Feb 28 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 21

What up, yo: welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapter 37 of The Gathering Storm, in which we discuss crimes against humanity, weapons of mass destruction, and self-imposed antisocial personality disorders. And other fun topics!

I truly did not intend to do another one-chapter post, but the next two chapters really need to go together for narrative-flow reasons, and so here we are.

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!

Quick news bulletin for the maybe four of you who haven’t heard already, but just for the record: Michael Whelan has officially been tapped to create the cover art for the print edition of A Memory of Light.

Which is, in a word, kickass. In lieu of having Darrell Sweet finish out the series (which I honestly would have vastly preferred no matter how harshly I may have criticized his work), I think just about everyone can agree that this is the next best possible alternative. Awesome.



Chapter 37: A Force of Light

What Happens
Min watches Rand dress and tries to get him to talk about the failed talks with the Seanchan, but Rand refuses to admit he is either frustrated or angry about it. Min sees a viewing of a mountain she thinks might be Dragonmount, covered in dark shadows with a hole blasted out of the side.

Dragonmount in shadows. It would be important to Rand in the future. Was that a tiny prick of light shining from the heavens down onto the point of the mountain?

The viewing vanished. Though Min knew what some of them meant, this one baffled her.

Min had thought of herself as a last line of defense for Rand, but now thinks that maybe Rand had been right to try and send her away. Min asks if he is going after Graendal, and Rand replies that the least he can do for Arad Doman is remove one of the Forsaken from its soil. Min thinks it could be a trap, but Rand disagrees, and says he must strike now before she finds out he has a lead on her. Min decides to go with him just to prove her earlier doubts wrong, and is surprised when he does not argue. He takes the access key ter’angreal with him and sends for twenty Maidens. Min wishes he would lose his temper the way he used to.

He’d exasperated her then, but he’d never frightened her. Not as he did now, with those icy eyes she couldn’t read, that aura of danger. Since the incident with Semirhage, he spoke of doing “whatever he had to” regardless of cost, and she knew that he must seethe at having failed to convince the Seanchan to ally with him. What would that combination of failure and determination lead him to do?

Rand sends for Nynaeve and Lord Ramshalan, and examines the map where he’d marked the location of Natrin’s Barrow. He tells Min that it is a former fort that became a favored retreat for the kings of Arad Doman before it was forgotten, and that it is just the kind of place Graendal would favor for her stronghold. Nynaeve and Ramshalan enter, and Rand pretends to ask for Ramshalan’s advice on how to outthink an enemy smarter than himself who refuses to face him head on.

“I have to peer into her eyes, see into her soul, and know that it’s her that I face and not some decoy. I have to do that without frightening her into running. How? How can I kill a foe who is more clever than myself, a foe who is impossible to surprise, yet who is also unwilling to confront me?”

Ramshalan suggests an alliance, which Min finds absurd, but Rand pretends to think it an excellent idea, and tells Ramshalan that he shall be Rand’s emissary, and creates a gateway to outside Natrin’s Barrow, telling him to go and make an alliance with the “minor Domani merchant family” within. Ramshalan is immensely flattered and goes with only a small amount of hesitation. Nynaeve wants to know what’s going on, and Rand asks how Nynaeve would beat her.

“I don’t care to play your games, Rand al’Thor,” Nynaeve replied with a huff. “You’ve obviously already decided what you intend to do. Why ask me?”

“Because what I am about to do should frighten me,” he said. “It doesn’t.”

Min shivered.

Rand, Min, Nynaeve and the Maidens go through the gateway as well, and stop at a ridge where Natrin’s Barrow is visible in the distance, close enough that Min can see the many guards and workers moving about it. Nynaeve asks what the point was of sending Ramshalan to die. Rand replies that Graendal won’t kill him, but will instead use Compulsion on him and send him back to Rand, programmed to do something devious and clever that Rand will not anticipate or be able to counter. Nynaeve doesn’t understand why Rand would allow it, then, but Rand refuses to explain, and stares Nynaeve down unnervingly. After some time, Ramshalan returns, and Rand orders Nynaeve to check him for Compulsion. She does, and confirms that he is under Compulsion. Feeling dread, Min urges Rand to go back, but he tells her there is something he must do.

“Think about it some more,” Min said. “At least take some advice. We can ask Cadsuane, or—”

“Cadsuane held me in a box, Min,” he said very softly. His face was clasped in shadow, but as he turned toward her, his eyes reflected the light from the open gateway. Orange and red. There was an edge of anger to his tone. I shouldn’t have mentioned Cadsuane, she realized. The woman’s name was one of the few things that could still get emotion out of him.

“A box, Min,” Rand whispered. “Though Cadsuane’s box had walls that were invisible, it was as binding as any that ever held me. Her tongue was far more painful a rod than any that was taken to my skin. I see that now.”

Nynaeve is incensed that Rand allowed Ramshalan to suffer this, and tells him she will refuse to remove it this time. The globe on the statuette begins to glow, and Rand tells them how Callandor failed him twice, and the reason was because it was a trap: it cannot be controlled by a man alone, but only if he puts himself “in a box” to use it. Rand whispers that he can no longer kill in anger, but that each death he causes must be “deliberate.” Min and Nynaeve are speechless, and Min thinks that she wasn’t afraid of Rand when Semirhage was forcing him to strangle her, but she is afraid of him now.

“I’ve done it before,” he whispered. “I once said that I didn’t kill women, but it was a lie. I murdered a woman long before I faced Semirhage. Her name was Liah. I killed her in Shadar Logoth. I struck her down, and I called it mercy.”

He turned to the fortress palace below.

“Forgive me,” he said, but it didn’t seem directed at Min, “for calling this mercy as well.”

Something impossibly bright formed in the air before him, and Min cried out, backing away. The air itself seemed to warp, as if pulling away from Rand in fear. Dust blew from the ground in a circle around him, and the trees groaned, lit by the brilliant white light, the pine needles rattling like a hundred thousand insects scrambling over one another. Min could no longer make out Rand, only a blazing, brilliant force of light. Pure power, gathered, making the hairs on her arms rise with the force of its nebulous energy. In that moment, she felt as if she could understand what the One Power was. It was there, before her, made incarnate in the man Rand al’Thor.

And then, with a sound like a sigh, he released it. A column of pure whiteness exploded from him and burned across the silent night sky, illuminating the trees below it in a wave. It moved as quick as a snap of the fingers, striking the wall of the distant fortress. The stones came alight, as if they were breathing in the force of the energy. The entire fortress glowed, transforming into living light, an amazing, spectacular palace of unadulterated energy. It was beautiful.

And then it was gone. Burned from the landscape—and the Pattern—as if it had never been there. The entire fortress, hundreds of feet of stone and everyone who had lived in it.

Something hit Min, something like a shocking wave in the air. It wasn’t a physical blast, and it didn’t make her stumble, but it twisted her insides about. The forest around them—still lit by the glowing access key in Rand’s hands—seemed to warp and shake. It was as if the world itself were groaning in agony.

It snapped back, but Min could still feel that tension. In that instant, it seemed as if the very substance of the world had been near to breaking.

Min sees that Rand looks like he is in ecstasy before forcing himself to shut it off, and she tries to comprehend what he has just done, horrified by the lives he just ended. Nynaeve declares that he is out of control, and what he has done is loathsome, but Rand only tells her to test Ramshalan, to see if Graendal’s Compulsion is gone. Reluctantly, she checks, and confirms it is gone, and Min realizes that he had used Ramshalan as insurance, to make sure that Graendal had been balefired and thus her recent actions (such as Compelling the man) erased. Ramshalan doesn’t understand any of it, and Rand tells him he forgives him for slandering Rand behind his back, and leaves him there to walk to the nearest village rather than execute him. Min and Nynaeve and the Maidens follow Rand back through the gateway to Bandar Eban.

“What you have done is an abomination, Rand al’Thor,” Nynaeve said as soon as the gateway was closed. “There looked to have been dozens, maybe hundreds, of people living in that palace!”

“Each one made into an idiot by Graendal’s Compulsion,” Rand replied. “She never lets anyone close to her without destroying their mind first. […] I did them a favor.”

“A favor?” Nynaeve asked. “Rand, you used balefire! They were burned out of existence!”

“As I said,” Rand replied softly. “A favor. Sometimes, I wish the same blessing for myself. Good night, Nynaeve.”

He leaves, and Nynaeve mutters that she wishes Moiraine was there. Min tells her they have to do something, but Nynaeve wonders if Rand was right, and if he’d been this ruthless from the start whether it might not have saved more lives than it destroyed. Min counters that he cares about nothing but winning anymore, and it won’t be a victory if Rand becomes as bad as the Forsaken to do it. Nynaeve suddenly agrees, and sighs that Cadsuane was right, and that they have to find the “insufferable woman” and convince her to let them in on her plans to handle Rand. Min wishes Nynaeve and Cadsuane would be more concerned with helping Rand as opposed to “handling” him, but goes along. They find the cottage where Cadsuane is staying; Merise tries to prevent them entering, but Nynaeve says loudly that Rand just burned an entire palace full of people from existence with balefire, and Cadsuane lets them in. Amys, Bair, Melaine and Sorilea are also there, and Nynaeve tells them what happened. Sorilea tries to dismiss her afterward, to Nynaeve’s outrage, but Cadsuane points out that “this child” is still close to the al’Thor boy, and could be of use.

“Perhaps,” Sorilea said. “But can she be obedient?”

“Well?” Cadsuane asked of Nynaeve. They all seemed to be ignoring Min. ”Can you?“

Nynaeve’s eyes were still wide with anger. Light, Min thought. Nynaeve—obey Cadsuane and the others—She’s going to explode at them!

Nynaeve tugged on her braid with a white-knuckled grip. “Yes, Cadsuane Sedai,” she said through clenched teeth. “I can.”

Cadsuane observes that she might be the only one of the “current crop” who is salvageable (Merise flushes), but Amys insists that Egwene also has much honor. Cadsuane tells her that Nynaeve’s job is to find out where Perrin Aybara is; Nynaeve is upset to learn that she is to learn only of her role in the plan rather than all of it, but forces herself to be silent, and agrees. Min listens silently, and gives herself her own job: to watch out for Rand, who she is sure must be destroying himself inside over what he’s done.

There were plenty of others worrying about what he would do at the Last Battle. It was her job to get him to that Last Battle alive and sane, with his soul in one piece.


“Uh. So... wow, that... happened.”

That’s a direct quote from my original review of TGS regarding this chapter, and I stand by it. To say I was stunned by what Rand did here would be the understatement of the decade.

I still am not sure how to express how I feel about it, or about the appalling crimes against logic and reasoning Rand employs to justify it to Min and Nynaeve, except to flail my arms at it all despairingly, whilst searching for a handbasket for Randland’s express trip to much, much hotter climes. Because Min is totally right: if the savior of the world is this guy, the world is SCROD.

Moral relativity being the slippery thing that it is, it’s hard to define exactly why this act was (in my opinion) unacceptable when so many other things Rand has done that’s gotten people killed isn’t – even though, if you tally up together the number of people who have died in one way or another because of Rand’s various decisions since the beginning of the series, the total unquestionably vastly outstrips the casualties of Natrin’s Barrow. Hell, the Battle of Cairhien in TFOH alone probably killed ten times as many.

And yet, none of those other decisions, in my view, were anything near as deeply wrong as this one was, or left such a bad taste in my mouth, or made me truly worried that our hero had maybe passed the point of no return on the redeemability scale.

It’s not about the number of people who died, or even the manner in which they were killed — although it should be noted that this really is the Randland equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb on a city, and there is a difference, morally, between killing people with so-called “conventional” weapons and killing them with weapons of mass destruction, even if the casualties are equivalent. For environmental reasons, if nothing else. (From that perspective, actually, balefire could be considered much worse than nuclear weapons, because while nuclear armageddon could theoretically wreck the earth for centuries, the earth would eventually recover. Contrariwise, if the fabric of reality itself is torn apart, then… not so much.)

I think I lost track of my point there… oh yes. It’s not the numbers or the method that’s the worst part of this in my opinion, though both of those are plenty bad enough. It’s not even that Rand’s decision crossed the line from “allowing for collateral damage” to the equivalent of “kill ‘em all and let the Creator sort ‘em out” – except the Creator can’t sort them out because they’ve been erased, so it’s even worse. All those things are awful, but I really do think that the thing that pushes it to actually abominable is that Rand doesn’t care that he did it.

Or, at least, he’s sublimating any feelings of caring about it so hard that he might as well not be having them, which might actually be worse, in a “watch what happens when this boiler runs dry!” kind of way. I don’t think you can just decide to become a sociopath one day, dude. It Don’t Work That Way.

And again there is the whole teleology thing: you are the Hero, Rand, you don’t get to not care. If you don’t care it doesn’t work. If you don’t care it all goes BAD.

All the “logic” he uses to justify the act is repellant, too. And that’s where it even makes sense: Liah was ALREADY DEAD, Rand, Mashadar had her and she was toast, she just hadn’t stopped kicking yet. That is totally different from straight-up executing people who might have been saved. No, really; even if it was an incredible long shot that any of their minds could ever be healed, that’s still a better chance than none.

Except not anymore, because you took that chance away from them, and also erased any chance of them having another life to enjoy while you were at it. And just because YOU would be grateful to be erased from existence, doesn’t mean the rest of us want it!

Bluh. So depressing.

And naturally the whole thing is made even worse in light of the revelation from ToM, in which we discover, of course, that it didn’t even work, and Graendal survived. Which, for the record, I totally called, neener.

(Although I do think that if she had died here, that would have been an incredibly lame way for a major villain to go. First-tier bad guys at least deserve to have their deaths happen on-screen, sez me.)

So, yeah. This is about the point at which I was like, okay, can we not have Rand in this book from here on, because I kind of don’t want to read about him anymore? Or maybe, ever?

And, you know, this is just not the kind of thing you want to be thinking about the protagonist of the story. I truly thought, at the time, that this maybe might constitute pushing the envelope too far. Even now I sort of wonder whether it did.

Sigh. Oh, and Cadsuane and the Wise Ones and whatever, and I’m back to wanting to smack Cadsuane, partly because I already know now how this Plan of hers is going to turn out, and also because I am very protective of Nynaeve and am vastly irritated that Cadsuane treats her the way she does regardless of whether or not Nynaeve actually deserves it. Which she does a little, deserve it I mean, but not to the extent Cadsuane takes it. If You Ask Me. Hmph.

Also, more tangentially:

[Rand] stood, reaching for the sword which leaned against his clothing chest. The black scabbard, with its lacquered red and gold dragon, sparkled in the light. Such a strange weapon those scholars had found beneath the submerged statue. The sword felt so old.

*stares* “Submerged statue”? What submerged statue? When did this happen? Did I miss a daytrip to the beach or something? What scholars? I feel like I’m insane here!

Seriously, the whole “Rand acquiring Artur Hawkwing’s sword” thing is one giant brain fart as far as I am concerned, because I can never remember if any of the details surrounding it were actually explicated somewhere and I just forgot, or if they really weren’t and Team Jordan is just getting their Scrooge on with the how and when and why of it all. And this aggravates me, O my peeps. Not that they are being Scroogelike, but that I can’t remember if they are being Scroogelike. If that makes the slightest amount of sense.

I’m pretty sure the only reason I know it is Hawkwing’s sword, in fact, is because people said it was in the comments to the Re-read at some point. If it was stated before now in the books themselves, I sure don’t remember it. And I certainly don’t remember anything about any expedition to get a sword from some watery tart submerged statue!


In conclusion, this chapter is fired, but it’s one of those “firings” where you go across the street and have a coffee until the boss realizes he doesn’t know how to work the fax machine and calls you up and re-hires you, not that this has ever happened to anyone I know, ahem. Because it’s terrible and I hated that it happened, but at the same time, wow with how you pulled off that gutpunch, Team Jordan. Well done.

And I am also Done, so have a week, as is your wont, and I’ll see y’all next time! Cheers!

Stefan Mitev
1. Bergmaniac
I'd have to disagree with Leigh. I don't think what rand did was that awful. Balefire doesn't erase soul forever - those balefired still get reincarnated as everyone else (Jordan has confirmed this). Given their current state of zombified automatons with an extremely low odds of ever getting their minds back to health, it could be argued they are better off dead ASAP and ready to be reincarnated.

The bigger problem for me was risking the pattern with that balefire torrent. But you got to take risks in war, and during the War of power whole cities were balefired and the pattern survived. True, it was much stronger back then than now with all the ghosts, rooms switching places and other signs of its weakening, but still...
Sam Mickel
2. Samadai
Wow! just wow, a horrid moment, At least he comes around soon
3. mehndeke
Keep em coming Leigh, you make my week.
4. Kadere
The whole Rand's sword is Artur Hawkwing's sword is never explained in the books. In the very first chapter of TGS Rand thinks about this new sword that the lords gave him when he came to Arad Doman, and how he'd "seen it before" and then you have this description here about how they found it under some submerged statue, but the books never claim it to be Artur's sword.

The only reason we know it is is because BS went, "Oh yeah, that's Artur's sword, we wanted to put this little nod there for fans to debate about, but it's Artur's sword." I think they feel like they can get away with this because one of the prophecies in TEotW mentions the Dragon Reborn armed with the sword Justice (which I take to be entirely metaphorical, but now Rand has it so... way to go).

The reason I find this to be such a EPIC fail is because RJ was always very intentional about his weapons. There was SO MUCH made about each of Rand's swords, the first sword Tam gave him, and then Laman's sword given to him by Aviendha. And now he's apparently just tossed Avidendha's present to him, that had so much purpose in the story, away for what's supposed to be Artur's sword for apparently no reason what-so-ever. I feel like it's just there cause BS and Team Jordan thought it would look cool, but RJ would be screaming his head off. That's just me though.
5. numero uno
hope I'm first.. will be first time first for a first timer.
first of all great job Leigh, like usual. (I know that's a lot of firsts but that's the privelage of going.. first!)
I agree the Rand part got to me as well in a starnge way and I don't remember the Hawkwing sword thing being mentioned either but then again it is a very long series and I can't even remember what I had for breakfast.
Chris Lehotsky
6. Tel_Janin
I believe the sword was also mentioned in the chapter where Rand goes to meet Tuon at Falme. I thought there were enough clues to assume the identity of the weapon, and honestly, I expect it to play a role in the future Seanchan truce / Dragon's Peace thinger that might be coming up in aMoL. But, then again, I've been submersed in Malazan for the last 9 months, so I'm used to not having it spelled out and having to assume.

IIRC, it shows up again in ToM as well, when he goes to meet the borderlanders.
7. Megaduck
I also disagree with Leigh on this one. It's not the sucker punch here or the casual use of a mass destruction that bothers me here. It's the mental state behind it.

“A favor?” Nynaeve asked. “Rand, you used balefire! They were burned out of existence!”
“As I said,” Rand replied softly. “A favor. Sometimes, I wish the same blessing for myself. Good night, Nynaeve.”

This one to be precise. This is the part where I started to get a little scared for Rand. The rest, I think, is justifiable. Even the deaths of the innocents. Grendy had murdered and raped thousands, was a clear and active threat, and was working towards the total destruction of reality. Going in with any sort of conventional means was risking high casualties and the real possibility that she would get away.
8. Megaduck
I also disagree with Leigh on this one. It's not the sucker punch here or the casual use of a mass destruction that bothers me here. It's the mental state behind it.

“A favor?” Nynaeve asked. “Rand, you used balefire! They were burned out of existence!”
“As I said,” Rand replied softly. “A favor. Sometimes, I wish the same blessing for myself. Good night, Nynaeve.”

This one to be precise. This is the part where I started to get a little scared for Rand. The rest, I think, is justifiable. Even the deaths of the innocents. Grendy had murdered and raped thousands, was a clear and active threat, and was working towards the total destruction of reality. Going in with any sort of conventional means was risking high casualties and the real possibility that she would get away.
Cameron Tucker
9. Loialson
Yay post! I was just refreshing until it popped up and it did!

RE: Natrin's Barrow

Well, at least we're done with Aran'gar, Headache queen of Evil. (So glad she got some comeuppance, esp. for Anaiya).

I dislike what Rand did, but I see his logic pattern of getting there. Sad, but I can see why Min comes to the point of seeing it as necessary in ToM. How else could he have cornered Graendal. She's pretty much out of play, I think now, maybe even less so than Moghedien is, judging by Shaidar Haran's statement during ToM's epilogue. Perhaps what Rand did was for the good, big picture.

I just wished he could've used another weave, so things like what happened to Leane doesn't increase in severity. We need all the Lightside channelers we can get for the LB, and if many die in accidents cause by the pattern deraveling...yikes.

And yes, Bergmaniac has it right, I believe, being Balefired does not erase you from being reborn, per RJ (I've read that too). It DOES cut you off from the DO, and you lose all your memories of past lives. Too good for the forsaken IMO, but hey, I can jive with that.

@ Leigh, re: sword Justice.

It was a subtle gesture. The finding didn't happen on-screen. It wasn't confirmed until, I believe:
"Rand's Sword New 21/11/09 It has been confirmed by Kathana Travaeler that this is Justice through direct email correspondence with Brandon and Maria."
Mark Locy
10. Tathas
Ok, I'm all for massive explosions and incredible use of magic, especially the One Power, but damn, it was really cold to threaten the whole of Reality so you can kill someone who would never face you anyway?

I get that Grendel, and all of the Forsaken, are an incredible threat. I get that they each need to be eliminated for the board, dead or alive. And I agree with Balefire being the only choice, as it destroys them well-enough that they cannot be reincarnated.

But, if Grendel is never going to face you, is a nuclear strike really the best option? That's like taking out Tehran because you don't like
Ahmadinejad. Yes, in the war for the saving of the world, she will be a thorn in your side, as will her minions. As will all the dark one's minions, but planet-busters, really? Maybe let her hide it out and pull her strings until you can really get her in your crosshairs as opposed to her general location.

It reminds me of a Dan Simmons novel, Olympos, where it is discovered that nuclear submarine has wrecked and is slowly losing containment on 12 black hole bombs, each capable of destroying the world. Wait, what? Why would you ever need 12 world destroying bombs, especially since one of them will do the trick and you'll never get the chance to use another?

While, balefire isn't as risky, it seems like an unacceptable one. Sure, you might hit your target, and if you do, bully for you, except the world might go down with your target. But, if you miss, like you did, and the world is destroyed, hey, you hit your target, right?

Still, it was a pretty good plan if it wasn't so ruthless, reckless, and ultimately, doomed.
Marcus W
11. toryx
Oddly enough, Rand's journey into the depths of darkness doesn't bother me so much. It definitely seems to be a case of taking our hero into deeper levels of despair than is necessarily warranted, but I think it's vital to the change that occurs in Rand later. Though admittedly, the change was so slaphandedly done (IMO) that it almost doesn't work.

This sort of descent is exactly how it should be done and it's one of the few things that Sanderson handled well (assuming he's actually responsible for it). I think the overall storyline is better for Rand having gone so far.

I also totally called Graendal's survival.

The business of the sword, on the other hand, was extremely poorly handled. I can't help but wonder if someone accidentally edited out an important scene, though I doubt it. Frankly, I'd rather they have not brought the sword back at all than handled it the hamfisted way they did. Talk about an afterthought! Does it even serve any purpose?
12. Seamus1602
Other moral issues notwithstanding, I loved Rand's:

"How do you fight someone smarter than yourself?' Rand Whispered. 'The answer is simple. You make her think that you are sitting down across the table from her, ready to play her game. Then you punch her in the face as hard as you can."

And I, for one, thought that G not dying here took some of the 'gray area' away from this scene. If she had died, there would be a legitmate conversation as to the acceptable cost of killing a Forsaken. I'm not saying Rand would have been exonerated, but it would have a allowed for a discussion. As-is, Rand did kill a Forsaken (one of the 'gars, right?), but, because it was an incidental byproduct of his scheme, it doesn't seem to matter as much.
13. Gwailouh
I can't believe that you didn't include Rand's explanation for balefiring Graendal. It gave me shivers and reminded me of some of the Dark Knight's Joker explanations for why he did all those things. You make everyone else think that you will play their game and then you do the most unexpected and chaotic thing possible. Almost makes me wonder if Sanderson was using some of the Joker's portrayal of antisocial/nihilistic behavior when writing dark Rand.
14. Eyeless621
Yeah, Rand has a really creepy calm to him, but I thought it was a really cool way to test if Graendal was killed or not... I also immediately thought, "ok, well that was neat and she should be dead, but she's probably not and that'll piss me off..."

So that bothers me, even after reading her viewpoint of it in ToM, it just seems SO unlikely that she would be all like, "oh I'll have someone else do the compulsion". The only reason to do that would be if she knew exactly what Rand was doing ahead of time, which no one knew what he was about to do, because it's pretty crazy.

I don't know, it just seems like she was kept alive because something else needs to happen with her later (which is fine), but they needed this scene to make Rand feel more "evil" or whatever, and having a Forsaken there was the only way to get him to balefire an entire palace... I don't know, to me it just seems incredibly unrealistic that she survived, and its not just because I want to see the bad guys taken out. Really powerful scene though, and I liked reading this half of it.
Matthew Hunter
15. matthew1215
Well, let's see here.

Rand balefiring the castle: Bad, but not As Bad As Leigh Thinks. It's bad because there's collateral damage -- but they were compelled in large part, with little chance of recovery. It's bad because it harkens back to the Age of Legends, when entire cities fell to balefire on both sides. It's bad because of the damage to the pattern -- but the pattern can take a lot of damage, as witnessed by the previous sentence. It's NOT bad because the people are burned out of the pattern for all eternity, as a previous commenter pointed out, which as far as I am concerned puts it well within the territory of Horrible Things The Hero Can Do To Win. War isn't nice, Graendal will flee at the first hint of trouble (as in fact she does), and so while this is Not One Of Rand's Better Moments, it's also not crossing the moral event horizon.

The thing that bugs me more about this than the moral implications for Rand is the way that the change of authors seems to have produced balefire that behaves differently. Previously we had very thin streams of balefire that dissolved living creatures they struck completely, but only poked small holes in non-living matter (eg, exactly what touched the beam itself). Here we have Rand zapping a whole castle, which is either contradictory to previous uses, or a REALLY BIG beam of balefire. If it's a really big beam of balefire, why does it stop after hitting the castle, rather than boring into the rocks and hills beyond? (Rand is looking down on the castle, IIRC)

This is one of those things that, yeah, *can* be handwaved away by very careful interpertation of what's being read, but the fact that we have to handwave it rather than getting consistent balefire behavior is a failure. Not a disaster, to be sure, but an annoyance each time I read the passage.

Rand's Sword Excalibur Justice Of Mysterious Origin: This whole thing (mentioned briefly a few times before in Sanderson's books) really bugs me. It feels wrong. It's barely mentioned when it should be prominent. It doesn't feel like there's any reason for Rand to be carrying this sword. We didn't get to see him acquire it, or send people to acquire it, or get a point of view from the people getting it. It's either completely meaningless to the story, and thrown in just to give the fans something to figure out -- in which case, it is both far too easy to figure out and far too gratuitious to be appreciated -- or it's going to be important in, say, resolving the whole Seanchan thing, in which case it's far TOO subtle. It's either too much or two little, and either way they screwed this part up. That said, better a flubbed bit of subtlety than a REALLY BIG SCREWUP, so I hope it doesn't become more than a throwaway reference.
16. WouldbeBrownAjah
Hello, new to the re-read.

Well the attack does fail to kill its target, but does kill a Forsaken, just not one on his radar. Since he already thought the guy was dead.
I thought the sword Avidendha gave him was destroyed during one of his fights with a male Forsaken?

Since Rand has been channeling a sword, it's always had a "curved blade", so he finally has the real physical sword that his “sword of fire” has represented the whole time.
But yes, this random giving it to him as a gift from unimportant people off screen is a complete change of pace from all his other weapons.
And no, I did not realize it was Hawkwings. I thought it was LTT.
Douglas Miller
17. douglas

That old misconception about balefire, again. Leigh, with all the discussion you've participated in, I thought you knew better.

No, balefire does not erase people from existence. It does not prevent reincarnation. It does not destroy souls. It does not prevent the Creator from sorting them out. The one and only special thing about how balefire kills someone is that it makes the death happen in the past.

Balefire prevents resurrection by the Dark One because the DO has to grab the soul in a small interval after the moment of death, and balefire of any significant strength causes the victim to go from "alive" directly to "DO grabable interval already over".

Balefire damage the pattern because, using the common weaving metaphor, it is equivalent to weaving some amount of cloth and then picking a few inches of a thread out of already-woven material. Normal death would correspond to weaving for a bit, pausing to snip off a thread, and then continuing. The difference is that with a normal death the woven cloth was woven with that death taken into account from the instant it happened, while a balefire death results in a portion of cloth that is woven as if the removed thread were there even though it isn't.

Both the DO denial and the Pattern damage are logical consequences of the retcon nature of a balefire death. Retconning a death in such a way has no effect whatsoever on the soul, the normal reincarnation process, or pretty much anything else that happens to the deceased.
18. Bromo Sapien
I'm with Leigh in that I don't understand the whole Liah thing. If you want an example of Rand killing a woman, why not go back to the Darkfriend woman he killed at his campfire in tDR? Minor point but still... Rand would've remembered that.

As for Natrin's Barrow, I agree that it's not the act itself but the emotions (or lack there of) behind it. He just killed all those people and the first emotion seen was ecstasy?!?! Come on Rand. Even with the Void, that's beyond messed up. Even Oppenheimer felt awful about the atomic bomb (the real world equivalent of this event). Thank god for Veins of Gold at the end of this or I would be PISSED.
19. Kadere
@16- Nope Rand still has Laman's sword up until right here. It's never destroyed by a forsaken, it just disappears and is replaced by Justice.
Douglas Miller
20. douglas
Bromo Sapien@18

The ecstasy was from channeling an enormous amount of power, it had nothing to do with what he did with it. Channeling has always been described as pleasurable, with the intensity of the feeling increasing with the amount of power used, and here we have Rand using the Choedan Kal to boost his power.

He's on the equivalent of the most intense drug high of all time, with only the Cleansing and his fight with Asmodean in Rhuidean to compete with it for that status, and this time it's not accompanied by a desperate struggle for survival against a force of similar magnitude. Of course he looks like he's feeling ecstasy, he can't help it.
21. Eyeless621
If Rand would have killed Graendal, she could still have gotten her on-screen death in her own viewpoint that she has in ToM, she'd just die instead of escape.

Of course, then we'd have to have a discussion on whether or not that much balefire would be enough to bring back Asmodean. If it was enough, that would be a pretty hilarious thing to do to the whole "who killed Asmodean" discussion... and it might serve as a reason why it wasn't definitively answered until ToM, and something like that would probably happen in the story rather than just listed in the glossary.
Theresa Gray
22. Terez27
If anyone is interested, I wrote a FAQ on Justice, covering how we learned about it, what Brandon has said about it on tour, the intricate foreshadowing for its importance, possible role in fulfilling the prophecies, etc.

23. Ryamano
How was team Light supposed to deal with Graendal except by killing her with balefire from a distance? She doesn't go out much (especially with her own appearance) and she uses compulsion on almost anything that comes near her (e.g. when Cyndane and Moghedien came to her). The only exception is when a fellow darkfriend comes, like Aran'gar. How was Team Light supposed to kill her in these conditions (using balefire, let's remember, otherwise she gets ressurected) without doing it as they did here? Anything else would risk alerting her and making her go away. Let's remember there actually was a Saidin user in NB (Aran'gar), so even an invasion of Asha'man would have been detected and Graendal would've escaped.

And I don't think Graendal is that harmless. She killed people that were allied with team light (Asmodean), making it grow weaker. Also, she sowed chaos in Arad Doman, crippling that nation so it's not as useful in the Last Battle as it should be. Let her escape and she could use compulsion on a lot of Rand's allies (like the King of Tear, the Steward of Cairhien or Illian, the Master of the Ships of the Atha'an Miere, etc) and make a lot of confusion and chaos.

What irritated me about ToM is how useless Graendal became in that book, making her escape useless and making Rand's decision seem stupid as well, since she almost proved herself harmless due to her incopetence in that book. Yes, she was cunning enough to avoid being balefired in NB, but her plan to kill Perrin in ToM was very stupid and had lots of chances of failing (trollocs? weak channelers? Byar?). Whoever thought about using Aram to kill Perrin (Masema or who was controlling him) was much smarter.

Also, I don't know how timelines go, but is the balefiring of NB responsible for the weird things that happen with Faile and the Shaido Aiel back in KoD Chapter 5? Three ripples passing through reality and all that?
Matthew Hunter
24. matthew1215
@21: ... now I wish Graendal had bought it in the Barrow. Reviving the "Who killed Asmodean" debates like that would have been *so* worth it. ("Who killed Asmodean?" "NO ONE killed Asmodean!")
David J Thompson
25. djthomp
Oh man, resolving "Who killed Asmodean?" with "NO ONE killed Asmodean!" would have been absolutely hilarious.


I would like to believe that the balefiring of NB is responsible for the triple ripple, but I don't think the timeline matches up correctly for this to work.
Scott Silver
26. hihosilver28
re: Justice- I know that people are upset about how the sword just appears, but does it really make a difference? This really didn't (and doesn't) bother me. It's a clever bit of worldbuilding and repeat of history, but it's not like Hawkwing's sword has any mystical qualities about it. So, I don't mind that it wasn't a *big* reveal moment in the book. It made it feel more real to me.
27. zackattack
I actually thought Rand’s solution to getting rid of Graendal was fairly clever, even if it didn’t work. IMHO, the biggest problem with WMDs is that they kill indiscriminately. Innocents get caught in the line of fire. Which is not ok. In this case though, it’s unlikely any true innocents lost their lives. They were all mind-raped slaves. It would have been extremely not ok, for example, if Rand had used balefire on the palace in Ebou Dar, as he nearly does later in the book. Because he would have destroyed innocent lives. That’s where the line is for me. I don’t think Rand actually crossed it here.

Re: The sword. I hated this. Why does HAWKwing’s sword have a dragon on it? I believe I read somewhere that RJ had given BS a sword with a dragon on the scabbard and they decided to throw it in the book. If this is true it reeks of fanboy-ism and doesn’t belong in a professionally published book. It I am misremembering than it’s just annoying and random. Either way I just try to ignore all references to it.
Erin C
28. Wishflower
Wow indeed. Rand goes a little beserk here, but if he had gotten Graendal (darn her) I would have been more okay with it. Truth be told, he couldn't even kill her with the only thing he could come up with. If he'd tried anything less crazy/risky, he probably would've failed as well.

Cadsuane bothers me so much, I can't wait for Rand to calmy, gracefully shut her up in the next book. -^_^- Mostly, I just want Moirane to get back to Rand again so Cadsuane can just go on her way (ugh, she probably won't though I suppose). I do agree that she is way too harsh on Nynaeve, I kind of wanted Nyneave to be like, "Woah lady, who is strongest in the power here? That's right, you deffer to me."

The sword thing is weird-- I can see how that might impress (or be an omen to) the Seanchan or something, but I wanted more background on how Rand ended up with it.
29. palindrome
One thing to note about the sword is that by the end of Knife of Dreams Rand had lost one of his hands. Apparently according to the 'official' replicas and such his previous two swords had been two handed swords. Is it possible that the sword justice is a one handed blade? This would be highly sufficient justification to me.
Anthony Pero
30. anthonypero
I thought his previous sword had been meled to slug during Semirhage's attack, when he lost his hand?
andrew smith
31. sillyslovene
@4 and others- I wrote this up a long while ago for the 13D forums discussion on tGS when it came out- it fits here, in a slightly edited form to reflect some new ideas and info from TOM
(wall o' text warning...)
Rand’s Swords: = thematic symbols of Rand's development, his skill sets, his abilities, and his power and leadership

Tam’s Sword:
· Sword of a Farmer
o By his own sweat and blood Rand became able to use this weapon
o It’s solely his, it is not some cosmic power (Heron-marked power-wrought blade notwithstanding).
· Also acts as a symbol of his simplistic beginnings and abilities
o From Emond’s Field
o Melting (in tGH) is a sign he can’t return to what he was and must move beyond his past
o He has learned to use it himself- represents his own physical abilities that he has learned to master
o It also represents his sole ability at the time- his physical power. At the moment that he learns of other powers he has, he must move beyond it

Sword of the Power
· Throughout TDR and most of the way through TSR, Rand turns to a sword made solely from Saidin
· This represents his sole reliance, no longer upon his physical abilities, but upon his magical.
o He uses it to kill and begins his journey of discovery and learning to use the power on his own
o This usage ends roughly the same time he gets a teacher (Asmo), and he is given another physical sword.
o (He also pulls Callandor out, but has not yet fully developed in his character and abilities to be the heir of this sword fully)
· This sword also represents his lack of true control at the time as it may or may not come at his command; he is unable to fully control the power or his life. He is on a quest to figure this out, as well as who he is (mystically, magically and lineally.)

Laman’s Sword
· This sword represents Rand’s development into an earthly ruler
o It belonged to a king
o It also acts as a symbol of both Laman and Rand’s Pride- the extensively elaborate and costly hilt and scabbard showing Laman’s, while Rand wearing it and thinking to confront Couladin if the chance arises while commanding are his.
o It is a "symbol" of the power and might of the Aiel who cut down Laban, terrorized the rest of the nations and carried off the sword, which Rand has come to wield- the Aiel voluntarily give themselves as his warriors, just as Aviendha gave the sword voluntarily to Rand- also as a means of meeting their toh (Avi’s personal and the Aiel’s for breaking the covenant with the AS)- (some people dislike the idea of representing the Aiel with a sword, but I believe that it fits- it is Rand's prototypical weapon, it would make no sense for him to start using a spear symbolically)
o It acts as a symbol of folly resulting in the death of important entities connected with nature- Laman killed the “tree of life”- Rand comes to rule not only badly, but absently, killing not only his own subjects, but the land itself as he is linked to it.
o It represents bad governance and extremely flawed leadership- Laman’s actions result in the burning of the “topless towers of Cairhein” and a decrease in the riches and prowess of the country. Rand’s actions result in the same on the much larger scale of all of Randland, chaos, death, destroying bonds and identities.
Eg- Colavere- Rand ignores law, puts himself above the law, (directly against Elayne’s advice?)

The Sword of Arthur Hawking, Justice
· This sword is newly bequeathed and represents Rand embarking on a new Era in his leadership capabilities and personal growth- as an emperor- one with kings beneath his overall leadership
· As the Sword of AH, it represents benevolent, however still flawed leadership and Justice
o Able to bring peace, but still fully distrusting (AH and AS)
o It foreshadows Rand’s desire and coming ability to eventually bring peace to the continent, truly binding all under one banner
o Just as Laman’s Sword represents Rand’s control over the Aiel, this sword foreshadows Rand’s coming to control or utilize (however this is to happen) the military might of the Seanchan as well.
o If this sword has any true connection to LTT (via the Dragons on its scabbard), it represents his benevolent control and leadership in the Age of Legends, but also his flawed ability to truly gain consensus- i.e. it represents the LTT who leads the 100 companions of solely Male AS, because he can’t persuade and compromise with the female, a still flawed and non-fully developed leadership.
· Justice cannot be truly wielded without some sort of countering mercy/love, something Rand learns at the end of TGS

· Is a symbol of the power that Rand will wield
· Elaborately connected with the prophesies of the Dragon
· A symbol of the might and power of the Age of Legends which Rand is the full heir of as the DR
o Not only as an extremely powerful sa-angreal, but also as one involving the trust and working together of both powers and genders.
· This though represents the stage of Rand’s life that he has not attained yet (perhaps in ToM- we will need to wait for AMOL to see...) . It is the foreseen might and power that he must grow into and prepare himself for. If taken too early, it results in failure, death, and madness. A gift that, when touched too early, or when put in the wrong hands or used inappropriately results in a curse. As such it is also a representation of true power and authority. It can only be wielded by trust and love.
· Thus, Rand has not fully developed to the point of being able to use it properly, when he has tried to use it, he has failed and caused more problems
o Namely paralyzing paranoia and overpowering hubris (Stone of Tear, Battle with the Seanchan, etc).
· However, when it has been used correctly (once, and ironically with Elza in charge...)- the battle at Aridhol by Narishma, et al, when they use it to defend from and kill Forsaken- it has devastating effect against evil.
· This sword foreshadows and will represent Rand as the true champion of the light when he faces the DO as a fully developed, physically, emotionally and mentally stable hero.
o Trusting and working with the AS (maybe not as they are now, but as represent as they should be) as fully equal partners

Thus, I think that thematically, the sword fits, and while it has just been mentioned in passing, I don't think RJ is spinning in his grave. Rather, I think that this is something that he planned to put in place.
It is possible that it will have some significance in TOM, but even if it doesn't, it is still an appropriate symbol for Rand's developmental stage through to the end of TGS, and as such an important addition to bridge from Laman's sword to Callandor thematically

andrew smith
32. sillyslovene
@30- AnthonyPero
No, that was the Dragon Sceptor (piece of carved Seanchan spear), which has some interesting thematic/symbolic aspects to it as well...

edit- sorry for double post...
33. Carlos Becker
Ok, so I have yet to read the other comments, but I have been itching to get this off my chest, so I will go back and read the comments after I send this. You are not crazy Leigh, the Sword was only mentioned one other time and it was at the beginning of this book in chapter one I believe, and even then only obliquely. I had no idea where it came from and when Rand said that it was such an odd gift to get now, I was like WTF? When? Who? How? That he remembered it from his own memories threw me for a loop. When I heard someone suggest that it was Artur Hawkwing's sword I thought that was brilliant, but then why does it have a dragon on it? Then I remembered that Hawkwing first came into prominence when he fought against the false dragon Guaire Amalasan. It would make sense if Guaire found a Power forged sword that he then had marked with the symbol of the dragon. Upon his defeat Hawkwing would have renamed the sword to Justice (as in justice done upon the false dragon). Anyway those are my thoughts on it, but I agree that I really want to know the story behind it now.
Theresa Gray
34. Terez27
zackattack@27—I explained the scabbard in the article I linked @22. It looks like Carlos has read it.
36. Hammerlock
I won't rehash the other analysis of the big barrow balefiring by brooding boy, but I think there is an aspect of it that comes into play later: it provides Rand with a real moment of pause later on.

Without having actually erased a palace, and seeing firsthand what that does to the pattern and himself, his later wrestling with conscience might have been less impactful. Knowing you can destroy a building and actually seeing yourself annihilating an entire estate from existence--while nearly undoing existence in the bargain--are two very different things.

Without this experience behind him, he might not talk himself off the ledge (so to speak) later on.
Karen Fox
37. thepupxpert
@22 Terez27 - read your FAQ and have an off-topic question, when did Grandael get her mitts on Byar? Certainly makes sense but I had no idea.
Eric Hughes
38. CireNaes
From that perspective, actually, balefire could be considered much worse than nuclear weapons, because while nuclear armageddon could theoretically wreck the earth for centuries, the earth would eventually recover. Contrariwise, if the fabric of reality itself is torn apart, then… not so much.
It was only the fear of a few Russian scientists that kept the arms race below 100 megatons. We could break this world beyond a recoverable state with what we have now, let alone what we could have developed if we hadn't spent Russia into the ground.
Theresa Gray
39. Terez27
Interview: Apr 17th, 2011
JordanCon Signing Report - Terez (Verbatim)

Marie Curie
Even a stone in a wall has a thread in the Pattern, right? You said so...

Brandon Sanderson
As I understand it, Robert Jordan specifically said that even inanimate objects have a thread.

Marie Curie
So, that explains why when, say, a stone pillar is balefired, only the portion that balefire hits disintegrates...

Brandon Sanderson

Marie Curie
...because all of those little bits would have their own threads...

Brandon Sanderson
Theoretically. And I was wrong on that for a while—I had to go back and look at interviews before I... Were you the one that sent me that?

Yeah, I tweeted that to you...

Brandon Sanderson
Yeah...the boat that Nynaeve was on that got balefired...

Marie Curie
She pointed out that inanimate objects...their threads are burned back. But that also explains why a person who has one thread tied to their soul would be completely eliminated by balefire.

Brandon Sanderson

Marie Curie
So...why did their clothes go away?


Brandon Sanderson
Balefire does spread a bit, from what I've read.

Marie Curie
Then why doesn't it for the column?

Brandon Sanderson
It does, but it's like, you know...just a little bit.

Marie Curie
Right, but if you use a pencil-thin bit of balefire, right, and I shot your shirt, why would the whole shirt disappear?

Brandon Sanderson
Um, if it goes through and hits you, then you disintegrate, and it will spread out from you.

Marie Curie
Then, that doesn't explain Nynaeve's boat.

Brandon Sanderson
No, it doesn't. ... I will be perfectly honest with you. I've worked through and tried to figure out the rules of balefiring inanimate objects quite a bit...because we've got the whole thing with Nynaeve and...

Marie Curie
The rowers.

Brandon Sanderson
Yeah. Well no, not even that...earlier than that with the balefire rod that's like cutting swaths through the palace in Tanchico, and it's just cutting lines through the palace, just slicing big holes...

Marie Curie
Right. That's the stone pillars...the multiple threads...

It did the same thing in Caemlyn with Rand and Rahvin.

Brandon Sanderson
Yeah. And that's searing little lines, but then you hit something living, and it all *poofs*. It actually becomes motes...like it hits and it spreads to the full, living thing, and then *poof* that all goes away. And so...the clothes are something I hadn't even thought of, but balefire does seem to spread a little bit...

Marie Curie
You would think that, you know...where the balefire hit, obviously there would be a hole, the person would *poof*, and their clothes would drop.

Brandon Sanderson
Yeah. But it's got to spread a little bit because of that. But then, you know, with the boat...yeah.

Marie Curie
You can't imagine how many debates we've had on Theoryland about the boat...

Oh god...

Brandon Sanderson
The boat is an outlier. You could argue a couple of things on it—distance and power level could both be involved.

Marie Curie
And there are other outliers, like in The Gathering Storm...um...

The palace?

Marie Curie
Yeah, the palace...

Brandon Sanderson
That, I did intentionally. Looking through everything that is happening, and saying, 'He is continuing to pump balefire into this thing, to expand it through into the entire thing...'

So, it's a deliberate, directive thing...

Brandon Sanderson
That's got to be possible, because in the Age of Legends...

Right, whole cities...

Brandon Sanderson
Right, whole cities. And so there's got to be a force-to-spread multiplier. Does that make sense?

Marie Curie

Brandon Sanderson
So, I'm using a force-to-spread multiplier. And so you could maybe make that argument with the boat.
Theresa Gray
40. Terez27
thepupxpert@37—We're not sure exactly. There are not any clear hints that I am aware of. One possibility is that Graendal encountered him after the Battle of Falme. But it doesn't seem to fit. He was told to stand aside and watch the battle so that he could report to the younger Bornhald, and Graendal doesn't seem necessary to explain his belief that Perrin was a Darkfriend and had caused their defeat. (He shows in his thoughts that he is not a Darkfriend, which fits with the fact that Graendal disliked using Darkfriends.) So she could have gotten her mitts on him at any time, perhaps as soon as she started laying plans for Perrin.
Anthony Pero
41. anthonypero
I always assumed it was the Fain rubbing off on Byar.
TW Grace
42. TWGrace
there is a difference, morally, between killing people with so-called “conventional” weapons and killing them with weapons of mass destruction, even if the casualties are equivalent.
Not really. Dead is dead. Firebombing Dresden or Tokyo was little different than Hiroshima or Nagaskai, morally speaking. If anything Dresden was worse morally, but since it wasnt "nuclear" (OMG I said nuclear!!!!) it doesnt get mentioned near as often.

Graendal surviving seemed cheap, and useless.

The sword thing feels much the same way. I think I understand what BS was doing, a tribute to RJ and all, but it seemed like it was a throwaway thing.
Paul Long
43. Caveatar
@Leigh dee* Butler, now aka Lee dee Dean**

Regarding the way RJ wrote this/designed this/expressed this chapter.
And I don't care who typed it. It has RJ all over it.

This chapter amazes me EVERY time I reread it.

Is there any way to find out if James Rigney was a nuclear physicist
or a quantum physics theorist or worked with weaving mills or studied the art of swordsmithing or studied the Oriental religions, more than just reading about these things?
Could that be accomplished Without bugging Mrs. Rigney or Team Jordan regarding his life?
Also whether he was a fan of Douglas Hoffstadter, (Goedel, Escher, Bach. An Eternal Golden Braid.)
There is SO much stuff here lying under multiple layers of meaning.

Regarding the balefiring of the palace.....
If I, as myself now, had been in that place, enjoying the tender ministrations of my GODDESS!, and had any idea that Rand was about to do what he did:
I would have been PRAYING to him to DO IT! DO IT! PLEASE!
and my dying thought would have been "Thank you! Dragon. May you Ride FOREVER on the Winds of Time!"
I don't expect anyone else to feel that way. But I personally would.
If others in the place survived that would be okay if that is what they wanted, but for me personally......"Bless you for this!"

Even in real life, today, if I was taken hostage for ransom and being held somewhere with my captors and no innocent around, then, if and when
I talked to the cops to prove that I was still alive I would tell them to "Please ransom me with a large bomb directly on top of me."
But that's just me. I don't expect others to agree.

**if you object to the 'University, Dean' playfulness I will stop using that.
I don't think you will and I hope you don't. It is a lot of fun opportunity.
Karen Fox
44. thepupxpert
@40 Terez27 - thanks for the explanation, it's just awesome that you can put it together like that, these things are always ah-ha moments for me.
Paul Long
45. Caveatar
41. anhonypero
"I always assumed it was the Fain rubbing off on Byar."
So it DOES rub off. Damn.

Karen Fox
46. thepupxpert
@41 anthonypero - I knew his behavior was extreme and he was losing it, I presume Fain could be a reasonable explanation as well. I'm still confused, however, how we know that the Dark Side was using him, whoever it turns out to be? Mostly a rhetorical question and not on topic, sorry, but still curious.
Anthony Pero
47. anthonypero
Yes, "the Fain" It's like the Fonz, but less annoying.

Byar just seemed to be going more and more crazy/paranoid. I think that was it. Just Fain's poison in his mind. He was already an ass to begin with.
j p
48. sps49
Fain was corrupting Byar, sure, but isn't there a POV from Graendal in the next book about her plan for Perrin, the Children, and the Shadowspawn trap that gives us dots to connect that she had some contact with Byar.
49. Blood_Drunk
@ 4.Kadere So I don’t think Rand is just going to throw Lamans sword away. However in KoD after he loses a hand he says aloud that he will have to learn the sword all over again. Hawkwings sword might be a sword that is meant to be wielded by one hand, but even if it isn’t, we know that it is Power Wrought but not what it can do. Maybe it is the male equivalent of the Sword of the Sun. Also, Rand is realizing more and more (especially in the next book) that he will fight with the one power and not with swordplay (though that may have a part). While I too really want more information on this sword I feel like it is another situation where we are being notified of some of the set-up to keep a timeline in order, but we won’t find out the actual storyline of the sword until the next book.

@ 14.Eyeless621 Ok, so I think most people knew something was up when Nynaeve said that there was compulsion there, but there was something different about it. I thought it was a very clever way to find out if Graendal was dead. After this screen I felt like she was still alive, because she was made into too much of a badass to die so quickly and because I never believe someone is dead in this series until I see the whites of their eyes as they are being balefired and even then I am skeptical if I don’t have proof that it was them to begin with. However, I think Graendal’s precaution is in character with her. She is always very carful never to leave a trail that would lead anyone to her, but suddenly there is a messenger at her door saying that the dragon reborn wants peace with her. Bells! Whistles! Run! Hide! That’s what I imagine is going through her mind, while at the same time thinking, I need more information. I don’t see the lengths of caution to which she goes is out of character. In fact I thought it was a little out of character for her to not immediately open a gateway to somewhere else, just in case.

@ 23.Ryamano Ok, I agree that in the next bookGraendal’s plan to kill Perrin sucks. She is one of the most powerful channelers in existence and she can’t even throw some lightning from a distance? I know she’s a coward but seriously. I was a little sad to see Semi go because she was a competent villain. At least if she is under Moridin’s control in the next book, she can be the fodder he throws at team light, and then we might actually see her do something useful.

@27. zackattack As for why I think there is a dragon on The sword, read my comments on number 33

@ 30.anthonypero That was the Dragons Scepter
Ryan Reich
50. ryanreich
Two comments:

First, everyone defending Rand's actions is hanging limply in the grip of cognitive dissonance and all I see are a lot of weak rationalizations. I don't think it's possible for an author to craft a stronger violation of the Moral Event Horizon than having their main protagonist commit mass murder and justify it as mercy. The man went seriously over to the other side for a time there.

Second, I really want to know what was up with the light from the access key's sphere being red ("like blood", if I recall correctly) rather than golden-white, which is its usual color. This was not quoted in Leigh's post, but it is really odd. At first I thought it was from Rand using the True Power, but Jordan has confirmed that you can't use an angreal with that, and in the next book, Rand confirms that he's only ever used it the one time anyway. So is the sinister glow just a distortion from his dark aura, or what?
Dawn Boyall
51. deebee
His face was clasped in shadow, but as he turned toward her, his eyes reflected the light from the open gateway. Orange and red. There was an edge of anger to his tone. I shouldn’t have mentioned Cadsuane, she realized. The woman’s name was one of the few things that could still get emotion out of him.

In the last thread there was some discussion about the way Rand and Ba`alzamon / Moridin start to look like each other. Here the orange and red reflected in Rand`s eyes mirror the flames which appear in Ba`alzamon`s eyes. It hardly seems like coincidence that this happens when Mr Ice-cold Ruthless becomes angry.
Anthony Pero
52. anthonypero
Actually, the whole concept of a Moral Event Horizon is that it is arbitrary and personal. This whole scene is on the other side of Rand's MEH. Rand's Moral Event Horizon was balefiring Semirhage and Elza. That's is when he crossed the line that he had drawn for himself, making this scene possible. Anything is possible now. (At least until Veins of Gold.)
53. images10dream
I absolutely love the Natrin's Barrow scene. We get to see Rand at his cleverest (an element of his character that is there, but is sometimes overshadowed by all the talk of the great captains and such, and his own impulsivness). I think that the moral issue here has two components. The small component is that he used balefire on such a large scale, a scale that could harm/destroy the fabric of reality (but he does this before, albeit on a much smaller scale.) The real problem is that balefiring Natrin's Barrow is not something that Rand would have ever done before. Every previous conflict with the forsaken has been a one-on-one duel or something. Even when he went after Sammael, he planned it to minimize casulties to Illien. Well it may be permissable for a military in our world to make a pre-emptive strike like this for the greater good (although that is controversial), this is not something that the messiah, who is one with the land shoud do. Killing innocent people, even Graendal mind slaves, is directly against the purpose of the Dragon.
Jonah Feldman
54. relogical
Re: the sword, it seems clear what was going on. The Pattern saw to it that some people (scholars, apparently) found a sword with a dragon on it. They decided it should be given to the Dragon Reborn, assuming it previously belonged to LTT. Rand saw Hawkwing at Falme, and recognizes Justice. He thinks "they had no idea what they were giving me," because they didn't connect a dragon sword to Hawkwing, who is famous for his own animal emblem.

As for how it got the dragon to begin with, Terez27 is probably right; Hawkwing took it from Guaire Amalasan. The dragon is on the scabbard, not the blade. The sword could be much older, a Power-forged blade from the AoL, and the scabbard was a vanity touch by Amalasan.

As for the story's way of introducing it, it would have been too obvious. If TGS had opened with a bunch of scholars presenting Rand with the sword and a full description of the sword and where it came from, there would be no way to hide Rand's thoughts from the audience without revealing that something was up. Considering that BS has evaded having to identity it, it's far from insignificant.
a a-p
55. lostinshadow
Honestly I wasn't too outraged by Rand here - thought he was being pretty clever even though in the end it apparently didn't work.

To me, it's a great illustration of Rand hitting rock bottom and anything less spectacular would have undermined all the setting up done in the previous books. Still just sad for Rand, you can just sense how he's feeling more and more trapped by his circumstances, his "destiny", what he has to face.

I'm more annoyed by Cads, though not as much a "hater" as some...this chapter really illustrates to me that all these supposedly super wise channelling women are meh- not that great. I would have appreciated some kind of acknowledgment that maybe her strategy had not gone over too great but Nyn had still shown wisdom in coming to her. Instead she still treats Nyn like an errand boy with little explanation and honestly I can't see what purpose it serves other than to send a message that she's still the boss.
James Golden
56. Treemaster
I don't agree that "Rand doesn't care that he did it."

After asking Nynaeve to check if the compulsion is still there, Rand tells her to check to see if he has achieved "anything other than my own damnation."

What makes Rand's state of mind troubling, in my opinion, is not that he doesn't care, but a combination of three things: (1) Rand thinks that he shouldn't care; (2) Rand believs that he should ignore caring when making decisions; and (3) Rand's depression -- thinking that "oblivion" is desireable.
57. zackattack
@ Terez: Excellent article. Very thorough. I’ve read the series more times than I care to admit but I never twigged to the Hawkwing/Amalasan connection. I also like the idea that this may be the sword from Eg’s dream. I think my main objection is how random and tossed in it feels right now, so I do hope one of your theory’s turns out to be correct.
Norman Short
58. Eclectic_the_Bold
Ok, haven't had time to read the comments yet, but I'll get to it. First, I thought this chapter was the best part of the book. Faced with who he was facing, and knowing what he knew about how she operated, I think he was doing something that was probably impossible any other way, and of course Graendal still survived, but only by divine intervention on the part of the authors. It SHOULD have worked. If anything, it looks like to make it work Rand should have just balefired the place without using Ramshalam as warning in the first place. If there is some other method Rand could have used to successfully kill Graendal at Natrim's Burrow, I haven't heard it.

Then there's Cadsuane. She's made a dog's dinner out of everything she'd done since she entered the scene (too abruptly in my opinion, they had to retcon her into the story with New Spring so it didn't look too bad with this ultra powerful legendary Aes Sedai appearing out of nowhere) and now she demands of the most powerful of the Supergirls that she "obey" and only then is somewhat worthy? Please. If I'd been Nynaeve I'd have told her that when she has a plan that doesn't make things worse she might agree to follow it. Just one more nail in Cadsuane's already dead and buried coffin to me. I suppose it reveals that I've been less than a fan of hers ever since she thought browbeating and insulting the Messiah was the favored tactic.

Of course it's really a dark chapter. It's a really dark book. I hope it will be easier to digest once the story is done than it was to read and wait a year for the followup. At least it ends better than it is now.
I really don't know why everyone was so shocked by this one. The only thing that made me pause was his statement about "doing them a favor" and later doing himself a favor, as well. Which was his first truly suicidal thought. And that is very telling because of how he almost ended everything by balefiring himself and the pattern....on purpose no less.

But to me he had beem heading down this line of thought ever since he cleansed Saidin. He changed after that. At no time up until that point had he ever held or even drew so much of the power or, even more, has he ever pushed himself so hard using the OP. Just think of the vast amounts of the Taint flowing through him on its way to Shadar Logoth. I would say that no living being had ever been exposed to that much Taint in there lifetimes let alone in one shot. What effect did that have on him?

I'm just remebering the change in him afterwards. I remember saying, "somethings different now. I don't know what it is. But its like he's angrier or less patient or something . He just too.... quiet." And each POV with him after I looked for it. And it got worse and worse. He started questioning himslef more because he did things out of character of himself. He thought it was due to his ongoing battle of wills with Lews Therin. But I believe it was just him. I think he paid a price for that deed and of course I don't think he or any of us would change a thing about it, but how big a price was it? Any way IMO he started his descent then.

Finally someone else wants to STSOO Cadsuane and Nynaeve for that matter. But with Nynaeve its just only this time. "Handeling" You know so much....so many things could have been avoided if people weren't trying to "Handle" Rand.

Is it just me or is Moraine the only one to figure it out besides Min. She most certainly was ... no no nononono.... IS... the only Aes Sedai to realize that the best way to deal with Rand is to Advise him. But certainly not manipulate, enslave, browbeat or Handle him. Why? Because he will either ignore you completly or threaten to kill you.... See! Easy!

Edit- or he could sever you from the source...

The damn Wise Ones aren't much better. But they at least are consistantly that way no matter who you are or what the circumstances. So in that way its tolerable to Rand. Aaaaand The Aiel Women have a different, shall we say, code of conduct... with regards to their dealings with men. Yesss? Do they not?

Anyhooooo, lemme read so more comments.

60. Ryamano
Will Tuon be using this sword Justice that Rand has in the last book?

Egwene's dreams regarding the Seanchan in KoD has her arguing against a Seanchan woman that has a sword strapped to her back and with her against Rand (totally fitting to this series to have women backing each other arguing against a man, even if from completely different sides. I'm surprised this hasn't happened with Darkfriends until now). The Seanchan woman with the sword helps Egwene climb the mountain that stands for the White Tower, saying that with her help things are easier. It could be said that Tuon's preemptive raid against the WT helped all the factions inside the Tower recognize Egwene as the true Amyrlin Seat (not to mention the capture of Elaida). So, if the sword really is Hawkwing's, this could mean that Tuon could get the sword in the last book (maybe as part of a bargain to end hostilities?). Also, I think the discussion between Rand, Egwene and Tuon will probably happen in Merrilor and will be about the destruction of the seals.
Chin Bawambi
61. bawambi
TWGrace you beat me to it. Dresden/Tokyo are the perfect counterpoint to Leigh's moral argument re: Nuclear weapons vs conventional. I'll take it a little further with Hammerlock's argument and try and blend the Pacific theater analogy. If there is never a justification for using Nukes (Balefire) a FIRST time then the US would have been justified for killing half the existing male population of mainland Japan (1/2 of 35m being 17.5m) and a probable total of over 20m dead to conquer a populace who believed that their leader was a living God. The firebombing of Tokyo killed more people directly (before radiation) than either of the nuclear blasts did. The environmental argument is even hokier in my view. Because the Nukes (Balefire) cause lasting damage is actually a reason to provide moral cover to those of whom would make superpower war against a populace because we can always repair infrastructure/government or such utter drivel. Back to Hammer's point and back to the story if you will forgive me for a moment - the consequences of using the nuke for Rand were to stop him from using the ultimate weapon in the future. Rand's use of BALEFIRE has actually much less moral hazard than using a sliver of balefire like it is traditionally used. When using it Rand's way it is very apparent what is does when every other previous instance of balefire was used is morally equivalent to the conception of the neutron bomb. Kill the citizens keep the infrastructure and planet. I'll get to my Nyn thoughts later - I actually think this will be a bigger deal in AMOL as Rand has already turned back from the dark side. Shout out to anthonypero - I was going to go on much longer but you quite rightly already pointed out that Rand long ago passed his MEH this incident and all incidents afterwards just show the degree.
Theresa Gray
62. Terez27
@zackattack—Yeah, it can seem tossed-in to the casual observer, that's for sure. But RJ liked subtle foreshadowing.

@Blood_drunk—Still not working.
Martyna Berek
63. missbee
I don't think Rand had much choice with Graendal, it was a case of all or nothing and the speed with which she worked out what was happening validated his reasoning. The way he dealt with it afterwards was frightening, just like it was supposed to be - part of his descent into madness.

Hammerlock @ 36 - I agree completely that he needed to experience the effects of his actions on a large scale. If he hadn't then he may well had destroyed Ebou Dar later.

The contrast between Graendal's competent escape and her sloppy attempt to get Perrin in TOM jarred, I thought. But, in her defence, she was forced to come up with a plan at short notice to keep Moridin happy. She picked an existing plot which was most likely to succeed and didn't have the luxury of refining it. Then, when that failed she moved onto the second best, using her very carefully positioned tool, ie. Byar.
Paul Long
64. Caveatar
Regarding Justice and Artur
RJ didn't miss a myth, or 'myth a myth' if you lithp.


Paul Long
Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008
Abridged for now.

Kimani Rogers
65. KiManiak
Leigh, as always, my thanks for the post.

I’m trying to remember how I initially felt when I read this chapter. I don’t think I was incredibly shocked by Rand’s actions. I’m pretty sure my major feeling was one of sorrow for Rand. Rand continues to descend further and further down the path of darkness and despair, and it continues to be more and more painful for the reader (or at least this reader) to follow.

Was it noteworthy that Rand basically wiped hundreds of people out of existence in an effort to eliminate Grendal? Sure, but we didn’t really know who those people were (other than quick glimpses whenever we had a Grendal POV in previous books) anymore than we knew who the Ayamar (sp?) were when they committed mass suicide at the end of WH, or know the countless thousands who are dying in Seandar during their civil war.

It’s a fantasy novel about saving mankind from the Evil One, who is bent on destroying the world; of course people are going to die. The relevant issue is about what Rand continues to evolve into. That is worrisome.

Also, Min is never one of my top 3 favorite characters, nor even my favorite of Rand’s harem (Why did Aviendha only get limited “screen time” in TGS and ToM? Darn you Team Jordan!!!), but I love that she continues to focus on how to help Rand accomplish his goal, not “guide” Rand to do what she thinks he should do. Gots to give her props for that.

Cadsuane’s plan. I’ll possibly save comment until we see how well that worked.

And can I just say that ever since the release date for AMoL was announced (and the comments on TTTSNBN), we have been energized in our number of comments. 65 comments in less than 6 hours? Go team!
Jay Dauro
66. J.Dauro
Although we are aware that balefire does not prevent resurrection of the soul, as I remember in Universe, most people who are aware of balefire do believe this. At this time, I believe Rand and Nyneave believe that it does. Which does make Rand's balefiring of the compelled worse. Still I do agree, it is Rand's mental state that bothers me more than the actual balefiring.

Zexxes - Moiraine never stopped trying to manipulate Rand, she just found a way that worked better. ;^)
Ron Garrison
67. Man-0-Manetheran
Bergmaniac @ 1
A very cogent counter argument, and I agree with you. Reincarnation is a given in the WOT cosmos, so “better off dead ASAP” would be my choice if I were in their situation (assuming I would have a choice — which I wouldn’t under Compulsion). By the way, I think this is a wonderfully written scene. The description of the balefire is awesome.

Cadsuane: Oh Lord, bring on the whining. I’ll just say this: Yes, she’s a cranky old biatch who knows more than anyone else, and she’s bossy and irritating, and I LOVE HER SCENES. Thank you Mr. Jordan and Mr. Sanderson. Fin.

Rand’s sword: Thank you Leigh for saying that. I too, thought there must have been a chapter missing from my book, because I had no idea where it came from. And, with everyone going “Hawkwing’s Sword” and la-la-la, I just let it go. Then BWS confirms it in an interview. It feels like a bit of a cheat, but I’ll rack it up as a casualty of “rush-to-publication” much like “backstory.”
Martyna Berek
68. missbee
Why do Cadsuanne and the WOs ignore Min?
She spends plenty of time with Rand yet no one thinks to ask her where Perrin is. They think Rand trusts Nyn enough to tell her the answer, but not Min? Or do they think that Min might not tell them? From a narrative point of view this emphasises their different approaches, sets up a contrast and keeps alive the hope that at least someone can see the wood for the trees. But from Cad's and the WO's point of view? I don't understand it.
John Skotnik
69. ShooneSprings
@33 - sillyslovene That is really well written; great summary of his swords. Thanks!
Paul Long
70. Caveatar
@sillyslovene 33

Thank you.!

You can interpret myth and prophecy for all My interpretation needs.


71. MasterAlThor

Welcome to the club. To answer your quetion about Min. Cads and the WO's don't believe that she can be trusted beacuse she is in love with him. Her loyalty (as it should be) is to Rand not them.


I havee been amazed by a few people here. They have written well thought out theories (Terez), invinted some great fan stories (Samadai), and have just simply filled my head with wonderful ways to look at my favorite series (Freelance, Wetlander, etc...). You have just forced your way into the pantheon of respect. I am in awe of your writing skill. Good job brother.

Ya know, I am not really bothered by what Rand did as much as I am bothered by how he felt about it. This was the chapter where I felt that "hey, this isn't the kid I know". Rand, thankfully, will be coming back to us soon.

I am kinda meh on Justice.

Nynaeve, being treated poorly. Oh booo hooo. Yeah right. I don't care. I've made my displeasure about her known. I admit she is growing, but she still is on the Do Not Like List.


I'm reading all the comments and I'm getting the impression from quite a bit more than a few of you that Rand had no emotional stake in what he was about to do and then after, what he did do. Read what he said
“I’ve done it before,” he whispered. “I once said that I didn’t kill women, but it was a lie. I murdered a woman long before I faced Semirhage. Her name was Liah. I killed her in Shadar Logoth. I struck her down, and I called it mercy.”

He turned to the fortress palace below. “Forgive me,” he said, but it didn’t seem directed at Min, “for calling this mercy as well.”
Mercy killing Liah had a strongly profound effect on Rand. So much so, that all this time later this is the person he chooses to remember. To Rand, all amount of killing is dispicable. He has never taken any joy from killing anyone, Forsaken included. He never even exults in triumph when defeating a Forsaken with the exception of when he thinks he kills the DO and in fact simply dispaches Ishy to be resurrected again. No he despairs every time he knowingly takes a life, remembers their names if he can find it out and recites all of them after the deed is done.

And given all that, it is worse when he kills a woman. When he kills women its as if he loses a piece of his soul. He grieves over them as if they were his kin. His motives with regard to women is with ungainly respect for their "specialness". I think a lot of men think of women as such. The sweetness of them and the little girl that appears every so often is their crowning glory over any physical attribute. I know most women despise that line of thinking with regard to them, but it isn't merely a thinking, it is an emotion. And for him its reverance as well. No he most certainly was thinking that he was damning himself and was willing to take that as well, just to Save.
“I don’t care to play your games, Rand al’Thor,” Nynaeve replied with a huff. “You’ve obviously already decided what you intend to do. Why ask me?”

“Because what I am about to do should frighten me,” he said. “It doesn’t.”
Min shivered.
If there is a time that he is being cold it is then, not later as this passage came about before. He Knew very well what he was going to do was awful. And he desperately wanted someone to talk him out of it. But Nynaeve got his hackles up... again and he turned colder than he already was. Nynaeve is sometimes just as dense and as bad as Cadsuane. If she had only showed a little patience and tried a more careful approach with him. I mean he was already in a sullen mood, exacerbating his mood doesn't serve a purpose but to harden him. Which is exactly what happened.

Min knew though. But by not being a channeler, she didn' know the right questions to ask. She was practically begging him then to take advisement, to think it through more. I wonder what she saw in his Aura during those moments before?

Regardless, none of that excuses the toll on life and on the pattern. The Puppets though? Really? They were dead already. We saw what happened to Ferb. They were brain dead. We have every reason to believe that recovery was impossible and no reason to think that it is possible, except for a futuristic maybe.

To me the lives of those innocents were on Graendals tab, not Rands.

But for the risk of the pattern? Geez.... thats where the true line was crossed.

Kimani Rogers
73. KiManiak
@many re: Justice – I wonder if RJ never explained in his notes how Rand acquired Justice, and so Brandon just decided to not spend too much time on how Rand got the sword. Or maybe RJ’s notes explicitly state to not clarify how Justice was found. Or to not clarify until some pivotal point in AMoL (maybe Moridin planted it so that it could be found and given to Rand; who knows?). I do think that Justice may be somewhat important in AMoL.

Tathas@10 – I don’t believe that Graendal wouldn’t have faced Rand, anyway. Just never directly (at least, not on purpose or without some cajoling by the nae’blis. As you mentioned, she would continue to scheme and work against him (and Team Light) and for Shaitan (and Team Dark). She was a Forsaken and an enemy general; she needed to be addressed, and taken out if possible. The question is whether the cost was too high…

Eyeless@21 – re: Asmodean – Ha! :-) That would’ve been funny (No one killed Asmodean). Seriously, though, I doubt there’s enough balefire in the universe to reverse something done months ago. What a mess that would’ve caused (for instance, all of Ituralde’s actions would’ve been wiped out, since Graendal’s manipulations post-Asmodean’s-death would’ve been negated). I guess we could’ve completely eliminated the events in the PLOD, though. That almost makes it worth trying…

Zexxes@59 – I am fond of Moiraine, but I do (now) agree with those who stated that Moiraine was essentially attempting to handle Rand (or at least, in her mind she was) via her methods of “surrendering” to Rand. By not directly opposing him, she was able to avoid Rand’s automatic desire to resist being told what to do. She merely suggested, advised and offered. It was still an attempt to manipulate him.

Now, I’m still of the opinion that Moiraine’s approach was more palatable because it is in essence still empowering and aiding Rand; versus forcing him, cajoling him, browbeating him, belittling him or conning him, which other Aes Sedai tend to do.

missbee@68 – re Min: I kinda see it as everyone knows that Min is firmly on Rand’s side, and would be more willing to tell Rand about what they’re plotting then she would be willing to tell them about what Rand is doing. However, we do see by the end of TGS and in ToM that Cadsuane does keep an eye on Min and have her around a lot more.
Paul Long
74. Caveatar
@71 MasterAlThor.

Thank you brother.

I have looked at your profile.
Phoenix Alexander Louis McCree?

What Relation?
When born?

Please let me know.

Port Huron.
It has been years but I lived in Saint Clair Shores at 23 mile road in
Mount Clemens. Helped to resurrect Lionel Trains.

Respond when you can.

Edit line up lines
Matthew Hunter
75. matthew1215
Tel'janin@35: Yeah, I thought of Rand just "carefully channeling exactly the right amount" too. It's *an* explanation, but not a *good* explanation.

@73, @66, re Moiraine: We'll probably see for sure in AMoL, but I come down pretty strongly on the side of Moiraine wanting to help Rand rather than manipulate him. Sure, she had her own ideas about what he should do and how he should do it, as any advisor does -- but she conceded to him the right to decide when and how to follow her advice.
Paul Long
76. Caveatar

In appreciation for your great compliments to me,
and in respect of your latest blessing of offspring,
I offer, as a gift to him, and to you if you will accept,
My blessing as well.
Phoenix Alexander Louis McCree

The Dark Red melding of The Blood and The Earth
Give Omen of Portent to greet you at your Birth
To be Defender of Man, Famous Warrior for Right
Son of Grace and Prosperity Hold back the Night

Both joy and peace undying be given as your part
A long and useful life and desires of your heart
In all you set your hands to I wish your Success
To be victorious in any Strife and May God Bless
For Phoenix Alexander Louis McCree

In respect and gratitude to MasterAlThor.

Paul Long

(If you read the poem in Courier New font,
the lines line up kind of nice.)
If there is anything unfitting due to my lack of knowledge
and understanding, please let me know and I will change it.
77. Wotman
I think the comments here are the best I have read on this reread and I want to thank evreyone who participated. I see some have talent also, I am envious.
I think Rand had to come to this, cathartic place in this story, I do believe in him and there isn't one of us who has done something in their lives that felt somewhat heinous in their hearts and perhaps made you take a different path hopefully to the better.
I do believe it was a bit hoaky for Greandal to escape, but definitely put the fear of the Light in her.
The problem with Cads is evident in so many characters in these books, that is, everyone seems to think they know what to do and no one else does. It is this arrogance that always gets them in trouble. Like the complete dismissal of Min, that is so typical with these women of power. They are so confident of themselves they constantly underestimate the situation they are in. If I could reach out and slap all the characters who deserve it, I would have a pretty sore arm.
The sword thing - I believe it has been mentioned occassionally and I think it is almost time for the curtain to go up on it's performance which is why it suddenly has been brought into the forefront.
I am happy with the events and look forward for further adventures as I kinda impatiently wait for AMoL
78. Wotman
I forgot to mention about the balefire thing and why it was different - IMO Rand has gotten much more powerful after getting collared for the last time and he went directly into the one power, and when he fired NB, he used the most powerful tool to help him out also so I imagine that this huge bolt would be and act much different than one of those pencil thin or iron bar type of balefires we have seen up to this point. I think some people are relating balefire to something like a laser beam or something as that is not the case, that is why I can believe you could wipe out a city with it and not necessarily put a big crater in the earth doing it.
If I was under compulsion I think I would be happy if I got smoked with balefire.
John Massey
79. subwoofer
There be a fair whack of stuff to talk about here and I'm sleepy so I'm not going to cover it all in one post but I'll get to it- you got my bark on it:)

First off@wishflower- I think you are a bit off here. WoT gurus help me out here, I was doing laps looking for the conversation that Nynaeve had with the really low powered Aes Sedai that had much wisdom over many of the newly raised that she had to "differ to". The long and the short of it is might does not make right, Ny said so, Bryne said so to Gawyn, and that is an ongoing theme in WoT- ranking, and why it is done wrong.

Rand's sword. Really? We on this again? Folks, this smacks of a red herring. Yeah it's pretty, but it is a distraction. The real Last Battle will have little to nothing to do with Rand and swords. Like Lanfear says, Rand does only a fraction of what he can with Power, he doesn't need a sword. Meh.

I'd feel a bit down about this chapter but for the fact that Min had a viewing at the very beginning of this and it feels overlooked-
The air shimmered above Rand, and a mountain appeared there. This one was new, and it caught her attention. The towering mountain was blasted out on one side, making a jagged hole down the slope. Dragonmount? It was cloaked in dark shadows, as if shaded by clouds high above. That was odd, whenever she'd seen the mountain, it had reached higher than the clouds themselves.

Dragonmount in shadows. It would be important to Rand in the future. Was that a tiny prick of light shining from the heavens down onto the point of the mountain?
As for Rand and killing, lets go back to Ilyena Sunhair. LTT killed her and his whole family, children and all, in his madness. Only when Healed of his madness did LTT realize the horror of his actions.

In this particular case tho' I am on the fence. Personally I have always felt that Rand should make it his mission to seek out and kill all the Forsaken before the Last Battle. It is a tall order, and thank the Light the Forsaken don't do "teamwork" really well, but Rand finding and killing the Forsaken would be a much better use of Rand's time IMHO.

I also have a theory that the 'Finn prophecy to Rand was a red herring as well, designed to have Rand do laps and waste resources instead of focusing on what needs to be done.

que mas?

Will ponder a bit while I watch "No Reservations".

@Cav- will edit later.... Lou Costello always needed a good straight man;)

Paul Long
80. Caveatar
@58 Eclectic_the_bold
Your handle makes me wonder if I know you from somewheres.
But I haven't been in all those places, so probably not.

I see you are not exactly a fan of Cadsuane.

I would like to offer you this post in praise of Cadsuane.
The lines between the octothorpe delimiters are all my praises for her.
I am sure after you read you will understand.

And that's all I've got to say about that. (Forrest Gump.)
Now then, what do you think of my opinion of her praises?

Paul Long
81. Caveatar

When I first started reading your posts I thought you might
be a teacher or something. The clarity and directness of
statements I guess.
Then I saw some of your posts relating to music.
A musician.
Do you write music?
Do you write songs?
I would like to know if you don't mind.

Terry McNamee
82. macster
First off, Michael Whelan is an incredible artist, one of the best in fantasy or anywhere. To know he'll be doing the last cover is astonishing and awesome.

On Rand and his justification of balefiring: nope, I too disagree with Leigh (and Ryanreich)--this was absolutely mercy, since balefire doesn't make them unable to be reborn and they are freed from Compulsion. That didn't horrify me at all when I first read this. And I hadn't yet connected all the instability in reality to the Pattern unraveling, not just the seals weakening and the Dark One's touch getting stronger (though I agree that does make Rand's actions here deeply worrisome.) It is indeed what this says about the state of Rand's soul and mind, what it means that he can do this...I was terrified of him, scared for him, heartbroken, despairing, you name it.

On Graendal: I was shocked that she went out (or seemed to) the way she did since every time before this, we always got to see the bad guys die. Now suddenly Rand is offing them without us getting a death scene. At first blush it seems like a change in Sanderson vs. Jordan (and I'm sure the haters will jump on him for that), but really I think it just underscores how Rand has changed in tactics, in mentality, in morality. On the one hand, more practical, clever, and effective...on the other hand, quite disturbing. Then having her not die after all showed how clever she in turn was, so I had to applaud it, even as it made what Rand did meaningless but also more horrific at the same time. And then finally having her show her incompetence in ToM did seem like a letdown in comparison...but we don't want to see Perrin die either after all, and I have to agree it seems more like showing Graendal was a) desperate and b) pressed for time because of her failure and Moridin's demand. Anyway, I was kind of glad she wasn't dead--not because I thought it would be lame if she was, but because despite her Compulsion, I always kind of liked her; she was cruel, despicable, twisted, but she was usually effective, smart, snarky about her fellow Forsaken, and a worthy opponent.

Side note: I don't know if anyone ever complained about Aran'gar being there at Natrin's Barrow for Graendal to have do the Compulsion (as in, that she specifically was there rather than someone else doing it at all), but I have to say I didn't catch the foreshadowing the first time around, when she was considering allying with Graendal when they met in TAR in KOD. If I'd reread KOD before reading TGS or ToM, I'd have gotten it. It certainly proves Jordan planned her death that way all along. And I think Blood_Drunk's analysis of why Graendal didn't leave, but also how she could have guessed what was up so as to take the precautions she did, makes sense.

Re Justice: I didn't get it was Hawkwing's sword until he said it reminded him of Falme--there was no one else he met at Falme who would have had such a sword, Turak certainly didn't. But I don't feel it was hamhanded at all--I think we are being kept in the dark deliberately about how/where it was found, based on Sanderson's cagey answers and the lack of information on that front. This will likely come out, along with its importance to prophecy and the story, in AMoL. And I love Terez's analysis that it came from Guaire Amalasan--makes perfect sense to me. I certainly never thought it was a fail, and while I had forgotten about the prophecy mentioning Justice it seems to me it must have been planned by Jordan all along. Tentatively I too think it is connected to the Seanchan, Rand making an alliance with Tuon, and possibly her saving Egwene a la the dream, but we'll have to wait and see. The one thing I must say is that I am intrigued by the description of how/where the sword was found; when I first read Sanderson's description of it, for some reason I flashed to the statue of Hawkwing at the stedding back in TEotW, but that doesn't seem to fit, unless the people who brought it to him in Arad Doman were not from there...

Oh, and Cadsuane was totally being unfair to Nynaeve, but I suppose she was either doing this because of Nynaeve's previous temperamental and rebellious track record, or because she knew she was too close to Rand and had therefore not earned her trust yet, just as Min hadn't.
Terry McNamee
83. macster
@9 Loialson: Totally agree--even if she was lame and never did much, I am so glad Aran'gar got punished for killing Anaiya, even if Rand didn't know he was doing it. Guess she should have picked a better ally. :P

@12 Seamus, 13 Gwailouh: I love that quote too. Scary and disturbing, but intelligent and effective too.

@18 Bromo Sapien: Why Liah? Because she mattered to him, he knew her, and she was of the Light (unlike the Darkfriend merchant). See Zexxes @72, he addresses this quite cogently and emotionally, I think.

@21 Eyeless, 24 matthew, 25 djthomp: Sanderson and Harriet both stated, and I think Jordan did too, that there's no way balefiring Graendal (or the killer, before she was revealed) could bring Asmodean back. It was too long ago, over a year in-series, and even as much balefire as he used here could not have gone back that far. It would indeed have been interesting though to see Asmo resurrected, and funny to see how it affected everyone's theories by making it be no one who killed him. :P KiManiak also addresses this.

@29 palindrome: That's a unique notion; I wonder if it could be true? Regardless, I like it.

@31 sillyslovene: Awesome work there. One thing you didn't note which I would consider worth mentioning in the symbolism for Laman's sword and its connection to Rand is that not only could he not have gotten it if the Aiel hadn't killed Laman, but he wouldn't even exist himself to be given the sword if not for the Aiel--since their coming over the Dragonwall was what enabled Shaiel/Tigraine to give birth on Dragonmount. As for the Aiel being symbolized by a sword, it seems to me more like one of those ironies Jordan loved, since the sword was the one weapon they would never touch. Also, re: Justice--I think it could also symbolize Rand coming into his own as ta'veren, seeing what he tries to do to Tuon (and Cadsuane), and how crossing his Moral Event Horizon leads to only negative ta'veren effects. Hawkwing was, after all, the most powerful ta'veren known, after Rand and Mat. This would seem even more important in ToM when we see the incredibly powerful positive effects Rand brings.

@37 thepupxpert, 41 anthonypero, 48 sps: Fain may well be responsible for Byar's increasing fanaticism, but it doesn't explain how Graendal got hold of him since Fain is on the run and not truly part of the Shadow anymore and, as others have said, she doesn't use Darkfriends. Possible theories aside from Falme:

Graendal is certainly aware of the Seanchan (see her sending Ituralde up against them), so perhaps she could have arranged to visit a Seanchan envoy in Arad Doman, one which the Whitecloaks under Valda was visiting or accompanying; we know after the Seanchan took Amador that the Whitecloaks under Valda and Asunawa allied with the Seanchan, that there was a battle in which Ailron was killed but we don't know where it happened--it could have been on Almoth Plain or even as far north as Arad Doman. Byar, along with Galad, didn't separate from the rest of the Whitecloaks until the prologue of KOD, so if before that he and the other Whitecloaks were patrolling around Almoth Plain, there would have been plenty of chances for Graendal to nab and Compel him.

Another theory: Sammael told Graendal that he believed Demandred was up to something to the south; while some thought this meant Taim, it could also have been Masema or even the Whitecloaks. Demandred could be the Shiny Dragon Man who appeared to Masema; he could also have been Compelling Niall (to explain why he didn't focus on the Seanchan in Tarabon until it was too late), Valda, or Asunawa, and he could also have been the one killing Carridin's relatives after Ishamael died. If so, going to give Demandred Sammael's message and finding out where his proxies were could have led Graendal to Amador and Byar.

Lastly, we know Graendal had been meeting with Moghedien regularly--she was supposed to meet her the day Rahvin died, and didn't due to her being captured, plus Asmodean knew Moghedien was "in the west" just as Graendal was (because, I maintain, he was allied with Graendal before Lanfear found him, and thus was privy to all she knew about the other Forsaken's whereabouts)--and Moghedien was in Ghealdan and Amadicia with Liandrin's Black Ajah. It is entirely possible Moghedien Compelled Byar while she was there (remember the girls met Galad and his Whitecloaks during that time), and after she vanished Graendal took control of Byar from her; or, during one of her meetings with Moghedien, Graendal happened to run across Byar and decided to Compel him herself. So, take your pick.

@51 deebee: I didn't even notice that, or catch the reference to Moridin. Very good call, and even more chilling. *shudders*

@54 relogical: Good point.

@59 Zexxes: I never even thought of that, what channeling all that taint might have done to him; at the time I thought it didn't matter, since he wasn't really channelling saidin itself, just moving it into the tube of saidar so that Shadar Logoth could draw it in and destroy it, but I realize now that's just quibbling--he was still channeling it, and huge amounts of it too. Of course it had an effect...

@79 subwoofer: So are you saying that you think after talking to Daigian and seeing how one lower in the pecking order had her contributions dismissed, Nynaeve learned being more powerful did not make one right, and that is why she defers to Cadsuane here? Possible. Just as possible, in the same vein, she went to Cadsuane because unlike the rest of the Aes Sedai, she actually respected Daigian and treated her fairly. Or because she was desperate and at this point could think of nothing else to do to help Rand--even if it meant she had to grit her teeth and obey.

Also: Finn prophecy as a distraction? Interesting...on the other hand, while they are so different they "might as well be evil", questions to them regarding the Shadow still end badly for the questioner, so I can't see the Finn helping the Dark One by keeping Rand busy. Unless this had to happen?
Andrew Thomas
84. ThomOfAndr
After reading through many of these wonderful (as always) comments I decided to make my first post on the re-read. For me, I have a hard time judging Rand's actions here. Considering what he has gone through since leaving the Two Rivers I don't think I am in any place to judge his actions. I don't think any of us could definitively state how we would react in this particular situation without having gone through the same stresses and trials.

More important I think the descent into darkness is essential for him to succeed as the Dragon Reborn.

Rand had to descend into the depths of darkness before he could reach his full potential. His flirtations with the complete ends justify the means rationale for his actions allow him to decide definitively to approach things from the light side of things. Deciding to take out all of the Forsaken before the last battle at all costs is a rational decision. Understanding that basically everyone there would be under compulsion there is a valid argument that a strike taking out everyone there would be justified. I don't think it was the right course of action but my whole point is that crazed Rand needed to do this in order to succeed later on. Without having seen the alternative he would have continued to be wracked regret and pain over the choices he had made and he would never have been able to be sure he was doing things the right way.

Rand needed to grow into Zen Rand before the last battle and this moment was a key part of that process. Even though his use of the True Power might quash some of his ta'verenness the pattern is still pushing him onto the necessary path. The mountaintop revival is essential and could really happen in the context of Rand's dark phase. Without Rand's flirtation with the evil way of doing things he never achieves Zen Rand and I think he loses to the Dark One.

I think before this we rand and dragon reborn, split personalities in one person. During the dark phase Rand sees himself as the Dragon trying to ignore the fact that he is also Rand. At of the end TGS he is Rand the Dragon Reborn. Accepting himself both as Rand, a human from the Two Rivers, and as the Dragon Reborn, prophesized champion of the world is the key to uniting everyone behind and winning the last battle.

Note: I am not suggesting that in the real world the average person needs to do evil before they can grow into doing do good. I AM saying that in the context of a prophesized messiah figure with god-like powers I think he does need to do evil before he can understand why good is only path to real success.
Cynthia Ahmar
85. tenkuu
Tel_Janin@35: Are you referring to Confessor or The Omen Machine? If it's the latter, please don't spoil me.

subwoofer@79: I think that's a bit farfetched, especially since the Aelfinn can't lie.
Roger Powell
86. forkroot
Welcome aboard! I think you make a very good point. As painful as this part of Rand's character arc is, you make a case that it is essential for getting him to be who he must become.

Agreed that the Aelfinn can't lie - but they can give even Aes Sedai lessons in how to tell the truth in an obscure way. I think they like to be obtuse since they have a gripe against everyone from the "other" world because ....

They haven't received a dime in royalties from the company that makes the Snakes and Foxes game!
Paul Long
87. Caveatar
@86 Forkroot
They haven't received a dime in royalties from the company that makes the Snakes and Foxes game!
I think I just woke up my neighbor.
I shouldn't laugh so loudly.

It is their own fault. They should have foreseen it.
Maybe agents and lawyers had never visited there.

Good one Forkroot
Edit to add:
I wonder if they play a game called Chauvinists and Feminists
on a board marked off as a .... nah. Probably not.

Cynthia Ahmar
88. tenkuu
forkroot@86: There's twisting the truth, and then there's lying to the saviour of the world so that he wastes time doing useless stuff and getting so dark that it could get even them killed. Yeah, not bloody likely. If even ta'veren affect even them in their remote little oddball world, you can bet that the Dark One being loose on the world wouldn't be pleasant for them either.

Caveatar@87: Unrelated to this, but if you want a good laugh, try this.
John Massey
90. subwoofer
@Mac- although I agree with your last point, that is not what I am saying. Simply put, Nyneave has found that might does not make right. There are a whack of Aes Sedai- Elaida included- that can draw in a lot of Power, but I wouldn't trust them to the rubber gun squad. BTST there are Aes Sedai, and I am going to put the newly lowered Suian and Moiraine in this group, that have experienced things and have knowledge and life skills from this but do not add up to a hill of beans because they have to nod their heads to those "above" them. Much like what Bryne said to Gawyn.

Might does not make right.

@tenkuu- what forkroot said.

andrew smith
91. sillyslovene
@all for kind words: Thanks!
@83 Macster- some good additions to it. I like the part about the Aiel and Rand and their connection/vital necessity of killing Laman. With that thought, the sword also comes to represent him accepting his true heritage, as well as perhaps a wartime/killing aspect to his leadership and skills- the bringer of death/punisher of evil.

Anyway, I appreciate the comments, and would never presume to claim that I have covered all aspects of anything RE WOT, especially since the series isn't finished yet and RJ was just so blasted detailed and interconnected with his symbols, themes, and overall cosmology.

also /agree/ with many on Rand having to descend below all things in order to rise above them- his actions here make his ascent that much more gratifying/rewarding for his own soul at least...
92. TrainerRed
If I didn't agree with the Natrim's Barrow scene, I would be unnerved at the number of people who thought it was O.k.

Luckily, I thought it was fine. At first, I wasn't ok with all the murder, but in the last chapter where Nyneave healed compulsion, we saw that people under Graendel's influence aren't really people any more, just mind slaves. If Rand had had any reason to beleive these people weren't evil/lost to compulsion, then maybe the murder would hold water.

My next thought was "Well, Forsaken are people too, maybe one of them could have been swayed to the Light, or at least given the opportunity!" But there is no peace with the Shadow. Moral absolutes aside, the Forsaken need to die.

Then I thought "Well, he sent his little buddy in there on a whim... if this hadn't gone Rand's way, Ramshalan would have been bloody messed up." But was he ever in any danger? If he hadn't been compulsed, he's fine. If he had been compulsed, Rand balefires whoever did it, and he's fine.

If real people has gotten hurt, and not just mind slaves... then it might have been wrong, but this was his way to minimalize the deaths potentially caused by Graendel. He didn't go making a habit out of it, so I don't see what moral boundry this crosses. If anything, the fact that he's worried about not feeling bad is a sign that he's still got some Rand left in him.
Tess Laird
93. thewindrose
I thought Rand was being quite clever here, with a side dish of meniacal beans. I agree with sub that he should be taking down the Forsaken. Didn't Sulin have the conversaion with Rand about how he was supposed to fight the Forsaken while the maidens could take care of the more mundane threats?

So - do I think he went to far with Balefiring the whole area of Natrin's Barrow? Yes, yes I do. Rand has to start delegating. I even know someone quite close to him who has fought head to head with Forsaken. The jig is up folks, time to start working together. I realize, of course, that the mental state that Rand is in at this point of the story won't allow this. But, after the mountain top, I bet he would have handled this better and talk through some idea's with Nynaeve. He even admits after the battle of Maradon in ToM, that he can't do everything. And look at how he handled Egwene and the Tower in ToM - smart with out the evil - it can be done!

I would suspect any advise given from any of the Forsaken - so Moridin offered Balefire as the way to deal with the resurrection clause - while it does work, I just don't trust what comes out of the mouth of a Forsaken.

Forkroot at 86 - hah!!

Martyna Berek
94. missbee
MasterAlThor @ 71 Thanks, it's good to be here!
KiManiak @73
Sorry, I should have been clearer in my original post. I can understand that they may not trust Min to do everything they want, but why do they not ask her the question, why ignore her now when they've pummelled her for information in the past? They want to know where Perrin is and they trust Min enough to ask Nyn the question in front of her, yet no one thinks to ask her directly. I suppose it is just another example of arrogance and messed up communication, but it seemed so... well, stupid, that I started to look for another explanation.
I was going to wait until next week to mention this, but your point touches on a pet theory of mine so I'll explain it briefly.
I suspect that Rand is being manipulated, made to channel, kill and destroy in order to affect his mindset and make him react in a pre-programmed and predictable way at some vital point during TG. (That is not the same as 'turning' him). The chaos tactics, the seemingly illogical rescues by the Forsaken, Algarin manor and maybe even the Cairhien attack can all be explained this way. When Rand succeeded in cleansing the taint, a way to tempt him with TP was found (whilst pushing him way beyond his MEH). Graendal escapes punishment for Aran'gar's death because the damage and anguish Rand suffers is precisely what the DO is aiming at. In short, the DO wants him mad and he's manipulating all the Forsaken to achieve it.
So, coming back to your point, I think it is not just that Rand is changing, rather, he is deliberately being forced to change, you might even say brainwashed.
Theresa Gray
95. Terez27
MoM@67—To be fair, I don't think Brandon intended to reveal the identity of Rand's new sword publicly. Everything he has said in public remains ambiguous.

KiManiac@73—It may be that RJ wasn't very specific in the notes about the sword, but it may be that there is some deception going on here, since any scholar should have known whose sword it was since it was apparently hidden in the Hawkwing stedding, underneath his statue. I do, however, think that it will be important in AMOL for several reasons, and that probably has something to do with why Brandon did not reveal in the book that the sword was Justice. In RJ's outline, it wouldn't have made a difference since he was shooting for one more book, and thus we wouldn't have a year or more to figure out what role Justice was going to play after it was introduced.

subwoofer@79—This is something I talk about a lot, but there are a good number of thematic reasons to believe that the sword will be very important to Rand in AMOL. For one thing, why are the herons on his palms important enough for prophecy? For another thing, the question of why Rand would need a sword was covered in LOC chapter 1, when Bashere threw a dagger at his head to prove the point, and IMO that is one of the best chapters in the series ("Lion on the Hill"). It also took place in Caemlyn, when Rand was yet again surrounded by false followers by way of conquest. Rand always reasoned the sword was important because he couldn't always count on being able to channel. If he's shielded, he can at least do something with the sword. Or, if he's trying to fight someone who is somehow immune to the Power. :) There are tons of sword/blade mentions in the prophecies. Also, Sheathing the Sword, Into the Heart, Shadow at Noon, and As Darkness Fits the Sun. It's all very obvious. ;)

macster@83—Another possible connection for Laman's sword: I would not be surprised if Laman's sword is the one that will kill Rand. Gawyn is, after all, needing a heron-mark blade. That was foreshadowed all the way back in TSR, and again in TGS after his spar with Sleete. Laman was his great-uncle, so it's a good sword for him to have, especially since he seems slated for the traitor's role.

Also, Brandon confirmed that the Shiny Dragon Man was played by a woman. That doesn't preclude Demandred being the one to give the orders—we do, after all, suspect that some of the Aes Sedai with Perrin are Black Ajah, particularly Annoura—but we know he's not the one doing the Illusion weave. It also seems that Illusion is a somewhat-common skill for Aes Sedai, though they could never disguise themselves to each other because they didn't know how to invert weaves. That being said, you would think the visions began before then, so Moghedien is still a possibility. Or perhaps Moghedien gave him visions at first, and then passed on the job to Annoura after she was Mindtrapped. Or something. Perhaps it was Moghedien all along, with a short break in Salidar.

@sub, tenkuu, forkroot—I tend to agree with tenkuu in this case. We haven't known the Aelfinn to be quite that deceptive, and if you can't decipher their answers, then what is the point? They have to have limits, or no one would ever visit them, and we know how much they like visitors. Since the answer was framed in terms of geography, then it's pretty certain that's what they're talking about. And RJ wouldn't have made a series-long theme out of the Seanchan just for a red herring. I think the red herring in this case is the idea of a truce, when an Empire is more likely. It's a good reason for Mat and Tuon to get married.

The KC says "The north shall he tie to the east, and the west shall be bound to the south." Notice that they say he will tie the north to the east, but they do not say he will bind the west to the south. The Seanchan did that. The Aelfinn do not say that Rand will be the one to do any of it. But we do know that he is the one who made the north and the east as one. That happened, finally, when he sealed the deal with the Borderlanders. This is referenced twice in the prophecies, as the 'many' becoming one:
And the Glory of the Light did shine upon him.
And the Peace of the Light did he give men.
Binding nations to him.
Making one of many.
Yet the shards of hearts did give wounds.
And what was once did come again
– in fire and in storm splitting all in twain. For his peace...
– for his peace...
. . . was the peace...
– was the peace...
. . . of the sword.
And the Glory of the Light did shine upon him.

—from Glory of the Dragon, composed by Meane sol Ahell, the Fourth Age
At the end of time, when the many become one, the last storm shall gather its angry winds to destroy a land already dying. And at its center, the blind man shall stand upon his own grave. There he shall see again, and weep for what has been wrought.

—from The Prophecies of the Dragon, Essanik Cycle. Malhavish's Official Translation, Imperial Record House of Seandar, Fourth Circle of Elevation.
That is north+east. The 'splitting all in twain' is mirrored in a Dream shared by Bair and Amys:
TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 19 - Matters of Toh

"Melaine and Bair dreamed of you on a boat," Aviendha said, the word still awkward after all these months in the wetlands, "with three women whose faces they could not see, and a scale tilting first one way then the other. Melaine and Amys dreamed of a man standing by your side with a dagger to your throat, but you did not see him. Bair and Amys dreamed of you cutting the wetlands in two with a sword."
And 'splitting all in twain' also seems to reference this prophecy:
TITLE - Towers of Midnight
CHAPTER: 32 - A Storm of Light

"There's a phrase," Min said, "in the Jendai Prophecy. I wish we knew more of them. Anyway, it says 'and the Blade will bind him by twain.'" "Two women," Rand said. "I need to be in a circle with two women to control it."
That might refer to Justice, rather than to Callandor. And Nicola's Foretelling, which mirrors the dream above shared by Bair and Melaine, also mentions a blade:
TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 14 - Dreams and Nightmares

"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."
This probably also refers to Justice. Callandor is probably more of a red herring than Justice. Perhaps for Rand, Cadsuane, and Min as much as for the reader.

@Tor People (admins, mods, etc.)—For the techie department, really...I think you could solve the preview/double-post problem by making the background for a preview slightly shaded, maybe a very diluted red or gray. That would clear up a lot of confusion.

edited to fix typo
Chris R
96. up2stuff
@ Many re: Justice...

Could the lurch in the pacing just be due to the oft times referred to break in the book's continuity? Meaning once again, would this have flowed better had we had just one volume instead of three? Maybe its a cop out, but if there is some great big justification for the sword's reveal in AMoL, we will all look back here and say "Thaaat's why."

Weak, I know, but I want the Hunny and I'm lurking a little...
Anthony Pero
97. anthonypero

Responded to your query in your shoutbox to help keep this thread on topic.
Chris R
98. up2stuff
Could the mountain in Min's vision be Shayol Ghul? I dont remember Dragonmount as having a side blown out.

Here are a few reasons.

1. It has been a while since I read the Peak Scene, and I remember Rand reflecting on the fall into the abyss, and I know that there is supposedly a stream of smoke coming out from time to time, but I remember it as a Crag.

2. Unless it happens after the LB or during AMoL, during the Apples scene in TOM, the farmer is not reflecting on any horrible eruption or explosion from the side of the Mountain. Before, all of the Dragonmount visions with a light at the peak, refer to his reintegration and the ray of hope breaking through when he learns to be human again. So clearly, nothing happened to DM during his "Zen-i-fication."

3. The hole in the side itself. The only mountain we have seen with a hole in the side IS Shayol Ghul. Maybe a bit cliche but, A battle within, that blew out a side of the mountain and collapsed the entrance, seen from afar, with the sun creeping over the peak and the clouds above receeding is my corny vision of the last scene, or post battle scene.

Any takers?

Anthony Pero
99. anthonypero

No, Dragonmount doesn't have a hole in it's side... but what if it's a volcano, and it erupts?

EDIT: It seems to me that we assume the Last Battle will be fought at Shayol Ghul... but I think its more likely that it will be fought... everywhere. Sure, Rand will battle the DO at Shayol Ghul, but the main Last Battle, with troops and what not, is far more likely to happen at Tar Valon.
Anthony Pero
100. anthonypero
@Terez re Douple Posting

Sometimes the double posting is just the system. I've posted properly a number of times, and all of a sudden, two of them show up. It kind of sucks that way. Plus, theres a whole list of code issues they are working on... The site is buggy.

Edit: Well, look at that, I got the hunny! But it was a double post, so my hunny glory shall be shared with the next poster.
Theresa Gray
101. Terez27
up2stuff@98 & anthonypero@99—There is indeed a blown-out portion of Dragonmount. To refresh your memory:
TITLE - The Gathering Storm
CHAPTER: 49 - Just Another Man

He stood on the very point of Dragonmount, the lone peak that had erupted where Lews Therin had killed himself three thousand years before. To one side, he could see down hundreds of feet to where the side of the mountain opened into a blasted-out chasm. The opening was enormous, larger than it looked from profile. A wide oval of red, blazing, churning rock. It was as if a chunk of the mountain were simply missing, torn away, leaving the peak to rise into the air but the entire side of the mountain gone.

Rand stared down into that seething chasm. It was like the maw of a beast. Heat burned from below and flakes of ash twisted into the sky.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
Caveatar - I've got RL right here! Got him by the heel, but he's dragging me along. If you can catch up with us and give him a good bash on the head with your shillelagh, I'd be ever so grateful.

FWIW, I'm with Leigh on this one. More later, I hope.
Anthony Pero
103. anthonypero
Well, there you go... There is a hole in DM already... although, a blow out during the LB would be awfully cool.
Paul Long
104. Caveatar
@102 Wetlandernw

Crap. And me without a Gateway Making Ashaman.

The image you evoked caused me to envision you as the
beat-to-pieces Terminator (Arnie) holding on to the bad
guy, being dragged along.
I have my shillelagh, and if I can find a GatewayMaker
I will be there shortly.
Then the bastard shall suffer. I will fall upon his neck and beat him terribly about the head and shoulders. And give him a ding or two
around the earhole for good measure.

That RL, that afterbirth of a bastard Ubangi shall cease and desist to trouble us more.

Good on you!

Theresa Gray
105. Terez27
anthonypero@103—That is one of my favorite loony theories. You should join my faction. :)
Chris R
106. up2stuff
Terez@ 95, I saw almost immediately after posting you mentioned the "1 becomes 3" rationale I mentioned for the final book, but for some reason I can't edit it.

@101, okay now i do remember. I remembered that he looked down into the depths, but did not remember the "scooped" 0ut part. Thanks for the reminder. It just never really stood out to me in other descriptions of the mountain as I could recall.

AP@99, I agree that TG will be everywhere, but I see some kind of event or reation at the entrance to the Pit of Doom as it is the physical representation of the Bore. I know it is NOT the actual Bore, which is everywhere and nowhere, but it is the closest thing, in my book.

Doggone it! 98 and then 106. (sorry Sub). flings himself facedown
and kicks and pounds the ground in a tantrum.

Okay, I'm better now. But I swear, if we get to the two or even three, I am using that double post excuse. (Pointedly NOT looking at anthonypero) :P
Theresa Gray
107. Terez27
up2stuff—I was wondering about that. Thanks for clearing it up; that has actually been happening to me a lot lately.

Since ap cheated, the glory is mine, isn't it? Again.
108. MasterAlThor

My grandson Pheonix was born on Nov. 25 2009. He is a great blessing and I sure as heck don't see him enough. The poem was beautiful. I shall have to print it and or rewrite it and have it framed for him. His mom wil love it. Thank you very much for that.

I know of the area your talking about. My dad used to work a little further down 94. And of course in my younger days we all used to go to Lakeside Mall (I say younger, but that is really relative. I am still waiting on my acceptance papers to the Greybeard Club from Freelancer, Man-O, and Wetlander. You would think that they had nothing better to do...).


Do you have a theory about Justice? I was reading your post and something about Nicola's foretelling struck me. It was the line about the future teetering on the eadge of a blade. Do you think that Rand has to present Tuon (you all know how I feel about that other name) with Justice? Could this be how he defers to her?

Ron Garrison
109. Man-0-Manetheran
Terez @ 95
You amaze me. Still. Thanks for being here.
Theresa Gray
110. Terez27
MasterAlThor@108—That's my general feeling, yes. As I said before, I think it's much more likely that Tuon will get her Empire than that there will be a temporary truce, despite what Aviendha saw. As for how she will get it...I imagine that Rand's death will be a Sheathing the Sword double-wound paralleling King Arthur's demise at the hands of Mordred. Rand is killed with Laman's sword, and Gawyn is killed with Justice.

This is where I see the 'into the heart' prophecy coming in. What if Egeanin is 'who draws it out'? The Tuon-Egeanin business is most likely going to be resolved, and what better way for Egeanin to get back in Tuon's good graces than to present her with Justice? Not that that's what she would be trying to do, necessarily. It just seems in-character for her to assume that the sword rightfully belongs to Hawkwing's heir. Egeanin was at Falme, and would likely recognize the sword. As for 'what hand can grasp that fearful blade', Tuon seems to fit that better than anyone else besides Rand, and it is a rather compelling symbol for her Empire.

Even better would be if they manage to use Justice as a bargaining chip for the damane issue, along with the promise of unity underneath Tuon's rule. But it also fits the 'peace of the sword' comment.

MoM@109—Thanks. :) And it is, of course, my pleasure.
111. MasterAlThor

Aaaagggggghhhhhh, that is not at all what I wanted the books to end like. I imagine that the Seanchan will have to stick around since there is no logistical way to evict them.

This is a horrible mess. Good thing I don't have to clean it up.

Tess Laird
112. thewindrose
Terez27 at 107-
Since ap cheated, the glory is mine, isn't it? Again.
Interesting choice of words. Team dark huh? Taim-a-Terez

all in good fun-
Rob Munnelly
113. RobMRobM
Again, I predict
- Seanchan are here to stay (there is too much unpopulated land in Randland anywhere - more farmers and talented administrators are a good thing).
- Rand, Mat or Tuon channeling (or all three) will solve the damane/d'acovele problem and allow Randland to integrate with Seanchan rather than be dominated by them.

This will end well. Really.

Theresa Gray
114. Terez27
MasterAlThor—You talking about the Empire thing? If so, you're not alone. Everyone has that reaction. But I think the whole point of Mat+Tuon is to make it acceptable to us when it comes. It just has to be with some kind of give on the damane and probably the da'covale too. And Tuon has shown us that, other than those little inhumane details, she is not a hard ruler. She was very good to Tylin and Beslan, for example. And very hard on Suroth. She has good judgment, and she might live long enough to set some impressive precedents.

Also, if you're talking about Gawyn, you're not alone there either. But I think it's right, for a lot of reasons. And I'm sure that it will come out better in the story than I am able to explain in these posts.

By the way, I do think Rand will die before he has fulfilled all the prophecies, so that means he'd have to come back. I think the time in between will definitely be the most interesting, partly because of the awesome battle that his resurrection is shaping up to be (which will be connected with Caemlyn by virtue of the dreamspike being in Tel'aran'rhiod). But also partly because of the foreshadowed confrontation between Mat and Tuon. We have clues in the prophecies (particularly in Nicola's Foretelling) that Elayne will be preoccupied, and Aviendha as well, but the more I think about it, the more I lean toward the deal not being completely sealed until Rand returns from the dead with his harem. Before then, it will have been mostly hashed out between Mat and Tuon, and maybe Egwene too, either through battle or through negotiations, or both.

The difficulty is working the Horn into it. For one thing, there is long-dismissed foreshadowing of the Horn being blown in Illian. There are basically two possibilities there. One is that Illian is attacked by Shadowspawn. That's entirely possible, since there is a Waygate there. Another possibility is that Tuon will steal the Horn from the White Tower, and then discover she can't blow it. There are hints that her prophecies might specifically address the Horn—maybe the Essanik Cycle—and she suspected that Rand was the one to blow it. She still has no idea that Mat blew it. There's also a possibility that Mat's link to the Horn really was severed at when Rahvin killed him (even though that technically didn't happen), and that Tuon will be able to blow it. It's possible she might not get it because only Laras knows where it is. :) But if Tuon attacks the Tower unsuccessfuly, she might redivert her forces to Rand's only crown, which is Illian (which happens to share a border with the nation where she made her capital).

It seems almost certain that Rand will still be either dead or believed dead when the Horn is finally blown. That could result in one of two scenarios, as far as Rand is concerned. He's either there, or he's not there. Either would be good. I think the latter is more likely, though, and it's a parallel to the empty tomb (and perhaps the essence of Mat's 'betrayal'). I also see Perrin knowing that he is resurrected but lying about it, perhaps three times, to protect Rand.

There are too many things going on for me to really figure out exactly how it's going to go down. But there are a lot of really prominent themes converging on the last book. Egeanin-Tuon is one of them, and I'm betting that Aviendha's trouble with gateways is another. I could list them all day, but I'm lazy.
Theresa Gray
115. Terez27
RobM@113—I agree, it will end well. And I also think Tuon spontaneously channeling is a possibility, but many have argued that Tuon has the willpower to resist, since her whole way of life is shaped by the idea that damane are somehow less than human and inherently dangerous in a way that the Empire is not.

I've argued before that Tuon will be the third person in Rand's Callandor circle. I've even argued she could lead it, since she already does the channeling using her damane's power, and her unrealized potential wouldn't matter much in a circle with the world's most powerful sa'angreal. But I can also see the possibility of the Callandor scenario being disastrous and therefore most likely pre-death. Which makes Tuon's participation unlikely, by Nicola's Foretelling.

And then, Egwene is going to 1) be saved by a Seanchan woman with a very important sword, 2) have a female golden hawk stretch out its wing to touch her, and 3) join forces with a number of women, including one Seanchan, to confront Rand. Some argue that the first is Egeanin (or Tylee or whoever), and some argue that the second is Berelain, and the third could be anyone, including Seta who, as a Seanchan with strong ideas about hierarchy, joining the White Tower, while no doubt be overcome with remorse for how she treated her new Empress when said Empress Amyrlin was a damane. (Fortunately, Mat took care of Renna, who was Egwene's main sul'dam, but Seta had her more than anyone else.)

But it's possible that Tuon is all three. I also think it's possible the Oaths will end up being a compromise, fulfilling the prophecy that Rand will bind the nine moons to serve him. Rand has the Age of Legends knowledge to fill in that little tidbit.
Ron Garrison
116. Man-0-Manetheran
terez @ 114
"It seems almost certain that Rand will still be either dead or believed dead when the Horn is finally blown. (...) He's either there, or he's not there."

Perhaps he's on a boat floating stealthily downstream to Illian.
Theresa Gray
117. Terez27
@thewindrose—I like to think of myself more as Moridin.

That troubled her sometimes, enraged her, what knowledge might be lost in the turnings of the Wheel, knowledge she needed, knowledge she had a right to. A right!
Cynthia Ahmar
118. tenkuu
Terez27@95: I think the Aelfinn sounding like Aes Sedai is probably because they just talk that way normally. Ie, in a way, they talk in prophecies, which are vague to most people to begin with but probably seem pretty clear to them.

Terez27@114: I don't know about you, but it would be more interesting to me if Rand's "resurrection" was in some way related to balefire. Not likely given Min's visions, I know, but I tend to like the more logical and less supernatural explanations. But what I hope most of all for Rand is that this "resurrection" can give him back his normal, simple life. As just another lord if not a shepherd. In other words, my strongest hope is that the world could just forget about "the Dragon" once Rand "dies".

Terez27@115 (you're popular today :P): Err... I don't know that I agree that Callandor could be controlled by a woman in the same way as the a'dam can. For one thing, isn't the a'dam much less specific? You can make a woman wearing it do anything. There's also the fact the a'dam is a ter'angreal, with probably far less limits than a sa'angreal like Callandor, which I'm thinking would require some direct channeling on the parts of all involved.
Theresa Gray
119. Terez27
MoM@116—I've considered that, but then the question becomes, why is he riding down the Manetherendrelle? I suppose that it might be safer to resurrect him on a boat because it's harder to reach by gateway? Did he ride it all the way down from the Waterwood? I mean, we do have some foreshadowing of that, don't we? :) But that would take a little while. Judging by how long it took Domon to get from Shadar Logoth to Whitebridge—pushing hard—it would probably take at least a few WoT weeks to get from the Two Rivers to Illian. Surely longer.

I honestly don't get the boat. Some have said it's a skimming platform to take him to Shayol Ghul, which you could say was foreshadowed by Egwene's barge-thing when she took Lan to Ebou Dar. I've theorized before that it has something to do with Sea Folk customs where they do everything important (including childbirth) on the water, even if they are shorebound and all they can find is a pond. Obviously there is something here that I am not seeing.

I do like the idea that 'he shall hold a blade of Light, and the three shall become one' refers to the knife ter'angreal that hides a person from the Shadow, and the specifics of the custom bond as seen in 'A Lily in Winter'. Which of course fits with the idea that the women are important because they have to bond him to save him from death after Nynaeve resurrects him via Tel'aran'rhiod. :)
Theresa Gray
120. Terez27
tenkuu@118—It's hard to see how resurrection-via-balefire is any less 'supernatural' than resurrection-via-Tel'aran'rhiod. But in any case, there are a ton of thematic reasons for believing it will be the latter. You can read up on those at my Blood on the Rocks page, particularly in the Death Theories section, where I address the problems with the idea that balefire will be involved. Partly it's because the purpose is essentially defeated. Rand's maimed body will not be Healed, his link with Moridin will not be severed, and whatever else might have been gained by his death will be undone.

I'm sure that a normal, simple life is in the works for Rand, but I don't see how balefire would serve that purpose for him. I have a feeling his return will be somewhat similar to the return of Jesus, in that he'll only have contact with his closest friends before disappearing. There's too much foreshadowing for Rand finally going home one day for it to not happen. It's just got to be secret. Some of the later legends of King Arthur include stories that he lives on in a particular forest and is sometimes spotted by passers-by. So I can see the Westwood, or at least a portion of it, becoming the King's Forest, off-limits to everyone but those who have permission from Perrin to be there, and protected by wards that will alarm Rand to any possible visitors. ;) Perhaps he will one day show up as a foreigner (in disguise) and marry Min, so he won't have to hide all the time. Who knows?

Also, Callandor can be controlled by a woman, and according to Cadsuane, must be in order for it to be safe. The man has to access it, but to overcome the flaws, he has to use it in a circle with two other women, with one of them guiding the flows. Elza and Merise did it at Shadar Logoth. I'm not sure what Callandor has to do with the a'dam, though. Perhaps you thought I meant she would control Rand? I wasn't really thinking of it like that. Just her leading the circle, since that is apparently required. (It might not be required any more now that the taint is gone, but we're not sure, since another flaw was the lack of a buffer to keep a person from drawing too much. But in that case, any legit circle should solve the problem, since circles have natural buffers, and I suspect the leading woman was supposed to solve the taint issue only.)
Rob Munnelly
121. RobMRobM
I'm definitely in the dead, ripped out of T'A'R, warder bonded camp re how Rand will have happy ending. (That also will reinforce the importance of Mat blowing the Horn, as it will bring Rand back as a hero of the horn.) Alternative is Moridin turns good (AMOL anyone?) and Rand somehow merges into his excellent body without him in it - but that's a bit problematical and less likely. I'm not seeing the benefits of balefire.

Theresa Gray
122. Terez27
I'm thinking "A Memory of Light" refers more to a memory of what it was like before dark descended. But I'm sure there are multiple allusions. I just doubt that Moridin will be one of them. And I don't think Cyndane is particularly likely either...
Paul Long
123. Caveatar
@98 up2stuff

"...but I remember it as a Crag."

Quite rightly too. It is a crag. But knowing our beloved Master Webster,
(weaver, not the lexicographer) a little bit from 20years, an alternate name for the peak where Lews Therin recovered from his long sleep and the confusing awakening process of Rand's growing to this point...whew...)
Would be a tor. And at the top right of this page is the logo of Tor books. A shield showing a mountain peak. I seem to remember stars above too, but they aren't in this page's pic of it.

I believe RJ smiled to himself and had the (storybook) Dragon do his stuff standing on a (storybook publisher) Tor, and if so then where it should properly be: at the very topmost towering height* of the Publishing Company, Tor. (Well it is top of the line to me.)
And in fact if you look closely at the Tor Logo, it fits the description of Dragonmount pretty well.

I believe he was having fun and putting an extra cherry on top for us.
And if he was not, then I will always think that he was, anyway.

*a tip of the hat to Robbie Burns, (I think)
124. Lostinshadow

I totally agree with you that the shadow is trying to change Rand fundamentally.

In light of what Moridin told Rand and what the wolves tell Perrin in ToM, seems to me that there are actually two stages to the last battle.

First is whether the dragon makes the choice to fight the dark lord in the last battle at all. If at any time the dragon becomes so dark and evil that he would not fight for the world then the dark wins the battle for good and the wheel is broken. this is why initially they are trying to corrupt Rand rather than kill him. If he dies before making the choice dark wins temporarily and the cycle begins again.

Once the dragon chooses to fight in the last battle for the right reasons then stage 2 the big bad battle can commence. At this point it is no longer possible to corrupt the dragon sp now the aim will be to kill him and try again in the text turning of the wheel.
Paul Long
125. Caveatar
@108 MasterAlThor

"My grandson Pheonix was born on Nov. 25 2009. He is a great blessing
and I sure as heck don't see him enough. The poem was beautiful. I
shall have to print it and or rewrite it and have it framed for him.
His mom wil love it. Thank you very much for that."

I am pleased to hear it.
If you copy and paste into a word processor and change the font
to Courier New, adjust the fontsize to 12 point and space top and
bottom, The lines line up.
Of course you, and his mother will know, that the first four lines
restate the names meanings and the last four the blessing.

BTW: Are there still only two seasons there in Michigan?
Winter and Construction?
Is the state flower still the orange traffic cone?
And that old comment is not news to you either. :D

All the best to you and your family.
Cynthia Ahmar
126. tenkuu
RobMRobM@121: If Lews Therin wasn't a hero of the Horn, why would Rand be? And I really don't see how the whole merging thing is actually supposed to take place if you think it'll be between Rand and Moridin. Physically, wouldn't it be impossible?

Terez27@120: I meant supernatural as in "not within the normal rules for that world". For example, I'm not religious, but to me Christ's resurrection seemed rather supernatural. Balefire is a normal element of the WoT world, but if Rand ends up being somehow magically resurrected, then I'm going to be disappointed, to say the least. If there's not some kind of explanation for it, it'll feel like a cop-out to me.

Balefire would simply be part of resurrecting him if someone balefired whoever would have balefired Rand. But like I said, I know it's unlikely. I just don't want Rand's resurrection to seem to come out of nowhere.

I guess I was a bit unclear, but I thought I was being obvious since you had specifically mentioned Tuon. Basically, I meant that I can't see a typical Seanchan sul'dam, one who can't embrace the True Source consciously, being part of a link to use Callandor. Isn't it impossible anyway? Even with Callandor, a woman has to open herself to the True Source to become part of the link, doesn't she? For an untrained sul'dam like Tuon to play any part in using Callandor would feel rather flimsy to me, like a teenager untrained in the sword trying to use one in a fight. I was referring to the a'dam because it seems to require far less control on the part of the sul'dam, and it can even control the damane without any conscious channeling.
Anthony Pero
127. anthonypero

It could be that Tuon will "weave" the flows of Callandor, in a circle with another woman--but that the "circle" will be made by the Domination Bands. I always thought that Tuon would get Rand collared. And that somehow through the Domination Bands, Rand would "bind the nine moons" to him.
Anthony Pero
128. anthonypero
I can't remember, have we determined if a woman can be collared in an a'dam and still join a circle? I seem to remember that question being answered as a negative by RJ.
Theresa Gray
129. Terez27
ap@128—That was confirmed in TOM, I think. Or TGS. One of the two.
Anthony Pero
130. anthonypero
It would be interesting to know if the Domination Bands function the same... since two women can wear the bracelets. It would be interesting to see how that works. Do the two women link first, then force the man into the circle? Or do the two women alternate control?

It's also fascinating because a single woman controling the man through the bracelet violates a fundamental principle of circles: 1 woman + 1 man = Man leads the circle. Assuming the domination band functions as the a'dam does... how does it work? It shouldn't be able to without two women wearing the bracelets.
Paul Long
131. Caveatar
@93 thewindrose
"I thought Rand was being quite clever here,
with a side dish of meniacal beans. "
That must have been the kind of beans I ate at the Casino yesterday.
Up all NIGHT. Thought I was gonna DIE!
"I agree with sub that he should be taking down the Forsaken."

"Rand was takin' down forsaken, Egwene's poor butt was achin
from the beatin's she was takin', for the Tower she had a stake in.

Mat, Ta'Veren, was talkin' t' Verin, verbified the female power.
"I forgive it she said", shaking her head, transfixing him with a glower."
Okay, okay, I will stop it.

I am suprised that the conversation didn't proceed something like this:
"....Saidared it"
Verin: "Mat, has that medallion also caused the verbification of the Power as well as absorbing it?"

Mat: "What? Now Verin you know I respect the power. I wouldn't want the medallion to do something like what you said to it. It just makes me nervous. The medallion just keeps me safe."

Verin: "Oh, I see. You do all this without thinking. Much like other things you do."
She mused, "Is it because he is Ta'veren?"
"No", she decided, "its just Mat being Mat."

On to the 2 hunny folks. The Poo bears are sneaking toward the Bunker.
Paul Long
132. Caveatar
Okay. I am not trying to spam this thread.
Too much spam makes the hunny taste funny and the Poo bears
aren't pacified with it.

But, I received a notification
'....has established a connection with you"
from Tor and I don't have the hint of a suspicion of a clue as to what it is.
And don't know where to find out.
Anyone who knows? Please dispel the darkness of my limited understanding.

Anthony Pero
133. anthonypero
Someone probably followed you. Click on your name and go to your profile page. Under your name, you will see 1 User Is Following You. Click on it, and you will see that M'A'T followed you.
Paul Long
134. Caveatar
@133 anthonypero

Thank you.
I would say I am sorry for bothering you and upping the post count.....but I'm not. :D

So, I need to pay attention to the thingambob dohickey shoutbox .
(I deteroriate rapidly. Two metasyntactic variables in one line.
Next thing I will be using multiple exclamation points.)

Nadine L.
136. travyl
are we reading the same books? Reading your theories and everything that is clearly hinted at before some way or another, I feel like I missed some books instead of just the scene Leigh misses on Rand been given Justice. -
Thanks for sharing your theories. I don't buy them all, but am intrigued and certainly willing to consider them on my next, thorough Re-Read.
@120: "There's too much foreshadowing for Rand finally going home one day for it to not happen" ???? Do you mean every time Rand thinks, that he surely never can go back home?

About Justice:
I liked how, It was done, as with other riddles I had no clue, but when I finally learned of "it" on the web, on my following re-Read I saw the sings (especially in the previous chapter at Falme). Of course macster made the important arguments already @82.

I wholeheartedly agree with Treebrother @54. I am glad that Rand didn't learn that he failed to kill Graendal. Though he seems to have successfully suppressed any feelings, I think if he had failed at that, his epiphany moment at drogonmount would have been harder.
@severeal: thanks for pointing out that balefire doesn’t eradicate the souls forever. I didn’t know this, so I'm on a level with Rand and Min likely (taking her reaction and his response into account).
William Fettes
137. Wolfmage
I'm pretty late to this conversation, and I think most of what I'm about to say is probably redunant, but nontheless this is my two cents.


That's very strong accusatory language to level at people when there has been a lot more than weak rationalisations offered in partial defence of Rand here. I say partial very deliberately, because nobody is saying this was morally good or unproblematic. Moreover, there are plenty of people who had a more benign reaction to the act of using balefire on this scale, who nonetheless noted the worrying psychological implications about how Rand is processing, rationalising and coping with things here, which is a subtlety your post failed to credit.

First, it has been carefully explained that balefire does not actually destroy a soul, or remove it from the cycle of the wheel of time. Right there, that invalidates a huge part of Leigh's argument against Rand, which relied on her metaphysical revulsion at his destruction of these life-threads -- which totally isn’t the case.

So without that false red flag, we are left with the far more prosaic matter of judging the morality of the balefire according to the system risk of using it, and whatever we normally use as a framework for assessing the morality of killing during war. Now, maybe some of the people here who are defending Rand are doing so because of a cavalier attitude towards civilian deaths you find abhorrent, but you haven't provided any evidence of that whatsoever.

It has been argued that the mere possibility that some of the casualties weren't victims of irreversible, comprehensive compulsion makes such indiscriminate killing evil. But to my knowledge, there isn't any textual evidence to make that case beyond speculation. It’s possible, of course, but we don’t have any real evidence for it and the balance of probabilities suggests Rand’s assessment is correct. So I don’t think it’s appropriate to say anything too hostile about people who people who accept that assessment at face value. I personally accept that it's a valid concern, but it's not unreasonable to take the other position based on the available evidence.

The other main factor I mentioned was the systemic risk of using balefire too much, and this is obviously an important complication. By my reckoning, the basic framework is that balefire is a necessary tool to remove Forsaken from the board (as far as we know there isn't an alternative), but that it involves risks that must be assessed carefully. Exactly how much risk we are prepared to tolerate depends on the consequences for the pattern, and hence how much balefire has been used previously, accumulatively, to harm the stability of the pattern. I think it’s true that the reaction-wave felt around the world tends to suggest this incident put a significant strain on the pattern, so from that point of view it’s perfectly valid to say it was dangerous and reckless brinksmanship, especially when Rand is either not thinking too closely about what is tolerable for the pattern, and how much it is being used elsewhere in Rand right now, and how much it is likely to be used in the future by others. Obviously, continuing this level of balefire would be disastrous.

That said, by the same token, we also know this act did not by itself unravel the pattern, so the systemic risk argument only gets you so far in assessing this particular act without relying on a kind of slippery slope argument that is entirely contigent on what happens next.
Cynthia Ahmar
138. tenkuu
subwoofer@135: So you have to sink to the level of people who make
personal attacks on authors? Come on, dude, you're better than that. I
don't happen to think he does randomly change the rules, but if you
have an example of what you think is a random rule change, I'd be
interested to see it.

To be honest, I'm the type who thinks that if you see what looks like an inconsistency in any parts of any series, you should look harder to see if you can't make the pieces of the puzzle fit together after all. Think of it as a puzzle with very precisely cut pieces, so they fit very tightly together, but just barely.
Martyna Berek
140. missbee
Lostinshadow @ 124
I'm not sure I follow you, are you suggesting that stage one was at VoG?
What I'm suggesting is something other than 'evil' or 'corrupt'. We have BS quotes to confirm that the Champion of Light has been turned before and yet the DO still lost, so just turning Rand, or making him dark is not enough. I'm thinking that DO needs Rand to do something to win, or maybe not to do something (insert favourite theory here). Whatever it is, it is not necessarily dependent on Rand being good or evil, but rather on him being manipulated into making a specific decision. Like the sha'rah game in TPOD Pr.

Terez @ 114
Funny you should mention Illian as an option
I posted this elsewhere recently
- - - - - - -
- Verin warned Rand that the Seanchan were building forts outside Illian (WH 32).
- We know that Galgan was planning to push into Illian just before the Algarin manor attack (although he wasn't quite ready yet - KOD Pr),
- there were lots of Seanchan settlers heading for Illian (COT 28),
- Wiramon's jaunt to Tear (KOD 21) conveniently pulled Sunamon & Co. out of Illian.

It was beginning to look all set for the Seanchan. Then, all sorts of things happened to delay their plans
- Ituralde diverted the raken
- Mat and his “little mess” of a campaign distracted Chisen on the Murandy border
- there was that small matter of a missing Daughter of the Nine Moons, 7k troops going missing (the Whitecloaks), enemy armies mysteriously disappearing (SAS), etc.
- And then, Logain turned up with AM and AS. We don't know how many, but we do know he took about half the BT (including all the bonded AS) and split them between Arad Doman and Illian.

The only thing we've had since, is a letter from Gregorin den Lushenos to Egwene, saying how he doesn't want to take all his troops to FoM in case the Seanchan attack.
Foreshadowing anyone?
Logain might be there already.
- - - - - - -
Logain's location is just pure speculation, but I am fairly sure something will happen in Illian. I'd be very surprised if Tuon diverted all of her troops to Tar Valon and abandoned those forts. The only question is when and why. I must say I had forgotten about the connection with the Horn, it would be fitting for it to end up there.
Anthony Pero
141. anthonypero
Can we call a truce and moratorium on the tone of the last few threads? I haven't helped much myself, I realize. I got into flaming with like, three people on two sites in the last week... So I'm probably not the right person to shout cease fire right now but... I'm gonna do it anyway :)

Can we play nice now? Hit the reset button?

Paul Long
142. Caveatar
Regarding the Last Battle and the Bore and Merillor and all over the place and Shayol Ghul....
The only thing I can go by in prophecy is "His blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul."
That pretty much seems definite to me.
My own personal opinion on the Dragon's Big Battle is:
That occurred on Dragonmount. Lews Therin (and his overlay personality) Chose to Let the World Live.
It is all over but the shouting now.
A LOT of shouting.

As to where the confrontation takes place between Dragon and Dark'un
I think it is also Shayol Ghul at least to begin. I also expect it will be far-ranging just like Perrin and Slayer.

I am also still waiting for the import of something that has been overlooked, by me, in the Dragon's fate.
The Dragon's on his arms. They have been seeming to be just a tattoo to recognise him.
But Aviendha, (you are good enough girl!, go get him.),
at the Menage of whatthehellever that is, the multiple bonding of Rand,
when she felt him through the bond, she said, "The Veins of Gold", repeated I think.
Rand already had the Veins of Gold in some aspect.
Avi wouldn't lie to us about a thing like that.
I also wonder if that still remaining Dragon on the arm had something to do with the Veins of Gold and the Liquid White Power on his brain
shielding the taint.
But getting started on wondering about the WoT is sure to give me a case of the never-get-overs that even Nynaeve couldn't heal.
Nyn's herbology is still waiting to kick ass I think.
I would like her to mix up her herbs from her intuitive knowledge of healing and zap the mixture of herbs with the Power, and create the
Sovereign Specific. Mixture of the herbs and the Power. The Elixir of Life. And Raise the Bloody Dead with it.
But only after his body has been in CamLann Caemlyn for three days
and Master Norry has sat with his corpse for the full three days and finally believes "that young man" is dead.
Dead all over.
Dead as Pontius Pilate.

Oh well. Don't want to catch the blue mullygrubs puzzling myself anymore right now. I will just read others thoughts when they appear.

Paul Long
143. Caveatar
@141 anthonypero

I'm for it.

And for your perusal and comment (or ridicule if you like)

Fitte 1

While visiting
"The University of the WoT Re-read, headed by Dean Butler"

I wandered around and came to a room which said "Music Publishing"
on the door.
I ambled to the door, my mosey having given out on me, and
looked in.
There was a man behind a desk covered with papers and a guitar
standing, leaning against a wall.
On the near side of the desk was a man wearing a tee shirt that
had AP on it. He was speaking to the man behind the desk.
Trying to sell something I guessed.

"Are you taking anything in the key of E today?", he asked.
The man widened his eyes for a moment,then replied,
"E was yesterday."
The supplicant said, "Darn. Just my luck. One day late."

He looked around and said,
"I see you've got a guitar over there. Do you mind if I pick it up?"
The man told him to go ahead.
Sitting down with the guitar he said,
"I started a new song yesterday.
It starts right here in G and then goes to C and... I am stuck there.
The office man said, "Try D."
The guitarist songwriter said, "Well heck, that WOULD work wouldn't it."

Knowing nothing about music I wandered away. Words like 'diatonic',
"chromatic" and even the strange word 'myxolidian' floating through my head.
"Must be absorbing something from the atmosphere", I thought.
This kind of thing could put me into a fugue, something I thought
might be a mental state I didn't want to be in. This place was
affecting me with more information than I was aware I knew.

Anthony Pero
144. anthonypero
The chord he really wanted was Am... G C Am Dsus-D. Yep, that's it. Pull the heart strings with the minor 2nd to the Fifth suspension, then the resolve.
Anthony Pero
145. anthonypero
Great, now I just picked up my guitar and started playing that progression.
Paul Long
146. Caveatar
@141 anthonypero

Isn't it only the players who can call a timeout?
Its been a long time since I knew the rules.

EDIT Add. I wish I could hear the playing. Been a long time since my heartstrings were pulled.
Paul Long
147. Caveatar
@Wetlander: I am raising my hand and waving to get Miss Teacher's attention. (1)

Fitte 2
At "The University of the WoT Re-read, headed by Dean Butler"

Just inside the Entrance stood several shiny silvery looking statues.
Folks were gathered around. I overheard them arguing about who the
statues represented. Finally they settled on calling them 'Alumni'.
Then a disagreement arose as to what material they were cast in.
I knew immediately without even thinking. Alumnium of course.
These folks needed to "Headdesk" "Facepalm" more.
Their brains were leaking.

I passed a couple of folks in the hall. One was saying to the other,
"It is nearly impossible to write an English sentence of any length
without using the letter 'e'. I can't write with my keyboard "e' sticking.
Writers I thought. Yeah. Writers.

I entered a room where the text of a lecture was scrolling up the wall.
I read it...
If Youth, throughout all history, had had a champion to stand up for it;
to show a doubting world that a child can think; and, possibly, do it practically, you wouldn't constantly run across folks today who claim that "a child don't know anything."
A child's brain starts functioning at birth; and has,
amongst its many infant convolutions, thousands of dormant atoms,
into which God has put a mystic possibility for noticing an adult's act,
and figuring out its purport.

Hmmm. Made sense to me. We learn by observing others. Sure.
Then, due to the ambient wisdom I am sure, it came to mind
that there was something strange about what I had just read.
"Great Gadsby! and Gadzooks", I said, "there must be an explanation."

I waited for some Noble Teacher to come and explain it.
Maybe one would show up. I waited awhile but no one showed up.
Probably the Infamous Offender, RL, had delayed the Noble Teacher.

*(1)As a personal favor to me, if you are not currently engaged in grading papers of students.
Would you grade my poem for MasterAlThor's grandson?
I promise I did NOT rewrite "The Raven" and rename it to "The Blackbird" as some have been accused.
If it is less than a D, if grading is still done that way, just pretend you didn't have time. :D

Anthony Pero
148. anthonypero
Speaking of G - C - D, and pulled heartstrings... here you go!

Anthony Pero
149. anthonypero
Ok, i guess they were in Db tuning. They Are playing in the Key of G, but it sounds in Gb instead. This is what lazy guitar players do instead of playing the real notes like us piano players. ;)
Paul Long
150. Caveatar
@149 anthonypero

And a passing guitarist says, like Viscini,
"You'd like to THINK that wouldn't you?"

Took a while on my connection. Yeah. Good. But the only thing that pulled my heartstring was the chick in the black. (And I now hope that it WAS a chick.)

151. MickeyDee
Megaduck @ 7 & 8:

"Grendy had murdered and raped thousands" .... if that's the order in which she did it I too would have used Balefire. Bit like shagging a female Other.
Paul Long
152. Caveatar
@151 MickeyDee

Great one.
I just laughed so hard my neighbor told me to shut the hell up.

Sounds like Zoe on Firefly re: reavers.
"They will rape us to death, sew our skin into their clothing, and eat our flesh. And if we are lucky they will do it in that order."

"Shut yr yap neighbor. That was funny."
153. alreadymadwithcads
Is anybody else disturbed that the only way to get on Cadsuane's good side is to be subordinate to her? No equals there no sirree.. And she praises Nynaeve for agreeing to be a lapdog. And calls it redeemable.
Paul Long
154. Caveatar
Ooooooh Ooooooooooo ooooooooo

Let me get this down before I forget it.

Rand tells Tuon that she MUST swear fealty to him or to the pit with it all.
ForTuona agrees.
She is sitting on her throne.
Rand says, "Well? Will you swear fealty and be bound to me?"
She says, "I already agreed. Kneel before the throne."
Rand says, "What?! Kneel??"
She says , "The Empress of the Nine Moons only swears fealty from her throne. Otherwise it is not a binding oath for the Empire or the Empress. It would be only an oath by the Princess of the Ravens.
If you would bind the Nine Moons to an oath of fealty it must be done while the Empress is sitting in the Throne. Else the Throne and the empire is not bound. For it to be binding you must swear to the Empress to serve the good of the Empire. And I must bow to the one who will fight the battle. No superiors. An equal oath of service for the good of the world.
You must kneel to me and I must bow to you.
This is how the Empire forms a truce and a pact, bound by oath.
This is the only situation when the Empire has ever had need to do this."

Then, "This must be done Lord Dragon. And it SHALL be done. Kneel and swear. Kneel , or you will be knelt."
(I had to edit that in. One of my favorite statements in literature. Gives me chills.) Cav

Rand hits the ground on his knees like he has been kicked by Bela.
He holds his hands out, Fortuna swears the fealty oath. The Nine Moons is bound to serve him.
And Bob's your Uncle.
Or if it is right,(Ha! Fat chance.)
Ol' Caveatar's your uncle.
May the Luck of the Gambler be with me.

Add: And if she does that, I will say, "May she live forever". And mean it.

And if this guess is correct I will walk to Carolina, no wait, Utah is close to Nevada, I will walk to Utah, corner Brandon Sanderson and have him sign a document and swear an oath by Saint Parley Pratt that I guessed it.
(Then I will cash in the winning Powerball Multimillions and treat everyone to a collectors edition of the WoT. New art and all.)

Terez: If you blast this one with a simple link to a database, I will.....
I will....cry. :D

The statement of that crazy scuzball descendant in Aviendha's trip
"Forced him to kneel to their Empress" is just her skewed presentation
of the event.

One more addon.

And the solution, if it is true, is a Jordan Blessed Blacksmith Puzzle!
I have seen one and maybe two that required both parts to be EQUAL
to support the other in the disentanglement. My Lord, what a mind the man had! And I hate the necessity of that past tense.

Paul Long
155. Caveatar

Yes. I am. But that is a known personality trait in some real life asses.

Paul Long
156. Caveatar
@82 Maester
Oh, and Cadsuane was totally being unfair to Nynaeve, but I suppose she was either doing this because of Nynaeve's previous temperamental and rebellious track record, or because she knew she was too close to Rand and had therefore not earned her trust yet, just as Min hadn't.
I think many have been unfair to Nynaeve and especially when she was a too-young wisdom and that is why she got to be Madam FullCharge
in the TwoRivers, changing her personality to cope. Nynaeve always tries to help whoever needs it. This girl would take on death itself.
If she had witnessed the Cup of Sleep it would have hurt her more than anyone else.

Sorry to do so many but it seems I am catching up anyway.

@94. missbee

Actually your pet theory touches on one of my pet theories in that Rands corruption was planned as early as The Great Hunt.

In the Prologue of TGH Ba'alzamon refers to turning him to his use. I theorize that Moridin/Ishy/Ba'alzamon had stated his plan to turn Rand way back then and it almost came to fruition as he manipulated Rand into using the TP, sacrificing Semirhage to do it. By giving him accesss to the TP he allows the true corruption to start. Moridin had been manuevering Rand into bad choice after bad choice up until then, disensitizing Rand to degree, that when the oppurtinity came to offer the TP as a way out, he would take it. Ironically, if not for Cadsuane's bungled Handeling of him, Rand would have continued down his descent into Moridin's control.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment on your comment, as I though yours interesting.

Hmmm. I have a thought. Why do we all think that the bore will be resealed at Shayol Gul? Didn't the bore originate in the Sharom that hovered above Collam Daan? Is Shayul Gul the late location of Collam Daan? And what was the Sharom? How was it made and so forth?

It got me thinking about parts of some studies about the Bore and its relations to the other worlds where the Ways are located and where Skimming is done or even the realities of the Portal Stones. Maybe Justice is a Ter' Angreal or maybe even a Sa'angreal that can only be used in TRR. The sister to Callandor for the real world. Maybe the Sharom was a giant Ter'angreal that let the Real world, TRR and these alter realities, occupy the same place at once, so ones channeling would take place at the same time on all planes of existance. Or maybe Justice has nothing to do with it and the Crystal Throne is the Ter'angreal. Maybe thats why Lanfear knows so much about Callandor. Seeing as how she created the Bore, maybe she had a hand Callandors making to be used specifically to create the Bore. Or maybe it was Callandor alone that was used to create the Bore. It would literally be the most important Sa'angreal/Ter'angreal there is.

I am totally thinking out loud here. These aren't defined theories at all. I'm just at a point where we are touching on what I'm Re Reading right now and my mind is roiling with scenarios .

But remember, the Bore was created within the Sharom which hovered above Collam Daan.

Anyhoo....commence blowing me up now.

159. yasiru89
Oh come on! I can't for the life of me understand the lapses in logic that seem perfectly acceptable to some people who appear to entertain very twisted ideas of morality.

'Dropping a nuclear bomb on a city'? Seriously, that's your comparison? Perhaps you neglected to mention that the city in question is populated by zombie servants whose minds have been erased serving an evil dictator? (And not say, innocents just trying to make a living whose very gravesite is to remain scorched and inhospitable, destined to produce twisted offspring? A pathetic metaphor.)

How one could condemn what Rand does in this scene, knowing full well from just a chapter or two ago that the level of Compulsion Graendal uses on those around her makes all those lives one harps on about essentially unsalvageable, I can never understand.
Is this a Judeo-Christian mindset of love of life for its own sake at play, presumably no matter how stupid you're being?

But maybe that's not it either, because many of the same people who condemn this, I submit to you with due incredulity, are those very people who think death would be a better fate than for a channeller to be collared and made to serve as a damane!
Being near Graendal, your mind wiped irrecoverably and made to dotingly serve the one who did that to you, is surely the worse fate. Damane might be broken, but progress can be made with them (as seen with Alivia and some of the damane Elayne had at Caemlyn)- they can be freed. We all saw how much more taxing was Nynaeve's attempt to 'free' the boy in 'A Conversation with the Dragon', and what use it turned out to be.
But of course, it would appear readers are likely to have more sympathy for a channeller's plight, particularly when slavery is a more relateable issue than mind control could ever be, for having social and historical antecedent for that relatability.

Maybe seeing from afar these inhabitants seemingly going about daily tasks in an ordinary manner in the scene robs people of their capacity for rational thought, but I find the reactions disturbing. What Rand did at Natrin's Barrow was what had to be done, and a strategically sound move (particularly in hindsight as it cornered Graendal enough for her to yield a result to Rand, if not the one he was expecting). As Leigh concedes, going by numbers alone Natrin's Barrow is insignificant compared to some of the battles, etc. But it seems to me the problem is that this was a massacre. Very well- imagine if you will how many would have been so massacred if Aran'gar made it to the Last Battle, likely with the Aes Sedai who died with her as a Dreadlord (or is that Dreadlady?)?

We know Rand bears fully, perhaps even more than is good for him and humanity's cause, the burden of his actions (taking a life is taking a life, whatever the circumstances). Perhaps it's just fantasy fandom's naivety at work (given the age distribution of the demographic and various personality traits that traditionally correlate with an interest in fantasy) for the outright, visceral (better than 'mindless fright') condemnation of the protagonist's actions despite this. (I wonder if views would be different had there been a similar scene in some military fiction, where the stakes might seem more relatable.) Or maybe some have forgotten that balefire actually doesn't give you a 'final death' and are overestimating the effect Rand's actions would have for the progression of the concerned souls.

Whatever it is, the reaction is mistaken on each of the levels I've discussed here for the reasons I give. Perhaps a reassessment is due?
Paul Long
160. Caveatar
@158 Zexxes

And the current name of the place where the Sharom and or Collam Daanis The Fields of Merrilor. Unless I am too tired to get it right.

Check your shoutbox if you have not done so lately.

Paul Long
161. Caveatar
@159 Yasiru

My sentiments exactly. The death is of the current personality, unless of a Hero, but not the soul. I would have been cheering Rand on to kill me.
Personality death is bad, but that is going to happen in a few years anyway.
Thank you for posting that.

Theresa Gray
162. Terez27
@anthonypero—Is it me? Usually when the tone goes into offensiveland, it's me. But I don't think it's me this time. I'm resisting responding to one person in particular in order to avoid that, actually. Considering doing it anyway and just trying real hard to keep it under control.
j p
163. sps49
Terez27 @95- I'm sure this has been mentioned by someone by now, but couldn't "he who is dead yet lives" refer to Rand Sedai?- LTT is very dead, yet lives (reborn). If this part of prophecy is already true, some of the interpretations might be easier.

yasiru89 @159- You might be taking the reread commentary of a fictional book too personally. Just a suggestion; you could moderate your tone.

Caeveatar @160- Is it mentioned in ToM somewhere that the Field of Merrilor is the site of the former Collan Daan?
164. TrainerRed
@159 said it much better than I did/tried to.

I do wonder what zen Rand would have done instead though.
Zen Rand would have done the same thing but for different reasons.

166. yasiru89
For sps49 @163-

I could, but I won't. Only polite civility is due here, not mildness in disagreement. I come across as forceful because I really can't fathom where Leigh and those who share her sentiments in this case are coming from.

As for this being fiction, I don't see why that should mean deeper themes should go unexplored so long as we all retain the mindset that this is a critique. A moral judgement of an action, even a hypothetical one for being fiction, is after all being made.
But I digress, in fact, I rail against exactly letting the sentiment of this scene affect one's judgement on how it fits in with the whole. Only a strong confrontation with facts could hope to prevail there.
@159 yasiru89

While I agree with many of your points, I must concede that the direction of your tone Is abrasive in nature. Insulting your peers because you deem their logic unsound is and should be deemed inappropriate. I understand your feeling of inconsistencies of thought processi. But you come seeming more ignorant than those you seek to lambast.

Just something to think about in the future.

Paul Long
168. Caveatar
I read it somewhere but I am too tired to remember where right now.
It may have been in one of the databases.

@166 yasiru.
I agree with the action of Rand and I agree with the intent of you post but I rail against no one. And no thing.
I do not react with anger at marks appearing on my monitor.
You are quite free to do as you wish. I do not rail against you either.

Best to all
Bedtime for me, +2hours.


j p
169. sps49
following up-

"At the end of time,
when the many become one.
The last storm shall gather its angry winds
to destroy a land already dying.
And at its center,
the blind man shall stand
upon his own grave.
There he shall see again,
and weep for what has been wrought."

So Rand has stood upon his own grave, but are the many become one yet?
Paul Long
170. Caveatar
Dammit. Can't sleep for thinking about this.

In order to resolve my feelings about Cadsuane I sat and started
writing for myself a scene where she is defeated and dies.
It turned away from what I thought to say an ended up in a totally
different place.

Skit Removed

NOW I can go to sleep.

Theresa Gray
171. Terez27
sps@169—Going backwards this time. What I was trying to say by quoting that passage is that the 'many' are the many nations of the north-east alliance that was finally made more or less solid when he came to an agreement with the Borderlanders. That is reflected in the quote I gave just before it:
Binding nations to him.
Making one of many.
So now the north and the east are 'as one', and the south and the west are 'as one'.

Caveatar@154—Not a link from the database, but a quote:
There can be no health in us, nor any good thing grow, for the land is one with the Dragon Reborn, and he one with the land. Soul of fire, heart of stone, in pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love.
—From a much-disputed translation of The Prophecies of the Dragon by the poet Kyera Termendal of Shiota, believed to have been published between FY 700 and FY 800
missbee@140—Good job. You have managed to impress me rather quickly; that doesn't happen very often. I often reference the Seanchan offensive building on Illian in a general sense, but I hadn't nailed down all the quotes yet, being lazy on that subject (read distracted by other things). I usually cite the conversation between Rand and Logain in KOD, when Rand deployed half of the Black Tower to both Arad Doman and Illian. But you have successfully nailed down what appears to be every little detail of it. Now I want to write a FAQ on it. I will link to your post at the outset when I do, unless you have a better post you'd like me to link to.

I even wanted to believe that Tuon was running a deceptive campaign with the second Tar Valon attack, but her thoughts do seem to rule that out. I'm just wondering whether she will 1) attack an empty Tower and then go to Illian, or 2) drum up some true intelligence and learn what's going on at Merrilor. It seems like she would want to attack Merrilor, but better to take Rand's only crown while he's occupied elsewhere. That would seem to lead to Mat getting the Horn with no interference from Tuon, and going against her to defend Illian while Rand is dead. In that case, it doesn't matter whether or not the link between Mat and the Horn was broken (though I tend to think it wasn't). It's a toss-up as to whether or not Rand will be called by the Horn, but I tend to think he will be resurrected first.

PS—For those who don't know, missbee was among those to help with the Cadsuane decoding project.

travyl@136—It sometimes amazes me that people think nothing happened in the 'slow' books, because I quote for those books pretty regularly in my theories, which is demonstrated by missbee's post referenced above. And perhaps explained by this RJ quote. As for the foreshadowing, there is some quantity there, but it's mostly quality. Rand is the only one of the Two Rivers people who really wants to go home aside from Perrin. And Perrin did go home. Rand did once, too. Since it's relevant to the general conversation:
TITLE - Lord of Chaos
CHAPTER: 21 - To Shadar Logoth

For a moment Rand wondered whether he was really in the Two Rivers at all. No, the feel of the place told him he was. The smell of the air shouted home. All those changes Bode and the rest of the girls had told him about – they had not really sunk in; nothing ever really changed in the Two Rivers. Should he send the girls back here, back home? What you should do is stay clear of them. It was an irritable thought.

"Emond’s Field is that way," he said. Emond’s Field. Perrin. Tam might be there, too, at the Winespring Inn, with Egwene’s parents. "That is where Loial should be. I don’t know if you can make it before dark. You might ask at the farmhouse. I’m sure they will give you a place to sleep. Don’t tell them about me. Tell no one how you came." The boy had seen but a boy’s tale might well be taken for exaggeration when Ogier appeared.

Adjusting the bundles on their backs, Haman and Covril exchanged looks, and she said, "We will say nothing of how we came. Let people make the stories they wish."

Haman stroked his beard and cleared his throat. "You must not kill yourself."

Even in the Void, Rand was startled. "What?"

"The road ahead of you," Haman rumbled, "is long, dark, and, I very much fear, bloodstained. I also very much fear that you will take us all down that road. But you must live to reach the end of it."

"I will," Rand replied curtly. "Fare you well." He tried to put some warmth into that, some feeling, but he was not sure he succeeded.

"Fare you well," Haman said, and the women echoed it before all three turned toward the farmhouse. Not even Erith sounded as if she believed he would, though.

A moment longer Rand stood there. People had appeared outside the house, watching the Ogier approach, but Rand stared north and west, not toward Emond’s Field, but toward the farm where he had grown up. When he turned away and opened a gateway to Caemlyn, it was like tearing his own arm off. The pain was a much more suitable memorial for Liah than a scratch.
sub@135—I wouldn't count on Rand actually putting 2 and 2 together, particularly if the person who is immune to the Power is also pretty much invisible, has superhuman strength and speed, and is a blademaster with a Power-wrought sword. And while it would be nifty if there were three such people, RJ promised that Rand and Galad won't have a swordfight. But now we learn that Gareth Bryne (another Arthurian Knight of the Round Table) is also a blademaster.

Also, offering up alternatives for 'many become one' doesn't amount to 'poking holes' in it. The explanation I gave happens to bind several prophecies. The other options fall in the random noobtheory category. They don't make much sense beyond 'ooh this would be cool'. ;)

anthonypero@127—I think we've seen the last of the Domination Bands. I could be wrong, but it's hard to see how that would fit with everything else going on.

tenkuu@126—For your comment to Rob, no one thinks that Moridin and Rand will merge physically. First off, Min's words about it are slightly ambiguous to the point that we might not ever get a full-blown merge. But you can see the effects of the merging already. We don't know what caused the link between them, but we know that Rand thinks Moridin's thoughts sometimes, and Moridin feels Rand's pain, and they can enter each other's dreams, even though they are warded against intrusion. The list goes on and on. As I said before, I suspect it is the result of a male-male Warder Bond, which RJ has commented on before. Min says they 'touched' (as they already have, according to Rand) and then 'seemed to merge'. The result of this is that one of them dies, and the other does not. That hasn't happened yet. But it does seem a great deal like the Luc/Isam=Slayer merge, about which the Dark Prophecy in TGH states: 'One did live, and one did die, but both are.' Sound familiar? But I still doubt that is exactly where it is going. I could be wrong.

As for your definition of 'supernatural' and 'not within the normal rules', again you fail to make a distinction that is backed up by actual facts. Both means of resurrection are within the normal rules of the world, or they would not be possible. We have seen resurrections by both methods already. And it's hard to see how this would be coming 'out of nowhere' when it's been one of the major plot points of the books since TFOH when Birgitte was ripped out.

As for Tuon, as I said before, Tuon is not untrained. She has been consciously channeling, using the damane's Power, for a long time now, and she is very good at it. Some older sul'dam can see the weaves, though they have a hard time admitting it. Tuon never bothers to deny it. She doesn't give her damane orders; she simply utilizes their Power to channel. We saw this in KOD when she collared the Aes Sedai. She embraced the Source through them and cut them off from it at will, and she used their Power to bind the others. There is a clear distinction made between Tuon and other sul'dam on this point.
Anthony Pero
172. anthonypero

RE: The Domination Bands... I just have trouble with this part right here:

"So you discovered that little gem behind you," Moghedien said in a moment of precarious balance. Surprisingly, her voice was almost conversational. "I wonder how you did that. It does not matter. Did you come to take it away? Perhaps to destroy it? You cannot destroy it. That is not metal, but a form of cuendillar. Even balefire cannot destroy cuendillar. And if you mean to use it, it does have... drawbacks, shall we say? Put the collar on a man who channels, and a woman wearing the bracelets can make him do whatever she wishes, true, but it will not stop him going mad, and there is a flow the other way, too. Eventually he will begin to be able to control you, too, so you end with a struggle at every hour. Not very palatable when he is going mad. Of course, you can pass the bracelets around, so no one has too much exposure, but that does mean trusting someone else with him. Men are always so good at violence; they make wonderful weapons. Or two women can each wear one bracelet, if you have someone you trust enough; that slows the seepage considerably, I understand, but it also lessens your control, even if you work in perfect unison. Eventually, you will find yourselves in a struggle for control with him, each of you needing him to remove your bracelet as surely as he needs you to remove the collar."

This is too specific of a usage to not be brought into play. Not just the "seepage" back to the woman (which is irrelevant now, because the taint is gone) but also this struggle for control between the man and the woman. As you have said yourself many times... RJ doesn't add things like this in casually. I guess it could be an abandoned idea, but... it makes a lot of sense to me that this is how Rand "binds the nine moons to serve him" while simultaneously allowing the Dragon Reborn to "Kneel before the Crystal Throne" in some fashion...
173. yasiru89
For ZEXXES @167-

As reiterated in 166, I insult no one. If you unduly find something inappropriate this is your problem and not mine. Pointing out lapses of logic is about what someone is saying and what might cause them to say what they do and not about that person on any personal level. As I do not attack ad hominem, neither do I not mollycoddle inconsistent beliefs.
Something for you to bear in mind in future. :)
174. yasiru89
For Caveatar @168-

Your commitment to a view is, ah, reassuring.

Since there appears to be some confusion, allow me to clarify-

Rail (verb)
Definition: Complain or protest strongly and persistently about

This being the sense I use this word that has caused you some distress, it is clear that I do not 'rail against' a particular person (or even group), but I do 'protest strongly and persistently' any incoherent ideas espoused by a person or like-minded group. I would have thought my post 166 clarified this, but apparently not. I do not need to descend to attacking people personally, or even presuming that they are me.
Chris R
175. up2stuff
Zexxes @ 158

That is something that had crossed my mind once or twice too. I am pretty sure Collum Daan was not at Shayol Guhl. I seem to remember a Forsaken meeting, sometime around book 9-11, where I thing Greandal was reflecting on how it had been an Idyllic resort type of place with a Lake or evan an Ocean surrounding the mountain or something like that. The FS involved was reflecting that the Host had recreated a room like that found in the Age of Legends at some kind of "Gardens", with glow lamps and stuff.

One would think that the Sharom was where the Bore was created, because of the backlash witnessed in the WayBack Ter during Rand's Rhuidean visit, but I think that whatever was done was simply initiated there. Kind of like Houston is mission Control when the Shuttles are launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Edit: Oh, and since the seals WERE placed at SG during the strike by the 100 Companions, it only seems logical that at least SOMETHING will have to be done there to "Clear away the Rubble."

It has also been reflected on by FS, I think at least both Semi and Demandred reflected on being able to sense it most stronly there, in the pit.

Chris R
176. up2stuff
THought I posted this last night, but here goes again.

Kind of ironic that Rand's insurance policy of using Ramshalan backfired. If he had just BF'd Graendal, she would have been caught unaware and with no recourse. She would be gone, but he would never be able to be sure he had really gotten her. By using that Fop, he tipped her off and even though he was reassured she is gone, she in fact escaped. Guess he didnt punch her in the face hard enough.
177. yasiru89
Yes, but if Graendal had just been out for a while, balefire without assurance of Graendal's presence would have accomplished only to unravel the Pattern a bit more. In what Rand did, and Graendal only realising it after it was too late (i.e- using Compulsion on Ramshalan), she was trapped and required to yield a sacrifice for her own salvation. So instead of one of the Forsaken Rand managed to be rid of both a Forsaken and a Black Ajah member.
Aran'gar would have been at least as dangerous as Graendal might now be for Rand et al. believing her dead, because Aran'gar's whole existence is pretty much a disguise.
Birgit F
178. birgit
he could also have been the one killing Carridin's relatives after Ishamael died.

That was the SH prototype Myrddraal.

I also think it's possible the Oaths will end up being a compromise, fulfilling the prophecy that Rand will bind the nine moons to serve him.

Could Mat somehow make Tuon hold the Oath Rod while she swears to serve Rand and some AS with inverted weaves channels into the OR?

The habit of blaming Cads when someone is treated badly can get in the way of seeing what really happens. In this scene Sorilea is the one who is dismissing Ny and Cads repeatedly takes Ny's side.
- Merise doesn't want to let Ny in, but Cads tells her to let her in.
- Sorilea dismisses Ny after she told them what happened, but Cads says Ny could be useful to their plans.
- Sorilea questions whether Ny can obey. Cads says Ny might be the only salvagable current AS. Sorilea says Egs is also honorable.
- Cads tells Ny only her part in the plan.
Cads isn't perfect, but she treats Ny better than Sorilea and Merise.

Does the AOL lake where SG is now have anything to do with the women in the boat prophecy?
179. Dilsnik
Hawkwings sword Justice has a dragon on the scabard - because it was LTT's sword first. My pet theory anyway.
Chris R
180. up2stuff
Yasiru 177

I think you were responding to me? What I meant was, if he had just gated in, Ka-meh-ha-me-ha'd her fortress and gated out, she would have never known what hit her. He would have gotten her, Arangar (who he never knew about) and the Black sister.

In. Punch. Out. Stick and move. Ramshalan made her suspicious.

He THINKS he got her, STILL doesnt know about Arangar or the black sister, and now, barring any fatal or debilitating punishments from Shaidar Haran, she can still sucker punch him right back, whilst he knows nothing about her.
Theresa Gray
181. Terez27
birgit@178—I think it's possible, but only because Tuon has already somewhat practiced channeling. I don't think it will work on someone who hasn't channeled yet, and she's really on that edge from what we have been told. So it's only a slim possibility. My guess is that if an a'dam can hold her, then she can swear on the Oath Rod.

As for the boat, that was my first thought on it several years ago when I first considered the question, but I'm not sure if it makes sense, for several reasons. For one thing, it wouldn't revert to a sea unless the Dark One was completely defeated, and maybe not even then. And it's clear from the Foretelling and the Dream that the world is still in pretty dire shape at that point.

Dilsnik@179—We know it wasn't Lews Therin's sword; Rand said so. For an expalanation of the dragons on the scabbard, see here.
182. MasterAlThor

Why yes we still only have two seasons and the State flower is still the Orange Traffic Cone.


Am I missing something? Do you still think that Gawyn and Rand are going to fight in Caemlyn? I would think that Gawyn seeing his mother alive would let Rand off the hook.


Edit: Thank you Terez for helping to waste (not really....there was more info in that link that I had time for) most of my morning. Got any others? LOL
Anthony Pero
183. anthonypero
At M'A'T:

Egwene is opposing Rand destroying the seals. She feels she knows from a dream that it is the wrong thing to do. Since she has yet to actually discover that she is EVER wrong, she is unlikely to change that opinion. She will try to stop Rand. That puts Gawyw possibly in a battle to protect Egwene (as he sees it) against Rand... which also harkens nicely back to Gawyn's dream of defending her against Rand (not that that is prophecy, just a bit of foreshadowing.)

I don't know if I believe any of this, but it's a way it could play out.
Sam Mickel
184. Samadai
Caveatar @ 156

That makes me think about what if Nynaeve had been there. If she let Verin die, then heal whats wrong with her body and bring her back by resucitation, if that would work. If it would have freed Verin from the oaths
interesting, now I am imagining it as if it happened. (perhaps someone needs to write a story)
Justice has never been Lews Therin's. Rand explained this straight away at its first appearance in Rands possession. In fact Lews Therin had not so much as seen that sword before.

Rob Munnelly
186. RobMRobM
AP @183 and earlier posts - Gawyn fighting/killing Rand has one big problem - blood on the rocks at SG, not the Fields of Merrillor.

Side point - I was re-reading TDR yesterday and in one of the early chapters Moiraine cites the Karetheon cycle as requiring that he will destroy his people with the leaf. That seems to imply that the Aiel will return to true Jenn Aiel non-violent status, doesn't it?
Theresa Gray
187. Terez27
MasterAlThor@182—Yeah, the argument put forth by anthonypero is probably the most likely option. The seals were pretty blatantly set up to be the Great Conflict of AMOL for Rand and Egwene, and considering their Arthur and Guinevere parallels, and Gawyn's Gawain and Mordred parallels, and the Bloodrings, and the mysterious importance of swordplay to Rand's fate...it should be interesting. We still have foreshadowing to fulfill, after all:
TITLE - Lord of Chaos CHAPTER: 25 - Like Lightning and Rain

Gawyn startled her by drawing a ragged breath. "I will give over everything, betray everything, for you. Come away with me, Egwene. We will both leave it all behind. I have a small estate south of Whitebridge, with a vineyard and a village, so far into the country that the sun rises two days late. The world will hardly touch us there. We can be married on the way. I don’t know how much time we will have – al’Thor; Tarmon Gai’don – I do not know; but we will have it together."

..."I cannot," she said softly. "You can never know how much I want to, but I cannot." She laughed abruptly, feeling tears in her eyes. "And you. Betray? Gawyn Trakand, that word fits you as darkness fits the sun."
I believe Gawyn will die in the attempt, but I believe he will probably kill Rand as well. I think there is a possibility that Moiraine will also play a role, but it gets more complicated at that point. But not impossible.

Arthur was only mortally wounded at Camlann, and he (supposedly) died later. The three queens, or Morgan LeFay, or whoever, took him to the Isle of Avalon—the Isle of Apples—to be healed, and he was never seen again (with some small variations). Moiraine is a Morgan LeFay parallel, but she is also a Mordred parallel—perhaps one of the best Mordred parallels in the series. But the general impression is that Rand needs to die for the world to be saved, and there's foreshadowing enough that it will be a Lightsider to kill him rather than Moridin or someone else.

That raises the question of the blood-spilling, which need not be the same event as his death. It's hard to figure. The Prophecies of the Shadow say that the Lord of the Evening will face the Broken Champion, and spill his blood, which brings the darkness so beautiful. The KC says that the Dragon's blood will be spilled in the Pit of Doom, on the rocks of Shayol Ghul, and that this will save men from the Shadow. The only way I can see it being both is if this is in fact the moment where Rand dies, since that would save them from the Shadow by severing the link with Moridin (presumably) and temporarily bring the darkness in whatever way until Rand is resurrected.

But then, it's also possible that 1) Rand's blood is actually Galad, and 2) Galad is also the Broken Champion. There are actually several possibilities for the Dragon's Blood, but Galad seems to be the most likely, and he also fits the title of Broken Champion better than anyone else. He's a stereotypical champion. And there is Verin's letter to contend with. And Elaida's Foretellings.

I won't claim to have every detail pinned down, but I'm sure that the major roles of Gawyn, Galad, and Moiraine have yet to be seen, and I think it won't be what most readers expect.

RobM@186—I talked about the blood-spilling thing above. As for the 'destroy them with the leaf' thing, most seem to think that refers to the schism with the Shaido, the Brotherless, and the bleakness. And perhaps the siswai'aman can be attributed to that as well. That doesn't mean that the scenario you suggest won't be played out, though. I find it to be pretty likely myself, as I mentioned...maybe it was on Part 20. I can't recall. I think it will factor into the Empire.
Roger Powell
188. forkroot
If Lews Therin wasn't a hero of the Horn, why would Rand be?
I'm pretty sure LTT/Rand (same soul) is a Hero of the Horn. He wouldn't be called by the Horn if his soul is currently incarnated. Similarly, I suspect that unless Birgitte dies, she won't be called either (although her situation is unique.)
Balefire would simply be part of resurrecting him if someone balefired whoever would have balefired Rand.
I think RJ indicated that balefire couldn't undo the effects of previous balefire - otherwise you get all sorts of paradoxes. (It's bad enough as it is.)

Hi stranger! Good to hear from you. You can still make two cents go farther than most!
Paul Long
189. Caveatar
@184 Samadai
(perhaps someone needs to write a story)
Yes, perhaps someone does.
And have you noticed the similarity between someone and samadai?
They both start off with the "suhmu".
Yes, I believe you do. :D

You are 'heard of god', and, 'who is like god' to know good when he sees it?
I would consider it myself but I am trying to find the fanfic place which M'A'T referenced in one of his posts.
@71 ... some great fan stories (Samadai).
Can you estimate a publishing date? Or even first draft?
The price of internet ink and paper and glue and stuff is going up.
'twere best done quickly'.

goes back to observe the discussion of "denominational differences"
190. MasterAlThor
Terez, anthonypero,

While what you suggest is plausible, I don't believe that it is probable . I don't see Gawyn and Rand coming to blows over the seals. Yes the seals are incrediably important, but not enough for Rand to be killed by Gawyn. Or mortally wounded.

Think about that for a second. Gawyn would go down as the biggest traitor in the history of .....well just about anything. And while certain people around here would like nothing more than to have that happen to him (you know who you are) I don't see Jordan writing that kind of ending for him.

Also, why would Galad be the Broken Champion? What would make him qualify as that?

191. MasterAlThor

When Sam suggest something like that, rest assured that he must be working on something. We shall soon see.

Sam Mickel
192. Samadai
Caveatar @189

I put the links to the stories in your shoutbox. There a few of them.
Anthony Pero
193. anthonypero
Also, M'A'T, there is no reason that this battle need take place at Merrillor. Just because Rand says he's going to do it, doesn't mean he's going to do it right there and then. Egwene certainly won't try to attack him before he actually TRIES to do it, or breaks the first one.
Theresa Gray
194. Terez27
MasterAlThor@190—I'm not sure why you think Gawyn has plot armor against a traitorous ending, but in any case it need not be framed that way. For example, Egwene's Accepted test showed her a scenario in which Rand begged her to kill him to save him from being turned to the Shadow. She herself observed a certain sinister duality to Rand's intentions in TOM when she told Gawyn that she believed Rand actually wanted her to stop him from breaking the seals—or at least, that a part of him wanted that. So what is it about the scenario that seems so improbable to you?

There are a lot of factors going into that scenario, Egwene's determination only being part of it. Gawyn is not really so far removed from his hatred and mistrust of Rand, but in the end he might think he's actually doing Rand a favor. Or doing Egwene a favor. He can think straight every now and then, but overall he has shown himself to be ruled by his emotions. If he believes that existence will cease if Rand breaks the seals, then he might not find the decision as easy as you seem to find it.

As for Galad being the Broken Champion, it fits in most people's minds because of his stereotypical representation of the noble Knight Champion, protector of the weak, etc. And it also fits with the idea that Galad will fulfill the blood-spilling prophecies. I'm not saying I necessarily support that theory. But I can see it.
Chin Bawambi
195. bawambi
I'm beginning to think that Nyn might be the key to the eventual light-side win. I have to get my thoughts together based on the two BWS books. I'm thinking along the lines of Nyn being influenced by Aiel Wise Ones and Cads = only half of the female/male balance going against the dark = loss for the light. I can see a bittersweet ending where Lan/Perrin/Rand are all dead and Nyn spends her remaining life trying to heal the Blight in Malkier. This becomes even more likely if Nyn becomes pregnant to continue the Malkier royal line. I have no idea if anyone has put any Nyn = young Arwen parallels together in the past but if not I might try.
Paul Long
196. Caveatar
@192 Sam

Gotem. I DO remember reading these when I was furiously reading and frantically trying to catch up on the rereads.
Good stuff.

I see that in the Garden at the University I have stumbled upon
another great treasure.
Even greater than the bowl of the winds.

Off to the Rahad Room. I hope that *&^% Gholam is dead.
KILL HIM MAT. We depend on you Mat.
New motto for the Banner of the Band: "In Mat we Trust"

God Speaks and Who is Like God to provide what is needed.
( I KNOW you know what I mean.)

Speaking of the treasure even greater than the bowl of the winds.
I believe this is another pointer to 'what you don't expect'.
The weather will clear up one way or another,
but art such as stories, tales, thoughts, knowledge IS the "Treasure greater than the bowl.". It is the friggin little man kindle angreal.
It contains an entire library of stories, songs, music, art, and such.
A library IS a treasure greater than that Bowl of the Winds.

Gotta catch up in the shoutbox.

Rob Munnelly
197. RobMRobM
Thanks, Terez. I don't want to overdo the Gawyn/Egwene versus Rand talk but if one or both seriously harms or kills him just before TG, it would be one of the biggest fails in fantasy literature and I'd lose bucketfuls of respect for Egwene, who is one of my favorite characters in the series. (Don't I recall correctly that precise same point being made by Elayne to Gawyn in ToM - you duel him and win, the Light loses. Point was made and acknowledged. Having G to after Rand after understanding the stakes would eviscerate his character arc, IMO. )

Sam Mickel
198. Samadai
Thanks Caveatar, I enjoy writing them.

For only with knowledge does ones power increase. A library is mans greatest treasure
Sam Mickel
200. Samadai
And I think that gives me the 2 hunny
201. MasterAlThor

Ah it is good to cross words with you again. I missed this. I guess I should say ideas. LOL.

Anyway, Gawyn killing Rand is not something that is going to be done in the dead of night with no witnesses around. Rand is the Savior of the World. Anyone who kills him is not going to be looked upone favorable by the populace. Rand's death is going to send shockwavesw around Randland if not the world. If Gawyn is the one to "pull the trigger" then he will be viewed as a....I can't think of a word strong enough (actually I thought of several but I am not sure of the spelling and since there is a teacher or three scanning these post). He would have just killed the Light of the World. Keep in mind that no one knows that Rand is coming back 3 days hence.

Also, I guess I didn't ask my Galad question correctly. I understand that he fits the knight motif, but what would make him Broken? I could see him fighting at SG, but just whom would he be matched up against?

Agh, I got questions and I think you got answers. That was easy.


Sam don't you have a meeting with Lanfear or something? That is twice you have sniped the 2 hunny spot from me.
Anthony Pero
202. anthonypero
RE: Gawn/Egwene vs Rand

Once again, if Rand and Moridin somehow merge in some way, or become reflections of one another... Gawyn and/or Egwene could be thinking that Rand is completely corrupted by Moridin. Or maybe he even thinks Rand IS Moridin. Or a thousand other explanations. I'm just spit balling here.
Anthony Pero
203. anthonypero
Also, M'a'T...

Most people don't have a clue about the Cycle... they just know Dragon = destruction.
Paul Long
204. Caveatar
@191MasterAlThor, M'A'T, Mat, Tam(reversed)
When Sam suggest something like that, rest assured that he must be working on something. We shall soon see.

Good to know Oh, thou Dragon Grandfather to the Phoenix.
(I just noticed your sig tag and got to looking beyond the first glance.

Your handle, nickname ,
(sorry, I drove a 'bigtruck' over the road off and on for over a million miles, so 'handle' is a bad habit)

Master Al Thor is of course Rand. I got that
The MAT initials brings in Mat. I just now got that.
And when spelled backwards, we also get
TAM, which now gives us three of the 2Rivers folks.
Missing Perrin.

And of course to go too far it could be "ATM" but I don't
think they had anytime teller machines in the 2 Rivers. :D

Did you do that nickname on purpose?
Construct it to mean all those things?
Information density as thick as a good poet could make.

If you did then "Me 'ats orf to the DUKE!"
Great wordplay, and deeply hidden but in plain sight.

Now if I can just find Perrin in there too, I will look
for the Triple Taveren Technicolor Communication
as well.

Anthony Pero
205. anthonypero
And hey, the Romans crucified Christ... they seemed to come out of that just fine :)
Paul Long
206. Caveatar
Most people don't have a clue about the Cycle...

I have heard about all these cycles.
The Karethon Cycle I think is one of those crotch rockets.
I have heard of others too but the one I would really like
to see is the Cycle of the Dragon. Probably a big Harley
or maybe an old Indian, restored and all.
I think it is probably The Worlds Fastest Indian
but prophecies are so vague.

Any Cycle Experts here?

207. MasterAlThor

Well first of all it was foretold that Christ would be crucified and I don't think the Roman's came out all that well. Remember that they eventually converted to the Religion of the Man they killed. Wait, that doesn't look right. Let me try that again.

The Roman Empire eventually died out. As an aside they also converted to Chrisitanity. So I guess your right. They did kinda make out. Well one out of two ain't so bad.


I was given the nickname M'A'T. I just ran with it. As for how to fit Perrin into all of this. I am thoughful to the point of being called slow on occation. I just got the TAM thing. Yes I am a father. Never thought once to spell it backwards.


In a perfect world I could be all of these people.

And a perfect world begins and ends with...ME! (What's his name)
Anthony Pero
208. anthonypero
Lol... eventually being 600+ years later, for reasons that have nothing to do with Christ... and one might say that converting to Christianity was also a win for the Romans... although not for pagan fornication rituals, mores the pity ;P
Martyna Berek
209. missbee
Z @ 157
I'm sure you're right about TGH Pr. I'd even venture it was earlier than that. I agree with your other points too. Where our ideas differ is that I think there is another layer to the master plan, one which even Moridin is not fully aware of. Turning Rand is only a step and not even a necessary one. Going by the rules of sha'rah in TPOD Pr, moving the Fisher King to your colour is not enough, it has to be the right square and the right colour.

Handeling - is that anything like Beethoven in Clockwork Orange? Nasty, no wander he didn't like it

Terez @ 171 - aw, you're making me blush!
And no, I'm afraid there isn't a better post, that was the first time I had put my thoughts on Illian in writing

For the question on how this may happen, I have to admit that I have stopped trying to work out any future scenarios. There are just too many possibilities and my head starts to spin. Instead I've been attempting to work out the mechanics of the story so far in the hope of finding clues. I have plenty of opinions on individual components, but I'm short on overreaching, big scale theories.

Having said that, there is one more possibility to consider. Not sure how likely it is, but I'll put it out there.
Siuan told Verin that she will hide the Horn so only they will know where it is. I have always thought that this must refer to an event or a place which has meaning for them both. This could be in the White Tower, or, it could be somewhere else, like Illian. The trouble is I can't think of anything that would fit the bill. If the Horn has been moved that far then I would expect the location or the relevant event to have been mentioned in earlier books.
Maybe someone else can think of something suitable.
Roger Powell
210. forkroot
Actually it was about 300 years. It was during Constantine's reign that Christianity became the de facto state religion.
Theresa Gray
211. Terez27
forkroot@210—I believe he was talking about the fall.

missbee@209—Linda has a really nice theory on the location of the Horn.

MasterAlThor@201—For one thing, I'm not sure why people believe that there would necessarily be witnesses. Rand can be alone. For another, people might believe him to be doing the right thing. For another, Gawyn might die in which case the point would be moot. And if he doesn't die, then no one will recognize him because of the Bloodrings.

As for Galad being Broken, some might say he was broken this or that experience, but most scenarios I've seen assume it will be something in the future. As for who he would be matched up against, I assume Moridin, since he's the presumed Lord of the Evening. As to how...Bloodring? Successful copy of Mat's medallion? Some combination? Aviendha's dagger? Who knows. Some even think Galad can channel. ;)

RobM@197—Well, you have to keep in mind that the Fail aspect appears to be quite planned. That's why Rand has to be resurrected, you know. But before then, his destruction shall bring fear and sorrow to the hearts of men, and break their very will itself. This is also connected to other prophecies and foreshadowings (Egwene's pyre dream, the rumors about Rand's death after the Sun Palace attack, etc.)

As for Egwene, I'm not so sure she will even give the order. I think there's a good possibility Gawyn will act on his own to protect her. That is what their drama in TOM was all about. He agreed to obey her; she agreed to let him do what he thought necessary to protect him. Some have suggested the Suroth-Alwhin-Liandrin scenario, a.k.a. "Will no one rid me of this tiresome priest?"

Gawyn did acknowledge the point about it being stupid to kill Rand...sort of. That doesn't mean he can't change his mind again, particularly if Rand goes Dark and starts breaking important stuff.
Paul Long
212. Caveatar
@207 M'A'T
In a perfect world I could be all of these people.

And a perfect world begins and ends with...ME! (What's his name)

I was raised somewhat in the traditions passed down for generations.
And I was blessed with a father who talked to me. Not AT me, to me.
When as a young man helping out in the blacksmith shop, I got to
wondering about The End of The World, and The Beginning...
and my dad said. "Something wrong?"
I told him and referring to tradition of my mixed ancestry
he said:
"Son, let me see if I can tell you what I think is important."
"When we take our first breath there comes with it a guarantee
that there will be a final one. No one avoids that. The world ends
for each person when they die."
"So, think of it that way."
He said much else but I will leave that out.

I said, "I hope I don't forget that."
He said "Son, here is a way to remember it. I don't remember the chant that goes with it, but....
"The World began on the day I took my first breath.
When I take my last breath it will be gone.
The World will end."

I have thought for years on how to reconstruct the teaching chant. But I don't want to forget his words.

So, MasterAlThor.
The world begins and ends with you.
As with all of us.

A perfect world also begins and ends with us. It is up to us to make it a heaven or a hell. The dragon is in all of us. Too bad we can't get on Dragonmount and burnout the dark part.

213. MasterAlThor

See here is the problem with that. Say that "they" believe that Rand is Coo Coo for CoCo Puffs and the best thing for "them" to do is kill him. "They" would be in the distinct minority. Rand has gathered Nations to him. Do you actually think that the Borderlanders and Perrin and the Aiel for that matter are just going to accept that "they" granted the world mercy by killing Rand? Sync that up and I may join you with this theory.

You say that Gawyn could survive by using the Bloodrings. Then he would have to have a violent death shortly afterward cause the Bloodrings are going to be sapping his life away anyway. No long life and dying in a bed of old age for him. The way I see it is for that to happen he has to be seen killing Rand. And then Rand's allies would of course take vengence.

I was on Theoryland reading about the Broken Wolf. Something stood out. You mentioned that with Rand's death the world would despair. Well if Gawyn kills Rand because "they" believe that he plays for Team Darkside, witnessess or no, doesn't that make him a traitor? And Egwene too assuming that she gave the ok. For that matter anyone else who would know of the plan to kill the DR. What are they going to com out with a press release that says hey the Dragon had betrayed us so we had to kill him in order to save the world?

You see the death of the Dragon has to become public knowledge in order for the world to despair. So how is this going to play out?

214. MasterAlThor

My friend I think you misinterpeted my saying. I enjoy putting little nuggets of RL in my post from time to time. It is a way of telling what is going on my home without me flat out telling people.

A part of that quote is from a movie I reacently watched with my kids. As my wife and I love the move too. It is really funny.

Aaaaggghhh. You threw off my groove.


But hey thanks for that nugget of wisdom. I will definitely pass that one on to my young ones.
Theresa Gray
215. Terez27
MasterAlThor, RobMMore thoughts on this eviscerating of Gawyn's character, plot armor, etc.

Again, the traitorous nature of Gawyn's deed is mostly irrelevant. (See first link.) He'll probably die anyway. As for the Bloodrings, it could be that the effects are Healable. The Seanchan didn't know Healing. Gawyn still has the ability to either 1) die a violent death, or 2) die old and in bed. We don't know which it will be. If Egwene gives the order, then yes, she will be complicit, but it may well be that Rand starts destroying the earth and she therefore would be obligated to do something about him. Her Accepted test shouldn't be taken lightly, seeing as how there was interference with the Dreaming ter'angreal. And it's always possible she will have a Dream. Those always seem to be more timely and relevant to the Dreamer's personal situation than Foretellings, and of course it's happened before.

But most importantly, following the overarching theme of the series (see the chinese whispers tag, or the omni pov rumor summaries), no one is really going to know what happened except for a handful of people. Fog of War, and all. It's never clean, clear, or intuitively obvious to the casual observer. Memories become legend, and legend fades to myth. Thom will put his spin on it, and so will Loial. Maybe Nesune too, though her experience is limited. (We know she'll survive the Last Battle anyway.)
Anthony Pero
216. anthonypero

I was refering to the fall of the roman empire (really it's death spasms) not Constantine's adoption of Christianity.
Paul Long
217. Caveatar

Personal note to Terez.
I have written up a little post referencing a place I found
called the Gray Harvest. A library of sorts.
And of course you know what your own name means.
If you object to me calling the results of your excellent work by your name let me know and I will kill it and delete it from my computer.

Theresa Gray
218. Terez27
@Caveatar—Wat? Yes, I know what my name means, so ha ha. But now I feel like I'm being stalked or something. Which is silly, my name is on Facebook for all to see, and was on Twitter until recently. But what is this post you speak of?
Paul Long
219. Caveatar
@218 Terez
Potential post is in your shout box.

Paul Long
221. Caveatar
A series of comments regarding this board when the original activity
dies down and folks are looking for more posts.
Referencing some of the folks here.

It is not a big deal. Just didn't want to risk offending you, or anyone if I can help it.

Paul Long
222. Caveatar
184. Samadai

Caveatar @ 156 That makes me think about what if Nynaeve had been there. If she let Verin die, then heal whats wrong with her body and bring her back by resucitation, if that would work. If it would have freed Verin from the oaths interesting, now I am imagining it as if it happened. (perhaps someone needs to write a story)

And if she had to do it between the time Verin kicked the bucket
and her soul was captured by ol' Dark'un
then it would explain the very common statement and good wishes
still around:
"May ye be in Heav'n a half an hour before the De'il knows y're gone."

According to that bit of folklore, the Devil has about a half hour to catch his property. DAMN. Verin could have been saved if someone knew if Nynaeve was there with her Elixir of Life, some times referred to as
"You get your ass back here! I'm not done talking to you! You can't escape your just deserts by dying."
spoken by a pissed off wife whose husband dies while she is chewing his ass out for whatever was the last wrong thing he did .

The old resurrectionists would have to be quick on the trigger. :D

223. MasterAlThor

While Gawyn may or may not go down in history as the biggest traitor, I guess it really depends on who is writing the history, I still have a hard time buying that he will kill Rand and that there will be little to no adverse effects. Well if Rand kills him I suppose you could say that would be an adverse effect.

Yeah I get what you're saying about Fog of War and all that. But still the death of mankinds savior still has to make the 6 o"clock news. And you know that the more people that know a thing the more it will not be a secret.

See I am stuck on the fallout from the death of Rand. That is why I keep mentioning that Gawyn will be labeled a traitor. It will not matter the reasons for it. "There's the guy who murdered Hope....get 'em" that kind of thing. But if you say that everyone will be like "Oh, well that's cool. He was losing his marbles anyway" I have a problem with that.


Also, on Theoryland you mentioned that there are foreshadowings of a Team Light member killing Rand. Can you point me in the right direction?
Theresa Gray
224. Terez27
MasterAlThor—So your only problem with the theory is an idea I never even mentioned? Right-o. ;) For foreshadowing, I already mentioned a few, did I not?
Birgit F
225. birgit
I got an email with the subject "You Are CHOSEN!" Is the DO recruiting with spam because Rand balefires too many Forsaken?
Tess Laird
226. thewindrose
MasterAlThor - Gawyn is going down in history as the biggest TOOL - evar;)

birgit - just say no - unless it is from Terezadin - then see what she is up to first - seems she is promoting a theory about the biggest Tool in history taking down Rand;)

227. MasterAlThor



Grrrrr. Well I guess I should point out that I have a problem with the whole Gawyn killing Rand thing. Your theory about it is nice and very well thought out. But unless I am off my rocker, and that is completely possible, I just can't see this happening to Gawyn, because there would be no redemption for him.

In the links that you gave Brandon talks about Gawyn's arc possibly being the intperation for Sir Gawain. In the link he mentioned, it speaks of Gawain eventually being honored by his fellow knights because of the expeirence he went through.

Maybe the poet changed the ending for his audience. Maybe Jordan/Sanderson will do the same. I've got no idea. But I guess we will find out next year.

As for mentioning links about the foreshadowing, I didn't see any where I was and I don't think you posted any here. I could be wrong and I am quite possibly blind as a bat. Ask Sulin and Jalani, they will tell you the truth of it.


Edit: Spelling
228. MasterAlThor

You are the second person I know that has been....courted???....by Team Dark. If you get a chance talk to Samadai. You can compare stories.

Theresa Gray
229. Terez27
As for your idea about Gawyn's character and what it should be, I suggest reading all the links.
Sam Mickel
230. Samadai
Birgit, at least it was by E-mail, and you didnt get an actual call from Lanfear. I did, shocked the the hell out of me (technically it was Lanphear, but it still surprised me for a moment, I thought someone was playing a joke on me)
Karen Fox
231. thepupxpert
Terez did you post the Gawyn kills Rand theory links on this thread? I can't seem to find them.
Paul Long
232. Caveatar
Samadai and Xexxes and other people who like to write things
even for their own amusement.

I am 72 years old and let me tell you the golden years ain't shit!
Losing memory, losing hearing, losing vision, arteries plugged,
well the whold litany and I have become what I thought was funny
when I was young.
And it was funny in some respects and still is.

Around the blacksmith shop when I was a kid, old codgers, and fogeys
and such would hang around there. They were old and they were lonely
and they would come to town to be around somebody else.

The shop was a place they could sit around, smoke pipes, tell the
same lies to each other that they had been telling for years.
And they all enjoyed them. I enjoyed hearing them.

Thom Merrilin would have learned from these old guys,.
One area of the shop was called "the limberdick bench"
and it was for their use. You can imagine why it had that name.
One of my sisters wanted me to somehow record this and preserve
it but WE didn't have tape recorders handy in 1947 through 1957.

Anyway, an old limberdick codger fogey will tell a tale,
hit on a key point, branch off to that, and hit on another
idea and go on to that and then work back to the original
subject. Sometimes. Most of the time he would lose his place.

That was no problem. Hell, he would take off from anywhere
and get airborne. I think those Harrier jets must be named
for them. Or maybe helicopters.

Anyway, thinking of the Dark One being so ancient and Rand
going to confront him, and the fact that HE TALKS LIKE THIS
I got off on one of those trails of garrulity.
(You probably noticed from my posts.)

So, after an hour or so of typing it up to a point and
taking a break, I have, for your perusal, comment,
criticism, or whatever but mostly fun..........

The Dark One's Tale
Give the Devil his Due.

Thinking about Dragon meeting Dark'un I came up with this.
No, I don't take any 'transcendental medication".

Dragon takes the shadow knife thing and goes down the big
toilet to face Dark'un.

Dragon:"I have come, Ancient mine enemy. Let us finish this."

Dragon:"The Dragon, the Champion of the Light."


Dragon:"WTF? DEAF?"

Dragon channels into the opening, a weave Nynaeve would be proud of.

Dragon: "IS THAT BETTER? CAN you hear me now?"
Darkun: "Wow. THAT IS ...that is a relief. Yes I can hear much better now."
Dragon: "What happened to you?"
Darkun: "Oh my life has been nothing but chaos since as far back as I can
remember. If it ain't one thing it is a half a dozen things. Drat my luck.
I even lost that. Some damn wargame playing kid has it now."

Dragon: "Why are you stuck in that opening? Can't you get out?"
Darkun: "Well, youv'e been kind to me so I'll tell you. Best visitor
I ever had."

The Dark'un's Tale.

"Well now then,first thing I remember I was out fooling around in
the nothingness where I wouldn't break no windows or anything and
"BAM! This box just appeared around me and trapped me.
You ever been trapped in a box young man?
Excuse me calling you young man but that's the way we older beings get.
Everybody is young to us."

Dragon:"Several times. I don't like it either."

Dark'un:Well then you have an idea what it is like. I spent, it must have
been just ever so long, trying to get out. Nobody had no call to do that to
me. I wasn't doing nothing to them" A pause.
"Say, do you have any of that good Two Rivers tabac.
You do smoke young man? Bad habit but I like it. If you could spare a fill
from your pouch we could light up and talk and enjoy ourselves."

Dragon: "Yes,here you are."

They light up, Dragon holding a flame for Dark'un and then lighting his own.

Dark'un continues his Tale.

Well there I was trying to get out of this bless...light cur...box and then
comes this funny sound and a hole popped through.
I don't know what it was. Never saw nothing like that in my lif..existence.

Well whatever it was and whoever did it was NOT paying attention to safety
because there was an explosion! Damnedest Bang YOU ever heard.
That is what deafened me. I ain't heard right since, until you fixed me up.

That Big Bang Damn near sucked me out of the box and I got stuck in the borehole.
Aint been able to move back or forward since. Almost worse than being sealed up,
half in and half out like this. I ain't stretched out in forever.

And the blast sucked some of my own SELF out. Fouled up stuff. Poisoned half the power that turns the wheel.
Drove the men apeshit as shaved monkeys.
They went WILD. Tore the place outside all to shit, busted up stuff.
Most of em died and thats good, cause it stopped most of the big destrution, but they took a lot of folks with 'em hadn't never done 'em no harm.

But that's the way it is. You got to take the bitter with the sweet.
Things HAS to stay balanced for it all to work. Else the wheel will break spokes, or throw a rim or suchlike and crash into something and it'll be all over.

Well, then some greedy power seekers, never could stand them bastards, I kill 'em any chance I get.
Well, anyway they wanted power. But their Power was ME. Them bastards been leeching off my very BODY for ages now.

Well, I couldn't get away so I sort of made a deal with 'em.
Tricked 'em you may say.
I was born in the dark as you may suspect but it wasn't LAST NIGHT!

Ol' Dark'un didn't just fall off no turnip truck, I been to town. I've seen the elephant.
Say, ain't them some BIG things. Funny noses too. Big as a house and gentle as a kitten if you treat 'em right.

Any way I made this deal with 'em.
I would let them use the power but they was killing me with their use
so they had to agree to let me control it's use.
They fell for it.
Then I had 'em by the short hairs.
I ended up controlling them greedy powerhungry bastards.
Yep, hoisted 'em on their own petards. You know what a petard is young man?
That pest playing soldiers does. Knows all about war and he's gonna hurt somebody or a bunch if he keeps on.

Well, (puff, puff), you got another light. My pipe's gone out. "
Relights his pipe.

"To make a long story longer as they say, Is that the way they say that? Durnit, losing my memory too. This oldtimers disease thing is a bitch let me tell you.

So anyway they agreed to get me free if I would let them rule the world.
Young man, let me tell you from my advanced years viewpoint,
Sorry, got a little carried away. But they annoy me.

So they would get me free and they could just rule their annoying asses off but I had a plan.
As soon as I was unstuck I was gonna get the hell out of this box,
you ever been in a box boy? oh, that's right, you said,
and get myself off to somewheres else,or failing that,
I would just skin back into this here box and close the door.

You wouldn't believe how miserable evil those bastards are.
So, I am waiting for the day, then, just before I slip back in here, I am gonna call a meeting, setting 'em up you see. And then I am gonna get rid of ALL them damn pests. I've got my ways. I ain't no pushover.

My only concern is that one of 'em might get trapped in here with me.
Can you imagine not only being in a box but caught inside
with a crazy bastard always talking at you and saying crazy shit,
and all at the most troublesome annoying times. Talk about a BOX!

The durn hole will seal itself soon as I can get unstuck.

You seem to be a man who has been around the block a few times. I seen them scars and that missing hand. Say, is that a hole in your side? Dad Drat son, you have a string of luck like mine.
Dark one's own luck they call it. HAH. But they don't tell it all. BAD is what they leave out. The Dark One's Bad Luck is what they should say. Sure that young skirtchaser has the good half of it now, but then I reflect on it, it didn't stop me getting trapped when it worked.

You believe in lucky charms son? Ever had one of them rabbit's feet.
Lucky they say. Didn't do the rabbit no good and he had FOUR of em.
Don't put no dependence in them silly ways of thinking young man.

Lost my place. Them calling it half its name. Leaving out the "bad" part.
You ever know people to lie their ass off by just saying part of the truth
or saying it in a way to mislead without actually telling a straight out lie?

Boy, there is some folks do it ALL the TIME. There is one bunch of women who make a CAREER out of it. Useless bunch. Ought to get a husband and settle down but ain't no sane man would have em, the way they act.
Just as well. Genetics WORKS son. Don't need no MORE of them women.
They are kind of pretty in the way that an Irish Setter is pretty
or a good hose is pretty.
You like dogs and horses young man? Some of the best work the Pattern guy ever did.
I ain't interested in women or dogs or horses except to admire good art when I see it.
You ever think about what Art is young'un? Well, there's some as say "art is what you think it is", or "This here I'm pointing at is art." or some such bullcookies.
You think about it young man. Art touches you right in the soul. Course you can't DO no art with just the SOUL so you need tools. Just like any blacksmith will tell you.
I'v had time to think about it.

Art is one soul, working through the mind and the body
and the heart to touch another soul.

You think on that a minute and you'll see I'm right.
"You hear a good tune, don't matter if its one of them canons, and I mean music canons, not them daddratted stinking canon things they are calling Dragons now.
Say, what did you say your name was? I don't mean no offense, just a similar name.

By the way, I like them tattoes you got there. Hey, a durned dragon!
Ain't seen one of them in a long time. How'd you know what they look like?
Pretty tat though. Little flashy for my taste, but it looks good on you.
Anyway, canon or hoedown fiddle tune or all kinds, you can recognize it
as art because you sense it in your soul.

And souls are important. Why you ask? Because the whole blamed PATTERN is wove out of 'em. Woven I should say. Bad speech habit. Beg your pardon.

(Puff, puff)
Lost my train of thought there for a minute. Old age causes that.
I hate it but what can I do. You know a good Healer boy?
I ain't never seen one didn't do 'bout as much harm as what he fixed
but I hear there are some.
Well, I tell a lie. I seen you and you fixed up my hearing real good.
Call yourself a Healer or no, you are a healer to me.

I heard about one girl who heals everything but death.
Keep an eye on HER boy, she is marked for greatness. You mark my words.
And if she DOES heal death, let me know would you. Them asshole powerhogs trapped me in their deal. I had to transmigrate their souls if they died.
I slipped up on that deal but once we shook hands there was no remedy.
Go back on a contract like that and you get a bad reputation.

And them damned people, calls themselves Chosen. Who the hell would choose something like them. And for what? Ain't no use in 'em. Except maybe plugging a rathole.(Goes on to rats and ravens)* maybe later
They want to be kept alive. Why some of em was trapped in here near me for what seemed like forever. They still want to stay alive.

Now you see, all they have to do is die, same as everybody else, and the
wheel will spin em back out. Ain't no permanent death. Soul comes back.
Just the personality lost. But they get to do something new, have new
adventures and experiences and meet new people and generally have an
interesting time.
But THEY, Chosen my shiny dark ass, Rejects is what they are,
they don't want to lose the continuity of their existence as that
one damn boy, whats his name, calls hisself Moridin, calls it.
Big philosopher back in the day. *(goes on to opinion about philosophers)

Used to be every time I said anything I talked so LOUD the durn rocks and crap would break off and fall and make the place look messy as all get out.
Makes it look like a toilet. Enough to scare a trolloc.

You ever seen them things boy? That blasted whats his name made 'em. Made 'em!
As if there ain't enough troubles in the world that boy had to go and mix all them things up til them poor beasties couldn't tell their beaks from their tusks or their asses from their elbows, like as not.

I could go on for a week but I break here.


If you have reached this far, respond please.

Thomas Keith
233. insectoid
I know some of you have been wondering where I've been (::waves at meal6225::). But this theory last thread sums it up nicely:
Insectoid is probably buzzing about some other buzziness.
Nicely put, Caveatar! And thanks for all the laughs the last few threads, I needed them!

Can't claim my little electronics project (an IR-controlled tank, now complete) for excuse this time; even it was interrupted when we had a near-disaster in our garage (workbench half-collapsed), forcing us into turbo-garage-cleaning mode. So, after a couple of weekends putting a new bench together, I've basically been helping my dad go through his stuff, trying to clean and organize everything better. (And, when he's not around, toeing the line rummaging through his stuff.) And now both parents have come down with the creeping crud, and I'm sort of unenthused to do much work out there till my dad at least is better. So here I am.

Anyway, I had been planning to go back and add my thoughts to the last 5 posts as well; I've been doing a bit of re-reading of TGS and ToM on the side, and might have something useful to add. Or I might not.

Hope you had a great Mardi Gras, Leigh. Your posts have been stellar as usual. :)

This chapter: Oi. Back on first read, when I thought that with "The Last That Could Be Done" Rand couldn't get much worse... well, obviously I was wrong. This was a bit shocking, and is definitely Rand's low point. Though you could argue that his encounter with Tam in ch. 47 is lower, but anyway. All that being said, though, Rand's plan (re: the Compulsion) was actually pretty clever.

Next post: Things are about to get Super Awesome, and the beginning of my favorite part of the book.

232 comments already?? Holy cats 'n jammers!

Sam Mickel
234. Samadai
Caveatar, you are hilarious, great post.
Cameron Tucker
235. Loialson

That is definitely a great ye olde man ramble WOT style :D
Tess Laird
236. thewindrose
@Caveatar - great to have you here. Love your creativity.

237. MasterAlThor

If I am half the wordsmith that you are when I get to your age, I will be happy 10x over.


I did read all the links. I just happend to use the one that was most relevant to my point. Come now, you don't think I just skim over what you say? I have more respect for you than that.

238. MasterAlThor

Hey there sista. Yeah I guess it is shaping up to look that way. I am most likely wrong. I am ambivelant about Gawyn as a character. Don't know why I am 'going round and round' about this, but something doesn't sit right. So I am following my gut.

If Rand is going to have a Judas then it will be a lot closer than Gawyn. Even though hardly anyone likes him, I can't see him going down in history like that. I mean what's it gonna say on his tombstone...Here lies the man that killed the Hope of the World?

Director: Gawyn, baby how ya doing?

Gawyn: Well, the last two books took a toll on me but I think I am starting to come around.

Director: Look, I am going to be honest with you. We have been doing some marketing research and your numbers aren't that good. But we got something big in this next book for you. It's gonna be a showstopper.

Gawyn: Yeah, well fill me in. I am all about the people. Maybe I can finally get that good parking spot. Or maybe I will have a bigger role in one those Outrigger novels.

Director: Weeeellllll, just wait on that. First we have got to get you ready for the big show! Now, all we need you to do is kill the Dragon Reborn.

Gawyn: Alright! Yea....wait a sec. You want me to do what? Are you serious? How the hell is this gonna help my numbers? I'm supposed to kill mankinds only hope. Are you friggin serious?

Director: Gawyn baby! Don't be like that. Look we will just say that he was gonna go over to the Dark Side so no harm no foul. Hell you might even be a hero for this. Think about it. The Ultimate Hero falls and joins the bad guys but then our Darkhorse comes in and saves the day! You can't lose!

Gawyn: Hmmm, you got a point there. Wait what about my sister?

Director: Pppppsssssssshhhhhhh, don't worry about her. We got that covered too. And don't worry about your fan base. It is gonna go through the roof. I'm telling ya this is gonna be gold!


Damn Caveatar is rubbing off on me. Wait is that a good thing???
Paul Long
239. Caveatar
@238 MAT
And they say that the black don't rub off. HAH :D :D

If you mean this post of yours,
Damn Caveatar is rubbing off on me.
you are giving doubt to your previous post.
Half the wordsmith? The comparison is Not measured in fractions. You have to use at least ONE or multiples.whole number.*
I can hear the sound of 'ppppsssssssshhhhhhh' when I read it'!
Not only the dialog, the whole tone of it puts me in a directors or agent's

I am dead serious. That was good.


TO all who responded, Windrose, Loialson, Samadai, Insectoid and any I might have missed while typing this.
The reward of a writer is money, life, etcet it says here.
Bullshit. The reward of any artist is to see tears or laughter or thoughtfulness or any other feeling from the viewer.
Then they KNOW they reached the other soul and that is their intent.

I am greatly appreciative of your approval.


EDIT to Add
"Gawyn: Hmmm, you got a point there. Wait what about my sister?"
With that one line.....
You showed the basic flaw in his character. The dude can't make a decision on his own. Or if he does he screws up and goes ass-western-crooked. And you just know that he is going to screw up here.
Cynthia Ahmar
240. tenkuu
EDIT: Since I refresh the same page everytime (ie keep it in my Firefox tabs), this was an accidental double post which I only noticed after the fact. Ie it had text from a previous post of mine. I apologize for the mistake.
Cynthia Ahmar
241. tenkuu
subwoofer@139: I'm not imposing anything, that's simply how you've come off so far. :) Btw, you've pretty seriously misunderstood some things I've said and you don't see me blowing a gasket, so cool it. Pretty disgusting stuff on those links btw, even for jokes. People really can be impossibly stupid. I've always said it's useless to make hate sites: you should rather spend time talking about what you love and make fan sites about them. I hold much the same view on unrestrained criticism. And by unrestrained I mean downright rude.

anthonypero@141: Don't ask me. Whenever I suggest respecting each other's opinions, someone is always at the ready to jump down my throat about it.

Caveatar@147: First time for everything I suppose, but I find that quoted text brilliant in its non-usage of the letter "e".

ZEXXES @ 157 & 158: I don't think Cadsuane helped Rand's temperament at all though. If anything, she was pouring oil on a fire. As for Shayol Gul, my assumption was that it's always existed, just as there has always been a Dragon to face the Dark One? Or is Lews Therin supposed to be the first Dragon?

yasiru89: I agree with everything you say here, for much the same reasons. And in my opinion, what left Rand able to do this was that he had pity rather than sympathy for Graendal's mind slaves.

Terez27@162: Very subtle, except not. If I'm right and you do mean me, I want to go on the record here in stating that I have never made a personal attack on you. If it did go there, from what I've seen, yes it was you. Also, "keep it under control"? Wow, that's so arrogant I can't even begin to... well, nevermind.

Terez27@171: Similar, but different enough as to make a Rand-Moridin merge seem like pure speculation so far. Mind, I'm not opposed to the possibility, it is simply one of several for me. Exactly which both methods are you referring to? I think you misunderstood what I was saying again... The resurrection which I think of as "supernatural" is Jesus'. I have not seen anything so far in WoT that defies the rules of its world, and hope never to. That is all I was saying. I think I get it now, by both methods you meant TAR and balefire, right? TAR wouldn't defy the rules, but so far it seems unlikely to me. I mean, technically Lews Therin isn't a hero of the Horn, right? So why would Rand be? I did mention the word "consciously", after all. Tuon is untrained in actual, conscious channeling. I was very specific about that so I really have no idea how you misunderstood me. We just finished talking about the fact that sul'dam don't actually go over the brink, ie they don't actually channel themselves. What I was saying is that actual channeling involves opening yourself up to the True Source, and that someone who's never channeled consciously wouldn't be able to do that. I was further explaining that in the case of a sa'angreal like Callandor, I don't think a woman who can't even do that much would be able to link to use it. My reasoning is that ter'angreal are more easy to use, especially ones such as the a'dam that don't even require conscious channeling from the sul'dam. But where a sa'angreal like Callandor is concerned, I don't think it would be anywhere near so simple. If you're confused by anything I've said, please tell me, but I'm not sure I could explain it any clearer... I don't think your example is much of a distinction though, since it is more than doubtful that other sul'dam work with verbal orders alone.

forkroot@188: The thing is, him being a hero of the Horn is not known for a fact, nor can it be confirmed, right? Ah, thanks for clarifying on the balefire issue, I wasn't aware of that.

Samadai@230: Now I'm really curious, what on earth are those emails and phone calls about? O.o
Paul Long
242. Caveatar
Caveatar @189
I put the links to the stories in your shoutbox. There a few of them.

I am stumbling over the weave of the world wide web.
Do you have you original copies that I could somehow obtain.
This durn web is sticky.
Edit to remove potentially offensive lines.
243. yasiru89
up2stuff @180-

But how to know if Graendal would actually be in when you come calling? It seems trivial, but especially given that we've seen she had other hideouts ready, and considering the Forsaken are plotting on their own and trying to pull each other down as much as those of the Light, she could simply not have been at Natrin's Barrow at a given time. Sending Ramshalan was as much trivial confirmation as anything.

We can say that balefiring the whole thing would have gotten rid of two Forsaken and a Black Sister, but Rand didn't have the information we had, which is why he needed Ramshalan to set the trap. It was basically the 'sitting down to play her game' part, because it made her think she knew the terms and she set her own trap with Compulsion on Ramshalan. Though she was cautious and didn't involve herself directly with the weaves, not knowing what Rand's plan might be, she was forced to give up Aran'gar and the Black Sister exactly because the plan worked.
I loved how that progression of events was constructed because it was all so well thought out in each character's view.
Alice Arneson
244. Wetlandernw
You people are killing me here! I keep trying to catch up on the comments before I post, and they just keep piling up on me. We haven't done this for months! Tres cool. :)

Since I don't want to comment a lot on this thread until I've read the rest of the comments, I will limit myself to this one. There have been a lot of comments on Cadsuane here and for the last few posts, so I offer you this perspective.
Paul Long
245. Caveatar
@244 Wetlandernw Lady ?? , The reborn Mary Shelley?
Thank you for the link.
I followed it, copied it and pasted it into a file on my computer.
Yes, I am a privateer in this case. So sue me. I am keeping it.
And I will buckle swashes with any he who says me nay.
And in fact adding to the collection of all the stuff I keep for
my sister who wants EVERY WORD I write, I don't know why.
Like mom puts the kids drawings on the fridge door I guess.

I haven't decided if you are Mary Shelley reborn, or Hypatia.
I adore them both from what I have heard about them
and of course for Good ol' Doctor Frankenstein.
Bless her little young woman heart, founded the horror genre,
single .....ooops. I am stuck in The Dark One's Tale mode.
Anyway, I hated Cadsuane from the first time she appeared
in the regular books.
Because of the blinding effect of that feeling I basically felt
that I would rather be bit in the behind by a snaggle-toothed
mule than to endure her. I know it was a stupid way to feel
and have known that since I was little.

Your writing of this link content would have changed my
thinking long ago had I seen it and read it as it deserved.
I even wrote a scene where she was gonna get her comeuppance
and then I was going to kill her off in a kind but satisfying manner.

When I am in that mood I don't intend to let it go by without
making a satisfactory amount of trouble about it somehow.
I even posted it here somewhere.

You, milady are a writer and an artist. I felt it like, like...
looking at "She Who Was the Beautiful Heilmuire(SP)
Not that strongly. I look at that statue and cry. Shamelessly.
and in public. And anyone who doesn't, has no soul IMO.

Your writing communicates to the soul. My personal
definition of Art.
My God I am glad I ran across this place.

Me 'ats orf to the Duchess!

Kudos, encore, bravo, break a leg
At the Mermaid Tavern we'll broach a fresh keg
and drink to the health of like souls gone before
souls touching our souls who we love Evermore.

Paul Long
Alice Arneson
246. Wetlandernw
Thanks, Caveatar! I thought you might enjoy it, even though you don't like the lady. FWIW, a year before I wrote that, I didn't like her either. Said some fairly narsty things about her on the TGS spoiler threads, in fact. But I have this peculiar failing - when everyone unanimously starts jumping all over someone, I have to play DA. So... when we got to her big entrance and everyone was in smashfest mode, I ended up in the library doing research. What I found was a completely different person than the one I had so loathed. It was rather a shock, frankly, but rather revealing. My initial negative reaction to "authority figures whose authority I don't (or don't want to) recognize" totally colored everything else I read, until I went at it objectively.

That was my sole venture into creative writing (other than a minor contribution to the WoT-caroling in December 2009), so I'm inordinately proud of the fact that Brandon not only read it, but enjoyed it. :) One of these days, I'd like to create a character in the Trolloc Wars and write a story for her.

*ETA: It would probably end up being a justification (or at least rationalization) for the first of the Three Oaths. *sigh*
Paul Long
247. Caveatar
Stalled in Nashville Tennessee in a traffic jam for a few hours
the drivers were talking on the CB radio. Ch19. Waiting.
One driver who had stopped at a truckstop a while earlier
got on the CB and began to ask if anyone else felt like he did.
"What happened hand? (Trucker term for driver)
"I saw a white man and a black woman in the cafeteria.
They were dating if not married, they acted married but
weren't bitching at each other like most couples do. Probably
just dating. But it made me so sick! I couldn't eat my meal
so I just left. I would rather be hungry than to see that."

The response was remarkably like a flame war on the net.
It went on for a LONG time.
After many drivers gave up and quit talking the original
guy said, "Well, nobody has shown me to be wrong."
I, innocently as all get out, began to question him in an
humble wanting to learn, (I vaguely recalled ol' Socrates)

And he opened up, explaining in many misinformed
details about why that "shit was just WRONG" and don't
tell me it aint by God!"
Finally he said, "Well driver, you appear to be sort of simple
minded so I will just ask you one question.
Would you want a black man to marry your sister?"

I silently thanked the Lord and good ol' Huxley.
"The Lord hath delivered him into my hands."

I waited a bit. He came on the CB again, sure of
his convincing argument. "Well Driver. Would you
want her to marry a black man?"

I said, "Why the hell not driver. She is a black woman."
The uproar that occured for the rest of the traffic jam
was terrific and very rewarding.

He had no chance to reply for 5 minutes.
EVERY driver in Nashville who had overheard ,
Laughed, shouted, asked him "Well, is that okay hand.
can his sister marry a black man?" and a multitude
of others.
About 5 minutes later the radio was silent and I knew
as we ALL knew that the silence was to give him a chance
to answer.
After a minute or two, he gave me a shout.
"Professor, you still got your ears on?"
I answered him. "Go ahead, ."
He said, "Driver. you got me. You have slapped me
in the head so hard it took this long to think of an
answer. And here it is. I am an asshole. I am not a
sensible man and I am a bigot. And Driver, I am a
changed man. I never thanked no body for a well
deserved asswhuppin' before. But I do now.
And I apologise to all on Channel 19.
I will shut my mouth now and let the blood flow back
to my white assed face."
And he did.
But for the rest of the traffic jam and for 150 miles north,
the way I was moving, I heard drivers stirring shit with
You want a blackor white or yellow to marry your
And the replies were creative. I laughed and listened
for about three hours.
I even heard someone out in Kansas a few months later
do the same stuff.

What we say and when and how we say it, has effects and
ripples. For good or ill. I like the good ones
and try to soften my memory of the idiotic ones I do.

I still treasure that memory. And I sometimes wonder if
it is rippling still. I hope so.

Paul Long
248. Caveatar
@246 The Shelley Reborn

Did you misplace the bunghammer? The keg is dry. Need
the bungstarter.
I am considering another thing about Cadsuane.
I will have to think more though.
I HAVE been known to get off on the wrong path.
Rarely. Sometimes. Well, let that go. :D :D

249. Stubob
I wasn't appalled at what Rand did here. Those people would pretty much be vegetables if they had survived. And he did take out a Forsaken and a Darkfriend in the process.
Theresa Gray
250. Terez27
MasterAlThor@2-2-7 *plays theme music* I'm going to break tradition and quote you, just so no one has to scroll to catch the gist of what I'm saying. (And I'll get to everyone else in another post; just wanted to get this one out there.)
Your theory about it is nice and very well thought out. But unless I am off my rocker, and that is completely possible, I just can't see this happening to Gawyn, because there would be no redemption for him.

In the links that you gave Brandon talks about Gawyn's arc possibly being the intperation for Sir Gawain. In the link he mentioned, it speaks of Gawain eventually being honored by his fellow knights because of the expeirence he went through.
That was in the first link, not 'the links'. The quote in particular I felt you must have missed came from this link, quite purposefully on the word 'eviscerating'. Brandon is addressing our hopes and dreams for Gawyn, and how they fit into the stereotypical fantasy mold.
Is there a character whose development in the course of the series was surprising to you?
Brandon Sanderson
Most surprising, honestly—and this is a minor character—was probably Gawyn. I remember as a kid reading the books and expecting, "Oh, Gawyn, he's obviously going to be this super cool main character." I felt all sorts of things about him, and then they just never materialized. Which is not unexpected if you look at the literary roots that Robert Jordan was using for Gawyn's character, but it was surprising to me as a young kid because you read certain tropes in fiction and you expect them to be used always the same way. You know, the young, handsome, charming prince doesn't usually turn into what Gawyn turned into. (Aug 29th, 2011)
As I have mentioned before, Gawyn is not simply drawn from Gawain. As Alan Romanczuk says, RJ never made any one person or place a singular or exclusive representation of a particular parallel. For that, see the 'chinese whispers' tag in the database, or 'wot influences', or 'arthurian legend' (less so 'christianity', etc.). It's all about how stories change over time in the telling, and how no one ever really knows as much as they think they know in the first place. Gawyn is both Gawain and Mordred. He's got a strong dose of Loki as well, shared (along with Judas) with Mat, who shares Odin with Rand, who shares Arthur with Hawkwing, etc. RJ is trying to meld all of these stories into the one story he always thought they were at the core.
Theresa Gray
251. Terez27
M'A'T@227 (again)—The foreshadowing. The most important one is Egwene's Accepted test.
His hand flopped out, fell just short of a dagger lying in the dust bare-bladed. "The dagger," he whispered. His hand made a painful journey back to his chest. "Here. In the heart. Kill me."

She stared at him, at the dagger, as if they were both poisonous serpents. "No! Rand, I will not. I cannot! How could you ask such a thing?"

Slowly his hand crept back toward the dagger. His fingers came short again. He strained, moaning, brushed it with a fingertip. Before he could try again, she kicked it away from him. He collapsed with a sob.

"Tell me why," she demanded. "Why would you ask me to – to murder you? I will Heal you, I will do anything to get you out of there, but I cannot kill you. Why?"

"They can turn me, Egwene." His breathing was so tortured, she wished she could weep. "If they take me – the Myrddraal – the Dreadlords – they can turn me to the Shadow. If madness has me, I cannot fight them. I won't know what they are doing till it is too late. If there is even a spark of life left when they find me, they can still do it. Please, Egwene. For the love of the Light. Kill me."

"I – I can't, Rand. Light help me, I cannot!"

The way back will come but once. Be steadfast.

She looked over her shoulder, and a silver arch filled with white light took up most of the open space among the rubble.

"Egwene, help me."

Be steadfast.

She stood and took a step toward the arch. It was right there in front of her. One more step, and...

"Please, Egwene. Help me. I can't reach it. For the love of the Light, Egwene, help me!"

"I cannot kill you," she whispered. "I can't. Forgive me." She stepped forward.


Light burned her to ash.
Another one is the fact that Alivia is supposed to 'help him die', as if he really, really needs to die and she's just doing him a friendly favor. Or helping others do him a friendly favor. The word 'help' could mean either, but most likely means both. (I say this entirely because Alivia is such an underdeveloped character and shouldn't play such an important role, because there will be no real significance to it.)

That brings me to the other most likely Mordred parallel, Moiraine Damodred (who is also a Morgaine/Morgan LeFay parallel). She echoes the message of the scene in Egwene's Accepted test here (back to Mat and Illian @missbee):
TITLE - The Eye of the World
CHAPTER: 13 - Choices

"What's so special about Illian?" Perrin said, yawning.

"For one thing," Mat replied, "Illian isn't full of Aes Se—"

A silence fell, and Rand was suddenly wide awake. Moiraine had come back early. Egwene was with her, but it was the Aes Sedai, standing at the edge of the firelight, who held their attention. Mat lay there on his back, his mouth still open, staring at her. Moiraine's eyes caught the light like dark, polished stones. Abruptly Rand wondered how long she had been standing there.

"The lads were just—" Thom began, but Moiraine spoke right over the top of him.

"A few days respite, and you are ready to give up." Her calm, level voice contrasted sharply with her eyes. "A day or two of quiet, and already you have forgotten Winternight."

"We haven't forgotten," Perrin said. "It's just—" Still not raising her voice, the Aes Sedai treated him as she had the gleeman.

"Is that the way you all feel? You are all eager to run off to Illian and forget about Trollocs, and Halfmen, and Draghkar?" She ran her eyes over them—that stony glint playing against the everyday tone of voice made Rand uneasy—but she gave no one a chance to speak. "The Dark One is after you three, one or all, and if I let you go running off wherever you want to so, he will take you. Whatever the Dark One wants, I oppose, so hear this and know it true. Before I let the Dark One have you, I will destroy you myself."

It was her voice, so matter-of-fact, that convinced Rand. The Aes Sedai would do exactly what she said, if she thought it was necessary. He had a hard time sleeping that night, and he was not the only one. Even the gleeman did not begin snoring till long after the last coals died. For once, Moiraine offered no help.
I'm not sure if it was intentional, but the chapter where Moiraine battled Lanfear was also called 'Choices'. In the next chapter (of TFOH), 'Fading Words', she tells Rand what she saw in Rhuidean. Three paths, but only one real choice for her. Rand killing Lanfear was apparently never an option.
Theresa Gray
252. Terez27
thepupxpert@231—I haven't linked the theory because it's pre-TOM. I have to rewrite it, which I might or might not do. At the moment I feel like I need to sort out some of the confusions first. I'm working on a L'Morte d'Althor checklist—that is, a list of things that any theory on Rand's death must account for, or at least take care not to contradict.

That's it for now. :)
Theresa Gray
253. Terez27

So, what if the only thing making the clouds clear around Rand, giving him the ability to touch the earth in a positive way, etc. is the veins of gold, and his connection to Mat and Perrin? Because he is, after all, one with the land, and the land is generally still in pretty bad shape. Whenever he stopped suppressing his love (which he was suppressing out of fear that he would do to them what he did to Ilyena and everyone else he had loved as Lews Therin), the skies cleared around the girls. But that's as far as it goes. The rest of the world is just screwed, and it's getting worse.

One thing that I find interesting is the fact that there have been so many knocks to the once-solid assumption that the darkness in the world and the disintegrating Pattern were due to the Dark One's direct touch. The Fisher King prophecy explains the one, and balefire explains the other, though it's confirmed that the ghosts are due to the Dark One's touch on the disintegrating Pattern. So, assuming Rand is still merging with Moridin, as seems to be the case for various reasons, he's taken the only path that can possibly lead to his success by opening up to that love at last, but he still has to die to sever the link with Moridin (I have won again, Lews Therin...) and thus save the world from destruction.
254. MasterAlThor

(Yawns....stretches) Ok. I did read all of those links. The first link that I clicked on by random chance happend to be the one you quoted above. First understand that I don't believe that Gawyn will have tragic ending. I am also not saying that you say he will or won't. To my knowledge you haven't really said either. You allow for the possiblility of both.

I guess what I am saying, what I have always been trying to say, is that I can't wrap my head around Gawyn being the Judas. Now, again this is not what you are saying but it is what I see from him killing Rand. Of course this all depends on the "why" he kills Rand. I am assuming that is your major point to me. If he kills Rand because Rand is going to be turned, then he doesn't become the "Tragic Prince". I am arguing that if it is for any other reason Gawyn becomes the goat. While he is not on my favorite character list, I would not wish that kind of ending for him as it would effect some other characters that are on that list.

As many times as I have read this series it is amazing the little nuggets that can be teased out of scenes from what seem like eons ago. Egwene's accepted test I just took as a scene. Not at all the foreshadowing that you say it could be. Need to read that a little more. And I had completely forgotten about Alivia. Sorry about that. That must have been a complete waste of your time and I apologize.

Theresa Gray
255. Terez27
Is there any particular reason why you don't think Gawyn will have a tragic ending? Or is it just a personal wish? Don't worry about wasting my time. The ones who ask me to 'splain stuff and then still don't get it are the ones who waste my time. And they are by far more common than reasonable people.
256. MasterAlThor

Unless you are about three shades darker than I, it isn't going to show up. LOL.

Thanks for the complements.

One day my son asked me why we have a Black History month. I told him that is the problem with it. I went on to explain that History is neither black or white and that it should be observed every month. I also explained that the reason for it is because our ancestors helped create this wonderful nation of ours and they need to be honored. So some bright people got together and picked the shortest month of the year (What? You don't have a problem with that? LOL).

I appreciate your truck driver story. It is nice to know that I am not alone in the good fight. (That is not to say that there aren't others on here that aren't fighting along side. Some of you I know others I don't)

257. MasterAlThor

Well the reason is that I believe that Jordan wanted Gawyn to be someone we could relate to. A young man who has lost his way and isn't so certain about what he used to be certain about. Who eventually finds his way. Now you can say that the Two Rivers Trio can fit that bill pretty nicely, but I contend that he wanted us to feel that way not only about the heroes but about the 2nd and 3rd tier characters as well.

Look at Morgase. She went through the depts and came out. Faile experienced the same. If Gawyn has a tragic ending then it has to be noble. You could say that I am wishing for a good ending for Gawyn. I see it more as consistancy.

In the end, I just want a good story.

Theresa Gray
258. Terez27
So you believe that, in order for a story to be 'good' and 'consistent' that all of the main-ish characters have to be good people with good endings? I must say, I don't really relate to that sentiment. And from Brandon's quote, I think he's saying that he felt the same way but then realized RJ wasn't going to go where he expected with Gawyn, because he wasn't just running through the tropes. It should be a lot easier to wrap your head around Gawyn going off the tracks than it is for someone like Mat, who has strong Judas parallels himself.
259. MasterAlThor

Sorry, I did not mean it to be taken that way. I want a good story, however Gawyn's fate turns out.

Looking at what you just said and back at the quote from Brandon I can see the possiblility of Gawyn going off the rails. I would not be suprised if Mat killed Rand, though I don't think that will happen.

Also I was on Theoryland reading Twice Dawns... and I remember that Moiraine learned of Balefire at the twins retirement home. You know where Lan killed the Dragkhar cause the other Warder was too old.
At least that is where I believe she learned it.

Theresa Gray
260. Terez27
I also don't believe Mat will kill Rand, though he might play a small role in Rand's death, not unlike Alivia, and Elayne, and Perrin, and whoever else. It could be a party. I think only the Mordred parallels will have important roles. And while many suspect that Moiraine learned balefire at Vandene and Adeleas' house, we can't be sure. After the Draghkar attack would have been a good time for them to pass down that knowledge to the younger generation. They knew they didn't have much time left. And they were as old as Cadsuane. I doubt Moiraine learned it from a book.

A little more about Gawyn. I'm not even saying that he's fundamentally not a good person. I'm just saying he's a little susceptible. On the one hand he's susceptible to general stupidity, and on the other hand he's susceptible to overinflated notions of honorable behavior. And he's not quite as good at it as Galad is.

One of the inspirations behind the Gawyn theory in the first place was the idea that RJ wanted to introduce the brothers with a bit of ironic foreshadowing. Gawyn is introduced as the one among the two that most guys would relate to. He's laid-back, has a sense of humor, and likes to mock people, unlike Galad. He has a good sense of his place and does what his sister tells him to like a good boy. Now he does the same for Egwene. In other words, not much has changed. :)

But we were tricked. We believed that Gawyn was the cool one, and that Galad was just an unsympathetic prig. Over the course of the story, many details have changed, and now most fans favor Galad by a long shot, even after TOM where Gawyn supposedly gets over it. And meanwhile stocks up on ammo, the feral light of kamikaze shining in his eyes as he looks left, then right. :^p All the warning signs are still there, flashing:
"Egwene, what if al'Thor isn't coming? What if he did this to distract everyone from whatever else he's doing?"

"Why would he do that?" Egwene said. "He's already proven that he can avoid being found, if he wants to." She shook her head. "Gawyn, he knows he shouldn't break those seals. A part of him does, at least. Perhaps that's why he told me—so I could gather resistance, so I could talk him out of it."

Gawyn nodded. No further complaint or argument. It was a wonder how he'd changed. He was as intense as ever, yet less abrasive. Ever since that night with the assassins, he had started doing as she asked. Not as a servant. As a partner dedicated to seeing her will done...

..."Well, let's go meet your sister, then."

Gawyn rose, moving smoothly. The three rings he wore on a chain around his neck rattled as he moved; she'd have to ask him again where he'd gotten those. He had been oddly closemouthed about them. He held open the tent flaps for her, and she stepped out.
Hear ye! The man is on a mission! ;)
Paul Long
261. Caveatar
Insectoid @ I don't know where but I have this as a note to follow up on.
Mat's ta'veren magnetism: Seems plausible... but as we all know, it could be Verin spouting a load of horse manure. I love how Mat doesn't believe it either.
Now since I don't have the rest of it, this may be out of context.

"it could be Verin spouting a load of horse manure"

It sounds like you are saying that Verin is a horse's ass.

And I know she must have been at some time or another
in her career as a double agent.

I know that many characters have 'spouted' that stuff and
they HAVE turned out to be horse's asses.
Did I misunderstand?

Still Learning, As Always
262. MasterAlThor
A little more about Gawyn. I'm not even saying that he's fundamentally not a good person. I'm just saying he's a little susceptible. On the one hand he's susceptible to general stupidity, and on the other hand he's susceptible to overinflated notions of honorable behavior. And he's not quite as good at it as Galad is.
I agree with that. And also that we have been duped with Galad.

I am having a little trouble accessing the "Blood on the Rocks" FAQ over on Theoryland. I clicked the link but it didn't come up. Can you suggest an alternate path?

265. MasterAlThor

Here is someting about "twice dawns the day". I am thinking that since the resurrection parallels the resurrection of Jesus, that maybe that is what the "dawn" is. So the second dawn could actually be the resurrection of Rand. His return could bring a light so bright that it looks as if the sun had rose again.

Granted that the sun will have already rose that morning, but at Rand's death I expect it to be much like that of Jesus. Complete with darkening skies and Roman soilders that look like Ernest Borgnine.

Theresa Gray
266. Terez27
I have no doubt that will be one of the allusions, but I doubt it will be in itself the fulfilment of the prophecy, or any kind of eclipse. It's a bit of a cheat, when dawn is almost exclusively used in reference to the rising sun.
Rob Munnelly
267. RobMRobM
Terez - I see Gawyn as already having broken the young leader trope. So wonderful the EOTW, such as mess the last few books. I see him having achieved his own well-crafted (by BS) Zen-Gawyn status in ToM, almost in parallel to (if slightly behind) Rand's similar decline and resurrection to Zen-Rand in ToM. I will be surprised, and seriously ticked, if that well-crafted multi-book character development falls apart the way you are contemplating. It certainly could happen - and his decision to keep the bloodknives could easily spell trouble - but I'll be pissed.

The fundamental point remains (and MAT picked up on it) -- trying to kill Rand is unthinkably stupid because the Dark Side will win. It only makes sense if Rand is certain to be turned without killing him, in which case it is both heroic and a mercy to do so. If Gawyn on his own, or based on a push from Egwene, presumes to try to kill him without him asking for it expressly, it will remain an unforgivable, epic fail. I just have trouble seeing it happening.

Sam Mickel
268. Samadai
Hmmmm, unless Gawyn does it out of mercy. It is alluded to that none of his friends would kill Rand no matter what the reason, If everyone knew Rand had to die ( to prevent whatever) but no one was willing to do it, Gawyn might step up for mercies sake
269. MasterAlThor
If "blood on the rocks" could mean his blood on Taim's black platform, then "twice dawns the day" could be the Light coming from his return.


Rob Munnelly
270. RobMRobM
Wow - something's up with Tor.com today. My 11 am post about Gawyn just showed up and my 12:30 short make up post on the same subject doesn't seem to have made it to the site yet. Yuck.
Theresa Gray
271. Terez27
M'A'T@269—I don't think that's possible, since one of the prophecies specifies that it will be in the Pit of Doom. Or that, in the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow. I can see there being some purposeful confusion here, but probably not too much.
Kimani Rogers
272. KiManiak
Cave@233- That was great! Admire when someone tells a story that we think we know from a very different perspective.

M A T@238 – Loved the “Gawyn and the Director” story! I almost feel sympathy for Gawyn.


Cave@247 – Cool story.

Terez@250-253 – As always, your knowledge and references are appreciated. It can never be argued (or maybe, should never be argued) that you haven’t given the possible outcomes of this series a lot of thought. Kudos.

Terez and M A T (and others)– Enjoying your Gawyn conversation. A lot of good points (and revisiting some topics that I hadn’t thought about in months).

Geez. Feel like I’m in cheerleader mode. Whatever. Good job, everyone. Very enjoyable comments to read these last few weeks.
273. MasterAlThor
Oh ok....thanks for clearing that up Terez.

Paul Long
274. Caveatar
EDIT: Clearing Rubble Pel
Paul Long
275. Caveatar
@266 Terez
"I have no doubt that will be one of the allusions, but I doubt it will
be in itself the fulfilment of the prophecy, or any kind of eclipse.
It's a bit of a cheat, when dawn is almost exclusively used in reference
to the rising sun."
In deference to your encylopedic knowledge of WoT I ask
in all seriousness, no bullshit....

Could it be as simple as reading the line this way....
Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed ( twice)
That is a possible reading of the line.

And it would mean that he dies shedding blood
time passes
resurrection however
and returns to finish and shed his blood again?

What do you think. ?
Any reference to something similar somewhere?

Still learning, as always
276. MasterAlThor

I am torn. I need you to stop cause I am going to die from laughing. Of course I don't want you to stop either.

Paul Long
277. Caveatar

The "helping him die" by shedding his blood:
Maybe Alivia knows the Semirhage Power Blood Transfusion
thing and Rand is trapped and no one can reach him to kill him
with a knife.
Her symbolic relationship to Egwene, as representing the Power of Saidar Users just isn't there.

Gives it up. Sanderson will tell me early next year.


ADD: MAT, I am a bull's ass not a horse. I spout bullshit.
Say, you know the expression "tight as a bull's ass in fly time"?
I am still in Dark'un Geezer Mode
Paul Long
278. Caveatar
@276 MAT

"I am torn."

Can your wife sew you back up? Threads again.
I would use this thread we are posting in but it would leave
a helluva scar.
Say, you know how some folks are all scarred up on their faces and stuff son? They do that on purpose. Makes 'em URGHK(Cuts of Dark'un)
I love it. :D :D
Still learning as always.
Thomas Keith
279. insectoid
Cav @261: Oh, no no no. I never meant to imply anything negative about Verin; she's in my Book of Awesome. I simply meant that (as we'll find out in the next chapter) she can lie with no limits. Oh, and keep in mind that that comment was made at 2am, when I was probably only half-coherent. ;)

Cav @274: XD Mom thinks I'm losing it... good thing she's a nurse, might need stitches...

Paul Long
280. Caveatar
@279 Insectoid

Send her to MAT. He is torn. Let her sew him up too.

"she can lie with no limits."

So can I. No damn Oath rods for me. And besides I am 'channeling'
Dark'un right now, and have been even in my sleep! I wake up laughing.
A wonderful experience.
Say, you ever woke up laughing, young man? Let me tell SLAP URGHK! That stopped him. :D :D
Karen Fox
281. thepupxpert
@254 MAT & Terez - Couldn't that scene in Egwene's accepted test have been devised by a BS and not foreshadowing? I remember when Nyn had her test she specifically asked Egs if she had hand in some of the Lan scenes. Unless I'm misremembering and Eg's acceptance test was tied into a dream it seems to me that it was being deliberately being planted in her head.
Karen Fox
282. thepupxpert
@272 KiManiak - I'm always in cheerleader mode. Rarely do I have anything concrete to offer that the gurus haven't already thoroughly researched!
I don't understand why everyone has a problem with Verin being able to lie. Just because someone has the ability to lie doesn't mean that they will. Every non Aes Sedai has that very same ability. Verin has proven herself to be of the light. Her work recording the identities of, the relationships and the history of the BA is more than proof of that fact. Given her origins in references to the how of her joining the BA, Verin's subsequent burning of so many BA's, IMO, gives her a pass.

The only deed worthy of comparison to date is Rands Cleansing of the Taint. I for one haven't felt the need to question her every move or motive. To me it's just not necessary. Hell I think Nynaeve has lied more than Verin has!

Paul Long
284. Caveatar

. Was that a tiny prick of light shining from the heavens down onto the point of the mountain?

No Min, the tiny prick is elsewhere whining about everything and blaming everybody else and Rand and consoling his 'inner child'.

I would like to catch his 'inner child' and kick his little ass up around his shoulders.
A sword form called "Getting the hell over it and cowboying up'

Roger Powell
285. forkroot
We agree that Verin was "light-side" in her allegiances all they way. The interesting question is: How much "evil" did she need to do in order to:

1) Comply with the Black Oaths sworn on the Oath rod
2) Avoid detection of her true motives.

Verin makes a passing reference to having had to do some evil things as she is doing her final confession/infodump with Egwene. (And Eg is at her finest when she tells Verin that her soul is bathed in the Light.)

I think that Verin's whole spacey-librarian persona was a great defense mechanism to make sure she was considered a "lightweight" by the BA leaders and not trusted to do really nasty stuff. This allowed her to skate by for years, with (hopefully) a modicum of evil deeds while she worked on her "research project."

I've said this before: I think something happened -- either she was in danger of being found out, or she had been handed an odious assignment (like kill Mat) where her non-compliance was going to blow her cover.

Whatever it was, she was suddenly on a fairly urgent timeline as she had to gamble a bit on Egwene prevailing (vs. waiting for things in the Tower to settle out.) Maybe the planned Caemlyn invasion was the reason she decided to stop her game (and either unswear or use the last hour trick.)

I don't know if we'll get any more info in AMoL on what drove Verin's timeline, but if not then I hope the forthcoming Encyclopedia will contain more Verin goodies.
Sam Mickel
286. Samadai
Forkroot, I agree. I hope the encyclopedia has everything about Verin in it. She is the one character I want to know everything about.
Paul Long
287. Caveatar
OK folks. I can run this thread to 500 by myself before next Tuesday but I ain't gonna. I already know what I think.


While visiting

"The University of the WoT Re-read, headed by Dean Butler"
I observed a woman standing by the edge of the lake, just waiting.

I asked one of the others standing around what she was doing.
They told me that Swan was waiting with baited breath."
I looked but didn't see a swan. I told them that.
They said, she is Swan.
I said, "Why is she waiting with baited breath. You mean bated breath? She's holding her breath and practicing and getting ready to go underwater?
They replied, "No, baited breath."
"Why", I said.
"She is fishing for red herring. She is a fisherman's daughter you know.
She knows what she is doing."
"Why is she doing that?"
"Oh that is the only way you can catch them. They are more for catching suckers, that is a fish type, than anything else. But they are good eating. Real good. You just have to watch your direction real close for a while after eating one. You will get lost and on the wrong path."
Well, fishing is one thing. Catching is another. I didn't wait but went on.

Still learning As always
Paul Long
288. Caveatar
At the risk of stirring up a gender battle* I post the following.
I share it with you all to show ONE of the many reasons I
defer to women. One of many. I have five sisters and one brother.

One sister is younger than me, all others older.
The brother and two sisters are dead and I hope to God I am the
next to go. I don't want to go to any more funerals unless its mine.

In this, which I wrote for one of the sisters, I hope to show why
men defer to women. Or at least why I defer to them.
I had a good standard reference for women to start me off.

*A Risk.
But what is risk to one who has nothing much to lose
or even care if he does.
Besides, the ladies will win anyway.

So,Lay on! McDuff.
And you can do all the fighting
while I have a dip of snuff.

For my sister (----)
You have always known how I feel about you
but I will tell you anyway. I haven't actually said it before.

Young Lady and very young Knight

The eight year old boy had a sister about five years older than him.
They were playmates most of the time but lately
she was becoming interested in other things, stuff he didn't care for.
The tree climbing and the catching and playing with frogs and
caterpillars, and the rough and tumble times,
were not quite as they had been.
He knew something was going on and HE hadn't been informed.

Overhearing quiet talk in a room down the hall he investigated because
he could not resist listening in: something was going on and he
didn't want to be left out.
He did not believe in any secrets other than his own.

He walked down to the door and listened but his mother heard him at the door and ordered him to go away.
He loudly walked down the hall and out the door letting it close behind
him with a bang. Then he sneaked back and tiptoed down the hall again
and listened in.
If it was THAT important he HAD to know.

Some of what he heard was about how Sis
was 'becoming a 'lady' now'
and 'should not act like a small girl'
and 'things would occur‘
and 'what she would need to know'
and 'how to act like a lady'.
He thought "Wow, that's great Sis!", and silently sneaked away.

That evening at 'supper' Sis really did look different!.
She had unbraided her braids and brushed her hair to shining gold!
Her eyes looked different, somehow, he wasn’t sure just why.
Her face had no stray smears of mud or anything.
Her lips, (which he had felt many times but not as intensely
as the teeth behind them, biting him, in a rough-and-tumble battle
were different too!.

She was wearing lipstick!
Not much but enough.
And he noticed other things about her.
The way her blouse fit her.
The way she moved.
The way she looked softer.

She was hard as a piece of oak. He knew that. Very well.
She could always outrun him and out-jump him and out-climb him
but she didn’t look like she could now.
Or look like she would even try.

She WAS a Lady!.

The boy excused himself for a couple of minutes, ran outside and
attacked Mom's rosebushes, heedless of the thorns.
He picked the one he thought was the best, just beginning to open
into a full blossom. Somehow he felt it to be just right.
He cut it off the bush, trimmed the thorns with his jackknife and
rushed back to the house.
He walked over to her chair, dropped down on one knee like in the
'play-like' games of Knights and Ladies they had made up and enacted.
Learning skewed information from old books.

He said words remembered from one of the roles.

"Prithee Milady, accept this meager gift from thine humble Knight.
I am smitten by thy grace."
She took it, but with a small gasp and he thought maybe he had left a thorn on the stem and hurt her.
He looked and there were tears glistening in her eyes.
He looked at Mom and she had a strange look on her face.

He was alarmed.
There was blood on his own hands but a little stick from a thorn wasn't anything.
He had a multitude of scratches and punctures on himself.

He started to leave the room in embarrassment but Dad stopped him with,
"Stop son!".
That was enough to stop him!
When Dad said ‘stop’ you just stopped whatever you were doing
if you were smart.
If you weren’t smart then you would be the next time.

"What’s wrong Dad?"
Dad smiled at him, "You haven't given your sister time to play her part.
The Show Must Go On!"

He walked back and took up his position by her chair again.

She rose and curtsied and said,
"I thank thee My Beloved Knight.
An’ it please thee, accept thy lady's favor,
for thy lance in thy battles.
Soothly, thou art mine own courageous defender.
Naught can change nor e'er mar my faith in thee."

She took a small locket necklace from around her throat
and put it in his hand, clasping his fingers on it with her own.

Then she kissed him very softly on the lips and, this time,
for the first time ever, there were no sharp teeth to show him who was boss.
A lesson she had tried to teach him many times and
almost succeeded sometimes but never permanently.

Then she said, "Sir Knight, would'st dine with me?"

"Aye Milady. Tis great honor thou dost me."
He seated her and took his own seat.

The little play was over.
But he was not JUST playing.
He meant it. From his very soul.
And he knew she did too.

Mom never complained about the rosebush. Mom was good that way.
Dad started up a conversation about other things and dinner went on.

During the rest of the dinner the boy admired the Beautiful Lady
that his ‘tomboy’ buddy had become.

He was pleased for her.

He adored Sis.

And he still adores her for she is still worthy of adoration.

For my sister...
paul long 6/30/07
Paul Long
290. Caveatar
Okay, but after this I go back and smoke and listen to Dark'un.

The Ring of Tamyrlin
IT appears that in one more case RJ didn't myth a myth, he thaid with a lithph

Merlin the magician of Arthur's court has many legendary names and varied
histories depending on who was telling the lie story
One of the many variations which I have read and can't find now
went something like this.

Merlin was his Title as Druid chief priest.
A Merlin is a bird of prey like a hawk.
Ta Merlin was one way of saying "THE MERLIN" as a title.
So the Ring of Tamyrlin was the ring of The Merlin.

Merlin could do all sorts of stuff, usually headology,
but he referred to it as, "Waking the Dragon". Hmm, Sounds familiar somehow.
The Dragon he woke was one of the powers of the four elements.
Earth Air Fire and Water. The power of The Dragon was of Earth.
Anyhow the old guy was more than met the eye. Especially since he spent most of his time in the woods away from meeting any eyes.
HE could do strange stuff and rumors abounded of artifacts he used.

-Large hiatus here. Into the Wayback Machine.

The man known to history as Suleimon bin Daoud, Solomon, son of David
is said to have been the originator of much cabalistic lore.
A Grimoire among other things. A spellbook.

The Seal of Solomon is a name for the Pentacle of Summoning, and other witchcrafty(Wise Workings) things,
The same old Pentacle with the candles
and the robed folks and the demon caught in the center.

The Pentacle 5 point is a variation of the 6 point Mogen David,(Star of David)
design of his father David which is seen many places, including the wine bottles, AND looks like a Chinese Checker board.

It was said that Solomon could control demons with an iron ring he had.
Which he had crafted.

This Solomon is a famous Old Testament king and ancestor to Jesus Christ.
Author of The Song of Solomon which is a love poem, comparing human love to God's love for his creation. Some say it is erotic. Close. Maybe, depends on how you look at it.

Good ol' Sol gathered wisdom and 'made over one thousand proverbs'.
Dude was SMART. Eccliastes, The Preacher is said to be his work.

He was the first of the Middle Eastern Despots, like the Caliph of Baghdad or Harun al Rashid, (Aaron the Upright).
The man was a total dictator. whatever he said was done. And right now!

As the Bible says, "Solomon loved many strange women."
which is to say, "Solomon loved many foreign women. Not Jews"

When I think of that I have to think and say
"Solomon loved many strange women. I loved only one.
If his women were as strange as mine, I pity the son-of-a-gun!"

Dude had 1000 women. 300 with title Wife and 700 concubines. Lesser wives or liveins or something.

Now you think about that for a moment. 1000 days is 3 years, near as dammit, and what the hell kind of way is that to treat a woman, or a man. Or an elephant or skunk for that matter.

"Yo, Salome. When is your turn with Sol?"
"That damn Bathsheba bumped me to first of Tishri, 3 years from now."
"Oh. hmmmmm. Salome, have you ever heard of Sappho?"
"Want to hear about her?"
"Sure, I ain't busy for the next 3 years. I would love to."
The only men they saw besides Sol was them eunuchs, and though they
ain't totally prevented, they don't have much interest.
And if ol' Sol found out they would lose more than their jewels.

Wise man. Call that wise? I call it something else but what the hell.
Geezer like, I get back on track.

Well now then there. Sol's ring, summon demons, magic ring, cause magic effects, sounds like a flipping angreal, (You know what I mean.)
And it was used by a man, made by a man. The man who made it with his Star of Solomon and his summoned demon, and rites and spells and potions, learned from his 'strange women'. This boy scoured the kingdoms of the world for women and information like Moridin looking for the stash.

The gossip was all over the palace all the time but if Sol ever
heard it he let it go, cause the streets weren't filled with heads on stakes. Well, not all the time. Sometimes he did shit like that but the scribes hushed it up. History as Zexxes says ain't complete.

One old boy, half brother I think. Probably was, the town was full of
them. David was a Macho Man as well as Sweet Singer and the toughest
fighting man ever to shit between a pair of combat boots.
But he only had 300 wives and 400 concubines. Must have been a population shortage but he did HIS part to correct that.

Well this guy offended Sol and he knew that the only thing between him
and the Lord was the Lord,so to speak, and he headed for the Temple.
Wanted sanctuary so he grabbed on to the horns of the altar.
He was supposed to be safe, Moshe/Moses' law.
Sol sent an attendant to kill him. Guy returned. Sol says "where is he?"
Guy told him the situation. Sol says, "Go kill him, Even on the altar."
Nice guy but definite. Might have been wrong sometimes but he was never uncertain. Probably Tuon's ancient ancestor.
Brotherinlaw blood on the altar of the temple of God.

Anyway, Sol died. After quite a few years. Ring passed on. And on. and on. and on.

Then The Merlin, Celidon was his given name in some tales,
Merlin "Wakes the Dragon" somehow. Calls the Earth Power.
"Saidin, webs of Earth."
The Merlin, Ta Myrlin, Tamyrlin has a ring called the Ring of
Tamyrlin. The Ring of the Myrlin.
Thom could explain how legend twists as time goes on.

Okay. No hard facts to quote but there are many who dispute any
of the old legend books to be hard fact. And I am one but I don't
dispute much.
@171, Terez27 gift of a very useful quote. Useful to me for sure.

There can be no health in us,
nor any good thing grow, The conditions at the time
for the land is one with
the Dragon Reborn, The Taveren effects he has
and he one with the land. What affects the land affects him
Soul of fire, Women of Air , Men of Fire.....title of romance novel
heart of stone, Rand made his heart stony
in pride he conquers, Rand was full of it, pride that is, when he was conquering.
forcing the proud to yield. Quite a few of them

He calls upon
the mountains to kneel. Mountains == World rulers.
and the seas to give way, The Sea Folk==the seas (give way, nautical exp.
and the very skies to bow. The Nine Moons==all in the sky

Pray that
the heart of stone remembers tears, Caddy been praying that
and the soul of fire, love. Caddy been praying that too

—From a much-disputed translation of The Prophecies of the Dragon
by the poet Kyera Termendal of Shiota,
believed to have been published between FY 700 and FY 800
Much disputed prophecy? Were those people on a board like this one?
DANG. This disputing over prophecies is not new! We didn't start it.

Kyera Termendal == reborn as RJ?
His prophecies are much disputed as well. :D

I think that ring has ended up with Tuon
I think Justice has ended up with Rand
I think Tuon will require Rand to defeat Demandred and
fetch the throne before the Compact can be made.
Her condition for doing it at all.

I think they will swear a double edged Oath like a two edged sword.
'It has to cut both ways'.
That is an old blacksmithy remark about any kind of agreement.
I have witnessed it 50 times at least. A matter of sealing a bargain.
Sometimes it is phrased,
"Its a damn poor rule that don't work both ways"
and other smith lore is similar. Quite interesting really.


A Compact.
He kneeling to her on her throne and she bowing to him
as the Savior of the World.
I think they are required by Seanchan law to seal this Compact with
the exchange of gifts and exchange of favors in proof of their
trustworthiness. A custom in old times.

I think Dragon's requirement of Tuon is a promise to not leash
any Randland channelers and to keep the peace with others she doesn't
already control. Stop the conquest.

I think her requirement of him will be
To go to Shayol Ghul and Defeat the Dark One, Seal the bore and die.
After which the Compact remains in force as long as no one breaks it
on the Randland side as far as the Empire is concerned.

Just my visualization of the situation, so to speak.

WHAT in the cotton picking curled up cathair is the FONT on this board? Anyone who knows. Please. This lining up text is a bit..of a problem.

Still Learning- As always
Paul Long
291. Caveatar

So, Rand's first death.
Rand breaks seals at Shayol Ghul.
Rand and two women link with Callandor.
Rand is held/out of control.

Nynaeve removes the white power from Rand's brain
and attempts to use it as a buffer to touch the Dark One.
With the white protection gone the Darkness clamps down on Rand
and the Dark covering which Perrin saw in VOG pre-enlightenment
covers Rand again. (The dark hand holding Callandor now.)

As the Darkness covers Rand so does Darkness cover the Land
because as we know the Dragon is One With the Land.
The Sun disappears from View.

Rand's soul is seized at the maw of the infinite void.
Sucked out of his body like a grey man or like what the
draghkar do to a person before they kill the body.
(Except that they consume the soul.)
His soul is pulled into Callandor like he felt it was
happening when he fought Ishamael at the Stone of Tear.
(The time when the balefire split around Callandor.)

The future teeters on the edge of a blade.

When Alivia sees Rand seized and endarkend she kills him/helps him die.
His blood is removed from his body, like Semirhhage talked
about doing to one of her victims,and spilled on the rocks
of Shayol Ghul.
(This plus the white brain power to be used to form a buffer
between the D.O. and Saidar/Saidin to reweave the pattern.)

At this point Rand's body is a 'husk' as in one of the visions/dreams.
Logain seeing that the Dragon is no longer around decides to kick
Taim's BlackandRed ass til it is BlackandBlue and take over the
Black Tower.
(Stepping over the 'husk' in the vision.)
Moridin feeling the hurt from his linked-buddy's body's death says,
"SheeeIT! Can't have this!" and decides to give Rand a New body
making the prophecy come about....
Cause Moridin is still in contact with him and he can't take it.

"Power of the Shadow made human flesh
Awakened to turmoil, strife and ruin."

"Power of the Shadow made human flesh...But the body is still soulless.
"Dead and yet lives."
The girls open a skimming gate, (not being familiar enough with
the local ground to make a gateway), and take the body onto a
barge. (Egwene's hallmark when not riding Bela.)
Thank you Nicola.
They take him to Camlann with Callandor on his chest with arms crossed.
Ready to be laid out on the bier like the old knights were.

His soul still held in Callandor. Dark'un can't reach it. Callandor
is not a Sword. It is a SHIELD! And is unlimited in storage capacity.
A miniTelaranrhiod.

Visited first by whichever one is MaryMagdalene, (Egwene)
she loved him, and she was sister of Lazarus who Jesus
raised from the dead after four days.
The same one how washed his feet with her tears and dried
them with her hair.
And who can this be but Egwene?
For this same Mary Magdalene, the woman of Magdala,
out of whom Jesus cast seven devils.
And old whatshisname rubbing her temples got her 'possesed'
probably of seven devils. I know I think she is nuts or driven
or posessed in some way, just like The Magdalene.

And by so doing, Her Amyrlinness stands in for EVERY CHANNELING
WOMAN she has authority over. Now is the White Tower broken. ITs
walls and rules have submitted to the acknowledgement of humility
by the inkeeper's daughter. (who I despise but if she does this

She couldn't save him. Though she stood at the cross while he died.
She and two other women and one Apostle. John.

Mary, Mary, Mary and John
watched the blood drop from the crucified one.
From a song I heard once, long ago.

AP , do you use that in your work?

And she, the former demoniac, posessed by seven devils
was the first person the resurrected Savior of the World
spoke to.
How is that for respecting women and returning love.?
Egwene will be a new woman after this.

On the third day he arose.
Now Rand is "awakened to turmoil, strife and ruin".
After three days of the nations mourning and crying and I forget what
all the prophecy says......

Rand's tortured soul is pulled from/leaves Callandor and goes into
the new body he got as a gift from Moridin.

Link broken, new hand, new unaffected brain, the two wounds on
his side are gone, saidin is clean and ...
The first at the site of the resurrected Jesus.
Then two of his closest friends, Peter and John.
Wait, make that Mat and Perrin.

And Master Norry who had sat with the body
three days before he would believe 'that young man was dead'
Norry's only joke in life was a prophecy if this is correct.

(Check me on this M'A'T)

The Dragon takes on the Dark.
The Fisher King is free and moves to wherever he chooses on the board.

Healthy and Sane with Soul scoured clean the Dragon banishes the
darkness covering the world and 'twice dawns the day...."
Back to the Pit, Rand channels his own spilled blood into healing
the Bore.

After forty days, (well, during Lent* actually, but it wasn't called
that at the time. They named it that later. Timeline confusion? :D
*kind of coincidental at this time, ain't! it?
During which time Jesus Rand was seen by many,
and he went with them to Galillee, Rhuidean probably, Rand's lake.
and he gave him his last blessing and ascended into the skies,
all present observing the event.

and I will give up at this point and wait for the real thing.
Theresa Gray
292. Terez27
Caveatar@290—That is similar to how I assume it will go down, but I'm not sure the throne itself is required. If it is required, then it might be a trap. Apparently there is a murderer sitting on it at the moment, and some think it's Demandred. (This is possible, but I don't think it's likely because Demandred apparently has an alter ego that we should be able to figure out by Winter's Heart, and there aren't any real clues pointing to Demandred being with the Seanchan at that point, though it's clear enough that Semirhage is Anath in Winter's Heart. And the Roedred clues start dropping in TPOD.)

The main reason I gave you the quote is because I thought your scenario—perhaps it was mostly the Taim quote, actually—tended toward that side of Rand that we were kind of hoping we'd never see again. I find that it's mostly men who are the exception to that rule. They are the ones who glossed over the little clues that Rand is still being heavily influenced by Moridin, despite his general Jesusness in TOM. For instance, his treatment of Cadsuane. His determination to break the seals no matter what Egwene does. Her belief that a part of Rand really wants her to stop him. The fact that he essentially gave the Shadow a time frame around which they could arrange their own plans.

"In pride he conquers, forcing the proud to yield. He calls upon the mountains to kneel, and the seas to give way, and the very skies to bow. Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears, and the soul of fire, love."

I do think that Rand and Tuon will come to an agreement. I don't think it will be quite so simplistic as that. And I think most of the important moves toward the reconciliation will be made by people other than Rand. Namely Mat, Egwene, and Tuon. Elayne and Aviendha too, though they have to be absent at a particular point.

@291—I don't believe that Rand will end up in Moridin's body. Not to say that the merge thing won't be important. I just think Rand really has to die, and that there are a thousand little bits pointing to him being resurrected via Tel'aran'rhiod. The foreshadowings quoted on the Blood on the Rocks page are particularly important. Norry's line is a parallel to a reference about Nynaeve healing someone three days dead, and that's just one of the many foreshadowings. My favorite is of course this one:
TITLE - The Fires of Heaven
CHAPTER: 49 - To Boannda

All she had ever wanted to do was cure sickness, and she claimed to have done it well, though she had not been able to save her husband. The five years since his death had been hard, and the coming of the Prophet had certainly not helped her any. Mobs searching for Aes Sedai chased her into hiding after she had cured a man of fever and rumor had turned it into bringing him back from the dead. That was how little most people knew of Aes Sedai; death was beyond the power to Heal. Even Marigan seemed to think it was not. She did not know where she was going any more than Nicola. A village somewhere, she hoped, where she could dispense herbs again in peace.
And Marigan had just taught her how to resurrect Rand, though of course Nynaeve is oblivious at this point. In the next book, Nicola tells Elayne of her importance, and the Wise Ones teach Nynaeve how to find Rand if he is stubborn and breaks the precepts.

It's kind of like the Sorilea foreshadowing. If the other evidence isn't enough to convince you that she's a Darkfriend, then this should be:
TITLE - A Crown of Swords
CHAPTER: 36 - Blades

"Be quiet!" Cadsuane roared, slapping her hands together in a thundercrack. "You, girl. He needs his bed. Hop!" Nandera hopped. Rand was stripped and in his bed in a twinkling, with Samitsu and Niande both hovering over him, the Cairhienin chased out and Nandera at the door repeating Cadsuane’s instructions that he was not to be disturbed by anyone, all so fast Min felt dizzy. She hoped one day to see the confrontation between Cadsuane and the Wise One Sorilea; it had to come, and it would be memorable.
thepupxpert@281—You seem to be mixing up the Acceptatron and the Aes Sedai Testamajig. The latter is controlled by the Aes Sedai, but the former is not, and the Aes Sedai cannot even watch what is happening.

Cav@275—That comes up a lot, but it's still a bit of a cheat, for a couple of reasons. More likely than an eclipse, perhaps, but it does say 'the day' as if it were the same day. Anyway, I've considered the possibility that there will be two different blood-spillings, but there's nothing to indicate that the KC references any other than the one. The possible second blood-spilling comes from the Prophecies of the Shadow. One brings the darkness so beautiful, the other salvation. The former need not take place at Shayol Ghul; the latter must take place at Shayol Ghul. That contrast seems to fit the 'once for mourning, once for birth' line of 'twice and twice', though.

Perhaps Rand, as Lord of the Evening (Moridin in Rand's body? Rand under Moridin's influence) will battle the Broken Champion (Gawyn) and spill his blood, which will bring the darkness so beautiful. And then Moiraine will balefire him, and Gawyn comes back to life. And then all hell breaks loose until Rand is resurrected to spill his blood again in the proper place, without dying. Thus, 'to live, you must die'.

Still leaning toward the blood-spillings being one and the same, though. And the day actually dawning twice.
Nadine L.
293. travyl
Missbee @140:
I always thought Logains faction was quite small compared to Taim's (based on the POV of the Ashaman who remained at the Tower).
Can you give me a reference why "we do know he took about half the BT (including all the bonded AS) and split them between Arad Doman and Illian"?

Wetlander @244:
Not just that the posts appear faster than I can read them, the links are numerous and worth reading, so it's even harder to catch up. - I spent hours following the links to THE database, and have to add my adoration for the POV you gave us on Cadsuane.

terez27 @250:
I read BWS's surprise over Gawyn's character arc you quoted more a statement to what already has happend (that he didn't evolve into a main character), instead of what is yet to come. - That might be pure wish on my part, but the earliest time I will accept that any lightside character will kill Rand is likely jan 9 2013.
I don't know the arthurian legends or northern gods at all, and depend on people, like you, who know them to point me there. (I only researched the available infos about the Fisher King stuff, after it was discussed here). So thanks for giving hints where to find more info, and thanks again to make it so easily accessible.
Theresa Gray
294. Terez27
travyl@293—I find that it's more difficult to read the quote that way in the context of the other ones. But in any case, we were talking about Gawyn's plot armor—this idea that he is somehow immune to a disappointing or even traitorous finish, when he's shown himself to be susceptible enough, even after he let go of his hatred and reached an agreement with Egwene. And if any of the prominent Lightsiders are going to go off the rails, it's got to be Gawyn. No one else fits.

That being said, I think it's quite possible that Gawyn's deed will ultimately be honorable. Just saying I don't understand why people think a dishonorable ending is simply not in the cards, or that it would make for some kind of inconsistency in the story.
Anthony Pero
295. anthonypero
Thanks to all you people, I now how to work all day today. Grrr... I got squat done commenting on this site this week, lol.
Chris R
296. up2stuff
YASIRU @ 243...

Now I see, you thought I didn't understand the reason Rand sent Ramshalan in. Not true. I completely get the whole reasoning process. I just thought it ironic the one part of the plan that was to prove success was ultimately why the plan failed.
Theresa Gray
298. Terez27
Now, it seems to me that if you're going to play first-past-the-post, you should at least say something substantive in your efforts. :)
Anthony Pero
300. anthonypero
Valentin M
301. ValMar
;) :(
At least I needn't bother with a meaningful post... Or an award acceptance speach. AP, I expect an essay!

Have been enjoying reading the comments.
I wasn't particularly bothered by the balefiring of Greandal's compound. It was a morally iffy moment for Rand, but made sence for the story. Also, Rand did do it with a heavy heart.
As has been said already, there are many mitigating factors:
1- No, Narim's Barrow (sp?) wasn't a city with ten's/houndred's of thousands of civilians. It was a fortress/palace with a couple of hundred of Greandal's minions.
2- Said minions were either innocent but already screwd (literary I suspect, given Gren's naughty hobbies), or commited and active DF. The DF were probably the only salvageable people there because Greandal had to live them more scope for independant action. We shouldn't feel too much pity for them.
3- Balefire doesn't erase soul from the pattern forever.

Caveatar, welcome to the forums!
Anthony Pero
302. anthonypero
I put a special image in the 3 hunny... apparently it got flagged, lol...
Chris R
303. up2stuff
Terez, we discussed this a couple hundred posts back. I made my hunny plans QUITE clear. Member? You member.
Anthony Pero
304. anthonypero
So no one gets the hunny. I ruined it for all!

EDIT: tnh swooped in and rescued the hunny from my nefarious deed.
Chris R
305. up2stuff



All right folks. Personal mission to keep AP from the next hunny. I don't care how much effort it takes or how many many times caveatar has to post, (seriously man, it has all been great stuff and we know you are good for it) we shall rest assured that Anthonypero will be denied the hunny for the rest of the post. (lowers fists held to the sky).

Edited because of stupid smartphone...
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
306. tnh
Sorry I had to delete the image, but you wouldn't believe what it did to the site. After I'd click-scrolled horizontally 85 times, I was only about a third of the way across my screen.
Anthony Pero
307. anthonypero
She's talking about at 300... I've included a link now, but with all the trouble, its probably not funny anymore...

Thanks for rescuing the hunny, @tnh. The 3 hunny is especially delicious :)
Ron Garrison
308. Man-0-Manetheran
Caveatar @ 290:
“WHAT in the cotton picking curled up cathair is the FONT on this board? Anyone who knows. Please. This lining up text is a bit..of a problem.”
I assume you are referring to the odd line breaks in your posts and that they are not what you want to happen. If so, the answer depends on the manner in which you post. Are you writing directly into the post box on the page or using another text program? I strongly recommend using a SIMPLE text editor (Notepad in Windows, TextEdit in Mac) to compose your post. That frees you from any weirdness that might happen on the thread while you are writing. You can also add, rewrite, copy, paste, etc. without introducing unwanted format instructions into the text (which can easily happen while composing in the post box).

When you are ready to post, copy the text from the editor, paste into the post box and “Preview Comment.” You can then make any final adjustments before posting.

Whatever you do, don’t compose in MS Word! That bloatware adds invisible, annoying and nearly non-removable line breaks for mostly inconceivable reasons. Hope that is a help.

Oh, another nice thing about composing in a text editor is that if your post goes south for some reason (as occasionally happens to us all), you still have your text available to try again!
Theresa Gray
309. Terez27
Even TextEdit does RTF, so that might not work either unless you fiddle with the settings.
Valentin M
310. ValMar
Wow, by the time I finished the edit for my post @ 301, there are like half a dozen 10 comments already.
Looks like we'll get to 400.
Theresa Gray
311. Terez27
You are in the presence of the biggest WoT-spammer in the internet. I have a total of something like 30,000 posts at all the WoT forums combined. Only Luckers can compete with my spamminess.

PS—That's not counting my OVER 9000 tweets.
Paul Long
312. Caveatar
3- Balefire doesn't erase soul from the pattern forever.
Apparently the only soul destroying thing is death in TAR
and maybe the Draghkar 'consuming the soul before it
destroys life. a
Caveatar, welcome to the forums!
Thank you! How the hell did it go,,hmmmm,

Oy Jimmy, wotcha mite.
Waits for the correction. In pleasant contemplation :D

Still Learning As Always
Anthony Pero
313. anthonypero
lol @ terez

You've written more words about the series than RJ has in the series.
Paul Long
314. Caveatar

in respect of the great work done in salvaging a publication,
presents the Great Sword of Restoration,
REDACTOR, of which it is said,
'Yea, let the weeds be cut down that the grain may prosper."

to the one who will make best use of it.

Let The Harvester save the Harvest and let all give thanks
to the Harvester of the Heathen.
(Bows to the eight corners of the world.)
(kow tows 3 times before the mighty upon whom we depend.)
May we never suffer the dreaded 'abridgement' of what we have written.

Still Learning As Always
Theresa Gray
315. Terez27
Machin Shin also eats souls. And the Dark One eats souls when he makes Gray Men. Or something.
Paul Long
316. Caveatar
@311 Terez
..."something like 30,000 posts at all the WoT forums combined"

And I have read something like 1000 of those posts my OWN self.
I used to think , Who IS this Terez?
Either the Princess of Darkness or the latest and most prolific
Spambit we ever SAW!

But there's gold in that there spam, Sam
And I read em and considered a LOT, Ma'am
And thats the reason for the state I am in Now
I may recover sometime but the question is HOW?

A friend dropped in one day while I was reading
one of Terez latest at the time, and asked, "What are you reading?"
I said, "I REALLY don't know, in that confused tone I have."
He said, "Why you reading it."
I said, "Because I might learn something."

Still Learning, As Always

Edit: Does the Draghkar and Greymen prevent rebirth of
those souls forever?
Theresa Gray
317. Terez27
Draghkar and Gray Men—not sure. Death in Tel'aran'rhiod, totally sure. Assuming you are already dead, that is. We don't know of anything else that for sure prevents rebirth, but the soul-eating thing tends to hint at it.

I remember seeing you at Theoryland, but I can't remember if I scared you away. I do that sometimes. And then just when you think you're free of me, I show up in unexpected places.
Paul Long
318. Caveatar
@308MAN O Manetherin

Thank you ! Now if I can identify the font here.

The Ruler's Councillor in the Fortified Strong hold
has gone Mano-a-mano with confusion's chokehold
and released this poor poster, prolix and verbose
to again up the count, here it comes, hold your nose

Thanks Mano

Still Learning As always
Paul Long
319. Caveatar
I remember seeing you at Theoryland, but I can't remember if I scared
you away. I do that sometimes. And then just when you think you're free
of me, I show up in unexpected places.

You did see me there and I did leave for a time.
You were responding to a bunch of different posts by those
not as blessed as you apparently are, and said something
about being loved. I responded with something like
"Don't worry, nobody loves you." or some such.
You called me a dork, I told you to take a paxil and calm down
dorkette, and ceased to respond to any of your posts.
I still read 'em and if you are not 'flaying a bloke at fifty yards
with your tongue":uno --I read what you post.
I respect the great effort and result of your effort.
I do not stand and listen to an asschewing and have not since
the Colonel gave me one WAYY back.

You didn't scare me away though.
I haven't been scared by anything except fear for those I love
since I was 10 and got over my fear of werewolves and vampires
and quit wetting the bed.
And I have never submitted to a threat in my life.

I ADORE Nynaeve and I would take her sharp and bitter tongue
happily just to be around her. I wouldn't TALK to her but I would
still appreciate Nynaeve for what she is. Failings and all.

And the same applies to anyone else, realworld, or networld.

Still Learning as always
Theresa Gray
320. Terez27
Good, then I won't hesitate to give you an asschewing again...if you deserve it. :) For now you just make my scroll finger get cramped up from time to time...
Paul Long
321. Caveatar
@317 terez
And then just when you think you're free of me, I show up in unexpected places.

Now I wonder about being stalked.
And adds , "hmmm, reminds me of that rash I had one time."
The Dark'un made me do it.

Still learning bullshitting- as always
Theresa Gray
322. Terez27
Is anyone in Australia? Specifically Perth, Gold Coast, or Melbourne. We need to start planning a Brandon Ambush.
Paul Long
323. Caveatar
@320 Terez
Good, then I won't hesitate to give you an asschewing again...if you
deserve it. :) For now you just make my scroll finger get cramped up
from time to time...

Won't do any good. I will walk away from the asschewing
and forever after ignore anything you say under any known alias.

Saving the Scrollfinger
When you see my nick "Caveatar" just page down.
As far as I know my "Caveatar" nick is unique on the web,
and has been for about 15 years.

So put me on ignore or page down or whatever.
Save the 'scroll finger' for a more pleasant use.

Considers the scroll finger and rapidly avoids 6 responses.
...if you deserve it. :)
I take that to mean "If I think you deserve it."
You are not qualified in any form to decide what I deserve or do not deserve. Neither by age, intellect, experience, military rank, governmental authority, talent, Fiat of a dictator, judgement of the Court or Act of God.
The moderators can decide that. I will respect any communication
from them and follow it.
Because it is THEIR responsibility and right to do that. Not yours.
But I will simply ignore you or any other who attempt to decide
whether I need 'correction'.

Still Learning as always
I saw the ;).
Anthony Pero
324. anthonypero

You need to "make with the market-speak". A Brandon Ambush should be refered to properly in the 21st century as a "Brambush".
Anthony Pero
325. anthonypero

Ewwww. Scroll finger. I'm eating lunch, dude!
Paul Long
326. Caveatar
@325, AP
Sorry man. Didn't mean to spoil your lunch.

Would you consider collaborating with me on a song?
I have the lyrics, but I need the music.
Kind of modern country song I wrote for two friends.
A local person composes but he doesn't do anything
but downhome or gutbucket blues. He can't do it.

Please let me know.

Theresa Gray
327. Terez27
C@323—Regardless of whether or not you think you deserve it, sometimes an asschewing is called for, and it's almost always in response to something offensive. I don't give ass-chewings for any other reason. So, all I have to say is, if you can't take it, then don't dish it out. It makes no difference to me whether or not you read my posts.
Theresa Gray
328. Terez27
Ahh, and this should be required reading for anyone paying attention to this thread.


Incidentally, one of the funnier threads in the Theoryland archives.
Anthony Pero
329. anthonypero
@326. Post the lyrics privately to my shoutbox, with your email address.
330. yasiru89
up2stuff @296-

Ironic perhaps, but as good as could have been done given the precautions Graendal took. And I wouldn't say it was a complete failure, since just as beguiling an enemy as Graendal was taken out (by Graendal's own hand, a hand, if you will, that she was forced to play, which point I'm trying to highlight, i.e- that something had to happen, something had to be yielded by Graendal even in the case of her salvation) in the form of Aran'gar.
Anthony Pero
331. anthonypero
Unintended consequences don't get credited towards the person who didn't intend them. They are simply good fortune.
lake sidey
332. lakesidey
At sore risk of titillating a dead horse...I'm popping out of hibernation cybernation to ask this....

@135 Subwoofer: You said about a certain TG "OTOH his books make great kindling:D"

Are you sure you didn't mean his book make Good kind-ling? *runs for the cuendillar bunker*

(Of course, I could probably just kind-a assume that your real meaning was that they make for better reading on the Kindle...)

I just had some thoughts again. Its kind of convoluted so bear with me.

It's all about Plots. I was thinking about how a lot of us, including me, are worried about certain plot lines being resolved. And it occured to me that these worries could be rendered moot. I was thinking upon the idea that a lot of plots aren't really plots at all, but are really threads in greater plots. Not sub-plots either, just threads. Threads that just drop off because the continued threading of the line is no longer necessary.

Take for example the end of J.R.R Tolkiens the Return of the King. We have the remaining might of the Light at the gates Minas Morgul. The remaining Nazgul, along with the much greater army of Mordor, are in the midst of crushing the last mustering of Middle Earth. Meanwhile Frodo and Sam are fulfilling their task of destroying Sauron's One Ring. These two parallel assaults on Sauron are equally important in that without one, the other fails. The assault on Minis Morgul is imperative because without it, Sauron's Eye will be focused on his mechinations within Mordor, thus spying out Frodo and Sams assault on Sauron personally. Without Frodo and Sam's task ALL efforts to defend against the Dark fails to the might of Sauron being reunited with the bulk of his power and spirit contained within the One Ring.

Meanwhile the Nazgul fulfilling their task of annihilating the forces of the Light becomes interrupted by Saurons frantic call, when he realizes his plight. Now granted there is no point of view from the Nazgul, but if there had been, you would see their thread line end and a new one begin however short or in vain.

It is difficult to imagine myself writing a storyline, where hundreds of criss-crossings and subsequent voidings and sometimes breeding of threadlines, are occuring with the frequency that we are witnessing in series.

My point here is that just as in our lives we have many points in our lives where our current actions and plans become pointless or become interrrupted by a more pressing matter. For all we know said threadlines could be snipped short, because a more pressing matter needs to be attended. A matter that could make the former threadline moot by its very nature, could encompass the very focus the former threadline intended. In otherwords, the threadline is no longer needed because it has been superceded by a more pressing concern or another threadline overlapping the former threadline and snips it short, either fulfilling the goal or rendering it unnecessary.

Think about all the times this has already occured in this series. It boggles the mind to think about keeping track of all of it, especially considering the length and breadth of this series.

Having thought of this consciously, it relieved my worries to some aspects of my possible disappointment with the coming ending of our beloved series .

So whatcha think?

Paul Long
334. Caveatar
EDIT : Clearing Rubble. Pel
Paul Long
335. Caveatar

To misquote M'A'T

Robert Jordan is rubbing off on you. Good job too.

Theresa Gray
336. Terez27
It's worth noting that we could easily spam this thread (with substantive content) to 4 hunny in an hour or so, with a few dedicated participants. Anyone down?

My Chosen topic of discussion:

Is Demandred balefiring stuff?

Brandon seems to hint that he is, or at least that balefire is what is really making the Pattern fall apart, hence the Dark One's instructions to Demandred in the LOC prologue.

Now, consider the magnitude of what Rand did at Natrin's Barrow, just in terms of Pattern-destruction, and how little noticeable effect it seemed to have. If balefire is really causing the Pattern to fall apart, then wtf are they balefiring? Now, Brandon says that even inanimate objects have threads, so they don't necessarily have to be balefiring people. I guess. But by the timeline, the ripples in KOD (Perrin and Faile) aren't explained by Natrin's Barrow at all, because they're way too early. So it had to be something else. Sorilea and Cadsuane felt the warp of Natrin's Barrow. Perrin's and Faile's ripples happened at different times of the day, and according to Steven Cooper, on different days.

Assuming Perrin's and Faile's ripples were caused by balefire...any theories as to what was balefired? What about the wider picture? Is it really possible that the Pattern is being destroyed via balefire? Is Moridin (since Demandred had a problem with it) balefiring Sharans? Sharan cities? Seanchan cities? Mountain ranges? Apparently, the more threads a thread touches in the temporal destruction zone, the more acute the consequences of the balefiring. I feel like there should be some really obvious Object O' Balefire, but nothing comes to mind.

Feel free to start a different discussion. Or to ignore me. :p
337. MasterAlThor

I am not sure as to what you want me to check you on?

And....I got nuttin.

338. MasterAlThor
Oh yes I know what I was going to say. If we are going to keep AP from getting the hunny, then we need to keep Samadai as far from it as possible too.

Crymonetly!!!! My wife is making dinner in Casa de MAT and the onions are burning my eyes!

Oh how they burn.

Theresa Gray
339. Terez27
I chopped onions for a living for 14 years. Immune. I've actually had bloody buttered onions before, but it was on accident.
Paul Long
340. Caveatar
EDIT: Clearing the Rubble Pel
Cynthia Ahmar
341. tenkuu
MasterAlThor@338: I found out the other day, accidentally, that chopping whole onions in rings (without slicing them in half first) seems to reduce the tears. Either that or I was so absorbed in whatever I was thinking of at the time that it just took me a while to register the smell.
Anthony Pero
342. anthonypero

Demandred has balefired the hell out of Shara.

Theresa Gray
343. Terez27
Great, now we can discuss the moral implications of targeting the "Africans" for genocide.
Anthony Pero
344. anthonypero
Heavens' forbid! I never viewed Sharan's as african, or even black, so much. I'm sure some are, but I viewed them more as Egyptian/Sumerian/Semetic. But then again, I really don't pay attention to those things. I guess I could see Northern Saharan, but not sub saharan.
Anthony Pero
345. anthonypero
All that being said, there's a whole lot of world off-stage to balefire.
Jay Dauro
346. J.Dauro

Do you know if anyone has asked Brandon if "balescream" is his or RJ's? Of course it doesn't appear until TOM, but it is describing this. And I found it one of the most evocative words in the narrative.
Thomas Keith
347. insectoid
AP @300: LOL!

Terez @311: 30,000?? Makes my 1000-or-so here look a drop in the bucket. I bow before your awesome powers of verbosity.

Cav @334/340: ::still in stitches::

AP @342/345: LOL, yes... like the Island of Madmen, and even Seanchan.

J.Dauro @346: It does sound RJ-ish; as we'd never seen this sort of large-scale balefire usage before TGS, I'm not surprised it didn't come up. But in my mind, balescream = Old Tongue for "great disturbance in the Force". ;)

Anthony Pero
348. anthonypero
About the pic at post 300... I don't even know... Is Jared a national chain of Jewlers? If its not... then that probably wasn't funny to some people, or our international friends... oh well. It was super funny to me and Insectoid. ;)
Paul Long
349. Caveatar
EDIT: Clearing the Rubble
Thomas Keith
350. insectoid
Cav @349: *dies laughing*

*gets back up* I'm all right. ;D

Paul Long
351. Caveatar
Dang insetoid, you sixlegged kind of critter.
You make my day as much as typing out that stuff.
I suppose your brother could be an arachnoid but he ain't just
like a spider, he is a spider.
I might put him in and let Dark'un aggravate him or something.
Nah. Don't want to hurt no feelings
Having too much fun.
Say, dies and gets back up. is okay. That Nynaeve
ain't round there is she son. I got this pain in SLAP. That stopped him.

Got any suggestions for ol' Dark'un or subjects to talk
about. Anything you want him to give his views on?

Still learning, as always.
Chris R
352. up2stuff
Terez, 1st job was a a Taco Bell. Even when I could scour the grease from my hands, I could never get the scent of the Green onions from under my fingernails. Didn't burn eyes, just made me gag if I touched my face.

AP we have Jared here in Indianapolis. I got it..
Jeff Schweer
353. JeffS.
Wow. Due to real life intruding, I just got caught up with the thread.
Unfortunately, I'm brain fried and have nothing to contribute.
Caveatar, between you and the various links, I've been happily reading away for about 4 hours now. My wife has been reminding me that I really should get up every once and a while so I don't cramp up or something.
Thanks one and all for the brilliant discourse.

I am only an egg
Paul Long
354. Caveatar
@353 JeffS

I grok waterbrother.

Nadine L.
355. travyl
@315. + 317:
If death in TAR (poor Hopper), Draghkar and Machin Shin likely kill everlasting, what about Mashdar?
Because if we include Mashdar into that list, Rand actually safed Liah by balefireing her.
Paul Long
356. Caveatar
INSECTOID BUZZZZZ. If you want the Dark'un stuff email me @
quasimodo42431 at Yahoo and I will email it to you.
I have cluttered the board, unknowingly and unintentionally
and it has made it difficult to clear the rubble.

EDIT Clearing Rubble.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused to others. Pel

Still learning, as always.
Theresa Gray
357. Terez27
Dear god, can we please get an ignore button? Thanks.

up2stuff@352—I really wish they still had green onions. Nachos are just not the same any more. :(
Anthony Pero
358. anthonypero

This is what happens when the old folks home takes a field trip to the thread :P

j/k Caveater :D... I know you broke out on your own. ;P
Paul Long
359. Caveatar
Caveater :D... I know you broke out on your own. ;P

Well, I know YOU can understand. But wouldn't YOU break out from such a situation?
Imagine being surrounded by a whole damn house full of folks like me.
Dinner time, you can't hear yourself think for the clacking of
our false teeth.
Everybody half deaf, and nodding to each other all the TIME
like 'I know what you mean'
but if they can't lipread they don't know what is being said.
Thats ok. We will repeat it in a few minutes, having forgotten
that we just went through that same old tale AGAIN!

But we can laugh at ourselves and Death holds no terrors.

One of them I know personally , one of the founding members
of the Hell's Angels, (Ha. Sweet as a grandpa and generous to
anyone around him.) I wrote him an epic poem about a bike
ride to Sturgis, cause he asked me to make him a hero in
a tale. He loved it and it is on the wall of a Saloon in California
or was. He claims/claimed it as documentary proof of his
heroism. Even convinced some of the tourist type customers. :D

He had a colostomy after having fainted and lying unconscious
on his floor for two days.
When he got back to the Casino bar, he had to go to the bathroom
and when he got back he requested the local talent to sing a song
to commemorate his recent trip.
"Name the song Ron!"
"Papa's got a brand new bag!" And we all sang it.

See, that is why I broke out. And you are gracious to understand.
Come see me at the home some time, son. I miss you.

Tess Laird
360. thewindrose
Hi AP - we have Jareds in MN. Maybe it's a midwest thing? I would so go to Jareds if this was a real ad from them:) That was funny.

Back to those demotivational pictures - I printed out a nice color one about procrastination for my son - he thanks you with much sarcasm for bringing it to my attention - and also used about 1/2 hour to do so when he should have been doing his homework:/

Eric Hughes
361. CireNaes

Called a scroll button. Several ways to utilize this outstanding browser feature. The arrow key for the traditionalists among us. The scroll wheel on one's mouse for those who enjoy that hampsterish quality. Now if perchance, one is rocking a trackpad, their drivers could contain the ability to scroll with...wait for it... two fingers. Or for a more dated feel one can take advantage of the trackpad settings and cordon off the side for said activities such as, I don't know, moving down a web page. Should one possess a touch screen then new highs and lows are possible with the flick of a single finger. Watch out for repetitive stress injury. Maintaining one's ability to point an accusatory finger or hoist one's finger before one's chest as an idea overcomes one's mind with such strength that it requires a physical "Ah ha!" such as scrolling past what might annoy or frustrate; why maintaining such a keen ability connotes, nay, demands proper care for the pointiest of pointers. Choose, but choose wisely what requires the use of this most prized of qualities.

One could even scroll on by this little dandy.

Edit: To correct an antonym.
Theresa Gray
362. Terez27
Yes, I already discussed scrolling. Thanks.
Eric Hughes
365. CireNaes
If you see me posting on the thread
And you start to howl each time in dread
Scroll on by, scroll on by
Make believe that you don't see the letters
Oh just start to peeve
In private 'cause each time you see them
You start to gripe
But oh baby, scroll on by

I just can't get over losing you
So if I seem broken in two
Please scroll on by, scroll on by
This WoT reread is something I enjoy
So let me toy
The tears and the sadness you gave me
You put the hurt on
You socked it to me, momma
When you said, "Dear god, can we please get an ignore button? Thanks."
So please scroll on by
Make believe you never see the tears I cry
So do me a favor and scroll on by
So I'm beggin' you to scroll on by

Oh yeah
Make believe you never see the tears I cry
So I'm beggin' you, I'm beggin' you to scroll on by
Make believe you never see the tears I cry
Oh, there's no sliced green onion in my eye
Oh no
Theorylanders don't you me cry no no no
It's the hurt you put on me, yeah
I don't want you to see this poster cry
So please scroll on by
Oh mother's milk in a cup, scroll on by
Eric Hughes
366. CireNaes
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more.

I do enjoy your contributions and encyclopedic knowledge of this series, but your posts come off as abrasive at times, Terez. Theoryland is a rough and tumble place and that's fine, but the general vibe here is a tad more genteel. That's why I frequent here rather than the other WoT haunts.

That and I have a huge temper so I don't feed the beast through self-care like not exercising my meanie muscle. Just too easy. The thorn in my side. That's also why I don't think too much about other people unless it's in a capacity of care. That and I'm an extreme introvert. I prefer the void.

Edit for grammar. Cursed smartphone.
Paul Long
367. Caveatar
The Prince of Inspiration!
I bow to my superior in explication.
Would you be Speaker for the Dead at my funeral?
I am long but I am little. May the Prince bear with me.

Eric Hughes
368. CireNaes
I'm flattered, but it would be wrong of me to not mention the source of that particular amalgamation. Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics), initially sung by Dionne Warwick.

As to the funeral, I am doubly flattered. I live in the Chicagoland area. If you are hard up to find a Chaplain or Pastor (read comfortable theologically and relationally with) and you are within a 5 hour driving radius I would be honored to give you a proper send off. That is if you're comfortable having the gospel preached at your funeral. If not, no hard feelings. I could wear my uniform if you were planning on a military funeral. Just send me a personal message via Tor's website.

Edit for grammar again. Doubly cursed device.
Paul Long
369. Caveatar
I was playing 'Walk on by' while reading it the second time.

Oh Prince, check your mailbox when you can.
Give me about an hour
This place is fantastic.
The Women are strong.
The Men are Good looking
and All of the group 'tested as an isolated sample)
come up above average. Strange how do they do that?

Thank you
Lake Wobegone and I just BET you knew that.

runs off to find email address of the prince.

EDIT and like the nac mcfeegle rushes right oot agin.
Let me 'splain, no, take to long, let me sum up :Inigo

Would you message me your email address. the shout
box is difficult and all.
Or email me quasimodo42431@ yahoo dot com.
(I played Hunchback for Notre Dame, position not used
in football now.)
Eric Hughes
370. CireNaes
Prairie Home Companion is nice. Still appreciate their Ketchup spoof. I've grown away from it though. When I got my first smartphone I started downloading podcasts. Car Talk, Wait Wait, What Do You Know, The Incomperable, The Verge, Wiretap, and Hypercritical. Those are what keep me awake while driving.
Paul Long
371. Caveatar
Okay. I want to make an announcement to all Gawyn haters.
Considering RJ and all.
I realised finally that I do identify with one character in
the books but I blinded myself to it.

YEP. Finally got through my thick head.

Let me 'splain. Inigo

Gawyn is a spoiled, privileged, specially trained, arrogant
little confused bastard. (I don't judge you Morgase. Just an
He has always had it easy, and the running from death
and leading the band and killing his teachers and even
getting his little princely ass thoroughly whupped was
part of it. Still had it easy.
I am not a prince. I have never been politically or socially
priveleged. BUT
I had it easy all my life.
School was easy.
My sisters treated me like a king, sometimes to the point
of threatening to behead my ass with a guillotine.
But that was rare.
I never had to choose whether to fight a girl like some guys
do. The older sisters would have ripped anyone to pieces
who hurt me. I didn't know that at the time but the girls

Learning was the thing I liked more than anything else.
I learned so quickly that some teachers thought I was
cheating. And I was but I was helping others. I never needed
it. I was raised in a blacksmith shop and though you wouldn't
believe it to see me now. I had muscles that had muscles.
I could lift 225 pounds onehanded. That 8 pound sledge
builds 'em up.
Last week I slipped in the bathtub and couldn't even raise
MYSELF up with one hand.
To make it shorter.
I was cocky as hell.
I thought the whole damn world would just be a piece of cake.
And it didn't turn out that way.
Immediately after high school, 2 weeks after my 18th birthday
I joined the Army. Army full of opportunities. Would be easy.
Then, after the physical, just before the swearing in ceremony.
At the beginning the Colonel or whoever said,
"Anybody that don't want to commit and mean it. LEAVE NOW!
But if you stay, you will swear an oath approved by the ARMY
to be commited to the defense of the Constitution of the United
States. And we will hold you to it! You will be swearing to serve
something greater than yourself and you will be expected to die
in that service if necessary!"
"And if you break it we will see to it that you WILL die for breaking
that oath. My word on it. Any questions?"
No one left. I wondered,"WTH? Nobody told me about this. Well
okay, I could handle it."

Then this Colonel, covered with emblems and honors has us raise
our hands to God, or if you don't believe in God raise them ANYWAY!"

I took that oath in June of 1958. And it still sits in my soul.
That smartassed cocky young whelp was commited.
And I meant it when I swore it. I still do.
And though I did 250 pushups a day for infractions, that was not
what changed the boy's attitude.
I was commited to something WORTH serving.
Greater than myself.

The Constitution of The United States of America"
faults and all, but still the greatest document to be
written in a thousand years.
Tam asked Rand, to consider "Why we do as we do."
Tam knew it and I know it and James Rigney knew it.
Because it is WORTHY of the commitment.
I felt it then and I STILL feel it.
Not commitment to actions by some politicians
for whatever reasons. To the Constitution and its
promise to the world of a better hope.
Hmmmm. little preachy there but forgive me.

That is Gawyn's problem. Not the fighting, not the
rest of his silly assed actions so far. Commitment!
And Gawyn has just about got out of Basic Training
or the Citadel or Something.
And Egwene is the one who gets him to that point
no matter my opinions of her which I have to
Anyway, Gawyn, is ME and every other boy who finally
became a man.
Do You have your name in the book? That is great recognition
and worthy of all pride in it and you earned that respect by
helping others.
But James Oliver Rigney Robert Jordan wrote a part in there
for me. And Gawyn is the one.

Again I am overwhelmed at the gifts of the man.

Paul Long
RA 19195793
U.S. Army
I salute Robert Jordan, even though it hurts my shoulder.
What the hell. Man up. Do it Gawyn.

Theresa Gray
372. Terez27
CN@326—I generally say what's on my mind, and make no apologies for it. I've noticed that several others here do the same, so I'm not sure why you think the environment is different in that respect.
373. Freelancer
anthonypero @348

I too am in the county where "He went to Jared's" makes sense. No idea about national, but can't even find them in OC or LA. Just down here in North TJ.


There are a pile of areas about which you and I are quite alike. A handful where we are not. But that business about taking a commitment seriously, we're the same. There are lines behind which I will never retreat. Was a time I was within a week of leaving on deployment, and I was called upon to say a few things at church. I asked everyone to keep an eye on my family, to keep us in prayers, the usual stuff. Then I said that while I would soon be sailing off the shores of a foreign land, the way I read the Constitution we might just find more significant enemies if we were patrolling the Potomac. It pains me to acknowledge that those words are more true today than then.

I would also like to hijack your declaration of connection with Gawyn to point out that this very business is why Jordan was unparalleled in his craft. We the readers cannot help but view these characters as complete individuals, so thoroughly are they designed. We grok them, therefore they are.

Terez27 @372

He isn't the first to make basically the same statement about the difference between TL and here. Yes, many of us put our cards on the table, but some of us slam them down.
Theresa Gray
374. Terez27
@Freelancer—I think these people must not actually hang out at Theoryland very often. But in any case, these things are subjective. I find honesty to be far preferable to faked politeness, especially when it's not faked very well, which is often the case. But that's just me.
Paul Long
375. Caveatar
@373 Freelancer.

Thank you and thank you for defending my family and my
home. And all others who did.

I understand differences. If we all thought or felt the same
nothing would ever change.
And in all respect for you, if any of my posts offend your
sensibilities in any way. Get my attention, fire a shot over
my bow or whatever and it shall be corrected as soon
as I can manage it.

With all Respect to the Defenders of the Constitution of
the United States of America. And a lot of the rest of the

Paul Long
376. Caveatar
EDIT Clearing the Rubble. Pel
Eric Hughes
377. CireNaes
Hanging out and haunting/lurking are different things, yet both possess a degree of community (I could do without the dehumaization bit, "these people"). I appreciate the information at Theoryland, not the style in which it is delivered. I get enough yelling and inventive vulgarity in other areas of my life (e.g., ministry and military).

Plus life demands that I pick my entertainment venues wisely. My politeness is never fakery, but I only deliver humor to those whom I think will appreciate it. I shall scratch you off my list. Life has a way of wearing one's soul thin. I understand that. Better than most in some areas. If negative interpretation due to past life experiences has left some scars, then so be it. I really do think there is a certain amount of confusion as to what makes this place so special. The confusion lies in one's interpretation. That there are genuinely kind and intelligent souls. The two can and do coexist.

I find myself attracted to more cultured venues. Take that for what you will. It is no insult. Just a choice.
378. Freelancer
Caveatar @375

Fear not, sir. I find no offense in your stream of consciousness. Those differences between us, in my impression to date, are more about magnitude than vector.
Paul Long
379. Caveatar
@378. Freelancer.

Message received and acknowledged.
With great relief.
When I can I will shout at your shout box.
I just looked. Cant find shoutbox. ?

I have a thank you note I would like to send you.

I emailed it to CirNaes for his perusal.
Haven't heard back yet, but he is busy and I am
in no hurry.

Theresa Gray
380. Terez27
CN@377—Hubris much? :) We all find our own denizens more "cultured" than others, and we all find our own friends more "kind".
Eric Hughes
381. CireNaes
We are cross talking now. Best to let it lie. Perhaps one day a Con will come my direction and we can discuss this over a cup of coffee.
Theresa Gray
383. Terez27
18 17 now. I thought we were going to pretend to say something substantive? :)

@CN—I will probably be at JordanCon and DragonCon this year, and JordanCon next year. I'm not sure if I'll make it to any cons after that. I generally hate them, because I hate crowds of people. And so JordanCon is much nicer, because it's a relatively small crowd of only WoT people, and of course WoT people are undeniably more cultured and kind than the average DragonCon attendee. ;)
384. Freelancer

Interesting thing about this site, if you set your shoutbox controls as I have, you must be following another user for them to see your shoutbox. It is now unlocked for you.

::ponders how many are actually staring at this page mashing F5 in the hopes of scoring the prize::

Oh, since it's long been hashed out, my take on the destruction of Natrin's Barrow is simple. War is hell. This is a war, and there are enemy combatants, the most significant of whom, short of the dark one himself, are the forsaken. The chance to eliminate one could not be overlooked, and since Rand had already concluded that there was no way to face her himself, his plan was tactically brilliant. And, in spite of losing Graendel, it was a great success. A forsaken was destroyed, and Graendel is not exactly a favored character in the heirarchy of the dark. Yes, her being around is going to cause Rand more troubles, but on the face of it, a major score for Team Light. The only downside would be that he had more names to put on his list. I'm pretty sure that list is about to be abolished, anyway. Did Rand do a horrible thing? It would be dishonest to say no. Did he do the right thing? I find it as hard to say no.
Cynthia Ahmar
385. tenkuu
Terez27@372: I don't disagree with that mindset, you shouldn't apologize for "what's on your mind", but to begin with, you should be more open-minded. It's never so much about what you say as how you say it. If you say something like "that show sucks", it's much different from saying something like "I don't like that show". The former puts people on the defensive, whereas the latter makes people more curious about your views.
Theresa Gray
386. Terez27
Oh, so now I'm closed-minded, eh? That's funny. I'll try harder in the future.
Paul Long
387. Caveatar
@384 Freelancer

It works now. I need to attach a file to the message, the editor
thingy scrambles it.
If you email me at quasimodo42431@yahoo.com I will reply with
the attached thank you card.

I noticed where you live. If you ever go to Las Vegas via I40 or Needles
and north on 8 95 toward Boulder,
I live at Calnevari Nv. 10 miles south of Searchlight.
Pronounced CAL NE VAIR.
In the point where California and Nevada and Arizona meet.
All three builders were AIR persons, flyers,
and the Owner will correct the pronunciation.
She isn't here now. Salt Lake City. Visiting her mom.
Say, I wonder if she knows Brandon? One close relative helped
in the creation of Cars 1 and 2
Maybe she does.
Little wide spot in the road with a Casino, small Airstrip and
At most anytime whoever is the bartender on duty
or any local person, will know my name, Paul Long,
and if you ask if there is a guy who fixes computers for free
they could get my attention or direct you to me.
Tell them who you are and why or they, I don't know why, will
have Batman, County Officer, neighbor to investigate.
Some strange reason most of them like me.And seem to want
to protect me. I ain't THAT far gone.
And I like them.

Point being, if you happen to stop there I would
love be in the same room with someone I respect.

Codger mode but going for the hunny eh?

Paul Long
388. Caveatar
EDIT: Clearing The RubbleCaveatar
Paul Long
389. Caveatar
EDIT Clearing the Rubble
Paul Long
390. Caveatar
EDIT: Clearing the Rubble before you can rebuild Pel
391. Freelancer
Caveatar @387

Egads. Last time I was through Needles I was humping fighter parts from Yuma to Nellis AFB. Squadron I was in at the time had detachments in both places, and a bird up at Las Vegas needed parts we had packed for Arizona. Almost 20 years ago now.

I have a family trip to Vegas planned for August, but I'd be hard pressed to justify a detour out I40 way.
Jonathan Levy
392. JonathanLevy
Wow, what a strange thread.

Terez - very interesting theory about Laras and the Horn - thanks for posting a pointer to it. I like it very much, and I certainly hope it turns out to be true.

What about Mother's Milk in a cup?

:: flees ::

@several re: Gawyn's fate

I think I agree that Gawyn is being set up to die nobly or horribly in AMOL; mainly because most of the main characters do have Plot Armor, and Gawyn is both expendable and a strong enough secondary character to make his death matter. Plus Egwene's Dream about him standing before a choice which would lead to either a quick death or a long life.

That said, having him kill Rand is less convincing now that his hatred has calmed in long introspective scenes in ToM, as part of his character development. Plus we have a viewing that Alivia will 'help Rand die' - not sure what amount of help he'll need if Gawyn stabs him in the back.

Egwene's dream about Gawyn's choice suggests an Achilles parallel, more than anything else -
My fates long since by Thetis were disclosed,
and each alternate, life or fame proposed -
Here, if I stay before the Trojan town,
short is my date, but deathless my renown;
but if I leave I quit immortal praise
for years on years, and long-extended days
If the Achilles parallel is followed, perhaps Gawyn will die avenging his Patroclus? Sadly, there's no good Patroclus candidate, but we can make do with a poor one in a scenario such as this one:

Rand goes to Shayol Ghul, is mortally wounded, possibly dead. Elayne is in grief; an attempt must be made to save him, or at least retrieve his body (which is a Patroclus parallel). Gawyn decides to be the hero, puts on the rings, and rushes in. He brings back Rand, who is already dead, but Nynaeve works her magic somehow. Gawyn expires a hero.

Fans everywhere tear their hair out.

Edit for spacing
Jonathan Levy
393. JonathanLevy
Addendum: Nynaeve kneels over Gawyn's grave in a posture of grief, thus fulfilling that prophecy without killing Lan.
Alice Arneson
394. Wetlandernw
Come on, people. With a measly six more posts on your part, I might have caught up (finally!!!!) just in time to get the 4th hunny. The 5th, I give you. :)

Not that I have anything very substantive to say. As Jonathan Levy so aptly remarked, "Wow, what a strange thread."

(Personal aside - Terez, I have to admit I was surprised at your response to CireNaes entry @361. I thought it was funny, and honestly thought you would too! Oh well.)

I really do intend to post my thoughts on this chapter, in which I will annoy or offend several people with whose opinions I have significant difference. However... it's nearly midnight, and I'm not sure I should even start to write it tonight! Might have to be completely rewritten tomorrow; OTOH, by then I might have another hundred or so posts to catch up on. And no time to do it. *sigh* (Does anyone feel sorry for me? No? Not anyone? Oh well. I do a good enough job of it all by myself. I don't need help, thanks anyway. :) Seriously, I'm not sure which is crazier, this thread, or me!)
Anthony Pero
395. anthonypero
Let me help someone else to the 4 hunny, as I will be at my daughter's school this morning... it shall be denied me. Unless I decide to sextuple post. Is that the right word? It looks like it sounds like quite an experience :)
Theresa Gray
396. Terez27
@Wetlander—It's hard to find humor in something that's intended to be insulting toward you. Perhaps it's easier when you're not the target.
Martyna Berek
397. missbee
Wow, RL dragged me off for a couple of days and I've had to skim to get this far. Some small points I noticed along the way

up2stuff @ 175 the place name you were looking for was Ansaline Gardens

Terez27 @ 211 - thanks for the link. I find myself agreeing with Linda's theory and yet, at the same time I have doubts. It seems to me that Verin would have gone out of her way not to know the final location of the Horn. It may be that Laras is hiding something else - all those trunks and chests of Verin's notes come to mind.

tenku @ 241 - There has always been a Champion of Light, this time round it he is called the Dragon and the Dragon Reborn, though he may have been called the Dragon in the past too

travyl @ 293 - re Logain - the reference you need is KOD ch 18. Logain returns to Algarin manor and reports to Rand: “More than half the Black Tower is in Arad Doman and Illian”

I've been enjoying the Gawyn discussions here, but a small detail bothers me:
the Bloodrings - do we know for sure whether they are re-usable?

Edit: meh, I should have posted all these separately...
Theresa Gray
398. Terez27
missbee@397—We assume the Bloodrings are reusable partly because Brandon confirmed (to Freelancer, incidentally) that the Seanchan do not know how to make them.
Valentin M
399. ValMar
Looks like another failed attempt...
Martyna Berek
400. missbee
@ 398 - I do remember seeing that quote before, but it doesn't prove anything one way or the other.

(heh, go for it!)

Edit: Huh?! and Yay!
Something funny happened there, I got bumped up!
401. Freelancer
And there it goes.

Terez, I do not believe that the reusability of the Bloodknife rings was established with any certainty. IIRC, it was strongly suggested that a significant cache of them was available. Look at it from a tactical point of view. Who are you going to send into an enemy area after a Bloodknife has done their deed, in the attempt to retrieve the ring? If they were reusable, it would be certain that they would make an attempt to recover them. The more plausable status quo is that once activated with the wearer's blood, the ring itself is played.

Add then, the rarity of the items, to their suicidal nature, and that is why Bloodknives are commissioned upon demand, rather than being a battalion of ready-trained fighters.
Theresa Gray
402. Terez27
Why are two different people telling me that something isn't certain when I never claimed it was??
Jonathan Levy
403. JonathanLevy
I had inferred the intent as Wetlander did. Not sure why we read it so differently, but it might be because a couple of threads ago I was tempted to write a very similar comment as an expression of sympathy to someone who seemed to be reacting as I was to a third party.

Hunny - Too late!!!
404. Freelancer
Fine. Then your comment should read "I assume", or "Theoryland assumes". The implied inclusiveness of your "we assume" adds me in when named as a source, I felt it necessary to distinguish my opinion.
Martyna Berek
405. missbee
I was simply hoping that you or someone else might have known of another quote.
Never said you claimed anything
Theresa Gray
406. Terez27
Oh, we do assume they are reusable, partly because of Brandon's quote,
and partly because it would be a little stupid and pointless to make a
red herring out of them in that fashion, with Gawyn. But no one ever
said it was confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. It's like...pre-TOM.

Me: "We assume Moiraine is coming back."

Martyna Berek
407. missbee
I find the 'red herring' argument more convincing than the quote.
But the bloodrings don't need to be re-usable to be useful to Gawyn in AMOL. Just the simple fact that he has 3 around his neck might affect circumstances if the Seanchan spot them.
Theresa Gray
408. Terez27
There's also the fact that we've never seen a ter'angreal that can't be reused, and have no reason to assume that such a thing exists.
Martyna Berek
409. missbee
You very nearly got me off the fence with that last one. But (:P), we've never seen a ter'angreal that needs to be tuned to a specific individual before. Well, at least I can't think of one.
Theresa Gray
410. Terez27
Well, we've seen ter'angreal with various activation requirements, have we not? Step through this door, channel Spirit *here*, or perhaps one just needs the right song. This one needs a drop of blood, but not for very long. ;)
Anthony Pero
411. anthonypero
Do you think RJ or Brandon watched Stargate SG1?


this episode aired July 2000. Armbands, not rings, but almost the exact same powers (minus the shadow part), and the exact same consequences.
Theresa Gray
412. Terez27
Probably. He did the armbands in Mistborn (spoiler) with Lord Ruler, whose armbands pierced his skin hemalurgically.
Anthony Pero
413. anthonypero
Your spoiler is a bit pink. I can still read it :)
Anthony Pero
414. anthonypero
Hey, any excuse I can think of to bring up Stargate is a good thing in my book...

"In the middle of my backswing!!" Best. Line. Evar.
Theresa Gray
415. Terez27
To be fair, the ter'angreal doorway can't be reused...by the same person. It can be used by other people. Of course, the 'by the same person' point is moot with the Bloodrings because using them means death. The Rhuidean crystal columns can only be used once by each person, unless every person has the Wayforward option. A non-Aiel can't use it at all; it's attuned to Aiel blood, and specifically to the individual's bloodline. The Rings of Rhuidean are specifically attuned to the individual, as is the Acceptatron. Most of these can probably only be used once by each person. But they can be used by other people.

The only thing I can think of that can truly only be used once is the nar'baha.
Birgit F
417. birgit
Finally caught up. Is Cav trying to catch up with Terez' wordcount in a week?

Geographically Shara is China. Africa seems to have disappeared from the map of Randland.

Are the Bloodknife rings bound to a user while he/she lives like the Horn? They probably can be reused, but maybe not while the previous user still lives.
Theresa Gray
418. Terez27
One great think about being able to link to interview questions is that it cuts down on my wordcount. Geographically, it's hard to say which bits went under water. I'd say most of China ended up in the Blight with Russia. The shape of the continent makes it look like Africa broke off and pushed up against the Asian continent.

Anthony Pero
419. anthonypero
The world may have gone through other cataclisms prior to the Breaking. Trying to find a direct A -> B correlation between Randland map and RL map is futile at best.
420. MasterAlThor
I turn my back for one second and everything just about goes.....

Let me say that I also offer up my thanks to anyone who has is or will be serving my country. I would have loved to join you, but God saw fit to put my talents elsewhere. (Now I just have to figure out where)

I must have missed that link about Laras and the Horn. What post was that?

Good to see you as always brother. Hope everything is shiny on your end of the country.

You know I kinda just took it for granted that they were reuseable. I may have to rethink that. It doesn't really make since to leave such powerful tools in the hands of your enemies.

As far as Gawyn is concerned, how would he learn how to activate them? Aviendha isn't around to tell anyone how it works. I can't see him just putting it on and then cutting himself shaving and then presto. There has to be some logical way for that to happen.

Theresa Gray
421. Terez27
M'A'T—211. Also, Alivia has to help Rand die somehow. ;)
Rob Munnelly
422. RobMRobM
birgit - I would guess Cav is trying to catch up to Subwoofer's word count in a week. I'm speechless (and breathless).

Re the bloodknife rings - Free has a great point. If the rings were reusable, more effort would be made to recover the used ones. So either they are not reusable and they are depleting a limited AOL cache found by the Seanchanians - or it is a plot/writing fail.
Anthony Pero
423. anthonypero
K, I'm going dark now to try to get some work done this week. I'm probably going to need to skip the next thread (BOOOOOOOOOOO!)

See ya all next week! (Lets see if I can actual keep to this now. Doubtful)
Theresa Gray
424. Terez27
Rob@422—Who says they never try to recover them? In this case, it probably wasn't plausible, but since they're only used for important targets, in the Empire it's probably more feasible, since eventually the Seanchan will gain control of the area where the Bloodknives were sent. And it's probably not too big of a worry that the rings will be discovered and used in either situation. It's either ignorance, or a sense of duty to the Empire.
425. MasterAlThor

See ya tomorrow. LOL



Teresa Nielsen Hayden
426. tnh
That other fantasy writer? We do not discuss him. It only leads to sorrow.

Several comments have disappeared from this thread because I don't want to edit you without your permission. If you lost a comment, want it to reappear, and are willing to trust me to remove the mention, give me a shout and I'll take care of it.

427. MasterAlThor
Ok, so we have Laras who is more than she seems. If she has the Horn and is to give it to Egwene, then how does Mat get his hands on it? Cause he tells Teslyn....
"I want you to tell the Amyrlin something,"..."The White Tower has something of mine, and it's nearly time that I reclaimed it."..."So I'll be coming, and I don't mean to be bloody turned away."
So maybe Egwene gets it first and then hands it over to Mat. Not that hard to write in. Just have to get the timing down. You know there is a battle going on in Caemlyn and soon to be one in Tar Valon.

Theresa Gray
428. Terez27
tnh@426—Sorry. :( I can't remember if any of my comments on that subject said anything substantial not having to do with TOFWWSNBN, but I trust you to remove mentions. I also trust you to decide whether a post has something worth resurrecting.
Nadine L.
429. travyl
Jonathan Levy @ 392: I very much liked your version of Gawyn's possible fate - especially the part about the audience/fans

missbee @397. Thanks for the reference. I hoped it would be faster this way, than if I searched after it myself.

@TNH: about "unpublishing": as long as the post-numbers stay the same, I think the protest will be minimal. (If you look for bribes though, that would be a way to get some from hunny-seekers)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
430. tnh
Caveatar, isn't that a bit much? None of your recent comments are objectionable in their own right, aside from sometimes being egregiously off-topic; but their sheer length is making it difficult to follow the rest of the conversation.

Terez @372-374:
I generally say what's on my mind, and make no apologies for it.
As long as you avoid saying things that call for an apology, I have no problem with that.
I've noticed that several others here do the same.
If they go over the line, I tell them so. If you feel they've gone over the line, you have the same ability to flag a comment as any other registered user.
But in any case, these things are subjective.
Not if you're the moderator. I have to make judgments.
I find honesty to be far preferable to faked politeness, --
Now, that's where we disagree.

First, while there are occasional circumstances where one cannot be both honest and polite, in my experience they're far rarer than they're generally alleged to be. In almost all cases, you'll find that with a little effort, it's possible to be both honest and polite.

Second, faked politeness is very nearly as good as the real thing. Manners are strongly performative anyway, and that goes double for manners in online interactions. Politeness doesn't have to be sincere. It just has to be polite.
-- especially when it's not faked very well, which is often the case. But that's just me.
You'll get better at it with practice. Haven't we all?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
431. tnh
Terez again @428: Thanks. I'll go check on that right now.
Wow this re-read is really getting side tracked now. Starting to become...I don't know.... hijacked? yeah thats close enough.

Theresa Gray
433. Terez27
tnh@430—There are a few difficulties in this regard, for me personally. Not trying to make excuses for me—there are none—but simply explaining:

1. I apparently have very different ideas about what acceptably polite conversation entails than the average person. Partly that's because of my upbringing and the company I'm accustomed to keeping outside such cultured denizens as these esteemed reread threads. Quite often I find that I can't really relate to others' offense at all. (Even now, I'm not exactly sure where I stepped over the line.) So there's always quite a bit of pressure to try to look at the world the way other people do, and while that's always a useful skill to develop, it has limits. Theoretically I could just go away (not just in this venue, but in all others) and the problem would be solved, but I have dependency issues, and like Mr. Caveatar, some people even encourage me.

2. I have a pretty horrible temper. I feel like I try really, really hard to keep it under control, which is sad when you think about it. So you have all these tiny little offenses that no one cares about, and eventually you get Terez in full blowtorch mode (as Wetlander likes to say), which is of course a far greater offense. As you say, perhaps I will get better at it. I come from a long line of temperamental women, but my mother finally figured out she was becoming her mother (who never figured out that she had become her mother, etc.), and I never had kids at all, so maybe there is hope. It's always easy for me to imagine that I can get better at it in moments like these, where I can relax and be all philosophical about it. But then something comes along and makes me see red.

#1 is probably the most relevant when it comes to that issue of sincerity, because I always feel like x offensive comment from y poster is judged to be polite relative to my own comments when it shouldn't have been. So to me it's not just honesty about how one feels but honesty about whether or not one's comments are actually polite. Some would say I'm hypersensitive about this because I notice subtle mockery and condescension more easily than others. Some would say it's because I'm paranoid. It's probably a little of both (see my WoT theories). But then we come to #2, which is clearly a character defect, if not an insurmountable one.
Paul Long
434. Caveatar
@430 TNH
Caveatar, isn't that a bit much? None of your recent comments are objectionable in their own right, aside from sometimes being egregiously off-topic; but their sheer length is making it difficult to follow the rest of the conversation.
Yes. It is a bit much. I shall try to "Clear up the Rubble" Pel
Thank you for telling me.
And thank you for the kindness and moderation in your moderation.

No joke. I really appreciate you telling me.

And I apologise to any who were inconvenienced.

Paul Long
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
435. tnh
Terez, I know where you're coming from. Back in my GEnie days, I used to literally see red (it's a real physical reaction) when I read messages posted by a certain user. And though Google has been doing a lousy job of maintaining the old Usenet archives, I expect there's still evidence that I used to bring a loaded bazooka with me to tea parties, just in case one was needed. It took me years to become the tiresomely preachy evangelist for civil online behavior that you see today.

When I said that politeness is something we all get better at with practice, I meant me. I expect a few of the other readers may have nodded in rueful agreement when they saw that, but I won't presume to guess who they might be. What I know for sure is that I did. And I'm still working on it.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
436. tnh
Tcha, Caveatar! There's no need to clear up anything, and we'll all be sorry if you do. Just be a little more mindful of your posting length in future.
Theresa Gray
437. Terez27
Back in my GEnie days, I used to literally see red (it's a real physical reaction) when I read messages posted by a certain user.
Yeah, the literal red-seeing only happens every now and then for me (the last time was yesterday, and not here). There are degrees of it, starting with a basic brain-rush type thing, progressing to blurry vision, and then actual red vision. It takes a lot to get me that riled up, but it does happen.
And though Google has been doing a lousy job of maintaining the old Usenet archives
That explains some signing reports we've seen hints of but can't find. :(
I expect there's still evidence that I used to bring a loaded bazooka with me to tea parties, just in case one was needed.
I shall have to investigate that. :) In any case, thanks for the encouragement.
Paul Long
438. Caveatar
@ 436 TNH

Nothing is lost. Just the repetitions. And that last long
sonofagun which I had to try three times just to remove.
I do have the page saved in case anyone wants to read it.

EDIT.The last long post and my mind. *
I have lost it. No great loss but I kinda liked it myself.
Would you please see if you can salvage it from the cuttting
room floor? I doubt it but.....if its too late...just too late.
Let me know if and when you get time to check.

But evidently the LENGHTH of the thing was interfering
with the board mechanism.
I am sorry for that and I was even more sorry when I
thought I was going to have to impose on you to do it for me.

I have carried the Great Sword Redactor myself. A great
responsibility. That is why I presented it to you (in a figure)
because I trust you implicitly.

Say! anyway to post just the link so it would be a spoiler thing
and anyone could just look at the name and zip on by?

Dang. Geezer mode again. Sorry,

okay. Nuff said. I grok.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
439. tnh
Paul, I have all of your comments in their original form -- luckily, I hadn't refreshed the page. Are you saying you want them restored? I can do that.
Paul Long
440. Caveatar
YES! JUST just the last Long One. It summed up and edited the previous.
But All if necessary.

Thank YOU!
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
441. tnh
Just to make sure I've got the right one, which message number is that?
Paul Long
442. Caveatar
@441 tnh

REal long addressed to Insectoid

Thank you.
Karen Fox
443. thepupxpert
Boy I'm gone for what... 3 days? And we're half-way to 500??? Now to go catch up. BTW Terez @ 292 I fell over when I read your comment about the Acceptron and Aes Sedai Testamajig, now I KNOW I'm going to get busted at work for laughing like a hyena. And me with my fresh new promotion... not looking good!
Eric Hughes
444. CireNaes
Thanks for sharing Terez. That helps. And as to the Con stuff, I've always been at a disadvantage. No time to travel and I still owe my wife a trip to New York this next year for our 10th anniversary before I even consider bringing up Georgia.
Theresa Gray
445. Terez27
@pup—I can't claim credit for Acceptatron, alas. I think that is actually Leigh's. Pretty sure I got it from this blog, anyway. But the old Usenet folks were, like Taim, very much into naming things, so it might originate more generally from there. I couldn't think of anything clever for the Aes Sedai Testamajig, so I improvised. ;)

@CN—That's a shame. You should shoot for NYC when Brandon is there for the AMOL tour. :)
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
446. tnh
Oh damn, my page did refresh after you edited that. I've emailed you my own address. Please send me the missing text?
Eric Hughes
447. CireNaes
Hmmmm...that could work...of course I will have to take her to at least one additional Broadway show as pennance as she tried to read WoT, but got hung up on the fourth book (which happens to be my favorite). She's applying for her PhD in Theatre. We will hear back from Northwestern in a few weeks and seeing as that's the only school she's really interested in we just might be stuck in this area for the next 5 years. If she gets in our lives will get a lot more complicated, but I'm excited for her. And proud too. She's made it up to the final selection process. Regardless of what happens that's an acheivement to be proud of. Now I just need to negotiate how to maintain my Ordination and take on a heavier childcare role at home. No problem! All in a day's work.

And Caveatar, I will read your work today. I'm about to head out to Starbucks and will make that my first tasking. Looking forward to it.
Paul Long
448. Caveatar
It is gone.
No worries.
No problem. I have lost many things in my life,
and my mind is what I miss the most.

Drat he said. I only have some portions of it. And I could follow
your excellent advice from a previous 'lost' post but I don't think
I want to. It was fun but it is over.
Probably good thing too.

But hey!, Old Codgers can light up and take off from ANYWHERE
and get airborne, destination indeterminate and quite suprising
at times. As you know. LOL

Anyway, RJ has slapped me upside the head with his mastery
and his Perrin SlowPlod until, RJ having returned me to the
Blacksmith Shop where I got my 'fetchin up':
and recalling my dad teaching me in that way of his.

I now see what 'clearing the rubble' means.
My dad the Master Smith taught me to do that very thing.
And Herid Pel (My initials!), was about to pull the rug
out from under Ishidin.

I will think on it and post it for comment later.

Thanks for trying.
all the best
Paul Long
Karen Fox
449. thepupxpert
@365 - Classic!

Another absurd giggle that has people craning their necks to see what's up. **slinks into office and closes door**
Theresa Gray
450. Terez27
CN@447—Congrats to your wife. I hope to go the PhD route for music, but that's not easy, partly because Indiana is the only school I'm really interested in, and partly because of the issues discussed in the 'sharing' post upthread. I want to study music theory with Douglas Hofstadter (who doesn't even teach music theory) and musicology with Halina Goldberg so I can work on my book about Chopin. One speaks French, the other Polish (the two languages I'll need to study for Chopin). The former is the only facultyperson I know of anywhere in the country who is likely to grok what I am on about; the latter is one of the best in the field. But I have nothing to my name aside from a bachelor's with a 3.014 GPA (a nice mixture of mostly As and Fs, the latter mostly in core classes) from a second-tier university, and no one who will give me a good reference, even though they all know I could excel on either path, and they all know exactly why I got bored and frustrated with their school (after 3 semesters of 4.0).
Eric Hughes
451. CireNaes
If you havent already considered it, try working your way into getting published in academic music journals (or editing them as few actually want that job and it will grow your contacts as well as your portfolio). Best way to meet potential references is blowing your hard earned money on music conferences. Yay! The joys of pursuing a life of academia on a budget. Also never hurts to get a second Bachelors degree in French while gritting out the social pain for that 4.0. If you're roughly my age then there's still time. But oddly enough, journal publications are a best bet scenario both monetarily and with the who you know factor.
Theresa Gray
452. Terez27
Yeah, I have definitely considered the journal publications, though that would only be a feasible route with Chopin (since I need much more guidance for my theory ideas before I can publish anything concrete), but part of me thinks of it like spoilers for my book. I know that's weird. Maybe it comes from being such a fiction-oriented person. :D So I've been trying to think of things I could try to publish that wouldn't fall into that category. I might try to publish something on Bach instead. Everyone writes about Bach, but I've been told (by one of the people who probably wouldn't give me a good reference) that I have a unique way of analyzing his music.
Eric Hughes
453. CireNaes
Read as promised. Check your email Caveatar.

And I bet we could get to 500 if Sub can be dug out of whatever pile of snow he's stuck under.
454. s'rEDIT
@Caveator 64:

Wow, just . . . wow.

Here I am simply trying to catch up on my re-read posts. I never would have imagined such a beautiful allegory hiding among the 454 entires (currently, I'll never catch up). Never did I imagine I'd be brought to tears in the midst of WOT fan replies (not only angels and archangels weep over revelation of THE PLAN).

Thank you for that.
Rob Munnelly
456. RobMRobM
I'm betting we hit the 5 hunny by 10 am. Has Wetlander even weighed in on this thread yet? I'd expect a dozen from her alone and another dozen for Sub after the babe goes to sleep.
Rob Munnelly
457. RobMRobM
On the merits, by the way, I had no problem with Rand bf-ing Natrim's Barrow. I accepted the premise of his dilemma - unless he could achieve surprise, he'd never be able to kill Graendel and the people around her are fully compelled beyond repair. Thus, unleashing balefire was tragic but necessary.

458. MasterAlThor

Earlier in the post you were talking about Demandred balefiring stuff to kingdom come. Other than Faile almost being unraveled (didn't that happen twice?) what evidence do you have for this theory?

It is most unfortunate that we don't get any other POV's from that time. Is it possible that when it happend to Faile that that was the exact moment that Rand Balefired the Barrow? I'm kinda sketchy on the timeline.

As an aside. You don't have kids, ashame, you could have passed on that wonderful amount of knowledge you accumulated. If you have nieces and nephews pass it to them. We certainly appreciate what you contribute here. Even if we don't always get along.

Theresa Gray
459. Terez27
M'A'T—The evidence is the link I posted. ;) And I discussed the chronology in that post as well.
Paul Long
460. Caveatar
@454 S'rEDIT

You are most welcome.
It was almost on topic.
A myth of the source of that sword, its name, and why they had to
leave. Jothiel (Beauty of God) is the name of the softhearted old dude.
(Wait til I rewrite Eden. lol I already have but it is long
and not canon. But it could be. And I am sick and tired
of the whole blamed world blaming EVE for the troubles.)
My 4 daughters almost accepted that women were somehow
at fault for humanity's problems. I couldn't have that.
If you want to read that sometime, I will email it to you.

TEAR! Dang boy. I had some when I visualized it. Didn't think
anyone else would.

Thank you
Roger Powell
461. forkroot
Wow! This thread is beginning to remind me of some of the monsters from a few years ago.

I have a few scattered comments:

Interesting analogy .. I like the thought process but I hasten to point out that the armies of Gondor/Rohan etc. were not aimed at Minas Morgul (the former Minas Ithil), but rather at the main entrance to Mordor.

Loved it! As you know, I have a great fondness for "rewriting" songs myself. Well done.

Returning to the subject on where stuff was before/after the Breaking: Reading the prologue to LoC, we see in Demandred's thoughts that before the breaking, Shayol Ghul was actually on an island by itself, idyllic and remote. Apparently the Pit of Doom was the same as it is bow (full of lava, not at all idyllic) as Demandred's thoughts also reveal.

Regardless of where it is, Shayol Ghul is not where the Bore is ... the Bore is everywhere present. Shayol Ghul is merely a place where the DO's touch is felt most strongly.
462. MasterAlThor

Ok I reread your post and I have been reading Sporksters theory on TL. I haven't come across a timeline yet. Of course I haven't finished reading the theory yet either, but you did say to BS that basically that theory was debunked.

It does seem like a lot of the things that are going wrong with the world could be explained by this theory. But then it just seems like you're talking the DO out of the whole thing and blaming it on balefire (the theory, not you).


Soon I will have a question about all this, but I need more infor first.
463. MasterAlThor

You are right my friend. Eve is not the sole reason for our troubles. Adam couldn't follow instructions either. And then when they got busted he tried to pin it all on her. The nerve of some people. Sheesh.

Theresa Gray
464. Terez27
M'A'T—I meant I talked about the chronology in post 336. There's no way that the ripples Perrin and Faile felt could have been caused by Rand's balefiring of Natrin's Barrow, and even Perrin and Faile appear to have experienced them on different days, at different times of the day. (Basically repeating what I said before.) Also, I didn't tell Brandon the theory was debunked. I said it was 'on the rocks' because we had contradicting fan reports from RJ signings in the database. If you follow the links I gave Brandon, you can read those contradicting reports.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
465. tnh
Paul, I am so sorry. I was sure I hadn't refreshed that page. Are you sure you don't want me to reinstate the portion you have left?
Cynthia Ahmar
466. tenkuu
Terez27@386: It's funny indeed, but more in a sad way than what you think. I hope you're serious about trying to be more open-minded though.

missbee@397: Thanks for the respectful reply, it's a refreshing change from some people around here. So to get back to my original question, do you think Shayol Gul's always been around?

tnh@426: I only used him for comparisons anyway, and the point got across, so it's fine to keep my comments removed if you did remove them.

Terez27@433: If you need your ego stroked, no one will deny your contributions in the WoT community. No one will deny that you make excellent points several times either. The only issue I have with you, as I mentioned before, is treating others' opinions and theories as somehow inferior just because they differ from yours. I have a temper too, but I don't use that as an excuse to lash out. Rather, I apologize if I do go over the line. In fact, I might have crossed that line in that other thread, tnh will probably let me know if that's the case.
467. MasterAlThor
Ok, checked out those links (told you I wasn't finished with the theory yet). This seems to cast more confusion on the whole thing. Has RJ ever been so contradictory before? Could one of these gents be mistaken?
Also I find it weird that BS said to "study" the theory. Was he trying to be cryptic?

More to ponder. Maybe I will have a question for you tomorrow. As for tonight I will think on thses things and call it a night.

Paul Long
468. Caveatar
@465 tnh

Sorry. I sent you an email about it. Deja Vu. Another resurrection.
All the pieces were scattered on my computer desktop.
I have it all. Anyone who wants to see or read it I will email it
to them.
It IS too long for a single post.

And you have no need to be sorry. You do wonders in difficult
circumstances I am sure.

Paul E Long

Still Learning-As always
Paul Long
469. Caveatar
@463 MAT

I am itching to see your reaction to "One Day in Eden" but
I will scratch it and get over it.

(well, RJ wrote me into the story. I finally recognised my young self.)
Tempted to change my nickname to Gawyn

470. MasterAlThor
I would love to see it.
You could always email me @ r_buckhana@yahoo.com

Paul Long
471. Caveatar

"And then when they got busted he tried to pin it all on her."
Oh I just gotta send it to you now.

Will do Master alThor
I have to find it and run through for any scrambling it might
have gotten on the machine.
Probably by tomorrow if not late tonight

With this advisory. Think of it as what a man who doesn't think
women are the root of all evil would think.
Which opinion would have gotten me knocked down in the local casino bar but women and men both growled at the guy. (And the name Batman was mentioned. Neighbor. Cop.)
He could have knocked me down. I've been knocked down before.
I always got up though. LOL

Caveatar Trakand Gawyn's sillier twin.
Still learning from Robert Jordan
Alice Arneson
472. Wetlandernw
Sorry, RobM, RL has kept me busy, and every time I think maybe I can get involved, I find another hundred comments to read! :) Still, I'll try to weigh in shortly; most of you will probably be stuck reading it while you twitch for the new post tomorrow. (Which I won't see until tomorrow night, because my 10-year-old stinker drowned the iPad and now I have no way to access tordotcom at school.)
Paul Long
473. Caveatar
I am with the stinker, Wet. Give him some kinda reward.
I drowned one myself. Should have done it when I first saw it.

Alice Arneson
474. Wetlandernw
Caveatar @473 - Well, it's more his loss than mine, really - except for the cost of replacing it. It was his favorite "toy" - it reads to him, has all his Latin vocabulary & grammar flashcards, all his memory work (and yes, he loves listening to his Latin & memory work!), and it plays silly Dr. Seuss games with him. He misses it dreadfully. I, on the other hand, use it to access tordotcom and play Sudoku, and then only for a couple of odd hours during the day. :)
Paul Long
475. Caveatar
@474 Wetlandernw

SILLY? DR. SEUSS? Bite your tongue young lady.
I STILL love that bastard.
And of course he is silly but that is what us innocent people like.
Snoppy and Woodstock. "We're as innocent as they come."
Just kidding of course.
If you have an undue delay in replacing it I have 5 desktops and 1 laptop still on the desk. No. Wont work not Ipad.
I know you take care of your own. However, I have a neighbor
and friend who hit the California lottery for 10 million dollars
years ago, and he still wants to pay me for fixing his computer which I
refused to accept money for. I'll call in the marker. Old Joe wouldn't even notice. :D :D

All the best.
To you and family.
Did you receive the thing about "Demons fear"?

SLAP That stopped the codger.
Gawyn Trakand
Used to be Caveatar
Alice Arneson
476. Wetlandernw
Okay, here’s my very abbreviated, relatively concise and altogether personal take on this chapter:

From the comfort of our recliners (or desks), with all manner of external information from the creators, it’s very easy to say that Rand was right to balefire Natrin’s Barrow. After all, it did get rid of Aran’gar & Delana, and all those people she’d Compelled are now free to be reborn in accordance with crustimoney proseedcake. Yay. And since he only made the substance of the world nearly break, instead of altogether, maybe there’s no harm done. So, sure, no problem. Besides, we needed it for literary purposes; Rand had to do something awful to show how low he was going, on the way to the very bottom, so that his epiphany on Dragonmount would mean something.

From the outside, no worries.

From the inside, it’s horrible. Awful. Atrocious.

First, he knows that balefire is dangerous to the Pattern, and the stronger the balefire, the more the damage. Destroying an entire fortress is going to take a lot of balefire. Maybe not as much as an entire city, but still, a LOT. If he’s been paying any attention at all, he’s been seeing things that should indicate some fraying of the Pattern; it seems to me that severe damage to the Pattern is a pretty high price to pay - even to destroy one of the Forsaken.

Second, as far as they know (made clear by Min’s and Nynaeve’s words) he will be permanently destroying the soul of every person in that fortress. Unlike us, the “hope of salvation and rebirth” is of paramount importance to the people of the WoT – so important that it is the most solemn oath they can possibly swear. Taking away their chance of rebirth is no minor thing, but Rand shrugs it off as “I did them a favor.” In this round of life, they had been made into “Graendal’s pets” – but is that any reason to believe that they are better off being killed forever? Seriously, removed from existence?

Third, it is only Rand’s assumption that Graendal has Compelled each of them to the point of mindlessness. Some have used Kerb as proof of what they would all have been like, but I disagree with that position. Kerb, being sent out into the world on her behalf, was Compelled to the point of being completely unable (until Nynaeve removed the Compulsion) to do or say anything that would betray Graendal. Of course he was! He was going to be in contact with a lot of people – including, as it turned out, the strongest ta’veren ever. Naturally, she would use overwhelming Compulsion on one in his position. It doesn’t necessarily follow that she would bother to use that level of Compulsion on the simple woodcutters, laundry maids, etc. Most of them would never have contact with any outsider anyway, and very few of them would ever have contact with Graendal either. It’s a bit too facile for my taste, to just assume that Rand is of course correct in saying that they would all be mindless idiots. He’s almost certainly correct about her “pets” – we’ve seen them before, and they really are able to do nothing but kneel and adore her, and it’s fairly reasonable to assume that any servants who interact with her directly for any reason would be under nearly the same level of Compulsion. There is, however, no evidence but Rand’s assumption that the rest would be.

Fourth, he is willing to destroy all those souls and risk severe damage to the Pattern on the chance that he might destroy a Forsaken. He’s admitted that Graendal is much more crafty than himself, and he’s quite certain that she would know within moments that Ramshalan was sent by Rand and for what purpose, and that she would then seek to use that knowledge against him. He also knew she would have several other retreats to which she could go instantly. On the assumption that she wouldn’t skive off to one of those as soon as Ramshalan left, on the assumption that she would underestimate him and sit there with a nice target on her forehead, he thought it was worth destroying hundreds of souls and risking vicious damage to the Pattern to get her. He wasn’t even assuming it very strongly – he had to have Ramshalan tested for Compulsion as soon as he was done, to see if it had worked. And if it hadn’t? If it hadn't, he’d have done all that for nothing. No gain at all, and irreparable loss.

Fifth, the culmination and the reason I find (in-story) Rand’s action so utterly reprehensible, he doesn’t care. Someone suggested up there that Rand "thought he shouldn’t care, but did." I disagree. I think the text makes it quite clear that Rand knew he should care, but he didn’t. He gave verbal acknowledgement to the fact that what he was going to do should frighten him, that he would be justly damned for it, and he gave that lame “I did them a favor” justification to pacify Nynaeve and Min, but the truth is that he had no feelings about it at all. Min gives us that, in no uncertain terms. Rand – has – stopped – caring. And Min can feel it through the bond.

The best thing about it is that it brings some light-siders to acknowledge that they really are on the same side. Min says,
“Winning won’t be winning at all if Rand becomes something as bad as the Forsaken… We –"

“I understand,” Nynaeve said suddenly. “Light burn me, but I do, and you’re right. I just don’t like the answers those conclusions are giving me.”

“What conclusions?”

Nynaeve sighed. “That Cadsuane was right,” she said.
Finally! Min, Nynaeve and Cadsuane, along with the Wise Ones*, have all had the same goal the whole time, and now they are finally beginning to realize it. Or at least, Min and Nynaeve are finally beginning to realize it; Cadsuane and the Wise Ones knew it already. And I very much appreciate birgit’s point (way back up-thread somewhere) that Cadsuane was the one who defended Nynaeve at the end of this chapter, when the other Aes Sedai would have dismissed her and the Wise Ones questioned her. Again, from the outside perspective it’s easy to flame Cadsuane for not fully trusting Nynaeve with the whole plan; in-story, it would simply be too risky to give Min and Nynaeve too much information at this stage. They need to have an actual conversation on the subject, before that can happen. Even here, Min demonstrates one reason she’s not ready for their trust – she’s still convinced that when Nynaeve says “handle” Rand that a) she speaks for Cadsuane as well and b) that “handling” and “helping” are mutually exclusive. In truth, when Nynaeve says “handle” she means “help”, and Cadsuane has never shown any agenda with regard to Rand other than preserving his humanity. At this point, though, both Nynaeve and Min have demonstrated that they are commited to Rand individually, without demonstrating that they understand what he really needs or that C & the WO are working in his best interests. Until they believe that, how can they be trusted with information that might drive Rand into unreasoning fury, farther away from his humanity than ever?

(While I know many here resent Cadsuane and firmly believe that she was horrible and manipulative, an unbiased reading of the text makes it clear that her sole purpose was to help him hold on to sanity and humanity as much as possible. Beyond that, she never made any attempt to maneuver him into anything. You may or may not like her methods, but it’s on record that she had dealt with more men who could channel than anyone else – more than twenty – and that the ones she found lived markedly longer lives after gentling than those brought in by other sisters. I think we’re supposed to figure out that she had developed methods that generally worked. The fact that the Dragon Reborn is a… unique case… is hardly her fault, nor is she relieved of her duty – as “servant of all” – to do what she can to help him. I’ll reserve my comments on the result of her new plan, as well as the trust developed among Min, Nynaeve and Cadsuane, for the relevant chapters.)

*For the record, I don’t buy the theory that Sorilea is a Darkfriend. I just… don’t. The evidence is insufficient, so I’ll wait for AMoL to prove me wrong. Or not.
Alice Arneson
477. Wetlandernw
Caveatar @475 - Never fear, I duly appreciate Dr. Seuss. I was the one who bought the silly games for him, after all. :)

Okay, who's going to get the hunny this morning?
Alice Arneson
479. Wetlandernw
tnh - I wish you could know how very, very much I appreciate your work in moderating us hooligans here. We get a bit unruly from time to time; it's good to have someone to stop us before we tear the house down and throw it out the window. :)
Paul Long
480. Caveatar
@479 Wetlandernw

Would that be anything like defenestrating a demolished domicile?

Gawyn (fka) Caveatar
Paul Long
481. Caveatar

How would it be if, after tomorrows scheduled post and the
fire dies down on this one, I break up the Dark'uns Tale
and post it at the end in a few pieces in sequence. Of course activity
might increase and a new reader might come along later.
I know I can email it but some newcomer might get a laugh.

Anthony Pero
482. anthonypero

I have to contest points 2 and 3. Min and Nynaeve's PoVs only make clear what they believe regarding balefire. To assign their beliefs to Rand is logically inconsistent, especially considering Rand has access to information they don't (Lews Therin). I'm not saying you are not correct, merely that there is no way to know what Rand thinks regarding rebirth, since he doesn't explicate it in his PoV, and it's certainly not good enough to say he thinks that because some one else does.

This same point (Lews Therin) invalidates the core argument behind point three as well. Rand doesn't merely think Graendal has compelled everyone inside to the point of idiocy--he knows it, from long previous experience and association with Graendal via Lews Therin. He knows each of the Chosen intimately. That has been made clear on a number of occassions.

Stripping away these two points also exposes point 4 to criticism, since point 4 is propped up by 2 and 3. All that's left of this point, after stripping away 2 and 3, is the risk to the Pattern. Apparently, Rand/LTT felt that balefiring Graendal in this way presented ess of a risk to the pattern then leaving Graendal loose to work towards the DOs goal of total obliteration of the Pattern.

Please note that I think the act was morally reprehensible. I just have a problem with the argument as presented, more than the actual conclusions of them :)
Martyna Berek
483. missbee
Terez & M'A'T - contradictory quotes and balefire

I'm having problems locating a useful quote on the subject, one which I think explains the apparent contradictions.

Quite some time ago, I looked at this theory to see if I could work out what was being balefired. Nothing much came of it but I kept some notes. Then, more recently, I saw another discussion on the subject and thought I'd check the database. The main references are a quote from RJ (via SaladDodger) saying that the DO has not ordered Demandred to use balefire to weaken the Pattern and a quote from RJ (via congo red jr) to say that the Forsaken are using balefire to weaken the Pattern
What I can't find anymore is another quote, which followed on from the congo red quote above. This is it, as copied from the database into my notes at the time:

congo red jr: 2005-11-06 - I suppose it's possible that Mr.Jordan maynot have fully understood my question and therefore his answer isn't exactly for or against this theory. LOL The question I asked was this, Have the forsaken, Demandred specifically used balefire to destabilize the pattern at all? He said that they've used balefire and the consequences where destabilizing the pattern and that in the books you could see evidence of that.

That seems to make it clear that they have used balefire and destabilized the Pattern, but Demandred has NOT been ordered to destabilise the pattern by using balefire.
Still doesn't explain what has been balefired and who died, of course...

Terez @ 410 - that went straight over my head the first time. Heh, fool box indeed...

Caveatar @ 481 - great idea.
Anthony Pero
484. anthonypero
@Caveater re 481:

Tor.com has also provided us with a nice big Forum to use are a (relatively) open playground. You can always post everything there, and link to it here, for our attention.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
485. tnh
Paul/Caveatar @481: Posting it here would be fine; or, as Anthony Pero points out, you can start your own thread in the Tor.com Forums, and link to them from the main discussion.

You don't need to break it up. It can remain a single comment.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
486. tnh
Wetlandernw @479: Thanks. I love good conversation.
Jonathan Levy
487. JonathanLevy
Something's bugging me re: balefire. I'll work towards it slowly.

We know the DO wants to destroy the pattern. We know Balefire destroys small parts of the pattern. Also, the pattern itself in some way is keeping the DO imprisoned (e.g. by bringing ta'veren who help keep him locked in), so destroying the pattern might very well help get the DO out. So it's possible the DO specifically ordered the Forsaken to use Balefire in order to help weaken the pattern. We don't have positive evidence of it (Demandred in LoC Prologue is a test, not a specific command), but it does make sense.


It can't be that simple. In the War of the Power, we are told, both sides stopped using Balefire. I understand why Team Light did, but why Team Dark? We are told that they were afraid there would be no world left to rule over. Well, that's nice that the Forsaken are afraid of this, but if the Dark One wants it done, who are the Forsaken to object?

To put it another way - is it really possible that at the end of the 3rd age, with the DO partially sealed, he orders his minions to Balefire away and they obey him, whereas at the height of the War of the Power, with the DO free to touch the world through the Bore, he was defied? Possibly be the very same people who are obeying him now?

Just thinking. And counting towards 500 :)
Martyna Berek
488. missbee
JonathanLevy @ 487
Ok, thinking out loud ...
I don't think the DO ordered any balefire for any purpose in LOC.
As you point out, the conversation with Demandred is a test, not an order. And, we do have a direct quote from RJ to say that the DO has not ordered Demandred to use balefire in order to weaken the Pattern.
All we do have is the DO telling Demandred who is to die and who is to live.
My assumption has been that the forsaken have taken it upon themselves to carry out the orders using balefire.
I had also assumed that the scale of balefire use is much smaller this time round.
489. MasterAlThor
After some much needed sleep and refreshing of the batteries. I have finally come up with something on this Demandred and balefiring. Please follow along.

In KOD Perrin and Faile both feel like they are going to be unmade. If I understand this correctly, Terez says that is is possibly on two different days.

Now let's just assume that Demandred is frying things from here to kingdom come.

We know that he is not doing anything like that over in Randland proper. So how huge of a blast would he have to unleash in order for Faile and Perrin to have felt the effects of it in the middle of Randland?

I contend that it would have to be bigger than an entire city. Why? Natrim's Barrow isn't that far away from Bandar Eban. Relatively speaking. So since we know that Demandred didn't wipeout anything over here, he must have done it somewhere off Randland proper.

Some suggest Shara, or Seanchan lands. I don't have an opinion one way or the other. All I know is that in order for Perrin and Faile to feel the effects of that, the amount of One Power used had to be enormous. And whatever was taken out had to be just as enormous. By the way, it is probably important too. See it's all about interconnectedness. The more important something is, the larger effect it will have on the Pattern if it is removed.

Wrapping up, I would like to know what Demandred has balefired. And how he commanded that much of the One Power without frying himself to a crisp. Rand and Co. have the two strongest buffers against using that much One Power.

490. MasterAlThor

My friend I have never thought that women are the root of all evil. I love them too much. I shared some of that with my wife. I have others that I will be sending that to. I am sure that they will appreciate it.

491. MasterAlThor
So where is everyone?

Wetlander is probably getting ready to teach class.
AP said he was taking the week off....yeah right.
Samagai is in lurk mode...waiting to get the 5 hunny
The old cod...err I mean Gawy...Caveatar is probably still sleeping. I would be at his age. Of course he say he'll sleep when he's dead.

So where is everyone else? I don't intend to push this to the 5 spot all by myself.

492. MasterAlThor

Did I read that right? Your 10yr old is learning Latin? If so can send my 7yr old to you for training. He is super smart. Way smarter than his dad and mom. He is well mannered and very loving. The only problem you would have with him is that he eats. A lot. And maybe sometimes he likes to talk to people like he is an adult too. But you shouldn't have to worry too much about that. I've been working with him.

Paul Long
493. Caveatar
@490 Mister althor
My friend I have never thought that women are the root of all evil. I love them too much

Ahhhhhh MEN! SO BE IT. IT IS SO.
Some women react to preferential treatment of themselves
as the guy thinking they are weak or helpless or a child.

Those women really do not understand that about us
We men who Love them too much (to want harm to come to them)
and will jump right in there with the Two Rivers boys.
"Why do men act crazy like that?" Because we love you
too much and we would prefer you nursing us and showing
us attention and telling us how brave we are. Ladies,
"The little knight said, "Heck, a few little injuries from a thorn
wasn't anything."
Too much appreciation and love for a woman because of her
worth, not because of hormones, Can not be done.
Chauvinist Pig that I am, that is my never to be humbled opinion.
(If my sister were to see that she would slap me silly(er) for the
chauvinist name for myself.

Codger assists to the hunny.

Gawyn Trakand's clone
Theresa Gray
494. Terez27
M'A'T@467—I have assumed since Brandon's comments that one of the reporters was simply mistaken, but it may be that missbee is correct, and the Dark One simply didn't order Demandred to use balefire in that way. It would make sense, considering Demandred's POV on the subject. He agreed to be faithful, but the Dark One could probably sense his reluctance. The 'who lives and who dies' part does seem to suggest balefire, but maybe not. It could have just been a general order along the lines of 'let the Lord of Chaos rule' (meaning, don't kill the Dragon, because he's doing our work for us). As for who was named to die...dunno. Perhaps that was when Demandred was ordered to go into Murandy and kill Roedran and take his place. :)

Wetlander@476—It could be that Rand was aware he wasn't removing their souls from the Pattern permanently, and simply didn't bother to set the girls straight. And he said that he was operating from his knowledge of Graendal from the Age of Legends when he assumed they would all be thoroughly Compelled, because that's how Graendal does things. It's something that everyone alive during the War of Power knows about her. That being said, the known effects of balefire on the Pattern should have been enough to deter him, but of course he was under the influence of Moridin at the time. I find that, even in TOM, a lot of the things he does that are probably influenced by Moridin (e.g. his continuing cold treatment of Cadsuane) are taken to be 'okay' by the average reader.

As for Sorilea...why do you think the evidence is insufficient? I think it's overwhelming. I get more and more certain about this one as time goes on, partly because of the blatant foreshadowing, and partly just because it's like a jigsaw puzzle in which all the pieces fit. When I started researching it after TGS came out, I was surprised to find so much evidence to back up the theory. But this one is the best:
"Be quiet!" Cadsuane roared, slapping her hands together in a thundercrack. "You, girl. He needs his bed. Hop!" Nandera hopped. Rand was stripped and in his bed in a twinkling, with Samitsu and Niande both hovering over him, the Cairhienin chased out and Nandera at the door repeating Cadsuane’s instructions that he was not to be disturbed by anyone, all so fast Min felt dizzy. She hoped one day to see the confrontation between Cadsuane and the Wise One Sorilea; it had to come, and it would be memorable.
Now, how often does RJ write something like that, and not follow through? I'm tempted to say 'never', but it may be that someone can find something. But anyway, the only logical fulfilment of that foreshadowing would have to have something to do with the Domination Band, and the betrayal of Cadsuane's trust. And there's plenty of evidence for that, beginning with the scene in which Sorilea first put Cadsuane in her debt.

Wetlander@479—re: tnh. Agreed; she's very good at it. And I think it's nice to have a mod who has been so involved with the series since its beginning, no offense to past mods, of course (I still follow one of them on Twitter). A little bird in my ear insists it has something to do with the LDS church. ;)

missbee@483—As I said above, you could be right about the Dark One not specifically ordering Demandred to use balefire. That's the frustrating thing about signing reports that aren't recorded and transcribed. :( In any case, you're right that I hadn't managed to get those reports in the database. We're planning on going back through my old database to catch stuff like that we might have missed—for the most part it will probably be little, single quotes like that, maybe not formally reported, etc.

There's one from me that I probably won't ever put in there because Brandon asked me not to. I compromised and posted it on Theoryland but never put it in the database. I'm not sure why I didn't just keep quiet about it like Brandon asked me to. I think it was because the whole scene at the signing was a little awkward, and I felt like we could have worked out a better deal if I hadn't been so nervous. And partly it was because it was my first public signing, and I was very anxious—partly because I had already created the database at that point—about not being able to report my most interesting detail, and the only question I got to ask.

I asked Harriet and Brandon about a name parallel that might add significance to a historical character thought to be very minor. Harriet said without hesitation that she thought I was 'exactly right'. Brandon seemed less sure. Now, I'm savvy enough to understand that Brandon at this point (and even at that point) probably has a much better recall of WoT details than Harriet (though of course Maria has them all beat, and from what I can tell Alan probably does pretty well too). So in retrospect I can see why he asked me not to report Harriet's answer until MAFO. And the MAFO never materialized. But me being really intrigued about the whole situation, confident that Harriet actually has a good feel for this sort of thing, and confident in my ability to convey Brandon's reluctance in a way that transferred it to the reader, posted about it anyway on Theoryland. Now lots of people are aware of the quote even though it's not in the database. So I should probably put it in the database with a proper explanation. Maybe I should just email Brandon like he said to in the first place. I think the only reason why I didn't email him is because I was just sure he wouldn't write me back. Now that I know him better, I'm not so sure.
Tess Laird
495. thewindrose
MasterAlThor - I bet there are a lot of people in lurk mode for the elusive ***5 hunny***. It has been awhile since we hit that mark.

Paul Long
496. Caveatar
@ 491 M A T

The old cod...err I mean Gawy...Caveatar is probably still sleeping. I
would be at his age. Of course he say he'll sleep when he's dead.

At my age there ain't much else a codger can do in bed. Except to
get out of it...
"Of course he say he'll sleep when he's dead."

Looks suspiciously at M'A'T.

You've been around codgers or geezers or such like before. I can TELL.

Theresa Gray
497. Terez27
thewindrose@495—And some of us work harder for it than others! I think I have some credit though...
Tess Laird
498. thewindrose
I am suprised by the number of people who haven't considered that 'Graendal' strength compulsion can't be reversed. We have one example on Nynaeve trying to do this under a lot of pressure in what - an hour? I would be interested in seeing what would happen if we had a group of women and men channelers working together over time. I hazard to say that extreme compulsion can be undone. Just a thought.

Theresa Gray
499. Terez27
Levy@487—For some reason I got distracted and didn't address your post. But I did kind of address it in the post above. All of the Forsaken believe that they will rule the world forever. They don't want the Pattern to be destroyed. They like to believe that the Dark One will somehow remake the world in his image without killing them in the process. It's stupid, but who ever said the Forsaken were smart? Only Moridin embraces the destruction of everything, and therefore it's a little more likely that he's been the one doing the balefiring, and maybe also Moghedien and Cyndane. And Rand, of course.
Slowly he set the Fisher back on the board. Slowly his fingers uncurled from around the cour’souvra. There was no need for destruction. Yet. Icy calm replaced rage in the blink of an eye. Blood and wine dripped from his gashed hand, unnoticed. Perhaps the Fisher did come from some dim remnant of a memory of Rand al’Thor, the shadow of a shadow. It did not matter. He realized he was laughing, and made no effort to stop. On the board, the Fisher stood waiting, but in the greater game, al’Thor moved already to his wishes. And soon, now... It was very hard to lose a game when you played both sides of the board. Moridin laughed so hard that tears rolled down his face, but he was not aware of them.
501. MasterAlThor
Why yes. Yes I have.

Good morning to you sister. How are things in the Land of a Thousand Lakes? I have family there that I have never met. Maybe someday I will come out that way.

Ron Garrison
502. Man-0-Manetheran
Terez @ 450 and CN @ 447:

When I read CireNaes’ post about Northwestern being his wife’s only choice for theatre, I thought about my alma matre, Indiana University. They have a wonderful theatre department and recently expanded buildings, theatres, curriculum. But of much more renown is the Music School. I hope both of you are successful. And Terez, Bloomington is one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses. Wish my reference was of any value to you. LOL! Perhaps a letter directly to Professor Hofstadter about your goals might peak his interest. Couldn’t hurt.

Bit of IU trivia: The huge central library, which was built when I was a graduate student, began to sink in a few years. That has since subsided, but here’s why: the architects forgot to allow for the weight of the books! Apparantly they never helped anyone move...

And I could have had the 5-hunny if I hadn’t bothered to read all the posts from yesterday. So much for politeness.
Rob Munnelly
503. RobMRobM
Darn it. I predicted last night @456 we'd hit the 5 hunny by 10 a.m. EST. I was an hour off. Must be losing my touch. LOL.
Theresa Gray
504. Terez27
MoM—I have, of course, thought about emailing him many times. The problem there is that I don't know how to convey my thoughts to him in a way that doesn't make me look like an idiot. Partly that's because I'm so ignorant in the fields I need to study—math, physics, complex systems in particular, languages, and to a lesser extent of ignorance, logic—which is precisely why I want to study with him (along with the fact that his writings about music make me sure he is on the same page as I am, and knowledgeable enough about music theory to help me). So I'm reluctant to email him and give him a bad first impression of me, because if I think of a better way to express myself later, he'll just remember me as the crazy girl that emailed him the first time. *sigh*
Martyna Berek
505. missbee
M'A'T @ 489
I'm pretty certain the Faile and Perrin ripples are 5 days apart, this is something that all the available timelines seem to agree on.
On the balefire scale issue, I think I'm in the opposite camp to yours. Balefire on a huge scale would almost have be mentioned by other characters in the book. For example, I'd expect Faile to be less surprised and thinking something along the lines 'Oh no, not again!' On the other hand, if the balefire was quite small, the effects of the first burst (Perrin's camp) would only be felt in the immediate vicinity and could go unnoticed in Malden, despite the fact that they're not very far apart at that point.
This, of course, begs the question of what was being balefired near the two camps and I haven't a clue how to answer that.

Terez @ 494
Thanks for clearing up the quote issue for me - thought I was going dotty for a while there
And now, I'm going to have to spend hours hunting through TL just to find the other one...
Theresa Gray
506. Terez27
missbee—hint: it was JordanCon 2010. :)
Ron Garrison
507. Man-0-Manetheran
Never email. A well composed letter on paper with sufficient postage — by all means. Email is too easy to dismiss or overlook. A real letter in this day and age actually sticks out and provokes curiosity. Your post at 504 suggests to me that the letter should include:
1. your field of inquiry - specifically Chopin
2. your basic theory (I know you can do that!)
3. your knowledge of him and his studies - including your high esteem 'cause sincere praise is never a bad thing. I suggest quoting a specific reference where you feel you are both on the same page.
4. an inquiry into what fields (such as those you mentioned) he would recommend that you study in preparation. This suggests a knowledge of your shortcomings and we all like to be asked for our opinions and advice.

Your goal is to hook his inquiring mind. Hopefully a conversation will ensue. And here, include your email address to make it easier for him to reply.

And when you do get accepted, please be sure to let me know!
Martyna Berek
508. missbee
Terez - thanks, I'll be right back...
Eric Hughes
509. CireNaes

I agree with the letter idea for Terez. Great idea. As far as the various theatre programs available, it's more a matter of who does serious academic study in musical theatre? The list of top tier programs shrinks dramatically with that additional caveat. It narrows down the possibilities to one university in Maryland, one university in New York, and Northwestern in Evanston respectively. The first two are both great schools, but prohibitively expensive as far as cost of living.

I suppose I should weigh in on Rand nuking the Barrow. I'm of the opinion that Graendal did use heavy Compulsion on all of the inhabitants. It would have been better if Rand (thinking outside the box, zing!) had used the overwhelming power of the Choedan Kal to douse the fortress with a ginourmous severing weave and then encapsulate the area with that impenetrable happy-fun-ball weave of his that he used when Aginor attacked him. This way, no other Forsaken can come to the aid of the inhabitants either and there would be enough air in the bubble to sustain the capture/kill operation (if that is possible, but I don't see why it wouldn't work).

So after doubling down on escape options (the severing bit would prevent Graendal from using the TP as well). Have roughly 1,000 Aiel capture the inhabitants so you maintain the upper hand ethically. Bring Graendal out with any other possible high value targets. Execute them for their war crimes with very small weaves of balefire insuring they will not be regurgitated with their previous skillsets. Hand over the brainwashed folks to the Kin and Nyneave for assessment. If they can be reclaimed without severe braindamage then do so. If not, weave an illusion mask of Graendal over the face of any decent individual so that they believe their mistress is among them and use them as a well treated labor force repairing cities or planting crops. Also place a tracking weave on them so that they can be found if they misinterpret an order and wander off. Give them a few general mandate orders such as, always be kind to others, help people as much as possible without compromising your health (ethically you can't place them in danger as it wouldn't be their choice), be sure to never harm another human being unless your life or the life of a child/elder is in danger. You know, Three Oath type stuff.

That's what I would have done. Not a perfect solution, but one that maintains the dignity of everyone involved.

On to 22!
461. forkroot

You are correct about that, my friend. It was before the Black Gates of Marranon, on the Dagorlad- the battle plain, that the last alliance was met. And thus distracted Sauron and the remaining Nazgul, so that Frodo, Samwise and Gollum could do their parts in putting an end to the remaining evil of Morgoth's great minion.

Theresa Gray
511. Terez27
Interesting parallel. I don't remember Tolkien very well, but some have brought up Merrilor as a Fields of Pelennor parallel, with Minas Tirith as a Tar Valon parallel. Which is obvious now that I've looked at the map:

And Merrilor is supposedly just north of Tar Valon (which is also a Camlann parallel). Also interesting is this bit from Brandon's Tweets.
Eric Hughes
512. CireNaes
Hmmm. Interesting. That GRRM reference could imply that rather than the Seanchan sweeping in to save the White Tower, they might actually deliver the final blow. With one Seanchan saving Egwene no matter what.
Cynthia Ahmar
513. tenkuu
tnh@478: That was just a milder way of saying I knew you would. :)

Wetlandernw@: I would argue the opposite point of view. That from the outside, it's easy to look at what Rand did and judge it as morally reprehensible; from Rand's perspective, he was probably doing something he didn't want to do, but was forcing himself to do, having convinced himself that not only was it necessary to rid him of Graendal, but it would also free her mindslaves since he knew there was no way to save them.
Martyna Berek
514. missbee
tenkuu @ 466 - I've just realised that I didn't address your point. sorry!
And now, having read back to the original posts I find myself stumped.
I've always assumed that there must have been a Shayol Ghul equivalent in most ages, but since we know that its present location used to look very different I've just assumed that it changed with every turn of the wheel.
Now that you've made me think about it, I realise that is crap reasoning.
I'm going to have to do some reading and re-thinking here.
Alice Arneson
515. Wetlandernw
Anthony & Terez – re: your objections to my arguments. First, as I said, that’s my personal evaluation of the events. You are free to believe otherwise, and I won’t try to coerce you. However, you infer Rand most likely knows that souls are not permanently removed. How, might I ask? Do they have some way of checking to see? The only way anyone could know would be to meet someone who was balefired in a previous life; most of the time there’s no way to know who someone was in a previous life. It’s barely possible that, if LTT is a Hero of the Horn, he would know, but we haven’t seen any other evidence of Rand knowing something that LTT learned in TAR. Since the common understanding ever since the AOL is that souls are destroyed by balefire, and since Rand failed to correct the misconception in the context it was presented, I don’t think he had an argument to present.
“Each one was made into an idiot by Graendal’s Compulstion… I did them a favor.”
“A favor?” Nynaeve asked. “Rand, you used balefire! They were burned out of existence!”
“As I said,” Rand replied softly. “A favor. Sometimes I wish the same blessing for myself….”
Can you call that exchange anything other than confirmation that Rand also accepts Nynaeve’s interpretation that they were burned out of existence? I can't.

As for his presumed knowledge that every soul he balefired was “made into an idiot” because as LTT he knew how Graendal worked… Bah. News flash: LTT has been known to be wrong before. As I said, anyone who was in personal contact with her – and especially the “pets” who would have formed the greater part of her reputation – probably was Compelled to mindlessness. But I don’t believe LTT had full knowledge of how she treated the people who were nearby but would never even see her. All Rand talked about was “anyone close to her” and “her pets” – neither of which includes the aforementioned woodcutters and laundry maids.

Nonetheless, while I realize that others may interpret these passages differently, there is no evidence that I’m actually wrong, and I think it’s too easy for readers to just assume that Rand knows everything. He doesn’t.

MasterAlThor @492 – Yup. My 10-year-old (with Down Syndrome) is learning Latin. Next year, my to-be-9-year-old will start. Our school teaches Latin starting in 3rd grade, and the kids love it. Doesn’t hurt that the teacher has a lot of fun games they can play with it, and once they’ve learned enough vocabulary, they have a blast making crazy sentences and stories. The other day, they concocted a story about a fight between a lion and an owl, which was won by the owl. You have to get creative when you have less than 200 words to work with…
(BTW – I’m not really a teacher. I’m an engineer and tech writer by profession, but my current full-time job is being my son’s aide so that we can have him at this school. That’s why I can sit in the back of the room and catch up on tordotcom – but I have to keep quiet so I don’t disrupt the class!)

Terez @494 – I understand why you think the evidence is so strong re: Sorilea, but I interpret it differently. However, I simply don’t have the time to look up all the relevant quotes and argue my point. In any case, the quotation you provided doesn’t prove anything to me; at that point, IIRC, Cadsuane hasn’t had any contact with the WO at all, including Sorilea. All Min was doing was assuming that these two extremely strong-willed women would clash – she didn’t expect that they would recognize in one another a kindred spirit and would work together. She was wrong. (It wasn’t a viewing, merely an expectation based on her own personal reaction to them.) So I don’t read that as a foreshadowing. You, however, are free to do so.

tenkuu @513 – If you assume that Rand knew (as we do) that balefire is not permanent, then it’s totally the best solution for the mindslaves – it frees them from her bondage, and they are ready to be reborn in a world without her in it. If, as I believe, Rand was functioning under the same misapprehension as everyone else in the world (that balefire removes the soul from existence), it’s completely unconscionable. If he left them alone, they would have a mindless existence for some period of time, die, and be reborn as per usual; by balefiring them, he was taking the responsibility for removing all the future lives they should have had. He removed their hope of salvation and rebirth.

In fact, I’m waiting to see if we get Rand’s “mental fallout” on this in AMoL – his epiphany on Dragonmount was all about how rebirth and the chance to live again and be happy in another life was enough to be worth the misery of this particular life. As far as he knew (I believe) he has just eliminated that possibility for a whole lot of folks.
Theresa Gray
516. Terez27
@Wetlander—I'm aware of the context of Min's thoughts, and what she meant by them. RJ's foreshadowings are always innocent like that. My point was that he always follows through on them. You just have to figure out which innocent statements are foreshadowing. Some are more obvious than others, like this one, and when they are obvious, that's when it's basically guaranteed he'll follow through.

As for 'burned out of existence', it really depends on your interpretation of 'existence', which some might interpret to mean incarnate existence. Obviously Rand wouldn't think of it as mercy killing—either in this case or with Liah—if he thought they could never be reborn again. As to how he would know that it doesn't cause that, I have no idea. Probably safer to assume that he never considered it would do that in the first place.
Anthony Pero
517. anthonypero
My on ly point wet, was that the arguments were hardly conclusive.
Alice Arneson
518. Wetlandernw
anthony - That's okay, they weren't meant to be. They were intended to give my personal reaction/interpretation to the chapter, and to provide backup for my earlier statement that "I'm with Leigh on this one." As far as I'm concerned, it was great from the outside in terms of literary effect - and a large part of the reason it was great from the outside was that from the inside, it was an atrocity.
515. Wetlandernw
Nonetheless, while I realize that others may interpret these passages differently, there is no evidence that I’m actually wrong, and I think it’s too easy for readers to just assume that Rand knows everything. He doesn’t.
Oh so I guess you presume to know what Rand knows and hence that makes Rand wrong because you know he's wrong and therefore that makes your theory more plausible.

I love it when readers assume they know more than the person in Randland who is actually there.

Oh.... I'd like to also note that there is actually no evidence to say that you are correct either.

515. Wetlandernw

Here's a scenario for you....

There's a church in northern Israel. In this church are, of course, priests and clergymen and women. They are scared for their lives because there are group of terrorists who are holding them hostage while they build a bomb in the crypt of the church built within its bowels. It is a nuclear bomb. We know it is because we have intelligence that a group Hamas extremists have gotten access to enriched uranium, enough to build three bombs. Our intelligence did not know where the material went to until they tracked other components, mainly switches and detonators used for fission bombs. They were surveilled until the parts were brought to this above mentioned church. The problem is we don't know what stage they are at in its construction. If there intent is to move the bomb to another more populous local then it must be intercepted before it moves. But under such a scenario there is a high probability that it could be set off before it can be safely secured. The more positive option would be to bomb the church before the bomb is completed. Our scientists estimate that they could have one bomb completed within the hour, two hours tops. Given that amount of time the decision is to bomb the church before it can be completed. Civilian casualties will be high, as there are approximately 50 Clergymen and Citizens within the church and possible radiation exposure for the surrounding area is modeled to be quite likely increasing casualties to an undeterminable amount.

Should you wait for them to build it and try for an intercept or bomb it?

I say bomb it. And if you say bomb it too, whats the difference with what Rand did and what you would do in the real world?

Birgit F
521. birgit
She hoped one day to see the confrontation between Cadsuane and the Wise One Sorilea; it had to come, and it would be memorable.

Now, how often does RJ write something like that, and not follow through?

How often is a character right when they think something like this? Min doesn't know that Cads unexpectedly found an equal and respects her instead of being her enemy.
Theresa Gray
522. Terez27
How often is a character right when they think something like this?

Nadine L.
523. travyl
terez: I love that you link your posts with your database. It gives me opportunity to read snippets out of it, while I deny myself a systematic reading of it due to RL obligations.

That said I agree with Wetlander (I find myself doing that quite often ;)), that Min's expectancy of a confrontation IMO does not forshadow Sorilea being a Darkfriend: Cadsuane supports Rand as the Dragon Reborn, the Aiel Wise One follow the Car'a'carn, with the ultimate goal to see as much Aiel survive as possible. As soon as their goals start to drift apart, there opportunity for a foreshadowed contest of wills.

This is from PoD, Chapter 12, New Alliances
"Your Dragon Reborn and your Last Battle are not in our prophecies," Sorilea said at last. "Perhaps you and I aim at targets not too far apart."
"Perhaps we do," Cadsuane said cautiously. Targets even a hand apart might be not at all alike.
"We are bound as one." And if their targets turned out not to be the same at all? She did not underestimate Sorilea as ally or opponent, but Cadsuane knew which target had to be struck, at any cost
IMO again, plenty of possibilities for confrontation without naming "someone" a Darkfriend. AND:
In ToM Rand can clearly identify DF by looking into their eyes. Sorilea is with Rands party (isn't she?), so even if we haven't seen them on stage together, said meeting should have occured.
I know this isn't evidence, but it's the basis for my opinion.
Theresa Gray
524. Terez27
1. We're not sure if Rand has seen Sorilea since then.

2. It's not as simple as just looking at them, or Rand wouldn't have lined up all the High Lords and Ladies and done the whole eye-searching thing. It was Weiramon's inability to meet his eyes that confirmed what Verin had told him.
525. sleepinghour
Terez27 @ 524: I'm in the 'Sorilea is a Darkfriend' camp, but there's a signing report somewhere where Brandon confirmed Rand has seen her since VoG. Not sure who asked him that, but Google lead me to Wetlandernw's post (#71) in this thread: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/11/the-wheel-of-time-re-read-the-gathering-storm-part-9
Cynthia Ahmar
526. tenkuu
missbee@514: Absolutely not a problem. You're not as overzealous as some on this board, at least. I just figured perhaps you didn't have an answer.

Wetlandernw@515: Rand being Lews Therin, perhaps Lews Therin had an understanding of such things, seeing as how they had more knowledge in the Age of Legends. And I think it was both his personal knowledge of Graendal's character and probably also the reputation she had in the Age of Legends. Rand doesn't know everything, but he sure knows a lot more than the average Aes Sedai on at least several topics. Btw I understand your kids' love of Latin. I couldn't get into Spanish, hated it with a passion, but I loved Latin. Easy to learn and completely logical.

What I was trying to say is that even though Rand was acting emotionless at the time, it was probably harder on him than it is easy for us, as outsiders, to judge him. However, Rand has developed various coping mechanisms over the books, and this is one of them. Also, since there is a lot of knowledge from the Age of Legends, Rand might have simply felt horrible because he was committing murder, after all. Even if he was doing them a favor, it's still killing, and Rand has never killed anyone lightly. Another thing to consider, perhaps: this chapter was not in Rand's POV and Rand doesn't always tell everyone everything he knows. Given the situation and his mindset at the time, he might not have felt like explaining himself at any great length.
Theresa Gray
527. Terez27
@sleepinghour—He says he 'thinks' Rand has. As if he's not sure. And considering #2, it's quite likely he didn't consider the implied significance, since fans have blown that ability a little out of proportion.
I think Rands possible ability to sniff out Dark Friends could be due to his Ta'veren nature. I'm thinking what happens is he's sensing other peoples influence on the Pattern as it relates to his area of influence. And having been under the influence of the Dark before he can sense that brand of negativity easily. Now I'm thinking of it this way because I've heard that everyone has an effect on the Pattern. Ta'veren having a vastly stronger influence will seek to bend things towards its stronger influence and thus when it comes into contact with resistance it registers upon that Ta'veren. Rand having consciously been trying to control his Ta'veren nature is probably becoming more sensitive to resistant threads and at least as far as Dark influence is concerned, he can narrow in on it. He maybe even be able to dispel that influence by his very presence.

Does that sound about right?

Alice Arneson
529. Wetlandernw
ZEXXEX @519 - Please don't attribute to me thoughts and presumptions that not only do not reflect what I said, but are in direct opposition to my statements. Let me spell it out more clearly:

IN MY OPINION there is a small amount of evidence that Rand, like Nynaeve and Min, believed that balefire destroys the soul forever. IN MY OPINION there is less evidence that he knows, like we do, that rebirth is still possible. IN MY OPINION, the text has demonstrated time after time that no one in the story has all the information (oh, dear, how very human of them!) and is therefore wrong sometimes - including Rand and LTT. IN MY OPINION this is one of the times when Rand doesn't necessarily know everything he thinks he does.

Is that better? Wouldn't it have been acceptable to take my statement that what I was about to say was my personal opinion, and apply it to everything I then proceeded to say?

ZEXXES @520 - The scenario you propose is irrelevant to the situation, unless Rand knows that balefire does not cause the permanent elimination of the soul. Which is exactly what I stated before, if you had thought about what I said before you got out your blowtorch.

tenkuu @526 - My problems with that is that Min says, quite clearly, that he felt nothing. Nothin' ain't somethin', as they say... But as I said above, IMO the fact that Rand felt nothing, as contrasted to his former attitude (as you say, "Rand has never killed anyone lightly") is supposed to help us realize just how much he has changed. We're supposed to be scared for him and of him.
Cynthia Ahmar
530. tenkuu
Wetlandernw@529: Sure Rand has changed, but don't forget that his words and actions at the time implied that this was something he very much didn't want to do.
Anthony Pero
531. anthonypero
Wetlandernw@529 RE@526:

I'm not so sure that Rand is feeling nothing. Min senses nothing through the Bond, sure, but Rand has walled himself up emotionally because of crossing his Moral Event Horizon. He can't take the pain anymore, so he's shut it off. That doesn't mean its not there... just that he's ignoring it, and walling it away from himself (and, subsequently, from Min). He was also in the Void at the time, most likely. The only emotion that touches him there is the extacy of the saidin. Min hasn't been bonded to him all that long yet, so she might not realize that when he is in the Void, he is cold and emotionless. That, combine with everything else...
Alice Arneson
532. Wetlandernw
tenkuu & anthony - The way I read it, Rand's words and actions imply that it was something he knew he ought to hate even the thought of doing, but he didn't. I'm not saying that he was eager and excited about it, but he'd decided it was the best way to achieve this particular objective, and he frankly didn't hate the thought. He simply didn't care.

Having reread the scene multiple times and tried to see it from everyone's perspective, that's what I get out of it. YMMV.
529. Wetlandernw
The thoughts as presumptions applies here because you assume or challenge Rand/LTT's knowledge without any honest basis to stand upon. Using your logic you could challenge any characters every move, using it as a hammer to suit an end.
As for his presumed knowledge that every soul he balefired was “made into an idiot” because as LTT he knew how Graendal worked… Bah. News flash: LTT has been known to be wrong before. As I said, anyone who was in personal contact with her – and especially the “pets” who would have formed the greater part of her reputation – probably was Compelled to mindlessness. But I don’t believe LTT had full knowledge of how she treated the people who were nearby but would never even see her. All Rand talked about was “anyone close to her” and “her pets” – neither of which includes the aforementioned woodcutters and laundry maids.
Here you basically choose to disbelieve his statement, flipantly, to suit your purposes.
But I don’t believe LTT had full knowledge of how she treated the people who were nearby but would never even see her.
By what basis are you dismissing LTT's knowlegde of Graendal. By what piece of script are you reading that says she didn't see everyone in the vacinity. How could you possibly know what LTT knows to dismiss his knowledge as unreliable. Are you in Rands head? How could you possibly know what she has done, having it not been described at all, except for Rand/LTT's word. Have we any knowledge of what LTT's and Graendals past relationships or encounters were about? No, none of us do, except RJ and maybe BWS, but that's about it.
As for his presumed knowledge that every soul he balefired was “made into an idiot” because as LTT he knew how Graendal worked… Bah. News flash: LTT has been known to be wrong before.
Wehehell! Using that logic we could doubt every characters knowledge about anything not carved in stone! Everybody is wrong in this series at sometime or another (EGWENE), but Light man, we have no reason to doubt his knowledge here at all, except for personal bias maybe, but thats it.

Burning people from the pattern IS NOT and should not be the sole justification for not using Balefire as a means to destroy such an enemy as a Forsaken. I don't care if you have to burn a million lives out of the pattern. If it means saving the rest of ALL LIFE, then so be it. If Graendal could have any possibility of interupting Rand from the defeat of the Dark Lord then the cost can't be too high, well... thats going to far, but in the case of a couple hundred lives, that are doomed in this present life, being the sacrifice of one less great perveyor of evil on the world?.... pffft! Burn baby burn. 'Disco inferno! Burn baby burn....'

It's not that the act isn't terrible, because it is. It's not that Rand isn't being rather cold and heartless about doing it, because he is. He at least tried to ask Nynaeve about it, but she was to busy being a "woolheaded mule" herself. None of that changes the fact that it is necessary for that woman to die. And having no forseeable way to acomplish the goal of seeing her dead; without innocent casualty and given the fact that a way now presents itself with a way of acomplishing it; with innocent dead or even burning from the pattern.... the price could be too high to not take the the shot.

To not bomb the bombers could mean yours and a many more deaths down the road.

The analogy is very relevent because there is no pattern here. Death is final here. You may very well go to Heaven. Pray if you will, that there is a Heaven. But a thousand lives dead are always worth a million lives saved.

Rand may very well have saved all of creation doing what he did. It may very well have come to be, that failing to kill Graendal at that time would have repercussions that cause the failing of the forces of the Light. It may very well be that everything that Rand has done had to happen in the way it was done or he Fails. He can't afford to be too weak to do what needs to be done. His problem is not what was done, but how the act is effecting him in his current Darth Rand state. His logic is not at fault, his reasons for arriving at the solution is at fault. There can be more than two roads leading to the same door.

Rand's problem is he walks a darkening road with many doors with traps and pitfalls at everyone and he is Blind on his path. Blind to the fact that while his road may lead to an end, he does not see that it is his end, everyones end.... at the end.

Nadine L.
534. travyl
Having read the latest arguments, I stand by my previous assessment and still agree with Treebrother @56: For me, Rands question to Nynave, if he succeded or "only achieved his damnation" does show that he did care.
So thank you Anthony pero @531. For me you "discussed away" a dilemma in which Wetlander's arguments (Min feeling nothing from Rand) put me.

Having reread the scene multiple times and tried to see it from everyone's perspective, that's what I get out of it.
... you clearly didn't read it from my perspective :-), but I don't expect you to. I do enjoy the discussion that develops around disagreements, because challenges of statements help me to see if my opinion might be flawed, which happends "sometimes" ; )

Let me add my thanks to all the posters that you are kind enough to overlook charring missspellings that might escape my proofreading, and even more when I chose a word, that might not completely fit the meaning that I intend it to convey.
Alice Arneson
535. Wetlandernw
travyl - Oops. I wasn't quite clear there... I meant every character in the story. I think my brain would fry at the attempt to trying to see it from all the readers' perspectives... I'm trying very hard to NOT think about it! :)

FWIW, that bit about achieving his own damnation, for me, fits into the category of "he knows it should bother him but it doesn't." He repeatedly acknowledges that it should bother him, but I personally don't see any indication that it actually does. As I said, YMMV.
Cynthia Ahmar
536. tenkuu
Wetlandernw@532: Just because you hate the thought of doing something, doesn't mean you don't see the necessity in doing it. From Rand's point of view, that *was* necessary. Also, as anthonypero said, if he was in the Void, he probably would not recognize his own emotions.

ZEXXES@533: Technically it doesn't seem to burn anyone from the Pattern, from what I'm understanding, but rather merely reset their souls to no memories. I don't really think Rand's reasons for doing this are wrong though: he wanted to get the advantage over Graendal and eliminate her as quickly as possible, and those are not bad reasons.

travyl@534: I never took Rand for being someone who could let himself not care about others either. And let's be honest here and admit that Nynaeve's view of Rand, by that point, is a bit skewed.

Wetlandernw@535: You know how when you're trying to convince yourself of something you'll say it out loud to someone else? That's probably what Rand was doing with Nynaeve. Ie trying to prove how "strong" he was being.
537. macster
@90 Subwoofer: Ah I see, so you weren't connecting it to why she went to Cadsuane, just what she'd learned in general from Daigian.

@91 sillyslovene: More good points!

@95 Terez: On Laman's sword, it does make sense Gawyn would get it...except didn't Rand take it apart and give Aviendha back the hilt?

Let me also say I am glad to no longer be the only one who thinks the "future teeters on the edge of a blade" is not mere hyperbole but referencing an actual sword. I still lean toward it being Callandor due to all the references to it in the Prophecies and how focused on it Rand and Min and Cadsuane are. But that could well be a red herring...and even if it isn't, Justice will clearly have a big role too.

@98 up2stuff and Terez @101: We also see the hole blown out of Dragonmount, if I remember correctly, way back in TEotW, when Rand has his first Ba'alzamon dreams and almost falls off a cliff (this is just before he goes to Tar Valon/the White Tower and meets a Fade there).

@108 Master AlThor: That's an interesting interpretation!

@114 Terez: I like your ideas for Mat's "betrayal" and Perrin being Peter. And how Rand would bind the Nine Moons with the Oath Rod.

@121 RobM: I'm not sure what will happen...both of your interps are likely IMO, and I agree it won't be balefire. I'm just not completely sold on Nynaeve having figured out the ripping out trick...I know she can figure out a weave after having seen it once, but I'm having a tough time thinking she could have been paying enough attention during the trauma of Moghedien's torture and what happened to Birgitte to observe and remember it...

@122 Terez: I think it more likely refers to Moridin, but if it is Cyndane I won't be completely surprised. It will, however, have to be very well done to be credible.

@124 Lostinshadow: I concur.

@130 anthonypero: I just can't see the Domination Band as being the Callandor solution. Whether or not the two women-one man circle was only to fight off the effects of the taint or also the lack of a buffer, it wouldn't feel right to me that Rand can only fight the Dark One properly if held in an a'dam-like device. (Although if he were that would be a fairly nice irony, that the people whom Ishamael set up as an obstacle to prevent the Light from winning ended up producing the very item that helps the Light win.) But it would still feel like Rand winning while being enslaved, which just doesn't fit. Though I suppose if Zen Rand were able to don one willingly... But anyway, Tuon would indeed need to know how to channel to join a circle, so the only way she could be involved in the Callandor circle is to wear the Band or be able to channel. I am not sure Tuon would be one of the two women (though I guess she could be, post-alliance), I think it more likely to be Nynaeve and Moiraine (with Egwene and Alivia has other possibilities), but if she were I'd only buy it if she learns to channel--which I think will happen anyway, as part of the ending of collaring and peace in Randland.

@137 Wolfmage: Very well said.

@140 missbee: I wondered myself if Illian would figure prominently in AMoL--once again, I've been re-reading Great Hunt, and all the references to Illian, Rand going there, the Horn needing to be taken there, made me wonder. Yes, Moiraine was wrong (misinterpreting prophecy to her advantage, of course) and Illian does enter into the story later. But I remember reading a theory about Illian, Mat, and the Horn (even linking them to Demandred and him possibly invading from the south--all the references to a storm coming from that direction, which meant the Seanchan when they attacked Ebou Dar, but even people in Illian were saying this). So your idea has a lot of merit. The only thing is I am not seeing how there could be room for such an event with everything else going on in the last book. And if Mat is in Illian, how will Moiraine meet up with Rand? And who saves Caemlyn, or tries to?

@142 Caveatar re: the dragons and the Veins of Gold: You may be onto something there. While I am not sure Aviendha commenting on them means anything other than her being able to feel how his soul has changed, there is the Karaethon Cycle prophecy from Thom, "Twice and twice shall he be marked". If we assume the one destroyed/damaged by Semirhage was "for remembrance lost" (the Aiel's true past) then the remaining one is "for the price he must pay". That price is assumed to be his life...but if that dragon is also associated with undoing his death through resurrection of some sort, that would fit the prophecy and symbolism.

@153 alreadymad: Except Rand, he ends up earning her respect by not capitulating, but getting her to do so.

@154 Caveatar: Unlikely to happen, since the throne is in Seandar, but a cool scenario nevertheless. Also, agreed @ 156.

@157 Zexxes: Which is why, bungled as it was, Cadsuane's handling was necessary for the Pattern.

@159 yasiru: I think you are right in pointing out what the balefiring of Natrin's Barrow is and what is is not. But even setting aside if the people who died would consider their deaths a mercy (and I think they would), and the fact balefire would not destroy their threads utterly, there is the damage to the Pattern to consider, and what it does to Rand psychologically--even if this particular act was justified and needed, being able to do it and barely be affected emotionally by it suggests Rand is being set up to slide down that slippery slope until he does something that actually is unjustifiable, and/or allows the Dark One to win. That is what worried me, anyway.

@171 Terez: Good analysis, but dismissing theories that don't have much or any factual backing with such a condescending term as noob doesn't help matters any. After all, some of the craziest theories have turned out to be right.

@177 yasiru: Good point. Aran'gar was an ace up the Shadow's sleeve for so long, with no one knowing of her since Logain was removed from Salidar and Anaiya, Kairen, and Eben were all killed. If she'd been left to still cause trouble for the Light Rand and the rest would have been caught by surprise, not to mention the trouble she would make at Egwene's side. So thank the Light for Romanda as well as what Rand did at Natrin's Barrow.

@178 birgit: Ah, that's right, I forgot. Still, Demandred may have been involved with the Whitecloaks in one of those other ways. And the Oath Rod is in the Tower, if Tuon ends up there due to the attack and so does Mat, Egwene and/or Rand... I am not sure how that lake could be involved though, unless Shayol Ghul appears as what it once was in TAR...

And you have a point...Cads wasn't being very nice but the others were worse. I remember being very pissed at Beldeine and how she treats Min too, again an example of Cadsuane being fair, accepting, and respectful when we think she won't be. And Merise was never really very likable.

@183 anthonypero, 187 terez: Okay that is a little more believable and likely. I hope that doesn't happen though, since I just got to liking Gawyn again and if Egwene were to allow or even cause it I would be furious with her. Yes, it does seem he needs to die for the Light to win, and Alivia may be part of this as well as Moiraine, but if Egwene/Gawyn are the reason he dies, it would seem to be a stupid reason. I agree with RobM and MasterAlThor on this one.

@195 bawambi: How depressing.

@205 anthonypero: Funny, I seem to recall a little something called the fall of the Roman Empire. ;) The fact it happened much later and for unrelated reasons still doesn't change the fact they lost their empire. And some would indeed say converting to Christianity was bad for them...and even for the Christians, despite the ending of persecution,,,

@211 Terez: Broken perhaps by what happened with Perrin and Morgase in ToM, finding out things weren't always as black and white as he thought they were? Or learning the Whitecloaks were "just men"?

@212 Caveatar: Wise and profound words.

@215 Terez: One thing. I seem to recall Jordan saying that as the Dark One's touch on the world grows stronger, Dreams become less and less reliable in predicting the future. So despite what Egwene thinks, her dream of Rand and the seals, as well as any others, may not ever come true, or mean what she thinks. Of course that doesn't mean she can't still act on them, but I felt it should be mentioned because we have a tendency to put so much store in the Dreams...there's no guarantee they will all come true, or in the way we think/want.

@268 Samadai: True. If it happened that way, I could accept it.

@291 Caveatar: An intriguing and compelling interpretation.

@292 Terez: While it is likely Moridin is still influencing Rand, I can't see how he could be doing so to the extent you imply, particularly on breaking the seals, since in the scenes where he talks with Nynaeve and Min about it it seems quite clear he is acting like himself as he tries to convince them/ask for their help in figuring out how to fix the Bore and convince Egwene. Also, IRT 522, I'm sorry but no, not every little random bit Jordan mentions in the books is foreshadowing; just because Min wanted to see a conflict between Cadsuane and Sorilea doesn't mean we'll get to, or that she is a Darkfriend.

@346 J. Dauro: At risk of sounding like I am bringing up the Sanderson hate (which I would never do), "balescream" sounds like a Jordan invention to me--not that Sanderson could never come up with something so evocative, but that it fits the kind of terms Jordan came up with.

@392 JonathanLevy re: Gawyn: Another intriguing interp!

@420 MasterAlThor: If I recall correctly, the Seanchan Blood who told Gawyn about the Bloodknives also told him how they work, activated by blood.

@476 Wetlander: Well spoken as always. I see your concerns and acknowledge them...and I said all along I was deeply disturbed by what this said about Rand's psychology. But the balefiring itself still didn't seem that horrible to me. I don't know if it was a lack of understanding at the time what this would do to the Pattern, or me believing Rand was right about all the Compelled slaves...but either way, while I admit you are probably right, I can't retroactively change how the scene struck me when I first read it. All I can do is be grateful Rand had his epiphany, and hope this moment didn't do irreparable harm to the Pattern. I will say, though, that like Zexxes, I can't be sure Rand/LTT doesn't have knowledge of Graendal and how she treats her slaves which we don't have to justify his decision. And like tenkuu, anthonypero, and travyl, I am not sure Rand feels nothing about this decision or not. What I do think is he is on the verge of crossing another Moral Event Horizon--that while he may have the knowledge to back up his claims this time, and may feel ambivalent about his act, he is in danger of going too far, of acting without the knowledge or not truly caring the next time, or the next.

Oh, and as usual you're right about Cadsuane. I still think she should have let Nynaeve in on more of the plan, that even if she had the good reason not to which you have elucidated, it looks to Nynaeve and the reader as if she's doing it just to throw her weight/power around. But I acknowledge that Nynaeve's past behavior likely did not endear her to Cadsuane. And in the end she did respect her and accept her better and sooner than the other Aes Sedai did (I recall the moment in "Rivers of Shadow" where Nynaeve thought Cadsuane nodded to her in respect but dismissed it).
Anthony Pero
538. anthonypero
The roman stuff was so long ago I've lost interest. You win, whatever it was about, due to apathy on my part :)
Alice Arneson
539. Wetlandernw
@macster - I agree that it would have been good if Cadsuane had let Nynaeve in on the plan, and better yet (at least superficially) if Nynaeve had been the one to ask Tam to go meet with Rand. That way, Cadsuane's name would never have been mentioned, and Tam wouldn't have complained about following her script, and... so on. (I've always wondered why on earth Tam agreed to follow someone else's script, anyway.)

On the other hand, if the stupid combination of mistakes hadn't pushed Rand to the edge of killing his dad, the prophecy of weeping on his own grave would never have been fulfilled, and we would never have had the heart-rending beauty of Veins of Gold. To be absolutely honest, as much as I hated seeing Rand go lower and lower, I think it was inevitable from quite a ways back, and he had to go to the absolute depths in order to break free. In that sense, even "the box" might have been a necessary step.
@539 Wetlandernw
Now we're in agreement.


Alice Arneson
541. Wetlandernw
Z @540 - We'll always be in agreement on some things, because we both love WoT. And we'll always disagree on some things, because we are different people. Being people of fairly strong opinions, when we find ourselves in disagreement our opinions will clash strongly. (You should see it when Freelancer and I disagree! It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, the words fly in multisyllabic flocks of rhetoric.) I have a hard time not pointing out what I see as misconceptions or flawed logic, but that doesn't mean I'm picking on anyone. We're all (well, most of us are) here to enhance our understanding and enjoyment of this wonderful epic series by the exchange of opinions and perspectives. Best bet is to try to read others' comments with the same generosity as you expect, or a bit more, realizing that, however strongly they state it, it's their opinion. Right or wrong, they have a right to it, and you have a right to disagree with it. ;) Just try (as we mostly do, sometimes with varying degrees of success) to make sure that you contend with the opinion, not the person. Like I said, we agree far more than we disagree!
Cynthia Ahmar
542. tenkuu
macster@537: More importantly, I don't think it would be possible for Rand to use Callandor while in something like the Domination Band. It's been mentioned before that damane can't link to other women because they're already linked to a sul'dam, so would it even be possible for someone in such a link to use a ter'angreal?

Wetlandernw@541: If you're not trying to sound like you're picking on someone, then choose different words. Make your statements less provocative and show it in the way you speak that you're able to respect someone's opinions. And when you do offend, own up to it. That last is the most important bit. We all love WoT, doesn't mean it has to be a violent love.
Theresa Gray
543. Terez27
macster@537—re: my comment@215, not sure what you're talking about since 1) the dream I mentioned happened well before the Pattern started falling apart, 2) it's probably a useless caveat on RJ's part anyway since I doubt we've been shown any Dreams that won't come true, 3) Egwene didn't have a dream about the seals, no matter what she thinks, and 4) I didn't mention that dream anyway, so I'm not sure why you brought it up.

re: my comment @522, yes, every comment phrased in that particular way in the books is foreshadowing. He has a distinct way of going about it. I'm planning on making a compendium of foreshadowing soon, so I could show you what I mean. It would be different if Cadsuane and Sorilea were both in the same room at the same time, but since they weren't, it's clearly foreshadowing. You can disagree till you're blue in the face, but I'm still right. ;)
Anthony Pero
544. anthonypero

Why do you say Egwene never dreamed about the seals? Because she never actually sees them in LoC Ch: 15? Just "knows" that that is what is crunching under Rand's boot?

Macster may have brought it up because I referenced that dream earlier regarding why I think Egwene is so strongly opposed to Rand breaking the seals.
Theresa Gray
545. Terez27
Ah, yes she does have that one in LOC. But no one ever talks about that dream, so I assumed he was talking about the one in TOM, which is, after all, within the timeframe for disputable prophecies (unlike the dream in LOC).
Anthony Pero
546. anthonypero
I am not privy to what RJ said concerning "disputable prophecies", so please correct my ignorance... but couldn't something like the pattern unraveling prevent even the Prohpecies of the Dragon from coming true? So why is there a "disputable" window in play? I'd never even considered it. I just assumed that the more the pattern started to unravel, the more likely it would be that a former prophetic element would never be fulfilled.

Please note I said "correct" my ignorance, not "excuse" I actually want you to tell me what the hell I'm missing :)
Theresa Gray
547. Terez27
Nothing will prevent older prophecies from coming true except for the outright destruction of the Pattern. But prophecies that were given since the Pattern began falling apart (i.e. COT onward) are debatable, as per this report.
Terry McNamee
548. macster
@539 Wetlander: You're absolutely right, all those things did have to happen in the order they did to lead to Rand's epiphany (so I guess that means Elaida's idiotic idea to capture Rand, and Galina's torture of him, were also part of the Pattern--no wonder he wasn't too happy with the Creator!). Doesn't mean I have to like seeing the way Nynaeve was treated. :P

I also agree, that was rather odd Tam agreed to that. The only thing I can think is that when Cadsuane told him how bad off Rand was, he agreed because he'd do anything to save his son and she was very persuasive that only she knew how to do so.

@542 tenkuu: Good point, I think you're right--the a'dam prevents circles so indeed, no one wearing one (or the Domination Band) should be able to use Callandor with Rand. But then I never thought it likely anyway, I still think Tuon will learn to channel solely as part of the ending of collaring, and separately from Callandor--if she even is part of that at all, which I also doubt.

@Terez: For someone who sets such store by every word Jordan says in the text as having deeper meaning, it seems odd you would discount his own words about the breakdown of the Pattern affecting Dreams as "useless", particularly since you contradict yourself and acknowledge there is a window where prophecies can be disputable.

Also, you've just proven why your presence tends to cause flamewars--because however jokingly you may mean it, you come off as extremely arrogant about the rightness and validity of your theories. Case in point, you being so sure the dream in ToM wasn't about the seals. I am not sure it was either, despite her immediate interpretation--both because of the unreliability of Dreams at this point and because her interpretation seems to be based solely on Rand telling her he was going to break them, not on her having an understanding of what it meant at the time she dreamt it, as happened with the Seanchan attack. But I don't think you or anyone can cavalierly say "this isn't what happened, no matter what the character thinks or the text says"--you don't know, and no one does at this point except Sanderson and Team Jordan. I've seen your interpretation of Egwene's ToM dream and frankly, I think you are reaching way too far to make it fit what you want it to mean. I don't deny there is more to the dream than what Egwene thinks, and that breaking the seals isn't necessarily the bad thing she thinks it is, but that doesn't mean the dream still isn't about them.

I have to admit that I was actually amused your theory about Gawyn's role was so utterly demolished by what happened with him, Rand, and Morgase in ToM, even though the theory was so well-written--because you were so convinced of it being the gospel truth and that you would be proven a Cassandra that it came off as quite superior to me. You say you don't mean to hurt others, but you also believe in honesty and not concealing what you think behind false politeness or whatever...but in that case, you should be prepared to be greeted by flamewars. Or at least by people annoyed by your seeming arrogance. Just saying. I've seen others say that it seems to be incredibly important to you that you be proven right, or that others must agree with you...and you do come off that way.

Or to put it another way--yes, I will continue to disagree that everything Jordan says is foreshadowing of something, if for no other reason than because I don't want someone as arrogant as you appear to be to be right. So There. :P

@544 anthonypero: You are correct in why I brought that dream up. I wanted to point out that Egwene being so certain she needed to oppose Rand is something we have another reason to take issue with--because the dream which is urging her to do that may not even come true, or mean what she thinks.
Anthony Pero
549. anthonypero

I agree with much of your assesment, however, I do think Terez is, for the most part, aware of this, at least the perception others have of this.

With me, at least, she has repeatedly softened some of what she says, not out of respect for my thoughts, but because she is aware how it comes off sometimes. It seems to me that the people who mostly get the rough side of her fingers are people who internalize the criticism of their thoughts or theories, and respond as if she attacked them. If a person simply leaves it as "Terez doesn't agree with me, big surprise" and doesn't get offended by it, the discussions and disagreements that ensue are much more reasonable.

For instance, macster, you are one of the more thoughtful people on this board. You are very careful about how you word things, you don't jump in and comment on things right away. And you were very careful in your wording here, but if I might say... the vast majority of your post was regarding Terez as a person, rather than thoughts on her theory. I admit I was surprised to see it. No matter how careful you are with the words, this can only escalate the tension in a community that is already tense at the moment.

If we still had shoutboxes, this post would be in yours. It would probably be more effective. Perhaps you feel the same way, and would have placed this particular section of your post in hers. But right now, the mods have called a ceasefire on the personal attacks on the thread. While you were careful with your wording, and I understand the frustration, I believe this qualifies.

Anthony Pero
550. anthonypero

And I see now that you haven't actually been on the site since the brew-ha-ha went down, so I agologize for jumping the gun on you a bit. You probably were not aware of the ceasefire when you posted. Mea culpa.
Theresa Gray
551. Terez27
What amuses me is that people think the Gawyn theory was 'utterly demolished' by TOM. Rand isn't dead yet, and yet no one seems to realize it. For people who actually pay attention to what I'm doing, that theory began to morph a lot before TOM came out. Part of making good theories is being willing to adapt them. Another part is being willing to go out on a limb and not worry too much about what people like macster might think if it happens to be wrong. I'm still quite sure that Gawyn will play a major role in Rand's death. The fact that his previous motive is gone doesn't change the fact. It just means that the obvious motive is out the window. The foreshadowing is still there, including new foreshadowing in TOM.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
552. tnh
I figure this is like a handful of people in an otherwise empty hotel function room who are still arguing about the last panel: not really a problem.
Theresa Gray
553. Terez27
I am a Sunday Afternoon Jetter. tnh, are you coming to JordanCon?
James Whitehead
554. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@552tnh, nice London constable impersonation. "Right then, move along folks. Move along. Nothing to see here, folks. What madam? The Tower of London? Just up that way, madam. Enjoy..." ;-)

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
555. tnh
Terez, no JordanCon for me. I'll just be following the reports.

Kato, I genuinely have no problem with it.
Theresa Gray
556. Terez27
Since I have some more time now, a few distinctions.
For someone who sets such store by every word Jordan says in the text as having deeper meaning, it seems odd you would discount his own words about the breakdown of the Pattern affecting Dreams as "useless", particularly since you contradict yourself and acknowledge there is a window where prophecies can be disputable.
I didn't contradict myself. I merely pointed out that, whether or not you believe that we have been given false prophecies, the prophecy in LOC does not fall within that timeframe, so there is no reason for me to assume you were talking about that dream when referring to prophecies that might not come true at all. Therefore I assumed you were talking about the dream in TOM, which clearly isn't about the seals, no matter what Egwene thinks. It's a red herring, and a blatant one, just as Rand's various misinterpretations are blatant red herrings.

For example, his interpretation of Min's viewing about him and another man, touching and merging. I believe we were discussing that earlier. Rand jumped to the Lews Therin conclusion for obvious reasons. As far as he is concerned at that point, Lews Therin is another man in his head. What is he supposed to think? But the merge with Moridin was foreshadowed way back in TEOTW, and at the time he learns of Min's viewing, Rand has no clue. And right after that, he meets Moridin in Shadar Logoth, presumably the place where they 'touched'. (Still has no clue, and even after the dream in TGS, he seems to have no clue.)

Egwene is doing the same thing. She jumps to the conclusion about the seals because it seems to be a good explanation for that dream she just had, especially seeing as how she had that dream about the seals back in LOC (not that she thought of it). That doesn't mean she's right.

The crystal sphere represents the Aiel. The ropes holding the sphere together are ji'e'toh. When Rand imposes Peace on the world, he cuts the ropes that hold the Aiel together, because their whole honor system is based on battle. We saw that clearly in Aviendha's visions of the future, along with 11 clan chiefs, 11 Wise Ones, and the Dragon's Blood, something I'm sure would have pleased Sevanna greatly.

Of course, I could be wrong like Egwene. But I have more information to work with than she does, and beyond that, there are more logical connections between my ideas and the dream than there are between the breaking of the seals and the dream. Unless you think the Dark One would be represented by a beautiful crystal sphere. It doesn't make any sense. It's not arrogance to say so.
Theresa Gray
557. Terez27
Second distinction:

I never said that 'everything Jordan said' is foreshadowing. I'm merely saying that we have seen the fulfillment of quite enough foreshadowing at this point to get a feel for how RJ liked to do it.

In order to foreshadow something without making it blatantly obvious to the reader, RJ has to make it look innocent. Just an offhand comment that doesn't mean anything. The key is, how far out of his way does he go with these offhand comments? The most innocent kind of foreshadowing is the non-distinctive kind, like this:
"What kind of need would be great enough that we'd want the Dragon to save us from it?" Rand mused. "As well ask for help from the Dark One."
Or this...
An owl hooted in the night outside, and the village people jumped before they realized what it was. They laughed nervously and exchanged shamefaced looks.

"Next thing, field mice will chase us up a tree," Egwene said with an unsteady chuckle.

Lan shook his head. "Better if it had been wolves."

"Wolves!" Perrin exclaimed, and the Warder favored him with a flat stare.

"Wolves don't like Trollocs, blacksmith, and Trollocs don't like wolves, or dogs, either. If I heard wolves I would be sure there were no Trollocs waiting out there for us."
Or this...
For a wonder, Mat was the only one who had been unhorsed. Rand trotted toward him, but Mat tossed a noose away from him with a shudder, gathered his bow, and scrambled into his saddle unaided, though rubbing at his throat.
A more blatant kind of foreshadowing is this:
A small smile of satisfaction flitted across Moiraine's lips. "That last light was yours alone."

"It was?" Egwene exclaimed, then slid immediately back into glumness. "But it was barely there at all. "

"Now you are behaving like a foolish village girl. Most who come to Tar Valon must study for many months before they can do what you just did. You may go far. Perhaps even the Amyrlin Seat, one day, if you study hard and work hard."
And foreshadowing like this becomes even stronger when it's backed up by other, even more blatant foreshadowings in the books. For example, Egwene's Accepted test where she saw herself as Amyrlin lent a great deal of weight to Moiraine's comment as foreshadowing. It's the same with Min's Sorilea foreshadowing. RJ went out of his way to make that particular offhand comment. And the idea of a confrontation between Cadsuane and Sorilea has only been strengthened, and the strengthening started in the very next book, when they sat down for a certain Water Oath.

Yes, I think the foreshadowing has a distinctive feel. It's why I still believe Moiraine will be queen of Cairhien, even after TOM. Brandon's way of making it seem over was a little too obvious, i.e. he seemed to enjoy it too much. Same with Gawyn's epiphany. Aside from the Mordred parallels, etc., the main reason I still believe it is this:
"I will give over everything, betray everything, for you. Come away with me, Egwene. We will both leave it all behind. I have a small estate south of Whitebridge, with a vineyard and a village, so far into the country that the sun rises two days late. The world will hardly touch us there. We can be married on the way. I don’t know how much time we will have – al’Thor; Tarmon Gai’don – I do not know; but we will have it together."

She stared up at him in amazement. Then she realized she had voiced that last thought aloud, What were those Aes Sedai up to?, and a key word – betray – slid into place. He thought she wanted him to spy on them. And he would. Desperately seeking a way not to, he still would, if she asked. Anything, he had promised, and anything he meant, whatever the cost to him. She made a promise to herself; to him really, but it was not the sort of promise she could speak aloud. If he let slip something she could use, she would – she had to – but she would not dig, not for the smallest scrap. Whatever the cost. Sarene Nemdahl would never understand, but it was the only way she could match what he had laid at her feet.

"I cannot," she said softly. "You can never know how much I want to, but I cannot." She laughed abruptly, feeling tears in her eyes. "And you. Betray? Gawyn Trakand, that word fits you as darkness fits the sun." Unspoken promises were all very well, but she could not leave it at that. She would use what he gave her, use it against what he believed. There had to be an offering. "I sleep in the tents, but every morning I walk in the city. I come through the Dragonwall Gate, not long after sunrise."
ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding.....
Irene Gallo
559. Irene
Hey guys,

We seem to keep straying off topic. I’m going to close this thread. Let’s move on to the new threads and leave the baggage behind.
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