Nov 29 2011 2:00pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 10

The Wheel of Time Reread on Tor.comHail, good WOTrians! Never fear, your Wheel of Time Re-read is here!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 17 and 18 of The Gathering Storm, in which a key is found, an ally is secured, and I merrily subvert all your expectations, mwhahaha!

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 17: Questions of Control

What Happens
Cadsuane sits outside the room where Semirhage is being held, eavesdropping as Sarene attempts unsuccessfully to interrogate the Forsaken. Most of the Aes Sedai at the manor have tried questioning the prisoner by now except for Cadusane herself. Cadsuane has spent decades building upon her legendary status among the Aes Sedai, but she doesn’t know how long her image would remain intact if she tries and also fails to break Semirhage. A serving woman goes into the room with a meal, and Cadsuane jumps up as she hears the tray crash to the ground. Semirhage informs Sarene that she will no longer eat “swill,” and demands something more appropriate. Sarene asks if she will answer questions if they give it to her, and Semirhage replies, perhaps. Sarene sends the maid for more food, and Cadsuane can hear that the White is shaken by the incident.

They were all so jumpy around the Forsaken. They weren’t deferential, but they did treat Semirhage with a measure of respect. How could they not? She was a legend. One did not enter the presence of such a creature — one of the most evil beings ever to live — and not feel at least a measure of awe.

Measure of awe...

“That’s our mistake,” Cadsuane whispered.

Cadsuane enters the room, knowing that she has committed herself now, but she thinks it all comes back to one question: how would Cadsuane break herself? Cadsuane observes to Sarene that “the child” has refused her meal, and orders Sarene to release the weaves holding Semirhage. Sarene obeys, and Cadsuane instantly grabs Semirhage by the hair and sweeps her feet out from under her. She kneels on Semirhage’s back and tells her she disapproves of wasting food. She orders her to eat the food spilled on the floor. Semirhage sputters incomprehensible oaths, but doesn’t fight back.

Cadsuane wouldn’t have either; that would only hurt her image. Semirhage’s power as a captive came from the fear and respect that the Aes Sedai gave her. Cadsuane needed to change that.

Semirhage threatens Cadsuane, and Cadsuane tells Sarene to go get the Aes Sedai in the hall and any servants she can find. Sarene leaves and soon returns with Elza, Erian, Daigian, and five servants, whereupon Cadsuane turns Semirhage over her knee and begins to spank her. The Forsaken holds out at first, but soon begins cursing and then howling in outrage. The Aes Sedai and servants all watch in amazement. Cadsuane pauses and asks Semirhage if she will eat, and when Semirhage threatens her again, tsks, and begins again, until finally Semirhage begins to cry in humilation.

That was the key. Semirhage could not be defeated by pain or by persuasion — but destroying her image, that would be more terrible in her mind than any other punishment. Just as it would have been for Cadsuane.

Cadsuane asks again, and this time Semirhage jumps down and begins eating the food on the floor while the others watch in fascination. Cadsuane tells the others to remember that Semirhage is a person, just like anyone else, and goes to leave. She pauses and comments to Sarene that she might want to find a hairbrush to spare her hands. Sarene smiles and agrees, and Cadsuane leaves, her mind on what to do about al’Thor.

Perrin consults with Grady, who still looks exhausted even after days of rest. Perrin looks out at the camp, which is “thousands upon thousands” strong, and thinks the problems of administrating such a huge group have been distracting him from his most urgent objective, which was getting to Rand.

And yet, that very single-mindedness in him — ignoring everything but his objective — had been the source of much trouble during his hunt for Faile. He had to find a balance, somehow. He needed to decide for himself if he wanted to lead these people. He needed to make peace with the wolf inside himself, the beast that raged when he went into battle.

Perrin has been hoping to use Grady to transport the bulk of the refugees they’ve been saddled with back to their homes, but Grady points out that even if the refugees are willing to leave, which many are not, the logistics of holding gateways open long enough for some hundred thousand people to go through all at once make it virtually impossible. Perrin grits his teeth, and decides they will have to continue north, and have Neald and Grady send people back in small sections every day. Grady nods and leaves, and Perrin worries whether their food supplies will run out before they reach Andor, and whether he should avoid Elayne’s likely wrath about the Manetheren thing by going to Cairhien instead. He walks through the camp, noting that the refugees seem to fear him; the Two Rivers men seem to be back to respecting him, mostly, though he still hears them whisper about the night he spent in Berelain’s tent. He thinks that he connection to the wolves is another thing he’d forgotten about in his drive to rescue Faile, and reflects that he has come to accept most aspects of it, like his eyes and his enhanced senses.

And yet, that rage he felt when he fought... that loss of control. It worried him, more and more. The first time he’d felt it had been that night, so long ago, fighting Whitecloaks. For a time, Perrin hadn’t known if he was a wolf or a man.

And now — during one of his recent visits to the wolf dream — he’d tried to kill Hopper. In the wolf dream, death was final. Perrin had almost lost himself that day. Thinking of it awakened old fears, fears he’d shoved aside. Fears relating to a man, behaving like a wolf, locked in a cage.

Perrin admits to himself that his singleminded focus on rescuing Faile had been just as much about avoiding his issues with himself, as a leader and as a Wolfbrother, as it had been for love of her.

He had rescued Faile, but so many things were still wrong. The answers might lie in his dreams.

It was time to return.

You guys have just been WAITING for me to get to this chapter, haven’t you. You know you have, don’t even front.


And, well.

I’m sorry to say — or actually, I’m not at all sorry to say — that those of you who have been hoping for an encore of my rather epic meltdown from TSR when Perrin spanked Faile are destined for something of a disappointment, I’m afraid.

Because this spanking? I don’t have a problem with it.

No, really.

And now I will tell you why!

Here’s why: the two situations are nothing alike. In My Opinion, Of Course. It has nothing (or, well, very little) to do with spanking per se, and everything to do with the standing of the two individuals involved relative to each other, and therefore what the spanking means in context.

My objections to the Perrin/Faile incident – which still most emphatically stand, by the way – were that their relationship was supposed to be at least nominally that of equals. Yes, you can quibble that one way or the other, but stupid battle-of-the-sexes jostling aside, at the end of the day they were supposed to be two free, independent adults working together (or, admittedly, making a massive cock-up of working together, but whatever) in a partnership, be it professional or romantic or what.

Right up until Perrin decided it would be an awesome idea to resolve their issues by utterly humiliating Faile – by treating her as if she were, not an equal, not an adult in her own right, but as a child – in other words, as someone lesser than him, someone whose right to her own dignity does not actually need to be respected. A child who, therefore, Perrin evidently felt he had the right to discipline. By fucking spanking her.

No. Just – no. I had a massive problem with it then, and I have a massive problem with it now. If someone did that to me – not to mention, someone who’s supposed to be in love with me – if someone ever showed me such an unbelievably degrading lack of respect, I would never in a million fucking years forgive it, and that’s a fact. The End.

The situation with Cadsuane and Semirhage, on the other hand, is completely different. If you take it as a given (and I do, as do most societies the world over) that committing heinous criminal acts automatically negates certain social rights you might otherwise enjoy – like, say, liberty, dignity, pursuit of happiness, and on occasion life itself – then in no way can Cadsuane and Semirhage be considered equals. Cadsuane is not my favorite person, but she is a mostly-upstanding, Light-allied member of a recognized authoritative body, and Semirhage is a depraved monster who has by her own admission been responsible for the agonizing deaths of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of people, and is actively working to bring about the downfall of humanity itself. And, in case that wasn’t enough, she is also holding on to vital information for the folks trying to stop that whole downfall-of-humanity thing from happening.

So do I have a problem with someone spanking her? Are you kidding? Shit, I’ll get in line.

So no, I did not have a problem with it. It was, in fact, about as close to a perfect solution as one could possibly get in this situation. If you can break a criminal without even having to deal with all those sticky ethical issues involved with torture — which, in my opinion, this type of ritual humiliation does not qualify as — then that is frickin’ awesome in my book. Goal achieved, and you can still look at yourself in the mirror afterward. Score.

And it makes sense, I think, that breaking Semirhage was so impossible when Cads et al didn’t have the key to her character, and so easy once they knew the trick of it, like a Chinese finger trap. Perhaps it is a genre cliché, but I don’t think it is. I don’t care who you are, everyone has a vulnerable pressure point somewhere, and that’s just as true in real life as it is in fiction. It’s unfortunate when that truth is used against good people, but in situations like this I say we can only be grateful.

So, in conclusion, go Cadsuane. I don’t quite know how to textually render the rueful snort-sigh-chuckle-thingy I’m mentally making when I type that, but you can probably picture it.

Oh, and also, Perrin was in this chapter.

If I hadn’t already read ToM I would most likely have ended the commentary with that sentence, because nothing actually happens here, which annoyed me quite a bit on my first read of TGS. In retrospect, however, this was just a nice set-up for all the awesome I now know is to come re: Perrin later, and so I am content to lay off the snark-by-omission. FOR NOW.

This chapter also features a new icon — that of the blacksmith’s puzzle. Which I think is extraordinarily appropriate, not only because of Perrin’s presence in the chapter, but in that both he and Cadsuane are working through a complicated problem that has a deceptively simple answer – much like these tpes of puzzles tend to be. I don’t know if this new icon was one that Brandon asked for specifically or if it was planned from before his involvement, but either way it was nicely done.


Chapter 18: A Message in Haste

What Happens
Siuan walks into camp with a basket of laundry to find all the novices crowded around the Hall tent. Worried, she pushes through the crowd to find Sheriam waiting outside the tent; Sheriam looks gaunt, but seems calmer in recent days than she had formerly. Sheriam tells her that Elaida has Traveling. Inside the tent, Ashmanaille is relating how she had gone to Kandor to collect the monthly tribute to the Tower (which the rebels have been expropriating from Elaida’s side to fund themselves), only to find that Tower representatives had already gotten it, and how they had been seen leaving through a hole in the air. As the Hall argues over whether they can take the Kandorians’ word on what they’d seen, Siuan grabs a novice and sends her for a messenger to Bryne before ordering the novices to clear out immediately. Siuan demands to know why the meeting wasn’t Sealed to the Flame, but Sheriam says she doesn’t know. Siuan hopes desperately that this news doesn’t mean Egwene or Leane have broken, but then realizes it must have been Beonin who gave the secret away. She comments that she at least hopes they can keep Traveling from the Seanchan.

“When they do assault the White Tower, we’ll want at least that advantage.”

Sheriam eyed her, skepticism showing. Most of the sisters didn’t believe Egwene’s Dreaming of the attack. Fools — they wanted to catch the fish, but didn’t want to gut it. You didn’t raise a woman to Amyrlin, then treat her warnings lightly.

The messenger arrives, and Siuan sends him to Bryne with the news (“Tell him to watch his flanks. Our enemy has been taught the method we used to get here”) with utmost urgency. Sheriam asks what that was about, and Siuan tells her it’s about making sure they don’t wake up surrounded by Elaida’s army. She bitterly reflects that the rebel Aes Sedai are more concerned about being indignant that their secret is out than considering the tactical ramifications of it. Finally someone in the Hall moves to seal the meeting, and Siuan heads off, thinking that even here the Ajahs are more concerned with jockeying for position among themselves than attending to larger matters, and partially blames herself for this.

Elaida hadn’t had that long to work. Every rift that appeared in the Tower could likely be traced back to tiny cracks during Siuan’s tenure as Amyrlin. If she’d been more of a mediator among the factions of the White Tower, could she have pounded strength into the bones of these women? Could she have kept them from turning on one another like razorfish in a blood frenzy?

To her surprise, she is intercepted on her way out by Sharina, the oldest novice in the camp. Siuan notes that Sharina’s comportment as a novice is flawless despite a lifetime of being her own woman, and admires her for it. Sharina offers to carry Siuan’s basket; intrigued, Siuan allows it, and as they walk Sharina comments that it seems curious such a large fuss was caused by the news, even though this is not nearly as portentous as the news brought by the Asha’man a few months earlier. Siuan replies that the first incident likely primed the camp to react a similar way, and Sharina observes that that is a truth which could be used to advantage if one wanted to cause worry.

“Ashmanaille reported first to Lelaine Sedai,” Sharina said softly. “I’ve heard that Lelaine was the one who let the news slip. She spoke it out loud in the hearing of a family of novices while calling for the Hall to meet. She also deflected several early calls for the meeting to be Sealed to the Flame.”

Siuan realizes that this is Lelaine’s move for power — if a sufficient amount of panic is generated, it would be that much easier for Lelaine to step in with a firm hand and take control. Siuan also realizes that the fact that Siuan hadn’t seen it coming means Lelaine doesn’t trust her as much as Siuan thought she did. Siuan asks why Sharina came to her with this, since Siuan is Lelaine’s lackey for all Sharina knows.

Sharina raised her eyebrows. “Please, Siuan Sedai. These eyes aren’t blind, and they see a woman working very hard to keep the Amyrlin’s enemies occupied.”

She further points out that if Egwene falls from power, Sharina and the rest of the “too-old” novices will be the first to suffer; Sharina hasn’t been fooled by Lelaine’s pretense of compliance on that score either. Siuan promises she will be rewarded for this, and Sharina replies that Egwene’s return will be reward enough. She curtsies and leaves, and Siuan thinks at Egwene that she had better hurry up.

Sharina isn’t the only one whose fate is entangled with yours. You’ve got us all wound up in that net of yours.

So, Sharina is kind of awesome, you guys.

I’ve noted this before (at least to myself if not in commentary, I can’t recall), but in the wake of this chapter it bears repeating. Or mentioning for the first time, whichever.

It really does take a singular kind of person to have the foresight and fortitude to so gracefully submit to treatment which she might quite reasonably consider beneath her (i.e. being a novice) in order to achieve a long-term goal. Not to mention having the shrewdness to perceive the true currents underlying what everyone else sees re: Siuan — something a whole passel of actual Aes Sedai have missed – and the cleverness to make her move exactly where it counted to preserve her interests.

Yeah, assuming she survives the Last Battle (and Nynaeve’s Accepted test makes a pretty good case for that), Sharina is going to be an Aes Sedai to reckon with, fo sho. This pleases me.

Lelaine, on the other hand, needs major smackings about the head and shoulders. It’s a sad commentary that I find it perfectly believable that even an impending apocalypse cannot curtail people’s impulse to jockey for power, but just because I find it plausible doesn’t mean I can’t be massively irritated about it. Stop being stupid, people!

Sheriam: yes, I imagine she is looking better, now that Halima isn’t beating the crap out of her all the time. Funny how that works! Also, did I really still not think she was Black the first time I read this? Because, wow. It seems so obvious now!

I guess Siuan second-guessing her priorities during her reign as Amyrlin is inevitable and understandable, but I personally think she’s being a little hard on herself. Not totally too hard on herself, because yes those cracks were there during her tenure, for the very good reason that the Black Ajah had been very busily putting them there for the last X number of centuries, but in Siuan’s defense, as distractions go there are probably few more effective than having to track down the Savior of the World. It’s a thing.

As a side note, I was kind of tickled at this chapter’s small revelation about where the rebels have been getting their money all this time. As a rule I resolutely ignore economics in WOT, because down that road lies nothing but nit-picking continuity-induced migraines and at some point you have to let that shit go, but this was an exception. I really rather loved the idea that the rebels have just been snaking the tributes right out from under Elaida’s nose all this time. Hah, take that.

Also, I was a bit astonished by the timeline established in this chapter: Jahar and Merise’s visit to the rebel camp was months ago? Did we actually skip over some time here, or am I losing my mind? Either is possible, of course.

I’m going to have to go look at some timeline stuff at some point to get my head back on track re: where everyone is relative to each other, time-wise. I know Perrin’s stuff is way behind everyone else’s until he catches up in ToM… right? I think that’s right.

Well, we’ll see — later, because we’re done for now! Have a week, chirren, and I’ll see you next time!

1. jmd
Haven't even read the post yet - But Addams Family reference FTW!!
Mark Lawrence
2. incurablyGeek
Agreed that the blacksmith's puzzle is a great icon for that chapter, both for Cadsuane's and Perrin's revelations.
Brandon Daggerhart
3. BDaggerhart
I'm going to go ahead and say that the "taming of Semirhage" chapter is one of my least favorite in the series.

Personally, I think Brandon Sanderson has been a very good (if not great) replacement for Mr. Jordan, and has done a supremely above-adequate job of filling shoes that are quite frankly, too big for just about anyone to fill.

However, I still think this chapter reads like fan-fiction. I literally had to do the literary version of a double-date when Semirehage ate the food off the floor after being spanked. I'm sorry, I just didn't believe it. It's not that I don't believe that spanking and humiliation could be a breaking point for one such as her, and it's not even that I have any similar moral issues to Leigh with the humiliation-based spankings that so many characters in the series receive and/or give. I just didn't believe Semirhage's breaking based on what was written in the text. Which, IMO, that fault does lie with Mr. Sanderson. Something about the writing in that chapter just made me think that it wasn't very well thought-out, or that it was tacked on very quickly, or that Mr. Jordan's notes had possibly left out how to break Semirhage, and Sanderson just couldn't think of another way, or something.

Again, I think Sanderson's done very well, and I really, REALLY like Towers of Midnight, and most of the Gathering Storm, but that chapter really, REALLY grated on me for some reason.

But at least it leads to one of the darkest, most horribly chapters in the entire series (Yes, I like to see a hero really broken to become what he has to become - I'm sure there's something psychologically weird about that).
TW Grace
4. TWGrace
Ive always thought that the "breaking of Semi" was silly.

Not only silly, but illogical. Very Deus Ex Machina.
5. Kadere
The blacksmith puzzle icon is NOT new to TGS. It first appeared in KoD Chapter 28: In Malden.
6. Palindrome
Eh, maybe it was Brandon Sanderson- but that seems to be a fairly big event for Robert Jordan to have just skipped in his note. "In this chapter Semirehage is broken" probably isn't how it was done. But who knows, its speculation either way.

Regardless of who wrote it, to me it actually seems like a well written, well thought out, ironic downfall for her. The destroyer of nations - completely undone by a spanking.

Its also set up in direct contrast to Egwene. Both are in captivity, both are spanked, both spill food - and both have the image that their captors hold of them overturned - but in reverse. Egwene goes from a childish image to power. Semirehage goes from power to child. Both of them have their true character revealed. It works well.
Captain Hammer
7. Randalator
If you take it as a given (and I do, as do most societies the world over) that committing heinous criminal acts automatically negates certain social rights you might otherwise enjoy - like, say, liberty, dignity, pursuit of happiness, and on occasion life itself


*reads again*

No, seriously. WHAT?

I...that...I...No. No! NO! Just...NO!

Article 1, paragraph 1 of the German constitution: "Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority."

I believe in that and I hold to that. No act, no matter how heinous, degraded and reprehensible ever, EVER negates a human beings right of dignity. I find the very thought revolting.

As a matter of fact concerning your whole statement, the American Declaration of Independence states "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Unalienable! This is the very principle on which your nation was founded.

I'm at a loss of words here regarding the utter wrongness of your statement and sentiment.
Roger Powell
8. forkroot
Lelaine, on the other hand, needs major smackings about the head and shoulders. It’s a sad commentary that I find it perfectly believable that even an impending apocalypse cannot curtail people’s impulse to jockey for power, but just because I find it plausible doesn’t mean I can’t be massively irritated about it. Stop being stupid, people!
Plausible? Hell yeah! Take a look at contemporary politics in the USA where despite an unsustainable debt trajectory, politicians pander, bob, and weave saying anything they think will get them through the next election. (OK, not quite the Apocalypse, but a really big deal.) I'm not trying to start an off-topic debate on politics here - just buttressing your point, Leigh, about certain human nature.
9. Ryanus
Randalator. So in Germany serial killers are handled how? What constitutes a loss of dignity is going to be a bit subjective, but the rest are a simple matter to understand.

Yeah, our Declaration states Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

And if you commit serious crimes (IE Murder, among others), you go to prison. You have lost your liberty, you have had your ability to pursue happiness. And quite frankly I consider it a lost life even without the death penalty issue.

The idea has always been "We will hold you as a human being until you show us you're not worthy of it."

And even though I said I'd avoid it, I want to touch just a bit on the dignity thing. What do you define dignity as? How about a murdering dictator who's beheaded and dropped into an unmarked grave to be forgotten? That's a loss of dignity, it happens without malice or evil though. I'm sure I could go through some other examples, but I don't think they're needed.

A human being as the right to their dignity, life and the chance to try for happiness. They also have a responsibility to not destroy those things for others. If you do the second you lose the first.
10. Greyhawk
I felt Semi's breaking was rushed somehow. I think that Cadsuane's insight was spot on, but the actual scene did not work for me.

Randalator@7-- really? So imprisonment, i.e. the deprivation of liberty, is never justified? Count me in the camp that agrees to disagree with you.
Captain Hammer
11. Randalator
Ryanus, Greyhawk

Liberty is not the same as freedom. Imprisonment means deprivation of freedom, not deprivation of liberty.

Liberty "identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions." (wikipedia)


They also have a responsibility to not destroy those things for others. If you do the second you lose the first.

No, you really don't. That's what unalienable means.
Ted Herman
12. WinespringBrother
@ Leigh Per the WOT chronology, the Hall sittings for Jahar's and Merise's visit, and for the disclosure that Elaida knew traveling were 50 days apart, so almost 2 WOT months, so probably within a margin of error for months among a group that doesn't regularly use the calendar.

@ 3 4 and 6 Per the 13th Depository, the spanking scene was specifically written per Robert Jordan's instructions. Brandon has stated he was not comfortable with writing that scene. Though, I do agree with the sentiments that it wasn't all that good a scene. After all, even with Cadsuane's temporary success, it didn't seem to accomplish anything useful like gaining intelligence or anything.
13. Ryanus
Rand, then I guess that makes human society hypocritical.

As for the liberty thing. I'd say being told you will live in a small room, you will be told what your meals are, when you will exercise, when you will work, when you will do anything. I'd count that a loss of liberty. Not to mention the culture in most prisons which dictates that you WILL act within certain behaviors or regret it.

If you're arguement is that liberty is just free will, then nothing can take that away from a person quite frankly, except their own lack of willpower or desire to be a sheep.

As an aside, that last part of my post, about having rights and responsibilities and if you break the second you lose the first? That's my personal outlook, which happens to not terribly disagree with the world as I have no problem living in it, but I wasn't quoting america specifically there.

Honestly, I would never personally take away dignity. But it's not because I care about the dignity of a serial killer, but because I feel taking the time to do that type of harm is a waste of my time and resources and gives them more importance than they deserve.

Quite frankly there are a small handful of crimes that I would happily ascribe the death penalty to and be done with. Crrimes that in my eyes make the perpetrator beneath consideration or respect on any level. That may or may not make me a bad person in your eyes, but it's how I see things.
Elijah Foster
14. TheWolfKing
@11. Randalator

If you are in prison, you can't act how you want to, you obey the rules of the prison, if you don't bad things can happen. In prison, they tell you when to eat and sleep, and what to do. How is that governing yourself? Also unalienable, that works both ways. Sure you cant have your rights violated, but also, other people cant have their rights violated by you, and if you pose a danger to those rights, you will have them revoked for the safety of others.
15. wcarter4
I think I know what the Semi breaking scene doesn't work for so many people (including myself)--it happens too quickly.
Humiliation IS a viable tactic in psychological interogation (read: torture lite), but it ususal takes time to build up the mental blocks a person puts up to defend themselves.
Semi is a master of torture, that doesn't mean she would be immune to it (in fact once she realised they knew her weakness, her own mind would work against her) but she would prepare for it, and at least in the short run, hold out only giving in once the cracks spread a little too much and she breaks completely.
Spread various types of public humilation over several chapters and storyline weeks, and wouldn't have felt quite so tacked on.
I don't blame RJ or Sanderson for this entirely. I think this chapter suffered from early draft syndrome. Probably it was something RJ had outlined but not fleshed out and Sanderson just didn't have enough to expand it or didn't have room in the roughly 300k words budgeted to him for TGS.
16. eytan
hee hee, chirren. i love reading your posts, ms. butler.
j p
17. sps49
The Semirhage scene at least left out any capitalization on the breakthrough. The Forsaken will grit her teeth at any repeat spanking, and the opportunity to gain intelligence is gone now. Cadsuane should've asked a few questions right then.

Her captors see her a notch lower now, but I don't see that accomplishing much.

Death is not a desired punishment because of the rebirth abilities the Dark One has (and Rand now knows), but I still think stilling is a good long-term solution. And as I noted months ago, stilling would be VERY likely to get some cooperation from a Dark channeler.

Stilling, to show it can be done and give one a taste of life without the source.

Healing by an opposite gender.

Not convinced? Stilling, then Healing by a same-sex channeler.

Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

End result is, at least, a weaker enemy escapee.
Captain Hammer
18. Randalator
TheWolfKing @14

Once again, liberty doesn't mean that you can do whatever you want, just that your choices in any given situation are none but your own, but they obviously depend on the situation. In the context of imprisonment it means that you have free choice whether or not to obey rules and that you have to take responsibility if you choose not to. Imprisonment does NOT violate you right of liberty.

Also, human rights cannot be revoked. Full stop. Certain rights can be revoked, like for example freedom, but this is not true for human rights. That's what sets them apart from any other rights...
19. Palindrome
It did happen too fast. But the concept works quite well. If Egwene's captivity was stuffed into one chapter and had the same results it would have felt fairly rushed as well.
20. Ryanus
Randalator @ 18

In that case there is truly no discussion to be had because by that train of though it's impossible to take way any of those base rights to begin with.

You cannot break my liberty, because I always have a choice, no matter how ilmited.

You cannot break my Dignity or my Will. Only I can choose to relinquish, which again is exercising my liberty.

If we want to go really philosophical I might point out that by nature we do not have liberty, depending on how you view the whole free-will thing. Do we truly have free will, or do we have the illusion of it while we act in ways that are specific hardwired based on our experiences?
21. birgit
The Gathering Storm Book Tour, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego 15 November 2009 - Katie Frey reporting
Q: Was the passage about Cadsuane spanking Semirhage already written, or was there just information in the notes? How did you feel about writing that section?
A: He was given creative freedom to do what was needed. No author can ever stick 100% to an outline, things change as they are being written, and he was given that kind of control in order to make the books work. Regarding that passage in particular, it made Brandon Sanderson cringe, but Robert Jordan wanted it in the books so it stayed.
Cameron Tucker
22. Loialson
Meh, Semi was a nasty person, and any qualms with spanking her went out the window, oh, a few thousand years ago.

Also, reposting a question I had yesterday (as I said I would)

*begin repost*

Just pondering on some other questions going through my head, and wanted to run them by everyone.

Was Lanfear actually killed by the Finn, as they told Moiraine, or did Moridin find her alive when he came for her (it's nearly 100% certain it was him that came for Lanfear in Finnland, wasn't it?)?

Or was she killed by Moridin after he found her for some reason to reincarnate as Cyndane, or is it just as simple as the Finn were telling the truth?

I don't know if this question is important or not, but Cynfear's wishes are sure to come back to bite Rand in the behind I think, judging by her PoV in Winter's Heart. I doubt she's changed much since then, all the cronying for Ishydin can't have changed her that much, it's pretty certain.

I wonder if Cyndane is related in any way to the reincarnation of Ilyena perhaps...? Loony theory, not likely, but I do wonder if Ilyena will pop up again, somehow in relation to Cyndane...hmm, probably not.

Maybe a better question would be: Will we ever see, or have we seen on screen the reincarnation of Ilyena so far in the series?

Has anyone asked these questions yet?

*end repost*

I've considered what was mentioned in the last post by some, and I think Elayne is a definite possibility from evidence in the text to be Ilyena reborn, but I'm not 100% convinced, as of now, but there's good support for that.

The main reason I think Ilyena might come up in the text is Rand's moment of awakening, as it were.

He gets his psychosis together and becomes Zen Rand and peaceful after the thought that he might meet Ilyena again, and that that is what makes life worth it. The little joys in life, and the loved ones you, just maybe, will see again.

For me, at least, I think that seems a minor cue to usher Ilyena into the wings, or to reveal who she is in this age. Perhaps this is fancy, but the romantic in me would like that to occur.

And the sadist in me is thinking that Moridin will prey upon this. To strike Lews Therin/Rand at their weakest spot left. Not only lust Mierin, but perhaps Cyndane has some connection to Ilyena reborn, and Moridin and the Dark will use that last hammer to strike Rand to the core.

Zen Rand still has that vulnarability left, and while the Trio of his girls are currently ok, what of her?

I always thought that the way Ilyena is brought up repeatedly throughout the series felt like a gun on a mantle almost.

This is all just ponder, but maybe there is something to it.
Ted Herman
23. WinespringBrother
@17 Perhaps stilling and blinding would be a more permanent solution to keep the person from channeling. Or maybe using one of those nifty super shields like the ones used by Moghedien and Lanfear on Liandrin and Asmodean.
Captain Hammer
24. Randalator
Ryanus @20

You cannot break my Dignity or my Will. Only I can choose to relinquish, which again is exercising my liberty.

Au contraire, mon frère. For example certain prisoners at Abu Ghraib had their dignity taken away quite thouroughly...
j p
25. sps49
Loialson @22-

I don't think Lanfear ever died; my feeling is that she would be back to full strength if she had. I could be wrong about whether the 'FinnFeeding is eternally permanent, but if balefire doesn't eternally eliminate a soul then I think rebirth will fix that damage.

No clue for the rest of your post, except I am sure Lanfear will have something significant to do.
j p
26. sps49
Randalator @24-

We're still on this?

My understanding of the Basic Law (of 1949) is phrases like "human dignity" were not used to prevent a felon from being embarrassed when using an open toilet, but to ensure human rights were valued higher than by the Weimar Republic constitution and the previous government.

Interpretation and translation can introduce misunderstandings; there is some disagreement on the definition of "liberty" here today. Could you elaborate more on what you are trying to tell us?
27. Delafina
@Randalator: "Liberty is not the same as freedom. Imprisonment means deprivation of freedom, not deprivation of liberty.

Liberty "identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions." (wikipedia)"

Merriam-Webster defines "freedom" and "liberty" identically. But even accepting your semantic hair-splitting:

How, if you're imprisoned, are you "governing yourself" or "behaving according to your own free will"?

That's precisely the *point* of imprisonment -- to take away those things, since if you're imprisoned (assuming it's just), you've used your ability to govern yourself and to behave according to your free will to do horrible things. Your liberty is the price for your crimes.

As far as your dignity, well, that's something no one can take from you, which is, I believe, Jordan's point. Egwene manages to maintain her dignity in the eyes of the other Aes Sedai and novices, despite being subjected to the same treatment as Semirhage. Egwene's dignity and reputation remain intact because they are earned. Semirhage's don't, because her reputation is built on actions that are not deserving of dignity. The treatment Egwene receives, meant to be humiliating, reveals who she really is: someone strong, with pure intentions and an unbreakable will. Similarly, the treatment Semirhage receives reveals her to be petty, weak and self-obsessed.

At the end of the day no one can take your dignity from you. It is your choice to surrender it. However, when you're a political figure (for lack of a better term), as Semirhage is, who maintains power through your reputation, I'm not sure your political enemies are unjustified in trying to induce you to relinquish it.
j p
28. sps49
WInespringBrother @23-

Blinding sounds very barbaric; we know naturally healed wounds can't be Healed.

Supershields could work, but are easier to undo (for the Dark) than severing.
29. Jessemb
Rand, having been to Far Madding, knows what it is like to be without the One Power. He would consider stilling, even if temporary, to be torture. He might consider it execution. I think the Aes Sedai would agree with him.

Re: Spanking. Rand, Mat, and Perrin have been raised in a heavily chivalric culture. They can't harm women. That self-restriction is as important to them as any other facet of their character, and they are all forced to break it--with the consequent heartbreak it causes them.

But there is one exception, and it is spanking. Perrin CANNOT slap Faile back. Not allowed. But he CAN spank her. Whether this is purely Rule of Sexy on Jordan's part (and believe me, my mileage varies), I don't know. But I do know that from an anatomical perspective, one's butt is probably the safest place to get hit. A lot of muscle and fat covering bone, with no important organs anywhere near.

This sounds really weird to me. I'm not advocating spanking. But I can understand how Rand, Mat and Perrin's culture can say, "Don't ever harm women, but as a very last resort, you're only allowed to hit them in a place where it can't possible cause serious damage."

It isn't about humiliation for any of our heroes. It is always used as a measure of last resort, IN RESPONSE to almost unbearable humiliation coming from Joline or Faile. It's a pressure valve, a place where a Two Rivers man can say, "You might hold all the sexual and political power, but there is a point past which I will not be pushed."

The times when Mat and Perrin spank Joline and Faile would not be appropriate in our culture. But they are necessary in the culture of the Two Rivers. Whether that's good or bad is another thing entirely.
Anthony Pero
30. anthonypero

Perhaps the conversation could go further if you could give us an idea what you do think constitutes taking someone's liberty away? Obviously Leigh's original statement is refering to imprisoning someone. So you obviously don't have a beef with what she meant in her statement.

You don't find strip searching a prisoner and doing a cavity search for drugs to be taking away someone's dignity? They do that regularly in prisons, in front of other inmates. How is spanking someone worse than that? What exactly do you believe takes away someone's dignity.

If you don't believe these things do, then you don't actually disagree with Leigh's statement as your initial post indicates, since this is undoubtedly what she meant given the context of the post.

What is it you mean? And how does Cadsuane violate it? What are we missing?
Anthony Pero
31. anthonypero
Since we've decided to bring up "Masterful Perrin and His Mastery Over Faile", can we please not forget that this is incredibly out of character for Perrin? In fact, this is ultimately the response that Faile wanted from Perrin. She has a strange culture that wants a "masterful man". She's spent months basically TRAINING Perrin to respond this way. Forcefully, not abusively, and to use his power to take away her power, when she is using it irresponsibly, or badly, or just plain ol' meanly. Faile's perversity is what should be under discussion, not Perrin's. Now granted, she really just wants him to yell at her a bunch so she can then submit to him, but honestly, words hurt a lot more than a spanking. And for a lot longer. Perrin is dealing with the insane in what seems to him to be the most sane fashion.
Joseph Irwin
32. IncongruousAmoeba
@Randalator Count me as mostly in agreement with everything you said. At the very least, a person can be given back their freedom, but no one can give back a life once it's gone. If there *are* people who the world is better off without, they shouldn't be killed by someone who faces no consequences if they decide wrongly.

On topic, while I agree that Semirhage deserves anything that happens to her, spanking shouldn't be dismissed as the equivalent of sending a child to time-out; it's a form of physical violence, no different in kind from any other torture. Just because it's traditional, doesn't make it okay. Although I recognize that opinions differ on this point.
Captain Hammer
33. Randalator
Delafina @27

You cannot just go and apply a thesaurus to certain words, when you're talking about their legal definition.

As for the imprisonment thing: I already explained that @18


My understanding of the Basic Law (of 1949) is phrases like "human
dignity" were not used to prevent a felon from being embarrassed when using an open toilet, but to ensure human rights were valued higher than by the Weimar Republic constitution and the previous government.

It means both. For example, the aforementioned incidents of physical and psychological cruelty in Abu Ghraib would be a clear violation of the Basic Law.

This goes so far that there are rules of conduct for the press on how to cover trials regarding tone of the article, or the disclosure of last name, pictures or personal information of a defendant or even convict. The latter is not allowed, for example, in order to protect the dignity of the defendant/convict and his relatives unless it is directly relevant to a case.
Tricia Irish
34. Tektonica

You bring up a good point about Ilyena being a gun on the mantle. It has irritated me no end that Rand hasn't seen Elayne since their sexy night, and doesn't even know he's going to be a daddy...what with traveling and their bond, Rand an Elayne should've been able to drop in on each other nightly, if they so desired. But....maybe Zen Rand, with his new revelations about being able to see loved ones again on the Wheel, will see Elayne as Ilenya, when he sees her next?? I believe she is the one with "sun hair", like Ileyna. Could this derail him? I keep thinking something is going to break his zen-ness, since Nynaeve saw such darkness inside his head, that she couldn't cure. Perhaps Moridan will exploit this somehow?

Fwiw, I loved Cads taking down Semi in this simple, child-punishment kind of way, and for admitting that it would be her own undoing as well. (One of my few Cads loving moments.) And , I agree with Leigh about the differences in the two spanking scenes. They are both demeaning, but in the Perrin/Faile case, that's not a good thing to have happen in a relationship.
Captain Hammer
35. Randalator
Obviously Leigh's original statement is refering to imprisoning someone. So you obviously don't have a beef with what she meant in her statement.
I certainly hope that's what she meant because what she happened to write was quite different and not at all okay. Especially in light of the suspicious similarity to the phrasing in the Declaration of Independence.
You don't find strip searching a prisoner and doing a cavity search for drugs to be taking away someone's dignity? They do that regularly in prisons, in front of other inmates.
Strip searching and cavity search? Not necessarily, as long as they're not performed without warrant or as a means of humiliation.

Performing it in front of other inmates or even more than the number of guards necessary for the procedure, however? Most definitely.
How is spanking someone worse than that? What exactly do you believe takes away someone's dignity. If you don't believe these things do, then you don't actually disagree with Leigh's statement as your initial post indicates, since this is undoubtedly what she meant given the context of the post. What is it you mean? And how does Cadsuane violate it? What are we missing?
I'm not talking about the treatment of Semirhage in particular. Although I would consider it a violation against human dignity and in fact an act of both physical and psychological torture if it happened in our world, I don't judge it as harshly in this fictional context. Still don't condone it, though.

I reacted simply to Leigh's statement and its rather unfortunate general implications. As I said, I hope that was not what she meant and just some veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery unlucky phrasing.
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
Randalator, I don't want to offend here, but you haven't really answered any of my questions. We're telling you what these words mean to us, you're saying we're wrong, I'm asking you to clarify. What do the words liberty and dignity mean to you, and how do you take them away? Because obviously many on this board are not using them the same way you are.
Kimani Rogers
37. KiManiak
Leigh, excellent post as usual. Thanks, as always.

So, yeah, Cadsuane spanks Semirhage. Big Whoop. Glad Leigh had no problem with it; I would think that almost every reader should feel the same, but who knows? But, did we have to revisit the Perrin/Faile spankfest?
(Must fight the urge to debate Perrin and Faile hitting each other 8 books ago…)

Hmm… I wonder if there was a line to spank Semirhage, how long that line would be? I’m just asking…

I am on a similar wavelength with Leigh in regards to Perrin and his placement, here. Post-TOM, you can see that BWS (or RJ) was setting up a transition from the singularly focused, must-save-Faile-and-screw-everything-else Perrin to the mastering-TAR-forging-Mjolnir-leading-men Perrin we see in ToM. I think it was well done, myself.

I appreciated Siuan seeing the possible tactical ramifications of the Tower getting Traveling, but it once again reminds the reader that the vast majority of Aes Sedai (women who should have decades of wisdom and experience, mind you) often come across as either self-centered, oblivious, or just plain dumb.

I love this series, but this continues to be one of my major peeves. It’s just hard to believe that this many women could all be this way. If nothing else, the Green Sitters should have seen the possible complications.

I know that BWS (or RJ) has Siuan reflect on that fact to try to explain why the AS are the way they are to the reader, but it still is hard to believe that only one AS would grasp that important fact. And yes, it was written so that Lelaine introduced it in a play for more power. But still; no one thinks to mention it to the General of their armies?

Also, I hope (although I admit it’s incredibly unlikely what with BWS probably focusing upon the major plot resolutions needed) that we see Sharina elevated to an AS in ToM. I think she would be incredibly formidable, and would in no way be a typical Aes Sedai.
Kimani Rogers
38. KiManiak
Tankspill@3 – This again? As has been said many times before, we don’t know who wrote what. I respect your right to be critical of the writing, to feel it “took you out of the story,” and to speculate on who you thought wrote it. But as I’ve said in the last few reread posts: Wouldn’t it be funny if we find out that RJ wrote that part (which Winespring@12 and birgit@21 has shown is likely what happened)?

Anyway, I will grant that Semi eating the food off of the floor does stretch the bands of believability, a little bit, but I’m willing to go along with it…

Palindrome@6 – Yes, I think it’s a good compare/contrast between Egwene and Semi. The initial respect their captors hold for them, their self-perception, the tactics, the results… A good bit of writing, IMHO.

GH@10,WC4@15, Palin@19 and others – I agree that Semi’s breaking happened rather quickly. I guess the plan was to not spend too many chapters on it. Could you imagine if that spanned a few books? With painstaking detail of Cads methods to finally break Semi? Talk about a Plot Line Of Doom.

Loilason@22 – I saw your post on the previous thread, as well. I think reintroducing Ilyena is an interesting possibility, but I think it would lead to all kinds of issues that I don’t think can be addressed in one book. Up until this time, Min has been the primary representative of the harem. Having Ilyena Reborn appear now would be one kind of a pickle. What about Aviendha, who is likely to return at about the same time as the big meeting at the Fields of Perrilor? Would Zen-Rand even want to see Ilyena in that situation? Too many possibilities, too many complications, too little time and page space.

Jessemb@29, AP@31 – Are you sure you want to reopen that door? Really? :-)
Scientist, Father
39. Silvertip
I'm going to tack at least partially into the wind here. My initial reaction to Leigh's statement
It’s a sad commentary that I find it perfectly believable that even an impending apocalypse cannot curtail people’s impulse to jockey for power
was complete agreement. (Probably like most people!) I'm going to back away a bit from it, however, because of something called the error of attribution: since we tend to know more about our own motives than other people's (duh), we tend to attribute our own actions to good and logical reasons, but others' to mendacity or irrationality. I was reminded of this because the example that leapt to my head, the current (in my view) pigheadedness of austerity-fixated decision makers in Europe, was almost the precise opposite of @8 forkroot's:
Take a look at contemporary politics in the USA where despite an unsustainable debt trajectory, politicians pander, bob, and weave saying anything they think will get them through the next election.
Not that such a characterization of our politicians is exactly wrong, of course :-), but I happen to be of the opposite camp to this economic view, believing that in the short term at least the federal budget deficit is the last thing we should be worried about, and instead, given the details of the current unusual economic conditions, we should be pulling out all the stops to address the human suffering from un- and under-employment even at the expense of a short-term budget imbalance. I don't want to make a big deal about this specific argument here (reasonable people can disagree, yada yada), but it nicely points up how we can misunderstand our opponents. People who sincerely hold to the view I've just expressed are easily accused of irresponsible pandering; by contrast, I've heard people who do agree with me go so far as to accuse budget-cutters in the GOP of deliberately trying to sabotage the economy in the short term so as to hurt the president's reelection chances. I would never argue that there's no possible truth to either accusation, but I suspect that folks on both sides are being much too quick to conclude that the other camp is out for personal gain, partisan advantage at the expense of the national interest, etc. etc.
Or maybe I'm just naive. Y'never know.

Re Semirhage: That chapter bothered me a bit. After reading the comments, I think I agree with those who argue that the psychology is sound but the timeframe is too compressed. Makes sense to me.

Captain Hammer
40. Randalator
anthonypero @36

Because it is not easy to explain what these words mean unless you are talking about a specific situation.

I told you what liberty meant in regards to human rights and that's not just something I made up, but something you can look up. As for the question of what constitutes human dignity, this is a very delicate matter that is evaluated on a case by case basis by people much smarter than me. Courts all over the world spend countless time determining what dignity means in a specific case. The right to a fair trial can and has been considered as an aspect of human dignity, as can be the illegality of slavery, as can be the illegality of torture, as can be freedom of speech and so on and so forth. And all this in turn depends on local law, society, traditions,...

But what those people who accept human rights agree upon, regardless of circumstances or exact definition of human dignity, is, that it is a basic human right and cannot be forfeit. And that's why I reacted so strongly to Leigh's implication that any person can lose their right of dignity if they just commit enough of an atrocity.

I'm am NOT arguing definition; this is completely irrelevant to my point. I really cannot make myself clearer than that: I fundamentally oppose the idea that basic human rights can be forfeit under any circumstances. They can't, as is clearly stated in the Universal Decleration of Human Rights. But since that is what Leigh's statement implied, I reacted to that.
41. Wotman
I am glad things are calming down, it always seems people tend to split hairs especially this thing about "liberty". "Give me liberty or give me death" kinda says it all, as someone mentioned liberty and freedom are for the most part interchangeable.
I don't think antyone here is a bad person so you haven't been in a situation such as described in the chapter. When someone has complete power over you it is very easy to get you to say or promise anything they ask, which is the very reason why torture is not the best way to get good information.
Perrin does what he is forced into, Faile acting the spoiled brat she is, who by the way is playing mind games with him, deserves what she got, which is what she wanted in the first place.
I think Cadsuane sees herself in Semi and that tells me that she is aware she is a bitch and enjoys lording it over others, bad, very bad. It also sems to preent good things from coming to the forefront because of the intimidation factor.
Roger Powell
42. forkroot
Hmm… I wonder if there was a line to spank Semirhage, how long that line would be? I’m just asking…
Can I get in the line to spank Berelain?

{:: wilts under the collective glare of 50% of this forum and shuffles to the bunker ::}
Sim Tambem
43. Daedos
@ 40

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

In your mind, does death remove one's liberty (if imprisonment does not)? Death definitely removes one's life, and his/her ability to pursue happiness. Death is a common penalty for certain actions all around the world. I do agree that dignity can not be taken away, though. It can only be relinquished.

Also, Wikipedia is hardly definitive. For anything. Ever.
Chris R
44. up2stuff
Randalator @ 11,

The rights are inaleinable/unalienable because men were created eqaul, i.e. BORN equal. The inalienable part comes from King being born better than a commoner, or not. The King was entailed to this or that because he was king and his subjects were not. Kings were overthrown, commoners arrested, rights were revoked, not denied when someone screwed up and got penalized.

That is how I interpret that statement.
45. Freelancer

Just a thought regarding Sharina. Though you take it as anomalous that she would be the best-behaved novice around in spite of her years, it really is not, and I think Jordan was presenting that point to draw a reaction not of incredulity, but of consideration.

Military basic training is designed to adjust a recruit's thinking about his own place in a larger group, from presuming he has control over his behavior and circumstances, to recognizing that success is gained through regulated obedience to orders, rules, and proper authority. It is very well established that recruits of four or more years above the average age of entry are far more adaptable to a subordinate position, less likely to misbehave or disobey reasonable orders, and far more likely to become a role model, drawing fellow recruits into conformance with the patterns of behavior expected of them.

IOW, it's nothing new.


I have no qualms with your stance on the inviolable nature of one's basic rights. It is well-considered, and any case of someone standing on principle gains my approval, it is far too rare in this age. However, Semirhage's treatment doesn't approach any limits in those terms, not even close. That would be the point at which you and I agree to disagree; for while I absolutely agree that the basic rights should be and remain out of the reach of government, if taken to the logical extreme to which your position leans, means that no method of law enforcement fails to infringe on those rights. I hold that conviction of a crime and the subsequent punishment represent, not the government revoking the convict's rights, but his willing fortfeiture of them. Basically, law enforcement didn't put you in jail, you put yourself there, they are simply the legal instrument of action. Yes, splitting hairs, but the point is valid.

Also, just as Leigh reminds us of her disapproval with Perrin spanking Faile, I would remind her of my position on that scene, which begins with Faile treating Perrin like a dog, not even a child. After he disregards her "authority" and makes her afraid for his life, she then treats him like a punching bag, not even a dog. For this, his options were to do nothing and allow it to continue (something we all know would have lost her respect immediately), beat her in kind which would have seriously injured her given the difference in mass and strength, or treat her like the spoiled child her behavior indicates. She was using every dirty emotional trick at her disposal to intimidate and force his behavior, and had been since she got jealous (wrongly) about Perrin looking at Berelain. To accomplish her childish ends regarding Perrin, she abused Loial's trust and caused him no end of discomfort, itself an inconsiderate and selfish action worthy of a good whuppin.
47. kab1kab1
@45. Completely agreed on your analysis of the Perrin and Faile spanking scene. I've always felt that she treated him with way more disrespect than he treated her. Sure spanking shouldn't happen between two adults, but neither should abuse in emotional ways. In my opinion she got off lightly, he should have never spoken to her again. I would forgive someone more easily for a spanking then for the way Faile treated Perrin.

On a different note, can someone remind me of the connection between Sarina Malloy and Nyneaves's accepted test. I don't have my books anymore to look it up. thanks!
Elijah Foster
48. TheWolfKing
If you can't violate those basic human rights then consider this, can Semi even be called human anymore. Look at at what she does, I would not consider her to be human at all but more like evil in the form of a human.

A good movie to watch is called Unthinkable, pretty much Samuel L. Jackson is a government tortuer who has to torture this guy to get the locations of nuclear bombs. It pretty much makes you wonder how far you should go to save peoples lives. (BTW in the movie, the bad guy admits to having planted the bombs before he is even caught so no, its not questionable knowledge like guantanamo bay or abu ghraib)
49. Wortmauer
Randalator, count me in the crowd that can't figure out what you mean by liberty. In a nutshell:

How can a person's liberty be taken away? Give a specific example.

Possible answers:
— It can't. If that's your answer, it seems like the whole concept is not very useful. If something can never be taken away, why write about it in a declaration or a constitution? Why bring it up at all? "We must never do this thing that is impossible anyway."

— Imprisonment. You seem to be arguing that this does not take away one's liberty, though.

— Death. But if that were the only way to lose one's liberty, there would be no need to distinguish "life" and "liberty" as two distinct rights.

— ???
The other reason we're confused is that, on the one hand, you put "liberty" and "dignity" on equal footing, yet on the other hand, you seem to be putting them in very different categories: internal to a person (liberty can't be taken away via external actions), and external (dignity can be taken away via external actions). Is this correct? Does it agree with how you are using those words?

Spanking: Freelancer@45 said it all. Faile was behaving like a child and treating Perrin like a dog, then physically assaulted him. At that point, if not before, she forfeited the right not to be treated as a child. Fortunately, when her actions had consequences, she didn't complain about them. (Either she was self-aware enough to know she deserved it, or she actually enjoyed it. Maybe both.)
Roger Powell
50. forkroot
kab1 x2@47
During Nynaeve's Accepted test - way back in TGH, in one of the "alternate realities" Nynaeve is married to Lan and has children - she looks unwell and Lan offers to call for "Sharina Sedai".

It is only later (in Winter's Heart) when Egwene tells Nynaeve that there is a novice with enormous potential named Sharina Melloy that Nynaeve realizes that is the same name from her test.

Coincidence? I think not. RJ had a way of slipping in subtle clues about things over the course of the narrative. In this particular case, he's showing that the Acceptance ter'angreal has the ability to provide information that could not have already been present in the novice's mind.

What's also interesting is that there is a very similar ter'angreal in Rhuidean that is used by the Aiel to send prospective Wise Ones through. That ter'angreal apparently shows future or potential future events (we never get a direct description.)

Props, as always, to Encyclopedia-WOT which helped me remember this and summarize.
Anthony Pero
51. anthonypero
Oh, but KiManiak, the conversation is so much fun. We all respect other people's points of view sooooo much! *grin*
Valentin M
52. ValMar
Common guys what's with the nitpicking, liberty that liberty this. I think Randalator's umbrage was pretty straightforward, re: Leigh's statement.
As I understand it- that in RL, especially modern democracies like US, Ozz, EU, etc, you can't inflict any depravity you like on someone imprisoned, even of horrible crime. There are legal constraints on this and if you don't like them, I suggest you contact you local Congressperson, MP, whatever. Just how well these rules strike the balance is another matter. But free for all? I don't think so.
I personally think that, in the UK at least, prisons have become almost better than some London hotels, apparently. Which is wrong. But I think it's a slippery slope if you inflict vindictive cruelty on people. I don't know personally, but I guess it would take a certain kind of person to do such things regularly.

As for Semi's specific situation- I don't have problem with her treatment. It did happen a bit too fast and was ultimately pointless, but not everything has to come to success. Cads was on the right track but Sorilea's treason cut the progress short :)
Stefan Mitev
53. Bergmaniac
I blame Jordan for the Semirhage's spanking scene, he clearly had some kind of an obsession with spankings.

What's the point of this scene anyway? Next time we saw Semirhage mere five chapters later, she got away briefly and was balefired, and it's not like she gave some crucial info to those who spanked her. The book would've been better off without this scene IMO - it's implausible and pointless. It's not like it hasn't been demonstrated time and time again that the Forsaken aren't really superhumans and can be as childish and petty as anyone.

The Borderlanders paying tribute is so wrong - what the hell is the Tower doing for them? Nothing, they don't help the fight against the Trollocs at all. Not a single Aes Sedai was in Shienar in EOTW to help against the upcoming invasion, except Moiraine, who was there for another reason. Good chapter apart from that, and Siuan is awesome again, but this bit really irked me.
Scientist, Father
54. Silvertip
Freelancer @45 re Sharina: Interesting, very interesting. Haven't served myself, and hadn't heard that before. Do you think it's simply that older recruits are more mature in an absolute sense, or is it being the old*est* of a group that leads to mature/leadership behavior?

Wolfking@48: This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so pardon the rant. Remember that movies and shows like that (and I confessedly haven't seen that one) can be as contrived as the writer likes to make torture the "best" choice, in a totally artificial situation. In particular, the ticking-time-bomb trope completely neglects both the ability of the torturee to deliberately mislead the questioners (which would be quite effective in a short time frame) and, more fundamentally, the role of uncertain knowledge. If you believe that torture is wrong but are willing to make an exception for a "ticking time bomb," but you're in RL and there's no omniscient screenwriter to make everything clear, how do you know that this time, this guy you're interrogating has the info you need to stop some sort of plot that's happening this day? You just don't know enough, ever, to make that call ... which means that, with that "exception" in your head, you (I'm not picking on "you" personally, I mean any imperfect human) will start to convince yourself that all sorts of increasingly fuzzy situations fall into your principled exception. Aargh, I'm not even being coherent, but hopefully I've brought my point across ...

Nadine L.
55. travyl
Loialson @22. / sps49 & forkroot

I have to thank you for yours posts - being a reader who "buys any twist of fate on storytelling" I don't do much questioning myself, but if it's pointed out to me, I do like to consider it.

Adressing loialson's question about Lanfear's "outcome" in Finnland
I haven't completely made up my mind yet.
On first reading sps49 (@25) argument is convincing:
would be back to full strenght if she had
Still forkroots arguments (@119, last thread (part9)) bear more validity, for me.
As "Cyndane" she is in a different body, so it appears the DO snatched Lanfear back ala Moridin and the 'gars.
I just wanted to sum this up, maybe someone else has more arguments on it?
Kimani Rogers
56. KiManiak
forkroot@42 – Hmm… Are you sure that a full 50% of the folks here would glare at you? As opposed to laughing, hiding a smile behind their hands, or silently joining you in line? I’m just saying…

AP@51 – Actually, my fingers were kinda itching and wanted me to add my 2cents in to the topic as well until I stopped myself, so I understand the appeal. :-)

Oh, and as a serious aside, I will say that the vast majority of the commenters here do tend to have a basic respect for other folks’ perspectives/opinions. They may not agree, but it’s rare that we get a “you’re a moron,” or a “my kid’s pet hamster is smarter than you” type comment.

And for all those who disagree with my statement that the vast majority of commenters here tend to be respectful of other folks' opinions that they may/not support, then you’re morons who are dumber than my non-existent child's pet hamster :-)

Berg@53 – I wonder if the point of the scene was for Cadsuane (or the other AS who were there) to learn the lesson that the Forsaken are just human, and to stop elevating them to legendary or mythological status.
Elijah Foster
57. TheWolfKing
@54. Silvertip

I know, its just I was applying it to Semi. We know she has done horrible things so take away her dignity. We also know that Hitler did terrible thing and Mussolini and Stalin and Pol Pot and many others were horrible, so when I say take away their rights/dignity I mean for these types of people that we can prove with solid evidence are bad people. I don't mean supposed terrorists at all. Oh the ticking time bomb trope does not apply to this movie, sorry if I ruin it but the guy says there is 3 bombs but its really 4. Samuel pushes to torture the guy into admitting based on evidence in the movie (something like 16 pounds of uranium stolen from a factory and only 12 accounted for ) but the military/government doesn't let him.
Elijah Foster
58. TheWolfKing
@56. KiManiak
They may not agree, but it’s rare that we get a “you’re a moron,”
Well except the Taimandreders.
::dives for the bunker::
59. TheAndyman
When you get to ToM, just follow Tam to see where everything is in time. I call him the ticking Tam bomb.
60. Shard
The fact that you think Perrin felt it was an "Awesome" idea to spank Faile shows you don't know or understand Perrin. He did NOT think it was a great idea, he was being slapped by someon acting like an impetious child. When you push someone violently it has the good chance of that person reacting in kind.

Usually Perrin is the one that is calm and reserved but again Faile is resorting to beating on him to get him to submit. All he wanted was for her to stop, I'm not saying what he did was right but I don't think it was a domination thing. Perrin doesn't think like that and his conversation with Elyas several books later should show how stunned and amazed at the concept of Domination is.

Finally Faile likes the Domination thing apparently, it's not everyone's thing but it does seem to be hers. Perhaps that's what she was wanting all along from him. Again she was acting like a child and children get spanked.
PatentlyO Obvious
61. PatentlyO
@7 Randalator,

While the German constitution holds human dignity as an unalienable right, the U.S. constitution does not. The Declaration of Independence is simply that, a declaration (Which in short says, "screw you, England!") and is not a legally binding document. While there are provisions that are meant to afford a certain amount of dignity and respect to life (no cruel and unsual punishment), the U.S. constitution does not explicitly set aside life, liberty, or even dignity as unviolable. There is no ban on depriving people of life - the death penalty still exists in certain states. We also deprive people of liberty - with imprisonment, restraining orders, etc. We also deprive them of dignity - imprisoment, listing a person as a sex offender is hardly dignified.

I don't intend to argue whether or not any of it is right or wrong, but as it stands, it is legally permitted. So while it may be an absolute under some systems (German) that you may not violate those rights, it is not
an absolute bar in other systems (U.S.). My guess is that Leigh was basing her statement on the U.S. system and as such, her statement is true. (U.S.) Society has decided that when a person violates law, they forfeit rights accordingly and that includes what we feel that everyone should have the right to pursue - life, liberty, dignity, pursuit of happiness.

I must say, Leigh, I was hoping for a huge show in the re-read re: Cadsuane spanking. Fireworks and everything. Boo.

I do find Siuan's POV very interesting and while I agree that she is overly harsh of herself, it seems that really shows the wisdom she has in comparison to others (Elaida, for example although the really is no comparison). She thinks, maybe my way was not the best way. Perhaps there was something I could have done better. In contrast to Elaida's "Everything is going wrong because everyone won't fall in line! I am the law!"
62. Stromgard
Ever since TPOD, when Lelaine showed that she has no moral problems at all of having people ON HER OWN SIDE killed when she has stuff to gain from it and can get away with it, as shown when she tells Egwene that the only reason she is not having Bryne killed is that he is too valuable, I've been hating her. (I also think she is scary as hell.) And she has done nothing AT ALL that makes me change my view of her. And the scary thing is that it doesn't shock Egwene, as if she expect the Blue Sisters to organize willful assassination on a normal basis? Which we also see in ACOS, when Siuan suggest assassination of people that know too much as business as usual. Honestly, if I was connected to the White Tower, I'd ally with the Blue Ajah, you know, just in case...

Although I wonder how well known it is, by the rest of the Tower,
that the Blue Ajah is having people assassinated, when it doesn't surprise Egwene at all on either occassion?

One can also wonder why stilling and hanging Asha'man without a trial would cause the Red Ajah members that did so to be gentled and executed, when it probably wouldn't be a big deal if the Blue Ajah had them assassinated instead? (Not that it would be easy to assassinate Asha'man, but still... there is always fast-working poisons, and death can't be healed.)

Also, and this is pure speculation, one can wonder if the reason that the Blue Ajah have so many Amyrlins is that the other Ajahs may be just a teeny tiny bit afraid of them? I know I'd be. If I had worked against or made the Blue Ajah hostile, I'd have someone taste my food for me, thankyouverymuch. :-)
63. MasterAlThor
Not much to comment on here. Just a few quick things.

As always Freelancer has very eloquent way of saying what a lot of us feel about Perrin v Faile. I agree with this.

That line begins here. You got next. LOL

Anthony Pero
64. anthonypero

I had something along the same lines formatting in my brain,good thoughts.

The Declaration of Independence is less of a legal document and more of an inspirational one. We base no laws on it.
Cameron Tucker
65. Loialson
@ 38.KiManiak

Good point, there isn't much screen time left for this plot device to be used. I wasn't really meaning that Ms Random from unknown city B would pop up as Ilyena incarnate to cause drama. More along the lines that it would be revealed who amongst the cast she was, if it's touched upon at all.

Most likely it will not be addressed, though I would like it to, personally, for Lews Therin/Rand's peace of mind (he may not ever hook up with her again, he is already juggling three loves already, but it would be great to see him at peace with the knowledge that her soul still...is ok...if that makes any sense).

It would give their story bittersweet closure (like chocolate :P )

And if Elayne is Ilyena reborn, then all is well (or at least, well enough to content me).
66. kab1kab1
Forkroot@50. Thanks! I agree, I love how Jordan intertwines the details of this story....
Roger Powell
67. forkroot
I agree with you that Lelaine is pretty nasty. In some ways, she's the Salidar Aes Sedai equivalent of Elaida (who, as we know, was keen to have Gawyn and the Younglings eliminated once she deemed them a nuisance.) Fortunately for the SAS, Romanda served as counterweight to Lelaine's schemes (thus ultimately enabling Egwene's astonishing ascent.)

The first time I read the series, I tended to lump Romanda and Lelaine into the same category (ambitious .. annoying) but I've come to realize that Romanda is by far the more nobler of the two. She even gets in her little MOAs (such as figuring out about Halima/Delanna) and her vote is essential in "raising" Nynaeve.
David Goodhart
68. Davyd
Wow. I totally took for granted being about to read a chapter or two, then being about to come to this blog and read/lurk. When I first started TEOTW at the beginning of the summer, I saw the dates of the start of the blog as 2009, and thought, what a shame, I missed it. Now i've caught up and passed the re-read, and i find that i am enjoying these posts even more now that i have to wait! Shivering with an..tici..pation, and All That. Not much to comment on within these chapters, except that Siuan remains at the top of my Non-OurHeroes fave characters list. I also LOVE what Cads did with Semi, because nothing knocks someone down a peg or two more than a good ol' fashioned humiliation. And there is No One more deserving than that creep Semirhage of a Knock Down, am I right?
69. Stubob
I finally have caught up in the WoT re-read posts (Book - now this November) and my assorted thoughts are more on the series as a whole than this particular post.

1. I regret that we have not/may not see Mat meet a female Forsaken post-medallion obtaining.

2. Also, I'm of the camp that Aludra & Mat have great chemistry & part of me wishes they had ended up together.

3. Semirhage = Always creepy.

I'm holding more of my thoughts for when we reach those posts.
70. Shadow_Jak
forkroot @42


Hmm… I wonder if there was a line to spank Semirhage, how long that line would be? I’m just asking…

Can I get in the line to spank Berelain?

{:: wilts under the collective glare of 50% of this forum and shuffles to the bunker ::}

Un-noticed by the other 50% scurrying and shuffling for their place the line.

"the ticking Tam bomb"
I like it!
71. Stubob
Oh, I've been seeing the spanking issues come up many times in the re-read. Personally, I'm fine with it in disciplining children (It was used on me).

For how it's used in the series? I honestly don't know. I am not sure if I'd condone a man slapping a woman back if they jackslapped him first. I never have slapped back. And I honestly can't think of many times in fiction with a man responding with "a slap for a slap". The Night Of The Living Dead sticks out to me because Ben slapped Barbara back.

*shrugs* I don't know!
72. Tesla_Sunburn
53. Bergmaniac

The purpose of that scene is pretty obvious. Its Cadsuanes realization that she could be broken in the same way. We don't know how that will resolve but that is clearly the point of the scene.

The boarderlanders giving tribute is a reference to the Catholic Church(as are many things about Aes Sedai). Its a religious donation. If you need a reason the Aes Sedai(are supposed to) serve several important functions. They keep the peace, hunt Dragons and prepare for the last battle.

That's why several nations give tribute.
73. Freelancer
Silvertip @54

Older recruits are more mature in an absolute sense, is exactly the right way to express it. It is, of course, a generalization, there are always going to be hardcase older guys who retain too large a portion of defiance, and conversely examples of very young folks who have their heads screwed on right to start with, and accept the program immediately.

I had one major act of defiance during basic. Our company commander was a signalman, and he had the cute idea to spell out a vulgarity on our company pennant using the signal flags for the letters, so that most of the public wouldn't be aware. I adamantly refused to permit it. That got me yanked into his office, and when he asked what I, a recruit, thought I could do to stop it, I spoke one name to him, and asked if he would be willing to explain himself to that person. As a result, I suffered in every way he could think of which stayed on the near side of mistreatment, but the company pennant remained "unfouled".
Chris R
74. up2stuff
Gang, with all the back and forth going on about the US Decalration and inalienable rights, you should look here, and rememeber THIS was written by many of the same people, too. Pay special attention to how the second part of Amendment V talks about due process.

Again, in the Declaration, the Founding Fathers were arguing that they were ENDOWED or came into being with these rights just like any noble or king. It doesnt say that they can't have them revoked, only that a king or lord, especially one, thousands of miles away is not better or more entitled to anything than they were.

The Declaration was written 2oo years ago with feudal politics in mind and 200 year old connotation. Things are percieved different, now. Joe Pesci gave a speech in that Brendan Frasier movie about Harvard about how the Constituition and Bill of Rights can be changed, updated.

The Bill of Rights, Amendment V specifically, covers those rights being tied to responsibility, and Free Will and how the wrong choices can result in those rights being forfeit, as a result of Crime and the consequences of one's actions.

Again, they did not want to protect their rights at all costs, they just wanted to be sure that they were on equal footing with any man in a world where until then, they were not. Remember, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." emphasis mine.
john mullen
75. johntheirishmongol
I wouldn't rush around changing the Constitution. It's stood us in pretty good stead for a couple of hunded years.

As for the spanking, I had no real issue with it, but I did find it hard to believe that she would actually eat food off the floor that rapidly. That part certainly felt rushed.

Talking about spankings, there are quite a few in the series, but everyone seems to want to talk about Perrin and Faile. Funny, when I think of their's all I can picture is John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, in a couple of movies.
76. birgit
would be back to full strenght if she had

Maybe that only works with a normal reincarnation. When someone is revived by the DO they keep their memories from the last life and maybe other things, too.
77. Ser Gei
Hi there,

I've been reading this marvellous Re-read - and the Read of ASOIAF - quite long, but never have I felt such an urge to comment as I do right now. I just have to let you know, that when you wrote:
It has nothing (or, well, very little) to do with spanking per se,
I almost choked to death while trying not to laugh too loud in my little office cubicle. Why, you might wonder? Well, I happen to be from Finland, and this term per se - or "perse" to be specific - in Finnish means.. well, ass.
That's it. My important message has been delivered and I have fulfilled my goal in life. Will now return back to shadows. Thank you, and sorry.
78. The_Duck_Is_Rising
The problem with the Bill of Rights is that some smart-aleck has decided it should be left in the Lost Properties for the duck that lost it.

For what little it's worth, I once read a very interesting point made by a Syrian-American Sephardi - he referred to an Egyptian mullah or some other such Muslim religious scholar, who during the Anglo-French condominium over Egypt, wished to find out just what Europeans meant by "freedom", "liberty", and the like, since from his point of view, it mattered not whether one was a slave or a free man. So he went to Paris for a few years of study. When he returned, he told his friends and colleagues that Europeans meant "justice" when they spoke of "freedom".

You read the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta and the like, with fresh eyes after reading such a statement. Especially when you remember that the Declaration of Independence was signed by slave-owners. who as it happened, didn't take their own words seriously enough.

Speaking of Semirhage's humiliation, I read in one of the snippets in Andrei Sinyavsky's "A Voice from the Chorus" about a criminal boss in one of the prison camps Sinyavsky was assigned to, nicknamed "Pushkin", who one day wanted to get warm, and the only warmth was a fire lit with a prison guard standing next to it. So he walked up to the fire and the guard aimed his gun. "Go on, shoot me," "Pushkin" said. Then laughed when the prison guard didn't. "You don't have the guts," he said.

And a little snippet from one of those story cards that I think the US State Dept handed out to Australian primary schools in the fifties, sixties and seventies. this particular one talked about breaking hardened criminals, whose self-image was of the "hard man". The person who wrote this little snippet I recall, said it was important to humiliate them publically by making them cry publically, and tear gas was regarded as very helpful in this respect - that and a pillory post to chain the recidivist up against.
79. Shloz
My personal beef with this chapter is its break in consistency vis-a-vis the terms "Sealed to the Flame" and "Sealed to the Hall".

When Elaida first went to Seaine way back in - was it COS? - RJ gave us a confidentiality system within the Tower:
Sealed to the Shawl - only full sisters cleared
Sealed to the Hall - only Sitters + Amyrlin cleared
Sealed to the Flame - only the Amyrlin (and whoever she clears on it, plus, presumable the Keeper).

In this chapter, only the term "Sealed to the Flame" is used, even tho Egwene isn't even here. The proper term in context would have been "Sealed to the Hall".

Sounds nitpicky, I know, but the break in consistency and terminology seemed to me to be an example of BS not being 100% fluent in everything Randland, and as such "took me out of the narrative" for a minute. Then again, it obviously got through all the editors, too.
Brandon Daggerhart
80. BDaggerhart
@38. KiManiak

I'm not sure what you're referring to with the "this again" statement - I've never once in this blog mentioned that exact thought before. Like you said, I was just saying my personal opinion about that chapter, not "Hey, everyone else better frakkin' agree with me!" And quite frankly, if Robert Jordan wrote every word of that scene, I would *still* say it was a poorly-written scene. I'm not complaining necessarily about Sanderson, I'm complaining about the scene. I am allowed to believe something is poorly-written without having to worry about who wrote it.

No one said you had to agree with my opinion, so don't get all defensive just because I have one negative opinion which I feel the need to bring up in a public forum.

@74. up2stuff

Agree 100%
Anthony Pero
81. anthonypero

He was saying that we, collectively, as a blog, have (pardon the pun) beaten the Perrin-Faile spanking scene like a dead horse. The comment was written in jest, at least that's how i took it. There was a smiley face and everything :)
Jonathan Levy
82. JonathanLevy
18. Randalator
Imprisonment does NOT violate you right of liberty.
Sorry, you lost me here. If we accept this statement, then the word 'liberty' has no meaning at all.

By coincidence, I recently finished reading books III and IV of Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago". I'm sure the Soviet guards would be delighted to agree with you that they in no way violated the prisoners' right to liberty, inasmuch as the prisoners still had full 'liberty' to choose between freezing to death working outside the camp (logging in subzero temperature), and starving to death within the camp (no food for those who don't work).

Not so sure the prisoners would agree.

30. anthonypero 36. anthonypero 49. Wortmauer
With you completely.

GH@10,WC4@15, Palin@19, 38. KiManiak

I also think Semirhage's breaking was a bit abrupt, but it was foreshadowed in TGS, and at this stage a-bit-too-short is definitely better than a-bit-too-long. I'm also convinced that plotwise (if not style-wise), this is 100% Jordan.

Also, we now have cause to be grateful for all the spanking that was going on in all the previous books - they foreshadowed the spanking in this critical scene, which otherwise would have come out of left field!

:: flees to the bunker ::

45. Freelancer

Glad someone thought to mentioned Faile's behavior previous to her spanking (and very eloquently, too). Our fearless leader inexplicably omitted it.

53. Bergmaniac
What's the point of this scene anyway?
It is a commentary on human nature, with some interesting lessons.

Pride can lend you strength in adversity.
The difference between a prisoner and his guard can sometimes be reduced to a matter of perception.
A person of great evil may share a vulnerability with a person of great good (being generous to Cads here).
Surprise can overcome the strongest defense.
If once you bend the knee to someone, you will never be able to stand straight again in front of them (Egwene thinks this when she chooses not to curtsy to Elaida even once in order to retain her freedom of movement).

I think this part of Semirhage's arc is a very interesting one, even if the endgame seems a bit rushed (e.g. what 38. KiManiak was saying). If we didn't see her breaking, we could ask - what is the point of her imprisonment? Could not another way have been found to sneak her into Rand's room with the Domination Band?

69. Stubob
Welcome aboard :)

There are a few very poignant moments between Mat and Aludra (which Mat misses completely, I think) in the first half of KoD, when he starts wooing Tuon. Not everyone appreciates them, though - I only did on my third or fourth re-read of KoD. They are examples of Jordan at his best, in my opinion. Such subtlety!

70. Shadow_Jak
Sorry, Berelain is busy spanking Semirhage right now, to the roars of a delighted crowd.

Please try again later.

73. Freelancer
Was it his mom?

77. Ser Gei
Thanks for sharing that with us :)

But isn't Sergei a Russian name?

79. Shloz
Interesting point!
Tess Laird
83. thewindrose
How long has Semi been a captive? Steven Cooper's Timeline suggests that the meeting between Rand and fake Tuon(Semi) happened on Aine 26th or April 9th and that Cadsuane breaks Semi on Adar 28th or May 10th. So she has been a captive for over a month. That has to have some affect on her. She hasn't been able to free herself, she hasn't been able to get away. She doesn't know that rescue of her has been shot down - but a person in her place shouldn't have been captured( so she has been a captive for over a month and knows that DO and at the very least some of her Forsaken teammates know).
I use this frame of mind when reading the chapter. I totally agree that it happened too fast, but the way Cads broke her makes complete sense to me.

This is also a good time to juxtapose Semi and Egwene as Palindrome points out up at 6.

Lanfear/Cyndane - I have my own pet theory that I trot out every so often. Meiriam went to the 'Finns looking to be the most powerful and beautiful woman in the world, back when she was trying to catch LTT's eye. Before she went to the 'Finn, her appreance was that of Cyndane( very good looking and nice power abilities - but _not_the_best). Her wishes were along the lines of make me the most beautiful woman in the world, most powerful - and something else.
BTW - the 'Finns have a huge objects of power stash(Terez's database -go down to Driving Mr. Sanderson).
So when Moiraine pushed her back into 'Finnland, they took their objects back(remember the silver stuff she always wore?), so basically she now has less power and looks like she use to. Anyways - I look forward to aMoL regardless of if this pans out or not - 'Cyndane ' is going to be a pain in the ass for Rand and his ladies, I look forward to reading how it will be resolved.

Sorcha O
86. sushisushi
Freelancer@ 45 And I can confirm that the exact same thing goes for mature students in an educational setting - they are far more cognizant of the rules and regulations, and are generally model and enthusiastic students. They have generally considered the reasons for the rules and are consciously following them in order to attain their own personal goals (in this case, a degree qualification and/or pursuit of specific knowledge). They do tend to be a good example for other students, also, particularly of the younger and less experienced variety, and the dynamic and learning behavior of a class can be improved dramatically by the inclusion of a small proportion of mature students.

Silvertip@54 In my experience, it's generally that mature students are more mature full stop, particularly if they have left a job to return to education, rather than undergrad cohorts who have come straight into college from the school system. I see that this tallies with Freelancer's experience in the military.
87. Looking Glass
Wortmauer@45, and others: I’m not planning to address its application to this scene, but I’d say that Randalator is arguing for an option you’ve missed- that “liberty” (like, for that matter, “dignity”) is an internal quality than can be provoked into breakdown by external stimuli. Or even that can sometimes be provoked into breakdown; it doesn’t require a 100% success rate for the attempt to be wrong.

For a clearer case of this, look at “Pursuit of Happiness”. That has to do with a person’s motivations; it’s clearly an internal quality. Yet we can conceive of a legal system designed to provoke despair in convicts- to impress upon them that, having broken the law, there is literally no hope for a better tomorrow (Les Miserables would offer a decent example. Or 1984, where everyone’s an inmate). To convince people that they are irredeemably condemned, and deserve to be so, and should stop trying to improve their lives. Even if some people might have the strength of character to continue to hope, that doesn’t mean the system is less abhorrent for trying to grind it out of them.

The way Randalator is defining of “liberty” is much the same- the ability to make meaningful personal choices about one’s life. (I’m not claiming that’s the only possible definition, or the legal one, or the one the framers of Law X intended.) And in most countries, the prison system is not meant to deprive the inmates of the ability to make meaningful personal choices. Indeed, that’s the main point of reformatory systems. But again, we can conceive of a system meant to convince the inmates that, as prisoners, they can have no effect on the course of their own lives. That their fates are completely at the whim of the prison authorities, or The Party, or even arbitrary fate. To, indeed, crush the free will out of them.

And again, history has shown us that a few people will have the willpower to resist and keep fighting even in the grip of the most brutal, arbitrary, and deliberately dehumanizing systems. The point is that you shouldn’t be in a dehumanizing system that you need to resist in the first place.

Short version: There is a difference between a system of punishment meant to merely restrict your choices and one meant to convince you that youhave no choices.

(Of course, you can then go on to argue that a particular existing system has, through design or negligence, the effect of convincing inmates that they have no choices. You could even argue that the act of imprisonment is inherently soul-crushing enough to have that effect on at least some people. I’m not going to either of those places right now.)


Bergmaniac@53: In fairness, Semirhage was pretty uniquely creepy among the Forsaken prior to her breakdown here (and maybe even uniquely effective, what with singlehandedly tearing apart the most powerful empire in the world), so there is some value simply to knocking her in particular off a pedestal that most other Forsaken never made it onto.

I’d also say the scene offers some interesting parallels to Egwene’s situation… and also to the way Cadsuane treats Rand. Attacking his dignity is her preferred method for trying to control him, as well.

And having opened that can of worms, I’m off.
Donna Harvey
88. snaggletoothedwoman
Loialson@65 What if....Just what if Elayne is carrying Ilyena? Just askin'
Anthony Pero
89. anthonypero
I think the point RJ is trying to make here, after reading through it, is that this isn't a matter of dignity. It's a matter of pride. This is also running counterpoint to Avhiendha's self-discovery of the limits of her own pride. It's about too much pride. Not human dignity. Egwene is able to set aside the pain and humiliation because something is more important to her than herself. The Tower. Avheindha has to realize that her pride in her ability to follow Ji'e'Toh needs to take a back seat to the needs of the Aiel as a whole. That's whole point of the Wise One's final test. It's the reason all of these chapters are grouped together. This isn't about diginity, it's about pride. Having too much or not enough. Striking the balance between being strengthened and uplifted by pride and being deluded by it.
Anthony Pero
91. anthonypero
@ Paladin

Please go away. That was totally unnecessary. The German Constitution is post Third Reich, for crying out loud.
92. torgo02
Responding to those discussing Rand's "lusting" after Cyndane at the end of ToM:

I read that little cliff hanger as Rand is "lusting" after the knowledge Cyndane has regarding the bore -- it was her that participated in the original bore, after all -- not necessarily lusting after her body/love. I think the original text used the word "desire" rather than "lust" iirc.

Forgive me if my idea has already been debunked by those here with greater knowledge of the series. If so, please be so kind as to point me to the relevant post/thread/quote.

Thanks much,
93. Paladin
Please go away. That was totally unnecessary. The German Constitution is post Third Reich, for crying out loud.
It's not unnecessary. If I have to listen to Randalator vilify a simple statement with his unending rhetoric I am gonna respond to it. The context of Leigh's statement was pretty clear, and he started splitting hairs for no particular reason that I can see.
Anthony Pero
94. anthonypero
Paladin. I'm going to attempt to be reasonable. He has a different definition of the word than I do, obviously. However, to attack him and say he is wrong because he's German, so he must be full of crap, since Hitler was also German is just... frakking racist. Make an argument, fine, that's what I've been doing for this whole thread. Just make an argument that has something behind it other than ignorance and intolerance.

You don't think anyone else discussing this with Randalator had the same thought and saw the irony of it? Of course they did. I know I thought it was very ironic at first glance. Then I took a look at what I was thinking, and was mature enough to realize how stupid the thought was, so I didn't use it as a discussion point. It's intentionally inflammatory, something Randalator hasn't been, to my point of view, and quite frankly, it's completely immaterial to the discussion.
95. Paladin
Whoa, whoa whoa, I didn't say that he was wrong because he was german. I was making a joke. I was tired of an reading an unending string of comments on the topic that have little (if anything) to do with the Wheel of Time. (Which is pretty much the purpose of the reread).
Anthony Pero
96. anthonypero
Ok. Then say that. I'm certainly fully behind that statement.
97. MasterAlThor
It just struck me. I have finally put my finger on what it is about Egwene's character that bugs me. Bear with me this might take a minute.

I love sports and so this is the best way for me to discribe this. Imagine that Egwene is a basketball player. She goes to college for a bit and plays overseas for a little while. Then she becomes the commish of the NBA. Now I realize that this is simplifying it a bit, but it is a good anology.

Egwene is like D. Wade with David Stern's job. She isn't the best player in the league but she has the most power. I personally don't think that storyline gave us enough to justify her awesomeness. Let me just say that while she is not in my top 5, she still kicks ass.

I would have loved to see more from her perspective. But seriously look at her progression from when she left the Aiel till now. Do you seriously believe that she grew that much? In comparison, the rest of the Two Rivers gang is still coming to grips with who and what they are.

If you didn't get the basketball anology let me put it this way. Imagine someone fresh out of college with an Associates Degree and being promoted to the head of Coca Cola. Yes they have the last CEO to help them but that person can only do so much. Oh and the company is currently being run into the ground by someone else. See why this doesn't make sense?

Egwene will probably never be one of my favs, but I don't hate on her either. Her supreme level of compentency just doesn't fit well enough for me.

Now on to this whole thing about the Declaration of Independence. Yes it was written by slave owners. No it is not written with feudal politics in mind. As to the first they knew that if they said No Slaves Allowed there would be no United States. So make sure that you put that in there the next time you point out that they were slaveholders. Which brings me to the latter. The framers of the DoI and the Constitution also had the forethought that things change over the years and they wrote those documents with the ability to change them. Thus they don't become old obsolete papers that no one pays any attention to.

Freedom is a responsiblility. If you can't handle that responsibility, then you should have it removed from you for the good of others. Regarding dignity I stand with Randalator. His original comment was very clear.

So I am done kicking the anthill.


P.S. Not that Anthony didn't have some fine points of his own
Noneo Yourbusiness
98. Longtimefan
Well, as long as this thread is in just one day and as long as I have been away from the comments I really do not have much to add except that I am one of the people who found the breaking of Semi to be a bit abrupt. Possible? sure. Written plausibly? not so much. It could have been the rush to get as much into the three books as fast as possible.

I think there is an underappreciated skill in Jordan's lingering. Granted I was not any happier with it than some who have been reading this series for the past 20 years but there was a wholeness to the character development when the days were accounted for here and there over a couple books.

This did not always hold as well in some cases as in others (cough, Perrin, cough) but that shows that it was an ephemeral skill that Jordan was able to weave deftly in most cases and only rarely had a tangle that seemed difficult to get past. Even in the less popular story developments there are great moments.

This bit with the spanking and floor eating is not a great moment. It is a conclusion but it did not strike me as satisfying. It is not one I will look back upon.

Mercifully it does move the plot forward and it does finish out in the same book. A small miracle in this singular library of a series. :)

I kid because I love....

Hope everyone is having a nice end of Autumn with colored leaves and brisk winds rushing past warm sweaters.

Winter is coming.
Jonathan Levy
99. JonathanLevy
85. anthonypero
It was a shot in the dark, following up his flag anecdote.

86. sushisushi
I've actually been in that position - in a university class a few years ago, taking time off from work to study a subject I liked. It was an interesting experience, seeing the classroom from a new perspective. In particular I noticed first-year classes were filled with unserious losers, most of whom disappeared by year 2. This was in ancient history.

94. anthonypero
You don't think anyone else discussing this with Randalator had the same thought and saw the irony of it?
Argh, you got me. ;)

95. Paladin
Yeah, we know it was meant as a joke. And of course you're free to respond to anything Randalator says, but go easy on him - he's trying to explain his thoughts to half a dozen people at once, all of whom are arguing with him. This is never easy to do, even without those little hits below the belt. We've all been in his position, and if we haven't, we certainly will be since we keep hanging around in this forum.

A good rule of thumb is that the more people you have agreeing with you in an argument, the more restrained you should be when you join the pile. Though goodness knows I haven't followed that rule nearly as well as I ought to - I'm sure the good folks here can point to more than one occasion.

Hopefully, they won't :)
Anthony Pero
101. anthonypero
Double posts to 100 don't count. So I've got the real 100. ;P
102. s'rEDIT
@all RE: unalienable versus inalienable

I immediately noticed that Ranadalator (7) correctly cited the Declaration as using the word unalienable, while others later referred to inalienable rights.

It was Thomas Jefferson who is credited with writing the document, and his handwritten copy shows inalienable; however, in the final version preserved for posterity, John Adams changed the word to unalienable.

It may (or may not) interest anyone in this thread to know that there is now an actual, legal difference.

The following are first, quotes from Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (A.D. 1856), then the explnation offered on the site where I found this information (Adask's law):
“INALIENABLE. A word denoting the condition of those things the property in which cannot be lawfully transferred from one person to another. Public highways and rivers are inalienable. There are also many rights which are inalienable, as the rights of liberty or of speech.”
“UNALIENABLE. Incapable of being transferred. Things which are not in commerce, as, public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable in consequence of particular provisions of the law forbidding their sale or transfer; as, pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are unalienable.”

Clearly, the words are not synonymous. While “inalienable” rights can’t be “lawfully” transferred “to another,” they might nevertheless be waived by the holder or perhaps “unlawfully” (privately??) “transferred” to someone else. However, those rights which are “unalienable” are absolutely incapable of being transferred lawfully, unlawfully, administratively, privately or by implication or operation of law. that which you have, which is “unalienable,” is your wrists in an absolute sense that cannot possibly be discarded, transferred, sold, or otherwise abandoned."
There's my tuppence for this post.
Terry McNamee
103. macster
@TankSpill: What KiManiak is referring to is the large number of people who continue to come in and complain about things they dislike about the newer books and blame these mistakes and things which rub them the wrong way solely on Sanderson. When KiManiak said "this again" that was referring to the overall progress of the Sanderson vs. Jordan debate, not something you specifically had done beforehand.

That said, I am glad you clarified to say you think it is the scene which is badly written/doesn't work for you, and that you aren't trying to lay the blame for this on a particular author.

@TWGrace: Funny, I found it deeply satisfying. YMMV.

@6 Palindrome: Very good point on Egwene vs. Semirhage.

@15 wcarter: Good point on it being done too quickly, but I think the point made by KiManiak is valid--do we really want to see numerous chapters of Cadsuane continually breaking down Semi's will and utterly humiliating her? However evil she is and deserves it, the process itself would not be fun to watch, especially not drawn out. I mean, Sanderson himself found this one scene hard to write, imagine if he'd had to write a bunch of them.

@22 Loialson: I am still not sure what to make of Lanfear/Cyndane. It seems to me that what happened to her hinges upon whether or not the Dark One can resurrect the soul of someone who has died in another dimension--namely, Finnland. If he can't, then we are left to conclude that she must have been rescued by Moridin, then killed once back in the real world and recycled, either to restore some of what the Finn drained or as punishment. If he can, then she could have been killed by the Finn draining her too quickly, or Moridin may have killed her himself so as to get her free of them, and we go on to the recycling from there. We really have no way of knowing which is true yet.

One thing I will say is this: how was Moridin able to visit the Finn at all, let alone leave with Lanfear/Cyndane (if he did)? Did he have something they feared to make them capitulate (the True Power)? Was he just really good at making deals? And why did he destroy the other red doorframe? Punishment to the Finn for having held Lanfear (since now, with no doorways, they have no way of getting emotions except from people who enter the Tower)? To keep anyone from rescuing Moiraine? If the latter, why? Did he somehow know she's key to Rand's success?? Or did he simply want to keep Rand's one mostly successful mentor away from him? So many questions...

Also put me in the Elayne-as-Ilyena camp (though I hope Ilyena was never as foolhardy and impetuous as Elayne is). Though on the Cyndane front, note her name may mean more than her own Last Chance--the last chance for Rand to fall to the Shadow, the last chance for her to be saved, even the last chance for Moridin since the three of them are all linked in some way.

@52 ValMar: I agree (except it wasn't Sorilea, it was Shaidar Haran! :P). The only reason this scene with Semirhage never goes anywhere is because Cadsuane doesn't get to pursue it. In fact looking ahead to "The Last That Could Be Done", Shaidar Haran specifically tells her that because she has been broken, she is useless to the Shadow which is why she is being given one last chance to collar Rand. In other words, what Cadsuane did worked--if Shaidar Haran had not come to free her, Semirhage would have broken completely and told them everything. Aside from that being a great thing to see for the readers and for the Light, that is why nothing comes of it--because as soon as the Shadow knew she had broken, Shaidar Haran swooped in to do damage control, thus making what Cadsuane did moot. And that led directly to Rand's descent into darkness and everything which comes after.

That, Bergmaniac @53, is why I think this scene had to happen--not to show off spanking, not to gain information from Semirhage, not to knock her off her pedestal (though that is a nice bonus, as LookingGlass points out), but because once she gets broken, that sets in motion the chain of events that leads to Rand jumping down that slippery slope. Even if the scene had been longer or happened over more chapters, the end result still would have been the same--nothing learned or gained, but Rand would be lost in the darkness.

@56 KiManiak: LOL! Also your point about Cadsuane learning what she does may also be key if we look ahead to ToM. Since as has been pointed out by Tesla_Sunburn, Cadsuane had to think of breaking herself to break Semirhage, and as has been pointed out by anthonypero, all these chapters are about pride, then perhaps yet another reason why this scene had to happen was so that Cadsuane herself would learn to subsume her pride. And she does, eventually--first by admitting failure and going to the Wise Ones (which leads to the plan to find Tam) and then after Rand returns from Dragonmount, submitting to Rand Sedai and eventually admitting he had changed and she was proud of him. She might never have done these things if she hadn't learned the lesson of broken pride from Semirhage. And since fetching Tam and serving Rand are both very important things (especially the former), that makes this moment absolutely critical. Think what would have happened if Cadsuane hadn't admitted failure and thus worked with the Wise Ones to find Perrin and Tam...

@67 forkroot: Agreed. I have never liked Lelaine, and have come to hate her more as time passes, but I have come to admire if not actually like Romanda.

@85 anthonypero: He was answering Jonathan's question IRT to Freelancer's military-flag-defacement story (if the person he told his superior officer would be willing to explain his actions to was his mother).

And on that note, Jonathan, I am going to hazard the guess it was God. Am I right, Free?

@Randalator: I commend you for sticking to your principles, and I find the fact a German is so adamantly defending human rights and dignity to be wonderful rather than hypocritical. Also, your rationale as explained by LookingGlass does make sense. However, I will say I think you are indulging far too much in semantics, particularly when it is clear to me that Leigh never meant the interpretation you were getting--as made clear by this thread, most people mean "freedom", literal freedom, when they say liberty, not your more philosophical definition. And in any event, while you may argue that no one can take away human rights (and rightfully so, though see the argument that Semirhage is no longer human), someone who has done the horrible things she has surely deserves horrible punishment (stilling, death). The breaking of her dignity, despite the reactions of many readers, is about undoing her overweening pride, not doing it just to be malicious, and someone like her who thinks so highly of herself not despite but because of her atrocities, deserves to have that pride broken. It's not about overall human rights here, but Semirhage's particular case.

As for my comments on the chapters themselves, not much to say. I had no problem whatsoever with Semirhage's punishment, humiliation, and breaking--partly because it was so long in coming, but also because, IMO, her high arrogance and sense of perfection were such that, the minute her weakness was found and exploited, she broke from sheer shock. I saw her eating the food from the floor as believable because her pride was so intense, so overwhelming, so smug, that having something like that which she'd built and perfected over centuries be smashed so rapidly completely pulled the rug out from under her and left her with nothing.

I also, actually, did not expect Leigh to freak at all. Since as someone pointed out on a previous thread, this scene is nothing like Perrin/Faile for the reasons everyone including Leigh herself have enumerated. But most of all, the whole "Evil Terrifying Bitch who deserves all this and more" thing trumps questions of equality and dignity. All I will say on Perrin/Faile, since I wasn't around for the TSR re-read (though of course I read it!) is that I agree with those who say Faile deserved it even though it was unequal, unfair, and not something which should be part of a loving, romantic relationship--but at the same time, it was actually what she wanted and what she was forcing Perrin to go OOC to do. Her culture is screwed up, and that really has no relevance to this scene here.

For what it is worth, in ToM Faile reflects back on the person she was in the earlier books and is not happy with that self. She doesn't specifically think of the spanking (though she does recall being angry with Perrin and forcing him into the Ways but she can't actually remember why), but it surely had to be one of the things she meant. Whether Sanderson was simply expressing what the fans had felt for so long, or if Jordan had intended Faile to mature and reject her previous ways, who knows. But one way or another, her self-criticism is now part of the series, so take that as a possible means to forgive her, if you will.

Great set-up for Perrin in the next book. Love Sharina. Love Siuan. Particularly love her self-assessment as Amyrlin, because I seem to recall Leigh (and others) taking Siuan to task back in TDR or TSR for failures such as not getting the Ajahs to work together, not preparing for the Last Battle, etc., because she was so focused on Rand. So it is good to see her realizing and admitting those faults now--even if it seems they can be forgiven considering the importance of finding and protecting Rand, and that much of the problems in the Tower predated Siuan.
104. Greyhawk
s'rEDIT@102 I would just point out that in your quoted definitions "Liberty" is included as an example of both an "in"alienable and an "un"alienable right.
105. s'rEDIT
@104: Yeh, I wasn't analyzing them, just providing them.

I have a whole OTHER discussion of why one should have been used rather than the other, but it's all word-nerd stuff and I figured my post was long enough already.
106. AndrewB
Anthonypero @89

Excellent point.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Kimani Rogers
107. KiManiak
Tankspill@80 – Hiya. So, I’m rereading your comments@3
(“I still think this chapter reads like fan-fiction,” and “IMO, that fault does lie with Mr. Sanderson. Something about the writing in that chapter just made me think that it wasn't very well thought-out,” for example)

and then rereading me@38
(“As has been said many times before, we don’t know who wrote what. I respect your right to be critical of the writing, to feel it “took you out of the story,” and to speculate on who you thought wrote it.”)

and am thinking that you may be reading into things that aren’t there or may be imbuing my comments with some type of underlying motivation or rationale that isn’t there.

I wasn’t being defensive, I wasn’t attacking you’re right to an opinion (quite the opposite, if you reread my comments @38 or what I italicized above), and –as an aside- you actually were complaining about Sanderson, by saying that the fault lies with him. Or, that’s how I read it, at least. (Also, and to be fair, I’m very much aware that you praised Sanderson a lot, in the same comment@3)

As for what I was saying, (and to be fair again, it may not have been 100% crystal clear) I was commenting on the fact that in just about every one of Leigh’s reread posts since we’ve started TGS there have been comments about BWS’s writing being different enough from Jordan’s to shock the reader out of the story, followed by a number of posts stating that its still unknown who wrote exactly what, yada yada yada.

The “This again?” was a comment on the overall practice conducted by multiple commenters to assign authorship of bits they didn’t like to Sanderson, again and again, not a personal attack on you per se (thanks for sharing, Ser Gei; now I’m laughing with you).

Now, speaking as someone who has his topics that he’ll often restate, in multiple reread posts in a rather beating-a-dead-horse, do-we-have-to-have-this-conversation-again, way (coughElayne-acting-stupidlycough, coughEgwene’s-a-hypocritecough), I’m aware that it happens. Its part of what we do here, and that’s great. But I have no problems with anyone trying to respond to or refute what I’ve presented (as I did to you in what I feel is a completely valid way, with the whole “we don’t know who wrote what” bit). I don’t consider those who respond/refute being defensive; I consider them commenting on my comment, which is also what we do here.

(Plus, my point about challenging whether it was Sanderson that wrote it appears to be backed up by what Winespring@12 and birgit@21 said)

Anyway, in case there was any doubt, I encourage you to continue to post your opinions in this public forum, even the "negative" ones, as much as you’d like :-) (and within the realms of appropriateness and decency that we're all expected to follow here, of course). Even the ones that I don’t agree with (especially since the alternative would be incredibly boring for me; who wants to read that everyone has the same perspective that they do?).

But I think you may be projecting the whole “being defensive” thing…

(EDIT: And I see that while I was composing this monster and being sidetracked by other things, that macster@103 also clarified where I was trying to come from. Thanks, macster.)

Edited again b/c the original may have come across a little meaner then I intended. Have a nice day :-)
Elijah Foster
108. TheWolfKing
Am I the only one that thinks that Semi practically destroying the Seanchan Empire was a good thing? Not the murder aspect but the fact that it puts Seanchan in instability and gives our heroes a chance against them. For that Semi, I thank you. Also what was she trying to accomplish by this anyway, putting herself on the throne?
109. Shadow_Jak
"what was she trying to accomplish by this anyway"

Just completing the set.
Every other country and organization has already been split or fractured.

'Let the Lord of Chaos rule"
Leigh Butler,

The process of breaking someone always involves torture. Whether it be mental or physical, it matters not. What did you think they were doing before Cadsuane became inspired? And you don't mind the torture of a person who has murdered thousands, but by that logic it would be perfectly reasonable to torture an American Soldier for the same reasons. I mean take Iraq for instance. We killed tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians for reasons that turned out to be a lie. For reasons that had nothing to do with 9/11 initially. Any Iraqi would be completely justified in wanting some form of revenge. By your logic they would be supported by your argument for any actions they would take to defend themselves or avenge their dead. I mean we label them terrorists, but they see it as bloodfued. We attacked a sovereign nation, an act of War. By your logic that fact gives them leave to do whatever they please no matter how despicable. And you would, if them, stand in line.

Edit- Now some would argue about degree. As in what was done isn't really that bad or think about what this person has done... he/she deserves worse. But once down that road, you open doors that you might not be able to close. As we the American people are starting to find out. We should never have involved ourselves in Middle Eastern affairs. This includes our past interventions with Israel. These were ongoing Holy Wars that we stepped into. And once there, we became a part of them. Its the same with the consequences of torture. The moment we Americans were shone to be complicent with such behavior, we made our arguments of high judgement laughable.

slippery-- It is such with your judgements of what Perrin did with Faile which by the way was an enactment of Saldaen mating rituals. I mean she practically... no no, she did, goad him into it. You saw how she acted afterwards towards him. She respected him for it. It reminded me of the Klingons.

But regardless if you agree with that or not, the whole respectable Cadsuane thing just set me off. No one who can implement torture, while arguing the fine details of the subject and the matter, can be considered respectable. You can give them respect for the courage to do so, to be hard enough. But the act itself is a deficit towards respectability.

I admire Rand for his unwillingness to go there than Cadsuanes and the others willingness to torture. Nevermind the fact his bent was towards women. It amazes me still about human rights that women consider chivalry to any degree a virtue in a man.

slope-- That a man should give so much of himself to prove his worth to a woman while at the same time having no recompense except (and not to be crass, but I guess I am *cringe,duck and weave*)...except a woman's sex. Its the old each your cake thing with women sometimes. Women should be able to do and ask anything to and of a man and men should just be excepting of that. And if we don't, we're assholes. And yet we as men do it anyway because that's.... just what we do up in hrrr.

A slippery slope I'm on, so Imma shut up now. I probably should've shut up about 3 dozen sentences ago but.... I like to speak my mind. Flawed or not.

111. Shadow_Jak
There is much I would like to say, but I will not.
112. Shadow_Jak
About the spanking commentary...
I'm gonna be really p*ssed if all the outrage expressed hear somehow convinces Harriet and Brandon to edit out the spanking Mat owes Tuon.

We all know that RJ planned that as The Grand Spanking (TGS) finale.
Oh and by the way... In War there are no rules...a lot of people really don't get that. So to be clear (as I know I did not make it anywhere near clear in my previous post)... in my book torture is a perfectly exceptable tool. There simply is no other prudent answer to fulfilling the need of anothers information whom is not forthcoming with their knowledge. Torture away if there is need. Be as brutal or as wicked as your need surmises. I shall endeavor to pray for your soul as well as mine.
114. birgit
Article 1, paragraph 1 of the German constitution: "Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority."

Yeah, because that's what the Germans are known for, their fine record in respecting and protecting human dignity.

That constitution was written after the Nazi time to prevent that happening again. Americans are mistreating prisoners now. Why is everyone always assuming that Germans are still all bad Nazis? If we sometimes seem overly critical of what America does that is because we have learnt from our history how wrong it is to mistreat people.
Thomas Keith
115. insectoid
I'm better late than never; too busy on Tuesday playing Round 4 of Rake Leaves. (Soon to be followed by Round 5, with the gusts forecasted for today. Batten down the hatches, Free!)

Great post as always, Leigh.

That Scene: I dunno, Leigh... I seem to recall your initial reaction was torn between it being a Moment of Awesome and wibbling that it was a plot against you by Team Jordan. And yes, we were waiting. :P

Personally... I thought it was hilarious. HA HA HA... take that Ms. Tough Forsaken!
Oh, and also, Perrin was in this chapter.

Sharina: Is awesome. That is all.

Randalator: Whoa, whoa. Aren't you overreacting just a little?

Tek @34: Interesting theory; I've always wondered about the Ilyena=Elayne parallel.

Fork @42: Instead of a glare, I'll just give you an ::eyeroll::, and sneak over to keep an eye on the line. :P

Free @45: Well said.

Gerd K
116. Kah-thurak
I had the strong desire to vomit in his face too, but let's not feed the troll ;-)

That the preamble of the german fundamental law (not exactly a constitution) is a direct consequence of the horrors that preceeded it is quite obvious and in my opinion a very comprehensible reaction.

In how far this should be applicable to a fantasy world, where absolute evil actually exists and wants to destroy the world is another matter.
117. CoolNamesAreGone
Freedom can be seen two ways;
Freedom from............opression,fear,theft and so on(torture)
and the Freedom to...........own, do,buy,etc
The first is the kind that we would hope Law protects, it's why we have governments.
The second generally requires money. Oh there are some free freedom 2's like speech for example but usually you are free to... if you can afford it.
While I believe both are protected by our(my) US style of democracy, freedom one is a blanket, meant to protect our human rights. Freedom 2 in not so inclusive, one may only do,buy,etc only until it incroaches someones freedom 1.
118. All cool names are gone
The point that older recruits make more managable soldiers is perhaps true. But not more malleable. Seventeen year old soldiers mature INSTANTLY, and do exactly what the DI wants.
Nadine L.
119. travyl
anthonypero @89.
I agree with you that the whole semirrhage breaking was a matter of pride, but I don't agree with your point about Aviendha and the WO test:
"Avheindha has to realize that her pride in her ability to follow Ji'e'Toh needs to take a back seat to the needs of the Aiel as a whole"
IMO its not about pride there. Avi tried to meet toh of unjust, uncaused punishement - there's no pride in that. The WO Test is about standing up for your opinion, to not back down if you have a cause - thats not pride. Her huge amount of pride just cause to let the test go on as long as it went.

Not adressing post 89 anymore:
Semis breaking might have been fast, but she was already shaken after Sorileas lack of deference. So I don't believe it's only the humiliation over being spanked that broke her, but the fact, that somebody dared to treat her as a "normal person" and not this feared superior monster she prides herself to be.
- (@37.) I have to covardly admit that I wouldn't have dared to queue a line wating to spank her in fear of retribution. Whole different matter with Berelain, though she does have Galad as her protector now, he might not deem it RIGHT ;)

Shadow_Jak @112.
I guess we can stay unperturbed about influence on Brandon or Team Jordan about this topic. No ammount of outrage could outvalue the fun at least I had given Leighs initial reaction in the spoiler thread of TGS as insectoid @ 115. pointed out
120. Saterade
I disagree with ms. Butler about the spanking. It most definitely IS torture for the simple reason that cads knew semirhage would think of it as such enough to cooperate. Also, i agree with perrin spanking faile. Treating people who are acting childish as children is a recurring theme in these books, (see any egwene chapter right after she gets to the waste) and one I approve of. I'mgoing so far as to say one of the reasons ms butler hates the faile spanking and approves of this one so much is that a man was in one and 2 women were in the other. You can make the case that the man is stronger and therefore it is different, but you're wrong when you consider cads is aes sedai and semirhage is bound and helpless. The intent is the same, (get the other person to behave) the only difference is semirhage has a worse past.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
121. tnh
Saterade, is gender bias an explanation that works in both directions, or just one?
Gerd K
122. Kah-thurak
I would say it's a thing that works in every dimension and is nevertheless much overrated ;-)

I find it pretty telling though that Jordan never wasted an opportunity to have a beautiful woman receive a good spanking. He must have really liked that idea ;-)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
123. tnh
I've now read this thread for the third time. It's a mess. Randalator was talking about the legal definitions of these terms, as decided upon by people whose profession it is to make fine distinctions about human dignity and the treatment of prisoners. I'm hoping that some readers took it as an opportunity to learn something new.

What I'm seeing are a lot of commenters explaining what those same words mean to them. Which is fine; but I keep waiting for them to say "This is what these words mean to me, and therefore my point is --"

Kah-thurak @122: "Once is random, twice is coincidence, three times is -- Say, you're not here for the hunting, are you."
Anthony Pero
124. anthonypero

Well, not going to speak to anyone else, but my point at least, was that for many people on the board, the words don't mean to us what they meant to him. The same might be true of Leigh. He might want to ask her what she means rather than attack. I was trying to be fairly gentle about it though, since lord knows I'm guilty of the same thing from time to time.
Eric Hughes
125. CireNaes
In keeping with the side plot of basic training in this thread...

It always astounded me where people's limits were. How some Trainees broke early to psychological stress, some late due to physical incapability. Some were given the opportunity to overcome those failings and recycled. While others were never seen again and given a Failure to Adapt or Medical Discharge.

I still remember the day where one of the biggest guys I had ever seen was being dressed down by two DI's for an inproper facing movement in the DFAC. He was shaking and on the verge of tears, which only spured on the DI's fervor.

All this to say, what breaks people varies for a multitude of reasons. I think it fitting that Semirhage broke so quickly. Her haughtiness is based entirely on people's inability to retaliate against her reputation (commonly referred to as IATS: I'm All That Syndrome). Cadsuane used to struggle with exactly the same thing until Norla taught her a thing or two in the back woods. Norla also rewared Cadsuane's eventual willingness to be taught with a paralis-net. This was after Norla saw that what lay beneath Cadsuane's IATS was a person of decent quality.

Now Cadsuane's personal mission in life has been to cure other's who struggle with IATS. She styles her whole persona to filter out (e.g., I don't want to change) or work on (e.g., I'm really unhappy with my current behavioral choices, but no one will help me because they're too scared of me) IATS clients. Only then can you see and consequently build upon or utilize the core of what lies beneath. In Semirhage's case, there is nothing of quality that remains after she is cured. And Cadsuane made the initial mistake of thinking that Semirhage was different from anyone else.

After Rand's IATS epiphany, she still struggles with making the shift in her IATS intolerance persona when interfacing with Rand (contributing factors that exacerbate her difficulty to let down could include gender and age bias; Rand interprets it as age bias), but their relationship changes even more when he begins to react differently to her verbal jabs.

Edit: To change last paragraph. Inclusion of more possibilities for Cadsuane's favored title for Rand (boy).
127. Greyhawk
Randalator@7 I have been thinking about this and the subsequent discussion some more and it seems to me that at least some of the disagreement centers around the different concepts being discussed, because they are not, in my mind equal. If I understand you correctly, "dignity" is the term that was the most problematic--and with respect to that term I probably agree with you at some level. Do I beleive that any loss of dignity is improper--no. However, at some point there is a base level of dignity which cannot be ignored, essentially the dignity of literally being a human being. Even in the U.S. where the death penalty is permitted (depending on your state) the sentenced person is treated as just that, a person, not an object or an animal. Certainly (in the U.S.) life may be forfeit and also liberty (I disagree with your interpretation of that term) but I agree that as to fundamental human dignity, there is a point that is not and should not be crossed. For an in book example of what violates the right of dignity I point to the Seanchan's treatment of channelers--literally as non-humans.

I do not object to any loss of dignity. However, the basic dignity of being a human being, yes that is an unalienable right.

(As a side note, it appears that the use of the term "Liberty" when discussed in terms of fundamental rights, was or can be used in a way that is more akin to how we use the the term "dignity" in its most fundamental sense. See for example Justice Stevens' dissent in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision of MEACHUM v. FANO, 427 U.S. 215 (1976)).
128. hamstercheeks
CireNaes@125: That's a really good analysis of Cadsuane's personal mission, and why her tactic worked on Semi.
Eric Hughes
129. CireNaes

Thank you. No higher praise has a human being known than that given through a pair of furry fluctuating cheeks full of fastideously flailed fauna.

Are you going to turn that name black anytime soon? It really is one of the better handles on this forum.

Edit: Yikes, I used "then" instead of "than."
Thomas Keith
130. insectoid
CireNaes @129:
No higher praise has a human being known then that given through a pair of furry fluctuating cheeks full of fastideously flailed fauna.
And surely no higher praise has a hamster known than having such a marvelous alliteration made of their name. ;)

Eric Hughes
131. CireNaes

Too kind. Though my meager attempt at gramatical flamboyance found ruinition when I noticed your quote. See above edit. I do enjoy using alliteration as an inclusio to bring emphasis to nouns. In this case "cheeks." I made sure to add five more "f's" after the noun to bring about an intensifying effect for the reader. It should evince the sound of rapid nibbling in one's mind.

Sigh, back to my paper...

Edit: for grammar, again.
My feelings on the speed of Semirhage's breaking is kind of.... Meh. I think people in general don't realize that the vast majority of people break fairly quickly. There are very few people who take a long while to break. Generally speaking, people either break or they don't, though the amount that don't is apparently miniscule. And if you are the poor soul that doesn't break, if you have no further use, you are usually murdered shortly. Which means if you are that poor soul, you'd best give them something. Never give up, because you never know if or when escape or rescue will present itself. So as far as Semirhage is concerned, she was a bad subject for she did nothing to improve her chances of survival. On the other hand, she had no reason to be even vaguely cooperative. She new she had an out. Not counting that she was in the unusual position to be feared even while captured and her captors fearing the possible consequences if she were to escape, which turned out to be a completely legitimate fear.

Leigh Butler
133. leighdb

As other commenters on the thread have pointed out, there are many ways to interpret what the words I used mean. Frankly I tend to think this is orthogonal to the point since no one in WOT is actually acting under the principles of the Founding Fathers, but I admit my own phrasing brought it up, so just for the hell of it: in my own personal interpretation, the words of the opening of the Declaration of Independence are lovely, but they are only useful once clarified by the U.S. Constitution - by the existence, in other words, of a set of laws adhering to and expanding upon the rights that opening sentence claims for its people.

And what the Constitution makes clear, in my opinion, is that when we say people have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, we mean that these are rights which cannot be taken away without cause - and without due process to prove that cause.

To put it another way, you are born with these rights, but if you - of your own free will - act to take away these rights from others, the penalty is to lose your own right to them. Otherwise our entire justice system makes no sense at all. If a person's right to liberty, for example, cannot be taken away under any circumstances, how is it that we put people in prison? Not to mention, the law curtails absolute liberty in all kinds of ways, mostly (ideally, anyway) to ensure that the liberties of one party do not infringe on the liberties of another. Your right to swing your fist ending at my nose, and so forth.

So, in conclusion, in my interpretation you cannot have these rights taken away from you - unless you voluntarily surrender them by engaging in criminal acts. Which Semirhage has unquestionably done.

I will also add that I was applauding the fact that, by coincidence or otherwise, the method Cads did find to break Semirhage also happened, in my opinion, to conform to the laws we have laid out to protect criminals by dictating just how far (and no further) their rights may be abrogated (i.e. the 4th through 8th Amendments). In this case specifically, that concerning cruel and unusual punishment. Which, as I said in the post, I do not consider Cadsuane's actions to be.
@133. leighdb
I agree with you Leigh, all the way up to the point at the end where you mention Cadsuane's role in Semirhage's ongoing torture. And that is what is being done. It matters not that doing physical harm was disallowed. Mental torture can be just as harmful as physical torture. Its one thing to jail someone or even execute someone, but torture is a violation of human rights no matter how despicable the subject. And yet there are times when it is necessary. The criteria for necessity should have a very high threshold. A good example would be what happened in the movie Taken. While fictitious, it shows exactly the kind of threshold one should measure by.

Other than that, well said. Its was good reading your words about all of our rights as human beings. And I meant no offense by my earlier posts. I was just stating an opinion in response to an opinion.
Thomas Keith
135. insectoid
Thanks for chiming in, Leigh! Maybe we can put this debate to bed now (informative though it's been)? We could talk about whether that blacksmith's puzzle icon is solvable or not. :P

136. Freelancer

There is very little to be gained by attempting to elaborate too deeply at this point, and I'm sure that both the moderators and Leigh wouldn't want this thread to have yet another reason to be so far sideways of WoT, but I cannot let your words @110 pass without saying that you have digested a horrible media misinterpretation of the U.S. actions in Iraq. Whether or not any one of us agrees or disagrees with our reasonS for being there, I can assure you that no military in the history of the world has been more cautious to avoid unnecessary loss of life on either side of the conflict than American soldiers of the last twenty years. No military has been forced to operate under stricter rules of engagement, or expended an iota of the effort to validate the status of enemies engaged. Armed conflict in any year prior to 1991 is mostly comprised of "kill everybody in the way of our goal", regardless of who is on what side. That is absolutely not the case with how the U.S. military behaves. To blithely refer to the combat casualties as "murder" is as wrong as you can be, and I cannot accept it being said.

USN (Ret)
@136. Freelancer
I will comment once more on this subject, because you are correct in stating that this should not get out of hand. My reference towards the use of the word murder is in the context of the survivors and how they might construe our actions, given the history of how we came to be involved within Middle Eastern affairs being as onnerous as it is. It goes back into the seventies where all of this got started. Many a deed was done- good and bad, but my point is during those distant and yet not so distant times, we really should not have been involved. All of the past relations with our partners and later enemies, all of the happenings of the past 40 years have moment by connected moment led up to the events of the past ten. If anyone wants to dispute this then they really should take a long hard look at any unclassified documents that you can get your hands on and read them and connect the dots. Don't take my word for it, please. Go back and read.

Back to the use of the word murder in the context of our actions in both wars....well that didn't actually happen. I stated that in the minds of those countries we have committed to war against, they could construe it as such, especially the citizens of those countries. In particular, the surviving families of the slain could take quite a bit of offense to their slain family members. As is always the case with war. To think that they shouldn't feel justified in exacting revenge for there fallen fathers, sisters and brothers is ludicrous, especially seeing as how thats exactly what we have done in our response to 9/11. It matters not a bloody jit to them what care we take to avoid civilian casualties. There son is dead. They watched there big brother die in a red misty spray. They wiped there mothers brain matter off there faces. War begets war. It has always been this way. Should we avenge our fallen innocents.... Yes. Should our enemies do the same?

At what point will we all Human Beings alike realize that there must be a better resolution to conflict than war. Am I dreaming? Damn right I am. I have lost and will lose more. As have many of us. Is it all worth it? Holy Wars, Blood Feuds, Wars of progression, War of oppression? Wars of Vengeance? Wars of domination? Wars of hate?

It can and has happened, that through the act of justice, terror is born.

Is it worth it?

By the way, I hate it when people state there affiliations as a justification of correct logic in a setting such as this. There are Millions of Veterens in this country alone...so that makes a veteren's words weigh more than an non-veteren? Please... I know analysts who've never seen a lick of war, who are more knowledgeable about war than this entire blog combined, myself and yours included.

Loss is a terrible thing to deal with. And forgiveness is the most diffcult thing to wrap around when one is grieving. All of our present difficulties are all due to a group of someones not willing to forgive. When does it end? Soon I hope...


Z- but hey what do I know? I'm just a Troll.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
Unfortunately, I haven't had time to read the last 20 or so comments, but I'm going to post this little statement now anyway. Hopefully I can finish the comments tomorrow and maybe have some fun with the content of the chapters & other discussion. (Edit - apparently late night was getting to me, and a large number of people had posted since I had refreshed. That should have been the last 50 or so comments, and if I'd read them all I might not have bothered with this. Oh well. Done is done.)

In light of yesterday's debate, let me state here that "inalienable rights" is a term not universally agreed upon, in spite of the fact that it is the whole point of the American colonies' Declaration of Independence. In fact, the usage in that document is not referring to the rights of one individual versus another, or even one individual versus the state, but to the right of an entire people to be free from the tyranny of an unjust ruler. The definition of "inalienable" differs from one philosopher to another, as does the list of rights which may be considered inalienable. However, the most basic definition of "inalienable right" is the freedom of the mind: the human responsiblity to choose what to think and to believe, and the truth that this right cannot be transferred (alienated) either by will or by force.

In any society, however, there are accepted rules of behavior, the breaking of which constitutes forfeiture of the rights generally granted by that society. It is neither legally nor morally acceptable in most societies for one individual to deprive another of such rights, whatever they be in that society; it could readily be argued that by placing oneself outside the law with respect to the rights of others, one also places oneself outside the law's guarantee of them for oneself. In other words, once you (by your inalienable right to make a decision) step outside the law, you can no longer claim all the rights granted by that law.

In this specific case, Semirhage had broken most of the generally accepted rules of behavior, by overtly and deliberately depriving many other individuals of their societally-granted rights, including life, liberty, dignity, property, pursuit of happiness, and most of the other things that sometimes pop up in lists of "inalienable" rights. In forcibly claiming for herself the "inalienable" rights of others, she thereby forfeited, in those specifics, her own "inalienable" rights.

Semirhage deserved far, far worse than a spanking; balefire was much too quick and easy a way out for her, IMO. But it had to be done. And that's all I'm going to say about it.
140. Freelancer

It isn't a point about correct logic, but knowledge. I have had access to both classified and unclassified documents regarding our nation's foreign relations and military policy. I have been in place to see and hear things few others could have, and just happen to know a bit more about reasons for actions than were ever published in media or "historical" references.

Hate what you wish, I love this nation and know that it has far less reason to be considered guilty than many blindly presume. I did not call you, nor do I consider you, a troll. Not sure where that came from.
Melissa Spray
141. meowwl
I thought that Semirhage broke too quickly, but that the plot probably demanded it happen soon or she'd end up taking more chapters than she should. I had been thinking that she had to have use similar methods to break those she tortured, but maybe not...Her thing was physical and mental pain, not emotional. My theory is that she was a woman who has a horrible self image, who hid it so completely, for so long,
behind a facade of monstrous grandeur that even she believed the facade. Her false self image of herself as a fearsome monster gets reinforced by everyone who flinches away from her. When someone doesn't fear her, her false image collapses completely when she's subjected to being treated as a human being, without fear. She completely collapses when her bubble ego is burst at the prodding of public humiliation.

I don't think Ilyena will be any more of a factor than she already is. I think she's already reincarnated...but not just as Elayne...I think the final blow LTT struck her split her soul in three. We know that he didn't use baelfire on her, since Ishamael used her body to show LTT what he'd done as a tool to drive him to suicide. Having her reincarnate as his three lovers makes more sense than coming back just as Elayne.
Jay Dauro
142. J.Dauro

So you're saying Avi and Min are horcruxes?
143. CoolNamesAreGone
@137 total agreement
@140 Perhaps You should be on trial, acting on secret Knowledge that the members of your Democracy are not privy-to.
Eric Hughes
144. CireNaes
Now that statement is a prime example of indulging ignorance for the sake of rhetoric. I do hope you're jesting.
145. CoolNamesAreGone
Of course I don't want Freelancer in front of a War Tribual, unless he was an admiral USN ret and a war planner.
My apparent pique with his comment is rooted in my being sick of individuals , not here mostly, who state "If you knew what I know you,ld know we have to go over there and beat the crap out of thoses guys, you know"
Well, no, I don't know that.
What I do (know) is that I have been lied to by my government about our aggressions for as long as I can remember.
Veteran RA
Valentin M
146. ValMar
Well, War is a nasty business. There are, inevitably, a few bad apples in the US military barrel, as is well documented. Most people outside of the States have opinions on Iraq which Americans would not like, for different reasons.
But, Freelancer is totally right about just how much US (and their NATO allies) attempt to minimize collateral damage. People in the military only know just how much effort they have to make and how this additionally compromizes their own security.
I understand that we in the West should hold ourselves to higher standards than other nations. Still, it really pisses me off when people criticize without any acknowledgement that it is only one side that is making any effort in minimizing/compensating civilian causalties in recent conflicts. And it is only one side that is making a huge effort to maximise civilian causalties to further their own ends. In a well known country every week it seems, a mosque packed for Friday prayers is blown-up, but nobody seems to mind there. But if few civilians are unfortunately killed in a targeted strike, out go the protesters, flag burnings, etc.

Let's be aware of the problems, but keep perspective and be as vigilant to all UN Security Councel Members' actions, and their own allies/cronies. And some of our own allies.

Rant over :) Hopefully this tread will go back to the right railtracks.
It really pisses me off that many of us as Americans refuse to acknowledge that our actions have consequences. Which does include retaliation. No matter how justified we may feel, no matter how careful we are, no matter how despicable the enemy, it can not be ignored that we attacked, invaded and occupied another sovereign based mainly on a lie, perpetrated upon the entirety of our nation. It can not be ignored that we laid the foundation for thousands of terrorists with each innocent we kill. It does not matter the lengths we go to minimize those casualties. For those that have lost their is only vengeance.

Am I proud to be an American? Yes. Am I proud of our troops and their commanders? Absolutely. Am I proud of our leaders who have gotten us into this mess? Hell no.
Lynn McDonald
148. meal6225
Season's first batch of Christmas cookies are in the bunker!
If the thread is reflective of the chapter tone we our going to need more than cookies with GloomyTwistedRand still to come.
Bring "tea" please Sub.
Cameron Tucker
149. Loialson
141. meowwl

That's an interesting theory. I've considered that as a possibility before too, but I dropped the idea some time ago becaue it just doesn't seem to fit with the groundwork laid by RJ for the rules of his reincarnations.

Meaning, meowwl, that I like that theory. I really do, it makes things interesting and has some possible foreshadowing/red herringness - whether RJ wanted to throw us off the scent with it either way (which he was quite good at). I just would need some evidence to lend it any credence.

I cannot come up with any in text evidence that any person in WoT has ever had their sould split into pieces and then reincarnated as different people.

And I don't think Lews Therin in Rand's head really counts on that point (whichever your inclination towards construct or real person in Rand's head, LTT was reincarnated in Rand's body; one soul, one body, so I can't count it as evidence towards this discussion)btw, just as a side note.

Can anyone come up with any in-world evidence of anyone's soul being split and then being reincarnated into different bodies, or any shade of evidence in QAs by RJ that it was even possible (even an oblique possible hint by RJ might be helpful to the support and/or disassembling of this theory)?

That might lay some groundwork to give any ground on proving/disproving this particular theory re:Ilyena reincarnated as AviMinEl.
Eric Hughes
150. CireNaes

First off, thanks to tor for the mobile website. I like the layout. It does do one strange thing. When I log in via my mobile device and post something my username appears as red rather than black f0r that post. Then when I check that same post on my laptop, my username shows up as black. So, it obviously works, it's just not displaying correctly.
151. Tenesmus
Nice Post. Couple of Comments... Cads spanking; kind of what needed to get done, and as I was reading, my thought was that they needed to put Semi in a stockade in a public square and have small children come laugh at her and throw rotten food at her. Or leave her naked in a kennel with dogs, differnet story, sorry... but you get the point.

Tower assault and Traveling. I never understood why Egwene or the other Aes Sedai never just opened a Gateway in front of the flying lizards as they approached the Tower. That would have been my first thought in that situation...Oh look, here comes a giant flying beast loaded with enemies who want to kill me.... lets just open a gateway and voila! the beast is now flying somewhere in the Blight. It really would be that easy, and at least one AS should have thought of it...really they should have. ***frowns petulantly***
Cookies!!! I like cookies!!! What kind of Christmas cookies? Would they be the green and red sugar cookie variety? With the icing and then the red and green sprinkles? I like those kind of cookies. In fact, I like many types of cookies ;) Yes you might even say that I like aaalll and evwe kind of cookie there is in the whole wide world. Mmhmm, itsda truth! Wooo! I just had a thought!!! Maybe he was refering to the shortcake cookies with the litte dabs of fruit filling in the middle....ooohhh how I like them. Or maybe ...maaayyyybe he's making the white chocalate chip cookies with red and green M&M's in it.... sighhhhhhh. I really like those Chwismas cookies.

Happy Holidays!
Eric Hughes
153. CireNaes

Thanks for the attempt to cool things down. I wouldn't worry too much though. Things are being said, viewpoints laid out. Nothing new. What I have typically appreciated about this forum is that we have quite a few regulars and lurkers from a wide variety of backgrounds, political views, and religious/non-religious foundations. And despite all that, it's worked out just fine. I wouldn't have stuck around if things didn't get tense every now and again.


I've found that as my rank has increased, my trust in those above me has as well.


The only support for meowwl's theory I could see would be an inverse argument based off of what the DO did with Luc and Isam to make Slayer.

And I don't know anyone here that thinks Rand had two souls. I'm of the opionion that Rand's soul gravitated towards one set of memories or the other based on Rand's angst and failure to accept his past life's mistakes. This meets the definition of personhood for me as far as WoT's worldbuilding is concerned. In other words, LTT gained more automony the more Rand seperated himself from his past life. So LTT graduated from repressed memories that occasionally surfaced, to a voice, to actual body control, and then was finally integrated. LTT became a genuine person because Rand allowed him to be one.
Kimani Rogers
154. KiManiak
Meal6225@148 – Cookies?!?! I’m there! My baking skills are limited, but I’m willing to bring the vodka and the spiced rum. Nothing says Holiday Season like a good dirty martini or a nice Mai Tai, right? :-)

Tenesmus@151 – Although I’m sure its tempting to send the big flying beasts away from your airspace via gateway, the major problem would be showing the various sul’dam/damane pairs on those beasts the weave for Traveling. That would be bad.
:::looks at Suffa, shakes head in disgust:::
Eric Hughes
155. CireNaes

I like your idea, but for a different reason. First of all, those gateways would require a circle to accomplish, or Egween with her sa'angreal. Second of all. It's a good thing if the gateways are too small...
156. birgit
I never understood why Egwene or the other Aes Sedai never just opened a Gateway in front of the flying lizards as they approached the Tower. That would have been my first thought in that situation...Oh look, here comes a giant flying beast loaded with enemies who want to kill me.... lets just open a gateway and voila! the beast is now flying somewhere in the Blight.

Are the gateways big enough for a to'raken?
What happens if you close the gateway when something/someone is partway through? That could be a new Randland guillotine. You don't even need deathgates.
If you don't want to show damane the weave just use inverted weaves.
157. Jonellin Stonebreaker

The insurmountable problem is that gateways are always created with the front towards the weaver; in the example above, the riders and to'raken would see the back of a gateway; What the effect of going through a gateway from the backside is unknown.
Nadine L.
158. travyl
I cannot prove it but I swear, yesterday for a few minutes there was a post of tnh @127. abouts Mr. Rigney military background/education which indicated possible spanking as a method of discipline - that would probably explain his love of spanking as a punishment.
First hand experience: no permanent harm, but humiliating and therefore well remebered. (That last sentence is my comment)

- Did someone balefire that post? And if so, why?

And with one foot already in the bunker:
@Freelancer 140: reasons never published: oil in the middle east? -
don't highlight above line, I only dared to add it because of CireNaes comment @153.
Has anyone else felt that Rand might be Moridin. that Whole sequence with Rand showing up in Moridins layer and the things he said to Rand and how he said them always gave me this nagging suspicion that something is terribly wrong. That I could Kill Graendal for what she did thing bothered me too. What if she made Ishy and Rand bond together sorta like Slayer in some way. It might explain a couple of unexplained happenstances. Such as who killed Asmodean. Why both wounds are still present. Even how he aquired access to the TP. It would explain those little episodes that he would have whenever he tried to chanel; seeing Moridin's face fleetingly. It would be sort of a Fight Club scenario where they were both functioning apart from each other even while one personality remained dominant. Yeah yeah I know Moridin has his own body....but does he?

crazy huh?

absolute rubbish

160. yasiru89
I doubt anything along the lines of 'humiliating' or 'disciplining' was going through Perrin's mind when he put Faile over his knee back in tSR. It was a reaction to Faile constantly frustrating him in his self-imposed task and what caused him to snap was Faile's repeated physical assault on him. Not to say that Perrin was correct in what he did, but, as he himself wonders later on, she could always have pulled a knife and put a stop to it one way or another. She didn't, not because of the risk of hurting him badly (she knew how to use them well enough), but because she knew the incident would later be leverage for her. I don't think she would have put up with it even for such a purpose if any real humiliation was intended. The reason for this might be that she knew she was being difficult, or that she's Saldaean. What's remarkable is that she did, because, if Perrin were thinking at all, he would have known she might think it an act of 'degrading lack of respect', not find it in her to forgive it and choose to leave, in which case he would have counted on it. I think this occurs to Perrin at least later on, when he thinks that, if it can be done, what it'll take to get rid of Faile would be more than he could bring himself to do.
That said, indeed Cadsuane's own hand at spanking Semirhage is vastly different precisely because humiliation was intended in this case. On the other hand, if you don't take for granted that social structure is etched in stone the same way for both parties, clearly, in both knowledge and power, Semirhage is Cadsuane's better. What's happening is better equated to a state of nature, where a group (Cadsuane and her fellows holding the shield) bands together to take down a stronger enemy. Of course, the weapon here is not power, but the shaming Cadsuane uses to great effect, taking the battle to the psychological realm while other things remain static. Semirhage's pride is ultimately her undoing, but it did read a little impossibly the first time.
I think Cadsuane would have broken the exact same way Semirhage did, as Cadsuane (grudgingly) admits to herself. Consider someone like Sharina however- who has no misgivings about humbling herself now as a novice though she had risen to some considerable stature in life before the novice book opened. Much harder to break for it I think. Each and every one might have some point of weakness you could press and fracture them from, but in some it's harder to dig for it than in others. Perhaps, like the risk of being 13x13'd, this is another, if not as clear cut, weakness in exchange for the ability to channel. You're much more likely to let pride become your master. (Lews Therin laments this time and again for his part.)
Interestingly, as far as equals go, Cadsuane has at no point made even the pretence of addressing or behaving with one. Perrin's fault is that he treats everyone as equals or perhaps even acts humble himself. So Cadsuane's actions are perfectly in line with her character, while Perrin's actions that Leigh condemns (whether rightly or not), are decidedly not. People like Tam and Sharina are ultimately the most stable characters because neither pride, nor misgivings about one's own capacities, rule them entirely. Perrin has time to get there (and might have already considering what happened in ToM), but Cadsuane and Semirhage won't (and can't) change.
john massey
161. subwoofer

What the deuce?

a polite way of saying- 1:14

What any of that had to do with WoT- gah.

Anyways, this Semi thing baffles me. Why is she still alive? IMHO this is one of Rand's ultimate flaws about "not harming women"... which will be rectified shortly. heh. I said rect... ahhhh, skip it.

Cadsuane spanking said Forsaken- well, what's wrong with that? Me? I'd go all Obannion a la Dazed and Confused and get a paddle. A big one. Then I'd brake off the end and use the splintered end to...

Perrin and Faile. Good for him. She deserved it.

Lelaine doesn't need major beats around the head and shoulders- she needs a good spanking :)

And the time line thing was really baffling- in this book and the next. This is one area where I am questioning the editing because- wha? There should be a captain's log or something at the head of every chapter.

War+ Political correctness= not good bed fellows. It sucks when you aren't given bullets and there are "rules of engagement" when your life is on the line.

Good times:)

Alice Arneson
162. Wetlandernw
meal6225 @148 - LOL! You rock!! Thanks for the cookies. I'll bring peanut brittle tomorrow.

On Ilyena: this is not specific to her case, but at DragonCon 2005, someone asked RJ some "questions on souls: Can they be split?..." to which he responded "... souls cannot be split..." That's the only thing I can find addressing the notion of a soul being reborn in multiple bodies; I thought there had been another where he specifically addressed the Ilyena question, but I can't find it. There's also this little interchange, as paraphrased by whoever reported it:
As he grabbed my second book, I asked,
"Is Bela the creator?"
"No, she's Nae'blis," he said, laughing. He went on to say something along the lines of: I know all your theories about her being Nae'blis.
As he handed me my book, I asked,
"Is Bela the Dark One?"
He laughed. "Hmmmm," he said, "I might do something with that... No, just kidding."
I stepped away but lingered as he signed the next person's first book. As he grabbed the second book, he said,
"She's the avatar of Ilyena Sunhair ."
He went on to say that Ilyena died, but had bad karma.
I'm serious.

In response to the people in the back of the line (which had circled around two book aisles to the RJ table again), he asked the following question of them…
“Have you ever noticed how Bela and Shaidar Haran are never in same scene?” Those were Bela monkeys in the back. And, no, RJ wasn’t messing with them.
So… see what you can make with that mess! :)
Hmm... Interesting in a sort of weird I have no idea what you're talking about kind of way. But somehow I get it.
Chris R
164. up2stuff
Has anyone from team light seen Shaidar Saran, or is he a team dark "ace up the sleeve"?
165. AndrewB
Tenesmus @151 - Two other reasons why using gateways to repel the To'rakens during the Seanchan attack on the Tower was not feasible:

First, most of the Tower Aes Sedai did not know the weave for Traveling. Morevover, most of these Aes Sedai did not know that the weave for Traveling had been rediscovered. If they heard rumors, they most likely thought such rumors were not true.

Second, I am unsure if a Gateway could be opened in the middle of the sky. As I remembered the books, I thought the "rules" of the weave for Gateways prohibited a channeler from opening a gateway in open areas such as the sky or the ocean. The sky and the open seas are in constant flux (due the the motion of the air currents and the water, respectively). I thought that the weave for Traveling required a starting point that was constant. The channeler had to know the area where the Gateway would be made. Since the air and the water constantly move, one could never learn a particular spot in the sky or over the seas where a Gateway would be opened. IIRC, there was a discussion in an earlier book of whether a Gateway could be opened over the seas. Those engaged in that conersation concluded that a gateway could not be opened on the open seas.

(Note -- It is quite possible that I am mistaken about my second reason . I have no textual evidence to support my opinion and/or memory. That said, somebody proves to me otherwise, I will continue to beleive that the "rules" of making a Gateway prohibit a channeler from opening up a Gateway in the air or over the water. The channeler must know the location where he/she will make the Gateway. This cannot occur in the sky or over water because the air currents and the water currents always change.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
Tess Laird
166. thewindrose
u2stuff at 164
Has anyone from team light seen Shaidar Saran, or is he a team dark "ace up the sleeve"?

I don't beleive any teamlight player has seen 'Shaidar Saran' but it may be because he can be clear or tinted;) Sorry, had to do that.

167. Saterade
Of course sexism works both ways. Unfortunately I dont see how applauding perrin for retaliation/mating rituals(as laid out much more eloquently by others, including anthonypero earlier in this thread) vs. condemning cadsuane for torture (regardless of how un-cruel or unusual it seemed, it still hurt semirhage enough for her to be rendered useless to the dark side, which was the intent, so it was cruel enough for HER) is sexist.

It's because i'm a man, isnt it? :-p
Imma get myself into trouble yet again with this one. But I have the belief that generally speaking, women don't tend to think that their actions or thought processes are ever sexist. Men I feel, would tend to disagree with them, though we as men usually just shake our heads when its perpetrated upon us. I realize that I tend to deviate from the general male response, but I guess that just makes me me.

@165. AndrewB
As to traveling rules, I believe Egwene explains to Meidani that in order to travel one must know the place you're traveling from well. Thus causing one to have to spend some lengthy amount of time to become familiar with the departure area. Unless, as Nynaeve discovered from watching Rand, you Travel a short distance first and then from there Travel to your final destination. As Nynaeve describes, if the jump is within line of sight, it precludes the need for familiarization of the departure area before Traveling. Hence your second explanation is incorrect and we are left with a more simple explanation for the lack of use of the Deathgates. Egwene and the rest of the Aes Sedai simply didn't know that Gateways could be used for that purpose, as Logain didn't know until he observed Rand using them.

edit-- Rand didn't know to use them until Lews Therin shared the memory of them.
Roger Powell
169. forkroot
Has anyone from team light seen Shaidar Saran, or is he a team dark "ace up the sleeve"?
Nobody from Team Light has seen Shaidar Saran. Nobody from Team Dark has seen Shaidar Saran, either! How did you know about Shaidar Haran's Evil Twin™?? That was supposed to be a surprise - now the DO is going to have to kill you.

Shaidar Haran having an "evil" twin? Brrr... What a concept!
170. Shaidar Saran
You are mistaken. Shaidar Haran is my Evil Twin™!

He's 7 feet tall, looks like a giant Myrddraal, and is pure evil.

I'm 4.5 feet tall. I look like a Lisa Frank™ unicorn and am pure good. (We're fraternal twins, OK?)
Hehe...he said Lisa Frank unicorn....lol... huhuhuh, huhuh..... uhhh.....Who's Lisa Frank?
OMG!!!! hahahah now that is funny!!!...G-search! Its like the prototype to Rainbow Bright. I'd have turned to the darkside too if I had to be brother to that!
173. Wortmauer
And let us not forget Shaidar Harum, the albino. I know all Myddraal are pale, but this one is an even whiter Fade of pale.
Alice Arneson
174. Wetlandernw
@166, 169 - 173: Oh, help! My sides ache from laughing!! The many faces of Shaidar... I was reading while stirring a boiling pot of peanut-brittle-in-the-making; it's a wonder I didn't tip the whole 300-degree thing over! Which would have been a pity - this batch turned out so well, I brought some along to the bunker. Enjoy! And thanks for the laughs; this thread really needed some leavening.
Elijah Foster
176. TheWolfKing
170. Shaidar Saran

God!!! I remember Lisa Frank and all the soliciting they did to my classes and me when I was but a helpless kindergartener.
Chris R
177. up2stuff
Shaidar Saran will be providing many disposable containers for Suffa to store all the goodies. Btw, wind @166, GOOD ONE :)
Alice Arneson
178. Wetlandernw
up2stuff @175 - Yes, but look at the amount of fun that can be had as a result! And really, this thread desperately needed some lightening up, so on the whole I think it was a good thing. :)

BTW... forkroot, any WoT carols forthcoming? I mean,Twas the Night Before Bel Tine is pretty hard to match, but can I hope for some poetic fun? Holiday highlights here on the reread, you know...

Edit: attempting to fix the link, which worked before but then didn't...
Scientist, Father
179. Silvertip
Well, I did get up in the middle of the night at scout camp once to find that someone had wrapped some Shaidar Saran on the latrine, and I sure didn't see that ...

180. Wortmauer
Wetlandernw@174: And thanks for the laughs; this thread really needed some leavening.
Well, blame Mat, who asked us if we couldn't "just Shaidar it." My goal is to collect enough spelling variations to populate an entire Shaidar harem. (Not entirely sure, yet, what use it will be.)

...And indeed, the Feast of Unleavened Thread isn't for months.
181. birgit
Those engaged in that conersation concluded that a gateway could not be opened on the open seas.

The Seafolk thought that it would be difficult to open a gateway on a moving ship (and gateways are too small to sail through). But Logain could open a gateway to a Seafolk ship he could see from the harbor. There is no reason why a gateway shouldn't be opened in the air (of course using it might not be a good idea if you can't fly).
Jonathan Levy
182. JonathanLevy
A Deathgate is a decent weapon to use against an infantry charge, as it travels in a straight line from the channeler towards his enemies, killing almost everything in the way.

But opening a gateway in the middle of the sky in front of a flying creature (who is not flying straight at you) is much more difficult. It requires an extreme degree of precision. You have to get the X,Y,Z coordinates perfectly, you have to open it in the proper orientation (if it's at 90 degrees to your target it's easy to avoid), you have to get the timing right down to the second. Your target isn't flying straight at you (it's flying to the top of the White Tower, or landing on the grounds), and it isn't flying in a straight line.

Say you miss, and see your target move between you and the gateway. Ok, you opened it too far away - but how far? 10 feet? 50 feet? You don't get any feedback.

The closest military equivalent I could come up with is trying to hit a moving truck with a mortar, using dud rounds, in 3 dimensions. Any soldier would prefer to use a machine gun (the equivalent of fireballs or balefire).

136. Freelancer
A worthy effort, doomed to failure, I suspect. I share your sentiments, having served in a military which shares the values you mentioned, yet receives even less appreciation for doing so.
We've all served in one form or another, with some having served rolls differing from others. Lets just say that some rolls give experience others aren't likely to have, experiences that might leave one jaded. But let it not be said that I am not committed to my country its soldiers and the command of my government. Orders are given and they are followed. As it should always be. The flaw isn't the orders given but the policy behind them. If you can't understand this matter then I question your opinion and deem it suspect as you both seem to question mine. Service is service. Opinion is opinion. Leave it at opinion and things are fine. They can get tense at times but so does every difference of opinion no matter the subject. You start using your service to denounce simply because you feel you're disrespected misunderunderstood or underappreciated? I don't have to appreciate and etc. you #1 and #2 if I don't appreciate and etc. you, then I guess I don't appreciate an etc. myself then, huh! We're all proud Americans. I'm just stating that not everything we do by our Countries name is Just. If you think that is un-American, well g0 join the Republicans, they like sheep who question nothing. I Prefer to think for myself. I follow the order just the same, but I don't lie to myself about what we have done, good or bad.
184. Shadow_Jak
@ 183
"We've all served in one form or another, with some having served rolls differing from others..."

True. Some serve plain rolls, some with sesame seeds. My fav is hot buttered rolls, but hey, that's just me.

Let me guess... you're serving the rolls at 'Occupy' tor.com, right?

edit for typo
185. Shadow_Jak
excellent points
Targeting flying creatures with a gateway certainly sounds pretty tricky.
Well I'm only serving rolls tonight because I ran out of cornbread mix. But I've butter and sweet cream and honey. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and you got yourself something fingerlicking good.

Sigh... I love food. But alas, I have to keep me figure. The price you pay for being so handsome....
Chris R
187. up2stuff
Rolls, cookies, I can come up with some fudge. What's popular, chocolate? Peanut butter? My mother-in-law can make some Mint Chocolate.
Oh, and while not really a fan myself, Ill bring a gallon of Egg Nog, just for the spirit.
189. Wortmauer
JonathanLevy@182: But opening a gateway in the middle of the sky in front of a flying creature (who is not flying straight at you) is much more difficult. It requires an extreme degree of precision. You have to get the X,Y,Z coordinates perfectly, you have to open it in the proper orientation (if it's at 90 degrees to your target it's easy to avoid), you have to get the timing right down to the second. Your target isn't flying straight at you (it's flying to the top of the White Tower, or landing on the grounds), and it isn't flying in a straight line.
All this is why, while opening a gateway to surprise your enemy sounds like a cool tactic, it is probably far less practical than any number of battle weaves. Even if, trained in the White Tower, you don't really know any battle weaves, you could still, e.g., bind the to'raken's wings with Air.

It's kind of like how Aes Sedai could cut things with the Power but generally they just use a knife.
Roger Powell
190. forkroot
BTW... forkroot, any WoT carols forthcoming? I mean,Twas the Night Before Bel Tine is pretty hard to match, but can I hope for some poetic fun? Holiday highlights here on the reread, you know...
High praise, thank you. That was fun, but it took a LOT of work.

I tried to fix the link, but of course that gets the post marked as spam {::sighs::}
So here is the direct link:

There will be something new shortly, in a rather different vein.
Anthony Pero
191. anthonypero

Imma get myself into trouble yet again with this one. But I have the
belief that generally speaking, women don't tend to think that their
actions or thought processes are ever sexist.

You do realize that this very statement in and of itself is inherently sexist, right? lol. Any time you speak generally about men and women, you are engaging in sexism. Just like any time you are speaking about the tendances of different ethnicitices, you are engaging in a form of racism. This sort of shorthand is certianly not evil, and my comment isn't in any way meant to imply that generally, your statement is untrue. But the point is that engaging in the discussion is offensive to certain people, and it is completely unhelpful, because you never know if the person in front of you will live up to your expectation of them simply becuase of their sex or race. That is the danger in not conditioning ourselves to refrain from these sorts of thoughts. When we meet someone for the first time, these preconceptions inevitably color our perceptions of people. A certain amount of this is inevitable. Cultural shorthands abound. We just need to recognize and work very hard to be aware that generalities are rarely helpful in truly knowing someone else.
Nadine L.
192. travyl
these rhymes (link @190) really are amazing.
I don't know how you want to top that, but I look forward to anything you will give us.
Tricia Irish
193. Tektonica
Forkroot@190: Good to see that again...it really is excellent. Thank you.
Alice Arneson
194. Wetlandernw
forkroot @190 - That was fun, but it took a LOT of work. I'll bet it did! Just doing the 12 Days of Christmas was a fair bit of thinking, and it's not the tiniest patch on Twas the Night. No, I'm not really expecting you to work that hard again, but your poems are so much fun! (But there is no joy at Tarwin's Gap...) We'll enjoy anything you have for us. :)

BTW, I attempted to fix the link @178 again... it worked when I first tried it, then it didn't work, and now it works for me, but we'll see... and we'll see if the link here works right, while we're at it.
195. Shobbs
Thank you so much for these re-reads! I have been inspired to return to the fandom, due in large part to inspired comments and different views on the Super Girls. I always loathed Egwene and Nynaeve, but you cast them as admirable and interesting. Gratitude.
Thomas Keith
196. insectoid
I meant to post a comment this last weekend, but was too busy window-shopping for tech gifts and colored C7 Xmas bulbs (which must be the scarcest replacement bulbs on the planet).

meal6225 @148: Oooh cookies!! :D

up2stuff @164 et al: ROFLMAO!! "Shaidar Saran" must be what you wrap the leftover pies with so they don't call to you... XD

Wetlander @178: Ah yes, ACoS-4... that was a fun thread. I kept a list of the different carol parodies... I'll have to go re-read them now!

edit: On a more somber note, I noticed that Darrell Sweet passed away. I'm... at a loss for words. The last book won't feel like the Wheel of Time without his cover art on it. :(

@191 anthonypero
I was being facetious. Sort of skirting the line between seriousness and dry humor. Meaning no offense to womanhood and in general noting an observation ongoing right in front of me at the time of the writing and found the irony somewhat amusing . I liken it to a comedian reminiscing about why white people feel the need to swim in icy waters,while watching a a jogger run by with nothing but a scarf a tank top and those doucebag shorts they sometimes wear. And how a black person would never do such a thing. Or why the black guy is always the first to die in a horror movie, while wishing the black guy sitting behind you would shut the hell up and turn their phone off.

But like I said, I knew before I hit the post button I was in trouble.
Elijah Foster
198. TheWolfKing
196. insectoid

Darrell Sweet is gone? Well I wonder what that means about AMoL cover. Do you know if it is already done (I think I read somewhere that BWS said it was but couldn't show it to us because someone deleted it off his computer) or what?
Alice Arneson
199. Wetlandernw
From what Brandon said more than a year ago, I had the understanding that the AMoL cover art was complete at that time. From what Irene said in her post, though, it doesn't sound that way. I guess either she's not the one in charge of this particular cover and so doesn't know, or else it was still in a less-than-final stage awaiting development of details in the writing. I hope it's the former; Brandon was quite excited about what he'd seen at that point.
Terry McNamee
200. macster
@107 KiManiak: You're quite welcome. :)

Staying out of the military/torture/justified vengeance thing for the most part...hoo boy, not touching that with a ten-foot pole. Except I will say one thing, ZEXXES. While I would never excuse something unjust and wrong done by any military no matter whose they were (though I would be careful to make sure it was actually their fault and choice as opposed to their higher-ups), your example has one very important point not being addressed. We were lied to and manipulated into what happened. That may not matter much to people who have seen their family members killed, but there is a difference between someone harming you out of malice and someone doing so out of ignorance or because they were forced to. And most soldiers, I am sure, would be horrified and show remorse at what they were made to do (if they haven't already), once they found out about said manipulation. Semirhage very much did what she did out of malice, reveling in death, suffering, and mental breakdown, nor does she show remorse for what she did.

Does this mean I am saying people will not feel justified in seeking revenge even when there are mitigating circumstances for their suffering? No, but I am saying that equating our soldiers' actions to Semirhage's is...sheer hyperbole. We have seen Semi's thoughts, we know why she does what she does, and there is nothing whatsoever in her to warrant respect, dignity, or liberty. I commend you for wanting to stand up against injustice no matter who perpetrates it, but you might want to rethink comparing our soldiers, who were manipulated into doing harm and very much regret what was done, to a heartless, sadistic monster who loved what she did and would continue to do it until the end of time if she could. They aren't even in the same ballpark.

People wanting revenge for what was done to them and their families is understandable...but when they aren't taking into account the circumstances behind what happened (i.e. that it wasn't done out of deliberate malice but instead involved deceit), it's not justified. Wanting revenge on the liars whose policies made these atrocities happen--yeah, that's justified. Unfortunately those people are far away, so they can only retaliate against the people in front of them, and it's far easier to blame the one seemingly heartlessly causing your pain than a faceless leader you will probably never meet. Doesn't make it justifiable though--or comparable to what Semirhage has done, since she is in fact guilty and does not need to be ordered or manipulated into doing heinous acts, instead doing them out of a lust for power and causing pain.

Side note: I'm not sure why you were thinking you were being called a troll, I am fairly sure that was directed at Paladin, who made that comment about Germans and whom birgit (among others) was taking issue with.

@120 Saterade: Point, but while Faile was acting like a child, Semihrage was not--in her case the spanking was to make her act like a child, in order to bring her down from her lofty pride to the same level as a regular human, and make stop treating the Third Agers like children.

@125 CireNaes: Very insightful.

@133 Leigh: Thanks for chiming in and explaining your views, I agree 100%.

@138 Wetlander: As usual, also agreeing wholeheartedly with you :)

@159 ZEXXES: I think you meant to say that Moridin had said he could kill Semirhage, not Graendal, for what she did--i.e., blowing off Rand's hand, which he felt through the link. So while there are many connections between Rand and Moridin, and both Min's dream of Rand and another man merging and the foreshadowing in the dream way back in TEotW suggest the two of them may become one, it isn't due to anything Graendal or Semirhage did, but the balefire-crossing in Shadar Logoth. Also, Graendal killed Asmo, not Rand. :P As for the wounds, no idea why they can't be Healed, though the one Ishy gave him was unHealable long before he became Moridin, Mashadar has always resisted all but the strongest Healing (see Mat and the dagger), and there's also Flinn's usage of saidin to seal the wounds away from Rand so they work on each other instead.

@162 Wetlander: *blinks* I am pretty sure that RJ was joking about Bela and Ilyena, as he was about her being Nae'blis. But the Bela/Shaidar Haran thing? Damn, he must have loved playing with us and our loony theories. :P

@165 AndrewB: Aside from the point already made that when Traveling you need to know your starting point, not where you are going, I do seem to recall Jordan told us that gateways have to be made perpendicular to the land (they can't be oriented horizontal to gravity), but I don't think anything was said about them having to be only a short distance from it. That said, every gateway we've ever seen has always been a few inches from the ground, so I suspect one in the air is unlikely or even impossible. Maybe the weaves won't come together if they are too far from the source of gravity?

@166, 169, 170, and especially 173: ROTFL!!! *wipes away tears of mirth* Oh...so much fun...hee hee hee... :D

@190 forkroot: Absolutely awesome rhymes. I particularly enjoyed how you worked in Moiraine's mantra "The Wheel weaves as it wills".

Re: Darrell Sweet, I too thought the cover had been finished based on what Brandon said. Aside from this very saddening loss, I hope Irene can explain the discrepancy...and if indeed it didn't get done, I hope they can find a good artist to fill in for AMoL.
Anthony Pero
201. anthonypero

Hopefully I was gentle in my criticism, and you took it in the spirit intended. I knew you were going for the joke, but that you weren'texactly kidding either, as you said, skirting a line. I just wanted to point out the things I did. All in love :)
Anthony Pero
202. anthonypero

Without turning this into a flamewar, I'd just like to point out that it's your opinion that we were manipulated and lied to. The fact that their were no WMDs doesn't mean we were intentionally misled. All of our allies thought they had WMDs as well. Please note I'm not saying someone didn't intentionally manipulate facts a certain way, just that there is no evidence of this, and not even half of the US thinks we were intentionally manipulated by the administration in any poll I've ever seen. Saddam Hussien wanted us to believe he had WMDs. He stated so numerous times leading up to the war. He hid things from UN inspectors, then kicked them out. He was trying to make himself seem stronger than he actually was. Isn't it at least possible that he was successful in this, and convinced many members of the intelligence community that he did have WMDs? Just asking people to be reasonable. We in no way have even 1/10th of the facts.
Nadine L.
203. travyl
@199 / 200 Re Darrell Sweet
jwdenzel posted that the last cover by Sweet had just been a first draft!
204. birgit
I do seem to recall Jordan told us that gateways have to be made perpendicular to the land (they can't be oriented horizontal to gravity), but I don't think anything was said about them having to be only a short distance from it

Crossroads of Twilight Book Tour, Waterford, CT - 17 January 2003
Q: Can a gateway be opened horizontally?
RJ: (paused for 3 or 4 seconds in thought) I don't see why not.

AOL Chat #1 - 27 June 1996
JJVORSmith asks: Can gateways be created at non-right angles to the ground? If not, why not? If yes, why haven't we seen them?
RJ: They can be, and you haven't seen it because there's been no need to do it. And also some of the people who can make gateways don't know how to do it.
Terry McNamee
205. macster
@anthonypero: Point, but I was also answering ZEXXES's criticism, since he made it a point to say that he had nothing but respect for the regular soldiers but did not at all respect the military higher-ups and politicians who had put the soldiers into that awful situation. I was suggesting that if he blamed the leaders for manipulating atrocities, he might want to consider that the Iraqis could too instead of just blaming our soldiers. The fact Hussein may have been the one manipulating things just means he should be the one being blamed by both sides--but again, it's far easier to blame the people right in front of you causing harm.

@birgit: Huh. So I completely misremembered the quote. Still, the fact gatesways can be made horizontal doesn't mean they can be made miles in the air. This quote also provides another reason why this tactic was not used by Egwene or anyone else in the Tower who knew Traveling--because they didn't know how to do it. (It was, after all, just recently rediscovered.) As to why Egwene didn't decide to try it on the fly, no pun intended, it seems she just didn't think of it. Or perhaps she wasn't sure if it would work, so she stuck with what she knew would--and she was a little focused on making the Seanchan pay, on her Battle Ajah rage.
Anthony Pero
206. anthonypero
Got it. Thanks for clarifying. We should probably not talk further about this, seeing as Irene shut it down on the next thread :) Its a bit of a shame, though, because this is the only place I can have a semi reasonable and intelligent discussion about this topic with people whose opinions differ from my own.
Noneo Yourbusiness
207. Longtimefan
And now for something completely different. An in book observation relevant to the chapter and its paralell from "The Fires of Heaven".

As I am wont to do I am re reading the whole series and I am just getting to the end of "The Fires of Heaven". In the chapter "To Caemlyn" Nynaeve has Moghedien on the a'dam in Te'aran'rhoid and is struggling with keeping her inline.

Nynaeve considers her role as Wisdom with the Women's Circle and how they dealt out punishment to women who broke the law or offended custom too deeply.

"Moghedien stiffened in her bonds as a leather strap seemed to strike he bottom." "Outrage and humiliation rolled through the leash." "Compared to her elaborate ways of hurting people , this seemed sutible for a child."

Nynaeve used this human humiliation on one of the Forsaken long before Cadsuane had thought to use it on Semirhage. The Nynaeve/Moghedien "breaking" sets up the Cadsuane/Semirhage "breaking". In this then it is plausible that Jordan outlined this scene years in advance and expected it to be a reinforcement that the Forsaken lose much of their power when they are treated not as greater beings but as regular people with human weaknesses. (something most of the characters cannot see because of the legends about the Forsaken)

Also it is a parallel between Nynaeve and Cadsuane as each is just a reflection of a very similar woman at different ages.

Nynaeve is only demanding that Moghedien follow her into a fight between Rahvin and Rand so she can use the power through the a'dam to help Rand. This breaking and submission is less awkward because there is a direct plot related action that Moghedien performs against her will and interest where as Semirhage being made to eat beans off the floor is against her will but serves no real plot development.

In that it feels a little less impressive and perhaps a touch petty. Maybe too humiliating.

It is 11 pm and I am probably not saying this as well as I would like but the chapter is a couple weeks old by now and I am way down in the 200s so I doubt this will get read by more than a few of the more post obsessive types.

I had thought about amending my post at 98 to make it a bit closer to the middle but then it would seem a bit out of place. I will follow the post as it happens rule.

All I am saying is that "To Caemlyn" and "Questions of Control" are linked chapters and an anylization of one benifits from comparison to the other.
208. Wortmauer
Longtimefan@207: Nice observation! You are right in so many points. Nynaeve really could become Cadsuane when she grows up.
the chapter is a couple weeks old by now and I am way down in the 200s so I doubt this will get read by more than a few of the more post obsessive types.
Last time I posted to a thread 2 or 3 weeks old, Wetlandernw replied in short order. So it seems at least she keeps up on the older threads. I do sometimes. Usually I give a thread several days of no activity before I conclude it's finally dead. As this one isn't, quite.
I had thought about amending my post at 98 to make it a bit closer to the middle but then it would seem a bit out of place.
...And then I wouldn't have seen it. I hit reload at the bottom of a thread and see new posts show up, but I don't go back and see what might have been added or changed in the middle. Who has that kind of time?

Editing posts is all very well if you need to fix a typo or other minor error, or retract something you shouldn't have said, or redact a spoiler (in discussions where that is applicable). But for adding to a conversation, I agree, better to post in order. Of course, as a Red, I would say that.

FYI, I might add that I'm a mediumtimefan of yours. You almost always have interesting things to say.
Alice Arneson
209. Wetlandernw
Hi, guys! Nope, if I've ever posted on a thread it won't die. :) Every new post on an old thread shows up in my "conversations" list and, and I go back and check it out. I only comment if it's a good one, but... here I am.

Longtimefan - that was an excellent observation. Or rather, several of them. The foreshadowing that Nynaeve provided in "how to break (or at least bend) a Forsaken" may have been a lot of the reason RJ insisted on the Semirhage spanking being in this chapter (per BWS). He set it up years ago and wanted it carried out. (I wonder if there's another one in AMoL? Probably not, though.) It's a really important observation on this chapter - so much, I think, that if you don't mention it on the next thread, I will. :)

And I completely agree that Nynaeve is very, very much like Cadsuane in terms of personality, character and purpose. Their experiences are different, but IIRC Cadsuane noticed it as well, when she made the observation that Nynaeve hadn't yet learned that what must be endured, can be endured - which lesson she herself had failed to learn in the Tower but got rather forcefully implanted under the "toothless old wilder" Norla. Strong women, strong in the power, strong in their opinions, and not readily convinced to follow meaningless rules when they'd be better broken. In fact, I think Cadsuane in some ways is to Nynaeve what Norla was to herself, except that the Dragon Reborn is taking priority right now. Want to bet on Nynaeve inheriting Cadsuane's set of ornaments in the next book? :)

P.S. - I forgot to mention that I totally agree with Wortmauer on making it a new post rather than an amendment to an old one. I seriously doubt anyone would have seen it, if you'd done that, until someone new came along trying to catch up on the reread. So I'm really glad you put it in a new post where it would pop up on my list and get my attention!
Nadine L.
210. travyl
Longtimefan: you prove that it is worth reading all the comments (even Nr. 207), and with Wetlander's method it is much easier than when you chose to "stay red". It might be obsessive, but only other "decicated" fans will know it.
@wetlander: I heeded your advice and started to read the comments on earlier threads (slowly). I do enjoy them (still in eOTW) and it's fun to see who is still here from the beginning.
Anthony Pero
211. anthonypero

While I'm not disagreeing with your analysis, it is just as likely that Sanderson in his re-read stumbled across that scene (like you) and thought, "Hey, here's a handy way to break a Forsaken that RJ has already set up!"

In either case, it shows that the scene is internally consistent with the rest of the series, which was probably your main point.
Alice Arneson
212. Wetlandernw
anthonypero - No, I'm pretty sure that Sanderson told us explicitly that he would have preferred to leave out the spanking (i.e. use another method) but RJ's notes were quite specific in that regard, so he included the spanking even though it made him cringe to write it.
Anthony Pero
213. anthonypero
I should have phrased that better, I was trying to point out that the logic he used could be used to prove either side of the discussion.
Terry McNamee
214. macster
@Longtimefan: That is a brilliant observation indeed. It explains so much: why Jordan wanted this included so strongly, what the point of it was (aside from my theory that Cadsuane had to see how she would break herself in order to subsume her pride, admit failure, and change her strategy with Rand, which absolutely had to happen), and even draws wonderful parallels between Nynaeve and Cadsuane. I always thought all along that the two of them didn't get along precisely because they were too much alike...much the way Leigh suggests Mat and Nynaeve don't get along for the same reason. Which, aside from his wanting nothing to do with Aes Sedai and the medallion making him proof against the Power, would make it even more interesting to see Mat meet Cadsuane. I would be fascinated to hear Leigh's thoughts on this, both the Mat-Nynaeve-Cadsuane parallels, and how the relation between the two scenes might make her re-evaluate the breaking of Semirhage. You definitely did the right thing in posting this at the end!

(Also Wet: I love your idea of Nynaeve eventually getting Cads's paralis-net. I bet it will happen.)

@anthonypero: You have a point, but I think Wet is right. While it is true the earlier scene could have been used by Sanderson to justify this one, Jordan explicitly called for the spanking. He would not have done so if its purpose were not to break Semirhage, and if that was its purpose, Jordan was likely thinking of the Nynaeve/Moghedien scene to justify it/set up a pattern. Even if Sanderson had used something other than spanking, he still would have had to break her in order to comply with the notes...and it's hard not to see the parallels between the two breakings. While Jordan may have had a number of reasons for breaking Semirhage, both character- and plot-related, I don't find it difficult at all to believe that the man who planned such intricate, complex world-building and foreshadowing would not have thought of the earlier scene when planning this one. Whether it was always intended that way or Jordan retconned it himself, we can't know...but we can't blame Sanderson for it either way. And really, even if Jordan looked back and decided to use that scene in TFoH to justify this one instead of intending it from the start, it shows a rather skillful way of tying arcs together and making the work mesh and resonate as a whole.
Tess Laird
215. thewindrose
Agree that Longtimefan is on to something here. Great job!:)

Nynaeve already has a paralis-net. Maybe Cads will be more forth coming about what everything does on hers and Nynaeve's in aMoL. I think there is good chance that Egwene will Cadsuane's - unless it gets destroyed...

And like Wetlandernw - if I see that someone has posted on an older thread from my profile page - I usually check it out. Today macster was the commenter on all 5 most recent threads(I am not all that surprised;).

Terry McNamee
216. macster
*sticks his tongue out at windrose* What can I say? When I get the time I look back to see what has been posted on recent older threads, and reply if I have something to say.
217. JustAdmitIt
Wow, the hypocricy in your chapter 17 commentary is just mind boggling, Leigh. You know, without a doubt, that if it were any single male character in the entire WoT universe that gave Semirhage that spanking that you would've raged like there was no tomorrow. Instead you grasp at the smallest of straws in order to justify the scene as it was written. And then when Randalator calls you out you actually try to use semantics as an excuse to back yourself up. You are the one that truly deserves a *headdesk*.
218. Freelancer
I disagree wholeheartedly with your assessment. I enjoy having fun with Leigh's displeasure over the other events of spanking in the story, because they don't bother me as they bother her. But her explanation of this occasion is perfectly consistent with her own character, her own external worldview, and her perception of the story. Thus, her choice to applaud and approve of this occurrence of corporal punishment is not hypocritical in the slightest, and isn't established on the basis of gender.

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