Feb 14 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 19

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comHappy Valentine’s Day, Wheel of Timers! In lieu of vaguely poisonous-tasting chalky candy hearts, please accept the Re-read as a token of my undying affection!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 34 and 35 of The Gathering Storm, in which we have comedy tomorrow, and tragedy tonight.

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!

Before we begin, a quick plug: Kate Nepveu, of the LOTR Re-read fame on Tor.com, is running an auction to raise money for Con or Bust, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Among this year’s offerings is a 14”x16” print of the cover art for a WOT e-book, which I’d bet is Relevant To Your Interests, so if you’d like to try for some cool swag while helping a good cause, check it out. (Also, here is a general post about the auction, and here is a guide on bidding.)

Thanks, and onward!


Chapter 34: Legends

What Happens
Mat examines a map of Trustair he’d had made with Talmanes, Thom, Noal, Juilin and Mandevwin, determined that this time he would have a plan before going into another town. He points out the inn where the woman who has been circulating Mat and Perrin’s pictures is staying, and explains to Mandevwin and Noal that they will be going with Thom as his apprentice and footman, respectively. Noal doesn’t see why a gleeman would need a footman, so Mat amends him to be Thom’s brother slash manservant. Mandevwin protests that he can neither sing nor juggle, and Mat explains that he is running away from his crazy great-aunt.

“But I don’t want to leave my great-aunt,” Mandevwin protested. “She’s cared for me since I was a child! It’s not honest of a man to abandon an elderly woman just because she gets a little confused.”

“There is no great-aunt,” Mat said with exasperation. “This is just a legend, a story to go with your false name.”

“Can’t I have a story that makes me more honorable?” Mandevwin asked.

Mat tells him no, and hands him his five-page-long backstory to memorize. Thom asks if maybe Mat is taking this too far, and Mat replies that he is tired of walking into traps unprepared. Talmanes solemnly asks whether his story involves coming to the village “because he’s heard there’s a trout that lives in the lake who insulted his father,” and Mat tells him he is to be a Warder, which should draw lots of attention and leave Thom to do what he needs to. He is irritated that Talmanes is clearly not taking this seriously, and says he can’t go himself, but he intends to find this woman before they can find and try to kill him. The meeting breaks up, but Mat pauses long enough to mutter a synopsis of Talmanes’s character’s “tortured past” to him.

Mat hurried on, pushing his way out into the shaded noon, though he did catch a glimpse of Talmanes rolling his eyes. Burn the man! There was good drama in those pages!

Mat inspects the troops, pleased still to be back with the Band, and watches the crossbowmen train, musing on how to improve their draw time even more than they already have with the new cranks. He then goes to visit Aludra, and finds Egeanin and Domon with her; he still cannot decide whether to think of Egeanin as “Leilwin” or not. He is annoyed that he has to ask Aludra’s permission to enter her space in his own camp, but knows he cannot afford to offend her before she is done with her dragon design. Aludra has the plans for the dragons spread out, as well as her supply requirements. Mat is astonished at the huge amount of charcoal and sulphur she wants, and baffled by the inclusion of bat guano, but Aludra tells him he has asked for a miracle, and this is the cost. Besides, she adds, the Dragon Reborn can afford it. She also needs every bellfounder they can find.

“What about copper and tin? You don’t have an estimate of those.”

“I need all of it.”

“All of... What do you mean, all of it?”

“All of it,” she repeated, as simply and calmly as if she were asking for more cloudberry jam for her porridge. “Every scrap of copper and tin you can scrounge up this side of the Spine of the World.”

Mat is flatly incredulous, and sarcastically asks if she would like the Dark One to polish her shoes while she’s at it. Aludra’s response is hostile, and Mat realizes that he has perhaps hurt her in other ways than just this conversation. He tries to apologize about Tuon, but she brushes it aside and tells him she wishes him happiness. Mat decides to let it drop. Aludra is anxious about the unknown timeframe she has to build and test a prototype dragon, and Mat replies he cannot tell her what he doesn’t know. He feels something tugging him to the north, though, which he assumes is Rand, and tells her time is short.

She hesitated, as if sensing something in his voice. “Well,” she said. “If that be the case, then my requests are not so extravagant, yes? If the world goes to war, the forges will soon be needed for arrowheads and horseshoes. Better to put them to work now on my dragons. Let me assure you, each one we finish will be worth a thousand swords in battle.”

Mat sighs, and says he’ll see what he can do, assuming Rand doesn’t “burn him to a crisp” for suggesting it. Leilwin makes a sharp remark about showing Aludra respect for the gift she is giving him, and Mat is goaded into making insinuations that Leilwin might be thinking of taking the plans back to the Seanchan. Domon warns him softly to watch his step. Mat backs off, and thinks that Aludra’s news makes him more impatient than ever to reach Caemlyn. He is asking Aludra whether she knows anything about crossbows when Olver runs up to tell him a woman has arrived in camp with pictures of Mat, and Talmanes said to say she has “a distinctive face”. Mat hurries back to the main camp to find Verin there with her Warder Tomas.

He looked at her, meeting those dark brown Aes Sedai eyes. “Blood and bloody ashes,” he muttered. “It was you, wasn’t it? You’re the one who’s been looking for me!”

“For some time, I might add,” Verin said lightly. “And rather against my will.”

From what she says about how she found him, Mat realizes Verin knows how to Travel, and she tells him she can have the Band in Caemlyn by evening, saving him a twenty-day march. Mat asks what she wants in return.

“Frankly,” she replied, sighing slightly. “What I want, Matrim Cauthon, is to be cut free from your ta’veren web! Do you know how long you’ve forced me to wait in these mountains?”


“Yes,” she said. “Come, we have much to discuss.”

She heads into the camp, and Talmanes remarks that he guesses this means there won’t be a raid now. Mandevwin asks if this means he can go back to his poor aged aunt. Mat growls at him and follows Verin.

VERIN! Yay! But more about her later.

I am having deep dilemmas about what to say about this chapter. I, in fact, just wrote about eight paragraphs of Saying Stuff that I then deleted, because it turns out there really is such a thing as excessive snarkiness, and I realized it was turning more into an exercise of me being clever and/or possibly cruel than it was actually saying anything useful about the issue at hand, which boils down to: was this chapter funny, or not?

Because the snarky part of me wants to say that, if you have to ask the question, then you already know the answer, and maybe there’s an element of truth to that, but at the same time I am very much aware that there is a hell of a lot of bias at play here on my part. And you know, most of the time I am perfectly okay with not being a completely objective observer, because I have certainly never made any pretense that this commentary isn’t about My Opinions On WOT, Let Me Show You Them, which by definition is pretty much the opposite of “objective,” but in this case I kind of feel it edges closer to the outright prejudice end of the spectrum than I generally allow it to, and that makes me… well, it kind of makes me feel bad about just throwing it out there.

There are two main things I have observed about comedy. The first is, and this may seem counterintuitive but it really isn’t, is that comparatively speaking drama is a hundred times less risky a literary undertaking than comedy. Drama – the angst, the tragedy, the Serious Business – is easy, comparatively speaking.

Comedy? Comedy is hard. If you think different, you’ve obviously never tried to produce something funny, and that’s a fact.

The second thing I’ve observed about comedy is how much it relies on the audience’s willing participation to work. It’s like trust: once the funny is lost, or sometimes even if it just wobbles for a moment, it can be well nigh impossible to get it back. If you don’t believe me, I double dog dare you to endure (and trust me, endure is the apropos term here) an evening of amateur stand-up, and watch how fast the audience can go from cheerful and happy laughter to snarling and wanting a bad performer’s blood. Sometimes not all that metaphorically.

Even more interesting is to watch, not the bad comedian who loses the audience’s funny bone, but the comedian who is forced to follow him. Because it is a feat of Herculean effort for even a brilliant comedian to successfully follow up a bad one and gain that lost trust back, and anyone who can pull it off has my automatic deep respect. It’s the difference between starting from a standstill, and starting from a muddy rut while a team of horses are trying to drag you the other way. While being attacked by bees. Or something. I may have overextended this metaphor.

My point being, the question of whether all of Mat’s shenanigans with backstories and poor aged aunts and etc. in this chapter is funny or not is extremely difficult for me to answer with anything even approaching accuracy, because I honestly don’t know if I would have found it funnier if I hadn’t been so thrown (and soured, honestly) by Mat not being the way I had expected him to be in the earlier chapters of this book. My funny bone had been lost, a bit, in other words, and it took me a while to get it back, and at this point, “a while” hadn’t quite finished yet.

And… well, that is about all I have to say about that, except to note that I am really glad that Verin’s appearance derailed any attempt to actually put Mat’s “plan” into action. Whether this is because I thought it would be a disaster or because I just didn’t want to have to read about it anymore is, thankfully, now a moot question.

As for everything else that happened in this chapter, I think when I first read this that I was almost as taken aback by Aludra’s supply requirements as Mat was. But realistically, I guess that gearing up for the apocalypse is really not the time to be worried about conserving resources. Though it does sort of guarantee that the decades (hell, the centuries) immediately following the Last Battle are going to epically suck. This is, I’m pretty sure, news to precisely no one.

Also, on re-reading I think that my summary of Mat’s interaction with Aludra in this chapter made him come off a lot douchier than he was actually being, really, because I think it’s clear from the whole text that he did feel genuinely bad for, essentially, leading her on and then dumping her by omission. Which isn’t to say that it wasn’t a tad douchey on his part, because it was, but it seemed like Aludra sincerely understood and forgave it, and I was pretty okay with that, all things considered.


Chapter 35: A Halo of Blackness

What Happens
As Rand rides through the gateway to Falme, he is unprepared for the memories it evokes, and how different he had been when he had been there before. He reflects that it had been a turning point in his life, when he had first realized what a danger he was to everyone around him.

At Falme, the shepherd boy had burned, his ashes scattered and blown away by those ocean winds. From those ashes, the Dragon Reborn had risen.

He is determined to end the Seanchan campaign of conquest today, and tells himself he can control the rage inside him enough to do so. Beside him, Nynaeve says that she remembers seeing Rand in the sky that day, and failing to Heal his wound from Ishamael, and how Min refused to leave his side. Rand thinks of how Min had remained behind today without protest, and is convinced that she only sees him killing her when she looks at him now. The pavilion where Tuon awaits him is flanked with dozens of sul’dam-damane pairs; Rand has only brought Nynaeve, three Wise Ones, Corele, Narishma and Flinn with him, but thinks that with the figurine he carries, he could possibly hold off all the damane by himself. He thinks that surely it will not come to that, but he must be prepared. He seizes the One Power, and fights both the nauseous dizziness and Lews Therin as he tries to wrest control from Rand. He has trouble remembering for a moment which one of the two he is.

Who was he?

Did it really matter?

“Are you all right?” Nynaeve asked again.

“We are fine.” Rand did not realize he’d used the plural until the words were out of his mouth. His vision was recovering, though it still seemed just a little bit fuzzy. Everything was distorted a fraction, as it had been since the battle where Semirhage had taken his hand. He barely noticed it anymore.

Nynaeve notices with dismay that the globe of the figurine is glowing, but Rand tells her he is only drawing “a little extra.” He whispers that he will not be captured again. Nynaeve uneasily suggests that perhaps they should turn back, but Rand refuses. He notes with some surprise that the chair across from Tuon’s is raised to an equal level with hers, and dismounts.

Tuon is surprised at how young the Dragon Reborn is, and wonders where he learned to carry himself so regally when he had supposedly grown up on a farm. She is unnerved by the marath’damane at his left flank, and more by the Asha’man on his right. She has Selucia quietly warn her guards to maintain their calm.

Tuon hated to make the comment, as it would lower their eyes. But she would not have a mishap. Meeting with the Dragon Reborn would be dangerous. There was no avoiding that. […] The Dragon Reborn was a bonfire inexplicably lit inside a house. You could not prevent it from damaging the room. You just hoped to save the building.

He sits across from her without questioning the equality of their seats, and Tuon reflects that it is for this reason only that she has not yet declared herself Empress: she could not have met him as an equal as Empress, but knew he would not respond well to any other arrangement. He greets her perfunctorily, and states flatly that they will make peace, today, here. Tuon asks what terms he offers, and al’Thor replies that it is not an offer, but a necessity: the Last Battle comes, and everyone’s forces are needed against the Shadow. Tuon reflects that everyone knows that the Last Battle would be between the Empire and the Shadow, and that the Empress would send the Dragon Reborn to duel with Lighteater.

How much had he fulfilled? He didn’t seem blinded yet, so that had yet to happen. The Essanik Cycle said that he would stand on his own grave and weep. Or did that prophecy refer to the dead walking, as they did already?

[…] These people seemed to have forgotten many of the prophecies, just as they forgot their oaths to watch for the Return. But she did not say this.

Al’Thor tells her the Last Battle is close “as an assassin,” and asks why she fights him. Tuon tells him that the omens told the Return it was time, but instead of finding a united kingdom ready to help the Seanchan win the Last Battle, they found a fractured land that had forgotten its oaths; therefore they must bring it together. Al’Thor replies that he has forged it together enough to last till Tarmon Gai’don, and that her war of unification is “a distraction.” He adds that their alliance need only last till he dies, which will be not long from now. Tuon counters that if he sees the value of unification, why not unite his lands under the Seanchan banner? Al’Thor refuses, flatly.

“I will not see another person chained by your foul leashes.”

“Foul? They are the only way to deal with those who can channel!”

“We have survived without them for centuries.”

“And you have—”

“This is not a point I will concede,” al’Thor said.

Tuon abandons the topic as too dangerous, and suggests they discuss what they have in common rather than what they don’t – for instance, Matrim Cauthon, who had kidnapped her. Al’Thor is shocked, but then murmurs that now he remembers “seeing her” with Mat. Tuon wonders if he is mad already, but thinks that this at least confirms that he and Matrim really do know one another, and that she will have to get Matrim back so that she can learn about al’Thor from him. She asks al’Thor what kind of man Matrim is, remarking that she’d found him to be an “indolent scoundrel”. To her indignant shock, the marath’damane interrupts to scold her not to speak of Mat that way.

“Matrim Cauthon is one of the finest men you will ever know, Your Highness, and I won’t listen to ill speech of him. What’s right is right.”

“Nynaeve is right,” al’Thor said reluctantly. “He is a good man. Mat may seem a little rough at times, but he is as solid a friend as one could hope for. Though he does grumble about what his conscience makes him do.”

“He saved my life,” the marath’damane said. “Rescued me at great cost and personal danger when no other thought to come for me.” Her eyes were afire with anger. “Yes, he drinks and gambles far too much. But don’t speak of him as if you know him, because you don’t. His heart is golden, under it all. If you’ve hurt him...”

“Hurt him?” Tuon said. He kidnapped me!”

“If he did so, then there was cause,” Rand al’Thor said.

Such loyalty! Once again, she was forced to reassess her view of Matrim Cauthon.

Al’Thor declares all this irrelevant, and stands, looming over Tuon. He stares at her, trapping her gaze, and tells her she will call off her attacks and sign a treaty with him. Tuon is seized with a terrible, crushing impulse to agree and do what he says, and cannot manage to summon any objections to mind. She fights the feeling desperately.

In the corners of her vision, she thought she saw something around him. A dark haze, a halo of blackness, emanating from him. It warped the air like a great heat. Her throat constricted, and words were forming. Yes. Yes. I will do as you ask. Yes. I must. I must.

“No,” she said, the word barely a whisper.

Al’Thor grows furious, but she repeats her refusal, and tells him he will bow to her, not the other way around.

She could not ally with this creature. That seething hatred, it terrified her, and terror was an emotion with which she was unfamiliar. This man could not be allowed freedom to do as he wished. He had to be contained.

Al’Thor accepts her refusal icily, and marches out; Tuon notes that his entourage look deeply disturbed as they follow him. Tuon takes long moments to regain her composure, and then stands and turns to her followers.

“I am the Empress,” she said in a soft voice.

As one, they fell to their knees, even the High Blood prostrating themselves.

There would be festivities and a formal coronation later, but the act of declaring herself is the only necessity for it to be a reality. She turns to General Galgan, and tells him to send word to General Yulan to prepare his attack against Tar Valon.

“We must strike against the Dragon Reborn, and quickly. This man cannot be allowed to gain any more strength than he already has.”


…That pretty much sums up my reaction to this chapter, but I’ll endeavor to expand a bit!

This scene is the equivalent of the one where the fake Aiel attack Demira in LOC: i.e. the scene where everything basically goes straight to shit. The domino effect is really quite impressive, or at least I would think so if I weren’t busy looking for something to smash my head against in sheer frustration.

This may seem a bit odd in light of how much I loved the upcoming Egwene awesomeness re: the attack on Tar Valon, but really I just hate hate hate that Rand is being this way, and instead of being terribly misjudged by other characters, he is being accurately judged, and found very much wanting. Which is a terrible, awful, no good, very bad thing to see happen to your hero character and I would like it to stop now, please. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

Tuon’s cultural beliefs, as ever, continue to be horrid, but I really really can’t blame her for saying hell to the no to this version of Rand. I can also be really really impressed that she had the strength of will to do it.

That said, I suspect that Rand’s evil-leakage-slash-going-bugshit vibe may actually be interfering with his ta’verenness, which could explain how Tuon resisted him. Although, it occurs to me that Egwene also resisted his ta’veren mojo back in, um, LOCish, when he was significantly less evil-leaking and bugshit-leaning, so maybe one has nothing to do with the other and Tuon is, like Egwene, just a very strong-willed individual. It seemed like, though, that it was definitely her fear of Rand’s aura of Very Bad Things that gave Tuon the impetus to say no to him, so, well, you pick.

(Your fun exercise for the evening: what would have happened if Tuon had not had the strength to say no?)

The Essanik Cycle said that he would stand on his own grave and weep.

Hah. Now that is some nice foreshadowing. I’m pretty sure that made no sense at all to me the first time around, but now I find it very clever indeed.

Still doesn’t mean the Seanchan prophecies aren’t more wrong than they are right, I stubbornly maintain. Though I’m getting a sinking feeling that Zen Master Rand might actually decide to go ahead and kneel to Tuon in AMoL, and I am all kinds of probably unreasonably annoyed by that. Just because I don’t blame her for refusing to ally with Rand at this juncture doesn’t mean I think she should never say okay to it. Nor do I want her to get the idea that she is in charge of this thing, because blarg. No.

The only other thing to talk about in this chapter, besides Rand’s EPIC FAIL at not screwing up EVERYTHING, was his and Tuon and Nynaeve’s sidebar about Mat. Which I know I very much liked the first time I read it, mostly because it was such a pleasant shock to see Nynaeve of all people defend Mat so passionately. On re-reading, though… well, I hate to say it but it kind of bugs me a little.

I think this is not so much because of Nynaeve’s reaction to Tuon’s digs at Mat (I still like that even if it seemed a tiny bit out of left field), but that Tuon made those digs in the first place, which struck me as being way out of left field. I dunno, it just seemed odd that she backtracked from Mat being a lion loosed on the plains or whatever to him being an “indolent scoundrel” again. She’d already come to the realization in KOD that Mat was at least partially awesome, so why the downgrade here?

Not to mention, it also seemed a little strange that Tuon was taking either Rand or Nynaeve’s opinions of Mat so seriously, considering that they are (to her) the equivalent of rabid unleashed animals, and also considering that in Rand’s particular at the moment she’s not even all that wrong. What exactly would lead Tuon, of all people, to believe that either of them are to be trusted with accurate character judgments? Enh, I dunno, it just seemed a little odd.

In any case, now that the fit has most decided hit the shan, the downward slope is gonna get fast and messy and uglier than ever from here. Yay?

Yeah, not yay.

And that’s all for now, y’all. Have a week, whoo!

Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
Great chapters. the "dig" at Mat from Tuon migh just have been an attempt to get Rand, and Nynaeves(not that Tuon wanted hers) honest opinions of Mat. It's acvtually a very good way of getting a straight answer in a diplomatic meeting.
2. aross07
I was never bothered by Tuon calling Mat an indolent scoundrel. She never thought that about him, and in fact probably underestimates him least among the key characters (save Thom).

However, she wanted to keep Rand off balance and so attacked in this way. It's also a better way to learn a person's true opinions. Present the opposing argument and see if they disagree. Most will not push back. Many will agree because that is human nature.

Nynaeve and Rand's defense of Mat convinced Tuon that their feelings were genuine.
3. wcarter4
I think I just figured out what the problem what TGS Mat is, Brandon was trying to write a character who is funny and clever and accidentally ended up channeling Lightsong from Warbreaker.
Lightsong is funny and clever in his own ways, but he's just similar enough to Mat in attitude to be completely different as a POV almost Uncanny Valley of funny off. Brandon gets the balance closer to the Mat we know and love in Towers, but here its just another painful reminder that no matter how good Sanderson is in his own right, the man we all (Sanderson included) wanted to finish this story cant.
4. sleepinghour
I thought Nynaeve's defense of Mat was perfectly in character for her.
As Elayne pointed out in TPoD:
could tell you to your face that you were a blind idiot, yet let anyone else say it, and she would defend you until she went hoarse.
It's basically a "no one picks on my brother but me" kind of thing. Mat
is the same--he complains a lot about Nynaeve, but will defend her if
others badmouth her. He says as much in the scene from ACoS where he defends Nynaeve and Elayne to Teslyn and Joline:
Nynaeve badly needed to be snatched down a peg or six, and Elayne even more, but he was not about to stand by and listen to this woman talk Nynaeve down.
5. mratfink
Leigh, was your last sentence (fit hit the shan) a reference to Zelazny? because if so awesome
Sorcha O
6. sushisushi
I'm with Samadi and aross on Tuon's characterisation of Mat as a scoundrel - this is the first time that she's met anyone who knows Mat who isn't under his command or part of his travelling party, so no surprise that she's curious about other opinions on her new husband. Plus, this is the Dragon Reborn here, Mat is supposed to know him, and she's checking in the time honoured manner that it's not just bluster, although she gets a bonus Nynaeve-opinion for free.

I don't suppose there is any way we can discuss Chapter 34 without it devolving into another 'Mat not written the way I like him' session? In the absence of a line-by-line deconstruction of RJ and Sanderson's writing styles (bet Leigh's not volunteering for that!), it's getting a bit repetitive rehashing the same arguments over again. Look over there! There's Verin! What's she up to??
Mark Locy
7. Tathas
Except for the Verin-y goodness, I found this Matt chapter to be very off. In fact, I think I agree that Matt chapters have been subtly off and the accretion of that inconsistency really stands out in this chapter. Still, from what I recall, it get's better, or at least, I grow more accustomed to it.

I remember thinking, "Darnit, Tuon, can't you just agree with Rand and get this over with? These Seanchan have been a thorn in my side for what seems like a century." But, after this post, you're right. There is no reason to ally with evil(ish) Rand. He's scary and suicidal and that's not really what you want from your allies or leaders. So, I kinda like this chapter better, upon reflection.
Skip Ives
8. Skip
@1 Samadai - Agreed, that was my take on the questions as well. Tuon was probing for a reaction, not saying something she actually felt. Plus it is a public setting, she is required to show indignation for her title, if not for herself.

My biggest issue with Chapter 34 was how out of character it was for Mat, not in big ways, but the little touches matter. That Mat wrote five pages of anything in out of character, he rarely has the patience to read five pages at a time. The Mat of this book didn't feel right, the next book does a much better job of it.
Kimani Rogers
9. KiManiak
Thanks Leigh, and a Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well!

Mat chapter!

Leigh, I appreciated your exploration of comedy, and what can affect whether something is funny or not. Comedy is hard. BWS had an incredibly difficult job (following in RJ’s footsteps, for those who aren’t paying attention) and he confessed that he would approach WoT his way, as opposed to trying to imitate RJ’s style. I think that there is a consensus that Mat is probably the most obvious example of that (although I still will contest that we don’t know for certain exactly what RJ wrote and what BWS wrote).

All of that was to say that I get that (apparently) many didn’t/don’t like Mat’s creation of “backstories.” However, I personally enjoyed this portrayal of him the first time I read it (and each time after). It was/is hilarious to me! I also loved the interaction between Talmanes and Mat; I appreciate that Talmanes gets portrayed as more mischievous and witty than in the previous novels.

I respect those that don’t find it funny, or as the Mat and Talmanes that they know and love. All I can say is, I think Brandon deserves a break; it was an incredibly difficult job to write Mat. Does he get closer to RJ’s portrayal of Mat in ToM? I think so; other opinions will vary. But, I enjoyed (and am still enjoying) the story.

Verin! And thus begins our exposure to the awesomeness that is Verin in TGS. I remember that when I first read this I had no idea how much of a pivotal role she will play in this book. Can’t hardly wait…

Rand and Tuon: Crap. I really like and really hate this chapter. It’s a good Tuon chapter, and can lead to a lot of discussion regarding the resistance of Rand’s ta’vereness (to be continued in early ToM). But it continues to be painful to read about Rand like this. I understand that it is necessary for the overall story, and that we are supposed to see Rand continuously descend into this dark character that we dislike. But it continues to be unpleasant.

As for Tuon, I like that we’re reminded that the Mat-Tuon relationship is not just a one-way thing. Tuon continues to grow more fascinated (and dare I say, more “in love”) with Mat as she spends more time apart from him. I disagree with Leigh; I think Tuon views Mat very fondly; she was just using him as a negotiation ploy to try to put Rand on the defensive.

Anyway, a pretty impressive display of willpower on her part to resist Rand. Then she has to go and piss off the reader by ordering that the cowardly-sneak attack-raid should commence. Let’s set that stage for Egwene’s super MOA…

I’ll skip the “fun exercise” Leigh set for us, but I’m interested to read what others think…
10. Lsana
I wanted to snatch Rand out of the book in this chapter, slap him upside the head five or six times, and then explain to him the concept of "negotiation." Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seemed to me his basic strategy of dealing with Tuon was to say, "You're going to do what I want because you are." There was no promised rewards if she did what he wanted, nor even any implied threat if she didn't. I know ta'verenness has gotten him pretty far in the past, but he really didn't seem to have any sort of backup plan if Tuon didn't immidiately swoon at his feet.

As far as Mat's chapter went, I think my verdict was "It's funny, but it's not Mat."
Ron Garrison
11. Man-0-Manetheran

This just jerked me right out of the book when I read it the first time. Backstory? Seriously? Mat’s done gone Hollywood. The Online Etymology Dictionary dates the word as circa 1990. The word is so new that other etymological sources don’t even list it yet! More than anything, that took the funny out of this chapter for me. And yeah, thank God Verin’s appearance put an end to having to read any more of this nonsense.
Scott Silver
12. hihosilver28
@3. wcarter4
I think that is a very astute observation. Now that you've mentioned it, I can see Lightsong a bit in Mat in this book. And let it be said that I love Brandon's work, I can't think of a single author I would prefer to finish WoT. Also, truth be told, I really didn't have a problem with Mat in this book. I think some of the issue is that his narrative arc is a transitional one in this book, going from leaving Tuon to getting Moiraine out of the Towers of Ghenji, but it doesn't give his story much heft. So, I don't disagree with people who strongly disliked Mat in this book, but it really didn't bug me much while reading it.
a a-p
13. lostinshadow
Mat chapter - meh - but yaayyyyy Verin, queen of cool undercover spy!!!

This is actually one of my most favorite Tuon scenes...not so much because she resists Rand's evil t'avern auro but more because really seems to me that she's using this highly important diplomatic meeting to get the dirt on her husband.

Remember she comes from a culture where you can't trust anyone, certainly not your husband so she's actually seeking proof that Mat really does know Rand and if true what his childhood friend thinks of him. Like others above, I think she threw the scoundrel comment out there to get a feel for how they felt about Mat. Also, it helped her judge them as well. Remember, many people think of Mat as a boy toy/ scroundrel and that Rand sees through that is in and of itself a message to Tuon.

Also gotta give props to Tuon for recognizing Rand won't appreciate being bullied which is how he is likely to view her demand that they not be seeted as equals if she comes ot him as the Empress. And yet, she would seriously lose authority before her own people/troops if she as Empress allows any one to be equal to her. so props to her for consciosly recognizing the political quagmire and not declaring herself until after the meeting.

As to Rand's refusal to negotiate on the channeling issue - honestly what was he supposed to say to that? While getting annoyed and leaving in a huff of anger is not particularly productive, Tuon and Rand are in a situation of serious culture clash and it's obvious that it can't end well.
Skip Ives
14. Skip
An even more fun exercise would be the "what if Evil Rand, was more in the forefront" here. Tuon announcing she married Mat could have made him think "Great, I just kill you and Mat becomes emperor". Yeah, that would have been so many levels of un-fun.
15. JackMyDog
When I first read of Rand's meeting with Tuon and still now I believe that if Tuon had instead said, "Mat is my husband" Rand would have given her his best leg and bowed, prophecy fulfilled
James Hogan
16. Sonofthunder
Yay - great post, Leigh!

And wow, the Rand/Tuon chapter. In reading your summary, I found myself nodding along with Tuon for most of it(she really *does* make sense most of the time...) until she refused to give in regarding leashing. Ugh. The only thing Rand does right in this chapter is to stand firm there. I remember being greatly disappointed when Tuon refused to submit to Rand. I still think, despite how dark Rand is here, that it would be for the good if Tuon had submitted at this point.

And in regards to Nynaeve and Rand's defense of Mat - awesomeness. Even in the depths of darkness, Rand's loyalty is true.

And speaking of Mat, huzzah Mat chapter! Of course, the tone is slightly off, but I'm sure enough will be said on that count, so I shall refrain. Other than to say I enjoyed this chapter more than the previous...probably because I had sufficiently acclimated to the "new" Mat.

Also - I really can't wait until Rand and Tuon meet in AMoL. I do hope that Avi somehow intercepts Rand first and persuades him that to bow to the Empress is NOT a good idea.

(And is this my first comment under 50 on a re-read post since....forever ago? I say it is)
Chris Long
17. radynski
UGH, the Mat chapter. This one was even worse than the other one, IMO. This "comedic" Mat scene is by far the worse thing Sanderson has written in the series. It is horrible.

It feels to me like he's trying to channel Joss Whedon, and doing a really poor job of it. And worst of all, it is not even remotely like Mat.

I don't understand how this scene ever got off the editing room floor. That multiple people read this and let it go just boggles my mind.
18. Tzwolf
BTW, thanks for the "Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Forum" link. I have the song running through my head now but since it's making me smile it's a good thing.
Roger Powell
19. forkroot
I've commented on this before (on the TGS spoiler thread.) I don't really blame BWS for "backstory" or "do that math", because he's too young to realize that these are contemporary jargon (anyone remember "groovy" ?)

OTOH, Harriet should have known better and should (IMO) have pushed back a bit more than she did.

Lest there be any doubt, I still think BWS did a fantastic job overall.
Pepijn Vemer
20. Artsapat
Something that's not been mentioned yet: what I found odd, was that Nynaeve apparently could see the glow of the statue. Wasn't it established that only Saidin wielders would be able to see it?

About the Mat aside, I fully agree with the other above: Tuon was deliberately downplaying Mat, just to see what the reactions were. If you want to know if other truly know somebody: you say exactly the opposite of what you yourself think. If they agree: either they don't know the person, they try to talk along with you, or -not likely here as she has been with him for a long time- you have to reassess what you (think you) know. If they disagree, it confirms what you know. Quite clever.

In addition: just the fact the "rabid, unchained animals" on the other side of the table knew Mat was impressive itself, as they are considered leaders of Randland. She may not have believed their testimony was solid, but it is commendable that these people show loyalty towards him, which says alot about Mat, even if it doesn't say a lot about the people saying it.

That said, what bugs me instead is the tone with which she is indignant about being kidnapped. She comes across as a spoiled child "but he did that to ME" in this paragraph, not as the leader of these people.
Kate Nepveu
21. katenepveu
Thanks Leigh!

Man-0-Manetheran @ #11, re: "backstory"--yeah, ToM is better about obtrusive modern language, but even then it has a female character think "She'd been played," which yanked me out something awful.
Anthony Pero
22. anthonypero
Yeah, the modernisms don't bother me at all. The whole scene was ridiculous, however... but not as ridiculous as the convoluted explanation we get for why Verin was there in the first place in the next scene. But I will wait to discuss that for the appropriate time.

What has bothered me the most about the BWS books (and not much does, he's my favorite living author), is the lack of attention to the little details that RJ was consistent with... such as time frame. There's a whole section in this book (or maybe ToM) that on subsequent printings has a big time hole retconned, because of this. It makes it hard to match up the various timelines, and even where you can... the inconsistencies make you dout your conclusions.

But also, more of that in the next Verin chapter.
Alice Arneson
23. Wetlandernw
Tell me something, y'all. Why is it that those who complain most loudly about Mat being "off" can't even spell his name right?
James Whitehead
24. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@23Wetlandernw, their anger blinds them to spell check? ;-)

Rich Bennett
25. Neuralnet
Thanks for the reread Leigh!
I have all kinds of hate for the Mat chapter... I guess it just wasnt funny to me. Even on the first read, I found myself wondering how Tom Sawyer had snuck into the WoT series. For me this is the chapter where Mat just doesnt seem "right". On the plus side, at least we get sneaky Verin up to her old tricks in this chapter.

Then there is the next chapter, which I think is one of the better chapters in this book. As much as I hate evil Rand, I loved this chapter. The whole meeting was really well done IMHO and nicely set up future events. Kudos to Tuon for being able to resist Rand. and great idea that maybe fear from Rand's evil aura helped her resist in some way. The seanchen prophesies always intrigue me... wonder if Rand will be blinded at some point as well. (guy just cant catch a break)
Roger Powell
26. forkroot
In defense of BWS re: the whole time frame issue: I believe he set out to do AMoL in one BIG book, following RJ's plan for events. When he realized that AMoL would impractical to be bound as one book, he went first to Harriet and then (with her) to Tom Doherty with the idea of splitting it into three books.

If he'd stuck to the synchronized timeline, we would have gotten all of the setup scenes from TGS and setup scenes from ToM as the first "new" book. Not much payoff, especially after a four year wait!

So he had to focus on Rand and Eg's timelines in order to get the outstanding chapters coming up - and he had to rush to backfit stuff. Meanwhile, we're all champing at the bit for the first new book to come out...he was under a lot of pressure!

I think if he had known from the start that it was going to have to be three books he might have been able to plan it a bit better; but if you take RJ's plot lines as an absolute imperative (as BWS did), then there still would have had to be some accelerations.
27. Jeff R.
Honestly, Mat's off-ness is probably more than a little bit caused by the fact that it's pretty much impossible to reconsile the basically decent human being that he's been with anyone willing to spend one second consorting with slavemonger Tuon for any purpose other than assassination. Everything else is just cracks spreading out from that faultline.

Seanchan Delenda Est!
Anthony Pero
28. anthonypero
@forkroot... that's not what I was implying. Sorry to confuse. Jordan had wonky, mismatched timelines throughout the whole series. Heck, one whole BOOK was practically two weeks behind a previous one. But Jordan gave you reference clues (like the moon cycle, or holidays, etc...) from which to reconstruct the timeline with virtual certainty. Those are few and far between in the last two, and they were more needed than ever.
Anthony Pero
29. anthonypero
@Wet: They might be misspelling it--or they might be reading other translations that spell Mat as Matt.
Anthony Pero
30. anthonypero
Off Topic: What's up with the site today... its WORKING! No error messages or anything! Not a single double post today.
31. al'Kohol
Yeah, it was pretty painful to read that bit. The only more painful Mat piece, IMO, is the "boots" chapter. But I cut Sanderson slack; dude's in a tough position, and to his credit I think he took the fan backlash to heart, and brought Mat back into more balance in ToM.
Scott Silver
32. hihosilver28
Alright, I must be spacing it here. What was the continuity issue that got fixed in later editions of the book?
Jeremy Vanneman
33. Jeribai
I'm not so much bothered by the lack of humor in chapter 34 as I am the complete lack of necessity for it. The WoT series is long, and rich. Every chapter leads to something else; every chapter is necessary; every chapter has value. This chapter had absolutely no value but to come up with something trying to be witty, then introduce Verin ... which could have happened in a much more natural or interesting way. The fact that it doesn't match Mat very well is almost an aside. Oh, and Mandevwin being a complete idiot (in his 40s-50s) doesn't help Mat's case either considering he's in charge of a very large force of crossbowmen.

As for the Tuon/Rand meeting, I was actually a bit disappointed. The meeting wasn't planned at all by Rand, nor Tuon as to how to get the other side to concede to any of their plans. Also, for a meeting between the two most elite rulers in the world, I would have expected a lot more show. A few dozen damane, no grolm, corlm, or other rare creatures; no fanfare or parade; a lack of mention of huge crowds of people watching ... it just doesn't make sense. Then Rand's mention of the DR being born from the ashes of Falme ... I'm sorry, but that really didn't happen until TDR (hence the name of the book). Oh, and as a side note, I would've really preferred the POV from Furyk Karede rather than Tuon for this ... even if it required the omission of Tuon feeling Rand's ta'veren pulling at her.

@25: I think Rand mentioning the blurring of his vision ever since Semirhage is actually the beginning of him going blind.
Anthony Pero
34. anthonypero

I'm posting a link to the theoryland interview Terez posted that briefly refers to this in the next comment... it will have to clear moderators. For now, here is an unclickable link:


It is Question #7. Please note, this doesn't state what the error was with Mat's timeline... I read it somewhere, but don't remember it.
Anthony Pero
35. anthonypero

Link to the error is coming.. it's been flagged as spam... It will come through eventually.

Once again, I request that the PTBs find a way to whitelist Theoryland and Dragonmount links (and Wikipedia!) so that they are not marked as spam.
Chin Bawambi
36. bawambi
My 2 cents on Mat...
I can understand that some folk get thrown out by BWS language and style differences but for those who are all "not my Mat" I don't get it.
I always read the roleplaying and scripting that Mat does in the chapter to be a natural extension of his character arc in trying to become a lord with having only his TwoRivers roots and Finn memories to go by. He has been becoming more of a dandy with each book and his struggles with this are part of what make Mat/Nyn two sides of the same hilarious coin for me.
Anthony Pero
37. anthonypero

In my opinion, the blinding was metaphorical. His blindness was lifted at the peak of Dragonmount at the end of this book.. it was his blindness to the truth that he and Lews Therin are the same person. It led to his reintegration.
Hugh Arai
38. HArai
As much as Rand's darkness taints the conversation it's clear that Tuon had no intention of moving on the idea that she should be in charge or the idea that all channelers should be leashed. Given that, what else is there for Rand to try other than using ta'veren influence to make her agree? It's not like he can cave on those points.

People are saying Rand blew it, and sure he didn't miraculously succeed, but the meeting was essentially doomed from the start. Even if it had been Zen Rand and not Darth Rand, it's hard to imagine Tuon deciding to free all the damane because the Dragon Reborn seems like a nice guy or decide the Empress will take orders from him because he's swell. Until Tuon comes to a very different frame of mind, it's not happening.
39. al'Kohol
I think 20+ comments went up while I typed mine, and they did make me think...

How, exactly, will the Rand/Tuon meeting go in AMoL? They have to meet; the two must be "bound as one" before Rand goes and bites it/doesn't bite it/bites it and (Not-at-all-Christlike™) un-bites it. And Rand has to, somehow, get her to submit to him, based on Aviendha's trip through the columns. I don't think RJ ever intended to give us the full post-TG story, but no way do I buy that he's going to leave us with THAT as the likely future.

My Looney Musings (I dare not call it a theory) wonder if Rand's newfound Age of Legends memories might help him convince her that Ishamael corrupted Seanchan prophecies (which I think is very strongly hinted, if never outright stated, in the text). Maybe Mat can corroborate, since he and Hawkwing were BFFs.
40. Curtain Jerker
One of the subtle things I live about this entire series is how the nation that practices slavery is led by someone who looks like a slave. Before you all yell at me, let me expound.

We're pretty sure that the WoT world is a distant future (the Mosk and Merk stories correlating to Moscow and America, the Mercedes-Benz hood ornament that means hubris found in Tanchico). Therefore, there should be people of all ethnicities in this world. However, the only people who are ethnically sub-Saharan African are Semirhage and Tuon. I'm not pissed off there aren't any other black people in this universe, but I enjoy the subversion of one of the few blacks running the empire where people are enslaved. It is a great inversion, so bravo Mr. Jordan.
41. Caveatar
@5. mratfink
"Leigh, was your last sentence (fit hit the shan) a reference to Zelazny? because if so awesome"

Lord of Light. One of my all time favorite reads.

I enjoyed Mat's scene with the backstories but then I enjoyed the circus arcs as well and I am sure I am in the minority in both cases.
My ONLY problem with W0T is that there is NO major or semimajor character I can identify with. (Please don't complain about that sentence structure.)
I can sympathise with a lot of them and their troubles and triumphs but that is as far as it goes.
And there is No One in W0T who I would want to be. Not even Mat.
Does anyone else feel this way about the characters or is it just me?

Cynthia Ahmar
42. tenkuu
Artsapat@20: I think everyone, including non-channelers, can see the effects of both a man and a woman's channeling, but can't actually see or sense the weaves themselves. The statue glowing was a physical reaction to it having saidin channeled through it. It's a bit like the way Rand and the Asha'man used saidin to make the earth explode in that one weave used at the end of LoC. Only they could see those weaves and sense that saidin was being used, but everyone could see the earth exploding and bodies being torn apart as a result.

al'Kohol@39: It's pretty clearly mentioned in the encyclopedia that Ishamael was the one responsible for Artur Hawkwing's madness regarding the first a'dam ever. According to the wiki, Ishamael tells Rand this when he first summons him into the Dream World. If Rand hasn't mentioned it thus far, either he doesn't know the details or doesn't think it would have enough of an impact on a people he basically considers all but pure evil.

Curtain Jerker@40: If we're talking about skin color, I do believe it is the Atha'an Miere who had dark-skinned, like Africans, whereas the Seanchan are more olive-skinned like Asians.
Roger Powell
43. forkroot
From the summary:
He seizes the One Power, and fights both the nauseous dizziness and Lews Therin as he tries to wrest control from Rand. He has trouble remembering for a moment which one of the two he is.
This is yet another excellent example of how Leigh does such a good job with the summaries. She throws in this tempting nugget and doesn't have time to discuss it. Holy cluebat(man)!
Anthony Pero
44. anthonypero
Totally Off Topic:

Just found this in the interview Database on Theoryland:
Question 11: New Dreadlords? Via True Power? What are limits of True Power? When did we see it used before?

Robert Jordan: Access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. NOT black cords. In the Prologue to The Eye of the World we saw True Power used to heal insanity. The One Power cannot be used to heal insanity. True Power used at Shayol Ghul will fry you instantly.
This was asked at a CoS signing by Erica Sudan, former keeper of the WoTFAQ before Leigh. So... how did Nynaeve heal the madness in the Asha'man? Arg. Someone ask Maria.
Kimani Rogers
45. KiManiak
Curtain@40 - I think I see what you're trying to say, but if you do want to keep the potentially rancorous responses down to a minimum, you may want to restate your point.

I don't really have the energy to go into it right now, but Tuon and Semirhage aren't the only black people in the WoTverse (although they may be the only major characters who are black; I think there is mention of a few minor characters of dark skin). I believe there is mention that the Seanchan come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Also, I believe the Sharans would qualify as black. And tenku@42 mentioned the Athan Miere.

If you're going to potentially open up a Pandora's box like that, I would encourage you to be as explicit as possible to minimize the potential misunderstandings and resulting hoopla. Just my two cents; take it or leave it...
mark Proctor
46. mark-p
I am probably wrong because no one else commented on it but when I read the chapter it seemed like the negotiations ended with Rand attempting to use Compulsion on Tuon but failing.
Anthony Pero
47. anthonypero

After an age like the AoL, it would be safe to assume that there would be enough intermarrying over 4000 years or so to get rid of some racial differences... not all, of course, but some. Also, the Sea Folk are black. They have all different eye colors, I believe, however.
Anthony Pero
48. anthonypero

That's been discussed before, in the TGS spoiler thread. A lot. I think there is a general concensus that this is not the case. Most people seem to think that the dark aura is a distortion of Rand's ta'veren nature. It certainly amounts to the same thing. Rand tries to directly influence the Pattern, and therefore make the Pattern make Tuon do what he wants. It's sort of like, compulsion by proxy. But it's not a use of the Power, therefore its not the Compulsion weave, per se.

Others, of course, disagree, and think that Rand was using a TP form of Compulsion. But, if he was, I don't see how he could have possibly failed.
Nadine L.
49. travyl
Leigh said: The Essanik Cycle said that he would stand on his own grave and weep. - that is some nice foreshadowing. I’m pretty sure that made no sense at all to me the first time around, but now I find it very clever indeed.

I know Rand is supposed to die and somehow live again, but that hasn't yet happend (has it?). - It still doesn't make sense to me. What do you make of Leigh's statement?
Kimani Rogers
50. KiManiak
Travyl@49 - I believe Leigh is referencing the end of this book (Veins of Gold), with Rand standing on Dragonmount (his/Lews Therin's grave) and weeping. That's how I interpret it.
mark Proctor
51. mark-p
Those threads are rather long so thanks for your summary.

In his previous life Rand killed him self and created the Dragon Mount as a side effect. Then at the end of this book he stands on the mountain and weeps
Nadine L.
52. travyl
Ok, i feel really stupid now (maybe that's why I defend Gawyn so often).
Thanks for the explanation. Now it is quite obvious (and briliant).
Roger Powell
53. forkroot
Robert Jordan: ...The One Power cannot be used to heal insanity.
...So... how did Nynaeve heal the madness in the Asha'man?
A very good question indeed. I can see where RJ would have had to set the limitation on the OP being able to heal insanity -- otherwise no breaking of the world!

Perhaps what Nynaeve does is "remove the taint" and perhaps it's only effective for those male channelers who have not gone completely crazy. So for example, Naeff, who just saw Fades everywhere could be healed, but somelike like Fedwin who truly lost it would be beyond help? (Why does this feel like hair-splitting??)

Alternatively, RJ could have meant that no one knew how to use the OP to heal insanity and it was thought impossible. This is certainly not the first "impossible" thing Nynaeve has done. (I admit the phrasing as reported makes this sound like a stretch.)

While I'm on the subject of "impossible" weaves:
Another interesting example is female detection of male channeling. That is widely accepted by all of the AoLers as impossible. Moghedien even used the false promise of such a weave to waste the Supergirl's time since she knew it was impossible.

Unfortunately, Nacelle (who was described as not particularly intelligent) never got the memo and actually figured out a way to do it. What's really weird is that Nacelle is Black Ajah -- it's surprising she would share a potentially powerful discovery indiscriminately... I guess that proves she wasn't very intelligent!

Now back to the last sentence of that quotation from RJ:
True Power used at Shayol Ghul will fry you instantly
Perhaps this will finally put the theories to rest that have Rand sealing off the DO with the TP.
54. Zakaria
I was thinking...what about the Horn of Valere? Isn't Arthut Hawking one of the hero's of the horn but also THE man of the Seanchan? Maybe this guy is destined to play a pivotal role, between the Seanchan and the "coalition of the light", making them fight the shadow as one.

Greetz, a big wot (and Leigh) fan from Amsterdam
55. Lsana

I admit that I had the exact same thought ("Rand's already stood on his own grave? When did that happen?"), so you don't need to feel bad. We can feel stupid together.
Stefan Mitev
56. Bergmaniac
I liked the backstory bit, it was quite funny, and for that I can forgive almost everything.

Aludra's bit how she absolutely needed all copper and tin in four realms was a bit strange. Surely lesser qualities of those materials simply means less Dragons, not no Dragons at all. And she was doing fine using only the resources of Andor in ToM.

Nynaeve's defence of Mat - great stuff. Typical Nynaeve, she keeps the right to insult and bash her friends only for herself. ;)
j p
57. sps49
I found the funny to be funny, but I didn't overanalyze the earlier chapters (not a criticism; I am not a good reviewer, and one is part of the other) and thought Mat's misbegotten attempt to learn from experience made some sense.

Mat leading Aludra on, though? He pursued her, she fended him off without a definite "no", then he was married. I am sure Aludra heard about how that happened, and she might be disappointed at the missed opportunity but she would probably be more disappointed if Mat had continued.

Yay Verin, ecept I was veeery suspicious of her at first.

I do love Nynaeve taking issue with Tuon's statement (identical to her own perception) that Mat is a scoundrel. Mat is common ground for the two sides, and Rand might've gained the alliance he sought, but I respect Tuon for her refusal to ally with the darkness apparent in Rand.

Whatever happens, I do not see the institution of damane surviving.
Douglas Miller
58. douglas
anthonypero@44 and forkroot@53

Another way to view it is that RJ was talking about insanity in general, and taint-induced madness is a special case where the root cause is distinct from the insanity itself and the root cause can be healed. The way it's described when Nynaeve heals Naeff it seems like taint madness is actually an altered form of Compulsion, and someone having a Compulsion weave sitting in his head telling him to "be insane" is a quite different situation from someone suffering from a mundane mental disorder, however extreme. Some combination of lack of opportunity (how do you get the madman to sit still and stop trying to kill you long enough to study?) and preconceptions of impossibility due to the known general case could easily explain why no one in the Age of Legends figured it out.

Also, unless Lews Therin's condition in Rand's head is purely a result of stress and grief, it seems that Ishamael's "healing" only temporarily addressed the symptoms of madness rather than permanently removing the cause as Nynaeve did with Naeff. This would fit with Ishamael using a general "cure insanity" True Power weave, alleviating the symptoms and granting Lews Therin a short period of lucidity before the taint reasserts itself.
Jay Dauro
59. J.Dauro

Artur Hawkwing never saw an a'dam. They were created in Seanchen, by Deain (an Aes Sedai), and presented to Luthair Paendrag Mondwin, Artur's son.

Ishamael did advise Hawkwing (as Jalwin Moerad), and probably advised on sending Luthair across the ocean, and on turning Hawkwing away from the Tower
Sam Mickel
60. Samadai
About Nynaeve and her healing. We have all these rediscovered talents, I wonder if her "delving" is one of them? That would explain why she comes up with these weaves that she does. It would also explain how she was such a good healer even when she didn't channel consciously(did I spell that right?) Would be a good question to ask BWS or team WOT.
Valentin M
61. ValMar
Hi guys, it's late here so I will make a quick comment on a specific issue: Nyneave healing madness when RJ said it couldn't be done. Obviously BWS screw up! Only joking, haha stop rolling on the floor, people are looking at you.
Maybe the reason why Nyn is able to Heal the Taint induced madness is because Rand cleaned Saidin. We know that after the Cleaning the affects of the Taint weren't reversed, but stopped from further progressing. With the Taint present what Nyn, or anyone else with the Power, did would've been futile. This is what RJ meant, probably.
Roger Powell
63. forkroot
I have a hunch that "Mrs Freelancer" takes priority over the reread tonight.

As for "Mrs forkroot" - she's still grinding away at her office! We don't do as much for Valentine's Day anyway, because our anniversary is just a couple of days earlier. We celebrated #15 in Las Vegas last weekend and had a great time.

However, today is a RED LETTER DAY for an entirely different reason. It's Arizona's 100th birthday!
64. Wotman
I feel that people are going overboard on the humor thing, Matt was always a prankster and witty even when he was deathly ill. I found his humor humorous, not fall down laughing funny and after all he has been through from being single drinking gambling to married (royalty to boot) and seriously fighting the notion, yet can't escape his nobleness with women. Plus, all the time he has spent with Talmanes the stick in the mud which drives Matt batty, I can see this attitude easily.
I love it when Kathy Bates, er I mean Verin, makes her run for glory, she was always an alarm bell for me through out the series.
I totally disagree that the dark aura around Rand is his "Tavereness", I think it is strictly his darkside that has been pushed toward the breaking out point becasue of his frustration in the way things are going for him. I believe his tavereness was the reason Tuon nearly agreed with him and the darkness was the thing that broke the deal.
I find it is for good cause (IMO), there has to be a resolution between them concerning the aes sedai and slavery before they can go forward. I couldn't see anyone willing to work with the Seanchan otherwise.
65. MasterAlThor
Alright some good chapters to discuss this week.

Mat's chapter was funny. The whole idea of coming up with stupid backstories for the various people invovled is just out right hilarious. That's how it is, if you don't agree....there is a corner with a chair for you, have fun.


Man his descent is fun to watch. While Leigh may want to bang her head into every solid object she can find, I find it facinating. Rand is finally acting like a person who thinks that their poo don't stink. Hey we all know he is going to get better, so I am just enjoying the ride. Rand has to go through this. I got that the first time I read this and I enjoy it even movre the second time because of how much clearer it is to me.

Also, as a distinct person of color, I appreciate any attempts to get any of my brethern to become more involved in such a wonderful genre. Way to go guys.

Tess Laird
66. thewindrose
I thought this line in 'Legends' was funny, but maybe a bit too blatent of a clue:
Why he'd have to dice with the queen of Andor herself to find this kind of coin.
I guess after I read it the first time, I was like - Ok, Elayne is going to be key on getting the dragons made. And...we know what happens now - so.

I know that one of the reasons I don't want to see Rand bowing is the way the Seanchen and above all Tuon think about it:
{...}How could he be so bold? He was the Dragon Reborn, that was how. But his words were foolishness. He would bow before her, once she was Empress. The prophecies demanded it.
You know, she thought earlier about how the writings were unclear(from the Essanik Cycle), and she puts a lot of faith into omens. I am looking forward to how this resolves...

67. Freelancer
Zakaria @54

Artur Paendrag Tanreall is indeed revered by the Seanchan, but he never knew them. He sent Luthair, his son, and an army across the ocean, and the result was the founding of Seanchan.

Also, keep in mind that the first and only "onscreen" time that the Hawkwing has had in the story so far is at Falme, where he and the Heroes of the Horn destroy the Seanchan army. He follows the Dragon, regardless of past kingdoms and allegiances.

In other news, the 2nd draft progress bar for A Memory of Light at brandonsanderson.com jumped up to 70%. Last I looked, which was less than a week ago, it was 40%.
Cynthia Ahmar
68. tenkuu
forkroot@53: I'm confused, what way of detecting a man's channeling are you saying Nacelle discovered? The only thing I can think of is detecting residual weaves, the way Reds have been doing since forever, but no natural method such as the men's way of detecting women channeling from the feeling of goosebumps on their skin.

douglas@58: Not all forms of madness need be rabid and murderous. Take poor Fedwin as the best example of that.

J.Dauro@59: Oops, thanks for the correction. At least I had the right family? *hides*

MasterAlThor@65: As far as I'm concerned, Rand is as human as anyone else in that book, and has gone through at least 10 times more shit than even any one of his friends, including the other two ta'veren. In addition, he doesn't have Mat's aloofness and is particularly kind and sensitive, not to mention a hardworker. I'm not talking about Rand the Dragon Reborn but Rand the person. I think his reactions are normal, and given the way people have treated him, I can't see him having done anything differently. If anything, I was damn proud of him for finally banishing Cadsuane, but absolutely can't fault him for dealing with things in his own way.

Freelancer@67: Yeah, my bad, see my above response to douglas.
Cameron Tucker
69. Loialson
Speaking of Tuon, just had 2 theories for aMoL (post my latest ToM reread) crop up:

1. Tuon currently has another strike pending upon the white tower. I think somehow the dreamspike used at the Black Tower will be reclaimed by Team Light, and moved to the White Tower, to prevent Tuon mwahahaing her way into the tower grounds.

2. Mat will use the Horn of Valere, walk up to Tuon with Artur Hawkwing and say something to the measure of:
"Precious, here's the real Hawkwing, and He needs to give you some advice"
(Hawkwing proceeds to give her a tongue lashing about how enslaving people is wrong, and to knock it off. Then returns to his TAR pals to kick some shadowspawn derriere)

Tuon stands stunned, her world and ancestor worship done a 360 paradigm shift, and then whips Tylee out to be BFFs with, and cooperate with Egwene to kick some serious trash at Tarmon Gaidon.

a a-p
70. lostinshadow
Actually I think that the White Tower will be overcome by seanchan forces while Egwene is busy trying to unite the world against Rand. This goes back to my point about Egwene, of all the superkids, not really having yet suffered a moment of internal crisis, never really questioned herself. Considering how much emphasis has been placed on this kind of growth for the others I cannot imagine how Eggs will escape without any self questioning life lesson.

Re meeting of all better now Rand and Fortuona: not sure it really will happen. I think Mat may play intermediary there. Funilly enough Mat is the go to head general for both sides.
I am think Brandons Mat is on the money. I think his personality changes are due to his acceptance of destiny, which is...

1. The Prince of the Ravens and husband of the now Empress of Seanchan.

2. Commander of the most successful army known during these times. And he's just getting started. I believe he will eventually be confirmed as one of the Great Captains, if not The Great Captain.

3. He's starting to find that it's better to be the boss than the worker.

4. Life as a nobleman isn't so bad.

5. While he has no desire to be a hero, he's finding that he is good at it.

6. Unbeknownst to him, Mat has found that Talmanes is the best friend he has ever had. And that is in large part due to Talmanes being his best friend. And even crazier than that Talmanes genuinely loves Mat and I don't think Talmanes ever loved his own mother.

john mullen
72. johntheirishmongol
I wasn't as upset with the Mat sequence as many seem to be. I thought it was amusing in its own way, and certainly nothing to argue about, especially since Verin show up and blows all his carefully laid plans to hell. So the real joke here is that Mat finally starts planning, and there is no real need for it.

I actually thought the written document with all the misspellings and poor grammer was less Mat-like, since he had all those past lives and they were military leaders, and you don't get to be one of those without study and a good appreciation of history.

As for Rand and Tuon, I thought this was particularly well done in a number of ways. Rand tried to force his taverenness on her, but it didn't work, which I think was more because it was not supposed to work that way than any weakness in his taverenness. It's supposed to be for need and necessity, and Rand's plans are wrong here for the Light.

I thought Tuon's mentioning of Mat was more about checking up on if her hubby's stories were actually true, rather than throwing off Rand. I also think it was true to live that Ny would back Mat and support him and tell how good he was, but she couldn't do it to his face without her arm being twisted.
Kimani Rogers
73. KiManiak
travyl@52 – No need to feel embarassed or anything. Sooo much happens in this series; I know that I’ve benefitted several times from fellow re-readers reminding me of things that have happened, and also when (I’m especially weak on events in books 1-3; for some reason I just don’t retain that info well).

Samadai@60 – Are you proposing that Nynaeve came up with an improved form of Delving, just as she did with Healing (with her way of using the 5 “Powers” as opposed to the 3 that the AS used to do)? Hmm; cool possibility…

Tenku@68 – I believe that forkroot@53 was referencing the weave that Nacelle “came up with” which detected that Jahar was channeling when he and Merise gave the Salidar Aes Sedai the Dragon’s proposal to bond 50-some odd Ashaman in KoD (Call to A Sitting).

The text describes it as “something akin to the weave for detecting residues,” but assumedly not the same thing. Nacelle could detect that Jahar was holding saidin and she could then tell when (and in what direction) he weaved saidin.

Rand later mentions (A Plain Wooden Box, KoD) that the Ashaman were trying to duplicate it in a way that would detect women’s weaves, but they had not been successful up to that point.

You are correct, though (as far as the reader knows); there is no “natural” way for women to detect men channeling like men can do with women via goose bumps on their flesh.
Kimani Rogers
74. KiManiak
As for the speculation regarding Rand & Tuon’s next meeting and the forging of a lasting alliance between Rand’s forces and the Seanchan: I don’t know. I’m not feeling too good about the strength of such a union.

I think that in order for the peace to really last post TG, I would argue that the a’dam should no longer be a threat and that therefore damane should no longer exist. I have a problem envisioning that the various saidar-wielding factions (Aes Sedai, Athan Miere, Kin, and most definitely the Aiel) of this side of the ocean would be comfortable with the Seanchan as long as any of their number were enslaved. Even if they were all released, I believe the threat that they could still be enslaved and possibly be used against their sisters would lead to a tense truce that would be balanced on a knife’s edge (okay, maybe a little too dramatic on my part).

I believe (and I’m sure I’m not the only one; I’m assuming that there are probably factions on Theoryland or other WoT fansites that have debated this topic ad nauseam) that in order for the peace to be real and lasting, the threat of the a’dam would have to be neutralized. Whether that is via some yet-undiscovered way to reverse the flow of the a’dam so the collared half of the union doesn't have to do what the bracelet-wearing half wants; or some Macguffin as of yet undiscovered in the Tower’s stockpile room that automatically neutralizes the effect of the a’dam; or whatever, I don’t know.

I know that this peaceful, non-adam-having world may not mesh with the “The Last Battle done, but the world not done with war” prophecy, but as long as the a’dam exists I don’t see a way that the Seanchan don’t ultimately (even if it takes decades or even centuries, like what we see via Aviendha's experiences in the columns in ToM) collar essentially all female channelers; short of the Randlandians banding together and crushing the Seanchan in battle before the Seanchan rebuild their empire in Seandar. And we can assume that with Mat on Tuon’s side, that that’s not likely to happen.

Since we have another 9 months or so before we (hopefully) get a definite answer to the question via AMoL, would others care to speculate? Or, should we wait until we get to the “Aviendha and theWay-Forward-Machine” sections in ToM before we tackle this topic?
75. Curtain Jerker
Many thanks to all who reminded me the Sea Folk are dark-skinned. Major oversight on my part, so thanks for correcting that. I try to forget the Sea Folk exist, mainly because I find them to be incredibly annoying group of people - for many of the same reasons Leigh pointed out for over the course of this reread.

As far as my original claim in #40, here's what I hope is a better explanation. I appreciate the fact that of all the various societies and cultures that we've been exposed to on a regular basis (so not Shara and whatever passes for civilization in The Land of Madmen), the one that practices slavery is led by a black person. Now, I know that throughout history people of every ethnicity were enslaved by people of every ethnicity, but I liked the inversion of a black ruler enslaving white (among others, as a few commenters pointed out) people, whereas in the real world the opposite was true.

Now, slavery in all its forms - even fictional slavery - is a reprehensible practice, and is the main reason why I loathe the Seanchan, and sincerely look forward to their - hopefully - come to Jesus moment in aMoL (wow was that a helluva comma splice on my part).

I like Tuon the character, I just find her people and her customs infuriating. I can understand where she comes from and why she thinks the way she thinks, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.

Hopefully that was a better explanation. If not, I apologize in advance for pissing anyone off. It wasn't/isn't my goal to piss people off, but rather to share something I found interesting. If I did a poor job in explaining that please forgive me in advance.
Jonathan Levy
76. JonathanLevy
I had the same reaction. That word belongs in a Tom Clancy novel, not WoT.

UGH, the Mat chapter.
Yeah. Mat's chapter might have been funny in a coming-of-age coast-to-coast trailer drive story. In this context, both the language and his behavior are jarringly out of place.

20.Artsapat also 42.tenkuu
Something that's not been mentioned yet: what I found odd, was that Nynaeve apparently could see the glow of the statue. Wasn't it established that only Saidin wielders would be able to see it?
I'm not sure. I vaguely remember it glowing while balefiring Graendal's palace, and I think that scene was from Min's POV. Need to re-read. Maybe someone else remembers?
She may not have believed their testimony was solid, but it is commendable that these people show loyalty towards him, which says alot about Mat
Astute observation.

I'm not so much bothered by the lack of humor in chapter 34 as I am the complete lack of necessity for it
Splitting the book in 3 required some filler, and Hinderstap wasn't enough. :)

I can understand that some folk get thrown out by BWS language and style differences but for those who are all "not my Mat" I don't get it. I always read the roleplaying and scripting that Mat does in the chapter to be a natural extension of his character arc in trying to become a lord with having only his TwoRivers roots and Finn memories to go by.
What? Mat trying to become a Lord? He's not trying - he's becoming one in spite of himself. Also, roleplaying fits Mat just fine, but only if it's off-the-cuff improvisation. Staying up all night to write 5-page backstories for several different characters? This is the guy who Tarzan'ed into a bunch of cutthroats in TDR without bringing his quarterstaff, diced with Comar and barely survived, and jumped into the Stone of Tear after blasting a hole which was originally intended as a distraction. Mat is a man of action, trusting his wits and his luck.

39. al'Kohol
How, exactly, will the Rand/Tuon meeting go in AMoL? They have to meet; the two must be "bound as one"
I'm guessing the Mat-Tuon marriage connection is what's going to fulfill that prophecy.

Mat leading Aludra on, though? He pursued her, she fended him off without a definite "no", then he was married. I am sure Aludra heard about how that happened, and she might be disappointed at the missed opportunity but she would probably be more disappointed if Mat had continued.
Mat rescued Aludra way back in TDR. Then she meets him as Tylin's Toy. He starts flirting with her, she plays hard to get but they start smooching a lot at a certain point. Then he asks her to come with him when he runs away, and she agrees - and suddenly he's pretending to be Egeanin's lover, and a week later starts wooing Tuon.

There are a couple of scenes in KoD/TGS which reveal her feelings, for example when he walks by and sees her watching him, and another time when she says to him that now she will not tell him the 'secrets which would make you blush' anymore.

Did he lead her on? Worse, he broke her heart. The hero who saved her comes back into her life, flirts with her, she starts to think that maybe, just maybe she might have a chance with him - and suddenly he's completely disinterested.

@several on BWSisms in the text

For those who agree that 'backstory' is an anachronism, there's another BWSism which troubled me in Tuon's otherwise excellent scene. Others may want to skip to the next comment.
Such loyalty! Once again, she was forced to reassess her view of Matrim Cauthon.
Why do I call this a BWSism? Because instead of being shown Tuon's thoughts, we are being shown Tuon thinking about her own thoughts.

Compare with KoD:26, she thinks (paraphrased) "A lion in a cage is silly, but a lion on the high plains is dangerous". She doesn't think "Previously she had thought of him as a lion in a cage, which is silly, but now she saw him as a lion on the high plains, which is dangerous".

"Tuon is forced to reassess her view of Mat" is something Jordan might have written as a note to himself, but I doubt he would have put it in the text.
77. Cefam
Finishing my own rereading of TGS some time ago, I finally realised why the Mat chapters bothered me: More than any other character, he's a child at the start of the story and an adult at the end (seriously, try reading his first conversation with Rand in The Eye of the World, and then his last scene with the Seanchan officer in Knife of Dreams). In TGS, he's suddenly much closer to the immature, annoying hey-let's-run-off-on-our-own-in-Shadar-Logoth-'cause-there-might-be-treasure teenager of the first two books.
78. missbee
KiManiak @73
- impossible weaves
There is another example with Nyn during her Accepted test.
She not only detects Aginor's weaves but also redirects them somehow. Not only that but she does it fast enough to redirect lightning.
I always wandered how much foreshadowing there is in that passage
Ron Garrison
80. Man-0-Manetheran
forkroot @ 19
Oh, I totally agree with you. If I recall correctly, there was a bit of a rush to publication which would explain (but not forgive) no one on Team Light catching such a jarring error. Similarly, I just finished a new book from a major publisher and was appalled with the number of typos - the kind that will pass an automated spell checker, but usually not an actual reader (word spelled correctly, but no longer the right word).

Bergmaniac @ 56
“Aludra's bit how she absolutely needed all copper and tin in four realms was a bit strange. Surely lesser qualities of those materials simply means less Dragons, not no Dragons at all.”
True. Aludra was just having a Halliburton moment, i.e. “more is better.”

toryx@ 79
“Mary Sueish” LOL!
Alice Arneson
81. Wetlandernw
Artsapat @20 – I think pretty much anyone is able to see the crystal glowing when someone uses it. If nothing else, we have the guy back in Cairhien who freaked out when he saw the big version start glowing when there was no one around, as well as the Amayar who saw the female version start glowing at the same time. My read has always been that the crystal spheres glow when these ter’angreal are used, and anyone in the vicinity can see that glow.

Forkroot @26 (re: others) – Just to embellish a little on your comment, IIRC they decided that the split worked best if they did two major arcs in each of the first two books, and then the grand finale in the third. Considering how the arcs link up, it was clearly best to put Rand & Egwene in the first, with Mat and Perrin in the second, and just enough scenes of the non-focus arcs to keep them moving forward a little. It’s always been fairly clear that Perrin and Mat were “behind” Egwene and Rand by several weeks at the end of TGS, but they made much better books if taken by the arc rather than by the day/week.

Anthony @28 – Brandon has said that it was very difficult for him to do the timeline cues as RJ had done, because RJ had the entire timeline in his head all the time (including the phase of the moon), and Brandon just doesn’t work that way. It would certainly have been possible to get things written, match them physically against a timeline (with moon phases & stuff), and then go insert the appropriate references, but it’s really not his style. Apparently the rest of Team Jordan didn’t feel it was necessary, although I’m betting it drove Steven Cooper up the wall.

al'Kohol @39 - How, exactly, will the Rand/Tuon meeting go in AMoL? Well, now, that’s the big question. Tuon is functioning from a different set of prophecies, but she believes in them wholeheartedly, just like the Randlanders believe in their set of prophecies. There seem to be some discrepancies, but when you’re responsible for a whole lot of people, you don’t just set aside your convictions lightly in the hope that the other guy’s set is the right one. It may well be that the Horn summoning Hawkwing & co. will give him the opportunity to clarify something at a critical moment, but… it’s one of the burning questions of all WoTfandom: Will Rand really bow to the Tuon, or will something change her mind? Right up there along with: Are the Seanchan prophecies corrupted and the Randland true, or will it turn out that both are true once you get the correct interpretation?

CurtainJerker @40 – Actually, there are a fair number of very dark folks, including the “ethnically sub-Saharan African” look; it’s just that Tuon and Semirhage are the only major characters in that group. There are also some who seem to resemble the Aussie aborigines (or whatever the currently PC name is). Having read through more responses, it seems that there are many different visualizations of the different racial differences! Like you, I read Tuon, Semirhage and Anath as African, and I see the Sea Folk as more of a South American look, where others turn that around. But yes, they all seem to be there, and it’s quite possible RJ deliberately used that reversal to tweak our chains a little.

::”There, but for the grace of God, go I.”::

Forkroot @53 – Interesting… I think of Nynaeve’s work on Naeff as removing the remaining taint from his mind, with the result that the insanity is gone as well. It might be hairsplitting, but it doesn’t strike me quite the same as Healing. Different weaves, for one thing, and really a different methodology. As a rule, Healing works on the whole body indiscriminately, a complex weave (especially Nynaeve’s version) which settles into the person and Heals every physical injury. With Naeff, didn’t she have to essentially pick out each little hook individually? So… I’m not saying this well, but I think it’s a different animal. The question remains – is it Healing, if the result is that someone is healed?

Which stirs up another whole possibility: maybe the taint had certain effects which were not in themselves insanity, but which, if left unchecked, would drive a man insane – and which looked very much like insanity in the meantime. So with Naeff for an example, maybe the taint was making him see Myrddraal that weren’t really there; it hadn’t actually driven him insane yet, but if it continued and got worse, it certainly would do so. Then, by removing the bit of taint (DO essence) left in his mind, Nynaeve wasn’t actually healing madness, but was instead removing the “thorn” that kept his mind from healing itself naturally. Which is totally off topic for these chapters, but it’s a cool thought.

Also: Perhaps this will finally put the theories to rest that have Rand sealing off the DO with the TP. Oh, we can only hope and dream…

@many re: Seanchan damane practices – if we’re lucky, we should get to see Tuon agree not to leash anyone this side of the ocean. If we’re supremely lucky, we might get to see Tuon offer to release any damane who wishes to be released. No way do I see AMoL including any kind of end to the damane/sul’dam system, though. If nothing else, they can’t afford the chaos of all those damane going wild, flinging weaves around and demanding to be leashed again.

JonathanLevy @76 – in re: bawambi @36 – You make her point well. Mat has always been a “man of action” and now he’s becoming a lord in spite of himself. What is more expected than that he should, at least occasionally, feel a need to take charge of that “becoming” when he has a specific purpose in mind? While he’s always been able to go with the flow, that hasn’t stopped him from suddenly deciding to make things go his way when he gets fed up with other people manipulating him. To me, this is one such event.

toryx @79 - Do you feel better now?
John Massey
82. subwoofer
Wowza, this is apparently a hot button chapter as many new people and folks that have not posted in a while have cropped up. We're about to bust 80 and it is barely ... Wednesday?

Uncle Sub is on painkillers so this post may come out wonky, but hey, later on I will use the power of "edit".

@MAT- "as a distinct person of color"- hmmm, what makes you distinct? You still sporting Hammer pants 20 years after the fact? ;)

What I find humorous is somebody commenting that they found Mat's humor humorous. Very funny:)

@Wet23- heh:D

@Curtain Jerker- yoiks, you be disturbing shite! The color card... well, I for one am glad that RJ created a very vibrant world where we don't have a few "token" people of color. There are many races and faces and RJ embraced them all. I suppose if you want to really honk people off you could have said that Rand is like the "great white hope" battling against the DARK one. What is that anyways? Why does the Dark one have to be dark? Can't he just be referred to as having a really great tan? Like George Hamilton? I dunno, after an eternity sealed up in his prison I figure the DO is going to look a bit pasty, but calling him "the Pasty One" doesn't have as much impact... especially if folks confuse on type of pasty for the other.

Anyways, GSP hurt himself so other people have to vie for the interim belt.

I am still bageled by the "fans of color" charity. What's that all about?

As far as this post, Mat's humor seems to be intact. I liken it to a boy going through puberty. Right now the "voice" of Mat seems to be cracking, but I am sure at some point it will level out. And yeah, what somebody said about Mat and Aldura- there was never anything there and I do not feel that at any point Aldura was burning a candle for Mat... unless he asked for a light and Aldura used one of her striker thingies to light said candle for Mat...

Tuon and Rand... hmmmm. First off, it is nice to "see" Rand from a totally new perspective, we do not see an innocent sheepherder, we see a leader and a king. Good stuff there.

The outcome- well, what did you expect? Tuon is entrenched in her ways and leashing Aes Sedai is a conversation killer. The only way this will ever change is if Tuon gets a taste of her own medicine and is leashed herself. Getting that leash past Selucia will be interesting but I've got time and am happy to read about it.

Marcus W
83. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 81:

But...but...at least I know how to spell Mat! :P
Sam Mickel
83. Samadai
KiManiac @ 73

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying, Nynaeve rediscovered the lost talent of delving. I imagine that Semirhage was as skilled at it. Not only that, it would explain why her cures would work uncommonly well as the wisdom, she could "see" what was wrong with the patient, and knew exactly what to mix together to cure the patient. It would also explain how Nynaeve picks up healing so fast, and so much better than any other.
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
toryx @82 - Yes, you did! Thank you! :) And while I may disagree with you, I have to say that your posts are always well-written and readable, and I never have to make guesses as to what word you meant in place of what I see. (There's someone who posts frequently and voluminously over on the Rothfuss reread that either doesn't proofread, or can't. It's really hard to figure out what she meant to say sometimes, because one or more critical words will be such complete gibberish that the whole paragraph loses its import. Drives me nuts!!)

I do appreciate you - just not this particular pet peeve. ;)
Scott Silver
85. hihosilver28
re: Nynaeve healing madness

I always thought of her healing madness as actually delving into the man's brain and healing the neuron connections. So the taint from the Dark One damages a channelers brain until eventually they go mad, as I saw it. Once the taint was removed, that damage remains, it is physically there even though the taint was gone. So, I read Nynaeve's healing madness as specific healing on a cellular level, which is insanely awesome(yes, the pun was intended).
Valentin M
86. ValMar
Mat's chapter may or may not be funny, but to me it too felt out of context.
Probably what troubled me with it was that, essentially, the WOT isn't a comedy. Characters do, say, think things, or have stuff happen to them which they themselves or we the readers sometimes find funny. But it's not written with comic intent overall, except maybe some of Nyneave's stuff.
This chapter read like it was written as a comic piece for the next Sy-Fy Comedy anthology.
That's how it felt to me and it felt a bit jarring, besides the context and voice.
Not sure if I managed to get my thoughts across clearly, but there they are.

As for Artur Paendrag talking some sence into Tuon, I think it has to be a rather large event. Not tet a tet between the two. A lot of Seanchan will have to see it and be flabbergasted, IMO. Otherwise, even if Tuon doesn't ignore Artur's words to stop the leashings she will face a task possible to achieve only in children's fairy tales or 40 min TV shows.
Chin Bawambi
87. bawambi
I'm curious about one other thing - since I just re-bought TGS in paperback within the last couple of weeks are there a lot of editing changes from the hardcover to the version I have now? I only ask because I heard Eye of the World has some distinct differences from the original. I'm hoping my re-read leaves me with the same vibe I got at first.

Val - your point about Nyn and comic relief was my main point re: Mat. YMMV.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
88. tnh
Subwoofer @82, I don't know how Master AlThor felt about that "Hammer pants" remark, but it sure made me flinch.
Tess Laird
89. thewindrose
subwoofer and MasterALThor are reread friends(buddies:) - they understand each others humor. I am reread buddies with them too and totally understood it - which of couse doesn't mean others would...

Hey MAT - long time kinda! Good to see you around.

Anthony Pero
90. anthonypero
@tnh: nice to see you on an actual thread, glad you could make time from your busy SPAM DESTROYING schedule!

Ha! "Hammer" pants. Where I grew up (Milwaukee, WI) it wasn't just "Kids of Color" that wore them. We all did, to my everlasting shame. There's a whole two year period of Milwaukee history where all photographic evidence has been destroyed, because of this phenomenon. It's like 91-92 doesn't even exist.

@Wet and others re: A'dam usage, etc...

Actually, there's a really simple way to "neutralize" the a'dam; if the OP becomes untouchable, the a'dam are pointless.
91. MasterAlThor
No blood, no foul. Woof and I are always good.

I wish I still had my Hammer pants. LOL.

Hey good to see you too. I have been in lurk mode for awhile now. I am trying to come back to being a regular but life is a harsh mistress.

92. MasterAlThor

I share those same feelings. I thought that I was clear enough. Sorry if it didn't come out right. I too was happy that he finally banished Cads and started doing things his own way. I believe my exact thoughts were "bout damn time"

93. MasterAlThor

I may have to scurse you for getting "Let's get it Started" in my head now. Ahh what makes me "a distinct person of color"? Well, I know that I am a person and I am colored. What makes me disinct is that I have chosen to become part of something that is bigger than me. I joined Tordot and became friends with about a hundred people.

So I hope that answers your question. Though I know you already knew the answer.


PS How is the wife and little ones?
@74. KiManiak

Well as far as thinking that Mat would go along with his Honey enslaving thousands of people? Well..... you knowwww...... I don't think so.

Mat, as much as we like to think otherwise, does have some morals twirling around in that head of his and I don't think he would be able to reconcile his feelings for Tuon with the actions of her Empire of which she could correct with a word. No I'm thinking he will approach her about it and ask that she cease with the enslavement of all channelers. Actually I think he would ask for the ceasing of enslavement as a whole.

Granted, the entire Seanchan society is built off of a pseudo (I didn't think I spelled pseudo correctly butttt yet again Ima GENIUS!) caste/slave/indentured servant model, and granted an undertaking of that magnitude would be just.... staggering, but it can be done. And I would like to think that if circumstances fall in the right way...

-like Tuon's ability to channel being outed

-like the abiltiy of all Suldam being able to channel being outed

-like an unlikely, but right on time meeting of Artur Hawkwing and Tuon happening and Tuon being chastised by THE Emperor himself (whomever came up with that should be applauded, seriously)

-like when the realization hits that if she does not concede this thing that her empire will eventualy fall.

Remember Seandar is in a state of revolution. She is the last of her family. The heirarchy there is crumbling. There won't be any reinforcements. And until Rand destroyed the male Choeden Kal, she was essentially defeated before she started, it matters not that she didn't know that and he still has Callandor. And remember, he almost killed her right before the epiphany. And he is now stronger than (what did we discuss) at least as strong as a linked circle of 24? By the Creator... he could mow down an army by himself with maybe a small support group of what 10,000. If he needs support at all. Remember damane can't link with the 'adam around their necks.

Speaking of linking, what if since both Suldam and Damane are channelers that their combined strength is used giving the channeling Damane extra kick. Do any of you think that is going on?
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
anthony @90 - Well, that would certainly work to make the a'dam useless. I just don't think that access to the OP will disappear at the end of the third Age. Or maybe, I hope that's not the ending RJ planned, because I'd be rather disappointed by it. Obviously, it will happen at some point, but I expect it to be farther away than a couple of months (in-world).

In any case, there's going to have to be some kind of deal made before it happens, because they're going to need the OP to fight the Last Battle - unless the Seanchan are somehow frozen in place while Randland fights it, and then they get to unfreeze when it's all over but the shouting.

Hey, here's a fun scenario: Tuon, holding a leashed Suffa, leads the attack that Travels into the WT, just before someone sets up the dreamspike (the other one, taken from Taim) around it. The rest of the raiding party can't get in, and she can't get out. Egwene returns by entering Traveling to TV outside the WT, rides in, and has a little heart-to-heart with Tuon about leashes, ending in Egwene holding Tuon's leash. They agree that the damane who wish to remain leashed may do so, but those taken on this side of the ocean must be given the choice, and there will be no more leashing in Randland.

Okay, I don't really think it will play out like that, because Mat has to be part of it. Maybe he'll return with Egwene. :) Seriously, though, I think that's the maximum we can expect to see in AMoL proper; maybe an epilogue could give us the scenario by which leashing was eventually eliminated altogether.

ZEXXES @94 - I don't think anyone is saying that Mat will be happy with Tuon continuing the leashing program - we all saw what happened when she put leashes on the AS who were in Mat's party before. The point KiManiak was making is that, with Mat married to (and in love with) Tuon, the notion of crushing the Seanchan to a pile of dust is not a likely solution. Given Mat as Prince of the Ravens and his wife (who also loves him) as the Empress, a different end is required.

I would have to say, though, that the idea of Mat just telling Tuon that it has to stop is unlikely; the idea that she could actually stop the whole thing "with a word" is even less likely. Even an Empress (may she live forever) can't upend an entire culture like that and survive, much less make it last beyond her death (which would be very, very soon if she tried). As others have said, it's going to take a whole lot more, and in front of a whole lot of people who really understand the implications, to make it work.

Hey, do you suppose if Hawkwing went down on one knee and kissed Egwene's ring, right there in front of Tuon and the highest-ranked of the der'sul'dam along with all the generals and stuff, it would stir up a bit of thought? And if he then turned around and told Tuon that he had been wrong to mistrust the AS, and that the enmity was instigated by Ishamael, and the whole damane thing was playing right into the hands of Team Dark, would she believe him?

The biggest problem with relying on Hawkwing, though, is that the middle of a battle is NOT the best place for this kind of discussion, and I don't really see Mat blowing the Horn just for the sake of having a little planning conference with Hawkwing before things get going. OTOH, I can just about see him getting mad enough to snatch it up and blow it solely to make a point to Tuon... Now, that would be comedy!
96. Philish14
I'm trying so hard to catch up! I'm only on TSR! But I want to say this is awesome Leigh! I truly appreciate it.
John Massey
97. subwoofer
Now I know I should not be peddling perscription painkillers online, but if anyone feels like something that leaves you totally numb and semi-impared... without having to knock back a 24 then come bark up my tree;)

@MAT- heh-"bout darn time". I think I actually 'get' Cadsuane now, but sometimes it is good to have some space to re-evaluate things.... albeit on pain of death, in this case. I have certain family members that only want the best for me and mine, but I have to say that I am glad that I do not have to interact with them on a daily basis.

This past weekend was the perfect storm, my wife was at her AGM and the Woof was with a sniffily, heavily teething child that just received her 1 year booster shots. No one warned me about this, and I sure didn't see it coming. I now understand the term "fetal position". Thumb sucking helps, and if you can swing it, get your little one to do it as well.

@tnh Hammer pants are only racist if you see it that way- clothing is in the eye of the beholder...(edit) and lemme tell ya, if me writing about Hammer pants has you wincing, imagine being caught wearing them.

FTR, back, back, back in the day everyone wore Hammer pants, some folks called them "parachute pants"- I used to jump out of planes for a living and I cannot vouch for these stopping your fall- but anyways, if you wanted to be "cool" that was the gear to wear... and huge honking shoulder pads, and ... wow, I'm dating myself, but suffice it to say, I hope that some of the clothes I used to wear never come back in style.

@Z- it has been stated that with the a'dam only the leashee gets drawn from, not the leasher. Also, as far as the succession war I believe you are correct:
The war in Seanchan would not end quickly; but when it did, the victor would undoubtedly raise him- or herself to the Crystal Throne as well. And then there would be two leaders of the Seanchan Empire, divided by an ocean, united in desire to conquer one another. Neither could allow the other to live.
I do wonder who has a more legitimate claim to the throne, the person that sits on it or the person with the bloodlines.

Incidentally, in the past I have made the very same suggestion that Mat sound the Horn to have Hawkwing set his empire- Empress on down- straight, but upon second blush, given the natural prejudice of the people, Seanchan may attribute this as another fabrication of marath'damane as Hawkwing has long been dead.

::Sniff sniff::

Is that the hunny around the corner?

Edit- dang it- I'm lurking here! where is everyone?

grumble mumble grumble....

Kimani Rogers
98. KiManiak
Curtain@75 – For the record, you didn’t piss me off or anything even close to that. Like I said before, I think I was getting your point; I was just encouraging you to clarify it so that it accurately represented what it was that I thought you were trying to say. To your point, it would not surprise me if RJ specifically made Tuon (and one would assume, Tuon’s mother) Empress and ruler over (and owner of) slaves while being black (which is noteworthy to the reader, while not being so noteworthy in Randland itself).

Also, don't we hear from the Aiel that the Sharans also own or traffic in slaves?

missbee@78 – I’m going to have to reread that section, but are you sure Nynaeve detected the weaves? Lanfear showed that an experienced female channeler can battle a male channeler by assuming where the weaves/flows would be and then slicing through them (or something like that) when she fought Rand, but I didn’t remember that Nynaeve did even more than that in her Accepted test. If so, then excellent recall on your part.

Wet@81 – re: Tuon and damane – I know that I often let my imagination run about how much of the a’dam and damane issue will be addressed by the end of AMoL. Up until I read ToM I was hoping for a full resolution but expecting there to not be much of one between the Seanchan’s damane practices and the desires of the Randlandians.

After reading ToM (and specifically, Aviendha’s experience with the columns), my hope has increased because I would like to believe that Team Jordan wouldn’t have introduced such a bleak possible future without letting the reader get an idea of how post TG relations between Seanchan and the other nations were going to work out.

I would be (pleasantly) surprised though (assuming that the a'dam still exists post TG), is if what we are ultimately shown In AMoL that Tuon chooses to release any damane who wishes it…

sub@82, Anthony@90, MAT@91 – Had to bring up Hammer. Had me cracking up. Since we’re sharing (even though Sub was talking to MAT re: Hammer)I will confess that although I never owned the parachute pants, my siblings and I did (and still do, actually) the Hammer “typewriter” dance to “You can’t touch this” at every family wedding. Kind of a family tradition. It’s become quite popular; and now is basically expected :-)

Sam@83 – Just to clarify, though: You know that other AS could delve before Nynaeve? You’re stating that Nynaeve rediscovered the AoL method of delving, which is somewhat superior to the current Age’s version of delving, right? I think that would be all kinds of cool. Even moreso because Nynaeve doesn’t even reflect on how she does it better than other AS, she just does it…

Zexxes@94 – Basically, Wet@95 said what I would say. I don’t think Mat would let the other nations band together and attack his wife (or her nation) without trying to defend her. At the same time, he is defending his homeland against her attempts to attack and capture it. I think that if it were up to Mat, he’d rather no one attacked anybody.

Alright, setting up someone for the big 1 0 0…

EDIT: Technically, since there are two #83s, the next post should be 100. However, I still won't poach from those who wish it...
andrew smith
99. sillyslovene
Well, then I'll swoop!

As for the Mat stuff, I can relate that it was different, but I can also come up with multiple ideas for how both the letter and the deep planning session could come out of his experience and character.
andrew smith
100. sillyslovene
And just in case Sub was waiting, I'll grab this one too. :)
Nadine L.
101. travyl
@78. missbee: impossible weaves
There is another example with Nyn during her Accepted test.

For me the Accepted test is special and the fears and expectation of the testee become "true". As long as Nynaeve thought she could deflect man channeling, the test-setting would probably make it so. And at that point Nynaeve really didn't know much about what is supposed to be possible.
(Like Egwene having an ageless Face but not sworn to the oath rod, because she thought the face is solely connected to being Aes Sedai)
- What I'm trying to say is, that I don't think you can take this as an example for an impossible wave, because it wasn't real, just "dreamed up".

@sillyslovene: that was just mean. And not even jubilating. Look what @100 did in the last thread.
Cameron Tucker
102. Loialson
Bah! I was just informed Brandon was at a big SFF convention at the university I go to last week, but I was totally oblivious with my RL (see: homework, lol) going on, and didn't even know it was happening. SO I decided I want to start up a new list of questions to ask him at his next local signing/QandA (he does quite a few here in Utah).

I'm not sure when it will be, as I couldn't track down a list of future signings on his website, but I plan on being there for the next one.

Anyone got anything they want to ask him? I'm gonna start another list.

On topic: I thought Mat was off, definitely in tGS. I didn't really mind it though. It was still humorous in it's own right to me, but did feel a bit odd being in the WOT universe, and I did laugh a bit. (I'm more surprised that others find Mat's letter to Elayne and the boots section w/Mistress Anan off in ToM. I laughed until I cried on first read and thought: Mat's back!) Glad Verin came back though.

On Verin: I'm just dying to know what Verin left for Galad in her letter to him! In my ToM re-read I noticed a Verin letter snuck in to him, at Morgase's wedding ceremony.

The only two letters of Verin's we don't know the contents of are: Alanna's, and Galad's, right? Brandon has said Alanna still has a story thread left for aMoL, and I'm content waiting for her's, but I wonder about Galad? .

His story is pretty neatly wrapped up in ToM I thought (minus fighting the Last Battle, but it seems all that's left for him in the plot is to marry Berelain, which I doubt will happen on screen). So what is Verin up to here?
Rob Munnelly
103. RobMRobM
@102 - Rand got a letter too (in the WT at start of ToM). I don't think we know what it said, do we?

Re dark skinned people in Randland - yes to all of above examples and also several Seanchan were so described (I can't remember the chapters though). I like that RJ didn't make a big deal of it. I didn't realize Tuon and Semirhage were darkskinned until someone pointed it out in a post and I had to re-read the text to get the point. (I had same thing happen with Rue and Thresh in the Hunger Games too.)

Woof - Hammer pants? Thank goodness I'm older than you so I got to miss that phase entirely. I can't touch this. (I do go back far enough to have some bad clothing experiences in the 1970s though - photos are scary! No way I want to have those days back.)

Generally - as I have said in other chapters, Mat was off in TGS. My biggest offputting piece in this chapter was having Mat write up a detailed script for the backstory of him and others. Mat's gift in the series is that he has that remarkable, filled in memory, and does everything in person. He would have thought it through, coached everyone, and led them into town. I don't recall him writing anything in the entire series, let alone a detailed script. (Maybe a short note to Egwene, Elayne and Nyn in TDR? A short intemperate note to Elayne in Ebou Dar? Anything else? ) The ToM letter to Elayne was more in line with the minimal writing I expect from Mat.

Generally, I will be shocked if the leashing issue remains unresolved by the end of AMOL. Either Mat will get her to see the light, she'll channel , or all those sul'dam channelers that Elayne has been training - one big assed Checkov's gun, as far as I'm concerned - will return and completely blow up the purported sul'dam-damane distinction at the heart of Seanchan culture, or some combination of those three will happen. Leashes will be so Third Age.

Robert DeJulis
104. DeJulis
Which university? I'm a student at the U.

Re: Mat. He feels off to me, but it doesn't take me out of the story or anything. A lot of dialogue and introspection seems off to me in TGS/ToM, for that matter, but it seems to me that something like that would be unavoidable with a change of authors, so I don't let it bother me.
Roger Powell
105. forkroot
It's pretty well implied that Verin's letter is how Rand knew that Mattin Stepaneos was a "guest" of the Tower. From that he surmised that Elaida might have swiped Alsalam as well. This does not mean that she couldn't have put additional nuggets of information in the letter.
Rob Munnelly
106. RobMRobM
@105. Ah so...oh wise one. *bows*

I should point out I have no idea what could have been in the Galad letter either. Certainly didn't appear to mention that Camelyn would be attacked.
107. Staizer
I disagree that it was the "Dark Side" of Rand that stopped Tuon from accepting the "Truce." I think Rand was trying to force his will on her using that dark side and it was his very Tavernness stopped him not the other way around. Remember, Tavern works in such a way that things "should" work out for the person, however if he had used his dark powers things would not have gone well, he probably wouldn't have had his moment on Dragon Mount and the Border armies would have had to kill him. . .

He was basically trying to tell the Weave what to do with his emo powers and the Weave was all like "Nuh-uh, look at that guy, he is all evil and stuff, do you really want to say yes to that?!"
John Massey
108. subwoofer


The other random thing I do want to throw out there is that Bryne killed a Bloodknife in this book and it did not seem like a challenging feat for him, and he is old and geezerly. I wouldn’t mind Bryne giving Gawyn a fatherly spank for being such a doof, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised that Bryne could.

Edit- wait... what? .... so the bottle says "may cause drowsiness"... well duh!


@Rob, so I gather you are in the Jurassic era like Free;)

@Ki- oh, the shame, the horror! Yeah, we got some CMB action going on in my neck of the woods. No good can come of it, especially if caught on camera then uploaded to youtube.

@Loialson- I feel your pain. Apparently I live in a tree because when RJ was alive, he did a book signing in my city and I missed it. I think I was trapped under something heavy. I was also at PAX a few years ago and missed the boat on a bunch of big names back then too. Dang my stupid youth! Emphasis on the stupid... and no, this does not absolve Gawyn of any wrong doing...

John Massey
109. subwoofer
@Staizer- remember, just before this Cadsuane learns that the "balance" aspect of Rand's ta'vereness is on the fritz. All the deaths and no lives saved, no weddings, no babies bouncing after falling etc. So if Rand is using his ta'veren pull on Tuon it is bound to go sideways.

Hugh Arai
110. HArai
Hey, do you suppose if Hawkwing went down on one knee and kissed Egwene's ring, right there in front of Tuon and the highest-ranked of the der'sul'dam along with all the generals and stuff, it would stir up a bit of thought? And if he then turned around and told Tuon that he had been wrong to mistrust the AS, and that the enmity was instigated by Ishamael, and the whole damane thing was playing right into the hands of Team Dark, would she believe him?
Aren't you getting a bit ahead of yourself? First you need Hawkwing to believe it. Ishamael claimed he set the whole thing up but he claims a lot of things that aren't true. I wouldn't put anything Bonwhin was accused of past Elaida, and I don't think we have any confirmation none of the non-Black Aes Sedai of the time were out to get him. Bonwhin was deposed for some reason after all, and I think it's no coincidence she was replaced by an Amyrlin who wanted to improve relations with Hawkwing. Unless he discovered definitive proof of a setup while in T'A'R bound to the Horn, why should he change his mind?
111. Staizer
While I certainly can't deny that part, I personally feel that the darkness would have WANTED Tuon to give in and Rand's Tavernness would have wanted otherwise. Tavern is usually a much more subtle thing whereas what Rand has been doing is FORCING the pattern to his will. I don't think the pattern likes this very much.

I know it seems like a small thing but I just don't think the Pattern would want Rand to succeed but the "darkness" actually would.

So yes, the fact that the darkness existed at all stopped Tuon, but I think it was the pattern actually putting things in correct order that stopped her from giving in. It essentially forced her to see Rand's forcing for what it was, bullying taken to 11.
edit-I think everyone is reading too much into the effect his darkside is having on his Ta'veren nature. Yeah it's killing off any perishables, people are dying without the balancing living, dark are roiling andboiling everywhere he's in the viscinity of. Everything is all out of whack. But the Pattern isn't rebelling against his nature, it's accommodating his nature; good or bad.

I think what happened with his meeting with Tuon is that his Ta'veren nature simply could not accommodate his wants, because the Pattern couldn't find a coexisting instance to make it so. The possibility wasn't there. It's not like the Pattern didn't try, we all saw how close it was. I think ultimately the choice had to be hers and after seeing the Halo of Darkness, as the chapter title put it, she chose as she did, even after the Pattern gave her a nudge. Well maybe it was more like a push.

I think even now, during his White Dragon mode that he's in now, it still would have gone the same way. But I still think it would have worked on Cadsuane, for all we know she has a heart problem that we she doesn't know about and him exerting his Ta'veren super power and she has a massive heart attack right there or maybe she has aneurism or a massive stroke, she turns to dismiss him and she trips over her own feet and knocks her head against the corner of the marble wall desk.

Sorry about the edits, the post originated on the phone and was corrected on the laptop. Not thte first time, won't be the last...

Cameron Tucker
113. Loialson
I'm at UVU (the lesser university :p). Brandon was at the Life, the Universe, and Everthing convention here last week. Had no clue til I was browsin about his website today.
Anthony Pero
114. anthonypero
@Wet re: my post @90:

I wasn't implying that I actually believe it would play out that way, just saying it solves the problem of the a'dam rather efficiently. I'm pretty convinced I know how the OP goes away, but I'll wait for Aviendha's Way Way Forward Excellent Adventure™ (Hey, everyone else has a trademark around here, why not me!) to discuss it. Of course, we may not get to that before the release of AMoL... oh well.

Suffice it to say for now, I'm firmly in the camp of those who believe that vision is a strongly possible future. Some of the specifics may change, but not the overlying path events take. I do think the Seanchan will eventually conquer all of Randland, and eventually make use of the a'dam obsolete through a combination of "culling" and advancing technology. That path (advancing technology) is exactly what allowed the United States to leave behind slavery. RJ, with his southern roots, and deep knowledge of US history, would have been well aware of this.
I don't think the South left slavery behind. I think they were sorta forced into it.
Anthony Pero
116. anthonypero
I didn't say anything about the South leaving slavery behind. I said the US left slavery behind.
Anthony Pero
117. anthonypero
I'll explain a little further. Most Americans are taught that at some point we realized that slavery was wrong, and then we fought a war over it. That's really not even close to the truth. As early as the declaration of independance, many Americans knew slavery was wrong. It was always a point of contention. But it was the invention (and eventual adoption) of the cotton gin in 1793 that made it economically feasible for emancipation to happen in the South. If the economic conditions hadn't changed, Emancipation never would have happened.

The War was fought over the way Representatives to the House were counted. For the previous 65 years, slaves had counted as half a person when considering population. While they didn't get the vote, the slaves allowed the South to have more representatives in the House then they otherwise would have. The "half a person" was a compromise between the north and the south many years earlier. Both parties wanted that to be different. The South wanted slaves counted as full people as far as their population count went, and the North wanted the slaves to not count at all. Ironic. This was all about who would have more representation in the House.

Obviously, this was not the only cause of the Civil War. There is never just one cause to any war. One cause can be contained, compromised and otherwise handled. But this was the slavery angle, at least.
Not so much. It lingered for awhile with indentured servants. But I will stop now before we go off the reservation.
Anthony Pero
119. anthonypero
Zexxes, I get the sinking suspicion that you are intentionally missing my point.
OK, again emancipation didn't just happen as a result of anything. It was forced on the South. The cotton gin had no real destablising effects on the souths attitude about giving up their PROPERTY. They refused, the North helped them see another way.
Anthony Pero
121. anthonypero
Are you saying that if the cotton gin hadn't been invented, making it impossible for the cotton industry to survive without slavery, that the North would still have forced the South to abandon slavery?
Anthony Pero
122. anthonypero
Once again, I'm not talking about the South's attitudes regarding slavery. I'm talking about economic circumstances making a revolution possible. And don't forget, not everyone in the south felt the same way about slaves. The entire underground railroad was run by Southerners.
Anthony Pero
123. anthonypero
To bring this back to the Seanchan, Tuon doesn't have the power to end slavery. First, the underlying conditions that reinforce slavery must, like water, be given another path to follow. Certian conditions must be met. In 19th century America, this had a lot to do with the Cotton industry. There had been a buildup for 80 years regarding slavery, with people understanding that it was morally reprehensible. But nothing changed until the economic circumstances changed. This is not coincidence.

The Seanchan don't have anyone seeing that slavery is wrong... not even the slaves. And a significant chunck of their economy is tied up in slavery. Not just da'mane, but house slaves, etc...

For da'mane in particular, there are two underlying factors at work:

1) Da'mane are a necessary part of the Seanchan war machine (from their point of view)
2) Channelers are dangerous, not human, and must be leashed (from their point of view.

Changing either one of these by themselves will not ge the da'mane uncollared. Both things must change for it to be accomplished. If Tuon tries to decree it, she will be assisinated. Period.

So, while it is possible that Tuon will decide to set them all free (the ones here), realistically, this will change very little in the long run.

I hear lots of people constantly saying that when people find out that sul'dam can channel, the whole thing will blow up. But sul'dam can't channel. They can learn how to channel. That is a really big difference. They can choose not to be taught. Sparkers, on the other hand, will channel. Tuon herself pointed this out to Mat. She wasn't fazed in the slightest by the news that sul'dam, or even herself, could be taught to channel. Why does anyone believe that any Seanchan will react differently to the news? I never got that.
Well on the one hand the Seanchan slaves are conditioned to not want freedom. Take the Damane as an example of that. On the other hand even if they are given freedom what are th
they going to do to support themselves? Why they are going to continue doing what they were doing probably, only they would be endentured. Unless they could make there way to TV.

And I think you're making a Big assumption that none of the Seanchan would care whether the Suldame can channel. You saw the reaction that Egeanin had. She wigged out. What her attitude was isolated in your opinion? I don't know. I think Tuon's reaction is one of not worrying about what hasn't come to be. She has not come around yet that things are happening so out of her control. She is blinded by her own sense of power, hamstringing her own mind by holding on to her prejudices. Hell, she's still coming to grips with Trollocs being real. She is only now realizing the fact that her husband is in great part responsible for many of her armies defeats.

Sorry about the broken post. On the phone again.
Alice Arneson
126. Wetlandernw
It's quite a dichotomy, isn't it? We generally agree that the WoT series will have a positive ending over all, but it's hard to see how that can happen if the Seanchan are still in Randland looking to leash everyone that can channel. (I wonder what they really expect to do with the Asha'man, anyway?) Will we get the "sweet" bit only in that Rand will succeed in saving the world, but the "bitter" part is that the world he saves is about to be enslaved by the Seanchan Empire?

I agree with Anthony, that Tuon can't simply decree an end to slavery - whether the damane system or the da'covale system. The economic situation of the South is a very apt example; similar examples could be made based on the history of other nations as well. In order to end slavery, it does indeed require an increasing recognition of the immorality of the institution, but it also requires other fundamental changes, usually economic, in the situation that made the slavery advantageous in the first place. Basically, the disadvantages have to outweigh the advantages, and it's a combination of economic, political, religious, popular and several other factors that make up the sets of pro and con.

And it's a very telling point, that no one in the Seanchan Empire, slaves included, thinks there is anything wrong with the systems in place. (At least, not that we've seen.) Yes, Egeanin was kinda freaked that sul'dam could be held by the a'dam, meaning they had some form of channeling ability, but that didn't entirely change her view of the system as a whole, or the need for them to be leashed. I think her reaction was more of a "we can't trust the sul'dam either!!" It will take some seriously dramatic, even cataclysmic, impact to change the whole society at a level that will enable them to repudiate slavery. That's why I just don't see it happening in AMoL. At the very best, we might get to see Tuon change her mind, and come up with some plans for effecting changes in her culture. It's even possible that the way to Aviendha's wayforward vision is for Tuon to decree the change and get assassinated, and the way to avert it is for her to see the need but work on changing the culture more slowly, from the inside out. Or, possibly, have the Aiel avert the assassination attempt... :)

HArai @110 - The implied suggestion of my silly scenario is that somehow in TAR you get to know the truth - that the prejudices you develop in a lifetime are set aside, or seen for what they really are, when you get back to where you remember all your (gazillions of) lifetimes. We don't really know that, so it's all fluff and stuff anyway. I was just trying to come up with some crazy event that would convince the Seanchan that they are wrong, but as noted above, I doubt it will happen.

Back to the dichotomy (or -ies)... It's hard to see how the Seanchan and the Randlanders will be able to fight side by side against Team Dark if they don't get some kind of truce in place: How can the Aes Sedai or Asha'man focus on what they need to do, if they're constantly looking over their shoulder for someone with a leash? How can the Domani fight next to the people who have been trying to take over or destroy their homeland? Etc. On the other hand, how does Rand (or Egwene, or Mat) convince the Seanchan to agree not to leash anyone? How do they convince Tuon that she doesn't have a natural right to rule the entire continent, and she can totally forget it both now and later?

I can't help but think it's dicey just trying to get all of Team Light allied before the LB gets going; setting up something that will keep them allied (or at least playing nicely with the other children) after it's over seems too big. Much as I'd like to see it happen, I honestly think it's one of those threads that RJ is going to leave hanging. Either that, or the Seanchan will somehow leapfrog over everyone else and be at the forefront of the battle and lose 99% of their fighting force, which would put a pretty good kibosh on plans for world domination.
Roger Powell
127. forkroot
All of the above discussion just reinforces my evil twin's wish that Rand would have gone and balefired the crap out of Tuon and the rest of the Seanchan and only then had his epiphany.
Rob Munnelly
128. RobMRobM
Woof @108 - I am Jurassic (Free and Wet) era minus 1 year.

Re Seanchan, future will be poised on the edge of the blade and something will happen that brings them into line with Randland norms. Leaving Seanchan substantially in charge after TG is recipe for Avi future and can't happen (or I'll really be ticked off). Perhaps it will require Fortuona to channel and be collared, before Mat sets her free. Perhaps it will be Avi with a bright idea to resolve the Aiel's nonnegotiable demand that Seanchan release the Aiel channelers or there will be blood feud. Perhaps it will be Seanchan armies getting reduced enough at TG to be reasonable. Maybe all of the above. But something will happen, I guarantee it.
Rob Munnelly
129. RobMRobM
Fork - no, there are too many good Seanchans for the entire group to be wiped out. They will have a role in the happy ending.
Jennifer McBride
130. vegetathalas
Add one tally mark in the eyeball searing not funny column.

Here's a thought: what if Rand' Ta'vereness was working and the pattern needed things with Tuon to go badly in order to set off Egwene's coronation, which will be essential in AMOL? Maybe Tuon felt the evil pressure and if she'd succombed to it, Elaida would still be in charge, making the DO win.
132. Wortmauer
So, "backstory" only dates to c. 1990? I knew it was a neologism, I didn't know it was younger than TEOTW!
forkroot@19: I don't really blame BWS for "backstory" or "do that math", because he's too young to realize that these are contemporary jargon
I don't let him off quite so easy, as he's around my age! I do agree, in any case, that it's pretty surprising that this stuff made it past the rest of Team Jordan, some quite a bit older and wiser.
Wetlandernw@23: Why is it that those who complain most loudly about Mat being "off" can't even spell his name right?
Dunno ... why is it that those who defend BWS's writing most loudly are the ones who have met him in person? (: ...Anyway, several of us loud complainers can spell and/or proofread just fine.
anthonypero@35: Once again, I request that the PTBs find a way to whitelist Theoryland and Dragonmount links (and Wikipedia!) so that they are not marked as spam.
Hey, I've been spam-blocked for linking to tor.com itself! Recently, even. (Part 17, comment 49.) Just sayin', if the PTBs are gonna start whitelisting specific link targets....
Curtain Jerker@40: However, the only people who are ethnically sub-Saharan African are Semirhage and Tuon.
In addition to the other folks that have been mentioned, the Tairens are fairly dark-skinned. I've always imagined them as, perhaps, Bengali. Though, oddly, I don't think of Siuan as dark-skinned, probably because my image of her dates way back to before I noticed most of RJ's various mentions of skin color.
anthonypero@47: After an age like the AoL, it would be safe to assume that there would be enough intermarrying over 4000 years or so to get rid of some racial differences... not all, of course, but some.
Interestingly, I've heard it doesn't really work that way. I used to think if we had a few generations of free intermarriage with little racial bias, we'd all be sort of medium brown. But even if that happens, all it takes is a cultural shift back to a given racial bias, and a population can re-differentiate. As an obvious example, if lighter skin is preferred, then people who are rich and powerful will be able to attract lighter-skinned mates, and vice versa; their offspring will tend to be richer and lighter-skinned than average, and will seek out similar mates, and a few generations later, society is re-stratified along whatever racial markers are in vogue. In short, genes are not a melting pot that, once stirred, cannot be un-stirred. You might say society as a whole acts as a giant breeding program. Cynical? Maybe.

(I don't remember where I picked up this analysis, but probably in Michener's Caribbean. Not exactly a scholarly work, so apply the usual grain of salt.)

Of course, if society manages to transcend genetic biases entirely, and stay that way, then we may eventually converge on a median, like American accents in the age of television. But that's a pretty huge "if."

Back on topic, Randland doesn't seem to have racial biases as seen in real-world societies like the US and Japan, but they have a lot of national jingoism in its place, and thus their nations maintain quite distinct ethnicities, regardless of the common language. Thus it is that Cairhienin, Aiel, Tairens, Saldaeans, and Sea Folk are easy to tell apart at a glance, even without reference to their idiosyncrasies of dress and hairstyle. It's not that there's no intermarriage, but apparently it's little enough to maintain distinct ethnic features.
Wetlandernw@81: toryx @79 - Do you feel better now?
Dunno but he made me feel better. His articulation that "I should not be thinking about D&D while reading The Wheel of Time. I especially should not be thinking about Mat as a player in one of my groups" is just an excellent way to phrase the frustration so many of us feel at these so very un-Jordan Mat chapters. It is the same feeling of satisfaction from reading one's own opinions more eloquently expressed that a committed scientific materialist might get when hearing the poem "Storm," or an American political conservative might get from reading Charles Krauthammer essays.

The joke on us all will be when we find out that those Mat chapters were all RJ's early drafts, and Team Jordan simply didn't have the heart to do the usual editing that he and they would have done to the material if he'd been alive to participate. I very much doubt this, though. There's just too much Lightsong in there.

I will say one positive thing for chapter 34, aside from the usual "Yay, Verin is back." More than anything else, it changed my outlook on the unwritten "outrigger" novels, the three books reportedly in RJ's head about Mat and Tuon. I used to be kind of annoyed that Harriet was most likely not going to allow them to ever be written. Now, after TGS and especially after this chapter, all I can say is, thank the Light.
Terry McNamee
133. macster
Sorry for the absence, Valentine's Day kept me busy. And my, these chapters sure set everyone off!

@6 sushisushi: Thanks so much for your valiant attempt to keep the discussion from devolving into that. It seems to be futile, sadly, but it's still appreciated.

@22 anthonypero: What puzzles me is why you find that whole Verin scene ridiculous. I am not criticizing you or your opinions, I just don't understand why you seem so convinced that it makes no sense and (as you've stated in the past) is clearly a fabricated tale Verin made up. You're not the only person to have suggested this but you are one of the most ardent supporters of the idea and I just don't get it. It seems to me as if you're basing your opinion on the one hand on Verin being a sneaky duplicitous character (and specifically a Black and therefore being able to lie), and on the other hand on the explanation she gives being "too convoluted" to be real.

The first point is, I should hope, clearly unwarranted since not only is Verin really actually on Team Light and therefore has no reason to lie in this circumstance, but just because she can lie all the time doesn't mean she does--as a Black she had to pretend she was still bound by the Oaths, and in fact had been bound by them for many years before swearing the Dark Trinity in their place. So she would be in the habit of telling the truth, and would need to do so most of the time to keep from arousing suspicion.

As for the second point, I don't see how her explanation, convoluted as it is, is clearly a lie. It came across to me as a perfectly reasonable and accurate description of what happens when a ta'veren works through coincidence to make events happen and affect other threads in the Pattern. Is it just that nothing like this had ever appeared before so explicitly in the series? I don't see why Jordan (since I'm sure this was in his notes) would have Verin make up such a big lie in the same book we learn she was Black, but still on the side of the Light; it seems counterproductive, for while the scene might make some suspicious of her, her revelations to Egwene exonerate her so what would be the point?

I think it is more meant as an effort to show the true power of ta'veren pull, and specifically by comparing this chapter to the one after it, in which Rand tries to exert himself so strongly over Tuon. Rather than being a lie, Verin's tale stands as a testimony to just how much ta'veren can affect the Pattern when necessary, since the Pattern badly needed Mat in Caemlyn for the Tower of Ghenjei, as well as likely other things such as eliminating the gholam, getting the dragons built (Egwene wouldn't have had dreams about them if they weren't crucial to the Pattern), reuniting with the Band for the upcoming Battle of Caemlyn, perhaps the copying of the medallion. I just don't see why her story is "obviously" false.

@31 al'Kohol Actually, like Loialson I too thought the boots scene was hilarious and completely in-character for Mat. (The only bit that felt off there to me was Setalle Anan's diction when she talked about the metaphor.) Different strokes, I suppose.

@33 Jeribai: I think the "born from the ashes" comment was meant to suggest that Rand could no longer deny he was the Dragon Reborn after Falme, particularly with how the Heroes rode with him because of the banner and the way he fought Ishamael. It was pretty clear that he needed to accept it and choose to do so in the scene at the end where Moiraine confronts him, which is why he speaks in ToM of having "set out on his path" from the Mountains of Mist, from the camp they were all at at the start of TDR. He did not declare the words and take the title until the end at the Stone of Tear, but he knew in his heart he was the Dragon Reborn after Falme. It was certainly when he stopped being the innocent sheepherder.

@41 Caveatar: You're not alone, I enjoyed the menagerie too.

@53 forkroot: Personally I think it's another example of Nynaeve doing something previously thought impossible. This does not preclude it from still being the case that she only healed the effects of the taint, not actual 'normal' madness, which could still explain Jordan's statement as douglas described (healing regular madness with the Power is impossible, but not taint madness).

As for Nacelle's discovery...since it is detecting the weaves themselves, and their effects, rather than feeling the usage of saidin, perhaps this bit of hair-splitting explains the discrepancy. When Elayne and Egwene tried to help teach Rand back in TSR, and they could not detect his channeling, they weren't using weaves, just trying to sense what he was doing. Moghedien only knows what was known in the Age of Legends, so since no weave existed then to detect it she assumed it was impossible and made up a fake one to teach the girls. It is possible someone of the Third Age could figure out a weave to detect saidin and its weaves, but not to give a saidar user a natural way to feel it.

I admit to being stumped though on why a Black would reveal this...unless it was because the Shadow wanted the rebel Aes Sedai to make that alliance with Taim and his dark Asha'man (remember one of those pushing for the alliance was Moria, who was also Black), and she thought that revealing a way to detect saidin and its weaves would make the Hall more likely to agree to the alliance?

@60 Samadai and 73 KiManiak: I refer back once again to my pet theory, which came about due to Zexxes's theory about how Rand got to be so powerful in ToM: that using the Choedan Kal on Dragonmount forced him, and the same thing happened to Nynaeve at the Cleansing, except instead of getting stronger she got more dexterous in her weaves, and this is how she could discover the Age of Legends form of Delving, as well as use it to do things like heal taint madness.

@64 Wotman: Thanks for saying what I was thinking on the Mat/humor front. Also, while I can easily see Kathy Bates as Verin, my choice for her is still Dianne Wiest.

@81 Wetlander: Thanks for saving me the trouble of having to quote the Cairhienin guy and the Amayar. Clearly the glowing sphere itself can be seen by anyone, it's just the weaves of saidin which can't be seen.

@102 Loialson: I am guessing that Galad's letter reveals one of two things, possibly both--that Rand is his half-brother (though to discover that she'd have to have spoken to the Wise Ones to hear the tale of Shaiel, to put together with knowledge of Tigraine's flight) or that Luc is still alive as Slayer.

@103 RobM: While I am one of those who found the chapter funny and IC for Mat, I do admit you have a point that if Mat were going to make up stories like this for his men, he'd do it in his head and on the fly rather than written down.

@104 DeJulis: One of the most reasonable and fair responses to the Mat issue, IMO.

@111 Staizer: I see your point but there is one problem--Tuon isn't the only one who has seen the aura, Cadsuane and Nynaeve saw it too. So unless you are saying the Pattern is forcing them to see it as well, perhaps as a warning so they know what he is becoming and work to try and undo it...
Terry McNamee
134. macster
@Wortmauer: I have not met Brandon Sanderson in person, nor even read anything else of his work, and I am still defending his writing. :) Then again, perhaps that last point is important, since it means I have no basis of comparison between this and his own characters and writing...

As for my thoughts on the chapters--nothing to really say that hasn't been said. I think Mat was funny and IC, I also laughed at Talmanes and Mandevwin, and I enjoyed it immensely, and while I can see some of the points the Stop Having Fun Guys are making, in the end I still like this chapter and always will. So There. :P On the Rand chapter, my opinions are thus:

1) I still don't know what the cause of the dark aura is, whether it is just Rand having gone bad so that now his ta'veren effect and Fisher King nature have gone dark, or if it's a specific manifestation of his ta'veren/Dragon nature via the True Power. But I do think that either way, it would have been wrong for Tuon to ally with Darth Rand...so either the Pattern 'knew' this and thus did not grant his ta'veren wishes, or it tried to but could not because doing so would have ripped the Pattern. Another thing to keep in mind is that while ta'veren affect the Pattern and all threads around them, they too are also strongly affected by the Pattern, unable to avoid their roles in it, as we have seen with all three boys. So if Rand was supposed to fail with Tuon, nothing he did, even using his ta'veren nature, would have worked.

2) On a related note, what would have happened if she had allied with him? Well, once he went Zen he likely would have apologized to Tuon for how he obtained the alliance, and peace still would have been maintained, I think. However the manner of obtaining it would have soured relations between them, which would have made it harder if not impossible to end the collaring of damane, even with Mat's influence. Just as importantly, without the Seanchan attack I don't think the White Tower would have been reunited, not without actual war and bloodshed anyway, nor would the Black Ajah have been removed so effectively (Egwene could have taken Verin's book to the Black Ajah Hunters, but I bet they would have advised caution and, by only taking out a few at a time, the vast majority would have escaped instead of dying) or Mesaana found out. So yes, a lot of bad repercussions even beyond the obvious. As Leigh said, domino effect. Vegetathalas addresses these points too.

3) The White Tower: I agree with lostinshadow, I think the second attack will happen while Egwene is trying to make Rand give up on his break the seal plan, and this will require her and Mat (who would have joined them by gateway since Grady is now with Perrin at Merrilor and would be bringing Moiraine to Rand) to go back to the Tower to save it. How, I don't know, but this would somehow lead into Egwene being saved by the Seanchan swordswoman--maybe Egeanin, who we know arrived back there with Joline, Teslyn, and the others? Mat also needs the Horn back so would go for that reason--perhaps that is even why Egwene goes back, because he demands the Horn and she, having been told by Siuan about its hiding place, insists on taking him there to get it. Then he blows it, calls Hawkwing who sets things right with the Seanchan, which is what makes them all allies? It could even involve Alanna, if her letter from Verin told her where the Horn was and she went to fetch it too.

4) The Seanchan need to give up the a'dam indeed for there to be any peace. I suspect it will be a combination of things--Tuon having to channel (perhaps Shadowspawn also attack the Tower, and then she is the one to save Egwene?), Aviendha convincing Rand not to bow to her thanks to her vision, and Mat's intervention. If Hawkwing were involved too, that'd just be the icing on the cake. And I agree with Wet, it will have to either be something catastrophic to convince them (like the Empress being forced to channel--because they either have to accept her and thus remove collaring, or kill her/make her a damane which thanks to Semirhage would leave them with no ruler and they'd be plunged into chaos and unable to do anything about the Last Battle or the marath'damane) or be done through slow changes from within. Maybe both. Tuon channeling and Hawkwing would be the catastrophic things; Aviendha and Mat convincing Rand and Tuon respectively to see reason would allow for the slow changes from within.

Oh, and I love Nynaeve's defense of Mat, so wonderfully touching but also in character. TV Tropes has a term for it: Hypocritical Heartwarming. Also, poor Aludra.
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
Wortmauer @132 - "Dunno ... why is it that those who defend BWS's writing most loudly are the ones who have met him in person?"

- 'Cause he's ta'veren, silly.

Or possibly, once you've had an actual conversation with him, you realize what a, you know, real person he is, as well as being totally likeable, and you lose interest in sniping at his work at the level that’s going on here.

For the record, it is inevitable that his perception as a reader colored his writing of particular characters to one degree or another, and not all of them agree with my own perceptions – or yours, or anyone else’s. I have made a deliberate choice to accept those and not make an issue of personal grievance out of them. Having done that, I'm free to enjoy the books, knowing that in spite of a few differences in the storytelling, Sanderson is writing the exact plot that Jordan wanted to write. If there are a few stylistic differences, and if there are character traits drawn from a different angle, I simply don't care. I'm 100% convinced that Sanderson is the right author to finish this work, and I'm profoundly grateful for the humility he shows in doing so. I personally believe that Harriet made the right decision when she chose to avoid the “ghost-writer” approach. Ghost-writing might have minimized the stylistic differences, but the individual character perception issues would still be there, and IMO would be worse for the attempted disguise. I’d much rather have what we have and get some great storytelling – even if it’s in a different style – than have this epic fantasy reduced to a ghost at the end.

As has become profoundly obvious, I get frustrated with this hamster-wheel of complaints we're on. Haven’t we vented enough now? It's like nursing a grudge against RJ for having the nerve to die before he finished, and taking it out on BWS for having the courage to do the best he can with it. I know, everyone has a right to their own opinion, but what's written is written and we might as well quit bitching about it.

And on that note, having just chopped about 45% of what I had originally written, I think I’ll quit trying to explain myself and just go to bed. Midnight approaches, and tomorrow has work enough of its own.
j p
136. sps49
I said way back that I would be satisfied with a 3x5 card of major plot point resolutions. Everything beyond that is bonus, and BWS/ Team Jordan has done an excellent job of clearing that low bar for me.

On a lighter note, a year or so ago I dug out a pair of parachute pants to properly perform "Can't Touch This" on "Just Dance" (the Wii game) at a birthday party. The audience was divided between those who pretended they didn't know me and those laughing too much to pretend. The threatened YouTube post hasn't happened yet, fortunately.
Nadine L.
137. travyl
AP @123.
... Tuon wasn't fazed in the slightest by the news that sul'dam, or even herself, could be taught to channel. Why does anyone believe that any Seanchan will react differently to the news? I never got that.
I think you gave the answer to this just above yourself:
2) Channelers are dangerous, not human, and must be leashed
"Channelers" includes sul'dam . As potential channelers you can't trust them to do anything, least of all hold a leash. (Wetlander pointed this out @126, giving Egeanin's reaction).

I don't know if the revelation could end the damane-system or end slavery but I do see the potential for a "culture-changing" upheaval if you suddenly have thousands of woman who need (and often demand) to be leashed, but no one who can hold the leash. This could get some people thinking. The option of a mass murder (what is done to male channelers, who can't be leashed) isn't easily feasible (again @123):
1) Da'mane are a necessary part of the Seanchan war machine
edit: thanks for your info about US slavery and that its ending was more tied to economic factors than we would wish for. I'm certainly not arguing that part (looking at some decision of my own country in recent history)

Wetlander @126
On the other hand, how does Rand (or Egwene, or Mat) convince the Seanchan to agree not to leash anyone?
We have precedence from Perrin dealing with Tylee: they leashed the Shaido, but let Perrin walk off with is entourage - so I can imagine a truce which conditions a suspension to leash your ally while battling the last battle.

I whole heartedly and with so much conviction that it does no justice to attempt to describe with the written word the emotional conveyance necessary, agree with you.

But I shall attempt anyway...


139. Watashiwa
Hi Leigh! Just wanted to congratulate you for taking this project so far. I really enjoy reading your summaries and commentary (and the fact that they've convinced me tp dig out my older books and enjoy the series again!).

I wanted to share a little observation that I've had, about evil!Rand and a statement you made that "Jordan was interested in how heroes fall, but not how villains/ex-heroes are redeemed". What do you think this entire section is? Rand is reacting to truly incredible stresses: He's had the voice of his insane former self in his head for the past two years, he's been driven half-mad by elemental evil (notice how much worse he got after Winter's Heart--how much saidin did he channel again? Oh right, ALL OF IT), he's constantly in pain from two unhealable injuries, the people who are supposed to help and support him either hate or fear him (with notable exceptions) and everything he knows about what's coming is telling him he's going to die and there's nothing he can do about it.

And then he's forced to hurt Min and the Devil gives him access to the True Power.

Who is Rand but the a perfect example of a fallen hero? His arc since The Shadow Rising has been about how much being the great chosen one bites. The amazing thing is that he didn't snap and make like the Kinslayer across the Westlands. Even now he's still trying to do what's right, even if he can't remember that he has to be good as well. These are some of my favorite chapters because of how tragic-hero Rand is even at his nadir.

You know, each of the main three characters has a falling action. Rand's is the most painful because we can see how it goes across the books, and how dark he is here. But Mat and Perrin had their moments. Remember Mat's time with the dagger? Mat was a really unlikeable character until he lost the knife. And Perrin had his wild moments when Faile was gone. They don't have quite the same impact since Mat is affected so early in the saga and Perrin is so often bland, but both of them undergo similar trials that they ultimately overcome.
Jonathan Levy
140. JonathanLevy
I am still bageled by the "fans of color" charity. What's that all about?
I was wondering when someone was going to mention that :)

102.Loialson 133.macster
On Verin: I'm just dying to know what Verin left for Galad in her letter to him! In my ToM re-read I noticed a Verin letter snuck in to him, at Morgase's wedding ceremony.
Oh that's pretty obvious:

My Dearest Galad,

Tomorrow I will go to the White Tower to strike a blow against the Dark One. How can I know this? That secret belongs to others, but let the foreknowledge stand as proof of what I say.

You will be told that I am dead by poison. I am not dead. The poison is a drug I acquired from Friar Laurence, which will put me in a deathlike trance for two and fourty hours. In this time I will be laid to rest in the tomb of my ancestors. It has "CAPULET" written on it in big letters. You must break into the tomb and rescue me or I will perish.

My dearest Galad, there are so many words I wanted to say to you, words from the heart, that have filled my dreams since that night we spent together. I hold them on my lips for when next I see you.

I pray this letter will reach you in time.


I know we disagree on this, and I'm not trying to change your mind, but I'll make a statement for the record as well. I'll base it on yours, since I agree with 90% of your sentiments.

I agree, it is inevitable that his perception as a reader colored his writing of particular characters to one degree or another, and not all of them agree with my own perceptions - or yours, or anyone else’s. I have made a deliberate choice to accept those, but discussing and dissecting them does not make it into a personal grievance. Having realized that, I'm free to enjoy the books, knowing that in spite of a few differences in the storytelling, Sanderson is writing the exact plot that Jordan wanted to write. If there are a few stylistic differences, and if there are character traits drawn from a different angle, I am happy to analyze them because it improves my understanding of Jordan's strengths and weaknesses as a writer - and Sanderson's as well.

I'm 100% convinced that Sanderson is the right author to finish this work, and I'm profoundly grateful for the humility he shows in doing so. I personally believe that Harriet made the right decision when she chose to avoid the "ghost-writer" approach. Ghost-writing might have minimized the stylistic differences, but the individual character perception issues would still be there, and IMO would be worse for the attempted disguise. I’d much rather have what we have and get some great storytelling - even if it’s in a different style - than have this epic
fantasy reduced to a ghost at the end.

The fact that I make 5 or 10 criticisms of Sanderson does not mean that I blame him for not having written those sections otherwise, because I know there would have been a heavy price to pay in other parts of the work.

As for getting frustrated by what you see as pointless venting, keep in mind that writers have their writing criticised all the time, and I would imagine that most of the criticism they receive is much less thought-out, much less restrained, and much less mitigated by a sense of gratitude. I'm not sure Sanderson would take it as a personal affront, and I'm not sure any of us should on his behalf. And a lot of venting has been done on this re-read for much less cause (e.g. Gender Spanking Imbalance).
Cynthia Ahmar
141. tenkuu
KiManiak@74: I don't believe there is any way to permanently be rid of the threat the a'dam poses without getting rid of every single a'dam in existence. Such as gathering them all up in a room in piles and balefiring the lot of them. However, seeing as Darkfriends will likely always exist, we're unlikely to be rid of every single a'dam as one of them will probably hide a few somewhere.

JonathanLevy@76: Tuon may be a know-it-all at times, but even she can't think of twenty things at once, least of all while in the middle of a meeting with the Dragon Reborn. I'm also relatively sure that no one was particularly interested in the details of her as-of-yet-revised opinion of Mat during that particular scene.

Cefam@77: Personally I have absolutely no problem with Sanderson's characterization of Mat in this book (or in any other for that matter), in the sense that the way he's written doesn't come as feeling off to me. It is just the character of Mat himself that I dislike more than others. Not to say that I hate him, I just don't particularly care for him most of the time. This scene sounds exactly like something Mat would pull, trying to do something the right way and failing epically.

Wetlander@81: I'm thinking the Seanchan prophecies have to have come from people who had this talent and couldn't control it anymore than Elaida could, so that if you took the literal prophecy it would probably be accurate, but the Seanchan probably interpreted them in whatever way they felt would benefit them most. If there's one thing that's certain, it's that the size of their collective ego easily matches Elaida's. And about the Sea Folk, I believe they've been described as darker than the Seanchan. Such as that the Seanchan are dark in comparison to, say, Cairhienin, but Sea Folk are in turn dark in comparison to Seanchan.

subwoofer@82: The problem with that is that Tuon can only learn to channel, and she even knows this fact and still comes up with an excuse like "but I choose 'not to' learn".

Wetlandernw@95: I think the problem with giving damane a choice is that by the time they're given that choice, they'd have already adopted the slave mentality and might not even make the choice to be free anymore. I don't know if you'd call that Stockholm Syndrome or something else.

subwoofer@97: On Cadsuane, let's just say I have "well-meaning" relatives too, but no matter how they claim to be well-meaning, if ultimately they do something while knowing that it hurts me or drives me away, then I want absolutely nothing to do with them. Cadsuane, in a sense, has never tried to listen to Rand and merely thought she could bully him into behaving the way she wished him to. On the Seanchan hierarchy, well, someone had to sit on that throne to start the bloodline in the first place, so it feels like a moot point to me. And the Seanchan have already seen dead heroes coming to life at Falme and know that it was real, but they didn't seem fazed back then by having every single hero stand against them. Ie if they haven't yet gotten the picture that their ways are so bad even long dead heroes hate them, they're unlikely to budge on their belief system.

Staizer@111: Being ta'veren *is* bending the Pattern to your will, whether knowingly or not. I absolutely do not agree that Tuon saying no to Rand under any circumstances is right, because the girl and her people are effed up. My personal belief is that Rand's ta'veren effect was at work, and that the darkness is merely something that Tuon noticed enough to give her, just barely, the strength of will to refuse him. Ie her fear of him overwhelmed his ta'veren influence on her.
Anthony Pero
142. anthonypero
Wow, people hit this board early (and late!) today/yesterday! I love the discussion that goes on here, for the most part. Fascinating.
Valentin M
143. ValMar
AP @ 123

I agree with you, as I commented similarly on this thread already. Tuon alone having changed her mind and outlook on slavery and leashing by Artur Hawking would not be enough to bring about change. Maybe such a resolution is possible in the final 5 minute segment of a 42 min TV show, but not in WOT, LOTR, ASOIAF, etc.

JL @ 140
Re: Verin's letter to Galad- lol! I suspect Verin is crafty enough that she could get ahead of Berelain in the queue for Galad, without Compulsion. If she didn't have other pesky issue to deal with, like destroying the BA.

Re: your answer to Wetlander. I absolutely agree, word for word!
I have met Brandon too and I can also attest that he is a great guy, besides his obvious qualities as a writer.
I have noticed that some folks are being surprisingly forceful on this particular issue and a bit personal. Next thing people will start accusing us of being French speakers...
Anthony Pero
144. anthonypero

I at least, am somewhat forceful about this because the conversations tend to start with something of the "Brandon wrote this, we know because it sucks.." varitation. If we want to analyze the text to figure out who wrote it, that's fine. But that's not what happens most of the time. The poster doesn't like a particular chapter, and assigns the blame to Sanderson. This is unfair on multiple levels. The biggie being we have no idea who really wrote what. Whatever Jordan left was in first draft form. The first of twelve. It's probably not in good shape. My understanding is that Team Jordan has left these peices in whole, with no editing. If a peice of writing is inconsistent, or sucks, it's just as likely to be a Jordan first draft. Especially given that his process took so freaking long.
145. missbee
travyl@101 - I agree that this can not count as 'real' weaves and I only meant to point the passage out as a possible case of foreshadowing. But the interesting thing about it, and the thing that made me notice it in the first place, is that Aginor himself cries out “That's impossible!” (paraphrased) Now, this is all 'made up' and not 'real', so why would Nyn imagine Aginor shouting that? Either she knows more than we think, or the Acceptatron has more input than we think.

I agree with others before me that the slavery situation can not be solved quickly enough, not even if Tuon were to do a 180 on the issue overnight. To make a 'happy ending' possible, we either need the OP to disappear, or the Seanchan have to leave, or they have to be utterly defeated. I can see them agreeing to leave Randland channellers alone temporarily, as part of a truce designed to last until the end of TG. But afterwards? My personal hope is that they are somehow persuaded to leave, and quickly. But the appearance of all the new technologies like cannon etc makes me think that it may be the OP that disappears, leaving an ambiguous situation regarding da'covale.

And hey, don't knock Hammer pants. I found a pair at the back of a cupboard a while back and my daughter used them for an Alladin fancy dress costume. They looked amazing!
Nadine L.
146. travyl
missbee: I didn't remeber Aginor's response, and was obviously lazy enough to form my response out of memory without leafing through the relevant passage.
But making false asumptions can lead to interesting discussions so I won't apologize - though I do acknowledge your argument makes mine less valid.
Anthony Pero
147. anthonypero

I'm sure we'll discuss this a lot during that portion of the reread, so I'll save it til then.

NOTE TO THE PTBs: EDIT: Never mind.
Anthony Pero
148. anthonypero
By the way, my last comment brings up a whole different OT question... acronyms, to pluralize, or not to pluralize? PTBs, or PTB, or PsTB? The real question is, should we treat common acronyms are real words, nowadays? For instance, is VCR it's own word now, or PDA? I may post this as a question for Grammar Girl.
Nadine L.
149. travyl
AP: On firefox it works just fine. (Ctrl+i)
Anthony Pero
150. anthonypero
Ok, just figure out the problem. On Chrome and safari, you cannot hit ctrl+I then start typing, then turn it off like word, because it doesn't put the cursor inside the bbcode i tags. There's probably nothing they can do about it. You can still type what you want and highlight the word and italicize it.
Anthony Pero
151. anthonypero
Oh, and speaking of "Hammer Pants":


Work/family-safe, as always.
Birgit F
152. birgit
And about the Sea Folk, I believe they've been described as darker than the Seanchan. Such as that the Seanchan are dark in comparison to, say, Cairhienin, but Sea Folk are in turn dark in comparison to Seanchan.

Seanchan is a big continent that has many different racial types.

The Red Ajah as a channeler police force could use the a'dam/Dominion Bands to control BA and other criminal channelers.
153. Wortmauer
anthonypero@148: By the way, my last comment brings up a whole different OT question... acronyms, to pluralize, or not to pluralize? PTBs, or PTB, or PsTB? The real question is, should we treat common acronyms are real words, nowadays? For instance, is VCR it's own word now, or PDA?
I'd vote PTB. There is no singular, after all. Nobody refers to a single "Power that Be." I think the PTB is already plural, just like the UN or the CDC.

VCR and PDA are different for two reasons. First, they are naturally singular. And second, the noun comes at the end of the acronym, so there's no ambiguity as to where the "s" suffix would go.

Also, "its own word", not "it's own word." (:
Jonathan Levy
154. JonathanLevy
I at least, am somewhat forceful about this because the conversations tend to start with something of the "Brandon wrote this, we know because it sucks.."
I think we're reading the same posts quite differently. I usually see "This part sucks, because of X,Y,Z, and therefore I think Brandon wrote it because of X,Y,Z".

Some people give convincing reasons for X,Y,Z, some people don't; some people give clear explanations (both correct and incorrect); some people can only give their gut feeling. Some people just whine - that happens too.

It's unfair to Sanderson because people don't go out of their way to attribute good parts to him. Good news is no news. But discussion of X,Y,Z is legitimate and enlightening. To give an offhand example, the comparison of BWS's letter from Mat with Jordan's letter from Mat sheds a lot of light on the skills and style of both writers. I would never have reached that understanding were it not for posts that other people may have dismissed as pointless whining.

I very much enjoy thinking about these topics; I also enjoy sharing these small frustrations with other readers, without belittling our debt to Sanderson. I was surprised and dismayed to learn this causes distress to other readers whose opinions I esteem; I hope that sharing my perspective will alleviate this distress somewhat.
Yes, Mr. JonathanLevy it is your right to analyze every little detail ad nausea. But please all of you we don't effing care to hear everytime someone thinks that BWS is ruining the book for them again and again and again and again and again....uhhhh........oh, and again.

It is beyond tiresome. Criticize the work on its own merits compare this work to RJ's if you like but please stop with the" I don't like Mat cus BWS got it all wrong, he should of written him this way." Or my favorite "Thats not what my Mat would do, he would have done it this way".

Uhhhhhhh. You don't even know whats RJ's and whats BWS's. And I absolutely looooooovvvvvvve the " well I realise that RJ could have written it.....but I highly doubt it".

Yeah... right ...of course you do.

And for all those crying foul right now. If I gotta read you puking all over BWS every other posting, and you know who you guys and gals are, then damnit all, you guys are gonna listen me to criticize your criticism.

I mean come on.... every chance you get people? every little detail? AHrrrrrrgggg!

Don't worry Brandon I got this..... I got your back.

Ron Garrison
156. Man-0-Manetheran
Wortmauer @ 132
“I don't remember where I picked up this analysis, but probably in Michener's Caribbean. Not exactly a scholarly work, so apply the usual grain of salt.”
With all of Michener’s “histories”, I recommend having a large salt shaker handy. :-)

JonathanLevy @ 140
re. criticism: I cannot say it better.
157. dlinder
@82: GSP? Did I miss something, or did that just come completely out of nowhere? Besides, isn't he supposed to be back in it this month or next (not really into MMA, but I've seen a few fights with a friend who is obsessed - and have to admit that GSP is always amazing to watch).

Back on topic, I don't think the question was really whether Mat's backstory shenanigans (say it one more time!) are funny, just that they don't fit. I think I understand why BS/Team Jordan went for a little more comedy here, trying to give a reprieve from the unrelentingly dark Rand chapters, but it just didn't work for me (or many others, based on the comments). Very similar in my mind to the treatment of Gimli in the LotR movies (I'm sure this isn't an original observation) - forced comedy to give readers/viewers a break from the main storyline, but just out of whack with the established character. If you hadn't read LotR twenty times before seeing the movie you probably wouldn't notice how strange it was to meet Gimli the Comedian; similarly, if you haven't been reading and re-reading Wheel of Time for the last twenty years it might not be as jarring when Mat and Talmanes break character to put on a little comedy routine.

That said, it didn't bother me as much on this read-through as it did the first time when I was just compeltely kicked out of the story. I don't know if this is because I knew it was coming, or because it just doesn't seem to be as glaringly off after getting more used to Sanderson's writing style.
158. dlinder
Sorry about the double-post, just noticed that I commented after leaving the browser open to the page overnight w/out refreshing, so my apologies if my post was made redundant by the 75+(!) comments that came in since then... Some day I might register an account so I can go back and edit.
Vince Ranalli
159. Vincer40
I am sickened by the release date for Memory of Light. Not until January 2013?? We were told 2011 originally. They should have never even attempted to finish this dead series. Leigh, I say we protest and stop the re-read now. I am disgusted with WHEEL OF BLOODY TAKE TOO LONG TIME!
160. Wortmauer
Man-o-Manetheran@156: With all of Michener’s “histories”, I recommend having a large salt shaker handy. :-)
Indeed. I did finally remember that my material on why we (probably) will never achieve racial homogeneity did not come from Michener, though. It came from some random article on the Internet. Much more trustworthy, right?
Vincer40@159: I am sickened by the release date for Memory of Light.
Sorry to hear that. Sounds like you probably want to be careful following the news, if your health is that easily affected. There's a lot of stuff out there that has a lot more potential to sicken a person than a book publisher's release schedule. #firstworldproblems
ZEXXES@155: It is beyond tiresome. Criticize the work on its own merits compare this work to RJ's if you like but please stop with the" I don't like Mat cus BWS got it all wrong, he should of written him this way."
Not sure if you're just addressing JL or all of us, but I certainly like to think this is what I do: criticize the work on its own merits, or compare it to RJ's.

You know what I find tiresome, well, many things actually ... but one thing is when people feel the need to couch two lines of criticism in 5 paragraphs of disclaimers, excuses, and general praise, just to soften the two lines. I wish people wouldn't do that. It creates the expectation that anyone who doesn't do the same thing must have a vehement and irrational hatred for the whole work. I hate having to "protest too much."

So here's my obligatory half page of gushing, just so's y'all don't think I hate all things post-RJ. I don't have it in for BS personally. Quite the contrary, I'm very glad I discovered him (like many of us, I first heard of him through his affiliation with the WOT project). His own books are some of the best stuff on my shelves. I preorder from Sam Wellers, follow the man's blog, recommend his books in bookstores. If he did a signing within 150 miles of me I'd try hard to find a way to attend.

There's also much about the AMOL project that is unfortunate, but isn't really anyone's fault. The release timeline is what it is and there are lots of good reasons for it. Ditto the 3-book split and how that affects the in-story plot threads and timelines. Typos and small continuity errors like where Sulin is ... these things happen. The awkward un-Randland character names picked out of a hat, well, who am I to argue against raising thousands of dollars for charity?

He was probably the right man for the job, overall. They needed someone who could write on a deadline. That usually calls for Kevin J. Anderson, but they also needed someone who knew and cared enough about the existing canon to not stomp all over it. They needed someone comfortable writing huge fantasy books. They needed a planner, someone who writes to a detailed outline, lest the book go horribly off track. Someone comfortable working with Team Jordan, the mother of all fact-checker machines. And of course someone willing to invest years of his or her working life in a project for which, yeah, they get paid and get some recognition (I daresay it was quite a career boost for BS), but it's still not really their own stuff, and most writers seem to have far more stories in their head than they have time to write.

But. Someone still should have flagged the neologisms, the late-20c pop psychology, and the "after riting that note in Eboo Dar in ACOS, it seams I tottely furgot how 2 spel, LOL!" style of humor. Just sayin'.
Tina Pierce
161. scissorrunner
Dear Uncle Sub,
Your comments about the Pasty One & Hammer Pants have caused far too much hilarity in my vacoule.
The floor is far too hard to fall upon.
with love,

p.s. Mat is still Mat(silly scoundrel), I'm scared for Rand right now, aMoL will be published when it will (as my da would say, "if you're going to do a job,DO IT RIGHT") so I don't mind waiting.
Nadine L.
162. travyl
Wortmauer @160: I had a heated discussion with other commenters about this letter on thread TGS part 11. I strongly defended it then, and still do. - Let me explain, it won't even be too much off topic:
in this thread Tuon says Mat is an "insolent scoundrel" - like others, I thinks this isn't her opinion but a way to get the info/truth she wants to hear.
I think Mat is doing a similar thing with the letter. Of course he can write. The general with memory-backup must. But that man could have expected to get "a bloody audience" with the queen. As far as Mat is concerned Elayne ignored him on purpose, and in "Eboo Dar" most of the time she treated him as a uneducated, ignorant subject - so he acts the part to show his indignation.
- thats the way I see it anyway.
j p
163. sps49
Time to start the countdown timer and wait for the tour dates!
164. missbee
travyl @146 - I'm all for interesting discussions

publication date - I do mind the delay, quite a lot.
But, since there is nothing I can do about it, I'll just live in the hope that they'll try to make up for it with extra clues and teasers.
Cameron Tucker
165. Loialson
January 8th release for aMoL? YES! That's during winter break for me. I don't have to miss school to finish the book. Can't have been planned better :).

BTW, Brandon's got a blog post up about it giving very valid reasons and, answering the concerns, of it being set at that date (which he had no hand in). This is the last book, let it be done the very best it could possibly be.

And if all goes well, Harriet might well press the date up (it's just far out for a buffer for her), and we'll all be happy :D
Roger Powell
166. forkroot
I guess the silver lining to a January 2013 release date for AMoL is that it greatly increases the chances that we'll make it through ToM on this reread.

As I've stated before, I think it's a great idea to be able to do that -- otherwise whatever part of ToM left would be anticlimactic as we'll all want to comment about AMoL.
Anthony Pero
167. anthonypero

It can't be Power That Be... you can't use Be with a singular. It would be Is Power that Is, or Powers That Be. I also posed this to @GrammarGirl on Twitter, and she said, according to the AP Styleguide, PTBs would be correct.
Valentin M
168. ValMar
Well, it's a couple of months later than expected but it's not a big deal. It's a special occasion and it's best to have all the i's dotted and t's crossed. All the howls of outrage about the 2013 date surprised me a little. Maybe Team Jordan should take the impatience as a compliment...
My personal explanation for much of the delay are Brandon's travails with Mat... ;) I am off back to the bunker and stop dropping in granades in there...
Anthony Pero
169. anthonypero
RE: Release date:

Brandon has said NUMEROUS times on his blog that a 2013 release date was possible, but he hoped to have it out sooner. THe publishing world shuts down for most of December (two or three weeks before christmas, until after new years, or so I've read), so if they couldn't get it done before november, it was inevitable it was going to be January. My question is why the 8th and not the 15th, on the 23rd aniversary of the EotW? Is there another book coming out that day? Is it one of Tor's? This book seems bulletproof to me, as far as sales are concerned.
Sam Mickel
170. Samadai
If Tor does have another book coming out that day (15th) they are not worried about AMoL being bulletproof, but about the sales of the other book/s. Though I doubt it is about that anyway.
Don Barkauskas
171. bad_platypus
anthonypero @167: I think that's the point Wortmauer is making: "Powers That Be" is inherently plural and can't be pluralized, so "PTB" is the appropriate acronym.

Re: The Seanchen plot thread

One argument for the Seanchen situation not being totally resolved at the end of AMoL is the fact that the planned outriggers were with Mat and Tuon. It's highly doubtful that those could be written with Tuon as the undisputed Empress of the Seanchen Empire, as it would be very difficult to come up with realistic conflicts given the Seanchen's societal structure.

It seems more likely that Tuon would somehow lose the throne (or at least split the support with whomever takes over in Seanchen proper)---probably by being observed channeling---so the outriggers could be written from the perspective of Mat and Tuon working from outside to change the system.
Jay Dauro
172. J.Dauro
If Team Jordan thinks that it will take until January 8th to make it the way that they (and most of us) want it, please take the time. And remember, the folks at Tor are going to allow for slippages, and have to schedule for other things also.

When it comes to the Seanchen discovering that a Sul'dam can channel, we should ask, what does a common person think makes a channeler? When we are told of the testing from before forkroot, it appears to be "Will an a'dam hold her?" And by this measure most all senior Sul'dam will be considered damanae. Including Tuon.
Anthony Pero
173. anthonypero
171. bad_platypus

According to the AP Style guide, acronyms should be pluralized independently. Therefore, PTBs is correct.
Nadine L.
174. travyl
AP @169.
why the 8th and not the 15th, on the 23rd aniversary of the EotW?

The year of the Dragon ends on january 9th 2013
*Obviously* they want the book out within this year.

I don't care about the wait, if the book needs it to be great, so be it - and I got Leigh and you all to pass the time until then.
Tess Laird
175. thewindrose
Wow - there are some really 'entitled' people ranting on the Release date thread. I am now picturing each of them as Rand on the front cover of tGS;)

Roger Powell
176. forkroot
Tempest - I'm picturing the same, except with a modified middle finger position.

Some of them (fortunately not all) could be poster children for immature, spoiled brats.
Anthony Pero
177. anthonypero

You know, based on the marketing they've done for the book, that may actually be true...
Jay Dauro
178. J.Dauro
Listening to the whining makes my head hurt.

anthonypero, great last comment on the announcement page.
I've got an idea... Maybe Tuon dies and Mat seizes power as... (drum roll) Emperor Matrim may he live forever.
Cameron Tucker
180. Loialson
@179 zexxes
I'm pretty sure Tuon's been given a pass to make it through the last battle by RJ (IE she would have been with Mat in the Outriggers), so she will live, fortuonately, or unfortuonately.
Anthony Pero
181. anthonypero
You know, I've been trying really hard to be nice even when I strongly disagree with people, but I'm afraid the AMoL Release Announcement thread got the better of me. Ugh. I better lie low for a while.
182. Wortmauer
anthonypero, great responses over on the release thread. By the time I saw the thread, you guys already had it well in hand. I don't think you were nastier than was called for. But sure, why not take a deep breath, he's not worth it. Back to the PTB/PTBs (who, by the way, might consider this a wee bit off topic)....
@167: It can't be Power That Be... you can't use Be with a singular. It would be Is Power that Is, or Powers That Be.
Wait, what? Since when can we not use be with the singular? It is used in the singular in exactly the same places as in the plural. Imperative mood: "Don't be a fool." "Be here by 8:30 tomorrow morning." "Luck be a lady tonight." Subjunctive mood: "Much may be made of a Scotchman, if he be caught young." — Samuel Johnson. And I'm skipping all those tenses with will/shall/can/may/would/could/should. ("Luck be a lady tonight" actually sounds subjunctive, but in context, Luck is clearly being addressed in second person, so I said imperative. Anyway.)

You are right that in the present indicative, the third person singular is is. What of it? The present indicative plural is not be but are. (In AAVE, there is in fact a present tense be + gerund. I'm not sure if that's the indicative mood, though.)
I also posed this to @GrammarGirl on Twitter, and she said, according to the AP Styleguide, PTBs would be correct.
Far be it from me to doubt the Grammar Girl, but does her AP style guide also recommend the UNs? It's certainly more than one United Nation. How about the CDCs in Atlanta, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Or BOFs? (A single bird of a feather makes no sense.) Does the guide suggest that DAR and MADD should be DARs and MADDs? There's more than one Daughter of the American Revolution and more than one Mother Against Drunk Driving.

Just wondering. Maybe it's a regional thing. I don't twit, but maybe you can ask GG about these? Maybe she isn't from the USAs.
Ooh, look, another "be" with the singular subject!
183. Wortmauer
(Argh! I said gerund where I meant present participle! I confuse them in my head because they take the same form, verb + ing. I like to think I proofread at least as well as the average Grey Man here, but occasionally it would be handy to edit a post.)
184. yasiru89
For goodness sake. Tuon isn't leading the conversation to Mat because she wants to know about him, and neither is she voicing what she might actually believe- she's saying what she thinks will distract and relieve the course of the negotiation best. It's a bloody tactic and it succeeded with Rand, while Nynaeve was a bonus.

Tuon also isn't a fool, however much some of the fandom might like to think of her as such. She isn't going to refuse to listen to Nynaeve's opinions because of what she is (she might pretend to if the occasion calls for it, but that's something else entirely); she understands that those like Nynaeve are actually respected on this side of the Ocean, and in listening to them, given her own beliefs, Tuon appears to be making a concession while not acknowledging it (strengthening her bargaining position) and also finding out what sort of person Nynaeve is and how she might be leading these people astray, as it were.

Incidentally, Tuon does find something out about Mat, but it doesn't come of trusting Rand and Nynaeve for information, but in reading their impression of Mat.

On other things, while it would be nice if people got over their woes that Mat is 'off' already, this doesn't seem likely to happen, so I point out that while Mat's scripting adventures might seem uncharacteristically vocal of him, his scene with Aludra was done perfectly right. It's not so much about Mat being off as a character as it is about it being inconsistent how vocal he is about things. Originally, Mat embodies the 'information is not shared lightly' dictum that dominates Jordan's world. It even seeps into his humour, which was often internal grumblings (now turned theatrical). There's less of that initially with Sanderson as author, but things do get better. I don't however think some of the fandom will ever manage to tone down their loud grumbling over this issue, which truly is sweet irony.
Anthony Pero
185. anthonypero
haha wort! You may be right... but not about the UN. That is a singular entity along with the US and CDC. The Powers that Be doesnt imply a singular organization, at least not in my usage, but several distinct and independant Powers.
Roger Powell
186. forkroot
To Wortmauer, anthonypero, and all the rest of the regulars:

Consider the Release Announcement thread a warning shot across our bow. We've seen this before with the run-up to TGS and ToM, especially on the spoiler threads. All of the trolls, spoiled brats, and clueless will come out of wherever they hide and start posting nonsense, gripes, and so forth.

Anyone care to wager on the following?: Tor will make the AMoL prologue available early for a few bucks. At least 10 self-righteous clowns will post indignant statements claiming that Tor is "greedy" or whatever.

In the meantime, let's all enjoy the reread. I continue to be amazed by the civility, the wittiness, the thoughtfulness, and the all-around quality of the posts on this reread. It's truly unusual (for any kind of open internet forum.)
187. Staizer
OT: The reason the acronyms can be pluralized is not because of any part inside of it, pluralized it implies that there are more than one. Thus UNs would be two organizations called UN, CDCs would be two groups with the same name, PTBs would imply two groups of powers that exist.

Take for example if I were talking about the PTB of this thread and the PTB over at theory land, and also the PTB at tvtropes. All of these groups together would be PTBs.

On topic, I honestly do hope that Turn is forced to channel somehow, I personally have never had a problem with her as a character but I think it would help resolve the issue quite nicely.
Cameron Tucker
188. Loialson
@186 forkroot

Here-here! Thought about posting over there, but it's so much calmer here-and I don't feel like wasting my digital breath. People may disagree on the re-read, but those here are at least (with exceedingly rare exceptions like spanking and gun control ;p) attempting kind and civil consideration of one another, while stating our own views.
189. Wortmauer
anthonypero@185: The Powers that Be doesnt imply a singular organization, at least not in my usage, but several distinct and independant Powers.
Indeed. There's the One Power, the True Power, and Mordeth. There's saidin and saidar. White tower-power, Black tower-power, the Rose Crown's flower-power, and Aludra's nightflower-power. Newfangled crossbow crank power, newfangled steam-wagon power. To say nothing of tnh and the gang. Who, however, are a singular organization, at least in my opinion.

You're right, though: if you think of the PTB as multiple independent powers, that is a different sense than the USA or MADD. The problem we come back to is that, like MADD, the idiom does not have a singular. If you pick just one of the PTB, you don't have a PTB. You wouldn't even call him/her/it a PTI. You just don't use the idiom at all, except in the plural. (You might call him a wearer of a crown of swords, or a spinner-out of fate.) This is why I think the acronym, being unambiguously plural, doesn't need the affix.
I once new a man, I am not blessed of the rememberance of what his name was for some reason, who would say something to the effect of:

Wit is for the weak, thoughtfulness for the meek, civility for those who live in fear, and quality is always in short order.

He would then extrapolate further, essentialy explaining to himself more than to myself or anyone else for that matter, the logic behind his words.

I'm reminded of him because he would have brutal ripping of foul languaged, ludely laced, reasons for why people who feel the need to pat themselves on the back for their "whatever". He'd essentially flic-off on the person or persons with anything but civility to prove his point. Because the reaction he usually got was silence. The fear in the air was so thick I felt like I could swim in it.

Now granted, this only works when in person. Wit is usually used when there is no danger of physical confrontation, it is a way for the bodily weak to exert some sort of power over another. Unless its among friends. Then its all fun among friends. But when not among friends, its a type of assault; Of aggression so to speak. Its a " look how masterfuly I can belittle another person with my keen command of the english language". Its a form of dueling between intellectuals. Until its not and its used as a way to discredit someone. As if to say I am more educated than you, more quick of thought, more refined in my strategi, therefore I am your better. Then it is very much a kind of an assault. But out on the street, in the real world, that is not true. It never has been. Which is why such people isolate themselves from that very real world. Just in case.

Thoughtfulness, he wouldn't have much to say but a quick expletive, but he was constantly on top of the quiet thoughtful type. He didn't like people who were selfless. He always thought they wanted something or expected something in return. In that sense though he was mostly, but not totally, incorrect. But he was correct about the type, in that thoughtful people usually tended towards meekness. And meekness meant weakness. And He abhorred weakness. He'd pick on them until they got angry and then he'd laugh at them knowingly. They wouldn't do anything. The meek are called such for a reason.

Civility was his pet peave. Honest people are rarely civil. They are respectful, but not civil. And when I say honest, I mean the literal definition. Not the fantasy that some make of it. He was Honest and True and Pure. He decieved himself not and let you know exactly who he was, what he thought about you or anything, and more importantly, you knew instinctively that he could care less what you thought of him. You were either down with him or you weren't. If you weren't, then stay away. He felt that civility was for people who feared confrontation. So they walk around with airs of this and thus, pontificating some sort of virtues of an orderly society. He hated them in fact. Mostly because those who were civil had time to be civil. Mainly because of wealth. Because we all know that when you're poor, civility usually leaves you even more poor. When your destitute, civility usually leaves you starving or dead.

And my did he love fine things. The finest and latest Jordans and Air Force Ones, the most silken materials to grace his most sensuous woman. Big fat platinum chains with the most delicate weaves and minutely worked details. He had more Kangols and Stetsons than he had shoes. His only un-fine thing, even though it was in fact fine, was his trademark leather jacket. It was a worn, weathered version and cross of a walking coat and a driving coat. Satin lined, with a thin insulation layer stitched inside the satin, so it was heavy. Upper thigh length, just below the groin, with hand pockets hidden on the sides with a barely noticeable stitching to define it. Lapels like dinner jacket. He was big, so this was not a bought coat but custom made with slats in the back and split in the middle at the rear bottom. So he could have plenty of room for when he was mauling someone. And the leather.... I don't know what kind it was, but it was thick and heavy, yet soooo soft and supple. He had two of them though. One in black and the other a deep, dark, richly colored brown, sorta of like a stained mahogany.The man did gangsta in a way all his own. And nothing, absolutely no thing that he owned was of poor quality. Which is why he didn't have a lot of stuff. he was quite spartan.

His father retired as a welder but for a good amount of time was framer or a carpenter. He was also a closet sculptor and his son had collected his fathers works. It stands to reason that since his mother was a teacher, that he was surrounded by whatever he chose to fancy and most of the time it was art. His father repected good solid works and that he carried with him for the rest of his life.

And he did have some fine pieces of art and his Club was immaculate. Also his club that he used to bludgeon people with, was a carved masterwork that I suspect was worked with his own hands. He knew quality; more like he was intimate with it. It was about the only thing he truly respected.

But if he read what some hear have written, he'd throw the laptop across the room, as if you were in there and thus punishing you for your insolence. He liked using the word pompous. He once called someone and I'll never forget this, he called them a " Pompous... Pink... Puffyake..... Pussy". Excuse the language please, I beg you. But you can't quote that without being accurate and expect to get the hit it deserves. The pauses were there too! I did very painfuly fall on the floor rolling and absolutely roared my ass off.

Maybe an FOTFLMAO? Yes, No?

Gosh, what was his name...right on the tip of my tongue...

Nadine L.
191. travyl
- Loialson @180. I saw what you did there (fortuonately). For that name I wish the Empress, may she live forever, would have stayed Daughter of then Nine Moon.
- Wortmauer @182: Wait, what? - Sweet reminder of that other book from BWS I love to wait for a next installment (WoK)
- yasiru89 @184: If you were adressing me, then I think I haven't made myself clear. I agree with most of what you say. I merely tried to say, that Tuon's comment about Mat being a scoundrel doesn't reflect her true opinion of him.
Cynthia Ahmar
192. tenkuu
birgit@152: But we're talking about the Seanchan people that we meet in this story, with the drawling accents. Those such as the Blood, for instance.

travyl@162: The thing about the "insolent scoundrel" bit not being Tuon's real opinion of Mat is that when Rand and Nynaeve defend him, her thoughts are all shocked and she immediately feels the need to revise her opinion of him. At least on some level she must think of Mat as an "insolent scoundrel" indeed.

bad_platypus@171: Tuon can only learn to channel. She's unlikely to start channeling on her own anytime soon.
Nadine L.
193. travyl
Some quotes to argue with Tenkuu (@192) and Yasiru89 @184):
So, Matrim did know the Dragon Reborn
Such loyalty! Once again, she was forced to reassess her view of Matrim Cauthon
Tuon already has reformed her opinion of Mat (she doen't see him as a scoundrel), but she still doubted him to some extent. She didn't expect such bursts of outrage from friends (Something she probably doesn't know from Seanchan, where it's all about plotting against everyone, even your siblings, husbands, ...). I see how this hightens her respect for Matrim even more.

- Yasiru89 @184: this is where you are wrong: For goodness sake. Tuon isn't leading the conversation to Mat because she wants to know about him:
She couldn't help asking after him a little more. Partly because the topic appeared to unbalance al'Thor and partly because she was curious
By the way another example of introspection, Nynaeve in a similar situation would probaly have thought to herself "for the sole reason it appeared to unbalance xy".
John Massey
194. subwoofer
@Fork- Yur just now noticing this? As we approach the magic 2 HUNNY!!! on this thread, a milestone we have not done in recent history, it will be all due to the contributions of newer members... and AP and Z.

Anywho, I say bring it, I gladly welcome fresh insight and thoughts to our little corner of the world. And if people get especially whiney, we can sic Wetlander on them and she can channel her inner Cadsuane all over their sorry behinds.

Consider it fair warning.

... and mind your Mats;)

195. yasiru89
For travyl @191 and 193:

My remarks were on the reread entry and not on anyone's comments. However, I shall address your points here.

Your post 191 seems to be confusing my position. I agree with you that Tuon doesn't see him as a scoundrel or what not and that what she says is not necessarily what she thinks, for all the reasons given in my initial post.

Tuon is certainly reforming her opinion of Mat almost continuously as new information comes in, but the 'doubt' as you call it, is not necessarily about his character, but about who exactly he is as perceived by his own circles. She is quite interested in this when she speaks with the Band's officers while Mat was studying maps in KoD and it's more of the same here. There's more political value in that kind of analysis. She also certainly knows what Nynaeve's outrage and Rand's reluctant but steadfast defence means.

Of your second quote, again, Tuon's curiosity is about how Mat is perceived and what exactly his relationship with the Dragon Reborn might be, rather than hoping to be given information directly. And from the defences of Mat from Nynaeve and Rand, this is exactly what she got.

Her method is illustrated as follows- she could have asked, 'What is Matrim Cauthon like?' and gotten some information 'He is like X' which would have been almost useless depending on whether the others were trying to deceive her. But by leading them with the statement 'Matrim Cauthon is Y' she was able to get a reaction and gauge it, thus being better able to reassess her own perception of Mat.
a a-p
196. lostinshadow
* applauds * Wet@135 - as ever, very well said my lady

Re Seanchan giving up the adam- I would agree with others that it won't be enough for just Tuon to see the light, some significant part of their population must be willing to entertain the idea of no more leashes for there to be any hope of future stability in Randland.

However, I am not certain that this issue needs to be resolved prior to the Last Battle. Even in this first meeting Tuon did not rant and rave against Rand that she would never let women off the leash, she side stepped the topic realizing it was a hot button for him and was still willing to see if some kind of detante could be reached.

Remember we already have Tylee successfully working with Perrin without leashing all the men and women with him. So Perrin at least can attest that if prior agreement is reached to not collar AS and Ashaman, the Seanchan will honor that deal. Similarly Tylee can attest that "free" AS and Ashaman were useful in battle and Perrin seemed to have them under control (hopefully Eggs won't hear it being worded in quite that manner)

So I think the best we can hope for in AMoL is a detante where Seanchan stay in collars and Randlandians not yet collared stay free (I think at best we can hope prior to Last Battle would be for Randlandians recently collared to be set free as a gesture of good faith.

In terms of a long lasting solution that would bypass Avi's possible future...not sure what could work other than the Seanchan having seen how instrumental free AS and Ashaman were in winning the Last Battle.

Re AMoL release date - based on comments from some of you above, I am glad I couldn't get the link to work last night.

Obviously I would be happy if someone handed me a completed copy of AMoL tomorrow but hey whatever works for Team Jordan and Tor...after all, if RJ were still alive, Jan 8 would most likely have been the release date for A Gathering Storm.
Chin Bawambi
197. bawambi

think your under/over line is too low on number of greedy comments. I'd set the action at 25.

Tess Laird
198. thewindrose
forkroot - Have to agree with you on the 'poster children for immature, spoiled brats' sentiment. I am worried about how my kids are going to handle rejection and disappointment with the way the schools they go to bend over backwards in an effort to take that out of their lives. Back in my day....;)

To everyone debating the sul'dam leasing debate - Egeanin was able to leash Bethamin - who is an experienced sul'dam. Elayne has several sul'dam who are leashed.

And from RJ himself:
Emma: Can the a'dam hold every sul'dam?
RJ: The a'dam can only hold sul'dam who have been sul'dam for a long time and so wearing the bracelet for a long time. Four months for example isn't enough. He said the circle helped them get to the point that's described in the book, as being on the brink of being able to channel, one foot stepped over or something Winter's Heart Ch. 8].

Is Tuon at this state? I guess we will need to read and find out:)

Ron Garrison
199. Man-0-Manetheran
Just scanned the release date thread. OMG what a bunch of red-letter whiners who haven’t discovered spellcheck. “slap in the face” “how greedy can you be?” Seriously? The series is called The Wheel of Time, people! Not Wheel of Instant Gratification!

It's so much more civilized over here. Some fool who has the arrogance to call himself "The Fisher King" was particularly nasty, and naturally had to throw in how he never posted here because people were so nasty. Well... anthonypero - good job poking holes in his rant, though I'm sure he remains unchanged.

As for me, I’d love to have AMoL in my hands right now, but not if it is rushed and an unfitting end to a grand story. I think the discussion here around Mat's chapter demonstrates clearly how that would be a terrible ending to RJ’s legacy. I say, “Harriet, you go girl! Give yourself enough time to make it perfect.”

subwoofer @ 194
“...channel her inner Cadsuane all over their sorry behinds.”
THAT'S what makes this group so much fun. Nasty? Never! Thanks, sub, for always making me laugh. And thanks, Wetlandernw, for your amazingly knowledgable postings.
201. CorDarei
i take offense to the term "red-letter whiners"

just because we write from red letters, doesn't make us whiners :P (just too lazy to sign in)
Hugh Arai
202. HArai
CorDarei@201: You don't appear to be whining, so the phrase doesn't apply to you.

bawambi@197: Personally I think you still underestimate the action. Over/under of 75, at least. Think about it, it will basically be the very last chance they'll have to bitch about how WoT is published. Except perhaps if the e-book release isn't the same in which case that subgroup will have one last rant opportunity.

@various: All I'm going to say about the comments in the release thread with people posting things like "almost enough to make me feel literally overcome with disgust" is that I wish it were enough. It would be quieter. Oh, and that I thank them for providing proof there really are people that think $4.99 is a whole dollar less than $5.01. I used to think no one could possibly fall for that.
Ron Garrison
203. Man-0-Manetheran
CorDarei - I did't mean to imply that all red-letter contributors are whiners, simply that most of the whiners on that thread seemed to be red-lettered. Sorry you were offended.
204. CorDarei
i'm lying... i wasn't really offended (see i am a whiner :P)

i'm excited for the release as well. I thought it funny that several websites were crashed after Tor sent the email saying the release date was out.
205. CorDarei
the 2-0 fifth i give you?
I kinda thought we'd get over 200 when the whole whining thing started.

My opinion of Tuon is that she is a shrewdly intelligent woman. I feel what she was doing with her scoundrel statement was to question her own knowledge of Mat as well as unhinge Rand for negotional gain. I feel it wasn't one or the other. Even more, any less any other motive. This a groomed, trained and raised within royalty from birth Ruler. She operates on multiple fields of play. Nothing that she does has a singular motivation. To Tuon it would be a waste of an opportunity.

Karen Fox
207. thepupxpert
For my two cents worth I was a little disappointed in hearing about the 2013 release date but whiney... NEVER!

Too much respect for Team Jordan and their process.
Scott Silver
208. hihosilver28

It's good after reading a bunch of the vitriolic comments in the release date thread to come back to a thread that can discuss, disagree, have and poke fun with maturity. Yay Leigh, and commenters for cultivating an awesome reread community!

198. @thewindrose
That debate is something I had never heard about. I had always assumed that since some minute level of channeling is necessary on the sul'dam's part that the a'dam would always work. I didn't know that there was a cut-off level of the Power that one had to be before the a'dam would work. I believe that it would work on Tuon simply because she's thought to herself that training damane is an enjoyable activity, and that she has skill at it. This would imply that she has been doing it for some time and I believe she would be past the cut-off point.
209. MasterAlThor
One day I am gone and you guys go nuts.

I saw your...debate...with Zexxes. I have to say that I am in agreement with you except for one point. According to Fredrick Douglas, the Constitutianl Amendment you are talking about did not count Negroes as half a man. Just thought I would point that out. I recall this from my memory of studing in college. I will try to find the exact quote and post it later.

Anthony Pero
210. anthonypero
Ugh... If I had significantly better hacker skills, I would hack this website and graffiti paint all over the comment thread on the relase date. That dude Fisher King got my blood boiling good.

I think that's the first time I've ever gone off on someone on the internet. I know I can get snippy sometimes but... I feel like I should apologize to him, then I read over his comments again... and no. Hell no. Gosh, if I was a mod on this site, I would have locked that post down long ago. Freedom of Speech doesn't extend to pissing on someone's porch, which is what that thread amounts to.
211. Wortmauer
Getting to 200 posts is all very well, now we need to see if a single batsman can get a century. Subwoofer, want to try it on the next thread?

I kid, I kid.
Anthony Pero
212. anthonypero

Please do. I remember it the other way, but it was long ago. I thought Z and I kept it fairly civil... but I have to admit, the mood it put me in probably contributed to my... um... rant on the release thread *where is the 'embarrased' emoticon?*
Chin Bawambi
213. bawambi
I've tried occasionally to play moderator when trolling starts on other threads since tor.com for me is a refuge from the rest of the interwebs but I took a look early on at TTTSNBN and said I'm not touching that one with Sergey Bubka's pole.
214. missbee
subwoofer @194 hello! You must mean people like me.
I know I'm a bit late to the party, apologies, I havn't even cought up on all the re-reads yet.
Wetlander sounds scary though - I promise to mind my manners.
In the meantime I'll just say I completely agree with her @135

Leigh, thank you for making me laugh and making me look at things from a different perspective
Kimani Rogers
215. KiManiak
AP, Zexxes and MAT - Yeah, I basically stayed out of that conversation. But are you guys referencing the slaves = 3/5ths of a man portion of the original Constitution?

I should probably review your various posts, but I'm feeling kind of lazy now. If so, great; if not, please disregard.

Oh, and AP, I do recall earlier that you said the cotton gin from Eli Whitney played a part in ending slavery. I think you meant that the cotton gin was instrumental in extending slavery. (I think b/c the cotton gin made it easier to process cotton, therefore more cotton needed to be grown and picked. Its been a long time since US History courses so my recollection may be a little off; maybe I'll look all of this stuff up later).

AP, I do think you clarify your position in a later post, though. And yes, I applaud how very civil this discussion, as well as most of our discussions on this thread, was conducted.... Although I have to admit that I did kind of enjoy AP & Lakesidey (and many others) responses to some of the complainers on the AMoL Release thread, though.
216. MasterAlThor
While not finding the exact quote I did find some other comments. First of all it was the 3/5 clause. And here is what it did....
When the issue finally came to a vote at the Constitutional Convention, slave-owners proposed that slaves be counted as full persons for purposes of representation. The motion lost, with only the most strident slave-owning States supporting the measure.41 With it clear that slaves would not be used as the means of doubling Southern representation, Benjamin Harrison, a slave-owner in Virginia, proposed a compromise, suggesting that two slaves be counted as one freeman.42 The slave States, however, rejected this proposal, wanting all slaves fully counted.43 The final compromise was that only sixty percent - that is, three-fifths - of slaves would be counted to calculate the number of Southern representatives to Congress.44
I will continue to search for the Fredrick Douglass comment.
The exact quote that i spoke of is in the book "The Life and Times of Fredrick Douglass". I won't post the quote here, but now you know where to find it.

Karen Fox
217. thepupxpert
@anthonypero - after reading your posts here I went on to the other thread and went through those as well and all I can say is that WOT fans are nothing if not passionate... definitely some comments over there that could have benefited from the edit feature. Thank you for sticking up for Team Jordan!
Jonathan Levy
218. JonathanLevy
183. Wortmauer
Argh! I said gerund where I meant present participle!
Aha, a mistake! Of course this is iron-clad proof that it was actually Sanderson who wrote your post. I can't believe Harriet let that slip by. For shame, Team Jordan! For shame!!!

::: bunker! :::
Theresa Gray
219. Terez27

Have to catch up Brandon's Twitter etc. this weekend. But you guys can play now!
Alice Arneson
220. Wetlandernw
Catching up again... (RL sure gets in the way sometimes!!)

bawambi - TTTSNBN indeed!! What a mess! I LOLed on "red-letter whiners" though. Also on "Wheel of Instant Gratification." MoM, you're a hoot. You've been gone too long.

Speaking of... lostinshadow is back, too! And I seem to be seeing a few more names that we haven't seen so much lately. Good to have you back, folks. (I'm not going to list any more names, because I'd be sure to miss someone. Also - some new folks! Yay! From the tone of the comments (except one) I can freely say "Welcome!" )

anthonypero, I applaud your efforts on . That dude with the Wrong Name was so far out of line and off base and out in left field and all other phrases descriptive of that concept. Loser. Just about killed me when he claimed that we're known for being nasty around here. Okay, clearly he usually hangs out with the rest of the "red-letter whiners" who only show up here when they have a complaint about something. (I do like that! Shall we refer to them as RLWs when they show up on the AMoL threads? Okay, maybe that's unworthy... but they do get on the nerves.) Anyway... you did an excellent job, and you did it with class and style. Better than he deserved, and I appreciate you upholding the standards around here.

As to the release date... I actually saw Brandon's post on Facebook that he'd put up a blog about it before I saw it here, so the first thing I read with the date was his blog. I'll confess (here, anyway!) that my first gut reaction was disappointment that the release date went farther away instead of getting closer (than November) with the formal announcement. But that lasted all of a few seconds, and by the time I read the rest of his post I was completely on board with the reasoning. The realization of how much this is demanding of Harriet was especially poignant for me; aside from the simple logistics of the multiple revisions required and the continuity research needed, I really want her to have the time she needs to be satisfied, both as editor and as RJ's widow. I know she still wants to publish the WoT encyclopedia, too, and I'm betting she doesn't want to have to use it to retcon anything! It's the end of an era, and at least all of us here want it done right; I personally believe that she's the person best qualified to determine that.

And... I'll go ahead and include here most of the notes I made before I shut down last night, even though some of them are OBE.

anthonypero @144 – I think you hit it well there. I don’t mind discussing and dissecting; that’s what we do here anyway. It’s the "Brandon wrote this, we know because it sucks..." attitude of a few that ruins the rest of it. As well as the rest of what you said. Yup.

(ZEXXES @155 – While I completely understand your frustration, please take into consideration that we’re trying really really hard to be civil to one another on this topic… Which is why I chopped so much out of my post @135. It would have been pushing civility over the edge. I know you and I feel much the same about what can easily be read as attacks on Brandon, but we won’t help the situation if we attack one another either. Stinks, doesn’t it? But I think we've left this behind, by now; the group of truly irrational whiners on TTTSNBN really puts this in a different perspective. :) As they say... there's no one so worthless they can't at least serve as a bad example...)

dlinder@157 – “…similarly, if you haven't been reading and re-reading Wheel of Time for the last twenty years it might not be as jarring when Mat and Talmanes break character to put on a little comedy routine.” And yet, there are many of us who have been reading WoT for the last 22 years who didn’t find it jarring at all. See my upcoming post on this subject…

Vincer40 @159 – The door is thataway. You are under no obligation to continue with either the series or the reread.

scissorrunner @161 – LOL!! And glad you can still contact us from your current location. ;)

subwoofer @194 - I stand ready!! (See my wicked grin? Let me show it to you!)

And you know, I have to say I get a huge chuckle out of the hunny-snatching around here. It's like a family joke - one of those things that, no matter how tense a debate might get, all someone has to do is snatch the hunny and we all start laughing. I almost fell out of my chair last night when anthonypero caught it on TTTSNBN. (There might even have been a fistpump, had anyone been observing...)

::Note to self: January 7, 2013: prepare to lurk on the AMoL spoiler thread for snatches...::
Alice Arneson
221. Wetlandernw
Terez @219 - WHEEE!! Will have to go play... :)
Tess Laird
222. thewindrose
terez - Just jumped over - Wow, you have been busy! Thanks for your dedication. Now I am going to go check out some notes:)

Noneo Yourbusiness
223. Longtimefan
Late to the party with a busy week at work.
If you read about the couple who were arrested for having the woman naked and bound in the back of the car at a grocery store for "role playing" on valentine's day. I assigned them their community service.

Enough about my job.

I am going to say that I agree with John the Irishmongrel at 72 that the writing of a few pages may seem out of character for Mat, (not my favorite character so I am not that worried about rogueish consistency) but not being able to spell when writing a letter to Elayne is jarring.

In my experience very few people who have difficulty spelling enjoy writing 5 pages of character development for a simple information gathering expedition.

Granted, in the world of the internet all manner of moderate to severly illiterate people type pages and pages of opinions and ideas but the written word dissimilar to typing the way microwaving food is dissimilar to preparing a meal. the end result is dinner but the steps involved are less effort in one than the other.

And even as it is a fictional world and not worth getting too tied up in logistics, paper is not available at the local stationary store on the road through the mountains so being in a probable short supply for such a frivolous task I would assume (because I am an ass) that either he would know how to spell and enjoy writing so he would not be concerned about using so much paper or he would not have done it since paper was not something to be squandered by a man with a large childish hand and poor spelling.

But that is just me. Frankly I would prefer a Mat who can write and does not spell poorly.

The inconsistency in character between the two scenes is more bothersome to me than the less than humorous "backstory" issue.

As for Verin. Yay Verin.

As for Rand and Tuon. It is like someone is washing silk or making knives in Illian. It is not as drifty but the end result is a lot of character development and discription in a scene where the action brings no real change to the story.

Well maybe that is a bit harsh. It is probably more than washing silk.
Hugh Arai
224. HArai
Terez27@219: Thanks to you and the others at Theoryland. That looks like a tremendous resource and must have been a tremendous amount of work as well.
Theresa Gray
225. Terez27
@Wetlander and everyone else - Be sure to let us know what you think! Feel free to give suggestions or report errors here, or in my shoutbox. Is there a way to get email notifications for those? If not, I'll check it semi-regularly.
226. D-Mac
I wasn't sure how to take this "Mat" chapter on first read, but after re-reading it, I think I can appreciated what Sanderson is trying to do w/ Mat's dialogue. I think at first read i thought the writing was a little clumsy, but when I re-read it, I visualized Mat's situation and his response to it, and I "found" the humor. The whole idea coming out of Hinderstap, Mat realizes he can't escape his fate, there will always be those dark forces hunting him, and that he needed to approach things more seriously. So this backstory is Mat's sincere attempt at preparing a plan rather than just winging it. I found the humor in just the thought of Mat sitting up late at night in his tent, "scrawling" out these elaborate legends, sitting back admiring his work as a serious effort, and being pleased with the result. And I actually enjoyed the byplay w/ Talmanes and Thom in this scene. As far as Aludra, i continue to think that dialogued missed, in that i don't think Aludras feelings for Mat were ever expressed in a way that he "should" feel guilt. It seems to me, that in Winters Heart, they flirted a little, but she never paid him any mind because she knew he had a thing w/ Tylin, and by the time Tylin was out of the picture, he was faking it w/Egeanin and then hooking up w/ Tuon, so i'm not sure when Aludra would have been out on the limb emotionally w/ Mat, so i just didn't get all the guilt Mat was supposedly feeling.
Jay Dauro
227. J.Dauro
I finally found the text I remembered:
They straightened and stared when he walked in, men from Khoweal or Dalenshar with skin blacker than charcoal, honey-brown men from N’Kon, fair-haired men from Mechoacan, pale-eyed men from Alqam, men from every part of the Empire.
Knife of Dreams: 34 - A Cup of Kaf

So we see many different races and ethnic types in Seanchen.
Cameron Tucker
228. Loialson
I was so excited that I just charged on in there...and got lost for an hour and a half before I looked up, lol.

Was a very pleasurable experience being lost in Randland QandAs though, so, thank you very much!
Cynthia Ahmar
229. tenkuu
I know this is kinda late, but when I posted comment #141, it was super late and I was too tired to finish reading the other comments all the way #140, so here are a few replies I forgot to post before.

macster@134: On the subject of Rand's dark aura, have we ever seen anything similar around any of the Forsaken? I can't recall anything at the moment other than black threads in one of the first few books. Since it seems different from that, we can probably conclude that Rand's dark aura wasn't so much evil as it was a wrongness in the Pattern.

Watashiwa@139: I don't know whether you're a fan of Rand, but you're a lot better at expressing my undying love and sympathy for the character, so I thank you for that. Frankly, Rand cannot do anything irredeemable in my eyes.
Rob Munnelly
230. RobMRobM
JD - that was exactly the excerpt I was thinking of when I mentioned the darkskinned folk mentioned in the books in a post above. Thanks.
Anthony Pero
231. anthonypero
220. Wetlandernw

I almost fell out of my chair last night when anthonypero caught it (the hunny) on TTTSNBN

Yeah, I was in such a foul mood by then, too, it was more of a *mumblegrumblefrakasnitcherhunnygrumblemumbleidiotsnitchafrak*
Alice Arneson
232. Wetlandernw
missbee @214 - I'm terrifying. Really and truly. I know about figs and mice and other items of that ilk. I have been known, yea verily even here on this very reread, as The Scary Lady. And that was before they knew about my little fish and birds and stars and things.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(Do you believe me? Some of it is true...)

anthony @231 - I can believe it! That's what made it so funny - I was growling right along with you (when I was reading it about 4 hours later), but not noticing the numbers. The Hunny took me completely off guard.
Anthony Pero
233. anthonypero
Off to bed, but I thought I would leave you all with this:

I've started a thread on the Forum that I thought might be fun, while we wait for Next Tuesday*. I want to know what all of your favorite disproven theories are. You know, the pet ones that you never wanted to leave behind, but have now been forced to, much to your dismay.


This should be fun! Let's see if you're all as crazy and stubborn as I am, lol. Please don't post them here though, head on over to the forum!

* Believe it or not, I was once in a band called Next Tuesday. We practiced on Tuesday, and one night, after practice, we were sitting around, trying to come up with a name for the band. Not having any luck. So I said, "Well, we'll just have to make it Next Tuesday." I meant come up with the name, but everybodsy stopped, looked around and said: "Ok" And Next Tuesday was born.

The ironic part is, the very next tuesday, we broke up.
Theresa Gray
234. Terez27
@Loialson - Happy to be of service. :)
a a-p
235. lostinshadow
*waves at Wetlander* (man talk about RL getting in the way)

on a completely unrelated note, having noticed the Rothfuss re-read... I was wondering if any here would suggest picking them up? pros, cons? etc

Terez... wow that's amazing

Edit: to add... you know your brain is fried when you still haven't finished something in 6 days that would normally take you 1-2 days max.
Anthony Pero
236. anthonypero
I think Rothsfuss is the most brilliant writer writing today. On the surface, The Name of the Wind just seems to be very, very well written tropes, tried and true. But what this re-read has illuminated is that Rothsfuss is masterfully **ucking with you the whole time. There's a frame story, a guy sitting in a bar, telling his life story. Meanwhile, the world in the frame is going to hell, he's saying he's responsible and telling you how it got there. But he'a totally unreliable narrator. It's like The Usual Suspects in that you're thinking the whole time that this is a typical, trope filled crime/heist movie, and while you enjoy it as a great example of the genre, the movie is lulling you into a false sense of security in the frame. (whited out for spoilers for The Usual Suspects). These are both similar in that they tell a meta-story about story itself. It's really heady stuff, underneath the tropes. Highly recommended. More than anything I've read in a decade.
237. MasterAlThor
Awww anthony. Why did you have to go and be from there? I should have never clicked on your name. Aaaaggggghhhhh. Now I have to treat you as the enemy. At least until you prove that you have no affiliation with Tressell's Tatoo and Pawn Shop. LOL.

Have a good one brother.


PS. It's good to be back Wetlander. Thanks
Jay Dauro
238. J.Dauro

Do you mean the books, or the re-read?

The books are amazing. But you will find youself wanting to go stand over Pat screaming "Write!" (I don't recommend this, but I do want the last book. NOW!) So yes, if you can stand the wait, pick them up and read them now. If you don't deal well with waiting, plan to schedule a vacation when the last book is released and read them all then. Which is sort of my plan. I will re-read the first two and go directly to the finale.

The re-read is also intense. Of course, this is due to the total amount of stuff going on in the book.
Anthony Pero
239. anthonypero

I take it you're from UP NORTH, huh? Well, never fear, I am not a Buckeye. I'm from Wisconsin originally. Cheesehead through and through, and a huge Badger fan.
240. AndrewB
Wow. Lots of comments. I would have never guessed that the chapters that Leigh included in her re-read this week would have sparked so many comments. Real Life got in the way of me commenting earlier. I have some opinions but will not post them -- as they would mirror some of the thoughts expounded above. Except the thoughts set forth above are far more eloquent than I could have written. Oh well.

That said I do have two small points to make. Sorry anthonypero. Both came from posts that you made. I am not picking on you. These two minor points caught my eye.

@117 - I have no interest in jumping into the middle of your discussion with Zexxes re slavery in the USA. I am not taking either one of your sides. I just have to point out a historical inaccuracy that you stated in @117 above. Prior to getting the right to vote after the US Civil War, slaves were counted as 3/5 of a person (not 1/2 a person). Probably does not change your analysis at all.

@236 -- I am calling a major violation on you re your use of a spoiler alert for your discussion of The Unusual Suspects. That film came out in 1995 (almost 20 years ago). The statute of limitations on spoiler alerts for that movie has long since expired. :)

Thank you to all who commented that reading Tor's forum re the release of AMoL was not worth the time and effort. That will save me the desire to punch my computer.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Not to bring this up again, because the whole issue has settled now. I wanted things to cool down a bit. Tension is Ok. Angry aggression is not. So on that note....

I always find it interesting how whole peoples are so willing to except the history written by the offender, instead of the history written by the offended. Especialy when the reader is invested in only listening to the offender. As if they will truly own up to the totality of the evil their forefathers perpetrated. This country still can't be truthful about what we have done to the Native American people. It took lawsuit after lawsuit to force acknowledgment enough to change the story......but it still isn't taught.

I remember the stories my Grandmother would tell me about the stories her Grandmother would tell her. Suffice it to say you would get a different story about the why's and why nots. I could read the history books and memorize them as you have and actually I have. But I can't except them as what happened. We as Americans should know better than any other nations people, that the written National history is often not accurate and in many of those cases are half truths or even worse, outrite lies.

As a person of color it always disappoints me that the horrors that have been described by its survivors have been dismisssed and are rarely told to the general public because White America wants to forget that part of their history. They don't want to acknowledge it. They don't want to see the evil in there fathers eyes. Some of the people who perpetrated great evil on peoples of color are still living today. Raising a new generation in their image.

These people knew what had been done to us them, the African slave. And they sought to rewrite history even as they seek to rewrite more even today. But there are people still alive who still know the truth. And I can tell you from there mouths to this keyboard that the slave owners did not want to release their property. Very many of these slave owners were very influencial and some were very very powerful. But they were hateful men and evil. It matters not what was perpetrated as the reasons for the attempted seceding, it only matters that some still know why. We were their property. They owned us. And they were pissed because they were literaly throwing money away if we were freed. And thats just the monetary reasons. The things they did to us were unspeakable. And they wanted to continue doing those things. The Cotton Gin or any mechanism of progress still doesn't replace their property.

Its amazing how people are willing to except the civilized but subductive reasons for the ending of slavery but failing to remember how we were treated and what was done to us and how we got here in the first place. As if merely acknowledging that there were slaves is enough, but the details aren't worth mentioning. Oh no.... we'll just recall the very real economic forces and the new technologies and the coming of the industrial age as the real reasons things happened the way they did. If that was so why did it take so long for things to be as they are today?

And today this is the only country that has this country's particular brand of racism. The Chinese elderly remember the thousands the British killed over opium. The Australian Aborigines remember the thousands slain for realstate. The only history that is anywhere near close to being as bad as ours were maybe the ancient Eqyptians and maybe after them the South African state. I challenge you to go to a book store online or otherwise and read some alternative history.Written by the hands of the black men and women who lived it. Then look at your history written by a white hand and ask yourself what you think you know.

I also want to say that this country has come far, but we as African Americans are reminded under the current climate that we still have a long way to go. But this is still a great nation. And it has done much good for the world. We stumble as all nations do at times as we are now. I know not whether we can rightfuly call ourselves the greatest nation on Earth any longer. But this is my home and I am proud of it. And I hope I have reason to be, everlong.

I shall endeavor not to speak about this subject any further on this site. If one would like a comment from me about any comment posts about this post, feel free to email me a request for response at: terrorbyte73@yahoo.com

Nadine L.
243. travyl
Terez, thank you. I've only skimmed one tag so far and know already that I could lose myself in your new database. It's great.
I second that travyl. I have already spent a bit of time there last night and will be returning there soon. I may even take the time to submit a couple of theories myself, if they may be graced to be accepted.
245. Caveatar
@242 Zexxes
"These people knew what had been done to us the African slave."

I do agree that history has much unwritten and leaves much to be desired. But as whatshisface Mulder says, "The truth is out there."

I would also say that in dealing with many groups on many separate occasions Uncle Sam is not a virgin. In fact he has been the biggest whore on the block many times.
I understand your bitterness but your statements are misleading.
"..US the African slave"?
I don't believe that you were ever a slave. I am sure no one on this board was ever a slaveowner.

Some of my ancestors owned slaves.
Others of my ancestors WERE the slaves they owned.
Some of my ancestors drove the Cherokee from Carolina to Oklahoma.
Others of my ancestors were on the Trail of Tears and the reason I came
to be descended from them.
I personally am a literal native American. I was born here therefore I am a native.
I am descended from most of Western Europe, part of Africa and a good portion of North America. If I only had some Eurasian/Oriental blood I would consider myself a child of the entire planet. (And in fact I do.)

I have heard the stories you have heard and it was a horror.
But I was never a slave, never a slaveowner, never drove Cherokees out of their homes and never was part of a tribe or any tribal functions.

But I would also ask you how many black men, how many black women and how many white women voted for the emancipation and forced it on the southern states?

We still have a long way to go but "slowly slowly, catchee monkey"
according to Chaka Zulu.
No I didn't mean us. I will endeavor to edit now.

Weird it won't let me back in to edit.
Ok, I got it.
Anthony Pero
247. anthonypero
I'm a little confused Z... what is it you think I was trying to say? I simply said that the North would not have supported (enforced, whatever) emmancipation without economic conditions changing. My comments had nothing to do with the attitudes of the south.
Alice Arneson
248. Wetlandernw
lostinshadow et al re: Kingkiller Chronicles. Like the others, I highly recommend it. I'd have to say I'm enjoying it at roughly the same level as Stormlight and WoT, although each is a very different animal in its own right.

The writing is extremely dense. Except for a few places where he throws in some little thing like what he had for breakfast, nearly every word matters. It turns out to be important, later. (I haven't analyzed the mentions of food, nor read a comment where anyone else did, so for now I'm assuming that the bacon is unimportant. I could be wrong.)

On first read, you just really enjoy the story he's telling. Then, if you're an insightful person, or if you get into the reread/comments here on tordotcom, you discover that there are layers upon layers of subtle or hidden meanings that you didn't notice before. You have to balance the knowledge of an unreliable narrator with a need to believe at least some of it; finding that balance can be tricky sometimes. And there are quite a few things that you know are only going to be answered in the third book, so you can guess but you know you're just guessing.

It's a good read; I'm sure you'd enjoy it. If you can find the time, it would be worth it (AFTER you've read both books!) to go through and read Jo Walton's reread blog. The other comments, while not quite as extensive as the WoT reread, are good and insightful, but if you don't want to read them all, Jo often either quotes or summarizes the really telling ones on the next week's blog. It doesn't (to me) have quite the same feel of "family" that I have here, but that might be because I started two months later than everyone else. And Jo has had (and given) a lot of fun by creating Departments of Imaginary Disciplines (reflecting the University in the books) where she promotes people to the different student rankings based on their comments.

So, yes. I recommend them.
- Intricate, multilayered, masterful storytelling which can also be enjoyed at a less detailed level
- Excellent wordsmithing and poetry (!!!)
- Great worldbuilding and magic system
- Set length - there will be three books, period (you see why in the first few chapters of the first book)
(I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that hit me)

- Long wait for the final book!!
- Narrative voicing - this can be either a pro or a con depending on what you like. E.g., my husband refuses to read them, because he really enjoyed the voicing in the "frame story" (prologue and first 6 chapters) and found the voicing of the "life story" (the bulk of the chapters) really annoying. I, on the other hand, find it fascinating the way he can use two completely different styles to tell his story, and keep them sufficiently distinct that you "feel" the difference.
Also I am of mixed descent. I am of course of African descent but it numbers less that my causcasian lineage. I have Irish blood and Scottish blood each from one side of the family. I have Niitsitapi and Iroquios blood both from separate sides of my family. I also have Indian blood from my fathers side. My Great-Great Grandfather from my Mothers side is William Loyd Garrison the Abolishinist. My Great-Great Grandfather on my fathers side was General George B. McClellan though this lineage is unsupported but is known within my close family.

I too know what it is to be a mutt. I think of myself as a Human Being walking Colorblind before the world. But since I was a child I have been made acutely aware of how people view my brown skin. I forgive them their transgressions whether they'd want it or not.

I walk and see the sunshine and smile.

250. CaveatarTheMutt
@249 Zexxes
"I too know what it is to be a mutt. I think of myself as a Human Being walking Colorblind before the world."

Again referring to Xfiles..."We are not alone."
(Maybe that is why Tramp (of The Lady and..) is my favorite dog in the movies. I identify with the mutt). :D

One of the greatest things about the Internet. We all become somewhat Colorblind.
You can talk to and relate with anyone from anywhere, (Well, almost anywhere), and the question of race or creed or any other group hardly ever enters in to it.

Regarding AnthonyPero's comments about the 'economic conditions changing'; it usually IS about the money.
It seems certain that people saying, "But slavery is WRONG!" sure as hell isn't going to make a difference. Perhaps economic or other conditions will have to change to change the Seanchan practice.
So far in any history I ever read the 'wrongness' of a custom or practice has had very little to do with anything being changed.

Caveatar The Mutt
251. Just Mo
My thinking on the whole "Brandon writing Matrim is a little off" string is that i believe that we can tell the differences in who wrote which Mat Chapters. When it seems like the "old" Mat, it's obvious to me that RJ wrote those chapters, or at least those portions that contain Mat; and when it seems like the "new" Mat, you can tell Brandons influence is there.

Otherwise, on the chapters as a whole, I have to believe that Ta'Veren was actually the reason that Tuon said NO. Not her willpower to counteract Ta'Veren.

The reasoning is this...Evil(ish) Rand has the Dark Haze vibe going. Dark Haze is the TP taint counteracting Ta'veren-ness. (Or possibly rand attempting to use the TP to force Tuon to agree) Very Very Bad Things would have come from a Truce produced under the Bad Rand/TP influence. Whereas later, I hope, when the Truce is made with Jeebus Rand, it will be the Ta'Veren working it's mojo.
Cameron Tucker
252. Loialson

Depends on what you're looking for in a book. I loved The Name of the Wind, but I found the Wise Man's Fear...disappointing.

I read books not only for a good story to chomp into, but for the characters and their growth (like meta-friends I'm proud to know).

I also read books for how they make me feel. If I feel like reading a book enriches my life, I enjoy it, if not, I stop reading.

GRRM's books, for instance, leave me with a drained, apathetic, amoral feeling; like I've just come out of a bad cold and the symptoms are gone, but I'm still wiped out. To risk sounding childish: it makes me feel icky. I stopped after the first.


PR's Kingkiller chronicles made me feel...I don't know the word to describe the feeling, uncomfortable perhaps. Not just because of content (quite a bit of sex in TWMF, but how it's used). I'm fine with sex scenes, but they need to feel beautiful and edifying for me to like reading them (sex usually being a hot button for everyone anyway). IE Orson Scott Card's Enchanted has a beautiful one, I like what RJ does in this series, but PR makes me feel like I'm reading a fantasy version of the Kama Sutra at certain parts. Not my cuppa tea.

I feel sex is a special and beautiful thing, but the way it's used in TWMF...it felt cheapened somehow. Kvothe is having sex left and right (post Felurian), not because he really cares for these girls, but because it's fun. That it. I was thinking the whole time: Dude! If you're gonna swing that, at least use birth control. Felt reckless to me, obviously it's a fantasy, but still....

My views on sex are closer to Nynaeve and Egwene's: If you love someone enough to have sex with them, marriage is best first.

And treating sex like it's just something you do just for the pleasure of it...it just feels wrong to me. Sex to me is about loving someone, rather than just a method of getting pleasure and releasing urges, treating them as objects. And that means commitment, tenderness, and love, in my book.

That's just the impressions the book left me on that topic, and I didn't feel like the story added to the richness of my life much, but that's just me. YMMV

That and Kvothe is just too vindictive and often even nasty, it bugs me in a hero-character (but maybe I shouldn't have expected him to be a hero going in...). He's responding to bullies usually, but still...not smart, but that could just be PR showing how stupid K was as a kid... I dunno.

That said, the writing is fantastic.
Extremely beautiful craftmanship on Pat Rothfuss's part, I just didn't feel like the book made me a better person or enriched in any way.

Many parts of it I loved (small, sweet characters like Ari, etc, mostly how PR conveys those who are kind), but the sum of its parts didn't really jive with me, mostly because of how PR treated sex.

If you're just going in for a great read, then go for it. These are just (my rather uncollected) thoughts on The Kingkiller chronicles' impressions upon me.

I think you may like it. Give it a go. I loved the first book, the second one kindof put me off though.

-I really should head for the bunker, shouldn't I? I'm expecting some backlash for my opinons here. Hey, I'll bring cookies as a peace offering! (oatmeal macadamia white chocolate orange craisin-mouthful, eh? In heart shapes, just for V-month :D)
253. CaveatarTheMutt
@252 Loialson
"-I really should head for the bunker, shouldn't I? I'm expecting some backlash for my opinons here."

The Fifth (of Jack Daniels Black Label) I give you.
(For bribes in the bunker)

Caveatar The Mutt
Bill Stusser
254. billiam
I really do not like this Mat chapter (or any of the Mat chapters in TGS for that matter), whether it was written by RJ or BS.

Also, I don't like the release date given for AMoL. Not because of the long wait, BS & the rest of the team can take as long as it takes to get the book right, but because I think the anniversary of TEotW (the following Tuesday) trumps the whole year of the dragon thing. IMO it would be more fitting to realease the last book on the annivesary of the first book.

Lastly, I didn't like The Kingkiller Chronicle books. I won't go into specifics here on this thread, but there were things that just really bugged me in those two books. I will, however, probably read day three when it comes out.

Wow, I'm really negative today, huh?
I enjoyed Kingkiller Chronicles myself. I've recommended the series to hoards of fellow humble readers. I even recommended the series to a fetching acquaintance who works at my favorite Starbucks in Central Florida.

PR's writing sometimes reminds me of Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun". Which also has parallels with the WoT, in that it takes place in a futuristic post apocolyptic cycle thingy, where civilization has long since been reestablished and memories of the past have now become myth and legend. And some terms phrases and tools still exist from the long dead past as well.

But Gene Wolfe's stuff can be kind of heady and difficult to get into. And besides that, the only real good that came of that was while looking for the next book in the GW series I came across the Illumnatus! Trilogy. That series which you can now buy as an Omnibus is the biggest, greatest work of pure mindf!@# that I've read, but sincerely enjoyed. Warning about I!T, it is very much an acquired taste. But I think the heads here would enjoy it, if they have not read it already.

okie dokie? great!

Alice Arneson
256. Wetlandernw
Loialson @252 - I will concur with your comments on the sex scenes in WMF; most of them weren't explicit, but for a while there sure were a lot of them. Kvothe took his promise to find comparisons seriously, I guess. I expect when we get to those chapters in the reread I'll do some serious eye-rolling again, but while I firmly disagree with his attitude toward sex, I can also see where PR used it to give us a strong hint on certain cultural differences.

(Spoiler whiteout attempt: The Ademre beliefs on where babies come from is... very interesting. If they are correct for their physiology, not only does it make sex a different thing completely, it also tells us that they are not entirely human. It's possible this will be important in D3; if it's not, I'll be rather annoyed at PR for bringing it up at all. It will make about half of his time in Ademre look like PR giving Kvothe a cheap way to gain lots of sexual experience, and providing a weak cover story to justify it.)

That said, for some reason it didn't ruin the story for me. Obviously, ymmv.
Bill Stusser
257. billiam
The Adem section in WMF is one of the things that really, really bugged me and not just because of the sex, that didn't bother at all. Well, exept the part you whited out, I totally agree with you on that note.
Theresa Gray
258. Terez27
travyl@243, ZEXXES@244—I knew we had done good when sleepinghour compared it to TV Tropes. :) Glad you guys like it. The boss made some helpful changes to the taglist.
Gerd K
259. Kah-thurak
Maybe Rothfuss's point was, that a female dominated sexist society can (and most likely will) be just as bigoted as a male one. In a way this is also evident in the WoT, but less cleverly done.
Alice Arneson
260. Wetlandernw
Kah-thurak @259 - I suppose it's possible, but so far I haven't seen a lot of evidence that PR is big on that sort of "social message" gimmick in these books. I'd be disappointed if that's what he was doing with it.

One other note (dishwashing strikes again) that I just realized this evening on the Kingkiller books. The characters aren't nearly as well-developed and "real" as the WoT cast. Granted, I don't know many SFF books or series where the characters are this real, where you tend to like or dislike them as if they were people you actually know. But, at least partly due to the nature of the storytelling, you really don't know the characters as well. While the frame story is primarily omni-view, the Kvothe story is told from a single POV, so you don't ever get inside anyone else's head.

billiam @257 - I've only actually read the books clear through once each, with lots of skimming and rereading bits and pieces as they come up in discussion. I find that I'm not really looking forward to the Adem segment all that much... so I'm hoping some of the other rereaders will find insightful things to say about it. Of all the different settings in the two books, Ademre takes the most suspension of disbelief for some reason. For me, anyway. I'll have to see how it goes this time through.
Jonathan Levy
261. JonathanLevy
Terez - thanks for the interview database! I will send you a bill for all the long, happy hours of my life it will consume :)
a a-p
262. lostinshadow
Thanks everyone for the reviews, I'll probably give it a go but I really appeciate the heads up on various aspects that might bother people.

I do have to say, one of the reasons why WoT remains my favorite fantasy series of all time is that the characters are realistic and likable...even when they are annoying (looking at you Gawyn) it's more exasperating than anything else. And they grow in a way that fantasy characters often don't. So Wetlander, your note on the characters @259 is noted.

Loailson@252, referencing your views on GRRM was actually very helpful because well you were far kinder than I would be were I to voice my opinion on that series but this is not the place. Suffice to say, I agree wholeheartedly.

*would you like some tiramisu while we hide out in the bunker? IIRC it's a favorite of wetlander's*
John Massey
263. subwoofer
Yowza- life is really competing for face time with blogging these days.

As far as GRRM, all I have to say is "dibs out". Book 1 didn't leave me wagging my tail for more.

The drop date thread... what is the deal with people? Seems like folks are all about the gimme and instant gratification. This is the LAST book. No do overs. Take some time and get it right. Imagine the din raised if a whack of stuff is not answered to our satisfaction or done wrong. Patience people, geeze.

@Caveatar- booze? Over here... ahem.

@tenkuu 141- in a way you are right, for me, I have found that some of life's lessons are really hard to learn and I'd rather deal with those hardships from someone that is looking out for me as opposed to someone that would screw me over and leave me for dead at the side of the road. For all of Cadsuane's faults and attitude, I can honestly say that I don't believe that she would ever toss aside Rand. She has saved his life twice and still follows him even on pain of death. That is something.

@Scissorrunner, glad to be of service:D My back went out and I have some "happy meds" for just such occasions... Renders me one step above a drooling goon, but takes the pain away. You can't have everything;)

@missbee, I absolutely mean you:) Fresh insight and thoughts are always welcome around here. No easy way to put it but sometimes I liken our "group think" to an office. There is an theory that women that work together for long periods of time have their cycles sync up. It is nice to have new folk throw that pace off, keeps us from getting stale.... er, not that I have a cycle... not that I am saying that we are all in ... gah... anyways, good to have you comment.

264. missbee
@ subwoofer
Thank you for the kind words of welcome, sir. I will try to ... er... yeah, I do know exactly what you mean.
I am quite chuffed with myself, since I have just caught up with the re-read (literally). My family aren't so pleased, since I made them eat take-aways in order to achieve this, but, I have made it in time for next Tuesday, when we get to the one chapter I have probably re-read the most. I am very much looking forward to reading the re-cap and comments.

Umm, is there... um... any tiramisu left?
Cameron Tucker
265. Loialson
@Lost, Wet, others:

Phew, though I'd at least get a yelling at for that. Tiramisu sounds fun, come on over :)
John Massey
266. subwoofer
@Wet- you have to share your dishwashing technique with me. In my home I am washing dishes like a champion. I dunno if anyone remembers "Rocket Robin Hood" from back in the day, anyways, on that show there was this guy named Friar Tuck and there was this frequent clip of the Friar's bio demonstating him eat by taking a single bite out of a piece of food then tossing it over his shoulder. My Gosia is like that with dishes. It takes her 5 different things just to boil water, I didn't think that was possible. Now, with our little daughter around my wife is like Friar Tuck with a tape worm in regards to dishes. We actually ran out of clean dishes at one point, something I never thought possible, but my wife is talented. Suffice it to say, I have logged a lot of dishwashing hours and I have yet to come up with some of your more profound insights.

btw- I use Palmolive.

Bill Stusser
267. billiam
I totally disagree with the comments here about GRRM. ASoIaF is great. Wetlander's comments above about well developed characters applies to that series in spades, they are almost like real people. You feel so many different emotions about the characters throughout the series. Some you like from the start and some you hate with a passion, and what is really impressive is when you realize you've started to love someone who you absolutely loathed a book ago.
Alice Arneson
268. Wetlandernw
Tiramisu?? I'm there!!! :)

subwoofer - the key to my dishwashing magic is that it's the first time in my day where my hands are busy but my mind is free and the house is quiet. After dinner, my husband takes the kids up to do the bedtime routine while I clean up the kitchen. Ah... quiet. No one asking me questions or needing help, just me and the running water. ;) And a whole day's worth of dishes...

Also (up there a ways)... Good point on Cadsuane. She saves Rand's life a couple of times, supports his wacky decisions, gives good advice but only when asked, and requires him to control his temper. Hmm. So then when Team Dark comes in with skillz no one in the Third Age has a chance against and they steal stuff that no one in the 3rdAge should be able to touch, he gets mad and exiles her on pain of death - a decision even he later acknowledges was wrong. (Unlike some of the readers.) And she sticks with him to do what she can to help him, even at the risk of her life. No, she's not his buddy, but she does have his best interests at heart - for his own sake, and for the sake of the world. Not like Nynaeve, who has known him since he was a toddler and wants to protect him; nor like Moiraine, who had a game plan for him to "fulfill prophecies" and would try anything short of sleeping with him to get him to follow her plan; nor like Egwene, who sees him as the boy she was going to marry but still obviously needs a woman to guide* him. Cadsuane has focused solely on what kind of person he is, not on what she thought he should do. (IMO, Moiraine tried to make Rand follow her agenda for prophecy-fulfillment to prove to everyone that he was the DR, whereas Cadsuane figured that since he was the DR, he'd fulfill the prophecies without her instructions. She just wanted him to keep his humanity long enough to win the right way.)

*If anyone needs to understand why Egwene thinks Rand needs to be guided, look no further than the first Aes Sedai she ever met. She had a certain amount of teen misunderstanding of the Two Rivers approach to relationships anyway, and Moiraine thoroughly reinforced it by her approach to managing the three boys. IMO.

billiam @267 - FWIW, well-developed characters or not, I categorically refuse to read GRRM. If I want to be depressed that way, I can go watch the news. I prefer my fantasy to be, you know, enjoyable.

subwoofer & anthonypero - Just in case you haven't checked back, you (and generically "other helpful commenters") got a thank-you from tnh for your posts on TTTSNBN. :) You deserve it, too.
Anthony Pero
269. anthonypero
First time I've ever been thanked for losing my temper, I must say. Id rather I hadn't commented at all, at least not to Mr. Fish-face, but I'm glad for the nod of appreciation... I guess. Ugh. I feel dirty just looking at that thread.
Anthony Pero
270. anthonypero
Are we actually going to get three hunny on this thread? How long has it been since that happened. I remember getting the 3rd hunny once... and only once.
271. Jeff S.
I have to admit that I got a little ticked off on the other thread. Luckily I kept my temperand did not post banning material. Some of the comments reminded me of the 15 year old daughter who's Dad posted back with a discussion on entitlement and then removed her laptop with extreme prejudice.
Ahem, Anyway I'll do my part to move toward the 3 hunny point.

Back to discussion of the original post.
Mat supposedly being different didn't really impact me here. In this case, I felt that he was trying to make a plan for action that, for once, included the whole team and not just himself. He's usually made it up as he went along. To me, this is not that much different than the time that Tuon saw him plan his strategy while kneeling over the set of maps. Each piece of his army had a part to play and each did so as directed.
How is this different? A bit more theatrical perhaps, but each player had his part to allow him to get the maximum level of information with the least risk to the pieces.

As far as Rand and Tuon's meeting? The Dark halo from the DO negates ta’vereness which IMHO kept Tuon from succumbing to the influence. Ta'veren is a product of the wheel and the light not the darkness though this is again IMHO.

I worry about this part because Tuon declared herself the Empress right after this. She is no longer the "Daughter of 9 Moons" so that blows a prophecy right out of the water. Unless... since she does not yet have a female heir, she retains that designation at which point the prophecy in question still has a chance to happen.
Do any of you more knowledgeable commenters have an opinion or did I miss this particular explanation along the way?
John Massey
272. subwoofer
@Wet- I'll give it a try later, but I am always thinking when I do the dishes "how does both sides of the cutting board get dirty?"

As for the other, well, I've been hurt by professionals so I figure what's the worst that can happen. Besides most people are reasonable... if you point out what is reasonable and try do it in a respectful way. I figure TOR was all over excited about the release date and wanted to test the waters and share the news with their readers... not expecting Vesuvius to erupt.... meh, can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.


@Jeff S- I'll let someone else field your query as I have not got to the dishes yet, I'll just comment on your comment about the halo of darkness cancelling out Rand's ta'veren nature. That very well could be and it is a pity because the next round of bloodshed could have been prevented if Rand and Tuon could come to an arrangement. I am hoping that in the next meeting it may mirror Perrin's and Galad's parley before a major battle. This time round I am thinking Mat should be there, let the combined pull of two ta'veren do some mojo on Tuon's rigid notions of the Empire. It may not go off as simple as that but I think the mere presence alone will have an effect... That and Mat is fairly off putting when in the room with his sweet baboo.

Tess Laird
273. thewindrose
We are so getting to 300 hunny. Watch out for that London contingent;) Made some filet mignot, with a nice cab, which I shall share with my bunker friends.
Presidents Day tomorrow - so I have a holiday, yay! Which means I won't be able to monitor this thread a closely as I do at work:) So good luck sub and AP!

Kimani Rogers
274. KiManiak
AP@270 – Well, I’ll try to do my part to help us reach the big 3 Hun..

Terez27@219 - Please add my thanks and admiration to the others who have posted, re: the new interview database. I’ve already got caught up in that bad boy once or twice myself…

Sub – I meant to comment at the time and then got sidetracked, but back when some of us were joking about the Hammerpants, were you saying in your comment@108 that you (or folks in your area) would dress up like Color Me Badd? :-) Really?!?! How does that work? (Or does CMB stand for something else?)

Happy Presidents' Day weekend, to my fellow American rereaders!
275. Caveatar
@271 JeffS

"I worry about this part because Tuon declared herself the Empress rightafter this. She is no longer the "Daughter of 9 Moons" so that blows a prophecy right out of the water. Unless... since she does not yet have a female heir, she retains that designation at which point the prophecy in question still has a chance to happen.

Do any of you more knowledgeable commenters have an opinion or did I miss this particular explanation along the way?"

I am unsure which prophecy you mean but the "bind the nine moons to serve him" prophecy did not say "Daughter of the Nine Moons."
Just the "nine moons" which I assume to represent Seanchan or the Seanchan Government in some way.
Alice Arneson
276. Wetlandernw
Jeff S @271 - I'll add my two bits to Caveatar's comment. The Crystal Throne, from which the Empress (usually) rules, is in the Court of the Nine Moons; there is some debate as to whether the Court of the Nine Moons would also be "wherever the Empress is" - as in, Ebou Dar. As Caveatar said, the only prophecy about it says that the DR "shall bind the nine moons to serve him." I think we can safely say that when the Seanchan are in some way bound to serve the DR, the prophecy will be fulfilled.

anthonypero @270 - Well, if my post at 268 isn't enough to stir up another half dozen comments to contribute to the hunny-mark, I'll be really bummed. :) And I might have another one coming along tonight, if it doesn't take too long to put it together.
Cynthia Ahmar
277. tenkuu
subwoofer@263: I don't blame Rand for ditching Cadsuane, I don't even blame him for threatening her life. Cadsuane had to be taught the hard way that she doesn't know everything, doesn't know best, and good intentions don't matter if all you do is harm someone. Sure, she has saved his life, but she's too haughty about it (especially given that his ta'veren influence and prophecy as a whole probably had something to do with it) and generally did not treat him right. In the first place, she was the one who randomly came waltzing into his life expecting to be accepted, and expecting respect without giving any in return. We're not gonna pretend that the shit she put him through had anything to do with teaching him to be respectful, especially since she never did anything much at first to earn either his trust or his respect. Essentially, if it hadn't been for Min, he would have tossed her out on her behind the same as he would have, and already had, any other pompous Aes Sedai. Mind you, I like Cadsuane's good points, but I hate her faults with a passion. I'm a Gemini, so I understand duality very well. Overall I don't dislike Cadsuane, but that doesn't change the fact that she acts like an entitled, pompous brat a lot of the time.

Wetlandernw@268: I had this entire reply phrased a lot less nicely at first, but decided to revise it because unlike some readers, I'm not trying to stir up trouble. I don't believe Rand was wrong to exile her at the time that he did it. He had his snapping point, and where she is concerned I'm surprised it didn't happen a lot sooner, frankly. The man has emotions, and emotions are neither right nor wrong. He didn't make a cool, calculated decision despite what we're lead to believe from what we read about his state of mind in that chapter. After what had just transpired though, would you have expected him to? Think of it a little like someone in your house buying a gun without letting you know, and hiding it, and while that person is out, a thief comes in, finds the gun and shoots you. Even if you manage to somehow subdue the thief and survive the attack, you're still gonna be pissed that someone left something damn dangerous lying around and didn't bother to inform you. Especially if that person has been known to give you the third degree on several occasions. I've mentioned this to you in the past, but there's no need to get testy just because someone doesn't share your opinion. So I will ask that you please refrain from making attempted personal attacks in the future.
278. Jeff S.
Subwoofer, Wetlandernw and Caveater
Thanks everyone, I was thinking of the "shall bind the 9 moons" part.
I guess I've always connected Tuon to that along with Mat knowing he would marry the "daughter of" Ah well, we'll find out soon enough. 11 months ain't that long. Besides, we have a bunch of reread to get through until then.
Sub, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
Was it Moraine who talked about how the pattern flings out Ta'veren when needed? Anyway with the DO being opposed and wanting to break the wheel, his influence would counter what the Wheel spins out.
Thanks again
Jeff S.
Man, I got to get my password figured out again. this posting in red and using the captcha words is a huge pain.
Jeff Schweer
279. JeffS.
Well look at that, it wasn't the password, it was how I did the user name.
It's not senile decay, I've had these issues since I was 12.

OK, this editing feature is nice
Alice Arneson
280. Wetlandernw
tenkuu - Who's testy? I was talking to subwoofer.

Edit after looking back at previous posts again to try to figure out where that was coming from:

Seriously? Did you honestly think you were the only person who expressed satisfaction that Rand had exiled Cadsuane? That I would waste time doing a thinly disguised attack on you personally? Oy. For the record, if I have a disagreement with a single individual, I address him or her personally. If it's general, I leave it general. If you want to take a general comment as a personal insult, that's your option, but don't blame me.
Juan Avila
281. Cumadrin
Perhaps I can re-lighten the discussion, and maybe help some poor soul nab that three hundredy-bob-thing. I'm still alive, by the way.

Sad to say, I've been getting back into my old habits. One habit really, a nastily addictive sci-fi online game. As such, my literary interests have started to lose steam. I really want to talk about stuff on the blog, but I keep thinking myself into not doing so.

Anyway, I'm trying to find a balance. If you knew me personally that sentence would be very funny, by the way. Anywho, after more than a week of standing still, here's a 'new' piece by yours truly to make this comment have a real point. Regardless of the fact I give my face cramps now as I cringe rereading it. I am in some ways a masochist. So it goes. Enjoy. And whoever gets it, don't trip over that milestone in nineteen comments.
Alice Arneson
282. Wetlandernw
Well, I had an Aha! moment the other day, but it’s taken three sets of dishes to sort it out into comprehensibility. (If it really is…) It’s all about “the Mat chapters” and similar discussions that have or will come up in TGS.

First, the easy one: When something is atypical for a character, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s out of character. Just because a one-word comment is atypical for me, that doesn’t make it out of character. I mean, I do it sometimes. Just… not often. ;p On the chapter here, we've had evidence that Mat does think things through and come up with fairly detailed strategies when he needs to; we just haven't often seen him giving all the detailed instructions. For example, in KoD he came up with a somewhat complicated strategy to "pull the plug" from the Molvaine Gap, but we didn't see much of either the planning or the instructions - we just saw the results of the Band following orders. Partly, that's a difference in writing style, and partly it's situational; here, we couldn't see the results of everyone playing their parts, because they never got to play them.

Second… Okay, this ties into the first one, somewhat, but it’s a lot harder to explain. RJ spent eleven books developing these characters, and we all feel we know them – but we all react to them depending on our own character as well. This means that the Mat (or Perrin, or Nynaeve, or Faile, or Cadsuane, or Moiraine…) that I “know” might not look quite the same as the one you “know.” (This much is obvious, I should think.) The Aha! was in realizing that it’s still very much true to life – we all see one another differently as well.

For an example, depending on how much we agree on various aspects of the book, different people here on tordotcom will see me as anything from “the guru” to “one who frequently expresses what I mean better than I can” to “that arrogant old windbag who thinks she knows everything” – and the entire gamut in between and around in all three dimensions. And yet… it’s all based on what you read here; you’ve all read the same words, but you all have a slightly different picture of “my character.” So far, so good. Now: if a new person came on here and could privately ask each of you who I am, they’d get a pretty muddled picture, wouldn’t they? HArai, forkroot and toryx would all give widely differing descriptions – but they’ve all read the same words. Would one be more “right” than another? It’s a matter of perception.

Back to WoT: Even in those first eleven books, there were occasions on the reread where someone commented that a certain action or thought seemed OOC for a particular character, while others thought it was most definitely IC. When you throw in an intermediary, it gets vastly more complicated. Brandon, while trying hard to write the same characters as RJ did, can’t possibly (he’s only human) help but have a certain view of each character. Like all of us here, as a reader he had likes and dislikes among the cast; more than that, though, he has his individual take on each character, just like you and I do. And every time his angle on a person differs from yours or mine, it looks odd to us because it doesn’t quite track with how we think RJ wrote that person.

(See? I told you this was going to be harder to explain.)

I think the thing that gets awkward in TGS is that we’re seeing a “double vision” effect on each of the characters. Or maybe “triple vision.” I’ve got my own view from RJ’s words, then I’ve got Brandon’s view from RJ’s words, and then I’ve got my view from Brandon’s words. (It’s getting a little messy up in here.) We each see and emphasize different facets of a personality, depending partly on our own personality as well as other people we’ve known who seem similar. (E.g. – Mat reminds me irresistibly of my cousin ML, so much that I see ML’s grin when Mat grins. So if Mat does something I can see ML doing, it simply can’t feel OOC for me.) Is one person’s view more accurate than another? Not really. It’s a matter of perception.

So. I’m not necessarily expecting anyone else to buy into this idea, but… if for a significant number of people, a particular scene was not OOC for Mat, this suggests that it does indeed reflect a valid facet of Mat’s character, as created by RJ, that was perceived more strongly by some readers than others. I have yet to see a scene or a character that was unanimously voted “out of place” by the readers here. (A smattering of vocabulary choices, perhaps, that Team Jordan chose to let stand, but that’s about it. I sometimes wonder if they left those in to remind us that this is a different author.) Furthermore, I suggest that this holds true to a large extent for every character in these books – while Brandon may emphasize a different facet of a character than the one you or I saw most in RJ’s writing, his perspective is just as valid as ours (or more, because he’s got all the notes + the Team for reference!) and that facet of the character is just as real as the one you or I saw. It’s just… different, sometimes.

It's getting late. Did that make sense?
To all,

To comment on wetlandernw's last post, my trouble with the whole "this seems off to me" thing is, for me, is mystifying. When I heard that RJ had passed, the first thing that went through my mind was:

"Godamnit....!@#$....$#@!... that sonnofa!@#$%. I knew it. He took too long in between and now we won't ever have this story finished".

Then I thought about his ailment and wondered whether it was the reason his pace slowed down. And then I thought... "oh well" and contented myself with S.M Stirling, Jim Butcher and the Hendee couples books.

Then the announcement came that a writer named Brandon Sanderson was chosen to continue the series. And I was like, "Brandon who?Whatever... maybe they're paying it forward the way Jordan got his start". He'll be talented and he will have been hand picked, so to speak, and it turned out he was.

I was joyous. I felt like Gollum after finally getting hold of his "precious" again. I thought about continuety of characters for ohhhh....30 seconds or so. Maybe a minute, tops. I said to myself, I hope he's reeeeeally talented. He's got HUUUGE shoes to fill.

Then as the release got closer I came back to Tor.com after a long hiatus from reading the re-reads. I looked at the blogs to see what others were thinking about this new upstart. And boy so many of the posts were very telling about how much they intended to dig in to every little detail. They were literally destroying any hope of enjoying the continuation of the series. Some of them are here even now.

I said to myself...I'm not going to criticize or even seek to look for discrepencies. I just want my beloved series to be written well enough to get through it to the end. And I am quite happy with whats been done.

So the book came and I read it and was like "Wooooa! That was awesome". And read it again. And then I said "Woooa! There was more action in that book then any two combined." And read it again. But this time I read it more slowly to absorb more detail. All three readings took 5 days.

During all that time, not once did I wonder who wrote what or wonder if something was off or was I thrown off at all. The only time I actually paused at all was during Mats hilarious ode to women (thinking about Leigh the whole time. I fell off the couch I was laughing so hard. It was soooo true). The second and last was during the whole Rand forced attemped murder by Semirhage and Cadsuanes banishment. I maybe paused when Rand and Tuon met and when Egwene Rocked the Tower. No there was one other pause, .... nay.... not even a pause... more of stop, re-read the chapter again and again, introspection up to and including Rands moments on his grave.

But again it never even occured to me to pick apart the book to reason out whether something was off. Not once. And I mean that literally.

It only occured to me when I read the spoiler thread. And I was like "Uhhh....why?" Why would you do that to yourself? Why would you attempt to ruin it for yourself like that? Why read it at all? If nothing he does is gonna be satisfactory, why read it? I realized then that it must simply be in peoples nature to do so. And I left it at that. Until....

Now we've reached The Gathering Storm Re-Read and it started off nice. But then it took just one, and it was Leigh who did to start the ball rolling.... and it was a deluge...nay, an airborn Plague afterwards and hasn't ceased since. Always the same characters for the most part and always the same commentors for the most part.

And I say to myself, "Why?" We all knew going in that it is absolutely impossible to get everything just write. He simply isn't the same writer. Even if it was RJ's Clone we still could never get it the way we want it because its still not RJ. So why even go there? And thats beside the fact that he has done a Masterful job of it.... I. Just. Don't. Gettit!

I've heard multiple explanations of why but none of them seem satisfactory. The criticizms are almost as childish as the grumblings on the new realease date posts. Actually some are worse. Ahh well. No few of you will ever agree with me so....sigh!

Jonathan Levy
284. JonathanLevy
Possibly your username was actually changed. I used to have a space in my name, but it got forcibly removed.

Re: Mat

Perhaps it might be beneficial to provide a few hypothetical-yet-plausible examples of actions or words by Mat which, in your opinion, would count as OOC. Along with a few notes explaining why these qualify, as opposed to other scenes which in your opinion did not.

@several Re: Rand and Tuon's meeting.

I don't understand why people are recoursing to complex explanations about what happened there. There's nothing wrong with the simplest explanation here, and Occam's razor tells us we should prefer it.

Rand attempted to consciously exert his Ta'veren effect. We've seen this in his meeting with the Sea Folk in ACOS.

Tuon tried to resist his Ta'veren effect. We've seen other people try to resist, most of them fail (e.g. Merana when she reports on the Sea Folk deal), a few of them succeed (e.g. Egwene in LoC when Rand asks her where the rebel Aes Sedai are).

The ability to resist depends partly on the willpower of the person, and partly on the circumstances.

We know Tuon is stubborn - she gave even Semirhage difficulties.

The simplest explanation is that Rand tried to exert his Ta'veren effect, Tuon tried to resist, and a last-moment terrifying observation of darkness gave her the strength to do so.

Why is this explanation rejected, in preference to convoluted theories? That Rand's Ta'veren effect was secretly acting against his Will? That the dark shadow had a will of its own counter-acting the Ta'veren effect? That the Dark One was exerting his influence on events?

The simplest theory seems to me a lot more likely than a lot of other ideas which have come up.

We all knew going in that it is absolutely impossible to get everything just write.
Could you perhaps provide an example to support this assertion? :)
Rob Munnelly
285. RobMRobM
Z- the fact that I don't think BS handled some things as well as RJ doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the books, particularly where BS handled some things better than RJ. This re-read allows us to examine the WoT books on multiple levels - plot, language, writing style, hidden clues/puzzles, characterizations - and I for one am happy to hear people's thoughts on all of them. It leads me to a deeper understanding and enjoyment of a work I like very much. In that context, I have no trouble opining that BS's work on Mat in TGS had some problems, just as I'll say he did much better work on Mat when we get to those chapters in ToM.

Rob Munnelly
286. RobMRobM
Wet - don't worry, we don't think you're old. (LOL)


P.s. I concede to your point that BS had a tough task before him as a writer of the remaining WoT books but not to the idea that all of his judgments about how to present WoT characters are "right." While we may not be unanimous, when the weight of opinion on this reread is that BS has a misstep relative to a character, I'm comfortable identifying that as an area that BS should improve on in future books - and he did so in ToM.
John Massey
287. subwoofer
@KiManiak- sigh- I hoped that one would slip by unoticed... er, we don't dress up like the group, although that is not too difficult, we just have the moves down to a fine art... and but for a couple of recent haircuts, a couple of the boys were trapped in the 80s.

@Z- well, when I was going through the series I though to myself "self, we're waiting another year for the next book", not knowing that RJ took more than a year between books. Then after a bit I thought to myself, "self, this series is not going to end soon with all these new story lines". Then I started to really question things "self, this RJ guy isn't getting any younger is he? How long do writers live? 80? 100? I think we're safe here". Then things went sideways and I heard about Brandon taking up the torch and I thought to myself, "self, this Brandon guy, he's really young, we may have another 20 years before the series is done". So I didn't bat an eye when I found out that the series will have an ending. 1 year? Meh. Chump change. As for writing styles, well, what did people expect? Somebody with a crystal ball channeling RJ from Heaven? I found it jarring at first, but then I came to my senses.

@Cuma- you have some OCD stuff going on? Hard to maintain balance;)

@tenkuu, sometimes I feel like we are comparing apples to nuclear submarines;)

I am not sure I'd classify any of Cadsuane's actions as "bratty". Cadsuane is as old as dirt and being a "brat" implies youth. I do agree with you about the random way Cadsuane entered the picture. As readers we were not really given a heads up or even a back story before the entrance, just a whole lotta "hey, that's John Wayne" with me thinking "who's John Wayne?" More than anything that is what I found the most off putting. For instance, we have a bunch of random chatter and observations about the Amyrlin Seat and are set up quite nicely when Siuan enters the picture, we were given a set of expectations about the person and the position.

With Cadsuane we get all the manerisms of a person that does not suffer fools and youth well, without the benefit of hearing about the "legend of Cadsuane". For me, my initial knee jerk reaction was "if I was Rand I would not take this crap from her". Wetlander's posts gave me pause and made me really look at the character and the interactions that took place and look at it from outside in. For me, when I was younger I had the world by the tail and was quite the know-it-all, I carried my teenage prejudice well into my 20s. It is possible though that some folks that have been around the block... perhaps made the block then went around it a time or two, may not be smarter but have had some experiences that could lend insight into how to make things better.

Let's face it, Rand is not original in his situation, nor is he unique in his role as a young monarch. We see this from several perspectives with Elayne having to deal with young leaders of their various Houses. Youth + a whack of power= tenuous results without proper guidance. Also Elayne herself received a lifetime of training and she still does not act queenly at times. Rand has no kind of training and does not have immediate access to his LTTness and he is pushing those thoughts and experiences away with a shovel, meanwhile he is declared king of the world and is expected to know how to rule.

While Cadsuane's methods were kinda sketchy and left me feeling out of sorts, Rand was behaving "bratty" as a young monarch trying to bend older nobility to his needs. Rand may have benefitted from somebody Bryne-like, but Bryne has little grasp on channeling in general. Bottom line, there is a right way and a wrong way to lead people and behave as a king and Rand was definitely going down the wrong path.

As for the 3 hunny, I gotta work today, so somebody else- go hard, but at least do a post worthy of the spot, with great power comes great responsibility;)

a a-p
288. lostinshadow
@Wet: I actually do kind of see what you mean in terms of perception...I agree that the different levels on which the characters are pereived by the readers is affecting how we are responding to the BWS books.

I would however add that it seems to me as if while some people feel that discussions on how characters or plotlines might be slightly off adds to how they view the story as a whole, some people (not so much on this thread, I think they were more obvious in the spoiler thread) appear to be taking such a negative attitude about it that for me at least it seems as if the only reason they were reading TGS and ToM was to nitpick their way through the story and just complain about how badly BWS did and how he ruined RJ's story.

For myself, I get so lost in the story that I honestly couldn't care less about who wrote what. Are there bits I don't enjoy? Sure, honestly this Mat chapter until Verrin showed up was a drag for me, but to be frank any paragraph where RJ was describing clothes was a waste of ink for me and I just skim straight over them. To each her own I say.

I myself am more on the side of those who don't understand the point in trying to figure out who wrote what. This is largely because I'm getting a well-crafted story and I trust that Team Jordan will be making sure that stuff never planned, intended by RJ that are completely off the plot won't be forced into the story. But I respect that everyone approaches their reading pleasure differently so usually, I just skim over or skip entirely discussions as to who may have written what. After all, this is for fun as well and no one is required to read what everyone writes.

Re Cads: I agree that Wetlander's defense is well writen and quite convincing but well, meh... honestly I don't HATE Cads but I don't particularly like her either. I think this is largely because I myself would not respond well to her tactics and well, in a family full of teachers, I've seen a lot of teaching methods and well, this is not one that most good teachers would advise.

Whew ok, that was wayyy too rambly, will go do some laundry before rambling some more.

btw happy to bring in more tiramisu to the bunker, anyone have any muffins, been craving them and can't find any good muffins around here.
Anthony Pero
289. anthonypero
I have nothing to say. I will say it anyway.
a a-p
290. lostinshadow
oh and sub, it's easy to get both sides of cutting board dirty...if you're in a hurry and you've just cut something like onions on one side, you can flip it over to cut up something like fruit to make sure the smell of onions doesn't transfer to the fruit (and believe me it can...learned that working at the dining hall in college) or you might have spilled something on the counter and plopped the cutting board onto it.
Anthony Pero
291. anthonypero
My cutting board has little rubber feet, making such a feat difficult.
Anthony Pero
292. anthonypero
And yes, I am padding this thread. Sue me :P
293. Caveatar
"...see me as anything from “the guru” to “one who frequently expresses what I mean better than I can” to
that arrogant old windbag who thinks she knows everything."

I think I understand.

Those people who think they know everything are very annoying to those of us who do know everything.
. :D
(Isaac Asimov if you don't already know.)

Valentin M
294. ValMar
Well, here I am. Got the feeling that AP is about to make a one man push for the 300... PS When I began this post AP had only 289 written :D

Wetlander @ 268

I agree with you overall conclusion re: Moiraine and Cadsuane's dealings with Rand. But they dealt with him in different stages. Moiraine had to help Rand make a meal and had just a bunch of raw ingredients- e.g. flour, yeast, eggs, butter, etc. And Rand didn't want to be the main chef. The meal could be one of many and she had to do a lot of guiding and persuading, including tricking him into wearing the chef's hat.
By the time Cads showed up in the kitchen with a smile and a dance Rand was The Chef and had made a pizza bread/base and it was clear what the meal was going to be. She just had to offer advise on avoiding stupid mistakes, e.g. not to put in fish or pineapple slices in the pizza, to use real tomato sauce not ketchup, and to smack him if he used cheese from a tube...

It appears that I am among the few who don't have particularly negative or positive feelings towards Cads.

@ 282

Re: the different reader perceptions on the characters. I believe what you stated here is simply a statement of fact, i.e. I agree. Indeed, all of the charactes sound different, as we knew they would. I think what made Mat uniquely enjoyable to read is very tricky to write and only RJ himself could achieve it in full. In TOM Brandon got it as well as anyone else could manage it, probably. Before that... well, there's no smoke without fire.

But, as RobM said @ 285, this shouldn't stop us discussing. On these threads people who have been critical of some aspects of the latest two books have explicitly stated that they enjoyed the books overall and thought Team Jordan did great job. Elsewhere, sadly, this may not be the case.

Speaking for myself, I don't base any of my criticisms on whether BWS or RJ wrote a particular scene. It's natural to wonder sometimes, and I do, but to take it further is futile and aggravating exercise.
Anthony Pero
295. anthonypero
Ah, it is official, we have now turned this thread into a post-modern deconstructionist discussion of thw written word. This thread is all grown up and everything now... I'm so proud!

I think the three hundred needs it's own designation.
Luke M
296. lmelior
I was actually fairly surprised Rand didn't just outright slaughter Tuon and her entourage, such was the hatred I felt emitting from Rand. It would have been a massively bad idea in the end, of course, so I guess he's still somewhat reasonable underneath there.

My second thought was that I wish he would have turned around before walking away and said, "Oh, by the way, the a'dam work on sul'dam, too, because they can learn to channel." I'm thoroughly looking forward to someone dropping that bomb on Seanchan culture in the finale.
297. MasterAlThor

So your actually from next door huh....well then we are cool. Keep chucking cheese at those poisonous nuts down there.


I don't believe that anyone here is trying to just gloss over what has come before. If there is point them out and we will educate them together.

I wanted to comment on your mutt belief. My friend you and I are Americans first anything else second. I have personally never liked being called and African American. First because I don't necessarily know that my family came from Africa. Second it insults my home to put them second. So I consider myself to be an American Black. If we want to get more pc (shivers....I don't care for pc) American Negro.

And like you, Zex, I will offer up my email for anyone who wishes to discuss any of this further r_buckhana@yahoo.com

298. MasterAlThor

You remember us getting to 3 hunny once? Where were you when we hit close to 2 grrr? That was fun. We made the thread go sideways. Ask some of the other greybeards, they remember.

Ever closer

299. MasterAlThor
I bet someone is out there just waiting to pounce.

Wonder who it will be.

Well it is early morning in the PTZ (Pacific Time Zone) Which means that people like Wet, Free, Buzz and Samadai are just getting their day started.

I think that Woof is just getting up too.

Sam Mickel
300. Samadai
I just don't know what is so special about getting the 3 hunny, but
301. MasterAlThor
Agggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CURSE YOU SAMADAI. CURSE YOU

Valentin M
302. ValMar
Darn it! Permisson to say c**k. Eh well...

MAT @ 299

Famous last words... Samadai must've been up since yesterday ;)
Sam Mickel
303. Samadai
Just to calm the envious, I just logged onto tor.com and it was there waiting for me.
304. Caveatar
The passionate disagreements and discussion of Wheel of Time are remarkably like the religious disputes of the past. Those medieval hairsplitters would be right at home on some of the forums.

Mr. Jordan may have left religion out of Wot but The Wheel of Time books themselves seem to have inspired a sort of religious fervor in the readers.
Perhaps there is something about mythology and this type of book which causes those who hear it to become passionately involved with the mythological characters.
Perhaps Tina Turner says it wrong when she sings "We don't need another hero." Maybe we DO need heroes and when we find one such as The Dragon, or Mat the Trickster, or Nynaeve of the Seven Towers we attribute much of our own feelings and motivations to them and
heap our personal desires on their shoulders.
(See, Nyn doesn't have that title but I WANT HER TO HAVE IT. Thus does legend become distorted.)

Please have patience with...

A monastery lecture.
"The wheel of time turns and ages come and pass, history turns to legend, legend turns to myth and even myth is long forgotton when the age that gave it birth comes again."

In an age called the "Right Now" age by those who lived in it, called the fifth age by others, there came a time when humanity chose to finally settle their differences regarding the True Faith.

For a long time the battles had gone on regarding the True Faith and the actual meanings of the Words of the Creator.
There had arisen many splinter groups regarding The Book of Jordan,(may his writings live forever). It was accepted by all to be the True Words of the Creator yet it came to be a bone of contention, widely and sometimes violently disputed.
While the groups agreed 'in principle' no two of them could agree on how the words were meant to be interpreted nor in some cases just WHO HAD BEEN the one who wrote the words.

Differences of opinion as to the Righteousness or Unrighteousness of the people whose stories made up "The Book of Jordan" grew intense and in fact, after many days, there were more words written expressing the opinions of the True Believers than were actually written in The Book of Jordan, (May his writings live forever.).

The Book of Linda the Librarian contained much well set forth commentary and explication.

MAFO is the acronymic title given one particular collection of purported explanations said to give much information and consolation to the earnest seeker after truth.

The Commentaries of Leigh, a chapter by chapter summary with personal observations on the character of the characters (so to speak), and the frustrations of Leigh regarding certain assumptions (which she at least saw) in the text.

NOTE: It is from Leigh that the prayerful and holy ritual known as "HeadDesk" is said to have originated.

The FelixPax (Happy Peace?) commentaries alone take up much space and nearly all patience of the reader.
There were MANY others.

Time fails me to speak of all the many books written ABOUT "The Book of Jordan" but they were Legion. While "The Book" itself contains approximately 10000 words those comments ABOUT THE BOOK run to Multiple Millions!

At last the various groups came together in an Ecumenical Council which was held in the area formerly known to all as "The Blight" and since the time of the Council is called "What the hell happened here?" by any who visit the site.

The survivors came to agree on what is now called

The Creed of the Dragon.
We believe in one Creator, The RJ, who Created the Wheel of Time
and his only beloved Editor, Harriet,
and his First Amanuensis, Sanderson.
We trust in his closest followers, Team Jordan
and in his Publisher, Tor.
Let any who wish to bitch about them in a vain, vicious and untoward manner be given a copy of 'The Absolute By God! Ultimate Book of the Wheel of Time' which is titled


and contains the short lines.
"Is this short enough and soon enough for you?"
"Write a better one for yourself if you want to."
"Please reread the Book Title."
Signed "Team Jordan"

This we believe.
In the name of Matrim Cauthon.

With the disappearance of the more violent of the True Believers those who remain are not as vocal in their disagreements as previously.
Still one may hear such comments as "blood and bloody ashes!" and "Its time to toss the dice" which are known to be prayers for times of Disappointment and Decision respectively.

Prayers to Nynaeve The Ultimate Healer are common among the ill and dying.
Such religious actions as these are rarely frowned upon but a statement such as
"Let the Dragon ride again on the Winds of Time" has been known to cause an uproar among the bystanders.

Even today the very mention of the name "Egwene" or "Igwayne" or "Ignorant Weenie" or some other variation can cause much girding of loins and loosening of jaws and incite to combat.
(No one knows why but calling someone one of those names is considered a challenge to the death.)
Mothers are known to scare misbehaving children by saying, "If you don't behave Cadsuane will get you in the night."
This usually cures ADD and ADHD faster than a Nynaeve Web could cure them.

Therefore my young followers of Jordan let us be earnest in our endeavors to learn from "The Book of Jordan" the ways of Light and Darkness.

Let us honor those from whose personal trials in the book we learn failure and victory, humiliation and triumph, loyalty and honor.
For are we not just such people as they were?
Do we not have with us the friends of darkness and the followers of light?
Do we not all love a good tale well told?
Does not a night of drinking, dancing and gambling put a fire in our hearts an aching in our heads and an emptiness in our purses?

Consider why we wear the Pink Ribbons of Servitude in memory of Queen Tylin the Horny?

Do we not all revere Bela the Ever Present?

Let us therefore suffer with patience those who do not hold the proper opinions of The Book of Jordan which opinions we the blessed hold.
Let us be merciful to them in their benighted ignorance.
Even though they are presently blinded to the truth was not The Dragon Himself blinded before his revelation on Dragonmount?

In the Name of the Dragon, and of the Trickster and of the Wolf King,
"Let the Dragon Ride forever on the Winds of Time."

From a Day of the Sun lecture to the youth of New Manetheren.

I sometimes think that various forums' members suffer from "denominational differences" .

If any are offended, which I doubt, then I, with all love in my heart,
refer you to 'The Absolute By God! Ultimate Book of the Wheel of Time' for apology.

Just for fun.
Nadine L.
305. travyl
Wetlander, maybe not "guru" but I certainly respect (and admire) you for your insightful views. Having that said, let me challenge a part of your opinion @268.
like Moiraine would try anything short of sleeping with him to get him to follow her plan
Quote from TFoH, Ch7, Moiraine talking to Lan about Rand:
He needs whatever guidance I can give, and I will do everything short of sharing his bed to see that he gets it.” The rings had told her that that would be disaster. Not that she had ever considered it
I looked up the reference to this statement to disagree with you, to find out the quote ... ok it supports you ... Moiraine says right out that she wouldn't share his bed. I still point it out because reading your comment made me think Moiraine wouldn't use sex because of some moral line she would not cross - which ... well I let you all decide for yourselves.
Moiraine tried to make Rand follow her agenda for prophecy-fulfillment to prove to everyone that he was the DR, whereas Cadsuane figured that since he was the DR, he'd fulfill the prophecies without her instructions.
I second ValMar's comment @294. And to do Moiraine some justice (I took away with my earlier comment). Moiraine didn't press her own agenda. She left him some room to fulfill the prophecies himself. She didn't bully him to go to Tear with an elaborate plan how to enter the Stone or anything. She did bully him to "live up to his destiny" by replacing his clothes and urging him on with "adventure" to prevent he retreat into isolation, which he considered when he found out he could channel and would hurt his friends but doubted to be the DR.
Sam Mickel
306. Samadai
Caveatar @ 304

That was awesome. Well done.
Anthony Pero
307. anthonypero

No, I didn't say that, I said I remember personally claiming the 3rd hunny one time.

I love you man! 304 was awesome. I might consult with you when I endeavor to write "The Manly Man Manual " trademark.

309. OldWoman
3 hunny, wow. Just like the old days. Can we do 4 hunny?

My main worry waiting for the later release date is that I am in my seventies and I hope not to pass on without reading the end of a story I have followed for so many years.
Birgit F
310. birgit
"The Creator is good, Perrin. The Father of Lies is evil. The Pattern of Age, the Age Lace itself, is neither. The Pattern is what is. The Wheel of Time weaves all lives into the Pattern, all actions. A pattern that is all one color is no pattern. For the Pattern of an Age, good and ill are the warp and the woof."
TDR ch. 33

Ta'veren is an effect of the Pattern that is neither good nor evil. There is no reason Rand's bad influence can't be a use of ta'veren. He isn't using (TP) Compulsion. If it's not channeling, what else chould it be except ta'veren (or his Fisher King nature, if that is separate from his ta'veren pull)?
Anthony Pero
311. anthonypero

Is the name of this faith Rotatology?
Alice Arneson
312. Wetlandernw
Samadai @300 - stinker. ;) Congratulations.

Jonathan Levy @284 - You present an interesting challenge, although I'm not sure my imagination is entirely up for it. Plausible, but out of character. I'll let it stew and see what bubbles out. 

On the other subject you addressed, I fully agree with your take on the Rand/Tuon interaction. Tuon is strong-willed enough to not just buckle, and sensitive enough to see the dark aura. Combine the two, and you have Tuon with the ability to say no.

RobM @286 - Yeah, well, I know how old you are too. :p  FWIW, when I say "right" I don't necessarily mean "perfect" - only RJ could have any claim to that, because they are all his inventions. "Valid" would, perhaps, be a better choice of words. "Eloquent" and "mouthy" might either one be valid, depending on your attitude, but neither is perfect because neither is a complete view.

Caveatar @293 - LOL! How very true. ;p

also @304 - Well done! 

travyl@305 - Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that sex was Moiraine's moral event horizon. In fact, she makes it quite clear that she considered it; the rings in Rhuidean made it clear that such action would bring disaster - fortunately, before she tried it. The point was that she thought she knew what he needed to do, and she would do anything to manipulate him into doing that. Her apparent change of heart, being more submissive instead of pushing, was still a means of controlling him.

OldWoman @309 - And that's the first valid reason I've seen for being bothered by the release date! And hey - haven't seen you around here for a while. Hi!
313. OldWoman
Hi Wet@312...I am always here. Lurking, reading, learning, waiting...
Nadine L.
314. travyl
For the last 1h50' I waited on Leighs next post ;) Stupid night shifts totally confuse my sense of time. Well it's just a day - unless she wants to make us wait longer in reference to TTTSNBN

And Caveatar: Great post @304.
Is there a special time for the holy headdesking to be performed?
Sam Mickel
315. Samadai
OldWoman, A huge Eugene to Eugene wave to you.
316. Caveatar
@Travyl @314
Holy Headdesking is usually performed as a ritual immediately and for several days after reading an account of spanking.
Words which can be construed as derogatory to women usually get a few of thes ritual responses as well.
A good time to observe this ritual is usually on Tuesday some time after noon at the Tor reread.
The Flagellant Monks used to beat themselves for their sins. The Headdesk ritual is beating ones self for the (perceived) literary sins of others.

@All others who liked the spoof thing, Thanks for the response.

Old Woman: I turn 72 on May 15 and I totally agree with you.
I am attempting to die of old age without the assistance of a physician
but I have to have one to write prescriptions. (Only about 7 but they are necessary, or necessary if I want to keep breathing.) :D
I had thought to bribe, beg, borrow, steal or otherwise obtain RJ's notes
just to see HTH the story ends and I wouldn't be so moral as to use Moiraine's limitations. Unfortunately I haven't come up with a plan yet.
James Hogan
317. Sonofthunder
Just wanted to say - you all are awesome. Last few posts here(Caveatar especially, props!!) have had me cracking up big time.

What can I say - we still got it. Sam - congrats on the grab...I was reading through earlier today at lunch and saw we were at 287-ish...thought I might have a chance after work, but should have known better.
Sorcha O
318. sushisushi
Coming back to this well late - can't believe you guys have managed to get a thread past 300 again!

anthonypero@44 and fortroot@53 Nynaeve removed the effects of the taint on the brain of a male channeler, which is a very, very specific instance of 'curing insanity'. It's predicated on the Taint on Saidin already being cleanses, so no longer supplying fresh Taint to Naeff's brain, and that his insanity is a direct result of the strands of Taint wrapped around parts of his brain (almost cutting off his metaphorical oxygen, if you like. She could probably cure Fedwin, but in a much longer and more complex operation, but we don't know would be successful, given that until we hear of other AS replicating her feat, we're extrapolating from a sample of one. It says absolutely nothing about her or anyone's ability to use the One Power to cure insanity with 'normal' psychological sources, which would remain impossible. Wetlander@81 has a much more cogent explanation for the relationship of Taint hooks to the Tainted brain.

macster@133 My two cents…
I am just so happy that BWS agreed to commit several years of his life to ensuring that someone else's book series gets finished, without which we would not have a conclusion to this story at all (or as least A conclusion, ha). And I've never met the man in my life.

I started reading the comments on the AMoL release date post and lost interest verrrry fast. I'm firmly in the 'take as long as you need and do it right' camp.

Terez27@219 Woah. Excellent. *is never seen again*

Caveator@304 Mwuahaha.
Cynthia Ahmar
319. tenkuu
Wetlandernw@280: If I misunderstood, then I'm glad it was just my misunderstanding and I apologize for it. However, don't wonder too hard where it came from because you have behaved in this fashion towards me in the past. Btw, I don't think badly of you, as you make intelligent, articulate and very good points several times, including in comment #281, but I've also definitely been privvy to a certain entitled and arrogant attitude from you that involves you dismissing the opinions of anyone who doesn't share yours. So no, I have nothing against you, but you have definitely attacked me before. If you're past that now, I'm glad, and again I apologize for misunderstanding.

Wetlandernw@282: I feel the same way. The Rand that I know, for instance, is probably not the one that most people see. In the same post you replied to in comment #281, I was expressing to subwoofer that the Cadsuane I perceive is influenced heavily by people in my life who have tried to bully me, so I know what that's like. People more in her age group and with a similar temperament will see her differently, obviously.

ZEXXES@283: When I read these books, not once did the thought cross my mind to compare their writing (and pacing) styles. Like you, I just enjoyed the book as part of the story, progress in it. Whether I like or dislike a character is based entirely on their personality, not on how someone writes them. By now their personalities have already been long established, and since we know that Jordan already wrote the general outline for how things are supposed to go, nothing they do can seem OOC to me. I've only read each book once so far and never skipped any parts, because no matter how tedious reading about Elayne, her wardrobe and her whining may be, I wanted to get the full experience of RJ's (and BS') writing.

JonathanLevy@284: Exactly my point, Tuon is annoyingly stubborn. Maybe, just maybe, her ability to learn to channel had a tiny little something to do with it too.

subwoofer@287: Behaving like a brat implies only immaturity to me. Cadsuane certainly hasn't made the most intelligent of decisions at times. Also, first impressions are lasting, and one of the first things we see Cadsuane do upon appearing is try to impose herself on someone who is a complete stranger to her, not to mention slap him. That kind of interaction is reserved for people you know well, and I was frankly surprised he didn't just channel-throw her across the room for it. Cadsuane may have "been around the block", as you say, more than someone of Rand's age, but she still didn't earn the privilege to be listened to as a stranger who just suddenly stormed into his life, literally not even waiting to be let in, if you recall. Rand may be young, but I'll say with confidence that he comes off as the most mature of the three boys. I'm going to disagree with you (yeah yeah, don't be too shocked :P) on Rand not being unique in his situation though, because Rand is not *one* ruler, he is several. Aside from having conquered a few nations, he's also the leader of the Aiel and a figure of great authority among the Atha'an Miere. Essentially, Rand has to juggle the interests of several opposing factions, all the while trying to make them all shut up long enough to form alliances. And it's not as though Rand was trying to bend people to his will as a spoiled teenager. Not only is Rand an adult by now, but he has continuously put his own interests aside to do what he feels is best for the world. Myself, in no universe would I ever call Rand bratty.

travyl@305: I have to wonder exactly what kind of disaster it would have been had Moiraine slept with Rand. But actually, I don't believe Rand would have allowed it either. As proven with Lanfear, he is far from being a shallow man who is easily seduced.
Jeff Schweer
320. JeffS.
Sub at #287
we are comparing apples to nuclear submarines;)
Almost snorted coffee through the nose.
JonathanLevy at #284
I think you're right both about my user name and Rand and Tuon's meeting. The aura of darkness is the goad to her mindset to resist. (I reread the passage to get the feel again)
Caveatar #304
As the kids say, That was awesome with awesome sauce!

Wet @ several I have a saying that pertains to your post at 282.
"reality depends on your point of view" We all see the world through our own perceptions of how it is. How could Randland be any different?
That being said I also agree with Anthony Pero and this ties in. I took an English course a few years ago that involved the critique of other writers. We used all the different modes, including deconstruction down to the word, to get into the subjects in question.
Some people HAVE to deconstruct things to the syllable, it's part of their need to get down to the base of things. Others, like myself, feel that looking at one tree makes you forget you're standing in a forest.
It's all in how you look at things and both you and Anthony hit on one of those greater truths. You know like "don't get in a land war in Asia"

That's why IMHO and YMMV have such great traction in these discussions. Our personal realities differ even to how we read things.
Any way, I've commented on this particular thread more than any in the past 2 years. I'm afraid that going "Grey" may have unleashed my verbose side 8^D
321. Caveatar
@311 AnthonyPero

Is the name of this faith Rotatology?

Lol. Hmmmm.
Either Rotatology for the rotating of the Wheel of Time
RAFOology in honor of Hizzonor the Creator?

322. AnonAnon
katenepveu@21 re: "played"
It seems a small enough jump from:
"You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass: and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?"
Alice Arneson
323. Wetlandernw
JeffS @320 - "I'm afraid that going "Grey" may have unleashed my verbose side" - Well, at least you're in good company! Or lots of company, anyway - some may argue the "good" part. :)

FWIW, you may (or may not) notice on my comments that I use IMO rather than IMHO. I decided a long time ago that IMHO would be too close to false witness - I have strong opinions, and very few of them are humble. I believe it's important to distinguish between "this is my opinion" and "this is fact, evident from the text,” and I try to make that very clear. However, while I have occasionally had to apologize for the way I stated an opinion, I absolutely refuse to apologize for the opinion itself. It’s mine, and I have a perfect right to it! :p
Alice Arneson
324. Wetlandernw
tenkuu @319 – I’ll say this once, and drop the subject. I do not attack people. I have never indulged in ad hominem attacks, either against you or anyone else, and I have never understood why you believed that my disagreement with your opinions constituted an attack on you personally. Nor do I have the faintest idea why you have spent two years continuing to insist on it. It never was, except in your own mind.

Here's a promise for you: if I make a comment in which I intentionally refer to something you said, I will say so. The exception to this will be if you are saying essentially the same thing as a bunch of other commenters and I don't want to list all the names, when you'll have to settle for an "@ many re:" callout. If you don't see your name, assume I'm thinking of someone else.
You know what would be interesting to me is whether Tuon is a 'sparker' or a 'learner'. Whos to say what an Empress may do to protect her children. I Hypothesize that the info about Suldame being able to learn to channel was old news for Tuon. Wouldn't it be something if she was a channeler all along and just hid it under the cover of so many channelers being around. She'd be in effect a barely channeling wilder, with her strength being yet to be determined. I don't know. It's probably not likely as far as her being a 'sparker'. But I'd be willing to put money down on her already being aware that Suldame can learn to channel. Call it a for Empress/Emperor eyes only secrets.

Cynthia Ahmar
326. tenkuu
Wetlander@324: Frankly, I'm the one who has absolutely no idea why you'd still deny it instead of owning up to it, especially since it was on a board where a lot of people can see it, and especially since it happened long ago. Your disagreement wasn't the problem, it was your snide comments that were. If you can't acknowledge that they constituted a personal attack even if you didn't mean to do it, then you have learned nothing since then.

ZEXXES@325: Except that the Seanchan system is such that they find *all* channelers that are born with the spark. And it seems that sul'dam are merely those who can learn to channel but are not born with the spark. Also, those born with the spark will eventually have an episode of channeling on their own just about in their teens, so Tuon would have channeled by now were she a sparker, and therefore would have long been collared.
Anthony Pero
327. anthonypero

If she was a sparker, she would have channelled by now. She is older than the super girls.
Dawn Boyall
329. deebee
Have I strayed onto the wrong thread?? Seems like it...

Zexxes- We`ve seen Tuon POV`s where she thinks about marath`damane with real distaste, which makes it pretty unlikely she`s a channeller and hiding it.
330. missbee
Jeff S. @ 271 and 278 - the nine moons
I agree with you and think that this part of prophecy is now done. Tuon, as the Daughter of the Nine Moons, was 'bound' to Mat who, in turn, is tied to Rand. It will now be up to Mat to make her toe the party line.
Heh, try to anyway (that could be some very entertaining reading)

- Cadsuanne
She is remarkable in many respects, but, if she had turned up at my house when I was Rand's age I would have never had the chance to find out since I would have kicked her out almost immediately, and visions be damned.
Just as well I'm not the Dragon really.
She displays exactly the qualities that annoy me the most and I find it fascinating how other commentators don't mind them at all, or perhaps don't even notice, whilst they get all steamed up about some other characteristic that completely passes me by. Wetlander, JeffS and others have touched on this, but from a different perspective. I've been musing on what these differences say about me and other posters.
(I'm not very good at introspection. It may take a while...)

Ah, but I see Caveatar-The-Wise has already foreseen my need @ 304
I shall study "The Book of Jordan" where I am certain to find the answers I seek
loved @304
Nadine L.
331. travyl
Something just occured to me: while Rand is to be commended for his attitude that he won't ally with the Seanchan as long as the leash channelers, his justification that Randland "survived without leashes for centuries" isn't entirely true IMO.
Throughout the series we have seen that Aes Sedai are distrusted and I guess the fact they have gained acceptance and tolerance among most is linked to their use of the Oath Rod - which in some ways is a leash with the cost to shorten their lifespan.
332. MasterAlThor

Thank you for making my day. The truth is always better when it is funny. I think you described us to a t.

@deebee, anthonypero, tenkuu

You guys aren't getting what I'm saying. What I'm dreaming about here is.... well lets take it another way.

Lets say the Empress witnesses her daughter channeling for the first time or at least realizes that some occurance involving channeling happens and she realizes that Tuon, her daughter, is that channeler. Lets say she endeavors, in secret, to keep that fact on the down low while training her, also in secret, so Tuon may be able to function without being discovered. Whos to say that the Empress did not do so. Take her out to the country to learn to ride horses. Work on her control, enough to get by. Have her then train to be a Suldame to hide the fact. And know body is the wiser. They tell Tuon that she can't ever show any weakness towards the Damane as the rest of the Blood would become suspicious.

Sound like something that could happen? They could just say she was tested as Suldame and because its the Empress saying it, it is believed. Those that trained Tuon would be met with fatal accidents.

See? Simple. And it sure would give Tuon an advantage over her siblings who keep having "accidents" right?

But, as I said before, it is a unlikely scenario. But if that could so much as be a little bit possible, then Tuon knowing that Suldame can learn to channel is much the same a likely scenario.

Ron Garrison
334. Man-0-Manetheran
tenkuu @ 326 re. Wetlandernw:
Rather than tossing verbal grenades, I think it would benefit your assertion and the resulting reply by quoting the offending post. Then Wetlandernw can respond to an actual post and respond appropriately — as I'm sure she will.
If you go to your profile page and and look at "My Comments" you will see a "Show All" link. Alternately, you can go to Wetlandernw's profile page and do the same. Her's go back to April 2009.
Birgit F
335. birgit
EDIT: Why does an old comment reappear instead of what I wanted to post? Is this thread getting too long?

Cadsuane People more in her agegroup

How many channelers and Ogier are reading this?
Dawn Boyall
336. deebee
Edit for double post...
Anthony Pero
337. anthonypero
I've been around a long time, and I've never seen Wetlandernw do anything remotely approaching what you say she did to you. Now, granted, I probably have not read every post she's ever posted, but if I missed one, and it happened to be aimed at you, that hardly makes her what you describe. She hardly flames everyone who disagrees with her. She frequently is extremely polite when disagreeing with others. I barely even see her get testy.

Like was said by MoM, please find the post. It's your job, not hers or ours, to do that. I'm 100% positive that if you find said post (I'm not even doubting it exists) and bring it to Wet's memory, and it is a direct personal attack on you (rather than disputing something you believe to be true) that she would apologize to you. Maybe you can even move past it then. When someone has hurt you, this is a really good way to handle it.
Alice Arneson
338. Wetlandernw
birgit @335 - Now that just wasn't fair. I can't disrupt the classroom by snorting coffee like that! *sigh* Trying not to LOL is really hard sometimes...

Z et al - I could almost see a case for Tuon as a sparker, but I think the bulk of the evidence is against it. However, it's clear that she's one of those who has worked as sul'dam long enough to be "on the brink" so if the right incentive comes along, she would be able to choose to step over the line and channel on her own.
Dawn Boyall
339. deebee
So going grey means your old post gets repeated and your new post is lost in the ether...sorry guys I`ll have to practice!

Zexxes -keep speculating, I don`t agree with you but I like your different slant on things. (And strange things happen in this series, who thought Verin was both Black and Lightside??)
Anthony Pero
340. anthonypero
Are we so sure that sul'dam can just start channeling whenever they want? They will certainly have a big head start on other tower initiates, when it comes to learning weaves, but it seems to me that they would still need to be taught to touch the OP, something they've never done before. That's difficult for everyone so far, with the exception of Egwene (for which nothing is difficult.)
Anthony Pero
341. anthonypero
Actually, there was some speculation on Verin being a covert BA agent on the old usenet back in '98, but it didn't get much traction. Most of us assumed you couldn't fake being black.
Dawn Boyall
342. deebee
@341 You`re kidding me!
So while you`re at it, just tell me how the story ends, then I won`t need to wait till January...
Alice Arneson
343. Wetlandernw
anthony @340 - We don't know for sure; I infer that it's possible from RJ's statement that "They are getting closer and closer to the brink but they will never step over without conscious effort." That can be interpreted several ways, only one of which is the one I applied to Tuon @338. I hold it as a possibility, because she strikes me as the kind of person who could just choose and do it. It's a rare combination of personality and experience.
Anthony Pero
344. anthonypero

Hahaha... I'm sure someone somewhere has guessed it correctly.
John Massey
345. subwoofer
@Sam- but? But what? you got the hunny with a but? ;)

@tenkuu- heh, how's the ride in the sub?;)

Erm... few things- if Rand decided to channel at Caddy it would have gone horribly wrong. Remember Cadsuane has that doily on her head that does tricks and Rand would have probably gone ass over tea cup if he said "boo". I believe a few folks have speculated on this very topic a few threads ago.

As for immaturity, well I read what you said about Rand being the most grounded of the three, rubbed my eyes then read it again. I am personally on the fence on this one. Perrin is off doing laps with the Prophet, but I feel Mat, despite his er... fun loving characteristics, is the most mature. Mat has taken Olver under his wing, has a army full of people who are loyal to him, just for being him, not any DR thingy, and seems to be juggling competing resposibilities of Tuon, escaping, Aes Sedai, etc. very well.

Rand OTOH has fequent outbursts, throws stuff around, shouts, pouts, threatens... more or less stuff that resembles temper tantrums, on a fairly regular basis. Cadsuane or no, somebody, anybody, needed to stand up to Rand and tell him to get it together. Rand's main interest as it were was to make it out of the LB intact. Hence his trip through the red frame door, his pouring over books, talks with Fel etc. That and juggling three wives;) .... come to think, perhaps much of Rand's "stress" can be because the guy can't pick just one woman to go crazy about, over, on .... gah.

As for Rand's uniqueness, umm, no to that. A king is a king is a king, the only thing that changes is the size of the kingdom. And lemme remind you of Hawkwing. He had a much larger empire. The Aiel and Sea Folk... well, they are both tools that Rand uses, not added stressors.

Note: I am not defending Cadsuane, but I am not putting Rand on a pedestal either and I think that is where we differ.

Alice Arneson
346. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheran @334 and anthonypero @337 - Thanks, guys. I appreciate it. As you know, I do try hard.
Cynthia Ahmar
347. tenkuu
ZEXXES@333: I did understand the meaning of what you were saying, though I can't speak for everyone else. And basically my reply was that it's an impossibility because sparkers *will* channel on their own. If you're merely arguing the "what if" of it though, I would say that the Empress would have probably been the first to throw her daughter to the wolves rather than protect her, given what we've seen of Seanchan culture.

Man-0-Manetheran@334: I'm actually not interested in revisiting the past, because I've put it behind me. And I misunderstood Wetlandernw's comments in this thread and apologized for that. So no, I'm not throwing any verbal grenades. All I'm saying is that an acknowledgement of wrongdoing would be nice.

birgit@335: I did say age, not species or skill. :P Besides, I meant the age she looks more than her actual age, though there was something in the news about how future technological advancements might make it possible for people to possibly live up to 150 years.

anthonypero@337: No, it isn't my job, actually, since it's something I've put behind me. And in this particular thread, I misunderstood her and apologized about it. Besides, we had it out back then and still nothing came of it. Also, keep in mind that it's not necessary to outright flame someone to act dismissive or mocking of their opinions.

subwoofer@345: You really think so? If Cadsuane had done anything extreme, whether directly or indirectly through the use of one of her ter'angreals, anything at all that Rand perceived as outright threatening, I'm fairly sure he would have balefired her to oblivion. And she wouldn't have had time to object about it being forbidden either. Not only that, but he could have started up quite a fight with her, getting others involved, and I'm really not at all convinced that most people at the time would have taken Cadsuane's side against the Dragon, you know? Plus there's always the option to downright tackle her and yank those ter'angreals right out of her hair if civility were to be thrown out the window.

Regarding Rand's maturity, he is the one who took his fate the most in stride. And I'm sorry, but compare the amount of shit that Rand has been through to the amount of shit Mat and Perrin have gone through, and you'll find that their combined shit doesn't even add up to half of his collective shit. So I think that gives him much more license to lose his temper every once in a while. Perrin is not more mature so much as he is more level-headed. As for Mat, thinking of him as mature quite frankly makes me laugh. He has it pretty easy compared even to Perrin. Mat is charismatic, not mature. Rand, in my opinion, is not very charismatic by nature, so he's had to make up for that with barking orders at people and acting as mean as he could. You might remember his frustrations in the first few books about how no one would just do as they were told and stop arguing with him. Rand was saddled with more burdens at any one time than either of his friends, and had to watch his back quite a bit more since he's understandably considered the bigger threat by the Forsaken. These things take a mental toll on a person, and if Rand didn't occasionally let steam out, I'd be very worried about what was bubbling up in that particular kettle.

As it says in that article, Hawkwing *conquered* the entire continent, which isn't something Rand is trying to do. Rand is more trying to get everyone to do what he needs them to and spraying the occasional Forsakencide via balefire. Rand is more a de facto leader, and one who is expected to bring everyone under his thumb and unite them all long enough to stop stabbing each other in the back for the Last Battle. And if you look at the map in that article, Hawkwing's empire is actually *smaller* than Rand's, since Rand technically has authority over the Atha'an Miere as well. And sure the Atha'an Miere and Aiel are tools that he uses, but I don't think anyone can honestly read his interactions with the Atha'an Miere, for instance, and not call them stressors of the most annoying variety. The Aiel can also be a stressor in that they expect much more from him than other nations.

I'm not putting Rand on a pedestal, quite the contrary. I am, however, acknowledging that he has much more of a right than anyone else in the series to bust a vein every once in a while. And of course, I'm a bigger fan of Rand than of the other boys, so what I do like about him I like very much, but I see Rand as easily being more passionate in everything he does. That happens to include his occasional outbursts. However, these are healthy for him, and he certainly can't put aside his own health to take care of the world's problems. Essentially, with every new morning, Rand becomes Atlas, and that's when he even gets to sleep. Can you really compare that with anything that Mat and Perrin have gone through?
John Massey
348. subwoofer
@tenkuu- really?

We've gone from apples and nuclear subs to comparing paperclips to the space shuttle. We're talking about the same series right? Cadsuane in a knock down fight with the DR and people taking sides? Heh;)

Erm... how to put this... that encounter with Cadsuane would only happen if Rand was a really, really big immature girl. In none of the books is Rand described as the type of guy that would tackle a woman... unless we are talking naked with Aviendha. Rand is TR through and through and would never become physical with a woman to that extent, especially at the point of the story we are discussing. And harming/ balefiring a woman? Nope, not even on the table in that book. Now, here in this book that has changed but not back then.

Rand has a fairly hard go of it, but the thing is he is hanging onto sanity by a thread and by other people's accounts in the next post, Rand has fairly much lost it. Sanity. Heck I remember the couple of times Bashere had to reign in Rand because he was doing loopy things. The time when Rand was going to break that Seal giving us the famous "break it, break it, break it" and the time when Rand took Callandor to Illan and just about decimated his own army with lightening strikes. That is more than busting a vein. The reality of leaders is that when they make poor choices at certain times, people die. And Rand's list is growing.

As for his behavior... lemme put it this way, if he was in my unit back in the day, if the Master Corporal didn't put him down, we'd have drawn straws to see which of us would get the guy in line. The amount of damage that has to be undone by being a spaz is not worth the effort of spazzing out.

If you are counting the sea as part of Rand's kingdom that has to be split with the Seanchan.... and techinically then, all the boats of the Sea Folk live on could be gathered in a harbor and once again Hawkwing has a bigger stretch. Rand has half of the world including the Spine, Hawking had everything west of the Spine.

Rand does have a massive amount of crap to deal with, no doubt about that. The way he handles stuff at first was very well, but he has lost his way. This is mirrored by the land, food spoiling, crops going sideways etc. Something needs to get that back on track, something has to be the catalyst.

And Mat? C'mon, the guy is a natural leader... despite all his protesting. And yes, Mat has less to deal with but he had less to start with. Mat is not as strong a ta'veren, he does not have prophecy going his way and a whack of people to guide him along.... not to mention he cannot channel. As for loopiness, Mat died, was almost killed again by the dagger and has this unkillable thing stalking him... along with dealing with Tuon, Olver, a passle of Aes Sedai in hostile Aes Sedai territory and being hunted by the Forsaken. I think he is handling things fairly well considering all of that.

The thing about Rand is yes, he has stuff going on, but he has resources he is not only not using, he is alienating. Lookit the vast resource of the Aiel. He is squandering that. The Amyrlin is his chum... doesn't even talk with her until the next book. He has this group of men he created that can really kick butt- ie Fires of Heaven- and Rand doesn't go near them. There are other ways Rand can do things if he takes the time to listen to what folks suggest.

Anthony Pero
349. anthonypero
Do Canadian military stories really count, Sub? *holds out hands* I kid, I kid!! ***BUNKER!!!***
Terry McNamee
351. macster
@135 Wetlander: While JonathanLevy has some good points, as does Wortmauer, I love you for saying this. Even seeing constant criticism that is still respectful of Sanderson himself and isn't accusing him of being responsible for every 'bad' thing in these books can get tiresome...seeing criticism that is destructive is even worse.

@139 Watashiwa: Good points, all. And as for not being interested in the redemption of villains...I am not so sure. If not for altruistic reasons, Jordan said Asmodean was genuinely coming back to the Light--his being killed off was for plot reasons (and character reasons for Rand), not to keep from having to show redemption. And I am still convinced Moridin may get redeemed. Even if it is a Redemption Equals Death scenario.

@140 JonathanLevy: ROTFL!

@152 birgit: I like that idea. I wonder if that is what Egwene has in mind.

@162 travyl: I love that explanation, it makes perfect sense to me.

@171 bad platypus: Interesting. That makes a lot of sense. But since the outriggers won't be written now, that would seem to leave us with a very unresolved Seanchan plot in WOT itself...and even with Jordan saying not everything would be resolved, that's a pretty big thing. So I wonder how cutting the outriggers might change that now...

@175 thewindrose: LOL!

@218 JonathanLevy: *falls over laughing*

@223 Longtimefan: "It is not as drifty but the end result is a lot of character development and discription in a scene where the action brings no real change to the story." Not everything has to have action to be interesting or compelling.

@229 tenkuu: As was discussed before by Wet, Zexxes, and others, there was a dark "shroud" around Ishamael that was clearly of True Power origin. While some of this occurred in TAR and so may have been a TAR effect, the prologue of TEOTW and the part at the Stone of Tear were in the real world. However, most seem to think (and I agree) that this shroud and Rand's aura are not the same thing. My point was that even if Rand's aura was a wrongness in the Pattern caused by his ta'veren effect being warped or the Dragon/Fisher King effect, the reason it existed may have been because of him being granted use of/latching onto the True Power, even if it is not a TP manifestation itself. On the other hand, if Rand had stayed on this dark path, that aura might well have turned into Ishy's shroud.

@268 Wet: Beautiful summation of Cadsuane vis-a-vis Rand. Couldn't agree more. :) Your explanation of why Mat feels off to some people but why you don't think he is is also well done. And makes a nice counterpoint to Zexxes: that if people are always going to view the characters differently than everyone else does, then there's no point in most of these criticisms. People can specifically say they want to understand better Jordan's strengths and weaknesses, and Sanderson's, but since nothing he does will exactly match their perception of the characters, let alone Jordan's, then it would seem to be dissecting the books and ruining the enjoyment of them for no good reason.

Now, if someone can dissect them, decide to their own satisfaction what works and what doesn't and why, and yet still enjoy the books overall, more power to them. But it can surely be understandable why others would not want to read such commentary, since for them it could easily ruin their enjoyment of the books by making them do analysis they don't want to, or to view things in a way contrary to their view of the characters, instead of simply relishing the details of the story.

@284 JonathanLevy: I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd say one possible reason for the theories is people are finding it hard to accept that even someone as strong-willed as Tuon could resist Rand when he was as powerful as he's now become, so they seek another explanation. It also doesn't help that we still don't have a conclusive answer about whether the aura was a True Power manifestation, dark ta'veren, the Fisher King effect, or a combination. Personally I agree with you as to what Rand was doing and why Tuon could resist; I was just more curious about what the aura actually was and what it meant for Rand, not whether it was involved in her resistance (clearly it had some influence, though how much we can't be sure) or how.

@294 ValMar: I love your cooking analogy.

@304 Caveatar: Incisively accurate, hilariously brilliant, and in the end surprisingly heartfelt, beautiful, and cutting right to the heart of WOT and why so many love it. It's too bad that took so long to write, it would have been a perfect 3-hunny.

@310 birgit: Agreed. Which just goes back to the assumption some are making that Tuon should have been making a deal with Rand and resisting him is bad and against the Pattern. Setting aside whether the Seanchan should be fighting the Westlanders, and whether it was a good idea to ally with Rand when he was like this, who is to say that Rand's ta'veren effect didn't manifest that way (on its own, through the Fisher King effect, or through the TP) in order to make her able to resist? That despite Rand's wishes, the ta'veren effect actually did what the Pattern wanted here? Darth Rand joining her would have been bad, so the Pattern made sure she would resist because he hadn't yet had his epiphany?

It's true that the Shadow wouldn't want Rand and the Seanchan working together so might try to sabotage it...but it is just as likely that it was the Pattern ensuring things fell out the way they were supposed to. (I point again to what would have happened if they'd allied at that point--no attack on the Tower, no reunion of the Aes Sedai, removal of Elaida, downfall of the Black Ajah and Mesaana...)

@331 travyl: Good point.
OK sub.... I relented for a good while until you decided you needed to marginalize Rands problems as if he should just get over it already. Imma be back to the finish this after I calm down and gather in my yang.
OK sub.... I relented for a good while until you decided you needed to marginalize Rands problems as if he should just get over it already. Imma be back to the finish this after I calm down and gather in my yang.
Anthony Pero
354. anthonypero
Have you gathered yin your yang yet? Sorry, couldn't resist ;p
Anthony Pero
355. anthonypero
Do any of you know how long it takes to scroll to the bottom of this thread on my iPhone? Geesh! My finger hurts :(
Nadine L.
356. travyl
Anthony: my phone (not i-) has a TOR "go to last comment" button, so I have no idea how long it takes to scroll down, and frankly I don't see a reason either ;)

subwoofer: That line @345. is not fair:
As for Rand's uniqueness, umm, no to that. A king is a king is a king
another quote from @348, before I state my arguments:
And Mat? C'mon, the guy is a natural leader he does not have prophecy going his way and a whack of people to guide him along.... not to mention he cannot channel.
Where to start ... First Rand never wanted to be a king, he was kind of pushed into it by the prophecies you seem to take as an asset - but were all misterious and not much guide until he fulfilled them. Unless you take the near-certainity that one will die in battle against ultimate evil as positive. Honestly I would take luck working my way instead of prophecy anytime. I think Mat would agree that not be able to channel isn't that bad. -And the "guiding" people are more pushing and berating, if you ask me.

I don't mean to belittle Mat, he is a great leader and has done well but Rands position is unique. He is not barely a king.
Alice Arneson
357. Wetlandernw
tenkuu @326 - I went back and looked through the comments on the release of Chapter 1: Tears from Steel as well as TGS Spoiler Thread Part II. My search confirms that, as I said before, I have never attacked you or even been discourteous to you. The single possible exception is the rather direct comment @813 on the latter thread, in which I finally responded to a month of ad hominem attacks on your part.

I have been participating in the WoT discussions here on tordotcom for a full three years now, and every word I posted is a matter of public record. I am quite content to let that record speak for itself; it is the basis for whatever reputation I have here.

You have been participating sporadically since Chapter 1: Tears from Steel was released, and all of your posts (at least, those not removed by a moderator) are also a matter of public record. Are you content with that record, and the reputation it has garnered for you here?

@Everyone Else: I apologize to you all for my inability to ignore this, but continuing unprovoked and unsubstantiated attacks on my character make me... itch. You have all been witness to my words, including the various rants and hot-button issues. You can bear witness that, in every case when someone was offended by my words, if they pointed out a specific offense, I have reviewed my comments and clarified them as necessary, including an apology when it was warranted. Thank you for your patience on this particular occasion; I promise you that I will do my very best to maintain silence on it hereafter.
Paul Long
358. Caveatar
@357 Wetlander

Ode* to Wetlandernw

It was Springtime in Seattle
and the quahogs were in bloom**
and One Wetlander Woman
was in her dining room

All the dishes had been done
and put away with care.
thinking she will have some fun
she goes to her computer chair

Her practiced fingers stroke the keys
Her vast wit is now in gear
She makes posts which aim to please
and they DO please. No fear.

Then an argument comes along
and Wetlander tries to spike it
I suggest you reply this way
"I HOPE that you DON'T! like it."

People think what they WANT to Think
there's no way to change their mind
Call their attention to the mistletoe
you have pinned just above your behind.

* or "owed"
**I know what they are. Let it pass. :D :D
(If you are not from Seattle I apologize.)

Alice Arneson
359. Wetlandernw
Caveatar, may I just say how much I appreciate the humor you bring here? And a poet, too! Sweeeeet. You make me LAUGH!! Yup, out loud and everything. :) And yes, I'm from Seattle, or the near vicinity, anyway.

Thank you.
Cynthia Ahmar
360. tenkuu
subwoofer@348: First of all, let me just say I love replying to your longass comments, but this one required breaking for lunch first, lol. Also, in case you're interested, this took up almost a whole 2 pages of a Word document.

Now, onto the actual reply. Essentially, I was saying that Cadsuane could not have hoped to win against Rand if it ever came down to that. I was also implying that it’s not only Rand that’s there, but that he has an entourage including Asha’man who I’m sure are far less reluctant than he is to harm any woman. So if it ever came down to a battle of the Power, or a physical brawl, Cadsuane would not be coming out on top no matter what kind of record she has with men who can channel, especially since she wouldn’t be handling one at a time, but several at once. So no, I wasn’t implying that Rand would tackle her, but that someone else would. Namely and most likely someone Aiel. However, yes, I *was* implying that Rand could very well have decided to balefire her. His state of mind, especially after Dumai’s Wells, was already beginning to get more and more unstable. Some may think Rand is idiotic for not harming women, but I think it is a testament to the fact that he has a lot more class than a lot of people in those books. However, he could very well have snapped at any given moment. I’d venture to say that aside from the attempted murder of Min, Cadsuane and Semirhage are extremely similar in their approach of Rand.

Rand’s list is not that big to begin with, especially if you exclude stuff that was prophesized to begin with. And sure, Rand has done some stupid things, but so has everyone in these books. Even the thing with Callandor would have worked out if he had actually known how to properly use it, in which case you do have to give him credit for living in an Age where he had to learn how to channel from one of the Forsaken. Oi. Where the One Power is concerned, essentially everything he does can be considered trial and error. You only have the benefit of judging him after learning certain facts about the One Power and its ter’angreals.

Of course the way he handled things at first was better: not only did he have Moiraine’s guidance, he also had a lot less stress and painful experiences. He was more innocent and open, quite simply. And yeah, he lost his way. Can you honestly say you would have handled yourself any better in his situation? That is to say, without the benefit of any prior experience and just suddenly getting handed the keys to the entire world? Rand was basically given no options other than to succeed and what he at first thought, according to the prophecies, meant that he was going to die. In addition he not only channels in a world without (normal) teachers, but knows that he is more than likely to go mad from the taint.

You’re proving my point about Mat being a natural leader: it’s because he’s charismatic by nature. Some people got it and some people don’t. Perrin and Rand, obviously, are not charismatic. Charisma doesn’t make Mat mature though, it just makes him good with people. And yes, absolutely, Mat has died twice (killed by Rahvin once), but death is easy. Rand, and some Darkfriends, are pretty much the absolute proof that there are many fates worse than death, especially if you don’t get a messy death like being chopped apart by the One Power. Rand and Lews Therin have even *wished* for death at times, because their philosophy, not entirely wrong, is that death is a much lighter weight than their/his fate.

I guess now it’s my turn to ask if we’re reading the same books? Really? You think Egwene is anything other than a huge pain in the ass to Rand at that point? All Egwene really does when she’s around Rand is to call him an idiot and act all high and mighty. Egwene may be good around other Aes Sedai, but when it comes to Rand, I understand perfectly why he stays the hell away from her. As for the Aiel, well, he certainly feels a lot more responsibility towards them than towards any other nation, and he has worried about using them too much, so what you’re saying is basically coming right out of left field as far as I’m concerned. Especially given how even they think that Rand relies too much on them for everything. Just about the only group with a complaint in there is the Maidens. Where the Asha’man are concerned, he created them out of a real necessity, but he is understandably as afraid of them as most of the world in previous books, and then after the taint, there’s Taim to deal with and he hates and mistrusts the man. I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m looking forward to the New and Improved Rand finally going to the Black Tower and dealing with Taim, but I can understand how that might have seemed like a rather large kettle of stinky fish to him for a long time. So yes, Rand has resources, but they all have their own motives and are all trying to push their own agendas on Rand. They’re not simply there for the taking and ready to do whatever he asks without giving him some heat about it every single time.

And I’m not gonna argue the Hawkwing thing with you except to say that Rand is basically prophesized to rule the world. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, Rand doesn’t have to conquer; he has to unite. Not only is that almost the complete opposite of taking nations by force, but he’s also essentially forcing people who hate each other to work together. That’s like trying to put the pieces of a badly cut puzzle together: you know they’re supposed to be able to fit together, in theory, but you still have to struggle to do it.
Paul Long
361. Caveatar
@359 Wetlandernw

You are quite welcome.
Rhyme and scansion limp but I was in a hurry to post it so I didn't risk
butting out of your business and not posting it.
Poet? I have perpetrated that very crime on more than 200 occasions
but this one was written in haste. Still not bad for 5 minutes work.
As long as you like it and the intent of the last couple of verses gets through to whomever. Lol

I also posted it on the next reread #20, thinking you might have abandoned this thread.
Cynthia Ahmar
362. tenkuu
NOTE: Couldn't reply to everyone I wanted to reply to without risking crashing this site with my humongous post, so sorry about the double posting, lol.

macster@351: Thanks for reminding me of that, I had forgotten about Ishamael’s dark shroud. And that’s exactly why I was asking myself, because I was also curious about what it meant for Rand. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I doubt whether Tuon agreeing to his alliance would have changed anything at all in the short term. Rand would have still had problems, still balefired Graendal’s fortress, likely still have nearly killed Tam, and in turn, would have still run off to the Seanchan-ruled town, had his epic fit and run off to Dragonmount and had his epiphany there. I think that one little success with the Seanchan, while it would taken a bit of a load off his shoulders, still would not have completely solved the problem of the Seanchan and wouldn’t have affected his other issues anyway. Rand was in a state of deep despair that seemed to be more on a personal level than anything else. And knowing Tuon and her warped views, she might have still found some excuse to attack the White Tower. But yes, the advancement of Egwene’s plotline is pretty much the only factor, if any were to, that would convince me that Tuon was meant to refuse Rand no matter what.

ZEXXES@352 & travyl@356: Thank you for explaining things a bit better than I could. I’m far from being eloquent and I often have trouble expressing my true feelings on a topic. Yes, Rand’s problems are far too huge, not to mention painful, for him to just “get over”. And yes, Rand is far more than merely a king. And yes, absolutely, the people in Rand’s life all try to control and/or bully him into doing things their way, and Min is just about the only exception I’ve seen so far. If I were him I’d be tempted to just occasionally throw a “There’s a reason why I’m the Dragon Reborn and you’re not, back off” at them.

EDIT Caveatar@358: You know what, I'm not gonna sink to your level. That whole comment was pretty childish. I've made a mistake in this post, I owned up to it, and that's that. You want to keep harping on about it, bloody well be my guest.

Wetlandernw@359: If you want real humor, and not the sadistic kind, check comment #363.
Ok here we go.

There once was a boy born on the side of a cold mountain in the winter and was left to die as his mother died giving birth. He lay there until a lone warrior carried him off to his home in the Two Rivers where he grew up motherless. Then an Aes Sedai shows up with her Warder and escorts Rand and his two best friends away from home because apparently the Dark One wants him dead. And for proof of that he has a couple of runins with Trollocs and Myrrdraal. Rand later finds out he can channel and discovers that he is the thing the entire world including himself dreads more than anything. He then learns that he and his friends are Ta'veren and very strongly so and, in his case at least, people will get married in one town and everyone will break their leg in another... or die.... or worse. He then finds out that a this guy with a bad temper with flames for eyes and a burning pit for a mouth keeps telling him that no matter what he does if he doesn't join the darkside of the force baaaaaad things are gonna happen. He finds out the Forsaken are hunting him. He finds out some want to kill him. He also finds out one of them wants to screw his brains out. The Forsaken. Yeah! When he by practically killing himself (because he had no ther choice) he thinks he kills The Big bad bag of Hot Wind Ishy, he gets stabbed and this has a big hole in his side that won't heal. Ever. Even after multiple Aes Sedai try to heal it. The pain is so great that when he is bonded against his will by Alanna (Aaaargh!) she sobs under the stress off feeling His pain through the bond and wondering how he can stand and is not screaming in agony. He has been conspired against it seems now since after his last dream meeting with Ishy at the end TEotW. Must we forget that this isn't some experienced, born unto royalty, trained general. This is a shepard and a tabac farmer. At least Mat in all intents and purposes is a General, more like a couple hundred generals all rolled into one and quite possibly a king to boot. Rand is doing everything on the fly. If Mat thinks he has troubles with Aes sedai just imagine the conundrum Rand is in. On the one hand you had Amyrlin Elaida who basically wanted a slave/puppet to imprison until the LB. On the other you have Amyrlin Siuan who wants to manipulate you as a puppet basically dictating your every move until the LB. And now he's gotta deal with Amyrlin Egwene...don't even get me started with her. He since aquired another wound right on top of the other some how, that also won't heal and their only saving grace to him is that if he didn't have one or the other either way he would die from them.That happening by canceling their fatal symptoms out. But he still has the pain. He is going mad and just barely holding on to sanity. From bothe the taint and Cadsuane. He has at this point a long dead person talking to him and occasionally trying to commit suicide by resting control of the One Power from him. He still has conversations with a guy he killed twice or so he thought. He is being manipulated into joining the dark side of the force from multiple angles, further driving him insane. He was captured and tortured . Then he was captured again and forced to kill his main squeeze before succumbing to the big master plan for him to accept the dark side of the force and use it to save himself and his squeeze. He has unborn twins that he doesn't even know about yet, from one girlfriend. His other girlfriend won't talk to him. His advisors don't respect him. And really don't even care about him so much as wanting to make sure that he saves their lives. Except for maybe Nynaeve and Min. He is prophecied to the best of anyones knowledge to die saving the world. And what a mind!@#$ that is. Oh yeah I have to save everybody but my reward for that is I get to die by uhhhh spilling my blood on the rocks of a place that I don't even want to go to? Awesome!

Let me see... should I continue? Because I'm leaving out a lot.

And so some of you think that he is being an unreasonable ass because...what? He isn't handling it well? Who in the Light, The Lords Name or even in hell would be handling this any better. Mat? He has just now stopped running and is finally owning up to what he is. Perrin? We have another book to go before his balls finally show up. Egwene? She is the only comparible force in the books and while she's gone through some dirt, most of it was voluntary. Do you recognize the difference? Rand has No choice in anything. He either does or everybody including himself dies. Why are we harping on how he chooses to do anything really. We are lucky his soul still remains intact. He realisticaly should have broken by now. You know what I think keeps him going? That fact that he has realized that in the end everybody has to do it his way or not at all. He could call it a day at any time and balefire his own ass to end it all. He's gonna die anyway, why not? Because he cares thats why. I think all of them every last one of them don't appreciate him enough! They are so busy trying to control him that damn right, they bungled it all. He isn't a king or an emperor. He's greater than that. Rand is the Savior. He is the Avatar of the Light. The Sword of the Wheel of Time.

People, in order for him to save them all, it can't go any other way than what he has done and will do.

Its just that simple.

He figured it out when he ran away from the party on the way to Tear. That portal stone moment he had was the key. What he saw then put the pieces together for him. Thats why he went nuts on the books with any mention of the prophecy. He almost screwed up though. But it was forced. I guess he didn't get that line...

"Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love."

But eventually he did.

John Massey
364. subwoofer

Mission accomplished, we are sure to take this thread to 4 Hunny- and the person that gets it- Looking at you Sam!!- Finish yur durn sentence at least:)

@Z- I'm sure what you have to say is very... powerful, but to be honest, I'm not going to wade through it unless you press "return" more than twice. It is hard to read such big blocks of text:)

.... and what you do with your yang... could be considered an over share;)

@Travyl- you missed the point of that, so let me put it another way. We were discussing the various responsibilities and tenkuu suggested that Rand is unique in terms of how large his kingdom is. I put forth that he is not unique because Hawkwing had just as large, if not a larger kingdom. But the rules are fairly the same, you just have to wade through more beurocracies, a king is a king, the only thing that changes is where his borders are.

Never said Rand wanted to be a king, but he is one.

Nadine L.
365. travyl
I considered if I should post this, because tenkuu, you might not respond all to well to this, but you don't really come across as someone who has overcome her grudge. I think Caveatar's response @385 was clever (poem yay) and with enough humor for you not to call him down.

I still might not have commented on it, if not for this: Wetlander I highly respect you, always look forward to read your comments and am still following a recommendation you once gave me: read the earlier threads (instead of just Leigh's part) - so ironically today I came across this:
from WOT Re-Read TDR part 8, both comments by Perrin R.Fife
50. *cowers and edits in the face of the scary lady* I was jived on caffeine, my mind slipped... I Swear! Please, not the beaver and the taxi!!!! *cries*
74. Oh, and Rebecca, I am actually cowering from wetlander. She scures me. A lot
Assuming wetlander(nw) is both you (and from the quality of the posts I think it is a safe conjecture) you *obviously* have some strange effect on certain people :) - you must have scared away R.Fife period, haven't seen him around in a long time. Then again there might be another cause, my rereading goes veeery slowly. This is NOT an attack on you, it just gave me a small moment of joy, how timing can be perfect. Maybe you are ta'veren on top of being re'lar?

Cynthia Ahmar
366. tenkuu
NOTE: Normally I reply to comments in the order in which they're posted, but I read yours first, subwoofer, and frankly, dealing with Wetlandernw's duplicity is making me nauseous.

subwoofer@364: Uh, actually, I think you're the one who might have missed my point... I still insist that Rand has the bigger kingdom, don't ge me wrong, but my overarching point was that Rand is much more of a king than Hawkwing ever was. He has many more responsibilities. And I still do not agree with you that Rand has only one kingdom to contend with. It's not like he's ruling a single united empire. Rand is several kings, in several different ways. Yes, he is several kings despite not wanting to be, but the point is that he never had the benefit of experience. And you really should read ZEXXES' comment because he makes a very good point. And lightens the mood in an actually pleasant way for a change.

Wetlandernw@357: Keep lying to yourself if it makes you happy. You know as well as I do that the only thing I ever did up until you attacked me with snide comments was express my opinion. It was my opinion, and unique, but still did not warrant your mockery. It's sad, but the fact that you contribute more to the forum than me automatically makes people assume that everything you do is justified. Well I am standing up to you and telling you that no, what you did back then was not justified, and that I retaliated back then, in kind, because I was attacked. That was the one thing I did wrong: I reacted badly. No amount of lies on your part will change what really happened. If you really can't see how offending your comments were, and can't even work up the balls to apologize for them, then I really do feel sorry for you. But in case I never apologized back then for reacting the way I did, I'm doing so now. I'm sorry I reacted badly to it. The ball is now in your court.
so its like that huh? well i got something for that....

as if...
Cynthia Ahmar
368. tenkuu
travyl@365: So an insult draped in an attempt at humor is funny to you? Not to mention the fact that it comes from someone who has zero to minus one of an idea what actually transpired back then. But yes, I did put it behind me. That doesn't stop me from being frustrated that Wetlandernw still won't acknowledge the truth 2 years later. I am far from being a saint, I have my frustrations like everyone else. I agree with you though, Wetlandernw makes some intelligent, articulate and very interesting arguments a lot of the time, she just gets a tad too snippy every once in a while. To not intend your comment to come out as insulting and have it come out that way anyway is not a big deal, as long as you can apologize for it.
John Massey
369. subwoofer
Hi tenkuu:)

I hear what you are saying about Rand and Saidin- he had a tough uphill go of learning, it was much easier with him and swords, and I suppose that is why he always channeled the flaming sword, er fire-sword, didn't mean to imply anything there... anyways, the sword was something he could work with. Illan, the dude was killing his army and didn't see it. I understand the first couple of lightening bolts and his troops dying, but repeatedly?
Again something struck him down Suddenly he realized that the weight atop him was Bashere, that the man was shaking him. It must have been Bashere who had flung him down!

"Stop it!" the Saldaean shouted..... "You're killing us, man! Stop!"
I'm willing to give Rand a mulligan for some trail and error, but this is pushing things.

Here's the thing about the Aiel- during the Aiel War 3 clans had their way with the wetlands. Rand has way more than that now, and excellent tool to use when he is not hampering them. Doing circles in a civil war to restore peace? Sound like Afghanistan. Anyways IMHO I think the Aiel should be used for the LB.

Here's how I may suggest Rand deal with the rest. As demonstrated by Dumai's Well, channelers can do wayyyy more damage than hundreds of thousands of troops so it is best to get them on your side. The dominant force in the (I'm going to say "West" in reference to lands west of the Spine of the World) West is Tar Valon, has been for 3000 years. Now Elaida was pure-de stupid to the point of being megalomania but there was the force beseiging TV... and they were on sketchy ground. Being tied to the Dragon Reborn would have given them a position of more power and a more legitamate argument to stop the Tower war and deal with the end of days. I'm not saying it would be easy, but at least an parley with them before this point would be called for. Heck, use Cadsuane to open the channels of communication, after the first couple dozen "I thought you were dead"s it could be interesting.

The Asha'man. There are as many asha'man as there are sisters and Rand barely uses this resource. If I can't get the female channelers on my side, I'd at least go to the men. Rand started the BT and he sould see that through. Use them to help unite the kingdoms, stop the Seanchan etc.

Point is, several thousand channelers trumps hundreds of thousands of troops.

As for pushing their own agendas, well I have personal experience with folks trying to manipulate me, but you can't let that stop you from looking for help. As Rand has proven, he can't do everything on his own. Have your core of people around you that you can trust- Bashere, Nynaeve, Ruarc, Dobraine, Uno(heh), Algamar, whatshisnuts( the appointed king of Tear), Cadsuane, Logain, Narishma and a few others I can't spell. After that, delegate out.

My other point is that Rand has strayed far off the mark, whether that is from pressure, going crazy from the taint, stress, toothaches, illness, pain in his sides etc., the land is the best litmus for that. When the foods spoil after moments, tea sours, grain goes bust etc. that is showing that all is not right in the land and all is not right with Rand. Internalizing his issues isn't the solution- his "making himself harder". Lashing out at people is not the way to do things either because while Rand drive off the sycophants, he also alienates his allies.

There are other ways to go about things and a mature leader learns to sift out the good wheat from the chaff. And they surround themselves with people who want to help them succeed. After all the fate of the world hangs in the balance, I think Rand is not the only person to realize that. The Dragon Reborn's very existence is the harbinger of things to come.

John Massey
370. subwoofer
@tenkuu er... 366... that was the "wade through beurocracies" part. I was trying to be brief:)

Sub... To reflect on your comments, I feel you are missing Rands point that he feels he wasn't meant to do war with the world. He is trying to make sure that he leaves behind as many as he can. You are making the same mistake Moraine and many others made with him in thinking you know better than he. As if to say there are only a few ways things should happen so this is what you should do.

He doesn't want any of that. On top of that he has seen the futility of that anyway when he used the portals. Which, by the way, everyone seems to ignore.

Kill the Forsaken. Face the Dark One. Get every arm with a hand a sword to weild and get up north. The Last Battle is here. Now. And people want him to start a petty war? Yeah I'd be irratible too!

Cynthia Ahmar
372. tenkuu
subwoofer@370: Brief, but maybe a bit wrong in how you described it. That reminds me of Jay Leno's Headlines bit where one time he read the one-sentence summary of a CSI episode from a TV guide: "A man kills a woman." Like seriously?

subwoofer@369: He was absorbed in what he was doing, ie concentrating. That is kind of a requirement when you’re channelling. Not to mention he seemed to be thinking of other things at the same time too. He wasn’t paying attention to his immediate surroundings, and really, why would he have expected something like that to happen with his limited knowledge of Callandor’s workings?

Well, most of the Aiel can’t channel, and the Last Battle hasn’t happened yet, obviously. Rand *has* to use the Aiel, the only people he can truly trust, to oversee to his plans of uniting the nations. Don’t even dare compare what he’s doing to Afghanistan though. Rand is making steady progress, after all.

You’re idealizing here. The Aes Sedai themselves would not even have considered it because they considered it a matter between Aes Sedai and no business of anyone else. Most of them don’t have such a favourable opinion of male channelers in general either. And what are you suggesting anyway? That Rand’s Asha’man would have been volunteered to clean Elaida and her possy out of the White Tower via destructo weaves or even balefire? In that situation, it was really only up to Elaida to screw up enough to get deposed, which was bound to happen pretty soon had Egwene not taken over when Elaida was made damane. Because seriously, if they weren’t willing to talk with the Salidar Aes Sedai, it’s highly unlikely they’d have made any further effort with Rand or anyone else, Tarmon Gai’don be damned. Also, as I mentioned above, Egwene is difficult to deal with for Rand, and she has this idea stuck in her head that she always knows better. Any attempts at negotiation or discussion with her would not have gone well.

Technically I think we’re at a point where there are more Asha’man than sisters, no? Exactly how many are Taim’s personal army is a matter of speculation though. As I mentioned before though, the problem with the Asha’man is, though Rand created them out of a believed necessity, he still fears them as much as he used to fear the concept of the Dragon before knowing that *he* was the Dragon Reborn. I suspect a tiny part of why he doesn’t use them as much is also that he trusts few enough female channelers and males can’t link with one another, thereby limiting what they can do to a certain extent even if most men are more powerful than most women. The Asha'man who do stick to him, and who have been bonded by Aes Sedai, he uses them, for instance. Technically he even used Narishma to retrieve Callandor for him before Merise ever bonded him.

Rand feels as though everyone is manipulating him though. The Aiel are one option for him to rely on, but they have their limits. You can probably count on two hands the number of people he explicitly trusts outside of the Aiel. And even the people he doesn’t trust, he still manages to find ways to use them out of necessity. In other words, he already *has* used people, and let’s not forget that. Let’s not condemn Rand and his efforts for a few moments of weakness. Overall, the man does good.

My point is, it doesn’t matter how off-the-mark Rand has gone. Not only was it prophesized, it was a purely human reaction. Frankly, I would think his struggles to be rather reassuring: he wouldn’t be having such a tough time if he’d just decided going to the Dark was easier. This keeps his character very human, very vulnerable and very fallible, which in turn, to me at least, keeps him likable. Rand is just one man saddled with a ton and a half of responsibilities. Also, let’s not dig too deeply into Rand, shall we? According to the prologue of Towers of Midnight, the Dark One’s power is growing anyway, and Rand’s presence in that orchard had a limited effect of goodness. Obviously the bad stuff was not all him. If we keep this up we’re gonna be blaming him for bubbles of evil too, pretty soon.

I think Rand is very mature for his age. Actually, come to think, how old do you think Rand is by the end of Towers of Midnight? He has made some incredibly intelligent tactical decisions, especially in the early books, and has demonstrated an ability to handle himself that is nothing short of remarkable. Sure he snapped a few times, but that’s pretty normal. No one expects him to be perfect, they only expect him to save their lives. Also, as ZEXXES has said in comment #371, Rand isn’t trying to conquer and use and abuse his resources. He wants to do some good along with what he’s already prophesized to do. His only real responsibility is uniting the land enough so that they can all work towards defeating the Dark One.
John Massey
373. subwoofer
Will comment after work... assumptions are way off base here on what I am saying.

374. Freelancer

Pardon me, but would you have some of that mistletoe to spare?
Paul Long
375. Caveatar
@ 374 Freelancer
"Pardon me, but would you have some of that mistletoe to spare?"


Give me your address and I will have a basket of it shipped to you.

John Massey
376. subwoofer
@tenkuu- actually he was deep in the throws of LTTness- one of the loon episodes if you will-

"What was it he had told Eagan Padros?
"I am the storm," he whispered....

It goes on but that was not Rand concentrating on channeling.

I digress.

Anyways... it seems to me some unique notions came up at what I posted. I am not suggesting a male vs. female channeling war. Nope, as of this moment Rand has bupkiss for Channeler followers. Back in the day LTT had his 100 companions and they did not wage war on the female channelers.

Where I was coming from is two fold-
"Moiraine Sedai, I have no right to ask it of you, but you would be worth a thousand lances in Tarwin's Gap."
- Agelmar Jagad
If Rand had at least one of the factions on his side that would be worth many armies. As I mentioned in previous posts in reference to Dumai's Well. My point was not for Rand to wage war with one against the other but unite the people that can channel behind him. This also goes further with my second point-
Rand abruptly realized the Lord of Fal Dara assumed it was Nynaeve and Egwene who with Moiraine would fight against the Dark One. It was natural. That sort of struggle meant using the One Power.
Fighting the Dark One is not about a trial by combat, there will be Power used. All the soldiers in the world are but a distraction... as Rand hints at in regards to Lan at the Gap. The true fight will be else where and it will be with Power and more than that. Which is why I am putting forth that Rand needs to get Aes Sedai or Asha'man or both on his side. I was just suggesting he do this at an earlier point instead of dealing with "petty wars".

And I am not condemning Rand and am confused by where that idea came from.
In other words, he already *has* used people, and let’s not forget that.
I haven't forgot that. I am suggesting he gets back to doing that. And he does after he comes down off the mountain like Moses.
Don’t even dare compare what he’s doing to Afghanistan though.
Ummm... please phrase things like that differently because I do not appreciate somebody dictating to me what I can and cannot talk about. I will comment on the idea that the civil war in Arad Doman is a quagmire that nobody can win, Aiel or no. Remove the external forces that are trying to fix things and it just keeps on going back to the way it was. I have personally been on a few peace keeping tours when civil war and genocide were on the table. The end results were fractured and separated countries. I am not saying that genocide is the case here, but I am saying I am drawing from what I know. The thing that will unite Arad Domad is the outside war against the Shadow.

Also I am very interested to see if WoT goes full circle and like TEotW we see a battle back in the Gap and the Blight. All things come around with the turning of the Wheel.

Cynthia Ahmar
377. tenkuu
subwoofer@376: How was that not concentrating? It was part of what he was doing.

And what I was saying is that short of using force, Rand can't get the Aes Sedai to do what he wants no matter how much of a ta'veren he is. I understood what you meant afterwards but still chose to go with the brute force analogy to prove that point.

Except that Rand is prophesized to be their saviour, so the situation in Arad Doman can hardly be compared with any real life situation.

Of course he needs channelers, but you seem to be forgetting the Asha'man are his to begin with. Most Aes Sedai also seem to be coming around without being shoved into it (such as being forcefully bonded). As for the Asha'man, certainly what Taim has been doing will cause problems, but there is still a good number of Asha'man overall.
John Massey
378. subwoofer
Ummmm... no, the Asha'man are not his to begin with, they are not even allowed off the compound and should Rand come along, unannounced and uninvited, things could go sideways right quick.

As for using force on Aes Sedai... well that doesn't work. I suggested opening the lines of communication, something Rand has done rather sparingly if at all.

As for Rand "concentrating", um, no. The text said otherwise. Rand was actually watching stuff burn. So listen, I get that you are feeling for Rand here, but it would really help me if you would use some text from the books to help me get what he says, as opposed to how you feel Rand feels.

The thing is this: Rand is young, by today's standards, but not by standards of say 50 or so years ago. Today in certain parts of the world kids are staying home well into their 20's and so on and are still viewed as kids or not ready to stand on their own. Back in the day, people had their own place and a wife and kids and all that good stuff at Rand's age. Wasn't it when Perrin goes back to TR and has the mustering of the Riverian he sees his old sweetheart with a couple of kids and another big guy as the husband? Different age scale applies here.

It is still a lot for one person to process, but it seems like Rand has not to many choices in this regard. Step up or let the world die. This is what draws me to the series.

Cynthia Ahmar
379. tenkuu
subwoofer@378: Rand created the Asha'man, of course they are his group. Sure some shit is going on over there right now, but the fact still remains: he made them so as to have more male channelers to be able to help him.

These are Aes Sedai we're talking about, communication would not have worked any better.

And I get how you're not understanding what I'm saying, but Rand was hardly distracted during this battle. Quite the contrary, he was intensely focused on what he was doing, but to the enemy. He had no expectation that he'd be striking his own forces, so didn't pay attention behind him.

I don't remember any mention of any old sweetheart of Perrin's, but then those are the kinds of details, about unimportant characters, that I don't pay much attention to.

It's never as easy or simple as "step up or let the world die". Rand really has done tremendously well given his circumstances. He could have easily been a broken, useless mess after Dumai's Wells, but he's tougher than he knows and he endures very well. None of us are allowed to judge him, certainly, and the only ones who would be allowed to are those who have fates similar to his, such as other heroes from other fantasy series.
Terry McNamee
380. macster
@ tenkuu 362: I see your point, but as yet we still can't know how everything will turn out. It may be, for example, that if Tuon had said yes to Darth Rand it could have made it harder to deal with the damane issue. He might have ordered her to release them immediately, but doing so would have thrown the Seanchan into chaos so that they could not help in the Last Battle, and the Light would lose. Or she might have refused to release them, causing a fight between them, or him leaving them out of the Last Battle, with the same results. Or he might have tried to force her to channel, so then she would get assassinated by her people or collared, again throwing the Seanchan into chaos since they'd have no leader.

Also, I agree with your (and Zexxes's) assessment of Rand. Though I think Sub has some good points too.
Thomas Keith
381. insectoid
Playing cat-soup. (Actually, just ordinary tomato+beef soup around here, I swear.)

Valentines candy: I actually did have some of those. About as good as they ever were—bland, and hard as a rock. ;)

Legends: I know Mat is supposed to be "off" in this book, but the backstory thing was kind of funny, esp. the bit Leigh quoted about the "great-aunt".

"We are fine": Reminds me of that line from Star Trek III that I use so often at home with my brother (i.e., I ask him "How we doing?").

Ta'veren-compulsion: It almost does seem like Compulsion... perhaps Compulsion with the TP? In other news, Rand's slippery slope is getting steeper. This was brought to you by Captain Obvious and the makers of Advil, the take-your-headdesk-pain-away medicine.

Caveatar @358: Wow. *claps*

ZEXXES @363: That was... quite a summary. Nicely done!

382. Wortmauer
insectoid, I don't think Advil is what you want here. I think it's Excedrin, the Headdesk Medicine.

Just sayin'.
Thomas Keith
383. insectoid
Wortmauer @382: My pharmacological knowledge is a bit limited, I admit. ;)


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