Oct 18 2011 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 5

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comHello! This is a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 7 and 8 of The Gathering Storm, in which everyone is mean to words. Including me. Okay, especially me. Must be Tuesday!

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, extremely obscure cut text, followed by the post!

Before we start, I should mention that as mentioned on the website, yesterday, October 17th, was Robert Jordan’s birthday; he would have been 63 years old. If any of y’all who haven’t already would like to go over to my B&N review of The Eye of the World and contribute to the lovely comments there reminiscing about discovering the series for the first time, please do.



Chapter 7: The Plan for Arad Doman

What Happens
In the manor, Nynaeve tells Daigian that a storm is coming, and it’s going to be worse than any she’s ever seen. Daigian is slightly discomforted by this, but suggests they continue with the lesson; she is teaching Nynaeve the hundred weaves necessary for the test for the shawl. Nynaeve is frustrated that the other sisters, especially those loyal to Cadsuane, still do not treat her as a full Aes Sedai, and tells herself that she is only allowing these lessons to help distract Daigian from her grief over her Warder Eben’s death. She tries not to worry about Lan at the thought. Nynaeve finds the weaves as easy to reproduce as she finds them pointless, and tells Daigian she will not need to know them anyway, as she is already Aes Sedai. She thinks back to the Cleansing, and is glad the female linking ter’angreal had been destroyed, as she was frightened by how much power she had drawn.

But the male ter’angreal was still intact: an access key to a powerful sa’angreal. As far as Nynaeve knew, Rand had not been able to persuade Cadsuane to return it to him. As well she shouldn’t. No human being, not even the Dragon Reborn, should channel that much of the One Power. The things one could be tempted to do...

Daigian is saddened when one of the weaves reminds her of Eben, and Nynaeve offers to try and see if she can Heal Daigian’s grief, reasoning that it had to be of the One Power since it resulted from the severing of the Warder bond. Daigian asks if she would want the pain of her loss taken away if it were Lan; Nynaeve is chastened, and apologizes. Nynaeve then begins contemplating Daigian’s position as the weakest Aes Sedai she’s ever met, and that no matter how long Daigian had been a sister, whenever she met another Aes Sedai she would always be obliged to defer to her.

“There is something wrong with this system, Daigian,” Nynaeve said absently. […] “There you sit,” she said, “knowing as much as any other Aes Sedai—knowing more than many, I’d wager—and the moment any Accepted just off apron strings gains the shawl, you have to do what she says.”

Daigian is deeply disconcerted by this subject, and Nynaeve lets it drop, aware that her last foray into this issue (with the Kin) had backfired on her. She sees out the window that Cadsuane is heading somewhere, and excuses herself to go see where. She discovers that the Aiel chiefs have arrived, and soon finds the tent where Rand and Bashere are studying maps. She notes Rand’s glance when she enters, and worries that he is becoming increasingly paranoid. She makes a quip when he states the obvious, and notes the flash of anger in his eyes before he reins it in.

Semirhage said he was mad, Nynaeve thought. Said that. . . he heard voices from his past life. Is that what is happening when he cocks his head, as if listening to things that nobody else can hear?

She notes Min in the corner, reading a book about the Breaking, and thinks that Rand’s refusal to marry her is idiotic. Cadsuane and Corele enter, followed by Merise, Jahar, Damer, Elza, some of Bashere’s officers, and finally Rhuarc and Bael, along with a group of Wise Ones who Nynaeve is surprised to see includes Aviendha. Rand asks Rhuarc what they’ve done in Arad Doman, and implies that Rhuarc is making excuses when he talks of the difficulties they’ve had there. Cadsuane asks Rand how often the Aiel have failed him versus the other way around, and Rand reins in his temper with an effort and apologizes. Rhuarc accepts the apology, but tells him that Arad Doman is “broken,” and explains that the king, Alsalam, has been missing for months or even years, and the Council of Merchants have so far failed to select a new monarch, instead jockeying for power among themselves, an assumption Cadsuane confirms. Rand whispers to himself that Graendal might have Alsalam, and Nynaeve shivers at the familiarity with her his words suggest. Rand asks about the Domani fighting the Seanchan, which Rhuarc attributes to Rodel Ituralde. Both he and Bashere express a certain eagerness to try themselves against one of the Great Captains, which Rand forbids:

“If we can stop the Domani war with the Seanchan, perhaps this Daughter of the Nine Moons will see that I am serious in my desire for peace. Then maybe she’ll agree to meet with me.”

Bael asks why not conquer, as he has before, but Rand replies he does not have the resources; instead, he wants the Aiel to seize the members of the Council of Merchants, so that he can induce them to choose a new king. Bael protests that the Aiel are not kidnappers, and Rand replies that they are what he says they are.

“We are still free people, Rand al’Thor,” Rhuarc said.

“I will change the Aiel with my passing,” Rand said with a shake of his head. “I don’t know what you’ll be once this is all through, but you cannot remain what you were. I will have you take up this task.”

Rand lays out the rest of his plan to restore order in Arad Doman, which Nynaeve thinks sounds “surprisingly rational”: police the cities and offer food and supplies once the Sea Folk begin bringing them in. Rhuarc and Bael are doubtful, but ask for some of Bashere’s forces as reinforcements. Rand agrees. Bashere asks what Rand intends to do about Ituralde, and Rand replies that he will deal with Ituralde personally.

Okay, so, right.

I don’t mean to harp on this, I really don’t, but certain things just really bug me, and this one literally almost jumped off the page and smacked me in the face, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to bring it up.

So, I recognize that when you’re dealing with a fantasy world that includes as part of its construction the idea that the “real” world is an era that’s happened before and will happen again, that therefore the concept of “anachronism” has a certain amount of… flexibility, shall we say. That’s fine, I’m on board with that.


Even given that, even making allowances for that, I really just do not accept for a moment that Nynaeve — or any character in WOT — would ever know, much less say, the word “paranoid.” Which she did in this chapter:

Rand glanced up when each one entered, alert and wary, but he quickly turned back to his maps. Was he growing paranoid? Some madmen grew suspicious of everyone.

And… yeah, no. That word, that entire concept, only came into being with the advent of modern psychiatry; the first recorded use of it was not until 1904, or so Google tells me. And I’m sorry, but modern psychiatry and WOT are severely, emphatically, unmixy things.

Or, well, let me correct myself: modern psychiatric terms and WOT are unmixy things. Because, in fact, “paranoid” is actually a perfectly accurate way to describe one of the many ways in which Rand is losing his collective shit, and Nynaeve is perfectly right to attribute that quality to him; the problem is, it is most definitely not the way in which Nynaeve would have defined the phenomenon, to herself or to anyone else, because there’s no way that term exists here. In My Opinion, Of Course.

So, no. And yes, I’m aware I’ve just written seven-ish paragraphs complaining about a single word in a book that has over 300,000 of them, but, well. Sometimes that’s all it takes to throw you out of a headspace.

But, enough, and so I am moving on to what actually happened in this chapter.

Which is, er, not that much. We’re basically going through a series of “intro” chapters at this point; we’ve checked in with Rand, Egwene, Aviendha, Gawyn, and Ituralde, to recap/catch up with where they are and the state of their particular clusterfuck and/or existential crisis. Now we’re doing the same with Nynaeve, and Siuan (and Bryne) are next up.

Which is fair enough; there was a very large gap between the publication date of KOD and TGS, for reasons of which we are all well aware, and it’s reasonable to assume that not everyone (or, er, most people) are quite so, shall we say, saturated with the doings of WOT that a little recapping, a little space to get reacquainted with the material might not come in handy.

I also suspect that the previous sentence makes no grammatical sense. But you get my actual meaning, hopefully.

So, basically the upshot here is Nynaeve is worried about Rand, and Rand is making plans for Arad Doman that sounded to me even the first time around like synonyms for “doom,” and also “disaster,” and also “if someone gave me such ridiculously vague guidelines for pacifying an entire nation I would punch him in the mouth.”

(I may be using an unusually broad definition of the word “synonym,” today. The English language is so going to stop speaking to me soon.)

But seriously, guys, here is Rand’s “plan”:

“Once you take the Council of Merchants,” Rand continued […], “move the Aiel into the cities where those merchants ruled. Make sure those cities don’t degenerate. Restore order as you did in Bandar Eban. From there, begin hunting bandits and enforcing the law. Supplies will soon arrive from the Sea Folk. Take cities on the coast first, then move inland. Within a month’s time, the Domani should be flowing toward you, rather than running away from you. Offer them safety and food, and order will take care of itself.”

Really, Rand?

And yes, fine, Rand is the big kahuna, details are for minions, whatever, but still: really?

Oy. He’s being such a dick right now, I swear.

The only other thing worth noting here is that I appreciated the consistency re: Nynaeve, who despite all appearances (and self-assurances) to the contrary, is at heart a true egalitarian.

No, really. Anyone who tries, twice, to stir shit up about a ranking system that, if left unmolested, would place them squarely at the top of it can’t in honesty be called anything else. You go, girl.


Chapter 8: Clean Shirts

What Happens
Siuan follows Lelaine through the Rebel camp outside Tar Valon, worrying over the perpetually overcast sky. She is smug over the thousand or so novices that Egwene’s efforts have brought them, though she thinks that Lelaine’s decision to approve of even the older novices was a shrewd move in her campaign against Romanda, who has been openly disapproving of them. Siuan thinks that Lelaine is winning that fight overall, and that this is a problem.

In another era, Lelaine would have done well in the position [of Amyrlin]. But this world needed Egwene, and—friendship or not—Siuan couldn’t afford to let this woman displace the rightful Amyrlin. And she had to make certain Lelaine wasn’t taking action to prevent Egwene’s return.

Lelaine asks how the negotiations with Elaida’s people are going, and Siuan tells her they are at a stalemate, as Elaida’s emissaries refuse to concede any points; she thinks that they have no actual authority to make binding agreements at all. Lelaine replies that Egwene’s reports of Elaida’s behavior indicate her leadership has been “erratic at best.” Siuan contemplates how so many Aes Sedai, including Lelaine, seem to assume Siuan’s political astuteness has declined along with her strength in the Power; she had found that upsetting at first, but now she is finding it liberating, and wonders how often she had made the same mistake before she had been stilled. She worries, though, how long she can keep Lelaine and Romanda distracted, and wishes Egwene would hurry up and return.

Light! Some days, she felt that she was trying to juggle buttered live silverpike.

Lelaine then suggests that since Siuan is one of her attendants now, she should pay off Siuan’s debt to “that ruffian of a general of yours,” and Siuan almost panics at the thought. She talks Lelaine out of it by promising to keep an eye on Bryne, and makes her escape. She heads back to Bryne’s tent, and contemplates how the life she’d chosen had not left her much room for friendships or “entanglements.” She envies that Moiraine had at least gotten to go out and see the world in their pursuit of the Dragon Reborn, and wonders if perhaps now she might have more room for changes in her life. She enters the tent to find Bryne reading by a single candle, and chastises him for ruining his eyes; he grins at her comments.

Siuan sniffed again, loudly, to make sure he heard. Then she wove a globe of light and sent it hovering over beside his desk. Fool man. She wouldn’t have him going so blind he fell in battle to an attack he didn’t see.

Bryne then mentions that a woman from the camp offered to take over his laundry, but that he told her it was not necessary, as Siuan’s work in that area is to be “commended.” Siuan knows that this is a genuine compliment coming from him, and tries to hide her blush.

A person didn’t gain stature in Gareth Bryne’s eyes by being a king or queen; one gained stature by keeping to one’s oaths and doing one’s duty. To him, a compliment on laundry well done was as meaningful as a medal awarded to a soldier who had stood his ground before the enemy.

He comments that she never did explain why she broke her oath to him, and does not accept her explanation that she had to get Logain to Salidar as more than an excuse. He tells her that the question is what drove him to follow her all that way and then to throw his lot in with the rebels against his better judgment, but he despairs of ever getting a straight answer out of her.

“When I was still an Accepted in the White Tower,” Siuan said softly, “I was one of four people present when a Foretelling announced the imminent birth of the Dragon Reborn on the slopes of Dragonmount.”

His rustling froze.

She tells him the rest of the story, how Tamra was tortured and killed, and her hunters exposed and murdered by the Black Ajah, and how she and Moiraine were left as the only ones in the world who knew the truth, and how she swore to do whatever she had to to prepare for the Dragon and the Last Battle, which supercedes her oath to him.

“You blame me for the loss of a barn and some cows. Well, then I suggest that you consider the cost to your people should the Dragon Reborn fail. Sometimes, prices must be paid so that a more important duty can be served. I would expect a soldier to understand that.“

He says she should have told her, but she replies that he wouldn’t have believed her, which he reluctantly concedes. He tries to say something about releasing her, but she cuts him off sharply, and tells him she is done with him when she says, not him. Bryne mutters about “hunting boars with a rabbit knife,” but laughs, and she grins back, though she is panicking a little about what she told him. Then he astonishes her by telling her to go lay down with her “odd ring,” and to give his regards to the Amyrlin.

Insufferable... insufferable man! She’d have to do something to get back at him. Mice in the bedsheets. That would be a good payback.

She eventually falls asleep and meets Egwene in the Mistress of Novices’ study in Tel’aran’rhiod, though Egwene quickly relocates them to the novices’ dining hall, commenting she has “seen enough” of the study. Siuan catches her up on recent events, particularly the news that either Delana or Halima (most likely Halima) had been a Forsaken in disguise, wielding saidin, and had escaped, but also the news of the deal the Rebel Hall had made to bond forty-seven Asha’man in redress for the Aes Sedai forcibly bonded by the Asha’man. Siuan explains that it had been done without Rand’s knowledge or permission, but Egwene replies that Rand must still take responsibility for it. Siuan urges Egwene to return to the Rebel camp, telling her that she is losing control of Lelaine, who is setting herself up as a second Amyrlin by riding on Egwene’s coattails. Egwene tells her not to worry.

“Lelaine’s gambit will only succeed if I fail to return. She is using me as a source of authority. When I return, she’ll have no choice but to accept my leadership. She’ll have spent all of her effort building me up.”

“And if you don’t return, Mother?” Siuan asked softly.

”Then it will be better for the Aes Sedai to have a strong leader,” Egwene said. “If Lelaine has been the one to secure that strength, then so be it.”

Siuan grouses that she will be facing the Last Battle with hardly any of her former power, and Egwene promises to get her an angreal if possible; Siuan tells her how to find the storeroom in the Tower that contains the Tower’s collection of such objects. Egwene then sends her off, but says that they will meet every two days now, and possibly out in the city from now on, as she no longer trusts the Tower, even in the Dreamworld. Siuan wakes up, and thinks of reporting to Egwene that she might be in love, and decides to forego the mice for now.


“Buttered live silverpike”? I have no response to that, Siuan.

So a few important plot points were set up in this chapter, most importantly (and subtly) the info Siuan gives Egwene on how to find the Tower’s stash of *greal, which cleverly looks like a throwaway tidbit here but will, as we know, become pretty damn important later on, but my attention was mainly taken up by the huge strides forward this chapter finally took Siuan and Bryne’s relationship.

I remember being downright startled by that the first time I read this chapter. Probably because even in a series rife with relationships that take forever to actually be relationships, Siuan and Bryne’s proto-love affair stands out for its tardiness. And then, this chapter happened.

I mean, you guys. They actually smiled at each other in this chapter. At the same time, even! AND, they said true things to each other. You know it’s love in WOT when honesty gets involved!

(Truth? Hell: Bryne actually tells her, out loud, in this chapter that she has “passionate, haunting eyes,” which, seriously, Siuan, how on earth could you misinterpret that for anything else than that the man’s just as besotted with you as you are with him? Sheesh.)

Speaking of Bryne, one of the lines of the Harry Potter series that most struck me (bear with me, I have a point here) was in the fourth book, after Our Heroes had (dramatically) met Barty Crouch the Elder. Harry and Ron are giving Hermione a hard time about her suspicions re: Mr. Crouch, because her misgivings were based on how Crouch had treated his former house elf Winky (i.e. badly). Someone (I think it was Sirius, but I’m not sure) then gently corrects Harry and Ron, and says that Hermione has the right of it: if you want to get the measure of a man, look not at how he treats his equals, but how he treats those he considers his inferiors.

That line was immediately what I thought of when reading Siuan’s thought about Bryne’s compliment to her above. Not that Bryne thinks of Siuan as an underling or inferior, of course, but the point she was making was that it wouldn’t have made any difference to him if she were.

And that, my friend, is a pretty rare thing.

So, Bryne = Awesome, check. We pretty much knew that, though.

And, yes. That is what I have to say about this chapter.

So I guess this is a good place to stop! Have a delightful week, people, and I’ll see you next time!

1. maf212
happy birthday Robet Jordan!! You are missed.
2. Jeff R.
You know, 'paranoid' doesn't bother me a bit, even though you make a fine case why should. On the other hand, reading Sam Vimes use the word "shanghaied" in the latest Diskworld; that bugged the hell out of me.
Marcus W
3. toryx
I might be more disturbed by uses of words like "Paranoid" if they were actually speaking English, which they're not. So already, every word written is essentially a translation into our own language. Hence, a word such as "Paranoid" is only the modern english translation of whatever word suffices for that particular state of mind in their common tongue.

Granted, Sanderson does tend to use more modern terms overall than RJ did. Which is to be expected, really, because Sanderson is pretty damned young.
Sam Mickel
4. Samadai
It is so great that Nynaeve (the most powerful AS in modern time, probably since the breaking sees the inherit problems in a power ranking structure, She sure has turned into totally great awesomeness.
Ben Goodman
5. goodben
Re: paranoid: Are you trying to say that the concept of "thinks everyone's out to get him" does not predate 1904? Even if it doesn't that doesn't seem that far off from the target feel of 19th century minus railroads, steam, and gun powder (all of which are on the cusp) plus logical magic. Because nobody in WoT speaks English; everything is translated. The language convention in WoT seems to be to use fairly modern English with some renaissance language for flavor (i.e., small clothes for underwear, which dictionary.com claims originates from 1625-1635).

I had the opposite problem with /The Name of the Wind/ where the constant punning kept throwing my suspension of disbelief--Why are they speaking English?
6. JLHanke
Leigh, I am by no means a linguist, but a cursory search on the word "paranoid" brought me to a totally different conclusion than you. Paranoid is based on the Greek root word "paranoia", which means madness or derangement. It was used as far back as 408 BC in Euripedes play Orestes to basically describe exactly what Nynaeve is thinking here.

I found this by following a link chain from the second Wikipedia reference on the word "paranoid." That takes you to this link, which leads you to one of the uses in Orestes at this link.

Again, not a linguist, so I may be off here, but that's good enough for me!
7. mutantalbinocrocodile
Dissident opinion Re: The Name of the Wind. Rothfuss is completely having an insider laugh at the whole concept of fantasy linguistics instead of buying into it. Check out the "fantasy langauge" interjections--they're full of obscure, irrelevant, totally real Ancient Greek and Latin words. Mostly interjections and particles. Makes no sense at all. ROTFLMAO if you catch what he's up to.
Hugh Arai
8. HArai
samadai@4: The thing with Nynaeve is just plain consistency in her character. It's easier to pick apart flaws in ranking schemes when you don't actually consider them to apply to you. It doesn't really matter what ranking structure you postulate, Nynaeve will still expect people to do what she wants them to do. After all, that's really the only way she could consider what she did with the Kin to have "backfired". I guess we can call "everyone should listen to me equally" egalitarian :)
Kimani Rogers
9. KiManiak
Thanks, Leigh.

I’m sure that this group will discuss the subtle (although some may argue not that subtle at all) differences in writing style, pace, wording and characterization many times in our TGS and ToM posts.

“Paranoia” was not one that I caught or that pulled me out of the story, but it is an interesting point for Leigh to make. I think that identifying Rand as acting increasingly suspicious and less trusting of others is an observation that Nynaeve would make, even if she may not have used that particular word, so it didn’t bother me that much.

(EDIT: thanks to those who reminded us that Nynaeve isn't speaking English and that we're getting the "translated" version of her words/thoughts)

Actually, I think that Nynaeve’s increased development (sensitivity to Daigan’s circumstances, her acknowledging Rand’s plan to save Arad Doman as “surprisingly rational,” etc) and burgeoning awesomeness (finding ways of Healing Compulsion, Healing Madness, etc) is more linked to the fact that she is one of BWS’s favorite characters (if I remember his blog comments correctly) that he might be prone to writing more favorably; and I noticed that change in these 2 books more than some of the other points, or “transgressions,” that various commenters have made.

However, I still enjoy the story and don’t believe the changes are that egregious, so I wouldn’t place myself in the group of those that have major complaints with the shift in authors. I think BWS is doing a great job, and I’m really enjoying the story.

Anyway… I also like how Rhuarc and Bashere wouldn’t mind testing their skill against Ituralde. It seems so natural (and kind of bad-ass) to me; the best want to go against the best, to find out who is number one (the bestest?). I was going to say that's very much a guy thing to do, but then again I know (and am related to) some hyper-competitive females, so it's definitely a universal trait.

Siuan: I have to agree with Siuan’s assessment of selective blindness or amnesia by the other Aes Sedai to her political abilities. I understand that the existing AS hierarchy places strength in the Power as the most important factor, but it’s surprising (and almost unbelievable) that AS are so blinded by assessing strength of Power that they forget all other qualities their Sisters have.

How could the other AS forget she was a master politician and manipulator? That she was able to assess the political climate enough to be a capable Amyrlin in her 40s (when it’s likely that every Sitter had had the shawl for more years than Siuan had been alive)?

I respect that Siuan finds it liberating, but I continue to view it as a symptom of the overall problem the AS have: valuing the Power as a defining character trait almost to the exclusion of anything else. Talk about being out of touch.

Also, I like that Siuan finally confided in Bryne. And still had enough honor (or pride) to want to stick to her oath (although Siuan’s being in love, and recalling Min’s viewing may have also had something to do with it). But mice in the bedsheets? Come on, (wo)man! You're a grown ass woman; pranks are for kids.

And… I’m going to ignore Egwene’s comments about Rand being responsible for the 50 AS being forcibly bonded while overlooking the fact that the Ashaman acted in self defense and Rand was hundreds of miles away from the Black Tower, for now…

toryx@3 & goodben@5 – As I mentioned above, good points about Randlandians not speaking English; BWS was merely translating “paranoia” for us.

JL@6 – thanks for the word history lesson.
Matthew B
10. MatthewB
Words...who needs 'em? They think they are so frakking important and meaningful, but in reality, all they are is sounds with delusions of grandeur. If i put on a few pounds you won't see entire academic disciplines devoted to the studying me, but words...well i'll just come out and say it. Words are nothing more than sounds that never said no to an extra helping. That's right. I said it. Words are just fat sounds.

Is that mean enough for you?
11. Wortmauer
I wonder if Leigh will be as bothered by Mat's "backstories" as she is by "paranoid." I was! Guess we'll find out eventually.

I really wish Brandon had thought of the clever trick his friend Mary Robinette Kowal did to eliminate anachronistic language from her novel. (As she was going for an early 19th century style, she fed the entire Jane Austen canon into her spell checker, so it would flag any word Austen had never used, so she could take a hard look at it.) I suspect Brandon didn't even notice how jarring some of his word choices were. (Yes, I know he's not trying to mimic Jordan's style, blah blah blah. Even so. The "WOT canon spell checker" still would have been a good idea.)
Hugh Arai
12. HArai
Kimaniak@9: That bit made me wonder if Egwene was planning to own the AS putting Rand in the box. I'm betting on no.

@10: Umm. Sure?
13. Ted L.
First of all I can't believe you still believe this fantasy world is still a once and future earth. There are so many inconsistencies with that theory. I once believed that theory myself when I read about the flying jet like objects but since then the writing screams that it is not. Just look at Aviendas future flash where magic is still used. With gun powder being created within months of trains instead of centuries like how we had it. I think we would remember magic if it was used so short ago. There are plenty of instances that suggest it is earthlike but just not our earth. So please get away from the psychology term issues they are not relevant.

And for those of you thinking that the bore has to be sealed using the true source with the one power. Think for a second. In Rands aiel flashback he sees the bore was created to find the true source. So the second the bore starts to seal any access to it would go away. The only way would be to have someone using it on the inside sealing themselves in. But that wouldn't be a crossing the stream like event cause one side would be pure true source while the other side would be pure one power. The only person we know of on the good side who can wield the true source is Rand. So there goes any hope of him surviving it.
Mark Locy
14. Tathas
Thanks, again, for the re-read.

I myself found that the word paranoid threw me right out of my head too. Which was a remarkable occurrence because I usually don't mind that kind of stuff in stories.

I know that Brian Sanderson isn't going to slavishly follow RJ's writing style, and the differences are a little jarring, even now, as I read TOM. But, I have to say that I like one particular element of his writing over RJ's: Most every chapter seems to revolve around the Superboys or Supergirls. I originally fell off the WoT wagon because I couldn't keep track of the myriad different characters that just kept appearing. BS seems to keep that particular problem in check, and for that, I say, bravo.

I'm not sure why this comment is this way, oh yeah, language use and whatnot.
Eigor Maldonado
15. e-mann
I thought that Rand’s plan for Arad Doman was logical and yes, it was rather vague, but is still sounds as if he has the good of the people in mind. If I were living there, I would find it hard to stay in any location that was not offering safety, food, and order. This is what Rand is trying to accomplish with the Aiel leading the effort. I also like that he was leaving the ‘how to’ to the Aiel, more or less. I wonder if Rand is taking the example that the Seanchan are putting forth; they are offering safety, food, and order in all the lands that they occupy and the general population is not rebelling and some are migrating to them (such as Tinkers). Granted that Rand’s plan does not work out, seeing as the land is linked to him, but after his epiphany, it has the desired effect.
Charles Gaston
16. parrothead
Ah yes, "paranoid". Later I believe we get "psycho(tic/pathic)" and in ToM, "conservative" - for me the most jarring. I suppose it's the price we pay for the series we all love (and yes, I'm including you, Mr Sanderson).

Also: only 63? Wow, that's barely older than my parents; I always pictured him as at least a few years older. Scary.

I like the scene with Siuan and Bryne. It's been building since, what, Winter's Heart or earlier? Whenever it was that Egwene first spotted it. Although I am going to disagree with KiManiak @9 and hope she gets those mice. Just 'cause it's a nice call back to her Accepted days from New Spring.
Kurt Lorey
17. Shimrod
@9 KiManiak.

It's my opinion that the other Aes Sedai don't "remember" Suian's skills because they are allowing appearances to color their conclusions. Suian appears to be twenty (or so). How many of these Aes Sedai feel that a twenty-something knows anything about anything? I imagine it to be not very many.
18. Rootboy
I find Sanderson's very modern diction to be the biggest thing that pulls me out of his books. When he's building his own worlds I can mostly forgive it, but in WOT it comes across as inappropriate.
Roger Powell
19. forkroot
Ted L@13
You're confusing the "True Source" with the "True Power" - no thanks to RJ who made it easy to confuse them.

The "True Source" is another name for the power that drives the Wheel. The True Source has a male half (saidan) and a female half(saidar), cannot destroy cuendilllar, and is available to anyone who can channel.

The "True Power" is the essence of the Dark One - it can be accessed only by someone who can access the True Source and has also received the Dark One's permission to access the True Power (however there might be a loophole through the Rand/Moridin connection - BWS has refused to state explicitly whether the DO gave permission to Rand when he escaped from Semirhage.)

As far as we know, the TP is "unisex"; furthermore, weaves done with the TP are different from the True Source (consider how different Ishamael's gateways appear). We also know that cuendillar can be destroyed by the TP - which is a good thing, otherwise over the Ages we would eventually become awash in cuendillar.
20. AndrewB
Who says that Whites do not have practical ideas. I loved Daigian's explanation to Nynaeve as to why Aes Sedai need to suffer the way they do when they loose a Warder. Most of the explanations we get from White Sisters are so theoretical. For example, the discussion the that two White Sisters have regarding food spoilage.

In the to each their own department: Some posters above (including Leigh) liked that Nynaeve that to end a system where she would be one of the most influencial. One such reason was that they like Nynaeve. I dislike Nynaeve. So I focused on her hypocripsy (sp?). She waxed poetically about the power that she had when she used the access key; yet, she thought that Rand should give back the male access key since no person should have the right to use that power.

I am not trying to convince anyone that they should not like Nynaeve (nor could I accomplish that task if I wanted to). Just pointing out that whether on likes a character's action in a given chapter is often shaped by what whether one likes the character.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Hugh Arai
21. HArai
Ted L@13: So you presume to know more about how the series was set up than the author? Modest of you.
Week 18 Question: Who were the first channelers, and how did they learn? By trial and error? Are there any Ages where channeling does not exist? Robert Jordan Answers: The first people to discover the ability to channel learned through trial and error, with fairly high casualty rates until they learned enough not to kill themselves accidentally. Their appearance marked the beginning of the previous Age to that of the books, or at least the end of the Age before that one. Yes, as I have set things up, there are Ages when no one has any idea of how to channel or even that the One Power exists. Our own, for one. (The Wheel of Time turns.)
22. Ryanus
Anderw @20.

What hypocrasy there? She admitted how much she enjoyed having that power. In the same breath she also said she was thankful the access key was destroyed because she didn't trust herself with it.

So there's not really a hypocrasy in that. "That was incredible... One person can't be trusted with that power, I'm glad my ability to get it is gone now and I'm glad Cadsuances preventing Rand as well."
jeremiah gaster
23. jer
I agree with Ted@13.

But i would take it further...

anyone who seriously thinks that somehow jordan tapped into a hidden
history of our world is an idiot. (IE OUR WORLD IS NOT RANDLAND), sure
jordan might have written the story as if it could fit, but seriously
folks take a step away from the book, er crack pipe
Marcus W
24. toryx
Ted and Jer (@13 and 23 respectively):

No one is suggesting that the Wheel of Time as Jordan presented it is in any way real. However Jordan did include our Age, such as it exists, within the mythology of the series, going so far as to plant artifacts from our Age into the novels. All of which is, of course, fiction and everyone is well aware of that. But your accusations regarding Leigh are quite unfounded. Her statements, within the context of the series, are quite valid.

Wortmauer @ 11: Seriously. I totally agree.
25. Alphaleonis
Since we have seen a Mercedes Benz hood ornament, and heard stories about the cold war between Mosk and Merk, and had other indications that the WOT world followed ours, the word paranoid does not bother me. I'm just surprized that it hasn't morphed into "couplanerds".

Also e-mann @15. You mirrored my thoughts about Rand's plan for Arad Doman
Kimani Rogers
26. KiManiak
One of the (many, many) things about such an entertaining and well written series like WoT is that when you search through one of the books to research/support/refute a particular point or theory, you can easily get distracted in rereading some of your favorite sections. Sometimes even for an hour or so…


Harai@12 – Re: Egwene “owning up” to the responsibility of her AS putting Rand in a box and beating him – Ha! We’ll learn in ToM (A Good Soup) that Egwene tries to sidestep that responsibility while still holding Rand fully accountable for the AS being bonded. But, I’m trying to be good and give Egwene her props (or at least, seriously reduce my challenges of her) in this book (well, most of it anyway), before focusing yet again on her questionable choices and major issues that are detailed throughout the vast majority of this series…

Wort@11 – I actually liked Mat and his backstories :-) I have a feeling I’m in the minority and I can’t wait until the reread gets to those chapters to have the discussion.

e-mann@15 – I also thought that Rand’s order to the Aiel re: Arad Doman was sufficient. He identified what he wanted to see done; he then trusted Rhuarc, Bael and the others to carry it out. That is what good leaders should do: state your objective/goals and leave it up to your military leaders to devise a method to implement.

parrothead@16 – It could be funny, but then Bryne might have to spank her again and that could lead to Leigh having a blood vessel burst in her brain or something, and we definitely don’t want that… But, yeah, that was a good shout out to New Spring.

Shimrod@17 – I think it’s a valid point that you make there; it would be real easy for the AS to focus on Siuan’s youthful and changed appearance, and possibly allow that and her significantly reduced strength in the Power (which I would argue is the more important factor, as Siuan was still very young when she became Amyrlin, after all) to affect their perception of her capabilities. At the same time, it is unfortunate that the AS continue to “judge a book by its cover” as it were, instead of remembering that this woman was one of the more politically astute and skillful manipulators amongst the AS just a couple of years ago.

jer@23 – Speaking for myself, I’m quite aware that this is a fantasy series. Having said that, I also have no problems with the author setting up his fictional universe however he wants and showing connections to our universe as well. It’s fun to see him draw parallels and drop little nuggets here and there (the Mercedes Benz symbol, etc.). It’s also fun to go with it and theorize what Age we’re in, what happened to all the cuendillar in modern times, etc. I never got the impression that anyone was doing anything more than having fun with the possibilities; I see no evidence of the embryonic stages of a “WOT IS REAL” cult, or the like.

A question you might want to ponder: Why does the fact that some folks are having fun with a fantasy series that they love (enough to comment on a blog focused on the reread of that series), elicit such an emotional response from you? Or, to steal from the Joker: “Why so serioussss?”
Rob Munnelly
27. RobMRobM
@25. You forgot Anla the Wise Counselor. Ann Landers FTW.
Stefan Mitev
28. Bergmaniac
Those two chapters are good examples of two of the main reasons I like TGS much more than the previous two books. The first reason is that for the first time since ACOS, we got several pretty long Nynaeve PoV chapters, which is great. And then in the Siuan chapter we get a rare moment of WoT characters sharing info and confessing secrets, even more rare because it was between a man and a woman.
Roger Powell
29. forkroot
{:: Confidential to Freelancer - yes I saw @20 and no I'm not gonna flog the deceased equine ::}
30. pwl
There are plenty of instances that suggest it is earthlike but just not our earth.
You really should check out the Wheel of Time FAQ. While of course they aren't the same In Real Life because we have no reason to believe time is cyclical, Mr. Rigney obviously intended them to be so in his Fantasy series. Which is why there was a Mercedes Benz symbol in Tanchico (confirmed by the author), and why Lenn went to the moon in the belly of a eagle with wings of fire, and why Moscow and America were giants (Mosk and Merk) that fought with lances of fire. You're ignoring that the intent is obviously that our discovery of gunpowder (600 years ago, in our Age) is temporally distinct from the Randland discovery of such, as are any flying machines. Similar things reinvented in different ages, much like the True Source is lost and rediscovered in different Ages.
Just look at Aviendas future flash where magic is still used. With gun powder being created within months of trains instead of centuries like how we had it. I think we would remember magic if it was used so short ago.
There are seven Ages. Rand's story is in the Third. Ours is obviously not the Fourth, since the legends based on our time are still generally around just before then. It's obviously not supposed to be the Second (where the flying machines you reference were) because neither Tamyrlin or Lews Therin Telamon (nor, indeed, anybody channelling the True Source) has been a major world leader in our time.

I really hope you don't think some people here honestly believe that RJ's cosmology is real. But that is the only way I can make sense of your objections.
32. Hellzie
Hi, long time reader, first time commenter.

"Paranoid" wasn't so bad. The upcoming repeated use of 'honestly' just about everywhere, however, is what really stands out to me and throws my brain off track.

Honestly, you guys. I mean, honestly.
33. dlinderholm
@12: This is one of those frustrating times where Egwene is simultaneously awesome and incredibly annoying. On the one hand, I agree with her to some extent that Rand owns some responsibility for the bonding of the AS; he built the Black Tower, just because he doesn't feel like following through and actually running things doesn't mean he doesn't share some of the responsibility for their actions. That said, the bonding seems to me to have been the best possible outcome given how things could have turned out, and the fact that Egwene doesn't seem to see this is very frustrating - she blames Rand for this when the only apparent alternative would have been for the AS to be killed outright.

Her continuous harping on Rand forcing AS to swear an oath to him is also very off-putting. What would she have preferred, that he execute them? The tower AS, at least, certainly deserved it given their treatment of him as a prisoner (never mind kidnapping him in the first place). She never really seems to ask this question, though, she just tries to use his supposed abuse of AS as leverage to force him to do what she wants. As awesome as she is, she seems to be completely blinded at times (all of the time?) by her AS-centric POV.

This is really one of the things that fed into my frustration with the series (which in large part is intentional, I'm sure). It gets very old having all of the AS, even those who should know better (Egwene, Nynaeve, many others) absolutely certain that only they know the best course of action, never mind the constant evidence to the contrary. Fortunately this is mitigated to some extent (at least in relation to Egwene) a little later on when Egwene gets into her yelling match with Elaida and you get a little better idea of what exactly her intentions with Rand are - but we'll get to that when we get to it, I guess.
John Massey
34. subwoofer
Nynaeve and weather- glad to see some things stay the same. We are all waiting for that storm to break. In RL this winter is supposed to go drastically sideways so life- art, glad to meet ya both.

And yes, Nynaeve is bags of awesome, she's well on her way to becoming the next Cadsuane:)

What burns my ass about all this is not so much how Rand chooses to "save" Arad Doman, but how he treats the Aiel. It may be a difference in writing styles, but the whole culture has taken a back seat. There is no more "wetlander" or "Aiel humor", Aiel seem to be getting less and less respect among the wetlanders and I'm not sure I like this. The whole idea was that the last time the Aiel came over the Dragonwall, there were only three clans and they had their way with the "West". Now Rand supposedly has almost all the clans behind him, and he is still spinning his wheels. What gives? If Rand really wanted progress he'd hang what the Finn told him and let Tear and Illan deal with the problems of the lands and have the Aiel and the Borderland countries unite to fight the shadow. Let the Seanchan do laps trying to pacify a land that the Aiel are struggling with.

Siuan and Bryne... FINALLY! I thought somebody was going to die of old age before Siuan told her story about the Dragon coming along. Now the next bit of progress would be when Siuan stops busting the poor man's tenders. Of course if Bryne doesn't realize that this will probably happen for the rest of their relationship together... I'm going to have to take back his man-card as well as his status for being a master strategist. Dang.

35. Ted L.
I understand that nobody here actually believes that this is a hidden history but I can't understand how one second they say gun powder and trains being created at the same time is ok while a word is way out of context for the time. It's just insane to blIndly accept one and not the other. If you have a problem with one item due to temporal context than you should have a problem with so much more. I just accept it all.

Thanks for the clarification I appreciate it. But you did get my true point of the paragraph.

I am just saying that if he would have lived long enough to have completed the series and then taken the time to impartially reread them. Even Robert Jordan would admit he left plenty of loopholes big enough to drive if not a Mack truck through than atleast that Mercedes through in the whole randland is earth in another age thing. Just because something makes sense in someones mind doesn't mean that after pen hits paper and 4000 plot lines later that it still makes any sense. I am just glad that the story is still this entertaining.

And finally Leigh
Thank you for these rereads. They often point things out that I never thought of. Your summaries do the books justice and your commentary makes me think. Please don't take what I said as anything against you I just thought you got hung up on an item that I saw as having less merit to have an issue with than others you had not had one with.
Some Person
36. The Ninth Horse
Re: paranoid (and I know I'm repeating JLHanke@6 here),
???????? (paranoia) is from Ancient Greek, so some time from 9th century BCE to 6th century CE
Anthony Pero
37. anthonypero
re: paranoia

May already have been coverd but I'm commenting as I read, since I'm late to the party today. Semirhage's and Graendal's POVs and subsequent conversations show that in the AoL, the equivelant of modern psychology existed. It is quite possible that concepts, and even words, from that discipline have survived through the third age to arrive in Nynaeve's mouth in this chapter. Also, like any SFF, we have to assume that the language they are speaking is NOT English and being translated INTO english in culturally relevant ways ... or the whole thing is farcical. If we don't make that assumption, then Fantasy authors could never use a BUNCH of words, for example mentor, mentored, mentoring, etc... since these come from Greek mythology in the person of Mentor (and a thousand other examples of English words that derive from Greek mythology) and would have never existed in Randland, therefore the word could never exist and be used in that fashion. This is functionally no different than using paranoid to describe Rand's state of mind. She's not making a clinical diagnosis, she's making a common observation using a common word. This should certainly be covered under the Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Clause™.
38. AndrewB
Forkroot @29 -- As the poster (for lack of a better word) of Comment # 20, what was the dead horse that I tried to unearth? I am very curious. My spelling is horrible. I know that. I also made the post at work and did not have a lot of time.

If it is me still being "red," it has know become a signature-like thing. I will remain red until I complete my first read of the last book of WoT.

If it was none of the above, then I do not think it was a horse that was died for very long.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Anthony Pero
39. anthonypero
Harai@12, 26@KiManiak

What, exactly, does Egwene have to own up to? She was not Amyrlin when Rand was kidnapped. Rand, however, was the one in charge of the BT. He founded, he gave Mazrim Taim authority over it. How in teh world are these the same? Please explain.
40. Ryanus
Anthony. They both had those they are responsible for do something bad while acting completely on their own with no input from the supposed leader.

Egwene as Amyrlin is responsible for all Aes Sedai, even the ones who didn't acknowledge her yet.

Rand as founder of the BT is responsible for all Asha'Man, even ones acting under situations he doesn't know about.

And as someone else said. Which solution would we rather Logain had taken? Kill them? Still them? Shield, bind them and dump them back at the White Tower with a note (That one actually seems like it might have been a very good idea).

I don't think anyone really has an issue that she ties it to him so much as that she refuses to even acknowledge the concept that the Asha'man acted on their own volition without his influence. Just like the Tower Aes Sedai do from time to time.
Anthony Pero
41. anthonypero
Yeah, totally the same... not. Egwene was being manipulated and used like a puppet by one faction against another... and it was the other faction who sent these people to Rand. I'm not even sure in the timeline if Egwene had been raised by the Hall in exile yet. The illegitimate hall, I might add. Don't forget what happens at the end of this book. Egwene forces the Salidar hall to accept punishment for their illegal rebellion. Egwene is not truly the Amyrlin until the Tower hall asks her to be, by Tower law. She may be the "true Amyrlin" in spirit, but not by Law, and regardless, when the Tower Embassy was sent to Rand... she was still WITH Rand and Cairhien. They were given their orders by Elida, the Amyrlin, LOOOOONG before Egwene was raised in Salidar. In no way shape or form does Egwene have any culpability in her presecessor's action. That's like saying the Obama administration is responsible for something the Bush administration did. They may have to deal with the consequences, but they are not culpable. It's catagorically ridiculous.
Stefan Mitev
42. Bergmaniac
Rand is really treating the Aiel chiefs quite poorly throughout TGS, which is a shame. Aviendha should've talked to him about it. She made a good point later on that h could've phrased his orders to sound more acceptable to them. And he really needed someone to remind him again the Car’a’carn is no King. Maybe the Maidens could've used a spanking to teach him that, but that would've been bad for Leigh's blood pressure...;)
Tyler Will
43. Willard17
Did anyone find this quote from Siuan hilarious after the events of ToM with the bloodknife? It definitely produced a nice laugh from me!

"She wouldn’t have him going so blind he fell in battle to an attack he didn’t see."

Way to foreshadow Brandon Sanderson!
44. MasterAlThor
I love my brother Samadai, but Nynaeve is still a jerk. Now she does get awesome but not yet. For that matter so is Egwene. Egwene just believes that she knows better than everyone else. Part of that is Nynaeve's fault, but at least she has the excuse of not being taken seriously cause of her age.

Brother Woof hope everything is going well with that beautiful daughter of yours. Need more pics.

45. Freelancer
RE: Nynaeve, I am with HArai @8

Egalitarian? Well, I'll allow some room for a reformed definition, if what you mean is her consistently empathetic sense of fairness. For all of her many faults, Nynaeve is a Healer because she takes interest in others, and that interest is imprinted most readily with whomever she is currently sharing space. Also, remember that Nynaeve has always pitted herself against the larger system of the Aes Sedai, so any opportunity to take a stand (justifiable in the case, for sure) against it will be considered a Challenge Accepted. And given Nynaeve's talents, abilities, and raw animal charm, who is to say that any other system of ranking wouldn't provide her an equal avenue to that same pinnacle?

And while we've all been waiting for the Siuan-Gareth connection to finally weigh anchor, I don't think of it as tardy. Such anticipation can be quite delicious, if properly savored. They are two hard-bitten warriors, with no time for personal concerns, and it has taken until about this point for either of them to allow the slightest bit of vulnerability to show. That is what it takes for a relationship to take hold, after all. After all, even in their POVs, they have been kidding themselves about each other all this time.
46. RealPoltik
Regarding the binding situation... It might sound cold but to some extent 'kill them' solution would actually be quite viable given the completely screwed up Aes Sedai mental state. Living, bonded Aes Sedai present an ongoing living, breathing problem for the White Tower. 40 dead Aes Sedai could be written off has a tragic accident.

The WT reasoning would go something like:
Sisters occasionally die trying to capture and gentle men. The fact that 40 died this time is a horrible; however, they knew the risks and died trying. There is no qualitative difference between a dead sister trying to gentle a man and 40 dead sisters trying to gentle a hundred men. We can count their deaths as tragic sacrifice for the greater good and move on. Living sisters are a tragic ongoing public nightmare. Not only did they fail but they were seen to fail. That is an affront to Tower Dignity and prestige. We must now crush the Black Tower or risk losing our reputation and control of the rest of the world and everything will fall apart without us there to save it. If we can't afford to crush the Black Tower we still need to show that we are the superiors and can never deal with them as equals that would undermine Tower Prestige...
47. macster
I'm finding the fact that people can come in and tear apart Jordan's world and writing, and fans' love of it, on the very day after his birthday, rather ironic and disrespectful. Not that he should be above criticism of course (providing it is accurate criticism), but the timing leaves something to be desired.

@35 Ted L, the problem with your assessment is, well, it's wrong. As others have clearly stated and shown, there is plenty of evidence put into the series by Jordan to suggest the world of WOT is a future Earth. He outright stated this was the case, so calling that a 'theory' is simply false; it's fact. Now whether he implemented the references to Earth well is a separate matter. Still, the fact you find there are 'holes' in this notion is less because he didn't properly reference and explain them, and more because he was deliberately playing with the notion of legend and myth changing memory and history over time. Of course people don't know the full story of our world, and of course things are misidentified, garbled, mixed up, and disconnected; that would be the case even with just a regular, but very long, passage of linear time. When you throw in the cyclical conceit, and the fact so much history was lost due to the Breaking, the Trolloc Wars, and the War of the Hundred Years, naturally people are not going to remember everything, or remember it correctly. Jordan was deliberately leaving room for interpretation, while including references as a wink and a nod to the readers who were paying attention. That isn't a failure on his part, but a stylistic choice. Now, of course, that doesn't mean you have to like it.

And all of that said, you are absolutely right about the absurdity of objecting to one aspect of WOT being a future Earth while accepting others. Because really, Leigh...one word? That's what you object to? Obviously, as always, you can write your blog how you wish and focus on what you want, but this strikes me as rather silly. Particularly when, as others have pointed out so astutely a) the word paranoia existed long before 1904, even if the specific psych0logical term didn't b) there are many other 'inappropriate' words which could have been objected to, with more basis (like for example the terminology the Whites use in that scene when they debated about the food shortage), and many of them originated with Jordan, not Sanderson c) translation convention d) knowledge of our world which was passed down through the Age of Legends and beyond could have included such a term and e) in support of this (as anthonypero pointed out *high-fives*) there is the specific fact Graendal and Semirhage both made reference to modern psychology (in fact just calling Graendal a psychologist would be a modern appellation, since that word as a discrete term for the field of mental medicine would presumably not exist in a fantasy world either).

So...I call shenanigans. Believe me, I did object to some of Sanderson's diction, or at least got knocked out of the story by it, but this wasn't an example of it for me. Particularly since, inappropriateness of the word or not, as you said yourself what Nynaeve was describing was accurate of Rand, and it was accurate she would be the one to notice it.

That said, however, I do agree with Wortmauer that it would have been better, or at least interesting, if Sanderson had used such a filter to make his language fit WOT better. That would have just been striving for a closer reflection of WOT so as not to be so strikingly different, rather than attempting to imitate Jordan himself too slavishly.

@9 KiManiak: Obviously we aren't going to agree on Nynaeve, and the fact I like her means my opinion is biased, but while I do agree she seemed to get much better and more likable when Sanderson took the helm, I think Jordan was planting signs of her character growth before he died. And even though she can be annoying, aggravating, and at times shockingly selfish, at the same time it has always been a defining trait of hers (EDIT: as Freelancer pointed out! *waves*) that she cares for others and wants to help them, particularly the Emond's Fielders--it's why she was a Wisdom and why she apprenticed to Yellows so as to study Healing. So I can easily see her changing, over time, to become more solicitous of others' welfare, to be more observant of their problems and more willing to render aid, advice, and sympathy. As often seems to be the case, the problem may more be in Sanderson's execution--not that the change in Nynaeve is unbelievable or inaccurate to her character, but that it happened too quickly, and at least partly off-screen.

So you know though, you're not alone: I loved the bit with Mat's backstories. Even if the term was inaccurate, in this case I think Rule of Funny trumps that. Obviously though, YMMV since not everyone found it funny.

@22 Ryanus: I agree with you 100%.

On Egwene harping: I think anthonypero @41 has it exactly right, but I would take it a step farther--while it is true that Rand did create the Black Tower and set things up with Taim doing the recruiting (then never went back to check up on him and correct any flaws in his teaching method), he did not expressly order the bonding of the AS or send those who did it. So in that respect, while he may be more culpable than Egwene is, he also does not hold full responsibility for the Asha'man's actions. In which case, what he did when becoming outraged at Logain, then ordering the bonding of Asha'man as recompense, was merely the same thing Egwene says later on--addressing an issue which, while he did not cause it, he did inherit and had to take responsibility for. The difference being that Egwene comes off as annoying because she doesn't seem to be doing anything to the sisters who captured Rand, while at least Rand did something to reprimand the Asha'man and redress the balance.

I don't know whether she actually ever will punish them (she may believe that with Elaida and Galina gone, the worst offenders are already dealt with and any further punishment would only exacerbate matters and prevent the healing of the reunified Tower--which is wrong IMO, I really do think she should have formally censured those who held Rand, to make a statement regarding his treatment as categorically inhumane). But it is still true that, while she isn't taking as much responsibility as Rand is, what was done by the Tower before she became Amyrlin really does place her actions in a different light than Rand's. To a point, she has more freedom in whether she chooses to acknowledge what Elaida did as her responsbility than Rand does with Taim; of course once she did acknowledge it, the fact her addressing of the issue comes across as far less admirable, emphatic, and decisive than Rand's is what creates the disconnect, I think. That, and she's letting the prestige of the Tower get in the way of admitting Aes Sedai mistakes, even ones that weren't hers.

On the plan for Arad Doman: let me throw my support in for Rand actually making sense here and doing the right thing. Granted, we don't see it work out right because of Rand's cuendillar mindset and how it brings about the negative side of the Fisher King, but the ideas themselves are sound, particularly as e-mann @15 pointed out the parallels with Rand's later discoveries about life under the orderly Seanchan in Ebou Dar. Not giving any details may have been an oversight, but the overall plan seems sound, and Rand was trusting Bashere and the Aiel to make it work since there are still many things he doesn't know about leadership which means it makes sense to delegate.

That said, you're quite right about the horrible way Rand is treating the Aiel, Subwoofer. However, I think that is less Sanderson not knowing what to do with them and more him following Jordan's notes. As we have seen, Rand is alienating everyone on his way to the nadir of his darkness, so I think him mistreating the Aiel was simply another aspect of this character arc. Doesn't make it any more fun to read, though. From what we see with Aviendha's Rhuidean trip in ToM, I think the Aiel will become more important, and be handled properly, in AMoL.

I also find it amusing, though, that no one has commented that Cadsuane, of all people, is one of those reprimanding Rand for how he was treating the Aiel. Granted, she still does it in her characteristically acerbic way, but she is absolutely correct on the ratio of Aiel failures to Rand's. Whatever you think of Cadsuane, you can't deny that sometimes even she can be right and penetratingly observant on important matters.

@43 Willard17 re: Bloodknives: You are misremembering, that event with Siuan and Bryne happens near the end of this book, during the Seanchan attack on the Tower and Egwene's 'rescue', not in ToM. Otherwise though you're quite right about the foreshadowing. And subtle too, I didn't notice that until now, kudos!

Otherwise, not much for me to say about the chapters themselves. Other than to note that while I have always liked the Siuan/Bryne relationship however contrived it may have felt at first (maybe I am just a sucker for Slap Slap Kiss, though I think Freelancer is also right on the money about how it developed and why), I agree that seeing them finally be open and honest, and have actual progress on their relationship, was heartwarming, fun, and a breath of fresh air. I pretty much enjoy all their moments from here on out; one in particular I just re-read in ToM, Chapter 22 "End of a Legend", the chapter where Bryne talks to Gawyn about Egwene and Siuan walks in on them. The bit with the mice was also a hilarious callback to NS. (I wonder if Jordan had that icon invented for NS precisely so he could use it in the future with Siuan.)

Oh and one further thing: while seeing Nynaeve commiserate with Daigian about Eben and her bottom-rung status among the AS was admirable and says much of Nynaeve's character, it also left me feeling the knife twisting in my heart, knowing what happens to Daigian later in this book. Talk about bringing a character into the spotlight and developing her just enough to make you care, before... *bites lip*
@46. RealPoltik

Thats an interesting supposition to the political thinking that could have gone into the choice of kill'em all or spare them...with conditions.

But that much thought was not to be during that time. No, there were hot tempers absolutely flaming in the background. Killing them while an option would have brought a whole heap of furious Aes Sedai on there heads at a time where the Asha'man could not realisticly defend against such a force. Sure there are a couple hundred Asha'man but there are over a thousand Aes Sedai. And half of the Asha'man are noobs. They'd get crushed.

If you think this an unlikely scenario, take a moment to look at the times and the difficulties of things therein:

1. Saidin is still dirty. And so the Tower has an obligation to get the Asha'man under control anyway.
2. 40 dead Aes Sedai is a whole lot of dead Aes Sedai, during a time where untimely unnatural deaths within their ranks are rare. It wouldn't be a tragedy, it would be an act of war.
3. Elaida is a Red.
4. Elaida is an idiot.
5. The Asha'man wouldn't have to worry about the Aes Sedai because Rand would hunt down all those responsible. At which time he would Still and execute them. And thats if he was in a good mood. My bet would be Rand joyfuly dustifying them with the Choedan Kal.


john mullen
49. johntheirishmongol
I never thought it was that striking a difference that I would complain about the language that Brandon uses over RJ. I suspect that when the final notes come out we will be highly surprised what RJ wrote and what Brandon filled in. I agree with those who say it's a translation anyway, and translators have slightly different voices and interpretations.

Looks to me like Siuan has re-invented sushi. It is really nice that they finally admitted their love for each other, but it hasn't been a secret for quite a while. I was more impressed that she finally told him about her reasons for leaving.

Other than that, not a lot of moving the story along, just mostly catch up time.
50. beerofthedark
not to be a stirrer, but everyone is well aware that gunpowder in Randland is hundreds, if not thousands of years old, aren't they? The use of it in a military context has just been (re)invented, but we are told that the Guild of Illuminators has been around for (iirc) hundreds of years jealously guarding its combustible powders. There's nothing to indicate whether it was known or not prior to the Guild's founding, but if you want a 500 year gap between gunpowder and steam power you have it.
Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
Quick thoughts
- as noted in one of my earlier posts, I have difficulties reading the Rand posts because I find them painful. Thus, apart from Nyn showing her awesome sauce in her weaves and personality, not much to say about first chapter.
- I very much enjoyed the second chapter. Siuan - Brynne - finally and, agree, honesty can be the best policy. I also didn't like Eg's answer re the bonding of AS by Asha'men. I'm one of Eg's big supporters on this re-read, through think and thin, and this one disappointed me. Not to the degree she ticked me off in ToM, but irritating nonetheless. I don't mind her thinking herself clever (she is) but whenever she assumes she's the only one with the right answers, she goes -1 in my tally sheet.

Rob Munnelly
52. RobMRobM
On the general subject to Brandon's writing, it's different from RJ and I accept that. Paranoid and word quirks didn't bother me. I miss BS's occasional tendency to oversimplify complex characters (notably, Elaida). I don't miss RJ's tendency to drift as seen in the later books, and BS fixed that brilliantly. Mixed bag but I appreciate the strengths of both writers.


P.s. Forkroot-count me as another one who didn't understand your cryptic comment to Free re post 20. Inquiring minds want to know and all that.
53. matmj
Hi Leigh,
Enjoyed the post as always.


This dosn't bother me in the slightest, this book and the series are a work of fiction, and fantasy to boot. If the text says the rain is falling the other way, then thats whats happenning. If the text says the world is flat and on top of four giant elephants supported by a giant turtle, then that becomes fact.

However if you wish to justify the text, i like the pre-stated view that this is all a translation of the language all our characters are speaking.

Also in our time and space we haven't Aes Sedai for thousands of years, we dont live with a circular timeline, at least I dont think so. who's to say there wasnt a Freud in their previous lives and the language evolved with it.


Douglas Miller
54. douglas
@Ted L.

Regarding the "WoT = Earth" thing and problems with it: what, exactly, are these loopholes and plot holes "big enough to drive a Mercedes through"? The only thing I've seen you mention that might count is the magic being too recent so we'd still remember it, but you have absolutely no basis for that. Even the future in Avhienda's visions still has four entire Ages to go before "our" Age comes around again. Real-world Earth is the First Age, the Age of Legends is the Second Age, the books happen at the end of the Third Age, Avhienda's visions are early in the Fourth Age, and there are a total of seven Ages. There's still most of the Fourth Age and all of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Ages to go through before it would wrap around to even ancient prehistory of the "real world" First Age, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Third Age is by far the shortest Age of them all. There's plenty of time in all of that for magic to go from a practical tool to a derided legend that does no more than inspire charlatans to imitate it with sleight of hand.
Ryan Reich
55. ryanreich
@50: Gunpowder was around in our world for hundreds of years before it was used in guns, and even that predated steam engines by a few hundred years. So you're still missing a phase.

Paranoid: I support Leigh's position. The word jarred me also and for the same reasons: it's not that the idea is wrong (crazy people have always been crazy in the same way, being equally people) or even that the word is impossible, but that the way Nynaeve says it is out of place. She states it like a characterization, as though mental illness is something whose aspects are understood and described by concise jargon.

Doing that sort of thing is a major signifier of organized scientific thinking, and not doing it is a major signifier of "fantasy" thinking. In fantasy, no one talks like they are drawing from a well of systematic knowledge; they talk like they are figuring it out for themselves. A basic example: talking about age. Which one sounds more like fantasy? "I am thirty." "I am thirty years old." "I have seen thirty years/winters". The last one is really classic: it's not about your internal state at all, almost as though one does not have age but actually lives it. The first one is definitely not fantasy: it's like giving your social security number. Nothing naturalistic about it at all, just a statistic. The second one is borderline.

Same with "paranoid". She could say "he suspects everyone", as she did in her second sentence. She could even, as she did, apply that observation to madmen in general. But to say "he is paranoid" is to apply an abstract characteristic to him, not just an empirical observation but a theoretical classification of insanity. And that's just not something that exists in this world in this day.
Chin Bawambi
56. bawambi
I rarely disagree with Leigh in toto but paranoid is one of those times. Otherwise, the entire series and every fantasy series would have to be written in either Shakespearean or King James english.
57. pwl
but I can't understand how one second they say gun powder and trains being created at the same time is ok while a word is way out of context for the time.
What's so hard about this ? In our Age, gun powder and trains were invented at a certain time. In other Ages, gun powder and trains were developed in a different time scale in the Third Age, completely independently of our discovery. I have no idea where your supposed inconsistency arises. We know when trains and gun powder were developed in our timeline. Jordan isn't trying to say that the Tinker Guild invented gun powder instead of the Chinese. He's showing (well, showing the effects of) an independent rediscovery. It will be forgotten within an Age or two, and rediscovered in ours.
Ryan Reich
58. ryanreich
@56: That's "false dichotomy" and "wishful thinking" in one sentence. The rest of Jordan's writing amply demonstrates that you can achieve a pre-modern atmosphere by writing in perfectly modern English, while just avoiding a few modern concepts.
Chin Bawambi
59. bawambi
Ryan you just made my point. I really don't get how a modern english word is offputting in the slightest.
60. Wortmauer
bawambi@56: Otherwise, the entire series and every fantasy series would have to be written in either Shakespearean or King James english.
Ummm ... "either Shakespearean or King James English"? Shakespeare and King James I lived around the same time. And in particular, the King James Bible was translated during the same years (early 1600s) Shakespeare was writing plays. Aside from that, +1 to ryanreich@58's point. It's a false dichotomy.

All the bit about steam engines and gunpowder misses the point. The demise of Age of Legends technology in the Breaking set the world back a good way, but some things remained that our modern world certainly didn't have 3000 years ago, such as the printing press. Not everything evolved at the pace it did in our own Middle Ages or Renaissance. In fact, if anything, you can look at Randland and try and figure out why technology remained roughly stagnant for 3000 years. Maybe it's because of Ba'alzamon's mini-cataclysms every 1000 years, or maybe there are sociological reasons that I'm not clever enough to think of, since I haven't read Guns, Germs and Steel. (Can anyone who has read GG&S comment on this? Does it provide any insight on why a society like Randland might remain technologically stagnant for so long?)

All that said, we have seen no evidence that the Third Age has retained any concept of psychiatry as a discipline. (We do know the Age of Legends had it.) In our story at the end of the Third Age, people speak of "madness" and "losing your wits," but I can recall nothing that indicates a system of classification of mental states, like paranoia. This is why Nynaeve's use of such a specific term of art, in a discipline that does not appear to exist in her world, is jarring. Even if she is Yellow Ajah.

It's as though the folks trying to perfect that steam-wagon were tinkering with how to get fresh air into their boiler, and someone used the term intake manifold. All the "remember, this is just a translation" and all the "maybe they somehow remembered the term from the Age of Legends" in the world couldn't justify that.
Rich Bennett
61. Neuralnet
To me Rand's plan for Arad Doman has a strong parallel to the U. S. in Iraq... I can just never get that out of my head when I read these sections of the book. I always wonder if that was intentional or am I just crazy.
Chin Bawambi
62. bawambi
Wort and Ryan,

We gotta agree to disagree on this one. This particular aspect of fantasy writing just never pulls me out of the story.
63. Wortmauer
Neuralnet@61: Well, at least they didn't find Graendal hiding in a hole under someone's basement. Or, conversely, the US didn't take out Saddam's palace with a tac nuke.
Tess Laird
65. thewindrose
For those who are wondering:
Forkroot has a special place in his heart for the misuse of lose vs loose:)

Agree with RobMRobM that is hard to read Rand as he gets harder and harder. It makes his epiphany on the mountain that much sweeter though. And the Apples chapter in ToM is great! I look forward to the promised PoV's that Rand will have in aMoL - I realize that there is going to be some strong conflicting thoughts going through his head as the Forsaken who are left try to break though his new found peace.

Hard to see the Aiel used as a police force when they are such good fighters. It makes me think about what they will actually be doing after TG(the remnants who are left). I am sure there will be loose ends to resolve after TG(baddies that haven't been killed yet - strirring up trouble) that the current Aiel can track and take out. However, it's hard to think of them turning into the tinkers. I also don't think aMoL will cover this - so yeah...

Sometimes, and I'm very loosely generalizing here, people can go a little bit to far with the over-analizing thing. I for one have never even attempted to see the differences in writing style and such between RJ and BS. All I was asking for was the story, the dream, to come to completion and I am UNBELIEVABLY greatful that it shall be so. (I'm just hoping the world doesn't end before I can finish the last book!)

I admit a curiosity as to how well this could be done without RJ's hand doing the writing. But when it came time to sit down and read, I noticed very little if any differences. And I think that was because I just wanted the dream to continue. I wanted to hear Mat's expletives at every roll of the di or even better when they stop. I wanted to cringe as I listened to Perrin's annoying whining about everything. But most of all I wanted to continue to walk in the shadow of Rand and root him on and hope he gets to survive it all.

It annoys me to no end that so many sit down to read with "Now how is he going to screw this up for me" attitude in the back of their minds. Then nic-pic over such things as a single word or words if you were interupted by more. Its like being disappointed that Eric Van Lustbader can't quite match exactly Robert Ludlum's prose in the Bourne series, post Ludlum's death. You know its gonna be different. They're not the same writer. If RJ had an identical twin who also wrote and shared in the Wheel of Time's creation, it still wouldn't be the same because its still a different writer. No matter who was chosen for this unfathomably difficult task of finishing a storyline so beloved, there is gonna be some difference as to what the feel of the writing will be like. Words, phrases, style, everything is gonna be slightly off. I know this so I choose to ignore it.

The story is still RJ's and yours and mine. That hasn't changed, but the Author has. So should we really let that destroy our ability to enjoy the story? Its not as if BS has butchered the story. He's done an Outstanding job in my opinion. I'm thinking we need to cut the guy some slack.

I mean come on.... do you realise what he's had to do? He has the disadvantage of not being the creator of the series that is still ongoing. Which means he doesn't have RJ's decades of contemplation, revisions, details fore and against, conversations about the story with friends, family and colleagues. He doesn't have all those little tidbits of information that would be in a writers head about the personalities of all the characters and all the plot lines. Imagine saying to yourself hundreds if not thousands of times that said character would do this but not that because of this and that. Imagine how many time he'd say "well he can't do this because of this reference here and and though he could do that, its just not plausible that he'd have that info to give him a reason to do it." Brandon has had none of that benefit, but write on he does. Because he was asked to.

Can you imagine the weight on your shoulders to do justice to that? And all we can do is nic pic over a word, a phrase or a description as if you or anyone else know exactly how RJ would have put it? I haven't yet learned how to speak to the dead and I'm sure all of you detractors haven't either.

I've been with this series since 91 or 92. I've read (just like many of you) this series, book by book, about 10 times each and have scanned through them hundreds of times. I've been a member of forums here and there, private, local, in university clubs, through letters and email lists, but mostly just among friends who are fans...sometimes coworkers too. My knowledge is no less than anothers albiet my memory isn't without flaw. So honest mistakes aside, my words are worth no less than Anyone's, except of course Brandon's and RJ's family. That includes those who are members of clubs that exist now as cliqs, who postulate and lord over these blogs as if they have some divine right to be taken more seriously than any other noob or veteran. My knowledge should be taken no less than even Leigh's. Nor should yours. That is not to say that she is not in fact more knowledgeable than I about these books, but what? Does she have a Doctorate in Randland Histories? She is an awesome writer, blogger and as just a regular jane. Awesome I say! That and.... that she is just a Kool Chic
(I know she might hate the word 'chic', but certain words are meant to spawn a feeling in ones spirit, rather than a definition in ones mind, and Kool Chic is one of admiration and warm fuzzy feelings. Sorta like the drink!) But she or anyone else are not the end all and be all.

Not one of us here would go near this endeavor to continue this work of art and literature. This is the Hall of Fame, people! This is like arguing whether Mario Lemiuex was ever anywhere near Wayne Gretsky. The Great One? Pleeeease! There is no comparison. But imagine Mario having to be Gretsky for the last 7 years of Gretsky's career. Seriously? A severe impossibilty. Kobe! Go be Jordan for 2 years! Come on...

RJ, 5 or 30 years from now, will be studied in english literature classes, if not already. Brandon is just... well... Brandon, at the moment. And he is being asked to continue arguably one of the greatest works in SciFI/Fantasy history.

Cut. The. Guy. Some. Slack.

Forealdo....a word? Pfft, ...you trip'n!!!

Ryan Reich
67. ryanreich
@66: I can be grateful to Sanderson for taking up the mantle and simultaneously critical of how he wears it. tGS is a fantastic book but it has some prose issues. Jordan's first eleven were fantastic but had some pacing issues. Was Leigh being ungrateful to Jordan for complaining about his implicit gender bias? Relax.
Marcus W
68. toryx
@ 66:

It's not like I'm sitting down with TGS or ToM with a highlighter, looking for something Sanderson is doing that's going to annoy me. It's more like I'm sitting down in front of the TV, watching one of my favorite shows and suddenly a character is speaking with the wrong accent or (as in the case of Mat) the original actor has been replaced by someone else entirely who looks completely different AND performs the role differently. (Actually, the first time I read TGS I actually thought that reading Mat's chapters was like watching Back to the Future with Eric Stoltz instead of Michael J. Fox.)

It jolts me out of the story. The show stops, the lights come up and I have the mental equivalent of "We are experiencing Technical Difficulties, please bear with us" sign in glowing neon hanging in front of my eyes.

I don't want to get kicked out of the show. I don't want to ruminate on how things are different. But I don't have a choice, it happens just the same.

I'm not really blaming anyone for this either. I think Sanderson has done as good a job as can be hoped for. But it doesn't mean I'm not going to comment on it. That's one of the prices that has to be paid for keeping with the story as written by someone else. I accept that, that's why I'm still reading. And while I'm happy for those of you who don't have this problem, I'm not going to pretend it doesn't exist for me.
Hugh Arai
69. HArai
anthonypero@41, macster@47: My point was not that Egwene is personally culpable for Rand's kidnapping and torture. I don't think she is. However, I don't think Rand is personally culpable for actions done by Asha'man in self-defence without orders, while Rand is out of contact either. My point is that if you are going to argue, as Egwene does (and not unreasonably in my opinion) that the head of the Black Tower has to own and deal with the acts of the Black Tower members, then so does the head of the White Tower. Aes Sedai formally acknowledged by the official Amyrlin of the time went and kidnapped and tortured Rand, with the official support of the White Tower. That does not go away when a new Amyrlin is chosen. That new Amyrlin needs to own it, and deal with it. It's not Egwene's fault it happened, but she does have the responsibility to say what the AS are going to do about it. And if that is nothing at all, well, that's on Egwene. Rand faced the same situation and stepped up, 'evil Rand' or no.
My extended "rant" was simply to balance all of the criticizms that have been ongoing since TGS hit the shelves. Whether it be Leigh or whomever, it is getting to be a bit dense with detractors. This is Leigh's blog and so she gets to say whatever she wants. Whether or not I or anyone else agrees is moot for that reason. And it is why my dissent against the criticizm is not directed at her. She very clearly pointed out that she was being a bit silly about it and simply wanted to share with us. But Jeez, everyone bit on that one real quick and the occasional became an excuse to rant over trivialities to a degree that somebody needed to mount a dissenting "rant" about all of the criticizms, not simply the subject matter.

@69 HArai

I'm in complete agreement with you here. Love'm or hate'm, Rand has never been afraid to correct a known wrong. He goes out of his way to do so if he can. Nowadays its a little less noticeable given his Anakin like leanings. But he has always, even now, been going about the process of saving as many as he can, given the little time that he has, while simultaneously trying to figure out how he is gonna save the world.
Valentin M
72. ValMar
toryx @ 68

Well put, completely agree. BwS has undertaken a massive task and is doing great, but there is a price for the fact that it's not RJ writing these last books.
Should I start having a go at people who are specifialy praising BwS for writing things differently than RJ? By definition they are slagging off RJ.

Basically, folks here who raise occasional issues with the last 2 books are always more than complementary to BwS, including me. He doesn't really need defense here, IMO.

windrose @ 65

I have an issue with lose/loose, and similar, too. This kind of staff seems to be getting worse... How hard can it be?! The words mean different things, are spelt differently... (halts the beginning of a promising rant)
windrose @ 65, 72. ValMar

Well you know... it could have been a simple mistake of double taping the O. Or there is the common, unconcious, missconseption that everyone reading and responding to this blog, 'native language is English. I've read many times (just resintly in fact, in the commerative page for Robert Jordan's death) about the difficulty of translating in writing form and how mistakes can be made, by the editors even. *smacks da forehead*. http://www.tor.com/community/users/Randalator
see @ 14. Randalator

Like I said... nic pic! On the otherhand, multiple infractions in the same paragraph or sentence for that matter *uhnn!*, can be quite annoying when trying to gleen the meaning of anothers words.

Anthony Pero
74. anthonypero
Anyone know how long the Illuminators have been around? Since Hawkwing's time? So, Gunpowder has been around at least a thousand years. Please stop confusing the use of gunpowder with ballistic weapons as it's discovery. They are not the same.
@ 65 windrose , @ 72. ValMar

Well I suppose it could be a simple matter of double taping the 0. Or it could be attributed to the common, uncontious, missconseption, that everyone who reads this blog, native language is English. In fact I just read a comment in the Reminising EOTHW page about the mistakes that can be made even by the editor's themselves *smacks da forehead* when translating languages whether writing or reading.

Like I said... nic pic! *wink*

On the otherhand it can be quite annoying to find multiple infractions in a paragraph or sentence for that matter. Especially when trying to gleen the meaning of anothers words.

Hugh Arai
76. HArai
Zexxes@75: Argh. Please don't do that on purpose. People in this re-read are for the most part very welcoming and friendly to posters who don't speak English natively, or spell with complete accuracy, etc. No one has been on a "don't post if you can't spell rant" so please don't poke people repeatedly when they don't deserve it.
John Massey
77. subwoofer
@MAT- go on Facebook, I have a ton of photos of Gaby for my family to view there. I don't think I can put more pics in my folder here.I even have a whack of videos on youtube.

@Free- Raw Animal Whatnow? I like Nynaeve- she's very slapstick, and a great reliever of tension in the story, not sure if she exudes "like-me" pheromones... not even sure what that would smell like.

@Macster- well yes... I completely agree with you about Caddy. The interesting thing here is that Rand harkens back to Moiraine and her methods which involved capitulation. Not sure I am a big fan of that. It seems like Rand's advisors are stuck between choosing the "carrot or the stick" method for guiding. Perhaps there is another way. Of course since Rand came down from the mountain with the stone tablets, I am not sure how much guidance he needs now.

As for his plan regarding a civil war, dealing with invaders and handling mass starvation, well the Aiel are warriors know for killing and scarring the ever loving crap outta people. Ambassadors of good will? yeee. Find a legion of diplomats for that. Whitecloaks suck at fighting, maybe they will heed the call?

Ok I'm gonna nic pic here myself. *sue me*

Gunpowder wasn't called gunpowder until it was used for a gun. As a matter of fact gunpowder did not exist when fireworks were invented over a thousand years ago. The compound used for early, high explosive propellant, was much different than that used for fireworks. The word Gun was originaly used to describe a type of rock throwing catapult by the Scandinavians. Explosive shot artillery wasn't to come for another 300 to 400 years and roughly 200 years before the first hand cannons were developed. But they weren't yet called Gunnes, which comes from the name Gunnhildr which split into Gunnr/Hildr both mean "war". Gunnhildr was the"nick name" that stuck to those catapults until centuries after the true "gunpowder" compound was developed. You had to wait until the 14 century, 500 years after gunpowder was first refined for use militarily, before the Europeans would first have access to any type of cannon and finally name them Gunnhildr, also named by those same Scandinavians. As you can guess over time, the name shortened to what became known as Gunnes or more the modernly the Gun.
Elijah Foster
79. TheWolfKing
@63. Wortmauer

Do you play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? Because I have never seen the the word tactical applied to nuke anywhere else (it might be, it just reminded me of MW2). Also, tac nuke is what gamers use to abbreviate tactical nuke. Just wondering, and yeah, I am a gamer.

Also, what happened to post 64. It goes 62, 63, 65. Did it get deleted?
@76. HArai

Wasn't making fun of the international folk. I was pointing out how difficult it can be for the numerous, English as a 2nd language, fans.
And also I was noting how easy it is to make a mistake while typing. I go back and proof read my comments over and over. Because believe me I make some hideous mistakes while typing. And that's even with how slow I type. But if one, such as I, were to hit "post" without that review.....uhhhh... lets just say it would be very annoying.
@79. TheWolfKing

Yup! It got deleted by accident, while trying to proof read and correct my errant typing. *head bouncing of me desk*

Also Tactical Nukes are a reference to what is usually but not always, a low yield nuclear warhead. These usually yield anywhere from a half kiloton to 100 kilotons, depending on the make and purpose. Most are of the 1 to 15 kiloton variety. But the U.S. MGM-52 Lance carries a variable yield warhead that's remotely adjustable from 1 to 100 kilotons.

Valentin M
82. ValMar

Vile apologist! People who double tap the "o" are of the worst kind! Joking aside, it's not that big a deal, if the post is ok otherwise. But it can make it a bit difficult to read sometimes, if. It's more understandable with words like advise/advice. No doubt I make mistakes, and actually don't mind being corrected- people doing it are doing me a favour!

BTW, are you referring to my post (Egveene/Egwene) re: foreign editors making mistakes with translation?
(given how much I ended up writing on this, you better answer Yes :))
If so, I would like to clarify it. I don't think it was a mistake. "we/ue" sounds from foreign languages are often turned/pronounced "ve". E.g. Guatemala becomes Gvatemala. Also, we are talking about a different, cyrillic, alphabet. Reading unfamiliar names (e.g. not sports stars, politicians) betwen latin and cyrillic is always a bit weird.
E.g. the letters are moved around, as I illustrated with Egveen (with latin letters sub cyrillic)/Egwene. So ??????/Egwene. The same applies for place names too.
I think it's because the way a word looks imprints itself in your mind with personal names and becomes kind of a part of the person's identity to you. When you see it in a different language or alphabet, you have to readjust at first. Weird.

PS tried to give an example of the cyrillic spelling of Egwene but Tor wouldn't let me :(
Sam Mickel
83. Samadai
ValMar @ 82

In that case, I will do you a *favor* and tell you to "lose" the u in that word. ;)

(ps. I know you all have extra letters in some words, or vise versa that we have less))
84. Freelancer
AndrewB @38 & RobMRobM @52

It's an old spelling-police thing that gained traction briefly away back when. Several commenters were discussing the spelling faux pas which bothered them the most, and forkroot's particular pet peeve is swapping LOSE & LOOSE. AndrewB did that within his comment @20.

For others it's using OF in place of HAVE, such as when saying "so-and-so should HAVE done such-and-such" (Yeah, sub, lookin' at you)

And there's the swappage of THERE/THEIR/THEY'RE as though the spellings are interchangeable.

Less well noted is the same behavior concerning TO/TOO/TWO (if you want to know about a tu-tu, ask R.Fife, not me).

The previous presented only to satisfy the curiosity of those wondering what forkroot meant when referring to me @29. I make no habit of pointing out spelling/grammar issues, as it would leave me no time to enjoy the content, and result in endless migraines.
Tess Laird
85. thewindrose
TheWolfKing - at 79 There is a high probability if a comment has a link in it to off-site(sometimes even if the link is just to here on tor) it gets flagged for modertion attention, and there is a good chance we won't see it. Or it could have been spam - we occationaly get someone selling UGG boots or some such - these get flagged by us and the mod balefires them.

Or maybe macster used up too much space on his comment at 47;)(That is totally a joke!!)

subwoofer - There is always Mins way...

(I wonder if this will be a double post - I swear I already posted this.)
Elijah Foster
86. TheWolfKing

Yeah, that would make sense. i a super gaming nerd, so when I see something like that, it makes me wonder.

@85. thewindrose

Don't worry it's not a double post. Sometimes though, I post something and it will say error such and such and will have extra words at the place where it says comment saved. I scroll down and my post is there, but when I refresh/come back to the page it won't be. Which sucks because I don't type on Word, but on the site itself, therefore it ios gone forever because I don't want to type it all again. Especially ones that are thousands of words long. :(
87. Freelancer
I always open a Notepad++ instance when I expect to make a substantial comment, especially if I'm going to be quoting the post or other comments. Never trust a browser to be completely stable while you compose more than a paragraph of text. In the past, during the deeper discussions of important details (like the color of the gems on Elayne's belt), I would have several reference sites open for research, and it would be over an hour before a comment was ready to publish. One twitch of Exploder™ (when posting from work, shhh), or Tor.com, or the ISP, and it could all be vaporized.
Rob Munnelly
88. RobMRobM
Thanks, Free (and Fork). My spelling police goes into SWAT mode for "hopefully" used in any sense other than "Forkroot walked hopefully into a room." I wish Leigh would add to this re-read post the express caveat "Abandon hopefully all ye who enter here."
Kimani Rogers
89. KiManiak
So, I wrote my response to AP@41 and then saw Harai@69 (who was far more succinct, obviously), so there is some overlap:

I’m not going to hit on a lot of my specific points regarding Egwene/Rand and accountability just yet because there are at least 2x in ToM that we could (will) be having the discussion regarding the Heads of the White Tower (the Amyrlin), the Black Tower (the Dragon), the actions of their minions, and the responsibility/accountability of the Heads for those actions. So, let’s try a broad look at the situation:

I think the basic question is this: Should Heads of State be held accountable for the actions of their people?

We can get bogged down in details if we like;

The Dragon:
1) wasn’t at the Black Tower (he was supposed to be kidnapped but darnit, he escaped);
2) didn’t give the order to Bond the Sisters;
3) left explicit orders to leave the Aes Sedai alone;
4) unknowingly left a Darkfriend in charge who authorized action that would lead to problems;
5) Had followers that bonded Aes Sedai who were sent to kill them and used a weave against the AS that included Compulsion;
6) Rand himself had nothing to do with the actual actions

The Amyrlin:
1) was corrupted by Fain;
2) had 2 separate women lay claim to the position, both claiming authority over all AS and therefore both accountable for all AS;
3) sent out multiple AS to kidnap and torture the Dragon (and kidnap at least 2 other Heads of state)
4) sent an Assassination squad to sever and then kill all male channelers; hid the Assasination directive (and probably the kidnapping directive) from the Hall,
5) didn’t inform the Hall that the effort failed and they could potentially have a very angry Black Tower coming after them
6) Egwene herself had nothing to do with the actual actions

Ultimately/end result: bad actions were accomplished by both groups and the Heads of each group need to be held accountable to a certain degree.

As to being held accountable for the actions of a preceding government, I would argue that happens often (if not being the default). I don’t want to have this be waylaid into a discussion on modern politics, but to answer your example: administrations (including the current president) get blamed for and take credit for what the previous administration did (or laid the foundation for) all of the time.

(The same with legislative bodies (the most recent Congress didn’t put in place all of the laws we are currently under) and the judicial branch, and that’s just if we look at America. Also, this happens with a lot of private companies, not-for-profits, etc)

One way that an offending nation with new leadership tries to show they’re no longer in step with (read: distance themselves from) the actions of the previous regime is to offer some type of "clarifying" statement, acknowledgement/apology or restitution.

The Head of the Black Tower did that (an offer of 50 bonded for 50 bonded). What type of restitution or expression of conciliation has the Head of the White Tower offered?
90. gadget
While I'm glad we have such a prolific and dedicated author as Brandon Sanderson to complete the series, I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Leigh here: the modern prose and diction that creeps in really throws me out of the story in some of the later books. Paranoid, that is nothing compared to backstory that crops up later in the book, or even a simile used in TOM that goes something like: "As stingy as an employer on payday". The modernisms of employer and payday really jumped out at me. While similar uses of the words like "being in the employ of", or "the pay is regular and good" feel more appropriate in tone and diction. This isn't really a writing style issue as it is a setting and story issue. I can handle that Brandon is more blunt and faster paced than RJ, even that characters will 'feel' different, but things like this really bring one out of the setting that has been painstakenly established over many books. It's not really even a 'fantasy translation' issue; or if it is it is an issue of poor 'fantasy translation'.

I'm not saying everyone in fantasy should go around speaking in psudo-shakespearean prose (which is very hard to do right), but a least give the appearance of keeping the language and setting in sync. RJ once said that WOT was 16th or 17the century without gunpowder & steam engines (until recently). I've always thought that the language was more 19th (and really a lot of earlier 20th) century in thought and mode of speaking. The early Two Rivers scenes always make me think of Little House on the Prarie with long bows and staves.
91. Wortmauer
TheWolfKing@79: Do you play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? Because I have never seen the the word tactical applied to nuke anywhere else (it might be, it just reminded me of MW2).
Nope, not a gamer at all. I used the term "tac nuke" to denote a building-sized yield, as opposed to, you know, something that takes out a half mile radius. I do not know how I came to the belief that this is what defines a "tactical" missile, or indeed where I got the abbreviation "tac". Everything I know about ordnance I learned from reading Clancy in my younger days, which is to say, I probably have a lot more misinformation in my brain than information.

Also, in a hopeful manner, this post will not annoy RobMRobM.
To my knowledge there aren't any nukes with a yield small enought to level only one city block. Not that we couldn't make them, its just there's no purpose to it as we have conventional weapons that will do the job without the fallout. We do have a couple of nuke in a case bombs but they're very limited in number. So maybe a quarter of a city, but no smaller than that and not leveled either, but destroyed.

As for our current largest Strategic nukes, well, we have numerous 1.2 megaton tactical nukes, still in our arsenal. Up until last year we still had twelve 9 megaton warheads. They can burn out of existence about 2 miles wide worth of earth. The rest would become molten debris thrown just behind the shock wave. That shockwave's shear massivity will burst your jellybean from the increased air pressure before it actually ripped you apart. If you can hear the blast you're probably gonna be alright if your not too close, because that molten debris is moving faster than sound. So your death will likely come without any warning. The blast would level anything, and I mean level in the strongest of terms, within 10 miles of the blast. The kill zone would be anywhere from 12 to 15 miles out maybe 20, depending on terrain. This does not include fallout kill off. They could be even more powerful, as our enrichment programs have progressed signifcantly.

To imagine that at one time we had over twenty 25 megaton bombs is just mind numbing. To think that when Rand holds the Choedan Kal he holds the power of those twenty bombs combined might is staggering.
Elijah Foster
93. TheWolfKing

I'm pretty sure we have nuclear bunker buster bombs which have about a 400 kiloton yield. Now these aren't airburst, so I don't know exactly how much they could destroy, but they are designed to destroy underground bunkers so I don't think they would destroy much more than a block.
We currently have no built Nuclear Bunker Busters in stockpile. Now while we could build one in a relatively short time, that's still not the same as having one. President Bush granted the DoD moneys to re-develope the bomb. But given scientific study about the effectiveness of the weapon given modern bunkers, it was deemed not useful enough to pursue further. Mainly it was a penetration depth issue. It seems the scientist believed that penetration below 100m was needed to minimaly assure that the blast would be contained and fallout be a non issue. This depth was deemed unreachable using nuclear weapons as the second stage, which killed the project.

It seems, officially, we don't have any low yield, low weight nuclear weapons in stockpile at this time.
95. Wortmauer
ZEXXES: Thanks for additional information about yields for nuclear bombs. Agreed that at the scale of Graendal's palace, you may as well use chemical explosives and save yourself a great deal of money and hassle. I guess I said "nuke" because it seems like balefire should be compared with something higher up the chain than plain old TNT.

Really, though, if you want a balefire effect, you don't use conventional or nuclear, do you? You use antimatter. Balefire and antimatter are the only real WMDs. (In that they literally destroy mass.)
John Massey
96. subwoofer
@Free- looking at me? Maybe I should of combed my hair;) i am tempted to stope ussing proper speling and capitals and schtuff alltooget-her
... (edit)Besides, you probably have lots of practice having to hammer words in to stone tablets with a chisel. Eventually you used one of your descendants to put these words onto the TV thing connected to the typewriter( also occasionally having to explain that "V" is sometimes "U" because it's hard to chisel a curve:P

Min's way? What- sleep with Rand? IIRC one of the viewing Moiraine had strolling through the rings or 'finnland had her doing that and it went sideways...

Anthony Pero
97. anthonypero
Well, let's see recompense... Egwene DID remove the person who was ultimately responsible for Rand's Special-Box-Training™.
Tess Laird
98. thewindrose
RobMRobM - Forkroot wasn't looking for a good wine was he? Now I am worried;)

sub - I did say Min - it seems to work for her. Maybe Moiraine thought it went sideways because she ended up with the Dragon instead of Thom;)

Also - just wanted to air my thoughts on leaders. If you are the leader - in this case the Dragon or Amyrlin, you have to take responsibility for the actions of people under your leadership. This segues nicely into my thoughts on CEO's culpability iRL.
So Egwene didn't send out kidnappers and assassins, but when she became Amyrlin for real, she inherits this mess and needs to deal with it. If she sweeps it under the rug and says the Tower does no wrong - I will be dissapointed.
Rand created the Farm , which became the Black Tower, and he delegated unwisely(ya think!) - this is still his problem. He has owned up to this(the deal he had Narishma make) and in ToM he knows there is terrible problem there(finally!) that is going to require some serious attention from someone. Who knows - he may step down from being the leader and have Logain take the helm and clean it up.

Valentin M
99. ValMar
Samadai @ 83

How about you lot come back to the fold, start singing "God Save the Queen" at the start of schooldays and sessions of the Regional Assembly (formerly known as the Congress and Senate). Then the Brits will send you few Dutch teachers to teach you to speak and write English properly ;)

Someone post the 100th, I feel magnanimous today...
Tess Laird
100. thewindrose
We have to keep the BoW here:) ValMar - thanks for your munificent gift. More to come.... Even in this local they are celebrating me getting 1 hunny;)

So we are spitballing words are we? No one has brought up this one up from Chap 7 - curvaceous - I don't recall RJ ever using that description. Full bosom , well rounded, bosomy, impressive bosom - he liked bosom for sure - but I don't think he ever used curvaceous bosom or just curvaceous;)

Hugh Arai
101. HArai
anthonypero@97: Depends who you mean. If you mean Elaida, no she didn't. The Seanchan took her. If you mean Galina, no she didn't. The Shaido took her. If you mean Mesaana, well I suppose Egwene declined to die, but I don't see how that recompenses Rand for the Aes Sedai's actions. Did you mean someone else?

I'll have to check ToM again, does Egwene even formally acknowledge that there should be recompense even to herself or other Aes Sedai? Let alone to the actual victim? I do remember when they meet she essentially asks him to submit to Aes Sedai custody. Not the sort of thing you usually suggest to a person if you're owning up to the fact they were tortured the last time they were in such custody.
Roger Powell
102. forkroot
"Forkroot walked hopefully into a room."
Proper editing changes this to:
"Forkroot walked hopefully into the Barking Crab restaurant"


RobMRobM - Forkroot wasn't looking for a good wine was he? Now I am worried;)
Not to worry - Graendal was so engrossed in my collection of Howard the Duck comics that she ignored me when I went to the pantry for the Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc (other than to nod quickly and mutter "good choice".)

If I'd had "White Zinfandel" in there, I'm sure she would have balefired my ass.
Kimani Rogers
103. KiManiak
Harai@101 – From what I recall when I was checking this out a couple of days ago, Egwene somewhat sidesteps the responsibility (“Perhaps” was her response, iirc) when Nynaeve tries to draw a comparison in accountability between Rand being responsible for his Ashaman bonding Sisters, and Egwene being responsible for the AS kidnapping/torturing Rand (A Good Soup, ToM). I don’t have my book with me though, so I may be confusing some of the minor details.

I don’t think there were any other times where she was considering her accountability for the AS’s actions in ToM, either to herself or to others.
104. Ouroboros
“I only became involved because of his mind,” Nisao said hastily. “I have some interest in diseases of the mind, and this must rightly be called one. Myrelle practically dragged me into it.” (ACOS:12)

So, there is some evidence that the yellows do a little psychological analysis and it's possible that Nynaeve spent some time talking to them about it.

To be honest, I didn't notice anything odd about the use of "paranoid" in my two reads, but now that you’ve mentioned it, it does seem strange.

In a similar vein, there were a couple of things which Aviendha said that I found a little odd.

But that left her with a problem. What honor was there for her now? No longer a Maiden, not quite a Wise One. Her entire identity had been wrapped up in those spears, her self forged into their steel as surely as the carbon that strengthened them. (TGS:3)

Min Farshaw's arms were folded and she wore a coat the color of cobalt with silver embroidery.(TGS:26)

Now I know that both these elements have been used in practice for centuries; charcoal in steel making and cobalt oxide in blue-and-white porcelain and glass, and I don't really have a problem with Aviendha knowing a bit about smelting and glazing, but her using words like carbon and cobalt made me think of Aiel children sitting in circles chanting the periodic table. Maybe I'm just the victim of a school with a good science faculty?

I'm not saying BWS was wrong to use those words, but I am curious to know whether those words were in common usage in the pre-industrial world and in those contexts. What do you folks think?
105. pwl
I'm not saying BWS was wrong to use those words, but I am curious to know whether those words were in common usage in the pre-industrial world and in those contexts. What do you folks think?
This isn't my forte, but a quick search of etymonline.com indicates that usage of cobalt for color goes back to the 1830s and carbon in 1780. Doesn't seem wholly out of place in the time period Jordan is emulating. Of course, cobalt coming from kobold is a little odd in a different Age with different myths, but can hardly hold that against the author.

And although you note you're not criticizing Sanderson's word choice, it's interesting to note that RJ used "carbon" in one of Perrin's POVs where he's doing some blacksmithish stuff in The Dragon Reborn:

"The steel had not been left long enough in the slowfurnace to pick up a great deal of carbon from the coal..."
Hugh Arai
106. HArai
Ouroboros@104: Quick glances at wikipedia point to carbon as coming from Latin carbo, and cobalt from German kobold. Cobalt was apparently isolated as a pure metal in 1735 but the name was in use for the ore before that. So pre-industrial names I guess. More to the point, the processes using those materials have been used for thousands of years. It doesn't strike me as bizarre that a culture that values jewelry and porcelain, and honors smiths would have words for those materials, and it doesn't make sense to me to refer to steel, iron, and "some-word-that-means-the-stuff-we-add-to-iron-to-make-steel". Same goes for cobalt. Why not just use the words?

But then anachronistic words don't throw me out of the story. Anachronistic concepts or phrases sometimes do. It probably wouldn't have bothered me if the "dragons" were called cannons. It would bother me if someone referred to Mat taking chances as "playing Russian roulette". Nynaeve thinking of Rand as paranoid doesn't bug me. It would bug me if she thought Rand needed a good therapist :)
107. pwl
It doesn't strike me as bizarre that a culture that values jewelry and porcelain, and honors smiths would have words for those materials, and it doesn't make sense to me to refer to steel, iron, and "some-word-that-means-the-stuff-we-add-to-iron-to-make-steel".
You mean "charcoal"? It was established right from TEotW that they have a word for that :-). Using "carbon" instead of, as you say, the actual "word-that-means-the-stuff-we-add-to-iron-to-make-steel" is more analogous to Rand saying "I'm drowning, I need oxygen!" instead of referring to it as air, as it refers to subcomponents that they don't really know are the ACTUAL significant part of the whole item they are referring to.

It's not something I actually notice when reading, though. And even if I note it, instead of bothering me I just think it's nifty the author injected a little RL domain-specific knowledge.
108. Ouroboros
toryx @ 3

On the language thing: I've always found it a little odd that the Seanchan and Aiel haven't developed different dialects.

The Seanchan were isolated for a thousand years and yet no one has any real problems understanding them, apart from the drawl.

The Aiel maintained minimal contact with the Wetlands but over several thousand years there hasn't been much of a shift in language. Maybe it's all those books they read?
Hugh Arai
109. HArai
pwl@107: I would say both are relatively new words for a material that's been known for a long long time. mid 14C vs 1789 words for an idea that's far older than that. If the idea is old, it doesn't bug me to use the new words. YMMV. Thanks for the point at etymonline.com. Another timesink for me :)
110. MegaZeroX
RJ already said at some point that the vulgur tounge, or "new tounge" isn't actually English. Rather, it is translated into English. Therefore, Nyneve could have been thinking he was "Crazy suspicious" and it was translated into paranoid.
Tess Laird
111. thewindrose
Forkroot - glad to hear you are OK! Please bring some of that fine wine to the bunker.

- You...you're a DUCK!
@104. Ouroboros

Don't know, haven't looked, to see if anyone answered this question. But carbon was well known for centuries, although they didn't necessarily call it such early on. But it has been used, to my knowledge for blade forging processies, for at least 1500 years. Its debatable about who came up with what first in this instance, but carbon has been used and acknowledged since shortly after the Bronze age. Now as far as the elementary periodic table is concerned, the word carbon usage came about later.

edit/ Carbon has been used as a paint or dye for thousands of years possibly over 5000 years. Proof of this is its usage for tatoo's and its finding of one on a mummified body, carbon dated to at least 5000 years. In all likelyhood though, carbon wasn't usefully acknowledged until after the bronze age and not officially named such until the 16th century. Well before the industrial age.

But this thread does support my statements before, that we are indeed unconsciously nic-picing about every little detail within the BS written books. I feel we are too anxious to criticize every kind of detail we can, to the point we are arguing over whether Andorans or any other people in Randland, have the equivelent of the word Carbon or Paranoid within their languages. And its not just words, mind you.

It's all just so silly!!!
Valentin M
113. ValMar
windrose @ 100

You're welcome ;) As for the link, don't want to boast but I live 5 min walk from the Thames and 10 min walk from a good viewing spot on the river near the Houses of Parliament, so I was there the last 2 New Years. Great stuff.

Re: words- I don't complain about the more modern vocabulary that BwS is using since this is his style. The detailed analyzing is a bit silly, I think so too, if interesting as well.
But one word which has stuck with me is "wilt". People keep wilting all over the place!
There's no need to introduce such a noticeable change in a description of characters' mannerisms at this stage. That is my personal feeling. I simply find it difficult to picture what exacly is meant, eventhough I am aware of the context and general interpretation when it's used. Just can't picture the scene when reading it and someone wilts before someone else.
My real point I guess is, that it's impossible for BS to be able to write in a manner unerroringly accurate to RJ, stylisticly. He just isn't the same man. BS's imagination doesn't hold the same flow of words. He has different word vocabularies built upon his own experiences, within his own life. What you and many others are asking Brandon and his editors for that matter, to do, is go back and analyze each and every noun, pronoun, proper name etc., in order to stay as completely accurate as possible with regards to RJ's writing style. That's just... inconcievable. Even if the task was executed, it still wouldn't feel right. Because Brandon is not Robert. It's just a matter of different minds describing the same thing. Except one is trying to mimic, to some great degree, the other. In order for what you are asking for to happen, RJ would have to go back and proof read every word and make corrections stating something like,

"well I don't know if I would put it quite like that. What about this...."

Except he's gone.... :(

Rob Munnelly
115. RobMRobM
@102 --

"Forkroot walked hopefully into a room."
Proper editing changes this to: "Forkroot walked hopefully into the Barking Crab restaurant" {::winks::}"

ROFL! That was quite a hopeful, seafoodful day, indeed. Give my best to Mrs. Forkroot.

Birgit F
116. birgit
Although I am going to disagree with KiManiak @9 and hope she gets those mice.

She doesn't. She decides that at the end of the chapter.

I also find it amusing, though, that no one has commented that Cadsuane, of all people, is one of those reprimanding Rand for how he was treating the Aiel.

Cadsuane is always trying to teach Rand manners and that includes being polite to other people.

Her entire identity had been wrapped up in those spears, her self forged into their steel as surely as the carbon that strengthened them.

That fits better in Mistborn than WoT. Of course carbon-based life has been using carbon for a long time.

Just can't picture the scene when reading it and someone wilts before someone else.

Someshta could wilt.
Hugh Arai
117. HArai
Cadsuane is always trying to teach Rand manners and that includes being polite to other people.
And demonstrating that the people most concerned about teaching other people manners are often quite rude themselves.

I was quite concerned though when Rand started in on Rhuarc. If any group has tried to accomplish Rand's goals without drama, mental judo or other aggravations it's the Aiel clan chiefs. Quite a demonstration of just how close to the edge Rand is getting.
118. Ouroboros
PWL @ 105

Thanks for that. I didn't notice that Perrin use the word too.

@ several

Thanks for the impromptu history lessons, although we were all a little conservative in our estimates. Cobalt glass was used over four thousand years ago and charcoal in smelting goes back even further.

My question was really about the vernacular in use. I was hoping someone would be able to identify a text containing the words carbon or cobalt from some time during the 16th or 17th century. It seems I am to live with disappointment. I also want to make it clear that I am only chasing this one out of curiosity.

Charcoal is mentioned frequently when describing working with iron, but carbon is only really used in a modern way. That’s to say, there are no citations of old knowledge which include the word. So, it's hard to see it being used before the element was named. The fact that carbon gets its name from carbo, the Latin word for charcoal, doesn't really matter in this case. My point is that the word "carbon", to me at least, implies a society which has some knowledge of chemical elements.

The word cobalt doesn't come into use until after the element was discovered, but the ore was known as kobold ore since the 14th century. It was a dangerous ore to work with because of the arsenic that was found with it, and so the minors named it after a kind of German sprite called kobolds. The blue glass was called smalt and it's unclear whether artisans would have talked about the ore. The pigment called "cobalt blue" first appears in the early 19th century. So again, without an actual sighting of someone in the 17th century using the word cobalt in an everyday sense to describe vivid blue, I'm inclined to say that it would be unusual for someone in the 17th century to use it, unless they had quite specialist knowledge.
@118. Ouroboros

Omgosh! Ok the Swordsmiths have been using carbon. The Armourers have been using carbon. Light, they've been using it since before Artur Hawkwings time. Cobalt is used as a hardener in various steels. Tungsten and Vanadium is used for that as well. Chrome, Nickel and Copper are even used at times. All of these elements have names; it doesn't matter when they were given there proper name because these elements have already been used for over a thousand years for Creator knows what and how long. I mean, if they know how to temper an edge; and they do, then they damn well know that carbon is used to do it. This could very well be the moments in time that the word carbon was the excepted word for the element. For all we know they could have an incomplete table already! I bet the Illumantors do! Or it could have happened 200 years before or a thousand. And we have no way of knowing, because we don't have access to historical records to look at, except for what has been gleened from the books and what RJ and BS have shared. Because this a fantasy series, Randlandians have their own names for these things in their own languages, which in turn are translated into our own so we can read the book.

Also ever notice how every language except for the Chinese based languages all call these elements the same thing? Thats because when a discovery is made and is acknowledged internationaly, the name used sticks. And even then some names are there origin name, even in the Chinese based languages, because some guy or girl somewhere took the time to name it for the first time.

In order to forge something as massive as a Cannon, for Light sakes, you have to use bags of almost pure carbon as well as tungsten pellets to harden the barrel. And since Randlandians have the Power it becomes almost impossible to determine when Randlandians would have needed certain materials or objects that weren't already existing in the form of power wrought tools, weapons and mechinations. It can go on and on like that.....

And last but not least. What prey tell does calling something Carbon have to do with acknowledging it as an element. The word Carbon has been around for a while we've already established. So why are we assuming that his use of the word Is a reason to believe that they have begun the study of atoms and molecules. Carbon the word predates the Table. So using the word doesn't necessarily mean anything except they have a name for a sooty black colored powder that you use to make steel along with iron and a couple of other materials that they may or may not have named. It's just a name.... a word.... that's it!

No more from me on this thread.

*continuous banging of head into the monitor*
Thomas Keith
120. insectoid
Weighing in, better late than never. Skull was too small for my brain for half the week, so it wasn't till now that I came up with something productive.

Word choice: While some word choices of Brandon's are more obvious than others, 'paranoid' didn't seem (for me) to be one of those that jumps off the page, really. And I thought of an interesting argument to try, and whether it works or not I don't know.

It occured to me that, in the Age of Legends, there were Aes Sedai (like Graendal) who were good at diagnosing diseases of the mind, as our horribly creepy friend witch Semirhage wasted no time in pointing out. (As Ouroboros @104 mentioned, Nisao is a modern example.) Who are we to say that they (the AoL people) didn't have a word for 'paranoia'? If the Old Tongue is just being translated into English for our benefit anyway, would it really matter?

Ouro also mentioned 'carbon', which (as has already been pointed out) has only one other occurance in the books—TDR ch. 50 (so saith IdealSeek.), while 'paranoid' or 'paranoia' have exactly 0 through book 11. And 'carbon' has been in use for a LONG time.

And no, Rand isn't being very nice to the Aiel. For shame!

Nynaeve: Is still awesome. Shaking up the AS hierarchy FTW!

Siuan's big reveal: About damn time she told someone! Though, that info is still dangerous while there are still BA in the camp, so it's a good thing she told just Bryne. 'Buttered live silverpike' and 'Mice in the bedsheets' made me LOL.

Speaking of Ouro:
but her using words like carbon and cobalt made me think of Aiel children sitting in circles chanting the periodic table.
Would it sound like "The Elements"? XD

Spelling police: ::eyeroll::

ZEXXES @119:
*continuous banging of head into the monitor*
Probably shouldn't do that... you might break it. (The monitor, that is.) Try one of these nice Headdesk™ brand desk pads! :P

Tess Laird
121. thewindrose
Ouroboros at 104 - I am picturing Randland children gathered around a bunsen burner chanting the elements.

ValMar - Color me green with envy! London is one of my favorite cities in the world. (Or would that be 'Colour me green with envy! London is one of my favourite cities in the world.)

122. Ouroboros

I don't know where this anger is coming from but I think you misunderstood my comments at 118. I said at the beginning that I was not criticising Sanderson for using the words he uses. I was following up on a genuine matter of interest and my comments @ 118 were discussing the real world and were not an attack on anyone or anything.

I have explored many authors’ choice of words in many different genres. It is not nit picking to do so. Some people have a genuine interest in an author's use of words, they are the most important tools he has, and the style an author adopts is as much a part of the work as the plot, in some cases more so. To expect a published text to not be examined linguistically is unrealistic at best.

It does matter which words are used. Setting all thoughts of metaphor and imagery aside, if two words superficially mean the same thing but also imply different deeper meanings or associated pedagogies, then choosing between them is something which should be given serious thought.

This may not be something you have an interest in, but do not chastise others for exploring it. You might as well criticise someone for reading poetry.

You clearly feel strongly about people criticising BWS, but I wasn’t doing that. In any case, ranting about this won’t help, and it only causes the discussion to deteriorate. Not every post is an attack on the author and there is nothing wrong with discussing his writing techniques, even if the author is not directly involved in the discussion, so long as it is done respectfully.
123. Ouroboros
Okay, just filling in the gaps from higher up.

forkroot @ 19

I think of it like this.

True Sauce = Ketchup and Mayo.
True Power = Brown sauce.

So, use the Power on your burger and the TP on your saussages. I have no idea what I'm talking about. Too much beer.

KiManiak @ 89

I'll have to get back to you on that one. I've some thoughts but I'll need a hammer and anvil to sort them out.

thewindrose @ 100

Is ValMar ill? I suppose I should be sulking that the honey left this green and pleasant land. Still, you've been waiting long enough. So... Huzzah!

ValMar @ 113

I normally go into hiding on New Years. You certainly won't catch me out in zone 1.

birgit @ 116

Yes, he's such a weed.

thewindrose @ 121

I am picturing Randland children gathered around a bunsen burner chanting the elements.

Or singing, with a strange guy at the piano. *nods to bug*

And definitely "favourite". We love our awkward spellings. :)
Not anger my friend. Frustration. I don't have a problem criticizing BWS. Don't know the bloke, so I don't care.

But the reasons people might criticize someone, if I feel them unfounded, can be an irritant. If it persists unceasingly, I feel a need to defend the focus.

I will state this in the most straight forward way I can. In these instances the words carbon and paranoia are logically and historically supported with BWS's use in the books. Carbon the word was used by RJ, so if there is a complaint against BWS, there is one against RJ as well. The word Paranoia, while not used by RJ, was and is the only word to describe, in one word, the definition of. And given the context of the spoken word and not the written description, what was she going to say? The definition? Nobody talks like that. For all we know, the Andorans could speak a metaphoric language (Star Trek: Next Generation reference. One of the best episodes too!). One would be forced to use such words in order to convey their language in a way that we could understand. Also the word Carbon has been used in our history since before the Roman Empire. So it stands to reason that the word could have predated said times in the Wheel of Time. And there is no proof to deny that.

The point I have been trying to make and impress upon you, is that, logically speaking, the reasons for not liking the use of the words Carbon and Paranoia and even later in the thread Cobalt are unfounded. This has been proven several times during the thread by others and myself. This leads me to believe that the real reasons for these criticisms are for a more personal nature. Which makes me theorize that no matter how well and good a job BWS does with this undertaking, it would never be enough. Criticism is fine. As you can see I can be quite critical of other peoples criticisms. And at times you will find me critical of BWS.

I do think that when the tables are turned and a poster gets criticized, they feel like someone is being hostile toward them. When in fact, all I am doing is being critical of yourself and others criticsms. Friendly, amusingly, exasporatingly intense at times. But never angry. This is fantasy.... it aint worth anger. It shouldn't ever be worth anger. So in that sense I do take offense. With all do respect, nothing I have said warrants an impression of anger.

And yet written or typed words can be funny things. You can mean one thing, but you can't see the reaction of the reader to know whether one should extrapolate further, becaue they have misconstrued your words. So you could have meant overly intense instead of angry. At which point I would have been inspired to apologize to anyone I offended.

And if that was what you meant and my expression made more sense, then indeed you and every other here have my sincerest apologies.

Don't you hate it when someone says sorry without saying sorry?

I am Sorry.

Jay Dauro
125. J.Dauro
First, let me say that the use of paranoid did not bother me. But RJ did phrase it another way, I believe.

POD - 22
Rand shivered before he could stop himself. Mistrust of Gedwyn and Rochaid was simple sense, but was he coming down with what Nynaeve had called the dreads? A kind of madness, a crippling dark suspicion of everyone and everything? There had been a Coplin, Benly, who thought everybody was scheming against him. He had starved to death when Rand was a boy, refusing to eat for fear of poison.
But I must say, paranoid is shorter.
You see what I mean! The conjecture is ridiculous, basically defining the word instead of just saying it. But this is interesting because aparently Nynaeve should have said....ok lemme scroll back up here, hold on a sec....
Rand glanced up when each one entered, alert and wary, but he quickly turned back to his maps. Was he growing Dreads? Some madmen grew suspicious of everyone.
You see what happened here....it sounds ridiculous! So a criticism of RJ or BWS? I'm thinking RJ. Because if RJ had used paranoid from the get go, we wouldn't be having this conversation at all. I think BWS saw the problem and made a command decision and changed the word to something that we could understand. Because its been what, three books since dread was used. And it was used only the one time.

I mean, the sentence corrected with RJ's word sounds like Rand is on a Bob Marley kick. ...*chuckle*

Or it could very well have been an oversite by BWS and if so, then I stand corrected on the paranoid tip. But good lord, no one caught this until just now, so no shenanigan "See See's" until all thankings go to:
J.Dauro @125.

My opinion though....RJ shoulda just used paranoid. I even vaguely remember whining around that time, about RJ's habitual over-describing, in what I like to call "The Blighted Scrolls" in reference to books 6 through 9.

I also vaguely remember stating something about not commenting on this thread any longer.....hmmm..... Yeah, sorry about that!

Edit- As a matter of fact, now that I think on it more, I'd be willing to bet that RJ argued with himself over this very subject matter and chose to create a word for the books and gave its definition within the prose.

So with out further ado I now prostrate myself and beg forgiveness blubberingly before the dais of which sits the throne of Queen Leigh.

Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
ValMar @113 - RJ had people wilting too, if not as frequently as BWS. Most of the wilting is done by Loial's ears, but also Gelb (straightforwardly wilted), Sumeko (did not wilt as expected) and Aviendha (almost wilting). There are other more general references to people wilting or looking wilted.

And there are still people who refuse to give Cadsuane credit for anything postitive, simply because she's Cadsuane - even though she never tells Rand what to do (other than to mind his manners) and never gives him any advice that's less than totally sound. She quite frequently gives him excellent suggestions and helps him see when he's being unreasonable (like this case), but because her personality is more acerbic than conciliating, people just can't get over it to see the real help she gives him. (Has anyone actually noticed? Her only "requirements" of him involve himself, personally, and his attitude toward those around him. She has never once presumed to tell him what the Dragon Reborn ought to be doing; she leaves that to him. She gives good advice when asked, but rarely volunteers an opinion on his course of action otherwise. Her concern is less with what he's doing, and far more with what kind of man he is, or is becoming - which is to say, she disapproves of him behaving either arrogantly or childishly toward the people he is supposed to be leading and saving.)


Having finished the comments, I am reminded why this site has been less than compelling of late. An entire thread devoted to nitpicking word choices? Observe my un-gripped-ness. But just for RobM, here's a little piece I found out there...
Writers who use hopefully as a sentence adverb, as in Hopefully the measures will be adopted, should be aware that the usage is unacceptable to many critics, including a large majority of the Usage Panel. It is not easy to explain why critics dislike this use of hopefully. The use is justified by analogy to similar uses of many other adverbs, as in Mercifully, the play was brief or Frankly, I have no use for your friend.And though this use of hopefully may have been a vogue word when it first gained currency back in the early 1960s, it has long since lost any hint of jargon or pretentiousness for the general reader. The wide acceptance of the usage reflects popular recognition of its usefulness; there is no precise substitute. Someone who says Hopefully, the treaty will be ratified makes a hopeful prediction about the fate of the treaty, whereas someone who says I hope (or We hope or It is hoped) the treaty will be ratified expresses a bald statement about what is desired. Only the latter could be continued with a clause such as but it isn't likely. • It might have been expected, then, that the initial flurry of objections to hopefully would have subsided once the usage became well established. Instead, critics appear to have become more adamant in their opposition. In the 1969 Usage Panel survey, 44 percent of the Panel approved the usage, but this dropped to 27 percent in our 1986 survey. (By contrast, 60 percent in the latter survey accepted the comparable use of mercifully in the sentence Mercifully, the game ended before the opponents could add another touchdown to the lopsided score.) It is not the use of sentence adverbs per se that bothers the Panel; rather, the specific use of hopefully in this way has become a shibboleth.
Oh, and whatever the responsibilities of leaders for their followers, it's really not the same when you step into a pre-existing role (Amrylin) as when you were responsible for bringing the entire organization (Black Tower) into existence by your express call and amnesty. Egwene must indeed deal with the errors of her predecessor, as the new leader of the ancient institution. Rand, however, must take the responsibility of creating this dangerous new institution and then leaving it to the leadership of a man even he doesn't trust. It's not really the same kind of responsibility.
Elijah Foster
128. TheWolfKing
@127. Wetlandernw

To be fair, Rand was also quite insane in the membrane by then. So it's not entirely his fault because even if he doesn't trust Taim, sometimes he didn't trust himself either, so...
Kimani Rogers
129. KiManiak
Ouroboros@123 – Have at it (although I think we may have talked this topic out). I look forward to your thoughts, and whatever it is that you end up making with said hammer and anvil.

Let us know if you need Neald and the Wise Ones on call. I respect if your inclination is to make a war-hammer, but I call dibs if you end up with a broadsword instead :-)
Valentin M
130. ValMar
windrose @ 121

London is a city of contradictions; it's as great as you think it is but it has less attractive elements too. Obviously "ou" is the right way to write the Queen's English! ;) If you are in the UK and what you write most of the time is read by other, relatively literate, residents in UK. Otherwise I don't fuss about it, apart from a little banter. It's a natural evolution of language.

Ouroboros @ 123

On New Year the place is packed- I always wandered why people go to all this trouble just for 10 mins of great fireworks. But if already on site, might as well go.

Wetlander @ 127

Thanks for the info on "wilt". I think when Brandon used it in the cirumstances when one person is browbeaten or backs off from another is when I found it necessary to make an extra effort to picture the scene. Or maybe I am just generally confused myself over nothing...

As for the "words nitpicking" discussion, sometimes it just happens. Comments on one issue just build momentum, it has occured before here. Plus, as was stated already, some of the posts were not about their usage in WOT, but their RL history. Again, people do go on a tangent here, occasionally.
Stuff will be happening in the comming chapters so there'll be plenty to discuss in comming posts, no need to worry. As long as there's no any more talks of sewage dumping.
Jonathan Levy
131. JonathanLevy
Too many posts to address specifically, and too late in the game to make a difference.

For what it's worth, I'm with 'Leigh' on 'Paranoid'. I'm surprised it generated so much discussion because this is hardly the only example, and I'm pretty sure it's not the worst one. I don't have the books on hand, but I remember cringing when reading one of the post-Hinderstrap Mat scenes, where he hands out character profiles and backstories using terms which better fit a modern crime-drama miniseries.

Sometimes word choice doesn't matter that much, but some words carry with them a whole conceptual framework. If that framework doesn't fit the world, then the author should not use the word.

For example, "petit-bourgeoisie" doesn't fit well in Randland because Marxist concepts of class-struggle do not exist there. "Paranoid" isn't quite as bad, but it does bring with it some elements of modern psychology (and RJ took care to avoid it, a la 125. J.Dauro). "Cobalt" is the name of an element now, but it was the name of a mineral before the concept of the Periodic Table of the elements was established, so it's ok in a way that 'Radon' and 'Uranium' aren't. Carbon is problematic mainly because of the far better 'Charcoal'. 'Phlogisten' is right out!

If 'Paranoid' were the only such instance then I wouldn't think it was worth the discussion; but BWS does this quite often, as far as I recall.

PWL @ 105
Thanks for the Perrin ref, I hadn't remembered it.
@131. JonathanLevy

We'll have to disagree on carbon for me. I'll admit that pure carbon or high carbon soot does resemble charcoal (I've actually seen the two next to each other and charcoal tends to be a little darker). But Wootz steel swordsmiths sure enough did not call the stuff charcoal. Because charcoal does not contain enough carbon to promote a tempered edge. So... no, they would have called it something else. Which is probably why they came up with the name carbon so long ago. From what I know and have experienced forging steel, a lot of swordmakers added carbon to the furnace during different stages of the process. Sometimes you don't want any carbon entry at all. As for the steel its self... that is a diferrent matter. There are many many types of steel. Some steel material combinations have been held secret for hundreds of years. It's only within recent years that we can actually find out the exact compounds of materials smiths used in there day; even what region they aquired their materials from. Carbon scientifically has been used and recognized for about 400 years. But professionaly, smiths have been using the word for about 800 years or more. And the word itself has been known phonetically for 2000 years. So there is precedent. We just gotta let it go.
133. Optymystyc1
So Hurray! I'm all caught up on the re-read, and DAMN I'm all caught up on the re-read. Now I'm stuck waiting like all the rest of you.. Thanks Leigh for the wonderful job you are doing here. Nothing else to say at the moment.
134. Wortmauer
ZEXXES, we get it. Your continued jumping on anyone who takes issue with Brandon Sanderson's word choices is one thing. Clearly you take this pretty seriously. But you don't need to belittle everyone who claims that these anachronistic words take them out of the story, just because it doesn't take you out. What do I mean by belittle? "That includes those who are members of clubs that exist now as cliqs, who postulate and lord over these blogs as if they have some divine right to be taken more seriously than any other noob or veteran." (@66.) "It's all just so silly!!!" (@112.) "The conjecture is ridiculous" (@126.)

Maybe those aren't meant to sound belittling, but they do. You project an attitude that not only do you disagree with a widespread opinion (that's fine), but that this opinion of something that is inherently subjective, nevertheless, cannot possibly be valid. (And when I say "project an attitude," this is not something you can argue about. It is something for your readers, not you, to judge.)

I know you're not exactly the first person to ever take an online discussion a little too seriously. Anyway, I'll have to second the advice of a wise man @132: "We just gotta let it go."
135. Wortmauer
My two cents on the latest bit of the discussion itself:
ZEXXES@126: Because if RJ had used paranoid from the get go, we wouldn't be having this conversation at all. I think BWS saw the problem and made a command decision and changed the word to something that we could understand. Because its been what, three books since dread was used. And it was used only the one time.
But that's just it! RJ took a lot of care to not introduce modern-sounding words into his prose, and this is a perfect example. It would have been easier to use a term from modern psychiatry, but it wouldn't have fit the rest of the world he had created, so instead he went to the trouble to think of a new term. It is something he did all the time. That nobody remembered this particular instance until J.Dauro@125 really just shows how seamless it was. It didn't stick out, it just felt like part of the story.

For another example, notice how people like Mat and Ituralde carry hand-held scopes for sighting long distances. RJ could have called them scopes. And you could even point out that the word comes from ?????? (skopeo, in case Tordot doesn't let me use Greek letters) and therefore it's old enough to be plausible. But I'm glad he didn't. It would have sounded a little bit artificial.

I don't really blame Sanderson for not noticing the passage J.Dauro found. If he'd thought, "Hmm, how would someone in Randland describe what we now call paranoia?" and come up with a different answer than "the dreads," I wouldn't hold it against him. But I disagree that using the modern term was a "command decision" on his part. I think it far more likely that he simply has a tin ear for these sorts of things, and this was something he didn't even notice he was doing. It does surprise me somewhat that neither his editor nor his continuity checkers noticed. (Or perhaps his first few drafts of TGS were riddled with lots more of these things, and this is just the one they didn't catch amongst all the others. We will probably never know.)

Oh and by the way, while we're nitpicking, the word is "nitpick," which refers to picking lice-eggs out of hair. Nits are very small and easily overlooked by reasonable people.
Nadine L.
136. travyl
Although certain discussions go in circles (the wheel turns) I do enjoy the comments. The enlightning arguments, which directly refer to the books and their knowledge I like the best. - The heated and emotional discussions probably are a requirement to provoke them, so ...

... Special thanks to J.Dauro (@125) - for me you settled the argument - for both sides even.

And thanks to Wetlandernw (127), I'd wilt if you'd withdraw from the re-read. Hopefully you won't, I mostly enjoy your posts.
(Your not the only poster, I'd regret to lose, but I can't and won't name you all: as a somewhat new poster - (welcome Optymystyc1, I myself caught up only weeks ago) - I try to keep my posts short.
Jay Dauro
137. J.Dauro
Sorry to have to admit, no, I didn't remember it. I was re-reading POD and made a fortuitious discovery.

However, as I said before, paranoid doesn't bother me. And although RJ did manage to get around using the word, it took almost a whole paragraph to say paranoid without using it.

Brandon is working hard to finish the story, in the number of books he said it would take. From his progress reports I believe he is going to make it, seeing as AMOL is at 80% of his projected length, and he appears to be on track with his outline.

Now, I wouldn't really mind if it took another 3 books. (Although I am really looking forward to an end on many things.) However, there are some people who might go a bit off the edge if WOT kept on going. So I will give BWS the credit for not pushing the wordcount up, and the completion date out.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
travyl @136 - LOL! ;) I'm too addicted to withdraw readily, but I must admit that sometimes it feels like we've had all the good discussion already. Now we're reduced to meaningless arguments about word choices and whether we think Brandon is doing a good job of finishing the work. *sigh* In everyone's defense, I have to admit that these early chapters don't have a lot of action to discuss, but surely we could find something...

J.Dauro @137 - You bring up an excellent point. I can't think Harriet, Maria and Alan combined didn't notice things like "paranoid" and "backstory" - but I'm sure they also noticed things like spending an entire paragraph to describe something that could just as easily be said in a single word, if you were willing to use a word that might conceivably be considered OOC for the series. I have to wonder how much they made a team decision that they needed to keep the word count down as much as possible, and chose to do it by reducing the descriptions rather than sacrificing the story-telling.

I mean, most of us would want to know how the series was to end, even if we had to take it in an outline form, with the occasional already-written section inserted because it was available. I, for one, am thankful that Harriet chose to find a qualified author to finish it in full story form instead, because it makes for so much better a read. :) I remember reading somewhere (though I refuse to go look up where) that one option, briefly considered, was to find someone to ghost-write the remainder and let it be assumed that it was finished before RJ's death. (Quite possibly, this solution was never actually considered by Harriet, but was only mentioned in passing by someone else who, like me, was grateful it wasn't implemented.)

From what I’ve seen, it seems that Harriet is fiercely protective of her husband’s legacy, and is doing what she believes will most honor his memory in finishing this series. I have to conclude, therefore, that she believed it would be best to give Brandon free rein in his style and word choice to a great extent. I also have to conclude that between the two of them, they are doing everything they can to make these last three books as seamless as possible; if the best way to do that is to allow a more visible seam between these three and the previous eleven, so be it. (We all know it’s a different author – why try to pretend otherwise?) IMO, Harriet very wisely chose to give Brandon the honor and respect due to a fine young author by deliberately encouraging him not to try to emulate RJ’s style at the expense of his own. (This is getting too wordy to say what I mean properly!) Having these last books written in a clearly different tone but with full continuity of plots and characters not only allows Brandon to write his best, it also gives the greatest possible honor to RJ’s work by having it written well. It seems to me that requiring Brandon to restrict himself to the words RJ would have chosen would force his writing into an unnatural, stilted form which would actually detract from the storytelling far more severely than the occasional OOC word might do. The same applies to differences in pacing, sentence structure, "tell vs. show" or what-have-you.

I understand the feeling of being distracted by a word choice that isn’t RJ-esque, but at the same time I would rather have that occasional distraction than read second-rate storytelling to finish the series. The fact is, RJ can’t finish this; we might as well suck it up, deal with it, and enjoy the storytelling skills of a different bard. Different does not mean lesser; it just means not the same. It’s okay.
Maybe they'll listen to you. I doubt it. But maybe. I'm too new and seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot with some here. And you've been at this longer. Anyway, I agree with ya whole heartedly. It was partly what I was saying. I was just trying to back up my opinions with fact and precedent. And ended up stepping on toes.

135. Wortmauer- You took my words out of context to fit your argument. tisk tisk. If you take what was said at: @ 125.
Rand shivered before he could stop himself. Mistrust of Gedwyn and Rochaid was simple sense, but was he coming down with what Nynaeve had called the dreads? A kind of madness, a crippling dark suspicion of everyone and everything? There had been a Coplin, Benly, who thought everybody was scheming against him. He had starved to death when Rand was a boy, refusing to eat for fear of poison.
What I was commenting on was the "conjecture" within that paragraph. Basically this paragraph was written soley to introduce a made up word describing a word that we already use in our language. That was what I was commenting on. Later when it came time, 3 books later and for the second time during this whole series, for the word to be used, it didn't work. Replace dread with paranoid and it works. And you save 23 words. Now I don't know if they missed it in PoD or they made a conscious choice to just say paranoid instead of dread. I agree with @138. Wetlandernw that BWS chose to not spend another paragraph on avoiding one word. And nobody was aware of the oversight at all, until some one reading PoD just happened on it earlier during his read and thought that maybe it was kind of odd. Remembered that moment only at the tale end of this thread.

And yet Leigh did think the word was OOP. It's a catch-22 is it not? I think we are both right, dissenters and progressors, on this one. There was no good way to handle the Situation given the speed of the story line at this time.

And again I apologize for my words earlier that some have taken offense to. But some of the veterens of this sort of thing can get irratated for the simplest of things like a mispelled word and go on a rant. I'm not any less guilty of rants. But I do like to try to be helpful within them. I have seen others get personal in past comments for earlier book re-reads, over much more childish reasons. It was those I was speaking to. And some of you are clickish, but are still quite friendly and meaning no offense. I have no problems with them until they become...mmm... whats the word.... possesive of this forum. As if to say that because there are new commentors that its just not the same as the good'ol days when there were just 20 or 100 of us. And I concede the desire for a more closed group. But its not to be anymore. Plus you get so many intersting theories this way. I Love it and love all of you, fellow humble reader.

Thats what I should have said before. But I was quite exasperated still about the Carbon thing.

So again I apologize.

Roger Powell
140. forkroot
irratated for the simplest of things like a mispelled word
You did that on purpose, right? :-)
I must confess and say that it was a genuine mistake. I was trying to be as honest as I could at the time, so being witty was not my intent. It is kind of funny though that the mistake was made during that very subject matter. I believe the world has a term for that:


Hugh Arai
142. HArai
Rand, however, must take the responsibility of creating this dangerous new institution and then leaving it to the leadership of a man even he doesn't trust. It's not really the same kind of responsibility.
This dangerous new institution? Let's look at that. What have they done that's dangerous? Taim as head boy? Well that's dangerous yes, he's a False Dragon. But the Salidar Aes Sedai and Egwene used and then freed Logain. Who is just as dangerous so far as any non-reader knows. He's an unrepentant False Dragon as well. Or if we want a direct parallel - the Tower Aes Sedai put Elaida in charge. Who the hell trusts Elaida? We should match up the damage Elaida has done vs the damage Taim has done sometime.

What else? Well there's the devastation of the Shaido while rescuing Rand. Wouldn't have happened if the Tower Aes Sedai hadn't kidnapped Rand in the first place, and frankly it was a net plus anyway. Bonding Aes Sedai, that's dangerous. Of course that was done while defending themselves from an unprovoked attack by the Tower Aes Sedai. Some of the Asha'man have been Darkfriends and yes Taim is one. To me that's more than balanced by the Black Ajah. Just because Egwene was gifted Verin and her black book of Black Ajah out of the blue and made some purges doesn't make the Aes Sedai historically any more pure. Rand's been eliminating rogue Asha'man whenever he learns of them as well. The Asha'man themselves have been eliminating those who fell to the taint and now the taint is gone.
I think we also have Logain's future glory to consider. There's a decent chance it'll be his purge of Taim and company.

So who's leading the dangerous institution? I don't think that's been settled. Maybe in AMoL.
Roger Powell
143. forkroot
Re the forced bonding of the Tower AS: The key piece of information that Egwene doesn't have is that Elaida gave explicit orders to kill the Asha'man. If Egwene udnerstood that the TAS were planning murder, she would likely be a lot less indignant about the forced bonding.

Logain showed admirable forebearance in destroying Elaida's orders (that he found in Toveine's personal effects.) He rightly realized that should that information come to light, there would have been strong pressure to execute the captured AS. Although such a move might have been accepted by Randland's rough ideas of justice, it certainly would have inflamed the situation.

I'm not sure Rand ever realized how well Logain actually handled the matter, and certainly Egwene doesn't.
Chin Bawambi
144. bawambi
I'm actually hoping that Nyn (if she survives Tarwin's Gap) decides to flip the bird to the tower and work on healing the blight in her new kingdom of Malkier. Or whittle down a new thumping stick and smack Eggs around a bit. It would provide me a long laugh at least.

Bawambi of the just my non sequitor two cents Aiel
Roger Powell
145. forkroot
Ah, but will Nynaeve go to Tarwin's Gap? Yes, the man she loves is there, but she promised Rand she'd go with him to Shayol Ghul.

It seems like Rand has manipulated Egwene into getting Team Light to assemble. It also seems like he's going to address Team Light and lay down some sort of bargain where he will go to SG to fulfill prophecy and they will all pull together and prosecute the Last Battle.

In that scenario, assuming the plans include gating some help to Lan and Co at Tarwin's Gap, won't Nynaeve keep her promise and go with Rand to SG?
Chin Bawambi
146. bawambi
Ah the duty is heavier than a mountain scenario. Maybe a Queen Eldrene moment after Lan's death perhaps - to clean Malkier and end her life tragically as the blood of Manatheren saves all?
I think the only real help Lan will get are a couple of Asha'man sent to lend him strength in the Powers. For Team Dark will have a couple of Dreadlords yet again and I think Taim will be one of them. But as far as an army is concerned, I think Lan will have surprisingly more soldiers at his command then anyone thinks he will including Nynaeve who started the recruiting for him.

What will be interesting is how that fight with Taim will go down. With the spike in place, it will take some crafty planning. I think Perrin, with his prior experience with it and Slayer still alive, will be in on it and maybe Aviendha. I don't know... we'll see I guess.

What is most a shame is all those Compelled Asha'man and Aes Sedai will have to be put down unless Nynaeve or someone becomes enlightened enough to heal a severe Compelling.
Hugh Arai
148. HArai
forkroot@143: You think knowing that would make a difference for Egwene? It's possible I suppose, but she has to know they at least intended a mass capture and stilling of the Asha'man, and she knows stilled people almost always suicide. It seems a bit arbitrary to me that that would be ok, but immediate killing wouldn't. She never seemed to think Rand being stilled was a good idea, even before she knew he was the Dragon Reborn.
149. GreenishYellow Ajah
As long as you didn't learn about the depth of the Pamlico Sound from Clancy, I think you'll be ok
Roger Powell
150. forkroot
Yes, Egwene's attitude on the whole thing just feels like she didn't think it through. She's been hanging around Gawyn too much - the past master of not thinking things through!

I don't dislike her, but if it's time to bump off some major characters in AMoL (and it is) ... well, let's just say that I'd rather Egwene and Gawyn die gloriously for the Light vs. some other characters that I'm more fond of.

I'm still grieving over Hopper.

Alice Arneson
151. Wetlandernw
HArai @142 - As I'm sure you know, I was referring to the fact that Rand was collecting a group of men who were destined to go mad while having access to a source of almost unimaginable power. Use of great power is always dangerous, but how much more dangerous in the hands of someone who can't distinguish reality from imagination and has lost all his moral framework, both due to madness brought on by an unavoidable taint on that power? (And don't say the taint is cleansed, because Rand started this before the Cleansing, most of the world is still unaware of the change, and the already-existing effects of the taint didn't go away when it was cleansed.)

I wasn't saying that the BT had done anything overtly dangerous at that point (although I'm quite sure they had, though we didn't know many specifics until the end of ToM), but that the collecting together of hundreds of men guaranteed to become extremely powerful madmen is... dangerous. Once Logain cleans it up (my theory, anyway) it will become a force for Team Light, but for now, it is dangerous. Very, very dangerous. Mesaana's influence in the WT was pretty bad, but their system of government, the purpose of that institute of long standing, dedicated to the Light for thousands of years, restricted her movements and made the progress of the Shadow somewhat slow. Taim in unchecked control of the BT, with no long-standing purpose, no traditions to overcome, and himself dedicated to Team Dark, is far, far worse.

Elaida was a fool, and some of her actions/orders created a massive potential for danger, but nothing like what has become of that little group Rand created at the farm. It's dynamite vs. a nuclear bomb.
152. David DeLaney
"The crab barks at midnight."
"But the badger eases ... mysteriously."
{significant glances exchanged across the table}

Also, from I think the previous thread, so the whole battle is actually between whether One Ply or Two Ply is better suited to take the Pattern and be made into the Age Lace? I guess I'm glad the Creator never heard of papier-mache...

--Dave, the series would have been even gooier
153. Shadow_Jak
Enre Tarwin's gap...

Occurs to me that this would be splendid place to introduce the Shadow to cannons er, I mean Dragons.

(also a nice place to flush ...
Oh wait, that was last time, never mind)

Picture it...
Enter the minions of the Shadow, stage right...
Enter the Dragon(s), stage left

Then someone could compose an epic a poem named Charge of the Dark Brigade.

Sorry, getting twitchy...
Roger Powell
154. forkroot
I think the collecting together of men who could channel was perfectly defensible. Rand, a channeler himself, could hardly advocate what was currently happening to these men (gentling by the Reds.)

I don't remember for sure, but I also think he was fairly far along in his ideas for cleansing the Source - but even if he weren't, the idea of a organization that could track and (unfortunately) neutralize those members that had gone mad was a reasonable alternative among brutal choices.

Furthermore - these are desperate times. The Last Battle is impending and risks, dangerous risks, must simply be taken. Forging a dangerous weapon like the BT was a calculated gamble. It was also a gamble that paid off both in Rand's rescue at Dumai's well as well as the continued value of loyal Asha'man like Flinn, Narishma, and others.

Where you and I would likely be in agreement though, is Rand's ill-advised reluctance to keep tabs on the organization - especially after Logain's report of Taim's misdeeds.

Obviously as readers we get a better view of just how dangerous things have gotten, but it's perplexing that Rand thought making peace with the Seanchan and stabilizing Arad Doman were more important than cleaning up the mess at the Black Tower.
Bill Stusser
155. billiam
@ bawambi

I was hoping that Nyn was going to tell the AS what they could do with their tower in ToM but was saddly disapointed. Especially after what Rand said to her about not letting the AS change her and how the AS treated her during (and after) her testing.
156. Shadow_Jak
@ 152

Therefore, send not to know, For whom the crab barks...
It barks for thee.
Hugh Arai
157. HArai

I know what you were referring to. I simply don't agree. Collecting together men guaranteed to become extremely powerful madmen lets you know where they are, and as was clearly shown, lets them police themselves. I don't think men guaranteed to become extremely powerful madmen spread across Randland unnoticed till they snap is actually safer than that. I'll argue Rand did the Red's job better than the Reds.

Taim is not in unchecked control of the BT, it's clear Logain has his own faction and that there are many that don't slavishly obey Taim. The Asha'man are continuing to think for themselves. If Taim was unchecked, neither of us would believe Logain has a chance to clean up the Black Tower.

As for the White Tower being dedicated to the Light for thousands of years, I'd say they've been dedicated to the Tower for thousands of years and dedicated to the Light some unknown fraction of that time. Their history certainly supports that. I think the behavior of the current members supports that. You seem to be arguing that the White Tower traditions make the members "safer". I'd argue the White Tower traditions make the members conditioned to obey and promote White Tower authority which is not the same thing at all. Betrayal of Manetheren anyone?

I'll agree in a perfect world Rand should have kept better tabs on the Black Tower. I'll point out though that if I was afraid for my own sanity, and hanging around other male channelers very long made the "voice in my head" try to grab saidin and kill them, I'd probably delegate too. Trusting Taim over Logain when both of them trigger a kill response strikes me more as a matter of luck. Or perhaps the Pattern.
Stefan Mitev
158. Bergmaniac
The only reason Rand's "plan for the Ashaman hasn't ended in a few of them turning towns into ashes is pure luck. Teaching them both Travelling and all the advanced weaves for destruction was a huge risk. No policing can be really effective against Travelling. It's way safer when the men that can channel were on their own and had nobody to teach them - those who managed to survive and teach themselves enough channelling basics through trial and error caused serious destructions were few and far between.

And Rand leaving Taim in total control with zero supervision even after his top cronies ganged up and tried to kill Rand, is both really dumb and completely irresponsible on his behalf.
159. Ouroboros
ZEXXES @ 124

Sorry about that. It sounded like you were pretty mad. For the record, I don't think BWS or RJ were wrong to use the words they did. I would have preferred a different word, but I'm not losing sleep over it. It's possible to prefer one option without criticising the others, or to expound a notion without extensively investing in it. I wish more people would realise that.

There are several different discussions going on now and they're getting mixed up. On the one hand is the exploration of the origin of a word, and on the other, what context could be reasonably implied by a word.

Imagine that you're writing a story set in Elizabethan England and using Elizabethan prose. The characters could use the word "gay" and there would be no misunderstanding; except the usual round of giggles from the teenagers reading it for the first time. In a modern setting with modern prose, gay means something very different, but the meaning would be clear because they're modern characters speaking in a modern tongue. If, however, you write an Elizabethan story using modern prose, you'd have real problems if you had a character say the word "gay". Safer to avoid the problem altogether and just say "he's a jolly man" or "he likes men."

The argument that we're just reading a translation doesn't really work because the point of a translation is to accurately render the concepts between the two languages. I've used a lot of translations of old texts from a variety of languages and I can say without hesitation that there have been some pretty heated arguments over exactly how to translate one word. I won't even go into the problems of translating texts where rhyme and meter is a concern. Have you heard the Ring Cycle in English? Let's just say it's interesting and leave it at that.

I understand that people have different levels of sensitivity to language, which is why I have been careful to modify every post on this topic with the precursor that I am not criticising anybody, much less the author, and that my interest in this matter borders on the academic rather than personal.

I'm also prepared to admit that my background may make me especially sensitive to certain words. Personally, I can't use the word carbon without thinking of chemistry labs, but others clearly don't have that problem. Paranoia isn't quite so bad for me, but it still makes me think of psychological study. Either way, I can't get behind a sentence like "wootz smiths new about carbon". Charcoal or fire scale is another matter, but not carbon. To me, it's an element. BTW, if you want to talk about the history of metallurgy and the science involved, I'd be happy to oblige. It sounds like fun. But you might want to double check your sources on things like vanadium and tungsten; those are pretty new.

Okay, I'm moving on now before Wetlandernw bursts a blood vessel. ;)
Elijah Foster
160. TheWolfKing
159. Ouroboros

Hey, I'm a teen and I wouldn't laugh. Actually...
161. macster
@55 ryanreich and many more: As others (like insectoid) have pointed out, Graendal and Semirhage were both masters of mental/psychological medicine, so the term paranoia may well have been invented in the Age of Legends. And while much was lost during the Breaking, not everything was--we've seen and heard of fragments from it, whether in Vandene and Adeleas's library or the information Verin gave Egwene about Ishamael/Ba'alzamon. The fact the Yellows have studied Healing to the extent as to apply it to the mind (as Ouroboros so astutely pointed out), and are always on the lookout for more information on diseases of all kinds, makes it likely they would have studied what pieces of pre-Breaking knowledge the Tower (and other places, like the Terhana Library in Bandar Eban) had, which might have included terms like paranoia/paranoid.

Of note is the fact this term "dreads" cropped up in TPoD. At that point Nynaeve had studied some with the Yellows, both in the Tower and in Salidar, but she was barely in the Tower before gallivanting off on her own adventures, and in Salidar the Aes Sedai there seemed focused more on her 'discoveries' and breaking her block than imparting any knowledge to her. In fact a point was made that the Yellows didn't really accept her, even after she Healed stilling and gentling--they wanted to learn her weaves so they could do it themselves, but until Rosil in ToM they never treated her with any respect due to being a wilder and then an improperly raised Aes Sedai. They likely would not have been sharing much information with Nynaeve. She certainly didn't associate with Nisao (who is indeed a Yellow and clearly possessed of some specialized knowledge). And after Ebou Dar Nynaeve spent all her time with Elayne, who only had with her a Gray, two Browns, and two Greens (none of whom were really trusted by Nynaeve after Adeleas's murder). However, by this point in TGS, Nynaeve has been traveling with Cadsuane's coterie for some time, which includes Corele, one of the greatest Healers in the Tower. So if she had possession of Yellow knowledge such as psychological terminology, it's possible she could have passed this on to Nynaeve.

Obviously this is all speculation, but my point is that we have no way of knowing exactly how much knowledge the Tower has (not Randlanders in general, just the Tower), so to presume that there couldn't be things like this from the Age of Legends still surviving which could be passed on to Nynaeve is hardly logical or fair. Big things (like how Healing was done in the Age of Legneds) didn't survive the Breaking, but there's nothing to say small things such as a term for mental illness would not have. Plus, the very fact mental illness has become so prominent due to the taint on saidin makes it MORE likely that something surviving from the Age of Legends would have this term--wouldn't something related to the mental illness male Aes Sedai developed be something the Aes Sedai of that time would very much want to pass on and preserve?

And of course, the term psychologist was used in the Guide. Granted, Jordan didn't write it and he directed it be written without his input precisely so suppositions could be made and false or inaccurate information included so as to reflect the idea of people in Randland not knowing everything about their past and thus giving a flawed history, but at the same time he did look over the book and give approval (for things which were outright wrong or clearly contradicted by the books, I think), so if that term were inappropriate I'd think he would have said something...

And the fact he did in fact use terms during his own writing which some find a bit questionable (cobalt, carbon) suggests that if this is a flaw, it is hardly one only Sanderson is guilty of.

All I can say here in the end is, while I agree that Sanderson should not be above criticism (after all, Jordan certainly isn't), I have to take Zexxes and Wetlander's side here. It does feel as if the criticism of Sanderson, while not hateful, is going too far--at least in the sense that it seems to be all we're seeing, and rarely ever the praise. And about ridiculous, nitpicking things. (I'm sorry, Wortmauer, if you think that is belittling, but that is my opinion on the matter. Not of the people giving the opinions, but of the opinions themselves.) Of course people are free to have and state whatever opinions they wish, it is perfectly allowed for them to debate to their heart's content about Sanderson's writing style, and just because I was not knocked out of the story (most of the time) by his word choices doesn't mean others couldn't be. But it seems like such a sad thing to get worked up about.

I think this just proves one thing we all should have known for sure if we didn't already: people online, especially sf-fantasy fans, can be some of the most geeky, nit-picking, hair-splitting people there are. It's one of those things that can be very annoying, but at the same time is also why we love spending time with each other and discussing our favorite works so much. :P

So, I'm sitting this out now.
162. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw@ 127

No, it doesn’t surprise me that know one is giving Cadsuane credit. Sorry for letting the side down. I’m saving my Cadsuane batteries for a stormy day. I think you know my views on this already but if you want a sign of solidarity…


Or put another way… GO CADSUANE! *happy dance*

Until next time. :)
163. macster
@ thewindrose: I don't like the Aiel as a police force either, but on the other hand as Aviendha's trip through the Way Forward Machine shows, they can't be allowed to keep living their lives and basing their culture around nothing but war and violence either. Still, perhaps there can be a balance found between the two, so that the Aiel won't destroy themselves either through constant warfare or through the despair of the Bleakness and fading into peaceful obscurity.

Also: fie on you, for decrying my most excellent use of verbiage!! ;) (Seriously, I try not to be so long when replying, but there's always so much to think about and respond to, and it tends to take me a while of rambling/thinking things out before I reach a conclusion. Guess I need to work on that.)

@69 HArai: I am actually agreeing with you (and Wetlander and KiManiak at the same time!). While I think what happened at the Black Tower and White Tower are different, and that the situations with Egwene and Rand at the time were different, I also think that both of them are culpable for Taim/Elaida's actions, just in different ways and to different degrees. Rand is technically more culpable in the sense that someone he put in charge was the one to do the bonding, someone he never took to heel, checked up on, reprimanded, or anything; at the same time, he was also the one who reprimanded Logain, then sent Narishma to make restitution. Egwene had nothing to do with what Elaida did, but not only did she dodge responsibility in her mind by calling it "something she inherited", she has said and done nothing to make amends for what happened or even speak out against it. She did show regret for what happened to him, during her time in her cell when she compared their experiences under Elaida, but she said and did nothing overt to him or the other Aes Sedai about his time in the box. That is the issue here.

We can debate till the cows come home whether Egwene is responsible for what Elaida did because she was the previous Amyrlin, and whether this compares to Rand having actually placed Taim in charge and not put proper controls on his power (but not been there to prevent what happened and having explicitly told Taim not to kill Aes Sedai, leaving little other way to defend themselves from Toveine's group). I would say that Egwene is less culpable--but, she is just as responsible because, while she did not cause or order what happened, it is only just and fair for her to make amends on Elaida's behalf. She is the Amyrlin now, the Tower is united and she explicitly says during her rousing speech at the end of TGS that the Tower is (paraphrasing) "far too eager to ignore their mistakes and pretend they didn't happen". She should be acknowledging such mistakes and doing all in her power to make amends for them simply to repair the Tower's tarnished image, let alone if she wants to make Rand and the Asha'man more amenable to working with them. Instead she...does nothing, simply weasels out of it and states Rand has done wrong and needs to be held accountable for it.

I am not an Egwene-hater, in fact more often than not I like and support her. But at this point, at least, I think she dropped the ball and disappointed me. I really hope she can get her act together and redeem herself in AMoL. She is supposed to still be Rand's friend and care about him; I'd like to see her walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.

@77 Subwoofer: Glad to hear someone else agrees. Though it wasn't whether or not people agreed about Cadsuane doing right here I was commenting on, I was just surprised nobody seemed to notice or care that she was doing so. I'd have thought that all the Cadsuane-haters would have tried to find some way to justify their hatred, perhaps by claiming it was still an example of her being rude and nasty about it. The absolute silence on the issue was..surprising. Has everyone gotten that sick of talking and debating about her? Or could it be they actually couldn't find anyway to deny she was in the right here, so they're quietly ignoring it and pretending it didn't happen? :P

Also: you'd unleash the Whitecloaks on Arad Doman? After what they did on Almoth Plain? What did the Domani ever do to you? :P Maybe the ones under Galad might have been okay for this job, but at this point in the narrative they haven't redeemed themselves yet.

On the other hand Min's method (aside from the sex) does seem best: neither controlling nor surrendering, but merely offering unwavering support, which makes Rand more likely to trust and listen to advice. In the end, oddly, Nynaeve of all people seems to reach that same conclusion.

Lastly, @96....ooo, what you said to Free, shame shame! *shakes finger* ;)
164. macster
@97 anthonypero: Sorry, but HArai has a point. Egwene really hasn't done anything to remove the person responsible, let alone make amends or apologies for it. She didn't remove Elaida, the Seanchan did (and anyway, it was more Galina who was responsible and she got her comeuppance through entirely different characters and circumstances). All Egwene did was call for Elaida's removal as Amyrlin--but she did this based on her unlawful removal of Siuan and in response to things like the disbanding of the Blue, the breaking of the Tower, the turning of sisters against each other, demoting Shemerin, and so on, not out of outrage over anything done to Rand. And then she replaced her, but still did nothing to make it up to Rand for what was done to him.

@116 birgit: As I said above, I never denied that what Cadsuane is doing here is in character for her "teaching manners" mindset. I am just surprised nobody called attention to it, if only to say "oh look there goes SWMNBN being bitchy to Rand again". It made me wonder if no one said anything because they knew for once she was in the right...but they couldn't bring themselves to admit it :P See Wetlander's response @127.

Also, LOL at Someshta!!

@127 and 138 Wetlander: Hear hear! And so you know, while I am not and never could be the Cadusane lover and apologist you are ;) I do overall agree with you on a lot of what you say about her. I don't approve of her methods or how she treats Rand, even as I understand why she is doing it, but I have always liked her as a character otherwise. I see the way she acts toward Rand as just her Thing, as just about every WOT character has something about them that is annoying, upsetting, frustrating, or unlikable--in other words, just like real people. So whenever she gets after him for his manners or slaps him (except on a few rare occasions), I just roll my eyes, move on, and continue to appreciate the other awesome things she does. Like here: I think it was awesome she chastised him about the Aiel, and even better that the way/reason she was doing so was part of her usual issue with manners that normally grates on so many. Her methods and attitude with Rand often suck or are annoying, but this time she was absolutely right to get after him about it. Perhaps if she did it less often, times like this (where she is also right) would stand out more.

As I said above, I was just amused nobody was using this as an excuse to say "OMG Cadsuane is still being so meeeeeean to Rand!" Probably for the very reason you said, there was no way they could bring it up and adequately call her out on it (since she was right) so they just quietly ignored it. :P Or maybe everyone is just sick of flagellating that deceased equine. Anyway, just to reiterate: while not to quite the extent as you, you're not alone--I like Cadsuane too.

*grins at Ouroboros* GO CADSUANE!

@146 Bawambi: I hope not, but that could very well be what ends up happening...

@147 Zexxes: If Perrin goes up against Taim, he could well end up dying in that fight, unless Logain comes to his rescue. As for him vs. Slayer, sign me up for that final showdown, though I really hope Rand and/or Lan gets to learn who Slayer really is and that plot can be resolved before the end.

@155 billiam: I'm not sure why you were disappointed. Yes, Nynaeve did become Aes Sedai, but the very scene you refer to, her testing and what she said to the Aes Sedai afterward, I saw as very much Nynaeve telling them where to stick it. She got after them about calmness for its own sake; about the greater good being about helping people rather than being calm; about putting the welfare of others before everything, even the Tower and being Aes Sedai; and about using balefire to help Rand and stop the Dark One. She was also quite ready to throw them and being Aes Sedai aside for the sake of Lan if nothing else. Her little speech to Egwene about the Aes Sedai caring more about their institution than the people they claimed to serve was pretty much what so many fans have been saying for years now. So while she did get accepted as Aes Sedai, I don't see her as having disappointed at all. I thought her Reason You Suck speech was one of the most awesome things she's ever done. And while she may be in the Tower now, I don't see her as capitulating at all on these matters--she will be a force for change among the Aes Sedai. Assuming she survives the Last Battle...

@158 Good points, but while that does mean Rand holds some responsibility for what happened, it does not mean it is fair to attack him for the actions of Taim and the other Asha'man, especially when he at least has done something in restitution which is more than what Egwene has done--nothing. Unlike Wetlander, I agree that Rand is at least partly responsible for what Taim and his cronies have done; however this does not excuse Egwene from responsibility for Elaida's actions--not because she caused them, but because as the Amyrlin (and Rand's childhood friend) she should want to set things right and make it up to him. Yet somehow she isn't.
@159. Ouroboros
The Indians new of Carbon since, at least to my knowledge, 500 B.C. It was not yet called carbon and I don't think it was called such in any language until perhaps 1000 years later. But they most certainly didn't call it charcoal or any other word leant to a Latin based language. Wootz steel was a sought after material. Alexander the Great was once presented with 30 pounds of Wootz steel as a gift of fealty, as it was deemed more valuable than gold. It wasn't called Wootz but was known as Urruke. Wootz being the european influenced evolution of the word, by the way. Wootz steel is reknowned recently for the discovery of carbon nanotubes found at the edge of bladed weapons made from the metal. Wootz steel is also known for having tungsten and vanadium as part of its molecular makeup.

My point is that regardless of when something was given its modern name, the material was still known. The Chinese didn't call gunpowder gunpowder and neither did they call it saltpeter. They knew of the material and had their own dialects name for it. Tungsten wasn't called Tungsten until two separate scientists got together and realized that the compounds that each were working on were so similar that they must have a common element among them. But each knew of the materials by ancient and more modern names. They chose Tungsten, the old Swedish name for one of their compounds, as the new name.

So to get on with my point, what I mean to say is, Carbon, Tungsten, Cobalt, Paranoid-Paranoia, whatever; the notion that people who worked with something or observed a feeling aren't capable of recognizing such because they live in ancient times doesn't jibe. They had their own terms for such and where they probably didn't know the true nature of a material or the proper explanation for a psychosis, that doesn't mean that it didn't exist for them. It just isn't recognized in the more modern form or knowledge of the more modern terms and definitions. But Carbon is completely blown from arguement because the word Carbo is latin and has existed since shortly before/after(?) Christ. Because the word now has grown one letter and did during the dawn of the industrial age, doesnt change the fact that it was known for a very long time; albiet with out its all its scientific definitions and properties.
Jay Dauro
166. J.Dauro
OK, Somebody else mentioned Tarwin's Gap, so I don't feel bad about bringing this up.

At the end of TOM, we see most of the Randlanders at the Fields of Merrilor. When Perrin arrives, there are no Borderlander flags, Faile comments on this. TOM-53.

In TOM-56 when Egwene and Gawyn talk about the armies present, the Borderlanders can't be there. Egwene mentions pretty much all of the rulers present, and if they were in with Perrin's Army, his size would be more than doubled. Even if they didn't fly their flags, someone would notice. As Egwene senses Rand's arrival, she looks toward Perrin's section of camp. But if the Borderlanders had arrived completely, I again would expect notice.

What we do know is in the Epilogue, where Rand thinks
...in their new camp, surrounded by Borderlanders, set up on the Fields of Merrilor.
So I do not think all of the Borderland armies are at the Fields, probably just the rulers, and a guard. I think the majority of the Borderlanders have been sent to Tarwin's Gap, where Borderlanders should be at this time, to follow a man they respect.

And everytime folks start in about Cadsuane, I recall the reactions of most AS when Rand has come out with a plan. When he proposed bringing the Aiel across the Dragonwall. When he proposed using the CK to cleanse the taint. When he proposed destroying the seals. Almost all of the AS present at these times have immediately started jumping on him. None has ever asked him why he thought his plan was good. But Cadsuane did not argue. She listened to what he said (and yes, it was only her that Rand was really addressing), thought about his arguments, and supported him.
@164. macster
Don't sell perrin short so quickly there. He's got his superpowers too! It being his abilty to enter Tel'aran'rhiod. He could concievably kill Taim there where he is more advantaged. Now we don't really know about Taim's capabilty with The One Power other than that he is strong in it. But I would be surprised if he has any great skill with roaming around Tel'aran'rhiod. Shoot, we don't even know what properties Perrin's hammer has. Wouldn't it be soooo on time if his hammer does as Mat's medallion as well?

Anyway I didn't mean to give the impression I thought Perrin was going to deal with Taim. I was thinking Rand personally or Logain. I was thinking Rand or Logain on Taim and Perrin on Slayer, with a bunch of loyal Asha'man and AS to compensate for the turned AM and AS.
Hugh Arai
168. HArai
The only reason Rand's "plan for the Ashaman hasn't ended in a few of them turning towns into ashes is pure luck. Teaching them both Travelling and all the advanced weaves for destruction was a huge risk. No policing can be really effective against Travelling. It's way safer when the men that can channel were on their own and had nobody to teach them - those who managed to survive and teach themselves enough channelling basics through trial and error caused serious destructions were few and far between.
You say pure luck. I say it hasn't happened because it wasn't and isn't likely to happen. Since it hasn't happened, I don't see how you can assert either case so definitely.
Alice Arneson
169. Wetlandernw
forkroot @154 – I’m not saying Rand was wrong to publish his amnesty and collect male channelers before the LB, or that he was wrong to start the job before he had performed the Cleansing. My original point was that Rand is responsible for the very existence of the BT (a dangerous institution) in a way that Egwene is not responsible for the existence of the WT. Egwene stepped into an established role (Amyrlin) at the head of an established institution (WT); while she as the head assuredly bears responsibility for what its members do, or even have done on the orders of her predecessor, it’s not quite on the same level as Rand’s responsibility for the BT.

Egwene is responsible to correct the mistakes made by her predecessor(s) as much as possible, even if all that can be done is to say “This was wrong.” However, Rand created the BT in the first place, so it and everything done by its members are more directly Rand’s responsibility than the WT is Egwene’s. Not only did he create it, he left it completely up to someone he knew very little about (and instinctively hated and distrusted); he did not establish any form of government, checks or balances; he gave no mission other than “make them into weapons”; after the very early days he never went back and checked up on them or held Taim accountable for anything. His failure to do those things makes him culpable for their behavior in a way Egwene is not for the AS. Rand is responsible for the very existence of the group who did what they did, and that’s a different matter.

(Please note: I think creating the BT was the right thing. I think bonding the AS, even against their will, was probably the best alternative available in a lousy situation. I think Rand is fortunate that Logain is as smart as he is, and that someone came up with a way to neutralize this particular group of AS without bloodshed. None of that mitigates the fact that Rand is personally and directly responsible for the existence of the BT and therefore what is done by its members.)

HArai @157 – “I don't think men guaranteed to become extremely powerful madmen spread across Randland unnoticed till they snap is actually safer than that.” – And yet, a large number of those men who came to the BT would never have channeled had they not come. Taim’s recruiting program found a lot of “learners” as well as a much smaller number of “sparkers.” The sparkers obviously would have channeled eventually, but without training they would likely never have developed any skill. (see also Bergmaniac @ 158) And the learners would never have touched it at all. The danger presented by the scattered sparkers remains the same as it has for the last 3000 years, which is to say extant but relatively insignificant. The BT doesn’t just put weapons in the hands of madmen, it makes weapons who are madmen.

Of far greater significance is the fact that no one has yet mentioned – that if Rand hadn’t collected them in the name of the Light, the Shadow might have collected them in the Blight, where no one would know about them at all until too late, and there would be no hope of any male channelers (except Rand) coming in on the side of Team Light. As I said, I think Rand was right to establish it, but that doesn’t absolve him from responsibility for it.

IMO, the only real check on Taim’s governance is the published knowledge that the Dragon Reborn has established the Black Tower to fight the Shadow in the Last Battle, so that a large number of the men who came did so for the precise purpose of standing for the Light. Until Taim & Co. got to the point of setting up the 13D13M Personality Remodeling Facility, he had to rely on the nature of his recruits to turn them to the Shadow, which meant that the majority still serve the Light, and somebody would be bound to call shenanigans if he got too obvious.

Bergmaniac @157 – Yeah, that. Exactly.

macster @163 – My turn for a word-choice nitpick: I also think that both of them are culpable for Taim/Elaida's actions, just in different ways and to different degrees.” I disagree with the use of “culpable” – it implies guilt or fault, which is applicable to Rand but not to Egwene in this case. As noted above, she is certainly responsible for the WT, past, present and future. But what was done under Elaida’s orders is in no way Egwene’s fault. She’s just stuck with the responsibility to make it right if possible. She hasn’t honestly had much chance just yet; I don’t know if it will come up in AMoL or not.

macster @164 – AHHHHH! You just did it! ("slaps" in the plural) See, I used to loathe Cadsuane as much as the next reader, but when people started going overboard about how horrible she was, I had to check out what she really did, and found that she didn’t do nearly all people accused her of. She slapped him once, to get his attention (when he tried to balefire the fog), and she spanked him with Air once, because he was acting like a total git in spite of repeated (verbal) nudges. But somehow people are convinced that she spent a year or so slapping him around and beating him repeatedly with the OP, until he finally got sick of it and banished her. Somehow, one slap and one spank just don’t add up to the reputation people give her.

J. Dauro @166 – I agree, on both counts. I’m both dreading and eagerly awaiting the Tarwin’s Gap scene. I honestly don’t have a good feel for how that’s going to come out; I know what I hope for, but at this point it’s entirely possible that even the bulk of the Borderland armies plus the army Lan has collected on his way from World’s End to Tarwin’s Gap may not be enough to actually win. I have this sinking feeling that they’ll stop the invasion but be annihilated in the process…

I love that bit you referenced about the Cleansing. I think just about everyone (including Rand, as well as the readers) expected Cadsuane to raise a series of objections to his plan, but she just listened, made sure he’d thought it through, and said “Let’s go.” The woman has courage and to spare. Then again, we were told that in the chapter right after we met her, but many people were too busy being outraged about her failure to be sufficiently awed by Rand to see that aspect of her character.
Jonathan Levy
170. JonathanLevy
I'll take it you agree with me on petit-bourgeoisie, Cobalt, Radon and Uranium. That's good enough for me, I'm happy to abaondon Carbon in no-man's-land.

135. Wortmauer
"I think it far more likely that he simply has a tin ear for these sorts of things, and this was something he didn't even notice he was doing."
That's it, exactly.

How would Taim enter T'A'R in order for Perrin to kill him? Have we a confirmed sighting of Taim in T'A'R?
Anthony Pero
171. anthonypero
We have not seen Taim in T'a'R. But it's certainly possible he knows how to enter in the flesh.
Stefan Mitev
172. Bergmaniac
@Harai - so you really don't think it's really fortunate that none of the hundreds of men who could go insane at any moment and turn a city into ashes, has actually done it? OK...

One of the terrible things about the taint insanity is that often it appears suddenly in full bloom without any warning signs. If it happens when an Asha'man is sent alone somewhere on assignment (recruiting/supplying/carrying messages/etc), there's nothing to stop him from unleashing devastation. Even if he has one or two other Asha'man with him, he might kill them before they can react. That;s just one of the many scenarios we can create which could have lead to disaster. It's only luck it didn't happen.

If it was so easy to keep control of the male channellers with the methods Taim used (the ones Rand knows of, not making them DF), it would've been done in AoL to limit the damage of the Breaking.
Anthony Pero
173. anthonypero

It's not fortunate, it's policy. The Asha'man are killing each other when they go cookoo. I think they are given some sort of poison. Does someone know the reference? I'm sure we are told that by someone in the Black Tower, probably talking to one of the bonded Aes Sedai.
Rajesh Vaidya
174. Buddhacat
Anthonypero @173: I think you're thinking of the end of ACOS (I think) when Min is able to distract the insane Ashaman from destroying the palace. Rand wasn't there until later. But for her success, there would have been destruction and death. Policy only works in the BT, where there are others to enforce it on anyone going insane. Outside it, there is no protection.
Hugh Arai
175. HArai
Bergmaniac@172: I agree it's a possible scenario, and I certainly agree it would be devastating if it happened. My question is: if it's so overwhelmingly likely to happen, why hasn't it? It just strikes me as much the same thing as people saying "gee it's just a matter of luck a city hasn't been hit by an asteroid". Well, yes it is. Sort of. We still live in cities though. And on the slopes of volcanoes and in earthquake zones. Is it dangerous? Sure. Wave your arms, shriek and run away right now dangerous? Debatable.
One of the terrible things about the taint insanity is that often it appears suddenly in full bloom without any warning signs.
Do you have a citation for this? I'm strangely drawing a blank on all the Asha'man that this happened to. I can name a bunch of Asha'man this hasn't happened to. Are you drawing this from the BBoBA? If so, can you quote it? I've never actually read it. If you're quoting the "established facts" as stated by the modern Aes Sedai, bah.

wetlandernw@169: You're quite correct Rand and the BT brought the "learners" into play. That does increase the danger by some unknown amount. As for the difference in danger between untaught "sparkers" and the Asha'man, I disagree. Judging from Rand, "sparkers" without any knowledge at all can be deadly pretty much anytime they're stressed. Four Kings comes to mind. They have no control. Trained Asha'man on the other hand would only be deadly in two sets of circumstances: if they are trying to kill you on purpose or if they are so lost to the taint they don't realize they are killing you. They won't be doing it by accident. Since untrained "sparkers" suffer from the taint as well, the comparision is uncontrolled vs controlled until either are lost to reality. I would argue controlled is safer. Even more so if I am correct that a sudden snap without warning directly to indiscriminate homicide is not the norm for taint madness.

It's true trained Asha'man may know more variety of destructive weaves to use if they did snap in the "instant taint" scenario but I think that's a matter of degree. Logain was capable of fighting large groups of troops and groups of Aes Sedai with what he figured out on his own. If he had snapped then, he would have been sufficiently lethal I think.
176. macster
@167 Zexxes: True, but despite what is pointed out below (that Taim may well be able to enter TAR in the flesh) we really have no evidence he can be fought there. If he can't, so that it were left to face him in the real world, Perrin wouldn't have use of his wolfbrother powers or TAR-manipulating powers in the real world. It'd be just his hammer (which is admittedly an awesome weapon)...vs. the One Power, and possibly the True Power as well.

That said, since the dreamspike is in TAR, you're right it is likely to come down to Perrin vs. Slayer, while Rand and/or Logain take on Taim in the real world. Now that'd be epic.

@Wetlander: Okay, you're right that Rand is actually culpable and Egwene is not. (Though in my defense, I did qualify my original statement "I also think that both of them are culpable for Taim/Elaida's actions, just in different ways and to different degrees" later on, by saying Egwene was less culpable than Rand.) You do however make my point for me: that even though Rand is culpable and Egwene is not, that does not justify her blaming him so harshly for what Taim did, even though he did his best to make some form of restitution, the bonding was better than killing, and as you pointed out the Black Tower actually performed a great service in keeping those channeling men out of the Shadow's clutches until recently. Especially when she herself hasn't done anything, whether rescind Elaida's proclamation, offer him an apology, reprimand/lay penance on Coiren and the sisters who were in Dorlun, or simply make a statement saying what happened was wrong.

Granted, she hasn't had time yet, and at this point in TGS she is still a prisoner and the Tower isn't unified yet...but later after it is, in ToM, she still hasn't done any form of restitution, and her attitude toward Rand still seems to be "your Asha'man did wrong, we need to discuss it, but I'm not going to do anything to the Aes Sedai who hurt you or even apologize for it". I truly hope she changes her stance on this and admits the mistakes Elaida and her Aes Sedai made (if nothing else, it'd make Rand more willing to listen to her thoughts on the bonding). But we haven't seen an indication she'll do it yet.

Also...I am sorry to do this, but if you're going to get after me for something I said, it would behoove you to make sure I actually said it. These were my actual words re: Cadsuane: "So whenever she gets after him for his manners or slaps him..." That is not plural, that is present tense. And while "whenever she slaps him" implies it happening more than once, I didn't outright say that she had done so. In point of fact when I wrote that sentence, the "whenever" in my mind was meant to apply mostly to "getting after him for his manners" which I'm sure you will agree she has in fact done on numerous occasions. Whether or not they were justified from her POV isn't the point, I was merely stating that it happened, and when it did I simply rolled my eyes and ignored it as "just Cads's thing" and moved on to her awesomeness. Also, while I do equate spanking him with the Power with slapping him, and I could have sworn she actually slapped him one other time, I hardly accused her of doing it constantly, the way the people who annoy you did.

So...while I understand why this issue upsets you, I am a bit disappointed you loosed your venom on me for something I didn't even do, or mean to imply. Particularly when I was telling you I was on your side, and think Cads is awesome, albeit with the caveat she has said and done things I don't like, like just about every other WOT character. Unless you want me to give Cads my unqualified support, it seems a bit unfair for you to get after someone who was still otherwise agreeing with you, not to mention joining you in a rather unpopular camp among the fandom...

On that note, I also agree about the Cleansing and how Cads just listened, asked him where he wanted to do it, and then said "Sure, I'll support that". A very refreshing change indeed from the usual Aes Sedai MO.

@173 anthonypero and 175 HArai:

Here are the references you wanted, and they are both from the same place, Torval's talk with Rand in Path of Daggers (Rand has just asked him about deserters and losses):

"Torval shrugged, too casually. 'Fifty-one, all told. Thirteen burned out, and twenty-eight dead where they stood. The rest... The M'Hael, he adds something to their wine, and they do not wake.' Abruptly his tone turned malicious. 'It can come suddenly, at any time. One man began screaming that spiders were crawling beneath his skin on his second day.'" (Chapter 14, Message from the M'Hael, p. 336)
Hugh Arai
177. HArai
macster@176: Leaving aside the fact Torval is one of Taim's men and seems to be trying to mess with Rand's head, "spiders are under my skin" does not actually translate directly to "suddenly started to blow people away before we could stop him".

I'm well aware many of the Asha'man went mad, some of them rapidly. What I'm looking for is, how many were/are the "rogue nukes" that Rand has supposedly been so lucky to avoid? For example, I don't count the one Min talked down because all she had to do was talk him out of rearranging the stones of the fortress. Yes, he lost his grip on reality, no he wasn't a raging uncontrollable force of devastation. Just reverting to a child's mentality. That's obviously scary for Min, but hey... plenty of Tower Aes Sedai that were scary for Min too.
Alice Arneson
178. Wetlandernw
macster @176 – I apologize – I must have come across more harshly last night than I intended. FWIW (which was clearly not… clear…) the “aaah you did it” was at least half poking fun at myself for being so easily set off on a rant. I didn’t intend to accuse you of overinflating Cadsuane’s physical contacts with Rand. I think in my too-late-at-night lack of attention to detail, I ran things together and made my frustration with those who claim she beats on him frequently sound like that’s what I thought you personally were doing. (Darn. I knew something was wrong with those paragraphs, but I couldn’t pin it down last night. How lame is that?) Anyway, I do apologize. You have a fine appreciation for Cadsuane, both her strengths and weaknesses, and you have made it clear in many posts. And you’re quite correct; there are multiple examples of her reprimanding him for his manners.

And… off on a slight tangent, it reminds me of my son’s third grade teacher, regularly prompting the kids to say “Yes, ma’am” instead of “Yeah” when she asks them a question. It’s a matter of expectations. The sad part is that Rand mostly grew up with the same expectations she places on him, in terms of treating others with basic courtesy and respect for their humanity; somewhere in his struggle with becoming the Dragon Reborn, he let his manners slide into the Big Bad John, and reacts to everyone with either suspicion, arrogance or bad temper – or any combination of the above. The thing most people don’t see is that she’s (IMO) far less worried about his actual manners than she is about the lack of self-control and the egocentric attitude those manners indicate. If he were simply raised in a different society and were acting according to those norms, I don’t think she’d have a problem. It’s the fact that his behavior reflects his increasing attitude that everyone is merely a tool to be used, by him, and that they don’t deserve any consideration as real people. All of us tend to get irritated with people who act stupider than they are, but Rand gets irritated with anyone who says anything he didn’t want to hear. This is not a good trait. Interestingly enough, she’s proven right even though she wasn’t able to personally effect the changes she hoped for. When Rand has his epiphany on Dragonmount, the result is that he once again starts to treat people like human beings to be led and cared for, rather than tools to be used, abused and abandoned. That’s what she was going for all along, but he had to get there by a different route.

The really funny part is that (IMO) a goodly portion of the reason people get so torqued off at Cadsuane is a weird combination of different expectations. One, we as a society have frightfully low standards regarding our treatment of one another, so her expectations are higher than we’re used to. Two, we as a society are so bound up in our individualism that we have defined the height of bad manners as correcting someone else, on the (flawed) assumption that nobody has the right to do so. Then we end up with people who are outraged at Cadsuane’s “discourtesy” for telling Rand his manners stink, even though they really do. Stink, that is. Foully.

And… that had nothing to do with anything. Just musing on the reasons why Rand’s discourtesy gets a pass, while Cadsuane is accused of discourtesy for far less reason. Oh well. It’s an ongoing attempt to clarify the issues. I don’t think it’s working.

HArai @177 – While Torval is clearly being malicious in his intent to mess with Rand’s head, there’s no reason he’d make up stuff like this which is so easy for Rand to verify. It always read (to me, anyway) that he was using the truth to twist the truth; i.e., the statistics and examples were true, but he used them in such a way as to make Rand worry more about it than was, perhaps, really appropriate. And I still can’t help thinking that a thousand or so potential madmen channeling the OP in one location, learning all the destructive weaves they can put together, increasing their strength by forcing, is far more likely to present a significant danger than even a hundred or so scattered across the continent, most avoiding the use of saidin, rarely trying to learn, and knowing only what they could figure out for themselves if they even tried. Oh, and none of them able to Travel.
I'm of the opinion that Rand is not particularly self centered, spoiled, rude, egotistical. I think he is driven. He is man expects to die and is coming close to the end game and that is breaking him. All the things thay he said he didn't want to be he's becoming out of necessesity, so he thinks. It's why he's always worried about having his humanity taken away from him. He is desperate to be Rand and not the Dragon. This he can not do by being hard or strong. He simply needs to except it and endure. As far as Cadsuane is concerned I think she had him all wrong from the get go and continued to be so over and over again. Sure ahe had some wisened things to say, that why Rand kept her around. Knowledge and Wisdom. Thats what she offered him. He took it. The momnet she became more trouble than she was worth, he gave her the boot. I'd have done the samething sooner.

I find it interesting that everyone is anxious to reference Aviendha's futurescape dream but dismiss Rands "Golden Path" moment from his experience in the.... what was that? a unfinished world or something on the pedestal with Selene/Lanfear? Can't remember what it was called. But I remember the jist of it. It didn't show him the correct path to walk. It simply showed him all the paths to not walk or at least some of them.

Nuff of that.
Alice Arneson
180. Wetlandernw
ZEXXES @179 - I never said (or thought) that Rand is "self centered, spoiled, rude, egotistical." I said he (at that point in time) lacked self-control and was egocentric, and I stand by that. Perhaps "Dragon-Reborn-centric" would be more accurate. Rand was indeed "driven" in a sense, but was more and more driven by the wrong things and in the wrong direction. His view of the world was that, as the Dragon Reborn, he was pretty much the center and hub of all meaningful existence. While there is a measure of truth there, in that the fight against the Shadow will surely fail without him, it's not altogether true. If he "saves" the world by destroying all the people in it, what has he accomplished? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way, exaggerated by way of emphasizing the flaw in his logic, which he finally realized himself on Dragonmount.)

While Rand was approaching the situation by isolating himself from humanity (his own and everyone else's), he became more and more willing to simply use people, use them up, throw them away, break them if they didn't serve his purpose the way he wanted. This is not because he was spoiled, self-centered, rude or egotistical - it's because he was focused on what he (wrongly) thought he had to do/be as the Dragon Reborn. If he had been self-centered in the sense of "I don't wanna be the DR, I just wanna be Rand, I deserve to be treated better than this" we'd all be slapping him for whining. Oddly enough, he'd gone too far the other way; he was shoving all the Rand al'Thor parts of him, his humanity, in a little box to get it out of the way of the Dragon Reborn, and he was doing the same to the humanity of everyone around him (except possibly Min). He was treating himself and everyone else as objects; pieces on the chessboard, perhaps, whose only value was in how they could be used to win the game, rather than individuals with an intrinsic value of their own.

This is what many people who really cared about him were seeing. Nynaeve, Min, Cadsuane, Sorilea, Bashere - all were concerned, in their own way, about his denial of his own humanity and that of anyone around him. While Rand was unable to recognize it (as well as, apparently, many of the readers) they were all worried about the same thing, and each made their own attempts to shake him out of it based on their personality. Interestingly enough, while the outer form was different for each because of their different relationships, they all had something in common - they all tried to treat him like a normal human being, to help him realize that he was a normal human being at the core, no matter what kind of duties or powers the Pattern dumped on him. Min reminded him of his humanity through their intimacy - but also by continuing to call him "diminishing" names, like "sheepherder" and "woolhead" as she had always done. Nynaeve had a fine balance to find - she couldn't quite treat him like the boy he'd been, but that was the core of their relationship, modified by his maturing to a man with his own responsibilities. Bashere, Cadsuane and Sorilea had a tougher job, since they didn’t have long-standing relationships to form a basis for interaction. Still, each of them did what they could, according to their personality and their relationship with him, to remind him that he was not the Creator, that he needed to retain his humanity (and a certain measure of humility!) if he were to save the world in any meaningful way.

Obviously, I disagree with your opinion that Cadsuane “had him all wrong from the get go.” IMO, she was stuck in a “too little too late” situation – by the time she found him, he’d gone too far downhill for her to help him in quite the way she’d helped so many other men. If you really look at it without prejudice, you’d see that Cadsuane focused primarily on attempting to help him rediscover his humanity, and that of others; her advisory capacity to the Dragon Reborn was secondary and she never tried to tell him what he ought to be doing strategically. Still, every single bit of advice she gave him was completely sound, and he knew it. He even acknowledged it occasionally.

Not sure what you're referencing with the second paragraph.
Anthony Pero
181. anthonypero
RE: Rand

I find your choice of wording interesting here, Wetlandernw.
he was shoving all the Rand al'Thor parts of him, his humanity, in a little box to get it out of the way of the Dragon Reborn
This started to occur around the time he was slipping into Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh on a frequent basis (or at least, whne we found out about it. Could his use of TaR this way have been causing some of this? Making him more susceptible to Moridin's influence?
Alice Arneson
182. Wetlandernw
anthony - I think that's entirely possible; probable, even. A combination of stress, taint, misuse of TAR, and then the stream-crossing episode are coming together, and he's trying to handle it all by his little lonesome. Probably the best thing he's done in months is being too "weak" to send Min away - and he'd try that if he thought she'd go. Sometimes I think the only reason he doesn't dare try it is that he knows he'd make a fool of himself in the process, and he won't risk it.
Hugh Arai
183. HArai
wetlandernw@178: It's possible. I think a thousand or so men in one place, being taught by other men how to ensure saidin only comes when and how they want it to, and being watched by each other carefully because they all know and accept precisely what's at stake is safer. Luckily we're allowed to disagree, so we can move on :)

Not 100% with you on the no Traveling though. My reading is Aviendha first managed it simply by wanting to be somewhere else badly enough. If she can do it untaught, it should be possible for others.

With regard to your post @180: Maybe part of where Cadsuane went wrong is that "the way she’d helped so many other men" was to help them accept being mad with the taint, captured and stilled. Helping someone truly accept being the Dragon Reborn wasn't as similar as she thought it was.
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
HArai @ 183 - It's quite true that being the DR is different from anything any other man has ever faced. I give Cadsuane credit for trying to make use of whatever tools she had to try and help. I also give Moiraine credit for using her knowledge to try to help Rand, even though she was wrong every time she tried to tell him what the DR should be doing next. Her problem was that she focused on his job rather than himself, but likewise she tried based on what she knew best. The fact that Rand was less than amenable to either of their aid is partly due to his own stubbornness, partly due to his experiences, and partly due to his unique role as the Dragon Reborn.

There are people who want to help him, and people who just want to control him. We can each decide for ourselves who we think fits in which category, and where they overlap.
Anthony Pero
185. anthonypero
Of course, if intentions were what was important, many of the people trying to control him are doing so because they are trying to help him.
Alice Arneson
186. Wetlandernw
Mmmmm... not so much, I think. I'd say most of the people trying to control him just want to use him as a tool to do the job their way. Some understand that he has to do the job, and that their job is to make it possible. There are a few who honestly believe(d) that the best way to help him is to tell him how to do the job; Moiraine fits there, I think, as well as the few times Egwene has tried to tell him he should or shouldn't do a particular thing. Most of the Aes Sedai, especially Elaida, just feel that the best way to do the job is to put him on a leash, tame him to their command, and force him to do it their way. (Which would, of course be absolutely disastrous. Yikes.) Of course, the Team Dark players want him to do it all wrong, but that's so obvious it didn't really need to be said. (Let no one think I don't have a firm grasp of the obvious!) I'm trying to think about who else can be said to be trying to control him... For some reason, the only ones I can think of are the Aes Sedai.

Much as I love Moiraine, I can't help looking back and seeing all the ways she went wrong. I think she really did want to help him, but she first met him as a backwoods kid, and her approach was totally shaped by that for well over a year. She failed to allow for the tremendous growth and change that was a result of Rand being not just Rand al'Thor, but the Dragon Reborn. She also failed to account for the ways the Pattern would affect him directly, so that he would be able to see things in a way she couldn't. (I'm not saying she was being stupid, btw. Her mistakes are perfectly understandable, given that no one had any experience in working with the DR before this.) Even when she realized that she was getting nowhere by overtly trying to push him into her chosen path, she never gave up manipulating (i.e. controlling) him; she just changed her tactics so that he would accept her manipulation more readily. It will be very, very interesting to see how they interact in AMoL - whether she still tries to turn him in ways she thinks he should go, or whether she recognizes that the decisions must be made by him. I'd love to see her come to him this time with information freely offered, rather than her own conclusions based on information not shared.
Hugh Arai
187. HArai
wetlandernw@186: I'd love to see that too. Maybe being sucked dry by the *'finn will suck the Aes Sedai "kool-aid" out of her. Maybe the "Rand Sedai" moment will do the same for Cadsuane. Maybe Nynaeve's example (something I'd never have believed from the Nynaeve of EotW ) will show them the way. "Zen" Rand does appear to be more willing and able to listen. And of course the 14th book would be a good time for people to start to talk to each other :)
Anthony Pero
188. anthonypero
Those were the two specific examples I was refering to Wetlandernw, so maybe "many" was too big a word :) How about "Some of the people trying to control him are doing so in order to try and help him, from their perspective"
Alice Arneson
189. Wetlandernw
HArai - let's hope we see it all!!

anthonypero - Well, then, we're in complete agreement. :)
190. macster
@177 HArai: I'm with Wetlander, I don't think Torval would make that up when it could be so readily disproven. Whether the possibility of men going mad from the taint after very little time channeling will lead to explosive and destructive use of the Power is clearly both debatable and varies by the individual. You're quite right about Morr, but just because he only became child-like and could be talked down by Min doesn't mean all channeling men who snap quickly are like that--compare the one we're told the Aiel sang to in Rand's ancestor memories, whose standing there dazed and charmed by the singing for hours sounds a bit child-like to me, but he eventually did still destroy and kill everyone. Anyway, whether or not they become so horrifically destructive, all I was offering was the evidence to show that the madness can indeed come very quickly.

@178 Wetlander: Apology accepted. Sorry if it was not clear on my part that I was not lumping Cadsuane's tactics and her one slap (and Power-spanking) together into one huge diatribe against her. But yes, I do respect and admire Cadsuane very much, most of the time. In fact I love how Sanderson writes her, particularly when she is proud of Rand later.

And let me say I very much agree with your analysis here, both about what she was trying to do for Rand (the manners being merely an outward manifestation of him being a good-hearted and very human fellow) and why her methods didn't work (her coming into it late, and what Rand had done to himself and why). While I might wish the way he had his epiphany had happened differently, I think it was decreed by the Pattern that it had to happen this way--he had to fall that far, come that close to losing and destroying everything, before he could be forced to see what he had become and what he needed to be instead. Min did say, after all, that what Cadsuane had to teach him was something he wouldn't like.

I propose (and yes this is being obvious again) that it wasn't the conclusion, that he must care and feel again, that he wouldn't like (while doing so does bring him pain, he clearly understands in ToM that this is not only necessary but a good thing). It was the process that would get him there, the fall into misanthropy, despair, self-destruction, constant suspicion and paranoia, and emotionless inhumanity--this is what he wouldn't like at all. But it did still have to happen. And Cadsuane inadvertently caused that, not only by how she brought and instructed Tam, but by keeping the Domination Band around, possibly by allowing Sorilea to see it if she really is a Darkfriend, and even by breaking Semirhage since that was what prompted Shaidar Haran to come and free her. But again, all of this had to happen.

@Zexxes: I believe you are referring to Rand seeing his future lives in the Portal Stone transit, which would be when he traveled with Verin and the others, not Lanfear. If so, you have a very good point, but I am not sure why there is something wrong with talking about Aviendha's vision of the future. Clearly it can guide her (and the Aiel, and Rand) in what not to do just as well as the Portal Stone could do for Rand (or Verin, Mat, or Perrin for that matter, though clearly it made no difference to Masema).

On Moiraine: with you again, Wetlander. I love her too but she did screw up, and we can understand why, just as I can understand where Cadsuane went wrong, where Rand went wrong...it's much clearer to us, with hindsight, an omniscient perspective, and the ability to more objectively analyze, than it is for the characters. Which is why we can get so frustrated with them and forget they can't see and know what we do. But yes, I really hope she'll treat Rand differently, and be open and forthcoming. Based on what she wrote in her letter to him, and the way she acts at the end of ToM, I think she will be, but in any event Zen Rand seems more likely to listen--and certainly easier to get along with! That will make her more likely to stop trying to control him, since once she sees he can be trusted and knows what he is doing, and merely lacks the information to make the right decisions...

Wasn't saying that there was anything wrong with mentioning Aviendha's futurescape. Was only using her as a reference to exceptance. Thank you for the supporting reference, as I don't currently have the books available to me. Rands was similar in that it showed him possible futures like Aviendha's with the exception that Rands were more narrow in focus and deeper. It showed him entire lives that he could of had or still could have, but they all involved him failing. Imagine being given that gift. Knowing where not to step is probably more important than knowing when to step. It was literaly his Golden Path/Yellow Brick Road- moment.

And yet he still almost strayed into darkeness. It didn't guarantee success, but it must have been immensly helpful, but it only worked for what he could directly control, which is himself. But others actions and manipulations sent him down paths he could not be precient about. His madness made him Blind to his golden path and so lost his way walking the path to Hardness/Darkness and a Lack of feeling/Cruelty. But in his madness he didn't see these as such, he simply saw them as necessary deeds to bring the prophecies to a close.


Didn't really mean you in particular. A lot of us have used different words and phrases to describe Rands state of mind. Mostly my comments were a display of yours mine and others descriptive comments about Rand. I agree with you with regards to Rands mistaking his identity in his role as the Dragon. And yet at the same time given the weight on his shoulders, barring being an outright tyrant, he sort of has a right to act or feel as he wants. In his mind he should have the freedom to do it his way. The Aes Sedai, including Cadsuane, don't subscribe to his thinking on the subject. But once they all realize that he is uncontrollable in any meaningful, way they then choose to manipulate him and conspire to move him in the direction they want. And Rand has grown tired of it. Anybody would grow tired of it. Because on top of everything else, the last thing he needs, in his mind, is someone manipulating him towards their plans instead of helping him with his.

Now granted, Cadsuane and others have been helpful in that regard, at times, but they have also undermined him as well. To the point where he no longer trusts them to do what he feels needs to be done. Which is support him and enable him to secure control of all the revelent regions to prepare them for the Last Battle. But what does Cadsuane do? Oh she purposefuly tries to disrespect him every chance she gets and expects him to laugh about it somehow? Wow that's helpful. If any man or women injected herself into my life and tried to lord over me and chastise me and outright disrespect me and abuse me, ceaselessly, the way she does with Rand, I'd have made their heart stop with the pattern too!

Cadsuane pushed him over the edge. The Darklord didn't have to send Semirhage at all, because Cadsuane was doing a fine job of it on her own. She's infuriating to read, imagine having to live with someone like that everyday. Oh... but she's trying to help Rand....to do what? Kill his father? Blow up the world? The mere mention of her name set him off. People thats called hate. People don't truely hate others for no good reason. She drove him to hate with her arrogance. Like I said I'd have done the same thing that Rand did just to keep away the want of killing her. That was what it was. It was a sort sense of peace of mind for him; a sense of self preservation of the mind. It's why I always felt that she was at the very least a dark friend. She not I think but damn it would make sense. And she had the gaul afterwards with the black collar incident to start in on him again like it was his fault.

Read those chapters again and ask yourself if you were Rand after all that came before, what you would do. I really thought he was going to kill her before he asked her whether she thought he could in the way he described. And I would have said " Damn Rand, what the frak did you do that for? Ah well... she was sorta asking for it, wasn't she?"

Min would have left her though. Cadsuane owes her life to Min. Because without Min there, Cadsuane was a dead woman.
Alice Arneson
192. Wetlandernw
ZEXXES - and without Cadsuane, Rand and all the Asha'man, to say nothing of the rest of the world, are all dead. You may not like her personality, but Rand still needs her.

Obviously I disagree with your perspective on Cadsuane, but I'm not going into it again. You choose to see only the things that annoy you (and Rand) without any acknowledgement of the many times she helped, supported and bolstered Rand - even repeatedly risked her life to help him - without ever trying to tell him how to do his job.

In fact, I dare you. Find me one time where she tried to tell him what The Dragon Reborn ought to do next, or tried to manipulate him to follow a certain scheme of her own. Using good manners counts as personal, and has nothing to do with being DR; giving advice when requested counts as doing her job as his advisor (remember, he asked her for that).
My argument is the way she chose to help Rand. If dark side Rand was as sane as he is in ToW, yet still given to all that went before that falling out scene, how much different would it have gone down? Obviously the dark aura wouldn't be there and he would have been way less psychotic about it. But the end result would have been the same, I think. I'm mean she practicly implied that he screwed up somewhere. I'm serious read her entrance into the room in that chapter. I was shocked that she would say the things she did and act as she did after what happened. If she had just chilled out and shown some compassion instead of acting completely belligerent, it may have gone differently. Oh well. I actually liked her when she first appeared, because Rand was becoming more than a bit arrogant and distant.

Now don't get me wrong about her usefulness. She is full of wisdom and knowledge. But she chose to berate him at every opportunity. She slapped him physicaly, used the power on him, she was downright abusive and antagonistic. As much as I tried to see the need for it, I just could never get around that about her. He did need her around for what she had to offer. She saw rightly that he had a growing darkness within him. And in the beginning her methods were useful at getting his attention and focusing on his behavior and his actions that may be considered harsh. But eventually she became a symptom of his darkness rather than his cure. Her arrogance put him at odds with him time and time again; and so he slowly drifted away from her. And her solution was to become more aggressive and manipulitive. Rand was right when he described her as putting him in a box. And so was Min when she described all of them scheming their webs to "handle" him or as he saw it, "manipulate him", instead of just simply helping him.

I'm not ignoring Cadsuanes virtues, I'm simply choosing not to ignore her detrements. I think her abusive actions outweighed her virtues at the end. Her actions, her handling, does have copability with the end result.

Just as I have copabilty with always seeming to be the antagonist.
Alice Arneson
194. Wetlandernw
She slapped him physicaly, used the power on him, she was downright abusive and antagonistic. I find this mildly amusing, if a bit of an eye-roller.

The only time (singular!) she slapped him was when he tried to balefire the fog - she needed to get his attention to stop him doing something that was a) incredibly stupid and b) incredibly dangerous. While we knew that it was necessary to use on the Forsaken, in-story even Rand didn't know that - and he was starting to use it as the weapon-of-first-choice for anything and everything, even though he knew it was terribly dangerous. (Both Moiraine and LTT had made it quite clear, but he kept using it anyway.) In point of fact, that slap helped him later to choose a different weave, less dangerous to the Pattern, in another situation where balefire would have been equally inappropriate.

She also used the Power on him once - singular again. After two warnings that he was treating his allies like enemies and being completely unreasonable, she smacked him one with Air - and when he got done being miffed, he realized that she was completely correct, and that he'd been behaving very badly.

Other than that, the only times she deliberately touched him was for Healing. If you call that abuse, you have a very strange definition.

Speaking of definitions, please define "copability" for me. That's one I've never met.
I knew I spelled that one wrong. But I'm tired.... Man!!! Everybody so picky. One mistake and its like ....Gotcha! Culpability. Alright!!! Jeez. Remind me of my 3rd grade teacher. Or my Dad. Don't ask me which is worse. Believe me, if you were inclined to want to know..... you don't.

I know it happened once each, but it set up a pattern of behavior regarding there relationship. You can defend her. In many instances, individualy speaking, one could find ways for it all to be explained away and forgiven, given the circumstance here and there. But the constant "Boy" and all the snide remarks, even when they weren't warranted can take its toll after a time. We all as human beings know how much deeper words can wound than the blade. It annoyed me to no end and I'm just the humble reader. To live it with the real thing in your presence all the time? pfft...I don't know how he did it so long.

No, she even admits half heartedly that she screwed up in chapter 31. Just barely, but she does. Eventually she just blames it all on Semirhage. And it was just a really bad decision with Tam. He was that close. Kinslayer again and destroyer of the world...in about an hour or so. She's made some baaaad decisions with her handling of Rand . Nothing she did or instigated had an effect of that outcome with Rand standing on his own grave. That was all Lews, with a couple of phrases, that saved them all. I guess we agree to disagree.
Terry McNamee
196. macster
@ ZEXXES: Ah I see what you were getting at now. However I am still puzzled. What made you think people wanted to talk only about Aviendha's trip and its ramifications and never the Portal Stones moment? I am pretty sure that when Leigh covered TGH in the re-read, there was much discussion of it and what it meant for Rand's future. The reason people talk about Aviendha now is it is so recent in people's memories, and seems to have more direct bearing, at the moment, on the world after the Last Battle than what happened to Rand. But I don't think anyone is avoiding or rejecting talk of the Portal Stone incident...just not finding it relevant.
197. Thane
re: Paranoid.

It's a basic assumption that I made years and years and decades ago when I read Fantasy or Sci-Fi fiction. Unless there is a direct connection to modern real world language than I assume I'm reading a translation from another worlds tounge. Paranoid has a distinct meaning. The word itself may not have been used in Randland, but for all we know the word thought was actually Xedvety~1qty.

I guess there's the potential for a really extreme case of using modern language terms in fiction that may feel out of place, but paranoid certainly isn't one of them to me. Bummer that took you out of the story for that moment though...
William McDaniel
198. willmcd
I liked how this chapter showed Nynaeve's personal growth. She starts down her old line of thinking that Moiraine never should have taken Rand out of the 2R, then pulls herself up short as she realizes the fallacy of this line of reasoning; it was Rand's destiny, not Moiraine, that was the ultimate cause of the dissolution of his simple, pastoral life. She also reaches for her braid and pulls her hand away before she can tug it! But, showing that she's not all the way there yet, she still is miffed that Rand won't accept guidance from someone "more experienced" (herself) in the council he's about to hold. I found this pretty funny; she doesn't recognize that the experiences both of them have had since leaving the Two Rivers far outweigh any edge of experience she might have had while still in that environment. At best, they are on a level playing field now.

It also occurred to me that Nynaeve's departure from the meeting with Daigian showed a difference between RJ and BWS's approaches; if RJ had been writing the scene, Daigian would still have called Nynaeve by name when she left, but the narrator wouldn't have pointed it out to us. (and the scene would have taken three chapters)

In my past comments I've made it clear that I could be described as something of an "Egwene-hater". She does have a couple of favorable things working for her here; I agree with others who've said that Rand, as the founder of the BT, does indeed bear some resposibility for its actions, even if they happened while he was away. And indeed she may not know that Toveine and the others were on a "search-and-destroy" mission and that the bonding solution was more merciful than what might have been done. She also displays less adherance to the old forms by recognizing that possibility that saidin is now clean.

Where she loses points is the way she expresses her frustration ("Men! Bonding Women!"), which is not a reasonable judgment on the situation, but instead nohing but good old Aes Sedai misandry.
199. hesuchia
I've disdained Egwene for a long time, and at this point it gets more inflamed. I really hate that she assumes Rand commited this "atrocity" and told the Asha'man to bond Aes Sedai. She still hasn't learned to reserve judgement until both sides of the story are revealed. For someone who has the audacity to believe she deserves to be the supreme leader of an organization that claims the privilege of governing the world, she's not very good at objectivity. I want to strangle her sometimes. And I don't think anyone ever takes her down a peg and deflates her ego. Apparently she's an untouchable Mary Sue.

I especially still hate the double-standard that Aes Sedai should never be bonded and Asha'man *should* be. I still understand the older Aes Sedai set in their ways but she's been with the tower for such a short time, much shorter than most novices take before being raised to accepted. Yet she automatically believes she knows everything, and the plot really pushes that thought like it's no personality flaw at all. Whatever her current rank, she should have had a much more open mind than the Aes Sedai, but she's always had a superiority complex anyway.

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