Tue
Jun 7 2011 2:26pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Knife of Dreams, Part 8

Knife of Dreams by Robert JordanZOMG, it’s a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 9 and 10 of Knife of Dreams, in which confrontations go seriously south, road safety gets seriously pear-shaped, and my desk gets seriously (more) dented.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general, including the newest release, Towers of Midnight.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 13, Towers of Midnight. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!

 

Chapter 9: A Short Path

What Happens
Mat badgers Egeanin until she agrees to tell him what little she knows about Tuon, and Mat is appalled by most of what he learns about her upbringing, especially how she had had two of her own siblings assassinated (in retaliation for trying to kill her). Egeanin does tell him that the razor was very clever and appropriate as a courting gift, and acknowledges that Mat does not expect to be above her in rank; Mat tries not to grind his teeth. The Aes Sedai are still sweeping about imperiously, to Mat’s continued annoyance. Joline has Bethamin thoroughly cowed by now; Setalle tells Mat that Seta is still pretending she can’t see the weaves, but thinks it won’t be long before she caves too. Meanwhile Joline and Edesina have discovered the same loophole for his medallion that Adeleas and Vandene had, and Mat gets pelted with rocks and embers until Teslyn has a huge fight with Joline, whereupon the rocks stop, though Joline and Edesina continue to try to get him to hand over the medallion. Setalle opines that Mat has made just about every mistake it is possible to make with Aes Sedai, which is half of why she decided to stick with him.

“Half the reason? What’s the other…?” He grunted as though he had been punched in the stomach. “Tuon? You think I can’t be trusted with Tuon?”

Mistress Anan laughed at him, a fine rich laugh. “You are a rogue, my Lord. Now, some rogues make fine husbands, once they’ve been tamed a little around the edges – my Jasfer was a rogue when I met him – but you still think you can nibble a pastry here, nibble a pastry there, then dance off to the next.”

“There’s no dancing away from this one.” Mat said frowning up at the wagon door. The dice clicked away in his head. “Not for me.” He was not sure he really wanted to dance away anymore, but want and wish as he might, he was well and truly caught.

“Like that, is it?” she murmured. “Oh, you’ve chosen a fine one to break your heart.”

She asks to see the ter’angreal, and Mat lets her. He abruptly deduces from this and many other hints that she used to be Aes Sedai, and says so; she smiles sadly and comments that the other sisters refuse to see it. She advises him that Tuon is not playing the same game he is, more like “a general planning a battle,” and says she will try to level the playing field for him if he keeps her secrets; he agrees. After the show leaves Jurador, Mat discovers that Luca has let slip to the Aes Sedai that Tuon is a High Lady (though not that she is royalty), and the three of them continually try to talk to her to arrange negotiations. Tuon refuses to speak to them. Then one night they burst into Tuon’s wagon while Mat and Noal are visiting, and Joline announces that Tuon must not ignore them any longer.

“Your people have brought a war to these lands such as we have not seen since the War of the Hundred Years, perhaps not since the Trolloc Wars. Tarmon Gai’don is approaching, and this war must end before it comes lest it bring disaster to the whole world. It threatens no less than that. So there will be an end to your petulance. You will carry our offer to whoever commands among you. There can be peace until you return to your own lands across the sea, or you can face the full might of the White Tower followed by every throne from the Borderlands to the Sea of Storms.”

At Tuon’s command, Selucia comes up behind Teslyn and snaps an a’dam around her neck. Teslyn screams, and Edesina tries to run, but is stopped with Air, as is Joline. Blaeric and Fen try to rush in, but the door slams in their faces. Selucia puts two more collars on Joline and Edesina, and Mat sees that Tuon has the bracelets for all three. Teslyn is crying; Joline tries to maintain her calm, and Tuon punishes her through the collar, whereupon Mat tells her no, and that she’d promised not to harm his followers. Tuon retorts that she’d promised not to cause dissension among his followers, and that it’s clear these three aren’t following him in any case. She continues her “lesson” to Joline, and Mat kicks Noal under the table to keep him from trying to interfere. He points out to Tuon that she can learn to channel herself, doesn’t that change anything?

“I am nothing like these women, Toy. Nothing like them. Perhaps I could learn, but I choose not to, just as I choose not to steal or commit murder. That makes all the difference.”

[…] “I didn’t bring these three out of Ebou Dar so you could take them back.” Mat said firmly, sliding himself along the bed. The foxhead grew colder still, and Tuon made a startled sound.

“How did you… do that, Toy? The weave… melted… when it touched you.”

“It’s a gift, Precious.”

Mat stands, and Selucia goes to make a move, but stops at a barked negative from Tuon. Mat frees Teslyn, who begins kissing his hands in gratitude, making Mat extremely uncomfortable; he pulls loose and frees the other two. Tuon tells him she wants them to stop annoying her, and Mat replies that he thinks they will now; Edesina and Teslyn agree fervently, but Joline says nothing, and Mat sighs.

“I could let Precious keep you for a few days, until you change your mind.” Joline’s collar clicked open in his hands. “But I won’t.”

Still staring into his eyes, she touched her throat as though to confirm the collar was gone. “Would you like to be one of my Warders?” she asked, then laughed softly. “No need to look like that. Even if I would bond you against your will, I couldn’t so long as you have that ter’angreal. I agree, Master Cauthon. It may cost our best chance to stop the Seanchan, but I will no longer bother… Precious.”

Tuon hissed like a doused cat, and he sighed again. What you gained on the swings, you lost on the roundabouts.

Later, Joline actually tries to keep the a’dam to study, but Mat refuses, and spends part of the (rainy) night burying them.

Commentary
Goddammit, I’d forgotten about this chapter.

Can I pretend this chapter doesn’t exist? Can we call foul, get a do-over? At least some free throws? Something? Bueller?

No? Crap.

Seriously, because I really really want to like Tuon, if for no other reason than that she’s going to be my boy Mat’s wife and I want him to be happy and married to someone awesome, and it’s chapters like this that makes it nigh on impossible, because this plantation-owner bullshit right here is pretty much the complete and total opposite of awesome.

Just—gah. GAH.

And this is not to say that the Terrible Trio are not being idiots here, because they totally are—even though Teslyn is at least mildly awesome for sticking up for Mat re: getting rocks thrown at him, because that shit is NOT ON—but once again the punishment is UTTERLY disproportionate to the crime, and once again I am Pissed.

And yes, I recognize that Tuon is coming from a completely different cultural mindset than I am, and that no doubt in her mind she probably considers her “lesson” to be very mild, in fact, but if you ask me that only makes it worse, not better. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

*huffs*

I’m even a little annoyed with Mat for not having a stronger reaction, though I suppose actually blowing up at Tuon would have been counterproductive on many levels.

(Although, I will say that while Joline is (as usual) as annoying as ever in her over-estimation of her own importance, and also (as usual) about as subtle and diplomatic as an oncoming fuchsia freight train, what she actually said about the Seanchan was… not wrong. Not as far as I am concerned, anyway. The likely upcoming truce with the Seanchan still sticks in my craw, I tell you.)

And THEN Joline turns around and is all “ooh, wanna be my Warder?” to the guy who spanked the shit out of her two days ago. Because he’s all, like, masterful or something to her. AAAAAAAAAGGGHH *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

This chapter is fired.

Moving on!

 

Chapter 10: A Village in Shiota

What Happens
The following day seems to go better; Mat entertains Tuon with juggling, and makes her laugh several times, and they argue lightly about horse training methods. He sees a flight of crows go by; Tuon asks if he sees an omen in them, and Mat explains to her about how they can be spies for the Dark One. Tuon scoffs:

“How many children’s tales do you believe? Do you believe that if you sleep on Old Hob’s Hill under a full moon, the snakes will give you true answers to three questions, or that foxes steal people’s skins and take the nourishment from food so you can starve to death while eating your fill?”

Putting on a smile took effort. “I don’t think I ever heard either one of those.”

Mat is enjoying himself, but wonders what her real aim is, since he is sure she can’t possibly feel about him the way he feels about her, with her talk about making him a cupbearer.

Nothing said Tuon could not complete the marriage ceremony just to make him think himself home free and safe, then have him executed. Women were never simple, but Tuon made the rest look like children’s games.

The caravan comes upon a large village just as a peddler approaches from the opposite direction. Luca begins turning into a field before the town, and Mat notices that none of the villagers have reacted to either their presence or that of the peddler, which is very strange. Then Mat realizes that the peddler’s wagon is going over paving stones, on a road that hasn’t been paved in centuries, and he yells to the peddler to keep going. The peddler is puzzled, but ignores him.

“Keep going!” Mat bellowed. “They’re dead! Keep going!” Behind him, somebody gasped, Tuon or Selucia. Maybe both.

Suddenly, the peddler screams as he and his wagon begin sinking into the ground, along with the entire village. The animals in the caravan all go nuts. Mat calms his horse and makes a move to go help the peddler, but Tuon and Selucia stop him. Helplessly he watches as the peddler disappears along with the village, which Mat now recognizes as having the kind of buildings popular in Shiota three hundred years earlier. Afterwards, everyone is freaked out, and begin arguing against crossing that expanse of road. Luca makes an elaborate speech trying to convince them to carry on, extolling the virtues of Lugard and Caemlyn and Tar Valon, and Thom bets Mat a gold crown that he’ll succeed. Meanwhile the Aes Sedai are examining the field where the village had been, revealing nothing of their thoughts. They move on to staring at Tuon, and Mat worries that they will find some way around their promise to leave Tuon alone. Eventually Luca calls a vote, and the circus folk all agree to press on; Mat hands Thom a gold crown.

Thom accepted with a small bow. “I think I’ll keep this as a memento,” he said, rolling the fat gold coin across the back of his fingers. “To remind me that even the luckiest man in the world can lose.”

They cross the patch of road without incident, and Tuon comments that she will probably make Tar Valon her capital one day. She and Selucia seclude themselves for prayer that night, and Thom et al all end up at Mat’s tent that night, not wanting to be alone. Egeanin and Bayle show up to invite Juilin and Amathera to their wagon for wine, as a peace offering to Juilin for accusing him of stealing Amathera; Juilin is still suspicious of Egeanin, but agrees, leaving Mat with Noal, Olver and Thom. Thom is reading his letter for the umpteenth time while Noal and Olver play Snakes and Foxes, and Mat finally asks why he reads it so often. Thom offers it to him, but Mat demurs, saying it’s no business of his. Thom counters that it is his business, actually; it’s from Moiraine. Mat stares, and takes the letter.

My dearest Thom,

There are many words I would like to write to you, words from my heart, but I have put this off because I knew that I must, and now there is little time. There are many things I cannot tell you lest I bring disaster, but what I can, I will. Heed carefully what I say. In a short while I will go down to the docks, and there I will confront Lanfear. How can I know that? That secret belongs to others. Suffice it that I know, and let that foreknowledge stand as proof for the rest of what I say.

When you receive this, you will be told that I am dead. All will believe that. I am not dead, and it may be that I shall live to my appointed years. It also may be that you and Mat Cauthon and another, a man I do not know, will try to rescue me. May, I say, because it may be that you will not or cannot, or because Mat may refuse. He does not hold me in the affection you seem to, and he has his reasons, which he no doubt thinks are good. If you try, it must be only you and Mat and one other. More will mean death for all. Fewer will mean death for all. Even if you come only with Mat and one other, death also may come. I have seen you try and die, one or two or all three. I have seen myself die in the attempt. I have seen all of us live and die as captives. Should you decide to make the attempt anyway, young Mat knows the way to find me, yet you must not show him this letter until he asks about it. That is of the utmost importance. He must know nothing that is in this letter until he asks. Events must play out in certain ways, whatever the costs.

If you see Lan again, tell him that all of this is for the best. His destiny follows a different path from mine. I wish him all happiness with Nynaeve.

A final point. Remember what you know about the game of Snakes and Foxes. Remember, and heed.

It is time, and I must do what must be done.

May the Light illumine you and give you joy, my dearest Thom, whether or not we ever see one another again.

Moiraine

After reading the letter, Mat points out to Thom that Moiraine’s bond to Lan was broken, meaning she must be dead, and even if she is alive, the door to where the Eelfinn are is melted; there’s no way to get to her. But then Olver pipes up to say that Birgitte told him that the Tower of Ghenjei is the way to the lands of the Aelfinn and Eelfin; he also knows how to get in, which is to make the sign that opens the Snakes and Foxes game on the side of the tower with a bronze knife. Mat is startled, but says that even if this is true, they don’t know where this tower is. Noal says he’d heard it was somewhere along the Shadow Coast, but Mat replies that that doesn’t narrow it down much. Thom interjects that Moiraine said in the letter that Mat would know how to find it, but Mat tells him he’s never heard of it. Noal comments that Mat would be unlikely to forget it if he had seen it:

“The thing gleams like burnished steel. I’m told, two hundred feet high and forty thick, and there’s not an opening to be found in it. Who could forget seeing that?”

Mat went very still. His black scarf felt too tight against his hanging scar. The scar itself suddenly felt fresh and hot. It was hard for him to draw breath.

Mat thinks that he remembers nothing of the trip on Domon’s river ship, except for one thing. Thom asks him what’s the matter, and Mat tells him he thinks he knows where the tower is, but Mat can’t go. He then tells the other three the whole story of his encounters with the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, from Tear to Rhuidean to his own suspicions that they are watching his every move. He emphasizes how dangerous they are, even showing them his hanging scar. Noal comments in wonder that that story tops anything Jain ever did, and asks if he can be the third man. Angrily, Mat asks if Noal heard what he said about them being able to see him coming. Thom replies that it doesn’t matter; he’ll go himself if he must, but he points out the letter says the only hope of success is if Mat comes too. Mat struggles with himself, cursing Moiraine for trying to make him a hero even beyond the grave.

But then, if not for her, he would be back in the Two Rivers mucking out the barn and tending his da’s cows. Or he would be dead. And there old Thom sat, saying nothing, just staring at him. That was the rub. He liked Thom. Oh, blood and bloody ashes.

“Burn me for a fool,” he muttered. “I’ll go.”

Thunder crashed deafeningly right atop a flash of lightning so bright it shone through the tent canvas. When the rumbling booms faded, there was dead silence in his head. The last set of dice had stopped. He could have wept.

Commentary
FUCKING FINALLY JESUS H ZOMG

That, uh, about sums up how I felt when I first read the last part of this chapter, really. Also, there may have been an imaginary football stadium’s worth of people cheering “MOIRAINE! MOIRAINE! MOIRAINE! MOIRAINE!” in my head, too. My head can be a crowded place, sometimes. All right, shut up.

It’s probably important to recall that this is the first time we’ve gotten actual words from Moiraine, even if only from a secondhand source, in twelve years, in reader time; even for a relative latecomer like me it had been nearly a decade. That’s a long time, yo. Not to mention, this is the first real indication since TFOH that the plotline containing one of the biggest shockers of the series, namely Moiraine’s (greatly exaggerated) “death,” is finally moving toward an actual conclusion after hanging fire for more than half the series.

So, you know, this is some seriously exciting shit, here.

The events of ToM, which are, obviously, Relevant To Our Interests here, pretty much… er, well, they really don’t seem to change things that much for me, really. Or, they do, in the sense that I’m relieved it all went down so that I can look forward to everyone flipping the fuck out when they find out Moiraine’s back, but since the whole rescue went more or less precisely the way I expected it to, the actual event in ToM itself doesn’t really seem to change anything in how I regard this chapter. If that makes any sense.

All that aside, I do have a niggling feeling that Moiraine’s letter is committing at least one or two minor crimes against continuity, or organic plotting, or something. Like, she was allowed to mention the game of Snakes and Foxes, but she wasn’t allowed to say specifically what Thom needed to know from it? She was allowed to say Mat would know how to find the Tower of Ghenjei, but not allowed to mention the tower itself?

Because, okay, fine, I guess, but I’m kind of boggled that the rings could be so precise on what she could and could not say, to such a fine degree. Presumably she saw that revealing some information led to disaster and other bits of info didn’t, but man. That’s just really… specific. And, a little inexplicable. And, dare I say, somewhat convenient. And then there’s the built-in time delay plot device in the letter (Moiraine’s instructions that Mat not be given the letter until he asks), which is also very convenient, and invites further speculation on how exactly the rings conveyed this knowledge to Moiraine. And we won’t even get into how she remembered such precise gradations along with the rest of the tsunami of knowledge she was bombarded with in the rings at Rhuidean.

I’m not going to belabor this point too much, because eleven books and dozens of snarled storylines in, probably the more amazing thing is that this kind of brute-forcing of the timeline hasn’t happened a hell of a lot more often. It only stands out, after all, because Jordan is so rarely this clumsy, so I’ll just be glad for that and move on. (Plus, it also finally gave Olver a reason to exist other than being a Gaidal Cain red herring, so that’s nice.)

But: awesome new icon, yes? Yes! Probably one of my favorites of all the WOT icons, really.

Quicksand village: Okay, standing next to dead people = BAD. Important safety tip, thanks, Egon.

As for Tuon, I still haven’t forgiven her for the previous chapter, but fortunately she doesn’t have much to do in this one, so it’s all good.

Although: You know, it occurs to me that there’s nothing to guarantee that Tuon and Mat’s marriage will actually work out, long term. There’s nothing to say, in fact, that it won’t turn out to be an utter disaster—up to and including Mat’s worry in this chapter that she’ll turn around and execute him. The prophecies only say Mat marries the Daughter of the Nine Moons, after all, not that he spends his life with her or that they are happy.

Well, now I’m depressed.

However, that said, I’m pretty sure Mat’s musings on that score are just another example of how wildly WOT characters can misinterpret the thoughts and intentions of others. I’m not sure even as of ToM whether Tuon loves Mat, but she definitely finds him very attractive. In fact, I’m pretty sure the cupbearer thing was a joke meant to express that, since Egeanin mentions that cupbearers are chosen for their physical beauty.

So that might have been a joke on Tuon’s part, rather than a real intention. A creepy, wrong, plantation-owner type joke, but a joke nevertheless.

Bluh.

Last but not least, there is this quote, when Mat is bemused at Luca’s claim that he will hire river ships to get the circus from Caemlyn to Tar Valon:

Luca, who was tight enough to render mice for tallow?

I blinked at that for almost a minute before I got it, and then I laughed. And… so I thought I’d share that.


...Right. So, that was probably the most weakass ending of a Re-read post ever, but I are eggsauceded, so I’m stopping anyway, and we’ll all pretend it was artistically ironic or something, aight? Aight! Have a week, chillens, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

142 comments
ryamano
1. ryamano
Hello Leigh, love your re-reads and your reads

And THEN Joline turns around and is all “ooh, wanna be my Warder?” to the guy who spanked the shit out of her two days ago. Because he’s all, like, masterful or something to her. AAAAAAAAAGGGHH *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

I think Joline wants to make Mat a warder because he just saved her from one of the greatest dangers she has faced yet. And this is what warders are for. It's a sign she finally recognizes how competent Mat truly is. Offering a man to become her warder is probably the greatest compliment an Aes Sedai can do to a man. I don't think it's about considering Mat "masterful" or something like that.
ryamano
2. Lsana
So according to Tuon, dealing with the foxes makes you diabetic, huh? Who knew?

Moiraine's letter marks one of my least favorite parts of the series, and I think it was the first time that I broke my suspension of disbelief. Before, there were parts of the series that aggrevated me, and parts that bored me, but this was the first time I put down the book and said, "That can't have happened." There are just too many continuity errors here, most of which Leigh already touched on. There's also the fact that Mat did ask about the letter back in book 6. The fact that the Wise Ones said the Rhuidean rings specifically DID NOT give step-by-step instructions for how to live your life, only gave glimpses of what might and might not be. The fact that I think it is rather lame that our characters get a directive from on high with really no flexibility in what they are allowed to do.

I forgive it because I do love these books, and I thought the eventual rescue of Moiraine was awesome. But I really hate the fact that this letter was essentially, "You're going to do it this way because the author said so."
Roger Powell
3. forkroot
Leigh - not so weakass on the ending IMO.

Agreed that Tuon and the 3 idiot AS are equally worth a head-banging (maybe 2.5 idiot AS ... Teslyn does have some redeeming value.) However, I totally disagree re: Mat's actions - I think he handled the situation as well as it possibly could be handled.

One argument in support of that is Joline waking up to his awesomeness - and it appears that he went up in Tuon's estimation as well.

This was a potential powder-keg and he defused it.
ryamano
4. Dank
One minor quibble: Jordan is very frequently that clumsy with his contrived reasons why the plot has to advance in a given way, and it's usually to forestall some obvious question of why charaters can't simply do something the easy way.
ryamano
5. LogainsBrother
About Moiraine's letter.
I'm pretty sure her foresight didn't come from the Rhuidean rings ALONE.

There's a line as early as in TEOTW (if I'm not mistaken) where she talks with the girls and says that she probably knows who she'll marry much better than they do (after Egwene claims Moiraine has no heart or such). She then tries to wave it by saying they all probably share the same ignorance, but I never bought it.

I'm sure Moiraine had some more insight into her future in previous adventures. I was actually expecting to encounter it in RJ's planned prequels. Too bad that's not happenning anymore...

In any case, while it does feel kinda artificial, I loved the chapter.
ryamano
6. pwl
All that aside, I do have a niggling feeling that Moiraine’s letter is committing at least one or two minor crimes against continuity, or organic plotting, or something. Like, she was allowed to mention the game of Snakes and Foxes, but she wasn’t allowed to say specifically what Thom needed to know from it? She was allowed to say Mat would know how to find the Tower of Ghenjei, but not allowed to mention the tower itself?

People that go through the rings have certain vague forebodings, or they know very certainly that something must not happen but not why. For another data point, there is Aviendha not really knowing what Rand was doing at the cleansing, but knowing it was uber-important for her and Elayne not to go there. Moiraine's letter is just an extension of that. We don't know that "Remember the Snakes and Foxes" is even from the rings, that could be general AS knowledge that she had reason to look into in the past. And living through her lives she would not necessarily have even heard that the ToG was the portal, or remembered it -- from her POV, the significant part would be that Mat was the one that enabled the search party to find it.
ryamano
7. pwl
Of course, that also makes this sort of invoke a problem similar to the time-travellers paradox. They only know Moiraine is alive because she wrote the letter, but she only wrote the letter because she saw the future where she was alive and rescued (futures which would have required her to write the letter to occur in the first place, as everyone assumed she was dead in the absence of letters -- leading to an unpleasant sort of infinite regress).
Roger Powell
8. forkroot
Lsana

I forgive it because I do love these books, and I thought the eventualrescue of Moiraine was awesome. But I really hate the fact that this letter was essentially, "You're going to do it this way because the author said so."

Well, Jordan's world is damn difficult to write without occasionally asking for suspension of disbelief. Putting aside all the balefire paradoxes, the whole issue of a fixed future makes it very difficult to craft the story without logical gaps.
Jordan tries ... he has Moiraine appear to have seen many possible futures and apparently she winnowed out the common elements of the successful attempts (such as waiting for Mat to ask.) Recall though that unlike Moiraine, we know that the attempt will be successful!

Unlike the rings, which show possible futures, Min's viewings are 100% true - i.e. they always come to pass (even if some are difficult to interpret.) We have Min's viewing that Moiraine would be essential to Rand's success, and while this in itself does not guarantee the successful rescue (or success against the Shadow) - if we assume that RJ/BS would not write 9 more books with the Light having no chance, we can take it as a given that Moiraine would get out.

Furthermore, we have inferential evidence that Min viewed Moiraine and told her she would marry Thom. Moiraine makes a statement about being sure about who she will marry, and this is before any visit to the Finns or Rhuidean. If Moiraine only knew of the infallibility of Min's visions, she would not have had to worry at all!
Damon Garner
9. IrishOmalley
The "Moraine" letter scene always reminded me of the Goonies gathered together up in the attic, huddled around the Pirate Treasure Map. Mat, Olver, Thom and co. all huddled around Moraine's letter. Thunderstorms lashing the wagon/attic. Adventures await!
Rob Munnelly
10. RobMRobM
@5 - yes, she has the benefit of (untold to us) Min forecasts re her future as well. But the multiple Ring visions appear to be the big drivers of the vision.

The Moiraine letter didn't bother me at all, plotwise. She didn't know the future other than she knew (from the rings) that if Mat read the letter and acted too soon the mission would fail and that three is the best number for success. Hence, no paradoxes.

Tuon in the first chapter didn't really bother me to the extent it bothered Leigh but it really moved me far along in my dislike/hatred for Joline (cue Dolly Parton at 2...1...). I'd have put her in cuffs just to shut her up as well.
ryamano
11. Deihb'al Chien
All of her knowledge in the letter definitely didn't come from the rings. I would think much came from her questions in the red doorway in tear. Her own letter even supports that she didn't get her knowledge from the rings when she quotes:

"How can I know that? That secret belongs to others."

IMO, I don't think she would say that about something learned within the rings. I'm also suposing that she talked /phrased her deal/questions in the doorway in much greater detail then Mat did and that the answers she recieved were also likely in greater detail. Another additional explanation is the possibility that she is getting the information from one of the Wise one's dreams.
Tricia Irish
12. Tektonica
I'd forgotten that Mat told Thom, Noal, and Olver about his whole snakes and foxes misadventures...even showing them his scar. I'm surprised there wasn't some reaction on their part..that's quite a revelation. It certainly gives credence to why he should be part of the rescue party for Mo.

I didn't really pay attention to all the problems in Moraine's letter...I was just happy to finally get to see the damn thing. That letter and Min's viewing about Mo being necessary for Rand to win at TG certainly took away a lot of the thunder of her eventual rescue at the Tower in ToM....altho it was awesome. Maybe that's why it kind of seemed short to me. *shrug*

Joline and the girlz were horrid, altho she was pretty accurate about the situation. Diplomacy is NOT her long suit. So arrogant. Mat, of course, was an awesome gentleman. He diffused the situation very nicely and calmly. Yay Mat.
ryamano
13. DeJulis
Moiraine's letter doesn't seem all that strange, if you look at it.

She knows she's going to the dock, and through the doorway. She knows where the door leads. In TSR, she shows that she at least has some knowledge of the 'Finn world, so it's not that much of a leap to assume she understands the origins of Snakes and Foxes.

Likewise, the rings need not have implanted the knowledge that Mat had to ask before they went. Since it shows all possible futures, she can extrapolate on what happened in the futures where she was successfully saved.

@2: I don't recall Mat asking about the letter in book 6. Could you give us a reminder on where it is?
Francesco Paonessa
14. ErrantKnave
Aw, yay. MOIRAINE! Hearts and puppies and such.

Leigh, I'm less optimistic than you when in comes to Tuon. Her acts of war against the White Tower and Rand lead me to believe that she either has some MAJOR learning to do in AMoL, or there is an unfortunate ending in store for either her or Mat. Or the world is just going to hell, and somehow Mat is going along with it. Tuon and Egwene are going to be at major odds. If I'm not mistaken (I might be), and Rand bows to the Amyrlin Seat (as some dreamtelling/Foretelling have led me to believe), Fortuona is going to have to make A Decision.

Then again, what do I know? I'll just have to RAFO what happens.
B H
15. Greyhawk
Tuon not one of my favorite characters and nothing she did here helped her case. Further, I found Tuon's rationalization for being a person who can learn to channel, as opposed to being born with the spark, pretty darn thin. That is the kind of revelation that could and probably will rip apart the fabric of a society based on the debasement of an entire subset of its population. To learn that the very people who are meant to control channelers are themselves capable of channeling is pretty much earth shattering news. As I recall, channelers are viewed literally as less than human and to discover that you are one of these "animals" and deal with it by saying simply "I choose not to steal" just doesn't cut it. I would be very happy with Tuon getting hit with a runaway cart at the top of a hill ala Patton and the Seanchan getting run back into the sea.
Tricia Irish
16. Tektonica
BTW......I think part of why Joline acts the way she does now, is because she knows very well that Mat saved her butt (remember how she clung to Mat in setalle's tavern, when seanchan came in), and she is having trouble dealing with owing something to anybody......And now Mat has saved her 2 times by uncollaring her. She obviously has trouble with gratefulness, so she's trying to take charge.
Birgit
17. birgit
There's a line as early as in TEOTW (if I'm not mistaken) where she talks with the girls and says that she probably knows who she'll marry much better than they do
That's at the beginning of TSR when they question the captured BA in the Stone of Tear.

Her own letter even supports that she didn't get her knowledge from the rings when she quotes:
"How can I know that? That secret belongs to others."
IMO, I don't think she would say that about something learned within the rings.
The rings are the secret that belongs to the Wise Ones.

Suddenly going to the Eye in the first book was more contrived than Moiraine's letter. The memories from the rings fade with time, but Moiraine could think about this in the short time between going through the rings and going through the doorway. She knew that the doorways lead to the Snakes and Foxes and made the connection to the game. Maybe she didn't know details about how Mat would find her, only that he could.
Benjamin Moldovan
18. benpmoldovan
I also was always confused, in that I'd have sworn Mat had asked about the letter before, and why didn't that count? I think he said something like, "Why do you keep mooning over that letter, Thom?" Mind you, I don't have the books handy, so I couldn't tell you exactly where in the series it was.

Ben
Jon Morse
19. jonfmorse
Obviously, Moraine's foresight consists of more than just the rings, or any answers from the Finns, as has already been pointed out.

So I am left wondering whether Moraine is meant to have had foreknowledge of things unrelated to her rescue regarding Mat's activities between her disappearance and this point... and THAT is why she told Thom not to show him the letter until he asked about it. (As for Thom not showing Mat the letter the first time he asked about it... well, it won't be the last time that a letter related to Mat has been mishandled, will it?)
L M
20. srEDIT
Interesting to me that my "catch-up" reading of the Re-read posts just finished the TFOH Part 22, in which Moraine falls through the doorway. Nice coincidence.

I keep wanting to like Tuon for Mat's sake, but then she goes all "plantation owner," as Leigh says, and I'm back to confused about how RJ was going to develop/resolve their relationship. Obviously since he planned an outrigger following TG, with Mat and Fortuona returning to Seanchan together, then there is supposed to be some kind of ongoing relationship. And much as Mat "hates" Aes Sedai, I can't see him accepting a society that treats them as animals.

But I really want to see some kind of change in Tuon herself that redeems her character out of that attitude.
Marcus W
21. toryx
I know my view is a pretty unpopular one but I've always been disappointed that Moiraine still lives. It's the Gandalf situation all over again and I never approved of Tolkien bringing him back either. So I wasn't thrilled about the content of the letter, even though I was glad that it was finally resolved after all the mention of the damned thing.

By this point of the series it was a pretty foregone conclusion that Moiraine would be back anyway and that she'd been trapped in the Tower of G so I was also somewhat relieved that the plotline was finally moving forward a little. And in the end, having Moiraine back for only one book (essentially) works pretty well for my tastes anyway.

I actually love the idea that Mat and Tuon won't last. I doubt that there's any merit to the notion but that'd be fantastic. I've never forgiven Jordan for talking about the Outrigger novels starring the two of them.
Maiane Bakroeva
22. Isilel
OK, apart from the fact that Tuon manages to look more idiotic and intransigent than the freaking _Joline_, she also does some funky stuff with the a'dam that she shouldn't be able to do.
Namely, she draws saidar through Joline and weaves it - all without Joline's cooperation. How is this possible? Until now, sul'dam commanded and damane wove - it was the whole point of the inhuman "training" they undergo - that they must obey immediately and without question, because sul'dam _needs_ their cooperation. The only times we saw something like this were SGs with Moggy - i.e. channelers being in control.
So, is it a continuity error or is there something... different about Tuon? She is also very young for a sul'dam, yet she can see the weaves.

You think I can’t be trusted with Tuon?

And this is one of those things that makes no sense, IMHO, in a world where women are equal to men. Why would Tuon need protection from Mat? Logically, she should have had much more experience in that area than he. After all, given the potentially deadly family relationships, could she afford to offer her consort such an area of weakness? RJ's female virginity fetish is soo implausible in Tuon's case, it just isn't funny, IMHO.

Re: Moiraine - FINALLY!!!! But it made Mat's meandering through the rest of the book even more infuriating. Seriously, I find his storyline in KoD almost as boring as the PLOD.

Re: nobody discussing Noal's brainwashing courtesy of Ishy - well, it turned out to be yet another of those falsely omnious plotlines (what with DF hunt of Mat, too) that came to nothing, no? An FS can never do a proper job, it seems, not even Ishy. Too bad, I was really intrigued the first time around, but now there is nothing to say, really.
Hilde Sørensen
23. edlihs
benpmoldovan@18


I also was always confused, in that I'd have sworn Mat had asked about the letter before, and why didn't that count? I think he said something like, "Why do you keep mooning over that letter, Thom?" Mind you, I don't have the books handy, so I couldn't tell you exactly where in the series it was.



Mat asked who the letter was from in LoC ch 40 Unexpected Laughter and inderectly asks if it was good news in ch 44 The Color Of Trust. But he doesen't ask what it says.
ryamano
24. Lsana
@13,

I don't have the book with me, so I can't give you page numbers or chapters, but I seem to recall that pretty shortly after Mat gave Thom the letter, he noticed that Thom was upset and said something like "Was the letter bad news?"
ryamano
25. alreadymadwithmoandthom
I don't know about any of you, but I always thought the Moiraine/Thom pairing was kinda forced. Don't misunderstand, I'm happy she's free. But Thom? She blackmailed him into leaving Rand alone. I somehow don't think that as a good foundation for a relationship.

And yeah, the AS were being total a**holes. With the exception of Teslyn who at least understands gratitude without attitude.
j p
26. sps49
I was very happy to see Moiraine coming back, too, but the ta'veren three are grown past needing her, now. Well, maybe not Perrin.
ryamano
27. peachy
@16 - Yeah, AS are even less happy than Lannisters about being on the owing end of a debt. And I imagine it's especially galling when you owe so much to someone you consider a random schmuck. Fortunately, the Terrible Triplets are starting to realise that Mat isn't a random schmuck... though Tuon is still catching up in that respect. (While she's very smart, and perceptive in her way - she wouldn't have survived to become the heir otherwise - she's painfully slow to react to really unexpected inputs. I think it's probably a culture-wide failing - for all its internal variety, Seanchan is a closed and regulated system in a way that Randland isn't.)
ryamano
28. Rick 1313
OMG...Moiraine...Flaming Moiraine...SQUEE!!!

We finally got the contents of that letter, six books later!!!
I agree with Leigh, this was one of my favorite chapters in the series.
Don Barkauskas
29. bad_platypus
As for plot contrivance... well, yeah. I've never really understood this objection. Is there any doubt that Mat would go ASAP after reading the letter? If that were right away in LoC, how many horrible things would have happened to various important people because he wasn't there? For example, there's no way Elayne survives the gholam...

OK, maybe some people would cheer about that. But the point is that apparently Moiraine is not needed until the end and a whole bunch of other things that needed to happen wouldn't have if he had known sooner. So I really don't have the same objections to this that other people seem to.
Stefan Mitev
30. Bergmaniac
These chapters reminded me again why I can't really like Tuon - she's a total hypocrite. According to her, channeling directly is monstrous, but doing the same thing through damane is completely normal and a favourite hobby of her. If she is so against channelling, she should've stopped being sul'dam.

In fact, the whole Seanchan justification for the damane is totally hypocritical. They are fine with themselves using the One Power to gain military and political power and to help their conquests, but the fact that the Aes Sedai on the Seanchan continent did the same made them monsters.

I hate the Moiraine letter. First, she should've stayed dead. I like her her as a character, but someone important among the main good guys has to die in this story. Second, it's such a blatant and clumsy plot device. "Mat had to ask first" - yeah, right... "There should be exactly 3 of you on the rescue team and two of them Thom and Mat" - oh, come on... 5 men team wouldn't have worked why exactly?

Not to mention that Moiraine wrote once upon a time in his letter to Rand "I do not know what happens in the world after, except perhaps for one small thing which does not concern you." - how the hell did she manage to convince herself that her own survival does not concern Rand? And she seems to know quite a bit about Thom and Mat too.

And, of course, the Thom - Moiraine love story is totally forced even by WoT standards.
Hugh Arai
31. HArai
Isilel@22: Why do you think it's logical that a daughter of an Empress in a society with a tight caste hierachy and elaborate rules of propriety should have more experience than Mat? Mat's free to do whatever he wants with whoever he wants and in general the worst that will happen is Nynaeve will sniff at him. What Tuon did and who she did it with would be a matter of state, and would have been further restricted by everyone involved having to keep the favor of the Empress.
ryamano
32. Wortmauer
Greyhawk@15: Agreed that Tuon's self-justification for why she is nothing like a marath'damane is awfully thin. None of the other Seanchan have given any indication that they think that way. If you only become an animal because you choose to actually channel, they shouldn't be administering the forkroot test to women on their way out of Ebou Dar.

Also agreed, not everything in the plotline has to do with spanking. Joline didn't ask Mat to be her Warder because she was impressed by his "long arm of the law", but because he once again saved her bacon (the a'dam), and she has had to adjust her perception of him over time. Just like every woman he ever meets. Which brings up the question: why do men never seem to underestimate Mat, yet women always do?

Also agreed that Moiraine's letter didn't seem so forced, to me. Mat has recently deduced that the 'Finn appear to be spying on the rest of his life. Not showing him the letter until he specifically asks is pretty plausible as a way to get him into the Tower with minimal advance notice for them. Moiraine's Wise Rings experience certainly qualifies as "that secret belongs to others" - that could be said of Rhuidean as a whole, though Rand did open it up shortly before he left town. As for her guarded reference to Snakes and Foxes, well, remember the letter she left for Rand - she was pretty circumspect on some points ("He is the same man now that he always was") - Rand even notes that, given the Warded medium, she really didn't need to be that cautious. Giving out just enough information, and no more, for the recipient to puzzle out the meaning, is definitely her way. For that matter, it's a compliment of sorts - she trusts the Grey Fox will be able to figure it out.

Hmmm, and Moiraine knew she would see Thom again - she told him so in no uncertain terms when she sent him to Tanchico in TSR. So why, in the letter, does she explain that in some possible futures, he will not or cannot come rescue her? Maybe between the Stone of Tear and the docks in Cairhien, she lost some confidence in Min's viewing? (I assume it was Min's viewing.) Or is this just a continuity slip? There's also wonder that "small bubble of hope" she suppresses in the dock scene. She should have known she'd see Thom again, and presumably that he'd marry her (she implies as much in that conversation with the Supergirls in TSR). That should be worth more than a small bubble of hope. Or maybe she considered the possibility that Thom would come to Finnland, somehow marry her there, but they wouldn't escape, or wouldn't escape alive. Possible, yes, in the same sense that it might have been possible for Lanfear to get out of Finnland just long enough to kill Asmodean....
Hugh Arai
33. HArai
Wortmauer@32:
Which brings up the question: why do men never seem to underestimate Mat, yet women always do?

They don't always. Birgitte does not. Neither does Aludra. Those that do tend to be either introduced to him via the SGs who spend most of their time underestimating him or are AS who basically underestimate everyone who isn't an AS.
Katie McNeal
34. Katiya
Bergmaniac @ 30: If you take what we know about WOT, where certain things MUST occur in order for certain events to be successful, Moiraine's letter isn't at all unusual. Why three and not five? Perhaps more people would have panicked, which would have broken Mat's concentration, which would have caused everyone to become lost, or maybe Thom would never have stumbled on the luck trick for getting through the maze, or someone might have freaked out, rioted....it doesn't really matter. Something would have gone wrong. It's a pretty standard fantasy trope, so reading everyone's "problems" with the letter kind of surprised me.

And I like that she thought that her return would not concern Rand...it is in keeping with her evolving belief at the time of the battle with Lanfear, namely that Rand himself must make his own decisions, and she must trust that the Dragon Reborn will know how to save the world better than she. It's a mark of how much she's grown, from being AS sure that only SHE knows how to get Rand to do his job to finally learning and accepting what he is. Why should she have any idea that she's essential to him when he has shown time and again that that isn't so?
L M
35. srEDIT
@ Isilel22: I'm not convinced that we've seen the last of Noal, even in ToM. But even there he declares, "I've been used, Mat, one too many times." So we're left with one more mystery, but no more ominous plotline.
John Fitzingo
36. Xandar01
Tom was on the same boat as Mat and Rand, yet he has no recolection of the giant spire. I seem to recall that it was visible for some amount of time, not just a passing glint. Tom should have remembered at least being on the boat with Mat.
Richard Chapling
37. Chappers
Xandar01@36: Perhaps it Mat's case the memory stood out far more, since he has so many holes in his memory from that period. There were several other wonders of past Ages seen on that trip, none of which are really relevant to the plot.
ryamano
38. Paulie
@12 Tektonica - Noal did have a reaction to the story. I believe he said that it was more of an adventure than Jain Farstrider had. Pretty high praise coming from Jain himself.
Maiane Bakroeva
39. Isilel
HArai @31:

What Tuon did and who she did it with would be a matter of state

Which never stopped male heirs iRL, so why should it stop Tuon in a society where she has all the same priviliges as a man in her position would?
And in fact, there is actually a rational reason to become experienced in this, as in all other areas pertinent to her position. After all, she expects marriage to be a field of contest, too, so why leave her consort such a huge advantage? Why risk distraction at a time when it could be deadly?

srEDIT @ 35:

Yea, but we are left with no reprecussions re: Noal, so there is nothing to discuss. Yet another FS plot fizzles. Yawn.

Katiya @34:

she must trust that the Dragon Reborn will know how to save the world better than she.

Actually, I doubt that this is true. Moiraine is supposed to make an essential contribution yet - it wouldn't surprise me if she bartered with the Finn for the knoweldge how to seal the Bore. And DR certainly isn't going to do the saving alone.

Oh, and would somebody please tell Tuon how Hawkwing's dream was in many respects the opposite of Seanchan society? And how his second wife and ancestor of Imperial Family was a channeller! Setalle, I am looking at you! Or you, Mat.
ryamano
40. Desertpaladin
The fact that the Wise Ones said the Rhuidean rings specifically DID NOT give step-by-step instructions for how to live your life, only gave glimpses of what might and might not be. The fact that I think it is rather lame that our characters get a directive from on high with really no flexibility in what they are allowed to do.

I can see where this could be true, but the life experiences of Moiraine versus your average wise one are quite different and that in and of itself could make the difference. Consider this. Moiraine had gone through similar rings before for her testing. This is something that the wise ones didn't do. Suppose her test to become an Accepted (which we see in New Spring) is to highlight that difference and explain why she remembers so much from her pass through the Rhuidean rings.

Its also possible that Moiraine simply has a near perfect memory ability that we don't really know about because we get so few Moiraine POVs. I don't recall her ever forgetting anything in what we've read.

As a side note could part of the specifics that she deals with in her letter have been learned by her questions to the snakes? It seemed that at the very least she had some inkling about her and Thom's possible future because she tells Thom in Tear that he will be safe in Tanchico while shepherding Elayne and Nynaeve.

And maybe she just passed through the foxes' doorway at some point, offscreen as it were and asked for those memories to be clearer. (Alright that last one is a longshot, but the other stuff is possible.

Thoughts?
Captain Hammer
41. Randalator
re: Moiraine's specific knowledge vs. ring memory blurring

As far as I remember, the rings didn't show Moiraine anything beyond that day at the docks (although I can't for the life of me find a quote on that right now). So whatever she knows about her rescue, she must have learned from other sources. Min's visions, prophecies and foretellings, Aiel Dreamwalkers,...


re: Okay, standing next to dead people = BAD. Important safety tip, thanks, Egon

All safety tips aside, after that encounter Egon is still terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought...


pwl @7

re: infinite regress

We're not talking about time travel here. Moiraine got to see every possible future, however unlikely (remember: in some she even slept with Rand, which she considered virtually unthinkable at that point). In some of those futures she wrote all kinds of letters for all kinds of reasons and in some she didn't. Simple as that.

That's not infinite regress unless you want to call it infinite regress if a gambler compiles all possible outcomes of a horse race and goes on to bet accordingly...


Bergmaniac @30

how the hell did she manage to convince herself that her own survival does not concern Rand?

If she knew that Rand wouldn't be one of the three, then it wouldn't concern him, because he absolutely has to stay out of it (She already explained in her letter that Rand would blindly try to sidestep fate in an attempt to save her. That goes for the docks as well as Finn-Land).

Not to mention the fact that there are all sorts of reasons why her survival might be of no importance to Rand. She might come back with memory lossv or, as the timeframe is not set, after TG, or Rand might have outgrown his (emotional and actual) dependence on her, or he might resent her for keeping him out of the loop and not give a rat's ass or what have you.

All in all, her hope on rescue is so vague and future so uncertain that the slim chance of her survival must not have any impact on Rand's plans. Ergo: it doesn't concern him

All that is of course assuming that the "one small thing" even is her survival...


Wortmauer @32

Maybe between the Stone of Tear and the docks in Cairhien, she lost some confidence in Min's viewing? (I assume it was Min's viewing.) Or is this just a continuity slip?

Try to remember what big getting-a-glimpse-of-the-future-y event happens between the Stone of Tear and the docks in Cairhien. Hint: Starts with 'R', ends with 'huidean', looks like three silver rings...

Whatever info she had on the future (see above) got slightly untrustworthy with the sudden lack of broadcast beyond Cairhien. Before, she was sure that Min's vision meant she would see him again. After, not so much.


Desertpaladin @40

Its also possible that Moiraine simply has a near perfect memory ability that we don't really know about because we get so few Moiraine POVs. I don't recall her ever forgetting anything in what we've read.

I'm afraid I'll have to shoot that particular theory down:


He needs whatever guidance I can give, and I will do everything short of sharing his bed to see that he gets it." The rings had told her that that would be disaster. Not that she had ever considered it — the very idea still shocked her! — but in the rings it was something she would or could have considered in the future. It was a measure of her growing desperation, no doubt, and in the rings she had seen that it would bring ruination on everything. She wished she could remember how — there were keys to Rand al'Thor in anything she could learn about him — but only the simple fact of calamity remained in her mind.


(TFoH, ch. 7)

Her memory of the ring-lives is blurring just like everybody else's.

And maybe she just passed through the foxes' doorway at some point, offscreen as it were and asked for those memories to be clearer.

No, the twisted doorframe ter'angreal is a one shot deal.
Roger Powell
42. forkroot
Isilel@22

Re: nobody discussing Noal's brainwashing courtesy of Ishy - well, it turned out to be yet another of those falsely omnious plotlines (what with DF hunt of Mat, too) that came to nothing, no? An FS can never do a proper job, it seems, not even Ishy. Too bad, I was really intrigued the first time around, but now there is nothing to say, really.

Depends on how you want to look at it. First off ... we know that RJ has deliberately left "loose ends" and that BWS has been instructed not to tie certain ones up.
I think it's actually a really good idea, BTW. If every plot line is tidy, and every event is meaningful, the series if even less true to how RL works. This way, we are left to guess at what will be important and what will merely fizzle. It enhances the story IMO - you may feel differently.

Getting back to Jain ... why does everyone assume that Ishy had some additional plans for him? In TEOTW, Baalzamon boasts about using Jain to panic everyone into a rush to the Eye. It worked (sort of.) It could just well be that Ishy had no further interest in Jain.

I think it's great that RJ experimented with some different "character arcs". All the main protagonists must, of necessity, follow the fairly standard path of growing up, gaining power and wisdom, and preparing for the "big showdown" at the end. OK, it's all good, but it's all well-worn.

Why not have a character who starts as an off-screen legend, then still off-screen is made into an unwiting accomplice of the enemy, then (more or less forgotten by the enemy) shows up on-screen, and finally goes out in a blaze of glory?

My only hope is that Mat has a chance to tell Lan personally about Jain. The king of Malkier show know the final chapter of one of Malkier's true heroes.
ryamano
43. pwl
As far as I remember, the rings didn't show Moiraine anything beyond that day at the docks (although I can't for the life of me find a quote
on that right now).

Then you misunderstood the nature of the rings. The rings show all future possibilities. This is very basic canon. There is no reason to just assume they worked differently for Moiraine than for centuries of Aiel Wise One initiates. This is the sort of thing that you provide a quote for when you make the assertion or keep it to yourself, not "I think I heard this somewhere", as it goes against all understanding of the phenomenon (as well as the contents of the letter, "I have seen futures where we all live as slaves etc etc").


We're not talking about time travel here. Moiraine got to see every possible future, however unlikely (remember: in some she even slept with Rand, which she considered virtually unthinkable at that point). In some of those futures she wrote all kinds of letters for all kinds of reasons and in some she didn't. Simple as that.

You seem confused. Are you saying in some futures she randomly wrote letters saying Thom would rescue her, even though in those she had no knowledge of the future from the rings telling her she would live? While Moiraine saw "all possibilities", I doubt they included her going off the deep end and spouting random insanities in letters. In the lifetimes she saw, there were lifetimes where she wrote a letter saying she was alive and was rescued by Thom and co. To be illustrative, let's use the current lifetime, which would be part of the set she viewed. The reason she wrote the letter in this lifetime is because she saw, through the rings, that in this (and some subset of other) lifetime(s) she wrote a letter and was rescued. This is nothing like "a gambler calculating the odds". The lifetime she viewed through the rings used knowledge that could only have been gained by viewing the future. There would have been no "rescue me" letter otherwise, as she would have no reason to believe she'd survive the encounter (or if she did, due to other prophecies or foretellings, she would have no way to direct them as to who may know where to find her). Her being rescued requires her foreknowledge of how she is rescued. She gained it through the ring viewings, but how did the Moiraine in the ring viewings gain that information in the first place to bring about the rescue attempts?

I'm not saying it's a particularly worthwhile thing to harp on, just something I found a curiosity. And saying "it's not time travel" (duh? that doesn't mean the situation cannot be analogous) doesn't really change the situation.
john massey
44. subwoofer
Right, this is gonna be a quicky cause I have to vote for my baby repeatedly here...

Moiraine the White... yeah, we all saw that coming. Too bad nobody had to bite the head off a chicken or throw salt over their shoulder and turn around three times clucking... woulda gave the whole scenario more authenticity.

Tuon- her analogy smacks of basic dumbness, or willful ignorance, you guys can flip a coin on the difference. Rand said the same thing back in the day when he found out he could channel... and yet the Power kept bubbling to the surface. Nynaeve had the same experience as a Wisdom/Wilder. I would be very interested in having Ny sit down and chat with the ins and outs of repessing latent ability. Perhaps a better explination would be "I have to pee, but I think I can hold it... forever." Yeah right.

@Leigh- yay! We are getting to the good stuff and the very reasons why KoD is one of my favs:D

Que mas? Oh yeah the Luca bit... classic. That man should be in show business. Of note to me was the side bet that Mat and Thom made and the reason why Thom kept the gold crown after. Serious lol.

Woof™.
Max Lybbert
45. maxlybbert
I seem to remember a Tuon viewpoint chapter in ToM that involves her admiring Mat. From that chapter, I suspect that she's in the marriage for the long haul.
Roger Powell
46. forkroot
Isilel@22

Namely, she draws saidar through Joline and weaves it - all without Joline's cooperation. How is this possible? Until now, sul'dam commanded and damane wove - it was the whole point of the inhuman "training" they undergo - that they must obey immediately and without question, because sul'dam _needs_ their cooperation. The only times we saw something like this were SGs with Moggy - i.e. channelers being in control.
So, is it a continuity error or is there something... different about Tuon? She is also very young for a sul'dam, yet she can see the weaves.


I was so busy defending RJ's handling of Jain, I forget to chime in on this earlier excellent point you raised. Assuming it was not an error, it does seem to be a big clue about Tuon.
It should be noted that Tuon holds all three bracelets, so we don't know if she draws through Joline or one of the other two (who had spent time as damane). The text has her commanding Joline to alternately embrace then release the Source - OTOH, trained damane might instinctively submit to the sul'dam.

Even if it was from one of the latter, the text does indeed resemble the "circle-like" use ala Nyn with Moggy. A very good catch.

So now we have a conundrum - Tuon is showing all the signs of a sparker (and a strong one), yet presumably she (like all Seanchan) would have been tested ... unless there is a backstory where she used her privileged position to escape or "game" the test. A mystery.

Dare we predict that Empress Fortuona, being unable to stop herself from channeling, decides to "adjust" the rules in the future? I guess we'll find out in AMoL.
William Fettes
47. Wolfmage
Re: Mat & Joline

It’s certainly true that Mat’s most recent act of saving Joline from Tuon’s adam is the proximate trigger for her to bring up the notion of bonding him. However, this is still a matter of evolving perceptions within a relationship that includes a kiss in Setalle’s kitchen (hat tip to forkroot) and the spanking incident which was only a day or so ago. So, it’s just not credible to suggest that this is purely professional respect without any colouring from other emotions. First, no Aes Sedai, and certainly not one that is so emotionally flamboyant and prickly as Joline, would regard such a recent inflammatory incident so lightly that it would just be dispelled like smoke because of innocuous gratitude and professional respect. Secondarily, as a fiery Green, it’s entirely consistent that what she is looking for in a Warder goes beyond the competence of a soldier bodyguard.

So, I would have to say that on balance Leigh is correct to feel uneasy about the notion that Joline comes to have feelings for the masterful man who spanks her. I’m not going to say this is male wish fulfilment, but combined with other instances of disciplinary spanking in the series, the term fetishisation certainly comes to mind.

Re: the letter

I really love this scene. I've never had much of an issue with the letter personally. It’s no more contrived than other kinds of foreknowledge in the series. As for Mat’s asking being the trigger, he doesn’t actually ask about it in Salidar. Mat only asks Thom who sent him the letter because Thom is seen pondering it intensely and Mat notices; however, he never inquires about its contents further. RJ obviously planned this plot for a long time, so it would be completely uncharacteristic of him to make such a trivial mistake.

Tektonic @ 12

"I'd forgotten that Mat told Thom, Noal, and Olver about his whole snakes and foxes misadventures...even showing them his scar. I'm surprised there wasn't some reaction on their part..that's quite a revelation. It certainly gives credence to why he should be part of the rescue party for Mo."

They do. They are descibed as having their mouths hanging open in awe when Mat finishes, and Noal labels Mat's trips through the twisted stone doorways as beating any adventure he or Jain ever had. So they are suitably impressed.
T C
48. Freelancer
About Moiraine's letter;

In LOC, Ch 40, immediately after Thom tells Mat about his botched attempt to rescue a woman from her bootmaker husband, Mat sees Thom staring at the letter, surmises that a woman is involved. Mat then asks if she was someone he rescued, or someone he left. He doesn't directly ask about the letter.

Then in CoT, Ch 28, an internal Mat POV has him noticing that Thom spent much of his time playing Snakes and Foxes with Olver or "mooning over a much-creased letter"... Mat doesn't speak to Thom about it at that time.

So he hadn't asked Thom about the letter until now.


Now on to the specificity of Moiraine's instructions. There are still a great many things that Moiraine knows, about which we cannot be certain regarding her source. She knows about herself and Thom before she visits the Aelfinn, with primary speculation focusing on Min. Suggestions that the Accepted test gave her this, eventually succumbed to the understanding that nobody knows if what happens in there is real, so Moiraine would not have given those experiences the weight of prophecy regarding her own life.

However, regarding events on the Cairhien docks, it is almost certain that the information comes from the similar rings in Rhuidean. She was advised about the function and operation of that ter'angreal, that it shows her many possible futures, that she would not be able to remember much detail, but would be granted occasional "just in time" prescience about a near event. Moiraine would have understood the weight of these words, and would have struggled to retain far more than the usually modicum of insight from those experiences. What's more, since she tells Thom in the letter that she has little understanding of what happens after Thom comes to rescue her (in Tear, she promises Thom only that she will see him again, meaning at the rescue attempt), then there is a smaller range of time to be repeated in its many iterations within the rings of Rhuidean, allowing the accumulated concentration of "memories" to be firmer in her mind, as compared to an apprentice Wise One who might expect to see hundreds of years presented repeatedly, and in near infinite variety, to their brain. (Now that's a sentence...)

So I don't have a big problem with her being aware of details in a "only do it this way, else epic fail" sort of fashion.


Mat's reaction to seeing Precious collar his charges: I'm certain that he is appropriately horrified and outraged on the inside, Leigh, so chillax on that one. But as you surmise, he knows that responding in too demonstrative a manner will exacerbate, rather than ameliorate, the situation, so he assumes Aes Sedai-like calm. He knows channeling can't hurt him, so he slowly and carefully frees Teslyn and Edesina. Joline's unwillingness to appear cooperative and/or grateful at the prospect of release causes Mat to momentarily suggest that he might allow her to remain collared for a time, immediately followed by "But I won't". Dude has put himself in hot water numerous times to get women free of those collars, he isn't about to stop now.

As for why Joline offers to make him a Warder, it's much more than simple gratitude for her freedom, or recognition that he can protect an Aes Sedai as well or better than most experienced Warders. She has seen that he doesn't run from what makes him afraid, and that's an uncommon trait.

Or maybe it's just because she's a Green.


Setalle. At long last, after much FAQ/Forum debate, affirmation that she was indeed a Sister. Amazing that it got no mention in the reread, being a relatively flame-free topic. Of course, the likelihood of her being the former Martine Janata remains unresolved, but still. She out-Aes Sedai's the other Aes Sedai in these scenes, almost rising to Cadsuane-esque stature in her bearing. And the Sisters auto-block their brains' deductive skills in her regard, since it would cause them to have to face a stilled or burnt-out Aes Sedai, which would of course lead to much vomiting, and we just can't have that if we can avoid it.
ryamano
49. XLCR
'I'm reposting this because I got it in so late in part 7 almost no one read it. I'm still trying to make my point about the potential fruits of developing the connection between Mat and the Athean-Mere.'




Captain Bournlouer tugged her lapels again and stared fitfully into the small mirror on the wall of her sea cabin. Her blue uniform tunic with its red lapels and frogs really did nothing for her sea-tanned face and blown sandy hair, but that was unimportant. What was important was the confidence of the crew in her command of the Sea Drake, with battle only minutes away. They had first sighted sail less than half an hour before, and for a change they were closing quickly. Usually the sleek and rapid Athan'Mere ships could show a clean set of heels to the more lubberly Seanchan cruisers.

This one though, looked different. The sides were higher, and the lines were not what one expected from the Sea People. Could it be they were trying for greater capacity? Whatever, they had closed more rapidly than usual and battle was eminent. She was fortunate to have no less than four damane with which to overcome the enemy Marth'dame quickly, after which her large complement of marines would take care of the rest.

She could hear her second shouting at the crew in the rigging as she hurried up the ladder to the quarterdeck. The enemy ship was very close and was beginning to come about. The damene were all smiling and to the Captian's relief Harqueen, chief among the four, nodded to her with a hugely satisfied look and said, "We've got them, Captain, there were two of them, but they were no match for our girls". She smiled,"They are both shielded, and we'll soon have them in collars."

They were all lined up along the rail of the Sea Drake facing the odd looking ship, and now the ship's marines were filing in behind them, ready on command to go over the rail and take the battle to the overmatched enemy. As the ship wore around the Captain noticed the odd decorations on the enemy ship. Most Athen'mere ships had little of that sort of thing, but this ship had an odd checkerboard pattern on the side, with white and black squares running all down the side of the hull. It was almost at a stop now with it's sails practically aback, and very close. As she watched, the black squares on the ship's side started to open, exposing holes in the hull which were quickly filled by massive and ugly-looking brass tubes of some sort, and the smell of burning matches began to drift across the water. The Captain began to develop a bad feeling about all of this. Maybe it had been a little too easy.

Suddenly the world exploded in smoke, flame, and deafening noise. The Captain's amazed eyes saw her four damene and most of her crack troop of marines come apart in great gouts of blood and body parts and realized before she could even open her mouth to shout frenzied commands that the battle was already practically over. With growing horror she saw the snouts of what must be some fantastic new weapon, which had been briefly withdrawn, were rolling out again. A second volley blasted out, this time hitting lower and crushing the side of the Sea Drake's hull. As the ship began to roll over she had time to contemplate very briefly the dismal future prospects of the Seanchan Navy. 'With this weapon they will sweep us from the seas', she thought. Then the third volley rang out, and she thought no more, as a ball took off her head neatly level with her shoulderblades.
Richard Chapling
50. Chappers
subwoofer@44: Loathe as I am to defend Tuon, I do want to point out this is not quite true. Most of the main characters (Rand, Nynaeve, Egwene, etc.) are sparkers: they'll eventually channel with or without tuition. Tuon's a learner: she can not channel, by not learning, just as most (previously, all) sul'dam went their whole lives without channelling. (Otherwise, one being able to be held with the a'dam would not be the shock it is.)

forkroot@46: It's likely that Tuon was tested, just like everyone else, or she wouldn't know she could be a sul'dam.

One thing does occur to me: if the Seanchan are testing with forkroot, what is its effect on dormant learners? As far as I can remember, we have no data.
Stefan Mitev
51. Bergmaniac
BTW, Aes Sedai's treatment of burned out sisters is really disgraceful.

"but Aes Sedai expect that when . . . certain things . . . happen, the woman will go away decently and die soon after. I went away, but Jasfer found me half starved and sick on the streets of Ebou Dar and took me to his mother.”

Absolutely terrible. Nobody tries to help the poor women who had suffered such a trauma, they are forced away from the Tower, and it seems they are also refused a source of income (the half-starved part). The Tower is filthy rich, the least it can do is grant a nice pension so those unfortunate sisters aren't lacking for anything.
Roger Powell
52. forkroot
XLCR@49
I'm glad you reposted (and improved the formatting). I liked it before and it may make for a wider audience now.

Freelancer@48
:: waves :: Count me in the Setalle Anan fan club too.

I wonder if "burning out" also burns out idiocy. Setalle has more sense than a half-dozen AS put together. I do not think this is an accident.

Jordan has a fairly consistent message that power + insularity breeds arrogance and misjudgment. He writes so many AS that way, I'd say he pretty much hammers the point home. But look at Setalle! With that power gone, buffeted by the world -- she exhibits much more wisdom, undoubtedly painfully earned.
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
Chapter 9 - Meh. I guess I'm just more or less okay with characters acting... umm... in character? Which is pretty much what everyone does, and it maintains certain tensions, escalates some, and resolves others. F'rinstance, now the a'dams they brought along for the disguise are no longer in play; Mat buried them, so this is "resolved" in the sense that we know there won't be another episode (in this plotline) with anyone trying to collar anyone else. OTOH, it pointed out the tension of Tuon being able to channel, her knowledge of that, and the disparity of viewpoints in that regard. Some resolution is reached regarding the interaction of Tuon and the AS, but there will obviously continue to be a tension between Seanchan and WT.

As far as the actual events... I found them mostly amusing, in the end. The AS know Tuon is someone high up, and so they treat her as they might a noble of a Randland nation - expected to bow to the will of the WT and be a go-between to the ruling power. Tuon and Selucia are offended that they treat her so far below her actual station, but they aren't willing to tell what that is, so they're stuck being offended. Given her true position, a fairly drastic lesson for bursting in and making demands is appropriate - except that they have no way of knowing her true position, so the "lesson" isn't exactly effective; it's more a personal "don't bug me" than a "you may not speak thus to the High Lady Tuon" (much less the DotNM). If they'd known, they'd have taken a different approach: probably no less insistent, and probably with the same (valid) reasons, but they probably would have treated her as an equal, or at least a near-equal, instead of a messenger...

Of course, it's only amusing because it gives Mat a chance to show his awesome (and the effectiveness of his ter'angreal), and results in the removal - and subsequent burying - of the a'dam in exchange for everyone agreeing to be less pesky, so that's worth something. Incidentally, I had to note a certain similarity between two characters who possess weave-cancelling ter'angreal: they both do things that look terribly risky to an outsider, but they are perfectly confident in doing so because they know they're free from the natural consequences.

Chapter 10 - Leigh, I've gotta say it. Sometimes your adjectives and expletives are so bizarrely inappropriate to the subject, it completely throws the whole thing sideways. Oy. Oh well.

Quite true that we have no guarantees regarding the general happiness or other forms of success of their marriage. We merrily assume that marrying the princess means they'll live happily ever after, but... On the other hand, RJ did indicate that he was planning an outrigger involving Mat & Tuon dealing with Seanchan after TG, about 10 years downstream IIRC, so there's that to say that at least they both survive. Happily? That's a whole 'nother question.

I'm with ryamano @1 on the Joline/Warder thing. I've never yet seen an Aes Sedai who chose a Warder because he was masterful - especially not toward her. (Toward others, maybe, because that can be a handy thing in a sidekick, but not toward her. Wouldn't fit with the roles.) I think it was a compliment, although from our perspective a rather weird one. From her perspective she was, to the best of her (limited interpersonal) ability acknowledging the fact that he was worthy of being a Warder, as opposed to the boy-toy she'd thought. Considering her opinion of him back in Ebou Dar, we're talking a 180 on her evaluation.

pwl @6 - That reminds me... Moiraine had some other fairly specific memories from the rings: for example, she knew there were three possibile results from the events on the docks, and she knew that sleeping with Rand would be disastrous. The WOs told us somewhere that the rings give you so much info about the remainder of your life that you can't retain it all, and eventually it fades to memories that are only triggered when it matters (or something to that effect). However, Moiraine has one major distinction from the average WO: from the time she entered the rings until she "died" on the docks at Cairhien was only 100 days, and she stated in her letter to Rand that beyond that day, she only knew "one small thing" after, which did not concern Rand. Presumably that "one small thing" had to do with Mat, Thom & Noal rescuing her. It seems to me, therefore, that with only 100 days worth of future to sort out, it's perfectly reasonable that she would remember more distinctly the possibilities she was shown.

pwl @7 - Huh? No, she wrote (past tense) because of a possible future. She could have chosen not to write at all, thereby protecting Thom & Mat from a possible death in the attempt to rescue her and accepting her permanent residence in Finnland. Nothing forced her to write the letter, although I suspect that her knowledge of Min's viewing may have tipped the balance in favor of "hope of survival" and therefore writing the letter.

Deihb'al Chien @11 - I disagree; her statement that "that secret belongs to others" is pretty clearly an indication that she got this from the rings, whose function is not known outside the Wise Ones. She recognized early on that it was a privilege to be allowed to do something previously only allowed to Aiel, and she repaid that privilege by keeping their secret. She said much the same thing in her letter to Rand, BTW. She certainly had some information from her previous trip through the doorway in Tear, but she had no reason to refer to that info as someone else's secret.

Tektonica @12 - There was some reaction - Noal even says it beats out anything "Jain" did.

And.... I'm going to have to read the rest of the comments later. I apologize if some of what I've said has already been addressed by other; I ran out of time.
ryamano
54. Lurking Canadian
Tuon can die in a fire.

Seanchan delenda est.
Tricia Irish
55. Tektonica
XLCR@49:

Excellent! How long do you think it will take before the dragons take to the sea? Thanks for reposting...I'd missed it.

Thanks to all who reminded me of Noal's reaction to Mat's Snakes and Foxes story.....that's what I get for only reading Leigh's synopsis...and having a leaky memory. ;-)
Kimani Rogers
56. KiManiak
2 more Mat chapters after last week’s trifecta? Ah, Leigh; you shouldn’t have (but I’m glad you did)! I remember these 2 chapters fondly as well.

I still like the whole Mat-and-Tuon courting story. I know that RJ doesn’t do “romance” or the development of relationships to the satisfaction of most readers. But, I think this is by far his best, and most naturally developing, attempt.

I know there was some mention in last post about a paucity of comments on Setalle Anan, but I think she was more interesting here. Her teasing Mat about his roguish behavior, her chiding that he’s “chosen a fine one to break your heart,” her showing some vulnerability in asking to see the ter’angreal and finally her “I’ll keep your secrets if you keep mine” agreement had me liking her even more. You can see the development of their relationship into where Setalle becomes someone that Mat will ultimately trust to keep Olver safe when Mat’s ducking the gholam in ToM.

As for the 3 Aes Sedai attempting to bully Tuon into having the Seanchan stop their expansion and enter into peace, well… RJ continuously shows us that being an AS doesn’t automatically mean that a woman will act with wisdom. I can see arguments as to why they couldn’t anticipate any major problems in applying their methods. There was no reason to think that Tuon (or anyone) had kept the 3 a’dam that were used to smuggle the AS outta the city. Nor was there a reason for them to know that Tuon could wield an a’dam (unless she took Tesyln or Edesina out for a test spin).

But.

If they had been paying any attention at all (and aren’t AS supposed to be observant?), they would’ve recognized that Tuon went from being a “prisoner” to being someone that Mat was courting, or was showing a special interest in, at the very least. Mat has been going to Tuon’s wagon on a daily basis, and often dined with her, bought her a horse, had the seamstresses making her gifts, etc.

Did they think the appropriate time to try to bully Tuon would be when she’ s on a “date” with Mat? Did they think Mat would appreciate their barging in, or support their request? Did they think anyone would respond positively to being talked down to? Even if they didn’t know that Tuon would have a counter to their ability to use the Power, wouldn’t common sense have dictated that they were not likely to get someone to capitulate to their demands when that person is barged in upon while entertaining guests?

(Or, could this even more strongly support that Joline kinda has a thing for Mat and may be a little jealous? What better way to show up a potential rival then to push her around in front of the man both women have a thing for? True, I think this motivation could be a stretch, and would only go to support any already-formed opinions regarding Joline’s interest in Mat; it definitely wouldn’t generate that opinion/perspective on its own. But some of the fun of RJ’s writing is the ability to read so many different things into the motivation and mindset of the non-POV characters.)

Anyway, if you accept the fact that the Seanchan view the damane as less-than-human weapons and have yet to be enlightened to Randland’s perspective on channelers-are-people-too, then you should be able to find Tuon’s response to be logical, and appropriate, from her perspective. If you can’t accept that and still want to rail against the audacity of the Seanchan, and how much it makes you sick, or makes you want to bang your head against your desk, and therefore that allows you to still have a problem with Tuon right here, then so be it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a big fan of Tuon. But her actions here didn’t add to my dislike of her. I actually “get her” more here, than I do in the majority of WoT.

Joline. Joline wants Mat for a Warder; she finally started paying attention to how badass he actually is. Welcome to the party; what took you so long? As for Teslyn and Edesina going along with (what I assume was) Joline's idea to confront Tuon in Tuon's wagon; I assume Teslyn (who many assume stands as high as Joline) didn’t care too much to oppose Joline on this action, and Edesina probably stands lower than both of them so just went along with it like any good AS would do.

I don’t see why anyone would be upset with Mat, here. Did he ask them to barge in and make demands? Did he ask Tuon to chain them? He was handed a load of crap and had to make the best out of the situation. And why would he have a stronger reaction? He stayed in Ebou Dar for months with the Seanchan, so the sight of damane was nothing new to him. He knew that Tuon “trained” damane. He’d been harassed countless times by AS in general, and these apparently-ungrateful AS in particular. Should Mat have been shocked that Tuon had the a’dam and actually chained the AS? No. He didn’t like it, and he freed them. Even when Joline continued to be arrogant and difficult.

I have some opinions about Moiraine’s letter and how Mat (and the reader) finally found out about its contents and Moiraine’s current state of not-being-dead, but I may just do that in a separate (later) post, as this is getting kinda wordy, even for me.

(EDIT: And so many folks already commented in the comments about Mo's letter, that I see no reason to add another potentially long post that would probably end up saying a lot of the same things.)

I guess I'll comment on the comments separately...
Kimani Rogers
57. KiManiak
LB@5, pwl@6, forkroot@8, @10, @11 and others re: Moiraine’s insight – I agree with those that think there may be multiple sources and that we should wait until we know for certain (or as certain as we can be) about what experiences led to Moiraine’s comments in her letter. Whether it was pre-TEoTW experiences, information known only by Aes Sedai, Min’s viewings, info related to her answers from the ‘Finn in TSR (which would be all kinds of ironic, btw), or something else, we just don’t know.

Tek@12 – re: Joline and Mat – I agree, and I agree :-) No comments from me about what is/not “evil” on this post :-)

Greyhawk@15 – re: Tuon’s rationalization about her potential channeling – yeah, I found that incredibly thin, and kind of a copout, myself. Then again, she knows that she’s in line to be Empress; why would she accept a situation that would relegate her to a piece of property even lower than the da’covale status she jokingly threatened to assign to Mat?

srEDIT @20 – re: Mat’s acceptance of Seanchan society – not only now, but especially when he finds out that Bode is an initiate of the Tower.

alreadymad@25 – re: Mo and Thom – Since you asked :-) I agree that union seems illogical, opposite to what the story had shown us up to that point, and kinda forced. But by ToM, I got to the point where I just thought it was kinda cute. Plus, I think most folks would agree that RJ doesn’t write romance and the development of love, well.

Berg@30 – re: Tuon and the Seanchan’s hypocrisy – I can’t disagree with you that both parties are hypocritical, although I could potentially see each party’s argument/rationalization. Tuon survived the test, and so therefore believes that she is proven different from damane & marath’damane. Plus, she’s backed by the arrogance of one who knows she’s the next ruler of the Empire, and by extension, the known world. As for the Seanchan as a society, trained professionals (sul’dam) use living weapons to fight their wars. These trained professionals know how to handle potentially wild beasts (like grolm handlers, kind of) are to be trusted; whereas if these wild women run around unchecked and uncontrolled… well that’s dangerous.

Desertpaladin@40 – Some interesting points regarding Moiraine. It’s possible that the Accepted test could have helped her to retain some of the specifics from her time in the Rings. Does Moiraine have a near perfect memory? I can’t remember :-) any unusual situations that could give the reader that impression, but I guess it could be possible. Ok, just read Randalator@41, so nevermind.

sub@44 – re: Thom and Mat’s bet – I always liked reading that part. Puts a smile on my face. There’s luck, and then there’s skill. Thom’s skill of being able to read a crowd (and a performer, I guess) trumped Mat’s luck. Makes me smile each time…

Chappers@50 – I think forkroot@46’s point was that maybe Tuon was a sparker. Either a late bloomer, or else “uncollared” due to some type of plan or conspiracy. Either way, maybe she gamed the system, which allows for her unusual use of the a’dam that some folks have mentioned.

Wet@53 – Actually, the Aes Sedai did know that Tuon was a High Lady so (if they were capable of receiving it,) the message could have been received as "you may not speak thus to the High Lady Tuon"type. No treating of an equal there. As far as its effectiveness, that’s definitely open to interpretation. End result, they did stop pestering her. And yes, I agree, Mat did get to show off the awesome.
Sandy Brewer
58. ShaggyBella
I liked this phrase - very descrptive "Jolene led Teslyn and Edesena into the wagon like haughty on a pedestal"

And we see Mat is attracted to dangerous women, (after Tuon collars the AS) He does like a challange...


She looked like a bloody leopard staring at three goats. And strangely, more beautiful than ever. A beautiful leopard who might rake him with her claws as soon as the goats. Well, he had faced a leopard a few times before this and those were his own memories. There was an odd sort of exhilaration that came with confronting a leopard.

Sandy Brewer
59. ShaggyBella
I just went back and read where Rand & Mat saw the tower. (EOTW ch 24 )It was far in the distance and not for very long. Maybe Thom did not see it, or hear the explanation. Amazing... something impotant in Book 1 that doesn't come into use until Books 11 & 13. How did RJ do it???
...the sun glinted off something in the distance... Rand mentioned that it looks like metal. Doman tells them what it looks like up close. Mat thinks it has a treasure, then they talk of other strange things. Thom isn't mentioned at all in that scene.
john mullen
60. johntheirishmongol
The dice in his head stopped. Mat could have cried.

Great finish to chapter.
ryamano
61. Halcyal
Tuon’s actions and comments in chapter nine really cemented (in a final sense) my dislike of her and the whole Seanchan mindset behind her; and citing a differing cultural background as a mitigating factor (as Leigh has been sometimes wont to do) holds absolutely no water in this case. Indeed, if something merely being different from what you are use to is invalid grounds for considering that thing bad, then, in turn, it stands to reason that that difference is equally invalid grounds for considering that thing good or right.

The Seanchan practice of collaring might gain some moral latitude if the Seanchan disapproved of channelling in general and took their practice no further than preventing channelling from occurring. Doing so would still be draconian, like a type of ruthlessly enforced fantasy communism—tantamount to declaring all magic (or science, or any such physical thing that might disproportionately empower) fundamentally evil/perverse—but at least it would fall into the realm of being somewhat internally consistent. Any bid for ethical validity that the actual Seanchan practice of collaring makes, however, is utterly bunk.

Let us first review the matter in context for effect. Tuon has just obtained control, through collaring, of three channelers (free human beings but a moment before, if rather obnoxious in some respects), whom she is already terrifying, torturing and treating as less than animals, all of which is justified to her purely through virtue of them being channelers. Mat informs her at this point, alas, that she also has the capacity to channel, since she can use an a’dam, which prompts her to respond with great vehemence and contempt, stating that she is “nothing like these women” and that she could perhaps learn to channel, but that she chooses not to, just as she chooses “not to steal or commit murder. That makes all the difference.” Her argument, (the Seanchan argument), therefore, (going by the above and the context of the story) is that the capacity to channel is a vile thing, alike to theft and murder, and thus all children who have the inborn capacity to do so, or anyone at all who might choose to use that inborn ability, must be mercilessly put down and prevented from doing so. Her argument, in the same breath, is that it is perfectly okay to strip a person of all dignity, cruelly beat them, body and soul, into pulp, subject them to abject slavery and otherwise view them as vastly sub-human, all so that their channelling powers can be appropriated and used by others.

The argument, put more concisely, looks something like this: Having/using powers is dirty/evil. It would be better for a person to steal and murder than to choose to use such, unless, of course, that person is using powers that they have stolen from someone else, gained by stealing away that other person’s life, dignity and humanity while physically and mentally crushing them into the dust. Then having/using powers is quite okay (and quite above filthy/evil murder and theft).

Tuon, of course, is even worse than the standard sul’dam (or damnea supporter) in that respect, because she can’t even make the dubious claim that she is separated from the actual channelling because she is only wielding it through the dictates of tyrannical authority. No, she’s a special case. She gets right in there and physically controls the weaves herself (and only dabbles in the soul-crushing tyranny part, apparently, because she enjoys it). (And thus the moral high-ground is clearly hers, and she shall be rightly insulted and wroth should you dare to suggest otherwise … that is, unless she’s really just a voice leading her nation in the utterance of self-contradictions, aimed at lending a feeble veneer of support to her and her nation’s monstrous ways.)
Birgit
62. birgit
Oh, and would somebody please tell Tuon how Hawkwing's dream was in many respects the opposite of Seanchan society? And how his second wife and ancestor of Imperial Family was a channeller!

Where do you get the information that Hawkwing married a channeler? He made war on Tar Valon (because his advisor Ishy told him to) and died because he refused to be Healed by a channeler.

Nobody tries to help the poor women who had suffered such a trauma, they are forced away from the Tower, and it seems they are also refused a source of income (the half-starved part). The Tower is filthy rich, the least it can do is grant a nice pension so those unfortunate sisters aren't lacking for anything.

It's probably not a lack of funds but the depression of being stilled that makes her lose interest in eating.
Wesley Parish
63. Aladdin_Sane
ZOMG, and nobody raked Leigh over the coals about this error:


Helplessly he watches as the peddler disappears along with the village,which Mat now recognizes as having the kind of buildings popular in Shiota three hundred years earlier.

shrugs - Shiota existed in what is now Northern Altara prior to Hawkwing's reign, and after the Trollop Wars - oops, the Trolloc Wars (No offense to Berelain and Faile, none intended, honestly ...).

That was how country people had built in Shiota for near enough three hundred years.

So Mat had memories from before, during and after that period in history when that style of building was popular, specifically from Shiota.

Now I've got that off my chest, I think there was a lot of stuff the Tear doorway folks (Eelfinn? Aelfinn?) let slip without intending to, under what they would probably term duress - two ta'veren were in the doorway at the same time as Moiraine, and we know from Mat's POV that they hadn't originally intended to let him know about the Daughter of the Nine Moons. I think they probably let a lot slip to Moiraine as well.

Just to tie in the Tuon stuff with Hawkwing, her ancestor, and Noal alias Jain, Hawkwing hated Aes Sedai with a passion. Baalzamon boasted to Rand that he had poisoned his mind against the Aes Sedai, and so he had attacked Tar Valon and had refused the help offered by Aes Sedai that could have saved his life. Hawkwing's son no doubt brought all that baggage across the Aryth Ocean with him, and then he found a heavily Dark-influenced set of Aes Sedai waging war much more savagely and fericously than even he had expected.

So, we get a rigid set of beliefs about just how vicious an uncollared female channeler is - not that dissimilar to the standard Randland beliefs about the male channelers - and a savage little heiress
to Hawkwing's sole surviving kingdom, raised in an atmosphere horrifically reminiscent of the DO's MO for sorting out the "Chosen", who can't accept that she is one of these despised and feared channelers. And who uses irrational arguments to avoid facing reality.

Nothing like the current world we live on, oh no. Of course not.

And now, the piece de resistance - Tuon's virginity. She's the Daughter of the Nine Moons. I have never come across a more fertility-focused title in modern SFF; she no doubt inherited the title from some of these bloody-minded and bloody-handed Seanchan Aes Sedai of less-than-blessed memory. And the risk of children resulting from the daughter of a leader doing the wild thing with someone considered unsuitable, unaccepted, or unqualified - by whatever criteria - has quite frequently led to them being watched with extra special care. It's a different world with men - a son can give some woman or other children, and they stay with her family - a daughter's children usually stay with her family, unless she is accepted into the man's family.

'nuff sed?
john massey
64. subwoofer
Still busy voting for my daughter, seems like there are other parents glued to the net as well:(

Anyways- er Chappers... I dunno- poke Tuon with a sharp stick... or in this case, maybe put her, Selucia, or even Mat's life in jeopardy, and I've a feeling things will come bubbling to the surface. I feel that RJ gave Tuon these abilities for a reason and that the Empire needs to be stood on its head. And Ny or even Eggy has to have another MOA.

I saw Freelancer with Elvis- they both live:)

Not touching the er... fertility thing, I suppose skinny girls can have kids too.

I've always maintained that Mat should sound the horn and have Artur have a little one on one time with his great er... ultimate granddaughter. Clear the air. Set the record straight. Smack some sense into her. Maybe even a timely spanking.

Just sayin'.

Woof™.
Stefan Mitev
65. Bergmaniac
Apparently they have great herbal contraceptives available in Randland, so the risk of an unwanted pregnancy shouldn't be an issue with Tuon. But the more absurd part is that not only she's a virgin, it's revealed later in KoD that Mat was the first man she had ever kissed. Come on, she's 20 already, beautiful and heir of an empire - she must've had crowds of nobles courting her. Not to mention a bunch of handsome practically naked da'covale around her most of the time and ready to do whatever she orders...
Hilde Sørensen
66. edlihs
Bergmaniac@51

Nobody tries to help the poor women who had suffered such a trauma, they are forced away from the Tower, and it seems they are also refused a source of income (the half-starved part). The Tower is filthy rich, the least it can do is grant a nice pension so those unfortunate sisters aren't lacking for anything.


Anyone who is put out of the tower for failing the standards of Aes Sedai is given enough gold to last for a year. Perhapes she left without saing...
forkroot@52



I wonder if "burning out" also burns out idiocy. Setalle has more sense than a half-dozen AS put together. I do not think this is an accident.

Jordan has a fairly consistent message that power + insularity breeds arrogance and misjudgment. He writes so many AS that way, I'd say he pretty much hammers the point home. But look at Setalle! With that power gone, buffeted by the world -- she exhibits much more wisdom, undoubtedly painfully earned .



Earned is the word. She could not hide behind her status anymore. No longer part of the Ivory Tower.

EDIT: the problems with large holes between quotes and texsts is back!
ryamano
67. Dolphineus
These chapters remind me of the scene I think I am looking forward to the most in AMoL. Joline, Edesina and Teslyn took their two apprentices, Renna and Seta, with them to Tar Valon right. If I remember correctly, they are Egwene's former Sul'dams. Should be interesting when Egwene sees them ...
Hugh Arai
68. HArai
Isilel@39: Can you give me an IRL example of male heirs casually going about affairs - in a society where who the heir was depended solely on the whim of the ruler? I can't think of one but maybe you can. As for why leave herself open to distractions,etc. - you assume Tuon is the one making the decision. The references to the Empress give me the impression she'd quite happily keep her children off-balance and vulnerable to maintain her own control.

Bergmaniac@65: Do we have confirmation the Seachan have the same contraceptives? They seem quite omen obsessed, that sort of thinking could easily get in the way of "taking these herbs weekly prevents conception".

Regarding crowds of nobles courting her: it seems like that sort of thing happens more often in courts where the imperial family aren't killing each other off. I'd expect the "crowds" to be limited to the most dedicated/ambitious few with most of the Blood carefully doing their best to avoid being so obviously on one side. Tuon seems bright enough to tell if she's simply the object of ambition and that would probably be a turn-off.

As for the da'covale: Spend a lot of time trysting with your sofa? They're furniture.
Sam Mickel
69. Samadai
HArai @ 68
As for the da'covale: Spend a lot of time trysting with your sofa? They're furniture.
ROFLMAO. that was hilarious.
You're right though. They are nothing but aesthetics to a room for most of them. Why would Tuon have wanted to engage in any kind of relationship? In a society that is so heavily class based, there must be very few men who are of a high enough class that they will even meet your gaze. Unless she is into domination [outside the A'dam (subnote on the A'dam: Has anyone else noticed that it is the biblical first male, Adam, that is dominating all the female channelers)] who would enjoy having a relationship with those your own society, and you, deems are beneath you. She doesn't even see Mat as a fitting mate, until he shows what he is really like.

Birgit @ 62
The BBoBA suggests that Hawkwings first or second wife might have been Aes Sedai( I can't remember which one and don't have the book here)

Dolphineus @ 67
Egwene seeing her former Suldam in novice white is a scene I am looking forward too as well.
Brian Anderson
70. RoyanRannedos
AAAAAAAAAGGGHH *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

I think I just pictured Leigh in a Peanuts comic strip.

Anyway, as far as the infamous letter, you have to consider the possibility of a death funnel effect. Moiraine lives a very dangerous life, and it could be that the times she dies prematurely far outnumber the times she lives. I think that would make the choices that lead to those lives stand out in your consciousness, especially someone who is trained not to be overwhelmed through her Aes Sedai-ness.

But let's face it - it's just plain hard for anyone important to die permanently in the Wheel of Time.
Birgit
71. birgit
Joline, Edesina and Teslyn took their two apprentices, Renna and Seta, with them to Tar Valon right. If I remember correctly, they are Egwene's former Sul'dams.

Renna is dead, but Seta was one of Eg's sul'dam, and she probably also knows Bethamin.
Don Barkauskas
72. bad_platypus
Samadai @69:
subnote on the A'dam: Has anyone else noticed that it is the biblical first male, Adam, that is dominating all the female channelers

Not only have people noticed it, I've seen the Domination Band (the thing Semirhage collared Rand with) referred to as an "e've"!
Maiane Bakroeva
73. Isilel
Forkroot @46:

The text has her commanding Joline to alternately embrace then release the Source - OTOH, trained damane might instinctively submit to the sul'dam.

That's the rub, though - Tuon wasn't commanding, she was just doing it. And even trained damane can't read sul'dam's mind, but have to be directed, unless they are acting in a pre-arranged manner, which clearly wasn't the case here.
Judging from Egwene's experiences, that's not how sul'dam normally handle things - even very experienced ones, like Renna. Damane still has to embrace the OP and weave the flows on her own. A sul'dam can stop her - but not do this things _for_ her. Only SGs, who are channelers were able to do this.

I have a theory here, that also explains lack of sparking among the sul'dam. After all, one can test for sul'dam at 16 and the spark can manifest until 21, while Seanchan test until 25.
There should be regular occurences of sul'dam suddenly becoming damane - so regular, that it wouldn't have been possible to keep it completly secret from them, even with the secret police, etc. Yet they have been completely unaware.
So, maybe it is just another case of something that was considered impossible in Randland and/or AoL actually being possible. Namely, preventing a sparker from sparking. Maybe touching saidar through another freezes the otherwise unavoidable reaching of a sparker for the source - for as long as they remain active as sul'dam.
Which would mean that if Tuon is indeed such an arrested sparker and becoming the Empress makes it inappropriate for her to continue acting as sul'dam, she could be in danger of the process running to it's conclusion. She is still 20, one whole year left.

Re: Tuon's intransigence, I can't absolve her on cultural grounds, since we have seen both Egeanin and Bethamin grasp the implications pretty quickly and without such raging hypocrisy/close-mindedness. And Egeanin at least also immediately saw the irreconcilable contradictions in Seanchan view of channelers as monsters after a little personal contact.

Now, granted, the 3 AS are annoying, but: nobody is terrified of them and women of the show are supportive towards them, Teslyn risked discovery by Seanchan to save Egeanin (!), they will proceed to try to argue Mat into providing medical assistance to enemy wounded, etc. And Tuon never questions how this goes against Seanchan view of channelers? She never wonders? She never questions Mat, Setalle, Noal, Thom about their attitudes towards channelers? This makes her look not only unsympathetic, but also very dumb.
I don't say that she should have been won over as quickly as Egeanin - she is far too deeply invested into the system for that, but she should be confused/questioning, if she is presented as a person of worth, IMHO.

I suspect that this depiction of Tuon is another nefarious consequence of RJ trying to give PLOD some relevance.

HArai @68:

Can you give me an IRL example of male heirs casually going about
affairs - in a society where who the heir was depended solely on the
whim of the ruler?

You mean, like in the East? Name one example where it _wasn't_ the case for male heirs, LOL. Well, IIRC Republican Rome payed some lip service towards the notion, but even there it was theory rather than practice, IIRC. But other than them? Nobody.
And they have perfect contraception in WoT world, so unwanted pregnancy shouldn't be an issue.
So, again, why shouldn't Tuon behave like men in her position did iRL? Why should lower station of a lover be an issue?

Birgit @62:

BBoBA implies that there were very strong rumors of Hawkwing's wife being a WT Initiate who didn't become an AS. Also, Hawkwing didn't hate channelers - he wanted the AS to forsake their loyalty to WT. Well, maybe we are being set up for Mat conveying this factoid to dumbfounded Seanchan.
Hugh Arai
74. HArai
Isilel@73: If you're equating Republican Rome to the Seanchan Empire then you're totally ignoring forms of succession and expectations of society and how they would affect the behavior of those eligible to become the ruler. Under those hypothetical conditions, of course Tuon should have sex with who and whatever she likes. Those aren't the conditions that apply in the WoT as written however.
Maiane Bakroeva
75. Isilel
HArai @71:

You misunderstand me. In societies where succession depended on whim of the ruler and/or internecine strife male heirs _always_ had hosts of slaves, concubines, multiple wives, courtesans, whores etc., to have sex with.
Even though it really was counter-productive for them to have so many kids and every succession resulted in a major blood-bath.
There is not a single example to the contrary in iRL history. In fact, remaining virgins until age of 20 would have probably disqualified them as would-be heirs.

Republican Rome was the only society in history where male promisquity could have had serious consequences for a noble heir - his father was within his rights to execute him for it. Even so, it was a seldom used right.

Since in WoT women in power aren't opressed and don't need to fear unwanted pregnancy, it makes no sense for them to behave so completely differently.
L M
76. srEDIT
RE: Mat and Joline . . . maybe she suddenly wanted him for a Warder when she saw Tuon's weaves melt off him. It certainly would be a practical advantage to a Warder to repel the OP, yes?
ryamano
77. Wortmauer
Isilel@73: Re: Tuon's intransigence, I can't absolve her on cultural grounds, since we have seen both Egeanin and Bethamin grasp the implications pretty quickly and without such raging hypocrisy/close-mindedness. And Egeanin at least also immediately saw the irreconcilable contradictions in Seanchan view of channelers as monsters after a little personal contact.
It is part and parcel with Tuon's personality, however. She makes a few cultural concessions, sure - like the scene in TGS where Beslan swears fealty to her and some onlooker is all "that's the wrong wording dude" and she's like "no, no big deal, we can accept their wording". But how many times does she make fun of Randlanders either believing in fables like Shadowspawn, or not believing in omens? Tuon seems like about the last Seanchan you'd expect to actually notice that there's anything wrong with the worldview she grew up with. "She should be confused/questioning"? Yeah, she should be a lot of things. But I think it's in character for her not to be.

I think what gets me about the whole a'dam issue is that not only Tuon but all the Seanchan never seem to explain why the ability to channel through a damane can be trusted, while channeling of your own volition can't. Quis sul'iet ipsos sul'dam? What is it that turns damane into animals that does not turn sul'dam into animals? Particularly once you admit, as Tuon did, that she may well have the potential to channel if she wanted to learn. How can the act of choosing to channel make you an animal? If anything it just makes you a criminal.
Stefan Mitev
78. Bergmaniac
No risk of pregnancy. No church or any kind of religious organisation which preaches against premarital sex or forces sexual taboos. So why should the Empress disapprove of Tuon having sex? IIRC it was mentioned Domon and Egeanin were lovers back in WH, before they got married, and it was considered normal by the Seanchan.

And it's never stated straight out in the books, but my guess has always been that the da'covale in the see-through robes are used for more than just decoration. The Seanchan are hardly saints after all. Having their slaves used for sex would firt perfectly in their mindset the way I see it. Remember when Suroth was made property and was given to the Deadwatch Guards to serve them? Her horrified reaction always seemed to me to imply she knew she'd be raped - besides this is unfortunately the method for punishment of failed Darkfriends/Forsaken which Jordan has used repeatedly.
Alice Arneson
79. Wetlandernw
Re: me at 53... Of course it happened, repeatedly. I made these terribly insightful responses to other comments, and now that I've had a chance to catch up, those responses had already been made several times... *sigh* You'd think I'd know better by now. Oh well.

forkroot @46 (re: Isilel @22) - You beat me to it. I had never noticed it before this read, but now I'm wondering. If Tuon is indeed channeling directly but doesn't realize it, we have pretty good precedent for thinking that she will channel again. As long as there is a damane handy, she can do it that way and no one - including her - will realize it. (You'd think the damane might notice the difference - but then, who'd listen to her if she had the courage to say anything anyway.) Maybe, as you suggest, the moment will come in AMoL where she will instinctively channel without the damane - then she'll have to rewrite the rules for sure!

BTW, I appreciated your "defending RJ's handling of Jain" in your previous post. I agree that it fits quite well with what we've already been told, that some things will not be all neatly tied up and polished off at the end. We've spent the series seeing small things turn out to foreshadow big things, and I think we've come to expect that every "mystery" will turn out to be significant. While it's possible that Jain Farstrider will still have a significant effect, I think it's also possible that we'll never know much more than we do now. Just like it's quite possible that we'll never know who Gaidal Cain is when reborn, or see Elayne's twins born, or even see Aviendha pregnant. All in all, even though I generally like the neo-classical approach, WoT wasn't written with the intent of neatly finishing the edges; it's supposed to leave you with implied stories, things that started but will not finish here.

KiManiak @57 - Poor choice of words on my part - I was rushed and didn't work all the way through what I said before I said it. I was thinking in terms of her rank above all other Seanchan nobility and forgot that "High Lady" isn't exclusive to her position. What I intended was that if the AS had had a clue that she was the leader of the Seanchan in Randland, they'd have been less overtly demanding and (probably) more respectful, rather than treating her like a lesser noble who ought to be grateful to run errands for the mighty Aes Sedai. Since they have no way of knowing the difference, Tuon's "lesson" regarding their behavior toward her came across as more in the line of a personal "don't mess with me because I have a'dams and can use them" instead of her rightful "I represent the Seanchan empire and if you want something you should ask nicely." I can't find the right way to say this; the way I read it, she allowed it to be only a personal issue instead of positional. And... today, I can't even figure out how to explain why I thought it was important. (Brain? What brain? I'm on summer break!) In any case, her actions gained her nothing, really; the only reason anything was resolved was that Mat and his weave-breaking medallion made everyone behave themselves and agree to leave each other alone.

Halcyal @61 - Indeed, if something merely being different from what you are use to is invalid grounds for considering that thing bad, then, in turn, it stands to reason that that difference is equally invalid grounds for considering that thing good or right. [sic] From the reader-perspective, okay, but the fact is that this only applies to one standing in judgment, as it were, on the character. It doesn't apply to the character.

birgit @62 in re: someone else... I fully agree that the starving condition is more likely due to massive depression than lack of funds. IIRC, although I can't find the reference at the moment, the Tower does what it can to provide for a woman who is burned out, but very little can usually be done. Most either die right there in the Tower because they don't want to live, or they leave with no desire for further contact with those who can channel, being too much a reminder of what they have lost. Very, very few go on to have a full life after losing their ability.

Aladdin_Sane @63 - Good point about the Aelfinn having let a good bit of extra info slip during the excitement of having such a feast after so long a famine. Moiraine was the last to leave; she may have learned much - and she, more than the others, may have had the background to put those unintentional tidbits together. It's certainly possible, though I doubt we'll ever know for sure.

Bergmaniac @65 - You assume some things that don't necessarily apply to Seanchan culture. One, you assume that Tuon would be willing to give some noble a possible handle for the sake of a few kisses. Two, you assume that she would be free to do so if she wished. Three, you assume that she'd actually want some level of intimacy with someone of lesser rank, just for the fun of it. Tuon? Are you kidding? She's nothing if not pragmatic, and there's no way she'd put herself in any sort of compromising position just for the sake of lust. If there's any character I can imagine choosing to refuse physical intimacy because she's got higher goals in sight, it would be Tuon. She rules herself even more firmly than she does those around her.

Isilel @75 - You argue against yourself. As you say, in many historical societies, the male heirs were likely to have sex with any woman they could. In fact, in many cases the production of lots of kids was seen as an indication of manliness, so they got their fun and their "proof of worth" at the same time. In some situations, even, the existence of progeny was a reason for choosing one potential heir over another. For a woman, being pregnant would have certain disadvantages (at least for a few months) and very few advantages; the ability to prevent pregnancy, however, would give her none of the advantages of existing progeny. In that case, her only reason to "behave like men in her position did iRL" would be physical desire, and I don't see Tuon as someone who would let her hormones make decisions for her.

Wortmauer @77 - I think you got it with Yeah, she should be a lot of things. But I think it's in character for her not to be. Tuon is written as a supremely self-confident person, not exactly given to questioning her assumptions. For all her political acumen and strength, she hasn't been given a lot of cause to question her culture. As the heir apparent to the Crystal Throne, "we rule, therefore we are right" is perfectly reasonable. I like Tuon, but I tend to not like being around people like her IRL. She is far less likely to change her mind about ingrained beliefs than most people, IMO. Evaluation of - and changing your mind about - an individual is not at all the same thing as critically examing your basic assumptions about the way the world works.

Teresa, just in case you're checking... I used to be able to triple-space my paragraphs in Notepad, and they showed up just like I wanted them when I pasted them into the comments. That no longer seems to be working; my paragraphs all run together no matter what I do in Notepad, so I have to paste it in here and then go through and put in all the paragraph breaks again. FWIW.
Jon Morse
80. jonfmorse
Wortmauer @77: ...all the Seanchan never seem to explain why the ability to channel through a damane can be trusted, while channeling of your own volition can't.

Well, you know. It's just like shooting someone is bad, but holding a gun to someone else's head and ordering them to shoot someone is totally a-ok. Oh wai--

Harai @68: As for the da'covale: Spend a lot of time trysting with your sofa? They're furniture.

-and-

Bergmaniac @78: Having their slaves used for sex would firt perfectly in their mindset the way I see it.

The explanation here is obvious. RealDoll™.
Sandy Brewer
81. ShaggyBella
@79. Wetlandernw said:

If there's any character I can imagine choosing to refuse physical intimacy because she's got higher goals in sight, it would be Tuon. She rules herself even more firmly than she does those around her.



Like, she gets married to our Mat and then just rides off to Ebau Dar. Didn't even kiss him or consumate her marriage. Wha???
Roger Powell
82. forkroot
Anyone notice the symmetry of Mat stopping Noal (from taking action) and then Tuon stopping Selucia (from attacking Mat)?

Of course Mat remained clueless about how deadly Selucia really is. It would have been interesting had she not been stopped by Tuon.

Given what we see from his POV, he did not read her intentions and she would have gotten the drop on him. For anyone else, that probably would have been enough.

In Mat's case - we can only speculate - his luck would have probably intervened in some fashion (ask Melindhra.)
Jay Dauro
83. J.Dauro
Moiraine is the only person that we know of who has been through the Accepted test, the Aes Sedai test, and then through the rings at Rhuidean. As such, it is possible she is more capable of interpreting and remembering what happens in the Rings.

If we were to see Egwene or Nyneave go through the Rings, we might see them able to remember more because of their experience in Tel'aran'rhiod.

The Seanchen have no knowledge of learners. The only channelers they know are sparkers, who are found, and then forced to use the power and learn. So why should they have any idea that some people can learn to channel? Or that once they have started, they will want to continue, ( in fact they will find it almost impossible not to continue)? Tuon would honestly expect that she can control this. (As Bethamin felt she could even after she channeled.)

The Seanchen method of testing is basically first you wear the collar. If you have started to manifest the ability to channel, you can be controlled. Then you wear the bracelet. If you are a learner, you can use the bracelet to control. Do we have any reason to suspect that a sparker can be capable of using the bracelet before they are vunerable to the collar? Without that, I would not expect a sparker to ever become a Sul'dam.
ryamano
84. AndrewB
Wetlandernw @53 -- I believe that Moraine's "samll thing" that does not concern Rand was that Moraine knew that Lan's bond would eventually wind up with Nynaeve.

I guess I am in the minority. I like Tuon. Every time I have re-read the books she is in, I have always liked her scenes. Especially when she and Mat were getting to know each other better.

While I like Tuon the person, I do not care much for Seanchan society -- especially its treatment of channelers. On the whole, Seanchan society is too reliant on a caste system.

One of the advantages of coming late to the party is that others have made points that I would have (only much more eloquent than I would have).

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
Roger Powell
85. forkroot
AndrewB's musings@84

I can't really say I like Tuon (yet) - but I think I like the person she has the potential to become. I've argued before that many of the (young) main characters have had to grow up and gain wisdom/understanding/self-knowledge as part of their character arcs.

I foresee this happening in AMoL with Fortuona - I daresay it's essential for the Light to win.
Alice Arneson
86. Wetlandernw
AndrewB @84 - I don't see why the "small thing" would be passing Lan's bond; she'd already arranged that with Myrelle and it's a done deal. More specifically, she said she knew "one small thing" that came after the events on the docks; if you count Lan's bond, then she lied, because the contents of this letter are certainly about events post-dock-battle. Keeping in mind that she probably wrote these two letters one after the other, in preparation for a day she knew was imminent, it makes more sense to me that in writing Rand's letter, she had on her mind the contents of Thom's. JMO.

Re: Tuon, I actually do like her - and yes, I think we are in the minority. I don't like all the things she does, but I like the person and I think there's a potential for some serious awesome upcoming. I think she's well-written as a character coming from a culture which is, in certain areas, extremely uncomfortable for 21st-century westerners. Of course, as usual, I tend to look at it from multiple perspectives, so I can see valid reasons for almost everything - for a certain definition of valid, anyway. :)

forkroot @85 - I agree!
Hugh Arai
87. HArai
forkroot@82: It's interesting to note Mat doesn't spot Selucia at all here after seeing Rand spot her clearly in TGS.
William Fettes
88. Wolfmage
AndrewB @ 84

No, you’re definitely not alone; I like Tuon too. I definitely have more than a few non-trivial misgivings about Seanchan culture, but I like both Tuon and Mat’s courtship of Tuon well enough.

Tuon has most of the blindspots you’d expect of Seanchan Royalty. That is, her annoying qualities seem to more-or-less overlap with the general cultural chauvinism and hide-bound inflexibility of the Seanchan Empire, and their rigid caste system, as distilled by someone socialised into such a culture at the very top of the hierarchy. So it's bad, but it's also all she's known and she's had no good reason to question it.

Moreoever, it's also important to bear in mind that she also exudes many Seanchan strengths too, such as mental agility, intelligence, organisation, adaptability and experimentation. She strikes a nice balance between being rationally unsentimental and having a softer side with a dark-edge of appreciation of all thing martial and nature, like that snake. So, overall I do find her likeable if more than a little infuriating at times.

I agree with others who've labelled her justification about channelling pretty poor, but I do find it commendable that she at least immediately looks for a philosophical answer to explain the difference. It happens to be an unsatisfactory answer to us because we don't accept the evil of non-collared channelling, and the existence of sparkers means that she must regard an arbitrary accident of birth as something monsterous. But at least she confronts the challenge head-on in a normative spirit.

That kind of rationalised introspection is sadly missing from many characters with far less horrific culturally ingrained prejudices – so credit where credit is due.
ryamano
89. Deadsy
"Mat did ask about the letter back in book 6"

Thom hadn't opened it yet. It's clear from the wording that even though Mat asked a couple hours before Thom read it, that he needed to wait until it was mentioned again. Otherwise Moiraine wouldn't have needed to mention it at all because he would have asked before anyone had ever read the letter.
ryamano
90. Deadsy
Oh, and I love Tuon.
Alice Arneson
91. Wetlandernw
Deadsy @89 & 90 - Is that the Deadsy? If so, to what do we owe the honor? :)
Tricia Irish
92. Tektonica
Isilel@73: I totally agree with you on the below:
And Tuon never questions how this goes against Seanchan view of channelers? She never wonders? She never questions Mat, Setalle, Noal, Thom about their attitudes towards channelers? This makes her look not only unsympathetic, but also very dumb.

I can forgive Tuon for being born into the culture and family that she was, and therefore having her cultural beliefs, but it's hard to forgive her for her blindedness. She is in a perfect situation to learn about Randland culture from Selucia, Mat, and as you say, even the AS, who are arrogant, but are not acting dangerously. But she chooses not to learn a thing....not a great quality in a ruler, imho. And you are right...probably an effort on RJ's part to give the plod meaning.
Rich Gold
93. richg25
I can only think of one argument about collaring that might affect Tuon and Seanchan in general. The fact is, they are thieves. That's the argument. They have stolen someone elses servant for themselves. After all, everyone in this world describes themselves as "Servants of the Light". Well, that means the Creator. So by collaring and controlling channellers, they have stolen the Creator's servants. Perhaps that's an argument that could sway them, even after a culture of slavery for 1,000 years.
Rich Gold
94. richg25
Setalle - too bad Mat doesn't know about healing stilling. Maybe when he goes to get the horn he'll meet up with Suian and put two-and-two together.
Stefan Mitev
95. Bergmaniac
Mat does know about Healing stilling - "Vanin managed to hear a few things, but nothing that made Mat happy. If Nynaeve had really Healed Siuan and Leane, she would be worse than ever; she had always had a large opinion of herself, and after doing what could not be done, her head would be bigger than a dewmelon.".

A bit weird he hasn't mentioned it to Setalle yet. Though stilling and burning out are different, so Nynaeve's method might not work on her.
ryamano
96. Wortmauer
richg25@93: The fact is, they are thieves. That's the argument. They have stolen someone elses servant for themselves. After all, everyone in this world describes themselves as "Servants of the Light".
Reference? I don't remember that term at all. It seems Loial uses it to refer to Aes Sedai, back in TEOTW, but that might be an TEOTW-ism, as we know Aes Sedai actually means Servants of All. But I don't remember anything in the text where the people in general consider themselves servants of anyone or anything in particular, except of course those who are servants.

Anyway, that argument is really about slavery, not damane in particular. If you convince the Seanchan that it's wrong to own people, they might give up their da'covale, but that doesn't mean they'd give up their damane. There's no PETA or PETD in Seanchan, so they don't see a problem owning animals and forcing them to do useful work, be they grolm, oxen, or damane.
Bergmaniac@95: A bit weird he hasn't mentioned it to Setalle yet. Though stilling and burning out are different, so Nynaeve's method might not work on her.
Yeah, I strongly suspect being burned out can't be Healed, or not by the methods discovered by Nynaeve and Damer Flynn. But, yes, you'd think Mat would at least mention the rumor to Setalle. For one thing, he doesn't have the background to know anything about the distinction between severing and burning out.
john massey
97. subwoofer
I'm still a bit sketchy on this, but what would happen if Tuon was collared? Or has she been collared in the past?

Woof™.
William Fettes
98. Wolfmage
I must say I'm interested in discussing the issue Isilel raised @ 22 about Tuon's ability to seemingly channel through the adam. There are so few corners of the WoT universe that aren't fairly exhaustively discussed that it is rare to find something like this that is relatively under-examined.

It does seem as though Tuon is not only capable of making a damane embrace and release the source involuntarily, but she can also create weaves herself. But how is that possible? Personally I don't like the idea that this is because Tuon is secretly a sparker as I just think that is an unnecessary assumption about there being a more fundamental difference between sparkers and learners than we know to-date. That strikes me as an inelegant solution. Logically speaking, it makes more sense to me to believe that every fully realised learner could exploit exactly the same full adam-linking functionality that Nynaeve does with Moghedien.

My best educated guess is that you just need to be sufficiently attuned to the power – either through your own skill with channelling, or through sufficient experience as a sul’dam - to achieve the same effect. So, all full learner-channellers can do it, but only some sul’dam. We already know, for example, that some experienced sul’dam can see weaves, whereas others cannot, so there is already a precedent for some kind of variable being involved.

It just so happens that the adam test only encumbers girls who are sparkers, because Seanchan learners are all picked out to be sul’dam at an early age, before they have any chance to become attuned to the power. Obviously if they re-tested their sul’dam periodically, however, most would be encumbered by the collar precisely because the very experience of being a sul’dam gives you the kind of attuning to the power that enables the collar to bind you.

So, it’s only matter of extending this existing logic to understand why Tuon can do this. She is not a sparker; she just has a level of experimental experience as a sul’dam unmatched by others we've seen.

The problem with this theory is, of course, what Isilel already pointed out straight away. That is, if Tuon can do this why didn’t we see Rena, an apparently experienced sul’dam, do it with Egwene? It’s a good question and unfortunately I don’t have an entirely satisfactory answer. It's possible a different pedagogical method was used, but that still feels like a cop-out. Because whilst I can see how breaking Egwene’s spirit and instilling obedience might be seen as an independently valuable objective for newly caught marath’damane, it still seems a bit of a retcon to assume that in all that time there would be no reason to demonstrate the full level of sul'dam control if it is understood and used that way at elite levels.

So, I'm left thinking that perhaps it's just Tuon's high born position that has afforded her uniquely privileged access to damane that has enabled her to experiment in a way other sul'dam do not. It's not perfect, but it's all I can come up with.
Stefan Mitev
99. Bergmaniac
If Tuon was a sparker, the Aes Sedai trio with Mat would've sensed it right away, and I don't recall any indications of that. Neither did Nynaeve when she met her in TGS.
T C
100. Freelancer
HArai @87

The post-epiphany Rand has clearly gained an ability to completely read a person with whom he comes in contact, if not look directly into their soul. Being able to ID a darkfriend on sight proves this. Regarding Selucia, as far as we know, only Thom is aware of Selucia's primary job function (and that remains a point of circumstantial speculation, though well founded). Many other quite observant folks have failed to pick up on it. Mat, for all of his special abilities, is still rather unobservant about many matters.

Still, a cool moment of awesome for Rand, and awkward for Tuon, when he warns her to keep her bodyguard in check.


About Tuon being the channeler in these chapters, not. Unlike other sul'dam, she can get her hands on a damane anytime she wishes, so I suspect she has had far more practice than most at controlling the channeler on the other end of the leash. Add to that Teslyn had been collared under her control before, so Tuon already had experience making her channel. But none of that proves that it wasn't Tuon channeling. However, this does: If it had not been Teslyn who slammed the door in Blaric and Fen's faces, if it had not been Teslyn who bound Edesina and Joline with Air, then Teslyn would have immediately been able to say that Tuon did the channeling, not her. And she would certainly have said. And by the first Oath, nobody could have reasonably accused her of lying.

Q.E.D.
T C
101. Freelancer
Bergmaniac @95 & Wortmauer @96

It is easy to make the assumption that Mat knows Setalle has been burned out. However, I think we give too much credit in that case. How much about channeling abilities, and their attendant risks, does Mat have any knowledge of? The only thing we can be sure of, is that he knows she was once a Sister. He doesn't know, nor has he asked, how or why she is no longer. So it would actually be more incongruous for him to offer advice about which he has only tangential awareness, to someone about whom he shows no significant curiosity regarding the termination of her channeling ability.

Besides, he likes Setalle. Why would he suggest a course of action that could make her into an Aes Sedai again? Lest we forget his mostly unaltered opinion regarding Sisters...
john massey
102. subwoofer
Right, but suppose Mat had not burried the a'dams himself... incidentally- I loved that part in the books, pouring rain and Mat up to his waist in dirt doing manual labour. Yay! Ahem, anyways IIRC if a girl can't channel a lick, and is leashed, she can just belt the person that leashes her... like Min or somebody. But if there is an ability that can be controlled... can a leashed person that hasn't manifested their power be controlled?

Where I'm coming from is this... there is obviously a huge hole in the logic of the Seanchan if we all know that the people that control the damane all have the ability to control Saidar themselves. This is the big secret that will rock the Empire. There are scores of women who can channel walking around the Empire uncollared, Seanchan panties would collectively be wedged at the very thought. This makes me think that Tuon's status and position in life has her escaping such a test... and if these women were retested at some point, they might find the results very different. Maybe if Egwene shared some of her revelations with Seanchan en masse, it may open a few eyes.

RJ would not have created this situation if he was not going to exploit it at some point. I am very curious to see the direction Brandon will take this.

Woof™.
ryamano
103. Gustaf81
Regarding Tuon and her reasoning regarding channeling.

In Seanchan culture channeling is something evil if done by a person whereas it is something neccesary if commanded by the empire. It is quite similar to the attitude towards weapons in Europe. It is bad if individuals have access to weapons whereas it is neccessary for the state to use violence and weapons both for external defence and internal defence. I think that can be a sound situation. The problem here is of course that in this case it is a human being that is the weapon and must be controlled.

As for Tuon she says that the difference between her and those that must be collared is that she is actively choosing not to learn to channel. That is kind of like having a gun in pieces at home but actively not choosing to learn how to assemble and use it because you know that if you would do that you would be addicted to shooting and not being able to stop.

Based on this I think the ways of convincing Tuon and providing a logical way of disbanding the damane-slavery would be the following:

1. Showing that Sul'dam can and will learn to channel. I.e. they cannot be trusted.

2. If the Creator gave some people the gift of channeling, by what right do we take that gift from them?

3. Giving the state some way of defending itself against channeling, (Mat's medallion and guns). That way channelers will not be above the law.
Sorcha O
104. sushisushi
Late to the party again, me, due to large amounts of Life happening.

Leigh, your take on Joline is hilarious. I couldn't get my head around Joline blowing hot and cold at Mat like that and was just putting it down to general Green craziness (and she doesn't even have Alanna's excuse for being slightly unhinged). Her imperious speech to Tuon is a classic, particularly because it has no effect whatsoever (well, technically it brings on the a'dam scene, but I suspect she could have been reciting the Great Hunt for the Horn and Tuon would have reacted exactly the same way).

I note that Mat can happily argue horse training methods with Tuon, but doesn't make the connection between that and her training of adman, presumably using similar methods (I feel the need to wash the dehumanization out of my mouth, just typing that sentence).

LogainsBrother@5 As birgit points out, that scene where Moiraine says she knows the face of the man she will marry is in TSR, Chapter 6 'Doorways', *before* she goes through the redstone doorway. Any insight she had at that point could have come from Min's viewings or her own Accepted test, both of which are somewhat unlikely, for different reasons.

For her to know her husband's face, she would have had to see it herself, or have him pointed out to her. Only Min sees her viewings and she shows no sign of identifying Thom as Moiraine's future husband, despite knowing him quite well. Although Min's thought that her viewing of Moiraine was the only one to have ever failed is generally thought to refer to the one that M is essential to winning the Last Battle, not anything to do with her future marital prospects. The Accepted test would be a better candidate for Moiraine herself seeing Thom in her vision of the future, but the test doesn't seem to that straightforwardly prophetic, as opposed to a projection forward based on the person's hopes and fears at the time. She's awfully sure about it in her statement to the Supergirls. If she had any other prophetic visions, they've never been mentioned (I kinda think a final tally of Accepted test, Min's viewings, the Aelfinn three answers and the Rhuidean rings would be more than enough for one person to be getting on with…)

Freelancer@48 On Joline wanting Mat for a Warder, I just had a nasty little thought. To bond a Warder, you have to place a weave on them, right? Which isn't possible while Mat is wearing his silver medallion. I wonder if the bonding offer is also a way to get him to take off the medallion? And if he was her Warder, she could just order him to hand it over to the nearest sister, i.e. her. Fait accompli, new Warder and interesting ter'angreal in pocket.
Maiane Bakroeva
105. Isilel
J.Dauro @83:

Do we have any reason to suspect that a sparker can be capable of using the bracelet before they are vunerable to the collar?

Yes. We have seen a couple of potential sparkers who were taught to channel before they sparked on their own, which means that a sparker is a learner until their spark manifests. I.e. Jahar Narishma and one of the TR girls that Verin and Alanna recruited.
Which means, of course, that young sul'dam between the ages of 16 and 21 should be sparking all the time. Yet, it isn't happening.

Freelancer @100:

Add to that Teslyn had been collared under her control before, so Tuon already had experience making her channel.

That still doesn't enable Teslyn to telepathically learn what sul'dam wants her to do.
As we have seen with Egwene, a sul'dam normally has to _order_ damane to embrace the source and to do something specific, she can't do it _for_ damane like Tuon does in this scene, both with Joline and with whoever she used to channel at Mat.
Even experienced ones, who see the weaves, depend on damane obeying their commands. Except for Tuon, seemingly. And maybe some few others, the arrested sparkers, who have more natural facility with OP?

I am not saying that Tuon _is_ a channeler.
Even daughters of the Empress are tested with a'dam every year until they turn 25 and are collared if they fail it, or at least so the propaganda goes.
Personally, I suspect that they just have an "accident" if it turns out that they are channelers, as it would be bad PR for Imperial family to admit that they might produce something so low and abhorent, but YMMV.

P.S. : It suddenly occurs to me that all the other sul'dam who could see the weaves were already collarable, though. Hm?

I am saying that Seanchan inadverently stumbled upon the only possible way to arrest full manifestation of a spark - namely touching OP through another as sul'dam.
I.e. if a potential female sparker is unlucky enough to manifest early, she becomes a damane, but if she is lucky enough to be a late-bloomer _and_ chose to become a sul'dam, she will never manifest as long as she continues to wear the a'dam bracelet regularly.
Since sparkers have some instinctual facilities in channeling, though, those particular sul'dam can do stuff that others can't - like controlling touching the OP and weaving directly, as we have seen Tuon, but not Renna, Seta or any of the other sul'dam that dealt with Egwene, do.

BTW, there is no reason to think that Tuon spent more time wearing the bracelet than an experienced regular sul'dam, such as Renna. She was priviliged, yes, but it was also just one hobby among several for an otherwise very busy person.
So, unless it is a huge continuity error, the fact that Tuon can already see the weaves and do that funky direct controlling stuff ought to be significant, IMHO.

IMHO, this wrinkle - that not only the sul'dam _can_ learn to channel, but that some of them _would_ have if they weren't fortunate enough to become sul'dam first, would spell the end of the system. I kind of hope that Setalle manages to piece all this together and lay it out for Tuon.

Wolfmage @88:

So it's bad, but it's also all she's known and she's had no good reason to question it.

But Tuon has a very compelling reason to question when a deeply held preconception is being contradicted in front of her very eyes! Would you not question if you saw water flowing uphill or gravity nullified? She is deeply convinced that marath'damane are monsters who'd terrify/murder/enslave everybody given half a chance, yet here she sees them behaving completely differently and people, including people whom she likes and somewhat trusts react to them in the way opposite to what conventional Seanchan wisdom upholds - and she doesn't even wonder?!!!

Sorry, this makes Tuon look slow-witted and very limited, not at all a good leader for Seanchan in TG or a fit consort for Mat. Because we see, time and again that intelligent and likeable Seanchan (Egeanin, the general) _do_ see the discrepancies after a little personal interaction and start to question. Tuon is the only one who doesn't.
It is one of the main reasons I strongly dislike her .
The others being that I see no real chemistry between her and Mat and that I don't understand why the whole courting storyline couldn't have happened against the background of Mat and Co. doing something important, instead of in a virtual vacuum.

Like PLOD, this storyline is a whole lot of nothing and it doesn't even lead to the forging of a bad-ass magical hammer! Tuon changing/questioning her mind-set could have alleviated that, but NOO!!!
L M
106. srEDIT
sushisushi@104 and myself @76

My bad. Your comment made me realize that my suggestion was completely illogical. Mat could not be bonded as a warder and still wear his medallion.
Birgit
107. birgit
She is deeply convinced that marath'damane are monsters who'd terrify/murder/enslave everybody given half a chance, yet here she sees them behaving completely differently

The AS she meets try to boss her around until she collars them and endanger everybody by channeling carelessly when Seanchan are around. They aren't likely to convince Tuon that AS are nice people. Egeanin met the Supergirls, not traditional AS who expect everybody to obey them.
Sandy Brewer
108. ShaggyBella
@102. subwoofer

... there is obviously a huge hole in the logic of the Seanchan if we all know that the people that control the damane all have the ability to control Saidar themselves. This is the big secret that will rock the Empire. There are scores of women who can channel walking around the Empire uncollared, Seanchan panties would collectively be wedged at the very thought.



Elayne is sending (or plans to) her "Gifts" (From Taim) of Suldam back to the Empire, as soon as she breaks them and makes sure they can see the weaves.
Alice Arneson
109. Wetlandernw
Another possibility regarding the sul'dam and damane is that the verbal command and obedience, which we saw so much in Egwene's case, is used primarily in training. In her case, at least, part of the training was breaking her spirit and convincing her that she could channel only when her sul'dam allowed it. I suggest that it's at least a possibility that most sul'dam work directly through the damane once they're trained, rather than issuing verbal commands.

IIRC, we haven't been up close and personal in any cases where the sul'dam/damane teams were being used in action; we've only seen povs from observers. (By all means, provide the quotes if I'm wrong on that.) Seems to me that it would be unwieldy at best to use verbal commands for everything; some sort of telepathy or "mind-to-mind" link via the a'dam would be much more efficient in battle. In fact, there are many situations where the need for an audible command would be a serious liability.

Clearly the damane has to know the weave, and equally clearly the sul'dam doesn't have to have the same talents as the damane in order to do a task. Examples: Tuon's other damane had to be taught the Healing weaves; she couldn't just do it directly through them once she learned it from Mylen. Egwene's strength in Earth was an exciting find, and she was able to do the weaves without her sul'dam having equal facility.

I don't think it's been spelled out directly either way, but it seems a bit arrogant to assume that what we saw in Egwene's (and a few other AS) training is the sum total of how the sul'dam and damane work together. That was only the beginning, and we've never been inside the mind of a fully-trained, contented damane. For that matter, we've only rarely been inside the mind of an experienced sul'dam acting in that capacity, and (I think) never during action. To claim that this is inconsistent or a glaring hole in the development is more than a little presumptuous. It might be something RJ just never worked all the way through. OTOH it might be something he had all worked out, but he's only shown us what we would naturally see as part of the story, rather than shoehorning all the details in when they don't really matter. It also might be something that he has deliberately not shown us, on the principle that it wasn't a natural part of the story, and leaving out the details would give us something to argue about.
T C
110. Freelancer
I posit that the intellectual link between sul'dam and damane is stronger via the a'dam than the link between Aes Sedai and Warder via the bond. The direct evidence of this is the ability to induce sensations into the body of the damane. Now, we have most certainly seen Warders jump into action, change direction, and behave as if reading the Sisters' mind through the bond. It would require more faith to believe that no instructions can be delivered from sul'dam to damane through that link, but require spoken direction. The rest of what we see and know says otherwise.

I find nothing special about Teslyn channeling as Tuon wishes in the scene under discussion.

But that misses the larger point I was making in the comment, which was to absolutely refute that it was Tuon doing the channeling.
TW L
111. Shadow_Jak
Wet @109
IIRC, we haven't been up close and personal in any cases where the sul'dam/damane teams were being used in action; we've only seen povs from observers. (By all means, provide the quotes if I'm wrong on that.) Seems to me that it would be unwieldy at best to use verbal commands for everything; some sort of telepathy or "mind-to-mind" link via the a'dam would be much more efficient in battle. In fact, there are many situations where the need for an audible command would be a serious liability.

Exactly.
Commands can become more and more subtle with the degree of expertise of the trainer and the conditioning of the animal, err trainee.
Tuon is very good at everythng else, no reason to suspect that she is not very good as a Suldam, Hell it's her hobby!
And, of course, she chose Tessy, her most advanced pupil for this exercise.
Recall, she also trains horses... and we also didn't get a lot of spoken commands as she was racing Akien (the Razor) over hill and dale.
Watching any capable Trainer/Animal pair work looks like telepathy.

Sub can vouch for that eh? ;-)
TW L
112. Shadow_Jak
How's this for a solution to the Damane problem?
(once Fortuona gets a change to think about it)

1.Train all Suldam to channel. Deem them Super-Suldam.
2. Solicit volunteers from current Damane to train for position of Super-Suldam. Release the rest into the custody of a proper retraining/debriefing authority (ie, White Tower, Aile,WO's, Seafolk or maybe even Black Tower?)
3. Henceforth, offer testing to any female for acceptance into the Super-Suldam Acadamy of Channneling for the Greater Glory of the Ever Victorious Empire. (SSAC GGEVE)

Tuon is bound to see the obvious advantages once they are pointed out to her.
1. There are many more Suldam than damane. So she gets lots more channelers, even if all the damane opt out.
2. No danger, no loss of control, since... she is already trusting Suldam to control the one power for the Greater Glory of the etc, etc.
3. The Suldam alone, can now do the work of a Suldam, Damane pair. (now if we can only teach the Morat'raken to fly with out a Raken!)

Maybe to make the transition easier, they can have the Suldam still cary an a-dam (maybe just a ceremonial one) to show that she is on duty and allowed to channel.
No unauthorized channeling allowed.
Hugh Arai
113. HArai
Freelancer@100: Rand spots Selucia "pre-epiphany". In fact in Tuon's point of view she is shocked by the amount of darkness he carries with him. "Zen Rand" is going to have to be round 2 if the Seanchan are going to ally with the rest of Randland against the DO.
Charles Gaston
114. parrothead
More of my least favorite Light-side major character. Well, aside from zero-percent aproval rating Elaida, who is Light-side purely by courtesy (or designation).

Okay, Jordan does not do romance. That's fine, that's not what we're here for. Nevertheless, for the most part I like the end results; one of my favorites is apparently the least popular. But this one? Urk. I keep hoping Mat will either get back together with Aludra or else resume living by the motto of a character from one of my favorite RPGs: "Women are like sunsets. Beautiful, but there will be another one tomorrow."

I wonder if he's put it all together in his head. She wants to collar: his childhood friend Egwene (and whatever relationship you can ascribe to Nynaeve); his current employer Elayne, now pregnant with the child(ren) of another childhood friend; any of several women he has risked his life to save; and who else...oh yeah HIS OWN SISTER. Yeah, he thinks of her as a brat and a spoilsport. I wonder how long that would last in the face of Bron being degraded like a dangerously useful animal. I'd love to see the conversation where his dear wife explains one of the "training methods". Take the collared and defenseless girl and throw her in a cage with a damane so that she can be raped into submission by someone who's already had her will broken. And since Tuon trains damane and is very good at it, odds are she has done this herself. Seanchan will be looking for a new empress before you can say ashanderei.

Happier things: I think that if anybody were to bond Mr Cauthon it should be Teslyn. Yup, the Red sister. They seem to actually have a good working relationship based on respect (plus, there is exactly zero romantic tension between them; if anything there's less than with his old "one of the guys" drinking buddy Birgitte). Now that I'd like to see. Won't happen, probably, but it would be interesting.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
parrothead @114 - Mat can hardly have put all that together in his head, since he doesn't even know the most important parts of it. He doesn't know Elayne is pregnant, much less by Rand; he doesn't know Bode can channel, much less has become a novice of the WT. And he doesn't know a whole lot about the training methods Tuon uses, although he saw enough about the general methodology from his own observation in Ebou Dar to know that he wholeheartedly dislikes the leashing of Aes Sedai or Windfinders. (I doubt he's thought about the occasional wilder.)

Regardless of what he's put together, he knows that he will marry Tuon; at this point, he even knows that all he's waiting for is her to complete the ceremony, and he knows it will happen. From his perspective, it's rather nice that his wife turns out to be someone he's coming to find very attractive, although he's still not entirely sure he won't die or be made a slave within seconds after his marriage is finalized. He's not at all sanguine about her culture (as per the death/slavery possibilities just mentioned) but as with a good many other things in his life, he's hoping to make the best of a (so far) bad situation. He wouldn't kill Tuon, not even for collaring his sister, but he would risk (or give) his own life to release that sister - or, as he has shown, any other woman with whom he's even loosely acquainted. He's not a fan of leashing, and I expect it will become a significant issue when next they meet.

It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out in AMoL, but you can bet it won't involve a romance between Mat & Aludra. (Personally, I can't figure out why people think that would be such a great thing. It makes no sense at all to me. ::shrugs:: Whatever.) And no one will bond Mat without his permission; as Joline pointed out, he can't be bonded while he's wearing that medallion. Near as I can see, there's a snowball's chance in the Blight that he'll willingly take it off for someone to bond him - unless it's Tuon, after some changes take place.
Hugh Arai
116. HArai
Wetlandernw@115: I would think people like Mat&Aludra because:
a) she isn't Tuon
b) she's pretty much the only female character he associates with who treats him as a capable adult without having had her face rubbed in it.

I agree it's not going to happen though.
Alice Arneson
117. Wetlandernw
HArai - Yeah, but she still had to have him prove to her that he was more than just a pretty face. She may not have treated him badly, but she didn't treat him with much respect for quite a while either. Frankly, it read to me like most of the time she treated him like an importunate teenage boy; she humored him and joked with him, but she didn't really take him seriously until he figured out what she wanted the bellmaker to do, made the logical leaps, and promised her a patron. Up till then, he was just a pretty toy.

I suspect your first point is the biggest factor for many readers, though. If you just have an unreasoning hatred for Tuon, then I suppose any other woman would do. Aludra is pretty, not too much older than Mat, she's handy and she's not Tuon. Sounds like a great set of reasons to hook up.
Heidi Byrd
118. sweetlilflower
I would think that the the foremost reason for Tuon to reconsider the whole damane thing should be that she knows that Aes Sedai cannot be used as weapons. If the whole purpose of collaring women who can channel is that they will destroy the world if they are not properly controlled, then shouldn't the fact that these women are incapable of doing so be a huge glaring hole in the reasoning? I mean, Tuon knows as of the end of KoD that they can be used as weapons once they feel they are in danger, but at this point in the story, she doesn't know that. I've always wondered why this argument hasn't been hashed out on screen...
Joseph Blaidd
119. SteelBlaidd
SLF@118 Because the Seanchen position isn't bast on Aei Sedai being Persons of Mass Destruction but that chanaling is inherantly corupting so having chanalers in positions of authority(which given their personal fire power plus the extra seniority thay can rack up has a probablity of 100% for all practical purposes) leads to widespread chaos and epidemics of Chronic Back Stabers Dissease.(TVTRopes Links omited out of consideration for those in rehab^-^)
Birgit
120. birgit
he doesn't know Bode can channel, much less has become a novice of the WT

Rand told him about the Two Rivers novices Verin and Alanna gathered and that Bode was one of them.
Stefan Mitev
121. Bergmaniac
Poor Mat would really hate it if he had to live in the Seanchan court. Everyone bowing to him, not daring to meet his eyes, calling him Highness and being totally subservient to him - he'd want to run away within a week. I doubt the Prince of the Ravens would be allowed to visit taverns either - as we see in the next chapter, Tuon had never been in one before she met Mat (no wonder she has issues).

If he had to become a royalty (since apparently that was the plan for everyone of the Big 6 PoV characters), mat would've been much better off in a less formal and less rank obsessed court. like the Borderlands or Andor.
ryamano
122. Narg
I find it interesting that the whole focus of the sul'dam-a'dam-damane is regimentation. Neither the sul'dam nor the damane can channel without the use of the a'dam; a'dam, being ter'angreal, are state-manufactured and -issued items. Therefore, the use of the One Power is strictly State-Owned - I have no doubt there are precedents for the empress to simply requisition "privately-owned" sul'dam and damane in case of emergency ...

Now, if Mat truly wants to make his bratty little sister Bodewhin safe from becoming a cog in his wife's armoury, I'd suggest he mention to her, the next time they meet and swap war stories - and maybe get in some R&R, slap-n-tickle, hoo-nose? - that with her entire hinterland - Seanchan itself - in the throes of civil war, that the supply of a'dam, ergo the continuance and maintenance of sul'dam and damane as cogs in the Seanchan military machine, is at risk, and if you must use the One Power, Tuon dearest, wouldn't it be better to skip that fatal compromise in its supply?

Just my 0.02c.
ryamano
123. Urg
Narg?? U not ded? Me here U play ded and boy with sord make u reely ded.

Beter get bak heer qwik - Fade is reely pised

-Urg
Sorcha O
124. sushisushi
srEDIT@106 Well, he *could* be her Warder and still wear the medallion, he'd just have to take it off to allow the bonding itself. I could see how a power-resistant Warder could come in handy, but do I suspect that ter'angreal collection would out-weigh that advantage in Joline's mind.
Maiane Bakroeva
125. Isilel
Wetlandernw @79:

In that case, her only reason to "behave like men in her position did iRL" would be physical desire, and I don't see Tuon as someone who would let her hormones make decisions for her.

But instead she'd let her husband (who she'd normally have every reason to distrust and guard against, remember), use her hormones against her, because of her inexperience? This makes no sense, IMHO.

And yes, sex being fun was a major reason for powerful men iRL, including intelligent, subtle men with mind-sets similar to Tuon's, to have pre/extra-marital flings, but another reason for them and their entourages to want them to gain experience there, with safe partners, was so that they'd be less susceptible to manipulation/distraction via that avenue in the future. I.e. very much what would have been important to Tuon too.

Nor should she have been compromised in a society that doesn't hold double morals aimed at women, if she chose her partner(s) carefully, anymore than men were (are?) iRL.
And it isn't like Tuon doesn't have hobbies that she pursues for fun either.

Frankly, the Malkieri sexual mores, bizarre as they are, make the most sense in a society where women aren't institutionally opressed and/or don't have to fear unwanted pregnancy.

It is almost as if RJ was afraid to give the lovers/spouses of the Big Three and even other important male characters any basis for comparison ;).

It is one of the incongrous things that stick out like sore thumb in WoT... just like inn/tavern patrons being mostly men, as if women wouldn't like to go somewhere to eat/drink/amuse themselves too, when they aren't prevented by opressive tradition, or children/wives having their husband's/father's surnames unless RJ had a particular reason to specify otherwise.
Or Randlandian women supposedly almost uniformely refusing to train/bear useful weapons even when they have good reasons to want to be able to defend themselves.

@ 109:

It has been stressed in Egwene's chapters that she couldn't read sul'dam's thoughts or emotions through the a'dam. Nor was it mentioned anywhere that a'dam had such a functionality. So, let's keep to the textual evidence, shall we?

The only times we have seen people do what Tuon does with Joline et al. was when SGs wore the bracelet and when Semirhage controlled Rand via Domination Band. But DB is constructed that way (Semi thought in her POV that a'dam was different) and Semi knew how to form saidin weaves, too.
Healing, Travelling, etc. had to be taught to damane, not sul'dam - which makes it highly unlikely that direct control is usual. Egwene was trained to embrace saidar on command - it was never done _for_ her, even to show her that resistance is futile.

Yes, verbal commands can be unwieldly. However, there are also gestures - we have repeatedly seen sul'dam pointing at stuff in battle, to direct their damane (during Rand's battle with Seanchan in PoD, for instance) _and_ animals can be trained to react a certain way to certain situations without express commands, too. Damane, being animals capable of speach can be given contingency orders in advance, too.
This is what is going on with "well-trained" damane, IMHO, - they just act on their training/pre-existing orders and if sul'dam disaproves, she can stop them instantly via a'dam.

All of which points at Tuon being a special case, unless the depictions of how a'dam works are just very inconsistent.

And yes, plot-holes like that did happen in WoT - for instance gesturing while channeling, which was being held up as one of modern AS inadequacies, but which the FS and "voice of LTT" also engaged in it, both before and after. And the WOs, who where the ones who criticized this too, actually.

@115:

Personally, I can't figure out why people think that would be such a great thing.

Well, there was genuine flirting between Mat and Aludra, whithout any of the forced "fated" stuff, and she is one of the very few women in WoT who managed to do something important without being royalty or a channeler. Mat supposedly dislikes nobles - well, Aludra is a self-made woman who managed to achieve greatness through her own abilities.

IMHO, it could have worked - but then I don't like how all of the Big Six have been paired up with royalty of some sort.

And speaking of royalty, IMHO Mat had vastly more genuine, natural chemistry with Elayne.

Birgit @107 (sorry for not attributing initially - I was being rushed out ;) ):

Egeanin met the Supergirls, not traditional AS who expect everybody to obey them.

Even so, the AS with Mat behaved nothing like what Seanchan lore said unfetterd channelers would. No murdering anybody (including the sul'dam), no making anybody property, they tried to save lives even when it put them at risk, people Tuon comes to like all defend them, etc.
Stefan Mitev
126. Bergmaniac
"Egeanin met the Supergirls, not traditional AS who expect everybody to obey them."

It's not everyday that you see the Supergirls of all people given as examples of non-bossy behaviour. :)

Tuon, of course, is a hypocrite about this as about so many other things. I am totally with Isilel on that - Joline and co were annoying, but not the monsters the Deanchan propaganda made them out to be. They never attempted to get even with Tuon for the a'dam trick, for example, and for my money they would've been well justified if they had tried give her a nice spanking with the Power for example (sorry, Leigh ;)). And they easily could've done it, without the element of surprise Tuon and Selucia had no way to defend themselves against the Power. They could've kidnapped Tuon to use her in some plot and get away from Mat and the circus in the middle of the night if they wanted to. Hell, they even treated the sul'dam nicely.

And yet, Tuon didn't even start to consider that maybe the Seanhan policy on channellers is wrong. I am not saying she should've changed her mind on such a big issue overnight, but at least some doubt should've been expected. But no - not the slightest hesitation and when she came back to Ebou Dar, she was back to gleefully torturing and brainwashing damane as a hobby, and ordering the assault on the White Tower.
L M
127. srEDIT
@Bergmaniac 121: The difference would be that if Mat and Tuon went back to Seanchan after TG, they might find - or establish - a vastly different sort of court; the current one is in a shambles in the midst of a power struggle for supremacy.
Kimani Rogers
128. KiManiak
Re: Suldam and control of the damane via the a’dam – I don’t know if we should treat what Egwene experienced via the a’dam as the end all and be all. Yes, that is textual evidence, but RJ has shown continuous development of the WoT universe post-TGH (a number of AS were present in the beginning of TGH, yet there was no mention or hint of deferring to Sisters according to strength in the Power, if I recall correctly).

Later on in KOD (Under an Oak), we are shown the der’suldam (Melitene) using Mylen to shield the AS, attempt to wrap Mat in flows of Air (or something) and then release the shields. All without Melitene giving Mylen any obvious direction.
(As far as I can remember, anyway; unfortunately I don’t have the book with me and google books picked those specific pages to not include in their preview, so I could only read where Melitene was shocked by Mat being aware of when the AS released the Power. Anyone, feel free to doublecheck and correct me if I’m wrong.)

Now (assuming I remembered correctly), it’s possible that Karede (the owner of the POV in that portion of the chapter) didn’t notice Melitene giving Mylen non-verbal cues to shield the AS (that could be standard practice towards any marath’damane, after all). I don’t know if that same rationale would apply to attempting to use the Power on Mat.

Obviously, we can’t just assume we know all the ways that a sul’dam can work the Power through a damane via the a'dam.

I’m not saying that Tuon either did or didn’t do something exceptional with the AS and the a’dam that night. Since we aren’t given Tuon’s POV in this case –or Melitene’s in Under an Oak- we don’t know for sure what actually happened; we’re only told the information via a non-suldam 3rd party (Mat, Karede) in KoD.

I would just caution making a determination about what suldam are and aren't capable of via the a’dam, based purely on what we learned via Egwene in TGH.

Edit for some clarification.
ryamano
129. Marlène
I like Tuon , it's a character who is growing on me . I like that she is not all black and white , but in nuances . I liked a lot when she was all happy for the mare Matrim offered her etc , it seemed like if really pleased her . Since she's a child she's been raised to be a master-plots , she plays and plays and it's becomes a second nature for her , she plots and she commands , even when it comes to kiss , she tells Mat he can kiss her and when he wants to she refuses but accepts later because she took the initiative , I think she's a control freak and does not want to be caught by surprise , on the other hand she likes when Mat commands and show that he can be in charge .

This passage with Joline , Tyslin , when she put an a'dam around their necks gave me the chills , even if Mat does not like AS he would never hurt one . I recognize Tuon's argurments were low , but it's hard to recognize the habits of your people are wrong and what you think is right is finally wrong . And the Seachans's prowesses come from the damanes in many ways . It breaks my heart to see Mylen so happy to see Tuon again in the end , she is like a dog who can't live without her owner , it's like she worship her . All this damane's thing just gives me the creeps .

Tuon can be liked , Karebe likes her like Selucia (wow she can when she can for not order the execution of her !) and Mat is in love with her , whatever he says he's in love . I enjoyed their dance when he was trying to seduce her , my favorite parts of the book , I dunno if Mat can really influence her , Tuon is a strong headed woman . It gace me the chills when she sais she did nto want to break him , yet ! I think she does not realize that Mat is an eel and that he is far more strong that he appears . I hope marriage will not change our Matrim , I dunno if in the Seachan's cultures the husband of the Empress can have mistresses but knowing Mat and all his : not looking at pretty girls I'm with my-wife-to-be , I must trust my future wife etc- I'm not sure he would anyway . I think of Tuon and how commanding she is even for kisses and I smile when together they'll spend their first night together , how will she be ? Poor Mat , he'll have to be really , really patient and strong ! But I like this couple , not head over heels with each other , I hope more arguments and misunderstandings will come , I'm kind of fed up with couples too much in love with each other .

Joline , women who treats Mat like crap etc , I think for some there is a matter of sexual tension , too . Mat is attractive , he thinks not , but he is . Gosh , ourselves we think he is such a cutie , through the paper ! Perhaps he is not the most beautiful boy in the world but he is a bad-ass , he is funny , entertaining , a good heart , a teaser , clever , ready to takes risks , women take notice of him . AS always think they know better , Tuon is the same but in the end , who surprises them ? Mat (I loved when he spanked Joline , it was too funny)

I'm really curious to see how will develop the relationship between Mat & Tuon . Re-reading Knife of Dreams , I was surprised to see Precious (loved the nickname) thinking that The Dragon Reborn must be bound to the Crystal Throne , when Rand thinks the Daughter of the Nine Moons must be bound to him , who's right ? I really like Tuon but how she decided to captures AS in the White Tower and all the power she has in her hands , her way of thinking ... That she has to confront Rand , I feel fear . Will Mat be able to make her more gentle ? Tuon is a capable ruler , but I dunno , perhaps in the end it is her who will be caught ...
L M
130. srEDIT
I don't know Marlène . . . with a nickname like "Precious," maybe Mat and she are destined to fall together into the lava maw of Dragonmount ;) !
Kimani Rogers
131. KiManiak
Me@128 - Alright, I’m back with my copies of KoD and TGH. And, just like I thought @128, Melitene did have Mylen place shields on the 3 Sisters and attempt to use the Power on Mat without any verbal cues or noted direction from Melitene.

(As an aside, how come Joline, Teslyn and Edesina couldn't break free on their own? No previous indicator of Sheraine/Mylen's Power level gave the impression that she was unusually strong in the Power, and a general assumption is that Joline and Teslyn are pretty strong in the Power, so if all 3 resisted you would think they should have a good chance of breaking free. I hope we discuss this more when we get to this chapter in oh, about 13 weeks)

Barring the possible qualifiers I mentioned @128, this makes at least one more example that an experienced sul’dam can direct a damane to use the Power with no visible or audible clues to a third party (Mat, in Chapter 9’s case; Karede's in Chapter 36).

I do think that RJ had the use, treatment and view by the Seanchan towards women who could channel change from when we were first exposed to the Seanchan and damane in TGH. For example, in TGH Egeanin told Domon that the phrase “Aes Sedai” wasn’t spoken by commoners on penalty of being cuffed, at least. Another Seanchan brought his sword to Domon’s throat when Domon spoke about damane, and then the Seanchan said that’s only the business of the Blood (TGH, Seanchan). Attitudes towards “commoners” being exposed to matters that involve AS or damane appear to be more relaxed in WH, from what little we were shown regarding Mat (Tylin’s Toy wouldn’t be given Blood status, would he?) near the sul’dam and damane.

Secondly, it appears that RJ may have relaxed some of the harshness regarding all things associated with damane. There was talk in TGH of damane being punished by losing their tongues or their hands. Teslyn was seen as being a difficult damane in WH, but we see no mention of making her mute, or handless. They just punished her more and more often.

Finally, when Alwhin decides to have her damane use the Power to punish Min (TGH, Damane), Egwene notes that she heard Alwhin “speaking sharply to her damane” before Min begins to feel the effects. The sul'dam had to give the damane a very clear verbal command. This is very different then what we see or hear the sul’dam do in KoD or TGS, or other recent books. So this shows that some evolution of how sul’dam use and view damane was probably implemented over the 14+ years between TGH and KoD.

(Admittedly, this isn't rock-solid proof or examples, but they are enough to at least hint that things might have changed over the years)

Even allowing for that possibility, that doesn’t mean that RJ made a complete 180 between TGH and KoD when it came to showing how damane are used by their sul’dam. When Egwene is first collared by Renna (TGH, Damane) we are shown from Egwene’s POV the different feelings the suldam could give the damane via the a’dam. Egwene felt a prickling sensation; an intense burning sensation …get your mind out of the gutter :-) ; cramping muscles; and the feeling of being switched on her legs, arms and back. Obviously the a’dam can apply different types of sensations.

So, what’s to say that the sul’dam haven’t just trained all damane to do certain things based upon a certain type of sensation, along a certain part of their body? That is to say, something lilke: if the damane feels a light prickling along her right arm, she shields enemy channelers; if she feel a firm pressure around her waist, she wraps someone in Air; if she feels a slight burning sensation :-) she blows things up; etc. This could be possible. There are non-verbal cues, in addition to the verbal cues displayed in TGH.

(But no, I can’t explain Tuon having Joline grab the Power. Maybe that is something we just haven’t been shown onscreen, before, other than with the SGs and Moghedien. Maybe it really is a clue that there is something exceptional about Tuon. We just don't know.)

So RJ has shown the evolution over the use and application of the damane over time, and what little we learned about the use of the a’dam and the connection between the damane and the sul’dam allows for that and other types of possible applications of the a’dam.

I just think we should be careful stating that we know for a fact how the damane, the a’dam and the sul’dam operate. There’s a lot that we just don’t know, or haven't been shown yet.
ryamano
133. Marlène
I haven't read everyone when I posted yesterday , and perhaps because I love reading History an heir arriving virgin to the throne is not a surprise for me . Yes , Tuon's family like murder each other (makes me think of the pharaohs) and she was not the first for the throne but I totally view , too , Tuon like staying a virgin and not giving herself to anyone just because of the lust she can feel -we don't even know if she really thinks that much about sex- I think her maim worry is to stay alive (do we know why she disappared twice already ?) and to plot ... What makes me curious is when she'll have sex with Matrim ;) But I'm not sure we'll know about it , the queen of the Seachans have to have several kids , so supposely they'll a lot of kids , imagine the unceasing arguments between them for raising the kids ! For my part , I'd love to read more of this improbable couple that is Tuon The Daughter of the Nine Moons and Matrim Cauthon the Prince of Ravens

Me , too , I'm worring for Egwene , Elayne or more Nynaeve (love her) okay they get on my nerves but in no way I'd like to them collared (Egwene a second time) that ther part of Tuon (herself) and the Seachans's cultures I dislike the most . I think , like someone else said , it's difficult to us , 21 th century people , to understand people who reduce like slaves women just because they can channel ... On the other hand , the time they live in is a violent one , the Sealchan's culture is a violent culture so is their Empress . It's like for Suroth , I was surprised and even if she is a darkfriend , ending up like this , a toy for the guards for x time and then sell *shake heads*

But Rand himself have ordered the executions of some people , sometimes he is not nice and authoritarian , I think , I hope Tuon and Rand will meet up again , Rand is a match for Tuon
Roger Powell
134. forkroot
Imposter@132

Hear, hear!!

Who are you, and what have you done with our loquacious Wetlandernw?
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
forkroot @134 - LOL!

What can I say - it was late, I needed to go to bed. :) I just had to say that I agreed with the idea that we simply can't think we know all there is to know about the sul'dam/damane interaction based on Egwene's training and the few other glimpses we've had.

Is that better? ;p
Valentin M
136. ValMar
"...Is that better?"

No, still too short ;)

Aaanyway, I too wholeheartedly agree that we don't know enough to make complete judgement on suldam-damane communication. And with the rest of KiManiak's post @ 131.

Now, off to reading the new post.
ryamano
137. Halcyal
Regarding Tuon and direct channelling through the a'dam: I don't know why the whole thing can't just be chalked up to a matter of personal, inborn talent and capacity among the various sul'dam. We know (or, at least, I seem to recall that we strongly suspect) that a’dam work as some manner of forced-link-with-extras ter’angreal, so just about everything we know about linking amongst channellers should apply to the a’dam as well. One channeller alone controls the link, has agency over the linked weaves, is in a position to release the other participants from the link, etc. Now, we know that entering/establishing/controlling a link isn’t typically something that someone who is unfamiliar with doing so can just pick up and do. It takes a certain amount of practice and familiarity as a channeller. Seanchan sul’dam are not directly taught to channel and the a’dam does all of the work of establishing and holding a link behind the scenes, so there’s no particular reason why sul’dam (who theoretically have no direct knowledge of channelling to speak of) should be able, in a general sense, to actively take over the link established with their damnea and use it to effect the more natural functions of linking (that is, gaining direct control over the other linked channeller’s abilities). At the same time, there’s no reason why a learner with a great deal of potential talent and ability shouldn’t be able to learn to take direct control over the a’dam-induced link, considering how much vicarious exposure to channelling they receive. Thus, a sul’dam who has achieved the ability to “see the weaves” is likely a learner who had sufficient waiting talent that a certain, nearly-emergent portion of it was caught and drawn forth by the processes of working as a sul’dam. Likewise, a sul’dam who can directly control the weaves through the a’dam is likely an even rarer type of learner who has an even greater gift of latent talent and learning potential. (Recall here, for added benefit, that, in the world of channelling, it is possible for certain particularly gifted channellers to learn a weave just by seeing it once.) The corollary, of course, is that Tuon is potentially a very powerful/gifted channeller waiting in the wings.

Keeping on that tract, concerning the potential inconsistencies that have been discussed about the Seanchan’s collaring of sparkers versus learners, who become sul’dam, I have a few thoughts of my own that once again relate back to the a’dam creating a forced link. Basically, I only see the a’dam working on people who have actually established their connection to the true source, or who have at least gone a sufficient part of the way towards doing so. I equate it to something similar to circuitry. The a’dam needs to be able to access the true source through the channeller for it to actually have the capacity to established a forced link, and can only do so if the person’s channelling circuit, metaphorically speaking, has been closed. Thus, the a’dam will have no true-source connection to magically interface with, and so will not work, when applied to most young learners, because they are still some ways away from developing the internal ‘circuitry’ necessary to establish their active link between themselves and the true source. (I see the initial novice exercises as a method of massaging that development along toward completion.) The a’dam will work for sparkers, however, because they have already closed their true-source circuit; perhaps it will even work for learners resting on the cusp, who have come close enough that a good push, given by the a’dam’s attempt to force link, will be enough to bring them the full way around. (I would think that most sul’dam have reached that threshold state through their work with damnae, and possibly even by simply using the a’dam. I would further think that any sul’dam who can see weaves or direct flows has crossed over that threshold already.) Thus, the effects of the a’dam might not be tied rigidly to being a learner or a sparker, but more to the person in question having a sufficiently viable pathway (or nearness) to the true source–something that the differing propensities of learners and sparkers greatly influence, but does not fully delineate.
ryamano
138. Ravashi
@133. Marlène

For my part , I'd love to read more of this improbable couple that is Tuon The Daughter of the Nine Moons and Matrim Cauthon the Prince of Ravens.


http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6417699/

A FanFic that continues the Mat x Tuon story...
Heather Olver
140. Arila
Setalle - I think she shows herself better than many Aes Sedai we have met, because for all of the training that they are supposed to have gotten in taking everything and every situation with utter calm, they can be fairly sure that whatever is bothering them is still a temporary condition. Since Setalle has overcome the loss of the use of Saidar, a permanent condition, she has grown more than any AS could hope to do through this "character building" difficulty. I'm curious if she would want to go back now. There's some mention here of her looking a little jealous etc, but to give up her husband and children... I think it would be interesting but gut wrenching to see her offered the option of healing.

Regarding the great a'dam debate: clearly there is a lot going on with that link that doesn't jive with our understanding of conventional operation. For one, the damane doesn't need to be holding the power for the effects of the forced link (sensations from sul'dam etc) to be in force. Whether or not a sul'dam could take control of the flows conciously or unconsciously (any of you ever direct the orchestra or play air guitar while listening to music?) seems to me to be a small point.

Edited to correct premature posting spell-check errors...
Heather Olver
141. Arila
OK, I also wanted to talk about Moiraine's letter. I think there may be some sort of error or some misunderstanding, because she talks about "seeing" many possible outcomes of a rescue attempt (I can't think of any other place to do this excep the rings), but in Rand's letter, she says, "You see, I do not know what happens in the world after, except perhaps for one small thing which does not concern you." I had always thought that this "one small thing" was that she knew she would marry Thom, which I guess is widly accepted as a viewing from Min. Her two statements in the letters don't match up. I guess either we assume one of three things: "I have seen" doesn't mean in the Rings, or some how it has another explanation, Authorial error, or Moiraine is capable of lying (eek!)


The selection of the rescue team "Thom, Mat and one other" could also have come from Min. Remember she has had group viewings before - the fireflies in the darkness for example - Min could have seen Mat and Thom together with Moiraine and told her about something she saw. All of those would-could bes seem to be not Min's style, however, so that's confusing to me. Maybe several groupings had viewings, but then you think she'd have gotten more specific "Don't take X, Y or Z people, because the outcome is not good, you have to find a different team member"

As for how she could remember so specifically the rings episode, I always chalked this up to such a short time (compared with a channeler's life time) to cover between Ruhidean and the docks. Also, in her letter to Rand, the docks seem to be a huge nexus point in the pattern, for there to be only 3 branches coming from it. Each option must have been repeated over and over and over again, which probably left a gigantic impression.

Moiraine's probably going to come out from this whole thing weaker in the power but super-charged in secret weapons. Not only has she spent a LOT of time studying the prophecies, she's also had her three questions in the Tear doorway, and I'm sure she's thought very carefully about her three favors or whatever in the next doorway.


Also, about Moiraine and Thom. Although I was a little surprised by this pairing at first, once I thought about it, it made a bit more sense to me. She's pretty good to Rand, which makes up for his initial distrust of her when he's trying to protect a poor innocent channeller from his nephew's fate. Also, they team up in Tear to play the Great Game on the same side, which has got to involve a lot of respect and trust between them.

OK, well, I'm off to read the next bit so that I can hopefully catch up before AMoL!
Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
Arila @141 – For what it’s worth, I have assumed that the “one small thing which does not concern you” was a (somewhat euphemistic) reference to her rescue. “Small” isn’t exactly accurate, but she knew the third person would not be Rand; I suspect she literally didn’t want him to be “concerned” about it. If nothing else, his knowing would almost guarantee that he’d want to come along, and that would be very, very bad. I don’t think she knew about Min’s other viewing, that Rand would fail without her; either that, or she assumed that she had already fulfilled whatever her task was to be. After all, she did locate him, bring him out into the world, protect him (to some degree), and get him proclaimed as the DR; what she’d already done might well be enough to satisfy the viewing. (Obviously Min knows it’s not, but Moiraine might not know.)

Beyond that, I think we can safely assume that most of what she referenced in both letters was based on her experience in Rhuidean. IIRC, we were told somewhere along the line that most of it fades because your mind simply can’t hold all of what you see, but that when a decision point comes along you either have a “gut feeling” about what you should do, or remember what you saw about this specific situation. Moiraine is somewhat different from your average WO candidate in a couple of ways. One, she’s older and more experienced, and has had much more practice at remembering what she really needs to remember. Two, the timespan covered in her Rings trip was about 105 days; there really couldn’t be all that many momentous events during such a short time, making it easier to remember the important stuff. (Your average channeling candidate would be looking at 300 years or so, and the exceptionally long-lived one could have 500+ years of experience flashing through her mind.)

I’ve assumed that she could only see what happened up to her (relatively) probable demise in the ToG; why the Rings wouldn’t show her anything beyond that, I don’t know, but it’s fairly clear they don’t – or else that she couldn’t at this point remember anything beyond that. Maybe once she’s out the other side, she’ll be able to “see” more of what coming.
ryamano
143. late to the party
I only read the first 40 comments or so, and I would like to add my thoughts about the letter. Some have been explained by others that not everything needs to come from the rings, like she knows about the game from other sources. But it seems to me that u all forgot where she's from... She can read ppl well and play the great game. Which she does here. If u read the passage u quoted above, Mat specifically said that Thom was the rub. It's was because he cared for Thom that he agrees to go. And since it's Mat who asked about the letter, it could be determined that Mat cares enough about Thom mopping around to even ask. Also I read the reason for not putting in where the tower was so the Thom can't just run off without at least asking Mat where the tower was, which as we know in the wheel of time, talking and sharing info leads to great things.

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