Tue
Aug 9 2011 2:09pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Knife of Dreams, Part 17

The Wheel of Time Reread by Leigh ButlerHappy Tuesday, folks! Welcome back to Yet Another Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 27 of Knife of Dreams, in which I split prophetic hairs, examine my possibly erroneous ennui, and squee at a slaughter, which in retrospect is a tad disturbing. It makes sense in context, I swear!

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 27: A Plain Wooden Box

What Happens
Rand waits on a hilltop in Altara just west of the meeting place set with the Daughter of the Nine Moons, while Lews Therin laughs at him for walking into a trap. Min is feeling smug about the promise she’d gotten from him in “a weak moment”, while Alivia is sulking that she is not allowed to go with him to the meeting. Bashere doesn’t like it either, but Rand tells him he knows what to do if something goes wrong. Bashere, his Saldaeans, the Maidens, and most of the Asha’man and Aes Sedai are staying behind with Alivia, while Cadsuane, Nynaeve, Min, Logain, Sandomere, and Narishma are coming with Rand. Rand observes with bemusement the companionable and even affectionate behavior between the Asha’man and the Aes Sedai forcibly bonded to them, even the Red sister Jenare.

Not everyone felt agreeable today. Ayako’s eyes seemed almost black as she glared at Rand, but then, considering what happened to a Warder when his Aes Sedai died, the dark-complected little White had reason to fear Sandomere going into possible danger. The Asha’man bond differed from the Warder bond in some respects, but in others it was identical, and no one yet knew the effects of an Asha’man’s death on the woman he had bonded.

Logain impatiently gets the party together, and Rand warns Min to stay behind him; she replies that she will if she wants to, and they head down to the manor house. Logain and the other Asha’man seize saidin, but Rand does not, unwilling to give Lews Therin a chance to grab it again. He is chagrined to realize that Cadsuane and Nynaeve are already holding saidar, but masked their ability so he couldn’t tell. They enter the manor house’s front yard, and three sul’dam-damane pairs come out to line up before the door, followed by a tiny veiled woman who exactly matches Bashere’s description of the Daughter of the Nine Moons. Nynaeve tells him quietly that one of the women before them is channeling; whoever it is has masked and inverted the weave, and Nynaeve can only tell because of her ter’angreal. Rand asks if she can tell which one, and Cadsuane answers no, but she can do something about it when they get closer. The party dismounts and begins walking toward the veiled woman, who also approaches. Suddenly she flickers for a moment, showing a much taller woman wearing black, and Rand recognizes her.

“Semirhage,” he said in shock before he could stop the word, and suddenly everything seemed to happen at once.

He reached for the Source and found Lews Therin clawing for it, too, each of them jostling the other aside from reaching it. Semirhage flicked her hand, and a small ball of fire streaked toward him from her fingertips. She might have shouted something, an order. He could not leap aside: Min stood right behind him. Frantically trying to seize saidin, he flung up the hand holding the Dragon Scepter in desperation. The world seemed to explode in fire.

Rand comes to and finds himself on the ground, the Scepter destroyed. He tries to get up, and realizes there is only a mangled, charred ruin where his left hand used to be. He finally seizes saidin and gets up, Min helping him, but the fight is already over. Semirhage stands wrapped in Air, with one of Min’s knives in her shoulder and a contemptuous look on her face.

She had been a prisoner before, briefly, during the War of the Shadow. She had escaped from high detention by frightening her jailers to the point that they actually smuggled her to freedom.

Reinforcements arrive as Nynaeve Heals Sandomere’s injuries, Bashere shouting orders to search the house. Nynaeve comes over to Rand; anguished, she tells him she can Heal the injury, but she cannot replace the hand. Rand is silent as she does so, and thinks that it’s strange that he can still feel the whole hand even though it is gone. She Delves him and remarks there is something wrong with his eyes, but she doesn’t dare try anything with that right now. Rand lies that he can see fine, and Bashere says that he’s seen worse injuries. Rand agrees, and remarks that he will have to learn the sword all over again. Nynaeve thinks he is in shock, but Min tells her sadly that he isn’t; Nynaeve tells him it is all right to feel hurt, to grieve, but Rand tells her he doesn’t have time. Nynaeve tries again to Heal the wounds in his side, to no avail. Bashere asks who the tall woman is, and Rand explains. One of the captured sul’dam insists that he is wrong, that she is Anath Dorje, and Cadsuane asks how Rand can be sure.

Semirhage saved him the effort of thinking up a lie. “He’s insane,” she said coolly. Standing there stiff as a statue, Min’s knife hilt still sticking out beside her collarbone and the front of her black dress glistening with blood, she might have been a queen on her throne. “Graendal could explain it better than I. Madness was her specialty. I will try, however. You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives. Lanfear claimed he knew things from our own Age, things only Lews Therin Telamon could know. Clearly, he is hearing Lews Therin’s voice. It makes no difference that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse. Even Graendal usually failed to achieve reintegration with someone who heard a real voice. I understand the descent into terminal madness can be… abrupt.” Her lips curved in a smile that never touched her dark eyes.

Were they looking at him differently? Logain’s face was a carved mask, unreadable. Bashere looked as though he still could not believe. Nynaeve’s mouth hung open, and her eyes were wide. The bond… For a long moment, the bond was full of… numbness. If Min turned away from him, he did not know whether he could stand it. If she turned away, it would be the best thing in the world for her. But compassion and determination as strong as mountains replaced numbness, and love so bright he thought he could have warmed his hands over it.

Cadsuane asks Semirhage why she would condemn herself from her own mouth, and Semirhage asks proudly why she should deny herself.

Cadsuane simply nodded. “I am Cadsuane Melaidhrin. I look forward to long talks with you.” Semirhage sneered. She had never lacked courage.

Two Saldaeans return from searching the manor with a plain wooden box, which proves to have several a’dam and several circlets of black metal. Nynaeve gasps, and explains that they are a’dam for men. Rand observes that Semirhage evidently thought she could capture all of them, and Nynaeve says that if they hadn’t all already been holding the Power and she and Cadsuane hadn’t had their ter’angreal, she very well could have. They discuss what to do with the captured sul’dam and damane. Rand insists that they are to be sent back to Ebou Dar, to carry word that he wants a meeting with the real Daughter of the Nine Moons. Cadsuane and Nynaeve are not happy about this, but Rand tells them the truce is of paramount importance.

“Who are you to ask for a meeting with the High Lady?” Falendre demanded. She emphasized the title for some reason.

“My name is Rand al’Thor. I’m the Dragon Reborn.” If they had wept at hearing Semirhage’s name, they wailed at hearing his.

Mat waits in the trees with Tuon, Selucia, Teslyn, and two thousand mounted crossbowmen, and wonders what Tuon is thinking about his plans for that night; he can’t imagine she is happy about it. Teslyn observes that his plan entails a lot of reliance on luck, and Captain Mandevwin replies that Lord Mat is lucky, and has gotten the Band out of seemingly hopeless situations to win. Mat wonders what’s keeping Aludra, and says he means to bloody the Seanchan “so hard and fast and often that they’re reacting to what we’re doing instead of making their own plans.“ Then he regrets saying that, but Tuon doesn’t react except to whisper with Selucia. Mandevwin insists that battle luck “rides on [Mat’s] shoulder.”

Mat grunted and resettled his hat on his head irritably. For every time a banner got lost and blundered into a bloody chink in the enemy’s defenses, there were ten when it just was not bloody where you expected when you bloody well needed it. That was the truth of battle luck.

They see two green nightflowers, which is Aludra’s signal that the raken is away, and that Reimon’s attack on the supply camp is about to begin. Mat sends Vanin off to ascertain the location of the company of lancers that are supposed to be approaching, and his company sets out to the ambush site Mat has chosen. He is distracted on the way by thoughts of Tuon.

Strange as it was, he had no doubt she would keep her word not to escape, even now. […] He had tried kissing her again the night before, and she had punched him in the side so hard that at first he thought she had broken one of his shortribs. But she had kissed him just before they started out this evening. Only once, and said not to be greedy when he attempted a second. The woman melted in his arms while he was kissing her, and turned to ice the moment she stepped back. What was he to make of her?

To himself, he acknowledges that his plan does rely on luck to some extent; if the Seanchan lancers have moved further than he expected, they will either miss them altogether or blunder straight into them. They reach the ambush point, and Mat deploys the crossbowmen atop the hills flanking either side of the road, while he and the women stay on the road to wait for Vanin; they ignore his attempts to convince them to wait in the trees instead. Teslyn suddenly warns him to be wary of Joline, who she says is fascinated with Mat and wants to bond him, possibly even if Mat is not aware to having agreed to it.

“She cannot have him,” [Tuon] said sharply. Drawing a breath, she went on in amused tones. “Toy belongs to me. Until I am through playing with him. But even then, I won’t give him to a marath’damane. You understand me, Tessi? You tell Rosi that. That’s the name I intended to give her. You can tell her that, too.”

Teslyn is enraged, but Mat tells them all to shut up, earning a mocking remark from Tuon about being “masterful.” Teslyn asks what he thinks he can achieve with these raids and ambushes, as the Seanchan will only send more soldiers to hunt him down. Mat replies that he’s counting on that; he wants them to send the whole of the army they have in Molvaine Gap, in fact.

“Everything Thom and Juilin picked up says their big push is aimed at Illian. I think the army in the Gap is to guard against anything coming at them out of Murandy or Andor. But they’re the stopper in the jar for us. I mean to pull that stopper out so we can pass through.”

After several minutes of silence, he looked over his shoulder. The three women were just sitting their horses and watching him. He wished he had enough light to make out their expressions. Why were they bloody staring?

Two hours later, Vanin returns to report that the lancers are a mile behind him, and that there are a thousand more than they thought there were. Teslyn points out that Mat is now outnumbered two to one, but Mat tells her he doesn’t intend to give them “a stand-up fight.” They move to join the crossbowmen on the north side; Mat gives Mandevwin the news about the numbers, who merely nods thoughtfully.

If Mat Cauthon took it in stride, so would he. Mat had forgotten that about the Band. They trusted him absolutely. Once, that had almost made him break out in a rash. Tonight, he was glad of it.

The Seanchan appear soon, trotting down the road, and to Mat’s surprise the commander calls a halt to the column just as they reach the ideal point for the ambush, which Mat thinks must be ta’veren work for sure. He tells Teslyn “Now,” and she sends up a ball of light, illuminating the soldiers below.

Along the line below Mat, a thousand crossbow strings gave what sounded like one loud snap, and a thousand bolts streaked into the formation, punching through breastplates at that short range, knocking men from their feet, sending horses rearing and screaming, just as a thousand more struck from the other side. Not every shot struck squarely, but that hardly mattered with a heavy crossbow. Men went down with shattered legs, with legs ripped half off. Men clutched at the stumps of ruined arms trying to stem the flow of blood. Men screamed as loudly as the horses.

The Seanchan commander tries to rally and send men into the trees before their attackers can reload, but thanks to the new cranks, a second volley finishes the job before the lancers regroup. Mat orders Mandevwin to get the men ready to move out; Teslyn tells him the rules of war demand that he must stay to offer aid.

“This is a new kind of war,” he told her harshly. Light, it was silent on the road, but he could still hear the screaming. “They’ll have to wait for their own to give them aid.”

Tuon murmured something half under her breath. He thought it was, “A lion can have no mercy,” but that was ridiculous.

Mat leads his men away from the road, heading to where he intends to hit the Seanchan again that night.

Commentary
Well, goodness. Things certainly happened in this chapter!

Including, of course, the dropping of one of the longest prophetically-held other shoes in the series: the loss of Rand’s hand, something that’s been foreshadowed since the very first book in the series.

Although… well. On checking, the in-story prophecies about Rand losing a hand are actually pretty vague. Min saw a “bloody hand” around Rand the first time she met him in TEOTW, but I would tend to argue that that’s not the same as “a charred, severed hand,” though I suppose you could stretch it to symbolize that. Despite the fact that there was no actual blood. I guess. For Elayne, Min saw “a severed hand, not hers,” but I’m kind of puzzled about that one, because Elayne has nothing to do with this entire thing, other than being bonded to Rand, and that’s kind of weak, because so are Min and Aviendha (and Alanna), so if it does refer to Rand’s hand, why does Min only see it in connection with Elayne?

Where we actually got the “severed hand” thing, really, isn’t from the narrative at all, but from Jordan directly. Jordan told people at a signing, about a million years ago, that just as Mat shares characteristics with Odin and Perrin with Thor, he made Rand share traits with the Norse god Tyr, who sacrifices his arm to Fenris so that the wolf may be bound. Without that, I’m not convinced the in-story foreshadowing is even sufficient to indicate it.

Though there is this passage from LOC:

“Trust me, Min. I won’t hurt you. I will cut off my arm before I hurt you.” She was silent, and he finally looked down to find her peering up at him with a strange expression.

“That’s very nice to hear, sheepherder.” Her voice was as odd as her face.

There’s no proof, of course, that this is actually a viewing, but I tend to think it is. The problem is that if it is a viewing, I personally think it’s more likely to be referring to what happens in TGS, when Semirhage tries to force Rand to strangle Min and he resorts to the direst of measures (yeek) to keep from doing it. I say that because Rand says in the passage above that he’ll cut off his arm before he hurts her, not before he allows her to be hurt by outside parties. That might be splitting hairs, but to my mind the phrasing fits the incident in TGS better.

So, yeah. Possibly, the “bloody hand” thing in TEOTW could be considered a case of Jordan changing his mind about that prophecy, or, er, forgetting about how exactly he originally worded it. In fact, though, a lot of Min’s earliest viewings are pretty vague and open to interpretation; I still haven’t decided, for instance, what the deal is with the “white-hot iron” for Rand and the “red-hot iron” for Elayne. The wording seems too similar to be a coincidence, but neither character has yet to come into contact with irons in any significant way that I can recall. I think some people have speculated that it was Min’s way of referencing channeling (which she was hardly familiar with at the time), or maybe balefire specifically for Rand’s viewing (which is often described as “a white-hot bar of light” or something similar), but that seems… wrong. Or, you know, whatever it refers to just hasn’t happened yet.

But I digress! In any case, however we got the information about Rand’s hand loss, it’s a thing we’ve been waiting to see happen for Quite A While. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I was personally rather… bemused that this was the way it happened.

I suppose it’s a matter of opinion whether the rather, er, offhand way it went down (yes, I’m going to punner’s hell, I’m aware) was ironic or just anticlimactic. All these crazy fancy things you can do with the Power, and Rand almost gets killed by a simple fireball. Certainly I think it was intended to be ironic, obviously; I’m just not sure it worked.

And by that I mean, I’m really not sure, because I’m not positive I’m able to give it a sufficiently objective evaluation. That’s what fifteen years’ worth of buildup will do to your perceptions of an event, I guess. Maybe it totally rocked and I’m just too jaded, or something; I just remember when I first read the scene I was like, “Oh. Okay, then.” Then again, I was in a particularly weird place when I first read KOD, as I’ve mentioned, so maybe that’s why it didn’t quite do it for me. *shrug*

And once again Cadsuane saves the day, huh? Well. Glad that all worked out! I’m really not going to examine in any detail the plausibility of the plans of either Rand or Semirhage for this meeting (I leave that in the commenters’ capable hands), but it’s possible that my less-than-whelmed reaction to the whole thing is also partially due to the ever-so-slight whiff of Xanatos Roulette it exudes. On both sides.

(Or is it a Gambit Pileup? Or a Kansas City Shuffle? Argh. Damn you, TV Tropes!)

Well, whatever it is, it made me raise an eyebrow at it, possibly without cause. Take it for what it’s worth.

Cads’s introduction of herself to Semirhage made me snort out loud, though, in light of what’s to come. Heh.

Speaking of which, I initially was also a bit underwhelmed that Semirhage was captured so easily, but in light of what eventually happened in TGS I’m sort of retracting that judgment, because AAAGGHH. If I wanted something appropriately horrific re: a villain called the Lady of Pain (and what a kickass Title of Evil, eh?), I certainly got it, is what I’m saying; I just had to wait a while, it turns out. (AAAGGGHH) And I loved the memory Rand has that Semirhage actually scared her jailers into releasing her, back in the day, because that’s like pre-prequels-Darth Vader levels of awesome terribleness, y’all.

It’s worth mentioning that I had a very difficult time, both initially and now, keeping myself from blaming Min for this entire disaster — especially with her being all “I do what I want!” when Rand tells her to stay behind him. I don’t think, though, that this is an entirely fair judgment. I’m just… not sure why it isn’t. Um.

As far as what Semirhage said about Lews Therin, I found it a somewhat maddening continuation of Jordan’s refusal to tell us whether the Lews Therin in Rand’s head is “real” or not. I mean, Semi is basically saying straight up here that Rand is schizophrenic, except that the voice he’s hearing is a “real voice.” Oh, really? Well, thanks for clearing that up! What the hell does that even mean?

Pshh, I give up. I don’t even really care anymore, honestly. Whether you think Lews Therin is “real” or a constructed personality built on real memories is, fortunately, completely irrelevant at this point anyway, so I’m content to let it go.

I will say, though, that I while I think we were supposed to find Rand’s companions’ reactions to this news heartening (i.e. they’re still standing by him, etc.), I just found it kind of amusing. Oh, Rand’s crazy, is he? TELL US SOMETHING WE DIDN’T KNOW, GIRLFRIEND. Heh.

Ayako: The interesting thing is, I think we still haven’t found out what happens to the bondee in the Asha’man version of the Warder bond, have we? If we have, I certainly don’t remember it. I suspect we’re going to find out Real Soon Now, of course. And won’t that be fun.

Aaaand I also should at some point talk about Mat’s part of this chapter.

…Except I really don’t have a lot to say about it, honestly. It is basically eight pages of Mat being completely awesome and kicking military ass, and, well, there you are.

I loved loved loved the line about how the Band trusts Mat absolutely, because of course they do! He’s Mat Cauthon!

Even his ruthlessness in refusing aid to the wounded Seanchan was kind of terribly brilliant from a tactical point of view, if rather sobering in the abstract. I feel like I should be more appalled about his decision than I am, but honestly, in Mat’s position — grossly outnumbered, grossly outgunned (no fighting channelers), and trapped behind enemy lines — I really can’t say that I fault him for doing what he has to do to ensure his own side’s survival. This is why war sucks.

Tuon: Shut up, Tuon. I wish Teslyn had punched you in your slavery-condoning mouth. Just because you’re kind of hilarious with your push-me-pull-you kissing tactics is no excuse!

…Though okay, her line about a lion having no mercy was pretty cool. Because it was about Mat. Who, as I may have mentioned, is awesome. The End.


No, really, The End! So, bye, Rand! Sorry about the maiming! See you when your downward spiral hits Mach 2 in TGS, argh! Y’all wave now, hear? Bye!

163 comments
ftbleighjkjk
1. ftbleighjkjk
YOU are awesome Leigh. The End.
This is my favorite chapter of stuff happening in this entire book.
Daniel Smith
3. Smittyphi
Yes, Mat is awesome. I seesaw between liking Tuon and cannot standing Tuon. Unfortunately, she is very strong willed and doesn't believe in Ta'veren. Those two things make her pretty darn immune to its effects.

In light of what happened to Semi, I love Cadsuane just introducing herself. You may love to hate her but I give her respect for what she has, can and eventually will do for Team Light.
Ted Herman
4. WinespringBrother
The severed hand viewing probably was referring to Elayne's contract with the BotRH.
ftbleighjkjk
5. Lsana
I remember being extremely underwhelmed by Semirhage's whole "plan" here. We've had all kinds of build-up about Semirhage and the male a'dam, and we get about two paragraphs that end with her easily captured, no real casualties on Rand's side. I remember thinking, "That's it?"

Of course, then we got TGS, and I realized, "No, THAT'S it." So I'm willing to forgive the disappointment of this scene in exchange for setting up TGS.

And, yeah, there isn't much to say about Mat except that he is awesome. Though I do rather enjoy seeing Tuon continue to develop her respect for him.
Jay Dauro
6. J.Dauro
I had to love when Mat finally explains his plan. The AS have tried to tell him what to do while he was planning, and he sent them away. Tuon scoffs at the idea of a battle getting them out, and is told "Then he's planning us a war." Now they finally realize what he is doing - it is a war, and he is predicting exactly what the Seanchen will do, step by step. For me the women staring at him is really the first time any of them realize how good (and audacious) he is
ftbleighjkjk
7. Megaduck
It wasn't untill I read this review that I finally realized what Tuon's problem is in regards to Mat. With the entire, Maybe Kiss, Maybe not, maybe Nice, Maybe Not.

Her entire view of relationships is of a battlefield. Her father plotted against her mother, her brothers and sisters plotted against her, and the only way she was ever safe with anyone was if they were her loyal subordinate.

What she's trying to do is make sure Mat never gets above her, in any way. She can kiss him, but he can never kiss her without her telling him to do so because that would be him making decisions for her.

Basically, she's an utter control freak and I look forward to seeing how this plays out.
Rich Bennett
8. Neuralnet
so happy it is tuesday.. thanks Leigh.

I half remember at some point early in the series Rand meets Ishy in a dream where there is a chessboard with an armless shephard as the Dragon/kingpiece and Rand comments about it. That is the foreshadowing about his arm loss that struck me first at the time I read this. (of course it was so long ago now I only half remember it)
Brian Anderson
9. RoyanRannedos
Mach 2 Death Spiral is a great name for a rock band.

But as far as Rand vs. Semirhage goes, it just goes to show the power of stealth. Sure, assassins don't use nuclear bombs, but they still leave people dead.
Birgit
10. birgit
It is strange that the Asha'aman still don't know what happens to someone bonded to a man who dies. Did none of the Ash'aman who went mad and were poisoned by Taim have bonded wives?

Shooting people and then giving medical aid to the survivors is strange, too.
Alice Arneson
11. Wetlandernw
On rereading, I find that Min is completely blameless in this scenario. She stayed behind Rand, exactly as instructed – which was the reason he couldn’t jump aside and took the whole fireball on his hand and scepter. The blame for this whole mess, Rand’s HUGE mistake, and the whole reason for losing his hand, is that he was afraid LTT would try to grab saidin from him and he didn’t want to risk it in front of everyone – so he was the only one NOT holding the OP when they got there. If he’d taken hold of it in advance, like everyone else, he’d have been able to deflect the fireball. Instead, he was locked in a wrestling match with LTT and couldn’t do a bloody thing.

By the way, the encyclopaedia-wot has a mistake in the chapter summary. There are five a’dam and six Domination Bands, to cover every possible range of channelers Rand might have brought along.

Tuon cracks me up. That is all.

Mat’s “pulling the stopper” gig made me laugh – and he wonders why the women are staring at him when he says he intends to pull the whole army out of the Molvaine Gap, apparently right on their heads.

“A lion can have no mercy.” For some reason, that made me tear up a bit. It looks like Tuon is the only one who really understands a) how hard that is for Mat and b) why it is absolutely necessary.

Megaduck @7 – Some insightful comments there, although I would add that if she’s a control freak, it’s been absolutely vital to her survival up to this point. At some point, I think (hope?) she’ll realize that she really can trust Mat, subordinate or not.
Birgit
12. birgit
At some point, I think (hope?) she’ll realize that she really can trust Mat, subordinate or not.

She does think about it:
In many ways, his {Galgan} careful maneuvering was more comforting to her than Beslan's apparently unwavering loyalty. The first, she could anticipate. The second ... well, she wasn't certain what to make of it yet. Would Matrim be equally loyal? What would it be like, to have a Prince of the Ravens whom she did not have to plot against? It seemed almost a fantasy, the type of tale told to common children to make them dream of an impossible marriage.


ToM, ch. 47
Shouldn't Mat's title in Seanchan change when Tuon becomes Empress?
Tricia Irish
13. Tektonica
Hi Leigh!

Yes, Mat is awesome. Smart. Cool under pressure. Really love that guy.

I did like Cads introducing herself, and Semi's sneer at the silly AS from this age. Just you wait, honey, you've met your match, or better.

I remember getting hopeful about Tuon when she was with Mat, and then she goes and says things like she did to Teslyn. Ug. Then she gets worse, if possible, in ToM. I do hope we get some sort of character movement from her in MoL....just a nudge in the right direction would be enough....we don't necessarily have to dwell on her. (Unless it involves Mat, of course.)
Drew Holton
14. Dholton
I know what you mean with your reaction to the losss of Rand's hand. With the clues given by the various prophecies, I had an entire elaborate storyline built in my head that I "knew" was right. In summary, 1) Rand would be captured and a'damed, 2) Elayne would come to the rescue, but the only way to remove the male a'dam would be to amputate his hand, 3) which would lead to his going all Fisher King, wandering the land as a blind(?) beggar.

That's what was supposed to happen, and I was quite irked when it didn't (harrumph). BTW, I also thought that the fault in his vision Rand/Nynaeve mention was the above incipient blindness. But we never hear it mentioned again. What's up with that?
Charles Gaston
15. parrothead
If Min turned away from him, he did not know whether he could stand it. If she turned away, it would be the best thing in the world for her. But compassion and determination as strong as mountains replaced numbness, and love so bright he thought he could have warmed his hands over it.

Do I really need to say anything? This is why I absolutely adore Min, and why a certain chapter in the next volume nearly drove me into full-on grief over a fictional character.

If I were Perrin I'd watch out for Bloodknives or anyone who uses poison. Tyr loses a hand, Odin loses an eye, and at Ragnarok Thor takes nine steps before dying of serpent's venom. Rand loses a hand, Mat loses an eye, and Perrin...
Don Barkauskas
16. bad_platypus
Dholton @14: Except that the male channeler has a collar; it's the women controlling him that have bracelets. So amputation to remove the Domination Band from the man would be a slightly more serious operation...

The line about Semirhage frightening her jailers into smuggling her out is one of my all-time favorites in WoT. If ever a short passage tells you all abotu a character, that's it.

(Cue everybody complaining about how she doesn't live up to the billing later; I still think it's a great line.)
john mullen
17. johntheirishmongol
This is a pretty awesome chapter for a couple of reasons. Matt has been a lot of fun but now he has serious business to take care of, which is getting his troops out, and getting Tuon under protection.

@10 Yes you do give enemies medical attention, normally if you capture them. In this case they are getting out from behind enemy lines and can't afford to take prisoners. They will have to fend for themselves.

Rand was still suffering from that hesitation factor, and then blurting out Semi's name gave her all the time she needed. It wasn't exactly the best trap, which made me think at the time that if she captured him, it was good, but if she was captured she would make that work too.
ftbleighjkjk
19. AgingComputer
Re blindness @14:

Rand's vision problems are mentioned throughout TGS, but are described as getting better midway through the book and are not mentioned again by the end.

However I believe it is also a spiritual or emotional blindness as well, a la his degraded state in TGS.
ftbleighjkjk
20. zackattack
Mat: Continues to be 18 shades of Awesome.
Min: Irritates me for reasons I don't think are entirely fair.
Rand: Irritates me for reasons I believe are quite fair.
Tuon: Irritates me far less than she probably should.
Semirhage: Has the best Nom de Guerre ever.
WOT Dragons
21. WOTNoDragons
@bad_platypus16
The line about Semirhage frightening her jailers into smuggling her out is one of my all-time favorites in WoT. If ever a short passage tells you all abotu a character, that's it.

Totally! Isn't there also a comment like " sometimes prisoners on hearing that Semirhage was their captor would chew through their own wrists rather than be subjected to her torture" Makes your blood run cold to think of it !
Question, if Nyn & Cad's terangreal caused Semi's Tuon 'mask' weave to unravel - wouldn't they also have caused her fireball weave to also fail? Is this a flaw or am I missing something straight forward?

@ Wetlander11
I gree with your point although I still feel that on finally grasping Saidin, Rand's instinct would have been to balefire Semi - afterall it's not that much later that he uses balefire as a WMD at Natrin's Barrow. So although Cads issued a balefire ban, to get his hand back I think Rand would have just blasted her.

@Birgit - Belatedly, thanks for posting a reply 2 weeks ago re my question about how Asha'man learned the bonding weave.
Hugh Arai
22. HArai
birgit@10: Has it been established the bond they used on their wives is identical to the bond used on the Aes Sedai? I don't think they were trying to compel their wives...

wetlandernw@11: Of course, you and Leigh are glossing over the fact she insisted on being there to begin with to the point of prevailing upon him in a moment of weakness. If Min is not there at all, there's no reason Rand doesn't leap aside. Also, if she's as good with the knives as she thinks she is - why the damn shoulder? Hit something lethal or at least with more shock inducing potential.

That said, I don't really think any one person in particular is to blame other than Semirhage.
Sorcha O
23. sushisushi
I think this chapter is a study in mercy in some ways, particularly because Mat shows no mercy to the Seanchan he is attacking, whereas Rand shows unexpected mercy to the Seanchan who have attacked him. He may be crazy (qed) and trying to be a stone, but he *does* still have enough mercy in him to recognize that the sul'dam and damane weren't in on the plan and didn't actually attack his group. Rand sends them home with a message for the high command, whereas Mat's are
annihilated. I know this is due to the difference between being attacked at a diplomatic meeting and trying to escape enemy territory, but the contrast between the two encounters with the Seanchan is stark. Mat is fighting 'a new type of war', although Rand is still in an older mindset. It's kind of interesting that Mat is the one who slips easily into the future, when Rand is stuck in the past, given their personalities and symbolic roles.
Alice Arneson
24. Wetlandernw
Dholton @14 - Re: Rand’s eyesight and what happened here – it apparently was the close-range brightness that caused the problem. In TGS Chapter 1 and Chapter 35 it is mentioned that his eyesight is improving slowly. I think (just because it seems the best fulfillment) that the blindness was more figurative than literal; it ties in with when he goes wandering Ebou Dar dressed as a beggar. Which is more or less what AgingComputer said @19.

WOTnoDragons @21 – Absolutely, if Rand had been able to grasp the OP, he’d have balefired Semirhage in somewhat less than a heartbeat. (And in-world it would have been a good thing, although from the reader perspective it would have messed up the story as we now know it.) My point was that he was stuck wrestling with LTT for control of saidin, so rather than balefiring her, the extent of his options was to raise his hand/Dragon Sceptre to take the whole force of the fireball. A fairly lame defense, really.

It’s ironic, because what happened was exactly what he feared – LTT tried to take saidin. Rand had developed this habit of avoiding it, because a) he didn’t want people to see him struggle and b) he wasn’t sure what LTT would do if he succeeded. If he weren’t so busy trying to seem invincible, he might have gotten some help in dealing with it. Or not, but he didn’t try. Alternatively, if he’d gone someplace private (into the bushes, whatever) to do his wrestling with no observers but ahead of time, so that he’d gone in holding the OP like everyone else, the balefire would have happened at exactly the same time as his recognition and speaking, and she’d never have gotten the fireball off – or it would have been so recent as to not have happened afterwards.

Speaking of irony, Rand had insisted that Min stay behind him, and this time she did it. If she’d been beside him, the way the rest of his party was, his instinct would have been to jump in front of her. He’d have been out of the way of the fireball, and there was no one else behind him to get hurt. But for whatever reason, she did as he’d asked, so she was behind him and he dared not move. (Anyone want to make an OOC claim we can debate?)

Boom.

HArai @22 – Well, as we discussed ad nauseum a few weeks ago, he was supposed to bring one non-channeler to “make the sides even.” He’d probably have done the same thing (ordered her to stay behind him, and been unable to jump aside) with any woman who came; if he’d brought a man the only difference is that Rand (probably) wouldn’t have insisted so hard that he stay back. As far as the knives, Min admits (if only to herself) that she’s not nearly as good as Thom, but she at least does the best she can with what she’s got. With “Min’s knife hilt sticking out beside her collarbone and the front of her black dress glistening with blood” I’d say Min didn’t miss the heart by much. I’m not going to further revisit the “who else could Rand have brought?” debate.

sushisushi @23 – Well… it’s not entirely mercy on Rand’s part, or at least not for the sake of mercy.

“I need this truce, Nynaeve, and taking these women prisoner is no way to get one. Don’t argue. That’s what they’d call it, including the damane, and you know it as well as I do. They can carry word that I want to meet the Daughter of the Nine Moons. The heir to the throne is the only one who can make a truce stand.”


FWIW, everyone else assumed that Rand would take the sul’dam and damane prisoner and send them to Caemlyn “like the others” – which looked a whole lot more like mercy to the AS, at least, rather than leaving the damane leashed. I would call it an interesting study in warfare for these two used-to-be-innocent-boys, who are suddenly realizing that the “ideal” sometimes doesn’t work with reality. They both choose to leave the Seanchan to the medical ministrations of their own people; we see this side of Rand’s situation a little more clearly in TGS Prologue, where he says much the same thing as Mat just said. It’s clear, though, that at least the sul’dam and damane see it as a mercy, given their horror of being Healed by marath’damane.
Stefan Mitev
25. Bergmaniac
I am still disappointed Jordan decided to stick with Rand's PoV in this chapter and we didn't get to see how Cadsuane, Nynaeve and the Asha'man overwhelmed Semirhage. Would've been a cool scene. Semirhage's plan was incredibly arrogant, but I guess that's the way the Forsaken roll, and at least she was able to seriously hurt the Dragon.

Mat's part of the chapter is nice, good to see him finally back to commanding troops in battle, it's been a long while since the last time. But I find Tuon's complete nonchalance to people she's supposed to govern and protect getting slaughtered right in front of her eyes and those who were only injured refused Healing pretty appalling. For all her talk about serving the Empire and taking care of the Imperial subjects she can be really cold towards them. And the Seanchan troops here weren't traitors in any way, they were attacking the Band which had invaded Altara.
Kimani Rogers
26. KiManiak
Thanks again, Leigh. I forgot that the Rand/Semirhage and Mat ambush events were in the same chapter. You definitely can’t claim that nothing happened in this chapter (well, I guess you could; but you’d be wrong). But only one chapter this week?! Bummed…

Rand’s hand loss: Weirdly enough, after this bit in KoD, it is often easy to forget that Rand has lost his hand, unless the text forcefully reminds you (like in The Amyrlin’s Anger in ToM, or when Moridin was pissed and cradling his arm). Not that it made sense for the absence of a hand to play a large role in the story. I’m just saying…

(Leigh! For the love of RJ! Please, only one TVtrope link per post. Those things are like the Bermuda Triangle!)

Min: Okay, we discussed a few posts ago whether Min should/not be included in this delegation, so I won’t go into that. In fairness to Min, if Rand hadn’t insisted that Min stay behind him, maybe Rand could’ve ducked out the way. I’m still not the biggest fan of her being part of the group to begin with (nor how she arranged to place herself in the group), but here Rand’s over-protectiveness was his own undoing. It still pisses me off, though.
(EDIT: I see that Wet@24 made this point as I was typing this up)

Semi’s plan: Yes, it was not the greatest Evil Plan (MwaHahHah!) ever concocted. Yes, we should have expected more from one of the dreaded Forsaken. But, I can go along with those who have suggested that one of the Forsakens’ biggest flaws (time and again) is underestimating their “primitive” opponents.

LTT real or a construct: never had a horse in this discussion personally, but now that we’ve learned (as of TGS) that they had always been the same person, I find it weird that they both can reach for saidin and jostle the other to the side. Can a channeler even do that to themselves?

Mat: Once again, he is in his element, and Tuon, Teslyn and the others are forced to recognize that he knows what he’s doing. I won’t dwell on his incredible competency, or “sustained badassness” that much, but the fact that he’s able to surmise the Seanchan’s plans and diagnose the best way to counteract that plan and escape is still frikkin awesome to me.

WSB@4 – Interesting possibility. I would have never thought of that. Nice.

JD@6 – re: Mat and the women – What’s more, the reader can recall times that the women have been given glimpses that Mat is so much more than the swaggering, country-bumpkin, queens-plaything that they may have initially thought. But they keep on underestimating him, and its particularly enjoying for the reader to see Mat shock them into silence in this section, after unveiling his plan.

birgit@12 – re: Mat’s title – I’ve wondered that too. The Prince of Ravens is married to the DotNM. When she becomes the Empress, shouldn’t he be The Royal Consort, or something like that?

parrothead@15 – re: Perrin – I hope not. Now, if it were Perrin’s wife who was poisoned, took nine steps and then died…

WoTnoD@21 – I think Rand starts balefiring indiscriminately in TGS after Semi pushes him beyond the bonds of sanity with the domination band. I don’t know if he would’ve balefired her, here. He still has his “I’d rather not hurt women” kick going, right? Maybe he would have just worked to shield her.
John Mann
27. jcmnyu
@21 WoTnoD

Question, if Nyn & Cad's terangreal caused Semi's Tuon 'mask' weave to unravel - wouldn't they also have caused her fireball weave to also fail? Is this a flaw or am I missing something straight forward?

I believe both Nynaeve and Cadsuane have a hair ornament that disrupts illusions.


According to an RJ quote:

One of Cadsuane's ornaments is a ter'angreal that can interfere with weaves. That is how she was able to disrupt Semirhage's use of Illusion.

I believe the fireball is not going to be stopped by it unless it was directed at Cadsuane. Remember at the Cleansing of Saidin, Nynaeve loans her ter'angreal to Alivia and one of Lanfears weaves falls apart just as it is about to strike. That freaks Lanfear out. The proximity has to be very close to disrupt the fireball I think.

edited for clarification
ftbleighjkjk
28. Junts
I can't help when I look at this Semirhage sequence to think it's all part of the ongoing mislead with Rand. Is he crazy? In some ways. Is it for the reasons everyone else thinks? I'm basically sure the answer is no.

The development of Lews Therin Voice always has hints from outside Rand before it begins to occur. Its his own construct, and there are so many little hints along the way as to why: The one that stands out to me most notably is the way Rand decides it 'feels' right to have Ilyena in his litany of women who died because of him. His whole crazy I wont hurt the wemmins line comes from that, too, and it has nothing to do with taint-crazy.

Rand proves over and over even before he starts hearing Lews Therin that he has access to all those memories. He does weaves he's never seen or heard of before. He quickly learns to do things that Lews was good at (Like his swordplay at the beginning of TGH). He blocks those off and accesses them only at his need because he is incapable of coping with the overwhelming emotion Lews Therin died with - the guilt and the grief.

That's why the ending of TOM makes such complete and utter sense to me. The thing that's always been most dangerous to Rand is a failure to understand the reincarnation mechanism that we readers understand due to our seeing Osan'gar/Aran'gar/Cyndane/Moridin. Even the other Forsaken don't understand how this is going for a very long time. Only that small group of reincarnated Forsaken understand (and demonstrate, long prior to TGS) that Rand should simply know everything that Lews Therin knew because he is Lews Therin. Moridin knows this even before he dies, and Artur Hawkwing knows it when he's called by the Horn, but that stuff gets buried for a really long time to hide it from us because it isn't obvious to Rand.

We're supposed to be mislead by the taint - its, if anything, a small factor in a lot of Rand's irrational behaviors (and surely influences how he responds to his grief, by creating a structure that can be misinterpretted as his greatest fear, going crazy again).

That Lews is the expression of Rand's craziness should be obvious because Lews Therin was completely rational when he died. Ishamael cured him of the madness so he'd know what he'd done! He kills himself out of grief, not insanity.

All this gets back to something that I find more and more apparent as I read this series more: The prologue of Eye of the World are 5 of the most important pages written in the Wheel of Time, and almost every single word in those pages is relevant to the rest of the story.
ftbleighjkjk
29. AndrewB
I always thought the Rand's vision problems were a component of his link with Moridin and Moridin's use of the True Power (and thus development of saa --
ftbleighjkjk
30. Junts
There's a reference to the saa not interfering with vision in one of the first two times we see them get mentioned.
Sorcha O
31. sushisushi
Wetlandernw@24 Good point - it's actually about mercy in warfare, specifically, rather in general. The Seanchan have such a cultural conditioning against Healing that they see not being Healed as a mercy, when the Randlanders think the opposite.

Bergmaniac@25 Isn't there a quote from a high-ranking Seanchan somewhere that being Healed by damane is considered like letting your dog treat you, something no right-thinking person would do (despite sub's objections)? They seem to be pretty thoroughly conditioned to reject anything to do with the Power and their own bodies, unless they are acting in the capacity of a sul'dam.
ftbleighjkjk
32. images8dream
@28: Great post. I think you hit the nail on the head. Lews Therin's grief was enourmous. He killed hundred or thousands of his friends and family. With grief like that repressed, it would make anybody incredibly erratic.
ftbleighjkjk
33. Junts
And remember no one alive in these books knows that someone can be reincarnated and actually be the same soul as the previous life - except for Ishamael, Lanfear, Balthamel and Aginor because it's also happened to them.

All the 'immortal souls' who are omniscient about themselves when not incarnated (hawkwing, birgitte, etc) get this immediately when summoned by the horn. If Birgitte wasn't losing her memories she might be the only character who could have told anyone that that's what should be happening to Rand - but she has somehow never met Rand, so...

So if you are Rand and you remember things that you shouldnt and feel grief that you shouldnt of course you think you are a lunatic.

And then lo and behold there is the Rand who's figured out how to cope with that grief somehow in TOM and he's almost literally picked up where Lews Therin left off in how he affects the world, if not moreso (after all, in a lot of ways Lews Therin had much stronger assistance than Rand in preparing for the last battle, until he lost the support of the female Aes Sedai, anyway).

But there are so many hints dropped to this that it's clear why Sanderson wrote a whole novel just to wrap up that plotline of Rands, and its equally obvious why he had to not write Rand's POV in TOM: Like writing Rand's POV in Dragon Reborn, seeing what Rand plans to do when he's sane, rational and forward-looking would reveal too much plot too early. Its pretty obvious to me that Rand does a lot of his planning as to what happens in books 4-5 and some of 6 during his time 'off screen' in Dragon Reborn, with the rest being decided after he gets access to the redstone doorframe in early TSR. And somehow despite all our time spent in Rand's head at this point we never know at the time what he's asked the finn, what he plans to do or that he has a long term strategy to defeat the Shadow. But he does, and somehow it stays out of his head all the time we spend in it, because he's getting distracted, crazy, and irrational.
Robert Crawley
34. Alphaleonis
Junts @28

I have 2 children and several grandchildren reading this series. My 25 year old son and I agree that the prologue of TEOTW is the best initial grabber of any fantasy series we've ever read. Love to start all my rereads of the series because reading the prologue of the first book, then starting the 1st chapter with Rand's POV is very poignant. Keeps grabbing me every time. Of course, the first time reading TEOTW we don't know who Rand is - so only so poignant in rereads.
Valentin M
35. ValMar
sushisushi @ 31

Karede (the obsessively devoted to Tuon DW general) is repelled by the idea of another fanatically devoted to Tuon person, her AS demane Mytelene-sp?, healing him with the Power. The fact that the suldam has the leash doesn't have any bearing on his feelings.

Alphaleonis @ 34

Well, I OTOH found the prologue confusing and practically irrelevant. It only made sense later and didn't do anything to draw me in. The 1st chapter- now that was a puller. And no, I hadn't read LOTR at the time and the movies weren't out yet.

Anyway, folks might have heard that in the UK we have a bit of an emergency these few days. I'm pleased to say that London wasn't burnt this night, contrary to expectations :) Now if only they can keep 16 000 police in riot gear out across the city for more than 1-2 nights...
Hugh Arai
36. HArai
wetlandernw@24: Ok, we can skip the (re-)discussion of whether Min should have been there or not. But in that case there's not much point in discussing blame either.

How about this instead? I don't know what's more chilling: the fact Rand is able to shrug off getting his hand blown off as an inconvenience he doesn't have time for or the fact no one but Nyneave seems surprised that's what he does.
Valentin M
37. ValMar
HArai @ 36

I think Rand has given up hope and just wants to last till TG so losing a hand is little more than short-term inconvenience.
The others see Rand differently than Nyn. Min is in his head. The others have been seeing him as this hard as iron- cold and brittle person, larger than life. Plus, people in WOT seem to be able to keep straight face at almost anything ;)

It's rare that folks here have the privilege to read a comment (or two!) of mine on the day of Leigh's post ;) Enjoy and good night :)
TW L
38. Shadow_Jak
@25 (Speaking of Tuon)
"For all her talk about serving the Empire and taking care of the
Imperial subjects she can be really cold towards them. And the Seanchan
troops here weren't traitors in any way, they were attacking the Band
which had invaded Altara."
This bothered me too. And she still displays this attitude later (Ch36 - Under an Oak) after he has racked up a huge total of Seanchan dead and wounded.
Especially combined with her earlier dismay at seeing the Band's map showing all the Seanchan troop location. She thinks - There had to be some way to burn that map.

@35
Scary situation there. Be as safe as you can Valmar.

@36
I don't know what's more chilling: the fact Rand is able to shrug off getting his hand blown off as an inconvenience he doesn't have time for or the fact no one but Nyneave seems surprised that's what he does.

The men there are all warriors. They see it much the same as Rand does. Can't be fixed... move on.
Would they be able to handle it as well if they lost their own hand?
Some would. Others maybe not.

But they would all hope to handle it as well.
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
HArai @36 - Sorry, I just had to point out the things other than Min's presence that had major impact on the situation. :)

As for your alternative discussion... ::shudder:: I'm not sure which is worse! Even the sul'dam (Falendre, in TGS) thinks it's bizarre that he "lost a hand and moments later take it as if he had lost a glove." Funny - the ones who've known Rand the longest and the shortest time are the ones who find it strange, and everyone else just takes it for granted.
William Fettes
41. Wolfmage
parrothead @ 15

Thanks for posting that passage. It’s always stood out to me as well. It’s a beautifully written testament to Min’s unconditional love for Rand. The bond sure does allow for some good communication!

HArai@22

I don’t think we should really assign much blame to Min here. I mean, she does have a perfectly valid reason for wanting to be present at major diplomatic meetings like this. That is, there is real potential for any of Min’s viewings to be of critical importance to Rand and the Last Battle. So, I’d say by default she should be granted wide exposure to different personages around Rand, and when it comes to a powerful unknown quantity like the Seanchan Empire, that is doubly imperative. I don’t think you can gainsay this function with the foreknowledge of how everything goes wrong here. Ambushes are an ever-present threat around Rand, and the light-siders can’t let themselves stop collaborating or be paralysed by fear because of that possibility.

You’re right that Min’s presence behind immobilises Rand, but as Wetlandernw’s pointed out above, it’s Rand fumbling for the source with LTT that is the real problem. And it probably would be worse, as she says, if Min didn’t stay there as Rand may very well have sacrificed himself to save her.

Re: Min’s knife throwing.

I think that’s maybe a little unfair to Min. Unfortunately, the text does seem to note that Min is less dexterous compared to Thom, Mat and Faile in terms of how she handles her knives early on in the series. But she definitely gets better over time and I hardly think the oft-remarked lack of smoothness in how she puts them back up her sleave really ought to count much against her. I also think it’s important to emphasise that her one notable miss was not really a miss as Fain had to do an impossible, supernatural twist to avoid her blade in ACoS. At least she hit Semirhage here, even if it wasn’t fatal.

So maybe she isn’t a super ninja, but she’s hardly incompetent. I think the text just leaves a more muddy impression because she brandishes her knifes a bit too often before she’s really learnt the level of polish that Thom has, and she hasn’t managed to get a kill with them yet.
William Fettes
42. Wolfmage
Junts @ 28

At the risk of revisiting this debate, can I just say that most of what you’ve said is explicable within a realer framework just as easily.

Us realers don’t deny that Rand receives real LLT memories. That is a big part of the theory. So the evidence that Rand's journey to become a Blademaster might have been helped along by LTT’s skill with a sword, and his discovery of new weaves, is not standing against that position. Though on the channelling question, it should be noted that Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve and many others, manage incredible feats of discovery without the need to invoke soul memory. Accordingly, not every rediscovery made by Rand is likely to be sourced from LLT. Some of them would just be because he’s naturally powerful and adept with using the Source.
Noneo Yourbusiness
43. Longtimefan
As an observation on wrtiting and structure.

I think it is interesting that Mat's plan has similarities to the plan Ituralde had in the Prolouge "Embers Falling on Dry Grass".

"If the light shone on him, that blaze would singe the Seanchan enough to bring them chasing after him full of fury. A great deal of fury he hoped."

Now Ituralde is trying to stir up the Seanchan with raids and attacks to lead them into a trap and if they see the trap he has another plan

"Teslyn asks what he thinks he can achieve with these raids and ambushes,
as the Seanchan will only send more soldiers to hunt him down. Mat
replies that he’s counting on that; he wants them to send the whole of
the army they have in Molvaine Gap, in fact."

In a similar way Mat is trying to antagonize the Seanchan into chasing him not to confront them in a direct battle but to trick them into opening a way for him to leave the region.

As Ituralde has been mentioned several times in the books as being one of the Great Generals this tactical parallel sends a message that Mat is on the level of one of the in story Great Generals.

Yes, the books say this directly but in showing Ituralde's plan and Mat's plan within the same book tricking the Seanchan instead of confronting them in a direct battle it brings a subtle reinforcement of how advanced Mat's strategy is for someone who is so young.

Another, perhaps less important, parallel coud be made that Ituralde is also not offering aid to his enemies on the field of battle.

Fill them full of arrows and run. Very similar actions 26 chapters apart.

It is just an observation.
Jay Dauro
44. J.Dauro
Longtimefan

Great catch. I really like that parallel, and of course RJ is known to do this kind of thing often.
janet vaughn
45. geochic1
Well not to beat a dead horse but...
But blaiming Min for Rand losing a hand is blaiming the victim for the crime. Rand was goning to get blasted by Semi NO MATTER who was with him it just happened to be his hand that took the hit.
Alhough her attact does seem a little anti-climatic. I just went hmmm another injury that cant be healed.

Mat is a MOA all buy himself. Nuf said
Anthony Pero
46. anthonypero
LTT/Rand stuff:

I always viewed LTT as a combination of what I term "Soul" memories (as opposed to pre-rheiudhan Mat's anscestral "blood" memories) and Rand's subconcious dealing with encroaching madness. Basically, the Construct Theory.

By this I mean that during times of stress, the "soul" memories began to leak through. It was always during times of great stress. Fearing the madness, Rand's subconscious created LTT in order to process the memories. It's classic schizophrenia with a twist. As Semirhage says, this voice is real. By this, I think she means that instead of constructing fake memories to create a fake person, Rand is using real memories to reconstruct a real person.

I think the condition Rand ultimately suffered from was a strange combination of schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder. With DID, most often the sufferer will not be able to converse, or even be aware of the other personalities... but auditory hallucenations have occured with DID. Either way, the fact that Semirhage refers to what happens at the end of TGS as reintegration, along with Rand's statement to Min that he and LTT have always been the same person, strongly suggests that LTT was a construct of Rand's mind due to stress.

Ironically, I believe Rand actually suffered from a real form of madness before he ever began to suffer from his taint-induced madness. I'm sure we'll hit this again in a year or so, when Leigh goes over ToM, but Nynaeve's PoVs with healing madness pretty much seal the deal regarding Rand's particular flavor of taint madness. The sickness he felt every time he tried to touch Saidin for about 4 books seems to be what the taint did to him.
Roger Powell
47. forkroot
Leigh - I think there's a little bit of the devil in you... how else to explain your deliberate fanning of the flames of the LTT is (was) real/not-real debate? If I didn't know better, I'm almost say ... no, I won't say you were asking for a spanking because that would be crude.
Meanwhile, double shame on you! That "offhand" remark was the worst body-part pun I've seen since the Boston Globe sub-headline that read "Keeping abreast of Betty Ford".
TW L
48. Shadow_Jak
@47
Meanwhile, double shame on you! That "offhand" remark was the worst
body-part pun I've seen since the Boston Globe sub-headline that read
"Keeping abreast of Betty Ford".

I'm sure I read somewhere, in my personal copy of the Proficies...
"And at the Last Battle, the Dragon Reborn shall ascend the Mountains of Dhoom, descend into the depths of Shayol Ghoul, and at long last, face the Dark One single-handedly

Or maybe not
Charles Gaston
49. parrothead
Oooooh, here's a thought: in AMoL, will Rand get a replacement hand made of silver?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuada_Airgetl%C3%A1m

Hmm, king of the Tuatha de Danann, who in WoT gave their name to the Tuatha'an, the descendents of the Da'shain Aiel. The other branch became simply the Aiel, Rand is Aiel and Car'a'carn (which, of course, is not a wetlander king, but...) Maybe Perrin will take up the smith's hammer one more time? Who knows.
Aidan Young
50. aidanyoung1102
I think Min's insistence on staying with Rand went too far in this case. Rand is too overprotective of all the women he loves, true, but in this case Min is just not able to provide ANY VALUE to the situation as a non-channeler and she should just stay the hell out of the way.
Roger Powell
51. forkroot
@50

I think Min's insistence on staying with Rand went too far in this case. Rand is too overprotective of all the women he loves, true, but in this case Min is just not able to provide ANY VALUE to the situation as a non-channeler and she should just stay the hell out of the way.
Whoa! Recall that although Rand and Co. were very wary, they still thought they were going to meet with DoTNM. Rand values Min's viewings very highly and I'm sure one reason he allowed her to come was to get the benefit of her viewing DoTNM. Obviously if they knew for sure that it was a trap, Rand would not have let her come.
Noneo Yourbusiness
52. Longtimefan
@ 50 aidanyoung1102

Min's insistence on staying with Rand in this and many other situations is entirely in character for her.

A character who can not only see future events with certainty but is not sure she sees every event or knows exactly what those events mean she has motivation to be around Rand as much as possible incase his aura changes or adds a new element.

Also she is a character who is deeply and entirely in love with Rand and it is that unwavering affection that allows Rand to keep a bit of emotional stability when Semirhage reveals to all gathered that Rand is on the solid path to crazyville. Even Rand worries about his mental state and yet Min's affirmation of her love for him through the bond gives him a moment of pause .

A moment he needs to keep from reacting to Semirhage's taunt.

Min's purpose is to keep Rand stable and in some ways humble. She has the unique position of having met him when he was still just a village boy but not burdened by knowing him from years in the same village.

She knows the risks, she faces dangers as best she can and she is a stabilizing force in Rand's life.

If Min had not been part of the party how would Rand have delt with Semirhage's taunt? He may have ducked aside but who would have taken the fireball instead? Cadsuane? Nynaeve?

I do not know because I do not have a good spacial understanding of where the people were positioned.

Min had a personal reason for being there but in the end she had a very important emotional impact on Rand at a time when he had lost his hand, was directly revealed to be crazy in front of some of his trusted allies and was denied the ability to meet with the Daughter of the Nine Moons to make the truce he wanted.

I do not know if keeping her back would have been a good move since she would have rushed right into whatever was happening once she knew that Rand had been harmed.
Roger Powell
53. forkroot
ltf@52
Excellent points made! Min did indeed play a valuable role, in retrospect.

Min is such a beloved character.... I know that I almost stopped reading WOT because of her! That's right - when TGS came out and I read the scene with Semi compelling Rand to kill Min. I screamed out "No!" and put the book down. I was sure that he would be forced to go through with it and I just couldn't stand it.

So for about 30 minutes I sat in my hotel room (I was on a business trip) and contemplated just stopping cold turkey and abandoning WoT forever -- as it somehow not reading further would save Min!

Full props to BWS for building up such a dramatic moment.
Hugh Arai
54. HArai
Wolfmage@41: You may be right. I'm probably just a little tired of the "I'm Rand's last line of defense, I can take care of myself" attitude when she is decidedly less polished or lethal than Thom or Mat, or the Maidens. She gets disabused of the idea in TGS, so I suppose I should be patient. I think it just stands out to me because she's so consistently sensible otherwise.


As far as blaming her, as I said in a previous comment I'm not really interested in blaming anyone but Semirhage.
Theresa Gray
55. Terez27
Hey Leigh,

I interrogated Erica Sadun about her signing reports the other day, and I asked her about this specifically:

Where we actually got the “severed hand” thing, really, isn’t from the narrative at all, but from Jordan directly. Jordan told people at a signing, about a million years ago, that just as Mat shares characteristics with Odin and Perrin with Thor, he made Rand share traits with the Norse god Tyr, who sacrifices his arm to Fenris so that the wolf may be bound. Without that, I’m not convinced the in-story foreshadowing is even sufficient to indicate it.


Mainly, I asked her why she was so sure that RJ had confirmed Rand would lose a hand. I felt the Mat-Odin-eye thing was more obvious than the hand thing. Yes, it was foreshadowed, but blatant enough to be sure? But Erica said it was something more like, you guys had it all figured out - 'we knew, and he knew'. I'm guessing she read mostly into his other signs - facial expression, etc. But I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way about the hand foreshadowing.

Agreed with WSB that 'severed hand, not hers' refers to the Band. That's an old theory at Theoryland, actually.

PS - My thoughts on Lews Therin. With a Leigh quote for good measure. :) Of course, that page doesn't really get too deeply into my arguments for construct theory. It just hits the high points. It's mostly about the history of the debate, and how drastically public opinion changed after TGS...and whether or not that means anything.
Birgit
56. birgit
The thing that's always been most dangerous to Rand is a failure to understand the reincarnation mechanism that we readers understand due to our seeing Osan'gar/Aran'gar/Cyndane/Moridin.

That's not the same thing as ordinary reincarnations. When the DO brings someone back, he takes the soul of someone who has just died with its memories of that life and puts it in a stolen adult body. In a normal reincarnation the soul is reborn in a new body as a baby without memories of former lives. With Rand, the LTT memories begin leaking through when he is grown up, probably because of the Taint and/or because he is the Dragon.

And she still displays this attitude later (Ch36 - Under an Oak) after he has racked up a huge total of Seanchan dead and wounded.
Especially combined with her earlier dismay at seeing the Band's map showing all the Seanchan troop location.

For Tuon, tactical advantages are more important than the life of individual soldiers. That the enemy has detailed maps of Seanchan troops is a tactical advantage. Soldiers who die in battle just do their duty to the Empire.

The sickness he felt every time he tried to touch Saidin for about 4 books seems to be what the taint did to him.

Other male channelers aren't affected by the Taint in that way. It must be either a result of the crossed balefire or the Taint (+ Mashadar) in his wounds.
ftbleighjkjk
57. Junts
Actually my point about the prologue wasn't that it's a great hook, its that its the only place in the entire series prior to 12-13-14 that the reader is given many very important pieces of information.

When i read the series the first time (after quite a few books were out), I found myself re-reading that prologue every book or two because new parts of it became relevant. While thats true for a lot of EOTW and TGH, the hints in the prologue of EOTW hint at things that don't happen for forever as opposed to hinting at things that are resolved in the first two books.

Its an extremely important collection of information about Rand, Ishamael, and how the cosmology of the WOT -really- works, as opposed to what most people think in-world.

In fact, it even helps support a lot of theorizing as to the motives of Ishamael-Moridin and the Dark one through the series, in their continued attempts to break or convert Rand instead of killing him. Even when LTT is insane and destroying everything, Ishamael heals him to try to break him.

Either he's obsessively wrong (in whichcase you'd think Mr Dark One would stop him instead of supporting him), or the Dark One can't break the Wheel without corrupting the Dragon. Ishamael is so continually reckless to this end (and the Dark One supports him a great deal) that they must both beleive that this is necessary.
lake sidey
58. lakesidey
@48 Shadow_Jak: On the, ah, other hand, we should note that in the histories of Mount D(h)oom, Rand the single-handed has a better ring to it than Frodo Nine-fingers (unless of course the battle goes saur on him!).

~lakesidey
~~(who really needs to get a life)
Marcus W
59. toryx
The bit about Rand losing his hand is one of the areas where I'm glad I didn't get all crazy with the FAQ, the newsgroup discussions or seeking out every single thing RJ has ever said.

I never heard that RJ had been modeling the three after the Norse Gods so when Rand lost his hand it caught me by surprise. Which is great; no spoilers! (I'm STILL furious about RJ's comment about the Mat and Tuon outrigger series.) I could have gotten as wrapped up in WoT fandom as everyone else and maybe I'd have a sweet job as a blogger right now and extra inside connections to Team Jordan and all that but in the end, it would have had a detrimental effect on my enjoyment of the books.

So, uh, good job me, I guess.

At any rate, as someone who has poured over the prophecies and Mins viewings and all the little connections since the publication of EotW, I never saw anything that directly suggested that Rand would end up one-handed. The loss of Mat's eye, on the other hand (heh), was certainly pretty well set in place by the time it finally happened. So I was stunned at reading this chapter the first time and I thought the scene was really well done. I was also pleased with just how evil and creepy Semirhage was (and actually continues to be).

That's why I stay away from spoilers, man.
Charles Gaston
60. parrothead
forkroot @ 53:
I was going to save this until we got to that chapter, but...
I had almost the same reaction to TGS. I read that chapter on my last break at work. Started, but did not finish. So, for the rest of the day and the nearly-hour long commute home, I am almost sick. I have never had such an emotional reaction to a book before or since (aside from the "Fellow of No Delicacy" chapter in Tale of Two Cities, but that was personal). I could so easily see Rand getting pushed over the edge, and failing at Tarmon Gaidin, and the Dark One winning, and Min's eyes still loving him...

Longtimefan @ 52 makes a great analysis of her relationship with Rand, and especially how she met him at a critical juncture.
Rob Munnelly
61. RobMRobM
Love the Mat portion. RJ in tip top writing shape here.

Rand portion is well done but I have nothing to say beyond what's been said.

Rob
ftbleighjkjk
62. BFG
Along with everyone else I want to add my general appreciation for Mat :)

Nothing really to add to the Rand discussion, but an observation that way back in Book 1 Egs initial reaction when learning that Rand could channel was to flinch (corrected seconds later), so kudos to Min on never faltering when hearing that Rand was mad. Although to be fair to Eg, this probably isn't as big a shock to Min as the chanelling was to Eg.
Tricia Irish
63. Tektonica
Junts@28:

Well put. I'd never really thought of all the grief that LTT was feeling when he killed himself. Anyone would try to protect themselves from that....especially someone who thought he was someone else (Rand) but could feel terrible guilt and grief for inexplicable reasons. So he put up a wall...a construct, as many refer to it. I'm glad he tore that wall down, and gave himself another chance in TGS.
Hugh Arai
64. HArai
lakesidey@58: Groan. Thanks for several seconds of mental agony. Luckily I don't think it will (quite) inspire me to commit suicide by core tap. :)
ftbleighjkjk
65. Abraham Lincoln
Rand's blindness - I'm pretty sure that was semi-explained in ToM, in that scene where Rand outs Weiramon and Anaiyella as Darkfriends. He says something along the lines of he's no longer blind, and the time for hiding is done. It seems a little weak for blindness to refer to the inability to recognize Darkfriends on sight, but, whatever, worked as a metaphor for me. I figured you can really apply blindness to all sorts of things, and that his epiphany in TGS would be considered the ultimate eye-opener.
ftbleighjkjk
66. UseOfWeapons
Re: Mat's title. When Victoria ruled the British Empire, her husband Albert was Prince Consort. So there's RL precedent for his title to remain 'Prince of Ravens', though perhaps that would change when there's a new heir apparent.
Sorcha O
67. sushisushi
ValMar@35 Ah, thanks, I think that's it. What I meant about the sul'dam is that they seem to be the only ones in Seanchan society who don't seem to have the squicks about close contact with the Power (apart from the damane, who aren't counted as people). They are a type of priestess, in a way, who is able to deal with what basically seems to be the ritually unclean, without being polluted themselves - they can control and use the Power, but only through the a'dam. They also act in the service of the Empress, and are allowed to use the power with her special dispensation (unlike damane and male sparkers). Karede doesn't have that dispensation, so is squicked about letting the ritually unclean damane get too close to him (I suspect he'd only be more freaked out by the suggestion that *he* could channel…)

Also, hope that the English cities continue to calm back down again - I hear it's raining tonight, which always helps! Hope no-one on here had too rough a time of it.

(I wish textedit wouldn't keep trying to turn 'damane' into 'adman', it's very off-putting…)
ftbleighjkjk
68. Junts
In real life, people marrying reigning Queens and Empresses dont become Kings or Emperors unless they are co-rulers, because in the heirarchy of precedence, Kings and Emperors outrank Queens and Empresses.

Non-ruling spouses are always Princes or Prince Consorts.

You can have a Queen-Consort, but you cannot have a King-Consort, because they would outrank the ruler, and that is not permitted.

Yes, that's really how real precedence works in Europe.
Paul Boulos
69. PaulieX
Haven't read all the comments yet, so don't know if this has been mentioned, but...
If Min turned away from him, he did not know whether he could stand it. If she turned away, it would be the best thing in the world for her. But compassion and determination as strong as mountains replaced numbness, and love so bright he thought he could have warmed his hands over it.
Shouldn't it read "...he could have warmed his HAND over it."?

Just sayin'. :)

Edit: Oh, and I always assumed the forshadowing about the loss of the hand had to do with Mat and the Band...not literally a hand.
Stefan Mitev
70. Bergmaniac
It's the same in Randland too. Ethenielle's husband in NS had the title of Prince Consort, that's also the title of the husband of the Andoran Queen.

Tuon said in the previous chapter that Healing is a great thing, refusing it was really dumb by Mat (one of the few imes I agreed with her ;)) and she was trying to make it accepted by the Seanchan, but for the moment most of them still feared it. But I guess after a crossbow quarrel has shattered your leg or punctured your lung, most people would quickly overcome their superstitions and accept Healing, even Mat did a few times when his injuries were bad.
TW L
71. Shadow_Jak
@24
Well, as we discussed ad nauseum a few weeks ago, he was supposed to
bring one non-channeler to “make the sides even.” He’d probably have
done the same thing (ordered her to stay behind him, and been unable to
jump aside) with any woman who came; if he’d brought a man the only
difference is that Rand (probably) wouldn’t have insisted so hard that
he stay back.

He couldn't bring a man. KoD ch 20, The Golden Crane...

"You can bring five people who can channel. She'll assume any man with you can, but you can bring a woman who can't, to make the honors even..."

Of course he could have cheated and brought a woman who could channel, but with inverted weaves to hide the ability.

Or better yet (from the perspective of re-read commentary at least) an Asha'man in drag ;-)
Roger Powell
72. forkroot
I'm in the mood to drag out the expired equine and begin flailing away, so here goes...

I know Leah waits til the last post for a given book, and I know I've already complained once about the KoD cover, but the stupid cover appears at the top of every post. It amazes me that DKS actually received compensation for that work ... I guess living on your reputation has some benefits (ask Joey Porter, Adam Dunn, and others).

So, I can't remember, did we already do a poll on what was the worst cover? I want to vote for KoD again and again.
William Fettes
73. Wolfmage
I personally find the constructed voice theory to be rather problematic. It cuts against the myriad cues we’re given about the voice and it’s associated behaviours and actions, grammatical and otherwise, which indicate it’s a genuinely responsive entity with it’s own cognition and values.

It’s not that you can’t imagine an auto-magical partition within Rand’s head, which contains an incredibly lifelike emulation of LTT’s cognitive agency created by Rand’s subconscious out of LTT’s genuine memories based on Rand’s psychosis and his need for dissociation. Nor is it strictly ‘impossible’ to imagine that the partition sometimes separates Rand from LTT's knowledge and sometimes fails without any apparent rhyme or reason. You can certainly make the theory fit the observed facts, but IMO it’s still a gimmicky explanation that is gratuitous to the text.

For a start, it requires us to read down the mountainous evidence in the text that is suggestive of genuine agency. For example, whenever Rand battles with LTT for the Source or whenever LTT actually takes control and is performing unknown weaves, and it is described rather clearly as an exogenous agency, we must step back and embrace a form of unreliable narrator so extreme that the plain text becomes nearly meaningless compared to what is really happening according to the theory.

It also requires us to accept at face value that Rand’s subconscious is capable of assembling the faux LTT agency with such precision that there are no clues across thousands of pages of text that this not the real LTT, but rather a mentally unstable farmboy’s crude copy of him based on real memories. Not only does this copy never betray itself throughout the whole series, but Rand’s mind appears to run such a sophisticated emulation of LTT that it can respond in real time to internal and external stimuli with what appears to be genuine cognition. For example, when LTT laughs about Rand’s ignorance when Rand dismisses the preparedness of merchants to take on risk and many other examples which show sophisticated responsiveness.

Now, it's open to a constructist to say that Rand's LTT simply does a realtime VLOOKUP in the walled off memory bank to pull up the appropriate memory and the associated values to make sense of it, whilst still shielding Rand from these memories, and then respond appropriately. But, at least for me, the mechanics of this become rather absurd when I think closely about it.

There is also the problem that other characters appear to survive and thrive just fine with even more simultaneous identities. Birgitte and Mat both have the memories of countless lives available to them and none of them suffer even a hint of psychosis. Admittedly, Birgitte’s are fading, but that is likely a function of the fact that her composite identity was a unique feature of her temporary holding place in TER. Accordingly, the simple fact that she was ripped out is probably enough to explain this fading phenonemon. For Mat, the case is even stronger, as his memories are not even his own soul’s memories and they include countless traumatic deaths and suffering. Perhaps all that trauma is not qualitatively equivalent to LTT's terrible realisation of being a Kinslayer, but the quantum of suffering within Mat's head is actually greater and yet he manages just fine.

As for tGS, the line that they were never two people is entirely consistent with the cosmological fact of the Dragon’s soul having iterative identities that are part of one essential identity he reaches. He is indeed one person: the Dragon. Indeed, what is often left out of the constructivist account of Veins of Gold is that during that scene Rand looks back even further over his previous lives, to other Dragons, which are also part of his one person, and the fact that LTT's voice actually talks Rand down from his pessimistic fatalism. It would be ironic indeed if he, at least in part, was saved by this voice which was just a manifestation of his crazy psychosis.
Robert Crawley
74. Alphaleonis
ValMar @35

I found TEOTW prologue to be a great hook not in spite of my confusion when I first read it, but because of it. I was greatly confused, but knew that what I had read was not irrelevant. I wanted to read more to find out who this LTT was and how he had gotten into the situation, I wanted to find out who Ishamael was and what came before in his relationship to LTT. I wanted to RAFO and so I did, voraciously ever since. I came into this later than most on this site, so I have only read the series 3 times. But that is in the past 3-4 years. My three grandsons started the series before I did and they haven't finished it once yet. But they recently bought the remaining books so they won't have to continue borrowing mine.

Junts @57

My comment about the prologue of TEOTW being the best grabber to start any SFF book or series wasn't really a response to your comment about its great relevence in the series. I just used your comment about it to bring in a discussion I had had earlier this week with my two youngest sons about the best hook to start any SFF novel or series. The discussion was started by my youngest son who stated that the first few pages of Mistborn were the best he had encountered. The other son and I agreed that this prologue was the best. All three of us have read much of the same SFF beginning with LOTR 9 years ago when we all read it while on a month long 8500 mile road trip around the US.
ftbleighjkjk
75. AndrewB
forkroot @72 re least favorite cover.

My least favorite cover is TSR. Of all the books, that does not even closely resemble a scene from the story. I for one, like my covers to have some correspondence to the novel. That is why KoD did not bother me as much as some of the other covers (Like TSR or CoT).

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
ftbleighjkjk
76. Junts
Its not unreasonable to assume Rand is eventually saved by the part of his personality rooted in LTT: Lews Therin was after all a successful, intelligent and capable individual for centuries before he was driven crazy by the taint and suicidal by grief. Why can't some episode in the life of Lews Therin Telamon be the instigatory memory that helps him on some level conclude that there are second chances? In a way, given that's where his incredible grief is coming from, it almost has to come from the same 'portion' of his information.

Rand not only isn't a reliable narrator, but more htan any other POV character, we are constantly shielded from his real thoughts and emotions when we are seeing his POV. Rand doesn't let us into his own head with great frequency. We spend massive amounts of TSR, FOH and LOC in his head and still have no idea what he's thinking or planning beyond the most oblique references imaginable. Somehow he manages to go through this year of his life while puzzling out his riddle-answers from the finn, preparing to cleanse Saidin and learning which sa'angreal can do it for him without us ever being told that that's his goal or what he's thinking about!

And at that point he's the POV for over half of each book.

How can we expect any reliable insight when he's showing up 2 chapters a book like he does in the crossroads-knife portion of the story?
William Fettes
77. Wolfmage
Junts @ 76

Rand not only isn't a reliable narrator, but more htan any other POVcharacter, we are constantly shielded from his real thoughts and emotions when we are seeing his POV. Rand doesn't let us into his own head with great frequency. We spend massive amounts of TSR, FOH and LOC in his head and still have no idea what he's thinking or planning beyond the most oblique references imaginable. Somehow he manages to go through this year of his life while puzzling out his riddle-answers from the finn, preparing to cleanse Saidin and learning which sa'angreal can do it for him without us ever being told that that's his goal or what he's thinking about!

I'm not disputing the existence of unreliable narrator. That's obviously an inherent part of POV writing. I'm simply saying that the construct theory requires a version of it that is so powerful and pervasive that it it subplants the plain text in a way I find counter-intuitive and destructive to the integrity of what is actually written.We must basically disregard everything we're told about how Rand experiences LTT and his actions and thoughts.

As for Rand's thought processes being increasingly oblique, that is an entirely normal fantasy convention. Most authors in the epic fantasy genre resort to this trick of obscuring plot-critical planning from the POV of key characters as they move beyond their origin story to a more central, determinative role in the world. It's a necessary move to create suspense and tension for key plot moments that would otherwise be ruined by too much foreknowledge of the planning phases that went into it. Exactly the same thing happens with Egwene's planning around the chain and countless other examples. So, yes, there's obscurity there which opens up space for off-screen antics, but that is a neutral fact that has no inherent bearing on the point being made. We certainly see enough of Rand's inner most thoughts and the operation of LTT across the whole series to make a considered judgement about it.
Eric Hughes
78. CireNaes
And so the wheel has turned again on the real or construct debate. I thought it easily solved by looking at what makes a person in WoT, but I posted that before going grey. Perhaps a regurgitation is in order seeing as we have some fresh blood desirous of a good row. It would be just like old times. We really did have a more lively crowd back then. I blame the bunker. Much too civilized.
Theresa Gray
79. Terez27
Oh, WOW. For those of you who don't know, Marie Curie has done an amazing amount of work on the interview database with me, researching to find old interviews at various places on the net. Right now she's filling out missing Brandon interviews, and she just found a doozy.

The official word on the TGS tour was 'we ain't telling you'. But that was after this interview...



GD: Anyone who knows the books at all knows that Rand al’Thor hears the voice of Lews Therin in his head-sometimes cackling like a madman, other times more helpfully. After wading through all of Robert Jordan’s notes, and listening to those dictated comments, do you have a new sympathy for Rand?

BS: Robert Jordan dropped a bomb at the end of Knife of Dreams, with what Semirhage was saying about or to Rand, talking about his level of stability. I remember as a reader, going through as a kid-I think Robert Jordan blindsided me with Lews Therin, because I’d been told that “Rand will go mad, Rand will go mad,” but I didn’t accept that voice as Rand going mad. I accepted that as another person, inside of Rand’s head, and not a delusion or anything like that. Across the course of the books, Robert Jordan brought together this thing that he’d promised: “No, look, this guy is just going crazy. Yes, he’s seeing part of his past life, but he’s going insane. It’s the immense pressure that’s doing this.” In looking through the notes, and seeing what Rand has to go through, it’s hard not to sympathize with the poor guy.








Looks like this debate is over, folks. And about damn time. :D
William Fettes
80. Wolfmage
Hmm. Well, this could be one of those terrible moments of realisations, like listening to the director's commentory of Donnie Darko, where authorial comment damages the standalone nature of the work for me.

Of course, it would be more dispositive if we had the specific wording of the question RJ was responding to there, especially since AFAIK the interview record was otherwise solidly ambiguious about the issue. Obviously, it appears to say Rand was crazy in the context of the discussion of the voice. But given BS was extemporising on the subject in the context of his belief that there were no sanity problems with Rand at all, that's different. I certainly don't believe Rand had no sanity problems and it's certainly open to the real theory to say the voice is leaking over precisely because of a critical failure tied to the walls in his mind and soul.

I take some comfort that it wasn't a more explicit confirmation of the idea that the voice is nothing more than a fake, albeit implausibly realistic, emulation of LTT's agency.
Eric Hughes
81. CireNaes
@79

That doesn't seem conclusive enough to me either. Rand's madness does not need to be linked specifically to the voice. He had perfectly barvy moments without it.

Besides, I'm feeling contrary anyway.
Theresa Gray
82. Terez27
He essentially says explicitly that the voice was a delusion, a product of his pressures and the influence of the taint. Lews Therin was real, but Lews Therin was Rand, and Rand didn't accept that. He's commented on that aspect of it before, and not really obliquely (this is something I preached about pre-TGS, how Rand's refusal to accept that Tam wasn't his father was almost identical to his refusal to accept that Lews Therin was himself):

Brandon on Twitter - 4 January 2011
I love that RJ gave Rand such a personal, powerful internal problem at the start with questioning his relationship to Tam.
Brandon
Though it's easy for us to say "Of course Tam's your father, silly" this issue was deep and meaningful for Rand and served as...
Brandon ...a wonderful way to make the book about more than the action. It also foreshadows Rand's later identity crisis with Lews Therin.
Eric Hughes
83. CireNaes
@80

That was Brandon, not RJ. Don't know if you meant to post that and need to clarify a bit or if you read too fast.
Theresa Gray
84. Terez27
Right, I doubt RJ would have ever said any such thing. Hence the hedging in later Brandon interviews - clearly Team Jordan saw that interview and asked him to be more discreet.
Anthony Pero
85. anthonypero
It was brandon talking about the material RJ left him.

Constructionists FTW
Theresa Gray
86. Terez27
@Wolfmage - I think Brandon brought up his beliefs about Rand's sanity because that's the way that RJ wrote it. He wrote it so that the reader would have a reason to hope that maybe Rand wasn't going insane, that he could hold off the madness. That's why Rand's always saying he's not mad yet. That's why he has this conflict when Cadsuane tells him that insane men sometimes hear voices, and Lews Therin disappears (because his fear of insanity made it impossible for him to maintain the illusion - it bothered him). Lews Therin only returned when Rand started to directly exhibit insanity - he almost killed Torval in TPOD 14. And so Lews Therin returned, insisting that Rand should kill him, and thus Rand was able to pretend again that he wasn't going insane. As I noted in the article I linked earlier, Rand's conversation with Min in TGS 15 spells it out quite clearly.

Semirhage says that sometimes the voices are real, but she's not saying that the 'real' voices aren't still delusions of madmen. She says that Rand is hearing the voice because he is insane. The only thing that makes the voice 'real' is the fact that the memories are real. The voice itself is a product of dissociation from those memories - a delusion caused by madness.
Alice Arneson
87. Wetlandernw
And once again, everything in both the text and the interviews says what you expect it to say. If you interpret it in light of your own theory, it's "obvious" - but it's not obvious at all. Even Brandon's statement doesn't actually say what Terez claims, nor does it necessitate the implicit extension into the construct theory that she assumes.

"He essentially says explicitly that the voice was a delusion..." No, he doesn't say it explicity, or you wouldn't have to throw in the "essentially." You believe he implies it - and therefore your version of the logical conclusion thereof. His actual words neither prove nor disprove the theory as a whole unless you already are convinced of it and choose to read it that way.

Wolfmage @several - You go! I think that "it requires us to read down the mountainous evidence in the text that is suggestive of genuine agency" is a magnificent statement of the problem I've always had with the construct theory. It's an overly-complicated "solution" that just can't fly for me - not even when launched off a cliff with a hang-glider.

(And speaking of unreliable narrators - what does Semirhage really know about the mechanics of the Dragon being Reborn? She's talking off the top of her head as much as anyone, either here or in the book. But she's got a genuine purpose in her confident statements; it doesn't matter whether it's true, or whether she has any knowledge of it whatsoever, as long as it creates uncertainty, suspicion and/or fear in the minds and hearts of her captors.)
Birgit
88. birgit
The difference between Tylee's and Tuon's reaction to Healing might have to do with the Taint (most people don't know it is no longer there). Perrin lets an Asha'man Heal him, while Tuon wants Mat to get Healed by an AS. And Tuon as a sul'dam has more experience with the OP than a soldier, who mainly sees damane killing enemies.
James Hogan
89. Sonofthunder
Wow, so I don't think I've posted in this re-read in forever. I'm a terrible person. *hides in shame*

But anyway, while I normally agree with you in pretty much *everything*, Wetlander, I've been a semi-constructionist for a while now. I forget when it was, Theresa, but one of your epic posts swayed me and I can't go back. I do agree that the Dragonmount statement can go either way though, depending on what you want to believe. I just like the beauty and simplicity of the construct theory...really it's just "Rand going mad". And us not even realizing it. Love it. Even though having the LTT voice be its own personality is more emotionally satisfying(more fantasy-ish! And why I was a Real-ist for so long), to me the construct-theory just makes more sense. And while I tend to usually disregard extra-book comments made by authors, I'll be a punk and nod my head happily to Brandon's comments as quoted above, since they agree with me. *ducks into bunker*

Oh and one more thing...I can echo a few of the comments above. Since I came in late to the game(post KOD), I had no idea of any theories or fandom or ANYTHING related to WoT, so Rand's hand loss was a complete shock. I was really annoyed, because it meant we wouldn't be seeing any more sweet swordplay out of him. Also, I remember Semirhage's comments coming as a huge shock, the first time others in Rand's party got word of his LTT voice. And then of course, came TGS, when they got even more confirmation.

And Mat is awesome, indeed. And I'm happy that Tuon gets to see this.

(And sorry to have been so absent of late, y'all!! Work's been hectic, but that's no excuse, right?)
ftbleighjkjk
90. crAzyTalk
LTT as a construct doesn't make sense...unless Rand is also a construct by the mid/later books. LTT is the aspect of the Dragon that can fulfill prophecy. Rand is the aspect that is mostly just a boy who is scared numb. The closer he comes to the LB, the greater the numbness and aversion to channeling (reaching for the source becomes synonymous with reaching for his destiny...it's the ultimate reminder that he is no longer a boy from the two rivers, but a legend of uncertain hope and cruel destruction). How does an 18/20-something cope with that? The physical problems Rand later experiences when reaching for the source can be explained as repercussions of balefire crossing, or subtle low-intensity long-term interference by O'sangar, or any number of non-duplicated meta-physics. But it could more simply be Rand's psychological aversion to his destiny causing physical manifestations of sickness. Personally, I'm of the opinion that Egwene spun out as the Dragon would've wrapped the Dark One up back in tEoTW, but I enjoyed the books so am glad that didn't happen. For those who prefer to disbelieve the craziness,though, I seem to recall Rand's problems channeling occurred before Elayne's. If Elayne's pregnancy is to blame for her problems, then obviously Rand is really a girl who got knocked up by Min (who people thought was a boy until she started dressing like a girl). Now we know from Halima that girls can still channel Saidin. That leaves the only loose end as "Who is actually Elayne's baby daddy"? I'm not sure anyone truly knows, but there's a certain ter'angreal that made her think of warmth that we know caused her to do some very embarrassing things that nobody wanted to talk about. So if we agree that Rand's a dame and Min's a dude, what does that say about all those girls admiring Rand's pretty eyes or guys admiring Min's breaches? Clearly tWOT series is more diverse than first suspected.
Valentin M
91. ValMar
Quit your jibber jabber y'all, LTT ain't no real fool! He imaginary- it's canon!
Aaanyway, probably it doesn't help that the apparent chap going by the name of LTT is one of the best written "characters" in the series.
If one reads through the mountain of text which Wolfmage mentioned it will be very emotionally provocative read- sadness, fear, humour, etc., never flat.

Alphaleonis @ 74
I must say that my comment on the opening prologue is referring to the 1st time I read it. Not a general opinion.

Sushisushi @ 67
I slightly misunderstood you re the suldam. But Karede's issue is with the power itself, not the damane, etc.
Noneo Yourbusiness
92. Longtimefan
I have never really worried that much over the LTT/Rand debate.

I have always thought that they are both separate and yet only Rand.

On Toman Head one of the Heroes of Legend looks and Rand and calls him LTT (yeah, you know me). I have always felt this was reasonable as Rand is the Dragon Reborn.

It is similar to having your 5 year old self with all of youth's knowledge and interests and impetuous behavior fully bloom again within your brain.

It is you and it is who you were all those years ago but it is not you because you have changed how you live your life and your needs and knowledge are different from that previous self.

The same self and a self who is within you but is reacting and thinking of things differently than your recent self who buys groceries and drives a car and uses a cell phone.

Granted the timeline is larger and they are two separate lives instead of two separate years but I have always felt that it was something like that.

Rand is Rand and LTT is LTT but LTT is reborn as Rand so it is Rand's life and he is trying to reconcile having clear memories of something most "reborn" people (or in my poor simile Adults) do not.

Yes there are many of us who remember being 5 years old but we chose to recall those moments. It is not the same as having the 5 year old self reacting to current day situations and trying to deal with it using the information only available to a 5 year old from the time in which the indivdual was 5.

It is kind of like Billy Pilgrim from Slaugther House 5 but instead of having the trail of his life follow behind him like a millipede it has all been squished into one Rand and the bits that are usually not rememberd have started to assert themeslves on the current life.

All the same singular person, several lives from different spinnings of the wheel in one body. Usually the current personality is the only one known but in TAR a person like Bridgitte knows all of them and is ok with all of them.

That is why I think LTT had the greatest possiblity of appearing physically when Rand was fighting Ravin in TAR. It was still who Rand is but because he sees himself as separate the physical manifistation in TAR was conflicted on who to become since he is both LTT and Rand.

Which brings up the interesting question of what does LTT/Rand really look like? Bridgitte is generally similar looking (one may suppose) each time she is spun out but if there were paintings or etchings of her different lives would she really look exactly the same? I think not.

The readership can assume that she would since the only time she is on page is in TAR or after being pulled out of TAR and she recounts some of her past but it is reluctant and with very poor discriptions of herself.

A braid, a bow and breasts. Those are not much to hang a complete discription on. Maybe she was always blond. I do not recall if that was essential but if it was her face could still have been long or round or angular in a different life. TAR is the singular true self but the lived life may only be an approximation.

This would allow for the skin tone disparity between LTT and Rand.

That was probably more of a complication than it needed to be but it set up a tangible difference which made understanding that they were the same person that much more difficult.

So without knowing Rand/LTT in TAR separate from a living form the reader does not know if the two are similar in other facial features or if both are not the actual face of the Dragon.

We could be presuming that one or the other must be the TAR face and it is possible we have never seen what the other Heroes of Legend are seeing.

Again, to use the previous simile, your 5 year old self may look something like you and it may be enough for someone who has not seen you in 30 years to recognize that it is the same person but in 50 years or in 70 years it becomes more difficult to see the similarities instantly.

Granted that is the aging process which is not like being spun out of the pattern into a new body but the idea is close enough to win a game of horse shoes. I think. I guess it depends on how good the other horse shoe throwers are.

Well, How well can you throw a horse shoe? :)

Edit. somehow I spelled throw, through.
Theresa Gray
93. Terez27
@Wetlander


"He essentially says explicitly that the voice was a delusion..." No, he doesn't say it explicity, or you wouldn't have to throw in the "essentially." You believe he implies it - and therefore your version of the logical conclusion thereof. His actual words neither prove nor disprove the theory as a whole unless you already are convinced of it and choose to read it that way.


I threw in the essentially because it's directly implied. That's explicit, not my belief. And his words do indeed prove the theory, unless you have a horse in the real'er race and choose to ignore the obvious. ;)
Alice Arneson
94. Wetlandernw
No horses; I just tend to try to read exactly what's said from all perspecitives without prejudice. That reading clearly leaves it open to interpretation - unless you have a horse in the construct race, whereupon it becomes "obvious" to you.

With minimal effort, I can make the text and all the interviews fit both of the main theories - as well as most of the other looney theories I can recall on the subject. And in every case, I could claim that "it's obvious" based on whatever color glasses I'm wearing at the time.
ftbleighjkjk
95. Homeschool
@parrothead (49) - I feel like you hit the nail on the head, here. I couldn't find the reference, but I have a memory indicating some connection between Elayne and a silver hand. For a very long time, I've been under the impression that Elayne will craft a ter'angreal hand for Rand in the last book. Guess we'll see, huh?

After learning for sure that Rand and Lews Therin are one and the same, I'm confident that what we observed was essentially a crumbling amnesia (perhaps the same effect that causes us to forget early childhood) replaced by a multiple personality complex. Rand was terrified of the memories he was discovering, confused about what it meant to be "reborn", and afraid of losing himself, so he began to splinter as he went mad. Things which he knew were not from his life as Rand were bundled together as "leaking over", since they were clearly from Lews Therin's memories. As time went on, and he remembered more and more, it became increasingly difficult, and his terror and confusion mixed with the building madness to increase the complexity of this voice he'd created. The thoughts were his, but they were thoughts he couldn't rationally accept as belonging to himself, so he named them Lews Therin. As the madness grew worse, and the number of things he had to keep straight increased, he was also growing exhausted with the mental effort of maintaining it, and he began to lose track of what belonged to him, and what belonged to the Lews Therin persona he'd developed. Even when he fought Rahvin in T'A'R, his self-image shifting was a result of a surfacing memory of himself as Lews Therin. All the struggles he had were struggles with himself - feeling himself reaching toward saidin and believing that it was not himself. The struggles were so difficult because he was fighting himself. His eventual recovery was a breaking down of the mental walls and realizing that being Lews Therin did not impact his being Rand, thus enabling him to stop fighting himself.
Theresa Gray
96. Terez27
@Wetlander - this much is true, hence the issue here. If you'd like, we could break it down with formal logic. ;) (Actually, I doubt that is necessary, since the real'ers have been dropping like flies since TGS. I think most people get it, including Brandon.)
Margot Virzana
97. LuvURphleb
Min is pointless and i hate her. Her relevance ended in bk six. She does nothing but get in the way and i full heartedly blame her the loss of rands hand. In GS i was grinning wickedly when rand started to strangle her. And was so sad when she didnt die or go mute. My secret fantasy is finding out that she is shaidar haran in disguise and aviendha must kill her as a matter of honor. Seeing that will not be fulfilled i just want her to die in the lst battle. Due to the prophecy/ viewing of three women in boat i know this will most likely not be fulfilled either but i can hope.
She just gets in the way and can flip knives. Big whoop! Aviendha could kill her several times over during her knife twirls!
(that blow up was very cathartic) thanks leigh!
Eric Hughes
99. CireNaes
@97

A few questions.

1.) Is "bk six" the sixth value meal at Burger King?

2.) Would "full heartedly" mean you only blame her during diastole. So at roughly 70-100 bpm (assuming you're an adult, which is a pretty big assumption right now) you actually blame her only half the time for the loss of "rands hand."

4.) "In GS i was grinning wickedly when rand started to strangle her." Have you ever been diagnosed with paraphilia? That was quite disturbing.

3.) Now about this "lst battle" of yours. Here I can help you out. You see, this is the Last Battle that is fast approaching in the series. Not the first. No worries my friend. We've all been there. Aixelsyd is no laughing matter.
Valentin M
100. ValMar
Yeah, Min is one of the more likeable characters around Rand. Often she is the only thing keeping Rand sane, unlike Avi or El...

100!
Eric Hughes
101. CireNaes
@real/construct stuff

:::rummages around in the attic:::

Ah ha! Found it. Number 177.
William Fettes
102. Wolfmage
CireNaes @ 81

Yes, the madness issue is separate. Obviously Rand is going insane over the course of the series, and this was a fairly self-evident even before we had conclusive proof via the tangle of black barbs that Nynaeva can see when she delves him. So that fact certainly isn’t owned by the construct theory.

CireNaes @ 83

Thanks, I thought BS was actually quoting RJ…

Wetlandernw @ various

Well said. I think for myself I probably do have a horse in race in the sense that I’ve debated this before and I confess to an extreme form of hostility to the construct theory because of the impact it would have on my immersion and suspension of disbelief, and the way I think it hurts the integrity of the text.

However, you make a very good point about people seeing what they want to see. Never has that been more true than with Veins of Gold where the line ‘they were never two people’ has obviously elicited a fair bit of crowing and unwarranted triumphalism. I personally think it's a classic form of meta-audience conceit where you bring the framing of the forum turf wars into the text, as if the text was addressing the issue in those terms. It's one of those funny things where experts are more liable to make this mistake than more casual readers because they build up their own toolkit of words and framing devices to unpack and conceptualise aspects of the text, and then forget to put it all down again when they go back to reading. Whatever the suggestiveness of the phrasing, however, the entire chapter is straightforwardly compatible with the voice being a genuine agency.
Noneo Yourbusiness
103. Longtimefan
Yes CireNaes, pretty much. The trouble with the construct/real debate is when the arguments see the sides as being exclusive instead of integrateable. Unless I completely misunderstood your post. Which is always possible. It was a lot of post. I don't have a horse in either race either Wetlandernw. My theory is that both points are true. I just don't think that LTT has to be separate from Rand to be real nor do I think Rand just made him up to deal with the bleed through memories. I never understood why the theories had to be mutually exclusive. But that is just me. Like you I just go with what the text supports and it is malleable enough to support both hence both must be true and an integrated theory would make more sense in story.

Edit for spelling because I only care about spelling occasionally. :)
Alice Arneson
104. Wetlandernw
Wolfmage @102 - As you say. Speaking for myself only, I think the tsunami of "unwarranted triumphalism" (!!) may have pushed me farther toward the "real" interpretation. Gloating is annoying anyway, and when the text doesn't justify it as "obviously" as they would like to claim, it reduces the impact of all the arguments. I mean, when someone takes a statement out of context, applies it to a marginally-relevant debate, and then jumps up and down shouting "I told you so! I told you so!" it tends to make them look more foolish than logical.

What can I say? The construct-theory rhetoric has thus far been... less than convincing, IMO. But I said that already, didn't I? :p
Hugh Arai
105. HArai
Wolfmage@73:For Mat, the case is even stronger, as his memories are not even his own soul’s memories and they include countless traumatic deaths and suffering. Perhaps all that trauma is not qualitatively equivalent to LTT's terrible realisation of being a Kinslayer, but the quantum of suffering within Mat's head is actually greater and yet he manages just fine.

I think he likely "manages just fine" because he doesn't 'own' those memories. He thinks of them as "the other men's memories the 'Finn put in my head". He doesn't think of it as "that was me, Mat, causing all those deaths". To be more equivalent to Rand I think he would have to remember himself being some continuously iterated 'Master of battles' leading men to death in horrible wars every time he's spun out. (Which I think would be an interesting concept, but doesn't fit Mat).

Has there been any indication that Birgitte has anything to be particularly horrified about in her composite memories? She knows she's been spun out countless times, she's always been good with a bow and she always falls in love with Gaidal. Nothing on the par of being the guy who saves and damns the world everytime around that I can see.


wetlandernw@104: What can I say? The construct-theory rhetoric has thus far been... less than convincing, IMO. But I said that already, didn't I? :p

Only three or four times. This thread. :)

wolfmage@102: Having skipped the TGS and ToM spoiler threads as being far too much like trying to drink from a firehose, what is the current reasoning of what has happened to the 'genuine agency' all of a sudden in Veins of Gold such that "He knew -- somehow-- that he would never again hear Lews Therin's voice in his head" ? Apologies for asking you to 'do my homework' but as you point out there's been reams of rhetoric written on this and I'll like to skip slogging through all of it for this one point.
William Fettes
106. Wolfmage
HArai @ 105

I think he likely "manages just fine" because he doesn't 'own' those memories. He thinks of them as "the other men's memories the 'Finn put in my head". He doesn't think of it as "that was me, Mat, causing all those deaths". To be more equivalent to Rand I think he would have to remember himself being some continuously iterated 'Master of battles' leading men to death in horrible wars every time he's spun out. (Which I think would be an interesting concept, but doesn't fit Mat).

Yeah, you’re absolutely right that confronting a previous identity of your soul is different from confronting memories per se. But my point is that there are still strong parallels there in terms of non-local highly traumatic memories which coexist, temporally, with your local memories, and to some extent, threaten to displace the local identity by their very presence.

I also think you might be overstating the separation between Mat’s memories and the 'Finn memories. At various points in the text, Mat indicates he has great trouble separating those memories without concentration, and over time it becomes more and more a seamless continuum of memory that he simply draws upon. That shows he has internalised the memories at a deep level and harmonised them with his own identity. So whilst the ‘Finn explanation may work at an intellectual level, especially at first, it’s doubtful it is entirely adequate – especially when the whole construct argument depends on processes of alienation working on a deeply subconscious level.

I’m not saying it’s conclusive, I just think it’s telling.

Has there been any indication that Birgitte has anything to be particularly horrified about in her composite memories? She knows she's been spun out countless times, she's always been good with a bow and she always falls in love with Gaidal. Nothing on the par of being the guy who saves and damns the world everytime around that I can see.


True. Birgitte is more of a control case for simultaneous memories from more than two soul identities. It's relevant because Rand is apparently threatened by the mere presence of memories from one previous incarnation, whilst Birgitte is fine with myriad memories belonging to myriad iterations of her personality without suffering ill effects. The point is to show the human mind is not so delicate and fragile as all that.

wolfmage@102: Having skipped the TGS and ToM spoiler threads as being far too much like trying to drink from a firehose, what is the current reasoning of what has happened to the 'genuine agency' all of a sudden in Veins of Gold such that "He knew -- somehow-- that he would never again hear Lews Therin's voice in his head" ? Apologies for asking you to 'do my homework' but as you point out there's been reams of rhetoric written on this and I'll like to skip slogging through all of it for this one point.

I hope to tackle this in a bit more detail later, but the gist of it is as follows. He knows he won’t hear the voice again because at the top of Dragonmount he glipses the full temporal expanse of WoT's circular cosmology and with it countless previous iterations of the Dragon's identity prior to LTT. Aided by the insight from LTT's voice in his head (an insight btw which under this theory is an authentic argument by LTT, rather than an output of his psychosis), he finds true hope for the first time and this acts as a healing moment of catharsis to reintegrate as one person. Accordingly, he becomes something different either from the old Rand and the voice/LTT. As we now know, he becomes Jesus Rand -- the true manifestation of the Dragon identity.
Hugh Arai
107. HArai
Wolfmage@106: Thanks for outlining that for me. I don't personally find it as compelling as you do but as you say, it fits consistently with Veins of Gold. Thanks again.
Valentin M
108. ValMar
Bloody hell! I is confused again :( So, in simple terms, it's still not concrete what is the deal with Rand/LTT. Whilst I'm not too bothered, it is a major part of the story so I hope we get further clarification in the last book.
Judging how passionate and detailed this debate has gotten on various occasions, I won't be surprised if some readers are more eager to find out for sure the Rand/LTT thing than how the series itself ends ;)
Hugh Arai
109. HArai
ValMar@108: It's possible we'll get more clarification. I suspect RJ/BS might feel Veins of Gold resolved the issue as much as the story needs though. After all, regardless of real/construct , the Dragon Reborn certainly appears to be integrated now.
ftbleighjkjk
110. BFG
@109 HArai - suspect you're right, particularly having just read an (old) interview with BS who states that RJ once told him that he liked books that didn't spell out everything for the reader, he likes them to work for it :)
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
ValMar @108 - Don't hold your breath. This is one of those things that RJ never intended to make simple and concrete. I doubt it will even be stated explicitly in the Encyclopedia. For ever more, people will take statements, either from the published works or from interviews, will apply them more or less aptly, and will then run headlong to the "logical" conclusion - as determined by which way they were pointing in the first place.
T C
112. Freelancer
"You could tell him yourself, Lews Therin, could you but remember when you wore flesh." ~ Artur Hawkwing speaking to Rand al'Thor at Falme.

Except, he's clearly not speaking to someone who wears flesh, as Rand does. He's speaking to Lews Therin, whom he recognizes when he sees Rand. And they haven't spoken long enough for Sigmund Hawkwing to have formed a Construct diagnosis.

In the same chapter, Birgitte laughs about Rand's intent to rescue Egwene from the Seanchan damane kennels, saying "Lews Therin, you always did choose women who trouble you".
Hugh Arai
113. HArai
Freelancer@112: Not sure what you're getting at. Ishamael and Lanfear call Rand Lews Therin as well. In the flesh. Want to unpack a bit?
Valentin M
114. ValMar
HArai and Wetlander,

I too suspect that you are right. This slight (or not so slight sometimes) ambiguity is one of the things I like about RJ's writing. I won't have it any other way, if it could be helped. It's easy for me to say since I'm not that bothered in this case- the end result is what matters and I just about get it :)
Theresa Gray
115. Terez27
@Freelancer - He's saying that, since Rand/Lews Therin is wearing flesh, he can't remember. Pretty simple stuff.

One of the most hardcore of the Theoryland real'ers just cracked. This is fun. :)

@Wet - the quote was hardly out of context. Again, it takes some serious twisting to read it any other way. Brandon was speaking about how he realized Lews Therin was a construct when reading KOD. He in fact specifically realized that RJ had been beating us over the head with it all along, but at the same time was 'blindsiding' us with the idea that Rand wasn't mad - yet. He did this by convincing us through Rand's POV that Lews Therin was actually 'there'. You see it from Egwene's POV when he's talking to himself, and you think that Egwene just doesn't understand...but no, he's really losing it. And since Brandon had already read the notes when he said this, and he'd already finished writing TGS (it had been released), you have to think...why would he say all of that if it wasn't the reality of the situation? It would be misleading...and he's obviously not trying to be misleading. He's being very open with the interviewer, and he's so excited about this concept that he starts talking about it even though that's not what the interviewer asked about.

So, your insults have a way of pointing back at yourself. Funny how that works. ;)
Eric Hughes
116. CireNaes
@103

Sort of. What I'm more getting at is that LTT fits the definition of what makes a person in WoT.

Edit: Even those who think LTT manifested as a construct, the more Rand pushes him away, the more real he becomes under my crazy theory.
Alice Arneson
117. Wetlandernw
Terez - I'm sorry you feel insulted by the fact that I find your logic inadequate and your rhetoric unconvincing. Why does it matter so much?
ftbleighjkjk
118. Sirius
I didn't see this referenced in the comments, sorry if I missed it. Regarding the part of Ayako/losing a bonded Ashaman, we did see that with Daigian and Eben at the cleansing in WH. Seems like she had the normal reaction of losing a warder ( CoT and TGS). ...Did RJ forget?...
Jay Dauro
119. J.Dauro
Sirius @118

Eben was bonded to Daigian - Saidar bond

Ayako is bonded to Donalo Sandomere - Saiden bond

What he refers to is we don't know what happens to the "warder" in a bond where the Ashaman is the bonder, and dies. We do know what happens to a warder in an Aes Sedai bond, and the Aes Sedai dies. It's not pretty.
Rob S
120. RobSS
We also know what happens to a warder when their Aes Sedai leaves Ranland for another relm. I wonder how it would effect a waeder if she were to enter anotherr relm thru a portal stone. The same feeling of loss...
Maiane Bakroeva
121. Isilel
I don't have a horse in LTT race, but I always wondered about 2 things:

If the voice was real, why was it mad? We know that LTT died sane.
And also, why the voice was never present in T'AR?

The construct theory explanation is obvious, but what about the realer one?

And yea, it seems unbelievable that none of the married AM was put down by Taim or gotten killed in action.
Hugh Arai
122. HArai
RobSS@120: Verin used a portal stone without any apparent issues for her warder Tomas.
ftbleighjkjk
123. AndrewB
Isilel @121 said "And yea, it seems unbelievable that none of the married AM was put down by Taim or gotten killed in action."

Maybe the married AM have a reason to keep his madness at bay -- the knowledge that his wife (and maybe children) love him no matter who or what he is. I do not know if I subscribe to this theory myself but it as good as an answer as I can think of.

Anybody have an idea as to how many AM have died in battle? I wonder what percentage of AM (as of the end of ToM) have been killed in battle. I think (although I have no textual evidence to support this) that there are not a lot of married AM. I also do not think that many AM have died in battle. So I think that it is believable that no AM bonded have been killed in battle.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
T C
124. Freelancer
Theresa,

Yes, simple. But not quite as you put it, in my opinion. Artur Hawkwing (and apparently each of the other Heroes) recognize Rand al'Thor as Lews Therin. As I previously alluded to, it isn't reasonable to suppose that the Heroes out of Tel'aran'rhiod have instantly seen that Rand is insane, and retrieving unconscious memories of a past life. There hasn't been enough interaction to provide the first glimmer of that theory to them. Yet, they instantly identify him within Rand.
William Fettes
125. Wolfmage
Isilel @ 121

I don't have a horse in LTT race, but I always wondered about 2 things:

If the voice was real, why was it mad? We know that LTT died sane.



We know that Ishamael gave LTT a moment of lucidity before he died using a form of healing which I suspect involved using the True Power to give respite to LTT from the powerful effects of the taint back-blast within his mind. We know nothing about this weave to state with any certainty that this was permanent effect, rather than a temporary one, however.

Obviously he was granted real lucidity -- enough to make LTT understand the reality of what he had done under the influence of the taint. But, I'm not so convinced that he was made sane in such a way that it would give LTT the mental resilence to stay that way. Ishamael did it because he felt LTT's present state was too pathetic to have the kind of grand triumphant conversation he wanted to have. He wanted to revel in the moment with the avatar of his enemy by having LTT fully appreciate the betrayal of his own kin, and the magnitude of the Dark One's victory. So, it wasn't an act of real mercy or restoration, it was basically about breaking LTT again, and we know it worked with LTT committing suicide immediately after. So there is scope to argue he was broken in those moments of 'sanity' regardless.

Given that we have a dark form of "healing" of uncertainty duration and dubious intent, and the suicide itself which obviously shows LTT could not withstand facing the truth, I'd say a state of semi-madness seems more obvious to me than perfect sanity. I mean, the construct theory argues Rand suffers psyhosis for much less reason than LTT had to suffer it, even if we say the healing was permanent, and Rand also has a much more gradual exposure to the taint than LTT's full back blast.


And also, why the voice was never present in T'AR?



I don't really see the relevance of this issue unless you distinguish between TAR in the flesh and TAR in the dream.



The construct theory explanation is obvious, but what about the realer one?



I've listed all the reasons above @73 why I don't think it's obvious or even that plausible. The real explanation is the apparent explanation of Rand's experience of LTT as a genuine agency in the text. The coping mechanism explanation requires us to actively parse everything about how the voice is written as a kind of trickery, which is clearly not resting comfortably within a normal definition of obvious.
ftbleighjkjk
126. junts
The thing is, Ishy's interaction with LTT didn't work, because the purpose was to break and subvert the dragon, not to let him die, because Ishamael knows that when the dragon dies or wins, they get to do it all over again, and the only way it all ends (and time ends) is if the dragon serves the dark one.

That this is consistently Ishy's strategy and the dark one does not stop it makes it clear to me the dark one agrees that this is a truth.

Similarly this is why the DO seems to barely care about everyone's wish to be Nae'blis - he doesnt intend for there to be anything to rule if he gets what he really wants.
Roger Powell
127. forkroot
RobSS@120
We also know what happens to a warder when their Aes Sedai leaves Ranland for another relm. I wonder how it would effect a waeder if she were to enter anotherr relm thru a portal stone. The same feeling of loss...
Are you talking about Moiraine and Lan? If so, please recall that Moiraine went through the ter'angreal in Tear to Finnland with no apparent ill effects on Lan. It was only when she and Lanfear went through the ter'angreal taken from Rhuidean and the ter'angreal was destroyed that Lan felt the bond snap.
Birgit
128. birgit
I think (although I have no textual evidence to support this) that there are not a lot of married AM.

About a third are married. Originally more were, but some wives left when their men started channeling.
What happens to a bonded wife when a man is turned by 13-13?
Rob S
129. RobSS
@127
Yes I was thinking about Moirane and Lan. I didn't tie the loss or the ter"angreal to the effect on Lan.
Thanks
Bill Reamy
130. BillinHI
RobSS & Forkroot: Verin did indeed go through a portal stone (TGH, Ch 37, What Might Be) when Rand & co used one to go from Stedding Tsofu to Toman Head, losing 4 months in the process. We don't ever get a POV from Tomas, of course, but it would seem as though there were no ill effects.

Edit to add: Verin certainly seems to know more than would be expected about portal stones and with the Trolloc attack on Perrin and Galad in TOM apparently using a portal stone, I would have to suspect she gained at least some of that knowledge from the DO and/or his minions.
Sydo Zandstra
131. Fiddler
Oh well, I'm going to post.

I personally don't care about the whole Rand/LTT thing.

But Wetlandernw, you were insulting towards Theresa with all your snarky remarks about "obvious" again and again and again. That irritated me a lot, and I'm not the only one thinking that.

I thought you were above stuff like that.

This is not to start a debate. Just my opinion. I won't check in here soon anyway. If somebody really has issues there is my shoutwall.
Rob Munnelly
132. RobMRobM
Oh goodness, not the real-construct debate (again). Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
Can't we all just get along????

Rob
ftbleighjkjk
133. Wortmauer
"There's a part of me that keeps insisting on the Lews-Therin-is-real theory. But that part of me seems to be a gibbering madman, so I'm left wondering whether he really knows something I don't know, or if I just constructed him in my head to cope with conflicting opinions."

Come on, somebody had to say it.
Eric Hughes
134. CireNaes
@131

Personally, I find Terez's words like "obviously/simple" and her sentences like "I think most people get it" hard not to get riled up about precisely because of what can be implied when she uses that sort of terminology. Emoticons do little to take the edge off and could even be interpreted as doubly condescending.

Why not just communicate bluntly and say, "You're stupid if you think anything contrary to the position I am passionate about." rather than toss around passive aggressive statements. Bluntness is more refreshing and less insulting since the insult or question of another's reasoning is clear because it does not allow room for the one who hears it to overinflate what was said by filling in their own interpretation.

By the by, If you're uncomfortable when people argue in public then work on it by sticking around rather than typing a post that lumps in other people's unspoken thoughts and then retreating to your shoutbox. Conflict is one of the more invigorating and formulative experiences you can have. There's really nothing to be afraid of or embarrassed by.

Edit: for clarification.
Theresa Gray
135. Terez27
Just to be clear, my one use of the word 'obvious' in reference to Lews Therin was absolutely intended to be condescending, as was the emote I put with it. That's because Wetlander keeps trying to pretend that she is neutral in this debate, as if that's supposed to make her opinion...less biased? Who knows what she expects people to think. She's never been neutral; every single time the subject comes up, she has an opinion on it, and it's always the same opinion (despite changing facts), and if anyone dares argue with her about it, it's a very strong opinion. So I find her constant insistence that she has no horse in this race to be incredibly amusing.
Eric Hughes
136. CireNaes
Here we have it. Thank you for claiming and verbalizing your unobviscated thoughts. This is the start needed on your end to get towards the core drive for the tension in this debate that's been going for awhile now. I don't think you truly find it amusing though.
ftbleighjkjk
137. Tyrion Sedai
RE: Hand-related prophecies

"I will cut off my arm before I hurt you."

I suspect Min perhaps had a viewing of a one-handed Rand harming her. Then his statement, meant in the sense of two impossibilities, accidentally becomes a fairly accurate chronological depiction of the viewing, causing her strange look.

Elayne: severed hand

I agree with others that this is probably her hiring of the Band of the Red Hand.

Rand: bloody hand and white-hot iron

I think these are the two thorns in his side, as it were. Ishamael's staff, burning like a white-hot poker. Fain's ruby dagger, held in a bleeding hand as of late.
BFG
138. BFG
At the risk of getting flamed and to paraphrase...

Of course this is happening in your head, but why should that mean it's not real?

(Ducks)
Alice Arneson
140. Wetlandernw
Short version:

-Unusually snarky. My bad.
-I shall choose what to think, I don’t have to explain it to anyone, and it is rude to imply that those who do not agree with you are imbecile.
-Just because I don’t buy your particular theory, don’t assume you know all about my theory.

Long version to follow. Acid may drip. Be warned.
Alice Arneson
141. Wetlandernw
(Please note: I don’t honestly think very many people ARE concerned about this, but since it was brought up here I’ll respond here. Put the delay down to the fact that I finally got my hands on “The Wise Man’s Fear” and have been otherwise – and much more pleasurably – occupied.)

To whom it may concern (and I'll put a note in Fiddler's box):

I readily confess that some of my recent posts have been written with rather less than my usual effort at tact and generosity. For that, I do apologize, and I regret it.

I do not, however, regret the fact that I have opinions, I am willing to state them, and I do not take kindly to bullying, false logic, or patronizing attitudes.

Let me state several facts to clarify my position on the “debate”:
1) I have no interest whatsoever in convincing anyone that I’m right.
2) I have my own opinions about it, which I personally find to be a satisfactory explanation for what we know.
3) I find the “construct theory” to be, overall, an unsatisfactory explanation; to my mind, it is inelegant, simplistic, overly mechanical and prosaic. Among other things.
4) I have never given a full writeup of my perspective, partly because I find it difficult to verbalize and partly because I don’t think anyone really needs to read that many words on the subject. (Also, see #1)
5) The fact that I do not agree with one particular interpretation does not give anyone grounds to assume that they know what I do think. Trust me – you don’t.

When someone brings in a quotation of unknown veracity, throws it on the table like they’ve played the trump ace and declares “Looks like this debate is over, folks. And about damn time” it raises an eyebrow, emoticon notwithstanding. When the provided quotation only addresses one aspect of the theory and is less than explicit about that aspect, and yet is held up as proof positive of the entirety of the theory, it raises both eyebrows. But when this is combined with the condescending attitude both implicit and explicit in that person’s posts on this subject, it raises more than my eyebrows. It raises my anger.

Frankly, I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks on this subject. Believe it or not, this includes the authors. Unless Brandon gives it a direct impact on the story itself in AMoL, I reserve the right to maintain the interpretation that provides me with the most enjoyable reading experience; if it doesn’t match what the author(s) had in mind but intentionally chose not to say, why should I care? Thus far, it’s been completely irrelevant to the actual playing out of the story; as long as it remains so, there is no necessity to accept one particular explanation.

I have enjoyed the input of many on this forum; some have verbalized things that I had thought but was unable to articulate, while others have presented arguments and angles which had not previously occurred to me. I do appreciate those, and over the last couple of years they have helped to inform and modulate my understanding. The fact that I don’t agree with someone’s opinion does not make it any less enjoyable to read their thoughts, in general, and it is often the case that I am still able to find value and insight in what they say. However, I do not appreciate someone insisting that one and only one theory is correct, and implying that anyone who does not agree is an imbecile. Discussion of these points can be invigorating, enjoyable and sometimes even enlightening. Declaring that “the debate is over” and exhibiting derogatory attitudes to anyone who doesn’t fall in line is… none of the above.

I do not have a horse in this race.I have no desire to prove myself “right” about the mechanism of the Dragon Reborn and the relationship of Rand al’Thor and Lews Therin Telamon. Terez, on the other hand, seems to feel it necessary to forcibly “convince” everyone around that she is right. The fact that I find the logic and rhetoric presented by the construct theorists unconvincing is just that – my opinion of the arguments. So what? Whether or not the theories – yours, mine, or anyone else’s – reflects RJ’s thinking is irrelevant; he deliberately didn’t give us enough material to prove any point. So what? You believe what you believe. So what? I remain unconvinced. So what? I repeat – why does it matter so much?

This is not a subject that I ever bring up, but when someone repeatedly brings it up and attempts to patronize anyone who dares to disagree, I will speak my mind. In the future, I’ll try to do so a little more graciously. That, or I’ll immediately call bullshit on the attitude and walk away. Which is obviously what I should have done last Thursday.
James Whitehead
142. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@141Wetlandernw, Cicero would've been proud.

Tai'shar Seatle!

Kato

PS - You forgot your wall o' text warning sign. ;-)
Valentin M
144. ValMar
Ok, I'll try to stick to more important matters.
When the dust has settled on this unfortunate discussion, should I assume that from now on the use of emoticons is frowned upon? :(
Hugh Arai
145. HArai
Valmar@144: Emote all you like. Just remember when you use words and an emote, you still used the words so make sure they're what you're actually trying to say.
Noneo Yourbusiness
146. Longtimefan
Tomorrow will be Tuesday and it will be the beginning of the end of the PLOD! :)

Hooray! :D

And I hope you are all looking forward to it as much as I am! :0)

and emoticons are fun :P
Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
Kato - Thank you. ::bows:: I do apologize for the failed wot-warning-signal. My bad. ;)

ValMar - What HArai said. :)

HArai - Well said, sir, well said! I have learned this truth to my chagrin. Emoticons are great fun, but they do not adequately substitute for tone of voice; in the absence thereof, it's best to be careful of the words first.
Hugh Arai
148. HArai
@Wetlandernw: Looks like my post at 143 is still in moderation because of a link. Short,short form: Did you like WMF?
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
HArai @148 - I haven't finished it yet, but so far I'm really enjoying it. I get a little annoyed at Kvothe sometimes, because he's acting his age far too thoroughly, but... Yes, I'm liking it a lot. When I finish it, I'm going to dive headfirst into the reread here. Can't wait to see what others have caught that I missed!
Hugh Arai
150. HArai
Wetlandernw@149: They've caught a lot. No one really seems too sure what it all means, but in my opinion it definitely means something. :P
Sam Mickel
151. Samadai
Love WMF, great book. I enjoy the reread, great insights
Tess Laird
152. thewindrose
Family and kids busy - check, work somewhat done check - it's WoT reread time;)

It truly is the WoT reread. Every so often we cycle into a LGBT debate, shortly followed by is LTT real or a construct. Leaving the first one to last post, I will bring up my get out of jail free card for the R vs C:
Mato: There have been rumors that you have said that Mr. Jordan did not have anything in his notes about the voice of Lews Therin, whether it was a construct or not. That or that you had sai-- Sanderson: I would like to clarify this, thanks for asking. I will NOT say that it was not in the notes. However, Mr. Jordan did NOT want to reveal this information, and therefore I shall not ever either. Mr. Jordan did not want to reveal it.
Harriet: What Brandon said.
Mato: Oh, ok, well that's all for now. Thanks a lot!
Sanderson: Wow, I was able to answer all three of those questions. Really well thought out, congratulations! I didn't have to RAFO you! You get a silver star.
Mato: Haha, I'll let the guys at Theoryland know that, after all, they're mostly their questions.




This is it - "However, Mr. Jordan did NOT want to reveal this information, and therefore I shall not ever either. Mr. Jordan did not want to reveal it." (emphasis mine and BwS)

Do some people take this as the Sam I Am debate? If we ask enough times, the author will say I do so like the real / construct, sorry for all the misconduct!

I love reading how people get to where they are at, however I do not appreciate people who are implying or out right saying - you are wrong and stupid if you continue to believe...(what ever their views are).

It's great to say what you think, and how you got there. It may very well be the way it was intended to be. I remember how bummed I was that it wasn't Ishmael who introduced the after- breaking Sisters to the Oath Rod. I had everything all nice and explained in my head, and then Maria had to burst my bubble:)
But if the author(s) and the author's wife are never going to confirm if LTT is real or a construct, isn't it kind of pointless to jump up and down and say I'm right he is a construct - because of Chapter 50 of tGS Veins of Gold...(Sorry, Veins of Gold can be used by either side of the debate).

Anyways , these chapters with Mat in them are fun. I like seeing him evolve into Randlands greatest General (Evar!!). :) Or how, both Tuon and Mat feel like they didn't use the time they had to it's greatest umm, potential? ;)

BTW - we decided awhile ago that Wetlandernw was another way to say 'wall of text'.
tempest™
Sam Mickel
153. Samadai
Windrose, Wait a second..... Sam I am!! :D
D R
154. Ouroboros
Rand: Can you believe it?
Lews: What?
Rand: They're at it again.
Lews: I know. Every time we get mentioned in the same sentence they're all: "Real! Construct! Diconstruct! Unreal! Realstruct! Conreal! Reseal! Seal! Sheep! Cow! Flame! Baseball bat! Shotgun! Moderator!"
Rand: Yeh! That last one gets me every time.
Lews: And you know what really gets my goat?
Rand: Probably.
Lews: Simple? How can anything about this be simple? We're four-hundred-
Rand: And fifty-
Lews: And fifty. And we still can't figure it out. We'll probably be over eight-hundred by the time we've got our heads around it.
Rand: Yeh! Why does everyone have to put things in boxes-
Lews: Not the box again!
Rand: I'm just saying. They're never happy unless it's put in a box with a nice label in clear black ink-
Lews: Or white if it's a spoiler-
Rand: Or white if it's a spoiler. But nothings ever that simple.
Lews: At least not with this creator.
Rand: I hear you. Remember the stink Hawkwing kicked up when someone claimed I was King Arthur?
Lews: I suppose we could just tell them to play nice.
Rand: Well, look what happened last time.
Lews: I know, let's just distract them instead.
Rand: Don't say it.
Lews: Cad-
Rand: No-
Lews: su-
Rand: Stop you crazy fool-
Lews: a-
Rand: Ah crap!
Lews: Ha-ha-ha-ha. Get's you every time. How about this. Same se-
Rand: O for the love of the Light.
Lews: Alright. I'll be nice.
Rand: Good.
Lews: So, have you figured out why Ned's so interested in Robert's bastards yet?
Rand: I can't believe I'm related to you.
Lews: I'm just what you made me.
Rand: How's that? I came after you.
Lews: Yes, and I come after you.
Rand: I hate my life.
Lews: And mine.
Rand: Yes, I hate yours too.
Lews: Bastard.
Rand: Monster.
Lews: Fanatic.
Rand: Murderer.
Lews: You are insane.
Rand: And that is why...
Lews: Hang on. Something's not right here. Which age is this?
Rand: The age of plagiarism apparently.
Lews: Well, the Wheel weaves as Stubby the Rocket wills.
Nyneave: You bull goose fools!
Rand+Lews: Shut up!
Tess Laird
155. thewindrose
Samadai:) Hi!!
That Samadai, that Samadai,
I do so like that Samadai:)

Have I missed any surveys? Looks like no one (or would that be Arry;)) has done lyrics in awhile. Or any form of poetry. I see that 100 is still a hot number.

Any Levy interviews?? I think we are in need of one.
WooHoo - I see Ouroboros has stepped up while I was posting.

And the 5th I give you....

tempest™
Rob Munnelly
156. RobMRobM
"Lews: So, have you figured out why Ned's so interested in Robert's bastards yet?

Rand: I can't believe I'm related to you."

LOL!
Eric Hughes
157. CireNaes
"Terez, on the other hand, seems to feel it necessary to forcibly “convince” everyone around that she is right."

This is a good place to start. Ever wondered why? I do.

@154

Very nice.

@Emoticons

I would like to come to a convention or a signing at some point and really "meet" people. Then I would know their inflection when they post, get an idea for the personality behind the text. The written word is so powerful, yet so very narrow in it's scope.
Roger Powell
158. forkroot
Greetings from Hawaii - we're on our annual trip, but no Oahu this time, so all I can do is wave at BillinHI from the other islands ::waves::

SamYouAre@153
Hi friend. Not to be greedy but ... I'd love another serving of your fanfic when you are up to it.

On the LTT thing ... seems like the quote that thewindrose@152 produced should settle the issue, or rather should settle the fact that neither theory can be disproven. and the issue must remain in doubt.

For me - I just took the RJ quote about "one soul, two personalities" and let if go at that, not trying to decide how "real" or "constructed" a personality is, or even if those terms made sense. What's equally clear is that at the end of Veins of Gold, the two peronalities had become fully integrated into one personality (Rand) with complete memories of his former existence whern he was called Lews Therin.
James Hogan
160. Sonofthunder
Ouroboros...Awesomeness. Thanks for that this chilly Tuesday morning!!
D R
161. Ouroboros
Okay, I’m trying to be good and post things instead of just watching from the side-lines.

Here’s another mentioning of hand loss.

“Stilling is not a thing anyone would choose to study, you understand,” Nynaeve continued. “It is generally accepted to be irreversible. What makes a woman able to channel cannot be replaced once it is removed, any more than a hand that has been cut off can be Healed back into existence.”

@ thewindrose: Ooh, a 5th. Just what I’ve always wanted :) Batteries included?

@ RobM: I thought you’d get that.

Sonofthunder @ 160: Chilly indeed. Winter is coming. Oooooooh!

@ everyone on Lews and Rand: It’s complicated, just that.

Well alright. I really do think it’s complicated, and the next post goes up soon so there’s not much point in trying to sort out all my thoughts in this. But I don’t see how the word simple or obvious can be applied. There are plenty of chapters in the next book which will be relevant to this subject so I’ll save my thoughts for those; we’ve got to have something to talk about haven’t we?

Oh, and... damn this cursed editor!
Alice Arneson
163. Wetlandernw
HArai @143 - re: link - ROFL! So true - and one of my big failings. Ask my husband how many times that's happened.... *sigh* The beastie @141 took far more of my time than it was probably worth. I may need to print that and stick it on my computer somewhere.
Hugh Arai
164. HArai
wetlandernw@163: Sigh. Realized I failed to spell his name correctly, edited it and now it's back in moderation. Hope the mods are feeling patient with me. Anyhow, yes it's a weakness shared by a lot of us on the net these days.

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