Tue
Oct 25 2011 1:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 6

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comO happy day, WOTers! It is a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 9 and 10 of The Gathering Storm, in which we have an exciting and useful discourse on wagon maintenance. And some other stuff may have happened.

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

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

And now, the post!

 

Chapter 9: Leaving Malden

What Happens
Perrin is inspecting the wagons for damage with dogged determination while hearing petitions. Arganda wants to ride ahead with Alliandre rather than wait for the hundred thousand refugees they are now saddled with to be ready to depart, but Perrin refuses, telling Arganda that he does not want the refugees to think they are abandoning them, and the Asha’man are too exhausted to make gateways at the moment. Next is Gallenne, who wants to lead an attack against the party of Aiel who had been advancing on their position in Malden but had stopped. Perrin reminds Gallenne that they no longer have the Seanchan for reinforcements, and now that Faile is safe he is no longer interested in engaging the Shaido anyway.

He had succeeded—he’d saved her. So why did he feel as if things were nearly as bad as they had been? He should rejoice, he should be ecstatic, should be relieved. He’d worried so much about her during her captivity. And yet now, with her safety secure, everything still felt wrong. Somehow. In ways he couldn’t explain.

Next is Balwer, who argues against letting the Seanchan take all the Shaido Wise Ones, as he is interested in learning more about the mysterious individuals who had given them “objects of power” and moved them around via gateways. Perrin shrugs and tells him it was Forsaken, no doubt, and they won’t be able to tell Balwer which ones they were anyway, and he cannot renege on the deal with the Seanchan. Balwer wonders why Perrin has to inspect the wagons himself, and Perrin tells him it’s something he can do while hearing petitions.

And the truth was, as long as Perrin kept moving, he felt he was doing something, making progress. Not thinking about other issues. Wagons were easy to fix. They weren’t like people, not at all.

He sees Faile across the camp and thinks of how beautiful he is, but now he doesn’t know what to say to her, even though he does not blame her for anything that happened during her captivity. Next is Tam al’Thor, who reports that the Two Rivers men are ready to move; Perrin tells him to let them know that he intends to send them home as soon as he can. Tam, however, wants to know if he was serious about giving up his claim to Manetheren. Perrin tells him he is no king; Tam points out that he has a queen as his liegewoman, but then agrees that it would have antagonized not only the Seanchan but the Queen of Andor as well. Perrin comments that the sooner Elayne sends “a proper lord” to take over the Two Rivers, the better. Tam tells him he’d thought Perrin was over this, and that most of the Two Rivers men, including Tam himself, will not take the chance to return home over following Perrin.

“I’ve heard most swear that they’ll follow you to Shayol Ghul. They know the Last Battle is coming—who couldn’t know that, with all of the signs lately? They don’t intend to be left behind.”

Perrin realizes that this is part of what has been troubling him: he does not feel that he has been a good leader. He’d saved Faile, but he’d abandoned his orders to do so and gotten good men killed in the process. Including Aram, who Perrin thought deserved better. Aravine approaches next, who Faile chose to organize the refugees; Perrin tells her to start the refugees marching immediately, with Alliandre in the lead; he is anxious about the Aiel at his rear, and thinks this will appease Arganda into the bargain. Aravine is startled, but agrees. Perrin realizes he has finished with both the wagons and the petitioners, and dreads having nothing to do, as it means he will start thinking again.

During those moments of fighting, he’d felt a driving passion. The passion of finally doing something. After two months of waiting, each blow had meant a step closer to finding Faile.

No more talking. No more planning. He’d found purpose. And now it was gone.

He felt hollow.

He didn’t know if he could lead men to the Last Battle when he didn’t even want to lead them in the first place. The colors show him Rand, who Perrin thinks looks regal even with that dark cast to his expression. He thinks he feels Rand tugging at him, and decides that that has to be his focus now.

Commentary
All I have to say is, thank GOD I’ve read ToM by now, because that means I can allow myself to be sanguine about the VERITABLE SMORGASBORD of Perrin emo we have apparently still not managed to wade our way out of here, because at least now I know there is some serious Awesome to come at the end of it.

…And okay, I’m being slightly disingenuous here, I admit. Not that the above sentence isn’t true (if slightly horrific, grammatically), but I do recognize that narratively you couldn’t exactly have Perrin go from weapons-grade emo in KOD to spewing rainbows and glitter everywhere on his very next appearance, and still retain a shred of credibility to his character. I know that, I do. Just as I also know that the issues he’s dealing with are perfectly legitimate sources of perfectly rational angst, and simply handwaving them away would be some seriously bad writing, and it’s good, therefore, that this did not happen. Just as I also also know that any remotely rational person would be tempted to run for the hills upon being saddled with a hundred thousand mouths to feed in a land that is slowly ceasing to get on with the whole “providing food” program altogether.

Plus that whole apocalypse thing, you know. I get it, I swear.

But just… jeez.

Also, I love that this chapter is called “Leaving Malden,” and yet nobody actually left Malden before the chapter ended. I don’t know if that was deliberate, but I definitely got a snicker out of it.

(Also, a hundred thousand refugees, you guys. The logistics alone…! I’d call shenanigans, but Jordan’s been tossing around similarly unbelievable numbers ever since TFOH, when Rand apparently led half a million Aiel out of the Waste to invade Cairhien, so at this point I guess you just have to stick with the statistical framework you’ve been given. But still.)

One thing I do have a lot of sympathy for here is Perrin’s confusion over how to reestablish his relationship with Faile. No matter how faultless either of the parties may be (and you can probably have a debate about both Perrin’s and Faile’s level of blamelessness in what they did during Faile’s captivity, but at least I think it can be agreed that the actual abduction was not either of their faults), you can’t have something that major happen in a relationship and avoid having it alter that relationship pretty significantly.

And I think we can all also agree that this relationship was already quite enough of a minefield to navigate even before all the abduction, so that just totally sucks, Perrin, sorry.

Well, at least Tam is here to be awesome for a bit (even if he does use the exact phrase “I just thought you were over this”), and tell Perrin more or less straight up that he’s being a moron if he thinks he can just pass off his leadership responsibilities to the next guy like a hot potato.

Because you can’t, dude. Even if Faile wouldn’t axe the notion of de-lording yourself with extremely violent prejudice, you’re in the Prophecies, man! Named as a king, even! Okay, of wolves, not people, but still! Not exactly seeing an out-clause here! Suck it up! If you do, I promise to stop ending sentences with exclamation points!

Sigh.

 

Chapter 10: The Last of the Tabac

What Happens
Ituralde smokes the last of his Two Rivers tabac as he considers his situation, two weeks from his victory at Darluna. He and his remaining force of forty thousand men are camped in an abandoned stedding, but even with that protection against the damane, Ituralde knows he stands no chance against the three hundred thousand Seanchan troops now hunting him, and his original plan to disappear into the interior of Arad Doman is stymied by the appearance of a large occupying force of Aiel, who have taken Bandar Eban as well as large swathes of the country. He knows his former Taraboner allies will not be bailing him out this time, either, and that he is effectively trapped. He tells his officer Rajabi a story about seeing a master juggler — the court bard of Caemlyn at the time — juggle more and more balls, up to 10, until the last one turned out to be a smoke screen that ended the trick.

[His men had] seen him win impossible battle after impossible battle, tossing ball after ball into the air to greater and greater applause. They thought he was unstoppable. They didn’t understand that when one tossed more balls into the air, it wasn’t just the show that became more spectacular.

The fall at the end grew more spectacular as well.

He heartens Rajabi with orders to fortify their position. Then a runner comes to tell him a man with “nice clothes” has been stopped while approaching on foot, and says he is here to see Ituralde. The runner brings the man back as Ituralde’s officers join him on the field; Ituralde notes his youth and his missing hand, but thinks the man carries himself like a lord accustomed to command. The young man picks him out accurately, and comments that he appears to be boxing himself in. Ituralde asks who he is.

The stranger met his eyes. “I am Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn. And I need you. You and your army.”

Ituralde’s men are openly skeptical, but Ituralde is less sure. He thinks that maybe only the Dragon Reborn could walk into a war camp alone and expect to be obeyed.

Burn him, if that fact by itself didn’t make Ituralde want to believe him. Either this man was who he claimed to be or he was an utter lunatic.

The man offers to prove who he is if Ituralde will follow him outside the stedding, and tells him he must make peace with the Seanchan, as he wants Ituralde on the Border, to fill in where the Borderlanders themselves have “abandoned their duties.” Ituralde tells him he has orders from his king, but al’Thor tells him Alsalam is either dead or his mind is “melted like wax,” and those orders most likely came from Graendal. Ituralde is unnerved by his claim that he knows the Forsaken better than he remembers his own childhood. He is still unsure, but agrees to follow him out of the stedding. As they ride out, al’Thor asks him if he wants the throne of Amadicia, if not Arad Doman; Ituralde is startled to realize he is considering the proposal even before the man proves who he is. Al’Thor tells him he wants to “secure” the members of the merchant council, but his Aiel are taking longer to do it than he prefers; Ituralde thinks that sounds like kidnapping, but finds himself agreeing that it is most likely the best plan for restoring order. Al’Thor rants to himself a moment about the Borderlanders, and then asks Ituralde if he could use a hundred men who can channel.

“Madmen?”

“No, most of them are stable,” al’Thor said, taking no apparent offense. “Whatever madness they incurred before I cleansed the taint is still there—removing the taint didn’t heal them—but few of them were far gone. And they won’t get worse, now that saidin is clean.”

Ituralde is startled by the claim that saidin is clean, but thinks of having his own damane, in effect, and agrees he could use them. After a curious moment where al’Thor shakes as if nauseated, he shows Ituralde what a gateway is, to his shock. Ituralde comments he could clear the Seanchan off with these, but al’Thor snaps that there is no more time for “squabbling.” He promises to see the Seanchan out of Arad Doman if Ituralde will go to the Border for him. Ituralde considers, and agrees. He and al’Thor shake on it, and al’Thor tells him he and his men will be in Saldaea by nightfall.

Commentary
Normally I very much enjoy an outsider POV chapter on one of Our Heroes — it’s a thing for me, I almost always get a kick out of it. This time, though, I remember I was too worried that Rand was going to do something awful to take any pleasure in it.

This was a pretty sobering realization for me, because it made me recognize that Rand was finally really beginning to slip off that Hero pedestal he’s always managed to cling to before this. In other words, I always had faith before that no matter how bad things got for Rand, or how fucked-up his brain became, that in the end he would win/relent/do the right thing/fix whatever went wrong, and things would be (more or less) okay.

TGS, extremely effectively, took that assurance away, and this chapter was the proof. Which is ironic, since I seem to recall that this is about the only chapter in this book (before the end, anyway) where Rand doesn’t screw anything up (well, not in any immediately obvious way, anyway). But the absolute relief I felt when I got to the end of the chapter without Rand doing something crappy to Ituralde spoke for itself.

This is a good thing, by the way. Well, I mean, I hated that it was happening on a selfish fan level, because as a fan I don’t like to be made to think characters I care about can actually do the bad things I thought they couldn’t/wouldn’t do before, but in terms of generating genuine narrative tension, it was pure gold.

So, in conclusion, good job. Dammit.

*huff*

Oh, and the other proof in the pudding from this chapter that Rand is officially straying off the Hero ranch, is that I actually had the thought that Ituralde should not take Rand up on his offer. I actually seriously contemplated hoping that one of the good guys would tell our main good guy to get lost.

That is some messed-up shit there, y’all.

As an aside, Rand had better be damn glad his ta’veren mojo is still working, because I don’t think Ituralde would have remotely gone for any of what Rand dumped on him here without it. Built-in plot devices FTW!

Randomly, I enjoyed the oblique (and random) reference to Thom here. Incidentally, according to Wikipedia the current world record for juggling balls is 10 balls for 26 catches, achieved (apparently) only just this year. I don’t really have a point to make here, I’m just… pointing that out.

Also:

Burn him, if that fact by itself didn’t make Ituralde want to believe him. Either this man was who he claimed to be or he was an utter lunatic.

Heh. Or both!

So off you go, Ituralde, to the Borderlands! Where things will definitely be a vast improvement over where you are now!

*cough*


What, me? No, just a tickle in my throat, I’m fine. So fine, in fact, that I’m ending this post! Ciao!

214 comments
LM-Mage
1. LM-Mage
Sorry Leigh! But your cut is broken, I thought you might want to know.
LM-Mage
2. Corey Lynn LeMoine
Yes, this is indeed just about the last time that we see Rand behave in any reasonable manner. It makes sense though considereing his forthcoming date with Semi.
Mark Locy
3. Tathas
Weapons grade emo! BAHAHAHAHA!

I have just reached the point on ToM where Perrin successfully disarms his emo and accepts his Lordshipery. I'm sad that the re-read isn't there yet. And I agree, it's been many books, and Perrin is STILL railing against his ta'veren nature and getting black make-up over everything? Jesh.
Michael Maxwell
4. pike747
Wow blank space! You must have just posted this!
Ituralde is such a great character it is a shame that we didn't get to know him better before.
Rand did handle this situation better than most of the other appearances in this book. He really does come off as a leader here.
It is unfortunate that he ends up really dumping Ituralde in the drink after this. He does redeem himself pretty nicely, however.
LM-Mage
5. Corey Lynn LeMoine
I really hope that we get to see a general planning session during TG that involves Ituralde, Bryne, Agelmar, Ruarc, and Mat. I could probably read a whole chapter just of them examining the situation and making plans.
Anthony Pero
6. anthonypero
Leigh, I thought you highlighted that section of Perrin's chapter, not to point out his emo, but to point out that the PLoD, which took 10+ years to write and publish, was only 2 months in randland time. 2 months! I think I sicked up in my mouth when I read that.
LM-Mage
7. ftbleighjkjk
Frabjuous day and stuff is happening in the book!

I recall just eating through the Perrin chapter the first time, but on reread I'm really glad we get this organic transition to his ToM arc. After the buildup of four books to Malden, we needed a breather and a chance to take stock.

Speaking of four books buildup, finally having Ituralde cross paths with a main character (much less The main character) was all kinds of pay-off and goodness that would not have resonated nearly as much without all those prologues.

As for our man Rand, I don't recall feeling too concerned about him just yet; this was still pre-that-horrible-thing-that's-coming, so I saw him as being more just pressured and impatient, than an active force to be feared.

Thank-you for the review!
Roger Powell
8. forkroot
Leigh - Completely agree with you that ToM makes the Perrin chapter tolerable. I recall when I first read TGS and came to this chapter my feelings were:

1) Oh, I guess BWS has to toss in a Perrin chapter or two but ...

2) Good grief - PLOD should be OVER and we're still dragging. Uggh.

With that said, I guess you need to eat your broccoli if you are going to enjoy the meat (wait... unlike Bush 41 I like broccoli ... make that "okra")

As for Ituralde - I'm not sure whether it was the ta'veren thing going for Rand or whether Ituralde really had no plausible alternative. To stay in the stedding meant certain death for him and his men and although he is no coward and is certainly willing to die doing his duty, he also cares for those under his command.

Rand offered an honorable alternative - it's not like they were slinking away, nor were they given easy duty. Rodel knows that they will still be in mortal danger, but Rand is giving them a chance to have their efforts and possible deaths be meaningful.
Anthony Pero
9. anthonypero
Also, I thought Leaving Malden was a great title. I don't think it was meant to be ironic. The whole chapter is about Perrin leaving Malden, and the whole PLoD behind internally. Coming to grips with the fact that it was over. It functions as a denoument for his character and the plotline in general. That's why its so frustrating that we get a bunch of chapters in this book where he doesn't actually learn anything. I think the point is that "leaving Malden", leaving a particular frame of mind, is difficult to do.
Hugh Arai
10. HArai
It just occurred to me that people who feel that Perrin should just suck it up and accept his ta'veren nature should actually be thankful! Think about it: Rand is the one who has accepted his destiny and look at the frame of mind he's in! Do we really think Dark Perrin to go with Dark Rand would be an improvement?

ETA: "The Dragon Reborn is not as... forgiving as I am."
Mark Locy
11. Tathas
#10: Well, it's not that I think Perrin should "suck it up." Dark Perrin would probably suck, probably because he'd be consumed by the wolf part of his nature. It's more that I think, after however many BOOKS of this attitude, it's seems almost unreasonable to me for him to have learned nothing and to still rail against this.

I'd like to think that I, having been ta'veren-ed and subsequently enLordened, would have learned to accept, by now, that these are the circumstances of my life. I'm not going to lie and say that every single thing in my life I have completely accepted and I am now a completely realized person. But, I am also not a character in a story agonizing for the umpteenth time about how I'm not a lord, when clearly I am. There's only so much time left in the story, literally and figuratively. TG will happen and there will be no more books. I guess, I would like to see Perrin finally get some traction on these issues. Which I have seen, and am glad for. I just would have liked to see it sooner.
Anthony Pero
12. anthonypero
@Tathas:

As I pointed out in a previous comment, and as Brandon Sanderson pointed out in this chapter, even though it's been a decade for us, for Perrin, it's only been 2 months since Faile's capture. And it wasn't all that long before that that he fought Trollocs at Emond's Field. As maddening as his charater growth is, it's certainly reasonable.
Stefan Mitev
13. Bergmaniac
I wonder if Sanderson was advised by Team Jordan and Tor to put a few Perrin PoV chapters in TGS to avoid a fan backlash. They go nowhere and would've been better off in ToM, preferably in much shorter form too. On the other hand, after the PLOD, Perrin was not much a fan favourite, to put it mildly, and not many people would've minded a book without him IMO, but maybe Sanderson and Team Jordan didn't think so.

Rand left his bodyguards again, when he will ever learn? Besides, it would've been easier to convince Ituralde he's the Dragon Reborn in a stedding if he had 50 Maidens with him. But his arrogance is really getting too much at this point...
Roger Powell
14. forkroot
Bergpsychotic@13
Yeah the whole structure of TGS is a bit weird due to the midstream decision to split up AMoL. At that point, if TGS had just followed each character equally in time, we'd have a passel of unresolved plot arcs (Rand still dark Rand, Perrin still emo, Egwene still a captive, Mat probably in contact with Elayne, but not at Ghenji and the gholam still running around) with hardly any MOAs.

TGS would have been worse than CoT and since it would have been the first book with Brandon's name on it too - the torches and pitchforks would have been out in full.

So Team Jordan did well to accelerate Rand and Egwene's time lines and settle for near cameos for Mat and Perrin. Now at least Mat's story line did advance slightly (getting to Caemlyn) - I guess it's arguable whether Perrin could have just sat the book out like Elayne.
Thomas Keith
15. insectoid
Good morning WoTeers! Getting an early start today, for once.

Great post, Leigh! (You are aware that the jump text link is broken, right?)

Perrin: Weapons-grade emo... LOL!! Too true.
Either this man was who he claimed to be or he was an utter lunatic.
Or both. (Oops... you already said that. XD)

The reference to Thom was cool.

HArai @10:
"The Dragon Reborn is not as... forgiving as I am."
ROFL!! We could just call him Darth Perrin!

Bzzz™.
LM-Mage
16. s'rEDIT
Just popping in to say Hi, everyone! I haven't deserted, but -boy!- RL is really intruding upon my WOT time lately.

LM-Mage
17. Corey Lynn LeMoine
Doesn't Perrin say something very much like that when he invites the Whitecloaks into his army? Something along the lines of " You wont find it so easy to say no to the Dragon Reborn."
LM-Mage
18. s'rEDIT
Mea culpa!

Not wetlandernw, but forkroot.

But that was in the midst of a whole series of comments about word usage, so I apologize for mentioning it in this new post.

Callooh! CaLeigh!
David W
19. DavidW
The thing about Perrin that everyone seems to overlook is that he has been emo since the beginning. When he first got his ability to talk to wolves he went around for several books not meeting anyone's eyes. We've constantly been told how Perrin thinks slowly, deliberately, etc. He's still doing it, thinking over his issues slightly obsessively from every angle. In my opinion this started in EotW not when Faile was taken.
LM-Mage
20. Jeff R.
Given what we know from the next book (and, seriously, what we've really known all along), attempting to make peace with the Seanchan should count quite firmly as doing something crappy. Seanchan delenda est.
Kimani Rogers
21. KiManiak
Hey Leigh! Thanks for the post… and for the Firefly reference! I’m also glad that Perrin acquires his incredibleness/awesome in ToM, or else the reader may have had to consider him for “the special level of hell.”

I have to applaud when Leigh reviews 2 rather uneventful chapters and finds something interesting to talk about and with which to initiate discussion. Especially since there’s not really much to say about Perrin here (yeah, I don’t really care that much about his relationship with Faile and where it goes from here), and we have not yet gotten to the good parts with Ituralde, yet. And Rand’s character continues to deteriorate; worse yet to come.

I don’t have much to say about these chapters, but maybe we’ll go sideways in a good way again (although I hope there’s no more talk about poop and the Dark One, or whether carbon or cobalt were around in 800 BC, but you never know…)

Corey Lynn@5 – I would pay good money to read that chapter... and will! :-) And don’t forget Bashere!

fork@14 – I agree. I have little problem with the layout of TGS; it needed to address some issues and focus on the progression of the main character (him hitting rock bottom before becoming all “zen”) as well as give Egwene her MoA. It did give all main characters some face time (including Aviendha, thank God!)
Kent Aron Vabø
22. sotgnomen
About the refugee thing, Leigh..
I just read this wiki-article, so the numbers kinda stood out to me.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fridtjof_Nansen#Statesman_and_humanitarian

Just to give some scope of how many people get affected by the kind of upheaval Randland has seen for the last year.. After all, Randland is sort of the same size as Europe, isn't it? Millions of people displaced simply after the Greco-Turkish war, to say nothing of the Great One.

Also, the the amount of refugees a simple small place like Gaza can generate, dwarfs a measly hundred thousand.
Turns out, when people get uprooted, there are always alot more of us than we think. How big a chunk of the US could provide that many people? Not so big, really, even in the more sparsely populated areas.
Mitchell Swan
23. mcswan
"(even if he does use the exact phrase “I just thought you were over this”)"

Reading this, I hear in my head Sam Elliot from Road House saying, "I just thought you'd be more philosophical about the whole thing... and cut it the f**k loose."
Chin Bawambi
24. bawambi
The Rand chapter had a great line for me that Leigh touched on. He noted how Rodel was boxed in - not something a shepherder would know but that the Dragon would. One of the many excellent scenes in an excellent series.
Roger Powell
25. forkroot
s'rVI@18
Hmmm - you made me run to the dictionary to look up "awash". And you are right, it implies inundation with something liquid - heck even "inundated" tends to have that connotation of liquidity although one of the listed uses did have an example like: "He was inundated with requests".

OK - let's just say that absent some mechanism for destroying it, over the course of many turnings of the Wheel the world would gradually build up a lot of cuendillar.

I think a general problem with any circular cosmology is that all systems must remain perfectly balanced lest the law of large numbers take over and ruin your universe in some way.

Oh yeah, it goes without saying that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is incompatible with a circular cosmology.
Scott
26. Shard
I don't know if you consider her good or not but Toun did tell Rand to get lost and his Ta'veren mojo failed on her.
Mark Locy
27. Tathas
#12. anthonypero

Agreed. I just would like to see it sooner. In the same timeframe Egwene has become the Amyrlin Seat, Elayne the Queen of Andor, Matt has accepted his enlordening and ta'veren-ing, and Nynaeve has accepted becoming Aes Sedai. With all that, Perrin does seem to drag his feet a little.
Rob Munnelly
28. RobMRobM
Quick thoughts
- Agree that the Perrin chapter was tough to take. Philosophical post-Malden, absolutely and I liked the in person wagon work angle. Telling the Tam and the Two Rivers folk to go home because he was a loser of a leader, unbelievably and incredidibly stupid and jarring. And fully agree with Leigh - this would be tough to take without reading ToM to give some future hope.
- I liked the Rand-Ituralde interaction. Nicely written, fun chapter. Yea!!

Now, can we get back to Egwene, who dominates this book? Thanks.

Rob
LM-Mage
29. macster
On Perrin: I have never been as bothered as so many have been by Perrin's emo-ness. This may be because I am something of an emo person myself at times, but I also think it is because I understand him and why this is so hard for him. We've seen it touched on in various places in his thoughts, but it is made most clear in ToM (who says having things spelled out for us, and told rather than shown, is always bad?): the reason Perrin waffles so much is twofold, he doesn't want the responsibility of leadership because he is afraid he will do something wrong and get people hurt and killed, and he doesn't think he can lead others until he has learned to lead himself, aka master his wolfbrotherhood.

The first point is related to his being unable to see he is a good leader, which can be annoying, but when you've grown up as a simple blacksmith, always staying in the background, bowing your head, respecting your elders, it can be quite a shock to deal with people you once obeyed now obeying you and looking to you for guidance. The fact this has happened to Perrin over such a short time from his perspective makes it even worse for him. So while it can be frustrating to read, I understand perfectly why he isn't accepting this--because no matter how people like Faile, Tam, Alliandre, or even Berelain tell him he is being a good leader, he can't see it. All he can see is "these are the people I've respected and admired all my life, they must be crazy to think I can lead them or that I have anything to say worth listening to which they couldn't say themselves, and better". And the simple fact that he's afraid so many innocent Two Rivers folk will die because of him screwing up, or because they insist on coming to the Last Battle rather than stay at home where it will be relatively safe...yeah, I understand.

As for his second issue, while again it can be disheartening seeing Perrin resist his wolf nature so strongly, we need to remember what Leigh said back when he was first dealing with this issue (I'm not sure if it was TEoTW or TGH, I think it was the latter)--that while it is cool and awesome to us from a twenty-first century perspective to have wolf senses and talk to wolves and lead them in battle against evil, to someone from Perrin's world, time period, and background it is not quite so awesome. Everyone thinks of wolves as evil predators--the people of Emond's Field because they are farmers, others (like the Whitecloaks) because they think wild animals are of the Dark One. (I guess no one gave them the memo that it is rats and ravens only which serve him.) So of course Perrin is going to be afraid of associating with them, let alone bonding with them and having their senses, abilities, eyes... When you add in the fact that he still doesn't know yet how he can prevent himself from becoming like Noam, it makes a lot of sense he would still be fighting this. And if he is at war with himself in such a fundamental way, how can he be a good leader?

Luckily Sanderson gives us a very good resolution to both of these issues in ToM. It's another reason why it will be good to have the series finished, besides the obvious--we can look back at things which we hated and find they were necessary, realistic, and led to proper development of characters and situations. Or at least we can hold our noses and stomach them until we get to the Awesome stuff which comes later, because we know it was these things which made them possible. It also helps, obviously, to be able to go from one book to the next without the long waits between during which we can stew and fester over plots we don't like, or which are taking too long to resolve.

On Ituralde: I didn't have quite the same feeling of dread Leigh did--I didn't think Rand was going to do anything bad to him per se, I just knew that a) between Rand getting increasingly darker, Semirhage being around (and her bombshell she dropped), the condition of Arad Doman, and the Seanchan, something was bound to go wrong eventually. ("The Gathering Storm", indeed...) It was good to see Rand's ta'veren effect working well for him still, particularly in regards to what comes later. And while obviously we knew Saldaea wasn't going to be a walk in the park (a fact which doesn't become clear for us until we start seeing the invasion of the Borderlands in ToM's prologue), I actually had hope Ituralde would pull its defense off, based on just how awesome he is.

And...to an extent, I was right. Yes, Maradon almost fell, and would have if not for Rand, but what Ituralde did in defending it was nothing short of astonishing. As for Rand sending him into certain doom...he did at least make up for his mistakes when he rescued Rodel. So...yeah, bad moon on the rise, train's a comin', but at the moment this happened, all I could think was "At least Saldaea will have the best defense against the Blight now it can get without the Borderland armies and rulers". And of course, hope things went well with the Seanchan...

Which makes me wonder how that meeting with Tuon would have gone if he hadn't yet been broken by Semi and used the True Power. Probably not much better, since even without that line being crossed and the dark warp in the air, Tuon would likely not have wanted to deal with him. Hopefully she'll be more amenable to Jesus Rand.

One point of interest in contrasting these chapters: there's Ituralde, hiding in a stedding to escape the damane, while meanwhile Perrin has just gotten through sending the Shaido Wise Ones off with Tylee to give the Seanchan even more damane. Yes, he really had no choice, the Shaido kind of deserved it (though the only women who really deserve that, IMO, would be Forsaken, Black Ajah, and Elaida), and he owed Tylee for her help. But still...the Seanchan have just been given even more weapons to use against peope like Ituralde. And when you add in the fact those captured Wise Ones will lead to war between the Aiel and the Seanchan (and, per Aviendha's vision, likely to the destruction of the Aiel)...let's just say we have even more reason to hope that the collaring of channelers can be ended Real Soon Now. Yes, by prophecy the Aiel will lose a lot of people anyway, but there's lots of ways that can happen, and if there's going to be any kind of lasting peace after Tarmon Gai'don, even with the world not being done with battle, the a'dam will have to be done away with.

@2 Corey Lynn: "...thanks to his date with Semi." *shudders* The blind date from Hell. Literally, and on several levels! And you are so right @5, that would be ten kinds of awesome to read.

@9 anthonypero: Very well said.

@21 KiManiak: And here I thought you were laughing hysterically at that. Then again, it's one thing to laugh at the 'classiness', another to have it take over the re-read...
Anthony Pero
30. anthonypero
@28: And this entire book thread.
Anthony Pero
31. anthonypero
Tathas@27:

I would argue that Egwene's rise was helped along by Suian, Mat's was helped along by his *Finn level-up, and Rand... yeah, not even going to go there. Perrin may have Ta'veren-ness and wolf badassery, but he didn't get the wisdom of anyone but his teenage wife to help him, he didn't get a set of memories from the most skilled battle leaders of the last two thousand years, and he didn't get the wisdom (or madness) of the Dragon seeping into his conciousness. Of all our main characters, he's the one who is still... just Perrin. His is the most reasonable (if frustrating) of the storylines, considering he didn't get any special help to prepare him for his role.

**EDITED to avoid the wrath of the grammer and spelling Nazis**
Mark Locy
32. Tathas
#31 @anthonypero

All excellent points. And Perrin had Hopper, whom he--well--resisted. Which, as #29. @macster pointed out, is a reasonable expectation (well said).

Perrin is very stubborn and careful. I get it. But damn if it makes reading his chapters harder when Egwene chapters are Epicness-In-A-Can. Especially when he finally starts to accept it, he seriously takes a level or two in badass and shows up even Egwene.

Maybe I'm being too meta, but is it wrong to want Perrin to be awesomer sooner?
j p
33. sps49
"No, most of them are stable."

Yeah, that's reassuring.

~

Randland population cannot be compared with modern (post-industrial) figures. Food production just can't support that many people, and I don't think RJ ever really considered the full extent of the top-notch USA logistics chain that kept him supplied. 100,000 refugees just waiting for someone to take care of them? Where is all the food coming from? How is it getting there? How much goes to the growers and transporters? How much area do they take up, especially going over roads? How much is your army going to be slowed by families with kids? Arrrrgh!

I would roll my eyes at the chapters of city-sized armies sitting around doing nothing (the Borderlanders, the Salidar Aes Sedai, Perrin's group) while taking food in from somewhere. Heinlein had some glimmer of it in Starship Troopers but cheated (the MI were "100% combat troops" because they are separated from the support tail), and David!Leigh Eddings addressed it in the Malloreon (Silk's bean bubble), but few authors worry about food sources, much less where all the poo goes.
Margot Virzana
34. LuvURphleb
@31

I agree. Unlike the others Perrin has only had Faile to help him but if she can say to him "care for the living and weep for the dead later," (TSR) why cant she be like "Perrin, can you really hand over the mantle of leading your people? How would you like it if you know all you know, have the ear of the DR and yet dont get to decide how to direct the bow men?"
Perrin doesnt admit it and he may agonize over each death but i dont think he could handle NOT being in charge.
Kind of like how the sisters in Salidar didnt believe Nynaeve or Elayne about the bowl of the winds. And without Egwene letting them go to Ebou Dar at all they would still have to deal with crappy heat waves. They knew what they were talking about, had experience in the real world amd yet still the sisters ignored them because of age. Ignored them until they stood up in ACOS and pointed out their places in the pecking order.
Perrin started taking charge the second he walked back into Emonds Field and it wasnt until someone gave him a title that he balked.
John Massey
35. subwoofer
Perrin's baffled because somebody handed him his balls and he doesn't know what to do with them.

Ituralde- let's all pause a moment here. This was a last stand folks- Ituralde knew he was going to die, his men knew they would all die, yet they were all willing to go because of loyalty- to their general and for Ituralde, to his king. Smacks of sheer awesomeness.

Rand. Well, this is like many romantic comedies where boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, except in this case substitute "girl" with "sanity".... or maybe just "marbles". Remember how Smegol lost his mind with that voice whispering in his head? Anyone see parallels here? IMHO the sickness from grasping Sadin is a sign. I don't think he ralphs so much after he sees the burning bush.

Woof™.
j p
36. sps49
Smeagol/ Gollum is in the ballpark, but I don't think it is that close to Rand!LewsTherin. Rand has finally incorporated his memories and skills from WayBack, is all.
j p
37. sps49
subwoofer reminds me- I was going to ask if anyone remembered whether he had trouble seizing saidin after his epiphany. Is it mentioned in the text at all?
Richard Chapling
38. Chappers
WARNING: the following post contains discussion of advanced mathematics and certain bonkers physical theories.

@25 footroot
Oh yeah, it goes without saying that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is incompatible with a circular cosmology.
Not necessarily: I can think of at least two ways around it, one a mathematical theorem, and the other a physical cosmological theory.

The mathematics is a theorem from Hamiltonian mechanics on phase spaces: the Poincaré recurrence theorem. Basically what this says is if we have a system with certain restrictions on the number of states the system can be in, for almost every state a system is in at time 0, after a (very long) time has passed, it will have returned to the original state at least once.
While we could probably argue about whether the phase space of the Universe has finite volume (and I would probably argue that it doesn't), one can actually set up systems for which this is the case. (As one of my lecturers remarked, "where's your Second Law of Thermodynamics now?!") The reason we don't see this effect is that the timescale on which this occurs is extremely long (10^lots years) for any system with a decent size phase space.

On the more physical side, Sir Roger Penrose has recently been studying a theory that the Universe doesn't actually have a Big Bang in the usually understood sense. The idea is basically as follows: our Universe is observed to be expanding at an accelerating rate. Eventually, all the matter decays into photons, and this radiation will eventually lose its energy by redshift, and then this state becomes (in a rather hard-to-explain way that I don't yet understand) the "Big Bang" low-entropy state of the next Universe. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that this idea makes testable predictions: finding circles in the cosmic microwave background, and Penrose has several papers here on the subject (although the first one was statistically discredited), and he has a popular/technical account of it in this book. (it is worth pointing out that Penrose's version of "popular" science tends to lean heavily on university-level mathematics: I discovered this when it took me 4 years to make it through the first 400 pages of his doorstop The Road to Reality...)

(And before you ask, yes, Penrose is somewhat of a maverick, and most physicists probably think this theory is rubbish. Then again, some of them still haven't come round to thinking General Relativity is a good idea, so who knows.)

So a cyclic cosmology isn't only discussed seriously in fantasy, although it's still pretty weird for most people.

As to the point about cuendillar, the Seals have decayed (through the DO's influence, of course), so it's possible that the True Power can destroy it. That, or there's an Age where someone goes around and vacuums it up, or it sinks through the crust and ends up in the Earth's core, after a particularly violent Breaking. I'm sure I've mentioned it before on here, somewhere...
LM-Mage
39. Wortmauer
Corey Lynn LeMoine@5: I really hope that we get to see a general planning session during TG that involves Ituralde, Bryne, Agelmar, Ruarc, and Mat. I could probably read a whole chapter just of them examining the situation and making plans.
Me too! I'd love to see that conference table. Except I'd be very sad if Bashere weren't there too. I like Bashere possibly even better than Ituralde, and that is saying something.

The problem is, in fiction, you can't very well tell the reader in advance exactly what's going to happen. So any time I read fiction in which characters spell out some detailed plan to each other, I just know something is not only going to go horribly wrong, but nothing clever and good in the plan I just heard is going to work. Otherwise the author wouldn't have revealed it. Though occasionally, an author takes the other alternative, "...and that's just what they did." I.e., the plan works but we're not shown its execution. But that construct doesn't seem to be used much in this series.
forkroot@8: As for Ituralde - I'm not sure whether it was the ta'veren thing going for Rand or whether Ituralde really had no plausible alternative.
Agreed. I think he would have been inclined to accept the Dragon's offer in any case. He knew he was cornered and he wasn't looking forward to throwing away the rest of his army in a last stand that, while heroic, would be largely pointless. Also, the Dragon offered to solve his Seanchan invader problem. That's all he really wanted in the first place. It was a win-win situation, albeit without any actual wins.
Bergmaniac@12: I wonder if Sanderson was advised by Team Jordan and Tor to put a few Perrin PoV chapters in TGS to avoid a fan backlash.
Yeah, nobody wanted another TPOD, starring Mat as Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Book (convalescing in Tylin's palace, it turned out). Not that Perrin is quite the fan favorite Mat is, but still. Especially with TGS coming so many years after KOD, and the cloud of uncertainty in the fanbase (while we had a lot of hope that Sanderson could take up the mantle and do a satisfactory job, nobody really knew), omitting such a major character from the whole book was just not an option. (I see forkroot@14 made much the same point.)
Sam Mickel
40. Samadai
AnthonyPero @31
you brought this on yourself

The correct spelling of grammar is grammar. :D Yes, I spelled it that way twice on purpose
Roger Powell
41. forkroot
Chappers@38
Interesting stuff about somewhat more exotic circular cosmologies than I had in mind (certainly nothing like the Wheel where the basic structure of matter persists.)
As to the point about cuendillar, the Seals have decayed (through the DO's influence, of course), so it's possible that the True Power can destroy it.
It's more than possible, it's verified. That's how Rand could balefire the Domination band and escape Semirhage.
Jay Dauro
42. J.Dauro
Anthony, we know you did that on purpose. ;^)
John Massey
43. subwoofer
@36- not at this point in the story. Rand has not been up on the mountain.

@38- thanks for the dip sign;)

Woof™.
Thomas Keith
44. insectoid
s'rEDIT @18:
Callooh! CaLeigh!
That was very clever. Be careful how you pronounce Leigh's name, though... :P

Chappers @38: ::brain explodes::

Bzzz™.
Hugh Arai
45. HArai
sps49@33:
"No, most of them are stable." Yeah, that's reassuring.

That's what you get for asking someone "You guys gone mad yet?"
TW L
46. Shadow_Jak
Important stuff first...
Just got my Kindle Saturday, so this is my first chance to follow the re-read with full digital support in hand!
Yay!

Leigh,
Also, I love that this chapter is called “Leaving Malden,” and yet nobody actually left Malden before the chapter ended.
Actually, the command was given...To Aravine (page 165 (I love my Kindle)),
"All right", Perin said. "Start them marching immediately."

A full two pages before the chapter end.
;-)
LM-Mage
47. peachy
@33 - Preach it. Jordan is one of the few fantasy authors I've read who actually pays attention to things like economics, but the giant armies really vex me because they break the illusion of a lived-in world he's otherwise so successful at creating. Even if these kingdoms could raise, equip and pay forces that size, feeding 100,000 fighting men plus tens of thousands of dependents is no joke in a pre-industrial society... and to do it when they're sitting still is virtually impossible unless the army is smack in the middle of highly productive zone with top-end transport links and a highly developed administrative system. This does not strike me as an accurate description of, say, Braem Wood.

(I'm not even going to think about the logistics of a Trolloc army in the Blight.)
TW L
48. Shadow_Jak
@33
Actually there are no "families with kids" in this group. Only able bodied men and women.
And these same men and women have been caring for themselves and 100,000 or so Shaido for a few weeks, so ...
If you can believe the whole Malden bit, it's not all that much of a stretch to take the show on the road...
JAMES MCCLELLAN
49. ZEXXES
You know I just had a stunning revelation about Rand. He can now kneel to Empress Fortuona and not have to do a damn thing she says. Because even now as they have Domination Collars aplenty, none of them will work on him. Not only that, he'll probably smash the rest of them too! Whether Jedi Rand or Darth Rand you know what's gonna happen when they try to collar him. He's gonna crack it and then he's gonna crack them. I hope that Tuon herself isn't the one to try it out on him. That would be bad for Rand and Mat's relationship if Rand can't control his anger if the attempt is made. He may even go along with it so he can get close to her and make a move then. And then when she knows that his life is in her hands he makes his proposal and kneels to her so he can then say " So um, can we go to Shayol Ghul now? I sorta have an appoinment with the Dark One, you see! And we're wasting time."

Speaking of cracking things. I read in one of the latests posts in an alternate re-read something quite interesting. Something I forgot and I think quite a few people did too. Something to do with Callandor and what the "three become one" means. I'll put the whole tome:
He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one.
Now neither of the two parts of this prophecey have come to be yet including in ToM. Given that, we can only asume that it will be fulfilled in AMoL. How this prophecy is fulfilled is a mystery and we all have theories. But a women that wrote in are-read posting came up with a brilliant one. And I sorta brainstormed and added to it. It may have already been mentioned by some one else and I'm too lazy to check. But here it goes.


Min had a viewing:
“A glowing sword, Callandor; being gripped in a black hand. "Callandor, held in a fist. The hand looks to be made of onyx."
Now some seem to think that this a reference to a ter'angreal hand made by whomever for Rand. But this women in her post offered a possible link to the "Three become One". That being the three powers becoming one through Callandor. I feel this could be a likely scenario as Callandor was made after the Taint was established. It may give leave, inadvertantly so at the time of its making, for all three powers- Saidin, Saidar and the True Source, to be used in conjunction with each other thorugh Callandor. It may be the way in which the seal is finally closed in a permenant manner. She feels that the Black Hand, is in theory, Rands hand made from the True Source by Rand himself. I'm thinking I concur with her. I think Rand will destroy Moridin in such away that the Dark One thinks Rand is dead through balefire and Moridin is still alive because of their connection to each other (this part is my theory by the way, wild as it may be). I think this is Alivia's role in her "helping him die" somehow. I think this is how Rand keeps his access to the True Source with out The Dark Ones leave.


So Rand fights Moridin with Callandor. Rand wins and Alivia does her thing. Then the "Five enter," Moraine?; Alivia?; Rand; Perrin and Mat; Alternate Nynaeve for Moraine? Rand leads the circle of three. They channel first the two, Saidin and Saidar. Rand realizes it won't be enough. Rand uses all three, TS included. The Dark One fights back. Someone dies during all this? But they win and Rand closes the Bore. Rand dies closing it? "Four return" Rand dies? Alivia dies? Moraine dies again? If Nynaeve is here, then it can only be Rand or Alivia.... or Mat. There is no prophecy or viewings about Mat surviving after TG. That part will remain a mystery for sure, until the very end.

I don't know. Just theories. Shoot me down.

Z
Alice Arneson
50. Wetlandernw
Provisions... What exactly did you think Perrin was planning to use all those wagons for? They're taking everything the Shaido had "foraged" from the surroundings, so they have some form of food and shelter while they're trying to get back to their various homes.

Personally, I try not to think too hard about the detailed logistics of moving/feeding these large numbers of people. Jordan addresses it more than most authors; note Mat's (and in some cases, Rand's) obsession with the supply trains. IIRC, Mat had some serious arguments with his Tairen buddies who wanted to play "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" - didn't want to wait for the infantry and the supply trains, until Mat pointed out that they could have a lovely time cooking up their boots for dinner. It's even been part of the strategic planning a couple of times.

Anyway, it's not like they were eating gourmet. Most of it would be a stew of whatever meats and vegies were available, along with rough bread and porridge made from whatever forms of meal were available. I'm pretty sure they weren't worrying about the FDA food pyramid and getting a balanced diet; as long as they could stave off scurvy somehow and keep everyone on their feet, it was good enough.
Roger Powell
51. forkroot
@49
For Rand to break a domination band again, he'd once again need to draw the TP. I cannot imagine that post-epiphany Rand would want do so.

You might want to go back to previous postings where the role of Callandor and some of the prophecies you mention have been discussed at length already. Maybe someone else is up to the challenge, but a lot of us are burned out on that.

While you are at it, check out my comment in last weeks post explaining how the True Source is another name for saidan and saidar. You are confusing it with the "True Power" which is the essence of the Dark One. In your defense, RJ made it easy to confuse the two by reusing the word "True".
JAMES MCCLELLAN
52. ZEXXES
Ah yes, my dyslexia gets the best of me again....

But as to Rand not wanting to use the TP or not, I'll have to disagree. He will do what he must. Given what he's gone through, epiphany or not, I'm quite sure he will not allow himself to be collared again. I most certainly wouldn't. At this point, the TP is a tool to him. He'll avoid using it if he can. But if it comes down to it, he will do what he must.

And as I said above, I knew of the possibility of earlier discussions. But that doesn't mean we should refrain from speaking on a past discussed subject any longer. Sorry if I wasn't there for the discussion before. I'm sure many of us weren't. And so anyone who would like to discuss the subject please enlighten me as these are all just theories anyway and any opinion stated, for or against, will all be theory also.

There isn't much to discuss on these chapters anyway

If one doesn't want to participate within a comment thread one simply ignores or fails to comment on the thread. Ignore this, comment about that. It has been the rule of Blog posts and comments since its conception.

Z
john mullen
53. johntheirishmongol
Somehow Perrin checking the wagons doesn't bother me too much. It's like rich guys who change their own oil, they don't have to but it's something they like to do.

The size of the armies, invasion forces, I pretty much have resized in my mind to more reasonable numbers. RJ had some military experience, so he had the language but his feel for the numbers was a scale off.

As for the whole Ituralde chapter, its interesting, but frankly felt extraneous to me. I didn't think we needed a new major player at this late stage of the game. So I was a bit annoyed when he was added to the series
Jonathan Levy
54. JonathanLevy
53. johntheirishmongol

Checking the wagons bothered me, but the way in which it was done bothered me more. Perrin lying under a wagon shouting "NEXT!!" as if he were a third-rate petty bureaucrat in some soviet ministry? It clashes terribly with his respectful and diffident behavior in Emond's Field in TSR, when people first turn to him for leadership - and all of his behavior since.

(and 47. peachy and 33. sps)
Size of armies - I'm with you completely. Edward I's armies which invaded Wales and Scotland are estimated at about 30,000 soldiers at their largest, and these were the biggest armies gathered by an English King in the middle ages, if I'm not mistaken. So Ituralde gathering 100,000 for a guerilla war is unconvincing.

You also summarized my thoughts exactly on the sudden appearance of a new major player. If they hadn't tried to puff him up so much it would have felt better. A general leading 10,000 soldiers in hit-and-run raids a la Gawyn would have felt more in place. It's starting to feel like a parody of a Stallone film... where's the youtube link... ahh, here it is:
watch?v=_buE4AW0_jA&NR=1
LM-Mage
55. Wortmauer
johntheirishmongol@53: I didn't think we needed a new major player at this late stage of the game. So I was a bit annoyed when he was added to the series
Ah, well, he wasn't precisely added to the series. We've known about him ever since Myrelle's Warder mentioned him in Salidar in the middle of TFOH. Of the five first tier generals he named (plus, as many are wont to include, Mat and Rhuarc), Ituralde was the only one we hadn't already met. Yes, the prologue of Book 10 of 14 is a bit late to introduce a major player, but I do feel Jordan had made us a promise, of sorts, back in TFOH. Since we had met the other four "great captains" mentioned, it would have been odd to not ever get to meet the Little Wolf.

That said, I remember first reading his scene in the COT prologue and having the same reservation as you. But recall that COT was the third book where it seemed the plot had become mired under its own massive, massive weight, and, aside from the Cleansing, nothing seemed to be wrapping up at all. So at that point, yes, it seemed like Ituralde was one more thread Jordan should not have allowed himself to lay out.

But that's in the context of TPOD, WH, COT. When we got KOD, with definite signs of plot movement, the beginning of the endgame, I changed my tune and I think there's room for Ituralde after all. Although, come to think of it, if Jordan had kept Ituralde out, he probably would've put Bashere up there on the western Blightborder, and I surely would have loved to read those scenes too. I do so want to see Bashere in action. The Illian campaign didn't count.
Anthony Pero
56. anthonypero
@Spelling and Grammour Nazis:

Hookt an foniks werkt fur mee!
Captain Hammer
57. Randalator
Hooray for Firefly!


re: refugees

In Uganda several million people have been living in refugee camps for decades. So I don't think that a hundred thousand displaced Randlanders are a stretch.


re: numbers and logistics

I think RJ handled it fairly well. Think about it, what large hosts do we actually have in Randland?

- The Aiel: Admittedly huge, but they had their own supplies while crossing the Spine of the World (or did the locust thing in the case of the Shaido) and got split up soon after the Battle of Cairhien. In Cairhien they were supplied with food from Tear, just like the rest of the population. Afterwards they are supplied by Rand et. al. via Gateways.

- The Seanchan: While also an immensely large host, they are immediately split up into smaller forces all along the west and south-west coast of Randland. Additionally they are accompanied by settlers who take over farming where farmland was deserted due to the war and also take to cultivating formerly deserted stretches of land. Which doesn't make them very hard to sustain.

All the other armies are significantly smaller in size and we actually get to see them scrounging for supplies and the actual logistics and problems they have to deal with (i.e. the Band of the Red Hand, the Aes Sedai rebel army until their gateway-friendly permanent camp near Tar Valon, the Borderlanders, the Shaido, etc.).

So, whenever RJ pulls out the big numbers, there actually is an in-universe explanation for sustaining them and for the more realistic numbers there are equally realistic logistics...
Anthony Pero
58. anthonypero
Certainly gateways make it more feasible for Rand's armies to be that large. The Aiel population being that large and gethered together in one place in the Waste pre tFoH is a bit... impossible, however. There would be neither enough water nor food for the trek across the Waste. Or being in Al Cair Dal (sp?).

I agree that the Seanchan numbers are reasonable, given the fact that they are moving in a realistic pattern, slowly, and completely controlling vast swaths of lan in the rich, fertile southern half of the continent.
Birgit
59. birgit
Newer posters who are interested in "three must be one" theories should look at the TGS spoiler thread.
Charles Gaston
60. parrothead
Okay...I never liked this whole labeling Perrin's conflict as "emo" thing. Given that that term is usually tossed at pretentious upper middle class teenagers who think the world doesn't "get" them, and Perrin a) is trying to keep a disparate army together so that he can b) rescue his kidnapped wife and c) prepare for the upcoming apocalypse without d) losing his mind to omnipresent predatory beasts. This is the guy who at the beginning of the series thought the greatest responsibility he'd ever take on was shoeing merchants' horses once a year.
WOT Dragons
61. WOTNoDragons
CLL @ 5

Totally agree - an awesome chapter to hopefully look forward to.
Iirc, we got a tiny taste of this scene in tFoH, when Mat totally reiterated the Aiel Clan Chiefs’ battle plans for Cairhien whilst chatting with Lan in Rand’s tent.

Tathas @ 11
I am also not a character in a story agonizing for the umpteenth time about how I'm not a lord, when clearly I am.
Presumably then, you are arguing that Perrin is clearly a Lord, even though he doesn’t think that he is, and tells everyone that he isn’t.

I which case, my only point is that I think that technically, Perrin is correct: he isn’t a Lord. The fact that people keep calling him a Lord doesn’t make him one. Alliandre could make him a Lord of someplace in Ghealdan with a bequeathment of land and a title to suit. But only Elaine could ‘make’ Perrin a Lord of the Two Rivers (which is where his presumed Lordship arises.) Personally I think this scene will happen in aMoL but I’m happy to RAFO (or not) on this matter.

Fork @ 25
& Chappers @ 38

Are the sad bracelets/domination bands actually made of cuendillar? I thought it was a dark metal “like cuendillar” - not that it is particularly important.

Re; the circular cosmology.

I’m not sure I follow your thought process re this and I think it’s an important concept of the WOT universe – so as much as anything, I’d be grateful for some clarification.
Are you therefore saying that because the ages recycle, that by the time the same age comes again, that the events of the age repeat? This is what you imply, but it doesn’t quite add up (imo.) On the one hand, I can see that the main events have to repeat - like in a (7 ages later) repeat of the end of the Age of Legends, the Bore would have to be opened and so on, but does this mean that all events have to repeat – even down to the smallest detail? So for example, every tiny moment repeats, like Rand seeing the fade for the first time on the road at exactly the same time in tEoTW? Mat always chops Couladin’s head off at exactly the same moment?

If the circular cosmology is so tightly controlled, then there is no scope for any variance or change – and yet I thought that Prophecy was not a guarantor of what would happen, but rather a foreshadowing of what could happen - if all criteria or conditions were set. In which case, the characters are able to make some small changes in their lives. In other words, they can (through self-determination) choose** to create a variance to what occurred last time (7 ages ago.) So if things can be different on a small scale, then time (The Wheel) is not quite truly circular, but perhaps more analogous to a slinky spring -with each full cosmological rotation being one ‘coil’ of the spring. (spring theory, - anyone? ;))

I guess what I’m getting at, is that if time is totally reset for a repeat performance after a full 360 degree, 7 ages revolution (like rewinding a video tape to re-watch a movie) then we are effectively “stuck in a time loop” with no possibility of self-determination; as the 'movie' of our lives replays - exactly as it did before. But, if small changes can happen and small changes throughout the repeating ages do happen, then as an example, plate tectonics can, over huge time scales, (millions of coils) take care of cuendillar build ups.

After all, the WOT cosmology is RJ’s creation and RJ very clearly stated that Randland is our world & our age is perhaps an age (or 2 or 3) yet to come. So I can’t see how it can be a totally circular cosmology, as our real world just can’t scientifically fit with the WOT world – yet RJ said that is was/is.

(edit - **I can see that it would not seem like a conscious choice for the individual - as they wouldn't know what they did or didn't do 7 ages ago, but this lack of knowledge is not really relevant to my theoretical point)


Parrothead @ 60
Well said!
Roger Powell
62. forkroot
WOTnoDragons@61
I believe the Ages are similar, but certainly not identical.

The BBoBA says something interesting:
In this world there is no one beginning or one end, for each spoke of the great Wheel represents one of the seven Ages, receding into the past and returning in the future as the Wheel spins, the fabric of each age changing only its weave and pattern with each passing.
An aside - maybe we should start calling it the BBoBAaROS ... (The Big Book of Bad Art and Run-on Sentences) ... but I digress.
With every pass the changes vary to an increasingly greater degree. {::emphasis mine::} For each Age there is a separate and unique pattern, the Pattern of the Age, which forms the substance of reality for that age. This design is predetermined by the Wheel and can only partially be changed by those lives which make up the threads within the weave.
Curious. The concept of ever increasing change should be at odds with the circular cosmology and the idea of bounded patterns, right?

Of course it's worth repeating that the BBoBA was written as if the information came from the inhabitants of Randland and thus not all information is deemed 100% accurate.
Birgit
63. birgit
Thus Spake the Creator - Workings of the Wheel
Reports from signings (paraphrased)

Each Age is NOT precisely the same with each new turning of the Wheel. I actually asked RJ to explain this before Eye even came out, because he was trying to explain the cosmology to me and I wasn't getting it. The analogy he used (for the differences between an Age in one turning and in another) was to say that it would be like standing in front of what looked to be two copies of the same painting; but as you looked closely, you'd start to find tiny, subtle differences, more and more differences the more closely you looked, until you eventually realized that the paintings were almost completely different.

tarvalon.net Q&A 26 February 2003

Q: In the Wheel of Time mythos, how do extinct animals come back into existence when the Wheel comes back around?
RJ: Well, the world I created is based on the ideas and conceptions of the world from a roughly medieval viewpoint; time being circular and such. I didn't quite try to make it completely scientifically accurate, so there really is no answer for the question.

RJ's blog 4 October 2005 "ONE MORE TIME"
I think of time in this world as fixed circular, but with a drifting variation. There are slight differences in the Pattern each time through so that if you thought of the Pattern as a tapestry and held up two successive weaves, you couldn’t see any differences from a distance, only close up, but the more time turnings between tapestries, the more changes are apparent. But the basic Pattern always remains the same.
JAMES MCCLELLAN
64. ZEXXES
People always have a misconception of exactly how many people are populating a given area. I live in a retirement golf community. I'ts expensive for Florida with an average house costing 300 g's. It has 32 golf courses, 4 shopping centers, 2 town squares, with around 40 restaurants and bars between them, about a 100 markets and shops, not includine the 5 Publix Supermarkets, 2 Walmarts, with a Lowes and Home Depot, Target, 2 Bealls, 4 Bealls outlets, Best Buy, Kohl's, Sams Club..... these people got the Shizzle people. And still when people come here to visit and even sometimes the people that live here, fail to realize how many live in this town. Because it isn't a town. They usually give around 20,000 as the population. They are always surprised to find out that the current population is 3 times that at 64,000 permanent residents with another 20,000 snowbirds. That's over 80,000 people. This a City. But you'd never know it by looking at it, because its so spread out and hidden by groves of trees and golf courses and park areas and all of the damnable lakes. I'm always surprised myself when I give the number to the visitors, because it doesn't look like that many people are around. Where are all the houses?

In the year 1000 there were 275 million people on Earth and it is around the time of the Trolloc wars in Randland. It is easily concievable to have armies of 100,000 or even 300,000 given that in Pre Roman days Xerxes moved armies 300,000 strong within a world population of 200 million. It doesn't seem like there would be that many during those times but there was. Remember, we crossed the billion mark in 1804. We were growing at an average rate of 100 mill century. No I believe in a World War, and this is essentially what TG is, with the Last Battle coming and the prologue setting the tone for how aware people are of the endtimes' nearness, that these army sizes iin the books are completely believable. Actually I believe them to be a bit small. I mean the Shaido army for instance is basically the entire people less the mothers and their babies. 300,000 seems reasonable to me. 300-400 Wise Ones? Shoot, with that many I would think the army should have been bigger. Which it was but Dumai Wells took its toll.

Anyway, to me....not too big at all. I think they are a bit small. You can't think modern army. We use far less troops now then we used to per capita. We can destroy whole large towns with 10 or so cluster bombs. What do we need big armies for? And yet we still sent 158,000 troops to Iraq for a war which was essentially over in 1 day. In which it took until 2009 for us to lose 4000 troops. The rest was simply an hostile area occupation. Think about it more. Dynamicaly, war is different now than any other time in history.

About threads:

1. So you want me to sift through over 3000 comments to find some threads about 3-1 Callandor references?

Uh....No!

2. "I/We don't want to talk about that, We want to talk about this. You go over there."

Uh....(rubs nose with middle finger)...No!

Edit: now I know that is offensive, and I decided to keep it there for this reason: This is the only place were you can talk to people about subjects involving the books in such a way that you can get feedback from other readers with a large population base. Like I said earlier, if you don't want to comment about it, then don't. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna get sent to the back of the bus because you or anybody else don't want to see my kind here. Or you or anyone else, don't feel that my comments aren't worthy of having to read, simply because you discussed the subject 5 months ago or whenever. Besides, I'm not so new. I was here long ago in the beginning of the Re-Reads, just under a different name and long enough ago that I forgot the password and found it simpler to go by my current handle which I use everywhere else I comment in presently. and i'm very surprised to find how cliqie and elite-ist things have gotten here and how rude people can be about it. Sorry, but it has happened often enough since rejoining the comments that I can't see how anyone new might see it anyother way.

If I offend, count us even.

Z
Roger Powell
65. forkroot
ZEXXES@64
I don't think anyone's objecting to you bringing some subjects back - it happens all the time - and sometimes discussion flares anew. Speaking for me only, I was trying to point out why you might not get the robust discussion you were hoping for, simply because we've been over it too many times.

With that said, knock yourself out. If you bring up a new angle you'll probably generate some interest.

--
Regarding population densities: Your Florida example is an interesting one; however it speaks to the increasing urbanization of our population brought about by the efficiencies of large-scale food production.

Two centuries ago, our population was overwhelmingly agrarian - now it's just the opposite. Of course its hard to say where Randland is on the productivity scale - looking at technology alone one could guess approximately where Earth was in Renaissance times - but we never had "magic".

Consider how the Aiel and Nym cooperated in the AoL to produce what were probably fantastic crop yields. Even though much was lost from the AOL, some things weren't (e.g. the printing press) and thus it's not a particularly difficult stretch to assume that certain agricultural techniques survived. If nothing else, the gene pool for crops in Randland would likely be much better than we had 600 years ago. "Food" for thought :-)
Mark Locy
66. Tathas
61. WOTnoDragons

Perrin is many many things.

He's husband to the second in the line of royal succession of Saldea. He has an army and subjects in a land that follows him, as if he were their lord. He's a descendent of the great lost kingdom of Manetheren. He has the fealty of the queen of Ghealdon and the respect of the former queen of Andor. He is the fate-chosen friend and ally of the most powerful man in the world, who is much much more than a king. Oh, and he's ta'veren in of himself, meaning the universe has BIG plans for him, which probably include becoming a real live lord in the near future.

But you're right, he's not a lord. So, really, there's no reason at all for any of those people who call him that to do so. They are clearly out of their minds.
Hugh Arai
67. HArai
Tathas@66:
He's husband to the second in the line of royal succession of Saldea.
Since Tenobia is first, the closest Perrin can be is son-in-law to the second in the line of royal succession of Saldea. Which still only makes him some guy who married Faile, unless you make a lot of assumptions about the inheritance of Saldaean titles.
He has an army and subjects in a land that follows him, as if he were their lord.
So did Masema. That didn't make him a good leader which is what Perrin actually worries about.
He's a descendent of the great lost kingdom of Manetheren.
So is Cenn Buie.
He has the fealty of the queen of Ghealdon and the respect of the former queen of Andor.
Which he considers to be pretty much pure luck, which is a reasonable view considering he knows he had no idea that would result from his actions.
He is the fate-chosen friend and ally of the most powerful man in the world, who is much much more than a king. Oh, and he's ta'veren in of himself, meaning the universe has BIG plans for him, which probably include becoming a real live lord in the near future.
And so he knows he's being made a leader because the Pattern says so, not for any reason like being trained or trying to be a leader. So naturally he's afraid he's not going to be good at it.
LM-Mage
68. Wortmauer
HArai@67: Since Tenobia is first, the closest Perrin can be is son-in-law to the second in the line of royal succession of Saldea.
Good post overall, but no, Tenobia is not "in the line," she is already queen. Tenobia has no children, so Davram Bashere is first in line to succeed her. Zarine is second in line.
John Massey
69. subwoofer
Think about it, what large hosts do we actually have in Randland?
Um... well, there is Egwene's dad- Bran Al'Vere... and don't forget Basel Gill ba dum bum

Woof™.
Hugh Arai
70. HArai
Wortmauer@68: When I've seen lines of succession listed, the reigning monarch has been at the top. I'm no expert however, so thank you for the correction. The main point I wanted to make there was that marrying Faile doesn't make him a lord unless that's what the Saldaean inheritance rules say. I doubt that's the case because I think Davram would have mentioned it to Perrin when he and Deira met him.
Roger Powell
71. forkroot
birgit@63
Thanks for the quotations from RJ. Hearing the Creator disavow any scientific feasibility to the model takes most of the fun out of speculating on the problems of the model (e.g. the accumulation of cuendillar.)

On the other hand, RJ's made up cosmology does do a wonderful job of explaining one particular real life phenomenon: deja vu.
LM-Mage
72. Wortmauer
HArai@70: Agreed that marrying into the royal line of Saldaea doesn't make Perrin a lord. But interesting that you reference Perrin's conversation with Bashere. Remember how that went? It's actually about becoming a lord. Bashere actually laughs at Perrin saying he isn't a lord. He seems to think becoming a lord is mostly about stepping up to be one when one is needed. Not so much just because a watery tart lobs an estate at you, as it were. Of course he doesn't spell it out quite that explicitly.

Then again, Borderlanders are funny like that. From Rand's experience in TGH, it seems they tend to just assume anyone in a fancy coat is a lord, right? (Or was that a result of strings being pulled by Moiraine and the Pattern?)
LM-Mage
73. s'rEDIT
If a turning wheel gathers more material (age lace) on it's outside edge as it turns, then couldn't there be more and more time, and more and more variation between each spoke, with each full turn?

I hope that question made sense. Please feel free to explain why the idea can't work.
LM-Mage
74. Wortmauer
Re: circular cosmology. The biggest question I've always had has nothing to do with scientific rigor ... but that, given that the Ages are long enough that "even myth has long since been forgotten," how does anyone in-world know anything about it? How do they know how many Ages there are? They know the AOL and they retain small remnants about the First Age, but there's no possible way anyone in modern Randland could dig through 5 more Ages of history and prehistory and recognize that "we've been here before." Let alone be able to count how many Age boundaries separate the present from the previous "our age."

Of course it's possible that the Wheel is a religious metaphor believed in the Third Age that actually has no grounding in reality: that we do indeed live in the First Age, and there will be an Age of Legends someday, and after that, a Third Age, but that none of these Ages will ever come around again. The main problem with this is that Robert Jordan pretty clearly refutes it. It's clear from his statements that his cosmology really is a Wheel, it's not just a belief system.

So, if circular time is not just an illusion (like lunchtime), I can only think of two ways people in Randland would know it:

- Received knowledge: the Creator at some point was not hands-off but actually interacted with his world enough to give people knowledge of the general cosmology, and it's been passed down ever since. I'm skeptical. Anyway, why would that particular bit of lore survive through the Ages, when pretty much nothing else has?

- Ishamael. He seems to have gained knowledge of his past lives and in general seems to know a lot more about the cosmos than anyone else. It's not at all clear how this happened. Can the Dark One do that? Anyway, maybe he keeps reminding people, every two or three Ages, of the Serpent and the seven-spoked Wheel, lest they fall into heresies like linear time. Makes you wonder a bit, though, why that would be a priority for him.

Thoughts?
Hugh Arai
75. HArai
Wortmauer@72: Quite right about Bashere's opinion. But remember the answer to "How do you know he's a King then?" Perrin doesn't think he meets the requirement so to speak.

Wortmauer@74:
Musings:

1)Well, there's T'A'R. Given access to it and someone like Birgitte willing to break the rules every few Ages, the information could be transmitted.
2) When you consider how the Horn of Valere works, it seems likely anyone capable of crafting it had at least a working idea of how it all works. That in turn implies a way to discover how it all works somewhere in the cycle.
3) The Dragon is apparently Reborn each cycle, Ishamael claims he is as well. That opens the possibility of others Reborn in other ages.
Kimani Rogers
76. KiManiak
macster@29 – Although I find some of the sideways topics entertaining (especially how clever and witty you guys’ delivery of those comments can be), it doesn’t mean I think they should continue through multiple threads. Plus, a good poop joke can only go so far!

I’m sure there are many funnier and even less relevant topics we can shanghai this particular post with :-)

ap@31 – You know you set yourself up, right? Right?!? That was funny, though. Oh, and I see that Samadai@40 took the bait.

Tathas@32 – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting Perrin to be bad ass sooner, but I wonder if the payoff of ToM would have been as enjoyable. Probably, but who knows?

Sps49@37 – We don’t get any long Rand POVs in ToM. I think we only see him seize saidin at the battle of Maradon, but I don’t believe there was any sign of him sicking up then.

Zexxes@49 – Hmm. Interesting. A couple of things. I think that a few posts ago someone (maybe it was you) also mentioned the “3 shall be one” could represent the 3 types of power: saidin, saidar and True Power (not to be confused with the True Source, which is basically saidin + saidar). These topics have been discussed here before.
(Edit: Ok, forkroot@51 already said all of this)

Also, I must have forgotten about the “5 enter, 4 return” prophecy.

Finally, although there were no prophecies about Mat surviving Tarmon Gaidon (that I recall), RJ supposedly had a plan for outrigger novels that focused on Mat and Tuon going back to Seanchan. I assume (and really, really want) this to mean that Mat survives.

Zex@52 – Why would Rand allow himself to be collared? It seems that zen-Rand has a pretty good grasp of using his ta’verenness to affect his surroundings and not fear for his freedom (see Rand in the White Tower in ToM).

WoTno@61 – Elayne already made Perrin and his line “Steward of the Dragon Reborn.” You want her to make him a lord on top of that? :-)

Zex@64 – Sounds like you live in a nice place. 32 golf courses!?! :-)

Harai@67 – Ha! “So is Cenn Buie.” Kinda mean, but fair. :-)
Roger Powell
77. forkroot
Wort@74
Excellent points! Received knowledge is one idea - we're still not 100% sure how "hands off" the Creator is anyway (who had the caps lock key at the end of TEoTW?)

Here's another thought: What if science progresses in one Age (lets say the Fifth Age) to the point where scientists can discern many aspects of reality based on observation of phenomena and inference. This would be analogous to how we understand our "Big Bang" universe based primarily on starlight red-shift and universal background noise. So maybe the scientists of the Fifth Age teased out the structure of the Wheel and the count of Ages.

I know you are skeptical of this bit of knowledge being saved, whether received or discovered. But short of every last human being wiped out, wouldn't such a fundamental truth be able to be remembered across the Ages even if most everything else (including the existence of the DO) were forgotten?

Wait ... I guess it would have to be forgotten by the end of the Fourth Age, otherwise scientists wouldn't have go to discover it.
Chris R
78. up2stuff
anthonypwero@31...

ahh, Hopper, the Ghost Wolf Spirit Guide? I think Perrin actually had the most guidance, or maybe the most tangible educator. Hopper was trying desparately to teach Perrin life, wolf dream, and guard him. He also was the most tangible loss in that Slayer killed him in the Wolf Dream and thus died the final death.

Edit, didnt we also hear somewhere that what one Wolf knows, all wolves know, or something? Or am I getting my fantasy series mixed up?
Jay Dauro
79. J.Dauro
WOTnoDragons

Yes the Sad Braclets are cuendillar.

Moghedien says so in TSR-54. Then Nyneave and Elayne try to destroy them with the One Power in TSR-55. Elayne says that if they were not cuendillar, they would be a puddle. As is, they are not even warm.
LM-Mage
80. Wortmauer
HArai@75: 1)Well, there's T'A'R. Given access to it and someone like Birgitte willing to break the rules every few Ages, the information could be transmitted.
2) When you consider how the Horn of Valere works, it seems likely anyone capable of crafting it had at least a working idea of how it all works. That in turn implies a way to discover how it all works somewhere in the cycle.
Hmmm. The residents of Tel'aran'rhiod and the Horn bring their own cosmological questions, don't they? The World of Dreams is where dead Heroes hang out, and they "get a life" perhaps once every few generations. (Gaidal and Birgitte, at least, seem to have lived quite a few lives in the Third Age alone.) And, as Hawkwing told Hurin, sometimes the Wheel adds a new-minted Hero to their number. So ... how long has this been going on? And why isn't Tel'aran'rhiod even more cluttered with Heroes than the real world with unbreakable teacups and harbor chains?

Either the Heroes eventually die or retire (like wolves, the other dead residents of T'A'R that would otherwise eventually fill it to the brim), or they are not bound to the Wheel forever, but only through part of a single turning — two or three Ages, say. I like this latter theory. Perhaps it is even related to the making of the Valerean Brass, though I doubt it. The Valerean Brass is clearly a man-made artifact, and probably not even all that old — it has an inscription in the Old Tongue, so it's from the Age of Legends, or possibly late First Age, but no older. Perhaps the Pattern only starts pulling Heroes in the Second Age, and somehow they all go away some time before the Second Age comes 'round again.

Which all brings up another question that's been simmering in the back of my head for years. How does the Valerean Brass even work? Is it like Corianin's stone ring, which in-world characters call a ter'angreal (because they don't know that Tel'aran'rhiod has nothing to do with the Power and thus there's no reason to believe the stone ring uses the Power in any way)? Given the Heroes of the Horn are apparently a construct of the Pattern itself, it seems weird to have a man-made artifact that can command them. It's also a bit weird that it magically links itself to whoever blows it, until he or she dies ... though ter'angreal that are attuned to one specific soul are not unknown — the obvious example being the ward woven around Callandor when it was put in the Heart of the Stone, so that only the Pendragon could draw it out.

forkroot@77: I know you are skeptical of this bit of knowledge being saved, whether received or discovered. But short of every last human being wiped out, wouldn't such a fundamental truth be able to be remembered across the Ages even if most everything else (including the existence of the DO) were forgotten?
All things are possible, under the Light. But seriously, I'd have to say, when deciding which legends to pass on to my children and which not to bother with, I'd think the existence of the Dark One is somewhat more important than a myth of things that happen 50000 years in the past or the future.

Speaking of the Dark One, do only literate people know his name? The only way to pass that knowledge on is to name him, either in speech (which most people will not do), or in writing. So count "the true name of the Dark One" as another bit of lore that I'm surprised has survived even one Age.

So many questions I always have, so few answers! I should stop now, before I get into how (prior to the weakening of the Seals in the past couple of years) the Dark One could even sense you naming him aloud, or how he could do anything about it even if he did.
JAMES MCCLELLAN
81. ZEXXES
Anyone think Davram Bashere is Demandred? The whole "my armies gather, my place is secure" thing always bugged me. Its gotta be him. It would perfect too, to have his army already down south next to Andor.
Hugh Arai
82. HArai
Zexxes@81: The quote is "My rule is secure," Demandred said simply. "I gather for war. We will be ready."

Most people think Demandred therefore has to be a ruler of a nation.
Bashere doesn't really qualify.

Also, Bashere falls down because of this RJ quote:

Crossroads of Twilight book tour 16 January 2003, Dayton OH - Michael Martin reporting
Q: Have we yet seen the alter-ego Demandred presents to the Third-Agers on-screen?
A: NO. (I asked twice to make sure.)

So basically Bashere is not Demandred, unless you are one of the surprisingly numerous people that believe Jordan lied.
Hugh Arai
83. HArai
*removed since my previous post escaped the spam filter*
Roger Powell
84. forkroot
Wort@80
All things are possible, under the Light. But seriously, I'd have to say, when deciding which legends to pass on to my children and which not to bother with, I'd think the existence of the Dark One is somewhat more important than a myth of things that happen 50000 years in the past or the future.
I had thought about that before my last post. Obviously we know that the knowledge of the DO was lost because Mieren and Beidomon didn't know what the source of power that they were "boring" to was.

Presumably either at the end of this Age (or maybe another) the Bore is completely repaired. If the DO doesn't touch the world for a few Ages, it would be more likely for knowledge of him to be lost. Y'know legend fading to myth and then even myth is gone ... yada, yada.

Of course this begs the question of why the knowledge of the 7-spoked wheel wouldn't suffer the same fate. It's not like the knowledge has any demonstrable practical value. Maybe it's just because the knowledge forms the basis of everyone's theology, and thus is widely disseminated and remembered?

--
Excellent point about T'AR filling up with Heros. Apparently every once in a while someone "pulls a Hopper" and exits stage left permanently. IIRC, Birgitte was concerned that Moggy could bump her off permanently in T'AR right?
Alice Arneson
85. Wetlandernw
anthonypero @58 – Why should it be impossible for the Aiel to gather at Alcair Dal? For starters, it’s not everyone, just the clan chiefs, a portion of their warriors, and some of the Wise Ones, IIRC. Since this is not a new happening, all of them would have known how much provision to bring with them. As a traditional gathering place, it’s reasonable to assume that there is some fresh water supply there, or it wouldn’t be practical no matter how excellent the acoustics.

parrothead @60 (and others who have expressed similar thoughts) – Well said. I appreciate reading the input of the few who believe Perrin is being unfairly maligned. I completely agree with you. I’d add that prior to the events of Winternight 998 NE, he’s never in his life been either a leader or a fighter, by nature and by choice. That leaves him pretty much unprepared for the role into which he is thrust by the Pattern and those around him, and while they may think he’s doing a bang-up job, he knows perfectly well that he doesn’t have any background for this sort of thing. Being stuck in a job with no clear rules and no leadership is one of my worst nightmares (sends me into a depression every time), so I can totally relate to Perrin’s frustration with his situation. He’s doing the job, but in his thoughts he’s still wrestling with the knowledge of his own inadequacy. The fact that there isn’t anyone else who could do a better job… well, it may be true, but it’s awfully hard to believe when you’re on the inside.

ZEXXES @64 – Chill out. No one was telling you that you couldn’t ask your questions. It was more on the line of “your chances of getting any good discussion are slim, because it’s been hashed out ad nauseum already.” When it was a new topic to everyone, it was the subject of much theorizing and discussing, but in the end we pretty much had to conclude that while some theories were more valid than others, we just didn’t have enough information to go any further, and we might as well RAFO. So by all means ask, but don’t be surprised if you don’t get an answer. In their comments, I believe forkroot and birgit were laboring under the misapprehension that you actually wanted to know what some of the theories (arguments and counterarguments) were, and helpfully tried to point you to where you could read what had been brought out before. If you don’t care enough to go look for them, that’s fine. Just don’t expect anyone else to care enough to reiterate them for you.

HArai @67 – LOL!! Cenn Buie, indeed. Excellent riposte.

::chuckle, chuckle::

subwoofer @69 – ROFL!! Large hosts, even ! You guys are too much.

::snicker. snort. chuckle::

s’rEDIT @73 – But if a rolling stone gathers no moss, can a turning wheel gather more lace?

::ahem:: Let us return to serious discussion.

Wortmauer @80 – FWIW, the Horn is older than the second age; the inscription was added during the AOL for some unknown reason. As for its construction, RJ said only “You might say that mortals made the Horn of Valere. They certainly weren’t gods.” So… who really made it? Not gods, but it sounds like it probably wasn’t made by humans either. Also, a Hero of the Horn can be permanently killed in TAR, just like the wolves.

Okay, I should obviously shut this down and go to bed! I'm repeating other posts now.
Birgit
86. birgit
1. So you want me to sift through over 3000 comments to find some threads about 3-1 Callandor references?
Uh....No!
2. "I/We don't want to talk about that, We want to talk about this. You go over there."
Uh....(rubs nose with middle finger)...No!

I had no problem finding the old comments in the big thread with my browser's search function. Nobody tries to forbid you to discuss anything. I find it useful when someone links to where a topic has been discussed before. If you don't, just don't click the link. I was trying to make it easier for new people to continue the discussion, not to stop anyone from talking about it. You seem to be trying hard to find insults in comments that are just meant to be helpful.

Also, I must have forgotten about the “5 enter, 4 return” prophecy.

That was probably the prophecy in TGH that was fulfilled by Ingtar's death.
Wesley Parish
87. Aladdin_Sane
TYOP Alert:
He sees Faile across the camp and thinks of how beautiful he is, but now he doesn’t know what to say to her, even though he does not blame her for anything that happened during her captivity.
I didn't think Perrin was vain!
All together now:
O Lord it's hard to be humble,When you're perfect in every way
Can't wait to look in the mirror
I get better looking each day!
BTW, I don't agree with the site policy that forces me to Preview an empty comment box before I can write anything to it, just to kick Google Plus One out of the comment box. From my point of view, as a trained programmer, that is a major bug, an error in the programming of this site. Tell me it's not deliberate and site-wide. And make me believe it.
Jonathan Levy
88. JonathanLevy
55. Wortmauer
I think Ituralde still counts as 'a new major player' even if his appearance was foreshadowed once. If Beidomon suddenly showed up, he'd also be a new major player :)

57. Randalator
Modern refugee camps are supplied with food by UN agencies, which is the only reason they get so large. Also, there are many forces working towards inflating the numbers: The refugees themselves get more food for each dead grandfather who isn't reported or each child who is counted twice; Locals who pretend to be refugees also get free rations; Aid workers feeding a camp of 100K will get more money from the UN than if their camp has just 50K; and the UN will get more money from donor nations if it claims to be feeding 20M refugees rather than 10M.

I agree that Jordan took care to put in-world explanations for the large numbers. That's certainly more than other writers do. But I think the numbers he chose are too large for the explanations he gives.

64. ZEXXES
Just because Herodotus gives you a number doesn't mean it's true.

The question is not whether there were enough people in the world. The question is whether the farming and transport efficiency were sufficiently above subsistence level to support large armies. If each adult male farmer grows 5% more food than he and his family need, then about 5% of the adult males can go off to war without everyone starving.

If you want a large army, you need a large base population, which will be spread out over a large area, and with grossly-inefficient ox-drawn transportation, most of your spare population will be dragging food and fodder to feed the few people who will be left to actually do the fighting.

If you supply your forces by sea (like Xerxes did) you will have an easier time because of the relative efficiency of sea transport, but neither Ituralde nor the borderlanders nor the Aiel are doing this.

Now Rand may have gateways but Ituralde and the borderlanders don't. And we're not even thinking about dysentery and similar diseases which usually inflicted more casualties on an army than enemy swords.
80. Wortmauer
Speaking of the Dark One, do only literate people know his name? The only way to pass that knowledge on is to name him, either in speech (which most people will not do), or in writing. So count "the true name of the Dark One" as another bit of lore that I'm surprised has survived even one Age.
There's an interesting real-world parallel here - the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton (YHWH) which is the name of the God of the Hebrews as written in the Old Testament. When it was first written down 3,000 years ago it was spoken often; At some point it became so holy it was no longer spoken aloud. And because the Hebrew alphabet contains consonants but no vowels, nobody knows for certain today what the ancient pronunciation was. The question is the source of much dispute.

Of course, if the world lurched each time you pronounced it correctly, it might have been easier to remember it over the ages. :)
Valentin M
89. ValMar
Since others are doing it, I chime in on it too, again. Huge people numbers.

Firstly, I am on the side of the posters who think the numbers are too large, in some cases. Special thanks to JLevy @ 88, for the factual arguments!
I try not to be anal in my criticisms of the books. I have said it before- RJ took more care about logistics and other "boring" aspects of wars and adventures. The Aiel are larger than life. The Borderlanders in the Braems Wood were in a winter conditions- could store food for longer (?), spread around larger than usual area for a camp, and had a bunch of AS for Healing, etc.
The other large forces assembled, Rand and AS Rebels, had Travelling. The Seanchan are fine too. The refugees with Perrin have what food the Shaido had accumulated, but no Shaido to share it with.

But Ituralde's campaigns. No way. His forces are ridiculous. The Seanchan too, IMO.
There's only one explanation possible- which actually makes sence in the build-in mechanics of WOT's world. Ituralde is wrong in his estimation of the numbers involved.
Especially the Seanchan, but his own too. His is not a professional army in a modern sence. The various nobles who contribute to his forces have the incentive to inflate their numbers. To keep their status higher, make sure they receive enough provisions, etc.
Plus, it's just hard to estimate correctly large numbers of people.
Or maybe non-combatants are included too.
Anthony Pero
90. anthonypero
@Wetlandernw:

Supposedly, there is no running water in the waste that is too large to step across. Rand took 400,000 Aiel across the waste with him, Couladin took a bunch too... they were all at Alcairdal (sp?). You're telling me, in the Waste, that there is a large enough water supply to support all these people? Also, think of how long the baggage trains would have to be for these people to eat for a week. There is no mention of any baggage trains or supply wagons for fresh food at all. I guess it doesn't mean they don't exist, but this is what people are talking about. He doesn't justify the numbers.
LM-Mage
91. MRCHalifax
I don't really have a problem with the number of refugees. Right now, in Somalia, there's about 750,000 people starving to death while a three or four sided war is being fought around them, with minimal foreign aid coming in due to the war. So far, only 10-20,000 have starved to death, with the famine having been going on for a few months in the middle of a war zone. Obviously, some modern technology is available, but it's the closest thing to a parallel situation that I can easily draw offhand. People don't just fall over and die when supermarkets cease to be availble; people will go to great lengths to survive, and eat all kinds of things that we'd generally not like to think about them eating.

England is supposed to have been around 1,000,000 people in 1086 (thank you, Domesday Book), and is believes to be around 5-7,000,000 people by around 1300 CE. England of 1300 CE and Ghealdan seem likely to be reasonably close matches, in senses technological, social, and in terms of size Ghealdan is likely larger. The idea of 100,000 refugees attaching themselves to Perrin in a population of potentially 6,000,000 doesn't seem at all unreasonable.
WOT Dragons
92. WOTNoDragons
Fork @62 & birgit @ 63

Thanks for the posts guys. It is interesting to note that RJ pretty much acknowledges that his cosmology isn’t compatible with the real world – as the extinct animal hypothesis clearly highlights. Ah well.
Curious. The concept of ever increasing change should be at odds with the circular cosmology and the idea of bounded patterns, right?
I think this point hits the nail on the head for me - definitely ‘at odds.’ I’d go further and say it’s a total contradiction. If each full rotation of the wheel brings about a repeat of an age, but within the repeated age things can be different, then technically it isn’t the same age. As Wortmauer @74 also points out; in that it just wouldn’t be possible to distinguish between age boundaries, and if a repeating age can have differences - who’s to even say that it is a repeated age? Just a ‘very similar’ age to an age long past, an age yet to come - - blah etc.

A quick thought experiment. You decided in say the AoL, that you’d fill a stasis box with goodies and put it somewhere ultra secret, very geologically stable (just pretend no chance of LTT style Breakings to damage it) and in a safe out of the way place - like a cave in Antarctica. Then 7 ages later, when the AoL repeated, you (having been reborn as the same person in the same age) would, (at the same relative time) choose to make the same decision: fill a stasis box with goodies – etc etc. Except that when you got it to your cave in Antarctica, an identical (but much older) stasis box with all your goodies would already be there waiting for you! But of course you noticed this the first time – but there wasn’t a first time! There was/is an infinite number of Stasis boxes waiting! Aaahhg!!
Quick – someone let the bloody DO out so we can end this. ;-)

Wortmauer @80
Either the Heroes eventually die or retire (like wolves, the other dead residents of T'A'R that would otherwise eventually fill it to the brim), or they are not bound to the Wheel forever, but only through part of a single turning — two or three Ages, say. I like this latter theory.
So do I! - I don’t think my brain can cope with any more WOT conceptualizing!

@72 Lol. Was the Python mini-quote intended? Made me laugh anyway.

JD @ 79
Fair enough. Sad/Dom bands = cuendillar. IIRC, the Tanchico bracelets were taken by Suroth having been seized from Domon’s ship, but who then made the copies? I thought that a’dam were the only ter’angreal that the Seanchan could make and also a’dam aren’t made of cuendillar. So presumably the Sad/Dom band copies, being made of cuendillar, must have been made by one of the Forsaken?

Tathas @66
But you're right, he's not a lord. So, really, there's no reason at all for any of those people who call him that to do so. They are clearly out of their minds.
No need for sarcasm. I wasn’t suggesting that his followers were misguided or wrong to call him a lord or treat him as one. They need Perrin to behave as a lord and show leadership. I was just pointing out a technicality: that no amount of popular support will “enact” his lordship - only a sovereign king or queen could, and so far this hasn’t happened.

@KiManiak
Elayne already made Perrin and his line “Steward of the Dragon Reborn.” You want her to make him a lord on top of that? :-)
I must have dozed off when reading this bit – when did this happen? I recall a Morgase POV in TOM wherein she thinks Perrin a rebel for raising his standards, but she’d abdicated by then - so I guess her thoughts are not really germane.
Sam Mickel
93. Samadai
The population numbers can be explained quite easily. Just looking at our own world. The mid 14th century the world population was in the 350 to 450 million people range, these are estimates of after and before the black plague affected the world(known world of the time). In terms of like time periods, this would be equivalent( for the most part). Taking a look at just Europe, which I would guess is equivalent to Randland. Europe had a population of anywhere from 75 to 200 million people, so it is plausible that Randland has 20% of that, so anywhere from 15 to 40 million people. Just look at the prevalence of children among the two rivers people. Egwenes parents had 4 or 5 children, Perrins had the same, Mats had 3. It is very common during this time to have as many children as you can, to help out. As for supplies, it was common to grow more supplies than you need, so you could trade for what you want. if half of your land will feed you for all year, then you raise the other half to sell, trade or whatever.
Look at Tear. in their granaries they had more wheat than they could sell, or use for several years.
As for the Aiel waste, and water sources. Rand finds AN OCEAN of water underneath Rhuidean. An OCEAN of water. Now since I am no expert on what qualifies as an ocean, but understand it is alot of water, all that water is going to force its way up to the surface someway, hence any crack, slit whatever can become a spring. Just going off of a little geography I learned of India. I will have to look it up again, cause I cant remember the name of the Plateau, but it is fed by an enormous underground water system practically the whole way to the OCean, several hundred miles long, and wide. Now understand that the waste is roughly the size of Randland. There is plenty of water out there for a large population, you just have to find it. And with the Wise ones dreamers able to find it with need, you could continue to grow.
So to sum up, there is plenty of reasons why the populations could be high enough to support these large armies.

(references and bibliography available on request)
Roger Powell
94. forkroot
WOTnoDragons@92
I thought that a’dam were the only ter’angreal that the Seanchan could make and also a’dam aren’t made of cuendillar. So presumably the Sad/Dom band copies, being made of cuendillar, must have been made by one of the Forsaken?
I have always assumed that Semirhage made the copies.
Quick – someone let the bloody DO out so we can end this. ;-)
I think you've explained Ishamael/Moridin's motivation!
Jay Dauro
95. J.Dauro
As I remember, we have had BWS confirm that the Seanchen can only make a'dam. So where do the bloodknife ter'angreal come from also? I gues we RAFO.
Hugh Arai
96. HArai
samadai@93: I don't think it's really the concept of there being that many people that posters are objecting to. At least that's not what twinges for me. The trick is not that the areas involved can't support that many people, the trick is that all the food and water in that area doesn't move from place to place by itself. For instance, perhaps the Waste can support 400,000 people. But the idea that there are sufficent stockpiles of food and especially water so that 400,000 people can force march (at crazy Aiel pace no less) for days away from their holds, and then stay at Alcair'Dal for days is definitely stretching bounds of disbelief. Each Aiel warrior would not only have to be able to march at high speeds but do it while carrying a huge amount of food and water. You can't move armies at that pace and forage for sufficient food and water, especially in a desert. There's no time for the herding/farming/water-collecting that could keep that population alive at their holds.

Logistics is hard . RJ served in Vietnam and went to a military college. I think he had to be aware of this and simply fudged a bit to tell an "epic-scale" story. It twinges for some people and not for others.
WOT Dragons
97. WOTNoDragons
My 2c’s re people numbers.

I think a lot depends on the weather. AP @ 90 makes a really valid point about the Waste though; it is a harsh landscape where food is just not that abundant - either game or arable. So 500k people marching in the blistering heat with no supply train is a stretch for the old suspension of disbelief.

But in contrast, refugees in the wetlands - supported by mounted troops (eg Perrin and co) in a ‘normal’ spring or summer would not have too much hardship in foraging/hunting for food. An army either dug in (like Ituralde’s at Darluna,) or on the move, would in normal weather conditions have a relatively easy time (imo) in foraging for supplies. The real world example that springs to my mind is Sherman marching his 60k strong army from Atlanta to the sea. He was unable to be logistically supported or supplied via mechanised transport, yet his army successfully foraged and remained self-sufficient for over a month crossing some fairly inhospitable terrain.

On the other hand it only takes a couple of harsh winters lingering into spring, or back-to-back droughts, (or locusts, bugs etc) to really start famine if the infrastructure is pre-industrial. Consider Ireland in the mid 19th c. where a million + people died as a result of the Potato Blight.

In-story at this point the Randland winter 2 years ago lasted well into spring (tEoTW) and this must have disrupted harvests and crop yields. Then there was the long hot dry spell that was only broken by using the BoWs. So this drought must also have taken its toll on food production as well. Randlanders haven’t really had time to recover from these two weather events and now there is war and strife all over the place, as well as the DO’s influence spoiling food.

So in ‘normal’ circumstances I think the numbers would be workable with the logistics that RJ has already previously shown us in-story. But the last 2 years have been far from normal, so I think that wide-spread hunger/ borderline famine would be much more of an issue in TGS (for both armies and civilians) than has been revealed.
Birgit
98. birgit
Elayne already made Perrin and his line “Steward of the Dragon Reborn.” You want her to make him a lord on top of that? :-)
I must have dozed off when reading this bit – when did this happen?
Perrin and Faile met Elayne in ToM ch. 47 and negotiated the status of the Two Rivers.
Sam Mickel
99. Samadai
HArai@96, I see what you mean, I guess it doesn't bother me not knowing those details. I just assume they happen. For the Aiel, I just assumed after 2 thousand or so years of being in the waste they have the know how of how to travel, and how best to carry their supplies, food, water, etc.
It is funny how some people can complain about the length of some of the story, but others want more detail to explain away things like logistics. (I am amused for myself, not to be condescending to anyone.)
I am one of those that when reading gets totally engrossed in a story, and nothing pushes me out ( except annoying life distractions).

uptostuff @78
that was in The Mallorean when The group is in Kell, discussing the possibility of a group mind for the Dalasians.
Funny enough, Eddings included talk of logistics in his books.
Sam Mickel
100. Samadai
Just because I am here and I noticed it. 100 is mine. WOT WOT

wotnodragons @ 98

Remember when Rand went to Cold Rocks hold? The Aiel were growing all kinds of crops in terraced areas all over the place. corn, tomatoes, etc.
so they know how to grow crops in the waste
Hugh Arai
101. HArai
samadai@99: I'm of two minds on the subject. One, I really enjoy reading either real stories of how people actually managed the logistics and still fought the campaigns or military fiction that really does take it into account. Two, if I enjoy the story otherwise I just pretend in my head the numbers are smaller like someone else mentioned up thread.

samadai@100:
Remember when Rand went to Cold Rocks hold? The Aiel were growing all kinds of crops in terraced areas all over the place. corn, tomatoes, etc. so they know how to grow crops in the waste.

They do. But they keep and protect the hold specifically because that's a place they can grow the crops they need. Can they turn those crops into really really light travel food that can last for weeks? And can they stockpile weeks worth of water in a traveling form? That's the question, and the odds are the answer is no.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
Aladdin_Sane @ 87 – If you’re a trained programmer, you should know that the newer your cool gadget is, the less likely it is to work with pre-existing systems. It’s far more reasonable to assume that they haven’t figured out how to make the existing comment box work with G+1 yet, than that they wasted programming effort on deliberately excluding a new gizmo.

Sam - I'm with you. I assume that after this many centuries in the Waste, the Aiel know how to manage their provisions, and we don't need to be shown/told just how they're doing it. Now that would disrupt the story line, right when the tension is building to the Alcair Dal showdown. Showing us their crops in Cold Rocks Hold fits right in with the POV observations, but it would be out of place at Alcair Dal. It shouldn't be hard to imagine ways those crops could be dried and carried for travel provisions... this is a desert, for crying out loud. One great big dehydrator.
Hugh Arai
103. HArai
birgit@98: But that comes after he essentially accepts he's been tapped to be a leader and is willing to step up. After he forges Mah'alleinir.
So it's lousy evidence of why he should have considered himself a lord earlier.
Hugh Arai
104. HArai
wetlandernw@102: Well I won't insist it must bug you or samadai if you'll accept there's reasons it does bug some people. Fair?
Mark Locy
105. Tathas
92. WOTnoDragons
No need for sarcasm. I wasn’t suggesting that his followers were misguided or wrong to call him a lord or treat him as one. They need Perrin to behave as a lord and show leadership. I was just pointing out a technicality: that no amount of popular support will “enact” his
lordship - only a sovereign king or queen could, and so far this hasn’t happened.
I apologize. Sometimes, the sarcasm just comes out, and I should rein it in.


What I am trying to convey is that, really, my opinion is that Perrin doesn't need Elayne's support to become a lord. I think he's one already, for all intents and purposes (despite Elayne and despite Perrin).

Yes, in that technicality, to be an officially recognized Lord of Andor, or Steward of Two Rivers, he needs Elayne's recognition. But I think it's semantics to say he isn't a lord when he's doing everything a lord does and is, quite literally, destined to do it.
LM-Mage
106. MRCHalifax
@HArai

I agree that logistics is hard, but I don't think that Jordan needed to fudge to create an epic story. If anything, I think that other creators of fantasy fiction tend to fudge low. Take Minis Tirith or Edoras or in the Lord of the Rings film adaption - when I saw them, my first reaction was "OK, where's the rest of it?" Further, even in ancient times, armies could be huge. The army that Xerxes raised for the invasion of Greece in 480 BC is generally held among modern scholars to be about 250,000 soliders (of note though, the low-ball estimate from contemporary sources is 800,000, and Herodotus gives the number as being 2,500,000).

Jordan would have been quite familiar with the problems of logistics, but he also likely would be aware that not everyone requires logistics like the US military. I can't find the source of this off-hand, but I seem to recall reading that in the Pacific campaign of WWII there was an average of two tons of supplies for every US soldier, and two pounds of supplies for every Japanese soldier. Similar numbers applied in Vietnam, and continue to apply in Afghanistan.
Valentin M
107. ValMar
I don't think people wanted RJ to have written detailed explanation on logistics. Just some of the figures not to be so large. He already addressed the issue many times so I personally am fine with it. The Aiel are a breed apart. If we bother about their supplies, then that will be just the tip of the iceberg. They are Aiel, period.

The only real problem I have is with Arad Doman's numbers. Elayne said that Andor has in total about 200 000 men, including the levies. Andor is much bigger. It is also the richest one in Randland. Ituralde has his troops grow like mushrooms after rain.

As for various examples. If people insist on RL examples, 15-16 century Europe is where they should be looking. Better than WWI,II, US Civil War, or the vast Persian Empire of Ancient times.
Hugh Arai
108. HArai
MRCHalifax@106: Fair enough. I hope modern scholars don't generally hold that Xerxes's army ran all the way to Greece though :) I'm pretty hazy on that invasion but weren't there water-based lines of support? And in Afghanistan how often do/did the Taliban coordinate groups of 400,000 troops? In any event, it doesn't make me pitch the book against the wall. Like I said upthread, it twinges me and then I tell it to go away because I'm enjoying the story.
Kimani Rogers
109. KiManiak
WotNo@92 – As I recall, when Elayne finally met with Perrin (and Faile) to discuss the whole “Lord of the 2 Rivers” thing, I believe that the compromise was to grant the 2 Rivers to the Dragon Reborn (and by extension his line; crafty of Elayne to ensure control stays in the Royal family via her kids) and to make Perrin and his line Steward to the Dragon Reborn and in charge of the 2 Rivers, with additional powers/prestige. Elayne wanted one of Perrin’s kids to be betrothed to one of her kids; Perrin said no, let the kids decide for themselves; etc.

I believe its in A Teaching Chamber (Chapter 47) of ToM but I don’t have the books with me and Google Books has chosen not to show that chapter in its preview. But yeah, Perrin is Steward of the 2 Rivers, or however that title goes.

EDIT: darnit, I need to read the other comments fully before I respond. Birgit@98 answered this already. Well, since it feeds into my next paragraph, I’ll just let this stand…

HArai@103 – Yes, this happens after Perrin accepts his responsibilities. My comments@76 (and by extension birgit@98 and WoTno@92) were a result of Wotno@61’s comment that he would like to see Elayne make Perrin a lord in AMoL.
Sam Mickel
110. Samadai
HArai, I do get that it will bother some people, and I accept it. Not everyone can be as awesome as I am. ;) Just kidding, you could be! :D
Anthony Pero
111. anthonypero
Samdai@93:
Removed because others have already covered it.
Sam Mickel
113. Samadai
AnthonyPero,
Oh sure remove your post after I made all this bs up. :D
I get what you are talking about, sorry if I didn't make it clear. It is just one of those things that I am just as happy that they werent included in the books, not tht they aren't important information, but not really necesary (in my opinion) for the story
Would we enjoy reading about the Aiel grist(not sure grist applies to corn) millers and how they grind corn down and create tortilla type foods that last for weeks, or cereals. Or about how hard the wagon train master is worrying about getting his wagons through the muddy ruts. We do have one at least one, actually a few, examples. When Mat is leaving the town where he meets Olver, it is mentioned that his supply ships were traveling the river.

HArai, good, you had me worried for a moment. ;)
Anthony Pero
114. anthonypero
Wetlandernw@102:

The question isn't can they create these foods as much as HOW are they transporting it? Aiel move fast... much faster than a wagon train. How are they traveling at those speeds and bringing along enough food to survive more than a few weeks, when all they can bring is what they carry on their bodies?
Stefan Mitev
115. Bergmaniac
The Aiel march to Cairhien is the least plausible thing in the books from logistical point of view IMO. Three separate groups of them, numbering around 600 000 fighters in total, and who knows how many gai'shain, Wise Ones, etc, went this way. It took them about a month - first through the Waste, then through the war ravaged Cairhien, where there already was a famine, yet somehow remained well fed throughout.
Anthony Pero
116. anthonypero
Like I said earlier, I can buy all the logistics in this series with the exception of the Aiel. They don't make sense to me. It doesn't bother me though. I jumped in this thread to mostly say they were solid (the logistics of the super large armies). What makes it impossible to have those numbers for Aiel is the speed at which their armies move. And the sheer numbers at Al'Cair'Dal. And if I remember correctly, both Rand and Couladin did a forced march from Cold Rocks Hold to the Bowl. The tried to arrive as quickly as possible. There's just no way ANY region of the Waste (outside of post-tFoH Rheiudan) has enough available to support the kinds of nubmers we're talking about gathered in one spot without everyone bringing a bunch of water with them. And unless the Aiel were all carrying the water barrels on their backs, that means wagon trains. Which would have been left behind both at Cold Rocks Hold and again when the Aiel left the Waste.
Valentin M
117. ValMar
tony @ 116

Can you explain to me the logistics of Ituralde's army then? Whilst I am a bit snarky here, I will be genuinely pleased if someone explains away the problem for me. It will give me one thing less to bitch about, and I don't like bitching :)
Actually I love whining, must've caught it from the locals in the UK. But there are things which I go out of my way to give the benefit of the doubt and WOT is one of them.
Birgit
118. birgit
And unless the Aiel were all carrying the water barrels on their backs, that means wagon trains. Which would have been left behind both at Cold Rocks Hold and again when the Aiel left the Waste.

Kadere's wagons had water barrels and transported ter'angreal like the doorframe. How were they fast enough to keep up with running Aiel in the Waste? There probably weren't any paved roads.
Anthony Pero
119. anthonypero
@ Birgit: Yeah, I know... it's a bit unrealistic.

@ValMar: Please refer me back to your beef with Ituralde. I'm too lazy to find it :)
j p
120. sps49
MRCHalifax @106-

Your numbers are too extreme, but note that the Japanese were terrible at getting supplies to where they were needed (logistics) and the results included warships deprived of oil and tens of thousands of soldiers dead of starvation. The numbers of Japanese lost at Guadalcanal alone from insufficient supplies is astounding.

Vietnam and Afghanistan are similar to each other in that both were theaters where the US would need a large "tail" just to get equivalent amounts of supplies to those overseas locations. The actual large disparity in the US' favor precluded both opponents from facing off with them in the open field at all.

These armies and groups of refugees are not in today's world with the food surpluses we have. They are sitting still (often) and not raising any food in conditions which required real world armies to keep moving or starve. Locust hordes don't stay in one place; neither did preindustrial armies.

I'm not asking for explanations of where everybody's food comes from in Randland- just stop telling me higher and higher numbers in the combat forces (and higher and higher levels for channelers!).
Jay Dauro
121. J.Dauro
ValMar

You could not have caught it from them, they don't whine, they whinge. :-)
Hugh Arai
122. HArai
birgit@118: Which only illustrates that the Aiel clans should not be represented as being able to move as fast and as far as they do unless they and all the peddlers working the Waste also have knowledge of "super wagons" and "super livestock" to pull them. The peddlers were using oxen right? A quick glance at Wikipedia (since I'm not a teamster) tells me oxen move slower than the horses Aiel keep pointing out are slower than they are. At least the Fremen ride speedy giant Worms that can carry everything, oops wrong series, wrong super desert people :) But hey at least the Aiel have regular access to Healing to fight the diseases having that you'd otherwise expect for that many people grouped together. Sort of wondering why those haven't hit the main Randland populations what with the famine, drought and rats being not just prevalent but actively spread by Team Dark. It's not like we've been hearing about the Aes Sedai CDC.
Valentin M
123. ValMar
anthony @ 119

@ 107 basically. I'll expand. According to Elayne, Andor has altogether aprox 200 000 fighting men including levies. Spread all over the place. This is the best figure we have in the books for an overall strenght of a nation, IIRC. The other snippets of info fit this figure pretty well, without talking about the Seanchan and Aiel.
Andor is much larger and wealthier nation than AD. It is actually the largest and wealthiest South of the Borderlands, including AD. Besides AD being smaller and less rich, it has been a failed state for some time.
So when Ituralde still had 100 000 men left with him after his campaign in Tarabon...

J.Dauro @ 121

Ah yes, I think I got it from Frasier. "Wine Mr Crane? Well wouldn't you :( !?". Or something like that.
Thomas Keith
124. insectoid
Wow... you guys even got Wetlander to digress! I'm impressed. ::ducks::

This circular cosmology is pretty heavy stuff; makes my brain hurt if I think about it too long. Kudos to RJ for making it work out! (Thanks for the quotes,birgit.)

anthonypero @56: ::eyeroll::

ZEXXES @64: Don't let our suggestions of reading earlier posts deter you from asking questions here. This is one of the most flexible and open-minded groups I've ever known; we usually don't mind answering silly or redundant questions. Most of us aren't as rudely insistent as you suggest.

Sub @69: LOL!!

Wetlander @85:
But if a rolling stone gathers no moss, can a turning wheel gather more lace?
Does a spinning disk drive gather more bytes? ;)

Wetlander @102:
If you’re a trained programmer, you should know that the newer your cool gadget is, the less likely it is to work with pre-existing systems.
Yeah, what she said.

999 comments on the wall...
Bzzz™.
LM-Mage
125. Wortmauer
WOTnoDragons@92: Lol. Was the Python mini-quote intended? Made me laugh anyway.
I'll ... let you decide whether it's possible to use words "watery tart lobs" by accident. (: Now, given the chance, would Dennis have voted for Perrin?
Wetlandernw@85: FWIW, the Horn is older than the second age; the inscription was added during the AOL for some unknown reason.
Now that I did not know. I presume it's from the BBoBA, which I don't have.
As for its construction, RJ said only “You might say that mortals made the Horn of Valere. They certainly weren’t gods.” So… who really made it? Not gods, but it sounds like it probably wasn’t made by humans either.
More fodder for speculation. Although, RJ's statement is awfully vague. "Mortals," not necessarily human, and it's implied that it happens in an Age we have exactly zero knowledge of. I suppose it's too much to hope the Horn was crafted by a prior incarnation of either Bela or Narg.
Hugh Arai
126. HArai
Wortmauer@125: Possibly Narg. Everyone knows Bela is the Dark One.
Sam Mickel
127. Samadai
The Horn of Valere was accidentally created when they first used Subs Bowl of Winds. Thats why you always see a thick fog..........

*flees for bunker*
LM-Mage
128. Wortmauer
JonathanLevy@88: There's an interesting real-world parallel here - the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton (YHWH) which is the name of the God of the Hebrews as written in the Old Testament. When it was first written down 3,000 years ago it was spoken often; At some point it became so holy it was no longer spoken aloud. And because the Hebrew alphabet contains consonants but no vowels, nobody knows for certain today what the ancient pronunciation was. The question is the source of much dispute.
Huh. I've occasionally wondered exactly that: how do we know how to pronounce the name we sometimes render as Jehovah or Yahweh, given the lack of vowel markings in ancient Hebrew? The obvious answer — we don't — never really occurred to me. I assumed you could figure it out from grammatical context. I don't actually know any Semitic languages, but I read something vague about one of them (Arabic?) awhile back that implied that you can infer the correct vowels from parts of speech and perhaps grammatical inflections. That is, a stem is defined solely by its consonants, and the vowels you put around it all depend on what context you want to use it in.

Mind you, I have no idea if my information is true, and if so, what bearing it has on how to pronounce YHWH. I just find it interesting that apparently this thing I've wondered about is actually something real scholars wonder about too.

Anyway, it occurs to me that you could warn your children never to pronounce the Dark One's name, by giving it to them one syllable at a time. Still, it seems like it would be better to just not tell them his name at all. What's the chance of ever saying it by accident, after all? After a few generations, nobody would know it. The Dark One's name was presumably learned some time after the Bore was drilled, but I'm surprised it's still known 3000+ years later.
Anthony Pero
129. anthonypero
ValMar@123:

How do we know that Andor is larger, population-wise? It's wealthier, to be certain, because of the mines the crown owns in the Mountains of Mist. If Andor is larger in population, then that's a mistake on RJs part anyway. Habitable coastal regions are always more populated than continental interiors. And, Almost all of Andor and Cairhien north of Caemlyn is uninhabited, or all rural, with farmsteads spread out for miles until the borderlands.

Ituralde also has thousands upon thousands of refugees who fled Tarabon fighting with him.
Anthony Pero
130. anthonypero
Look at how many people, even our heros, actually do name the DO, though... not to mention, there are Darkfriends all around, and Ishmael was never truly bound. But yes, the fact that it is common knowledge is strange. It must be fine to write it down.
LM-Mage
131. MRCHalifax
sps49
I'm not disputing that the US had a larger tail, and far superior ability to deliver supplies to its troops. That much is certain. I'm just pointing out that very large armies can operate with minimal supplies, for a time. And large groups of refugees can survive with very little, for a time. In the Tet offensive, the Viet Cong brought 3-550,000 fighters), with minimal logistical support. And as I mentioned earlier, there are about 750,000 refugees in Somalia right now, starving to death, and have been for the last few months.

Basically, I have no problem with the idea that a nation with a pre-war population that was probably around five to seven million people could generate several hundred thousand refugees. And if several hundred thousand refugees were generated, a hundred thousand or so of the most useful could attach themselves to a person who's a magnet for useful things.

For the rest, the ta'veren are going to draw what they need to them. Rand's first stop was Tear, and we've been beat over the head through the series that its graineries are bursting - he's been feeding multiple nations with the produce of Tear, using the Sea Folk, gateways, and Tairen lords to ensure delivery. When it comes to army availability, we should again assume that the Pattern is going to try to put nations into a total war footing or something like it - evidence within the series indicates that that's not so far off. If we assume that the nations of the world are roughly equivilent population-wise to medieval European nations (basically, between 2,000,000 and 10,000,000, depending on the nation), having armies of 100,000 to 500,000 from typical wetlands nations is entirely realistic, given the circumstances. The Aiel would have a higher proportion, allowing for more soldiers, due to the highly militaristic nature of that people.

The only armues that really annoys me are the Aiel trips to Al'Cair'Dal and Cairhien mentioned anthonypero above, and the Borderlander juant down to Far Madding. The Borderlanders can be handwaved away to some extent with the assumption that a) they're bringing enough supplies for an extended trip, and b) that once they reached Far Madding they would be able to buy supplies there. If the Pattern arranged for a large surplus from the surrounding area, I could see it.
Anthony Pero
132. anthonypero
Wort@128:

Also, your post reminds me of my favorite line from the original Pirates of the Carribean, which goes something like this:

Prisoner: Its the Black Pearl! They say (a bunch of nasty stuff) and leaves no survivors!

Jack Sparrow: No survivors, eh? Then where do all the stories come from, Mate?
Anthony Pero
133. anthonypero
The Borderlanders don't bother me at all because the practically crawled all the way to Far madding, and they have the resources of four nations behind them. They would have been able to bring plenty of rations with them, and finding fresh water isn't a problem, like in the Waste.
Thomas Keith
134. insectoid
HArai @126: I thought Bela was the Creator? Or has that been obscured by myth, legend, etc., too?

Sam @127: ROFL!! XD

anthonypero @132: Per IMDb:
Man in Jail: The Black Pearl? I've heard stories. She's been preying on ships and settlements for near ten years. Never leaves any survivors.
Jack Sparrow: No survivors? Then where do the stories come from, I wonder?
;)

1000th comment, weeeeee!
BzzzofthewatchingtheWorldSeriesAiel™.
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
HArai @104 – Eminently fair! With issues that simply bug people about the writing, worldbuilding, etc., I’m usually okay with it bugging them as long as they don’t try to make me feel stupid when it doesn’t bug me. (Not that you do. Some do, or at least it reads that way, but… oh well. I have a thick enough skin that it doesn’t hurt my feelings, but IIRC I’ve been known to blast people for it anyway, just because.)

anthonypero @114 – My point wasn’t that they could create the food. My point was that the Aiel have lived in the Waste for centuries, and I personally make the assumption that they have figured out how to take adequate provisions along at an acceptable speed. I don’t need to know the details of how they do it, other than as a minor point of interest. The reason I brought up (subsequent to someone else’s comment) the crops in Cold Rocks Hold was that, IMO, observations about how the Aiel raise food fit into the context of Rand & co. arriving at their first Aiel hold; it didn’t disrupt the story line or feel like an infodump. However, dragging in a count of all the provisioning (if it were even visible on the ride in) while the tension was mounting with their arrival at Alcair Dal would have been poor storytelling. They’re riding in, counting the ones who have already arrived, discovering that some of the clan chiefs are already inside with their honor guards; the Shaido are already there, things are getting tense, what will they do next? Oh, yeah, if I were Rand I’d totally be looking around to try to figure out where they got their water and how they hauled their food along. Not. As a reader, I don’t want that kind of stuff to interrupt a building climax. I'll just assume that, as they’ve been traveling with the Aiel for a few weeks, any curiosity Our Heroes had about such things has been satisfied without actual comment. At the least, the POV characters had far more on their minds than wondering how the Aiel could feed & water so many in one place; if it doesn’t fit in the POV, it doesn’t fit. Then you’re stuck with an infodump – and like I said, I’d resent that far more than the lack of explanation.

birgit @118 – I’m pretty sure they weren’t running the whole time. And IIRC, the wagons had some doing to catch up every day.

Insectoid @124 – I tug my braid in your general direction. ;)

Wortmauer @125 – It’s from Maria, actually, during an interview at JordanCon 2010. I scrounged it up in Terez’s interview database, from the section on The Horn and the Heroes. As for “mortals”… I think he tossed that in just to drive us crazy. It was on his blog in response to an email question. Could have been made by Ogier, I suppose; can’t think of any other races it might have been. Maybe they carry it back and forth between Randland and wherever the Book of Translation takes them. Or maybe there are other races that show up in other Ages.

Sam @127 – ::snort::

Literally – I did. Good thing I wasn’t drinking anything.
Anthony Pero
136. anthonypero
wetlandernw@135:

I think what's bothering people about it is that there is no way for the Aiel to pull it off. It's just not possible given their level of technology, with no magical explanation given. Many, many people on the blog are much smarter about logistics than I am, and that's probably why they are more bugged by it than I am.

It's not a matter of infodumping in an explanation. If there was one, the people who love this story would be more than happy to rationalize it themselves. The problem is they are trying, and failing, and being thrown out of the story slightly, because its not possible, and there is no in-story reason that has been given. (Grammar Nazis, please excuse my run on sentence.)

Once again, the issue isn't should Robert Jordan have given us an infodump explaining how it was possible. It's that he (probably) never came up with a way in his own mind to make it possible, and just randomly threw out a huge number without thinking through all of the ramifications... which is pretty common in fantasy. It's just not common at all for Robert Jordan. His level of detail and thouroughness is off the charts. (By the way, if I spelled thouroughness wrong, I misspelled it so thouroughly that my spell checker isn't catching it. It sure as hell looks wrong! Can a spelling Nazi please come and tell me if I spelled it right or not? Be useful, spelling Nazi!)

For me personally, that's why i find the conversation interesting. Robert Jordan would know something about logistics, and he's incredibly detail oriented, and seems to take great care regarding scale (unlike some other multimillion dollar best selling fantasy novelist I could name)... so why not here? What are we missing? Apparently nothing. Which is... strange.
JAMES MCCLELLAN
137. ZEXXES
My thoughts about Army size and logistics.

Having an active duty army is different than putting out into the field a full scale army. An active duty army is one that has been basically trained and more than likely are in a permanent state of training, if it is a decent army. The reservists of that army usually are older fellows and veterens of past campaigns some of whom are not needed for the training of the active duty troops. These reservists when on duty usually provide bodies for guard details or logistical operations. This is very unlike our modern armies where they have streamlined their effeciency well enough that for the most part the active duty troops run like butter without help from the reservists. But most armies aren't so wealthy as our modern army here in the USA.

For an army such as the Aiel's, the reservists are elderly and the families at home. With a society such as theirs where they have small self supporting communities who train there young in martial arts all the way up through adulthood, they have no need for militia, only scouts to patrol their territory. Their whole society is an army with out civilian support. They don't need supply trains. They take what they need as they go. It's all a part of the looting structure.

Andors army is composed of an active fighting army, a militia and veterens composing their reserve. All told they have 200,000 troops they could put to the field almost immediately. But they could probably over the next 3 months put to field another 20,000 per month after that first 3 month training period. Dependent on the population size, the city and its surrounding area could put to field and feed 400,000 troops for the first year. If they do a kingdom wide call they could put another 200,000 during the last months of the year if they streamlined and trained in remote locations and then sent to the frontlines from there. Thats just Andor.

Now with the Aiel, if you took the wastes as a whole, Shaido included, they could probably put to field twice that number as they did when Rands Aiel army left the wastes and the Shaido followed. And they a great deal back at home. Thats anywhere from 800,000 to 1,200,000 troops...which is scary considering that they are Aiel.

Even scarier is the amount of troops the Seanchan have in the field currently. Ituralde is fighting force of what 200,000 vs. his 40,000. They have a force in Ebou Dar of what is probably 200,000. Then there is the naval forces. It wouldn't surprise me if they have anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000 fielded on foot alone. And they have with the Shaido Wisewomen included, close to 1000 chanelers now.

Then there is the Tower standing army, whats that 200,000 to 300,000 with Brynes army absorbed? Tears army. The Sheinarians. Whatever Lan's army will workout to be. Tarabon. The Whitecloaks. It goes on and on. So team light could potentialy be around 2mill minimum to 4 mill at the max with all out forces put to field. I think thats conservitive so we'll have to wait and see when AMoL hits the shelves.

Looking at it that way you can see the numbers are there if accounted for with non-active non reservists included. And they are beginning to be included in the case of Brynes army picking up troops along the way. Whitecloaks recruiting as they do. Bashere's Army.

And lets not forget Mats ragtag that hasn't completly formed yet. Perrins army also, how many does Perrin have? We could be talking about Team Light marching or Traveling to Shayol Gul with 4 or 5 mill or more. But if we get conservative lets say 2-3 mill.

Thats a lot. That gives a population of 20-30 mill in just that continent of the world, if not more.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
anthony - Thoroughness. One extra u can make it look all fuunny. :)

As to the actual content... I suppose you're right in terms of why it bugs people; if it's a thing you think about, and you can't think of a way it can possibly work, it would be annoying. I like my way better: if you find yourself thinking too hard about it, close one eye, tilt head slightly to the right, say firmly, "I'm sure they have it all figured out" - and barrel on through the story. I don't like it when my fantasy gives me headaches, so I just don't let it. :)

Okay, that's enough out of me tonight. I'm obviously slipping sideways again.

(P.S. - macster, if you're out there, please go look at part 5, post 178. Please?)
Chris R
139. up2stuff
I get what is bugging some of the posters here. Stuff like Seanchan forces wake up one morning, and 200,000 soldiers, horses, lopar, raken, and elephants, travel 100 miles in what, 12 hours?. Then they sit down at camps with tents, corrals for mounts, campfires and supper all magically in place.

Or half a million Aiel running 200 miles in one day with only 1-2 waterskins each that they can all fill each night. Or maybe they have flying oxen that can pull water tankers like Kadere had and keep up.

I choose not to worry about it because of what several have noted. I would not want Mr. Jordan to pay as much attention to detail as he was prone to . Face it, something this complex for each different force we see would have probably been worth another book. There is enough dry detail already. MANY posters have complained about this before. Some of those very people are complaining about the lack of detail here. I say, WTF? Not asking anyone to stop or anything, and if this bugs you, it bugs you. Just seems a bit, ...SHEESH!
WOT Dragons
140. WOTNoDragons
@ birgit @ 108 & KiManak @109

Jeez, I can’t believe I had no recall of TOM c47 at all! ::hangs head in shame::
It’s weird that the most recent book is the one I seem to recall the least. I guess maybe it’s because the awesome parts drown out the more subtle moments? Not sure, but I can see an earnest re-read of TOM is in order pour moi!

Tathas @ 105
Apology more than accepted although I wasn’t expecting one and didn’t think it necessary. Re my point above; - if anything I should apologise. There I was, sounding off as to how Elaine would make Perrin a lord in aMoL, having completely overlooked the fact that the scene I was rooting for had more or less already happened!

Wortmauer @125
I'll ... let you decide whether it's possible to use words "watery tart lobs" by accident. (: Now, given the chance, would Dennis have voted for Perrin?
--- hmm yes, probably not an accident. :-)
Dennis voting for Perrin? Not a chance! He would probably say more or less the same thing to Perrin as he did to Arthur.
“Oh, 'my lord' is it? Very nice. And how'd you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not cos you’re mates with some mad bloke what thinks he’s been reborn as a lizard!”
Tess Laird
141. thewindrose
Well I guess we know where Demandred has been hanging out - Logistics Director for the Aiel. (It's considered to be 1/2 step below the Car'a'carn position.) Apparently, from Rand's PoV, he just isn't that concerned about how to ensure the troops are fed and where they need to be, otherwise he would have found a big suprise - heh;) I predict Mat will take down Demandred though a stunning show of superior logistics wherewithal, and will then have another hat to wear...

I am on the same page as Balwer - why is Perrin inspecting and fixing wagon wheels. This totally fits in with his character, but it is frustrating. Also, I was waiting for Faile to give Elayne the beatdown when Elayne gave Perrin the 'Steward for the Lord Dragon' title.

tempest™
Tess Laird
143. thewindrose
RobMRobM at 142 -
@142. "Bloody peasant"
"Hey Rob,(nervous smile flickers on my face)I think you should have some of this fine wine."

**to others in the bunker - yes he is definitely showing signs of taint madness and Nynaeve isn't here.**

tempest™
Sam Mickel
144. Samadai
Well, since we have all gone quiet. Anyone getting dressed up for Halloween, and what costume are you wearing?
Nadine L.
145. travyl
Huh - I finally caught up on you guys reading the comments on this thread. -
Let me add a small comment concerning Wortmauer's post (@128) about pronounciation of acient languages: I don't know about Hebrew but in school, our latin teacher made us specifically read texts which would stir "the wrath of the grammar and spelling Nazis" (*) because spelling errors are a way to find out how some dead people may have pronounced their words.
(*) quoted from anthonypero (@31 and 136): I wouldn't bother all that much. Every mistake we make, could be useful, if this thread were to be uncovered in a stasis box in another age, supposing all dictionaries with phonetic explanation were destroyed.

BTW: The "insider jokes" really tempt me to go back to the beginning to read all the comments from books 1-11 (until halfway through KoD, I only read Leigh's comments) - but the wheel turns and I have no idea where to find the time for such a feat -
Once more, thanks to all the posters who explain smaller problems again and / or reference to former discussions (for example birgit @59), it is appreciated.
And of course thanks to Leigh - I do enjoy your reRead.
LM-Mage
146. s'rEDIT
anthonypero@ 136: Uh-oh . . . better go into your spell checker's "dictionary" and eliminate the misspellings thourough,
thouroughly, and thouroughness, which must at some point have been added by overriding the checks.
Don Barkauskas
147. bad_platypus
anthonypero @130:
Look at how many people, even our heros, actually do name the DO, though... not to mention, there are Darkfriends all around, and Ishmael was never truly bound. But yes, the fact that it is common knowledge is strange. It must be fine to write it down.
It's surprisingly small. Here's the complete list of all the times "Shai'tan" (the only form that counts as naming the Dark One) appears in the series:

Said:
Ishamael: 5 times
Rand: 5 times
Mat: 1 time

Started but interrupted:

Lews Therin: 1 time
Rand: 1 time

Thought only:

Rand: 1 time Jaichim Carridan: 1 time
Lan: 1 time

So only Rand and Mat among the light side have said it. Mat's utterance and 3 of Rand's were of the form "Shai'tan is dead!", and the other two of Rand's were in a dream scene in TEotW and when he was taint-maddened from wielding Callandor against the Seanchen.
Hugh Arai
149. HArai
bad_platypus@147: I think someone (Mat?) in Emond's Field talked a Coplin into naming the Dark One just before EotW starts as well. Something happened to make Nynaeve suspicious IIRC.
LM-Mage
150. s'rEDIT
travyl @145: Interestingly (to me at least) that's how I began, telling myself I wouldn't try to join the group until I had finished catching up. I soon had to give up that idea, and now have also just about given up the idea that I can finish them all before the publication of AMoL.

Threads like this one . . . full of logistics detail, take TIME to read and appreciate, yet I would rather be exposed to the wonderfully wide range of knowledge from some of our fellow posters than miss out on these discussions, which I enjoy.
Alice Arneson
151. Wetlandernw
travyl @145 - Now there's a dilemma. There's a LOT of interesting stuff in the comments: theorizing, discussing, joking, wasting time, eliminating theories, propounding new theories, wasting more time, clarifying, joking, explaining, arguing... not to mention the poetry, fanfic, rickrolls and miscelaneous other atrocities against sanity. In one sense, I'd say it's well worth a read, because there really is some seriously good stuff. On the other hand, there are annoying flame wars and silly meanderings galore, to drive you nuts and waste your time. And it could take weeks of reading, with your eyes glazing over on a fairly regular basis, interspersed with ROFLs.

And then there are the new book spoiler discussions... which had to get split into multiple parts because there was so much discussion.

If you're any good at skimming, that would help you get through it faster. Sadly enough (or not!), there aren't any obvious trolls that you can just always skip when you come across them - everyone contributes quality stuff.

If you've got free time, or if you can't sleep, IMO it would be worth a scan through, anyway. :) In some ways, the discussion on the earlier books is actually better, or anyway more interesting; back then, we had the whole series (minus TGS and ToM) as fodder for things most of us had never had the chance to discuss with other nutcases like us. By now, an awful lot of the discussions have been so thoroughly hashed over that they don't get very good treatment any more.
Nadine L.
152. travyl
@ Wetlandernw 151.
Unfortunately I was never a fast reader or talented with skimming - of course I leave some comments aside: you lost me on the whole circular cosmos discussion on this thread.
I did read some of the comments on the spoilers thread for TGS and ToM, but as you stated, you never know, when good stuff comes, and the somewhat sillier discussions have their merits ...

@RobMRobM 142 & 148: I still don't get why you referenced yourself???

@HArai 122.
"But hey at least the Aiel have regular access to Healing to fight the diseases ..."
I always thought that the WiseOne's channelers couldn't heal, not like the Aes Sedai - am I wrong about this?

@???: One thing bugs me, which we actually discussed on thread part 5 (last week) concerning the madness on male channelers - sorry I put it here:
several comments suggested the assumption that the madness usually has a sudden onset. ToM states that the Asha'man keep the insanity they already "acquired" but don't worsen after the Cleansing - this seems to me a process rather than sudden onset. Of course nobody said how long the process would take - I just wonder what is more common. For me it would feel right if it's a process: the more someone used saidin, the more (likely) he were tainted????
Alice Arneson
153. Wetlandernw
travyl @ 152 - FWIW, I probably wouldn't start with the spoiler threads. There's a lot of drek in there along with the good stuff, and they're beastly long and hard to manage. I'd start with the reread comments; at least there's some feeling of accomplishment when you reach the end of a thread, and it can happen much more frequently. ;)

About the taint and how the madness takes effect... we really aren't given any definitive "process" for it. That's why there was so much disagreement on the previous post. There are some indications that it can manifest with almost no warning, although the only sure example I can quote is Fedwin Morr, when he goes from "normal" to "the mind of a child" during the time it took Rand to search the Sun Palace for those who attacked him. While this is a matter of hours, it's certainly not the days, weeks or months we see in others.

Oops. Gotta run. I'll get back to you with more on this later.
Tess Laird
154. thewindrose
travyl - You are correct on the Aiel Wise Ones and healing. They knew healing like the Wisdoms in the Two Rivers. They are learning many of the Healing weaves through their new apprentices(Aes Sedai).

Also, RobMRobM was commenting on my comment, but referred to himself - thus the joking on my part about taint and wine...
RobMRobM - don't drink that wine I just gave you, Wetlandernw is in the bunker - she knows the weave that will help you:)

I think that one of the more insidious complications of the taint is the thought that bam! you go crazy. I think it is more that you start experiencing different symptoms, and after awhile you can't tell reality from taint. Rand and Naeff are good examples of this. Of course you have Morr who seems to lose it in a minute. There is the count at the Black Tower too. I, however, think that a lot of those wine incidents are failed recruits of Taim's(nodding sagely).
Any one harvest the blackberry bush lately;)

tempest™
Tricia Irish
155. Tektonica
What a fun thread. I miss you guys! I love it when you go sideways...... and up and down, and back and forth, etc. ;-)

Sorry I've been away...I'll try to be more a more diligent poster....RL has really been in the way for 6 months. But I do read this thread! My brain is just in "moving and renovating and unpacking" mode.

Think I'll hit the bunker and see who's carving pumpkins......
Tricia Irish
157. Tektonica
Wetlander@156: Yeah...her WoT Geek pumpkin is great!
Meet me in the bunker and we'll carve our own.
Hugh Arai
159. HArai
travyl@152: They apparently don't know much Healing when we first see them in the Waste, but they have learned quite a bit by the time ToM rolls around.
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
Back to the "how does the taint work?" question... IIRC, Fedwin Morr is the only one we've actually seen lose it completely on screen; all the others we're just told about second-hand (or third- or fourth-...). As was mentioned previously, Torval asserted that it could come on suddenly and without warning, but he's not the most trustworthy of sources. Even Morr was showing some signs earlier that made Rand wonder, but a lot of that was because he claimed sai'din was acting strangely around Ebou Dar - which they all found out later (to their grief) was absolutely true, and it shook the rest of them too. So that's not evidence one way or the other.

From a general reading of the references scattered here and there, it appears that most of the time, the madness comes on gradually, but that might be just because it seems logical to us. We do know that some are more able than others to resist obvious madness even when they channel a lot; it seems to be an individual thing. Which is good, or at the rate the Asha'man are forced in training, the losses would be substantially higher. Narishma and Flinn, for example, were among the early ones to arrive at the farm, and neither of them shows much sign of madness; Naeff, who arrives some time later, seems able to function but definitely had some problems, which gave Nynaeve a CMOA in ToM. :)

The conclusion seems to be that the progress of the madness is probably on average a process over a considerable time, but it varies with the individual. It's possible to resist the worst effects of it for years, but it's also possible for someone to snap in an instant. I couldn't find anything in the interview database to clarify, either; apparently no one has been curious enough to ask RJ or BWS yet.

I also think thewindrose @154 has a good point, that quite possibly not all of the "losses" at the BT are actually lost to madness, burnout or backlash; failed targets of Team Dark recruitment can't be allowed to tell tales. (Just ask Verin.) Taim seems to be clever enough to make them all look valid, but I'm nodding sagely too.
Thomas Keith
161. insectoid
Wetlander @135:
I tug my braid in your general direction. ;)
Hmm... what would a Randlandian guy (who isn't Mat) do in response? ::scratches head::

RobM² @142 et al: I love this group. XD

Wetlander @156: Thanks for the link! I went and checked it out—wicked cool WoT pumpkins!—and I let Lannis know we miss her around here.

*twitch*

Bzzz™.
LM-Mage
162. macster
@31 anthonypero: In addition to Hopper, Perrin did have a few others assisting him--Tam, Verin, Gaul, Berelain, Alliandre...but your point is still valid since after a while Tam started listening to advice instead of giving it, Verin wasn't there long (and most of her advice was related to the immediate problems of Whitecloaks, Shadowspawn, and not to trust Alanna), Berelain for hopefully obvious reasons was rarely listening to, and Alliandre not only came on the scene late, but by then Perrin was both fully set in his "I'm not a lord" mentality so he wouldn't listen to the advice of a queen, and at the same time he pretty much knew all he needed to to be a good lord. As for Gaul, outside of battle he didn't give much advice at all, and when he actually told Perrin something to the effect that "You are of Manetheren, I have seen you fight, you are much more than just a blacksmith but if you say so, that's what you are" Perrin just went "Aiel!" and dismissed him. So not only did Perrin not have many to help him grow and learn, but he often dismissed the ones who did...which makes the fact he became as awesome as he did even more amazing.

@32 Tathas: Agreed, but I think KiManiak is right, his awesomeness in ToM would not have been as awesome if it had come too soon. Unless of course it had been followed by even more awesomeness. (And now that that word no longer has any meaning...)

@34 And essentially that is what Perrin realizes--that while he doesn't want to be a leader, he doesn't want someone else doing it instead and doing such a terrible job it hurts and ruins the Two Rivers. He'd rather do it himself, even though he hates the job and doesn't feel he is good at it, because he doesn't trust anyone else to do it as good or better--because he doesn't think they will care enough.

@35 Sub, 37 sps49: From what we've seen, Rand hasn't gotten sick at all when channeling. Closest was after Maradon, but that was due to simple exhaustion and overworking himself, not sickness. Whether he is really good at hiding it, or him going Zen has eliminated such reactions, who knows.

@39 Wortmauer: Good point, but I am not sure it is completely true for WOT. If I recall correctly we are given a very detailed plan for the Battle of Cairhien via Mat and Lan in TFoH, and that plan gets pulled off without a hitch (at least so far as Rand's part of it--Mat getting dragged in and killing Couladin was of course unplanned, save by the Pattern). And indeed, much of what happens in that battle does happen off-screen. So we may yet get some great Last Battle planning, and not all of it may go wrong even if it shown.

@49 Zexxes: You have some good points, but I think that because Rand has gone Zen now he won't have a problem bowing to Tuon to get a truce. He's no longer a force of darkness, inhumanity, and rage, so he will surely see the wisdom of showing her respect in order to earn her alliance, without him having to be collared into it. The only real issue is that he doesn't want to have to give oaths to her and the empire, especially with the damane still being held, but if Mat can convince her and/or Tuon ends up channeling, that may be able to be resolved. In any event, whether the Forsaken made the collar copies or not, as far as we know they were all with Semirhage when she was captured, so the Seanchan don't have any to use on Rand anyway.

That said though, I do still agree with you that it's possible Rand might still be able to access the True Power, and will use it with Callandor to seal the Bore.

@60 parrothead: For my part, I only used the word 'emo' because everyone else was, and because it was simple shorthand for the angst he was going through. Forgive me for falling prey to that same syndrome, particularly since I agree that what Perrin is going through makes sense and is quite justifiable. I'll do better in future.

@69 Sub: LOL!

@72 Wortmauer: Love the Holy Grail reference!

@76 KiManiak: Good point! And while the thread hasn't been derailed into silliness quite yet, it certainly has turned out some fascinating and philosophical stuff so far. I don't know which makes my head spin more--the circular cosmology, trying to figure out how the Wheel can both have variations in every Age but still be the same Ages again and again, or the logistics of army supplies. But it's all fun!
LM-Mage
163. macster
@80 Wortmauer: Just as a point, recall that Perrin isn't able to see Gaidal Cain, just his shadow, so it seems the Heroes can only be seen in TAR when they violate the prescripts to become visible. So there very well could be huge amounts of Heroes around that...just can't be seen, because none of them violate the prescripts. That said, I like your idea of the Heroes being recycled along with the Ages each time a new Pattern is set.

Also, am I missing something--what in the world is the Valerean Brass?

As to your question about the Dark One's real name, I think you make a very good point that, whether by sounding it one syllable at a time or by writing it, no Lightfriend should have a reason to pass that name on if they want to avoid the dangers of their children naming the Dark One. So the name must have been passed on by Ishamael during his times of freedom. He's the only one I can think would want that information to remain known and causing trouble.

@92 WOTnoDragons: Infinite regression, LOL!! Although that only works if you do assume you are exactly the same in every iteration of an Age and thus make the same decisions every time. Even if you did decide to hide a stasis box every time, it might not be in the same place. Which just means the boxes still pile up, just all over the place instead of in one location. :P

@95 J. Dauro That's a very good question. Off-hand I'd say the ter'angreal must predate the rise of the Seanchan Empire, either belonging to the Aes Sedai who lived before Luthair came (and the knowledge of how to make them died with them once they became damane) or they came with Luthair. Either way, if the knowledge has been lost that suggests there must be a finite number of such ter'angreal. So...how do the Bloodknives get new ter'angreal? Is someone running around retrieving those belonging to Bloodknives who have carried out their killings? That sounds a bit wonky, how do they find them? I'd also guess Bloodknives must not be very numerous, which makes sense anyway--they're elite because they're rare, with the high honor of serving the Empress that way offset by the fact they're suicide assassins so that only the most devoted would volunteer for it.

@125 Wortmauer: Put me down for suggesting the Ogier made the Horn. The only other non-humans we know of are the Nym and the Finn. The Nym wouldn't be able to make such a thing, and the Finn, while not "evil the way the Shadow is" I can't see making something to summon dead heroes to fight the Shadow (although, the fact questions to them about the Shadow have dire consequences does suggest they are opposed to the Shadow to some extent...hmmm...). But anyway I don't think either of them are really mortal, are they? If they do count though, then the Finn are probably next likely after the Ogier.

@127 Samadai: ROTFL! And the classiness returns...

@138 Wetlander: I got it, no worries. *offers hugs and a danish*

@travyl: I know what you mean, while I have seen a lot of the comments on the previous re-reads I certainly haven't come close to reading them all. Though I may, someday!

Also, on the men channeling question...what was being stated, I believe, was not that all channeling men have a sudden onset of taint madness, just that some do (if we are to believe Torval). In which case your point about it being a process still applies, it is just that for some people the process takes a lot less time than for others. That doesn't seem to relate to time spent channeling or amount of Power used though--unless that fellow who saw spiders was doing a particularly huge amount of channeling in those two days--so that would seem to suggest when the men go mad is random. Which...kind of makes sense, since the taint is caused by the Dark One who is the essence of chaos. Chaos can strike when it wants, after years or only days.

@many on the army logistics: All I can say is "you're ruining my enjoyment, stop it and leave me to my fantasy!" Just kidding! Seriously, a lot of this never really occurred to me, so while it makes sense and does seem like a headscratcher now that it's been pointed out to me, I think I will stick with Wetlander and Samadai, just keep ignoring such details so I can enjoy the story. :)
Rob Munnelly
164. RobMRobM
For those who saw my last two posts at 142 and 148 as a nonsequitur meriting a stiff Fedric Morr quaff, my 142 post and subsequent post were supposed to be building on the Monty Python reference at 140...but I self-referentially referenced 142 instead. My bad. "We are all individuals....I'm not."

Rob
John Massey
165. subwoofer
@RobM- I just chalked it up to old age and senility( the old gaffer's lost it).

The Aiel passing through town, city, or random march through the country side reminds me of a swarm of locust- no leaf, bush, rabit, lizard, or stone is left unturned. In this case I suppose it is good that rabbits multiply like... rabits, or the bunny population would be on the endagered species list. I just put much of the logistics in the same class with 6'6" red headed behemoths that live all day in the sun- fully clothed- running at top speed with full combat gear, and can move around with agility. It isn't real so let them have three legs and a hump for all I care, as long as there is a huge battle at the end, a satisfying battle- none of this glossing over the good stuff- I'm happy.

Woof™.
Birgit
166. birgit
So there very well could be huge amounts of Heroes around that...just
can't be seen, because none of them violate the prescripts.

Wouldn't they all appear when the Horn is blown?

Also, am I missing something--what in the world is the Valerean Brass?

I first had to think about that one, too. It's meant to be an alternative name for the Horn of Valere (a brass instrument).
James Hogan
167. Sonofthunder
In response to some of you newer folks...I think I found this re-read around TDR or so...and I was determined to read all the previous discussions before I joined in! Of course, 3 books worth of discussion is *nothing* compared to what you'd have to wade through now...so my sympathies. Sadly, I've barely been on lately either...*waves to Tek* But I still manage to read these, as I'm doing right now in Starbucks on a rainy Saturday morning...

Also, in regards to logistics...while the numbers may seem a little absurd, I'm usually willing to grant RJ the benefit of the doubt and assume all of the large forces have some amazing supply train/chain people keeping the armies moving. I'd assume the Great Captains wouldn't have gotten as far as they have without a competent staff, after all.

And Perrin...I remember groaning as I read this chapter. Him fixing wagons while holding court is terrible. But *so* Perrin. If I was Faile though, I may have just slapped him.
Valentin M
168. ValMar
Wetlander @ 160

I am with you on the "taint madness onset" of the Ashamen. Fortunatelly time zone difference meant by the time I was going to write about it this morning, no need anymore :)

Also completely certain about the "extra losses" from 154. It hasn't been stated outright but it makes way too much sense. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, tastes like a duck, it is a duck.

Re: the numbers of armies (and indirectly the logistics). Lets consider two facts we know to be truth.
1- the way we learn stuff in WOT is from the viewpoints of the characters only.
2- from RL we know that numbers given by contemporaries were very unreliable when large forces were concerned.

So, it will make sense that when larger than usual, or ever, forces were assembled by a particular general in a chaotic and haphazard conditions- he will have only vague idea of the numbers and will tend to overestimate. We will move into fantasy fairyland nonsense if Ituralde actually knew the exactly correct number of troops he and the Seanchan had.

This makes sense in WOT context. Characters have been wrong on many occasions. I assume that Ituralde is simply overestimating. The same is probably the case for the Aiel. Just a question by how much.
Anthony Pero
169. anthonypero
@macster and others re: Hopper

I don't really think Hopper qualifies as teaching Perrin how to be a leader of Men. He's teaching him about being a wolf, and not even a leader of wolves, just how to not be a stupid cub in the dream. Which is certainly useful for Perrin, but not as a way to prepare him to be a Lord, as Egwene is being groomed and prepared by Siuan to be Amerlyn.
Tess Laird
170. thewindrose
About the DO being named be people. Aren't there always evil people in the world? I never had a problem with people knowing his name in the age we are reading. I guess it would be more of a problem before the boring - for me at least - but we don't have any in story reference to what went for the big bad before Mieren and Beidomon did the deed.

I mean, since the end of the AoL there have been Trollocs, Fades, the BA and groups of dark friends - so I can easily account for people knowing the DO's name. And when our age comes around - we have Satan which is very close to Shai'tan - so there is carry-over of some sort going on. But by the beginning of the AoL all trace needs to be erased - so that would suggest that evil isn't around at all. Which is alright - but I still think there would be people around with questionable morals/ethics - what have you...

Pretty sure I read some where that there are always around 100 Hero's of the Horn - was that BBoBA? or Hawkwing? It wasn't in the interview notes.

tempest™
Valentin M
171. ValMar
windrose @ 170

We have "Shaitan" too. Arabic, I think.
John Massey
172. subwoofer
@Wind- yeah, if it worked like that I'd be in deep drek these days. I've had to clean up my language considerably because of my daughter, "oh sh#!" has become "sugar" or "shift"-it's amazing what time in the military and with rig-pigs will do to one's vocabulary- but every other sentence I'm either calling on the Good Lord or Satan or some such. Imagine if saying his name was like calling the DO's hotline. I'd have fun honking him off- it's not like he's roaming loose and free, he's trapped in a giant flippin' egg. I'd probably drunk dial him at 3 in the morning when I knock over a bottle. Or maybe get the wrong card dealt to me. Or just for giggles.

THAT D@#M WINO KEEPS ON CALLING ME AT ALL ODD HOURS! WHEN I GET FREE I'M CHANGING MY NUMBER.

Incidentally, since the DO talks in all caps is he shouting and do I need exclamation marks or is that redudant?

Woof™.
Hugh Arai
173. HArai
Regarding the taint madness onset, I'm curious about what I see as the two major outliers we know about: Taim and Logain. Both of them have been channeling longer than Rand. Neither show any distinct signs of madness - their behavior can be pretty easily explained as dominant personalities under stress. (And in Taim's case, as being a bullying prick). Are we intended to believe they're some sort of miracle cases? Maybe they are, they're False Dragons after all. I know people have speculated Taim has been protected by the DO as a DF but I have an issue with that: Rand can see that protection. He's seen the "cords" whenever he's dealt with protected male channelers. Shouldn't he see them on Taim? But even if Taim is protected, there's still Logain who's been channeling unprotected all this time and seems less affected than Rand!

Another person I want to bring up is Asmodean. Here we have one of the Forsaken who has lost his protection, knows it and the possible consequences, and keeps channeling even when Rand doesn't want him to. Asmodean, the most cowardly of all the Forsaken. It seems suggestive to me that Asmodean at least doesn't expect to flip like a light switch.

Last, I'll bring up Rand himself. We've seen many of his possible lives with Portal Stones, the testing ter'angreal, what have you. It doesn't seem like he ever does the instant meltdown. That might be more evidence that a slower breakdown is more common, but it might just be more evidence the Dragon Reborn is awesomesauce. :)
JAMES MCCLELLAN
174. ZEXXES
It occurs to me that instead of having to waste a perfectly good channeler that Taim could be melting there minds with Compulsion in order to preserve the channeler. Sure they'll be mindless constructs, but if they can still channel and be used as a weapon...its TG man, why not! We gotta kill'em anyway so why not use them. Now I don't know if heavy Compulsion is strong enough to offset the effects of the taint but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't. The only question is the morality of it.

Now granted I know this seems far fetched. But i'd be willing to bet that it occured to Taim at some point. And while Taim is the M'hael it is quite possible that he has been Compelled by Demandred and as so is behind the Dream Spike being placed in the BT. There are so may scenarious to consider, that without any real knowledge about the goings on about the place, its a ridiculously frustrating endeavor.

About the army troop size supply line thread:
If RJ or BJ went to the extensive trouble to explain the supply line of every army everytime one went somewhere would be so word intensive that we'd only be on book ten. If this were a book about about a bunch of set battles with very few meandering plot lines, then yeah the details of supply lines, disease ratios, attrition numbers and explanations to why said commander chose this field instead of that field etc. etc. would be wanted and appreciated.

But because this book is so vast in scope, so mind numbing ramifications, has so many characters and plot lines, prophecy to track, religions to balance, a majic system to set standard to etc., etc., some details just have to be left out. Somethings will just have to be left to assumption because in order to get on with the story its left to Us, the humble reader, to finish the dream within our minds. otherwise this story would move at a snails pace rather then the crawl that it already is. With BWS it has moved along to a walk and that is fine with me. But again hypercritisizing the small missing details such as this when there are so many small details to observe is....well...asinine? Yeeah asinine. I think we can all get pretty asinine about the wanting of detail (or a need for a lack of detail 6-9!!!!). But if we are a constant state of the pursuit of detail then I believe we are all going to be in a constant state of dissapointment with whatever we are reading.

I mean never before in our history have we had the access like we do with regards to hearing other people opinions and criticisms and praise about any books ever. This has always bugged me a little about the Re-Read thing, because this format gives leave to get a little carried away with what We think the author should have done as if we could ever have done better. When you have this much reflection about what has been read and that reflection has an outlet in the format of a sort of joining of ideas about woulda coulda shoulda's it can get people, myself included, ravenous about something that sould have been let go of a minute after reflection. Here though we have 20 or so dissinters and agreers carrying the emotion on until it happens again; over and over again like a psychosis.

Really what I'm to trying to say is...uhmmm....we're all nuts.
Birgit
175. birgit
I know people have speculated Taim has been protected by the DO as a DF but I have an issue with that: Rand can see that protection. He's seen the "cords" whenever he's dealt with protected male channelers.

They aren't always visible, only sometimes in TAR and skimming space. See the WoT FAQ.

It seems suggestive to me that Asmodean at least doesn't expect to flip like a light switch.

The taint appeared when the Forsaken were sealed away with the DO. Asmo doesn't know more about it than what he could find out in this Age.
Chris R
176. up2stuff
Anthonypero @169...Hopper was teaching more than just Wolfy-ness. True, he was mostly in the last few books focusing on Wolf dream, but for a long time, he was working on teaching Perrin Balance and control of his emotions. "You are here too strong Young Bull...". Perrin was at war with himself and Hopper was trying teach him acceptance of both sides. Problem was, he spoke Wolf and Perrin spoke human. Like so many other cases, miscommunication and understanding and even in this case, TRUST, were in short supply.
Additionally, he wanted him think beyond what he knew in the physical world because it did not apply/stick in T'A'R. "You must unlearn what you have learned," er... Water can be solid, pigs can probably fly like wolves, Monkeys might just be able to fly out of his butt, and a Blacksmith COULD be a lord or king. Even if Hopper wasnt trying to teach THAT lesson, Perrin COULD have applied it.

edit for thoughts and spelling
Anthony Pero
177. anthonypero
While I don't disagree with your post in general, none of the specifics that Hopper taught Perrin would make him feel more ABLE to fulfill the duties of a lord, a position he never wanted in the first place. Egwene, on the other hand, had a teacher teaching her practical, spot on stuff, for a position she probably wanted all along.
Tess Laird
178. thewindrose
Lannis is awesomesause. So Cool!


Thinking about doing something like this now...

tempest™
Hugh Arai
179. HArai
birgit@175: Thanks for the link. I must be conflating Forsaken fights. Ok, Taim might be protected. I suppose it's possible Logain is as well since we don't have a POV for him and I guess it's possible however unlikely two major DFs are working at cross-purposes in the BT.
The taint appeared when the Forsaken were sealed away with the DO. Asmo doesn't know more about it than what he could find out in this Age.
And you don't believe the protected male Forsaken didn't get a lecture on exactly what they can expect if they lose the favor of the DO? Who would have a better chance of learning about the workings of the DO's taint than a male Forsaken?
Jonathan Levy
180. JonathanLevy
128. Wortmauer
It's true that you can infer the correct vowels from parts of speech and inflections, because most words and verbs are an application of a three-letter root to a fixed pattern of vowel sounds and extra letters. For example, YDBR/YTPL/YBRR are an application of DBR/TPL/BRR to a third-person future indicative root pattern, yielding the words "He will speak/Take care of/investigate", and are pronounced yedaber/yetapel/yebarer. So if you encounter the word YSPR in the context of a third-person future verb, you have no trouble reading it correctly as yesaper (he will tell). Arabic works the same way.

But proper names can be an exception to this rule, since there's no obligation to match a real word. Yehuda (Judah, from which Judea --> Judaism) is an example. However, YHWH matches the above pattern, applied on the root HWH which is as close as you get to "to be" in Hebrew. And elsewhere in the book of Exodus God introduces himself as EHYH, which is the first-person future indicative form.

It just gets worse from here on, because there's more than one vowel pattern which matches Y___. Plus you have several early Christian transliterations (a late source, but valuable nonetheless), and inferences from presumed rhymes and alliterations within the Old Testament. Mix well, add salt, and cook at 350 F for 30 minutes.

It's ironic because there certainly was a time in which the name was spoken freely - so freely that a commandment not to take it in vain was thought necessary. But memory faded to legend, and legend faded to myth... :)

145. travyl
If you go back more than 400 years you'll find that the same author will spell the same word in different ways, sometimes within the same sentence.

148. RobMRobM
"King of the who?"

151. Wetlandernw

I've often thought that once AMOL is out, there are still two good books waiting to be published.

One is a WOT Encyclopedia which might include all the remaining notes, cut scenes, and some chapters from BWS about the writing process (what is his and what is RJs, editing dilemmas, etc).

Another might be a "WOT re-read nostalgia" book, written by culling the re-read threads for comments/discussions which are insightful/funny/noteworthy/good fanfic-y/etc. Other WOT-humor might find a place there as well, like Isam's summaries, or selected pages from the FAQ. It would be a lot of work, and with a limited customer base, but it should still be profitable in an age when self-publishing is a reality. If TOR takes up the challenge, they might ask for volunteers to pore over the comment threads, and they would probably find some right here without too much difficulty.

(Leigh, if you read this comment I would love to hear what you think about this idea, and whether TOR might think it viable.)

166. birgit
I also have no idea what "Velerean Brass" was supposed to mean. Maybe it's a play on aSoIaF's Valyrian Steel?

171. ValMar
Yeah, you got Shaitan in Arabic and Satan in Hebrew.

(World lurches twice, runs to bunker)
Birgit
181. birgit
I also have no idea what "Velerean Brass" was supposed to mean. Maybe it's a play on aSoIaF's Valyrian Steel?

I had the same idea. I posted on the ASoIaF spoiler thread because I mentioned something from later books.
LM-Mage
182. AndrewB
An extension of the comments that J. Dauro @95 and Macster @163 re blooodkinves.

Do you think that the Seanchan use any other types of ter'angreal other than the a'dam or the bloodknives? (Note, I am including the male sad bracelets as a subset of a'dam.)

IMO, we will not find out the answer to this question in AMoL. I think the only way it gets answered in a cannon format would have been if it was addressed in the outrigger novels that RJ thought of re Mat and Fortuona

(I am still mad a RJ for telling us that Mat and Tuon would survive the Last Battle. I like both of these characters and am glad that they will live; however, I would like to have had read the last book/books to find out.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
183. tnh
Wortmauer @128:
I've occasionally wondered exactly that: how do we know how to pronounce the name we sometimes render as Jehovah or Yahweh, given the lack of vowel markings in ancient Hebrew? The obvious answer — we don't — never really occurred to me. I assumed you could figure it out from grammatical context. I don't actually know any Semitic languages, but I read something vague about one of them (Arabic?) awhile back that implied that you can infer the correct vowels from parts of speech and perhaps grammatical inflections. That is, a stem is defined solely by its consonants, and the vowels you put around it all depend on what context you want to use it in.
We only know ancient languages from their written forms, so we don't really know how any of them were pronounced. Philologists (subspecies historical linguists) collect such data as they can -- collecting examples of punning and rhyming, studying related languages, compiling daunting charts and rules for patterns of phonological change, etc. -- but at best their efforts yield theories, not certainties, about how those languages actually sounded.

Here's one way of looking at it: We don't even know why our own language went through a major set of phonological changes known as the Great Vowel Shift, circa 1350-1500. The GVS is why English spelling is so gloriously screwy -- it was still going on when printed books came in, enshrining spellings based on then-current pronunciations. Before that there were an indeterminately large number of regional dialects of Middle English, which had different pronunciations and to some extent different vocabularies; but such documents as we have were written by an equally large number of improvisational spellers. We can mostly tell what the letters are on the page, but we're shakier on what sounds they meant by them.

Compared to truly ancient languages, the Great Vowel Shift happened next door and last week. Take that as a measure of the problem. So ... if you've got a situation in which you can invoke the Infernal Presence by pronouncing the true name of the Dark One (a.k.a. the Sexagrammaton, VLDMRT), you're actually one up on linguistic historians, because you have an objective testing mechanism for theories about how the name is pronounced. Assuming the survivors write it up, of course.

JonathanLevy @180:
It's true that you can infer the correct vowels from parts of speech and inflections, because most words and verbs are an application of a three-letter root to a fixed pattern of vowel sounds and extra letters. ... Arabic works the same way. But proper names can be an exception to this rule, since there's no obligation to match a real word.
So the Cholmondeley-Featherstonhaugh Law applies in other languages as well? Good to know.
However, YHWH matches the above pattern, applied on the root HWH which is as close as you get to "to be" in Hebrew. And elsewhere in the book of Exodus God introduces himself as EHYH, which is the first-person future indicative form. It just gets worse from here on, because there's more than one vowel pattern which matches Y___. Plus you have several early Christian transliterations (a late source, but valuable nonetheless), and inferences from presumed rhymes and alliterations within the Old Testament. Mix well, add salt, and cook at 350 F for 30 minutes.
Yield: a better grade of perpetual argument. Even if we could pin down the identity and behavior of the vowels, it still wouldn't tell us how they sounded.

I'm sure you know that. I'm just spinning out the implications for the sake of pedantry clarity.

Personally, I'm hoping someone will invent a time machine. After we settle out the pronunciation of YHVH and "Veni, vidi, vici," see whether Fermat's proof was better than Andrew Wiles's, confirm Shakespeare's authorship of his own works, and find out what exactly Keats meant by that bit about "truth is beauty, beauty truth," we can move on to cool stuff, like live footage of the Missoula Floods.

But I digress.
Roger Powell
184. forkroot
Lannis (via thewindrose@178)
Time to roll the dice!

macster@163
Put me down for suggesting the Ogier made the Horn. The only other non-humans we know of are the Nym and the Finn.
Actually the Nym are constructed beings (like Trollocs and Fades), not a separate race like Ogier.

--
And ... thinking a bit more about cuendillar it occurred to me that another likely way you could destroy it is to take it with you into T'AR (yup - enter in the flesh like Slayer) and then use someone's nightmare to destroy it - just like Perrin did for the dreamspike.
Jay Dauro
185. J.Dauro
forkroot

Do we know that the Dreamspike was cuendillar? Perrin could not destroy it with his mind because it was there in its reality, but I am not sure it was cuendillar. Still it would be worth a try.
Marcus W
186. toryx
tnh @ 183, Wortmauer @128, and JonathanLevy @180:

This is the best conversation I've seen in a while. I've always been rather fascinated by this whole subject (and totally agree with tnh on the time travel machine bit) in part because I have a particular kind of deafness that prevents me from hearing anything but vowel sounds in speech without the use of hearing aids. I'm probably physically incapable of distinguishing the differences audibly which just make me more curious, even though there's so much about language that I just can't understand. Hell, I didn't understand the 's' sound until I was 20.

Languages other than English will probably always be beyond my ability to speak which only makes me want to know more about them.
Jonathan Levy
187. JonathanLevy
183. tnh

There's one thing I've never understood about the Great Vowel Shift: Since the only evidence we have is a change in spelling, how do we know that people started speaking differently, as opposed to the opposite possibility: they started writing differently?

Especially since fixed spellings of words is a relatively modern concept.

Perhaps the source of my confusion is that I've never studied the subject properly, merely relying on the internet to fill this void in my knowledge. Perhaps you can recommend a good book on the subject?
Yield: a better grade of perpetual argument. Even if we could pin down the identity and behavior of the vowels, it still wouldn't tell us how they sounded.
Also, Tenure at universities, and money from selling books. But it would also be nice to know how the name would have sounded today had knowledge of its pronunciation been passed down just like the pronunciation of other words.
Personally, I'm hoping someone will invent a time machine. After we settle out the pronunciation of YHVH and "Veni, vidi, vici,"....
My first order of business would be to collect Lost books, starting with a few mentioned in the Bible (Chronicles of the Kings of Judea/Israel, Wars of YHWH, Book of the Yashar), then on to missing histories in Latin (Parts of Tacitus, Asinius Pollio, Augustus, Sulla... too many to mention).


186. toryx

Have you tried studying French? Sometimes I feel it consists of nothing but vowel sounds, with infinitely subtle gradations used to convey words of precisely opposite meaning. :(

Oh, and avoid Classical Arabic at all costs - 28 consonants, only 3 vowels :)

185. J.Dauro
Not sure it was Cuendillar either.

But if it is there should be no problem using T'A'R to conjure up a Forsaken using TP Balefire, crossing the streams, then seizing Saidin repeatedly until you can see his face clearly, and channeling the TP to balefry the Cuendillar. Half hour, tops. :)
Roger Powell
188. forkroot
JL@187
My first order of business would be to collect Lost books, starting with a few mentioned in the Bible (Chronicles of the Kings of Judea/Israel, Wars of YHWH, Book of the Yashar), then on to missing histories in Latin (Parts of Tacitus, Asinius Pollio, Augustus, Sulla... too many to mention).
I suggest traveling to Alexandria with a BIG copy machine before it was sacked.
Have you tried studying French? Sometimes I feel it consists of nothing but vowel sounds, with infinitely subtle gradations used to convey words of precisely opposite meaning. :(
Hawaiian might be another good choice - not very many consonants.

JD@185
I have no idea if the Dreamspike was cuendillar but the method of its destruction seemed to be so powerful that I'm theorizing that that method would work on cuendillar as well. Ever since Rand showed that the TP could vaporize cuendillar, it made me think that it's so-called "indestructibility" was more about the weaves of the True Source that made it, vs. a fundamental physical property. Hence my various thought experiments about other ways to destroy it.
WOT Dragons
189. WOTNoDragons
@macaster 162
Re the randomness / chaotic nature of the taint madness.

Due to the taint backlash, didn’t all of the 100 companions go bonkers the instant that they sealed the bore? If I’m recalling this correctly, then it seems suggestive that the speed of onset is potentially linked to concentration of taint exposure. But your thought that it can come on randomly seems a valid theory post Breaking - given what we’ve seen in-story.

Also I suppose the 100 going mad instantly could still be a random event, just that chance twisted it; like every sack of Rand’s grain that was opened in Bandar Eban being bad. Then later when zen Rand returns, we learn that all the unopened sacks were good all along, just that last time they chose the wrong sacks to open.
Verin wasn't there long (and most of her advice was related to the immediate problems of Whitecloaks, Shadowspawn, and not to trust Alanna)
Do we know why she was untrusting of Alanna? Given Verin’s work, my mind jumps to the thought that Verin knew (or thought) that Alanna was BA, but I don’t recall Alanna’s name being in Verin’s little black book. So I’m just wondering whether there was anything other than the usual run-of-the-mill AS distrust at work here.

Andrew B@ 182 Re Mat & Tuon.

I felt exactly the same way about this, in that it seemed very odd that RJ would just come out with this concept of a post aMoL story involving them both.
Like you, I really didn’t want to learn of their survival as a spoiler. RJ was always so guarded about revealing anything. If a fan had asked at any book signings in the last 20 odd years “can you tell me if Mat survives in the last book?” I'd bet my last cent that RJ would have sent them away with a very big “fly-swat” of an RAFO.
Perhaps some of the old guard here can shed some light on whether or not BwS or Team Jordan have ever qualified this matter in a separate comment or statement. Maybe pointing out that it was only a hypothetical suggestion *if* Mat & Tuon were to survive. But I guess this particular genie is well and truly out of the bottle now.

Marcus W
190. toryx
JonathanLevy @ 187:
I have studied French a little but for some reason, I have a really hard time listening to it. There's something about the sound of it that makes it a lot harder for me to pick up the nuances.

WOTnoDragons @ 189 & AndrewB @ 182:
I feel the same way about Mat and Tuon. What really bothers me is that the last time I saw Jordan (in 2001) he said right out that some people will die in the end and some people will live and that we'd not know which until the book was in our hands. Mat's fate was definitely included in that comment.

Then all of a sudden (after he died) I started hearing talk about these bloody Outrigger novels.

Part of me still thinks that maybe I went to sleep next to a portal stone one night during the intervening years and woke up in a different universe. Which, actually, would explain a lot.
Roger Powell
191. forkroot
WOTnD@189
Do we know why she was untrusting of Alanna? Given Verin’s work, my mind jumps to the thought that Verin knew (or thought) that Alanna was BA, but I don’t recall Alanna’s name being in Verin’s little black book. So I’m just wondering whether there was anything other than the usual run-of-the-mill AS distrust at work here.
I think Verin was well aware of Alanna's impulsive nature and wanted to warn Perrin away in case Alanna pulled the stunt with him that she did later with Rand.

BTW - I still think Rand should have immediately balefired her back to before the bond :-) Would've served her right - although as it turned out the extra vitality from the bond did help to sustain him during the Tower AS kidnapping and the later stabbing by Fain.
Roger Powell
192. forkroot
Edit to remove double post - not that my words aren't reading twice but ....
Hugh Arai
193. HArai
WOTnoDragons@189 & toryx@190: It seems clear RJ changed his mind about whether to reveal the fates of any of the characters before AMoL :

Robert Jordan's blog 8 November 2006 - 'A Little Update' So there you have it. Oh, finishing A Memory of Light, of course, and getting started on Mat and Tuon, and some others, five to ten years after the Last Battle. Those go without saying. Not a bad plan for the coming year, eh?

I suppose he could have changed his mind again, but that quote from his blog is pretty clear.
Hugh Arai
194. HArai
forkroot@191: You don't think erasing her thread from the Pattern wouldn't be a little bit excessive? I could certainly see various methods of forcing her to release the bond as being justified, but I think balefire is a bit over the top. Having thought about it though, I think the way Rand simply treats her as if she doesn't exist is a nice little revenge all by itself.
Anthony Pero
195. anthonypero
If I have the timeline right in my head, Verin warned Perrin about Alanna in the TR, shortly after Alanna's warder was killed, i.e, while Alanna was very emotionally unstable.
Roger Powell
196. forkroot
HArai@194
Hey ... you're talking to the guy that wanted "Dark Rand" to balefire the entire Seanchan high command before coming around, so put me down in the "over the top" category ;-)

It could be worse - Remember that jamesedjones yearned for balefire to deal with rush hour traffic! Where's he been, by the way?

anthonypero@195
shortly after Alanna's warder was killed, i.e, while Alanna was very emotionally unstable
As opposed to, say, her normal level of emotional instability.
Anthony Pero
197. anthonypero
What is her normal level of instability. She's a hothead, but do we have any evidence that she's unstable, other than that? We ONLY see her in the months after her Warder is killed, from this point on. It's only been like 6 months.
LM-Mage
198. s'rEDIT
tnh @ 183: Didn't you forget a (hmmm, must have been silent) "e" in there?
Valentin M
199. ValMar
I find Alanna an interesting character. Keeps you on your toes. Many characters, especially the main, are pretty stable.
Tess Laird
200. thewindrose
Sweet 200 hunny:) Happy Halloween!!

That was a close one...

Alanna has a cameo in New Spring: Chapter 3 Practice
As the silence fell again, the Amyrlin said, "If I hear that someone has used the Power to defend herself, Alanna, that someone will sit very tenderly after a visit to the Mistress of Novices."
{...}Alanna was a shy woman at heart, but she worked hard at being fierce. She told anyone who would listen that she wanted to belong to the Green, the Battle Ajah, and have a dozen Warders. Only Greens bonded more than a single Warder. None had that many Warders, of course, but that was Alanna, always exaggerating.
It always those shy ones:)

tempest™
Valentin M
201. ValMar
Re: Perrin's mentoring. I agree with those who think he got less "help" than the others. Hopper was helpful, but not as much as compared to the knowledge of the Age of Legends and the indepth advising from Moiraine, Elayne, WO, Lan, Rhuarc which Rand got. Or hundreds of people's memory download for Mat. Or Egwene's internships with the WOs and study in the WT added to Siuan's constant assistance.

Bugger! That will teach me to write proper posts for the 00's. Well played windrose :|
Roger Powell
202. forkroot
thewindrose@2hunny
Ah, so all along Alanna has aspired to be Myrelle?
LM-Mage
203. Wortmauer
The Blue scholar Lannis's pumpkins: are awesome. Her book reviews are usually fun too, incidentally.
Welandernw@135: As for “mortals”… I think he tossed that in just to drive us crazy.
I think I agree. He wanted to encourage wild crazy speculation by using a deliberately vague word. Perhaps the Horn of Valere was actually crafted by some random Tu'atha'an. They're all about music, they excel at smithing, and apparently they get along pretty well with people who can enter the World of Dreams. (Elyas, Perrin, Egwene.) That, or RJ just hadn't really thought through the origin story of the HoV, and wanted to leave himself enough room in case he came up with a really cool story later, for the Encyclopedia. (We can be reasonably sure this story wasn't going to come up in the rest of the canon.)
macster@163: Also, am I missing something--what in the world is the Valerean Brass?
Birgit and JonathanLevy got it: it's wordplay on Valyrian steel, from a different book series. Horns are made of brass, and this one is from Valere.

Although the pun/reference is a bit strained. Horns are normally brass, but we are told in TGH that Mat's note sounded "golden as the Horn was golden." But I thought if I called it the Valerean Gold it would be even more obscure. Oh well.
thewindrose@170: About the DO being named be people. Aren't there always evil people in the world? I never had a problem with people knowing his name in the age we are reading.
Even Darkfriends don't name the Dark One, though. They have their own euphemisms: the Great Lord of the Dark, or Ba'alzamon; it's clear (from the scene in TDR 21 where Verin gives Egwene Corianin's stone ring) that even Darkfriends didn't know Ba'alzamon wasn't actually the Dark One. (Otherwise Verin wouldn't have puzzled over that fragment of text for "nearly forty years." She had no reason to lie about any of that. I mean, she didn't have to show it to Egwene at all.) Ishamael seems to be the only bad guy, even among the Forsaken, who dares to name the Dark One on purpose.

Also, Darkfriends operate on the down-low. Teaching anyone the name of the Dark One, except someone you've already recruited and therefore can trust (a tiny bit) not to betray you, is a great way to earn the Dragon's Fang on your door, or worse. Thus, even if Darkfriends had reason to propagate the Dark One's name, that doesn't explain how it survives among those who walk in the Light.

Anyway, I assume that since the Great Lord was a nonentity in the Age of Legends, they didn't know his name either. Somehow it was brought to light after the drilling of the Bore. How, I don't know, but that doesn't really bug me; what surprises me is that it's still common knowledge in 998 NE.
subwoofer@172: THAT D@#M WINO KEEPS ON CALLING ME AT ALL ODD HOURS! WHEN I GET FREE I'M CHANGING MY NUMBER.

Incidentally, since the DO talks in all caps is he shouting and do I need exclamation marks or is that redudant?
Ha! And I don't think he's shouting. The caps is just, I think, how RJ portrays a voice that so fills your ears (well, probably it goes straight to your brain) that it's impossible to ignore or tune out. He doesn't need to shout or raise his voice. Also, it takes a pretty confident tone to get Shaidar Haran to fetch lemonade for you.

tnh@183 and especially JonathanLevy@180: Thanks so much for more information on talking like an ancient pirate. I once read, in Peter Jones's delightful Learn Latin, a tidbit on the old Latin "C" consonant: we know it was a \K\ sound because, e.g., Cicero was transliterated by the Greeks as Kikeron, with the letter kappa.
tnh@183: if you've got a situation in which you can invoke the Infernal Presence by pronouncing the true name of the Dark One (a.k.a. the Sexagrammaton, VLDMRT), you're actually one up on linguistic historians, because you have an objective testing mechanism for theories about how the name is pronounced. Assuming the survivors write it up, of course.
HAHAHAHAHA! "VLDMRT" made me laugh harder than I have in at least two weeks, probably much longer. And I've never even read, or watched, any Harry Potter. Thanks for that!

Although, if there were ever a use for the hexa prefix instead of sexa, surely this is it.
forkroot@184: take it with you into T'AR (yup - enter in the flesh like Slayer) and then use someone's nightmare to destroy it - just like Perrin did for the dreamspike.
It just occurred to me that if you really need to dump your non-biodegradable industrial toxic waste harbor chains, and not get caught by the authorities, why not do it the same way Mat offed the gholam: toss it out a Skimming gateway. Of course, why would anyone in a given Age care enough? Also, given the Power doesn't affect cuendillar, if the cuendillar touches the edge of a gateway, who knows whether it'll collapse it or go right through it or what. Best to make the gateway extend several inches below ground, and push the chain through it on the ground, so the chain doesn't touch any edges. (There'll be a divot afterward, with ground that was scraped off into the abyss.)

After enough Ages of cuendillar dumping, maybe we'd eventually find out that the abyss of the Skimming place isn't bottomless after all. A boneyard of really durable white china kitsch, countless miles deep, high, and wide, the detritus of tens of thousands of Ages, would be a sight to see.

Also, iron, from which cuendillar is made, would eventually become kinda scarce. Which brings me to a looney theory that in some unnamed Age, alchemy turns out to really work, and among other things, cuendillar can be transmuted back to iron.
anthonypero@195: If I have the timeline right in my head, Verin warned Perrin about Alanna in the TR, shortly after Alanna's warder was killed, i.e, while Alanna was very emotionally unstable.
Count me in the camp that believes Verin knew or guessed that Alanna was in the market for a strapping young Warder. She didn't seem at all surprised when Alanna bonded Rand. I'm thinking Verin wanted to prevent the bonding of Perrin. Now why she didn't prevent the bonding of Rand, I have no idea. Perhaps she would have done, but was caught off guard by the way Alanna didn't even ask him first, then afterwards chose the customary Aes Sedai solidarity / mutual noninterference.
Nadine L.
204. travyl
@ValMar 201. & anthonypero 31, About mentoring/guidance

I disagree with you about Mat. He does have his finn-memories as a help, but IMO you can't call that mentoring. I think it's his personality that makes him more easyly accept leadership, the finn memories just help that he becomes a superb strategist.
Valentin M
205. ValMar
travyl @ 204

I was not talking specifically about mentoring. Instead about any means which enabled them to deal with the huge shifts in their lifes. Perrin has had the least help, measured in any way, of the Two River people. Especially considering what he's had to do. This last sentence is a pre-emptive answer if someone brings up Nyneve.
Anthony Pero
206. anthonypero
Nynaeve was trained to be the village wisdom, and has experience being the village wisdom, which is the counterpart of the Mayor in the TR. She doesn't really have any more responsibility now than she did then. She is not a main character. She doesn't drive the plot forward at all. She is a very important side character who gets lots of screen time.
Anthony Pero
207. anthonypero
**Twiddles thums, waits for next post**

C'mon, Tor.com, I need to take a break from my work...
Jonathan Levy
208. JonathanLevy
203. Wortmauer
A boneyard of really durable white china kitsch, countless miles deep, high, and wide, the detritus of tens of thousands of Ages, would be a sight to see.
LOL!
Count me in the camp that believes Verin knew or guessed that Alanna was in the market for a strapping young Warder.
Ummm... I don't think Verin had any special knowledge, apart from the general understanding that Greens in mourning might console themselves with a new warder. I know, I know, she gives Perrin some suspiciously specific warnings, but I chalk that up to RJ's needing to foreshadow Rand's bonding somehow.
Alice Arneson
209. Wetlandernw
JL - IMO, those last two go right together without any awkwardness. Knowing the general behavior of Greens, and particularly Greens in mourning, it makes sense to warn Perrin specifically. One, Alanna might be prone to picking the high-profile guy if possible; two (and more importantly, I think) Verin knew that as ta'veren, Perrin was specifically critical to the events of the next months/years. If Alanna decided to bond a random TR guy, no problem - Verin just didn't want it to be Perrin. The main reason I can see that she wouldn't have similarly warned/been on guard against her bonding of Rand is that Verin assumed Alanna wouldn't have the temerity to bond the DR, at least not without asking. Especially since bonding without asking was considered akin to rape. It was foreshadowing, but I don't think it rates the weakness your "somehow" implies.
Jonathan Levy
210. JonathanLevy
Wetlandernw - I've re-read your comment twice and I think we're in perfect agreement. I had not meant to suggest that Verin's behavior was awkward in any way, requiring an authorial explanation. Bad phrasing on my part.

What I was trying to say was that Verin's behavior - for precisely the reasons you stated - did not imply any foreknowledge of pre-determined intentions on Alanna's part, and that if any reader thought that her actions did suggest that, that reader might want to attribute it to RJ's need to foreshadow the bonding.


Oh well, on to the next thread :)
LM-Mage
211. macster
@166 birgit: Yes, but the question was "If Heroes of the Horn appear in TAR why isn't the place full to overflowing with them by now?" My speculation was that it is, we just don't know they're there because normally they are invisible to dreamwalkers and Dreamers. Which just means that when the Horn is blown, there should be a whole army of Heroes called. And that is epically cool.

Re: Valerean brass--I feel stupid now. Also, LOL!

@168 ValMar: I think you're absolutely right on the large forces being overestimates by the characters.

@169 anthonypero: I agree, but that just supports my point and ValMar's, that Perrin has received a lot less help than the other main characters and the help he has gotten didn't really help him much with leadership.

@170 thewindrose: Good point, but Wortmauer is right that the random baddies (Darkfriends, Fades) wouldn't have been going around either speaking or passing on the Dark One's name. Darkfriends would be too scared to do it unless they knew the person was loyal to the Shadow, and the Fades, as had been empahsized repeatedly in the series, had not been seen south of the Borderlands in a very long time. So unless they took time out from fighting in the Blight to teach Borderlanders the Dark One's name (or were calling out in battle or something), I think Wortmauer is right--it had to be Ishamael making sure the Dark One's name was passed on, after he learned it from him post-drilling.

@HArai 173: Since Taim has already been addressed, and I can't see Logain as another Darkfriend, I think your point re: there being miraculous exceptions to the rule makes sense. It could be that they were false Dragons (and the Dragon is awesome), or it could be that Logain just happened to be one of those men who was strong enough not to succumb to the taint for a long time. As a corollary to this, it could be Logain didn't go mad because the Pattern needed Rand to have a powerful male follower who was neither mad nor evil. Or, ta'veren effect. The fact Logain has the talent to see ta'veren already suggests he's something a bit special anyway. As for Asmodean, remember that he kept talking about hanging on to grass at the end of the cliff...I always took this to mean he knew that without the Dark One's protection, the taint would eventually take him, it was just a matter of if Rand managed to win the Last Battle first. Not to mention we know that all throughout the Breaking, male Aes Sedai knew the taint would make them go mad, yet they couldn't resist the lure of channeling anyway. The same could have happened to Asmodean.

@tnh: LOL at VLDMRT!!!

@184 forkroot: Good point, but I was merely referencing the non-humans we knew of, not whether they were actual races or not. The fact the Nym are constructs makes it even less likely they would be able to make something like the Horn. (They could perhaps be used by someone else in its construction but that isn't the same thing. And considering their only talent involved growing things, there doesn't seem to be a connection.) The Ogier, at least, not only have music/singing going for them but also the steddings (which are outside the touch of the One Power, as are Heroes when called by the Horn), the wealth of knowledge that might be needed for such an endeavor, and the fact they are from another world entirely.

Also, good point on cuendillar being destroyed by nightmares.

@189 WOTnoDragons: Two possibilities on the Hundred Companions. Either them going mad immediately was an exception caused by the instant backlash of the tainting, or the need for long exposure over time (other than a few exceptions like that two-days fellow) was something which settled in after the initial instant madness. Or as you suggest, this was an example of the randomness of the Dark One. It might beggar belief that he could randomly make every one of them go mad at once, but then again if anyone could twist chance to strike that many people at once, it'd be the master of chaos. In any event, I don't think Morr had been channeling any longer or more than the others when he lost it, so while you are likely right that prolonged exposure increases the chances of it happening, it seems it can also happen due to the Dark One's random chaos regardless of exposure.

On Verin: yes, she was untrusting of Alanna, I think, because she was investigating her (and no she isn't in the book she gave Egwene), but also because as has been said, she was worried about Alanna conceivably bonding Perrin. Of course I still think Verin may have Compelled Alanna to bond Rand, in which case she was actually just trying to make sure she didn't take Perrin before that could happen, but anyway...

@197 anthonypero: Good point, though we also saw her in TDR during Egwene's Accepted test and afterward, when she acted funny about the ter'angreal resonance, asked for penance, and watched the girls like a hawk in the kitchen. But all those events showed was her odd sense of honor, her impetuousness, and her being a typical AS, not instability IMO. Though I do note we've never once gotten a POV from her...I wonder if that means she might be Black after all. If so, I'd like to know how she hid it so well from Verin...
Anthony Pero
212. anthonypero
@macster re @169:

Yep, that was my point. Perrin has not gotten the help the others have. See @12 and @31
Chris R
213. up2stuff
I would guess proximity to the Bore and the Backlash was what drove the Companions mad. Isnt that when LTT went bonkers too? He was certainly strong enough to hold on if it were a simple exposure issue.
But, I seem to remember the story saying that all 100 and LTT were driven instantly mad, right?

Kind of like an A-bomb. Everyone at ground zero taken out instantly and then as the fall out disburses, more and more go gradually on a longer and longer scale.
Chris R
214. up2stuff
Oops. Please disregard my twosie.

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