Dec 13 2011 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 12

The Wheel of Time Reread on Tor.comHey, kids. Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 21 of The Gathering Storm, in which we have two goodbyes, one temporary and one not so temporary, and I am surprised.

We’re only covering one chapter today because (for those of you who do not follow the ASOIAF Read or don’t read the comments there) I’m in the midst of an ongoing family medical situation which has yet to resolve.

For the same reason, I am not certain whether I will get in an entry for next Tuesday (the 20th); I’m going to try, but it’s not a guarantee. I’ll keep y’all posted in the comments. And of course, after that the Re-read goes on hiatus until January 10th.

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 21: Embers and Ash

What Happens
Perrin finds himself hanging in midair in the wolf dream, and tries not to panic. Hopper appears and entreats him to jump down, assuring him it is safe. It works, and Perrin notes that the sky, usually so transitory, is now a constant mass of stormclouds.

The Last Hunt comes. Hopper looked up at the sky. We will run together, then. Unless we sleep instead.

“Sleep?” Perrin said. “What of the Last Hunt?”

It comes, Hopper agreed. If Shadowkiller falls to the storm, all will sleep forever. If he lives, then we will hunt together. You and us.

Hopper invites him to run, and then mocks him for trying to do so on two legs. Perrin tells him he has to keep control from the wolf, but Hopper does not understand. Hopper again urges Perrin to hunt with him, but Perrin tells him he can’t; he wants to learn about this place, and if Hopper won’t teach him he’ll find someone else who will.

You don’t want to run. But you look for wolves. Why are you so difficult, cub? Hopper sat in front of him in the grass.

Perrin tries to leap away, only to find Hopper instantly in front of him each time. Hopper warns him that he is in the dream too strongly, and tells him to return once he is no longer “determined to poke [his] snout into a fire asp’s den.” Hopper then kicks Perrin out of the dream.

Faile waits for Perrin to settle in his sleep, and thinks that he has grown haunted in their two months apart, but she knows he still loves her. Perrin wakes, and tells her he didn’t sleep with Berelain; Faile tells him she knows he didn’t, and Perrin asks why she seemed jealous, then. Faile explains that a husband needs to know his wife is jealous so that he knows how much she cares for him. Perrin snorts and falls back asleep, and Faile thinks on her time as a captive in Malden, and how it had changed her – for the better, she thinks.

She had been humiliated, beaten and nearly killed. And that had given her a true understanding of what it was to be a liege lady. She actually felt a stab of guilt for the times she had lorded over Perrin, trying to force him—or others—to bend to her will. Being a noblewoman meant going first. It meant being beaten so others were not. It meant sacrificing, risking death, to protect those who depended upon you.

Perrin wakes again, and tells her he doesn’t care what happened between her and the man he saw with her during the rescue. Faile calls him an ox, and assures him she was in no danger from that sort of thing, even though she knows it is not true. She thinks of Rolan and the other Brotherless, and how they had set themselves to protect the gai’shain women from the increasingly lawless Shaido.

They hadn’t asked anything for their efforts.

Well... that wasn’t true. They had asked for much, but had demanded nothing. Rolan had always been an Aiel to her in action, if not in word. But, like Masema’s death, her relationship with Rolan was not something Perrin needed to know about.

Perrin wonders aloud what happened to Masema, and supposes his mission is a failure, since the whole point of it had been to bring Masema to Rand. Faile points out that Perrin destroyed Masema’s rabble and broke the Shaido as well as gathered valuable information on the Seanchan, and opines that the Dragon will be satisfied. Perrin mumbles about colors and not wanting to watch Rand sleeping, and something about the Last Hunt, before falling asleep again. Faile slips out of the tent and meets with Lacile, Arrela, Bain and Chiad. Chiad grimaces and reports Gaul searched the entire Shaido camp and killed twelve men to find her, and now she may have to marry him after all; she is pleased, though, that he accidentally “inherited” Bain as well, and she and Bain are evidently making Gaul’s life interesting. They give Faile a small bundle and leave. Faile, Arrela and Lacile continue to where Alliandre awaits them in the forest. Faile opens the bundle, and each of them picks out the item that had belonged to their former protector: Alliandre takes Kinhuin’s belt, Arrela takes Marthea’s veil, Lacile takes Jhoradin’s silk handkerchief, and Faile Rolan’s leather necklace. Lacile is crying for Jhoradin, which surprises Faile somewhat.

“Four people are dead,” Faile said, mouth suddenly dry. She spoke formally, for that was the best way to keep the emotion from her voice. “They protected us, even cared for us. Though they were the enemy, we mourn them. Remember, though, that they were Aiel. For an Aiel, there are far worse ends than death in combat.”

Faile remembers how she had distracted Rolan at the critical moment before Perrin killed him, and then killed Kinhuin herself, and how Lacile had killed Jhoradin. Faile thinks there had been no other way, but reflects that this only makes it more tragic.

She hadn’t loved Rolan, and she was glad that Perrin was the one who had survived the conflict. But Rolan had been an honorable man, and she felt... dirtied, somehow, that his death had been her fault.

[…]Rolan had had to die.

But the world seemed a sadder place to her for the necessity of it.

Faile lights a fire, and they burn the items to honor their protectors, in lieu of being able to give them a proper burial. Faile says that the four of them have great toh to those who died, which can never be repaid, but their memories can be honored. Lacile says there is a Brotherless gai’shain in the camp who she told of what the others did for them; Faile knows this probably means she slept with him, and chides Lacile that she cannot replace Jhoradin like that, but then thinks she has no business judging Lacile for it. Alliandre says that Kinhuin wanted her, but thinks he would have helped even if she had continued to turn him down. Arrela says Marthea hated what the Shaido did, but stayed with them out of loyalty.

Faile watched the last embers of the miniature pyre flicker out. “I think Rolan actually loved me,” she said. And that was all.

Perrin lies awake, knowing Faile is away, and thinks of the wolf dream. He is determined to learn to control the wolf inside him, and come to a decision regarding those who wanted to follow him. He thinks avoiding making decisions is what he had been doing wrong all this time, and knows he also has to decide whether he can handle letting Faile ride into danger again.

Three problems. He would face them and he would decide. But he would consider them first, because that was what he did. A man was a fool to make decisions without thinking first.

But the decision to face his problems brought him a measure of peace, and he rolled over and drifted back to sleep.

Considering my virulent hatred of the entire “Faile is captured by the Shaido” storyline, I was surprised when, the first time around, I actually choked up when reading about Faile’s memorial service for Rolan et al.

But I was even more surprised when I re-read it just now, and choked up again.

Part of this is personal, but I think part of it is also that this scene was just very well written, in my opinion. The memorial was spare and clean and simple, and didn’t overdramatize things or push it into sappiness or try to make it more than it was. And I think it was the very understated nature of it that made it so powerful. To me, anyway.

I also think it had a rather mollifying effect on me re: my opinion of Rolan and his compatriots, as well, even though I’m not sure it should. As you may recall, back in COT I was not at all enamored of the idea that we were supposed to accept Rolan as a good guy; if I remember correctly, in fact, I said (more or less) that calling the guy a hero for only stooping to sexual blackmail instead of outright assault was extremely not cool.

And I still stand by that stance on its merits… but, well. The women’s determined perception of their protectors as honorable people here did not fail to move me, nor did I miss Alliandre’s belief that Kinhuin would have helped her regardless of whether she accepted his advances or not. I still think romantically pursuing people who are functionally slaves is fucked up, but then again the entire situation was fucked up, and it certainly beat leaving them unprotected from those not so interested in romance, so… agh.

Also, this is the first time I’ve had to think about Rolan et al since they were killed in KOD, in a way which at the time I found shocking, and you know, I may have thought Rolan was a skeeze, but I certainly don’t think that warranted him the end he got. So maybe there is some element here of not wanting to speak ill of the dead (even the fictional dead), or maybe I just feel that their deaths more than expiated whatever sins I felt them guilty of.

Plus, Faile’s statement that she thought Rolan was in love with her… well, first of all, it surprised me. I don’t know why I never quite thought of Rolan’s regard for Faile in such terms, but I didn’t. I thought that he liked her, and found her intriguing, and of course that he wanted her sexually, but love, well, that’s… a little different, if true, and I have no reason to think Faile is wrong.

And maybe I’m just a giant sap, but I found that very… poignant. Or, to be honest, I found it heartbreaking, really, for both Rolan himself, for being willing to die for a woman he knew didn’t return his feelings, and for Faile, who feels (rightly) that she was complicit in Rolan’s death even though Perrin swung the hammer. How must it feel to know you’ve helped kill a guy who was in love with you, even if you didn’t love him back?

I’m guessing, pretty darn shitty. However necessary his death may have been.

So, yeah. I don’t know if that makes me a big hypocrite or what, but I don’t really think so. And anyway, I feel what I feel, and I reserve the right to change my mind when new info (new to me, anyway) is presented. And also, maybe now that I have some distance from the vortex of suck that was that entire plotline I can be a little more forgiving about it.

But the point is, the scene made me cry, and not too many things in fiction (outside of gratuitous animal death and soul-crushing stupidity) make me cry, so there you have it. Well done.

Oh, and Perrin was in this chapter.

….Aaaand again I could have totally left it like that, because even with the trip to the Dreamworld nothing actually happened in Perrin’s section, at all. Which I recall originally seriously annoyed me, especially when I realized that this was the last time we were going to see him in the book.

Post-ToM, of course, this is a lot easier to understand and/or be patient with. Not to mention, ToM makes it much easier to see how much this is a set-up for everything Perrin will deal with in the next book, and not just aimless vamping, which is definitely what it struck me as the first time I read it.

So, bye, Perrin n’ Faile! I look forward to savoring your future Awesome in ToM!

And bye, WOTers! See you possibly next week and/or in 2012! Cheers!

Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
I like this chapter, Really sets up Perrins awesomeness for ToM
matthew choat
2. choat
1st time having to wait for a post, not cool! amol is the first book i have really had to wait for and i was using this re-read to keep me occupied until its release but enjoying it so much i rushed through it. bugger.
love your work leigh
Debbi Chambers
3. dchambers59
Leigh, as always, thank you for the post. Especially when you're in the middle of family crises. I hope everything comes out well for you and your family.

I teared up at the memorial scene as well.
4. AndrewB

I hope everything turns out for the best re your family medical situation.

5. Seamus1602
Leigh, I disagreed with you on this scene in your initial review of tGS, and I disagree even more vehemently now.

This scene makes me so angry I can barely think about it. Rolan et all kidnapped these women, all of whom were enslaved, and some of whom were then raped. They took people as gai'shan who, by definition, cannot be gai'shan. At what point should we actually hold these people responsible for their actions and decisions? They knew what they were doing was wrong, they did it anyway, now I'm supposed to fondly remember them because they prevented some (but not all) these women from being raped and because they were nice slavemasters? F that.

I know this sounds like a criticism of you, Leigh, though that's not really what I mean. I hate this scene, I hate that it exists, I hate Faile a little bit (and I've never previously been a Faile-hater) for doing this and keeping Rolan's stone. If they wanted to be remembered fondly, they should have not kidnapped and enslaved inoccent women. I'm trying to get inside the minds of these women and appreciate how these men were protectors and did make this hell better for them, but I cannot forget why they are in this hell in the first place.

Rolan et all are directly responsible for any and all crimes committed against these women from the moment of the kidnapping onwards. What happened to any women and men they kidnapped that they didn't get a crush on? 'Let them be raped and enslaved. Who cares, they aren't pretty women'? Gawd, this is making me so angry I need to stop.

F Rolan and all his Brotherless compatriots. They left their clans to join Sevannah and you freakin reap what you sow. They knew who they were following and knew what they were doing when they kidnapped Faile's party. They're responsible for all their actions, not just the cherry-picked good deeds. Uggghhhh....
Kimani Rogers
6. KiManiak
Thanks for the post, Leigh. Sorry to hear about the family medical problems; I hope things work out.

So we get one chapter and it’s a Perrin and Faile chapter. Unfortunate, but I guess those are the cards that we are dealt…

I respect that Leigh was moved by the Faile section of this chapter…

I do appreciate the Gaul, Bain and Chiad story that happens in the background starting here and continuing in ToM.

Otherwise… I don’t know how I feel about the second part of this chapter (I’m pretty much indifferent to the Perrin portion). I think it’s a nice touch that humanizes Faile, and it’s clearly meant to allow transition from gai’shain-Faile to ToM-Faile; but I’m not sure if I needed to read that part in order for the story to continue.

I do agree that I find the sections that Leigh posted as well-written. I think that in my multiple rereads of TGS I may have glossed over (or just plain skipped) this section as it was a Perrin and Faile oriented section, so I probably haven’t really and fully read the actual chapter in awhile. Maybe I’ll have to address that…
7. AndrewB
Nice foreshadowing of the end of TGS (Rand's mountaintop moment). Hopper is telling Perrin that if Rand does not vanquish his Darth Rand (props to whoever coined the dark persona of Rand as "Darth Rand" -- saw it in the Part 11 of the re-read), the wolves will not fight during the Last Battle.

It was this chapter where I first started to get some respect for Faile. It is here where she starts to realize how much of a spoiled brat that she was pre-capture. I am always willing to give the devil her due when I must. Through KoD, Faile my second least favorite character. Because of TGS and ToM, I may have a second of compassion if Faile dies in AMoL.

As Leigh said above, the memorial scene was beautifally written.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Colleen Palmer
8. arianrose
I'm a little fuzzy on particulars here, but isn't this the first time in the series that we get an actual lesbian couple that isn't skeevy or who "grow out of it?" I seem to recall one of the four took up with a Maiden, and has since taken up with another Maiden, with no talk or even suggestion that she was doing so because of, well, anything other than desire to do so.

I could be wrong, but that jumped out at me when I was reading the memorial scene, lo these many moons ago.
Matthew Hunter
9. matthew1215
This scene crystalized something for me in my views on the whole Perrin-Faile plotline for the last several books. I and others have complained because Perrin seemed stuck in place and unable to make progress -- and he was legitimately taking things very, very slowly in the narrative -- but this scene suggests that maybe the long delay wasn't all about Perrin. Some of it, maybe even most of it, was about Faile growing up and maturing into a woman rather than a silly girl who likes spankings.

(Not that there's anything wrong with liking spankings, if you're into that).

I think that may make this plotline easier to handle next reread.

As for thoughts on Rolan and etc. Yes, the scene is very well written and emotionally evocative. I think Faile and the rest are right to mourn their fallen, because despite their flaws, selfish motives, and even participation in the original attack, Faile's guardians tried to do something right. Given a complex web of loyalties (to friends, to society, to clan, and even to gai'shain captives) when their society was literally falling to pieces around them, they managed to stick to a few points of honor and navigate a course that, if awkwardly curvy, managed to avoid betraying anyone.

I would equate Rolan and friends in the Shaido with people stuck in Seanchan society. The society is horribly screwed up, but people who find ways within it to act with some measure of decency and kindness can still give strength to the Pattern, as exemplified by Zen-Rand.

Leigh, best wishes again for your family.
Rich Bennett
10. Neuralnet
This scene made Faile much more human to me... less cartoonish of a character. It also really made me glad the whole storyline of the shaido was over... ugh, that went on just a little too long.

Thanks for the reread Leigh. Hope everything turns out well for you and your family.
11. Megaduck
If anyone ever wondered what Stockholm Syndrome is, Faile is showing a classic case of it in this chapter. She mourns one of the people that took her captive and seperated her from her husband. Glad she is growing up through, finally.
john mullen
12. johntheirishmongol
I thought it was nice, but didn't really affect me that much. I thought it was a bit maudlin and not all that appropriate. I did like the part after where Faile indicated she had learned some lessons from their time apart, but in this case I think its going to be much more about actions than words. People say they have learned all the time, and then fall back into bad habits.
13. hamster
I agree with Seamus1602 @ 5 -- Rolan et al were due some narrative justice. But if we go with that logic, so does Rand, Perrin, etc etc.

My virulent dislike of Faile did not diminish at all during this scene, which I can see as being poignant for a lot readers. I'm glad her character has developed and she finally understands the responsibility that comes with her noble blood. But still... just... no. If I see "Faile" on a page, I go into skim mode.

Best wishes to your family, Leigh. Hope it gets resolved.
Warren Soulard
14. Hrothgordo

One of the many themes hammered into us in this book is that sometimes the reason you do something is as important (and sometimes more important) than what it is you actually do.

Tam’s entire conversation with Rand is premised on this concept. His disdain for the mercenary over the soldier fighting for a cause. Not to mention his inability to hate Rand or the Tarians for trying to kill him, because he understood that they weren’t trying to kill “him” but were fighting against something larger (which he represented).

And then we have Verin, a member of the Black Ajah, who considered herself “evil” because she had joined and maintained her membership in order to stay alive (a wholly selfish act in her mind). But even without any hope of redemption she still toiled to learn the secrets of the shadow in order to pass them on towards someone on the Light side.

Is there any doubt that she is a hero in the story?

Rand dropped psychological napalm on the Aiel. The weaker Shaido are now unraveling and the Brotherless are struggling to hold on to some sort of structure.

Faile recognized that they were not enemies, but just good people trying to do their best in a really crappy situation.
Vincent Lane
15. Aegnor

I think you were always wrong about Rolan and the others. Although Faile was a slave in that situation, Rolan wasn't her master and had next to no power over her. Could he free her? No. If he could have freed her, he most certainly would have immediately. The only "power" he had over her was the ability to defend her from others (not exactly uncommon in the history of male-female relations), but he showed no inclination to stop defending her even though she did not return his affections.
Matthew Hunter
16. matthew1215
Megaduck@11: Yeah, that too. Yet Rolan deserves credit for trying to navigate an honorable course despite his whole society falling apart into a moral black hole. We clearly see him trying to do the right thing, and trying to reconcile all his conflicting loyalties with his own moral sense, and in the end, I agree with Faile: he has to die for the evil he had done, yet it is not inappropriate to mourn him for the good that he did.

It's also worth noting that Aiel society clearly has rules about gai'shain such that Rolan's courting behavior was probably not inappropriate despite Faile's status. What happens under the white robe stays under the white robe, or something. The important thing is, she didn't share that belief, and he respected that -- aside from taking her captive, which is also legitimate in wartime, even if making a wetlander gai'shain was questionable.

Rolan had no morally right options available, and he tried to pick the least wrong choices from those he had, and that deserves respect.
Tricia Irish
17. Tektonica
It is nice to see some growth and change in Faile's attitudes here....maybe I'll be able to stand her the in the rest of the books ;-)

Nice set up in the wolf dream for Rand needing to overcome his Darth Self for the world to survive.

The memorial service was simple and well written, but I seem to remember being shocked at it's inclusion, the first time through. I guess it does bring "closure" to the plotline of doom, but there are some major conflicts of emotion going on here. Stockhom syndrome, indeed.
I can understand how Faile might feel guilty about being the "cause" of Rolan's death, although it was a pretty no holds barred attack, and he probably would have died anyway. But, these are the people that perpetrated the kidnapping, after all????

Leigh, I hope all works out well for you and your family, and the holidays bring you joy, and a much needed rest.
Alice Arneson
18. Wetlandernw
Not having read the comments yet, let me just say here that it choked me up the first time, and the second, and even in the recap. Because even if they were the enemy, they were ordinary, nice human beings who were doing what they thought was right according to their cultural background, and doing more than was necessary because it was right. They had sided with the wrong guy, but we all make poor choices sometimes, and they did what they could to protect these women from those who were apparently lost to all sense of right and wrong. And I loved that the women could recognize that and acknowledge it appropriately.
Roger Powell
19. forkroot
Anyone notice the similarities between Rolan and Gawyn? Both were jolted out of their world suddenly (Gawyn by the Tower split, Rolan by Rand's revelations of the Aiel's true history.) Both "chose sides" quickly, and then slowly came to realize that their values didn't match with the "side" they had chosen.

Both committed acts (Gawyn killing Hammar, Rolan kidnapping Faile) that were consistent with the "orders" coming from their side, but that also caused a great deal of internal angst as they realized that what they had done was wrong.

Both later committed acts against their "side" as they began to realize they had been wrong -- Gawyn letting Siuan escape, Rolan protecting Faile from would-be Shaido rapists.

Gawyn had his chance for redemption - Rolan didn't get it. I think that if circumstances had allowed, Rolan might have come around and actually become siswai'aman. In the heat of battle though, there was no time for explanation and stuff just happens.

I believe Faile felt in her heart that Rolan would indeed have become an ally of sorts and she mourns the circumstances (without blaming Perrin.)

I've said it before on this reread - Jordan enjoyed taking a number of characters (typically younger) through substantial personal growth; Faile is certainly one of them and the realization she comes to in this chapter underscores that.
20. Palindrome
Personally, using our cultural standards to judge the Shaido doesn't work very well. Thinking all of the Shaido and Co are war criminals that deserve death isn't something I see as reasonable - in fact it seems pretty dangerous to think that way.

Are the Bretheren contributing to and enabling something horrible? Yes. Should individuals in a nation that commits attrocities each be held personally, morally, and legally responsible? That's a much harder question to answer.

As it is, my opinion is that Roland and Co did something noble in rising beyond what their cultural compatriots did. Looking from our perspective of a more 'enlightened' culture, they are not all that great - but in comparison to the average Shaido, they are shining beacons of honor.

The same holds true for us. When we meet the status quo in our society, there is nothing from ourselves that is wonderful about that. It doesn't take any bravery for me to not commit attrocities. Instead I stand on the shoulders of giants who did make brave decisions that were different than the status quo. They might not have gotten everything right, but they didn't accept everything that is wrong, and thats much more admirable to me in a person than being a normal person in an exemplary society.

The exemplary society itself is of course much more amazing, but the people in it? They're largely products of the society that they're from. The people that are admirable are those that rose out of the previous society and changed it, and allowed a more examplary society to come to being.
Cameron Tucker
21. Loialson
Hmm...this scene was important to Perrin Faile's story arc, I think. I appreciate how the Shaido capture arc helped forge Faile from petty spar-banter-banter-semi-abusive love interest for Perrin into a compassionate human being. One who now soberly understands the importance and responsibility of leadership.

Not only from an intellectual place, but in all senses, Faile now knows the serious crap that can happen to her liege people if she screws up again out of selfish pride. She has alot of growth to do, but she "mans up" not only in her actions regarding her physical safety (as her carelessness in that regard got her captured in the first place to an extent), but emotionally. She finds a way to deal with Berelain that is more mature than she was as of TSR, deals with the crap and childishness she put Perrin through, and tries to find a way to protect her and Perrin's people (the Two Rivers deal they cut with Elayne). While she is not my favorite female character (the supergirls have that place, with Nynaeve in first for me because of her compassion and love for helping people where she can, despite her faults), she has risen much more in my esteem for her as a character.

If she and Perrin both live through AMoL, then I think she is on the right track to not completely screw up their future children's lives.


***I'm going to go to Brandon's signing in Orem, UT this saturday 12-17-11. Does anyone have questions they'd like asked? Wetlander helped me out with the whole Jenn Aiel question, so I wanted to pass it on.***
22. midwest
I think that the the whole Rolan issue has touched on something that has puzzled/haunted many individuals. When good people do bad things, esp. war. I think the conflicts in Vietnam and Iraq show this clearly. A soldier joins for his country and he ends up fighting in a war where the innocent and enemy are not always easily identified. Both sides of the conflict feel that they are doing an honorable thing ie stabilizing a nation/repeling an invader. Rolan was stuck in army with individuals not conducting itself as honorable as he would have. He was trying to find honor in the situation he had been placed. I have always felt that Rolan's death was undeserved as I felt that he had treated her with respect and Faile led him to his death via Perrin.
Matthew Hunter
23. matthew1215
midwest@22: With all due respect, I don't think there was time for Faile to give a "Boys, boys, put down your toys and play nice" speech.
Thomas Keith
24. insectoid
Leigh, I hope your family crisis turns out all right. It's terrible when something like that happens this close to the holidays.

Memorial: I was a little surprised when I read this. It's sweet, something that doesn't happen often in WoT.
Oh, and Perrin was in this chapter.
Leigh, you continue to make me burst out laughing saying that. XD

25. DeJulis
I think a few people are slightly missing the point of Hopper's warning to Perrin here.

It's not "Rand needs to get his shit together or the wolves won't fight in the last battle for whatever reason." It's "Rand needs to get his shit together or the world won't make it to the last battle."

As evidenced by the end of TGS, when Rand nearly destroys everything.
Roger Powell
26. forkroot
As evidenced by the end of TGS, when Rand nearly destroys everything.
I just had an "ahah" moment: Now I know how Robert Jordan was going to fit all of "A Memory of Light" in one book.

Charles Gaston
27. parrothead
While this and the the anniversary chapter in ToM are very good, I'm not too sold on this new characterization of Faile. For starters, I always liked Faile (currently rereading TSR, specifically one of my favorite little moments: her baking bread, which causes Perrin's unconscious assumption that they'll be together the rest of their lives). Secondly, the Mayener skank gets ZERO comeuppance for putting two of my favorite characters through hell out of nothing more than a combination of spite and ambition. That's not the Faile I'm used to; this new introspective one is going to have to grow on me.

She thinks at one point that she was spoiled; you're noble, hun, that goes without saying. Compared to others it sounded like a rather crappy kind of spoiling. Her older brothers go off and get themselves killed, so she ends up with all the dry responsibilities of the first born with none of the perks.
28. Blood_Drunk
@ 5 Ok, I don’t want to get into a long rant, but I would like to say that I don’t really agree that the Brotherless were entirely to blame. Let me put this in a historical context. During WWII many people were duped and propagandized into committing one of the worst genocides in our generation. While many people collaborated on the surface there were some that tried to help when they could and I’m sure there were many others that did nothing out of fear for their own lives.

That being said, let me break out the Schindlers List references. The protagonist originally took some of the slaves from the concentration camps to work in his factory for selfish reasons. Later on he convinced himself that the fact that they were alive and had better working conditions was his ‘good deed’ despite growing rich off the slave labor. Still later in the movie he realized that it wasn’t enough, and so he used all his money he had gained to try to save as many people as he could and in the end succeed in spending most of the fortune he had amassed to save some of the people he had originally helped to imprison.

Rolan and the others thought that the Shaido were right, and when they sided with them they had to follow orders. When Rolan and the others first captured faile they express misgivings about what they were doing, but being soldiers didn’t question it at first. Then when things in the camp started to get bad the Brotherless tried to help, but there were only 10k Brotherless and 100k Shaido. So they wouldn’t be able to save them all. You might even say that they only protected faile because they would be treated better in their care than left alone. However, in the end we finally see that they had decided that they were not doing enough to help faile and the others and agreed to risk Sevanna’s ire by helping them to escape. They couldn’t save them all, so how do you choose to protect one person over another? I really don’t think there is a good answer to that, but I think Rolan and the others tried to do their best. I was shocked when Rolan died because before I had read that chapter for the first time I had originally predicted that faile would help to bring the Brotherless back to Rand. I was wrong.
29. Philip Andrew Wardlow
Only comment ...Having Faile get the brotherless for Perrin and Rand now that would have been Tavereen...for Perrin esspecially since he seems to me to be the most ineffective of the three in causing change and getting people behind him.. to late to cry over spilt milk..though Maybe we will get 10,000 wolves to fight....(but they probably would have fought anyways without Perrin coaxing or telling them to since they hate the Dark Ones anyway. ....btw Leigh Butler wishing you well and along with your family and the issues surrounding you and them. Thanks for putting in the time on here...
Valentin M
30. ValMar
Leigh, I haven't read Dance and the ASOIAF threads (to avoid spoilers)... yet, so I don't exactly know what's up with your family. I really hope it turns out ok.

I agree with forkroot, Wetlander, etc. The Brotherless made a really bad choice, backed themselves into a dead end street with no way out. They participated in some bad things. But some folks are being a bit judgemental, IMO. A bit too bloodtursty... Those whose memory was being remembered in this chapter tried their best to minimise the damage done by their own people, to some risk to themselves.
If we are to criticise Roland to such an extent in WOT, then by the same logic we should have the heads of most whistleblowers in RL.
31. Sean Gibson
@20 Yeah, it's a problem I have with a lot of the tone both in the reread itself and from a lot (though not all) the comments. This consistent measuring of other cultures (especially medievalesque cultures) by our own moral standards.

Yes, I think Rolan did the best he could. From the moment he's introduced properly he seems a thoughtful, intelligent decent man and he does the best he can. He dies mainly because he's on the wrong side. I think a lot of decent Aiel joined the wrong side during the whole meltdown. I'm not sure everyone gets how difficult it would be 'Your whole code, your whole way of life is a stain on the honor of everything your ancestors believed. Abandon He Who Comes with the Dawn and you're dishonored. Follow him into battle and you're dishonored. Wait there's another He Who Comes With the Dawn who tells you the other guy is all lies. You know the other guy is lying, deep down you know it. But you want to believe because the truth is too horrible to contemplate.
32. Seamus1602
@ 30, 28, 22, 20, 18, 16, 15, 14, 11 et all

I do realize where you're all coming from: Stockholm Syndrome, moral acts in an immoral world/situation. And I try to sympathize (how much worse might it have been w/o Rolan et all to help the Faile-folks). But I can't.

First, w/o Rolan et all, there's no evidence that Faile and her peeps would have been kidnapped.

Second, to the point that many brought up re: Rolan doing the best in a bad situation. I disagree VEHEMENTLY.

Rolan joined the Shaido, he was not born into it. At that point, the Shaido were already breaking jie'toh consistently (taking slaves on the way to Caihrien). We, and all Aiel, already knew that Savannah and the Shaido were working against the cultural mores of the Aiel. So this is not the same as 'finding one's self in a bad situation'. This is instead an intance of refusing Rand Al'Thor in favor of an Aiel chief that is already known to ignore jie'toh. They knew what they were getting into, and they thought that being against Rand was THAT important.

They are responsible for that decision and all evil that results from it. Then they went on kidnapping missions for the Shaido, knowing again that it was against all Aiel cultural mores. They could have left at any time (like they did to Rand). But they didn't. They chose to stay with a clan and chief that were acting against everything they've been taught to hold as good.

Someone upthread mentioned Shindler's list. Would you have as much sympathy for Shindler if he knew he was joining a completely immoral group, got a crush on one of the prisoners, then helped her and a few of her friends, without helping anyone else? I don't think so.

Rolan deserved to die for his crimes. He knew what he was getting into (a clan outside jie-toh, if not the specific crimes he would commit). Rolan and friends are the most responsible people for the crimes committed against the Shaido gai'shan.

One last question: How many others did Rolan kidnap? How many of those weren't people that he had a crush on? How did they fare? Notice we never got a POV chapter from any of the characters that actually were raped and never received help from their captors.

Rolan gets no sympathy from me, though I'm working on some for Faile and her Stockholm Syndrome.
33. Seamus1602
Palindrome @ 20

How about judging the Shaido against jie'toh? That's the key here. They (and the Brotherless) didn't violate our cultural morals, they violated their own.
34. gavadel
@32 Someone upthread mentioned Shindler's list. Would you have as much sympathy for Shindler if he knew he was joining a completely immoral group, got a crush on one of the prisoners, then helped her and a few of her friends, without helping anyone else? I don't think so.

See, this is where we disagree. I don't think he knew what he was getting into and when he did, he decided to leave the Shaido and take his new friends with him. As I remember it.
Matthew Hunter
35. matthew1215
@32: In some ways, Rolan and Faile are parallel characters. Both are captives of the Shaido; Faile by force, Rolan by his own despair. In the depths of his despair, Rolan is willing to go along with the rest of the Shaido, and only notices Faile because she is especially pretty (or so the author keeps saying). But as he continues to watch and interact with her, her own struggle to remain unbroken despite her captivity gives him the strength to throw off despair and remember his own honor enough to act.

So, yes, Rolan and the Shaido made mistakes -- big mistakes. They picked the wrong guy to follow, and the guy they picked led them into worse and worse situations, more and more horrible moral choices. Lots of characters make bad moral choices and suffer the consequences without much sympathy from those of us behind the fourth wall. But Rolan and his small band stop making bad choices.

I think people deserve the chance to redeem themselves, even if it takes them a while to figure it out.
36. Seamus1602
See, this is where we disagree. I don't think he knew what he was getting into and when he did, he decided to leave the Shaido and take his new friends with him. As I remember it.

The Shaido were taking Caihrienin slaves as soon as they crossed the Dragonwall, against all strictures of jie'toh. So he knew then, at least. That's months before he kidanpped Faile. So he knew, waited months until he got a crush on a slave, then decided to try and work against the Shaido. It is beyond dispute that a) the Shaido worked against jie'toh taking Caihrienin slaves and that b) Rolan knew this prior to kidnapping Faile. He is responsible.
Vincent Lane
37. Aegnor

Everything he had ever known his entire life, his entire culture was completely upended by Rand. In that lost and vulnerable state, he joined the Shaido. A mistake, for sure. But an understandable one.

And also, he had no ability to help all the Gai'shan. How exactly would you expect him to do that. He captured her as a prisoner of war, which is all a Gai'shan is. Remember they were at war with the "wetlanders". I'm not sure what you are expecting from him.

And this is no Stockholm syndrome. As I said before, he has no real power over her. Although he did kidnap her originally, he lost all control over her fairly soon. She felt sympathy for him not do to Stockholm syndrome, but because she knew he was a good person who made a mistake and ended up in an impossible situation. It is clear that if it weren't for Faile, he would have slipped off and left the Shaido. He stayed there to protect her because he loved her.
38. Seamsu1602
Lots of characters make bad moral choices and suffer the consequences without much sympathy from those of us behind the fourth wall. But Rolan and his small band stop making bad choices. I think people deserve the chance to redeem themselves, even if it takes them a while to figure it out.

You're right, characters do deserve the chance to redeem themselves. But they didn't stop making bad choices. Rolan offered help to a very limited subset of those he's wronged. What about the other people he helped enslave that he didn't have a crush on? Acting on a crush is not that same as stopping making bad decisions.

I'm going to try and stop jumping on every comment, but this issue just gets to me. Acting nice to your crush doesn't absolve fault for enslaving and (by enslaving) causing people to get raped.
Vincent Lane
39. Aegnor

A Gai'shan is NOT a slave. That is certainly what they became under Sevana, but that is not what they are in Aiel culture. Rolan and the others were just starting to realize that AFTER Faile was taken.
40. Seamus1602
..and I can't stop


Rand upended the Aiel, but still tried to follow jie-toh. The Shaido were not following jie'toh from the moment they crossed into Randland.

How would I expect him to help the gai'shan? Kill Sevannah. Clear-cut obtainable objective.

And it is Stockholm Syndrome. He did have power over her as soon as he became her sole refuge from slave punishments. He held this power over her and his price was continually hitting on her (which I'll ignore bc Aiel culture is ok with that). As soon as he became her savior and captor, he very much has power over her. Sounds exactly like Stockholm Syndrome to me
41. Seamus1602
A Gai'shan is NOT a slave. That is certainly what they became under Sevana, but that is not what they are in Aiel culture. Rolan and the others were just starting to realize that AFTER Faile was taken.

Why do you assume Rolan et all only realized this after Faile was taken? They knew this from the moment the Shaido crossed the Dragonwall. The Shaido were taking and enslaving Caihrienin since that moment. Either he knew from being in the Shaido camp, or he knew from being in Rand's camp. He knew before.
Matthew Hunter
42. matthew1215
@40: You're right about Stockholm Syndrome. Faile is held captive for an extended period of time and of course forms an attachment for the captor who happens to be nice to her. That doesn't mean that the captor's actions aren't worthy of being judged on their own merit, or that Faile isn't right to hold on to some respect for the people who distinguished themselves among bad company.

Bottom line, Faile isn't going on kidnap outings with the Shaido, sleeping with Rolan, or siding with Rolan against Perrin. She's certainly been put in a psychological position where forming some sort of bond is almost inevitable, but she's also still got her head screwed on straight about what her priorities are.
Matthew Hunter
43. matthew1215
@41: Knowing something is happening is not the same thing as going through the process of recognizing it as wrong and developing the moral courage to oppose it. That process can take time, especially when you make a choice early on and have to reexamine it while surrounded by people who made the same choice and don't question it.

I think Rolan went through a period of despair and depression. He sided with the Shaido, gradually learned that he had made the wrong choice and that the people he had thought were his friends were mostly evil scum and getting more evil by the minute, realized that he had no real practical way out, and basically gave up. "What the hell, the world is ending, I might as well have fun and catch me a pretty wetlander gai'shain to keep my tent warm". So he captured Faile, watched her, and eventually realized, "Hey, she's in a worse situation than I am, and she's not given up yet."

People are not the sum of their past choices alone. They are the sum of their past choices PLUS the choice they are making right now. Rolan's moral epiphany is no less valid because it took him a while to get there.
Vincent Lane
44. Aegnor

Kill Sevannah an obtainable objective? Not likely.


They were taking Gai'shan, not slaves. They didn't become slaves until later.


It is not Stockholm Syndrome because Rolan was not Faile's captive for longer that it took them to join with the Shaido. He was clearly not her captor, and he even tried to help her escape. How can he be her captor if he has no control over whether she is held or not, and tries to help her escape captivity?
Vincent Lane
45. Aegnor
"What the hell, the world is ending, I might as well have fun and catch me a pretty wetlander gai'shain to keep my tent warm".

I was with you up until this sentence. He shows absolutely no interest in her physically until after she is taken from him and was no longer her captor. He was out on a raiding party, because that is what he was supposed to be doing. I remember a scene where they were discussing their growing disatisfaction with these raiding parties and taking all these wetlander Gai'shan.
46. Rand al'Todd
RE comments posted in Part 11:
@123 I said that, based on a viewing, Mat was to be captured and bound with his Ashandrei, and proposed that Tuon would make a deal with Rand for a joint rescue effort.
@173 Maester commented, (correctly) that the viewing was part of a Perrin Wolf Dream (TSR chapt 53). However, Maester thought the viewing had been satisfied when Rand found Mat hanging at Ruidean (TSR chapt 26).

I don't want to beat Bela, but I took a look at the Timeline. According to it, Perrin's wolf dream occurred on day 463, but Rand found Mat on day 448 (15 days earlier). I won't say all, but most of the viewings, dreams, etc. appear to be of future events, not past. (The Rainbow Visions ARE current events and occasionally help us see just how two story lines match up.) Also, this episode of the Dream also included a vision interpreted as Eqwene's selection as Amyrlin (which Timeline puts at day 610, LOC chapt 37), and the "Beggar Rand" with his eyes bandaged, which is not fullfilled until later in this book.

So, Maester, I still think Mat will be captured, probably by Trollocs while trying to defend the city while everyone else is away at the big summit meeting. And he will get the opportunity to sell out Rand, which he denied doing after their Portal Stone semi-Acceptaton trip (TGH chap 37).

Of course, I have been wrong before.
47. Seamus1602

How is killing Sevannah not obtainable for a group of warriors with access to and training in using bows? It may not be easy, but it obtainable.

Wetlanders, by definition, cannot be made gai'shan. They do not follow jie'toh. Taking them captive was against the Aiel moral code from the moment that they did it.

Rolan holds power over Faile, who is a kidnap victim and slave. Her sole source of refuge comes from the person who took her captive and then helps her avoid the worst of the slave punishment, but not all of it. Explain to me how that doesn't qualify for Stockholm Syndrome?
Warren Soulard
48. Hrothgordo

The question isn’t whether Rolan et al got what they deserved. The problem is defining a series of distinct decisions/events all together.

Were the Brotherless misguided and on the “wrong” side? Sure. But there is a huge leap from saying the Nazis needed to be defeated (requiring Germans to be killed) and saying all Germans deserved to die.

Imagine if someone comes into your church with definitive proof that your God doesn’t exist or suddenly told you that you despite being attracted to the opposite sex you are in fact homosexual (or feel free to flip that argument appropriately if you are atheist or attracted to the same sex).

The point is that most people would freak out in various ways to such a fundamental destruction of their core beliefs/self-image. Some may adapt, but a huge portion would become suicidal (essentially what the siswai’aman did) or grasp at a "delusional" concept to retain their views (joining the Shaido or becoming permanently gai’shan) .

As such I give them a pass for deciding to join the Shaido.

Here the Brotherless act honorably and do the best they can given the circumstances.

Yes, there are sticky issues in the area of the sexual dynamics but overall the intent is not malicious (an in the case of Rolan, the case is absolutely clear).

In the end, the Brotherless took great risks to help people they felt were being treated unfairly

Perrin and his group had every right to kill the Brotherless. And Faile and her group were correct in their actions to assist in that effort.

And Faile understands the reasons and (correct) justification for her actions. But she is aware that a “person” died, and one whom she cared/respected in some way. I believe this is simply an acknowledgment of the Brotherless as victims of circumstance.
49. Palindrome
I'm just curious - what exactly is the consequence that the 10,000 Brotherless should have recieved? Or the 100,000 Shaido? Disregarding guilty or not guilty, killing them all seems to be a rather bloody solution.
Alice Arneson
50. Wetlandernw
forkroot @19 – Nice! I actually hadn’t noticed that, but now that you point it out, wow! Very clear parallels. Personal growth, FTW.

Palindrome @20 – Well said! Once again, you have to consider their cultural background, not ours, in evaluating their actions and motivations. Obviously, RJ wrote for a 20th/21st century audience whose gut reaction will be moral outrage, but once again we’re challenged to let our intellect work with our emotions to comprehend what’s going on with these characters.

Loialson @21 – Way cool! Don’t forget to mention that my question about the Jenn was from you. I had a question for you to ask, but I can’t remember it at the moment. As soon as I can haul it out from the deep recesses of my mind (!) I’ll pass it to you. I think it may have been related to the Jenn/Portal Stone thing, but I’m not sure.

parrothead @27 – Like you, I’ve always enjoyed Faile, even though there were times I wanted to smack her upside the head. (Like virtually every other character. Hmmm.) While I’ll admit I wanted Berelain to make some kind of restitution for her behavior, though, I don’t think there’s really anything to be done beyond making her admit she was in the wrong. In that way, I rather enjoyed what she did get: the job of figuring out how to clean up the mess she’d made. And that way, Faile didn’t have to descend to childishness again to punish her.

Seamus1602 @32 – Please explain to me just how you get to ”First, w/o Rolan et all, there's no evidence that Faile and her peeps would have been kidnapped.” Rolan was not the leader of the group that kidnapped Faile, and I don't recall an indication that he took any particular initiative to go out and find women to capture.

I don't think anyone is trying to say that Rolan is now a great hero and deserves to be bound to the Horn or anything, just that, y'know, he wasn't such a bad guy all things considered. He'd made some decisions that (from our omniscient POV) were not wise, but they were pretty understandable at the time, given his culture. He'd gotten to the point where he had changed his mind about the wisdom of those past decisions, and was in the process of trying to figure out what to do about the hole he was in. The first step was to help Faile & co. get out of the mess he'd helped put them in; we don't know what further steps he might (or might not) have taken, since he never got the chance to take them. Does that make him a hero? No, but neither does it leave him undeserving of any compassion. (Sevanna, on the other hand, can spend the rest of her life dancing in a flimsy dress at the whim of some nameless Seanchan, and I will feel no compassion at all.)

Sean Gibson @31 & matthew1215 @35 – Nice points. I think we really don’t have much feel for the depth of horror Rand’s revelations dealt to the Aiel. The clans who seemed to handle it best were those led by men who knew Rand as well as knowing the truth of what he said – and even among those, there were those who simply couldn’t accept it.

(In a weird way, I feel kind of sorry for the Shaido (well, some of them), because they didn’t have a clan chief who knew the truth. They didn’t have a chief at all, and Sevanna neither knew nor cared about the truth. The ones I have absolutely no sympathy for are the Shaido Wise Ones, who knew the truth, knew that Sevanna didn’t know, and should have done something to set their people on the right track instead of letting Sevanna lead them in ignorance. All assuming, of course, that the Shaido Wise Ones go through the same process as the rest of the WO. Maybe they just pretend to go to Rhuidean and never see the truth at all, but at least their clan chiefs seem to try to do it the right way.)

Rand al’Todd @46 – It’s okay to post on the thread where those comments actually occurred, even if there is a new one out. It happens all the time, and it keeps the conversation together.
51. Freelancer
Rolan and his fellow Brotherless enter the situation in a nearly untenable set of circumstances. Taking up with the Shaido, not out of loyalty to them, but because at the moment they made that choice the Shaido and they shared one thing in common; no wish to follow a Car'a'carn who destroyed the entire perception of their ancestry, who told them they came from the same people as the Tinkers, that they had abandoned the Way of the Leaf. For those who could not swallow that revelation, who were set spiritually and emotionally adrift, attaching themselves to the Shaido was "choosing the lesser evil".

So, here they are, amidst a clan who has no respect for them, and with whom they share no strong values, given the Shaido's apparently systemic lack of honor. They are sent on a raiding patrol to do what the Aiel do. Aiel have been raiding and robbing each other for generations, why would they treat non-Aiel any better? They come away from that with a handful of wetlander women as prisoners, and though they are ordered to treat them as gai'shain, they know that this isn't proper.

It's a fairly standard slippery slope scenario. To stand outside of the situation and rail on them that they were horrible people for doing what seemed necessary to survive and be accepted where they are, is to not attempt to gain any sort of empathy for what they have experienced. What respect for wetlanders have any Aiel been taught in the years prior to Rand showing up? None at all. Aviendha's slow, painful realizations in this regard are proof enough.

Once it became plain that all respect for societal standards had been tossed out under the "leadership" of Sevanna and Therava, Rolan and his brethren took what stand they could against the inhumanity. Remember, these are people who don't consider being gai'shain equal to slavery, or even to imprisonment, but as a period of retribution and restoration to keep toh balanced with ji. So initially, the concept that the wetlander women were to be treated as gai'shain was not all that onerous. No honorable Aiel would take advantage of a gai'shain as a sex slave.

Finally, once they chose to begin aiding the non-Aiel gai'shain, they had to do so as circumspectly as possible, given their own tenuous place among the Shaido. If they did not, eventually they would have been tossed out, or made gai'shain themselves, and then what little protection they could offer would vaporize. Without risking their own necks in a pointlessly suicidal uprising, which would have ended with the wetlander women exposed to the worse treatment anyway, they could have done little better than they did.

Or perhaps I have an overdeveloped sense of empathy. I'd really like someone to point out which character, in all of WoT, acts precisely as hindsight shows would have been perfect in all circumstances. Not even Galad passes that test, and it is his desired default method. People act in their own best interest first absent other impetus. How quickly they shift to acting in the best interest of others at the expense of their own, varies with their own honor and the criticality of the situation. Rolan & co. are not even in the same time zone as many other offenders in this regard. I have more respect for Rolan than for any of the mercenaries who turned coat during the siege of Caemlyn, for example. They accepted a contract, and then sold out after beginning service under it.
Jay Dauro
52. J.Dauro
Also, look at how all Aiel have treated Cairhienin since Laman. If found in the Threefold land, they are sold into slavery.
"Treekillers are fit for nothing except to be killed or sold as animals in Shara," Erim said grimly. Those were two of the things Aiel did to those who came into the Waste uninvited; only gleeman, peddlers, and Tinkers had safe passage,...
Why should Oathbreakers be treated as people at all? Cairhienin are not seen as true "people" by the Aiel, not since Laman's sin. The only reason the other Aiel clans do not treat them as badly is that Rand leads them. Treating them as gai'shain is actually more respect than they truly deserve. No, the Brotherless would not have seen the Shaido's treatment of Cairhienin as improper, nor would most of the other 11 clans.
53. AndrewB
Loialson @21 -- I have 3 questions
1) Had events not played out as they did with Rand at the end of TGS, would the wolves as a species suddenly died out or would they have just choose not to fight at the last battle?

2) Did Messana use the information that Graendal gave Messana in exchange for the angreal?

3) Did Nynaeve tell Egwene that according to Rand, the Dark One can ressurect the sole of a Foresaken killed by means other than balefire?

No offense if you think the above questions are not worth asking.

Thanks for reading my musings.
54. Shadow_Jak
@52 Good point.
In our story, the Aiel are on the side of good (ie against the DO) and we mostly think of them as the good guys.
But they really are not very nice people, by normal, Real World consideration.
As the quote above illustrates.
This was, I believe, the fate for all others as well. Not just "Treekillers".
I seem to recall something about beiong stripped naked and left in the waste with a single waterskin.
Not very nice... Really!
They have their honor. But like Aiel humor, Aiel honor does not make much sense to wetlanders.
WetlanderNW accepted of course ;-)
And also may not apply to them.
55. gavadel
Oh.... I just had a thought reading these last few comments re:Aiel.

What if, the solution to Aviendha's vision, the Aiel have to go back across the Dragonwall and resume their old way of life. Raiding and robbing each other and get away from the Wetlands.

@50 Thanks. Yeah, this is truly not considered I think in a lot of these arguments. This whole thread re: Rolan it seems that most people kinda agree, decent guy, bad circumstances. And I am Sean Gibson, last post I wanted to make some criticisms of Leigh's continual comparisons and prefer not to make such comments anonomously.
Roger Powell
56. forkroot
Loialson: Could you ask Brandon if Verin was correct when she said that the Portal Stones predate the Age of Legends? It would be interesting to see if he's willing to answer that one.
Chris R
57. up2stuff
AndrewB @ 7... I always thought that scene meant the wolves would fight in the Last Battle if Rand chose wisely to press on with hope. I think they knew if he gave in and ended everything there would not be anyone to fight in the last hunt rather than just sideliners. Do you read that differently?

Loilson, ask if the True Power can be used against the Dark One
58. Stubob
All I remember about the few Perrin chapters in TGS is that I was more annoyed cause I wanted back into the other storylines. I see now that Perrin in the Dreamworld was a setup for ToM.

As for the Faile/Rolan/etc part, I glazed over it when I first ran into it. Just like I glazed over most of the Perrin/Shaido storyline. It just doesn't interest me.
Chris R
59. up2stuff
Loilson, ask him if the "Remnant of a Remnant" has to do with Ji' eh toh and is no longer having an obligation to the AS. Avi told Rand in LoC that it was who the Aiel were, at their core. I wonder if taking or releasing their toh isn't what is meant, and why the trip through the way-forward machine is why they came to such a miserable end. Maybe they need some NEW purpose/faith.
60. Blood_Drunk
@ 23.matthew1215 While I would have liked to see, and even expected to see Rolan live, I think the scene was well done and consistent with what Mr. Jordan was trying to accomplish. Perrin turned around a corner and he and Rolan are about to go at it and all Faile has time to shout is Perrin’s name. After the initial shock of seeing him, and in the heat of the moment there really weren’t any other choices, especially after Rolan died. Mr. Jordan served 2 tours in Vietnam and his realistic depiction of the perils of war ring true. Friendly-fire (I’m speaking of Faile’s capitulation in the deaths of the brotherless) can eat away at someone. Two allies can find each other on opposite sides of a conflict and have no choice or ability to abstain from the fight. Some soldiers when faced with the fight or flight mentality and the fear of their own death will choose to strike first and ask questions later. In this situation, they are in the middle of a battle field and are surprised by an enemy turning the corner and charging them. The shock triggers survival mode and I really don’t think in that situation there was a way around it. I really wanted Rolan to survive and I thought that based on Mr. Jordan’s Law of Conservation of Characters, that Rolan and the Brotherless would end up going back to Rand because they had seen that being allied with the Shaido was detestable.


I don’t think Faile has Stockholm syndrome, at least not in the traditional sense. Faile is being practical. She knows that when you can’t hope to defend yourself, you seek someone out who can help you defend yourself. Now why would this person risk his life to protect someone he doesn’t know or care about? Before I go on, let me ask another question; do you give all the money you can to help the women and children in war torn countries and dedicate all of your time to helping people you don’t know? Since I have only heard of one Mother Teresa, and for the moment I am going to assume that the dearly departed is not reading this, therefore I am going to assume the rest of humanity stands in a sea of moral ambiguity. Faile knows that in a massive sea of people no one is going to help her unless she is able to humanize herself to them (or seduce). There is so much suffering and violence and need in this world and if we paid attention to all of it, it would be too much to deal with. When I see something bad happen to someone on the news I don’t cry over it but when I had to put my dog to sleep it was absolutely devastating to me. To assume that the Brotherless would help someone they don’t know and risk their life while going against the people they allied with, seems far-fetched. It is human nature to want to protect our own. Faile did the smart thing and humanized herself to Rolan then after seeing the right path Rolan asked his friends to keep an eye on the wetlanders in white when they could, but as I said before they were horribly out numbered by shaido and there were too many people to protect.

You also brought up that they wouldn’t have been taken if not for Rolan, but in the very chapter that they are captured Rolan states aloud that Sevanna had sent out raiding parties to look for wetlander gaishan. He further said that he disagreed with it, though at first it was because they were slowing them down. However, from the beginning we see him slowly making the progression to realizing that this is wrong.

As per your argument that they chose to join the Shaido, I don’t disagree, however I think they did it because they saw a larger evil being perpetrated. They saw a wetlander/outsider become the chief of chiefs all while destroying their belief in the nobility of their ancestors. At that time the Shaido weren’t known to break Ji’e’toh but merely bend it, a lot. While they could have left the Shaido, they were unclear whether they would find a home in their own holds. They said in KoD that they their only hope was to ask to stay with their society in their hold because there was no chance they could go anywhere else.

I brought up Schindler's list and the protagonist did know he was joining an immoral group and he also knew that the only way his business would be successful was off the slave labor of the Jews. He did not get a crush on one of the Jews, however, one of them did manage to humanize himself to Schindler. It was the act of making Schindler care about what happened to him that Schindler began his journey toward redemption. And Schindler did help this one man and a few others that he brought to Schindler. While they understood that there was no way for this one man to save as many as were condemned, they did try to bring him a few people and asked him to save them. So other than getting a crush on one of them, what you said is exactly what happened. And as I said before, is having a crush and maybe not doing something with a completely black and white idea of morality such a bad thing? What we say and what we do are 2 very different things. Just because Rolan asked for relations with Faile, does not put him on the same level as someone that forces her to be with him nor is it even on the same level as someone who would withdraw protection should she not want to share his bed. Nothing in any of the passages suggests that he would stop protecting her if she didn’t finally capitulate to him. And Rolan did try to get some of the other Brotherless to keep an eye on the other gaishan.

Rolan likely kidnapped many others on the orders of Sevanna. He had loyalty to the Aiel people above the wetlanders, which is understandable. When it finally became too much, and he could no longer justify the actions of the Shaido, he made an immensely difficult decision and decided to side with a foreigner against his own people. Rolan and the others were on the path of redemption and for that I liked their characters.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with me, I think it is worth noting that the only reason that such lively debate can happen is because the characters made very human choices whether good or bad. The fact that we can argue back and forth all day is a measure of how well these books are written. With that, I bid you goodnight.
AndrewB started this up earlier @7., but I wanted to go a little deeper. I found the very beginning of this chapter very interesting, with the scenes between Hopper and Perrin.
"It comes", Hopper agreed. "If Shadowkiller falls to the storm, all will sleep forever. If he lives, then we will hunt together. You and us."
That took me back all the way to the prologue, where the theme was the storm and its roiling clouds and such. It has been an often mentioned theme throughout the book, getting many off hand mumblings or little glances here and there. And it occured to me; the storm clouds, sightblinder, falling to the storm.... Rand's dark and dire aura- the world wide famine and rotting of all things living; his conflict of strength vs. hardeness- the storms; his as yet, at this point in the series, fulfillment of being able to see again- Sightblinder.

I'm thinking that its the storms that have brought Rand to where he is and where he is going. The Dark One has already started his assault on Rand and it has come in the form of blinding him from the light.... all light. The light of the heart and mind, the courage to go on, as hard as things may seem.

The Dark One wants Rand hard as cuendillar. It makes him easier to shatter when the time is right. The Dark One blocks the very light from the sky, taking away even that little joy. He wants him depressed, then compressed and then crushed of all joy, happiness and courage. He wants to bring him pain wherever he looks. He wants him to smell death, see suffering, hear screams of anguish and feel nothing at all for it. So when all has come together and he has been hardened as far as can be; When the hammer crashes.... it shatters him.

And yet did this happen? No...because the Dark One wanted more....he wanted Rand. The DO wanted to make sure that Rand didn't escape as Lews Therin did. No...The Dark One wanted Rand to stumble blindly into his dark embrace. And he almost had him. Actually, he did have him and then let him go....

But what really happened.... Rand should of broke right there, when Rand killed Min. But Min didn't die. No Rand miraculously gained access to the True Power to break his bonds. Interesting right?....for what? Why did the DO give him an out? Because Rand would have turned around and did what lews Therin did, right? Well some may think he wouldn't have. Some may argue that he really wouldn't have been killing Min himself even though his hands were around Min's throut. He would have been made to kill her unwillingly. So maybe he wouldn't have cracked... its not the same. It wasn't enough. So give him an out.... to an even darker end.

What would that dark end be? Ohhhh, Rand sayyyy... destroying the world. Or at least bringing it to an irreversable state of war right when they need to be allying. But how do we do that....how does the DO get Rand to do that after not watching Min die by his hand. Well for one as Cadsuane and many others noted, he becomes far darker. He's actively using that dark aura now as a tool (yes I know thats debatable, but bear with me). And the grand finale.... the Dark One uses someone close to Rand, someone he hasn't seen for awhile, to betray him so to speak. Rand is already alienating himself from those he should trust. But why is that? Why does he not trust his friends and advisors? Because they are all trying to manipulate him, thats why. Well thats how Rand see's it anyway and thats all that counts. But why does Rand persceive it like that? Rand has become manipulated into not trusting those whom he should trust. But how can that be done without someone close to him manipulating him into feeling his trust is being betrayed... goading him, boxing him in....hehe. It could be that someone close to him is in fact manuevering Rand down this path to darkness. He's not doing it all on his own.

And at the end of it all, look at where he went. Look at how far he fell... he almost cracked the world like an egg. He almost wiped out Tuon and the Seanchan heirarchy with a single bar of balefire. I wonder how Mat would have felt about that. And then Lews Therin, first light of the morning, the Dragon, with his moment of purest hope drowning in despair, saves.... everybody. Talk about redemption!

The guy whom no one sees, saves the world. "No please! People its alright I don't deserve any of your thanks guys, really...I'm going to sleep now... no really.... I'm tired."

Wow... it really gets me that no one or at least very few us, mention what he did. What the world owes him.

But those clouds...those dark stormy clouds....they touch him not, now.

Shadowkiller survived the dark storm. The Dark One's embrace; a distant memory. Oh Hopper!...I do miss you. You knew all along! Fly free....

But how did Rand really get there...why did the Dark One let him off?
Elijah Foster
62. TheWolfKing
I gotta go with Seamus on this. I don't necessarily hate them though, but I don't think that Rolan deserved such a memorial thingy. IMHO, I believe his main goal was to get into Faile's bed. Faile was married and Rolan knew that, gai'shain or not, that's still wrong.
Chris R
63. up2stuff
Okay, something I remember from my highschool German is: some dirty phrases I can't post here AND some of the discussions on Nazi Germany around WWII. This is simplified, but should be accurate enough.

First, the Jews were rounded up into the ghettos. Shitty situation, but not life threatening. Someone enlisting in the SS or the Hitler Jungend might not really agree, but in order to belong, they would go along. Its not THAT big of a breach of honor. They are only Cariehenen, er Jews.

Next, there surface rumors of rapes, mistreatment of gaishain. They aren't released, etc. SURELY that can't be. It may be Shaido, but they are still Aiel and wouldn't really do that. I remember in German class, we asked why this and the camps were allowed. The teacher replied, it was so farfetched, ouldnt really be happening. Anyone seen Swing Kids? How long was the main character in the HJ before he finally opened one of those "Special Deliveries" and found the truth? Denial counts for a lot, too.

Okay, Rolan had ulterior motives with Faile. He may have taken many before, but did he Really mistreat them? Other than allowing wetlanders to be taken, what if that was the only thing he saw that was wrong at first. My take was that once the Shaido got to Malden, THAT's when things got really bad for the Shaido behavior.

The Wetlanders who claimed to follow Ji eh toh in Cairhein were subjected to an Aiel punishment by I think Rhuarc in LoC. One of them said to another, there was no understaning Ji eh toh until one had been captive to Aiel. Granted, not the same as Faile's situation, but you can see where a precedent had been lowered maybe and, punishing a wetlander could slip to taking gaishain and then Sevannah going all Crazy and upping the ante.

Just my take on this, and I had to edit this post because my cell phone cut my post short.
Roger Powell
65. forkroot
And you know who saved the world? Tam Al'Thor. And Abell Cauthon. And Bran al'Vere. And Nynaeve, Egwene, Perrin, Mat - heck even Cenn Buie and Daise Congar a tiny little bit.

Rand Al'Thor is isLews Therin Telamon. Fully and completely. And that is not enough to save the world. BUT.. he is also Rand Al'Thor, a boy raised with love in the Two Rivers, taught the difference between right and wrong.

Even at his darkest hour, there is an inner decency to Rand that does not let him go over the edge. It's that decency that is touched, first by the Tinkers outside Ebou Dar, and then by ordinary citizens of Ebou Dar. Among other things, it saved Tuon's hide, not that she'd ever know.

Rand himself admits this to Min in ToM during a conversation with Min as they approach the meeting with the Borderlanders.
The point I was trying to make was that Rand, singularly as himself, didn't make that decision to not off the world. Lews Therin did. It matters not that the two became one, because at that point it hadn't happened yet. Not until Lews Therin had his ephinany, allowing Rand to have his, did they become one.

Tam allowing himself to be included in those mechinations threw him over the edge. Nynaeve was complicent with it all. Only Min stayed true to him. Cenn Beui? Egwene? Perrin and Matt? What do they have to do with it. Some of them, he hasn't seen in years. Did they help shape him into who he is? Sure they did and did a good job of it. But History has shown that the greatest of men have their dark days.

My point is that Rand's are nefarious because many of them aren't of his doing. Sure he's stubborn and headstrong and a wee bit arrogant at times. But wouldn't you be given all that he has done? Must do? So he got it wrong about the Hard thing.... that wasn't the problem. It was how that flaw was used against him. Everyone has a weakness. There's always a chink somewhere. And on the off chance there isn't, given time, there will be.
67. Freelancer
But what really happened.... Rand should of broke right there, when Rand killed Min. But Min didn't die. No Rand miraculously gained access to the True Power to break his bonds. Interesting right?....for what? Why did the DO give him an out?
The dark one did not know Rand had access to the True Power. I know that this is a long-standing and unresolved debate in the forum, but I also know what was said to me when I asked that question, how it was said, and what the answer meant. Rand was not granted permission to use the True Power, he drew it through the link with Moridin, caused by the crossed balefire streams at Shadar Logoth. This was not a case of Rand being given an out by the DO, better to ascribe it to the Pattern making a way for Rand to avoid an action which would have sealed his and the world's doom.

forkroot is correct in crediting Tam, Bran, Abell, and the rest of the Two Rivers adults for the strength of character to which Rand was able to cling in his darkest moment. There is absolutely no substitute for good home training. I do not subscribe to the notion that there are no bad children, only bad parents. I have seen kids from the best possible homes, surrounded by siblings who have become first-rate citizens, turn into utter scum. There is no way to hold the parents accountable for conscious decisions that are simply bad. However, such cases are fairly rare, and most often a bad direction in the life of a young person is established by errors on the part of the parents. In WoT, the worst bad example of a young person in Emond's Field seems to be Mat, and while he is impulsive, unwise, self-centered and inconsiderate, he is far from being lawless, cruel, or criminally disturbed. And again, much credit for that goes to decent, honorable parents and other adults.
Birgit F
68. birgit
Had events not played out as they did with Rand at the end of TGS, would the wolves as a species suddenly died out or would they have just choose not to fight at the last battle?

If Rand had destroyed the world the wolves wouldn't have been the only species that died out.

It wasn't that easy for the Meradin to leave the Shaido. They had abandoned their clan because they couldn't accept Rand's revelations. They were in the wetlands when they realized that the Shaido were more and more abandoning all honor and didn't really have a place to go back to. The Shaido despised them for leaving their clans, but they still stayed because they saw no better options. Only when things got too bad among the Shaido they thought that leaving might be better even though they had nowhere to go.
The book The Wave is a fictional version of an experiment that tried to explain why there wasn't more resistance against the Nazis. The Meradin also got caught up in Shaido ways and only gradually realized that the system was wrong.
67. Freelancer

"The dark one did not know Rand had access to the True Power. I know that this is a long-standing and unresolved debate in the forum, but I also know what was said to me when I asked that question, how it was said, and what the answer meant. Rand was not granted permission to use the True Power, he drew it through the link with Moridin, caused by the crossed balefire streams at Shadar Logoth."

Was this confirmed by BWS or someone else at Team Jordan? If so, then I stand corrected. If not, then what you know is still just a theory like anyone elses, myself included.

I find it amusing that some feel that the Dark One doesn't know when someone is using him, literally.

No one I can see, myself included, is arguing against Rands character or upbringing. The Man is an exemplary example of honor, courage, sacrifice and just plain old goodness.

What is not conceded, unless someone at Team Jordan has confirmed it, is the "Cross the Streams" theory. It just seems too contrived for me.

70. Serious77
But the point is, the scene made me cry, and not too many things in fiction (outside of gratuitous animal death and soul-crushing stupidity) make me cry, so there you have it. Well done.
I have to say, the scene that made me tear up was back in The Shadow Rising... I believe... where Perrin and Faile arrive at the Two Rivers and Perrin discovers the fate of his family. The way he kept going back in forth in his mind between what he must do next and the memories of his family was heart wrenching.
Charles Gaston
71. parrothead
Serious77 @70
Yup, TSR, an excellent scene.

Wetlandernw @50,
You're probably right. Definitely right about the smackings. It's just that I might be more amenable to Berelain's little Karma Houdini act if she'd ever done anything useful. Apparently she helped pacify Cairhien, but we don't actually get to see that. Everytime she's onscreen she's trying to seduce someone, and all of her targets are previously spoken for: Rand (theoretically engaged to Egwene), Rhuarc (married), Perrin (dating/married to Faile).

Galad does whatever he thinks is right, no matter who gets hurt. Berelain does whatever she thinks will get her what she wants, no matter who gets hurt. This is going to be an interesting relationship...

I can pinpoint the exact moment she crossed the line from source of constant aggravation to monster. Okay, she stalks Perrin across half a continent even though he has made it clear he is not interested. She waits until his wife is kidnapped and feared dead. When he goes catatonic and collapses of exhaustion, she has her servants strip him and stuff him into her bed, then spreads it throughout the camp that they went at it like crazed weasels - said camp including people who have watched Perrin grow up, as well as Cha Faile, who have taken oaths of personal loyalty to his wife. And then she expects him to be grateful for boosting his reputation. Oooh. Oooh, that just works right underneath the fingernails and throbs.
72. DeJulis
I just had an "ahah" moment: Now I know how Robert Jordan was going to fit all of "A Memory of Light" in one book.
lol :P

I'm on the fence about how Rand was able to channel the True Power. I vaguely recall the question that Brandon answered, and it seemed to me to be ambiguous.

As far as Lews Therin "saving the world," I think that's a bit of a stretch. I'm in the construct camp re: Lews Therin. I strongly believe that the evidence is fairly clear that he's not actually real. This being the case, I can't credit Lews Therin with any part of what happened on Dragonmount. It was Rand, pure and simple. Influenced by memories of being Lews Therin perhaps, but not by a separate entity in the same body.

Keep in mind that it's the same soul, reborn. It can't, therefore, be manifested as two separate identities. I know Robert Jordan always wanted it to be left open, but it seems pretty clear to me given the cosmology he cobbled together.
73. DeJulis
Since I can't seem to figure out how to edit my posts:

I wanted to add that during the scene on Dragonmount, just before Rand about destroys the world, he thinks something to the effect of "it seemed like Lews Therin's voice and his own sounded more alike." I don't have my books with me, so if anyone is feeling up to it and can look up the exact quote that'd be spiffy.

Anyways, this quote seems to be strongly implying that Lews Therin's voice in his head was always a construct built by Rand's growing madness. There's also the quote right at the end, which goes something like "Rand realized he would never hear Lews Therin again, because they'd always been the same person," which I think cements this.
Jonathan Levy
74. JonathanLevy
19. forkroot
Now that's an interesting comparison (Gawyn & Rolan)

26. forkroot

re: Rolan good or bad, Stockholm Syndrome, etc.

Not going to weigh in fully, but count me in the group that considers Rolan to be not blameless, but also not evil.

I don't think Stockholm Syndrome is a good description of Faile's reaction. If Faile has started to sympathize with Sevanna, now THAT would have been Stockholm Syndrome. Sevanna is Faile's true captor.

The behavior of the Shaido as a group is not a constant - it deteriorated over time. When Rolan joined he had no way of anticipating this. One must be careful when blaming someone for joining a group because of the group's future actions.

Some people say that Rolan is guilty because he joined the Shaido honorless dogs instead of staying with the rest of the Aiel who were following Ji'e'toh. Well, Ji'e'toh is in the eye of the beholder, it's not an absolute measurement on which all reasonable people agree. Is following a wetlander kosher? Sending a wetlander to Rhuidean? Destroying Rhuidean, as Rand did? Was Rand lying or Couladin? Are there not other loyalties (clan, family, friendship, love, society) which influence the decision which faction to join? Rolan cannot be blamed for his choice after Al'cair Dal. He should be given credit for changing his mind when he saw which way the Shaido were going.

Men commit evil or good within the scope given to them. Rolan does not have the power to right all the wrongs the Shaido have done. It is not reasonable to expect him to sacrifice himself in an attempt to kill Sevanna. Did anyone here rush off to Libya to try to do something about Ghaddafi? Besides, it is not at all certain that killing the Queen Ant here would change the morals of the nest.

Before condemning Rolan's change of mind for being too slow, we should remember how much more prevalent the opposite reaction would be: "I have thrown my lot in with the Shaido. They are where my loyalties lie. Besides, the captives are only wetlanders. Almost like treekillers. And I was only following orders. Everyone else is having a good time with the captive women, do I deserve any less? If I don't rape her someone else will anyway. They have no Ji, they are fit for nothing but slavery - some of them prefer it to freedom, and the rest will get used to it quickly."

Is it not seductive to side with a strong power, when it brings immediate gratification, and everyone else is doing it anyway? Is it not a noble thing to have resisted it?
Jonathan Levy
75. JonathanLevy
73. DeJulis

You can't edit your posts because you have not created an account on tor dot com, and are not signed into your account.

I can tell that you're not signed in because your name is red, unlike mine which is black.

If you create an account and post from it, your name will be in black, and you'll be able to edit your posts.

This is sometimes known as 'going gray' because in the past logged-in names were gray, not black.
76. DeJulis

I assumed that was the case. Maybe one of these days I'll sign up.
Vincent Lane
77. Aegnor

Skulking about and shooting Sevannah with an arrow would also be completely without honor in their mind, and I don't think they could bring themselves to do it.

Of course wetlanders shouldn't be taken Gai'shan. And they went along with it when they shouldn't have. But when their entire world was turned upside down, that wasn't that much of a change.

"Rolan holds power over Faile, who is a kidnap victim and slave. Her sole source of refuge comes from the person who took her captive and then helps her avoid the worst of the slave punishment, but not all of it. Explain to me how that doesn't qualify for Stockholm Syndrome?"

"Kidnap victim" is a loaded term. She was a prisoner of war. If she would have developed sympathy and support for Rolan while she was under his control, than it would have been Stockholm Syndrome. But I've seen absolutely no evidence that she did. It was only after she was completely out of his control that she did. It's not Stockholm Syndrome because she was not under his control at all. I've said this several times, but you seem to be ignoring it.
Stefan Mitev
78. Bergmaniac
Leigh, I hope the medical problems in your family get resolved successfully soon.

"Oh, and Perrin was in this chapter."

That pretty much sums Perrin's TGS appearances. All of them could well have been removed and nothing would've been lost.

Faile's scene is very good though, quite touching. Ever since my last reread, I like her a lot more. Apart from her jealousy moments, which I skip, she has plenty of good qualities and unlike her husband, doesn't whine all the time, but gets things done, without having the benefit of being a ta'veren or a channeller.
Vincent Lane
79. Aegnor

"That pretty much sums Perrin's TGS appearances. All of them could well have been removed and nothing would've been lost."

I think they were important for the overall story line, especially what happens in ToM. You could have taken them out and it wouldn't have affected TGS much at all, but it would have impacted ToM.
79. Aegnor
Agreed 100%...If they removed those scences with Perrin they would have been all, "Sanderson ruined it for me... I mean how can you go from whiney Perrin, who can't do anything with out contemplating in the middle meditating, to 'How do you like my Big Assed Hammer? I aint a hero I just Crush alot!'...... I hate what he did with him. This book sucks!"

I'm soooo tired of that!

Stefan Mitev
81. Bergmaniac
Perrin was still really whiny in the first part of ToM. It's not like he changed much in TGS from what he was in KoD.
Yeah I know, was just joking on how if they didn't have the progression scenes in TGS they'd have accused Team Jordan of not writing Perrin true to character.

On the other hand I love how Perrin has his "Dis's how we do" moment here in this chapter.

I suspect that here in the real world Perrin would be a brutha! lol
Anthony Pero
83. anthonypero
Probably going to have a baby in the next 24 hrs, so have fun on the thread while I'm gone! See you all when we resume in January.
LOLOLOL ok ok ok....listen here....

What if each of the main characters were rap stars.... given that, who would they be?

In light of his recent controversial rant I submit to you that Mat is.....DMX "Ya'll gon make me lose my mind....Up in here Up in here...Yall gon make go all out.... Up in here Up in here ...Yall go make me act a Fool Up in here Up in here.... Yall gon make me lose my Kool... Up In here Up in here...

Anthony! congradulations on the pregnancy! I hope all goes well...may the Lord our father be with you and yours. May your little one be blessed in the light of the Lord.
Anthony Pero
86. anthonypero
Just to be clear, my wife and I will be having the baby, cough, hrmmm. No scientific experiments here. I'm looking at you, Arnold.
87. PiotrekS
I've been following the reread for a long time and enjoyed it greatly, but never before felt a need to comment. Now I have to say I very much like Leigh's reaction to this chapter which wasn't at all predictable for me and as such, more enjoyable. I agree the writing here is very good -and the re-read itself is also written very well. Both are moving in their own way.
Hope everything will be ok with your family Leigh, hold on!
Cameron Tucker
88. Loialson
To all regarding questions for Brandon:

I'm taking down ya'lls questions, but rewording them a bit for succinctness for when I ask him to not be hogging his time.

If I change any of your questions here drastically, I'll post my changed version here first to see if it got to the core meaning of what you wanted answered.


Regarding your first question, If Rand had obliterated all existence on the world with the male Choden Kal at the end of TGS, then yes, the wolves would not have participated in the last battle, as there would not be one ;) .

On your second question, are you asking about the back-up angreal Graendal had in ToM after she lost her ring angreal at the Balefired palace? If so, do we have any reference regarding how she obtained this one? Why do you think Mesaana gave it to her? (I'm a bit fuzzy on the details here, so if anyone who knows could give a reference or quote to create a connection here I'd love it)

If you could clear up what you mean a bit with that question It'd help me know what to ask.


I reworded your second question thus, let me know if it gets your meaning across:
Avi told Rand in LoC that ji'e'toh was who the Aiel were, at their core. Do the Aiel need to find some other purpose/faith besides ji'e'toh to avoid the calamitous future that Aviendha saw in the Way-Forward ter'angreal?
Here are my questions so far, let me know if they've been asked, so I can strike them off the list.
Was the stone Aviendha slept near during ToM a portal stone?

Was Aviendha in Tel'aran'rhiod or in a mirror/portal world when she met Nakomi?

Was Nakomi Jenn Aiel?
Any other questions are welcome.

I'm creating a word doc for all these to print off when I go, and I bought a recorder on Amazon to record his answers (if it arrives in time, otherwise I'll just have to paraphrase).
Tess Laird
89. thewindrose
Anthony - how exciting! May all go well and I am so happy for you and your wife! I look forward to seeing your posting times after the little one is born(what I mean is welcome to little sleep for awhile:).

ZEXXES - would that make the Rand's loves Salt-n-Pepa?

The Roland debate - not evil also not blameless. I too, found the Faile and company eulogy very touching. It is also nice to see her 'growing' up - I find it much eaisier reading Faile and Perrin now - after reading this and ToM.

And Hopper - makes me sad, knowing what happens to him:(

Thomas Keith
90. insectoid
DeJulis @76: It's free, ya know. :)

APero @86: LOL, nice save. ;) May the Light shine on the little one when (s)he comes!

Off to read today's Roundtable...

88. Loialson oooohhh! question for Brandon.

I only have three really....er... or four

1. Did Rand and Moridin's meeting in Shadar Logoth have anything to do with Rands access to the True Power.

If not, then

2. Did Moridin grant access or did The Dark One grant access?.

My third and fourth questions are less important:

3. Does the Dark One know every time someone is using the True Power?
4. Can anyone besides the Dark One grant permission to use the True Power?

If you get any of those answered that would be beyond awesome and would go a long way towards ending a couple of debates and proving/disproving a couple of theories. But I've got this feeling that he's not gonna be forthcoming on those.

Vincent Lane
93. Aegnor
um...weird. It reposted an old comment of mine instead of the current one. bizzare.
Vincent Lane
94. Aegnor
Ok...never mind then. Every time I post a new comment it uses my last post.
Chris R
95. up2stuff
Loialson, yes that is a fine interpretation what I was asking. Ty, editing a cellphone screen is a pain.

AP Congrats and a likely belated good luck. My son is 3 now and usually manages to say something funny or shocking every day. Hold on, great ride! What are you having or do we have to RAFO?

Leigh, at the risk of sounding like " me too, me too" thanks for your dedication to this project. I have a few favs in literature, but have NEVER gotten solo much from them. That is thanks to you. Hope all your Kith and Kin pull through, best wishes. Happy Holidays wife don't hear from you. I always forget to express that, andhad to mks a point to
96. MasterAlThor
Whether you still believe or not I do not know. Know this, I pray for you and your family. May God be with you and yours always.

Sam Mickel
97. Samadai
Leigh, I pray your family situation becomes positive.

I learned yesterday that a close female relative might have cancer, tests scheduled tuesday. Praying it turns up negative.
John Massey
98. subwoofer
@Leigh- y'know- keep your head up:)

Am ruminating on the Rolan situation... will share opinion later.

Sam Mickel
99. Samadai
just to help Sub along on his quest for a hunny
100. MasterAlThor
And then he tells me it is up for grabs if I am interested.

See how he is Sub.

102. AmdrewB
Loialson. Pg 829 0f ToM: "Graendal hurriedly gathered what she needed from her new place. From her deck, she took a small angreal Mesaana had traded her in exchange for information. It was in the shape of a small, carved ivory knife; she'd lost her gold ring in al'Thor's attack."

Hope this quote provides some clarification.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Cameron Tucker
104. Loialson

Is this question good?
In ToM Mesaana had traded Graendal an angreal in exchange for information. Did Mesaana put that information to use yet, and will it affect Team Light in some way in the future?
Chris R
105. up2stuff
Wind and Zexxes,
I would say Rand's girls would have been TLC or maybe Destiny's Child. ;)
106. Freelancer

Those questions are pretty likely to get RAFO'd.

The precise question I asked:

"Was Rand's access to the True Power via the link with Moridin which was created at Shadar Logoth?"

The answer I received:

"Noone may use the True Power without the Dark One's permission, and Rand doesn't have that."

Now, Brandon has later walked back the latter part of the answer, but I submit that he did so because it gives away too much information when he was trying to be Jordanesque with circumspect answers. But, supposing we omit the final phrase there, Brandon did later answer that at that time, only Moridin had permission to use the True Power. So, it comes out to the same end either way. If Moridin is the only one permitted the access, he had to be Rand's conduit. QED
Chris R
107. up2stuff
You know, Free, that kind of mirrors how Women link. One sister reaches THROUGH another to be stronger. Rand reached THROUGH Moridin to reach the TP. Strange.
Chris R
108. up2stuff
Loialson, maybe a beer question is can Rand STILL access the TP through Moridin?
One more thing Free. The answer he gave you didn't answer your question. It didn't answer my first question either, but it did answer the second and the fourth. Which leaves us with a couple of scenarios. Gotta get my thoughts together on it. I'll post when I've got them organized.
Charles Gaston
111. parrothead
Something occurred to me earlier today (idle speculation, not a Sanderson question), and since this is the last Perrin appearance, it makes sense to toss it out here. That, and I'm almost done with TSR again, so on a Perrin kick; this morning with the wedding, and next up is the battle that culminates with his badass Saldaean wife sweeping down with an army to save him and their home - ignore any triumphant yells coming from the Seattle area, I just really love that scene.

Perrin has a connection of sorts with the Tuatha'an, whom we know are the descendants of the Da'shain Aiel. However, he is also a blacksmith, a profession held in the utmost esteem by the (desert) Aiel, and the hammer vs axe, creation vs destruction thing is absolutely critical to his character. Could this apparently liminal position mean that he will in some way reconcile the two branches of the Dedicated?
Jonathan Levy
112. JonathanLevy
83. anthonypero

Best of luck to you and your wife. Remember, your role is to identify the correct moment to say: "Quit bitchin' and start pushing already!". Hint: If she can still catch you and pummel you, it's too early.

Leigh: Our thoughts are with you and your family.
Nadine L.
113. travyl
IMO Rolan deserved better than he got. Yes, he was involved in Faile's abduction but as others said, once he overcame the blow Rand dealt him, he did try to do better. I still feel Faile could have prevented his fate, even in the heat of battle.

Bergmaniac @78
That pretty much sums Perrin's TGS appearances. All of them could well have been removed and nothing would've been lost.
I'm not so sure, maybe a wheel or even a whole cart would have been lost if Perrin hadn't checked the wagonwheels himself ;-)
Terry McNamee
114. macster
Leigh, my condolences and good wishes for you and your family and what you are going through, especially at this time of year. And so you know, I don't think you're a hypocrite at all. Like many others here, even if I was not very comfortable with the situation between Rolan and Faile, I never wanted him to die, and I did tear up reading this funeral scene. Still do.

@7 AndrewB: Thanks for the shout-out. I can't remember where I ran across the term Darth Rand; it may have been on Theoryland or it could have been on TV Tropes.

@9 matthew: Very good point about Faile's character arc.

@46 Rand al'Todd: I had forgotten that vision actually took place after Rhuidean. My mistake.

However, I still don't think your theory is one we "know" will happen; it's only one we can guess. You did change your language though to suggest it wasn't a fait accompli, so that's all that really bothered me, assuming something as known and proven when it isn't yet; I've been accused of doing that, as have others, so I'm starting to notice when others do it.

Your specific idea about Mat betraying Rand though, I don't think will happen, and not because I like Mat and don't want him to betray Rand. It's because not everything we see in the books is a Chekhov's Gun waiting to be fired. And specifically, Mat seeing himself betraying Rand happened in other worlds, not this one, because of different choices he made. There's nothing saying he can or will make one to betray him in this world too. Especially since the Portal Stone trip happened before Rhuidean, and before the Stone of Tear and his trip to see the Aelfinn, where they said if he didn't go to Rhuidean he would sidestep fate and die. Going to Rhuidean fulfilled his fate; so unless betraying Rand is fated, I think going to Rhuidean was one of the choices, or the choice, that didn't lead to betrayal. Particularly since his betrayal of Rand seemingly happened in a world where Rand lost to the Dark One (since all of Rand's experiences ended with "I win again, Lews Therin"), and since we can be pretty sure that isn't going to happen...

But in the end it's all speculation. Who knows, you could be right. Though I would note that since the Egwene vision came true in LOC, and Rand's came true in TGS, perhaps Mat's has as well. He may not have been literally tied up to the ashandarei, but his trip into the Tower of Ghenjei could be metaphorically interpreted as him being bound (by his promise to save Moiraine and the Finns' literal-mindedness in only keeping the Foxes from attacking him) and trapped (the last stand where he finally figured out what the spear did). And since the ashandarei was key to escaping that fate, being bound to it makes sense. As to whether he'll make it back to Caemlyn in time to fight or be captured, that has more likelihood of happening, but since we don't know for sure he'll do so (though we hope he will)...

@ Hrothgordo, Aegnor, Wetlander, forkroot (love the comparison between Rolan and Gawyn!) Palindrome (a very good point re: it being more admirable to work against your society so as to make it become admirable than already be going along with an admirable one), and many more: I'm definitely in your camp. Rolan was neither a hero nor a villain, he made both bad and good choices, but I do not hate him, I don't think he deserved what happened to him, and I found this scene poignant, powerful, and very necessary to make the story morally complex and not just black and white. For all the accusations that have been made against Jordan for creating a supposedly black and white world, I've always thought WOT was quite deep and difficult in this regard--perhaps not always successfully, but Jordan did address the issue and ask us to step outside our modern viewpoint to do so. That some cannot is...saddening.

Hrothgordo and especially Aegnor: I applaud your determination and wisdom, as well as your persuasive skills and rhetoric, but I'm afraid this may be one time you'll have to agree to disagree with the other side. As I have had a recent lesson in, sometimes it is not worth it to continue a debate when someone has their beliefs entrenched and refuses to change them, even if they do give your own points acknowledgment. I'm glad more people seem to be seeing Rolan's side this time around than don't, but I don't think any minds will be changed here...

On a side note, I too wondered if the Brotherless would be brought back to Rand, but it seems not. Unless that's a surprise left for AMoL...or they are the remnant of a remnant? I also have to agree, Wetlander, that I too felt sorry for some of the Shaido, and could not understand how their Wise Ones went along with Sevanna when they knew from Rhuidean what the truth was (and surely saw at least some of their fates in the rings!).

@86 anthonypero: LOL!!!

@102 AndrewB: That is a very good question. If we get an RAFO then it will definitely have some impact on AMoL.

@111 parrothead. A very good theory, I think you are right. And if so, this would also tie into up2stuff's question about the "remnant of a remnant" having to give up ji'e'toh and find something new to have faith in to prevent what Aviendha saw in the Way Forward Machine. That perhaps it is Perrin bringing the Tuatha'an and the Aiel together again which will facilitate this, that he is the one who will help them find this new faith, become truly Dedicated again (and make the trees flower?).

@113 travyl: LOL! But wait, maybe Sanderson was trying to tell us something...that wheel could be a metaphor for the Wheel of Time itself, which will be lost without Perrin! Or that lost wheel could be a reference to the Lost Ones whom Perrin will help find the Song and reunite with the Aiel... ;)
115. Slade24c
Post ToM how awesome is Hopper's Comment " if he survivrs the storm" so fuckin cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!
116. Wortmauer
DeJulis@76: Yeah but if you do sign up and log in, we have to kick you out of the Band of the Red Handles. Think of that.

Rolan: is a bad guy. To those who say we shouldn't hold him accountable for everything his group does: no, but we can hold him accountable for what Rolan does, such as capturing a group of wetlanders who were minding their own business. Also, prisoners of war? Really? They were whiling away an afternoon hunting, the sport of queens. Not exactly marching on the Shaido decked out in plate and lances. They were only "POWs" in the sense that Rand had an unresolved conflict situation with all the Shaido. But seriously, I think Rolan and his thugs had no way of knowing, or even guessing, that Alliandre's party had anything to do with Rand's war. As indeed most of the other wetlander "gai'shain" had never been in Rand's army. Cairhien City and Dumai's Wells are far away. So, whatever excuses you guys want to make for Rolan, he could not have thought he was taking actual POWs.

Of course we have to judge Rolan on the yardstick of his own culture, not of ours, but he and the rest of the Shaido consistently failed even their honor system. Which is pretty harsh, given how messed up Aiel culture is. (Specifically the racism. They're more racist than the Japanese, or even Randy Tayler of Mugging Leprechauns is Totally Legal.)
117. MasterAlThor
Regarding Rolan,

There are those who think that he is scum. There are those who think that he should be considered honorable. Well, I think that he was a conflicted character and I certainly don't think that he was blackmailing anyone.

Here is why.

One he wasn't Shaido Aiel. The only reason he was travelling with them was because he and his crew were Brotherless. Not being able to accept who you are is very hard on the psyche. Example: Rand, Mat, Perrin.

Another thing is that Brotherless want things to go back to the way they were. They are sticking their heads in the sand. They see that the Shaido "have no honor" and are trying to cling to theirs. But with everything falling apart around them, what is there for them?

They see that the Shaido are making gai'shain of people who have no business being made that way in the first place. They are in a land that is so different from what they are used to, with no real way to get back home. I contend that they are trying to make the best of a bad situation.

Now as to Rolan's propositioning of Faile. Well, he doesn't have our sensibilities about blackmail, which I say wasn't. Rolan made an offer to Faile and tried to convince her by telling her that what happens in white, stays in white. He didn't stop trying to comfort her because she refused. Instead he continued to help her and look out for her.

I will give you that he probably shouldn't have made the offer in the first place. But that is not reality. He made the offer, so we must do our best to deal with that.

Anyway, I say that Rolan is neither a good guy or a bad guy. He is just someone trying to make sense of his situation.

Alice Arneson
118. Wetlandernw
Loialson - I think I had another question, but I can't dig it out. If you like, though, you could ask whether the "huge stone" by which Aviendha camped in ToM was a Portal Stone. Might be a bit obvious, though... :-) unless you ask before you tell him you were the source of the Jenn question. Do tell him that, though, because he liked that question.

One suggestion: if you have the time, get at the end of the line. That way you can hang out and ask questions and generally chat while he's signing store copies.
Tess Laird
119. thewindrose
Loialson - I have a question about a scene in LoC(parsed together from Chapter 13 'Under the Dust' and Chapter 14 'Dreams and Nightmares'.
When Nynaeve and Elayne use Need to find a way to tie the Salidar Aes Sedai to Rand in LoC - their first step is to Tar Valon, and their second step is to a hall in the White Tower - where Egwene happens to be at the same time! Elayne sees Egwene just as Egwene sees them(remember, the Wise Ones had not given Egwene permission to go back in to T'a'R yet), and Egwene immediately jumps into the place inbetween the real world and T'a'R. Since Egwene jumped out of T'a'R, Elayne and Nynaeve go on to find the Bowl of Winds - I believe because Egwene is no longer there. My questions from this are: When Elayne and Nynaeve use Need here - was Egwene the answer, and because she jumped out of T'a'R, Need then led them to the next best thing - The Bowl of Winds?

I have included the original comment I made way back in one of the tFoH threads:
HurinSmells brought up an interesting idea on the last thread. Nyn and Elayne are using need and end up in the same room as Egwene: Chap 14 At the sight of Nynaeve and Elayne, Egwene did not step out of the dream: she leaped out. {...}She did not think they had seen her, but what under the Light were they doing there,(emphasis RJ) in a part of the Tower that held nothing of interest? Back in Chapter 13 Suddenly Elayne gasped, "Egwene!" Nynaeve whirled around, but the passage was empty. "I saw her," Elayne insisted. "I know I did." So need brought them to Egwene first, then she stepped out of the dream and when they took their next step Egwene was no longer in T'a'R to be found so they ended up in the room with objects of power. So that was a good forshadowing of something that the SAS needed I thought. Just caught it this time because of HurinSmells comment.
May be there are other questions about T'a'R we can add to this?

Thanks !

Juan Avila
120. Cumadrin
Elayne and Nynaeve were not looking for Egwene I think, as they were in a corridor when Elayne saw her. They then continued using Need and were brought to a storeroom in the Tower after Egwene had fled Tel'aran'rhiod.

See my latest comment on the Roundtable Week 4 for my analysis of the entire thing that I completed a half hour ago.
Tess Laird
121. thewindrose
Cumadrin - They were using Need to find something to tie the Saliar Aes Sedai to Rand - so it could be what you outlined on the Roundtable Thread, or it may be what I am thinking - no harm in asking Brandon - right?
There were some other commenters that were wondering about Need in T'a'R as well.

Juan Avila
122. Cumadrin
When Elayne and Nynaeve use Need here - was Egwene the answer, and because she jumped out of T'a'R, Need then led them to the next best thing - The Bowl of Winds?
I'm simply putting forth a rebuttal using your same premise suggesting Egwene is not what they were being drawn to. Even after Egwene left, they shifted once more and landed in the storeroom. They then resolved to find a second item that would fulfill their purpose, and found the Bowl of the Winds.

I've always been curious what they were initially led to myself, but haven't ever given it as much thought as I had until today. I would like to know as much as the next person, if Sanderson is willing to reveal the detail. I just strongly doubt it was Egwene.
Chris R
123. up2stuff
Here's one. How could Perrin see Rand while in the Wolf Dream. Either an Individual has to dream himself there or visit in reality.

The more permenant an item is, the more strongly it is reflected, right? Structures or buildings, stationary and unchanging. Doors/windows/items, there but they can move around as they are reflected in different uses in the waking world. So why did we see Rand?

To my knowledge, he was not asleep/dreaming, and he had not entered the dream in flesh. I wonder if this is one of those focus points in all of reality and creation, where the one common thing in all worlds and possibilities is Rand, atop Dragonmount, pondering the end of all time. Maybe the fact that he was there in so many different worlds manifested him there for Perrin to see, too?

Weird thought. What do you guys think?
Alice Arneson
124. Wetlandernw
Loialson @88 - Gah! I didn't read all the comments first and it bit me again! Ignore that bit @118.

However, ValMar asked some similar questions a while back. If you look at his comment @310 on TGS Part 8, you can see it again. (Sorry I can't just do the link, but it's not working for me today.) Not that it should stop you asking, but you might want to consider your phrasing carefully to see if you can get a different angle, or ask only half the question at a time. :)

parrothead @111 - ::winces:: Dude, I can hear you all the way up here in Brier! ;)

Have you been at the Sanderson signings at UBooks? Could meet up next year.
125. AndrewB
Loialson @104,

The question as you wrote it is fine. Do you think it would be better to ask only the first part (did Mesaana put the info to use)? BWS may be more liklely to answer that. The second portion invites an answer of RAFO.

Nevertheless, you will be the one to ask the question. Feel free to do as you think is best.

John Massey
126. subwoofer
@AP -good times:D Pay no attention to JonathanLevy tho'. That kind of advice will get you killed. With all the hormones and adrenaline coursing through your wife's veins she has the strength of 10 men- she could take Tyson and win. While she is "hulking out" do not piss her off intentionally. Subterfuge is best here. Do a McD's run before getting to the hospital. When your wife is heavy on the epidural break out the fries- that stuff is like heroin to a pregnant woman. Tell her "but honey, the doctor said you can't eat while you are in labor... Here, have some ice chips". Trust me, this the best tactic.

Question for the upcoming meet and greet-

1. Is the DO's touch still on Fain?
2. Is Fain still a darkfriend?
3. How is Fain getting Trollocs and Myrddraal to follow him if he is not a darkfriend?
4. Is Mat still attached to Fain's dagger?

Rolan... I must confess that I have mixed feelings here. On the one hand he was loyal to his clan- OTOH what he did totally broke with ji'e'toh. Some folks talked about taking wetlander gai'shan, well, if you do not follow the way of ji'e'toh, then there is no way you could be taken gai'shan -so slave it is. How that is reconciled with honor and obligation is beyond me. Roland and the other brotherless tried to make ammends for their mistakes, and by doing so met with death. Sometimes the price for ones mistakes is high. The one tell for Rolan is that he paused and did not skewer Perrin. Most Aiel are walking death and wolf sense or no, Perrin was dang lucky that Faile spoke out when she did. To me the end result is moot because the husband was back together with his wife and the rest is duck soup. Faile feeling bad about Rolan? Well, option "b" was to let the two men fight it out over her... not sure if that is much of an option, and I don't see Perrin letting Rolan tag along, so in a way, this had to happen.

See how who is?

Cameron Tucker
127. Loialson

Good point. I dropped off the last bit to:
In ToM Mesaana had traded Graendal an angreal in exchange for information. Did Mesaana put that information to use yet?

How is this for your questions?
In LoC, Nynaeve and Elayne searched for something that would tie the Salidar Aes Sedai to Rand via Need in Tel'aran'rhiod.

Need led them to 3 things. First it led them to the White Tower, (where Elayne glimpsed Egwene briefly), then Need shifted Ny and El a locked storeroom. After that, Need led them to the bowl of winds. My questions are regarding the first two things Need brought them to.

On the first thing, was Need bringing them to Egwene? Or something else?

On the second thing, what was the item Need brought them to in that storeroom?

Was that item something besides the horn of Valere?
Think that's good?
Cameron Tucker
128. Loialson
Got 'em. Questions about your questions to clarify:

I thought the power of Shadar Logoth is what's compelling the Trollocs and Myrdraal to follow him. He is able to torture Myrdraal into following him we know, and Trollocs are scared stiff of him. I don't think he had that prior to his Fain/Mordeth mindmeld. So I doubt it's a dark one's touch thing.... Can you clarify a bit more on those question for me?
Cameron Tucker
129. Loialson
@126 subwoofer
option "b" was to let the two men fight it out over her... not sure if that is much of an option
Stephanie Meyer certainly thought is was, 4 whole books worth....:p
Valentin M
130. ValMar
sub @ 126

Rolan was the opposite of loyal to his Clan. Hence the Brotherless designation. If he was a real Shaido I guess there wasn't going to be much discussion about him...
Tess Laird
131. thewindrose
Loialson - First part is perfect for my question - for the second part I have no doubt that the Bowl of the Winds was what they were supposed to find after Egwene got out of T'a'R. But if someone else had the idea about the Horn that's great:) Thanks!

At 129 - Hahahaha - That was a good one;)

132. Shadow_Jak
OK, if I were Perrin, and if I knew all we know about all of Rolan's actions:
-personally capturing Fail.
-stripping her naked in the snow
-binding her and marching (dragging) her through hours of pain in the cold and snow
-finally wrapping her in his cloak and carrying her (only after realizing she was gonna be dead or crippled otherwise)
-allowing her to be taken from him by Sevanna
-allowing her to be worked like a mule and beaten like a red-headed step child for over two months at the whim of Sevanna or most anyone any one else.
+-keeping her alive through the night, while she's tied naked to a spit in the winter night, not by covering her, but by building a fire under her and 'massaging' her crampted and naked limbs and telling her dirty jokes (OK maybe they weren't dirty, but I'm guessing...)
+fighting off other Aile who tried to rape her
-teasing her about her escape plans while he stuffs flowers in her hair and tried to make out
-telling her (after two months!)that he and some others are leaving soon and he might take her with him and leave her somewhere to find her husband, if she still wants to.
+saves her life at the risk of his own pulling her out of the colapsed house

If I was Perrin, and I knew all that...
I'd still be pounding on his squashed head!!!
Two or three good deads don't make up for the rest.

Pound, Perrin, pound!!!
133. Shadow_Jak
On the other hand. I don't mind that Faile and the others had their little memorial.
But is certanily didn't didn't leave me all choked up.
Also, she should'a burned the rock too.
I didn't much like her keeping the little momento.

Oh, and BTW, even if Rolan had not been distracted by Faile, he'd still have ended up pounded into the ground IMHO.
I did admire her taking the other one out though.
John Massey
134. subwoofer
@Loialson- I thought that Trollocs and Myyrddraal were scared to go into Shardar Logoth?

Who is this Stephanie Meyer person?

135. Shadow_Jak
Oh, and this little gem from Faile's POV...
"Perrin had killed Rolan. That was another reason her husband didn't need to know about the Brotherless man's kindness. It would tear Perrin apart inside if he knew what he had done."
However, we learn in TOM, that Perrin suspects as much, but still has no shade of regret at killing him.She doesn't know him quite as well as she thinks!

Wish I had the reference handy to quote.
Cameron Tucker
136. Loialson
@134 subwoofer
Stephanie Meyer is the author of the Twilight saga. :)

Exactly, and Fain/Mordeth now has a traveling Mashadar of sorts with him, on top of having being absolutely insane, thus why Myrdraal and Trollocs follow him. He'll tear them apart after, and now apparently will still use the trollocs as zombies after anyway.

What I'm trying to get at is: is the core of your question "why do the Trollocs and Myrdraal follow Fain?" Is that what you're really wanting to know?

I'm going to ask Brandon your questions anyway, but what I think the answer to that is, he's crazy with lots of power (ala mashadar and shadar logoth essence he carries with him)and will pull them to pieces otherwise. Hope that makes sense. :)

I got all day if necessary for the signing, and there's even an In 'n Out next door if I get hungry :).

Should I come late and wait for the line to die down, do you think? Or just come on time and see how it goes? I've no experience with prior book signings/Q&A's whatsoever, so any advice would be appreciated.
137. Shadow_Jak
Loialson -
I've got to admire Brandon for being so gracious with all the WOT questions at his Mistborn book signing!

Please be sure to congratulate him on Alloy Of Law.

My question...
(Edit to remove uninspired question)
138. Palindrome
One point in the Shaido and Brotherless' defence is that they were following someone who did have a somewhat convincing case that he was the Car'a'carn. Not only was Rand a rather abhorent option, but Couladin was comparitively a very pleasant option.

Admittedly by this time the guy has been long dead - but one of the things about the Car'a'carn is that he brings change. Every Aiel probably knew that. Couladin brought change, lead them over the mountains and lead them in changing Ji'e'toh - and it makes some sense that they would continue on in the new way that he had lead them in. The largest blame for the whole thing lies with Couladin and the real Wise Ones who knew all the lies for what it was.
John Massey
139. subwoofer
They made BOOKS outta those horrible movies?! I saw the first one then had to bang my head against a wall just to knock some sense back into it. I felt I owed my eyes and brain toh. Gah! Then they go and make it a series... somehow I am sure this ties in to the end of days and the world economy collapsing. The movie just arbitrarily ended- who does that?

Juan Avila
140. Cumadrin
sub, you're funny.

@135 Shadow_Jack
ToM quote: Ch. 16 within the last 2 pages.
"I want to tell you about Malden," she said.

"You don't have to," he said. "Just because I---"

"Hush. I was quiet while you spoke. It's my turn."

"All right."

It should have been worrying for him to hear about Malden. He lay with his back to the stump, sky crackling with energy above, the Pattern itself in danger of unraveling, while his wife spoke of being captured and beaten. Yet it was one of the most oddly relaxing things he'd ever experienced.

The events of that city had been important to her, maybe even good for her. Though he was angered at hearing how Sevanna had trussed Faile up naked and left her overnight. Someday he'd hunt that woman down.

Not today, however. Today he had his wife in his arms, and her strong voice was a comfort. He should have realized she would have planned her own escape. In fact, listening to her careful preparation, he began to feel a fool. She'd been worried that he'd get himself killed trying to rescue her-- she didn't say it, but he could infer it. How well she knew him.

Faile left some things out. He didn't mind. Faile would be like a penned and caged animal without her secrets. He got a good hint of what she was hiding, though. It was something to do with that Brotherless who had captured her, something about Faile's plans to trick the man and his friends into helping her escape. Perhaps she'd felt a fondness for him, and didn't wish Perrin to regret killing him. That wasn't necessary. Those Brotherless had been with the Shaido, and they had attacked and killed men under Perrin's protection. No act of kindness would redeem that. They deserved their deaths.
That gave him pause. The Whitecloaks probably said very similar things about him. But the Whitecloaks had attacked first
I had forgotten how tedious it is to quote WoT without having a copy of the book on my pc. Luckily it was just one mild passage, and I didn't have a hard time finding it
136. Loialson- don't know if its too late for a question request and I'm not sure whether its been asked before or not. But I think it might be likely that he'd answer it if you should ask it. So here it goes....

Can Rand control his Ta'veren pull to any degree? As there is mild circumstances pointing to his being able to, I feel it would be interesting to know definitively whether he can or can't. If he says yes, ask if Rand had tried it on Tuon and whether he thinks Cadsuane truly believed that he could kill her in that way, simply by willing his Ta'veren influence to make it so.

I know you don't feel it to be so, but put the question to him...see what BWS says...


Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
Loialson @136 - Depends on whether it's just a signing, or a reading/q&a. If the former, then just come late if you want; if the latter, come on time. He does good readings, and he usually starts off by tossing out some information that everyone wants to know anyway. Then after the reading he'll do a Q&A, which is fun because everyone gets to hear all the answers. (This is usually the part where all the questions about game and movie progress come up. But there are some interesting other questions asked as well.) My approach is to get there on time, listen to the reading and q&a, then just hang out and chat with other fans until the line dies down. Alternatively, if you're going to hang out anyway, you can try to get early in the line, and just ask a couple of questions then. Let him know you've got a list, and that you're willing to hang out and ask them later, and see what he says. The thing about taking a list is that you really do need to be willing to wait. But he's so incredibly gracious to answer all the questions; it's really cool. And like Shadow_Jak says, don't forget that he just released Alloy of Law, which is a very fun book in its own right. :)

Ask him if Marsh's "survival skills" are similar to the Lord Ruler's - as in, is Marsh's means of staying alive so long anything like what the Lord Ruler did?
143. yasiru89
'Sexual blackmail' is a little harsh I think. Rolan was merely suggesting that Faile put her marriage vows on hold while gai'shain. Well, that doesn't make him the nicest guy either, but at least there was no force or coercion in the relationship. In fact, if I recall, Rolan actually prevented an assault on Faile. Besides, wetlanders or not, gai'shain are not supposed to be slaves however the Shaido spin it, and the Brotherless would have their own reservations about slaves (going by the general Aiel attitude towards servants barring perhaps the Shaido). Rolan considered Faile gai'shain in the traditional sense as he tried to induce her into 'kissing games', and that would count as respect in their way I think.
144. yasiru89
Shadow_Jak @132/135- I agree that Perrin would probably not be eaten up by remorse the way Faile thinks. But, looking at it objectively (i.e- not Perrin's point of view), Rolan wasn't all that harsh. He was Aiel, after all, and as we know from Aviendha, they can be narrow-minded about ways other than their own. The physical ordeals he put Faile through probably didn't occur to Rolan as particularly trying and he did as Sevanna (who acted on behalf of the clan chief and 'Car'a'carn') deemed fit. It's likely that the Brotherless truly did believe Rand to be an imposter and so Couladin's words, and in turn Sevanna's, would carry carry additional weight even where their actions were dubious from a ji'e'toh standpoint.
John Massey
145. subwoofer
@Loialson- question... and I am not sure if this has been asked before, by me or anyone else... Elaida- Did RJ leave notes about the rapid downward spiral that is Elaida's personality? First she seems like a mean but compitent Aes Sedai, then it all goes sideways with a taste of power and Elaida becomes an egomaniac. Did RJ and Brandon do this to give Seanchan knowledge of Traveling? Only a nutbar would do something with such huge ramifications to betray her sisters.

Cameron Tucker
146. Loialson
@ZEXXES, subwoofer

Those are now on the list.

@Wetlander: Thanks! I'll go on time then, hopefully get a good place in front for the Q&A so I can record it, if there's any answers that would be interesting to put up here.

I'll probably write up his answers and post them here either late saturday night or sunday around noon. I'm still taking questions if anyone else has one!
147. DeJulis
@116: I wasn't aware I was part of anything!

Remember that Need in T'A'R doesn't take you immediately to the place you are "searching" for. It gets you closer and closer as you focus in. When Elayne and Nynaeve spot Egwene, it's just random chance as they get close to the storeroom.

Now, as to what they could have found inside the Tower... I think the general assumption has been that it's an item equivalent to the Bowl of the Winds, ie, a Weather-working ter'Angreal.
148. Seamus1602
After staying away for a few days (and letting my blood cool), I wanted to wade back into the Rolan discussion.

I think that I overreached a few times upthread wrt the evilness of Rolan.

Specifically, I stated once that Rolan and the Brotherless were most responsible for the actions of the Shaido. I think what I meant was most responsible for the actions taken against Faile's group, not all the action of the Shaido.

Multiple posters have also pointed out that my statement that 'w/o Rolan, Faile wouldn't have been kidnapped' was shaky, at best. I'll concur, to a point. There were other Shaido out kidnapping, but who knows if they would have been in the time and space without the additional manpower of the Brotherless. For that, the Brotherless are responsible.

However, I continue to staunchly defend my original opinion, which is that the memorial for Rolan et all is completely undeserved.

Multiple people have commented, rightly, that Rolan and the Brotherless had gone through a massive emotional trauma that caused them to join the Brotherless. But emotional trama, IMO, is not an excuse to discard your entire moral code. Nor does emotional trama absolve you from responsibility for your actions months later.

Others have stated that Rolan and the Brotherless were making the best of a bad situation and that their good deeds must be taken into account, not just their bad deeds of the past. Again, in this, I concur to some extent. I agree that they were making the best of a bad situation, and I agree that all actions must be taken into account. I disagree in that I hold the Brotherless responsible for joining the Shaido when faced with the truth of Aiel history. They created the 'bad situation' of being with the Shaido. They reacted to the 'bad situation' of Rand's reveal by joining the Shaido, whose version of events was countered by every actual Aiel clan chief. An appropriate analogy would be the difference b/w 1st degree murder and 2nd degree murder in our culture. Pre-meditated vs. emotional or heat-of-the-moment crimes. Different motivations, but in both cases, the criminal is still responsible for his/her crimes. Regardless of emotional trauma, the Brotherless are still responsible for their own actions.

In the end, I try to weigh all actions of Rolan and his Brotherless in my judgement:

-Joined the Shaido, who were taking wetlanders as gai'shan (against jie'toh, per Aiel with Rand). Killing them would be acceptable under jie'toh. Selling them as slaves would be acceptable under jie'toh. Keeping them as gai'shan means is not acceptable and requires changing jie'toh on the word of a clan chief whose version of events is disputed by every other living clan chief.

-Continued to follow the Shaido after their supposed Car'a'carn (sp?) is dead, following Sevannah, who cannot claim to be the Car'a'carn, who cannot claim to be a clan chief, who continues not to follow jie'toh.

-Treated Sevannah as chief, following her orders even when doing so meant violating jie'toh.

-Kidnapped a group of women out hawking, killing their guards in the process.

-Provided aid to some captives, provided those captives were sexually atractive. Only provided aid even to these captives only after at least one had been sexually assaulted.

-Offered to help captives escape after 50-odd days of captivity and torture. Price? Feeling each one up.

-Hesitated once he realized that Perrin was Faile's husband.

This last one, IMO, is the biggest point in his favor. Other than that, I see a group of people who let their emotions rule them despite their leadership overwhelming supporting the other side. A group of people willing to bend, if not break, jie'toh on the word of a woman who has no standing in their leadership structure. A group of kidnappers. A group of people willing to offer aid only to those that could, conceivably, provide sexual favors in return.

In the end, their crimes far outweight their good deeds. I will credit those good deeds, especially preventing any further molestation of Faile and her core followers. But, because, IMO, the crimes outweigh the good, I firmly do not believe Rolan and the Brotherless worthy of the touching ceremony that Faile et all perform in this chapter. Doing so exonerates them, erroneously, from their crimes.

I also still believe this to be a manefestation of Stockholm Syndrome. Wikipedia (I know, I'm lazy) defines Stockholm Syndrome thusly:

Stockholm Syndrome is an apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.

Hostages (Faile et all) express empathy with their captors (the Brotherless) to the point of defending them (this ceremony). These feelings are irrational in light of danger (rapes and toture) endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse (shielding Faile et all from further rape and torture, but not slavery) for an act of kindness (any act of 'kindness' dependent on one's ability to provide sexual favors or be sexually atractive is not kindness at all).

Again, Rolan's hesitation wrt Perrin is the best case against this. His offer to help them escape is nice, but ultimately immaterial because he never got the chance to do so beyond his hesitation against Perrin. If he had been confronted by Sevannah or Therava while trying to help them escape, would he still have done so, or would he have caved to his new leaders again? We'll never know, and I credit actions, not unrealized intent.

But Faile et all are not memorializing Rolan's hesitation against Perrin, they are memorializing the entirety of the actions taken by these Brotherless. In that, again, I cannot, and will never, agree. Doing so, IMO, weakens some of the strength Faile has developed as a result of this ordeal. Now she will forever(?) carry a token of the man who kidnapped her and only let her get a little tortured. And so this scene will remain as one of my least favorite in the entire series, one that I believe this series would be stronger without.
Chris R
149. up2stuff
You know, they also found the kin. Isn't that the treasure found by the right hands getting the bowl? Ultimately it put the SAS in a position of strength equal to the TAS and put them in position to reunify the tower which is something EVERYONE needs.
Eric Hughes
150. CireNaes

I've got one that is along a similar vein as ZEXXES. And one that I've been curious about beyond Rand's upgrades.

-Are the impressive displays of power that Rand makes in ToM (i.e., stopping the Trolloc army and having no concern over being able to leave the White Tower) a result of his integrated knowledge or his Ta'veren nature?

-Is the glow in Rand's head that Nyneave sees upon delving Rand linked to his Ta'veren nature or his Dragon nature.

I'm leaving out the third option of an increase in Rand's ability to channel the OP in these questions as an attempt not to be RAFOed.

I imagine he will RAFO those anyway. Thanks for your willingness to wait around at the signing.
Roger Powell
151. forkroot
Well one "person" that agrees with you regarding Rolan's culpability is Perrin - per the text so nicely reproduced by Cumadrin@140.

I disagree that finding the Kin helped the SAS. It certainly helped Elayne, but none of the Kin had gone to the SAS when the events in Tar Valon unfolded.

Speaking of that - it's ironic that the SAS were, in the end, victorious (assuming you consider peaceful reunification with the Blue Ajah reestablished and Elaida gone as "victory".) Their original siege accomplished nothing other than getting Egwene accidentally captured.

It was Elaida's idiotic decision to ignore Egwene and allow her to assist Elaida's own self-undermining that was the prime contributor to the victory.

Yes - the Seanchan raid conveniently removed Elaida; but I believe she was on the way to being pulled down regardless. The only thing that would have propped her up was intervention by the Black Ajah. Fortunately, Verin had provided Egwene with the information to cut them off at the knees at a crucial time.
Eric Hughes
152. CireNaes
And best wishes to both Leigh and anthonypero. I will pray for you both these next few days.
Valentin M
153. ValMar
SAS, always makes me chuckle when I see it. Romanda and Lelaine scheme down in Hereford :)
John Massey
154. subwoofer
@Forkroot- about Verin's info- yes it did expedite the cleansing of the Tower, beyond what the normal cleaning staff could do, but remember, in the Rebel camp 20 sisters escaped and in the Tower over 60 sisters escaped... not to mention the ones no one knows about still. The Forsaken dead is a bonus, definitely, I however see the BA becoming the "dreadlords" talked about in other times. Pity biting the heads off chickens wasn't a prerequisite to join the BA, that would be an easy tell then- "she bit the head off that chicken-> nab her, she's Black Ajah!"

Or maybe if the BA had to wear bells on their shoes...

Or dress in all black...

Valentin M
155. ValMar
"Or dress in all black..."

The Goth Ajah :)
Chris R
156. up2stuff
Fork, you are right. I was thinking there was some Kind of rendezvous and Elayne delivered them to Eg. But she took them to Caemlyn and Eg had the older novices didn't she. My mistake.
Elijah Foster
157. TheWolfKing
153. ValMar
SAS, always makes me chuckle when I see it. Romanda and Lelaine scheme down in Hereford :)
Thats what I thought.
John Massey
158. subwoofer
@Valmar- yeah, but most goth listen to crappy music as well . That seems to be a prerequisite for them... hmmmm, maybe there is a connection.

Donna Harvey
159. Wisdom
Thank you Leigh for your time and discriptive re-read. I hope your "family medical situation" ends on a hopeful note.
When I read this chapter, for the first time, the thing that struck me the most was Perrin's uncertaitny in his ability in the Wolf Dream. He has visited often enough to know the rules. He is slowely coming to realize how much he needs to learn. Each time I re-read this book, I become more certain that Perrin is fighting the growth that comes as we age . He keeps telling himself that he is just a blacksmith apprentise, but the maturity and methodical way he works through each problem that comes his way shows he is growing non the less, and is definetaly a master blacksmith at this point.. I know there alot of people that think Perrin is the lesser leg of the tripod and don't like his PLOD. I have always liked his charector. This is a 20 maybe YOUNG man. Torn from his home by circumstances beyond his control. His family killed, his village attacked by Trollics, who has been forced into the position of leader. Not just a small group either! How could a man this age cope with that? His mental growth is astounding! How long has he been on the road from Two Rivers? That's alot of growing up for this boy!! Anyway, the reason for this post was to say "yahh" Hey, Hopper, excellent training for the boy genius. You tried so many times for Perrin to learn to navigate the wolf dream. As in everything Perrin does, he is slow to really learn. He still learns faster' and IMO, better than Egwene. He is really soul searching in this chapter. Really trying to find a way to be both "Perrin" and 'Young Bull" without losing himself. Don't forget, he is terified to become the full wolf like Noam, and now he has that much more to be worried about.
160. AndrewB
Wisdom @159 -- I disagree that Perrin "learns faster and ... better than Egwene." With respect to Perrin's knowledge of the Dream World, I believe he was forced. Egwene has admitted that much of her present knowledge of channeling came through being forced. IMO, much of that forcing occured during her time as a Damane (sp?) in TGH. Likewise, IMO Perrin's knowledge of the World of Dreams came because he forced himself (as he did in ToM to fight Slayer). I do not think it matters that Egwene's forcing was involuntary while Perrin's forcing was by choice. Forcing is forcing.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Cameron Tucker
161. Loialson
Somewhat how the Black Tower teaches men to channel (in a sense) speeds up their training also, by having them grow and learn faster by force.
162. Shadow_Jak
Cumadrin @140

Thanks for the quote.
Exactly what I was looking for.
I'm with Perrin on Rolan's culpability.

On another note: Aiel humor being what it is, Rolan and any of his buds that heard the story, would likely think it a great joke on Rolan and the others!
John Massey
163. subwoofer
@ ShadowJak- but where's the water in the story? Surely any wetlander joke has to be about water at some point;)

Juan Avila
164. Cumadrin
Sub, you really are starting to creep me out. I basically had the same message typed here and went to double check the passage referenced and got caught up reading Leigh's old blog post about that chapter. And then I refresh and here you are.

By the way, I think the joke was about the rooster. Wetlander humor is very strange.
Cameron Tucker
165. Loialson
Okay, here's the Q&A's from Brandon's signing I went to a couple hours ago. I edited out most ums and vocal stumbles and what not, but this is nearly a word for word transrcipton of the recording I made.

It's quite long, so Wall Of Text Warning!

Question from guy in front of me (named Sean):

Q: I had a question, feel free to RAFO this if you need to, but, will we find out what the book of translation is?


A: Send me an email. (sean: I can pm you on Reddit), Alright, pm me on reddit.... Thats like, something I think that's more appropriate for the Encyclopedia, personally; but I'll see if I can make that work.

Me: Hey Brandon, I got a bunch of questions from the Wheel of Time Re-read

Brandon: Okay! Alright! So Wetlander and people.

Are the impressive displays of power that Rand makes in ToM (i.e., stopping the Trolloc army and having no concern over being able to leave the White Tower) a result of his integrated knowledge or his Ta'veren nature?

A: Umm...Both, though, one thing you have to keep in mind, is...Rand as a result of power level, Robert Jordan was specifically not using him very often because his power had grown so powerful even by the end of Knife of Dreams. I mean you look at Knife of dreams, if you go reread the fight in KoD he is laying waste to nearly as many Trollocs as he has when he does the battle at the temple (which is not actually called that in the books), That's the one with the Trollocs and things . And so...yes, some of these things have changed, but he's really powerful now.

Now the thing about in the white tower, is something different.

Is the glow in Rand's head that Nyneave sees upon delving Rand linked to the nature of him being Ta'veren, or because of the nature of him being the Dragon.

A: (laughs) I'm gonna RAFO that one.

Q: In ToM it was mentioned that Mesaana had traded Graendal an angreal in exchange for information. Did Mesaana put that information to use yet?

A: I believe that she...she did what she could with it. It wasn't as useful to her as she had hoped it would be. I mean, I wanna give you more, because Mesaana's basically out of the picture at this point....

Did Nynaeve inform Egwene that according to Rand, the Dark One can ressurect the soul of a Foresaken killed by any means other than balefire?

A: : Does Egwene know that balefire hast to be used to kill...I honestly don't know if She's told her yet.

Q: Can Rand still access the TP through Moridin ?
A: That's a Read and Find Out. A big one.

Q: Can the True Power can be used against the Dark One?

A: That is a big RAFO.

Q: Was Verin was correct when she said that the Portal Stones predate the Age of Legends? It would be interesting to see if he's willing to answer that one.

A: As far as I know...she is correct. That's one of the ones I could be wrong on, but as far as I know she's correct.

Q: Avi told Rand in LoC that ji'e'toh was who the Aiel were, at their core. Do the Aiel need to find some other purpose/faith besides ji'e'toh to avoid the calamitous future that Aviendha saw in the Way-forward Ter'Angreal

A: I would say that...a half yes. They don't need to abandon ji'e'toh or find a new ji'e'toh but they may have to adapt ji'e'toh to certain other things....

Q: In LoC, Nynaeve and Elayne searched for something that would tie the Salidar Aes Sedai to Rand via Need in Tel'aran'rhiod.

Need led them to 3 things. First it led them to the White Tower, (where Elayne glimpsed Egwene briefly), then Need shifted Ny and El a locked storeroom within the White Tower (they thought that was useless). After that, Need led them to the bowl of winds. My questions are regarding the first two things Need brought them to.

On the first thing, was Need bringing them to Egwene?

A: I believe it was Egwene

Q: On the second thing, what was the item Need brought them to in that storeroom?

Q: Was that something besides the horn of Valere?
A: It could be
is, but that it will come into play. And it's not the Horn of Valere in this case. I could be wrong, that's just the vibe I got]

Is the DO's touch still on Fain?
A:Umm...yes, you don't abandon it that easily, but, the other touch on Fain is far more dominant.

Me: That would be Mordeth?
Brandon: Yes.

Q: Is Fain still a darkfriend?
A: I don't know if Fain counts as a darkfriend anymore. I think Fain is his own faction.

Q: How is Fain getting Trollocs and Myrddraal to follow him if he is not a darkfriend?

A: He is using...other means...they aren't following him because he is a darkfriend. Certainly not .

Q: Is Mat still attached in any way to Fain's dagger?
A: Read and Find out.

Q: On Elaida- Did RJ leave notes about the rapid downward spiral that is Elaida's personality? First she seems like a mean but compitent Aes Sedai, then it all goes sideways with a taste of power happens and Elaida becomes an egomaniac. Did RJ and Brandon do this to give Seanchan knowledge of Traveling? Only a nutbar would do something with such huge ramifications to betray her sisters.
A: He left specific notes regarding Elaida and her downfall.

Q: Can Rand consciously control his Ta'veren pull to any degree? Specifically referencing to his meeting with Tuon to will her to submit to him, and when he threatened Cadsuane to will her dead.
A: He, um, believes that he can.
Me: Still, even after the TGS reintegration?
Brandon: He has a more zen view on it now, but he still believes that he can have some influence.

Q: Was the stone Aviendha slept near during ToM a portal stone?
A: No. Nice try! That's eliminating one theory, I'll give you that one.

Q: Was Aviendha in Tel'aran'rhiod or in a mirror/portal world when she met Nakomi?

Q: Is Nakomi Jenn Aiel
A: I should RAFO that shouldn't I?
Me: I'd appreciate it if you didn't
Brandon: I want Nakomi....We're gonna RAFO that for now. Nakomi needs...there's gotta be a few things I don't answer. I'm so bad, I answer everything Rober Jordan put an answer . Track me down another time, after AMoL is out.
John Massey
166. subwoofer

@Loialson- a huge THANK YOU!!!

I had a feeling about Elaida- just the way it came off the page- it felt like "the invisible hand" was at work.

Dang it about Mat and the dagger- spidey sense is tingling there too.

It was very gracious for Brandon to answer some of those too. And to give you such a whack of time to do it. The Portal Stone answer is excellent tho'.

John Massey
167. subwoofer
Now my mind is racing about possible Fain implications here too.

168. AndrewB
Thanks Loialson. That was an outstanding recap. Surprisingly, there was a good deal of nice red meat.

It appears that I may have been wrong about the Nakomi scene. There seems to be more to that scene than just as support for Avi's becoming a Wise One. It sounds like there is more to Nakomi than we have seen - at the least as a back story for Nakima's character. By back story, I mean RJ's notes. I wonder if there is more to Nakima's story than we will see on screen - be it ToM or AMoL.

Nice shout out to WetlanderNW.

It seems that Mesaana did not leave any surprises for Egwene and the other Team Light Sisters - at least as to the info that Mesaana received from Graendal. Until I see proof to the contrary, I will believe that the info that Mesaana got was how to get around swearing on the Oath Rod.

Hopefully, the Aes Sedai will not kill Mesaana. I would hate for the Dark One to resurrect Mesaana (although I do not think the Dark One will bother to to Mesaana's failure and disclosure of the BA). Nevertheless, I do not think that Mesaana (or a resurrected version) will appear in AMoL. BWS' answer would imply that RJ's notes did not discuss Mesaana's fate any further. Otherwise, BWS' answer would have been more definative.

Thanks for reading my musings.
John Massey
169. subwoofer
Right- rabid dog theory time (not a duck so no loons here).

Some folks have suggested that Mat is taken prisoner by the DO or baddies and betrays Rand somehow. Enter the dagger. Mat is drawn to Fain a la the dagger and Fain captures and uses Mat as bait to lure Rand and do him harm.


Cameron Tucker
170. Loialson
I think somehow the dagger will...attempt to seduce Mat again at some point, but I don't think he will betray Rand though from where we are at with the battle of Caemlyn. And as of last seen Fain is in the Blight and Mat is on his way to Caemlyn-where hordes of shadowspawn sanctioned by Team Dark are. Not Team Fain. Interesting theory though, I just cant see the logistics of Fain getting there.
The Rand Ta'veren answer was oh so close to answering a couple of theories. But it at least seems he believes he can control his Ta'veren nature to some degree. Which while not absolute, its as close to it as we're likely to get at this time.

The Mat Fein thing is just... Crazy! That throws salt all over the place. I literally feel theories being born as we speak.
It will be interesting to see if Fain uses the Ways to to make it to the show. And if he does it would be interesting to see what he does with the crazies already there. Can he Mordeth/Fain defeat that entity? Anyway I'm rambling now.

Big shout out to Loialson... Thank you very much for the effort of getting so much answered for all us.

Now I wish he had asked about Rands increase possibly being due to the Choden Kal. Oh well another day. I guess. I got a good answer about the Ta'veren theory at least.

Thanks again

173. Shadow_Jak
Great Job Loialson. Excellent!
Brandon really sounds like a great guy.

Hey! Did you hear the one about the Stone Dog and the Blacksmith's wife?
Eric Hughes
174. CireNaes

I'll echo that big thanks to you as well. I'm glad to see that Rand's more recent OP flexing is really his current strength (which has always been way up there) and his knowledge. I'm curious about the Tower chapter now. That's what I was hoping to get more than a nibble on. The easiest answer is still Rand's ta'veren nature in full swing due to his level of need, which is when it seemed to be jiving for him the most in the past. Arggg. So much for the giant glow stick that is Rand's brain. Perhaps he does have a permanent connection to the OP now since he not only integrated with himself, but with the land too. Who knows. Seems like Nakomi is actually Jenn. Good stuff. Too bad about the Portal Stone.

Anyone else feel like Fain is now the Flood in Halo?
Elijah Foster
175. TheWolfKing
@174. CireNaes
Anyone else feel like Fain is now the Flood in Halo?
That is a good way to put it. Even worse maybe.
Tess Laird
176. thewindrose
Thanks for asking Brandon all of those questions. Got some good stuff to think about now!!
I hope you enjoyed your time there - Brandon is so kind to us

Juan Avila
177. Cumadrin
Blargh! I choose not to believe Need was leading them to Egwene!

*stomps foot childishly*

Interesting stuff, though I am quite content to wait for aMoL and see where everything stands then. I got pretty much all of my WoT theorycrafting and nerd fanatacism out of my system back in my teens before KoD came out.

I'm sure I'll be a bit more up for it around aMoL release, though. After all, I didn't even do my usual power read through the series 2 weeks before I got my hands on ToM. I suppose that was because I didn't know when I was going to get it, and ended up getting surprised when I unwrapped it last Christmas....

I'm getting an itch to reread all of WoT now, so it's all fresh again. I was a pretty big stud as far as WoT nerd-dom goes when I had my game on. But I don't think I should drop myself into the pit that is my WoT readathon until after Christmas. I'm getting a Kindle, and that is going to open up so many other possibilities....

Curse you (no one in particular)!
Does anyone think that what Brandon was hinting at, is that Rands power increase stems from his integrating his two selves? i.e. Rand was in possession of one half and LT in possesion of the other half. And then when they, Rand/LT, come together...boom...Super Channeler Rand is born.

Whatcha think? Yeah/Nay only ask because we still don't know where his power increase stems from...Choden Kal forced? Creator granted? Ta'Veren side effect? Rand/LT integration?

We still don't know...that bit that Brandon slyly memtioned, about the Egwene an the two 13's in the WT, was hinting at something....

Thomas Keith
179. insectoid
@162-164: Heh heh heh...

Loialson @165: Thanks for the recap! Of course, this raises as many questions as it does answers...

That's cool that he remembers Wetlander. Does that mean she's famous now? :P

Cameron Tucker
180. Loialson
@179 insectoid
maybe :o


Brandon's point that he seemed to be trying to get across was that Rand is Rand is Rand. He's been growing throughout the series in strength in the one power. RJ has showcased it a few times (KoD being the point he made note of), but he has a huge capability of how much of the one power he can draw upon. He had this capacity as Rand before the integration as well. He just has a much better and "zen" perspective on life and existence. Rand IS Lews Therin, they are the same person. Rand has always been Lews Therin. And the "level up" was always Rand's full potential, but all the crazy is gone now and he can use it effectively without all the crap in his head.

Sorry, It's hard to convey tone of voice, body language, etc. with just words, but his meaning really did seem more along these lines. BTW Leigh put it really well with her commentary on the WoT roundtable re:how the very nature of telling a story changes the story told.

Just as a counterpoint to your Choden Kal theory, I have a question about it. If hypothetically Rand's power increase was due to the use of the Choden Kal, wouldn't Nynaeve have "leveled up" as well? Rand used it, what 5 times, and Nynaeve used hers only once? Wouldn't she have gained a fifth of the level up Rand got if using the Choeden Kal increase strength in the One Power? It doesn't seem like her innate strength is any different as of ToM

Another clue in that Rand had huge ability to dwarf even Nynaeve before the reintegration: Nynaeve was on the verge of passing out while Rand was just concentrating with all he had at the cleansing.

Now what I should have asked him is what happened to Rand's sickness that used to happen when he embraced the Source...oh well :)
The premise of the Choden Kal theory was based on his interactions with the Sa'angreal were different than his former uses of the device. That being the way he destroyed it holding all of that power. He was holding more than any other ever had; more than during the cleansing. I had also noted that the chapter stated that when LT had offed himself he was holding as much as during the cleansing. Hinting that LT was, at fatal extreme, as strong as when Rand was using the Choden Kal for the cleansing. And then he drew even more. And so when Rand drew in enough to destroy the world or at least as much as he could draw he turned the power back through the Choden Kal and destroyed it. Which is something Nynaeve did not do. My theory was that this occurance was possibly the reason for his power gain. It also gave a possible measure of how strong he has become; that being as powerful as he was aided by the Choden Kal. And given that at least as powerful LT was at his end if not more.

So I guess my theory proposes that he forced himself beyond LT, equivalent to or beyond cleansing strength.
Jonathan Levy
182. JonathanLevy

Thanks from me too!

But wait - how could the first Need have been leading them to Egwene - she wasn't in the Tower at the time, was she? I think I've misunderstood something here.

173. Shadow_Jak
163. subwoofer
I'm sure it's a good joke, but you'll have to explain it to us!
Cameron Tucker
183. Loialson
@182 JonathanLevy
At that point in the story, Ny and El were searching in Tel'aran'rhiod with Need for something that would tie the Salidar branch of the Aes Sedai to Rand. Egwene ended up being that connection between the Aes Sedai and Rand to an extent. Even though Egwene had not yet been summoned by the Salidar Aes Sedai, Need let them know she was the tie to Rand the Aes Sedai needed beforehand. Does that clear it up at all?
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy - Egwene was in the Tower in TAR.

Loialson - WAY COOL!! Good times, and good questions, and good answers! Sad to find out it wasn't a Portal Stone, but there's still something good going on there. Will have to figure out what effect this has on "George." Thanks for asking all the questions.

And wasn't it fun?? :)

(And thanks for the shoutout! Awwww.)
Birgit F
185. birgit
It will be interesting to see if Fain uses the Ways to to make it to the show.

Fain is on his way to Shayol Ghul. If all three ta'veren are needed there to seal the Bore Mat might meet Fain there.
Nadine L.
186. travyl
Loialson, big thanks from me as well. It's almost as good as if I had been there myself (which will only happen if I find a portal stone), I would have toh, were I Aiel, which I'm not. I could offer you some cookies I baked yesterday?

@170: I now this is again leaping ahead sorry, just a short question for clarification. You: "... Mat is on his way to Caemlyn ..."
IMO he made a deal with Gready (or Neald) to bring him back via Gateway. That would mean he ends up at the Field of Merrilor before returning to Caemlyn. I agree he has to return there because of Olver but still...
(Edited to change the toh part of my comment)
Cameron Tucker
187. Loialson
@186 travly

You are right, Mat might go to Merrilor first. I didn't think of that :), I just assumed he'd go back for the band first, as I thought they were all at Caemlyn (Olver too).

I'd say just bring some cookies to the bunker, but I figure the only one there will be Suffa. Everyone else will probably be with their families for the holidays. ;)
Jonathan Levy
188. JonathanLevy
183. Loialson
184. Wetlandernw
Egwene was in the Tower in TAR.
Thanks for replying, but I'm going to have to re-read the books to feel comfortable with this explanation. As I recall, their search brought them to a storeroom in the basement of the Tower, at which point they decided to exclude the Tower from their criteria, since they obviously wouldn't be able to access whatever their search pointed out to them.

While I can certainly accept that their Need-search criteria could lead them to Egwene, this explanation doesn't fit well with my recollection of the text. I'll poke around my books a bit. It should be somewhere in the first half of LoC, right?
Valentin M
189. ValMar
Great report Loialson! Lots of good questions and interesting answers. Thanks.
John Massey
190. subwoofer
I dunno, I am with Loialson with asking about the "sickness" being suddenly up and gone. IMHO much of it was due to the inner struggle with LTT for dominance- a fractured self manifesting itself as an illness. No more internal conflict, no more sickness.

@Shadow_Jak, yes, but I am on the StoneDog's side on this one, he should have never gotten married, especially after she cut off his ear.... but I suppose that was the joke... on the Blacksmith.

Am wondering now if men can really link? Hear me out here: Men can't link right? So how is it that LTT and the 100 Companions could ever hope to Seal the Bore? It does not matter how many men went with LTT, they could not combine their power so it was just flies swatting at the DO, a few 100 flies, but flies none the less. Somebody out there come up with a plausible explination here please.

Tess Laird
191. thewindrose
JonathanLevy - Check out Chapters 13 and 14 of LoC - for the Need finding finding Egwene 1st.
At Cumadrin -
*stomps foot childishly*
I tug my braid at you and sniff - loudly;)

Juan Avila
192. Cumadrin
@183 Loialson
@188 JonathanLevy
See my post @120 linking to my detailed analysis of the incident in question on the Roundtable Week 4 thread.
Elayne and Nynaeve were using need for
What we need is a way to convince the Hall not to go to Elaida.
Now, whether or not you go with them looking to 'tie the Salidar Aes Sedai to Rand' or 'convince them not to crawl back to Elaida' is a moot point which I'm only correcting for semantics. They basically would've amounted to the same thing in practice. My point is I do not, nor will not believe Need brought them specifically to Egwene simply because it is not consistant with how we are ever shown that feature of Tel'aran'rhiod to work anywhere in the books. Never has the use of Need brought the searcher directly to what they seek in one shift. Elayne spotted Egwene coincidentally (in my opinion) after their second shift using Need.

If you'll recall in the very next chapter, Egwene thinks about running into other Salidar Aes Sedai quite often lately around the Tower and Tar Valon, especially Siuan and Leane. This to me reaffirmed the premise that it was simply a chance meeting between Egwene and the other Supergirls, and RJ intended it that way.

And if memory serves, three shifts is the average number required to be near your goal with any accuracy. If required I could look up the points where Need is used. The other three I can think of at the moment are when Egwene first finds the Heart of the Stone in tDR, when Nynaeve finds the Seal and Domination Band in Tanchico in tSR, and more recently when Egwene visits a Tinker camp for some reason in tGS...

Well, I went and checked all those passages anyway. Damn my thoroughness. In the two where Egwene is searching (tDR/tGS) she appears to only need one shift to find what she's looking for. On one hand this might appear to contradict my assessment of how Need searching works, but there are other factors to consider. One is that Egwene is a Dreamer, and a pretty damn powerful one. Nynaeve is not. Also, in both of her cases, Egwene isn't sure what she's searching for. She's searching ridiculously blindly, I mean, especially compared to Nynaeve.

My theory is that since her target is so much more vague, Need is less specific in where it takes her. It's kind of like thinking of how Need works as a Post Office. Gradually, Nynaeve gets closer to the specific box she's looking for as Need works through the details of the 'address.' When Egwene lands in the Stone though... well there's nothing there except Callandor. It's like landing in front of a solitary house in the middle of nowhere. Gee, I wonder what she's there for. When she lands in the Tinker camp, she only needs to be reminded of the Tinkers as a people, not find anything specific in the camp.

In tDR Egwene knows so little about Tel'aran'rhiod that she uses Need basically 100% on her Need alone, with no specific desire guiding her other than wanting to figure out Liandrin and company's plans.
Determined, she tightened her hand around the ter’angreal. “Take me where I need to be.” She shut her eyes and concentrated on the ring. It was stone, after all; Earth should give her some feeling for it. “Do it. Take me where I need to be.” Once again she embraced saidar, fed a trickle of the One Power into the ring. She knew it did not need any flow of Power directed at it to work, and she did not try to do anything to it. Only to give it more of the Power to use. “Take me to where I can find an answer. I need to know what the Black Ajah wants. Take me to the answer.”
So she ends up in the Heart of the Stone near Callandor. And as all should remember she runs into 'Sylvie' aka Lanfear and for some reason she isn't suspicious in the slightest about her. But that's another topic for another day. Now in tGS she's much more training as a Dreamer, and again she uses Need very blindly.
She stepped away from the camp, the tents, ruts, and empty streets vanishing. Again, she wasn't certain where her mind would take her. Traveling in the World of Dreams this way—letting need direct her— could be dangerous, but it could also be very illuminating. In this case, she looked not for an object, but for knowledge. What did she need to know, what did she need to see?


It was a camp of the Traveling People, the Tuatha'an. Why this place? Egwene walked idly around the firepit, looking at the wagons, the coats of paint kept fresh and free of cracks or stains.
Here she thinks a lot, and has the eye-opening epiphany that the Tinkes are doing one thing right: living for the sake of life. This reaffirms her resolve that she's doing the right thing opposing Elaida and striving to reunite the Tower. Unfortunately, it doesn't make liking her any easier (sorry, I couldn't resist).

In comparison, Nynaeve has a much better idea what she's looking for in tSR in Tanchico. Hell, knowing she needs to look in Tanchico itself is a very big advantage.
Closing her eyes, she concentrated on Tanchico, on the Panarch’s Palace, on need. Something dangerous to Rand, to the Dragon Reborn, need . . . Around her, Tel’aran’rhiod shifted; she felt it, a sliding lurch, and opened her eyes eagerly to see what she had found.
First she's in the Panarch's room where she spies a Black Ajah Sister getting kinky (not in a fun way) with Amathera. She then shifts again, and is in the Panarch's Museum where she spots Moghedien, meets Birgitte and Gaidal Cain, and finds the Seal. She shifts a final time and finds the Domination Band after Moghedien leaves. Like her attempt with Elayne later in LoC, it takes Nynaeve three shifts before she actually finds the Domination Band/mysterious Tower storeroom. Coincidentally, she also runs into someone she's not looking for but is/would be interested in (Amathera and Egwene) in the preceding shifts before arriving at her desired destination.

Both encounters appear (to me) to be nothing more than well-crafted coincidences designed to both heighten the mystery of Tel'aran'rhiod and provide useful information to move the plot forward for the Supergirls. Nynaeve learns Amathera is not a Darkfriend, which she had feared, and Egwene gets a much-needed dream booty call from Gawyn before she goes to Salidar and becomes Queen of Inflated Heads.

Sorry. hehe... I couldn't resist again. I'm sure something more important came from Egwene deciding to stay away from the Tower in Tel'aran'rhiod after running into Elayne and Nynaeve, but I can't think of it right this moment and I'm missing football!

In short, I still think it was a well designed Red Herring they ran into Egwene. Not that I think it impacts anything in any way whatsoever.


to quote part of the Winter's Heart summary by Isam when Taim visits Elayne in Caemlyn
Elayne: My raised chin will teach you some manners.

Taim: My folded arms will deflect your raised chin.

Elayne: My icy stare will fend off your folded arms.

Taim: My arrogant half-smile will defuse your icy stare.

Elayne: My turned back will rebuff your half-smile.

Taim: My veiled threats will turn back your turned back.

Elayne: My girlish giggling will parry your veiled threats. Tee-hee.

Birgitte & Dyelin: Tee-hee.

Taim: You bore me.

Elayne: it’s working.
Alice Arneson
193. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy @188 -

Lord of Chaos, Chapter 13, "Under the Dust" - where Nynaeve and Elayne are searching with Need for "something to convince the Hall not to go to Elaida." (FWIW, Nynaeve is also thinking of something "that would convince the Hall to support Rand.")

First step: Tar Valon, in the streets
Second step: in the WT, where Elayne catches a glimpse of Egwene down the hall.
Third step: in the WT, a storeroom full of ter'angreal, which Nynaeve suspects are the ones no one knows how to use or what they do.
ter'angreal, not in Tar Valon," that will do the job.]
Fourth step: Ebou Dar
Fifth step: the Rahad
Sixth step: the storeroom
Seventh step: the chest
Eighth step: the Bowl

Lord of Chaos, Chapter 14, "Dreams and Nightmares" - The first sentence is "At the sight of Nynaeve and Elayne, Egwene did not step out of the dream; she leaped out."

Obviously this doesn't prove that Egwene was what they needed, but it does verify that she was there. Brandon simply said that he believed Need brought them to Egwene. Since he's had access to a lot more insight (RJ's notes, files and assistants) than I have, I lean toward accepting his interpretation. On the other hand, he didn't indicate that RJ had made it unmistakably clear, so your doubt can remain undisturbed.

Having just read that section again, though, I can't wait to have Aviendha go through that storeroom... I'm guessing, anyway, that they'll find the thing they Needed in AMoL, and that Aviendha will be the one to identify its purpose and use. (I'd have assumed we'd never find out, but given Loialson's RAFO to the "what was the item in the storeroom" question, I'm thinking we'll get to find out after all.)
John Massey
194. subwoofer
I say they found a can of whoop a$$.

Edit- can't wait for Ny or some one to crack it open on a passel of baddies.

Anthony Pero
195. anthonypero
Update: no baby yet. They've scheduled a c section on Tuesday. To answer some questions, he's a boy, my first boy, and his name is Lucas. It was my wife's idea, I swear, it has nothing to do with my lifelong StarWars obssession. I didn't even mention the name. :)
Alice Arneson
196. Wetlandernw
anthonypero - Let me add my congratulations on the upcoming birth, and my hopes that all will go well for the three of you. May there be a gracious plenty of the sleep deprivation that goes with a healthy baby. :) Oh, you've got wonderful times coming. Congratulations again!
Eric Hughes
197. CireNaes

I just finished introducing my son to Episode IV. Great times are in store for you both.
Charles Gaston
198. parrothead
Wetlandernw @ 124:
I have not been to any signings yet. I really wanted to this year, and pretty much spaced on it; might have been packing prior to going home for Thanksgiving or something. But, yes, in future, meeting fellow fans is always cool. I've got to become less hermity.

Thanks to Loialson - and Sanderson of course! - for the Q&A. Interesting stuff, although I've always been more one to analyze what has happened rather than look forward to what will happen. Pretty much all of my theories are based on archetypes and symbolism, which, even in this series, can sometimes have a mere nodding acquaintance with narrative structure.

And, right on cue...What if Galad can channel? If he gets a sa'angreal...What with him being Galahad and all, the one who wins the Sangreal.
Jonathan Levy
199. JonathanLevy
192. Cumadrin
193. Wetlandernw

Wow, I did actually go to the books, but I should have known there would be a full analysis here by the time I got back :)

Ok, to try to say something without repeating what everyone else has said so well before me.

I see two analyses possible for the sequence which Wetlander described in 193:

Option A:
First search brings them to a Ter'angreal in the tower (steps 1,2,3) with Egwene being sighted by coincidence in step 2. Landing in the storeroom convinces them to modify their search subtly, and they now look for a ter'angreal outside of the Tower. They wind up finding the Bowl of Winds in Ebou Dar.

Option B:
First search brings them to Egwene in the tower. This can explain steps 1 and 2, but not step 3 unless we suppose that Egwene is hiding in the storeroom - however, from the passage quoted from chapter 14, we know Egwene jumped out of the dream, and did not go hiding in the storeroom.

So if step 2 brought them towards Egwene, and step 3 used the same criteria for the search, you would expect step 3 to lead them towards Egwene, who is now sleeping in her tent, with her mind in the starry void of dreams. So you would expect another search using the same criteria to lead to Egwene's tent, or something, but not to a ter'angreal storage room in the tower.

That's the source of my doubts. BWS's comment may be based on specific notes, or it may be an inference based on what he remembered. The only way I can make it work is if we say that being in the dream void somehow excludes Egwene from a need-search for her - and also excludes the insubstantial reflection of her dreaming body in TAR. But that sounds very contrived, don't you think?

195. anthonypero
Consider this preparation for your seizure of post 200 a baby gift! :)

198. parrothead
As I recall, at least in one version, when Galahad gets the Holy Grail, he dies and goes to heaven.
Cameron Tucker
200. Loialson

I think that Need was showing them options, things that could help them in their search. Thus it led them to Eg, then to whatever was in the storeroom, they dismissed Eg and decided the storeroom thing wasn't an option, so Need led them to the next best thing- the Bowl of Winds. It wasn't necessarily just one thing. Many things could help them out, and it showed them a few. The Bowl was just what (Ny and El) they felt was within their reach to obtain. That's what I feel, at least.

2 hunny :)
Jonathan Levy
201. JonathanLevy
200. Loialson
When you search with Need, it leads you to one object (over several jumps), until you've found it. It doesn't switch from one option to another until you've definitely found the first one.

You could conceivably argue that glimpsing Egwene in the corridor qualifies as 'finding' her with need, so subsequent searches using the same criteria wouldn't be able to lead you to her, so instead it brought them towards the second-best thing. But that also sounds pretty contrived.

192. Cumadrin

I just finished reading the 'abridged eye of the world' for the first time, thanks to your post on Roundtable #4. I had not been aware of it until now - it's so funny! Thank you so very much :)
Juan Avila
202. Cumadrin

There is a fair bit of very good WoT humor out there, but I always laugh my ass off every time I read the abridged EotW. The very first time I read it was as a sophomore in high school, and I kept snorting and shoving my fist in my mouth, failing not to laugh so much that I got lots of weird looks in the library. I even printed it out and carried a copy around in my binder for the rest of high school. The binder and several spiral notebook covers were covered in WoT quotes - mostly prophecies and song lyrics. I had Jak O' the Shadows, Trust is the Color of Death, Wash the Spears, and every quote of the Old Tongue in the books at the time memorized. Hell, I don't remember if I printed it or not, but I had a serious love affair with a fan-compiled Old Tongue dictionary as well.

I also wrote my own ballad in Jak O' the Shadows verses (later, a friend of mine from Dragonmount.com and I even started planning Band of the Red Hand music to record; I was going to do vocals, at the time not understanding how bad I sing without a choir to cover me up) and attempted to write my own WoT fan-fiction novel. I got three or four chapters in, and had NO idea where I was going whatsoever. But at least in that short span I killed a Myrddraal and rescued a pretty girl. So it wasn't a totally wasted effort.

Man, when you write it all down like that, it becomes apparent just how bad I had it. Oh, those were the days... to be young and drunk on epic fantasy.

(I still have the fan-fiction and ballad saved on my pc, and my old spiral notebook covers overflowing with WoT quotes buried under stacks of stuff here on one of my desk shelves! Oi!)

My, it's been a while since I convened my own impromptu WoT-oholics Anonymous meeting. I feel so much lighter now, like I downed a can of Red Bull and chased it with a shot of Willy Wonka's Fizzy Lifting Drink.

Oh and in case my meaning got lost somewhere: you're VERY welcome JonathanLevy. It is always a treat- nay, a privelege - to introduce someone to the abridged EotW. It's not my first time doing it for readers of this blog, although it's been quite a spell since the last.

I would end this comment with a quote, but how can you choose just one?!

*attempts to fit fist in mouth with little success*

Oh, what the hell...
"Well, baa baa black sheep. Have you any... wool?"
Doesn't spoil anything for a first timer, but anyone who knows will prolly lose whatever they were drinking through their nose. ;)
Birgit F
203. birgit
When you search with Need, it leads you to one object (over several
jumps), until you've found it. It doesn't switch from one option to
another until you've definitely found the first one.

Where does that come from? Stray thoughts in TAR can change where you end up. When Eg was looking around in Tanchico in TAR and thought of Aiel she was suddenly in the Waste (and met Amys).
Cameron Tucker
204. Loialson
I agree. What I meant was, they wanted something, Need brought them to it(Egwene). They dismissed it, so Need brought them to another object(they dismissed it again), Need brought them to another object, the bowl of winds. It doesn't feel contrived to me, it makes sense as a plot device.

You say need brings you to an object. I agree, but the thing was, Ny and El dismissed the first 2 objects Need brought them to. That's my point. The Bowl of Winds was the 2nd runner up in what was the most useful to their search, perhaps. Still important though. It may be proposed that Egwene was coincidence, but I dont think so. I think that it was a brush of the master's hand giving them (and us readers)a Hint. Perhaps the bowl was more important, but I don't think that discounts Eg as pure coincidence, and Brandon didn't appear to think so either.

Point being that the object in the storeroom might be important in aMoL, maybe not though. I'll ask Brandon again after the book is out,if it's not used, what it's significance is.

I thought that seemed pretty clear to me...is there another way I can put it to make more sense?

I think we're just disagreeing on how Need actually works. Often it uses a series of jumps, but sometimes in TAR it brings you to exactly what you're looking for/thinking about, as birgit said.

Then again, it's a matter of discourse how related the way TAR functions in bringing you to something you want to see, and using blind Need as a search function. I dunno, maybe RJ left it vague on purpose...makes for an awsome story device though, or we wouldn't be talking about it :)
Tess Laird
205. thewindrose
Loialson at 204 - That is how I am thinking of Need and BwS's answer.
I think we all have some idea's about how 'stuff' works in T'a'R, and when something isn't working the way we think - it causes some grumbles. I find T'a'R fascinating -and I also think it is going to play big time in aMoL - so any nuggets we can get out of Brandon and Team Jordan are appreciated. I bet there are a lot of theories up on Theoryland, so my idea that T'a'R is going to be a big in aMoL isn't new(heck - we came to that conclusion on the ToM spoiler threads here) but I haven't had time to wade through them.

Congrats on getting 2 hunny:)

206. Wortmauer
I think JonathanLevy@199 and following have it right. You don't Need-shift, happen to run into Egwene, then Need-shift onward and suddenly be zooming in on something else entirely. Not if Egwene was the original object. Besides, there's the question of repeat-Need-searching.
"What they said," went on, "was that they had never heard of anyone trying to find something with need again after they had already found it. Bair thought maybe it was like trying to eat the same ... apple twice." The same motai was what Bair had said; a motai was a kind of grub found in the Waste. Quite sweet and crunchy — until Egwene found out what she was eating.
— LOC Ch. 52, "Weaves of the Power"
(And by the way, I love Bair's analogy!)

So, assuming Bair knows what she's talking about — a fair assumption — a Need search won't work a second time. So if Egwene had really been the target, the Supergirls wouldn't have been able to continue the search after finding her, without consciously modifying it — a new search, as it were. Like they did when they saw they were headed for a ter'angreal in a Tower storeroom. (This is shortly before Egwene rediscovered Travelling. If it'd been after, they probably would have had the overconfidence to try for it anyway and assume they could later Travel-nab it in the flesh.)

Of course the alternate theory is that the Need search was malleable and could just take the girls to any of several possible solutions. But that just doesn't sound right. It doesn't work that way at all at other times. Instead it zooms you in and in and if you're already where you need to be, well, you find your hands plunged into a barrelful of junk touching an old crystal serving tray.
207. Palindrome
Of course in those other situations they hadn't found what the need search was looking for yet - and they were asking for more. In the case with Egwene, if Egwene was what the need search was looking for, they did find it - and they 'rejected it'. That specific zoom in case was because they were looking for more specificity - if they rejected Egwene as being what they needed it seems possible that they'd be taken to the next nearest object.

Also about using need twice - I don't think that refers to using the same request twice - but more likely to find the same solution to the request twice. Bair wasn't saying you can't ever eat another. . . apple. Just that you can't eat the same. . . apple. At least that's always been my interpretation.

Sadly since RJ is gone - there won't ever be much of a definitive answer on stuff like it seems.
Jonathan Levy
208. JonathanLevy
202. Cumadrin
Some of the WoT Humor is really really good (and some quite lame, but never mind :). I've done several searches over the years to try to catch it all, but I'd had no idea I'd missed out on something so big and so funny.

(I'm still looking for a short piece which I read many years ago and have never found since - a really funny description of Elayne's accepted test. I keep hoping someone will know to point me to it.)

I loved fantasy and science fiction in High School, though not quite to the degree you describe :). WoT was my favorite after I discovered it, but it was still just one out of many books/series I liked to read. This re-read has greatly renewed my appreciation for WoT and my affection to it - for that I have good reason to be grateful to our Fearless Leader and all the good company on the re-read.

So thanks again. It's as funny as Isam's summaries :)

203. birgit
The mechanics I described are inferred from the search for the Bowl, in LoC:14, after dismissing the storeroom in the tower. It also matches the original description provided by the wise ones.

Shift 1: Ebou Dar
Shift 2: Rahad
Shift 3: Storeroom
Shift 4: Wooden chest
Shift 5: Hands on the bowl

204. Loialson
I agree. What I meant was, they wanted something, Need brought them to it(Egwene). They dismissed it, so Need brought them to another object
So what you're saying is: One of the two searchers glimpsing Egwene from the corner of her eye at the end of a corridor, without realizing that this was the object they were being lead to, qualifies as completing need-search #1, and the subsequent Shift qualified as a new need-search and brought them towards possible objective #2.

Well, if that's the case, consider Shift #4 in the list I wrote out for birgit in this comment. The both girls are less than a meter from their objective, they've glimpsed it without understanding that it's their objective. They are much closer to having fulfilled their need-search than when they glimpsed Egwene. And yet Shift #4 still leads them closer to the bowl, instead of directing them to a new objective (#3). And it works again for Shift #5. This is not consistent.

Also, if this were the behavior of the need-search - that an unwitting glimpse of your objective could send you careening towards a completely new objective on your next Shift - don't you think Amys or Bair would have warned them about it? Especially since you can't need-shift to an objective which TAR considers you to have found already once?

207. Palindrome
Also about using need twice - I don't think that refers to using the same request twice - but more likely to find the same solution to the request twice.
With this I agree 100%, and I think it's an important distinction. The limitation may be even stronger - you can't find the same object twice using need, regardless of how you phrase the request. Otherwise you could just invent a new request tailored to find the same object you'd already found ("I need a large ter'angreal bowl with clouds inside it").
Alice Arneson
209. Wetlandernw
Jonathan Levy - Yes, but the thing that makes Egwene-the-target unique in all of the TAR need-search scenarios is that she left. When you're looking for an object that doesn't move, need-shifting can simply bring you closer and closer to the object. When you see the thing you need and it's a person, but then that person leaps out of TAR and is no longer there to be pursued by need... the next shift would, of necessity, be toward something else.

(Obviously, I don't think need-searching in TAR will take you to something that doesn't have a presence there, which may be why it never occured to the WOs to mention that you could need-search a person. It would only work if they were in TAR somehow, and if you knew you were looking for a person, you'd only use it if you knew they were likely to be there. Otherwise, everyone could use Need to find Bela; as it is, she avoids TAR so that she can't be found that way.)
Donna Harvey
210. snaggletoothedwoman
Just had a thought on Rand's sickness on seizing the source. Since he is getting darker as the sickness is getting worse, could this be the cause?? Once he has his awakening he no longer gets sick. The source is making him sick because it is for GOOD and is trying to reject him. What do you all think?
Nadine L.
211. travyl
@ snaggletoothedwoman 210.
Actually I think Rand still gets sick after his Dragonmount experience. I can't really prove it and I know a lot of people disagree, but that's just how I read ToM: we don't have a big enough POV of Rand to be sure, but he still orders his Ashaman to open Gateways for him. He only started this because he couldn't safely size it at first.
The problem with using it (fearing that Lews Therin would size it) is certainly gone, but his nausea and stuff .... when he reaches for it, I think is still there (since it started after the Moridin incident and this isn't resolved).

Is Lucas among us, yet?
You will be safe, as long as you won't "love him and hug him and squeeze him and call him George .

By the way, I only caught the meaning of above quote a week ago, when I googled it after reading the sentence on leighs post on TGH part 2 and thought it odd that somebody else would use Wetlander's "George". Poor me.
Alice Arneson
212. Wetlandernw
travyl - Cultural idiom is really weird, isn't it? :) I always feel sorry for people who are trying to translate books from one language to another - the idiom just doesn't work!
Terry McNamee
213. macster
@123 up2stuff: A very good question, and one it seems didn't get asked.

Re: Sub's Fain questions: I agree with Loialson, it seems to be fear of Shadar Logoth that Fain is using to control Fades and Trollocs, via Mashadar/Mordeth being in him.

@Shadow_Jak and Cumadrin: Yes, Perrin didn't have the reaction Faile thought he would. However, as soon as he thinks to himself Rolan and the others deserved their deaths, he immediately compared his thought to something a Whitecloak would say. That should tell you something--not that you guys agreeing makes you Whitecloaks, but that Sanderson/Jordan considers that kind of thinking to be bad. So while you are free to have your own opinion on Rolan, it's pretty clear Sanderson/Jordan disagree and that the inclusion of the memorial was considered both necessary and right by both of them. It wouldn't be the first time the fandom views things very differently from the author (see Mat and Tylin).

@Seamus: You have some good points, and your opinion is duly noted, but I am still going to have to disagree. And as I just stated to Shadow_Jak and Cumadrin, it is very clear that Jordan and Sanderson also disagree--both on whether Rolan is someone you should like and sympathize with, and on whether the memorial scene was appropriate, needed, and a source of strength for the series. So, I guess you're just going to have to accept that the way you feel does not match the authorial view, and then decide if that is enough to make you keep reading or not. It seems you've decided to stick with it, but your opinion isn't going to change how Jordan or Sanderson see it.

Re: Loial's questions

The fact Sanderson made a point to single out what happened in the Tower as different is maddeningly intriguing. What could he mean? If his controlling the Aes Sedai there was not due to being ta'veren or his integrated knowledge, what is it? Being the Dragon? The Creator's power in his mind? Something else?? In a similar vein though, it seems the white power in his mind will be addressed in AMoL so at least we'll get an answer eventually.

Graendal's info, AndrewB: I didn't even think about it being how to get around the Oath Rod. However, why would Mesaana have asked for that information? Not only did she have no way of knowing she'd need it (due to Egwene being a prisoner and the purge happening thanks to Verin's unexpected visit), she was arrogantly convinced she had Egwene and the Tower in hand...also, why did Sanderson then say "it wasn't as useful as she had hoped it would be"? Because whatever method she used to get around the Oath Rod clearly worked, as she wasn't caught until ToM. But if she is out of the picture, why does Sanderson not tell us more? Either Mesaana will still play a role, Graendal will, or somehow that information is relevant to AMoL. *scratches head, very confused*

Interesting that even while saying RAFO, Sanderson didn't confirm or deny the assumption that Rand was able to draw on the True Power due to his link with Moridin. Does that mean he was RAFO-ing everything in the question, or was he tacitly agreeing that that is how Rand got access, not from the Dark One? Gah...

So ji'e'toh does have to change. But then we pretty much knew that already, since the Car'a'carn brings change. It seems though that more is needed. He also isn't confirming that doing this will prevent that bad future, though it seems to be implied.

And...my brain almost broke at the idea Mat is indeed still tied to the dagger. Sanderson would not have said RAFO if it weren't going to come into play. So it seems Min's vision wasn't just in reference to his first encounters with the dagger, but that it has even more meaning for his future. All kinds of ominous portent there.

Damn, so it wasn't a Portal Stone. However, it does seem that Nakomi and her part in Avi's vision will be explained or relevant in AMoL. Him saying RAFO doesn't confirm she was Jenn or that the meeting happened in TAR, but they certainly seem to be strong possibilities. Whatever the truth is though, at least it looks like it will be revealed.

The important point on Rand controlling his ta'veren nature is Sanderson said Rand thinks he can. It doesn't mean he actually can. In which case a) previous times he thought he was doing so may have been the Pattern or him being the Dragon causing it and b) Rand's belief he can may bite him in the ass at a crucial moment.

@ZEXXES: I wish the question about the Choedan Kal had been asked too. But since Sanderson gave a RAFO to most of it, we probably won't get anything definitive until AMoL.

@180 Loialson: I addressed those points in a previous re-read post. Let me post it again, with a bit of editing for clarity:

1) Rand was in control of the Source at the cleansing, not Nynaeve
2) Cadsuane had to Heal Nynaeve to keep her conscious and channeling, and that may have prevented her from being forced.
3) It's also possible she's as strong as she's going to get so couldn't be forced any higher
4) This could be a function of Rand's male channeler ability to keep getting stronger.
5) It could also be Nynaeve was affected, only instead of gaining more power she gained more dexterity with weaves--such as to be able to undo Graendal's Compulsion, or to Heal taint madness...

I think ZEXXES has also addressed the other main point though: it's not that the Choedan Kal by itself causes forcing to anyone who uses it, but the way in which Rand used it--first to draw as much as he could with the Choedan Kal, then drawing even more (in other words, going beyond what was safe), then destroying the source of that greater access. Normally doing such a thing would cause burning out, but it may be Rand let go of the Source quickly enough to prevent this, or that something about his ta'veren/Dragon nature and the reintegration prevented it. Either way, that could explain how he got so strong--yes, Rand always had the potential to become so, but using the Choedan Kal in this way was how the Pattern made it happen. Which in turn could explain why, other than cleansing saidin, the Choedan Kal were in the story and so important, yet not mentioned in the prophecies like Callandor was.

@186 travyl: For some reason I was under the impression, when Grady told Mat he would make a gateway every day, that he would be making it from Caemlyn, if for no other reason than that Mat needed to come back there for the Band and Aludra's dragons. However since Traveling is from a place you know, then once he's been at Merrilor long enough Grady could make a gateway to the River Arinelle easily. And Grady is definitely at Merrilor. We don't know of anyone in Caemlyn who can warn of the attack--Birgitte is with Elayne, who has arrived at Merrilor with the Cairhienin, so who is still back there? The Kin? But surely Mat will ask to go back, since he wants the dragons so badly and cares deeply for Olver and the Band. Plus Rand (and Elayne for that matter) will want their support in the Last Battle.

@198 and 199 re Galad: If that is the case, this could be more fuel on the fire for the speculation that it is Galad's death which will fulfill the "shedding of Rand's blood on the rocks" prophecy.

@205 thewindrose: Yes, there are several Theoryland theories (or debates within the comments thereof) which discuss the key importance TAR may have to the Last Battle. About all that anyone can agree on, it seems, is that it will be important/have a role.

@Wortmauer: "Instead it zooms you in and in and if you're already where you need to be, well, you find your hands plunged into a barrelful of junk touching an old crystal serving tray." LOL!

@210, 211: The thing is though, while I am with you that the sickness didn't start until after the crossed-streams incident, implying it is a response to the True Power, he does not get sick when he uses the True Power himself to break free of the Domination Band. In fact he felt anything but sick: "It was like a reservoir of water, boiling and churning just beyond his view. ...Rand found himself filled with an alien power. ...Energy and life surged through him, a torrent of power like saidin, only ten times as sweet and a hundred times as violent. It made him alive, made him realize that he'd never been alive before." The most he seems to feel from it is pain, ecstasy, and (when he releases it) numbness, not sickness. So while it could be that crossing the streams itself caused the sickness, or that the combination of the True and One Powers is doing it, it can't be the feel or usage of the True Power itself.

As for whether it is still around, unless Rand is really good at hiding his emotions, he doesn't seem to have any problems after Dragonmount. We don't see any doubling over or sickened expressions when Rand channels in ToM...he stumbles in Bandar Eban, but that could be simple tiredness--or is that when he seized the Source, and he held it for all the time after that? Anyway, he only feels peace when he pushes aside the barricade. His reaction after Maradon could again be simple tiredness after that epic Power usage. On the other hand it may be significant that Rand keeps asking the Asha'man to make gateways for them--he uses Naeff in Bandar Eban, and Narishma at Far Madding. He may have used one of them to get to Maradon too. I guess we'll find out!

Finally, @many re: Need, Egwene, and the mysterious ter'angreal in the storeroom: I cannot decide, both sides make very good arguments here! All I can conclude is that even if Egwene was not what Need brought them to, her being there was surely part of the Pattern, not a coincidence--even if she wasn't what they were seeking, it can't be denied how important Egwene is/will be to Rand, so Jordan making her show up at that moment most likely was him drawing our attention to her, underscoring how Rand needs her in a meta sense, even if it wasn't a result of actual Need in-story. Jordan could well have been cluing us in/reminding us of Egwene's importance, without her actually having to be the thing the girls were seeking.

And secondly...I am extremely curious now about this thing in the storeroom. I'd forgotten all about it, but the fact Sanderson wouldn't confirm what it was and in fact said RAFO...I think it is actually very important, in terms of AMoL. What I don't know is what it could be. Sanderson's answer implied it wasn't the Horn (and I find it hard to believe Verin would have hidden it in that storeroom, unless it's so well hidden no one can find it) but then what was it? I guess we'll find that out too. But I also hope Aviendha can identify it, as well as other things in that storeroom. The question is whether she'll be able to do so before another Seanchan attack on the Tower (unless Mat or Rand convince Tuon to call it off--and how does this tie into a Seanchan swordswoman saving Egwene? Is that Egeanin, who's on her way to the Tower right now and will likely be there when the attack happens?)...

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