Mar 8 2011 2:18pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: New Spring, Part 8

New Spring by Robert JordanGather round, guys and gals, and listen close, for it is time for another Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 15 and 16 of New Spring, in which Plotses are Thickened, and Asses are Kickened. Yay!

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 15: Into Canluum

What Happens

The air of Kandor held the sharpness of new spring when Lan returned to the lands where he had always known he would die.

Lan notes the merchants and farmers heading into the walled town of Canluum seem on edge; the Blight has been stirring more than usual lately, and there are even rumors of a man channeling the One Power. The hadori on his and Bukama’s heads draw attention as they approach the gates, which seems to put Bukama in a very bad mood, but Lan only cares that they are at last close to the Blight again.

Four nations bordered the Blight, but his war covered the length of it, from the Aryth Ocean to the Spine of the World. One place to meet death was as good as another. He was almost home. Almost back to the Blight. He had been away too long.

At the gate, the guards are especially watchful of them, which sours Bukama’s mood further. Then they are accosted by a young guard who exclaims that he’d heard Lan was dead, and addresses him by his full title, declaring that he stands ready, “Majesty.” Lan merely replies quietly that he is no king, but Bukama lights into the young man, declaring he is not fit to claim to be Malkieri, with his hair cut short and his services sworn to a Kandori lord. It seems likely that the incident will escalate, until an officer Lan and Bukama know (Alin Seroku) appears. He greets Lan politely, but warns them that he keeps Lord Marcasiev’s peace strictly.

“The city is on edge. All these tales of a man channeling are bad enough, but there have been murders in the street this last month and more, in broad daylight, and strange accidents. People whisper about Shadowspawn loose inside the walls.”

To Lan’s barely-concealed shock, Bukama declares that the incident is his fault, and swears not to draw sword while inside Canluum’s walls. Seroku is also surprised, but lets them pass. Inside the city, Lan notes several Aes Sedai about, and thinks there have been an unusually large number of sisters about in the world since the death of the last Amyrlin.

He kept his eyes away from them, walked on quickly to avoid notice. The hadori could be enough to attract the interest of a sister seeking a Warder. Supposedly, they asked before bonding a man, but he knew several who had taken that bond, and every time it had come as a surprise. Who would give up his freedom to trot at an Aes Sedai’s heels unless there was more to it than asking?

Lan is shocked that some women are wearing veils, violating the Borderland law against covering faces within city walls, but is more concerned that Bukama doesn’t bother to react to this, nor to other Malkieri they see not following tradition. Lan decides he is not in the mood to be wined and dined at the lord’s manor, and worries more when Bukama accepts his decision without complaint.

Along with regaining his own edge, he needed to find a way to sharpen Bukama’s, or they might as well open their veins now.

It takes a singular kind of fucked-upedness to think of the evil rot that ate your country as “home.” God bless, Lan. We heart you and your noble, noble neuroses for all time.

So, I think I kind of skipped over mentioning it in the last chapter, but a pretty fair chunk of time passed between Siuan and Moiraine getting raised and Moiraine pulling a Claude Rains and setting off from Tar Valon. And it seems from what Lan is saying here about the number of sisters around since Tamra’s death that more time has passed since then as well; even more so by the comment made about “strange accidents,” which indicates to me that the Black Ajah’s little clandestine murder spree to stamp out the Dragon Reborn is already well underway.

This is worth mentioning mostly because I’m so used at this point to the WOT timeline not skipping over any significant period of time that I actually found this a little disconcerting. Seriously, I think the last time Jordan did a “time passes” skim section was somewhere back in LOC, and that was only for a period of about a month; right here I think we brushed past at least a year, and maybe two. Wacky!

Also, I’m not sure why WOT decided to go nuts with new icons in NS in particular, after introducing almost no new ones in the last few novels of the series proper, but sometimes they seem really gratuitous. Granted, I don’t remember much about what happens in NS, but surely Lord Marcasiev doesn’t play such a large part as to really deserve his own icon here? (The antlered stag is his sigil.) I mean, do we even get to meet the guy? Sheesh.

I have no idea what Bukama’s problem is, and neither this chapter nor the next really spells it out. I guess I’ll find out later?

Maybe. So, er, onward, I guess!


Chapter 16: The Deeps

What Happens
In the shadier area of Canluum known as the Deeps, Lan and Bukama look for an inn for the night. They have no luck at the first three inns they try, but the fourth turns out to be owned by a woman named Racelle, who promptly marches up to Bukama, kisses him, punches him, and then kisses him again, while berating him for going off for six years with no word. Lan is greeted by a man named Ryne Venamar, who dryly opines that Racelle will probably find a room for Bukama, at least. Ryne is Malkieri by birth but dressed in Arafellin garb, and Lan draws him off to avoid Bukama’s irritation. At a table, the barmaid, Lira, blatantly propositions Lan, ignoring his demur, which Lan accepts with resignation. Ryne comments somewhat bitterly on Lan’s luck with women, saying that maybe he should try some of that “coy modesty.”

Lan opened his mouth, then took a drink instead of speaking. He should not have to explain, but it was too late for explanation with Ryne in any case. […] He actually started conversations with women who had not spoken to him first. Lan, raised by Bukama and his friends in Shienar, had been surrounded by a small community who held to Malkieri ways. If Lira did share his bed tonight, as seemed certain, she would discover there was nothing shy or retiring about him once they were abed, yet the woman chose when to enter that bed and when to leave.

Ryne comments that he never expected to see Lan here; he thought Lan would be with the Lady Edeyn Arrel in Chacin. Lan’s head snaps up at the name, and Ryne explains that she’s raised the Golden Crane in Lan’s name, and already has several hundred men ready to follow her—or Lan, technically. Lan swiftly excuses himself, and heads out to the barn, where his furious pacing soon scares off the groom. He tries to calm himself by assuming the ko’di, and takes out his signet ring.

In his cradle he had been given four gifts. The ring in his hands and the locket that hung around his neck, the sword on his hip and an oath sworn in his name. The locket, containing the painted images of the mother and father he could not remember seeing in life, was the most precious, the oath the heaviest. “To stand against the Shadow so long as iron is hard and stone abides. To defend the Malkieri while one drop of blood remains. To avenge what cannot be defended.” And then he had been anointed with oil and named Dai Shan, consecrated as the next King of Malkier and sent away from a land that knew it would die.

Nothing remained to be defended now, only a nation to avenge, and he had been trained to that from his first step. With his mother’s gift at his throat and his father’s sword in his hand, with the ring branded on his heart, he had fought from his sixteenth nameday to avenge Malkier. But never had he led men into the Blight. Bukama had ridden with him, and others, but he would not lead men there. That war was his alone. The dead could not be returned to life, a land any more than a man. Only, now, Edeyn Arrel wanted to try.

Edeyn had been his carneira, his first lover, and Lan has not been with her for almost ten years, but he knows she still has a special hold on his heart. Bukama enters, and asks what Lan intends to do. Lan bitterly observes how many are ready to follow, and wonders aloud if it is worth the cost. Bukama comments cautiously that custom ties him to Edeyn, and that she will use those ties like a leash if she can; in return for this impropriety, Lan fires back a query on how much Racelle will charge them for their rooms, making Bukama blush bright red and splutter as they leave the barn. Outside, though, six men are approaching, and Lan divines instantly that they mean to attack. Remembering Bukama’s oath not to draw steel in the city, Lan barks at him to get back in the barn; Bukama is momentarily stunned, but then obeys, and Lan begins to dance the forms with his attackers.

Only in stories did one man face six without injury. The Rose Unfolds sliced down a bald man’s left arm, and ginger-hair nicked the corner of Lan’s eye. Only in stories did one man face six and survive. He had known that from the start. Duty was a mountain, death a feather, and his duty was to Bukama, who had carried an infant on his back. For this moment he lived, though, so he fought, kicking ginger-hair in the head, dancing his way toward death, danced and took wounds, bled and danced the razor’s edge of life.

Suddenly Lan realizes that all six men are dead, and sheathes his sword. The stableyard soon floods with people from the inn drawn by the commotion, and Ryne mutters that Lan has the Dark One’s own luck. Lira and Bukama begin tending Lan’s wounds, while Racelle complains loudly about the inefficiency of the town Watch and begins commandeering people to drag the bodies away. Ryne looks at the dead men and opines that they were not footpads, pointing out one of them who he saw listening to Edeyn’s speech when she had been in town.

“It’s peculiar. The first she said of raising the Golden Crane was after we heard you were dead outside the Shining Walls. Your name brings men, but with you dead, she could be el’Edeyn.”

He spread his hands at the looks Lan and Bukama shot him. “I make no accusations,” he said hastily. “I’d never accuse the Lady Edeyn of any such thing. I’m sure she is full of all a woman’s tender mercy.” Mistress Arovni gave a grunt hard as a fist, and Lira murmured half under her breath that the pretty Arafellin knew little about women.

Lan is sure Edeyn is capable of what Ryne is suggesting, but still disapproves of saying as much out loud in public. Bukama asks again what Lan intends to do, and Lan tells him they ride for Chacin. Ryne declares he will accompany them.

Lan nodded. To put his hand on the banner and abandon what he had promised himself all those years ago, or to stop her, if he could. Either way, he had to face Edeyn. The Blight would have been much easier.

Lan = BAMF. Who’s shocked? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

This was a beautifully written chapter, as the excerpts I quoted probably show. I wanted to quote a great deal more of it, actually, like the bit about how Lan’s ring had been melted down and recast so many times over the centuries, or Lan’s musings about what a carneira meant in Malkieri culture, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Something about the air of quiet, stoic sorrow that is the cornerstone of Lan’s character seems to bring out the lyrical in Jordan’s prose, even more so than typically, and it’s really quite lovely to read.

There was also a lot of interesting insight into the Malkieri culture in general in this chapter, which I enjoyed even while being slightly bemused by some of their customs. By the time we meet Lan in TEOTW I think that he’s a great deal more—not “worldly,” exactly, because it’s not like he hasn’t traveled the world already by this point—but more… acclimatized, I guess, to cultures other than his, and less likely to take umbrage about when they differ from his own. Or at least, if he does, he hides it a lot better. It probably helps that we’re never in his head in the series proper until ToM, of course.

As I said, I’m simultaneously intrigued and bemused by the gender relations in Malkieri culture, which struck me as a kind of adjusted version of the flip-flop Jordan likes to play with on this topic. In that, the women are clearly expected to be the aggressors in courting rituals in Lan’s eyes—and, Racelle’s punching antics here aside, I don’t necessarily mean that in a, well, aggressive way; only that women are obviously the ones to typically make the first move, whereas it’s traditionally the other way around in our own cultures (though that dynamic is undergoing at least something of a transition period these days).

This clearly struck Jordan as a reasonable cultural inference to make, considering that Randland cultures are set up to be female-dominated, where ours are historically patriarchal in nature. I liked it not because I necessarily agree that the one follows from the other (though I don’t necessarily disagree either), but simply because it brings the dynamic sharply to the reader’s attention, and makes the reader think about the implications of an interaction which is so ingrained in many of us that it often escapes notice.

Which, of course, is the point. I have my criticisms of Jordan’s treatment of gender relations, as all who have been reading this blog well know, but it’s worth it to occasionally reiterate that WOT is such a rich mine of commentary on this subject precisely because it’s something Jordan himself was obviously very interested in, and endeavored to comment upon, in the very structure of his worldbuilding, and that’s commendable in and of itself. Anything that makes you aware of your own unconscious assumptions is good, in my book, whether you agree with that thing or not.

Also, the plot, she coagulates a trifle, yes? The Lady Edeyn is another aspect of NS that I completely failed to remember, as is the use of her declaration to put Lan in something very akin to the same situation as Moiraine was in re: the throne of Cairhien. So they do have something in common, huh. I wonder if this will help to bring them together!

Man, I hate it when people try to make me the monarch of a country, don’t you? So inconsiderate, I swear.

Also, am I the only one who read this and immediately decided Ryne was a mole? I look forward to finding out if I’m right!

But that’ll be for some other post, for we is done here, y’all. Have a week, and I’ll see youse Friday!

Benjamin Moldovan
1. benpmoldovan
First! Cool, this is literally the first time I've managed to pull that off.

Taking a deeper look at the book certainly puts some things in a different light. Like Ryn's commenting on Lan's "luck" with women. It never even occured to me before that that was significant enough to trigger the Shadow's "kill lucky potential DRs" directive. The muttering about "the DO's own Luck" is much more blatant. Probably should have figured it out sooner.

Ben M
lake sidey
2. lakesidey
Thanks Leigh!

About the time-skip, I'd say we skipped less than 4 months. Lan thinks to himself that he has spent 2 years out of the borderlands, but that is including the Aiel war and stuff. The last time he appeared, he had bargained Bukama down to 4 months of 'rest' (and that was at the end of the Aiel war, when S&M weren't yet raised). So, maximum 4 months, I make it!

Lan's pretty much my favourite character in the whole series and I just love the prose that accompanies him most of the time. "Time like cool honey" ""Her name echoed in the emptiness within him."

I don't agree about the gender-flipped thing being in operation here, though - I think this is just a reflection of the typical 'ye olde English/French' chivalry, where you don't look a girl in the eye because that is polite behaviour. I seem to recollect some French girl in one of the Tarzan books being shocked that he meets her eyes directly for that reason (and that is not a matriarchial society!)

j p
3. sps49
Leigh, Bukama is probably cranky because Lan has ended their four or six month delay/ stall/ rest to go die in the Blight.

But you suspect Ryne from just this?

"Time flowed like cool honey"- yep, last time I was in a vehicle accident I had plenty of time to react and watch events unfold for what felt like 20 seconds instead of 0.5. And by react I mean move the steering wheel ninety degrees, which barely affected the result.
Steven Pattingale
4. Pattingale
Good chapters these, and thanks for the reread! :) Is Lan's degree of awesome inversely proportional to the number of POV chapters he gets?

@ Ben My Kitty-Sense is tingling! ;)
William Frank
5. scifantasy
What lakesidey said; four months, either between the end of the Aiel War and Lan's departure for the Blight again, or the end of the war and his arrival, I'm not sure.
Kat Blom
6. pro_star
He spread his hands at the looks Lan and Bukama shot him. “I make no accusations,” he said hastily. “I’d never accuse the Lady Edeyn of any such thing. I’m sure she is full of all a woman’s tender mercy.”

For some reason that line always makes me laugh. Leigh, many thanks for the reread!
7. gadget
I could be wrong, but I don't think we're supposed to infer that years have passed since the last chapter, more like weeks. At least, I never got that impression. Its worth noting that the first bit of quoted text at the start of the recap was the opening lines of the the New Spring short story that appeared in the Legends anthology. And I agree it is amsome in all it's lyrical goodness. Maybe the fuzziness of time passing has something to do with the transition RJ did with melding together the additional starting chapeters with the already written core of the story?

Anywasy, nice inference on all the 'Man who can channel' rumors and strage deaths with the Black Ajah's death-to-the-dragon-reborn campaign. It really makes us suspicious about every
Aes Sedai we see, as no doubt RJ intended. Also a nice way to cast a bit of a Red Herring doubt on Caudsuane when she appears in a bit.
Chin Bawambi
8. bawambi
Long time in between postings for me. Finally caught up with re-read last week and just Auntie Leigh's comments. This is the only book I never purchased from the series as I read it once over a couple of weeks during lunch breaks at my local Borders. I just remember being so annoyed at RJ for writing a prequel when the main story was advancing so slowly. Anyway, great work as always Leigh!
Ryan Silva
9. telaranrhiodRage
I never caught the time lapse, 4 months or otherwise, but it makes things make a little more sense. When I read this something just seemed out of place. That there was some off-screen time fills things out.

Thanks for keeping it up Leigh.
Joe Terrenzio
10. Terren
Lan's awesoemness here of course brings to mind discussions of blademasters and the ultimate question: who is the best?

I think I am joined by many others in frustration at the number of super amazing blademasters that crop up in 13 books. Rand, Galad, Valda, Gawyn, Lan, Sleete, etc.

But who is the best, and how does he comapre to the best ever?
In TDR and LoC, we learn that Jearom was the best blademaster, defeated only by a farmer with a quarterstaff, and that he once bested 10 men.

Here, Lan kills 6 men taking only minor wounds.

In LoC, Rand spars against 5. If they hadn't been using practice swords, the blow Rand takes liekly would have killed him.

Rand is also compared to Souran Maravaile, who fought 4 men and killed them all, though he died in the process.

I haven't read ToM since the release, but iirc, Gawyn beats 2 super-enhanced bllodknives at once, while already wounded.

In my mind, Lan is the best. Not only does he have possibly the most impressive single combant encounter (depending on how you felt about Gawyn in ToM, I was underwhelmed), but he has been a bad ass blademaster for at least 20 years, and isn't losing his edge.

Of course, if Mat ever took up a sword, he may also have best ever potential when you combine his natural stength and reflexes with his memories, but we needn't go there because Ashandarei > sword anyway.
Jay Dauro
11. J.Dauro
The one thing to remember when comparing Rand's sparring in Camelyn is that he is trying to get the best opponents he can.
... the best he had found so far. The best since Lan went.
Richard Chapling
12. Chappers
We have a concrete answer to the blademaster situation (at the end of ToM, anyway) from Brandon Sanderson on Twitter:

sleepinghour on Twitter 8 November 2010
Who is the best swordsman in WoT right now? Lan, Galad, or Gawyn?
Lan. Then Galad. Then Gawyn. Gawyn is luckier than he thinks he is.

We also have this (presumably from a while ago:

James Oliver Rigney III (RJ's nephew)

RJ: Rand is second only to Lan with the sword.
(Or at least, he was before he lost his hand.)

Thanks go to Theoryland's Q&A database for those.
13. WhiteVoodoo
Didn't rand also face multiple opponents in the blight under practice conditions? And also, what about after his integration (assuming he still had 2 hands)? Lews therin and ishy "took the game known as Swords and learned to kill with it." LT was a blademaster for an unknown amount of time back in his day. I think that, with the sole exception of being one-handed now, Rand stands a very good chance of being a better blademaster than Lan.
That being said, Rand is one-handed now. So unless he magically re-learns the sword in one chapter, he aint beating nobody hand-to-hand (pardon the pun).
So yeah, I would say that these days, Lan could claim the #1 spot and probably is just as good as jearom was.
Joe Terrenzio
14. Terren
@ Chappers

Thanks, glad to know Lan has been and still is the man.
Of course, that whole charging in to certain death at Tarwin's Gap thing may drop him from the rankings in AMoL.
john mullen
15. johntheirishmongol
It's very cool to read the Lan chapters. He is the baddest man around, which is very cool.
Eric Hughes
16. CireNaes

Puns are welcome. I've got to hand it to you for taking the initiative.
Sorcha O
17. sushisushi
he knew several who had taken that bond

You do, do you now? I wonder how Lan ended up being so chummy with Warders plural, particularly if the Aes Sedai didn't get directly involved in the Aiel War. Is it a case of young Malkieri blokes being snapped up as Warders?
John Massey
18. subwoofer
Yay! Back to Lan BAMF!

I think Lan is learning early on women=trouble. This of course colors his perception of er... Moiraine, AS, bonding and all o' dat stuff. Maybe that's why he's so hell bent on a trip to the Blight, he wants some peace and quiet. As far as the customs of Malkieri... I didn't think getting into and out of bed was that complicated. Wowza.

Heh- Lan's:
One place to meet death was as good as another. He was almost home. Almost back to the Blight. He had been away too long.

Juxtaposes nicely with Death's:
- "Have you any last words?"
- "Well. Succinct, anyway."

-- Death at the other end of the scythe, for once
(Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man)

Perhaps somebody needs to tell Lan that dying generally sucks. He could do a lot more avenging if he raised a brood of kids ensuring the line of Malkieri kings lives on.

John Massey
19. subwoofer
Ryne... well, I read the book, and honestly, I didn't get any kind of feelings or impressions of the guy early on. Taking into account what a schmuck he is with 20/20 hindsight, methinks the six were sent by him to point Lan in the direction of whatsherbucket. Originally Lan was headed to the Blight, and Ryne's talk of raising the Malkieri Banner did little to sway Lan so desperate measures had to be taken.

Ryne's also the one who suggested that whatsherbucket would become el'Edeyn... whatever that means, maybe one step below Zorro. I dunno. Anyways, it looks like Lan is being herded towards something not the Blight. Funny how the Pattern works as Lan soon bumps into Moiraine on the next leg of this trip.

Thomas Keith
20. insectoid
Great post, Leigh! Not much to say, except:

Lan: Fights and kills six armed men. BY HIMSELF. Is totally badass, ja?

Sub @19:

Ryne's also the one who suggested that whatsherbucket would become el'Edeyn... whatever that means, maybe one step below Zorro...

You realize that I now have a picture in my mind of Antonio Banderas as Lan? In Zorro garb? ;)

Michael McCarthy
21. KilMichaelMcC
The reason for the time skip here is because this is where the original New Spring short story began. Every thing prior to this, the whole Moiraine and Suian in the Tower plot, was brand new material, effectively a whole new story grafted on to the existing one. From here on out on out we get a repeat of the original version with only a few minor tweaks here and there.
22. JimF
The women in these two chapters seem particularly predatory: Lan thinks "...Supposedly, they asked before bonding a man, but he knew several who had taken that bond, and every time it had come as a surprise...." and the bar scene, to wit: forget it big man but you sleep with me tonight. Ya' hear!?

And something like this probably happens about 10 million times a day in major parts of this "patriarchal" world of ours (there are also some places where it is probably extraordinarily rare). Just saying.
23. Shadow_Jak
Hi Leigh. Great job. Good fun as always.
One off the wall comment.
You do realize, I'm sure, that your choice not to read ahead, and your statements that you don't remember this or that, kinda makes me reluctant to comment for fear of revealing a spoiler... to the author of the WOT FAQ. Wow, that's weird...
I'll just say...
Surely you remember that *omitted* is a darkfriend and that *omitted* is Black Ajah. Right? Well maybe not...
24. Gustaf81
I have a distinct memory of Ryne more or less besting Lan with the sword in the end. So at the moment of New Spring, Ryne is probably one of the worlds best swordsmen since he is better than Lan. On the other hand Lan has not yet been bonded with the benefits that comes with it and he has not trained with the warders either. So he probably has not peaked yet.
Hugh Arai
25. HArai
Gustaf81@24: Not sure if we're avoiding spoilers or not for NS, but to be fairly vague: Think about the outcome again and decide who was "bested".
janet vaughn
26. geochic1
Taxes done and a re-read with Lan in the chapter, what a tuesday.

Thank for the re-read post.
Ivan S.
27. Mediokrates
Thank you Leigh for your awesome re-read and commentary.
I think you are hilariously funny and smart. I really enjoy your writing.
Your re-reads have pointed out many things that I haven't noticed, as well as making certain aspects like AS politics understandable. They've also saved my hardcovers.

I'd like to comment on the "who's the best blademaster issue."
Skill & technique are one thing, but will & determination are another. Skill with a sword does not automatically make one an unbeatable fighter. The will to do what your opponent isn't makes a ruthless fighter. I think RJ references this at many points in the arc. Without referencing any spoilers to come, here are some examples:

Gawyn didn't beat Hammar & Coulin because he was better than they, but because he was willing to kill his friends & teachers (the beginning of Gawyn's douchiness). Which may be why the tower guards were so afraid of him. After all he killed his masters. That's always someone to fear in a Kung Fu movie.

Rand acknowledged that Turak, in TGH, was much better. He only turned the tide in that fight, when his concern for Egwene's safety outweighed his hesitancy to kill another man, which he had not yet done, and then promptly accomplished.

Crazy Rand kills 1 woman, 10 men, and 1 possible gray man in DR, noting he could have done it with steel. Nothing will stop him reaching Tear, the Stone, and Callandor.

Aside, from later events, I think Rand's defeat by Toram in ACOS, may illustrate this best. Rand had no intention of killing Toram, as he was attempting to Taver'en him and the entire camp. Toram on the other hand had both skill and extreme prejudice.

So, all in all, I think Lan is probably the best fighter and blademaster. He may be outskilled by some some, but Lan can kill unflinchingly, anyone who stands in his way. Lucky thing Lan is a good and honourable man.
28. WhiteVoodoo
Scene's like Lan's make me wish for some sort of motion picture of WoT. Perhaps as an animated mini-series.
Alice Arneson
29. Wetlandernw
This is really pathetic. I can't think of a thing to say about these chapters, except that they reminded me, even before "meeting" her again, of how much I dislike Edeyn. (BTW, subwoofer, "el'Edeyn" would be her title as Queen of Malkier. Like Lan is al'Lan Mandragoran when somebody wants to be formal about it.)
Birgit F
30. birgit
Lews therin and ishy "took the game known as Swords and learned to kill with it."

That was Be'lal, not Ishy (at the end of TDR).
31. Gustaf81
HArai@25: Obviously Lan was not "bested" in the sense that he lost and got killed. I was only referring to the blade skill being shown by the two not the determination that eventually decided the battle. I think Mediokrates@27 writes well about this.
Gerd K
32. Kah-thurak
You're making a great point there. Wanting to win no matter the consequences is one of the most important things in a fight. Its why the street thug beats the martial arts master more often than not.
Jonathan Levy
33. JonathanLevy
@several Re: Lan's badassness.

Later on in New Spring Lan and Ryne play a game of skill in which Lan repeatedly loses (as judged by Bukama). In the final battle scene Lan acknowledges that Ryne was more skilled, but Lan was more determined.

We're used to Lan being super-badass from the main series, so when we see him kill 6 guys by himself we say "Hey it's the same old badass Lan that we're used to". But he can't be nearly as good as he will be by TEOTW if a randomly encountered Arafellian can defeat him consistently.

What I'm driving at is this: Yes, Lan is very skilled in New Spring, but he's not as good as he will be. He will get better by TEOTW, and he'll also have the benefits of the Warder Bond. But apart from his skill, he's also lucky, and it was luck that got him through this fight unscathed - as he himself acknowledges.

If anyone wants to replace 'luck' with 'the Pattern' in the previous paragraph, you're welcome to do it.
Andrew Foss
34. alfoss1540
RE: Superbadass Lan - I was confused when I first read this when he made Bukama go back in the barn. I had not put together the oath that Bukama had sworn. I just thought it was the two of them being weid and chivalrous.

Though it was mentioned about Jordan using colorful descriptions in this book, at times it gets in the way of the storytelling. As the points of view change, I often get confused. Usually I cough it up to my own failing memory and not being able to keep it all straight. I usually catch up to it in a few pages.

The fight scene was amazing, but confusing (due to the above and not being clear the intent of the attack-politics get in the way of the story). He was not unscathed. It notes he took a number of hits and was bleeding. They talked of seeing a sister for healing, but did not indicate whether they did. I asumed he must have as later, on the trip to Chacin, there is little mention of the wounds.
35. alreadymadwithlan
It just occurs to me that it must really have turned Lan on to have Nynaeve chasing after him.
Rob Munnelly
36. RobMRobM
General comment/question - Brandon said in a tweet that TDR chapter 27 includes important foreshadowing for AMOL. I don't have books with me - what's in it? Any hints?
Daniel Smith
37. Smittyphi
@35 I always imagined Lan was attracted Nynaeve because she followed them all the way to Baerlon and found all of his tracks despite his best efforts to cover it up. Admiration of her skill rather than her looks although Nynaeve is probably very beautiful.
Birgit F
38. birgit
They talked of seeing a sister for healing, but did not indicate whether they did. I asumed he must have as later, on the trip to Chacin, there is little mention of the wounds.

Lira sews up Lan's wounds. Later Moiraine sees the half-healed wounds when she offers Lan Healing after an attack by hired assassins (ch. 21).
Valentin M
39. ValMar
RobM2 @ 36

The chapter is Tel'aran'rhiod. Here the the SG are in the WT and Eg (I think) goes in the Dream World for the 1st time.

Edit after a proper look- She sees Perrin being emo. Rand being more emo and attacking her, and visits The Stone and Callandor and talks with old woman Silvie (Lanfear ?).
Then Silvie throws out Eg from the Dream. The SG decide to go to Tear. They also decide they don't want to sleep alone and stay together in the tiny Novice bed. Doing what Novices do best. At least that's how I read it :)
Sam Mickel
40. Samadai

In addition to to what ValMar said. Egwene comes to believe that Tel'aran'rhiod holds the answer to the questions she has, if she can just figure out how to ask them.
Ivan S.
41. Mediokrates
@33 Johnathan Levy & others
Re: Best Blademaster,
I have a friend, who reminds me of Mat in his luckiness. He falls assbackwards into money and ladies all the time.
It's better to be lucky than good.
Being both helps though.
lake sidey
42. lakesidey
@33 Jonathan Levy: Pretty much agreed.

Only, Ryme is not a randomly encountered Arafellin, but a Malkieri who now lives in Arafel (and Lan's childhood friend - and probably one of the people he learnt from in the first place). Not so random, probably one of the best with a blade at the point. And he is in practice, being employed as a merchant guard in dangerous lands, while Lan feels that he has been softened by 4 months without a fight (those 6 poor fellows might disagree with his idea of soft, of course....)

Lan is most definitely not as good as he will be, yet he isn't bad either. Remember, warder bond or no warder bond, for the last 2-3 years he has survived the Aiel war, fighting well enough to earn the respect of the Aiel by this point (at least partly for his fighting prowess - am I the only one who thinks Lan could have been one of the 'Great Captains' had he chosen to lead men?). Not to mention surviving trips to the blight for over 7 years before that (since he started going there 10 years back 'on his sixteenth nameday').

Not number one, then, but quite possibly top ten or so in known Randland.

James Whitehead
43. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@41 Mediokrates, as the old saying goes it is smarter to be lucky than lucky to be smart. ;-)
Rob Munnelly
44. RobMRobM
Brandon might have been hinting at use of need in TAR; or Eg using TAR to find Rand or Perrin; or Eg using TAR to learn things from Foresaken (such as Silvie cough cough Lanfear/Cyndane); or the knockdown pillow friend fest to end all pillow friend fests that will occur at the end of AMOL (three in a bed is only the beginning).

Benjamin Moldovan
45. benpmoldovan
Rob: Sure you have the right chapter? I’m rereading that whole post of Leighs, and the first chapter, 22, has the preliminaries to Egwene’s Accepted test. I think I remember Brandon saying something recently about how the resonance between the dream ring and the Acceptatron would be significant in AMOL.
Sorcha O
46. sushisushi
RomMRobM@44 For some reason, Egwene's vision of Perrin tied to a black pillar always reminds me of Oliver Sheppard's statue of the dying Cuchulain , defending the

Lessee if this link will work: http://mythology.wikia.com/wiki/File:Cuchulain_at_GPO.jpg
(and yes, that's a nice big raven sitting up there).
Sorcha O
47. sushisushi
RomMRobM@44 For some reason, Egwene's vision of Perrin tied to a black pillar always reminds me of Oliver Sheppard's statue of the dying Cuchulain. My previous post with link to an image got marked as spam, but if you googleimage search for "cuchulain sheppard", you'll get some images of it (and yes, that's a nice big raven sitting up there).
48. LittleLady
@45 benpmoldovan-

I found this on Brandon's tweet records page:

BrandSanderson Tue Mar 01 (must have been 2009 or 2010)
Notice the resonance between the dreaming ter'angreal and the silver arches in TDR 22. A hint of things to come in TofM. #wotrr

I couldn't find anything on Ch 27 on that page but that definitely doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
I plowed through TofM right when it came out and haven't read it since so I have no idea what that tweet means.
Any thoughts?

Little strokes fell great oaks,
Rob Munnelly
49. RobMRobM
Yes, TDR 27 is correct. There was a separate tweet re 22 as well as LL noted.
Benjamin Moldovan
50. benpmoldovan
LL: That’s what I was thinking of. Anyway, some other interesting things in that post. The 13x13 trick is introduced. And Sheriam told her about it. How was she able to do that? Maybe she thought that it would go to the top of Egwene’s fear list, and that it would happen to her, and/or she’d die in the Acceptatron.

Of course, that’s hindsight. Pre-TGS, Sheriam seemed like a cool lady. Genuinely concerned for Egwene, believing in the importance of people doing their duty, etc. Of course, we always wondered about the gray men, but I for one never bought that she was BA.

Ben M
Benjamin Moldovan
51. benpmoldovan
One cool thing about being first, in a discussion I’m actively participating in, which I’ve never experienced before: it almost feels like I’m LEADING the discussion. Although that’s not really the case. But it’s fun, anyway.

Ben M
52. LittleLady
@50 Ben-

I too had totally forgotten that Sheriam was the one that introduced the 13x13 thing. And even though I just re-read that part, I didn't think about her bringing it up as a way to hurt Egwene. I guess I'm still in denial about her :)

I'm re-reading TDR right now and there are so many great things in it I never noticed on the first time through. Like Elayne mentions later that Rand looks like Tigraine, which of course wasn't meaningful the first time through because we wouldn't know about Tigraine for several books.

@51 - Lead away!
53. Cloudysky
I don't have my books with me at the moment so I might be completely wrong, but I'm remembering that in her Accepted test Egwene was in Caemlyn which was being attacked by trollocs and Rand was mortally wounded and asked Egwene to kill him.

... And that was one long sentence. Got excited. Sorry.
54. LittleLady
@53 CloudySky-

You are totally right, that is also in Ch 22. As is Elaida leading the 13x13 in trying to turn Egwene, who is Amyrlin, and who escapes only to find Rand about to be stilled. She steps out of the Acceptatron before we see that actually happening though.

I'd also forgotten about Elaida giving Egwene a piece of her mind in the next chapter, saying she does not believe Egwene will ever be a part of the white tower, at least not in the way the rest of the Aes Sedai are. Actually becomes quite true, but it was really bitchy at the time. Elaida. Such a jerkface.
Tess Laird
55. thewindrose
Yay!! Lan chapters!!

Leigh say up in her review-
Inside the city, Lan notes several Aes Sedai about, and thinks there have been an unusually large number of sisters about in the world since the death of the last Amyrlin.

So we have Moiraine's PoV about Sierin Vayu, and then we find out from Lan's PoV that there are a ton of sisters roaming around. This makes me think that many sister's took off after the public birchings. So maybe Moiraine's departure was not as glaring as thought.

Also, some interesting thinking by Lan about how sisters may take Warders on. This is slightly amusing to read, since we know what happens to Lan when Moiraine battles Lanfear and falls into *finn land.

Thoughts on Nynaeve - with her Two Rivers upbringing - she was 'teh bomb' in Lan's eyes from day one.

Thomas Keith
56. insectoid
Great, Tordot went boom... "Scheduled maintenance"? Whose schedule? I don't even recognize the place now... ;)

Gustaf81: To back you up (I'd've posted last night, but I didn't have my book), Lan says to Moiraine:

Lan shook his head slightly. " was better. But he thought I was finished, with only one arm. He never understood. You surrender after you're dead."

RobM² @36 et al: Hmm... interesting. So the resonance with the Acceptatron and T'A'R are significant in AMoL. Not too surprising, as we've discussed the Acceptatron-world and T'A'R being similar if not identical...

57. elliesaurus
@36 & others:

The closest thing I can think of that would be relevant would be Nynaeve's test for Aes Sedai in ToM. Doesn't Egwene mention how her familiarity with T'A'R allowed Nynaeve to manipulate her surroundings, or bend the rules that shouldn't/couldn't have been bent for a woman unfamiliar with the dream world?
Jonathan Levy
58. JonathanLevy
35. alreadymadwithlan
37. Smittyphi
Good points. I think also the courage she showed (in standing up to Moiraine, and in getting Perrin and Egwene free) may have had something to do with it.

36. RobMRobM
It's possible that the foreshadowing is a trivial one. For example, Silvie snatches Egwene's ring to kick her out of T'A'R. It's possible that someone will use the same technique in AMOL.

42. lakesidey
I'm not so convinced about Ryne. Yes, he's originally a Malkieri, but being born a Malkieri doesn't automatically make you a better swordsman. You say he's Lan's childhood friend? I must have missed that - got a reference? Encyclopedia WoT only says he's five years older than Lan, and moved to Arafel at age 15. Regardless, even being Lan's childhood friend also doesn't make you a better swordsman. And being a merchant guard entails more bluster and boredom than actual practice. Nobody thinks highly of the merchant guards who come to the Two Rivers except Callie Coplin.

Yes, Ryne is very skilled, but he's not so uber-badass that his ability to defeat Lan should not reflect on our estimate of Lan's skill.
59. Gorbag
@39. ValMar

Yes, Silvie is Lanfear nee Mierin - there's no one else who fits the requirements of someone who is openly contemptuous of the (supposed) head of the Forsaken, Ba'alzamon aka Ishy, and who is as fully in control of TAR as she proves herself to be. And who delights in presenting herself in ugly and disfiguring disguises to everyone other than Lews Therin Telamon reborn (in private).
Birgit F
60. birgit
You say he's Lan's childhood friend? I must have missed that - got a reference?

Turning, Lan clasped forearms with the only man in the room beside Bukama of a height with him, Ryne Venamar, his oldest friend except for Bukama.

NS ch. 16
James Hogan
61. Sonofthunder
All I have to say is that Ryne must be an absolutely devastatingly good swordsman. Lan's already good enough that he can take down six men(albeit, not without taking wounds. And I'm sure he couldn't repeate this feat every time). And Ryne is better than him. But then...once we meet Lan in EotW, Lan's had twenty more years of training. Plus the Warder bond. Plus even more motivation(defend Moiraine at all costs). So it's not unbelievable to me here that Ryne would be better at this current time. He does have a little more training time and life experience under his belt.

And all this talk about Lan makes me sorrowful thinking about his current place in the story...charging into ten thousand Trollocs. I do so hope that somehow, someway he survives. We need to see Lan win one more swordfight. Preferably against a Seanchan general(Yulan?) and ten other battle-hardened Seanchan who are attempting to collar Nynaeve. That would be a fight I'd pay to see.
Tricia Irish
62. Tektonica
Well, Tor has a nice new look. Clean. Wider columns. Handy search function below. Ummmm....need to wander around a bit.....

I do hope it works a bit better.....maybe it will keep me logged in for a change. I gave up complaining about that, but ever since their last redesign, I have to sign in every 1/2 hour, despite checking the "keep me logged in" square. ?

Ryne is an old friend of Lan's and perhaps an old teacher or sparing partner. Lan does become the man, but as of NS, he might not be quite there.

Did we see a "resonance" between the two angrels in ToM? Or is Brandon's statement of things to come in MoL?
Jonathan Levy
63. JonathanLevy
60. birgit

Thanks birgit! That detail went right by me during my re-read :)
James Whitehead
64. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@61 Sonofthunder, I'd pay to see that fight of Lan's as well. Reminds me of Frank Miller's Batman miniseries when Batman fights Superman at the end of the miniseries. Half way through the fight, Batman's backup isn't focusing & you see Batman thinking "Hurry up, Oliver. I've finally made him mad..."

Kinda how I see that fight of Lan's going were the Seanchan to try to collar Nynaeve. Those Seanchan definitely would be pulling the mountain down unpon themselves. ;-)

I'm hoping Lan survives as well and considering what he has survived so far in his life, I'm not putting money down against "old stone face." I think his marriage to & love for Nynaeve helps him get off the "Today is a good day to die" button over to the "Yeah, it is a good day to die but an even better day to win & go home."

The idea of bringing back his lost country is too overwhelming, but winning in order to be able to go home to her, yeah, that's doable.

Tess Laird
65. thewindrose
Maybe Nynaeve will feel the strong emotions that Lan sent her before charging down to meet the 150k+ shawdow army at the end of ToM. She will make a bunch of Sisters and Ashaman go with her to to help turn the battle and save Lan. This will make up for when the White Tower didn't get to Malkier in time when Lan was born. Egwene will have a fit, but it is time for Nynaeve to 'get some back' from Egwene. (Not trying to be petty here, but Egwene hasn't been a very good friend to Nynaeve and it would be nice to see her eat some humble pie. Egwene was great in tGS, but I didn't respond very well to her in ToM.)

So it is hard to admit Lan had some learning to do here in NS to become the undeniable #1 blademaster we know and love in the series proper from tEotW to ToM and beyond. It is interesting how lucky Lan is here. We know he isn't a channeler. Minor ta'veren during NS? Pattern blessed?

Benjamin Moldovan
66. benpmoldovan
TWR @65: Does Nynaeve have Lan's bond yet? I didn't think they'd had a chance to meet up together with Myrelle yet.
lake sidey
67. lakesidey
@64 Kato: There's one more reason I badly want that he should survive this - he's been living the last several months 'dying inside'; Nynaeve's sort of just about kept him alive, but he thinks he is going to slowly die anyway - but now there are two significant things which should change his outlook: one is that his bond-holder is now Nynaeve, and second (and perhaps more important) is that Moiraine is alive....now that is a meeting I can't wait to see!

@66 Ben: Yes. After passing her test (but before taking the oaths), Nynaeve goes and gets the bond. Threatening physical violence if Myrelle doesn't pass it on pronto. grin)

@58 Jonathan Levy: Birgit's given the relevant quote for their friendship. And I didn't say that being Lan's childhood friend, or Malkieri, makes him a better swordsman. I mentioned those two facts in response to your statement that he is "a randomly encountered Arafellin".

As for his prowess with the sword, if you need a justification for that, my statement that he is one of the best comes from the following steps: (1) Lan has just killed 6 men at a time. (2) Lan has survived 7+ years in the blight and two years in the Aiel war. (3) Not just survived, but the Aiel respect and honour him (almost the only wetlander who they honour so) (4) Yet Ryme, Lan and Bukama all three think Ryme is better than Lan, not once but on several occasions. Lan might be being modest and Ryme overconfident, but Bukama, who worships the ground Lan walks on?

All things considered, I think that probably indicates that Ryme is pretty damn uber-badass. YMMV of course.

Also, you'd seriously compare a merchant guard in the Two Rivers and a merchant guard in the Borderlands? If yes, then I have a Whitebridge I'd like to sell you....

Jonathan Levy
68. JonathanLevy
66. benpmoldovan
She got it from Myrelle the night after her Aes Sedai Test, but before she swore the 3 oaths not to use the One Power as a weapon :)

65. thewindrose

She will make a bunch of Sisters and Ashaman go with her to to help turn the battle and save Lan. This will make up for when the White Tower didn't get to Malkier in time when Lan was born. Egwene will have a fit, but it is time for Nynaeve to 'get some back' from Egwene.

Come to think of it, Nynaeve's test for the shawl (and Rand's comments to her beforehand, about her passion) would be a perfect foreshadowing of precisely this sequence of events.
Benjamin Moldovan
69. benpmoldovan
@ 67 & 68: Ah. Just goes to show that it’s been quite a while since I got to read ToM. Where the heck DID I put that darn book???? Sigh.
Jonathan Levy
70. JonathanLevy
67. lakesidey

Perhaps I should have been more careful in my choice of words.

When I referred to Ryne as a 'randomly chosen', I meant only in respect of his swordplay skills - not that he had no connection to any of the other characters. I meant it in the sense that two statistical variables are independent. E.G. if you pick a random Aes Sedai, you expect her strength in the power to be average; she may be a childhood friend, but that wouldn't change your expectation of her strength, because childhood friends are not selected based on their strength in the power. Same for Ryne.

Let me state my main point in another way: We have a set of inequalities if skill here:

(1) Six darkfriends defeated by Lan in NS
(2) Lan in NS defeated by Ryne in NS
(3) Lan in NS defeated by Lan in TEOTW

If we accept all 3 inequalities, it means both Ryne in NS and Lan in TEOTW are unreasonably badass, in my opinion. You'd expect Lan in TEOTW to be able to defeat 20 guys with one hand tied behind his back. But if we say Lan was lucky against the six Darkfriends, we can put aside inequality, and then we get something a bit more reasonable, and also get a bit of, er, character development for Lan between NS and TEOTW.

BTW, should we be saying badassness or badassery?

On second thought, the Rule of Cool should apply here, and everything I said should be kicked down the stairs.

Must... not... link... to... tvtropes... ;)
Karen Jacobs
71. KJacobs
Thewindrose@65 : I couldn't agree more regarding Egwene and her treatment of Nynaeve, as well as with my feelings toward her in ToM. I really hope I am able to improve my opinion of her in AMoL.

Wow! Lots of new names since the last time I was here! Nice to see most of the core group still about, though. Finally had a few seconds today to check in, and I find I'm 6 parts behind! :(
Alice Arneson
72. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy @58 - And being a merchant guard entails more bluster and boredom than actual practice. That may be true in many parts of the world, but I'm not so sure it holds as thoroughly in the Borderlands. Not only is it wild country, but it is, after all, right next to the Blight, in an area where no one goes outside a city alone. Even Lan says Ryne is better than he is - but that's not to say he's overwhelmingly, mind-bogglingly better. Just that he's the better swordsman, all other things being equal.

lakesidey @ several - Not to pick nits, but this is driving me nuts. It's Ryne, not Ryme. Really. Thanks.
Sydo Zandstra
73. Fiddler

Maybe Nynaeve will feel the strong emotions that Lan sent her before
charging down to meet the 150k+ shawdow army at the end of ToM. She will make a bunch of Sisters and Ashaman go with her to to help turn the battle and save Lan. This will make up for when the White Tower didn't get to Malkier in time when Lan was born. Egwene will have a fit, but it is time for Nynaeve to 'get some back' from Egwene. (Not trying to be petty here, but Egwene hasn't been a very good friend to Nynaeve and it would be nice to see her eat some humble pie. Egwene was great in tGS, but I didn't respond very well to her in ToM.)

I fully agree.

Although Egwene would see it as defying the White Tower, of course. She seems to be a very selective student in History to me...

This is not really a theory, but I kind of see Nynaeve in a similar role towards these new generation of AS as Cadsuane was to the previous ones. Stubborn, and independent from WT politics. There is even some kind of resonance between Cadsuane and Nynaeve in their dealings so far if you read their scenes well...
Sam Mickel
74. Samadai
Much sadness. Now this will fade away to a shadow of a memory
Alice Arneson
75. Wetlandernw
Must say I'm disappointed at the WoT slowdown. I didn't mind when we went from three to two posts a week, because it gave more time for me to catch up between. :) But one a week? I'm sad - especially since I have very little interest in the other series. I toyed (briefly) with the idea of just following the blog, but... I dunno. It might leave out the worst of the detail (or not) but would certainly leave out the only thing anyone has ever said that might interest me about the series - namely, some people claim that the writing is excellent. So... maybe I'll check out the first blog or two and see what I think. But I'm really bummed about slowing down the WoT reread. *sigh* Hopefully the slowdown won't result in more people just not bothering to check in.
Tricia Irish
76. Tektonica
I read about this "slow down" on Facebook....oh no!! We were just getting to the good stuff again! Whaaaaaa!!!!

Wetlander: I have not been checking in lately, like many of us kind of old timers, but I do read it all. I just have had little to contribute that is not redundant.

As the WoT blog slowed down, due to the middle three books being real snooze material for me, I segued over to Malazan, but I was so looking forward to KoD!! And TGS!! and ToM!! Tell me it's not so...we're not going to Once Per Week really? Can we have a moment of whining?

I know....maybe they've worked out the number of weeks before MoL comes out and want to hit it perfectly, with holidays and sickness and random life-craziness thrown in, right? Right?

Anyway, I'll be loving your trademark irreverence over in GRRM country too. *sigh*
Thomas Keith
77. insectoid
Sam @74 et al: For a few minutes I was going "Buh??"

Then I saw the announcement.


At this rate the Re-read won't finish until the proposed WoT Encyclopedia is published... ::pouts::

lake sidey
78. lakesidey
@72 Wet: Oops, sorry. My bad! It seems I somehow have been consistently reading it wrong!

James Hogan
79. Sonofthunder
Let me take a moment to whine as well...*whinewhinewhinepoutwhinewhine*...Ok, done.

I thought I'd refrain from posting in the other thread, but you all understand how I feel here, I think! Ah the days when we had some twenty chapters a week! Or at least...3 re-reads a week! And now one. Sad day indeed. I just think it's going to be a lot harder to have continuity in our discussions now...but maybe it will work out. I can hope.

As to the SoIaF re-read, I'm in the same boat as Wetlander...I may follow along with that re-read but not sure. We shall see. I may follow it just as a fix to keep myself going to the next WoT re-read!!
Patricia Lawlor
80. NearToothlessWilder
Just a small point - the Chapter Icon given above for Chapter 16 is the Seanchan helmet, not Lan's as it should be.

It gave me a few bad moments before I checked the book; I was sure there must be some fact or foreshadowing in that chapter that I was too dense to pick up on.
Rob Munnelly
81. RobMRobM
Note that I've asked Leigh to do 3 chapters a week, which will get us done by mid-2012. I'm having trouble imagining that Brandon can finish before then (he's still doing his WoT re-read and hasn't really begun active drafting of the big remaining parts of AMOL). Feel free to support the proposal, either here or in this thread. Three for Leigh, Three for Leigh!
Sorcha O
83. sushisushi
I'm sad about the reduced frequency of WoT re-read posting, too. I mean, I like GRRM, I've read all of ASoIaF more than once and I'm really looking forward to the TV series, but I'd really, really don't have any huge desire to go through GRRM's headf*ckery at the pace of a once-a-week re-read. I've been having fun on these threads for the last while and I'm not keen on any further loss of momentum in getting the discussion through to the end of the series. I'd totally support the proposal of three WoT chapters a week, even if we would have to wait until each Tuesday for them. That said, it's Leigh's re-read and she gets the final say on the matter ;)
lake sidey
84. lakesidey
@81 RobMRobM: You should ask Brandon to do three chapters a week. (in aMoL I mean, not in his re-read!). Though I suppose I would rather he took his time and gave us the most awesome book he can....

@82 Valmar: More like "here! here!" (as opposed to "on some other re-read") ;) Not that I mind an aSoIaF read, just dread having to watch the spoilers...

Anyway, I propose three (cheers) for Leigh, even if you don't agree with her decision....'tis a brave course she has taken, whether or not 'tis wise (come to think of it, the same could be said of most of Elayne's plans. I hereby conclude that Leigh is Eleighn Reborn...)

Hugh Arai
85. HArai
RobMRobM@81 &others: Is there any particular reason you feel the WoT re-read needs to be done before AMoL? Are you afraid the discussion will dry up once people read the last book? The Crippled God is out now and the Malazan Reread hasn't died. In fact I suspect it's only getting started.

lakesidey@84: Beware. If the parallel holds true, a bunch of us are going to get killed rescuing Leigh :)
Alice Arneson
86. Wetlandernw
lakesidey @84 - I hereby conclude that Leigh is Eleighn Reborn...

ROFL!! Including the fascination with "colorful metaphors" even! :)

HArai @85 - Beware. If the parallel holds true, a bunch of us are going to get killed rescuing Leigh.

ROFL some more! Oh, help!

BTW, I suspect the "finish before AMoL comes out" mentality is based on the original intent of the reread, which was to go through the series before AMoL (the originally-planned version) came out. It was slowed down (in a very good way!) when they split it to three books, but I suspect most of us still have that in the back of our minds - finish the reread just in time for the last book. Come to think of it, the reread discussion will be vastly impacted by the last book - we may almost wish we could go back and do the whole thing again, given the revelations and conclusions (and not!) we'll see when we finally get to RAFO.
lake sidey
87. lakesidey
@86 Wetlander: That's true - I started my re-read 8 or 9 months ago, and read Leigh's posts side by side as I went along, and there were many points where I thought something like "oh, but we know that Verin is..." and then stopped because I realised that post was written before tGS!

I am not worried about this re-read losing its relevance, just possibly its vibrancy! But we'll wait and see - all might turn out fine and we may just be worrying for nothing...

Daniel Smith
88. Smittyphi
@84 Lakesidy Who gets to wait on Eleighn during her baths? Does she take more baths. This is important stuff here!
William McDaniel
91. willmcd
New Spring, while containing some interesting background material, doesn't really hold water to the rest of the series for me, containing not nearly as many of the themes and symbols found elsewhere. If I might paraphrase Martin Luther, I find it a right strawy text in comparison with the main series, with little of the WoTian character in it. The only 88 comments that these chapters generated (with their absence of opportunities to discuss the wisdom (or lack thereof) of the White Tower's "defer-to-strength-in-the-Power" protocol, or re-open the discussion on RJ's treatment of same-sex relationships) seems to bear this out.

I did find Ch15-16 interesting in the sense that they read a little more like pulpy "low fantasy" than most of the series. The battle-hardened warrior comes into a frontier town for a brief respite before continuing his bloody crusade, runs into a buddy of his and exchanges some gruff greetings, and encounters a licentious barmaid.

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