Mar 6 2012 2:00pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Gathering Storm, Part 22

The Wheel of Time reread on Tor.comLet me hear you, let me hear you say yeah, WOTlings! It’s a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 38 and 39 of The Gathering Storm, in which we have some lovely tea, some light reading, and oh yeah ALL THE AWESOME IN THE HIZZOUSE, CAN I GET A WITNESS.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, which has links to news, reviews, interviews, and all manner of information about the Wheel of Time in general, including the newest release, Towers of Midnight.

This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 13, Towers of Midnight. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

And now, the post!


Chapter 38: News in Tel’aran’rhiod

What Happens
In a randomly-chosen location in the Dreamworld, Siuan pleads with Egwene to reconsider her decision to stay imprisoned. Egwene tells her that to escape now would be to undermine everything she has worked for re: Elaida. Siuan points out that her trial will be a sham, and if Elaida manages to make her accusation that Egwene is a Darkfriend stick, Egwene could be executed. Egwene doesn’t think that will happen, but promises that if it comes to execution she will allow herself to be rescued. Siuan is dissatisfied, but lets it go. Egwene asks for the news, and Siuan tells her that an “old acquaintance” of hers has arrived in camp: Gawyn Trakand. Egwene starts in shock, then gets herself under control and casually remarks that that is odd.

Siuan smiled. “That was nicely handled,” she said. “Though you paused too long, and when you did ask for him, you were overly uninterested. That made you easy to read.”

“Light blind you,” Egwene said. “Another test? Is he really there?”

“I hold to the oaths, thank you,” Siuan said, affronted.

Siuan tells her that as Amyrlin, Egwene will constantly be tested and should get used to it. Egwene reluctantly concedes the wisdom of that. Siuan is not sure what exactly Gawyn is doing, but knows that he visits often with Romanda and Lelaine, which Egwene finds troubling. She finds it even more troubling that from what Siuan tells her, the faultlines between the factions in camp are widening. Siuan worries about how hard Egwene is pushing herself; Egwene pooh-poohs the notion, but admits that her cell is so cramped she can’t stand up or lie flat in it, and vows to have all the cells like it destroyed once she is Amyrlin in the Tower.

“No person should be kept in such a manner,” she said, “not even...”

Siuan frowned as Egwene trailed off. “What was that?”

Egwene shook her head. “It just occurred to me. This is what it must have been like for Rand. No, worse. The stories say he was locked in a box smaller than my cell. At least I can spend part of the evenings chatting with you. He had nobody. He was without the belief that his beatings meant something.” Light send that she didn’t have to endure as long as he had.

Egwene repeats, though, that Elaida will not break her, and her support erodes every day Egwene refuses to capitulate. Siuan regards her, and remarks that Egwene is Amyrlin; nonplussed, Egwene answers that she knows, but Siuan clarifies that she has just proven it beyond doubt, and thinks that Egwene might end up the best Amyrlin since Hawkwing’s reign. Egwene is surprised and pleased by the praise. Siuan leaves, and Egwene finds herself visiting the reflection of the rebel camp as she mulls over what she will do if she runs out of time to reunite the Tower. She thinks that will either mean war, or setting up a second Tower, which she thinks will be disastrous for the Aes Sedai’s reputation and influence in the world.

She would bring the White Tower Aes Sedai to her side. Elaida would fall. But if not... then Egwene would do what was necessary in order to preserve the people, and the world, in the face of Tarmon Gai’don.

Though she knows it is dangerous, she does Amys’s “need walk,” and finds herself in a Tinker camp. It reminds her of the time she and Perrin had spent with the Tinkers so long ago, and wonders what happened to Aram and Raen and Ila, and thinks they must be safe in a camp like this one, waiting out Tarmon Gai’don. She remembers how simple and joyful the Tinkers had made things, how invested they were in living life regardless of what else is happening, and reexamines her motivations for reuniting the Tower. She thinks about how she would have joined the Green Ajah if she’d had the chance, and admits to herself that Gawyn is part of the reason for that.

Among the Green Ajah, marrying one’s Warder was common. Egwene would have Gawyn for her Warder. And her husband.

She loved him. She would bond him. Those desires of her heart were less important than the fate of the world, true, but they were still important.

She returns to the reflection of the Tower and stares at it for a time, wondering if it was time to let it fall, and decides, not yet. She returns to her abused body painfully, and concentrates upon her purpose in order to keep claustrophobia from overwhelming her. She thinks she and Rand have this in common now: they’ve both endured, and overcome, Elaida’s attempt to break them. At noon, her Red guards drag her out roughly; Egwene expects to be beaten as usual, but Katerine appears and stops the guards, telling them (oddly smugly) that Egwene is to be released. The other Reds are shocked, and Katerine explains that Elaida has decided that the blame falls not on the novice, but the one who failed to discipline her: the Mistress of Novices, Silviana. From now on Egwene is to be “instructed” by the new Mistress of Novices, Katerine herself.

Egwene locked gazes with the woman. “Ah,” she said. “And you believe that you will succeed where Silviana failed?”

“You will see.” Katerine turned away and headed down the tiled hallway. “Take her to her quarters.”

On the way, Egwene reflects that Silviana’s fall will be a blow to the morale of the whole Tower, but then realizes that she’d won against Elaida, and is elated by the thought. Everyone they pass stops to look at Egwene, and Egwene sees both surprise and tension in them. Then Saerin (Sitter, Brown, Black Ajah Hunter) stops her to speak, brushing aside the objections of Egwene’s Red guards. Once out of earshot, Egwene points out this is a risk, and Saerin snorts that leaving one’s bedroom is a risk these days, and thinks that right now being seen with Egwene can actually be advantageous. Saerin fills her in on what actually happened with Silviana:

“Silviana demanded to be heard by the full Hall while it was sitting,” Saerin explained. “She stood before the lot of us, before Elaida herself, and insisted that your treatment was unlawful. Which, likely, it was.

[…] “Silviana demanded your release. She seemed to respect you a great deal, I should say. She spoke with pride in her voice of how you’d received your punishments, as if you were a student who had learned her lesson well. She denounced Elaida, calling for her to be removed as Amyrlin. It was... quite extraordinary.”

Egwene is stunned, and Saerin goes on that Elaida ordered Silviana broken to novice right there, and when Silviana refused to obey, declared that she is to be stilled and executed. Egwene is horrified, and replies that they must prevent this. Saerin is surprised, and points out that the Red Ajah is crumbling before their eyes; if Elaida goes through with killing a Red, all her support will evaporate, and the Red Ajah will likely fall apart. Egwene tells her that she doesn’t want to disband the Red; the Tower needs all the Ajahs intact. She orders Saerin to get to the Hall and try to stop this from happening. Saerin nods and leaves, and Egwene turns to her Red guards, who she knows had been eavesdropping, and asks why they haven’t gone to verify the news for themselves. One of them (Barasine) replies that they have to maintain Egwene’s shield; irritably, Egwene flags down a novice and sends her for forkroot tea.

“I’ll dose myself with that, and then at least one of you can go,” Egwene said. “Your Ajah is collapsing. They’re going to need all of the clear minds they can get; maybe you can convince your sisters that it is unwise to let Elaida execute Silviana.”

The other Red hesitates and then dashes off; Barasine insists on staying with Egwene until she drinks the tea. Egwene does so when it arrives, and Barasine leaves. Egwene goes into her room to bathe and change, and finds Verin Sedai sitting inside, drinking a cup of tea. Verin greets her cheerfully, and Egwene recovers from her surprise enough to tell her that she doesn’t have time to visit with her, as she has work to do.

“Hmm, yes,” Verin said, taking a calm sip of her tea. “I suspect that you do. By the way, that dress you are wearing is green.”

Egwene frowned at the nonsense sentence, glancing down at her dress. Of course it wasn’t green. What was Verin saying? Had the woman become—

She froze, glancing at Verin.

That had been a lie. Verin could speak lies.

“Yes, I thought that might get your attention,” Verin said, smiling. “You should sit down. We have much to discuss and little time in which to do it.”

Holy crap!

…is what I said upon coming to the end of this chapter. Because, holy crap!

But more about Verin in a moment! First we have to contemplate the in absentia star of this chapter, which is none other than Silviana Brehon, who firmly places herself here at the very tippy top of the (very shorty short) list of Reds Who Do Not Suck, and also becomes the sole occupant of a brand new list that didn’t actually exist before this moment, called Reds Who Are Totally Kickass.

(Tarna Feir would have been on the second list too, actually, but given presumable events in ToM… not anymore. Dammit. Pevara Tazanovni hasn’t quite earned a spot on the RWATK list yet, but given those same ToM events, it looks like she’s going to get her chance to do so Real Soon Now. Go, Pevara and Androl, go!)

Anyway, Silviana. So much respect, you guys. Anyone who has that much courage of their own convictions, that much integrity, and that much just sheer ballsiness gets nothing but mad props from moi, for real.

Imagine the guts it must have taken to defy a woman who is not only your putative leader, a heavily influential member of your faction/sisterhood/whatever, and the one responsible for your personal promotion and success, but has shown herself to be a megalomaniacal loonball as well, who doesn’t so much “hold a grudge,” as she bludgeons the grudge to a gruesome, bloody, whimpering pulp, and then comes back every so often to riverdance on its sad and mangled corpse.

(Warning: link contains riverdancing.)

That is bravery with a capital Brave, y’all. I heart her so much now.

And while we’re at it, we mustn’t forget to give Egwene her own props in the integrity department, for not only not holding a grudge against Silviana (and the Red Ajah in general) but for it never even occurring to her to hold one. I am a little bit in awe of people who have such vast capacity for forgiveness; they are rare and far between.

Other than that, Egwene gets in her obligatory soul-searching in this chapter, since she’s about to really not have time for that sort of thing in a moment here. Honestly I found most of it a tad repetitive at this point, but that’s possibly because I am just impatient to get to the raw uncut Awesome that awaits us juuust over the next hill.

I did think it was interesting, though, that such a point was made of emphasizing the importance of not forgetting to have a life even in mid-impending apocalypse. This lesson was evidently so important, in fact, that the “need walk” showed that to Egwene, instead of the million or so pieces of information out there re: Perrin or Rand or the Forsaken or etc. that it would no doubt highly benefit her to have. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think remembering to take joy in life where you can is important and all, but seriously, Pattern, can we maybe discuss your prioritizing choices?

…Of course, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it. Mumble grumble okay FINE.

I got a kick out of how much Egwene is totally the boss of everyone in this chapter, including her guards. She was all, “Fine, I will dose myself with forkroot, WHATEVER, now will you stop being morons and get lost?” AND THEY DO. Heh. The Elaida vs. Egwene thing really was just about all over but the shouting in my opinion, even if the Seanchan attack hadn’t happened at all. Of course, that’s easy for me to say now, isn’t it?

Lastly, I feel like I should point out Egwene’s realization re: Rand’s box torture, because it is a significant (not to mention welcome) development that someone finally gets just how horrible and traumatizing and shitty an experience that actually was for Rand, but… yeah, other than pointing it out, I don’t have much to say about it. So, er, there you go?

But enough of this: onward! Or should I say, onward to AWESOME. Oh, yeah.


Chapter 39: A Visit from Verin Sedai

What Happens
Egwene accuses Verin of having the Oaths removed and replaced, which Verin concedes calmly. Egwene then tells Verin that she never trusted her fully.

“Very wise,” Verin said, sipping her tea. It was not a scent Egwene recognized. “I am, after all, of the Black Ajah.”

Egwene tries to embrace the Source and cannot. As she tries desperately to figure out what to do, Verin asks her to compliment Laras on her choice of teas. Egwene asks what Verin means to do with her, and Verin congratulates her on her achievements in the Tower, which Verin had opted to stay out of in favor of watching “young al’Thor.” Verin says she is concerned that al’Thor does not quite understand how the Great Lord works. She digresses into a lecture about the Forsaken, comparing them to “squabbling children” trying to attract Daddy’s attention; she believes that it is selfishness that is the number one quality the Great Lord seeks in his followers.

“It makes them predictable. A tool you can depend upon to act as expected is far more valuable than one you cannot understand. Or perhaps because when they struggle against one another, it makes only the strong ones survive. I don’t know, honestly. The Chosen are predictable, but the Great Lord is anything but. Even after decades of study, I can’t be certain exactly what he wants or why he wants it. I only know that this battle isn’t being fought the way that al’Thor assumes it will be.”

Verin then gets back on topic, and explains to Egwene how many years ago she was faced with a choice: take the oaths to become a Darkfriend, or refuse and be executed. Verin had realized that it was a unique opportunity to study the Shadow from the inside. She reveals that her Warder Tomas was also a Darkfriend, though he had been looking for a way out, and was grateful to Verin for providing it. Egwene notes the past tense, and Verin replies that the oaths to the Great Lord are “quite specific,” and for channelers, impossible to break.

“‘I swear not to betray the Great Lord, to keep my secrets until the hour of my death.’ That was what I promised. Do you see?”

Egwene looked down at the steaming cup in Verin’s hands. “Poison?”

“It takes a very special tea to make asping rot go down sweetly,” Verin said, taking another sip. “As I said, please thank Laras for me.”

Verin thinks it a “curious” loophole in the oaths, that one can betray them at the hour of death, and wonders whether the Great Lord perhaps arranged it that way. Egwene asks if this is a quest for redemption, but Verin laughs, and opines that she doubts redemption is so easily earned. She believes, though, that it was worth the cost, or so she tells herself. She pulls out two books and gives them to Egwene, and explains that every Brown seeks to produce something that will last beyond her own death, to discover knowledge that will benefit those who come after them. The smaller book is the cipher key to the larger, which is the work of Verin’s life.

“What is it?” Egwene asked softly, suspecting she might know the answer.

“Names, locations, explanations,” Verin said. “Everything I learned about them. About the leaders among the Darkfriends, about the Black Ajah. The prophecies they believe, the goals and motivations of the separate factions. Along with a list, at the back, of every Black Ajah sister I could identify.”

Egwene started. “Every one?”

“I doubt I caught them all,” Verin said, smiling. “But I think I got the large majority of them. I promise you, Egwene. I can be quite thorough.”

Egwene is awed, knowing the book to be a treasure “as great as the Horn of Valere.” Verin demurs her look, saying that since the Black have so many agents among the forces of Light, it only seemed fair that the Light should have a mole in their ranks as well.

“Few people have had a chance to create something as useful, and as wonderful, as that book you hold. We all seek to change the future, Egwene. I think I might just have a chance at doing so.”

Verin is beginning to fade, and shows Egwene how to use the warded bookmark which hides both books in plain sight. Egwene thanks her, and wishes there were some other way. Verin says she had not intended to kill herself unless there was no other choice, as she still had things she wanted to do, but unfortunately had not been able to find the Oath Rod to try and remove her Black Ajah oaths with. Egwene apologizes, and Verin replies that it might not have worked anyway. She tells Egwene that Mesaana is in the Tower, but regrets that she was not able to discover whose identity she is hiding under. She warns Egwene to be very careful in how she chooses to use the information Verin has given her. She has confidence that Egwene will use it well, and admits that she was not supposed to have given Egwene the dreaming ter’angreal, but did so anyway. Egwene says she is not sure she deserves such trust.

“Nonsense, child,” Verin said, yawning again, eyes closing. “You will be Amyrlin. I’m confident of it. And an Amyrlin should be well armed with knowledge. That, among all things, is the most sacred duty of the Brown—to arm the world with knowledge. I’m still one of them. Please see that they know, although the word Black may brand my name forever, my soul is Brown. Tell them...”

“I will, Verin,” Egwene promised. “But your soul is not Brown. I can see it.”

Her eyes fluttered open, meeting Egwene’s, a frown creasing her forehead.

“Your soul is of a pure white, Verin,” Egwene said softly. “Like the Light itself.”

Verin smiled, and her eyes closed.

After, Egwene checks to make sure Verin is dead, though she feels guilty about it. The Red on her door (Turese) pokes her head in, and Egwene leads her to believe, without actually lying, that Verin is only sleeping. Turese goes, and Egwene begins reading Verin’s book, starting with the list of Black Ajah sisters Verin had compiled. She is deeply disturbed by the names she finds, and horrified to discover that Sheriam’s is among them. Verin counted over two hundred of them: twenty-one in the Blue, twenty-eight in the Brown, thirty in the Gray, thirty-eight in the Green, seventeen in the White, twenty-one in the Yellow, and a “stunning” forty-eight in the Red, as well as various novices and Accepted. Egwene is appalled at how many are Sitters in both Halls, including Moria Karentanis in the Rebel Hall, but is rather irked that neither Lelaine nor Romanda are on the list. Neither is Cadsuane, any of the Black Ajah hunters, or any sisters Egwene counts among her close friends. Neither is Elaida; Verin had made a special note on her, that she had looked very closely at Elaida, but concluded from comments from other Black sisters that Elaida was a dupe of the Shadow, not a member of it. Egwene thinks this makes sense in light of Alviarin’s and Galina’s presence on the list.

They probably had used some kind of leverage against Elaida through Galina—whom Verin noted had probably managed to make herself Head of the Red Ajah—or Alviarin. They had bullied or bribed Elaida to do as they wished without her knowing that she was serving the Black. And that helped explain Alviarin’s strange fall.

At a knock, she hides the books hastily. Nicola enters with a bowl of soup, supposedly for Verin Sedai. She whispers that she is supposed to ask if Egwene trusts Verin, and Egwene says yes. Nicola leaves, and Egwene fishes out the message hidden in the soup, which only says “Wait.” Soon after, Meidani arrives. She looks at Verin and quickly realizes that she is dead. Egwene not-lies that Verin was “poisoned by a Darkfriend,” and came to Egwene to share vital information before she died. Meidani wants to call the guard, but Egwene refuses, and insists on news. Meidani tells her Elaida is still Amyrlin, but was formally censured by the Hall, and warned that her power is not absolute. She’s been given three months of penance as well, and there were many who wanted more.

“Elaida asked for the proceedings to be Sealed to the Flame, but she gained no support in the move. I think that her own Ajah was behind that, Mother. All three of the Red’s Sitters are out of the Tower. I still wonder where Duhara and the others went.”

Duhara. A Black. What is she up to? And the other two?

Meidani also says that Elaida was shockingly silent at the censure, and Egwene surmises that the Reds warned her ahead of time to take it quietly. Meidani says that Saerin thinks Egwene’s own insistence on saving the Red Ajah – overheard by novices and spread all over the Tower – was part of what kept Elaida from being deposed. Egwene is not that happy about this, but decides it is still better than allowing the Red to be disbanded. Silviana’s sentence has been suspended, but she is still being held until the Hall decides what to do with her; Egwene smells a compromise, and thinks that Elaida’s support is not completely eroded yet, then. She wonders if she dares spend the time still needed to bring Elaida down.

If she staged a mass assault on the Black Ajah, would that precipitate a battle? Would she destabilize the Tower even further? And could she realistically hope to strike at all of them like that? She needed time to consider the information. For now, that meant staying in the Tower and working against Elaida. And, unfortunately, that meant letting most of the Black sisters run free.

But not all of them.

Egwene orders Meidani to tell the others that they must take Alviarin captive as soon as possible and test her on the Oath Rod, as according to Verin she is near the top of the Black Ajah organization. Meidani goes pale, but agrees. Egwene orders her to get rid of Verin’s body using a Gateway, regretting the indignity but promising herself that she will honor Verin properly later. Meidani goes, taking the corpse, and Egwene puts herself to sleep to meet with Siuan in Tel’aran’rhiod. As she waits, she contemplates the things Sheriam has been involved with, including Egwene’s own rise to power, and agonizes over how much has been tainted by association.

Egwene felt dirtied, she felt duped. For a moment, she felt herself to be the country girl many thought her to be. If Elaida had been a pawn for the Blacks, then so had she. Light! How the Dark One must have laughed to see two rival Amyrlins, each with one of his loyal minions at her side, pitting them against one another.

[…] She shivered. Whatever his plan, she would fight him. Resist him. Spit in his eye, even if he won, just as the Aiel said.

Siuan arrives, and Egwene tells her about Sheriam and Moria, and that they are to be watched but not arrested. Siuan is dumbfounded, and asks how sure Egwene is; Egwene tells her, sure enough. She is about to explain about her release when she is yanked out of the Dreamworld to find Nicola shaking her. Nicola has a bloody gash on her cheek, and Egwene feels the entire Tower shake. Nicola cries that Shadowspawn are attacking, and Tarmon Gai’don is here. Egwene feels panic for a moment, and then recognizes the description of the “Shadowspawn” Nicola gives her.

Egwene threw off the blanket and leaped to her feet.

It wasn’t Tarmon Gai’don, but it was nearly as bad. The Seanchan had finally attacked the White Tower, just as Egwene had Dreamed.

And she couldn’t channel enough Power to light a candle, let alone fight back.


…is what I said upon coming to the end of this chapter. Because, HOLY CRAP!

But we’ll get to the Seanchan next week! First, we must contemplate the shining pinnacle of ridiculously amazing awesome that is Verin Sedai in this chapter. Because, really, my peeps. How fucking awesome was she?

Oh, she was the most awesome thing ever? YES THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT YOU SAID, YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR.

She seriously wins everything ever, and I’m not even sure what do about it beyond just gushing madly for days. Which is about what I did, actually, when I first reviewed TGS.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t been so bowled over by the awesomeness of a scene in WOT since Mat and Birgitte’s confrontation in ACOS. Not that there haven’t been plenty of awesome scenes since then – there certainly have been – but this scene, like Mat and Birgitte’s, just banged every drum and jangled every triangle and dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” on my personal, not-always-clearly-defined-but-I-know-it-when-I-read-it list of Things That Make A Scene Kick All The Ass Regionally Available. It’s like the perfectly punctuated marching band of my literary soul!

…Um. Or something. I may be a little overexcited right now.

I know, you’re like, NO WAY THAT NEVER HAPPENS. To which I say, shaddup, I’m having a moment here.

Because, you guys. YOU GUYS. She sneakified the Black Ajah out of existence. Can we just sit back and admire that sentence for a moment? Sneakified. In one blow, no less!

Well, one blow that came after a seventy-year wind-up, but that makes it even more awesome. Seriously, I can’t even.

Best part of the book, hands down. No, even counting the next chapter. No contest.

Not to mention, this is also one of the best scenes of the entire series, in my opinion. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this (not that I ever expect that, heh), but (pending reevaluation post-AMoL, of course) I would in all seriousness place it in the top three of Scenes That Kick All The Ass Ever in WOT.

Because what Verin gives us here, finally, FINALLY, is the first truly decisive and significant blow for the Light against the Shadow, and the harbinger that we are finally, FINALLY moving into the endgame here. And that is just too cool for words, y’all.

…Well, hm. On reflection, I take that back to an extent: the first truly decisive victory for the Light was when Rand cleansed saidin at the end of WH. So, okay. But honestly I’m not even that interested in examining whether my declaration is factually accurate or not, because I’m totally talking about my visceral reaction to the scene, which was, in case you forgot, HOSHIT ZOMG LOOKIT MA THIS TRAIN IS ACTUALLY LEAVING THE STATION.

And after waiting literally decades for this series to round third base and actually start heading for home, and being sure at one point that we would never actually even get to see that final slide to the plate, well. Finally feeling like it’s actually getting started is a frankly amazing feeling.

And the reveal was just so well done, too. It seems so obvious now in retrospect – well of course Verin was a double agent Black sister! – but for eleven books Jordan managed to hoodwink us – us, the most relentlessly conspiracy-theorizing fandom ever! – juuuust enough to keep us all uncertain about what Verin was really doing. I mean, I’m sure someone somewhere came up with more or less the correct theory about Verin, but certainly as far as I am aware it was never a widely known or popular notion among the fandom in general that Verin was actually Black. I certainly never believed it, at any rate, and therefore the revelation of her double agentness was an utterly delicious shocking twist as far as I am concerned.

Thus it is not only the sneakiness of Verin I am celebrating, but that of her authors. Just – brilliant. Bravo. I applaud.

Not to mention, I totally teared up when Verin passed. And while a lot of things in WOT have affected me deeply, emotionally, I think I can count on one hand the number of times it has actually made me cry. (And thus far, two of them are in this book. So there’s a thing to contemplate, too.)

Okay, that is enough gushing outta me, other stuff happened in this chapter too, you know!

…Though really, all the stuff from Meidani about Elaida’s censure and penance and blah blah blah is rendered utterly moot by what happens next, so I’m not sure there is actually any benefit to getting into it at all. So, uh, maybe not?

The only other thing I feel like commenting on, honestly, is Verin’s little digression into the nature of the Forsaken, and her assertion that selfishness is the key criterion that the Dark One looks for in his senior minions, and that Tarmon Gai’don may not mean what Rand thinks it means. Which felt pretty strongly to me like an instance of the authors using a character’s voice to speak directly to the class, so to speak, and Esplain some things.

This can be a very annoying practice, especially when it’s a thinly veiled excuse to retcon or justify or exposit something in the story that by rights we shouldn’t have to have explained to us in so many words, but I didn’t really feel that was necessarily what was happening here. Mostly, in fact, it felt like we were being dropped a big fat Clue about the Last Battle and how that whole shindig is going to go down. Which is to say, probably not the way we might be expecting.

And you know what? I am A-okay with that. Shocking twist I didn’t see coming? THANK YOU SIR MAY I HAVE ANOTHER.

In conclusion:



And with that ridonkulousness, we out! Have a sparkly and awesome-filled week, kids, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!

1. donk

twist indeed
Andrew Lovsness
2. drewlovs
I LOVED Verin, even though I was really sure she was Black Ajah. In tGH, we see her directly lying to the super boys, and Morraine shrugged it off; she probably thought that Verin used the vintage Aei sedai way of lying while not SAYING lies, but we were privy to the conversation. She lied.

But being a double agent makes me happy, since all the good feeling I had towards her seem rewarded... ya know?
Chris Chaplain
3. chaplainchris1
One of my favorite commentaries ever, Leigh. You are awesome sauce. I don't know why I cracked up so hard at 'she wins everything ever' but I did. Sparkly "YAY" at the end took the cake for me, and iced it.

Um...hopefully I'll have substantive stuff later, but thanks for a great (entertaining) post.
Daniel Goss
4. Beren

The awesomeness of the chapter (momentarily) set aside, thank you very much for an awesome post to read. I'm having a really, really rough day at work, but you brought a smile to my face that hopefully I can take back to the rest of my team and try to salvage some good out of this crap-tastic turn of events.

Not sure I have anything substantive to say at all, besides my complete agreement with everything you said. So at the risk of being a brain-dead AOLer.


Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
5. Lisamarie
I have been waiting for this for SO long!!!

One of my fears is that AMoL will end up revelaing that Verin was REALLY black and that somehow this was all even more Black Ajah sneakiness. I don't have any reason to suspect this, and I think we have reason to believe it IS as Verin says, but I would be really upset if that were to happen.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
6. Lisamarie
At Beren -
Was that an All About the Pentiums reference? Because that line is actually one of my favorite Weird Al lines ever (the whole verse starting from ("bet you're still living in your parent's basement downloading pictures of Sarah Michele Gellar" all the way to "You're just about as useful as a JPG to Hellen Keller" and all the rhyming in between).

If it was (and even if it wasn't) it may have made me laugh even harder than this post did.
7. Mark W.
Ditto on everything. Verin is my favorite character in all the books and she did not disappoint.

As for her information, I think it is key what she says about selfishness. The GL fosters selfishness in his followers because that makes them predictable and he understands selfishenss. That was what was happening with Dark Rand - he was becoming more and more selfish. The New Rand is jsut the opposite of that and that self-lessness will be key to winning Tarmon Gaidon.
Jeff Weston
8. JWezy
“No person should be kept in such a manner,” she said, “not even...”
Siuan frowned as Egwene trailed off. “What was that?”

Sorry to interrupt the Egwene-is-awsome-ness-fest (and she is, mostly), but consider what she is saying here. Finally, she comes face to face with her prejudice and almost decides that the Dragon Reborn, perhaps, doesn't deserve to be locked in a box after all, as apparently she had thought before. She has a real moment of insight, a moment in which she understands that Rand has had it worse than she has.

But it is worth noting that five minutes before, she apparently believed that locking him in a box was justified.

So what's up with this? Are we to presume that this is intended? Or is it that the (plot-necessitated) mental segue unintentionally made it sound like she thought he should be locked in a box?

There may be a tendency to look back three chapters and claim that a certain amount of boxing might in fact be called for, but remember that Egwene has had no news of Rand since Mat came to Salidar (and she was not really listening to Mat at that point in any case).
9. Bromo Sapien
This is one of the reasons I put tGS as one of my top 3 favorite books of the series. So many of the characters have extreme Moments of Awesome (here, Egwene in the next chapter, Rand in VoG) that it makes some of the minor (and, for me, all the things I've seen people bitch about are seriously minor) inconsequential. After all the dryness of the couple of books preceding this, we finally kick things into gear. It's awesome.

I completely understand you getting choked up Leigh. I need some tissues when I read Rand's reunion with Tam post-VoG. Another Moment of Awesome by BS.
Matthew Hunter
10. matthew1215
A couple initial comments here. On my first read, I was surprised and excited at Verin's revelation. Excited because, well, we had all thought Verin was seriously up to something. Surprised because, frankly, going all the way back to The Great Hunt, the evidence we had for Verin being up to something as blatant as being able to lie straight out seemed... thin almost to the point of paranoia. It was clear she knew what she was doing and had her own agenda, but the lie that started all the suspicion back in tGH ("Moiraine sent me") had so many Aes-Sedai-Twisting possibilities that it could be explained away. The rest of what we saw her do seemed to point at her own agenda but not necessarily to being free of the oaths. Thus, the blatant lie served as an effective rhetorical bombshell despite years of suspicion.

Concerning Egwene and Rand's box experiences, it's good that Egwene finally comes to some sort of realization here that Rand is hostile to Aes Sedai for some Very Good Reasons. He mistrusts Aes Sedai -- including you, Egwene -- because they have sought to manipulate him, intimidate him, deceive him, and succeeded in kidnapping and torturing him for, I think it was several weeks.

If anything Egwene's moment of brief empathy was too little, too late. If she wants to convince Rand of anything, or even to have meaningful input into the nature of Tarmon Gai'don given that Zen Rand's power and knowledge is head and shoulders above any other light-side character, she's going to need to approach him as one person to another, not as the Amyrlin to the Dragon. I didn't see much of that in ToM.
11. RickC1313
Totally agree that the Verin chat with Egwene was one of the best scenes in the WOT. When I first listened to it on the audiobook, (Kramer/Reading are great ,BTW), I remember practically running the car off the road. I wondered about Verin for so long, wondered what she was up to, and she gave Egwene the road map to the belly of the beast. That scene totally rocked!!!
Martyna Berek
12. missbee
Thanks for a great post Leigh.
Favourite character in a favourite chapter and the story moves up several gears.

With the benefit of hindsight, I can not help comparing the Tinker caravan to the one Rand visits just before VoG, and wonder whether Egwene will ever fully realise the significance of what she saw - Tinkers staying still long enough to appear in TAR? It was a shock for Rand to discover they felt safe with the Seanchan. Will Egwene have a similar experience?
Ron Garrison
13. Man-0-Manetheran

We ventured so far afield in the last post, it’s almost shocking to come back and find Egwene still a prisoner! From this point on, TGS just cranks! I was reading so fast, I had to stop and go back to believe it.

Ah, Tinkers. We tend to forget about them, don’t we? (We shouldn't.)

“(Warning: link contains riverdancing.)” - oh God, I’m still laughing. Kudos Leigh!

And for all the rest, I call it “Verinliciousness!” Many thought she might be Black, but I don’t recall anyone laying claim to her being a Light Side Mole! I too just loved this chapter — and Verin "your soul is of a Pure White."

“Selfishness” I think this is a key clue to the Forsaken, especially Moridin. I’m thinking he could decide that a victory of the DO, might not be all that much fun afterwards. Just sayin’

“hour of my death” Oopsy loophole Dark One. What were ya thinkin’?

The Horn: Laras has got it, I am certain. I’ve felt so ever since some tried to claim she was Mesaana in hiding. Well, she is more than Head Cook. They got that right.

One last time: Verinliciousness!
14. MasterAlThor
I have to say that I really liked these two chapters even though I have my issues with Egwene. I actually dropped the book when I read that Verin was Black Ajah and she just casually dropped it in like that.

My wife thought I was haviing a stroke.

It was that shocking of a moment. And then to have Verin just oh so put the nail in the coffin for the Black Ajah, was sheer awesomeness. I wanted to call my friends and tell them all about it, but those lazy fools hadn't been as diligent as me in there reading. Something about having jobs and tending to their families.

Bah I say. My family understood. My wife and kids knew that dad needed to read this book. Otherwise they would get grumpy dad.
Actually I am joking about that. But my friends are silly fools.

So these were great chapters made great by Verin. Egwene gets her's next.

Theresa Gray
15. Terez27
So a comment causes me to wonder. Is Egwene discussion a problem here? I can't recall.

Every noob thought Verin was Black Ajah. It was just that obvious. Those of us more familiar with the series realized that she wasn't evil, which was a conundrum. Especially since the evidence for that gets stronger in the later books. We all should have seen it. One of the arguments I used to demonstrate to noobs why exactly Verin was not a Darkfriend? Her notes, for which she intended to write out the ciphers. What kind of Darkfriend would want to share knowledge with future generations? So, totally should have seen it coming.

Brandon posted about the latest Writing Excuses episode on his blog. The guest author, David Brin, suggests that every writer's first novel should be a murder mystery. "It is the purest form of story-telling." He says,

"In a murder mystery, when you find out whodunnit, there are only three possible reactions. One is, 'Huh? Where the heck did that come from? It was not foreshadowed at all.' Number two is, 'Of course. *yawn* I saw it a mile away.' What you want is the third possible reaction, and that is...a shocked dismay in the reader's face, pouding their heads, saying 'Of course, of course, of course, of course!', hating themselves for being just 5 IQ points short for figuring it out. And they would have been disappointed if they had figured it out. You want them to rip the book in half, throw it out the window, and dive after it. And that proves that you have a sadomasochistic relationship, and your job is to make the reader late for work. You want to make them unable to sleep, unable to do their homework...you want to make them unable to feed their kids. If you do all this to them, they will buy your book, so it is genuinely sadomasochistical, and that's why I told my students to always do a murder mystery first."

I followed that advice, actually, without having heard it. RJ was my inspiration. It's not a murder mystery exactly, but it is a rather clear mystery. And no, I won't let you read it. It's a fanfic, somewhere, under a different name. ;) I haven't posted the end yet. I feel like the ending is really, really obvious. I foreshadowed it. The genre itself foreshadows it. That's how obvious it is. But no one has figured it out, and I get reviews and emails every now and then from some fan who is desperate to read the ending so they can finally know. No one has even guessed it right, much less found the foreshadowing for it. :D (When it's done, it will be a short novel—somewhere around 75k words. So I guess it's my first novel, which is weird, since I didn't even think of myself as writing one.)
16. Paulie
I'm generally not observant enough to pick up on the clues, which makes reveals like this so exciting for me. :)
I do think back though and does anyone remember the discussion between Verin and Cads, where they were talking about Rand? Verin was ready to poison Cads if she thought Cads was going to harm Rand. Big clue right there that she wasn't playing by the same set of rules.
17. AndrewB
Does anybody know why Egwene was so insistent that Alviarin should be taken by the Black Ajah hunters? Was it because Verin's book noted Alviarin was a leader among the Balck or that as the former Keeper she may have been aware of signigicant Black Ajahs plan. I think it is the latter. Egwene wonders if she overreached with her plans with Elaida and that was the cause of Alviarin's downfall.

I wonder who else (other than Alviarin and Galina) were among the leaders on of the Black (i.e. on their Supreme Coucil). Was Sheriam high up on the list. The conversation between Egwene and Sheriam later in TGS (when Sheriam admits she is a member of the Black Ajah) seems to imply such.

Also, Katerine was mentioned right before Alviarin and Elza in Egwene's thoughts when she discovered the name of Black Sisters. Does this mean that Katerine and Elza are among the leaders of the Black Ajah.

Any speculation on the above thoughts would be welcomed. Thanks for reading my musings.

18. jshep12
Completely agree that it was a fantastic turn of events. Kinda sad to see Verin go, as I thought she would be more crucial DURING the Last Battle. But, I don't think she could be any more crucial, than she was here, concerning the last battle.

I also think there is a little foreshadowing going on here about what to expect and not expect when things come to bear. It seems to me to suggest it's going to be much more of a one on one, Good (via Rand) v. Evil (via Evil Rand) than it is a battle of light v. dark. Just my thought.

So, thanks again, as always Leigh. Until next time...
j p
19. sps49
Now, now; there are still some seriously bad Black Aes Sedai out there.

Elaida's censure shows two things (at least)- her simple removal by the Seanchan would be a cheap way out without it, and it shows that the Tower is beginning to see Egwene is a better choice. If she just became Suffa, there could be a totally different Amyrlin chosen.

I wish we could've kept Verin, though. At least so she could see that she misjudged poor, misunderstood Mat (and hey, she couldn't've mentioned to Egwene that Caemlyn was in the crosshairs?)

And I'm surprised Leigh managed to not include the next two chapters today.
Bonnie Andrews
20. misfortuona
Hello all, wonderful review of a totally kick ass chapter. Thanks Leigh.
Sheriam and Verin? I suppose there are several reasons that they might have known of each other's ties to the black. One may have initiated the other into the ajah, for example, or they simply might have recognized each other at a DF social. I think it is most likely that they were in the same heart, but I expect at this point we may only find out in the Encyclopedia.
As for Elza and Katerine being leaders, perhaps but I always thought that it was these two who were listed because of thier importance to the story. Elza is with Rand afterall, and though Katerine's importance is slipping my mind at the moment I know that I recall the name. I'm sure someone will enlighten me soon enough.

Mis-loving the Verrinosity!
21. Lsana
Verin = awesome. No, sorry, that's wrong. Verin > awesome. Verin is awesome covered in awesome sauce. Chuck Norris wears Verin pajamas.

However, it's not Verin I wanted to comment about here, but Egwene, because while this is undoubtably Verin's Crowning Moment of Awesome, I also think it's Egwene's Dethroning Moment of Suck. She does pretty well in the first chapter, and I liked her conversation with Verin, but she loses it afterward. After Verin dies, when she talks about how she wishes Verin hadn't fallen asleep on her bed, and then pats herself on the back for how virtuous she is for saying that rather than "Verin is asleep." It was at that moment that Egwene proved herself to be just another Aes Sedai who not only lies at the drop of a hat (and yes, I do consider it to be a lie), but isn't even capable of telling the difference between lies and truth.

Anyone who was disappointed in Eg in ToM, this is where it started. And I have to take a moment to mourn for the girl who once recognized "If you want to be trusted, you need to be trust worthy," and then became "Being an Aes Sedai means seeing how far you can bend the rules without actually breaking them."
Roger Powell
22. forkroot
Katerine was definitely not a top leader in the BA. We find out in the prologue to LoC that although Katerine had been in the BA for 12 years and had reported (as a Red) to Galina (head of the Red Ajah) all that time, she never knew that Galina was also BA until the Tower embassy was put together.
Nadine L.
23. travyl
Leigh, great post, thank you very much.

Misfortuona @20. Katerine was the red who "got promoted" to mistreat Egwene, therefore I agree with you that the names mentioned reflect the ones of relevance rather than a certain order of the book (e.g. Black Ajah leaders).

Lsana @21. You definitely have a point about Egwene. While I like the fact that she didn't lie but bent the truth - it is an indication that she is becomeing Aes Sedai. I am among the people who didn't like Egwene in ToM all that well, but I will have to wait on the Re-Read getting there to sort out my feelings and be able to define, why that was the cause.
24. Kilroy
First, thank you for the re read and excellent post. I have a question, and none of the books readily available, since Verin investigated not just the Black Ajah but to quote

“Everything I learned about them. About the leaders among the Darkfriends, about the Black Ajah. The prophecies they believe, the goals and motivations of the separate factions. Along with a list, at the back, of every Black Ajah sister I could identify.”

Does it not seem likely she would have information re Taim, any foul plans conducted and or expected in the Black Tower?

Is it possible she knew where Demandred was or who he was?

Will the notes contain information, or other notes she made, contain information on the key to Callandor? Or how Rand bows to the Empress?
25. zackattack
I found this scene totally predictable and dull, an obvious, trite piece of literary exploitation...

Kidding. This is one of those rare scenes that was truly jaw-dropping for me. Much like seeing the Empire Strikes Back for the first time and hearing Vader announce he’s Luke’s father. (Remember that movie came out before there were things like Internet spoilers.) I only wish I could read it again for the first time because, wow what a feeling.

Agree with what others have said here about Egwene’s revelation about Rand’s boxing. It really shouldn’t have taken her this long to realize it was a Bad Thing. And based on ToM, her Rand-related thinking still needs work. I'm with those who didn't like Egwene in ToM, mostly because of how she regards Rand. She thinks she only in terms of stopping or controlling him. It puts her thoughts a little too in-line with Tuon’s thinking for my comfort. They are both seeking to control the savior of the world, and they both assume they are fully right and justified in thinking this. Never mind that he is the PROPHESIED SAVIOR OF THE FREAKING WORLD.

That being said, she still remains firmly on the plus side with me, for the awesome she is about to perpetrate as well as for taking down Mesaana in ToM. Girl definitely gets results.
26. Looking Glass
@13 Man-o-Mantheren:
“Selfishness” I think this is a key clue to the Forsaken, especially Moridin. I’m thinking he could decide that a victory of the DO, might not be all that much fun afterwards. Just sayin’.
Honestly, I think Moridin is the exception to this, which is why he’s top dog of the Forsaken. The others are largely driven by selfish goals, which as Verin says makes them useful, predictable tools; Moridin’s a willing accomplice because he sees no better alternative. He’s alone in presenting a more generally nihilistic argument- “we’re locked in this cycle of endless war, and the only way out is with the Shadow’s victory in this turning or the next- let’s save everyone some pain and end it now”. The others (wrongly) want/expect something out of the Shadow’s victory; Moridin just views nothing as a step up, or at least a step forward.

Which does raise the possibility he could become convinced a better alternative did exist.

@17 AndrewB: Possible, but there are a really a bunch of ways Sheriam could know Verin. Maybe they’re just in the same cell. Or: Verin has been cell-busting the BA for a while; it’s possible she’s known to a few people she’s not supposed to be known to (and as Verin does here, a blatant lie makes a semi-decent proof of BA cred). Or: the BA apparently compromises the cell system intentionally on occasion when they need more people working together, as with Liandrin and her pals. Verin and Sheriam were both presumably acting directly for the BA back around The Great Hunt (when Liandrin was too, actually), so they may just have met in the course of operations.

@24 Kilroy: Any of those things is possible (who knows what’s in those prophecies), but it seems very unlikely she has anything useful about Taim/BT or Demandred. Her knowledge is the result of a long, slow, careful penetration, so the odds that she’s got anything Taim or the Forsaken, all of whom only popped up very recently, would seem low. Especially in light of the fact that Mesaana was presumably a priority, being in the tower, but she has zip.

Then again, Verin's converting-obscure-prophecy-into-specific-information chops are apparently way, way ahead of the curve.
13. Man-0-Manetheran

Yes, it did go very very far afield during the last post comments. Hopefully it doesn't do so this time around.

As to this weeks post.... yes this was the bombshell to end all of them.
We're talking big Russion 100 megaton, My God we've gone too far lets shrink it to a mere 50 megatons, bombshells. I stated before and was reiterated by Leigh, that this was one of the two biggest game changers in the series. The other being Rand Cleansing Saidin. And as great a work as Cleansing Saidin was it holds no candles, however many, to what Verin does here. She in effect cleansed the Tower and truly, as much as Egwene and company bringing the Tower together, allowed that wholeness to be believed as being lasting and of the Light.

Awesome isn't just in describing the magnitude of what Verin did. There isn't a word in our language to describe it singularly. And if there is, I'd still have to add a few superlatives. Actually, given the definition of the word, Superlative, I would say that Verins action are Superlitive in Merit, having no equal given the sacrifice involved and the breadth and scope of the work.

Superlative Awesomness. Of the highest order of greatness and having no equal in deeds done.

How does that sound?

Huh a lot of Anti-Egwene sentiment here. Unexpected. She does have a couple of momnets of Awesome coming soon, but still...afterwards I was just.... meh.

Chin Bawambi
29. bawambi
I am usually not an eggs fan but if you read
“No person should be kept in such a manner,” she said, “not even...BLACK SISTERS”
as I did originally it is much less harsh towards Rand. Then you can see a revelation that makes more sense. Her progression is wow they treated Rand worse than I would treat a black sister no wonder he was so upset - I get it now. If you read it the way most people did however I don't see how you could ever forgive Eggs no matter how awesome she is in the next chapter. Otherwise, only Rand himself could release Eggs from her toh to a fellow Edmond's Fielder. Perhaps Halima was more effective than we give her and the DO credit for.
Charles Gaston
30. parrothead
OH Yeah. I've been waiting for this.

Now that is how you handle character death. That is how you wrap up decades of speculation. Either this chapter or the next by themselves would make Sanderson's continuation worth it even if the rest was subpar (thankfully it isn't). Here is where Verin Sedai shot up to the top of my faves list alongside Min and Moiraine.

As fans, or more broadly as consumers of media, we live for moments like this. And I think Egwene's parting words to Verin Sedai were perfect.
Vincent Lane
31. Aegnor
Bromo Sapien@9,

I agree with you to some extent about the books preceeding this one being "dry", except for KoD. That was the book where I felt things had finally got back on track, and TGS continued that progression. CoT was rather dry with very little plot movement. WH was much the same, aside from the clensing. The books have been continuously either expanding the story, or not significantly moving it towards conclusion. KoD, TGS, and ToM all moved the plot towards conclusion.
33. Wortmauer
It's all well and good for Egwene to suddenly rethink some of what the White Tower did to Rand. But. She still needs to tell him, "We have toh. We ask the favor, that you will help us meet our toh." Way back when she needed Amys's teaching, she would have known this was necessary. Having burned that bridge now, maybe she has forgotten. But until Egwene publicly acknowledges the toh of the Tower, she is dead to me.

Too bad it didn't happen in ToM, or they could have named it The Toh Towers.

(Trying to get my two cents in before this post turns into a personal blog for shoutouts, fanfics and rhymes. Don't want to rain on your parade here, but I really do prefer discussion about the actual reread.)
James Golden
34. Treemaster
I suspect that Egwene's viewing of the Tinkers reveals more than just showing the importance of having a "life." First, it's ironic in that Egwene assumes that the tinkers she met are tucked away in a happy tinker camp when we know that's not the case. More importantly, the Tinkers are likely very important to the outcome of the Last Battle, which would explain Egwene's "need" for them. Egwene doesn't seem to have pursued that possibility at all.
35. donk
@21 ---- too true re eggers

@14 ---- agreed: 'Bah I say. My family understood. My wife and kids knew that dad needed to read this book. Otherwise they would get grumpy dad.' --- already booked January next year OFF with my 5!! for reading, discussing and mourning the END!!!!

@24 ---- No, No and triple No: IMHO

@26 re @13 sort of agree, but extrapolate it to: 'I've picked the only winning side cos I am a winner, so stop being tiresome and get onboard damnit! This is the only winning team today tomorrow or whenever!!!'
So I do think it is selfish, selfish insomuchas self preservation by believing the winning ticket has been selected for self preservation. Also are the rest of the Forsaken not just scared of the DO and looking after themselves and quite happy tothink they can usurp his authority? They all want a lifestyle seemingly, even Gr and Se dont actually seem to get off on the link, just the exploitation of their powers. Moridin seems content to be on the 'winning' team...
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero

NO Black sister, other than Alvarian, who knew them all, was supposed to know more than 3 other Black Sisters. So, not knowing Galina was Black doesn't make one shred of difference. Galina herself should only have known three other Black sisters--the ones in her Heart. Everyone knew the sisters in their Heart, one other sister, connected to a different Heart, and that's it.

**Goes back to work until Monday**
Anthony Pero
37. anthonypero

Didn't you hear? RJ wrote the Verin scene. We know because it didn't suck.

**Where's that bunker again?**
38. donk
@33 --- Eg is still WOT FEMALE, she still thinks she can control everything, still thinks she knows best. When have we EVER seen a WOT female ever from a POV think a man needs compassion and support by aquiescing to his decisions, Nyn maybe with Lan, although she is still trying to control him by stitching him up with a drop off in Saldea not TG.
Roger Powell
39. forkroot
Leigh - Loved the commentary this week and totally agree on the awesomeness. Extra points for the sparkly "Yay"!

The supposition (not mine) was that there was some sort of "top-level" in the BA that perhaps knew more than just their own heart. I was responding to whether Katerine could be a "top-level" BA and not taking up the question on whether such a thing even exists.

But since you brought up the subject: It would be almost impossible to have a pure "heart" system since BA would learn of each other from time to time (such as in the example of the Tower Embassy.) Furthermore, you couldn't recruit if you already knew three others ... and so forth. So there was clearly some leeway in the model. How much? We don't know.

Regarding Egwene's thoughts on Rand-in-the-Box: I don't see why everyone assumes that Egwene had previously thought Rand's captivity was justified, unless they were somehow filling in the blank in her preceding (interrupted) thought with "Rand" or "male channelers". That makes no sense (and I see bawambi@29 has pointing this out) - she was most likely thinking of Darkfriends or whatever.

I know of nowhere in the text where she in any way condones what the TAS did to Rand. All that we are seeing now is just additional, and somewhat more personal acknowledgement of what he had been put through.

There was already a good-sized argument on the reread (some time back) on whether Eqwene should even compare her captivity to Rand's captivity. I saw no problem with it as a careful reading shows her internal dialog admitting that she had nowhere near as rough of time of it.
Martyna Berek
40. missbee
Kilroy @ 24
Actually we do get a clue that Verin knows at least some of what is going on at BT.
Back in KOD 18, she ventures an opinion on Taim and BT - “Taim very likely will have to wait on the Last Battle, whatever he's about,” and instantly deflects attention by changing subject and putting on the distracted librarian act. She does it so well that no one thinks to ask how she might know this, in fact no one takes any notice of the statement at all.
We however, know that Verin is never vague without purpose.
Lisa Mari Barba
41. Minaeve
"By the way....that dress your wearing is green" gives me the chills everytime.
42. IndySNu
I think the black ajah had some fraternity handshakes or signals they could use to recognize others. I want to say it had something to to with putting their thumbs between their fingers or something like that but don't remember where it was mentioned or even if I am just making it up.

Even so, there must be some way for the black ajah to identify each other, as it is mentioned in the LOC prologue by Katerine that she just found out Galina is black ajah even though she has been black for some time.
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
First thoughts on reading just Leigh's comments:

Silviana is totally awesome...and red. Amazing. Integrity to the nines.

What I don't get about Egwene's revelations about Rand, is that much of it seems forgotten when she meets with him in the hall, post Jesusing. Where did her compassion and understanding go? Or was she just constrained by the venue? It just kind of twigs at me, as she reverts to wanting to "control" Rand when she meets him on his visit to the hall.

Verin...oh Verin. Awesome indeed. I had my suspicions about her all along, but nothing definitive. She was just so cagey. A very well written character. What a great thing she chose to do, in spite of the implications of being Black ajah. A great boon for the world. Thank you Verin...you ( and Egs.) pretty much saved the Tower.

And thanks Leigh for a very LOL review!
Hugh Arai
44. HArai
“No person should be kept in such a manner,” she said, “not even...”
Siuan frowned as Egwene trailed off. “What was that?”
Egwene shook her head. “It just occurred to me. This is what it must have been like for Rand. No, worse.
She's muttering "not even...", Siuan asks what she said, and she explains she was thinking about Rand. I don't think it's a huge stretch to fill in "Not even the Dragon Reborn/Rand". Whether that means she condoned putting him in a box is another story. She's kind of fixated on controlling him, but that just makes her one of a crowd.
Michael Johnson
45. twosheddz
I was one that thought Verin was BA. I never suspected that she was a double agent for Team Light. Sneaky, sneaky Verin!

I'd like to throw out a theory and let you people who seem to have every nuance of the series committed to memory pick it apart like jackels at a fresh carcass. Egwene has been Fainified. She is made of awesome in nearly every setting with the Aiel and AS. However, I think that she has become Rand's greatest... well, enemy is probably far too strong a word... maybe adversary or obstacle, to his goal of winning TG. She is always thinking how he has to be handled, stopped or put in his place. The last time I can remember her actively helping him was sneaking him into the women's quarters in Shienar. I believe that was before meeting Fain in the dungeon. So, am I off my nut or could she have been tainted against the DR by Fain? I can't recall anyone bringing this up before. I'm not an Egwene hater, but she pisses me off nearly every time she thinks about Rand (except this chapter, heh, so sue me for being semi-off topic). I apologize for any misspellings, rambling, etc. I'm on my phone at work in between customers
Karen Fox
46. thepupxpert
Just reading Leigh's comments and the recap got my blood going, almost as good as reading the actual book! I have a long list of books to read this year but I think reading this one again will be moving up on my list of priorities! Nothing else to add right now...
Roger Powell
47. forkroot
I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I think it's a huge stretch. As I mentioned earlier, nowhere else in the books does Egwene express anything other than outrage at what the Tower Embassy did. We have nothing to indicate that she would somehow think it appropriate that Rand should be tortured.

It would make far more sense that the uninterrupted thought be like:
“No person should be kept in such a manner,” she said, “not even a Darkfriend”.
It's clear that the thought was continuing toward a heinous individual or class of individuals.

Egwene may have her issues with Rand, but there's no justification for assuming she considers him heinous or would want to torture him.

Rand's greatest... well, enemy is probably far too strong a word... maybe adversary or obstacle, to his goal of winning TG. She is always thinking how he has to be handled, stopped or put in his place.
Egwene helped Rand any number of times in the early books. Off the top of my head, I recall her hiding behind an invisibility shield for him, observing while he met with an Aes Sedai delegation. She (and Avi) helped him attack the Shaido at the battle of Cairhien.

She does not think he needs to be manipulated. She does disagree with him about breaking the Seals. (She actually got played like a fiddle by Rand/LTT on that one - he needed her to get everyone together and he figured out a way to get her to herd the cats.)

In her defense, she does not know what Rand (and Min) know from Harid Fel as well as what LTT knows. Plus she got hit with the whole plan out of the blue, with little time to reflect. FWIW, Elayne (who loves Rand) agrees with Egwene that it's not a good idea to break the Seals ... so it's not like Eg is the only one who will need a better explanation.

Wetlandernw - Help! Where are you? What is happening to me?? I don't like Egwene very much and yet I'm finding more and more that I've got to defend her when people are just not reading the text. Does this sound familiar??
48. al'Kohol
Wortmaucer@33: Amen, re: shoutouts, fanfics, etc.

These chapters were pretty awesome, but they also contain some of those Egwene elements that put me in the detractor camp.

I think what gets me the most about her is she's the only Emond's Fielder who unambiguously revels in her own power (other than Rand, of course). Sure, Nynaeve is bossy, but we know she's filled with internal conflict, and really, she just wants to do the right thing. She drops Lan off on the Blightborder, even though it's the last thing she wants him to do. Yeah, she disregards his orders to a degree, but come on; no way she wants her husband riding to mostly-certain death. But she knew it was his mission from birth, and she felt it right to let him go, even if she disagreed.

Egwene, though, wants to be *obeyed.* I don't get that Nynaeve-like sense of the greater good from her. Or, rather, her idea of the greater good is much too closely tied to her own almost absolute power. The Tower must be whole! The Tower must tell everyone what to do! To heck with Aiel, Windfinders, Asha'man, etc. She's in love with the Tower, despite all its many and obvious failings, and as the Pope-like representative of the Tower's authority on Randland, she demands obedience. It's all just kind of annoying to me. I really, really liked when Nynaeve was reflecting, I think in ToM, and basically said, "you know, fuck it. Rand's my friend, and the freakin' Dragon. Lan is my husband. I'd rather stand with these people than the Tower." Ny just makes a solid effort to determine what's important; both to her, and the world at large. She has an identity beyond the Tower, a set of principles more imortant than adherence to this one group. Egwene's intense devotion to the hierarchy, on the other hand... eh. I don't like it!

Not to mention: Where do you get off, lady?! At least Rand has a bunch of exucses, such as prophecy, and madness, and the leaking memories of a man thousands of years dead.
Martyna Berek
49. missbee
twosheddz @ 45
Interesting thought. But I'd say no.
Egwene spent time with Fain before he discovered his Fade subverting powers and before he got his dagger back. He was more than a DF at that point but had nowhere near the capabilities he has by the end of TGH.
IIRC there was some discussion about whether Elaida had been affected by Fain later (TFOH Pr) and the decision there was 'no' as well. Though it has to be said that they met only briefly, so it is not a fair comparison.
50. al'Kohol
Though I commit the sin of double-posting, I wanted to throw this in, too...

The whole "I don't know how the Great Lord works" thing is worth discussing. When I first read it, I kinda felt like I was being ret-conned. But on further reflection, I think I was just missing clues that had clearly been out there since tEotW, since I believe that's the first time we hear that "the Dragon is one with the land." It seems to me all the DO really wants or needs is to spread hate, fear, chaos, and all that sort of stuff. His whole operation re:Rand has not been to kill him, but basically just to ruin him. His agents in the Tower(s) don't commit nearly as many murders as they are capable of; they're mostly there to politick and spread mistrust and fear. "Belief and order give strength," said Herid Fel. I think the DO's main mission is to destroy those things, those "veins of gold." He battles not for the bodies of Randland's citizens, but for their souls.

It certainly does seem that the series' ending will be more teleological (am I using that right, Leigh?) than epic battle. I'm sure there will be epic battle, don't get me wrong, but I don't think Rand is going to be fighting it. It will not be fought "the way al'Thor thinks," as Verin told us. But I think he realizes that by next book, as he tells Bashere or Ituralde that he "is not to fight this battle. I will organize you, but I must leave you."

So, basically, despite the fact that Rand has been conquering the hell out of everything for 13 books now, that's kind of ancillary to the actual purpose of the Dragon. I suspect we'll see some sort of Not-At-All-Christlike (tm Leigh Butler) sacrifice for mankind, as opposed to punching the DO in the teeth.

Jay Dauro
51. J.Dauro
Lsana @ 21

"Chuck Norris wears Verin pajamas."


Zexxes @28

I believe this is one of the most telling things about the quality of both RJs and BWS's writing. I can think a character is awesome and want to kick them in the same moment.

Anthonypero @36

We already have a major example that members of the Black Ajah can figure out who other members are (hint, hint.)

Yes there is a "supposed to", but the BA has apparently often compromised this security measure.

Another example is in the "kidnappings" in the Tower. When the BA wants to grab a sister, they send Black members of her Ajah to kidnap her in the night. We have seen that cells often are mixed Ajah, but it is possible that these are carried out by three members that are a cell. However, it seems more likely that it requires more than 3, so they either try to hide behind masks, or they learn other members.
Charles Gaston
52. parrothead
I assumed Egwene's "not even" was either Elaida, the woman who stuffed her AND Rand into tiny cages and had them beaten repeatedly (if only by proxy in Rand's case) and who also split the Tower, Egwene's home, or the Seanchan, perhaps her old sul'dam whose name escapes me at the moment. Those are the two people as individuals she has the greatest hatred for - fully justified, as far as I care.
Anthony Pero
53. anthonypero
Fain's corruptIng power comes from Mordeth. I don't think he gains that until he has the dagger. That's when Mordeth gains ascendancy inside Fain's head.

RE: Egwene and the seals. Let's not forget that Egwene Dreamed of Rand breaking the seals, and she thought it was bad then and was crying No Rand... She's opposing Rand based on this dream, IMO.
54. Rand al'Todd
twosheddz @45

When Egwene was talking to Fain in the Shienar dungeon, he had not yet stolen the ruby dagger. At that point Fain was still "just" a Darkfriend. It was not until his trip to Falme, while carrying the dagger, that he changed into the tainted foulness that is now 'FAIN'.

IIRC Egwene has not been in contact with him since. Therefore, IMHO Egwene has NOT been 'Fainified."

However, there may be some trace of compulsion (or other mental meddling) left from her contact with Halima. While Halima was 'treating' her headaches, Ewene seems to have changed her mind on a number of topics, notably the Oaths. Go back and check some of the comments from those portions of the reread for more info and opinions.
ana liese
55. analiese
forkroot @ 47:

Egwene helped Rand any number of times in the early books. Off the top of my head, I recall her hiding behind an invisibility shield for him,
observing while he met with an Aes Sedai delegation.

Rand was the one who helped HER in that scene. Egwene was in the room with him when the Aes Sedai delegation suddenly arrived outside. She needed somewhere to hide, so he covered her with an invisibility shield. If he hadn't, she would have been hauled back to the Tower as a runaway.
ana liese
56. analiese
Rand al'Todd @ 54:

When Egwene was talking to Fain in the Shienar dungeon, he had not yet stolen the ruby dagger. At that point Fain was still "just" a
Darkfriend. It was not until his trip to Falme, while carrying the
dagger, that he changed into the tainted foulness that is now 'FAIN'.

Fain was already capable of infecting people at that point--it was mentioned how the guards who watched him kept getting worse.
“They seem worse every time I come. All the guards do. Meaner, and more sullen. Changu told jokes the first time I came, and Nidao never even speaks anymore." --TGH
While Halima was 'treating' her headaches, Ewene seems to have changed her mind on a number of topics, notably the Oaths.

Maria Simons from Team Jordan debunked that theory: "That was Egwene, influenced by Siuan, doing her best to be the best Aes Sedai EVAR." So we know it wasn't Halima's influence.
57. mndrew
Top 3 sceens of all time indeed. I place it so far at number 2, right after Matt kicking G&G's butts whilst still an invalid.
Thomas Keith
58. insectoid
Oh Leigh, you made my day, and I knew it was Foretold to be a Day OF AWESOME. Your commentary today was as awesome and funny as always, and more.

Ch. 38: Siuan: "Look, it's Gawyn!" Egwene: (looks around wildly) "Where, where??"

Silviana: Should get a gold medal in ballsiness, or whatever the female equivalent is (can't recall, can't think straight at the moment) for standing up to Elaida.

VERIN: Should get a solid gold Medal of Honor, plated in platinum, proclaiming her the master of Uber-Sneaky, Evil-Defying Awesomeness.

As infodumpy as the chapter is, that in no way detracts from its awesomeness. Best. Death. Scene. EVER. I may even have shed a tear. MAYBE.
She sneakified the Black Ajah out of existence. Can we just sit back and admire that sentence for a moment? Sneakified. In one blow, no less!
::sits back and admires the awesome invented word::

Speaking of new words, I'm seeing quite a few today: Verinliciousness (Man-O), Verinosity (Mis)... Here's my contribution: Veriniffic!

Why golly gee, I've seen those sparkly letters before! That made me laugh out loud.

Beren @4/Lisamarie @6: Well that came outta left field! When that album came out in 1999, having that song may have (initially) been the only reason for buying it. XD Yes, I'm a nerd.

Lsana @21:
Verin = awesome. No, sorry, that's wrong. Verin > awesome. Verin is awesome covered in awesome sauce. Chuck Norris wears Verin pajamas.

Rand al'Todd @54: I thought that Moiraine deduced (at the end of TGH) that Fain had passed through Shadar Logoth while following them, and at that point had merged with Mordeth. The point being, he COULD have affected Egwene, but it's not likely. The intensity of his corrupting influence must not have manifested until he started carrying the dagger. (Also analiese's point @56 re: the guards.)

59. Wotman
I think Verin was one of the best characters in the book, I knew early on that she would play a major part and when Matt saw all those letters in her pouch, I knew that she might be checking out, but I didn't expect that. Everyone in the cast new something was up with her and everyone warned someone about her, I knew she was good for sure when she nearly poisoned Cad ( I wish she had anyway).
Personally, I thnk Egwene is a butthead, she is so full of herself she can't see past her Amerlynliness. That is what caused so many problems for Rand, she still thinks of him as a stupid sheepherder and hasn't got a clue on what he is doing, but of course SHE does, even in the ToM she (IMO) screws things up becasue SHE knows everything. I hope she bites it in the end although I am pretty sure she won't.
Cameron Tucker
60. Loialson
If only the brimming with awesome that is Verin could be tied to the Horn of Valere...now that would be epic.
61. EmmaPease
Well in the end we find out that Verin drinks tea (and not coffee with or without milk).
Tess Laird
62. thewindrose
Yay - I wish I could do sparklies too! These are some awesome with awesome sauce chapters. Silviana is a great red and Pevara, I would add Teslyn to that list too.

Ahhh, Verin - such a great character. I think Egwene had it right that Verin's soul was pure white. And I am hoping that when the HoV is blown in aMoL, we see Verin and Jain Farstrider coming forth.

I do have a lot I want to discuss, but family duties call(and I am not supposed to be on here att).

Jennifer McBride
63. vegetathalas
It's funny. I never saw the "not even..." as having anything to do with Rand. I always figured it was "not even Elaida" since they were talking about her imprisonment by Elaida, and the thoughts Elaida, imprisonment-->Rand's imprisonment at Elaida's hands. I never even thought about a different interpretation.
64. Blood_Drunk
OMG Leigh I love you so much. Especially when you were like (warning: may contain river dancing). I had a good chuckle over that. As far as the reading, when I first read this chapter, I couldn't stop until the end, because it was so good it had to be fattening. Here is Egwene kicking all the ass she can get her foot near. Her growth of character alone is monumental (I will talk about the others in a minute) and I think she still holds a lot of promise when her meeting with the Seanchan comes about in AMoL. I think that she is the key to getting the demane released. Not the ones that are institutionalized but at least the ones that came from this side of the ocean. Anyway, I digress, in these chapters she manages to show her ability to lead effectively by her ability to get others to do what they should be doing. Silviana is absolutely amazing in this chapter and totally kicks ass, but so does Egwene in her ability to forgive. She knows that everyone will be needed in the last battle and rather than being selfish in doing what was best for herself, she does what's best for the tower, in making sure that Silviana survives. Plus Silviana is Red so that is like 10 points against her and yet she still managed to make her way onto the 'you f-ing rock' column that relatively few Aes Sedai have made it onto. And then there is Verin, everyone knew that there was something hinky with her, but I doubt anyone ever really hit the nail on the head of what she was really about. I was confident she was good, but I could not figure out what her motives were and how she was able to say a bold faced lie in tGH. Sneaky Verin was always so sneaky, and the way she revealed herself was priceless. When I first read "by the way, that dress you are wearing is green," I had the same reaction as Egwene. I was like, 'WTF, of course it's not green, that doesn't make any sense.' And then I read on and was like OMG! Quick, run, throw a cat at her! When Verin tells us what she has been doing the last 70 years it makes me want to read the prequels (I mean petition to have them written). Especially when Sheriam asks later, after she is captured, who it was that betrayed the Black and Egwene says that it was Verin and Sheriam says 'I would not have thought it of her.' I can only imagine that as a black she would have had to do many things that were bad so that she could ultimately do this greater good. Still, a story of her difficult path would be very interesting. One of the things that she says that I thought was so cool, was when Egwene said, 'so you joined the dark to spy on them for the light' and Verin replied frankly, 'I joined the dark to save my skin, but made the best of the situation I was in.' I was so sad that she died, I was like . . . nooooo not my Verin! Why couldn't those ineffectual Black Ajah hunters have waited to take the oath rod until later, damn them! Anyway, I deeply appreciate Brandon's work on trying to finish Jordan's seminal series. It is no easy task to finish something that was start by someone else who had a definitive picture of the world and its progression when all you have to work off of what actually made it to paper. Especially with a fan base as fanatical as Jordan's and I think he has done an admirable job. Also I want to thank Auntie Leigh who's witty repartee makes this re-read all worth while.
Theresa Gray
65. Terez27
@vegeta—Most wise, as you should be. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Brandon/RJ did that on purpose, just to see if the Egwene-haters would jump on it.

PS—Holy wall of text!
Julian Augustus
66. Alisonwonderland
Prior to this book coming out, I had argued strenuously over the years that Verin couldn't possibly be Black. The reason for my near-certainty on this issue was the fact that the Horn of Valere, which we may recall Verin hid in the Tower in tGH, is still safely hidden. I was convinced, and rightly I might add, that if Verin was truly Black the shadow would have 'found' the Horn in double-quick time. So, despite the 'Moiraine sent me' statement that was hard to explain away, I was sure there had to be some other explanation for the apparent lie. Not to mention she nearly poisoned Cadsuane because she wasn't sure of Cadsuane's motives and wanted to prevent a potentially black Cadsuane from being an influence on Rand.

So I was shocked, shocked, to find out there was actually blackness going on with her. Of course, the solution neatly explained the apparent contradiction in Verin's actions. But the fact that the truth was presented in tGH, and yet over the next twnty years or so most readers like me strenuously REFUSED to believe the incontrovertible evidence presented then, is writing of the highest calibre. Brilliant, just brilliant.
Theresa Gray
67. Terez27
Alisonwonderland—Even after RJ's 'plot device' comment. I bet he was laughing at us as we explained our way around that simple answer. I always rationalized it by saying that Moiraine had sent Verin to do something at some point, and that Verin had squirmed her way around the Oaths by thinking of that. Which doesn't make sense, really. But it made more sense than her being a Darkfriend. :)
68. Blood_Drunk
@15 Good insight, and now I wanna read your short story.

@17 I think its possible that Verin had a mission for the black that required her to interact with other black including Sheriam. Also I think Verin was on the supreme council and may have had the privilege of seeing different Black as they were summoned to the will of the council. Alviarin did say that she was the only one that knew everyone.

@21 I think Egwene is justified in keeping certain truths quiet until after the Black is captured. Yes she is being Aes Sedai with her answers, but consider the consequences if she tells the truth or is found with Verin's body. There is no way that she gets out of that unscathed, she would be questioned and the accusation of her being black could even be put back on the table. All that could happen and doesn't even address the fact that the Black would invariably question her on WTF just happened. If you think Eg should tell the whole truth all the time then you are just a bit naive. Don't get me wrong, in the next book I think Eg and Rand need to talk it out and find out why each other is so certain on what they should do. Instead they both try to force one another to accept their decision. I am a firm believer in 'explain your reasoning and if they still dont get it, then do whatever you were planning on doing.' This way at least you look like you tried to reach middle ground even if you had no intention of moving there and buying a condo.

@23 read @21

Oh and FYI, I would totally wear Verin Pajamas.
Eric Hughes
69. CireNaes

You've been contaminated. Spending too much time around Wetlander. She's like Fain in some ways. Egwene is just the beginning. Soon enough you will start to support other reviled characters as well. Elayne, Nyneave, Gawyn...SWMNBN. ///Maniacal laugh/// Ah, the latest Muppets movie. Good times.

I think Caveatar and Freelancer hit the nail on the head. We are most likely to be repulsed by the WoT character that our baseline personalities are closest to. I know I'm not a fan of people who exhibit my own personal failings.

As far as Verin (and other DFs in the series who hoped for redemption), it will be interesting to see whether Rand will have to reclaim their souls from the DO or if their actions were enough to grant them a second chance. To me, the reason Verin is such an impressive and tragic character is that she committed suicide knowing that the DO has dibs on her soul. Therein lies the true gravity of her sacrifice.
john mullen
70. johntheirishmongol
I have to admire Silviana first, since her chapter comes first. It took incredible cojones to do what she did and she practically overthrew Elaida then and there. If she had, she probably would have ended up being Amyrlin. I give some kudos to Egwene for taking charge and keeping the Red Ajah together, though I fail to see why she bothered.

Now let's talk about the amazabitch Verin. You know she has to be snickering at all those BA in the Dark One's grasp. If the DO had a sense of humor, he would resurrect her and put her in charge. The forces of light would be in real trouble. I will seriously miss her.
Michael Johnson
71. twosheddz
@34 Yeah, imagine this scene at FoM:

Egwene: Well Perrin, look at you.. all of us, we've come so far since Emonds Field.

Perrin: Yeah, I guess we have

Egwene: You know, I was just thinking about those Tinkers we met. Remember that gentle boy with the handsome smile, Aram was his name I think. I wonder what ever happened to him?

Perrin: Oh, he tried to kill me two or three books ago and was slain by my men.

Egwene: Oh Light! At least tell me the band he was travelling with is safe.

Perrin: Well, most of them are dead. Trollocs caught up with them in the Two Rivers. We were able to protect a few.

Egwene: Uh, Nice talking to you Perrin. Bye.

Perrin: Anytime Egwene.
William Fettes
72. Wolfmage

Well said, I agree. I don't think the scene does anything to suggest such hostility to Rand unless you're relying on an oblique interpretation based on something else. I don't have an entirely innocuous interpretation of how Egwene thinks about Rand over the course of the series, but there's nothing much here to talk about and it's probably more appropriate to wait until ToM to discuss it.

Re: Verin

Man, what an awesome moment, albeit a sad one. I never for a second thought Verin was really on Team Dark, but I also never let go of the the conspicuous lie about Moiraine sending her. So, it's really a testement to RJ as a writer that he managed to deliver this Moment of Awesome as a climatic reveal in a way that was surprising and gratifying even to an obessive fan like myself. It was also so true to the Verin's sneakiness, and to her half-addled but not really Brown Ajah inquisitivism, that it should be obvious in rhetrospect. Bravo RJ.
Thomas Keith
73. insectoid
CireNaes @69:
You've been contaminated. Spending too much time around Wetlander. She's like Fain in some ways...

On a side note: am I the only one who's irritated that the comment permalinks stopped working?

Paul Long
74. Caveatar

I have had my foundations shaken. How ironic that people I admire have made me admit what I do not want to admit.

Robert Jordan Whupped me like a red headed stepchild with Gawyn. I had said earlier that my ONLY objection with WoT was that there was not one character in the book with whom I could identify. And none who I would want to be.
I despised that little Gawyn, and he can take his, what was it, "Cat craps in the sandbox" someone called it and stick his Heron Blade where they will never find it.
However: Thank you RJ. A well deserved nose-rubbing for me.
Wetlander comes along and shows me what Cadsuane is really like, or could be. And it dawns on me with a SLAAP! after having it shown
me that Cadsuane, 300 years old, alone, with a gray bun and balls of solid rock, did what it took the whole borderlander army to do, and SHE didn't hide in no Far Madding or Madding Crowd either.
She reminds me of the greatest hero of the twentieth century, and I include Audie Murphy, for whom I have the greatest respect.
Audie Murphy had the force of the United States and LOTS of
help behind him. Rosa Parks had nothing but her soul, and her courage
when she stood up to southern Alabama. If you don't understand
about Montgomery and environs read Puddinhead Wilson and
Mark Twain will tell you the situation. Plainly! Roxie: "They works slaves to DEATH in Alabama." Mark Twain didn't use the word 'slaves'
and only to avoid the risk of hurting anyone, I don't say offending,
do I change what the hero of my young and even old life wrote.
To the point:
Cadsuane is the fictional eqivalent of the Real Rosa Parks.
She walked into a nest of Ashaman. She insulted them in that way of hers. And dismissed them as NOTHING, black coats and all.
She slapped the Dragon Reborn's face at the time he was cocked and primed to destroy and anyone with any sense should have been heading for the hills.
I am embarrassed to not have seen that immediately.
So, nose rubbed. Thanks RJ.
Rubbed again. Thanks Wetlandernw and others.
Verin I suspected 95 percent waaay back when of being a mole. Verin was mole and running the organisation.
But please, I beg you in all sincerity, Do not show me how wrong I have been about Egwene alVere.
I don't know if my nose will last. Or the carpet.
The Faile I give you no right to change my opinion. That little hussy pissed off an Ogier and I will never forgive her for it. Little shit should pick on someone her own size. Not Loial.

Well, I suspect that women were behind it. They are up to something
I think. Always convincing me how stupid and blind I have been.

Reminds me of my family women.
I gotta get the oxy going.
Gawyn Trakand Senior

Jonathan Levy
75. JonathanLevy
Verin's is definitely one of my favorite scenes ever. I'd gush about how wonderful the author(s) must be to write such a scene, but so many people have already beaten me to it.

Also, lots of new terms coined here. Egwene notlies? Verin sneakifies? And more in the comments :)

17. AndrewB
26. Looking Glass

Re: Sheriam knowing of Verin

If I'm not mistaken, Sheriam's comment about Verin is rather vague. I think she says "I would never have thought it of her". While the simplest reading of this is "I would never have thought she would betray us", and I agree that there are many ways she could have known about Verin, there's another way of interpreting that sentence: "I would never have thought she would be Black Ajah".

A rather less likely interpretation, in my opinion, but not one explicitly contradicted.

* rolls eyes *


Re: Silviana

Yes, she's awesome, and her integrity is awesome. It's worth noting, however, that some of her courage may have been inspired by Egwene's own fortitude in the face of adversity. "If she can accept her beatings with such stoicism, how can I keep silent?". This is not to detract from Silviana's integrity, but remember that nobody bothered to stand up to Elaida on account of Shemerin.

I like how you completed Egwene's interrupted sentence.
Birgit F
76. birgit
Moridin seems content to be on the 'winning' team...

Moridin doesn't really care about winning. He is a philosopher who thinks that everything will end eventually anyway and it might as well be now.

When have we EVER seen a WOT female ever from a POV think a man needs compassion and support by aquiescing to his decisions


I was responding to whether Katerine could be a "top-level" BA and not taking up the question on whether such a thing even exists.

They have a Supreme Council, but the members don't necessarily know all BA.

I think the black ajah had some fraternity handshakes or signals they could use to recognize others. I want to say it had something to to with putting their thumbs between their fingers or something like that but don't remember where it was mentioned or even if I am just making it up.
The woman held her hands at her sides, but with thumbs thrust hard between the first two fingers. Delana had never expected to see that from any woman who did not wear the shawl, and this Halima Saranov could not even channel.
LoC ch. 30

“No person should be kept in such a manner,” she said, “not even...”
Siuan frowned as Egwene trailed off. “What was that?”
Egwene shook her head. “It just occurred to me. This is what it must have been like for Rand. No, worse.

Eg was talking about putting someone (probably Elaida) in a cell and then breaks off because she suddenly realizes that is what happened to Rand. Of course she doesn't think he should be treated that way.

The reason for my near-certainty on this issue was the fact that the Horn of Valere, which we may recall Verin hid in the Tower in tGH, is still safely hidden.

How do you know it really is safe? Nobody has seen it since book 3.
Roger Powell
77. forkroot
I have an important update!

Some of you who are new to the reread may not know this, but I have access to a guy who "dumpster-dives" Brandon's trash.

Anyway... I contacted him and he was able find the relevant parts in one of Brandon's earlier drafts - before the quote was cut off. The actual thought was:
“No one should be kept in such a manner,” she said, “not even Bela”.
Who knew?
79. Conundrum!!!!!!!!!!
What would happen if someone balefired themselves?
Marcus W
80. toryx
These two chapters certainly stand out as purely excellent. They're what turned TGS from a decent book to a good one for me. I was very much heartened to read them. All these years later, when I'm still trying to get some old friends (who I originally talked into reading WOT in the first place) into finishing the bloody series no matter how disappointed they were by some of the earlier books, these are the chapters that spur me on with the effort.

Well done all around.

I've never been one to miss Moiraine like so many others do. But Verin...man, I always liked Verin more than most other Aes Sedai but after her revelation I was SO SAD to see her die. So kudos for that as well.

The whole censure ship of Elaida always strikes me as commentary on recent events at the time of the book's writing. I'm amused but I don't think they needed to be there. I think things would have been more interesting if Silviana was still deep in the cook's pot when the attack began. But hell, I guess we needed a good excuse for Egwene to go talk to Siuan first.

I do like these chapters. Thank goodness they happened.
Valentin M
81. ValMar
We are into pretty momentous set of chapters.

I'm sure you guys have noticed how clever and astute I am. Therefore it will surprise no one if I admit that I have always known exactly what the deal was with Verin. It was obvious to me. But, I am notoriously claver and astute!
I didn't tell anyone before the event in order to avoid spoiling the surpise, honest ;)

On a serious note, the whole Verin participation in the books has been done sublimely. We were given strong hints and clues but we had enough world built-in possible excuses to make everything we were shown about her ambiguous.
E.g. the famous "Moiraine sent me" line. On the face of it (and with hindsight) it was a lie. But had Moiraine made some off-hand remark (and forgotten about it) which Verin could've used to side-step the Oath?
The ruthless streak she had in her character, which IMO went further than what we've seen with the likes of Mo, Siuan, Romanda, etc., coupled with rather jolly outward appearance. Compulsion, poisoning, letting the WOs know that they are free to slap about Alanna...
This feeling that we (or I at least) were made to feel about Verin- of slight unease, danger, of those dark eyes keenly watching...

And yet, there was always the feeling- or suspicion for those convinced she was truly BA- that she was on the side of the Light. Even if she was happy to take a bonus for hospitalising the opposition.

It was really sad and touching in the end when she died.

Re: Silviana. What she did was very impressive, but it was a sign of the impending fall of the Elaida's rule, IMO. Mere weeks ago she wouldn't have done it. And she would've been right- it was going to be pointless gesture. But the conditions were right this time. She knew that the branch Elaida was sitting on was going to be well shaken. Admirably, Silviana was prepared to risk hereself for the right cause.
82. MasterAlThor
@ Wort and others re: shoutouts, and fanfic...

Ya know we all like to discuss this series to death. So what to do when you have beaten Bela to glue? Well some of us are old friends, some are new. Some may not have any at all. It is considered nice to acknowledge your friends every once in awhile.

Speaking of which....Hey Lsana haven't seen you in awhile.

The fanfic is appreciated by those who like reading. Not saying that there is anyone here that doesn't. But some people have a talent for writing. I will continue to encourage them to do so.

You have every right to not care for these things, but they will continue whether you like them or not. This is a lesson that I have had to learn concerning certain subjects.


So how is that self imposed exile working out for ya? LOL

Theresa Gray
83. Terez27
Conundrum@79—This one is worth quoting in full.
Interview: Feb 26th, 2003
tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)
If I were to open a gateway in front of me that opened behind me, and I balefired myself, what would happen?
Robert Jordan
Young lady, you are entirely too obsessed and have far too much time. You need to get some sort of life. I suggest you go have an intense love affair. Doesn't matter with who, be it man, woman, or German Shepherd.
Anthony Pero
84. anthonypero
Ha! Of course, since we know that Balefire cannot undo the effects of Balefire... you'd still be dead. But RJs answer was cooler. If a tad over the top. It is a reasoable question.
Roger Powell
85. forkroot
We got the answer about balefire not undoing the effects of balefire in response to a question something like: A balefires B (reversing B's last action), then C immediately balefires A. Does B come back to life and did his original action return?

The answer was no, because balefire burns threads out of the pattern and so balefire cannot undo the results of other balefire.

So ... In the case of someone trying to balefire themselves - I think you are right. The same logic would apply. Pretty bizarre setup to do it though.
86. Conundrum!!!!!!!!!!
But wouldn't burning your actions out of the pattern result in you never actually having balefired yourself? And so you would still be alive because you were never actually balefired?
Tricia Irish
88. Tektonica

I totally agree with you on what makes Silviana so awesome here. Egwene has changed Silviana's normal "red" mindset of other ajahs, by her integrity, honesty and endurance in the face of punishments and censure. Egwene couldn't be broken because she believed she was right, and spoke her truth quietly and convincingly. Silviana, to her great credit, was open enough to see it, and had the integrity to act in the hall.
Rob Munnelly
89. RobMRobM
@83 I like George Carlin's bit as well.

Smart ass kid: "Father, if God is all powerful can he make a rock that is so big that he himself cannot lift it?" *evil chuckles*

Priest: "It's a mystery, my son."
Sam Mickel
90. Samadai
These are some of my favorite chapters in the series as well. Saerin is turning into one of my favorite tertiary characters, As well as Silviana. She shows what only a few of the AS have shown, to be an AS you have to serve.
Verin is great, I am a firm believer that the DO didn't get her soul when she died, and also hope she become a HotH.
As for Sheriams statement that she wouldn't have thought it of her, I always figured that either Sheriam was highly placed, or that they were part of a heart together.

Anyone want to race to the hunny?
Tess Laird
91. thewindrose
It seems like we aren't posting as much, compared to the last couple of threads. However it still 1 hour until a full 24 hour day - must be my imagination:D

Will there be a vendor selling Verin PJ's at JordonCon?

tempest™(working up to the hunny...)
Martyna Berek
92. missbee
to keep my secrets until the hour of my death”
Does anyone else find this just a little too “curious”?
It just doesn't sit right. Dare I say it, deus ex machina even comes to mind, except I think RJ was better than that. So, why?
All sorts of silly theories come to mind, involving dreamers and prophecies on the dark side, but nothing worth repeating.
Anyone agree? Or is it just me? Thoughts?
Roger Powell
93. forkroot
Much as I "heart" Verin, I don't see her as a Hero of the Horn. The Heroes are all warrior types. At Falme, we don't see any of them channeling as their method of combat (which would be Verin's only realistic attack.)

Regarding Verin's soul: There's no way the DO would snatch her back from death. That privilege is reserved for a few Chosen ... after all, it's a PITA for Team Dark to go get a new body for the snatchee.

As far as we know, swearing to the DO doesn't harm your chances of resurrection in the future. So presumably some time in the future her soul will live again in human form. Of course she won't remember being "Verin" -- only LTT gets the dubious honor of remembering his own past life while alive (Note: Heroes of the Horn remember past lives while they hang out in T'AR - Birgitte is a special case as she was "ripped out" vs. being reborn.)

We can hope that when Team Light wins there are enough historians around to get the scoop on who did what, so that future generations will revere Verin's memory.
Bill Reamy
94. BillinHI
Have to comment on one of Egwene's statements re not disbanding the Red Ajah: I will grant that that should not happen at this particular moment, BUT if the Ajahs are NOT disbanded after Tarmon Gaidon (assuming there are any female AS left alive ;) I for one will be extremely disappointed. The Aes Sedai as a whole are bad enough - believing they are the only people who really know what's going on and what to do about it - but then they have these seven sub-sets of AS who bicker constantly among themselves and refuse to share important information when it is obviously necessary. Yes, I know that lack of communication is one of RJ's biggest themes in the whole series, but STILL... Egwene has done (and will do, I'm sure) many awesome things, but she still has a fairly long way to go to totally redeem herself, let alone the whole Aes Sedai band of nincompoops.

Silviana now and Nynaeve later show what Aes Sedai should be like.
Martyna Berek
95. missbee
forkroot @ 93
Oh, I don't know, I can see it.
Verin, in another life, being uber efficient with some hidden knives, or maybe knitting needles ;)
96. NotInventedHere
@86: This has been pretty well established. Balefire yourself, your thread is burned out however far back your power level allows. You cease to exist at that instant, before balefiring. Doesn't matter that you never get to the actual balefiring action in the "revised" pattern, you are gone. Just as if Rand had been balefired immediately after balefiring Rahvin, Rahvin is till toast - his thread was burned out of the pattern, balefiring the person who balefired him doesn't bring him back.

On a completely different topic, I have a question semi-related to this chapter that hopefully someone can help with. In Verin's note she left with Mat, she indicates that she thought she would be back within a day to recover it. Do we find out what it was she was doing that she knew she might not come back from, but thought she probably would? It doesn't seem like it could have been coming to talk to Eg, as she set it up to ensure there was no chance of survival (such an awesome scene) - so where did she go and what was she doing that she thought she would be coming back to Mat in a day or so? Sorry if this should be obvious or has been discussed to death elsewhere, I was just reminded of this question while reading some of the other comments.
98. torgo02
I recall my original reaction to Verin's admitting being Black was worry for Egwene. She was alone and unable to channel. When that danger subsided and Verin began the info dump of how she's Black but not *really* Black, I remember kinda rolling my eyes and thinking "hmmm... this seems like pandering to fans who have wondered about Verin's true nature."

Then the import of what Verin did and the gravity of the information in her notes hit me and I was completely swept up in the scene and completely agreeing with Egwene when she said Verin's soul is pure white.

Great scene. Kudos to Team Jordan. And Kudos Leigh on another great re-read entry.

Rob Munnelly
101. RobMRobM
@96 - Getting oath rod and removing BA oaths.
Anthony Pero
103. anthonypero

Time for your acceptance speech. Make sure to thank the 99 posts whose back you stood on to get there :)


Verin's original intention was to steal the Oath Rod and remove the BA Oaths from herself. Killing herself the way she did was a last resort. Of course, she couldn't find the Oath Rod because the BA hunters had it. This is the irony of the situation. If she'd waited to take the poison until after she found Egwene, Egwene could have taken her to it. Of course, she couldn't tell Egwene anything before then, so Egwene wouldn't have taken her to it. Catch-22.

But to your point, Verin could have been refering to that original plan, with Mat... However, Mat's timeline is ambiguous at best and faulty at worst. There is no firm way to place his meeting with Verin in the rest of the narrative. So it could have taken place weeks before the scene with Egwene.
Karen Fox
104. thepupxpert
Thank you oh 99%ers for my boost to hunny fame, it is well deserved and appreciated...
Martyna Berek
106. missbee
forkroot @ 93
I was being flippant before, but Birgitte, IIRC, does say that some of her previous lives were quite ordinary and boring. It may be that Verin in another incarnation would have skills she simply didn't need this time round. So I guess it is possible

RobMRobM @ 99 - Oh, well... guess I'LL survive, somehow... ;P
Tess Laird
107. thewindrose
Hi - I had a post at 97, where I linked to Terez's database. Without linking, I am just going to copy from it - my post is in response to forkroot at 93, and I have bolded the pertinent part:
Robert Jordan The threads work in the way, in the same way that the thread of any living thing works. It is part of the Pattern. They are not outside of the Pattern. Neither are the Forsaken. But the Pattern in a thing that is open, that's change. It is not a matter of the lives being forced necessarily. It's wide, you have the Pattern, the Heroes that are bound to the Wheel, they're not always heroes in the way of someone who rides in galloping with a sword, or carries out daring rescues. The people, the Heroes who are bound to the Wheel, are the corrective mechanisms. Human behavior is throwing the Pattern out. It's throwing the balance off. And the Wheel spins out the proper correctives. Put everything back in the balance. So not even the Forsaken are apart from that, they're not outside. The only things that are outside are the Creator and the Dark One. Neither is affected by the Pattern.
So, Verin could be a potential/or already a member of tHotH.

Paul Long
108. Caveatar
@102 thepupexpert

"Yay my first time!!"

Congratulations son, or daughter.
Now you are a 'man', or 'woman".
Let me buy you a drink to celebrate.

Gawyn Caveatar
Andrew Foss
109. alfoss1540
I was "spoiled" to the Verin twist before I read this chapter, but was none the less affected the same way by the sheer awesomeness of her actions and reveal. I had found out early in my read of WOT. I recall as the green-witch raped bonded Rand that there had to be something evil about one or both of them. And despite knowing of her Blackness, I could not figure what her intentions in all of it could be. She just never seemed to be working on an actual "dark" scheme, though her semi-compulsion in Cairheinen with instructions to get Rand to Tarmon Gaidon made you wonder even about that.

All thought of her evils are forgiven.
Andrew Foss
110. alfoss1540
I was "spoiled" to the Verin twist before I read this chapter, but was none the less affected the same way by the sheer awesomeness of her actions and reveal. I had found out early in my read of WOT. I recall as the green-witch raped bonded Rand that there had to be something evil about one or both of them. And despite knowing of her Blackness, I could not figure what her intentions in all of it could be. She just never seemed to be working on an actual "dark" scheme, though her semi-compulsion in Cairheinen with instructions to get Rand to Tarmon Gaidon made you wonder even about that.

All thought of her evils are forgiven.
Karen Fox
111. thepupxpert
Cav @108 - daughter/woman/merlot and thank you!
Paul Long
112. Caveatar
@111 thepupxpert

daughter/woman/merlot and thank you!

A case of merlot for the Woman!
The highest title in my ability to give.
There is no human title greater than that due to the Gateway of Life!

Caveatar, refusing to submit to the damage to his old carcass by time

Arises, gives a sweeping bow with flourishes that would make old Cyrano rub his monstrous nose and weep in jealousy.

Then presents the merlot to one who is worthy of it.

Paul Long

(Gawyn Caveatar)
Roger Powell
113. forkroot
tempest™@107 - I bow to your superior wisdom (or at least your superior research!) Nice find.

Considering that RJ set this plot thread up as early as Book 2, I don't see deus ex machina here. Verin herself acknowledges that it's curious that the DO would leave that "loophole" in the oaths, but Egwene points out:
Perhaps he doesn't see it as threatening. After all, what kind of Darkfriend would kill themselves in order to advance the greater good? I doesn't seem the kind of thing his followers would consider.
BillinHI@94 {::Waves::}
Good to hear from you!

You make a good point about the Ajahs - and it reminds me of my frequent statement on this reread that I am going to be somewhat put off if many of the Third Age institutions (countries, organizations, whatever) survive TG or it's aftermath. After all, its supposed to be the end of an Age!! By definition, there should be cataclysmic change.
Valentin M
114. ValMar
Caveatar @ 108

Good one :)

As for Verin being Hero of the Horn and the fact that at Falme all Heroes seemed to be warriors- well that particular situation required the Warrior Type Heroes. This isn't always the case, I'm sure.

edit- windrose @ 107, thanks for the quote!

Re: the Red Ajah, to be or not to be. If they want to let it be, fair enough. But with Saidin clean and the presence of organised male channelers they need to do some serious thinking. Particularly given some of the personel in the "Nasty" Ajah.
It will be interesting to see the worse among the Reds and how many turned out to be BA and will not be adding to the overall character of the bunch post TG.
Sam Mickel
115. Samadai
As often is the case in real life, those who have grown up hating something, but convert to loving it,treasure it even more. I think that the Reds starting off being bonded, and bonding men, will soon have them being the AM biggest supporters (soon being relative to People who live hundreds of years)
Cynthia Ahmar
117. tenkuu
For those of you who have re-read the books several times, I'm just
curious: has Moiraine's name been mentioned in every book at least once?

missbee@12: When you think about it, it's not that surprising that the Tinkers would feel safe around a people who literally control everything about their society.

zackattack@25: I've never liked Egwene. Right from the beginning she always thought she was better than everyone else, especially the boys, and she's always aggressive when she doesn't need to be. She's had her respectable moments, such as in this book, but as a person, I still find her annoying in the extreme.

donk@38: That right there is why Min is my favorite female character. She has attitude and character, but still remains first and foremost full of kindness, compassion and honesty. To put it simply, she is the only "real" girl in these books aside from maybe Nynaeve.

Wotman@59: So who do you think her Beavis is? :P Elayne perhaps?

johntheirishmongol@70: With saidin cleansed, I have to wonder whether the Red Ajah will have any reason for its continued existence. Obviously existing only to bond men who can channel is going to become a moot point in the near future. I can only see them becoming truly useful if, as previous Asha'man hunters, they turn their skills to helping find male channelers in the same way that all Aes Sedai help find female channelers. In that way, they would truly become the most important Ajah, or one of them at least.

missbee@92: They probably thought nothing much could be revealed in an hour. I'm willing to bet Verin spent every waking moment since becoming Black figuring out a way to outsmart that oath, til she thought of her book.

forkroot@93: Wait... If no one remembers their past lives while alive anyway, then what on earth is the harm in balefire? I say either everyone remembers, but unconsciously, or balefire really is not that big a deal after all. You might have heard this before, but there's a theory out there that our phobias and such that don't come from our childhood might in fact come from our past lives.

BillinHI@94: I could see some Ajahs being merged together:
- Red could merge with Green: their new purpose becoming helping to find all channelers, male and female, as well as knowing more combative weaves than the average Aes Sedai
- Blue could merge with Gray: causes of justice and mediation seem pretty close after all
- White could merge with Brown: logic and knowledge really should go together
And the Yellow would be the only truly unique Ajah as healers. What do you think? :)
You know, I am thinking that Verin very well might be the best character in the book. Not my favorite, not the most awesome or anything like that. Just the best Character. I say that because she is the least predictable, the most krafty, even the most worldly. She's full of timely information, as well as insanely useless information. She suspiciously shows up at exactly the right time and place seemingly at random. She's motherly and hardly ever pushy, like so many others in the stories. If she manipulates, it's done with respect for your intelligence and normally its not done with half truths and disregarding compassion. She does it with an amusing logic put in such a way, that you can't help but follow what turns out to be sound advice. Sure she has her moments of "whatchu talking about Willis! ", but so far you name me a moment where she stepped farther across the line than any other fellowship of the light.

If she were a guy she'd be The favorite character right beside Mat in terms of popularity. She'd be the dark rogue-like character who always appears in the nick of time.

You know in reflection, given all she has done and has been, she might be my absentee favorites character.

You will be missed Verin,

Paul Long
119. Caveatar
@92 missbee

to keep my secrets until the hour of my death” Does anyone else find this just a little too “curious”?
RJ may have been referencing myths, Nah, he wouldn't do that.
But there are myths in more than one place related to what happens
at the passing of the soul from the body to the afterlife.
Probably Dao d' Jing (Tao te Ching), some Egyptian Legends
and strangely some Irish.
Appears that when Malach Hamovis (Messenger of Death-Hebrew)
or Death, Thanatos, Mortis, string of names comes for the soul
he escorts it to the place it is bound if it needs help.
Else the soul is drawn to its proper destination.
It is unnoticeable for a while by any powers.
Some get lost. End up haunting places. Can't find their way.
Et. Cet Felix HELP!
A reference to such myth is still found in a drinking toast by
some Irish pubsters, when they say.
".......'n may ye be in Heav'n a half hour afore the De'il knows y'r dead."
They also say things like,
'De'il ding a divot on y'r backside wi' a spade!' but that is a golf
RJ had no need to invent stuff or retcon or nothing.(stet)
The reason for the phrasing of the oath was because
that final hour, the contract was unenforceable and therefore by
all legal standards, Illegal. It would have rendered the contract
null and void. It HAD to be there according to THOSE myths.

Sorry to confuse or interfere with your enjoyment of working out
"just wth is the man TELLING me here?" Everybody hates a kibbutzer.

Gawyn Caveatar, recovering in the home.
lol I love that!
Edit. Restored Malach- messenger, from Maloch-demon god pel
Thomas Keith
120. insectoid
Tenkuu @117: re: Ajahs.
The problem then becomes, though: what do you call these combined Ajahs?
- Red/Green could become the Plaid Ajah, Power Ajah, or just the plain ol' Battle Ajah;
- Blue/Gray could stay Blue, just because Blues are cool;
- White/Brown could be the Tan Ajah;

Just a thought.

Roger Powell
121. forkroot
White/Brown would be the Beige Ajah - which reminds me of a really good joke that would be way too off topic.

Wait... If no one remembers their past lives while alive anyway, then what on earth is the harm in balefire? I say either everyone remembers, but unconsciously, or balefire really is not that big a deal after all.
I don't think there's more harm to a person when you balefire them vs. any other "insta-kill". In fact, Rand considered it a mercy to Liah, balefiring her an instant after Mashadar had touched her so she would not be consumed by Mashadar but rather just disintegrated.

AFAIK the only major objection to the use of balefire is that every use weakens the Pattern that much more. Obviously that's pretty "major".
Cynthia Ahmar
122. tenkuu
insectoid@120: If you eliminate certain Ajahs, you can recycle names. I think between Red and Green, for instance, calling the new Ajah Red might bring some negative connotations to mind, but they definitely sound like the more powerful Ajah. Blue and Gray would definitely stay Blue, because let's face it, no one really cares about the Grays anyway. :P White and Brown, you could go with White for the purity implied by the color, or you could go with Brown for the books associated with knowledge.
Jay Dauro
123. J.Dauro
tenkuu @117

So I undertook a count. On the large ones, I may have slipped, but here are the results.

Moiraine is in

00 New Spring
01 The Eye of the World
02 The Great Hunt
03 The Dragon Reborn
04 The Shadow Rising
05 The Fires of Heaven
13 Towers of Midnight

In the others, these are my counts of the number of times her name appears:

06 Lord of Chaos - 92 times
07 A Crown of Swords - 24 times
08 The Path of Daggers - 2 times
09 Winter's Heart - 6 times
10 Crossroads of Twilight - 2 times
11 Knife of Dreams - 15 times
12 The Gathering Storm - 38 times

And we have to wait and see about A Memory of Light ;^)
Julian Augustus
124. Alisonwonderland

In respect for my friend Wetlander, I have refrasined from pouring cold water on all the Cadsuane-love going on here, but this from you ticks off too many of my buttons:
Cadsuane is the fictional eqivalent of the Real Rosa Parks.
She walked into a nest of Ashaman. She insulted them in that way of hers. And dismissed them as NOTHING, black coats and all. She slapped the Dragon Reborn's face at the time he was cocked and primed to destroy and anyone with any sense should have been heading for the hills.
You've got to be kidding! Courage, my foot. Have you forgotten that she was wearing all kinds of channelling-proof protection in her hair? She knew that her paralis net protected her from channelling, so she felt free to insult the Ashaman, slap Rand a few times, and hit him with invisible switches. You call that courage? Hitting someone when you know they can't hit back. There is a name for that kind of behavior.
Jay Dauro
126. J.Dauro

Not quite that extreme. Cadsuane does know what her ter'angreal can do, and what it cannot. Mat has one of those also, and he got killed wearing it. (And showered with horse manure, too.)

Yes, she has an ace up her sleeve, but she can still be hurt or killed easily, if the attacker is aware.
Anthony Pero
127. anthonypero
Ask the Red Ajah, and the warders of the Green what Rand can do when he can't channel. All the Asha'man are trained warriors. Channeling or no, they could have taken her out as quick as thought.
128. AndrewB
johntheirishmogul @70; ValMar @ 114; and tenkuu @117 re the fate of the Red Ajah post TG -- I have long been a proponent of the following theory:

IMO, the Red Ajah's new purpose (post TG) will me to pursue and stop rouge channelers. Of all the Aes Sedai, the Red's will work closely with the Asha'aman to fulfill this purpose. The Red's decision to bond the Ash'aman is a pre-cursor to this new purpose. The way I envision the Red Ajah's post TG role is akin to Nazi hunters after WWII.

I am also of the belief that some of the Darkfriend Asha'man and Black Ajah will survive TG. For what it is worth, I also think that at least one of the Forsaken will survive TG. (Before ToM, I thought it would be Graendal -- but post ToM, I am not sure about that anymore.) The Red Ajah will be tasked with bringing these individuals to justice. The Reds will also be the Ajah that is primarily responsible for future evil channelers (i.e. the post TG equivalent of Semirhage in the AoL).

Thanks for reading my musings,
Paul Long
129. Caveatar
@116 thepupxpert

"So nice! I'm touched!"

I am pleased you are...wait...

"My first time. I'm touched!"
I would have thought that redundant.

I was too best I can remem.....oh wait.
You mean heartfelt touched. Sorry.

(Irish brogue.-"Divil a bit of it." I'm not sorry, I am playing, as
I am certain you know.)
Enjoy the merlot. And tell your husband to rub your feet!
If you don't have a husband tell the neighbor's husband to rub 'em.

Excelsior to the whatever the count is.

Gawyn Caveatar
Paul Long
130. Caveatar
@124 Alisonwonderland

I appreciate your straightforward candor and manner.
Your style reminds me of Lee Iacocca, old Chrysler Ceo.
No one ever had any doubt if he meant what he said.
He always told it like it was. Everyone respected him for it too.

And I will respond properly as your statement deserves.

I see some have beat me to some things but the Aiel women
would also be able to take her out. Verin could. Sorilea could.
Other things. But if you will wait for it I will post it on the forums
and link it here. I tend to make posts too long.

May be tomorrow though. Sorry to be late.


I don't need to go through all that and you don't either.

I think I see the problem here. I didn't mean to imply that I LIKE
Cadsuane, much less love her. I still don't LIKE her. Probably will
never be able to like her because of how she first appeared. I no longer
WANT to like her. I have hated that insufferable QBOTU,
Queen Bitch of the Universe, for 18 years or so. It is a habit I don't WANT to break.When I am forced to act as judge over her actions,
the view from the judges' bench changes the outlook.

But I don't like Rand either. I liked the farm boy who was pissing himself at the farm. I liked the kid looking for his girlfriend.
I don't like the arrogant sonofabitch that flipped good old Hurin over
and treated him like a piece of shit. That Rand needed.....
well, I still want to hate her.
And that is why I thanked those people for RUBBING my NOSE in it.
Gives you a sore nose. And a case of the red-ass too.
But, I didn't like Iacocca either. I don't have to like him. But I do have to
acknowledge what he did. What the Union Negotiators . some of whom I worked with later, told me, that they would rather have someone else do it. The man told the straight truth and cut through the bullshit, like it or not, that tossed all their political maneuverings in the shitcan in about 1 short minute.

Just like Oliver North. After the congressman got a string of short, to the point straight answers, and said, "You are next Whoever, if you want to ask you questions. Old Whoever said, after waiting a bit. "I am not really sure I Want to ask the Colonel any more questions. Pause. . . . .
But since we are all here......." and he asked the questions.
Congressmen are totally unaccustomed to dealing with the straight truth when hearing it. And seemingly incapable of speaking it on any public occasion.
I don't know Colonel North. If he did what he plainly told those questioners he did, he commited Treason against the Constitution.
But these were the people who were authorised to decide whether he had done that or not. It was up to them to decide and he told all the
truth. ..... SLAPped out of codger mode.

If you have read this far I apologise for the delay.
I understand the anger. I have had it for years.

In all respect. I love a passionate response to such things. Makes my day and gives me hope for the future.

Gawyn, "Caveatar" Trakand
Roger Powell
131. forkroot
Another interesting point about Verin's reveal - it explains why she temporarily lost her cool with the Aiel in the prologue to TPoD. She was using her little compulsion trick on all of the Tower Aes Sedai so they would not be a threat to Rand, but she was particularly interested in neutralizing those she knew to be Black Ajah (such as Elza.)

Clever, wonderful, sneaky Verin figured out a way to make Elza safe around Rand without betraying her Black Oaths or casting suspicion on herself.

Obviously she planned the same strategy for Katerine. When Verin heard that Katerine escaped, she got really annoyed with the Aiel, but of course she couldn't tell them that Katerine was a dangerous Black Ajah member!
Jonathan Levy
132. JonathanLevy

Re: Verin

I have a dark suspicion that the Dark One might snatch Verin's soul... the better to punish her. Something along the lines of what Ba'alzamon pretended to have done with Kari Al'Thor at the end of book 1.

As for being a Hero of the Horn... well... on the one hand, the courage she must have had to go through with her plan certainly makes her worthy of it. On the other hand, I think you're right about Heroes being mostly warrior types. That said, it's also true that Heroes are mostly men, but there are a few women. So perhaps it might be equally true that Heroes are mostly warrior types, but with a few exceptions.

Hmmm... interesting quote by 107.thewindrose.

96. NotInventedHere
I think she was planning to go to the Tower, get the Oath Rod, free herself, and come back.
The asping rot was a contingency plan.
Hm, 101. RobMRobM beat me to it. And 103.anthonypero.

Re: Verin's timeline.

When Verin starts talking to Egwene, she mentions that she thought she might have had to break Egwene out of jail to talk to her. This suggests that she arrivd at the tower, was surprised to find Egwene locked up so securely, and waited at least a few days looking for an opportunity to speak to her.


I'm also not so clear on Balefire being such a big deal, if it doesn't harm future reincarnations. It's no better or worse than any other kind of death.

To be honest, I've always had a sneaking suspicion that there has been a subtle but not entirely consistent ret-con on the nature of balefire.

This is how I envisage it developing:

Stage A: Balefire burns threads partially into the past - its future effect on the thread has not yet been formulated.

Under this assumption, in TEOTW prologue Lews Therin attempts to balefire himself. This is perfectly consistent with the description of his suicide act ("Stone turned to vapor at its touch") and with a very logical motivation - to balefire himself as far back as possible in the hopes that it would undo Ilyena's death (See TFOH:44: "Not balefire. Mustn’t use that. Threatens the fabric of the Pattern. Not even for Ilyena? I would burn the world and use my soul for tinder to hear her laugh again.").

(Yes, I know Jordan said he died by overdosing on the OP - see stage B)

Stage B: Balefire burns threads partially into the past and permanently into the future.

This formulation is envisioned because Balefire is now conceived as a tool which prevents resurrection by the Dark One (yes, I know another explanation is given later - see stage C). Also, this formulation is the only one which explains why death by Balefire is considered more horrible than any other kind - it prevents future reincarnations.

The problem with this is that if Lews Therin balefired himself, how could he be reincarnated? So at this point Jordan explains that he actually died by overdrawing on Saidin, even though everything about his death looked like Balefire.

Terez's invaluble Interview database (boy did I smile when I realized I could use it to research this question!) shows that this answer was given in interviews as early as Nov 1993, about when TSR came out.

Stage C: Balefire burns threads partially into the past, but does not affect reincarnation. If a thread is burned back sufficiently, the DO cannot resurrect it.

This is a more subtle explanation, though it was not strictly necessary, as there are no overt contradictions with Stage (B). It seems to be already established by the Prologue of LoC, when the DO complains about not being able to resurrect Rahvin by saying "EVEN I CANNOT SAVE HIM FROM BALEFIRE. EVEN I CANNOT STEP OUTSIDE OF TIME".

If we were using formulation (B), then the second sentence is completely unnecessary and makes no sense. If we assume formulation (C), then the second sentence is actually an explanation of the first.

These three different conceptions of Balefire explain some of the contradictions in the way it is treated. Of course, some of these contradictions may be explained without resorting to a ret-con, e.g. Balefire actually works like (C), but Min and other characters think it works like (B). Still, if you are enamored of the notion that Lews Therin tried to balefire himself in TEOTW (and I fully admit to being enamored of this notion, because it fits so perfectly) then a ret-con is necessary to explain why Jordan explicitly said that LTT did not balefire himself.
Alice Arneson
133. Wetlandernw
forkroot @47 - Stinks, doesn't it? Be careful, or you'll find yourself liking her... :) You did an excellent job of being fair to Egwene based on the text rather than your natural reaction to her personality, and I appreciate it very much. You said pretty much what I'd been thinking.

I really do hope to catch up with this thread and post some comments, but it might be a while. I didn't even have the chance to finish Leigh's recap until late this afternoon, and still haven't got halfway through the comments. Catch y'all tomorrow!
James Hogan
134. Sonofthunder
Andrew @128 - I like your thoughts in regards to the fate of the Red Ajah - I definitely think they'll be tasked to monitor and take action upon any renegade channelers. I also agree with you that one of the Forsaken will survive...personally, I think it's going to be Moghedien, who will escape Moridin's control and flee. Who better to survive than the spider?
135. yasiru89
Certainly, having your bottom spanked/strapped for willfull defiance till you can't sit on it and being dosed with some herbs to prevent you from channelling while otherwise being entitled to what comforts novices get is exactly the same thing as a paranoid schizophrenic being shielded and claustrophobia-inducingly doubled over and shut off in a box, only to be brought out to be beaten mercilessly with the Power. Closer to Rand's treatment in LoC would be how Elaida attacks Egwene in a fit of rage in tGS , except continuously so. Besides, as we find out at the close of this book, if there was any doubt before, while Egwene had a purpose to hold on to (with this making her stronger than what sought to break her spirit), Rand had no purpose, no reason to fight other than that he had to. Egwene actually doesn't understand what happened with Rand, least of all for being tangled in what she thinks is a similar situation, and the encounter in ToM makes this excruciatingly clear.
Compare with Min, who, despite not having gone through the things he has, possesses the best understanding of Rand out of everyone (save perhaps present Tam, following the events of tGS).

Certainly Silviana and Verin are the characters that truly shine here. Especially Silviana for actually being principled! While I think Verin's contribution towards ridding the Tower of Darkfriends was invaluable, it is important to note to whom it was so. I don't think it could be considered so great (or at all 'decisive') a win for the Light apart from cutting down the number of possible Dreadlords by the number that failed to get away in time (some fifty among the rebels while the most powerful managed to get away in the Tower), as it was a win for the Tower. The Tower is now finally able to actually do something for the Light's cause rather than their own muddled agenda (or conflicting agendas!). Whether the Tower will prove to be instrumental for the Light remains to be seen, which is how Verin's efforts could vicariously make a significant impact.
What I can't imagine is how this quietly devious woman (who likely also gave Rand the location of the Domani king) could put all her eggs in one basket when it came to the attack on Caemlyn. I hope there was more to her plan than relying on Mat's impatience (even letting Egwene know in this scene would have been better than nothing!). While undermining the Black Ajah was Verin's life's work, I think some of the developments sidelined the importance of Aes Sedai somewhat and so diminished in turn the importance of her work. It's up to Egwene now to make sure her sacrifice mattered, by again making the White Tower actually matter. Prophecy seems to be on Egwene's side at least.
136. Freelancer
Another extremely valuable lesson presented front and center in Chapter 38, and I'll bet that not one person in fifty recognized it for what it was. Even so, the lesson is assimilated by most readers, and might actually change how they behave in some small way. And in that, Jordan once again stands out as the Maestro.

What lesson? Let's relate it to many places of business, where there is a CEO, a handful of VPs, several levels of executives, managers, and workers. In far too many such heirarchies, every level operates in some amount of fear of the people in the level above them. They are scared to death to present bad news up the chain of authority, they are afraid to take responsibility for ANYTHING in case something goes wrong and they get blamed. The result is that the function of the entire organization is stilted, horribly ineffective and potentially doomed. That is exactly the case of the White Tower under Elaida, and everyone is permitting it because they are all afraid to become the next Shemerin.

And then there is Silviana. She obeys orders, even when she doesn't like them, as long as they are lawful. The moment she can no longer accept that her orders are lawful, she refuses to continue obeying them, and steps up, tells everyone just exactly like it is, and is willing to accept the consequences, because integrity is far more important than comfort, or the wishful-thinking 'security' of hiding behind a lie.

Woe unto us, that this behavior is lauded as brave and special. This should not be the exception, but the norm.
"Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come"
~ Bill, Julius Caesar, 2:2

Terez27 @83

Hmm, I wonder if Pat Rothfuss had ever read that interview snippet. Seems familiar...
"You can divide infinity an infinite number of times, and the resulting pieces will still be infinitely large," Uresh said in his odd Lenatti accent. "But if you divide a non-infinite number an infinite number of times the resulting pieces are non-infinitely small. Since they are non-infinitely small, but there are an infinite number of them, if you add them back together, their sum is infinite. This implies any number is, in fact, infinite."
"Wow," Elodin said after a long pause. He leveled a serious finger at the Lenatti man. "Uresh. Your next assignment is to have sex. If you do not know how to do this, see me after class."

tenkuu @117

Resources, we has them. Go to IdealSeek and enter "Moiraine", and you'll have your answer in a fraction of a moment. One caveat is that Towers of Midnight hasn't been fully sourced there yet, but I'm going to go out on a limb and imagine that you already know her name is mentioned in that volume. Best news of all, the information provided to you from this resource isn't coming from another commentor, so you don't have to worry that it might be merely a theory. Win-win, eh?
137. Freelancer
AndrewB @128

Hmm, it seems to me that the Red Ajah stopping rouge channelers would be rather self-defeating...

::flees to the bunker::
Birgit F
138. birgit
Certainly, having your bottom spanked/strapped for willfull defiance till you can't sit on it and being dosed with some herbs to prevent you from channelling while otherwise being entitled to what comforts novices get is exactly the same thing as a paranoid schizophrenic being shielded and claustrophobia-inducingly doubled over and shut off in a box, only to be brought out to be beaten mercilessly with the Power.

The comparison is not about the time when she is treated as a novice but when she is in a cell that is too small to stand or lie stretched out.
James Hogan
139. Sonofthunder
birgit @138, I get that comparison, but just the fact that Egwene even thought about comparing her situation to Rand shocked me. Egwene has total control of her situation - she could get rescued and gateway-ed out if she so desired. She has a plan. She has a purpose. She has a hope.

Rand had no control. No connection to the Source, however feeble. No friends to talk to in TAR. No plan, save LTT's mad whispering. No purpose, save to get beat every night like an animal. No hope.

That's what bothered me so much about Egwene's comparison, even though I'm sure if she thought it through she would have been horrified that she thought her suffering compared to Rand's. I doubt future-Egwene will see a small cupboard and exclaim, 'Not another box!'. Rand's forever haunted by his experience, and I don't think Egwene's quite hit that level with this confinement she's in.

All that to say, I do greatly admire Egwene for her courage and fortitude to continue to continue to work for what she believed in. I don't think(although I do hope!) I could have stood up as well as she. I don't think I could have taken her beatings daily and gone back smiling for more. So Egwene's awesome. I just don't think her sufferings even get close to Rand's.
140. macster
Sorry for my absence again; I am on vacation this week in Portland. Most of what I have to say will be in response to other comments, so let me just say: Silviana is amazing, Verin is indeed so awesome there is no word to describe her, Leigh is awesome (and wonderfully funny) in her re-read (I knew this week's would be great!), and yes...I cried so much when Egwene spoke of Verin's soul being white like the Light. I hope once the Last Battle is past, Egwene can make her sacrifice public for future Aes Sedai to emulate--talk about being a servant of all. With the Black actually being gone from the Tower, and Mesaana, she could probably do it right now, were not Tarmon Gai'don starting the next day.

@12 missbee: Very good point! This may be related to the fact that if indeed there is to be a truce between Randland and the Seanchan (and that Tuon/Egeanin may be involved in saving her) that Egwene will have to accept the good the Seanchan are doing too. Though the importance of the Tinkers is likely also connected with the Song (and Perrin).

@17 AndrewB: While Sheriam was hinted to be very powerful among the Black, I never saw any indication Katerine or Elza were too. I think the reason they were named so prominently by Egwene was because Elza was with Rand, while Katerine had been a thorn in her side since her capture by the Tower.

@21 Lsana: Huh. Funny, I actually loved those moments with Egwene and her "lies". I can see why it upset you, but to me it didn't come across as her being so proud she could lie without lying, and certainly not as being unable to tell the difference (I think her thoughts make it very clear she knew she wasn't telling the full truth). Instead I saw it as a parallel to Verin: having lied without lying for years, to keep from revealing her Black status to the Light, or her Light status to the Black. Egwene was showing her ability to speak words which were utterly true, yet leave out enough to conceal things which would cause disaster if generally known, her ability to keep things from falling apart by knowing what should be shared and what should be hidden for the greater good--in other words, her ability to be a leader, an Amyrlin.

The results may not be as spectacular, but choosing to keep the truth about Verin and her information from the Tower at large until she could figure out how to deal with the Black Ajah may well have saved the day, allowing her and the Aes Sedai to focus on fighting the Seanchan, and to later deal with as many Blacks as they did, just as Verin lying without lying let her keep gathering info on the Black to be disseminated later.

If Egwene is proud of anything here, it's her ability to think swiftly and critically to fully and properly use knowledge rather than letting it fall into the wrong hands. Imagine what would have happened if Katerine had been her guard, and she'd told her the full truth! She also was proud of being able to act as if the Oath Rod held her without it doing so, not of being able to twist words for no purpose except obfuscation and deception; there is a difference.I must say, however, I adore your whole little speech about how awesome Verin is, especially the part about Chuck Norris wearing Verin pajamas. ROTFL!

@26 Looking Glass: Fully agree with you on Moridin.

@37 anthonypero: LOL!!!

@39 forkroot: Agree 100%, both on Egwene not ever thinking what was done to Rand was justified, and that her previous thoughts in comparing their travails was actually the start of her expressing her sympathies, and not presumptuous in the least since she clearly viewed what happened to him as worse.

@43 Tektonica: I wondered that myself. Either she was forced to act that way by being in front of the Hall, the Pattern needed her to respond that way, or...Halima did more to her than we realized. I guess we'll find out in AMoL.

...or, as Twosheddz suggests at 45, she could have been influenced by Fain. Having just re-read Great Hunt, I wondered that myself. Consider me intrigued and worried by the possibility, if not fully convinced. Good points though at 47, forkroot.

@49 missbee: Really? I was under the impression that most people did think Fain corrupted Elaida, and I still think so myself--she got much worse after that in the megalomania and arrogance. YMMV I guess.

@50 al'Kohol: Agreed.

@54 Rand al'Todd: Good point, but what about the guards and fellow prisoners? The guards turned surly and nasty, and the prisoners either did the same, or went mad and killed themselves, and this was before Fain got the dagger back. So clearly he had some influence even then. Moiraine wanted to wash her hands after speaking to him to get rid of his taint, and I got the impression that was more than metaphorical, that she actually felt the miasma of Mordeth coming from him. See also analiese at 56.

@60 Loialson: It's possible she told Alanna where it is. Or as has been suggested, Laras has it, so Verin is still indirectly involved.

@62 thewindrose: While Jain being called by the Horn seems like a no-brainer, I feel bad for not immediately thinking of Verin too. That would be awesome.

@74 Caveatar: LOL and awesome! Except of course that I still like Faile. ;)

@75 JonathanLevy: An interesting interpretation of Sheriam's comment. And likely!

@114 ValMar: I like the idea that the Red Ajah will be used to hunt down Darkfriends/future Black Ajah. Though I also like AndrewB's ideas at 128.

@134 Sonofthunder: I agree about Moghedien.

@135 yasiru, 139 Sonofthunder: Except Egwene never said that what she experienced was exactly like what Rand did. In fact as Leigh quoted, she backtracked and said what he went through was much worse. While you can doubt whether she actually did or could sympathize with him, and her actions in ToM suggest it didn't fully stick, she was never trying to say their experiences were equal, just that what she went through reminded her of him, and put in perspective what happened to him. This was already hashed out before in the comments.
Paul Long
141. Caveatar
@140 macster

@74 Caveatar: LOL and awesome! Except of course that I still like Faile. ;)

Good old Loial still likes the snippy little snot too. "Faile should fly free." I don't mind her slapping the crap out of Perrin, he laughed at her
and used her wellbeloved selfchosen "Mandarb" name to imply she was trying to be a stallion and didn't have the balls for it. Hurt her feelings, deep, and she should slap his head for that.
But nobody picks on that little guy and manipulates him, he is just a kid. I can out'stump' his mother if I get on a roll "and I will protect him, and hold him and pat him and call him George.."
If you haven't seen that old cartoon I am sorry I wasted the ink.

Love the laughter. Too few and far between in these environs where I sit and listen to the desert wind.

Gawyn, "Why the hell did THEY choose what I was dedicated to. I didn't get the frigging CHANCE to grow up like ANY boy should. Even an entitled little asshole like me. Makes me wish I had been a sheepherder." Trakand. (Strings of nobles' titles are like that.),

ETA: I would like to see her get in a mudwrestling, scratching biting hairpulling, kicking, dirty blows, all out. 'last arrogant little bossy * standing 'cage match' with Elayne.
Whoever won I would be satisfied. I would even bring the hot water for their baths. And Refresh it very often TOO! Uno could help me.
Valentin M
142. ValMar
AndrewB @ 128 (+ Freelancer @ 137, macster @ 140)

Erm.. yeah, going after rouge channelers will be tricky for the Reds...

I can see them best with a "military channeler police" type of functions. But if this is the case, their organisation and relationship with the Hall, Amyrlin, and other Ajahs will have to be redrawn. Otherwise it is inevitable that they will become the de facto rulers of the WT, and rather quickly.

Another option that has been put out there is the Ashaman connection. Perhaps the Reds will be the glue that connects the Black and White Towers, somehow. This will be a rather poetic kind of redemption for the Nasty Ajah.

Or best, the both options outlined above could be true in some way. After all, if the Reds and Ashaman get together, what are they going to be doing all day, besides Green Ajah kind of stuff ;) ? Combined, they can search for new channelers and go after rogue ones.
Paul Long
143. Caveatar
@124 Alisonwonderland
Hitting someone when you know they can't hit back. There is a name for that kind of behavior.
Several names. I know what my name for it was when I was on the helpless end of it. Too intense for this board though and after all it
was just my opinion.
Won't happen to anyone else though. Not from that one.

I was just waiting for the box to bust , so to speak, at Dumai's Wells.
Rand was MUCH more controlled than I would have been but he
did a satisfactory amount of answering them. I am satisfied.
And the Dragon was merciful.
If it had been me with his power, I would have killed all the Aes Sedai captors, stuffed the shaido heads up Sevanna's ass till she exploded,
Gathered the pieces into a small place and wet it down with a stream of golden water, writing Elaida's name in the dust,
stuffed Gawyn's Boar up Gawyn's ass, and roasted him with an apple in his mouth and served him for lunch to the Younglings.
And made them eat heartily.
I would have intensified the bond with Alanna and let the rapist see what is REALLY deep inside my mind. Probably make her wet her depends and scream for Verin if she looked into the "shadow that is in MY mind." (but you have to Fight that Dragon continually)
(I wouldn't have complained a lot at Tylin. Woman went for it. Got it too. Lucky hussy.)
And then I would have gone medieval on the Seanchan, if I could remember the threefield system of tillage and the droit du seigneur
and jus prima noctis and such. If I couldn't remember I would have gone primeval on em and destroyed all hope for order in the world.
And I would have been as T.E. Lawrence said, "I murdered a man. and I ENJOYED it!"
(Don't misread. I have never murdered anyone. I shrink from killing a coyote.)

SAY young man, you ever felt like that. You ever have to fight the dragon in your own mind. And the bastard stays there?
oh, of course you have. Everyone does. Sorry.
Codger gets his mosey going and moseys over for a cuppa coffee.

Gawyn, Oh how I wish General Bryne had sworn me to a PROPER
oath, and I had had a 'rite of passage' like the farmers.,
Tess Laird
144. thewindrose
I like to imagine that the Aes Sedai revert to an AOL type funtionality after aMoL. The White Tower becomes a premier university for channelers(female/male from anywhere). Other prominent universities open up all over the WoT universe, and channelers become more integrated into common society - like Aiel Wise Ones or Sea Folk Windfinders.

Although - I am giggling about combining colours - red and green - the MacGregor clan tartan =

If you search tartan - you can come up with any combination - whee...
Paul Long
145. Caveatar
@144 thewindrose

If you do that for the Aes Sedai or any other group would you please
post a reference to it here somewhere? It is a fascinating study into
history and probably a lot more informative than history as it is written.
I would love to see the patterns you devise and attempt to understand all that is being said.
Be a lot of fun too.

Plays, "The Campbells are coming" and relfects on "The Ladies from Hell"

ETA If you will do that I will tell you what is under the Highlander's Kilt. And what color the ribbon is too.
146. Freelancer
Oh yeah, seen it.

Of my very own...


You do realize that you said vacation and Portland in the same sentence, right? Where must one be from to view Portland as a vacation destination...
I keed, I keed.
Anthony Pero
148. anthonypero

Ohio... Anywhere is a vacation when you live in Ohio.
Woe to the world if the Dragon of my Mind breaks free.

For I am the Destroyer
And I walk Blind before the world
For my Gaze brings death
My Breath is that of the dragon
What I Touch brings disease
I Smell the life before me that must surely die
And what I Hear is Destiny calling my name

And where I walk
The skies turn black
The grass, so green and lush,
turns yellow and dies
The trees, so tall and majestic,
rot and wither

And where my foot once was,
Ice resides

And with all of this,
with all of these evils...

I feel sorrow

Alice Arneson
150. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland @ 124 - You did that on purpose to make me comment, didn't you? :)

Point one: The TWO times Cadsuane slapped Rand, there was nothing to stop him from slapping her back. (Count them. Two. Once when he tried to balefire the fog, and once in TGS in circs I can't recall ATM and have no means of looking up.)

Point two: The ONE time she switched him with air, nothing stopped him from walking over and punching her if he wanted - except that when she startled him out of his rage for a moment, he realized that she was right. He was shouting at people who had done an excellent job on his behalf, gaining much more in their negotiations than he had asked, and he was totally in the wrong.

Point three: You claim that, because of her paralis net, there is no courage involved. Where does it say that courage has to involve stupidity? The paralis net gave her some protection, at least against direct weaves, but it by no means made her immune to any harm. Its protection gave her the chance of surviving dangerous situations, but those situations still required courage, quick thinking, and skill. She still has an enormous amount of personal courage. IMO.
Anthony Pero
151. anthonypero
Oh yes, TTTSNBN is still alive and kickin'... and screaming like a spoiled two year old.
Bill Reamy
152. BillinHI
tenkuu @ 117: I guess my main thought on the Ajahs is that they need to go away as organizations, with their own leaders and secrets. Not positive, but I believe the BBoBA says that in the AOL the Ajahs were just temporary groupings of AS to solve a particular problem. IMO the one exception to disbanding would be the Yellow although they need to be out in the general populace (i.e., the real world) as doctors, nurses, hospitals, whatever, rather than just reacting to incidents where they are needed.

Also agree with Forkroot {::Waves back::} that I will be disappointed if a lot of things don't change after TG. I don't see a (physical) Breaking as at the end of the last age, but there should be substantive changes.
Anthony Pero
153. anthonypero
Of course, we will never see any of this change. None of it wil happen for years after the book ends.
Paul Long
154. Caveatar

Tell me Robert Browning reborn,
that your post was yours, not a lift of words from anywhere.

If you wrote that I will cease to read your story for analysis, though
I will read it for pleasure.

If it is your own mind, You need NO advice or criticism from me or anyone I know. And if you let your own talent be published I will
happily buy your book.
There are no smiley faces.
I am as serious as a heart attack.

Paul Long
150. Wetlandernw
The problem with Cadsuane and her method of switching Rand, is that she used violence against him to make him see her point.

If you condone That behavior in her, why then don't we condone it with him. How would you feel about him switching Egwene to make her see his points of need? We would be mortified. I hope you would be mortified.

She cannot be laid blameless in how Rand turned out. Rand is correct that she put him in a box. And the door closed on his impisonment at the very moment. Not to mention it was a cowardly move, knowing he could not retaliate with out harming others in the room. He should have opened a gateway in to a lava pit then. I was furious with her then, regardless of whether her point was correct. Her method of bringing him to see that point is whats at fault here. She in effect caused him to become harder. Her very presence made him harder. And she thinks she is to be the one to make hime smile again, to laugh? Faugh!!! She destroyed all chance of that herself as long as she was his "Advisor".

She might have been the worst thing to come upon him other than a Forsaken getting hold of him. I sometimes, wonder if she Is a Forsaken. I know she's not, but damn... she surely reminds me of one.

Anthony Pero
156. anthonypero
Rand did the same thing to Egwene and/or Elayne in Tear, after they had done it to him. I do condone it. Degrees matter. Switching someone with a bit of air can certainly doesn't constitute physical assault in the time period under discussion.
Paul Long
157. Caveatar
@150 Seattle Slayer
You did that on purpose to make me comment, didn't you? :)

Friend to those who have no friends,
Defender of the defenseless,
Enemy only to those who make her an enemy.
Boston Blackie Seattle Slayer
Were you two shooting for the kilohunny?
Got a good shot at it now.
I will make popcorn and enjoy myself.

"Demons fear when a GOOD man goes to war." Dr Who
Demons crap their pants and hide in the most remote
bunker, trembling, when a good WOMAN goes to war. Caveatar
156. anthonypero
That was a tit for tat moment. And Egwene/Elayne's "Tit" should never have happened in the first place, is my point. !P

It starts you down a road that one should not start upon. And Cadsuane basically set him on that road.

Lynn McDonald
159. meal6225
Ohio AP? It was 70 and sunny just yesterday! Or maybe you dont like cleaning up tornado debris?
No question Verin is cool but I so want more from this book; the list of BA sisters was just the BACK of the book. Think about how much more there must be that we will never see in the rest of the book.
Noneo Yourbusiness
160. Longtimefan
Apparently it is a comment storm over here the last two weeks. I cannot keep up. :)

I will just say that Verin is and always will be my very favorite character and I cannot even read the summary of how awesome she is without tearing up a bit.

I really do not have much else to say about this chapter. It has been very busy at work and while I enjoy the wind up to the end of the series most of what there is to say has been said and anything new does not seem as meaty (to me) knowing that there is only one more book left (well two from this point in the re-read) and that what ever comes up at this point will not really be as richly developed or teased out over the years the way that other mysteries have been.

They are still interesting but there is a known end and I guess I am feeling the ennui of closing.

But this chapter made me cry when I read it and it makes me cry when I re-read the series. For a third tier character Verin is so made of awesome that awesome should be renamed to Verin.

Stupid excellent writing of fictional characters that get under your skin and make you feel things. argle bargle.

The only other thing I can compare it to is a visit to the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. If you have not been I would reccommend it with the highest possible praise.

It builds a wonderful thread of a life from beginning to middle to end. It grows and enriches and is so well designed. I cannot describe it because it is too good and because I really do not want to spoil it.

But the end made me cry. I was shocked. I knew what was comming. Everyone knows what is comming. It is old news. Yet the museum makes it hit hard and I almost had to sit down. It really is that amazing of a museum. Walt Disney was that amazing as a person.

Verin's storyline is like that for me as well. No matter what I know having read the books all the way through so far. It still hits me hard because of the craftsmanship, because of the build up.

I hope everyone is having a very good March. I seem to have something in my eye so I will go now and read more next Tuesday when Egwene is the most awesome living Amyrlin ever.
161. pwl
I did think it was interesting, though, that such a point was made of emphasizing the importance of not forgetting to have a life even in mid-impending apocalypse. This lesson was evidently so important, in fact, that the “need walk” showed that to Egwene, instead of the million or so pieces of information out there re: Perrin or Rand or the Forsaken or etc. that it would no doubt highly benefit her to have. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think remembering to take joy in life where you can is important and all, but seriously, Pattern, can we maybe discuss your prioritizing choices?
It didn't occur to me at all that the Tinker Need thing was a "remember the importance of a normal life" thing. I mean, it fits thematically, as that was the Big Thing that Rand was missing (until VoG). But I took it as a reference to fan theories about the importance of finding The Song that the Tinkers are always looking for.
Lastly, I feel like I should point out Egwene’s realization re: Rand’s box torture, because it is a significant (not to mention welcome) development that someone finally gets just how horrible and traumatizing and shitty an experience that actually was for Rand, but… yeah, other than pointing it out, I don’t have much to say about it. So, er, there you go?
Don't give her too much credit. Let's recall the scene between her and Nynaeve, where Rand needs to take responsibility for Asha'man bonding Aes Sedai (who came with orders to still and/or kill them, let's not forget) as their True Leader, but almost loses her shit at Nynaeve for implying that Egs might have some culpaibility for Rand being shoved in a box while Egs was the True Amyrlin.
Under this assumption, in TEOTW prologue Lews Therin attempts tobalefire himself. This is perfectly consistent with the description of his suicide act ("Stone turned to vapor at its touch")
Only if by "perfectly consistent" you mean "not at all consistent". Balefire isn't actual fire. It doesn't turn stone into molten slag, it makes stone disappear into the past by "burning" its thread from the pattern. Despite the term "burning" being used, there's no heating, no melting, no vapor.
Chin Bawambi
162. bawambi
A couple of points that bug me ...
Rosa Parks (heroine for the ages) in no way equals Cadsuane (misandrist bully)
Oliver North (unsaved traitor) = Chuck Colson (unsaved traitor)
A couple of points that amuse me..
Windfire's tartan - perhaps tartans for Aiel clans could be purchased
Chuck Norris wears Verin pajamas
Thomas Keith
163. insectoid
Wind @144: Re: tartans. That's a great idea, and one I'm already prepared for. :P

Keith clan tartan:

You can see which Ajahs I endorse. ;)
And the black doesn't count. Really.

edit: Jiminy Cricket, the user profile page morphed! And it counts our comments now, neato!

Theresa Gray
164. Terez27
Free@136—Linda thinks it's a direct reference to Linda Lovelace. :)
Alice Arneson
166. Wetlandernw
ZEXXES @155 and several others – I’ve had this conversation so many times I’m thoroughly sick of it, but regarding the scene in Tear, one last time I’ll try to spell it out in words of one syllable or less. Keep in mind that with Rand are Cadsuane, Min, Nynaeve and Alivia; in the Stone, they meet with Alanna, Darlin, Caraline, Astoril, Weiramon & Anaiyella. A bit later, Bera Harkin joins them.

All was well at first, as they went to the Stone to find D. On the way, C said to Rand “They hop when you say toad. That can be bad for you, when jump at your word.” Rand thought that was rich from her, but said if he could make all of them do as he said, he would. She said “As I thought.” They found D, and Rand was pissed to find W & A in Tear, with plans of their own, when he had told them to stay up north. He snapped at them and slammed his fist on the arm of his strong, well-built chair so hard that it creaked. C said “One.”

W said he would do as Rand said, and all seemed well once more. Rand talked with D a bit, and thought a bit. B came in to tell what was up with her talks. When she said that the rest of the lords were on their way to Tear, Rand roared at her and broke his chair. C said “Two.”

She then said he might want to ask what the rest of the news was. It was quite good news for him, but he was too hot to see it. He growled at B and hurled his wine glass to the side. C said “Three” and Rand felt a switch on his butt. (Note: no one but B (who was shocked), N (who laughed) and A&A (who are not said to do a thing) could see what she did. Since Rand at least did not grab his butt in pain, no one else knew what the count of three was for.) C gave one more tip: that when your terms are met, you should hold to them. (LTT thought so too, “else no one will trust you.”)

Rand was pissed at C now, not least due to the fact that she was right. He knew her tip was good sense, and B & co. had set terms that got him more than he had asked for. He was mad at C since she stayed calm, too, which he thought was not fair when he was mad and folks should be scared of him. He thought it was a dare to try a weave, but he could not be sure. He got some poise back and told D to go with the King of Tear thing. Then he told them all what they should do next, and left.

No, I’m sure that won’t change your mind. You’re too sure that your dear Rand is right and can not be wrong, no way, no how, and that it is not right or fair for her to not be scared of him. And of course it is not nice to say he should be fair to those who count on him, or to try to help him stay sane, much less to try to help him learn to curb his rage on his own. She should of course hop when he says toad, just like the rest, since it’s quite clear that that would be SO good for him. The point is, she did NOT beat him, nor did she put him in a box. He got there on his own hook, when he chose to act as if he could do what he wished in all things, though deep down he knew he was wrong. She showed him where he was wrong, and it ticked him off, so he blamed her.

Fair warning: I'm done with this topic for now. Don't bother telling me what a horrible person I am, or for that matter what a horrible person Cadsuane is. I will not respond.
Alice Arneson
167. Wetlandernw
On a completely unrelated note, to the PTB: I like the new "preview comment" differentiation. Well done. The new user profile look is fine, but... what happened to the shoutboxes? I liked that feature.
Ron Garrison
169. Man-0-Manetheran
Oh yeah, tenkuu, make it Wetlander's fault. Back at 125, I could see shots being fired. Alisonwonderland to Caveator: "I have refrasined from pouring cold water on all the Cadsuane-love going on here, but this from you ticks off too many of my buttons"

And from here to 6-hunny, it will be "she is so rude" and "I like her ok, but I hate her methods" , etc., etc., etc. Cadsuane is a freakin' fictional character! And a very well created one — otherwise she wouldn't engender such passion. So stop the name calling. We don't need to revisit this argument.
Anthony Pero
170. anthonypero
Ooh, yes, a smack on the butt is abusive. Welcome to 2012.
Jeff Schweer
171. JeffS.
So once again we're going to have the "A character in the book should only act according to my rules and no other way"
In my opinion, that one scene in Tear is when Cadsuane did exactly the right thing, and I don't really like her at all. She reminds me to much of my great aunt Zena for comfort.
Lighten up kids, we're straying from the awesomeness that was Verin Sedai.
Her impact was immeasurable and a true gift for Egwene to use to heal the tower. Just thinking about that scene gets me misty eyed.

I am only an egg
Tess Laird
172. thewindrose
A smack on the butt
and Cads' to blame
*Auntie - you give advise
a bad name

Now, I bet Terez is worried that I am going to start posting tons of lyrics - maybe tomorrow whan I am at work;)


*I do love to play around. Wetlandernw is correct in how many times Cad's has actually hit Rand - and this is an acceptable form of attention getting in RANDLAND.

Double edit - I also get a chuckle about how RJ thought of Cadsuane:
And Cadsuane? She's the tough maiden aunt a lot of us have had. Not the one who tries to keep you a child your whole life. She's the one who began expecting at least some adult responses out of you at about age six, the one who was willing to hand you responsibilities that everyone else thought you were too young for. You probably had a more nerve-wracking time, and more excitement and adventure, with her than you did with any three or four other adults in your life.
I think he really tried to bring this out in the books - I love the part when she is straight faced talking about advising sitting rulers who weren't sitting after she was done with them. And I love how she handles the Aes Sedai that aren't in her group - just hilarious.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
174. tnh
Tenkuu @165: Now you're saying that Freelancer is making "petty and snide personal attacks"? Please -- chill out, put your feet up, and reset your filters. Freelancer is at most being flippant.
@166. Wetlandernw

One. I for one have never even so much as implied that your a "horrible person". So Whine away.

Two. Not stating that Rand wasn't being a Big Belligerent Bag of Black Bean infested Bat Guano, because he was.

Three. But despite acting like a Big Belligerent Bag of Black Bean infested Bat Guano, what you STILL fail to acknowelge, is that under no circumstance did it warrant putting her hands on him (so to speak).

Sorry that might be alright with you in your world, but not mine. If someone, anyone, including a woman puts their hands on me... I'm gonna give what I got. And they would deserve no less. Rand is a better man then me for it, because he chose to walk away. Mainly, because he was duly chastised enough... without the switching. He realized he was being a Bloody duche, the switching only broke him from seeing red !P. But that could have been done another way. I mean it wasn't a DiNozzo. Cadsuane aint even close to the awesome that Gibbs is. And Gibbs is a mentor to DiNozzo, Cadsuane is practicaly an advisary. Advisor/ Advisary... get it? *chuckle*

Yeah so anyway I'm done with you too, dude, or whatever.... sooo.....

154. Caveatar

Yes, it is mine. I wrote it long ago and it was part of a short story I never could bring myself to write. It did get published in limited print for a university magazine devoted to poetry and fine art (mainly pen and ink or anything that transfers well to black & white). I wrote a lot back then; little short stories, poetry and the occasional editorial of some whatever.

I only remebered it because of your words. Your words reminded me of an emotion. And that emotion was for me written long ago by hand to remember it by and to sometimes revisit as a lesson learned.

I shared it with you, to let you know.... that you are not alone.

177. Shadow_Jak
Back to the re-read...
Great couple of chapters and great summary by Leigh as always.

I can still recall the chill down my spine when I read Verin's, "... I am, after all, of the Black Ajah". WOW!

But, just a minor quibble, Did anyone else wonder why Egwene didn't dash out and find someone to HEAL Verin?
Thomas Keith
178. insectoid
Wetlander @167: Yeah, how come they took away the shout box, how come? :( I'm more puzzled as to why TPTB are making all these tweaks without an announcement of some sort.

edit: I already let tnh know about the mysterious vanishing comment permalinks. Those really come in handy for marking your place on the thread.

Shadow_Jak @177: re: Healing Verin. Would the Reds have believed Egwene? She is, after all, a rebel, and might try anything to escape. In any case, the Healing would probably have been too late, and death cannot be Healed. Maybe Verin knew that asping rot is not Healable, or something?

Jeff Schweer
179. JeffS.
Tenku @173

It would depend on how far into Sartre's views on Existentialism you would choose to go, but yes, I would say that Cadsuanes actions did in fact contribute to the epiphany in that his level of anguish was extreme but then his "Choice" to have another chance to get it right separated him from the nothingness he was contemplating, creating a trancendent state. You could argue that everything that has happened in his life and the choices he made throughout, contributed to that epiphany. YMMV, just my opinion.

And if I might take this further, Moridin, a philosopher I believe, has decended to the level of the main antihero of Dostoyevsky's "Notes from the Underground" Some one who can't stand who he is and sees no point in trying to change anything and would rather end it all than deal with existance any longer. Again, YMMV
Wooh, got a touch deep there for a Thursday night.

I am only an egg.
180. yasiru89
For Wetlandernw @166-

It's amusing that you presume on behalf of those that might not agree with you that they certainly will not agree out of some insinuated fanboy-adoration, while you go on to as good again presume nothing better than abuses from those who disagree with you and as good as claim that you are in fact the one who isn't going to be swayed.

I agree with the post @175. Cadsuane grew too free with her abuses because she was assured Rand would tolerate her out of some expectation (I'm uncertain whether Min blabbed about her viewing to her, but she wouldn't need to know it to see what its effect was, especially since she was playing her own mindgames), and perhaps because she was never disillusioned of whatever her notions might have been on what a person would submissively take (for having been brought up in Far Madding and then sent off to the Tower).
Besides, I think she was also safe in the knowledge that he couldn't do much reciprocating with the Power even if he wanted (for her ter'angreal). This is interesting because it was exactly a threat (and a power shift in believing what was threatened) that made her back off and realise how badly she had mangled the situation in misjudging al'Thor.
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
yasiru89 @180 - If the shoe fits, feel free to wear it; if it doesn't fit, throw it away. I happen to know that there are several for whom it is a perfect fit. You are free to agree with whomever you want, whether it's me or not.

However, I must point out that two years ago, I disliked Cadsuane as much as most other fans. When I set aside my prejudices and simply read the text for what it actually said about her, though, I rapidly concluded that I'd been wrong in my previous understanding. It may require a certain combination of age and experiences to actually appreciate her, but that's no reason to hold on to misconceptions and blatant lies regarding her actions and motives. Nor is it a valid reason to apply twenty-first-century western expectations to someone who lives in a different culture and "time frame".
170. anthonypero

we're not talking Twentieth Century Political Correctness. We are talking about Respect.

Cadsuane doesn't know what that is.

As for everyone else with the sentiment, it is time to get off this subject. Its just too devisive.

Who brought up Cadsuane in the first place.... was it me? I don't think it was me....hmmm lemme seeee....

Paul Long
183. Caveatar
@167 @149 Zexxes @178 Insectoid
Any other interested


Regarding Verin and the "shadow in every man's mind"
Long one. Bring popcorn and put your feet up.
Reply too if you want to give me a 'right ding around the earlug'.
Still editing it though.
I realised finally that folks on cell phones read these threads.

Paul Long
184. Caveatar
Robert Jordan brought up Cadsuane in the first place.
I might have triggered the dominoes, I don't know.
Reminds me of Samson's riddle, Judges I think, old testament.
might get some 'hunny' from it.

Gawyn aka Caveatar
I too have felt the need to defend myself from a certain few who believe that they are due more authority of opinion, when in fact they are no more than anyone else here. It is true that some here may be more privy to information than others. It is true that some here through proof of knowledge have earned a certain amount of stature above the knowledge of others here. And yet in the end of it all, they may know less than someone new here. They are no more an expert than the next expert. Some here believe that since they have some kind of tenure here that they have the right to judge someone else's opinion as ridiculous. Not realizing that some of their own opinions are just as ridiculous.

This is a process of trial and error in theory building. We all come up with one and bounce it off of the rest of us.... And then we all prepare to defend it. It may become excepted. It may get shot to hell. Some that are excepted could later be proven false. Some that were not excepted, could later be proven true.

Having said all of that, I must say that the groups who feel their opinion weighs more than others can be quite rude and antagonistic and I find that, ironically, these have some of the more far fetched theories. And in their haughty pride will believe themselves more deserving of acknowledgement wilst rudely harassing another simply because they disagree.

I do find it amusing when these groups mistakenly quote their theories as fact to support another theory. Or even more amusing when an opposing theory proves more likely, their pride prevents any acknowledgement and sometimes inspires in them a jealous tantrum of some degree.

Anyway, I just felt the need to let some here feel a supporting opinion about these groups here. My suggestion is to pick apart everything they offer and propose sound oppositional theories at every opportunity. Be kind in dissent and in opposition to their rudeness. Show your Quality to be greater than their proffered ugliness.

EDIT-This is a comment that I was unable to post earlier due to the forum being closed prematurely. But as it is, I think it suits here as well as there.

It is to no one in particular, as there is more than one that this sentiment is refering to. It is not wholly true for everyone, but is for some.


Jeremy Vanneman
186. Jeribai
I don't know if anyone else has commented on this, since I haven't read all of the 183 comments already written ... but I am confused by two things. One is Egwene mentioning Moria Karentanis as one of the BA sisters we now know about. I don't recall ever hearing that name before, and I'm sure there are plenty we have heard about in that long wait in Salidar. The other thing I'm surprised about is the lack of mention of Alanna. Verin pointed out to Perrin not to trust Alanna when they were all in the Two Rivers, just before the big attack, so it stands to reason that she is in fact Black. The argument may be suggested that it's because Alanna has no connection to Egwene, but they have had many run-ins already. Fal Dara with Siuan's group, Being one of the people that visits Egwene in TDR when she's scrubbing pots, Egwene's test for accepted, and I'm pretty sure she knows that Alanna bonded Rand, which is freaking huge. Any thoughts?
Anthony Pero
187. anthonypero
Alanna is probably not BA. If she had been BA, Verin would have been prevented from warning Perrin regarding her by her Dark Oaths. Well, at least she would have been prevented from warning him because Alanna was Black. In other words, if Alanna was Black, and Alanna was also going intent on having Perrin's baby, and that intent was not a BA plot, then Verin could warn Perrin about Alanna, as long as she careully thought to herself about the baby-plot, and not BA. Make sense? The simple fact that Verin was able to warn Perrin directly means that there had to be a reason other than Alanna being BA to warn him.

Most likely her instability regarding the death of her Warder. The scene's intention was most likely to foreshadow Alanna snapping with Rand and bonding him against his will.

So, since Egwene didn't mention her, and we know there had to be another reason that Verin warned Perrin (and we have a good idea what that might be), then it is IMO, fairly safe (via Occam's Razor) to conclude that Alanna is not Black. This is, of course, by no means certain.
188. yasiru89
Wetlandernw @180-

I don't particularly need to be told what I'm free to do, but it certainly was interesting to see an opinion preemptively defended ad hominem.

Personally, I didn't care either way for Cadsuane as a character till her role in Winter's Heart (since she's much the same as any other Aes Sedai, except with added authority). What you decide with your own prejudices, set aside or not, doesn't apply to everyone else. The requirement of a combination of 'age and experience' you again insinuate might be necessary to 'appreciate' the character is no argument at all. I'm not certain what 'misconceptions' and 'blatant lies' you mean, or how you might go about establishing what you disagree with as such without direct or implied support from the actual text. Specifically in this case, Cadsuane wanted Rand to come to depend on her so she might have him under her thumb. Indeed, it is only after her exile that she thinks back on what she did wrong and what Rand the person has said and done (as opposed to what Rand the tool could be made to say and do and how better to secure her grasp on this tool). Her treatment of him up to the exile had done away with any respect for him as a person in the hope that pushing him so would eventually cause him to prostrate himself. Like all Aes Sedai, Cadsuane believes she knows best and would have others follow what she prescribes. All her conditions were designed to bring this about. None of this is a condemnation of one of your better 'appreciated' characters, but we should have no illusions.

Talk of 'twenty first century Western expectations' I should not even dignify, but I will remark that whatever Cadsuane's own expectations were, they surely clashed with Rand's- a microcosm of a broader theme in this series- culture clash. So it doesn't matter what the framework is because the issue lies relative to these two.
Roger Powell
189. forkroot
A few more thoughts on Verin's death by poison:

I have to admit I don't understand why Verin could not simply have made up an excuse to any non-Black Sister at the White Tower for "borrowing" the Oath Rod. She could have pretended to want to study it, being a Brown and all.
She might have indeed tried that, we don't know. Unfortunately, since the BA hunters had "borrowed" the oath rod again, nobody knew where it was (or at least would admit knowing.) Nice little touch of irony there by RJ/BWS.

Maybe Verin knew that asping rot is not Healable, or something?
I suspect you are on to something. At a minimum, Verin would have to believe that the poisoning was unstoppable, otherwise she wouldn't have been released from her BA oaths, right?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
190. tnh
Zexxes, the best rule of thumb I can offer you, and everyone else for that matter, is to cultivate the habit of being more polite than you think should be necessary, and forgiving the impoliteness of others more often than you think is warranted. Treating others with respect is always good. So is arguing about the topic of the discussion, rather than the other participants.

"There are people in this conversation who are sure they're right when I'm sure they're wrong" is unavoidable in this life. All you can do is get used to it and learn better ways of dealing with it.
Rob Munnelly
191. RobMRobM
A brief editorial comment if I may -

The back and forth about who is wording their posts in an ad hominem manner or not is getting old. We've done a good job of working out back and forth issues during the two years we've been doing this re-read. It's not a new subject, it's been rehashed through the years many times, and Theresa and other moderators do a good job at cautioning and then deleting posters who step over a reasonable line of civilized dialogue. Let's move on and stick to the merits of WoT, shall we? "Can't we all just get along?"

Alice Arneson
192. Wetlandernw
Jeribai @126 - Moria was one of the Blue Sitters in Salidar, so she's been mentioned but not in any hugely memorable way. If you're sufficiently curious, go to www.encyclopaedia-wot.org, click on the "Characters" link near the lower right, and find her name. They are in alphabetical order by first name. I'm sorry I can't just do the link, but this computer has certain...limitations. Anyway, that site has loads of great info on just about everything WoT.
Paul Long
194. Caveatar
Regarding Verin unable to be healed, unswearing or whatever.

Verin had done "many foul things in service to the shadow.
Egwene is right. Verin's soul is pure white. From Egwene's
viewpoint. From Verin's viewpoint she probably wants the
recycle wash of death, and rebirth. Come back with no memories
of what must torment her black and white soul.
I know if reincarnation is what we do, I would like it for myself
and I haven't done foul things in service of the shadow, except in
serving the shadow in my own mind. I fight it daily, Zexxes fights
it and made a very touching comment over on the forums sections.
The male female assumptions of WoT characters strike again.
The Shadow in every man's mind, wait for it....is in every woman's
mind too. Our prettier gender has to fight it too. Maybe?????
The Shadow black overlay on Rand's brain may be the Rand Darkside
Dragon which he has been fighting for 20 years, as Rand and as a
character. I know its only been a couple years real time in the book.
But that shadow started when he was born. Did with me. You ever see
a mean little kid, hurting just for the fun of it?
The white power shield may be what is needed to protect from the
shadowy ravages and if I knew a good gemologist or chemist or something I would find out.

Sectoid Darkun is finished now. Get in stitches.
s'rEdit The One Day in Eden be done too.
I will behave as much as is in me. I remember my dad the smith
yelling into the room where 4 or 5 kids were fighting and having
just ever so much fun......."Don't make me come in there."
We quieted down and went on playing. Just didn't attract his
attention. He would put you to bed at 3pm.
Love the memories.
Still Learning - As always
Gawyn Caveatar
195. Freelancer
anthonypero @187

Of all the reasons to believe that Alanna is not a darkfriend, top of the list is that if Alanna were of the Black, Rand's new darkness detector would be set off. When Min warns Rand that she is gone, and that she could be used against him, Rand tells her that the shadow doesn't need Alanna if they want to find him. He says this to reassure Min that Alanna wasn't kidnapped or otherwise in danger of being taken by forces of the dark. He doesn't seem to know why she had gone to the Borderlands (he says perhaps Arafel), and isn't concerned.

I believe by that point, if any connection to Rand so strong as a Warder bond tied him to the shadow, he would have gone straight to her and insisted that the bond be removed.
Karen Fox
196. thepupxpert
Free @136:

"Uresh. Your next assignment is to have sex. If you do not know how to do this, see me after class."

I nearly fell off my chair. Then I sent this to my boss, she got a laugh out of it also.
James Whitehead
197. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I actually loved Verin's ability to use her very constricting black oath to do permanent, if not fatal, damage to the black ajah. It doesn't feel like authorial fiat to me, just Jordan turning a myth from our collective consciousness on its ear. The old joke of telling the genie "I wish for a million bucks" & next thing our hero(ine) knows is he/she is now living in Lappland. ;-) 'Within the hour of your death' sounds like the classic phrase the villians use on the gullible good guy/gal. Nice to see the tables turned on the villian this time.

I think Egwene's assessment of the general character of darkfriends is spot on as the main reason why that part of the oath isn't worded more clearly; or at least worded to allow less wiggle room. We're not talking about terribly altruistic people now are we? I mean, come on, Sheriam goes bad for being snubbed as does Sammael - that & he always hated being short (that I can agree with at least). ;-)

As to her conversation with Suian regarding punishment I think she wasn't comparing what Rand went through with what she endured but more a moment of insight on her part. Not a 'I've just survived as he did' thought but a more of a 'if I went through this, what was it like for him?'

Someone a few threads ago made the supposition that Egwene is coming to her moment of self-realisation; as all the 'main' characters have done so, or are doing so. I apologise for not being able to attribute that sentiment but I do agree with it. I think her meet up with post- Rand "Whackadoodle" al'Thor in the final book might be her watershed moment - but, I do hope, not her Waterloo moment.

Regarding Cadsuane, I will admit she's never been my favourite but I do agree she was, and probably still is, as important to Rand & his Lost Boys (the Asha'man - men?) as Min first stated. I cut her a lot of slack regarding her behavior with Rand for a number of reasons.

Firstly, he does deserve to be treated poorly as he was treating others around him just as poorly. Secondly, I always took Cadsuane's shock at the aes sedai hoping for Rand when he said 'Toad' as another example used by Jordan. Not to point out the hypocrasy in Cadsuane, or Rand, or the aes sedai, but in ourselves.

As for the appropriateness of corporal punishment, well I was spanked 4-5 times by my father in my childhood. Shift, direct, & unambiguous; I knew why I was spanked. My mother didn't believe in it as her father didn't. As an aside, my grandfather didn't believe in hitting as you lost the respect of the child; however, my grandfather was one of those rare people whom you never wanted to see him disappointed in you so he didn't 'need' corporal punishment.

As for Wetlandernw not having a problem wiuth Cads' methods I am reminded of the movie The Untouchables. Elliot Ness is trying to get Capone's accountant to talk but he won't as he's 'lawyered up' as they always say in those movies. Ness' associate Jimmy Malone, played by Sean Connery, fakes threatening one of Capone's goons, who's already dead.

Malone blows out the dead goon's brains & the accountant turtles up worse than an Indianapolis Colts receiver (sorry, in joke there). The Canadian Mountie Ness, et al are working with says, "Mr. Ness, I do not approve of your methods." "Yeah? Well you're not from Chicago." So maybe Wetlandernw (and me probably) is from Chicago, metaphorically speaking that is. ;-)


PS - Sorry for the wall o' text. Guess I had more to say than I thought. That & I am waiting on a rather large print job here at work (ugh).
Sam Mickel
198. Samadai
Wow, go away for the rest of yesterday and we become uncivilized. Good thing TNH is around to whip (spank) us back in shape.

I wonder if Verin had the dreamy brown fakeness down before she joined the BA, or if it was a defense she used to keep from having to do anything too evil.
Who would let someone that they think is full of mindless nattering in charge of something important
Sam Mickel
199. Samadai
I sure hope that Verins book is part of the encyclopedia coming out
Sam Mickel
200. Samadai
And just because I am this close, YAY!!! 2 hunny
201. Looking Glass
@92 Missbee: Yes, someone else finds that loophole to be peculiar in its convenience- the characters themselves comment on it. It remains to be seen just what, if anything, the import of that is. If it is more than a throwaway comment, it strikes me as more evidence suggesting that the dark one is more interested in winning hearts and minds, as it were, than in forcibly conquering everything.

And @113 Forkroot: Your comment also reminded me that book 2 also very prominently featured another darkfriend choosing to sacrifice himself for the greater good (Ingtar).

@93 Forkroot: Maybe I’m not recalling things correctly, but doesn’t Semirhage’s commentary on Rand’s madness imply that she’s seen the crazy-person-remembering-past-lives thing before? Admittedly LTT was around then, but he wasn’t round the bend when she knew him. So there may be other past-life-rememberers out there.

@94 BillinHi: The Ajah system clearly needs a healthy dose of reform, and it might benefit from a change in terminology to make a break with the acrimonious history, but the organization-by-functional-specialty makes a fair amount of sense. Certainly more so than most of the Aes Sedai system. They may need to step up the interdisciplinary side of things, get people working together between Ajahs, but that doesn’t mean that they’re an inherently bad idea.

It occurs to me that one very useful change might simply be allowing people to choose to change Ajahs, which is already kind of getting back-doored in by Leane’s situation.

@134 SonOfThunder: Given how the opposition between Moghedien and Nynaeve has been played up, I think it would be kind of anticlimactic if it the story ended with her just successfully managing to scuttle off into the woodwork. I suppose it could still work if Moghedien first lost so badly that she could never bring herself to present a real opposition (like Therava or Galina), but then that would probably undercut the whole point of having her survive.
Roger Powell
202. forkroot
Ah yes, poor Ingtar. His was a somewhat different situation from Verin's because he had become a Darkfriend willingly (albeit out of depression and despair) and only later come to regret it.

Curiously, one person who could have related to Ingtar was Tomas. What's ironic is that Tomas and Ingtar spent quite a bit of time together in TGH, but it's highly unlikely they would have realized that they were both in the same situation.

While I'm on the subject - how about a quick "atta-boy" for Tomas. Obviously he had chosen poorly, then was grateful to be able to serve the Light with Verin.

Taking Verin's wording about "spending his last hour with family", along with her earlier search for the Oath Rod, we may also infer that she had told Tomas about her plan after giving up on finding the Oath Rod. Either his family was in Tar Valon, or she made a quick gateway to get him to them.

Regardless - his final act of heroism was to bear the pain of her death and then likely expire himself (perhaps she gave him some of the asping rot?)

With all that said, it's clear that Tomas was not 100% in on Verin's plans. In the prologue to TPoD, where Verin is working over the captive Aes Sedai we see this thought:
In some ways she would have preferred to have Tomas with her, but only some. Keeping secrets from your Warder was far more difficult than keeping them from strangers.
We can assume either that Verin didn't want Tomas to know everything she was up to. "Plausible Deniability" comes to mind :-)

Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that, like Ingtar, Tomas did much to earn his redemption.
Hey yall, does anyone think that maybe Gawyn can survive the Bloofknife rings being bonded? Imagine a swordsman of Gawyn's caliber using one of those rings. Gawyn who is I think universally acknowledged as one the best living blademasters benefiting from being a Warder and then on top of that benefiting from the Blood rings.

I'm suddenly hoping for that scene...

Paul Long
204. Caveatar
@203 Zexxes

Hoping for that scene.
Me too. And I am really hoping for Gawyn to be the one who is attacked
by a sword, unjustly and have the sword break against him.
The sword Justice is unbreakable. Says so all over the myths.
King Arthur lost his cool cause Sir Lancelot, good man, fighting fool,
honorable. Wouldn't let Arthur cross the creek til he had fought with
him in honorable combat. Arthur gets his butt kicked. Loses his cool
draws Caliburn and tries to kill him with it. It was uncalled for.
It should have cloven Lance from shoulder to crotch....it BROKE!
Cause it is unjust to kill a man with Justice when justice itself is
being broken. Unjust executions by court crappiness? The sword refused, and broke! Broke its self rather than break its indwelling
principle. Wish we had politicians like that. And Courts.

Later reforged and placed in a stone. Arthur had to pull it out
and Ex Cal iburn, the Sword from the Stone was its new name.
Cal i burn was 'Stone, i burn, flaming' Flaming under the Stone.
Sounds like Jothiel's Sword at the Eden Gate to me.

However it happens. Tuon grabs Egwene, Gawyn gets between, Tuon swings Justice at his head and the sword breaks. Take that Tuonie. Learn about Justice! And receive some yourself. "Whatchu mean lewis?
I mean Tuonis?"
Verin could tell them all about it. But she is currently otherwise occupied.

Gawyn. I really ain't all that much. I had advantages.
Alice Arneson
205. Wetlandernw
Z @203 - Okay, now ya done it... I'm thinking again... What if a bonded Warder used a Bloodknife ring? Would his AS be able to tell when he got close to terminal? Would the bond effects reduce the ring's effect? Better yet, would it reduce only the deadly effect, while leaving intact the sneak assassin effects? And could the poisoning effects be Healed? Speaking of reusable suicide bombers... Of course, this assumes that the rings are reusable.

Hey, is anyone going to see Brandon soon?
Paul Long
206. Caveatar
okay, now you done it.
You're goin to the MOON Alice. Bang. Zoom. (Gleason Meadows Honeymooners.)
"Speaking of reusable suicide bombers"
They are Murder Bombers, the suicide is just a side effect,
like , dizzyness and vomiting and stuff. Maybe lower gas
I see you need a visit to listen to the oldest codger in the world.
Dark'un. Talks a lot but he hits a point sometimes. If you go take
a pouch of that Good Two Rivers Tabac. He prefers it.

Gawyn, "Oh Why didn't Galad stay with this woman. I think I want
a divorce." , Caveatar

Ohh Loorrrrrddd. My final punishment . The last of my hated ones.
I want to slap Egwene crosseyed with one hand and slap all the taste
out of her mouth with the other. And I am BONDED to her.
The pain. I think I am crippled for life.
Sam Mickel
207. Samadai
Forkroot@ 202


Tomas and Ingtar didn't spend anytime with each other, Verin left Tomas with the AS when she snuck off to find Rand.
Thinking about this makes me remember when Verin joins the group and tells Ingtat to tell her everything that happened with Rand and everything he said and did. Those knowing looks she gave Perrin and Rand during tGH. I love that woman!!!
Not more than a few who are as great, and none better
(Edit for: I guess they could have spent some time together in Fal Dara)
Paul Long
208. Caveatar
@207 Samadai

I love her too. Did you ever see Samantha's Aunt , on bewitched.
The flaky one. Collected doorknobs. When Verin is in my mind
that very good actress, whose name I am ashamed to have forgotten,
is the way I see her. I loved that aunt too.

Gawyn Rings Rings , loaded with bling. Caveatar

ETA. After visiting Darkun, I am beginning to think ol Darkun is a mole.
Like Verin. He is just caught in a contract and playing them idjits.
Nadine L.
210. travyl
AP @187, Freelancer @195 - Re Alanna:
I agree with Freelancer that Rand might feel through his bond if Alanna were a Darkfriend (though we have evidence in text that some of the Aes Sedai managed to hide this fact from their warders ). While I don't believe it, she still might be black, because we weren't in Rand's head, when he adressed Alanna's disappearance after VoG.
The mere fact that Verin could warn Perrin isn't enough IMO: by Verins word "the oaths are specific" and allow to "double-cross other Darkfriends", just not betray the Dark One or the order itself. With that, I see no problem of Verin cautioning Perrin, unless you suggest the Dark One ordered Alanna to bond Perrin.

zackattack @25: you sure drove my blood pressure up, but I got a good laugh from how you started your post.

RobMRobM @99+101: do you realize that you could share the 2 hunny with samadai; with two one-line posts nonetheless? Though birgit might not count them for her statistics, if she is keeping track.

@tnh & TPTB:
Might I add my request that we get our shout-boxes back? Please?
Anthony Pero
211. anthonypero

I wasn't suggesting Verin's warning as proof that Alanna wasn't black, merely suggesting that the nature of the BA oaths would mean that the warning must have been about something else. Without knowing the actual oaths, it will be tough to know for certain. It would seem to me that if the warning, in her mind was: Watch out! Alanna's BA! That she would have been restrained from giving the warning. Once again, that doesn't preclude Alanna from being Black definitively, it just undercuts the use of Verin's warning as proof of such affiliation. YMMV.

I reported the shoutbox issue on the Bug thread... but it may not be a bug. They may have taken them down until they can handle the spam problem.

And the preview is much nicer now, yea! The red text was screaming WARNING, WARNING! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!
Paul Long
212. Caveatar
Marion Lorne?
Thats! the very bunny.
Do you see Verin's dizzy stupefied act as anything like that
dear old aunt.? That is how I heart Verin.

Gawyn, gonna se if Suian has got some lionfish poison for Egwene's dinner. Caveatar

Anybody know all about the private message thingy? I ran across it
earlier. Hadn't a clue.

@ AP It does not compute.
Ron Garrison
213. Man-0-Manetheran
EDIT: Marion Lorne and Agnes Moorehead both played Samantha's aunts. Marion is definitely the Verin type, Agnes more like (dare I say the name?) Cadsuane. But I'm still holding out for Dame Judi Dench.
Ron Garrison
214. Man-0-Manetheran
... and bring back the Shoutbox's (and hopefully the old contents)!
By the way I've sorta been playing a little personal joke with everyone. I've been acting like Rand whenever someone so much as mentions Cadsuane's name. So any hostility by me with regarding Rand and Cadsuane is feigned. Now while I do not like her character, my aggressive tendency was by no means real. I just felt like it would be fun to assume his identity for my own personal amusement. And since Man-0-Manetheran basically is sorta seeing the irritation for what it is, I'm calling the act a burned cover. Even though it wasn't, but I think I carried it too far away.

Don't be mad... It was funny!

Well for me it was!

216. yasiru89
Given the Seanchan are confirmed to only be able to make one kind of ter'angreal (the a'dam), it seems to follow that the Bloodknife rings are indeed reusable.

A worry I have about Verin bypassing her Black Ajah Oaths is that the wording seems deliberate. It doesn't seem the kind of thing someone who is 'death and betrayal' (Lews Therin, from tGS) would overlook. As unlikely as it may seem, I suspect Verin's revelations about the Black Ajah a concession the Shadow was aware of (if not specifically, just the possibility of that betrayal).
Jay Dauro
217. J.Dauro
pwl @161

Yes, almost every description of balefire results in a "vapor". A least what can be considered a vapor.

Here is the description from TEOTW Prologue
Stone turned to vapor at its touch. The earth thrashed and quivered like a living thing in agony. Only a heartbeat did the shining bar exist, connecting ground and sky, but even after it vanished the earth yet heaved like the sea in a storm.
In TDR - 55
Then a bar of white fire hotter than the sun shot from the Aes Sedai’s hands, a glaring rod that banished all shadows. Before it, Be’lal became a shape of shimmering motes, specks dancing in the light for less than a heartbeat, flecks consumed before his cry faded.
From TFOH - 6
He swept it across the springing creatures; for an instant they became strange shadows of themselves, all colors reversed, and then they were made of sparkling motes that broke apart, smaller and smaller, until there was nothing.
The description in TEOTW is very consistent with a huge bar of balefire boring straight into the earth, and creating a path for magma to come back up.
Ron Garrison
218. Man-0-Manetheran
ZEXXES @ 215
The power of humor strikes again!
Paul Long
219. Caveatar
@113 Mano

Agnes Morehead played Samantha's mother. Endora
The Witch of Endor in O.T.
She did have another aunt though, and Agnes may have played that
aunt as well.

@215 Was that the reason the flipping trees bloomed outside my window.? "Don't eat thoses apples. It was a joke."
Does that mean that the Reread is gonna become another Dragonmount?

Agnes Morehead was The Shadow's 'constant companion' Margo Lane
in the ancient radio show with Orson Welles as the voice of the shadow
The Shadow knows....mwuahhahahaha
Alice Arneson
220. Wetlandernw
RE: me @166 - I'm bummed. I worked hard on that, and no one got my joke. (Or at least, no one commented on it.)
Paul Long
221. Caveatar
I confess you got me. I wondered at all the metasyntactical references.
A , and b, and C and when they got to 'tear' (Rip) and several others but
I can read a couple little code messages but I thought that was just an
artifact of your 'sum up' like Inigo. Like "milking a cow boy?" but not
Wanna 'splain', Inigo?. I didn't kill your father. See. 5 fingers,
(hides other hand behind his back) (reminds self that these lunatics are sharp. and devious, and tricksome, and above average. But I am prettiest and I ain't gonna hold with this "females is the onliest ones what can be pretty" stuff. Thats prejudice and bigotry and hurts my feelings.)
Gawyn Like my rings?.Caveatar"
Ron Garrison
222. Man-0-Manetheran
Humor balances on the edge of a sword, grasshopper.
Paul Long
223. Caveatar
@222 MoM
Say, is that one a them circus acts?
LewKah come to town?
(Whispers, hey , that hottie blondie walking and acrobaticsing
up in the air this time.?? Why'd she have to wear them pants. Uno
was crying cause he only had one eye,. poor boy"
Gawyn, I am a bore, a white Bore. My brother is a white ...
I wonder if RJ didn't make the white boar thing a joke.
Be seeing reflections everwhere next. Even in mirrors.

Paul Long
224. Caveatar
@214 (shhhh, throwing people off track )

Burn your ashaman hide Zexxes!

"Gloomy was the day and dank dim and foreboding was the forest
when The Supplanter, the Son of the Servant of The Little Wolf.
took the Path through the Woods."
Thus did the Bard begin his tale of the Uncivil War, a time of...

Take that thou vililian, valliain, ...Thou cur. Thou prankster.
Jokest thee with me? Coulds't I but learn to spell, thou shoulds't feel my wrath..or was that wraith, no, wrath, wreath?
whatever but thou wouldest feel it.

Thinkest thee that I beist calling names at thee, though thou hast pissedest me by playing the fool, thoe hasist it rite, right. I beist doing
that very thing.

Roger Powell
225. forkroot
Right you are! I had forgotten that Tomas was not with Verin for much of TGH. Thanks for the correction.

It makes sense for Verin to have left Tomas "in the dark" (sorry about the pun) whenever she was involved in deep intrigue. She, of course, had the ditzy librarian act to fall back upon when quizzed by her superiors.

Tomas certainly would have had superiors and it would just be better if he didn't know things vs. possibly being caught in a lie to the higher ups.

I'm not sure what the point is. We have a direct quote from RJ that LTT did not balefire himself, he immolated bimself by drawing too much of the OP.
Anthony Pero
226. anthonypero
@225 RE: 217:

I think the point is probably that RJ has been knwn to change his mind about things, and you might find some clues by looking at something that perhaps used to be Balefire, as orginally intended.
Jay Dauro
227. J.Dauro
forkroot @225.

Thread started with JonathonLevy @132, with a comment on a possible retcon of how balefire works. One of his points was that the creation of Dragonmount could have originally been intended to be a result of balefire, but that RJ then decided to change how balefire worked as things progressed. While I don't know that I necessarilybelieve that was his original intent, (and of course WOG is too much OP), the description could be seen as consistent with that theory.
Chris R
228. up2stuff
Cave @ 141...

I can't say Sylvester, George.

Paul Long
229. Caveatar
@228 up2stuff

Thank you for your gift of another reminder of pleasant and fun things.

Say, is that the kind of stuff U get up 2? Good job.

If you haven't seen it and have time you might check out ol Darkun
talking about embarrasing himself. Over on the forums. Right at the end,
Couple others too.

I have wondered about the retcon stuff too. But the more I read RJ
the less I think he had to retcon anything. I don't understand it but
he might have known a way that never occured to me.
If you pull a thread out of a woven cloth, and other threads depend on
it being there, then when the segment of that thread removed, pulls all
attached and dependent threads out with it. Time paradoxes. My mind can't grasp them.
Gawyn, Where IS that woman now? Caveatar
Paul Long
230. Caveatar
@220 Wetlandernw.

I GOT your joke! Ha. I know this is it.
I will not respond.
he he he he he. Well, you can fool some of the people and you can
populate some of the fools, but I Gotcha!.

Don't respond if I didn't gotcha, but do if I did.
(She can't help but respond either way. I know her reputation.
he he he And I have seen it my own self.)
Damn, confuxticated myself.
I wuz reading the Second Book of Condominiums and it struck me.
Subtle? ses I. Sur'n hell, I ansers. Now I sound like geese.

Gawyn, Silly goose, Caveatar
231. Freelancer
Don't worry, I can't ththay Ththylesthther either.

Wetlander @166,

I think several folks did get it, especially given that you prefaced the description by saying you would stick to one-syllable words. A herculean effort which I certainly could not duplicate, composing that many paragraphs entirely monosyllabic.

Time to weigh in on the future of the Ajahs. What "should" happen, what will happen, and what could theoretically be best for society, rarely coincide regarding an organization of those who know that they possess power, regardless the form of that power. I would wish for them to be restructured, not abandoned. Allow a few dedicated sisters from each to remain a governing body for the distinctive functions of that Ajah. Sisters other than those are not to be considered "members" of a particular Ajah, but may work with and in behalf of a particular Ajah for a definable objective with a specific timeframe.

This would offer a compromise between the manner of the Ajahs in the earlier days of the order and that of the "present", and would likely find broader acceptability than disbanding them entirely, or attempting to meld them into fewer. (And on that thought, White and Gray would make more sense to combine if it were to come to that. Logic and mediation are more similar than the bookish and historical manner of the Browns. But what to call it?)

O/T since she was mentioned, Agnes Moorehead was one of the most generous and pleasant people one could ever meet, yet with a spine of steel. An angel to her friends, but a demon to an enemy of her friend.
Paul Long
232. Caveatar
@231 Freelancer
Were you blessed to personally interact with the "constant companion"
of the Shadow?
If so I commit the mortal sin of envy.
I met her personally, not physically, but personally though her art.
She never met me either way and she didn't need to. I am sure she
knew that someone out there in radioland was listening. And appreciating.
On Radio when I was a LITTLE kid and video in Bogart movie and Bewitched.
I adored her talent and the way she presented the characters.

I expect Leigh could do similar. I read her 'in character' reviews and
they are great.
BTW Leigh. Did you take the pink ribbons and Tylin's knife to the
Rahad? I mean Mardi Gras. They've gone missing.

Alice Arneson
233. Wetlandernw
There are several things that have been accused of retconning, but to the best of my knowledge most of them depend on interpretations. This one, for example - if you assume from the description that it was balefire, then you have to assume that RJ was retconning when he said it was something else. It's been suggested that RJ started the series with the idea that balefire removed your soul forever, and then changed his mind and told us (outside the books) that it doesn't. Each of those are possible, but there is simply no proof. He didn't state flat out that it was this or that, and then later say the opposite. He did, however, tell us repeatedly that what a character inside the book states as fact may be incorrect - that they don't always know as much as they think they do.

This leaves us stuck in the position of deciding what we think was going on in RJ's head, since there's no actual proof. We are free to assume that he changed his mind about how certain things worked over the course of time; this would certainly be understandable, given the scope of the world-building, but we can't really prove it. (This reminds me of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, where she outright changed the story in a later book. When questioned, she said something to the effect of "I think it makes a better story this way, and I don't see why I should be tied to the limitations of something I wrote 20 years ago.")

On the other hand, we can assume that he had it all worked out ahead of time, and just gave us little things in the books to make us think we understood it - just like the characters - and then find out later we were wrong. (Taimandred, anyone? Though of course there are still people who are convinced he changed that one out of spite at some over-perceptive fans.)

Either way, we can't prove ourselves right or wrong, no matter how much we discuss it. That doesn't have to take away the fun of the discussion, of course, as long as everyone realizes that, for now at least, there's no definitive proof. Happy debating, all!

Freelancer @231 - Got it in one. I suspect it was probably funnier from the inside than from the outside; I've never felt so utterly stilted in writing anything before! By the time I finished, I was torn between wanting to throw something, and just rolling on the floor in helpless laughter. I actually had to get out the thesaurus and search for monosyllables a few times. Polysyllabic ratiocination FTW!! Trust me, I won't try it again soon.

Caveatar @230 - Yeah, that was an unintentional joke on myself. There are some comments I can and will ignore, but there will always be some I have to respond to. Especially once my temper cools.
Roger Powell
234. forkroot
J.Dauro and anthonypero
Thanks - I had lost the context of the discussion. FWIW, I don't see a retcon possibility in the LTT self-immolation because the text is pretty clear.

With that said, it's pretty much a given that there had to be some retconning (ooh - ugly word!) over the course of the creation of WOT. Recall that the series was originally planned as (I think) three books - then six, etc. It's almost a given that expanding the story that way would involve some changes.

I agree with Wetlandernw that in many cases we'll never know for sure, but that it's still fun to discuss them.

Cadsuane has always felt like a giant retcon (to me). Consider how carefully RJ laid out deep plot lines. The chapters we're rereading now are a great example, with hints of Verin's status going all the way back to TGH.

Yet there is absolutely nothing hinting at her existence, story, etc until she shows in ACoS. (New Spring was, of course, written later.) All it would have taken would have been a sentence or rumor (e.g. in TEoTW) that some legendary AS had had to come out retirement to catch Logain -- but there is nothing.

I am aware that RJ claimed he planned for Cadsuane all along. If that is the case, then Cadsuane may not be "be" a retcon, but that doesn't change the fact that she "feels" like one and thus RJ didn't do his best work there.
Paul Long
235. Caveatar

I knew you would respond but I thought you would anserine
some future post.
I attempted hint at what I thought with that jawbreaker
'metasyntactic variable' stuff and I was going to refer to
the chore done in writing "Gadsby' without 'e'.s but didn't
And I thought that if I had guessed right you didn't want it 'spoiled'
so to speak. It was a good one.

Robert Jordan has told us all. Repeatedly.
In his creation All theories are true. Somewhere in that infinite
repetition of wheels within wheels in untold directions and layers.
Darkun can watch 'em all in his box. He exists (Chaos) exists in all
of them. And Darky gets them free. No cable charge.
Every possible outcome or theory that is self consistent happens in
one or more of those worlds. Infinite diversity in infinite combination.
Must be a Vulcan.
If Balefire is the Final 'oh hell gone now' thing in one case there has to
be another variety in some of those other worlds.
But Kurt Goedel couldn't figure it out. Nor FigNewton neither.
But to keep it fun, I limit the possibles to MY world. Knowing as I do
that whatever I am right about here, there are multiple millions of others where I am wrong. Can't win, have to win. Free in one, free in all
bound in one, bound in all. Cant be, and MUST be. Spins the corpus
callosum out of my head but warms the cockles of my heart. I love the man and his memory. He has tied Mark Twain, in MY reflection of all
those worlds. The one between my ears and behind my eyeballs. The
world where all I perceive in my mind exists. Another series of reflections counted by the number of WoT readers.

How is that for a codger ramble?
But my soul needs healing from my passage into history and the
wounding of my soul when it was tested beyond anything Rhuidean
could do. I am glad there is SOMEwhere I can heal from it.
Thank yall.
Codger, shuts his trap, puffs his pipe and leaves yall alone.

Chris R
236. up2stuff
A cloud of vapor is different than a puff of motes. One is evaporation, the other essentially disintegration or explosion, maybe? The light that killed LTT was intense enough to flash-boil rock, meaning skipped the lava phase, turned to steam or evaporated.

Always saw the balefire as accelerated version of what happened to Sarah Connor during her nightmare in T2. After she was burned to cinders, the blast wave hit and poof, dust in the wind. Or maybe what happened to Kirsten Dunst in Interview with a Vampire. After burned to ash, just kind of crumbled.
Thomas Keith
237. insectoid
Wetlander @233 re: @166: My, that is a lot of one-syllable words. I had to look at it twice to catch it! *sheepish grin*

238. AndrewB
For those discussing whetheror not RJ retconned any items in WoT. Instead of retcon, maybe RJ had the following quote in mind when writing some of the later novels in the series:

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."
-Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Against the Wind

Ok, what can I say. I like Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band. So what. Shoot me (pun intended).

Thanks for reading my musings,
Paul Long
239. Caveatar
And pun appreciated. Not with a silver bullet shall one shoot you.
You ain't a werewolf brother are you.?

And Wet didn't anserine any post regarding my silly goose comment
Jeff Schweer
241. JeffS.
240. tenkuu
I also see your point but getting existential again, Rand makes choices because of her input, positive or negative doesn't matter as much as the choices. It gets a little indeterminate at times doesn't it. 8^D
On Moridin
Ah, but think about this. If Moridin just quietly kills himself, he's just reborn later. He really wants the dark one to win, destroy the wheel and stop everthing including himself.
Paul Long
242. Caveatar
Caveatar@230: Say whatever you will and take all the cheap shots you can get, hope they keep you warm at night. :)
Thank you for the smiley thing Well used!
It took me many minutes of scratching my head to decipher what you
said. But I finally got it. I think.
"Cheap shots ...keep you warm." Winos and others are kept warm withcheap shots of booze. Kills the Chill, so to speak. Bravo.
And you are, I believe, the only one to recognise the long string of text
to have no use of the letter 'e' ,as being extracted from the book"Gadsby". At least the only one who posted it. Again Bravo.

And NOW having recognised that, I am sure that you know that
"ansers" are 'geese'
and that you know that 'anserine' and 'geese' go together like
equine and horses. I will give you credit for it because the other
catches indicate that you would if you actually saw it.
Well played. and Tank you.

The next one I see the colon: close parens ) and see from the other
posts that you don't use them as a period full stop all the time.

I go seeking for treasure. In this line:
You, on the other hand, can hide behind all the pretense that you like.
and if you intended the 'pretense' to be a reference to 'pretends->Old age diaper, nappy, thing,
(Depends, we call them pretends to 'pretend we ain't wearing a diaper. )

by connecting to
:) If you're as old as you say,
and folks as old as myself DO wear them, I personally don't but some in this village do, I may have to and will not feel insulted by your reference at ALL!
If I have properly deciphered your message,
I Bow to You as the Punster Supreme!

No smiley faces. I mean it. I pity Spider Robinson and the Folks
at Callahan's Crosstime Saloon if you drop in on pun night, and I just bet you know exactly what I mean. I would bet with Mat on that.
But you may not read Spider. May not be your type humor.

The rest I will treasure as the second undecipherable code I ran into
that I cared to work on. The other took 24 years to make me quit.

"then that is a really sad attitude to adopt."
If that is not part of it then it serves me right for not being able to 'see the meat behind the skin' as my great aunt Gertie said.

I bow to the Champion of Punsters, at least of ones I have recognised.
I award to you the trophy, 'The One hunny Punny."
Long loud applause. WELL DONE!

Paul (I use my given name to acknowledge in Real World.)

ETA If you meant it as only the surface thing and a slap I accept that
as well not because I think I deserve it, but because you have earned
the right to a swift slap at me by your very evident intellect and power of
thought. Paul

Gawyn aka Caveatar
243. AndrewB
tenkuu @240 opined the following: "I believe maturity is overrated, frankly. Those who claim to be more mature than others often use that as an excuse to act haughty and probably wouldn't know the true meaning of the word if it came up to them and slapped them in the face. So I've never cared if I sound mature or not, all I value above all else is logic. That, and respect of others' opinions."

Hmm. In fiction your position on maturity might make for an interesting character. In real life, however, (IMO), not so sure. Let me just say that I am glad that you and I do not work together. To each their own, I guess.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Paul Long
244. Caveatar
ETA @240
Before ever reading this series, I used to think reincarnation was a good thing. But the more I think about it, the more appealing the ideaof being born a new soul seems. A fresh start, untainted by anymemories (even unconscious ones) or leftover feelings. Except for the effect it has on the Pattern, I can't help but view balefire as a cleansing of sorts.
How Old ARE you? Are you a young person with an 'old soul'?
Doc Hayes, local resident is according to all who know him.

Every old codger or old lady in my village tends to think the same
way the closer they get to the Reaper. Some of them I know have
welcomed the possibility with relief. And prayed for it.
One I told about the little groove in a baby's upper lip right
below the septum of the nose.
The Angel's finger left the mark when sayin 'shhhhh" just before the
soul left the 'Guf' to be born. Long tale. Stops.
She smiled widely, ignoring pain, touched the spot on her upper lip
and LAUGHED heartily. She kept touching that groove while I was there. Happy. Her soul would be scrubbed whiter than white. Myth

The curse of Lews Therin reborn with all his memories is only because
he has to finish his responsibility. I think. He got no fresh start with a fresh cleaned soul.
Pity. But he is Champion. And all our champions suffer even in Real Life.
Rob Munnelly
245. RobMRobM
Retcon - you want one or two or more? Here are a few thoughts.

One reverse retcon is Moiraine's staff in EOTW that is never used again by her or any other AS in the rest of the series. Nice, Tolkeinish touch to suit a Tolkeinish book but RJ quickly realized it was unnecessary and awkward and let the staff drop.

Second reverse retcon - failure to use any Yellow's during Mat's healing implies that he hadn't quite figured out the Ajahs as of Book 3.

Third reverse retcon - concept that Min's viewings are forward looking. Nearly all of them are but Thom's in EOTW (someone, not him, juggling fire and the White Tower) is backwards looking and referring to his nephew. I know that some view the Lan vision as backwards looking - baby with seven towers - but I'm convinced absent proof in AMOL that that will reverse to his and Nyn's babe post books. The possible real retcon exception - Davred Hanlon's viewing that he had blood in his past as well as his future.

Final, real retcon - source of Mat's language ability using the Old Tongue. RJ in statements appears to claim that Mat's old tongue ability came only from his Finn memories. He forgets that Mat had discussions using old tongue in TDR and, of course, had a full discussion with the Finns themselves pre-getting the memories during his second trip down.
Rob Munnelly
246. RobMRobM
@240 - I respect your tenacity and very much appreciate the high post counts we are getting while hashing out these ancillary issues but your taking yet another swipe at a pretty innocuous post at @233 that did not mention specific posts or posters by name is missing the point that the repeated rehashing of these issues is unhelpful and, most importantly, unentertaining. Can't we move on?
Paul Long
247. Caveatar
ETA Wetlander. Don't bother to convince me about Egwene. I have done that for myself. I don't care how it turns out inworld.
Now I am off to deal with Faile. I can't forgive her. BUT I can get
in Loials big shaggy head. If Erith will get the hell out of it.
Loial can let me see Faile for what she is. Excelsior.


OKAY. I began to write a scene for myself to resolve my hatred of
Egwene. I hate that bitch so much I actualy get angry in real life. Stupid me. Having gone through the wayback machine to the Master
Smith's instructions to "Clear the Rubble" in the "Box" of your "MIND"
before you can build.

All Egwene haters. I am sorry but that viewpoint is funny I don't care who you are. And NOW I am hoping that it DOES turn out in essence
like that. Check it out for a laugh, a revelation or a knock down drag out
battle at the Winespring Inn or here either. I Love this place and you people. Faults and ALL. Not that any of you have any faults. Just me.

Heidi Byrd
248. sweetlilflower
I've been thinking about the Tinkers. Someone else gave a brief comment above, not going back to look through comments, but I have been doing my own re-read in prep for J*Con, and I think the reason Egwene went to the Tinker camp is b/c they are important. I know she thinks it is b/c she needs to remember that love is important, but we know how often characters mess up interpretations. I am thinking about the Tinker caravan that Mat runs across while traveling to Salidar. The one that had the bloody message, "Tell the Dragon Reborn" on the side of the wagon. Mat thinks to himself that perhaps the Tinkers had come across pertinent information, but thinks there is no way to know for sure now. I am not sure how, but I am slowly developing a sureness that the Tinkers will somehow be very important.
Alice Arneson
249. Wetlandernw
sweetlilflower @248 - I keep wondering if the return of the Jenn will be connected to the importance of the Tinkers. I'm pretty sure both of them have a role to play in AMoL, though I'm not really propounding any significant theories. One pops into mind, though... the Jenn may well have kept all the Singing intact, so that a) they will bring the Song the Tinkers have been looking for and b) they will be greatly instrumental in restoring the land to health and productivity. I more or less expect that they will also be critical to the future of the Aiel - to avoid Aviendha's Way-Forward vision, I hope.

Next person to see Brandon - ask him whether Nakomi used a ter'angreal. Or if she's a Dreamer. If the stone next to Aviendha's camp was not a Portal Stone, how did she get to wherever-it-was where time went all wonky? If it wasn't a Portal World, was it TAR? This is driving me nuts; I'm very nearly convinced that Nakomi is a Jenn, but where have they been and how did she make contact with Aviendha? My current "theory," such as it is, is that she's a Dreamer and was able to bring Aviendha into her dream. I still think the Portal Stone/World fits the scene better, but Brandon shot that down.

And... that had absolutely nothing to do with these chapters. I was thinking about it earlier, and the comments about importance of the Tinkers made me think of it again.
Cynthia Ahmar
250. tenkuu
Reposting this with only the bits that have already been responded to left out. And tnh, please do not delete a post before consulting me about editing it.

ZEXXES@175: I read on wikia just the other day, though I'm not sure where that info originated from, that people were speculating that it's probably Lews Therin's deep trauma of having killed his wife that unconsciously shaped Rand's attitude towards women. Frankly, it's a good theory, very logical, and probably also the only reason that Rand tolerates someone like Cadsuane for as long as he does.

JeffS@179: Good point. However, to be a bit more concise, I meant that Cadsuane in no way contributed positively to his epiphany. Ie, she was just another one of the drops that eventually made his glass overflow, so to speak. I don't know if it's himself that Moridin hates or just the world in general, because if it's just himself, he could do us all a huge favor and just quietly kill himself without making such a fuss.

yasiru89@180: Cadsuane's POV after Rand kills Semirhage certainly confirmed that she expected a certain degree of safety from the fact that Rand doesn't (or rather didn't, by that point) harm women.

tnh@190: Look, I get that you're not trying to be unfair, but sometimes it comes off as you playing favorites. I'm not implying anything specific in this case, I'm just saying that if you're going to tell one person that their post is derogatory in any way, then please denounce all posts that are derogatory instead of encouraging the "popular" simply because no one dares to speak against them.

KatoCrossesTheCourtyard@197: Let's remember here that Rand has been repeatedly severely beaten at one point, so corporal punishment really wasn't Cadsuane's smartest move. I did have a bit of insight regarding Rand's exiling of Cadsuane though. It occurred to me that to Rand, on some level, it probably felt like Cadsuane had just betrayed him. According to Min she's supposed to help him, has even given him some good advice, but he has to put up with her bullying. He probably felt safe around her, and then her bungling was what caused the worst thing that happened to him. He probably did lash out in the heat of the moment as a result of that.

Freelancer@231: Perhaps a merging of White, Gray and Brown then. But I don't know, I don't see mediation as having much to do with logic. The reason I put Blue with Gray is that Blue is essentially the meddling Ajah.
Paul Long
252. Caveatar
Caveatar@244: I'll let you guess how old I am. Hint: definitely younger than you. Btw, I'm a girl, not a guy. :)

I will not guess. I would guess wrong and possibly offend you.
That I will not do to any girl or woman except accidentally.

I have known and loved too many women who were worthy of all
the respect I can give for too many years to do that.
And my father, the Master Smith, who passed on the millenia old lore
of Iron Masters, Black Smiths. In an unbroken chain which began
at the end of the bronze age, Burned that respect for the Gateway of Life into my soul in training me.
And I like the brand. Even though I still feel it. Just like Rand's Herons
James Rigney restores my wounded soul and makes it right.

In respect for your gender, and trusting that you really are another
GaL, Gateway a Life, or GeL, Gateway e Life. I do my duty as a Master Smith.

I yield the field of battle to one I treasure too much to hurt.
I withdraw from any further posting on the rereads. I will remove to
the Forums where my Caveat.ar will be a sign as of the Forge
to inform all approaching that there may be hot sparks flying.

With all respect to Leigh, and to all ever to enjoy the restorative
power of the WoT fans and community.

I yield me to a more worthy being. A Woman.
By your leave Lady.

Paul Edward Long
PO 507
CalNevAri Nevada
Quasimodo42431 AT Yahoo. com

Alice Arneson
253. Wetlandernw
Caveatar, if you allow one woman to drive you away from this forum, I'll be disappointed. Let another woman ask that you stay and continue to entertain the rest of us. Those who have no desire for our sort of frivolity can skip our posts, and we'll frivol without them. Even if I don't get 2/3 of your references. :)
Birgit F
255. birgit
I don't know if it's himself that Moridin hates or just the world in general, because if it's just himself, he could do us all a huge favor and just quietly kill himself without making such a fuss.

That isn't final enough for him. He knows that he would be reborn/brought back by the DO.
Paul Long
256. Caveatar
Wetlander. Flagged as spam
Jeff Schweer
257. JeffS.
251. tenkuu
You're right about the buttons being pushed for sure. It seems to me that he was teetering on the brink of the meltdown for weeks.

And I see Birgit points out what I was trying to say in that same post at 241. Moridin knows he can't escape so easily. He's already been reincarnated in this series/age once and would be again. Very under the DO's thumb is this one.

I am only an egg
Eric Hughes
258. CireNaes

I'm curious, why do you think Verin's soul isn't still in danger? The whole swearing to the DO sounds very permanent to me in Jordan's cosmology. This really highlights the stunning sacrifice she made on behalf of Team Light. She could have just said, "Fine, kill me." but in my very subjective opionion, she sacrificed her soul safety for a chance to study and weed out the BA.

Now there are some Popey parallels in that Egwene pronouned her soul as bathed in the light, but does Egwene have that kind of pull with the Creator and how the Pattern is designed to work?

I think Rand's "saving" of his mother in TEOTW was a forshadowing. Outside of a direct intervention (read sacrificial battle) on your behalf made by the Fisher King/Dragon/One with the Rand Land, (Rand and Ingtar), that sort of oath is very very permanent. Rand going into the depths of "hell" for the sake of the repentant.

Now I'll freely admit that I'm guessing. But for me, it would be awesome if Rand were to redeem the repentant Dark Friends who have died earlier in the series during the Last Battle.


You're doing great. Best moderator ever. Hands down. Objective, cool, collected, and fair.


If anyone here wants to have a laugh and has an entire weekend to blow, then read the posts from the very beginning to about midway through.

If we continue on this path though, toys will be taken away...I like my toys. Let's do our best to keep the threads open.
Ron Garrison
259. Man-0-Manetheran
tnh: Thanks for your remarkable restraint in moderating this board. I would not be able to show the restraint that you do were it my job. Thanks.
Eric Hughes
260. CireNaes
I have a dark suspicion that the Dark One might snatch Verin's soul... the better to punish her. Something along the lines of what Ba'alzamon pretended to have done with Kari Al'Thor at the end of book 1.
I agree. Forgot to mention that.
Kimani Rogers
261. KiManiak
Really late to the party. And on such a great chapter, too.

Thanks for the recap, Leigh. One of your best, which happens to coincide with one of the best scenes (best chapter, best Sneaky-character, best reveal, best etc…) in all of WoT.

I’m sure that the various commenters have probably said a lot of what could be said about these chapters (Verin was Awesome, Egwene is about to begin her Chapters-of-Awesomeness); I just wanted to chime in and say great chapter, great recap.

Now I gotsta see what cool points my fellow commenters have made. I’m assuming that maybe a comment or two will speak of Verin in a positive Light…
262. Freelancer
Caveatar @232,

Yes, on two occasions. Both involved her hosting a meal for folks involved in charitable work where she amended their funding after feeding them. There are less than six people about which I can say I will always watch a movie they were in when I happen upon them. She is one. Tamp down your envy, I did no more than share a few words with her, and I was a high-schooler at the time. Probably as extroverted as Perrin, and as verbose. Certainly neither as eloquent nor as witty as old Sam Webster.

Caveatar @235,

Perhaps Wetlandernw intended to anserine a different place but, lacking anserine, hadn't the energy.

When is a pun, not a pun?

tenkuu @250,

You completely missed my point that the Ajahs should NOT be combined, should be all but disbanded, to quibble over which ones more closely belong together. By the way, the preceding statement is an observation, not an accusation. Yes, there is a difference.

Wetlandernw @253

Seconded. And along with frivolity, don't forget flippancy. We love flippancy.

Cirenaes @258,

I don't take Egwene's words to Verin as being equivalent to a Papal pronouncement, rather simply a parting encouragement to an admired colleague and friend. Up to this point, Tomas was the only other living soul who knew what Verin had accomplished, the internal pain she had born, and it will be up to Egwene if anyone else is to learn of her seventy year project of valor for the Light. To ease Verin's mind that she recognized how honorable her path had been, whether a step here or there had to be taken in the dark, was a good thing to do. But Egwene doesn't suppose herself to have sway with the Creator regarding the status of another's soul.

Verin did indeed take the dark oaths, and for seven decades lived within them. This required her to constantly carry three sets of behavior about:

1. Act and speak like a normal Aes Sedai some of the time
2. Act and speak like a Black sister some of the time
3. Internally hold to the truth that both of the above are lies, told to support a long-range plan against the shadow

Sneaky to the stealth power.
Eric Hughes
263. CireNaes
But Egwene doesn't suppose herself to have sway with the Creator regarding the status of another's soul.
So I went back and read what I wrote. Let me clarify that I don't think Egwene believes she has the ability to pardon a soul (an Aes Sedai's service record, yes, but not her soul). Really what I was searching for was some sort of reason why a reader might suppose she's going to happy go lucky recycle land rather than straight to the DO's Pee Wee Play House. Still gives me chills after all these years.

Now if the DO doesn't give a hoot (unlikely) or doesn't know (there's a chance as the DO is never described as omniscient) who the sneakster was, then I could roll with that. However, there's also the other end of the spectrum. Is there a permanent consequence for pledging allegience to the DO? Is this enforced by the Creator or the Pattern? Unknowns. A good set of questions for Brandon. At least I'm curious.
Cynthia Ahmar
264. tenkuu
Caveatar@252: If I could be offended, I wouldn't have ventured to ask you to guess. Btw, your attitude towards women is admirable. You should extend it to everyone you speak to, at the very least when it comes to their opinions. Heeding that request is much easier than retiring from the re-reads, especially since you have some good things to say quite often. There's no need to fly from one extreme to the other, either being outright rude or downright ignoring the re-read altogether. Find a middle ground, it's not that hard.

Wetlandernw@253: Oh please, I'm not driving anyone away from anywhere, least of all here. Asking that you all be respectful of everyone's opinions is hardly disdainful or onerous. It should be something you do naturally, as an educated and moral person.

birgit@255 & JeffS@257: Yes, but would the Dark One bother reviving him if he did something such as kill himself? It would be proof enough of traitorous behavior, if you ask me.

CireNaes@258: Wasn't the saving fake? Ie, it wasn't really his mother's soul, was it? And I think the right "path" for all posters is mutual respect, no sniping at each other.

Freelancer@262: I didn't miss it. Since I didn't really agree with it and thought mergings would be better, I responded to the part of your post, in brackets, which addressed the merging idea. I know very well that nothing in your post is offending, you should learn to recognize that yourself. No need to check things through me, I'm not your mother. I'm only asking you and others to be respectful of others' opinions. Why do you have to make such a production out of what is a very reasonable request? Frankly, I am befuddled that you've been able to get along with others so far without doing it.
Jeff Schweer
265. JeffS.
By various accounts, Moridin is the strongest of the Forsaken and seemingly has the strongest ties to the DO. One of his strongest weapons. I would think that the DO would revive him again if just to punish him for trying to escape his mission. I think the ties to the DO would make it hard for him to slip past through deaths door without being pulled back. Just don't see it working, myself. Still, as I don't recall any references showing that he has tried that route and had it fail, it might be possible.

Heck, that's what most of us are hoping Verin accomplished, being an hour dead before the Dark one knows you're gone and all that.
Eric Hughes
266. CireNaes

That it was a fake scenario is very likely or altogether true. Although her "fake" response is really odd. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain or something more? Another question for Brandon.

As to the sniping bit. I'm really at a loss as to why it's continuing. Perhaps you could explain?
Jeff Schweer
267. JeffS.
I wasn't going to step into this and TNH blow this away if I start something I shouldn't but here goes.

Methinks you protest too much.

You have variously sniped at people for real or imagined slights including our hosts lately and I must say that I just don't get it.
You continually ask for respect but then tell people that "you aren't their mother." I get that you would like everyone to agree with your oh so reasonable requests and points of view, but you're looking down your metaphorical nose at people while you type.
And I'm not sure how you can demand that tnh consult with you before she drops a post of your's. Passive Agressive much?

I've enjoyed our discussion about Verin, Moridin and my own existential thoughts and will continue to try to do so in a meaningful manner. Can never tell though, I'm the one that thought Gaywen was younger than Elayne for a dozen years or more until someone gently set me straight.

I am only an egg
Eric Hughes
268. CireNaes

Brava!!! And most enjoyable. I apologize. You have complimented my work on several occasions (as have others) and I seldom reciprocate. A personal failing of mine. I need to fix that.

Edit: To add to this, I find it easier to point out how little something is wrong with a certain acheivement than to praise it for what it strictly is. My brain processes that as very complimentary. And yes, my wife still loves me. I have successfully modified this behavior in about 50% of my interactions with her though. Way up from our first few years of marriage. Sometimes I even manage to crack her up. Those here would likely have appreciated a discussion I had with her lately about cultural perceptions of beauty and how everything would change to a touch/smell basis if we lived in a world without light that was heated from the core outward. I told her she had great skin and would do very well with the former. The later would set her back at times. She fell over she laughed so hard.
269. Freelancer
JeffS @267

It's quite alright. I just haven't done much fishing in a very long time. You know, some types of fish learn to leave the bait alone, and you have to try something different. Others bite every single time at even a bare hook. I'll bet that type are always befuddled about the results.
Alice Arneson
270. Wetlandernw
CireNaes @268 - I like your wife! :) FWIW, I wasn't so much fishing for compliments (well, maybe just a little... ;p ) but I honestly was puzzled; the writing felt so stiff to me that I was sure the regulars would pick up on the weirdness and at least wonder - or laugh at me for being so ridiculously O/C.

On the earlier discussion of the fate of Verin's soul... I find myself ambivalent. I don't think that "once a Darkfriend, always a Darkfriend" can hold true, due to various logical issues. We've been told that the DO is "Lord of the Grave" and has power over anyone who dies, but since that was said by Ishamael while trying to get Rand to submit to the DO, it's not entirely... reliable. RJ did tell us specifically that, for those who are not Heroes of the Horn, there is an "ordinary" afterlife, whatever that means. So while only the Heroes hang out in TAR between lives, everyone else hangs out... somewhere. There doesn't seem to be much concept of hell in the WoT (other than Shayol Ghul's fiery toilet), or of Heaven either. Their greatest hope is to be reborn, to continue the cycle of life and death.

My conclusion is that, if the DO was aware of it and angry enough, he could probably snatch Verin's soul at the moment of death, put it in another body and torment her for a long time. Barring the availability of a suitable body, though, I don't think he'd be able to hold her soul in torment for any significant length of time. Any time at all would be too much, I'm sure, but... we really don't have any evidence that he does that kind of thing. Or that he can even do anything to a soul except stuff it into a new body. So... I think Egwene's statement serves to give Verin comfort on her way out, but we don't have any WoT-internal concept of salvation or damnation in the afterlife. Except Verin's feeling that she ought to have to pay for the things she did for the DO.
Alice Arneson
271. Wetlandernw
I just ran across something interesting, while searching the theoryland database for something different. RJ was talking about Far Madding and its totally matriarchal society, and he included this:
The usual form of address by a woman to man whose name she doesn't know, or sometimes to one whose name she does, is "boy."
Which means that, while it sounds horribly demeaning to us, it's merely part of her formative years and is perfectly natural to her. That's just what you call a man. Who knew?
Kimani Rogers
272. KiManiak
Goodness Gracious Me, those were a lot of comments to go through. Glad I finally caught up.

Anyway, my not-at-all-too-late-to-the-party two cents:

MAT @14 – I think we have similar feelings about Egwene overall; and similar feelings about Egwene here and in the next few chapters (I’m assuming). I actually had issues with her even trying to compare her imprisonment to Rand’s time in a box (yes, I agree that she said Rand's was worse). But I’ll overlook the fact that she chose to remain imprisoned and knew she always had an option to be rescued; versus Rand’s imprisonment without the benefits of Dreaming, entering T’A’R, being in contact with his army of followers, etc. Since she finally realized that Rand being imprisoned and tortured by Aes Sedai was a pretty bad thing…

Terez27@15 – Thanks for sharing that info from Brandon.

Lsana@21 – I do appreciate that you pointed out Egwene’s use of words and her decision to emulate Aes Sedai actions. I’m not a big Egwene fan (shocking admission, I know) and I have issues with almost all of her actions in ToM (even her defeat of Mesaana is overshadowed by the stupid and condescending way she handled Perrin in that same battle; which makes his handling of her allow the reader to contrast the 2 approaches, and see how a good friend should act in that situation, resonate even more), so I agree that her choice to swallow the AS attitude and approach hook, line and sinker shows IMHO that she’s still missing the big picture.

I will say that I’m not sure how, in this case, she could have been honest here and not have given away more information than she may have been comfortable sharing at this time. She still thought that she would be imprisoned in the Tower for the foreseeable future. I could see her needing to be cautious, and by extension, deceptive.

Wort@33 – re: The Toh Towers - Hah! You had me bust out laughing. Thanks for that.

twosheddz@45 – re: Egwene being “Fainified” – Put me in the group of folks that think its more likely Halima did something to her than Fain. Halima had access to Egwene’s mind for weeks; it just seems incredibly lame if all she did was give her headaches. Fain's influence on Egwene would have to have been applied within a very short window of time, comparatively speaking.

Fork@47 – Hah! Sorry you were forced into defending Eggs.
**in a sing-songy voice** Don’t you find it less satisfying? Wouldn’t you rather come back to the anti-Eggs side? Were so much more fun!

CireNaes@69 – re: repulsed by WoT character we are similar to – Oh, heck no! There is no way I’m like Elayne. God help me if I ever decide to run blindly into a situation without trying to plan or use my available resources. Hmm. Not sure how stupidly-brave I am, either :-)

Forkroot@77 – Nice!

ValMar@81 – I am awed by your cleverness and astuteness. Really. :-)

missbee@92 – re: wording of the Black Ajah oath – I’m with you; I think there must be more to the wording than we’ve been shown so far. Is this something that we'll explore more in AMoL? Hopefully so...

Terez27@105 – 600 posts? Beru fend! (Wait, wrong series). I like the pacing of this one; I was actually be able to catch up and read all of the posts this week, not stop after 300something like last time :-)

alfoss@110 – Whoever spoiled you to the Verin twist should be tarred and feathered. That sucked. Glad you still were able to enjoy the chapter.

Zexxes@118 – Interesting observations about Verin. She is already one of my favorite characters, with Mat being my favorite. I’m not sure whether her gender plays a role on how much I like her. I’m also not sure if I’d like her as much if she were a guy.
Thomas Keith
273. insectoid
Sure is quiet around here (with a few exceptions).

Wetlander @271: Does this mean, then, that Cads calling Rand boy for 7 books is merely because of her upbringing, and is not meant to be demeaning—or is it a little of both? (I assume, of course, that Rand finds being called boy demeaning. ;) )

After all, Verin was from Far Madding, too, and seldom (if ever) called Rand boy that I can recall.

Kimani Rogers
274. KiManiak
Yasiru@135 – Yeah, I’m a big fan of Verin but I agree that it seemed un-Verin-like to bank on Mat’s curiosity as the sole assurance that her information about the Caemlyn attack would be passed on to Team Light. Then again, a lot of little things did go her way, so I guess it’s only fair that she missed on this one thing.

sonofthunder@139 – I hear your points regarding Egwene’s comparison of her plight with Rand. He was seriously scarred mentally by his imprisonment. Actually, his psychological scarring and torture/claustrophobic-induced-PTSD is more similar to Egwene’s fear of and response to being collared again.

Now the effects of that trauma would be a fairer comparison for Egwene to make in regards to Rand’s feelings about being put in a box, IMHO. And even then, when she was collared she was still able to interact with other people and knew that being let outside didn't mean being whipped, watered and then placed back in the box.

Shadow_Jak@177 – re: Healing Verin – I think that’s a good point. I guess hindsight could say that Egwene didn’t want anyone to figure out that Verin was imparting sensitive information; plus, maybe the Sister Egwene would get to Heal Verin may be Black. But I think that Egwene didn’t consider any of that at the time; she just didn’t think to get someone to Heal Verin. I totally get it; I don’t know if I would have thought of that either. Also, what insectoid@178 said.

Jeribai@186 – re: Alanna – Are we sure that Egwene knows Alanna Bonded Rand against his will? Did she learn from Elayne or Aviendha? Who else would have told her?

Samadai@199 – re: Verin’s book – I think that would be a great addition to the Encyclopedia. Hey, how big do you think that thing will be, anyway?

RobM2@245 – re: reverse retcon – I like those suggestions. I’ve always been half expecting someone to mention how the occasional Aes Sedai uses a staff or cane sometimes when weaving Saidar, or how it was something that only a select few Sisters carried and used purposely to add to the mystique of the Power, or something like that. Something to retroactively explain why we only saw the staff with one Aes Sedai so far.

Caveatar@247 – I read the Egwene story. You did have me cracking up at “Sheathe the Sword.” Nice.

Caveatar@252 – PLEASE. Do Not Stop Participating. PLEASE. These reread posts are meant to be as inclusive as possible; allowing for creativity, cleverness and all types of good humor (couldn’t think of another appropriate “c”-word). I truly hope you don’t let a comment or three convince you to stop participating. There are so many here who do appreciate your comments (and who know how to skip/ignore a comment they don’t particularly care for).

CireNaes@268 – Hah! Nice story; good senses of humor in both you and your wife.

@various – I hope that we can all (everyone) behave in a polite and respectful manner, and treat others with the kindness and patience that we would expect for ourselves. This is meant to be fun! (Or at least, a worthwhile and maybe even productive use of our time)

(Although, I may have to bite my tongue a whole lot when we get to Elayne's fake Forsaken act in ToM.

Oh wait; nothing wrong with me treating one of the WoT characters with a lack of respect...)
Paul Long
275. Caveatar
@271 Wetlandernw, Freelancer, Cirnaes, and others who understand

My response to you from before was flagged as spam and has not pased
customs yet.
Therfore, because of my respect for those people I will repost it.
For those who are worthy even the breaking of a Blood Oath is worth it.
And after all, it is no deadly penalty to shed blood in a good cause. That
of respect to those who deserve it.
Rest assured that I can read the intent of the heart behind the words of the tongue.
Wetlandernw Reply with antecedents
PLACEHOLDER Caveatar@244: I'll let you guess how old I am. Hint: definitely younger than you. Btw, I'm a girl, not a guy.

I will not guess. I would guess wrong and possibly offend you. That I will not do to any girl or woman except accidentally. I have known and loved too many women who were worthy of all the respect I can give for too many years to do that. And my father, the Master Smith, who passed on the millenia old lore of Iron Masters, Black Smiths
In an unbroken chain which began at the end of the bronze age, Burned that respect for the Gateway of Life into my soul in training me.
And I like the brand. Even though I still feel it. Just like Rand's Herons James Rigney restores my wounded soul and makes it right.
In respect for your gender, and trusting that you really are another GaL, Gateway a Life, or GeL, Gateway e Life.
I do my duty as a Master Smith.
I yield the field of battle to one I treasure too much to hurt.
I withdraw from any further posting on the rereads. I will remove to the Forums where my Caveat.ar will be a sign as of the Forge to inform all approaching that there may be hot sparks flying.
With all respect to Leigh, and to all ever to enjoy the restorative power of the WoT fans and community.
I yield me to a more worthy being. A Woman.
By your leave Lady.
Paul Edward Long
PO 507
CalNevAri Nevada 89039
Quasimodo42431 AT Yahoo. com

Wetlander Caveatar, if you allow one woman to drive you away from this forum, I'll be disappointed. Let another woman ask that you stay and continue to entertain the rest of us. Those who have no desire for our sort of frivolity can skip our posts, and we'll frivol without them. Even if I don't get 2/3 of your references.

Wetlander In respect of your request I break my word. One time. One woman did not drive me away. I left the field voluntarily.
All the women in my life, from my mother, whose milk I can still taste, and whose skin still smells like...vanilla wafers is as close as I can get,

Who confessed to me alone of all her several children that she had played with a dear friend, when she was 14, a pillow friend but she didn't use that word. and had been worried for 50 years if she was, as the word was then "queer".
She said she wanted no one else' approval or judgment. Only mine.
I gave it.
Young girls exploring their bodies, is like, Eve in my Eden tale
whose Father gave her a mirror and let her see what he had designed.
The woman who was standing and weeping with her dress pulled down and her breasts sagging and breaking her heart when I accidentally walked into the room.
I told her she was still beautiful.
I wrote her a chant, rhyme if you will, about old women.
She blessed me for it.
When she died I could do nothing and it burns me worse than any hot iron ever did.
I wrote another and put a very expensive emerald ring in the coffin with her.
I have a standing contract of execution of anyone who disturbs that grave.
She admired it.
She wouldn't take it in life and said to send it with her.
For all its glitter that emerald is not worth the equivalent of one speck of the more precious dust in the coffin it lies in for as long as it lies there.
I remember her loving eyes looking at me and her petting me when I was breast feeding.
No lie.
Until my stroke a few years ago I had an eidetic memory.
Hers was better.
From her to my youngest daughter, I have four and all did the same thing.
They looked at me when they were so tiny and had just learned to use their eyes.
I smiled at this wonderful treasure and all of them reached the tiniest little hand and grasped my little finger and smiled at me.
I know how Eve smiled at her father. I had the same beautiful thing from my daughters.
I had the same smile from my wife of 37 years when she presented our firstborn child and asked me to bless it. I did.
Then she told me the greatest thing I have ever heard. And I have heard and read enough to fill a fair sized library. Eidetic memory you see. What she said was a naughty thing I guess.
She said: "Well that was a mistake. I should never have learned from you what an orgasm was. But the agony of the 42 hours of labor, became an orgasm as intense as all the labor pains for 10 minutes. The only thing I need from you in the future is an opportunity to give birth again."
I tell you this in respect for your post.
I have loved many worthy women.
And the Eden thing was because some TV preacher had convinced my daughters that they were not worthy, (MIS)quoting the great apostle Paul for whom my mother named me in hope.
I first Cursed the preacher And Paul the Apostle for making my daughters feel unworthy.
Then I calmed down and rewrote Genesis ERROR REMOVED SEE FORUM THREAD.and as my Master Smith lore, passed down lore as old as the actual penning of the old testament, had it.
Every woman who I know who has ever read about Eve the young woman smiling at the Eternal Creator, and taking his hand has told me "I feel cleaner and more valuable than I have ever felt in my life."
And they cry in relief.
One of my daughters willingly gave her virginity to the man she loved at 18 and she came to me in the afterglow and told me about it.
Proud and pleased with her discovery and wanting to share with the man she knew would never hurt her.
And her best chance to share that joy with anyone.
She chose me and that was more valuable than Bill Gates money to me. Her mother didn't find out for a week. She was not envious though.
I bought my daughter a piece of jewelry to wear to commemorate her joy.
In respect of my mother, my wife, my daughters and 2 other women not related to me who I have loved with that passion, I would die like Rand before I would knowingly harm a woman and I would kill any man who assaulted one in my presence.
And call the cops and allow them to take me to a life sentence.
I would not regret the decision for to me Woman is worth all I can give her and I recite the litany with Rand EVERY Time Jordan mentions it.

I have presented this wall of text in respect of you and my admiration for you Kindness quotient. The Intelligence quotient you exhibit is not as important to me as the other.
I will have to review to make sure I did not misstate something. Afterward I will remain on the forums section and continue my attempt to record my Master Smith training.
Millenia old lore is fading from the world and there may be few other than myself who can record it.
I hope Tor is a chance to record it for any who want to know, polluted though it is.
It took ten years from 7 to 17 to learn it. And I had the advantage of a good memory.
*Perhaps some future FelixPax can find it on some flash drive and add to his store.* added
After editing and reviewing it I will do as I said.
My Oath as a Master Smith on it.
For as Long as Fire Burns and Coal Is Black. In the name of the Master Creator. So Be It.
You can find the forums if you want my humor, codgery though it may be.

No apologies for the wall of text to any complainers. Learn to read. Or learn the Forge Flame and the Void and you will be able to remove me from your world.
I can certainly cause you to be totally forgotten from mine. Eidetic memory or not.
With respect Alice
and any not offended by me. I offend no one intentionally. Least of all
women and children and the innocents among us.


Any Reply to any of my posts on the forumns is welcome and hoped for from you or any other not offended by them.
For as Long as Fire Burns
276. yasiru89
Wetlandernw @271-

And you don't suppose Cadsuane, being Aes Sedai and thus aware what works with people of different backgrounds and what doesn't to be better able to manipulate them, would be remiss in failing to take this into account? She was well aware that her every action made Rand grind his teeth, for each one actually being calculated on her part. You could expect this 'excuse' you're appealing to from someone more straightforward in their ways like Perrin (or even Birgitte), but even apart from being Aes Sedai and concerned with how she's perceived, Cadsuane's careful gambit for staying close to the Dragon Reborn without him ever thinking she needed him as much as he needed her would suggest otherwise.

She believed the way to get her 'charge' under control and stop him from being erratic would be to humble him and beat him down. This fails abysmally because she misjudges Rand's motives and mistakes for the man the assumed veneer he was trying to become (for thinking it was necessary). We see her reflect on these things only following her exile.

While she could be claimed to have been necessary for things to happen as they did, necessity doesn't confer any other authority to her actions. What's impressive though is that, much like early Moiraine, she pressed on with what she had. But just as Moiraine found out, this can only take you so far when the Pattern intends something different.
Paul Long
277. Caveatar
SORRY to add but

A Bird CAN teach a Fish to Fly
A Fish CAN teach a Bird to Swim.

I know at least one way of each.
It was part of my Training as an Iron Master.
One more scar from my oath.
Rob Munnelly
278. RobMRobM
Ki @274. As I think about it, there is precedent for reverse retcon in the Malazan world. There are a bunch of worldbuilding concepts introduced in the first book, Gardens of the Moon, that didn't continue in future books. Malazan fandom calls them "GOTMisms." We can have EOTWisms or TGHisms or TDRisms here, I guess.

My favorite apparent retcon in SFF is the post of Imperial Auditor in the Vorkosigan saga. Plays a huge role in the later books but isn't even mentioned in the first half dozen books.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
279. tnh
Tenkuu. Drop these quarrels and reproaches now, or I will give you a two-week vacation from Tor.com's discussion threads.

If you have complaints about other users, make them to me.
Anthony Pero
280. anthonypero
Who talks about the IRS until they show up at your door? It's bad luck!
James Whitehead
281. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@250Tenkuu, I see what you're saying. I guess I've always seen Cadsuane as a 'necessary evil' when it comes to her interactions with Rand. We the readers 'know' that she's important, as per Min's viewings. We also 'know' that she's not going about it in the best possible manner as it didn't work when Moiraine did it, and most of us wouldn't like to be treated that way.

In all honestly though, I'm not sure what else she could've done. As she herself said, those aes sedai made a dog's dinner of it by their actions regarding the box (not sure if that's verbatim or if I am imposing Uno's usage of more colourful metaphors on Cadsuane). ;-) Rand wasn't listening to many people any more, was becoming harder but not stronger, and it was becoming obvious the the very perceptive players (an us readers) that victory under 'Darth Rand' wouldn't be much different than if the Dark One won.

I don't really have many issues with the 'retcons' in the series. I mean, come on, things had to change somewhat over time. We are at 14 books, not counting New Spring, and 22 years since tEotW was published. Some things had to be tweaked if they didn't work out as well as Jordan thought they would.

As for whether or not Verin's soul could be saved, I am of the opinion that it could (notwithstanding the Dark One grabbing her before she 'escaped' that is). You take the whitecloak's own philosophy that no one can't be completely lost to the Light (paraphrasing as I am at work) and her actions in total. She was forced to serve the BA or die, so she swore new oaths & lived, serving the BA & DO as she thought she should.

Think where 'Team Light' would be now if Verin had chosen death instead. The 'greater good' would not have been served and 'our hero(ines)' would be in a worse position than they already are now. Not that she was completely selfless, obviously, but can we blame her for not wanting to die? For just wanting to pass on something that would out live her, as all Browns do?

'Course, I also think Rand's comments to Ingtar when it is finally revealed that Ingtar's a darkfriend that it's about wanting to be 'good' (for lack of a better way to put it) ring true so I guess YMMV when it comes to my logic. ;-)


PS - @280anthonypero, talk about naming the Dark One...
Sam Mickel
282. Samadai
Caveatar, you don't need to go anywhere, no one is offended by you, except those who take everything as an offense, in which case they aren't worth your effort anyways.

Kato, I believe the statement is: No one can stand so long in the shadow that they can't come back to the light. ( or something close to that
Paul Long
283. Caveatar

In respect of you and all others I will break my blood oath again.
But you will have to listen to my story of what it costs me to do it.
When anyone says "I'm sorry." in modern times what they usually
mean is "I am sorry you feel that way in your limited intelligence,
failing to grasp my exalted superiority to you and all other lesser
That is NOT what an Iron Master means when he says "I am sorry."
I owe you an apology."
Now we both know that an apology is an explanation of the reasoning
that brought the apologist, (explainer, not justifier), to do or say what
he did.
When an Iron Master breaks his Oath he pays for the breaking of that
blood oath in hard fact. He has a debt of blood and he will pay it in
order to clear his soul and not confuse his grasp of what is in his work
of making. To clear the smoke from his eyes and soul. And he does it
with the tools of his Art.
He without letting anyone know about it because it is his soul that he
has besmirched and it is for his own benefit he does it. I break that principle now.
The central core of a BlackSmith is the coals in his forge.
In clearing his soul he uses the purifying flame of that forge.
He picks up a coal, basically a red all around charcoal briquette
and holds it in his hand, (seldom) or places it on a part of his body
and leaves it until the flesh is burned through to the blood.
A blood oath is broken and it must be cleansed with blood.
Masochistic? Not at all. He does not enjoy it. In fact for the
seeming eternity it takes to do that, the pain is intense and
literally Burns away his infraction and lets the Blood of Life
wash clean his soul.
I did not invent this. It was passed on to me from 75 or so generations
of Iron Masters.
Thus do we purify our souls that our Making be not polluted.

Remember Quai Chang Caine picking up the big kettle of fire and
branding himself. He did somewhat the same. And he considered
it worth the pain. Smiths traveled all over the world and melded with
many cultures. It isn't the same, he had broken no oath but the old
blind guy would have understood what I do and say, "Well done, grasshopper" but he would probably call me pissant.
Even though I learned over a HALF*century ago to deaden the pain
with the Forge Flame and Void and can lay a cigarette on the back of
my hand and let it burn through to the blood while feeling no pain
when saying "I am sorry for breaking my oath", I do not do that and
believe you me, I AM sorry while it is paying my debt.
I am not paying a debt to you or to anyone else still alive.
It is to that Iron Age Long line of Iron Masters.
And they are worth it though they have rusted back into the ground.

I pay the price and post. With the assurance that nothing I say
is meant to offend anyone. They can take anything I might say
though it hurts them and they wouldn't admit it but it also hurts
me to know I have done so.

But the fact is that a long wall of text is inconvenient for a cellphone
user, it is distracting to one who is on the verge of convincing that
stubborn opponent that "Yes I am right...." and does not wish to lose
his place like a codger.
Other reasons are that it is inconvenient for the moderators to scan
through a long line of text in doing their jobs and that on a slow
net connection it takes too long to wait for the page to load.
It would be better to be off this section and on the forums where a
quick glance will let one know not to hit THAT link.
I am still adding to Darkun and clearing my mind and going
through the columns for my own benefit. It would be good to
have someone go through with the chief candidates. Encourage
them along and maybe more would be able to survive it.

I have no forge and in fact not even a charcoal barbecue.
But I smoke like Mark Twain said he did. Never when he was
asleep and always when he was awake.
I smoke cigarettes and the glow at the tip is a little forge flame.
It will serve.

Cadsuane is visiting the Smithy in Emond's field to Learn about Rand.
Codgery abounds
Anyone have a bandage?
*edited in. I ain't THAT old.
Jonathan Levy
284. JonathanLevy
Wow, I've missed a few days so I'll try to catch up on the balefire replies.

161. pwl
Only if by "perfectly consistent" you mean "not at all consistent". Balefire isn't actual fire. It doesn't turn stone into molten slag, it makes stone disappear into the past by "burning" its thread from the pattern. Despite the term "burning" being used, there's no heating, no melting, no vapor.
You're treating the phrase "Stone turned to vapor" as if it were a description in a Chemistry textbook, not a metaphor in a fantasy novel. Also, there's plenty of heat when balefire is used - see J.Dauro's examples @217, and some more below - even though heat is not the process by which balefire wreaks its destruction.

217. J.Dauro

Good examples of Balefire descriptions. I'd like to add to them:
TFOH:55 Rand's POV:
It struck the Forsaken, and Rahvin ceased to exist. The Darkhounds in Rhuidean had become motes before they vanished, whatever kind of life they had had struggling to continue, or the Pattern struggling to maintain itself even for them. Before this, Rahvin simply . . . ceased.
Nynaeve's POV:
Liquid fire sliced up into the colonnade, so hot it made the fire she had made seem cool. Shock made her release her weaving, and she flung up a hand to protect her face, yet before it had raised halfway, the liquid fire was gone. So was Rahvin. She did not believe he had escaped. There had been an instant, so brief she could almost have imagined it, when that white bar touched him and he became . . . mist. Just an instant. She could have imagined. But she did not believe so.
Combined with your examples @217, it seems that living creatures struck by balefire become reversed, turn to motes, and disappear. The speed of this process depends on the strength of the balefire. At high strengths, the process is so quick as to be easily missed.

Since LTT's hypothetical balefire would have been more powerful than Rand's (judged by the damage it did, and by the fact that Nynaeve was not blinded by Rand's), 'stone turned to vapor' seems a very fair way of describing it.

However, there's another interesting quote from TDR:39:
something shot out from Nynaeve’s hands - a thin bar of white light that made noonday sun seem dark, a bar of fire that made molten metal seem cold, connecting her hands to the Myrddraal. And they ceased to exist as if they had never been.
Egwene thinks to herself that this was Balefire, a term which the Aiel maidens introduced in the previous chapter.

There's something inconsistent with this description. There are no motes, no reversed colors, even though the balefire is weak ("a thin bar"). This suggests another explanation for the lack of motes in TEOTW prologue - namely, that the motes are themselves a minor retcon. Balefire as it was originally conceived (TEOTW & TDR) did not contain them. Only as the concept was developed towards the end of TDR were they added.

Another quote one from TDR:44:
The air between (Moiraine's) hands caught fire and streaked toward the Darkhounds, vanquishing night. The horses squealed and leaped against being held. Perrin threw an arm across his eyes to shield them from a white-hot glare like burning, heat like a forge cracking open; sudden noon flared in the darkness, and was gone. When he uncovered his eyes, spots flickered across his vision, and the faint, fading image of that line of fire. Where the Darkhounds had been was nothing but night-covered ground and the soft rain; the only shadows that moved were cast by clouds crossing the moon.
No motes here, but perhaps Perrin could not have been expected to notice them, under the circumstances.

One last thought on this subject. Not only would LTT have a good motive to balefire himself, but it could have been a setup to an abandoned plot device, or stunning revelation - that LTT had succeeded, and saved Ilyena's life. Everyone else remembered her dying, and called him Kinslayer, but in fact she lived. Pure speculation, I know! But fun speculation.

231. Freelancer
Don't worry, I can't ththay Ththylesthther either.
Can you say... Samson the Siluses strangler? Sinus the Syrian assassin? Several seditious scribes from Caesarea?

236. up2stuff
A cloud of vapor is different than a puff of motes.
Nynaeve didn't think it was so different in TFOH:55, when she used the word 'mist' to describe it - see above.

234. forkroot
245. RobMRobM
Oh, possible retcons are a delightful topic. We should have a thread for this in the forum. Your lists are great. Cadsuane? Check, best candidate. Moiraine's staff? Check. Failure to use Yellows while healing Mat - I missed that completely, wowsers. Min's viewings, forward or back - I agree, though others did not in a few lively discussions that we've had. Mat's Old Tongue - I'll have to search Terez's database for those interviews, I don't remember reading them.

As for more retcons - I think I read online somewhere about another retcon regarding the length of the week, changing it from 7 days to 10 days - but I don't remember the details.

What about Taimandred as a retcon? Probably not, though I really hope we'll get a clear explanation for the "so-called Aiel" comment when AMOL comes out.

The use of Ravens & Rats as spies for the Dark One might be considered another retcon. They're ominous and scary in TEOTW (flocks of ravens hunting Egwene), but we don't see any more of that in later books. This might be better explained by the need for threatening enemies at different stages of the heroes' development. I'm sure tvtropes has a term for it, but I'm not going there :)

258. CireNaes
I'm curious, why do you think Verin's soul isn't still in danger? The whole swearing to the DO sounds very permanent to me in Jordan's cosmology.
Has it not been confirmed that the Dragon was turned to the dark side in previous turnings of the wheel? This would suggest that swearing to the DO does not bind future incarnations.
Eric Hughes
285. CireNaes

Thanks for sharing. A community of people that one can enjoy and commemorate life with is a rare thing. To RJ this commodity, it is "a lost talent."

I would be happy to dialogue, share, and read your works on a personal tor.com thread. You should definately start one. Your personal works are worth sharing and should be shared. I want to read them. I worry that tnh will be put in a awkard postition though in keeping the reread portion of tor.com on topic. You are a fountain of creation. A proliferate artist.

Have you started a personal thread topic that is WoT based here at Tor.com? I will meet you there. You have my word.
Paul Long
286. Caveatar
@285 Cirnaes

Yes Oh Prince to whom Jehovah has been gracious in Inspiration.
Eric Sean and your last name of course i leave out.

I have started 3 really.
One is the Dark'uns tale
One is One day in Eden, which will follow the Sword JUSTICE
from the hand of the First Guardian Angel at the Gate of Eden
all the way to the current holder of it. The protector of the world
at the present time. The United States of America.
Pray that Justice is not used to commit Injustice or we are doomed
as a Nation to decline into obscurity.

Thank you. You are welcome in my smithy and I would admire to
attend your sermons if you ever give one. I would prefer to meet you
in your study and have a go round like I used to have with JT
who is now Doctor of Divinity, John Thomas Parish.
Nadine L.
287. travyl
Wetlander @220. I'm sad to admit that I failed to see through your effort. I was too much distracted by the C. A. D. etc. And I attributed the awkward wording to you "upset frame of mind." - Sorry.
Wetlander @271. I agree with insectiod: No matter her upbringing Cads is aware that outside Far Madding you do not adress men as boy, and the fact that she does, is consciously chosen to serve her purpose.

Caveatar @275: how did you insert real smileys?

Caveatar @283: You may be a Master Smith, but describing yourself as Gawyn's twin entitles you to "stupid" decicions (swearing to not post anymore), and we (based on other comments, I think I can say "we") don't hold you to such an oath. So don't punish yourself to pay the debt for continueing to post on this thread.

JL @284. You are quite right about the change of the lengh of a week from 7 days (early books) to 10 days later.
Don Barkauskas
288. bad_platypus
Is anyone else having problems with bookmarks? When I try to bookmark a post, it takes me to my profile page and doesn't actually save the bookmark.
Paul Long
289. Caveatar
I acknowledge your comment and thank you for it.
My oath was made in haste and my dad would have let me
know it. Perrin would let me know it too.

Now do you rethink about why old yelloweyes the smith takes so
damned LONG to make his decisions? RJ knew why he was slow
thinking. He was quick thinking but he was trained to make judgments slowly. RJ =Master
But I pay my oath to keep my mind clear of confusion.
Like lying, It confuses the mind as to what is real or not.
I know you wouldn't require it.
But, it is done and doesn't even slow down my typing.

Thank you

ETA I didn't insert them. They are an artifact carried from the forum editor. FYI
Anthony Pero
290. anthonypero
Bookmarks are currently broken. It has been reported to the PTBs
Chin Bawambi
291. bawambi
Wow these threads are exploding lately but unfortunately not always in a good way :( My problems with some of the characters are almost always a wonderful reflection on RJ and BWS writing ability. For if the characters are not drawn so well none of us would care enough to get our collective noses out of joint. Glad for the advanced commentary around here and I would vote for Ajah abolishment in the future if the WT survives as such (I don't think it will).
Eric Hughes
292. CireNaes

You are correct. Although there is an interesting outlier to this factor. Jordan only talks about the Champion of the Light. I don't know if I can apply this rule outside of the unique qualities of the Fisher King. Here are the pertinent interviews. The first one I copied and pasted (thanks Terez) is interesting when you compare Elan all tripped out on the True Power to what Brandon has to say about Moridin. Moridin (Elan's new nihilistic reincarnation) is very much a parallel to Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount. He just had his "moment" earlier than Rand did.
INTERVIEW: Jan 16th, 2003COT Signing Report - Tim Kington (Paraphrased)
QUESTION (inaudible)
ROBERT JORDAN Yes, the Champion of the Light has gone over in the past. This is a game you have to win every time. Or rather, that you can only lose once—you can stay in if you get a draw. Think of a tournament with single elimination. If you lose once, that's it. In the past, when the Champion of the Light has gone over to the Shadow, the result has been a draw.
INTERVIEW: Feb 26th, 2003tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)
QUESTION Was Ishamael lying when he told Rand that the hero of the Light had turned to the Shadow in other lifetimes?
ROBERT JORDAN No he was not. Even those who lie sometimes tell the truth when it serves their purposes.
Alice Arneson
293. Wetlandernw
travyl @287 - I just thought it was an interesting note; certain early habits are not readily broken, especially if you don't have any good reason to break them. Given Cadsuane's movement from Far Madding's matriarchy to the White Tower (essentially no interaction with men), and then her immediate position as top-of-the-ranks Aes Sedai, there wasn't much reason to change it. From that time on, she's probably been continuing that habit; why ever not? She has, in all likelihood, said "boy" to all twenty-odd men she brought to the Tower for gentling, as well as a number of kings, nobles, and... well, every other man she had occasion to deal with. It isn't something she saved and brought out just for Rand. It's the way she has addressed thousands of men for hundreds of years; changing it for Rand would not be easy, nor would she really want to. After all, her primary goal seems to be helping him remember that, whatever else he may be, he is first of all merely human. The funny thing is, it seems to bother the readers far more than it does Rand. Like several other things.
Eric Hughes
294. CireNaes
JL and fork

Here is another fascinating tidbit that could (not saying it proves anything) support my idea that Verin is in trouble. RJ's description of the bore. Perhaps I'm underestimating the DO's capabilities or awareness of what his/its(?) minions are up to. Now proximity to the surface is an important consideration here, but that is most likely a factor of being merely human. I need to stop posting these. I'm turning into Terez.

INTERVIEW: Apr, 2003Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)


ROBERT JORDAN Essentially learned the local language.

QUESTION They just got free and learned the local language in a few weeks or so.

ROBERT JORDAN A little more than a few weeks.

QUESTION Wow...That’s impressive! What about the first and second that were let loose?

ROBERT JORDAN They were very near the surface. It’s one of the reasons for the effects on them. They were for three thousand years aware—not in a sleep like the others; aware—and more aware of what has happened in the world. And because of the way the Bore works… See, the Bore is not located at Shayol Ghul. Shayol Ghul is simply the place where the Bore is most easily sensed. The Bore is everywhere, because of the nature of the universe. And those two guys, in effect, spent the last three thousand years in a state of feeling that they had no body—they certainly had no ability to move—that they were simply trapped minds, but aware and drifting over the face of the earth, able to hear people, able to see what was happening in one area or another. They could speak the language when they came out.

QUESTION You are talking about Aginor and Balthamel now.


QUESTION And Ishamael as well?

ROBERT JORDAN Ishamael is a different case. Read and find out.
Eric Hughes
295. CireNaes
Sorry tnh. I edited a post right after you approved it to correct a misspelling and then that sent it back through the approval process.

Is the "flagging" associated with the fact that I was copy/pasting from theoryland's interview database and there are several URL links in that material? I could delete those to make your life easier.
Eric Hughes
296. CireNaes
Testing my own URL Link hypothesis with this added tidbit.
QUESTION Ishamael mentions in prior turnings of the Wheel that the soul of Lews Therin was raised up as the Shadow's champion, and if that is the case, who was the champion of the Creator?

ROBERT JORDANYou believe Ishamael??? Sorry, man, but c'mon!

FOOTNOTE RJ effectively answered this question twice in 2003: 1) for tarvalon.net, and 2) for Tim Kington on theCrossroads of Twilight book tour. The first version of the question (which clearly refers to Rand, asIshamael was talking about Rand, and RJ said Ishamael did not lie) seems to contradict this one, but it doesn't, really. RJ does not say here explicitly that Ishamael lied, so it seems that he was avoiding the question of who would be the Champion of the Light if Rand turned. He could hardly say RAFO without leading the reader to believe that Rand would be somehow turned to the Shadow before the end.
Paul Long
297. Caveatar
@wetlander 293
Give me a hour or so and I will complete the Cadsuane
listening to the codgers and Master Luhan and maybe
return the favor. I quit hating her and was able to see
why she did things. Boy, Slap, and the Thats one, ....

If you have time. I prefer to read YOUR thoughts though.
Don't hold up to read mine.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
298. tnh
CireNaes: I think it was the links in the comment. That's usually what does it. If I've let loose any duplicates, let me know.

We may never figure out why the system snags some comments and not others, but ones that get snagged frequently contain URLs. At the same time, plenty of comments that contain URLs go through without a hitch.
Rob Munnelly
299. RobMRobM
TNH - grab the 3 hunny. You know you want to.
Anthony Pero
300. anthonypero
I'll take it.

EDIT: And I hardly even participated this thread!
Cynthia Ahmar
302. tenkuu
I did not want to stain my response to Caveatar with the necessary ugliness of the previous post, so you'll forgive me for separating them. Leigh, I also have to apologize to you about the way this has turned out. Your re-read posts are remarkable and your comments are hilarious. I'm only sorry some people can't seem to keep it in their pants.

Caveatar@275: That was really beautiful, all of it. I don't even begin to deserve as much respect as the women in your life that you describe. Just to clarify though, I don't mind if you guess my age because age doesn't matter to me. Never has, never will. If someone disrespects or harms you in any way, whether they're 5, 30 or 80, they don't deserve your respect either. In the same fashion, you can associate with any person whether they're older or younger than you, as long as they make you feel comfortable. All that matters is that you have something in common with them. As such, you could even guess 150 and it wouldn't bother me. And it didn't bother me that you thought I was a guy either, I just clarified for the sake of clarity. :) The armor name that I use as my nick does in fact belong to a male in YST (as they all do), he just happens to be my favorite character.

yasiru89@276: Bravo! I have nothing to add to that other than that I agree with all of it.

KatoCrossesTheCourtyard@281: Thank you for being one of the few people who know how to just "talk" without being at one extreme or the other. You're really saving my sanity here. I don't mean to sound stupidly emotional here, but seriously, posts like yours are such a breath of fresh air on this forum. On Cadsuane, she could have simply sat quietly and observed the people Rand dealt with that he *did* trust, such as Min, and learned from them how not to treat him. She let her pride get in the way. Rather than using Min's viewings about her to help her gain Rand's trust, she used them to see how far she could push Rand and just how much she could manipulate him. She knew that Rand needed her, and therefore never made any effort to make herself invaluable in any way. Even when she was helping Rand, her attitude was one of condescension and annoyance, as if she could barely be bothered with helping Rand, calling him a fool left and right and talking down to him as if he were a child. Of course Rand didn't respond well to such an attitude. Cadsuane's time was counted from the beginning, when you think about it. Rand knew he needed her because of Min, knew she helped him a couple of times, knew she annoyed him to no end most of the time, and tolerated it all as best he could. Rand has tolerated everything that he's been through remarkably well, but even he has a snapping point. He reached it with Cadsuane, and then with the whole world.

JonathanLevy@284: Perhaps Nynaeve's balefire in your quote was more powerful than she knew. It could have been a very concentrated dose of balefire despite being thin, kind of like how small objects can be heavier than larger ones. As far as Lews Therin could go, he probably intended to balefire himself, but it so happened that he burned himself out first. I'm not entirely sure that simply burning himself out could explain the lack of a body though, unless we assume he went in the lava. Your theory about Ilyena sounds great, but I can't help but think someone would have noticed her being alive after all.
Paul Long
303. Caveatar
Anyone who hates Cadsuane like I have. I mess up the links but it is
in the Dark'uns tale thread, latest by me.
Cenn Buie is a flipping Gleeman, of sorts but he is a codger for sure.


ANd here is the *modified* link http://forum.tor.com/threads/776-The-Dark-uns-Tale-OR-Give-the-Devil-his-due?p=3510#post3510
Irene Gallo
304. Irene
Everyone -- We are ending the tit-for-tat commenting. Please stick to topic and respectful debate.
306. Freelancer
JL @284

Yes, I can say all of those, but I can't say Saturday, it always comes out Saraday.

Try this one:

I split a sheet, a sheet I split,
Upon a splitted sheet I sit.
Rob Munnelly
308. RobMRobM
Thanks Irene and apologies. I posted before I saw yours. Rob
Irene Gallo
309. Irene
No worries, RobM. We’re going to be a bit more heavy handed until things calm down a little.
Anthony Pero
312. anthonypero

I personally think people who have posted... *checks profile page* at least 880 times should NEVER get flagged as spam :D
Jeff Schweer
313. JeffS.
Is it Tuesday yet? And if not, Why not?
I'm ready for the discussion on the next chapter.
Love the reread but get antsy on Monday.

I am only an egg
Edited to add, Going to chill down a little bit myself. Apologies to all and sundry.
Chris R
314. up2stuff
wet @272...

Yeah, but doesnt she always refer to Rand as THE boy, not "Boy." Still seems to me like a mode of disrespect.


edit, insectoid said much the same thing. I was even formulating a longer post including Verin, but havent had time.
Anthony Pero
315. anthonypero

When you are 250+, you'll probably refer to 21 year old males as "boy" too, even if they are Emperor of the Known World. In fact, Wetlandernw is so old, she probably relates to Cadsuane's point of view, hence the discussion

***runs, ducks and covers screaming BUNKER BUNKER BUNKER***
Kimani Rogers
316. KiManiak
RobMRobM@278 – Re: GoTMisms – Yeah, the Malazan universe definitely shifts post GoTM. I recently started my first Malazan reread since finishing up TCG last year (had to let the batteries recharge; Malazan is great but trying to read all of those novels for the first time over the course of 5 or 6 months was incredibly rewarding and incredibly draining), and there are some major differences in the magic system, character traits, dialogue patterns, etc. when jumping back to GoTM from TCG.

I still need to check out the Vorkosigan saga. Can’t find most of the books in bookstores (neither big box nor Mom&Pop types); maybe I will just look for them online (I think you mentioned that option a few months back).

Bawambi@291 – I agree. The fact that we can debate for hours about fictional characters, their personalities, and choices made in given situations continues to reflect just how good our authors can write. No matter what we can say about Cadsuane, Egwene, Elayne, Perrin, Mat, Verin, or whomever, the term “poorly written” definitely does not apply to any of them.

AP@300 – You sly dog, you :-)

Freelancer@306 – Tricky, but did it without mispronouncing the last word.
Eric Hughes
317. CireNaes

You got me. Although my last name is in my profile description. No need for discretion, Paul. I used to like spelling things backwards while maintaining word order to distract myself from some of my more boring classes in middle school. I started reading this series in 6th grade. A pleasant reminder of simpler times.


You sly dog. Get back to work.


Ah yes, the all important definite article. A status upgrade if I ever saw one. Rand is the most important boy after all. She may or may not adjust her terminology now that Rand is "older." She has to get used to his newfound maturity. Her term of endearment never bothered me though. If the shoe fits...Rand acted no better than a boy in controlling his temper. I think it would be fascinating for her to meet someone like Bryne. Just for a point of comparison.

Edit: For spelling. I need smaller fingers or a bigger phone.
Kimani Rogers
318. KiManiak
Verin: I believe earlier in the thread we were talking about Egwene possibly Healing Verin. A little thing I’m curious about:

Say Verin was Healed (stowed away somewhere to recover and survived the Seanchan attack on the Tower) and then events in the book unfolded as they did. When Egwene gets to the culling of the Black Ajah from the Aes Sedai, does Verin deserve to be executed like the rest?

Do her actions as a double-agent excuse the likely crimes she committed as a Black Ajah member for 70+ years?

If you make an exception for Verin, do you make an exception for any others who can make a case for entering the BA to “save their own skins” and can demonstrate that they would try to circumvent some of their BA assignments for the greater good? (Although I doubt any BA reached Verin’s level of gathering info for the Light, chances are good that some were possibly reluctant and/or disobeyed and “did good” when circumstances allowed.) If not, where do you draw the line?

Just some things to ponder. I love Verin as a character, but I see why RJ & BWS had her die after giving Egwene the info. Too much of a moral dilemma for Egwene if she had survived…
Eric Hughes
319. CireNaes
@314 & 318

Now that's uncanny. Or blatant psychic thievery. Let me know which one, will you both?

Edit: For poor math.
320. Freelancer
JL @284

Regarding the retcon issues, the lack of Yellows involved in the session to separate Mat from the effects of the Shadar Logoth dagger might not be such an oversight. Not saying it isn't, but here's the thing. The channeling business was not precisely a Healing, more of a warding to isolate Mat from the dagger. And it wouldn't have been any closer to a Healing had all nine other channelers been Yellow. Siuan led the circle, so only her weaving skill mattered, the rest being necessary for their capacity in Saidar. Given the situation, and Siuan already saying that she barely knew who to trust, she would have chosen the members of the circle by trust first, and strength in the Power second. I don't think very many Yellows have been identified as having upper-tier strength.
Roger Powell
321. forkroot
A few more thoughts about Verin before the Seanchan blast us out of our reverie...

It is interesting how the "binding" of the Oath rod on Verin (specifically the prohibition on betraying the DO) was just as personally subjective as the interpretation of the light-side oaths.

We've seen the old ... "OK, now I feel like I'm in danger" schtick with various AS waiting to begin using the OP in a fight. Obviously, it's a very personal judgement of how much danger you feel that you are in. (We had a pretty good discussion about this on the reread -- some ways back.)

Clearly Verin's letter to Mat betrayed the DO's plans, so she had to be 100% sure (in her mind) that he would not open it too early (before either her death or her return and retrieval of the letter.) Otherwise, she wouldn't have been able to give him the letter.

We know she did a number of other letters. It appears that the one to Rand told him about Elaida's kidnapping of Mattin Stepaneous and suggested that Elaida might have tried the same thing with Alsalam. I don't think that betrayed the DO, so unless there were other goodies in the letter, she should have been able to send that one (via the intermediary) with no problem.

It will be curious as the other letters come to light (so to speak), whether she would have had to do other "mental dodges."

I guess we'll RAFO next January.
Roger Powell
322. forkroot
I don't think very many Yellows have been identified as having upper-tier strength.
Romanda is very strong, but she was retired and out of the Tower at that point.

Overall, your point is well taken. It's ironic that Siuan trusted Sheriam enough to have her part of the circle. As one of the stronger AS in the Tower, a Blue, and a (presumed) friend it's easy to see why she was included.

One thing that's a bit curious is why they didn't use Nynaeve. We're just about to see Egwene teach and make use of novices for her circle in a most stressful situation. Seems to me that someone could have just stepped on Nyn's toe (to get her angry) and then taught her how to join the circle.
Paul Long
323. Caveatar
To the Tongue Twisters. (APs music group)

Peking dialect called Mandarin, in which "forty-four dead stone lions" comes out as ssu shih ssu ssu shih shih, if it comes out at all.

It is a test for drunkeness. No english speaker could pass it stone cold
sober. Or at least I couldn't.
Talk about the breathalyser.

Verin might have sent Egwene a letter telling her that the Dark One
is actually Moridin. Not the Chaos guy.
If so he is a Lucifer or Loki or 10 others.
And when she meets Rand she will say, I have planned Rand
you have to break the seals to release Chaos. I will help.
And then we kick that lying bastard Moridin back to HIS pit.
Fields of Merrilor may turn out as something we don't expect.
Everything else has so far. Including Verin no matter how many
guessed it right.

AP. While in the bunker don't eat them big oreos. They are HARD!

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
324. tnh
Anthony Pero @312:
I personally think people who have posted... *checks profile page* at least 880 times should NEVER get flagged as spam :D
See me here emphatically agreeing with you!

Over the history of this site, do you know which user has gotten snagged by the spam trap most often? Jo Walton's husband.
Paul Long
326. Caveatar

2nd Test. first passed IF trapped, then possible solution found.


Edit. Not trapped with both possibilites. Possible onsite allows pass.

Trying to help. Trouble shooter for years
I have used links to the forums as copy paste directly into edit window
and passed.
When using the link button at top of edit window by "block quote"
the post was flagged as spam. Same link.
Possible lead for troubleshooters?


When forum link posted using the link function at top of edit window
the post was flagged at spam. May have found possible reason for
unexplained spam trap flag.
It is currently trapped #325

#254 was posted the same way as #325 and is still trapped as spam
A copy and repost of 99percent same text was passed
Good luck to the Technician Troubleshooter who chases such stuff.
It might save a lot of unnecessary investigation of flagged posts and
free up the moderator or whoever does the checking.
The possibilites in the Link Button
HTTP Https Ftp News Other might have something to
do with it. IT defaults to Other but if Http link is put in the box it
changes to "http" instead of "Other".
Offsite Link (or the tor forum site link actually) if Link button is used
to make link then mine were flagged as spam in both the above cases
254 and 325 were processed the same and were both flagged.

Mat's luck with whoever is chasing it down.
Anthony Pero
327. anthonypero
Sometimes I've had posts tagged when the link is plain text as well... But not usually.
Barry T
328. blindillusion
Ohh, ohh. Did I miss the Cadsuane discussion?


... I need to keep up with this more. Perhaps I'll find 30 minutes a day? Yes. 30 minutes a day. I've missed (gestures in an all inclusive way) all this. (ha! like to see some name that reference)

But OT. I've liked Verin from the beginning. Just reading her scattered-brain act was MOA every time. Looking back one has to realize that EVERY person she spoke to was being weighed and measured, ready to become a notation should they be found wanting. Really amazing, there. She will be missed.

(And I really want to know what she had to say to Galad of all people...and I'm also curious as to who handed him the note.)
William Fettes
329. Wolfmage
This conversation has probably died out, but I just want to put my position on Cadsuane out there, because I think it reconciles some of the polarisation about her.

First, I can totally appreciate her as a formidable light-side character. She is like a larger-than-life aunt: someone who is known to have an abrasive tongue at times, but who definitely has a unique way of cutting to the heart of matters and keeping her head when big things are happening. She may not necessarily be a person you want closeby all the time, as she can be a bit overbearing and insufferable in her forceful opinions, but you know that when the chips are down you can count on her advice and support moreso than most. She is also the person who spoke out forcefully against some awful wrongdoing when lots of other 'good people' were too timid to do so.

I can also appreciate the fact that her substantive intentions towards Rand have been 100% benign. The POV text make that very clear, even above and beyond the authorial authority lent to her by Min's viewing. Though it may seem like it sometimes, she certainly isn't out to infantilise Rand or to get in the way of his mission.

If you accept the validity of Cadsuane's mission, as I do, a lot can be justified in the name of humanising Rand. Given Rand's distrustful state and increasingly unchecked power when she finds him, I think we can reasonably extend this legitimate purpose to keeping Rand off-balance a bit so that she can stay around him relatively autonomously. So I think the people who've given in to the temptation to reduce her every snipe down to simple pride or overwheening Aes Sedai ego are getting this very wrong. A lot of it is a cultivated, provocative affectation.

That said, I can see where some people have legitimate misgivings which colour this otherwise very positive impression. I can't and won't accept that *every* rude phrase or quip of belittlement she uses on those around her, (not just Rand, but Tam and other Aes Sedai too), is part of a grand strategem that is covered by a hugely permissive reading of Min's viewing. Sometimes, it's just her Far Madding cultural prejudices in operation -- no doubt heightened and ossified by super long-lived age and her supreme status at the top of the Aes Sedai power heirarchy. And for me, at least, it's not a good enough excuse to simply say she is from a misandrist hen-pecking culture. She is obviously extraordinarily intelligent and self-reflective. She knows enough to think Rand being raised in Far Madding would have meant a different kind of disaster -- so she is capable of being much more than merely a mirror for Far Madding values. She has also travelled a lot and seen a lot -- including some apparently arduous humiliation at the hands of a toothless wilder. At some level, that breadth of experience surely makes her affectation a deliberate posture because she has allowed it to persist as a kind of marker of being the most powerful and the smartest person in the room for so long. I mean, she's not blindly arrogant - because she will happily adjust and accommodate if someone formiddable enough comes along to see through it and prove themselves worthy, but it's still something of a crutch in her attitude, I think. She'll ride over you unless you know enough to stop it!

Personally, I can see why many people don't warm to that kind of attitude, even if she, objectively, deserves a lot of respect -- moreso than most Aes Sedai. So, it becomes a balancing act in judging what was necessary, what was reasonably part of a necessary strategy, and what was just her personality. Personally, I think a bit more genuine humility and basic manners could go a long way -- especially as she demands exacting manners from everyone else as a precondition for anything.

Now, I love Nynaeve; she is one of my favourite characters. So I am used to appreciating the sterling stuff beneath the surface and not getting bogged down in surface antagonism and bluster. But I can see where people do get caught on Cadsuane, even though I think a lot of the hate against her is misplaced. The problem is that the text, apart from the Tam's rebuke, hasn't really provided much opportunity for gainsaying or evaluating her methods. So, I think you see this build up of steam about her, that hasn't been fully punctured, where she gets to trample on other people a lot without much in the way of negative repercussions.
Rob Munnelly
330. RobMRobM
@324. Ok, i'll bite - what is the tag of Jo's husband. Just curious.

@320 - point taken, Free, but if Mat's health started failing on the table from the shock of the knife taken away it would have been prudent to have a Yellow there to take care of it. Just sayin.

Ki - yes, you need to read the Vorkosigan Saga right away. I love them and actually was re-reading parts of one of them tonight (Cetaganda). All but one of the current books (Memory) are free in authorized on line versions. (The next book is due on November, so best to get your reading done before then. The subject is a long awaited one - a volume focusing on someone other than Miles - Captain Vorpatril's Alliance) Here's how to find them.
http (colon then doubleslash)baencd(dot)thefifthimperium(dot)com(slash)24-CryoburnCD(slash)CryoburnCD(slash)

Or google baen and fifth imperium and vorkosigan and free - or something like that.

On the merits, I'd say you should read them all. The CD starts with Cryoburn, which is most recent novel so hold to the end. Then they go more or less in order, collected in compilation volumes. The first is Cordelia's Honor, which includes the two novels that tell the story of Miles' parents and his unusual birth story- the second, Barrayar, won Hugo. Then you get into Young Miles with its three works - Warrior's Apprentice, Mountains of Mourning and Vor Game - the latter two won Hugo and MoM also won Nebula. Keep going but there are few funny order things later on, as follows.

First, Ethan of Athos is set a bit apart from the main series - Miles doesn't appear but is mentioned and one of his recurring companions is a main character. You can either read it in sequence or skip it until later.

Second, the proper order towards the end is Mirror Dance (Hugo), Memory (the only book not on line), Komarr, A Civil Campaign, Winterfair Gifts, Diplomatic Immunity and Cryoburn. I needed to do this to tell you when Memory fit in, but also because Diplomatic Immunity is in a compilation located before the volume of the three preceding books. Best to hold it until it's proper place.

Third, Falling Free is an excellent novel (winning Nebula) but it is set 200 years before the Saga and not part of it properly. It is, however, best to read it before Diplomatic Immunity, as it contains useful background for that work.

Finally, all Vorkosigan fans have their favorites. Mine are Mountains of Mourning, Mirror Dance and Memory but I have a fond spot in my heart for A Civil Campaign, a romantic farce with the funniest single scene in the entire series (the epic dinner party scene).

Enjoy. They are remarkable body of work that stand up to multiple re-reads.

Paul Long
331. Caveatar
@ Tnh
Flagged post #326 should have sufficient information to find a likely
solution to the unexpected spam flag monster. It contains a Mat's luck
wish from me. Hoping to help reduce your frustration.

@328 Blind

(And I really want to know what she had to say to Galad of all people...and I'm also curious as to who handed him the note.)

I don't have an idea about what she had to say but I believe
Berelain probably handed him the note. It looks like she has
been between him and the world, up close, for a while now.
Can't say as I blame either of them though. From the description.

I still don't think either of them is as pretty as I am, but I am prejudiced. And half blind. And have poor taste.
Thomas Keith
332. insectoid
@tnh: re: spam filter. I would blame the ghost in the machine. ;)

AP @312: Agreed! Though perhaps 500 comments is a more reasonable benchmark.

Blind @3+2+8=13: ::waves:: :P

Re: tongue twisters: My favorite is the one from Fox in Socks that begins "Through three cheese trees, three free fleas flew..."

Paul Long
333. Caveatar
@329 wolfmage

not just Rand, but Tam and other Aes Sedai too

I may have an idea about the Tam interaction.
It may be as simple as the fact that she recognised a man
who loved his son, an honorable man, and she was afraid
and she trapped him for that reason
"Demons fear when a GOOD man goes to war."
Anyone with any sense should fear when a good man is
defending his son. I would.
But if Kari Al Thor was there instead of Tam not all Cad's
protection could save her from a GOOD woman , MOTHER
defending her son. Adopted or not. Given that provocation
Rand's mother would have taken on the whole room and
killed as many as she could before they killed her. And might
have won. My mother would have. My wife did but it was only
a local school principal, one teacher at fault. In public. School
gathered into the gym for something. She stopped the ceremony
read them out. They all promised to stop whatever she said.
When she stalked out the whole bunch gave her applause.
Maybe Cad's dad was like that.

Paul Long
334. Caveatar
For TNH from Caveatar
A thank you note.

http://forum.tor.com/threads/785-The-Iceman-Cometh-Riding-the-Dragon?p=3516#post3516 LATEST POST
All are welcome to read. But the intent is plain and also hidden
in part.
335. Freelancer
Tom, this one's for you...

A flea and a fly in a flue,
Were stuck, so what could they do?
"Let us fly!" said the flea,
"Let us flee!" said the fly,
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

RE: Cadsuane

Look, it's pretty simple. She's human, imperfect, and flawed, but she works to keep people from remembering that, because legendary status gets people to move for you when simple curmudgeonly glares won't. She knows it's a facade, she admits so more than once. She also knows that she has had moderately good success with the method. Now, this is where the problem comes in. Aes Sedai get their way more than most folk. Very strong, very old Aes Sedai get their way more than most Aes Sedai. And Miss Melaidhrin was pretty much the oldest and strongest Aes Sedai for a great long while. So much of the "success with her method" (to quote myself) is built on attributes unattached to her method. Along comes someone who is not motivated so easily by those things, and sparks are sure to fly. He does not fear Aes Sedai, she is not a stronger channeler than he. He does defer to her gender and, to a lesser extent, her age, but not when she prods too hard. She is trying to do the right thing, and she certainly wishes him to succeed in the ultimate objective. Rand thinks those things as well, or at least he accepts them as likely, given his trust of Min's viewings. That doesn't mean he has to like her treatment, even when he has been childish and unpleasant.
Especially when she is being childish and unpleasant.
Jonathan Levy
337. JonathanLevy
So far the size of the balefire weave seems to be proportional to its strength - there's been no indication that balefire weaves can have different densities. And keep in mind that at this point Nynaeve had not yet reached her full potential, so a super-powerful-yet-densely-small weave is a bit of a stretch.
Your theory about Ilyena sounds great, but I can't help but think someone would have noticed her being alive after all.
Sure, people noticed her, but in the chaos of the Breaking, how could you know for sure that this particular blondie actually was Ilyena sunhair? Also, why would she call attention to that fact? And if she did, and was believed, who can say why her version would have been preserved by history?

306.Freelancer and others re: tongue twisters

It was actually a Monty Python reference - not sure if anyone got it - if you want, see www dot youtube dot com /watch?v=FdaIZSeoRBg 0:45 - 1:40 and 2:40 - end


The channeling business was not precisely a Healing, more of a warding to isolate Mat from the dagger.
As I understand it, dealing with the dagger had 3 different aspects - (1) digging the shadar logoth taint from Mat, (2) Healing him from its effects, and (3) isolating the dagger from him as much as possible.

The first time he is healed (TEOTW), all three parts are necessary. The second time, when the connection is severed, item (3) is not relevant. As far as Yellows are concerned, I agree that for parts (1) and (3) they have no advantage, but you'd really think that for item (2) they'd be best suited.

That said, the issue of trust which you mentioned is a very real consideration.
One thing that's a bit curious is why they didn't use Nynaeve.
I think it's a question of status. Some things are for Aes Sedai, some for Accepted and Novices. Healing SL taint is for Aes Sedai. Besides, they used Vora's sa'angreal, so they had as much Saidar as was necessary.

(And I really want to know what she had to say to Galad of all people...and I'm also curious as to who handed him the note.)
I had a post speculating on this a while back... (searches)... comment 140 on the TGS part 19 thread, if you're interested. It starts with 'My Dearest Galad,' :)
Alice Arneson
338. Wetlandernw
Now listen here, boy, who are you calling flawed? :)

(I was irresistably reminded of the time I offended someone by calling him "sir". He worked for one of our associate contractors on an Air Force project, and in some simple interaction I said "Thank you, sir." He snapped at me, "You don't have to call me 'sir' - I'm not Air Force." I was totally taken aback; I call people "sir" or "ma'am" because I was raised to do so, not because it's required by some military code of conduct. Not sure what his issue was - but it doesn't stop me doing it all the time anyway.)

Wolfmage @329 - Yup. That. I admit I've tried hard to get people to see Cadsuane's good points. Maybe too hard, sometimes, because it sounds like I think she can't do anything wrong. Obviously she can; everyone makes mistakes. But she, like (almost) everyone else, is doing the best she can with the information she has. I keep wanting people to see that, to recognize that she really does have credentials, and that RJ gave us a pretty good rationale for her actions. She had brought at least twenty (probably more) men to the Tower to be gentled, and
"Of these, she never had to kill one, either because she could not capture him or because he was trying to escape. These men have ranged over the years from farmboys to nobles to the king of Tarabon, but one and all, they made much better adjustments to their fate than is considered normal. They eventually died short of a normal span, but they lived considerably longer than usual."
Who else had anywhere near that kind of experience? Obviously, none of those men had the responsibilities Rand has, or the questionable joy of having LTT sharing their head space, but it would have been unforgivable for her not to use her experience - including her methods - to help the most important, most critical of all male channelers. The fact that it apparently didn't work so well doesn't mean she was wrong to try, and for all we know, her actions may have been critical to keeping him alive and sane(ish) this long.

We all make mistakes in interacting with other people, because we can't really get inside their heads, but I respect her a lot. She was willing to ignore the rules when she thought they were stupid, she refused to be stuffed into a job for which she was unsuited, and she treated people according to their actions rather than their position. I like that. I wish I were more like her in some ways.

Speaking of respect, I have to second Freelancer's remarks (way up-thread there somewhere) about Silviana. That woman deserves honor and respect. To stand up against the Powers That Be, including her own Ajah and the Amyrlin, because what they were doing was wrong, even though she risked a great deal in doing so... Yeah. That took courage. I loved the way she took her own advice on refusing to accept unjust punishment, too. She didn't complain about it being unfair - she just refused to accept it. Good woman. If more of us were willing to behave with that much honor and courage in real life, it would be a good thing.

That reminds me of something almost irrelevant... You know that bit about the Amyrlin being "of all Ajahs and none"? Egwene is probably the closest of any Amyrlin ever to really fit that:

Salidar Keeper: Sheriam - Blue (well, Black too, but still)
Salidar Mistress of Novices: Tiana - Gray
Tower Keeper: Silviana - Red
Tower Mistress of Novices: Rosil - Yellow

I don't really have any more to say about that; I just wanted to mention it. And... I'm going to bed. That stupid alarm will go off in 5.5 hours, and it's going to be WAY too soon.
Alice Arneson
339. Wetlandernw
Oh, and my favorite is the tweetle beetles.
Paul Long
340. Caveatar
@338 Wetlandernw

Thank you, sir." He snapped at me, "You don't have to call me 'sir' - I'm not Air Force."

He was not air force. Nor was he entitled to the 'sir', nor even the title
He was at best entitled to be called male. There are many sons of bitches, (apologies to all dogs. I know you would bite the bastard.)
that are male. None of them are sirs or men.
And in fact it is questionable that he is entitled to that. It requires
balls to be a full man. And a full man will not snap at a woman.
Most especially if she has shown him respect. But if you had called
him an insufferable asshole a man wouldn't have "snapped" at you.
The next time he or anyone does it......well....
let it go. And instead
I will tell you a tale, he said,
to cheer you on your way to bed
with laughter echoing in your head
I hope.
My youngest daughter teaches grammar school.
She arranged a play to let the kids get a taste of Homer.
All the kids but one picked their favorite greekname hero.
Exept one.
She asked the kid, "Don't you want to be one of these
'esuses' (Odysseus, or Ulysses) or Hector or Priam or even
Pericles. (out of universe I think. Draft dodger or something)
And the very well beloved by me smart ass little boy said.
"Nope. I ain't gonna play unless I can be "Testi clees."
"I had to send him to the office. though I hated to." she said.

I said to my daughter, NO, you didn't! I LOVE that little bastard.
She replied in kind, "I love that little bastard too but I had to do it.
The class wouldn't have stopped laughing for a week."
Take that Testiclees, I said. Don't mess with my daughter the
schoolmarm. (She loves you but you have to behave I whispered to
him from my own smartass childhood.)

Sleep well and may Cadsuane visit you in your dreams and thank you
for understanding her.

Thomas Keith
341. insectoid
Good thing there's a new post tomorrow... we're silently sliding off the slippery sideways slope... (Try that one!)

Free @335: Oh, I know that one, too; it's one of my dad's favorites. Now, can you tell me who wrote it without googling, Tim? ::evil grin::

::runs for the bunker::

Philip Alan Smith
342. AlanS7
"Demons run when a good man goes to war."
Anthony Pero
343. anthonypero

That really depends on your definition of silent in the internet age, doesn't it? Because a whol elot of words have beeninvolved int his slide.

To Wetlandernw and others,

To give some due to Cadsuane, I can acknowledge and credit her, sussinctly, on these:

Her presence and her brand, lent her and others the ability to keep his deteriating mood in check. She served that purpose very well. Although not in the ways some would credit her for. Her purpose here was to slow his deteriation down.

Her strength of character gave Rand pause, not for what she would think about whatever he would say or do, but that he didn't feel up to dealing with whatever her response to these would be. This lent others the where with all to lend a different perspective before his ill mood could be elevated. This role of hers, was crutial during several different settings.

The problem with Cadsuane's roll in these things, is that this was not at all what she intended. Her intent was to control him through various stimuli, usually demeaning, and through this control, manipulate and guide him through his way to Tarmon Gaidon.

But her Plan never fully transpired in that way, because his reaction was always to fight her every prodding, tooth and nail, as he always has with everyone before her. His very conscious determination to do it his own way and not be predictable in anyway, had served him well before she got there and still has for all intents and purposes.

Her attitude towards him, as just another male channeler to be manipulated using her finelly tuned weapons, that did work for her so often before, just made her seem to Rand as another Aes Sedai to be ignored, unless she had something interesting to say.

Her response to that was to get others to help her with her mechinations, so her Face wouldn't be on whatever Plan she came up with. And all this did was further his subconcious belief that she is yet another among a long list of advisaries. And in the end she crystallized into being exactly that and thus another justification for the banning, however, in the heat of the moment, it was.

I can't yet see any way where Rand will come to trust her enough to follow his wishes and be a part of his own burgeoning plans to complete his duty.

And therein lies the difference for Rand, as opposed to anyone else. For Rand he has a duty to fulfill his purpose as savior. To Egwene she has a duty first and formost to the Tower and its interests, which now happen to coincide with Rands. But Egwene wants it done her way or the Towers way. Egwene believes that Rand should be subservient to the Tower. Tuon believes Rand should be subservient to the Seanchan Empire. And Cadsuane, even worse, believes Rand should be subservient to Cadsuane.

Rand believes it is his duty, not theirs, and so Rand rightly believes he is subserviant to no one or institution. It is his duty not theirs. And until, they all get that through their skulls, they are all going to be some very exasporated people.

They have their roles to play and they are important ones. But they are all reliant upon Rands role as savior. If they all impede upon his plans, because he is not doing what whatever faction thinks he should be doing, then they very well may be responsible for his failure, if it should so come to be.

I can understand their apprehension. Any of us would be scared to death of the horror they could find themselves in if he should fail. So they want to put thier hands on the Wheel to steer the Ship true. But they aren't the Captain of the Ship. Rand is.

Rob Munnelly
345. RobMRobM
Tongue twisters - I have a memory that something like the following was listed in Guiness Book of Records as the hardest one in English: "The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick."
Birgit F
346. birgit
When he uncovered his eyes, spots flickered across his vision, and the faint, fading image of that line of fire. Where the Darkhounds had been was nothing but night-covered ground and the soft rain; the only shadows that moved were cast by clouds crossing the moon.

No motes here, but perhaps Perrin could not have been expected to notice them, under the circumstances.

Maybe the motes are always just a visual effect caused by the bright light.

The use of Ravens & Rats as spies for the Dark One might be considered another retcon. They're ominous and scary in TEOTW (flocks of ravens hunting Egwene), but we don't see any more of that in later books.

They do reappear. The wards that keep rats out of the White Tower fail. Borderland soldiers kill ravens on battlefields. Most characters just have more important things to do than notice vermin (that is probably why they are effective spies).

Can’t find most of the books in bookstores

Can't you just order a book you want in a bookstore? In German bookstores that is possible. Only out of print books have to be bought elsewhere second-hand.

If everyone hangs out in the bunker anyway, how can people hide there? And how can people hide from each other when everybody hides in the same place?

Hunny-hunters who want to reach 400 could invent WOT tongue-twisters.
Valentin M
347. ValMar
KiManiak @ 318

I have been thinking along these lines. It was simply too messy if Verin had lived.

As for other BA with ambigous characters, not straightforward badies- an example I always think of is Delana. She had a POV in the chapter when she first met Halima (LOC, To Heal Again, towards the end of the chapter). She was coming across in her own thoughts as one of the better AS. She was thinking with compassion about Siuan.

Wolfmage @ 329

I'm happy someone finally posted something like that on "the Cadsuane Issue". Well put. Plus, I didn't have to use a dictionary whilst reading one of your posts ;)
Anthony Pero
348. anthonypero
See, Xexxes, this is the disconnect... I don't get that at all from Cadsuane. Not even a teeny, tiny little bit. Her machinations, as you call them, all revolved around her stated purpose of getting him to remain human, to keep himself grounded in reality, and to not get so hard that he can't make decisions with compassion. Was she trying to manipulate him in this? Sure. Our parents do it to us all the time. So do our teachers, so do our bosses, so do our mentors, etc. Rand is a very, very, very, very young man. Manipulation is simply a teaching tool, a technique for moving something into the proper position. We manipulate a door knob in order to open it. She was trying to manipulate him into a position where he would see he was leaving compassion behind, and that if he did, he would destroy the world as surely as the Dark One would.

Did she succeed in this? No. Not directly. But let's not lose sight of what she was trying to accomplish. She didn't want to control Rand's decisions the way Moiraine tried to do for the first four and half books. Cadsuane understood that the DR needed to make the decisions. She just also understood that he needed to do so with compassion in his heart. Pray that the heart of stone knows tears.
Anthony Pero
349. anthonypero

Maybe the motes are always just a visual effect caused by the bright light.

That's not quite the way afterimages work. I suppose that could be RJs interperatation of it... but it really doesn't work that way. The after image would start off as an inverted image of the bar itself, then slowly, that image would dissipate into fractals. Go ahead, stare at your computer screen for 15 seconds, then close your eyes. You see the whole screen, then slowly, from the center point of your focus, the image begins to dissipate, from the inside out, in a fractal pattern (which depends on the source and composition of the light).

So, I guess RJ could have been going for something of the effect you are referring to you... but his description would have been inacurate.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
350. tnh
RobM @330: The tag isn't really relevant, and he seldom had URLs in his comments. Our best guess was that there was something idiosyncratic about the site he was posting from that set off the spam filters.
Rob Munnelly
351. RobMRobM
@350 - you are no fun, ma'am. I was hoping to stalk him on the site. *sulks*

But ...you got the 3 and 1/2 hunny. Congrats.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
352. tnh
Moderator shoutbox

All our shoutboxes have disappeared from the site. For the duration of this problem, if you need to bring something to my attention, you can leave me a note at http://forum.tor.com/threads/796-Moderator-shoutbox.

Unfortunately, there's no way to make the messages in a forum thread confidential/unreadable, so bear that in mind when you're posting. It's a temporary workaround.

Please pass this info on to other users if you see them having difficulties.

Thanks --

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Karen Fox
353. thepupxpert
@309 Irene - thank you for stepping in!

@various tongue twisters:

Unique New York, You Know You Need Unique New York.

Say that five times really fast!
Ron Garrison
354. Man-0-Manetheran
anthonypero @ 312:
Ooo. Ooo. Only 7 more to go!

wolfmage @ 329:
“authorial authority” - clever! A very well thought out and expressed analysis of our favorite curmudgeon (present company excluded).

anthonypero @ 348:

tnh @ 352:
Teresa, all our shoutboxes disappeared as well. Hopefully they can be resurrected from the ether along with the previous contents.
Alice Arneson
355. Wetlandernw
Teresa and Irene - Let me add my thanks to you both for the work you do here. It's got to be like herding cats, sometimes, but you do it with patience, humor and grace. Thank you.

(Please tell me you all get some good laughs out of the idiocy. Do you keep a "stupidest comments ever" list, or something?)
Ron Garrison
356. Man-0-Manetheran
MoM’s Philosophic Thought for the Day:
Justifying one’s hatred is a dubious activity at best, but justifying one’s hatred of a fictional character truly baffles me. Imagine the seismic shift in the Cosmic Balance of Giggles if the there had never been “I’ll get you my pretty. And your little dog too!”
Kimani Rogers
357. KiManiak
RobM2@330 – Thanks (again) for the link and the list. This time I have taken the information and saved it somewhere that I can refer to when I’m ready to check out the Vorkosigan novels again. I’m currently trying to split my reading time between my re-read of Malazan and my first time reads of The Lies of Locke Lamora and the Mallorean series (yes, I missed out on Eddings’ novels until recently).

birgit@346 – re: ordering books – I have to admit that part of my enjoyment of books is going to the bookstore, picking up a book or two I like (or have been looking for), and buying it. I’m not a big fan of ordering books (only did it once, when all of my local bookstores were out of Toll the Hounds, I was deep in my Malazan read for the first time, and I had to have the next novel asap). Actually looking for a complete book online will also be a big step for me; I’m very much into the tactile experience of reading books, and haven’t really embraced the e-books or anything that I can’t physically turn the pages of.

ValMar@347 – Yeah, chances are good that there were a few Black Ajah that were good people, who were maybe a little too ambitious; found themselves in a “join us or die” situation with the BA; acted to save their skins like Verin did; and probably did the bare minimum to fulfill their obligations to the Shadow. Then you have some vicious, evil ones like Katerine…

Oh, and:
358. alreadymadwithcads
I really hate discussing CADS and the AES SEDAI machinations ad nauseum.

Alice Arneson
359. Wetlandernw
So what were you doing here? You should be over on the new post discussing Egwene's MOA and the stunning realization on the part of the AS that they suck at defending themselves. Also at understanding what's going on in the world.
Thomas Keith
360. insectoid
AP @343: You're right, of course—I was just going for the alliterative value. ;)

tnh @352: Your efforts here are appreciated by all. Thanks!

Wet @359: I think it's called "tying up loose threads" or something. :)

361. Freelancer
The big black bug bled bad blood.

Hey, quit tying up threads while I'm busy pulling them...
Terry McNamee
362. macster
@142 ValMar, 144 thewindrose: All sounds good to me!

@146 Freelancer: Was that a hint that I was giving away where I was from, or that only someone not from Portland could view it as a vacation destination? ;) Either way, LOL!

@150 Wetlander: You go, girl! :)

@159: I actually hope we do get to learn what else is in the book, even indirectly.

@172 thewindrose: LOL!!!

@187 anthonypero: That matches my analysis as well.

@195 Freelancer: Another point--whenever Alanna speaks of sensing Rand through their bond, or Rand mentions what he feels from her, it's always sorrow and pain at what he is going through. If she were Black, why would she care about that? She should enjoy his pain, the bond notwithstanding.

@197 KatoCrossesTheCourtyard: So much to agree with here, but I especially like how you put Egwene's thoughts regarding what Rand went through.

@201 LookingGlass: Agreed on Ajah system needing to be reworked, but keeping the division between different functions/roles.

@202 forkroot: I hadn't given much thought to Tomas, shame on me. I think the things we've seen him do are definitely good marks in his book, and the way Verin describes his desire to escape the Shadow suggests to me he's done other things to redeem himself. The Light illumine him.

@204 Caveatar: That scenario is intriguing in light of the Seanchan swordswoman who will save Egwene, whom some think to be Tuon...

@234 forkroot: I may be mistaken, but I thought some had believed the woman whom Moiraine sent Masema and the Shienarans to meet in Jehannah was Cadsuane, because of her having come out of retirement to help capture Logain and her saying she'd been in Ghealdan "growing roses". Of course that is only circumstantial and doesn't hint at anything about Cadsuane's story as we are given it in ACOS, but if true it does mean there was one slight hint before book seven.

@245 RobM: In Jordan's defense, Moiraine did say the staff was a focusing aid only--not all Aes Sedai might want or need such a thing, and it was after the loss of hers that she visits the Namelle sisters, travels around, and learns things (like balefire), so it could be theorized that what she learned made it so she didn't need a focus any more either. (On a related note, whatever happened to Moiraine's angreal? Did Siuan take it back from her while they were in Fal Dara?)

I've also seen it theorized that Thom's viewings were still the future because the man juggling fire was Mat, with the fireworks, while the White Tower foretold his connection with Moiraine (and for that matter, Nynaeve and Elayne). But I agree with you the Lan viewings could be past or future.

Another Mat retcon: his memories, which Jordan claimed all came from the Finn, but clearly some of them were from the old blood of Manetheren since he had such memories in TDR during the dagger Healing scene.

@258 CireNaes: That's...something that never even crossed my mind, either that people like Verin and Ingtar could still be lost to the Shadow even though they betrayed him and tried to break free, and that Rand could save them. His Zen self certainly might be capable of that. If so, then Egwene had better tell him what Verin did, because if anyone deserves that intercession, she does.

And again @263: I call your attention to the prologue of LoC, where Demandred was surprised at the Dark One's ignorance. Perhaps there is a chance he doesn't know Verin was the snitch.

@269 Wetlander: Well there is the catechism that no soul can be lost in the Shadow so long it can never come back to the Light. But since the Randlanders also mistakenly believe the Forsaken were sealed in with the Dark One since the moment of creation, such things may not be true, and even if it is, that doesn't mean the Dark One couldn't still torture her soul regardless of whether she genuinely believed in and wanted to return to the Light. But, the sentiment is there, so perhaps she can get free because of her belief. (I see Kato covered this too.)

@274 KiManiak: Ah, then for once you and I will be in agreement on Elayne. ;) Since I thought what she did when interrogating the BA was absolutely stupid, foolish, and dangerous without any justification or real benefit (well, other than what she learned about Mat and the deaths of several of the BA). Though I do think her disguise and the way she handled the interrogation were at least fun and clever. :P

@315 anthonypero: LOL!!!

@318 KiManiak: Oooo that's a toughie. I'd say Verin gets a pass because she was trying to actively help the Light and bring down the Shadow the whole time, with the dark things she did only happening to maintain her cover and because she had no choice. The great thing she did mitigates it. For other BA they would have to be able to prove they truly did do good, and a lot of it, and that it wasn't just to hide their Shadow affiliation. And I don't think many could prove that...

@320 Freelancer: I myself always thought it was strength in the Power that dictated who Siuan chose, not Healing ability or Ajah. Adding in trust is another key factor.

@321 forkroot: The mental dodging suggests that, however "distinctive" the Dark Oaths are, they are still made on the Oath Rod (and I think that was implied by Galina's POV), in which case it isn't surprising they too can be gotten around by sneaky thought processes--just with the added corollary that outright betraying them doesn't just cause the Oath Rod to enforce them, but the one to whom you swore as well.

@329 Wolfmage: Well said.

@344 Zexxes: Ditto. But anthonypero is right too.

@355 Wetlander: Or giraffes. ;)
Paul Long
363. Caveatar
264. tenkuu view all by tenkuu | Sunday March 11, 2012 08:44pm EDT Flag | Bookmark Caveatar@252: If I could be offended, I wouldn't have ventured to ask you to guess. Btw, your attitude towards women is admirable. You should extend it to everyone you speak to, at the very least when it comes to their opinions. Heeding that request is much easier than retiring from the re-reads, especially since you have some good things to say quite often. There's no need to fly from one extreme to the other, either being outright rude or downright ignoring the re-read altogether. Find a middle ground, it's not that hard.

Post the Second
302. tenkuu view all by tenkuu | Monday March 12, 2012 06:15pm EDT | amended on Monday March 12, 2012 06:20pm EDT Flag | Bookmark I did not want to stain my response to Caveatar with the necessary ugliness of the previous post, so you'll forgive me for separating them. Leigh, I also have to apologize to you about the way this has turned out. Your re-read posts are remarkable and your comments are hilarious. I'm only sorry some people can't seem to keep it in their pants.

Caveatar@275: That was really beautiful, all of it. I don't even begin to deserve as much respect as the women in your life that you describe. Just to clarify though, I don't mind if you guess my age because age doesn't matter to me. Never has, never will. If someone disrespects or harms you in any way, whether they're 5, 30 or 80, they don't deserve your respect either. In the same fashion, you can associate with any person whether they're older or younger than you, as long as they make you feel comfortable. All that matters is that you have something in common with them. As such, you could even guess 150 and it wouldn't bother me. And it didn't bother me that you thought I was a guy either, I just clarified for the sake of clarity. :) The armor name that I use as my nick does in fact belong to a male in YST (as they all do), he just happens to be my favorite character.

They will be fair I am sure.
Much fairer than you have ever been.
See how much respect they show you.
They wont even let you know
that every statement you make on the internet will be looked at
to see if it can be linked to some assault on a
whether they're 5, 30 or 80,
Year old.
You can change all the ids you have. They know your name, your IP
and a lot of your history which you have shared so kindly with the
world wide web. All Public. And all legally public knowledge.
Whether you are in Quebec or in Tierra del Fuego or hiding in
Osama bin Laden's compound.
You have been notified and you will only have to be innocent of
any wrong doing to children , the handicapped, or the elderly.

I also respect you as you deserve.
And now that it is in their hands, international law, Justice will be
served and they will check to see if you were harmed or disrespected
also, and you need have no fear from any future disrespect.
They ARE fair.

As soon as I finish this post and a notification to the Tor people, who
are in no way responsible for what unknown individuals post on a
public website, I will visit the Forge Fire and the Void and nevermore
will recognise your nick or anything associated with it.

With all DUE respect.
Ra 15595793
US Army

Paul E. Long
Ra 15595793
US Army
PO 507
Calnevari, Nv
Harry Reid of Washington D.C. has a home 12 miles north of here.
He knows the place well.
He could assist you if you need assistance.
He will respect you for sure.


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