Sep 6 2011 2:17pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Knife of Dreams, Part 21

Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comAloha, citizens, and welcome to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 36 through the end of Knife of Dreams, in which a ritual is belatedly completed, history is unwittingly (and bloodily) made, and a farewell is sorrowfully recalled.

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!

Before we start, two things!

First, a scheduling note: in accordance with ancient tradition, I’m taking a wee break from blogging while we are between books. Ergo, there will be no Re-read post next Tuesday, Sept. 13th; we will resume with the start of TGS the following Tuesday, the 20th. Gotta gird my loins, y’see.

Second, our also-anciently-traditional last-post look at the artwork! Or, the one in which everyone but Galina needs to get a personal trainer, because sheesh. I’m… really pretty sure Gaul is not supposed to look fat, you guys, but tall red-haired dude here looks like he has a damn beerbelly. And Perrin and Arganda don’t look much better. In fact, the best-looking character on this cover (Grady) is actually on the back, which hardly does much good.

Eh, no. This cover, in my opinion, plays to all of the artist’s weaknesses (people) and none of his strengths (architecture and landscapes, i.e. everything except people), ergo, no.

The heron pattern tapestry behind them is pretty, though.

Moving on!


Chapter 36: Under an Oak

What Happens
Karede rides into the camp near the Malvide Narrows Ajimbura had found, wondering if he is walking into a deathtrap. He has only brought Ajimbura, Hartha, two other Gardeners, two soldiers, and Melitene, the High Lady’s der’sul’dam, with the damane Mylen, precisely because the former Aes Sedai could not use saidar as a weapon.

No, the weapons had been left with Musenge. If there was a battle today, it would be of a different sort.

The camp looks orderly, but Karede is surprised that there only seem to be seven or eight thousand soldiers in residence. They are met by a hard-faced man who comments that “Lord Mat” described their distinct armor to him, and asks why the Deathwatch Guard comes to their camp. Karede doesn’t know who this “Lord Mat” is, but introduces himself and asks to be taken to “the man who calls himself Thom Merrilin.” The man (Talmanes Delovinde) seems startled by the request, but agrees to take Karede to him. He leads them to an oak, under which are a number of people, including (to Karede’s amazement) Mistress Anan, the keeper of the inn he’d stayed at in Ebou Dar. Talmanes addresses the older man with the white mustaches, introducing Karede to him. Before Karede can say anything, they are interrupted by three women Karede can tell are Aes Sedai. One (Joline) addresses Mylen as “Sheraine” and demands her release, and the other two tell her it’s no use, but she ignores them, and then suddenly gasps. A young man in a wide-brimmed black hat rides up and demands to know what’s going on, but Karede only cares that the High Lady (and Selucia) are with him.

She spared him only one expressionless glance before returning to a study of the young man. Karede wondered whether she recognized him. Probably not. It had been a long time since he had served in her bodyguard.

Joline tells the young man (Mat) that the sul’dam has them shielded, and Karede finally recognizes him as Tylin’s Toy, though he thinks Mat is hardly pretty enough for that. To Karede’s surprise, Mat demands Melitene release the Aes Sedai and the Power too, and whatever Melitene tries to do to him evidently does not work; Karede wonders if he is an Asha’man, but that doesn’t seem to make sense. Mat insists that the Aes Sedai release saidar as well, to Joline’s irritation and Tuon and Selucia’s amusement. Karede takes his gamble and addresses Thom as “General Merrilin,” telling him Chisen will be here in two days with a hundred thousand men, while Karede himself has ten thousand, but if Merrilin lets him take the High Lady, Karede will let them escape unhindered. Everyone stares at him a moment, and then Merrilin tells him he is a gleeman, not a general, and the man he wants is Lord Matrim Cauthon. Karede is astonished. Cauthon calmly calls him on his bluff, telling him Karede has maybe a hundred and twenty men, not ten thousand, and Chisen can’t get there faster than five days, not two.

“The real question is this, though. Can you get Tuon to the Tarasin Palace safely?”

Karede felt as if Hartha had kicked him in the belly, and not only because the man had used the High Lady’s name so casually. “You mean to let me take her away?” he said incredulously.

“If she trusts you. If you can get her to the palace safely. She’s in danger till she reaches that. In case you don’t know it, your whole bloody Ever Victorious flaming Army is ready to slit her throat or bash in her head with a rock.”

Karede doesn’t understand his luck, but says he knows about the danger, and suggests they leave immediately. Cauthon asks Tuon if she trusts Karede to get her back to Ebou Dar; Tuon replies that she does, and asks Karede with a smile if he still has the doll she gave him.

“Forgiveness, High Lady. I lost everything in the Great Fire of Sohima.”

“That means you kept it for ten years. You have my commiseration on the loss of your wife, and of your son, though he died bravely and well. Few men will enter a burning building once. He saved five people before he was overcome.”

Karede’s throat tightened. She had followed news of him. All he could do was bow again, more deeply.

Cauthon tells him to take Tuon and Selucia as soon as she is ready, and orders Talmanes to roust the Band and get them ready to move.

“Matrim Cauthon is my husband.” the High Lady said in a loud, clear voice. Everyone froze where they stood. “Matrim Cauthon is my husband.”

Karede felt as if Hartha had kicked him again. No, not Hartha. Aldazar. What madness was this? Cauthon looked like a man watching an arrow fly toward his face, knowing he had no chance to dodge.

“Bloody Matrim Cauthon is my husband. That is the wording you used, is it not?”

This had to be a fever-dream.

Mat marches over to her and demands to know why now; he knew she was going to eventually, but she doesn’t act like a woman in love. Surprised, Tuon replies that perhaps eventually they will fall in love, but her marriage serves the Empire. She asks how he knew she would marry him, and Mat explains about the Aelfinn. Tuon accuses him of making things up, but Mat insists it’s the truth, backed up (somewhat) by Edesina. Mat demands again to know why, and she tells him of the damane Lidya’s fortune:

“‘Beware the fox that makes the ravens fly, for he will marry you and carry you away. Beware the man who remembers Hawkwing’s face, for he will marry you and set you free. Beware the man of the red hand, for him you will marry and none other.’ It was your ring that caught my eye first.” He thumbed the long ring unconsciously, and she smiled. A small smile, but a smile. “A fox apparently startling two ravens into flight and nine crescent moons. Suggestive, wouldn’t you say? And just now you fulfilled the second part, so I knew for certain it was you.”

Mat finds this all grimly amusing, and comments that perhaps being ta’veren works on him as much as everyone else. He asks for a kiss before she leaves, but Tuon refuses, and offers to take him back to Ebou Dar with her instead, as he now has an “honored place” in the Empire. Sadly, Mat refuses as well, and tells her that she is not his enemy, but her Empire is. Tuon replies that he is not her enemy, but she serves the Empire. They are interrupted by Vanin, who gallops up to report that there is a force of some ten thousand Seanchan at a town five miles to the west.

“Thing is, they’re asking after fellows wearing armor like that.” He nodded toward Karede. “And rumor says the one of them that kills a girl that sounds a lot like the High Lady gets himself a hundred thousand crowns gold. Their mouths are dripping for it.”

Karede says he can slip by them, but Mat isn’t so sure, and Karede asks if Mat is going back on his word. Mat tells him, no, but he will need some of Karede’s men to draw them off.

Tuon says goodbye to Mistress Anan and leaves with Karede. She asks Karede what he thought of Matrim. Karede demurs that it is not his place, but Tuon insists.

“A good general. High Lady,” he replied without hesitation. “Brave, but not overly brave. He won’t get himself killed just to show how brave he is, I think. And he is… adaptable. A man of many layers. And if you will forgive me, High Lady, a man in love with you. I saw how he looked at you.”

In love with her? Perhaps. She thought she might be able to come to love him. Her mother had loved her father, it was said. And a man of many layers? Matrim Cauthon made an onion look like an apple!

Tuon tells Karede that she will need to shave her head. Karede thinks it is better to wait until they are back at Ebou Dar, but Tuon tells him that if she dies, she will die as who she is. Karede smiles, and agrees.

Oh, look, a wedding! Oops, sorry, you blinked. Missed it. Too bad!

Heh. Well, at least we can scratch a couple more Prophecies off our list, right? And that’s two Superboys down, one to go, marriage-wise. I suspect, though, that Rand’s nuptials are going to prove a tad more, hm, complex than Mat’s proved to be. To say the least. Assuming he ever even has any, of course.

I freely admit I was a little dismayed by Tuon’s remark to herself that she didn’t love Mat, at least not yet. I think this is me being sappy and ridiculous, a little, because it’s actually completely reasonable that Tuon may only be in like with Mat in the short and rather tumultuous time they’ve been together. Especially considering that, as Tuon herself points out, she’s been conditioned to think of marriage as a political tool first and as a romantic affair (heh) only as a distant second, if that. The fact that Mat fell in love with her is actually the less likely of the two reactions, really.

So, okay, but I was still a little grumbly about it, mainly because I think it puts Mat at a distinct disadvantage. Differences in rank between two married people are whatever (certainly something well-adjusted people should be able to figure out how to handle), but differences in the level of commitment to the relationship itself is muy no bueno, sez me. That way trouble lies.

Ah, well, it’s kind of a moot point at the moment, anyway, until they meet up again, which is one of many things I am eagerly looking forward to in AMoL. And honestly, at the moment they both have much more urgent concerns anyway. Apocalypse avoidance and then couples’ counseling, that’s what I always say.

Karede: I really enjoyed his POV in this chapter. As always, I get a kick out of seeing Our Heroes from an outsider perspective, and the misunderstanding re: Thom was pretty funny. That’ll teach you to listen to a conspiracy nut, Karede.

Also, the moment with him and Tuon where he realizes she’s kept track of him was really sweet. I may have gone “Aw,” no lie.


Chapter 37: Prince of the Ravens

What Happens
Mat worries about the weather as he waits for Vanin and some of the Deathwatch Guards to return. He is annoyed Aludra refused to stay behind and is working her metal lofting tubes herself, and notes the tensions between her and Musenge, Musenge and Leilwin and Bethamin and Seta, and between the Aes Sedai and everyone else.

Tuon. His wife. He was married! He had known it was coming, had known for a long time, but just the same… Married. He should have felt… different… somehow, but he still felt like himself. He intended to keep it that way, burn him if he did not! If Tuon expected Mat Cauthon to settle down, to give up gambling or some such, she had another think coming. He supposed he would have to give over chasing after women, much less catching them, but he would still enjoy dancing with them. And looking at them. Just not when he was with her. Burn him if he knew when that would be. He was not about to go anywhere she had the upper hand, her and her talk of cupbearers and running grooms and marrying to serve the Empire. How was marrying him supposed to serve the flaming Empire?

Musenge approaches and respectfully asks Mat why the men are not finishing the trench Mat ordered dug, addressing him as “Highness.” Mat replies that he wants the enemy to assume they were caught with their defenses half-finished, to goad them into attacking. Musenge comments casually that he wishes they had more crossbowmen, mentioning that he’d heard Mat had as many as thirty thousand; Mat knows he is digging for information, and only answers that he has “enough”.

“As you say, Highness.” Musenge’s voice was so neutral he could have been commenting on the price of beans. Strange. He did not look like a diffident man. “I have always been ready to die for her.” There was no need for him to say which “her” he meant.

“I guess I am, too. Musenge.” Light, he thought he meant that! Yes, he did mean it. Did that mean he was in love? “Better to live for her, though, wouldn’t you say?”

Musenge withdraws, and Mat wonders what that “Highness” business was about, but supposes it is some strange Seanchan way of calling him a lord. Vanin’s party appears, riding hard, and Mat shouts for everyone to take position. He notes the “sling-men,” fifty men carrying slingstaffs and pouches containing Aludra’s new cylinders, line up in front of Aludra’s position, where she lights a slow match for each man. Vanin reports that the Seanchan are hard behind them, but likely to be fatigued from the run. Mat joins the Aes Sedai as the Seanchan appear, and Mat prays they are maddened enough by the temptation of a hundred thousand gold crowns to charge. The Seanchan sound the charge, and Mat orders the banner of the Red Hand to be unfurled for the first time. The Seanchan charge, and Aludra sends up the nightflower signal to Talmanes, who emerges with the horse from the forest and closes from behind. The crossbowmen engage, mowing down horses and soldiers, shooting in tandem ranks; the Seanchan return fire even from horseback, and Mat irritably tells Joline they could join any time, but Joline tells him she doesn’t feel in danger yet. Talmanes gets in range from behind and begins shooting from the rear, and then Mandevwin orders the sling-men to fire.

Sling-men along the western rank shifted their sling-staffs so they could touch the fuses coming from the stubby cylinders to the slow-matches held in their teeth and, as the volley lanced out from the crossbows, whipped their slings back and then forward. The dark cylinders flew more than a hundred paces to land among the on-rushing horsemen. The sling-men were already fitting more of the cylinders to their slings before the first fell. Aludra had marked each fuse with pieces of thread to indicate different burning times, and each cylinder erupted with a roar in a burst of flame, some on the ground, some as high as a mounted man’s head. The explosion was not the real weapon, though a man struck in the face was suddenly headless. He stayed upright in the saddle for three strides before toppling. No, Aludra had wrapped a layer of hard pebbles around the powder inside each cylinder, and those pierced flesh deeply when they hit. Shrieking horses fell to thrash on the ground. Riders fell to lie still.

Joline, Teslyn and Edesina finally join in the fight, and soon the entire contingent of Seanchan is decimated. Talmanes shouts triumphantly that not one man had tried to escape, and Hartha wades out into the carnage to see if he can find “the traitor.” Joline comments that Mat owes them a debt for getting Aes Sedai involved in a private war, and Mat thinks she’s crazy if she thinks he will agree. Musenge comments that it was the crossbows that settled this.

“Crossbows and men with heart. You never had more than this, did you, Highness.” That was not a question. “This and whatever losses you suffered.”

“I told you,” Mat said. “I had enough.” He was not going to reveal anything more to the man than he could not avoid, but Musenge nodded as if he had confirmed everything.

Hartha returns with the head of “the traitor,” and Musenge says “she” will be very interested to see this. Mat asks if Musenge knows the dead man, and Musenge confirms it, calling him “Highness” again.

“Look, would you stop calling me that? My name is Mat. After today, I’d say you have a right to use it.” Mat surprised himself by sticking out his hand.

That stone mask crumpled in astonishment. “I could not do that, Highness,” he said in scandalized tones. “When she married you, you became Prince of the Ravens. To speak your name would lower my eyes forever.”

Mat took off his hat and scrubbed fingers through his hair. He had told everyone who would listen that he did not like nobles, did not want to be one, and he had meant it. He still meant it. And now he bloody was one! He did the only thing he could. He laughed until his sides ached.

Ahahaha, Mat’s officially a noble. And not just any noble, but royalty, which is even better. That definitely rates a Nelson laugh or two.

Though he really should have assumed something similar, considering he just married a proto-Empress. I mean, c’mon, Mat, you really should have thought that one through.

I do wonder if he’s wrong about still being able to gamble and such once he and Tuon are back together. I would think being the consort to an Empress means your access to seedy taverns and such would probably be rather nil, but then again, the Seanchan are weird, so who knows. I kind of perversely hope that Tuon doesn’t care and lets him gamble all he wants. Though I suspect he’s shit out of luck about the ogling girls aspect of it, heh.

So that’s fun, but what’s really significant about this chapter is that, without anyone involved really realizing it, it marks a watershed moment in military history for Randland: the first deliberate use of (non-magical) explosives in battle.

On a very small scale, yes, but that’s how these things start, more often than not, and we’ll see it get bigger in ToM and, I’m pretty darn sure, in AMoL as well. Egwene’s Dream in COT told her that the world would change because of Mat’s innovation re: war, and she wasn’t wrong.

They’re a little behind the curve on this compared to real-world history, where I understand that something similar to Mat’s schrapnel grenades were in use from at least the 13th century and possibly much earlier than that, but it actually makes perfect sense to me that the development of that kind of technology would be delayed in a world where magic is both real and extremely effective as an offensive weapon. Necessity being the mother of blah blah blah, and all.

I used to think that this was a particularly big sign that part of the result of Tarmon Gai’don would be the elimination of the Source as an accessible force, i.e. the end of magic. One earth-shaking weapon falls just as another arrives to replace it, and all. However, Aviendha’s trip through the Way Forward Ter’angreal in ToM suggests strongly that actually, people will still be channeling just fine after the Last Battle is over, so I guess not. I’m not sure whether to be relieved by that or not.

So, bye, Mat! See you (briefly) in TGS!


Epilogue: Remember the Old Saying

What Happens
Suroth and Galgan are discussing the situation in Arad Doman while Suroth plots how she will kill Galgan as soon as Elbar brings confirmation that Tuon is dead. They wear ashes to signify mourning, as the ship Semirhage mentioned has brought the news that the Empress is dead. Galgan flaunts his disrespect for Suroth by mentioning he’d had Tylee Khirgan raised to Lieutenant-General and the low Blood since she’d “dithered” over it. Suroth hisses that she commands the Forerunners, not him, but Galgan counters that the Return has subsumed the Forerunners, now. They are interrupted when Tuon enters with her escort, head shaven and ashes on her cheeks. Everyone kneels, and Suroth thinks that there is still time to kill Tuon before she declares herself Empress, but Tuon orders Karede to show them what Musenge brought her. Karede takes a severed head from a bag, and Suroth recognizes Elbar. She immediately prostrates herself, begging forgiveness for the traitorousness of her subordinate, but claiming no knowledge of it, hoping to have a chance to pin it on Galgan instead.

Tuon looked over Suroth’s head. She met Galgan’s eyes, and Abaldar’s and Yamada’s, and those of everyone of the Blood, but not Suroth’s. “It is well known that Zaired Elbar was Suroth’s man completely. He did nothing that she did not order. Therefore Suroth Sabelle Meldarath is no more. This da’covale will serve the Deathwatch Guard as they wish until her hair has grown enough for her to be decent when she is sent to the block for sale.”

Suroth never thought of the knife she had intended to use to open her veins, a knife beyond reach in her apartments. She could not think at all. She started screaming, a wordless howl, before they even began cutting her clothing off.

Pevara arrives via gateway before the entrance to the Black Tower with Javindhra, Tarna, and three other Red sisters (Jezrail, Desala, and Melare), who were the only other Reds Pevara thought had sufficiently good opinions of men to approach about the business of bonding Asha’man. Javindhra, who is only there because Tsutama had ordered it, wants to know where Pevara even learned the weave for binding Warders, but Pevara avoids telling her she’d asked Yukiri to show her, though she doubt Yukiri had suspected why she’d asked.

Pevara had convinced Tsutama that six would be enough to begin. Too, a larger party might cause some unfortunate reaction. After all, the whole Red Ajah appearing at this so-called Black Tower, or even half, might well make the men think themselves under attack. There was no telling how sane they all still were.

Pevara thinks the unfinished walls of the compound make the ostentatious gates look ridiculous, but the three Asha’man who confront them are not. The one with a silver sword pin, a Murandian, asks their business fairly politely, and Pevara answers they are here to see the M’Hael. He asks their Ajah, and she tells him, Red. He is startled, but only tells them to wait.

He turned his back, and the vertical silvery slash of a gateway appeared in front of him, widening into an opening no larger than a door. […] He darted through the gateway and closed it before she had a chance to see more than a white stone platform with steps leading up one side and a squared-off black stone that might have been one of the building blocks for the wall, polished till it shone in the sun, sitting atop it.

Desala notes that one of the other two Asha’man is little more than a boy, and tells him he should be at home with his mother, but the other (a Saldaean) tells her the boy (Saml al’Seen) is all right. Tarna remarks to Pevara, “no children,” and the others agree, which makes the Saldaean suspicious, but they do not elaborate. After half an hour, the Murandian returns and bids them go through; he says someone else will escort them, as the M’Hael “doesn’t associate with the likes of me.” Pevara et al go through the gateway, where they are met by a Tairen Asha’man with both sword and dragon pin, who curtly leads them through a smallish but richly decorated palace to what Pevara can only describe as a throne room. A hundred Asha’man line the walls.

Every man she could see wore the sword and the dragon, men with hard faces, leering faces, cruel faces. Their eyes focused on her and the other sisters.

Taim sits on a throne-like chair on a dais, and mockingly observes that six Red sisters are not likely to try to gentle them all. Pevara begins introducing herself and the others, but Taim cuts her off and demands to know what they want.

Outwardly, she was cool and calm. Inside, she wondered whether she would end the day forcibly bonded. Or dead. “We want to discuss bonding Asha’man as Warders. After all, you’ve bonded fifty-one sisters. Against their will.” As well to let him know they were aware of that from the start. “We do not propose bonding any man against his will, however.”

A blond man (Mishraile) begins to make a mocking comment about letting Aes Sedai “take any m-”, but something knocks him unconscious before he can finish the sentence, and the Aes Sedai are appalled that no one makes a move to help or Heal him. Taim is incredulous that Reds want to bond them, and Pevara says that Reds have experience with men who can channel. She ignores the angry mutters which follow, and continues that custom can be hard to change, but they have decided to change theirs.

“Very well.”

Pevara blinked in spite of herself. “’Very well’?” She must have misunderstood him. He could not have been convinced so easily.

Taim’s eyes seemed to bore into her head. He spread his hands, and it was a mocking gesture. “What would you have me say? Fair is fair? Equal shares? Accept ‘very well’ and ask who will let you bond them. Besides, you must remember the old saying. Let the lord of chaos rule.” The chamber erupted with men’s laughter.

Pevara had never heard any saying like that. The laughter made the hair on the back of her neck try to stand.

I think I speak for us all when I say:


Like, for reals, you guys. This is like that one time in that Indiana Jones movie, with being trapped in the temple? And the snakes everywhere and the torches going out? Yeah, totally like that.

No, I do not know why I have lapsed into Valley girl. It’s a condition, I’m working on it.

But yeah, safe to say I think this may be one of the more tense, eek-inducing scenes in WOT, at least from my perspective. The first time I read it I wanted to scream at Pevara to get the hell out of there. Ay yi yi.

It was nice to get real confirmation at last, though, that Taim was definitely a Darkfriend, instead of just an asshole. Though he’s that, too, of course. I mean, not that I really had much doubt on that score before this (at least once the Taimandred theory had been decisively debunked), but it’s always more satisfying (or something) to get it directly from the horse’s mouth.

After what we learned from ToM, of course, now I have to wonder how many of Taim’s lackeys in there (over a hundred, YIKES) became Darkfriends by choice, and how many were forcibly turned to the Dark Side. And hey, while I’m at it, now I’m also wondering whether the Darkfriend Asha’man we’ve met before this — like Kisman and Rochaid et al — were 13x13’d too.

Huh. Not that it makes any qualitative difference at this point, I suppose, but still. Huh.

The black stone: I quoted that bit because it tickled my memory and I initially couldn’t put my finger on why, but then I remembered one of Egwene’s Dreams from ACOS:

Logain, laughing, stepped across something on the ground and mounted a black stone; when she looked down, she thought it was Rand’s body he had stepped over, laid out on a funeral bier with his hands crossed at his breast, but when she touched his face, it broke apart like a paper puppet.

I’ve always assumed that the fakely-dead “paper puppet” Rand here referred to Rand’s not-at-all-Christlike “death” and resurrection. Which could very well be the case, but assuming the stone referred to here is the same one in the Black Tower palace (which I further assume is the same one Rand used to address the Asha’man on one of the like TWO TIMES he’s ever set foot in the damn place), I tentatively offer the possible alternate interpretation that Taim is actually the “paper puppet Rand” in Egwene’s dream.

Because he is sort of like the poor man’s Dragon, isn’t he? Wanting to be Rand but never can be, etc. And then Logain smites him most righteously and becomes the new leader of the Asha’man and has glory and stuff, et voilá.

I much prefer this interpretation, really. Mainly because that way, Logain isn’t a dick who’s all laughing about the savior of the world being possibly dead. Laughing about Taim being dead, on the other hand, that’s a merriment I can get behind, you know?

Oh, and also, Suroth goes down, and ain’t getting up. Couldn’t happen to a nicer gal.

And thus ends Knife of Dreams, and the end of an era. Though we didn’t know it at the time, this would be the last book Robert Jordan would publish before his untimely death in 2007.

Just as, I’m sure, everyone currently reading this, I still remember my shock at the news of his passing, and the great sadness I felt. His death would have been tragic under any circumstances, but it was doubly so, I thought, that he had not had the chance to finish what by any definition must be considered his life’s work.

But if I may, I’d like to quote my own reaction from the day after it happened, which is as true today as it was then:

I’m sad that he died without finishing what must be called his opus, but I’m not sad that he started it and got as far as he did. How many of us will create so much in our own lifetimes?

I’m glad I got to meet him. I’m glad I got to tell him that his books indirectly changed my life, by leading me to a strange new world called Usenet, and a group called rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, where I made friends I still have today and will (I pray) always have, and went on adventures I never would have otherwise, and learned things that life ought to teach you but often doesn’t.

The Wheel of Time may never be held up as a great classic of literature [though, I add from the future, I think that may qualify as an oversight]. But I’m not sure that’s particularly relevant. The purpose of art, in my opinion, is to create reaction. It is supposed to affect the recipient in some way, whether that way be joy, awe, shock, laughter, sadness, fury - whatever. It should create discussion, it should move people to feel about it. It should alter the viewer/reader/listener’s life, even if only in a tiny way.

By that criteria, the Wheel of Time has been one of the single most influential pieces of art in my life.

Requiscat in Pace, Mr. Rigney. You will be missed.

Daniel Goss
1. Beren
Quick note: I don't think the earlier DF Asha'man we saw had been 13x13 modified. Per ToM it seems that the ones who have been forcibly changed are . . . fairly obvious if you know what you're looking for. The bizarre smiling jumps to mind, if nothing else. I would assume, then, that since we didn't see that before ToM that the DF channelers we met up to that point had come in of their own free will.

Seems that way, anyway.
Heidi Byrd
2. sweetlilflower
It really is sad that this is the last book written by RJ. I can't even comment on the actual post b/c the eulogy has made me sad and driven all thought out of my head. Or, it could be I am still recuperating from Dragon*Con...
3. Helen_Joan
RIP Robert Jordan
Don Barkauskas
4. bad_platypus
It never even occurred to me that was Gaul on the cover, although I guess based on height and hair color it must be. The fact that he's wearing a sword belt, however, threw me off.
5. Lsana
For some reason, the fact that this was Jordan's last book had never occurred to me. Although I have to say, if he couldn't finish, this was a great way to go out. Mat's marriage, the battle, and the final scene with Pevara and Taim were just about perfect.

Is WoT great literature? It isn't considered it at the moment, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and who knows how things will be seen in a few centuries? Who knew back in the 1600s that a money-oriented playwright from Avon would be the greatest thing the English language ever produced?

What we do know is that Jordan took us on an incredible journey. I've been pretty vocal about complaining about the missteps on the way, but overall, the trip has been so worth it.
Debbie Solomon
6. dsolo
Lovely sentiment about RJ. Thanks Leigh. I have been wondering about one thing, which so far hasn't been answered. Whatever happens to our favorite Black AS, now that Suroth and Semirrhage are both out of the picture. Are her powers still bound? If she is going to have some eternal life of servitude like Galina, then yeah!
7. gnatnate
I'm sure I won't be the only one to offer this sentiment, but congratulations, Leigh! This, here, was the originally to be the end point of your re-read, back before aMoL was divided into three books.

I've been following these posts almost since the beginning, and over the last few years, had a few moments where I doubted we would even make it this far. Now, however, it is looking like there is a very good chance you will finish this entire thing before aMoL is released! It has been amusing and insightful so far, and I can't wait to see what you have to say about Sanderson's contributions to the series. See you in tGS!
Scott Bair
8. scottbair30
End of an era indeed. For someone who has been reading (and re-reading) this series since 1991, it was very sad to close this book after reading of Mr. Rigney's death. Fortunately, Mr. Sanderson has carried the standard admirably.
Tomas Gerst
9. IamnotSpam
Always thought the fake Rand in the vision was showing that there was a fake death that would give Rand his freedom and give all the responsibility to a future Logain. My two cents.
Kristoff Bergenholm
10. Magentawolf
There can never be enough hate directed towards the artwork for these books, I must say...
11. LittleLady
Does anyone else think it looked like the cover artist used two male models to create the four men on the cover? Perrin looks like a younger, strangely more ruddy, Arganda, and Gaul looks like a taller, more ginger Grady, who both look like Runcorn From the Harry Potter 7.1 Movie/That Angry Guy from The Tudors. And of all scenes in the book to choose... why this one? Ugh.
Birgit F
12. birgit
Commoners aren't supposed to look at High Blood (that's why Tuon wasn't worried about being recognized by some peasant). It's unlikely that Seanchan nobles are supposed to visit taverns and gamble with commoners. Different classes don't mix in Seanchan.
13. Celyn
About Tuon's comment to herself that she might come to love Matt, implying she doesn't at this time, I think you're underestimating the reliable tendency of Randland characters to be wholly unreliable judges of their own feelings. We know from Karede's POV that she is engaged in a "study" of Matt - whatever she might pretend to herself, that shows she is head over heels in love with him.
Rich Bennett
14. Neuralnet
and Mat is married... LOL

Once again, thanks for the reread Leigh. Your posts are always one of the highlights of my week... they definitely make me look forward to lunch hour on Tuesdays.

R.I.P. Robert Jordan or James Rigney... you are missed. I followed our beloved author for a LONG time before his death and feel fortunate to have stumbled upon this series 2 decades ago... It will always be the books that I compare all other fantasy too. I am really glad they found Sanderson to finish. He is doing a pretty good job, and I feel like even if the story isnt exactly like RJ would have done... the major plot points are his. I am really glad to find out how the story turns out.

p.s. the cover art continues to be so bad that it bothers me... this may be the only book series where I didnt even bother to keep the dust jackets.
15. jamesedjones
Forgot my password... so bleh to the red handle (Lannis or Tektonica Farstrider can confirm on FB). Just wanted to post a comment on how much I'll miss Mat.

Brandon's one of the true class acts out there, and a brilliant author. But I'm not sure he'll ever be able to write Mat successfully. After 2007 the grinning, smooth-talking, gambling hero never seems to align with the grumbling, muttering, whining inner monlogue that made up my favorite character. /sigh

Farewell, Mr. Jordan. Thank you so much for these tales.
Tricia Irish
16. Tektonica
Thank you for reprinting that part of your salute to RJ.....indeed he is missed, but Brandon is doing a wonderful job finishing up this incredible tale for all of us. Cudos to Team RJ. RIP Robert Jordan.

The cover: More bad art. So out of proportion, so wooden, so wrong.

Yay Mat!! It was fun to see Karade's complete befuddlement! And Mat's coolness. I still think he married the wrong woman....from a two-people-who-would-really-like-each-other perspective, (Aludra, anyone?),but plotwise, it looks like it had to happen.

I predict, like most everyone else, that Mat will bring about the joining of Randland and Seanchan forces, and perhaps Mat will bring about a peace that will confound Avienda's vision from her visit with the mystery woman outside Rhuiden. I mean isn't this why Mat had to marry Tuon??

The M'Hael says this:
....the old saying, Let the Lord of Chaos Rule.

And that originally came from the mouth of the DO himself. Who did he say this to???? Someone at Shayol Ghul, ifrc.

JEJ@15: Thanks for my new handle. I am honored, and I will try to live up to it.
18. Gentleman Farmer
The cover art is atrocious, obviously, and has been so consistently since the first book. The thing that bugged me most about this book is how obviously the artist had just given up, and wanted to demonstrate that he didn't care.

Sure, he got some kudos for his depiction of a big group of people wandering along in PoD, so he repeated it for WH and CoT, to increasingly worse effect.

But here, he just decided to make it a complete joke. I agree that it's a better depiction of Arganda on the front than Gallenne, but given his complete disregard for elements of importance to the plot or anything to make the book remotely interesting to purchase, he just decided he'd put everyone whose name started with a 'G' on the cover: Goldeneyes, Gaul, Galina, Gallenne, Grady and a random Ghealdinian.

The laziness inherent in these covers is really astounding, and I can't believe they kept the same artist for TGS (where, hard to believe, it gets even worse). At least they should get an artist who took some interest in what they were drawing. And given the proliferation of talent for the eBooks, clearly there are artists willing and capable of doing a magnificent job.

It makes no sense, and instead of being proud of my bookshelf of WoT, I'm always a little ashamed that people might look closely and judge me by the covers of my books.
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
@16 And I thought your name was Tektonica Silverbow.... :-(
20. Gentleman Farmer
@16 Tektonika:


... one final piece of evidence for the last remaining Taimandred theorists?
Roger Powell
21. forkroot
And hey, while I’m at it, now I’m also wondering whether the Darkfriend Asha’man we’ve met before this — like Kisman and Rochaid et al — were 13x13’d too.
There's a bit of "startup" problem in the sense that Taim needed to have 13 dreadlords as the seed corn for the dreadlord assembly line.

What I imagine he did was build the BT while making subtle checks for DFs among the recruits. He had a handy cover-up if he accidentally approached someone who wasn't DF.

"Oops, my bad ... here... drink this"

Once he was up to 12 other trusted DF Asha'man, he probably phoned home to SG for 13 fades and began the assembly line.
22. travyl
Dear Leigh
Tell me again please why Taim isn't Demandred. - I mean the "LET THE LORD OF CHAOS RULE" suggests a Forsaken, even more so after what we learn in TGS (that he has armies) -
so you answer me then, if you please?
Thanks for the post.
Heidi Byrd
23. sweetlilflower
@travyl: Robert jordan himself said numerous times that taim is not Demandred. There is, however, much speculation that taim is Moridin.
24. Gentleman Farmer
Re: 13x13

I must be in a grumpy kind of mood, since first I'm complaining about the artwork and now finding something else to complain about.

So firstly, great recap, and nice tribute to RJ here.

But as regards the 13x13, and the Asha'man either prior to this scene, or in this scene who were converted by it.

I believe the number is zero. None. I don't think anyone in any of RJ's books was converted by the 13x13 method, and I don't think he ever intended to use it. I think fans had their imagination captured by this concept, pushed it and promoted it, and ultimately Brandon Sanderson was convinced it was a legitimate plot point that could be used.

But my own conviction is that if RJ had finished the series we would never have seen it. My rationale is as follows:

1. The only reference in the RJ series proper was in the Tower rings. Other things the Tower rings showed (such as Nynaeve being able to sense male channelling) were clearly more about wish fulfillment than physical properties of Randland. Some elements of the tower rings may have contained a touch of prophecy, but most were just building on fears to demonstrate desire to be AS. There was no outside support for the claim, other than an AS (Sheriam) who was not boung by the oath rod. It's an easier thing to backtrack than Verin's "who sent you". I also note that when saidin was cleansed, Graendal comments that the DO may re-think his trust in the men without the threat of insanity tying them to him... but never thinks that any were forced to go over, and notably doesn't think anything similar applies to women forced over who may wish to re-think ties to the DO. Again, very little textual evidence for the 13x13.

2. If the 13x13 existed, why have all the other elaborate punishments like cour'souvra. As Sheriam noted, some things about channellers make them more open to the touch of the DO. And in LoC, we see what that is. Namely, light or dark side channellers can be physically taken to Shayol Ghul, have blood and saliva taken from them, and be fitted with a cours'ouvra, which makes them obligated to obey another channller. The cours'ouvra can also be turned one notch further to create a complete automaton... so why would you need the 13x13? Or if you had the 13x13, why wouldn't you do that instead of all the cours'ouvra rigamarole. It doesn't make sense to have such a complex procedure if you can just whisk in a few channellers and a few myrdraal anywhere you like and make up a few dark minions.

3. If the 13x13 existed, why haven't they turned people all over the place? Including, and especially, the Dragon, either now or in the AoL? Recall that channellers can zip anywhere with a gateway, and myrdraal can ride shadows from anywhere, to anywhere with a shadow. So in an instant of anyone being alone with a DF channeller, a gate can be opened to where the waiting other 12 channellers are, signal the myrdraal and in 10 seconds add one more DF channeller.

4. If the 13x13 existed, why the complex, intricate and important rationales behind every darkfriend we know? Each of the Forsaken has a story why they chose to be black. The moment of Ingtar's confession in TGH was the moment I totally and completely fell for the series. That kind of intricacy was really important to me. I like that you can look at any DF and wonder what turned them and why, and if there's a way back for them. I think that was a crucial part of the story, a crucial part of Rand's character arc, and part of the narrative that is wasted and destroyed if the answer is "Well I was walking through the park at night, and now I guess I love the Dark One and want to see the end of time and collapse of civilization". The use of 13x13 negates the tragedy of characters like Ingtar, the humanity of Lanfear, the human element of the story, and the importance of choice. It's not enough that the Dragon sacrifices himself for the world, it needs to be a choice, and I think it's equally important that it be a choice that is his own, not the Light infusing his brain, nor the myrdraal making him turn dark and act on selfish desires.

5. In addition to #4 the flip side is also true. Why do we need the 13x13 to tell this story? Taim is overseeing a bunch of guys destined to go mad, who were chosen because they wanted to share the glory of the Dragon Reborn. He's shown them people who see spiders on their skin, and need to be poisoned to be put out of their misery and tells them how unpredictable the madness is. That any of them could be the next to go. Then he tells them that he has a link to the DO (same as Asmodean) which guarantees he won't go mad, and will share in the glory and riches of the world after the Dragon is destroyed. Is it unreasonable to think he'd collect a large subset of that group who'd sign up? Those who don't have faith in Rand. When Saidin is cleansed it's a huge moment justifying the faith of the remaining Asha'man, and also sets up the possibility for a balancing of the odds at the Black Tower. Now recruiting for the dark has become much more difficult since the promise of sanity is meaningless... unless they can be convinced that Saidin is not clean, and the only protection is through the DO.

Ultimately (and we may comment more in the following rereads if we elaborate on differences between RJ's style and Sandersons), the use of 13x13 takes nuance and human element out of the story. It creates a much more black and white world, a world with bad guys you could never suspect, and huge volumes of them at every turn. But it takes out the humanity, the mystery and clues of who is a DF, and the complexity of characterization that leads to people turning to the Dark One. The world of 13x13 is more a world of infinitely massive armies of trollocs, fanged red veiled Aiel and Dark Friends identifiable by their selfish sneers. A scary world, promising lots of cinematic action sequences, clear good guys and bad, clear winners and losers. I think it suits BS's style of writing.

I just don't think it was RJ's world.
25. Gentleman Farmer
@22 travyl

I'm kind of sympathetic to the Taimandred theory myself, and am pretty convinced RJ changed it partway through the series (somewhere after LoC) because he was annoyed so many people guessed it. If Taim's not Demandred, then I thought he shouldn't have been a DF at all.

But unfortunately for the theories I liked, the conclusive evidence that Taim is not Demandred was in the cleansing of saidin scene in WH, when a chapter portion is told from Demandred's perspective, and he doesn't recognize the old man (Damer Flynn) with the two AS, and does not consider that he could be an Asha'man. If Demandred were Taim, he absolutely should have recognized Flynn, and at least would have known that older looking farmers could be Asha'man.
26. Dr. Thanatos
As a diehard Taimandredist I still hold on valiantly to my delusions and recall that RJ said that "Demandred has never posed as Taim."

All his appearances as Taim were candids, not posed (wording courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Aes Sedai)
Anthony Pero
27. anthonypero

Here's a link to the general thoughts on 15 years of discussion:
Rob Munnelly
28. RobMRobM
GF @24. Nice thought but I don't buy the Sheriam made it up point. It would be too easy for Egwene to have asked a follow up question of some other AS during her training and gotten her identified as a BA. I see it as a clear Checkhov's gun that finally was fired in ToM, with RJ's full assent. For practical reasons, I don't see the 13 x 13 as easy to pull off -except in the protected confines of the BT - and having rapid personality changes of too many channelers would be the triggering event to unite the White Tower in a way it hadn't done for hundreds or even thousands of years. Seems perfectly reasonable that it is an extreme remedy useful in limited situations, which is what we are now seeing in the books.

29. CuenDiller
Here, here!
30. gadget
Great post and memorial to RJ Leigh.

@1 I agree, the 13x13 trick has not been used until TOM. Logain, earlier in the book tries to convince Rand that Taim is a darkfriend by pointing out how he has special classes and is playing favorites and creating a Black Tower within the Black Tower that is loyal to Taim alone. He further points out that there were men there at the very begining who where not loyal to Taim and he couldn't do all the recruiting himself. Taim had to be circumspect in gradually bringing in darkfriends and trianing them up.

Second, Taim never had enough to form a circle of 13, until recently. It takes women (at least 7) to form a circle of 13 and Taim did not have access to that many BA due to that organization's heart system putting preeminence on stealth and secrecy. It is only after Eg. forced the BA out of the Tower and into the open that they could operate in enough numbers without a lot of combersome codes and ciphers.

Finally, TOM tells us that it is quite obvious when someone has been 13x13'd. They are quite a different person, blatently so. So I can understand why it was never used by the BA before now, and only came into play once the dream spike was in place and they could keep people pinned behind the half finished walls of the Black Tower.
Jay Dauro
31. J.Dauro

Decimated? Mat didn't leave 1 in 10, he took 'em all out.

GF In TDR, Liandran tells the Supergirls that Be'lal has sent for 13 fades, heavily implying that they will be turned using 13 x 13.
Anthony Pero
32. anthonypero
gadget @ 30:

I think you misunderstand how the 13x13 works. My understanding isn't that a circle is formed, but that 13 channelers channel independantly through 13 fades. No circles are necessary.
Roger Powell
33. forkroot
Great points made above.

Also some good points; however I'm not sure Taim would need female AS. I don't have the actual reference handy, but I thought Sheriam just described 13 channelers channeling through 13 Myrddraal - no circle needed.


I'd also like to point out that BWS has stated over and over that he is telling RJ's story. While he chose not to mimic RJ's style (wisely IMO), this has always been about integrating what RJ already had written for AMoL as well as filling in the gaps.

I would be very surprised if he would introduce actual instances of 13x13 unless RJ's notes specifically called for it to be part of the whole BT plot thread.
34. GrayMan
I've never posted before despite being here from the very first post of EOTW.

Thanks Leigh for all the hard work. Your posts are a highlight of my week.
Anthony Pero
35. anthonypero
Also, just because @BrandSanderson writes folks as 13x13'd in a certain way doesn't mean RJ would have written it that way. @BrandSanderson has said that RJ's notes say a person 13x13'd will have all their bad characteristics amped up and their good characteristics toned down. This is @BrandSanderson's interperetation of those notes. That doesn't mean RJ wouldn't have been more... subtle with it.

What I'm trying to say is that it's quite possible we've seen someone who has been 13x13'd already, someone nasty, but RJ didn't write them as total zombie evil. Take a look at how Mat's character was written in TGS for an example of what I mean. @BrandSanderson wrote Mat the way he read Mat... but a lot of us didn't read him that way.
Valentin M
36. ValMar
Great ending of the book, thanks for the recap Leigh. Hope New Orleans gets through the storms unscathed.

Also thanks for including your eulogy on Robert Jordan. Personally, I'm well aware this was the last book the big man wrote. This is not really the place to write it, still- I'm glad Team Jordan and B. Sanderson continued the series.

AP @ 35
Good point. It is possible that RJ didn't leave detailed/specific notes on the effects of 13x13 or Brandon simply depicted them differently (i.e. less subtly).
Rob Munnelly
37. RobMRobM
Boy, I enjoy the craftsmanship of the two Mat chapters. Great characterizations of all the characters large and small (Karede, Talmanes, Joline, Melitene, Aludra, Mandevwin, Musenge and, of course, the happy couple). Lots of funny bits (Joline and her wanting respect for AS; Mat - can I kiss you? Nope; the Tuon doll speech, Karede bowing incredibly low and Mat telling him to get his head off the ground and get to work; Karede's Shrek-like "he's an onion" speech about Mat; Aludra referring to her dragons and Mat telling her to shut up; and the Prince of the Ravens/laughter bit at the end). Really a bang up way to end one of the best story lines in an excellent book.

I also really liked the Taim portion of the epilogue - ubercreepy but also sets up the good guy minority in the BT plotline we see in ensuing books.

Douglas Miller
38. douglas
24 @Gentleman Farmer

First, I agree that at that point there probably weren't any 13x13 Asha'man. I don't agree, however, that RJ never intended to use it.

Some counter points to your argument:
1. That may be the only reference within the printed main series text, but RJ confirmed in numerous conversations with fans that it is real and even explained some of the details about how it works. It is, by word of original author, a real in-world process. Actually, now that I think about it, it was also referred to by clear implication when the Blacks had the SuperGirls captive in the Stone of Tear and mentioned they were bringing in 13 myrdraal.

2. From what I remember of RJ's explanations, 13x13 turns you to the Shadow and greatly amplifies certain personality traits while suppressing others. It is a tool of forced recruitment, twisting a person so (s)he willingly serves the Dark One. That is worth precisely nothing when your objective is to punish the failure of someone who is already a willing Darkfriend. The cours'ouvra is primarily a tool for punishment, not recruitment, and taking it to the full automaton level probably comes with significant reduction in effectiveness and certainly can't be scaled up very well. If you have 5000 mind-trapped slaves, you also need thousands of non-mind-trapped people just to control them all. 13x13 is good as a large scale recruitment tool; cours'ouvra is good as an ultimate punishment for screwing up that doesn't eliminate the victim as a resource. Both techniques are good for their own purposes and pretty much useless for the other's purpose.

3. First, as shown in Towers of Midnight a 13x13 victim is pretty obvious if you know what to look for, and even people who don't know will quickly realize something is up. Using it is not compatible with secrecy, and the Black Ajah has been going to great lengths to hide its existence for a very long time. The fact that Taim is using it now is scary in large part because it means he feels he's ready to risk discovery - that secrecy isn't going to matter much longer. Second, 13x13 has never been stated to be quick or easy. I would be very surprised if it is anything but a lengthy slow process that requires a victim completely at your mercy. As for gateway abductions, in the Age of Legends they had countermeasures and in modern times Travelling has been a lost weave until very recently.

4. See the first part of 3. 13x13 darkfriends stick out like a sore thumb, it's not much of a viable option until the conflict approaches open warfare. Thus, the entire covert phase of the struggle has to rely on voluntary darkfriends. Also, 13x13 only works on channelers. The vast majority of darkfriends, just like the vast majority of people in general, can't channel.

5. Of course he'd pick up a large subset of the Black Tower. 13x13 is a way to try to grab the rest and it makes Taim a vastly greater and more ominous threat.

Ultimately, I don't think Sanderson would put in a plot element this significant without basis in RJ's notes, and I think this nature-of-the-world shift you outlined is far more a matter of differences in phases of the conflict than differences in writing style of the two authors. We've known practically forever that a giant sprawling climactic battle was coming, and that's exactly the sort of thing to bring everyone's true allegiances into the open. The buildup and preparation phase is all about stealth, secrecy, information, and circuitous plotting. RJ didn't quite get to finish that phase, but he did get close to its end. The Tarmon Gai'don phase is all about war, destruction, and chaos, and pulling out reserves. By its very nature that difference requires a dramatic shift in the story.

Basically, your final paragraph seems to me like you're complaining about a story's climax actually changing things.
James Hogan
39. Sonofthunder
A amazing end to one of my favorite books. Jordan...what a master. I didn't start reading WoT until 2008, but I continue to be sad that Jordan wasn't able to finish the series. Oh what a beautiful work he created!

And Leigh, thanks as always for the sweet write-up. I want to write more about these chapters...but for now, I'm just thinking about Jordan, wishing he could still be with us. I envy those of you that were able to meet him and talk with him..
40. Gentleman Farmer
I think what BWS is doing is completing the story for the benefit of the fans. He's telling RJ's story in the best way that he can, and he's getting it done. But, as pointed out above, he's got his own way of achieving it.

RJ's notes may have said something like "Have to deal with Masema. He shouldn't meet up with Rand." And BWS gets the job done chapter one page one.

Similarly, RJ's notes might have said "Black Tower filled with Darkfriends. Taim is Moridin". Or something slightly more detailed.

Then Brandon, since he is doing this in part to please the fans, or Harriet, wanting to see all RJ's fans treated right, also looked for what fans wanted to see. An explanation for why people don't gate in wherever they like? Some new monsters for armageddon? A use of the 13x13? Can we do it without affecting the plot? Then why not?

And when you take into account the dedication of TGS, and the strong clamoring for seeing 13x13 from comment sites like this, it would not surprise me at all if that was not part of RJs notes, but instead an attempt to please the fans in a way that can still be consistent with those notes.
41. xrlw1a
I know I have issues, but I can't stand it when the term decimated is used incorrectly and it's NEVER used correctly. I was just reading a David Drake book and got unhealthily excited when he used the term "decimated" to refer to ACTUAL decimation.
A.J. Bobo
42. Daedylus
“I told you,” Mat said. “I had enough.”

That is my absolute favorite Mat moment. The most satisfying six words in the whole series.
43. s'rEDIT
@Leigh: as always, thank you so much for your efforts and your sentiments. RJ is sorely missed.

I was not surprised that the appropriate tribute superseded any comments about Suroth's punishment. But it was just this point that I had been waiting to make: It wasn't until my reread that it even occurred to me* what kind of service was implied by Tuon's "This da’covale will serve the Deathwatch Guard as they wish..." I'm afraid I can't wish this kind of punishment on anyone, no matter how much they may "deserve" it. There's a reason it's called "a fate worse than death."

*I tend to shy away from the subject
Heidi Byrd
44. sweetlilflower
Anything in TGS or ToM was approved by Harriet and fact-checked by Maria and Alan. I strongly doubt that the three of them would have allowed BWS to "change things" or add new things just to please fans. Plus, BWS has been a die-hard fan of the series since tEotW first came out. I really doubt he would take such liberty with the series he loves and respects.

The 13x13 trick was foreshadowed in the books the appropriate amount of time for this series. Pretty much anything that is brought up 1-2 times and then forgotten WILL be very important later.
45. Toby1kenobi
This is a long post, so if you just want the main bit read the next paragraph then skip down to the paragraph starting "I think the key..."
This is a comment about a scene in chapter 36 of the Dragon Reborn. Sorry to post it here, but let's face it, no one will read comment #149 on a post written more than two years ago. I wanted to get this off my chest so much that I'm willing to break netiquette to do it.
From the post I'm refering to:

the merchant tells him she saw his fire, and trusts there is no objection to them sharing his campsite?
“None,” Rand told her. Careful. Two steps brought him close enough, and he leaped into the air, spinning—Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind—heron-mark blade carved from fire coming into his hands to take her head off before surprise could even form on her face. She was the most dangerous.
I think Rand and/or Jordan were unfairly critisised over the horror of this scene because people haven't understood its context.
Leigh's commentary:

"The presence of the Gray Man in the entourage confirms Rand was right to think them Darkfriends, but that’s only clear to us; Rand himself had no such assurance, or at least I don’t think he does."
Lsana #8:

I'm not convinced that this merchant and her party are Darkfriends. The Grey Man was obviously trying to kill Rand, but I don't see any evidence that the others knew that the Grey Man was there or meant Rand any harm. And it does seem very out-of-character: he can't kill Lanfear while she is actively trying to kill Eg and Avi, but he can take off this woman's head when she hadn't done anything? I think the best thing to do might be to pretend this scene never happened. I think Rand does.
Rikka #23:

another unnecessary Rand PoV. Yay, he's going mad. We know. Way to give us nightmares RoJo, really. Are you sure we want that from our main character (and hero)?
Aiel1219 #28:

RJ confirmed she was a dark friend, or so says the WoT encyclopedia.But what I don't get is how Rand knew she was.
I think the key to understanding this scene is Rand's thought "She was the most Dangerous." how does he know this merchant is more dangerous than her companions? I think it's from lots of experience. Let me explain.Rand is on his way to take Callandor and show the world he is TDR. Ishamael wants to take him down before he gets there, so he's been throwing everything at him, in the world of dreams as well as the waking world. We've already seen in the context that Rand spends all his time asleep fending off what Ishamael throws at him (he almost killed Perin in the process), why wouldn't that also be the case while he's awake. Ishy is probably sending every darkfriend within reach to kill Rand. On his way to Tear I expect Rand would have been encountering this daily, but we only get one example recounted for us. Rand has become so familiar with this that, not only does he recognise the party that approaches him as darkfriends, but he knows that the female is particulalry dangerous and must not be given the smallest opportunity to attack. Thus Rand's behaviour here is perfectly rational and indeed necessary. Also he must be absolutely exhausted from it.
As for the lining up the corpses to bow to him thing. That's a bit less rational, but I attribute it to his trying to come to terms with his new identity as TDR. It is obviously a big shock for him.
On a side note, it's very interesting to read everyone's thoughts about the series before the more recent books had been released. Sometimes I want to shout things through the time warp like "Yes, Verin is black Ajah, but in a manner more wonderful than you can possibly imagine!"
Mikey Bennett
46. EvilMonkey

I personally was a little bit surprised Leigh didn't speculate or go deeper into the fate of Suroth and the general ickyness of Seanchan. Maybe because it wasn't specifically spelled out that she would be a multiple rape victim for however long it took for her hair to grow out and then sold into slavery as a used up, beat up shell of her former self (my interpretation of her fate). Galina is going to get pretty much the same treatment except with her it's only one person doing it instead of a company of soldiers but I'm sure to the victim it doesn't make much difference. Maybe Leigh just didn't interpret it in the same way I did.

Various on 13 x 13

As someone mentioned, a recruitment tool. And an effective one when we know the shyt is really about to hit the fan in AMOL. TOM gave us a foretaste of battles with channelers on both sides actually on screen. If you are on the Team Shadow you know that you will be vastly outnumbered. Even with Ishydin's warehouse of angreal being a huge advantage for the Dreadlords and Ladies, they are still outnumbered at a rate of maybe 10 to 1 (don't forget, it isn't like Team Light won't have power itemes as well, the WT has alot too). The LB is pretty much here, the numerical superiority enjoyed by Team Light needs to be dealt with somehow. Team Shadow just happened to have something in their arsenal that gives them the power to expand their numbers at a much greater rate than before while simultaneously depriving Team Light of another body. As for why it wasn't used before now in the series, well what would be the point? The only goals of the Shadow in the years before the weakening of the Seals was to keep their organization alive so that they would be ready to do what they are doing right now and to keep the world as fragmented as possible. For that mission you need not have very many people, in fact that might be counter-productive. After all, they can't all be competent, someone is sure to screw it up and take down more of the organization than is sustainable. Or you could get the Verin effect. How much damage did she do to the Black Ajah by playing covert for the last 70 years? Absolutely crippling. Whoever they have left is surely enough for them to conduct the LB but I know the loss of those 100 or so sisters Eggy executed hurt the cause of Team Shadow especally when there is scarcely enough time to replace those losses. 13x13 helps them make a dent in their manpower (or womenpower) shortage fairly quickly at a time when they really need to build up their forces. Back in the day it simply wasn't necessary.
Elijah Foster
47. TheWolfKing
I'm 99.99999999999999999999% sure that it is not Gaul on the cover, but Aram seeing as how he is carrying a sword. Also red hair, tinkers can have red hair too because they are distantly related to Aiel.

Feel free to disagree, but the only way im changing my opinion is if RJ or the Artist said it theirselves.

Also, what in the world was the "knife of dreams" or is it just a cool title?
Alice Arneson
48. Wetlandernw
First things first: Congratulations, Leigh! You made it! Personally, I have to say I’m grateful for the decision to slow down once AMoL was split to three books; I don’t think we’d have had near as much fun at the beginning pace. Hey, I might not even have had a chance to become a Cadsuane fan if we’d sped through those chapters. Doesn’t that make everyone happy? ;p

Also, let me say (along with everyone else) that I love these chapters. Mat being awesome, becoming royalty, and still keeping a sense of humor. Ah, Mat. I also like most of the Seanchan characters (you know, the ones we actually talk to) in these chapters. Karede and Musenge, anyway. They’re good men.

Just a few thoughts on marriage, in response to Leigh’s disappointment that Tuon was not in love with Mat. First, I don’t think it lessens her commitment to the marriage; she chose to fulfill the ceremony, so she has committed herself – in front of witnesses, loud and clear. Second, it’s easy for a woman to love a man, but often much more difficult, and more critical to the relationship, to respect him fully and deeply. I think Tuon has the kind of respect for Mat that will end up making him a better husband, even more than an emotional response would.

(This is a tangent; don’t read it if you’re offended by Christian musings. I find it pretty cool that RJ set up this couple in a very Biblical way: “…let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” My pastor often refers to this passage as preaching to our needs and our weaknesses: men often find it difficult to love their wives actively, and very much need the respect of their wives; women need their husband’s love, but are perfectly capable of loving someone for whom they have no respect. In this case, Tuon has what she needs: a husband who loves her and in whom she can place complete personal trust. Mat has what he needs: a wife who has profound respect and appreciation for him as a whole person, not someone who is going to try to make him over to her liking in all the trivia. I’m betting that they will (when they get back together) have their fair share of conflict, but his love for her will keep him from being careless toward her, and her respect for him will keep her engaged in the relationship. Okay, I’m not saying this all that well, but I really think it’s well designed.)

Gentleman Farmer @18 – I think I’ve said this before… the artist doesn’t decide which scene to depict for the cover art. In fact, the artist doesn’t often read the book at all. He is given a scene, maybe a few pages worth, a bit of description, and then he does his best to draw that scene. The author, editor and publisher are the ones who decide which scene is to be used. RJ said that he was always satisfied with the work when he/Harriet and DKS were able to actually connect on it, but sometimes communications got hung up at the studio or the publisher until it was too late to make changes. IIRC, he didn’t say specifically which books were more or less to his satisfaction, but RJ was the one who chose, and chose to stay with, DKS for the cover art. Harriet has insisted on honoring that choice for the last three books.

I’m not an artist, and I don’t care a whole lot about the cover art. For those who know more, or think you do, feel free to critique the proportions or techniques or what-have-you, but please try not to blame the artist for the things over which he had no control. Such as what characters or scene to put on the cover.

Tektonica Farstrider - ::applauds:: A totally fitting name! (And she posts cool pics on facebook, too!)

Gentleman Farmer @24 – Along with the excellent points made by douglas @38, I will add: 1) Liandrin mentions it in TDR, chapter 51, where she points out to the just-captured girls that Be’lal is bringing thirteen Myrddraal to “work his plans” after they’re done being useful as bait. 2) A coursouvra gives control of a person to whoever holds it. The turning just turns you to the dark generally, and doesn’t guarantee your obedience to anyone except the DO – when he bothers to take notice of you. Other than that, you’re a loose cannon except for whatever binds any DFs together. (douglas – great point about punishment vs. recruitment!) 3) You don’t really have any idea what it takes to do the process, other than thirteen Dreadlords and thirteen Myrddraal. The idea that they could “in 10 seconds add one more DF channeller” is ludicrous; if it was that easy, it would be done more frequently. Given the complexity of what RJ described as the changes made to the personality, it would most likely be a somewhat drawn-out process. 4) Someone who was forcibly turned would likely not be quite as valuable or trustworthy (for a certain definition of trust!) as someone who made the choice of their own accord. The turned person would have no motivation beyond all their own worst character traits, whereas someone who voluntarily went over would always have the impetus of the events that brought them to that choice. Combine that with #3, and it’s not something you’d use lightly or until other circumstances made it worth the effort. 5) Wait until you see the end before you know whether the plot device was useful or not.

And I think, personally, that it’s both lame and incredibly conceited to think that RJ would change the story to that extent just “because he was annoyed that so many people guessed it.” If it was that obvious, it was obviously a red herring all along.

gadget @30 – Yup. All that.

anthonypero @32 - It’s never made clear whether the thirteen Dreadlords channel as a circle or individually through the Myrddraal. It’s also quite reasonable that neither Sheriam nor Liandrin (the only BA we see mention it, IIRC) bothered to specify a circle, because all channelers in their experience at the time could form circles at will – they were all women, up until then. So the fact that it’s not mentioned is hardly proof that it’s not required. And if it is required, as is entirely possible, the result is obvious – and obviously why it didn’t happen until the BA left the WT and some of them went to the BT

Toby1kenobi @45 “ let's face it, no one will read comment #149 on a post written more than two years ago.” Actually, that’s not entirely true. Some of us watch the activity on the old threads, and comment back sometimes. That said, no one really minds bringing something up on the new thread, where it will definitely be seen by more people.
Alice Arneson
49. Wetlandernw
Incidentally, another reason not to use the 13&13 turning in the past: only the Forsaken can command the Myrddraal, not just any old Dreadlord who wants to increase his or her power base. We've been told before that Dreadlords can gain the cooperation of the Myrddraal with appropriate incentives, but they have no means of commanding obedience. It also confirms Taim's connection to a Forsaken, since that's the only way he'd have the Myrddraal presence in the BT to start the assembly line. Not that we needed confirmation. (FWIW, I suspect Taim is a Moridin-minion, but it doesn't make a big difference to me if he's Moridin himself, or a new specially-chosen-and-promoted Forsaken, or someone else's flunky. I just hope we find out!)
Bill Stusser
50. billiam
Sorry if any of this was already said but I don't have time to read all the comments before I have to leave for work.

First, these last two Mat chapters are two of my favorites chapters in all of WOT. The awesomeness that is Mat in this book is why I like KoD so much and think that RJ was back to form on this one. One more thing about Mat before I talk about the epilogue. Notice how Mat thinks about being married here and how different it is than how he thinks in AGS. I think that has a lot to do with why Mat seemed off in the later book.

OK, now the epilogue. This is where I first started thinking that Taim might be Moridin/Ishy. There are many clues here; the color scheme, the air of darkness around Taim, the way he is lounging on the chair just like Rand was want to do, and of course the 'let the lord of chaos rule" line. So maybe it is Taim that Egs saw in her dream, but not becuse he is a poor man's dragon but because of the whole crossing of the streams psychic connection thing.

j p
51. sps49
"Under an Oak" is my favorite chapter in this book, and one of my faves overall. My happiness became dread by the end of the Epilogue, though.

For anyone wanting more but doesn't know already, Robert Jordan also authored 6 Conan books (plus the 2nd movie novelization); they are very good Conan works.

And they are the only places I have ever seen the word "callimastian" used. Ever.
52. Shadow_Jak
Decimated -
Yes, that's one of my pet peaves too.
Actually, in this case, it was Mat's force that was decimated durring this campaign.

"His victories had hardley been bloodless, only remarkably close to it. Near 400 crossbowmen lay in Altaran graves, and closed to 500 of the calvary..."
He started with 4000 crossbows and three Banners of Lancers (about 4500). So about 8500 so total. one tenth is about 850.

But they sure gave a lot better than they got!
53. Shadow_Jak
"It wasn't until my reread that it even occurred to me* what kind of service was implied by Tuon's "This da’covale will serve the Deathwatch Guard as they wish..." I'm afraid I can't wish this kind of punishment on anyone, no matter how much they may "deserve" it. There's a reason it's called "a fate worse than death."

I don't think this statement was carte blanche for rape and torture.
No, I think it just meant that she was declared to be "property", but would be held by the DWG and put to work at whatever tasks they chose for now.
The Seanchan are pretty bad, but I don't think they rape their property.
No mention has been made of raping damane.
Only other case I can think of of being declared property was Bayle Doman.
True, Doman, as property, may have got screwed, but it wasn't rape. ;-)
54. AndrewB
I was not going to bring this up at this point. However, several people have suggested that BWS may have some latitude to go his own way. As Gentleman Farmer said @40, RJ may have left bear-boned notes on a particular scene. Accordingly, BWS (with appropriate input from Harriet, Alan and Maria) may have had some created scene's and or dialogue that RJ would not have. For the major scenes, I think RJ left detailed notes (The Senanchan attacking the White Tower, for example). I aslo think he left detailed notes on character development scenes (For example, Perrin's creating the hammer in ToM).

If I were going to have to bet money where BSW wrote something in such a way that RJ would not have it would revolve around the reveal of Asmodean's killer. Had RJ lived, I think he would have chosen to reveal Graendal as Asmodean's killer though the glossary. I think BSW argued that the reveal should also indirectly come through in the conversation with Mordin. I think that RJ left notes regarding the conversation between Mordin and Graendal. RJ's notes said that Graendal should eventual have to tell Mordin that she is planning to kill Perrin. This would cause Mordin to give Graendal a dreamspike and reveal the contents of the Dark Prophhecy (which the readers finds out at the end of ToM).

I believe that RJ's notes did not contain any hint that Mordin would indicrectly reveal Graendal as Asmodean's killer. I think that BWS was able to persuade Harriet that this would be a good scene to indirectly reveal Graendal as Asmodean's killer. As the glossary would confirm the the identity of the killer, it would not upset the plans to write the dialogue as it was written.

The conversation betweenGraendal and Mordin does not equivacly state that Graendal killed Asmodean (as the glossary does). Neverthelss, the implication in that chapter seems clear. RJ always felt that it was obviuos as to who killed Asmoedean. Further, I never thought that he beleived the murder's identity was that important. Thus, I could have imagined that if he ever chose to reveal it, it would be in the glossary. Which, although obviously part of the book, is not part of the story. I do not think that RJ would have wanted to waste dialogue in the story revealing who killed Asmodean. BSW, on the other hand, thought that the implicit reveal would add value to the reader's enjoyment of the story. (While I liked the way that Graendal was revealed as the killer in the text, it did not add any value to the plot -- either the WoT plot or ToM's plot.)

I guess I should end this post. Looking back over what I wrote, I am not quite sure what my point is. Oh well. I am sure that some of you are thinking that many of my posts have no point. Unfortunately, that last sentence has some ring of truth in it.

One final unrelated point. While I am not thrilled with the deaths of most of the Foresaken (Semirhage, Asmodean and Ba'lel not withstanding) -- those who actually died -- I think RJ nailed the fates of significant dark friends. This is especially the case with Suroth, Galina, Sheriam (the manner of her death and reveal had to have been done via detailed notes that RJ left) and Liandrin.

Thanks for reading my musings.
David W
55. DavidW
@43 I too thought that Tuon was giving Suroth to the Deathwatch Gaurds for rape/torture. Suroth's reaction is too intense in my opinion for a simple life as a slave. o.0
56. Shadow_Jak
Demotion from future Empress to 'property' seens quite enough justify the reaction.
Sounds like a good question for team Jordan.
Anyone know if it has been asked?
From what we've seen from Tuon, I suspect that such a punishment would be unlawful.

BTW Wonder who gets Almandaragal (her pet lopar)
Noneo Yourbusiness
57. Longtimefan
@ 43 and others,

I realize that the worse thing that could happen to any person in the situation of being made into property would be sexual assalt.

However I do not think that is what would happen to Suroth under the watch of the death watch guards.

The guards are dedicated to protecting the Empress (may she live forever) and they stand a half step above any other military person of a similar rank.

I know there is no in book reason to believe they would be more "ethical" than any other person but there is something about the way the Deathwatch Guards are written that make me think that they would not be interested in using property that way.

They are high enough up the social strata that property may be to far down for them to see in a sexual way.

Suroth would probably be made to serve tea and mend clothes and other servile things that someone of such high standing would see as meanial and beneath them.

I do wonder what would happen to her lopar and all of her adjunct attendants and servants. Are they demoted to property with her?
59. Wortmauer
jamesedjones@15: Forgot my password... so bleh to the red handle
It's called the Band of the Red Handles. Welcome!
Longtimefan@57: They are high enough up the social strata that property may be to far down for them to see in a sexual way.
I'd agree. Some might say the da'covale uniform we often see, a see-through robe and nothing under it, is rather sexualized, but to me it seems to be more along the lines of "artistic nudes." And of course, damane are not generally thought of that way; as Tuon once said to Mat, "You would not want anyone to think you are perverted." (Though I understand that's different, more like bestiality.)

I think Suroth's reaction is easily explained by just the aspect of losing face to the degree that she did. She lost even more sei'taer than Colavaere, and we remember how she handled her situation. I do have to say, as an aside, that I was pretty annoyed when RJ decided to start shoving a lot of new Seanchan culture at us so many books in. All that sei'taer and sei'mosiev and der'sul'dam blah blah mostly just makes me think of one of the more annoying things about the Aiel: their habit of hanging on to way too many Old Tongue nouns. But maybe that's just me. I never really got why if you study certain subjects that evolved in the far east, you have to call your teacher a sensei, even if both of you are native speakers of English. Or why occultic incantations in Hollywood are more effective if translated into poorly pronounced Latin. (Do they really speak Latin in the underworld, and church Latin at that?)

"Ab Vi Cranii Canae!"
60. macster
*wipes tears away* That eulogy was beautiful, Leigh. Thanks for sharing it, you really encapsulated why WOT appeals to so many of us, even when we see its flaws.

Not much else to say here. Poor Karede, being fooled about Thom/Mat. And I laughed out loud when Tuon echoed Mat's phrasing of the marriage ceremony with "bloody".

I can't see Taim still being Demandred despite the Aes Sedai loophole abuse inherent in saying he never "posed as" him. Mostly because if Demandred were Taim, why would Moridin feel the need to ask him if his rule was secure? Unless of course that is why he gave the dreamspike to Taim--Demandred had attested to having the proper control needed of the Black Tower, which let Moridin know it was time to trap everybody there so the 13 x 13'ing could begin... It is highly possible Taim is Moridin, there's enough telling but circumstantial evidence IMO. And if he were it would eliminate the need for two separate battles, one with Taim and one with Moridin, when there's so much to go through in AMoL. But there might be a way to still handle it all if they are separate people, so who knows. I'll just wait and see.

Put me in the camp that Sanderson didn't just add the 13 x 13 in to please the fans, that it was intended to be used all along and at the point that it was--because indeed, the lack of available channelers and Myrddraal and the need for secrecy would keep this as a last resort, even if you assume that RJ would have written the results of the conversion more subtly. And has already been said, prior to this Darkfriends were recruited the normal way, and if they needed to be commanded or controlled that was what Ishamael going into their dreams and the cour'souvra was for. Now that they're out all those BA, they need replacements, and this close to the LB the need for secrecy is past. If they're going to have the numbers (beyond Shadowspawn) to face the Tower, they need lots of Darkfriends, and with the fleeing BA to help them the 13 x 13 trick is now both possible and the only viable option. (No time to recruit the old-fashioned way.) So the human element hasn't been lost, the Shadow is just desperate to make sure they have the followers needed to win after the Light's recent victories. And this is why Logain helping to take out Taim and save the Lightside Asha'man is so important for the last book (and justified Min's vision of glory).

Others have also stated the evidence that the 13 x 13 trick exists in other places in the text besides the rings, so yes it is certainly real.

Oh and Leigh, I do love your idea that the dream of the paper puppet refers to Taim, not Rand. Still, we know the dream of Rand and his three women on a boat hasn't come to pass yet, so it is still possible he could die and live again, or come close to death but not die, or fake his death, and any of those possibilities could be what the dream meant. That doesn't explain Logain laughing though, unless that was just Egwene's view of the matter tainting the dream. I hope you are right though, regardless what the boat dream/vision means.

I also think Suroth wasn't raped--she definitely was the sort of arrogant noble who would freak like that just at the thought of losing her power and status, let alone being made into a slave.

@47 The Wolf King: I never even thought about that being Aram not Gaul, but it makes perfect sense. I can see why people are thrown off because of the color of his clothes, but they don't look cut right to be cadin'sor, IMO. And that would explain both the sword and the sullen, suspicious expression. (I am pretty sure RJ and Harriet would have made sure to tell the artist Aiel don't use swords, or if they hadn't would have caught it before it went to print.)
@54. AndrewB wrote:

RJ may have left bear-boned notes on a particular scene.

Always helps to get the zoology right. Was the skeleton a black bear's or a brown bear's? And how do you make notes on a skeleton? How do you read a skeleton? :)

International Secret Conspiracy for the Oppression of Teddybears aka ISCOT
Nadine L.
62. travyl
@25-27 ...
Thanks for your comments concerning the Taim issue.

You may have persuaded (that's easily done I'm afraid) - but I'm not really convinced.

I don't believe that Taim is Moridin however:
Somebody (guess it was leigh in a few books ago) pointed out that Moridin only uses the True power anymore because he most probably suffers the same sickness as Rand does when wielding saidin. But in this chapter Taim knocks Mishraile unconscious showing no effect himself, and since the other Asha'man don't react at all I can't believe he is using the True Power.

-- feel free to dissuade me of this theory as well.
63. Ouroboros
Not all Seanchen are bad, but Sheraine's transformation into Mylen does make it difficult to see it.

Her mother had loved her father, it was said.

This really says a thing or two about Tuon's childhood; she doesn't know?

Matrim Cauthon made an onion look like an apple!

Onion, know thyself. Not likely in a series where self-unawareness is the plat du jour... staple diet, in fact.

I'm guessing "Nelson laugh" is now an officially acceptable synonym for Schadenfreude?

Arg! That bloody Way Forward Ter'angreal again. According to that, ballistics certainly catch on. The Seanchen on the road were quite happy shooting Aiel like vermin with their shiny hand held dragons.

Speaking of which, I wonder what New Rand will make of having such weapons named after him.

Suroth... finally. It only took 9 books.

Taim and Demandred appear for the first time in the same book, and Taim is having some serious ego management problems around Rand, which Demandred was famous for. So, The Taimandred theory was understandable. Still, when the author says no, the author says no.

The results of "thirteening" are a touch obvious so I think it's unlikely anyone had been turned in this way yet. It was only possible when the BT had been locked down and he had a captive audience, so to speak.

I'm still not sure how I feel about Logain being the one to take on Taim. Rand caused that whole mess and he should be the one to face the music. As for Egwene's dream, Taim is a pretender: the dragon seal, the dragons on his sleeves, saying that he's doing things in Rand's name, etc. He's not just a false dragon, he's a fake dragon, and hopefully a late fake dragon soon.

Finally, Leigh, you say that it "may never be held up as a great classic of literature" I'm certainly not disagreeing with your sentiments as to the relevance of such notions, but I'm prepared to go further and say... who cares! I can't stand snobs who feel that the less accessible a thing is, the better it is. Those who scoff at the "popular" have obviously missed the point that popular means widely liked. I often find that the harder artists try to not date their work and create "something for the ages" the less enjoyable it is. If you've got the knack then all to the good but you can't force it. The best testament you can ask for is that it was appreciated, and Jordan's work certainly was, we're evidence of that.
Marcus W
64. toryx
I pretty much feel as though this is the last book set in the 'real' world of WoT. The rest, those written by Sanderson, will always be shadow world characters and events for me.

So it's difficult to finish this book again and know that in a very real way it's the end. But I will always be grateful for what RJ did accomplish before the end and WoT will always have a place in my heart.
Captain Hammer
65. Randalator
"in like with Mat"

Heh, I think I'm in like with that phrase.

re: ogling serving girls

As the German saying goes: "You can work up an appetite outside, but you eat your dinner at home." Maybe Tuon is one of the more pragmatic Randlanders and allows our favourite rogue a little eye workout, as long as he eats at home.
66. s'rEDIT
@61 ISCOT: Thanks for taking care of that little detail for me. I had similar questions. ;)
67. simonk1905
Totally without justification I always felt a little cheated about the fulfillment of Tuon's marriage fortune telling.

I had always assumed that the line
"Beware the man who remembers Hawkwing’s face, for he will marry you and set you free"
would have allusions to the verse in the gospel according to John
"and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free"
this being a freedom of the soul rather than freedom from incarceration/opression.

I always hoped that this would mean that Tuon marrying Mat would set her free from the Seanchan approach to channeling, salvery and the whole taking over the whole world muahahahahahahah! thing.

This seems to have however been just what it says it is. He will kidnap you and marrying him will set you free from that kidnapping.

I would however be very please if this also had additional meaning.

back to my lurkathon!
Captain Hammer
68. Randalator
simonk1905 @67

I always hoped that this would mean that Tuon marrying Mat would set her free from the Seanchan approach to channeling, salvery and the whole taking over the whole world muahahahahahahah! thing.

Well, the fact that it hasn't happened so far, doesn't mean that it won't happen ever.

Don't you think it would be weird to have Tuon instantly go "Finally, now that I am married I can leave behind this world of One Power oppression, slavery and mustache twirling evilness!"? The girl is married for all of 10 seconds, give her some time, will you. Character growth is not a switch you can just flick...okay, technically, as a writer you can. But you really shouldn't...
69. simonk1905
Randalator @ 68

I recon you are probably right but as we have only got 1 book to go and at circa 1000 pages max I expect this sort of thing may be a loose end that does not get resolved. Also it may have been something set up for an outrigger. But if I am reading the vibes correctly these are likely never to happen so unless it is specifically stated in the future encyclopedia which is oft mentioned but I have never seen any promises I will just never know if there is more to it or if it just was a literal meaning.

Here's hoping I will be proved wrong in the future.

I 'spose I could always write some dreadful fanfic story ;)
70. Freelancer
Regarding the longer-viewed judgement of the series, it is surely being withheld because it has not yet ended. I am confident that the coming few years will bring many people to understand the full weight of this saga, the intricacy of the story, the multitude of valuable life lessons to be gleaned, and simply the amazing craft which Jordan brought to the work. It will surely and deservedly be judged a classic, not long after it has concluded.

With that conclusion, I predict many surprises in store for most readers. One doesn't bring such a passion and purpose to a story just to tell a story. Jordan has had many wonderful things to say through this epic, but I suspect he has something bigger to say than has yet been said. This I Foretell.

TheWolfKing @47

It's Gaul. Aram is described as pretty-faced, of slight build, and is in no way so much taller than Perrin. Aram never gave up wearing Tinker bright colors, and he wears his wolf-pommeled sword on his back. The readhead pictured is much harder of face, is wearing a poorly-interpreted Cadin-sor with the veil hanging down the side, and a large belt knife, very common among the Aiel. Also, textually, Aram is not present when Perrin is questioning Galina, he had already lost trust in Aram's stability, if not his support, and never let him be around important activites. Neald and Gaul brought Galina to Perrin, but Grady is present in the tent, and noted by Galina. On the cover, Arganda is obvious because of his mustache and breastplate, Grady is obvious because of his coat and pins.

Yes, the scale and imagery of the people on the cover is weak, and Perrin looks nearly as old as Arganda aside from hair color. Oh well.
Stefan Mitev
71. Bergmaniac
Nice tribute, Leigh.

I never realised the guy on the back is supposed to be Grady. He looks way too old - IIRC Grady is only 6-7 years older than Rand. The cover is hideous as a whole.

Anyway, I agree with s'rEDIT @43, that's my interpretation too. Another reason why I like the Seanchan culture. tuon again shows no reaction to Mat's army slaughtering so many of her subjects...the more I read about her, the less I like her. Poor Mat could've done so much better, especially given that he'll probably be forced to accept everyone behaving extremely subserviently towards him and not daring to meet his eyes if he ever ends up living together with Tuon.
Captain Hammer
72. Randalator
Freelancer @70

This I Foretell.

You do remember, though, that the exact nature of the Foretellings of the person with that catchphrase always turned out a tad different than they initially sounded, right?

*dives head first into the bunker*
Roger Powell
73. forkroot
Mat's army slaughtering so many of her subjects...
The majority of her "subjects" he slaughters were hell-bent on slaughtering her.
74. gadget
I tried to post this previously, but it did not take. I'll try again. With regard to the 13x13 trick:

Punisher: Have you ever thought about reinstituting some of the old ideas from earlier books? For example, in The Dragon Reborn you had a situation with thirteen dark sisters and thirteen Myrddraal to forcibly convert someone to the darker side of things. It seems you have abandoned that. Do you think you might have something like that pop up again at some unexpected moment? It doesn't seem realistic for the Black Ajah to abandon the idea. RJ: I have not abandoned this notion about a circle of thirteen Aes Sedai and thirteen Myrddraal can convert someone to the Shadow. It is not an easy situation to set up, in fact it's a very difficult situation to set up. It has to be worth the effort, you don't go to all of this effort to just convert anyone. In fact it might be better for your plans to manipulate someone against their will than as a willing ally.

This is from a chat in 2001 as part of the Netherlands tour, the bold added by myself for emphasis. I always thought it was obvious by the context that it required a circle, even if it did not come out and say it directly. I mean, 13 channellers all applying their power together to the same goal? It just happens to be the max number in a circle without men, and the process is mentioned almost exclusively in connection with female Aes Sedai/BA (because at the early point in the series, there were the only female One Power wielders outside Rand & a few Forsaken). It seemed linking was strongly implied by this context.
75. simonk1905
randalator @ 68 again.

Last word on this and then I am back to my lurking I promise.

The thing that worries me about the setting or not of tuon free from her beliefs about damane, slavery and all the taking over the world stuff is that we have never been given any hints that she might change her mind. In fact all throught COT and KOD all we get is Tuon talking about being a servant to the empire and how she will never channel and how she is different to a marathe damane etc etc.

Considering the huge amout of foreshadowing we have for all sorts of things we have in the series and how good Jordan was at setting things up years and even decades in advance. Giving a little hint here and a little taste there. We have nothing to suggest Tuon will change her mind.

Maybe this will be the exception that proves the rule and she will change her mind. Personally I hope so but from all the information we have so far it seems unlikely.
Anthony Pero
76. anthonypero

Interesting theory regarding Myrrdral. I always assumed that the Forsaken could command Fades because Fades were terrified of them. I never considered that there was some inherent command structure. Do you have some text to support this? If it is not true, then any DF channeller of sufficient strength and rank could command a Fade... such as Taim.
Heidi Byrd
77. sweetlilflower
Well, many could argue that the simple fact that Tuon is so adamant about her situation is, in itself, a foreshadowing of change to come. Pretty much anytime in the series that a character is completely certain about something, that something will come back to bite them in the rear and they will do an about-face.
Anthony Pero
78. anthonypero

Thanks for the quote. It does certainly seem to contradict what I thought. Do you have a reference for it? Thanks!
Rob Munnelly
79. RobMRobM
Re Tuon - earlier in KoD, Tuon was talking to Setalle about various new ideas and Setalle says, essentially, you have no idea how things are going to be different now. That is a 2 x 4 cluebat that Tuon's views about important things are going to change before the end of AMOL. (Of course, it might take her to channel and be collared before she fully understands the need for change.)

Elijah Foster
80. TheWolfKing
@70. Freelancer

I see your point about the "sword", and the badly drawn clothing, but the artist has made mistakes in the past. See, if he can make mistakes about the clothing for Gaul, he could make mistakes about the clothing for Aram(shape of cadin'sor/color of tinker clothing and the place of the"sword"). Additionally, as macster pointed out, it would explain his expression, (although Gaul could be pretty pissed about Bain/Chiad being Gai'shain).

Also the cover is not always a precisely described scene from the book (i.e. The Great Hunt ) , but rather a similar scene showing the main idea of the book. It could be that because Aram is a big part of Perrin's storyline, he is featured on the cover (arguably, so is Gaul, but Aram is a bigger part of the plot for Perrin). But like you said, a lot of people who were in that scene are there, so it must be the exact scene. But where is Berelain? If it is the exact scene, she should have been right next to Perrin (if I know her at all that is, which I like to think I do), plus she grabbed him when the rippling-wavy thing happened, so she must have been really close.

About the height, I was never under the assumption that Arganda was as tall as Perrin, and actually he was described as short according to
http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/ and
http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Gerard_Arganda. That makes either Arganda really tall in this picture, or Perrin really short in this picture, which explains the height difference between him and Aram. Also I know that Perrin is tall, but I always imagine him being about 5'6(he is actually about 6'0 according to http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/). So I believe it's possible that the artist can have imagined Perrin as shorter than he is, therefore explaining the height difference of Aram and Perrin, and where Aram's sword is, and the colors of the Aram's clothing. It could all just be artistic interpretation of how the author thinks Aram should look.
81. Shadow_Jak
@76 regarding who can command Myrddraal.

From KOD, CH3 "At the Gardens"
Moridin speaking, 'Nevertheless, Sammael, or someone disguised as him, gave orders to Myrddraal, and they obeyed, so it was one of the Chosen."

Wetlandernw likely has more and better references (she almost always does!), but this one seems pretty clear.
Roger Powell
82. forkroot
The Forsaken have a mark that Shadowspawn can detect that marks them as the "Chosen". I think this came from an RJ interview.

RJ also went on to say that Alviarin's mark (given to her by Shaidar Haran) marks her as "protected" (so Shadowspawn will not harm her) but is not the same as the mark of the Chosen (so Shadowspawn do not necessarily have to obey her.)
Valentin M
83. ValMar
Oh yes, nearly forgot. Since it's the end of a book and time to comment on the cover artwork.
So- I haven't got a clue what you lot are talking about. Haven't had the courage to look closely at the cover art picture above :) All I can do is just stick out my tounge ;)

PS Maybe I should clarify that in the UK the covers are different.
Elijah Foster
84. TheWolfKing

In my opinion, the U.K. cover art, while still being cool, is not as great as the U.S. one just because the U.K. one is bland. There are some dull U.S. ones though. Such as Winter's Heart. But Neither can compare to some of the E-book covers. Those are spectacular. This is just my opinion though. Could you send me a link to some of the U.K. versions just so I can be sure it is the one I'm thinking of. If you could, that would be great.
85. alreadymadwithknife
Longtimefan @57
Deathwatch guards have a lot of prestige, but aren't that high in the social strata. Every one of them is da'covale as well. That illustrates how low Suroth has sunk, property to property.

And no, I never attributed her new position as being prone to rape and torture.

@ Band of the Red Handles.... LOL

on the cover art..
I never connected the Aiel with Gaul. I guess I figured he'd be better looking. It's not necessarily a sword hanging at his side, since you don't see the full length. The hilt is curved and the cross piece is wide, for what they're worth. Also that has to be cadin'sor with those drab colors he's wearing. To my knowledge Aram maintained the Tinker fashion sense(bright primary colors). I did recognize Grady by the black coat and sword pin. Though I thought the one in the breastplate was a Mayener Winged Guard because of the red shirt.
86. Freelancer
TheWolfKing @80

Whatever. That's some serious stretching. I agreed that the scope and perspective were poor on this cover, but they aren't that horrible. Red-haired dude in the corner is a BIG guy, not just very tall but heavily built. It's Gaul.

As for the others who are represented in the tent in the text but not on the cover, Berelain isn't the only one missing, so is Neald. But given that Grady was relegated to the backside of the cover, it is plain that the artist had no desire to further crowd the scene.


Regarding any thought that Brandon brought the 13x13 business into the text where Jordan may not have, I cannot agree. Brandon has been very clear about several concepts regarding his creative freedom in the WoT story. He may well add a scene that successfully blends story lines or fleshes out a critical POV, but he will not create events from his own imagination which have any measurable impact on the overall story. Certainly the setup of the massive conflicts to come is strongly impacted by having a stack of Aes Sedai and Asha'man, most of whom truly served the Light in spirit if not in deed, turned into Dreadlords.

Besides, as others have said, Harriet wouldn't approve any significant excursion from the intended plotlines. This was a gun that was always meant to be pulled off the mantle and fired. It is more a case of some readers expecting it for so long, that they decided it just wasn't going to happen. Then when it did, since it happened under Brandon's pen, speculation of meddling was their kneejerk reaction. Give him more credit than that, he's earned it.
87. gadget

I tried posting a link to the quote the first time and the boards didn't like it. I got the quote from terez's faq article on the Black Tower (
http://terez27.blogspot.com/2011/01/two-more-faq-articles.html, a good read, by the way). But there are whole web sites out there dedicated to RJ quotes.
88. yasiru89
I always thought that red-haired fellow must be Gallenne, but if I remember correctly the man has an eyepatch, so it must be Gaul! He's got spears, but... is that a sword?! Well, there's what made me think it was Gallenne.

Tuon may have been thinking of the political advantages of marrying Mat, but in tGS (and ToM too I think, though I'm a bit fuzzy about her viewpoint in that) there's a distinct impression that she's more than just fond of him. I don't think she realises this in herself yet either, but we can hope Mat can avoid losing his hair. Though, considering the considerable enthusiasm Tuon displayed during Mat's dice game in the 'hell', he probably doesn't have much to fear of losing the coin from gambling.

Great concluding chapters to one of the best books in the series. The chilling 'Let the Lord of Chaos rule' ending especially ranks right up there with the Dumais Wells conclusion of LoC. It's tragic that Robert Jordan never got to finish his masterwork, but we should be grateful that an author as talented as Brandon Sanderson was given the task of completing the story the way Mr Rigney wanted. I started on the series after tGS was published and was crushed to hear that the original author had passed. But I'm glad I stuck with it even so. Not that I had much choice I suppose, having read the first few books.

As for literature, not even Shakespeare was lauded for the genius he was until after the 18th century (though he was always popular), and as always, fantasy fiction faces an uphill struggle in garnering legitimate literary appreciation. But as Leigh notes, art is about reaction as much as about anything else, and if that reaction is enduring, that in itself is the mark of literary significance.
Kimani Rogers
89. KiManiak
Thanks for seeing us through to the end of KoD, Leigh.

Re the cover: I’m not as appalled by the artist’s rendition of scenes and/or characters as some in this reread may be, but I do have to say that this was not a strong (or, IMHO, quality) cover. Perrin doesn’t look good (or how I mentally pictured him), and no one looks … right to me. Actually, I didn’t picture Galina to be all that physically attractive; but that probably has nothing to do with the text or how RJ initially describes her, and everything to do with the fact that I just don’t like her.

A lot said about Under the Oak, so I’ll just say that one of the many (many, many) parts I like about this chapter is Karede’s assessment of Mat, offered without need for much reflection. Karede (one of my favorite tertiary characters, and a badass) accurately assessing Mat (my favorite primary character, and a badass). This is easily one of my favorite chapters in KoD, and in all of WoT.

As to Leigh’s point about the inequality in feelings of love between Tuon and Mat, I agree that I’m slightly… concerned as well. We see in TGS/ToM that Tuon wants Mat with her so that he can start learning his duties/be more princely/yada yada yada. Whereas Mat is already so protective of her that he thinks to give her a copy of his medallion. Even though she’s the leader of their (non-Shadow) adversary. I think it’s sweet, but it bugs me.

Musenge: Cracks my $%!+… er … stuff up in Prince of the Ravens! :-) Also, demonstrates that the Deathwatch Guard are to be feared not just because of their martial prowess but also due to their astuteness in assessing the situation.
(EDIT: Although I'm sure the Deathwatch Guard's marital prowess is also worthy of respect (they're probably great marriage material, if you're a slave), in this situation I was speaking of their martial prowess)

(One area where RJ made a small gaffe, maybe: Musenge wasn’t there when Mat told Tuon that he would fight the Seanchan, but Mat recalls that Musenge was there. No big deal; the Creator is human, after all. )

And yes, I read the Taim part of the Epilogue and also thought “well, at least we know for certain that he’s a DF and not just trying to usurp Rand.” I think I still had my doubts, even after what happened in WH. Oh, and I also think that after reading ToM the reader should wonder how many of Taim’s entourage at this point were 13x13’d. Finally, I like Leigh’s interpretation of Egwene’s dream from ACoS.

Thus ends KoD. I miss you RJ… Mr. Rigney. Thanks for giving us one of the best series of any genre (IMHO), but definitely one of the top 10 of SFF. Leigh, thanks for shepherding us through another book.
Kimani Rogers
90. KiManiak
Comments on the comments -

JamesedJones@15 – I agree that Mat is different, however I admit that I didn’t have the negative reaction to him in TGS that many others apparently did. I kinda liked the whole “made-up backstory” sections.

Tek@16 – I do think that Mat is destined for great things as the “connection” between the Seanchan and Randland proper. I like Tuon, but I could see him matching up better with a number of other women in the series. But maybe in this case its more about what Tuon needs to best aid the Dragon, and the Pattern provided her with Mat.

GF@24 – re: 13x13 - I appreciate your opinion; nice argument. I personally disagree; I don’t think RJ would’ve mentioned 13x13 without some plan. Maybe BWS will let us know if that was in RJ’s notes once the series is completed. I see some good rebuttals of your argument (like douglas@38) among the posts, too.

AP@35 – re: 13x13 being written differently due to interpretation - I think that was a good point. RJ could have written them differently.

Daedlyus@42 – I do like that Mat quote, too. Mat was written so well in many ways; but segments like this show why he was such a respected leader. I would have followed a general like that.

Wet@48 – I like your suggestion regarding Mat and Tuon’s relationship potentially meeting their respective needs (his love for her; her respect for him).

@many – re: “decimated” – never knew I was not being true to one of the original meanings until today, so thanks for that. To be fair, though, a lot of the online dictionaries also define it as destroying/killing/eliminating a large portion of a group.

@43,53,55,56,57 and others – re: Suroth – I think that the reader can “read” into Tuon’s statement as they like. Although I got the impression that the DG were given Suroth to take advantage of sexually if they chose, the passage itself can be read in a number of ways. Maybe the DG will just use her to visibly clean the Palace, and the embarrassment would be more shameful to her than death. Plus, don’t slaves often wear very scandalous (and shear) clothes? Oh yeah, and I also wonder about her pet lopar (and Liandhrin and her other property).

Simonk1905@67 – re: Mat’s marrying Tuon – It’s likely that Mat’s marrying her would lead to her being set free on multiple levels; maybe we’ll see more in AMoL.
Jonathan Levy
91. JonathanLevy
90. KiManiak

Isn't the idea of "marriage setting you free" kind of a contradiction?

Oh wait, we're talking about the woman.

:: bunker!!!!! ::
Elijah Foster
92. TheWolfKing
@86. Freelancer

"Whatever". Well you have your opinion and I have mine. But neither case is flawless. I do see your point about him being heavily built, but none of what I said is streching anything. Its merely taking what you said about mistakes and applying it to my own case. Like I said, artistic interpretation. I will bet that you didn't imagine the scene like that, nor did I. I guarantee you that everyone imagines these types of things differently. Thats what makes humans special. We are unique. Who are you to say that his interpretation of "cadin'sor/tinker clothing" is wrong. Its his drawing, he can do what he wants. Just because RJ said tinker clothing is bright, doesn't necessarily stop people from imagining it as dull. I still say Aiel like ale (ryhmes with pail) I know its wrong, but that doesn't stop me from doing it. And the same goes for the artists drawing, he can do what he wants. So as you so creatively put it. "WHATEVER"
@66. s'rEDIT

Think nothing of it. I always find it's best to have a cage handy when fleshing out bear-boned notes, in case the bear is hungry and thinks I'm a handy takeaway.

International Secret Conspiracy for the Oppression of Teddybears aka ISCOT
Valentin M
94. ValMar
TheWolfKing @ 84

The UK covers are bland but, unfortunately, preferred to most of the US covers, IMO. As for pictures- there is hardly anything on the UK publisher's website at Orbit Books! To see the whole lot of covers probably is best to check out Amazon.co.uk, adding Orbit Books to WOT in the search.
95. simonk1905
Apologies if this has all been said before but here is my two pence.

All my UK paperbacks up until COT have the same covers as the US paperbacks.

What I think happened is that Orbit thought that the WH cover was so bad they decided that COT onwards they would have the ultra bland covers we have now.

I can't honestly blame them. LOC aside all the non bland covers I have, have at least some astetic appeal. Yes Arnie was the model for COS and the EOT cover is tres generic but they are at least easy on the eye if not outstanding cover art.

All the covers after POD are in my opinion dreadful. I am not sure what happened but they just get worse up until TGS. TGS is the worst cover in the series. Luckily I have the UK hardback for TGS and TOM. TOM was a little better but still not great.

It just seemed like the cover artist just stopped caring about the covers they produced. I have read some of the explanations and they all seem fairly valid but if you apply these to the previous covers then why are they so much better. I can only speculate something happened during the creative process for WH and somehow the relationship between Authorial team, publisher and artist broke down to such an extent that we are now left with a group of contractual obligation covers.

I am hoping that something truly amazing happens for the AMOL cover that makes me jealous of my American brethren. Otherwise the parlous state of the cover art is a less that fitting tribute the memory of Robert Jordan.
96. Hawkido
@reread Leigh
"Joline, Teslyn and Edesina finally join in the fight, and soon the entire contingent of Seanchan is decimated."

Replace decimated with annihilated. The definition of decimated is killing/destroying one tenth, and as there were no living traces of the Seanchan traitor forces use the later.

The english language seems to like the sound of decimated, but has lost the true meaning of the word. It was originally a Roman punishment for dereliction of duty, the centurian would have his own soldiers kill every tenth soldier in his unit, thus "decimating" them, by killing 10% or one tenth of the troops. It isn't even a valid term for military conflict, as losing only 10% of your forces usually means you WIN.
James Whitehead
97. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I honestly ignore the cover art on the WOT series as the artist (he who shall not be named) ;-) has never done anything truly worthwhile for any of these covers. Probably the only hardcover dust jacket I don't care whether or not it gets detsroyed.

As to decimate, the literal Latin meaning would be one in ten. However, as this was a punishment for your own troops to instill continued discipline & punish cowardice the self-inflicted nature of this punishment lends itself to being more than just one in ten.

The Romans didn't use this much in any case as it was ruinious to eliminate that many trained troops. Decimate, to my understanding, has come to reflect this idea of wastefulness & that troops decimated are harmed more than just one in ten. Maybe our usage conveys the horror associated with the idea of wiping out that many soldiers simply for discipline's sake.

Elijah Foster
98. TheWolfKing
@94. ValMar

Yeah, they are what i thought they were. Thanks.

@95. simonk1905

I completly agree with what you said about the U.S. version cover art, it really looks like he got lazy.
Rob Munnelly
99. RobMRobM
Re the covers - I've told this story on this re-read several times since EOTW but it seems timely to tell it again.

One of my best friends was a WoT addict and kept pushing at me to read them dating back to the late 90s. I thought the covers looked so stupid, I ignored his advice until (happily) just before Leigh's re-read began. (He actually tricked me - we planned to go to hang out for a day at a beach while my family was away visiting friends, he stopped at a bookstore on the way to pick something up for him to read, and he handed me EOTW while at the bookstore. I bought it.) So Darryl Sweet is directly attributable to me ignoring WoT for more than a decade. Damn him.

Valentin M
100. ValMar
I actually liked the cover of TEOTW. Don't know if it made me pick up the book but it certainly didn't stop me. Then again it was 13 years ago- surely I must've wisened up since then.

got the 100. ha!
Roger Powell
101. forkroot
I liked the cover of TEoTW until I started reading the book and began scratching my head, trying to understand why Lan was described completely differently from how he was depicted on the cover.

If you disregard the divergence from the text, I think TEoTW is DKS' best WOT cover - purely from an artwork standpoint. Things went downhill from there.
Alan Courchene
102. Majicou
I remember that when the KoD cover was revealed, there didn't seem to be any consensus about who any of these people (except possibly Perrin) were meant to be. I found that very telling.
Kimani Rogers
103. KiManiak
JL@91 - I'm sure all of the married folks here would disagree with you.

::crickets chirping::

Um... Anyone?


Maybe I'll go join you in that there bunker :-)

::dashes away::
Valentin M
104. ValMar
forkroot @ 101

Yeah, about 1/3 through the book (after the party leaves the villlage/TR) it becomes very obvious that it's very hard to reconcile the people on the cover with the ones in the book. That's why I never tried, just took the atmosphere of the picture itself. I think it portrays the atmosphere of the moment in the book it is meant to show rather well.
105. Lurking Canadian
the first deliberate use of (non-magical) explosives in battle.

It's the first on-screen use of explosives, but Mat's been using them during his entire campaign. Remember that Karede's coffee-drinking buddy was convinced the strange general had Ashaman, because he kept finding bits of bodies but no evidence of saidar. That's because the bodies were blown to bits by grenadiers.

And I have always thought, and continue to think, that Tuon threw Suroth to her guards to use as a rape toy. Add this to Galina's, and Liandrin's punishments as being way over the top, in my opinion. Yes, they're bad people. So cut their heads off. This kind of soul-crushing torture (near-eternal torture in the case of Liandrin and Galina) doesn't make me happy, even when it happens to the bad guys.
Elijah Foster
106. TheWolfKing
@100. ValMar

It didn't stop me at all, or help me. I was just introduced to it by my English teacher. So glad she did. :). BTW, I am fairly new to the series, I actually started reading it in February 2011, and finished them all, including ToM, in about 3 months. No waiting time for me. Aren't I lucky haha. Except for AMoL, it will be a long time coming :'( (But if I go by Leigh's theory about the first one that you wait for being your least favorite, then I am screwed, hopefully it doesn't apply to the last book in a series. I do believe her theory by the way).

Oh, just because I am new to the series, don't take me for a fool, I have read all of the re-read so far. I read nearly all the comments too. And I have even read all the major forums and many of the smaller ones. (There's always more aren't there. Haha.) So I do know my stuff.

None of this is in anyway directed at you ValMar except the first paragraph. Just saying because I don't want misunderstandings.

@101. forkroot

Me too. I was like, "is that supposed to be Lan? Cause if it is..." hehe. o_O

@104. ValMar

"...it becomes very obvious that it's very hard to reconcile the people on the cover with the ones in the book. That's why I never tried, just took the atmosphere of the picture itself. I think it portrays the atmosphere of the moment in the book it is meant to show rather well."

I absolutely, 100% agree with you too.

@105. Lurking Canadian

I think her punishment is quite fair. I am not a girl so I don't understand rape quite the same way as a girl might. However, she did not only commit treason, but is a darkfriend (The Seanchan didn't know this though) as is Liandrin, and Galina, and Moghedien, and Mesanna. Their crimes are horrible, perhaps even putting dozens into that position of being raped, even if it never specifically says so. If there is one thing that a rape victim might want, is to show the person who raped them, how it feels to be raped. So, I think that they got their just desserts. Also, I don't think there has been one lightside person raped as a form of punishment, maybe its an oath female darkfriends take. "If I am to be punished, it will be by rape." I know, thats a bad joke. Sorry.

But I do see your point, just behead them. And I agree with that too. It's kind of a contradictory thing. I don't like people being raped, but they kind of deserve it for putting others into that position.

Actually, let's just balefire them. Probably extremly painful for them for like 10 seconds, and then no more of their crap for eternity. A fitting punishment for darkfriends. Because who knows maybe they will always be a darkfriend.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts.
Alice Arneson
107. Wetlandernw
KiManiak @89 – (One area where RJ made a small gaffe, maybe: Musenge wasn’t there when Mat told Tuon that he would fight the Seanchan, but Mat recalls that Musenge was there. No big deal; the Creator is human, after all. )” Alternatively, you could say Mat is human… we often remember things a bit differently than they happened, after all. On the other hand, RJ didn’t usually write in faulty memories, so you’re probably right. :)

Ditto @90 (and re: many others as well) – I commented earlier on a man’s need to be respected by his wife, so I totally disagree that Mat would be better matched by any other woman. Most of them don’t even care about the things he’s really good at, much less understand how good he is at them. Most of them would rather spend their time “reforming his character” instead of appreciating his (many, excellent) inherent qualities. One of the things I think is truly awesome in this section is how clearly she respects many aspects of him, and realizes that there’s still a lot she wants to know but doesn’t yet. I think one of the things she’ll learn is how his commitment to her personally (not just as the empress’s consort) will make him the one person in the world she can trust. In other scenes, while she does think about wanting him to be trained for his duties as PotR (which I think is natural – if he has specific duties, he should learn what they are), but she has never tried to “remodel” him – in fact, she got all over him for not adequately admiring a pretty girl, IIRC. Most of the other women in the series are either too airheaded for him, too intent on reforming to respect him, or too amused by the pretty boy to see much more. Aludra is the only one who even comes close, and IIRC the only respect she has shown for him is regarding his relative intelligence wrt her dragons. Other than that, she couldn’t care less about his integrity, tactical skills, honor, intelligence or all the rest. She does appreciate that he’s reasonably good-looking, at least.

Re: the art (again) – Most of you have probably heard by now the story behind the EotW cover. In the original story, from which the scene given to DKS was drawn, there were four TR boys traveling with Moiraine, Lan, Thom & Egwene. Long before publication (obviously) one of them was eliminated and his few gigs were portioned out to the remaining three. Equally obviously, the cover art wasn’t changed; whether because it’s just “not done” to ask the artist to eliminate a character from a finished work, or because there wasn’t time once the discrepancy was noticed, or… any of a number of things. The reason doesn’t really matter, although someone else here may remember what it was. It does show, however, that when the artist is given incorrect or inadequate descriptions, he works with what he has. If the person giving him the description forgets to say that Gaul is supposed to be tall and strong but also slender and goodlooking, or that Perrin should be six inches taller than the guy beside him, or any of a number of other details, they can hardly be blamed for not meeting everyone’s individual expectations. The kind of description you’ll give an artist - in a couple of pages for the whole scene – is not going to match the built-up visualizations we have for these people from reading thousands of pages about them. Unless RJ wanted to go out and find real-life models for everyone, the artist will have to work with what he was given by way of description.

I hardly think it feasible to ask an artist to read an entire series prior to doing a cover, and it’s physically impossible for him to read the book first. As an example, Brandon told me personally (a group of us at a signing nearly a year ago) that the cover art for AMoL is already done. I can’t give it to you verbatim, because someone (who shall not be named, but he’s 10 years old) erased some key files on my DVR before I could get them transcribed, but the gist of it was this: Harriet wanted a scene for the cover art, and asked Brandon for a suggestion. He had a scene in mind (obviously based on the notes), but it wasn’t written yet. He sketched out what he had in mind in a few pages and sent it to Harriet; she agreed it was the right cover scene for the book, and passed it on to DKS. He didn’t say much about what kind of tweaking it got, but he did say that he loves the finished product. IIRC, he said it was the best in the series, but I might be misremembering that bit. The point is, as we all know, the book isn’t even written yet, much less proofed, edited, etc. – and yet the cover art is finished (and probably paid for). If the final result ends up with the details looking a lot different than Brandon had envisioned it initially, you can’t honestly blame the artist. (Some will, but it ain’t honest, I tell ye!) We’ve all (or at least most of us) enjoyed the new art for the e-books, but don’t forget: those people had fully-written final scenes to work from, and the whole book to read if they wished. They also had direct one-on-one discussions along the way with Irene, who could (if she chose) correct or reinterpret some of the details.

As I said before, pick away all you want about proportions or fine artistic details, but do try to be at least moderately reasonable with respect to the things for which the artist can truly be held accountable, and don’t forget that most of us have different visualizations of the various characters as well. KiManiak gave us a good example (@89) with Galina: because he dislikes her, he doesn’t think of her as physically attractive – and yet, in the books she’s described as “a raven-haired Aes Sedai… a pretty, round-faced woman with a plump, demanding mouth.” If you want an even better example (or a series of them) go look at the pictures associated with various characters in the http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/. Most of them look nothing like I visualized them, and in the cases where there are pictures by two different artists, they look nothing alike. Complaints that a character “just doesn’t look right” are really quite unreasonable, if you really mean “that’s not what I imagined.”
Elijah Foster
108. TheWolfKing
@107. Wetlandernw

Yes, you are correct. Now that I think about it, I shouldn't complain so much, after all, how can he draw an exact scene before the book is written. So, yes their are flaws, but they aren't really the artist's fault. I think we all needed you to whip us back into line, haha.

"I commented earlier on a man’s need to be respected by his wife..."


Someone that is a woman, has finally said that, (that I've heard/seen anyway).

About the Mat/Tuon stuff, exactly, they are a perfect match, even though they are against each other because she is the Seanchan Empress and he is essentially a General against the Seanchan. Actually I think that this adds to their perfect match-edness.
Tess Laird
109. thewindrose
I always thought the tall red haired dude on the cover was Tallanvor.

Ouroboros - does that make Taim the 'mummers' dragon?

Dang, England takes 1 hunny again.

At this junture,I would like to congratulate Leigh on finishing KoD - Way to go !! I'm in for the next 3...
And I am sniffling from your written reaction to Mr. Rigney's passing. Thank you RJ for this wonderful series.

Elijah Foster
110. TheWolfKing
@109. thewindrose
Re: Tallanvor

It very well could be, I forgot about him. I don't remember him being there (neither was Aram though so...) but it would explain the height (not Perrin's lack thereof though) , the sword, his clothing, and his hair. If he was in that scene, it's definitly him.
111. Hopper's Mum
Wetlandr @ 48 Thank you for saying (about Mat and Tuon's relationship) exactly my thoughts but in a much better articulation!
112. Shadow_Jak
I too must admit that the covers of EoTW and TGH held me back a while on starting the series. TDR caught my attention, so I read it first and then went back for the others. When I did, I realized that I had passed them over before because of the cheesy covers.

But, all in all, I think KoD's cover is not so bad.
I had no difficulty rcognizing all the characters.

BTW, Gaul is wearing a knife, not a sword.
A sword would be worn on the left. (for a right-handed man)
Big knife, of course.
Which reminds me... "You call that a knife? This is a knife!"
(No worries mate).
113. Shadow_Jak
Tuon's feelings for Mat.
I like your comments of love and respect Wet.
Very profound and appropriate.

But I agree with an earlier post, that Tuon is much more attracted to Matrim than she lets herself admit... even to herself.
Alice Arneson
114. Wetlandernw
TheWolfKing @108 - You're welcome! :) The insight in so many words is not original to me, but it's quite true. I find it very sad to see how many women are fully capable of loving men for whom they haven't the smallest shred of respect, and how totally destructive it is to a relationship.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
Shadow_Jak @113 - Oh, I completely agree. I think she's hooked and just doesn't recognize it yet, or possibly won't admit it. It's just that I think her respect for him is more critical to the success of the relationship than her love, at least at this point. Funny thing is, I think her love for him will be more critical for her (downstream) than for him. (Or at least, it would be if they were real people.)
Roger Powell
116. forkroot
OK, I'll bite .... why is it necessary to have the cover art done so early?
Jonathan Levy
117. JonathanLevy
103. KiManiak

I suppose they've all gone to ask permission, and as soon as their wives grant it they'll post their enthusiastic agreement!
Valentin M
118. ValMar
Wetlander @ 107

Excellent point on Mat and Tuon's relationship! This must have been the thing I couldn't quite put my finger on, which made me think that they are good for each other. Even before she saw him in his best/true element in KOD there was the expectation that Tuon is the sort of character which can apreciate him. Dodgy inns and ogglying other women are added bonuses.
Tuon is much like Mat's good buddy Birgitte.
Tess Laird
119. thewindrose
Somehow I can't see Tuon becoming a hero of the horn. And I don't see Tuon pointing out likely pretties for Mat to ogle like Birgette did.

However, the way Mat and Tuon have been written, I see them being a couple who work well together and also love each other(I think at this point in the series they do love each other). (Just wanted to clarify that the work well together and loving each other are not mutually exlusive!) Tuon has been very sheltered from the whole dating and relationship process,(being busy with sibling riverly and all), so it doesn't seem weird to me that she doesn't 'know' her own feelings in this.

120. Hawkido
@ 97.KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
The Romans didn't use this much in any case as it was ruinious to eliminate that many trained troops. Decimate, to my understanding, has come to reflect this idea of wastefulness & that troops decimated are harmed more than just one in ten.

Deci - one tenth

Ruinious to eliminate trained troops? If they get decimated, it is because they didn't hold dicipline, screw training... Dicipline comes FIRST! I don't care if you can level a nation at one blow, if you won't do what the commander says then you get put to death.

Wasteful - "why don't they just spank them and put them in the corner?"killing one tenth of one of your units to keep it in line plus other units than might be on the verge of breaking as well, so you don't lose the battle (and ALL of your troops), and possible the kingdom as well (all those soft, squishy civilians). Yeah, I would rather be protected by the country with the hardest troops... You can be protected by the Fluffy Bunny Brigade.

Sorry Kato, decimation was used. You kill 10 to keep the rest in line. You seem to have forgotten that political weakness, erhm correctness didn't appear until about 2000 years later. Man power is cheap in Roman society, the weapons and armor costs more than the typical soldier's years wages. Making sure your soldiers go where you want, when you want, and how you want is more important. Yes, Decimation was used... I don't know if it is just your "Modern" sensibilities that are not letting you get your head around this. But no you are right, that it wasn't like a weekly "Let's decimate our troops!" thing. But let me pose you this scenario:
You are a soldier in a roman unit, the soldier next to you starts to crack while staring at the barbarian hordes gathered around. Do you let him run (which may spook other soldiers into running, and also bloster the enemy as they see fear in your unit? Or do you just slide your shortsword into his kidney, so he slumps to the ground?

and here is you saying, "That's not even the scenario, why are you posing this question?"

Here's why, if you let that soldier next to you break and run and your unit manages to survive the day. The Centurian over your unit will have one tenth of you killed for desertion. So killing the coward next to you increases your chances to live through a victory, letting him break and run, will result in him getting killed as he flees and possibly tempting other to multiply the mistake, weakening your position, and bolstering the enemies. Read the histories, Roman Regulars are rarely recorded running away without a commander's orders. Decimation works.

Modern US Military justice (the UCMJ) has a punishment provision for derelection of duty in a time of war... it is death, not frequently used, not since vietnam I believe. But there are alot of instances of Friendly fire that don't get looked into too closely.

Decimation is a punishment. Romans were the one's who popularized it. and the idea behind it is still in practice. Soft Hearted people cannot understand it. I have seem people crack and drive down morale of the rest of the unit, give away positions, and bring about defeat for the rest of the unit while playing PAINTBALL!!!!!!!
James Whitehead
121. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@120Hawkido, thanks for replying & for answering the question you posed to me yourself. Makes it easier when posting I guess. Also, thank you for clarifying that my 'modern' sensibilities are clouding my opinion in this discussion. I gotta say, however, you are off on your assessment of me being 'soft-hearted;' or at least my kids would beg to differ.

I was, however, well aware that decimation was used by the Romans.

The thing is, with decimation, that lots were often used in determining who was actually chosen to be decimated; it wasn't always those legionnaires who ran or failed in their duties. That was why the practice was banned under the Byzantine Emporer Maurice as being potentially damaging to troop morale and wasteful of troop manpower (thanks Wiki).

So under your scenario, the legionnaire might probably stick his gladius or pilum into his mates sternum or tergum. Or he might not. After the battle, however, the offending unit, troop, legion would draw lots & those chosen would be killed by their fellow comrades in arms. Not just the cowards who broke ranks & ran.


PS - I don't think the "Fluffy Bunny Brigade" would work out too well unless they were vorpal bunnies with super-keen bright pink uniforms. Then I'm golden, unless, of course, my enemies have access to certain holy relics; then all bets are off.
Daniel Goss
122. Beren
First you pull the pin.
Count to three, not four, five's out.
Holy hand grenade.
James Whitehead
123. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@122Beren, too funny. ;-)

My kids love that movie, but it made my youngest cry the first time he saw it. Not because it scared him. He was upset that since the knights got busted by the cops he couldn't watch the climatic battle between the knights. Was he ticked off. :-)

124. s'rEDIT
Hawkido, maybe you've told us more about your background elsewhere and I just missed it . . . sounds as if you speak from experience. Care to share more?

125. hawkido
@ Suroth's predicament

I don't believe the rape predicament is as dire as most would fear. Da'covale are seen as little more than animals. The sort that would sexually abuse them would fall down to only those few men who would abuse anything. While there may be many such in the regular army, the DWG probably has fewer as the discipline is tighter, and the percived honor of their post is greater. The whole lowering of the eyes thing. It would be about the same as doing a goat, and the DWG probably have willing offers from more honorable conquests. Most cases of rape is less about lust and more about control. They can tell her to eat the horse dung off their boots and she will as Da'covale, because that is their culture, so I can't see rape being an expression of control over her, no doubt it will happen, but it don't think there will be lines like a the roller coaster at the amusement park.
Stefan Mitev
126. Bergmaniac
"Da'covale are seen as little more than animals. The sort that would sexually abuse them would fall down to only those few men who would abuse anything."

I think this applies to the damane only, I don't recall any indications that it;s a taboo to have sex with regular da'covale. IIRC, Egeanin mentioned that sleeping with your so'jin was no big deal.
Kimani Rogers
127. KiManiak
As for da'covale, to my understanding the Deathwatch Guard are all da'covale to the empress. True, they appear to be a more... honored... form of property, but property is property; a slave is a slave.

As far as we can tell (what with the whole Karede being married and having children thing), slaves are not forbidden from having sex with other slaves. Rape is, of course, a different matter.

I'm not sure if there is a definitive answer to what Tuon meant when she "gave" Suroth to the Deathwatch Gaurd. It's one of those things that I think was left to the reader's interpretation; possibly on purpose.
128. Freelancer
TheWolfKing @92

I still say Aiel like ale (ryhmes with pail) I know its wrong, but that doesn't stop me from doing it.

Thank you for making the point yourself.

Wetlandernw @107

Thank you for the WoT about cover art. I have always given Sweet some slack about narrative discrepancies (but not about poor scale of bodies to objects, that's just jarring), and what you related about Brandon's comments RE: the AMoL cover support that thought.

Ahh, but on the other hand, we all got a preview of the "final" cover art for Towers of Midnight before it was released, and the fandom immediately threw a collective fit over how many aspects of that artwork were "unacceptable" as representing the characters, the scene, or the story. And what happened? Sweet fixed his artwork (mostly). The published cover of ToM is far closer to alignment with the narrative than the pre-release version. So it is possible to deal with. The difference in the case of KoD is, of course, that the cover art was not displayed pre-release, and any displeasure with it would be considered moot in that regard.
Alice Arneson
129. Wetlandernw
forkroot @116 – I wish I knew! If I remember, I’ll ask Brandon that question at his signing in November. The example I used might just be a one-time availability/timing issue, but I suspect they do try to have the artwork done in plenty of time for advance publicity and all that. Of course, at the time, they were hoping for the Fall 2011 or at least Spring 2012 release, so it wasn’t as far in advance as it turned out to be, if you know what I mean.

Freelancer @128 – In light of the annoyance most of us have felt at one time or another regarding discrepancies between the contents of a favorite book and the artwork, I found Brandon’s comments very informative. I used to get annoyed with artists for not reading the book, but have since realized that it just doesn’t happen all that much; they have a living to make, and if they had to read an 800-page book in order to create one painting, they’d never survive. Especially since, as we now know, they often have to do the painting before the book is even through editing. (It doesn’t excuse the people who write cover blurbs, though… or the publishers who leave an advance-publicity blurb in place when the story has changed. IMO.)

I did really enjoy the preview of the ToM cover and the way the small things were fixed before publication. It was a great kindness to the fans; even if visualizations are different, the clearly-defined details (like which way the triangle points) could be corrected and not annoy the OC fans so much. :) I hope we get a similar opportunity with AMoL! You know, I rather like the ToM cover, in spite of a few nitpicks about the props. Along with others, though, I really don’t get too wound up about the cover art any more. I’m far more interested in what’s inside the cover, generally, so it’s not that hard to shrug it off.

I just can’t stand it when people sling completely unjustified accusations around, so I end up finding out what I can about the facts. Cadsuane, anyone? It was this group that made me see her in a different light. I never really liked her until people here started accusing her of doing things she hadn’t actually done, and I started looking more closely at her character – what she actually did, what other characters said about her, how her thoughts worked – and realized that most people were completely OTL on the things they were saying. I’ll never forget the comment that claimed she had spent the last two years slapping Rand and beating him with the OP, when in fact she’d slapped him once and gave him one swat with Air. I guess it goes back to “I know it’s wrong, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.” Or in this case “I know she didn’t, but that doesn’t stop me from believing she did.” Can we say “clouded judgement?” Oh well. At least I get the fun of seeing the awesome in a character I hadn’t liked before, along with a whole lot better understanding of the world of cover artists. So I owe you all thanks – at least for a certain definition of thanks… :)
Elijah Foster
130. TheWolfKing
@129. Wetlandernw

"I guess it goes back to 'I know it’s wrong, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.'”

Oh gee, thanks. Not only do I have to put up with that from Freelancer, but you too. Come on. (said with extreme sarcasm, kinda)

BTW Freelancer, that's not what I meant and you know it, so that has no relevance whatsoever.
Corey Sees
131. CorwinOfAmber
I actually never got into the books until after this one came out. So it has a special place for me: the most recent book when I started reading the series. It might be a little silly, but all my other books were gifts or second hand copies, so this was the first book I bought new.
A friend of mine had bought me EotW maybe a year before RJ died. I refused to touch it, because I was not willing to make the commitment to such a lengthy series that I was certian would never be finished. It wasn't until it was announced that Sanderson was picked to finish the series that, knowing there would actually be a conclusion, I picked up the first book. I read at a fairly slow pace (a book or two every school break over a couple years) and finished KoD just in time to borrow the same friend's copy of TGS after he finished it. I guess this makes me more of a late comer to the series than a lot of people here. What's more, I purposefully stayed away from the fan community until I had finished TGS, because I was trying my best to avoid spoilers.
A lot of the things that have been huge discussion points shocked me. I always loved Cadsuane, never even thought of the Tylin/Mat business after I read those chapters, I held on to Taimondred illusions for an embarassingly long period of time, always assumed Rand would actually bow to Tuon (as the Seanchan version of the prophecy suggests), and, well the PLOD did plod on, it was WAY more bearable without having to wait between books, etc.
It might be a little non sequitur, but this post made me reminisce, since between this book and the next was my WoT entry point.

Edit to add one more comment:
Sanderson's revelations did help me be more lenient towards cover art. They also made me appreciate good cover art that much more. (WoK, for example) Along those lines, I desperately hope they come out with physical copies of the books with the ebook cover art; I love it.
Elijah Foster
132. TheWolfKing
I would like to know if A song of Ice and Fire is really good,(Iknow that it must be a least a little good because Leigh is doing a re-read, read, through it), because I might start reading it after a few of the books from other series's (Wetandernw, can you help me with the plural of series) I'm reading come out.


I too am late to the series, actually I got into it after ToM came out. Not for any particular reason other than that I had never heard of it before. After all, it did come out 5 years before I was born.


I love those covers too, I agree that they should be re-released with those covers.
Corey Sees
133. CorwinOfAmber
ASoIaF is probably worth it, but unlike WoT, the end is not near. Who knows how long the next two books will take GRRM? Who knows if he'll even be able to finish the story in the next two books? But if you want exciting, well-written fantasy, it would be a good buy.

It also lacks the oppurtunites for speculation that are the bread and butter of some of the WoT community.

A side note after reading some more of the comments: It always amazes me how quick some people are to attribute certian things in the series to Sanderson. I really hope he is able to publish annotations for these last three books, because I think it would be really interesting to see what is actually Sanderson and what is actually Jordan. I've said it before, but I wouldn't want Sanderson's job for all the money in the world; if he does something well it's attributed to Jordan, and if the fans don't like something, it was obviously Sanderson's doing.
Elijah Foster
134. TheWolfKing
Thanks, I'll probably read it at some point, but I will wait until after the final Eragon book comes out (great series BTW). Plus I got to read books for school. Let me read what I want, darn it.
Jonathan Levy
135. JonathanLevy
A subtle point which I'd like to point out regarding the decimation discussion: The sentence of death for the unlucky 10% was carried out by their comrades, not by a higher authority. I think this is a significant detail; it forces the other 90% into complicity with the sentence; and through it they purge themselves of the stain of their cowardice. They have not yet proven themselves men - they are fed barley (usually reserved for beasts of burden, I believe) until they have proven themselves in battle again.
Rob Munnelly
136. RobMRobM
@131-132. ASOIF is very worth reading. Great characters, great story, even more addictive than WoT. We had the benefit of seeing the truly excellent HBO version of the first book (Game of Thrones) - which I recommend with virtually no reservations - and now everyone in my office who saw the show (about a dozen people) have bought the books and are somewhere in the five book series, plus three prequel novellas. The big caveat for both books and TV show is that it is more graphic than WoT in sexual content and violence.

Two follow up points - yes, he'll finish it. GRRM had a big creative problem with the fifth book - he couldn't figure out how to get a bunch of relevant characters to a geographic place in the right sequence in a way that made story sense. Classic middle book problem. That problem has been solved. The next books will go more smoothly and more quickly. I do personally believe he won't be able to finish in two books, as projected - I see him needing to write three books to finish up, and he hasn't ruled that out yet.

"It also lacks the oppurtunites for speculation that are the bread and butter of some of the WoT community." I don't see the basis for this at all. To the contrary, Westeros and Tower of the Hand have at least as many theories going as the WoT sites and, in light of the many mysteries teed up or enhanced in the fifth book, probably even more of them at this point. Leigh just learned the results of one of the first speculative mysteries last week (what had Jon Arryn been investigating before his unexpected and suspicious death) with evident surprise and delight (and irritation she couldn't see the answer hidden in plain sight).

So, dive in and read them. Leigh is certainly enjoying them so far. (One clue - her re-read posts from yesterday used the term "wow" relative to plot points in both chapters discussed yesterday. If you want a taste before you dive in, find the prequel "Dunk and Egg" novellas - "The Hedge Knight" is the first of them. Probably can buy on line or it is reproduced in two anthologies - Silverberg's Legends I (the same one that includes the original New Spring WoT novella; and GRRM's Dreamsongs collections of his nonASOIF writings - don't hold me to it but I believe Hedge Knight is in Dreamsongs Vol. II. Wonderful tale of a poor, young, very tall knight who tries to live the classic knightly virtues and his feisty boy squire who is more than he seems.

Tess Laird
137. thewindrose
Rob - You should really put in a disclaimer at the end that you might be GRRM's most ardent aSoFaI fan:)

I have just read all the published books for that series, and I enjoyed them. I found that I couldn't put down aGoT, aCoK. Starting at the 3rd book in the series aSoS, I didn't have hat urgent need to read at every possible moment. I did enjoy aSoS(3rd), aFfC(4th) and aDwD(5th and just out) - but I wasn't as invested any longer. That's not to say I didn't enjoy them - I do -and I am looking forward to the next book. Agree with you Rob, that it will be 3 not 2.

But for the big poll (snicker), I would take tWoT to the deserted island. There are a few WoT books where I can put them down,but the majority - even at this time if I pick them up,it's hard to put them down. I am sure everyone is allover the broardon this one:)

Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
TheWolfKing @130 - What can I say - it was handy. ;p But it's a sadly prevalent attitude with regard to certain issues. We all do it to some extent; pronunciation is the least of them. You just gave me good words to use; less so, provocation to use them. :) No offense intended to you.
Elijah Foster
139. TheWolfKing
@138. Wetlandernw

Oh I know, I was just kidding. I do agree with what you said about it. People need to stop saying stuff that just isn't true.

The pronunciation stuff: Aiel (I say it Ale) and Faile (I say it Fi-Lay) is the only thing I say wrong (that I know of). I used to say Nynaeve, Nyn-a-veve (it's actually ny-neve), but I got over it and it sounds better. Faile and Aiel, I just don't see myself getting over though. I have really tried and I just can't, IDK why.

What characters actually do: I only believe what is written in the book.

This all just to let you know that I don't do things like what you said about what someone else said about Cadsuane. For me it's just Faile and Aiel.
Rob Munnelly
140. RobMRobM
Wind - I rank the books 3, 1, 5, 2, 4 - and, of the Dunk and Egg stories, 1, 3,, 2. Did you read D and E yet? Very enjoyable stuff, that.

I'm not going to pick favorites as between WoT and ASOIF - almost like picking among my kids. I will say that the HBO show has added another layer of enjoyment to the GRRM side of the house - it's been an exciting two years seeing who gets cast for which much loved roles and how HBO chose to tranform mental images into on-screen action. Both are very different reading experiences and I value them on their own terms.

141. AndrewB
Wolfking @132

"Series" is a word that is spelled the same way when used in the singular and plural tenses.

BTW, your statement that the series was published 5 years before you were born is the second such indication that I am older than I think I am. The other sign was when I walked into a store and saw a sign near the cash register. It said that unless you were born no later than 1992, you cannot buy tobocco products. I graduated from high school in 1992.

Count me among those who generally does not like Sweet's covers. Nevertheless, I am not bothered by them. To me the cover is nothing more than protection for the pages inside the book. Would I like cover to represent scenes as they occur. Sure. But if not, oh well. The reason I care about the series is the story itself. Not the cover artwork.

Thanks for reading my musings.
142. macster
@47 Wolf King: The 'knife of dreams' is referenced in the epigraph of the book, a quote from Madoc Comadrin--"The sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat are alike a knife of dreams". Why was this chosen for the title of the book? Speculation, but not only are there a number of battles in this book (and we just saw the conclusion of an important one in these Mat chapters), at least some of which could be considered Pyrrhic victories or at least ones you could judge quite differently depending on viewpoint (Malden comes to mind), but overall the idea of victory/defeat not being the clear-cut dichotomy it seems to be is an overarching theme of WOT. It goes all the way back to the prologue of TEOTW, where Lews Therin's victory in sealing the Dark One is what led directly to the tainting of saidin and the Breaking of the World. Jordan was likely cluing us in to the idea that victory is rarely ever clearcut, and that even though we are pretty sure the Light will win in AMoL, that certainly does not mean there won't be major casualties and destruction, that the victory will come without a cost and the world will still be the same afterward.

As a more specific point of interest, Madoc Comadrin's book, from which that quote comes, is revealed in KOD as the book of great military tactics which King Roedran of Murandy has been using in his quest to become a great battle-leader. Aside from this being a bit of information actually revealed in the book of the same title, I have to wonder if this is more fuel for the theory that Roedran is Demandred. Otherwise, why focus so much interest on this king and the book he praises so? It would be so like Jordan to throw in this seemingly inconsequential detail and have it actually be a Chekhov's Gun to one of the last major unsolved mysteries of the series. At the very least, it does suggest that using part of a quote from that book as the title of volume 11 was intended to draw our attention to Roedran. Even if he isn't Demandred, I think it's implied either he himself, something he does or doesn't do, or some aspect of his story (e.g., the point I made re: victory and defeat in WOT) will end up being important in some way.

@ 62 travyl re: Taim channeling at the Asha'man: Good point, I stand corrected. Though to be fair, I wasn't saying I absolutely thought Taim was Moridin, just I felt he could be. The sigil, the red and black, the Lord of Chaos saying, the dreamspike, and so many other things related to Taim can simply be a result of Taim being a Darkfriend and, most likely, having been trained by Ishamael (the only one who was free to have done so at the start of the series, when rumors of Taim first started trickling down to the Two Rivers). The only thing that really gave me pause, the way Taim seems to favor his left hand, was likely a red herring.

@64 toryx: All I can say is that while I understand why you feel as you do, I also feel rather sorry that you do. Because while I admit there are things about Sanderson's writing that don't fit (I never minded Mat's bit with the character backstories, I thought it was hilarious and IC, but I did have issues with some of the more modern dialogue, particularly with Bryne), and there are scenes I would love to see how Jordan would have written them (the Seanchan attack on the Tower comes to mind), the fact remains that everything which happened, plot and character wise, was planned by Jordan from the start.

So while we can be disappointed that something was not written the way we thought it would be, or with the level of detail we'd come to expect from Jordan, I don't think it is fair to say the events and character developments of TGS and ToM are a 'shadow world'. I was still enthralled by both books, drawn in by everything which happened and how character arcs were resolved, because even if the writing itself didn't match Jordan's (and I think Sanderson was wise to not even attempt that), the world still had the same feel to me. These events and character developments were still Jordan's invention. They're being told to us by someone else, in a way different than Jordan would have done it, but they are unarguably the same things Jordan would have had happen. So...it is still Jordan's world, and I am still utterly hooked and dying to know what happens, how he intended it to play out.

@70 Freelancer re: Gaul. I stand corrected. My main issue was the sword and his expression (the clothes, while not fitting how the cadin'sor are described IMO, are close enough to still be Aiel). But if that really is just a belt knife, no conflict. And as for the expression...well Gaul has plenty of reasons to be upset, ranging from Bain and Chiad to the fact that like most Aiel, he has come to lose his high opinion of Aes Sedai, save the ones who have entered Wise One apprenticeship--and Galina certainly wasn't doing anything in the scene to earn his admiration and quell any suspicions. Quite the opposite.

For what it is worth, I wasn't bothered by the cover. I didn't realize until this re-read that the guy on the back was Grady--but that was because I didn't look closely enough to see the sword pin, for some reason I overlooked the black clothes and thought he was Balwer! I was pretty sure the guy with Perrin was either Arganda or Gallenne, and didn't really mind which. The only person who confused me was Galina, for some reason I thought it was Berelain, despite the gai'shain white. I think this has less to do with me forgetting (willfully or otherwise) that Galina was pretty and more to do with forgetting she had dark hair. How it went out of my head that Berelain is blond I shall never know... But this is the fault of me, not the art or artist.

@74 gadget: Thanks for that RJ quote. Considering he stated his intention to use the 13 x 13 trick back in 2001, stated it needed a circle, stated it was not something easily arranged, and noted that it would usually be easier to manipulate or coerce someone into helping you rather than forcibly turn them to the Shadow...I rest my case. Not only was RJ planning to use it all along, there are clearly plenty of in-story reasons why it would be too difficult to use (and there would be much easier alternatives) up until the current state of affairs at the Black Tower changed the dynamics.

@75 simonk1905 : This is only a theory, but many people think Tuon will end up being forced to channel, at which point she will have to change her empire's stance on channeling if only to save her own neck. Couple that with Mat's feelings about damane and the overall effect he is likely to have on her, and I think it is implied that, as someone else said, Tuon's determination she would change nothing, would never channel, and wasn't like the marath'damane is simply another example of Jordan's love of dramatic irony.

I also have to wonder: it is made clear in ToM that Graendal had been using Compulsion on Tuon; this is implied to be why she was acting so MUHAHAHA evil in ToM. When exactly this started, we can't be sure (we know from Sanderson that Tuon resisted Rand's ta'veren effect in TGS by sheer willpower, which would seem to deny Compulsion being involved), and clearly her cultural conditioning is the biggest part of it. But I wonder if Semirhage used any light Compulsion on her...and in any event, I can only hope that Graendal now being out of the picture means it will be easier for common sense via Mat to asssert itself in Tuon. I would imagine Rand being Jesus now instead of his previous dark self will also help change her treatment of him re: bowing to the Crystal Throne, not to mention finding out her Bloodknives failed. (Is that part of how Gawyn keeping the rings will be important?) And there's still the matter of a Seanchan woman saving Egwene... Anyway, long story short: there may be plenty of things which will contribute to Tuon listening to Mat and reaching an agreement with Rand, and it is very possible her channeling will be one of them.

@88 yasiru re: WOT being classic literature--As you say, that is the same tired old complaint snooty elitist critics make about anything which is popular. Instead of examining the work and identifying what it is that makes it have so much appeal to so many people, they fall into the trap of assuming a large group of readers/moviegoers liking something means it is bad because of the Lowest Common Denominator view. Instead of, you know, the 'quaint' notion that something could simply be that good that it is able to strike the right notes with many different kinds of people. No, of course, it simply must be that the 'unwashed masses' don't know any better and are simply being led by the nose by writers appealing to the lowest, simplest, most easily digestible form of entertainment. TV Tropes has a term for this, the Sci Fi Ghetto. (Related, of course, to the Animation Age Ghetto.) Of course, a large number of well-known and respected critics do have high praise included as quotes in the WOT books, so perhaps the walls of the ghetto are finally coming down...if they are, and WOT is a big reason why, I feel highly vindicated.

@Wetlander: May I say that I love you? In a completely platonic way of course. Because that little rant about the cover art and complaints about it is precisely how I feel on so many levels. And in fact I really don't see why so many hate the covers so much. There may be legitimate artistic complaints to make (problems with perspective and such) but I always found them quite eye-catching. And while certain covers do have questionable issues (I did raise my eyebrow at Fabio Rand on LOC and wondered what in the world it was supposed to be depicting, and TGH has both the infamous black Trollocs and a highly stylized rendition of the scene that doesn't match the book version at all), most of them I think are quite good art and aren't too off from the narrative.

A good example would be TEOTW which, even if it got Moiraine's hair color wrong otherwise fit my image of her perfectly, and while Lan may not have matched the details of his description, Sweet's depiction cemented him in my mind as "badass stoic warrior" which pretty much is the entirety of his character. Aside from Perrin's weird headband, I loved TDR's cover. TFOH was not only accurate in Mat, Rand, and Aviendha's look, but I loved the depiction of Caemlyn. ACOS had an absolutely awesome depiction of Shadar Logoth I have never forgotten. TPOD had the amazing army shot.

WH, while not relevant to much of the book, I can understand--not only was the return of winter an important plot point, and also relevant thematically to Rand's growing hardness, but Team Jordan would not have wanted to give away the thing most WOT fans wanted to be on it once they read it, the cleansing of the taint. Plus the winter scene certainly stood out, palette-wise. COT may not have been very interesting (read: boring) but I at least thought it was accurate.

And what in the world was wrong with TGS? Not only are both Rand and Aviendha accurate, it actually depicts a real scene in the book, the moment after Adrin's death when Rand came out and shook his fist at the sky and the Dark One. Granted other scenes might seem more important or cinematic (something with Semirhage, the attack on the White Tower, Rand's moment on Dragonmount) but again aside from the spoiler issue, at least this scene was accurate to the book. And yet...it still gets attacked. It seems Sweet can't win.

Note I didn't mention TSR because that is one of the ones I actually don't care for--not because I think the art is bad but because it doesn't seem to be accurate to character descriptions or narrative at all, and because there are much better things which could have been shown, like Nynaeve vs. Moghedien, Rhuidean, things from Perrin's plot in the Two Rivers... And of course, LOC. But overall I think all of the covers do work, and even those two are still good art IMO, just not accurate to what is inside. Add that to Wetlander's description of the whys and hows of book art and its creation, and I really don't understand the hate/distaste. Oh well.
Alice Arneson
143. Wetlandernw
CorwinOfAmber @131 – I agree – understanding a little more of the world of cover art and illustrations, and those great insights from Irene’s posts on the ebook covers, has helped me appreciate the outstanding ones a whole lot more. WoK, for example! But I don't mind the DKS covers, in general, and I'm certainly not going to blame him for things he couldn't control.

Same @133 – Oh, how very true, and how very unfair it is. I am especially annoyed at those who grump because “Sanderson obviously didn’t even bother to try to sound like Jordan.” Clearly, they don’t bother to read introductions and prefaces! The comment was made, I think by Team Jordan, that they could have hired someone to ghost-write the last books and try to make it appear that RJ had finished before he died, but that it would have felt dishonoring to his memory to do that. So they picked a man who was a good writer and published author in his own right, who loved the series as much as any fan out there, knowing that he would use the utmost care in his treatment of the last books. We know that many scenes were already written by RJ, but even of those, many weren’t really in final form. The majority were only notes and thoughts, which had to be filled out and made to fit the flow of the book; I’m told that Harriet urged Sanderson not to feel he had to leave an apparently-completed scene exactly as it was, because most of them were things that RJ probably would have reworked several times yet anyway. Personally, I really hope that someday we get to find out that the Hinderstap chapter was written by RJ, start to finish. ;) Oh, and I don’t for an instant believe that Brandon would throw in a major item (like using the 13X13 when RJ hadn’t ever planned to) just to make the fans happy. He’s said that RJ left pretty clear notes on what happens to everyone, so I’m confident that RJ’s notes included Tarna being turned by the Dreadlord factory while visiting the BT. Maybe Nynaeve will come up with a Healing weave for that, too.

TheWolfKing @132 – Series is an irregular plural – the plural is the same as the singular. One series, many series. English is a weird language.

macster @ 142 – I always enjoy your posts, and I am really looking forward to birgit’s post count for KoD! I'd worry that I may get knocked out of my usual top-three spot, but subwoofer and Freelancer have been busy lately, so I'm sure one of them will be the one to go. :) BTW… Berelain has black hair. And I love you too. Platonically, of course. Thanks for the affirmation!
Jay Dauro
144. J.Dauro

We don't know for sure that Graendal has been using compulsion on Tuon, at least not if you are refering to the line in the epilogue.
This merely states that she has been "placing some strings" around Tuon. Could be compulsion, could be placing darkfriends close to her, could be something else. I hope we find out next book.
Valentin M
145. ValMar
J.Dauro @ 144

I concur, for what it's worth. In her inner monologue in the end of KOD Tuon is very belligirent towards AS/WT. With or without Mat she has been consistent with her sentiments towards AS.
Also, I tried to pry some info on this issue from Brandon when he did a signing in London this summer. He underlined the effect Mat et all, had on her and the different cirmustances and people Tuon is faced back amongst the Seanchan. When I tried to press on Greandal meddling he said there is nothing to look for there.
I take this on face value. It is possible that he was blowing camouflage smoke or I am missremembering something. More likely to be memory issue- Team Jordan don't lie just RAFO. But unless proven otherwise in AMOL I'll continue to assume that Greandal wasn't using Compulsion on Fortuona. Greandal doesn't need to- Tuon already has the attitude, plus the Forsaken doesn't know that Mat, Setalle, etc, potentially have a softening effect which needs to be countered with Compulsion.

On the covers, I used to have the books- 1-8, with the US covers. They didn't bothere me. The reason being that I didn't take them as literal represenation of the book content. They are vaguely relevant to accept as WOT cover art (better than sticking, say, T-72 tank on the COT cover) but not enough to start me nitpicking.
Birgit F
146. birgit
WoT reread posting statistics up to the end of KoD

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
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There were 3724 different usernames; 3083 appeared only once (including many alreadymad...).
Birgit F
147. birgit
WoT reread posting statistics KoD only

- different spellings of usernames are counted separately
- punctuation is counted as words

top 50 posters by number of comments
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There were 486 different usernames; 348 appeared only once (including many alreadymad...).
Valentin M
148. ValMar
macster 1 419 words per post on average. Wow. Thanks for the stats Birgit.
Jay Dauro
149. J.Dauro
Okay, we've got a week to kill, so...

I am doing a full re-read noting plot points and foreshadowing that may be resolved in AMOL. Currently I am working on TSR.

As Elayne and Nyneave board the Wavedancer in Tear (TSR-19), they talk to Sailmistress Coine din Jubai Wild Winds. She quotes some of the Jendai Prophecies. Among these is one about the return of the Seanchen, that contains something I had not noted before.

"Those who once ruled have returned and been driven back for the first time."

The word that caught my eye is "first." Does this imply that there is a second time that the Seanchen will be driven back? Being the Seafolk, I would think that to them "driven back" means off the mainland, as at Falme. Although we have seen Rand drive them back toward Ebou Dar, I do not believe they have been driven off the mainland a second time, yet.

So, has anyone else noted this before, and do we think it implies a second time?
Tricia Irish
150. Tektonica
Re: Cover Art: My thoughts on this.....

RJ stated that he liked Sweet as an artist, so he gets what he wants! That said....I used to be in publishing and I fully understand the time constrictions placed on writers/illustrators/editors/designers, etc. I certainly don't blame Sweet for not reading the books, that were probably not finished when the assignment was given. I do think a bit more attention could've been paid to preliminary drawings or sketches by the books editors. Assuming there was a vetting process of Sweet's work. There seems to have been great care taken with the accuracy and scene choices for the ebooks, for instance.

My quibble with the Sweet covers is twofold.
1. Given that the scene choices were not his (I'm assuming), it's the odd body proportions, and strange forshortening in his paintings that bug me....heads too big, limbs too short.
2. I know that this type of cover is common in the Fantasy genre, heaven knows I own plenty of them. I just find them rather like "romance novel" covers, and kind of sophmorish. ( I get embarrassed carrying copies around, which looks like I'm reading my middle school son's books.)

Personally, I'd love to see more Fantasy covers similar to those for GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire series.....good graphics with a relevent symbol. Put a signature of colored drawings inside, if you wish, or black and white drawings at the chapters. I'm not against illustration, perse.

I just think more sedate covers would be more adult, more serious and dignifing to the genre. It might even engender a bit more respect from the literary community....should we care about that. I'm sure the writers would. MHO, of course.
Hugh Arai
151. HArai
J.Dauro@149: I thought the first and second times referred to the Hailene and Corenne. I'm undecided if the prophecy indicates the Corenne will be driven back. Seems like something that can get caught up in interpretation and paraphrasing and I don't think Coine was quoting directly there.

@various: I've never been terribly impressed with DKS's covers but they've never stopped me from buying a book. Why? Because they've consistently been on books I liked when I read them. Xanth books early on, and then as time went by there were Saga of Recluse books, Wheel of Time books, some Pratchett, even the first Thomas Covenant trilogy I believe. There was a point in time when seeing a new DKS cover told me there was a new book I probably wanted to check out. Not for the cover, but what would be in it.
Hugh Arai
152. HArai
Tektonica@150: In my own opinion, there's no need to concern yourself with people who would presume to judge someone based on the books they're carrying, let alone based solely on the covers.

I'm curious: is there some reason you wouldn't want your son to read the Wheel of Time? Is there some rule that adults can't happily read something that middle school students also read? I'm trying to think of things I read today that I wouldn't have read in middle school. I know I would have understood and appreciated many books differently than I do now, but I would have read them.
Tricia Irish
153. Tektonica
Harai@152: LOL. I have read plenty of things my thirteen year old was reading! And have turned him on to Science Fiction and Fantasy. I just think the covers are lurid, and quite often irrelevent to the story. That said, there are some good ones too, WoK, for instance. Just my opinion....ymmv.

As for other people's opinions...the odd thing is, I'm the only female that I know (other than here on Tor) that reads Fantasy. I'm kind of strawberry in vanilla land, so it's just easier if I don't have to explain, and look at the blank expressions.
Elijah Foster
154. TheWolfKing

So I have seen the word WoK on here many times, and I can only assume that its a series, but what does it stand for.
Jay Dauro
155. J.Dauro
I have been trying to locate the episode of Writing Excuses where they talk about covers, without any luck. I believe I remember most of it, and will try to repeat it. But if I do misquote Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mary it's my fault not theirs. BTW, if you haven't listened to the podcasts of Writing Excuses, I do recommend it. Yes they are about writing fiction, but I have no intentions of ever being a writer, and always find them entertaining and informative.

Especially before the advent of online booksellers, covers really had two primary purposes. The first was to attract the interest of the buyers who decide which books to stock in the bookstores, primarily in the large chains. Although this becomes less important as the author's name becomes a selling point, it still remains a major goal. If you aren't on the shelves, you don't sell.

The second is to attract the interest of the casual book browser long enough to get him or her to pick up the book and look at it. The reader who already knows of the book or the author will probably pick it up no matter what is on the cover. You need to catch the notice of the reader who doesn't know of the book, and hopefully get them read the blurbs and make the purchase.

With a series, if you can catch and hold someone with one book, you can usually get them to buy the other books no matter what is on the cover. So again, we are still trying to attract the reader who hasn't read any of the series.

Notice that neither of these purposes requires complete accuracy of the image in relation to the story, they are really more hooks. But if too often the cover has nothing to do with the story, you risk losing the trust of the customer, so there does have to be some coorespondence.

As HArai has stated, sometimes you get to know the style of a particular artist, and you trust that to influence your decision. For him it appears DKS has done the cover for enough books he has liked, that just seeing a DKS cover will get him to pick it up. Brandon has also stated that a Michael Whelan cover was enough to catch his interest, and get him to pick up a book.

I have begun to think that this is changing with the advent of online booksellers, ebooks and audiobooks. There is less pressure to "get on the shelves" when the shelves are virtually limitless in size. And there are other ways to get the casual browser to look at a book online. A small picture of the cover on a screen is not as compelling. The publisher is still trying to keep that shelf spot in the brick and mortar stores, but now they are also competing for that Amazon recomendation, the Audible.com opening screen blurb, etc. So I think the ebook covers are becoming a bit less constrained in what the publisher wants from them

I love the new WOT ebook covers, as I think most of us here on the board do. But most of us are going to buy the ebook for different reasons than the cover. And few books have the luxury of being part of a series such as WOT. But these covers have a lot of advantages over the initial covers. They are for books that the artist quite possibly has already read, or if not, he can read if desired. The artist can use the book to research things such as clothing styles, backgrounds, etc. The author is not going to eliminate a character before the cover comes out.

With the DKS covers, yes some people are turned off by them. Still other say that the cover is what got them to pick up the book in the first place. But the fact that he still is much in demand means that the publishers feel he is doing what they need to sell the book.

In my case, the cover had little to do with me starting WOT. I was in my library looking for Fantasy and Science Fiction audiobooks when I found New Spring, and started with it. My library did not have a large selection of F&SF, so I pretty much looked at every one. (I did ask my niece about it first, and got a good recomendation. But then I helped start her reading F&SF years ago.)


Wok = The Way of Kings, the first book of 10 in Brandon Sanderson's new series, The Stormlight Archive. And it has a Whelan Cover, which greatly pleased Brandon.
Elijah Foster
156. TheWolfKing
@155. J.Dauro

Thanks, I was always confused by that.
Tricia Irish
157. Tektonica
Thanks Jay....good clarification, and for clueing in Wolf King.

WolfKing...sorry I didn't make that clear.
Tess Laird
158. thewindrose
Just wanted to take a moment for a brief pause for 9/11. While 9/11 was a great US tragedy, I include all other peoples in my reflections/thoughts/prayers on this day. Terrorism is an enemy to all of us. May we all strenghten our ties between people of different beliefs, and make terrorism obsolete.

Elijah Foster
159. TheWolfKing
@157. Tektonica

It's not your fault. It's mine. (That kinda sounded like George) Yeah its just that I'm new to blogs and stuff like that. It will just take me awhile to learn all the terminology for this specific one. Feel free to use abbreviations, if i don't understand I'll look it up or ask.
160. Wortmauer
People keep mentioning the cover for The Way of Kings. Everyone agrees it's an excellent cover painting. But how did this happen? First, well, duh, it's Whelan. But second, he read the book (a 1001-page book!), took copious notes, and kept referring to it during the drawing and painting. I don't have a link handy, but I seem to recall an interview in which he said he was surprised to hear that in some genres, cover artists don't actually read the books - it's something he'd assumed all cover artists do.
HArai@151: I've never been terribly impressed with DKS's covers but they've never stopped me from buying a book. Why? Because they've consistently been on books I liked when I read them. Xanth books early on, and then as time went by there were Saga of Recluse books, Wheel of Time books, some Pratchett, even the first Thomas Covenant trilogy I believe.
Whereas I think it's a shame that someone who spots a WOT cover might think "oh, so probably a lot like Piers Anthony or L.E. Modesitt." 'Cause, you know, it's really not.

twelve seconds not let your attitude sour the quite marvelous things you see and do? I suspect he never does improve, since the theme of the Unbeliever is so central.]
Wetlandernw@143: Personally, I really hope that someday we get to find out that the Hinderstap chapter was written by RJ, start to finish. ;)
Ha. The Hinderstap chapters weren't so bad. What was bad was TGS Chapter 34, "Legends", after Hinderstap. There is no way in the heavens or the earth or under the earth that RJ's Mat would ever have used the term "backstory". Ever. The word is not only a neologism, it's younger than Brandon himself (c. 1984, according to Merriam-Webster). Plus, RJ set up a world where plays and actors were a pretty new idea - remember when Thom first noticed a play put on in Cairhien (TGH, Chapter 26, "Discord")? In the real world, how long did it take to get from Greek comedy to using "backstory" to inform character motivations so you can get into the head of your character? If RJ ever used such a blatant anachronism, I never noticed it. (I.e., not "blatant" to me.) Well, except the Mercedes hood ornament, if that counts. Mat and his "backstory" writing scene is second only to the precipitous decline in Mat's spelling ability between "There's nothing here but heat and flies, and we can find plenty of those in Caemlyn" in ACOS and his awful note to Elayne in TOM, in pulling me out of the story.

Hmmph. I should save it for when we actually get there, right?

Except to say this. I am really annoyed at story elements in a fantasy setting conveyed in such a way as to prove they actually speak English. Mat's horrible spelling is one such. I like to hang onto the conceit (explicitly stated, in Tolkien's case) that the characters actually speak some other language and we're just reading the translation. But actually it's not just BS, RJ did it a few times too. The "Lord of Chaos" ditty from the Fourth Age rhymes and scans, which a translation from another language would not. (Yes, some translators recast verse to make it rhyme and scan, but that's how you know something's only a loose translation.) Another instance: in TSR Chapter 16, "Leavetakings", Faile says, "Loial well named, for your nature is loyalty." And thus we know that, in the language of WOT, the name "Loial" sounds similar to the word "loyalty". Amazing coincidence, they sound similar in English too. Things like this really pull me out of the story, since I can't suspend my disbelief quite far enough to think of characters in the Third Age evolving the Old Tongue into, literally, English. (Hard enough to suspend my disbelief that the Aiel speak the same language as everybody else. Their only contact for 3000 years was with gleemen and peddlers; that shouldn't have been enough to keep them from drifting the Old Tongue in an entirely different direction. Maybe into Danish.)
Birgit F
161. birgit
The first WoT-cover I saw was that of the first German book (first half of EotW):

I think I bought it because it reminded me of Nazgul and I liked LotR.

A problem with covers I noticed is that some German fantasy books reuse covers that belong to a different series. Once I saw a book with a cover from the Majipoor series but the book was something completely different (I don't remember what it was).
Gerd K
162. Kah-thurak
I will never get how anyone can like the american WoT covers. Or would even consider paying someone to make them. I really like the UK covers though.

Intersting. I never got past the first Thomas Convenant book, because I thought "Well, that is a very interesting character, but the story itself is much to generic."

I am pretty sure that much of this episode is RJ. To include a random horror story which has no plot relevance what so ever into a book that is allready too long is not a thing I can see BS doing.

Yes the covers used for german translations are often "recycled" from other books. This may be due to the splitting of the english books in 2+ german books (which may be necessary but was overdone for the WoT to a ridiculous degree).
163. simonk1905

Personally, I really hope that someday we get to find out that the Hinderstap chapter was written by RJ, start to finish.

I pointed this out originally during the TGS review post shenanigans of WTF! Zombies. If you go back to the beginning of LoC and read when Rand first meets Taim. You will see that Taim talks about all the weird stuff he has seen/heard about and one of the things he mentions is whole villages going mad and killing each other.

So this basically means one of two things to me.

1. RJ had this sort of thing in mind for Mat for years before it happened and therefore this could have been one of the parts of TGS that was very well fleshed out before he died.
2. BwS is enough of a fan of the series and also enough of a student of RJ's style and writing to take something small from a previous book and make something big of it in a later book. Something that RJ was adept at.

I have no idea wether either of my ideas are right or wrong but as with most of life the facts are not important it is more about what you believe to be true which is important.

I am going to give BwS and RJ the benefit of the doubt and take a positive view of the whole thing. (I also liked the whole hinderstap section of TGS as well which helps.)
Hugh Arai
164. HArai
Wortmauer@160: Whereas I think it's a shame that someone who spots a WOT cover might think "oh, so probably a lot like Piers Anthony or L.E. Modesitt." 'Cause, you know, it's really not.

I think I see what you're getting at, but only a person who hasn't read Piers Anthony and L.E. Modesitt would consider those two to be alike, except in the sense of being in the SF/fantasy category. So, yes, WoT is like them in that sense. For anyone more discriminating, once the cover has caught their eye, they can then actually check out the book! Mission accomplished. For those people complaining about lack of fidelity to a scene in the book: you have to read the book to see that, so the cover has already done 90% of it's job. I admit the other 10% is nice to have when it's there.

Regarding Covenant: As I read it, the point is not that leprosy is "teh suck" as you put it, but that the mindset that keeps you alive when you have it is not compatible with happy dancing fun time. Since he intends to return to the "real world" where leprosy is incurable, he needs to maintain that mindset, the "Unbelief". To "improve" as you put it is to choose a slow form of suicide, so expecting him to do so purely to lighten the mood is fairly futile. Obviously, YMMV.
Roger Powell
165. forkroot
Sometimes I think Donaldson's Covenant series is like cilantro - you either like it a lot, or you really don't care for it.

Covenant is plunged into a world where everyone is so impossibly noble, if he were to be anything else than who he were it just wouldn't work. For proof, try the Hile Troy POV sections in the second book (first trilogy).

For those of you who don't care for the Covenant series .. well I'm sorry you didn't get the pleasure I did from it, but I respect your opinion.

For those of you don't care for cilantro ... well you'd miss out on my best dish. When pressed, I prepare a pretty mean Chicken Picado.

(Perhaps I should take some to the bunker some time)
Don Barkauskas
166. bad_platypus
Re: Thomas Covenant

I've read the two original trilogies each four or five times (the last time a very long time ago), and my decision has come down to "I can't decide whether I like these books or not." It's a very weird feeling.

Re: Hinderstap

I've with Wetlandernw, et al., and I'll go farther in that I expect us to find out eventually that the scene was writen almost entirely by RJ. BWS has been open that Team Jordan added some scenes that RJ didn't write or outline, but he described them as "X got from A to C, so B must have happened in between, and we need to show it." I can't imagine Hiderstap fitting into that mold.
167. John R
I'm of the opinion that the 13x13 thing is crap, a lie created by Sheriam to scare children. And that Brandon Sanderson didn't *know* it was a crap lie to scare the supergirls, and so used it, and that this is a mistake.

An error.

Because if Demandred had access to this, he would have turned the whole Black Tower, easily. Logain would have gotten a blanket party and a mindwipe six months ago. Leaving aside, of course, that the 13x13 force-conversion thing is twee and boring.

(And yes, Demandred. Taim is Demandred.
As I've said before:
When 100% of all in-text things scream "TAIM IS DEMANDRED, THERE IS NO OTHER POSSIBILITY", and all the "no he's not!" side has is the author talking to fans outside? Let's just say that there's nobody else ever onscreen who Demandred could be, and there's nobody else *Taim* could be except an Age Of Legends Darkfriend Channeler who's *exactly as strong as Demandred*. Which is to say, until there's a printed solution *that makes sense*, Taim is Demandred and Robert Jordan was fucking with the fans. And if the explanation *doesn't* make sense, I call retcon.)
Captain Hammer
168. Randalator
John R

Something so major wouldn't even have made it into the books if it wasn't in RJ's notes. So yeah...

Also, Taimandred has been thoroughly debunked in-universe in Winter's Heart. Demandred didn't recognise an Asha'man for what he is and was almost fried to a crispy Chosen McNugget.

So: You're wrong. Neener-neener.
Roger Powell
169. forkroot
Dang! You're absolutely right of course. Thanks for straightening us out.

Your work here is done. We'll look for you in the comments section of our local newspaper's web site - sorting it all out.

Thanks again
Roger Powell
170. forkroot
"Those who once ruled have returned and been driven back for the first time."

The word that caught my eye is "first." Does this imply that there is a second time that the Seanchen will be driven back?
Another way to read that passage was that the Ever Victorious Army was driven back for the first time (i.e. the first time it had been defeated in battle.)

From later Seachan POVs (especially after Rand drives them back in northern Altara) it's clear that they are unaccustomed to losing.
Elijah Foster
171. TheWolfKing
@John R

13x13: No, it has to be true, to many circumstances show that it must be i.e. Tarna Feir, and Mezar Kurin. Something made them appear evil and changed their factions to Taim's. Look up the description of their change if you don't believe me.

Also, to be 13x13'd you would have to be alone around Taim or be forced in a crowd of people. He had free reign to do whatever he wanted with people at the tower until Logain came. So that explains why so many people are his lackeys.

When Logain came, people who hadn't been converted yet (who would've been, but Taim hadn't got to them yet) immediately saw him as a leader because of his strength in the power and his position as a false dragon that was gentled and is now healed. He soon created a small group of people that hadn't been converted and that didn't like Taim. This group then got large very quickly, large enough that it created a force to oppose Taim. Now, for Logain to be converted, he would have to be defeated in combat and that would make quite a scene. If this were to happen, all of Logain's supporters would notice and would riot. So to convert Logain, Taim would end up creating a civil war that would ruin his purpose there, creating dreadlords.

However, no one would do a thing if Logain's followers were converted one by one, especially if Logain was gone, like he is now. This explains one of the purposes of the dreamspike, to keep Rand AND/OR Logain from coming back to lead a rebellion. Hence leaving Logain's supporters trapped and being converted slowly but surely. This leaves Logain and Rand with only their supporters outside the tower, a small army compared to all the other asha'man, even with callandor. (obviously not with the choedan'kal, but that was destroyed )

Taimandred: I have several points to make.
1. In literature, there is something called a red herring.

Here's the Dictionary.com definition: something intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand; a misleading clue.

That is what the Taimandred theory is. It was designed to pull your attention away from who Demandred really is.

2. RJ debunked it by saying that Taim is not Demandred.

3. RJ said Demandred has not made an on-screen appearance as any other character, than his actual self, until after Winter's Heart. Which by the way eliminates King Roedran of Murandy because he has not made an on-screen appearance at all.

4. Also, during the cleansing of saidin, Demandred saw Damer Flinn, and didn't recognize him as an asha'man or as Damer Flinn which Taim should recognize seeing as how Flinn was one of the first recruits.

5. Demandred orders Kisman, Rochaid, Gedwyn and Torval to kill Rand. It is stated by Kisman that Taim also ordered the four to kill Rand, like the two didn't know each others orders.

I probably can't convince you, but what I stated is the truth of the matter and what RJ said is law, so believe what you will, but Demandred isn't Taim in my opinion.

A very strong opinion BTW, because when I used to think that Demandred was Taim, I didn't read the forums and I "discovered" it all by myself. I was so convinced, and then I was disproved on the forums ) by RJ's word's. I was so disapointed, because that was my first theory I discovered and it was wrong. Then I realized it is a red herring and I laughed really hard because it was so blatant and I fell for it. So you could say that I was 13x13'd by RJ/Leigh.
Jay Dauro
172. J.Dauro

I could buy that interpretation.

We have heard that they have been defeated in a battle, but never in a war. So I could go with that. But I could also go with a second time to come. Waiting is. (But not patiently.)
173. Wortmauer
TheWolfKing@171: 13x13: No, it has to be true, to many circumstances show that it must be i.e. Tarna Feir, and Mezar Kurin. Something made them appear evil and changed their factions to Taim's. Look up the description of their change if you don't believe me.
I'm afraid you've entirely missed John's point. The examples you cite are from Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. John's theory is that Jordan never intended for the 13+13 trick to be real, but Sanderson didn't know that, so he put evidence of it into TOM. This theory can be challenged in various ways, but not by pointing to passages written by Sanderson.

Also, can you guys please stop saying "13x13"? 13x13 = 169, and I've seen no evidence that there are 169 flows, or 169 of anything else, involved. 169 flows would require that each channeler channel 13 flows, which most people aren't nearly powerful or dexterous enough to do at all. (Back in the Stone in TSR, the Supergirls, pretty strong themselves though still untrained, were astounded to see Rand split his flows a dozen ways.) No, the correct formula is 13+13. With a plus sign. Thirteen of these, and thirteen of those, and thirteen ko'dies, and thirteen flows.

I suppose you guys must all be thinking of "4x4" trucks, where there are 4 wheels and 4 drive axles, but not 16 of anything. That one has always bugged me too, obviously for exactly the same reason.
Elijah Foster
174. TheWolfKing

Yeah, your right, those were written by Sanderson too. However, "too many circumstances", also can be interpreted as, too many that they all could have been written by Sanderson and still have been approved by Harriet.

And also, like Randalator said:

Something so major wouldn't even have made it into the books if it wasn't in RJ's notes. So yeah...


And I did throughly disprove his other reason for it not being true, Logain. IMO.

And about the 13x13, yes that's exactly our thinking, 4x4, so seeing that this is how Leigh wrote it, on her blog, then this is how we will write it. There are 4 wheels working with 4 drive axles, and their are 13 aes aedai/asha'man, working with 13 myrddraal hence, 13x13. Do whatever you want, but people will not stop.
Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
FWIW, x is easier to type than + ... so most people will still do it that way. Awkward loses to easy in a heartbeat, especially when the nomenclature is familiar and is perfectly acceptable in any context other than mathematics.
176. Wortmauer
I don't buy "easier to type". If that were true, and we as a culture cared more about saving a keystroke than saying what we mean, people talking about life expectancy would say Aes Sedai tend to live up to 3k years. Because, you know, "k" is easier to type than "00". And we all know it's really 300, so saying 3k isn't adding any confusion or ambiguity, right? Yet I think that sort of thing would not fly here at all.

"13x13" is a curious expression, unless those who use it actually believe that each human is channeling a flow through each Fade, for 169 total flows (itself, to my mind, a curious theory, with no textual support, so far as I know). I brought up the "4x4 truck" analog as it was the only example I can think of in which "x" between the two numbers has this peculiar meaning of "plus" or "in conjunction with". Much more common in my world, at least, are 2x12 floor joists, 3x5 note cards, 15x15 crossword puzzles, 9x13 cake pans, 11x17 paper, 8x8 chessboards, 4x8 relay races, 4x6 or 5x7 or 9x12 photo prints, 2d20 dice. (Oops.) Those all express multiplication (mostly rectangular dimensions, except the 4x8 relay, which is 4 people per team, each running 800 meters), not addition. I don't think I've ever heard anyone, for example, look at a volleyball match and say there are 6x6 players on the court. (The proper expression, of course, is "six of one , a half dozen of the other.")

I will give you "ease of typing" for abbreviating the "trick" by not mentioning the Myrddraal. Nobody wants to have to remember how to spell those bastards every time. (It would be easier to remember the "dd", I suppose, if I pronounced it with a Welsh "th" sound. Maybe I'll start doing that.)

Also, TheWolfKing, we're not saying "13x13" because Leigh does. She was far from the first. The subject came up back in 2009 where R.Fife@46 used the term "13^2" and, amusingly, was called on it by dophin0102@88. Everyone else seemed happy to be using + signs then, the "13x13" didn't come until later.

(Oh, and look, a Band of the Red Handles poster by the name of Wetlander. *waves* And where did R. Fife Sedai of the Yellow Ajah disappear to, anyway?)
Captain Hammer
177. Randalator
TheWolfKing @171

3. RJ said Demandred has not made an on-screen appearance as any other character, than his actual self, until after Winter's Heart. Which by the way eliminates King Roedran of Murandy because he has not made an on-screen appearance at all.

Uh, I wouldn't be too sure of that. That most recent statement was made by Brandon during his book tours and basically ammounted to "As of KoD Demandred's alter ego has not been seen on screen.". He didn't want to comment regarding TGS and, during later tours, ToM so as not to spoil anything.

King Roedran is still in the mix...
Tess Laird
178. thewindrose
Wortmauer - are you a mathematician? Just wondering:)

I have always looked at this function as logical. If you have a circle of 13 channelers and you have 13 Myrddraal then you can turn a light side channeler to team dark(who are not really a team but individuls usually going in the same direction.)
I also don't think BwS just decided to use it. It was built up in book from tGH forward, and RJ talked about it being a real tool for team dark to use at fan gatherings. TG's here, and all tools can come out of the shed(the means you too - Demandred;)).

Elijah Foster
179. TheWolfKing
@176. Wortmauer

13x13, I use it because Leigh has been using it, I don't care about what you use, but this is what Leigh uses right here, right now, I don't care much for past abbreviations.

FYI, k is for Kilo which means 1000 in the metric system, so it doesn't even make sense to do that. 3k years would be 3000 years. You could use it if you were talking about things which had thousands in there, i.e. 6k foot, and 2k horse. Or you could use Aes Sedai live for 3h year (h is for hecto=100), but most people don't know what that is so...

@177. Randalator

I see...

Well I never, really had anything against that theory, it makes quite a bit of sense. I just misinterpreted the quote to mean that he appeared on-screen in KoD. So, I see that you are right.
180. CorDarei
and i'd like to add on the "x"... it doesn't mean "plus" or "in conjuction with".... it means by, as in 4 by 4, 2 by 4, etc etc etc.

/end nit pick.
/begin thread lurk.
181. John R
@168: Also, Taimandred has been thoroughly debunked in-universe in Winter's Heart. Demandred didn't recognise an Asha'man for what he is and was almost fried to a crispy Chosen McNugget.

So: You're wrong. Neener-neener.

And that predates Sanderson, which means it isn't an error introduced later like I maintain the forcible-conversion thing to be.

Still leaves the problem of Taim, though, who without any possible doubt is a Male Darkfriend Channeler from the Age Of Legends, exactly as strong as Demandred, who speaks like Demandred and has exactly the same attitude to Rand that Demandred had to Lews Therin. Oh, and despite being an AoL DF channeler of that strength, he is definitely NOT Balthamel, Ishamael, Aginor, Asmodean, Sammael, Bel'al, or Rahvin.

Which is to say, he's bloody well Demandred, and I call retcon.
Daniel Goss
182. Beren
Out of curiosity, John R, where are you getting the certainty that Taim is an AOL channeler?
Captain Hammer
183. Randalator
John R @181

...OR he is a strong Dreadlord/Neo-Forsaken trained by Demandred OR he is a 13x13-ed False Dragon whose envy towards Rand has been magnified by his turning...

YOU don't doubt and YOU can't think of other explanations...others do and can. Just as they can (wo)man up to the fact that they've had the living daylights red-herring-ed out of them.

Btw. according to Brandon Demandred will be a main antagonist in AMoL and the mystery of his identity will pay off big time, so that would have to be one hell of a retcon, changing a central plot element 9 books into the series like that.
184. Wortmauer
thewindrose@178, no, I'm not a mathematician. (: I did get a math minor by accident, by taking too many math classes. (Yes, by accident. I didn't notice it until I'd already met the requirement.)

John R@181, I'll add to Beren's question. Where are you getting the certainty that Taim is not Ishamael?

TheWolfKing, wow, I almost hate to put it this way, but you're really good at missing the point. (So good that I begin to suspect you're trolling on purpose, but so far I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.) I know "k" means thousands, not hundreds. Everyone knows that. That was the whole point. Everyone also knows that 300 is the correct number in context. Saying 3k would have saved typing at the expense of accuracy, in hopes that people would understand from context what you really mean. And I don't think it would fly around here. I don't think that we as a community care more about saving a keystroke than about saying what we mean. And before you say "...but I never said that!", no, you didn't, this was a response to somebody else.
185. John R
Out of curiosity, John R, where are you getting the certainty that Taim is an AOL channeler?

Because from the first minute he appears, he makes AoL-knowledge comments, like referring to the Aiel as the "so-called Aiel" - a phrase only an AoLer would use, and specifically one that we've seen other Forsaken use. He speaks the Old Tongue fluently, he knows multiple weaves that we see the Forsaken know and he "learns" Travelling so fast that even a blind half-mad simpleton like Rand should have realised something was up. He's immune to the Taint, which no modern Darkfriend is. He's shocked when the "barbarians" invent something he KNOWS to be impossible - curing Gentling, fixing the weather, etc - in exactly the same way as all the other Forsaken are. His reactions, in fact, are nearly identical.

Taim *cannot* be a modern channeler, and he *cannot* have been an AoL channeler who was not Demandred because they're all otherwise accounted for. Jordan may have changed his mind (see also "retcon"), but the clues all lead inexorably back to the same conclusion: Taim WAS Demandred, and then stopped being Demandred any more sometime shortly before the end of Winter's Heart. See also, "retcon".

I'll add to Beren's question. Where are you getting the certainty that Taim is not Ishamael?

Not strong enough in the power, not using the only power source we've EVER seen Moridin use, style doesn't match, I'd have to dig up a timeline to see if Taim does anything while Ishamael is pre-resurrection dead but that's something to check, not a killer prohibition.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Appears *way* too busy to be doing the same things Moridin is doing. Has the wrong behaviour towards Rand. Doesn't trigger Rand's flashbacks about the crossing of the balefire streams.

And that's off the top of my head, in a minute. Way back in the day, I'm sure I could have come up with a half-dozen more disqualifiers, and I know for a fact that we collectively did.
Daniel Goss
186. Beren
@John R 185
Thank you for clarifying your position, and for reinforcing that no matter what anyone says, you will choose to believe what you want to.

Obviously, there is not going to be any way to prove that Taim was a red herring, because the nature of a red herring is that it appears to be something entirely other than what it is. We could go back and forth all day on whether this is a well-executed red herring (many of Demandred's traits, but never actually intended to be Demandred, just a proxy or a type) or a retcon. Neither can be proven. The best we can hope for is some information from the original author, which we have in effect in the concurrent but dissimilar orders to kill Rand, but RJ never actually came out and said that he had never intended for Taim to be Demandred.

You may have fun, then, feeling superior in that you guessed that Taim was Demandred earlier than you were supposed to, and that RJ changed it for some reason. Many of us, however, choose to believe that he was a better writer than that, and had this elaborate deception planned from the very beginning. All things being equal, and no real way to be absolutely certain one way or the other, I'll take my admiration over your disappointment and anger. You, of course, are free to choose whichever you prefer.

(edited for spelling)
187. John R
Thank you for clarifying your position, and for reinforcing that no matter what anyone says, you will choose to believe what you want to.

There's no need to be a dick about this. I think Jordan changed his mind about something after establishing it so clearly that he didn't leave himself an out, big whoop.

(And the problem with claiming that Taimandred is a "well-executed red herring" is that too many of Taim's traits conclusively disprove the hypothesis that he's *not* an AoL channeler, and all the other AoL channelers are accounted for. That means that if he *is* a red herring, he's a *poorly*-executed one.)
Daniel Goss
188. Beren
@John R

You said @ 167
Taim is Demandred and Robert Jordan was fucking with the fans.

Then you said @ 187
There's no need to be a dick about this.

I see what you did there.

I call retcon.

189. Wortmauer
I can't be the only one thinking that Taim is not a herring, but a trout, which Sanderson will use in AMOL to slap John R.

There is some reason to believe Taimandred was not a red herring, in any case: RJ's reaction to the fans. If it were a deliberate red herring, you'd think RJ would keep us guessing, with "Tah-eem, not Tame, and RAFO," rather than "Tah-eem, not Tame, and he is NOT DEMANDRED, you guys!" His response implies that he didn't actually intend for us to believe the theory, at least not for long.

It is a bit hard to believe RJ would have planted all those clues and not wanted fans to think of Demandred, though.
Elijah Foster
190. TheWolfKing
@187. John R.

When something has a lot of facts backing up that it is true, and it turns out it is a red-herring, that means it is a well executed red-herring.
When something has one or even nothing backing it up, and it is a red-herring, its a badly executed red-herring.

Taim has lots of things backing up the theory that he is Demandred. He is a red-herring. Therfore he is a well executed red-herring.

Taim is not an AOL channeler. He was trained like them obviously and being that the forsaken are people too, they probably put their believes about the "so-called" aiel, into his head. And about curing gentling and etc.

And now that I realllllyyyy think about it, Taimandred could have been a red-herring for not only us, but for Rand too. A plot that could have been created by Demandred too fool Rand into thinking he knew where Demandred. Not saying I really believe this but I think that this is quite possible IMO.

He speaks the Old Tongue fluently.

Not saying I don't believe you, but where does it say this.

@184. Wortmauer

You're missing the point (or maybe you are trolling), but if k is 1000, and h is 100, why not put h, it doesnt take any more keystrokes and it saves you from typing "00" You can have accuracy and short cuts.
And x means by, Get over it. accuracy and saving keystokes. Where as + gives you the same accuracy, but takes an extra keystroke.

BTW I'm not a troll, I just like to state my opinions.

Oh, and if I am missing your point its because your points aren't clear enough. (Your point is only clear to me when I read your explanations of it). Ask my English teachers, I get many things others don't. And thats not to say that I won't sometimes miss your point by accident. It's just that IMO, that was not a great way to state your point. Like what I said earlier about accuracy and short cuts, k doesn't save you a keystroke compared to h, and h is more accurate. If you would have proposed another situation though, I would have understood.
Elijah Foster
191. TheWolfKing
@189. Wortmauer

Perhaps your right.

Hypothetical situation here:

Lets say he didn't want us to believe it. (For long at least)

Well we read it and say, it's to obvious, its got to be a red-herring. And then we say, Or is that what he wants us to think. And then we say, Uh-oh, maybe thats what he wants us to think.

IDK, it could have happened to someone. RJ is such a good writer of plots, that its possible we overanalyzed and we were supposed to take it as a red-herring which means it really wasn't one. You could say that RJ used the simple to confound the wise.
I can't be the only one thinking that Taim is not a herring, but a trout, which Sanderson will use in AMOL to slap John R.

I agree. I agree.
Don Barkauskas
192. bad_platypus
Re: 13x13 vs. 13+13:

Since we don't know how the process works, it's ridiculous to say that one or the other is "more accurate" than the other. Although I believe that 13+13 is probably more accurate, it's certainly possible that the process requires 13 channelers each to split their flows 13 ways to go through the 13 Myrddraal and then re-combine them at the end, in which case 13x13 would certainly be appropriate.

FWIW, IMO from the statements we've seen, I think the most probable mechanism is a circle of 13 with the leader splitting the flow 13 ways through the Myrddraal and then recombining them at the target. That being said, there really isn't enough evidence to say for sure, unless we see it in action in AMoL (which I doubt we will) or have it described in the encyclopedia.

BTW, as Wetlandernw mentions @48, Liandrin also refers to the turning process in TDR, so we have independent confirmation that it really exists. (Yes, Liandrin is also BA, but her comment along with Sheriam's only make sense if the process is real.) And if you're not the type that only believes what's written in the books, RJ made it abundantly clear in his answers to fans that the process is real.
Stefan Mitev
193. Bergmaniac
Taimandred doesn't make any sense logically from the start for me. It's idiotic for the Dark One to put Demandred in disguise as a close subordinate of Rand while at the same time the plan was to keep Rand alive at the time. Demandred's hatred of LTT is pathological and extreme, and he has really resented being second to him. If you put him in Taim's position, it's too much of a risk he'd get angry and attack Rand.

All the ancient knowledge, channelling skills and his long time survival without going insane stuff Taim shows are easily explained by him being a modern day dreadlord, taught by Ishamael.

The whole "Jordan changed his mind after LoC because the fans guessed taimandred" doesn't make much sense to me either. Most popular subjects of discussion and theorising among the fandom were resolved in the expected way - Graendal was the most popular suspect for Asmodean's killer, Danelle for Mesaana's identity, Thom and Mat to be the guys to save Moiraine from the Finns, etc.
194. Ouroboros
Some of you may remember the old ISAM parodies. I never found one for Knife of Dreams, so I offer this in tribute.
195. Ouroboros
Galad: I am Galadedrid Damodred. You killed my mother, now I am going to kill you.
Valdar: Isn't that your brother’s line?
Gawyn: No, my line is "I am Gawyn Trakand. You killed my mother, now I am going to kill you." They're completely different.
Valdar: Oh, that's alright then.
Bornhald, Byar and Trom: Yes. He is Galadedrid Damodred. You killed his mother and now he is going to kill you.
Valdar: What have you got to do with this?
Bornhald, Byar and Trom: Absolutely nothing. We're on retainer.
Valdar: Oh, that's alright then.
Galad: Bornhald, watch Asunawa.
Asunawa: Galadedrid Damodred Galadedrid Damodred Galedwid Damodwud. Damn it. I had it.
Bornhald: Why? It's not like he's going to cause us any problems in two books time.
Valdar: Can we get on with this? I've some Seanchan buttocks to smooch.
Galad: Die, Valdar!
Valdar: Damn. He's good!
Everyone: All hale Lord Captain Commander Galad
Galad: Well, that was easy. Now where's Asunawa?
Bornhald: Oops!

Wheel: Am I on yet?
Prologue: No, I'm just getting started.

Ituralde: Die Seanchan.
Seanchan: Damn! He's good.

Wheel: Ahem.
Prologue: Not yet!

Liandrin: Die, Suroth!
Suroth: Damn! You're annoying.
Liandrin: Yes, I'm annoying.
Suroth: See you before the end of the series?
Liandrin: Maybe?
Semirhage: Mwah hah hah hah!
Suroth: What?
Semirhage: That's what, Great Mistress to you.
Suroth: What, Great Mistress?
Semirhage: I have killed your Empress, her children, her children's children and her children's children's children.
Suroth: And Tuon?
Semirhage: No, I let her escape, even though, with all of my powers, I could have prevented it.
Suroth: Oh, why?
Semirhage: I don't know. Lampshade?
Suroth: Thank you.

Wheel: How about now?
Prologue: Yeah, right!

Tsutama: Bloody flaming goat kissing men.
Pevara: What?
Tsutama: Bloody buttered pig kissing men?
Pevara: Uhmmmm.
Tsutama: Burned and triple goat spawned mule headed men.
Pevara: Ah! You want us to go and bond some Asha'man.
Javindhra: Excellent! Exactly as the Great Lord wanted.
Pevara: Sorry, Didn't quite catch that?
Javindhra: Nothing. Go Light!
Pevara: I'm going to go and do something now.
Yukiri: What are you doing?
Pevara: I don't know. You?
Yukiri: I don't know.
Pevara: Shall we catch us some Black Ajah?
Seaine: Ooh! Black Ajah hunt. Goody. Be sure to take your time over it!
Pevara and Yukiri: Yes, we must be sure to take our time over it.

Alviarin: Out. Out damned spot.
Astrelle: But if you account for the standard bivariate deviated factorization of the lowest common normal distribution of the weighted hyperbolic binomial interpolatisation of the dimensionised transendentalistic limit, you get eggs for breakfast.
Alviarin: What?
Astrelle: We weren't talking to you. Ex-keeper!
Alviarin: Bloody Whites!
Astrelle: But you're white too.
Alviarin: Yes, of course I am. Go Light!

Wheel: The brakes are wearing out now.
Prologue: Go read the last ten books.
Wheel: Yes, I should be able to do that by the time you're finished.

Galina: Ridin', ridin', ridin'.
Gaul: BOO!
Neald: Let's go see Lord Perrin.
Perrin: Faile?
Neald: We found this Aes Sedai, Lord Perrin.
Perrin. Faile!
Galina: What?
Perrin: Faile, faile faile faile.
Galina: I'm an Aes Sedai, not Doctor Frickin' Dolittle.
Berelain: That's alright. I have learnt to speak his language. Faile, faile faile.
Perrin: Ffffaaaaiiiieeeellll!
Berelain: You may go so long as you help us.
Galina: Good. I shall return to the Shaido camp and see to it that your wife is completely screwed.
Perrin: Faile?
Galina: Nothing. Go Light!

Wheel: Now?
Prologue: Deep breath.
Wheel: I've read whole books shorter than this.

Egwene: What happened? It feels like years since I was captured after my brilliant plan.
Red: Shut up.
Brown: No. You shut up.
Yellow: No you shut up.
Egwene: Ah! Home sweet home.
Silviana: I shall give you forkroot.
Egwene: Could you explain to me what forkroot is please?
Silviana: Of course, for I know you have probably forgotten since we last talked about it.
Egwene: Thank you.
Wheel: Bloody ashes!
Silviana: Lecture, lecture, lecture.
Egwene: Now what.
Silviana: I shall see you in the morning when I shall spank you. Unless you have some strange mind powers that allow you to ignore pain?
Egwene: Yes, I have some of those.
Silviana: Well, in that case I shall see you in the morning when I shall spank you anyway.

Prologue: That's it. I'm done.
Wheel: About bloody time. I'm on overtime here and the coffee is awful. Ahem. Turn. Turn. Turn. Ages come and pass. They don't pay me enough for this.

Shaidar Haran: Well, it's a good thing you live in a big fiery toilet.
Great Lord: UH-OH
Shaidar Haran: Wow! That really stinks. Flush it, quick.
Moridin: Where does that thing come out anyway?
Shaidar Haran: Dragonmount.
Moridin: Good one!
Sheriam: Wow! That wind really stinks.
Myrelle: Yes, and it blew my warders trousers off.
Morvrin: As if they're ever on!
Sheriam: The Great Lord must be eating beans again.
Carlinya: What?
Sheriam: Nothing. Go Light! Let's get back to some scheming.
Lelaine: Did someone say scheming?
Siuan: Fish guts. Just don't go and rescue Egwene.
Sheriam: Why not?
Siuan: Because Egwene will gut and salt you like silverpike and hang you out to dry on the dock side, you fang-fish-faced grunters.
Sheriam: Are you drunk again?
Siuan: Yes. But that won't bring the schemes in.
Everyone: Scheme. Scheme, scheme scheme scheme. Scheme. Scheme!

Elaida: Mwah hah hah hah hah hah!
Tarna: What?
Elaida: Dingle sheep berries bat tails under toast.
Tarna: Sorry?
Elaida: Just keeping in practice for when I next need to be unexpectedly insane.
Tarna: Oh. That's not bad. Just remember to think blue.
Beonin: Mother?
Elaida: What are you doing here?
Beonin: Fulfilling my long unmet plot obligation. I have come to betray the rebels.
Elaida: You took your bloody time.
Beonin: Well, the Wheel weaves as the wheel wills.
Tarna: Grumble grumble lampshade grumble.

Egwene: Beonin! What are you doing here?
Beonin: Wimple dimple cloud tiller.
Egwene: What?
Katerine: Flippy jippy beeble mangle.
Alvistere: Weeh. Booblar wongle pfwar pfwar.
Egwene: Sorry?
Idrelle: Zimmer blimmer tweeppy xylophone horse!
Bennae: Purple monkey dish washer.
Silviana: How are you doing that?
Egwene: What?
Silviana: Making everyone but you incredibly stupid.
Egwene: Sorry, it's not me.
Silviana: Then why is it happening?
Wheel: Lampshade?
Silviana: Thank you.

Moridin: Blah blah blah blah.
Aran'gar: Woffle woffle woffle woffle.
Graendal: Bleet bleet bleet bleet!
Semirhage: Yada yada yada yada.
Demandred: Shnarf shnarf shnarf shnarf.
Mesaana: What?
Demandred: ThunderCats are go!
Mesaana: Huh?
Demandred: I'm watching reruns while I wait for something to do.
Cyndane: Tell me about it.
Moridin: The Great Lord commands that we sit around drinking coffee until the moment is right.
Mesaana: And when will that moment be?
Moridin: One minute after we could have won. Now go back to the White Tower.
Graendal: I didn't know you were in the Tower?
Mesaana: Oh, didn't Sammael tell you? I'm sure I read that somewhere.
Graendal: Oh come on, like I'm going to remember anything I read five books ago. Who are you pretending to be?
Mesaana: Does it matter?
Demandred: No.
Graendal: Who are you pretending to be?
Demandred: I don't know.
Graendal: What? I thought you were Taim.
Mesaana: No he isn't. There was a memo.
Graendal: Then who are you?
Wheel: RAFO
Cyndane: Who said that?
Demandred: This is perplexing.
Forsaken: We cannot understand it at all.
Demandred: A Forsaken's lot is not a happy one.

Tylee: I am a new character who will probably be important.
Perrin: Faile?
Tylee: Let us join forces and defeat the Shaido.
Perrin: Faile-faile-faile.
Tylee: Are you sure? You know my people have some horribly repulsive ways?
Perrin: Ffffaaaaiiiilllleeee.
Tylee: That is good. How shall we defeat them?
Perrin: Failefaile.
Tylee: Forkroot. Wow, it's such a good think Silviana told us all about it in the prologue or I'd have never known what it is. Oh, and you are mentioned in the prophecies of the Dragon.
Perrin: Faile faile?
Tylee: You are. Let's go get some supplies.
Seanchan #1: Arg, I am filling up with beetles.
Seanchan #2: Yuck!
Tylee: Oh great! More proof that Tarmon Gai'don is coming.
Perrin: Faile!
Tylee: Oh, someone shot at you!
Perrin: Faile.
Tylee: Yes, we know. You want your wife back.
Perrin: Faile faile faile faile faile.
Tylee: What? Oh. I was Doctor Dolittle in a past life.

Sevanna: Look at me with all my opulent nonsense.
Shaido: It does not matter. We will still follow you in contravention of all our silly ways.
Therava: Most of us will.
Galina: I am a broken reed.
Therava: Spank.
Galina: Thank you ma'am. May I have another?
Faile: We must free ourselves. But not too quickly, I want to flirt with Rolan some more first.
Sevanna: Spank.
Faile: Thank you ma'am. May I have another?
Morgase: Yes, we must free ourselves, but not too quickly. I want to be made to suffer some more first.
Wheel: SPANK!
Morgase: Thank you Wheel. May I have another?
Rolan: Flirt. Flirt. Flirt.
Faile: Flirt. Flirt. Flirt.
Everyone: What was that?
Perrin: Faile?

Tuon: Toy!
Mat: Precious!
Fain: That's my line.
Gholam: No it's my line.
Fain: For the hundredth time. It's GHOLAM, not Gollum.
Mat: You're not even in this book.
Fain: Oh, alright! I'll be in the green room with Rand and the Forsaken waiting for something to happen.
Rand: Checkers?
Fain: Why not.

Mat: I have brought you a Zebra.
Tuon: No, it's a horse.
Mat: Zebra.
Tuon: Horse.
Selucia: Who cares? You can ride it. Please ride it so we can leave this stupid bloody circus.
Noal: Hello. I'm just going to stride around a bit. Perhaps I will even STRIDE FAAAAAR away and come back to see if anyone recognises me.
Mat: Sorry what was that?
Noal: Nothing. Is my Noal mask on straight?
Mat: You're good.
Mat: Don't do that.
Joline: SLAP!
Setalle: Feel better now?
Mat: Much!
Setalle: Now, about that ter'angreal?
Joline: How do you know about Ter'angreal?
Setalle: I was an Aes Sedai.
Edesina: How do you know about Aes Sedai?
Setalle: I'll draw you a map. Here's the White Tower... And here's the Aes Sedai... And here's me. Tower... Aes Sedai... Me. Got it?
Joline: How do you know about the White Tower?
Setalle: Mat, spank her again will you please?
Teslyn: Rock?
Mat: No thanks.
Teslyn: Don't mind if I do?
Mat: Carry on.
Teslyn: Om nom nom nom.
Aludra: Kaboom!
Mat: What?
Aludra: Just practicing with my world changing invention.
Mat: Oh, that. Well, we're not ready yet. Go back to the green room.
Aludra: Okay.
Rand: Checkers?
Aludra: Why not.

Egeanin: What are you looking at Cauthon?
Mat: Just wondering when your hair will have grown long enough for you to do something useful.
Egeanin: It will be a while yet. I'll be in the green room.
Rand: It's getting awfully crowded in here.
Moiraine: You're telling me?
Rand: You're still here?
Moiraine: My ticket says fifty-seven and the board says fifty-six, so I'm hopeful.
Tam: Pool? We're playing doubles.
Moiraine: Just a minute.
Tam: No problem.
Moiraine: Ahem. Dear Tom, Please excuse this lampshade I am wearing on my head. I give you this letter which you must not show anyone except Mat, but only when he asks you about it. You must go to a big silver Tower. Got that? Good. Birgitte told Olver that it is the Tower of Ghenjei, which he will now tell you. Got that? Good. Mat knows the way because he saw it in passing eleven books ago. Got that? Good. You will need to fight the Aelfin and the Eelfin, so it is vital that you use the rules of the game called Snakes and Foxes, which Olver will also now tell you. Got that? Good. With all my heart, see you in two books, Moiraine.
Thunder: ROLL! ROLL! ROLL!
Rand: You're break.
Moiraine: Okay.
Mat: Whisky Tango Foxtrot, over?

Luca: Let's go to the next village.
Mat: Finally!
Luca: Wait, not that one, it's sinking.
Tuon: And it doesn't have a really seedy inn. Take me to a really seedy inn, Toy.
Mat: Why?
Tuon: So that you can prove to me that you are a good player of the Great Game!
Mat: DUN!
Tuon: And an expert in self-defence. That pack of villains coming conveniently down the street should do.
Mat: DUN!
Tom: We must leave this stupid circus so that we can escape the gholam and the Seanchan army who want to kill Tuon.
Mat: DUN!
Luca: Will I see you again before the end of the series?
Amathera: Probably.
Luca: Okay. I'll be in the green room.
Moiraine: We're going to need a bigger room.
Borderland army: DAMN STRAIGHT!
Rand: Jamboree?

Guybon: I have brought you ten thousand soldiers, my Lady.
Elayne: Bath?
Aviendha: Bath!
Dorindha: Sorry, Aviendha. You must now do something useful. Come with us.
Aviendha: But I have just discovered my hidden super power as a ter'angreal detector.
Dorindha: After seven books?
Elayne: It happens that way sometimes. I myself did not discover my hidden super power as a ter'angreal maker for five books.
Dorindha: Why are you crying?
Elayne: I am not crying.
Dorindha: Why are you screaming?
Elayne: I am not screaming.
Dorindha: Why are you laughing?
Aviendha: Don't bother. She'll be like this for at least another two books.
Dorindha: One book. She's not in the next one.
Elayne: I'm not going to the green room yet.
Rand: Actually, we're out in the garden now.
Moiraine: And we've got s'mores.
Tam: But could you hurry this along a bit.
Elayne: Certainly.
Nobles: Blah blah blah.
Careane and Sareitha: Bwah hah hah hah. One of us shall kill you my Queen.
Mellar: Bwah hah hah hah. I shall kill you my Queen.
Elayne: That's good.
Mellar: What?
Elayne: Nothing. Just keep on being obviously villainous.
Hark: I will follow him for you my Queen.
Duhara Sedai: Bwah hah hah hah. I shall plot against you my queen.
Elayne: Talk to the chin.
Hark: I have followed Mellar to his evil lair.
Elayne: That was fast!
Hark: The Black Ajah is there as well.
Elayne: Ooh-hooh! Another excellent trap-walking-into-adventure. To the Cat Mobile!
Black Ajah: Boo!
Vandene: Before you kill us, could you tell me who killed my sister?
Black Ajah: Certainly. It was Careane.
Careane: Ow! You killed me.
Black Ajah: Yes, and now we shall kill you. And you. And you.
Elayne: Help me, Birgitte!
Sea Folk: We are not going to help you.
Birgitte: Yes you are. DUN!
Elayne: Now that my rescue conveniently gave me a tactical advantage, how about we finish off our enemies.
Nobles: DUN!
Moiraine: Thank you!
Elayne: That wasn't so bad now, was it?
Moiraine: S'more?

Rand: Am I on?
Cadsuane: Phaw!
Rand: I'll take that as a yes.
Lews Therin: Dingle winkle slummer mummer bang bang!
Moridin: I can see you. And you.
Rand: And I thought the green room was bad.
Logain: I have arrived just in time to help you fight the Trollocs.
Verin: Not yet. Loial has to get married first.
Rand: Yes, let's talk about Arad Doman for a while.
Logain: Don't you want to talk about the obviously evil things happening at the Black Tower?
Rand: Naaaa!
Cadsuane: Boy?
Rand: What?
Cadsuane: Nothing, I'm just trying to annoy you.
Ogier: We have arrived to give Loial a wife.
Loial: Thank you.
Trollocs: Oooook! Aaaaaak! Errrrrk!
Loial: Ooh, honeymoon.
Lews Therin: My power! My power! My power!
Rand: Well, I sure hope you don't grab the power again like that when I really need to use it.
Lews Therin: Can you spell telegraph?
Verin: Dear Rand, Trust Cadsuane. Bye. Go Light!
Rand: What?
Verin: Go Shadow!
Cadsuane: What?
Verin: Go Light!
Min: Make your bloody mind up!
Loial: I must go and talk to the stump.
Moiraine: Step this way.
Loial: Ooh! S'mores!

Lan: Rand is our only hope of surviving the last battle, and Nynaeve is the love of my life.
Nynaeve: So, you're going to stay by our sides until the bitter end?
Lan: No. I'm going to throw my life away in a pointless raid on the Blight.
Nynaeve: Okay then.
Lan: What? Aren't you going to try to stop me?
Nynaeve: No. I'm going to offer to take you to the Borderlands but leave you at the wrong end and tell everyone who wants to follow you that you're coming so that they'll have time to form a massive army to go with you.
Lan: Okay, just so long as you don't try to trick me by leaving me at the wrong end of the Borderlands and telling everyone who wants to follow me so that they'll have time to form a massive army to go with me.
Nynaeve: I promise.
Lan: Really promise?
Nynaeve: Really promise.
Lan: Where are we?
Nynaeve: Sorry dear, I have left you at the wrong end of the Borderlands. I must go now and tell everyone to start building that army you don't want.
Lan: But you promised!
Nynaeve: I'm Aes Sedai now, stupid!

Tairens: Wow! Look at all these weird things that are suddenly happening. Do you think the Dragon Reborn is back in town?
Rand: No. Move along. Nothing to see here.
Min: Train comin'.
Rand: Everyone always says that.
Min: No, train comin'!
Rand: Well, I'll be buggered! Train comin'!
Train: Roll up! Roll up! Industrial Revolutions! Get 'em while they're hot!
Cadsuane: Phaw!
Rand: Stop saying that.
Cadsuane: Boy!
Rand: And that.
Cadsuane: Sorry, I'm warming up to a spanking.
Rand: Why?
Cadsuane: Just in case you decide to be rude to your followers!
Rand: Let's go and be rude to some of my followers.
Cadsuane: Spank.
Rand: Ow! Didn't anyone tell you that spanking is rude?
Cadsuane: So?
Rand: Darlin is my darlin', my darlin', my darlin'.
Darlin: What are you singing about?
Rand: I'm just expressing the fact that I like you enough to make you the King of Tear. And here's a nice crown that Min made earlier.
Darlin: Looks a lot like a lampshade.
Rand: Don't blame me. Come along followers. We must go and meet the Seanchan.
Semirhage: Mwah hah hah hah.
Cadsuane: You said something?
Semirhage: Curses.
Lews Therin: My power! My power! My power!
Rand: Damn it, I told you not to do that.
Lews Therin: Swinger linger bing bong cow pat!
Semirhage: YOGA FLAME!
Rand: Wait, what?
Semirhage: I don't know. I just thought it would sound cool.
Rand: Ow! my hand. Now everyone will think I'm a figure from Norse mythology.
Min: What shall we do now?
Rand: Stand still, just like you are right now.
Min: Why?
Rand: Because we'll pick up this scene again at the start of the next book.
Min: How long is that going to take?
Moiraine: S'mores?

Faile: Excellent, our plan to escape is ready. Now if only we can trust Galina.
Galina: Sorry.
Faile: Curses.
Morgase: It's channellin' time.
Rescuers: Oh look! A flapping scarf! The ancient Andoran sign for women in distress.
Shaido Wise Ones: Hmm, nice tea. Zzzzzz!
Shaido: Well, that's strange, lots of wolves.
Fog: Pea soup, pea soup, pea soup.
Shaido: Well, that's strange, lots of fog. Do you suppose something epic is going to happen?
Perrin: Faile.
Tam: Zzzzzzzz.
Perrin: Faile!
Tam: Zzzzz.
Moiraine: Tam! You're on.
Tam: Zzz... huh. What? Oh sorry.
Tam: Loose!
Shaido: Ow!
Moiraine: Back already?
Tam: Yep.
Shaido: Ow!
Aram: Die Perrin!
Perrin: Faile faile faile faile faile faile?
Aram: Isn't that a little unexpected, You say? No. Didn't you see the case of Profit-Aid I had hidden under the tent? DIE, Perrin!
Aram: Ow! How humiliating. I didn't even get killed by Perrin.
Faile: Perrin!
Perrin: Faile!
Moiraine: At last. And you don't get s'mores!

Tuon: Now what Toy?
Mat: Die, Seanchan!
Seanchan: Damn! He's good.
Tuon: You do understand that I will use my massive army against your friends as soon as I am able to?
Mat: What was that?
Tuon: Nothing. Let's get married.
Mat: Okay then.
Tom: That was fast. And you weren't even wearing lampshades.
Tuon: No. But I do have this prophecy in my pocket.
Mat: Wow! So do I. His and hers!
Karede: Can I take the High Lady away now?
Mat: Gosh! It's awfully lucky you found us now; otherwise things would have really become complicated.
Tuon: I will see you again when I have really pissed off all your friends.
Mat: Okay. I shall kill lots of Seanchan to ensure your safe return to the Seanchan.
Aludra: Now?
Mat: Oh, alright.
Mat: Wow! That sounded important. I hope that wasn't one of those world changing events.

Suroth: Mwah hah hah hah!
Tuon: Boo!
Suroth: Curses!

Taim: I'm a Darkfriend! I'm a Darkfriend! I'm a Darkfriend!
Pevara: May I, and my fellow unsuspecting sisters, put ourselves completely at your mercy, kind sir?
Taim: I'm a Darkfriend! I'm a Darkfriend! I'm a Darkfriend!
Pevara: Okay, girls. He's clean. We're good to move in.

Moiraine: Hmm, my right foot on the red circle, that's a tough one.
Wheel: Your attention please. There will be a small delay while we change drivers. Thank you for your patience. Complementary drinks are available in the green room.
Alice Arneson
196. Wetlandernw
Thanks for the laughs! Much, much, much more entertaining than Taimandred. :)
197. Wortmauer
bad_platypus@192: Although I believe that 13+13 is probably more accurate, it's certainly possible that the process requires 13 channelers each to split their flows 13 ways to go through the 13 Myrddraal and then re-combine them at the end, in which case 13x13 would certainly be appropriate.
Lots of things are possible. It's possible the procedure really only works if the Myrddraal are all riding on a to'raken in flight. But Occam's Razor argues against it. Given what we know and what we don't know, Occam's Razor favors a 13+13 arrangement. So does the fact that almost no channelers are strong enough to weave even close to 13 things at once. (Channeling difficulty goes up exponentially with the number of weaves. Egwene tells us that "Working two flows at once was far more than twice as hard as working one of the same magnitude, and working three much more than twice again working two." TSR, Ch. 7, "Playing with Fire")

My theory is that mention of "a circle of 13" by the author was a misstep, an unfortunate word choice, and it actually doesn't involve a Power link at all. Why? Because, if it did involve a real circle, why would the exact number of Dreadlords matter? In a circle, only one person is directly channeling; everyone else is just lending strength. It should then be a "N+13" trick, where the required N will vary according to the strengths of the people you've got - maybe as few as one, if the one is Alivia or Logain. But it is definitely stated that you need 13 channelers, no more and no less, so that makes me think they are not in a circle, but channeling independently, one through each Myddraal.

By "circle of 13," then, in my view, RJ just meant that in order for 13 people to all see what they're doing, they'd be physically facing the inside of a circle around the guest of honor. Probably a semicircle would do just as well.
Bergmaniac@193: Taimandred doesn't make any sense logically from the start for me. It's idiotic for the Dark One to put Demandred in disguise as a close subordinate of Rand while at the same time the plan was to keep Rand alive at the time.
I've always gotten the idea that the Dark One did not micromanage his Chosen, especially in the early years before the rise of Moridin. I get the distinct feeling the Chosen all established themselves in seats of power of their choosing, from which they could carry out the Dark One's directives while jockeying for Nae'blis; not that they were dispatched "on assignment" from Shayol Ghul Central.

In any event, from the Dark One's perspective, I don't think Taim is much less of a loose cannon than Demandred would've been, as far as making sure they don't go kill Rand at some point.
Anthony Pero
198. anthonypero
@Wortmauer RE: 13x13

It's don't think it's meant to be read as a math equation, it's short hand for 13 by 13., just like 4x4 is shorthand for 4 by 4. The x is not meant to be interpereted as a mutliplier. Another example of this terminology can be found in certain translations of the bible, as in the animals entered the ark 2 by 2. That's not implying that the entered 4 at a time. They entered two at a time. then another two entered, etc...

So, 13 channelers, 13 fades... 13 BY 13, 13x13. Not math. English.
Anthony Pero
200. anthonypero
The whole Taimandred thing was always funny to me, because I never saw it until it was pointed out to me by folks on the old wheeloftime.org message board. Even then, I never bought it, because of my pet "Who Killed Asmodean" theory. Which, of course, was proven false. But I held on to it for ten years anyway, even in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Because of my false belief in a 13x13'd Taim as Asmodean's killer, I never believed he was Demandred. So, one false belief with very little evidence protected me from another false belief with a ton of supporting evidence. And 17 years later, I'm still waiting for the end of the series. Crazy.
Elijah Foster
202. TheWolfKing
@195. Ouroboros

Very good, it made me laugh a lot. I have to respect the time you put into to that to, so here take some brownie points, and don't spend 'em all in one place either. But, seriously, how long did that take you.

@196. Wetlandernw

True 'dat, true 'dat. Taimandred is a moot point, I'm done with it, therefore, we should bury it until AMoL comes.
Alice Arneson
203. Wetlandernw
When AMoL comes out and Demandred's location & activities are revealed there will be some who say "What?? What did he do there? I don't get it." There will be many who will cheer heartily and say "Oh, well done! Well done! All the signs were there for many books past, but we didn't see it! Brilliant!" There will be a smaller number who, somewhat reluctantly, will say "Well done. That's even better than Taim. Okay, well done! And it was there all along." And there will be a few who, no matter how brilliant the revelation, how clearly (in retrospect) the signs were pointing that way since the earliest books, how big the pile of evidence against them, will still hold fast to their conviction that Demandred was originally Taim, and RJ just retconned in the "new identification" in a fit of pique over fans who were smarter than he thought they'd be. And some of them will claim that Brandon made it up and did it all wrong, too.

This I Foretell.

204. Wortmauer
TheWolfKing@202: Taimandred is a moot point, I'm done with it, therefore, I shall bury it until AMoL comes.
Fix'd. I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that because you're done talking about something, everyone should be done talking about it.

Besides, we still have a whole week to go until the prologue featuring black and silver clouds, Tylee and Trollocs, Prophet and loss, and, let us not forget, Demandred. What else are we going to talk about? Thomas Covenant? OK. I think the problem I have with his character in the first two books (the only ones I've read) is that his entire time in the Land — after that one disturbing early scene — he is phoning it in. Having decided to be an Unbeliever, whenever he's not sleepwalking through life, he's being an ass to everyone, all "don't touch me." There's lots of plot, but if there was any character growth, I guess I missed it. In fact, the whole point of the role of Unbeliever seems to be his steely determination not to grow as a character. This is why I thought he was boring.

I do appreciate Donaldson's vocabulary, though. It's a nice balance between "let's not use any 3-syllable words lest we lose the audience" and William F. "My OED, Let Me Show You It" Buckley, Jr.
Elijah Foster
205. TheWolfKing

Well I'd say everything there to be said, has been said, and I didn't mean for everybody, only those elite few who are sick of it. JK. Seriously though, I am done with it. I don't think any opinion changes will be happening for awhile. Also, I hope that you are not implying that because you aren't done talking about it that everyone else shouldn't be. It was kinda one of those things where you would have to physically hear me say it, not read it. And, if I did mean it that way, you have no right to correct my opinion.
Rob Munnelly
207. RobMRobM
Birgit - thanks for the stats. Always interesting. (I'm impressed I was as high as 16th for KoD - I haven't been posting much. Still 4th overall - a tribute to being a heavy poster on early books in the re-read before many of the big guns showed up.)

Captain Hammer
208. Randalator
John R @185

Because from the first minute he appears, he makes AoL-knowledge comments, like referring to the Aiel as the "so-called Aiel" - a phrase only an AoLer would use,

OR a Randlander who has heard all the stories about 20-foot Aiel breathing fire and is a bit weirded out that their so very not like in the stories.

and specifically one that we've seen other Forsaken use.

Which, you know, happens in language occasionally and is just as easily explained by him being a Forsaken minion.

He speaks the Old Tongue fluently,

No, he doesn't.

he knows multiple weaves that we see the Forsaken know

Just like Rand. Oh my GOD, Rand is Demandred!!!
Also: minion.

and he "learns" Travelling so fast that even a blind half-mad simpleton like Rand should have realised something was up.

Just like Rand himself, so: no.
Also: minion.

He's immune to the Taint, which no modern Darkfriend is.

So Logain hasn't been lucky but is a Forsaken as well? That's gonna be a really short BT-battle then if everyone is playing for Team Dark...
Also: minion.

He's shocked when the "barbarians" invent something he KNOWS to be impossible - curing Gentling, fixing the weather, etc - in exactly the same way as all the other Forsaken are.

And in exactely the same way as all other channelers in Randland are.

His reactions, in fact, are nearly identical.

Oh my GOD, all Randland channelers are Demandred!!!
Captain Hammer
209. Randalator
Ouroboros @195

Brilliant, just a little tweaking...

Graendal: Who are you pretending to be?
Demandred: I don't know.
Graendal: What? I thought you were Taim.
Mesaana: No he isn't. There was a memo.

Graendal: Who's that and how did he get here?
Cyndane: No idea. Does anyone understand a word he's saying?
Mesaana: Ooh. Ooh. I know! That's Angrish, a weird little dialect spoken by people who get so worked up about something that they lose the capacity for coherent speech. *proud* I read a book about it once.
Cyndane: I always thought you should have become a teacher.
Moridin: Great, now there's two of them. SECURITY!
Taim: Master?
John R: *confused* Blargh...?
Moridin: Throw those two out before I get a headache!
Taim: Why is it always me being on clean-up detail? I hate that!
Moridin: You know, I have a lot of minions who would kill to be in your position as First Henchman. Literally.
Taim: I'll be good.
Demandred: You'll be what?
Taim: Bad. Evil! I'll be evil! Go Ligh-DARK! Go Dark! *mumbling* Stupid reflexes! *louder* Come on, out with you two!
Moridin: Finally! Now, where were we...?
Graendal: I think you said something on blah blah blah and then I asked Demandred who he was posing as...
Wheel: RAFO
Cyndane: Who said that?
Demandred: This is perplexing.
Forsaken: We cannot understand it at all.
Demandred: A Forsaken's lot is not a happy one.
Tess Laird
210. thewindrose
Ouroboros - Yay - very funny - setting the bar high for humor - always a good thing.

Randalator at 209 *giggle*

Wetlandernw at 203 Very true!

subwoofer - Wetlander will need to make 246 more comments to match number of posts. That's like a 1 1/2 books - make it 2 - I am sure sub will still be commenting. But I don't know if anyone is going to match or beat Wetlandernw's number of words - proving that Wetlandernw is another word for Walloftext:)

Birgit F
211. birgit
13+13 could be a circle where every channeler uses a Myrddraal like an angreal. Maybe the number 13 is just another tradition of the 3rd Age AS because it is the largest circle possible using only women (like the number for stilling etc.). It might also work with larger mixed circles, they just weren't available.
If k is used for 1000 c should be used for 100 (like km and cm).
Daniel Goss
212. Beren
Isn't "C" also the Roman numeral for 100? Just a coincidence, I suppose. Maybe we should start using "d" for 10. Or switch from decimal notation to Roman numerals, so that M is 1000, C is 100 and X is 10.

Or mix and match, but down that path lies madness.

Then again, we do have another week to kill.

Elijah Foster
213. TheWolfKing
@211. birgit

Maybe you already know this, but c is actually .01. A cm is .01 m. d (deci) .1. D (Deka) 10. m (milli) .001.

And this is metric, not Roman.
214. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 196

Just doing my part. You don't like Taimandred? ;;-)

Loialson @ 201

Encore? Sorry, I'm having s'mores in the green room with the Borderlanders and those guys can drink. I'll need to sober up first.

RobM @ 206

Next stop GoT. "A bird, a bird, all covered with t___". Maybe I could do a spoof in which everybody lives happily ever after? Nope. I'd have to rewrite the entire plot.
Roger Powell
215. forkroot
::laughs heartily::

You've made it worthwhile hanging in on this thread. Loved the G&S touch at the end.
216. Ouroboros
Randalator @ 209

Oh now you've done it. Never have a servant say master. You want surreal, you get surreal.

Moridin: The Great Lord commands that we sit around drinking coffee until the moment is right.
Mesaana: And when will that moment be?
Moridin: One minute after we could have won. Taim, more coffee.
Taim: Mathter.
Mesaana: Why are you talking like that?
Taim: I wath punched in the mouth Gweat Mithtreth.
Cyndane: And dragging your foot around like that?
Taim: I wath kicked in the ankle Gweat Mithtreth.
Graendal: And hunching you're shoulders like that?
Taim: I wath thtwuck wound the thoulderth Gweat Mithtreth.
Mesaana: You really must restrain yourself, Semirhage. We'll never keep proper servants if you keep punishing them like that.
Demandred: I did it.
Mesaana: Why?
Demandred: He was impersonating me.
Graendal: That doesn't seem likely.
Demandred: Well, you know. Some people just never learn.
Taim: Yeth, Gweat Mathter.
Moridin: Well, you know now.
Taim: Thertainly, Gweat Naeblith.
Moridin: That's Nae'blis… with an apostrophe.
Taim: Thorry, Gweat Nae!blith.
Moridin: No! Nae'blis.
Mesaana: Don't be so prim. Have you any idea how hard it is to say an apostrophe with a lisp?
Taim: Abtholutely impothible, Gweat Mithreth.
Moridin: I don't care.
Mesaana: Well, it's your fault for insisting that we keep on using all these antiquated terms with thousands of--
Moridin: SMACK!
Mesaana: Apothtrophieth. Ow! That'th weally thtinging.
Moridin: Now go back to the White Tower.
Graendal: I didn't know you were in the Tower?
Mesaana: It’th thtarting to bleed.
Graendal: What?
Mesaana: Thorry. Do you have a tithue?
Graendal: No. Oh I don't care who you are all pretending to be anyway.
Demandred: That's good, because even I don't know.
Wheel: RAFO
Cyndane: Who said that?
Demandred: This is perplexing.
Forsaken: We cannot understand it at all.
Wheel: Those had really better not be quotes from The Pirates of Seleisin.
Demandred: A Forsaken's lot is not a happy one.
Wheel: Stop it!
Forsaken: Aaaah! When Ba'alzamonly duties to be done, to be done. A Forsaken's lot is not a happy one.
Great Lord: HAPPY ONE.
Moridin: Thank you Great Lord, I can't get down that low.
Wheel: Aaaaaaaaaaaarg!
Shaidar Haran: Mikado?
Moridin: Why not. Cyndane, Moghedien, Mesaana. On the stools.
Moridin: Oopth. Thorry.
Rob Munnelly
217. RobMRobM
@214 - I'd read a GoT parody. Yes, I would.
Captain Hammer
218. Randalator
forkroot @215

You've made it worthwhile hanging in on this thread. Loved the G&S touch at the end.

Yes, I'm particularly proud of that myself...What's G&S?
*whispering from off-screen*
Gilbert & Sullivan? Huh.

Yeah, that was all Ouroboros, I only provided the non-italic stuff...

Ouroboros @216

Actually that's Nae'blis with 'ae', not 'ea'.


Ow! Hey, that wath uncalled for! I wath only twying to athitht you in the pwoofweading pwotheth.
WOT Dragons
219. WOTNoDragons
@195. & 216 Ouroboros & Randalator
You totally cracked me up; “ There was a Memo” – really funny!

I feel a bit lame in being all serious now.

@ All/Any – help please!

Re Taimandred. I’m thinking of changing my login name to WOTnoConfusion? - as I’m now totally lost on this subject & would be delighted if one or more posters could clarify a point or 2 for me.

I think it seems to boil down to whether or not you believe RJ was being sincere and straight about D not being T. Or, if you think RJ was being a bit of an AS weasel with his slightly odd phrasing of “T’s never posed as D”

So, if you think RJ was being an AS weasel, then all T’s suspicious forsakenly traits would indeed remain as seeming Chekov Guns, & that T could therefore still quite likely be D. But if not, and we think RJ was being straight with fans - then the issue seems to become more of a matter of how BwS clarifies T’s forsakenly traits as Red Herrings – but in a way that the explanations don’t come over as a bit retcon lame.

Would anyone agree with this recap? - I think I’m right in suggesting that Chekov Guns are the opposite of Red Herrings and that either one or the other must therefore apply to the Taimandred debate?

The fact that the LTT ‘voice’ always screamed at Rand to kill Taim - far more insanely and intently that for almost anyone else, (IIRC the mere sight of Taim sent the LTT voice into a paroxysm of pure hatred and rage) and this did jump out at me as a bit of a clue in terms of potential LTT recognition & that there was more to Taim than just some random Saldaean guy who happened to stumble on how to channel and then decided to set him self up as a hapless False Dragon. I guess this has been discussed previously, but I’d be interested to know if this point about LTT screaming (far more venomously) at Rand to kill Taim has been discussed/considered and felt to be relevant, or just -- a 'meh' moment & that I’m barking up the wrong tree.

Re The 13+13 or 13x13 thing.

To be involved in the link – am I right in thinking that you need to be 'on the brink' of embracing the source but not quite, and then you are bought into the link, circle or what-not. In which case, how do the 13 Myrddraal get to play a full part in this? – I mean, I know they can sense when AS channel but have regular Myrddraal ever accessed the true source - or true power come to that? I just didn’t know that they could channel. (Notable exception of Super fades like Shaidar Haran) So, my question is, (assuming I’m correct) if they can’t channel, how can they be brought into a circle with 13 DF AS? And if I’m wrong, (as usual) where / when where were Myrddraal using the power?

Answers most welcome.
220. Ouroboros
Randalator @ 218

That's what you get for impersonating me. Who do you think you are anyway? Demandred? Hey, everybody! Randalator is Demandred. KILL HIM!


Fithgutth! That hert. Thankth for the pwoof reading thuggethtion. Thethe pothtth are now impothible to thpell check.

Ooh, healing. That's convenient, besides I can't be bothered to keep on typing all those ths. Here, Randalator, I shall heal you too for sharing in the fun. Unless you really are Demandred. You aren't, are you?

At least someone got the G&S reference. Just in case you didn't, I hit you over the head with it in the spoof of the spoof of the spoof.

Oh, and forkroot? Read 195 please. I won't take it personally. I sometimes start at the bottom too. *snicker*

BTW, my MS Word dictionary now looks very strange indeed.
Roger Powell
221. forkroot
Sincerest apologies for the mis-attribution. All props to you for the G&S reference of course. And thanks to both you and Randalator for some belly laughs.

Nice summary of the situation. At the risk of sticking my hand into the hornets nest, would it be too lame to consider the possibility that Taim is indeed an AOL channeler (just not one of the Chosen?)

Way back when LTT and the Hundred Companions performed the Strike at Shayol Ghul they imprisoned the 13 Forsaken pretty much as a lucky by-product because the Forsaken happened to be there for a pow-wow.

It's not too much of a stretch to think that a few more high-ranking Dreadlords might have been at that meeting, and Taim could have been one of those.

The obvious rejoinder is that there's no other textual support for such a speculation. It explains away Taim but has no corroborating explanatory power for anything else.

So ... if something like that comes up, I suspect the "retcon" faction would claim vindication.
Richard Fife
222. R.Fife
@176 I live! I'm actually just so busy with my own writing, blogging, being a father, healing computers, and rickrollin' the innocent I can't stop in the bunker for cookies anymore. Sad admission, I really haven't even had a chance to keep up with Leigh's posts, and that makes me a sad panda with far too little snark and headdesking in his life.

And I'm out of the top 10! YAY! Only took me not commenting on 5 books!

I also still stand by 13^2. For all we know, each Black Ajah has to channel 13 weaves, on through each Myrdrall, so it would end up be 169 weaves. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! (and I always say it "13 by 13" which writes more "13x13" than "13+13" and 13x13 is 13^2). Also, 169 = One 69 = Aes Sedai Pillow Friends. *ducks into bunker, steals cookies, runs*
Captain Hammer
223. Randalator
WOTnoDragons @219

Problem is, RJ didn't use any AS weasel strategies. He flat out stated:

Mazrim Taim is not Demandred

And as I said earlier, Taimandred was shot down in the books as well. Demandred almost got himself killed during the cleansing because he didn't know that Damer Flinn was an Asha'man. If Taim was his alter ego, he'd have recognised Flinn, but he didn't, so he isn't...

LTT throwing a hissy fit every time he sees Taim could therefore just be an acknowledgement of his red herring traits in-universe. He is so similar in characteristics/position to Demandred that LTT just loses his shit.

forkroot @221

The idea of Taim being from the AoL has been brought up before and so far there is no clear cut evidence against it. I don't think it's very likely though. He'd have to have been on Forsaken level rank-wise to be present at the fateful meeting. So one would expect comment from the Forsaken if "another one of them" was on the loose in Randland.
Daniel Goss
224. Beren
A couple of random thoughts:

The shadow must be training dreadlords. Therefore, the Shadow must have some sort of training facility. It may even be in the blight. I seem to remember there being some sort of controversy about a ____ in the blight and not being told what the ____ was, maybe it's a school?

Anyway. Taim is Saldaean. What better nationality for the Shadow to recruit from, if the school is in the blight? We've already seen pointy-teeth aiel-like non-shadowspawn (assumedly) forces of the Dark. It's not that much of a stretch to assume that there's a Black Tower in the blight where young prisoners captured in borderland raids are given the choice to join up or die. The ones who join could then be trained to fight for the Shadow, with channelers being trained to become dreadlords and the rest getting combat training, maybe special forces getting their teeth shaved. We also know, from conversations we have seen in-text, that the Dark One offers protection from the taint to his followers. This could make a powerful motivation for a male sparker to throw his lot in with Team Dark One.

Here's the thing: If such a training facility exists, which I submit it must in some form or other, would it not stand to reason that attitudes of those indoctrinated would be somewhat forsaken-like? You could even posit that this must be the oldest channeler-training institution in the world, as it would need to have operated continuously since the War of the Shadow. I could very easily see someone from this facility being sent south into Saldaea to take on the aspect of a False Dragon to sow chaos, and then to search for a place by the Dragon's side to make sure that as many of the channelers who will inevitably flock to him are given the 'benefit' of training by one who is loyal to the Dark. The original plan could even have been just to be there and offer protection from the Taint to male channelers, and the 13x13 trick was only brought in after Saidin was cleansed and that couldn't be used to swell the ranks anymore.

Just some idle conjecture, and I have to get back to work now, but . . . it all tracks.

Roger Powell
225. forkroot
Props to you for getting the Fifestr to poke his head in and say "hi". Of course that rick-roller would run off with the cookies ..., it figures.
Sam Mickel
226. Samadai
Since this conversation has flipped beyond all reasonable ideas of sanity, ;) I have a question. Has anyone besides me read the Psalms of Isaac series by Ken Scholes? If you have, what did you think? And if you haven't, you really should. 3 books in and the plot keeps building. Excellent writing.
227. Shadow_Jak
"13 X 13" vs "13 + 13"

All we really know, if Sheriam is to be trusted (hah!)
is that it requires 13 channeles and 13 fades. A logical requirement, not a mathmatical one.
So, for a logical statement we would use Boolean Algebra or Boolean Logic

In Boolean Algebra
"A + B" means "A OR B". That is, you can have either A OR B for the statement to be TRUE

Whereas 'A X B" (or just AB) means A AND B. That is, you must have both A AND B for the statement to be TRUE.

So put me down for "13 X 13'
228. Ouroboros
Given that 13 members of set M and 13 members of set D must be present in a power related matrix of superhyperbolic corelational interdependancy, and that 1 member of set L must be present at the exact focus of the complex polar origin of the intersection of the True Power and True Source transdimensional date-line, and that the assigned axiomatic definitions of the multiplicative and additive indicators are indeterminate, the lack of contiousness in most readers is garranteed.
229. Shadow_Jak
Oh Yeah?
Well, that's easy for you to say.
Elijah Foster
230. TheWolfKing
@227. Shadow_Jak and @228. Ouroboros

You know, that sounded a lot like some White Ajah stuff that I saw 35 posts ago.

Randalator, and Ouroboros, that conversation was realllyyy hilarious. Especially the Taim/Demandred parts.
231. Shadow_Jak

Yeah, Ouroboros and Randalator are hilarious. (and many otheres around these parts as well)

Good job guys.

Things can really start to go off in strange directions when Leigh leaves us unattended for too long.

And... It has indeed been for far too long, Leigh!
Elijah Foster
232. TheWolfKing

Because I haven't been on this blog for very long, I never understood the aftermath of when she leaves us, now I do. :(

233. Shadow_Jak
Yep, Happens every time.
The entire thread will likely be crushed from the sheer mass of random meaderings well before Leigh returns.
It's happened before. It's not a pretty sight...
(but it is kinda fun, in a Saidin induced, mad kind of way)

In one Age, called "Old Age" by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the barren, empty corridors of my mind. The wind was not the beginning... no, that won't happen for Days, and Days, and DAYS! AGH!
234. Gleeman
@69. simonk1905
I 'spose I could always write some dreadful fanfic story ;)

you asked for it...

Will Tuon channel? Will Mat ever have a honeymoon? What happens when Tuon meets the Inlaws?
What about Suroth? How Rand gets a clue....Will Musenge learn to fish?
These questions answered and more in ...As the Wheel Wills.

since ya'll are gettin' bored here ;-p
Alice Arneson
235. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros @228 - For some reason, I really expected that to end in "Would anyone like some toast?"

You all are marvelous good humor for the end of a long day! Thank you very much!

And just for grins... one year ago today, I got Clue #17, "To Make a Stand," in the The Great Hunt. Thanks, Brandon! And many thanks to Freelancer, Samadai and Lannis, who all played their parts so well.
Elijah Foster
236. TheWolfKing
@235. Wetlandernw

Sorry, I'm new to this, but what is clue 17? That is, what is it a clue for. I.e. someone's murder, AMoL???
Alice Arneson
237. Wetlandernw
The Great Hunt was a really fun idea Brandon & Team Jordan put together last year. Brandon published two major works last fall: The Way of Kings, which came out August 31, and Towers of Midnight, released on November 2. During his tour for WoK, he left a series of clues scattered about (each on the back of a Wheel of Time bumper sticker); some of them he put directly into books, like mine, while others he tucked into books in airport bookstores, etc. Each time he'd post something on twitter about where he'd left the clue, and someone would go find it. Each clue turned out to be a chapter title from ToM, and each clue, when correctly entered on the master page on his web site, would unlock some text; when all the text was unlocked, it turned out to be Chapter 7 of ToM. It was a great game, gave everyone something to do while they enjoyed WoK and waited for ToM, and drove everyone crazy predicting what would happen in the chapters with those titles. If you are curious enough, go to

and read the recap. Terez kept track of everything and everyone, and pretty much updated this thing on a more-than-daily basis. (If you're not familiar with her work on theoryland, you should be. She's got a fantastic, well-organized collection of all the documented interviews, blogs, and what-have-you from RJ, BWS and Team Jordan, to answer all our questions when possible.)
Elijah Foster
238. TheWolfKing
@237. Wetlandernw

Thanks for that, that is really neat. Its kinda like that that GPS treasure hunt that some people do.

Yeah, Terez is great, her works informed me of a lot of stuff.

@234. Gleeman

Thanks for introducing me to that site, now I have something to do while I wait for the next re-read.
Richard Fife
239. R.Fife
Because, you know, I have to link to amazingly related yet irrelevant posts. It's who I am (right Shimrod?)

@Samadai I haven't read them, but I do keep hearing good things about them. He has a short story on here that takes place either way after or way before those books too, right? Something about an emperor who is always crying and has 18 wives?

http://www.tor.com/stories/2009/02/a-weeping-czar-beholds-the-fallen-moon That's it! Weeping Czar Beholds The Fallen Moon. Was interesting. He also has a bunch of excerpts too.
240. Ouroboros
TheWolfKing @ 230

If you're saying I need new material, I hear you.

Wetlandernw @ 235


Were you standing behind me when I wrote that? Oh Light. Are you Demandred?

Seriously, it very nearly did, but then I changed it for something a little more, uhr, intrinsic, shall we say?
Alice Arneson
241. Wetlandernw
Talkie's the name, toasting's the game...

Now, he might well be Demandred... What a disguise!
242. Wortmauer
Shadow_Jak@227: In Boolean Algebra
"A + B" means "A OR B". That is, you can have either A OR B for the statement to be TRUE
Eh ... I've seen + for OR, but I don't think I've ever seen x for AND. Anyway, surely ? and ? are more common by far.
Ouroboros@228: Given that 13 members of set M and 13 members of set D must be present in a power related matrix of superhyperbolic corelational interdependancy, and that 1 member of set L must be present at the exact focus of the complex polar origin of the intersection of the True Power and True Source transdimensional date-line, and that the assigned axiomatic definitions of the multiplicative and additive indicators are indeterminate, the lack of contiousness in most readers is garranteed.
See, that's all I'm saying. How is it you can explain this stuff so much better than I can?
Randalator@223: The idea of Taim being from the AoL has been brought up before and so far there is no clear cut evidence against it. I don't think it's very likely though. He'd have to have been on Forsaken level rank-wise to be present at the fateful meeting. So one would expect comment from the Forsaken if "another one of them" was on the loose in Randland.
Indeed. The Chosen gossip quite a lot about each other. It'd be strange for none of them to ever mention a 14th person who was in the Bore with them.

So, while we're on the subject of ISAM, nobody has mentioned yet the most conclusive evidence that Taim is not Demandred: Taim does not drink lemonade.
243. Wortmauer
Anyway, surely ? and ? are more common by far.
It looked fine in the preview! Dastardly tor.com, altering text between preview and post. (And no, I'm still not using their Javascript editor thingy.) Those were the mathematical symbols that look like a V (for OR) and an inverted V (for AND). If anyone cares to see the symbols I mean, type this into your browser address bar (but without the spaces): javascript:document.innerHTML='& #x2228; & #x2227;' (This is a trick I use often when I need an entity like 'mdash' for pasting into something, that I don't have a handy way to generate.)

ObWOT: Concur that Wetlandernw is probably Demandred. 'Cause I bet she likes lemonade. It does bring up disturbing questions, though, if she has one of those "I killed Asmodean" bumper stickers. Which, if I remember correctly, she came into an ample supply of in 2009.
Roger Powell
244. forkroot
Indeed. The Chosen gossip quite a lot about each other. It'd be strange for none of them to ever mention a 14th person who was in the Bore with them.
Maybe he was a bore?

::grins and flees::
Jonathan Levy
246. JonathanLevy
Ok, here's a new Demandred theory to pass the time.

Demandred is ISAM.

No, not Isam. ISAM.

Think about it.

Demandred was active in a small forum many years ago. That forum has been reactivated, which means he must be active as well, but nobody knows where he is. He's obviously up to something, but we just can't figure up who he is and what he's planning!

ISAM wrote a bunch of brilliant parodies many years ago in another forum. That forum is now active here. His parodies are quoted often and universally admired. It's inconceivable that he hasn't heard of this, and that he hasn't popped by to acknowledge our admiration. No-one so deeply invested in WoT could possibly escape its clutches. Therefore, he must be up to something. Most likely he is masquerading as a semi-regular commentator - we just have to figure out who he is and what he's planning before Tarmon Gai'don.

Any suggestions?
247. Wortmauer
forkroot@244: Maybe he was a bore?
forkroot wins! I was sure there was a joke in there somewhere between "Bore" and "sleep for 3000 years", but try as I might, I simply could not find it.
Jonathan Levy@246: Most likely he is masquerading as a semi-regular commentator - we just have to figure out who he is and what he's planning before Tarmon Gai'don.
We've just established that Wetlandernw is probably Demandred. Now you're saying she also posed as ISAM? Aha, la mayonnaise commence à prendre. (Literally "The mayonnaise begins to gel," I'm told this lovely idiom really means "the facts are starting to come out.") I guess it is fitting that ISAM have an alter ego.
Elijah Foster
248. TheWolfKing
@240. Ouroboros

If you're saying I need new material, I hear you.

Not at all. I love it. What I meant was, It was REALLY confusing, and hilarious, just like that White Ajah stuff. I understand where you might have thought that was what I was saying though.
249. Shadow_Jak
Wortmauer @242
"Eh ... I've seen + for OR, but I don't think I've ever seen x for AND. Anyway, surely ? and ? are more common by far."

Could be. I guess I'm way behind on modern conventions.
I learned Boolean Algebra in the 70's!

Mostly used the X only when writing with numbers instead of variables
Just as in algebra, A X B = C, usually written AB = C
But with numbers, for example, 2 X 3 = 6
Boolean Example, Truth table for a two input AND function...
0 X 0 = 0
0 X 1 = 0
1 X 0 = 0
1 X 1 = 1 (read as one AND one equals one)

Or in our case 13 X 13 = 1 (one 'changed' channeler)

PS) I still insist on the old notations for chess also, as in P-K4
I'm just an old fuddy-duddy...
250. s'rEDIT
Hmmmm..................I don't know whether Hawkido is deliberately ignoring my invitation to give us some more background on (himself, I'm guessing), or he missed it completely.
Hugh Arai
252. HArai
Wow, guys. I know she's a Cadsuane apologist, but even that isn't horrible enough to make Wetlandernw one of the Forsaken. :P
253. macster
@143 Wetlander: *blushes* Wow, glad to hear such kind words! And well, looking at the post counts Birgit did, I'd say your place among the top three is still well-assured. As for Berelain--wow, so I did remember correctly, then thought I didn't, and convinced myself her hair was blond when I was right the first time. Talk about trick memory. Well that does explain why I confused them. Although now that I think more on it, I believe I also confused Galina for one of the other Aes Sedai, Seonid, Masura, or Annoura (because I completely forget what they look like).

On that brief tangent: still wondering if it will turn out in AMoL that one of them is Black. The fact Annoura and Masura were secretly meeting with Masema, and Masura knowing so much about Darkhounds, seem a bit like too obvious signs one of them could be of the Shadow...but then we've already seen that red herrings can be mistaken for the real thing and vice versa, so who knows. Not just Taimandred, but the whole Olver/Gaidal Cain thing.

@144, 145: Again I stand corrected, I misremembered what Graendal's exact thought re: Tuon was. Teaches me to make sure to refer to the books before I make a statement/theory. I guess I leaped to the conclusion because even though Tuon has always been against Aes Sedai, she seemed so much more virulently so after leaving Mat (and meeting Dark!Rand). And because of Compulsion being Graendal's stock in trade. If she wasn't being Compelled, then I am very uncertain now how even Mat can convince Tuon to lay off the White Tower and release the damane, let alone anyone else. Other than her being forced to channel, of course.

@birgit: Wow...I knew I did some doozy walls of text, but to end up in the top 7? I guess that does deserve the long-winded award. :P

@J. Dauro: I think I have to agree with forkroot that that phrase about the Seanchan was meant to suggest "this is the first time they've ever been driven back" rather than "this is the first time out of multiple times they have been/will be driven back". Good eye though!

@163 simonk1905: I had completely forgotten Taim mentioned that. What a great foreshadowing! Whether it was Jordan setting up for what came in Hinderstap (which I could easily see) or Sanderson using that brief comment to extrapolate a creepy Dark One-Pattern-dissolution moment (less likely IMO), it was still a brilliant connection.

Not going to comment on the obvious troll being butthurt over his favorite theory being disproven repeatedly by Jordan (if he thinks Jordan screwed up that much, or was truly fucking over the fans by changing it, then why is he still reading WOT?), other than to add my agreement that Liandrin mention the 13x13 trick to the Supergirls proves it was real. Unless you want to say the idea was a complete fabrication of the Black Ajah to frighten people into thinking the Shadow can turn any channeler they want. Which doesn't hold water because the notion first came from the Rand in the Acceptatron, not Sheriam. While the things in the Acceptatron are not necessarily real, it must presuambly read both the channeler inside it and the Pattern in order to spin out scenarios...so where did it get that notion from, if it isn't real? A Portal Stone world? That would still suggest that in some world it could be real, so the chance of it also being real in the real world is not so hard to believe. Except by people who refuse to think anyone but themselves is right, of course.

Oh, and one other point: Taim giving himself and his lieutenants names in the Old Tongue does not prove fluency, just that he knows the words for battle-leaders and such. Anyone who had delusions of grandeur and believed he could be a warrior and leader would research such things so as to make himself and his followers sound more impressive. And knowing them proves nothing about what other words he does or doesn't know.

@190 WolfKing: The idea of Taim being set up in-universe to fool Rand into thinking he knew where Demandred was...that is pretty brilliant. Wherever and whoever Demandred turns out to be, I really hope your theory is correct, because it would explain so much, and also fit Demandred's MO in my opinion ("Now who's better, LTT? You thought you knew where I was but I was leading you by the nose the whole time!"). It would certainly add to his reputation as a great strategist and general.

Put me down in Bad Platypus's camp re: how the "circle" works: I too always envisioned each Dreadlord channeling singly through each Fade, with them all standing in a circle around the target channeler. More flows than that seems like too much to handle, per that Egwene quote.

@195 Ouroborous. Brilliant. Utterly, bloody brilliant. I haven't laughed so hard since reading ISAM's original parodies. ROTFL!!! I am so saving this...and I hope you do ones for the last three books as well.

@203 Wetlander: And bravo again! Some people really just can't let go of their theories, eh? Also your spot-on Foretelling would tell me how long you've been in the fandom even if you hadn't revealed that info in past posts. ;)

@219 To clarify: whether or not a person believes the "circle of 13 Dreadlords" means they are linked or not, nothing in the quote suggested the Fades had to be in a circle, linked or otherwise: it said "a circle of 13 Dreadlords, weaving through 13 Myrddraal". There isn't even the syntactic logic to suggest "circle" carries through to also apply to the Fades, because the sentence isn't structured in a way to imply that. So, no conflict, and you don't need to worry about how Fades could be channeling (which they can't, except Shaidar Haran, and he's unique).

As for whether anyone here is Demandred...I'd have to suggest John R himself. He seems so determined to prove to us that Demandred is Taim after all...trying to throw us off the scent from himself? ;)
Elijah Foster
254. TheWolfKing
@253. macster

The idea of Taim being set up in-universe to fool Rand into thinking he knew where Demandred was...that is pretty brilliant. Wherever and whoever Demandred turns out to be, I really hope your theory is correct, because it would explain so much, and also fit Demandred's MO in my opinion ("Now who's better, LTT? You thought you knew where I was but I was leading you by the nose the whole time!"). It would certainly add to his reputation as a great strategist and general.

Thanks. What started that whole thought process was when I remembered the killing of Adeleas and the kin. And IIRC, the killer tried to make the kills blatant to scare of the kin. But instead completely escaped Elayne and Vandene for a long time who both thought the kin were running away. Now just switch killings for Taim being an in story red herring for Rand. Killer for Demandred. And Elayne/Vandene for Rand, and you got the whole thing.

As for whether anyone here is Demandred...I'd have to suggest John R himself. He seems so determined to prove to us that Demandred is Taim after all...trying to throw us off the scent from himself? ;)

Lolz, that would seem likely. Yes Ouroboros, we are all Sparticus! And the only one who doesn't say it is the true Spartacus.

::Cou-John R-gh::

As far as 13x13ing people, I always thought of fades as being filters, You need the power of 13 channelers and you need the evilness of 13 fades. (Those are some dirty filters)

Also, I wonder if someone could be converted from dark to light. (Rand kinda did it with Asmo, but he could have chossen to still be neutral or evil I guess.) But really make it so that they can only serve the light.(BTW, I highly, highly doubt it as it would kinda go against the light side MO) But lets say it is. You would need 13 lightside channelers. Check. 13 anti-dark things. Maybe tav'eren?
Ooh, Ooh. 13, wait for it, wait for it

LOIAL'S. Yes he is the most lightside thing ever created.
255. AndrewB
Randalator @183 mentioned that BWS said that Demandred will be a mian antagonist in AMoL. Hopefully, this will not be another example of the Forsaken being all hype and no delivery. As a whole, the Forsaken have not been as effective as some lesser Dark minions (Alvianrin anybody).

I understand that the lack of success by the Forsaken reinforces Verin's observation that they are like children (trying to scream the loudest to attract the attention of an adult). However, I would have expected some of them to be more effective.

Also, I do hope that some of them survive the Last Battle and are forced to go into hiding from Aes Sedai/Ashaman hunters (similar to Nazis after WWII). Unfortunately, an active involvement by Demandred will probably mean an unpleasant ending (from his point of view) for his character.

Oh well, at least some of the Black Ajah and Taim cronies should survive the Last Battle.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Heidi Byrd
256. sweetlilflower
Perhaps the Fades can act as an angreal. Each Dreadlord is on the cusp of channelling, while pulling through the Fade, and then joins the circle. Didn't someone up above give an RJ quote that it was a circle? Also, perhaps it takes a circle of both men and women, which would have vastly limited its use until the Black Tower had enough Dark Channelers to contribute. I mean, only a man can fully Heal a stilled woman, and only a woman can fully Heal a stilled man. Perhaps the turning must also be done with the opposite gender's power. If this is the case, we would also need a woman to lead the circle that can channel Saidin effectively. It is a big supposition, but that's what we do here, right?
Heidi Byrd
257. sweetlilflower
BTW, thanks to everyone who contributed to the hilarity of this thread. It has provided some much needed levity while I am typing a research paper on multicultural education practices.
Elijah Foster
258. TheWolfKing
@256. sweetlilflower

I can only speak for myself, but I think its quite possible.
259. Freelancer
In case nobody else has said it, Happy Birthday Wetlandernw!

May you be enriched by, and blessed in the day.
Tess Laird
260. thewindrose
After 3k plus years,she probably doesn't celebrate it.
Just kidding!

Have a wonderful Birthday Wetlandernw - and many more!!
Ambassador Vir Cotto: As Mr. Garibaldi would say, it's been one hell of a day.
Lennier: Yes. A hell of a day.
Ambassador Vir Cotto: And a hell of a year.
Lennier: A hell of a five years.
Ambassador Vir Cotto: Hell of a life.
Lennier: You win.

Alice Arneson
261. Wetlandernw
Freelancer & thewindrose - Thank you! For the wishes, and for the laughs, and for all the times together here! (That's one of my favorite B5 scenes - it always makes me chuckle.)

And yes, it's been a very nice birthday. Not quite comparable to last year for incredible events, but what could match that? :)
262. Stargazer
That there is still an ongoing debate about who Demandred's cover identity is baffles me. It seems almost completely obvious to me at this point.

We know he's not been seen on-screen yet in that identity, but he's going to be a major antagonist in AMoL. We know that his "rule is secure" and he "gathers for war" (TGS: Prologue). So, Roedran, right? No. Why would Murandy in particular be worth taking? Why, if he's in the midst of Randland, have we not seen him do anything interesting from that seat? The most notable thing Roedran has done so far is hire Talmanes and the Band for a bit, and nothing significant came of that which would make that a useful thing for a Forsaken to have done.

Nah. Demandred is too busy utterly owning all of Shara and building a gargantuan army that will sweep into Randland and require the combined forces of the Seanchan plus Randlanders to fend off. It's going to be a pincer action between invading Trollocs from the north and Sharans via gateways all over the place. The inability to move Trolloc armies via gateway is just too large a liability for the DO to not seek out vast human armies someplace, and Shara's crazy ruling structure is just perfect for a dark takeover. And I simply cannot see why RJ would have bothered to invent and describe the society on the far side of the Waste were it to never affect the main action of the series in any way. It baffles me that, while this theory has been around for at least a decade, it hasn't managed to get greater traction. It's not even listed in the WOT Wiki page for Demandred. But I'm sure this is the answer. If it doesn't play out this way, I'll eat my hat. (Or Mat's hat, that's nicer that mine...)
WOT Dragons
263. WOTNoDragons
@ Randalator 223

Problem is, RJ didn't use any AS weasel strategies. He flat out stated:
Mazrim Taim is not Demandred

Ok. Assuming you are correct, (& I’ve absolutely no reason to doubt) then if RJ flat out stated T’s not D, - then why has anyone tried to keep flogging this, decapitated, mutilated, rotten corpse of a dead horse of an argument going? ::he asks rhetorically ::

Given your clarification on RJ's statement, I’m absolutely happy to take this as a fact: that T’s not D, and must therefore berate myself for being gullible enough to be drawn in to considering John R’s rehash of the Taimandred argument!

Perhaps Fork @ 220 is on the right lines though - in that Taim might be AoL born, but at a Dreadlord rather than Chosen level. He could have been in a stasis box (that is, if it’s possible for a living being to survive in a stasis box) rather than having to be trapped in the Bore as Wort @ 242 argues. So perhaps this is a possibility; that maybe Ishy found Taim’s stasis box and set Taim up to sow chaos, but kept this ‘find’ a closely guarded secret from the other Chosen. In any event it will be interesting to see if BwS offers any amol insights into Taim’s seeming red herringness, or simply leaves it hanging; with Taim being - - - - just, well, himself.

@macster 253

@219 To clarify: whether or not a person believes the "circle of 13 Dreadlords" means they are linked or not, nothing in the quote suggested the Fades had to be in a circle, linked or otherwise: it said "a circle of 13 Dreadlords, weaving through 13 Myrddraal". There isn't even the syntactic logic to suggest "circle" carries through to also apply to the Fades, because the sentence isn't structured in a way to imply that. So, no conflict, and you don't need to worry about how Fades could be channeling (which they can't, except Shaidar Haran, and he's unique).

Thank you for your thoughts on this point, although I’m not so sure that I’d totally agree with you. For clarification, I wasn’t thinking that the fades would be channeling in the 13x13 process, and I accept that there is no specific reference to Myrddraal channeling as such – whether in a circle or linked in some way. But, & this is my point; the 13 Myrddraal have to have some sort of connection or affiliation to the source, to be able to be involved. In other words, in order for a Dreadlord to channel ‘through’ an individual, that therefore, that individual needs to be able to, or have the potential to, touch the source in some way. Otherwise, why not achieve this DF conversion with 13 Dreadlords channeling through 13 regular non-channeling DF’s, or 13 Trollocs come to that? I know I am speculating, but trying to Channel through a total non-channeler would be like trying to shine a light through a brick wall – wouldn’t it?

Perhaps Sweetlilflower @ 256 is onto something with the idea that the M act as a kind of 'greal in the DF conversion process. Although on thinking about this - I wonder if Myrddraal are all a bit like a shadowspawn equivalent of ‘sparkers’ like Tuon; only all M are somehow blocked from being able to ‘learn’ to channel - with only the DO being able to remove the block at SG, and maybe this DO intervention would potentially be the starting point for the creation of a new Shaidar Haran type superfade. In any event, I stand by my point: that Myrddraal must have some sort of innate or latent affinity for touching the source, for the Dreadlords to be able to channel through them, and thus for the 13x13 trick to be able to work.

@stargazer 262
D being king of all Shara would make a sort of sense, but IMO it would need to be written exceptionally well (as it’s so late in the day) to avoid it feeling like it had been smacked 4x2 style into the last book, rather than expertly woven into this elaborately complex story over several years and prior books - in a way that was RJ’s trademark for so many of the threads and plots in the WOT.

(edit for clarification)
Sandy Brewer
264. ShaggyBella
This is a repost from a while back .... I never had any response, but I still think it could be interesting.

One thing I have been wondering about in the first chapter of TOM...the wind blowing across Seandar:

The wind continued eastward, and soon it was playing with the masts of half-burned ships at the docks at Takisrom. Out into the Sleeping Bay, it passed the attackers: enormous greatships with sails painted blood red. They sailed southward, their grisly work done.....Men did not whisper that this might be the end of times. They yelled it. The fields of Peace were aflame, the Tower of Ravens was broken as prophesied and a murderer openly ruled in Seandar. This was a time to lift one's sword and choose a side, then spill blood to give a final color to the dying land.

My thoughts: Who would have red sailed greatships? The Seanchan ones probably all sailed to Randland with the Return. Who is the murderer sitting on the Crystal Throne? Could Demandred be involved? Could the red Veiled Aiel be on the ships? I haven't heard much of this and I love mysteries!
Alice Arneson
265. Wetlandernw
Bella @264 - There was a fair amount of speculation on this in the initial spoiler thread, but it's all just that: speculation. We don't have enough information to justify any solid theories. The problem with assuming Demandred is either in Shara or Seanchan is the same: We don't know if there is a significant new power ruling there, or if the place is in so much chaos because of the death/disappearance of their rulers that they are simply out of the picture for Tarmon Gai'don. Either one could be to the benefit of Team Dark, depending on circumstances we've not been shown.

Likewise, either one could be a workable authorial device. We've been told that there are entire nations there, which could reasonably be assumed to care about the result of the Last Battle, so something has to be done with them. A) Bring them charging in under Forsaken rule and make a mess for Team Light. B) Explain their absence from TG as due to internal chaos and disorganization. C) Find a way to bring them in on the side of Team Light at the last minute. (I find C to be rather unlikely, at this juncture.) As an author, it would be pretty easy to go either way, depending on what you were planning 15-20 years ago. They've been dealt with in-story just enough that either A or B would work well for the end game; C, not so much.

It's certainly possible that Demandred was working closely enough with Semirhage that he's taken over Seanchan, although I'm not sure why the ships would be sailing southward if they were heading for the Blight or anywhere on Randland. It's also possible that Demandred was working with Graendal on the side and took over Shara after she absconded with their rulers. Neither has enough textual basis to be obvious, but neither is fully disproven yet.

I think we're all going to be surprised by some a LOT of the things that happen in AMoL, but once we RAFO we'll be able to look back and see the pointers that were given us. I honestly don't think there will be any "out of left field" (a.k.a. deus ex machina) surprises, but some twists and turns that we didn't entirely expect. I rather hope so; if RJ had twists planned, BWS is a master of the well-written twist. Taken together, it should be a hugely satisfying and awesome read.
266. alreadymadwithseanchan
ShaggyBela @264
The red sailed ships could possibly be one of the rebel factions in Seandar. If the Ever Victorious Army has a solid reputation, it would mean a constant means of putting their claim to the test. But now that the Imperial family on Seandar is dead, the rebels decide to make their move a la Battle of Endor. Besides, the Imperial family would also have included those who distinguished themselves enough to be raised to the High Blood. That would mean they would also be in the line of succession and therefore potential targets for Semirhage, if not potential claimants to the Crystal Throne. The other possibility is that the ships might bring forces loyal to the Imperial Family and therefore on the way to the capital in order to remove a murdering pretender.

The "murderer" sitting on the throne need not be anybody specific. Since the entire family was dead, anybody who decided to take over would then be the prime suspect. I doubt anybody knows of the Forsaken's role in what happened. Most everybody probably just thinks the murder was accomplished thru mundane means.

Bottomline I doubt it makes a difference. The scene is clearly written to depict the chaos that reigned in the aftermath of Semirhage's massacre, but in the end I doubt it will make much bearing on events in the Westlands. Especially since, without Travelling, the transit time in ships numbers in the months.
Sandy Brewer
267. ShaggyBella
Thanks, so it is probably nothing.
I would have liked to read a story from the Seandar point of view. The return setting out and then Semi's attack and the chaos. Alas.
Birgit F
268. birgit
if it’s possible for a living being to survive in a stasis box

The gholam did, but it is nearly indestructible and might not be the best example. One of the Forsaken mentions the possibility of finding a nest of Jumara in a stasis box. That suggests that other creatures might also survive.
Don Barkauskas
269. bad_platypus
WOTnoDragons @263: Here are all the RJ quotes on Demandred's alter ego from the Theoryland database.
Week 4 Question: At recent book signing following the release of Crossroads of Twilight, it was reported that you confirmed that the Forsaken Demandred has never posed as the man known as Mazrim Taim, who was introduced to Rand at the beginning of Lord of Chaos. Have you confirmed that Demandred has never posed as the man known as Mazrim Taim, leader of the Black Tower?
Robert Jordan Answers: Yes. Demandred has never posed as Mazrim Taim. All right, those of who fell over from the shock of a simple, straightforward answer can get up off the floor now. Sometimes, simple and straightforward can be the most devious of all, as any student of Aes Sedai will tell you.

Emma: Was Taimandred a deliberate ruse to lead your readers astray, or were you surprised (by the all of the theories connecting Taim to Demandred)?
Jordan: I was surprised...but I wasn't going to disabuse you of it for a while. I like to watch you squirm.

Q: Is Taim Demandred?
RJ: No, that is totally bogus.

Q: It's been said that you mentioned that Mazrim Taim is not Demandred. There seems to be some confusion on whether or not you said that.
RJ: Mazrim Taim is not Demandred.

Q: Have we yet seen the alter-ego Demandred presents to the Third-Agers on-screen?
A: NO. (I asked twice to make sure.)

Q: Taim is clearly not Demandred, right?
RJ: (Disgusted) I've said that before, and it's not Taim, it's Ta-eeem.
As you can see, most of them are unambiguous.
Valentin M
270. ValMar
bp @ 269

Nope, still not convinced...


Common guys, let's get it to 300! Start a conversation about booze or Bible quotes or something.
271. Shadow_Jak
Already mad @ 266

"The "murderer" sitting on the throne need not be anybody specific. Since the entire family was dead, anybody who decided to take over would then be the prime suspect. I doubt anybody knows of the Forsaken's role in what happened. Most everybody probably just thinks the murder was accomplished thru mundane means."

That got me thinking...
Wouldn't it be fun if Semi was careful to be seen wearing her Tuon disguise when she the murders occurred?

Never tought of that before, but it seems possible, eh?
Captain Hammer
272. Randalator
So, anyone believe that Moiraine killed Asmodean and RJ just pulled a retcon when he noticed that we were onto him or rather that Brandon just made the Grandal thing up on the spot? *runs towards the bunker*

Ow! Hey, why is the bunker locked?
Guys? Hello?
*knocks again*
*yanking desperately at bunker door*
Open, you *bleep*-ing *bleep* of a bunker door!
*shadow falls over bunker entrance*
Oh, cra—

*to be continued*
Alice Arneson
273. Wetlandernw
Get to 300, the man says. Presumably before the next post goes up tomorrow? Well, I could red-shirt in and propose a cool noo theory that Gaidal Cain is Olver... ;p

Cadsuane? (I still haven't gotten an answer from Team Jordan as to what she blackmailed the Asha'man into, and what she used as a hold on them.)

I've been trying to come up with a new story, but all I have so far is disjointed ideas that are no way forming themselves nicely into anything remotely resembling a plot. Sam, have you got anything in the works?

Alternatively, we could all jump up and down and say how excited we are to be diving into TGS tomorrow. Egwene, yay awesomeness! Rand... yay? descent into Hades, anyone...?
Tess Laird
274. thewindrose
Alternatively, we could all jump up and down and say how excited we are to be diving into TGS tomorrow. Egwene, yay awesomeness! Rand... yay? descent into Hades, anyone...?

How about this? Later in the series whenever Egwene gets cool, Rand is not cool, and vise versa! Will they meet in common coolness in aMoL?

WOT Dragons
275. WOTNoDragons
bp @269
Thanks for that - as you say, pretty darn clear!

birgit @268
Didn't Ishydin also find a box with those dead-eyed Zomara who were used as servants? More shadowspawn - rather than regular human type examples, but suggestive that perhaps a few Dreadlords might have been put into stasis boxes along with everything else that AoL team dark hoarded away.

I wonder if AoL team light also hid a cache of goodies in a stasis box? Maybe Zen Rand can recall if and where they stashed one? A few Shocklances for 3rd Age team light could prove mighty useful :-)
Roger Powell
276. forkroot
Get to 300 ... hmmm - there's always the time honored way when a new post is impending:

Valentin M
277. ValMar
Lately there hasn't been much twitching. Twitch.

The eve of a post, after two weeks hiatus, seems a good time to make a confession. No, I'm not an alcoholic. I don't collect sheep droppings. It never crossed my mind that Taim could be Demandred before I read that he def wasn't! There. I shall go back to the corner...
278. s'rEDIT
@Wet 273:

Rand... yay? descent into Hades, anyone...?

This change in Rand almost had me stop reading. If I hadn't been late to the party, with ToM on the brink of publication just as I decided to catch up, I might never have continued.

And, yes . . . twitch!
Eric Hughes
279. CireNaes
I have begun to abstain from coffee for my addictions course. Any hot tea suggestions for a person who hates green and chai tea?
Roger Powell
280. forkroot
Why yes. Look for a specialty tea retailer near you and try blends with a noticeable mint base and hints of chocolate. This is still real tea I'm talking about - not an herbal rendering.

Last year I had to stop drinking decaf coffee (and lattes, cappuccinos, etc.) for a while and found this type of tea blend very pleasant in the evening.

The secret is a dedicated tea retailer who knows their stuff - it's amazing some of the tasty blends available out there now - something for everyone's taste.

(And here's a tiny plug for Souvia Tea in Phoenix, for any readers who may live in the area.)
Alice Arneson
281. Wetlandernw
Tea? Mmmmm. I love tea. Almost as much as coffee - but less-than-awesome tea is way better than less-than-awesome coffee.

My favorites are assam (Harmutty Estate, if you can get it), lapsang souchong (very smoky, so I have to be in the right mood - but absolutely awesome with a tiny bit of sugar and a swirl of cream), Russian caravan (for when I'm not quite in the mood for the lapsang), and black currant (a.k.a. cassis - Murchies, for my preference). I'm not much for green or chai either, but a good puer is mighty fine when the mood strikes. All of the above should be brewed from loose tea; most of the teabag versions are pretty foul - especially the lapsang.
Anthony Pero
282. anthonypero
Can't wait to talk about Rand channeling the TP. And all the Rand/Ishy stuff...

...and the endless debates about what BWS wrote and what RJ wrote.

What is everyone else looking forward to?
Alice Arneson
283. Wetlandernw
And I'll second forkroot on the need to find a good tea shop. If they know their stuff, they'll be able to help you find the ones you'll like best.
Elijah Foster
284. TheWolfKing
@273. Wetlandernw

I always thought Cads blackmailed the Asha'man into being bonded. What she used was the fact that if they went to the black tower, they would be blamed for the attack on Rand. But maybe you are thinking of something else.

@279. CireNaes

Hmm... I always heard forkroot tea was good.
*snicker, snicker*
Ben Mesman
285. Ben-Oh
@282. anthonypero

Really looking forward to everyone's thoughts on Cadsuane in this book. And also Leigh's musings on the differences between the styles of RJ and BWS and I really hope this does not evolve in a discussion of who-wrote-what.
Rob Munnelly
286. RobMRobM
Why stop at 300? Let's get to 400. Discuss any two of the following topics:

- Spanking, invariably by men against women.
- Near absence of positive female gay relationships.
- Apparent absence of any male gay relationships.
- Mat - was he raped or not?
- Cadsuane - love her or hate her.
- Tuon - love her or hate her.
- Nynaeve - love her or hate her.
- Who is the best blademaster in Randland?
- Can the Forsaken really be as dumb as portrayed in the series?
- Can the Aes Sedai really be as dumb as portrayed in the series?
- Who is your favorite of Rand's harem and why?
- If one of Min's foretelling occurs in a forest, does it make a noise?
- What would your Ajah be and why?

I believe that's enough to get things rolling....

287. Ouroboros

I was away and off the grid so I missed the special day. Happy birthday. May you find beer and chocolate.
Ben Mesman
288. Ben-Oh
@286. RobMRobM

Any two? Let me try...

- What would your Ajah be and why?

Being male, I think I am not eligable to be Aes Sedai, so no Ajah for me. As a matter of fact, the whole Ajah system has failed, so it should be abolished.

- If one of Min's foretelling occurs in a forest, does it make a noise?

That depends on the nature of the foretelling and type of tree, obviously.
James Hogan
289. Sonofthunder
*groan* Good job, Rob, that may just get us to crash the server.

(Oh and *clearly* Galad is the best blademaster. Just saying!!)

Also, I miss you all...work has been *far* too busy lately and I haven't been able to pay these threads the attention they deserve! Currently on my re-read though, reading through TSR. It's funny how certain moments in the book bring back memories from the re-read...I believe TSR was when I started posting!

And happy birthday, Wetlander, since I seem to have missed your day as well!! *waves from Scotland*
Gerd K
290. Kah-thurak
- Who is the best blademaster in Randland?

We do not know him. He is the guy practicing all the time and/or actually fighting (for example Trollocs in the Borderlands) and thus has no time for all the traveling and politics.

- Can the Forsaken really be as dumb as portrayed in the series?
- Can the Aes Sedai really be as dumb as portrayed in the series?
This is one issue really: Einstein said that there are only two things which are infinite: the universe and human stupidity (he was not sure about the universe though). So yeah. They all can.
Tess Laird
291. thewindrose
RobMRobM - Shame on you:) - Lan is the best, no need for discussion.

What we need is subwoofer to do one word per post, and snag 300 - before Valmar does...

Captain Hammer
292. Randalator
RobM @286

- Spanking, invariably by men against women.
I'll allow it...

- Near absence of positive female gay relationships.
Only a problem if there is not enough sweaty pillow action on-screen.

- Apparent absence of any male gay relationships.
I'm feeling sssssssssuper, anyway. Thanks for asking.

- Mat - was he raped or not?
Only a little.

- Cadsuane - love her or hate her.
Say, about those male-on-female spankings...

- Tuon - love her or hate her.
Liked her when she wasn't twirling her mustache all the time.

- Nynaeve - love her or hate her.
Like her when she isn't acting like a sulking 4-year-old all the time.

- Who is the best blademaster in Randland?
Depends on the time of day, moon cycle, the ammount of weavils in the Amyrlin's bread, and whether or not the combattants are allowed to use their left hand. Also you have to consider air pressure, humidity and the geopolit— Lan. Why are we talking about this?

- Can the Forsaken really be as dumb as portrayed in the series?
Does the Nae'blis shit in the woods?

- Can the Aes Sedai really be as dumb as portrayed in the series?
Does the Amyrlin shit in the woods?

- Who is your favorite of Rand's harem and why?
Good day, Lord Dragon, sir. I'm interested in a test drive... *famous last words*

- If one of Min's foretelling occurs in a forest, does it make a noise?
Depends if someone's there to hear it...

- What would your Ajah be and why?
Depends on who's got the most pillow fr— just kidding. It would be green. No brow—Auuuuuuuugh!!
Jonathan Levy
293. JonathanLevy
269. bad_platypus

RJ: (Disgusted) I've said that before, and it's not Taim, it's Ta-eeem.

Taim is never going to be "Ta-eeem" for me, because in my other native tongue "Ta-eeem" means "tasty", and that just doesn't work for Demandred Taim.

Thanks for providing the quotes, though.

272. Randalator
Moiraine or Lanfear were my candidates for Asmodean's killer. It seemed to me that the best explanation was that Lanfear used one of her wishes to take revenge upon him; the alternative was that after falling through the gateway, Moiraine learned something which convinced her he was a danger to Rand and had to be bopped off.

And I found the Graendal reveal to be unsatisfying, both in the way it was revealed (a casual reference in the text and a clarification in the glossary) and in its significance - Asmodean was killed completely by accident, without it having anything to do with the plot. We guessed and argued for more than a decade, and we get the literary equivalent of "he slipped in the bath and fell".

Anyway, that's how I felt about it.

286. RobMRobM

Evidently, infinitely provocative questions weren't enough to get us to 400. Let's try some infinitely provocative answers!

1) Fun Fun Fun!
2) Just wait for the movie! :)
3) Just wait until Creepy Uncle Joe takes you to the movie...
4) Nah, he enjoyed it! Besides, he was pretty much asking for it dressing up like that.
5) Hate. Duh.
6) Love. Duh.
7) Love & Hate. Duh Duh.
8) Gawyn, but only because of his superior intelligence, good judgement, and fine moral sense.
9) Sure, just check out the Republicans...
10) Sure, just check out the Democrats...
11) Easy, the non-Elayne one.
12) Only if she previously foretold that it wouldn't. *head implodes*
13) Verin's, obviously. Need I say more?
Valentin M
294. ValMar
Oh yes, I forgot. Happy Birthday Wetlander! Better late than never + if you've waited 100 years, being late by a couple of days isn't a big deal ;)
295. Ouroboros
We are pleased to announce that the Black Ajah’s synchronised channeling team has won the gold for the tenth Channelympics in a row. Their performance in the last round, in which their thirteen strong team weaved one hundred and sixty-nine flows through thirteen Myrddraal while not sicking up. The judges were especially impressed by the fact that they did all this while singing the Darky-koky. Although, one judge felt that the singing might not have been consistent with the author’s wishes.
296. Ouroboros
Some serious thoughts on 13?13.

The True Power may be needed in the process; it is the essence of the DO after all. Since the Myrddraal are twisted by the TP, and can sense channeling, it may be that drawing on the power through the Myrddraal allows the channeler to touch the TP. It could also be that it simply contaminates the OP with the TP.

If the victim was conscious it might be necessary to include a shield in the weaves, and this requires a linked circle of thirteen; the weave may also need to be a very powerful one. So, linking may well be required.

The most simple implementation of all this is that the individual channelers draw on OP Leaded, through one Myrddraal each, are brought into the circle, and the leader weaves the flows to convert the victim.
297. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 273

You want to be a red-shirt? Well, you’ll be fine so long as you don’t go off-topic.
Rob Munnelly
298. RobMRobM

Also - yes if Faile is involved; would have liked to see more (for diversity not prurient purposes, of course); would have liked to see additional textual evidence that some business of this sort was going on somewhere; yes on the next four in a row; Lan; yes on the next two; Min; yes if it is part of the pattern; and Gray.
Ian B
299. Greyfalconway
Just trying to help towards the goal of 300 =] Excited to start the tgs reread!
WOT Dragons
300. WOTNoDragons
@296. Ouroboros
Sounds a very plausable - well reasoned scenario.
WOT Dragons
301. WOTNoDragons
300 FTW!
BTW - Does anyone think that we'll get to 'see' the DO in AMoL or get a physical description of his majes - I mean evilness :-)? Or is the general consensus that the DO will remain left to reader imagination. -- just wondering.

@wetlander - Many happy returns for Saturday. I've tried all sorts of teas but always seem to end up preferring English Breakfast over any others - imo it's just so simple and perfect at any time; I probably go through at least 6 mugs a day. - Although beer's a pretty good substitute occasionally :-)
302. Ouroboros
If you don’t want caffeine, try camomile, rooibos, mint or raspberry.

If caffeine isn’t a problem, there are literally thousands to choose from. Green tea can be delicious if you get the right kind, but stay away from tea bags, unfortunately, the nicer ones can be expensive.

I’m especially fond of Darjeeling; the large leaf tippy kind is the best but also more expensive. There are a lot of different Darjeelings from a lot of different gardens. Margaret’s Hope is a famous one, but I’m quite fond of Goomtee. First flush is generally milder and brighter than the second flush but I prefer the deeper flavour of the second flush myself.

You should also try Ceylon orange pekoe; again, the large unbroken leaves are best.

Earl Grey is another favourite of mine. It’s a combination of black teas with bergamot oil but there are a lot of variations. It’s quite a unique taste but a must for the up and coming star ship captain. I get one which has orange peel and other winter spices mixed in,.

Specialist tea shops will often do their own blends which can make things more interesting. They can also advise you on what to get. If you can find a tea room which serves brewed tea, you could try a few out before buying.
Valentin M
303. ValMar
WOTnoDragons @ 300

Thievery! Thievery and outrage! Ehm, not that I was going for it, waiting to pounce on it like a caterpillar on a rotten apple... Windrose (@ 291) how dare you insinuate such things!
Those teas, how are they with coffeine, energy? With Fall and Winter coming and my chronic tonsil trouble I wonder if some tea is a good substitute for a fizzy energy drink- which I have instead of coffee or before gym.
304. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @ 281

Oh no! You went off topic. You know what that means for a red-shirt.

You sometimes find blends of Russian caravan with a little lapsang added to give it a slightly smoky edge which is very nice. I’m told that this is closer to the traditional recipe; the currentl one has apparently changed over the years to suit the western palate.

If you like smoky tea, you should try gun powder. It’s a green tea, which I know you said you don’t like, but it’s quite different to the standard green tea flavour. It always reminds me of tobacco.
Eric Hughes
305. CireNaes
Thank you all for your suggestions. Caffeine isn't an issue. I actually switched to Decaf completely for one year just to see if I could do it (and to avoid heart palpatations). Coffee in all its various regions, dry/wet processes, blending, and roasting is my one and only "comfort" drink. I've avoided cravings so far by replacing it with tea. The next time I'm in the Chicagoland area I'll go in search of a specialty tea retailer and purchase a few of the options raised here.

Blademaster? Phaw I say! Ever since Matrim acquired a staff with a blade on it that question was settled and hung out to dry.
306. Mike123
Week 4 Question: At recent book signing following the release of Crossroads of Twilight, it was reported that you confirmed that the Forsaken Demandred has never posed as the man known as Mazrim Taim, who was introduced to Rand at the beginning of Lord of Chaos. Have you confirmed that Demandred has never posed as the man known as Mazrim Taim, leader of the Black Tower?
Robert Jordan Answers: Yes. Demandred has never posed as Mazrim Taim. All right, those of who fell over from the shock of a simple, straightforward answer can get up off the floor now. Sometimes, simple and straightforward can be the most devious of all, as any student of Aes Sedai will tell you. Emma: Was Taimandred a deliberate ruse to lead your readers astray, or were you surprised (by the all of the theories connecting Taim to Demandred)? Jordan: I was surprised...but I wasn't going to disabuse you of it for a while. I like to watch you squirm. Q: Is Taim Demandred? RJ: No, that is totally bogus. Q: It's been said that you mentioned that Mazrim Taim is not Demandred. There seems to be some confusion on whether or not you said that. RJ: Mazrim Taim is not Demandred. Q: Have we yet seen the alter-ego Demandred presents to the Third-Agers on-screen? A: NO. (I asked twice to make sure.) Q: Taim is clearly not Demandred, right? RJ: (Disgusted) I've said that before, and it's not Taim, it's Ta-eeem.
"Yes. Demandred has never posed as Mazrim Taim. All right, those of who fell over from the shock of a simple, straightforward answer can get up off the floor now. Sometimes, simple and straightforward can be the most devious of all, as any student of Aes Sedai will tell you."

Notice the words that RJ chose to use... D never POSED as Taim, and also he stated Taim is NOT D.
What if D is Taim, and never POSED as Taim. He can't pose if it is who he truly is... just a thought.

Jonathan Levy
307. JonathanLevy
296. Ouroboros

Interesting thoughts. Here's another one -

Trollocs breed true, but sometimes there's a throwback and you get a Myrddraal, right? No-one can explain it, not even Aginor, I think. I don't think I'm the first one to suggest that the throwback is caused by the channeling gene being present - this might be what gives the fades some access either to the OP or the TP (non-channelers can't touch the TP) which lets them do their magical stuff.

Now, the 13!@#$%^&*13 happens when 13 dreadlords pass the weaves "through" 13 fades. Do they access the OP via the Myrddraal as if they were angreal? I like that idea very much, but remember that linking has been described as accessing the OP via another person as if she were an angreal. Perhaps each dreadlord has some corrupted form of a Link with one of the fades?

This analogy shouldn't be pushed too far, or it will fall apart completely. I'm not suggesting it's a proper Link. But it might be worth thinking about. It might also give the circle vs. non-circle debate a slight push towards the non-circle side, since the linking view makes much more sense if you have 13 pairs of 2 rather than one huge circle of 26.
Hugh Arai
308. HArai
Notice the words that RJ chose to use... D never POSED as Taim, and also he stated Taim is NOT D. What if D is Taim, and never POSED as Taim. He can't pose if it is who he truly is... just a thought.

It would be beyond belief if Rand failed to recognize Demandred being Demandred. At the very least "Zen-Rand", capable of remembering how minor characters died in the last Age, would clue in. Don't forget, Demandred was very well known both before and after he joined the Forsaken.
Alice Arneson
309. Wetlandernw
TheWolfKing @284 - That's the obvious answer, but it doesn't entirely make sense if you think about it very hard. The funny thing is, I have asked both Maria and Brandon, and they gave me the same answer: "I think I know the answer to that, but I'd have to look it up to be sure." This makes me wonder if there really is something other than the obvious answer there.

Ouroboros, Sonofthunder & ValMar - Thank you! I had a good day - definitely chocolate, although in this case I opted for wine instead of beer. And bought Scotch (Auchentoshan 3wd) for my husband's birthday, three days before mine.

Everyone in general - You're so much fun! Thanks for hanging out here and keeping life entertaining. :)
James M
310. Otoahhastis
A thought I had on 13x13. (No idea if anyone will come back to read this but hey-ho.)
We know it requires 13 dreadlords channeling (separately imo) through 13 Myrddral.
Maybe there is a clue in that as to why it isn't done much.
They have to channel through the Myrddral, I haven't read anything to say the Myrddral have to survive it - maybe they are quite literally channeling through them. (Getting covered in icky bits of a Myrddral would bring out the worst in most people I think...)
So perhaps the Myrddral are destroyed in the process, thus limiting how often it can be used.
Anthony Pero
311. anthonypero
I'd say one turned channeler is worth 13 dead Fades.
James M
312. Otoahhastis
@anthonypero - Yes, i'd agree that one channeler turned to the dark side is likely worth the loss of 13 Fades.
What I was getting at is that there is (presumably) a finite number of Fades and they are required for other things as well (controlling the Trolloc armies, sneaking about being all Fade-y in the shadows, etc) and they wouldn't want to decimate (modern meaning) their ranks just before the Last Battle.
So if they are destroyed in the process then this would be one possible reason to limit how often this trick is used and would go some way to explain why Team Dark haven't really made use of it until now (that we know of).
313. macster
@TheWolfKing: Fades as filters makes sense to me, but see the thoughts of JonathanLevy, WOTnoDragons, Ouroboros, and Otoahhastis below... Also, no idea on Lightside equivalent of Fades. Ta'veren are the Wheel's correcting mechanism but that doesn't necessarily make them of the Light--the Wheel/Pattern is neutral per Moiraine. I am amused and heartwarmed by your suggestion of Loial, but that does bring up two serious suggestions: Ogier in general (in which case their not leaving via the Book of Translation and/or the Gardeners joining Team Light may be very important)...or their cohorts in Singing, the Nym. Problem there is the Nym are all gone now, so unless that talisman ter'angreal Aviendha identified is meant to create Nym... (Now there's a theory I've never seen--any idea on if that could be possible? We have no idea how Nym were made after all...) In the end though I expect we'll learn the 13 x 13 can't be undone. Either that or Wonder Woman Nynaeve will figure out how to Heal it, and without Lightside anti-Fades.

@256 sweetlilflower: A very good idea, and seems to cover all the bases for me, as well as explaining why the turning wasn't done till now. Kudos! I also didn't think about the possible need for the opposite half of the Power due to gender. The True Power is gender-neutral of course, but since the OP is also involved, you could well be right.

@262 Stargazer: I can't speak for other proponents of the Roedran-as-Demandred theory, but the reason I think it is possible is precisely the same as your objection. We've been told all along that Demandred is a master strategist and general. If he really is that good, then wouldn't it stand to reason he would not only figure out where the other side would never expect him to be and then hide himself there, but that he'd be able to overcome his own need for significance and attention in order to do it? In other words, he hid in Murandy precisely because no one would expect him to be there. Everyone keeps writing it off as unimportant, no one bothers to check--therefore, it's the most brilliant place to hide.

And if he isn't Roedran, then I wonder why in the world Roedran's sudden rise in prominence, his book of warfare from a past Age only Mat knows about, and Murandy seemingly sitting out the Last Battle (and ignoring Egwene's summons!) are all being brought up. What's the point? It seems silly to use yet another red herring re: Demandred, and other than that I can't see why else he would be brought up since as you say neither he nor Murandy are (seemingly) important enough to bother with, whether in terms of them sitting out the Last Battle or suddenly appearing to come to somebody's rescue. (Caemlyn?? I somehow can't see that happening, if anything that might lead to Roedran trying to annex Andor.)

As to why people aren't thinking of Shara, probably because Jordan kept saying the action would never go there (or mainland Seanchan). Granted, armies could be gathered from either place without the narrative actually going there. And I do agree the presence of Shara in the glossaries so much has to mean something. But this issue can be addressed, along with Wetlander's point, by considering one of the theories out there: that the reason we can't find Demandred in the narrative, and why he might be in a place like Murandy, is because he's actually involved with a number of places.

I.e., Murandy, mainland Seanchan, Shara, Masema (who was to the south of Graendal's palace at the time Sammael made his proxy statement--note neither Shara nor Seanchan are to the south), possibly the Whitecloaks (maybe he was the one sending the Fade to kill Carridin's relatives while Ishamael was out of commission, thus making the fake Dragonsworn on Almoth Plain his doing?), and so on. If he's really involved in that much, that would certain testify to his supposed skill at strategy.

Or to put it another way, as ShaggyBella and Wetlander have pointed out the possibility that Demandred is the murderer ruling in Seandar--what if the red ships he used to take over are from Shara? With Traveling he could have transported the ships to Seandar, if he had a powerful enough angreal to make huge gateways. Or perhaps he really did sail the whole way to Seandar; we have no idea what he was doing between his first appearance in LOC and the murderer taking over in ToM, other than having Forsaken Coffee Hours, and that he was "supposed to be watching Rand" (something he clearly failed to do very well).

This could be explained if he was busy taking over Shara (we saw Graendal had its rulers in LOC, so he could have been working on that right from the start after he escaped the Bore), then slowly sailing eastward to circle the world and reach Seanchan, timing it with Semirhage's assassinations (remember, he and Semi were supposed to be in cahoots at one point). With Traveling to and from the fleet so as to meet up with Moridin and the others, try to spy on Rand, give directions to Taim (like for the attack on Demira, though that could have been Taim's own idea), appear to Masema, marshal Murandy's forces, and who knows what all else.

It's a form of the Murder on the Orient Express plot--instead of all the suspects being guilty, the murderer (Demandred) is guilty of being all the suspects/involved in all the unaccounted-for evil plots. Again, it would explain why we haven't seen him and justify his supposed reputation as a great strategist.

@JonathanLevy: For what it's worth, I always thought Lanfear was the murderer too. But if you take a look at the last re-read post for TFOH, I posted my theory on why Graendal was the murderer and why we should (or could) have figured it out. It may not be ironclad but I think it's intriguing and covers points no one has ever raised before, and others agreed with me when I also posted it on the ToM spoiler thread. Short version: that it wasn't an accidental meeting, or at least not only an accidental meeting, and had something to do with how Asmo knew Graendal was in Arad Doman and a past possible alliance between them...

@Ouroboros: Another good point, about the Fades having a connection to the True Power. Which only ties into the notion WOTnoDragons has about this being why Fades are needed for the turning. Whether that exists because of the Fades being twisted, or if the twisting merely ties them to the One Power that was used to create their Trolloc parents but in a tainted way, thus allowing them to sense channeling and be used for the turning, isn't clear. But either way, whether True Power, dark One Power, or both, it explains how Shaidar Haran can both use the True Power and block Shadow channelers from the One Power.

@263 WOTnoDragons: You do have a point, but I think that aside from the "using Fades as an angreal" argument posited below, there is another point made by JonathanLevy that could have the answer: Fades are the offspring of Trollocs, and we know via the Guide that Aginor somehow made Trollocs with the One Power. So while Fades cannot channel themselves, the Power is part of their makeup the way it is for gholam. Meaning that channeling through them, whether as a filter, an angreal, or a means to access the True Power or tainted One Power, could explain their usage without having to worry about them channeling. End result though, you are right--they do have some connection to the Power, though not the ability to use it themselves.

@310 Otoahhastis: Good point, I've often thought myself the Fades are "consumed in the casting" to use a D&D term, and they are indeed finite in number.

@ Several on Taim: the fact Bashere wasn't even sure it was really him does make me think that, even though he isn't Demandred, he also isn't all he seems. As to whether this means he is an unknown Forsaken, an AoL channeler from a stasis box, a current age Darkfriend posing as him, or a Taim who'd been put through the 13 x 13 himself and this changed him from how Bashere remembered him, who knows. We may just find out in AMoL.

Someone once even suggested he was Be'lal, who had sent a decoy in his place to die at Moiraine's hands, then disguised himself as Taim to manipulate behind the scenes until Moridin and Demandred's arrival. This could play into the sigil from Liandrin's coach (they were working with Be'lal) being the same as the one at the Black Tower, the plot to free Taim revealed by Joiya (she could have been one of those in the know that Be'lal would be going to take Taim's place during the BA attack in Saldaea, a plot initially intended to take place after he got hold of Callandor but instead happening without it when Moiraine and everybody else showed up to ruin his plans), and even the notion WolfKing came up with IRT Rand being misled into thinking Taim was Demandred (i.e. Be'lal was in on that plot with Demandred and Moridin).

I don't believe this is true, but there's enough tantalizing possibilities in it--the Dark One said Rahvin and Asmodean had both died the final death and so could not be brought back (Rahvin was balefired and it seems pretty clear Asmo was too), but he didn't mention Be'lal in that even though he had also been balefired--why not?; and there's the mysterious person posing as Sammael who sent the Shadowspawn attack on Rand--Sammael had also had that same sigil on the back of his throne in TAR, and there seemed to be hints the two of them were working together (or maybe against each other) to inflame the enmity between Tear and Illian, so perhaps after he died Be'lal took up his old ally's symbol/stole his rival's to confuse people. And since people suspect "Sammael" of being Demandred, just as they did Taim, if Be'lal is posing as one it would make twisted sense he was both, as part of that same misdirection/let the Lord of Chaos rule plot.

In any event, it is clear to me that whoever Taim is or isn't, we'll likely have some surprises in store for us in AMoL.
314. Randalthor66
By that criteria, the Wheel of Time has been one of the single most influential pieces of art in my life.
I could not agree more. Thanks for saying it so well.
315. Marks
Some questions...if anyone is listening. :)

Musenge wasn't at the initial meeting of Seanchan Deathwatch Guards with Thom and Matt at the campsite. So how did he know about Matt's antagonism toward the empire?

Musenge looked at the red hand banner with some curiosity. Given that the Seanchan Empress (may she live forever) has 'Hands' associated with 'colour', I wonder which 'Hand' of the Empress (MSLFE) is the 'Red Hand'? And hence the reason for his curiosity.

I also wonder, given that the green colour of the Deathwatch Guards' uniform was originally achieved by pouring a pot of black paint into the green of their original uniform, what was the original green colour in relation to that of a) Matt's 'Band' and b) the original 'Band of the Red Hand'?
William McDaniel
316. willmcd
The question that keeps coming to my mind as I read through the book was: Is "Knife of Dreams" a great Wheel of Time book, or does it just seem that way because we read it immediately after books 8-10?

Yes, there is plot movement in abundance compared against what immediately came before, but much of that movement was in plotlines (Faile's captivity, the Andoran succession) which are unpopular with many readers. Can we really compare the relief of wrapping up tiring stories that carried on for far to long with what we observed in the first 4 books?

(It's interesting that it seems most readers now categorize TFoH and LoC among the early books where lots of things were hapenning. I recall that when they first came out there was much dissatisfaction among the readership for their slow pace compared against books 1-4. But, in light of the pace of 8-10, they may not seem so slow any more!)

Yet, RJ also gives us a lot of interesting nuggets throughout KoD, answers to long-present peripheral questions in the series: Noal's identity as Jain Farstrider, Setalle's status as a former Aes Sedai, Moridin as the "third man" in Rand's head. And he gives unexpected additional information about things from much earlier in the series: details on the zomara from the FSoEP, the "finder" weave placed on metal, Aviendha's ter'angreal-identifying capabilities leading to details about interesting objects.

Ultimately, in my assessment to try to compare the early books of the series, when the narrative focused exclusively on a small (for RJ!) group of main characters, to the later books, concerned with his world at large, is impossible. The series fundamentally changed and broadened starting in book 6 or 7. But in that light, I think it is fair to say that for me "Knife of Dreams" is the "best of the later books", certainly the best in the series since LoC, even if the main character of the series, Rand al'Thor, doesn't have very much to do in it (nor has he in any book since "Lord of Chaos"; the Cleansing was a big event, but he was in less than 20% of the book).

And I am grateful that RJ wrote it. If his final legacy with the fans was "Crossroads of Twlight" and "New Spring", there would always be a hint that he had started a great series and lost his way. By bringing the pace of his plotting back around and wrapping up the troublesome plotlines that had dominated his writing for 10 years (while at the same time continuing with the subtle touches that made him such a literary craftsman all along, even in the slow books), we saw that the series was coming back on track.

Books 5 through 10 (or maybe 6 or 7 through 10) might be regarded as the "middle volume" of a trilogy, and nobody ever really much cares for those the first time through anyhow.
317. hesuchia
"This is like that one time in that Indiana Jones movie, with being
trapped in the temple? And the snakes everywhere and the torches going

Asha'man...why did it have to be Asha'man?

Hehe, but yes I loved Tuon and Mat. I was dismayed the first time I read that Tuon didn't love Mat yet either. This second time, though, I'm starting to think she is already starting to. From the snippets of info we get regarding the royal family, there's no real 'dating' going on. Everybody's trying to kill each other and take advantage of each other, so there's hardly any chance that someone could trust another in that way so readily, especially having grown up in that environment. She grew reserved over the years, Karede said she only smiled rarely even as a child.

With these things in mind, I believe she has little to no experience understanding love firsthand (we don't even know how close she and her mother/father were, and she definitely didn't get even sibling love). It's not to say she doesn't feel it, but it's a common thing in life for young people (and even older) to ask "how do you know if you're in love?". Earlier in the book, she mentioned that she thought Mat was a buffoon, but also said he could be "charming, witty, and amusing". Once she started respecting him as a "lion" she stopped seeing him as even a buffoon and so many of her negative views of his personality faded and the positive ones stood out. He still had the old ones, but now she could see him as brave and skilled and a natural leader. The first readthrough I saw her as Mat did, calculating and distant, but with the 'omniscience' of retrospect, I could see things more objectively. I think she *was* falling for him too, and just didn't know to associate her thoughts of him with her feelings for him. Her pace was much slower and more via the mind than the heart, but thinking from her perspective, I think she demonstrates affection for him unbeknownst to herself.

Her conversation with Karede is one piece of evidence, though less substantial. She cares what his opinion of her new husband is. Wants to see him (like we did) from an outsider's perspective. Much less substantial than I'd like, but I can see the connection.

Also there's the way that she very occasionally lets slip her emotions. Playing stones with him, the laughing and clapping when he juggled, the joy when he gave her that amazing horse, etc really must've been a big deal to her to let down her emotional barrier. I came to take Mat's perspective on this, treasuring everytime that she smiled at and about him (warmly, not in a mocking way).

The major piece of evidence that I saw in this section was the clip of silk roses he gave her as a gift. The way she carefully wrapped it in cloth and tucked it away gently as if it were fragile glass was so sweet. It shows she really treasured the gift. If their relationship was purely political, I could understand her keeping it perhaps, but the extra effort she went to to keep it intact and in as near perfect condition as possible really shows me that she *does* treasure him in some way.

I don't remember what happens in AMoL between them, but I choose to believe that she cares more for him than she herself knows. Once she spends more time with him, I think she'll start to let her emotional guard down and realize that her intellectual perspective of him coincides with emotional reactions that she experiences and figure out that she did have feelings for him all along, even if she didn't fall in love as fast as he did. I choose to believe that this will happen once Tarmon Gai'don is over. And Mat darn well deserves requited love anyway.

Plus she was pretty breathtaken by his kisses ;).

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