Nov 1 2011 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 7

The Wheel of Time Reread on Tor.comGreetings on this All Hallows Day, peoples! How about a Wheel of Time Re-read?

Today’s entry covers Chapter 11 of The Gathering Storm, in which we discuss bad choices in leadership, relationships, and houseguests.

Today’s entry is a little short because, well, Halloween weekend. I trust I need not explicate further.

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 11: The Death of Adrin

What Happens
Aviendha pretends not to “hear” the Maidens hand-talking about whether they should beat Rand again for going off to meet Ituralde without them; she considers that she probably has toh to the Maidens for not teaching Rand properly, but thinks that she must figure out her larger toh to the Wise Ones first. Her current punishment is to dig large rocks out of the riverbed and carry them back and forth across camp, which Aviendha finds deeply shaming. She reaches the manor end of her route and overhears the two wetlander soldiers guarding the door. One of them (Adrin) is complaining that he is too hot, and Aviendha muses that she has decided that complaining must be a strange way to show honor among wetlanders, even though Elayne only laughed when she’d brought it up. She is also frustrated at her inability to solve her issues with the Wise Ones.

She needed to approach problems as Elayne did. That was the only way she was going to get her honor back, and only then could claim Rand al’Thor and make him hers as much as he was Elayne’s or Min’s. She could feel him through the bond; he was in his room, but was not sleeping. He pushed himself hard and slept too little.

On her next trip back, she hears the other guard tell Adrin that he doesn’t look good, and then:

The man reached up suddenly, scratching at the skin of his temples. His eyes rolled up in his head and his fingers tore gashes in his flesh. Only, instead of blood, the wounds spat out a black charcoal-like substance. Aviendha could feel the intense heat even from a distance.

The other guard gaped in horror as his friend ripped lines of black fire down the sides of his head. A blackish tar oozed out, boiling and hissing. The man’s clothing burst into flames and his flesh shriveled from the heat.

He didn’t utter a sound.

Aviendha pulls the other guard away with Air as Adrin dissolves into a pile of molten tar, which sets the wall of the manor on fire. Aviendha attempts to draw out the heat, and then to smother the fire with earth, but cannot; finally she thinks to use water, and draws a massive column of the river to extinguish the thing. Another column of water joins hers, and she sees one of Rand’s Asha’man, Naeff, channeling from the second floor of the manor. Together they finally put out the fire and cool the tar, and Aviendha is exhausted as she examines the remains.

“Burn you!” a voice bellowed. Aviendha looked up. Rand al’Thor strode through the broken hole that now formed the front of the mansion. He stared at the sky, shaking his fist. “I am the one you want! You will have your war soon enough!”

Rand continues to shout that he is coming, and Aviendha calls his name. He stops and looks at her, but then just walks away. One of Ituralde’s officers who had returned with Rand asks her shakily if this kind happens often around Rand, and Aviendha tells him yes, and that the Dark One’s prison is weak. She can tell through the bond that Rand has actually gone back to bed as if nothing happened, and thinks his moods are getting as erratic as a pregnant Elayne’s. Merise approaches her, and comments it is “a shame”; if Aviendha was in the Tower, she’d have been Aes Sedai by now, even if her weaves are a little “rough.” Melaine appears and sniffs at Merise until Merise walks off. Melaine mutters about “insufferable” Aes Sedai, and points out that no Aes Sedai there except perhaps Cadsuane could come close to doing what Aviendha just did.

“You have such great talent, child.“

Aviendha swelled with the praise; from Wise Ones, it was rare, but always sincere.

”But you refuse to learn,“ Melaine continued. ”There isn’t much time!”

She quizzes Aviendha on what she thinks of Rand’s plan to kidnap the Domani merchant chiefs. Aviendha answers that it is a good plan, but Rand should not have phrased it to the chiefs the way he did; if he had put it in terms of “offering protection” for the merchants, the chiefs would have responded better. Melaine points out that it is still the same thing, but Aviendha counters that what you call a thing is important. Melaine seems pleased. Aviendha ventures that it is her fault that Rand still thinks the Car’a’carn is the same as a wetlander king, but Melaine disagrees, pointing out that the Wise Ones have failed there against Rand’s stubbornness as well.

So. That wasn’t the reason for her dishonor before the Wise Ones. What was it then? Aviendha ground her teeth in frustration, then forced herself to continue. “Regardless, he needs to be reminded. Again and again. Rhuarc is a wise and patient man, but not all clan chiefs are so. I know that some of the others wonder if their decision to follow Rand al’Thor was an error.”

Aviendha goes on that the chiefs will not accept offense after offense forever; they might not rebel like the Shaido, but some might choose to simply leave. Melaine agrees, and assures her that the Wise Ones are working to smooth things over. Aviendha wonders if Rand realizes how much of Aiel loyalty is owed to the Wise Ones’ work on his behalf behind the scenes. Melaine muses aloud about the “remnant of a remnant” prophecy, wondering what will happen after the Car’a’carn is done with them, and Aviendha is startled to realize she hadn’t even thought about that before.

She was centered on the now, upon regaining her honor and being there to protect Rand al’Thor at the Last Battle. But a Wise One could not just think of the now or the tomorrow. She had to think of the years ahead and the times that would be brought upon the winds.

A remnant of a remnant. He had broken the Aiel as a people. What would become of them?

Melaine then tells her to go rest, but adds that they will discuss her punishment tomorrow, for not finishing with the stones, and “not learning quickly enough.” Aviendha is astonished, and sure there is some correlation between the questions and the undeserved punishment, but cannot think of what it is. She finds herself thinking of going to Rand, but rebukes herself that she cannot go to him “as a beggar,” not until she has her honor back and figures out what she is doing wrong.

So there are quite a few sucky ways to die, but “dissolving into a pile of ultrahot tar” is… well, certainly it’s one of the more original ways to die, but actually I don’t know if it would be one of the suckier ways. It kind of depends on how much of the process poor Adrin was around to be conscious of. I think, though, all things being equal, we can probably assume it was very sucky indeed. Yuck.

And again, just like with the bug guy Perrin watched die in KOD, it’s the random, unforeseeable pointlessness of the death that is the worst part, in my opinion. A death in battle is not exactly a barrel of monkeys either, but at least then you had a chance to have your death mean something.

Randomly: I don’t remember the name of the guy who owns the manor right now, but I bet you millions of dollars that this was not the way he wanted to get the place aired out. I’m hardly going to make an exhaustive study of it, but I would be amazed if there’s a single place Rand has stayed for any length of time since leaving the Two Rivers that hasn’t ended up sustaining massive property damage as a result. Rand al’Thor: worst houseguest since termites!

I forgot to mention this icon when it first appeared a couple of chapters ago, but I like it, even if it took me a while to figure out what it was. But: Lace of the Pattern fraying, I get it now. Nice.

I’m not sure how I feel about Aviendha’s self-imposed exile from Rand in TGS. On the one hand, sure, I see the reasoning. And I can get behind wanting to prove you can be your own person and have your shit together before getting further into a relationship. Yay for lack of co-dependency drama, and alla that.

On the other, there’s a bloody apocalypse coming, girl. Like, any minute now. In which your boyfriend is fated to die, even if ambiguously. Maybe in this particular case, your self-esteem issues should not actually be the top-priority item on the relationship agenda at this juncture, hmm? Just a thought.

But, at least Aviendha got to be a little badass with the water thing here. It’s kind of interesting that of the Supergirls, I feel like Aviendha overall has had the least number of chances to display her channeling prowess; the last time I recall was in TPOD, with the unweaving gateway thing, and before that we hardly ever got to see her channel in practical situations at all, it seems like. Of course, maybe there’s a whole slew of them I’m just forgetting currently, but then that kind of proves my point, doesn’t it?

Melaine and Aviendha’s musing on the “remnant of a remnant” prophecy didn’t make much more than a passing impact on me the first time I read TGS, but in the wake of what happens in ToM, I have to say their conversation in this chapter was a very nice set-up for the Way-Forward Ter’angreal scene in the next book.

I also remember I found their conversation about the Aiel chiefs not taking Rand’s shit forever to be very worrying, because I had frankly been thinking the exact same thing. There’s a fine line to be walked as a leader between respecting your followers’ opinions and knowing when to ignore them and make your own stick, but by this point Rand has increasingly lost interest in walking that line at all.

Which doesn’t just make him a douche, it makes him a bad leader. And since he’s kind of supposed to be the Head Honcho in Charge of, you know, the entirety of Team Light, that’s kind of a problem.

It goes hand in hand with the thoughts Aviendha has about the work the Wise Ones do behind the scenes on Rand’s behalf. Any leader who’s anything more than a flash in the pan is only as good as the team he or she relies upon; you alienate your own people and you’re not only screwed, you deserve to be screwed.

Not to mention that frankly, the Aiel just deserve better. They’ve been Rand’s one rock-solid ally from the beginning, and no other people can claim to have sacrificed more on his behalf. But I guess it’s always easier to take for granted what you’ve never had cause to be concerned about.

And on that unsettling note, we out! I hope you all had a lovely and revelry-filled Halloween, and I’ll see you next week!

Anthony Pero
1. anthonypero
Yea! The new post is here! Happy Tuesday, WoTerians
Anthony Pero
3. anthonypero
Rand al’Thor: worst houseguest since termites!


That's right, I pulled out the old ROTFLMAO. I am also trying to think of the last place he didn't trash... How about the Inn in Caemlyn? He didn't trash that... Um... wow. That was Book 1. He didn't trash Cold Rocks Hold either... that was Book 4. But that's about it.

As far as Avhiendha, the other big channeling moment for her was making the Gateway to flee Rand. And having the Talent to know what ter'angreal are for.
4. brentodd
I remember being somewhat annoyed with Avi's "refusal to learn" stuff. It was fairly obvious (to me, at least) what the point of all this "punishment" was, and having this whole book "wasted" for her on this was just frustrating. It seemed too late in the game to delay major character development like that.
Bryan Cogswell
5. shmoo
Thinking i'd prefer a quick brain melting away before i can be in lots 'o pain then many of the deaths we've seen in this series.

Hot - no UberHot lavatar coming out of my mouth beats beatles anyday. I suppose.
6. mrc1ark
@3 Didn't cold rocks cove get attacked by Trollocs / Drakghar? Not directly Rands fault but not entirely unscathed.

The town with the guardian that put him in jail didn't get messed up(yet) but I'm not sure if that qualifies since he wasn't really a guest there.

It does seem like most places end up for the worse after hosting Rand.
Rob Munnelly
7. RobMRobM
It's kind of sad that Min is the only one of the three girls that gets sexy time with Rand, despite their joint bonding. One would have expected some additional effort to make time, especially given his overall mental state. Romance with Avi may well have eased some of Rand's current headaches and heartaches. I agree with Leigh that Avi's admirable thought to get her stuff together before seeking him out might be considered selfish or couterproductive to the overall Light side effort.

Captain Hammer
8. Randalator
Rand al’Thor: worst houseguest since termites!

Given the spontaneous combustion of Random McRedshirt, I'd even say "worst houseguest since thermite. *Ba-dum tshk*

anthonypero @3

I am also trying to think of the last place he didn't trash... How about the Inn in Caemlyn? He didn't trash that... Um... wow. That was Book 1. He didn't trash Cold Rocks Hold either... that was Book 4. But that's about it.

Most recent place NOT trashed by Rand: The Crown of Maredo in Far Madding (Book 9).
9. JWilcox
"Rand al’Thor: worst houseguest since termites! Given the spontaneous combustion of Random McRedshirt, I'd even say "worst houseguest since thermite. *Ba-dum tshk* "

You sir are a horrible person.
10. Palindrome
Been reading this reread and catching up for the last couple months. . . Its in a lot of ways better that rereading the actual series! Namely in that it doesn't take quite as long to get through, and in that there's discussion to accompany.

Thanks for doing this reread, its quite enjoyable.
Alice Arneson
11. Wetlandernw
I don't think Fal Dara got trashed, but that was book 1 as well. Cold Rocks Hold sustained damage, IIRC (as noted @6). Good catch on Far Madding (@8). Can't think of too many others.

Chapter icon: I'll have to go scrounge around looking for more info (like that list of icons and which chapters use them) but I wonder if the icon is supposed to be a hint to us that this is not a "bubble of evil" episode, but rather evidence of the weakening of the Pattern.

Thoughts on leadership, and especially Rand's, coming up when I can make sense out of them.

Edit for: capitalization and attribution.
12. dgreene196
Aviendha's relatively limited use of saidar compared to the other SuperGirls makes a certain amount of sense in the context of her culture. For the Aiel, being able to wield the One Power is all well and good, but it's not as important as it is for the Aes Sedai, who literally rank themselves based upon how strong you are, saidar-wise. The measure of the woman is more important than her raw strength.

As for taking so long to realize that she needs to assert her own position among the Wise Ones, that behavior is very much in keeping with her character, although annoying to the reader. She isn't a "Shaido dog" after all, and figuring out her toh matters to Aviendha. But I'm completely ready to get to her scenes in the next book where she rewires a massive ter'angreal for future-vision.
Nadine L.
13. travyl
I was frustrated about Aviendhas exile from Rand as well. I do follow her line of reasoning but seeing Rand suffer, and his thinking that her keeping away from him is because he is dangerous (after his "killing attempt" on Min), is just making her actions that much worse.

About building damage: Did the palace in Caemlyn suffer much on the trolloc attack upon Rahvin's death - I seem to remeber most of that was in Tel'aran'rhiod, in real Randland they didn't cross the wall to the palace, though FoH isn't the most recent book.
Captain Hammer
14. Randalator
travyl @13

It didn't suffer too much apparently. The Palace wall was damaged when the Trollocs broke through and the fighting ultimately spilled into the main courtyard, so you can expect the ordinary damage associated with that. Additionally, before Rahvin travelled to T'A'R, he and Rand exchanged a few shots of balefire which damaged the interior to some degree. But all in all the Royal Palace came out in pretty good shape.
Martin Cohn
15. arixan
RobMRobM said
"It's kind of sad that Min is the only one of the three girls that gets sexy time with Rand, despite their joint bonding."

Of the three "Wives in Waiting," Min is the only one of the three who is actually partnering with Rand at the moment. She bullies him as does every other woman in Randland, but its a familiar domestic bullying and therefore a comfort. So that is why she gets the lion's share of the "sexytime."

Not to take anything away from Avi and Elayne, but Min has chosen to focus her awesome in Rand's direction and not at her "people" or a throne. Min has made a choice, an age old choice that spouses/partners have had to ponder and live by for ages.
16. jshep12
I really am sad every Tuesday, after I'm finished reading the post. It's one of the highlights of my week.

It's an interesting dynamic, the 3 girls and Rand. I can't wait to find out why Jordan decided to go with three love interests rather than just one. It isn't clear to me yet (though I'm sure others have a clearer sense of it than me) and I think it's going to be intrigual (
17. jshep12
I think it continues to cut my post off after intrigual because it's mad at me for spelling so poorly...

...intrigual to the results at the last battle.
18. Jeribai
Leigh, the name of the guy that owns the manor is Lord Tallaen.
19. s'rEDIT
Palindrome @ 10: Is your name Hannah?

Roger Powell
20. forkroot
anthoypero@206(Last Post)
Nynaeve was trained to be the village wisdom, and has experience being the village wisdom, which is the counterpart of the Mayor in the TR. She doesn't really have any more responsibility now than she did then. She is not a main character. She doesn't drive the plot forward at all. She is a very important side character who gets lots of screen time.
Hey! No fair putting this at the end of the last post, just before a new one. I'm responding on this post.

Let's review a few things Nynaeve has done:
1) First channeler from this Age (obviously Rand doesn't count) to beat a Forsaken 1:1 (unless you want to count Moiraine's surprise BF on Belal)
2) When she beat Moghedien again she also captured her and in doing so she demonstrated a key tactic in T'AR that is important to the plot. The captured Moggy also was forced to help the SGs learn weaves.
3) Helped Rand cleanse the Source.
4) Was responsible for finding the Kin and reconnecting them to the SAS. (She was the one who played along with Setalle Anan - Elayne was clueless.)
5) In Falme - she avoids capture when Liandrin betrays them to the Seanchan and eventually rescues Egwene.
6) She discovered how to heal stilling.
7) She discovered how to heal taint madness
8) She's the one that figured out the lead that resulted in discovering where Graendal is hiding.
9) She saved Rand's life by blasting Rahvin in T'AR allowing Rand to recover and finish him.

Add to the above the whole "Golden Crane" chapter, which, if nothing else, stops Lan from throwing his life away meaninglessly.

Oh yeah, then there's her promise to go with Rand to Shayol Ghul for the big showdown. (Obviously we don't know for sure yet how that all plays out.)

Of course she's a "main character" unless you want to stop with the three boys and (arguably) Egwene.
Roger Powell
21. forkroot
Palindrome @ 10: Is your name Hannah?
Could also be "Anna" or "Otto". Heck, even "Bob" would work :-)
Captain Hammer
22. Randalator
JWilcox @9

You sir are a horrible person.

I know. Isn't it great?
Birgit F
23. birgit
I’m hardly going to make an exhaustive study of it, but I would be amazed if there’s a single place Rand has stayed for any length of time since leaving the Two Rivers that hasn’t ended up sustaining massive property damage as a result.

Was Vash the Stampede an incarnation of the Dragon?

The town with the guardian that put him in jail didn't get messed up(yet) but I'm not sure if that qualifies since he wasn't really a guest there.

He didn't balefire Far Madding, but Cads had to undermine their political leader to free Rand.

I can't wait to find out why Jordan decided to go with three love interests rather than just one.

They are a female trinity: Maiden (Avi), Mother (El) and Wise Woman (Min) balancing the three male ta'veren.
Alice Arneson
24. Wetlandernw
jshep12 @16 & 17 - Did you mean integral, as in "an essential part of" or intriguing as in "fascinating"? I'm guessing the first, but any response to your comment would require knowing which - or if you meant something else altogether.
25. flodros
Wetlandernw @11

I thought that the pattern weakening was what allowed the bubbles of evil in the first place. Moraine explained that to the lads in book 3.

If I'm correct then it should be impossible to prove if it was a random twist in the pattern or a bubble of evil. Or even if its because the bubble warps the pattern as it tries to squeeze it way out

Randalator @14, travyl @13

That's still pretty major damage, even if it could be worse. All that happened here is that a bit of wall got burnt away. Again, this event could have been worse.

The estate in Tear where he was in KoD didn't have too much damage IIRC. The roof of the stables burnt off. And an over-abundance of Trolloc corpses.

RE: Aviendha - I wasn't a great fan of her plotline in this book. Sure the whole 'you are not a wise one until you say you are' thing had been referenced before with Sevanna (and I think it is brought up at the end of this book), but it is still very cliche, or since this is Leigh's blog - 'trope-eriffic', but also because it doesn't mesh with the relationship we've seen so far between wise one and apprentice.

As they say later in this book, as a wise one you need to be able to stand firm against the opposing views of other wise ones, but Avi isn't a wise one yet.
26. Paulie
Love the re-read and commentary...but only 1 chapter? :`(
Alice Arneson
27. Wetlandernw
flodros @25 - No, as Moiraine explained it to the boys the bubbles were a result of the DO's prison weakening. As it developed cracks, bubbles could ooze out and float around until they found a good place to anchor on the Pattern, where they'd pop and make a general mess. They were likely to be drawn toward ta'veren, meaning that horrible things happened more around the boys than elsewhere.

IIRC, in the recent books they are beginning to realize that the Pattern itself is weakening and reality is starting to come unglued - hence the walking dead, the shifting walls, etc. I'll see if I can find the actual citation for you, but as I understand it, there is a difference. Since this chapter icon was introduced in TGS, I'm guessing that it's a hint.

Edit - to clarify.
28. s'rEDIT
fork @ 21: Well, if we really wanted to, we could list dozens more. Eve also comes to mind, now that you've mentioned Bob. And of course, Hannah already subsumes Anna.
Anthony Pero
29. anthonypero

While this could turn into an interesting discussion, it's not one I intend to have *sticks tongue out at forkroot*

In my opinion, based on the way I understand a main character functions in fiction, Nynaeve would be considered a sidekick character, not a main character, because her actions, while cool and important, nevertheless, rarely, if ever, propel the plot forward. First she is a sidekick to Rand and Moiraine, then to Egwene and later to Elayne, now shes back to being a sidekick for Rand.

Obviously there are many theories of story structure. So I'm sure there are some theories in which Nynaeve might be considered a main character.
Thomas Keith
30. insectoid
Chocolate coma, huh, Leigh? Great post as always.

Adrin's death: Yeeesh.

Aviendha: Almost got it, right there in that paragraph you quoted about her being "centered on the now". Stupid oblivious girl.
Rand al’Thor: worst houseguest since termites!

Randalator @8:
"worst houseguest since thermite. *Ba-dum tshk*
I had to look that one up. ::eyeroll::

edit: Of course Nynaeve is a main character! She has just as many POVs as Egwene and Elayne do. (I forget which thread it was that one of you made a POV tally; too lazy to go look.) And she used the Choedan Kal. DUN!

Tricia Irish
31. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh. I too wish Avi had played a more important part in this book. Her plot line, such as it is, is a mini-plod.

RobMRobM said "It's kind of sad that Min is the only one of the three girls that gets sexy time with Rand, despite their joint bonding."

Just to add: Min will probably have the shortest actual life time with Rand...should they all survive TG...as she doesn't have the extended life span that the Channelers have. ;-(

Forkroot@20: Well put! And, I would venture that Nynaeve is perhaps the most consistant and stalwart presence that Rand has.....from his childhood, to perhaps the very end of all life. She certainly spends more time with him than either Mat or Perrin.
Eigor Maldonado
32. e-mann
Anybody ever wonder if Elayne’s and Rand’s bond to each other is having any effect on them. Avi’s comment that Rand changes moods as fast/frequently as Elayne makes me wonder if they aren’t reflecting each other’s moods.
Also, boo only one chapter; was really looking forward to the next chapter.
Roger Powell
33. forkroot
Yeah, no interest in dragging it on. We'll agree to disagree about what a "main" character is.

All of this reminded me of a discussion we all had many books back, rating the top 10 or top 20 characters in WoT. Needless to say there were controversies.

So I started wondering: "Who is the least significant character in WoT?"

Now obviously any unnamed character just referenced as being there could qualify (such as the several unnamed AS that came with Suian to Fal Dara). And there's a jillion characters who appear very briefly (e.g. Mutch - the surly stablehand in Baerlon.) So to make it interesting, I propose the following stipulations:

1) Character must have a name and POV -i.e. we see the world of Randland from their perspective at least once.

2) Character must appear in the chapters - appearances and POVs in the Prologues and Epilogues don't count. This rules out the odd character introduced to witness something or set the mood.

The first candidate I could think of is Maeric, the Shaido clan chief. He gets a brief POV after Sammael and Grandael trick the Shaido into dispersing to the east through gateways.

Anyone else have a candidate?
Alice Arneson
34. Wetlandernw
On the icon thing again, According to various interview reports, Brandon was specific that certain events (ghosts, etc.) are due to the Pattern unraveling. He specifically wanted an icon to refer to the Pattern coming apart, which I assume is this one; it’s used throughout TGS & ToM for chapters like this, Hinderstap, the one where Romanda’s tent is suddenly inundated with roaches from Shara, the dustifying of a chunk of Tear, the Brown quarters & novice quarters trading places, Leane’s cell making like a hot candle, and Perrin finding a patch of the Blight along the Jehannah Road. We don’t see them associated with the Caemlyn palace or Stone of Tear corridors shifting, but that would be explained by not having decided yet that a separate icon would be a good thing.

FWIW, Rand thought of the Stone of Tear corridor shifting as “the Pattern loosening” rather than as a bubble of evil. Whether his subsequent thoughts mean that he considered the loosening to be the cause or the effect of the Dark One touching the world is open to interpretation.

Okay, I'm done - unless I happen across the explanation (in text or interviews) of the difference between the bubbles and the unraveling.

Edit to add: Terez obviously interpreted these events as "bubbles of evil" when she was working on the interview database, but... whatever. I can't find anything in the interviews to differentiate. I'll try to ask Brandon next week unless someone here has better info already.
Anthony Pero
35. anthonypero
So far my vote for least important character is Demandred, lol. What a waste of time. Hopefully that changes in a big way in the last book.
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
Of course Nynaeve is a main character! She has just as many POVs as Egwene and Elayne do.
By that reckoning, then Watson is the main character in Sherlock Holmes, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. The whole story is told from Watson's point of view, but it doesn't make it Watson's story, as you might guess, based on the title. I think what makes a character a main character is if they drive the central story arc (i.e, either plot arc or character arc). The WoT has many main storylines, and some side ones. Nynaeve's character doesn't really drive any of them, she participates in them.

Another often used example is To Kill a Mockingbird, in which the PoV character is a young girl named Scout. Don't want to give the plot away (Is it possible to have spoilers on To Kill a Mockingbird, or has it passed the Statute of Spoilerations?), so I'll just say that there are two main story arcs in the book; an internal character arc, and an external plot. Scout is the focus of the internal character arc, as you might guess since she's narrating the story, but her character doesn't drive the plot, and so isn't actually the main character. Her father, Atticus Finch is, because the plot revolves completely around his decisions. Scout is simply a mechanism to view the story, and a vehicle for the reader to examine their own thoughts and beliefs. Similarly, Nynaeve exists primarily to give us a view of the other characters, to help them in their plotlines. She does have a character arc, she is absolutely essential to the story, but she almost never drives the plot.

Writing Excuses (www.writingexcuses.com) has some great podcasts on story structure, and plot, and main characters vs side characters, etc, if anyone is interested.
Birgit F
37. birgit
First she is a sidekick to Rand and Moiraine, then to Egwene and later to Elayne, now shes back to being a sidekick for Rand.

Why aren't Eg and El sidekicks for Ny before they get their own storyline (becoming Amyrlin/Queen)? The supergirls aren't really ranked when they travel together. Ny as the Wisdom, strongest channeler and oldest supergirl is most like a leader before Eg rebels against her leadership. El is a princess, but that doesn't really count among channelers.
38. flodros
Wetlandernw @27

You are indeed correct. I have just checked my book (it's actually book four, not 3, like I originally said).

Anthony Pero
39. anthonypero

When they first go off on their own, it's when they are kidnapped by Liandrin. Elayne is most definitely a side character here. She's along for the ride. But the story arc is Egwene's. She is driving the action. She gets captured, she learns about the da'mane. Nynaeve exists in that plotline to rescue her. Egwene is not the damsel in distress, she's the hero whose been captured. Nynaeve and Elayne (and Min) are the sidekicks who need to rescue her. All the character growth is Egwene's, the point is always Egwene.

Later, in the next book, the three are traveling to Tear. Nynaeve is static. She exists primarily to reflect Egwene's growth. Egwene is testing herself against her old mentor. Challenging her every step of the way. It's not about who is the leader, who is the strongest... it's about who drives the story. Egwene is driving the story in those scenes. It's all about her becoming a dreamer, and ascending from pupil to equal with Nynaeve. The NEXT book, you could say that Nynaeve and Elayne are equally driving the plot. Nynaeve comes closest, once again, in my opinion, to being a main character while searching for the Sad bracelets in Tanchico. After that, they are definitely side characters again to Egwene, until they go after the bowl of winds. This is truly when Elayne becomes a main character in her own right.

To try to put it another way, being a main character isn't a measure of someone's importance in the story as much as it is a name of their function in the story.
Alice Arneson
40. Wetlandernw
flodros @38 - But now you got me started, and I must find out whether there's a documented distinction, or if it's a product of my imagination! :) Maybe it was just one of those big debates on the spoiler threads - but I don't think I'm brave enough to go searching there...
Nadine L.
41. travyl
@anthonypero 36,39.If you look for Nynaeve driving a plot, go to the Borderlands. She sends Lan there, certainly altering his life and his intended fate by rallying an army for him.
- Of course some of your arguments are good, but I side with the posters who see her as a main character.
Anthony Pero
42. anthonypero

Hmmmm... I thought Lan really wanted to go to the borderlands and fight his war, but felt constrained to be at Nynaeve's side as her Warder, and Nynaeve allowed him to go, and agreed to take him there herself, mostly to drop him off in Saldaea and give her time to manipulate an army for him. While she is certainly driving action there, it is true, she's actually reacting to Lan's desires. It's a small side story that may nevertheless prove important, but it's certainly not a major story line in the series. Lan's storyline is a completel sidestory. It's awesome, and important, but it's not really a big part of the series.
Anthony Pero
43. anthonypero
Of course, side characters not always remaining side characters is part of the reason the story went from 3 books to 6 books to... whenever RJ was finished. So I'm perfectly willing to concede that Nynaeve sits in that grey area populated by Lan and Elayne, Tuon and a host of others. I just think Nynaeve, for reasons previously stated, doesn't quite qualify as a main character.
Kimani Rogers
44. KiManiak
Thanks for the post, Leigh. Hope you had a Happy Halloween.

Due to their overall lack, I’ll take any Aviendha chapter we can get. Especially when it shows off just how capable she is, both in the Power as well as mentally, deductively. I’m still not thrilled with how long her “punishment” goes on before she reaches her “I am a Wise One, darn it” epiphany, but so be it.

I understand that the Aes Sedai are (for the most part) manipulative, elitist snobs (redundant, I know; but for the generic AS its worth being restating) but I really don’t like the way Merise came off here. I understand that it mostly fits her character, but sometimes I wonder if Team Jordan (RJ as well as BWS) maybe goes a little farther than they need to to show us that there are some major flaws in how the Sisters and the Tower operate, how they treat non-Aes Sedai.

And Aviendha really needed to get her swerve on. I respect the whole “honor” thing, but maybe it would have been good for her and Rand to have a little 1 on 1 time.

ap@3 – I remember the Trollocs attacked Rand and the Aiel in the Waste (resulting in the death of Seana, I think) but I’m not sure if that was Cold Rocks Hold. Regardless, good point; he tends to trash the places that he stays. Maybe the Royal Palace in Caemlyn as it was damaged before he was a houseguest (he just vacated it for Elayne)?

Oh, and like mrc1ak@6 and Randalator@8 said, Far Madding wasn’t necessarily destroyed, although he did kill a few people, mess up a rooftop and (via Cadsuane’s actions in freeing him) potentially assist in destabilizing a regime.

arixan@15 – Min has made a choice, true. But some would argue she was free enough of obligations to make that choice. Elayne was obligated to the Tower, and then to the pursuit and occupation of her throne (although arguably, she didn’t have to completely avoid Rand –excluding their one night stand- once she reached Caemlyn). Aviendha was an Apprentice and obligated to complete her training. Neither Elayne nor Aviendha could drop what they were doing to follow Rand around, where Min had more freedom.

fork@20 – See, when you put it like that, I’m tempted to overlook all the character quirks that used to rub me the wrong way :-) Seriously, Nynaeve has progressed as a character so much (and I really like her, as of ToM) and IMHO, Nynaeve is a major character as much as Egwene and Elayne (and just under Perrin and Mat).

fork@33 – Hmm… this should be good. I’m going to need time to think about this. Off the top of my head, maybe Tarna or Seaine (or the BA Hunters; I think they had some non-Prologue POVs). But I’m sure there are better candidates…

ap@many – I do like your various points and think they have some validity, but I would still place myself in the camp that view all 3 Superboys and all 3 Supergirls as main characters. Cool discussion, though.
45. AndrewB
RobMRobM @7 re "sexy" time with Rand: True. However, Rand did get Elayne knocked up during their one and only sexual experience together. Even if Rand was willing for some additional sexual time with Elayne afterwards, I am not sure whether she would be willing or able.

Forkroot @33 re least important characters. I would add one other characteristic. That without said unimportant character, the story lines of main characters would not be affected.

a) Pedron Niall. His military greatness occurs prior to the events in the EotW. RJ could have easily had Valda be the first Lord Captain Commander that the reader sees alive. Valda could have been the one to meet Fain after TGH and order Children to Two Rivers. Had Niall not been alive, it would have made Morgase's decision to go the Children more plausible. She believed that she could politically outwit Valda. IIRC, the outsider's view of Valda was that he lacked Niall's political skills. I do not think that Morgase would have thought that Valda would rape her. Rather, she would have thought that he would have saw her as somebody who trained with the "withches" but sees the error of her way and wants the Children to save her kingdom.

b) Carridin. RJ could have structered his story so that Asunawa was a darkfriend who engenered the actions that Carridin took in the name of the Dark One/Foresaken.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Roger Powell
46. forkroot
A warning to you sir. Do not claim that Bela isn't a main character, lest you feel the full wrath of subwoofer come upon you.

FWIW: I usually include Avi as a "supergirl" so I count them as four. The chapter being reread lends a little weight to that too!
Mark Rocks
47. Denali
@anthonypero 43:

To use your logic one must accept that there are at most one or two main characters per story. The "Protagonist(s)." If I may pull an accepted definition of a protagonist:
protagonist: "principal character in a story, drama, etc.," from Gk. protagonistes "actor who plays the chief or first part," from protos "first" + agonistes "actor, competitor," from agon "contest". Meaning "leading person in any cause or contest" is from
The discussion should address what is a story with in the WoT series? I forward the idea that this series is composed of multiple stories; each book is composed of multiple stories. Further, in WoT, we have seven characters at the top of the 1500+ characters, by their position at the head of all the WoT characters, do they rate as protagonists?

This depends greatly on how each of us views their favorite WoT characters. At times, the seven leading characters are protagonists within a given story. Ergo, Rand, Perrin, Matt, Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, Aviendha, and Elmindreda (OK, Min, I just had to use her proper name) are protagonists and main characters.

And for the record, Bella is an antagonist, after all she is a darkfriend and possibly the DO's avatar. :)
John Massey
48. subwoofer
Feel the wrath of who now? Me? Naw, I'll take issue if folks downgrade Hopper's Yoda-like role with Perrin, other than that.... wait, is someone downplaying Lan and Ny- are we reading the same books here? I'm just going to CASUALLY point out that it is going to be Nynaeve and Rand at the end of the story with the crystally sword type device saving the world, if that doesn't put her in as a main then I suppose I order mashed potatoes with a side of rib eye....


As for this chapter- well I'm going with RobM here, Avi shoulda taken one for the team. It would "take the edge of the Dragon" so to speak. I dunno about anyone else, but I know what is in my top 5 things to do should I know when I am going to die. And if I had three wives on the line er... *coughthreesomecough* In regards to the "female trinity", I was going for the other three stooges- surly(Avi), snooty(El) and slutty(Min).

The chapter icon- I'm feeling kinda gyped on this one. The Pattern is breaking and we got spider webs tearing. I was more picturing rats falling off a cliff or something to really show things sliding sideways.

Rand the homewrecker- maybe the guy gets a lot of fiber in his diet and he dominates outhouses where ever he goes.
*whew! Stay clear, the Dragon just let one go!*
Maybe the Maidens are protecting everyone else from him... it's a Rorschach thing.

Rand's treatment of the Aiel- I don't know if anyone else said this so I'm just going to put it out there that I don't feel it's in the cards for Rand running for a second term here folks- one and done.

Chris R
49. up2stuff
I always considered Ny a main character because she did have central roles, she went to Tanchico on the BA hunt and was at least equal with Elayne for 2 books until they got to Salidar, and I consider her healing of Logain/stilling, plot advancement.
Also, waaaay back in TEoTW, didnt Min say she was "Part of it."? Meaning the fireflies? I kind of consider all of that group Main Characters.
Anthony Pero
50. anthonypero
Good points Denali. I think WoT has many story arcs (plots), that each have main characters (protagonists), that wrap into one meta-plot that has a single main character (UberProtagonist?), namely Rand Al'Thor. The point I am arguing, I guess, is that the arcs that Nynaeve participates in do not belong to her, per se, in that what each arc is trying to accomplish (both internally and externally) is not really about her.

For instance, one could view Jaichim Carridain as the protagonist in his story arc. What is his goal? To stay alive by fulfilling what Ishmael asks him to do in The Great Hunt. Who is the antagonist in his story, who is his main obstacle to completing his mission? Pedron Naill, who gives him orders that contradict his orders from his true master. In order to stay alive, he must figure out how to solve both competing sets of orders (story problem). He doesn't really come into direct conflict with any of our heroes. This is why he is a pointless, annoying, distracting character. But in his story arc, he is the protagonist. He is not a main character for the series however, because what he does is not important enough. I think main characters for this series are both protagonists in their own story (plot) arcs, as well as having a vital impact on the narrative as a whole.

While Nynaeve has a vital impact on the narrative as a whole, she is not a protagonist, nor an antagonist, therefore she is not a main character, but a side character. She functions, primarily, and almost exclusively to enlighten us about the main characters. Yes, she helped cleanse the Taint, but it was Rand's idea, Rand's plan, and for Rand's benefit, etc, etc... She helps find the bowl of winds, but it's Elayne's idea. She has a side story with her and Lan, but that's a common thing for side characters to have their own storylines. She plays the role of Sam Gamgee very well.

Mat is nothing but a side character until he becomes a protagonist in The Dragon Reborn. After he is healed by the Aes Sedai, and we get his luck going, etc, he takes a big step forward, starts having his own story arc. But I'm not sure he becomes a main character until after he kills Couladin, and starts to become a driving force in the narrative as a whole.

Perrin is a protagonist almost immediately, from the point where he and Egwene are separated from the others in Shadar Logoth. I'm not sure that he becomes a main character until The Dragon Reborn, however. Choices he makes there start to drive the plot, in place of Moiraine driving the plot. Obviously, his big jump comes in the next book.

Egwene is a side character through the entire first book. She functions specifically as the Relationship Character (not always a love interest). Her presence is used to drive Rand Al'Thor down the path he needs to go. Most of what he does in TEotW is done to protect her, or find her, etc... Egwene becomes a protagonist in TGH and TDR. In TSR, she really replaces Moiraine in the narrative as a main character. Almost all of our interaction with Moiraine in that book (and the next) is filtered either through her or Rand, and the point is always her or Rand. Egwene is really the second most important character (from a literary perspective) in the first three books. Perrin is #2 in TSR, Mat is #2 in TFoH. She also drives almost every scene she is in, and almost every scene she is in is ultimately about her (from a literary perspective).

Elayne functions as a side character all the way until the Bowl of Winds sequence. She functions as the protagonist during Tanchico in many scenes (so does Nynaeve), but it is a side plot, and would only have become crucial to the plot if they had failed. It's part of the reason why as far as the UberPlot is concerned, it drags the story down so badly.

Whewh, I haven't even made it through half of the primary cast yet. But I've got two little rug rats to put to bed. Didn't I say ten hours ago I wasn't going to get into this? Silly me.

I think this qualifies as my longest post ever.
51. Palindrome
@Sr'edit 19:


Nope! Nor is my gender female. Nor is my name a palindrome. It was just a word that popped into my head when I was typing my post. That would be a good handle for someone with a name like that. I'm not even a Dad, or a Mom, so I can't even claim it in titles.
Jay Dauro
52. J.Dauro
Shall we look at the folks with the smallest POVs by wordcount. These are the folks with less than .02%. All have a single POV, in the listed chapter.

Ellorien Traemane LOC-43
Dyelin Taravin LOC-43
Luan Norwelyn LOC-43
Abaldar Yulan POD - 24
Jaret Byar TGH - 48
Seanchen Rider LOC - Epi
Almurat Mor TSR - 46
Sulin LOC - 18
Lelaine Akashi LOC - 37
Timna WH - 35
Sorilea LOC - 51
Shaidar Haran - ACOS - 40
Barmellin WH - 35
Bain LOC - 51
Noal Charin ACOS - 17
Asmodean TFOH - 56
Rhadam Asunawa LOC - 31
Barriga TOM - Epi
Eben Hopwil WH - 35
Myrelle Berengari LOC - 52
Sahra Covenry TSR - 17

Barriga and the Seanchen Rider go out because they appear in an Epilogue, andone has no name.

We can instantly rule out many of these. They only get a small POV, but play a much larger part

Ellorien Traemane LOC-43
Dyelin Taravin LOC-43
Luan Norwelyn LOC-43
Abaldar Yulan POD - 24
Jaret Byar TGH - 48
Almurat Mor TSR - 46
Sulin LOC - 18
Lelaine Akashi LOC - 37
Sorilea LOC - 51
Shaidar Haran - ACOS - 40
Bain LOC - 51
Noal Charin ACOS - 17
Asmodean TFOH - 56
Rhadam Asunawa LOC - 31
Eben Hopwil WH - 35
Myrelle Berengari LOC - 52

For me this leaves three candidates:

Timna WH-35
Barmellin WH - 35
Sahra Covenry TSR - 17

Sahra only has one POV, but has another scene where she has dialogue. She provides (unwillingly) informaton to the Black Ajah about the super girls.

Timna and Barmellin show us the effect of using the Choeden Kal. If we look at their entries in Encyclopedia WOT, they have one line. Timna however is the lead-in for the suicide of the Amayar.

So my choice is Barmellin.
53. flodros
Wetlandernw @40

Good luck!. rather you than me!
Also - one of the theories is that the prison of the DO is the pattern itself. If the DO's power is increasing at the same time that the pattern is becoming more frayed....imagine the metaphor.

You have a sphere made of cotton, with a viscous liquid inside. As you increase the pressure on the liquid it seeps out between the warp and the woof of the cotton. Introduce a Ta'veren somewhere on the surface, which bends the cotton to it's needs and there will be a gap that the liquid (the bad shit from the DO) can escape from. Hence the attraction to the Ta'veren.

To all talking about Ny's status as a main cast member - I think that the series started out with the 3 boys + moiraine as protaganists. After a few books it turned into an ensemble cast. NY is defo one of the main movers and shakers.
54. mike shupp
birgit @23 "They are a female trinity..."

I was going to write something rather longwinded here, expounding upon the different characters of the three ladies and how Rand needed the experience of meeting all of them, but this does the task more pithily-- with added insight.

Bravo! and thank you.
55. jshep12
@24 integral is what I meant

56. jshep12
Wetlandernw @ 24 I meant VERY IMPORTANT, which is what I should have typed.
Alice Arneson
57. Wetlandernw
jshep12 - LOL! I was reasonably sure... and I think (or hope) you are correct. I hope, anyway, that the three have more significance than simply messing with Rand's head & moral values. My assumption (how long do we have to wait? aiaiaiaia!) is that each of them will have a specific part to play; different things to do that must be done by someone "married" to Rand (as opposed to a friend like Nynaeve or Egwene) but that can't all be done by one individual. I know it's possible that RJ just decided it would be fun to do something unexpected (i.e. not following standard fantasy rules) by splitting the romantic interest three ways and playing with the maiden/mother/crone (a.k.a. wise woman) triad, but I'm hoping there is more to it than that.


RAFO.... next year sometime....
Roger Powell
58. forkroot
J Dauro@52
Nice analysis!

Barmellin makes a great choice for "least significant character" :-)
We should invite him to the bunker and ask him to bring some of that brandy.
59. macster
I remember having three reactions to this chapter:

1) Rand: Smite Me O Mighty Smiter, anyone?

2) Aviendha's trick with the water: absolutely awesome.

3) Adrin: DO NOT WANT. It may be that vomiting beetles is far more horrific (both in terms of the disgust factor and the fact he was awake and conscious for most of it!), but I still remember getting very freaked out by this death. I don't know if it was the tearing flesh/bleeding tar imagery, or the details that when he dissolved into tar there were "blackened bones" sticking out but no skull, but... *shudders* The only thing we can hope, since he "didn't make a sound", is that once the tar poured out of his skull he wasn't aware or conscious anymore.

This leads into the interesting point Wetlander makes. I never really thought about the difference between bubbles of evil and the Pattern unraveling, but there certainly are differences. However I am not sure if the Lace-tearing icon is properly delineating them. I don't think it can be denied that things like halls moving or changing, the Brown and novice quarters switching, the sinking town from Shiota, or even Leane's cell melting (since that didn't seem consciously directed or evil) are simply the Pattern weakening. But other things seem much more wicked, evil, or at least connected to the Dark One.

Hinderstap, for all Thom's comment that the Pattern is unraveling and trying to reset, involves hundreds of people turning into insane, murderous monsters. Both the roaches in Romanda’s tent and the beetle-vomiting seem connected to the theme of decay, which is in turn something associated with the Dark One (famine, death, First Among Vermin). The dustifying of a chunk of Tear, while perhaps not openly malicious, does involve siphoning the life away, and Perrin finding a patch of the Blight also seems to have a Shadow connection. The death of Adrin seems hard to classify...it could just be random unraveling of reality, but the fact it involves dissolving into something fiery and destructive, and especially that the tar seemed to dissolve Aviendha's weaves, gives me pause. While it's possible reality unraveling might do that, it's just as likely the Dark One's touch since he is outside the Pattern (and also not of the One Power, since the True Source comes from the turning of the Wheel) and could therefore cause weaves to unravel.

I would guess we have one of three explanations here. 1) Some of these are not the Pattern unraveling, but bubbles of evil 2) the Pattern, being neither good nor evil, can produce results that seem as horrific as anything the Dark One does when it unravels, or option 1.5, while they are all examples of the Pattern unraveling, the Dark One can sometimes influence them to be more evil or destructive, whether through bubbles of evil or his direct touch. I vote for the last one, but really we have no way of knowing.

I think everyone had covered all the places Rand was at after book 1 and whether they were ruined or not, but as to the initial point, whether the damage was great or not, and whether Rand caused it directly or not, most places that have suffered have done so because of him, albeit indirectly. The only ones I can think of offhand are the places which fell to the Seanchan, since the Return was not because of Rand--while Tuon believes Rand must bow to the Crystal Throne before the Last Battle, seeking the Dragon Reborn was not the reason for the Return. However it happening when it did was the will of the Pattern, since the Seanchan have a role to play re: Rand and Tarmon Gai'don, and the reason the Seanchan had the culture and beliefs they did was due to Ishamael's interference and he set this all up to spoke the Dragon's wheel (pun intended), so...

Anyway, point is--whether or not all the places Rand stayed were destroyed or not, they certainly suffered or were targets because of him. The Stone wasn't damaged (other than by Mat's fireworks), but it was a target of Shadowspawn in TSR. Rand saved Caemlyn from Rahvin, and from when he took over until when he left in TPOD/WH, the place never suffered any attacks due to him--but Rahvin took over in the first place to get a base of power to work against him, and one reason he could do so was the absence of Elaida...who was in Tar Valon partly to figure out what Siuan was up to (plotting to help Rand), partly because Morgase wouldn't take her back as long as the Tower kept Elayne from her (and where was she? Running off with Egwene to Falme to help Rand, and Egwene was kidnapped by Liandrin in the first place because Ishamael wanted to get rid of Rand's helpers).

Rand saved Cairhien from the Shaido, but even setting aside the attack on the Sun Palace by the Darkfriend Asha'man and the mess with Colavaere, the Shaido were there in the first place because of Rand's actions in the Waste, and Cairhien was vulnerable because of the death of Galldrian--and that happened because of Thom (who was pulled in because Galldrian's men killed Dena as part of the king's plotting against Rand) and because of Rand refusing to play Daes Dae'mar. And of course Algarin's manor, while not damaged, was targeted because he was there, and we haven't even gotten to what happens in Bandar Eban. They don't call Rand a ta'veren and the cause of a second Breaking for nothing.

up2stuff @49: Good point--Nynaeve Healing stilling had many ramifications, from allowing Siuan to re-enter the Aes Sedai so she could advise Egwene, to Leane being able to help make the cuendillar chain, to Siuan being able to bond Gareth Bryne (ans save his life), and Healing gentling enabled Logain to join the Black Tower which will surely result in his helping to remove Taim.

Good points, anthonypero, but I still think I have to agree that Nynaeve is a main character. She just does too much and features in too many scenes not to be. Heck, she's one of first people we meet, at the same time we meet Egwene and the three boys. Not to mention Min's viewing of the fireflies in the darkness.

Subwoofer @48: Bathroom humor yet again? Will the 'classiness' ever end? :P

Wetlander @57: I wonder...if the dreams and visions are correct, when Rand dies (or "dies") it seems that all three of his women will be on the boat with him. Could this be because each of them will have a task to perform, or something to give, before Rand can be brought back/saved? Though that implies a ter'angreal or even a conscious entity such as the Creator, being involved in Rand's return... Perhaps it will be as 'simple' as their bond with him having something to do with it...
60. macster
...and something seems to be screwy with the Tor site. :/
61. macster
*frowns* Why is it none of the posts after 52 are showing up?
Anthony Pero
62. anthonypero
Ok, I'm conceding the argument. I'm trying to go at this from a literary construction point of view, but this seems to be now a question of how important she is to the story, which was neither my intent nor my point. I believe the two are separate discussions. I'll just go on record as saying this. Nynaeve is as important a character as anyone other than Rand, Matt, Perrin and Egwene. As far as "Important People" go, she heads the third tier of characters, with Elayne, Min, Moiraine, and Lan. And unlike some of these characters, her influence and importance has never waxed and waned throughout the series. She is a central character, all the time.

Thanks a lot, @foorkroot ;P
Jonathan Levy
63. JonathanLevy
33. forkroot
52. J.Dauro
58. forkroot
Least significant character? I vote Gawyn. If all his POVs were removed, how many readers would complain? :)

39. anthonypero
"To try to put it another way, being a main character isn't a measure of someone's importance in the story as much as it is a name of their function in the story."
I'm not sure I agree with your analysis of TGH. Yes, Egwene is kidnapped, and undergoes character growth, but Nynaeve is the driving force behind her rescue. Nynave concocts the plan to save her, Nynaeve subdues the captured damane, Nynaeve negotiates with Bayle Domon, Nynaeve passes judgement on the two captured sul'dam. In this story arc Elayne is Nynaeve's sidekick, and Min is Egwene's, but I don't think it fair to Nynaeve to say she's Egwene's sidekick.

Egwene is in danger, yes; Egwene is the source of drama, yes - so what? I wouldn't say that makes her more of a main character than Nynaeve any more than it makes the Horn of Valere (or Padan Fain) more of a main character than Rand (in TGH), or any more than Rand is a main character in TDR (he drives the plot, but we hardly see him).

In TDR Egwene isn't becoming a dreamer yet. There is some discussion of it, and a few jaunts into T'A'R, but it's mainly set-up for her journey to Rhuidean, or an infodump for the reader on the mechanics of T'A'R.

Nynaeve has parallel moments - we see her healing with Saidar for the first time, when she saves the Aiel girl (like weaving 4 tapestries at the same time, blindfolded), and she produces balefire by accident. Nynaeve is the driving force while the supergirls are still in the WT. We see both Nynaeve's and Egwene's Accepted Test - Elayne, the secondary character, gets hers off-screen.

In TSR Egwene becomes more of a main character, because her personal growth is a main element in the story, and because of her proximity to Moiraine and Rand whereas Elayne and Nynaeve are relegated to a sideshow in Tanchico.

In TFoH Nynaeve has long story arcs and plenty of moments of Awesome, whereas Egwene is Moiraine's sidekick or getting plastered on the docks at Cairhien. However, the moral arm-wrestling with Nynaeve is finally settled with Egwene on top.

Ok, that's gone on long enough. In short, I think in the early books Nynaeve and Egwene are fairly balanced, though the argument can go both ways. In later books Egwene is seated firmly in one of the primary plot arcs, and Nynaeve is pushed to the backstage, except for the occasional aria (Choedan Kal, etc).

So in my books, Nynaeve is definitely a main character, if not quite at the same level as Rand or Egwene. In a series 14 books long you can have quite a few main characters.

46. forkroot

48. subwoofer
If you had 3 wives on the line it would be a foursome, not a threesome. Assuming you survived, and not too terrified to come home from work.

Oh and for the record, the trinity is actually FratGirl/CrazyBitch/PromQueen (= Min/Aviendha/Elayne).

Jonathan Levy
64. JonathanLevy
On a lighter note, it's so reassuring to get these messages immediately after saving a comment:

Error Delete failed: '005b3759510da8e83d748c7f699e6d95.php' Delete failed: 'be2be2f0ed55f905b3262fe8f23fa24a.php' Delete failed: '21a3c4c03bc3924882196434998df482.php' Delete failed: '92f4e222103113d646c728265818408c.php' Delete failed: '6927fee50f7af4fa392175b71f34520b.php' Delete failed: '0f42eea65a77233783caa3486251a30e.php' Delete failed: '3d0429bfa2b8ca6df8ad3a92c7587e95.php' Delete failed: '003e8486dc113e57daa8976563e79541.php' Delete failed: '791c6dc6c70129900817a3fac96263a0.php' Delete failed: '01b4a52be04668a9b5c33072f9ce7c5c.php' Delete failed: '69800a6862bf14f05bc6a3feceb05df7.php' Delete failed: '4fde13b9e237d78c22a0d3ef9956b49c.php' Delete failed: '736bc517e2deb48d2eed1863e1a9f661.php' Delete failed: '76f13ce604925f2cd0b4a7a831298d84.php' Delete failed: '8d7e839ee4f3d6d0c97faf505293b2b1.php'

Message The comment has been saved
Captain Hammer
65. Randalator
Denali @47

And for the record, Bella is an antagonist, after all she is a darkfriend and possibly the DO's avatar. :)

I agree wholeheartedly but still, could we please ignore Twilight and focus on WoT for the remainder of this re-read...?

*dives into bunker*
67. s'rEDIT
J.Dauro: I admire both your footwork and logic. I'll vote with you.
68. s'rEDIT
J.Dauro: I admire both your footwork and your logic . . . I vote with you.

Roger Powell
70. forkroot
No problem - we just assume that you are voting "Chicago style" :-)
71. emmyloo03
birgit @23

They are a female trinity: Maiden (Avi), Mother (El) and Wise Woman (Min) balancing the three male ta'veren.
That just blew my mind... I was wondering about the 3 ladies for Rand thing too... PS Avi is my fav, then Min, then Elayne ;)
Roger Powell
72. forkroot
I saw that! LOL!

Getting back to this chapter - It's a bit curious that this particular incident was deemed "cover worthy". I'm guessing that it might have been because it was written early (I know the artist requires a lead time) and could be described well to DKS?

Or maybe, as cynics have suggested, it was chosen to make it easy on DKS? After all, he could pretty much lift Rand off the cover of TDR and just change a few things.
73. UseOfWeapons
Re: Nynaeve

I think it's fair to say that Nynaeve is an adjunct to the 3 boys and Egwene in the beginning, literally so considering the manner of her addition to the party leaving the Two Rivers. But IMO, she steps into main character territory when she confronts and defeats Moghedien: the first demonstration that a Forsaken can be defeated by a modern-ager who isn't Rand (not counting BF), and the start of the demolition of their facade of impregnability. She remains at the forefront of modern-age channeling _discoveries_ (note, not re-discoveries) throught the entire series. When on-stage with Rand, everyone functions as a side-kick, IMO, but that doesn't make them unimportant in their own right. For me, aside from Moiraine, Nynaeve is the next most important female character.

I wonder if it makes any sense to talk about main characters in a massively multi-character series like WoT, anyway. In the same way that ensemble-cast movies don't have clearly defined lead characters, it is simply enough for individual characters to step up when plot and their own inclinations lead them to do so.
74. UseOfWeapons
Re: Nynaeve

I think it's fair to say that Nynaeve is an adjunct to the 3 boys and Egwene in the beginning, literally so considering the manner of her addition to the party leaving the Two Rivers. But IMO, she steps into main character territory when she confronts and defeats Moghedien: the first demonstration that a Forsaken can be defeated by a modern-ager who isn't Rand (not counting BF), and the start of the demolition of their facade of impregnability. She remains at the forefront of modern-age channeling _discoveries_ (note, not re-discoveries) throught the entire series. When on-stage with Rand, everyone functions as a side-kick, IMO, but that doesn't make them unimportant in their own right. For me, aside from Moiraine, Nynaeve is the next most important female character.

I wonder if it makes any sense to talk about main characters in a massively multi-character series like WoT, anyway. In the same way that ensemble-cast movies don't have clearly defined lead characters, it is simply enough for individual characters to step up when plot and their own inclinations lead them to do so.
75. s'rEDIT
Admins please delete duplications!

I almost did it again, but suddenly they all popped up!
76. s'rEDIT
OMgoodness! I've never seen TOR so buggy (sorry Insectoid, don't mean you)! Suddenly everything after J.Dauro's post has disappeared . . . AGAIN!
Anthony Pero
77. anthonypero

Taking your lead, and since there's not much to talk about in this chpater, we should have a vote on which scene we would have prefered on the cover. Opening the floor for nominations. Everyone pick three.

My nominations are:

1. Rand on Dragonmount, on his knees facing up, with light shining down on him (This one has the added benefit of being impossible for DKS to screw up)

2. Egwene, fighting the Seanchan in the Tower

3. Rand and Tuon meeting

Any other nominations?
Anthony Pero
78. anthonypero
To all:

Take the Black, and the triple posts will go away. Instead you will get a wall of red error messages. But only one post.
Stefan Mitev
79. Bergmaniac
Is it just me or does it seems that Brandon Sanderson overdid a bit Aviendha's thoughts about Elayne in this book - she seems to idealise her too much? They are really close, of course, but it seemed too much in this chapter especially. On the other hand, Aviendha's thoughts about the wetlanders habit of complaining and Elayne's reaction to her theory abput it were pretty funny.

Aviendha really should've made more of an effort to talk with Rand during her stay in Arad Doman. They didn't have to get back to being lovers, but she could sense through the bond and simply by observing him that he's really struggling in many ways and talking with one of the few persons in the world he trusted at this point could've helped him.

I've always thought that WoT has 6 main characters (the Two Rivers crew and Elayne), one of which is primary - Rand), the others are equal in importance. Nynaeve is the one with the least amount of PoV among them, but that's partly because she's never been on her own apart from the others of the main cast and is often seen through other PoVs.
Captain Hammer
80. Randalator
anthonypero @77

4. Rand attacking Tam

5. Semirhage forcing Rand to choke Min

6. Rand breaking out of the sad bracelets

7. Rand nuking Natrin's Barrow

Although #1, #5, #6 & #7 might be a bit spoilerific to serve as cover choices to varying degrees. Also, DKS unable to screw #1 up? Why do I suddenly see the LoC cover with added rays of light in my head. *shudder*
Jonathan Levy
81. JonathanLevy
72. forkroot

So cruel! True, but cruel.

77. anthonypero
80. Randalator

7b. Rand standing in the woods just before nuking Natrin's Barrow, holding the access key up in his hand, the access key glowing in the light of Saidin. Around him are Min and Nynaeve, looking at him with fear and trepidation. No weaves of Balefire, no Natrin's barrow in the picture. The moment is pregnant with foreboding. (Oh, and a little bird sits on a branch above them all, looking down.)
Mark Rocks
83. Denali
Cover option 8: Perrin laying in the mud under a wagon with a host of folks looking at him like he is nuts...

I must agree with anthonypero, @JonathanLevy 7b is a well described cover.
84. Zeynep
Melaine appears and sniffs at Merise until Merise walks off.
No further comment here; I just wanted to mention that this sentence is 1) in all likelihood, a complete and accurate description of what happened, and 2) made me snicker for a long time.
85. AndrewB
Macster @59 said: "Both the roaches in Romanda’s tent and the beetle-vomiting seem connected to the theme of decay, which is in turn something associated with the Dark One (famine, death, First Among Vermin)."

Interesting. I always associated the term "First Among Vermin" as used in the Dark Prophecy at the end of ToM to refer to Rand. I thought the prohecy meant that the Team Light Leader (Rand, the Dragon Reborn) was nothing more than vermin.

Thanks for reading my munsings.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
86. tnh
I confirm that the site is being buggy. Thanks for describing the problems. I've passed those messages along.

Here's my favorite bit of weirdness so far: having "mrc1ark" pop up
between two successive posts by s'rEDIT:
75. s'rEDIT
Wednesday November 02, 2011 12:14pm EDT
Flag | Bookmark | Edit | Unpublish
Admins please delete duplications!

I almost did it again, but suddenly they all popped up!
76. s'rEDIT
Wednesday November 02, 2011 12:16pm EDT
Flag | Bookmark | Edit | Unpublish
OMgoodness! I've never seen TOR so buggy (sorry Insectoid, don't mean you)! Suddenly everything after J.Dauro's post has disappeared . . . AGAIN!
A small thing, but so thoroughly out of place.
Alice Arneson
87. Wetlandernw
Bergmaniac @79 - IIRC, Aviendha had often thought all sorts of (unrealistically) idealized things about Elayne in the past few books. I think in previous books they were interrupted by dialogue a lot more, and it seems more noticable here because it's all inside Aviendha's head. To me, anyway, Brandon was consistent with RJ in Aviendha's attitude, but this is one of the few times (I think) we've been in her head since she left Caemlyn. And I agree - her thoughts on Elayne and wetlander complaining are hilarious.

On the cover... I couldn't help chuckling over something that would never have come up in the description to the artist... Aviendha had just got done thinking about Rand being in bed, and then about how he went right back to bed afterwards... so why don't we get a first look at Randland smallclothes? He went and got fully dressed, coat and all, before he came out. oh well. :)
88. Blood_Drunk
@leigh, the last practical thing that we see Avi do with the one power was in KOD before Avi leaves Elayne they both are at the walls of Caemlyn during a siege attack. After the attack an unnatural storm converges on the inner city sending down lightning. Elayne cant hold saidar b/c shes preg'ers so Avi offers to disburse it for her.
Roger Powell
89. forkroot
Please note that Irene Gallo voted for your choice #2 (I think she's the one who commissions the e-Book covers.) The e-Book cover for TGS is terrific (like most of them.)
Hugh Arai
90. HArai
Bergmaniac@79: My impression has been that Aviendha has been drinking the Elayne koolaid since the 'you belong to Elayne' days back in The Shadow Rising and even before.
John Massey
91. subwoofer
@JL- yes... but one has to work the camera for posterity sake, so threesome it is. Min as prom queen? I don't see that... unless she did some "fancy maneuvering" to stuff the ballot box.

@macster- I gotta be me:) Some folks ramble on about minutiae, some folks like gag reels. whatever floats your boat.

@Randalator- what's Twilight... ah ... oh... gah:/

@AP- third tier? Who's in the second tier?

Edit- as for "Errors"- I've been getting them for the past year or so. The posts eventually show up, but I am waiting for the first service pack to fix the "upgrade" we took;)

Valentin M
92. ValMar
I really enjoy the "main character or not" discussion. I have to take most of the credit for it since it sprung from a sentence at the end of a post of mine, at the tail end of last re-read. You are all welcome ;)
Both sides of the argument are probably right and have good back ups for their reasonings. Depends how you want to define the issue.

As for Elayne and Aviendha cordial relationship- after that bath scene I've been waiting for them to take it one or three steps further. I haven't said anything about it before, but this is my most anticipated scene for AMOL. It will do very well for an Epilogue :)

Now I'm going to bed and am declaring moratorium on posting here till 7am NY time. After that you can post as long as you don't pass 100...
Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw
ValMar - dream on! My best posting time is after 8:30 pm Seattle time. :) I'll see what I can do about snagging 100 tonight. ;p

I didn't jump into the "main character" discussion, but it was interesting. From a "literary construction" perspective, I can certainly see anthonypero's (that g snuck in again!) point about the definition of "main." Then it's a matter of how the individual reader sees "who drives the plot/scene" to some extent. On the other hand, from a purely "who is significant to the reader" angle, Nynaeve is... pretty significant. It's an odd discussion, come to think of it, because not only is there a "literature major vs. casual reader" distinction, there are differences in how people see the plots themselves - who they are about, who drives it, who is ancillary, etc. Fun stuff!

FWIW, anthony, (hah! no g!) I really did see what you were saying, even though for practical purposes I still think of Nynaeve as a main character. It's a bit like Firefly or Stargate SG1 - there may be a primary main character, but beyond that there is such an ensemble feel to the group that it's hard to consider one as less "main" than another.
Roger Powell
94. forkroot
Let's see ... dinner hits the table sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 ... probably done with dinner 7:30ish, but it's time to check and make sure the kids are doing their homework. OK, time for a quick check of the posts - enough to get the brain engaged on the topic of the day.

About 8:00 approach the kitchen again ... OMG - look at all these dishes!!

A full 1/2 hour of dish washing ensues while the left brain is working out this evening's "Wall of Text"™.

Yup - 8:30 and you're primed and ready to go!

(was I close?)
Thomas Keith
95. insectoid
Good grief, I don't check in for a day and Tor goes boom? 9_9

::waves at s'rEDIT::

AP @77: Hmm... I might vote for the silver-cloud scene in the Prologue, but I'm not sure that would be all that cover-worthy.

AP @78: The first time I read that, I thought you said to take the black and go to the Wall...

ValMar @92: You forget, Wetlander does her best Epic Dish Marathons in the late hours. :P

(D'oh, Forkroot beat me to it! XD)

Jay Dauro
96. J.Dauro
anthonypero, wetlander

I don't know if you follow Writing Excuses, but as an aside to these thoughts, take a look at the 6.18 podcast on the Hollywood Formula.

In this formula they identify three main characters, the protagonist, the antagonist, and the relationship character. It really gives you a different look at a story, and how it works. For example, the analysis of who is which in The Dark Knight will surprise you.
Mark Locy
97. Tathas
So, ummm, this has probably already been discussed before, but hey, I came late to the party and I've been wondering this for ages:

Do you think the Aiel prophecy of a "Remnant of a remnant" means the Tinkers, and not even any Aiel-as-we-know-them-now? Cause the Tinkers being all pacifist would mean that, if TG isn't the end of everything, they're not likely to suffer a total slaughter, while the Aiel, who will actively fight in the war, likely will. And those Tinkers, they were Aiel at one time, the AoL, but still...

I know we get Avienda's vision in ToM, but I always kinda assumed that is a case of "do not want" and "always in motion is the future."

You guys can smack me if this has already been discussed in depth. Sorry!
Cameron Tucker
98. Loialson

I don't know if that theory has been discussed or not, but I definitely think it's a possiblility.

One thing I'm curious about, is how much Aiel blood is left in most of the tinkers? Most of them kindof recruit from everywhere and and everyone, so they're mutts in a sense.

Another curious thing is, the line of Andor is descended from the Aiel (thus the red hair, and Harriet confirmed it once), so what branch of Aiel did they come from then? The tinker branch? Some lost Aiel from the AOL that didn't go with the rest, or some brachoff of the Jenn maybe...though I find that unlikely.

The Jenn always roused my curiousity. It was never explicitly stated that they died off, but it was heavily implied that they don't exist anymore. All that's left of them is Rhuidean and the memories in the Wayback Ter'angreal...hmm...anyone have any theories on what happened to them? They just seemed to disappear, leaving their work unfinished. It's not like they didn't have access to, well, making babies, and obviously they knew how to survive in the Waste, or would have died out decades before, so what happened? Are they RandLand's version of the Anasazi legend of sorts perhaps?

For some reason the pointy teethed Aiel ring gongs in my head when I consider this...but I doubt that possibility, we'll have to RAFO for them.

@ Wetlanderw
Didn't you say you were going to meet Brandon soon? Do you have any juicy questions you're going to ask him? Curious minds inquire, as I find your posts on the blog well thought out and interesting (IE you are cool)
Alice Arneson
99. Wetlandernw
forkroot @94 - Sadly, my brain was just being sluggish tonight. I'm (finally) back online, but I don't have a lot to say. It's a pity, too, because I wanted to think through the implications of a little discussion that came up over on the Kingkiller Chronicles thread, but I didn't even manage that. *sigh*

Loialson @98 - Thanks! :) I plan to go to Brandon's signing in Seattle on Friday, 11/11. I would definitely like to have some good questions to ask, so if you have any suggestions, let me know! I expect Freelancer will be at the San Diego signing a couple of days earlier asking questions as well. Brandon really is wonderful about taking questions and chatting while he's signing books, so it's a lot of fun to go and just hang out for the evening to see what kind of good stuff comes out.

So far the only question I have on my new list is whether there is a distinction to be made between the "bubbles of evil" and the "Pattern unraveling" events. Of course, I'd like to turn most of my questions in the direction of the Mistborn world, since that's the tour he's doing, but ToM did come out since last time I saw him, so some WoT questions should be acceptable.

This goes for everyone - if you have questions about WoT, Mistborn, or Stormlight that you want to ask Brandon, post them here or in my shoutbox, and I'll collect a list.
Chris R
100. up2stuff
Wet, who would Brandon consider a main character?

edit: for the hunney!
101. macster
@anthonypero, Wetlander: I think the point here is that it's possible for a character to have more than one function or purpose in the narrative, that Nynaeve can be a sidekick from a literary standpoint but a main character (or at least a very important one) from a reader's viewpoint. So in other words, you're both right, because there are ways and levels to view characters which can change from one reader to the next, or even one scene to the next, especially in a large ensemble cast like this.

@birgit: Very good point re: Rand's three women. TV Tropes calls that triumvirate the Hecate Sisters. I wonder if the Three Faces of Eve (Child, Wife, Temptress) also applies...

@77 anthonypero: All good choices for cover shots, but I have to agree that #1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are all too spoileriffic. And 3 would just be another chance for Sweet to show how badly he can do people in a group scene (cf. KOD's cover). JonathanLevy's non-spoiler version of the balefiring of Natrin's Barrow would be pretty good, but I think overall choice 2 seems best. :D Still, I didn't mind the cover they did choose; at least it was mostly accurate to the scene it was depicting (save the lack of smallclothes *giggles at Wet*)

@84 Zeynep: LOL!

@85 AndrewB: You're right, that is one very likely interpretation of it. But the mention of vermin, after all the decay of COT and KOD, makes me wonder. And considering how contemptuous the Dark One is of his followers, deliberately collecting ones who are selfish and petty so he can easily control them, and how disappointed in his Chosen he must be after their poor showing when comapared to people like Alviarin and Taim...well, something about First Among Vermin makes me think this might be the actual translation of Nae'blis. And while Rand is the one who wants to break the seals, there's nothing to say Moridin might not do it, particularly since we know the True Power can destroy cuendillar. Maybe it's just me having a loony theory though. Heck, Rand could still have been First Among Vermin even under my interpretation, if he had joined the Shadow.

@88 Blood_Drunk: Good catch, I'd forgotten about that bit.

@97 Tathas: Very good point. You may be on to something, because we keep being told the Tinkers are important--they're brought up repeatedly as finally becoming sedentary in the safety of Seanchan-controlled lands, Egwene gets taken by Need to one of their camps in T'a'R, Perrin's connection to the Tinkers was always stressed (plus Min's viewing of the flowering trees around him)...it must mean something. I guess we'll find out in AMoL, but it would be quite something if you're right.

@98 Loialson: The line of Andor is descended from the Aiel?! Where did that get said, and confirmed? Tigraine joined the Aiel but she wasn't one of them...if that is true though, how ironic that Luc ended up battling and killing Janduin, and it would seem Tigraine joining them was an example of Gitara's Foretelling helping to reunite her with her ancestral people... Anyway, as for the Jenn, I believe it is said in the Guide (and also hinted at it Rand's ancestor memories) that the reason they died out was because they kept losing so many people to the other Aiel clans, and the ones who stayed behind became too old for childbearing. There may also have been some loss of fertility among them, I'm not sure. Of course the Guide is not authoritative canon, so who knows. It could be that if Nakomi wasn't Verin, the theory she's one of the Jenn (whether a ghost, a memory, or a living one) could be true after all. Otherwise, I am not sure why it would be important whether any Jenn have survived, and therefore why it would be brought up now. Unless RJ, through Sanderson, has some really big reveal for us...
Jonathan Levy
102. JonathanLevy
91. subwoofer
Camera - lol! One step ahead of me.
But Elayne's the Prom Queen, Min's the Frat Girl. Was I being unclear, or are you being too subtle for me? :)

97. Tathas
101. macster

Well, the exact wording of the prophecy is this:
"He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live." (encyclopedia-wot)
And the Tinkers don't call themselves 'Aiel'. Of course, if the prophecy was given before the Tinkers split off from the Aiel, then they might very well be the remnant of the Aiel which survives.

However, the phrasing 'those who call themselves Aiel' suggests that 'those' are not really worthy of the name 'Aiel', yet call themselves so nonetheless; this would suggest that they have already taken up arms (and hence are unworthy of the name), and we know the Aiel started to take up arms at least 1 generation after the Tinkers broke off from them.

I don't presume to suggest that this reasoning constitutes an iron-clad proof, but if the Tinkers turn out to be the Remnant, then I may feel a bit cheated. Also, I think Sorilea will feel cheated, which is kinda scary to think of. All their efforts are to make sure as many Aiel as possible survive, and it turns out none do because we were thinking of the Tinkers? So unfair.

But how about this idea - we know some Aiel are running off to the Tinkers. Maybe these are the 'Remnant of a Remnant'? They will survive even if Aviendha's vision comes true in its entirety. And Rand can certainly be said to be responsible for it - if he had not revealed the secret of Rhuidean to the Aiel, none of them would ever have thought of running off with the Tinkers.
103. Jeribai
@ least important character:
Bors, aka Jaichim Carridin. From the very beginning he did nothing but observe and travel around. The only thing he does in relation to ANY of the "main" characters is sending a letter to Elayne about Morgase that she doesn't believe anyways.

I wonder if the surviving Jenn Aiel were actually transformed into those red-veiled Aiel we run into. I mean being partially shadowspawn, and having their purpose completely inverted would make sense for the prolonged life and evilness of it all. I don't have my BWB on me, but someone had to create that fog that continually surrounded Rhuidean, and I can't find anything that says where it came from.
Anthony Pero
104. anthonypero
Subwoofer@91: At the risk of bringing this topic back to life, lol, Rand is his own tier, Mat, Perrin and Egwene are the second tier. In my most humble and completely personal position.
Anthony Pero
105. anthonypero

A number of the Jenn Aiel were Aes Sedai, or a number of Aes Sedai were traveling with the Jenn, protecting the cache of Ter'angreal found in Rhuidean. When Rand goes back in time in the Way Way Back Machine, he sees an Aes Sedai overseeing the construction of Rhuidean. I assume that Aes Sedai created the warding around Rhuidean.
Anthony Pero
106. anthonypero
And on a side note, I just posted these and got no error messages, so props to the Tech Department for figuring it out.
Anthony Pero
107. anthonypero
And on a completely different note, I have a theory/guess regarding Rand and the "Three on a Ship"... To me this harkens not only to Artherian ledgends an Avalon, but to the way Lord of the Rings ended as well, when the ringbearers were allowed to travel into the West with the last of the Elven ships, because they were to wounded in spirit to be able to live a mortal life anymore. So far, I've only heard one thing in WoT that remotely reminds me of mystically traveling "Into the West"...

The Ogier Book of Translation.

What if Rand, Avhienda, Elayne and Min are taking a dying Rand to the Ogier, and he leaves with them (probably with Min) and goes with the Ogier when the open the Book of Translation? Having properly impregnated Avi with triplets first, of course.
Anthony Pero
108. anthonypero
The other thought I had on this is that if it happens 10-12 years (or even 25 years) after the LB, and Elayne, Min and Avi all go... it would explain their absence in Avi's Way Way forward experience, since Elayne and Avi should have been alive in at least two of those sequences, since they'll live to be 450-600 years old.
Rob Munnelly
109. RobMRobM
@98 and 101. In one of the Aiel-vision scenes in TSR, one of the Aiel goes in a wagon towards the Wetlands or some such. Someone during the ToM tour asked Brandon, Harriet or Maria if this scene shows an Aiel going to Andor and being part of the royal line and got a pretty positive answer. We discussed this on an earlier re-read post or perhaps in one of the spoiler posts.

Mark Locy
110. Tathas
102. JonathanLevy

Yeah, you know how prophecies are: deliberately vague so as to encompass as many different possible futures as they can. Even with the statement, "Those that call themselves Aiel," it says that they will be broken and used. But it doesn't say that the remnant of a remnant have to call themselves Aiel.

Still, noting RJ's penchant for keeping as many characters alive as he does, I would be remarkably surprised if ALL the Aiel were killed and the Tinkers were all that remained, for sure. I mean, Avienda has to make it, doesn't she? She's supposed to have babies per a viewing by Min, correct?
Also, I think Sorilea will feel cheated, which is kinda scary to think of.
Terrifying, really.
Robert Crawley
111. Alphaleonis
It is my understanding that you have to do 2 things to become a wise one:

1 go to Rhuidean

2 after a suitable period of further training you have to demand your right to be one

So how did Savannah become a wise one since she never went to Rhuidean?
Hugh Arai
112. HArai
Alphaleonis@111: The Shaido apparently don't play by the rules. Couladin never went to Rhuidean either, but they made him clan chief.
So the Shaido Wise Ones decided for their own reasons to claim Sevanna was one of them and with Therava and Emerys vouching for her, Amys and the others outside the Shaido feel bound to accept the claim.
Anthony Pero
113. anthonypero
Except at the time, the Shaido Wise Ones didn't know Couladin hadn't gone to Rhuidean. Couladin had claimed that he'd gone on his own, in the night. Even Sevanna didn't know that wasn't the truth until later, when she realized that Al'Thor really was the Car'a'carn. It was accepting Couladin as the Car'a'carn even though he had been denied permission to go to Rhuidean and violated custom by going anyway (in his lie, at least) that gave Savannah the opening.
Hugh Arai
114. HArai
anthonypero@113: I don't agree. They had to know that he lied unless none of them had been to Rhuidean, which would only strengthen my view: the "opening" was that the Shaido leadership in general were more concerned with power and/or glory than the truth. The "Shaido dogs" indeed have no honor.
Anthony Pero
115. anthonypero
That's true, didn't think about that. Savannah didn't know he lied, because she hadn't been to Rhuidean herself, but the other Shaido Wise Ones would have known, at least as soon as he opened his mouth.

However, no other Shaido would have known that, so the Shaido Wise Ones could have easily told Sevannah to go to hell, they weren't in a position where they had to let her be a Wise One, because otherwise they'd look like hypocrites to the rest of the clan.
Valentin M
116. ValMar
Hmm, I see after the recent flurry of post, it has quieted down. Shortly after passing 100. Coincidence? Nay, skulduggery and conspiracy I call it!
Infamy, infamy, they're all in for me!
Valentin M
118. ValMar
Nice try but clearly you are a part of the conspiracy anthony. Rack up a few posts after 100 to avoid it looking too suspicious. I've thought of everything.
Where did I put this nice dagger I found in those ruins? Can't bear to be parted from it...
Kimani Rogers
119. KiManiak
Heya ValMar,

**nervous smile**

Why don't you head into the bunker? Thewindrose has a nice glass of wine she was offering RobMRobM last thread that you might want to sample.

No, no need to bring that dagger...

No, we don't need to see how you can crush your enemies with your mind, or set those mean conspiracy folks on fire...

Valentin M
120. ValMar
If there's booze I'm in. But where is this bunker?
Tess Laird
121. thewindrose
ValMar - Always booze in the bunker - I thought you had visited here before! Wetlandernw will take that nasty dagger and give it a good cleansing in her nightly dish duty(what will you do when the kids are old enough to help you Wet?).

subwoofer - threesome - is that without Rand?

Yep - the comments seem to be sticking in my head and not this chapter. As I said in the last chapter with Aviendha, the learning curve fits her stubborn character, but was hard to read at this point in the story . I would have been more pleased if she had some sexy time with Rand(rolling eyes at RobMRobM).
Although I don't know if that would have been good for Rand and Team Light, as Rand had to hit bottom so we could get ToM Rand. Anyone having a hard time seeing Rand and Aviendha together now(after ToM)?

Rob Munnelly
122. RobMRobM
"Anyone having a hard time seeing Rand and Aviendha together now(after ToM)?" Are you making an off-color remark aimed at the males in the audience? Hmmm.

Jonathan Levy
123. JonathanLevy
110. Tathas
But it doesn't say that the remnant of a remnant have to call themselves Aiel.
I'm not sure if I understood what you're suggesting. I think the R of R have to be part of the set of Aiel at the time the prophecy is given, otherwise it is an outright lie. However, at some point in the future they may stop calling themselves Aiel.
Still, noting RJ's penchant for keeping as many characters alive as he does, I would be remarkably surprised if ALL the Aiel were killed and the Tinkers were all that remained, for sure. I mean, Avienda has to make it, doesn't she?
The prophecy doesn't say that all those who die according to it must be dead by the end of the Last Battle. The vision in the wayforward machine, in which the Aiel die off completely after ten generations or so seems perfectly consistent to me with 'breaking as dried twigs'. Aviendha can live to the age of 600 and not invalidate the prophecy.

The problem with the wayforward vision is that all the Aiel seem to die off, without any Remnant of a Remnant. But if we postulate that some of the Aiel joined the Tinkers and lived, then the prophecy has come true.
Robert Crawley
124. Alphaleonis
Over at brandonsanderson.com it says that he is 90% finished with the first draft of AMOL.

Valentin M
125. ValMar
windrose @ 121

I am genuinely confused by the talk about the "bunker". So I may have strayed in and never known it. I think I have a vaguely correct idea about it but I'm not sure.

RobM @ 122

Good one :)
Alice Arneson
126. Wetlandernw
ValMar: just for you, copied and slightly modified from the TGS spoiler thread. :)

Brief* Notes on the History of the Cuendillar Bunker
- Original publication date: Nesan-13, 2009

The origins of the bunker may be observed on the TSR #10 forum, beginning with comment #667, when a certain R.Fife constructed a cuendillar bombshelter wherein to hide after a particularly vicious rickroll**. In following days, it became a popular place to hide from the backlash for any commenter making a statement deemed likely to be inflamatory. It remained, of course, the only hiding place after a rickroll, which required R.Fife to remain sequestered there for long periods of time.

In an effort to find a more suitable punishment, he was threatened with a long night in a sweat tent with Faile. This was quickly determined to have the opposite effect as desired, R.Fife being one of the rare Faile fans*** among the group. It did, however plant the seed of a much more effective retribution; some clever soul shanghaied Elaida, stuffed her into the bombshelter, barricaded the door and turned up the steam. Whether this had any particular effect on R.Fife himself was never revealed, but the bombshelter was so thoroughly funked out by this event that extreme measures were needed. A large number of group members turned out to help with the clean-up, but by the time the bunker was defunked, its effectiveness as a place to hide was drastically impacted.+

Due in part to this effect, the bunker has since become primarily a meeting place, where flamewars are doused by the liberal application of a wide variety of pastries, baked goods, assorted snacks and drinks from around the world. Corners are generally reserved for those who feel a need to hide for a few moments after a particularly daring comment.

Some have noted the frequent absences of R.Fife from the comments in recent weeks. There is speculation in some quarters that he is constructing a new cuendillar bunker, possibly disguised with inverted weaves, which he intends to keep more secure. The location of this bunker, if it exists, is a complete mystery. One immediately suspects the Land of the Madmen, but Samadai is known to be familiar with the area and would probably reveal its existence to the group at large. Shara is certainly a possibility, since we have very little insight into its inner workings. It may also be somewhere in Seanchan, where well-placed rickrolls may actually have caused some of the chaos generally attributed to Semirhage's destruction of the Imperial Family.++

(Addendum: More recently, someone bought Suffa back from the Seanchan to serve the general good in the bunker. She attempts to keep it clean, at least, and generally does a better job than she did with Tar Valon. Service is somewhat surly, but she is slowly beginning to see the error of her former ways. - Nesan-9, 2011)


*Brief? Who do we think we're kidding? This, from one who has about the same relationship with brevity as Leigh. Hah.

**He had the unmitigated gall to disguise a rickroll as a link to Leigh's promised post regarding JordanCon 2009, for which we were all twitching madly.

***This is his greatest redeeming quality, in my opinion, next to his blogs on JordanCon and the Charleston launch party. ;)

+See what I did there? Did ya see it? *chortle chortle* That was my fave.

++Alternatively, he could be one of Demandred's proxies, since he loves to sow chaos with those rickrolls... What do you think? Nah, probably not. Cruel, occasionally, but probably not really a DF. Besides, he knows I've still got the beaver and the taxi. And a badger, if needed. He wouldn't dare.

Okay, anyone who remembers or actually does the research may find some flaws in the "Notes", but it's Saturday night and I didn't feel like doing exhaustive research. The writing was much more fun. ;)
WOT Dragons
127. WOTNoDragons
Anyone having a hard time seeing Rand and Aviendha together now(after ToM)?
Yes. I think that maybe it’s because I’m programmed to want to read or see only one love interest for a hero in my choice of story. With Rand as the hero with 3 ‘love interests’ it feels like unfamiliar territory: not feeling any sort of overlap of engaging romance if one of the other 2 intrudes on Rand & Min. From a traditional story satisfaction standpoint, I want Min & Rand to have a happy ending but it doesn’t seem possible because at any moment, Rand could decide to go over to Avi’s tent to spend the night!

In Hollywood terms, I can’t see how a screenplay of WOT would work with the 3 of them & Rand. I think it would be a very brave producer who would ‘green light’ a project when there is no one single individual to be the central female love interest for Rand. And there is also a danger that if left with 3 central female characters for Rand’s interest, a screenplay version of WOT could then slide into a melodrama about which girl he chooses to ‘fall in love’ with, because a hero can’t fall in love with 3 girls, as this would be an outrageous idea for a fantasy movie! -;) Anyway, I seem to have digressed. But er yes, – it does seem jarring to me to imagine Rand displacing Min for El or Avi in future romantic scenes.
128. David DeLaney
Just a quick note here: if Erikson can have a POV from _Bent_, of all beings, in the last book of his series, we at least have the possibility of a Bela PoV in ours!

WOT Dragons
129. WOTNoDragons
Re Avi & El’s aging compared to Min’s.

I know others have posted about this before, in that it really does suck to be Min given that she’s only going to live maybe another 50 years or so compared to Avi & El who could top out at over 400 years. But on thinking about this and mentally translating it into a real-world comparison, it does then become really bizarre! I know it’s very silly, but pretend for a minute that TG doesn’t get in the way of their triumvirate happy-ever-after ending with Rand, and then substitute the 4 of them in to our own medieval history as real-world historical characters.

So, imagine if Rand were Henry VIII and Min was his first wife: Catherine of Aragon. She died around 1536 in relatively old age at 51. Now if El & Avi were cast as Boleyn & Howard, assuming they avoided losing their heads, (& that H could get away with bigamy) they might both still be alive today! Ok, so they’d be like 510 and about 490 years old, but the consequences of such a long life span in comparison to a regular non-channeling person like Min does seem to jump out as extremely surreal when imagined in this way: Jay Leno interviewing a 510 year old Anne Boleyn!

I know I’m taking up valuable space on the internet with this nonsense, but the issue of 3 women who are in love with the same man and who know what will likely happen in terms of their massively different life expectancies, ----
Well, it just seems that there was a huge amount of potential for a great writer like RJ to have really gotten his teeth into. And whilst we’ve had reams of descriptive narrative regarding what they are all wearing & so on, not so much about how they must feel in regard to this matter.

I think it’s really sad, because if they were to all survive, Min’s inevitable funeral would play out a bit like Heather’s death scene in Highlander. ::sniffle::

I have no idea what I’m leading to exactly, other than (imo) I think this issue of their aging at alarmingly different rates needs a bit more ‘on-screen’ time discussion between the characters themselves.

Leading on from this wacky train of thought - did Suan retake the oaths to prove she wasn’t a DF? If she did (I think she did) and didn’t then age back to her old (ageless) pre-stilled appearance, then it seems doubly unfair to Min. El could stay ‘relatively’ young (ageless) for a couple of hundred years under the 3 oaths, then get herself stilled, become really young looking again, then have an Asha’man repair the stilling and hey presto: 21 again! And with another 2 or 3 hundred years of slow aging to look forward to! ;-) In which case it’s really, really, sucky to be Min! So maybe she does deserve all the bedroom time with Rand.

Wetlander @ 126
Thanks for the bunker history review as I’ve also been wondering!

AP @ 107
Re The Ogier Book of Translation.
Interesting theory. Is it considered generally ‘known’ in WOT fandom that the BoT is about the Ogier physical leaving? I’d previously imagined that it would have the effect of expanding the Stedding environment to somehow include the whole world; so that there would be no access to the TP for anyone and thus provide the ultimate safety net to prevent another Breaking.
Nadine L.
130. travyl
@Wetlandernw 126.
though I'm not ValMar I dared to read your comment and: LOL, thank you very much for the insight.
As an aside note @99: I'm almost done with me personal reread of Mistborn (halfway through book 3), so I might get back at your offer concerning some questions for BWS (I would use your shoutbox). Since I'm from across the ocean (no, not Seanchan) I myself will most likely never have the chance to meet him :(

@WOTnoDragons 129.
If the 3 girls all survive TG, then Aviendha would be the one with the longest lifespan: I think Egwene will force Elayne to become full Aes Sedai, bonded by the Oath Rod, and even if she retires to the Kin, if will take some time away, while Aviendha get her full Aes-Sedai-prolonged life. - Not shure if I have a point here, I just wanted to point it out.
Mark Locy
131. Tathas
On the issue of lifespan: Having access to some of the most powerful Healers in the age has gotta increase your longevity, don't you think? I cannot imagine that it would give you the extended, centuries-long, lifespan of a channeler, but it's gotta be good for some extra-added years. Many of the things that go wrong with you because you age can probably be healed in some manner, or at least ameliorated. And with Nynaeve learning to do things that no one has ever learned before, I bet she can keep Min going for a longtime yet.

On a related note: Has there ever been a description about how well Lews Therin/Rand Heals?
Mark Locy
133. Tathas
123. JonathanLevy
I'm not sure if I understood what you're suggesting. I think the R of R have to be part of the set of Aiel at the time the prophecy is given, otherwise it is an outright lie. However, at some point in the future they may stop calling themselves Aiel.
So, here's what I'm getting at, the prophecy says this:
"He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live."
As someone who has run tabletop roleplaying games and written my fair share of prophecies both deliberately vague and cuttingly accurate, the prophecy, to me, leaves a lot of wiggle room. Why say a remnant of a remnant unless you are referring to a very small piece of another very small piece. The remaining Aiel that are part of the Tinkers would count. I don't think it invalidates the prophecy (maybe because I'm sneaky) to say that. It's one thing if the prophecy said, "but a remnant of a remnant of those who call themselves the Aiel during the age after this one" but it doesn't. And that's the sort of loophole I'd love to exploit. Any why else say remnant of a remnant if you didn't mean a different piece than what would remain afterwards.

In all honesty, I'm probably overthinking. But hey, overthinking can be fun, keeps my prophecy writing skillz honed.

EDIT: For grammar errors. Sometimes I cannot abide them.
Chris R
134. up2stuff
WOTND at 129...
One of my first questions to the members of this site was rather similar. I believe I asked Wetlander why the Black Sisters did not stick out like sore thumbs when they broke their oath rod oathes, and reswore on the dark oathes.

The answer was that since they reswore almost immediately, they did not loose the ageless look, like the Ajah heads that were in the tower during their coup attempt. Suiane and Leane had months to lose thier agelessness. In essence they were back to accepted appearances, so they would need the binding to hold for a while before the agelessness.

Now if they had not, they would eventually come to look like Amys or other wiseones who have worked with the power for a while, not really ageless, but younger than their years. So no, they will not "poof" back to the ageless look, they already appear to be 20 or so. They will gradually reattain an ageless look, but I wonder if in 5-10 years they will return to look the same as they did pre-stilling, or look different.

Reading a little closer though I see that is not exactly what you meant. I dont think anyone would de-age 300 years. Even the Old AS dont really look OLD if they are strong, simply a bit gray haired. We havent seen a stilling of an OLD sister to see what would happen. I dont think she would get 200 years off her face.

It has been pointed out though that reswearing would not give another 2-300 years life. They would supposedly just keel over dead at 300. Limits of the Oath Rod and whatnot.

That is a very interesting idea though. Does the oath rod cut someone off when they hit 300 or limit them to 300 years. I know someone spent a lot of effort figuring out how long women should live if they are channelers, but if memory serves, it was assumed that the oathrod stopped you at 300 or some such equivalent. Not simply kept binding for 300 years.

What is the actual rule here. Maybe Wet should ask Brandon about THAT!

edit: structure, grammar, and clarafication
135. Freelancer
RE: The remnant of a remnant.

The Tuatha'an are out of the running for this distinction for many reasons. Chief among them is the uncertainty regarding who, among the Tinkers, retains any Aiel blood. In the many generations since they separated, the Traveling Folk have added to their number anyone who would share their worldview, regardless of ancestry. Also, the very phrasing of "those who call themselves Aiel" rejects the Tinkers. Perhaps in the view of the prophet, they would be those most deserving of the name, but they neither know that nor wish it, and so the prophecy would make no sense that way. These are not the remnants you are looking for. Some bomb-throwers suggest that the Shaido will be the remnant, since they are on the move AWAY from The Last Battle, attempting to return to the Threefold Land, and will be the one crowd not annihilated. Without proof that this is incorrect, I still say any serious reading of all that Jordan has put together thus far negates that likelihood as absurd. The Shaido are for the Shaido, and nobody else. There is no moral value to their survival above the more noble members of their people. A more acceptable suggestion is simply Aviendha's children through Rand. Then again, we have seen the way-forward clip, and there are many more Aiel left around at that time than just the four uberkind.

RE: Nynaeve.

Like her or not (she's still at least a dozen people down my list of favorite characters), her significance to the story as an individual is overshadowed only by Rand and Egwene. She has been a fundamental component of more substantially plot-moving events than either Mat or Perrin. She has participated in the fight against Forsaken more than anyone short of Rand or Moraine, and the one time she didn't directly engage them while others did, she was busy with her part in the Cleansing.

Finally, in the darkest days of the pre-Epiphany Dragon, the one person upon whom Rand depended with near absolute trust was Nynaeve. Using a verbal label to relegate her does not change the fact that she is a prime mover of the story, and in any reasonable categorization is a main character.

RE: Rand's Healing ability

Is never mentioned. There is one event, when Moraine is dead tired, and Rand precludes any suggestion that he attempt to "wash away" her exhaustion, immediately agreed to by both Lan and Moraine as dangerous, since his skill with the Power was mostly non-existant at that point. Aside from that, he never attempts to Heal anyone, and I can't think of a mention of Lews Therin in an ameliorative capacity.
Tess Laird
136. thewindrose
It has also been speculated that the R of R of those who call themselves Aiel are the Shaido who are on their way back to the threefold land with Dominatrix Therava. This would explain the 'those who call themselves Aiel' part quite well - as all the other Aiel think of this group as Shaido dogs.

Wetlandernw - that was great! I can see that as a preface to the antics we get into when going sideways - for the much anticipated Leigh's WoT Epic Blog Guide.

anthonypero - Very interesing thoughts on the Ogier departing this world through the Book of Translation - and taking some of the Fellowship with them. I hadn't considered that before. It would be like how tEotW started out very 'Tolkien' and the ends that way...

Edit for - I see Freelancer got to the Shaido idea first!

Julian Augustus
137. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @57:

Hello, and I've missed you and all my other friends on this board. Real life.

I happened to be able to pop up on this thread long enough to read this statement @ #57:
I know it's possible that RJ just decided it would be fun to do something unexpected (i.e. not following standard fantasy rules) by splitting the romantic interest three ways and playing with the maiden/mother/crone (a.k.a. wise woman) triad, but I'm hoping there is more to it than that.
I thought you had sworn you were never going to read GRRM!
Julian Augustus
138. Alisonwonderland
Min is my second favorite character after Rand, but I find amusing the desperate attempts by some to try to stretch out her lifespan so she will have a longer time with Rand ... I don't think that will be doing her any kindness. You see, she will age like a normal person, while her two sister-wives and hubby will not. So, in about 50 years time she will be a wrinkled, toothless bent old hag, while Rand and the other two look exactly the same as now. They will look like her grand-children! Can you imagine how devastating it would be to be her at that age? I would rather spare her that horror and give her a nice clean death in her prime, if at all possible.
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland @137 - I still refuse to read GRRM. Whatever I said that connects with him was purely accidental. Go figure. :) Also @138 - That always makes me a little sad, so I like the suggestion of the four of them going away with the Ogier (after the Last Battle, of course, since I'm confident Loial will persuade them to remain that long). No matter how much Healing you do on someone, I don't think it's practical to think that Min could have a greatly-extended lifespan. Even Warders (who get Healed all the time) don't have an extended lifespan. Per RJ: "They hang on to what you would call 'vitality' longer than the average man, but they live a normal lifespan. They do get things out of the bond, but not a longer life." I think the same could be expected to apply to Min; while she might not be a wrinkled old crone by the time she hits 80, she's not likely to live past 90 or 100 in any case.

Re: the bunker explanation... Thanks, y'all! I really enjoyed writing it in the first place - it was a very fun break from the heavy-duty discussions that were taking place at the time, IIRC. And it was fun to go back and find/reread it.

Speaking of the bunker, though... Holidays are coming - time for more homemade goodies! (I've got lots of leftover Halloween candy, in the meantime.) We might have to shanghai Lannis into coming back with a snickerdoodle drop-off, though. She started all that. And I think forkroot started the WoT-caroling... Will there be more this year? :)
Birgit F
140. birgit
Is it considered generally ‘known’ in WOT fandom that the BoT is about the Ogier physical leaving?
Perhaps in a year, or five, or ten, we will open the Book of Translation, but if we do it now, we cannot run away with any real hope of safety. Tarmon Gai'don is coming, and on that hangs the fate not only of this world, but of any world we might flee to.
KoD ch. 19

Loial's description makes it clear that the Book is used for going to another world, not turning the world into a stedding.
Cameron Tucker
141. Loialson
Hmm, I've been thinking of making some soul cakes lately (been reading alot of Terry Pratchett lately to fill the space of WoT), maybe I'll drop some off at the bunker. :)

And thanks to RobM for seconding me on the Aiel/line of Andor thing. I remember reading the exact quote a few months back, not sure if I got it from terez's store of WoT info or otherwise...but he's right, It was mentioned on the blog a bit ago.
Cameron Tucker
142. Loialson
Yup, it was Terez who asked Harriet, but it wasn't 100% definitive, Here's the quote I found from a post Terez made on another site:
Oddly, the coloring of the Andoran royal line is similar to the Aiel coloring, with the light eyes and red-gold hair. This fact is what led me to be suspicious, whilst I was reading the bit where Rand goes through the glass columns in Rhuidean

I asked Harriet and Brandon about this at JordanCon. Here's what I posted on Theoryland:

I got a lovely smile from Harriet that told me she was pleased that someone had finally figured that out, and she said that she believes I am exactly right about that. She was a little sketchy on the details, though, and so was Brandon, so Brandon said it was essentially a MAFO .

NOTE: Maria wrote me this morning and said she will be getting back to me in a few days.
This was posted back in 27 April 2010.

So I'm not sure what the Maria's response was on that. Terez might have it (if anyone knows how to get in touch with her for a definitive answer) regarding the Royal line of Andor being of Aiel descent. This quote of Harriet is good enough for me though; I'm curious what Maria said after.

:Edited for better flow and puntuation:
John Massey
143. subwoofer
@theWindRose- well, depending on how the First-Sisters get on it could be good, and typical RJ fashion to leave the guy out;)

@Wet- Saturday night? Did we skip a day here? It is 0dark30 Saturday morning where I am. Daylight Savings must really be messed this year...

@Free- you said it much better compared to me, but yeah, Rand is leaning on Ny to be with him and the collander at the end of days and Ny said she'd be there. From start to finish Ny has played her role and done it proud.

Shaido dogs are Shaido dogs, although I take personal insult at them being lumped in with "dogs". Perhaps Shaido cats...

Perrin. Interesting boy that. I am currently going through a sleepless bout and rereading TSR. The Perrin- Faile story arc seems much better upon second blush and I am getting a much better grasp on the psychology of the PLOD that ensued. I know I'm going to be burned in effigy for this but in terms of story arc I find myself identifying with Perrin more and more as compared to Mat. Rand has LTT memories and Mat has the 'Finn knowledge but Perrin is a humble guy- yellow eyes aside- that is given huge responsibility with little guidance beyond the skills his wife has and the honest way he deals with people.

I like the way the Mat story arc reads, it is quite fun, but let's be honest, the guy is pretty douchy, or more to the point, I'd put an arrow through him if he came within bow shot of my daughter. Mat drinks, gambles for a living, wenches and is known for pithy language. Girls always like the bad boy, and nice guys always scratch their heads and wonder why girls are drawn to @$$holes but there you have it written on a page and folks(myself included) were drawn in.

Perrin OTOH highlights the people of Manetheran as a whole. A blacksmith that leads a group of farmers. As we read the story, the TR people always look home spun and mismatched, not quite the professional soldier, and as Perrin's "army" grows, it is mostly composed of social cast offs. Despite all this Perrin rises to the fore, and the people of Manetheran prove that they have much more in their blood that farming and sheep shearing, they go about kicking Trolloc butt fairly convincingly. The time in between was a fair grind, but think how Perrin felt having his wife hostage for so long. It was also necessary to set up Perrin with the right people for his retinue from Tam and Bran to Balwar and even Berelain.

I think I'm giddy from fatigue here so I'll quit while I'm ahead and maybe compose my thougths a bit better, I just wanted to put this out there for discussion and perhaps I will head off to the bunker for a nice soak in the hot tube, Suffa makes a decent caesar and canapés.

Edit for "honest" vs. "hoenest", very different meanings there.

Daniel Goss
144. Beren
@143 subwoofer

Thank you. Seriously, thank you for just putting into words what has always bothered me about the "Matt is awesome" thing. Please note, I'm not saying that he isn't awesome, just that something about his plot line has always tickled the back of my brain with annoyance. He's that guy. He's the one who in school was always cutting class and acting like a fool to try and get a reaction out of everyone just for the lulz. He's the one at work who can't take ten minutes to get some serious work done if it means a missed opportunity to get someone else to do it for him. He's the one who was obviously bad news for your sister but she believed she would be the one with whom he finally settled down, no matter that he always had another two or three on the line. That guy's a jerk. I guess this just goes to show that with the right point of view, even that guy can be an engaging and sympathetic character.

Great. Now I'm irritated. I wonder if Suffa can do a passable omelet. Or a blackberry pie.

Valentin M
145. ValMar
Wetlander @ 126

Thanks for the history lesson. Looks like it works on the "becoming Wise One Principal".
Re: Mat. I think Sub and Beren are being a bit harsh. I think he has some traits in common with the type of guy you are describing. If he was in GRRM's ASOIAF he would be that guy. But our Mat isn't, IMO. It is annoying how easy things appear to go for him and how he takes it for granted. For me personally, whilst I like Mat, the most of the pleasure I get from his POVs is from RJ's prose and humour and supporting cast. In the second half of the series his storyline has been most fun to read for me.

Perrin has always behaved consistently from the moment we first saw him in TEOTW. I liked him the most from the three guys and still have a soft spot for him. But the people around him in the last 3-4 books have been grating and his own POV had darkened due to the abduction. This made it less pleasant to read for me, though not so bad as it appears to be to many others.

The consistency of the Three Boys' characters through the series, even as they were slowly evolving, has been absolutely brilliantly done by RJ. Given the lenght and scope of the books, it's rather remarkable.
Jay Dauro
146. J.Dauro

Don't bet on that completely. Brandon just got back from a European Tour, is going to the UK this month, and is scheduled for Down Under next year. If nothing else, go to his website(www.brandonsanderson.com) and sign up for his newsletter. If you provide an email and city, they will let you know if he is coming near you.

Weighing in on Mat, I have to agree with ValMar. Mat has some characterstics in common with "that guy", but look at his behavior since he got married. He is opposed to his wife's Empire, and far from her. He still looks, (although a bit hypocritically) but as far as we've seen, he has been faithful to Tuon. He could be growing up a little.

And he has always stood by his word, at least as much as any Aes Sedai.

I have alway liked Perrin, even through the PLOD. And he is probably who I would want my daughter to date. But Mat would probably be more fun to hang out with.
Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @143 - The "Saturday night" part was from the original posting on the TGS spoiler thread. Sorry 'bout that.

Also - good words on Perrin! I'm with you. I love Mat, but... nowhere near my daughter, thanks! Perrin? Yeah, Perrin I'd accept.

In line with what others have said, Mat is a bit of a jerk in many ways. He tends to be lazy, and then find clever ways of not getting in trouble for it. He tends to cause mischief just for the fun of it. He would be a lot of fun to hang out with; safely, if you've got a strong enough character of your own, but possibly dangerous if you don't. Mat is exciting, and underneath he's really pretty trustworthy - also courageous, clever, honest and fair - but he hides it well. Perrin, on the other hand, is an honest man who is trustworthy at all levels. He may not be as exciting to hang out with, but you'd trust his influence on your little brother (or son) way more than you would Mat's. He's the guy who would have a steadying effect on a slightly wild or reckless kid, and a strengthening effect on a kid who knew the right thing but wasn't good at standing up to peer pressure.
Roger Powell
148. forkroot
So you are saying that Olver might have turned out a little differently had he fallen in with Perrin's entourage? ;-)
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
forkroot - LOL!! It's certainly a possibility!
Valentin M
150. ValMar
Wetlander @ 147

It looks like you are referring to Early Mat here. In Ebou Dar and onwards he is the opposite, in terms of recklessness. When his actions cause danger, they are when helping others (e.g. the AS) and he tries to prevent his followers getting caught in it.
Richard Hunt
151. WOTman
I think Aviendha is getting to be a true wise one, and while at times (even for Elayne) she's a kill and let God sort them out kinda person, I still like her. As an aside, I have a friend who named her first daughter Aviendha after the character, I thought that was way cool. I am wondering if there is anyone out there who has done the same? After all, it has been a long running series.

I am a bit flustered at Rand, he thinks he has got the Aiel in his back pocket and simply ignores them. While I hate all these groups having different agandas , in this case the WO's do have a point.
Nadine L.
152. travyl
I support ValMar's point about Mat:
While Woof, Beren and Wetlander are all competely right about Mat, Mat did slightly change at least if you look at his "quite responsible" actions as opposed to his own thinking. For me, this was made most clear in the story arc when Mat was bullied to accompany the girls to Ebou Dar: Egwene and Nynaeve (& Elayne by assumption) treat him like he is the scoundrel they used to know, though his behaviour did change to the point that I felt annoyed at the girls treating him as they did.
Myself I only started to like Mat as a character in the later books (don't remeber quite when), especially given the unique gift to see inside his head, seeing how he thinks (like he will never lose those nastier traits of his) but acting, well different. I still don't like everything about him - I wonder how he will get along with Rand when they meet again - but his POV's are just fun to read (even the early one's).
By the way I'm one of the people who isn't as annoyed about Perrin, less humorous but is has it's own "annoying" merit.
Alice Arneson
153. Wetlandernw
ValMar @150 - A combination, really. IMO, that's what he totally was like early on, and while he's been changing (growing up and taking on actual responsibilities) lately, there's still a certain amount of that appearance in his actions. Underneath, as I said, he's always had some measure of trustworthiness, honesty, etc. In earlier times, the overwhelming characteristic was the mischief-maker, with the other layers less developed. By this point, (post KoD) the positive characteristics are much stronger, but he still keeps it pretty well disguised with his overt attitude; we, the reader, see through it more readily than most in-world people would. Even in ToM he spends most of his time talking and acting (outwardly) like he cares for no one and nothing. When it comes down to dealing, of course, the awesome comes out all over the where, and we love him even more. Still... he disguises it most of the time.
Valentin M
154. ValMar
Wetlander @ 153

The argument about Mat in the last few comments was how the readers perceive him, I think. So whilst your point re: some inbook characters seeing Mat as a rascal and not much more is valid, it is not relevant to how we the readers, who are reading his thoughts, see him.
For the record, much of the time I really detested the type of guy Mat was in the early books. Like with travyl, and many others, this changed later.

The often ambigous nature of RJ writing has some interesting effects. He leaves much to readers' interpretation and perception. Much of what Mat is accused is not a "written fact". Especially the womanizing. In fact I'm pretty sure that Thom has been much "luckier". With Moiraine's letter in his pocket, the unfaithful git! ;)

Some readers seem to assume the worst of him, just as some inbook characters do. Though inbook, the negativity towards Mat has its roots in the gender bickering. E.g. El and Nyn view Birgitte's drinking and oggling differently than Mat's.
John Massey
155. subwoofer
Right, it is clear that we are reading a different series here. I'm going to break this down. In the early book there is at least a couple of instances where Mat is hung over. And every other time Mat is in the cups, drinking ale so to speak. I don't think that it is until Mat arrives in Tear that he discovers wine.

Gambling- are we really going to argue this point? The guy dices- in taverns( hand in hand with drinking).

Womanizing. In Tear in TSR Mat has several recollections of servants or such that he has had a slap and tickle with. Some are plump, some have er... an nice head of hair, ahem. But the implication was there. Then there is the DF Aiel Dorsomethingortheother that gave Mat "massages", naked massages. And in Ebou Dar there were a couple of girls before the Queen got her hooks in Mat. Mat had that reputation. Some may be story, so divide by three, but still we know he has knocked a few boots.

Don't forget Olver is a litmus test for all of this. Mat is wondering which of his "uncles" the redarms taught Olver to oogle, do the classic slap and tickle and other such moves. Everyone reading knows that Olver is watching his adoptive father and immitating him. What was the name of that woman in the palace with the nice set of er.... hair? Mat comments on said hair, speaks of them with familiarity, amongst other things.

Pithy language. I am sure Birgit will accomodate me with some kind of word search for blood, ashes, onions, and other stuff and Mat comes out ahead in comparison to every other character not Uno or Vanin.

I am going to touch lightly on Mat's work ethic as he avoids it like the plague. He admits as much the one night he does work digging a ditch to hide the a'dam. And in the first book in one of the first chapters we meet Mat trying to duck out of work and play a prank.

After Tuon, I figure Mat is getting his comeuppance, the poor guy. Let's be honest, if Tuon was not the DotNM would Mat give her the time of day? If it wasn't for the fact that the 'Finn said he'd die, would he do the whole "she's my wife" bit? I do feel for Mat now, Perrin made out like a champion in comparison, and Rand, well, the guy's going to die so meh. Mat's married to a woman that thinks slavery is right, is used to a caste system and thinks her husband is beneath her in status. And I haven't mentioned the er... other stuff. The Empress has a Truth Speaker, a So' something, and a few other bizarre staff, does she have someone to er... guide her on the royal wedding night? I think Tuon called it a "cup holder". Gah. If I was Mat, I'd take up drinking again, if he stopped, which I doubt. I wonder if the Empress even gets divorced or if Mat winds up a head shorter.

I like the later Mat, I like the way the Mat story arc reads, but hey, it is what it is. Just keep him away from my little girl.

Bill Reamy
156. BillinHI
ValMar @ 154: I can't really remember and am too lazy to look it up, but do you seriously believe Thom has been womanizing since he got Moiraine's letter? I certainly don't and I'm not really sure that he was ever the womanizer that Mat has been (but is no longer, IMO).
Stefan Mitev
157. Bergmaniac
About Thom's behaviour after he got the letter from Moiraine - this is from Winter's Heart:

"“I have a reading lesson with the Lady Riselle. She lets me rest my head on her bosom while she reads to me.”

“A notable achievement, Olver,” Thom said, stroking his mustaches to hide a smile. Leaning closer to the other two men, he pitched his voice to escape the boy’s ears. “The woman makes me play the harp for her before she lets me rest my head on that magnificent pillow.”

Mat only chase women who want to be chased (even the prim Nynaeve and Egwene admit that), and treats them very well, so I don't see a problem.

Gambling knowing you have supernatural luck is too much like cheating for my liking though.

My biggest problem with Mat is that he'd have abandoned Rand and the fight against the DO in TFOH if not for blatant intervention of the Pattern. Not cool, and pretty short-sighted too.
Bill Reamy
158. BillinHI
I agree that Mat definitely needed a few hard yanks from the Pattern to truly face up to what he needed to do. Of course, initially he had no idea that he was needed for the fight against the DO. Heck, even the Aes Sedai didn't know what to make of Mat or Perrin. Needless to say, even if they had known, they wouldn't have confided in them. It's a shame that the Pattern couldn't have pulled Perrin into line a little sooner, though.
Valentin M
159. ValMar
BillinHI @ 156

Firstly, I wouldn't use the term of "womanizing" for both Thom and Mat. It feels harsher than either one of them deserves. But English isn't my first language so I could have the wrong impression.

But to the point- I was thinking of Riselle, thanks Bergmaniac!

The gambling would be extremely dodgy if not for the way Mat used his winnings.

I was annoyed at Mat's "lack of enthusiasm to the cause" too. But it was very understandable. This isn't a fairy tale, after all. Plus there is this in BillinHI @ 158.
Robert Crawley
160. Alphaleonis
To all those above who are feeling sorry for how Min will look at 80. Don't. She has two "sister wives" and a hubby who are all very good at makeup weaves. She can look like sweet 16 to the very end if she wishes. Thanks to Aunt Nyneave, she may even be able to feel like 16 till close to the end also.
I got a question for everyone. It involves the icons of each chapter. I must confess, that I've never really paid much attention to the icons, until recently. Mainly because of the conversations here concerning the tapestry icons being torn or whole in different instances.

My question is this: Are all of the icons representing the Dragon, black? I don't have access to the other books right now as they are in storage, because I've recently moved north to Maryland, my home state. I distinctly remember Dragon icons being white when referencing chapters from Rand's perspective. But I could swear the ones about Rand were always white. Now, they could have been white until he became a more dark presence or they might have been black all along. Like I said, I don't have all the books here to check. Although I can at least check if they differ in this book at least....so gimme a sec...

Ok so in TGS at least they are Black. But he had already started his turn to the dark side a couple of books back, so it makes sense that they're black now, if I'm correct in my thinking that there are white and black dragons. If I'm right, it would be sorta cool to be able to describe his aural traits now as Black Dragon or his earlier traits White Dragon. Even presently in ToW, we could describe Rand as the White Dragon, as far as his transformation toward the Light.

Anyway. Please let me know. I could swear that they used to be white.

Tricia Irish
162. Tektonica
Wetlander@126: LOL! Well done!
A small adendum: Didn't Sub build a new bunker in the Waste last winter? I seem to remember some hidden Bourbon, applejuice there that got him in a bit of trouble ....along with the Bowl of the Winds ;-)

David Delaney@128: LOL! Good catch!

WoTnoDragons@129: I'm with you on the Min getting the sexy time first, as she'll be gone first ;=( I love your scenario with El getting stilled, getting young looking again, and being repaired to keep her looks! Certainly better than plastic surgery!

Wetlander@147: Thanks for the defense of Mat. He IS the fun one! I admit, at the beginning of the series he was selfish and a pain, but he has evolved, as have they all, into a very honorable character. In fact, I think he surprises himself, at how important it is to him. He is a man of his word, always, and has learned and acquired many skills, and a patina of sophistication. (Love me some Mat!) Gotta catch the bad boys, after they've "matured" a bit!

Perrin: zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Valentin M
163. ValMar
Tek @ 162

Ha! defence? If so, Wetlander's dentist has their work cut out due to all those gritted teeth... The Manson family should get such a defence :)
Ok, it seems there is only the black dragons for Rand's icons... after hunting everywhere except the books. Ah well... would'a been cool.
165. macster
JonathanLevy: Tinkers could still be the remnant but I think you've convinced me they aren't. Still, I do wonder what their importance to the Last Battle will be, what with them being brought up so much recently... Your notion it's the Aiel who joined them that are the remnant does hold merit, however.

@107 anthonypero: If Jordan were to be literal, it could be that Rand gets hurt/killed/is close to dying at Caemlyn (Camlaan) and then has to be taken to Tar Valon (Avalon) for Healing, but I doubt it'll be that simple. Interesting idea on the Book of Translation. I assume your notion is that this would be a way for Rand to 'disappear' and have a somewhat normal life, and not to be Healed? Since I don't see what the Ogiers' home world would have to do with healing.

@109 Rob, 142 Loialson: Wow, I must have missed that question, quoting, and explanation on whatever re-read it was. Huh. I guess it does make sense, with so much emphasis being placed on Rand looking like Tigraine and the red hair among the Andoran line, but Rand also being of Aiel ancestry through his father. I thought that was the only source of it, but it coming from both sides certainly does explain Rand being so stubborn and such an unyielding, great fighter. And a lot of Andoran queens too! ;-) Sheds a whole new light on Morgase making it through so many ordeals as strongly and bravely as she has--could she have been unconsciously channeling (no pun intended) that Aiel 'embracing the pain' mentality which Egwene learned?

@114 HArai: I still have to wonder how even their desire for power and glory could have caused the Shaido Wise Ones not only to ignore the truth about Rand, but whatever visions they saw of their futures in the rings. I guess they must have dismissed the chances of them going to the wetlands, getting killed and scattered, getting captured by the Seanchan, etc. as just possible futures and not a result of their actions with Couladin and Sevanna?

@Wetlander: Love your explanation of the bunker!

Re: unswearing the Three Oaths--while getting stilled would remove the ageless look even from old Aes Sedai, I think only unswearing them would give them back their full lifespan. Even after that, slowing would still make them age slower, so they wouldn't look like the older Kin do. I agree though that an old sister losing the ageless look wouldn't make her look several hundred years younger...she just wouldn't have that "can't place her age" look.

@135 Freelancer: Agree 100% about Nynaeve's importance

@143 Sub, 144 Beren, 145 ValMar, 147 Wetlander...agree completely about both Mat and Perrin. Mat has always been very flawed, and was rather unlikable at the start, but he got better and became much more likable later, as well as showed the good, honorable, heroic qualities he had hidden so well but possessed all along. While Perrin I have never once disliked, even if he sometimes did woolheaded things or made mistakes. I like Rand a lot (save when he was becoming dark/crazy/arrogant), but Perrin has always been the one of the three boys I liked the most, and my favorite. Even during the PLOD, though I think I made that point before. Though really, as of ToM I love all three. :D

@157 Bergmaniac: *blinks* I completely forgot about that. That IS odd, that Thom would be dallying with Riselle while still mooning over Moiraine's letter...
166. Faculty Guy
My own speculation: that the "dying/living" thing with Rand at TG will be that his "Rand" personality will be subsumed into the "Lews Therin" person. Or perhaps that the two will just be merged into one. That really seems to have essentially already happened to some extent in ToM, but it may be that a more complete "merger" will take place and he will lose some of his "Rand" character in favor of really becoming a merged personality combining all the previous incarnations . . .

Just a guess, really.
Anthony Pero
167. anthonypero
I think "To Live you must Die" has already happened. New Jedi Master Rand is defenitely a composite of LTT/Rand. He is fully integrated.
Richard Hunt
169. WOTman
@ 167. anthonypero: You might be on the right track but I still think part of it has to do with Moridan/Luc/Ish and the fact that Rand has family blood with Luc. I don't think it's just a coincidence that Luc and Rand look alike, that and the crossed beams bring things to another intimate level.
170. Freelancer
subwoofer @143

RE: Perrin.
Those have been my sentiments for a long time. Mat was always a slouch. He got himself and the rest of them into trouble numerous times with his lack of responsibility and maturity. He refused his own role in things repeatedly until he couldn't ignore it any longer, and that was after his trip into the redstone doorway in Tear, itself a misguided decision (about which he lied to everyone). Aside from a promise he makes (or believes himself to have made), he is unreliable and untrustworthy. For all of that he is not a cad, not mean or cruel, just selfish and narrrow-minded.

Perrin is, and has been, none of those things. To many a reader of an epic adventure story that apparently leaves him looking boring, but nothing could be further from the truth. Until Faile's capture, he never makes decisions based on what's good for Perrin, but what's right. And it isn't all that easy to gainsay his choice to drop everything else and fight to rescue his wife, while we're screaming. Consider that he intended to travel without Faile to go and submit to hanging, to save the Two Rivers from the Whitecloaks. Nobody has a right to call his later actions selfish, unless they've also been willing to die for the good of their home village.

Beren @144


Faculty Guy @166

Ok, call me whatever you want, grammar police warning etc., but really, with a nick like Faculty Guy, this is hard to accept:
"That really seems to have essentially already happened to some extent..."
Just, oy.
That was pretty screwed up! *chuckle*
172. Faculty Guy
What can I say: I teach physics not litrature. (I think "essentially" was an addition meant to replace "to some extent" which should have then been deleted but . . . proofing my own writing is one of my worst things.)

About merging personalities though: "dying" would, I think, require the loss of Rand's personality. What has already happened is that he seems to have both (Rand Al'Thor' of TR and Lews Therin) sets of memories, and there seems not too much difference (or at least not much contesting) between the two personalities.

For Rand to "die" seems to imply that he will no longer have much (any?) of his TR personality. And I think that WOTman may be right that persons other than Rand and Lews Therin may be involved in the merging: Luc/Isom is already a merged personality (or perhaps an "alternating" one) and Moridin seems to be a likely candidate also.

(Hope there aren't too many grammatical screw-ups in this one. I've actually proof-read it!)

Anyway: new chapters today.
Nadine L.
173. travyl
I don't really see how losing Rand's personality could in any way transcribe into "to life you must die" or some such (sorry, didn't want to search for the exact wording of the Finn prophecy). - Surviving IMO would imply that he can stay the person he was (at least keeping his personality). Merge between him and LT is ok, losing LT (and thereby the Dragon-Part) would be alright, but I seriously hope we (and the girls) are not left with some "Rand body" who has completely lost his old self.

But I'm not willing to speculate myself: I will wait and hopefully enjoy what Mr. Jordan and B. Sanderson come up with.
I was just thinking on a thread ongoing in Part 5. What do you think would have happened if Rand balefired his father Tam like he was about to at the beginning of his epiphany storyline. Would he have ended it all right there? I mean Tam isn't his blood relative, but he did find him on the Dagger. He raised him in that town of the Two Rivers. He probably would never have met Perrin, Mat, Egwene and Nynaeve. They would never have been influenced by his presence and therefore no taver'en twins, the girls likely wouldn't have been channelers. The pattern would be twisting the world around to fix that mess. Whew! Glad that didn't happened. Although it would'a been cool to watch.....from a distance.....a long ways away.....say about as far away as reading a book about it is.
Roger Powell
175. forkroot
From what we've seen of balefire, even the most intensive use (e.g. Rand at Natrim's Barrow) only reversed actions for maybe an hour? And that was with all the power of the Choedan Kal behind Rand's beam.

So balefiring Tam would have had no effect other than to drive Rand even more off to the Dark Side as undoubtedly he would have been consumed by remorse (he was remorseful enough that he even came close to hurting Tam.)
176. J.Dauro
We have had too many mentions of healing death, of sitting three days with the body, etc. I believe that Rand has to die. Really. Not his personality being subsumed into Lews Therin, not just shedding blood on the rocks at SG, but really dead. RAFO.

I doubt even with the ter'angreal that Rand could have erased Tam's thread for 20 years. Moraine's comment was that she could only get seconds. Rand showed he could get minutes at Camelyn. But 20 years?
WOT Dragons
177. WOTNoDragons
Birgit @140
Yet again you come to my rescue - thanks! :-) The fact the Ogier are able to, and are considering leaving the planet is something I just must have blanked. Although on reflection, I don’t think it fits all that well in to the story, and seems somehow to be a bit of an 'add-on' imo. Why would they need or want to leave? And as mcaster at 165 also comments: that the Ogier would be going back to their ‘home-world.’ Is it just me, or does this ‘ET’ like concept seem a bit jarring to read in the WOT? I was hoping to get a scene with Loial and Hartha meeting up in aMoL and getting stuck in at the LB: long handled axes ftw! Although I guess it could still happen - even if they do all leave afterward. :(

Re Aging and stilling.
I think my post at 129 was a bit off - sorry about that. (That’s what comes from having a few too many adult beverages at lunchtime :-)) Anyway, although my point about El was meant somewhat irreverently, I’m not sure that it is totally wrong as some have suggested.

As far as I can recall, Suan & Leane were unusual in surviving their stilling and hence they were the first AS to actually observe the age look reversal that their stilling caused. In Suan’s case as an example, she was in her early 20’s when she took the 3 oaths, and then 20 something years later - was stilled. IIRC, the stilling process did 3 notable things; firstly it severed access to the TP, second it removed the 3 oaths, and lastly it started a change in appearance - going from the ageless AS look back to her youthful appearance to presumably about the time she first took the 3 oaths. This change back to youth took about 2 or 3 months? - perhaps a bit longer, but not years.

Now that Suan's stilling has been healed & she has retaken the 3 oaths in TGS, it seems reasonable to assume that the ageless look would return to her in the usual way and that she’ll live out an average AS lifespan, but possibly a bit longer due to the age reversal. Whereas, if she’d carried on without re-swearing the oaths, then it’s also reasonable to assume she’d go on to age in the same way as a WO or Kinswoman would & with a similar lifespan, if not a slightly longer lifespan expectancy - again due to the age reversal.

But if an AS old timer like Cads were stilled and she could be preventing from seeking death, how do we know that she wouldn’t undergo a similar change to that of Suan and Liane: reverting to the age (looks wise at least) that she was when she originally took the 3 oaths? Without any other frame of reference, it is possible that Cads youth could return to her (assuming she originally took the oaths when still young) and that quite possibly if healed from being stilled, she could then start to age as slowly as a Kinswoman would - even to the point that she really had biologically become youthful again: with another 400+ years of lifespan to live. I just don’t think there’s enough in-story evidence to say definitively that this scenario is not a possibility.

@177. WOTnoDragons

I'm in agreement with you about it. There are a number of scenario's that could be observed with it. There just isn't enough explanation or even prior reference to be able to definitively know what could happen in any of the above mentioned scenarios. I doubt that the Aes Sedai themselves even know in the case of Leane and Siuan. Mainly because to my knowledge no stilled Aes Sedai has ever been healed and even more, retaken the oaths, except for Leane and Siuan. As for Cadsuane, if ever she was stilled and then healed and then retook the oaths.... well, it would be anyones guess as to what would happen. Really, its all speculation and we'll likely never know for sure.
Terry McNamee
179. macster
@17o Freelancer: Good points on Perrin.

@177 WOTDragons: For what it's worth, I don't think the Ogier come from another world in the ET sense, but more another dimension/plane. This would explain how the stedding intersect with Randland much better than if the Ogier came from another planet. I admit it does seem odd, but since the Book of Translation was introduced in KoD and the fact the existence of the Ogier and the stedding has always been strange and unexplained, it seems Jordan did indeed plan this all along, however odd it may feel compared to the rest of WOT.

On the aging thing...you may have a point. But without further evidence we'll never know for sure, just be able to speculate and wonder.
180. Dorianin
well, a big part of Avhienda's upbringing was doing whats necessary before what you would like...so that's ok....sorry...im really only commenting 'cause I want to see what your take is on Matt's first appearance with sorensans' writing than anything else....again, apologies...i thought i should throw some sort of point out first....dont want to skip ahead...I'll stop now.....

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment