid hinting that she has a secret, how did she keep the secret of being BA?

Moiraine must have returned to the Tower to get her angreal.
DA Ford
13. Ford75
Yes, as pointed out there were comments about Moir returning to the tower several times over the next 20 years.

Also on the "Violating the First Oath" we had Pevra trying to make one of the 'ferrets' retract the statement about the Red being behind Logain who almost choked to death because of the conflicting oaths.
Chris Chaplain
14. chaplainchris1
@4 pro_star - not according to the Encyclopedia (, which says we've only seen Gorthanes in New Spring. I'm not sure what incident you might be referring to - doesn't ring a bell. The only encounters I remember in Baerlon where with Whitecloaks and a myrdraal.

Resurgence in the Tower - ok, 3 promising new sisters (in terms of strength in the Power) raised in 2 weeks, that's good. But no new Accepted, and *21* novices sent home?!??!

Let's see, according to our numbers from NS chapter 3, there were "fewer than a hundred" novices, and fewer than 20 of them would test for Accepted. Now we know there are fewer than 80 novices, and fewer than 19 of them will test for Accepted. 20 years later, when Egwene and Nynaeve come to the Tower, there are fewer than 40 novices (including Elayne!), only 8 or 9 of whom will become Accepted.

Resurgence? Methinks there's some wishful thinking going on there, Aes Sedai. To say nothing of how much it sucks that Ellid just disappears/dies and is never spoken of again. (Esp. since she wanted to bond six Warders and fight in Tarmon Gaidon - we could use some of that!)

(Btw - continuity glitch? Wasn't Myrelle supposed to be a novice during the Aiel War? But she's Accepted here, supposedly became Accepted in the same year as Moiraine and Siuan, who were Accepted for only 3 years...and doesn't the Aiel War only last 2 years?)

Oh, and Leigh, I'd totally missed the app. of Ryma Galfrey here. Now I'm all depressed.

Speaking of Sheriam and dodging bullets, I'm a little behind in this re-read - I'm on the chapter where Moiraine and Siuan are writing down names, and SEVEN different Sitters come to get Moiraine's thoughts on the Sun Throne. Even knowing it's coming, I jumped a bit when Jarna Secret Head of the Black Ajah Malari walks in on her. Plus, another Sitter who walks in on her is Tsutama Rath, who may not be Black, but is the scariest kind of Red. Pevara thinks she may be unbalanced, she's apparently going to be neck deep in "the Vileness" which is going to include unlawful attacks on men who can channel (rather than carrying 'em to Tar Valon for gentling judicially) and, presumably, she's complicit in the Red Ajah's murder of Sierin Vayu.

(I also now find myself wondering why the Blue Sitter who speaks to Moiraine isn't named. Not that it matters a lot, but I'd be interested to know if it's Eadyth or Lelaine. As opposed to the other one...Anlee?)

So, I'd been wondering over the last day or so why the Hall thought it was a good idea to put Moiraine on a throne, given how badly it's apparently gone for other Aes Sedai queens. But when two of those apparently pushing for it are Tsutama and Jarna - yikes. Let my Moiraine go, indeed.

Interesting speculation about Moiraine's fleeing the tower and long-term consequences. I do definitely have the impression that Moiraine has been back to the Tower briefly at some time between New Spring and 20 years later, but such visits must have been few and uncomfortable. I wonder if she waited for Siuan to be raised Amyrlin? Or for Eadyth to die? Since, after disobeying the Amyrlin, disobeying the Head of your Ajah must be the next biggest offense, not to mention ticking off a good chunk of the Hall.

Anyway, it may shed some light on why, in TGH, the Hall is so ambivalent toward Moiraine, and so reluctant to let Siuan as Amyrlin go speak to her without lots of escorts and lots of awkwardness. And it may even shed light on Siuan being deposed. If Moiraine is viewed as an unreliable loose cannon who can't be trusted to fall in with the Hall's plans, then it may explain the Hall being less than thrilled to hear from Siuan that she knew who the Dragon Reborn was, and she'd entrusted him to Moiraine's guidance. Sounds like the kind of thing that Alviarin and Elaida could have used to convince many in the Hall that Siuan had already mishandled the Dragon Reborn and should be removed.
TW Grace
15. TWGrace
First Oath: Have we ever seen any other Aes Sedai get affected by violating the First Oath as strongly as Siuan does here?

Teslyn's in WH is pretty close:

She inhaled deeply. “If you do help me escape, I will do anything you ask of me that does not encompass treasonto the White—” Her teeth snapped shut, and she sat up straight, staring right through him. Abruptly, she nodded to herself. “Help me escape, and I will do anything you ask of me,” she said.
Chris Chaplain
16. chaplainchris1
On Moiraine's return to Tar Valon - others have already clarified this, but Moiraine's been there to get her angreal, at some point; to set up for passing Lan's bond to Myrelle; and at some point Lan carried her to Anaiya to be Healed, presumably that happened in Tar Valon. So she's been back a few times. Don't have TGH handy to dig out exactly what Anaiya says to Moiraine about how long it's been since she visited, and in this case the summary from the Encyclopedia doesn't help.
17. pwl
I'm not sure what incident you might be referring to - doesn't ring a bell. The only encounters I remember in Baerlon where with Whitecloaks and a myrdraal.
As I recall, in Baerlon there was a man with an obvious scar on his face who notified the Whitecloaks of Alys's presence. Plenty of facial scars in the WoT, though, there was no real hint that it was the same person. I'm tempted to go back and check to see how he was described, but Rand wouldn't know enough at that point to recognize someone as Cairhienin so there's likely no information on possible nationalities.

Teslyn's in WH is pretty close:
Not a fan of that one; at least, not in tying the pause to the First Oath. The set of actions that emcompasses anything he asks of her is a superset of the set of actions that encompass treason to the White Tower that he asks of her. As such, her original statement is at worst a "lie by omission", and we have plenty of evidence that those are not stopped short by the First Oath.

Beonin and the ferrets is are pretty good examples.
lake sidey
18. lakesidey
@11 flodros: The paleness is something she tried to argue the seamstress out of, but that may be because (except for the White Ajah of course) white seems to be the colour of mourning. She would have preferred darker blues (especially as she plans to do mucho travelling and travelling (with a small t) is not kind to light colours...even if you can channel stuff clean). What discomfits her most is that after wearing it she realises that it is very revealing (in the sense of form-fitting) and she is not comfortable with that (at this point in her life). Also, deliberately wearing a revealing dress to a funeral says plenty of things about one, most of them bad (which is why she gets lots of dubious glances - she considers it 'mortification of the spirit' as well).

@12 Birgit: Sheriam would be constrained by the dark oath till the hour of her death. Of course, she didn't reveal anything even just before being killed, so....mayhap her gossipy nature is over-rated?

@10 Smittyphi: Probably she isn't in much danger of that, since the rest of the tower doesn't believe in the existence of the Black Ajah (with the exception of the BA themselves of course!) Of course, Cadsuane and Moiraine each suspect the other of possibly being Black....(will they meet at the Fields of Merrilor? I wish...)

@6 iamnotspam: I am sure there are artistic ways of not showing anything. But I prefer the pond scene anyway. Or how about the scene where Lan beats 6 guys? (and that, before he has become the kickass guy who has 5-2 type records against the best other warders around (Hi Sleete!). I mean at this point Ryme is better than him...)

Sydo Zandstra
19. Fiddler

IIRC in TGH when Moraine is walking with Anaiya and Liandrin, Anaiya says something along the lines of " only two visits to the tower in the past twenty years".

The first visit probably was close after bonding Lan, to get him that not-so-shiny Warder Cloak, and to have his name added to the Warder Lists (if something like exists).

Which makes me wonder about Sleete, that Warder that Gawyn was talking to who was said to have beaten Lan in two out of seven sparrings .

That must have happened on the road, or we have ourselves a little slip here. Personally, with Moiraine being as sociable towards other AS as she seems to be, I'd bet on the latter option. ;-)
Brandon Daggerhart
20. TankSpill
@1 Is that the assassin you're talking about? If so, maybe it would have been covered in one of the other prequels.

@leigh - I think Moiraine has to have gone back to the Tower at some point. She has an angreal that I'm pretty sure she didn't steal just now. Also, Lan knows about Tar Valon, and he presumably woulnd't unless he had visited. Just some thoughts.

And what is that chapter symbol all about?
Kat Blom
21. pro_star
to pwl @ 17: yep, that's who I'm thinking of. Sadly, my books are at home, and I'm at the office (except TSR...I'm letting one of my bosses borrow it lol) so I can't verify...but they just seemed to be described similar to my recollection.
22. sixthlight

"As to why a pale dress would be frowned apon I'm not sure."

We know that (high-status) Cairhienin overwhelmingly favour very dark-coloured clothing, so it could be something cultural about pale clothing being considered unsuitable or unbecoming.
Birgit F
23. birgit
The scars are not the same:

The only unsmiling face he saw was on a man huddled by one of the fireplaces, and that fellow had a scar that crossed his whole face from one temple to the opposite jaw, giving his nose a slant and drawing the corner of his mouth down.
"There's a fellow been staring at me," Mat said. "A man with a scar across his face. You don't think he could be a ... one of the friends you warned us about?"
"Like this?" Rand said, drawing a finger across his nose to the corner of his mouth.

EotW ch. 17
He was not pretty, but good-looking despite the scar at the corner of his left eye. And he was very tall for a Cairhienin, close to two paces.

NS ch. 14
25. Psionandon
@12 Birgit

I'm assuming she hated the pale dresses the most because she is so fair-skinned; they'd wash her out completely. So I guess she thought "I thought something tacky, I should look tacky at the funeral" or something.
Alice Arneson
26. Wetlandernw
As others have said, Moiraine hasn't been gone from the WT ever since this chapter, but it's a fair bet she didn't go back until Sierin Vayu was dead, so about 5 years at the least.

Re: the Tower dwindling, Moiraine is not the only one bothered about it, as you'll find in Chapter 17. Part of the problem, as you see in that chapter, is that with age and strength being taboo as far as discussion topics, no one can bring themselves to talk about it. For many of them, since it's such a "don't talk" subject, they have psyched themselves not to think about it, either.

Agree re: the chapter icon. I'd never noticed it, but... Yikes.

Sheriam... relief indeed. I had forgotten that, and when Siuan suggested it, obviously I knew they hadn't, but I was still relieved when Moiraine brought up the (very plausible) reason that she's too gossipy - not that she'd deliberately give it away, but that she's one of those "I know something you don't know" people who inevitably leave too many clues. Which fits her character, I think, and probably even fits with her rationale for joining the BA. And that would be too big a secret to even think of letting slip, because if you do you're dead.

lakesidey @1 - Ries Gorthanes is mentioned later, because every time Moiraine is worried about a close call, she's never sure whether it's the Tower or Gorthanes looking for her. I don't recall that he's ever identified or shut down, though.

pro_star @4 - No, no mention of Gorthanes outside of NS.

chaplainchris1 @14 - I think you're right, and it's a continuity glitch re: Myrelle.

@several re: pale dresses, you might also note that Cairhienin typically dress in dark colors, so it's not natural to Moiraine to wear light colors, especially now that she's out of novice/Accepted white. So the dressmaker's insistence that she should dress in light colors is personally annoying, but she has to put up with it (read the chapter if that doesn't make sense). So the lightest dress is her least favorite, along with all the embroidery. Then when she puts it on (chosen because it's the closest thing she has to white, the color of mourning), she realizes that the embroidery isn't at all innocent (as she had assumed) and she decides to wear it anyway, taking the humiliation as a private penance. If you'd pick up your book and read one paragraph, you'd know all that. (And if you don't have your book handy, try the preview on google books. It's really quite easy to use.)

TankSpill @20 - the chapter icon is the triangle to which the Aes Sedai were strapped to be birched (i.e. beaten with a birch switch) as punishment for whatever it was Sierin had them punished for.
lake sidey
27. lakesidey
@26 Wet: Yes I know he keeps popping up in NS for a while - I gave up on pacing the re-read and finished the book. I meant, outsides of NS, do we ever find out who he is and what is his deal? He seems a dangerous person....but absolutely no resolution of his storyline. (Given Jordan's Law of Character Conservation I wouldn't be surprised if he pops up in aMoL!)

28. KiManiak
Thanks Leigh.

Yeah, the politics in Chapter 13 are pretty much the only things really worthy of note, that I can recall. For some reason, how to properly order a dress in a fantasy setting never held much interest for me…

Poor Ellid. I like the fact that Moiraine keeps here alive in her thoughts. I would assume that some of Ellid's other friends probably did the same; we just don't get their POV.

Interesting that Siuan wanted to add Sheriam to their hunt. Put me on the “Sheriam’s not Black yet” team. Since we know that one does not join the Black Ajah until after she becomes Aes Sedai, it would be likely that Sheriam hadn’t become Black yet (it was, what, about 2 weeks or so since she gained the shawl?).

Who knows; maybe being part of this search for the Dragon would have seemed important enough to sate Sheriam's thirst for ambition and power, and maybe she would have stayed with Team Light. Of course, if she was already a Darkfriend, then our girls would’ve been screwed and this whole story would have never happened. But Sheriam’s reasons for joining the BA (from what I recall in TGS) had to do with gathering more power and ambition and was more pragmatic then being attributed to a type of meanstreak; she didn’t seem like one of those eternally cruel people like Katerine or Chesmal. So I'm choosing to use that as a rationale that Sheriam wasn't a Darkfriend before going to the Tower (yes, I know it's incredibly flawed logic).

As for Moiraine escaping the Tower, yeah that probably was decided by RJ post-TGH. And since numerous people have already noted that Moiraine had returned to the Tower at least once (for the angreal and Lan's cloak), if not many times, I won't expand on that either.

We have a Lan sighting , coming up soon!
Patricia Bauler
29. tshania_sedai
As to the dress issue: I believe it says in NS (or perhaps the big white book? I can't remember where, but I know I read it) that for funerals AS customarily wear white, and channel fire/spirit etc. to cremate the body. The exception is the White Ajah, since they wear white all the time, they add touches of black to the funerial garb (I believe black ribbons or something like that). Moiraine is confused as to why they would do this I think, but really, it should be obvious that they don't want to look like they just showed up and that they are doing something to honor the dead.

So basically, Moiraine hates pale dresses in general because Cairheinian style is very subdued and dark. The seamstress punishes her rudeness by making the pale tight dresses first. Moiraine wears the palest so it will be close to the "white" for the funeral service, but it also happens to be the tightest and lowest cut, which she chooses to wear as a pennace for her rather practical though callous thoughts. Basically, I imagine she looked something like a strumpet trying to get a hook up at the funeral, which causes the other AS to give her a look (which means total gossip, rumors, and stigma) and mortifies her Cairheinian sensibilities.

Also, Moiraine did go back to the Tower twice during the in-between times, probably when Suian was raised as there would be partying and all the pardoning that didn't happen when Sierin gets raised. Good to have friends in high places indeed.
30. Darth Touma

Thanks for the reminder of that. For some reason, the description of that scar is very reminiscent of the scar Lews Therin gave Sammael (the one he refused to Heal until he defeated him or some such nonsense).

Does anyone remember that description? Seamas Gallagher drew a Sammael with that very same scar here:

However, if it WAS Sammael, why did he not raise holy hell and kill everyone in the group then and there?
Alice Arneson
31. Wetlandernw
lakesidey @27 - there's a pretty good chance that "Ries Gorthanes" wasn't even his real name, so I doubt we'll see him again. JMO.

Another thought on Moiraine's return to the Tower; if Sierin did let anyone know about Moiraine's truancy, it may have been pardoned when Marith Jaen was raised. She seems to have been slightly more sane reasonable than Sierin; at least, we only know that she exiled Red Sitters, and that for the role of the Red Ajah in The Vileness. (So they deserved it. So there.)
Benjamin Moldovan
32. benpmoldovan
Re: Sheriam, whew, close one indeed. Her being gossipy, such a small thing for the fate of the world to ride upon. Yikes!

Luke M
33. lmelior
Was there a reason Moiraine could not have been pardoned by Siuan when she was raised?

We found out in the New Spring novella that Kari Al'Thor was on Moiraine's list of names (if I'm not mistaken, that info is not in this novel), so Sheriam finding out could have been very bad indeed. Especially since a Myrddraal spotted Rand even before Moiraine and Lan showed up. That's what the third prequel was going to cover, by the way - Moiraine and Lan showing up just in time.
Joseph Blaidd
34. SteelBlaidd
Off to new things.

Compleatly understand eventfulness. As of Tuesday I'm looking for a new job.
craig thrift
35. gagecreedlives
When Egwene was raised to the Amrylin Seat doesnt she as part of the ritual cancel all penances and punishments (or was that only for novices and accepted)? That could explain why she could revisit the Tower and not suffer any punishment for disobedience. Or Siuan could of just said you will be punished but at a place and time of my choosing and thats the end of it.

And Sheriam joining the Black for ambition makes sense but instead of thinking of the Blacks Great Council as something like this

makes me think of it as more like this

Sam Mickel
36. Samadai
RE: Sheriam

Whose to say that Sheriam would have joined team dark if she was included in the search. she only joined for ambitions sake. What is more ambitious than helping to find the Dragon Reborn.

We don't even know that she was evil, and in fact most likely wasn't even aware of the group she was joining until it was too late to not join. I rather doubt that with the exception of a few, most of the sisters wanted to become Black Ajah. It was probably exactly how Verin described it. They were recruited by watchers, who looked for ambitious AS, those who are looking for the non-normal ways to get ahead in the tower. they tell those recruits about a group of a few people who are trying to create a plan that will give them the powere they want.

Probably at first the new AS has no idea that the group is the new heart she has been assigned to, by the time she figures out that these people aren't what they represented themselves to be, it's too late, join or die time. This is even bore out by both Verin and Sheriam, Sheriam said she joined the group to get power, nothing about wanting to serve the darkone or forsaken, let alone the possible end of time.
37. pwl
Since we know that one does not join the Black Ajah until after she becomes Aes Sedai
Citation, please? We know no such thing, unless you're drawing a distinction between "darkfriend channeler who is not an AS" and "darkfriend channeler who is an AS". Liandrin, for one, was a darkfriend channeler before she was AS. As far as I can tell, "one does not join the Black Ajah until she is Aes Sedai" is pure fanon. A lot of people say it, but it doesn't have grounding in the books or interviews. Channelers are actively searched for among Darkfriends, to send them to Tar Valon. It may be that they do not actively recruit Novices or Accepted until they gain the shawl (this is somewhat implied by one of his Questions of the Week), but that does not mean there are no Darkfriend Novices or Accepted.

Of course, this is more of an academic point. Sheriam would not be Black, since she joined for ambition and likely would not have hit the point where she felt she needed the boost being Black provided until she was AS for some time. Being a relatively strong channeler, that initial privilege would have carried her for some time before the people remaining higher than her led to seeking another path to influence and power.
Richard Chapling
38. Chappers
And now I'm trying to come up with a Horatio-esque one-liner for them finding Tamra's body. And for some reason was reminded of this when Moiraine said she was going for a ride... somehow I suspect she didn't tie up her horse in the middle of a field and calmly walk away as it exploded, though...

It's interesting that even in the seemingly monoreligious society, there are different funeral and burial rites: the Shienarians have their very basic ceremony (TGH, ch10), in the Two Rivers they bury the dead (TSR, ch40 etc.), and they bury dead in Saldaea (LoC, ch2 - Bashere's remarks about digging graves for oak trees) and yet here we see cremation, and Min's vision of Rand on a funeral bier.

And one odd thing in Chapter 14:

Immediately, she embraced saidar, and everything became clearer in her sight, sharper. The effect was not so good as a fine looking glass

A looking glass is a mirror, according to the OED...
39. KiManiak
pwl@37 – I didn’t say that there were no non-Aes Sedai channelers who might be a Darkfriend. Just that one could not join the Black Ajah until they were Aes Sedai. I don’t have the books with me (and apparently I’m not as handy with googlebooks as Wet is) so I can’t cite the exact source (although I think its made mention of in TGS, but I’m not sure).

But, let’s look at it logically: How would any channeler be able to join an Ajah if they are not an Aes Sedai? A Windfinder couldn’t decide that she wants to join the Green; a Wise One couldn’t just expect to join the Red. They would have to become an initiate of the Tower, go through the Novice & Accepted stages, and then become an Aes Sedai.

So, a Darkfriend channeler wouldn’t become an Aes Sedai just because they want to. They would have to go through the ranks. A Novice and Accepted can’t be a member of the Black Ajah, because if they swore the 3 Dark Oaths, they would’ve acquired the ageless face. Also, Aes Sedai are pretty hard on anyone who claims to be or wants to be a member of any of their Ajahs and hasn’t passed the test to acquire the shawl.

So I think it’s a safe assumption to make that one can’t be Black Ajah until they are Aes Sedai first.

I do agree with your statement that there are likely Darkfriend Novices & Accepteds…
Captain Hammer
40. Randalator
pwl @37

Word of God indicates that the Black Ajah does indeed only recruit full sisters:

In the White Tower, Black sisters watch novices and Accepted closely for any indication that they might be leaning toward the Shadow or susceptible to the promises of the Shadow. They also watch other sisters, since people do change. Not every Black sister was recruited on the day she gained the shawl nor soon after.

(TOR Question of the Week via 13th Depository)
That implies that the Black Ajah usually monitors Novices and Accepted and recruits them soon after they gained the shawl or occasionally older sisters if they have a change of heart.

Which makes sense if you think about it. You wouldn't want to have initiates of the Tower running around who know about the most secret of Darkfriend societies and are not bound by oaths not to betray them accidentally or otherwise. But you can't bind them until they're Aes Sedai, so there...
41. pwl

Uh, I referred to that question/answer in my post. My point is people are saying "Sheriam can't be black, she's not AS yet", which is straight wrong. I offered Liandrin. The books are explicit that she was a Darkfriend before going to the Tower. She was thus a Black channeler during both her Novice and Accepted years. Therefore, Novices and Accepted can be Black. If you're going to contradict me, please at least read what I said first...

I don't argue with that. As I said, you could be pointing out that there's a difference between "DF channeler" and "DF channeler that is also AS". But that is somewhat tangential as to whether Sheriam was of the Dark at any particular juncture. Otherwise people are just using unabashed circular reasoning when saying things like "Sheriam can't be Black, since she's not AS yet". It's the same as saying "Sheriam's not an Aes Sedai yet because she's not an Aes Sedai yet". Since that's a waste of text, I was assuming the larger implication of her not Serving the Shadow was meant. My apologies if I misunderstood.
42. joe heron i really dont get it. What is this adamant need for leigh to see homosexual's(more specifically male homosexuality) repersented? if its a general sense of being PC than why no extend it to transexuals as well? why arent there eunichs? surely in our real world context, eunichs spans monarch cultures as much as anything else. where are the people with the native (north and south) americans features? its odd, i feel the same way about leigh as she does to jordan. good writer with respect expect for this area.
Chris Chaplain
43. chaplainchris1
@37 pwl - in the first place, the distinction you mention (darkfriend channeler who is AS, darkfriend channeler who is not) is highly apropos, b/c by definition that's what the Black Ajah are - an Ajah of Aes Sedai sworn to the Dark One. You can't be Black Ajah until being made Aes Sedai, therefore, since Black Ajah are by definition Aes Sedai.

I also believe there's a passage to the effect that the Black doesn't directly approach girls until after they achieve the shawl - presumably so they can be bound by the Oaths - but I can't find mention of it in the Encyclopedia, so at the moment that's neither here nor there.

At the same time, I'd like a citation from you on the statement that the Dark actively seeks out channelers and sends them to the Tower. Intriguing thought, but not one I remember encountering (other than through the Black Tower, at least!).

Nevertheless, that's not at all the same as saying there are no DFs among the ranks of novices and Accepted - of course there are, and Liandrin was one. There are likely others. But like you, I doubt Sheriam was one, yet. As you say, she joined to get ahead in White Tower politics, and likely she's not yet frustrated enough to do so. Though she might chafe in some ways at only being a student, in a more sinister way than Nicola's. It's strange, to me, that her ambition was enough to get her involved with the Blacks, given her great strength in the Power. But perhaps her friendship with Siuan and Moiraine was colored by jealousy - I wonder if she was jealous of Siuan being raised Amyrlin, even if it did result in her own elevation to Mistress of Novices?

But back to the question - does the Black Ajah recruit from the ranks of novices and Accepted? (Which is a separate issue from Liandrin, who was a Darkfriend before becoming to the Tower. The question isn't if Darkfriends ever come to the Tower; it's whether the Black Ajah looks for likely novices and Accepted and seeks to turn them.) In a sense, of course they do - at least, I'm sure they evaluate just the same way all the Ajahs do. But I doubt they openly approach a girl until she can be bound by the Oath Rod.
Captain Hammer
44. Randalator
pwl @41

As far as I can tell, "one does not join the Black Ajah until she is Aes Sedai" is pure fanon.

That is what I commented on, to demonstrate that the idea of Black Ajah only recruiting full Aes Sedai is not just fanon. I never even touched on the issue of darkfriend Novices and Accepted so the "please read first" goes right back to you... ;)
Captain Hammer
45. Randalator
joe heron @42

It's not about PC specifically. It's about why we have frequently seen female couples but so far no male couples, only oblique references that male homosexuality exists. Somewhere. Where no one has to see it. Ooooh, lesbians.

It's a bit "Author Appeal"-ish to introduce homosexuality but then only go for the hot girl-on-girl stuff.
46. KiManiak
Hey pwl,

I think we may be saying a lot of the same things here (although you may disagree about at least one of my points, which I’ll discuss more below), but just to clarify:

I was making two assumptions that are not 100% supported by text: 1) Sheriam was not a member of the Black Ajah before she became Aes Sedai; and 2) Sheriam was most likely not a Darkfriend before she became Aes Sedai.

1) I think I broke down my rationalization for assumption 1 in my post@39. I don’t think its all that circular; being a member of the Black Ajah is a very specific group. You have to be Aes Sedai, sworn the 3 Dark Oaths, be a member of a “heart,” etc. For instance, Semirhage is/was Aes Sedai, but she would probably kill anyone who claimed she was Black Ajah. Probably the same with Lanfear, Mesaana, etc. So, again, it’s a very select group.

2) Sheriam identifies her main rationale for joining the Black Ajah as seeking power, being ambitious. I interpreted (so this is very challengeable, I’ll grant you) that to mean that she assessed her status in the AS hierarchy, and either decided or was recruited/convinced that in order to ascend quickly in the Tower she should join the Black Ajah. Up until the days of the Dragon, the BA appeared to spend most of their time doing minor dark deeds, like striking out at their enemies or those who would oppose them. I got the impression that Sheriam didn’t swear to the Great Lord because she believed he should rule the world. I saw her joining the BA as similar to Verin, she was intrigued, found herself into something that she wasn’t fully expecting, and (different from Verin) decided to make the most out of it.

Anyway, like I said, this is somewhat open to interpretation and we can have differing opinions about it. I just think that Sheriam wasn’t Black Ajah (or even a Darkfriend) at the time that Siuan and Moiraine were thinking about approaching her.
47. evinfuilt

Sheriam would be constrained by the dark oath till the hour of her death. Of course, she didn't reveal anything even just before being killed, so....mayhap her gossipy nature is over-rated?

As Brandon Sanderson ended up using in Mistborn, the known gossip can actually be the best collector of secrets.

48. JimF
14. chaplainchris1
"...Anyway, it may shed some light on why, in TGH, the Hall is so ambivalent toward Moiraine, and so reluctant to let Siuan as Amyrlin go speak to her without lots of escorts and lots of awkwardness. And it may even shed light on Siuan being deposed. If Moiraine is viewed as an unreliable loose cannon who can't be trusted to fall in with the Hall's plans, then it may explain the Hall being less than thrilled to hear from Siuan that she knew who the Dragon Reborn was, and she'd entrusted him to Moiraine's guidance. Sounds like the kind of thing that Alviarin and Elaida could have used to convince many in the Hall that Siuan had already mishandled the Dragon Reborn and should be removed...."

That's an interesting take. While @1.lakesidey thought "...Still, I tend to doubt Jordan had worked out that Moiraine’s departure from the Tower was quite this insubordinate early on in the series...."

I doubt that greatly. Insubordination is something the Army understands implicitly, and Jordan wouldn't write of an AS going AWOL without a full perspective of it. But AWOL is a matter of fact and it is a matter of rank. For privates it's a court-martial; for officers (which Moir is) it's either a court-martial (depending on the superior officer) or a severe ass-chewing (and I don't mean that in any prurient way).

Sierin would have court-martialed her; Siuan may actually have chewed her out (and certainly will have given that impression to others, although she knows what Moir was doing). But the other officers (AS) could be in several camps over this; some want to see her get clobbered; others think Sierin was a twit, and wish they had run away, too, and so support Moir - or are not anxious to see her skinned.

This all strikes me as reality-based.
49. JimF
46.KiManiak "...I saw her joining the BA as similar to Verin, she was intrigued, found herself into something that she wasn’t fully expecting, and (different from Verin) decided to make the most out of it...."

Well that's certainly what brought Verin into the fold, although she never bought into the program. Poor Sheriam did. One died honorably, the other a criminal - at least in Randland's belief system (and mine!).

I think many face these kinds of challenges, particularly in their youths. I think of the 50's when so many "communists" of the 30s and 40s opted out of that thought system and became founders or adopted other, more "conservative" (in earlier days, what would have been called "liberal" {funny how these terms mutate}) approaches to life, the universe and everything.
Alice Arneson
50. Wetlandernw
Chappers @38 - in many uses, including WoT, a "looking glass" is a simple spotting scope. A quick search in IdealSeek gives 87 results in WoT for "looking glass" and every single one of them refers to a hand-held scope, except in the case of the mondo versions Kin Tovere made for Rand, which were mounted on a tower where he could see the whole battlefield. It's a tube with glass lenses that you look through to see things far away. Incidentally, in WoT a mirror is called... a mirror. It's used at least 187 times.

Incidentally, everyone keeps talking like Siuan was raised Amyrlin when Sierin Vayu died, but there was another Amyrlin (Marith Jaen) in between. If most offenses are pardoned when a new Amyrlin is raised, Moiraine should have (if needed) been pardoned at that time, 5 years before Siuan was raised.

pwl @ several - The problem is that you kept using the term "Black" which, in common usage here, means "Black Ajah" rather than mere Darkfriend. Therefore, a novice or Accepted can be a Darkfriend, such as Liandrin, but cannot be called "Black" until she is formally inducted into the organization known as The Black Ajah and places herself under the direction of the Supreme Council and all that rot. As far as Sheriam is concerned, we have only our own opinions as to her allegiance at this juncture; we are not told, ever, anywhere, exactly when she turned to the Dark.
51. peachy
@48 - Just so; there's an infinitude of different feelings the AS could have about Moiraine's decision to bolt. One other factor to consider is that just because the Amyrlin and Hall wished her to become Queen doesn't mean that all AS thought this was a wise policy; a given sister (I'm thinking a Grey) might be glad that Moiraine scuppered that plan even while disapproving of her method.
Noneo Yourbusiness
52. Longtimefan
@ 42 Joe Heron

Please read every post and every comment in regards to the issue you bring up. If that does not help you understand then I would suggest reading them all a second time.

It really has been discussed quite thouroghly.

Also, please do not bring transexuals in with homosexuals. they have nothing to do with eachother but are to often lumped together from poor understanding more than relevance.
Ed Rafferty
53. BigBoy57
Regarding Borthanes - there is a character Barthanes in TGH - a darkfriend opponent of the King of Cairhien who invites Rand to a party. Could be where the confusion lies.
Ed Rafferty
54. BigBoy57
Sorry, should have been "Regarding Gorthanes", of course.
55. JimF
35.gagecreedlives: I sometimes agree with your take on the "Black Hall" as a bunch of drunken bumblers. However, now that Shaidar Haran is on the scene, it's more like the meeting of the manga(?) in Kill Bill 1? in which p.o.'d O-ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) stalks down the top of the long table, samurai sword in hand, and LOP! Dun!
Alice Arneson
56. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan @52 - If you read joe heron's post @42 a little more carefully, he really wasn't saying that transexuals were in any way "the same" as homosexuals. As I read it, he was just saying that if you're going to make a big PC deal about homosexuality, why not make a big PC deal about transexuals, eunuchs, and "native-American-featured" people too? The analogy could, of course, be extended in several directions; those were the ones he chose. I believe the point would be that if you're going to be upset that your particular PC issue (whatever it is) isn't addressed to your satisfaction in a fantasy novel, maybe you should relax a little. We all have our hot buttons, and not every author will deal with them a) at all or b) to our satisfaction. If it wasn't Robert Jordan's forte, why not just accept that and enjoy what he did well, instead of being so very (repeatedly) annoyed at what he did... less well?

joe heron - by all means correct me if I read you wrong!
Alice Arneson
57. Wetlandernw
gagecreedlives - Hey, I know you're from "down under" - are you not a New Zealander? And if so, did the big one hit you and yours? Glad to see you back here - I've been wondering, but haven't seen you for a couple of months.
craig thrift
58. gagecreedlives
Yeah its been a hectic year so far Wet but things are slowing down again now so will have more time for things like this here re-read. Hell who knows I may eventually even find something coherent and relevant to say.

And nope not a Kiwi. I shall try and not take any offence to that accusation :)

Thankfully the New Zealanders I do know are safe and to the best of my knowledge so are their families.
59. JimF
56.Wetlandernw: "...your particular PC issue..." Hahahahaha (thanks, J.Levy). All these choices that we have. But really, well said in that post. Goodness, let's read the books - or not - and enjoy them (and appreciate their author who thought them up, which you and I did not or could not) or else let's just deconstruct the hell out of them, and trash every little thing about them that doesn't meet our 99 billion (Arthur C. Clarke, I see you and raise you 10X) particular ideals/beliefs/fetishes/hangups/perversions/can you come up with more?

Did I say this before, W? Good post!
Alice Arneson
60. Wetlandernw
Thanks, gcl! Okay, so you're NOT our resident Kiwi. No offense intended. :) But it's been a while since you were here, so I'm still glad you're back. Also glad to know you weren't buried in an earthquake!
61. JimF
OOPs. Math can sometimes be a problem:

"...99 billion (Arthur C. Clarke, I see you and raise you 10X)..." Actually, I have to raise him 11 times (9 Billion X 'leben = 99 beeelion).
craig thrift
62. gagecreedlives
All good Wet. We should find out soonish who the resident Kiwi is when they reply insulted that you would associate them with me.

Also glad that I am not buried in an earthquake. At the very least I would have to change my username
63. JimF
@60. Wetlandrnw: Make them say "fish and chips". If they reply "fush and chups" you've got a Kiwi on your hands. They do have a delightful and different variation on the English language.

I lived in Oz for 4 years. I heard them all - Kiwis, South Africans, Rhodesians, Welch, Irish, Scots (some of whom nobody knew what they were saying, except if they laughed it was a joke); Pommies, Yanks, and of course Aussies (there are several distinct Australian accents). It was fun, but until you catch the cadences, pronunciations, and the ways the vowels are expressed (especially in a crowded, noisy bar) you spend a good deal of time saying "Beg pardon?".

I recall a time in London when my wife and I dined at a curry place with our friend and several of her male buddies, I was amazed by their discourse. Afterwards, I told my bride "They used a lot of 50-cent words."

I always found this the case in Oz (if not 50-cent words, flamboyant speech that simply boggled the mind). On one occasion my boss presented a talk to a bunch of Aussies. Afterwards one of the very best speakers of that latter group told me: "I love the command of the language that you Yanks have."

However it is said, this lingo we speak is special, spicy stuff. I doubt any language has ever been such a devourer of other languages and made-up bullshit as English.
Heidi Byrd
64. sweetlilflower
@Jim F. I always call English the "bastardized language" because it does not have a "true" parent language.
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
JimF - I don't have nearly the experience you do, but the funniest one I ever heard was the Swedish guy who'd transplanted to Australia. He spoke excellent English, but the accent was crazy. My husband had this weird work setup where half of his group were in Redmond (WA) and the other half in Australia. Two of them came here for a week or so, and my husband and I took them out for dinner. My husband didn't have it too bad, since he talked to these guys on the phone all the time, but my head was spinning! One straight-up Australian accent (seriously, he sounded just like the movies!) that was easy enough to understand as long as I was paying attention, and then the Swedish-accented English overlaid with 20 years of Australia. I spent a lot of time smiling and trying to look like I was following the whole conversation...

You know, I always assumed that the Seanchan drawl was something like the deep South, or maybe Texas. Maybe it was Australian, being far to the west and all...
Karen Baskins
66. kbaskins
@ 65. Wetlandernw

I just read something about WoT accents some time in the last couple of months. Indeed, Seanchan is like a Texas accent. I'll see if I can find the url.

Alexander Hatch
68. SpyderZH
The Seanchan accent was always weird to me, but the weirdest is Aiel, imo. Slavic? Now I'm picturing Bael and Rhuarc as the Terminator. "Come vith me if you vant to live, Rand al'Thor!"

Also, to resurrect an old argument, I figured Gorthanes was sent by a Cairhienin house to make sure Moiraine didn't take the throne and once House Damodred declared support for another house or Galldrian assumed the throne, Gorthanes was called off.
69. Jowolf
I'd always imagined Seanchan as Texan too, glad it seems I'm right :)

@SpyderZH - I'm with you on Gorthanes too, always thought of him as some minor Cairhienin functionary.

I am a kiwi, and have really appreciated the normality of catching up on the WoT reread this week - despite the fact that I'm much further north and everyone I know is safe, the quake has made us all really jumpy and I don't think anyone got much done last week other than watching endless news broadcasts. It's miserable, but somehow compelling.

Incidently, an Aussie accent couldn't be described as a drawl, more like a squeak ("feesh and cheeps")
lake sidey
70. lakesidey
@48 JimF: It wasn't me. The line you refer to is in Leigh's commentary, not my comment...

@61 JimF: Yes indeed, maths the eternal stumbling block. But yeah, I guess raising him a few X wouldn't hurt - India alone is reputed to have 33 billion Gods (including all the minor one who aren't explicitly named that is - but several thousand who are named for sure. Now that's a dramatis personae I suppose even RJ can't rival!)

@38 & 50: I always kind of hoped RJ would someday have a chapter titled "Through the looking-glass". Perhaps adding "and what Alise found there". I mean, that's so much cooler than "The craft of Kin Tovere"...;)

71. VoxOrange
As a note I think Moiraine does the visit the tower sometime - since she is in possession of a Angreal. (and this has been bugging me - what ever happened to it? Still in the docks Cairhien?)

As for the accent? She's right mate.
72. Mistress Elaine
SpyderZH 68, why would you picture Rhuarc and Bael sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger if the Aiel dialect is supposed to be Slavic in origin? Schwarzenegger is a native German speaker, and German is a not a Slavic language. Although I have to admit that the Terminator image made me chuckle...

I was amused to learn that the Illianer accent was supposed to be Dutch-inspired. There is nothing Dutch about the Illian dialect. Nothing whatsoever.

I always thought the Taraboner accent was French-derived. Interesting...
Thomas Keith
73. insectoid
Great post, Leigh! Had a bit of RL myself... felt under the weather for a day or two. Feeling better now.

Gorthanes: My mother is annoyed that he never shows up again, nor is it ever explained what happened to him. Though, the explanation suggested in the comments, of Galldrian ascending to the Sun Throne and Gorthanes no longer being needed, is a good enough one I suppose.

Siuan: Am I the only one who's chuckling my way through her scenes? She cracks me up. Dunno why... must be the fish(guts).

Also: Bye, Elaida! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Thank goodness they didn't share their secret with Sheriam. That could have been disasterous. Whether she is or isn't a Darkfriend right now isn't the point, folks—the fact of the matter is that she will be, and thus wouldn't matter either way.

Sierin: Is it ever explained why she does all these horrible things? Why would she banish and birch sisters? Just because she feels like it? Is never explained? And what a cheerful icon, too!

Moiraine's departure: I've been thinking about this for a while, and I will not believe that Moiraine never returns to the Tower in the unwritten-about 20-year period. For one thing, by TEotW, she has that angreal in her posession, and Siuan later chides her for keeping it so long. So my theory is that she went back to the Tower, briefly, sometime after Siuan was raised. Friends in high places, and all that.

First Oath: I'd swear there was a similar occurance on-screen in the main books, but for the life of me I can't remember when. Maybe I'm imagining things?

Time to catch up on comments. Hope I haven't rehashed too much. ::looking at the wall-o-text I wrote:: Hokey Smoke...

74. DarrenJL
We know Moiraine went back to the Tower/met other Aes Sedai because of how well known and respected Lan was by the other Gaidin, throughout the series. I forget whether he got his famous colour-shifting cloak in New Spring or not (would have to re-read it myself), but I'm thinking he didn't. So there's that proof as well. We also know from TEoTW that Lan is quite well versed in Warder ways and traditions, from his teaching them to Rand in Shienar. Warders are sorta known for keeping their traps shut, particularly to outsiders.
Captain Hammer
75. Randalator
Insectoid @73

re: Sierin
Because she's a fluffy, cuddly bundle of happy, that's why.

And now I have the image of Rhuarc bellowing "GET TO DA CHOPPA!" stuck in my head. Great.
Rob Munnelly
76. RobMRobM
OK - all this talk about Moirane's dress shopping makes clear to me that she visited Tar Valon during her two or three week mystery missing period at the start of TGH. One - she had to get all sorts of fancy clothes for Rand and no doubt would have gone to her favorite tailor shop. She couldn't have had them done just anywhere - it needed to be a place that she had known and worked with for a long time and had a record on which she could determine she could trust their discretion. Two - she had to dig up info on Tam, so could do research in TV or even in another City while the outfits were being made. That is all, thanks.

Not much else to say other than Song of Ice and Fire is coming out in July. Woot. And there's a good trailer that was released on Entertainment Weekly on Thursday. Very nice.

77. AndrewB
I find the juxtaposition that I will outline below interesting. Moiraine grew up in a palace surrounded by luxury. She had servants at the ready to perform whatever meanial taks she required.

Suian, on the hand, grew up in a poor and rough section of a city. Everything that Suian needed to do, she had to do herself.

Nevertheless, it is the rich girl who grew up in a sheltered environment who is capable of living on her own in the world at large. Moiraine had the skill to blend in easier with the general common folk. Most of the time she was wandering the land searching for the Dragon Reborn, she did not let people know she was an Aes Sedai.

Suian does escapes TV later in NS. However, had she not found Moiraine when she did, Suian may not have been able to survive much longer. (By survive, I mean find food and shelter. I do not mean escape from death from the Black Ajah). Suian (like Nyn in the series proper) is so stingy that she will be remembered by others. Thus, suseptible to being tracked.

Moiraine, however, knows enough of the world that she can move from place to place without being remarked upon.

As usual comments to the above are welcomed and appreciated That said, I do not mean this to be an open invitation to Wetlandernw (or others) to critique my grammer and/or spelling. While English is my native language (despite what it must sound like when somebody reads my posts), I do not profess to be a wordsmith. Strunk & White and I are not on the best of terms.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Chris Chaplain
79. chaplainchris1
@ 73 insectoid - agreed completely about Sheriam. While I do suspect that she's not formally a Darkfriend yet, I am also a little bemused by suggestions that she might have stayed on the straight and narrow if she'd been included in the hunt for the Dragon. This is a woman so petty and venal that she swore her soul to the Shadow to get ahead in offce politics. She's a Borderlander! She knows the reality of raids out of the Blight, Trolloc cookpots, and the Shadow's unending war on humanity. I'm sure she didn't expect this to be the time of the Last Battle (despite lots of portents) when she joined the Black, but the fall of Malkier occurred in living memory, and is attributable directly to ambition, Darkfriends, and Shadowspawn coming together. There is no excuse for any Borderlander to treat the Shadow lightly. I'd almost rather Sheriam be an evil psychopath than to sell out for such...small, petty reasons.

It's thoroughly human and plausible, of course. Good work from Team Jordan. But it speaks volumes to her (lack of) character. (So, for that matter, does her utter lack of composure during the time that Galina is beating her. Can you imagine Siuan or Moraine, or Egwene or Nynaeve, being so thoroughly cowed in so simple a way?) This woman is not made of the same stuff, and I've no doubt that, one way or another, telling her about Gitara's Foretelling would have been cataclysmically bad.

You may gave noticed I'm ranting a bit. I just noticed myself. I think it's because I see this kind of pettiness on a regular basis. But at least in my real life community, folks haven't been ignoring real, live Shadowspawn.

It's not even as if Sheriam has any reason to feel stifled. With her strength in the Power, she was already in the top ten in the Tower hierarchy...outside the Hall of the Tower, anyway. Again, I wonder what role jealousy of her supposed good friends Siuan and Moiraine played. Perhaps she was jealous of their strength, or their friendship, or Siuan's political skill and her rise to Amrylin?

I find it interesting to contrast Sheriam and Anaiya. Both Blues with some Brown leanings, both strong, both friends of Moiraine, but one genuinely nice and one a complete stinker.Whatever the case, thank goodness for Moiraine's paranoia! The Pattern and RJ knew what they were doing, having Siuan and Moiraine (and no one else) hunting for the Dragon.
Richard Chapling
80. Chappers
A couple of thoughts on the temperature-ignoring trick:

Does it actually work IRL? It's strange that it's only explained now, when the Supergirls were taught it in LoC...

Does Perrin (whose sharp hearing can presumably sense breathing) notice all the AS's unnaturally measured breaths? I suppose the same comment applies more to Elyas, since he's spent more time around AS...

And what happens while eating?
Valentin M
81. ValMar
What's UNODIR? Probably I'm being silly, I'm sure it's something blatantly obvious...
lake sidey
82. lakesidey
@81 ValMar: See the next three words in that post, blatanly obvious is understating it maybe? ;)

Valentin M
83. ValMar
lakesidey @ 82

Ah, I see. Not a simple acronym, but a "communist" one like we used to have in the good old days. Still love them in Russia and in anglo-saxon military, apparently. Never occured to me the 3 words following the 6 letter acronym were explaining it.

Anyway, THY for the explanation and excuse my stroppiness ;)
Sorcha O
84. sushisushi
You guys have pretty much covered what I was going to say in relation to Moiraine and the colour of her dresses. :)

Tshania_sedai@29 The bit about the White wearing black ribbons to funerals is in this chapter, actually.

The funniest line in these chapters is Moiraine dealing with Siuan's lack of dressmaker nous and being very happy that they are not dealing with a hairdresser, as they are proper tyrants.

chaplainchris1@43 The thing about Sheriam is that she supposedly joined the Black Ajah to get ahead in Tower politics, right? But, as you say, that burning ambition is rather odd, considering that she is one of the more powerful channelers in the White Tower, so she would stand quite high in the Tower hierarchy from the moment she was raised. We don't know what she was doing for the ten years afterwards, but she is raised to Mistress of Novices after only ten years wearing the shawl, which is remarkable in itself. Or at least, would be remarkable if it wasn't on the coat-tails of a ten-year-qualified Amyrlin and an eleven-year Keeper, which would dim her achievements somewhat. I'm assuming that Sheriam's ambition extended to becoming a Sitter in the Hall, the normal highest public position of honor for a well-regarded AS, but what if she reckoned she should have been made Amyrlin instead of Siuan, or even Keeper instead of Leane? Of course, this assumes that she turned to the dark out of frustration at that time (did I read somewhere that Sitters had a higher rank that the MoN?)
The other possibility is that Sheriam was so frustrated by her lack of power during her first ten years as AS ('uses will be found for your talents, oh yes') that she joined the Black during this period. Which would make her elevation to MoN her reward, which is a chilling thought, because it would make Siuan's administration even more compromised than we thought. Or a first step, as she ends up as Egwene's Keeper and that election is much more obviously compromised by the Black than anything we know about Siuan's (which is admittedly rather little).

One other tidbit in the last chapter - the other friendship which Moiraine and Siuan renew is with Adine Canford, who doesn't play anything like the same role in the rest of the series as Shriam or Leane. She ends up in Salidar with the rest of them and in TDR, Nieda, the innkeeper of Easing the Badger in Ilian, tells Moiraine that she's been sending her reports to Adine Sedai in the Tower. She's not the Blues' spymaster (Aeldene), so Moiraine must have set up her own little network, with Adine acting as central depot in the Tower. I wonder how much any of the rest of the Blues know about this, even Siuan, because she seems to have basically kept her head down and not been dragged into play in Salidar. She may not even have known much about the content of the messages, given the way she is never heard from, either.
Julian Augustus
85. Alisonwonderland
Subwoofer @78:

And why do people say "down under"?

Take a look at a Globe and note Australia's location relative to the people who usually use that expression.
John Massey
86. subwoofer
What? So Asians call Australia "down under" in their various languages and we have somehow translated it? Last time I checked, South America was down under North America, and Antarctic was down under at the bottom of the world... er... relatively speaking from a North Pole perspective.

Sheriam- reminds me of Cassius, except for the "lean" part... girl bakes a mean pie. I dunno, what came out of the blue for me was Ingtar Shinowa. A man from a noble house in Sheinar could fall to the Shadow that leaves the door open for anyone. I think that's why RJ did what he did in book one, a "hey, keep your eyes out, some folks are not what they seem" situation. From a math perspective, if one out of every five Sisters is BA, then something has to give. I am surprised that more were not uncovered during Egwene's purging. Did all Sisters reswear the Oaths or just the ones in the Tower? And is there a list out there of the ones that have not and are floating around out there, not necessarily mentioned in Sneaky Verin's book?

lake sidey
87. lakesidey
@85 Alison: Your point is taken. But, well, for most of the people who we hear using the expression "the Far East", it is more like the Near West, going by the Globe Logic...

I guess it is more convention than anything else. And like many such conventions (not the least of which being the Greenwich Meridian) it probably has its roots with the British, for whom Australia (or more accurately New Zealand) was literally down under. As in if you looked straight down, in Britain, you'd technically be looking towards New Zealand.

Hmm, what's Down Under in Randland? Would that be the fabled Land of Madmen (which, I hope, will be featured in aMoL....even if only as the birthplace of the wind in chapter 1?)

Julian Augustus
88. Alisonwonderland
Subwoofer and Lakesidey:

I think it is more like "the land waaay down there, below everywhere else".

With respect to the various "East"s, it most likely also originated with the British. Looking down at a Globe (and not up from it) starting from the British Isles and looking to the right, the East, or Near East refers to Eastern Europe, then comes the Middle East, and finally the Far East
Sam Mickel
89. Samadai
I am thinking that out of the 1 in 5 AS who are Black Ajah, I would imagine that 4 out of 5 did not know what they were actually joining. I just don't see the Black ajah recruiting from the truth. Lies and deceipt are the ways of their efforts. Now obious;y there are those like Liandrin, Chesmal, etc.... who show that they are the sort to be darkfriends before coming to the tower. But I believe the majority of them are suckered into joining. Just like Verin, they are given a choice, join or die. And I am 100% sure that they aren't given more than a second or two to decide. Of course that in no way clears them of their actions( with the exception of Verin, Maybe.{She still did dark things, even if it was in the name of the light})
Valentin M
90. ValMar
Re: "down under", "middle/far east"

In South-East Europe we call the Middle East "the Near East", for obvious reasons. Just a matter of perspective.
j p
91. sps49
subwoofer @86-

If you start referring to the USA as "Down Under", people will start to wonder about your sanity.

Wonder more, perhaps :)
Sydo Zandstra
93. Fiddler
For the record, a post by me was flagged as spam.

Maybe I should just have told subwoofer that I like Xena too, and shouldn't have included a link to the 'Joxer The Mighty' song... ;-)

Oh well, maybe it'll show up after all...
Sydo Zandstra
94. Fiddler
And a double post on top of that. This ain't my day... ;-)
Suzanne Clewley
95. Sue#11
And in New England we refer to the coast of Maine as "Down East" even though it's actually up north for most of us.
Alice Arneson
96. Wetlandernw
Fiddler - Well, considering that in considerably less than 24 hours from post time, we seem to have played out the chapters and moved on to geography, maybe it's nobody's day here... :)

If I have time today, I think I'll go read the chapters again and see if I can dig anything else discussion-worthy out of them. Sadly, all speculation regarding BA recruiting is just that - our guesses based on how we like to see the world. RJ just didn't give us much to work with, did he? Maybe another avenue of discussion would be to go through the list of known BA and see what we can learn about them - like how many are just plain nasty and how many are more "in it for the politics." Any takers? :)
Chris Chaplain
97. chaplainchris1
@86 subwoofer - I was actually thinking about Ingtar too, while ranting about Sheriam. What strikes me, though, is the difference between the two - Sheriam joining up with the Dark for petty advancement and avenging imagined slights, while Ingtar joins in despair over seeing the gradual and historically prolonged failing of humanity and the advancement of the Shadow. Ingtar at least sees and acknowledges the stakes. I don't know, his decision to go the Shadow strikes me as more sympathetic.

Of course, his tragiheroic death probably has something to do it. He sought redemption; Sheriam hardly seemed aware she needed it.

@84 sushisushi - interesting thoughts. I'd wondered the same possibilities about Sheriam - she obviously stayed somewhat close to Siuan to be named as MofN - but did she secretly resent receiving that position from her classmate? Siuan was just that bit stronger and quicker to learn than her, and her raising as Amyrlin would probably dash any hopes (in the normal course of things) of Sheriam rising any higher than Sitter. And you're right, she may have resented Leane being raised Keeper.

(As far as relative ranks of Sitter to MofN, you may be remembering Saerin's interactions with Katerine in TGS. Katerine tries to take command from Saerin during the Seanchan attack, and Saerin says something like "since when did the Mistress of Novices outrank a Sitter in the Hall?" Of course, while MofN is obviously an influential position, it carries no rank in the Hall, and thus no obvious say in White Tower policy, other than the treatment of novices and Accepted. It may well have rankled with Sheriam to be named to the position.)

I've also wondered about the other possibility - that Sheriam was already Black by the time she became MofN, and that it may have been a reward. I rather suspect she might have already been Black, purely on the subjective judgment that it must have taken some doing to get placed on the Black Ajah's Supreme Council. But that's pure speculation. (Well, so is all the rest of this.) At any rate, the Black can't possibly have *given* Sheriam the job as MofN, since Amyrlins name that position independently; it was Siuan's decision. But who knows if Black sisters might have suggested it to Siuan? "She's your friend, she's your age, it'll be good to have someone like that in another high-ranking position, you won't seem quite such an oddity as Amyrlin..." Could be.

It does have me speculating again about the Gray Man Egwene and Nynaeve encountered in the Tower. Sheriam, as not only Black but also on the Supreme Council, may well have arranged for the Gray Man. It has me wondering why, since the Shadow (at that time, at least) seemed to see Egwene and Nynaeve as potential pawns and hostages, rather than threats to be killed. Might Sheriam have been acting on her own...perhaps out of jealousy at seeing more young women who, like Siuan and Moiraine, were stronger than her? More who, when they achieved the shawl, would stand above her?

Again, all pure speculation, but interesting to me.

@78 subwoofer, spanking vs. birching (and I'd never noticed the creepy chapter icon!) - to me the difference is that birching is an official punishment. The spanking is used to dominate and humiliate in personal relationships. It *is* different, in my eyes.
Chris Chaplain
98. chaplainchris1
@96 Wetlander - that seems a worthy endeavor, I look forward to seeing your results. :)
Valentin M
99. ValMar
I'm all for speculating, as long as people do differentiate between "Black Ajah" and "darkfriends".
Valentin M
100. ValMar
Although I am not sure whether we have enough info on many BA AS for reasonable speculation. Even the ones we see in NS...
Oh, what the hell- one hunny!!! A Saturday evening well spent...
101. AndrewB
Chaplainchris1 @97: Where is the textual support for Sheriam being a member of the Supreme Council? I do not have my books with me at the moment. I checked WoT Encyclopedia and did not see any mention of this.

Thanks for reading my musings.
102. Freelancer
First Oath: Have we ever seen any other Aes Sedai get affected by violating the First Oath as strongly as Siuan does here?

Yes, Leigh, we have.


In TPoD, Zerah is commanded under the Oath Rod to obey Seaine and Pevara completely, as well as retaking the Three Oaths. Then she is commanded to declare something she believes to be a lie. Caught between the Oaths, she is strangling until she is told she doesn't have to lie.

Oh, yes, and there’s a mention of men who “don’t like women at all” in this chapter.

Which does not in any way necessitate that they like men any better. If Jordan wanted it understood that such was their inclination, merely stating the exclusion in their lives is far from conclusive. Probably another case of that "let the reader infer as they wish" concept that earned such derision previously, but is likely a common move by someone who understands the game.

O/T: Anyone who has not read Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, you should. Am now about halfway through the second volume of this trilogy, The Wise Man's Fear, and it is every bit as good, which is to say awesome.
Alice Arneson
103. Wetlandernw
AndrewB @101 & chaplainchris1 @ 97 - I was going to ask the same question. The only ones I can recall clearly as being on the Supreme Council are Alviarin and Galina, and I have a vague notion that one other was named but I can't find anything.

chaplainchris1 @98 - Hopefully I'll get to do that... but it might be late tonight or else tomorrow afternoon. Not this afternoon, anyway, since I have a lot to do in the next 6 hours or so. Non-WoT, that is. :)
Sydo Zandstra
104. Fiddler

O/T: Anyone who has not read Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, you should.

Thanks for the reminder. I've had it on my Kindle for a while now, but never got to read it. Three hours of traveling with public transport next Saturday will change that, and get me along the way...
105. JimF
102. Freelancer "...Anyone who has not read Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, you should..." Very much liked the first book, but this is going to be a slow grind. Maybe he's faster than GRRM (who seems to have developed a real animosity either with ASoFaI or else his loyal fans, who apparently bug him grievously about getting on with the work).

Still, it's going to take a loooooooong time to get to the end of this (especially if he goes the Jordanesque route and invents 64 story lines and 512 characters that have to be fed). There are also (I highly recommend), the two series being written by Jim Butcher, and of course The Illiad, The Odyssey and The Aeneid among others, to keep us occupied while waiting feverishly for the next installment of whatever series.
Captain Hammer
106. Randalator
Alisonwonderland @88

Interestingly what Americans call the "middle east" is called "Nahost" or "near/close east" in german. It always makes me cringe when I stumble over the literal translation "mittlerer Osten" which I've seen quite a lot lately. From our perspective it's "eastern Europe" (basically everything east of Germany), "near east" for Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan etc. and "far east" for India, China, etc. Till recently "middle east" came up for Iran and Irak at best but even they were usually considered "Nahost" until English took over that particular part of geography.
Heidi Byrd
107. sweetlilflower
When you finish reading Wise Man's Fear, please do not post any spoilers! I'm sure you wouldn't intentionally, but I am not going to start the book until Wednesday because I have my Calculus exam on Tuesday.
@JimF. I also highly recommend both of Butcher's series. Do you know the story behind how he came to write the Codex Alera? Its quite amusing.

@Chaplainchris: I agree on the difference between birching and spanking to some degree. There is definitely a difference between Perrin spanking Faile because he is tired and frustrated, and the Amyrlin ordering a member of her organization birched. However, when Novices and Accepted are spanked by the MoN, it is also a form of recognized, official punishment.

@many: It is interesting to read differnet people's opinions on why Sheriam became BA. I don't think I have ever really thought about it before, which is one of the best things about this re-read format. We get days to discuss a few chapters and tease out everything we can from them. I think I agree that jealousy of Moiranie & Siuan probably did play some part in her joining.
Jonathan Levy
108. JonathanLevy
18. lakesidey
Sheriam would be constrained by the dark oath till the hour of her death. Of course, she didn't reveal anything even just before being killed, so....mayhap her gossipy nature is over-rated?
If I'm not mistaken, Egwene was shocked by quite a few things which Sheriam revealed just before execution, including the theft of the 19 TAR ter'angreal.

14. chaplainchris1 and 48. JimF
And it may even shed light on Siuan being deposed. If Moiraine is viewed as an unreliable loose cannon who can't be trusted to fall in with the Hall's plans,...
I think the description of Moiraine as a "loose cannon who can't be trusted to fall in with the Hall's plans" presupposes a much greater degree of discipline and control by the hall than actually exists.

The Hall sees that Moiraine has gone gallavanting off? Maybe she's off on a mission from her Ajah? Maybe from the Amyrlin? Maybe she has run off - is that the Hall's business but her Ajah's? Maybe she's going off to visit her family? The Hall does not get a report on every Aes Sedai who leaves the Tower - see Tamra's five searchers, for example. Are they also loose cannons? I doubt the hall would even notice a newly raised Aes Sedai heading off on her own account.

Aes Sedai do not stand at attention and get counted in the morning, they do not have roll-call in the evening, and they do not have an officer who gives out passes before they can leave the base. Occasionally an Aes Sedai gets a direct order from a superior to stay in Tar Valon - but this an exception which proves there is no administrative control over the movements of the Aes Sedai as a whole.

54. BigBoy57
I thought "Regarding Borthanes" was perfect! :)

59. JimF
With each post in that discussion I say to myself "Thank goodness someone wrote a post which should shut down that thread before it takes off again" ... and then I find someone posted a reply! lol :)

62. gagecreedlives
Hehehe.... just change the last 's' to a 'd' ;)

75. Randalator
Maybe this will make you feel better: "Give the people aeooo!" (Total Recall)

105. JimF
I felt the Aeneid was a bit of a disappointment after reading the Iliad and the Odyssey. The main idea underlying it seemed to be: "What, the fundamental text of Greek civilization mentions X? What a coincidence! The progenitor of the Roman Civilization also did X!"
Antoni Ivanov
109. tonka
I am reading the Name of the Wind (18 chapters so far) and I am quite pleased with the book. I really like the structure. It's different from most.
Sorcha O
110. sushisushi
Jonathan Levy@108 Good point about Sheriam and the hour of her death, I hadn't spotted the connection. I wonder what else she admitted to?

It does seem to be abundantly clear from the text that, while the Tower does not track every single AS, they were taking a very special interest in Moiraine. I mean, she was disobeying a direct order from the Amyrlin Seat to stay in Tar Valon, followed by an injunction that they would have need of her soon, not long after a collection of seven sitters sound her out about becoming Queen of Cairhien. Doesn't take Moiraine's smarts to figure out what's going on there and she spends the rest of the book unsure whether she is being followed by darkfriends or Tower agents trying to bring her back to her fate.
Valentin M
111. ValMar
Re: Moiraine leaving the WT.

Hasn't Cadsuane done it a number of times. When she was wanted to be in the service of the WT she just left. IIRC. I understand there is a difference in the degree of the disobedience and the standing between Mo and Cads.
Still, given the way the WT is organised (as stated by JL @ 108) I believe that it is a normal practice for an AS to just leave if she wants to avoid a situation. Though less so for someone with the circumstances of Mo, I admit.

Overall, while RJ drew from his knowledge and experience of the military, we should not draw too close parallels between the WT and the military experience of the 20-21 century NATO.
If one wants to do army comparisons for the AS org, may be the French at Agincourt is a better one?

Randalator @ 106
It seems that the whole of Europe calls "the Middle East" Near East.
Sorcha O
112. sushisushi
AndrewB@101 I don't think there is any explicit textual support for Sheriam being on the Black Supreme Council. I suspect that chaplainchris is going on the fact that she asks egwene who had betrayed her and nods sagely when it is revealed to be Verin. the way way the Black Ajah is structured, there are only two ways she could know verin was also Black - one is if she was a member of her heart, and the other seems to be if she was a member of the Supreme Council, IIRC.

Also, on Moiraine's eyes-and-ears network of women, does anyone else reckon that they are the mothers of boy children born on Dragonmount (or their aunts), that Moiraine has already checked out? I was thinking about Nieda and her inn in Tear, with her young nephew Bili the bouncer, and she seems to fit the demographic. Of course, that's presuming that Bili's mother had gone off with the army, had Bili near enough to Dragonmount to receive the bounty and twenty years later, he's working for his aunt in her inn. It's mentioned in in TDR that Nieda has been Moiraine's agent for twelve years and she seems to have similar informants all over the place. I could see Moiraine realizing after a few years searching that some of the women she visits would make great eyes-and-ears, either for word of the names she was finding hard to locate, or for a possible Dragon rising. Also, recruiting eyes-and-ears would be a handy cover for her real mission, on occasion.

ValMar@111 I thought they were trying to elect Cadsuane as Amyrlin when she bunked out of TV?
Chris Chaplain
113. chaplainchris1
@112, @103, and @101, sushissushi, Wetlander, and AndrewB - on Sheriam and the Supreme Council:

I'm under the impression that there is textual support for thinking Sheriam is on the Supreme Council, but I may be wrong. The closest I can think of - in the 5 minutes I had to search this morning! - is in TGS Ch. 43, "Sealed to the Flame." It's not just that Sheriam knows Verin's name; it's that Egwene says to her (quoting from memory, not text) "your name was given to me as a leader among the Black Ajah".

That bit is not mentioned in the Encyclopaedia's summary of the chapter, by the way; you'll have to look at the book to read it. (The Encyclopaedia has also not updated the Black Ajah page for TGS, citing the need to avoid spoilers - which seems weird in an Encyclopaedia. I could wish the several of the Ajah pages be updated - the Black Ajah page mentions the Council and that Alviarin is its head, but not Galina's membership on it. The Yellow Ajah page makes no mention of Romanda's position as head of the Yellows in Salidar. And so forth. Good as it is, it's not a complete reference.)

I'm not going just on the basis of Sheriam knowing Verin's name; my memory of Alviarin's thoughts is that she is the only one to know the names of all Black sisters. I don't have the impression that all (or necessarily any) of the Council knows those names. But Egwene does indicate that she was told Sheriam is a leader among the Blacks.

@111 Valmar - I actually don't think military comparisons of any kind help with the White Tower. The custom of non-interference with sisters is completely contrary to any military customs *I* know of - though I'm not sure what parallels to the French at Agincourt you may be thinking of. But as others point out, the White Tower is really not very militaristic.

That Aes Sedai custom of non-interference seems to be built, in my reading, on the conceit that Aes Sedai by definition should not need supervision and should be trusted to be able to handle things on their own. That's their modus operandi - novices are children, Accepted young women able to be trusted in a limited way, and Aes Sedai are adults able to handle themselves.

Given that, it's always been strange to me that Moiraine was under so much scrutiny from the Hall in TGH, and Siuan under such pressure to reign her in. Elaida reported to the Hall that Moiraine was messing around with dangerous ta'veren, but by the custom of non-interference, Moiraine should've been trusted to handle it (and Elaida's reporting on another sister to the Hall could, therefore, have blown up in her face). For some reason, the Hall distrusts Moiraine..and trusts Elaida, who apparently has done a decent job gaining influence as advisor to Morgase, and thus increasing or at least maintaining the prestige of the Tower.

As sushisushi points out, it's abundantly clear in the text of NS that Moiraine *is* in the unusual position of being given direct orders by her superiors to remain in Tar Valon and keep herself available. Jonathan Levy's observations @108 about Aes Sedai in general are quite accurate, but irrelevant to this situation. The Hall's not going to think she's on business for the Amyrlin - the Amyrlin directed her not to leave the city. They're not going to think she's on business for her Ajah - her Ajah head, who's also a Sitter, also tells her not to leave. (At least according to Leigh's summary - I've not reached that point in my re-read of NS.) And, unusually, I infer that the Hall is in agreement on having Moiraine take the Sun Throne - given that a Sitter from each Ajah interviewed her. That indicates that the Amyrlin, her Ajah head, and the Sitters of all seven Ajahs want her to take the throne, and that Moiraine, a brand new sister, deliberately disobeys and ruins their plan.

Even though much of the Hall has changed in the 20 years between NS and the main series, many of the members are still the same - and while it's speculation, it seems a reasonable speculation to think that some in the Hall might still distrust Moiraine, and want someone more reliable to be handling something as important as the most powerful ta'veren since Artur Hawkwing. And once it's been revealed that he's the Dragon Reborn? Yes, I can certainly see elements in the Hall being rather angry with Siuan leaving the DR in the hands of a sister like Moiraine.


Oh...two more thoughts on the TGH. Just as it's strange to me that Elaida was able to rouse the Hall against Moiraine and the Blues due to her "messing" with dangerous ta'veren, it's even stranger to me given that the (publicly known) results of Moiraine's actions in TEOTW was to prevent the Eye of the World from being claimed by Forsaken, to save Shienar from a massive invasion of Shadowspawn, and to find the Horn of Valere. It seems to me that Moiraine should've been vindicated by such results.

The other strange thing is that no AS were (initially, at least) sent to aid the Shienaran expedition to recover the Horn. Really? One of the most powerful objects in existence (a key to the Last Battle, which can be wielded by the Shadow as easily as by the Light) is stolen by Darkfriends and Shadowspawn. Aes Sedai from every Ajah are present, including the much-vaunted Battle Ajah, yet no Aes Sedai are sent in support of the expedition? Really?

Seriously, it's bad enough (as we've said many times) that the Greens aren't "standing ready" along the Blight border all the time anyway (esp. given the Fall of Malkier and the failure of White Tower forces to arrive in time to help), but what the h-e-double hockey sticks are they "standing ready" for, if not something like this?!?

114. JimF
108. JonathonLevy "...What a coincidence! The progenitor of the Roman Civilization also did X!..." Well, it seems to have started the trend in fantasy books. Fortunately, he didn't get to the Romuliad and Remusinaid.

110.sushisushi "...I mean, she was disobeying a direct order from the Amyrlin Seat..." That's the way I saw it, too.

112.sushisushi: Interesting speculation. She might have met a lot of women this way.
115. JimF
@113. chaplainchris1 "...Moiraine's actions in TEOTW was to prevent the Eye of the World from being claimed by Forsaken, to save Shienar from a massive invasion of Shadowspawn, and to find the Horn of Valere..."

I'd have to go read the book again, but my impression was that this was divulged by Moiraine only to Siuan, and when Verin showed she knew something of the matter, those two gave the appearance of considering eliminating Verin.

Otherwise, I think Siuan and Moiraine wanted the boys gone from any AS connection. Of course, too, Verin interposed herself into the hunt (and latterly gave us real evidence that she was not kosher).
Chris Chaplain
116. chaplainchris1
@115 JimF - yeah, we may both need to look at the specifics...but the thing that had Siuan and Moiraine consider eliminating Verin was her deduction that one of the ta'veren was a man who could channel, and in fact the Dragon Reborn.

Much of the rest - the assault on the Eye of the World, the averting of the invasion of Shienar, the finding and subsequent theft of the Horn of Valere - was public knowledge, though I'm not sure if the release of Aginor and Baalthamel was known to the AS at large. But the victory at Tarwin's Gap and the Horn certainly were.

Enough seems to be known, in my mind, for proof that Moiraine was doing something important, and doing it well. But...Moiraine did disappear during the trip back to Tar Valon, supposedly without maybe that explains why her actions at the Eye did nothing to vindicate her or Siuan, since she again disappeared and failed to return to Tar Valon to explain these quite momentous events.
Amir Noam
117. Amir
sushisushi @110:

Jonathan Levy@108 Good point about Sheriam and the hour of her death, I hadn't spotted the connection. I wonder what else she admitted to?

If I remember correctly, all the BA members that were caught were stilled before they were executed. Stilling would break any Oath that they have taken, so they could be questioned for longer than just their last hour.
Alice Arneson
118. Wetlandernw
sushisushi @112 - I like the idea of Moiraine's personal eyes-and-ears being some of those women she contacted during her search for the DR. FWIW, we know there was a Bili on her list; no real reason it should be the same Bili, but no reason it shouldn't either. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? (The Tinker woman wouldn't likely fall in the category of possible DR-mom-candidates, though.) It seems reasonable that if some of them were in positions to gather info by the time Moiraine found them (such as owning an inn), and if they seemed reliable, she might just recruit them to her network, and they'd do it gladly out of gratitude to the WT for the bounty. I like it. :) We'll probably never find out, but it's a good thought.
119. AndrewB
Chaplaichris1 @ 113 & 117:

I do not think that Moiraine revealed the existence of the Horn to anybody other than Agelmar & Suian. She certainly did not tell anybody (other than maybe Suian) that it was found at the Eye of the World.

As JimF pointed out above, Moiraine realized that in order to protect Rand, she had to make it appear that the Tower did not have any interest in them (especially Rand). Even Mat, Perrin & Loial did not know the true extent of what occurred at the Eye until later in TGH. Otherwise, the three boys would have been bundled to Tar Valon faster than some of us commenting after Leigh posts a new update.

I am not sure if it was generally known that the victory at the Gap was related to Rand's activities at the Eye of the World.

On a different topic, Moiraine mentioned that she previously had found the Eye. Anybody care to speculate what the circumstances surrounding her first visit to the Eye? I wonder what she was looking for and if she found it. Samadai, if you need are looking for another fan fiction to write, I am sure that would be an interesting story. If the novella that was to concern Moiraine & Lan just before the came to Two Rivers is ever published, maybe when can get a PoV from Moiraine regarding her first trip to the Eye.

Just reread the rescue of Moiraine in ToM. Does anybody think that Mat will act upon Noal/Jain's last wish: i.e. tell a Malkieri that Jain died honorably? I, for one, would love to hear Mat relay that message to Lan.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
AndrewB @119 - That's pretty much the way I remember it, too, although I haven't gone back to prove it to myself yet. But yeah, I don't think any AS besides Siuan & (maybe) Verin knew about the Horn; if they did, I'm sure the hunt would not have been left to a bunch of men. :)

About your last question, yes, I think Mat will relay that message to Lan. It's just too good a clue to be dropped meaninglessly. The only other thing I can imagine (and I sincerely hope this is NOT the case) is Mat arriving just too late to tell the dying Lan, and instead telling Moiraine and Nynaeve. JMO.
121. JimF
@119. AndrewB "...Does anybody think that Mat will act upon Noal/Jain's last wish: i.e. tell a Malkieri that Jain died honorably?..."

If there is one thing we can count on, it's Mat carrying out his promise. "I will, Jain. May the Light hold you."

Now the problem is that Mat will naturally want to go to Caemlyn, where his army and charge are, and where he'll meet most of the Trollocs not at this moment under attack by THE Malkieri (aka Lan). So we've got two giant battles looming, one for the Queen City of Middle Earth, err, Randland (do we even have a name for this place, like you know, North America?). And of course Rand has a luncheon date with the second most powerful entity in the universe, and who seems to not like Rand much at all. And of course there is the issue of an entire other culture and power camped out in Randland's southern reaches, and which simply cannot abide with the Randlanders' frivolity in letting all these damane run free and so must strike out and overcome it, And finally, where is Rand going to find a boat to pass out in where The Wuv Triangle girls can all retire to bind his wounds and feed him grapes?

You see the problem? This next book is going to be about three feet thick, and the Epilogue will run 10,000 pages or so. So I confidently predict - 2 more books at a minimum (maybe 3). Oh well, I don't think I have anything standing in the way. ;)
122. Freelancer
JimF @105

The Kingkiller Chronicle is a three book series. Period. Rothfuss made it pretty much impossible to expand the number of volumes by the initial setting he created. The story must be told in three segments to be true to that setting.

Yes, he writes slowly. Actually, he writes at a decent pace, but he doesn't like his initial writing, so he re-writes and revises almost endlessly. He won't publish until he's satisfied that the story is the best that he can tell it. So far I believe that he is very wise to do so, because he packs as much story in the pages provided, as seamlessly, as most anyone I can think of. Maybe not Verne, or Wells. Maybe not Milton. But compared to any modern fantasy author, yeah.

sweetlilflower @107

Wouldn't dream of it. I hate spoilers. I haven't even looked at a review of the book. I only bought The Name of the Wind because Brandon Sanderson recommended it, and then two days later another person I admire also did. After thoroughly enjoying the first book, I don't need to read a review to decide to buy the next volume.
Chris Chaplain
123. chaplainchris1
@119 & 120, AndrewB and Wetlander - I'm overly sensitive today, I guess; I find myself a little disappointed to be disbelieved without someone even checking. The theft of the Horn was openly discussed in Fal Dara Keep. I suppose the Aes Sedai might have missed it...things like Rand making a fuss outside the women's quarters when trying to tell Egwene goodbye, creating an uproar which brought Agelmar himself down, where he openly in front of tons of onlookers told Rand not to let the Horn seize him with desire for glory. The Aes Sedai might have missed that...and if you believe that, I've a bridge I'd like to sell you.

More to the point, if you'll check chapter 9, "Leavetakings", you'll seed that the Amrylin's party was assembling in the courtyard for departure at the same time as Ingtar's party. The Amyrlin openly addresses Ingtar and his troops, in full view of everyone; this is when she tells them that the Heroes of the Horn follow the Horn, not necessarily the Light.

As for people not knowing the full extent of what happened at the Eye, of course they didn't. And I suppose the victory at Tarwin's Gap was seen as unrelated. But Moiraine didn't hide that the Eye was no more, or that the Green Man had died. Almost the first thing she said to Agelmar was that there would be no more young men making quests to find the Eye. Then she showed him that they'd found the Horn.

No, it was publicly known that some battle with the Shadow had taken place and that the Horn was found. Rand's role wasn't known, though some talked about the Creator fighting in the Gap, and Agelmar apparently suspected that he'd seen a man channeling. But in general, since much of what was accomplished was public, my assumption is that covering up Rand's role meant that the others credited Moiraine for his victory at the Eye.
Alice Arneson
124. Wetlandernw
chaplainchris1 @123 - I stand corrected. In that case, it does seem odd that none of the AS went with them. (BTW - it happens all the time, and much more blatanly than this; people make very strong statements about exactly what happened without bothering to look, and usually without bothering to say that they are going from memory. It's one of the reasons that I usually research everything before I post, and if not I at least try to make it clear that I'm speaking from my impressions rather than the text. Today, I was wrapped up in another project and didn't take the time to go read the first 8 chapters of TGH to check it out. My apologies.)

I didn't come up with a lot in my BA review yet, but here are a couple of interesting tidbits. Of the "more than 200" Verin listed, we have names for 40. Of those, we have nationalities for 20, and 7 of them are Borderlanders, including one Malkieri. Also, of those 40, 13 are known dead, 10 are "unclear if they escaped or were stilled and executed" and 17 are most likely still at large. Of those 17, we only have (more or less) reliable locations for 7. Oh, yes, and of the "more than 200" we know that about 80 escaped the rebel camp and the Tower, plus whatever number were already out and about the world. So... probably over 100 BA still loose.

Unfortunately, there was very little info about early lives, or what might have been likely causes for turning to the BA. Some are just mean and nasty, and seem like natural candidates. Only one is clearly identified as a DF before going to the WT; several are noted as joining the BA about 5 years after reaching the shawl. From Egwene's reading, she found that they ranged in strength from Sitters (and Ajah Heads, though she didn't know that) to those near the bottom of the strength hierarchy. Not much in common, really, and we're only given motivation for three: Liandrin, who wanted to be BA as soon as she learned she could channel; Sheriam, who wanted power; and Verin, who really just wanted to live. Not much to go on.

One more note... Verin's book included names of some novices and Accepted, along with a note that they were probably Darkfriends before they came to the WT, since "the Black Ajah did not recruit from any except Aes Sedai." Make of that what you will. (TGS, p. 607 if you want to read it.)
Jonathan Levy
125. JonathanLevy
110. sushisushi
They were taking an interest in Moiraine in the weeks after Laman's death. Eighteen years later, they were taking an interest in her in Fal Dara, when the Amyrlin came to see her after she had visited the Eye of the World. It's not clear that they were taking much interest in her in between.

As for disobeying a direct order from an Amyrlin, it's quite true she did that; but in medieval societies loyalty and orders were often more personal than institutional; there is no official record of every order an Amyrlin gives, registered in an official log so her successor or viceroy can enforce it. An Amyrlin may keep a private record of these things - like Siuan's warded box - but this is not the same. A new Amyrlin may not know of half the orders her predecessor gave, unless they are brought to her attention, and will not consider them binding unless they suit her.

112. sushisushi
I don't think there is any explicit textual support for Sheriam being on the Black Supreme Council.
I think Egwene says that Verin told her that Sheriam stood high amongst the Black Ajah. Whether we can infer 'Supreme Council' from this or not is another question.

(Och, I see ChaplainChris1 @ 113 has already said this.)

Great idea about Moiraine's eyes-and-ears being women who had received the bounty from her. It would have to be her private network, though - handing it over to the Blue Ajah might reveal a pattern, especially since the list of women is not secret. As such, it wouldn't be such a good cover for her activities. Even so, it makes a lot of sense that Moiraine would want her own private network.

113. chaplainchris1
Quite a few good points in there. A small quibble -

Regarding the "Aes Sedai custom of non-interference" - I think the primary motive is to present a uniform facade to the rest of the world. Aes Sedai squabbling in public would ruin the Tower's image.

117. Amir
Ahh... I'll have to re-read. Can I borrow my book back? Oh wait... :)

119. AndrewB
Yeah, I also hope Mat will tell Lan about Jain. But there are so many such small threads which need to be tied up - it might take half a book to do that.

121. JimF
There was a great quote here a while back (don't remember who said it, sorry!): The best bet is that Tor will announce that AMOL is being split into two books called "A Memory" and "of Light".

123. chaplainchris1
As for not sending Aes Sedai with the expedition to hunt the horn - I was with JimF@115 and AndrewB@119 but now I've gone and checked it, and I don't know which way to go. We do have a scene where the theft of the Horn is discussed quite publicly:
“You ride to find the Horn of Valere,” she said, “and the hope of the world rides with you. The Horn cannot be left in the wrong hands, especially in Darkfriend hands. Those who come to answer its call, will come whoever blows it, and they are bound to the Horn, not to the Light.”
There was a stir among the listening men.
But it seems that she's talking only to the expedition which is going to hunt it. The other people seem unaware of it:
“I wager Illian does not give its Great Hunt of the Horn so rousing a send-off,” she said. “But yours is the true Great Hunt. You are few, so you may travel quickly, yet enough to do what you must. I charge you, Lord Ingtar of House Shinowa, I charge all of you, find the Horn of Valere, and let nothing bar your way.”
Ingtar whipped his sword from his back and kissed the blade. “By my life and soul, by my House and honor, I swear it, Mother.”
“Then ride.”
Ingtar swung his horse toward the gate.
Rand dug his heels into Red’s flanks and galloped after the column already disappearing through the gates.
Unaware of what had occurred within, the Amyrlin’s pikemen and archers stood walling a path from the gates to the city proper, the Flame of Tar Valon on their chests. Her drummers and trumpeters waited near the gates, ready to fall in when she left. Behind the rows of armored men, people packed the square in front of the keep. Some cheered Ingtar’s banner, and others no doubt thought this was the start of the Amyrlin Seat’s departure. A swelling roar followed Rand across the square.
It seems that the text strongly implies that the expedition was organized in secret from the other Aes Sedai. Whether this stretches belief or not is another question.

Ok, a bit more research reveals this quote from Chapter 8, when Rand is trying to talk to Egwene:
“I have to see her,” Rand said stubbornly. “We’re leaving soon. Not soon enough for me, but I still have to see Egwene. We will get the Horn of Valere and the dagger back, and that will be the end of it. The end of it. But I want to see her before I go.” Egwene frowned; he sounded odd.
“No need to be so fierce,” Kajin said. “You and Ingtar will find the Horn, or not. And if not, then another will retrieve it. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are but threads in the Pattern.”
So yeah, there does seem to be a bit of an inconsistency here. On the one hand the Horn is discussed freely, and no-one makes any effort to keep it secret; no one even thinks in their head how important it is to keep it secret. On the other hand, no Aes Sedai accompany the expedition - except for Verin :)

On a Tangent, if we're talking about TGH - why in the Light did Moiraine want the Horn carried to Illian? I don't think we ever get a good explanation for that. Yes, the Great Hunt of the Horn leaves from Illian - so what? The Horn's been found. Maybe it can be used to bind Illian to the Tower - but this explanation is not given in the text, and the question isn't even asked! Even Agelmar doesn't ask it when Moiraine shows him the Horn.
lake sidey
126. lakesidey
@125 Jonathan Levy: '...The best bet is that TOR will announce that AMOL is being split into two books called "A Memory" and "of Light".'

I, myself, think they will go with one 2000-page monster called "A memory of when WoT books were light"

@119 AndrewB: I like that idea...I hope Mat gets to tell Lan that (at the very least, it means that Lan probably survives the battle we left him on the verge of....I reallio trulio hope he does!)

Birgit F
127. birgit
On a Tangent, if we're talking about TGH - why in the Light did Moiraine want the Horn carried to Illian?

She wants to use the Horn to get Illian to follow Rand.
Thomas Keith
128. insectoid
Still lurking about.

Sub @86: We had a wall map like that once. Poor thing was cat-shredded and fading by the time we took it down.

Lakesidey @87: I wish I still had a globe, too... I suppose Google Earth will do. Of course, the easiest way to picture it is that the UK is at 0° (the Prime Meridian) and New Zealand is fairly close to 180° (actually 174°, but close enough), and just draw an imaginary line from one to the other.

...What? Okay, I guess I'm rambling a little. But Google Earth is fun to play with. :) As far as Randland goes, if we follow the same logic, either Seanchan or Shara would be directly under them. I do hope we learn more about the Land of Madmen, though.

JLevy @125:

The best bet is that TOR will announce that AMOL is being split into two books called "A Memory" and "of Light".

Lakesidey @126:
I, myself, think they will go with one 2000-page monster called "A memory of when WoT books were light"

At the very least, I'll no longer need a brick to prop my bedroom door open with... :P

Jonathan Levy
129. JonathanLevy
127. birgit
She wants to use the Horn to get Illian to follow Rand.
Ok, but why Illian? Why not Andor? Shienar? Arafel? Each of these is as likely to follow a Dragon holding the Horn of Valere as Illian. Why not Tear? There are no prophecies connecting the Dragon with Illian, but Callandor is in the Stone of Tear. Why not try to get Tear behind him?
James Hogan
130. Sonofthunder
I guess Moiraine thinks that since Illian is more traditionally "bound" to the Horn, they'll be the easiest nation to convince to fall in behind Rand. And then he can...go to war with Tear and take the Stone? Ugh, maybe not such a great plan after all. I think this is just a (rare) case of Moiraine not thinking that clearly..
Wesley Parish
131. Aladdin_Sane
Well, as far as "Down Under" goes, it's a bit of culture cringe from the nineteenth century- orientating ourselves strictly in relation ot the "Mother Country", Pommyland. Australasians like Yours Truly will use it ironically ... as none of the Latin American nations have shown any interest in such a culture cringe, and their situation's not dissimilar ...

Now regarding the earthquake ... I'm alive. Got power, still no water or sewerage. Which is a right royal pain. I was practising the trombone on Tuesday afternoon, and had taken a seat for a brief rest, when the earth shook itself, and a hefty bookcase disgorged itself of its books and leapt onto the very spot where I'd been standing just a few minutes before, trashing the music stand. When I heard the death toll steadily rising, after I got power back, I realized that being lucky can be depressing.

Tying this in to the current topic of discussion, I'm betting that that is what Moiraine and Siuan are thinking in this chapter. What's the body count so far?
lake sidey
132. lakesidey
@131 Alladin: Glad to hear you're safe (but man, your books really don't like you! what have you been doing to them?). Hope things get back to relative normal soon...

The body count? An Amyrlin, a keeper, an accepted (admittedly of probably unrelated causes), 3 uncles....and a lot more to come. Not to mention all the random people who died in the battle.

@128 insectoid, that's pretty much what I did, with Wikimapia, to figure out what comes opposite to the US. A big patch of sea in the Indian Ocean, it appears.

Amir Noam
133. Amir
Jonathan Levy @125:

117. Amir Ahh... I'll have to re-read. Can I borrow my book back? Oh wait... :)

I can't keep track of your own book for you :-)
But thankfully we can check the summary of TGS chapter 45 in encyclopedia-wot, where it says:
"Over fifty Black Ajah sisters were stilled and beheaded".

Ah, but then we get:
"Some Sitters argued for questioning but Egwene would not repeat her mistake with Moghedien."

So, no questioning of the BA members took place. So we can attribute what Sheriam reveals (stealing the dream ter'angreals, Mesaana in the Tower, etc.) to her "chattiness".
Ken Ray
134. Maclir
Australia and "Down Under" - most Aussie's (myself included) regard it as a common term of reference, certainly not an insult. A big hit from the early 80's was Men at Work's "Down Under".

Now that I am living in the South(east) of the US, I play on that - when I was in Mississippi I would taunt local "southerners" by telling them "How can you even consider yourself southern - you weren't even born south of the Equator."
Kat Blom
135. pro_star
Amir@133 - or it could have been her "spare my life I can tell you all this info, I'm useful to the light, I am!"

Chaplainchris1@113 - as far as the green "battle" ajah, I think it was proven in T0M how they stand ready...also could there be schisms of distrust between the AS ranks? I think so, both Moiraine and Siuan early on are concerned with the Black (and also concerned with the Red's reaction to the DR) and what could happen if the black or red decided to act on their own in these regards...

AndrewB@119 - See above comment re: black ajah paranoia (but is it really paranoia if they are out to get you?)

Noah/Jain's last wish...I want to see what will happen when/if Mat and Lan get together.

In a totally off topic tangent, winter winter, go away, come again another day...I'm sure my fellow canuckian can agree to that, hopefully he's somewhere warmer than southcentral alberta! and at least we get a new Earth's Children book out end of the month! whoo! It's only been what? since 2002? ;) (please don't lynch me for being excited for that's not fantasy per se, but shush. good series nonetheless.)
David Simmons
136. bgdaves
Ok, thought I would post this, not sure if it is mentioned anywhere have not really looked to see if anyone else had clarified this or not.

Anyway, I know there has been some thought on when some of the Aes Sedai characters turn to the Black Ajah.

I think none of them started as Dark Friends, but became so after being raised Aes Sedai. My thought is that to get the ageless look they have to have been bound by the oath rod, at least for a while not sure how long before they start getting the look. Since all of them have the ageless look does that not mean they would have turned to the Dark One after being raised?
Sorcha O
137. sushisushi
A thought on weeding out darkfriends: Egwene needs to institute a refinement to the raising ceremony - either the statement that the freshly bound Aes Sedai is not a Darkfriend, or a ritual question to that effect. If she's going to keep using the Oath Rod as a tool for catching Black Ajah, it could also be used to catch prospective BA. Of course, it wouldn't catch the ones who turn turn to the dark later in their careers, but it could catch any pre-existing darkfriends. Assuming, of course, it's still an issue post-Last Battle.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
bgdaves @136 - Well, we know of one (Liandrin) who was a darkfriend before she ever came to the Tower, and we know that Verin had identified some novices and Accepted as darkfriends. However, we also know that the BA doesn't recruit from any but Aes Sedai. We don't have any clarification as to what relationship the novices & Accepted have with the actual BA; whether they know it exists, are somehow tied to it, only know a 'darkfriend AS' or.... what. In Liandrin's case, she thinks in her POV that she knew she wanted to be Black Ajah as soon as she learned she could channel, and she was a wilder. This rather implies that darkfriends outside the Tower know of the existence of the BA, but doesn't prove it; we often think of the past in terms of what we know now.

As far as officially joining the Black Ajah and swearing the Black Three Oaths, we have confidence that it doesn't happen until after they are raised to the shawl. The normal Three Oaths on top of the Black Three would most likely be almost unbearable, so they'd have to wait until the first three are sworn, then in another ceremony they would unswear the first three and reswear the new ones. We do in fact know that that has happened in several cases, so it's probably the pattern, no?

For what it's worth, though, I'd agree that most of the BA are recruited sometime after becoming AS.
Chris Chaplain
139. chaplainchris1
@129 & 130, Jonathan Levy and SonofThunder - re: Moiraine wanting the Horn taken to Illian. It may or may not apply, but in ch. 6 of TSR, Moiraine says again that she wants Rand to go to Illian. This time, it's because she thinks war with Sammael's forces are inevitable anyway, and she cites a passage of the Prophecies of the Dragon that she thinks does (or could) apply to Rand going to Illian, freeing it from Sammael and binding it to follow him. (The prophecy, with what *we* know, clearly points to Rhuidean.)

I'm going from memory and the Encyclopedia, so I can't say if that's the same passage where Moiraine says something about the Illianers being the People of the Dragon - not as if they are, more of a "who's to say they're not" mindset. But Moiraine thinks that Illian would be easy enough to get behind Rand, esp. if he frees them from Sammael (and I think in TGH the idea was that they'd follow anybody who brought the Horn, given Illian's long tradition of sending out the Great Hunt for the Horn). The impression I have is that she's trying to work out plans that make sense to her. She's with trying to rationalize those plans as fitting the Prophecies, rather than using the prophecies as a real guide.

Anyway, Moiraine and Siuan seem to have worked out a plan to have Rand get Illian's support and AS backing from the outset. Obviously, this is not what the Prophecies spoke to, and not what happened.

@133 Amir - correct, no questioning of the Black Ajah. In the scene where Egwene recalls Sheriam's execution, though, it does say that Sheriam confessed to "several disturbing crimes" just before execution, as if hoping for mercy. No word on what the crimes were, though.
James Whitehead
140. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@63 JimF: My father grew up in Northern England, outside Manchester, and as a boy went to Newcastle with my grandfather on some business of his. While there they were at an event & listened to a number of speeches. When the event was over, my father, who was only 8 at the time (at most) asked my grandfather what language the featured guest was speaking. It seems that the Newcastle accent was so impenetrable to my father's young ears that he thought the gentleman from Newcastle was 'foreign.' ;-)

Re the Horn: I always thought it was how Rand was to bind Illian to him more easily. As we all saw, Moiraine was planning how to get Rand to power to ensure that 'Team Light' (do they have a secret handshake or at least say "Go Team Light!" like the Venture boys do?) would be strong to face the end. She was, however, very pragmatic in her approach and was honest enough with herself, and others (in TGH I think) that she didn't know how this was to be accomplished; as the prophecies of the Dragon are rather like stereo instructions. ;-)

Re Liandrin: She may have been given a little inside info regarding the existence, or possible existence, of the BA before she went off to the tower. If she was part of a darkfriend circle & the leaders of her circle found out what she was capable of they may have encouraged her dreams of power in the WT & implied to her that there would be others who 'thought like her.'

I know regular AS vehemently denied the existance of the BA but throughout the series the darkfriends, whose POV we get to see, almost brag how there are darkfriends everywhere. It wouldn't take much for someone like Liandrin to take the hint & know she could find 'friends' in the WT.

A little bit of supposition I know, but you figure a promising, young darkfriend would catch the attention of higher ups; especially if she was useful to them.

Re the oaths: I think the that theory that only a fully raised AS who had sworn the three oaths could be 'led to the Dark Side' is probably correct. I believe it was Liandrin who said she had had to unswear her oaths & replace them with three new ones - not sure on that and am at work, so I can't verify my memory. It is possible, therefore, that you can't have two sets of oaths at one time, nor can you add 'rider' oaths.

Quite possibly the BA in question would be found out when she goes to swear the regular oaths & the oath rod pings a warning that she's already 'oathed up' if you will (best phrase that comes to mind, eh).


PS - You have just read a wall of text.
Benjamin Moldovan
141. benpmoldovan
Speaking of the BA,

I've been re-reading TGS, and trying to find what the heck I did with my copy of ToM post move, so I can finally reread that as well. Anyway, rereading Mat's sections, it occured to me that there are 3 AS with him. Given the percentages, there's a decent chance that one of the three could be BA. If one was, which one? If I had to guess, I'd say Joline. Not the nicest of AS, and her warders are nasty as well. But she's probably just a spoiled brat. Edesina, who knows? We know Teslyn isn't, since she's bound by the 1st Oath. Unless she's a very good actress, but I doubt that.
Tricia Irish
142. Tektonica
Hey groupies....
Suvudu is having another cage match. Voting begins today. The WoT character holding the flag this year is Perrin! His division isn't up for voting yet, but there are some other good characters to vote for.

Jon Snow! Quick Ben!

It's a much more mixed group this year, with various skills represented and more women. Check it out.
David Simmons
143. bgdaves
Wetlandernw @138

That makes sense, I guess. What I am having trouble with is the question of the ageless look and that one has to be bound by the oath rod. I beleive the amount of time gets mentioned somewhere, but if (Liandrin) was a darkfriend from before she went to the tower then shouldn't she have to be bound by the three oaths for a good amount of time for her to get the ageless look.
Now I know that Verin says something about the new oaths she took and I thought she said something about her warder being bound by them as well not sure of this though.

The next question is does the dark ones oath bind like the oath rod does and can none channellers be bound, but only those that can get the ageless look. But I would guess this does not apply to the Forsaken so not sure about it.

It just seems odd that a darkfriend could become Aes Sedai and then live with the three oaths until they get the ageless look.

144. LittleLady
Long(ish) time lurker, just discovered the series last year, and my very first post so take pity if I did something wrong:

Sorry to bring this up so far down, but...
@67. kbaskins - thank you for that link, so awesome!! It always bothered me that I couldn't hear in my head how these characters were speaking. It's also bothersome to me that pronounciations are provided for about 0.6% of Randland words. If anyone has any more links or anecdotes from signings where pronounciations are explained (beyond those provided in the book guides and the Big White Book), they would be very much appreciated!

Thanks to Leigh and those who post - having such a great time with these books, and reading this blog and all your comments!
145. JimF
Hmm. Based on the above discussions, we have serious remedial reading to do on "The Great Hunt" to determine who's on first, etc.

141. benpmoldavan Are you actually from Moldavia? Did you see the movie RED? Heh.

You said: "...If I had to guess, I'd say Joline. Not the nicest of AS, and her warders are nasty as well...." I seem to recall, when Mat had Joline hidden away from the Seanchan in Ebou Dar (tPoD?) she told Mat a lie. It further seems to me either Mat or Setalle noted it.

But Joline was last seen departing Mat's company with her head still affixed to her neck, although with a blue mouth due to some prank of Mat's.

Have we here determined Joline is BA or AS in good standing? I'll have to do some reading, perhaps.
Rob Munnelly
146. RobMRobM
LL@144 - of course you did something wrong. You did many things wrong. Don't you know your first post is supposed to be entirely in rhyme? And you are also supposed to affix to all posts a cute and highly catchy catch phrase? Such as "Size Matters" or "Luck Be a (Little) Lady" or "I'm a Tramp." And no proffered contributions to the bunker? Grumble....

RobMRobM - "Double your pleasure"

P.s. I trust you know I'm kidding, right? Welcome to the group.
Jay Dauro
147. J.Dauro

If what you are referring to as Joline's lie was her letting Mat assume that she was the one who gave him the note, she did not lie. Mat asked if she left the note on his pillow, she said something to the effect that if Mat got her out, she would be even, but she never told an explicit lie. Just like an Aes Sedai. Mat had already planned for this, since she did not know where the note was left.

Disclaimer. This post is from memory, not the book
John Massey
148. subwoofer
@Littlelady- try pronouncing everything with a latino slant. ie Jesus is Hay-Zeus, so Juilin is Huilin... Joline is Holine...and don't forget to roll those r's:) May not be accurate, but it sure makes it more fun. "Hola, you are the Dragon Rrrrrrreborn";)

I like what some folks are suggesting here, how about some Q&A while the ladies are under oath? "Are you or have you ever been a Darkfriend?" "Do you know of any Darkfriends?" "Do you associate with any Darkfriends?" "Do you like Justin Beiber?" "Do you know what a Beiber is?" We could throw in some BA questions to the same effect. That ottta weed the odd baddie out.

Ate a hot perogie. Was like eating lava. Have nice blister on roof of mouth now, taste almost worth the pain...

149. JimF
@125. JonathanLevy "...There was a great quote here a while back (don't remember who said it, sorry!): The best bet is that Tor will announce that AMOL is being split into two books called "A Memory" and "of Light"...." Well with Brandon writing that could do it. He has been scandalously brief in some things (e.g. whatever happened to The Prophet?). If RJ was still writing (bless his soul!) we might get A, Memory, OF, Light and maybe The End Writ Large, Y'All.

147.J.Dauro "...(She obfuscated and misled) Just like an Aes Sedai...." Maybe that's all there was to it (we could write a Dylanish song). Mat seems to tolerate her, but he must be careful; Teslyn is going to adopt him as "her favorite nephew".

LittleLady: There's only one topic here we're desperately trying to make off limits! ;) Otherwise, welcome and have at it.

F Shelley
150. FSS
@144 - personally, I always think of the High Lord Turak in TGH was Tommy Chong in Yellowbeard.

"Tho - you are naught whut thi expethded."
Alice Arneson
151. Wetlandernw
bgdaves @143 - Let's see if I can make a little more sense out of this. First, the ageless look is caused by taking three oaths on the Oath Rod. It doesn't matter what three oaths; any three will have that effect. (The only other way to get the look is to make it with an Illusion weave, like Mesaana did when posing as Danelle.) Second, only channelers can be bound by the Oath Rod; it would have no effect on your average darkfriend. (FWIW, we know even less about the average-darkfriend oaths than we do about the BA oaths.) Third, the ageless look takes time to acquire, even after you swear the three oaths. As near as I can tell, it varies a little but generally takes a few years. Fourth, if you remove the oaths, it takes time to lose the ageless appearance unless you are under extreme stress or are stilled, in which case it happens more abruptly. (For example, when Siuan and Leane were captured, stilled and tortured, they lost their ageless look very quickly. However, when the AS in good standing removed their oaths and promptly reswore (TGS), it had no visible effect.)

So here's what happens with the Black Ajah. An Accepted takes her test, passes, and is raised to the shawl. Sometime after that - it could be days or it could be years - she is recruited into the Black Ajah. In a (very!!) secret ceremony, her Aes Sedai Three Oaths are removed, and she swears a new set of three oaths binding her to the Dark One. She continues to have or develop the ageless look uninterrupted, with nothing noticable to other AS.

Liandrin was a darkfriend before coming to the Tower, and her great ambition then was to become BA. We don't know how soon she was in contact with them, but we can be quite confident that she didn't swear the Black Oaths on the Oath Rod until after she was raised to the shawl and swore the AS Three Oaths. An Accepted starting to develop the ageless look would be extremely suspect, and even an AS who developed the look too soon might be questioned.

Hope that helps!
Chris R
152. up2stuff
@ Many,

I think it has been pointed out, but it can't hurt to do it again. Just remember that being Black Ajah and being a DF are two different things. All Black Ajah are Darkfriends BUT, not all Darkfriends are Black Ajah.

People seem to be confusing the terms and using "Black", or "Black Ajah" to describe ordinary Darkfriends or assuming that the run of the mill DF is constrained in the same ways as Black Ajah.

Again, I am pointing out what others have discussed before, but hopefully I am saying it in a different way.
153. LittleLady
@146- RobMRobM-
I still haven't figured this bunker out,
I hope that will cause none here to pout
This time I bring no thing to the lair,
By and by I will have much more to share

Um... yea. Rhyming is not so much a talent of mine, I tried! Yes of course I knew you were kidding, thanks for the welcome.

@149 JimF-
Thanks for the tip, kinda guessed bringing up a controversial topic wouldn't be the best way to ingratiate myself to the group. Gimme a few posts though...(tiny evil laughter)

@150 FSS-
I will take your suggestion under serious considerrrration. Thanks!

"Little by Little"
Alice Arneson
154. Wetlandernw
LittleLady - Welcome indeed! We need your sense of humor around here; I think we've gotten a little stale and need some fresh air. :) Great entrance!

up2stuff @152 - So very true! "All Black Ajah are Darkfriends BUT, not all Darkfriends are Black Ajah." There is a definite distinction, and it certainly helps the discussion if we keep it straight.
Chris Chaplain
155. chaplainchris1
Welcome LittleLady. Judging by your (excellent) rhyming, you seem likely to be as demented as the rest of us. Your people welcome you.

@154 - perhaps the bunker has gotten stale. But there is a new post tomorrow, and I promise to shower tonight. Tomorrow I'll bring air fresheners as well as sausage balls and some fresh fruit.

"All Black Ajah are Darkfriends but not all DFs are Black Ajah." So we're saying that the Black Ajah are a bunch of squares?
j p
157. sps49
LittleLady @144-

You also owe FSS @150 a pie, as the 6th post after yours :)

And welcome!
Kimani Rogers
158. KiManiak
LL@144 - Well, hey there LittleLady!

Because, yes my sense of humor can indeed be that lame

Seriously, welcome! I appreciated the rhyming. As for entering the bunker, sub may let you in if you bring some perogies next time you want in. (Don't mind any dirty diadees; the bunker is very baby friendly!) :-)

Apparently you may have to bring FSS a pie, but I say you follow the example set by Moiraine and Siuan and you'll probably be just fine.

cc@154 - I'm also eagerly awaiting tomorrow's post. I heard a rumor that we might check back in on everyone's favorite Malkieri. As for the bunker, I didn't think it had gotten that stale in there; maybe we just need to crack open a window?

Ok, we really need a new post. Or, I guess we could explore when Sheriam could/not have joined the Black Ajah in more detail... (I kid, I kid)
lake sidey
159. lakesidey
@144 LittleLady:
You'll soon be able to manage the rhyme
(Just give it a teensy little time)
But I can guess, from that evil laugh
You'll be right at home, soon enough

@151 Wet: "An Accepted starting to develop the ageless look would be extremely suspect, and even an AS who developed the look too soon might be questioned."

I just had a thought about this - it isn't necessarily true. Until the advent of the supergirls and their discovery of regular channelers (Wise Ones, Windfinders, Damane) who don't have the ageless look, it was assumed that the slowing and the ageless look were the direct byproduct of channeling, and anyway took a different number of years to achieve for different people. No one connected it to the oaths!

So, someone who has been Accepted eight or ten years might well show the ageless look and not be suspected. Novices, I grant, don't channel too much, but accepted can channel unsupervised, so it within the bounds of belief that they could start looking ageless (as per what the AS believe)...

Please feel free to poke holes in this theory!

Jonathan Levy
160. JonathanLevy
139. chaplainchris1
In early TSR Moiraine wants Rand to attack Illian, and it makes a certain amount of sense there. But none of these considerations were relevant in TGH.

Maybe she was hoping control of Illian would enable Rand to conquer Tear and seize Callandor. It would be natural for her to assume that it would not be possible to seize Callandor without capturing the Stone of Tear, and that would require an army. Also, it would be easy to get Illian to fight Tear, since they're always at war anyway.

Still, none of this is explained or suggested in the books themselves, so it's all hypothetical. Also, you might expect Moiraine to come up with a plan to get Callandor without a war.

141. benpmoldovan
Also 145. JimF
(147. J.Dauro got there before me, I see)

Interesting thoughts, benpmoldovan. I agree that Teslyn is bound by the first oath, though I know other people hav a different interpretation of the scene which I consider proof.

However, there is another scene which gives an indication that Joline is also bound - though it is admittedly considerably weaker than Teslyn's case.

When Setalle Anan brings Joline into her inn, Mat says he is in debt to her because of the note she left on his pillow. In fact, the note was put in his coat pocket (by Teslyn) and Mat wants to find out if Joline put it in. She says “All debts between us are settled the day you help me get outside the city walls, Master Cauthon” (WH:19) - which is a typical Aes Sedai First-Oath answer. A Black might easily have lied here (like Verin did in TGH) to take more credit than she deserves.

Not irod-clad by any means, I know. Still, I think it makes Joline a less likely candidate than Edesina.

On the other hand, we already had Careane as Black - do we really need another Black from Ebou Dar?

152. up2stuff
Yeah, it was about time someone re-explained that important distinction...

153. LittleLady
Careful, LittleLady - you might start another Limericks Thread by accident! :)

And welcome aboard.
Wesley Parish
161. Aladdin_Sane
@159. lakesidey

I think it's pretty well accepted that the ageless look and the swearing of the oaths on the oath rod are the effect and the cause thereof.

As far as I can remember - though my memory ain't what I remember it being - none of the long-term novices or Accepteds had the ageless look.

@misc, regarding the Horn of Valere, Moiraine, and her sneaky plan to present him to Illian ... I've just started re-reading TGH, and yes, it's Moiraine practising her Cairhienin Royal Family survival skills, and practising Daes Daemar on Rand, who of course, isn't having a bar of it - or of soap either, for that matter, not while he's chasing across the landscape looking for Team Padan Fain ...

re: the Jan Feb 22 Chch earthquake, there's someone else on this site who's also living in Chch, in Dallington, which was one of the worst-hit suburbs on Sept 4 2010. I've forgotten your moniker, but if you're still around, how are you coping? (Earthquake brain, brainfart, premature senility ... :)
lake sidey
162. lakesidey
@161 Alladin_Sane: "I think it's pretty well accepted that the ageless look and the swearing of the oaths on the oath rod are the effect and the cause thereof."

Of course! I am not contesting that. My point is, it is well-known to us, the readers. Until Egwene and co noticed the discrepancy, however, the White Tower folks assumed the ageless face to be just the result of much channeling. And some showed those signs earlier than others. (In fact, I remember Nynaeve wondering in Ebou Dar "how much longer before she would get the ageless face? How many years" or something to that effect - at that point she still thinks that channeling will cause it - she has not sworn on the Oath Rod yet.) So if, say, 1 out of 10 accepted showed signs of agelessness, no one might have found it worthy of remark before. (and given 1 in 5 AS are black, 1 in 10 being DFs from earlier is probably not that much of a stretch)

I'm not saying this happened (in fact I am on the side which says that a DF swears the BA oaths only after she becomes AS, I feel it would be too much of a risk before) - I'm just playing Devil's advocate and saying it isn't impossible, within the framework of the story, for an Accepted to swear Dark Oaths (with a capital O, as opposed to Siuan's "fish guts!" and other colourful oaths).

Another thing, given that we now know that there are multiple ways (and very probably some which have not been thought of yet by Eg's researchers) to defeat the Oath Rod, I suspect Egwene still has a problem on her hands, whatever oaths she makes people swear. And, yes, there might be a BA or two still in the tower - maybe Messy taught a few of her pets the necessary weaves to defeat the Oath Rod, just in case (not that she has shown much evidence of such foresight, but you never know - given that most of the BA in the tower had enough warning to flee, she might have known just enough in advance that she could train a few 'ferrets' of her own).

One person in the WT I am really curious about, though, is Laras. I hope we get to know more about her and her motivations/ history.

And now I seem to be going off at tangents. So I'll get back to work.

Birgit F
163. birgit
If anyone has any more links or anecdotes from signings where pronounciations are explained (beyond those provided in the book guides and the Big White Book), they would be very much appreciated!

Some 4th age podcasts discuss pronounciations. This one is an interview with Team Jordan: has audios of character names, but I don't know if they are official pronounciations.

I think it's pretty well accepted that the ageless look and the swearing of the oaths on the oath rod are the effect and the cause thereof.

The AS believed that the agelessness was a side effect of slowing before the Supergirls figured it out and told them (at least Eg told some SAS, maybe some other AS still didn't get the news).
Wesley Parish
164. Aladdin_Sane
point taken.

I suppose one could also argue (from the POV of the proverbial parochial Tar Valoner Aes Sedai) that the weakness of the long-term novices and Accepteds and the fact that they don't have ageless faces is cause and effect. In fact, it appears to be the received explanation ...

Going off on Yet Another Tangent, "Messy" is indeed an appropriate nickname for Mesaana, after Eggy gets through with her in ToM. I'm thinking multiple minor internal brain haemorrhages, mostly in the cerebrum, though not a few in the cerebellum and in the brain stem - bleeding in the brain stem causes her paralysis, bleeding in the cerebrum wipes out her mind ... keeping such a vegetable alive is indeed going to be messy, very very messy indeed.
John Massey
165. subwoofer
Heh, so methinks we are going to have to define the difference between agelessness and slowing. I think slowing is looking younger than you actually are. Take Nynaeve, everyone always thought she was too young to be a villiage Wisdom and that had to do with her using the Power in spurts and the effect of touching the Source, Nynaeve had already started to slow when Moiraine found her.

Agelessness seems to be the "Cher" look everyone gets when they do the Oath thing and feel their skin stretched. That look lasts a lifetime and there is a difference.

Gerd K
166. Kah-thurak
Actually, everybody thought Nynaeve was too young to be the village Wisdom, because she was too young to be the village Wisdom. She did not only look young, she was.
lake sidey
167. lakesidey
@166 Kah-thurak: No, Sub's right, Nynaeve is slowing distinctly (she looks young, even for her age, and remarks on it in that Ebou Dar incident which I can't remember (and don't have the books handy to look up)).

Additional evidence of slowing being Oath Rod independent is available all over - for example Nynaeve thinks Talaan looks less than 15 years old but she's actually 19 or so.

The point is, the White Tower has always connected agelessness with slowing and didn't realise that the two are not directly related. Slowing just requires you to be a channeler (the stronger you are, and the more you channel, the more you slow, is my guess), Agelessness additionally requires the Oath Rod (or Botox, though I doubt Randland has that)

I remember an interesting take on immortality (or at least, long life) in Larry Niven's 'A World out of Time' - will not drop spoilers for those who haven't read it and might want to, but I wonder if having the power passing through you is a similar effect to what happens there? That might explain slowing.

Wait, I'm trying to find a scientific explanation for a magical phenomenon in a fantasy series? Clearly, I have way too much time on my hands?! _slinks back to work again_

Gerd K
168. Kah-thurak
As far as I remember Nynaeve should have been barely twenty when she left the Two Rivers? Hardly old enough to be a "Wisdom". A healer maybe, but a "Wisdom"?
169. alreadymadwithagelessness
There's also Siuan, Leane, Sashalle and the others who were stilled. It took a while for the others to recognize them but I believe one of the Cairhien Aes Sedai was finally able to figure out that Sashalle looked different because she has lost the ageless look.

As for Nynaeve, lakesidey is right. She was too young to be Village Wisdom. Note that her replacement was Daise Congar, a full generation older than her. The other Village Wisdoms who go to meet Faile were similarly much older than Nynaeve had been. That's why she has a hangup about not being taken seriously and has taken to switching people. All that aside, she also has started to slow. Moiraine noticed it right off and called her "child" which implies the Aes Sedai originally thought her to be a teenager.
170. LittleLady
@157 sps49-
My baking skills are about as good as those exhibited in New Spring.

@163 birgit-
Thanks so much for the link--I can't wait to listen! I'm at work right now but I can probably figure out some way for that to be a billable hour...

Thanks for the nice welcome guys!

In a little bit,
Valentin M
171. ValMar
Nevertheless, Sub's point (@ 165) stands.
I don't recall other post generating so much confusion in definitions. The discussion about "Black" darkfriends being a particular low by the usual standards.

wow quick posting. Nyn is in her mid 20s when she left the TR, not just 20. She is still very young for a Wisdom, Slowing or no.
172. Dreamwolf
168. Kah-thurak

If Nynaeve was tasked with taking care of Rand at times when he was litle then she must have been at least four years older than him but probably more. I dont have the reference here but I seem to remember Nynaeve beeing 24 or 26 when the story begun. One reason for her being tested for Accepted from the start was that she was to old to be entered in the novice book and that limit is 22.
173. alreadymadwithagelesslook
Dreamwolf is right. Nynaeve is old enough to remember Tam Al'Thor returning to the Two Rivers with Kari and Rand. So probably up that to at least 5 or 6 years older than three ta'veren.

As for the Ageless look. I don't recall who defined it but it was looking young at one glance, then older at another, in middle years at yet another. Unlike just slowed channelers who will still look young but progressively appear older down the centuries, you can't put an age estimate to one that has sworn the Three Oaths.
174. LittleLady
According to the WOT FAQ, Nynaeve is about 5 years older than Rand:

Funny, I have always (which isn't very long, granted) pictured Logain as much older, on par with Taim, but he's only a year older than Nynaeve.
175. alreadymadwithlogain'sage
That is funny. I always thought middle years meant thirties.
176. Hawkido
@15 TWGrace
Teslyn Baradon
I believe she is Black Ajah...

She could not swear that she would not commit treason against the White Tower. What oath is preventing her from NOT commiting treason against the white tower? It could be that in picking one side against the other either way would be commiting treason against the tower, just dunno...
Stefan Mitev
177. Bergmaniac
Nynaeve is 26 at the end of LoC, she said so when she met Tylin. She may've reached 27 now, who knows, there aren't birhtday celebrations in Randlnd apparently.
Tricia Irish
178. Tektonica

There's a great piece on the Tor main page called:
Under the Covers with a Flashlight.

Scroll down a few articles.

I highly recommend it....really lovely.
179. hawkido
@141 @145 @147 @160
Okay I see other have posted on this already... but what if Teslyn was a sworn dark friend before she became Aes Sedai? If she is only Dark Friend then she is sworn to the DO but also Oath Bound to the white tower. She cannot tell a lie and she cannot betray the DO oaths. She may be regretting the DO oaths and want a way out now.

I see the distinction between DF Aes Sedai and BA's being a BA has the Aes Sedai Oaths removed and a DF has oath's sworn to the DO before becomming AS, so is bound to both sets of Oaths. Should be remedied at some point but perhaps the DO is displeased or she just hasn't been summoned to SG as of yet.

That is about the only way I can see that she cannot tell a lie by saying she would do "anything but commit treason against the White Tower" as she is also Oath Bound "to commit treason against the white tower".
Sorcha O
180. sushisushi

Nyneave was 25 and had been checking Mat's health for at least 5 years by the time that the books start (TDR Ch28). As several people have pointed out, she was about 5 years older than Rand, who was 20 at the start of the books. She was apprenticed at 14 and Mistress Barran was still going strong when Nynaeve was 17, so she could have been 20 when she was made Wisdom, hence the cranky auld fellas having problems with a young woman telling them what to do at that point. I'm not sure why there's a resurgence of it 5 years later, other than the Cold War between cudgel and truculence getting out of control.
Benjamin Moldovan
181. benpmoldovan
JimF @ 145: lol, I suppose an ancestor somewhere along the line was. I’m a quarter each Italian, Hungarian, and Slovak, and the rest is assorted U.K. countries. A bit of a mutt. No offense, Sub. ;) Haven’t seen the movie thus far.

Sub @ 148: glad I wasn’t drinking anything while reading that. Bieber, *chuckles* Also, I like the idea of questioning new AS to weed out darkfriends.

Hawkido @ 176: Interesting, I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe she is. Of course, there’s always the possibility that none of the 3 are DFs. Anyway, that brings up the question, would a BA really consider herself to be betraying the Tower (probably depends on which BA it is), and even if so, would the Dark Oaths stop her from saying she wouldn’t betray the Tower?

And another follow-up thought. I can see many BA not being thrilled at destroying the Tower. It is, after all, the source of their wealth and prestige (in many cases), and power. Not that they’d have any choice in the matter, given their swearing to obey the DO and their superiors.

Ben M
James Hogan
182. Sonofthunder
Let me second Tek's post @ 178...that was a simply amazing(arghh Tek, I wanted to say lovely but I can't steal your adjective!!!) article - I much enjoyed it(and the comments following are almost as good!). I love pondering my reading history...and learning more about others'!
Sam Mickel
183. Samadai
Some people are mistaking non channeling or non Aes Sedai channeler darkfriends oaths with the three oaths and the oaths that the Black Ajah take.

Non channelers and non AS may take oaths to the DarkOne, but they are not binding like those sworn on the oath rod. the oath rod compels obedience to the oath. those non AS aligned people can break any oath they make, cause they have free will regarding the oaths. AS can bend their oaths but are compelled not to break them. the Black Ajah take the three oaths off and take 3 new oaths to the DarkOne, therefore keeping the ageless look
Steven Pattingale
184. Pattingale
@ various regarding WoT accents. Given the
link posted previously now I cannot help but imagine Rodel Ituralde sounding like Apu from The Simpsons! :D Leane as well!
Sam Mickel
185. Samadai
People like Liandrin who were darkfriends before they came to the tower, obviously know that the Black Ajah exist. That's why the whole dark side has signs and countersigns to recognize members. that is how Liandrin ( or one of the other 12 that fled the tower) in one of the books said she would obey the meanest beggar if he came to her with the proper sign.

So Liandrin probably took oaths 3 seperate times, once when she became a darkfriend twice on the oath rod for the 3 oaths and a third time to drop the 3 oaths to te AS and to swear the new oaths to the DarkOne.
Chris Chaplain
186. chaplainchris1
Interesting stuff, but I can't believe people are accusing my girl Teslyn (sorry, Teslyn - definitely an adult, not a child) of being a Darkfriend!

Oh, I see. She's Aes Sedai...and she thanks Mat graciously and shakes his hand. Clearly something is wrong here, could it be...Shai'tan??
187. joe heron
@ 56 wetlander
yup, you are correct. actually i never notice this topic in my read throughs until i started reading leigh's re-read. i thought pillow friends were similar to when girls sleep overs where they just talk. honestly, i can care less ... but leigh's numerous points of the topic got irritating.

@52 Longtimefan
you're pretty belligerent with your words. good luck with life! seems this is a moot topic now
Alice Arneson
188. Wetlandernw
hawkido @179 - Not sure if I read you correctly; are you saying that Teslyn could have sworn the Black Ajah Oaths (on the Oath Rod), followed by the Aes Sedai Three Oaths, also on the Oath Rod, and is therefore bound by both? If so, IMO it's impossible. First, it's probable that there would be a certain amount of conflict between the two sets, which could make life difficult. More importantly, though, if three Oaths cut your lifespan in half (from "up to 600" to "up to 300") and tighten up your skin so no one can tell how old you are, what would happen with six Oaths? Teslyn has to be at least 150 years old, and if she were carrying the effect of six Oaths, she'd be dead. Or at least showing significantly more signs of aging than she is.

Samadai @183 - Good point on the difference between Black Ajah Oaths and all other oaths to the DO. For example, the Forsaken all went to Shayol Ghul and swore major oaths directly to the DO, but they weren't the BA oaths and they weren't sworn on the Oath Rod. They have an obvious reluctance to break those oaths, but they aren't held by them in the same way as someone sworn on the Oath Rod. The latter simply, physically cannot be broken; the former can be broken but the consequences might be... hazardous to one's health.

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