Fri
Mar 11 2011 2:16pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: New Spring, Part 9

New Spring by Robert JordanSakes alive, it’s a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 17 and 18 of New Spring, featuring unexpected visits by a friend, an enemy, and a frenemy, not necessarily in that order.

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, please click on both for the post, and some announcements and scheduling and stuff.

So, first the announcement: I’m starting a new blog series on Tor.com, reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series, because I have lost my mind. You can read all about it here.

Ergo, the schedule for the Wheel of Time Re-read will be changing up: starting next week, instead of two WOT posts a week, I will be doing one WOT post every Tuesday and one ASOIAF post every Friday, at least for now. I certainly hope that all a y’all will follow along on both series!

Also, as a reminder, JordanCon 2011 is coming up this April, and I will be going, so there will almost certainly be a hiatus on both series at that time. But to tide you over, I believe I’m going to be doing some on-the-spot blogging from the convention, which should be moderately hilarious. Watch This Space.

And that’s pretty much what that is, so without further ado, on we go to the post!

Chapter 17: An Arrival

What Happens
After a month, Moiraine thinks chasing after prophecy is less an adventure and more total boredom and frustration. She is in Canluum, taking tea with a woman named Jurine Najima, who just lost her husband and her three sons in a barn fire. Grieving, Jurine tells “the Lady Alys” that she doesn’t understand how it could have happened; Moiraine inwardly winces at how pompous her soothing platitudes sound in reply. She is distracted momentarily at thinking of the news from Cairhien, where four Houses are skirmishing fiercely over their claims to the throne, and wondering how the Tower will eventually make her pay for ducking out of the succession.

“It's just that Josef was always so lucky, my Lady Alys. Everyone spoke of it. They said if Josef Najima fell down a hole, there'd be opals at the bottom. When he answered the Lady Kareil's call to go fight the Aiel, I worried, but he never took a scratch. When camp fever struck, it never touched us or the children. Josef gained the Lady's favor without trying. Then it seemed the Light truly did shine on us. Jerid was born safe and whole, and the war ended, all in a matter of days, and when we came home to Canluum, the Lady gave us the livery stable for Josef's service, and… and…”

Moiraine soon takes her leave, feeling guilty to be relieved by the death of an infant, but Jurine’s youngest son had been born in the wrong place. She heads back to her inn, which she thinks she would never have picked if she had known that no less than five Aes Sedai were also staying there. Fortunately none of them know Moiraine, and have inferred she is a wilder, a misconception which Moiraine has been happy to let them believe. She enters the common room and heads straight for the stairs, but is stopped by, to her dismay, two sisters she knows well: Larelle Tarsi (Gray), who taught Moiraine as a novice, and the former Mistress of Novices Merean Redhill herself.

Larelle was as strong as Merean, requiring deference, but they were outside the Tower, now. They had no right to interfere with whatever she might be doing here. Yet if either said the wrong thing here, word that Moiraine Damodred was wandering about in disguise would spread with the sisters in the room, and it would reach the wrong ears as surely as peaches were poison. That was the way of the world. A summons back to Tar Valon would find her soon after. Disobeying the Amyrlin Seat once was bad enough. Twice, and very likely sisters would be sent to bring her back.

Fortunately, Moiraine is saved from having to say anything by one of the original five sisters staying there, Felaana Bevaine (Brown), butting in to tell Larelle and Merean that Moiraine is a wilder who refuses to consider going to the Tower. Moiraine replies perfectly truthfully that she has no intention of enrolling as a novice at this time; Merean appears amused, and neither she nor Larelle give Moiraine away, telling Felaana to leave her be. Felaana is set to argue it further when all three sisters see someone behind Moiraine, and freeze in place.

“So this girl does not want to be a novice,” said a woman's voice from the stairs. A voice Moiraine had heard only once, two years ago, and would never forget. A number of women were stronger than she, but only one could be as much stronger as this one. Unwillingly, she looked over her shoulder.

Nearly black eyes studied her from beneath a bun of iron-gray hair decorated with golden ornaments, stars and birds, crescent moons and fish. Cadsuane, too, wore her shawl, fringed in green. “In my opinion, girl,” she said dryly, “you could profit from ten years in white.”

Moiraine thinks of the incredible stories connected with Cadsuane, and opines to herself that it is a most uncomfortable thing to have a living legend staring right at you. Moiraine tries to speak up, but trails off under Cadsuane’s stare. Cadsuane orders Merean and Larelle to “bring the girl,” and heads up stairs to a private room. Helpless to disobey, the three of them follow, and Moiraine thinks to herself that at least Cadsuane could not be one of Tamra’s searchers, as she had not been back to Tar Valon since the beginning of the Aiel War. In the room, Cadsuane lets Merean and Larelle sit but orders Moiraine to stand, and Moiraine keeps her mouth shut with difficulty. Cadsuane studies them all for a while, then bluntly asks what a newly-raised sister is doing without her shawl or ring near the Blight. Moiraine answers that new sisters are often in search of Warders, and she’d heard Bordermen are excellent for that. Cadsuane stares at her, then asks Merean and Larelle for their estimates of Moiraine’s character. Larelle tells her that Moiraine and Siuan both were prone to pranks and too outspoken, but quick learners with a lot of potential. Merean agrees about the pranks, but adds that they were never mean-spirited.

“Novice and Accepted, she was sent to my study more often than any three other girls. Except for her pillow-friend Siuan. Of course, pillow-friends frequently get into tangles together, but with those two, one was never sent to me without the other. The last time the very night after passing for the shawl. […] Instead of spending the night in contemplation, they tried to sneak mice into a sister's bed—Elaida a'Roihanand were caught. I doubt any other women have been raised Aes Sedai while still too tender to sit from their last visit to the Mistress of Novices.”

Moiraine kept her face smooth, kept her hands from knotting into fists, but she could do nothing about burning cheeks. That ruefully amused frown, as if she were still Accepted. She needed seasoning, did she? Well, perhaps she did, some, but still. And spreading out all these intimacies!

Moiraine announces she is leaving for Chachin, and wants to kick herself. Cadsuane tells her she’s going nowhere. Merean and Larelle want to know why Cadsuane is interested in her, and Cadsuane answers bluntly that she, Cadsuane, might die at any time, and when she and Meilyn are gone, that will leave Kerene the strongest of any living Aes Sedai. The others are utterly appalled at her flouting of custom by speaking of this, but Cadsuane goes on relentlessly that after that there is “a sharp drop” to the next five strongest, which will include Moiraine and Siuan once they reach their potential.

Cadsuane scowled, a fearsome sight. “No one has come to the Tower in a thousand years who could match me. No one to match Meilyn or Kerene in almost six hundred. A thousand years ago, there would have been fifty sisters or more who stood higher than this child. In another hundred years, though, she'll stand in the first rank. Oh, someone stronger may be found in that time, but there won't be fifty, and there may be none. We dwindle.”

Uncomfortably, Larelle wants to know what Moiraine has to do with the issue, and Cadsuane answers as offensively as possible that she worries for Moiraine’s safety out here, and orders that she will wait and accompany the other two sisters to Chachin. All three of the others protest this as strongly as they dare, but Cadsuane will hear none of it, and kicks Merean and Larelle out; Moiraine thinks it’s like watching an avalanche. Once they are gone, Moiraine wants to know what if she has affairs that can’t wait; Cadsuane scoffs, and tells her she has not yet figured out that she has only just begun to learn.

“You will take great risks in your life, if you live long enough. You already take more than you know. Heed carefully what I say. And do as I say. I will check your bed tonight, and if you are not in it, I will find you and make you weep as you did for those mice. You can dry your tears afterward on that shawl you believe makes you invincible. It does not.”

Cadsuane leaves, and a stunned Moiraine wonders if it had been a coincidence that she’d mentioned Kerene and Meilyn, two of Tamra’s searchers, and notes that her interference had put paid to Moiraine’s participation in the search for at least a week. She is very uneasy, wondering how much Cadsuane knows.

Commentary
Reenter: CADSUANE.

Heh.

Maybe it’s just repeated exposure, like I’m building up an immunity (like with chicken pox!), but Cadsuane gets more amusing to me the further I go with this Re-read. But then, I always found her bulldozing people right and left to be at least slightly amusing; it was only when she did that shit with Rand that I tended to get truly annoyed.

Also, I remember I was like “Oh Lord” when I saw in KOD that Cadsuane had her own icon, but apparently she first got it here. I have to say, I really like her icon just from an aesthetic viewpoint.

Opinions on Cadsuane’s personality aside, one of the bigger complaints that fans have historically directed at the character is how she appeared out of nowhere, narratively, so very late in the series, and seemed like a convenient invention on Jordan’s part. And while I don’t remember much about the story in NS, I do remember some fans scoffing at her inclusion in the prequel, calling it a lame attempt to “legitimize” her.

Personally, I’m kind of “eeehhnn” about this criticism. There’s obviously a certain amount of truth to Cadsuane’s Johnny-come-lately-ness as a character (for the very simple reason that so many people wouldn’t feel that way about her if she weren’t), but getting mad at Jordan for including her in NS seems a little over the top. If the author says the woman existed, at some point you have to just accept that and get over it, you know?

Merean and Larelle: The one thing I definitely remember about NS is that Merean turns out to be Black, but I can’t remember if Larelle is as well. It certainly seems like she and Merean are in lockstep here, though.

Also, whoops: Moiraine and Siuan did get caught with the mice. Somehow I totally missed that, jeez.

Again we see here with Cadsuane’s speech about the “dwindling” of the strength of the Tower, literally as well as figuratively, the reemphasis that the Tower as an institution is actually severely messed up. Those who complain that the Black Ajah never seem to really do too much evil stuff may want to consider that perhaps they simply had more long-term goals, eh?

This also reminds me of an observation I made a couple of thousand years ago, reflecting on the cleverness of Jordan’s “Pattern” cosmology set-up, which gives him a perfect in-story justification of why all of a sudden all these super-powerful channelers start popping up when TEOTW begins, many of whom are being born right about now in the timeline, give or take a few years. In other words, the Pattern is preparing for Tarmon Gai’don not just in the birth of Rand, but in the births of those he’ll need to help him. Neat.

Also, Jurine is someone we'll never see again, but I just have to say, I can't even imagine what it would be like to lose three sons and a husband in one day. Man.

 

Chapter 18: A Narrow Passage

What Happens
Moiraine reenters the common room, wishing Siuan was there, and blinks in astonishment when she suddenly sees Siuan herself peeking into the door. Siuan vanishes into the street, and Moiraine swiftly follows her to an alley, where she is shocked to see Siuan is genuinely afraid. Siuan begs Moiraine to tell her that she’s already found the boy.

Siuan began to weep. Siuan, who had a lion's heart. Tears spilled down her cheeks. Throwing her arms around Moiraine, she squeezed hard enough to make Moiraine's ribs ache. She was trembling. “I couldn't trust this to a pigeon,“ she mumbled, ”or to any of the eyes-and-ears. I wouldn't have dared. They're all dead. Aisha and Kerene, Valera and Ludice and Meilyn. They say Aisha and her Warder were killed by bandits in Murandy. Kerene supposedly fell off a ship in the Alguenya during a storm and drowned. And Meilyn… Meilyn…” Sobs racked her so she could not go on.

Weakly, Moiraine supposes that accidents do happen, but Siuan tells her how Meilyn had returned to the Tower a month ago, and Siuan had wanted to talk to her without being seen, so she snuck into Meilyn’s room and hid under her bed, but Meilyn never came. Then the next day, Chesmal Emry had come into breakfast and announced that Meilyn had died in her sleep, in her bed the night before. Moiraine is stunned, and Siuan adds that Meilyn died without a mark on her, so it must have been done with the One Power.

“Think, Moiraine. Tamra supposedly died in her sleep, too. Only we know Meilyn didn't, no matter where she was found. First Tamra, then the others started dying. The only thing that makes sense is that someone noticed her calling sisters in and wanted to know why badly enough that they bloody risked putting the Amyrlin Seat herself to the question. They had to have something to hide to do that, something they'd hazard anything to keep hidden. They killed her to hide it, to hide what they'd done, and then they set out to kill the rest. Which means they don't want the boy found, not alive. They don't want the Dragon Reborn at the Last Battle. Any other way to look at it is tossing the slop bucket into the wind and hoping for the best.”

[…] Forcing her face to smoothness, forcing her voice to calm, [Moiraine] forced the words out. ”The Black Ajah.“ Siuan flinched, then nodded, glowering.

Siuan doesn’t think they know about her and Moiraine, because Tamra never really considered them part of the search, otherwise they’d be dead too. She says she put a note in disguised handwriting under Sierin’s door, but doesn’t think it will do much good. Moiraine pulls herself together and tells Siuan they will just have to carry on the search alone, and then remembers her encounter at the inn. She swiftly recounts it to Siuan, who thinks Cadsuane could be Black, but could also be one of Tamra’s searchers. Either way, Siuan proposes they leave Canluum, now, but Moiraine convinces her to go on ahead, and Moiraine will follow her in the morning. They hug goodbye, and Moiraine heads back to the inn, trying not to see Darkfriends behind every door. She sees what she thinks must be a sister (because of the shawl) talking to a very tall man with his hair in belled braids who stalks off angrily, but doesn’t see what sister it is or her Ajah. In the common room, she notes that Merean and Larelle and Cadsuane are all wearing their shawls. Moiraine finds that everyone’s attitude has changed now that they assume she is being hustled off to the Tower, and the innkeeper has put her in to share a room with a merchant named Haesel Palan, who proves to be a very unsatisfactory roommate. Moiraine can’t sleep anyway, and when the door creaks open in the middle of the night she embraces saidar in a flash, ready to defend herself.

Cadsuane put her head in. Moiraine had forgotten her promise, her threat. The Green sister saw the glow, of course, could feel how much she held. ”Fool girl" was all the woman said before leaving.

Moiraine waits a bit, then gets up, dresses, and sneaks out, leaving her saddlebags behind.

Commentary
Yeah, Siuan’s news would pretty much terrify the hell out of me if I were Moiraine. Revelations of a supposedly non-existent evil organization within your own aside, the feeling there must be akin to being two rookie cops who find out the police station got blown up while they were gone.

Or something, I dunno. Just very much, “Oh, look, we’re the only non-evil people left alive who know about this prophecy that affects the fate of humanity itself. No pressure!” Yeek.

Plus, that is a murder spree of truly horrific proportions in almost any context. Especially on the heels of Cadsuane’s observation on the dearth of powerful sisters; well, there are even fewer now, aren’t there? It’s upsetting both on a personal level and on a tactical one.

I’m really glad that Siuan figured out Tamra was murdered, because I really would have to have lost respect for her if she hadn’t. Wow, I just re-read that sentence three times, and even though I’m 99% sure it’s grammatically correct it still looks wrong.

ANYWAY. I was a trifle annoyed, though, that neither of them seemed to make the connection that this meant Chesmal is Black Ajah too. Although, I guess that can’t be assumed, technically, since Chesmal could have just been repeating what she was told by someone else. Still, you’d think that would have made Siuan suspicious of her, at the very least.

Tall bell-braided guy: Ryne? Ooh, was I right about him being evil? Or is it just a Red Herring? We’ll see!

Also, what does Cadsuane know about the whole thing? That, I can’t remember at all, but I’m probably safe in assuming it’s more complicated than Moiraine thinks.


And that’s what I got for this one, peoples. Have a scrumptious weekend, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday!

145 comments
Maggie K
1. SneakyVerin
I always really loved the tension that came about at this point inthe novel. Realizing that the 'searchers' were being killed. Good chapter
Mike McCaffrey
2. earlgrey
Thank you for the post. Good luck with the other.
icantthinkofone
3. icantthinkofone
For anyone who's heard the audiobook--Kate Reading's reading of Siuan's story is the best acting in the entire series. Heartbreaking. (Just don't get me started on Michael Kramer.)
lake sidey
4. lakesidey
Thanks, Leigh. I wasn't sure if there would be a post today or not!

I remember being a bit stunned by this part of the story, because, well, Cads just told us that there are only two others who stand higher than Moiraine will - and *voila* they both get killed. (Also, I have a friend with a name similar to Aisha, and so she was what Aisha looked like in my mind (after adding around 40-50 years and an ageless face, I suppose). So that was a shocker...)

"I really would have to have lost respect for her if she hadn’t" does
seem a bit suspect. Might I courteously suggest "I would really have
had to lose respect for her if she hadn't" instead?

And Larelle, well, I think she just vanished.

~lakesidey
Ryan R
5. CorDarei
I'll preface this by saying I do enjoy the re-read.


With that said, I think that the job of the blogger lacks a little professionalism that other bloggers have. I understand missing blog posts on holidays and the like, but when "personal stuff" comes up and that prevents a re-read, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. And her taking on another book, cutting this series down to 1 a week, we're going to go some weeks w/o even seeing a re-read...... Or perhaps she's not paid to blog this re-read and my point is moot, but it would be nice to see a consistent set of re-read posts. (I don't even want to get into the differing times of the day that she posts it)
Chris Chaplain
6. chaplainchris1
Yay, reread post!

I keep forgetting how much you say you've forgotten about NS, Leigh; so I probably shouldn't even say this, but will. I laughed at the foreshadowing of Moiraine trying not to see DFs behind every door, then immediately seeing...erm...who she saw.

I also find it ironic that you mention the murders of Tamra's searchers being a murder spree of horrific proportions. True, but ironic, as we'll get to later.

I like the narrative tension picking up here. I didn't have much to say about the last two Lan chapters. Lan is cool, and I like him as much as anybody, but there just didn't seem to be a lot to comment on there. Anyway, tension here, for sure...which is not surprising. This is the point where the NS novella in Legends began, and I agree with other commenters that the novella was, overall, better than the novel. I loved the novella when I first read it - it was a tighter story, with lots of tension and a driving pace (despite knowing Moiraine's future).

Of course it didn't hurt that it gave me new names to add to my One Power ranking lists...something I started obsessively keeping for myself long before I found Usenet or the 13th Depository. The novella was the first mention of Kerene and Meilyn, and I found it very interesting. By the way...how does anyone know that Cadsuane, or Egwene and Elayne, are the strongest AS in 1000 years? Or that, barring them, Kerene and Meilyn are the strongest in 600? I mean...there's nobody from 1000 years ago to compare them to! Surely they're not being rated on some kind of objective scale? (I know Jordan had one, but...)

Anyhow...the first part of the novel has some semi-interesting stuff, but it doesn't have the same driving pace to me that this section begins. Nor is it entirely free of the dangers of prequels...as we do see in these chapters, actually. I'd not thought about it, but you're completely right, Leigh. Siuan and Moiraine should've been watching Chesmal from this point on.

However, I wonder if Siuan's letter to Sierin had more effect than she knows? Chesmal (who has the ability to kill with the OP, so I assume she was Meilyn's actual murderer) is supposed to be the one who "induced" - or will induce? Prequels make tenses hard - the Reds to murder Sierin Vayu in a few years. I wonder if Sierin was suspicious of Chesmal, and Chesmal used the Reds to cover her tracks? I *think* that's hinted at in WH, but I'll have to check my book.

And I think Cadsuane has a POV somewhere - but no idea where - where she thinks that once she'd almost exposed the Black Ajah, only to have her quarry evaporate. I wonder if she might've worked with Sierin...and her quarry evaporated when Sierin died? Except I can't be sure I'm not making up the POV, so never mind...unless someone else can help!
James Whitehead
7. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I don't think Jordan wanted to draw too much attention to Chesmal being the one who announced Meilyn's death. He's backfilling a little and Siuan & Moiraine, clever clogs that they are, would've made that connection pretty easily; or at least filed it away to ferret out proof of their suspicions later.

They probably made the assumption that Chesmal was simply told what had happened. Also, I think the death of the other 'hunters' has knocked them for a loop & might have glossed over that detail, which we, the detatched readers, pick up on so much more easily. (I think that matches Leigh's sentence wonkiness. ;-)
Birgit
8. birgit
Also, what does Cadsuane know about the whole thing? That, I
can’t remember at all, but I’m probably safe in assuming it’s more
complicated than Moiraine thinks.

Cadsuane says what she is up to: protect Moiraine from her own inexperience. Cads had an encounter with Norla when she was a new sister that taught her caution. She is also a strong channeler who had to learn her limits when she was young. She is trying to pass on her own experience, but still hasn't learned to be diplomatic about it.
Bill Reamy
9. BillinHI
Being late to the party this morning (stayed up most of the night waiting for the tsunami that didn't arrive on schedule) has its bennies: I get to see Leigh's new post before 80 comments have appeared.

Not much to say on these chapters. I wasn't heavily in to WOT when the novella came out, so the novel is all I know and I like it for the background it gives us on so many favorite (and un-favorite: Yes, Caddy Sue, I'm lookin' at you!) characters.

Quick follow-up to a late comment on part 8, noting that the wrong helmet icon is used: I just noticed yesterday that the Sea Folk icon (the gulls and star) changed between book 8 (TPOD) and 9 (WH). In book 9 it is flipped horizontally. Don't ask me why I noticed it, I don't want to get into what kicks off my OCD every now and then ;-).

On the tsunami, we did get some late-arriving damage here on Oahu: one of the small boat harbors had some very serious damage, as did Kahului on Maui and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. No deaths or injuries that I know of. My heart goes out to those in Japan who are dealing with massive devastation and loss of life.
Benjamin Moldovan
10. benpmoldovan
Re: Chesmal: hadn’t thought of that. Should have picked up on her lie (assuming she hadn’t been told what to say, which we wouldn’t have known if NS was the first book we’d read in the series, whereas we actually know that she’s a murderer and BA.

Re: How did Cads know? Well, keep in mind, AS are pretty long lived. She probably talked to some pretty old AS somewhere along the line in her youth, who probably did the same in THEIR youths, etc. It would only take 3 or 4 AS in succession who go on to live a full 300 years or so, to be able to pass on that knowledge, and cover about 1000 years. Plus, another factor is that even though they find thinking about strength in the power distasteful, that IS after all how they determine rank. So how many and which AS are very strong in the power would be very well known in the Tower. AS “generations” are long, and pass away very gradually. So stronger, older AS gradually die out, and lower numbers of strong AS would gradually become more and more noticed by those remaining. So in conclusion, it’s really not all that surprising the Cadsuane knows of that decline over 1000 years.
Don Baumberger
11. D-Luxxx
I have to agree that I'm a little dissapointed in the lessening of posts. I understand that life happens, and that there are other projects and work for Leigh, but I can't help feeling a little miffed that we are only going to see about another 24-30 chapters of re-read before the last book comes out (that is if we keep up with only 2 chapters a week). That would put us about halfway through The Gathering Storm when the last book is published.

I love the rereads, and I've been following them since I discovered them last year. I like them not because they are a substitute for reading the books themselves (which I do anyway) but because they help give deeper insights to the storyline and plot points that I may have missed on my own.

With that said, I'll continue reading the posts as they come, but I kind of doubt that I'll see the enteries for the last few books after AMoL comes out. I mean, what would the point be?
icantthinkofone
12. almuric
I will not be joining you on the GRRM re-read. I haven't read it and refuse to until he finishes it. Same goes for Rothfuss. If you want my money, write faster. Jordan made me gun-shy, I guess.

I only have the one son. I can't imagine losing him. Losing three? Not sure I'd survive that.

I work in a pretty large office with almost 600 people total. I just spent a few minutes imagining that 25% of them were 'bad' people, out to take over the world. Having played D&D for over 30 years, I've got a pretty good imagination for stuff like that. I think I just paranoided myself. (Is that a word?) At one point, chills went down my spine.

Rationally, of course, I know it's not true. But what if it is?
lake sidey
13. lakesidey
@several: Re: Chesmal - on thinking about it I am not that surprised that they didn't think of her as Black. For one thing, after all, they had done the same kind of thing when Gitara died - lying by omission and letting others misinterpret and speak a full-blown lie by misreading their words. Admittedly they were Accepted then, but they were still expected to live by AS standards. As well suspect Tarna of being Black because she said "Gitara didn't have a Foretelling". The plain fact is, they are well aware that even an Aes Sedai can speak a falsehood if she believes it to be true, so no reason to go suspecting Chesmal without more solid proof (after all it is about the most serious accusation one could make!)

But a more telling point is simply this - it wasn't until later in NS (Ch. 25) that Moiraine and Siuan realised that Black Sisters could lie. So at this earlier point in the story, they must have assumed that Chesmal, being a full sister, was speaking in good faith, and saying what she believed to be the truth. They have literally no reason to suspect her.

I wonder, if somehow the word of Gitara's foretelling had later become commong knowledge (say, Tamra had survived and made a public proclamation of it when she felt it was time) how many people might have suspected Moiraine of being a darkfriend for lying about it (which is how they would remember it - chances are almost no-one would remember her precise shading of the truth!)

@6 chaplainchris1: As for how Cads knows....in addition to what Ben@10 said, I am guessing that tower records document these things pretty carefully. Especially for the stronger sisters. It wouldn't be too difficult - one's abilities in most "power-related" things generally seem directly proportional to one's strenght (with exceptions like Egwene's remarkable ability with Earth or Androl's facility with Gateways) so there would be an awareness that, say, "Caraighan Maconar, who lived 700 years back, could move a pebble fully 1800 feet away with the power! Wow!" (just as in the present day, people can gauge each other's strength by the size of the gateways they can make (we have seen wielders of saidin do this as well for that matter).

@12 almuric: It is almost certainly true. They're out to get you.

Statutory Information: You have just read a small Wall-of-Text.

~lakesidey
Stefan Mitev
14. Bergmaniac
The whole "We refuse to believe that any Darkfreinds can be Aes Sedai and have their own Ajah" hand in the sand act is so stupid from the Sisters. It's accepted that there Darkfreinds everywhere in Randland, so it makes sense that there should be some in the White Tower too. In fact, since a channeller turned to the Shadow is way more useful than a normal person, it's logical that recruiting Aes Sedai would be one of the Shadow's priorities.

BTW - no comments on the pillowfriends bit here? Or was that horse really beaten to death in the earlier chapters? ;)

5 sisters at one inn, none of which knew Moiraine as a novice or Accepted, seems quite unlikely coincidence, especially considering Moiraine must've been the star pupil of the Tower for all kinds of reasons - strenght in the Power, really quick learner, notorious prankster, and a royalty to boot.

This is one of those rare times I like Cadsuane, BTW, she's bossy here, but for good reason, the behaviour of Moiraine was reckless and Cadsuane didn't know the reason she had to take risks. If Cadsuane ever hears the full story of the Supergirls adventures, she would be been horrified that the Tower's 3 top prospects in a millenium had risked their lives recklessly something like twice a week on average for the past 2 years. ;)
Jim Crumley
15. crumley
Leigh,

Did you decide to try doing the ASOIAF read because the almost forgotten re-read of A New Spring was working so well?

I am in a similar boat. I could have sworn that I had read NS previously, but so little of this has rung a bell for me that I think I may have just read the novella.
Tess Laird
16. thewindrose
For the power ranking system - I think it must be pretty standard, like looking at a car engine and knowing how fast it can go. Everyone seems to know the ultimate rating - ie Lanfear class, even though that strong of a channeler hasn't been around since the breaking. Also demonstrated in the story is the knowledge of how much power it takes to graduate from Novice to Accepted (women who are not strong enough are forced to leave).

It is ironic that Moiraine thinks to herself that she is scared and needs to stop thinking that everyone is a darkfriend, and runs right into some right away. I also found it funny that Cadsuane says:
You can dry your tears afterward on that shawl you believe makes you invincible. It does not.

I mean, Moiraine is masquerading around as a minor Cairhien noble; she isn't wearing her ring, shawl or even mentioning that she is Aes Sedai.

tempest™
j p
17. sps49
Wait, how can they not suspect Chesmal? The whole point is that Siuan knows there is lying afoot because of her night under the bed. I just figured that M&S reached the same conclusion as the readers.

I also thought Cadsuane's slam was weak, the windrose, you ninja!
icantthinkofone
18. mrc1ark
Boo on splitting time with another re-read. :(
Thomas Keith
19. insectoid
Given the multitude of Terrible Things that are happening on the other side of the Pacific, I'd just like to wish safety to anyone here that is in or from that location of the world.

Anyway: Yes, Leigh, you've gone totally bonkers. But you know what? Some of the best people are :)

Merean: I find it amusing that she plays along with Moiraine's posing as a "wilder", given her allegiance...

Cadsuane: Nosy b*tch. (Sorry, I had to say it.) Although, it is slightly amusing that Cadsuane continues to stomp on protocol and etiquette despite how uncomfortatble it makes other sisters. Someone (I forget who) last post opined that Nynaeve is kind of like that to the younger generation of AS, as Cadsuane is to the older generation, and I find myself agreeing with that assessment.

Larelle: Ah yes, another of those AS that we never hear of again. Did Merean off her, or was she telling the truth when she said Larelle changed her mind about going to Chachin?

Enter: The Black Ajah! DUN! And now Moiraine and Siuan are the only Light-siders left who know about the existence of the DR as an infant. Yeesh.

BillinHI @9: I'm a little surprised Hawaii didn't get hammered more than it did. Glad you're all right.

Bzzz™.
icantthinkofone
20. Cat
I'm sure Leigh doesn't need me to defend her, she can do that herself. But to those who are outraged that the posts aren't coming out as fast as you'd like, I say:

LEIGH BUTLER IS NOT YOUR BITCH.

(See
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html.)
Chris Chaplain
21. chaplainchris1
@8 Birgit - and also @6, me - there's more to Cadsuane's agenda than what she says. (After all, don't we know by now that the truth we think we hear from an Aes Sedai is never the real or whole truth? :)

Tracked down the reference I was thinking of in the Encyclopaedia (I tried to find it earlier, but second time is the charm). In Winter's Heart ch. 13, Cadsuane thinks that failing to root out the Black Ajah is one of her bitterest failures. Another was failing to learn what Moiraine was up to (in NS) until much too late.

The one may have nothing to do with the other, but taken together, both are suggestive. They at least imply that Cadsuane is Up To Something. Cadsuane had retired before the Aiel War brought her back briefly - why hasn't she returned to retirement? What is she doing in the area in the first place? Moiraine is there secretly, so (unless Cadsuane's information sources are *very* good, which they may well be) it's hardly likely that Cads came there just to check up on the new-but-strong Moiraine. She *must* have some other agenda.

Moreover, Siuan and Moiraine think she is likely to be either one of Tamra's searchers, or Black Ajah. We know she's not Black, ergo...

Mind you, neither Siuan nor Moiraine is infallible, and Cadsuane's presence there may be pure coincedence. But I doubt it. I also find myself wondering if Cadsuane was really interfering with Moiraine, or with Larella and/or Merean? (Moiraine, I think - but considering Cadsuane's thoughts on rooting out Blacks, and Merean's presence...nah.)

Poll: does Cadsuane fit the profile of Tamra's searchers? She's old, competent, respected, and can be trusted not to over-react to a man who can channel the way the Reds might. It might make sense for Tamra to contact her - I'd certainly want the strongest sisters on hand if I'd just learned the Dragon was Reborn and battle with the Shadow was on the horizon. On the other hand, the rest of Tamra's searchers have a reputation for adherence to the Law, iirc, and Cadsuane seems to have a reputation for doing whatever the heck she wants.

And hey, it just occurred to me - does anyone else think it's odd that none of Tamra's searchers were Blues? As a former Blue, you'd think she'd be most likely to know and trust women from that Ajah.

On the ASoIaF blog - since Leigh doesn't owe me *any* blog posts, WOT or otherwise, 1x, 2x, 3x a week or otherwise, I have little comment. I will say that I'm really unsure that I'll be joining the GRRM reread, though. I indicated recently (in an earlier thread) that GRRM does have some likable characters - but it's also true that the horrible things that happen to them are that much worse for that reason. I've not re-read any of the series at this point, a) because there's no reason to get into the series and anticipate what comes next, since it'll be many years 'til it is finished, and b) because it's hard to read. I *do* want to know what happens, but I'd been planning not to reread the series, or read the new book, until the whole thing was finished. But a Leigh readthrough is a powerful draw, esp. since I've forgotten so much that it'd be pretty new for me, too.
Maiane Bakroeva
22. Isilel
Yay, GRRM Read by Leigh! Going to be interesting, to see it all from fresh, very articulate and opiniated POV. Don't be disgruntled, folks - if _Tor_ asked Leigh to do it, then it is quite likely that the shedule has been adjusted so that WoT re-read lasts until the publication of AMoL.

RL kept me away during the last installment, so I'll just say that I really enjoyed the Lan chapters and that the watershed between the novel and novella is very noticeable, IMHO. The things get much more fun in the novella ;).
Oh, and the Malkieri romantic mores, even despite some weirdness make vastly more sense for the setting than what we have seen from SGs et al.
Speaking of weirdness, though, it seemed as if Lan and Bukama didn't believe that they could refuse an offer? Or were they just not trying too hard, despite all the protestations?
Seriously, after the events in NS it is kind of strange that Lan didn't forswear his playboy ways.

Now, speaking of the current chapters:
Chaplainchris1 @6:

Siuan and Moiraine should've been watching Chesmal from this point on.

Absolutely. Generally, I am torn about the novella because fun as it is, it really undermined Siuan's character in my eyes. In TGH - TSR Siuan behaved as if she was surprised by the BA activities, had hard time coming to terms with the reality of the BA and had no clue about it's pervasiveness.
In light of NS that makes her look like a complete fool. Even the ever -suspicious Moiraine had occasional lapses in that respect - like when she thought in TSR how the SGs should have been safely back at the WT, training... when the BA had already tried to eliminate them.

Anyway, a few postings back I have vocally criticized Siuan for not sufficiently preparing for TG, while others claimed that she wasn't cautious enough. And in light of these chapters it forcibly strikes me that she was both and in a manner that makes it difficult to take her intelligence and capability seriously.
As somebody heavily involved in and then heading the Blue Ajah network, the biggest and best of the Ajah networks, as well as being supposedly a superb analyst, she really should have been able to do what Pevara and Co. did and look for discrepancies between the accounts of sisters and actual facts, and at least have some likely suspects for the BA-ness. And naturally, she should have looked at Chesmal first and Tamra's second Keeper second. Etc.
It also should have been crystal-clear to Siuan that the moment she brought the whole DR thing into the open and tried to put the official Tower support behind him, the BA would try to remove her. And, she should have taken some precautions as a result, instead of being completely unprepared, unguarded and alone as in TSR.

Also, what did Siuan actually do for their quest in the 10 years before she became Amyrlin? We never heard anything about her contribution. She wasn't making any preparations, even just in the area of thorough planning, so what was she doing?

It is pretty interesting that apparently not only the searchers were killed, but seemingly quite a few other sisters as well, who presumably noticed that something wasn't quite kosher. Maybe that's the reason for over-abundance of fools among the AS at the time of the series?

Heh, Cadsuane. When your bulldozing backfires, it does so spectacularly.
And, I was really disappointed that after all the build-up of the mice escapade here we didn't see it in all it's glory in the novel ;).

Also, Tor, I want my spell-checker back. Pretty please with the sugar on top!
icantthinkofone
23. Taryntula
Leigh! I love your re-reads! I have to agree with some others here though...if we cut WOT down to once a week, this re-read won't be done before AMoL, and then what's the point? I know ASOIAF is all the rage, and there's a TV show and the new book's release was just announced...but GRRM isn't going to finish that series any time soon, so why rush to do a re-read for a series that the author barely has his pinky toe in?

I love you, I love WOT, and I love this re-read, but it will become tedious if this is just once a week and then skipped weeks for JordanCon...etc. Just my two cents!
Luke M
24. lmelior
I went ahead and finished the book already, but I did quite enjoy that RJ managed to instill a sense of dread about Moiraine and Siuan's chances at this point. This is even though I know Cadsuane isn't Black Ajah, which would have made their situation even more dire. Were I in their position I'd just wanna curl up in a ball and cry.
Hugh Arai
25. HArai
@Leigh: Looking forward to your thoughts on ASoIaF. I've been enjoying Amanda's posts on the Malazan re-read.

CorDarei@5: Pretty sure Leigh's blogging on a volunteer basis.

Bergmaniac@14: At least the Supergirls didn't spend their days intentionally pissing off the one hope of the world while he went through a mental breakdown :) Cadsuane is a total hypocrite about risk taking - something she even admits to herself once in a while.

Cat@20: It's amusing, now it's not just GRRM, it's stretching all the way to people who happen to decide to read the series. Where will it end?
Chris Chaplain
26. chaplainchris1
Agreed with insectoid - glad you're ok, BillinHI, prayers and good wishes (and hopefully practical things, too, as that becomes possible) being sent to Japan and all those in the path.

I kind of like the Nynaeve/Cadsuane comparison - partially because it amuses me to imagine Nynaeve's reaction if she ever heard someone make that comparison! But partially because there's something to it, both of them challenging the status quo. Cadsuane apparently finds not talking about age or strength stupid...good. But she doesn't (seem to) go nearly as far as Nynaeve, in questioning the ascendancy of the Tower, the strength hierarchy, the custom of not marrying and keeping apart from the rest of humanity, etc. Go Nynaeve! Her small but meaty sections of TOM were definitely among my favorites.

@13 lakesidey - good point that Moi and Siuan haven't yet realized Black sisters can lie. That does indeed lessen the immediate suspicion of Chesmal. Likely they *were* suspicious of her, a bit, but didn't have anything more to go on than her possibly peripheral role in announcing Tamra's death.

Also, re: your comments to Almuric @12 - too cruel, too funny. I love it. Remember, Almuric, it's not paranoia if it's true. But don't worry - you only need to worry about 150 of your co-workers. If the ratio holds steady.
icantthinkofone
27. incurablyGeek
@19: I think it's considered one of the perquisites of age to be able to be rude and be considered simply eccentric. Cadsuane expresses this to the extreme ... she's been around for a long time. She's lived long enough to know what's important and major on that and let the unimportant stuff slide.

That's my take.
icantthinkofone
28. AndrewB
CorDarei @ 5 and D-Luxx @11:

Leigh does not need me or anybody else to defend her. Yet, I will (since I do not have anything else to say on these chapters). First, Leigh does not get paid for this. I do not know Leigh personally, but I am almost positive that she has a full time job -- i.e. she is not a multi-billionaire who has nothing better to do in her life than write blogs. As such, she does not have to adhere to any schedule. She can post when she wants (provided it is cool with Tor).

Apparently, Tor asked her to do the Fire & Ice thing. Even though I do not particularly like Fire &Ice and will not participate in that blog, I say, more power to her.

This is a hobby for Leigh. She is not her to post for your convenience. None of us have a right to get any blogs. If Leigh got fed up at us (and after trying to slog through my inarticulate post, I could imagine it) and wanted to stop the WoT re-reads, she would have every right.
Remember, none of us are paying Leigh and/or Tor for the privilege to read Leigh's opinions on WoT (and sometimes on the real world).
I am grateful that she took up this burden. It is always a fun read (even when I disagree with her opinions -- for example, on the spanking issue).

I apologize for the sermon.

p.s. if either of you were trolling, then I was hooked like a large-mouth bass at a fishing tournament.

As an aside, has anybody ever watched a fishing tournament on TV. That seems very boring.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
Erik
29. gadget
Isilel@22 - Total agree! Me need spell checking-thingie!

I can't say I'm not disappointed about the change of pace of the re-read. I must be the one person in fantasy fiction fandom that just does not like GRRM. I couldn't get through the first book or get myself to give a tinker's damn about any of the characters. I know it is fashionable to to be all dark, gritty, and unyielding in fantasy these days--And I like me some dark poignant stories on occasion (Children of Hurin anyone?)--but this was so gratuitously dark and violent that I just couldn't get into it.

Also, notice the widow we meet here that lost her husband and sons to the fire is the first evidence we see of the Black Ajah's murder spree of "lucky" individuals to eliminate potential Dragons.
Sam Mickel
30. Samadai
Cat@20.

I don't recall anyone telling Leigh to hurry up and do the reread faster. What I do recall is people expressing their disappointment that it is slowing down. Is that not okay? Is this not a place to express mine and others opinions? Have we all not been doing that since the beginning? I find your post to be arrogant. Leigh needs no defense as she is not being attacked( and if she was, has more than been able to stick up for herself) Don't I have the right to my opinion? are you the blog police? I am not afraid to pronounce mine, yet you sure hide behind your non logged in opinion. Your attitude offends me.
Ivan S.
31. Mediokrates
Hi Leigh,

I think these chapters and the comments high-light a few flaws in RJ's logic, necessary for the story-line.
Those flaws having to do with the AS. I know that its been discussed elsewhere, but the whole AS hierarchy based upon power, and refusing to discuss it is completely counter-intuitive.
I can understand basing their hierarchy on strength in the power, even more so when you consider one poster's theory that this is a hold-over from the AOL, when AS used massive amounts of the power for all reasons, including battle. Infact, this seems likely, as LTT was the Tamyrlin, and their most powerful channeler. I recall from somewhere, that had LTT not been born, Demandred would likely have held LTT's honours (and presumably the Ring of Tamyrlin), as he was almost just as powerful.

But the refusing to speak about it, while basing their hierarchy on it, makes no sense whatsoever (other than plot necessary). That's kinda like bankers not discussing who's the richest.

Secondly, it seems that most novices with any real-potential are informed of just how long its been since someone with similar potential has been in the tower. Egwene & Elayne a couple hundred years, Nynaeve a thousand (I think Moraine and Siuan were told but am not sure). So, the whole we don't talk about it, just doesn't wash with me. Because they do.

And, how blind can AS be. I mean, everyone knows that the average potential has been declining, and the numbers of candidates is growing smaller. But we aren't going to do anything about it, or even discuss it for 3000 years. I actually liked the idea of AS having children to repopulate their numbers. Non-channeling children could be given something to do too, associated with the tower. All male children could be gentled at age 10, their link to the power cut, before they even come close to using it. No ill effects, never having known the power. And then they could be used as breeding-studs (sign me up!).

So realizing that the AS are getting weaker and weaker over time, yet continue to base their society on strength, reminds me of an army that only trains lieutenants and calls them generals.

For the most powerful association in Randland, those most well-informed, they sure do ignore anything to do with themselves. Come on!

Bergmaniac, hit the nail on the head. AS refuse to even speak the name Black Ajah, let alone consider the possibility that it might really exist. Bermaniac makes a good point, that AS would be the most useful darkfriends. And where did the dreadlords come from in the Trolloc Wars? Just a bunch of wilder men, who were self taught (assuming Ishy was trapped enough not to be able to train hundreds, if not thousands of male channelers)? Obviously the BA was involved. Even if the majority of dreadlords were female wilders, who trained them in the use of fire balls, shields, finger-lightening? Obviously an AS, ergo BA exist.

I don't understand how the WT could remain strong enough to influence all the nations over 3000 when they have so many self-imposed blind-spots.

And then there's the age thing... I mean there's no record in the tower of what a binder (oath rod) does? Shouldn't a librarian Brown know this? Wouldn't this solve (atleast partially) the dwindling numbers and ability problem? If they lived twice as long, then there'd still be a bunch of cadsuane-like channelers in the tower. Maybe they should just imply that they take the 3 oaths to the world, and not.

And with the age thing, there's the associated "what happens when a woman is burnt out/stilled" or when an initiate gets kicked out? Like no one ever found out in 3000 years? Aren't there instances of AS or even Amyrlin's being stilled and made to work in the kitchens? No one noticed that they got younger. No one ever thought to look into the identities of the Kin as they retrieved runaways? Found out how long they live?

I know that I'm kinda rambling, but I think my point is this. Despite having been a WOT fan for more than 20 years (my god it's been that long... just finish the series dammit! and I can't believe RJ was only writing 2 pages a day!), I always found the AS socio-political structure more than just a little contrived. Maybe that's why I found it so frustrating to get chapters and chapters of the stuff, so much so, that on a few re-reads, I skipped those chapters completely. I mean it didn't start to make sense again until Egwene was given war-time powers.

Don't get me going on the whole Elaida thing. I mean, they pull down Siuan because they claim she helped Taim escape (what proof), but don't even consider pulling Elaida down despite her actually fracturing her half of the tower.

I think that this may be the only real flaw in RJ's writing process. That he maintained adherence to his own self-imposed rules to absurdity, whether it was plot necessary or in an attempt to illustrate a point.
john mullen
32. johntheirishmongol
@20 I think that was a silly blog. Of course a writer owes his readers his work in a reasonable time. It's an implied contract that if we buy the books in a series, the writer continues the books until the series conclusion. Otherwise, there would never be a series because no one would buy the first book and no publisher would publish a series.

That being said, if Leigh has another assignment from her bosses, all we can do is read and enjoy the writing she does. I may peek in at the Fire and Ice readings but I don't know how much I will contribute to that analysis.

Now, as for these chapters, the way things looked then it's a shock that any of the AS were around for the series. How could they even fight back when they refused to acknowledge that there was even an enemy fighting them?

Cadsuane was only slightly less annoying in this book only because as a senior member of the AS, she had some right to think her orders could and should be obeyed. When she deals with Rand, she has no inherent right to boss him around. It was smart of Moiraine to get out of there as rapidly as she safely could.
Chris Chaplain
33. chaplainchris1
Sam@30 - if you don't recall people telling Leigh to hurry up and do the reread faster, then how do you interpret the post @5? For myself, I'm bothered by the post criticizing Leigh's professionalism, putting "real life" in quotes as if Leigh doesn't have the right to one, and even complaining that the posts don't go up at the same TIME on the days they do go up.

Such a post in my opinion goes beyond simply expressing disappointment at the soon-to-be slower pace (which I also feel).

By the way, the thing that provoked my response to you (when I did not feel provoked to respond @ 5) was this quote from you:
I am not afraid to pronounce mine, yet you sure hide behind your non logged in opinion. Your attitude offends me.

In my eyes, non logged in opinion (non-logged-in) is evidence of an elitist us vs. them, old-timer vs. newcomer position which I continue to find unacceptable when it occasionally crops up. That attitude offends me. Logged in or not, red or black (hey, it's not grey anymore!), these are ad hominem attacks which address prejudice rather than merits. I find it odd that you are, in name at least, defending the right to have differing opinions while also upholding a stratified hierarchy where you and I are more entitled than Cat to our opinions, simply because we've logged in.

I'm now envisioning being critiqued for critiquing you for critiquing someone else for critiquing Leigh, all of us indignant at the blog police while functioning as them ourselves. What a cycle, I think I'd rather sing the song that never ends. :)
Sam Mickel
34. Samadai
CC. you missed the part where I was critiquing the person who was critiquing the critiquers of Leigh, I in no way critiqued the critiquer of Leigh, because in my opinion Leigh can take the critiquing and in said case tell them critiquers too bite it.
john massey
35. subwoofer
Ahem- this post woulda been up waaaay earlier if TOR didn't time me out, log me out, and take a half hour doing it. I had to go to Costco to get a hot dog to make me feel better. I ok now:)

Yeah well- my response is:

THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF LEIGH BUTLER GOT A DOG.

Clearly Leigh is crying out from sheer boredom. She musta mused aloud, "geeze, I'm up to my nipples in projects but I feel unfulfilled somehow. This couldn't get worse." Leigh did not have the benefit of the calm bark of reason to sway her otherwise.

This WoT stuff- Caddy, back in black. In hindsight, I'm surprised no Wrath of Khan stuff ensued after Moiraine stands her up. Beware the wrath of jilted pillow people.

He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before I give him up!

Siuan and Mo- yuppers, hooped are they. Sucks to find out that the messiah is coming and all the baddies in the world are out to get him. Makes for quite the growth experience tho'. Stuff like this really ages a person. Was interesting to see Siuan's reaction to the other Dragon hunters being made fodder. It does tie in nicely to the whole "we gots to do this on our own... and quietly, soos we don't 'die in our sleep' ourselves". There be good stuff here. More to say later.

Cut and paste still blows goats.

Woof™.
john massey
36. subwoofer
Wait- did somebody named Cat do that post @20?!

Grrrrrrrrr!

Woof™.
Sam Mickel
37. Samadai
In all seriousness though, I apologize to Cat for the tone of my rant(though I am not sorry for it, it is after all my opinion).

As for the matter under question, it does suck. I can say it, it upsets me that it is being slowed down. Is it not okay to express that? I understand that "Leigh is not my Bitch", nor do I think that she is here to serve my reread pleasure. Never the less I feel that it sucks and don't believe that I have to be quiet about it. I understand why she is doing it, and I hope she enjoys it. I'll even get use to it.
Chris Chaplain
38. chaplainchris1
Samadai @35 - re: my missing your critiquing of the critique of the critiquers (I know, it should be "critics" - leave me alone, this is more fun.) of Leigh, I can only say *grin*.

And for what it's worth, I personally have no issues with what you say @37, either in content or tone. Not that you or anyone need my approval - which was your original point - but @37 seems totally fair to me.

Sub - I don't have a dog either. I live alone in an apartment, no yard, irregular hours...it just doesn't seem fair to the dog. I can affirm, as my mother taught me, that dogs are awesome and cats are evil. Bringing it back to WOT, does my affinity for dogs and antipathy for cats mean that if I were transported to Randland, I'd be able to channel saidin?
icantthinkofone
39. AhoyMatey
Actually, the bloggers do get paid. I believe that Leigh mentioned that in an interview. WOT or ASOFAI, it's all good...
john massey
40. subwoofer
Well, I can't help being biased- I am what I am;)

But yeah, back in the day, like in the books, cats did stuff- mousing. Now they just elevate my stress levels. Dogs give me peace. I feel that if Leigh was calm like me:D we'd be sailing down the happy path of WoT and perhaps end the series before my daughter graduates from college.

Whatever, it is what it is now, but don't be surprised if I am one of the monkeys that starts flinging poo, at the bars:)

Woof™.
Eric Hughes
41. CireNaes
I got the same icky feeling reading ASoFaI as I did watching The Godfather, consequently I have finished neither and will not be joining you all there.

I love WoT and am bummed about the slowdown, but I'm fine with Leigh getting the opportunity to apply her skillset to other venues. I hope she's getting paid. This is a lot of work and draws quite a bit of traffic to the site, so she should be compensated for her efforts. A free TOR book with every post at the very least...

In a way, the slowdown will better prepare me for the end of the series. Brings a little distance and will ease my transition to closure when AMoL comes out.

Hmmm. The chapters. Nothing really. Still enjoy Cadsuane. That she isn't bumped off during the BA purge as a the strongest AS of her current age (read high value target) speaks volumes about her competency or intimidation factor.
lake sidey
42. lakesidey
@28 AndrewB: "I was hooked like a large-mouth bass at a fishing tournament."

Are you by any chance related to Siuan?

@Subwoofer and other caninophiles/ailurophiles: I like cats and dogs both. Neither too much. I suppose I would weakly channel the TP :sad face:

@32 John: Yes I have often wondered - if the BA could so easily kill several strong channelers with total impunity, how come they didn't slowly just take over the whole tower!

@22 Isilel: "Seriously, after the events in NS it is kind of strange that Lan didn't forswear his playboy ways." and "not only the searchers were killed, but seemingly quite a few other sisters as well"

I am not certain what you're referencing in either of these statements, very possibly I am forgetting something but I don't remember Lan having "playboy ways" at any later point and I seem to remember all the
sisters Siuan mentions as being killed here are mentioned earlier as searchers. Other killings happened, but when the next Amyrlin was deposed, and that was a whole different kettle of fish (fish metaphors ftw!). Could you please remind me?

~lakesidey
Alice Arneson
43. Wetlandernw
Leigh - ...Cadsuane answers as offensively as possible that she worries for Moiraine’s safety out here... Oh, come on. Surely you can think of many more offensive ways she could have said it; I know I can. Not that she was exactly complimentary, of course - "a pretty little doll of a Cairhienin noble" isn't exactly Moiraine's preferred description of herself. :> Still, her point is good even if it's not very flattering to Moiraine: she's inexperienced, and it's not terribly wise of her to be out there completely by herself.

Incidentally, that same conversation has one of my favorite passages in it:
(After shocking them all speechless by openly speaking about her own age...) "Meilyn is considerably older. When she and I are gone, that leaves Kerene the strongest." Larelle flinched. Did the woman mean to violate every custom all in one go? "Am I disturbing you?" Cadsuane's solicitous tone could not have been more false, and she did not wait for an answer...


That just cracks me up. She seems to have the same opinion about Aes Sedai "taboo subjects" that many of us hold. Either she has a lot stronger stomach than most AS, or the topic doesn't have the same effect on her.

CorDarei @5 - Several things you need to realize: 1) Blogging for Tor.com is not Leigh's full-time job; she does it in addition to her full-time job, which IIRC has nothing to do with Tor books. 2) Tor had very good, very specific reasons for asking Leigh to do this blog. 3) They had similar reasons for asking her to do the other blog. 4) She had her own reasons for accepting each project; whether she gets paid for it or not is none of our business. 5) Most jobs, whether paid or volunteer, recognize the existence of "real life" and "personal stuff" that occasionally require time off in addition to government holidays - in full-time employment it's known as "sick leave" and "vacation" and most people get some of it. 6) Leigh has little to do with the physical posting of her blog. She submits it to tor.com, and it's posted by the staff there, so she has no direct effect on the timing.

chaplainchris1 @6 & 21 - Just to give everyone the reference:
Once she had thought herself on the point of rooting out the Black only to watch her quarry slip through her fingers like smoke, her bitterest failure except possibly for failing to learn what Caraline Damodred's cousin had been up to in the Borderlands until the knowledge was years too late to do any good.


I have a new theory about this. See below. :)

BillinHI @9 - Been thinking about you all day, wondering if all was well. Thanks for posting right away! :)

thewindrose @16 - re: your second comment. It's pretty clear, since Cadsuane picked up on the "she's a wilder" assumption by all the AS in the inn except Merean and Larelle, that she knows perfectly well that Moiraine is not going around advertising her AS status. The point is that being Aes Sedai (whether anyone knows or not) does not make you invincible. Earlier in the paragraph of which Leigh quoted part, Cadsuane says
You still haven't learned the first real lesson, that the shawl means you are ready to truly begin learning. The second lesson is caution. I know better than most how hard that is to find when you're young and have saidar at your fingertips and the world at your feet. As you think."


Then comes the bit Leigh quoted; it's clear from the context that "the shawl" does not mean "being known as Aes Sedai" but rather "the fact that you are formally Aes Sedai now." In Cadsuane's view, it's Moiraine's perception of herself that's the problem - she thinks that because she is a full sister now, she can do anything, take care of herself in any situation, and doesn't need anyone looking over her shoulder - or watching her back.

chris @21 - Cadsuane poll - I don't think Cadsuane is one of Tamra's searchers, but I may be about to argue myself out of that position. All things considered, the only reasons Tamra would not have commissioned her are, 1) as you say, she has a reputation for doing what she thinks ought to be done, and hang the "custom stronger than law" business (whereas the others are know for strict adherence to the law) and 2) she hadn't been to the WT in the last couple of years before Tamra died. It's still possible that Tamra sent her a message; it's even possible that one of the searchers we know met with Cadsuane before being murdered by the BA. In many ways, Cadsuane would be the ideal searcher: she has more experience with male channelers than anyone else; she's always out and about anyway, so no one would suspect anything unusual about her activities; no one - but no one - is going to question her about what she's doing in any case. There's also the fact that she seems to have learned, somehow, that the Dragon has been reborn, since she starts (real soon now) doing serious research into Dragon-related stuff like Callandor. On the other hand, she doesn't seem to have been told that he's an infant, given that later she checks out Taim and Logain when they come along instead of waiting for Rand.

I don't think I came to any conclusion, there...

About a couple of other questions you asked, I'll weigh in with my opinions. :) I personally think that Cadsuane was there following up on something she'd learned about the BA; seeing Moiraine was incidental, but important enough to spend a few minutes trying to protect her from herself. And about Tamra not sending any Blues... we don't know she didn't. It may be that she had a Blue searcher who didn't fit the same profile as the others; alternatively, she may have just lost the only Blue she fully trusted. Maybe she knew them too well to trust them with this info. It's certainly a good thing she didn't tell her Mistress of Novices about it, anyway!

Cat @20 - There are ways to respond that actually provide information and don't involve tasteless imitation of lame arguments.

chaplainchrisa @26 - I thought it was funny that, in contrasting Cadsuane and Nynaeve, you lump Cadsuane in with "keeping apart from the rest of humanity" - funny, or strange, considering that Cadsuane has spent far more of her life with "the rest of humanity" than with Aes Sedai, either in or out of the WT.

@several re: suspecting Chesmal - given, as several have said, that Moiraine & Siuan don't yet know that Black sisters can lie, the assumption that they are held by the same Three Oaths as all AS would free Chesmal of suspicion completely. If she can't knowingly lie, and Siuan knows that what she said is untrue, then obviously she had nothing to do with the actual death or she wouldn't be able to say what she said. Clearly, therefore, someone else told her to what to announce so that she would be saying what she believed to be true. (It's really easy. Let's say that Alviarin killed Meilyn. Later, she finds Chesmal in the hallway and says, "Go tell the rest of the AS that Meilyn died in her bed last night." She hasn't lied, and Chesmal doesn't know that what she was told to say isn't true. Obviously that's not necessary, since BA can lie and Chesmal is BA anyway, but it would be pretty easy for Siuan and Moiraine to work that out if they're assuming that BA are held by the Three Oaths. At this point, I don't recall that our girls have been given any reason to even think about the possibility that BA are not so held. )

gadget @29 - You are not alone. I won't read GRRM either. If I'm sufficiently bored next Friday, I might check out the blog. Or not.

Mediokrates @31 - Actually, I can easily understand the "don't talk about it" attitude. Since (for whatever reasons) the hierarchy is based on strength in the OP, talking about relative strength is the same as saying "I outrank you, wimp" which is, in polite company, generally considered rude. It's a short step from "don't be rude by pointing out that you're stronger than someone else" to "just don't talk about it if you don't need to" to "we don't talk about it" and from there it's evolved into "forbidden, sick-making subject." There's no need to talk about it, after all; they can sense relative strength without saying a word, so talking about it is just... rude.

Incidentally, the AS were discussing the problem of the declining number of candidates, both in numbers and in strength. For example, the White Ajah came up with the idea that they should find women to bear children with gentled male channelers to replenish the gene pool. Alviarin was apparently quite offended when Verin suggested that maybe the White Ajah should also serve as the mothers, since it was their idea. (TSR, Ch. 31)

As for the rest of your grumblings against the AS, there are plenty of arguments against your points, but you don't sound like you really want to hear them.

CireNaes @41 - Still enjoy Cadsuane. That she isn't bumped off during the BA purge as a the strongest AS of her current age (read high value target) speaks volumes about her competency or intimidation factor. LOL! Both, I'd say. Also the fact that no one ever seems to know what she's up to or where she'll be next, so it's really hard to come up with a trap to spring on her. Oh, and that little paralis-net no one knows about, so you can't use the OP against her but you don't know why, might have them a little scared to try anything. (I wonder if the BA have tried to take her on and failed? Maybe that's what happened to Larelle.)

...

....

Hey, I like that! Can I have a new looney theory? Cadsuane was in the Borderlands following up a lead on the BA. Both Larelle and Merean were BA, and while Merean went on to Chachin to take care of things there, Larelle tried to take out Cadsuane; unfortunately, when Cadsuane turned the tables she offed herself rather than try to hold out against Cadsuane's questioning. Hence the complete disappearance of Larelle, and (combined with Merean's death in Chachin) Cadsuane's frustration with losing her chance to expose the BA.

Don't anyone prove me wrong too soon. Let me savor it. :)
Alice Arneson
44. Wetlandernw
And I see that, whatever else may have been fixed, the tendency of the text editor to add excessive line breaks after a quotation remains firmly in place. It's also slow.

Should have posted a wallotext warning on that beastie, but... hey, it has my name at the top. Should be warning enough.
j p
45. sps49
Cadsuane's survival is the best indicator that she is not one of Tamra's searchers. Hearing second hand from a searcher is possible, but not likely- the Searchers should not be chatterboxes about this, and if Tamra told her directly or indirectly through a Searcher, she would've told her BA interrogators and Cadsuane would be gone, whatever it took (no Warder, right?)
Birgit
46. birgit
They thought her a wilder, a woman who had learned to channel on her own. That lucky deception had come about by accident, a misperception on Felaana's part, but it was bolstered by the presence of a true wilder at the inn. No one knew what Mistress Asher was, except the sisters. Many Aes Sedai disliked wilders, considering them a loss to the Tower, yet few went out of their way to make their lives difficult. A merchant in dark gray wool who wore only a red-enameled circle pin for jewelry, Mistress Asher dropped her eyes whenever a sister glanced at her, but they had no interest in her. Her gray hair ensured that.

NS ch. 17
Is that "wilder" a Kinswoman?

If Cads suspected Larelle and Merean of being BA, why would she send them to babysit Moiraine?
Ivan S.
47. Mediokrates
Wetlandernw,

I was actually enjoying your comments until I got to the part where you insulted me. I love listening (or reading) to the ideas of others, and enjoy listening to their responses and critiques of any ideas I may have. Tossing the old ideas about. I mean WTF? Just throwing out ideas and all, but whatever!

Anyway...
I can't see why any AS would logically assume that the BA are bound by the 3 oaths. Once it is accepted that they exist, then the logical conclusion is exactly that made by Seaine and the others. The existence of the BA, means they have overcome the oaths. It's kinda hard to remain secret, if you're part of a hidden uberevil society and can't lie. Unless maybe the society in which you're hidden has some built-in taboo about making people answer that question directly. Convenient huh?

As for Moraine & Siuan, who are usually smart cookies... Siuan immediately makes the connection that Meilyn was killed by the power and that means BA. Well, if she's gonna come to that conclusion, then she must also logically conclude that BA can lie. If they can kill with the power (non-darkfriends and not in self-defense), then they must be able to lie, and even make weapons for one man to kill another.
Kinda odd, that in 3000 years the BA have remained hidden. I mean no one has ever been caught (or is it hidden in the 13th depot?) or discovered. No one's made the logical conclusion about the oaths? Not one White has pondered the subject on a rainy afternoon?

Come on... If BA exist, the oaths must not apply. If oaths don't apply, then there must be a way to undo them. Not that difficult at all.

Admittedly however, none of the oaths preclude being a darkfriend. Another convenience... I mean "I will never serve the DO," would do.

As for Chesmal... nothing can be logically deduced by the characters that she is BA.

Incidentally, I DID point out that the AS had the idea of having children to increase their numbers. And incidentally, I believe that I expanded on it. Since the loss of the power is clearly explained as the reason why stilled and gentled people supposedly wither away and die, there would be no fear in having male children. It's also explicitly made clear that attempting to gentle a non-channeler would have no ill effects. Just gentle all the boys when they turn 16. Make it a coming of age ritual. Then they can serve the tower, as clerks, armsmen or whatever (breeding studs, since they still have the OP gene). Having never held the power, they loose nothing and therefore don't wither away and die. Kinda like the children of an Ottoman harem became clerks and guards.

Anyway, I agree that Cads was probably up to her own business in the borderlands, when Moiraine encounters her. It's quite possible that she's Tamra's ace in the hole, but nothing proves this. It's just as possible that Cads has figured it out on her own, and is pursuing her own agenda.

I don't think Cads is black, but nothing in any of the books proves that beyond a doubt. I will assume she is not BA for now.

Cads is uber tricky. Just maybe she is in the borderlands for Moiraine. Perhaps Cads has heard the news from the Tower, and worked out that something Black is afoot. If you're Elliot Ness, and you're afraid Al Capone's got people in the force, you find your allies amongst the recruits (Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne), or failing that the just graduated the academy rookies (Moiraine?). Since Moiraine has especially strong potential (considering), and has just taken the oaths, then she would be the perfect recruit. Since she ran from becoming Q. of Cairhien (a post a darkfriend might jump at), she certainly doesn't appear power-hungry or a likely DF.

Infact, when asked what her interst is in Moiraine, Cads never gives a direct answer. She talks about age and strength in the power, which make the AS almost physically ill (but fighting Trollocs, healing men with limbs hacked off, throwing children to their death doesn't seem to even affect their appetite, Really?). Perhaps this is to keep them off balance, and deflect that particular question. If they are BA, maybe she doesn't want them thinking she has any interest in Moiraine, other than about something they would rather not think about. Certainly it has nothing to do with them. She obviously was not travelling with Merean and Larelle, who apparently weren't even travelling together. So what's with the interest in Moiraine? If Cads believes that Merean & Larelle could be BA, then perhaps by having Moiraine tag along, something could be revealed. Of course, Moiraine runs away, maybe loosing Cads chance to expose the BA.

In fact, the plan works, because Moiraine does encounter Merean again, and does learn that she is BA, even if she's not able to prove it. Moiraine therefore, knows that the BA does indeed exist, and is not just a theory, and learns that the BA almost certainly knows of the birth of the DR, and has commenced a campaign of mass-murder (perhaps serial).

It is quite possible Cads took care of Larelle.

So I think it more likely Cads was purposefully looking for Moiraine. Moiraine, who apparently ran away from the Tower against the Amyrlin's orders, who also ran away from being Q of Cairhien. She's probably not hanging around Tear, Cairhien, Andor or Tar Valon. Maybe she even knew she was last seen heading north by ship. To the borderlands then!
She knows Merean was in Chachin at the time of the deaths in the palace. She probably knows Merean disappeared at the same time. So if she suspected Merean as BA, her disappearance and death lost her the chance to question and expose the BA.

Just a thought.

Grumble
Maiane Bakroeva
48. Isilel
We don't have anybody from Japan, do we? In any case, my heart goes out to the folks there. Earthquake, tsunami and now a Chernobyl-style catastrophe! And all in such a small, densely settled country... :(.

I don't remember Lan having "playboy ways" at any later point

We didn't see it, but Moiraine thought in her POV in TGH that Lan has been bedding countless women during their years together, while she herself "was married to her duty". And she would know, with bond and all. Which I personally find surprising in view of the events of NS, where it was Lan who was seared to the soul as the result of an unfortunate affair.
Really, the opposite would have made more sense, IMHO - i.e. Moiraine having a serious crush on somebody who turned out to be a DF or was killed by the same. Desulatory flirting with Ryne doesn't count, either.

and I seem to remember all the sisters Siuan mentions as being killed here are mentioned earlier as searchers.

Pevara, I think, said at some point that a lot of sisters died during that time period. Are 5 sisters, some of them quite elderly, a lot? + Sierin 5 years later. Not IMHO. And Larelle was never seen or heard from again, either.
Also, it seems to me that the wide-spread murder spree would have eventually attracted attention of the more intelligent AS outside the WT... and poking into it could have gotten them killed.

Wetlandernw @43:

M&S didn't specifically realize that the BA could lie yet... but they already knew that they could kill, i.e. that at least one of the Oaths was subverted. And they wouldn't have forgotten about Chesmal once the realization struck, in a couple more chapters, IIRC.

Generally, it is IMHO rather unbelievable that they didn't follow the same track re: BA as Seaiane and Co. did 2 decades later. Particularly since they are very smart and the task just seems tailor made for Siuan's talents.

I kind of wish that RJ had played it subtler in NS, so that M&S could never be truly sure whether they were dealing with the BA or just deluded/fanatical fools.
Then Siuan, immersed in the Tower culture for 2o years, could have rationalized it away and plausibly been the pretty oblivious character we saw in TGH- TSR, while Moiraine would have remained more suspicious, with warded drakhar attack in TGH providing the last proof.

IMHO, YMMV.

P.S.:

Gadget @29:

I know it is fashionable to to be all dark, gritty, and unyielding in
fantasy these days--And I like me some dark poignant stories on
occasion (Children of Hurin anyone?)--but this was so gratuitously dark and violent that I just couldn't get into it.


Never understood such a POV. ASOIAF is downright fluffy compared to historical novels set at interesting junctures. Also, kind of black and whitish.
That group of nice characters is _always_ unfairly attacked for instance, without doing anything wrong themselves, which was very rare iRL, heh. And the death toll of major characters is also overblown by readers/critcs. More of a Bobba Fett syndrom if you ask me, people getting attached to cool, but minor characters and getting disgruntled when they meet a sandworm or 3.

It is just a testimony to the pervasiveness of certain fantasy genre clichés - i.e. no matter how bad it looks, no matter how dumb they are, the heroes are safe and guaranteed a Happily Ever After. Unless it is a prequel or the millionth re-interpretation of a popular tragic myth, such as Arthuriana, that is. Sigh.

That's what I like about ASOIAF - that it is _like_ a historical novel, in that the dangers are somewhat real, but instead of being set in stone and known to me in advance, the events are unpredictable. More speculative fiction should be like this, IMHO.

Also, the F-word et al. are ancient. Scratched on the walls of Pompeii and all...
Ivan S.
49. Mediokrates
Wasn't gonna mention it but WTF,

43. Wetlandernw, wrote regarding my post #31

"As for the rest of your grumblings against the AS, there are plenty of arguments against your points, but you don't sound like you really want to hear them."

Then ended his:

"Don't anyone prove me wrong too soon. Let me savor it. :)"

Ironic :)
lake sidey
50. lakesidey
@47 Mediokrates: Rand has looked Cadsuane in the eye recently. And he now can "see" darkfriends. So she is certainly not black, I'd say. Even before that, her POV in WH, something like "she had been on the point of rooting out the Black Ajah before they had slipped through her hands like smoke" seemed pretty convincing to me.

@48 Isilel: Your definition of playboy evidently does not match mine! I quote from tGH: "To her surprise, Moiraine felt a flash of jealousy. She had never felt that before, certainly not for any of the women who had thrown their hearts at his feet, or those who had shared his bed. Indeed, she had never thought of him as an object of jealousy, had never thought so of any man. She was married to her battle, as he was married to his." Doesn't sound to me like he did any chasing or flirting, just didn't refuse any offers which came his way...if that's how you'd define a playboy, fair enough. It seems well within the 'normal' mores of his culture to me - YMMV of course, we don't really know much of Malkieri culture except his viewpoints!

(As for Moiraine, well, by custom stronger than law I guess she was not supposed to go the romance way (you know, Blues, causes, blah blah...) besides, not that many people would knowingly flirt with an AS I suspect)

Also, I would say 8-10 strong sisters dying in barely a few months is a lot (Gitara, Tamra, 5-6 searchers, Merean and probably Larelle - not to mention Ellid who must have been a far from weak Accepted), given that there are hardly a thousand sisters and they have a typical lifespan of well over 200 years. (But that aside, while reading that viewpoint you mention, I sort of connected Pevara's remarks to the time 5 years or so later, where Sierin and others got killed. Quite possibly I am mistaken there, will have to hunt it down.)

@43 Wet: "It's certainly a good thing she didn't tell her Mistress of Novices about it, anyway!" When I read that, I suddenly wondered - are we really sure she didn't? Maybe she did. And maybe that is why Merean is now roaming around killing 'lucky' men....(a bit far-fetched, but not impossible I suppose)

~lakesidey
Stefan Mitev
51. Bergmaniac
I am not a big fan of ASOIF, but one of the things I really like about it is that when the characters in it, including those who would've been the heroes and good guys in other fantasy novels, made a serious mistake, they usually paid for it big time by dying or suffering some other big loss. On the other hand, the competent "bad guys" managed to succeed quite often at the expense of the naive "good guys". It makes the whole plot so much more plausible and convincing to me. It would've been even better if more of the heroic type characters had died, BTW, since I find them and their plotlines way more boring than the political scheming and ruthless manipulation plotlines.

"And the death toll of major characters is also overblown by
readers/critcs. More of a Bobba Fett syndrom if you ask me, people
getting attached to cool, but minor characters and getting disgruntledwhen they meet a sandworm or 3."
Definitely. I remember when I read ASOIF after reading quite a bit about it beforehand, and kept expecting most characters to die, yet it was nothing like that. If we compare it to real world history, there's been numerous much bloodier dynastic struggles and civil wars in feudal times.

Back to WoT - "I can understand basing their hierarchy on strength in the power, even more so when you consider one poster's theory that this is a hold-over from the AOL, when AS used massive amounts of the power for all reasons, including battle. Infact, this seems likely, as LTT was the Tamyrlin, and their most powerful channeler. I recall from somewhere, that had LTT not been born, Demandred would likely have held LTT's honours (and presumably the Ring of Tamyrlin), as he was almost just as powerful."
It's mentioned in the Guide that in the AoL, before the War of Power, individual strenght in the One Power meant little to the Aes Sedai. Demandred was not only a very strong channeller, but a brilliant man, who wrote successful books, held many high public offices, etc, that's why he would probably have been the Aes Sedai leader if not for LTT. On the other hand, Lanfear, who was the strongest woman in the Power, wasn't highly ranked among the Aes Sedai or world famous before she created the Bore.
Ivan S.
52. Mediokrates
@ 50. lakesidey
I concede your point. But I still have to wonder the extent of this ability. After all, we only saw it on Weiramon and such, who were idiots in the first place (unless they were so smart they could play the consummate idiot). Does Rand know about Elza? I don't remember him seeing her since his conversion to Zen.

@ chaplainchris1 & lakesidey
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea that Cads was in the borderlands, looking for Moiraine. It seems to me too coincidental that RJ would have Cads link the two in the same thought.

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

So RJ himself has linked the idea of Cads searching out the BA with Moiraine being in the borderlands. Incidentally, thanks for finding the quote Wetlandernw.

There's a couple ways it could play out. But in my personal experience, things are never coincidental in Randland. One way or another Cads was interested in Moiraine. Whether she was searching for Moiraine, to use her as a tool to hunt the BA, or was hunting the BA, and decided to use Moiraine as a tool, I'm not sure.

That Merean disappears, literally in smoke (although Cads doesn't know that), with the quote in mind, makes me think Cads may have been tracking Merean. After all, what's the former MoN doing running around the borderlands, so quickly after leaving office? What better position to have a BA to feel out prospective future BA recruits? Sheriam anyone?

What was Moiraine doing in the borderlands? Other than hunting the DR, she was apparently fighting and killing BA. Something Cads would have been all into knowing at the time. Like I said, Cads can probably put 2 and 2 together. Moiraine & Merean in Chachin. Royalty dies in the palace, and Merean (the possible BA goes missing). Maybe Moiraine had something to do with it.

Then again, maybe Cads was hunting the DR too. I seem to recall her saying or thinking about how much easier it would have been to find Rand in his craddle, except for all the leaking bodily fluids. However, I'm not sure what good knowing Moiraine was hunting the DR at the time could have done, in regards to finding him sooner to better mold him. Cads seems pretty happy with the material she has to work with upon finally coming to him.

So all in all, I think having knowledge of the BA would have been more useful 20 years ago. Knowing Merean was a BA could certainly help find other BA.
Ivan S.
53. Mediokrates
@ Bergmaniac 51,

Then I see no reason why they should base hierarchy on just strength in the power after the AOL (aside from the SG plot). The strongest soldier rarely makes the best general.

Sorry, I never bought the guide, so I can't reference it.

I still think the AS socio-political structure is too contrived.

Also, I think the real reason novices and accepted are taught not to think about age and strength is they would all fail the test for the shawl when the holodeck trollocs asked them how old or strong they were (becoming nauseous to the point of loosing their composure). Note: if ever faced by an angry AS, ask her how old she is, then run around the corner while she throws up:)
lake sidey
54. lakesidey
@52 Mediokrates: He knows about her - she helped Semi escape at the end and I think got 'TP balefired' along with her (can't find my tGS, else would have looked it up. Damn, I'm almost done with KoD in my re-read, need to locate tGS pronto!)

Also, I have a mildly loony theory here, on the basis of what we have just been discussing (haven't really thought it through thoroughly yet though):

I think Cadsuane was probably not one of Tamra's searchers. However, I do think Tamra might have earlier charged her (in strictest secrecy) to hunt down the BA (Cadsuane's point of view clearly indicates that, in sharp contradistinction to most of her comtemporaries, she believed in the BA even at that point in time. Quite possibly Tamra did too.)

In which case, she might have been very suspicious after Tamra died - possibly something led her to "either Merean or Larelle is black" at this point and she was following them with the hope that they would lead her to others (much as the BA hunters in the tower - Seaine and Pevara and co - do a couple of decades later). On meetng Moiraine, she concludes that Moiraine - and 'that Sanche girl' too - who are both Tamra's proteges, and Blues to boot, might also have been set on the same trail by Tamra (which is why she tries to save Moiraine's a*** by getting her to stay out of the way, without much success).

But Larelle is killed by Merean (or perhaps she attacks Cads and gets
offed, as suggested earlier) and Merean herself gets offed by Moiraine,
so she is left with no further traces. And since Moiraine gets rid of Merean, this probably confirms her idea that Moiraine is hunting the BA. (Which would also explain why she doesn't hunt down Moiraine and make her life miserable for disobeying)

If this is correct, then she doesn't actually know that the Dragon is reborn at this point, or where for that matter - from general prophecies and earlier foretellings of Gitara she might suspect the last battle is not far, and hence might have done a lot of research and figured that sometime around now, the Dragon should be announcing himself (she can put two and two together, as pointed out) and so gone chasing after first Logain and then Taim.

~lakesidey
john massey
55. subwoofer
Sooooo- Tor 2.? really blows. I can't even get onto the "bug/error" page to report an error. irony.

@Medio- don't be offended by Wet, Cads is her girl. Old people tend to stick together and in my personal experience the older people get the blunter they get soo that makes Wet... ;)

Incidentally, I'm not a cat-o-phobe or whatever, I'm just allergic to them. Me old folks had a cat for years, ornery thing that would claw you if you went to pet it, but would snuggle up to you and ask to be petted. Go figure.

GRRM- I will not pass judgement as I have not read- suffice to say, the guy looks old, and the series is not finished... and he is taking his own sweet time in his wanning years to finish this last book... which I dunno if it is the "last book". Do we really want to beat a dead horse again?

Cadsuane. Well I dunno what her purpose is here. Methinks she had to be put into this book as a point. If she is all hot stuff and been around for centuries, it stands to reason, here she is. I think RJ felt he had to write her in to bust someone's hump- I don't see it happening to Lan, Moiraine does that on her own- the Amyrlin is dead- and Elaida seems to walk between raindrops until she in leashed- so that leaves Siuan or Mo. Well Moiraine seemed to draw the short straw in this case. Sometimes things are what they are.

Woof™.
Brandon Daggerhart
56. BDaggerhart
I'm kind of excited about a GRRM read, because honestly, I have no intentions of ever reading that series - I tried the first book and hated it.

However, I guess there's really no hope of Leigh finishing this re-read in time for AMoL, unless she picks up the pacing a bit (more chapters) - is that accurate?

Makes me sad, if true, because I can't see that a large portion of Leigh's followers will continue on reading this blog once AMoL is out, and there's no real need for a re-cap anymore.

Anyway, not my blog, I wish Leigh the best (and I will follow the GRRM blog), just seems like a bad time to do something like that.
Jay Dauro
57. J.Dauro
TankSpill

During my time with Leigh's re-read, I have read or listened to every book in the series multiple times. I don't do the re-read as a recap, but to consider the analysis of the books, and opinions of the other readers (most of them, some I just skip.)

So I for one, would not mind starting the entire re-read over after AMOL, or even after the Encyclopedia is published. Just more grist for the mill.

Leigh does not owe me anything (I do owe her drinks, and hope to pay some at JordanCon.) But I can express my disappointment that the pace is slowing down. I enjoy this re-read a lot, and will be getting less of it. This is not villifying Leigh, it is expressing my opinions and feelings.
Birgit
58. birgit
But I still have to wonder the extent of this ability. After all, we only saw it on Weiramon and such, who were idiots in the first place (unless they were so smart they could play the consummate idiot).

There are also the Darkfriends Lord Torkumen who went mad because he couldn't stand being close to Rand and his wife who committed suicide (ToM ch. 32).
Sydo Zandstra
59. Fiddler
insectoid@19:

Although, it is slightly amusing that Cadsuane continues to stomp on
protocol and etiquette despite how uncomfortatble it makes other
sisters. Someone (I forget who) last post opined that Nynaeve is kind of like that to the younger generation of AS, as Cadsuane is to the older generation, and I find myself agreeing with that assessment.

FWIW, that was me. :)


On a side note, I have always appreciated Cadsuane and her attitude, even towards Rand. Because I think Rand needed it. FWIW I have the feeling the Cads-hate in this reread comes mainly from Rand-love. ;-)

(Not setting up a debate; this is just how I perceive it and debating it won't really change my perception. And it's not that important anyway, because we all are entitled to our pet peeves :-) )
icantthinkofone
60. Cat
Samadai @30 and @37

I appreciate your apology for tone--but of course you're entitled to your original point and no offense was taken. However, it seems that chaplainchris1@33 understood where I was coming from.

I noted in my comment that Leigh didn't need my defense, but as you disliked my comment, I disliked the notion that Leigh wasn't doing her 'professional' duty here, since ...it isn't her profession or job to do it. And I was irritated by the notion that she's not entitled to take time off whenever she needs it.

I don't blame people for being sorry the posts aren't coming out faster, or for expressing that. (An excellent example = J.Dauro@57) But as others are free to express their opinions, my opinion is that when you're getting something for free--you don't get to dictate the terms under which you get them.

Also wrt the logged in thing--as I'm not a regular commenter, I didn't realize there was an option. Since I could comment without having to create an account, that's the route I chose. No cowardice intended.
icantthinkofone
61. AndrewB
Lakesidey @42 said:
"@28 AndrewB: 'I was hooked like a large-mouth bass at a fishing tournament.' Are you by any chance related to Siuan?"

Would you believe that when I made that statement I did not think about Siuan and her fish comments? Honestly. May I be banned from the bunker if I am lying.

Btw, will there be a bunker party for the NCAA tournament?

Thanks for reading my musings,
Andrew B
Ivan S.
62. Mediokrates
@54. lakesidey

I think you put it together very nicely. I agree with most of what you wrote, except that Cads was necessarily trying to save Moiraine. If Cads thought either Merean or Larelle were BA, the only thing Moiraine would be saved from by accompanying them would be boredom.
In fact, knowing that Moiraine was one of Tamra's fav's (was she really?), and therefore a possible searcher, if she died while in the company of Merean or Larelle, would go a long way into proving they were BA. So she could be using Moiraine as bait.

Even more in depth...

Merean & Larelle, being tricksey, of course argue against accepting her, not wanting to look too eager, but are secretly rubbing their hands and steepling fingers.
Cads calls Moiraine a fool for embracing the power when she checks in on her, b/c what do you think I am, BA? Silly girl, if I was BA, now you've gone and given me reason to suspect that you suspect.

Either way, I don't think Cads is too concerned about Moiraine. Cads is too calculating for that. She only cares about how Moiraine can help her achieve her goals.

@ 58. birgit

Oh yeah, I forgot about Torkumen. But was that Rand's Zen powers "I can peer into your soul," or was it Ta'veren? Anyway, I didn't get the impression from the text that the guy was a genius. I guess I won't be satisfied until Rand looks over the BT, now that most of the BA have been found by Egwene.
I don't really buy the zen-power interpretation. LTT was fooled by all sorts of people ie: Bel'al, Demandred & Lanfear. If LTT really can peer into people's souls he shoulda balefirefried them before they actually turned. I think that the whole Weiramon and whatsherface thing was just LTT's experience (he is like 200-300 years old right?) and their incompetence.
Then again, I've only read the last 2 books once each, and won't again until I get a paperback.

@ 55. subwoofer
I appreciate the comment and advice; however, Mediokrates don't take no $HIT from no one no how. I'd punch the Creator in the eye or box the Dark One's ears for giving me a wedgie.
Ivan S.
63. Mediokrates
@54. lakesidey

I think you put it together very nicely. I agree with most of what you wrote, except that Cads was necessarily trying to save Moiraine. If Cads thought either Merean or Larelle were BA, the only thing Moiraine would be saved from by accompanying them would be boredom.
In fact, knowing that Moiraine was one of Tamra's fav's (was she really?), and therefore a possible searcher, if she died while in the company of Merean or Larelle, would go a long way into proving they were BA. So she could be using Moiraine as bait.

Even more in depth...

Merean & Larelle, being tricksey, of course argue against accepting her, not wanting to look too eager, but are secretly rubbing their hands and steepling fingers.
Cads calls Moiraine a fool for embracing the power when she checks in on her, b/c what do you think I am, BA? Silly girl, if I was BA, now you've gone and given me reason to suspect that you suspect.

Either way, I don't think Cads is too concerned about Moiraine. Cads is too calculating for that. She only cares about how Moiraine can help her achieve her goals.

@ 58. birgit

Oh yeah, I forgot about Torkumen. But was that Rand's Zen powers "I can peer into your soul," or was it Ta'veren? Anyway, I didn't get the impression from the text that the guy was a genius. I guess I won't be satisfied until Rand looks over the BT, now that most of the BA have been found by Egwene.
I don't really buy the zen-power interpretation. LTT was fooled by all sorts of people ie: Bel'al, Demandred & Lanfear. If LTT really can peer into people's souls he shoulda balefirefried them before they actually turned. I think that the whole Weiramon and whatsherface thing was just LTT's experience (he is like 200-300 years old right?) and their incompetence.
Then again, I've only read the last 2 books once each, and won't again until I get a paperback.

@ 55. subwoofer
I appreciate the comment and advice; however, Mediokrates don't take no $HIT from no one no how. I'd punch the Creator in the eye or box the Dark One's ears for giving me a wedgie.
Thomas Keith
64. insectoid
Sub @55: Maybe you should try using a different browser? Chrome works just as well as Firefox most of the time. I don't trust IE.

Fiddler @59: See how quickly I forget? :)

Bzzz™.
lake sidey
65. lakesidey
@61 AndrewB: Yeah, right. Ok, ok, we'll believe you this once. Though it is a bit, er, fishy.

One reason I generally get mildly irritated by Siuan's persistent fish metaphors is that I hate fish. And I come from a place where the staple food is fish. (The next most popular comestible there is probably alcohol. And I don't touch that either. Talk about being a stranger in a strange land!).

@59 Fiddler: While I don't exactly hate Cads (I think her intentions at least are mainly good, but the end need not justify the means), I can't like her too much either. And not just for her interactions with Rand. (In fact, I am probably most irritated by how she tries to intimidate Nynaeve). Cads has developed a way of dealing with people which is to ride roughshod over them (if you act like you have the right to do it, people tend to believe it etc etc). But she uses a one-size-fits-all approach in this. And totally epicfails to take into account that when dealing with people of spirit and intelligence, telling them "so-and-so is forbidden/impossible" is often enough to make them go haring off to try it. Still, most chapters with Cads in them tend to be interesting, one way or another, so I guess she can stay. Besides, there's always the chance that she will goad Nynaeve into getting Rand back from the dead by telling her it is impossible! One can hope...

On a mostly unrelated note, quite a few fairly powerful AS seem to have emerged from Far Madding around 250-300 years ago - Cadsuane, Verin, Romanda...I wonder if this is just coincidence? How did they find out that they could channel, anyway? And do they know each other from those days? Cads seems not to know that Verin is from there when they visit, but I don't think we get her POV on that?

~lakesidey
Lynn McDonald
66. meal6225
Andrew B @61 (what happened to 62 and 63?) I'll be there chearing on my Xavier Musketeers! If they play on 3/17 I'll bring along some tasty soda bread.
I'll continue to enjoy the reread as long as Leigh posts after AMoL.
Alice Arneson
67. Wetlandernw
birgit @46 - From the description of the pin, it sure sounds like she's a Kinswoman. We have identical descriptions for Sumeko and Reanne, so it's at least a strong bet. About Larelle and Merean and my looney theory... depending on what kind of clues Cadsuane was chasing, they might not have led her to specific individuals yet, or might even have seemed to point to someone else at this stage. Without actual evidence of what she was doing, it's all just wind anyway. :)

Mediokrates @47 - I apologize for sounding insulting; that wasn't what I intended, but in reading it again I can see that interpretation. (Too easily, actually. :/ My bad.) Please forgive me.

About the Oaths, it just seems to me that they are so deeply ingrained in the thinking of the WT that any initiate thereof would think in terms of "all AS are bound by the Oaths." Recognition that Tamra was killed by the OP might not lead to an immediate assumption that the BA are freed from all three Oaths. Unfortunately, all the ways I can think of to explain that are extremely wordy (even for me!) as well as sounding lame when you verbalize it. Oddly, though, I think they are valid from inside the situation even while they look foolish and illogical from our vantage point. I may work on this next time I'm washing dishes...

FWIW, though, AS do seem to be oddly reticent about asking direct questions of one another. I think it's that autonomy thing; it's just not done to pry into the business of another sister, so you don't ask questions she might not want to answer. Combine that with the resistance to the idea that the BA even exists, and it just wouldn't occur to most of them to ask a sister if she were a darkfriend. So while it wouldn't be all that difficult for an outsider to work it out, from the inside one is so thoroughly trained to the prejudices of the WT that it's really hard to see other possibilities. Cadsuane is kind of "the exception that proves the rule" in that she flouts traditions, expectations and prejudices all the time, on purpose, and it makes all the other AS (including the BA!) uncomfortable.

(Side note - the BA has only been around for 2000 years, not 3000, so all arguments based on longevity must be rethought. Ba'alzamon started it during the Trolloc Wars, so it's really quite new.

Oh. You think 2000 years is long enough...? Oh. Well, be that way.)

lakesidey @50 - I only meant that she clearly didn't tell Merean enough for her to know that the DR was a newborn. If Merean had known that, the BA would probably have those lists collected by the Accepted and just be killing every kid on there regardless of where they were born, just to be on the safe side. Obviously Merean knew that the DR was supposed to be living now, but the BA isn't going after babies. Instead, they're running around killing any boy or man who is showing signs of unusual luck. It's a horrible thing, but better (yikes!) in the grand scheme than killing the babies including the DR.

Mediokrates @52 - No, Rand hasn't seen Elza since his mountaintop experience. He balefired her long before that, along with Semirhage.

subwoofer @55 - Thhbbbbtt.

Fiddler @59 - I totally agree with you. As Leigh mentioned, she generally finds it amusing when Cadsuane smashes other people; it's only when she swats Rand that it's a problem. I suspect many readers are in the same boat, although there are some who reacted so strongly to her (because of Rand) that they can't enjoy her at all. Very sad. I also agree that Rand very much needed it. (The failed intimidation scene is one of my favorites, because it's just so funny!) And now I feel compelled to insert a quotation...

Fighting down a searing flare of temper, Moiraine made an effort not to clutch her skirt in fists. Even a woman as strong as Cadsuane had no right to order her here. Yet under that remorseless gaze, she stood as directed. Quivering with outrage, she struggled not to utter words she would regret, but she did it. There was something of Siuan about this woman, only magnified. Siuan had been born to lead. Cadsuane had been born to command.


That just cracked me up.

lakesidey @65 - You should go read Luckers essay on Dragonmount, "The Subtleties of Cadsuane." You might not agree, but he makes some great points. And as usual, I have to point out that she doesn't actually use the same approach to everyone. She only "rides roughshod" over people when she thinks they're acting stupidly, which most people mostly are. Act your age, don't be a pompous idiot, use your skills intelligently and for Team Light, and she'll treat you like an intelligent human being. Get huffy, throw temper tantrums, wail about your rights and waste your talents, and she'll walk right over you in the process of either getting you on the right path or just getting you out of the way. I don't have a problem with that, actually...
lake sidey
68. lakesidey
@Wet: I agree with his conclusion. I think she's one of the great characters in the series! But I still can't like her very much - that's not a rational decision, but a tribute, I suppose, to RJ's writing which makes me see his characters as real people to be liked or disliked. (I *hate* Faile, and she's one of the unquestionably good guys, fer Pete's sake!)

As I said, that's partly because of how she has behaved towards Nynaeve for a long time - refusing to acknowledge that she is an AS (and higher in the hierarchy than she herself is, be it noted!) and sometimes just plain treating her like an idiot (not to mention suspecting her of being Black, even post the Cleansing). Now that Nynaeve has taken the oaths, I am curious to see how Cads will react - if she still persists in the same kind of behaviour I would be disappointed and she might drop considerably in my estimation...

BTW, as for her behaviour towards Rand, I'd also point to a couple of quotes by ZenRand in ToM: To Egwene "It was Cadsuane who set me to fixing it, though she did so by accident" and to Cads herself "You tried to manipulate me, and you failed horribly." He might be wrong of course, but I fully agree with him that she was playing with fire there for a while, and for many of the wrong reasons. YMMV.

~lakesidey
Alice Arneson
69. Wetlandernw
lakesidey @68 - As to that, she herself considered (although she phrased it differently) that she was playing with fire. She knew things could go horribly wrong, but she also knew that if something didn't change dramatically, things would go horribly wrong. No one else was able and willing to confront him and force him out of his downward path, so she did what she could. Hers may not have been the perfect plan or the perfect approach, but it was a whole lot better than the Nothing everyone else was doing. Certainly she took a risk in "manipulating" him, but Rand may well be wrong in claiming that she "failed horribly." In the end, it had the desired result no matter how close it came to swinging the other way. And seriously, the direction he was headed up until the very end of TGS was not going to end anywhere good.

him, not his plans. This is understandable, based on his experience with pretty much everyone else, but he missed the mark.]

This is, of course, another area where RJ nailed it - people don't come up with the perfect plan or the perfect approach, because they aren't perfect. They don't know everything, and they don't have infinitely flexible personalities and people skills. They have to do what they can with what they have and pray for the best. I don't think Rand has fully realized yet how much he owes Cadsuane (along with several others); he may never realize that, either. Just because he's now fully the Dragon Reborn doesn't make him perfect, either. He's neither the Creator nor the only begotten Son of the Creator. He's a 21-year-old human being with 400+ years worth of memories, but let's not forget that he didn't exactly have the perfect plan and the perfect approach in that first lifetime. (News Flash! Lews Therin Telamon was not perfect!) Rand can only try to learn from LTT's mistakes, draw on his "better upbringing" and pray that he comes up with a better plan this time. Hopefully he can also draw on the skills and knowledge of others to come up with that plan, rather than alienating them to the point where Team Light is divided once again. (I'd really be bummed if the series ended in a "draw" similar to the previous Age!)

That reminds me of something I find truly odd in some of the fandom. Quite a few people have this idea that because Rand is the one prophesied to defeat the Dark One, he must therefore be perfectly wise, knowing all things, and be the One and Only One able to come up with a plan for Tarmon Gai'don. He does indeed bear a great responsibility, but he's only human. In the 3000 years since LTT died, things have changed. Things were invented by his contemporaries (AOL-trained channelers) after his death, research has been done, new weaves have been created, and new social structures are in place. In addition, the Pattern has given Rand some recognizable assistance - two other ta'veren with some very peculiar gifts, as well as many other people who care about him and have skills and knowledge of their own to contribute. Expecting that Rand somehow knows best in all things, and therefore everyone should obey him without question, is... simplistic at best.

Well, anyway. I'm glad most of his true friends don't "obey without question" just because he's the DR. What a mess that would have been!

Edited, because I lost all my italics when I pasted. Oops.
icantthinkofone
70. KatieG
To go of on a tangent, when Moiraine meets Nynaeve she calls her "child"then realises that she's the Wisdom. I've heard people guess that she corrected herself when she sensed that Nyn could channel, but I always thought that was where "child" came from as well.
Jonathan Levy
71. JonathanLevy
14. Bergmaniac
Let sleeping dogs lie! ;)

17. sps49
Yeah, they suspect everyone now (including Cadsuane), so why not Chesmal?

To be honest, I think each of them does suspect Chesmal, and they know the other one does, so there's no reason to mention her name. Chesmal isn't standing in front of them (unlike Cadsuane), so her being BA is significant only in that it proves the existence of the Black Ajah. That's why their reaction is "Oh no! The Black Ajah!" and not "Eh tu, Chesmal?"


19. insectoid
it is slightly amusing that Cadsuane continues to stomp on protocol and etiquette despite how uncomfortatble it makes other sisters.

I suspect Cadsuane stomps on etiquette precisely because it makes the other sisters uncomfortable.
Birgit
72. birgit
On a mostly unrelated note, quite a few fairly powerful AS seem to have emerged from Far Madding around 250-300 years ago - Cadsuane, Verin, Romanda...

Verin was younger than the other two:
http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5282

How old was Verin when she died? If you cannot give us an exact number, is it correct to say that Verin’s age at death was somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 years? If not, will you provide an estimate of her age at death?Maria: Verin was born in 849NE, making her 151ish at death.

It makes sense that there are many channelers from Far Madding because male channelers who stay in the town never channel and remain in the gene pool. Female channelers also might never realize they could channel and have children instead of becoming AS.

To go of on a tangent, when Moiraine meets Nynaeve she calls her
"child"then realises that she's the Wisdom. I've heard people guess that she corrected herself when she sensed that Nyn could channel, but I always thought that was where "child" came from as well.

Moiraine and Ny talk about the incident in TEotW ch. 21:

Do you remember how I suddenly asked you if you were the Wisdom? Why, do you think? There was nothing to distinguish you from any other pretty young woman getting ready for Festival. Even looking for a young Wisdom I expected someone half again your age." Nynaeve remembered that meeting all too well; this woman, more self-possessed than anyone in the Women's Circle, in a dress more beautiful than any she had ever seen, addressing her as a child. Then Moiraine had suddenly blinked as if surprised and out of a clear sky asked ...


Moiraine first called Ny child and then realized she could channel.

Birgit
73. birgit
On a mostly unrelated note, quite a few fairly powerful AS seem to have emerged from Far Madding around 250-300 years ago - Cadsuane, Verin, Romanda...

Verin was younger than the other two:

How old was Verin when she died? If you cannot give us an exact number, is it correct to say that Verin’s age at death was somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 years? If not, will you provide an estimate of her age at death?
Maria: Verin was born in 849NE, making her 151ish at death.


It makes sense that there are many channelers from Far Madding because male channelers who stay in the town never channel and remain in the gene pool. Female channelers also might never realize they could channel and have children.

To go of on a tangent, when Moiraine meets Nynaeve she calls her
"child"then realises that she's the Wisdom. I've heard people guess that she corrected herself when she sensed that Nyn could channel, but I always thought that was where "child" came from as well.

Moiraine and Ny talk about the incident in TEotW ch. 21:

Do you remember how I suddenly asked you if you were the Wisdom? Why, do you think? There was nothing to distinguish you from any other pretty young woman getting ready for Festival. Even looking for a young Wisdom I expected someone half again your age."
Nynaeve remembered that meeting all too well; this woman, more self-possessed than anyone in the Women's Circle, in a dress more beautiful than any she had ever seen, addressing her as a child. Then Moiraine had suddenly blinked as if surprised and out of a clear sky asked ...


Moiraine first called Ny child and then realized she could channel.

The post was flagged as spam although I didn't include the link as a link. I'll try again without the URL.




lake sidey
74. lakesidey
@73 Birgit: Thanks! I hadn't seen that before....I'd sort of assumed Verin was 200+ what with the grey hair and all. Even so, Cadsuane should have known that she was from Far Madding, when Verin came to the tower, unless Verin lied about that at the time of entering the WT.

Also, why is there a warrant for Verin Mathwin in Far Madding? Do we ever find out? (my memory is totally failing me today!)

~lakesidey
Hugh Arai
75. HArai
Wetlandernw@69: For what it's worth, ToM Rand himself seems quite aware he's just back for another try, not the perfect solution. What gets me personally is that while Rand himself has some holes in his qualifications (and he does, of course) everyone else who tries to be in charge does so based on even weaker qualifications. So yes, it's a good thing people don't obey Rand unquestioningly but it would be nice if some of them would actually listen to what he has to say. Like oh, say... Egwene.
Hilde Sørensen
76. edlihs
HAra@75


So yes, it's a good thing people don't obey Rand unquestioningly but it would be nice if some of them would actually listen to what he has to say. Like oh, say... Egwene.

We should all have dreams. But it doesn't look like we get this wish any time soon...

I agree with the sentiment that charecter bias has an influence on the common perseption of Cadsuane.

I read the novel before the novella. Therefor I remember likeing the novel better then the shorter verson. But then I never had a problem with lenghly descriptions. :-)
Sydo Zandstra
77. Fiddler
lakesidey@68:

As I said, that's partly because of how she has behaved towards Nynaeve for a long time - refusing to acknowledge that she is an AS (and higher in the hierarchy than she herself is, be it noted!) and sometimes just plain treating her like an idiot (not to mention suspecting her of being Black, even post the Cleansing). Now that Nynaeve has taken the oaths, I am curious to see how Cads will react - if she still persists in the same kind of behaviour I would be disappointed and she might drop considerably in my estimation...

I will quote myself from the post in the last thread, the one insectoid mentioned. It was a response to thewindrose stating that Egwene hasn't been behaving as a friend towards Nynaeve, and that it would be fun to see her getting some humble pie for it (which I agree with):

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...

I think Cadsuane was totally in her right to not accept Nynaeve as being fully Aes Sedai, because she wasn't. Elayne isn't a full Aes Sedai as well and never will be until she has done the test. Those are simple facts, and nothing a rebel Amyrlin declares is going to change that (certainly not because this was done to lessen the debate about that Amyrlin's own elevation towards sisterhood). It's like claiming an academic title without having actually graduated. ;-)

As for Cadsuane's treatment of Nynaeve, there are several occasions where we see Cadsuane's POV, mentioning 'the girl has promise'. Coming from Casuane, that is a compliment. Which is part of the 'resonance' I mentioned in my initial post.

I must have missed/forgotten the parts where Cadsuane suspects Nynaeve of being Black. Could you give me some quotes/chapter titles?

Lots of quotes to make a small point. ;-)
lake sidey
78. lakesidey
@77 Fiddler: I am not saying she's wrong to do so (though she will be if she continues behaving thus now that Nynaeve is a full AS. She did so with Moiraine, but Moirance was ranked well below her so she was within her rights to do so). I am just saying it makes her an unlikeable character sometimes!

As for the suspicion of Blackness, it comes when Alanna vanishes in ToM, just before Rand comes back and revokes Caddy's exile. Don't remember the exact quote (too lazy to go hunt it down, plus I'm technically supposed to be working!)

~lakesidey
john massey
79. subwoofer
@Insectoid- I will not abandon my friend that is the Fox to take up with the likes of the Dark Side that is Chrome. Besides, I figured out the "remember me" button. Didn't have to use it in V1.whatever, but apparently I do now. Meh, live, learn, and curse about the experience of it all.

Am ruminating about ToM- gonna post on that thread in a bit. As much as I try I really cannot get into this book as much as the new one. Doing a reread there and there is a ton of stuff I missed that I want to comment on. Some of it my even be salient.

@Wet- I am assuming that raspberry was because you couldn't find your teeth;)

**Gah! Who closed that damn bunker door! Must be Lakesidey exacting revenge for the last goabout. Guess I have to sneak in through Compactor 3263827 **

Woof™.
Sorcha O
80. sushisushi
I get the impression that any sort of a sniff of something interestingly irregular going on would be enough to have Cadsuane show up in town. She seems to have a nose for trouble, so it's no surprise that she's out and about when there's a new Amyrlin and a suspicious rash of lucky men dying. I suspect that she worked out something like the same logic as Siuan did near the end of this book - that someone is going around killing potential male channelers. I think she's too unconventional to be one of Tamra's searchers, but that doesn't stop her from realising that something was up and sticking her nose in. I wonder if her interest in male channelers dates from this period and whether it's because she's gotten wind that the Dragon has been reborn. We're told that's she's captured twenty men who can channel, three of whom are in the period between this book and the main series (Logain, Taim and Elgarin, who is Lord whatsit in Tear's brother).

I wonder if any of the sisters already in the inn are friends of hers (i.e. members of her informal network, which is probably only at a proto stage here). Felaana turns up again in KoD as a Tower loyalist, so probably not. I kept getting Larelle mixed up with Lyrelle, who is Blue and was a Sitter in the Salidar Hall, but it seems that they are indeed not the same person and that Larelle just disappears ominously. I like Wetlander's theory that she could have been BA, but tried to interfere with Cadsuane, who doesn't appear again in this story after Moiraine leaves Chachin, after all.

One thing about suspecting Chesmal is that you would have to suspect Ryma Galfrey the same way. We know that it's very unlikely that she's Black Ajah, given that she ended up completely broken down into a damane, poor woman, although M&S have no way of knowing this in NS. Anyone got any theories how Chesmal 'induced' the Reds to kill Sierin, anyway? Told them she was Black? That she was harboring the Dragon Reborn? Or protecting male channelers in general, given the location of their collective hot button?

Birgit@46 Also, that's a nice catch on Mistress Asher - I totally bet she's one of the Kin and has just landed herself in her own private nightmare of an inn full of Aes Sedai looking down their noses at her.
Sydo Zandstra
81. Fiddler
sushisushi@80:

One thing about suspecting Chesmal is that you would have to suspect
Ryma Galfrey the same way. We know that it's very unlikely that she's Black Ajah, given that she ended up completely broken down into a damane, poor woman, although M&S have no way of knowing this in NS.

Actually, Ryma Galfrey could still be Black. It's not that unlikely at all. Her being da'mane'd is not an insurance that she isn't Black...
icantthinkofone
82. LadyBelaine
Fiddler@81,

Actually, we know that Ryma Galfrey ain't Black since she was incapable of being made to tell a lie via the a'dam. ("A simple lie, a white scarf is black").

If she was Black, then she could easily be tortured into saying an untruth.
Maiane Bakroeva
83. Isilel
HArai @75:

What gets me personally is that while Rand himself has some holes in
his qualifications (and he does, of course) everyone else who tries to
be in charge does so based on even weaker qualifications.

This is far from clear, IMHO. The track record of 3rd-agers versus FS and LTT versus FS goes against the old codger ;). None of the 29 people allowed to use the TP fell due to the efforts of the forces of Light in AoL, after all. Generally, AoL knoweldge and experience doesn't count for much where FS are concerned, why should it be that different for LTT?

So yes, it's a good thing people don't obey Rand unquestioningly but it would be nice if some of them would actually listen to what he has to say.

Well, what he says in ToM is basically that he is going to break the Seals and pray that something occurs to him after he does it. I can't fault anybody or being dubious about this plan :).

I am 100% with Wetlandernw - IMHO not only can Rand be wrong, but even after his enlightment, he is following the same pattern that he was when he tried to seal the Bore the last time, which is worrysome.

Birgit @73:

It makes sense that there are many channelers from Far Madding because male channelers who stay in the town never channel and remain in the gene pool.

As evidenced by 2 of the more powerful and notorious of the False Dragons who also hailed from there.
Generally, I wonder if the AS who made the Far Madding ter'angreal during the Breaking didn't use the place to keep their male children safe from channeling and taint. A workable solution for their terrible predicament of watching a son for 30 or so years for signs of channeling.

I don't have time to hunt down the refernce now, but it was suggest that sons of AS could have been profilactically gentled at the age of 10-16. I don't think that it could work that way - there is nothing to "cut" before a channeler actually sparks.
Survival of Setalle Anan, a long-time habitual channeler, makes me wonder though, if male sparkers caught very early - after just 1 or 2 episodes, say, shouldn't have had much higher survival chances. Does the WT actually keep track of gentled men if the aren't False Dragons, or are they free to leave?

Lakesidey @78:

She did so with Moiraine, but Moirance was ranked well below her so she was within her rights to do so).

Nope, she wasn't. They were outside of the WT. And much as I love Nynaeve and dislike Cadsuane, I hope that the latter doesn't knuckle to former now that all formalities have been observed. The OP strength hierarchy needs to die in a fire ASAP.
Captain Hammer
84. Randalator
Mediokrates @52

Does Rand know about Elza? I don't remember him seeing her since his conversion to Zen.

Given the fact that he balefired the living daylights out of her and Semirhage it would be quite remarkable if he had...
Sorcha O
85. sushisushi
Fiddler@81 and LadyBelaine@82 That makes me wonder what would happen when the Seanchan cop on that some of those collared Aes Sedai can actually be made to lie and/or blow things up. I mean, the chances are high enough that at least one of the AS they snatched on the Tower raid are Black Ajah, right?
Captain Hammer
86. Randalator
sushisushi @85

I don't see anything special happening. They get turned into standard blow-shit-up damane, end of story.
Hugh Arai
87. HArai
Isilel@83: Nice distraction but LTT's record against the FS in the AoL isn't the issue (and seriously you're going to claim LTT wasn't qualified as a leader because the Shadow was winning the war? Really?).

The issue is whether or not Rand as Dragon Reborn is more or less qualified to make decisions than the various people who feel they should be telling Rand what to do.

If you want to go by track record vs the Forsaken:
Rand - Ishamael, Sammael, Rahvin, Aginor, Asmodean, Aran'gar, Semirhage

Moiraine - Be'lal, Lanfear (in essence)

The other Aes Sedai combined - Mesaana, we'll give em 1/2 for catching and then losing Moggy, and even 1/2 for Cadsuane being "in charge" when Elza killed Osan'gar.

7 -2 -2 . So if FS hunting qualifies you to be in charge, Rand is the clear winner.

As for the Seals:
On the one hand you have ToM Rand:
- has all the knowledge of one of the Aes Sedai leaders in the war, which likely includes knowing exactly what all the other options anyone else came up with were.
- Is the only Light side expert with saidin, which is what the Seals were created with exclusively.
- Has all the memories of the person who personally led the Sealing. You think maybe he knows how it was supposed to work?
- has personal experience with the flaws in the Sealing.
- figured out how to fix the Taint on saidin, the most obvious drawback to the Sealing.

On the other hand you have Egwene
- knows next to nothing about saidin or even working with a mix of saidin and saidar.
- She doesn't even know how saidin users do even simple things let alone something as complicated as sealing the Bore.
- wants to maintain the status quo of a "solution" that didn't work and is doing so based on the "knowledge" and traditions of a group of women that clearly do not have a clear idea of the circumstances that led to the Sealing.

Now, you're welcome to your opinion, but if ToM Rand says the Seals didn't work and they need to be cleared away and a new solution found, I'll take his word over Egwene anyday. Of course, he could be wrong, he's human. But he's working with some knowledge and given what we've seen so far, Egwene is not.
Alice Arneson
88. Wetlandernw
lakesidey @78 Here you go, for what it's worth:
"Phaw," Cadsuane said. "The girl isn't 'only one person.' She's a tool. An important one." She reached over to the desk, holding up a sheet of paper that they'd found in the room. It had been folded with a blood-red seal of wax on one side. "Do you recognize this?"

Nynaeve frowned. "No. Should I?"

Lying or truthful? Cadsuane hated not being able to trust the words of someone who called herself an Aes Sedai. But Nynaeve al'Meara had never held the Oath Rod.

Those eyes looked genuinely confused. Nynaeve should be trustworthy; she prided herself on her honesty. Unless that was a front. Unless she was Black.

Careful, she thought. You'll end up as distrustful as the boy is. Nynaeve hadn't given Alanna the note, which eliminiated her last good theory on its origin.

I think it was less a suspicion than a passing thought, and IMO Cadsuane promptly discarded it. Given that she concluded right there that Nynaeve did not give Alanna the note, she apparently also concluded that Nynaeve was telling the truth and that she was not putting up a front.

Isilel @83 - Hey, let's have a party! We agree 100% on something! :) Incidentally, I'm also completely with you on the impracticability of "gentling at age 10-16." I don't think it's that easy; it can't be stopped until it starts.
Alice Arneson
89. Wetlandernw
Hey, does this remind you of someone?

Sorry, it just made me laugh.

So did this.
Chris Chaplain
90. chaplainchris1
Greetings all. It’s a post from me, otherwise known as a Wall of Text.

Birgit @46 - good spotting/speculation on a possible Kinswoman, that's never occurred to me! Is the pin significant? Wetlander seems to indicate it is, but I’ve never noticed anything about the Kin and pins. (But I’m a guy, we don’t notice that stuff.) Any kind of identifying mark would seem risky, given the Kin’s modus operandi. Either way, Kinswomen certainly operated as merchants, so it’s highly likely in my opinion.

Isilel and Wetlander, I agree with you both too! Wow! And I agree also that I don't think it's possible to gentle someone until they begin channeling. The spark has to manifest first.

Now to the main reason for my post. HARai @87 - many good points. I'm glad I was delayed in posting, b/c when I read you @ 75 last night, I was inclined to dismiss your last sentence as gratuitous Egwene bashing. But like I say, good points @87, and I see where you're coming from. And for the most part, I agree - Rand should clearly be the leader of the Light's forces. As you say, whatever holes he has in his resume, he has fewer than the rest. (Although I’m not sure I’d have said that mid-way through TGS. He was seriously going crazy there, and scary as...well, scarier than Shaidar Haran. Or the news that Reba McEntire's covering Beyonce songs.)

Btw, your Forsaken coup-counting may be off. It’s been a long time since reading the relevant book, but as I recall, Rahvin had Rand on the ropes until Nynaeve-cum-Moghedien showed up and distracted him, giving Rand the breather he needed to take Rahvin down. Sounds like split credit to me.

As for Semirhage - again, Rand and the AS should split credit. Without AS support, esp. Cadsuane's paralis net, Semirhage's trap would have been much more devastating, and Rand might have lost more than his hand. Even with it, Rand was out of that fight, and without the AS and Asha’man he'd have been toast. He gets no credit for her initial defeat and capture, though of course the AS lose their credit due to Semirhage's escape. But even there...if Rand didn’t trust Cadsuane’s security measures, even if he didn’t know where the sad bracelets were, he knew where Semirhage was. He could certainly have had Asha’man augmenting her guard, and/or guarding him. Blaming it all on Cadsuane is unrealistic. If he’s the leader, as we both want, then the buck stops with him.

At any rate, I simply cannot understand fandom's condemnation of Egwene's "attitude" regarding the Seals. Her statement to Rand, if you'll recall, is that they need to talk about this. It is *Rand*, not Egwene, who refuses to have a discussion. I don't see how you can fairly accuse Egwene of needing to "actually listen to what he has to say". Rand refuses to discuss, explain, or reassure, choosing instead to manipulate his ex-girlfriend-almost-fiance into opposing him and recruiting the rest of the world to “present a united front” in talking to Rand. Getting Egwene to recruit and unite everyone so he can show up and take command is his goal, of course - manipulation in the finest (male) Aes Sedai tradition, I must say.

Zen Rand is cool, but...imagine if the scene played out a day earlier. Prior to his mountaintop experience, Rand was getting crazier and more dangerous by the day. He came within inches of surpassing his Kinslayer incarnation by *destroying*, not just breaking, the world. Egwene doesn't know what's happened to him, he talks and acts in a fairly crazy manner, all Egwene's reports are of crazy or immoral things he may have done (compulsion, etc.)...and he strolls in, says he's gonna set the DO free and hope for the best, thanks, now I'd like to leave.

Seriously, how is Egwene supposed to react? I think it's an incredible testament to their bond/friendship/whatever, and to Egwene's trust in him, that she *does* let him go. She's trusting that he'll show up in a month at the Fields of Merrilor as he said, and not do anything crazy or epically destructive in the interim. If I were in her spot, not having read the books, not privy to what's happened to Rand, I'd be wondering if he'd flip out and break the seals before the due date. Or wipe out entire cities with balefire, right? It’s actually very easy to argue that Egwene is completely irresponsible in not trying to contain Rand long enough to assess his sanity. If the scene occurred a day earlier (always assuming Rand didn’t go to Tar Valon, pull out his access key, and nuke the city to show that no more AS would pull his strings), it would in fact be kind of true that Egwene would be wrong to let him go.

Boiling it down, my oft-repeated point is this: Rand is the one who refuses to talk. Rand deliberately refuses to explain anything to Egwene, because he *wants* her to be scared of what he's gonna do so that she'll gather the nations for him. I suppose it's a good plan, and clearly he trusted Egwene enough to take this tack and trust that she'd still let him go without a fight after he presented his "plan". But I do regret it. Meta-narratively, I regret it b/c it seems like gratuitous conflict between them. Narratively, I regret it b/c I'd much rather see Rand take an hour from his busy schedule for a talk with his ex, who also happens to be the leader of the largest (if you count the Kin and the novices) cohesive group of Light-side channelers, including several hundred of the best-trained and most experienced light-side channelers, who have access to dozens if not more angreal and at least a few sa'angreal, and have a not-negligible sized army led by a Great Captain.

In other words, Egwene is a key leader, and taking an hour to talk to her and get her cooperation would have suited me far better than his decision to provoke and manipulate her.

Now, it’s true that it’d be nice if Egwene at least considered the notion that Rand is right to break the seals. She’s not privy to knowing that he’s integrated Lews Therin’s memories – b/c he didn’t tell her – but he does have a good record against Forsaken (getting worse and worse, though, as he got crazier), and it’d be nice if she thought in terms of “helping/supporting” rather than “guiding/directing.” That bugs me, too.

But if Egwene’s wrong not to consider that the Dragon Reborn might know better than her, isn’t Rand wrong not to tap Egwene’s resources more thoroughly? She is sitting on top of the biggest library in the world, with most of the Brown and White Ajahs gathered there. (Herid Fel was a historian and philosopher; the Browns know history, and the Whites know philosophy.) What if he’d confided in her, told her Min (whom Egwene trusts – she’s a girl) was working on a solution, and asked her to put the resources of the Tower behind Min?

Yeah, ok...Aes Sedai like Corele (a Yellow) have been annoying and unhelpful to Min. But if Vandene and Adeleas were still alive, their knowledge could be helpful. Who’s to say Seaine or Saerin (as two examples from the ranks of the Whites and Browns) wouldn’t be helpful in figuring out how to patch the Bore? They were effective in proving that the Oath Rod could be circumvented, and dug up some useful info on Mesaana.

Everyone’s been saying for months that Egwene should have the Aes Sedai researching the Seals and seeing if there is merit to Rand’s plan. Doesn’t that work both ways?

The counter-argument, of course, is that Rand couldn’t trust Egwene to fall in line. But he trusted Egwene to let him go after having a pretty huge bombshell dropped on her. He, and we, are going to have to get to the point where we understand that Rand being leader doesn’t mean followers that “get in line.” That’s what Dark Rand kept complaining about – wanting people who didn’t ask questions or challenge him and would just do as they are told. But Rand needs the strength of people like Egwene – who was obviously spun out by the Pattern for just that reason.

I’m still hopeful that Merrilor will be less a fight and more about these people who used to be friends, acting like friends...and finally comparing notes!!!!!!!

(Some of my mostest favoritest scenes in the last couple of books have been when a few members of our long-sundered cast met up and actually compared notes i.e., Mat and Elayne cooperating on cannons and on offing the gholam.)

Bottom line, and hey, it's the theme for the series – the best results (whether with Forsaken coup-counting or, I’d argue, planning how to close the Bore) come when men and women work together.
Julian Augustus
91. Alisonwonderland
Chaplain@90:
Seriously, how is Egwene supposed to react? I think it's an incredible testament to their bond/friendship/whatever, and to Egwene's trust in him, that she *does* let him go.

In this and a few more times in the post you assert that Egwene let Rand go, as in "permitted" him to go. Now, I've read ToM only once, when it first came out, so my memory may not be too reliable about this, but I got the very clear impression when I read the scene that neither Egwene nor any other AS could have prevented Rand from leaving Tar Valon that day. Whether it was the pattern or some Integrated Dragon/Ta'veren forcefield at work is unclear to me, but I believe all of the hundreds of assembled AS felt some kind of restraint preventing them from taking any action against him. Egwene had no choice in the matter.

And that's the way I remember it. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me pretty quick.
icantthinkofone
92. Lsana
Also agree with Wetlandernw and Isiel that gentling boys before they channel must not work. If it did, I have to think that all boys would have been gentled at age 10, at least in places like Tar Valon or Caemlyn. That they aren't must mean that there is a good reason not to.
Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw
chaplainchris @90 - Very good points, and well said. Thanks for the reminder that it was Rand, not Egwene, who refused to discuss anything. Also, for all that readers (and characters) have complained about Aes Sedai manipulating people all the time, it was Rand who was manipulating this scene when Egwene wanted some communication.

Alisonwonderland @91 - The impression (given you by Egwene, I might add) was certainly that Rand probably could have broken any shield or restraint they put on him, but you still need to give Egwene credit for not attempting to restrain him beyond her request. Whether or not it would have worked is, in this particular discussion, far less important than the fact that she didn't try. She asked him to stay for several reasons, and to each of her requests he said no. But when he asked her permission to leave, she tried one more time to talk about the Seals, and he would only tell her to meet him in a month and insist that he had to leave. At that point, she let him go with no attempt to stop him.
Joseph Blaidd
94. SteelBlaidd
I thought of a good reason for Rand to have done what he did in getting Egwene attempting to get the leaders lined up behind herself.

When he sends Nafe of to the Blacktower he says that he realized that he was not suposed to be a weapon. It follows that he wil not be handleing the millitary part of this fiasco. Some one else needs to be CiC and for that to work said someone needs to have the other leaders wiling to folow thier direction. Additionaly with Rand divesting himself of governing athouraty it means he can bow himself to the Empress with out obligateing anyone else. Though this might mean turning Illianover to the Seanchen unless he abdicates first (returning the crown to Mattin Stepanos seams like an easy solution).

Regarding NS itself: I always liked this bit. Cadsuane is one of my favorite characters in part for her willingness to call people on their BS.

As for why the wonder twins don't suspect Chesamal. Right now they suspect everybody. Later Suian has more to do beside checking up on every one to catch lies, which she would have to do very carefuly around running the Blue network. And remeber that the BA Hunters didn't catch a BLACK sister. They caught a ferrit.
Mikey Bennett
95. EvilMonkey
For whatever reason, the assembled masses of Aes Sedai could not have stopped Rand from leaving whenever he dayum well pleased. But that doesn't mean they couldn't have made the attempt. So they did have a choice. Egwene could have attempted (and failed) to hold him down or she could have trusted him to figure out the best decision for the good of all. Or at least come up with a better solution than the one he presented them with. His confidence may have had something to do with her choosing to let Rand walk away, yet she could have put her AS blinders on, chose to disregard that confidence and attempted to detain him anyway.
lake sidey
96. lakesidey
@94 Steelblaidd: They caught Talene?

@92 Lsana and others: Two things. One, from Rand's exerience, and Nynaeve's, I think we can say that the first few times of channeling don't make one an addict. As in the channeler doesn't even know what they have done and so they is not one-power-crazy. Hence could be gentled then without stilling.

Secondly, the fact that one could not identify the "something" which had to be cut before the person started channeling, may simply be because the AS aren't good enough at it! After all, before Nynaeve made an art form out of Delving, no one could even see that there was something which had been cut! I think it is possible that someone with Nynaeve's skill at Delving would be able to learn to recognise the signs in a youngster, and do pre-emptive severing (can't call it gentling I suppose). Of course, it would take several hundred channelers working full-time for a while, so might not be all that feasible.

@90 Chaplain: Actually, Egwene's later behaviour grates on my nerves kind of. (And btw, she didn't exactly let him go, she hardly had a choice - though I'm willing to let her have the benefit of the doubt that she wouldn't have stopped him). Stuff like - when a king (Darlin?) says "we will discuss with him" she reads it as "Oh good, he's on my side." Most of the others (even the WOs) are willing to look at both sides - she has already made up her mind that he must be stopped.

Even when Nynaeve tries to explain/support Rand's POV, her immediate reaction (and Siuan's) is of the form "Nynaeve has been spending time around him. This must be his ta'veren influence. Usually she is sensible!". No considering the possiblity that she may be right. Even though Nynaeve has helped kill one FS and capture 2 more, has helped cleanse the taint, has healed stilling and madness....

As for Rand, while he doesn't seem to have a plan beyond breaking the seals, there are some points in his favour - (1) I get the impression he has very limited time before either the "taint-protection" which Nynaeve sensed fails, or the wounds in his side incapacitate him. He needs to get the confrontation with the DO over with before that. Also, the DO is getting more powerful the longer he has to touch the world (Rand thinks about this somewhere) Hence the haste. (2) The answer he got from the Aelfinn, and the interpretations from Herid Fel, clearly indicate that the seals need to be broken. (3) Though he didn't know of it at the time, the Borderlander Prophesy "he will break what must be broken" also seems to indicate this path of action, but I am not sure. So it seems pretty clear he knows that he must break the seals, not doing so will mean a victory by default for the DO, but doing so will not necessarily mean a win for him. (All things said and done it was probably still mean of him to not tell Egwene stuff. But he had a reason, and it worked, so...I can't argue with that! Plus - he suspects Mesaana is in the tower I think?)

He still doesn't know what to do (Min isn't able to help him yet, though my gut feeling is she knows what he needs to do....because the only way she has seen him win is with Moiraine to help!) so he is fumbling a bit in the dark. And still a little low on just talking things out with his allies, sometimes.

Still I have hopes that both of them will act less wool-headed at the Field of Merrilor.I mean, we have only a thousand or so pages to get this wrapped up, folks....learn from Mat and Perrin and Elayne and just comm-yoo-nee-kate, wilja?

~lakesidey
icantthinkofone
97. Mistress Elaine
@CorDarei, HArai, and others, Leigh does get paid for doing this (she said so in a Dragonmount podcast a while ago), but she is doing it on top of a full-time job, so I can imagine she gets a little busy sometimes. Give the girl a break, eh?

As for Leigh wanting to do another project in addition to the Wheel of Time re-read, I can understand that, too. People need new things to stay interested in the old ones. If all you do on top of your full-time job is reading Jordan and writing about that experience, you're bound to get bored at some point. Focussing on new things actually gives you the inspiration needed to focus on old things, as Brandon Sanderson explained a while ago. So, while I don't intend to follow Leigh's Martin read, I can see why she would want to do it.

I will join others in the request for three Wheel of Time chapters per week, though, to make sure we really are done with the re-read before A Memory of Light is published, and to keep things somewhat lively around here. Think you might be able to manage that, Leigh?

I won't say anything about this week's chapters, but I hope to get more involved in the discussion over the next few weeks...
Captain Hammer
98. Randalator
lakesidey @96

Even when Nynaeve tries to explain/support Rand's POV, her immediate reaction (and Siuan's) is of the form "Nynaeve has been spending time around him. This must be his ta'veren influence. Usually she is sensible!".

And as I already said in an earlier discussion, that statement is really stupid.

Ta'veren bend the pattern around them to provide them with what they need to fulfill their purpose. So if Eggy et al assume that Nynaeve was ta'verened into agreeing with Rand that means that Rand is on the right track or Nynaeve hadn't been ta'verened in the first place...
Valentin M
99. ValMar
As a rather dubious defence of Egwene may I suggest that to be an effective leader in the type of position that she is, she must exhibit certain characteristics which make her to be a bit of a c**t.
The way she has behaved towards Nyn, the way she went mad vs Siuan "disobeying", the sanctimonious rant with Mesaana, etc, are the manifestations of personal traits. Uber confidence, wish for obedience, some ruthlessnes, and so on.

Actually this has nothing to do with NS, or more importantly, Cadsuane :)
Valentin M
100. ValMar
a hunny? Don't mind if I do.

Randalator @ 98
Yes I remember this point being made before. And rightly so! It has a delicious logic to it. I hope someone gets it inside the story, too.
icantthinkofone
101. Katocrossesthecourtyard
@98Randalator, not sure if lakesidy's statement counts as 'really stupid.' The phrase you hear repeated more regarding ta'veren is that they 'bend the pattern to their will.' Hawkwing was considered the strongest ta'veren until Rand & people/nations/powers baulked at what he tried to do all the time. Hell, Matt remembers a life going up against Hawkwing and beating him - before Hawkwing found his stride, I think Matt said.

Egwene & Suian do react sharply when Nynaeve tries to explain Rand's side. They feel that Rand has had an undue amount of influence on Nynaeve, as evidenced they feel by her 'maveriky' ways recently, then they want her to get away from Rand. Also, Egwene definitely believes that Rand is not on the right track.

Should Rand have handled it differently? Sure. He's not going to win friends & influence people in the WT the way he's going. But this clash was coming for a long time. Past events have led up to a point where both the WT & Rand believe they should lead Team Light, that the other is wrong, and that they won't discuss what they each know - "info sharing, it's a good thing" (thank you Marta al'Stewart Aes Sedai) ;-)

I think Moiraine's big contribution in the final book will be to shake both sides out of this woolheadedness. Rand & Egwene will listen to her more than any other person right now. Rand for Min's vision as well as how he felt about Moiraine in the end & for her sacrifice for him. Egwene because Moiraine was instrumental getting her to where she is now - in a roundabout way, but Moiraine gave the first push.

I kinda see her doing her version of Gandalf in The Hobbit when he stops the battle at the Lonely Muntain before it starts to wake up the dwarves, men, & elves (plus a hobbit) & remember the real enemy - goblins & wargs in this case. Maybe not so dramatically but something that will have the same effect.

Kato
Sydo Zandstra
102. Fiddler
Lady Belayne @82 re: Ryma black?

Good point. :)
Don Barkauskas
103. bad_platypus
sushisushi @85:

If the Seanchen discover a Black Ajah member can lie and use the One Power as a weapon, the most likely result is for them to conclude that the rest of the captured Aes Sedai have somehow been holding out on them and re-double their efforts to break the other Aes Sedai.
Valentin M
104. ValMar
Kato @ 101

From your post I understand that you refer to the "randomness" and "bend to my will (e.g. meeting with Fortuona)" effects of being Ta'veren. Essentially that these effects are not geared specifically to affect the fight vs the Shadow.
This is true and can be used against the logic of Randalator's argument. But this can be counter-argued by considering why the Pattern spun out such a powerful Ta'veren, and how much stronger his effect on the pattern becomes the closer the Last Battle comes. People (e.g. Eg lol) should at least consider the possibility that if Rand has affected Nyn's and others' opinions, it is not by random chance.

bad_platypus @ 103

Unfortunatelly that's exactly how the Seanchan are likely to react, given their view of AS. Hopefully Tuon has seen and heard enough to start changing things as Fortuona, even if it takes additional events in AMOL.
Kurt Lorey
105. Shimrod
Sorry if someone else mentioned this, but Merean killed Larelle on the way to Chachin, IIRC.

Still love Cadsuane, just wouldn't want to work for her.
Chris Chaplain
106. chaplainchris1
Wetlander @93 has said most of what I would've re: Alisonwonderland, Lakesidey, and others questioning whether or not Egwene "let" Rand go. I'll add two facts: 1) Egwene didn't feel any of the restraint or constraint that the other Aes Sedai did. She likewise didn't know they felt constrained in their actions until after Rand left. For all she knew, if she'd called out "get 'em, everybody" she'd have been obeyed. 2) Egwene did apparently have the feeling that something was up - that he could have shattered the shield holding him, even though that's supposed to be basically impossible.

So, with these two facts, one possible interpretation is that Egwene may have feared starting an apocalypic battle (rather than easily shielding him and binding him with air) with the DR in the heart of the WT, and that's why she held back. It may be that Rand risked going there, not b/c he trusted Egwene to let him go, but b/c he knew he'd been "powered up" and could get out if he had to do so.

But that's not my interpretation. Rand knows Egwene - certainly well enough to have effectively manipulated her here - and Egwene's thoughts in this scene, to me, clearly show her remembering that while the Dragon is a feared legendary figure, Rand al'Thor is a man to trust.

So yes, I think Egwene decided to trust him (and I think it takes a deliberately biased reading to conclude otherwise). I also notice that just as she doesn't try to fight him, she also doesn't try to manipulate him, negotiate with him, or even keep tabs on him. There's no "sure, you can leave, as long as you take these 13 'advisors' with you...to facilitate communication." She doesn’t send spies or observers to try and follow him (even just to get a glimpse through his gateway when he leaves). There's no worry that he might not keep his word and show up at Merrilor. There's no fear that he might go crazy/crazier and decide to break the Seals earlier, before she can intervene. There's no intention to have everybody jump him at the Fields of Merrilor, either. She *is* planning an intervention, which is annoying, since he just got better and doesn’t need one anymore. But she still has trust in him, if not in his plan.

With all that said, re: lakesidey @ 96, I think we've got broad areas of agreement. It’s not complete – as you can see from what I've just written, I believe Egwene had an abundance of choices in dealing with Rand. But she chooses a show of faith in him, if not in his plan.

If I didn't make it clear before (not in this thread, certainly), I absolutely think Rand's plan to break the Seals is right for (at least) the reasons you outline. This is why I'm disappointed at how Rand chooses to present his desire to break the Seals. He *has* reasons (although I'll point out that he doesn't know about the Borderlander prophecy yet), but he doesn't share any of 'em with Egwene. A simple "Min thinks it's the right thing to do" would probably have an impact, given Egwene's "women know best" thing.

While we're speaking of prophecy, Egwene has reason, due to her dream of Rand shattering a great sphere, to believe Rand's plan is disaster. I don't think her interpretation is correct (or what the dream has to do with anything, actually), but it is one more thing supporting Egwene's fairly understandable belief that Rand's plan is a bad idea.

The things we're agreed on are that 1) Rand's plan to break the Seals is the correct path. 2) Egwene's close-minded failure to consider that possibility, and her dismissal of others who do, is annoying. 3) It'd also be nice if Rand would give Egwene more information. (Though here I'd raise the stakes from "it's mean not to share" to "it's tactically unsound." Plus, even if it works, do the ends really justify the means? Though I admit, I enjoy seeing Our Heroes manipulate others. I don’t enjoy seeing them manipulate each other.) 4) Hopefully at the Fields of Merrilor, they'll *both* do better.

My main goals @90 were to show two things. First, even though I agree with Rand's plan and find Egwene's close-mindedness grating, it was *Rand's* decision not to talk about it, and fans should acknowledge that. Second, I wanted to outline the ways in which Egwene *does* demonstrate trust in Rand. It's a mixed bag, and I think much of the fandom doesn't acknowledge that either.

In the process, I reached a third conclusion - one that was new to me. I've defended Egwene's POV as a rational and defensible one in the past, but I'd never quite carried it this far before. So third, I outlined some ways in which it's not only "wrong" (unkind, manipulative) for Rand not to have talked with Egwene, but may be tactically unsound as well, given the resources she could offer to him.

YMMV, of course. But I’m right, because my wall of text is longer. :P
Chris Chaplain
107. chaplainchris1
Shimrod @ 105 - that's a theory, but it's unconfirmed. Unless you know of a refence I missed?

However, it raises a point I wanted to discuss a bit. This one is actually about NS.

In one of the early NS posts, I (and others) mentioned that it stretched our credulity a bit to see so many Accepted who would later be prominent Aes Sedai in the series. I specifically found it odd that so many women who are above-average strength in the Power and would ascend so high or be so prominent (Moiraine, Siuan, Sheriam, Myrelle, Carlinya, Katerine, plus Tarna, Alanna, etc.) would be in the Accepted quarters, esp. given that the Aes Sedai dwindling is such a powerful theme in NS. Lots of people responded with lots of good reasons why these folks should be so prominent, from the working of the Pattern to the loss of a lot of senior Aes Sedai.

It's the latter aspect I want to mention here, since this is the chapter we learn of the deaths of Tamra's searchers. That's 5 prominent, senior, highly respected sisters gone, some of whom might have been expected to be around another 50-100 years. 2 of them were among the 3 strongest women in the Tower.

In addition to those 5, during NS so far we've seen the deaths of Gitara Moroso and Tamra Ospenya.

3 other prominent NS Aes Sedai who are apparently toast by the time of the main series are Merean, Larelle, and Cetalia. As far as I know, Larelle and Cetalia's deaths are unconfirmed. But they've certainly vanished. All 3 are markedly stronger than average in the Power - strong enough to be quite prominent - and their deaths do open up quite a lot of room at the top ranks.

Presumably, then, that's at least 10 NS Aes Sedai who have died or will die before the main series starts. Who am I missing?
Captain Hammer
108. Randalator
Kato @101

not sure if lakesidy's statement counts as 'really stupid.'

I was referring to Egwene's statement as stupid, not lakesidey's.


ValMar @104

From your post I understand that you refer to the "randomness" and "bend to my will (e.g. meeting with Fortuona)" effects of being Ta'veren. Essentially that these effects are not geared specifically to affect the fight vs the Shadow.

This is true and can be used against the logic of Randalator's argument.

Actually, I think we're looking at two different things here.

One is the "randomness" which is the chance-twisting effect strong ta'veren have on their surroundings. People surviving deadly falls or dying from a sneeze, a whole village marrying the shit out of each other or all wells going dry the same day. That aspect of ta'veren is indeed completely random.

But the second one isn't and that's the "taveren bending the pattern around them" effect. This aspect is very much geared towards winning the war against the shadow because that is why the boys became ta'veren. They are provided with what they need in certain situations often before they even know they need it. Like Perrin being forced into the position as a Lord and general of a huge army. It even made a queen swear fealty to him. That is nothing that he wanted (at all) but it is what he needs to fulfill his destiny. And it is most certainly not random because he did all he could to get out of his situation for way too long but every time got forced right back into it by the pattern. That is the very opposite of random.

And that is why Egwene's judgment of Nynaeve's opinion is so fundamentally stupid. She should know better...
Sorcha O
109. sushisushi
chaplainchris@107 Eadyth and Annlee of the Blue, at the very least.
Sorcha O
110. sushisushi
Randalator@86 The Seanchan are going to wonder why some of these White Tower damane with the ageless faces can be turned into weapons, but most of them can't. I get the impression that they are sophisticated enough to go 'hang on a sec' and start investigating.

bad_platypus@103 That's exactly what I was getting at. I don't see it being fun times for anyone involved.

ValMar@104 A lot of that would depend on how things play out post Last Battle. For example, if Egwene managed to extract a promise that any AS are returned to the Tower (although that's not likely, if Avihenda's vision of the future is anyway accurate).
Captain Hammer
111. Randalator
chaplainchris1 @106

A simple "Min thinks it's the right thing to do" would probably have an impact, given Egwene's "women know best" thing.

Nynaeve said "I think it's the right thing to do" and that didn't have any effect aside from "Nynaeve has been ta'veren-ized into a loony".


sushisushi @110

Why would they care? They believe that every female channeler has to be collared anyway.
Hugh Arai
112. HArai
Mistress Elayne@97: Thanks for the correction. I didn't know she was paid for the blog. As for cutting her a break, I'm not in the "boo" camp to begin with. Personally I'm not terribly concerned with finishing the re-read before AMoL either. I don't really see how a re-read can be "finished" before the books are anyway- I can't imagine not having anything to discuss after reading AMoL. I think the WoT discussion is slow at the moment simply because the progress of the story slowed as well. I think as soon as events pick up so will these threads.

Chaplainchris@90: Good points on the Forsaken count :) 1/2 to Nynaeve on Rahvin for sure. On Semirhage, as you say plus to the Aes Sedai to catch her, minus for the escape. The reason I gave her to Rand alone though was this: it's the SGs that failed to get rid of the sad bracelets properly - giving them to Egeanin and Domon does not count as properly to me. Rand overcame the bracelets and Semirhage for the full point. YMMV. :)

As for the rest of your points - and to address people like Wetlandernw on this topic as well: For me the point isn't that they didn't communicate (this is WoT, it's a given :P ) or even that Egwene plans an "intervention". For me, the point is Egwene is in essence asserting Rand (and Nynaeve) are wrong simply because Egwene says so. I think I've shown previously she doesn't have any factual basis for saying so. And frankly "I am the White Tower" might work on Messana (*boggle*) but it's a lousy reason to claim knowledge of what to do with the Seals.
icantthinkofone
113. Katocrossesthecourtyard
@Randalator108, thanks for the clarification. Sorry for the confusion.

And while I am not thrilled with Egwene's total immersion in all things WT, I think part of Egwene's reaction to Nynaeve is simply because she told Egwene & Suian what they didn't want to hear.

I remember Moiraine telling all the TR folk to 'trust in the Pattern' often. We all know how that worked out. ;-) It's the chicken & the egg syndrome really: Does the character's struggle against the Pattern help or hinder the hero's growth? Does he/she get to the point necessary 'cause they trusted to the pattern or strove out on his/her 'own' & learn what he/she needed to learn to get to where he/she needs to be?

It would be completely out of character for Egwene, or any of our heroes, to accept all that someone said, even Rand.

I think it is interesting, if not ironic, that Egwene views Nynaeve in the same light as the WT AS did Moiraine in TGH - as reported to Moiraine by Suian.

@110sushisushi, Avihenda's testing vision paint a bleak picture, potentially, for RL after TG. The Dragon Reborn may end up having to make a compromise similar to what Churchill & Roosevelt had to make with Stalin in WWII. I will not be happy if what she saw happens to the Aiel comes to fruition. But that we can take up when we get to that part of the re-read. ;-)

Kato
icantthinkofone
114. RafoMofo
I wonder how different things would have been if Siuan had just used the Blue Eyes and Ears network to spread the word that the Dragon had been reborn. If the danger is that all the Light-side characters who know about the Foretelling would be killed, then wasn't it a bit irresponsible of Moiraine and Siuan to keep the information to themselves. If you don't know who to trust, then just anonymously spread the word far and wide and hope that other good guys get the message. After all, it's not like you're giving up an advantage - the Black Ajah already knows about the Foretelling. Plus, even if it is just a rumor, anyone who had a baby near the right time and place would actively try to disguise the baby's origins, thereby making the job of those trying to kill the new Dragon that much harder. Fortunately for them, Tam and Kari were already lying about Rand's birth, which might be the only thing that saved him from being wiped out as a kid.
Sorcha O
115. sushisushi
Randalator@111 Because the Seanchan think damane who can't make things go boom are a bit of a waste and would like all of their brand new shiny ex-AS to be able to do that? C'mon, you really think they wouldn't jump at anything that might let them use collared Aes Sedai as weapons?
Birgit
116. birgit
A simple "Min thinks it's the right thing to do" would probably have an impact, given Egwene's "women know best" thing.
Nynaeve said "I think it's the right thing to do" and that didn't have any effect aside from "Nynaeve has been ta'veren-ized into a loony".

The difference is that if Min has a vision and understands it it is going to happen. Ny can listen to the wind, but it is not clear how reliable that is and it is much vaguer than Min's viewings.
Chris Chaplain
117. chaplainchris1
@109 sushisushi - ah, thanks! I knew I was missing some folks. Eadyth and Anlee certainly fit the pattern of leaders (or at least high-ranking/strong Aes Sedai) dying. That makes an even dozen sisters deceased, at the least.

Oops, no, it’s lucky number (for linking) thirteen. I’d left out Jarna Malari, too. She’s Black, and head of their Supreme Council, of course, but like Merean she’s certainly a leader in her fake Ajah. (Merean as a former Mistress of Novices from the Blue, and obviously a high standing from strength; Jarna as a Sitter for the Gray, and presumably a reasonably high standing in strength as well.)

Dang, fourteen. Aeldra Najaf, Gitara’s replacement as Tamra’s Keeper, is never seen again after (or before) NS. She has white hair, so I presume is old even for Aes Sedai.

Considering the known deaths, and some presumed deaths that could just be retirements, we have:
1 Green (Kerene)
1 White (Meilyn)
1 Yellow (Ludice)
1 Brown (Valera)
3 (presumed) Grays (Aisha, Jarna, and, presumably, Larelle)
7 (presumed) Blues (Gitara, Tamra*, and Merean; presumed Eadyth, Anlee, Cetalia, and Aeldra). (*If it’s not clear, I’ll spell out why I’m counting Tamra as a Blue in a minute.)
0 Reds (Hmmm....)

The Red and Blue situations are interesting. The Reds don’t lose any prominent members to death, that I can think of...draw your own conclusions on how suspicious that is...but of course a few years after NS the Red will have to exile all 3 of their current Sitters, that is Toveine, Lirene, and Tsutama. (Pevara and Teslyn, at least, are vast improvements.) This probably helps clear the way for Elaida getting herself named a Sitter in 999 NE. It’s not *just* her strength in the Power – several of the Reds’ normal choices for Sitter were exiled.

The Blues, of course, have “massive” losses, considering that they are the second smallest Ajah. Oh, and I’m counting Tamra since being Amyrlin means she couldn’t be a leader in the Blue hierarchy. That clears the way for others, like Siuan and Sheriam, to rise. Likewise, the deaths of so many Amyrlins in a short time is again what cleared the way for Siuan to become Amyrlin.

At any rate, there are by my count 49 Blues in Tar Valon during NS, once Sheriam is raised. Others are certainly wandering around in the world. But of those we see in NS, 1 in 7, better than 14%, are out of action (dead or possibly retired) by the time Our Story starts in TEOTW. The seven dead Blues include an Amyrlin, two Keepers, a Mistress of Novices, 2 Sitters, and the head of the Ajah’s Eyes and Ears. Oh, and lest I forget, in the interim the Blues also lost Marith Jaen, the Amyrlin between Sierin Vayu and Siuan. So, that’s 8 Blues – 2 Amyrlins, 2 Keepers, 2 Sitters, 1 Mistress of Novices, the head of the Eyes and Ears, and a partridge in a pear tree. Man, I knew things were bad, but spelling it out like this? The ranks of upper level Blues were just *gutted*. I’m surprised (and impressed) that the Blues were able to keep enough influence in the Hall to keep getting Amyrlins raised. Lelaine must know a trick or two, it seems.

But with so much senior leadership gone, it’s no wonder that Siuan and Sheriam’s strength allowed them to acquire such prominence in their Ajahs so quickly. Heh. I wonder even more now what Sheriam’s “disturbing crimes” were – she did join the Blacks to get ahead in Tower politics, after all, and a lot of Blues disappear from the upper ranks, one way or another! (Just Kidding, probably.)
Chris Chaplain
118. chaplainchris1
@108 Randalator - is your 2-fold understanding of the workings of ta'veren confirmed in story? Your description seems to match what we observe, but I've never been sure. Since we're told that the Pattern spins out ta'veren as a corrective measure, I've wondered if the things that happens around Rand that seem random aren't really part of that. Every unmarried person in a village gets married? Maybe the Pattern is working to get a bunch of people pregnant, and a bunch of genes perpetuated, since a bunch of people are gonna die in the Last Battle. Other people die randomly? Maybe they were gonna mess things up at the Last Battle and needed to die prematurely. Somebody finds random treasure? Maybe they'll use it to pay for the vast expenses of living in a DO-touched world where the food rots and the Trollocs are coming.

Etc. My point is, I'd like some in-book confirmation of the two types of ta'veren-ness, sometimes doing random stuff, and sometimes shaping the Pattern. Everything we've been *told* that I can remember only describes the latter.

Of course, that only lends weight to the idea that Egwene should not dismiss Nynaeve's pro-Rand leanings.
Stefan Mitev
119. Bergmaniac
@Harai - "And frankly "I am the White Tower" might work on Messana (*boggle*) but it's a lousy reason to claim knowledge of what to do with the Seals."

Hey, the Amyrlin is the Watcher of the Seals, that's been one of her titles since forever. I know that the White Tower lost the seals millenia ago, but their leader still kept the nice sounding title. Doesn't that count for something?;)
Chris Chaplain
120. chaplainchris1
@111 Randalator - good point that Nynaeve has no effect on Egwene's attitude. Min might be more effective - she and Egwene were more peers/equals than the unbalanced and tense relationship between Eg and Nynaeve - with Egwene and Nynaeve each fighting for dominance in that relationship. Plus, Nynaeve is already on Egwene's bad list. Plus plus, Nynave can't lie any more, but Min can. She could make up a viewing favoring Rand. :)

Ok, she wouldn't do that. And since she's in love with Rand, her testimony might've been dismissed on that count, too.

Re: the Seanchan and why they would care about some AS being usable weapons and some not, they don't see much point to damane who can't be used as weapons. Furyk questioned the point of bringing former AS on the hunt for Tuon, for example.

@112 HArai on Forsaken Body Count:

I see your point on Semirhage, though I might argue that had Nynaeve and Elayne not disrupted the schemes of Moghedien and the Black Ajah in Tanchico, Rand might have faced the collar much earlier, in a situation where he a) wasn't crazy enough to use the TP to escape, b) lacked a Bond to women who could conceivably have followed him and brought help, and c) lacked the Aes Sedai and Asha'man support he had by the time he first confronted Semirhage.

Is that enough to get that 1/2 point back? :)
Valentin M
121. ValMar
Randalator @ 108

I don't think we are of different opinion. I differentiated between the two effects. The first being random and rather blatant and singling him out as a obvious ta'veren. I.e. being "lucky" as those poor boys murdered by the BA in NS.

About the second one I didn't express it properly. "Bending the Pattern" by the Ta'veren is what the Pattern "wants"- it is why it spun him/her.
What I meant by this effect not being geared directly to fight the Shadow is when the Ta'veren knowingly uses this power to effect an outcome.
To put my idea simply- the Pattern decides when the Ta'veren effect should occur in order to achieve an outcome to its benefit- ultimately preventing the DO breaking it. When the person makes a decision to force an outcome with his Ta'veren power it may or may not benefit the Light, depending on his judgement, chance, and goal. E.g. Rand checkered history with this- the Cairhien escapade, the Fortuona meeting.

To bring this back to Eg thinking Rand influenced Nyn, I don't believe Eg is aware of Rand being able to "jedi" people. So any effect he had on Nyn would be meant by the Pattern, i.e. for the good of the Light.
Chaplainchris @ 118

I belive that these events are random. As I understand it this effect is to do simply with probability. If Rand the uber Ta'veren is in a place the chance of something occuring changes dramatically. When something has a low probability of happening it is remarkable when it comes to pass. Such events tend to be dramatic, as we see.

This turned out a bit more complicated than I expected, thanks for reading ;)
TW L
122. Shadow_Jak
About Black Sisters that are now Damane...
Could they be forced to use the power as a weapon?
I'm not so sure...
The Black have been released from their Oaths, but they have sworn new Oaths...
We don't know them all, but one is somethng to the effect that...
I swear not betray the Black Ajah right up to the last hour of my life (or some such).

So...
Given that they know, that the Seanchan know, that Aes Sedai cannot use the the power as a weapon...
Would doing so be betraying the Black Ajah?
Erin Price
123. aerynne
Oh, man. I've only read New Spring once, during my reread of the series in the runup to The Gathering Storm, and now that we've reached it in Leigh's reread I'm itching to read it again. But I just tried to buy it for my Christmas nook and it's not available! They have all the other WoT books, and there's a Kindle version. What's up with that?
TW L
124. Shadow_Jak
That'll teach me. I had a wonderful, well thought out
post... Humerous witty, pithy. All ready except for just a few final touches to drive home my points.
...

and the box ate it.

Or maybe it was the Dog.
(No offense Sub)

Next time I'll remember the process.
Text file, copy/paste, edit out all the stupid spaces and post.
john massey
125. subwoofer
But... but...

So I posted on the 2nd spoiler thread for no apparent reason, seeing as ToM discussion seems to be continuing on here.

Well then...

Let's be clear here cause I see many people laboring under some misconceptions. Rand was very respectful and cordial to Egwene, but more importantly was what he said to her specifically:

"The las time I tried to seal the Bore, I was forced to do it without the help of women. That was part of what led to disaster, though they may have been wise to deny me their strength. Well, blame must be spread evenly, but I will not make the same mistakes a second time. I believe that saidin and saidar must both be used. I don't have the answers yet."(emphasis mine)

..."I'm going to need you, all of you. I hope to Light that this time, you will give me your support. I want you to meet with me on the day before I go to Shayol Ghul. And then... well, then we will discuss my terms."
....
"We must talk about this," (Egwene) said. "Plan."
"That is why I came to you. To let you plan."

I just think we needed to get that out in the open because Rand openly admits he doesn't have it all figured out, but he does have the start of a plan and he is asking for input and he is also coming forth and asking for help. Dang, it's the end of the world- Tarmon Gai'don- was I the Dragon I'd be like "Get off your collective asses and help me for once instead of trying to control me."... but that's just me.

And before the Rand/LTT merge Rand had one of the greatest minds alive looking into it. Let us not forget the conclusions that Herid Fel came up with:

"Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build. Will explain when see you next. Do not bring girl. Too pretty."

So it is not LTT or Rand coming to these conclusions willy nilly, there is actual research and thought put into this decision. And Rand is still having Min research things so he does come to the meeting with Egwene prepared.

"We don't have time! I will get help to Lan, I vow it to you, but right now I must prepare to face Egwene."
"Face her?"... "Rand what have you done?"
"What needed to be done."
....
"Callandor. It plays a part in this. You have to find out how. I cannot seal the Bore the way I tried the last time. I'm missing something, something vital. Find it for me."
"I will Rand." A cold shiver ran through Min. "I promise."

Rand knows there is something missing, and he is humble enough to admit it. I am just hoping that on Egwene's path to prove Rand wrong, the research digs up the right answer instead.

As far as the Amyrlin or anyone else "letting" Rand go... boy! That reaaally burns my ass! Rand isn't a damane or some dog to be leashed, he is the Dragon Reborn. He should not have to have the Aes Sedai permission to go, he is a free man- respect to the Amyrlin aside. He asked permission to end the audience, but the law extending to all angreal being Tower property does not extend to him. I have seen enough and read enough about how folks want to control Rand, leash him, tame him, Egwene did the right thing. How about let the man do what he has to and let him save the world.... maybe even offer a few encouraging words of support, or better yet, help him. I think Rand has a clue, and I do believe he has folks moving in the right direction, Tower included. Who knows, maybe Rand said what he said just to get the women to leave the Tower and actually enter the field of battle? Maybe it was the only way that Rand could say to the Tower, "errrr.... are you coming to this Last Battle thing? It happens on the 4th... I hope there is not scheduling conflicts?"

Woof™.
TW L
126. Shadow_Jak
Hey, the dog did eat it!
Sub just said a lot of what I pointed out in my lost (sniff) post.
(Actually he said is much better than me, but don't let on about that)
Just to add, While Rand was polite and complimentary to Egwene, Egwene definitely did reply return in kind.
She began with
"Why have you come before the Amyrlin Seat? Have you come to make a petition or have you come to surrender yourself to the White Tower's guidance?"
And went from bad to worse, pretty quickly, and while he was still being nice too.
"Rand. I'm going to have some sisters talk to you to decide if there is anything ... wrong with with you. Please try to understand"
Rand smiled, "Oh, I do understand, Egwene. And I am sorry to deny you, but I have too much to do. People starve because of me, others live in terror of what I have done. A friend rides to his death without allies. There is so little time to do what I must"
"Rand, Egwene said, "we have to make sure".
That's the point, I believe, where he chose his course.
Kimani Rogers
127. KiManiak
I’ve been less involved with the reread for the last couple of posts due to RL and also because I didn’t really have much to say. I was gonna leave this one alone too, but then we went into the old “Rand vs Egwene” confrontation in ToM and since its been about a month or so since the last time…

It seems that Harai@75 started it off with the whole, “it would be nice if (Egwene) would actually listen to what (Rand) has to say” comment. I laughed. I agree.

My perception of an “objective” read of Egwene would be that she often doesn’t really listen to what other people have to say (or thinks they are either lying to protect themselves or corrupted by others) when she has a strong opinion about something and/or thinks she’s right.
(Quick examples off the top of my head: Egwene and Verin when dealing with the Whitecloaks in TDR; Egwene’s breakup with Rand in TSR; Egwene’s training with the Wise Ones in TSR, TFoH & LoC; Egwene and her plan to deal with the Sisters who wanted her as a figurehead Amyrlin in LoC – WH (even if we agree with her); Egwene and Nynaeve when talking about Rand’s actions in ToM; Egwene’s bickering with Nynaeve and Elayne in the early books; etc.)

Isilel@83 – I think your recollection of Rand’s words may be a little off. Rand doesn’t essentially tell Egwene he’s going to break the seals and hope for the best. Rand tells Egwene “I’m going to travel to Shayol Ghul and break the last remaining seals on the Dark One’s prison. I want your help.” And, “I’m going to need you, all of you. I hope to the Light that this time, you will give me your support.” (The Amyrlin’s Anger, ToM)

Rand never tells her he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next. We, the reader, know that he’s still developing his plan, but as far as Egwene is concerned she doesn’t know whether he has a brilliant plan to handle the Dark One after breaking the Seals. And Egwene doesn’t care, as she feels that she is right. That’s, I would argue, more in the spirit of the point that I interpreted Harai@75 to be making.

Edit: My bad, Isilel. Sub did remind us that Rand told the AS "I don't have the answers yet." while discussing that he doesn't plan to make the same mistakes a second time. However, he does tell them this and Egwene comes to the realization that Rand was the type of man she could trust "with anything" after that statement. Right after which, ironically enough of course, she stops trusting him once she hears his plan... (but I discuss that below).

Harai@87 – I think you made a very good comparison between Rand’s qualifications and capabilities in relation to Rand’s ability, or “right” to make decisions regarding Breaking the Seals and battling the Dark One vs. Egwene and the Tower Aes Sedai who think they should be telling him what to do. Whether you use “battling the Forsaken” or “knowledge and experience with the Seals,” it’s clear that Rand has earned the benefit of the doubt (in this reader’s mind, at least) moreso than Egwene.

Chaplain@90 – You bring up a lot of interesting points. For your main question about why “fandom” condemns Egwene’s attitude regarding Rand’s visit to the Tower and his plan for the Seals, I would say that your bringing back an old discussion that was held on the ToM spoiler thread and which we (probably me as much as anyone else on these rereads) have held a few times in these comment sections in the last 5 months or so.

I plan to do a separate post where I address that question in more detail (I’ll probably just rehash a lot of my older posts; it’s not plagiarism if it’s your own work, right?), but I can address one of your issues here: Egwene “trusting” Rand enough to let him go.

Your post @106 states, “I think it takes a deliberately biased reading to conclude other (than that Egwene decided to trust Rand). Your post@90 state thats “…it’s an incredible testament to their bond/friendship/whatever, and to Egwene's trust in him, that she *does* let him go.”

I have to respectfully disagree with you on that one.

Actually, I would argue it’s a fairly biased reading of pages 84 -85 (of my Hardcover edition, anyway) of The Amyrlin’s Anger in ToM to conclude she released him due to her trusting him. Nothing from Egwene showed that she has trust in Rand overall, only that she believed he would appear at the Field of Merrilor in one month’s time. That’s like believing that a potential ally/adversary will meet with you to parley when they say they will. That isn’t an incredible testament to your trust in that ally/adversary; that’s just granting them a basic courtesy. (You could also argue part of the reason to invite all of the nations to that meeting was to ensure that Rand shows up, but I won't expand on that possibility unless you want me to)

First, let's remember that we have the benefit of this section being told according to Egwene’s POV, so we don’t have to read much into her thoughts and opinions; BWS and RJ give them to us.

After Rand declares his intent to break the Seals, nothing in the text shows that she trusts Rand. She becomes angry and thinks of him as bullheaded like his father (someone who, btw, most folks in the 2R respect; and a trait that Rand would probably be proud to be accused of having); he thinks Rand may potentially be mocking her; and then she debates on whether or not to confine him, after she had argued to others that he should remain free. Nowhere does it state that she trusts him. She tells him she’ll oppose him and calls his plan “madness.” She warns him that their conversation hasn’t ended. Rand leaves.

And again, absolutely nowhere does Egwene think about anything close to trusting Rand in that section. All thoughts about remembering Rand as the boy she knew were before he told her about his plan and she immediately decided to oppose him, without asking why or for more information first. (Her initial response was “Rand, no.” Not, “What? Why?” or even “By the Light and all that is holy, why would any sane man ever think of doing such a thing!?!?”)

So, I don’t think trust had anything to do with it (definitely not the main, or even major, part). She didn’t want to risk a confrontation with Rand, as this quote displays:




She met his eyes. Don’t make me do anything I would regret, his expression seemed to say. Could she really confine him here? (The Amyrlin's Anger, ToM)








My opinion is that you have to creatively interpret the material to think that Egwene releases Rand due to her general trust in him. Finally, if Egwene did trust him, why didn’t she give his plan the benefit of the doubt, or at least allow for the possibility that it may be right? Wouldn't that also be a testament to their bond/friendship/whatever and demonstrate trust? Again, I must respectfully disagree with your opinion, sir. And I think the text and Egwene's POV backs me up.

Wet@93 – Actually, Chaplainchris’s reminder was incorrect. Rand didn’t start the manipulation (or, at least he didn’t start the mind games and power plays).

After Rand complemented her (“The Amyrlin’s stole fits you well”)
and tried to have a dialogue with her (“I was broken. And then, remarkably I was reforged. I think he almost had me Egwene”) that attempted to give her insight in to what he’s been going through, Egwene tried to control the conversation and put Rand in his place.




“Why have you come before the Amyrlin Seat: Have you come to make a petition, or have you come to surrender yourself to the White Tower’s guidance?” (The Amyrlin’s Anger, ToM)









Rand's actions seemed like those of an old friend (similar to the way that Chaplainchris tried to suggest that Egwene acted). Egwene's, not so much. :-)

Now, after that, Rand sees that Egwene is trying to start the wordplay and the manipulative headgames, and he treats her the way he does, playing the game better than she can. Actually, its similar to later in ToM when Egwene tried to confine Perrin in T’A’R and Perrin showed Egwene that he could use T’A’R better than she could.

Basic message to Egwene: Stop trying to control or boss the Superboys or they'll do you one better; maybe next time, try to work with them.

Hmm, pretty big wall. Does this even longer Wall of Text than @106 make me right? :-)

(And if that is the measure, than can any of us defeat Wetlandernw after that masterpiece @43? That was a joy to read, Wet.)

Edit: I see that while I was composing this monster, Sub and Shadow-Jak came in and addressed some of my points.

Hmm, maybe I won't type up the second post rehashing some of the issues with Egwene. It depends on whether anything good is on TV...
john massey
128. subwoofer
@ShadowJak- its the TOR site- man I tell ya, it takes sooooo long to load sometimes that things just go tits up. I make sure I do a full cut of the post before I hit "preview", that way I can at least back it up on notepad or word before things slide totally sideways. If it makes you feel better I got the "server taking too long to load, timed out" message, then I hit "try again" and mercifully things righted itself. Or I'd have to go on a rampage and break things and come down and wail on those er... "blessed" TOR IT guys that totally made this site an uphill battle.

-And before anybody says it- IT IS NOT THE COMPUTER! Before the "upgrade" everything was wavy gravy- post "upgrade" blowing donkeys. Gah.

I just feel like we need to squash this Rand/Dragon vs. the Tower/Amyrlin thing. Stuff was said- but I do believe it was Wet that pointed out that Egwene had to appear a strong leader, she could not just let Rand walk in, make demands, and go on his merry way, she had to represent the hood, yo. Her girls were counting on her to demand props from the Dragon- how could that boy have a clue?

Meh.

I just have to keep in mind a couple of things. Egwene does not have the advantage of the reader to know that Rand isn't loopy, and lets face it, Rand is not acting like the same guy that left the TR... he's wayyy off that beaten path. I do understand that Eggs would have reservations. The other thing is that this was a meeting of equals. Like it or not, while the Dragon is the messiah, the Amyrlin Seat/Tower has been holding down the fort while LTT was waiting for the Pattern to spit him out again. There was an exchange and things were said, and the conversation will be picked up again in a bit. That was just round 1. I think things will work themselves out, Eggs will redeem herself in some reader's eyes.

Edit- it would be classic if Egwene and the girls were collectively "washing their hair" on the day that Rand goes to Shayol Ghul. Maybe that's what happened the last time? The ladies were not snubbing LTT, they just had a schedule conflict with "girls night".

Woof™.
Chris Chaplain
129. chaplainchris1
This is frustrating. Partly because it takes forever to post using my phone, and I just don't have the hours to do a point by point response via text. Nor will I have time from work tomorrow, and with a new post tomorrow this discussion will be moot.


But mostly it's frustrating b/c I don't get at all where posts 125-127 are coming from, and it seems clear reading them that y'all aren't getting me, since most of the parts addressed to me read as non sequitors. In many cases you're telling me things I just said, like how Rand has good reasons for his plan and his plan is right. Nobody on_this_ thread had questioned that.

Lots of point by point I'd like to do, but it feels like we're talking past each other. The point of my posts, oft-repeated, was not that Egwene was right and Rand wrong. The point was that it's nuanced with rightness and wrongness to go around. (Which is a major theme of the WOT. My questioning of fandom was to wonder why that nuance gets lost here , with people acting as if Rand is all right and Egwene all wrong. These responses are again Rand all right, Egwene all wrong. I continue to read it as a mixed bag.)

Grrr, this text has already taken a half hour. So I'll end with three things. First, Rand had his strategy to provoke and manipulate Egwene before he ever enterred Tar Valon. His comments in Apples First make that clear, as does his "so now we come to it" comment with Egwene.

Second, Sub, your indignation for Rand not needing permission to leave boggles me. No one had suggested he should need to ask permission. "Allowed" here has nothing to do with permission and everything to do with power. We are talking about the fact that Egwene didn't attempt to force Rand to stay. Do you honestly think Romanda or Lelaine or any other non-Supergirl-or-Cadsuane Amrylin wouldn't have tried restraining him forcibly once he talked about breaking the seals?

Finally, when I say Egwene trusts him, I mean that Rand is the most dangerous person alive. He's their only hope but also capable of destroying them all. To let him run free at this stage, not knowing he is Zen Rand, hearing him sound crazy by talking as if he is Lews Therin, is a show of trust.
Kimani Rogers
130. KiManiak
So, I decided to not do my long-ass post about why I think the fandom has an issue with Egwene. I'll let that dead horse stay unbeaten...

Sub @128 – I applaud your attempt to get us to adopt a “can’t we all just get along” moment. :-) I don’t know if that’s gonna work with this group. I think that the “Rand and Egwene” confrontation in ToM may be one of the more polarizing segments in the book among fandom. Okay, that and Nakomi’s identity… and the identity of the red-veiled characters in the Waste near the end of the book... and ...

Chaplain@129 – um, I’ll let Sub and Shadow_Jak respond for themselves if they want. As for me, I actually told you what I was responding to (underlined it and everything). The other sections of my post were me commenting on other commenters (I even put their name and comment # in front of my response). I guess you just didn’t get me.

As for your reference in "Apples First" re: Rand's intentions: Um, the only thing that I saw that may be associated with what Rand plans to do when meeting with Egwene is when Rand says “To do something I’ve been putting off. I doubt she will be pleased by what I tell her.” You can choose to infer that he seeks to provoke & manipulate (I think that’s what you meant to say) her if you want. I inferred that his intention is to inform Egwene about something, and she may choose to not like it. I don't interpret that as his intention to provoke or manipulate.

(Like when Leigh informed the WoT reread group that she would reduce the WoT rereads to once a week. Some of the folks here weren’t pleased to hear it, and chances are good that Leigh may have been aware that some of the folks here weren’t gonna be pleased to hear it. Did Leigh provoke or attempt to manipulate us? I would say that would be a stretch of Leigh’s intentions, but YMMV)

(Edit: Btw, Rand uses the "And so here we come to it," line you referenced when he asks permission to leave, not when he tells Egwene his plan. Are you suggesting that Rand planned to "provoke" and "manipulate" Egwene by asking her permission to leave, and that's what he was alluding to in Apples First in ToM?)

As for your interpretation of Egwene “allowing” Rand (“the most dangerous man alive”) to leave the Tower as a show of trust, well that’s your opinion. My opinion is that I saw it more as a courtesy (gave an example in my comment and everything). And I also stated that you could also infer from the text and Egwene’s POV that she was trying to avoid a confrontation when she responded to Rand's request to leave, more than that she was displaying her “trust” in Rand.

Edit: ChaplainChris, I do agree with you that both Rand and Egwene did things that contributed to the confusion and miscommunication that resulted in the various nations and powers gathering in the field of Merrilor with the potential for sparks to fly and problems to arise, if our Heroes aren't careful (or that "rightness" and "wrongness" could be spread around).

I just think its clear that Egwene not only initiated the "drama" that unfolds with her attempts at control and mindgames; but that she also continues to do build it up by not attempting to find out if Rand's idea has any merrit, by attempting to gather all of Rand's followers to rebel against their leader and force him to agree with Egwene, and by blindly choosing to believe that those forces are agreeing with and supporting her side when they express themselves as "having concerns" and "wanting to discuss" the issues.

Basically, Egwene continues to show her arrogance that she must be right in how to deal with the Dark One and the Seals, without trying to consider that she may be wrong. While Rand is actively searching (has been since at least LoC) to find the best possible way to deal with the Dark One and the Seals, and is backed up with research and information. So, no, I don't think its an even share of who is on the side of "rightness" and who is on the side of "wrongness."
Alice Arneson
131. Wetlandernw
Steelblaidd @94 - They caught Talene, who gave them three more names: Temaile, who they already knew about; Galina, who was presumed dead; and Atuan. They caught Atuan, who gave them two more names: Karale and Marris. We don't know what happened to those two; there is no further information given (unless it's in ToM and I missed it).

Shimrod @105 - I think that's an assumption a lot of people made, but there's no evidence. Merean tells Moiraine that Larelle changed her mind about Chachin and went south instead; from that, many assume that Merean killed her and is lying. It could just as easily be the truth. Or maybe she went west, or stayed in Canluum. There's actually no evidence she was killed by anyone, except that we never hear from or of her again. Along with 7 other Aes Sedai in this book.

chaplainchris1 @107 - There are a total of 18 Aes Sedai (those who were AS at the beginning of NS) who do not appear in the main series. Nine are known dead in this book, and one more (we are told in the main series) dies in the intervening years. I can give you the list of names if you want. I'm not sure where you get 49 Blues, though; only 14 of the 41 AS named in NS are Blue, plus the three raised from Accepted during NS. (It's on my other computer, so it'll take a bit. I'll post the list in another comment.)

RafoMofo @114 - I think you're incorrect in assuming that the BA knows about the Foretelling - at least, if you mean the Foretelling at the beginning of the book. They may or may not know that it happened, but they clearly don't know the details; if they did, they'd be looking for babies, not killing grown men who look extraordinarily lucky or show other signs of channeling. Since Siuan and Moiraine don't know who might be BA, they can't really risk "anonymously spreading the word" that the DR is an infant. The whole White Tower knows that the Accepted collected a list of all the babies born nearby, and it doesn't take a genius to put "born on the slopes of Dragonmount" together with a Foretelling that the Dragon was just reborn. The only safety the kid has at this point is to avoid drawing any attention to those lists.

subwoofer @125 - It really is generally accepted protocol, that when you come to a recognized leader in their seat of power and ask to see them, you also ask their permission to end the audience. Rand asking Egwene's permission to leave was a courtesy, and it was right of him to ask. Of course, it was also right (and courteous) of her to grant that without attempting to interfere - which is exactly what she did, when he made it clear that he wasn't going to give her any more info.

KiManiak @127 - Thank you, good sir. :)
Chris Chaplain
132. chaplainchris1
On the other hand, 128 makes perfect sense to me. Whew, and woof! @129 - yes, I'd already said that an alternative but viable interpretation was that Egwene was trying to avoid confrontation. So please don't think that comes as a surprise or is not valid. Where it falls, _for me_, as I've said, is that view doesn't give weight to Egwene's thoughts about trust.

You correctly understand my reference to Apples First, but my conclusion was based on the combination of that comment with his refusal to do anything to reassure her by sharing his reasons for breaking the seals, coupled with his "now we come to it, may I depart" (without explaining, which seemed a planned exit line), and his line about having come so she might plan (i.e. to gather the nations )and his comments throughout the book about needing Egwene to gather the nations because he didn't have time to do it himself.

But I agree with 95% of your edit statement at 129. I'll clarify and respond to Wetlander in the morning on a real computer, my phone is dying.
Wetlander, my count of Blues is based on the Encyclopedia.
Alice Arneson
133. Wetlandernw
For anyone who cares, here's the list of WT characters actually named in New Spring. I do not include those whose existence is implied (or shown) in the main series only.

Key: d=dead in NS, #=number of appearances in main series, m=many appearances in main series, o=offscreen only in main series. Characters are listed in order of appearance, except that those who started NS as Accepted are listed after those already AS. Number of appearances does not include TGS or ToM, since I don't have a database for that info.

Blue: Tamra (d), Gitara (d), Merean (d), Aeldra (0), Anaiya (m), Leane (m), Rafela (m), Eadyth (0), Anlee (0), Lelaine (m), Kairen (m), Cabriana (o), Natasia (0), Cetalia (0), Adine (o), Moiraine (m), Siuan (m), Sheriam (m).
Total 18 (3 Accepted)

Red: Elaida (m), Tsutama (4), Amira (2), Duhara (3), Tarna (m), Katerine (m).
Total 6 (2 Accepted)

White: Meilyn (d), Brendas (2), Aledrin (m), Carlinya (m), Sarene (m).
Total 5 (4 Accepted)

Gray: Larelle (0), Jennet (3), Jarna (d*), Aisha (d), Sierin (d), Temaile (m), Meidani (m).
Total 7 (2 Accepted)

Brown: Akarrin (4), Verin (m), Serafelle (6), Valera (d), Felaana (3), Zemaille (2), Elin (2).
Total 7 (1 Accepted, 1 novice)

Yellow: Ryma (5**), Ludice (d), Yuan (0), Chesmal (m), Pritalle (3), Edesina (m), Desandre (2), Atuan (1***).
Total 8 (4 Accepted)

Green: Kerene (d), Rina (3), Jala (1), Adelorna (m), Jeaine (m), Cadsuane (m), Myrelle (m), Alanna (m), Aisling (m).
Total 9 (2 Accepted)

In addition, we have Shemaen, whose Ajah is unknown and who isn't seen in the series; Coladara, whose Ajah is unknown and who is only mentioned once in the series; and Ellid, who apparently dies during her testing.

* Jarna died in the intervening 20 years
** Ryma is only seen onscreen as Pura in the main series
*** Atuan is mentioned three other times, but only seen onscreen once

Edited to underline those now known to be BA
Kimani Rogers
134. KiManiak
Don’t worry folks, I’d be content to let the Egwene vs Rand discussion end after my last point here...

Chaplainchris@132 – You said: “Where it falls, _for me_, as I've said, is that view doesn't give weight to Egwene's thoughts about trust.”

Again, I challenge the premise that Egwene trusts Rand. Like you, I felt that I had already addressed this point in an earlier post (127). We get this section in The Amyrlin’s Anger from Egwene’s POV. Once Rand voices his intent to break the Seals, at absolutely no point does Egwene think about her trust in Rand. As I say above: After Rand declares his intent to break the Seals, nothing in the text shows that she trusts Rand. She becomes angry and thinks of him as bullheaded like his father (someone who, btw, most folks in the 2R respect; and a trait that Rand would probably be proud to be accused of having); he thinks Rand may potentially be mocking her; and then she debates on whether or not to confine him, after she had argued to others that he should remain free. Nowhere does it state that she trusts him. She tells him she’ll oppose him and calls his plan “madness.” She warns him that their conversation hasn’t ended. Rand leaves.

Egwene had no thoughts about trusting Rand once Rand said he was going to Break the Seals. The text doesn’t support it.

Now, before Rand says he plans to break the Seals, Egwene thinks about trusting Rand. Her exact thoughts were, “She looked at him, and remembered the youth that he had been…The type of man you could trust with anything. Even the fate of the world.” (p84 in my hardcover edition in The Amyrlin’s Anger, ToM). Of course, this is right before Rand tells her he plans to break the Seals, where she demonstrates that she not only does not trust him with the fate of the world, but that she opposes his strategy and calls it “madness.” That’s not the act of someone who trusts him with “the fate of the world.” After those actions, I think trying to ascribe Egwene's actions to trust due to the aforementioned quote is suspect...

It’s actually really funny if you read Egwene’s final thought about how much she trusts Rand with the fate of the world and then immediatly read her reaction to how he plans to address the fate of the world. That trust was paper thin. I could also make the argument that Egwene would’ve been pissed off and felt “betrayed” if she heard that a close friend like Nynaeve trusted her and then immediately after Egwene does one thing, Nynaeve challenges her actions (another potential example of Egwene’s hypocrisy, in my POV). But I digress.

So, yeah, I think "trust" is no longer in play when Egwene responds to Rand's request to leave (at least, any type of trust alluded to in the text). I think its purely a matter of courtesy.

Anyway, Chaplainchris, I’m more than willing to let this discussion point die out if you want (after you get a chance to respond if you want; it’s only fair). Let me know if you still want to discuss, or if you think we’ve both adequately stated our opinions.

Edit: And now, after reading your last paragraph@132 that must have appeared when you edited your comment, I look like a big bully who won't back off. Shoot. I regret that it now looks like I'm picking at you after you threw me a "let's squash the conflict" bone... that was definitely not my intent.

Well, anyway, feel free to respond if you like.
TW L
135. Shadow_Jak
Wet @131 in reply to Steelblaidd @94

- They caught Talene, who gave them three more names: Temaile, who they already knew about; Galina, who was presumed dead; and Atuan. They caught Atuan, who gave them two more names: Karale and Marris. We don't know what happened to those two; there is no further information given (unless it's in ToM and I missed it).

Actually the original Hunters, Pevara and Seaine, found only a ferret before they were, themselves, found by a group of Sitters.At which point, only happy circumstance conspired to identify Talene and start the ball rolling.
(space edit)
Thomas Keith
136. insectoid
Goodness! Quite a bit of discussion going on here... on Rand v. Egwene?? Is this the right thread? ;)

Seriously, though, I've been enjoying reading the discussions, and eagerly waiting for tomorrow's post (da pond scene). And shying away from the news, which seems to get worse every day. And listening to Chopin, because it's relaxing.

Sub @79: Eh? Dark Side? No idea what you're talking about. ::innocent face::

Also: we have a garbage masher?? :D

Sub @128: I never blamed your computer. ;) However, unless I miss my guess, the abnormally-long load times are affecting most of us.

"Sorry, Lews Therin... we're having a 'ladies' night out' with Latra Posae that day, so we can't make it. Don't try to do it all yourself, mmkay?"

Wetlander @133: Nicely summed up! Clever of you to underline the current/future Black sisters.

Bzzz™.
Birgit
137. birgit
Cabriana (o)

Cabriana appears onscreen when Semi tortures her and her warder.
john massey
138. subwoofer
@CC& Wet- I'm not indignant of Rand asking for Egwene's permission to withdraw- I get that, and I said so in my post- Rand was following protocol, while still maintaining self respect. It just bothers me when other people portray it as a big thing. They talked, Rand had to go, asked permission to leave- as per custom- and was granted it. Easy peasy. It just grinds that there is a feeling out there that it was anything beyond that. And that was what I attempted to address at 128. Anyways, take it for what it is worth. Yay for discussion on a slow thread:)

Edit- and what I am referring to is the discussion leading up to the release of ToM on the threads here and on other sites with the visit of Rand to Eggy, everyone was going on about how Rand would "feel the Amyrlin's anger". I think the reality of the chapter did not live up to the hype.

Woof™.
Captain Hammer
139. Randalator
chaplainchris1 @118

is your 2-fold understanding of the workings of ta'veren confirmed in story? Your description seems to match what we observe, but I've never been sure.

As far as I know it's not spelled out that way by any reliable source (which would be the Glossary or RJ). Moiraine does state something like that but she has been wrong before.

So that is a conclusion from simple observation, not Word of God. However, there's not only those "life changing" events, ta'veren also affect the world around them in a much smaller way. Like a merchant carrying a basket of fish stumbling, the fish falling to the ground, sticking upright in the mud forming a perfect circle (TDR, ch. 51).

I'll admit that stuff like that isn't airtight proof, though. We probably won't get that unless someone digs out an RJ quote on the matter or the to-be-released-some-time encyclopedia contains a definitive answer...
Kurt Lorey
140. Shimrod
@131 wetlandernw. I based my conclusion that Merean had killed Larelle on the following two items.

One, Cadsuane had told Larelle to keep an eye on Moiraine. Who argues with Cadsuane? Only two I remember offhand. A younger Moiraine (in this book), and later Rand. Both young and full of themselves (or just paying attention to something much more important). Larelle wasn't young. Odds are against Larelle going against Cadsuane's wishes due to Aes Sedai comparative powers privileges.

Second, Merean later proves to be a very cold-blooded and efficient killer. Easier to kill Larelle rather than having to worry about a competent non-Black Ajah getting in the way later.
Still, you're right. There is no definitive evidence that Merean actually killed Larelle that I remember.
Sorcha O
141. sushisushi
chaplainchris1@117 Wow, when you put it like that… that's a lot of Blue leadership wiped out, and yes, it makes it less and less surprising that Siuan rose so fast, with Leane and Sheriam on her coat-tails. Also, it partly explains why Siuan wasn't more effective in her prep for the Last Battle, if she was a young leader from a dwindling Ajah, even if the Blues did punch above their weight.

Shadow_Jak@122 That's a damn good point, actually. They have been successful in keeping themselves hidden from the Aes Sedai for 2000 years, after all. I presume that they didn't deal with every situation where the no-killing oath is tested by laying waste and then killing the observers. (unless that's where those nasty Whitecloak rumors get started :)

Wetlandernw@131 I think Karale and Marris were both 'out of the Tower' (now I'm imagining White Tower out-of-office emails. Someone stop me quick…)
icantthinkofone
142. RichR
It is absurd to suggest Cads was in the Borderlands specifically to find Moir. First, how the hell would she know to find her in Canuluum? Second, and more importantly, she would have done far more than a simple late-night bed check. No, the suggestion earlier, that she was hunting the BA on Sierin's instruction after the latter was tipped off by Siuan, is far more reasonable. Keep in mind, Chesmal's boasting about getting the Reds to kill Sierin is not far in the book from Cads's regret that she almost, but didn't quite, roll up the BA. I think she was in the Borderlands because there were reports of a lot of sisters being around and a lot of weird occurrences (lucky men dying) there. She gets there and finds a brand new, Warder-less sister who disobeyed the Amyrlin and snuck out of the Tower. She was worthy of suspicion. I expect she meant to put her under Merean and Larelle's supervision so that if any of them wasn't Black, the others would be kept from doing Dark deeds until Cads could swing back around and investigate them.
icantthinkofone
143. RichR
@140 There is no definitive evidence, but you are right that the evidence is suggestive. I don't even think Larelle and Merean were traveling together, and I think Merean killed Larelle, if she did, out of necessity, and she would have tried to kill Moir too if she had done as Cads wanted. I said in my last comment that I think Cads tried to lump them together to restrain any of them who were Black, but the plan backfired.
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
RichR @143 - Well, they certainly said they weren't travelling together, but if they were both BA that means nothing. If Larelle wasn't BA, then they weren't together and it's probable (though not provable) that Merean "got her out of the way." If she was BA, then any guess we make is as good as another. The only way we're remotely likely to find out is if a) Cadsuane did it and mentions it in AMoL; b) Larelle is hiding and shows up alive and kicking in AMoL; c) Brandon writes the other prequels and it's part of that story or d) it's included in the ultimate encyclopedia.
icantthinkofone
145. RichR
@144 Sure, but that might be an easy lie to check up on by following up on their trails. My understanding is that BA sisters tend to not to lie when it could so easily be discovered.

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